Perla Ni at Stanford Social Innovation review discusses an excellent article by Andrew Rich. Conservative think tanks are committed to an ideology among others. Liberal foundations are concerned with the impartial truth. That pretty well explains it. (One side comes to fight, the other comes to be the referree and discovers itself on the canvass counting stars.) Can liberals fight well, and fight dirty, and be proud of it? Of course, my friends that is the Augustan Tradition on which this great country was founded. Blame your own prose, not the English Canon. Moderation is a head fake. The blade is well concealed. Read Dryden on Our Noble Trade. See, you can be as academic as can be and wet the blade in the other's blood, as might a deft surgeon seeking always to heal.
On Our Noble Trade
How easie it is to call Rogue and Villain, and that wittily? But how hard to make a Man appear a Fool, a Blockhead, or a Knave, without using any of those opprobrious terms? To spare the grossness of the Names, and to do the thing yet more severely, is to draw a full Face, and to make the Nose and Cheeks stand out, and yet not to employ any depth of Shadowing. This is the Mystery of that Noble Trade; which yet no Master can teach to his Apprentice: He may give the Rules, but the Scholar is never the nearer in his practice. Neither is it true, that this fineness of Raillery is offensive. A witty Man is tickl'd while he is hurt in this manner and a Fool feels it not. The occasion of an Offence may possibly be given, but he cannot take it. If it be granted that in effect this way does more Mischief; that a Man is secretly wounded, and though he be not sensible himself, yet the malicious World will find it for him: Yet there is still a vast difference betwixt the slovenly Butchering of a Man, and the fineness of a stroak that separates the Head from the Body, and leaves it standing in its place. A man may be capable, as Jack Ketche's Wife said of his Servant, of a plain piece of Work, a bare Hanging; but to make a Malefactor die sweetly, was only belonging to her Husband. I wish I cou'd apply it to my self, if the Reader wou'd be kind enough to think it belongs to me.