by Patrick Appel
The guy at that cocktail party laughingly acknowledging that his last column is a load of crap designed to placate or pander to either the base or allies on the Hill is a lot more likely to be the guy movement types admire as a principled purist than the one they deride as a sellout XINO. And in a way, this is sort of predictable. Over a large number of issues, a thoughtful person applying shared principles to a particular debate or fact pattern is all but guaranteed to sometimes interpret those principles in a different way from the consensus, and so come out at odds with the orthodox movement/party position. Just as being perfectly average in every way is actually quite remarkable, agreeing with the party-line view every single time as the upshot of serious, honest, independent consideration is actually pretty wildly improbable in the aggregate, even if you assume the same underlying value set. Reasonable people not only can differ, as the saying goes; they do, constantly.