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Posted at 3:46 PM ET, 03/10/2011

Blogs I disagree with

By Ezra Klein

I think that rather than phrasing the question as “which conservatives do you read,” it’s better to ask, “Which writers whom you regularly disagree with do you read?” That gets you out of the increasingly esoteric discussion of who does and doesn’t count as a true conservative.

Having posed the question, I may as well answer it: If I’m honest with myself about which blogs I check daily, my list would include Ross Douthat at the New York Times, Reihan Salam at the Agenda, Josh Barro at the Agenda/Public Sector Inc./various other places that Josh Barro blogs, Avik Roy at Forbes, Megan McArdle at the Atlantic, Will Wilkinson at the various Will Wilkinson outlets (which are usually aggregated here), Keith Hennessey at his eponymous blog, Greg Mankiw at his also-eponymous blog and Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution. I frequently disagree with David Brooks, and I read his new blog, but as of yet he hasn’t said anything I disagree with in his new blog, so I’m not sure he qualifies yet. There are a lot of other bloggers whom I like and disagree with, but they’re often on large group blogs that I don’t want to wade through, and so I don’t read them as often as I’d like.

Who’s on your list?

By Ezra Klein  | March 10, 2011; 3:46 PM ET
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I've never understood the respect McArdle gets. She is frequently simply incorrect on basic facts- it itself not a sin, we all err, and maybe hers are just more public- but she's unique in her attitude about never admitting error and claiming that the correct facts are the same as the incorrect ones and she's right either way.

Posted by: _SP_ | March 10, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@sp, I agree with you. I'm not sure that McArdle has ever had an original thought which is rather perilous for a blogger.

Posted by: agoldhammer | March 10, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Sullivan reads NRO so I don't have to.

Reason Hit&Run might count, although I frequently agree with them.

Mish Shedlock was a good read during the leadup to the financial crisis; apparently Calculated Risk got him blogging. Although, his is somewhat shrill, as Brad DeLong might say.

Posted by: Panglott | March 10, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Becker Posner
John Taylor...



Posted by: chrisgaun | March 10, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Casey Mulligan.
(Catherine Rampell could find a much more cogent conservative than Mulligan to contribute to Economix.)


Posted by: chrisgaun | March 10, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein but he's making a lot of sense today!

Wait, no liberal blogs you disagree with???

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 10, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Those blogs you read every day.....that explains a lot. Buddy, I don't think I can help you when you wallow in the Dark Side of the Force like that.

Posted by: kindness1 | March 10, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

kindness1, those are the blogs he reads daily *with which he regularly disagrees*. I'm sure he also reads Yglesias' stuff, but probably agrees with a fair amount of it.

Posted by: MosBen | March 10, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

kindness1, those are the blogs he reads daily *with which he regularly disagrees*. I'm sure he also reads Yglesias' stuff, but probably agrees with a fair amount of it.

Posted by: MosBen | March 10, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree with a couple of the posters above, McArdle is just awful. Conservatives I like are Andrew Sullivan, Bruce Bartlett, Reihan Salam.

Posted by: famattjr | March 10, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I do read a couple of 'em. So I wallow a bit myself.

Posted by: kindness1 | March 10, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

This is the blog I frequent the most and enjoy the most, but there are a few conservative blogs I read and I cannot say I always disagree with them.

I found Krugmans portrayal of conservatives pretty sad. I probably won't frequent his blog as much as I had before.

Conservative blogs I read that Ezra did not mention:

David Frum on FrumForum
Free Exchange on The Economist
Jeffrey Miron on

Posted by: Mazzi455 | March 10, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

You, that's about it, because from you I get all those other guys!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | March 10, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if I always disagree with them, but on the "not liberal-left blogger" list, I've got

1. Tyler Cowen
2. Greg Mankiw
3. Scott Sumner
4. EconLog (Arnold Kling, Bryan Caplan)

Posted by: guardsmanbass | March 10, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Daniel Larison.

Posted by: adamiani | March 10, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Paul Krugman makes me livid with his irrational logic and never consider the middle ground or rationale for an opposite view.

Posted by: wmtolles | March 10, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

This covers my reading list very closely, but I also recommend The American Scene. It was founded by Salam and Douthat and the three current primary writers (Noah Millman, Conor Friedersdorf and Jim Manzi) are every bit as good.

But I think the focus on blogs is slightly misguided. Blogs allow you to digest a lot of information very quickly and MR and Salam in particular do a good job of putting some right leaning information into my daily processing. But I think actually grappling with ideas you disagree with, which is my goal in reading right-leaning writers, requires sustained engagement. And that means reading people you disagree with in long form settings. For that I look to the Economist, City Journal, National Affairs and some of the stuff in Foreign Affairs and the Atlantic. I would love to expand that list if people have any suggestions.

Posted by: karlesmn | March 10, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Let's see:

* Ezra Klein
* Matthew Yglesias
* Naked Capitalism
* The Big Picture

(the last two are both economics blogs)

I won't read DeLong or Krugman from a feed, because I detest their convictions about the abject stupidity and malevolence of everyone who disagrees with them. Yeah, yeah, I know, everyone who disagrees with them *is* stupid and malevolent. Whatever.

Posted by: johndbro | March 11, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I'd suggest Ezra add John Goodman to his list. He open my mind to a lot of the second and third order systematic effects of health care law changes.

Posted by: staticvars | March 11, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Not quite in the blog category, more as regular op-ed'ers, but I make a deliberate effort to read George Will and Michael Gerson. I disagree with them in the 70-90% level, but they're self-consistent and coherent, which is worthy of respect. (One sad caveat: Mr. Will has presented seriously misleading source data on the topic of climate change; this was deeply disappointing and put me off his column for quite a while. Thank you, Ezra, for presenting data as they are, even when they contradict your position.)
Mr. Gerson has my respect for using his time on this Earth to work on what his sense of morality tells him is important. We can disagree sharply on what those important things are, but he puts his own effort where his mouth is, and that's a person I can tip my hat to even as we work in opposition to each other.

Posted by: cosmos_dc | March 11, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

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