Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Forster: David Barton’s Traveling Medicine Show

By Greg Forster here. A taste:
Uh-huh. Given Barton’s history of outrageous fabrication, I wouldn’t bet the ranch on that “actual number.” In fact, it’s noteworthy that in National Review’s coverage of the story, the quotations most effusively praising Barton come from anonymous sources; the quotes from named sources mostly complain about the incumbent and lament that we need a real conservative. I can’t help but wonder why those sources felt the need to stay anonymous. If it turned out that the massive grassroots groundswell for David Barton consisted mostly of the same old David Barton Traveling Medicine Show hyping itself, my world would not exactly be turned upside-down.


Tom Van Dyke said...

Like outbreaks of sunspots, every few months we become the David Barton Sucks blog. Oh well.

The other linked Greg Forster article

is ace--he's indeed a legit Locke scholar and a conservative Christian at that. I think he should have stuck with "ideological cheerleading and outright incompetence" rather than "outrageous fabrication," which I have found to be inaccurate. Barton slants [sometimes egregiously] but doesn't make stuff up from whole cloth.

The discussion in the Forster article linked above features several regulars from this blog, incl Jon Rowe, Lee the "Secular Square" and our old friend "Our Founding Truth ["OFT"]. I think OFT scores in that Locke scholars can get too literal about the "real" Locke rather than the more relevant "Locke as the Founders understood him," which are often 2 different Lockes.

In this case, although I buy the "Straussian" reading of Locke, that in quoting the very acceptable Rev. Richard Hooker, under the surface Locke's really disagreeing with him, Founders such as Hamilton and James Wilson took the apparent agreement at face value.

As for Barton, his errors are usually a misapprehension or bad approximations of valid arguments made by legit scholars such as Philip Hamburger and Daniel Dreisbach.

That's a shame. And Barton critics are seldom interested in learning the truth about the valid arguments as expressed in articles like this

only in beating Barton and the religious right.

jimmiraybob said...

Like outbreaks of sunspots, every few months we become the David Barton Sucks blog.

Could be that, like sunspot occurrence, Barton regularly sucks in view of the public*. And the really fantastic eruptions get talked about. Especially when communications disruptions and potential societal upheavals are involved.

On the whole, I would think that conservative Christians would like having the chaff separated from the wheat - foundations built on rock and not sand and all that kinda thing.

*Although, for Barton, we don't have to make those fancy pin-hole boxes.

jimmiraybob said...

I meant to type "religious right" when I wrote "On the whole, I would think that conservative Christians would like having the chaff separated from the wheat..." in response to, "...only in beating Barton and the religious right." It is apparent that "conservative Christian" and "religious right" are not necessarily the same.

It is also apparent that many a conservative Christian do like their bread chaff free. It's also also apparent that Barton's political religious right aren't necessarily so discerning.

jimmiraybob said...

Looks like the pain won't be drug out. John Fea reports that Barton has declined the chance to run.....and Glenn Beck has a sad.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Good. Sunspots over.

jimmiraybob said...

In lieu of sunspot monitoring, there's a video of Gordon Wood and Woody Holton discussing the constitution via John Fea's place that looks interesting @

JMS said...

Jon – as you know, I am usually very supportive of your posts, but not this time. I don’t see what David Barton’s imaginary Senate candidacy in Texas has to do with anything concerning AC.

I don’t know if Greg Foster did his homework or not, but as Politico reports, “the Texas primary filing deadline is in December, and no serious challenger has emerged yet to take on the well-funded, well-known Cornyn. The poll also found that he led potential Republican challengers — including tea party favorite Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who has given no indication that he’s running — by wide margins. Another tea party darling, conservative historian David Barton, said on Wednesday (11/06/13) that he wouldn’t run, “Evangelical historian David Barton will not challenge Sen. John Cornyn in the Republican primary, he announced on Glenn Beck’s radio show on Wednesday. “The time is just not right for me,” Barton said on TheBlaze, disappointing Beck, who along with other tea party activists had hoped Barton could unseat the senator — and Cornyn beat him in a match-up, too, 51-18 percent.

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