There's an interesting, very opinionated article by T.A. Frank about current GOP frontrunner Herman Cain in Sunday's New York Times Magazine. Frank is up front about not being a particular fan of Cain's, so don't expect a completely unbiased judgment. The most amusing sentence is probably this one:
Let us pause here to make a necessarily severe assessment: to say that Herman Cain has an imperfect grasp of policy would be unfair not only to George W. Bush in 1999 but also to Britney Spears in 1999. Herman Cain seems like someone who, quite frankly, has never opened a newspaper.
Frank adds that this doesn't necessarily imply anything negative on Cain's intelligence but rather on his listening only to people from his own part of the political spectrum. (Frank notes: "In 2010, Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute set off a lively debate by suggesting conservatives had fallen prey to 'epistemic closure,' a fancy way of saying that they were getting all their information and opinions exclusively from one another.")
I think that's plausible, and it's also a reminder to all of us that it's wise to listen, however annoying we might find it, to those we disagree with and not fall into the same trap.by