Unfortunately, I managed to get myself caught up in the Hamsher vs. Cole undercard. Not my best moments (aside from snark, but I was always world class in that area, he says modestly.)
I won't comment further other than to say that Jane's retort is incredibly unfair and all too self-congratulatory - it's unfair because anyone who says this
Cole pissed me off because he's got nothing in the tank except a bunch of right-wing talking points - that liberals hate America, hate the military - and he doesn't care if he has to invent facts out of whole cloth to make them fit the contours of his inchoate rage.just isn't paying attention, and I'm very disappointed and surprised in Glenn Greenwald* (though not either WRT Hamsher) for buying into that line. Here is John, last Thursday:
In the new Republican era, only fetuses , tax shelters, and ÂtraditionalÂ marriage deserve protection. According to the actions of the current Republican party, the rest of us need to be wiretapped, monitored, have our homes inspected for whatever reason without warrants, and are incapable of making decisions on our own. My 20 year affair with the Republican party is coming to an end. I am not voting for any Republican in 2006 at any level, and I will be hard pressed to vote for this party in 2008- unless, of course, Cindy Sheehan is the Democratic candidate. These ÂconservativesÂ need abut 10-15 years in the wilderness.Hardly "right-wing talking points", aside from the Sheehan dig, which is something of a semi-serious running joke-not-really for Cole.
And secondly, It's self-congratulatory, because much like the Howell/Brady WaPo flap, the story becamunnecessarilycesarily personal invective rather than about the merits if the argument. When your first contribution is this
You better be able to back that up because I will be over here every f****** day until you do (and you canÂt, because I never wrote about white phosphorous weapons even once).it's hasurprisedsurpirsed if the response is more than slightly defensive. So, now that you've changed the discussion from "Is Howell a crappy ombudsman" or "Is Domenech a racist?" to "No, f*** YOU!" it's churlish to argue that someone is unable to engage you on the merits - you have gone a long way towards making them unwilling to do so.
Do we understand each other?
To close, I think this comment probably got lost amongst the hubbub, and is worth bearing in mind for all involved:
Does anyone remember when you could say some[t]hing about someone, and if it was wrong, you were called ÂwrongÂ and not Âa lying sack of shit?ÂI think all parties are guilty as to the last point. Whether equally so is largely immaterial. "Let he who is without sin" and all that...And everyone grow up.
* Update: Glenn has clarified his position.
Allow me to just say here that my e-mail to Jane was not about John Cole specifically. I consider John to be one of the more level-headed and reasonable bloggers around. I thought he was unfair to Jane in his post, but not in a way that fundamentally impugns his character or anything - it was just a garden-variety unfairness of which we are all sometimes guilty.Good enough, though I still think it's unfair to use John as the avatar for that particular failing.
My point to Jane was that her spat with John was worth talking about only in terms of the trend which it seemed to illustrate to me. A lot of the ranting about the crazed and irresponsible "Lefty bloggers" -- a theme that did appear in John's post, appended to Jane -- is often grounded in resentment at being held accountable. Tenacious pursuit of the truth of the type Jane displays (not just in her spat with John, but with Jim Brady and in so many other places) gets distorted by the target of the tenacity into some sort of crazed zeal, because that's probably what it feels like to the person who is targeted by it. It can be annoying to the person who is being held accountable, causing them to lash out. I thought John was guilty of that in his exchange with Jane, but more importantly, I think that's the source of a lot of the attacks on the "Left Blogosphere"generally.