Patterico's Pontifications

5/31/2005

Commissar Has Lost It

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 8:22 pm

I’ve been quite busy lately and hadn’t had the time to check in with the Commissar in some time. Imagine my disappointment to see this:

Let’s look at the filibuster deal in perspective. While I hesitate to agree with constituent emails read into the record by Tom Harkin, I’ll ask the question — Is nomination of judges the country’s top priority? Numero uno? The big enchilada? More critical to our security than the war on terror? More important to our economic health than competing with China and India? What about social security reform? Energy policy? Energy prices?

Of course not.

As we, the so-called “United” States of America, confront those issues, do we want our leaders to spend any time on them at all? Or do we prefer they negotiate judgeships 24×7? And, if they DO manage to squeeze in a few minutes to deal with issues of national security, the economy, or the future, do we want them to do that from the narrowest, most partisan, most divisive posture possible?

These questions are fair; and the answers are obvious. Nor are these questiond the exclusive province of Moonbats and squishy-soft liberals. Anyone with an ounce of patriotism, anyone who aspires to the smallest thought-leadership role, any responsible person with any audience whatsoever, should be able to figure out what position to take on this issue.

The filibuster deal is a good thing; it may not be the “salvation of the Republic” as the Senatorial blowhards claimed last night, but it is a positive thing.

Wow. And if you disagree with that position, you don’t have an “ounce of patriotism”??? (All of a sudden I feel like John Kerry: “Are you questioning my patriotism?”)

I virulently oppose the filibuster “deal,” which is (in my view) simply a capitulation to Democrats’ bottom line, at the expense of the Republicans’ bottom line. But I wouldn’t question the patriotism of someone who disagrees.

Of course judges aren’t the top priority. But, to me, they are priority Number Two, after the War on Terror. Your mileage may vary, but I see a solid judiciary as more critical than social security reform, energy policy, or energy prices. It is beyond the scope of this post to explain why, but it has to do with the people’s right to govern themselves. Kind of an important principle, in my book.

And who says that according a high priority to good judges somehow undermines those other issues?? In fact, if we had employed the nuclear option, that would have ended any time wasted negotiating over judges, wouldn’t it, Commissar?

But here is where the Commissar goes over the top:

For the Main Stream Bloggers to rant on and on about sell-outs, disappointments, cowards, Party traitors, etc. etc. is shameful. And why do they indulge in such divisive nonsense? Because, in a Pavlovian-like reaction, they have learned over time that harshness and vitriol sells, or at least draws traffic.Thus, in the guise of thoughtful political commentary, they regularly churn out manufactured controversy. Even in a simple, easy-to-evalute case like the filibuster deal, they can’t stop themselves from pumping their Sitemeters. It’s beneath contempt.

Hang up your MT control panels, guys. Just shut them off.

Well, I’m on WordPress here, Commissar, so I assume you weren’t referring to me. I know I don’t fall into the elite category of the folks you are criticizing here by name, but I share their opinions, and I assure you that mine are sincerely held. Since I hold these opinions with all earnestness, I would never dare be so glib as to accuse others who hold similar opinions of expressing these opinions simply to boost traffic. I sure as hell am not doing that, and I resent even the slightest implication that I might be.

Some of us honestly think the filibuster “deal” just plain sucks. People like the Commissar may disagree — and that’s fine. But don’t accuse the rest of us of disingenuousness when we are simply expressing sincerely held beliefs. That’s unnecessarily hostile and without foundation.

Note that, if I were simply interested in harshness and vitriol, I’d simply tell the Commissar to go to hell — or worse, accuse him of base and ulterior motives (and even lack of patriotism!) for expressing these opinions (as he has done with those of us who strongly oppose the filibuster capitulation). But that’s not my style — and ultimately, I think it’s not his either.

I wish he’d take it back.

UPDATE: Well, he’s not taking it back, exactly. (Though he is claiming that he didn’t accuse people of changing their position on this issue just to get traffic — which is exactly how I read his post. Oh, well . . . it’s linked. You can read it and decide for yourself.)

But there is a consolation: a good post from Jeff Goldstein on the issue.

9 Responses to “Commissar Has Lost It”

  1. I’m especially disturbed by this. I’ve worked with the Commissar before on Friends of Saddam, and behind the scenes, he seems like a really nice guy. Before the election, he was one of the funniest must-reads out there. (Surpassing Allah, in my opinion.) On election night, his chatroom was the best kept secret for the earliest results.

    Then came post-election time. And it seemed to change him, in a way. The shtick left, and he decided to do more serious punditry. And that was fine, until he started a major blogwar with Paul of Wizbang over some absurd evolution debate. It ended with Commie calling Paul a coward in one of the worst smears I’ve seen on our side of the isle. Suddenly, taking position against the Republican mainstream became the norm, with him constantly stating that he was a “conservative.” And anyone who dared disagree with him on the evolution debate was deemed a “flat-earther” or a “liar.”

    Again, I really was disappointed by all of this. I do not know what could have brought it on. Perhaps this is now the “Devil’s Advocate” shtick, but I doubt it. It’s a big comedown from the humble blogger last year who publicly apologized to WONKETTE of all people for an implied, tounge-in-cheek observation on her role in the Cutler story.

    Could it be that all we as bloggers are susceptible to the Andrew Sullivan bug? I sincerely hope not.

    Chadster (ef5758)

  2. Questioning Patriotism

    Patterico is “shocked, … SHOCKED … to find out there is impugning going on here.” He didn’t like this post, in which I lit into the filibuster deal nay-sayers. Welcome to the internets, Patterico. The other day, the NY Times ran a piece on the C…

    The Politburo Diktat (4c4fc9)

  3. Hey, maybe the guy really is a bolshevik.

    D. Carter (385d49)

  4. I liked him better talking like a commie rather than acting like one.

    Xrlq (ffb240)

  5. Patterico, Jeff G.

    Patterico *whom I like* definitely muddied the waters here.

    If you feel that my ‘questioning patriotism’ was over-the-top, so be it.

    But you both wholly missed the object of my ‘over-the-top’ vitriol. It was not those who disagree with me on this one issue, but those who predictably and regularly play the Party Enforcer role. Since you both defy the Party Line on various issues, you’re not included.

    Now, you still might want to object to my ‘over-the-top’ rhetoric on general principles, but it was directed at the consistently Party Fatihful, which you both took pains to define yourselves out of.

    The Commissar (2b6eed)

  6. Who doesn’t? IIRC, Captain Ed, whom you did name, supports gay marriage, and Malkin supports internment, of all things. It’s not as if those two were afraid to buck party trends.

    It’s fine to attack those who play party enforcer for party enforcement’s sake, e.g., someone who doesn’t care about judicial nominations but rails at the Gang of 14 anyway just because they bucked a trend. I don’t think that’s a fair characterization of the individuals you named, however, and even if it were it wouldn’t have a f’n thing to do with patriotism, one way or the other.

    Xrlq (5ffe06)

  7. “The commissar” came to my blog and posted the following comment:

    “Don’t you think that Patterico, is a little, you know, UNPATRIOTIC?”

    For one thing, the post on which he commented was completely unrelated to any political issue whatsoever; in fact, it was merely an alert that I had posted new pictures. It seems this was merely an attempt to throw a bomb to a random blogger to get him to comment on something he had written about. Fine, but next time he should try try e-mailing me instead.

    Besides, who is he to accuse others of self-interested blogging practices when he does things like this?

    For the record, Patterico, you’re right: the deal sucks. It is, above all, a declaration that the constitutionally proscribed duty of the Senate to give Presidential nominations an up-or-down vote is for sale in the interests of contemporary political expediency.

    Besides, people who refer to the ostensible need for the Senate to move on to more important matters simply insult my intelligence. I would be glad to have the Senate embroiled in the judge controversy even if the only result of it is that it stopped them from trying to transfer the contents of the U.S. Treasury wholesale into the pockets of their constituents for a week or so.

    J. Hagglund (ee3660)

  8. I support gay marriage as well.

    Patterico (e1f9fc)

  9. I know, but he already exempted you from his definition of “consistently Party Faithful.” He didn’t exempt Ed, who he singled out by name.

    Xrlq (717f9d)


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