Saturday, June 24, 2006

TNR and Kos: Apparently It's War

I rarely read Kos--when elections are afoot, it's a good place to get info, but I've never found it much good for analysis--so I didn't realize that there's a full-blown war going on between TNR and Kos. So that's why lefty bloggers have been shrieking and trying to scratch my eyes out every time I mention TNR without spitting.

And Yglesias says that TNR was winning (yay! yay! HAHAHA! My boys were winning you losers) until this by Lee Siegel (which Matt_C directs us to in comments below). What the heck is Siegel talking about with this fascists thing? Heck if I know. That is some stupid shit right there, dude. I guess he's talking about the weird zealotry and inability to tolerate dissent that's infecting that branch of the leftosphere. He's right about that, of course, but that fascist bit is just dopey. The thing to do there is to admit error, and if Siegel won't do it, the TNR editors should.

Siegel is clearly right, however, when he writes: "It's a bizarre phenomenon, the blogosphere. It radiates democracy's dream of full participation but practices democracy's nightmare of populist crudity, character-assassination, and emotional stupefaction." Amen, brother.

Much of the problem here lies in Kos's petulant response to legitimate questions raised by Jason Zengerle in TNR. There may very well be answers to those questions that exonerate Kos, but merely asking the questions does not show that (in Kos's words) "TNR's defection to the right is now complete." By that standard my own "defection to the right" is now complete...and if the Democrats start losing folks as liberal as I am (pro-same-sex marriage, pro-drug decriminalization, anti-anti-abortion, etc.), they will never win another election.

This would be a good time for everybody involved to take a deep breath and count to a hundred. There's nothing in this dispute that warrants excommunicating TNR, nor branding Kosophiles fascists. There are legitimate questions about Kos's relationship with Jerome Armstrong, and those questions are fair game for investigation. Kos's suggestion to "deprive the story of oxygen" was a bad one, and TNR was right to point this out. In the cosomos of human conflict, this is one of the easier ones to understand and defuse.


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