Saturday, October 21, 2006

Atrios and Eschaton are Dead

When criticizing Atrios, I always feel obliged to note that he gave me my first big link, and I appreciate that. I also think he's often funny as hell. That whole pony schtick, for instance, cracks me up.

But Eschaton is not a good blog anymore. In fact, it's a pretty bad one. I breeze by every now and then because he's got his finger on the pulse of the leftosphere. But that's basically the only reason. I think Eschaton may even be worse than Instapundit now. Neither of those blogs contains much by way of analysis, of course. Both are mostly link factories. But the hints and snippets of analysis both have are, well, of rather low quality.

Witness this recent post by Atrios.

Now, if you read it even quickly, you won't need me to tell you what's wrong with it. But just because I expect that this will be my last post ever on anything on that blog, I thought I'd take the opportunity to go through it paragraph by paragraph. Don't worry: there are only three, and I'll keep it quick. Though if I were you I'd just move along to something interesting.

Paragraph 1:
What I'm about to write isn't especially insightful, but given that our foreign policy debate these days is almost entirely played out between people who think wars are really great and those who think wars are like totally awesome, perhaps it needs to be said.

In Atrios's defense, he acknowledges that what he's about to say isn't "especially insightful"...unfortunately he may say that because he thinks it's obvious. Which would be false. More effectively in his defense, perhaps: the second sentence is supposed to be a kind of weary witticism. Since the claim that those are the only two parties to the debate is patently false, charity suggests that we construe it as a kind of joke. Obviously many folks in the debate recognize that war is genuinely bad.

Paragraph 2:
There's this attitude out there where one's foreign policy abilities are judged by whether you supported the right wars, with people like Peter Beinart checking off their little lists. The foreign policy hawks see supporting wars as courageous acts, as if sending other peoples' kids off to die and voting for massive defense budget increases requires courage instead of a healthy possession of sociopathic tendencies.

First, what does Atrios mean by "foreign policy abilities"? Unclear. He may mean something like sheer technical policy acumen, i.e. pure ability to engage in means-ends reasoning, without regard for moral considerations. That would be a strange thing to mean, but if he means that, then he's gesturing in the direction of a point, but he never gets around to making it. The point would be: just because you make the right moral judgments doesn't mean you're good at achieving our foreign policy goals. O.k., but (a) everybody knows that and (b) who cares whether you are good at achieving goals if you can't tell good goals from bad ones? Still: if that's what he means by "foreign policy abilities," then at least there is a kind of point there.

But it would be less contrived if by "foreign policy abilities" he meant something like "ability to conduct foregn policy well," where than includes not only achieving goals but knowing which goals should be achieved. Supposing he means that, then foreign policy ability should, in fact, be evaluated largely in terms of which wars one has supported. Support a war which aims to defend the innocent and you are right; support a war for pretty much any other reason, and you are wrong. (Note: defending the innocent includes defending yourself--supposing you are innocent in the relevant respect. Otherwise you have no right of self-defense.) Most of America's wars against the American Indians were unjust. WWII was just. Support the former and you are conducting foreign policy badly; support the latter and you're well on the way to conducting it well. Support intervention in the former Yugoslavia to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing: good. Support war in Afghanistan to crush OBL and the Taliban: good. Support war in Iraq for a muddle of inscrutable and incoherent reasons: bad. Correctly assessing the justice of wars isn't all there is to foreign policy, but it's a damn important part of it.

The last sentence of Atrios's second paragraph is...well...simply stupid. Sometimes it takes courage to support a war, but not usually, and few people think that it ordinarily does. Going to war--that takes courage. Supporting one: usually not. Supporting an unpopular but just war sometimes takes courage, though. And it took courage for Clinton to attack al Qaeda when he knew he'd get wag-the-dogged for it. But it usually doesn't take courage to support a war.

However, supporting a war does not necessarily show, contra Atrios, that you are a sociopath. Most of the country supported the Iraq war, but it isn't true that most of the country has "sociopathic tendencies." So Atrios is wrong. Most of the country was in error when they supported the war, but being wrong doesn't make you a sociopath.

But any fool knows that one can support a war without being a sociopath. Atrios isn't thinking here--but he isn't trying to think. He's just looking for bad things to say about people he disagrees with. Behold the decline of political reasoning and discourse in America. It happens by degrees, and it happens to most of us at some time or other. But at Eschaton the trend, sadly, has gone pretty far.

It's the RushLimbaughification of political discourse. Limbaugh is not--contrary to what some people think--stupid. He's a man of about average intelligence. It's not that he believes the moronic and vitriolic things he says--rather, he just lets loose with a stream-of-consciousness invective. You can hear in his voice that even he doesn't believe much of what he's saying. He isn't stupid, he's dishonest. He's simply saying "liberals are bad" over and over again in as many different ways as he can think of, without regard for whether the sentences with which he expresses this sentiment are true or false.

Sadly, Atrios has largely become a left-wing Limbaugh. And things have gone so far that I'd be large amounts of money that he'll never recover.

Finally, with regard to Atrios's paragraph 2 (above), let me just note that by supporting the maintenance of a police force you are sending other people's kids to die, but that doesn't make you a sociopath. Same goes for supporting the fire department, or road crews. Constructing large buildings is dangerous, and if you support such construction somebody might die, and that person has parents...but that doesn't make you a sociopath.

People die and that's a hard fact, and if one supports public or foreign policies of any kind one will eventually have supported a policy that leads to deaths. But that doesn't make you a sociopath. War is a particularly hard fact about life, and it leads to more deaths than most of our endeavors, and one should not support it thoughtlessly. Some people who support some wars do so stupidly, as did many who supported the war in Iraq. But many people have supported many wars for good and humane reasons. I'd support sending troops into Darfur right now if we had them to send. American kids would die. But I think it's better that the Janjaweed come up against armed American kids than unarmed Sudanese kids. In fact, if you don't think that, you might very well have some sociopathic tendencies of your own...though you're probably just in error. The fact that I recognize that last bit may be the biggest difference between me and Atrios these days.

Paragraph 3
Wars are failures. A primary purpose of sensible foreign policy is to stop them. When wars happen, our foreign policy has failed. That isn't to say there's never a point when they're necessary or justified, but that point is simply an acknowledgment that the people in charge failed.

Sort of, but there's too much vagueness and ambiguity here to shake a stick at. Wars usually happen because we've failed to avert them with negotiation, but some such failures are inevitable given how evil and/or crazy some people are. No amount of negotiation would have stopped Hitler. So some wars are failures only in the same sense that my failure to fly by flapping my arms is a failure--they are failures to achieve a certain end with a certain means. But they aren't all failures in the ordinary sense--that is, failures to a achieve an end on account of ineptness.

But what Atrios is really thinking about here is the Iraq war. But the Iraq war wasn't a failure exactly. The Bush administration didn't invade Iraq because foreign policy failed. They just decided to invade Iraq, pretty much regardless of how the negotiations went. That was their policy. So we didn't go to war because a policy failed--rather, we went to war because we had a bad policy and successfully implemented it.

But what Atrios is really trying to say here really isn't suceptible to careful analysis. This is really just an expression of anger, not a real thought. He's really just trying to think of something bad to say about Beinart et. al. who supported Bush's idiotic war. So there's no real reason to carefully analyze what he says. As I've noted before, I know several people (who are smarter and more fair-minded than Atrios) who supported this war, and who did so basically on humanitarian grounds. Unlike Bush and almost all of the other supporters of this war, such people genuinely though that this was what was best for the Iraqi people. They were wrong, and I disagreed with them. But they weren't sociopaths.

Anyway, such thinking about Limbaughesque rants is pretty much a waste of time. But I do want to say a few things in closing.

The most disheartening part of the entire Eschaton post in question is, as usual, the comments. Though Atrios himself begins his post by saying "well, this thought isn't much," his dittoheads shower the post with praise. You are so wise are so fantabulous are so keen Atrios... Such adulation would be a tad weird even if the post had been vaguely good. Given how awful it was, it's downright spooky.

So what happend to Eschaton? I'd say that Atrios used to be less partisan and foolish than Glenn Reynolds, but now I'd say he's worse. What made the difference, if there is, in fact, a difference? Could it be because Atrios included comments and Reynolds didn't? They both play to the crowd, but only Atrios has an adoring chorus hanging on his every word. Dunno. It's just a hypothesis: don't take it too seriously.

Anyway, I won't be commenting on anything at Eschton anymore, as it's just not worth my time to stop by there. Better to spend my time at, say, The Washington Monthly, where Kevin Drum keeps getting better and better, rather than worse and worse. Is Drum smarter than Atrios? Maybe, but I can't tell. Drum is more intellectually honest, and that's more important than being smarter. That's good news, though, for Atrios, actually. It means he could still turn things around if he wanted to. We can't always become smarter, but we can almost always become better. And that's the really important thing.


Blogger Scorpio said...

Thread bot and You Tube were the death blows to Eschaton. I moved it down into the blog area that I check when I get around to it.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There she is, the Atrios-is-just-as-bad post, right on schedule.

For the record, I don't give a crap about Atrios: i visit Eschaton for links, Dailykos for poll numbers (polls are as close to heroin as I'm ever going to get). But I do think that this post keeps the 6-to-1 "evil Rpublican-to-evil liberal blogger" ratio intact.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Not sure what you're point is, Matthew...but I admire your persistence.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I have to ask:
No amount of negotiation would have stopped Hitler...

The Bush administration didn't invade Iraq because foreign policy failed. They just decided to invade Iraq, pretty much regardless of how the negotiations went.

Intentional echo there?

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you are who?

"a left-wing Limbaugh" LOL! As if Atrios has the daily audience and invitations to the White House.

5:36 PM  
Blogger GWPDA said...

Have you considered, dear, the possibility that you may be taking this just a tiny bit too seriously?


5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love Duncan's insight. My wife loves cat blogging. Gotta disagree. I still find it relavent, bright, funny and one of my go-to blogs. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

You're taking Dunky far too seriously.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Stealth said...

No amount of negotiation would have stopped Hitler...

The foreign policy failure was allowing the conditions that led to Hitler's rise to power.

5:45 PM  
Blogger ethan said...

My taint itches.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Arun said...

Three years into a wrong war, and still supporting it is no longer an "error", it shows a lack of moral responsibility or social conscience - i.e, sociopathy.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty sophomoric. If you don't get what Atrios meant by saying that "our foreign policy debate these days is almost entirely played out between people who think wars are really great and those who think wars are like totally awesome," you have not been paying attention. You take for granted that there will be a policy process in place that seeks to mitigate wars--and take as your evidence that the current Iraq war was policy! This would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Sure, Atrios is an idealist. But the sad thing is that his ideals, while they may be liberal, are such common sense that they used to be the basis of a liberal consensus in the US (albeit a consensus that was more a fantasy about what the US stood for than an actual map of what the US did, since certain factions and agencies were all the while given the green light to start wars).

If he seems naive to you because he feels the need to point out that "war is a failure," maybe that's because you're naive about how far we are from that being a widely recognized principle, let alone common ground.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that I'd agree if you had just said there's a decline in quality with Eschaton. And I don't think Limbaugh-fication is it. I have to agree with the ealier poster that his threadbots are an awful invention. And his posts have gotten incredibly short across the board. I used to read Atrios first thing in the leftosphere. No longer. But that's how thing change. And there's always a lot of other lefty sites to look at if Atrios no longer floats your boat.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read Eschaton for the links and because it's not too wordy. I am rather disgusted, though, by the silly, childish names. Those make the blog seem the same as the rightosphere that we so persistently ridicule and despise.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Constructing large buildings is dangerous, and if you support such construction somebody might die, and that person has parents...but that doesn't make you a sociopath.

I can't get over how keen an analogy this is. You're really demonstrating your superior gravitas.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this a real blogpost, or is this a parody of one? I can't tell...

5:57 PM  
Blogger Thers said...

I can't stand the Eschaton comments section. God, it's like people worship Atrios. Makes. Me. Sick. Everyone who posts there is UN-cool.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Phila said...

One of the problems with your analysis is that for Atrios to be worse than Instapundit, he'd have to be not just consistently dishonest, but more dishonest than Reynolds.

I think you'd have a pretty hard time making that case, to say the least.

Re: the notion that "few people" think it takes courage to support a war, you may be right in numerical terms, but those few people are extremely vocal. You also try to conflate public support for the war with the support of what Atrios calls "foreign policy hawks"; among other things, you're ignoring the fact that the hawks' errors of commission and omission create and maintain public support for the war. It's reasonable to hold one's pro-war "experts" to a higher standard, and it's also reasonable to treat the current crop as at least potentially sociopathic given their unwillingness to admit they were wrong, let alone to hold Bush accountable.

Given the amount of pressure and scrutiny Atrios is under, I think he does a fine job.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Is this thing on?

6:06 PM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

"Sadly, Atrios has largely become a left-wing Limbaugh. And things have gone so far that I'd be large amounts of money that he'll never recover"

You mean "I bet"....since we are going to pick on writing...

And, Atrios linked to this post which is how I got here.

Limbaugh would never acknowledge a critic let alone link to them. He only addressed your blog with one sentence.

Limbaugh goes after critics non-stop like a rabid dog on a piece of rancid meat.

Besides being left wing vs. right wing there is another distinction:

Limbaugh lies his fucking mouth off nearly every day.

And last I checked Atrios didn't have an Oxycontin addiction problem or take trips to the Dominican Republic making sure to pack his bottle of Viagra.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Mystery Editor said...

Blog-envy is an ugly thing.

Talking smack about Atrios just to generate some traffic on your blog is sick. You should be ashamed of yourself.

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that I can be bothered to count exactly, but you spent who knows how much time typing out roughly 21 paragraphs of junk trying to refute 3 paragraphs of off-the-cuff remarks from Atrios.

Obsess much?

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never read Atrios' comments any more but he's great at picking up stories and fast.

His comments on foreign policy may seem kind of unremarkable to you, but they make more sense than 99% of what I see. And that only includes "liberal" blogs.

The idea of a foreign policy that doesn't involve bombing or a threat to bomb is almost extinct in American discourse.

Who ever says that you could be more secure spending much much less? Even that?

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Atrios: Not A Lefty. Just some moderate economist with a 'blog.

You kids really need to figure out that 'lefties' are people who wear Che Guevara T-shirts and talk impotently about violent revolution.

Atrios wears a shirt with a collar and has a job.

6:21 PM  
Blogger peter said...

Re Limbaugh-

Being dishonest = being stupid.

A smart person knows that being dishonest is bad for everyone. It poisons the political discourse, it demeans our intellectual integrity.

Limbaugh is not smart. Truly smart people are able to win arguments on the merits of their beliefs; they don't need to resort to dishonesty.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Attaturk said...

I blame the guest bloggers.

Well, one in particular.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe if you dropped by more and followed the ongoing issues that Atrios discusses you would've gotten the point. Beinart, the New Republic, chickenhawks, etc. are long-standing targets of Atrios and his fellow travellers. It's very, very silly to analyze his comments as a broad reflection on war. It's really directed at a particular current (delusional) mind-set vis-a-vis Bush policy toward the Mid-East. Yeah, I know, it sounds like inside baseball. Parsing his statement like you did is weird, off the point, and vaguely obsessive. Have you looked into finding another hobby? Or possibly some of the recently developed serotonin-oriented drug therapies?

6:23 PM  
Blogger opendna said...

"No amount of negotiation would have stopped Hitler."

Really? So you fall in the minority camp which doesn't believe that the Treaty of Versailles and the failure of the League of Nations were contributory causes to World War II? Ohhhhkay.

Atrios said "A primary purpose of sensible foreign policy is to stop [wars]." and you quibble with him by saying that "The Bush administration didn't invade Iraq because foreign policy failed. They just decided to invade Iraq, pretty much regardless of how the negotiations went. That was their policy."

Which is another way of saying that the Bush Administration's foreign policy wasn't sensible.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do flush this site. What dribble.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. this blog DOES suck. now I'm pissed at atrios for sending me over here; I'll never get the stink off.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mystery editor beat me - this has got to be one of the most dishonest posts ever.
Attacking Atrios by comparing him to Limbaugh and Reynolds is absurd, as the writer himself well knows. One could argue about his site with out name calling, but that might not improve your traffic.
The obvious intelligence of Atrios lies in his simple link to your post - the fatuousness your piece means that I will probably never visit your site again.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all due respect but i feel you're either picking a fight with atrios and being deliberately obtuse or you sincerely did not understand his rather simple point. for far too many people in this country in the last twenty or so years, war has become a spectator sport. like watching a surgical procedure. we are apt to see "rogue regimes" as a cancer that needs to be removed or will spread. any other option smells suspiciously like appeasement and moral relativism. we've sent our military on hundreds of combat-like missions since the vietnam war, many of which never get publicized. it's a testament to either their skill, luck, or our limited objectives that we've succeeded so often. atrios was making the observation that videogame warriors tend to predominate the political discourse on foreign policy. i was in the army in the lead up to the iraq war and not going to war simply wasn't considered a valid point of view. in retrospect, it was the only valid point of view. i think atrios is starting an absolutely necessary conversation which begins with the question, "why wasn't it considered an option for so-called serious thinkers?" based on your level of analysis, i imagine you want to be a serious thinker. and judging by your ability to handle his point of view, you're well on your way.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Atrios is fantabulous!!

Oh, wait...wrong blog..

I'd better go back to the mother ship to see what I think of this place.


6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

atrios wins.

lying to the nation to drum up support for a revenge jones is sociopathic.

and i've no idea why they wanted to do that, but i suspect a big part of it was politics. that's the sociopathic part.

not being able to see that's what they were doing, that's the stupid part. going along with it for years after it was obvious...

well, we're in a hell of mess. you're right, it really doesn't matter what atrios thinks.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think of Atrios as a leftwing Betty Crocker, a kind of Alton Brown of politics. I also think this post has all the intelligence of a blanc mange made by Terry Schiavo.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silly post. Eschaton's primary importance is as a nexus, rather than a forum for Black's extended opinions. And while I'm at it: do you really believe Limbaugh "just lets loose with a stream-of-consciousness invective"? Believe me, that's simply not how a three-hour top-dollar radio program works. He employs a huge staff to write rants he can rework and embellish. Just because they're asinine doesn't mean they're spontaneous.

6:40 PM  
Blogger benj. said...

It proves nothing to analyze a blog post such as the one you are holding up in the manner which you did. You are way over-extrapolating what Atrios is talking about. And missing the point of it entirely. And yeah, um, who the hell are you?

6:46 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

One of the previous comments on this thread adds to a theory I'm currently developing about Atrios. Here's the quote:

"a left-wing Limbaugh" LOL! As if Atrios has the daily audience and invitations to the White House.

# posted by Anonymous : 5:36 PM

Atrios didn't get invited to the White House, but he got invited to hobnob with Bill Clinton. And now suddenly he's doing things like linking to a snit between two liberal bloggers, and calling one of them the "Worst Person of the Year."

I'm wondering if Atrios considers himself a blog-ebrity who will call down the force of his minions on anybody, even fellow liberal bloggers, who have displeased him by upsetting a blog friend of his.

I always agreed with Atrios about the beltway kewl kidz - now I'm beginning to wonder if he disliked the kewl kidz not because they put their friends and the settling of personal grudges before the public interest, but because he was not in the kewl kidz club. And now maybe he thinks he has a shot at developing his own kewl kidz club with favorite blogger pals.

It's just a theory. I'll collect more data before I reach any conclusions.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

What is this twaddle?

Philosoraptor, you are a tiny zit on Atrios' little toe.

I detect jealousy. Atrios has a loyal following including some of those in your own sidebar.

Stop wanking and join the world.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

Thus Philosoraptor launched "Atrios Watch." Document the Atriosities.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Odd - when I read post by Atrios I thought it was the best analysis of America's biggest (and most recent) problem: the belief that war is a good thing.

Sad then to see your analysis is along the lines of: Atrios said something, but I don't quite get it, so it must have been vague and badly worded.

The truth hurts, and it takes people like Atrios to stand up and say it to your face, which is why so many people read his blog.

Of course I will agree with you that Rush and Bill (and W.) stand up and say the same thing: that they speak the truth and anyone who disagrees is not living in reality.

I guess if I have to choose my reality, then the one that said Iraq was a bad thing from the start is the one I will go with (And Yes, Atrios's comment section does suck, but at least those dittoheads have got it right)!

(Sorry to be Anonymous, but this just needs to end here.)

6:53 PM  
Blogger dave said...

Anyway, I won't be commenting on anything at Eschton anymore, as it's just not worth my time to stop by there.

Yeah, keeping track of all the comments on all your other posts must really keep you busy. I mean, sometimes there's almost a dozen! It must be exhausting...

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate a short and concise post. Those who can make a point with brevity have a gift. Some long and drawn out posts like above assume the reader is stupid.
Why do you thing you need to nitpick every detail? Give the readers some respect. That is what Atrios does.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

And thanks to this comment thread, I can see that Atrios really does have dittoheads. In true dittohead fashion they attack you, and call you names, rather than address your arguments. They've strengthened your comparison between Atrios and Limbaugh. Very strange.

And they're only here, demanding to know who you are, because their pal Atrios sent them here. But it's not Atrios's fault for linking to you, it's yours, of course.

More data for my developing theory about Atrios...

7:01 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Wow, a Fisking post. (Is it 2001 already?) I love reading those. Sadly, after reading about three rounds of:

Atrios clip

Atrios sux, blah blah blah, blah blah, interminable nitpicking and semantics and straw men, did I mention Atrios sux?

Another atrios quote

et cetera, et cetera

...I had to exercise some self denial and read something more interesting, like the FCC warning on the back of my keyboard.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Anderson said...

No amount of negotiation would have stopped Hitler.

Even if true, that misses the point. WW2 was a policy failure, because relatively painless acts that *would've* stopped Hitler (by causing a coup) weren't undertaken.

You can't read, say, A.J.P. Taylor on the subject, without being aware of the string of fuckups that led to Poland 1939.

The point of diplomacy is to avoid wars, so I don't really see the big deal over Atrios's post.

7:06 PM  
Blogger michael said...

I hope you enjoy the temporary surge in hits because I'm sure this will be the first and last time a lot of folks visit this blog.

I got about a quarter of the way through your entirely much much MUCH too long dissection of the post in question, and gave up out of sheer boredom.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nancy: There are plenty of substantive criticisms here. You might want to learn about something called "confirmation bias" before you get too involved in your "study."

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Consider myself a progressive Democrat in an unfortunately red southern state (LA). Atrios is one of the 6 "lefty" blogs that I check several times a day from work and home. I appreciate his brevity, his links, his common sense, and his amusing cynical-ness. I consider his posters just a community of like-minded, cynicalites. Is there anyone out there who is not 100% more outraged, more cynical than 6 years ago? If you have been paying attention, then Atrios meets your needs...he accurately expresses the outrage at the "ridiculousness" of the New Amurika. And, I appreciate and need my daily dose of his blog. THIS blog, however, will not be added to my daily is not amusing at all, kinda sick actually. Ann

7:13 PM  
Blogger High Power Rocketry said...

I mean they are just always too sarcastic, too extreme, they have begun to make us look bad. The crazy ultra liberal sterotype is bad for logical democrats. I am a liberal, but even I dont see the point in making fun of the president or other republicans. Jokes are one thing, but just constantly being Anti bush for the sake of it ruins your ability to be credible in the future.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Bas-O-Matic said...

Atrios didn't get invited to the White House, but he got invited to hobnob with Bill Clinton. And now suddenly he's doing things like linking to a snit between two liberal bloggers, and calling one of them the "Worst Person of the Year."

I'm wondering if Atrios considers himself a blog-ebrity who will call down the force of his minions on anybody, even fellow liberal bloggers, who have displeased him by upsetting a blog friend of his.

Just because you haven't paid attention to "blog outing" of people like, oh say Armando of DailyKos, doesn't mean it isn't a real issue and that the people who engage in such reprehensible tactics deserve condemnation no matter their politics.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

constantly being Anti bush for the sake of it ruins your ability to be credible in the future.

So does mischaractarizing the beliefs and actions of others to bolster your point.

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How very sad for you, Winston.

7:26 PM  
Blogger derbes said...

If a random American supported Iraq at the beginning, that would not necessarily imply sociopathic impulses, no.

However, the sole purpose of this war was not to rid Iraq of nukes or bio-weapons or anything else except maybe Saddam; the sole purpose of this war was to project American power, hence the whole "shock and awe" shtick. Once we demonstrated that we were omnipotent, why, we could do what we want and get what we wanted with only the random rattle of a sabre.

The Bushies knew ahead of time that they weren't going to find anything. They were sociopathic from the start. And in my opinion, anyone who supported this war after it became completely obvious that Iraq never could have posed a threat to this country, is prima facie a sociopath. YMMV.

Certainly we should support the poor kids fighting this war. That is not sociopathic. Supporting the war, and the murderous regime that started this thing just to prove a point--which, incidentally, seems to have done exactly the opposite--that is sociopathic.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooh, adventurous! Slagging Atrios paragraph-by-paragraph! Look, the meaning behind this sentence is "unclear"... to you. Oh look, this whole thing is just a "waste of time" - yours or ours?

Hilarious how your whole enterprise manages to consistently make you look like the idiot. Comparing Atrios, whatever his particular foibles, to a walking joke like Instapundit merely seals the deal.

But it garnered you a link from Atrios, which you and I both recognize is quite the achievement, so congrats on that.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It never hurts to keep another blog honest. It's never a bad thing to ask someone to defend what seems like a bad post.

Then again, just a general ("Atrios and Eschaton are Dead") slam is fairly tedious.

I will say one thing, the comments at Eshcaton, for the most part, are pointless. And I say that because they didn't used to be. The comments at Eschaton used to great. A lot of excellent insight, discussion and depth on the topics Atrios raised. If anything has changed at Eschaton, it's that. And I can hardly hold Duncan responsinle for the blatherings of the comments threads.

Things change as forums develop. It's inevitable and inescapable.

Equating Atrios to insta-shit-for-brains though is ridiculous, inaccurate and really misses the point.


So much for my annual visit to philosoraptor's den.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Just because you haven't paid attention to "blog outing" of people like, oh say Armando of DailyKos, doesn't mean it isn't a real issue and that the people who engage in such reprehensible tactics deserve condemnation no matter their politics.

I have paid attention. Since you know nothing about me, what makes you assume I didn't? And Ann Bartow never outed anybody. But you'd never know it to read Atrios, so there was a big shitstorm over nothing. Atrios had a personal grudge and told one side of the story. That's a hell of a way to use your popular blog, which I THOUGHT was about liberal politics and partisan issues and stopping Republican evil.

I really think Atrios has changed, and not for the better, since the Clinton summit. Maybe it wasn't the Clinton meeting that changed him, maybe it's a coincidence.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Y'know, I thought the final season of Buffy was atrocious, and it broke my heart because I was such a huge fan of the show, but I didn't spend my every waking hour obsessing over its decline.

Oh, wait--yeah I did.

As you were.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philo S. Rapture!

Or is it Rupture?

7:35 PM  
Blogger Billmon said...

Sadly, Atrios has largely become a left-wing Limbaugh.

A left wing Limbaugh?? Sounds like Philosoraptor and OxyContin man have been hitting the same crack pipe.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

underwhelm said...
Nancy: There are plenty of substantive criticisms here. You might want to learn about something called "confirmation bias" before you get too involved in your "study."

Underwhelm: I never said that every comment here was abusive or from a dittohead. You might want to learn about something called "reading comprehension" before you decide to be so condescending.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Sorry, I wrongly attributed that remark to underwhelm. It was bassomatic. My apolgies.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think commentors at Atrios are cool.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never seen or heard of this blog before. I never plan to come back, given the crappiness of this post. I'm by far not a 'dittohead'. Atrios says a lot of stuff I disagree with. So do a lot of other people I respect. DB is johnny-on-the-spot with important news that I want to know about. Deal with it.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, Atrios has largely become a left-wing Limbaugh.

Good! This mean soon you will be execute!

"I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus - living fossils - so we will never forget what these people stood for."

- Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has to be satire.... no?

What about the over the top waaaay to self important Nancy posts.... no?

Oh well, first AND last trip to this joint.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus, you went on and on and on - acres of foggy prose. It's okay to take a lot of space (Greenwald takes squre miles of it) if you nail the argument. But this is waffle.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, take it easy on Atrios. His "Simple answers to simple questions" feature is original, prescient and without peer in the blogosphere.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...





8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of this post really made sense. But good for you - you wrote a lot of words!

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gotta agree, but to me the main problem is Atrios's unfunny sense of humor. In national affairs he's quite often right on the mark, but his fucking pony in-jokes are grating and make me feel like my IQ has dropped 20 points. At least the assholes at National Review don't think it's hilarious to bust out with Monty Python.

Moreover he has poor taste in TV sci-fi and his comment section is dominated by people who think it's hilarious to type "frist" in the first post. And given his high rank in the blog world, his site reeks of just not giving a shit, whether in the writing or the poor layout.

Hey, Detroit just scored, why am I wasting my time on blogs?

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

let's bag on others in order to make ourselves feel better....sounds like a plan.

p.s....your favorite band sucks.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is pointless drivel. Do any of you have a life? If you don't like someone's blog than don't read it. What a bunch of whiny people with no life.

To the guy who owns this blog:

The world is in crisis and you spend your time in highschool snarkathons and pointless dissections of a few paragraphs someone wrote on another blog? Clue in.

8:59 PM  
Blogger David said...

My, but you're thick.

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I don't check Atrios as much anymore, as I've largely moved on to dKos and TPM/muckraker for "hard" info, FDL, Digby, Glenn G, and sometimes Drum for commentary.

Hasn't Duncan always been essentially a relayer of headlines with some pithy analysis attached? I never thought of Eschaton as a true "wonk" site for in-depth stuff. What's definitely changed about the Atrios experience is the's now a total morass of "frist" posts, inside jokes, and kewl-kidz cyberflirting. I never bother to read them any more, whereas I used to find it fruitful.

Incidentally, I could swear that Glenn Greenwald's comments have deteriorated since he switched to haloscan, but maybe it's sheer coincidence...

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck you. Atrios has been a soldier. Let's stick together.. . I don't know what shit you're trying to promote; but I think Atrios is still right on. I don't know you, but from this particular post, I think you are full of shit.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Publisher said...

Atrois post was simple, and as such it was easily intelligible. Your meta crap meanders on forever and ultimately says nothing at all. You, sir, are an idiot.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Lord Witton. Since you seem so dismissive of Atrios and are not sure that you should ever both to give him a 'read' again, I'm puzzled why you spent quite so much time forensically dissecting one particular post. Like it or not, the guy's a giant in the field. I've read him every morning for the last two years precisely because I happen to really, really like his particular brand of 'weary-witticism'. He might not always be 100% 'spot on' in some of his posts, but I will continue to read him because, like Wonkette, he often provides very quirky and/or funny and most importantly, a perspective that is uniquely his own.

And since you even admit in tipping your hat to him, that his links to you got you started in the first place, I would think that you might show a bit more gratitude. Just because you disagree with him is no reason to dismiss him out of hand. The only thing missing from your lengthy critique is admitting the amount of envy you obviously feel towards him.


9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm new at all this but am curious; why do RightWings so easily jump to insult and provocation?

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Left or right it doesnt matter to much to me, I think atrios is just another blogger that overinflates their selfimportance.

9:41 PM  
Blogger mdhatter said...

wow. just wow.

stop whining, start leading.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winston-here are the rats...but this is for the good of our countrie. You are a lberal blooger aren't you? Therefore I declare you a terrist. When we review the tapes and find out what Atrios' major fear is, if you are a "good" citizen by then, we will let you administer the "reeducation".
I agree that you are an idiot. why not dissect limburgers shit. Leave us lberals alone. You, sir, are not part of the solution. You are part of the problem.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tonto Cal caught on camera!

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think God every day for Atrios' brevity. After reading Digby and Glenn Greenwald, all the liberal fire is just sapped right out of me and I want to curl up in front of the fireplace and take a nap.

But those fucking commenters are another story. I'm so sick of posting funny stuff in there and being ignored by Them, Theirs, Thers, Whatfuckever! Fuckers.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, wait, I said I agreed with you until I realized you said you were into Kevin Drum. Fuck that.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't get out much, do you?

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm reminded why I stopped coming to Philosoraptor several years ago.
Take the worst Bob Somerby Howler post, where he builds a "worst person in the world" case on the flimsiest basis, where the true issue is that he is jealous of someone----any of his pathetic posts on Joe Wilson are good examples----take any of those posts and up the vitriol and triviality by a factor of 100, and you get the best, most reasonable 'raptor post.

What. a. stupid. ass.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Atrios isn't a must-read anymore for a variety of reason. He often simply provides links without explanation, as if he wants people to read his mind as to why he's linking. When he does post analyses they are often shallow and ill-considered. And his comment sections are a stinking cesspool of sycophancy and cliquishness, unlike other blogs where substantive discussions of the posts occur. It is as though the commenters think Atrios posts solely in order to give them a forum for their sophomoric social interactions. All in all, Eschaton has become a second-rate blog, which is a shame.

Atrios also followed his long-standing practice of siccing his flying monkeys on any blogger who dares criticize him. That bespeaks a certain childishness on his part. This behavior is much like that of Reynolds, Malkin and other wingnuts whose bullying he hypocritically decries. It isn't surprising to see that his little clique of regulars, the very people who make his comments sections so wretched, has descended upon this blog to punish the blogger. It is, however, rather disgusting to watch the 101st Fighting Keyboarders (Atriot Division) in action.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa. Atrios has Flying Monkeys? I thought only the top tier blogs could afford Flying Monkeys. I think I might give Eschaton a second look.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 1022, you fucking anonymous 1022 coward. Fuck you, you're full of shit too.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo, dude! Never even heard of you before this link from Atrios.

THAT must tell ya' something. Ya think?

Anyway, tired clicking around your site, but alas, your archive links all produced the following:

"Not Found - The requested URL was not found on this server. Please visit the Blogger homepage or the Blogger Knowledge Base for further assistance" ....

... So, a suggestion: before you start throwing stones at other people's cathedrals, it's best to have your own church in, at least, mechanical order.

At a minimum, this little (in every sense of the word) post of yours got you a few hits. Enjoy them while they last.

What can I say other than "I won't be commenting on anything (here) anymore, as it's just not worth my time to stop by (here)."

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Atrios may not use many words, but he speaks a truth that many others miss. For example, he has been right since the beginning that Bush would never leave Iraq; that bush's whole identity is wrapped up in the Iraq venture and Bush will not be swayed by anything, whether failure or the condemnation of the American people.

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous1022: Absolutely agreed. Just linking to this bad site betrays a certain lack of class that has stuck in my craw.

And yes, the comments are absolutely unreadable and brain melting. I'm glad I'm not the only one put off by them. I can't possibly imagine what it would be like to be stuck in a room with those mouth-breathers. It would probably make the nerdy Daily Kos meetup I went to look like a cast meeting for Project Runway.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Dan Lewis said...

"Foreign policy ability" means, to Atrios, that Beinart refuses to see people who oppose wars as foreign policy authorities. Beinart wants people not to listen to the arguments for withdrawal from Iraq. Atrios has brought it up several times.

As Frank Rich put it here:

"However many quarrels he has with the Bush administration, Beinart is still hoping to prove that those who did not get it wrong were somehow wrong anyway--or at least more wrong than he was, and more frivolous. This leads him to echo the Bush White House, as he attempts to conflate the serious pre-invasion opponents of the Iraq war with a mindless, cut-and-run mob of peaceniks who don't understand the threats to national security posed by Islamic radicalism, who opposed war in Afghanistan and who now can't be trusted to protect America because they're too busy hating Bush to take on terrorists."

As Atrios hints at every time he brings up this subject, that, friends, is why we can't withdraw from Iraq: because Beinart wants a strong foreign policy rep for the Democratic party, but if we did start listening to the hippies who got it right last time, we'd get a withdrawal, and the Democrats would be weak on defense for another generation. Thus Beinart says the people who opposed the war only happened to be right for the wrong reasons. That the war actually turned out so poorly was all a big fricking coincidence. These aren't the foreign policy experts you're looking for, move along.

So here's a personal digression. I was in a burger joint when Bush announced the commencement of hostilities in Iraq. He said this about why we were invading Iraq:

"Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly -- yet, our purpose is sure. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder. We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities."

Right then, I thought to myself, "You'd better be right about this." With the benefit of hindsight, I now think George W. Bush was gambling with his presidency. If there were weapons of mass murder as he said, then the invasion made a certain kind of sense. It would mean that Saddam was lying and probably dangerous. But if there were no WMDs, the war was not only unjust, it was an Orwellian nightmare and GWB should lose the presidency for it.

Of course, then we didn't know about the bombing campaign, or the discussions between Blair and Bush about provoking Saddam into a war, or that intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. As the weeks unfolded and we found no weapons, then left ammo dumps unguarded, and the excuses for the invasion slowly started shifting, I knew it was all over, it was a failure. People who were smarter than me smelled blood before the war even began.

P.S. Here's the next thing Bush said after the above quote:

"Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory."

10:22 PM  
Blogger Azael said...

My god, W.S.

Still on the same sad old schtick.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: the comments: I think they're pretty damn funny, especially Tena, Stuntwoman, and Phila. I'm not sure there is another blog with so many fighting mad lesbians.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Atrios Rocks

10:38 PM  
Blogger liquiddaddy said...

Bogus. Your premise that the majority of Americans who supported the war by allowing young adults to go and die are not sociopathic is false. Millions of people at the very moment this started knew Bush was a facist liar and brain-sick meglomaniac. To support such a bankrupt enterprise on the "facts" as thin as grandma's panties was truly pathological (or evil, or stupid) and still is.

Fool, your analogy is demented: if you BUILT the goddam fire and called the fire department and police so they would go inside and die is patently sociopathic.

You are a boor, sir.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alright, wiseguys, I searched all over Atrios' site and didn't find any Flying Monkeys. I found lots of ponies and kitties but no Flying Monkeys. Prolly those jackass commenters playing funny!

10:47 PM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

Wow! Is this the most traffic and comments that you have ever gotten before Philosoraptor?

I'm taking notes...

Step 1) Criticize a popular blogger

Step 2) Hope that because the popular blogger has such a huge ego that he/she will draw attention to your post

Step 3) Sit back and watch the traffic come rushing in.

Step 4) Rub your hands together with glee and pat yourself on the back

Step 5) read over and over the comments from people that agree with your POV to stroke off your ego.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you've got a chip on your shoulder and way too much time on your hands.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are in error. Most people did not support an Iraq war unless it was a UN action. Many people however chose to continue to back GWB when he invaded without the UN due partly to loyalty and partly due to dissenters being called unpatriotic and un-American. That "many" plus the partisans, uninformed, misinformed, and misguided did form a majority. And recall that it is not just "sociopaths" that fall victim to mass hysteria, but rather ordinary people.

10:56 PM  
Blogger johnny phenothiazine said...

I have to say when you read his stuff these last few months you think, jeez, this seems like the writing of a busy, preoccupied man. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be he's kinda busy with his day job?

But you gotta know the truth, I thought that one particular comment you chose to dissect landed in the very top rank of D. B.'s posts lately. You ask for a lot of fine analysis but the point he's making is a pretty simple one: one feel like he's fallen into Evil Bizarro World when they point accusing fingers and demand you explain why not to go bombing and blasting and shooting your way throuigh various far-off nations, when you have to justify - repeatedly! - not smashing the peace and starting a new war. The burden of proof, you'd think, must always fall on the war-monger.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 1022, you fucking anonymous 1022 coward. Fuck you, you're full of shit too.
# posted by : 10:13 PM

That, my friends, is a flying monkey. One wonders how he managed to fling so much crap whilst flapping his wings.

Atrios said very little about this site, knowing that his sycophantic minions would do his dirty work for him. Well done, children. Will he reward you with extra open threads later on?

11:18 PM  
Blogger julia said...

Well, the Limbaugh analogy is right out, since we're being strict about what stuff means, as Limbaugh is a polemicist who talks nonstop for hours every day, and as you acknowledge, Atrios doesn't really write long posts any more.

Instapundit you might be able to make more of a case for, since he mostly links to other peoples' stuff (although I'm not sure why that's a bad thing in and of itself. A lot of good points wouldn't get read if no-one linked to them).

Where that one falls down: Instapundit doesn't stand behind what he links to, and he links to hate sites.

It's an aggregator site, and it's a pretty good aggregator site. That it annoys you as much as aggregator sites on the right doesn't make them equivalent in any other way.

This isn't the first time I've been here, and I usually think your reasoning is far more cogent than this.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Drama Queen, Philosoraptor.

See, what the grownups do, is write a post saying "I disagree with X and here's why."

They don't often write condescending posts attempting to judge the sum and whole of X based on their disagreement with that one particular argument... at least, they don't if they want to be taken seriously.

Another college blogger, thinking he's ready to go pro.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Boy, people hate it when you call their baby ugly, don't they. And I agree with your general theme - Mr. Black has turned into a left-wing comparable of Mr. Limbaugh. Let's review:

If you disagree with him, you're a moron
* or you're a wanker
* or you're a sociopath
* or you're evil
His followers turn on anyone who dares criticize him. Based on the comments, you are:
* Lacking a life because you spent 21 paragraphs discussing your philosophical break with Atrios
* Utterly stupid, unable to comprehend his writing or his point
* Venal and unscrupulous, for daring to criticize someone who is speaking truth to power.
* Deliberately stirring up controversy for your own selfish gain
* An abysmally bad writer
* A zit on Atrios's toe (my personal favorite) - in other words, you're not even *qualified* to criticize Mr. Black (sounds like elitist idolatry hasn't yet been purged from the lefty's ranks)

The fact is that Mr. Black's blog has gotten considerably worse over time, I think in direct proportion to the amount of energy and focus he places on it. It's popular enough, and well-linked enough to get him invited to all the best parties, and, in general, he doesn't need to work hard at organizing his thoughts or keeping his message consistent.

After all, this is a man who has recently:
* Called everyone who disagrees with him a moron/wanker/sociopath, and then complains about the lack of civility in politics
* Told people to lead instead of whine, and then spends yards of print whining about the Democratic leadership
* Complained about the corrupting influence of money in politics, but never manages to say one negative thing about any candidate that pays him, or his masters any money.
* Described moderate right-wingers as utter hellspawn for not bothering to understand the other side of the argument, and then (of course) performs that very act himself, over, and over, and over, and over...

The sad truth is, most people like being led. They like letting someone else think about the hard, complex things in life, so they don't have to. And pretty much every pro-Atrios post on this comment chain is from someone who has outsourced their critical thinking to Mr. Black.

And, unfortunately, he's not thinking very much any more.

11:43 PM  
Blogger tbogg said...

I had no idea that Ann Althouse had a brother. This is more banality than the world can endure...

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You aren't the same Philosoraptur that posts over at DU, are you? If so, that puts this post in perspective for me.

I came over from Atrios's link, too. I really don't have a dog in this fight....I only post over at DU....I find the blog communities to be a little too socially insulated for my tastes, plus haloscan is pretty crappy for maintaining running dialogues between participants. I get a headache trying to read them.

Bottom line: I read Atrios daily....not for the deep commentary, but because he does have a keen pulse on the important issues of the day....and it doesn't take me an hour to absorb it.

Your subject title is rather silly..."Atrios and Eshaton are dead". Perhaps you ought to have included "to me"? Or do you think you are speaking for everyone?

Whatever, given the hit counts he's giving you, dontcha think a 'thank you' is in order?

Oh wow, I see TBogg has weighed in just before me. Perhaps you can critique his postings next? There could be a future for a hyper-guardian of the Leftoblogosphere!

aka - Innocent Bystander

12:30 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Worry about your work. Saying someone else sucks is a waste of time. You think they suck, do it better than they do.

Don't try to run Eschaton, run your blog and see what happens.

12:41 AM  
Blogger Drina said...

You knew this post would get your blog a lot of traffic, didn't you?

12:56 AM  
Blogger peachkfc said...

Like a number of commenters, I arrived here through links upon links. As some others have said, my reaction to your post is, "And you are ... Who?" You know, envy is a terrible thing. It leads most of us at least occasionally to do things, say things, write things, blog things, whatever, that we should not and will likely come to regret somewhere down the line when we realize that whatever it is has just made us look foolish. It is truly too bad when that happens, isn't it? And, of course, just as a by the way, as anyone with half a brain knows ( which apparently excludes about half of the commenters here) neither Atrios nor any other blogger writes, is directly responsible for, or forces anybody to read the comments that readers are free to post on the site. So, get a grip, for crissakes.

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, talk about wrapping yourself around the axel...

It's a SHRILL world we live in, isn't it?

While we are disecting blog entries...

"This is really just an expression of anger, not a real thought."

Brilliant analysis. Thanks for pointing out why I loved the post so much. Couldn't have done it without you.

"I'd say that Atrios used to be less partisan and foolish than Glenn Reynolds, but now I'd say he's worse."

Good gawd man, more partisan than Glenn Reynolds??? Do you kid yourself regularly or is this some attempt to be contrarian for its own sake?

Seriously, you lost me at Limbaugh...

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're not the bastard love-child of Paul Deignan and Michele Malkin are you?!

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't listen to enough of Limbaugh, dude.

2:10 AM  
Blogger Kirk said...

I may be one of the few, but I agree with this post. Moderates like me have been pushed out of the political debate by both sides. Ironically, it is the extremists that label people like me as an extremist.

2:17 AM  
Blogger J. said...

My arse is bleeding again

2:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, I hate Atrios too. I only read his blog everyday because it is at the top of my blog roll. If it was call Xenon I would not even bother.

3:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my first visit to this blog, and I came over, ironically, because Atrios sent me. I look at Eschaton about, I don't know, twice a year? Anyway, I think that's pretty cool that he will point readers to criticisms of himself, his writing, his blog.

Your long-winded post dissecting the Atrios post just comes off as petty.

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to Kirk: If moderates were doing their job and moderating our political life, you wouldn't have become so goddamn irrelevent.

Seriously, it seems moderate just became a word for "doesn't care enough to stand up for anything." Bush wanted to invade Iraq but it is was "moderates" who gave him the keys to the tanks.

4:04 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You sure like to masturbate using the keyboard a lot, don't ya fella? You must have a LOT more time in your hands than anyone else in the free world.

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow... judging from all these comments, a good chunk of the left has decided to become dittoheads. I guess about 1% of the people actually think their way through to an opinion, and the other 99% (like so many posting here) just sign on to whoever has the nicest looking flag. How depressing to see such clear proof that the right and the left are not that intellectually different after all.

7:23 AM  
Blogger chris_from_boca said...

you're an asshole. atrios, like limbaugh. you're an asshole, stupid.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Post American said...

Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) Lying About Iraq, Torture, War
Congress Critter crying about Janet Jackon's Nasty Breast!!!

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a long time Eschaton follower, in fact the first political blog I ever read was Escahton, I have to agree with this post.
I have for a long time felt that Duncan is just phoning it in. He doesn't care anymore, it's just a job and so he can be intellectually laze. I don't think he understands that he is dooming himself to irrelevancy.
Maybe he doesn't care. But he never discusses important issues and apparently when people try to suggest issues to him via an email (I think they are trying to help him out, trying to let him know that his site is sucking) he acts all imperialistic, like how Dare you telll the great Atrios what to write about. DUDE! You're writing about STUPID SHIT! AND NO ONE CARES ANYMORE WHAT YOU SAY, GET A CLUE!
that's not to say that I won't continue to go there. I have become comforable with my routine and I link off Atrios for all my other blogs. But I do agree with someone who said that Escaton readers were becoming like dittoheads. According to John Dean's book, the far left can have authoritarian followers just as the far right can be authoritarian followers, too.
Having said all this, I hope Atrios stops phoning it in and trys a little harder. We all need to be slapped in the face once in awhile

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might have agreed with this post if I hadn't of fallen asleep halfway through reading it.

Keep up the good work.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Shemp Duchamp said...

Came here through the link at Eschaton; was hoping your blog was about the basketball team.

Sadly, that wasn't the case.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude!!! You should seriously take a course in logic.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there were still a draft, this war would have been over before the 2004 election. Chickhawks are chicken hawks. Stupidity is stupidity. We are governed by people who think its all about the advertising campaign, and they have the biggest ad budget in the history of the world. History is not going to be kind.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Whoa, look at all these freakin' comments?

Something unusual must have happened...

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whiner!!! It is VERY obvious that you are consumed with envy, and all your post does is make me even more of an Atrios addict.You have some major mistakes in your discourse, which have been highlighted in the above comments. GET A LIFE!

12:39 PM  
Blogger Alexander Wolfe said...

Well, that's what you get for daring not to like something a popular blogger says.

It would have been nice of some of the commentors here had bothered to talk about what you said, instead of taking you to town for not liking someone they like.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Alexander Wolfe said...

Oh and by the way, I just realized what my strategy should be for pumping up hits on my blog.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember when I was in college. I read a book, and suddenly knew EVERYTHING. I don't remember what the book was.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:03 PM  
Blogger Jay Allbritton said...

Come on, man! You're taking shots at Atrios? WTF? I'm mad at myself for following the bread crumbs over here, but let's try to stay focused on two weeks from now. Worry about this crap in December if you must. Hit Lieberman, hit Bush, hit Allen. Tal Iraq. Let's go!

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're a wanker, he's a wanker. Who gives a fuck?

You say nothing new, you only waste space with your boring negative catty infighting.

Here's an idea: focus on what you have in common, and that is happening in 2 weeks.

And leave your bubble every now and then.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From another friendly commenter at Washington Monthly (Jimm), let me just second the notion that Eschaton is good for what it aims to be. I've always checked in on Atrios, and not for commentary but for snark and links (usually coming together).

Occasionally he actually does weigh in with an extended (for him) op-ed, and generally I find them well thought out and brutally honest. I don't always agree, but usually do, since we seem to share an aversion for bullshit and willingness to defy the status quo that is the foundation for at least one school of progressive, pragmatic, liberal thought, best characterized by the near-complete (never perfect) absence of "apologetics" (i.e. a need to justify an argument, behavior, or ideology out of loyalty and/or cognitive dissonance).

The best test for this "style" or "school" is to examine your opinions, say about the war in Iraq, and see how much of them are moulded by the fact that we actually did go to war with Iraq. Keep in mind that you can't really justify an action after the fact unless that's the basis for your action (i.e. results-based utilitarianism...we're going to invade Iraq and the better outcome will justify the decision). You can try to mitigate the damage if your justification proves wrong by showing other benefits, but this is not a justification (and you can also "pile on" benefits to make yourself look better overall if your justification proves worthy).

Also, especially in the case with war (considering the human tragedy and gross violations of human dignity involved), if those who are actually pulling the trigger on the decision are using one justification, you can't honestly support the war for other justifications, since you're supporting a different war that would employ different strategies and methods (unless you are sure that "your" war and "their" war are wedded enough in objectives and motives that you can ignore the differences).

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a final word, the bar should be very high when using utilitarian or results-based justifications for war, which, to the least-repressed is just another word for murder when not undertaken in direct self-defense, as any killing would be when not in direct self-defense. Heck, the bar should be high for any such results-based justifications when the price is gross affronts to human dignity and rights. In such cases, defense is the only real justification in the progressive grassroots. The rest is just elite deviance and protection rackets of various kinds.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and I haven't noticed any change in Eschaton at all over the past few years...pretty consistent.

As for the Eschaton comment threads, hardly Atrios' responsibility and a fools' errand by any measure (to peruse), point taken, though in their defense one should quickly realize that it is more of a social club than anything else, a forum for snark and toasts, and shouldn't be taken seriously or considered in the same vein as what goes on at the Washington Monthly.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Kirk said...

Anonymous: Seriously, it seems moderate just became a word for "doesn't care enough to stand up for anything."

Oh really? I cared enough to put a friggin yellow ribbon on my Expedition when it was BRAND NEW! What exactly did you do to support America? Some of us are willing to make sacrifices and not play the blame game on who is responsible for the liberals that are undermining our troops in Iraq.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this blog like the Talmud and Atrios is like the Scripture? Because your commentary is entirely too long (and boring) (and I stopped reading it after three paragraphs) and Atrios is shorter and more interesting and easy to read since he gets right to the point and isn't so, well, derivative.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What Kleiman Says

This pretty much sums up what I think about the new GOP scare campaign, including their OBL ad. "

WOW. YOUR blog is so, so, so...deep.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lay off the meth-pipe!

7:42 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Thanks, Anonymous!

10:22 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

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12:15 PM  

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