Ah, Yes. A Bit of a Blog-War Going on, Here.

by Little Miss Attila on July 6, 2009

And it braids together a few conflicts:

1) The optimists versus the pessimists.

2) The Christians versus the atheists/agnostics.

3) Those who want to tell the truth, versus those who are concerned that perception might become reality, and therefore recommend that when we are faced with unpleasant truths we should try to ignore them.

4) Those who think that the best way to create a conservative movement is to purge the “non-conservatives” from said movement, and perhaps from the GOP—versus those who would prefer that we continue to leave all ideas on the table.

5) Those who think that Sarah Palin’s resignation as Governor of Alaska was brilliant, versus those who think it ended her national career right then and there. (The fence-sitters who maintain that all the evidence isn’t in yet one way or the other are supposed to line up on one side or another, right now.)

The whole thing make me tired, and puts me in mind of the old adage* “principles before personalities.”

I’m against ideological purity. I’m against making this all about the people involved, rather than the concepts. I’m bored by long essays about how this writer or that writer has deviated from the conservative line, and must therefore be punished.

I’m bored by hero-worship.

I’m bored by jokes that simply aren’t funny.

I’m bored by meta-argumentation—discussing the discussion. Some of that is unavoidable, and in fact I’m doing it here. But if all I wanted was “inside baseball,” I would damned well follow baseball.

Karl posts at the Hot Air Green Room about Ace’s dislike of “magical thinking,” and how to get to a rational basis for criticizing Sarah Palin; Ed reminds us that cults of personality do not, generally speaking, end well. (Nor are they inherently conservative, for that matter.)

Stacy McCain discusses what he considers to be Sarah Palin’s masterstroke, placing it on an explicitly mystical/religious foundation. (Somewhere in there I think he quotes Josie Wales: “don’t disagree with me and tell me it’s raining.”)

Ace’s final takedown of Stacy McCain is here. And here, Ace defines “cult thinking” in a way I can only applaud. Money graphs:

Any independent-spirited soul recoils from it. Anyone stubbornly determined to be his own man or own woman can only say two words when fealty to a thought is demanded: And those words, as profane as they might be, as crudely Anglo-Saxon in obscenity as they might be, are singularly appropriate for, and especially suited for, the task.

And those words are not “I submit.”
. . . . .

I do not consider mere disagreement itself — disagreement as disagreement — to be a form of insult or diminution or provocation. Well, possibly it’s provocative, as all debate is intended to be. But not provocative as in “emotionally, personally, insultingly provocative.”

A disagreement is just a disagreement. It is not only accepted in a healthy politics. It is required in a healthy politics.

I don’t like attempts to shut down reasonable — even if wrong — debate through unprovoked insult and group coercion (even if that group coercion is of the accidental nature). To some extent, I will resist, in posts like this in the last one.

To some extent — not necessarily cowed by these group pressures, but wiling to defer to them — I’ll keep my unwanted, unpopular, unprivileged opinion to myself, and keep it out of the main posts (as I have through the weekend, preferring to conceal my thoughts in comments, so as to not provoke those in mourning over Pain’s resignation).

But this Palin issue will pass. Either she will run or she won’t an that’s the end of the issue.

What is far more important is that conservatives, both in real life and especially on-line, where this behavior seems now epidemic, in a darkly ironic rush to emulate the tactics of the despised thought-controlling conformity-enforcing liberals, have abandoned the ethic of free debate and in favor of Forbidden Thoughts and Coordinated Messaging.

I am on-record as disagreeing (vigorously)with Allah and Ace about whether Sarah Palin’s resignation as Governor of Alaska was the end of her national political career. But I do not believe that the solution to tactical or philosophical disagreements is for those I disagree with to shut up.

“Shut up” is not now, and never has been, a valid argument.

* Some of you will know where that’s from. I like to throw in some extra-credit questions here and there.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Sarah’s Critics Are Reading Her, and History, Wrong. : The Sundries Shack
July 6, 2009 at 5:53 pm
Awww. | Little Miss Attila
July 7, 2009 at 8:13 am

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

smitty July 6, 2009 at 5:43 pm

>I’m bored by hero-worship.

And heroin isn’t doing if for me, either:


Moe Lane July 6, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I am still waiting to find out what any of this has to do with the IL-11 Congressional race. To give just one example. 🙂


Peter July 6, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Yay! Blogwar! We haven’t had a good one in too long.

We don’t know that the Palins want a future in electorial politics. If she wants such a future nobody knows if it will work for her. I submit that she is resigning because those Democrat operatives have put the Palin family a half million dollars in debt, also costing the State of Alaska more than a couple million dollars over those fifteen ethics complaints, all found to be false.

If the Palins are interested in further adventures in electoral politics they can hire a small staff and spend the 2010 electoral cycle making appearences and raising money for conservative candidates. If she has the same drawing power as she did in ’08 then she will have a bright future. If not, she won’t.

Meanwhile, if it’s a blogwar, Joy, who do I get to shoot at?


andycanuck July 7, 2009 at 8:42 am

The Other McCain has more on him and Ace here:


Brad S July 7, 2009 at 9:52 am

“Ed reminds us that cults of personality do not, generally speaking, end well. (Nor are they inherently conservative, for that matter.)”

And Ronald Reagan was just a regular guy, right? Conservatives who continue on promoting a apocryphal “legacy” for RR while getting into a snit about “cults of personality” deserve every cry of “HYPOCRISY!!!” from their ideological opponents that they get.


I R A Darth Aggie July 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm

The fence-sitters who maintain that all the evidence isn’t in yet one way or the other are supposed to line up on one side or another, right now.

As the resident fence-sitter, frack off.

Unless it’s a hate fracking, in which case you need to tie me up and let me have it in all your fury.

Of course, this is the backlash against the McCainiacs and the more-RINO-than-not country club Republicans attitude of you conservatives have no where else to go, so sit in the back of the bus, shut up, and open your wallets.

Newsflash for those types: you had your “perfect” candidate last election cycle.


I R A Darth Aggie July 7, 2009 at 12:19 pm

And Ronald Reagan was just a regular guy, right?

Yes, that’s right. But he was a conservative and espoused conservative principals and did so very effectively.

He also didn’t tell Gorbachev to build this wall higher!


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