Monday, January 16, 2006

The Politics of Blogging and War

I got a comment from Dayv, aka Professor Booty (maybe?), aka Strange Detractor that I wanted to publicly respond to. It's not to put him on the spot, or because the Hearty Handful is clamoring for my wisdom on the topic—it just made me reflect on what I'm about and where I'm coming from.
Interesting. It's like you're a liberal on domestic issues, but a mean-spirited conservative when it comes to foreign policy and war.
The comment was left on my recent post about the feline proclivities of one George Galloway, MP, UK (a hero to some on the left). Now honestly, taking a pot shot at George doesn't make me a conservative, it just means I can't resist an easy target.

Apart from the Galloway post, I wondered, what could give Davy the impression that I'm a mean-spirited conservative on foreign policy and war? Taking a look at the posts currently on the front page of (parenthetical remarks), I:
  • poke fun at Pat Robertson, twice
  • make a terrible joke at Dick Cheney's expense
  • proclaim my discomfort at the Iranian president's blatant antisemitism (combating antisemitism used to be a liberal position, alas)
  • wink knowingly at another blogger's suggestion that the president of Uzbekistan could, because of his experience in particularly ghastly forms of torture, add something of substance to an unconstitutional run for the presidency by George Bush in 2008
  • call Karl Rove a boob (obliquely)
  • call for the end to criminal proceedings against a Turkish novelist who is being charged as a prisoner of conscience
  • refer unflatteringly to genital-shock torture at Gitmo
  • vigorously question the logic of right-wing claims of an explicit connection between Iraq and 9/11.
All in all, not a very conservative collection. I'm no Cindy Sheehan, mind, but I'm not sure I deserve to be portrayed as the opposite. Still, the only thing on here that might give the impression that I'm a cranky right-winger is the Galloway swipe (which I stand behind, by the way). The problem with Galloway is he's a grandstander and a hypocrite. So is Michael Moore. So is Ann Coulter. They all offer easy solutions to difficult problems and then tell you the other side is evil, or worse.

One problem: there are no easy answers. I hate it when the left offers them and I hate it when the right does, too, and I reserve the right to call "bullshit" on anyone I want, sacred cow or not. I was reminded of a post on Andrew Sullivan's blog from a few days ago:
To the right, I've drifted "left" because I want a competent war. To the left, I'm self-deluded because I object to Kennedy's low blows [during the Alito hearings]. The space for any thought between these two polar partisanships is getting harder and harder to find.
I think that this "space for thought" is the only place worth exploring. Here's my question for Dayv, and the rest of you, as well: Don't you?
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