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Dog Bites Air, Misses Man

Apparently while I was gone, much of the blogosphere has been decrying events at DailyKos, where it was written:

That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.

I hate to take on both Instapundit and Prof. Volokh, but I really don't see why so much digital-ink has been spilled excoriating Kos. As a political blogger, he is thorough and a useful source of links to raw data, but his commentary as never been much more than histrionic vitriol. Sure, he's gloating over the deaths of some human beings and the desecration of their bodies, but a quick glance through his subsequent commentary shows that he knows himself that he's not always discreet, and that it hurts him. In the meantime, he's feeding his core audience: people who not only are liberals, but quite literally hate their opposition.

So why the shock and awe that his political and ethical indiscretions now reach aesthetically distasteful proportions by revelling in the deaths of human beings? This isn't even 'dog bites man' stuff. Instapundit's headline "LEFTY BLOGGER KOS DOES HIMSELF NO CREDIT" is about as surprising as "THREE YEARS OF HELL REVEALS ITS CONSERVATIVE SLANT--AUTHOR DECLARES HE MIGHT VOTE FOR BUSH."

DailyKos isn't on my reading list for the same reason that I don't take Rush Limbaugh very seriously--though Rush has a better sense of humor and in the old days could laugh at himself. A crowd of people whose politics are driven by hatred, no matter how smart they are, are simply unedifying to mind or soul. The last time I said this I took a great deal of flack, but it holds true. If you want left-wing news, there's better places to look than those who dismiss their opponents by assuming a lack of intelligence, or are blinded by passionate fervors.


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» Humor-- good or bad. from Crescat Sententia
Anthony Rickey has a pair of very interesting posts up, extolling the virtues of love that crosses party lines, and saying that "A crowd of people whose politics are driven by hatred, no matter how smart they are, are simply... [Read More]


I think you took flack for assuming a politics of hatred rather than silliness.
If you mean that I've never been willing to accept casual accusations of stupidity as part of 'good humor,' then yes.
I don't want to put words in Heidi's mouth, so I won't, but I'll certainly stand by the proposition that casual assertions of stupidity can and should be part of good humor.
I'm not sure they're even 'humor,' but if they are, they sit in the realm of cheap shots, and outside of 'good humor.' One of those things more revealing of the comedian than the subject of the joke.
"A crowd of people whose politics are driven by hatred..." I agree with you completely, but... I've been thinking about this stuff lately, because these perceptions from the right seem strange and counterintuitive to me, and I hope you can answer some questions - Do you think that, on average, the "Clinton haters" were more or less motivated by hate (vs. by reasoning) than the current "Bush haters"? Suppose science progresses (if it needs to - might be there already...) and functional MRI can be used to _measure_ the degree to which a person is experiencing hatred - do you predict that the fMRI results will confirm your answer above? Should these studies be done? why? There's been research showing that conservatives tend to be more "fearful" (e.g. more nightmares - http://www.kellybulkeley.com/ articles/article_the_strange_politics_of_dreaming.htm ) than liberals - is this consistent with your answer above? why? Are these questions completely off in left field*? why? sorry for the #of questions, they started out fewer - hope you have a spare blue book handy... *interesting, that the figure of speech is always "left field" rather than right... :-)

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