In the absence of evidence, silence becomes evidence.
Dean Barnett, filling in for Hugh Hewitt (who is having breast reduction surgery this weekend) sees a grand conspiracy of silence enforced by Our Dark Lord K-s who has snugged up our genital cuffs and foisted on us a blood oath of omertÃ on one of the great issues of the day:
Remember the blogola scandal? If you donâ€™t, donâ€™t expect a recap here. It was too trivial and boring to live through once; to dredge it up again would require a level of discipline that Iâ€™m simply not capable of.
There is a forgotten footnote of that scandal, however, that warrants revisiting. When the blogola story broke that put some of the nutrootsâ€™ luminaries in a negative light, Markos Moulitsas sent out an email to his fellow nutroots denizens that, among other things, suggested that they donâ€™t discuss the story in order to deprive it of oxygen.
These words donâ€™t spring forth easily from my laptop, but this was clever. And shrewd. Itâ€™s tough to have a full blown controversy without two sides braying at each other. If one side makes the tactical decision to dummy up (so to speak), the controversy will die a lot sooner.
The tactic, and the discipline to implement it, also evidenced a surprising level of discipline among progressive bloggers. Their urge to call Moulitsasâ€™ detractors every name in the book had to be overwhelming. Other than a risibly self-important Moulitsas blog post that urged his readers to cancel their subscriptions to The New Republic, the progressive blogosphere showed a remarkable level of maturity in this instance. I donâ€™t intend to be condescending, but when you read the left-wing blogs, â€œmaturityâ€ isnâ€™t usually the first word that leaps to mind.
During the Israel-Hezbollah war, the leaders of the progressive blogosphere have shown similar restraint. Many members of the nutrootsâ€™ rank and file donâ€™t have warm feelings to Israel; I documented this in a Weekly Standard story last week. And yet the vast majority of the American populace sympathizes with Israel. In other words, the issue is one that can reveal the chasm that separates the progressive blogosphere from the civilized world.
Again, the leading progressive bloggers have basically said they wonâ€™t touch the story with a virtual ten foot pole. Few have written on it; when they have, theyâ€™ve limited themselves to platitudes saying in so many words that war is really bad.
Now Barnett could choose from a veritable smorgasboard of posts about the “Israel-Hezbollah war” or, as I like to call it, The Summer of My Lebanese Incursion, but Billmon takes a calm and measured look at what Israel and Hezbollah are both doing and causes Barnett’s argument to go as limp as Rush’s dick deprived of Big Blue.
As I said before:
Basically it is impossible in America to criticize Israel, or speak in defense of the Palestinian people, without being called an “anti-semite” which is why I believe that so many blogs on the left have been so quiet about the attack on Lebanon and what is benignly referred to as Israel’s “overreaction“. In fact, I hesitated to even write this post remembering how Juan Cole was smeared and denied an appointment at Yale. It is a very rare occurrence when I hesitate to write what is on my mind; but you know us liberals and how we hate to be called a “bigot” or to be accused of being “intolerant” by people who are bigots and are intolerant. Well, as my grandmother used to say: “fuck that noise”. Also, I’m not staying up late waiting for a call from Yale.
I know that many on the right (and this would include those on the right who have kind of forgiven the jews, if only for the moment, for killing their savior) are cheering on Israel as our proxy in the fight against Islamowhateverism, because the right loonisphere constantly demands that someone must fluff their hate hard-on, particularly at a time when the commies, homos, negroes, and Mexicans (temporarily at least) lie dormant.
Basically what Barnett is doing is playing the taunting game where he is saying,
“C’mon. Just say it. Just tell me how you feel about Israel and Hezbollah.“
and any answer less nuanced than
Raymond Shaw Israel is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being country I’ve ever known in my life. ”
will be de facto evidence of jew-hatred and anti-semitism. Face it: nuance is completely wasted on the war-war-war crowd so why play their game?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go rotate the tires on Kos’s car before I start making his dinner…
(Added) I see the deep thinker over at Ace (Home of “Sure rape is bad, but the bitch is just gonna have to wait to go to the hospital after the game is over“) missed the nuance about nuance. Big. Fucking. Surprise.