Monday, October 25, 2010

What Happens When Burned Out Leftists at Berkeley Meet To Discuss The Tea Party?

It gets weird real quick:

"There is that U.S. DNA that goes all the way back and does provide the conceptual source for this lynch mob mentality," says Steve Martinot, who teaches at San Francisco State University. "And that is white supremacy. Shouldn't we be looking at the Tea Party through that?"

Perlstein moves around the question. "The thing that makes America different, and this is a very dialectical, paradoxical concept, is that we have a lot of democracy," he says. "The idea that everyone has an opinion of about what they're hearing is both the glory and the tragedy of American democracy."

And this one:

"I wonder if we're likely to see a Timothy McVeigh situation," says Nicholas Robert, an attendee originally from Australia, who basically wonders if any Tea Partiers can be arrested. "It seems to be that we're being very polite. I wonder if there are any legal mechanisms—one that comes to mind are the provisions used to crush the Wobblies."

He gets no sympathy from the academics. "I think that's a dangerous road to go down," says Berlet.

Abramowitz finds me and whispers into my ear. "In Berkeley," he says, "you're seeing the other side of polarization."

Yeah. Sheesh. I mean, I said this before, but sometimes people just bring heat on themselves. This reads like an Onion article, I swear.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Toast..

Andrew Sullivan is celebrating ten years of blogging on his site the Daily Dish, and has offered bloggers a schance the toast or roast his blog. Consider this a toast. Now, I'm no where near as influential (or consistent in terms of output) as him, or most of the others who've praised him, but I just wanted to take the opportunity and heap much deserved praise on a solid blogger (not to mention keep up with my own blog). Congrats for ten years.

Now, I've been following Andrew and the Dish for about the last six years, and I won't pretend I've agreed with everything that was said, although I found myself agreeing with him more in say 2005-2006, than say 2000. Of course, the thing about good blogs is not that agree with everything--I find myself disagreeing often with a lot of bloggers I check out, but it's about whether they're serious, and having interesting things to say. Sullivan has beeen that.

I've had, and still have issues with some of things he's written: The bulk of his Palin coverage is neccessary and proper, but often borders on personal obsession. He has routinely been accused of being a Obama worshipper. As one who is still a fan of this President, I think there are times when his praise has reached hero-worship levels, yet at other times his criticisms have been harsh and unrealistic. As for the last part, say what you want--he's been quite consistent, holding Obama to the same standards of his predecessor. His critique of Israel is I think, misinformed, but I reject out of hand the assertions of his critics of sinister motives. I've said some impolite things elsewhere about his work that I mostly regret now, but if anyone can understand that, I'm sure he can.

At the end of the day, I feel good work deserves proper praise, so I offer it up. His coverage of the revolution in Iran was indispensable. I like the awards, those are good. The mental health breaks, and all the funny stuff is exactly that. As much as his anti-Clinton sentiment, or some of his foreign policy views, or other things he may write may induce eye-rolling, and frustration, there is a reason his blog remains one of the first ones I read daily. He does good work, and deep down he seems a decent person. That's really all I'm looking for in reading good blogs--solid people, who despite disagreements on issues, are generally decent people, and have thoughtful things to say.

Congrats against for ten years, Andrew Sullivan and crew. Keep doing what you're doing.

BTW, besides my own blog, I often (and honestly, mostly in the last couple of years) blog at my second home Stubborn Facts. This is blatant self-promotion, but if you want an example of how thoughtful blogging is done with people whom you often disagree on policy, this is it.