Well, I certainly didn’t expect the debate that’s emanated from this post. Mike Meginnis and Ned Resnikoff have typically smart takes in response. In retrospect, it was unfair to lump Glenn Greenwald and Stephen Suh together. Greenwald has real, constitutional concerns, and hasn’t engaged in the “woe is me, how will I vote” handwringing that’s characterized too much of Cogitamus and Shakesville as of late. Suh’s concerns – namely, one naughty joke Bernie Mac told and that Obama didn’t respond to in an appropriately Helen Lovejoy-like fashion – are far less substantive, and his tendency to dub anyone who refuses to buy his bullshit as anti-feminist or misogynistic is extremely off-puting.
I guess my overriding concern in writing the post – which was really more of a throat-clearing than anything – was that there are some readers in the liberal blogosphere who are, for lack of a better term, really dumb. These are the people who read about the “sweetie” incident – or even more important things, like FISA – and see something worthy of denying Obama their vote, something worthy of Nader-like “two sides of the same kind” rhetoric. These people may see posts like Greenwald’s, and especially Suh’s, and see vindication. Obviously, bloggers shouldn’t be held responsible for the crazy things they lead readers to do, but there should be some base level of responsibility for high-profile bloggers, and I think that includes a commitment to promote progressive policies and candidates, or to at least not damage them. Some prudence when it comes to criticizing Obama, at least, is warranted.
In a way, for all their hatred of him, these PUMAs are basically of the same breed as David Broder. The “pox on both your houses” rhetoric, the refusal to acknowledge differences, and, of course, the end result of helping Republicans – it’s all there.