Thought this response to rightwing attacks on my Biden post makes some points worth repeating, so here it is:
As an admirer of your literary work and your blog, it puzzles why you would provide a opportunity for people like “Another Lally” and “Jim” to disseminate their right-wing opinionettes. Your blog is your space, and these apologists for the anti-American politics of the republican party should not be allowed to occupy any of it. Like too many liberals, you are making the mistake of thinking that you should be fair and open-minded with people who are never that way themselves, that you should allow these misguided characters to have their say under your roof.
But your blog is not a public forum---it’s your domain and should be governed by your perspectives. You have no obligation to give these guys room in a space that is increasingly popular because of your accomplishments, creativity, reputation, and reasoned and passionate opinions on art, politics, music, movies, and life. They are nobodies who can start their own blogs and write to each other. Through the benefit of corporate ownership, right-wing extremists control almost all of talk radio, Fox “News,” the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and all sorts of other media. Let “Jim” and “Another Lally” spew forth within the many right-wing blogs, among their benighted brethren on the right, where they belong. There is no reason why you should accommodate them or give them a soapbox for their destructive, un-American squeaks and groans. Progressives have to learn to stop enabling these nasty right-wing losers. Kick 'em out! Let them try to build a readership on their own and see how far they get.
You and I both know that if the labels were switched, “Jim” and “Another Lally” would be bashing any Democrat who ignored a clear and direct warning, as did Bush, that Bin Laden was planning to attack us, then let Bin Laden attack us, and eight years later, still hadn’t caught him. They would come down very hard on a Democrat who would doctor intelligence to deceive the American people into an unnecessary war in which more than 4,000 American troops have died (and more than 100,000 Iraqis) and that will cost over a trillion dollars---especially when that war and the subsequent occupation were incompetently planned for and completely mismanaged after the initial “mission accomplished” period. “Jim” and “Another Lally” I’m sure would find fault with a Democrat outing a courageous covert American spy to gain some sort of twisted revenge on her husband. I’m sure these two bold patriots would think that the leaders of a Democratic administration that threw away habeas corpus, allowed massive warrantless spying on the American people, introduced torture as accepted American practice, fired US attorneys for not prosecuting republicans, awarded no-bid contracts to their pet corporations, etc., should all be impeached. But since it was republicans who committed all these atrocities against America, J & AL think it’s all excusable.
That’s the way of the right-wing extremists who have controlled the media and the political discourse in this country for so long. The Js and ALs will go on absolving these war criminals because they’re republicans. Although it is a bit heartening to see an increasing number of traditional conservatives recognizing how the right has violated and undermined America’s foundational principles, knee-jerk right-wingers like J & AL will never accept that their team could be so wrong in so many ways. And they sure don’t want a Democratic administration to be the beneficiary of all these new un-American powers that Bush has established.
Their answer?---crazy little flip-flopping John McCain, who finished nearly dead last in a class of almost 900 at the Naval Academy, who crashed five planes in his pilot days (how does that stack up statistically with his fellow pilots?), who made tapes renouncing the US while in captivity (how many other POWs did that?) which seem to have conveniently disappeared, who everyone who knows him agrees has a nasty temper and temperament, who called his second wife a “c-nt” in front of a reporter, who says he doesn’t know anything about economics, who is clearly itching to fight more wars, who in his forties cheated on his first wife (after she was injured in an accident) with a 24-year-old multimillionaire heiress (a former addict who was caught stealing drugs from her own foundation), who doesn’t know how many mansions he owns, who doesn’t know the difference between Sunni and Shia, who helped destroy the S&L industry as one of “The Keating Five,” who is surrounded by and beholden to innumerable lobbyists (and probably has slept with at least one of them), who voted against torture before he voted for it, who has been humping Bush’s leg for the last five years. What a maverick! What a straight-talker! The only thing worse than four years of McCain would be four more years of Bush. Or might even Bush, God help us, be a better bet than little John?"