Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Saving Outrage for the Outrageous

Lots of good stuff going on, and I don't hardly know where to begin, so best to plunge ahead, I guess...

Some very excellent bloggers (Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom, The Apologist, Patterico, the Commissar) and one mediocre blogger have been going back and forth about, on the small level, the 'deal', and on the bigger level, 'partisanship' vs. 'moderation' and what constitutes a good Republican. The scare quotes are there for a reason, because I think more unites us than separates us.

A lot of the recent activity at this blog has been devoted to an idea, albeit perhaps a poorly articulated one. On a lark, I proposed a Coalition and got a big response, so I think a lot of other people share this idea. It's not a great idea, or a particularly original one, but here it is: a lot of time on a lot of blogs is spent working up a good sense of outrage. Outrage can be a good thing; it can also get a bit tiresome, in the manner of Chicken Little.

Many outrageous things are going on in this world, and some outrages are bigger than others. Here's what I find outrageous:
  • Terrorists are killing our soldiers in Iraq.
  • Kim Jong-Il is running a Stalinist, countrywide gulag, while Amnesty International gets headlines criticizing the U.S. for some (admittedly disgusting, but isolated) regrettable lapses.
  • Darfur.
  • The United Nations sex scandals and Oil-For-Food.
I could go on, but you get the picture.

By saying that, I'm not saying the judicial fight is not important. If that's what outrages you, then by all means get outraged. The rhetoric that flowed, God, folks, it was a procedural compromise in an elected body. Nothing got set in stone, no one died, and we have the ability to throw the bums out, if we so choose.

This may all sound a bit rich from a guy who has a 'Weekly Jackass'. Certainly, I throw out a little manure from time to time, too. I keep going back to the Daily Kos, though; a successful website it may be, but lord, is it tiresome! Infantile minds wishing for the death of Joe Lieberman because he's not a 'progressive', constant one-up-manship, higher and higher levels of bile and rhetorical excess. Jeff Goldstein took me to task a little in the comments for suggesting that originality and independence were necessary for the long-term health of the blogosphere. Well, who am I to say, and to say poorly, at that...but this is what I was getting at. In this blogger's opinion (and that's really all we are, for the most part - op-ed columnists for the world's biggest newspaper), I saw and am seeing some recent signs of Kossack-like behavior on the right, and I don't like it one bit.

And I reserve my right to say so, and yours to disagree...

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