Well, maybe that's fair. But the point was that Obama didn't say '9/11 changed everything', but what he actually said was a fair recognition of those attacks and why they are important to consider as we look at our foreign policy.
'9/11 changed everything' is a well-known Bush line, and using it to mischaracterize Obama IS mocking those of us (like Obama) who think 9/11 was important (even if we don't think it justified the war in Iraq).
This interests me. I haven't read any of the previous pieces on the so-called 'blogger code of ethics' - I was never interested in the idea, and even as I wrote the above diary, I didn't realize that that was what my voluntary oath amounted to in common interpretation.
Since it is my general impression that the entire blog world is pretty opposed to some sort of 'code' does this mean that the same blog world is opposed to even a mere standard of truth? Or is it just that such an issue as that gets swept aside because of the more forceful dislike of limited free speech, etc.?
I don't intend to deprive anyone of their free speech, mind you. I just think that without imposing any standards of undue civility, a 'reality-based' standard for our criticisms would at least temper, if not completely avoid, the inevitable confrontations of passionate viewpoints. Is that asking too much?
Well, I don't want to re-hash that rather nasty hit piece anyhow - note that I took care not even to mention you by name in the above diary.
But as for calling you a liar (which, by the way, thank you for noticing - I'm afraid some people got the impression that I thought you were some generally horrible person or had some personal dislike of you, which I don't; I objected quite specifically to your words and their lack of truth), I agree that if it had to be done (and I'm sort of swearing off doing it in future, hoping that others stand for truth above civility instead), it needed to be done with specific substance and quoted lies. But if you read the piece (I hope you did, and not just the title and choice comments), you'll note that that is exactly what it was, in toto: a point-by-point listing of explict and provable lies. I mean, if that isn't 'catching someone lying', then what is?
Don't worry Matt, I have no intention of doing you any bodily harm. FOD was just a suggestion, not a threat. But honestly, don't you think mocking those of us who DO think 9.11 was kinda a big deal is inevitably going to provoke stong emotions?
By the way, I understand that you might not have meant that in so many words - and if you didn't (and I sure hope you didn't) then you'll note that the conditional word IF negates the above rude suggestion completely.
In any case, I make no claim to such grandiose and ill-defined ideas as moral credibility, I perfer to let ideas and facts stand for themselves. If you don't like the idea of a standard of TRUTH in our discourse, just say so. Don't dodge the issue by suggesting that some previous overreaction to prior lies somehow negates my ability to plead for future truth.
I neither think that's a good solution, nor a workable one. Not good, because double standards (bloggers can criticize people not on the blog for what they say, but can't be criticized back for what they themselves say?) are never great; and not workable because, as we have seen, people take rude and especially untruthful attacks on their favored candidates to heart, effectively making them attacks on the supporters as well, and setting off the cycle of vitriol in the first place.
No, I do think the only reasonable thing would be to nip it in the bud in the first place: just don't smear progressive Democrats on a progressive Democratic blog, even if they are public figures.
I was certainly brutal, and vicious. I admit that. But I was certainly not personal. I didn't say anything about Matt's private life, his looks, his wardrobe, his lovers, or anything like that. I attacked, viciously, the words he used (which I feel are blatant lies, the worst possible sin in a 'reality-based community'). Perhaps too viciously at times (I've admited as much, and I'll try not to again), but always with content.
As for the 'fuck off and die' comment - that was a bit too much, I'll admit, but I take 9/11 personally for good reasons. And taking it out of context certainly makes it worse - what I said was 'Matt can fuck of and die if he thinks it (9/11) was no big deal'. Maybe he doesn't feel that way, but he sure mocked Obama for suggesting it mattered.
Really? Where has he espoused that sort of a responsible opinion? I seem to recall him deriding all post-ww2 Democrats as 'imperialists' and saying explicitly that keeping even a single US soldier in Iraq, even if their mission were limited to fighting Al-Qaeda terrorists, and even if they were based in friendly provinces, is "imperialism, plain and simple".
So while I agree that the 'disarmament no matter what the costs' frame is one used by GOPers to smear Democrats with reasonable alternatives to all-war-all-the-time, I think that perhaps it gets its mojo from people like Matt who actually espouse this craziness and call it 'progressive.'
Conceptually, I actually think this would be the only real defense for Matt's diary - isn't the first defense for libel truth? That's certainly the idea I use to justify this lashing of Matt, after all.
But if that's the defense, it needs to be substantiated. Which of Bush's policies does Obama say are good? I don't see a single one. And that's not because of rosy-colored glasses - I read the speech three times over to make sure I wasn't talking out of my ass. If you can find such a quote in the speech where Obama says 'Bush's policy X is correct' or some such thing (or better yet, if Stoller could), please cite it.
But that gets back to the crux of what Matt did - by 'shortening' Obama's speech into his own warped view, he was able to attack the nonesense he'd created, instead of disagreeing with the policies Obama actually put forth.
I understand that. The difference, and for me it's a key one, between your reaction and Stoller's, is that while you might have seen only what you expected to see, Stoller took that impression, framed it in GOP frames, called it a 'shorter version' of what Obama had said, and slapped it on the front page of this blog for all of the good progressives around here to read.
That's deliberate misinformation, lying, whatever you want to call it. It's unfortunate that we all see our candidates through tinted lenses, but in and of itself, not devastating. When we start spreading lies about them that grow out of our warped views, that's when things get ugly.
I'm not trying to make friends, and neither is Matt. In the world of political discourse, when someone starts making ad hominum attacks and lies about someone else, they at a minimum open themself up to equally brutal attacks. It's up to the voters or readers to judge if one side is in the right, and the other the wrong, but complaints about the brutality of it all are irrelevent, even if well intentioned.
I accept that I am opening myself up to the same level of vitriol - if someone wants to accuse me of maliciously lying about Stoller, be my guest. Please also back it up, as I did, if only for the sake of truth.
The 11th Commandment is to never speak badly about a fellow democrat (actually a spin on Reagan's 11th for Republicans, but it works).
Matt has made it very clear he considers himself something other than a Democrat, specifically referring to himself previously as a socialist. No violation there.
As for Matt believing what he wrote, doesn't Bush believe his bullshit too? Should we therefore say 'he's not lying'? I don't think so, and the facts are the facts. It's not like Obama's speech isn't available - but you'll notice that in all the comments to this diary not one has pointed to an example of Matt actually telling the truth about what the speech says. A lie is a deliberate falsehood, and since the falseness is proveable in this case, and the intent is evident (it wasn't a passing remark, but rather the centerpiece of a diary devoted to his 'reactions to Obama's speech'), it's a lie.
Well, I think it's fair to say that I'm sort of out to get him at this point. I try hard to be fair to Edwards supporters, and others with whom I've had policy or political disagreements, but Stoller is the one guy I've just had enough of. If I have to stop reading and visiting this site entirely because of my disdain for him, that's unfortunate because I value the rest of the community, but I'm ready to accept it. He's that infuriating to me. Worst than most Republicans, because he uses our platform and casts himself as progressive.