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What Passes for Hilarity for Some Left Bloggers:

A blogger named "Mithras" several days ago posted a "Conservative Blog Taxonomy" making fun of, and criticizing, ten purportedly "conservative" blogs, including this one. In general, Yaaaawn...

But Mithras's post was linked to favorably by many others, including Atrios. Let's consider what Mithras writes about Michelle Malkin: "Far-right affirmative action hire who is so bigoted she'd arrest herself for trying to cross a border.... If she didn't have tits, she'd be stuck writing at Townhall.com."

Malkin (with whom I often, but hardly always, disagree), has propelled herself to blogger superstardom, with approximately eighty thousand daily Sitemeter hits. Given that no one is forcing, subsidizing, or even encouraging readers to go to her website on the basis of either her race or sex, on what possible grounds would Mithras claim that she's an "affirmative action hire" or that her sex ("tits") has anything to do with her success? Seems to me she's acquired her readers the same way other bloggers do: by writing posts that they want to read.

It doesn't trouble me (much) that Mithras, whoever that is, would crudely and stupidly insult Malkin. There's one in every crowd, as they say. But when so many other folks on the left, including Brian Leiter, jump in to endorse his post, one wonders what is going on. Indeed, not a single one of the 465 Atrios readers who commented on his link to Mithras post complained about the Malkin crack; in fact, several of them praised it, and added their own prejudiced elaborations (e.g., "She always reminded me of one of those 14 yo Bangkok whores my globe trotting friend would (unfortunately) tell me about (in way to [sic] much detail)".

Is it suddenly (or maybe not so suddenly, if I recall the attacks on figures ranging from Thomas Sowell to Condi Rice) okay to denigrate someone based on their race and sex if they happen to be conservative? And to use especially offensive language while doing so? Attacking Malkin in this way comes with especially poor grace from the left blogger community, which--dare I note--includes, as far as I'm aware, no female, nonwhite blogger nearly as prominent as Malkin.

Anyway, a whole bunch of people, including Atrios, owe Malkin an apology.

UPDATE: Here is Atrios's response:

Judging from all the link cooties I've been sensing, the entire right wing of the blogosphere has leapt to the defense of the racist Michelle Malkin. Fascinating. There's rarely a bigot they won't defend. Here's a reminder for them all:

Just so we all understand, in the year 2004 Michelle published a book justifying an act that Ronald Reagan apologized for - the mass arrest of Japanese immigrants and Japanese-American citizens of America based on nothing other than their ethnic background. Anyone who links to her or promotes her in anyway may as well be promoting the Klan or Stormfront.org. That includes you Chris Matthews.

The publication of that book, which she did to appeal to the Little Green Snotball brigade, will be a stain on her soul for all eternity. I intend to remind the world of it at every opportunity.

Atrios provides no link to my post, so his readers can't see that it wasn't defending Malkin, as such, but criticizing him an other for linking favorably to a prejudiced, misogynistic attack on Malkin. Atrios's response comes down to "if I think someone's a racist, no type of attack on him or her is beyond the pale." This is just plain stupid. I was going to give example of individuals whom we'd all agree are evil, but who still shouldn't be attacked because they are black, Jewish, Arab, etc., but instead, I'll just state the point. Atrios's post, by the way, attracted yet more vile and hateful comments from his "progressive" readers. (But please, no more comments about how this proves that the entire left is racist, which is also just plain stupid.)

FURTHER UPDATE: Eric Muller wonders if Malkin gets "so much attention" from the right, precisely because she's a nonwhite woman who defends Japanese internment, opposes immigrant rights [not sure exactly what he's referring to], etc. I can't say I've studied Malkin's career, but there is certainly nothing remarkable about a Fillipina (as I've learned Malkin is) not being overly sympathetic to WWII Japanese [clarification: I'm not claiming that Malkin's views on internment are, in fact, related to her ethnicity. I'm just pointing out the vacuousness of stating that they are remarkable because she too is "Asian" and thus should have special sympathy for the Japanese]. And given that just about all of us are descended from immigrants, I don't see anything any more remarkable about Malkin not being overly sympathetic to immigrants (if that's true) than I would if she were Irish, Italian, Polish, etc. I suspect Malkin's conservative readers, who are not likely to buy into the whole "people of color in solidarity with each other" notion, are not especially likely to find her views remarkable.

To the extent that Malkin's ethnicity gives her a certain amount of immunity from the typical "you only believe that because you're a white male" attack, that only forces opponents to deal with her arguments directly, as Eric has indeed done. But if her arguments didn't resonate for whatever reason, she wouldn't be getting eighty thousand daily hits. Conservative readers are rather unlikely to put her on their reading list just so they can say to themselves, "I'm a good person--I read a "woman of color blog" today."

Steve Smith (mail) (www):
The reference to Malkin being an "affirmative action hire" has more to do with her career as a syndicated columnist than for her hobby in the blogosphere. Given that she is a bigot, I won't lose sleep if her feelings get hurt in any way.
8.7.2005 1:39am
David E Bernstein (mail):
The purpose of this post was not to open up a "why we hate (or love) Michelle Malkin thread, but to suggest that something is amiss when a successful "woman of color" (I actually don't know exactly what ethnicity Malkin is) blogger is attacked, not for her views, but for being a nonwhite woman. Future comments that diverge into Malkin-hating or loving will be deleted.
8.7.2005 1:46am
Zed Pobre (mail) (www):
The Malkin "affirmative action hire" may be a reference to the fact that a number of her blog entries are apparently written by her boyfriend (husband?), and that her site has always maintained an (attractive) picture of herself placed prominently on the front page, thus leveraging her sex appeal for audience hits. Her counterpart on the other side is Wonkette, I believe. I can't stand either of them, so I read them as little as possible.

You can think of Mithras' post as a left-side rendition of what gets spewed on a regular basis by O'Reilly or Coulter. While the blogosphere in general could do with an improvement in courtesy, there's nothing particularly noteworthy about what was written. If it makes you feel better, I defended Volokh in part when this was linked at Pharyngula.
8.7.2005 1:48am
Zed Pobre (mail) (www):
I believe she's Filipino, by the way, and the Mithras post *was* attacking her for her views, specifically her racism and approval of concentration camps.
8.7.2005 1:50am
Patrick McKenzie (mail):
I think some would defend the post as "the sort of intentionally over the top polemic which you have to lack a sense of humor to get worked up about". As to the question posed ("Is it suddenly (or maybe not so suddenly, if I recall the attacks on figures ranging from Thomas Sowell to Condi Rice) okay to denigrate someone based on their race and sex if they happen to be conservative?"), I think the first comment provides the answer.

Personally, I find my sense of humor frequently abandons me when sex slavery of children is an acceptable variation on the theme of the "joke".
8.7.2005 1:53am
David Sucher (mail) (www):
Malkin would not be a big-time (according to the author of this post) blogger had she not been a national columnist first.
8.7.2005 1:59am
bill-10k (mail) (www):
I think the problem is if you are a minority, and you have a position of prestige or authority, or if you choose to speak in the public forum, you gotta be the right kind of minority. So minorities are free to speak, they just have to parrot Democrat talking points. Otherwise you are a bigot or insert other favorite leftists slur here ___ .

Ask Sen. Byrd how it's supposed to work, he helped write the manual.

It's actually quite simple.
8.7.2005 2:08am
Glenn Bridgman (mail):
Foul but accurate. Malkin has made a career of hiring herself out as the minority for the "But some of my best friends are black/asian/jews!" defense.

For the rest of it, pretty weak. His attack on Volokh is unwarrented, and frankly, his attack on Powerline is just pathetic. Those guys are so easy to skewer that if the best you can do is mock the "Hindrocket" moniker for the 11 billionth time, you really should stop blogging.
8.7.2005 2:09am
Robin Roberts (mail) (www):
Well said, David, in fact the foul-mouthed attacks on Michelle Malkin go back quite a while. From the comments here, your point seems to go over the head of too many.
8.7.2005 2:18am
Mike Lorrey (mail) (www):
Quite so. Between Grand Wizard Byrd writing the manual on politically correct racist/sexist bigotry, and the Nation of Islam, the National Lawyers Guild, and the WWP providing the litmus tests, its not hard for the left to identify the uncle toms who, paradoxically, have learned to think for themselves despite the careful guidance of the lilly white leadership of the DNC and its white mans guilt trip. Remember, Dean is still looking for a few more confederate flag waving democrats out there...

I frankly wouldn't even expend much effort taking the dems to task. Jim Crow laws were passed by Democrats, not the GOP. Let them have as much rope as they want on this. When every woman or person of color who dares utter a conservative or libertarian opinion is denounced by the DNC goosesteppers, it is only a matter of time before the public dumps them in droves.
8.7.2005 2:18am
Th. Brown (mail):
I won't defend the "tits" comment, but I think the "affirmative action hire" part means to say that the right is cynically using Ms. Malkin's ethnicity so that it can say, Look, even a minority agrees.

Whether this is description of what the right is thinking or doing is accurate is something I won't get into. But I do think that this is what the reference to Ms. Malkin is trying to get at. And if that is so, then I don't think the comment is trying to denigrate her based on her ethnicity; I think it's trying to impugn others' motives with respect to her ethnicity.
8.7.2005 2:30am
Geroge of the (Legal) Jungle (mail):
The attack is NOT this: Malkin is bad because she's a conservative minority. Instead, this is the argument:
1. Malkin is a writer of average talent who writes highly offensive things.
2. Yet she is extraordinarily popular.
3. Her popularity is due to her race. That is, she says the types of racist things whites wish they could say, but cannot, because they would be called racist.

I'm not saying this argument is correct. But it's quite different from the one proferred, namely, that it's "okay to denigrate someone based on their race and sex if they happen to be conservative[]." Instead, they're saying she's the equivalent of an affirmative action hire.
8.7.2005 2:40am
Lynn Gazis-Sax (mail) (www):
I've heard too much of "there aren't any women bloggers," immediately followed by "but no one would ever date you" to all the women bloggers who respond "we're right here, guys" to have a sense of humor about the "tits" remark (and I am not making up the response about women bloggers not being dateable enough). Even though I'm not particularly fonder of Michelle Malkin than any other liberal blogger is (and really, really disagree with her take on the Japanese internment).

Male bloggers across the political spectrum should avoid treating women bloggers as though we're trying to be Libertarian Pseudo-Girl clones.
8.7.2005 3:17am
CrazyTrain (mail):
Have some chees with your whine. Get over it David --- your pals at LGF say ten times worse things than anything I have ever read in the comments at Atrios. And sorry buddy, but if you think if a guy who was not Asian had written Malkin's incredibly incendiary book about internment, it would have gotten the serious attention it did in the MSM, you're crazy. No one would take the book even slightly seriously (given that Muller found about 1000 errors in it, I am surprised that anyone did, but alas she still appears on Fox, MSNBC and the rest of the "liberal" media).

Frankly, Malkin deserves a place with the holocaust deniers, but David can't see it.
8.7.2005 3:48am
Apollo Morgan (mail) (www):
"Frankly, Malkin deserves a place with the holocaust deniers, but David can't see it."

Yeah, because the Holocaust and Japanese internment were on a moral par . . .

Anyhow, I ran a conservative campus paper at college, and my gay/female/racial minority writers were always attacked far more vociferously than my white guy writers. In almost all of the criticism, there was some reference to the person's indentity. When I asked criticis about this, it boiled down to an "off the reservation" mentality toward the poor free-thinkers.

Part of the problem here is that the Left looks as identity as being determinist of how people ought to think. When someone has a free-thought that differs from what the Left perceives as the interest of said person's race/gender/socio-economic class, they need to be reminded of who, exactly, they are, and implicitly what they should think. Malkin has tits and is a minority--she should know better than to spout this garbage.
8.7.2005 4:48am
Brian G (mail) (www):
Lest you forget, liberals are the people of tolerance, and Malkin is not. I always found it quite laughable that the people who support affirmative action and call you a racist if you don't support it are the same people who call a non-white who dares to write other than the liberal dogma an "affirmative action hire."

I'll be impressed when they honestly refute Malkin's comments. Until then, they prove themselves idiots.
8.7.2005 4:55am
Splunge (mail):
Mr. Bernstein wonders how it is possible someone on the left might himself have and display the same attitudes he so forcefully and vocally condemns in someone on the right.

When we criticize the faults of others, it is more because of our pride than our goodness. We reprove them not so much to correct [their faults], as we do to persuade them to believe that we ourselves are free from their faults.

(Maxims, Francois duc de la Rochefoucauld, 1665.)
8.7.2005 5:29am
Scott Scheule (mail) (www):
The true offense is not that that the taxonomy is insulting, it's that it's just not funny.
8.7.2005 7:45am
Charles Iragui:
Michele Malkin's identity has certainly contributed to her success. Her good looks help her TV career and being a woman/Asian lends credibility to her controversial stands. To deny this (rightwingers) or to denounce it (leftwingers) is like arguing about whether light comes from the sun.

Humor necessarily challenges norms... Good taste and good manners are welcome. I prefer Jane Austen, who could succeed in being both funny and polite, to Mithras.
8.7.2005 8:02am
nn (mail):
"Given that she is a bigot, I won't lose sleep if her feelings get hurt in any way."


How condescending of her critics. She and many others in America who are not racist, do not necessarily see profiling as racist. Moreover, her defense of Japanese internment camps was reasoned and careful but the LEFT just assumes that such arguments must be odious (whether she is ultimately right is not the point — she made a reasonable argument in a reasonable fashion and was extremely open to responding to criticism). But then, leave it to the LEFT to just assume that anyone with Malkin's views is racist while supporting real racists like Byrd. Just as many assume that Thomas and Sowell are anti-black for being against affirmative action.

The foulest bile on the Left is reserved for non-whites who don't toe the left party line.
8.7.2005 10:17am
RS (mail) (www):
Here's a conservative taxonomy of left-leaning blogs. I think it's funny. Is it less mean-spirited than the Mithras post? I think so, in that looks (Malkin, Jarvis) and race aren't discussed. In the end, though, each side is preaching to the converted.

Discuss.
8.7.2005 10:47am
Adam (mail) (www):
"Moreover, her defense of Japanese internment camps was reasoned and careful but the LEFT just assumes that such arguments must be odious (whether she is ultimately right is not the point — she made a reasonable argument in a reasonable fashion and was extremely open to responding to criticism)."

Really? I can think of no better criticism of her views than the ones posted on this website, which state, in part:

"Malkin's book is not a useful work of history, but a polemic that relies for its attraction on sensationalism and overstatement. The author lumps everyone who has ever written on the wartime treatment of Japanese Americans into a single homogenous (and self-interested) group and does not discuss their different arguments, or indeed, their disagreements with each other. Such conspiratorial thinking detracts from the merit of what the author does get right. . . . The work also suffers from the author's perceptible shoddiness of method. Many of the author's contentions, and particularly her generalizations about popular perceptions (such as that the government confiscated Japanese American property), are barren of footnotes. In her section on the MAGIC intercepts, the author takes over David Lowman's work to the point of plagiarism. . . . [M]uch of it clearly is a result of the author's procrustean effort to stretch facts to fit an ideologically predetermined thesis."
8.7.2005 10:56am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I would suggest that most here are missing the point. She is being attacked as the messenger, so that the left can distract from her message. She has built up a reputation on the right as being a place where facts on scandals detrimental to the left are accumulated. Currently, her blog and that of Hugh Hewitt are the places to go to find the latest on the $875,000 embezzled from Azheimer's, et al. patients to fund Air America. For example, in her blog yesterday:

"This morning's New York Post is reporting that New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has launched an investigation into the shady $875,000 loan from Gloria Wise Boys &Girls Club to Air America."

"Spitzer's inquiry is focusing on the conduct of Gloria Wise's board of directors. "The question is: Was their action appropriate?," Spitzer spokesman Darren Dopp told the Post."

"That focus probably makes sense given Spitzer's oversight of charities in the state, but it doesn't necessarily mean Air America is off the hook. One of Air America's former officers, Evan Cohen, has been accused of embezzling the loan money. Air America's current managers did not proactively disclose the questionable loan to law enforcement officials despite having known about it for more than a year. Air America still hasn't said whether Cohen stole the money or relayed it to the network's coffers."

"The New York Post article also reports that Air America has begun repaying the loan, but is not complying with a recommendation by the city's Department of Investigations regarding how it should be repaid:..."

The left, in short, is attacking the messagenger to distract from the message.
8.7.2005 11:10am
sbron:
The obvious reason that the left feels free to
use racist invective against Malkin, or Condoleeza
Rice, Colin Powell, etc. is that the left is
fundamentally far more racist than most elements of
the right. That is, the left is certainly
unapolegetic about blatant anti-White racism
(Sontag, Noel Ignatiev, Howard Dean stating
"My people need a white leader...", MEChA,
Black Panthers.) Most Republicans or "conservatives"
would never use expressions like "cancer of history"
or "abolish the ___ race." Thus it is a natural step
for the left to invoke the same level of
racism against non-whites.

I disagree with much of Defense of Internment,
but the left has had a blind spot dealing with
Japanese militarism in WWII — Malkin's uncle was
a Filipino guerrilla fighting the Japanese and her
view of Japan doesn't jibe with that taught in
Universities.
8.7.2005 11:15am
Ken123 (mail):
David,

I'm not sure about the exact point you are trying to make. Clearly, the tone and language of Mithras's statements about Malkin were offensive. It's also clear that he did not provide any evidence to support his/her assertions.

However, you also seem to be stating that the effect of a person's race or sex on the popularity of that person's writing is not a legitimate topic. I'm not sure I would agree with this.
8.7.2005 11:34am
=o=:
The left, in short, is attacking the messagenger to distract from the message.

Ah, yes. The left, that homogenous, lockstep conspiracy, is clearly taking direction from the Dear Leader, and this week, the orders are "mock Malkin". Don't forget to note that everyone on the left holds the exact same ideals, so this Mithras fellow and Byrd clearly speak for all of them.

Thank you for exposing what's really going on.

(At least Bernstein noted "some" in is title.)
8.7.2005 11:36am
Buck Turgidson (mail):
The foulest bile on the Left is reserved for non-whites who don't toe the left party line.

There is some truth to this. But conservatives make their job all too easy for running an affirmative action shop for right-wing minorities. Malkin is just one example of this bunch. And her blog provides a convenient echo chamber.

Currently, her blog and that of Hugh Hewitt are the places to go to find the latest on the $875,000 embezzled from Azheimer's, et al. patients to fund Air America.

Do you see what I mean by "echo chamber"? Bruce Hayden contradicts his own point by citing the story. A loan does not become "embezzlement" unless there is no intent to repay and both parties to the loan know it. The loan might have been a questionable investment practice, but it is not embezzlement. The story does not mention anywhere that Air America Radio is being investigated, but it is the Gloria Wise Foundation that is (in fact, its project have been disbursed to other non-profits). And what's with "Azheimer's, et al. patients" (sic) when the target is Boys&Girls Clubs?

Bruce, please note the comment policy: avoid rants, invective, and substantial and repeated exaggeration. Your post failed on two of those three counts.
8.7.2005 12:31pm
TNM:
The left doesn't denigrate or trash female conservatives like Susan Collins, Liddy Dole, or Sandra Day O'Connor.

When Malkin acts with a shred of dignity towards those with a different political philosophy, she'll be treated with a shred of dignity. She gets as good as she gives.
8.7.2005 1:05pm
SteveMG (mail):
Mithras's little show-and-tell is, unfortunately, pretty common on the internet. Anyone familiar with his posts elsewhere shouldn't be surprised at him sticking his tongue out. However, I can certainly cite a number of rightist bloggers committing (somewhat) similar sins.

Having said that, however, it does seem to me that a minority or female that expresses conservative views (or even non-leftist ones) is particularly irritating to many on the left and that jeremiads directed at them seem especially over-the-top. One can almost a sense of "How can you say that after all the things that we've done for you!!??" attitude. The left has much to be proud of over the decades in fighting for greater equality and fairness. But this has engendered an arrogance on many (please note the qualifiers) that permits no dissenting views from those recipients of leftist actions. Those that do dissent aren't "real" blacks (think of the reaction to Thomas or Sowell) or authentic gays (Andrew Sullivan), et cetera and therefore the "rules" restricting criticism of members of those protected groups are set aside.

And how.

Sidebar: It is interesting hearing the leftist historians who are outraged over Malkin's defense of the Japanese internment while their appararent silence over Eric Hobsbawm's defense of Joseph Stalin's terrors goes relatively unnoticed. Why the outrage over Malkin but apparently no similar outcry over the respected Hobsbawm?

Perhaps another example of the rules changing based on the players in the game?

SMG
8.7.2005 1:07pm
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
In the third comment, 'Zed Pobre' writes that "a number of [Malkin's] blog entries are apparently written by her boyfriend (husband?)". That's a serious accusation. Does ZP have any evidence at all to back it up, or does he (she?) just assume that an Asian woman couldn't possibly write what Malkin does without help from a white male? That would be a pretty obvious case of racial and/or gender bigotry.

Also, Malkin's 'About' page mentions her husband. Is ZP too lazy to do the most basic research before making an accusation, or slyly implying that she may have a boyfriend as well?

Finally, ZP thinks the fact that Malkin puts an attractive picture of herself on her site makes her an "affirmative action hire". Steven Green (Vodkapundit) has a very handsome picture of himself on his site. Is that a case of affirmative action for white males? If Cathy Seipp or 'Captain Ed' have less flattering pictures of themselves on their sites, does that prove anything about whether they are or are not "affirmative action hires", or is ZP making accusations without thinking them through? Even the best-looking picture won't do much for a site's hit-count, since the smitten reader can always save it to disc or print it out and look at it off-line: there's no need to keep going back to a site unless you want to read the new posts.
8.7.2005 1:21pm
Cal Lanier (mail) (www):
I read Malkin pretty frequently, but her blog's success is almost certainly due to her start in print journalism, and it's hard to believe that her race and gender weren't a big plus. Her blog isn't hurt by her TV appearances, and certainly her looks have something to do with her TV success. This in no way denies or detracts from her success, as she's built very well on her early start.

As for blogosphere affirmative action--I can think of a few bloggers who certainly wouldn't have the same attention if they weren't minority. Some conservative bloggers probably add race to the weight when they're deciding who to favor. If they find a blogger who is both reliably conservative and a minority, why not promote that blogger? It makes them look good, and allows them to celebrate their "intellectual diversity".

Liberals see no need to bother; they think their rabid support for identity politics obviates any need for personal affirmative action.

Malkin does get a lot of sexual slime thrown her way, but that's par for the course. Coulter does, too. When/if an attractive, popular, aggressive female liberal blogger shows up, she'll get much the same.
8.7.2005 1:41pm
truetanus (mail):
I would like to add a short but sweet addition to all of this. The post by Mithras was unfunny, and unwarented, and a joyless bashing for the sake of spleen venting alone. There is no action, no position, no paper, and no book MM could have written that would justify what has been written about her. "Tits" "Affirmative Action Hire" etc etc. To me personally there is no reason to go digging around for his true thoughts. The various posts before this trying to suss out what he "Really" wanted to say about her are after the fact and not necessary. The advantage of a hate filled slanderous rant against a group like that one Mithras goes after reflects a complete bankruptcy of ideas.

When I was in middle school, for about a week, popular students passed around "slam books" where the students got to right in what they thought of teachers and classmates, then hand it to the next person in line who would add their comments. Teachers stepped in with lightning speed not as much for the damage it was doing to the targets of the slander, but because it was an outrageous affront to common decency and tact, and reflected poorly upon the school and the students. This behavior by Mithras is barely one step beyond that. The only step is that he used a computer and paged through a thesaurs to help him out.

When the best thing that can be said about you is that you think his name is really funny, or she is a brainless fox, you should delete your own blog from the internet and run a big magnet over your computer. Can we now dispense with the idea that somehow there is a debate between two ideologies (left right)(red blue)(liberal conservative), and just admit that it is two groups acting at cross purposes. One wing is engaged in policy and the attempt to find solutions to horrific problems, while the other side cant even figure out why people dont recognize how much better they are then everyone else.

PS if he had gone after The Bleat, or said something worse about this blog I would have been REALLY upset
8.7.2005 1:49pm
Quarterican (mail):
I've never before read Mithras, and I wish he hadn't written this post in the way he did. My Atrios reading has also slowed down in step with the decrease in actual posts - he's essentially become Glenn Reynolds, left-wing division. But a lot - a LOT - of this stuff on the left has the following origin, in my opinion (as a member of the left): we saw prominent conservatives get away with X, with no serious consequences. It's an angry reaction born out of, in my opinion, a slight feeling of powerlessness, because it's essentially tit for tat: the Clinton administration was watched closely for any possible sign of misconduct and any shred of questionable behavior was turned into a (meaningless) scandal in the media? Fine, then everyone has to be subject to the same scrutiny.

As far as the offensive, here's one reasonably well known example: Ann Coulter said she wished terrorists had blown up the New York Times building. When people - primarily liberals, who by the way often don't see the NYTimes as "their" paper - got justifiably upset about his, from a woman who was going out of her way to accuse liberals of treason, they were told: "Oh, get a sense of humor." Did I find Mithras' post funny? No, not really, so it wasn't hilarity for this leftist. But I did smile wryly at the offensive comments about Malkin, because as far as offensive "humor" goes, I'll take sexist and racist over murderous.
8.7.2005 1:59pm
Alexandra von Maltzan (mail) (www):
David, I wholeheartedly agree with you on all points, but my question is this:

How did a self proclaimed "basic, harmless Philadelphia pervert with a law degree, who likes to beat people and talk about politics" by the name of Mithras get to have himself, his denigrating views on race, gender and the conservatives, be widely discussed on what I consider worthwhile to read blogs. Clever old Mithras, he has his highly offensive comments published on sites, such as the Volokh, Malkin, Instapundit, Atrios, and many others, who would otherwise not consider blinking at what he has to say. He has provoked comments and enticed track-backs and links, by both the left who are endorsing him by throwing in more slander for good measure, the right who either agree or disagree, and the rest, who are either defending their position or simply outraged at the condescending insults.

I say, ignore him. If you acknowledge him, as blogs like Atrios have, for better or for worse, you play his game, and take his irresistible and carefully orchestrated bait.

Right now, we are all responding to a "pervert with a law degree, who likes to beat people up", his words not mine, who on his home page, lists amongst 64 of his favorite porn blogs: 'All about my vagina'. Need I say more? I suggest Mr. Mithras sticks to subjects he seems to be better acquainted with.
8.7.2005 2:09pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> The attack is NOT this: Malkin is bad because she's a conservative minority. Instead, this is the argument:
> 3. Her popularity is due to her race.

So, the various minorities that the left puts up are now fair game on the same basis?

Of course not - any criticism of them will continue to be called "racist" even when, unlike the stuff about Malkin that is being defended, it has nothing to do with race.
8.7.2005 2:23pm
NR (mail):
I absoutely agree that Mithras's comments about Malkin's race and "tits" were pointless, stupid, and offensive. This is yet another example of the nasty, snarky, shallow, mean-spririted side of the blogosphere we all know all too well.

As some others have pointed out, though, I don't think there's any reason to believe things are any nastier on the "liberal" side than on the "conservative" side. I've seen many comparable, and worse, examples of personal invective and hate-mongering on Eschaton, Daily Kos, Free Republic, and Little Green Footballs, to name just a few.

What would really be nice would be to see more "liberal" bloggers calling each other to task, and more "conservative" bloggers doing the same (as Eugene Volokh recently did in defending the ACLU and as Eric Muller recently did in defending the Federalist Society). It doesn't surprise me that David Bernstein found Mithras's remarks offensive, but I have yet to see a liberal blogger expressing any indignancy. On the other hand, I've never known Bernstein to complain about the clear excesses of conservative bloggers, of which there are many.
8.7.2005 2:24pm
Larry (mail):
The fact that you are “offended” means that the comments, whatever they were, had a point. Indeed, they appear to have touched you on a very deep level and made you think about something. It is too bad that you are unable to respond to them.

Instead of whining about how you are offended, explain why the comments are WRONG, now how you just wish they were not made.
8.7.2005 2:28pm
Justin (mail):
As a liberal who thought Mithras's post was unfunny for the most part (come on, what was said about Hughie boy was FUNNY) but par for the course, the real point here is that conservatives continue their victim fetishes and fantasies to the point now that you can't say anything that won't offend a conservative...wait...a "different-thinking-American". Liberterians such as Bernstein, who after "winning" and still not getting anythingt they wanted from a non-conservative, non-liberterian administration have decided to not take the introspective view of their political support but go on invectives on anything that lets them to continue playing victim (especcially for David, the anti-Israel left, despite that the left itself is torn on both sides and that even a pro-Israeli person like me can't possibly think that Israel is perfect).

When conservatives have become the champions of "You Can't Say That", conservatism is dead. And yet, from Howard Dean to Dick Durbin to Markos to Atrios to some dude named Mithras (and by god to Brial Leiter), it's the only game left in town now that conservatism is dead and conservatives have no interest in getting back in the game simply to keep liberalism dead too.
8.7.2005 2:32pm
capitalisttool (mail):
I think if a Republican suggested that some minority was there because of affirmative action it would be considered racist by the liberals. Rush got fired for saying the same thing about Donovan McNabb's media coverage. So what? This is old news. Conservatives never argued about double standards, they argued against political correctness. I celebrate the fact that political correctness is being killed by the Left. Toss a few logs on the fire.
8.7.2005 2:53pm
BCMonkey (mail):
Criticizing anyone by making comments based on their race and their sexual anatomy is not justifable. Period.
8.7.2005 2:55pm
Findlay Dunachie (mail):
It was a Democrat Administration, as everyone must know, that put the Japanese Americans into internment camps. The UCLA did nothing about it and one of the few who dissented from the policy was Edgar J.Hoover. One thing that must be certain: right or wrong the camps bore no resemblance to Hitler's or to Stalin's or to Mao's.
8.7.2005 3:14pm
M. Scott Eiland (mail):
Ah, yes--the Mithwit. He used to hang out in the comments section of Sasha Castel's site, making witty comments like "if it weren't for rape, Republicans wouldn't get any sex at all." Nice to see that Atrios, et al, are living up to their usual standard for linking mouthbreathing haters of conservatives.
8.7.2005 3:17pm
kate q (mail):
Does anyone else find it funny that the Left considers it a mark of inferiority to be an affirmative action hire?
8.7.2005 3:26pm
Brian O'Connell (mail) (www):
The left has been using what they claim is the right's racism / sexism / homophobia to attack minorites on the right for some time now. There is always the claim that the left isn't being racist / sexist / homophobic themselves, but pointing out those qualities on the right, along with the right's hypocrisy and tokenism.

But at some point the absurdity of this logic begins to become apparent. And if the left was merely using irony, the sheer glee that can be discerned in these racist / sexist / homophobic tirades wouldn't be there.

One real bit of irony here is that one of the right's criticisms of affirmative action is that it diminishes the accomplishments of those who benefit from it, and casts doubt on entire groups ("she's just an affirmative action hire"). A charge the left generally denies, and then engages in- in this very thread!

Then when some minorites oppose affirmative action, partly for this reason, they are called race traitors. It's all very ugly.
8.7.2005 3:29pm
Matthew G.:
This is much hullabaloo about an idiot on the far left slinging mud at an idiot on the far right. Unless someone thinks either of them is representative of their political wing (I certainly don't), this is a waste of time.
8.7.2005 3:30pm
KenJ (mail):
Michelle Malkin isn't a real woman. Or a real minority. She's a simulacrum of those groups since she embraces rightist views.

Therefore ridiculing her sex or her ethnicity doesn't count as prejudice since you can't engage in sexism against a fake woman or practice bigotry against a fake minority.

KJ
8.7.2005 3:30pm
Justin (mail):
Ken Blackwell, Condi Rice, and Clarence Thomas are all examples of people who have succeeed from affirmative action, and any attack on the left must be limited to hypocracy....BUT THATS NEITHER HERE NOR THERE.

The reason for Michelle Malkin's success is she's a tool used by people who, for lack of a better term, are evil, to appeal to the worst instincts of the white population while USING HER RACE AND SEX TO QUELL THESE PEOPLE'S GUILT. "Yea, kill the arabs and hate on blacks....its okay to think this way, a minority is telling us to do it. It isn't racist!"

It has *nothing* to do with affirmative action. Michelle Malkin wasn't *helped* by her skin color. It's a necessary element of her job description.
8.7.2005 3:55pm
Finn (mail) (www):
This goes on and on. Ms. Malken is just taking the same type of hit that Black conservatives have always taken, and will probably continue to take from some people on the left.

The minute a black person (especially) expresses a conservative worldview, they suddenly shift in status, and are targeted with the accusation--sort of an "auto-shut up" mechanism by certain liberals-- that they are in fact only worthy of being considered for this, or that, due to their race and the very affirmative action they are decrying.

The truth usually comes out quickly. Defy a liberal, and stray from the big house of common thought, and they will ever so quickly cut you down. But at first they wait, for all they are watching (and seeing)is your skin color, and they build assumptions around that. Once you open your mouth, and express your views, and shock them, then the talons come out. "How can you NOT be in favor of affirmative action?" they ask you, astonished. Before your conversation is done, with your position thus established, they lower their voice, lean in, almost a whisper, and say, "Well you know, you would not even be here save for that."

An old story. Even if such were the case, that ought to be even more validation for wanting to get rid of preferences, as one cannot move a foot or think a truly free thought without that being tossed in one's face.

I, for one, do not try to concern myself with whether some conservatives are using me (in the "see, I have a black friend" vein) as I assume in every group of people (left or right) there are those who are intellectually crass (even evil). I believe what I believe, with some of those beliefs come from a derivation of religious beliefs. There is, in words and attitudes, racism on every aside. At best we should stive to allow people to be free in thought and take them at their word. But it is a hard task for some whites to look at a black person and allow them to freely express themselves, or not jump to any sort of conclusion without actually knowing their history.

I recall taking a French class ages ago in high school in NYC and doing not all that well. Friends of mine, mostly white, were performing much better on a daily basis. I even had my French teacher ask me boldly, "Don't you have pride, don't you care?" in front of the entire class. I had been sitting there trying to avoid eye contact, not having studied. Needless to say, at that time, (and I am not sure if this was native to my junior and high school only), but if you passed NY state's end of the year Regents exams with a certain score, your teacher was prevented from failing you in the class no matter your grades.

That rule saved me in more than a few courses, including French. I would power up at the end of the year to actually focus on what I had largely ignored before. Nevertheless, upon passing, my white friends would have comments like, "How did you do that?" and "Why did the teacher pass you?" as though it was some sort of black thing. "Hellooo, the regents?"

Often enough upon voiced opinion, upon your success, or at their failure, a few whites will immediately leap to your race and your execpted ineptitude as the fallback position.

Will people change? Doubt it. Not until a large enough group of blacks decide to join the ranks of every other ethnic group and freerange a bit in intellectual, political, and cultural activities. That's a long slow process, where one mind at a time is freed. As for Malken, she will take the incoming and be about her business, leaving the bile to the bilests.
8.7.2005 3:55pm
Larry (mail):

Criticizing anyone by making comments based on their race and their sexual anatomy is not justifable. Period.



I disagree. However, since you are incapable of explaining your reasoning (perhaps because of your anatomy or race) I won't tell you why you are wrong.

Period.
8.7.2005 4:02pm
Adam (www):
The first I heard about this was in a posting by Ann Barstow to the intelligent and left wing Sivacracy ( http://www.nyu.edu/classes/siva/archives/001801.html ), where she takes Mithras to task for being "beyond hypocrisy, and really sickening."
8.7.2005 4:13pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
I've been a regular reader of www.michellemalkin.com ever since I found it. I've never read In Defense of Internment, but if it's anything like the rest of her writing, racism probably has nothing to do with it. There's nothing "racist" about writing a book detailing the arguments in favor of the Japanese internment policy in WWII, just like there's nothing "racist" about arguing in favor of stricter immigration enforcement. As always, the xenophobe/racist label is an easy way to dismiss her ideas without actually arguing against them. "Affirmative action hire" is just funny... you're right, kate.

Michelle's a big girl... and this is really nothing compared to some of the emails she gets on a daily basis. Every once in a while when something creates an exceptional amount of hate mail, she posts some. It's disgusting. I have no doubt that there are equivalent examples from right-wing blogs, but that doesn't excuse anything. Frankly, maybe if we all started denouncing every example of this ridiculous hatemongering instead of excusing it with "well the other side does it too," everyone would start doing it less.
8.7.2005 4:17pm
Jeremy (mail):
Since when is it inappropriate for conservatives to take advantage of affirmative action programs if they qualify? A similar argument, sometimes made, is that the liberal Mithras probably wants higher taxes, so why doesn't he donate a chunk of his income to the government?

This notion that because you disagree with a government program or initiative you are therefore estopped from taking advantage of it is ridiculous. I don't think liberals should donate portions of their income to the government because they want higher taxes, and I don't think conservatives should be forced into similarly silly situations.

I oppose the massive amounts of student loans the government subsidizes, but when I went to law school, I certainly took advantage of them and would again. I favor caps on punitive damages, but if a client walked in the door tomorrow with a cause of action that I might get punitives for, I'd do everything I could to get them.

There is nothing inconsistent or wrong about taking full advantage of a system while simultaneously arguing for its change, so long as the "taking advantage" does not involve some sort of moral transgression. Further, I think many conservatives, particularly the libertarian-leaning ones, have no objection to non-governmental discrimination in favor of minorities.

If Knight-Ridder wants to hire a columnist because she's black so that she can appeal to urban audiences, or asian so that she can appeal to whoever asian people appeal to, big deal. This is neither uncommon nor wrong; it's just business, and it's certainly not grounds for attacking Michelle Malkin.

To respond to an earlier poster regarding Malkin's pictures on her website, what's wrong with you? She's hot! I hope she posts more pictures of herself.
8.7.2005 4:49pm
Dick King:
"Ken Blackwell, Condi Rice, and Clarence Thomas are all examples of people who have succeeed from affirmative action, ..."

Mr. Blackwell and Justice Thomas are too old to have received much advantage in college and graduate school admissions from affirmative action, which didn't start to bite until about '72 or '73.

Furthermore, as another poster has stated, this line of thought is exactly why affirmative action doesn't do any of its supposed beneficiaries any favors. Who wants a Yale Law degree with an asterisk?

-dk
8.7.2005 4:51pm
Jeremy (mail):
If her sex/race had anything to do with her columns getting published by newspapers, it was because they assumed she was a liberal. Once they realized she wasn't, no doubt they dropped her, much like my local paper did.


Anyway, she may have some anti-Japanese sentiment on her part - it's shared by most non-Japanese people in the Pacific, 'cause of that WW2 thing. Somehow they don't think that the US were the aggressors in WW2, the Japanese were. Which is contrary to leftist thinking...
8.7.2005 5:00pm
Justin (mail):
King, you're wrong on two accounts

1) Yale Law School did have an affirmative action program that Justice Thomas did qualify under.

Powell, Thomas, and Rice have used affirmative action (this is not an insult or a hold of anything against them) after leaving college, in terms of moving up the political ladder.

Once again, a lot of us are way off the point. This is not an affirmative action debate AT ALL.
8.7.2005 5:30pm
Nahanni (mail):
I find that some of the greatest haters and bigots I have ever met are ones who are also self avowed "liberals" and Democrats.

I have also found that they are also some of the most narrow minded and ignorant people, too. One would think that if they are supposedly so much "smarter" then the rest of us they would know that it is NOT a sign of intelligence to stereotype. In the past months I have heard and read more racist and sexist comments out of the liberal Democrat elitists that I have ever heard out of "bible thumpin' rednecks". It is disgusting some of the things that have spewed forth out of them.

Guess that is why I left the Democratic party behind in 2001. I do not want to associate myself with such racist, sexist, narrowminded and ignorant people who have absolutely no clue.
8.7.2005 5:33pm
Tryptich:
The post by KJ above, claiming that Michelle Malkin is neither a "real" woman nor a "real" minority, is not only disgraceful, but itself a perfect example of liberal disconnect from the real world. KJ lives in a phony world where words need have no connection in fact. What a pity.
8.7.2005 5:34pm
Brian O'Connell (mail) (www):
That's a good point, Jeremy. I was kind of buying into the leftist framing of the issue (if not their conclusion) that Malkin is an Asian-American writing some controversial material about other Asian-Americans, and thus yet another tool of the right. But she is a Filipina-American who wrote some stuff about Japanese-Americans. That's quite a different spin. Of course the relevence of all this is still doubtful.

But this is the problem with identity politics. If people with a particular identity don't share the same politics, then we're all "reduced" to debating individual ideas apart from identity. In order for identity politics to work, there must be one set of ideas for each identity. The race-baiting on the left is an attempt to enforce a uniformity of opinion within each identity.

It's related to multiculturalism too. An ethnic minority choosing rightist (read: "white") ideas undermines the left's position that all cultures are equally valid.

The subversiveness of these "Uncle Toms" to the left's position goes some way in explaining the often vicious attacks against them, which are usually far more vicious than would otherwise be warranted based solely on the stated opinions.
8.7.2005 5:40pm
Bert Linderman (mail):
If you are a minority who holds the left in contempt, the left will attack you like a rabid dog. It's an instinctive reaction that they can't control, a reflex. The dogma of multiculturalism holds that all minorities will sympathize with the left. Any minority with divergent views will be dumped on by the self anointed paragons of virtue.
8.7.2005 5:55pm
KenJ (mail):
Tryptich:
My comments were sarcastic. I was arguing from a reactionary liberal/leftist view that race and gender are as much (if not entirely) based on politics as they are biology. Since race and gender are social constructs, this argument goes, then we can re-construct those categories based on non-biological factors.

My Jonathan Swift-like wit needs work, I guess.

KJ
8.7.2005 5:55pm
WAL (mail):
>Sucher: “Malkin would not be a big-time (according to the author of this post) blogger had she not been a national columnist first.”

I’ll agree it’s a big help , but there are no shortage of bigtime columnists, journalists, etc. who fail miserably as bloggers.

“Affirmative Action hire”

Malkin is Filipino.

It’s not like there is a shortage of Asians who oppose affirmative action.

If there is a liberal (and apparently there are) who considers Asian Americans to be affirmative action hires or regards any Asian as a hypocrite for opposing AA, I really am not sure where even to begin a debate.

It’s as surprising that an Asian American would oppose affirmative action as it is that a Southerner would be conservative.

> TNM: “When Malkin acts with a shred of dignity towards those with a different political philosophy, she'll be treated with a shred of dignity. She gets as good as she gives.”

Example? (seriously, if you have one, I’m interested)

> Quarterican: “As far as the offensive, here's one reasonably well known example: Ann Coulter said she wished terrorists had blown up the New York Times building. When people - primarily liberals, who by the way often don't see the NYTimes as "their" paper - got justifiably upset about his, from a woman who was going out of her way to accuse liberals of treason, they were told: "Oh, get a sense of humor." Did I find Mithras' post funny? No, not really, so it wasn't hilarity for this leftist. But I did smile wryly at the offensive comments about Malkin, because as far as offensive "humor" goes, I'll take sexist and racist over murderous.”

Ann Coulter has received flack from conservatives for doing less. She used to write columns for National Review, but was cast aside there when she called for spreading Christianity in the Middle East after 9/11.

> Larry: “The fact that you are “offended” means that the comments, whatever they were, had a point. Indeed, they appear to have touched you on a very deep level and made you think about something. It is too bad that you are unable to respond to them.”

I’m offended by KKK cross burnings, is there a point to them? Seems like circular reasoning to me.

> Justin: “As a liberal who thought Mithras's post was unfunny for the most part (come on, what was said about Hughie boy was FUNNY) but par for the course, the real point here is that conservatives continue their victim fetishes and fantasies to the point now that you can't say anything that won't offend a conservative...wait...a "different-thinking-American". Liberterians such as Bernstein, who after "winning" and still not getting anythingt they wanted from a non conservative, non-liberterian administration have decided to not take the introspective view of their political support but go on invectives on anything that lets them to continue playing victim (especcially for David, the anti-Israel left, despite that the left itself is torn on both sides and that even a pro-Israeli person like me can't possibly think that Israel is perfect).”

If I have enough time to fool around with and I might, I’m happy to cite examples, but the complaints by libertarians and conservatives against the Bush administration over the past few years are too numerous to mention. [not taking a stronger stance against affirmative action, not getting greater tax cuts, the way the war’s been handled] I really don’t see how you can argue they are ignoring that for stuff like this. That said, to say we’ve gotten nothing from Bush is a pretty big exaggeration as well (face it, ya guys wouldn’t hate him that much if it were true – tax cuts, more aggressive stance on the war, John Roberts nomination). I think Bush’s dropped the ball, but to say we’ve gotten nothing seems like the kind of grasping at straws you think you see in Bernstein’s post.

Also, “Ken Blackwell, Condi Rice, and Clarence Thomas are all examples of people who have succeeed from affirmative action, and any attack on the left must be limited to hypocracy....BUT THATS NEITHER HERE NOR THERE.”

I think that the idea affirmative action raises doubts on the qualification of minorities who didn’t need it is one of the weaker arguments against the program – comments like this come a lot from liberals against conservative minorities, though.

There is one piece of evidence Thomas got in because of AA – he’s black. Say Yale used affirmative action. For the sake of the argument, say Thomas is a total hypocrite. There’s one piece of evidence regarding Thomas - his race, and the left uses that to say he wouldn’t have gotten into Yale without it. I’ve never seen anything else tossed in to make that point. Feel free to provide it if you have more to back that up, but when liberals make these arguments it goes a long way to making what I do think is a weak complaint against AA more accurate.

KATE Q: “Does anyone else find it funny that the Left considers it a mark of inferiority to be an affirmative action hire?”

Nice
8.7.2005 5:57pm
capt joe (mail):
Larry,

You ask what is wrong about the comments on Atrios. Well did around and you will find a large percentage which openly advocate her rape and murder. Do you really require explanation of the wrongness of those?

Also, a lot of the comments advocate her being forced to live and die as a sex slave. Considering the history of the usage of pilippina comfort woman (read up on it) by the Japanese, I don't believe any more is required for explanation
8.7.2005 5:59pm
Garrett Bowling (mail):
"The left doesn't denigrate or trash female conservatives like Susan Collins, Liddy Dole, or Sandra Day O'Connor."

It's because they aren't conservative.
8.7.2005 5:59pm
Bezuhov (mail):
Mithras is not left-wing in any meaningful sense, nor this site right.

Much confusion will ensue until we get our labels straight or find new ones.
8.7.2005 6:00pm
KG (mail):
I fear I didn't get a chance to read all the comments, but I think something has been missed in the discussion. I want to say first that I am a an-cap libertarian, so as to not mislead anyone as to where I'm coming from.

I wish to argue that the racist PoV from the left is intellectually justified. Marx argued that the thoughts available to a person are determined by that person's social class. Since then, Women's studies and various Ethnic studies have made the analagous claim WRT race and gender. Also, both the doctrinaire Marxist and the analagous gender studies theorist are more concerned with group welfare than the individual. If all that is so, then isn't it morally justified to insult others based on group-treachery if their views are hurtful to the group?

Yes, that's somewhat odious to me, all with my ethics is about individuals...but it seems consistent with their rather different ethics, does it not?
8.7.2005 6:02pm
Alexandra von Maltzan (mail) (www):

Larry,

Our man of a few words.

Why don't you explain your reasoning which part of offensive do you not understand? You obviously haven't read the comments, written on Atrios and are either just flying blind. Be that as it may, the fact that these comments are "offensive", is not even a debate worthy subject, and certainly no one is going to bother babysitting you through the read.

"The fact that you are “offended” means that the comments, whatever they were, had a point. Indeed, they appear to have touched you on a very deep level and made you think about something. It is too bad that you are unable to respond to them.
Instead of whining about how you are offended, explain why the comments are WRONG, now how you just wish they were not made."

Yes, they touched me at a deep level of disgust, and no, they did not have a point simply based on affecting me in some way , and yes, they did make me think of something - how many rude and sick people there are out there like you who seem to think these comments are acceptable on any level and for any reason whatsoever.

But then Larry, 'our man of a few words', if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything. Period.

Pray tell, explain to us what is your learned view then?
8.7.2005 6:51pm
Chris of MM (mail) (www):
I have to admit that, despite finding most of the Mithras post hilarious, and dead on (including, for the most part, the description of this blog), I was uncomfortable with the description of Malkin. I suspect that it's meant to be both descriptive and ironic at the same time, but it uses language that is entirely inconsistent with liberal principles, and does so in a way that clealry licensed some people who call themselves liberals to spout their racist sentiments lying just beneath the surface. Perhaps I'm just not getting it, but if that's the case, since it's clear that so many on the right and left aren't either, I can't imagine how Mithras justifies it.
8.7.2005 7:10pm
Steve White (mail) (www):
In reading all the comments, it seems that a number of folks have somehow gotten the idea that they need to defend their political ideology in the face of David's comments. A few observations that don't depend on my particular political views:

1) I've read a number of leftist blogs: Kos, Atrios, Washington Monthly, etc. If you want to generate a large number of foaming-at-the-mouth responses in their comments board (I think that's called, "trolling"!), simply make a favorable comment about Ms. Malkin. The resulting comments will invariably be sexist, misogynist and scatological. Mithras and Leiter are not unusual in the least in this regard.

2) Likewise, one can generate a large number of FatM comments by making a derogatory comment about a favored woman/minority at the same leftist blogs, all of which will be aimed at the commenter.

3) And of course, there are right-leaning blogs where comments sections degenerate into the same sort of name-calling, misogynist and rude commentary with the reverse political polarity.

So rather than defend Ms. Malkin, who can do so quite ably on her own, or to attack her, which requires more energy than I care to expend, I'll note what I interpret David's underlying point to be, one that is amply demnstrated by some the comments to his post --

-- some people think they have a license to be crude and rude when on the comments board of a blog. I suggest, David, that there is nothing more or less to it than that. Perhaps there's some psychological or sociological explanation. Perhaps some of left-leaning political philosophy are indeed bothered by a non-white person who, in their minds, goes "off the reservation." Given that one could make that point without being misogynist, I think the real explanation is both deeper and simpler.

It's the license to be crude and rude. Just a thought.
8.7.2005 7:20pm
Alexandra von Maltzan (mail) (www):
Well said Steve,
At last someone is getting back to the simple truth of David's point. It isn't political, it is both simpler and deeper, and I wish more blogs were as diligent as Volokh in administrating and eliminating the kind of crude and rude comments I now see far too often.
Shouting is an effort of a limited mind to express itself!
8.7.2005 7:37pm
Larry (mail):
Alexandra von Maltzan, In my culture there is no such thing as “offended.” A girl in my family who ever claims that they are “offended” by something without providing an explanation as to why whatever she didn't like is wrong is subject to being disowned. This happened to my sister. Nobody in my family will ever talk to her again. Because she claimed to be “offended.” And talked about a Supreme Court case without reading it.

Look, stereotypes, as much as we don't like to admit, it form much of our knowledge about the world. Sure, some government usage of stereotypes have been deemed unconstitutional, but for the most part, people use stereotypes in hiring. Kids under 12 are rarely allowed to drive (legislatures also use stereotypes). After assuming that quiet Asian girls were smart for far too long, I now consider that they spend too much time partying in college and really are not hiding any intelligence. Sure, they can rebut that assumption, but for me to presume that they are intelligent would result in wasted time. (I have been burned a few times, and it isn't funny.)

Anyway, I have a proud culture, but if any daughter of mine ever claimed that she was “offended” rather than providing specifics, she would be out of the will and disowned. My culture has standards!
8.7.2005 8:11pm
Jim C. (mail):
The only funny things about Mithras' posts is the pathetic and pompous way he uses big words like "taxonomy" and "Völkischer Beobachter" in a failed attempt to hide his own suppressed feelings of racism and sexism.

Th. Brown: "And if that is so, then I don't think the comment is trying to denigrate her based on her ethnicity; I think it's trying to impugn others' motives with respect to her ethnicity."

That's the point of Mr. Bernstein's complaint. Racist and sexist comments from the right are condemned by the left but similar comments from the left are brushed off.

CrazyTrain wrote: "Have some chees with your whine. Get over it David --- your pals at LGF say ten times worse things than anything I have ever read in the comments at Atrios."

Same point.

Geroge of the (Legal) Jungle wrote: "[They're saying] Her popularity is due to her race. That is, she says the types of racist things whites wish they could say, but cannot, because they would be called racist."

Somewhat like Margaret Cho, perhaps?

"Instead, they're saying she's the equivalent of an affirmative action hire."

Exactly. When the left uses affirmative action, it's to correct an injustice. When the right (supposedly) uses it, it's just tokenism.

In the case of both "Mithras" and "CrazyTrain" (above), sheer and utterly shameless hypocrisy.

And claims of humor, satire, or irony ring completely hollow.

Personally, I'm not interested in anything the left has to say until they apply the exact same standards to themselves as they apply to the right.

Justin wrote: "...the real point here is that conservatives continue their victim fetishes and fantasies to the point now that you can't say anything that won't offend a conservative...wait...a 'different-thinking-American'."

Justin has gone beyond projection to the point of self-parody.

"It has *nothing* to do with affirmative action. Michelle Malkin wasn't *helped* by her skin color. It's a necessary element of her job description."

You contradict yourself. Obviously, if we allow just for the sake of argument that her race is necessary for her job, then it has undeniably helped her. And, in fact, that's pretty much the definition of affirmative action.
8.7.2005 8:53pm
TFKW:
How disappointing! It's one thing for the post to not be funny (we all fail at that sometimes), but it isn't a taxonomy of blogs at all. At least the "taxonomy" post at rightwingnuthouse acknowledged that it should have a systematic organization before not really having one. I was hoping for a nice class, order, family, genus, etc. chart of the blogosphere!
8.7.2005 9:03pm
The Ace (mail):
Given that she is a bigot, I won't lose sleep if her feelings get hurt in any way

This sums up the left in one very revealing sentence. If they do something appalling, its justified because that person is "bad." However, when Senator Lott tries to say something nice (albeit a bit misguided) at a 100 year old Senator's birthday party, he's "racist" (while Senator Kleagle's past goes by without comment/not condemned)

Justin said:
When conservatives have become the champions of "You Can't Say That", conservatism is dead

I'm not so sure anyone is saying "you can't say that" they are merely pointing out the hypocrisy of the left in saying things that they constantly assert the right says/believes.
Your other comments that Malkin represents people are "evil" and she has a "job description" are so assinine as to not to deserve comment.
8.7.2005 9:11pm
Justin (mail):
The Ace..it has little to do with hypocracy, as, after all, a foolish consistancy is the hobgoblins of small minds. The problem is the statement itself...if we point out that conservatives are just using Malkin so as to give their racism a darker face, then it's not "hypocracy", it's "beyond the pale."

I'm sorry for sticking up for morality, but yes, those that play off the worst instincts of Americans by subhumanizing those whose race, gender, or sexuality are different are evil. And Malkin's book is so riddled with inconsistencies, lies, and bad logic, that this own webpage destroyed it in one post...Eric Mueller's more definitive deconstruction can still be found on her webpage. When "locking up the foreigners" becomes an academic argument for someone who doesn't know what academic research is, it simply proves the point that all the Right was looking for was for someone to say "we can treat minorities different because they aren't REAL Americans...even a minority says so."
8.7.2005 10:24pm
Justin (mail):
Correction..."his webpage"
8.7.2005 10:25pm
Alexandra von Maltzan (mail) (www):

Larry Without A Surname,

No one has time to babysit you through the derogatory Atrian comments, read them yourself, then tell me that anyone needs to explain themselves further as to why they consider them rude and crude.

Secondly I don't understand your insistence upon repeating the word "offended". If you are specifically referring to me and my earlier comment, I said that "the comments were highly offensive", which is a viewpoint proven to be not too uncommon in the 70 odd comments posted so far, of which 96% are made by the male gender. Whether I was personally offended by them or not is irrelevant, they were "offensive". Period.

"A girl in my family who ever claims that they are "offended" without providing an explanation as to why whatever she didn't like is wrong, is subject to being disowned."

"Anyway, I have a proud culture, but if any daughter of mine ever claimed that she was “offended” rather than providing specifics, she would be out of the will and disowned. My culture has standards!"

As you insist on bringing 'gender' and 'culture' into your comments, I have to assume that in 'your culture', the same does not apply to the 'boys'? They just roam around not having to explain themselves?

Well in 'my culture', if anyone comments on any given subject without reading the material referred to, is not taken seriously. Therefore I would not have been so hard on your sister for voicing an opinion without reading the entire Supreme Court case, you have done just that in this blog, despite being directed to the relevant material by several comments.

And now, without wishing to sound disrespectful, on what basis do you assume that Malkin can be stereotyped as a partying Asian college girl with little or no intelligence? I can only assume you must be referring to her. Whilst I am personally not a Malkin defender per say, she is quite capable of doing that herself, I find those comments a par with some other equally rude remarks I refer to. I was after all spot on in assuming earlier that you indeed do not find any of the comments David referred to, as derogatory. Well in 'my culture' that is considered 'ungentlemanly behavior', although we don't generally disinherit for that.
8.7.2005 10:54pm
Patrick (mail):
Larry,
I'll answer your question about my being offended as soon as you respond to this statement:

Larry blows goats.

Your response? Or is that statement, so ridiculous (I assume), so thoroughly stupid, not worth a dignified response.

My feelings about Mithras' pap.
Patrick
8.7.2005 11:27pm
Jonathan M (mail) (www):
Linking inherent traits (tits, sex) to skill (she'd be writing at Townhall) is at the heart of Bernstein's argument I believe.

Is this not the same vein of linkage which posits the German people (trait) as the superior race (merit)? or that white British people were evolutionary superior via textbooks on evolution?

Such comments by Mithras only add to the prejudiced suspicions we have of minority folk. Once a minority succeeds, we question whether they have filled their position due to their inherent traits.

Years of learning from racism and we Western folk still cannot learn that people ought to be judged on merits, not traits. If Mithras feels Malkin is an "affirmative action" hire (ie. is not deserving of her position), the proper response would be to discredit her merits (ie. writings) as weak and false. Instead, Mithras confines himself to baseless mentions of inherent traits.

To link inherent traits with skill/merit should not be tolerated - whether or not it is used in euphemism or dysphemism.

Is it so hard to use actual evidence when critisizing rather than ad hominem/genetic fallacies?
8.7.2005 11:38pm
corwin (mail):
Justin,
I don't understand what you mean by "sticking up for morality".
A.)Whose morality?
B.)Does your job description have a clause where you define who/what is evil?
C.)Your sentences run ....... on.
D.)Your spelling needs work.

Let me hypothesize about what bothers the left wing about prominent minorities who don't spiel the spiel.Too often the debating points of the left are :"You're white /racist.Therefore your arguments need not be confronted".
Having a minority as a debating opponent negates this.The options then are: 1)Address the argument-not really the strong point of the left or 2)Prestidigitate the minority into a "Virtual Whitey",so the racial trump can be used.Think on what I've written.
8.7.2005 11:43pm
W.J.Hopwood (mail):
Ad hominem attacks on Michelle Malkin similar to, but worse than, that referenced here are nothing new. During the past year such attacks have been routine on Professor Muller’s “Is That Legal” blog after Malkin’s book revealing the WWII government’s long suppressed reasons for the Japanese internment first appeared, mostly by those who obviously hadn’t read the book.

Such attacks against Ms. Malkin have been made not only by students and academics who possibly consider her book a threat to their own vested interests in a presentation of the Japanese internment issue, but also by those with an apparent obsessive emotional urge to discredit the book and its author for fashionable politically-correct reasons.

Unable to refute the book on a factual basis, or for lack of knowledge about the internment to express themselves in an intelligent manner, such critics have too often been reduced to using racist, sexist, or vulgar and obscene remarks against the author and her family, which says more about the intellectual vacuity of such critics than it does about the credibility of their target.
8.7.2005 11:43pm
jpe (mail) (www):
I can see the appeal of the argument that she's useful inasmuch as her ethnicity provides political cover for attacks on affirmative action and her strange obsession with internment. That said, the presumption that this is actually what's going on is the troubling part. Absent a smoking gun, the imputation of that sort of motive seems below the belt.

As for the 'tits' thing: it's unsavory, but, let's face it, many on the right are obsessed with "hot conservative chicks." That conservatives are obsessed with right-wing boobs (insert joke & rimshot here) is a fair observation.
8.8.2005 12:09am
annoyed:
didn't this blog used to have a comment policy?
8.8.2005 3:23am
manofaiki:
How many people that are critcizing Malkin's book 'In Defense Of Internment' actually read it?

1. To equate the American Japanese Internment camps with German concentration camps is just plain stupid. How many Japanese did the Americans murder in these camps, as opposed to how many inmates were murdered in, lets say, just ONE concentration camp (don't worry, picking a small one here....), Treblinka?

2. People have said Malkin is stupid to write in defense of internment because she'd have been interned during the war if she had lived back then. Uh...really? Anybody have any figures on how many people of Filipino ethnicity were interned in the Japanese internment camps? Anybody? How many Filipino civilians did the Japanese murder during their occupation of the Philliphines? To hint the American government couldn't make any distinctin between the two ethnic groups is just stupid.

3. Malkin gets attacked all the time in the most ugly sexual and racist slurs imaginable. Ann Coulter is white, so she doens't get the really sick 'colored whore' stuff that Malkin gets. There actually is a mentality among the far left that if a person who is female, and of color becomes a conservative, they are fair game. You can, with a completely clear conscience, as a person that respects women and people of color, use the most crude and racist words imaginable to attack them.

Malkin is just a preamble. There are a whole slew of intelligent, attractive, conservative women coming after her and Ann Coulter and the left had better get used to it. If their only response is to make crude sexist and racist remarks in place of real dialogue regarding what these women are actually saying, they will lose all their credibility.
8.8.2005 3:31am
DanB:
I think it is fair to say that Malkin wouldn't be as high-profile outside of the blog world if she wasn't attractive. It's the "affirmative action hire" bit that doesn't make much sense (especially considering that Asians, like whites, are usually the victims of affirmative action, not its beneficiaries). The claim that she's a racist is also a bit silly. There's definitely a strong element of "she strayed off the reservation and must be punished" sentiment at work here.

But the weirdest of the attempts at humor is still the first one on the list, Instapundit -- "never met a Democrat he couldn't casually accuse of treason"? Eh? Where'd that come from?
8.8.2005 3:56am
Gene Vilensky (mail) (www):
Ok, the point by David is not that, "wah, I'm offended." The point is that people who are otherwise seemingly respectable and intelligent individuals, like Brian Leiter and Duncan Black (a.k.a. Atrios) are using their blogs for the promotion of disgusting filth.

Yes, sure some Right-Wing blogs engage in disgusting name-calling, etc. But since when have you seen Right-Wing bloggers of the more academic pursuasion like Right Coast, Volokh, Instapundit, Althouse (who is more of a moderate, actually), etc. link to posts in which crude references are made to others.

One would think that such compassionate liberals like Black and Leiter would have enough compassion to not have their blogs either become forums for or repositories of sexual innuendo toward women and racial slurs. Lunatic leftist Yale "historian" Glenda Gilmore threatened to sue the Yale Daily News three years ago after some posters in their forum said that she should be raped by Saddam's rape squads in response to an idiotic op-ed she wrote in the YDN (and these posts were removed within an hour after the staff noticed them). Why is what is happening to Michelle Malkin on Atrios' blog any different?

I don't like Malkin's writing. But that doesn't mean that she deserves the things said about her. Nor does she deserve Leiter and Atrios nodding approvingly. My respect for Brian Leiter just went from zero into the negatives.
8.8.2005 4:47am
Dean Esmay (www):
Yawn.

It's sad that guys like that now get to define "liberalism" for us. It shows just how far the left has tumbled intellectually in the last generation.

We'll have an intelligent, thoughtful, decent left again in the future. We just haven't got much of one now.
8.8.2005 5:11am
Lin (mail):
(link)Cal Lanier "Some conservative bloggers probably add race to the weight when they're deciding who to favor. If they find a blogger who is both reliably conservative and a minority, why not promote that blogger? It makes them look good, and allows them to celebrate their "intellectual diversity".

Liberals see no need to bother; they think their rabid support for identity politics obviates any need for personal affirmative action."


And you know this how?

What makes you think that conservatives promote another conservative who is also a woman or minority simply because it makes them look good?

That sounds like a racist comment if I ever saw one.

How about this: They (women and/or minorities) are promoted/linked to/whatever because what they write is pertinant, well written and shows sound thinking. In otherwords it has nothing to do with their race or gender but with their abilities.

Sadly I have found this kind of racism very common with liberals. I have seen these types of comments on a regular basis on liberal blogs and message boards. They figure that since they know conservatives are RACIST, then any interactions with minorities is for some ulterior motive i.e. to make themselves look good or to "use" the minority. And it is usually accompanied with the "sell out" word or "Uncle Tom" or another similar word.

I think also though that liberals think they need to solidify their voting block, and so are very invested in marginalizing the individual as well as claiming Republicans are racist.
8.8.2005 6:12am
NR:
I find it very disillusioning that so many people are framing this issue as a conflict between the "left" and the "right." Mithras's comments about Malkin were stupid and offensive. Lots of people, both liberal and conservative, say stupid and offensive things on blogs. Mithras's comments are no more representative of the "left" than Ann Coulter's rantings are emblematic of the "right." Yet it seems that many liberals are willing to rush to Mithras's defense, just as many conservatives will defend every thoughtless and inflammatory word out of Coulter's mouth. I would hope that the Volokh Conspiracy, of all places, would be a bit beyond this level of discourse.

(If this comment provokes an argument about whether or not Ann Coulter is fairly representative of conservatism, I sincerely apologize.)
8.8.2005 8:28am
Al Maviva (mail):
Justin (and the others who keep insisting that a premise of conservatism is racism):

Please, just stop arguing with us about this point. There are compelling reasons to do so.

1) If we conservatives really are racists, then, as Justin noted, we're immoral, evil, bad people, and you shouldn't be associated with us. At a minimum, since you are purportedly more moral, don't you have a strong moral duty to combat racists like us by doing something much more substantial than basically anonymous name calling on some weblog comments thread?

2) You are wasting our time, and yours with your fruitless argument. If the premise of your argument is that conservatives are racists and bad people, then the way you have framed the argument means that you have won it. If conservatives are indeed all racists, then there can be no argument, and you win. Conservatives reject that premise, of course, which is why your continuous floating of the argument is a waste of time, because we believe it isn't true, and can give witness to incidents of liberal racism; the point being racism has no natural ideological home but finds a dwelling wherever it can. Your opening salvo is a premise we simply will not accept because we believe it is wrong and it would be self-abnegating for us to accept it. So why waste your time and bandwidth trying to convince us?

3) On conservatives' sole possession of the constant whining championship trophy, I will refer to the DNC's policy platform: Fox Fox Fox Fox Fox, Fox Fox Fox Fox, Murdoch Murdoch Delay Murdoch. Rove Rove Rove Rove Cheney Halliburton Enron Rove Rove Rove Rove Rove Katherine Harris Rove Rove Roberts' adopted kids Rove Fox. I rest my case.
8.8.2005 8:55am
Justin (mail):
Since my last post on the topic was deleted, just let me clarify sometbing.

There's nothing inherently racist about conservativism, and, indeed, it wasnt a major tenant of the conservative movement to appeal to racists until Goldwater. However, since Goldwater, Republicans have found out that without appealing to racists, they lose elections (see Jindahl, Bobby). So conservative political strategists, who are not neccesarily racist themselves (racist-neutral, if you will), have used racism in order to get 50+1 percent of the vote.

Michelle Malkin is PART of that strategy in that you can no longer be as explicitly racist as one was in the 1960s. Conservatives have found a whole host of ways to be codespeak for racism, including, but not limited to, "federalism" "state's rights" "value voters" "protection of marriage" etc etc. One of the ways they can keep racism afire without taking the racist hit is by putting out feelers that say its okay to think this sort of way.

Michelle Malkin is thus USEFUL TO CERTAIN CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL STRATEGISTS BECAUSE OF HER RACE. That doesn't make conservatives racist, but if you don't know the bed you're sleeping in, you're all extremely naive. If Michelle Malkin was a white male, she would be USELESS TO CONSERVATIVES. That means she's being used because of her race, not simply "an affirmative action hire", which implies a white person would be equally qualified. In fact, a white person doing what she did would be wholely unqualified.
8.8.2005 10:15am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Justin,

Your last post is inaccurate. I was going to say something a bit stronger, but then remembered that this site is run by Eugene Volokh, a paragon of civility. You jump from the fact that the Republicans managed to convert a large number of Southern Democrats to their cause to an assumption that they did this through appeals to racism. But the reality today, as always, is that there is a lot less tolerance for racism on the right, than on the left. Yes, Strom Thurmond was accepted as a Senator, but Trent Lott was fired because he unwisely referred to the Thurmond's racist past. And to point out a double standard here, the Senior Senator from WV has been the only former KKK leader in that body for quite a long time, and, yet, you never hear any condemnation of that on the left.

Face it. The Southern Democrats came over to the Republican party because they were conservative, not because the Republicans were racist. They have little in common with where the Democratic Party has gone, at least since Kennedy.

And with Goldwater, remember that he didn't oppose the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on racist grounds, but rather on States' Rights grounds. I know that it is easy to get these confused, since the racists Southern Democrats used the same justification in opposing it. But with him, there is little, if any, evidence that he did it for racist reasons.
8.8.2005 10:48am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
This codespeak suggestion is just plain silly. I have been a conservative for quite awhile, and I sure don't know those code words that you imply are being used to appeal to all those racist you claim to find on the right. I don't know any conservatives who do, except maybe some who find out about them on the left leaning blogs.

I also think that it is silly suggesting that Malkin is where she is because of her race. Her looks, maybe. That is often what gets a woman on TV. But I don't own a TV where I live, and still read her blog on a fairly regular basis. I read it because, as I noted above, she is a good place to find out all the details of the liberal scandals that the MSM is currently trying to bury (such as, apparently, funding Air American through funds embezzled from a charity).

And to be honest, her position on the internment of the Japanese made a lot of conservatives uncomfortable. It sure did me. Maybe I am being generous, but I chalk it up to the brutality that the Japanese inflicted on pretty much all of those it conquered, including, notably here, the Filipinos. But we had internees here in Colorado, and I knew some of them who stayed after the war, and still know their kids and grandkids. So, maybe my view of the internment is colored too.
8.8.2005 11:05am
The Ace (mail):
Well, Atrios' comments proved my original assertion correct, because she's a "bigot" the comments are ok.
Ridiculous

Justin, your commentary is so nonsensical, longwinded and circular to the point of meaninglessness. You, a person of the left, claim *SOME* Republicans are racists and use Malkin, without evidence.
Um, ok??? Forgive me, as a R who's worked in politics and on campaigns my entire adult life for not believing you.

What is funny about your comment of "those that play off the worst instincts of Americans by subhumanizing those whose race, gender, or sexuality are different are evil"
is that you don't even acknowledge that is what atrios did!
And again, your silly quote doesn't take on my point:
nobody said "you can't say that," I am saying its very hypocritical for someone on the left to say these things when they assign such "hatred" and vile thoughts to those on the right while doing it themselves, which you are lamely trying to defend.

manofaiki, I'd bet a dozen doughnuts none of them have read it. They read a "review" from a liberal commentator that the book is "racist" therefore it is.
8.8.2005 11:12am
Al Maviva (mail):
You mean Representative Jindall, (R-LA)?
8.8.2005 11:14am
Challenge:
"However, since Goldwater, Republicans have found out that without appealing to racists, they lose elections (see Jindahl, Bobby). So conservative political strategists, who are not neccesarily racist themselves (racist-neutral, if you will), have used racism in order to get 50+1 percent of the vote."

This is nonsense. You seem to think losing elections=virtue and winning elections=racism, but then Goldwater was a racist, even though he lost miserably to Johnson. Also, I'd be careful throwing around racism charges when yours is the party of affirmative action and identity politics.

Oh, yeah, as far as Bobby Jindahl, he's a Republican US CONGRESSMEN from Louisiana (i.e. he won an election). Wait, does that mean he's racist now, too?
8.8.2005 11:21am
analytika (mail):
The idea that Malkin should "naturally" feel sympathetic towards immigrants is precisely backwards. She is the daughter of legal immigrants, and criticizes illegal immigration.
8.8.2005 12:08pm
WHOI Jacket:
Challenge, I agree. This is an interesting reaction from the Left.

Now, winning elections is "immoral". Therefore, because the Left continues to lose at the ballot box, they must be "moral".

Remember, We Georgians weren't "dumb, Jesusland hicks" when we went for Clinton in '96....
8.8.2005 12:13pm
twwren:
Atrios by extension is saying:

[FDR's internment policy} will be a stain on [his] soul for all eternity. I intend to remind the world of it at every opportunity.
8.8.2005 12:59pm
stephjen w stanton (mail) (www):
I tried to correct the record by posting a more accurate taxonomy:

Actual Taxonomy
8.8.2005 1:05pm
NickM (mail) (www):
What about Mithras's "Taxonomy" made his post worth linking to by any liberal blogger? It wasn't very well written - if anything, it looked like each of the entries was dreamed up by a separate person, because they are so stylistically different. It can readily be found sexually as well as racially offensive - if you think most women readers think highly of a reference to someone's "tits" in political commentary, your target audience is probably performance artists. It's not exactly illuminating or something that can be used to convince others.

So why would an Atrios, with his large audience (or many other liberal bloggers) even bther to link to it?

I suggest that the answer is that much of the liberal blogosphere seeks to feed off of the popularity of vicious rants against all things Republican and conservative. The comment threads, especially at DU and Daily Kos, are populated by rabidly hate-filled conspiracy theorists. These people are present on the right, but seem to be mostly confined to Free Republic, as conservative bloggers normally tend to drive them out of their blog comments sections (simple comparison - Google for Rethuglicans/ Repugs/ Repuglicans/ Repuklicans vs. Democraps/ Demoncrats/ Dummycrats/ Dummycraps/ Demonrats/ Demon Rats). Even calm and polite liberal bloggers such as Kevin Drum and Joshua Marshall have comments sections that often devolve into a "Two Minutes Hate" (to be fair, others, such as Matthew Yglesias, have much more reasoned visitor commentary, although I think some of this may be that the ranters aren't reading these site anyway because they feel the sites are too far to the right).

When an Atrios or someone of his renown and audience links with approval to a post like Mithras's, he is pandering to the haters. They don't expect standards in their reading, other than that the material whip them into a frenzy. Unfortunately, that seems to be where the readership and ad money lies on the liberal side of the blogosphere.

By the way, for Justin, Ken Blackwell is a statewide elected official, having been elected on multiple occasions. Just how does affirmative action work in the balloting context? Was it a race-reserved office, or were voters given a bonus for choosing the black candidate?

Nick
8.8.2005 1:12pm
anothereugene (mail):
I find the apparently uncontested idea that VC is a "right-wing blog" interesting. Certainly some of the bloggers here have right-wing views, but they hardly toe the party line, and can a place were so many liberals (myself included) cheerfully hang out really be mentioned in the same breath as Malkin and Powerline?
8.8.2005 1:19pm
Challenge:
"[FDR's internment policy} will be a stain on [his] soul for all eternity. I intend to remind the world of it at every opportunity."

Don't forget Earl Warren!
8.8.2005 1:52pm
WAL (mail):
"However, since Goldwater, Republicans have found out that without appealing to racists, they lose elections (see Jindahl, Bobby)."

? he won

My guess if he'd lost - that's evidence Republicans can't win without appealing to racists.

Since he won, it's now evidence that Republicans are using him (a la Malkin) as a cover.

Is that right?
8.8.2005 2:11pm
Goober (mail):
Some clarification: Jindal won a race for Congress in 2004, but earlier had lost the 2003 Governor's race. I claim no particular expertise on the issue of whether race had something to do with it, but the wikipedia entry on Rep. Jindal refers without comment to some political scientists' belief that white Republican voters withheld their votes from the Indian Jindal. A year later, he was elected to the most Republican district in Louisiana, so I guess there's room to interpret this either way.

On the general thread... ahem... you're complaining about incivility on the blogosphere? That's what the blogosphere does. Either you are the touchiest people in the world, or... no, wait. The baring of pretextually bruised feelings is also what the blogosphere does.
8.8.2005 2:36pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Maybe that's not what the blogosphere should do... If there is a camp of people out there who thinks a major function of the blogosphere is to promote incivility, then I respectfully disagree.
8.8.2005 2:48pm
Blogman:
Leftists are just racist pigs. I have seen leftists use derogatory words for Jews, blacks, and others. One woman standing next to me in line (and wearing her "Kerry/Edwards 2004" shirt AFTER the election) leaned over to her friend and said, "I can't believe there are so many spics in this area. It used to be so white. Look what is happening to it."

It figures that they would go after Malkin. Leftists love minorities only when they waste their votes on Democrats.
8.8.2005 3:10pm
Bostonian (mail):
Someone above: "liberals are the people of tolerance"

Saying this does not make it true. As I've migrated away from the left, I find the left's intolerance more and more obvious.
8.8.2005 3:24pm
Manzanar:
That the US government didn't systematically execute American citizens of Japanese ancestry doesn't make internment any better. Whenever anyone refrains 'not as bad as the Nazis' it is a good indicator of how far in the weeds they are.
The dispossession, force rellocation, and internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry is one of the most tragic and despicable acts in modern US history.
8.8.2005 4:31pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Manzanar: you missed something. Usually the "not as bad as the nazis" comment comes immediately after someone refers to US "concentration camps" or in some other way equates the internment policy to the holocaust. There's a big difference.

No one's saying internment was a GOOD thing (I havn't red the book... yet... but I believe even Malkin was only pointing out the positive arguments for it in light of the circumstances), but no... it definitely wasn't the same as the Holocaust or Bataan.
8.8.2005 5:21pm
Eric (mail) (www):
Yes, FDR's internment policy will be a stain on his soul for all eternity. So? Who said FDR had a stainless soul?

Oh, and by the way, although Earl Warren also deserves condemnation for advocating internment, Warren at least realized his error later in life. (Roosevelt never did realize this, although he didn't have much of a "later in life" in which to reflect on it.)
8.8.2005 5:46pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
I'm sure there's probably something similar... I didn't re-read everything... but a quick search shows that you're the first person to use the words "unable to refute" in 111 comments. There don't seem to be a lot of people here defending the ideas in In Defense of Internment.
8.8.2005 7:06pm
Auguste (mail) (www):
"I'll be impressed when they honestly refute Malkin's comments."

"Unable to refute the book on a factual basis, or for lack of knowledge about the internment to express themselves in an intelligent manner..."

"As always, the xenophobe/racist label is an easy way to dismiss her ideas without actually arguing against them."
8.8.2005 7:31pm
Marc W:
Actually, Daniel, W.J. Hopwood, in a comment posted at 10:43 PM on 8/7 used the phrase "unable to refute." So Auguste wasn't the first.

Not that that justifies the ad hominem (ad feminem?) attack on Malkin...
8.8.2005 7:32pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Seems I made a mistake... as I was scrolling up I somehow managed to catch the words "Unable to refute" in WJ Hopwood's earlier post. Ctrl+F has failed me. Sorry, Auguste
8.8.2005 7:33pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
wow
8.8.2005 7:37pm
jallgor (mail):
I imagine most people involved in the internment decision regretted it later but all I have ot say is, there but for the grace of God go I. Sure we can look back and say it was deplorable but I am not sure my judgment at the time would have been any better than theirs if I were in their shoes. America had just been attacked without warning and they were justifiably scared of an invasion of the West Coast of America. If I were the leader of a country under such a threat I would only hope my judgment would be better than theirs but I won't flatter myself to say I know it would be. I don't think most people realize how desperate times were or how easily we might have lost that war.
8.8.2005 7:37pm
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
Auguste thinks that "a white male couldn't possibly write such hateful screeds by himself, or he'd be pilloried" -- as if the Asian woman in question is not being brutally pilloried? At least the hypothetical white male author wouldn't have to put up with complaints about his bra size or explicit comparisons to teenage prostitutes.

I followed the link to the "evidence" that Malkin doesn't write her own stuff, and it is utterly nugatory. If three "Royal we"s and some early-morning posting times are the best you can come up with, you'd best keep your suspicions to yourself if you don't want to be laughed at.
8.8.2005 8:56pm
kc (mail) (www):
I can't believe that Mithras actually mentioned Malkin's race, sort of. Doesn't he know You Can't Say That?
8.8.2005 9:26pm
Challenge:
"illegal war."

As opposed to "legal war." Sure, I can buy into the concept of a just war, or an unjust war. But legal and illegal? That's just stupid.
8.8.2005 11:25pm
W.J.Hopwood (mail):
Manzanar writes (above 8/8 3:31PM):

"The dispossession, force rellocation, and internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry is one of the most tragic and despicable acts in modern US history."

I disagree. In the interest of accuracy and the historical record it should be noted that two-thirds of the ADULTS so relocated were not American citizens at all. They were Japanese nationals, enemy aliens subject to detention under long-standing domestic and international law, still on the books. As for the one-third relocated ADULTS who actually WERE Japanese-Americans, i.e. U.S. citizens, close to 90 percent of them also held Japanese citizenship (dual citizens), thousands having been educated in Japan (the Kibei). They had returned to the U.S. holding reserve status in the Japanese armed forces, many returning more Japanese than American.

There was abundant pre-war intelligence, including many intercepted Japanese Consular coded messages broken by U.S.cryptanalysts, which indicated that a number of unidentified Japanese-Americans and resident Japanese were actually working as espionage agents of Japan. It would have been too time-consuming for the U.S. to determine the loyalty of individual ethnic Japanese under such circumstances and only prudent to evacuate miltary areas of all such persons until such could be done.

It should also be noted that thousands of ethnic Japanese were not affected by the relocation orders. Those living in locations not within the designated military zones (i.e, east of the west coastal zones) were not disturbed at all.

But those who read Michelle Malkin's "In Defense of Internment," would know all this.
8.9.2005 12:37am
jerry (mail):
"But if her arguments didn't resonate for whatever reason"

I think you're purposefully ignoring the elephant in your party if you don't ask yourself what those reasons might be.

Which I think is typical denial for the volokh contingent of the right wing thugocracy.
8.9.2005 11:33am
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Her web page almost never mentions her book on internment... Her big topic is illegal immigration and border control. Perhaps the reason her arguments "resonate" with people is that many people tend to agree with her that illegal immigration has gotten out of control.

Too bad our elected representatives (looking at you, Bush&McCain) don't seem to notice the "elephant in the party" that is concerned about the immigration problem. I think there's a majority waiting to be won by the first party to tackle the issue. Could it be Hillary? We'll see!
8.9.2005 11:46am
Auguste (mail) (www):
I don't get it. Why not just delete ALL my comments?
8.9.2005 12:40pm