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Discontinued Discourse

Bryan at Arguing With Signposts is hopping on the political wagon. No, I don't mean bandwagon, I mean he is giving it up, kicking the habit, going cold turkey. Steven Taylor can't blame him.

I understand the sediment, while I am one of the most passionate and partisan people out there, I too draw a big line. For me, the issue is not partisanship, as I've said before I think that is healthy for a democracy. For me it is an issue of reasonableness. (That ain't the right word but it will do.)

I can handle people disagreeing with me. To the extent that I am able, I'll passionately defend my position. But when the arguments breaks down to "Bush=Hitler" it's really is hard to have a debate. When people look at objective facts and claim they do not exist how do have discourse?

I read on a well respected website yesterday that Bush should be impeached because he said the Aug 8 PDB did not contain a specific threat. How on earth can any sane, rational person believe that?

Personally, I try to take people one by one. Since I've been hanging out in the blogosphere I've gotten much better at identifying the tin-foil hate brigade and have learned that trying to reason with a crazy person is time wasted. (That lesson took a while.)

When I find the rare lefty that can argue their side without being delusional, I enjoy it. I spent 2 hours at a cocktail party last week arguing politics with a state Senator's wife. We agreed on nothing but at the end we agreed to have lunch and argue some more. She gave me a kiss on the cheek on the way out.

Perhaps the internet makes the tone more harsh than it would be if we were standing around with drinks in our hands. Or perhaps it is the election drawing near that is putting people on edge. One of my pet theories is that it is the evolution of blogging.

Whatever the case, I suspect Brian will be back soon enough. Addictions are like that. And maybe his post will make me take a breath before I reply next time. But if it weren't for all the the stupid, freaking, ignorant liberals, I'd.... ;-)

BTW Since this post is about my personal beliefs and this is temporarily a group blog, please note it ain't Kevin posting.

UPDATE: Dean Esmay chimes in on the same things on Kos that put Brian over the top and then goes on. James is, as always, quite readable if you follow the trackback.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Discontinued Discourse:

» Outside the Beltway linked with It Ain't Beanbag

» PoliBlog linked with Seeking the Reasonable

Comments (3)

While I am on the opposite ... (Below threshold)

While I am on the opposite side of the political fence as you, I can safely say that I agree completely. You cite the "Bush=Hitler" thing, and I can cite a similar ridiculous argument coming from the side of the righties. It's hard to have a smart conversation with anyone when it degenerates into me calling you a poopiehead or vice-versa.

I continue to read Kevin and Kate [Electriv Venom] because they can both state their case intelligently without being idiotic about it. I stopped reading almost every other conservative blog.

Thanks Mac!I do th... (Below threshold)

Thanks Mac!

I do think that the abunacnce of comments at the big RW/LW sites really sets the tone, and in many cases turns of casual reading. More on that from me in a while...

I've got an idea. Not sure... (Below threshold)

I've got an idea. Not sure if you guys would like it, but hear me out. I'm convinced that one of the problems with extremism in the blogosphere comes from day-to-day political blogging -- commenting on today's big story, tomorrow's headline, or bit-by-bit coverage of this, that, or the other thing.

I'm thinking in particular of Atrios's occasional three-word comments about the scandal of the day.

My idea is this: What if a few blogs, instead of concentrating on the minute day-to-day stuff, went with big-picture blogging? Meaning that you take an issue, like, say, health care, and start dissecting it.

Ground rules would include:

* No name-calling. It's not suitable to deride a proposal as a "socialist proposal" or anything like that. Do you think it's unworkable? Say why. Do you think an idea transgresses on an immutable law of human nature? Say why. For example, if I suggest a national health-care program funded by a 90 percent income tax on all people named "Paul," don't just say "that's a socialist Democrat proposal." Perhaps something more along the lines of: "Well, it's not really fair for guys named 'Paul' to foot the bill. After all, they're not necessarily the ones getting sick. How about taxing guys named 'Pennywit?'" A bit more respectful, reasonable, and insightful.

* No name-calling.

* No eye-gouging.

I wonder if this would find any takers in the blogosphere.






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