THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Monday, May 08, 2006

About Civility


I love useful fools

For some odd reason, Mark Kleiman seems to think civility is a virtue, and is hammering Atrios over it because he went after Ana Marie Cox, formerly known as Wonkette, for attacking all the people whom she never liked, didn't much like her and went after her husband.

For some reason, he thinks this is sexist. Well, someone needs to inform Digby about this. I think they would be surprised..

But for the clueless, let me explain something: civility is a two way street. I can be civil to some people, people who disagree with me on this blog, because they are going to be civil to me. When Ms. Cox was uncivil to me, I addressed her concerns in a way which would prevent that from happening again.

Civility is more than politeness, it is defending your prinicples when they are attacked in a way consistent with them. An agressive defense is a civil response. When someone sweep a broad brush over people who support and defend you, it is not only uncivil, but cowardly to not respond in defense.

This is also not a loyalty test based on belief. This is about solidarity. We cannot ask the Democratic Party to present a unified front while ignoring vicious and unfair attacks on ourselves. If we don't stand for each other, how can we expect anyone to take us seriously?

This doesn't mean blind agreement, but collective defense, like NATO. That doesn't mean France and the UK agree on trade policy, but if someone attacks France, the UK puts those differences aside and joins in the common defense. But if Italy joins the attack on France, you don't continue to defend Italy as an ally. They are no longer part of the common defense.

When someone goes after our fellow bloggers, we engage in collective defense. If you go after Peter Daou, don't think he stands alone, because he doesn't. If you take him on, you better be prepared to take on a bunch of other people. Not because we agree with every word, but because if he acted responsibly, we are honor-bound to stand by him as he has stood by us.

And when we disagree, we disagree on the issues, not on his taste in shoes or his job. That is true civility.

Our readers stand with us as well, because they see the value in what we do. Which where our power comes from. It doesn't come from us alone. But to mistake civility for politeness is a sign of weakness. One can disagree civily, and defend oneself civily, but still stand one's ground. It is not a euphemism for weakness.

If Ms. Cox wants to stand by her man, that's fine. But if she chooses to do so by slagging people, then she will get an aggressive, if civil, response. She long ago violated any sense of collective security, by taking her act to inappropriate forums and placing her career first and foremost. Even Stephen Colbert leaves the stupid act at home.

But when she goes after people we respect for petty, trivial reasons, that collective security is going to come into play. Peter Daou doesn't get tossed under the bus because we want to make nice. We stick together because we benefit from it. She chose to turn on left bloggers, and they turned back on her. Just because she claimed to be on our side, she always acted like she was on her side.

Not because she didn't agree with us, but because she wanted to impress her new friends, she slagged a bunch of hard working people who she once identified with.

And that requires a civil response.

posted by Steve @ 1:27:00 PM

1:27:00 PM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans