Tuesday :: Nov 25, 2003

Maybe Krugman Reads The Left Coaster


by paradox

Posted by paradox

A few readers of this site know that I’ve been enmeshed in a little imbroglio lately for being “uncivil.” Basically, I called a few Republicans who show up here “idiots” and “cretins.”

My wife tried again yet this morning to find out why I was so upset last night. Very unusually for me, I kept wiggling out of giving her the answer: these horribly sticky Clarkies at the Daily Kos ranted after me yet again for not seeing their hero as the Great Shining General, awesome in his potential powers of banishing Bush. I ended up calling one of them a “toad” and it ruined my evening.

It probably will come as a great surprise to those who only know me from the ether, but I am a fanatically polite and well-mannered person. I always say Sir and Ma’am, hold open doors for women, always say please and thank you, fervently employ common courtesy at every opportunity, have good table manners, and actually think not using one’s turn signal while driving is anti-social behavior. Really.

So examining my political behavior at the end of every day often leaves me profoundly distressed. Obviously I often fall short of my own character goals in politics, and I’m projecting a personality of bitter, sullen rage, which is not my general personality or empirical behavior at all.

It’s one reason so many Americans are apathetic about politics—they’re tired of all the shouting, slurring and angry words and simply don’t want to be exposed to it. This, too, should certainly be another good reason to always be polite and civil in the ether. The idea is to bring more people in, not drive them away.

But the transgressions against cherished American principles performed by the Republicans are even more mortifying to me than my lapses in civility. We count votes in this country. We do not lock up citizens with no charge. We do not have a Supreme Court that lies through its teeth as it steals an election. We do not lie to the populace to kill thousands of souls in surely one of the stupidest wars of all time (we should have learned from Vietnam).

With all this in my head what do I see from Paul Krugman this morning? “All this fuss about civility, then, is an attempt to bully critics into unilaterally disarming.” It’s almost as if he reads The Left Coaster. Maybe he does.

The idea that I’d give up the fight to reinstate the American I grew up in is laughable. So is any notion I’d stop slamming Republicans attempting to defend the indefensible—starting a war with utter lies guarantees a date with the hangman and gallows (after fair trial) for the President in my book, not “civil behavior.”

Yet I’m very weary of being so nasty in the ether when in all other aspects I’m a sunny, optimistic person (try being married or corporately employed without it). “It's the duty of pundits and politicians to make those differences clear, not to play them down for fear that someone will be offended.”

I will continue to do my duty, puny pundit that I am. For my own sake I’ll refrain from using the words “idiot,” “cretin,” and “toad” to describe owners of diverging political thought other than mine, simply because by my own internal metrics I’ve crossed over the line.

But make no mistake: I will continue to loudly proclaim that this country has been hijacked by election-stealing lying war felons, and it won’t be gentle. If one expects “civil” behavior from political opponents, don’t steal an election and start a war for lies. Civility is then what you’ll get.

paradox :: 10:29 AM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!