Monday, February 25, 2008

For, and From, the Left

A quick lesson in class and civility.

And an even quicker lesson in lack thereof.

A leftish blogger I like once asking me why I had a particular disgust for another leftish blogger who was being touted as a champion of "civility" online. She said he had always been courteous and helpful to her. I suggested the measure of civility might not be how you treat people you agree with, but those you don't.

As for John Cole, cited above in the counter-lesson, I cited him recently on another site as an example of a writer who changes his mind about who is right and who is wrong, and then turns around in place and starts firing the same flamethrower in the opposite direction. There's no shame, necessarily, in doing that. But the reaction of people on both sides of him is interesting to watch, especially if they ever criticized -- or praised -- his tactics when he was flaming from the right.

Yet no one got that. The left-siders all defended him as maybe a bit extreme, but essentially in the right and fair-minded. I wonder if they were saying that before his switch. No, I don't.