I just read that over at Kevin Drum's blog, which I was scanning to try to figure out his position on Hillary Clinton. Actually, he isn't such a "little" guy: I learned that he has a BMI of 28. I know, maybe he's very muscular, but I'm guessing doughy. I think if you know 2 facts, BMI of 28 + blogger, you can assume doughy. For the sake of argument. And I'm here for an argument.
Anyway, I didn't look around long enough to tell if he writes in support of Hillary Clinton, which is something I wanted to do because he identified an anti-Clinton post of mine as a nominee for what he called — with pedestrian humor — "the Golden Wingnut Award." I understand that I ruffled some feathers with that harshly satirical post that took aim at Bill Clinton and a feminist who festoons her blog with images of breasts. You can hate that post all you want, but there's nothing right wing about it. If it's any wing, it's left.
So I got to thinking that Drum must be one of those politicos who's carrying water for HC.
I'm glad to see there's some discussion in the comments over there about whether I'm a right winger. But I'm not seeing anything about the fact that the post in question contained absolutely nothing right wing. It was just anti-Clinton.
So is Drum a Clinton sycophant? I found this over there:
I'm not a big fan of individual mandates and private insurance companies, but in the spirit of Atrios's advice to "stop wanking," I also understand that my preferences just aren't on the table right now. And I have to say that I agree with Ezra: although the three leading Democratic presidential candidates have proposed healthcare plans that are similar in a lot of ways, Hillary's strikes me as not just substantively as good as any of them (and better in some ways), but also the politically savviest and most practical of the lot. Given her experience in 1994 (she knows what won't work) combined with the legislative canniness she seems to have developed in the Senate (she know what will work), that's not too surprising.Wanking and outflanking. If I had time, I'd write a poem.
In any case, it's a good plan. Edwards and Obama are going to have a very hard time making criticisms that stick. Obama, in particular, suffers because his plan is, if anything, a bit less ambitious than Hillary's even though he's supposed to be the candidate with fresh new ideas. For now, anyway, I think Hillary has outflanked him.
But I don't have time. Not to write a poem and not to solve the mystery of whether Drum is on my case in service to the Clintons.
Just a hypothesis.
ADDED: I just searched for all my old posts with the name "Kevin Drum" so I could add a "Kevin Drum" tag, and I see that the very first time I ever mentioned his name on this blog was noting that he'd just called me a wingnut. Let's take a closer look at my first encounter with Kevin Drum, detector of wingnuts. My post noted that the NYT had changed a headline from "Amid Attacks, a Party Atmosphere on Baghdad's Closed Streets" to "Insurgent Attacks in Baghdad and Elsewhere Kill at Least 24" on a story about the large voter turnout in Iraq's first election.
Blasting me as a "wingnut" for this post, Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly delivers an irrelevant lecture about how newspaper websites work. He fails to see the point, which is awfully clear in my post, that the changing headlines were for the very same article.... There are 54 comments on Drum's post at the moment, and, though I haven't read them all, most of them seem to be from people who are just accepting Drum's mistaken point about my post. There is at least one commenter in there who keeps trying to point out the mistake, but the passion for denouncing the optimism of imagined crazy right wing bloggers is so strong that it overwhelms the interest in the facts. And the irony is that Drum's main point is that those who are taking an optimistic view don't respect the truth. It would be bad if I were disrespecting the truth out of optimism, of course. But Drum is disrespecting the truth out of an aversion to optimism, which is really quite sad.So that's how I became a "wingnut" in the wingnut-detecting mind of Kevin Drum.
If you go over there, you might want to leave a comment in my defense. And if you're into that, leave a comment for me over here too. I'm surprised at the way some lefty blogs seem to think they are making a good point by quoting something and saying the person who wrote it is stupid or crazy, even as they are plainly misreading the very thing they quote.
I fought back:
That original headline represented the article fairly. I praised the Times's headlines earlier that day as "a subtle mix of positive and negative," giving us "a sense of the importance of what is happening [without allowing] the bad to overshadow the good." A number of prominent bloggers, linking to the Filkins-Burns article, drew special attention to the "party atmosphere" language in the headline. Later in the day, I noticed that the headline had been changed to "Insurgent Attacks in Baghdad and Elsewhere Kill at Least 24," which completely failed to convey the gist of the article, the text of which had not changed. (The headline became even more negative later: "Attacks in Baghdad and Elsewhere Reportedly Kill Several Dozen.") I thought the headline change was worth blogging, along with my observation that it was "pathetic" -- pathetic to pick out the negative from an article full of positive.What a sleaze! I'd forgotten all that. Thank Blogger for the archive for preserving a grudge I'm just not cantankerous enough to have carried on my own. And shame on Kevin Drum. I want 2 apologies now.
Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly somehow saw fit to launch into an attack, calling me a "wingnut" and delivering an irrelevant lecture about how newspaper headlines are written and websites updated. You certainly can't tell from reading his garbled post that I was writing about changing the headline on the same article and changing it to something that did not fit the article. I've exchanged some emails with Drum, who has an elaborate justification for putting an inappropriate headline on one article so that the whole mix of headlines on the main page that day would not be excessively positive. There was violence in Iraq, the theory goes, so one of the headlines needed to refer to violence, and since there was some reference to violence in the Filkins-Burns article, that was a good place to put the negative headline. I think that may be the best thing that might be said in defense of the Times, though I still have a problem with it. But I have much more of a problem with Drum, who — despite his lecture about how websites can be frequently updated — has not seen fit to update his post and make it clear that he misrepresented my post. Frankly, he owes me a public apology, on his website, for calling me a wingnut and for ridiculing me based on his own misreading (or deliberate misrepresentation).