My writings here have been getting more and more partisan as the election approaches - virtually every item is overtly pro-Kerry and I am writing less and less that a prospective Bush voter would find interesting.
The trend seems to mirror where the blogsophere as a whole is going. It used to be that the same topic was discussed, in a fairly civil way, both by avowed liberals and conservatives. Now it seems there are two sets of discussions - one tossed around on right-wing blogs and one tossed around on left-wing ones.
Why is this?
I can't answer the question because there is no way for me to step out of the bubble: being fairly consistently liberal, I cannot objectively evaluate my own views and my own behavior.
Nevertheless, I can write down my partisan impressions of the topic. And these are that I can't help but thinking discourse of the conservative half of the blogsophere has remarkably degenerated in quality.
Of course, it may very well be that my own level of discourse has degenerated, leading me to think that the other side has lowered their standards - who knows?
But take, for example, the global test bit.
Here is Kerry at the debate:
No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you've got to do in a way that passes the test-that passes the global test-where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing, and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.The point seems pretty clear to me. Yet it is consistently misunderstood on the right half of the blogsophere; for example:
Here we have our own secretary of state who's had to apologize to the world for the presentation he made to the United Nations...
...John Kerry explained that the US always has the right to act alone, as long as the world approves first.From JustOneMinute
Going to instapundit.com and searching for "global" gives you links to a series of articles with similar pronouncements.
It seems like this is an incredibly stupid point to make - one that speaks either of a fundamental lack of English comprehension or (more likely) of a willful desire to misunderstand.
Its very difficult to read the Kerry quote without understanding its message: America will not give up its right to unilaterally protect itself, but if it does, the cast for action must be more than a collection of lies and exaggerations (what else to call the Iraqi WMD business?).
I am not particularly surprised at Bush's desire to spin Kerry's words to the effect of "Kerry wants decisions about American security to be made in foreign capitals." That would be rather consistent with Bush pattern of being "less than candid" with the American public. But I am surprised at the way conservative bloggers have acted, in these last few months, as mouthpieces for misleading claims by the Bush-Cheney campaign.
In light of this, is any kind of thoughtful discussion possible?
That's my partisan take.