- “Only way to advance a given position.” Perhaps, but how many reasoned, moderate opinions do we actually get to have advanced this way? Few, perhaps none. They get lost in the screaming.
- “Poison pills hidden in the submitted bill.” Absolutely, no question, not only with that bill, but most likely with every other bill submitted over the past decade-and-a-half. Personally, at this point, I don’t know (nor do I care) whether a line-item veto is a conservative or a progressive value: as a citizen concerned, I want it now.
- I accept your “priestly caste” analogy (or is it metaphor? Here I am, an alleged writer, and I always get those confused…), but when did we as an electorate give up the idea that smart is good? That capable is good? That taking into account all shades of the spectrum is good? And that abject manipulation of “the system,” whether at the street level or within the halls of power, is bad?
And because news media outlets are now so preoccupied with making sure they can hold enough of an audience to ensure their short-term survival, and aren’t able to use their experience and judgment and abilities to do the work needed to showcase the smart, capable people on all sides, the screaming wins, because it’s “good TV” because it brings in viewers or “good blogging” because it garners reaction posts.
I was talking with a friend of mine about this whole fiasco (and there’s really no other way to describe it, regardless of which side of the argument you’re on) and we came to the agreement that most blog comment rolls should be capped at 20, because much past that you’ve veered so far off course through name-calling and “he said, she said” that you can’t even see the original point even with a compass, a map and a great pair of binoculars.
That said, if you think I'm going to wade into Darren's thoughts on the recently announced Pulitzers right now, you're nuts. Let's just say we'll have to live in Agreetodisagreeville on that one.