Readers may recall I used to write for a site called Polipundit. Nice place, often producing thoughtful ideas by the writers and readers. Good for the mind, good for the Conservative movement.
Then President Bush did the unforgivable: he used his own authority and opinion. Turns out some of the folks at Polipundit.com thought they should be able to control the President, that those 62 million votes for Bush in 2004 didn’t count unless he did as he was told.
I pointed this out, and immediately found myself shown the door by the site owner. And I was also falsely accused of all sorts of terrible things by people whose notion of “Debate” begins with character assassination.
At that same time, other writers on the site were also evicted, for having their own minds. It made some noise, and Polipundit’s readership dropped significantly. I found a new home at Wizbang, went back to school, was diagnosed with Cancer and got a dog. Meanwhile, the environment at Polipundit, sad to say, devolved to an echo chamber.
A few days ago, I wrote about a faction within the Republican Party, which I contend seeks to deny open debate on the key issues, but instead demands that they alone speak for the party and Conservatives. I rather strongly disagree with their contention that the extremists who resort to name-calling and threats are somehow the “base” of the Conservative Movement. I discovered today that I was referenced by Oak Leaf at Polipundit.com. The strange thing is, Oak Leaf mentioned my post but did not link to it. Instead, he linked to a post an another site which attacked not only my contention, but lobbed more than a few insults at me.
Interestingly enough, neither Oak Leaf nor the writer he praised made any attempt to address the contention in substance, and what’s more, I was amused to discover that the tactics employed by the readers in the comments amply demonstrated the problem in the tactics embraced by “the base”.
In that section, no effort was made to address the question, as I said, but I was called, just in passing, these sorts of things:
“What Al Gore is to Global warming, DJ is to Bush/Republicans”
“the most appalling example of party hack i have EVER read”
“his clueless world view.”
This is not debate, nor does it seek to find common ground among Republicans or build a consensus. Such behavior by these people has gone on for several years now, prompted every time the extremists do not get what they demand, or any time the President dares to show his own mind on an issue. This is not to say, at all, that disagreement is not allowed; ironically, these character butchers try to shout down anyone with an opinion different from their own, yet they are quick to play the victim whenever they are called on it, a tactic we all to quite reasonably rebuke when the Democrats did it. Putting it bluntly, these people are trying to kill the Republican Party out of spite, and if they do they will try to frame President Bush for what they did. They trashed GOP control of Congress in order to ‘send a message’, and they are simply not willing to address the issues in substance or context.
Pray to God they do not become more powerful. The Republican Party should be the party of ideas and open discussion, not malignant thuggery.