Ah, the famous civility of rightwing bloggers. Leading conservatives from Reynolds to Malkin to Hewitt will tell you that civility makes righties better people than the angry liberal mob. Rightwingers never stoop to petty name-calling, they will tell you, and they correct their own on the (vanishingly!) rare occasion when somebody proves them wrong. We even have a commenter who mostly bewails the mean, terribly uncivil Left.
Needless to say boasting of one’s good qualities is fairly reliable sign that the reverse is true. Some folks just have a mean streak, more often the echo chamber amplifies a tenuous claim until even rasonable individuals grow angry and incredulous that anybody could possibly disagree with a point categorically asserted by virtually all of the big bloggers. The famously civil Editors label it the online circle jerk. You can read a couple of examples below, or head over to Greenwald for a typically thorough thesis on the topic. Note the almost ludicrously civil exchange in Glenn’s update.
Alright, so this has been a fun little trip through obvious land. Lest anybody accuse me of wasting a post on trivia, I’lll close with my favorite criticism of the rightwing civility meme to date. Surprisingly no leftie has put the point in terms quite as damaging as Dean Barnett.
“If you look at the top tier of right-wing bloggers, they’re almost unfailingly civil,” wrote Dean Barnett for the opinion Web site Townhall.com.
He charged that Erickson was trying to turn right-wing Web sites into “the kingmakers that the left-wing blogs are.”
Unlike uppity libs who think that they should have some say in the political process, rightwing blogs are civil. Civility means knowing your place.
Weird. John posted on the same topic (see post below) but I didn’t notice until now. Based on where his post appears in my RSS reader I have to assume that our timestamp device was briefly possessed by the debbil.