A Final Thought About Rep. Doogan and Mudflats

I was reading this piece about Rep. Doogan outing Mudflats at RumpRoast, and realized I had a thought about it when before I didn’t have much to say.

I used to get really, really agitated when people would attack me while using pseudonyms and remaining anonymous. I remember several times when I would fly completely off the handle and become unhinged, it would infuriate me so much. This was back when everything I thought I knew was crumbling all around me and it was starting to dawn on me what a fraud the GOP was, so I was more volatile, to put it mildly.

And then at some point, something remarkable occurred to me. I realized that if I didn’t want anonymous people mocking me, there was an easy solution. I could quit saying and doing such incredibly stupid things. It was quite a revelation.

Now as we all know, I haven’t heeded my own advice, and I continue to say stupid things on an almost hourly basis. But if Rep. Doogan doesn’t like it when anonymous people call him an idiot, the easiest thing to do would be to STOP BEING SUCH AN IDIOT.






47 replies
  1. 1
    Skepticat says:

    Easy for you perhaps. I fear that Rep. Doogan might have a more difficult time making the transition.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Actually I think twat is more appropriate, idiot is so nice and plain, you know we call people idiots every day, like that idiot that cut us off at the light. Doogan has progressed from being an idiot to being an out and out twat.

  4. 4
    xj - not the auto says:

    off thread somewhat, but in the realm of stupid… that Kangaroo Jumps exercise thing from your sunday wrap up post? It has roots in the American Institute of Reboundology. Yes, AIR (maker of personal trampolines). I laughed for 10 minutes when I read the name. Where else but in the good old USA would somebody seriously invent a term like reboundology – adding the patina of science to personal bouncy-bouncy devices?

  5. 5

    What I really hope is that Mudflats keeps on doing what they are doing. I know that we feel anonymity sometimes gives us more freedom to speak our minds. But I also realize that sometimes its just a false crutch. We assume that if our real name is out there people will either target us or won’t take us as seriously. But the mere fact that Rep Doogan outed Mudflats means he now has a vested interest in making sure that they aren’t targeted. And thats a point I would make loudly and repeatedly because if something happens to the blogger at Mudflats its on his head without a doubt. And I just think the best revenge would be to keep blasting him and show him that he hasn’t intimidated them.

  6. 6
    ed says:

    Whatever happens, let’s just keep a lookout as to when that asshole Doogan is up for reelection and do whatever we can to get his ass booted. And I mean anything. Even if it means supporting a Republican.

  7. 7
    anonevent says:

    Yes, John, but you’re mature enough to accept that you can be wrong.
    I don’t think that Doogan has that particular flaw.

    A saying I remember: "If one person says your wrong, it’s probably them; if everyone says it, it’s probably you." Not always true, but it works most of the time, and it reminds me to listen to others.

  8. 8
    An hero says:

    The internet is serious business.

  9. 9
    Bootlegger says:

    I appreciate your candidness John, it makes this blog a worthy read when all others are so self-righteous and infallible. I also see why anonymity would get under your skin, but your readers don’t have any protection from what we write and we may fear what could happen to us for being honest. I post in other places as my real name, but I feel constrained in what I can say. As noted above, this can also be a crutch and it can lead to very bad manners when public shame doesn’t control you.
    Keep on truckin’ John.

  10. 10

    @anonevent
    I’d say that marker has zero relevance. Ever seen the studies where they have 6 people in a room looking at objects? 5 of them are in on the study and the 6th one is the test subject. All 5 say (for instance) that square B is larger than square A when in truth square B is obviously smaller than square A. The test subject looks around like the rest are crazy for a little while. Then unfortunately a majority of the time the test subject starts agreeing with the other 5 that, yes! square B actualli *is* larger!
    I would also refer back to the whole Iraq War and WMD thingie. Colin Powell (may he burn in a special place in Hell) told us there was no doubt, so everyone agreed there could be no doubt.
    Fuck that reminds me how much I despise Powell. Bastard.

  11. 11
    gizmo says:

    If I was an Alaska politician, dumb as many of them apparently are, I’d try to remain anonymous myself.

  12. 12
    CDB says:

    Anonymous people can feed bullshit to journalists, but they that can’t be journalists. Don’t you get it?

  13. 13
    MikeJ says:

    A saying I remember: "If one person says your wrong, it’s probably them; if everyone says it, it’s probably you." Not always true, but it works most of the time, and it reminds me to listen to others.

    Sadly politicians tend to think, "The right think I’m an idiot, and the left think I’m an idiot, therefore I must be the SMARTEST MAN IN THE WORLD!!!!!"

  14. 14
    Raymond says:

    That does work with Jeff Goldstien, "Ace" , rightwingsparkle, or other people who are more than happy to threaten people’s jobs.

    Funny thing happens — their threats are hollow.

    Mudflats has nothing to worry about, if I am any example.

  15. 15
    mikefromtexas says:

    No personal criticism intended, but for people like yourself who finally saw the light, I always wonder what took you so long? My dad was a die hard conservative, thought Nixon was the greatest president ever. Our political arguments started when I was around 13 or 14 years old, back in the mid seventies. I already knew what a crock of shit the history of the United States, as it was being taught to us in school, really was. It’s almost like Howard Zinn wrote his books just for me. Every argument with my old man ended on the same note: ‘So dad, when are you going to start acting like a real Republican and quit your UNION job?’. I’ve always known that conservatives were nothing but a bunch of scam artists, or worse.

  16. 16
    Max says:

    Doogan may not have the capacity for introspection that you did.

  17. 17
    srv says:

    @Raymond:

    or other people who are more than happy to threaten people’s jobs.

    Republicans are right about one thing. Some people only respond to force. They’ve just never figured out they’re projecting.

  18. 18
    Mako says:

    Seriously, if you are going to be a popular ananymouse blogger and attack Alaskan gvmnt douchebags, or any gvmnnt douchbags, you got to know that you will be outted eventually, right?
    This is the internets.

    And- anyone who doesn’t understand BCC shouldn’t be allowed to use a computer.

  19. 19
    joshers says:

    I’m a lurker and this post motivated me to say i feel you.

  20. 20
    Genine says:

    Now as we all know, I haven’t heeded my own advice, and I continue to say stupid things on an almost hourly basis. But if Rep. Doogan doesn’t like it when anonymous people call him an idiot, the easiest thing to do would be to STOP BEING SUCH AN IDIOT.

    Wonderful advice! I try to live by it… as much as possible. But when I slide, I deal with the consequences. Heh

    And, I would like to second Bootlegger’s sentiment about your candidness. It’s refreshing and makes this blog one of the sanest crazy places in the blogsphere.

  21. 21
    jc says:

    It’s hard to argue he did anything wrong. Everyone is looking at it as if you are allowed to make public statements anonymously with no one ever being able to expose you for those comments. Tha’s the risk you take when you create the speech.

    Maybe the commenter is a paid hack for a corporate shill. Do we ignore it if we find it out?

    Maybe the anonymous person was Joe Klein and the Book is Primary Colors? Was it wrong to out him when he wanted anonymity?

    If you say something be prepared to be found out and called out for it. Price of free speech in my opinion.

    Absolutely nothing to bitch about here.

  22. 22
    Mako says:

    Whatever happens, let’s just keep a lookout as to when that asshole Doogan is up for reelection and do whatever we can to get his ass booted. And I mean anything. Even if it means supporting a Republican.

    There’s the spirit. Even if it’s Hitler! Anything is better than some petty douchelip who outted a blogger.

  23. 23
    mclaren says:

    I think you’re being too hard on yourself, John. Two other solutions come to mind: first, ban anonymous comments; and, second, recognize that when someone with a bogus made-up name like "werewolf23" says something nasty, really, is anyone going to take that seriously? People without the courage to use their real names tend to severely undercut their own credibility.

    For example, I don’t know who "Brick Oven Bill" (or is it Brick Oven Bob?) really is on this site, but does anyone take him seriously?

    Anonymity really is a big source of potential problems for forums like this. Joel Spolsky had a good post about that issue here. It’s a real concern. I don’t think you’re being childish or obtuse in getting severely bugged by anonymous hate speech on your forum.

  24. 24
    JGabriel says:

    Rep. Doogan:

    My own theory about the public process is you can say what you want, as long as you are willing to stand behind it using your real name.

    And I know the founding fathers felt the same way, cause they signed all the Federalist Papers as "Publius".

    Why do we elect such fucking morons?

    .

  25. 25
    JGabriel says:

    Skepticat @ 1:

    Easy for you perhaps. I fear that Rep. Doogan might have a more difficult time making the transition.

    True. Doogan has an income riding on it.

    .

  26. 26
    Mako says:

    Anonymity really is a big source of potential problems for forums like this

    I agree. Also, never trust anyone who uses a "mc" nym. They are probably just faking scottish roots because they know you live in Appalachia.

  27. 27
    Mako says:

    And I know the founding fathers felt the same way, cause they signed all the Federalist Papers as "Publius".

    And they got outted, right?

  28. 28

    And I know the founding fathers felt the same way, cause they signed all the Federalist Papers as "Publius".

    Not a good example. It was pretty well known that Madison, Hamilton, and Jay were behind it, though it wasn’t necessarily clear which of them was writing any particular letter. It was done more as a literary device than to be anonymous.

  29. 29

    Since my blog started its life as a campaign site it was a bit late to take my face and name off it. I’d rather have my real self out there poking whomever in the eye or boostering. I’m pretty easy to find, but it might not be a bright idea to make that an ugly thing.

  30. 30
    Mako says:

    I heard she was in the witness protection program and that’s why she wanted to stay anonymous, or maybe she had an abusive ex-husband stalking her, or she had family who worked for Palin or neighbors in the KKK.
    But seriously, this is a major career opportunity for her, being outted by petty douchbags can only lead to a topnav spot on firedoglake.

  31. 31
    Mako says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    PCP is not a good drug to promote. If you want to get elected you should get behind hemp. It’s what all the Millennials are into.

  32. 32
    MNPundit says:

    I am actually okay with this. You become a prominent blogger, you have to be willing to take the risk. You have the right to give your opinion, but there is nothing that prevents them from releasing your real name.

    I criticized David Kurtz heavily when he was still blogging solely as DK. I am aware I am in a small minority on this.

  33. 33
    Person of Choler says:

    Let’s see if Ms. Mudflats enjoys the same public examination of her government-controlled records as Joe the Plumber experienced. I doubt that she will. Instead she will have a considerable share of the Palin-bashing cottage industry that will persist at least until 2012.

  34. 34

    I used to get really, really agitated when people would attack me while using pseudonyms and remaining anonymous. I remember several times when I would fly completely off the handle and become unhinged, it would infuriate me so much.

    Heh, heh. Those were good times, though.

  35. 35
    guest **** says:

    I remember several times when I would fly completely off the handle and become unhinged

    always late to the party. i miss all the good stuff.

  36. 36
    Connie says:

    At present, AKM and The Mudflats are alive and chugging along on a brand new server to handle the increased load.

    Whether AKM will profit from this is neither here nor there. There is caselaw that supports anonymous blogging and free speech. An elected official has behaved badly and perhaps illegally. It appears that he used state government resources to enact what might be a personal vendetta. Rather than keep his mouth shut, he’s now firing off his own imitable style of emails which are breathtaking in their stupidity and arrogance.

  37. 37
    aimai says:

    JohnCole makes a good point–everyone gets freaked out and angry when they feel impinged upon by outside opinion, and all the more so when that opinion seems anonymous or pseudonymous. But a grown up person doesn’t take a step like outing another person as payback.

    Here’s the thing. Doogan was stunned and angry to discover that Alaskan Politics wasn’t just an insider’s game–that lots of little people, unknown people, anonymous people, and just plain citizens were *watching* him and everyone else. That they were *criticizing* him and everyone else. But it surely is the case that all that watching and criticizing and suggesting and working together for or against a particular politician is exactly what democracy requires. In reality most politicians before the internet simply had no way of knowing how disliked they or their policies were. And the citizens had no way of organizing outside of the party or outside of letter writing campaigns.

    Of course it was shocking for Doogan, and difficult. But he’s a grown man. At the point where he put himself out to find out who AKmudflats was he also discovered that she was, in fact, just a private citizen with perfectly reasonable privacy concerns. She wasn’t a corporate shill. She wasn’t a paid political activist. She wasn’t a democratic or republican political figure using anonymity to create dissension and false rumor. Those things might have made exposing her perfectly reasonable, as when a journalist exposes an "grassroots" campaign as "astroturf."

    At that point Doogan’s reasonable distaste for being the butt of public comment on his public career crossed over into maliciousness.

    As for Person Of Choler can you stop whining about Joe the Plumber. Journalists investigated his claims to be named Joe and to be liscenced plumber, as well as his specific claims to have earned any taxable income. If Doogan wanted to do the same thing to impeach AKmuckraker he was welcome to but since she hadn’t made any claims *for herself* that were, in fact, not true he would have been hard put to do it. And he didn’t make any claims. He simply exposed her in order to make it easier for other people to attack her and shut her up.

    aimai

  38. 38
    Tunch says:

    JOHN COLE IS A MORON. AND I’M NOT AFRAID TO USE MY REAL NAME.

  39. 39
    The Moar You Know says:

    But if Rep. Doogan doesn’t like it when anonymous people call him an idiot, the easiest thing to do would be to STOP BEING SUCH AN IDIOT.

    This will be the wisest idea ever posted on the intertubes, and as such will surely be ignored.

  40. 40
    DanF says:

    Doogan outing Mudflats at RumpRoast

    Where else but on the Interwebs would a sentence like that make sense.

  41. 41
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @jc, you can bitch about a public servant complete incapable of upholding the public trust. Personal vendettas executed from such a position are serious sh*t in my book. The only "help" he must expect from a public airing of the personal details of a private citizen who has criticized him is that he expects some subset of the public to intimidate this person. There is zero other rationale for what he did.

    They must have a special night class on brownshirting for Alaska politicians.

  42. 42
    Jen R says:

    @MNPundit:

    I am actually okay with this.

    You’re OK with an elected official punishing a citizen for saying negative things about him? Because that’s what this was. Doogan knew AKM wanted to remain pseudonymous, and he took that away from her to retaliate for her criticism of him.

  43. 43
    Person of Choler says:

    aimi, I’m not whining, just observing differences in treatment. Skip the hair-splitting about a licensed or unlicensed plumber.

    You might quit whining about poor Ms. Mudflats who has now achieved a quite a bit of fame at minimal personal risk. I expect many bloggers would like to have a legislator toss them in the briar patch as happened to Ms. M.

    I would bet a few bucks that, if officials voluntarily leaked her government-held information to journalists, a chartered jet full of lawyers would be dispatched to Anchorage to wreak vengeance upon the leaker.

  44. 44
    Persia says:

    @aimai:

    John Cole makes a good point—everyone gets freaked out and angry when they feel impinged upon by outside opinion, and all the more so when that opinion seems anonymous or pseudonymous. But a grown up person doesn’t take a step like outing another person as payback.

    This. Anonymity and pseudonymity, in fact, are also ways of making sure we pay attention to the content of the criticisms. If someone’s full of shit, it doesn’t matter if the words are from "aimai" or "John Cole" or "Michael Savage." Same if someone says something worth noting, quoting, or passing on.

    If you’re using a pseud to break the law or encourage others to do so, that’s one thing. Saying "this is a bad argument" does not have to be connected to a name, sex or location.

  45. 45
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Now as we all know, I haven’t heeded my own advice, and I continue to say stupid things on an almost hourly basis.

    As an anonymous critic, I’d disagree with this.

    Edit: Although I think yer making too much out of the Krugman thing.

  46. 46
    shortstop says:

    Of course it was shocking for Doogan, and difficult. But he’s a grown man

    Albeit one still sporting the hairstyle he had in seventh grade.

    Oh, and then there’s the emotionally ill, needs anger management, abuses public office thing.

  47. 47
    skippy says:

    here’s the thing, and it’s a point that’s been made several times before on several other blogs:

    there’s a large and indeed important difference between "anonymous" and "pseudonymous."

    "anonymous" is speaking (writing) something completely undercover, with no clue as to what you’ve said/written before (the literary equivalent of "who you are").

    "pseudonymous" is speaking/writing under an assumed name, but consistantly under that name, so that whenever someone sees that nom de plume, they know your previous work, your stand on issues, your agenda.

    i write pseudonymously so that people who are familiar w/my work know the context in which to take my words. my platform and agenda are available to anybody who can type in my blog’s url (or click on john’s gracious link in his blogroll).

    therefor it’s my ideas (or at the very worst, my ability to write them) that people can deal with. ergo there’s no room for ad hominem attacks on my real person, and people are forced to debate what i write, not who i am.

    i deplore anonymity on the innertubes, but i highly respect pseudonymity.

    when i first started my blog back in the jurassic period, there were very real threats to the safety of liberals and their employment. i was in fact working as an actor in several commercials for a very staid, conservative product, and i couldn’t afford an astro-turf threat to boycott the sponsor i was working for. thus my nom de plume.

    as it is, my real identity is not that hard to figure out, and several close blogging buddies know who i am. several have discovered it via clues on my blog (inadvertantly left by me, i’m not an easter egg fan).

    i assume akmuckraker had real reasons to remain pseudonymous, and i personally believe doogan violated federal laws and the alaskan constitution by doing what he did.

    if akmuckraker was slanderous, or libelous, or was hypocritical in that she was an alaskan government insider (or democratic party insider) then she wouldn’t have such a good case for being the victim in this fiasco.

    but from all i understand, she was simply a citizen that was highly critical of doogan.

    woe to us if our government officials are allowed to execute personal vendettas upon us citizens who disagree with them (and especially if they ar allowed to use government resources and time to do it)!

Comments are closed.