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Join the 101st Fighting Keyboardists. They’ve even got a spiffy logo. If you haven’t seen the term before, you haven’t read the left side blogs (or seen left-side comments on everyone else’s blog). It’s the contemptuous term for anyone who writes and publishes in support of the War on Islamist Terrorists but who isn’t actually boots on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan.

It sort of a specialized form of the “chickenhawk” insult, which also figures in the new outfit:

When we looked into it, it turns out that the chicken hawk is a pretty impressive predator. It’s the largest of its family. This species vigorously defends its territory, getting even more aggressive when the conditions get harshest. It adapts to all climates. Most impressively, it feeds on chickens, mice, and rats.

Make of that what you will.

Of course, anyone who remembers the old Foghorn Leghorn cartoons already knew that bit of ornithology.

Over on the pessimistic, illiberal left, they have an insult for everyone. Arrogant calumny sputters from their fingertips like magic sparks in a Harry Potter novel. For instance the contemptuous leftist term for people, like me, who got a world-view jolt on Sept. 11, it’s “bedwetters.” Lovely people on the ad hominem Left.

  • http://sethyblog.blogspot.com Pooh

    Over on the pessimistic, illiberal left, they have an insult for everyone. Arrogant calumny sputters from their fingertips like magic sparks in a Harry Potter novel. For instance the contemptuous leftist term for people, like me, who got a world-view jolt on Sept. 11, it’s “bedwetters.� Lovely people on the ad hominem Left.

    Please tell me the irony is intentional.

  • http://vernondent.blogspot.com/ Callimachus

    What’s wrong with administering doses of one’s own medicine?

  • http://www.kozoru.com Justin Gardner

    Lovely people on either side. So why highlight the efforts on one side as worthy of praise?

    Consider me puzzled by this post.

  • http://sethyblog.blogspot.com Pooh

    Ok, as long as it was intentional, I’m fine ;)

  • http://vernondent.blogspot.com/ Callimachus

    They hate you. They invent words meant to cut you. You smile and embrace the words and make them your identity. Attempt to cause pain is defused. Like homosexuals took over “wqueer” and “dyke.”

    There is not an equality between the people who craft hate-bombs and the people who amusingly defuse them.

    It seems to me a very centrist/moderate activity.

    Lovely people on either side. So why highlight the efforts on one side as worthy of praise?

    Is only Ann Coulter fair game for potshots here?

  • Bob J Young

    I use to have a coworker who always said that stereotypes exist because there is a kernel of truth somewhere in them. To say he was politically incorrect would be and understatement.

    Insults like “bedwetter” probably sting because somewhere deep inside it strikes a nerve.
    What that particular nerve is? Well that’s for each individual to determine.
    My guess is that it has to do with missing all the signs of escalation prior to 9/11 (the millennium bombing, the Cole, the African bombings……).

    If you want to disarm the insult you have to find that kernel inside you and acknowledge it, not shoot the messenger.

  • docob

    “If you want to disarm the insult you have to find that kernel inside you and acknowledge it, not shoot the messenger.”

    How interesting. I’ve never seen sanctimony actually drip before.

  • Phillip J. Birmingham

    Lovely people on the ad hominem Left.

    Boo frickin hoo.

  • reader_iam

    This is why I don’t want to write about this stuff.

    Does every post have to cover every side, everywhere and always, without exception, until we drown in all the other hands?

    Um, you know what? There’s more than one way to get balance. There are posts that cover this point of view. There are posts that cover that point of view. Etc.

    It’s hard to bore me. But I’m starting to discover a wellspring of talent in that department.

    And I know, I know: My problem. The appropriate response is, “If it bothers you or causes you to go snarky, go away.:

    EXCELLENT idea.

  • http://www.kozoru.com Justin Gardner

    Is only Ann Coulter fair game for potshots here?

    Yes. Only her. That’s the official Donklephant policy from now until we shut it down. Yee-haw! Long live one-sidedness!

    Listen, you have a tendency to call out the ridiculous voices in the left blogosphere while ignoring the ones on the right. I don’t know why. But I’ll tell you, my guess is that people are much more interested in your posts about the issues than when you talk about how your coworkers are rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth liberals or how some writers at Daily Kos are actually strident and say nasty, indefensible things. I mean, I know quite well that there are all these great thoughts over on your site about history and language, etc. So when you post stuff like this over here, yes, that puzzles me quite a bit. Especially when you’re pimping one side’s efforts to combat the others. Huh?

    And you’re right, I did call Coulter out a few times, but I’ve promised to stop. I wish you would too. The site will be better because of it.

  • Chris

    Gee, I guess I was mistaken when I saw words like “commie, queer, traitor, chickenshit, unhinged, deranged” and a host of others when I posted my views at right wing sites. Or when I saw the commenter at Ace of Spades who suggested that liberals shoud be killed and their skins nailed to the barn (he even offered to do it himself.) That’s not to mention the many offers to beat the shit out of me.

    And by the way, the term “chickenhawk” is used in a couple of ways. I don’t apply it to war supporters who don’t serve, because I don’t buy that argument. But it does apply to rabid war supporters who never served in the military, but feel free to question the courage and patriotism of others, even active duty military. In that case, the term fits.

    I don’t know what it is with you right wingers. It seems like every right wing sight I’ve read has repeted comments about how reasonable and thoughtful conservatives are, compared to the rabid left. And you’d think from reading them that Kos was the only left wing site. There’s something strange about this need to constantly reassure each other.

  • http://sethyblog.blogspot.com Pooh

    See this is just a stupid discussion because it doesn’t take a lot of work to find some reasonably prominent person saying something more or less nasty from either. A pox upon them all, etc…As to who’s worse, who cares? (And Cal is a much bigger jerk than me…)

    I think Justin is right in that this kind of post only serves to get everybody riled up and start calling each other names by proxy. I find it much more useful if people would police their own, rather than looking across the aisle, because there’s always the “gotcha” element which rather naturally puts people on the defensive.

  • http://vernondent.blogspot.com/ Callimachus

    Listen, you have a tendency to call out the ridiculous voices in the left blogosphere while ignoring the ones on the right. I don’t know why.

    Because I don’t pay attention to the maniacs on the right. But the maniacs on the left come looking for me and get up in my grille online. Or they’re blabbing in my ears all day while I’m at work. Which is why I started blogging in the first place — to get out of my system all the things I don’t say to these fatheads in person for the sake of keeping the peace where I work. And to download all the frustration of seeing how the media works.

    I mean, I know quite well that there are all these great thoughts over on your site about history and language, etc. So when you post stuff like this over here, yes, that puzzles me quite a bit.

    It’s a political site for crissakes. You made it that way. Look at the logo. It doesn’t say anything about “language and history” up there. Look at what people comment on here. Look at the longest comment threads.

    Especially when you’re pimping one side’s efforts to combat the others. Huh?

    Because the pimping on the other side already is well-covered. Do you want vigorous argument back and forth or do you want Democrats Lite?

    Swiveling and shifting targets:

    I find it much more useful if people would police their own,

    Who have you policed lately?

  • http://sethyblog.blogspot.com Pooh

    Who have you policed lately?

    Well, I try to start with myself, you don’t see me dropping ‘keyboard kommando’ around, do you?

  • eustochius

    I’m with you Cal. While we certainly want to avoid comparative political demonology (CPD) on a centrist site, I don’t think that’s what Cal was doing. He was merely pointing out what he feels to be a disturbing trend on the left and defending himself. He wasn’t throwing out epithets or damning all liberals; he was being focused.

    I think centrists can point out the flaws, as they seem them, on both sides. And they need not strive for balance in each and every post. They just need to be reasonable and thoughtful, and one would hope that in the long term, averaged over all issues, a centrist site would be moderate.

    I’m sure many here would have no problem lamenting Christianist influence, so why can’t Cal lament the illiberal strains withinin liberalism? You don’t have to agree, but rather than turning it into a CPD-fest, focus on the issue Cal brought up, namely, what he feels to be illiberal strains in liberalism. Just like we could discuss Christianism without feeling obliged to point out the flaws in secular humanism, or something like that.

    I think Cal’s perspectives are much needed here, to provide an alternative viewpoint.

  • http://sethyblog.blogspot.com Pooh

    eust,

    That’s fair, but what’s the purpose of calling out name-callers by calling them names?

  • eusto

    Pooh,

    They started it! ;)

    Seriously though, I don’t think the few snide remarks Cal tossed in really are on the same level. Illiberal, isolationist while negative aren’t the same as chickenhawk. And using terms like arrogant calumny could be viewed as descriptive more than derogatory. It’s a bit of a fine line though.

    Besides, Cal was being lightly rude and mocking, he wasn’t foaming at the mouth — which (Cal’s response) seems like the appropriate response to name callers.

    You know, throw in a few rude remarks among serious commentary to get ’em going a bit. Surely, you’d be tempted to do the same to a bunch of crazy conservatives demanding your “pelt.”

    I think part of the aim of centrist is calling out the nutsos. After all, many would say that the wingers are the ones driving our politics all haywire. I don’t think centrists should obsess on them, but I think it would be foolish to ignore the most dangerous trends in our politics.

    In formulating arguments against the worst parts of our politics, we can provide an alternative and a bulwark against them. I don’t see how centrists can do this without taking the wingers head-on. I don’t think we should focus on personalities per se but on broader trends within politics — like the rise of evangelicalism and the trend towards isolationism among the usually interventionist left.