May 01, 2006


I'll start with a tangent.

It's a good thing I have Cap'n Ed and King on the air with me on the NARN show. They are both very diligent in reminding me that when I slag on leftyblogs that there are exceptions to the rule; when I refer to leftybloggers who've been comedically outmaneuvered as "shrieking like a cagefull of poo-flinging monkeys", both were very conscientious about reminding me that there are exceptions. Josh Marshall, Matt Yglesias, Jeralynn Meritt, Flash - they tend to be able to separate the fever from the swamp.

Now, "Mr. Sponge" - who writes or has written for a number of regional leftyblogs (side note: I'm starting to think that there are really only about ten regional leftybloggers; each of them seems to write for five or six other blogs) - tries but occasionally fails to meet that standard. Writing in Mnisinformed Mnimalcomprehension Minvolved, he took a shot at my take on Ed's "101st Fighting Keyboards" bit (side note 3: Damn, I love that bit. Leftybloggers - who predominantly seem to operate under the conceit that only the left is funny - are reacting to the defusing of their scandalous little slur like someone farted at a Wellstone memorial observance).

It's easiest to explain how by kyping one of leftyblogdom's few non-scatological memes, "The Shorter [fill in a blogger whose style you're about to try to caricature]". I present you with: "The Shorter Sponge", in a hypothetical posting war with "Mr. Red", a fictional rightwing blogger.

"Mr Red is an assnozzle who desperately needs a laxative"
Posted by Mr. Sponge, 5AM, May 1, 2006

[Extensive posting proving non-assnozzlitude and alaxativity]
Posted By Mr. Red, 6AM, May 1, 2006

"Oh, I meant "assnozzle" in the good way".
Posted by Mr. Sponge, 7AM, May 1, 2006.

So, too, with yesterday's response to my "Fighting Keyboard" post.

First things first: the "chickenhawk" slur is the mark of the intellectually bankrupt, of people who can't frame an argument that's not thoroughly ad-hominem.

Sponge isn't intellectually bankrupt; he just needs to restructure some debts and quit floating checks.

His post today takes my piece from Friday - in which I expressed and reiterated a certain amount of humble regret over a road not taken 20-25 years ago - and, in the way of leftybloggers and, well, jumps around like a poo-flinging monkey.

On my note that on 9/11 I was 38, with two kids and a crap knee, Sponge notes:

Note to Mitch: this is the sacrifice thing everybody always talks about. If it were as easy as sending an email to Captain Ed and patching up a chickenhawk jpeg to a website, anyone could do it.)
Gosh, Sponge. Do you think so?

(Apparently he does - throughout his post, Sponge seems to assume that anyone involved in the "101st" thinks the joke is in any way analogous to miltiary service. ("Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a midwest call center manager/blogger is comparing a hastily put-together jpeg and internet list with actual military recruitment.", Sponge? Is that really what Ed was doing? Because either Ed is stupid for saying such a thing, or you're taking target practice at little straw Charlies. I've met Ed, and he's no dummy, so I guess you should be sure to wear ear protection - to go along with the "logic" protection you must have worn while writing your little screed). I urge Mr. Sponge to take that up with Baldilocks, the Jarhead, the Sailor, and the other milbloggers and veterans who are laughing along with Ed; they might set him straight).

Sorry, Sponge; by your leave, dumping the kids and joining the military wasn't an option (at least in part because I had no place to dump them). Ah, but there is no choice, no personal decision no matter how difficult, that can't be jammed into a set of smug preconceptions, in the world of the Sponge.

My first response to Mr. Sponge is...well, anatomically improbable, and in any case not up to the rigid standards of decorum obtaining on this blog.

On further thought, a better one would be "read more carefully, Sponge, and check your prejudices at the door". I mean, thanks for your service, naturally, but you're way off on this one.

But reading carefully would take all the fun out of being a leftyblogger, wouldn't it?

Posted by Mitch at May 1, 2006 12:22 PM | TrackBack

Flip: "The pro-Hussein movement is at it again."

Flop: "the `chickenhawk' slur is the mark of the intellectually bankrupt, of people who can't frame an argument that's not thoroughly ad-hominem."

Posted by: angryclown at May 1, 2006 01:51 PM


THe difference being, I did manage to demonstrate how opposing the war benefits one S. Hussein.

Someone quick show me how not having joined the Army 26 years ago voids the First Amendment?

Posted by: mitch at May 1, 2006 02:09 PM

The Chickenhawk - a non-U.S. military person who is pro-death for U.S. military persons.

It may be true that their motivations might not be to cause more U.S. soldier deaths. But more U.S. soldier deaths would be the inevitable result of their crusade, whatever their motivations.

Posted by: Nick at May 1, 2006 02:29 PM

Pro-death for our people? Hm. Simplistic, inflammatory, untrue... need a blog!

Buncombe. We support the mission they're on, and their efforts in accomplishing it.

Posted by: mitch at May 1, 2006 02:45 PM

I'm not pro death for US military, I'm pro death for 8th century scumbags who blow up public transit and saw kidnap victims heads off.
Chickenhawk only works when your military is conscripted.

Chickenshit however, does apply quite nicely to certain anti-war factions. They wear their Dhimmitude so comfortably.

Posted by: Kermit at May 1, 2006 02:55 PM

Who's trying to repeal the First Amendment? The people who call the chickenhawks that are merely pointing out that they're cowards and hypocrites. It's one thing not to choose the military as a career in a time when we have a volunteer army. It was quite another to use family connections, doctors notes and the like to dodge the Vietnam draft. Every one of the chickenhawks had his spot filled by a young man who had either fewer resources or greater scruples. Some of them did not come back home.

Posted by: angryclown at May 1, 2006 03:04 PM

As Mitch pointed out, it's the logical consequences of your beliefs that are at issue here, Kerm. "No war? Happy dictator." Also more alive U.S. soldiers. So if opponents are pro-Hussein, I guess that makes you pro-U.S. casualties.

Posted by: angryclown at May 1, 2006 03:34 PM

"Pro-death for our people? Hm. Simplistic, inflammatory, untrue..."

I completely agree with you. But it is exactly the same form as the same as your pro-Hussein argument. After all I used your exact words for this part. "It may be true that their motivations might not be to cause more U.S. soldier deaths. But more U.S. soldier deaths would be the inevitable result of their crusade, whatever their motivations."

Posted by: Nick at May 1, 2006 03:45 PM

I might agree with you if I took the position that opponents of the war are pro-Hussein. I haven't. I will take the postion that people who say war is never the answer are moral idiots and should be kept as far from power as possible. Heck, even old B.J. wasn't shy about lobbing Tomahawks into places like Iraq.

Posted by: Kermit at May 1, 2006 03:58 PM

Even Kermit can see the wisdom of our point, Nick. Huzzah!

Posted by: angryclown at May 1, 2006 05:11 PM

OK, I've got a challenge for all you right wingers who think Bush and Rumsfeld are doing "Just fine" in Iraq despite their arrogant, bumbling incompetence.

I have just donated $100 to to pay for an improved helmet liner for some lucky Marine. These liners have improved shock padding which significantly reduces the risk of brain damage for anyone caught in an explosion. Apparently that's been quite common, to the point that the Army has outfitted all their soldiers with the liners. Virtually every episode of Franken's program has a reference to this, he's an avid supporter of it which is how I learned of it.

If you guys on the right can match or exceed that, I'll let Mitch decide what I should do to appropriately recognize that, short of selling my vote.

Oh, and Mitch, if you kick in serious money, I'll send you (on long term loan) my collection of current German pop music - Wir Sind Helden, Juli, Christia Stuermer (yeah yeah she's Austrian, I know that I know that), Klee (on the way from Amazon), Kettcar (when I get it), Nena, and any other oddbits the FBI would rather I not have on my hard drive - there's been a real explosion of incredible talent lately which you've probably missed with your other activities, its not just Rammstein and the dirty pants people and *cough* Schlaeger *deep back of the throat cough* music *cough* anymore.

Posted by: Bill Haverberg at May 1, 2006 07:30 PM

I missed you so much!! This is a bit off topic, but do you know why Stephen Colbert was so funny at the Correspondents Dinner? Because he delivered a pitch perfect performance to a tone deaf audience. Now I'm not saying that I'm pitch perfect, but I do think that my singing is reaching out to a bit more than the choir at the moment. I also think that you don't recognize the tune.

We've been through this dance before. Each time you bring me up, you lead out by mocking our site as having too many writers, you complain about ad-homenim attacks and then you engage in your own. You then go on to talk about shoving things up my ass (I'm assuming this is where you're going) right before you talk about the decorum on your's a terrible tango.

I could care less about the whole Yellow Elephant thing. Personally, I think it sucks; folks do what they have to do and they don't have to join the military to show that they love their country or that they are patriotic. As for the rest of your post...well, you do this every time; you go on and on about how I misread you, yet you don't even realize what our post was very clearly about: the Fighting Keyboard thing is silly and poorly thought out idea. We're quite specific with our criticism. Captain Ed gets special mention because he does indeed compare his effort to military recruiters at UC Santa Cruz. Here's the quote:

UPDATE III: Bumped to the top for more recruitment. I hope we don't get pushed off campus at UC Santa Cruz

Perhaps it is a little bit of tortured logic. Maybe it is a bit like saying that Coleen Rowley called John Kline a Nazi after she photoshopped him into Col Klink. Who knows?

Mr. Mitch, we don't care how you came to the position of not serving. We're glad you enjoyed your kids and we apologize for some of the nasty comments on our site about your family. We're not questioning this sort of thing and we've asked the people who said those things to stop.

Getting back to the Colbert thing for a moment, you are becoming increasingly tone deaf. You write a post that pretty much has nothing to do with anything we wrote earlier this morning. Instead, you used it to say a few things that you've been saying for quite a while right before you blasted us for having preconceptions concerning the issue at hand.

I'll take my chances with the folks who aren't in the choir when it comes to my take on the matter. As for asking other milbloggers about it...2 of those 3 links didn't have anything about Captain Ed's site. I'm not going to go digging through comments sections, but I really don't have any trouble with them supporting this project. Why would I? Why are you using them as a defense for your support of this silly idea? I don't know what type of bird fits that species of deflection.

Anywho, get off of this one while you can. We have more in response over at Minvolved (see comments).

PS: While there may indeed be funny people on "the right", you are not one of them. Your shorter bit sucks. Being that it wasn't funny, how was it relevant? When did we call anyone a chicken hawk in the post? Oh, that's right...we're the ones with reading comprehension problems.

Posted by: Mr. Sponge at May 1, 2006 09:15 PM

Dear Spongebob Leftypants: I was this close to becoming a regular patron of your blog. Your criticisms of Mitch's politics and the sad little vendettas he engages in here were right on.

Until you criticized his sense of humor, that is. I simply will not have it. There are certain things that transcend mere politics, and comedy is one. Mitch is very funny. He also loves baseball and has very good taste in music. I have not asked him, but I can only assume he also likes dogs.

Yes, you are correct about the war, about Congress, about the contemptible lies we have to put up with from our leaders. Trivia. You have questioned Mitch's comedic talents and, consequently, forfeited all credibility in my eyes.

Good day sir!

Posted by: angryclown at May 1, 2006 10:03 PM

Mitch (reporting from Kafka-world): Thanks, AC.

Sponge: You think your audience isn't "the choir"?

The "Shorter" bit was what it was; a description of your approach. I stand by it because, frankly, it's dead-on. You yap at strawmen and take your ignorant little cheap shots, and skip disingenuously away when caught. Example: No, you didn't use the word "chickenhawk" but reading your post it's pretty clear what you mean. The next step in the Sponge playbook: act like it's a big joke that anyone would have assumed you meant to insult anyone, expressed in the form of an insult (I haven't read your response, but I'm guessing I pretty much have it right). I've been through this with you several times now, Sponge; nothing new here.

The "too many writers" mock is aimed at all regional leftyblogs; it's not all about you.

As to the chromosome mutation ward you call your comment section - pffft. I consider the source. No worries.

Posted by: mitch at May 2, 2006 01:12 AM

It's not clear and that's the point. I've never used chickenhawk. I've avoided it. And yes, the fact that you don't see this is kind of funny. What I meant with the post is that the Fighting Keyboard thing is a stupid idea. In order to say that, I had to explain why...with bird species. My guess is that you think I was insulting you because you have internalized your political views to such an extent that you associated disagreement with savage personal attacks. Who knows, whatever it is, your're tone deaf on this one and yes, I do think that my position on the matter plays to more than my choir...another position you don't seem to understand.


Posted by: Mr. Sponge at May 2, 2006 06:43 AM

Sponge Bob thought "Stephen Colbert was so funny at the Correspondents Dinner"? Talk about a majority of one.

Posted by: Kermit at May 2, 2006 07:38 AM

See, in contrast, Kerm is not funny. If you didn't find Stephen Colbert's material funny, there's no hope for you.

At least you'll always have Gallagher, Kerm.

Posted by: angryclown at May 2, 2006 08:26 AM


I was trying to throw you a trackback from this post, but couldn't get it to work. Thanks for a very good piece!

Posted by: K T Cat at May 2, 2006 08:37 AM

Now I'll give the URL for my trackback post. Sheesh! Feel free to slag me for being a dummy.


Posted by: K T Cat at May 2, 2006 08:38 AM

Ah, the Sledge-o-matic! Works equally well on watermelons and liberal ideology. Makes Julienne fries, but I swear you got to hit that sucker just right!
The difference between Gallagher and Colbert? Colbert overestimated his audience. It was the annual press dinner, after all. Bush played them like the out of tune banjo they are.
"She's hot, heh heh."

Posted by: Kermit at May 2, 2006 08:48 AM

Schools will be letting out's going to get worse. Right now it's only the high school dropouts.

Posted by: Sharpshooter at May 3, 2006 10:09 AM

Posted by: violet at October 30, 2006 11:11 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?