Barry's posts, and one from his friend, former Spec Ops officer who goes by the nom de guerre of Slugg, have been thoughtful, considerate, and informed.
Some of the comments, however have not. One accused Barry of posting nothing more than what he could get from "the drive-by media," the exact phrase I heard yesterday from Rush Limbaugh. So we know what that guy listens to as he scopes out the local elementary school playgrounds.
Then someone suggested that he didn't know you had to be a Special Forces officer in order to cut and paste Seymour Hersch, implying that Slugg's post was just a rehash of what Mr. Hersch had written in the New Yorker, you know, that liberal magazine. Barry promptly set fire to the guy and he left.
Now, I expect things to split along ideological lines, and if you can look way off to your left, you'll see where I'm coming from, and that's OK. Dusty and I have both had fistfights with Charlie Stella, a man of terrific writing ability, in spite of his Neanderthal politics.
Just kidding, Charlie.
No, I'm not.
We all made up in the end and I expect we'll have a few good drinks together in Arizona, and that'll be great. I'm too old to let politics get in the way of alcoholic comraderie. Life is far too short.
But, you know how it is. There's always one guy. One commenter who is stupid or dishonest or sometimes both.
The argument in question went something like this (and I've edited this to make me look smarter and more reasonable. Let the other guy start his own damn blog):
The jerk: "Linguistically speaking, if you're not Pro-Life then the only other choice is Pro-Death."
Me: "I prefer to think of abortion as a right to privacy issue. And nothing is this black and white."
Jerk: "What does politics have to do with abortion? It’s a matter of right and wrong, moral and immoral, life and death. Not politics."
Me: "I'm just saying that nothing is this black and white. There are always shades of gray. There are even contradictions in the Bible, but please, don't start throwing scripture at me."
Around this time the guy asked me why I assumed he was Christian and I, assuming I'd made an incorrect assumption, apologized, to which he replied (and this is a quote):
"Why, because I'm Christian? I think it says something (what I'm not sure) when you feel you have to apologize because you confused me with being Christian. Is being Christian an insult? As far as killing life of any kind, I could very well and might possibly be, a Buddhist. The sad thing is that had I mentioned the unwarranted killing of insects as the Buddhist believe, no one would have said a thing."
Now, if the president was a born-again Buddhist, or the Buddhists were campaigning to get their cosmic tale taught in science class, or if Fox News was reporting every day on the War on Buddhists, then I could see how relevant Buddhisim was to a political discussion, but they're not.
And this guy knows it. Suddenly, he's turned a political discussion, one started as a thread on linguistic spin, into an assault on his religion and he went on to wonder why I was not allowing him (as if I had this magical blog power) to quote scripture.
Jesus Jumping Christ, I had to walk away to keep from reaching through the lines and throttling the guy.
So, while I applaud Barry for trying to host a thoughtful blog on politics, I worry that dishonest asshats like this, armed with the smug surety of the convert, will make it impossible to have an honest give and take.
That's why I save my political rants for the Planet, where I can openly mock people's most deeply held convictions. It's much more fun.