Never antagonize anybody . . . unintentionally

What I like about Watchblog is that people are generally polite, sometimes even witty. Of course there is the occasional lout, someone who thinks he is “keeping it real” by being blunt and vulgar. I don’t have anything against insults, per se. There are people who need insulting, some more often than others. But any fool can repeat crude insults. Who really cares if you are “pissed”, and saying “Bush sucks” says lot your education.

It takes more intelligence to be clever. Ideally the person being insulted doesn't even know it right away. Ideally even the insulted one has to smile at the skill. I appreciate much more a clever adversary than a doltish ally. And remember that a gentleman never antagonizes anybody . . . unintentionally.

Posted by Jack at September 9, 2005 10:06 PM
Comments
Comment #79512

That’s good, J.

It’s probably unlikely that those who gravitate towards forums such as this are really prepared to be swayed in their views—or at least not much, so the real pleasure is in the give and take.

And I particularly like your idea of the veiled and guarded insult, though my own tendency would be to never insult an adversary at all, especially not a Democrat or other liberal—very special individuals, in my view, for whom I harbor an affection which borders on the protective.

Posted by: sanger at September 9, 2005 11:10 PM
Comment #79520
It’s probably unlikely that those who gravitate towards forums such as this are really prepared to be swayed in their views—or at least not much, so the real pleasure is in the give and take.

sanger,

I’d say it’s more than just the pleasure of give and take. I’m not a regular poster at WatchBlog, though I go through certain periods of fairly frequent postings, mostly during times (like the Katrina story) when I’m seriously seeking points of view and working out my own evolving perspectives and frustrations. This blog is a kind of public service, I think, and it’s relatively unusual in the blogging world for its civility, balance and (sometimes) thoughtfulness.

Not to mention the fact that liberals, independents and moderates have some hope of at least engaging in a fair fight with conservatives out here in these symbolic, virtual hinterlands — even while, for now, getting our respective butts consistently kicked in the hard scrabble real world of politics.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at September 9, 2005 11:46 PM
Comment #79526

Reed, that is the kind of praise for WatchBlog all of its writers take pride in and seek to earn. Our thanks for expressing it.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at September 10, 2005 12:25 AM
Comment #79539

Reed, self-identified liberals, independents and moderates greatly outnumber we conservatives in both the blogosphere and the actual world.

Each day as we heroically ride into battle—fortified only by bravery and righteousness—we are confronted by a massively increasing liberal horde that continually arrives in their short buses on the field of battle. It is only our great natural cleverness (for what else does it mean to be a Republican?) and the blessing afforded the true and the good which enables us to win our battles in the political realm against such incredible odds.

Posted by: sanger at September 10, 2005 1:03 AM
Comment #79544

Sanger, I never saw that comedic side in your writing before. Bravo!

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 10, 2005 1:20 AM
Comment #79546

sanger,

“a massively increasing liberal horde that continually arrives in their short buses on the field of battle.”

That’s a lot of Volkswagens.

Jack,

“Ideally the person being insulted doesn’t even know it right away.”

What is truely unfortunate that some take it personal. Likewise, it is also unfortunate that some choose to make it personal.
At the end of the day we are all just people that are blessed to have a forum such as this to joust, to vent, and in the end to communicate.

Ah, the slings and arrows…….

Posted by: Rocky at September 10, 2005 1:25 AM
Comment #79547

I find it endlessly amusing that Conservatives would complain like this considering the number of open Republican Blogs out there. Where do you go to argue with a Conservative without getting banned for winning?

It is typical of GOP Hypocrisy.

Posted by: Aldous at September 10, 2005 1:29 AM
Comment #79549

Aldous,

“Where do you go to argue with a Conservative without getting banned for winning?”

Is that winning or whining?

Posted by: Rocky at September 10, 2005 1:33 AM
Comment #79552

Winning. As far as I can tell, the only Liberals allowed in FreeRepublic, et. al. are the Alan Coombs wimps. Anyone who can argue a point logically is immediately banned. Hell, they even banned the McCainites!!!

Posted by: Aldous at September 10, 2005 1:47 AM
Comment #79568
Where do you go to argue with a Conservative without getting banned for winning?

I suppose it would be important to actually win first, before figuring out where to go.

Badda Bing….badda boom

Posted by: joebagodontus at September 10, 2005 7:10 AM
Comment #79581

The difference between this site and other political sites I’ve seen is the difference between a magnificient sword duel and a match from Fight Club. Sure, things can still get nasty, but it’s a more elegant and entertaining form of nasty that actually has to address the issues.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 10, 2005 9:55 AM
Comment #79586

Watchblog is head and shoulders above any site who’s objective is the same. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn things about presentation of thoughts and ideas and, to get a perspective on an issue that you had not previously heard or considered.

After a short time it is possible to know who has posted before you even get to the name of the author at the bottom. There are some extremely articulate and knowledgable contributers who challenge the reader’s ability to submit an appropriate response.

It is a special treat to read the point and counter point dialogue between two writers who have exquisite command of vocabulary. In some cases it’s like reading a mini-Master’s thesis.

At the end of the day however, the best part is that there are no real winners and losers because IMO most/many of the posts are intended as “oneupsmanship”. Not to change someones mind but to minimize the value of his/her opinion.

Although it is not the intent or the mission of Watchblog to do so, the very nature of the topics which regardless of their title wind up to be the same discussion of partisan politics on the same issues creates an “us vs them” format.

That said, I for one welcome the opportunity to participate even though my position is never valid.

Posted by: steve smith at September 10, 2005 10:45 AM
Comment #79587

DAVID!!!!

Do I detect a tongue FIRMLY planted in a cheek?

Hah! Love it!

Posted by: Jim T at September 10, 2005 10:45 AM
Comment #79588

J. Anthony Matel,

i also prefer courtesy and wit to base vulgarity. i agree the credible insult is a valid tool in communication. However, i suggest an insult to be useful must incite not a defensive block but a reflective pause, and whose aim is to encourage, not hinder true communication.

i disagree that Machiavellian insidious insults are a mark of a gentlemaln or civility. A sophistaed gentleman might challenge you to a duel, a simple gentleman might challenge you to a fist fight; a brute, educated or uneducated will stab you in the back. True, such deception is well a documented tactic in nature for individual survival. Somehow it conflicts with my perception of humanity.

Posted by: jo at September 10, 2005 10:54 AM
Comment #79604

Jack,
One of these days Americans will start teach our children about Human Nature. The one thing I like most about Watchblog is that everyone for the most part remains Civil. However, for those that don’t want to remain Civil and Learn allow me to point out a fact about Human Nature and our willingness to hold firm to our beliefs until proven wrong.

While it is Human Nature to debate/fight for what one believes is right, why is it that the first person to raise their voice in the argument is usually the one to be found wrong once all the facts are known?

Fuss if you must, but Human Nature and history proves this to be the case time and time again. So to those who believe the F### you, or any political correct response allows the facts to change from the third side of the proverberal “Coin of Life” good luck proven your point with facts that do not lie.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 10, 2005 12:17 PM
Comment #79607
It is only our great natural cleverness (for what else does it mean to be a Republican?) and the blessing afforded the true and the good which enables us to win our battles in the political realm against such incredible odds.

sanger,

And all those massive amounts of corporate dough and establishment power probably don’t hurt your daunting cause either.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at September 10, 2005 12:47 PM
Comment #79608

I really enjoy what we have going on here at WatchBlog

Posted by: Mike T. at September 10, 2005 12:57 PM
Comment #79630

steve smith and others, though the majority of visitors don’t realize the resource exists, or lack motivation to peruse, there are in the archives here a number of articles which seek to explore the truth of what underlies political debate, the philosophical underpinnings if you will. Between election cycles we focus on news, but, during election season I have seen writers take on this closer examination of values, assumptions, and beliefs of political parties. I think we will see some those topics again in 2006, for they are really what separate the politicians from political leaders.

There are many politicians who talk the talk of their party’s platform and philosophy, but far fewer ever demonstrate the ability, integrity, and discipline to walk the walk once elected. This is the great failing of American politics at times and it is a bipartisan failing as far as I can see. But, I hope some writers in every column of WatchBlog will use their knowledge of the values and philosophies of their party as a measuring stick for assessing the worthiness of the candidates their party puts forth as potential leaders. This is a service some WatchBlog writers provide during elections which is invaluable for those who seek knowledge, wisdom, and truth in their vote.

And for those who don’t, WatchBlog serves as a cheerleading section for their favorite team and competitive field upon which they watch their team perform gymnastics with the truth, history, and facts - bending, contorting, and twisting them to their advantage. For the majority this is what politics are and how they score the game, and that is a poor substitute for informed consent at the polls, but, a reality nonetheless.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 10, 2005 3:37 PM
Comment #79637

WatchBlog is great. It enables people to express their opinions and clash with those of different opinions. I enjoy it.

However, I don’t believe insults of any kind, intentional or unintentional, belong here. When someone says that liberals are (you name it), this is another way of insulting me. When others say something derogatory about Republicans, this is an insult to Republicans visiting the blog.

Maybe I’m guilty. If so, I apologize.

Our debate would be much better if we discussed the pros and cons of the issues. Respect the integrity of individuals and respect the integrity of what they believe.

Critique the message, not the messenger - not even obliquely.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at September 10, 2005 4:18 PM
Comment #79643

David, how is the funding drive going?

Posted by: Rocky at September 10, 2005 4:52 PM
Comment #79648

Jim T., yeah, that is why I love this keyboard, the tongue in cheek makes my vocal English sound like drunken Gaelic.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 10, 2005 5:52 PM
Comment #79658

I haven’ been on this blog as long as some of youall, but I’m glad I found it.
I like being able to voice my openion and have those that don’t agree with me tell me. If I wanted a love fest there are other places to go for that.
I also like to every now and again try to stir the pot and see what boils up. This is about the only site that you can get away with it.
Also I want everyone to know that even if I disagree with you, I still respect or openions, and at the end of the day there’s no hard feelings on my part.

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 10, 2005 9:15 PM
Comment #79659

BTW Rocky,
Your right, that is a lot of Volkswagens.

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 10, 2005 9:17 PM
Comment #79668

I too enjoy Watchblog. I’ve been banned from several sites, not for being insulting, but for disagreeing. What type of debate can go on in what Mr. Brown calls a “love in”?

I’ve also actually learned that more republicans and democrats than I thought don’t fall in step with every “party” issue. That’s refreshing since I consider myself independent and agree with certain issues on each side.

Thanks Watchblog and all of you bloggers out there.

Posted by: Tom L at September 10, 2005 11:35 PM
Comment #79669
If I wanted a love fest there are other places to go for that.

Heh. Ron & I agree on something. It’s a special forum where something like that could happen. Hooray for Watchblog!

Jack thanks for sharing your personal thoughts and feelings in this political forum. Being a liberal, I’m all about touchy-feeliness.

But memories of your attempt to defend President Bush’s environmental policy are slowly fading. And since we only rarely get to talk about Republican policy over on this seide, how about explaning how Bush campaign soundbite-crafter Karen Hughes now fits into the administration pantheon? Or the big embrace of John Kerry’s North Korea and Iran policies? Or how Bush administration cronyism in handing out federal contracts is a good thing — especially after the Brown debacle?

Posted by: American Pundit at September 10, 2005 11:41 PM
Comment #79673

AP,

Turning the tide!

Posted by: Tom L at September 11, 2005 12:06 AM
Comment #79676

The big embrace of John Kerry’s (the name is vaguely familiar) North Korean and Iran policies? I wonder what that means. A bear hug for John Kerry? A bear hug from John Kerry for Kim Jong Il and Iran’s mullahs?

Posted by: sanger at September 11, 2005 1:13 AM
Comment #79689

To Watchblog
Guys like me are also thankful to Watchblog and I especially want to thank Al Gore for inventing the internet so conservative thinkers like me can engage in (quasi) intelligent discourse with many good Americans.

See?

Even conservatives can throw in a good natured zing now and then without being hateful and vindictive.

I enjoy the posts by Stephen Daugherty the most…he is a clear thinker who expresses himelf well…..and sometimes even admits flaws in his thinking…similar to what my president does.

Pundit also is a talented thinker…I just wish wish that he can contain his anger a bit and see the other side of the story every now and again.

Frankly I enjoy reading and responding to post on the left side…the guys on this side (the right)remind me of the football team trying to sit on a lead early in the third quarter…there are better conservative writers out there who can express and exchange a point of view from an intellectual prespective better than the present line-up.

We are all Americans..and especially today…the fourth anniversary of the disaster in New York….we should be thankful that we live in a society that allows a forum of an honest exchange of ideas.

Did Kerry help Gore invent the internet?

Or was it Ted Keddedy?

Can’t remember.

Posted by: Sicilian Eagle at September 11, 2005 8:58 AM
Comment #79704
The big embrace of John Kerryís (the name is vaguely familiar) North Korean and Iran policies? I wonder what that means.

It means that President Bush adopted Senator Kerry’s strategies for North Korea (bi-lateral negotiations within the 6-party framework) and Iran (work with the EU-3 to bring Iran to the Security Council).

Posted by: American Pundit at September 11, 2005 10:25 AM
Comment #79724

“It means that President Bush adopted Senator Kerry’s strategies for North Korea (bi-lateral negotiations within the 6-party framework) and Iran (work with the EU-3 to bring Iran to the Security Council).”

I hope Bush got permission first.
Dealing with the N.Korean Master of Leadership & Humanity has been an ongoing process.
The Bush administration, at that point, was not able to say they would perform bilateral talks along with the 6 party negotiations.
Giving Kerry the credit is just another way to try and convince people he would have done better. It doesn’t work on all of us.


Posted by: bugcrazy at September 11, 2005 12:00 PM
Comment #79730

I have a challange for The Left, The Middle, and The Right here at Watchblog over the next few months or at least until the Mid-Terms Elections heat up.

Considering that this blog represents a wide specturm of the American population, are you willing not only to debate the issues and the Bills that are taking up in Congress, but offer recommendations on how to do it right?

While I enjoy debating and have actually learned many things from all, I have heard very little constructive ideas on how to fix the problems plaguing our Communities and Nation so that our Children’s Children have a better world than we do.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 11, 2005 12:19 PM
Comment #79737

Henry, fiscal responsibility, as in, pay for it as you go, or no go, on the legislation. That would be a huge first step. But, we have to halt the spend and borrow Republicans in the Congress and Whitehouse. Hopefully a change in majority in the Senate in 2006 will be instrumental in bringing some fiscal responsibility back to Congress.

I believe almost any replacement president in 2008 will make the purchase of a veto pen one of their first priorities to make up for the one GW Bush lost.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 11, 2005 1:24 PM
Comment #79739

David,
I have to agree with on that idea, yet I’ll take it even a step further. While there is essential spending that is required from our federal government like military, roads, eyc. that taxes need to be collected evenly by all citizens. One of the best things a candidate could do in 2008 is stand for an end to “Pork Barrel Spending.”

Instead of collecting taxes for these projects, Congress needs to go back to what our forefathers had to do in funding them. By forcing a Congress person to go back to their community and sell Bonds and Notes for such projects as “The Study of how cows produce gas” not only would accountablity come into play, but the average American could invest in the future of themselve and their children. Do you want to be taxed $20.00 or pay the tax so that interest on a $20.00 IOU Note backed by the Federal Government can be paid? Tough call huh?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 11, 2005 1:39 PM
Comment #79750

I think that all of our Senators, Representives, both local and Federal should go back to their homes, and communitcate by computer, only. Who knows, maybe if they can’t buddy up with someone else, they’ll try to figure out better ways of handling the problems of our country. They certainly would save the taxpayers a great deal of money - we could lower salaries (they won’t need to travel back and forth to Washington, maintain 2 homes, up root their families, etc), the people they are supposely elected to represent would be able to actually speak in person or on the telephone to express their feelings, staff members could be sent home, no need for the Capital Building - so no need to heat, cool, or remodel it,etc.

I also believe that RIDERS should be banned from bills. If the subject is Iraq, then it shouldn’t have levies mentioned, if it is about taxes it shouldn’t have additional pork added, etc.

Of course there are some problems with the above solution, but if one really thinks about it, it’s really not such a horrible idea. And of course everyone would want to thank Gore for creating a forum in which to do the above. ;-)

Posted by: Linda H. at September 11, 2005 3:15 PM
Comment #79765

I would like to say that what I appreciate most about Watchblog is the ability to have a heated debate with someone on one thread, while emphatically agreeing with that same someone on another. It is heartening to see how even those with very divergent beliefs can come together on some important issues. If only we could find a political leader that would figure out what those unifying issues were and develop those as a platform, then perhaps partisan politics wouldn’t be prevalent to the point of stagnation in our society.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 11, 2005 5:38 PM
Comment #79769

Stephanie-
Precisely.

There is is far greater range of ideas that Americans can agree on than most Americans believe. Few leaders take that path nowadays, in light of the “safe” paths of ideological division, but the potential exists for a leader to bring Americans together, especially with people so tired about division and discord, and so disappointed with the ideologues who claim leadership over them. Americans want to believe they are one people, despite everything.

The person who comes along and grants that wish could be very popular indeed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 11, 2005 6:02 PM
Comment #79772

Stephen,

And the fact that you agree with me makes my point! ;-)

Posted by: Stephanie at September 11, 2005 6:06 PM
Comment #79848

I think I once posted here; Anyone running for public office should be required to first spend a year debating on watchblog.( I forget my exact statement).

They would not only learn how all sides feel about the issues, they might even learn how to express their OWN opinion without offending the other side of the isle.

Watchblog may never get as big as some of the “one sided” blog sites, but let any one of the others try to manage such diverse views, in a respectfull manner, then get back to me on which blog is more meaningful to change anyone’s mind politically.

Posted by: Beagle at September 12, 2005 10:55 AM
Comment #79858

I find it interesting that almost all (if not all) of the red sides Watchblog contributors express at least some disappointment in the current Republican leadership. The typical conservative on the street does not - from what I see.

I’m sure they would deny it but I think the diligence of some of the blue writers at providing logical arguments and supporting facts has had some effect on them.

Posted by: Ms Schwamp at September 12, 2005 11:37 AM
Comment #79863
I would like to say that what I appreciate most about Watchblog is the ability to have a heated debate with someone on one thread, while emphatically agreeing with that same someone on another.

Could not have said it better myself. I am fairly new to “blogging” in general (Gore was a little slow rolling out the net in my area I guess). However, I was lucky to have stumbled upon Watchblog as my first experience. I have since checked out some others also and none are nearly as informative, civil, and have as well rounded of an opinion base as here. It is the best by far if your looking for rational, intelligent arguments instead of the one sided pro-party rants that most blog sites offer. Don’t get me wrong, you still get some great rants here as well, but mixed in with them are some fantastic arguments and debates from all sides.

Posted by: BradM at September 12, 2005 12:03 PM
Comment #79865

Ms Schwamp, you may be right. Every once in a while somebody will post something other than an opinion piece over here, and while it usually doesn’t change my mind, it does force my thinking to evolve. It’s why I stick around. Too bad it’s so rare. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at September 12, 2005 12:06 PM
Comment #79869

In the columns of Watchblog
there are folks of every political stripe.
There are Liberals and Conservatives,
and some pushing Neocon Tripe.
There are Independents left out in the cold
by the current two party lines.
And there are raging Evangelical’s
using their bibles more than their minds.
We bicker and fight,
agree and support.
And spit hairs often
on behalf of retort.
Winning our arguments,
or falling far short.
In the columns of Watchblog…

:^) There. Just thought I’d take a stab at a more original statement than: I like Watchblog!

Posted by: Adrienne at September 12, 2005 12:19 PM
Comment #79874
Iím sure they would deny it but I think the diligence of some of the blue writers at providing logical arguments and supporting facts has had some effect on them.

While I don’t necessarily disagree with you on this I will say that I believe that there are a whole lot of us on the right side that have no problems expressing areas in which the party we voted for has or is dropping the ball on, irrespective of what the blue side argues.

Anybody that is being honest should be able to do this. Anyone who believes that their party is perfect is either not living in this world or is badly mis-informed.

Posted by: BradM at September 12, 2005 12:49 PM
Comment #79876

Ms. Schwamp,

“Iím sure they would deny it but I think the diligence of some of the blue writers at providing logical arguments and supporting facts has had some effect on them. “

I’m not a Republican, though I am a conservative, so perhaps my saying so doesn’t matter as much, but I’ll readily admit some of my opinions have changed due to my time here on Watchblog. In many directions, actually. Though, I don’t give as much credit to the Blue column writers as I do the regular posters for that. Inflexibility of ideology is part of the problem in politics today. If you’re not open to dialogue, if you can’t give credit where credit is due and admit you were mistaken, even apologize for it, then IMO, introspection is needed.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 12, 2005 1:00 PM
Comment #79877

Adrienne,

”:^) There. Just thought Iíd take a stab at a more original statement than: I like Watchblog!”

Very nice!!! :-)

Posted by: Stephanie at September 12, 2005 1:02 PM
Comment #79905

Adrienne,
Nice poem - and very truthful!!

I rather like Watchblog mysself, as I am new to Blogging.

Posted by: Linda H. at September 12, 2005 3:07 PM
Comment #79948

Heh. Ron & I agree on something. Itís a special forum where something like that could happen. Hooray for Watchblog!

Take it easy AP, some of your liberial friends might think your going conservitive on them. Ha.

BTW, I DO know how to spell opinion.

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 12, 2005 5:21 PM
Comment #79973

Thanks, Stephanie and Linda H.!

Linda, you wrote:
“I rather like Watchblog mysself, as I am new to Blogging.”

Well, I hope you stick around — since I’ve agreed with everything you’ve posted thus far! :^)

Posted by: Adrienne at September 12, 2005 6:20 PM
Comment #80131
The Bush administration, at that point, was not able to say they would perform bilateral talks along with the 6 party negotiations.

Bugcrazy, do you have anything to back that up? Cause I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. The Chinese, South Koreans, and Russians told President Bush from the start that he needs to have direct bilateral talks within the six-party framework.

There never was a reason not to do so — except that President Bush stated that he won’t negotiate until North Korea disarms. I think the whole world is happy he decided to flip-flop on that.

Take it easy AP, some of your liberial friends might think your going conservitive on them. Ha.

Heh. On some issues, I’m already too close to center for most of my lefty colleagues here. I’m a Clinton Democrat. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at September 13, 2005 9:44 AM
Comment #80559

Back it up? The bilateral talks were not working. The six party talks had to have some history behind them so they could be continued before new bilateral talks began to give those other countries more leverage. It just makes sense not to announce everything one plans to do on national television. To some of us.

Good example: Some ‘smart’ person realized today that Zarqawi watches TV ! So let’s go ahead and announce more SECRET plans stemming from intelligence received from captured terrorists. After all it is their right to know what is coming next.
MAYBE the place where he is staying has a satellite dish on the roof! Aim for the dishes!
Sometimes I wonder if our media realizes they are not in a closed room where no one can hear or see them.
“If I only had a brain”,CNN,FOX,MSNBC,ABC,CBS,NBC,etc….

Posted by: bugcrazy at September 14, 2005 6:56 PM
Comment #80615

bugcrazy, there were no bilateral talks between Bush & Kim before now. That gaff alone makes your opinion suspect.

There was no reason not to have bilateral talks within the framework from the start. President Bush’s response to criticism was to say that China didn’t want US/NK bilateral talks, but China always said that they should happen.

So again, it sounds like you have no idea what you’re talking about. Can you back up any of what you’ve said with facts?

Posted by: American Pundit at September 15, 2005 10:39 AM
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