Jun 07 2009

A Far Right Tirade At NRO Results In Exposing An Anonymous Centrist Blogger

Published by at 8:26 am under All General Discussions

When your hyped up on zealotry thinking your cause is pure, it is tough taking criticism which brings you back down to Earth with us mere mortals and all our imperfections. But at NRO (a hotbed of ‘true conservatives’ – though there are many fine exceptions) it seems the answer to biting criticism is punishment. First a independent comment, on the incident  from Tom Maguire, a blogger I admire and respect:

Ed Whelan of the National Review outed the once pseudonymous “Publius” of Obsidian Wings due to what looks like nothing more than pique.  Not cool at all.

No, not cool. And quite small of Whelan. You need to take on arguments, win or lose. Punishing the world because it does not conform to your greatness is just not the way to do things. And make no mistake, you can see the revenge coming out in the post by Whelan, who actually admits to making mistakes:

Exposing an Irresponsible Anonymous Blogger   [Ed Whelan]

One bane of the Internet is the anonymous blogger who abuses his anonymity to engage in irresponsible attacks. 

Apparently it is ‘irresponsible’ to challenge Ed Whelan, a serious crime.

Well, I’m amused to learn that I was wrong about publius’s lack of legal education.  I’ve been reliably informed that publius is in fact the pseudonym of law professor John F. Blevins of the South Texas College of Law. 

Like many people who are blind to the possibility they may be wrong, Whelan is shocked to find out his challenger is his equal. I for one, not being Whelan’s equal, also agree with Publius at Obsidian Wings that Whelan is exaggerating and pretending when he claims few if any judges or justices consider the policy behind the laws they are considering in their cases. I think Whelan is a bit of a legal hack who does what he describes:

In the course of a typically confused post yesterday, publius embraces the idiotic charge (made by “Anonymous Liberal”) that I’m “essentially a legal hitman” who “pores over [a nominee’s] record, finds some trivial fact that, when distorted and taken totally out of context, makes that person look like some sort of extremist.” 

Why do I think this? Well I have the proof of this very post, where Whelan took the fact his challenger preferred to blog under anonymity (as do I) as some act of irresponsibility that needed to be punished by one Ed Whelan! When you do the very thing you are accused of doing it sort of proves the point – eh Ed?

The much more classy John Blevins responds here, but everyone can see for themselves that he is not only probably right on the matter that elicited the punishment, he has good company with others who concur with him. Ed Whelans is a small man – and you don’t need a degree in law to figure that one out.

What we have is a ‘true conservative’ punishing a more centrist conservative for the crime of disagreeing. Sound familiar?

Update: Make sure to read this post by Anonymous Liberal and this post by Eugen Volokh for more context.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “A Far Right Tirade At NRO Results In Exposing An Anonymous Centrist Blogger”

  1. stevevvs says:

    I like Just One Minute as well, although, I have not been there in a year or more.

    But I think National Review is now, for the most part, Neo Con.

    About all that is worth reading there is written by Andy McCarthy, Mark Steyn, and Mark Krikorian. The rest are not, and even these three for the most part, true conservatives.

    I guess the problem I have is true conservatism is hard to find these days. I’ve found myself searching other areas of the web for it.

    I’ve grown to like V Dare, News With Views, Rebellion Blog, Conservative Heritage Times, but even those sites, I’m not in total agreement with.

    Conservatism has many branches. Palio, Social, Neo Con, etc. So, what some consider conservative, others don’t.

    It’s the same, I’m sure, with Liberal, Socialist, Communist sites. There is no total agreement in them either.

    Even Moderate sites. Some Moderates have a more liberal view, while others have a more conservative view. And each issue seems to be determined as much on someone life experiance and exposure.

    Just looking at the U.S. Senate, and those considered Moderates in both Parties, have really hurt us in real terms.

    The Moderates are the ones who prevent us from drilling for more oil and natural gas, along with the more liberal members.

    They are also true believers in the bogus Man Made Global Warming.

    They prevent more Refineries.

    They don’t believe in lower tax rates, self reliance, the Rule of Law, a strict interpritation of the Constitution, in practice, or the judiciary.

    They don’t want Social Security Reform, and generaly, back more government programs, and thus, more Government power and control over our lives via Government programs.

    So, in closing, there seems no agreement on anything, no matter the political strip.

    Take Care

  2. AJStrata says:


    Jim Geraghty is the only NRO area I still link too. I agree with your list whole heartedly.

    By now I hope you know my tongue is firmly in my cheek when I say ‘true conservative’. There is NO conservatism more true than the other. That purity test is what destroyed the coalition and allowed the dems back in power.

    If you want to govern you have to compromise with your allies and do it with respect and support. Because you will need their support when you agree on other critical things.

    Glad to see you realizing that in politics compromise and coalitions are THE ONLY WAY to stop really bad ideas and policies.

  3. stevevvs says:

    AJ:There is NO conservatism more true than the other.

    By contrast, there is no Moderates more true than the other.

    AJ:Glad to see you realizing that in politics compromise and coalitions are THE ONLY WAY to stop really bad ideas and policies.

    But Republican “Compromise” always means adopting the other sides ideas. Rather than getting to ageee with Republican ideas.

    Look what comprimise gave us in the Bush years.

    Very little new drilling for energy.

    No new Refineries.

    No new Nuclear Plants.

    Tremendous growth in government in terms of it’s scope, and costs.

    Unsustanable entitlement programs, from Social Security, to Medicare. to Prescription Drugs, all are or have, bankrupted us.

    Moderates only exaserbated these problems. Moderates, in both Parties.

    AJ:That purity test is what destroyed the coalition and allowed the dems back in power.

    What coalition? What did it acomplish? Expiring Tax Cuts? What else?

    What put Dem’s in power was a total lack of leadership. The Republicans became drunk on power. They lost what the party was, and in turn, lost the believability of the people.

    They were the party of the Rule of Law, Fiscal discipline, Faith, Family, and Freedom. They were the party of Individual rights and liberties. They were the party of smaller, less intrusive Government. In other words, they were the party of Common Sense.

    They thought as long as the country was at war, they could say one thing, and do another, and no one would vote them out. But that became more problematic as time went on, because the war kept going on.

    The greatness of GWB is a myth, a myth I voted for twice. But his actual record of acomplishments, that can be viewed as positives going forward, really don’t exist.

    They only thing he can and should be applauded for is, remarkably, we were never attacked after September 11, 2001. And given r lax immigration laws, and enforcement, that is truely remarkable. Otherwise, there is no permanent lasting acomplishment I can think of.

    Well, it’s been fun, but the sun is out, and I have a lawn to mow, a classic car to drive, a NASCAR Race to watch, and cold Budweiser to consume! Take care, see you in a few months.

    How does a moderate view the Federalist Papers, The Constitution, etc.? Are they extreme?

  4. AJStrata says:

    Yep steve, governing means blending views into the best possible solution at the time.

    Welcome to reality.

  5. Frogg says:

    All of the conservative bloggers I read thought this outing was wrong. So, “one bad apple” does not make a “spoiled bunch”.