We would like to help Ted Rall with his challenge to the right blogosphere, but he is an angry self-aggrandizer who thrives on hostility and division. Rather than play his game, we will pose our own challenge to the blogosphere, and to Mr. Rall.
Several Bushist blogger types have written to assert that there are as many violent and threatening remarks and insults coming from liberals online as there are from conservatives against liberals. I've spent many sadly-lost hours online, and I say: no way.
So here's my challenge: Please email your worst, most vicious examples of liberal/leftie blogger vitriol (with links, natch), and I'll post 'em right here. If they exist, obviously.
Tempting. Of course, if Ted Rall read Daniel Okrent of the NY Times (excerpt), he might have a different view. But the point to responding to Mr. Rall would be what? To show that Ted Rall is a maroon, or that there are fools on the left? Is either point in serious dispute? Does establishing either point prove anything about liberals generally?
And when Mr. Rall responds that the right is worse, and trumpets his evidence, will that prove the right really is worse, or only that the anti-idiotarian movement has unfinished business? Do our ten fools beat his eleven idiots? If we raise to twelve fools, what do we win?
Ted Rall wins, of course - he is a small angry man who would like to see as many people as possible join him on a crawl through the gutter of the internet, looking for floating bits of excrement.
Thank you, but no. I would rather go outside and look at the stars (hmm, this works a bit better at night). So, here is a different challenge - go out and find examples of prominent (or not so prominent) bloggers, commenters, or political leaders making positive statements about how we are a proud, unified, purposeful country working together to make a good day, and a better tomorrow.
That should not be so painful an exercise, and I bet it won't be too hard. Let's add to the challenge of the "Our Glass is Half Full and the Tap is Running" contest by including some plot twists:
(a) Bonus points will be awarded for source shock value. For an example from the left, a positive vision from the Kos scores more than an upbeat statement from Ted Barlow. I don't think that is fair, either, but the judges seem to be excited about the notion of finding water in the desert.
(b) More bonus points will be awarded for crossover entry shock value - an ardent righty submitting a suitably bi-partisan statement from Hillary Clinton could sweep the board.
(c) Judges will apply a "too easy" deduction to entries based on the recent Bush I - Clinton - Bush II love-in.
Now, this is a contest worth entering! The decision of the judges will be final, and the judges have already decided that the award will make the winner quite happy.
MORE: This entry from Paul Krugman can't win, but it scores lots of "consider the source" points.