As for my email, I think all one has to understand is that during the 2008 campaign season my blog, as a publication, was operating under various restrictions related to our 501(c)4 tax status, to our then-current understanding of the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act (since modified by the Citizens United decision), and by CAP/AF internal policies. Consequently, I had some opinions relevant to the campaign that were not fit for publication on the blog and that I voiced in other venues, including emails to people. One such opinion was that the selection of Sarah Palin was an irresponsible and politically motivated act. I thought—and continue to think—that the line Strong quoted is a reasonably pithy formulation of the point.
And the quoted line is this:
“John McCain picked someone to help him politically, Barack Obama picked someone to help him govern,”
Now, my mind is not chock-a-block with memories of Matt Yglesias posts from 2008, but my vast techno-skills have called forth his August 2008 archives, just after the Palin pick was announced.
Apparently, for legal reasons Matt could not say that the Palin pick was politically motivated, but he had many, many Palin posts, including this, from August 29:
It’s striking listening to the commentary about why this is a smart pick for John McCain that the arguments are all about how this will help him politically — attract women voters, get attention, disrupt Barack Obama’s “change” message, etc. What I haven’t seen is any conservatives making arguments about why Sarah Palin will help President McCain govern. He’ll call on her insights about . . . what?
That was all OK, yet "the line" - "John McCain picked someone to help him politically, Barack Obama picked someone to help him govern” - broke some mysterious legal guidance? Seriously?
Were Matt's readers apprised of these mysterious yet seemingly ignored limitations on his commentary? I thought the blog was promoted as being more or less free and unfettered (One time his editor did quash him, but on what topic? My failing memory...), but now we are being told it wasn't.
On the other hand, what we are being told today doesn't jibe well with what our lying eyes see in the archives - it certainly appears that Matt voiced "the line" right there on the blog, today's protestations and legal bafflegab notwithstanding.
I am sure there is an explanation.
This Journolist is not bringing out the best in people.