Support Denmark, Defend Freedom

Sunday, May 21, 2006


I just found out about the big blowup over at PoliMonoPundit during the past week. I never really headed over there that much because I wasn't a big fan of the overall tone of the blog, and now I know I was right.

Seems PoliMonoPundit himself had awhile back invited some of his better commenters to become guest bloggers, and pretty much gave them free reign. Very cool. But apparently disagreements over the hot button issue of immigration proved to be too much for PoliMono to take. Here's guest blogger Lorie Byrd:
I received a lengthy email from Polipundit tonight alerting us to an editorial policy change that included the following: "From now on, every blogger at will either agree with me completely on the immigration issue, or not blog at" I would provide additional context, but Polipundit has asked that the contents of our emails not be disclosed publicly and I think that is a fair request. There has been plenty written in the posts over the past week alone to let readers figure out what happened. Polipundit ended a later email with this: "It’s over. The group-blogging experiment was nice while it lasted, but we have different priorities now. It’s time to go our own separate ways."
Here's guest blogger Alexander McClure:

I believe we have a duty, as the majority party, to act responsibility, to be worthy of the confidence of the American people. The secret of our success has been our openness, our willing to debate, our eagerness to confront issues, and to create solutions. Unlike our adversaries, we do not engage in the venomous politics of division and hate. Therefore, I believe we should not disparage our President nor distort what he says. As I said in one post several weeks ago, a party of freedom cannot be a party of fear.

Because of these beliefs, and because of the the immigration issue, I can no longer participate on this site in my former capacity.
And here's guest blogger DJ Drummond:
The ‘guest writers’ contributed a lot of good work to the Polipundit site. Being angry at us now would only prevent the appreciation of some very good insights. But to those who think that the site owner somehow owes us anything, I would remind you that we were essentially no-name writers when he gave us the offer to write here; he not only has the right to change the make-up of his site, it’s his duty to do so when he sees it as needed. A coach changes his roster when it is necessary, so much more a site owner whose message needs focus. Poli and I differ on this issue of the Illegals, specifically with regard to the President and the tone of the debate, but we have long agreed on many important issues, and we still have great respect for each other. Even if we can no longer post on the same site, we still serve the same greater cause, for the same reason.
So what to make of this? Right off the top, let me state the obvious: it's PoliMono's blog, and he has every right to do what he wants with it. If that includes expecting guest bloggers to agree with him on the immigration issue, that's his decision.

But here's the thing: the debate on immigration is not really a debate. It's people with differing opinions calling each other names and questioning each other's motives. The fact is, most people who support building a wall along the Amerexico border are not "racists." And by the same token, Senators who don't march in lockstep with PoliMonoPundit shouldn't be referred to as "Quislings" or "agents of Mexico."

But PoliMono doesn't see it that way: not agreeing with him on this issue apparently makes you an enemy of the state. And he's not alone. The level of invective over immigration is in my opinion worse than it is on any other issue right now, including the War in Iraq. What's particularly bothersome is that when it comes to immigration, the childish name calling is not limited to the Kos/DU crowd on the left or the LGF/Coulter crowd on the right. On this issue, otherwise rational people completely lose their minds.

Here's what PoliMono has to say about the guest blogger issue:

The blog has focused on various issues, but one issue on which I cannot give in to the elites is illegal immigration. On that, this blog’s position must be clear, not ambivalent. As a legal immigrant, I feel very, very, strongly about this. Back in 2004, I nearly withdrew my support for Bush’s re-election when he came out with his suicidal immigration “reform” plan.

So far, I’ve allowed the guest bloggers here to write pretty much what they pleased about all issues, including illegal immigration.

But on the illegal immigration issue, I now find myself having to contend with at least three out of four guest bloggers who will reflexively try to poke holes in any argument I make.

Suppose three out of four columnists at the Old York Times were pro-Republican. You can bet publisher “Pinch” Sulzberger would do something about that right quick.

Suppose a Bush administration official came out openly against amnesty. The Bushies would show him the door.

Similarly, the writers at need to respect the editorial position of on the most important issue to this blog, as the “publisher” sees it - illegal immigration.

Well, Sulzberger wouldn't have hired three pro-Republican columnists in the first place, so that's a silly analogy. And what, exactly, does PoliMono mean when he says that the guest bloggers "need to respect the editorial position of on...illegal immigration?" Respecting a position is not the same as agreeing with it, which is clearly what PoliMono wants. FIAR gives his position on immigration here. I don't agree with much of it, but I think it's probably the best summation of that point of view that I've seen, and I respect it.

I guess as an extension of PoliMono's policy, since I don't agree with the editorial position of on the most important issue to that blog, I should probably just completely stop reading it. Not a problem. Done, and done.

But here's a quick piece of unsolicited advice for PoliMono: If this issue is so important to you, it seems to me you should be trying your damndest to convert people to your point of view. All you're doing now, with your name calling and your attitude, is preaching to the choir.

Anonymous SeanS said...

Amazing how some people can't stand differing opinions. Sometime fmragtops, Steve the Pirate and I may disagree. They have complete and total freedom to express that opinion without fear of retribution or editorial interjection.

It's a group blog just so that I CAN get other opinions.

Anonymous FIAR said...

Yeah, Sean. I've posted stuff recently that FM doesn't agree with, and I would be perfectly agreeable with him posting a response right there on my front page, or if you wanted me to post a response, or anyone else.

Monopundit may have the right to squash any and all dissent, but I think that's just stupid. I would say, "Bring it on!" Let's show that we can disagree, perhaps even vehemently, and remain on the same side overall, and remain friends in the process too.

Blogger The Cranky Insomniac said...

My favorite group blogs are where posters disagree with each other and get into it in the comments sections or in the blog itself. Usually you get good discussions that way, because the people involved are friends, so it never degenerates into mindless name calling.

You twits.

Blogger fmragtops said...

Yeah, FIAR has contributor access to my blog, and I'm not going to pull it because we happen to disagree on the Republicans vs. Conservative thing. I have always admired FIAR's postings whether I agree or not. Like I told Patrick, I think differing opinions strengthens my own arguments because it forces me to re-evaluate them, and possibly amend them in light of someone else's point of view.

And Speaking of Shoot A Liberal, the troll traffic has been light.

Y'all just keep speaking truth to stupidity, and I'll try to do the same.


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