Now one of the most entertaining and best-written of the conservative blogs is The Rightwing Nuthouse, whose proprietor, author, researcher, editor, and general-antic-in-chief just happens to be one of my (many) brothers, the indefatigable Rick Moran, lately seen locking horns (figurative and not demonic) with lefty Taylor Marsh on C-Span's "Washington Journal." Rick acquitted himself nobly, garnering favorable reviews even from Marsh herself.
(Parenthesis: One of the two panel participants was more articulate about the global implications of the policies discussed - and it wasn't Marsh.)
Rick writes with commendable enthusiasm about Fox TV's "24," with great passion about baseball, and with generally good humor about politics from what I'd term a usually conservative (as opposed to strident right wing) perspective that is rather more oblique than opposed to my own classically liberal (as opposed to the Stalinist-politically-correct-formerly-"New Left" bastardization of progressivism current today)stances on issues. It makes for some genial conversations and, as Rick notes in his own profile, some interesting family reunions.
Rick's topic today, as the link above shows, is the unpleasantness related to a recent incident at the University of California at Santa Cruz and the subsequent reaction of Michelle Malkin, the prominent, popular, and often quoted right wing (and NOT conservative) blogger whose readership (and I'm trusting Rick on this) is in the neighborhood of 144,000.
The UCSC incident involved a small number of students harassing, blocking, and physically assaulting military recruiters on campus. From the news reports in the MSM, it certainly looks like the demonstrators' physical interference constituted some kind of crime or other, and the legal system will work that out in its own time. Definitely small potatoes compared to what was happening in a similar vein back in the Sixties, but serious enough in itself.
A number of left-oriented commentators have tried to excuse the students' conduct with the classically Stalinist ethic that the ends (interfering with the prosecution of an immoral war) justify the means (breaking the law and attempting to restrict free political speech on campus).
If the students committed crimes during their protest, then they need to go to jail. Gandhi did; King did; hell, even I did. That's the part of the civil disobedience equation that many seem to have forgotten.
What they do not deserve is to have their "personal information" posted on a website that draws the abovementioned one hundred thousand plus hits - or even on a site that draws a fraction of the same. That's just gratuitous bullying any way you slice it - and justified only by the same illogic of the Stalinists on the other side - that quelling all this nasty progressivism still floating around permits even the most un-civil of public acts.
Malkin justifies her publicizing (from public documents already easily available, to be fair to her) of students' email addresses and phone numbers by writing:
As for SAW, my message is this: You are responsible for your individual actions. Other individuals are responsible for theirs. Grow up and take responsibility.
And indeed they should - in a court of law, and not to Malkin or the reading public at large.
In retaliation against Malkin, though, a number of left-leading websites have published her home address and phone number, which would seem mere poetic justice were it not for:
a) the sad fact of the number of nuts of all and no political stripes wandering the American landscape today, and
b) another old moral saw about two wrongs not making an acceptable sum.
Brother Rick, though, sees the situation in a different light - a dimmer one, I think:
Of course, we’re now beyond the debate about what went on at UCSC and into the bloody aftermath; Malkin’s publishing the press release containing the telephone numbers of those poor, innocent college students. This is something Malkin does quite often. She publishes contact information of school principals, corporate CEO’s, college professors, local elected officials, and anyone and everyone who demonstrates either extraordinary cluelessness or a particular bias against conservatives. It is the fact that she encourages her readers to initiate contact that has lefty blogs up in arms.
Enough said right there, really. As the Jesus notes in Matthew's Gospel "All who take the sword shall perish by the sword." And of course, Hamlet does in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern by figuratively hoisting them with their own petard.
Malkin encourages her readership to "initiate contact." Her opponents turn the technique on her, upping the ante by bringing it all literally closer to home.
So - sorry brother Rick, but if you play with dirt, you're going to get dirty. Or as the Anglo-Saxons put it in their own inimitably pithy way - if you lie down with pigs, you'll wake up smelling like shit.