Battlepanda: See Jane Prevaricate


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, August 07, 2006

See Jane Prevaricate

I hate to pile more on Jane Hamsher after I've already taken one good swipe. But I can't help but link to Kevin Elliot's masterful takedown of her curiously non-apologetic apology for the blackfaced Lieberman picture:
I sincerely apologize to anyone who was genuinely offended by the choice of images accompanying my blog post today on the Huffington Post. It’s also important to note that I do not, nor have I ever worked for Ned Lamont’s campaign. However, at their request, I removed the image earlier today.

Unfortunately, Senator Lieberman’s campaign has used this in attempt to hurt Ned and score political points, mustering their own faux indignation in attempt to further distract from the issues important to the voters of Connecticut.
Huh? And what, exactly, was that photo designed to do other than to hurt Lieberman and score political points? Did you honestly think it added to serious debate? And any faux indignation aside, why isn’t racist imagery used to score political points an important issue?
For weeks, Senator Lieberman has attempted to woo African Americans by pretending to be someone he clearly is not. Meanwhile, his campaign has liberally distributed race-baiting fliers that have the “paid for by” Joe’s campaign disclaimer at the bottom, lying to the press about their intended recipients.
And this justifies your actions how?
But for some reason, more questions have been asked about me, a blogger. With so much at stake this election, is the choice of images used by a mere supporter really newsworthy?
Oh give me a break. Jane Hamsher is more than a “mere supporter.” She’s a highly respected and visible blogger. She should be aware that she pulls more weight than a “mere supporter.” This is bullshit.
To the extent that rightwing Republicans like Michelle Malkin are trying to harm Ned Lamont with this ginned up controversy by “defending” his opponent with these absurd charges of racism — I regret it and I invite them to take it up with the person who did it, namely me. I answer to nobody and I operate entirely on my own volition. If you have a problem with something I’ve written, you know where to find me.
Sorry Jane, but you brought this shit upon yourself. Oh, and thanks for giving the right yet another weapon to beat us with. All the tough talk in the world doesn’t erase the fact that you fucked up.
But perhaps it’s also time people started asking why the Republicans suddenly feel they have a dog in this fight in the first place. First David Horowitz, then the College Republicans and now the rightwing blogosphere are all championing a particular Democrat in a Democratic primary. Perhaps they have come to admire what seem to be ever increasing Rovian tactics, such as that flyer accusing Lamont of being a racist (which inspired the satirical graphic in the first place.) Whatever it is, it certainly should give Connecticut voters pause as they consider whether they are really voting for a Democrat in the Democratic primary on August 8th.
These are good questions to be asking, but I’m still not sure how this justifies that photo. This reeks of “they do it, so why can’t we?” Well, first of all because you are supposed to be better than that. I find it offensive that rather than just saying, “ok, I fucked up. I apologize. Please forgive me,” Jane Hamsher is trying to frame this in purely partisan terms. Rather than accepting responsibility for her actions, she’s trying to shift the blame over to the right. I’d be willing to accept her apology if it wasn’t such an obvious attempt to diminish damage done by shifting the blame. This apology says to me, “If the Lieberman camp hadn’t engaged in racist tactics, then I wouldn’t have had to engage in racist tactics myself, so it’s not my fault.” And on that, I call bullshit.
Emphasis is mine. I think Kevin is indeed currect -- the apology pissed me off more than the transgression because she is playing us vs. them games to try and exculpate herself. This is why partisan politics turn people off -- it's endless rounds of point-scoring as opposed to real arguments. Are we ever going to see a simple apology for any transgressions again if the level of debate continues to slide towards hackery in this manner?

And no, "the other side started it" is not an excuse. Ever.