Sunday, March 12, 2006

The collaborator problem

As most of us have noticed and enjoyed, Paul Krugman allowed himself the well-deserved pleasure of a bit of "nyah, nyah" at Andrew Sullivan's expense on Friday.

Sully's response was predictably conflicted -- on the plus side, a willingness to publish some mildly critical comments from readers (as with most self-identified conservatives, his blog does not permit comments), and some grudging acknowledgement of a few eensy weensy errors in judgement.

On the minus side, there are the requisite Sully half-truths, blame avoidance and self-delusion. SullyWatch chronicles the nonsense.

No question that Sully's absurd warblogging warrants considerable ridicule. But his recent tentative wandering off the Kool Aid reservation brings up a larger question: how should we deal with the collaborators?

My recommendation: when the rats jump our way, let's keep the public retribution to a minimum. As much fun as it is to punish them, and as much as they deserve it, there are real benefits to taking the high road.

Will we get credit in the long run for our generosity? Yeah, right. Evil maintains a ledger and rewards the charity extended to it -- right after the flying pig exhibition wraps up.

The utlilitarian reason for limiting our gloating, and the torturing of the wingers trying to find spots in the lifeboats is much more immediate. We need them -- need them to join our chorus, need them to denounce Bush and his bloody crusade, and need them to form a steady parade into the reality-based community. And to get those things, we need them to feel comfortable coming our way. So we should bite our tongues and welcome them with open arms.

But jeez, Louise... what a wanker.

(Photo from the greatest photog ever -- Henri Cartier-Bresson)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that there are lots of good reasons to stick to the high road, not the least of which is demonstrating that principled opposition can build a foundation for principled government.

So when a warmonger suddenly sees the light, we should welcome him over to the sunny side of the street.

Nevertheless, I would like to see some mechanism that would allow for a little justice. Shouldn't a writer who peddled lies to launch a war be required to find another line of work? He should be involved in paying for and cleaning up the mess they have made, since it's a responsibility none of the rest of us will escape. And he should maybe shut up.

There is useful work for all the wrongheaded pundits, but continued punditry shouldn't be an option.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, using that critiria MMA would NOT exist. GAWD DMN it makes my skin crawl to say it but as long as the craven little fckers are truely repentent we must, if not warmly for now, at least welcome them back to reality. For one thing they know alot of useful information about the internal macinations of the pshyco/right. and for another if there is no hope of fight to the last man. And another note. the pic is of a camp guard, NOT a collaborator.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should have been an h in bad.

7:58 AM  
Blogger bluememe said...

Actually, Anonymous #2, the pic is titled, "Gestapo informer," but even if the woman the left was a guard, the truthiness of the image remains. And great point in rebutting Anonymous #1 re: David Brock -- Media Matters is more powerful repentance than a gazillion Hail Mary's would be.

And I don't want to do anything to scare off any of you who comment here, but couldn't you folks choose more distinctive screen names? "Anonymous" is so ... taken.

I'm just saying.

9:11 AM  

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