Friday, December 29, 2006

The stupids

I normally try not to pay too much attention to the idiocy that passes for commentary from the Mouth Breathing sector of the right blogosphere, but this post from the execrable Ace of Spades was just too stupid to pass up.

Note how it begins:
There's an idiot named David Nieuwert who writes an ultralefty blog called Orcinus. He's absolutely convinced this country is about to be taken over by the white power skinhead movement, and he churns out crappy books and crappier blogposts endeavoring to prove this.

Ace's entire post is essentially dedicated to proving what an idiot I am, and he can't even get my name spelled right.

And of course, there's no link to this blog. That no doubt saves his readership from actually checking into what I've written, where they might actually discover that I've never written anything remotely like the charge that "this country is about to be taken over by the white power skinhead movement."

As he mentions, I have a bit of a history with Ace; we used to spar over at Slate's forum, The Fray, and later at a subscriber-based forum called The Mote. He goes on with a recollection of an argument we had (I actually think this one was at The Mote) regarding hate crimes.

You see, Ace -- who is an attorney of some kind, but not a criminal attorney -- wanted to challenge my assertions about the nature of criminal law vis a vis hate crimes (I think we were discussing the distinction between intent and motive). Ace decided that, because I was not an attorney, I had no expertise whatsoever in the subject and should not be discussing it. I pointed out to him that I had been a cops-and-courts reporter for three years and had covered a number of federal trials in subsequent years. I am not a lawyer, that's certain, and would never claim to have any kind of serious legal expertise beyond that experience -- though obviously that experience gave me a considerably broader working knowledge than your average Joe. And I was fairly certain I knew a hell of a lot more about criminal proceedings than a pencil-pushing corporate attorney whose only time in a criminal courtroom involved dealing with his own DWIs. (Or something like that.)

In other words, the conversation -- and what I actually said -- bore only the barest similarity to Ace's description. The "Nieuwert" he describes is, of course, a gigantic moron, the kind of journalist that nimrods like Ace prefer to believe is similarly responsible for reporting that things are not going well in Iraq. It's so much easier to score points when your opponent is that big fat straw man.

But guys like Ace would have nothing to write if they didn't have straw men to build and then knock over. Guess it keeps them busy.

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