The good first:
I went to a Saints game last night. And tailgated! (Well, actually tablegated, but the table was within hailing distance of the car.) I'd show pictures, but I got up late and spouse took the camera with him (with the SD card's contents not yet downloaded) before going out for the day.
The Saint Paul Saints are a independent-league baseball team that have been around since 1993, first as a founding team of the revived Northern League and now in the American Association. They are probably the most successful of the modern independent teams, both in terms of attendance and financial status, a success that is in large part attributed to their marketing skills and their irreverent, family-oriented take on the game. They're not afraid to poke (mostly) gentle fun at various pompous objects desperately in need of deflating; last night's "chase the children" event, a between-innings stunt in which various bad guys chase and fail to catch small kids circling the diamond, featured George Lucas as the children-chaser and
butcherer re-editer of his own classic films.
Well, that was the good. And if good's what interests you right now, you might want to skip the rest of this post, because what I have to say might upset some people. (And if in the comments you just wanna discuss the good, that's ok, too.)
I think I can say with some assurance that most of us reading this wanted the Democrats to succeed in forcing Bush to sign, right now, a bill containing a hard timetable for getting us — all of us (yes,
mercenaries privateers military and "security" contractors, that means you, too) — out of Iraq. And, after months of trying, they gave up and — with a number of Democrats dissenting — gave Bush a three-month blank check.
That's the bad.
And then the firestorm started.
That's the ugly.
Everywhere in what is commonly called the "reality-based" portion of the blogosphere, rage took over. White-hot, righteous, unyielding rage. A rage that had in many ways been rehearsed to a degree, and planned for — a rational irrationality, if you will.
There's healthy spleen-venting; that's well and good. But this rage — especially over something that had been predicted would happen from the beginning because of the conventional wisdom, right or wrong, that the Democrats had no other realistic options — is different. It's all-encompassing and brooks no argument, no temporizing, not even the slightest dissent.
Here's just a small taste of what I'm talking about, for those who don't feel like wading through, say, the last week's worth of DU entries, Eschaton comments threads, FDL entries and threads, or Daily Kos diaries (even those by normally non-crazy people):
Joan Walsh, in a Salon column discussing and largely praising Keith Olbermann's thunderous condemnation of the Iraq cave-in, dared suggest he might have been "a bit over the top" to condemn them all. For that, she got slagged. Heavily. And repeatedly, and insanely.). All because while she agreed with Olbermann that caving was bad, she didn't want to tar all Dems with the same brush.
Meanwhile, at DKos (and I know this comes close to violating the DKos rule about "calling out" Kossacks, but if didn't I'd be slammed for not providing examples), one Kossack went and quit another Kossack's group because while they both agreed that capitulation was wrong, the second Kossack dared to suggest that it was time to quit beefing and get back to work pressuring the legislators. (And at least one other prominent Kossack actually posted a diary condemning the Dems who voted no — not yes, but NO — and ordering them off of DailyKos. And he wasn't alone in his thinking: the diary made the Recommended list in very short order.) Repeat that scene a few zillion times, and that's what Daily Kos has looked like the past few days. People who agree on most everything, including that the Democrats were wrong to give in, are now seeing each other as mortal enemies, worse than any Republicans. (And if they're attacking the people who agree with them on what the Democrats did, Lord help those who dare state, as Tomasky essentially did, that the Democrats had no choice in the matter.)
This is worse than the usual circular firing squad. And to me, it's ugly.