Why is it that some people will
do anything (and I mean anything)
to show their moral superiority? I mean, some would even lie, or at least stretch the truth.
That doesn't sound too moral to me, but perhaps I'm being naive.
Unfortunately, the Iraqi Elections are one of those things that gets
out the the wowsers and moralizers in numbers. At this point, I feel I
should say what I feel. Here goes:
Firstly, I am pleasantly
surprised how well the elections went. 42 dead is not good at all, but
I feared a lot, lot worse: serious bombs, serious violence, serious
disruption. However, the end result was 8 million voting - or about 60%
of the electorate. You can't but helped be moved by stories
In the dirt-poor town of
Sumawa, right on Iraq's southern border, a baby was born in a polling
station to an expectant mother determined that nothing would stop her
from casting a ballot.
In the holy city of
Najaf, 80-year-old Mahdeya Saleh, dressed in a black abeya, declared:
"I was often forced to vote under Saddam. Today, I come out of my own
will to choose freely cast my voted."
And in Baghdad, Samir
Hassan refused to let the security ban on private cars stop him from
voting, despite losing his leg to a bomb last October. "I would have
crawled here if I had to," he said. "I don't want terrorists to kill
other Iraqis like they tried to kill me. Today I am voting for peace."
Put it this way: as a person
who anticipated one Mofo of a disaster of an election, I cannot be more
pleased to say "I wuz wrong". Hey, I'm only human. I make mistakes.
Maybe I was too much of a pessimist - I still am. (What if the Shi'ites
want the Americans to leave? What if they want to impose their own
version of Islamic law?) But can we all agree that these elections -
their flaws aside- were good? Well, I hope so. (However, a comments
link is provided for the contrarians.)
But for some people, that's not
good enough. They want to say "You were wrong!", and not just factually
wrong, but morally
wrong. They want to take potshots at their chosen ideological
opponents. They want the moral high ground. They are devotees of "Conspicuous
Indignation", a truly, lovely
by Chris Sheil of Back Pages Blog.
It is used to describe pundits and pollies getting all hot and bothered
about something without actually doing anything effective
about it. A good example of this is displayed by Michelle
Malkin, where she's attempting
to insinuate some "selective ignorance":
the exception of Sullivan,
the top bloggers on the left side of the blogosphere have decided to
mark this historic day by hiding under their bedcovers.
of 1:45pm EST today,...
is silent on the Iraqi elections...
Kieran of Crooked Timber replied:
suppose I should have expected the likes of Michelle Malkin
to treat the Iraqi elections as an opportunity to take a pot shot at
“the Left.” As you know, we on The LeftTM
are all for for more death and suffering in Iraq because it improves
our case for universal health care and better prescription drug
coverage. Like an excited kid on Christmas morning, Malkin
to wait all day. She restrained herself till lunchtime (U.S. east coast
time) on Sunday before indicting us along with a few other blogs:
goes into Hibernation”, “Crooked
Timber is Silent on the Iraqi Elections”.
You can practically hear the wind whistling through the trees around
here. An excerpt from our non-existent commentary on the election
appears on the Op-Ed page of Tuesday’s Dallas
presumably as a big ole chunk of white space. I suppose we were
hibernating, really, as long as you think
“Hibernation” means “Doing
some other things on Sunday (in our own time zones) before catching up
on the news.”
Kids, that's meant to be sarcasm. (That's also the whole post. Short
Now I am aware that Conspicuous
Indignation is as old as the hills. But it's been getting really bad
lately, and I hate it. Conspicuous indignation seems to be the last
resort of any hack with a column to fill, no ideas of their own, and a
looming deadline. It's the reason I stop reading newspapers - too many
opinion writers nowadays
resort to this. Hell, some opinion writers specialize
in this. Still, you need to start somewhere, and what better than the
blogosphere and the trackback link?
So to Michelle Malkin (if she
is reading this), I can only say "Stop it." Your example makes you look
like a hypocrite. Or a lazy-fact checker. Or both. Maybe you should be
less quick with the denunciations. Or remember Matthew 7:5:
hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt
thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
The only problem is that she
may not be able to stop. Maybe she is one of those empty headed hacks
who can only denounce because she's not too good at the fact-checking
side, and it is too late for a change of career. In that case, I can do
nothing else but