I received the following in an e-mail from Armando, with the request that I consider posting it on his behalf. We've had an ongoing discussion about integrity, the seriousness of attacks on individuals' integrity, and the general reaction here and in the blogosphere.
So, for your consideration, is a post from Armando. Below the fold.
It is often said that people outside the Beltway look at things differently than those inside the Beltway or in the Betway mentality. I am beginning to believe it. For example, most people take someone smearing their integrity as a very serious matter.
Jason Zengerle of The New Republic accuses Markos of engaging in a "pay for play" scheme. Not surprisingly, Markos takes great umbrage with this attack on his integrity.
How do Center Left bloggers, very smart people, react to this series of events? Incredibly poorly in my opinion.
HOUSES, POX ON. The really great thing about the Daily Kos versus New Republic war is that the more each side opens their mouths, the worse you think of them. Markos's initial impulse to stay silent in the face of Chris Suellentrop's allegations seemed sound. Suellentrop didn't really have the goods. Let some time pass and the goods would either surface or not and there was nothing worth saying about it. But then Jason Zengerle started spinning a rather implausible conspiracy theory. . . . [T]hen Kos chose to ruin everything by penning a laughably self-regarding response . . .
. . . As of late afternoon yesterday, I was ready to declare TNR the winner on points for having been less embarrassingly ridiculous about this . . .
There is something really wrong with Yglesias in my opinion. At least TNR can argue that they believe Markos was engaged in a "pay for play" scheme. If they do believe it, they are right to denounce him if they have the vidence. Let's be clear, if that were true, it would be despicable. Let's be even clearer, to falsely charge it is even more despicable. Does Yglesias not get that? Where did he learn his ethics? His scruples? There is something wrong with him. Seriously wrong.
I've deliberately ignored the Kos-TNR dustup until now because, really, who needs it? The kindergarten antics are just too depressing.
But this is too spectacular a meltdown to pass up. On Thursday Lee Siegel wrote : . . . And today he's upset that bloggers reacted badly to this measured and temperate criticism! Wow. Just wow. . . . [H]ere's a wee bit of perspective for both sides: Kos is an activist, The New Republic is a magazine. Is it really a shocker that Kos acts like an activist and TNR acts like a magazine?
So levelling the charge that your are a fraud and engage in a "pay for play scheme" does not call for an outraged reaction. An attack on your integrity and character is no big whoop? Something is wrong with Kevin Drum.
This is why it's impossible to hate TNR for very long. Sour as I felt after this morning's (now deleted) Lee Siegel post on blogospheric fascists (who gave him the keys to a blog anyway?)
So when Jason Zengerle charged that Ezra was cowed into not writing about "kosola" because he was afraid to lose money he gets from Blogging Liberally, that was not worthy of outrage? It is true that Ezra debunked the charge, but the question must be asked, where was the outrage? Zengerle assualted his integrity and character, is that business as usual inside the Beltway?
I just don't get it. Personally, I am made of different stuff. Obviously, Markos is too. There really is something very wrong with the mindset these folks exihbit.
It is not an ideology thing, it is a character thing. I guess it takes a certain type to thrive in the Beltway today. I know I am not that type.
Armando just e-mailed this postscript:
I would add one guy in DC might understand our attitude - When a criminal tried to bribe Harry Reid, Harry reportedly reacted by grabbing the guy around the throat and yelled "You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me!"
I perfectly understand Reid's actions. They make perfect sense to me. I doubt they do for some in the Beltway.