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June 08, 2009

Comments

And by misspelling Ed's last name, you're sure to continue avoiding his wandering eye. Your scheme: uncovered!

"Maybe some of our Texas readers can use the thread to identify a good way to get some much needed beer into Publius' system?"

Although he's got a good wing span, he can't reach all the way to NYC. But next time he comes through, first keg's on me.

For a couple of decades I've been meaning to get ahold of one of those "Don't mess with Texas" bumper stickers, chop off the "Don't" part and then slap what's left on the back of my car. Unfortunately I keep meeting folks who cause me to revise my opinion of the state and its inhabitants upwards, thereby putting my malicious little scheme on hold for another year.

Publius just added to my wait by another 5 years, minimum.
[Sigh]
someday...

I appreciate this von and Sebastian's support in the comments. Thanks

Blogging is such a fickle lady

Blogging is no gentleman.

I'll buy any of the front page posters at Obsidian WIngs a pint of Hobgoblin any time they're in my neighborhood.

(Or whatever your poison is. But if you've never tried Hobgoblin, you should: finest real ale ever brewed in the UK.)

I prefer Goulden Carolous (blue bottle), but I'm willing to try other things. ;)

I'm not surprised that I disagree with you, Jesu, but my experience is that Hobgoblin was fairly "meh." Of course, that might just be because it doesn't cross the Atlantic very well.

Is this

"This is Whelan's role in the conservative world, his niche. He's the guy Republicans look to when they need to discredit a Democratic legal or judicial nominee. He pores over their record, finds some trivial fact that, when distorted and taken totally out of context, makes that person look like some sort of extremist. Whelan knows this is what he's doing. It's willful. He's essentially a legal hitman, someone who provides the "expert" opinion that the right wing echo chamber then uses as the basis of its attack campaign."

from Anonymous Liberal an attack on Ed Whelan's person or on his views as expressed in his blogs?

Most of the time I enjoy the back and forth here, but more than once my arguments or opinions on immigration or terrorism have generated responses alleging racism where none exists and the charge was really not necessary to the conduct of the debate.

It just seems to me that, if Whelan's positions are weak, the proper response is to debunk them rather than asserting that Whelan is the GOP's hit man.

Update 2:

Now that's what I'm talking about!

That is an excellent point re: beer.

GOB
How does one explain that a Harvard trained SCOTUS clerk can argue, with a straight face, that 'courts don't make policy'? The assertion is so bald-faced, that 'debunking' is not where the problem lies. It is one thing for talk radio hosts to assert that 'courts don't make policy', but it is quite another for someone with the qualifications of Ed Whelan make the same claim.

Thanks von - unnecessary, but appreciated. And people should really listen to his whole "buy me a beer" argument. It's von at his most persuasive.

And for the record, i'm taller than eric martin.

So, hit man is OK?

Update #2: Win!

"So, hit man is OK?"

Just as long as we agree that, regardless, AL's use of hit-man, and publius' quote thereof, do not warrant his outing, it's a conversation worth having.

Interestingly enough, Whelan himself goes on to describe himself as a "hit man" in his email correspondence with Publius.

A hitman is someone who (presumably) submerges his own ethics to do dirty work. If Whelan attacks on Sotomayor are not the result of his own principles but of whoever happens to pay his salary, hitman is very apt.

How does one explain that a Harvard trained SCOTUS clerk can argue, with a straight face, that 'courts don't make policy'? The assertion is so bald-faced, that 'debunking' is not where the problem lies.

Yep the whole brewhahah seems to hinge on Whelan's defenders position that calling a laughably stupid argument stupid is a personal attack.

It just seems to me that, if Whelan's positions are weak, the proper response is to debunk them rather than asserting that Whelan is the GOP's hit man.

Can't you do both? If showing that Whelan's arguments are weak enough that someone of Whelan's caliber should know better than to make them, and, yet, he keeps making them in numerous forums, why is it wrong to point out that it's very likely he's making them disingenuously for political purposes? And, again, even if Publius were wrong for posting what he did, was it necessary to out him to point out why he was wrong? If you (anyone) thought his pseudonymous status was improper, couldn't you just say that, as well, without actually outing him? Wouldn't something like "Publius is wrong because X, Y and Z, plus he's a coward for saying these things under a pseudonym" work?

Most of the time I enjoy the back and forth here, but more than once my arguments or opinions on immigration or terrorism have generated responses alleging racism where none exists and the charge was really not necessary to the conduct of the debate.

If that's true, it sucks. But what does it have to do with Publius and Whelan?

(BTW, I like the fact that you comment here, GOB.)

Since you misspelt his name Ed is probably going to out you now.

"And for the record, i'm taller than eric martin"

See, it's scurrilous personal attacks such as those that...(something, something excusing my total lack of integrity, etc.)

Andrew: It wouldn't surprise me if Hobgoblin doesn't travel well: real ales often don't. Of course you might also have absolutely no taste. Harrumph.

For god's sake, some of us Houstonians have been bugging Publius since he got down here to come out and have a beer on us, but he's been playing hard-to-get, and I have enough to do without trying to chase the poor guy all over town . . .

Seriously, Pub, feel free to contact me some time. I will, in point of fact, buy you a St. Arnold's.

I'm not defending Whelan's response. I thought the quote from Anonymous Liberal was more an assertion regarding Whelan's behavior and motivation than a continuation of the discussion regarding whether the courts make policy or not. And, if so, it might be easier to digest if it were posed as a question rather than an assertion. My line about racism is similar in that if someone merely raised a question that was open for a response, that is easier to deal with than responding more defensively to an accusation.

It's as if the position here is "well, I'm not going to change any minds, so no reason to keep the discussion polite".

So, does anyone think Whelan's outing of Publius is sort of a pre-emptive strike against other anonymous bloggers who he thinks aren't treating him fairly, or has someone already made this point?

As for a beer, I'm local and will gladly buy Publius a beer, maybe even a martini.

And for the record, i'm taller than eric martin.

Well, sure, but since "eric martin" is actually Peter Dinklage ...

Oops.

publius:

One of these days, I'm going to make it down to Houston for an Astros game. When that happens, I'll try to look you up for some much-needed beer delivery. Preferably Shiner Bock, the best beer brewed in Texas (until I find a better one).

It's as if the position here is "well, I'm not going to change any minds, so no reason to keep the discussion polite".

I think it's more that Ed's most recent hackery does not occur in a vacuum. If Whelan was someone whose quality of work or commentary was otherwise decent, if this recent post was an aberration, focusing purely on the substance (or lack thereof) in his argument would be appropriate.

But it's not--it's part of a longstanding pattern of bad legal reasoning and punditry so self-evidently ridiculous that it harms the value that non-experts should place on his opinions. In an ideal world, all arguments should be engaged on their merits wholly without regard to who's making them. In the real world, when presented with subject matter "experts" who differ strongly, most people don't have the training or knowledge to know the difference between sound legal arguments and plausible-sounding bull$hit (in the Frankfurtian sense).

In aid of this, calling out Whelan's pattern of making mendacious arguments on this subject is of value to people who might otherwise see this as yet another "he said, she said" matter. The fact that pointing this out makes Whelan look appropriately bad is what drove his response, not the merit of bringing it up.

It's probably been mentioned on one of the earlier threads, which I haven't had a chance to get to yet today, but Simon Owens of Bloggasm did a good interview of both publius and Whalen on the outing.

the best beer brewed in Texas

real TX men drink Tito's Handmade Vodka.

GOB

Actually, Publius has been attacking Whelan's arguments for months now. And Volokh has been doing a decent job of trying to refute Publius and others, even if I still think he's wrong. And it was Volokh who gave the most clear and thorough rebuttal of Whelan's argument about the courts and policy.

This particular post, which was mostly A.L, not Publius, was an attempt to explain how someone with Whelan's background and knowledge could possibly be so horribly wrong. Rather than suggesting he is stupid (a petty insult, and a useless one at that), A.L gave him the benefit of the doubt and suggested instead he was just being dishonest. That's not an insignificant charge, but it's still a charge, one that academics through around from time to time when confronted with transparently bogus arguments.

Publius was suggesting that we should understand the role that Whelan is playing in conservative politics, using his considerable professional resume to provide cover for bad arguments. It's no wonder Whelan was angered.

But it's not an ad hominem attack. Whelan could have defended himself. But outing Publius to try to make this discussion about their respective authorities rather than the arguments was dishonest on Whelan's part and merely reinforces the original charge to be honest.

I thought everyone in Texas drank Lone Star. Isn't it mandatory?

Also, Whelan offers yet more justification here. Another blogger at "Bench Memos" chimes in, and manages to point out a major historical error of Whelan's, while also declaring that "a blogging law professor who argues irresponsibly about legal matters doesn't have much of a claim on our attention when he wants to stay pseudonymous."

So that's the new NRO rule. "Irresponsible," of course, means "you disagree with me."

Wendy Long here calls publius "dishonorable", without bothering to state why. Disagreeing with Whelan, I guess.

Publius has many problems, but he isn't dishonorable!

(I'm from a German and Dutch heritage. That is how we do compliments!) ;)

"Publius was suggesting that we should understand the role that Whelan is playing in conservative politics, using his considerable professional resume to provide cover for bad arguments. It's no wonder Whelan was angered."

That's what it seems like to me. Publius was pretty blunt in his language even if Whelan deserves it. So it's not completely surprising that Whelan responded the way he did, even if it wasn't the "right thing to do."

I think anonymonity frees people to be a little more verbally abusive than they might otherwise be, especially in comments sections.

On the bright side, Publius can take satisfaction from the fact that he really got to Whelan, who overreacted in my view.

On the bright side, Publius can take satisfaction from the fact that he really got to Whelan, who overreacted in my view.

Exactly. Publius obviously hit a nerve. It’s been said that if you’re p*ssing off the right people then you’re doing it right.

Obviously publius is more wrong than right in many things IMO, but he’s my publius damn it. Don’t F* with him. That’s my job here. (How’s that for a backhanded compliment?)

And now it’s pretty interesting that Whelan seems to feel his source deserves anonymity…

As far as I can tell, Ed Whelan is also calling himself a coward, but since NRO doesn't seem to accept comments (whyever not? Volokh does and it's actually informative) I'll never know if that's what he means or not.

I'd mention beer, but I haven't been to Texas since my son's prospective college grand tour.

On the bright side, Publius can take satisfaction from the fact that he really got to Whelan, who overreacted in my view.

How hard is it to get a reactionary to lose his cool? Shotgun, I'd like you to meet barrel of fish.

Still, Publius wins this round and Ed should be grounded by mommy for a week.

"
Thanks von - unnecessary, but appreciated. And people should really listen to his whole "buy me a beer" argument. It's von at his most persuasive.

And for the record, i'm taller than eric martin.
"

If you ever make it up to a real petrostate, (I cannot, pace teh governor, see Russia from house house, however), I'll introduce you to the whole spectrum of Moose's Tooth brews.

"So, does anyone think Whelan's outing of Publius is sort of a pre-emptive strike against other anonymous bloggers who he thinks aren't treating him fairly, or has someone already made this point?"

No, I think it was Whelan attempting to pull rank. "How DARE this mere untenured whelp speak of me thus! I was in the OLC! Reader, pay no attention to his criticisms of my argument, he is not worthy."

Peter K: That's what it seems like to me. Publius was pretty blunt in his language even if Whelan deserves it. So it's not completely surprising that Whelan responded the way he did, even if it wasn't the "right thing to do."

It's not surprising if Whelan knew he merited A.L., Publius, and Volokh's criticism. If he was smugly confident that he was right and they were wrong, why should he care?

That Whelan reacted like he did says he knows - or at least fears - that A.L. got it exactly right, and Publius, quoting A.L., brought that criticism into prominence.

There is no fear like a liar whose career depends on being believed honest, who has been found out.

Wow, the outing has made the nytimes website front page.

Whelan's has found his meme, and it is typical of his style: publius was irresponsible and deserved outing because as a law professor publius is held to a higher standard of cogency and understanding of legal doctrine, which (in Whelan's ex cathedra opinion) he failed to meet. The rest of us, right up through the law profs like publius, are not qualified to judge this sort of thing, only Whelan is. Now we can all argue about whether publius was really sub-par (Answer: NO) instead of calling Whelan...what he is.

Naturally, Whelan cannot identify any specific reasoning or legal ignorance of publius's that is below the professorial standard. The standard, too, is undefined. Having seen a few really dumb law professors, I can't imagine where that line should be drawn, but Whelan appears to have it all figured out, so I look forward to him grading the casual writings of other law professors on the web, so we can all learn.

As one who occasionally gets outed by uber-Zionists for challenging the official Israeli narrative, I know how bullies operate. I too have my own reasons for wanting to post under a pseudonym, but have stuck with my handle nonetheless as I wanted to have some continuity for my posts and opinions. Mr. Whelan seems to be a first class a-hole and hypocrite.

I often comment on many diverse sites as 'serge.'

For the record (for which absolutely no one will, nor should, care), my true identity is Thomas Aquinas* Christopher Paul McTighe.

So there, Ed. When I'm a famous commenter, like never, you won't be able to out me. Oh, and fuck you very much.

*My father was a noted authority on St Thomas Aquinas and I had the great misfortune to be born on the saint's feast day. Alors, je m'appelle serge....

von is actually Shirley McClain channeling the spirit of German WWI fly ace Baron von Richtofen, AKA the Red Baron.

You can understand why Shirley does not want this to come out, but Sun Ra has asked me to get her to quit it.

"he standard, too, is undefined. Having seen a few really dumb law professors, I can't imagine where that line should be drawn, but Whelan appears to have it all figured out, so I look forward to him grading the casual writings of other law professors on the web, so we can all learn."

To be fair, we're having that exact same problem in the "9th amendment" discussion on a nearby thread. ;)

But Whelan just needed an ad hominem attack and couldn't do it without finding out who publius was.

Top of the New York Times website right now: The Outing of Publius.

I'd just like to say this, about that: !!!

I'm thinking of switching my blogging handle to Publius Hussein Spartacus, btw.

What justification does Whelan have for keeping his source for Publius' identity anonymous?

He could just be lying about having a source at all. It wasn't too difficult to figure it out just based on blog posts.

"we're having that exact same problem in the "9th amendment" discussion on a nearby thread."

or at least a related problem--made much, much worse by the fact that several of the participants are not even lawyers (e.g. me), much less law-profs.

or maybe that makes it much much better?

at any rate, some of us are up to no standard at all.

and the rest of us (e.g. the ones who are lawyers) are being very patient and tolerant.

dammit--in a better country, in a real democracy, we wouldn't have all these amateurs discussing things like the constitution! that's no business for mere citizens!

Hey Von, how about a few more posts? I am merely being self interested; they are often thought provoking and I enjoy reading them.

Just a thought.

    I don't endorse this view, but: What justification does Whelan have for keeping his source for Publius' identity anonymous? Why should one respect that source's (doubtless) "self serving" reasons to remain anonymous while he or she or they inflict considerable harm on Publius? Shouldn't Publius be allowed to face his outer? Shouldn't we all be advised who spilled the beans, so we may place our trust accordingly? Wouldn't that advance the "conversation" as much as outing Publius did? Whelan applied a ridiculously low burden when he decided that it was appropriate to out Publius. It strikes me that if you share Whelan's low standards for this sort of thing, you'd question why Whelan won't be forthright regarding his source(s).

But of course it's DIFFERENT for Republicans. Notice that NRO's Bench Memo doesn't allow comments, for starters. (Though they do have lots of ads for books about Confederate generals, for some reason. Bear in mind that this is a site whose readership is in large part from what once was the Party of Lincoln, until they started openly courting the racist vote in the 1960s and 1970s.)

I thought everyone in Texas drank Lone Star. Isn't it mandatory?

Lone Star? Really? I think Shiner is much more popular, and in Houston, St. Arnold's also has its fair share of fans (myself included).

I'm thinking of switching my blogging handle to Publius Hussein Spartacus, btw.

I don't think you need an excuse to make that switch, Gary. Although it kinda has the ring of a nine year old in trouble. "Publius H. Spartacus, stop pestering your sister!"

von is actually Shirley McClain channeling the spirit of German WWI fly ace Baron von Richtofen, AKA the Red Baron.

Aside from the Shirley McClain bit, that is very close to the original inspiration for the nickname, which is a play off one of my "real" names. Indeed, I acquired "von" long before blogs were but a twinkling in Andrew Sullivan's eye.

Hey! I made it into the Times! I'd tell my family . . . but then they'd know about my semi-pseudonymous habits.

Thanks JDog. Whether they are thought provoking or not, some more posts are coming.

"No, I think it was Whelan attempting to pull rank. "How DARE this mere untenured whelp speak of me thus! I was in the OLC! Reader, pay no attention to his criticisms of my argument, he is not worthy."

As someone doing the whole law school circuit, Order of the Coif at UVa + Clerkship + Covington doesn't really seem that much less significant than Harvard Law Review + FedSoc Patronage. Both of them are insanely exceptional credentials. Also, I highly recommend Abita's Turbodog if it wander west from the Big Easy...

gasp--is that *the* c.s.?

the world-famous, quoted in the nyt c.s.?

squeeee! i'm talking with a celebrity!
this is so exciting! let me have your autograph!

(i mean, your pseudograph. i don't give a toss about that other name).

"Whether they are thought provoking or not, some more posts are coming."

You better not argue with anyone, or "DWPittelli" will be all over your back-stabbing, Matthew J. Franck will doubtless be accusing you of posting "irresponsibly," and you might turn out to be dishonorable.

Meanwhile, a dozen idiots will insist you "man up."

You're sure you're ready for that?

Lone Star? Really? I think Shiner is much more popular, and in Houston, St. Arnold's also has its fair share of fans (myself included).

I was kidding about that from the standpoint of almost pure ignorance. Lone Star doesn't give the impression of being a particularly good beer, and given the beers being discussed on this thread, I wouldn't expect anyone participating to drink Lone Star. But, you know, Texas ... Lone Star.

The only beer from Texas I can think of that I liked was Celis White, which I believe Miller bought just to take it off the market. I've heard that it's being brewed again, but I don't know where.

My first thought was "St. Arnold's?! Fnck St. Arnold's! ...Lone Star Beer!" in the voice of Dennis Hopper.

"As someone doing the whole law school circuit, Order of the Coif at UVa + Clerkship + Covington doesn't really seem that much less significant than Harvard Law Review + FedSoc Patronage. Both of them are insanely exceptional credentials."

I wouldn't know, and have no intention of calling publius' credentials into question. But Whelan's got that "schooling a rube from the hinterlands" tone when he tries to justify the outing. His readers at the law blog might know better, but not readers when he cross-posts to the Corner.

Wonkette is pretty funny: National Review Nut ‘Outs’ Famous Liberal Blogger.

It also seems to be the top hit at present for publius' other name.

Settle down, kid bitzer. And I don't give pseudographs. Sorry, it's just a personal policy, arrived at for no good reason other than that I'm an Ed Whelan level a-hole. But you feel free to tell everyone I responded to you.

Run along now.

"Settle down, kid bitzer. And I don't give pseudographs."

Could you send me your dirty undies?

hairshirthedonist asks: I thought everyone in Texas drank Lone Star. Isn't it mandatory?

Most Texans will tell you that Lone Star is a somewhat acceptable beer for everyday bar b que. That's not to say you'd want to actually drink it with anything, but as a pre-sauce marinade for really cheap cuts, it's not hateful. It should go without saying that you'd never want to have it anywhere near anything you might be cooking competitively. Hope that clears it up for you.
FYI We perfected the sport-hairshirt here in Texas. It has a unique mesh front panel that allows for all the angst, but without the rash commonly associated with our extreme views and humidity. Works great for the northern night-sweats as well.


I can't help but be happy about this. From publius' first post here at Obsidian Wings I could tell he was a deceptive in the way that he tried to make his posts sound so unbiased. It was obvious to anyone "other" than the posters here he was not being straight forward.

We should know who the people are who are contributing to the down fall of our country.

Also, I highly recommend Abita's Turbodog if it wander west from the Big Easy...

seconded. If you are about a hour or so more further east, I've been told that Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company and their flagship beer Southern Pecan is mighty fine. Hope to check it out the next time I'm back there. Unfortunately, being Mississippi, the brewery tour has no free samples...

"I'm thinking of switching my blogging handle to Publius Hussein Spartacus, btw."

I am Publius Hussein Spartacus!

Oh, it IS mighty fine. I had one of those last November. Very, very nice.

Oh. Whelan apologizes.

I applaud this, although whether it's sufficient sort of depends on whether publius thinks it is.

"I applaud this, although whether it's sufficient sort of depends on whether publius thinks it is."

He says that he was "uncharitable," though he gives absolutely no explanation of how, and specifically makes clear that it's completely apart from our competing views on the merits of pseudonymous blogging.

So maybe it's just me, but I have absolutely no idea what it is he's apologizing for.

Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with the merits of pseudonymous blogging. Maybe it's some private thoughts Whelan has had about Publius' taste in carpeting?

Anyone have any guesses what completely apart issue Whelan feels apologetic about?

Greetings Gary Farber (and Publius)

So I'm writing first on this site (and this admittedly unrelated post, but it responds to Gary's great query above) because I think this is where the most appropriate feedback belongs. I haven't weighed in on this yet (and I still don't quite feel comfortable using my real name, given Whelan's viciousness). But here's my take, Gary: I bet the National Review (or its lawyers?) told Ed, apologize or you're gone. Ed doesn't go from a post outing Publius and two more unrepentant, "f-you, Publius, you little twerp"-type posts after that to all of a sudden apologizing and concluding that what he did was ill-considered. Not Ed. Especially not given how mean-spirited a guy he is. No, I think what happened is that he has issued this apology under duress -- someone at the National Review wasn't impressed with what he did and told him either apologize or he'd be out of a job as a blogger. Ed had to have realized that apologizing to Publius would be the "least bad" option -- if he apologizes, he keeps his blogging platform and some marginal level of credibility in the blogging world, although this little stunt will never really be forgotten. (And hey, for all we know, he may be on probation at the National Review). By comparison, if Ed were dumped from the National Review's Bench Memos for what he did, he would lose all credibility ever again in the judicial/culture wars and would be remembered only as the guy who got canned from his beloved conservative rag's judicial blog for "outing" a blogger. Something like what I've sketched out above had to have been what happened. Someone (Rich Lowry?) at the National Review didn't like where Ed has gone (and the exposing of his e-mail to Publius, which showed him to be as Ed himself later acknowledged, "intemperate," further shows that Ed's a hothead more than a bully, and that he clearly has trouble with his temper) and started to worry that he was becoming a liability. They didn't want to embarrass Ed publicly, but they gave him an ultimatum: Apologize to Publius or walk. That's my take on what happened today.

C.S.:"Hey! I made it into the Times! I'd tell my family . . . but then they'd know about my semi-pseudonymous habits."

I thought your comment, when I read it, was the one that hit closest to home for me. A non-expert in just about everything, I love the blogosphere for the fact that expertise of knowledgeable bloggers and commenters can be found if you know where to look... even when they publish under a pseudonym.

The potential for a chilling effect is real, and we would all be worse off if people with experience and understanding of issues that are important to us felt they had to shut up because of people like Ed "Bush Administration OLC All Star" Whelan.

Bob there isn't a conspiracy or even an interesting backstory behind everything. That apology sounds to me like its coming from a guy that has seen he is getting hammered everywhere on this thing and cant win. Doubt very much that he was given any ultimatums, he more likely just accepted he had screwed up (after probably realizing it yesterday and sinking into serious denial) and it was just time to face the music.

Scott Eric Kaufman also has a good take.

C.S. - nice work. FWIW, I very much enjoyed your comments both here and at Southern Appeal (along with numerous other people's comments)

Thanks, publ . . . er, John . . . er, Profess . . . aw, geez! It's like I don't know who you are anymore!

But anyway, thanks for the kind word, but more thanks to you for being such a consistently interesting voice both here and -- before, when I first started reading you -- at Legal Fiction.

And damn the Rockets for not pulling off game 7. If only they'd played under their own name rather than the pseudonymous "Rockets" moniker, they might have had the courage of their . . . I'll stop.

"By comparison, if Ed were dumped from the National Review's Bench Memos for what he did, he would lose all credibility ever again in the judicial/culture wars and would be remembered only as the guy who got canned from his beloved conservative rag's judicial blog for "outing" a blogger."

I have a feeling he'd fail upwards if NRO dumped him, and he'd become something of a martyr/ cause célèbre for the right wing. Being analytically wrong, lacking in morals, and smarmy, maybe he could even land himself a spot on Hiatt's Washington Post editorial page if he rocked the Kristol method. Pure speculation, of course.

He will still be remembered on blogs, probably for quite a while, as the thin skinned hatchet man who outed a blogger and showed the world how to embody the word FAIL as a professional, and as an allegedly ethical human. I suspect rather than a shotgun apology, he's simply trying to put that particular genie back in the bottle.

Pseudonym -- I agree with you that there isn't a conspiracy or an interesting backstory behind everything, but the stunning reversal of this thing suggests to me that there might have been in this case. Maybe it wasn't the National Review giving him an ultimatum; instead, it might have been some highly regarded peers who didn't weigh in publicly but told him privately, hey, that was bad form and very much beneath you, Ed (which of course it was). (Obviously, a few conservative peers whose opinion of Ed surely matters to him -- like Southern Appeal and Jonathan Adler weighed in publicly -- as did many other conservatives; at the same time, if you look at the reactions to this stunt by most of the "Bench Memos" and "The Corner" bloggers today, like those of Wendy Long, Matt Franck, Ramesh Ponnuru and Jonah Goldberg, they didn't really criticize Ed for this.) In the end, it is fascinating how universally Ed's stunt was denounced; I hope that it was solely this realization -- that when this many people of this varied ideological stripes were against him, he was doing something wrong -- that drove Ed to apologize. But whatever it was, I'm glad Ed did the right thing. It redeems what was one of the uglier episodes in the blogosphere that I've seen of late.

I'm never in HOU, but if you ever make it out to Austin, I'll buy you 5, Prof. Publius.

Hope I'm not so late that Publius misses this. I've been meaning to email, actually. Josephine's Italian Ristorante. It should be really close to your campus, and it's amazing good. I worked there bussing tables about 10 years ago. If you go for dinner, pull Johnny aside and ask if he'll make ziti corona for you. It's yumtacular.

I can't help but be happy about this. From publius' first post here at Obsidian Wings I could tell he was a deceptive in the way that he tried to make his posts sound so unbiased. It was obvious to anyone "other" than the posters here he was not being straight forward.

We should know who the people are who are contributing to the down fall of our country.

Posted by: Glue

I'm trying to find some variant on "STFU fundie" that will not bore me. I'm not supposed to feed the trolls, I know. But puhleeze!

Your first 'point': He blogs in the first person, using facts, and issuing opinions based on the analysis of those facts. He's not a Times correspondent, he's a blogger with a POV. 'Persuasive' is not at all 'deceptive'. If you're not persuaded, then make of it what you will. Disagree. Rebut. Don't log in. Whatever.

yr second point: "other". I don't get the quotes, maybe you think that quotes add that sarcastic, chest-thrusting quality that you can't really achieve in prose (and I do mean 'you' literally, I can achieve it just fine). But I do appreciate your implication that everyone here is stupid and everyone not-here is soooo much smarter. It's a very persuasive argument, and will win over hearts and minds fer shure.

Your closing argument: We think you suck too. I'm not calling you out for sedition though. Mainly because no American is trying to destroy their own country. American ideals are full of paradox and contradiction. The reactionary America that you ascribe to is not America, it is a wispy, bland concoction with no booze and no bubbles. So go play your 45 of John Ashcroft singing "Let the Eagle Soar" and shed another tear for the America that never really existed.

Jesurgislac:
"Peter K: That's what it seems like to me. Publius was pretty blunt in his language even if Whelan deserves it. So it's not completely surprising that Whelan responded the way he did, even if it wasn't the "right thing to do."

It's not surprising if Whelan knew he merited A.L., Publius, and Volokh's criticism. If he was smugly confident that he was right and they were wrong, why should he care?

That Whelan reacted like he did says he knows - or at least fears - that A.L. got it exactly right, and Publius, quoting A.L., brought that criticism into prominence.

There is no fear like a liar whose career depends on being believed honest, who has been found out. "

You're missing my point. In other words, if Publius was honestly shocked that he was outed, then he's naive. If he was disingenuously shocked, shocked, that's another thing.

Whelan's quality of character is besides the point. You can't deny he was provoked.

I find it hard to imagine Pub has not yet been to Josephine's given that it is literally within spitting distance of STCL, but if he has not, he needs to up and hurry down there immediately. I ate there at least once a week when I slaved for the man worked as an attorney.

In other words, if Publius was honestly shocked that he was outed, then he's naive.

Peter K, you may not have noticed it, but you've been overtaken by events: Ed Whelan has apologized for his unconscionable behavior in outing Publius. You may, if you like, continue to defend Ed Whelan, but Whelan himself has acknowledged that his behavior was indefensible.

"I find it hard to imagine Pub has not yet been to Josephine's given that it is literally within spitting distance of STCL"

Eeeuuw, gross.

"Whelan's quality of character is besides the point. You can't deny he was provoked."

Actually, it's his response to provocation that is what we're talking about.

In other words, his quality of character is exactly the point.

Jesurgislac:

"Peter K, you may not have noticed it, but you've been overtaken by events: Ed Whelan has apologized for his unconscionable behavior in outing Publius. You may, if you like, continue to defend Ed Whelan, but Whelan himself has acknowledged that his behavior was indefensible. "

I never defended Ed Whelan. What he did was wrong and it's good he apologized. In fact is almost unheard of that people apologize in the mud pit of the Internets. As Hilzoy put it, Whelan outed himself as a bully.

I also think bloggin anonymously or pseudonymously is fine. However if you are provactive don't be surprised when you are "outed." Especially by a conservative. Why didn't OW just not discuss it at all? Less people would know.

russels:
"In other words, his quality of character is exactly the point."

There's more than one point than liberals are always right and conservatives are always wrong. Whelan has provided another datapoint that conservatives are bullies, but perhaps Publius could have made his point in less fiery language and Whelan never would have outed him. Comprendez?

Peter, your argument about how Publius should not have used such "fiery" language differs from the "She was asking for it because she wore that outfit" defense how, exactly?

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