August 15, 2002
MWO uses the worst tactics of its opponents: crude ad hominem attacks on the media, all-encompassing good guy/bad guy ideological dichotomies and inflammatory rhetorical attacks linking conservatives to dictatorship, Nazis, radical Islam and al Qaeda terrorists. This is simply not acceptable and the site’s high-profile backers are wrong to indulge it; if MWO continues to gain strength, it will pull us further into the abyss of abusive and irrational rhetoric. […]A lot of MWO’s defenders see themselves as travelling alongside the ideas promulgated in this recent Michael Tomasky article about how liberals and Democrats need to stop getting rolled by rhetorically-confident right-wingers. I’m down with that. I’m less convinced that the best way to fight fire is to douse yourself with gasoline and strike a match.
In short, MWO does not have “a wonderful joie de vivre” as Alterman has written. It is not true that, “however nutty the person/people might be, they have a certain flinty integrity” (Alterman on his Altercation weblog in June). They are not endearingly “scrappy” or “pesky activists” (Gene Lyons, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 5/1/02 and 2/27/02). And they are not “great” (Begala).
MWO’s tactics simply pollute the public discourse.