The Lynch Mob

My colleague Matt Yglesias has many issues and disagreements with TNR. Which is why his sane and dogged defense of the publication against the current lynch-mobs on the bloggy right is well worth reading. Money quote:

What the right is trying to do is establish a precedent where if you say things the right doesn't want to hear anonymously then you'll be treated with a presumption of guilt. No matter how vindicated the article may be, it's still the case that TNR expended a lot of person-hours on re-verifying things even though nobody on the right raised any serious reason to doubt the story other than that it wasn't something they wanted to believe. It's extremely difficult to operate that way, and people won't want to. But suppose you do identify yourself. Then you get the full Michelle Malkin treatment -- character slimed, all kinds of personal details splayed across the internet, don't say you weren't warned. Thus, we'll have all our information coming from official sources, just as the right likes it (until, of course, there's a Democratic administration).

This swift-boat hysteria on the far right is one reason they need to be badly defeated at the polls. Until they are, the revival of a sane, positive, constructive conservatism is doomed.