“Everyone” in this case being Jonah Goldberg and the amens that greeted these two shots fired from the Corner at her latest. Count me in, albeit reluctantly: If you think her martyr complex is irritating now, wait until she starts citing those posts as evidence that she’s been excommunicated, oogedy-boogedy-like, from the church of conservative opinion. I suspect the reply column — doubtless to be entitled, “Here I Stand, I Can Do No Other” — is being written as we speak. Goldberg:
Please stop bragging about how courageous you are for weathering a storm of nasty email you invite on yourself by dancing to a liberal tune. You aren’t special for getting nasty email, from the right or the left. You aren’t a martyr smoking your last cigarette. You’re just another columnist, talented and charming to be sure, but just another columnist. You are not Joan of the Op-Ed Page.
The bragging in today’s piece wasn’t the worst part; it’s limited to one jokey line about risking the firing squad for criticizing Christians, an amazing show of restraint given how she’s devoted entire op-eds to her hate mail recently. In fact, I wonder if blog readers familiar with the phenomenon of disgruntled conservatives building shrines to their own magnificent bravery aren’t visiting the sins of others on her by overestimating how self-righteous she’s actually been. Patterico put it well:
On the Internet, when you say things that people disagree with, people are sometimes nasty. It’s a fact of life. Usually, it’s the “other side” that gets nasty, but if you say things that your own side intensely disagrees with, your own side can get nasty too.
When that happens, some people flip out. And the way a lot of them react is to sprain their shoulder patting themselves on the back for their own Incredible Courage. Andrew Sullivan is the quintessential example of this sort of blogger…
While it’s very seductive to have people call you brave, and I don’t mean to be rude to people who are trying to compliment me, I utterly reject any such notion as ridiculous. If you’re going to regularly spout opinions, you have to be ready to have people disagree, from whatever side. That just comes with the territory.
The worst is when these self-described paragons of integrity abandon all their principles out of pique, and run to the other side. I do not respect Sullivan because I think he has no core principles. To me, he seems to crave adulation, and when he didn’t get it from the right, he ran to the left and positioned himself as a supposedly “courageous” conservative — a Fearless Man unafraid to Speak the Truth.
Parker hasn’t gone running to the left or abandoned all her principles, but there is a sense that we’re in the early scenes here of a movie we’ve seen before. And “Fearless Woman Unafraid to Speak the Truth” is shaping up to be just as insufferably strident and predictable as the earlier flicks. Even so, like Ace says, the worst part isn’t the bragging but the smug cutesiness of it all. Arch, patronizing, preoccupied with Palin as a foil, overly fond of gimmicky language like “oogedy-boogedy” and “‘pubbies”: I’ve seen this movie before too, and one Dowd, really, is enough. Exit question: Is that an unfair comparison — to Dowd, I mean? After all, she’s never written a column seriously asserting that McCain picked Palin partly because he thought she was hot.