Henry Farrell: Swaggering, sneering incivilityr: Clive Crook tells us that Americans are ever so much more polite than Brits, and then goes on to complain about blogs.
Jarringly different standards apply in politics, and especially in the political blogosphere. There, “coarsening” is too mild a word. All that swaggering, sneering incivility: maybe I find it disgusting because it’s so unAmerican.
Fair enough if you don’t like it, but I am still at a loss to understand the difference between all this twuly vewy howwid incivility and suggestions that civil liberties types would be perfectly fine with the deaths of millions of their fellow citizens if only they could get their way. Perhaps it isn’t incivil by definition when it’s an FT pundit doing it rather than a nasty little leftist blogger?... I’ve previously invited Mr. Crook to explain the difference between the kinds of things that he says about lefty civil liberties types and the forms of debasing discourse that he so deplores; so far, he has unaccountably failed to do so. In the absence of such a clarification, I can only presume that his distinction rests on the Yes Minister theory of irregular verbs – I engage in vigorous yet fair truthtelling, you perhaps say things a little too stridently for your own good, he is a disgusting, swaggering and incivil boor.
Daniel Davies: Just scrolling down the blog, I see this on Paul Krugman:
Interesting for once (off the top of my head I cannot think of another instance) to see him express the view that Republican ideas are not wrong by definition. That’s a breakthrough. If it keeps up, he might soon be judging issues on the merits. What his admirers will make of that, I shudder to think
I think that that the irregular verb is more to do with the object than the subject; ie, one is “vigorous and yet fair” in criticising the Democratic Party, “perhaps a little strident” in criticising large banks and “disgusting, sneering and swaggering” when criticising Clive Crook.