Friday, February 22, 2008

Who's swifting who?

Blogger Illusory Tenant* wants us to know that Mike McCabe thinks that the Supreme Court race must be headed between the "low road and the gutter." In that, McCabe is just part of the drumbeat. The usual position is that this is WMC's fault although the only attack ad so far has been put out by the Greater Wisconsin Committee.

But McCabe finds ominous portents in the fact that the Federalist Society has hired a Washington media firm, CRC, to publicize its state court educational project. CRC is setting up media interviews for a group of lawyers who wrote an op-ed critical of the WJCIC. (Full disclosure: CRC facilitated an interview of me on Vickie McKenna's show in Madison yesterday.)CRC was retained by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and , I guess, they were bad and so CRC is bad and so all of CRC's clients are bad. It's a law of mathematics or something. These lawyers are, McCabe says, going to talk up Michael Gableman.

But he is wrong on all counts. These lawyers are not going to comment on the relative merits of the candidates and they are, in my experience, a rather bright and high minded bunch who are concerned about free and open discourse in judicial campaigns. IT or McCabe can disagree with them, but they won't find them in the gutter or on the low road.

*In the original version of this post, I responded to a paragraph that I assumed was written by blogger Illusory Tenant. He was actually reproducing a post written by Mike McCabe at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. I initially corrected it in a way that suggested that IT may be adopting what McCabe said. Since he has made clear that he does not want to own McCabe's statement, I have, with apologies, revised my post once again. We ought to be the master of our own thoughts and, if he says that he doesn't buy into McCain's innuendo, I'll respect that. My point in posting was not to attack anyone but to defend some people who I hold in high regard. So I will, humbly, try again.


Anonymous said...

"it" has to get out of that little world he lives in to see the bigger picture. I see this as being good for all people and I would like to see the interviews.

The opt-ed piece was very encouraging, showed guts, which is something we need more of today by those who are very close to these issues, as well as all others that should take notice.

Publius said...

"argumentum ad hominem"

Anonymous said...

Don't tase me, Bro. The three-paragraph blockquote in that post is from here.

My only comment was "Interesting," hence the "Boots & tenants" jape.

I ain't part of nobody's drumbeat (although I am listening to John Bonham at the moment).

Anonymous said...

Good grief. So neither "the Shark" nor his Anon 5:50 fan nor "Publius" (somehow I doubt that Hamilton is flattered) can be bothered to click on a link before clambering up on the high moral ground and pontificating cluelessly?

Unless, of course, Publius was correctly diagnosing Anon5:50's foolishness about "that little world [IT] lives in".

Rick Esenberg said...

Gosh, if I thought that only McCabe was saying it, I might not have thought it worth responding to. I actually did click on the link but I have to confess that I didn't read the WCD post because I was on my way out and am quite familiar with CRC and its role in this. Personally, I like to make it clear within the body of a post when I am quoting someone by something other than a block quote, but I guess this is within blog conventions. My bad.

As for whether you need to be tased, am I to understand that you don't want to heap dirt on Don, Dan, Rebecca and Dave because they are working with a media company? Are you not down with guilty by association once removed? Did you just repeat all of that because ...?

Anonymous said...

That's the weirdest correction I've ever seen. Wouldn't it have been easier -- and more accurate -- just to replace each instance of 'iT' with 'Mike McCabe'?

But, thanks for clarifying, if at least to that limited degree. And you're certainly entitled to the remaining and continued speculation as to what I think about McCabe's post. As I said, I think it's "interesting," and that's the full extent of it.

I don't buy the guilt by association argument, whether it's directed at Attys. Bradley et al or at myself.

As an aside, while I wouldn't quite confer "guilt" upon association with the Federalist Society, said association is nonetheless, shall we say, "meaningful."

As for blog conventions in general, I can't speak to them, but I always set off lengthier quoted material with the left indents and yes, in this case the formatting was additionally parodic.

Anonymous said...

In looking at the "it" post, it certainly does appear that he has no disagreement with what he posted.

If it is for it, how can Ricks post be inaccurate?

Anonymous said...

A still more noxious version of the erroneous post; such a classy admission of error.

Everyone makes mistakes, even the occasional one due to carelessness and sloth. Character shows through in the way one 'fesses up, retracts, apologizes, takes responsibility.

And when one does none of those things, but merely digs the hole deeper, character shows through all the same.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:44 -

are you saying that "it" was completely neutral in posting what he did?

I think your character is showing.

Anonymous said...

Finding something interesting (or "meaningful", for that matter) is not complete neutrality, so, no, IT is not completely neutral and has not claimed to be. All this shows about my character is my grasp of basic English and basic logic. Apparently this is sufficient to distinguish me from the other Anons commenting thus far on this post.

Anonymous said...

anon 2:36 said -

"All this shows about my character is my grasp of basic English and basic logic."

I disagree because I think it shows someone that has trouble getting his head through the door and that supports all liberal causes. At least that's my impression from what you have written.

Not everyone wants to be stuffed into this little liberal box that you would like to see everyone in. Why don't you just come out and say where you really stand on this issue?

Anonymous said...

" it shows someone... that supports all liberal causes."

Compared to which, what's been read into IT's quoting someone else is positively cogent. And that's going some ways.

"Why don't you just come out and say where you really stand on this issue?"

I have -- "this issue" being Mr Esenberg's misrepresentation and subsequent fauxpology.

Anonymous said...

This is getting way too confusing. Anon 3:40, are you It? Or are you Anon 11:24? Or both? Or a different Anon? Or Illusory Tenant? Or Mike McCabe?

Rick Esenberg said...


The issue is not what IT thinks. We don't even know if who he is. The issue is the erroneous suggestion that somebody is getting "swift boated" (which, in a certain political mythology means "smeared") because the Federalist Society uses supreme court elections as news peg to promote discussion of the importance of state courts and their judicial philosophies.

I fixed it the way that I did because I don't think you generally repeat a quotation unless you think it says something that is or might be true.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:55 -

anon 3:40 will not come out and say where he stands on the issue and keeps trying to rub a partially inaccurate post regarding "it" under Esenbergs nose.

I'm anon 2:49 and think anon 3:40 is full of hot air and knows that if he came out with his true feelings and intentions that he could not ultimately defend them.

"it" posted a copy of the original piece done by another author. It appears that he is in full agreement with the piece by his post. Rick claims that "it" made the attack and now "it" is claiming "not me" without a good defense as far as I can see.

Anon 2:49 and 3:40 decided to attack those supporting the interviews and the opposition to the State Bar taking it upon them self's to what could turn out to be a suppression of speech in judicial elections. He will not say why he supports them. He's just trying to take advantage of a minimal mistake that Esenberg made but doesn't deal with the issues involved.

Maybe you can have better luck to get him/her to say something of importance.

Rick Esenberg said...

Anon 4:26

Thanks, but it's not the battle field I want to die on. He says he doesn't buy into the guilt by association argument and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. You may wonder why he decided to repeat it in the way that he did and that's fair, but I am interested in responding to the suggestion that these people are engaged in some type of nefarious plot and I don't want my error to get in the way of that.

Publius said...

“scuse me..I’m a stranger here myself”.
I haven’t been on the blogosphere long... But in this the 21st century, what do we use one of the greatest idea sharing media in a world history for? Nitpicking each other over minutia? Past generations would have given anything to be able to have discourse between great minds that would never have met by any other means, and to work on the world’s problems, not to play verbal ping-pong.
Rick, I would be interested in some future post, your take on the resignation of GAO Chairman, David M. Walker to head the newly-formed Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Anonymous said...

This post started with great promise, but got quickly sidetracked by "It's" whining.