Monday, March 28, 2011

In Reply: It's concern trolling, isn't it?

In reply to St. Louis Activist Hub: Shocker: Either Breitbart or Stranahan Isn't Telling the Truth

I noticed that contradiction, too. Being a little suspicious, generally, I believe both Arianna and Lee spoke to Breitbart, but that everyone is including/leaving out portions of the tale to present themselves in the best light, paint those they disagree with in the worst light, and give their own version of the story and the meme they're attaching to it the most weight. (That goes for Huffington and Sekoff, too.) The more they all speak, the more facts they will each reveal, all leading to the complete story. No one of 'em is going to tell it all on their own, though.

In a recent Daily Caller piece linked to by Lee, the author reports that Lee told him he helped write Breitbart's two recent HuffPo columns, too. It's not a big deal that he did so, of course, but it does add another layer to the story, in terms of Lee's involvement. (I'm not saying it's a bad layer... Folks can decide that for themselves. But there's no doubt he's wrapped up in the story, and that his involvement is a factor in judging what he has to say about it.)

I happen to like Lee, from what little I know of him, but I don't agree with his politics, much. I believe that he's generally truthful and that he speaks from the heart, but I can't help reading some of what he writes--especially the pieces and comments he's posted on liberal sites--as concern trolling for what are essentially rightward leaning positions. (I don't mind that he has more rightward leaning positions, but I object to those on the right--and to him (which to me, is kinda the same thing)--telling me he's a liberal as he's spouting those rightward leaning positions. Maybe there was a time when he was a liberal--Hell, maybe there are issues where he still takes liberal positions--but reading his recent history and seeing these claims that "Lefty Lee Stranahan" is "way left wing,") I can't help thinkin' "Sure, you used to say nice things about liberalism... but What Have You Done For Me Lately?

I agree that the left and the right need to treat each other better if we're ever going to make progress, but Lee seems to spend alot of time telling folks on the left to be nicer--and criticizing them en mass for not being nicer--and defending folks on the right when they are less than pleasant or honest themselves, all the while claiming he's a liberal, just like you (only nicer and more honest than all y'all put together, of course.) He's a liberal who permits, defends, and sometimes makes sweeping generalizations about how bad liberals are, and that tells me that something isn't quite right about his bio.

I do think he believes he's still a liberal; I don't think he's being intentionally dishonest, like some of his biggest conservative fanboys and girls, who're using him as "friendly fire" against the left. ("Even this loony liberal Lee Stranahan believes the left is objectively "worse" (more dishonest, more violent, less tolerant, ...) than the right.") If it was just about his positions, they wouldn't feel the need to claim he's a lefty/liberal. That they do, speaks. Maybe he'll even prove me wrong sometime soon, and stand up firmly for a few liberal positions, arguing as hard against his conservative detractors as he does his liberal ones. But given where he is now, this liberal Lee Stranahan thing just don't seem quite right.

If I had to call him anything, it wouldn't be liberal or conservative; it'd be gadfly.

Submitted for moderator approval 3/28/11, 9:37 AM (or thereabouts)

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