There are benefits to blogging pseudonymously. Being outed by a moronic bully isn’t one of them. Blackoak
by Kevin (originally on: http://www.leanleft.com/archives/2009/06/07/8076/)
June 7th, 2009
Publius, one of the most interesting bloggers around, put up a post a couple of days ago linking the Eugene Volkhoh’s strong refutation of one of Ed Whelan’s anti-Sotomayor talking points. Publius pointed out just how terrible Whelan’s reasoning was and pointed out that Whelan has a history of shoddy work when it comes to attacking his political opponents. Whelan then published Publius real name. Whelan is transparently attempting to bully Publius. He was incapable of dealing with the arguments that Publius and Volkhoh made and so he attempted to hurt at least one of the people who so thoroughly embarrassed him.
There are two reasons to identify someone who writes pseudonymously: they claim to be someone they are not and the claim has an overwhelming bearing on the credibility of their writing or to bully someone. Publius has claimed nothing that would have a deep bearing on his writing that was not true, and Whelan himself doesn’t even argue that Publius had. So that leaves bullying. In this country your boss can take away your job for anything political that you have ever said. In this country, people can and have tried to fire teachers for holding political opinions different than their own. In this country, people have attacked and even killed people for having political opinions different than their own. Some people have complicated family relationships and don’t want to cause family members pain or discomfort through their writing. Pseudonymous writers can protect themselves from those events and should be allowed to. The free expression fo dieas is perhpas the most important aspect of a strong democracy. If the law does not protect people of relatively less power, then they must find some other way to do so. By destroying that protection, people like Whelan are stating quite clearly that they hope for someone with power over Publius will punish him for the high crime of sowing up Ed Whelan. It is despicable, cowardly, and a direct assault on the free exchange of ideas.
And it proves Ed Whelan to be the hack and hitman Publius and others claimed him to be.