Which has always been fascinating to those of us who choose to own what we write, and risk our real names as our bylines.
Recently, when a commenter at Down With Absolutes outed Delawareliberal's El Somnambulo, Mike responded by deleting the comment. But the incident also led him to think about the posts that the Boast Who Slumbers was writing about State politics, and the innate dishonesty of trading on insider information but not letting people know honestly that you have a lot of your own baggage attached:
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could work for the State Legislature, get fired, and then be taken in by one of Delaware’s most popular blogs, only to spread hyperpartisan bullshit with impunity? You could, like, swoop in at some unknown date with all the personality-driven “stuff” you’ve learned working with the state legislature and take your readers on a ride without ever revealing the obvious conflicts of interest that so rage inside of you....
I’d like to call on you, Delaware blog readers, to be more inquisitive in that which you read on a daily basis. Don’t take everything you read for gospel. Even more important, don’t take so seriously those people who would seek to wield their power by denying others the opportunity to respond to said bullshit and political showmanship.
For the offense of suggesting the bloggers with inside information and/or real-world political/personal baggage ought to be taken not so seriously, Mike has been subjected to a rational of self-righteous bullshit that is ... simply astounding in its breadth and lack of intellectual depth.
In case people have forgotten, or never spent time thinking about it: political blogging is an inherently risky activity. Either as a commenter or blogger you should always write based on the same assumption you use in sending an email: I've got to be OK with this even if people know who I am.
Because eventually people will know who you are. Bet on it: gonna happen at the most inconvenient moment possible, too.
Whistle-blowing? Here's the thing: if you really have whistle-blower type information pretty much the last thing you should be doing is putting it out in the blogosphere. You should be visiting the appropriate authorities who can (a) actually change things; and (b) offer you the protections of the law.
Blog and you got ... nothing. Except enemies.
Moreover, what Mike was trying to say is that there is an information discount we should all be applying to anonymous bloggers. If you won't share your bonafides, I am under no compulsion to treat it as significant or accurate. Mike's right.
He's also right about the latent hypocrisy of people who spend 98% of their energy on politics rather than policy, and broadbrushing their opponents as un-American extremists inside a State driven over the past eight years to the brink of fiscal disaster by the one-party rule of their own party. Make fun of the national GOP all you want, but the reason we have such bloated state payrolls, the reason we have never done a damn thing to implement the LEAD report, the reason we don't have governmental transparency, is that the Delaware Democrats have never been able to deliver policy to match their rhetoric.
So, Mike, while the slings and arrows of outraged anonymous bloggers (or those who are anon to the great unwashed, but coyly reveal themselves to selected insiders) are being thrown at you, don't worry:
The spears of pygmies usually can't strike very far above your knees.
Oh. Oops. That last sentence was probably insensitive. But then, you already know who I am. We'll take your sensitivities into account when we know exactly who we are offending.