Pardon me, but the immutable laws of comedic science compel me to write the following post.
Once a week, on Wednesdays, I go on conservative talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt's radio program to argue about whatever Hugh wants to argue about.
Last week Hugh launched right into Republican charges that Democrats are blocking the judicial nomination of Alabama Attorney General William Pryor because of anti-Catholic bigotry. I told Hugh that was ridiculous. And we knocked it around for our normal single segment. Then late the next evening I wrote up some of my own opinions on this foolishness on TPM.
Here, for what it's worth is a pretty good run-down of what the Dems' actual position is, contained in two short-n-sweet grafs of a recent AP article ...
Pryor also is strongly anti-abortion and has criticized the Supreme Court's decision that a woman has a right to an abortion. But he has said he will follow the current law if confirmed for the regional courts, one step below the Supreme Court.
Democrats don't believe him. "Mr. Pryor's litigation position, public statements and his writings leave little doubt that he is committed to using the law, not simply to advance a conservative agenda, but a narrow and extremely ideological agenda," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
Now after I wrote that post I started hearing from Hugh about how outrageous it was of me that I hadn't mentioned this column
by the Archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaput, who also accuses the Democrats of anti-Catholic bias. You see, Hugh had mentioned Chaput's column
in our Wednesday interchange. And apparently my not mentioning the Archbishop's column showed that I was running scared from his logic or something like that. Hugh went on about my perfidy and intellectual dishonesty on his website
In any case, I'd been thinking through the Escher-like layers of ridiculousness of this argument Senate Republicans are making. And it really got my blood boiling. So I thought I'd do my best to refute the arguments in my weekly column in The Hill. To do a column like this you usually want to find a few choice quotes to show just how whacked the other side's arguments are. So needless to say I checked out Hugh's recent stuff to find a few choice nuggets.
I came up with this one ...
As with the Cavaliers who made Catholics publicly renounce the doctrine of transubstantiation, so now Senate Democrats insist that nominees renounce Church teaching on abortion.
Only I didn't identify the author of the quote. I just said that one "fulminating right-wing commentator" had made this comment. Now, I did this because I don't like to get into shouting matches with people,
or at least on my better days I don't. And perhaps when someone says something that really makes no sense I don't want to hold them up to unbearable indignity in the eyes of various readers. But when I went on Hugh's show last night he wouldn't stop talking about how I'd violated the rules of blog etiquette by not linking to his column when I quoted him. I pointed out that my column is a newspaper column and not a blog. But to no avail. I'd linked to the column from TPM, he said. I'd linked on my blog to the newspaper column which didn't link to Hugh's blog, so ... Well, you can see where that goes.
Anyway, I told Hugh that it might strike some people as a touch vain that he was spending our entire segment harping on me for not linking to his website or quoting him by name or whatever rather than choosing instead to address my critique on the merits. That prompted another fusillade about how I was still ducking his challenge to name Archbishop Chaput by name as opposed to simply dismantling, or attempting to dismantle, the charges he and others have made about the Dems' alleged anti-Catholic bigotry. The whole hurlyburly gave new meaning to the phrase naming names, though what that meaning might be was entirely lost on me.
I managed to survive the storm. And hopefully this post, this florilegium of links and mentions, will calm the waters. But now various readers have sent me another whack from Hugh appearing in today's Weekly Standard online, which included this morsel ...
Joshua Micah Marshall was the most disingenuous of all, refusing to reference Chaput's statement in either his blog or his column in the Hill, even after we had specifically discussed it on air and off. Instead of attempting to respond to Chaput in an intellectually honest fashion, Marshall quotes me without naming me, describing me as a "fulminating right-wing commentator." Marshall's bad form is the best indicator yet that the hard-left senses that anti-Catholic bigotry is a disastrous tactic.
To quote the immortal Mr. T, I pity the fool who says such things. But, as per my wont, I won't identify that person by name.