I am trying to take this advice, offered by a regular reader, to heart (emphasis mine):
A long time ago my grandfather gave me some very good advice I often follow, but not all the time, due to my competitiveness. I am sure you have heard it before and think it bears repeating based on some of the back and forth I have read with regard to the ‘charges’ against Haley Barbour. I have to admit I have never heard anyone question Mr. Barbour’s views towards non-white people before.
‘Be careful with who you argue – especially idiots – you run the risk of onlookers mistaking one of ‘them’ as the reasonable one’.
My work is done here. Carry on.”
I understand the point, and it applies with extra force on the internet. When you put your views out there day in and day out, there will be the inevitable nasty e-mails, sniping by other bloggers, and PhotoShopping. I agree it is best to ignore all this stuff whenever possible and just move on to the next blog post.
I also have no problem whatsoever when my colleagues respond to my blog posts with reasoned arguments, even if I disagree with those arguments.
But what to do with this comment left at a Matthew Yglesias blog post at Think Progress by newly-minted Assistant Professor Beth Livingston, a specialist in gender and diversity studies, who teaches “Staffing” at the Cornell School of Labor and Industrial Relations, referring to me: