Can’t we get used to the idea that it’s game time? Between games, and maybe before and after games, you can have a certain amount of idle chat between players of opposing teams, and maybe players from one of the teams team might admit that they got an unfair break in a previous game, or that one of their own players tends to travel a bit, etc., etc.
But once the whistle is blown you don’t call fouls on your own side. And you also don’t have people on the court who are still deciding which side they’re on, or who believe that competition is a bad thing and that we should all just get along.
So there’s no reason to listen to Ricky [Yglesias pet conservative]. He’s on the other team. (Though it might be mentioned that his claim that “the Democrats started it” makes one guess that his long-term memory was seriously impaired during his heavy-metal-tweaker days.)
I don’t see Chafetz as a Republican. Not quite — presumably he’s angling for the David Broder above-the-battle Ace Pontificater gasbag slot. Let him have that slot, I say — but someone get him and Broder off the basketball court! (Come to think of it, though, wasn’t Chafetz channeling the Krauthammer of a couple days ago? So maybe he really is a Republican.)
I think that after the Chambliss-Cleland race, the Bush-McCain race, and Gingrich’s 1994 Sharon Smith smear (at my URL), whatever objective observers still remain will agree that the Republicans play as dirty as anyone ever has played. However, objective observers who blame the Republicans will be immediately smeared as Democratic sympathizers, so why should they even bother to try?
Tit for tat, and do unto others before they do unto you. If you don’t like what you see, get your ass out of the way.
P.S. Chafetz seems have missed the subtext here. The man sent by the Republicans to attack Kerry, Saxby Chambliss, was the chickenhawk who defeated triple-amputee Vietnam vet Max Cleland. Chambliss’ secret weapon was a TV ad which morphed Cleland’s face into Saddam Hussein’s. Kerry’s statement (with Cleland right beside him) was partly getback for something which happened in the past, and partly a preemptive strike against the smears that are sure to be sent Kerry’s way.