Thursday, September 21, 2006

"This discussion is now closed"

Um, no. Not by a damn sight. Of all people, I expect Stephen VanDyke to know better than to think a blogosphere debate can -- or should -- be shut down, especially when threats of defamation suits are being thrown around.

The short version: Some people have waxed rather critical of Michael Badnarik's congressional campaign and, more specifically, of his campaign manager, Allen Hacker.

For several months, I've held my peace on the matter, figuring that it's better to feed out rope and let someone either hang himself or make sail than to string him up from the start. But those threats are pretty much like a red cloth in a bull ring for me, so I lost my temper and went on record: I think that Badnarik's campaign is a $400,000 bust, that he'll be extremely lucky to break 10%, and that that situation results from either incompetence (most likely) or malfeasance (less likely but possible) on Mr. Hacker's part.

I may be wrong -- I hope I'm wrong, because Michael is one of the hardest-working candidates the Libertarian Party has ever been privileged to have on its ticket for any office, and he's a genuinely good guy. And if I'm wrong, I'll apologize to (and try to learn from) Mr. Hacker.

But: When you start cracking out litigation threats in order to shut down discussion, you're wrong. And if the people you're threatening knuckle under (or if it even looks like they're knuckling under -- I suppose SVD may have just become bored with the discussion or wanted to conserve bandwidth, but it looks like he caved and looks count), it's only fitting that someone else should make sure you don't benefit from them having done so.

This discussion is now open.

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