Give it a rest

It’s a shame that the OC political blog wars have reached such a fever pitch that one faction has resorted to legal threats against another.  As noted elsewhere, at least one claim appears to be unsupported by law (putting at issue the motive behind the legal threats – an ethical concern for counsel).  Nevertheless, this appears to be just a flash point in a larger, long-running conflict.  These conflicts serve no useful purpose and the parties should give it a rest.

Political blogs are important to state and local politics.  They allow dissemination of information, education about important issues, and lively debate over candidates and issues.  With the decline of traditional political news reporting and analysis, they give people a place to go to seek information and viewpoints.  This is all the more important when the state and nation are at a tipping point.

Unfortunately, some of OC’s political bloggers have such animus for one another that they’ve long engaged in mutual personal attacks that detract from the political debate.  As noted, one group is threatening legal action against another, threats including at least one claim that appears fatally flawed.

It’s at times like this that an attorney asks his client to take a step back and answer the threshold question, “What do I want from this?”  This prompts a conversation that often leads to settlement.  This conversation can be complicated by conflicts-of-interest between the client and attorney (who may be motivated by contingency arrangements or dreams of  “attorney’s fees”).  Most people who have been through litigation would say that it is long, painful, costly, and distracting.

Given the information available, it seems long and costly legal action would gain little, if anything, for the parties involved.  For those reasons, most people would likely say the parties should settle their dispute and stand down.

In the larger context, OC’s political blogs should call a cease fire in the political blog wars.  Many of the personal attacks that go on between the bloggers demean both the attacker and the attacked.  Neither do they do anything to advance the debate.

California’s political issues and candidates need debating.  The state is swirling down the toilet.  Yet, the party establishments dawdle about business as usual.  At such a time, these conflicts serve only to distract.  This serves no one, whether on the left, right, or middle.  For the sake of millions of California families, give it a rest already.

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