Last night, I engaged in spirited discussion about the tweets of Joaquin Castro. I was disturbed that he would effectively be providing an enemies list during a time of heightened political tension and potential violence. I am disgusted by Trump’s fascist targeting of those who speak against him, and his virtual brownshirt army; I am naturally bothered by others who would use similar tactics.
Later that evening, Rick Wilson released a tweetstorm that approached it from a different angle. Rather than focus on the tactics, or the back-and-forth victimization the tweets would seem to presage, Wilson unloaded with both barrels on the whining snowflakes who ride the Trump train.
It was glorious. For those who missed it, you can catch up by clicking the linked tweet… and read the entire 10 tweet thread, it is truly necessary for context.
With this tweetstorm, Wilson reminded me of one key thing: the need to attack.
I am, by nature, a mediator. I work to see multiple sides of an issue and, after so doing, pursue what I feel to be the most effective strategy toward a solution. That effort to understand different points of view lends itself to conciliatory approach.
Wilson, on the other hand, is an experienced operative in political campaigning. While I’ve participated at the ground level and spent years observing, Wilson has worked on the inside, at the highest levels of power.
What he is doing, he is doing for a reason.
Most of Wilson’s work is funny, but it’s also aggressive. Wilson is constantly attacking, but he’s not taking shots against broad targets. He is aiming his fire. In this case, while there were other positions to discuss about the issue, he went after those who were falsely claiming victim status.
The result that I expect to see from the Castro tweets is that Republicans will be in high dudgeon, claiming that Castro has stepped over an ethical line… which he has. Democrats will then denounce the Republicans as hypocrites.. which they are… for condemning a target list after they’ve cheered Trump for providing target after target under the sham of “hitting back”.
Doxxing is wrong. Even when the information is publicly available, making it considerably easier for the uninformed and potentially violent to act is despicable. Ask Julia Ioffe, or David French, or Michelle Fields, or Molly Norris. It’s not just those who are exposing these people to attacks who are wrong, though; it’s those who perpetrate them, and it’s also those who facilitate them… on any side, for any reason. That last group is too often left without any blame, which encourages them to do it again.
Wilson’s attacks are an attempt to disrupt this natural flow, pulling away the victim status of the Republicans and emphasizing their culpability in the tactic being used in the first place.
It was admitting that the tactics used by both Castro and Trump are reprehensible, but not focusing on them. It was attacking those who either stood quietly by or actively cheered as Trump used this strategy for years, and now howl about negative attention. Those people deserve some venom.
I will continue to condemn the slimy operations from all political venues. That said, sometimes what is necessary is not simply exposing the tactics, but attacking those who would dare to use them. I had that aptly demonstrated last night. It was an educational experience.
It’s never too late for me to learn, and Rick Wilson is a heck of a teacher.