I am going to enable the comment function on this blog again. But I need to say that the quality of discussion and exchange on line when I started this blog was better for the first couple of years than it is now. I want to return to the quality of that exchange.
Thus, while I will not monitor every post — ANY post about which I receive a justifiable complaint will be removed. Any ad hominem attacks on any person for any reason whatsoever will be removed if I see them.
Comments that do not remain essentially on policy debates and instead rush to the “personal motivations” of someone else’s comments may be removed as well. That goes for all posters. Those who challenge my decisions about blog posts in an offensive way — or who continue to engage in patterned, abusive behavior will be permanently blocked from the site.
Regarding my own posts and commentary, I am not the type of blogger who likes to spend a lot of time in the comments section. I don’t have time. I’m a public policy focused person in Washington — and I write about whatever I want to write about. I write about the parties I attend, the experiences I have, the afterthoughts that occur to me. Sometimes I try humor, usually not successfully. Sometimes, I post pictures of my dogs or of other things that catch my fancy.
Sometimes I have conversations with Senators or the administration via the blog because I’m trying to influence them. I have my own calculus — it’s what I do and I don’t really care how other bloggers pursue their avocation. I don’t want to be like others — and I’m tired of hearing how others manage their content and course.
I’m always open to suggestions on what I might write about. But if you don’t like my general commentary, LEAVE. It’s easy….just find another blog to spend time on. Blogs move in waves and currents.
I write about a great number of issues — but am extremely busy. The blog is a hobby — not my work. If I write posts about events, or invitations, or something short — it’s usually an indication that I’m focused on a more complex piece, or personal/family matters that are preventing me from writing something more complex or exhaustive. I also have a full time job.
I don’t like accusations that my decisions to write about a topic or person are somehow motivated by pressures I’m under from other organizations. It’s a ridiculous charge — and I may remove those kinds of posts. They do nothing to move forward credible debate and serious discussion.
And most importantly, I see my job as keeping on the case of foreign policy/national security issues. If the comment section can be a constructive part in that process, I will spend more time engaged with those who comment.
If it becomes a distraction or dominated by immature discourse, then I won’t engage it — and I may pull the plug on a good number of commenters.
I don’t need coaching from those who want to tell me that the character and content of my blog has changed. This blog is what I want it to be. When I launched my efforts against John Bolton, I was challenged by many readers and other bloggers for sacrificing a good general blog for a single issue-obsessed forum. They were wrong. I did what I needed to do — and will do so again.
So, be constructive, play nice, be part of what I’m trying to do — and this will go well.
But this note is also indication that I have had it with the ridiculous backseat driving and the screaming rants. I will not tolerate it any longer. I don’t care how angry people are. Stop the character assassination and get mature discussion back in gear.
Otherwise, you are not welcome — not at all. Those who help set a decent climate will have my enthusiastic support and respect.
Hope you can be a stakeholder in this process.
— Steve Clemons