Before offering my hypothesis, let me point out a series of things that are definitely not the reason why she won't respond:
- She's too honorable to use her wide reach to attack specific individuals. This is certainly not the case. In addition to the her numerous personal attacks on other people (detailed below), she is willing to use my full name when she attacks me. Furthermore, she even was willing to state my place of employment and suggest that I was somehow violating my school's policy. In other words, not only is she willing to use her media to personally attack people, she's willing to use it to try to get people fired who criticize her (which btw, I am not at all worried about). The only things she's not willing to mention are my blog and my Twitter account, because she knows that doing so would allow her readers to see my responses.
- She's unwilling to engage in debate with people who disagree with her: This is also not true. Loesch has argued on Twitter with the St. Louis Young Dems, with a blogger named The Queen of Spain, and with David Shuster.
- She won't validate people who personally attack her. First of all, she will in fact argue with people who personally attack her. I think it fits nicely into the whole conservative victimhood complex. But more to the point, I actually don't personally attack her. I have pointed out here and elsewhere numerous falsehoods and contradictions in her publicly stated political rhetoric, just as I have done with many other bloggers and politicians. But pointing out that someone is wrong is not the same as personally attacking that person. In fact, I delete quite a few comments on my blog that are personally attacking her: claims that she is "a hick" or "didn't go to a good school." I delete these claims both because they are unsubstantiated and because they are not relevant to evaluating Loesch's political stance.
- She doesn't have time. She apparently has time to read my blog posts and tweets and to accuse me of "stealing intellectual property." She also has time to attack me by name. So why wouldn't she have time to respond to anything else?
So much for that. But this leads us back to the question of why is it that she's unwilling to engage in actual debate or discussions, and particularly to give her readers any hint of where to find me on the internet? I think there are two pretty obvious reasons:
First, her attacks are baseless, and she knows that I could point that out if she linked to my blog or Twitter account. To be a little more specific:
- She claims that I make personal attacks. As stated above, I focus on her political positions and do not care at all about her personal life.
- She claims that I am a stalker. My responses are to her public content. The whole point of blogs and twitter are to make your opinions public (at least in cases where they are kept public), so you can hardly complain when someone responds to them. Compare this to true stalkerish behavior, like that of right-winger Jim Durbin, threatening to "release personal information" of people who disagree with him. She also claims that I "stalk" other right-wing bloggers Durbin, Bill Hennessy, Gina Loudon, and John Loudon. The only way someone could "stalk" all those people is if the word "stalk" simply means, "reads some the blog posts of."
- She claims I steal her intellectual property. Nope, everything I do is protected by the fair use doctrine of copyright law.
- She claims that I'm a liar. I document all of my posts with links and screenshots so that people can make up their own minds. In some cases I might not post screenshots for the sake of readability, but I'm happy to provide them if people ask. This is in stark contrast to Loesch and her husband who attack me without providing any evidence whatsoever. If they want to accuse me of lying, or any of the above character flaws, they have an obligation to provide evidence.
So an inability to back up her attacks is one huge reason she won't engage in discussion with me. But an ever bigger reason, in my opinion, is that she knows that I am able to point out the falsehoods, personal attacks, and hypocrisy that basically are the bread and butter of her public persona:
- Personal attacks. Dana falsely accused St. Louis County Counselor Patricia Reddington of not looking at medical records before filing charges. Last week, she mindlessly attacked my friend Melanie Shouse, a recent victim of breast cancer, without knowing anything about Melanie's situation. She called a woman a "union thug" last year and accused her of attacking a tea partier when in fact the man attacked her. All of these people are human beings with families who would be wounded by Loesch's smears, yet Loesch somehow thinks it's perfectly OK to personally attack people with whom she disagrees.
- Falsehoods. All of the above cases involve blatant falsehoods. Loesch also completely fabricated a story claiming that the federal government was funneling people to ACORN. She also claimed that an HCAN rally was "astroturf" because it had people with Obama shirts, but she actually used video from an OFA rally two weeks before.
- Intellectual dishonesty. In none of the above cases does Loesch ever acknowledge that she was wrong or inaccurate. In the case where she called the woman a "union thug," she simply deleted her original post without mentioning a word about it being false. Even Fox News apologizes for using video from the wrong rally, but Loesch simply ignored the fact that her video was from the wrong rally when it was pointed out to her. She continually provides false information to her fans, and she is unwilling to correct herself even when the claims are shown to be false beyond all reasonable doubt.
- Hypocrisy. Several of the above are great examples of blatant hypocrisy, since Loesch falsely accuses me of doing things she does on regular basis. There are others as well. Loesch constantly rails against "political correctness," yet she's willing to accuse people of racism simply for not believing right-wing story-lines about events. Similarly, she makes jokes about "tea bags," but she acts as if it's a "slur" when Democratic politicians or liberals use the term.
- Astroturfing and Phony Bluster. Loesch pretends that the leaders of the local tea party (including herself) are committed to conservative principles rather than carrying water for the Republican Party, but her actions speak differently. Loesch screamed and threatened that the tea party would be "coming for Blunt" if he didn't endorse conservative candidate Doug Hoffman. Blunt ignored them, and they simply quieted down and have been carrying water for Blunt ever since
So I certainly don't expect Dana Loesch to be responding to me anytime soon. If she did, she would be exposing her sheltered listeners and readers to volumes of documentation of her falsehoods and hypocrisy. So instead she'll probably continue to make her attacks from the safety of her blog and radio show, worrying every day that people might actually start to get informed about the emptiness of St. Louis Tea Party leaders' rhetoric. I'm an optimist though: I think the truth has a way of coming out, even when people like her do everything they can to avoid it.