Dave Weigel resigns from the WaPo.

I’m not sure if most of this blog’s readers even know who Dave Weigel is. I’m only casually acquainted with his work, having encountered some of his writings on the “Reason.com” blog, a blog that I used to have on my favorites list and which I still find myself surfing to on a fairly regular basis.

It has been clear to me for some time that Weigel is a faux conservative. I think it was generally realized around the blogosphere about the time Sarah Palin came to prominence and Weigel joined the mouth-frothing faux conservatives who joined with the likes of Andrew Sullivan or Barack Obama in their shameless and vile attacks on her.

I was not surprised at all when the Washington Post hired him as a “conservative beat” blogger. I assumed then, as I do now, that the WaPo hired him specifically as a plant so they could pretend to hire a conservative when that “conservative” would do nothing but snark about how insane most conservatives are. And that’s pretty much what he did.

Some of you may remember the incident with Congressman Etheridge attacking a student reporter who asked him if he “supported the Obama agenda.” If not you might be interested in following the above link. It’s pretty clear that Etheridge committed actual assault here, but he won’t get charged.

Weigel blogged about the event the next day and his blog post seemed to be implying that the students were part of some sort of conservative plot to embarrass Etheridge, and he characterized the hand-slapping, neck-grabbing assault as a “hug”. This incensed many of his readers, even some of his liberal ones, and he received (appropriately imho) a ton of angry email. In response Weigel posted a number of angry and nasty messages on a email list called “JournoList” which is well known to be a liberal virtual drinking hole where conservatives are not welcome.

Someone on JournoList decided to make his nastiness public, including messages suggesting Matt Drudge should “set himself on fire” and requests to other members of the list to boycott certain conservative internet sites, among other nastiness. He immediately apologized to his “readers” (because a gossip site informed him they were publishing his comments) and put forth a series of laughable excuses for his behavior, but the backlash was loud and strong and went on for days. He has now resigned his position as the “inside the conservative movement” blogger at WaPo and has just announced that he has been hired by the Huffington Post. A fitting spot for him, imho, since the HuffPo was founded by a similarly politically motivated faux “conservative” who has been revealed as a typical nasty hard-core liberal.

So, what does that all mean to me? And why did I title this “The Linus Van Pelt Principle”?

Perhaps the most enduring image of Linus Van Pelt, the younger brother of Peanuts’ Lucy Van Pelt (she of the yanked-back football while Charlie Brown is kicking it) is found in the classic Halloween cartoon “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” In that cartoon, and in countless comic strips over the ages, Linus has each year set out to entice the “Great Pumpkin” to visit his pumpkin patch. Not because it’s the largest pumpkin patch in the world, nor because it’s the most beautiful, nor because it has the largest or tastiest pumpkins… No, to Linus Van Pelt, his pumpkin patch is worthy of a Great Pumpkin visit because it is the most “sincere” pumpkin patch on earth.

Hidden behind the above sordid tale of partisan hackery and betrayal of principles is a far more common theme of pure, raw ambition. David Weigel is revealed through the traversing of this incident and reading his own remarks upon it, as an egotistical, narcissistic young man who sneers at his former colleagues as “waiting for mama to reheat your dinner” while he brags about his “expanding circle of friends” and his “perfect job”.

If there is an opposite extreme to “sincerity” in this world, then David Weigel is the embodiment of that concept right now. It is clear to anyone reading through his tawdry trail of bitterness and social-ladder climbing that David’s purpose from the start was not sincerity, but self-promotion. The entire course of his career is revealed to be a cynical desire to claw his way to the top of the blogosphere, and when the WaPo hired him, he had finally reached a plateau where he felt comfortable enough to let his facade slide long enough that his true colors were evident to all who cared to see.

He belongs at the HuffPo, but I repeat myself.

Some of you may have noted, indeed some of you may have wondered, why this blog is run on a private server, why it has no google ads, and why I don’t participate in the common blogosphere practice known as “link-whoring.” I could do that, you know. It’s pretty easy. There are dozens of “how to promote your blog” books or websites that show exactly how to try to drive traffic and revenue to your blog.

And I have on occasion dabbled in some Rule 5 postings, but that’s as much just to see how true such things are as to actually drive traffic to this blog.

My frequent bouts with blogging existentialism are well-known here. But I slog on anyway. In the end that’s because this blog isn’t about becoming famous, becoming rich, or even about being influential. It’s just about me and what I want to blog about.

And that’s about as Linus Van Pelt as you can get I suppose.