So in the course of breaking the news in Slate that it's a shame people don't write letters anymore (seriously), Anne Applebaum slips this in:
Letters have gone the way of the gentle anecdote, the meandering sentence, and the ironic paragraph. Try lengthy irony in an e-mail, and you'll be misunderstood. Try it in a newspaper column, and you risk furious attack. I once attempted to mock Americans' deep suspicion of voting machines, in contrast to our implacable faith in the solidity of ATMs and the safety of Internet shopping. Eight paragraphs of tongue-in-cheek do not go down well in the culture of instant point-scoring.Wait - what?
So she's now saying that this Washington Post column, in which she argued that there's no need to require voting machines to provide a physical record because we all use ATMs and often don't ask for a receipt (and which, as numerous people pointed out at the time, is just unbelievably stupid and offensive) was tongue-in-cheek. So she didn't really believe it at all. She was writing a parody of a stupid Washington Post column.
No wait. I think the point is that she genuinely was making that argument, but that she used "tongue-in-cheek" techniques to do it, and that was what pissed people off.
First of all, she didn't. There's nothing in there you could call tongue-in-cheek. But more important, even if she had, that's not why people got mad. They got mad because the idea that there's no reason for voting machines to be required to produce paper records since we all use ATMs is just stupid and offensive in itself.
And then to try somehow defend yourself two and a half years later by mischaracterizing what the people who objected to it were saying is just focking infuriating.