Before National Review hack Ed Whalen has the chance to out my identity too, as he has now done for Publius at Obsidian Wings, I have elected to "come clean" and confirm that "nothstine" is my nom de blog, not my real name.
(Funny story: I had originally chosen the pen name "Goat's Wine," but my car was going into a tunnel and my cell connection was breaking up, so the phrase got garbled at the other end. "Goat's Wine" made at least a little sense, but--"nothstine?" Still, it was the silly season and my backers and I decided to go with it.)
We originally assumed that, because I had never so much as mentioned Whalen's name once in the five years this blog has been running, that there would be no purpose to his exposing my identity other than childish, pointless spite. Unfortunately, since that's the only plausible motive for his exposure of Pubilus at Obsidian Wings, I now had to consider myself a potential target too.
Knowing that the moment of truth could come at any time, my original plan was to stand up, like Tony Curtis at the end of "Spartacus," and proudly declare that I, not that fellow at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, was Publius. I imagined bloggers across the country--around the world--one after another proudly proclaiming, "No, I am Publius!" "No--I am!" But while the theatricality of such a moment was certainly appealing, I wasn't sure I was in a position to organize such an action.
So, in the end, I can only speak for myself: After blogging here and elsewhere as "nothstine" since December 2004, I now announce--proudly, defiantly--that I am in fact Arlen Specter, Senior United States Senator from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. You often wondered why you never saw the two of us in the same place at the same time--now you know.
I adopted the pseudonym because I knew that no one would take seriously the things I had to say about politics, persuasion and the media--let alone classic animation or bicycling--if they knew it was written by Specter, the professional narcissist, political opportunist, and sunshine Democrat. And, of course, there would be the difficulty of explaining my continued interest in Oregon when I have represented Pennsylvania in the US Senate for 29 years.
(Naturally, all of this (to say nothing of this) was simply an attempt--a clever one, I thought--to throw sand in the eyes of my adversaries.)
Let Whalen now do his worst; the truth has set me free.