Let's just be clear on the main points.
NTodd and I agree that:
1. the blogosphere can be a nasty place sometimes.
2. Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.
3. managed, civil dialogue is sometimes a "freer" speech environment than a free-for-all.
4. bloggers have every right in the world to set their own commenting policies, however restrictive.
5. bloggers can state these commenting policies on their blogs however they see fit.
6. no one should force anyone adhere to any blogging "code."
So where's the disagreement? NTodd's problem seems to come when bloggers get together and promote their commenting policies. Why does he have a problem with this? The only reason that he's stated (that hasn't been covered in the above list of things we agree about) is that he thinks it wouldn't work. That is, he thinks it would fail in its goal of promoting a higher level of discourse in general in the blogosphere. He might be right. We only sort of disagree about that -- I'm just somewhat more optimistic (though certainly skeptical). But because I like the idea of a higher level of discourse in general (and because I don't see the Blogger's Code as being in any way sinister, as many bloggers seem to), I am supporting the idea.
So why the vitriol, NTodd? Just being intentionally ironic? Why rail so fiercely against the Blogger's Code of Conduct?
Please consider the following comparison (hinted at in my previous posts): Bloggers are so sick of comment spam that a few of them decide to ban together and create a Blogger's Declaration of Spam Independence. They produce a button you can choose to display on your blog that says it's a "Spam-Free Zone!" and at the site where you copy the button code, there is an anti comment-spam manifesto on display: "We agree to immediately delete all comment spam from our blogs!" etc. Is this example better or worse than the Blogger's Code? I'll answer that for you: it's neither, because it's exactly the same thing.