TROUBLE NOT THE BLOGGER IN HER LAIR: A lesson that Alcee Hastings hasn’t learned. Yet.

Blog criticism of Hastings has been persistent and harsh enough that he responded Nov. 20 by blasting “anonymous bloggers” in general and conservative Michelle Malkin in particular. “I hope that my fate is not determined by Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Michael Barone, [Matt] Drudge, anonymous bloggers, and other assorted misinformed fools,” he wrote in a five-page letter to House Democratic colleagues.

The may have done more harm than good to Hastings’ cause, however, because Malkin answered in kind with a post that labeled Hastings a “fool” and his letter to colleagues an “unhinged rant.” She included plenty of background links on the Hastings bribery case and current criticisms of his leadership bid.

“It isn’t just right-wingers objecting to the possibility of a convicted judge for sale chairing the House Intelligence Committee,” she wrote. “In peacetime, Washington can chalk up Hastings’ resurrection to business as usual. In wartime, Washington has no business doing business as usual.”

Hastings is an obviously bad choice. He’s also the perfect target for hostile bloggers — a guy with a really lousy record who’d rather people didn’t think about it, whose every complaint just provides an opportunity to remind people how lousy that record is.