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Thursday, June 05, 2003  

Back talk

*A political map of bloggers

CalPundit Kevin Drum drew my attention to this political map of the 'name' blogosphere. (By 'name' I mean the blogs tracked in the ecosystem software that interact with or are at least aware of each other.) It contains some 'sure things, some 'maybes' and some 'no ways.'

The center, as Kevin observes, is somewhat Rightward. Jim Henley may be a nice fellow, but I don't think he is a centrist. As for Oliver Willis, he seems to have achieved his goal of canceling himself out. I think Kevin should be closer to the center. So should Atrios' Eschaton. And PLA. I don't know why PLA is way out there on the perimeter. Dwight Meredith strikes me as a moderate.

Where would you place the InstaPundit? Will all due respect to libertarianism, I consider him a Righty. Glenn Reynolds may mouth an occassional liberal platitude before jumping on the conservative bandwagon, but that is as far as it goes. The Volokh Conspiracy? Even moreso. Much of what passes for statements of the law on that blog is actually Right Wing wish fulfillment. If I hadn't seen a picture of Eugene, I would believe he is an isolated octogenarian who doesn't realize the civil rights and women's movements occurred.

Look at Brian Linse's two endeavors. Ain't No Bad Dude is in the center. The Lefty Directory, is, you guessed it, way out left. (Actually, there are some conservatives on that list.) What does that say about Brian? Is he both a centrist and a Leftist?

This is just my off the cuff, biased analysis. Go to the page and do your own.

I would also be interested in seeing a chart of demographic information on bloggers and politics. For example, do gender, age or region of the country tell us anything about a blogger's perspective? I don't have time to gather the data, but would love to read the results.

*Sam slugs on

Checked in on Sam at Cry Me a River, who my readers met in the "Anger in the Blogosphere" entry. She is still throwing wild punches. The aspect of her repartee I found interesting this time is not the hatefulness, though she has upped the ante, but her aversion to information. Sam is under the impression her blog is competitive and the envy of the blogosphere, despite its lack of links and traffic. (She apparently believes the figure she lists, 2,386 visitors in four months, is excellent. Move over, Atrios.) Sam taunts Mac-a-ro-nies as an inferior blog that gets no traffic. The Truth Laid Bear ranked Mac-a-ro-nies at 97th and Cry Me a River at 1,641st Wednesday afternoon. It lists 6 links for Cry. Two are from Mac-a-ro-nies. This blog has had more than 2000 visitors this week as of Wednesday. My reason for entering the contest was to try to attract new readers. However, these stats are not bad for a two and a half month old effort.

*Condescending guy says 'no' to Rudolph

No sooner than I adapt to a Right Wing blogger saying a liberal blogger should be dismembered and left in a ditch than one calls me "snarky." Perhaps summer and conservatism just don't get along.

Sean Bradley at Lex Communis takes exception to the Diva wondering whether some Right Wingers will pity fellow traveler and alleged terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph. He 'schools' me. (Wink.)

Sate your curiosity here, Mac. It won't happen. From my experience, Right-tilting Blogospheriacs have the singular ability to pierce the surface to get to the deep existential truth of an issue. Let me demonstrate this technique, which is apparently very rarely seen in your end of town - just as Muslims who murder Americans are bad, so too are Americans who murder Americans, regardless of their sick ideologies or twisted grievances. To explicate this subtle reasoning even further - if Eric Robert Rudolph is the serial bomber whose bombs murdered people, then he is a sick, evil, distorted piece of cancer walking around in human form and deserves the harshest punishment the law can visit upon him. To drive this amazingly principled concept home let me offer the following: Anyone - and I mean anyone - who treats any human being as an end or an obstacle to be murdered as an impediment to the realization of their political or ideological ends in this country deserves such a fate.

Well. . . It seems to me there was a sympathy factor for Timothy McVeigh from some on the Right, but perhaps my memory is getting fuzzy.

Brian Linse's sense of the present must be getting fuzzy, because he says some on the Right do sympathize with Rudolph.

Well shit-howdy! You think them folks realize that they's the same as them there Mooslum fy-natics blowin up shit in Israel cuz Allah toll 'em to? Same as them crazy fuckers what flew 'em planes to the towers?

The truly scary reality is that they actually just think our god can beat up their god, and our god-fearing president is just doing the work for Him here in the garden. Falwell and Roberts spoke it after 9/11, and these pathetic "believers" are back to remind us that fundamentalism is still going strong in the religious right wing.

Typical of his ilk, Sean assumes I have empathy for Mumia al Jamal, when, in fact, I don't. He also makes the mistake of confusing an accessory to murder with an alleged murderer, but I will leave schooling him on the difference to a criminal lawyer.

Toughen up

*The Tough Democrat has offered guidance on how Howard Dean can project toughness.

So, if I were Director of Scheduling and Advance for one of these folks, what would I recommend? The first thing to keep in mind is that, if the picture is good enough, the press will swallow it whole. The Bush advance operation has been shameless in its use of fake backdrops, "Message: I Care" banners, and military personnel and equipment. They even repeat it when Bush says " I am very gracious and humbled ." So don't think that any idea is too craven, any message too obvious, so long as the picture is good. With that in mind: The suggestion that Dean go to Iraq is a solid idea. He should sign up for a short stint with Nobel Peace Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders , and spend two weeks in field clinics (although, hmm, he hasn't practiced medicine in 10 years ...). But here's a better (and easier) idea: Why not hang a lantern on his DLC roots problem -- why not give a speech to the NRA? Or better yet, announce that he's supporting the creation of an alternative group to the NRA, supporting gun rights but a bit less, shall we say, pro-Columbine. He's the most pro-gun candidate in the field, and there's no danger of the left turning en masse to Kucinich, Sharpton, or Mosely-Braun. It would lead to a string of stories about how he's more complicated than you think and help him both in hunting-friendly New England and the moderate South. And it would show that he is not only outspoken, he's daring. Audacious. In command.

Hmmm. Guns. I have a feeling that it had better be a rifle used for hunting or the message could backfire. There is a significant handgun control segment of the Democratic electorate. Maybe it would be better for Dean to appear in outdoorsman's garb actually doing outdoorsy things, not riding around in a truck like Shrub. Then, a rifle would be justified. Hunting season is a ways off, though.

Speak to the NRA? I would pay to observe that.

*The sound of silence

Both James Capazzola of the Rittenhouse Review and Digby of Hullaboo might have some back talk, but I can't hear'em. Jim has been reduced to an unsatisfactory and expensive situation.

Seriously major computer melt-down here.

Working from Kinko’s.

Light blogging, if any, expected over the near term.


I considered not starting my own blog until I had two computers for that very reason. Let's hope this one doesn't have any major problems for a while.

Digby, meanwhile, appears to be traveling incognito. If there has been a post at Hullaboo since May 14, my browsers aren't finding it.

8:06 AM