Two years and one week later, I return to the scene of the crime. It’s time to dig up old bones and resurrect the blog that was. I’ll bring you news and commentary, criticism and snark, kudos and can-you-believe-its on Nevada, the nation and parts yet unknown. You will bookmark the page and visit religiously, always wondering what you will find. It will be a love affair for the ages, Dear Readers. Walk with me and let’s see where it goes.
They must be getting desperate.
Why else would the White House post the following blurb at whitehouse.gov:
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emails. And casual conversations. And stuff on the web. That are “fishy.” Should be flagged. And emailed to the White House. So they can keep track of them. And combat “disinformation.”
Since when, and based on what precedent, does a sitting President ask American citizens to report on their fellow citizens in regards to political speech? Has the White House staff lost their senses? Is the Teleprompter drunk?
The audacity of the request is eclipsed only by its foolishness. Trying to control information – or disinformation – on the web is like trying to herd a million cats. You can’t do it.
And if you’re the White House, you shouldn’t be trying.
I guess this “flag the fishy” idea was dreamt up by the same geniuses who thought it was wise to call concerned Townhall attendees an “angry mob” spouting “manufactured information” when they dared to show up and ask tough questions about health care reform.
People like the woman who asked her congressman, “How can you manage health care when you can’t manage Cash for Clunkers?”
Or the elderly woman who asked her congressman if HE was going to be on the new health care plan.
Yeah, these people are just totally unhinged.
Our elected officials must find it SO annoying to have to deal with these pesky citizens and their annoying questions.
(Iowahawk embellishes with his usual brilliance.)
For all you online media and blog and journalism geeks, this is an interesting post.
It resonates with me because I always click source links, read the “About,” and check to see who is paying the bills before I assess the “objectivity” of something I read online.
Not mentioned is Twitter King Stephen Kruiser who has a great blog. And who also does a daily show for RFC Radio. And who has also been appearing on Pajamas Media TV lately. And who has been invited to appear on FNC’s Red Eye. He was invited the day time conference but mostly hung out after hours and kept us laughing. (Rising Star Alert!)
It would take half a day to create a complete Who’s Who list of who was there last week. So I won’t. But I will say this:
I was encouraged to hear so much talk – in lectures, on panels, in workshops, and after hours – about New Media and blogging and their place in the conservative movement.
My first mantra for the two-days can be summed up as this:
Conservative organizations need to pony up and budget money for Technology and New Media both internally and as part of their overall communications plan. We can talk about citizen-activists and grassroots efforts all we want – and volunteerism is powerful – but a lot of the things we need to accomplish cost money because they require significant time + intense labor.
The Left is already spending millions on online marketing and activism; the Right is still behind.
(Note to my blogger buddies: I’m going to see if I can get my hands on a few of Alex Castellanos‘ PowerPoint slides from Thursday so I can try to post some blurbs. If anyone knows him personally, help a girl out.)
Figure out some new messaging some of the time. There’s a huge demographic of conservatives (ages 18 to 49) who passionately believe in our principles but who do not fit the stereotype.
They are Middle Americans. They work and live regular lives. They budget and pay their bills and save a little. And expect their government to do the same. They don’t go to conservative leadership conferences. They don’t read National Review. They rarely (if ever) wear a tie. They own guns and would use them if needed. They’re pro-military, pro-defense, and pro-kill-the-SOB’s-before-they-kill-us-first. They live life enthusiastically and at times a little irreverently. They love rock-n-roll or sh*t-kickin’ country music. They hate political correctness. They love the flag. They spend time with their kids and then send ‘em to bed so they can watch their DVR’d TV shows, read their news online, and watch South Park. They laugh at (and make) off color remarks. They listen to RFC Radio. They are tired of conservatives who are not Conservatives and Republicans who are really Democrats. They are tired of being mocked and pigeon-holed and they really don’t give a damn about people in Washington D.C.
If you’re a movement person or organization, you should be asking yourself: “How do I reach these folks?”
Write-ups of and photos from The Sammies will prob’ly start to surface today; I’ll post links here as I find them.
Here’s a nice piece and a couple of photos from Illinois Review (that’s me on the far left, next to Mary Katherine Ham).
And here’s Warner Todd Huston’s write-up. (How on earth did I miss talking to WTH?! Darn it!!)
Here’s Bob Weeks’ blurbs at Kansas Meadowlark. Including mention that Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher presented me with my award.
Since I don’t have an agent or a PR department, I have no choice but to shamelessly promote myself (see award #4). I think there is a blog badge or button coming at some point; I’ll proudly post it here when it arrives.
If you’re in the Chicago area (or want an excuse to be) and would like to attend the awards banquet and ceremony on April 18, click here for tickets. Presenters and VIP guests include Michelle Malkin, John Fund, Stephen Moore, Mary Katherine Ham, Paul Jacob, and Joe the Plumber (yes, really!)
A quote in honor of Sam Adams, the namesake of the award:
“It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate and tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
The award-bestowing Sam Adams Alliance is a 501(c)(3) “To Do Tank” based in Chicago. They educate, inform, and empower citizens about important political issues through New Media tools (blogs, wikis, Google groups, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) Among other things, they created Blogivists: the platform/server upon which this blog was started.
I do realize this isn’t the Grammys and that the Thank Yous are the most boring part of any awards event…but in addition to a general “thanks” to my readers and fellow bloggers, I would like to specifically acknowledge a few people for their support of this blog:
- My mom, Anne, who nurtured my love of the English language via weekly stacks of books from the local library and who points out my typos before anyone else sees them
- My husband and best friend, The Venerable Mr. Crum, who turned an independent “I’ll-never-get-married” girl into a very happy wife and who makes me yummy snacks when I’m blogging and forget to eat
- My mother-in-law, Angie, who has become a good friend and blesses me constantly with her kind words (and occasional blog comments)
- Our 3 terrific kids – Kayela, Gavin, and Kylee – who have brought much love and laughter into my life
- My uncles David and Tommy, who cheer me on from afar (both are that rare breed: staunch New England conservatives)
- My mentor and friend, Chuck Muth, who suggested that I start blogging and pointed me to Blogivists, and who has played a part in nearly every good thing that has happened for me in Nevada media and politics
- Tiffany Anderson, Charlene Ragsdale, Carrie Hawkins, Carol Schultz, and Darci Dubreuil, who are as faithful in cheerleading as in friendship
- And finally, for the presence of all these incredible people in my life, and the successes of the past year, my humble thanks goes to The Man Upstairs. I surely don’t deserve the many blessings God has rained down upon me. His grace is just amazing.
So, about that CPAC speech and the subsquent dust-ups over Rush Limbaugh.
Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs’ comments were obviously calculated. Declaring Rush the de facto leader of the GOP put every elected Republican on the spot. To agree was to admit taking your talking points from a radio talk show host. To disagree and disparage Rush was to alienate his twenty-two million listeners, as Michael Steele so handily did on CNN. Why so few Republicans went the obvious third way – giving Rush his just due as one of our country’s strongest, loudest traditional conservative voices while also pointing out that he is not running for office (or running the RNC) – is a mystery.
Unfortunately, some conservatives failed to love-their-neighbor and even went as far as to accuse Rush of being “bad” for the Republican party. And many of the anti-Limbaugh comments were harsh. David Frum got particularly personal and nasty, and I like him the less for it. Why is Frum so concerned with policing conservative talk radio? Is he now the self-appointed Roger Ebert of the airwaves? Frankly, I find it silly that Frum would even enter the fray. He made himself smaller in the process, and millions who had barely heard of him (and quite a few who had) now think he’s a royal jerk.
Some conservatives enjoy Limbaugh’s in-your-face style. Not everyone does, and that’s fine. It doesn’t burn a lot of calories to turn a radio dial. As for Rush’s personal failings and struggles, we ought not to judge him by these things – lest we, too, be judged by our worst mistakes and most obvious flaws.
What is important in the context of this intramural competition for The Party is that Rush is a (not “the”) star player who brings in the crowds. He is unapologetically passionate re: his traditional, Constutionalist views; he swings his bat hard; and he is well loved for it. At this point, there’s no doubt that El-Rushbo’s personality and following are Babe Ruth big. His three hours a day on the field does far more good than harm for the conservative cause, if only to please the fans by kicking some dirt on the shiny shoes of an obviously biased referee: the mainstream liberal media.
He ain’t high fallutin’, but I see no crime in that, nor any harm to The Party. To my mind, and the minds of many conservatives with whom I talk from week to week, there is no real party at present. Indeed, while we argue amongst ourselves over What Happens Now, it seems to me that Rush is the glue holding together nearly half this country’s post-election conservative voters when they might otherwise have gone their separate ways in rank disgust. As for the other half, if they want the reform and moderation the two Davids – Frum and Brooks – are selling, and if they like the pretty package it’s wrapped in, let ‘em have it.
For many of us, cow-towing to creeping social progressivism and big bureaucracy, advocating compromise on core conservative principles that must be unbending if they are to mean anything, and “reforming the message” by echoing White House attacks on widely-liked conservative personalities are vices far worse than any Rush has yet displayed – and are far more harmful to The Party.