August 4, 2005

2nd District (OH) Congressional Election: Local Center-Right Blogs Have Earned a Victory Lap

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 2:51 pm

The day before the election, the self-congratulatory gloated about the level of liberal blog interest, and presumably influence, in the 2nd District race:

Since the primary election, there have been 63 conservative blog posts about Paul Hackett, while there have been as many as 683 progressive blog posts about Paul Hackett (some, but not many, of the non-conservative posts were from general news aggregators). Even when the news aggregators are removed, progressives blogs have written roughly ten times as much about this election as conservative blogs. What’s more, since Blogopshere Day, the advantage in liberal blog posts has been around 20-1. Even further, the vast majority of conservative blog posts on Hackett over the past two weeks have been from a fairly unknown website, Weapons of Mass Discussion …. By contrast, I believe that literally every single blog in the Liberal Advertising Network, all of which have vastly more traffic than Weapons of Mass Discussion, has discussed Hackett.

Chris Bowers, the author, missed several local center-right blogs, including but certainly not limited to BizzyBlog, that would have significantly changed his analysis, but that’s not the main point.

My main point, simply stated, for Daily (0-for-16) Kos, Atrios, MyDD, and the rest consists of three words (HT to Trey Jackson)–quality, not quantity. We held our own until the cavalry came, at which point you got your collective hats handed to you (I would say that you got your butts kicked, but I’m trying to be nicer these days).

Second District center-right blogs more than held their own during the runup to the August 2 election, and made substantive contributions to the dialog.

Eric Minamyer raised the issue of Paul Hackett’s combat record, which would never have come up without Hackett’s “serve and fight” TV-ad reference. Minamyer took a lot of heat for asking legitimate questions (as if asking questions about a soldier’s record is a crime, when the soldier involved has positioned his military service as the principal reason why he should be elected). The Hackett campaign could have addressed the matter in a two-paragraph e-mail or even a quick phone call, but instead opportunistically let the matter simmer in the blogosphere for a few days before running to a local TV station with evidence that he had indeed been under fire in Iraq. This gave Hackett the opportunity to frame Mr. Minamyer’s legitimate questions as “a vitriolic attack on all the soldiers over there.” Horsecrap (anything for a vote, eh Paul?). Minamyer’s responses to his out-of-control hecklers were graceful (more graceful than I would have been), and his handling of Hackett’s cynical method of addressing the issue was, in stark contrast to the candidate, mature.

When Minamyer went dark to close off an outlet for the terminal whiners (he’s back up as of yesterday with a bit of soul-searching; ya did fine, guy-the problem isn’t you, it’s them), Weapons of Mass Discussion became the designated target, and held up well. Matt has a good race synopsis over at Blogger News Network, and I’m sure I can speak for the other local bloggers mentioned that we appreciate your links to us in that piece.

Project Logic caught heat for passing on the Schmidt campaign’s dispute of Hackett’s (accurate) “only congressmen to have served in Iraq if elected” claim, wherein we learned that there are people with nothing better to do than continually comment under different names.

Viking Spirit was the most complete responder to the taunts of those who wanted reasons why we supported Schmidt–as if visiting the candidate’s web site wasn’t providing perfectly adequate answers (in contast to Hackett’s site, where his positions on life issues were conveniently AWOL).

Other meaningful input, both in posts and comments, came in from Porkopolis (who we can trust to monitor Jean Schmidt’s spending and tax votes), Large Bill, and in the later stages especially, Nix Guy and Yankee Red.

And yes, BizzyBlog was involved a bit too. As Trey Jackson notes (not in these words), I’m the guy who bugged the living daylights out of him to run with the Hackett video and to nationally expose the two-faced fraud that he and his campaign were engaged in. Trey was hesitant (MSM: note the pajama-clad caution), but we can thank The Washington Post (link requires registration) and its story containing Hackett’s criticism of Bush’s “bring it on” statement for ultimately convincing Trey that it was something that had to done.

Trey posted the vid. Rush noticed it (though I’ve pointed out that Rush’s treatment was a mixed blessing at best), and the rest is history. There’s even a name for this episode that will live on, thanks to Rush: Ad-gate.

The ad hoc and impromptu collection of part-timers that became the Second District center-right blogosphere, with the help of a late assist, indisputably influenced an election result and helped Jean Schmidt win. The alleged juggernaut known as the liberal blogosphere can only lick its wounds and try to claim that it narrowed Paul Hackett’s losing margin. Any time y’all want to come back, bring it on.

Outside the Beltway Jammer

College “Helicopter Parents” are Worried about Content, Too

Filed under: Consumer Outrage,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:30 am

Yikes! Referrers and No Post!

Welcome Joanne Jacobs readers! You probably expected a post on the “helicopter parents” piece from the link at her post to me.

Some nerve. Here it is:

Sue Schellenbarger’s piece on “parent bouncers” at colleges appears to be all about parents not willing to let their kids going away to college for the first time be independent. They therefore bug administrators about classes and other matters, and administrators apparently think that the interest is overbearing.

But let’s go to the text for a moment:

Ms. Rosalez (a college parent–Ed.) and others like her are part of a cultural shift toward more involved parenting — which many of today’s students welcome. There are some good reasons for it. The trend reflects societal fears about campus safety, amid growing media coverage of campus murders and deaths, mounting mental-health problems, and rising alcohol and drug arrests at colleges and universities.

Soaring college tuitions play a role, too. Increasingly, “parents see the institution as a product, and they’re consumers. They want to know their investment is being protected,” Dr. Mullendore says.

Okay, fine. My initial points:

  • Parents have legitimate concerns about the above items.
  • University information about what’s really going on in these areas is sometimes sketchy to non-existent.
  • (the place where Joanne and I disagree) I think there’s an undercurrent at colleges that essentially says: “Your kid is ours now, just write the checks and shut up.”

On the last item, I don’t think I’m imagining things, because of this later sentence:

Administrators prefer that students pick their own majors and courses.

Really? Without parental involvement (clearly implied)? I think a little parental consultation is appropriate, especially given some of the politically-correct nonsense in some “courses” in certain academic departments.

Thanks for reading.

UPDATE: Here’s just one example (WARNING: Contains frequent profanities uttered by the professor, and discussion of sexually-oriented topics) of why parents should have more than a passing interest in course content. Note how the prof involved deliberately chose NOT to teach most advertised course content in the interest of HIS “eccentric” agenda (HT Rhode Island escapee KelliPundit).