Here’s a can’t-miss quiz for you. Match this blogger’s car with the political weblog that he or she contributes to. Is it (A) The Oregon Republican Party’s Journal, or (B) BlueOregon? (enlarge the photo by clicking on it to read the bumper stickers).
Answer is here.
Yes, this car belongs to Trey Smith, BlueOregon contributor who was the Socialist Party candidate for Governor in 1998 (I like Trey’s statement in the election guide under “Prior Governmental Experience: none”—to my mind that’s an excellent qualification.) Trey is someone who definitely doesn’t need to go to a How to feel free to publicly express your views workshop.
Laurel and I met Trey and his wife, Della, yesterday afternoon for some tea/lattes at a Salem coffeehouse. I’ve come to know Trey through his The Rambling Taoist weblog, but previously we’d only met in the blogosphere, not in three dimensional reality. We had a good time talking about all sorts of progressive and philosophical subjects.
When I saw “The right-wing blogger aristocracy” post on Daily Kos this morning, I recalled that Trey talked about the fact that the conservative blogs he frequents don’t allow him to post truly independent opinions. He said that they’ll let him agree with a right-wing viewpoint, or mildly disagree, but if he marshals forceful progressive arguments—especially if combined with links that support his conclusion—then his comments get deleted.
That’s precisely the point of Chris Bowers’ political blog analysis, “Aristocratic Right Wing Blogosphere Stagnating,” that was summarized in the Daily Kos post. Bowers says, “The anti-community nature of right-wing blogs has resulted in a stagnant aristocracy within the conservative blogosphere that prevents the emergence of new voices and, as a result, new reasons for people to visit conservative blogs.”
I don’t regularly visit right-wing blogs like Trey does, but recently I came across a mention of a post on the Benton County Republicans blog about the outrageous attempt by House Republicans to defy the will of Oregonians and allow counties to authorize hunting cougars with dogs and bears with bait (of course, the Benton County folks' take was that Democrats were “blocking local management of bear and cougar populations.”
I’d written about this subject myself and wanted to comment on the Benton County Republicans post. However, I found that you have to prove that you’re a registered Republican who lives in Benton County before you can leave a comment. This assures that few dissenting views will be expressed. It also assures that I won’t return to the Benton County Republicans weblog, just as Chris Bowers said, since they only are interested in preaching to the right-wing choir and don’t want to hear any other voices.
The moribund state of conservative blogging in Oregon is reflected in the above-mentioned Oregon Republican Party’s Journal, whose most-recent post is dated April 19. As several people commented on a Blue Oregon post about the site, this blog is horribly designed.
I guess they figured that since President Bush gives most of his speeches in front of a backdrop festooned with the theme of the day—such as “Making America Stronger”—having a conservative blog wallpapered with rows and rows of Oregon Republican Party symbols would be really cool.
It really gives me a headache, as appears to be the case with right-wingers also, given the blog’s death-bed status. R.I.P., Oregon Republican Party’s Journal. You won’t be missed.