Blogs in the USA

Mickey Kaus has found “valuable voter feedback for the Kerry campaign” buried in the comments section of the Donkey Rising blog. The gist of the advice, written by a Kerry supporter who attended a recent rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., is that the campaign shouldn’t let Teresa speak for too long while introducing her husband, especially when it’s hot: “Theresa [sic] took all of the air out of the rally. People started to leave before Sen. Kerry finished.” This leads Kaus — whose previous anti-Kerry animus now seems to have been transferred to the candidate’s wife — to suggest: “Time to send Teresa on a long global fact-finding mission?”

Matt Yglesias, meanwhile, delves bravely into the electoral math, and sees encouraging signs for Democrats: “Kerry’s actually doing well enough that he could drop Florida and Pennsylvania (he’s already losing in Ohio) and still win the election based on the other states where he’s leading.” Possibly, but Yglesias’s view that “Bush needs to defend many fronts — Nevada, Arizona, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida, New Hampshire (82 electoral votes) — while Kerry really only needs to play defense in Iowa and Wisconsin (17 electoral votes),” seems flawed. (Why does Kerry not also need to defend Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and New Mexico — all states won narrowly by Al Gore in 2000, which could go for Bush this time?)

Kos’s attention is elsewhere. Prompted by the news that the Illinois GOP has asked conservative activist Alan Keyes to go up against Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate race in that state, Kos reminds readers of something that Keyes said in 2000: “I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton’s willingness go into a state she doesn’t even live in and pretend to represent people there, so I certainly wouldn’t imitate it.” Keyes, who lives in Maryland, has said he’ll “think about” the Illinois GOP’s offer.

And Tim Graham, writing on National Review’s The Corner, is up in arms about ABC’s “Nightline” interview with Kerry supporter Bruce Springsteen. Even the introduction made Graham mad: “[I]s it fair or accurate for ABC to place the Dixie Chicks next to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, as if they were equals in political sophistication?” (Insert your own ironic wisecrack here). Graham also thinks host Ted Koppel was too gentle on the Boss, and suggests tougher questions, like the following: “In 1991, Mr. Springsteen, you played a concert for the Christic Institute, a radical-left group which insisted that the CIA was ruining Nicaragua … Now it’s a democracy. Any apologies for the Chamorros and other Nicaraguan democrats?” Wow, if people only knew the truth about that underhanded Bruce.

And finally: Wonkette!’s obsession with (lovingly) making fun of Campaign Desk’s popular and much-loved political quiz continues unabated. Yesterday she turned the “bank-robberies-in-Davenport-Iowa” story into yet another excuse to mock our earnest side. Three put-downs in two days have left us wondering: Just what is it about our little quiz that so irritates the queen of political snark? (Obligatory CYA disclaimer: Like everyone, we love Wonkette! too.)

Zachary Roth

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Zachary Roth is a contributing editor to The Washington Monthly. He also has written for The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, The Daily Beast, and Talking Points Memo, among other outlets.