The Pushback and the Payback

For today’s edition of the Blog Report, gentle reader, we feature the as-yet daily musings of one Linda Hirshman, who was named No. 77 in Bernard Goldberg’s new book, “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken is #37).” Hirshman writes that “Each day for 100 days I will post a line or two of what Bernie thinks of one of the 100 and then a paragraph about who they really are.”

But as with all things in the world of the blog, whereas Hirshman wants to cut down Goldberg’s list, others, such as the Disgruntled Car Salesman, would rather attack Goldberg’s critics than deal with the original work. DCS takes issue with Robyn Blumner, who in writing an Op-Ed for the St. Petersburg Times created her own list of seven, made up of conservatives and CEO’s. DCS says that “Now, for just a second, let’s look at her attack on the conservatives, she is just spreading her ‘naive’ (as she put it) rantings. Clearly a liberal, she takes advantage of her column space to put her own slant on it… People like Robyn in the media piss me off something fierce. Just like every liberal they will spew nothing but propaganda expecting the American public to believe it.”

Apparently, in the eyes of DCS, “slant” and “propaganda” are words that apply to Blumner’s list of seven bad apples but not Goldberg’s list of 100 people-threatening-to-life-as-we-know-it. As with any partisan these days, Goldberg and Blumner are pretty much just preaching to the choir, giving their built-in audiences just what they are looking for, and only what they’re looking for. This is evidenced by Laura Lee Donoho of the Wide Awake Café, who writes, “Several of the young people in my family have bought Bernard Goldberg’s book and found it very illuminating. All of those years I’ve spent in debate with my college age kids about politics, and the pop culture and Bernard Goldberg comes along and convinces them within the pages of his book.”

In other news, the latest rumor is that the Republican Party in Florida is trying to woo TV host Joe Scarborough to run against Rep. Katherine Harris in the 2006 Senate primary race. Deep Thought calls Republicans the “ultimate fair-weather friends,” and says that “Whatever the reason, Katherine Harris is finding out that if you are a Republican who is behind in a poll, your friends start to bail as soon as it gets a little cloudy.”

The same could likely be said of any political party; if your poll numbers stink, you’ll find that you have few friends in the political class. Infinite Improbability asks, “What is the GOP thinking?,” while breaking it down like so: “Yes, the guy was a US Representative, but he was representing Pensacola, which is not exactly representative of the state of Florida, and winning in the Reagan Democrat North Florida isn’t the same as winning a statewide race. Not only that, he would be dead meat in the general election because he has so many hours of TV footage that can easily be picked apart, and pretty much every night that I see his show, he says something embarrasingly illogical and ridiculous. The guy’s just not a nuanced thinker.”

Good points all, but last time we checked, being a nuanced thinker was considered something of a political liability. (See: Kerry, John).

Paul McLeary

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Paul McLeary is senior editor of Defense Technology International magazine, and is a former CJR staffer.