Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I try not to read right-wing blogs. As a reporter and commentator and pulse-reading finger-user, I suppose I should be keeping track, but I just can't do it. I don't need the aggravation. I don't want to yell at my computer. People who yell at machines are not practicing serene behavior.
I fully acknowledge that some people feel that way about left-wing blogs and, indeed, about me. I have often wondered why people who feel that way about me continue to read me. They read, they get mad, they write intemperate letters, and I'm sure they do not feel better afterward. There are no victors in shouting matches.
I get angry letters from left-wing people too, angry that I have accepted the establishment line on something or other, and Lord knows they can be as angry as any gay-bashing creationist. Nevertheless, I've always maintained that, as a general rule and taken as a whole, our crazies are less crazy than their crazies. That's not exactly a major claim to distinction, but it's something.
Still, I make forays. I spent time at RedState.com the other day and read a fascinating squib with the opening sentence, "Liberalism continues to cause people to vote with their feet and flee social and economic tyranny within our own country." That was the site's spin on demographic shifts that have seen people leave the northeastern states and move to the South and Southwest.
Weather has nothing to do with it. Economic factors and the decline of manufacturing jobs have nothing to do with it. Nope, it's people fleeing those darned liberals. Thank heavens Texas offers safe haven to political refugees.
But, I confess, it was one of those liberal bloggers who drove me to RedState.com. Duncan Black at atrios.blogspot.com reprinted a post from the site, and I had to see if it was real. It is. I share it with you now in the spirit of reality-based journalism:
"Dear RedState Reader: I have, as they say, some good news and some bad news.
"(Short version: We need you to open your wallet and give what you can to build RedState 3.0. Go here to help. We need the money ASAP.)
"The good news first: RedState.com is about to embark on a major upgrade of our website that will make it easier, more informative, and just plain more fun for you to visit. The bad news: our liberal 'friends' - you know, the ones who believe so strongly in free speech and open debate - have done what they can to prevent us from making these improvements, so that our influence will be minimized just as we head into the 2008 presidential primary season.
"No, our Blue State buddies haven't succeeded in stopping us from improving our website. But they've made it more difficult and more expensive - which is why I'm coming to you for help.
"Let me explain. You see, when we started RedState in May of 2004, we used a website program called Scoop - the same program a lot of similar sites on the left used. But, as the number of visitors to our site grew, Scoop kept crashing on us. If we'd been a liberal website, we would have been able to fix the problem quickly and relatively cheaply. The online left loves Scoop. Unfortunately, there weren't really any conservative Scoop developers out there to help us. We kept crashing and were out of money. We had to close down or take drastic action.
"Well, we didn't close down. We ditched Scoop and moved to the best alternative at the time, a program called Drupal. But, in accomplishing the switch, budget constraints forced us to sacrifice some popular site features in order to alleviate the strain on our overused servers.
"Needless to say, we always regarded those 'downgrades' as temporary, and we hoped to restore the eliminated features - and to add new and even better ones - as soon as we could afford to. Unfortunately, we still can't afford to. But we're convinced that America can afford even less to have us operating at anything less than our absolute peak potential during the coming presidential election season.
"So we've decided to move ahead with our upgrades without delay, and despite not having the cash on hand - hoping and praying that RedState.com readers like you will help us make up the shortfall with a generous donation."
In other words (I think): Left-wing Web site developers have been happy to assist liberal Web sites that are burdened by bad blog software for free, but they cravenly insisted that Redstate.com pay them for their time and effort. Damn you, vast left-wing conspiracy.
It's so wonderful. From now on, I'm going to blame liberals every time my computer crashes. Can't be my fault; can't be that I foolishly purchased or installed the wrong thing. Nope, gotta be the liberals. That's what conspiracy theories are supposed to do: Explain the world according to one all-encompassing idea. Too many powerful liberals! God, if only.
I see liberals everywhere, in my bed, in my office, even in my brain. They must be stopped before they, well, whatever they do.