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February 16, 2004
The Old Blogaround

Can someone please ask Avedon Carol not to let Lileks get to her? He's a nut and people know it. There's no reason to contribute to his delusion that he's some kind of a political pundit, so let's not talk about him. It only encourages him, okay? His opinions are shallow, predictable, and rarely based on any particular facts. (And when I wondered why the heck she wasn't posting, I did go and check the other blog.)

Taking a look at Hesiod I see that NASCAR fans might, after all, be a voting bloc. If I were a NASCAR fan, I think I'd be humiliated by the behavior of the ones at this event. It was the epitome of the kind of narrow-minded, lowbrow bigotry that I thought we were all pretending didn't really exist. (And that Jack K. says isn't really reflective of all NASCAR fans, but we knew that.)

I really just Do. Not. Get. the NASCAR thing. Who looked around one day and picked that bunch to campaign to? Was it, as it appears, a desperate attempt on the part of Bush's re-election campaign to find a group outside of a military base, almost any group, he could address without fearing that over 50% of the crowd would be booing? (Via Cursor.)

On the other hand, to be completely fair to NASCAR fans, protests of almost any sort are a fairly unsafe undertaking these days. Whether or not politics itself is more "polarized" than ever is hard to say, coming, as we do, off of eight years of frenzied Clinton-hating from the Right.

David has an awfully good post (and discussion) going on over at Orcinus. It's about the increasingly violent rhetoric being directed at the Left.

I'm just saying. If John. W. Dean of Watergate fame thinks the current Administration has an alarming obsession with secrecy, you have to consider the idea seriously. It's possible he's mellowed and become all liberal and open-government-minded in the past 30 years, but you can't deny the man knows his stuff about government cover-ups. (Via Cursor.)

Helen Thomas is a constant source of delight to me so thanks to Josh Marshall for giving us that priceless excerpt from the Feb 13 gaggle. (I feel sorry for McClellan. I'd feel sorry for anyone whose job it was to be the public face of the Bush Administration's news distribution these days.) Read today's follow-up, as well.

If you haven't read this Meteor Blades entry at Daily Kos, read it now.

Ronald Reagan: Conservative Icon Of Glory.

Yeah. If I were a Republican, I'd get me a new icon. Or a new party.

And Desbladet has had the honor of being "blocked" by the Tennessee Department of Education as an inappropriate site, which is reason enough to read his blog, even if he didn't enjoy saying, " Take the Fourier transform of the autocorrelation function!"

Bush. Kerry. Campaign money. Special interests. Payoffs. Politics is a complicated business. And a dirty one. (Via Cursor.)

(Why do I bother to write my own posts? I could just point you to Cursor.)

What an odd, little article this is. I already felt sorry for Laura Bush, but then I'd have felt sorry for any intelligent being trapped in marriage with George Bush. (Via Atrios.)

Over at Wampum, Ms Williams has decided to take the plunge and run for office. We salute her courage and nudge your attention toward that "support" button on the right-hand sidebar.

I don't mean to be rude or anything, but I wish the people blogging on Cliopatria would be quiet for a while. I'm having trouble keeping up with the volume of posts and comments and there are so many things I want to comment on that I wind up sounding inane when I do get something posted.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:56 AM


NASCAR is the most widely watched and attended sport in the US. Just as presidents have attended baseball games (before anyone thought to consider baseball fans a "demographic") in the past, it is a fabulous platform for exposure. The NASCAR audience appears to be more politically homogenous than most other sports audiences because of its association with the south, but I suspect that the appearance is deceiving. But, like any sport (For the Record, I'm a Baseball and Sumo fan, and in both I enjoy watching lower division play at least as much as professional level: Go Kernels!) you either find it attractive or not, dramatically captivating or not.

I could make a good case for NASCAR being unaffected by the steroids which have obliterated my interest in other professional sports, but I could also make a good case for NASCAR as a form of geekdom......

p.s. I'm doing what I can to lower the level of discourse on Cliopatria.....

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at February 16, 2004 06:01 PM

I don't let Lileks bother me. I don't usually read him. But I think it's useful to keep an eye on the opposition. A lot of people treat Lileks like he's, I dunno, insightful or something. I like to be reminded every now and then that their idea of "insight" is ...well, cracked.

Posted by: Avedon at February 16, 2004 10:07 PM

Jonathan - Well, allow me to point out that in contrast to 'popular wisdom' I don't consider baseball fans a 'demographic' either.

A demographic should be some voter bloc with a commonality of interest(s) that a candidate can appeal to. It is not just any venue where a lot of people are sitting together. I'm a baseball fan myself but I certainly don't assume that I and the ten people sitting around me in the stands have anything outside of baseball in common.

I appreciate the assistance on Cliopatria. :)

Avedon - I have moments when I agree with you - that we should know what the nuts in the opposition are saying. Then I remember I swore off using invective and I confine myself to reading what the sane people on the Right are saying.

I backslide. There are moments Noonan is so stupid I just can't resist poking at her, so I certainly understand the fun in kicking sand on the shoes of a target as easy as Lileks.

Posted by: Anne at February 17, 2004 08:10 AM