Dispatches > The Buzz

BLOGWATCH

buzz from online journals of politics & culture

Issue: "Class warfare on vouchers," Aug. 23, 2003

California bloggers jumped on Arnold Schwarzenegger's leap into the California recall election, with Daniel Weintraub (www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/insider) seeing him as a winner and Kevin Drum (www.calpundit) as a loser.

Steve Hayward (www.nationalreview.com/corner) pointed to a more variable factor: the positioning of Mr. Schwarzenegger's name on the long ballot. Candidates at the end-positioning will vary within each of California's 80 different assembly districts-may find the going tough: "In recent years a portion of California voters have given up on their ballots and not finished them because they were too long (too many initiatives!). It will be interesting to see how the total number of recall votes on part one matches up with the total candidate vote in part 2."

Still, Mr. Hayward pointed out one Terminator plus: "No matter where Arnold appears he will have a small advantage in that his will be the longest name on the ballot, and therefore the easiest to spot in a quick scan."

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As Episcopalians sort out how to react to the ordination of gay Gene Robinson as a bishop, some are offering heartbreaking posts to their web logs. Christopher Johnson of the Midwest Conservative Journal (mcj.bloghorn.com) wrote, "On this first Sunday after the recent General Convention, I did not attend services at my parish. I could not make myself go. I spent the morning in a Webster Groves park, sipping McDonald's coffee, reading my Bible and praying. I suspect that many a Webster Groves tree will be my 'parish' for the next couple of months."

Mr. Johnson wrote of his future in the church, "What is needed is genuinely radical action. If what emerges is yet another face-saving 'compromise,' then I will become a former Episcopalian. I have already compromised too much and too often and I will compromise no more." Some nonreligious libertarians such as blogosphere favorite James Lileks also wrote that the saga of Mr. Robinson "has irritated me from the start.... The guy left his wife and kids to go do the hokey-pokey with someone else: That's what it's all about, at least for me."

Mr. Lileks went on, "Marriages founder for a variety of reasons ... but 'I want to have sex with other people' is not a valid reason for depriving two little girls of a daddy who lives with them, gets up at night when they're sick, kisses them in the morning when they wake." Mr. Lileks criticized the official Episcopalian logic: "If he'd cast off his family to cavort with a woman from the choir, I'm not sure he'd be elevated to the level of moral avatar-but by some peculiar twist the fact that he left mom for a man insulates him from criticism."

Instapundit.com celebrated its two-year anniversary this month with a reminder to Republicans: "Don't forget the economy: The Bush strategy seems to involve co-opting a lot of Democratic issues, which unfortunately translates into a lot of new spending, which has led-along with the decline in the economy-to big deficits.... The business cycle moves at its own pace. At the moment it looks to be running in Bush's favor, but-as the last President Bush learned-it's dangerous to look out of touch in that department."

Glenn Reynolds also begged the Bush administration to "play it straight." Mr. Reynolds, comparing today's situation with that of the Nixonians who threw away a landslide victory by falling into Watergate, noted that "people in successful administrations-especially successful administrations that feel, rightly, that the media are largely against them-are tempted to cut corners. What's more, political operatives like to feel clever, which often leads them to do things more because they seem clever than because they're really worth doing."

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