Thursday, December 06, 2007

Rockin' the Suburbs

Apparently, the recount is done and nothing has changed, meaning that Joan Fishel has officially retained her seat on the Bexley Board of Education. Congratulations to Ms. Fishel, and to Michele Kusma as well, who ran a very strong campaign.

I've had a post-election blogging hangover. I'll be pushing forward, though. I can't disappoint the fans.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Prominent Men

Cheer up local retailers, we're all getting heavily patronized this season...

Jonathan Riskind continues to decry partisanship in Congress. It's an easy target. Elsewhere in the Dispatch this weekend my boss (well, my boss's boss's boss) discussed similar themes with Joe Hallett. I would like to make a thoughtful and articulate case that Mr. Riskind is being disingenuous and that the sweeping generalizations made by two of the most influential men in the community are unbecoming to their respective positions.

Unfortunately, I'm a blogger. As everyone knows, beyond having the thin skins and chips on their shoulders that lead them to link to articles like these, and even beyond their reliance on the sources of the linked material, bloggers just don't make thoughtful and articulate cases:

But surely, the Internet and a bazillion blogs have created opportunities for more participation and discourse?

"I don't see it as opening up more discourse," Gee said. "What I see it opening up are more opportunities for people to act pugilistically. I think what we have is a lot more hand-to-hand combat over inane issues. We don't have the kind of controlled political discussion we used to have. I miss that. I really do.

"What are the blogs about? Communicating, yes, but they're about communicating one's particular ideology. They're not about conversation. They're not about thoughtful conversations about what people should be doing and what the world is really like."

So rather than explain that when Mr. Riskind moves the goalposts such that Democrats can't be seen as governing in a bi-partisan manner until they can muster veto-proof majorities, that he lauds both the longetivity and willingness to compromise of Ohio's retiring representatives, but doesn't mention 2/3 of them have spent almost their entire careers in the majority party and are retiring the instant that their compromising must become primarily bi-partisan rather than with fellow Republicans, rather than patiently laying out facts and making a case, I'll just fling my ideological monkey poop.

See, Jonathan Riskind really annoys the crap out of me sometimes. He's not the worst reporter out there, and as I've said before, I think he's secretly jealous of bloggers, which comes through in his snarky posts at The Daily Briefing. But right now, I ask you to compare Mr. Riskind's words from this weekend to the words of one Pat Tiberi, as reported by Mr. Riskind in Monday's Dispatch:

Sunday's Riskind Column: Witness the standoff over the State Children's Health Insurance Program expansion. Democrats, it is true, can point to a bipartisan vote for the $35 billion expansion that fell 15 or so votes from being veto- proof in the House. But since then, Democrats have tried to steamroll Republicans in such a heavy-handed manner that they have been unable to make headway toward a veto-proof bill, even on legislation that Republicans know darn well stands to hurt them at the polls next year if it does not pass.

That's a somewhat bizarre point of view. Where do you think he got it?

Monday's SChip Article by Riskind*(helpfully titled "Squabble Delays Coverage" rather than "Continued Bush Veto Threats Delay Coverage") : - Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi of Genoa Township, who twice has voted for the $35 billion expansion, nonetheless accuses Democrats of "playing politics" with the issue by refusing to work with Republicans on issues such as giving more assurances that illegal immigrants would be barred from the benefit.

"They could pass a veto-proof bill tomorrow if they wanted to," Tiberi said.

So perhaps, yes, it is a less than perfect world, in which bloggers don boxing gloves and Congressmen don Sock Puppets and Senior Editors and University Presidents wring their hands over vague third hand accounts of the resulting discussion. A world in which discussions are partisan because the subjects of such discussions are themselves partisans. Where descriptions of one party as having "tried to steamroll" opponents complement descriptions of that same party "playing politics," and the words are coming from our traditional media opinion leaders and (gasp!) the very people governing our country.

Except that the world can't really be like that, because I'm the one saying it, I'm a blogger, and (Q.E.D.) I am incapable of discussing what people should be doing and what the world is really like.

You win, guys.

* Catherine Candisky appears to have contributed as well, but the web version omits her byline, and I'm guessing her contributions had more to do with Strickland.