May 24, 2006

Gee, ya think?

A piece in the D/A notes that politicians are utilizing blogs and other internet technology in a big way.

It's kind of ironic, given the reaction this blog has received in the past year.

Local pols seem to be either utterly baffled, have reacted in a dramatically inappropriate, clueless, and counter-productive way, or have simply ignored it altogether.

In general, it seems clear that they all reacted with various degrees of fear and loathing, largely due to the now apparent fact that they didn't know the first thing about any of it.

When people don't understand something, they tend to be frightened of it I guess.

My mistake was in assuming that more people around here had at least a clue. Blogs didn't just appear, they've been around for years. And the intensive use of internet technology has been around for a relatively long time as well.

I'm not nearly as net-savvy as many, and if I'd been reading blogs for a few years, I figured at decent amount of people around here would have too, in particular if they were interested in politics, as nearly all political junkies are addicted to getting their news and discussion online. (I mean, what's the alternative? Cable shout-fests, network news, talk radio or subscribing to dozens of newspapers? Not a lot to draw on.)

I guess I've been very surprised and disappointed at the amount of backwardness, ignorance, and the flat-footed response with which the blog has been met by political types.

The piece notes what should be already apparent to anyone who knows how to turn on a computer and has an interest in politics. Namely, that blogging and the use of the internet as a communication tool has been a large, pervasive and growing trend for some time and is only growing and expanding faster at a rapid pace. A politician who doesn't at least establish a basic web presence is quickly going to be considered a dinosaur.

When most candidates for junior class president have nice web sites and a state rep or senator doesn't, I mean.....

I spoke to a candidate at one point who told me that he had volunteers equipped with little handheld video devices, much like a Palmpilot I assume, preloaded with a video message from him. They'd walk neighborhoods, and beyond just leaving a door hanger or something, they'd actually play what amounted to a short video commercial to the voter featuring a personal message from the candidate.

I admit that's a bit much, but it shows where things are going. And this was a couple years ago. (pre-IPod even.)

I'm still astounded that most local politicians don't even have their own web sites, let alone blogs, podcasts, streaming video and all that. Pathetically enough, many don't even utilize e-mail that much, let alone the net.
Strategists in both parties say the drive to use new media is simple: It's cheap, easy and more and more people are connected.

According to a survey after the last presidential election, reliance on the Internet for political news during the 2004 contest grew sixfold when compared with 1996.

At the same time, the Pew Research Center poll showed that 40 percent of Internet users found the Web important in helping them decide for whom to vote.

In the 2003-04 election cycle, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean used the Internet to raise tens of millions of dollars and stun his primary rivals early in the campaign. He easily surpassed Republican Sen. John McCain, who had relied in part on the Internet for his fundraising in 2000.

In this election year, Republican gubernatorial candidate and pro football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann of Pennsylvania found his contributions increased when he added a personal touch to his Web site. When visitors click on a "donate" button on the site, a video pops up of Swann telling voters why they should elect him.

"Campaigns are won and lost on a lot more than a simple Web site, but a campaign Web site is step one in determining the voters' ability to understand who you are and what you're about," said Leonardo Alcivar, Swann's communications director.

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat who is considering a presidential run, recently added a professional blogger to his staff. Warner likes to use video podcasts.
Zack Exley, 36, who directed the Kerry campaign's online activities, said e-mail actually sounds old-fashioned to techies, but remains vital.

He says politicians should personalize e-mail messages to keep people reading. For example, he said 2008 candidates could empower supporters, and reward their efforts, by giving them first word in an e-mail of the candidate's pick for a running mate.
Maybe some day local politicians will begrudgingly enter the 1990s.


At 5/24/2006 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think blogs are good for pols. People on these sites are the people that have their minds made up. I have not seen anyone change there view because of anything read on this blog. Paladin is still a republican and Kate Nelson is still Kate.

At 5/24/2006 8:44 AM, Anonymous Huck Finn said...

Incumbents are always very tough to beat in an election. I think the reason we don't see incumbents use technology more to spread their message is that they don't want to be held accountable later for the content of that message.

At 5/24/2006 12:19 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 7:50,

By your yardstick, I guess everyone is a failure, as not many are sucessful at changing people's minds. That's a tall order indeed.

Thankfully, that's not the goal or the purpose of this blog at least.

If they think about things, or at least find out about things they wouldn't otherwise know, then that's a good thing.

If someone starts a blog with the goal of converting people from rock solid right winger to a liberal, well... good luck.

Switch Paladin to a Democrat... well, they'd have their work cut out. (But I think Pal's nearly there... she just enjoys giving Dems hell too much. ha!)

You write, "I have not seen anyone change there view because of anything read on this blog."

That's really no big surprise. Though there may be people who have changed the way they think, but just didn't feel the need to write in and say, "Hey, that article just changed the way I think. I realize I was completely wrong before." Something tells me that ain't gonna happen.

At 5/24/2006 12:49 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And Huck Finn, you make a valid point. But again, I think it shows a little lack of knowledge about what a web site can be, which is just about anything at all.

The politician doesn't need to leave their thoughts on everything and anything. They don't even have to allow the public to participate.

They don't need to have an active blog, provide interactive bulletin boards, podcasts, or any of that.

They can control exactly what appears and they can also take things down if and when they choose to. (though web page caching services like Google tend to make things live for a long time.)

The point is, a web site doesn't need to be anything more than a few pictures, a bio, pictures and accounts from events maybe, press releases, a little info about their district, and some contact info.

It doesn't have to be full blow interactive and full of cutting edge technology.

And since the candidate has full control, they don't need to post stuff they may regret later. And even so, as I said, they can take stuff down whenever they want as well.

Some politicians chase after media coverage anyway. Quotes and stories in the press certainly do live forever, as someone 100 years from now can look up exactly what they said on an issue or position.

So how can you suggest that politicians shy away from having a web site because they're afraid of leaving a record?

A web site is far more easily controled than the press, and it's available to literally anyone with web access, which eventually will be nearly everyone.

Lane Evans page is pretty typical of a basic page. There's nothing really controversial there, nor anything which he'd want to hide.

But that's just a basic presence on the web.

If a politician wants to make a splash or understands the net well enough to do so, having a blog or other interactive features could be done very effectively. And again, they have control over how it's done.

A website is simply your own little soapbox which anyone with a computer can access. Why politicians don't have them is simply astounding, as they could have their own site for pennies a day (or even free in some cases) and can reach thousands.

At the very least, politicians should have an e-mail contact for people to reach them.

Of course, they rarely would deal with this, and staff reads the mail and responds (or doesn't, as is appropriate)

But if the goal of the politician is to avoid providing constituents with a quick and easy way to contact them and express their views, or if the politicians don't want their views known, then I guess having a site isn't the way to go.

But the fact is inescapable that eventually every candidate or elected official will have to have at least some basic web presence or be seen as being way behind the times.

And since many like to fancy themselves as 'young' and dynamic, to not have a web site is almost hypocritical.

At 5/24/2006 1:21 PM, Anonymous Huck Finn said...

Dope, I agree with you...but I'm actually thinking purely of the incumbent's view.

I don't think challengers running for office can be successful without a website. Challengers that don't have a website are not only missing out on potentially spreading their message (as generically as they wish to flavor it), but a lack of a website also makes a very clear statement about how they will interact with constituents if they are elected.

Your point about media and searchability is valid, but the media typically only includes the key "sound bite" quotes...and even then someone has to go through the effort to mine that gem.

I just think incumbents are afraid to say anything more than they need to stay in office unless its on a topic that all can agree with. Once someone's in the seat they're tough to beat. And if keeping the mushrooms in the dark works, they're not likely to change it.

My big complaint behind my comment is really that we don't have a true forum to debate issues. Even the floor schedule is just a show and a place to vote. There's no true debate anymore.

Incumbents certainly won't use the website to carry on a true discussion of the issues, and if they did, they'd probably use some lame pseudonym like Huck Finn.

Most incumbents even have a website, and I believe that each Congressman has a website through or Most have a separate website for fundraising and campaigning. I just think those sites are very underutilized.

If I was building one for an incumbent, I'd include links to government sites, party sites. I'd use press releases, bio, speeches, voting record, staff contacts, committee contacts, upcoming legisative calendars (probably linked), pictures, podcasts, video, RSS (from media). I'd set up polls and blogs to guage comments and opinion. I'd highlight people doing good work in the district (volunteers, teachers, etc.). Most I've seen include at least some of that.

At 5/24/2006 1:37 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


You obviously "get it". Those are all sound observations and ideas. And of course, anyone who considers such online things to be a "fad" will be left in the dust.

It's truly a new medium as big and important as any in the past such as radio or TV, and to not take advantage of it is like waiting around to see if television ever gets popular.

In that vein, Kennedy's people realized the nature and value of television while Nixon's did not. We all know the story about the famous debate that Nixon won on paper but got trounced in the public's view simply because of Kennedy's far superior appearance. Kennedy simply understood the medium better and was able to utilize it far better than Nixon.

While the net will always be an adjunct avenue of communication and will never replace shoe leather and other more traditional methods of campaigning or constituent service, it will certainly change all of that in a real way as more and more people find the advantages of researching candidates and interacting with their representitives in government online.

It allows them fast access, it allows the politician fast feedback, it allows the politician to put out his stances and the consumer to read it quickly, it vastly simplifies constituent services and is a great service to constituents in many ways.

In the future, constituents will more and more realize this and come to expect this level of service from their elected officials as well as candidates. Anyone who doesn't provide them will be judged deficient.

Again, Huck, your observations and ideas are spot on.

At 5/24/2006 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that you are wrong. What is the gain to the pol. What can they do to get people to vote for them. People have to go to the pols site. If they do they are already for or against. I think it is way overrated.

At 5/24/2006 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The DOPe's views on blogs are way out of the mainstream Politcans don't need stinking blogs they need votes. Votes move politcans, not blogs.

It seems to me that you are trying to shake down politcans to hire you to build web sites. Is that what this game is all about? A giant shakedown?

At 5/24/2006 10:21 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 16:57.

You ask a few reasonable questions, though I find it hard to believe that you read the piece or comments or you'd have had the answers.

Your attitude is a great example of the suspicious and narrow thinking that will hamper advancement for the local party and politicians.

First, you ask, "What is the gain to the pol?"

Well, that should be obvious. Visibility. Accessibility. A connection with his or her constituents, and providing a service to them.

It's the equivelent in some ways of hanging a sign on the internet that millions of people visit daily. It shows that you're there and you're not mired in the past.

It also shows that the politician is interested in the people he or she serves and welcomes their input.

And it also serves as a one stop rallying point that's open 24/7 365 days a year. Literally millions have been raised by online donations to campaigns.

Any politician who doesn't have a website with the capability for supporters to donate quickly and easily on line is ignoring a potential source of a lot of funds.

It's a hell of a lot easier for someone to spend 5 minutes donating with a few clicks of a mouse than it is for them to go to fund raisers, write checks, fill out forms, etc.

And not only that, but it's proven that voters who would normally not donate a dime to a candidate will do so online due to it's simplicity and ease.

So I hope that partially answers your question.

Then you ask, "What can they do to get people to vote for them?"

Again, seems self-explanatory. If they read their positions, read accounts of accomplishments and duties, and get a favorable impression, then that person is more likely to vote for the politician.

Politicians are marketed like bars of soap. Why would you wilingly pass up the chance to have an online presense when the number of people getting their information from that source is skyrocketing and will only continue to grow?

It would be absolutely stupid, especially in the face of the fact that it is so inexpensive to do.

If you're selling a product, which a politician is, why not allow people to shop online, so to speak? That is, unless you have a defective product, which is the clear impression which will be left by politicians who continue to show how out of touch they are by not having at least a web site.

You seem to think this web thing is a needless fad.

WISE UP!! It's been around for some time and thousands upon thousands of politicians ALREADY have web sites. I'd hazzard to say that every single congressman and senator in DC has a website, or at least the vast majority.

Obviously, they don't share your viewpoint.

You then state, "People have to go to the pols site."

Um, yeah. That's not too tough to do. Type in a name and hit "Enter" and Google or any seach engine will pop up the poltician's site.

I'm not sure that a politicians website would have thousands of visitors a month. I've not looked into traffic figures, and of course, traffic would vary with the district and the politician, as well as if it were a basic page that rarely is updated, or a well run site which offered people interesting content on a continuing basis.

Even so, the traffic isn't the goal, nor is is strictly about "getting votes" as you seem single-mindedly focused on.

A web site isn't going to win someone an election. No one has even come near suggesting that. But to ignore something because it's not a guaranteed vote getter is pretty dumb, in my opinion.

What have you got to loose? A web site could run for a year for the cost of a politician's dinner tab.

And the fact is, that a site very well CAN gain some votes from undecided voters. Websites tend to attract the more educated voters, voters who do their homework and want to know as much about a politician as they can before making their decisions.

Why wait around for some dumb door hanger when with a few clicks, you can go to a candidate or politician's web site and get all the information you want?

Finally, you state, "If they do they are already for or against. I think it is way overrated."

What makes you so sure of this? You don't appear too familiar with the internet or politician's use of it. Yet you think no one ever visits the site of someone they may oppose?

But that's beside the point. Who cares if it's largely people who favor a politician that visit their site?

Again, you have the narrowest of blinders on. You think that anything that isn't guaranteed to somehow convince a rabid right winger to vote for a Dem or something is a waste of time.

I'd ask, what activity DOES have a guarantee of getting votes? Walking door to door? Yeah, that's not very productive at all, but yet it's one of the most productive methods.

But yet, even though it costs next to nothing to put up a web site, you feel it's not worth doing?

Bottom line, you feel that having a web site is overrated because it may or may not produce votes, yet no one said it was the absolute best way to gain votes, did they?

I don't believe garnering votes was even mentioned in relation to a politician having a site.

But you're missing the point completely.

No one said that if you have a web site, you can't do anything else.

As a matter of fact, I specifically said that it's an ADDITION to a traditional campaign, not a substitute.

The old methods won't be replaced, but web sites have numerous advantages and capabilities and to continue to ignore them is not good politics nor campaigning.

At 5/24/2006 10:37 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And Anon 17:07.

Thanks for making my day. Your comment is such a gem that it bears repeating:

--"The DOPe's views on blogs are way out of the mainstream."

Well, maybe in Mongolia, yeah. But they'll be ahead of northwest Illinois any day now.

--"Politcans don't need stinking blogs they need votes. Votes move politcans, not blogs."

Oh. I thought we were talking about how a web presence could benefit politicians? You must have gotten a bit lost.

I'm not sure what "moves" politicians. Maybe watching "Brian's Song"?

Or United Van Lines, for all I know.

--"It seems to me that you are trying to shake down politcans to hire you to build web sites."

DAMN IT! Was it that obvious? DAMN!

-- "Is that what this game is all about? A giant shakedown?"

Well, I see you're a very clever, paranoid, and shrewd person. I should have known I wouldn't get anything past you.

I almost blew it completely when I posted the piece, as I had titled the post "A GIANT SHAKEDOWN" and only caught it at the very last moment and corrected it. Whew! It was that close.

In all seriousness, I'm not too concerned about who does it, just that it gets done.

And frankly, I'm not at all confident that anyone will show the foresight, shrewdness, and intelligence to hire me, nor that they could afford my caliber of cut-rate genius.

I could be wrong though, but I kinda doubt it.

At 5/25/2006 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like the old Sinefield episode where George puts a tip in the tip jar and the person didn't see him so he takes out the money to do it again but gets caught. Blog donations no one sees and no one hears. People want to go to fundraisers to be seen. You think everyone just wants to stay in their basement and do everything anon. Not in the real world. People actually like to leave the house and see and be seen. You are way off base.

At 5/25/2006 5:55 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Again, I'm afraid I'd have to say it's you who is off base.

I don't know what I have to do to get people to get over their instant attack mode and actually read what is written, rather than what they THINK is being said.

I can't force you to actually read slowly with an open mind. (I don't know if you can.)

It seems you are in such a rush to condemn that you don't even bother thinking about what what you've read. But then again, if you though about things, you'd have to change, and that's obviously very frightening to you.

But once again, you're completely missing the point.

You're making an argument against something that wasn't written or even suggested.

Did I say that traditional fundraisers SHOULD NO LONGER BE HELD?? Did I say that they were dumb or useless or non-productive?

No I didn't. C'mon...
But yet, that's what you're arguing against.

I think your position and attitude is a loser, which isn't much comfort in all this.

You'd obviously prefer to cater to the same 25 or so "usual suspects" that continually donate to Dem candidates in the area, and of course then be obligated to do their bidding.

The result is that same tiny group has influence over every candidate. It's like they're puppetmasters, to an extent. It's not their fault, but it is the fault that candidates and politicians seem incapable of looking elsewhere to expand their support.

It's like they're dependant on a few people and they like that just fine.

Or, as I suggest, would it be a smart thing to augment and add to those fundraisers which are essentially the same event over and over on a different day, with support from a large number of average people?

Are people who could only donate $5 or $25 or so just worthless and safely ignored?

Do you think having peopel buy into the process, add to campaign coffers, and feel engaged and involved is just... stupid or something?

Even if you think they don't count, which is probably true, wouldn't it be wise to accept their support?

If you think no one would donate online, just ask Howard Dean, or go back and look up what happened after the death of Paul Wellstone when an appeal went out to help Walter Mondale raise cash. They raised millions of dollars within DAYS from online donations.

There are still instances of this today, most notably, the efforts of Ned Lamont, who is challenging Joe Lieberman in Connecticut.

Turn your back on internet outreach and support. As a matter of fact, with your attitude, I'm sure you will.

This will most likely lead to your being history soon enough, as people are sick and tired of the backroom bunch sitting around cutting deals, firmly stuck in the past and too concerned with hanging on to power today to have any vision for the future.

The days of being able to hide from the public and wheel and deal in relative secrecy is rapidly coming to an end. People are sick of it and want to know what is going on. No one wants to become a part of an operation where they're little more than pawns and dupes.

After the current generation of loyal Dem activists, who were brought into the party because of ideals and values and because the party wasn't just the domain of a few, die off, what then?

Your attitude betrays a near complete lack of concern.

And when you finally realize that you need grass roots help and that the net is the way to get it, they'll turn their backs and remember that you're attitude was essentially, "Who needs 'em?"

This attitude will only hasten the demise of the dinosaurs. In that respect, I suppose it's not all bad.

The little gang in power in local Dem politics is shrinking and increasingly out of touch. Labor influence is sadly waning.
Republicans are busy scooping up new voters and others who are sick of "business as usual" and wholeheartedly embracing the net and every aspect of it to attract and convert new voters.

Meanwhile, we have your arrogant and largely ignorant attitude in control.

Don't forget to wave as you go down with the ship.

At 5/25/2006 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If people are sick of it backroom deals then why is Phil Hare going to win? Maybe you should slow down and open your mind. Maybe it is you who is wrong. When Hare wins I hope that you have the courage to admit you are wrong about people being against old backroom deals.

At 5/25/2006 9:31 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Wow.. there you have it folks. A direct admission that a vote for Hare supposedly equals a vote for shady backroom deals.

Hilarious, but stupid.

Yeah.. I read that all the time. People fed up that there's not enough back room deals going on. The pro-back room deals forces are rising up as never before. I see it in the news all the time.

At 5/25/2006 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You laugh but the truth is nothing to laugh at. People will vote for Hare in two years from now and then maybe you will be open to agreeing that they are for these party backroom deals. Get with the program, join the party and make a difference through the appropriate channels. Maybe oneday you will be in the room when we decide who the next leaders will be. Isn't that better than saying look this guy is crazy. Get involved. It takes courage but I know that you can do it. It is fun to be in the room.

At 5/26/2006 3:18 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Your premise is still ridiculous, that a vote for Hare is a vote for "backroom deals".

As to trying to be "in the room", I have absolutely no interest in being part of a small group who dictates who gets to run and who doesn't, and by extention, what kind of representation the people are offered.

I don't want to be part of stiffling competition, making decisions about who's in and who's out, and I darn sure don't want any part of the schoolyard feuds and power struggles. I find them tedious, counter-productive, and frankly, rather silly.

I don't want to even see or hear what goes on in those "back rooms" as I'm sure it would sour me on politics for life. (as if this experience hasn't already)

My goal isn't to gain power, though many who read this, being unable to conceive of anyone who isn't constantly maneuvering to grab more power or pull, have projected their motives onto myself, I have no interest in being anything but an interested observer.

If any discussions or debates here help, if my ideas and opinions get people to think and perhaps act, then all the better. If not, then, that's the way it goes. I won't have failed either way.

But the idea that I'm trying to be some kingmaker or power broker is absolutely ridiculous.

If I wanted to participate through "appropriate channels" as you put it, I would. I'd rather participate and contribute by producing this blog, thank you very much.

If that's considered "inappropriate" by some, then I suggest that's their problem, not mine.

The fact is that it's perfectly appropriate and perfectly legitimate.

And I fail to see how it takes courage to claw your way into some group of party bosses. It takes a strong craving for power and control certainly, and I'm afraid I don't feel the need to be the one calling the shots. I believe that the views and desires of as many people as possible should be considered, not the fewest.

I'm sure you consider it "fun" to be in the room, and I can see how it would definitely be a big ego boost, if you're into that sort of thing. It's also no doubt very interesting to see how all these deals and negotiations go down. There's probably a "groupie" aspect to being near those with power. I guess it would be about the same as hanging out in a rock band's dressing room, only without the gorgeous babes, booze, and hijinks. (though, who knows?)

Just as if I were backstage with the Rolling Stones, I wouldn't want to be the guy telling them what their set list should be, if I were ever "in the back room", it would only be to observe, learn, and experience it, not to try to be a player.

I said from the first day this blog began that I have no interest in ever running for office, and that hasn't changed.

I'm not doing this to become a player or become a politician myself. I don't have what that would require and frankly, I wouldn't want to live a life like that for any reason. Not my thing.

But last time I checked, for about the last few centuries, one doesn't have to necessarily be a politician to observe, analyse, or comment about politics and politicians.

Though I appreciate your invitation to be a grunt and work away in hopes of someday getting into "the room", I respectfully suggest that I don't really have to do that in order to legitimately comment on politics.

If I have something wrong or I write something misguided or incorrect due to a lack of knowledge, then I fully expect someone will correct me.

So far, that hasn't happened much. It's been nearly all petulant personal attacks, with nearly no challenge to what I've actually written beyond simply hurling personal insults. So I'm left to believe that I'm not that off-base very often. And in fact, I must be pretty darn close to the uncomfortable truth, judging by the howls of unfocused anger that are constantly hurled. Of course, they don't discuss or dispute anything rationally or specifically, just a bunch of anger with no rational or specific argument or explanation as to exactly what I wrote that set them off or why they're so offended.

When they do try to spell it out, 99% of the time, they've twisted what I've written completely and have read all kinds of things into it that simply aren't said or even suggested. They're addicted to the straw man argument, that's for certain.

If there's nothing in what I write to argue against or blast, then they simply make something up.

It usually amounts to "So you think this and this and that, well, you must be this and this and that and I'd love to kick your ass or destroy you personally."

Only problem is, I usually DON'T think what they say I do, nor have I written so. Ah well.

They're just not used to this rational discussion thing, what with the spelling and having to make sense if possible, sticking to facts as much as possible, conceding points to your opponent if they make sense, and all that, I guess. But I have hopes they'll catch on. Might be a pipe dream though... but I hope not.

Again, thanks for your confidence that if I tried really, really hard, that maybe I could be "in the room" someday, but I'm pretty comfortable in this one.

Thanks anyway.

At 5/26/2006 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This deal is definately a backroom deal for Hare. If it were a vote he would not win. Now with the ballotts that are being signed Hare will win. How much more of a backroom deal do you need to see before you call it that. Lane is giving his seat to his best friend that is almost a brother to him. What more do you need to see before you consider it a backroom deal. Just askin.

At 5/26/2006 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much straighter could it be. A congressman retires days after a primary. The only way that an election could be sidestepped. Then the Congressman Selects his friend to be congressman. The friend is not the peoples choice. The friend then get endorsed by the powers of the county. The powers tell people to vote their conscience but to remember to sign their ballotts. If this isn't a backroom deal then maybe there is no such thing as a backroom deal. This thing has been wired from the begining. Are you serious.

At 5/26/2006 8:41 AM, Anonymous Huck Finn said...

It's really this "in the room" mentality that tickles me. It shows to me how much cowardice and cow-towing there must be to think that it takes courage to be in the room in what is a puddle-deep pond.

At 5/26/2006 11:01 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well, for the benefit of readers who don't read, my objection to the commenter is to them saying that everyone who votes for Hare is voting for back-room deals.

While that may be true in a oblique sense, I dispute whether, when the votes are tallied, anyone can say, "Gee, I can see by the votes for Hare that people must really LOVE back-room deals and support them whole-heartedly."

A vote for Hare is just as likely a vote to "get along" and not either be drummed out of the party organization, or otherwise ostracized. I think that's too bad for Hare. He won't know if anyone really supports him or not.

It's like the gorgeous babe or rich guy with lots of "friends". But do they really like them... or just their beauty (not the case with Phil) or money? Hard to tell.

Of course Hare's candidacy is the result of some back room deals.

But it would be a mistake to say that a Hare victory is proof that people love back-room deals.

That's what I've been trying to say.

At 5/26/2006 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bloggers talking about fellow bloggers ... is this what this blog has turned into? I thought there was a separate location to analyze the pros and cons of this site. Let's focus on world hunger instead of the pros and cons of public officials and their blogging habits. Jeeeez.

There is no "backroom deal" politics anymore. That's a made-up concept. All votes are in the sunshine of daylight now. The backroom deals ended in the 1980s when the Republicans cut a deal to beat their own Congressman, Tom Railsback.

At 5/26/2006 12:27 PM, Anonymous JohnHancock said...

Wasn't the Decleration of Independence writtten in a "back room" by a "few" self-appointed leaders? I don't understand what you have aginst "back room deals."

One day you glorify Robert Kennedy, the King of Back Room Deals, and the next you villify Congressman Hare for knowing how to work within the system. Which is it going to be DOPer?

Your thoughts are backwards. Instead of hiding in your basement writting stories about people, go outside and meet many people. Who knows? If they like you maybe the people will assign you to join them in the back room.

Paul Rumler is working his way into the back room. He has his nose shoved up Chairman Gianulis and Sen. Jacobs' tail end, and some the two leaders are planning to run Paul against Boland in the next primary election. Time will tell for sure!

At 5/26/2006 3:59 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks handcock, for such a ridiculous attempt to make a point. That is what you were trying to do, wasn't it? It's hard to tell.

So JFK was the king of back room deals, so I can't like anything about him. I see. Good thinking.

And even though I've explained it about five times now, you still can't read past the first sentences of my comments apparently, or you'd know that I'm not knocking Hare necessarily, just the way they're trying to ram him through.

I'm not hiding in my basement, I'm hiding in YOURS, (Jesus, what are you hanging on to those old Penthouse mags for?) and I'm going to sneak up and make sure you don't reproduce and litter the world with more simple minds... Bwaaahahahahaha!

I get plenty of sunshine too, but thanks for your concern. As a matter of fact, a bit too much today. I feel like a baked potato. I'd forgotten just how much fun it is to clean gutters, spread mulch, lift two 80lb bags of topsoil and spread it around, disasemble and clean the A/C unit, and run various errands. And I'm not done yet.

I just peeked in to see what pearls of wisdom you'd left.

It's amazing what I can get done sitting in my basement.

At 5/26/2006 4:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And anon 12:17..

Just one pet peeve of mine. To my knowledge, there are no "bloggers talking about bloggers".

A blogger is a person who runs a blog.

A person who leaves comments, such as yourself, is, oddly enough, rererred to as a commenter.

A person who reads a blog is... you guessed it, a reader.

I encourage people to take a look at the little blog glossary on the sidebar of the F.A.Q.

At 5/27/2006 10:19 AM, Blogger KingofBlogs said...

This place is starting to look like the Gulag? Are you a German?

At 5/30/2006 9:25 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You wouldn't know a gulag if one bit you in the ass.

The gulags were in Russia, not Germany, Sparky.

Make sure you know what you're talking about before you try to be clever.

At 5/30/2006 1:38 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 10 whatever...

You've now attempted twice to leave off-topic comments here.

If you have something to say regarding the selection process for a replacement for Evans, please leave it in the 17th District Candidate Selection Discussion thread by clicking on the button in the sidebar.


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