April 23, 2012

Jim Geraghty visits BlogCon

And describes it thusly:

What is BlogCon? It’s a gathering of about 250 conservative bloggers, tweeters, podcasters, YouTube artistic geniuses, policy wonks, and other folks for presentations on how to be more effective at what we do, some policy briefings from experts, and a lot of after-hours socializing, getting to know the people you’ve been reading for a long time as flesh-and-blood people.

Tabitha Hale of the Franklin Center put it together, aiming for a more intimate, personal event to bring conservative bloggers together. CPAC is wonderful, but it brings in thousands upon thousands of people, and you inevitably never have the time to connect and meet all the people you would like to meet. The political world has plenty of conventions, but BlogCon stands out for putting faces behind the names and tiny, little square portraits you encounter on Twitter and around the blogosphere. I hope they do these forever.

Alex Lundry and PoliticalMath put together a fantastic presentation on data visualization, and PM has posted his slides here. His video, putting the spending rates of recent presidents in perspective as a cross-country road trip, can be found here.

The person at the convention who had been blogging the longest? Sean Hackbarth. Apparently he started with cave etchings [2004-ed].

Upon hearing the news that Senator Orrin Hatch would face a primary challenge, Kristina Ribali, director of new media at FreedomWorks, let out a howl so loud that one momentarily feared that a crate of live scorpions had been released at the convention site.

The crew at Breitbart.com were presented this beautiful piece of artwork, depicting their founder in his own words.

The conversations offered an eclectic range of topics, from the upcoming Texas Senate primary with the Red Redhead, the apparent meltdown of the Minnesota Republicans with EyeOnPolitics and GOPrincess, how the term “RINO” gets tossed around all too easily with Keder, Exurban Jon and OHCONSERVATISM, comparing parenting stories with Cheryl Prater, and discussing the fascinatingly broad demographic appeal of Paul Ryan with Kat McKinley.

For those of you who have ever wondered about suing a foe on the Internet for calling you racist, sexist, or some other egregious and obviously false insult, let civil litigator, Breitbart.com contributor, and weapons-grade-sarcasm master Kurt Schlichter explain a major complication.

“Here’s why you don’t want to sue some liberal troll for libel,” Kurt explained patiently. “They have no money. I don’t want to sue a guy who lives in a van down by the river. If he has riverfront property, let’s talk.”

Just thought you’d all want to know how the conservative messaging apparatus is working these days.

Not first hand, of course. I don’t have the proper body of work or pedigree to rank a second invite — though I do recognize many of the participants as people who at one time were commenters on pw in the early days. They no longer go by names like “RightWing Sparkle”, etc., of course. This is serious business.

But hey. Time passes you by, right? And “ask not what the ‘conservative’ movement can do for you, ask what you” blah blah blah?

Just happy to be part of the team!

Posted by Jeff G. @ 9:35am
49 comments | Trackback

Comments (49)

  1. The conversations offered an eclectic range of topics, from the upcoming Texas Senate primary with the Red Redhead, the apparent meltdown of the Minnesota Republicans with EyeOnPolitics and GOPrincess, how the term “RINO” gets tossed around all too easily with Keder, Exurban Jon and OHCONSERVATISM, comparing parenting stories with Cheryl Prater, and discussing the fascinatingly broad demographic appeal of Paul Ryan with Kat McKinley.

    Were there discussions on how “purity” gets tossed around too easily? Better yet, I wonder what sort of terms got tossed around in that very discussion about “RINO” labeling.

    As an aside, I bet the PoliticalMath presentation was cool.

  2. One of my favorite comments of all time was when Bill INDC was over at Ace’s making fun of rightwingsparkle. She’d play coy about the sex talk over there and he mimicked her, paraphrasing, “Oh you boys, what’s this blowjob thing you’re always talking about?”

  3. Bon voyage, all.

  4. There’s nothing conservative about the movement they represent.

  5. God I miss the “Axis of Asshole”… Never needed a subscription or a bona fide.

  6. There’s nothing conservative about the movement they represent.

    Amen.

  7. It’s a clique-membrane or social bubble disguised as a fancy party. Makes for a good easy place to be “made” by the nonexistent GOP establishment. You go in a supplicant and come out a creature, a target for further recruitment efforts, or an outcast.

  8. (A tired, frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned outcast!)

  9. One of my favorite comments of all time was when Bill INDC was over at Ace’s making fun of rightwingsparkle.

    What ever happened to Bill INDC, anyway? I remember that Steve “Hog on Ice” Graham couldn’t stand him.

  10. I don’t have the proper body of work or pedigree to rank a second invite

    Don’t be ridiculous, Jeff. You’re “uninvited” because you have the gall to point it out when they accept Leftist assumptions about language or any other aspect of reality.

    You make them look bad. People will often forgive you for being wrong, but they’ll never forgive you for being right.

  11. Misfitting becomes us.

    Apocalypto!

  12. Last I was following him he was getting ready to be embedded with a unit overseas to do some citizen journalism, Mike.

  13. I take it JG has been blogging longer than any of them then. Wouldn’t a trip to Vegas provide much the same… – whats the word I’m looking for?

  14. You make them look bad.

    That’s it in a nutshell. Of their nougaty cognitive dissonance.

  15. Ardolino shows up at Bill Roggio’s collaborative Long War Journal now and then.

  16. Thanks, bh and sdferr. Glad to know that Ardolino’s still around.

  17. A clique of jealous schoolgirls spending half their time gossiping about politics instead clothes, and the other half engaged in the same sort of gossip, i. e.

    —who is fucking whom.

  18. Am I the only one who thinks BlogCon is really about one thing: career? NTTAWWT. The description smells like a clutch of wannabee actors. Everyone desperately networking and logrolling in hopes they will be the one or two individuals who will get a column on the Washington Times or a spot on some Fox show.

  19. I had a blog, once, around 2003 or so. But Jeff had already been blogging for quite a while by then. A lot has happened since then. Sullivan went from being an unreadable conservative to just unreadable, Ken Layne went insayne, Hesiod went from “wingnut blogger” to a pal of John Cole’s, etc.

  20. You go in a supplicant and come out a creature, a target for further recruitment efforts, or an outcast. (A tired, frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned outcast!)

    I’m glad I don’t do blogmeets then. I get enough of being tired, frustrated, disappointed and disillusioned just getting out of bed.

    And then I always make the mistake of looking in the mirror.

  21. I had a blog, once, around 2003 or so.

    IIRC, one of the blogs you used to comment on around that time was Ipse Dixit. Now Dodd posts at Off-Track Betting and I find myself wondering if he likes being Pat Buchanan to OTB’s CNN.

  22. CS Lewis wrote about the all-too-common desire by people to want to be a member of some “inner circle.” (Can’t recall offhand where that was, unfortunately.)

    Not only do we want to be “In,” but if we happen to learn the secret handshake, or earn the degree, or do whatever it is that the “Ins” decide it takes to become an “In,” then we take great pride in being able to look down on those who are “Out.”

    Sounds to me like BlogCon in a nutshell. And whatever “Establishment” you care to name.

  23. The problem, rjacobse, is that they are taking over control of the narrative. By 2008 they’d argued the era of Reagan is dead. Then 2010 happened, and they’ve been working ever since to get us back to that point where we can once again be told the era of Reagan is dead.

    And they’ve marginalized some very effective divergent voices. Intentionally.

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  25. Jeff,
    Oh, absolutely. My apologies for not being clearer: I never meant to imply that this all-too-common impulse to divide the “Ins” from the “Outs” was a good thing. It’s not. Lewis implied (or outright stated; ‘fraid I can’t recall) that it was and is Satanic.

    I just meant to point out that it’s nothing new. No evil really is.

  26. These BlogCon events are but circle jerks AFAIC. I’m better off not knowing the participants. Hell, what an I saying? I don’t recognize (or read) any of those names, except keder, who on the Twitter I recognize as a plastic phoney-baloney RNC insider.

    All of those sorts I can easily ignore.

  27. Let me ask this: how do you continue, seriously, to shout every day into a wind that is made up largely of gusts from, eg., Hot Air, reminding us that the left doesn’t want to harm the country or see it fail — even as Chuck Schumer stands up and argues that we need to amend the First Amendment to take away your free speech rights and hand over control of speech to the very people that speech is to be used to either support or protest, that a SCOTUS decision upholding your speech rights was the worst decisions since Plessy (guess interring Japanese is okay, provided a Democrat Lion does it), and this is just the latest instance of their almost explicit indication that yes, indeed, they don’t have the best interests of the country as founded at heart?

    What else does “fundamental transformation” mean? And yet, I’m more of an enemy to Hot Air than is Chuck Schumer.

    It’s difficult not to despair, especially when, after a decade, you realize the real problem is not the left — they make up only 20% of the population — but rather the GOP establishment and their offshoots, which share many of the left’s desires for power and authority, and hold small government types in the utmost contempt.

  28. ” . . . more of an enemy . . . ”

    And when we abstract the nature of the threat, what do we see? I imagine I see a requirement to think, the hardest of just about all the actions possible. Weird, huh?

  29. By the way, let me say this: Ed Morrissey is a decent and genuine guy. I enjoyed getting to know him a bit at the one BlogCon I did attend. He’s not a phony.

    Hot Air has that going for it, at least — and that’s whether you agree or disagree with him. I’ve done a lot of the latter over the years, but Ed is confident enough that he can handle disagreement.

    There are more “edgy” bloggers who absolutely cannot. And there is without doubt a cadre of them who have networked successfully to the point where they can indeed keep you blocked out.

    If it wasn’t for Instapundit on occasion, you might think I died, if all you did was gravitated toward the clearinghouse blogs on the right. There’s a reason for that, and it isn’t because I’ve become somehow less capable of putting together thoughtful critiques or adding an intelligent voice to the public conversations.

    I was shocked, at the BlogCon in Denver, to find that people like Jim Hoft didn’t even know I’d come back after my 2009 break.

  30. I keep going by mostly not reading the clique blogs. There is so much to enjoy, so many good conversations to have outside the Inner Circle.

    In weaker moments I channel the regard that I’m the youngest of eight and thus I’m quite accustomed to the shut-out; quite aware of my anxiousness to not be shut out.

    And then I remember that all the best parts in the Bible are played by the youngest. So I guess I’ll keep looking for smooth little stones to load into my sling.

    (You’ll find Lewis’ best thoughts on the Inner Circle in That Hideous Strength.)

  31. Honestly, I’m so out of it, I don’t even know who any of these blogcon folks are.

    And I’m on the internet, reading blogs, WAY too much.

    Fuck them and their message.

  32. OT: sort of. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has resigned permanently, ending his limbo.

    This is absolutely political,” said Mahany, a Lee supporter. “It’s solely political…The city manager felt he had no choice. That there could be no healing with Lee as the police chief.”

  33. Those self-inflicted wounds just don’t seem to heal as quickly as they won’t stop picking at the scab.

  34. This just in: been trying to get off the BlogCon email list but I’ve so far been unable to, despite my entreaties. Which is how I know that another BlogCon is already in the offing. The party planner is polling the clique for a destination, the choices being SD, Nashville, or Dallas. At which hotel and evirons would participants like to give their next presentation on the use of Twitter to Change The World, etc?

  35. to give their next presentation on the use of Twitter to Change The World, etc?

    A PowerPoint presentation, no doubt.

  36. How ’bout a quick vote of no confidence for the City Manager? I mean, anybody who suggests that the friggin’ federal Dept of Justice get involved with citizen complaint obviously has some leadership deficiencies. Jettisoning a police chief because he believes that the perpetually aggrieved will suddenly get un-aggrieved shows that his judgement is right up there with his leadership.

    Besides, the guy is named Napoleon Norton Bonaparte. That’s just asking for trouble.

  37. I’m thinking Los Angeles is the only place for BlogCon. Where else would you keep a collection of phony plastic boobs looking for attention?

  38. I’m still upset that I missed the sign-in for “The MySpace Angle: How to show your tits in the best light: For Jesus” and had to sit in the hall.

  39. If they asked me I would have told them to schedule the next event in Williston, North Dakota, so they can see up close and personal one of the few private growing industries in this country. Or they can fall back to any of the booming public sector sites the in crowd usually either lives or works in — or wants to live and work in.

  40. Kurt, I’m not suing for the money. I’m suing for the real names and meatspace addresses of the SOB, his friends if any, family, employers, etc.

    For future meet and debates. Of a sort. Where “the medium is the message.”

  41. ” And yet, I’m more of an enemy to Hot Air than is Chuck Schumer.”

    No, it’s not that you are more of an enemy. It’s a pecking order thing. They think they can fuck with you and get away with it. They think fucking with Chuck Schumer will bring them grief from liberal activists and press types and might cost them ad buys.

    Fucking with you is easy and has virtually no downside. In fact you can be used as a scape goat and distraction to enhance their credibility with people who think that any sign of any form of extremism is far worse than ones ideological opponents. Tossing you under the bus proves that they have a bus to toss you under and it counts as a sacrifice that might grant them some temporary immunity. Derbs are obviously indefensible therefore those who won’t bother to defend a Derb ARE defensible. See? At least that’s how it is supposed to work. If you are a sucker and haven’t been paying attention.

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed,but feminists tend to punish the weaker forms of an evil over the strong form. That’s because, much like the principle behind an immunization, it is far safer to beat up on a paper tiger than a real one.

    Some skinny socially maladjusted nebbish at college who is flirting with a girl who isn’t interested ? Let him have it with both barrels! He’s scum! He’s dirt. No mercy! Kick him out of school! Make him attend insulting classes about how to be a demure inoffensive obsequious beta male! Sue him! Break him! Ostracize him! Demonize him! Criminalize him! Pour out a bucket of pain upon his brow and drive him out!

    A scary biker? Just don’t make eye contact. Keep your hand on your phone. Dial 911 if he tries anything. Is he looking over here? Oh God. Keep walking. I wish I wasn’t anti-gun.

    Bill Clinton ? Go help beat the bimbos down yourself. How dare you squeal to the papers you tacky crazy slut?

    The “blogosphere” isn’t much different. It’s like a reality show with no prize except crumbs off of a high table like PJM or Hotair.

    Oddly I think Glen Reynolds has avoided a lot of this stuff by just posting links to what he finds interesting. He’s a gimmick libertarian more than a conservative but he doesn’t seem to be a grudge carrier. Of course I don’t know any behind the scenes stuff, and Glen is part of the PJM scene but he seems to be WAY more about filling up a page for his audience than taking a side or forging an alliance.

    Ace is…there’s at least two of him in there. When under stress he moves left and gets bitchy. His conservatism is a pose and he seems to be easily scared out of it, again and again. Most of his co bloggers are dull lickspittles.

  42. Heal, baby, heal.*

    * in this context”heal’ is

  43. The Sanford City Commission has voted to deny the resignation on Monday of Police Chief Bill Lee Jr.

  44. I like that “don’t accept your resignation” crap. Sure it’s heart warming in a way, but:

    Hey man, you can accept or not accept a letter of resignation. That’s entirely up to you. But he’s probably not showing up tomorrow. Or ever again. He also CC’ed HR so they know what’s up too. Keep paying him as long as you feel like because you were warned of what would be happening after today. He will in the meantime be seeking employment elsewhere. And if you mess with his pension and separation agreement then he will get a lawyer and sue your easy to scare deep pockets butt for what is due him, some nominal punitive award, and for legal costs.

    Denial isn’t just a river in egypt.

  45. I was going to say that we punish heterodoxy more than apostasy, just as we punish apostasy more than disbelief.

    But I think paleomarus has the right of it.

    Of course, one of the ways to build up right belief is to ignore variant beliefs.

  46. What I took from it is that he submitted his resignation because the City manager called for him to resign. The City Commission is the City manager’s boss and they just said that they don’t accept it. They want to wait for the investigation into if anything was, and if so what was done wrong in the Martin/Zimmerman case to finish first.

    He won’t be showing up because he remains on unpaid leave till the investigation is complete.

  47. I’m more of an enemy to Hot Air than is Chuck Schumer.

    We have met the enemy, and he is usworse than Chuck Schumer.

    IIRC, one of the blogs you used to comment on around that time was Ipse Dixit. Now Dodd posts at Off-Track Betting and I find myself wondering if he likes being Pat Buchanan to OTB’s CNN.

    Dodd set me up with my blog; I didn’t know squat about how to do that. I am grateful to Dodd, and like him quite a lot even when we disagree. Both of us have a lot to say, not enough time to say it well, and jobs that might frown on our blogging activities. Hence my current career as a casual bl0g-commenter.

  48. Hey man, you can accept or not accept a letter of resignation. That’s entirely up to you. But he’s probably not showing up tomorrow. Or ever again. He also CC’ed HR so they know what’s up too. Keep paying him as long as you feel like because you were warned of what would be happening after today. He will in the meantime be seeking employment elsewhere.

    If he’s under contract and the city refuses to let him out — which refusal is what I would expect if they’re refusing to accept his resignation — it could get messy.

  49. I am grateful to Dodd, and like him quite a lot even when we disagree.

    I like him too. Ipse Dixit was my favorite hangout in those days when I hadn’t yet discovered PW. I just think his talent is wasted in that tar pit.

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