As we all watch the election slowly unfold, it's important to keep your eyes wide open. Kos and the diarists here are terrific, but it's a very good idea to look at some of the right wing blogs to see what "the opposition" is saying. You get a better chance of seeing whether you are or are not in an echo chamber, can occasionally find some good writing, and might even learn a thing or two.
A caveat: I voted for Bush the last two elections. This year, I finally saw how utterly bankrupt the Republicans are in terms of ideology, and I'm hanging my hopes on Obama and a better way. But that doesn't mean I erased my old bookmarks... feel free to use a convert's old tricks.
Here are they are, then: some of my favorite right-wing blogs. Some are good for "enemy research"; some are just good reading for the non-political topics that come up; and some are just nifty. Browse around. It's a big Internet. The more you listen, the more you learn.
A caveat before you good exploring The Dark Side of the Force: Don't troll. Just don't. It's not worth it, really. I'm entirely convinced that no one has ever won an argument, ever, on the Internet... and honestly, in the end, it's just tacky. Read. Don't write. Be respectful of the other guy, and treat them as you'd like to be treated.
With that in mind, here are The Big Three on my list...
The Drudge Report is probably not what you think it is. Matt Drudge almost never actually posts any original content to the site - it's a news aggregate, with links to news stories around the globe. Most of these are of a conservative bent, but you get entertainment and weather news too, just like a "real" news site. Drudge is useful because you get links to some news stories you'd never read otherwise. Case in point: On the current page there's this link to the New Hampshire Union Leader, where McCain was greeted by precisely one reported when his plane landed in Manchester. That's gotta sting.
Instapundit is also a very good site run by Glenn Reynolds, a Tennessee law professor. It's also an aggregate site; Mr. Reynolds posts links to what interests him, no more, no less. There's a lot of war news, and lately he's been posting some rather nasty comments about Obama. But some of that's interesting in its own right - it's good to see what people are saying and how well it sticks. On a more general note, Mr. Reynolds posts a lot about nanotechnology, alternate fuel sources, and other neat near-future science. He's also a photography buff, so you can get some interesting pictures and discussions about cameras.
And then there's the infamous Little Green Footballs... Charles Johnson wasn't the person who actually discovered that the Rathergate memos were shady, but he did most of the legwork on proving they weren't on the up and up. Take a look at his infamous smoking memo to get a good look at how dodgy that particular piece of evidence was.
What may startle you, however, is the other issues Charles will tackle - ones that you might actually agree with. For example, he's currently waging a war against "intelligent design" creationist kooks. Earlier, when the European neo-Nazi groups tried to coddle up to him because of his vehement rejection of Muslims, he rejected them violently. He proceeded to post a wealth of articles about the Vlaams Belang party that were serious eye openers. Read him, blow your stack on what he posts, but ignore him at your peril. (He also posts biking and classic-rock links that are cool, too.)
Oh, and he regularly reads this site for mention of Little Green Footballs, so he can post the nastiest comment Kossacks make to his own website. He's probably reading this right now. Smile, wave, and say "Hi"!
By now you might have noticed something - not a one of these sites offers open posting. Mr. Johnson is parsimonious in the extreme with his registration, and Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Drudge don't allow posting at all. This may or may not say something about the conservative mind set. It may simply be that one of these people are willing to put in the effort needed to moderate a horde of comments... or it may not. You make the call. I sure wouldn't want to try to moderate open comments on their sites, this site, or any other...
Let me one more classic: National Review's The Corner. The authors on this classic conservative website chew the fat here, passing notes in a sort of rolling blog that I've never seen any other blog emulate in terms of format. Some amazing insight, some articles to make you cringe, and some unabashed frat-boy style geek humor that will make you laugh.
One last link: Day by Day. It's an unabashedly conservative cartoon. But the author can draw really, really pretty women. It also provides some startling insight as to how disliked McCain is by the hard-core conservative base. If there's any one blog that convinced me that McCain's losing this election, it's this one. If his own base is this cool to him, McCain hasn't got a prayer.