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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.

Originally posted to Mal Carne on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 05:30 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Welcome! (5+ / 0-)

    How did you come to see "how utterly bankrupt the Republicans are in terms of ideology"?  We are always interested in reading about a person's "conversion" experience here at dailyKos.  ;>)

    God, I miss Paul Wellstone.

    by Naniboujou on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 05:36:33 PM PDT

    •  It was the tomatoes, believe it or not (10+ / 0-)

      When I saw how wretchedly underfunded the FDA was, it made the whole "the market is good, regulation bad" tenet of conservatism look like an utter load of crock. As I said in an earlier diary, go suck on a Chinese toy, Ayn Rand.

      And as the war drags on, and the rationalizations for it seem to just fade away, it became more apparent that the Bush administration only wanted a permanent military presence in the Middle East. Saddam was a wretched little pustule of a man, and we're better off without him. The things he did in Abu Ghraib make our shenanigans look like kid stuff. But there are a lot of pustules out there... he was always incidental to the real plan.

      And, of course, Obama is just an amazing candidate. That helps, too.

      •  Balloon-juice (5+ / 0-)

        Here's the web-site of another former Republican who gave it up.

        For starters, people got tired of being associated with these drooling retards. Then, when they realized that these drooling retards had ideological allies running the show in the Bush administration and then began to experience their idiotic policies, they moved from disgusted to outright hostile.

        Like me. It had nothing to do with Burke, and everything to do with what the party had become. A bunch of bedwetting, loudmouth, corrupt, hypocritical, and incompetent boobs with a mean streak a mile long and no sense of fair play or proportion.

        Seriously- what does the current Republican party stand for? Permanent war, fear, the nanny state, big spending, torture, execution on demand, complete paranoia regarding the media, control over your body, denial of evolution and outright rejection of science, AND ZOMG THEY ARE GONNA MAKE US WEAR BURKHAS, all the while demanding that in order to be a good American I have to spend most of every damned day condemning half my fellow Americans as terrorist appeasers.

  •  And you might as well add No Quarter (6+ / 0-)

    Home to all the "stealth" right wingers

    "Pardon me, I thought you were a trout stream"

    by frankzappatista on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 05:37:38 PM PDT

  •  Very Interesting (9+ / 0-)

    Well written diary.  Keep writing.  I especially liked your call for civility ("be respectful of the other guy").  I think the level of discourse would rise if we all followed that advice, even just here among ourselves.

  •  Mal Carne = Bad Meat?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just curious -- how do you like the blogging experience on the left compared to blogging on the right? Most of the reports we get from the right aren't so good, but maybe yours was different...

    "Pardon me, I thought you were a trout stream"

    by frankzappatista on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 05:47:05 PM PDT

    •  I treat others respectfully.... (7+ / 0-)

      ...and they treat me respectfully. I have a suspicion Charles Johnson might ban me from Little Green Footballs, but he might not. (I have not doubt at all he can figure out who I am - he pretty much wrote all the code for LGF, so I stand it awe of his internet skills.)

      Really, I just think that applies everywhere. Treat others respectfully. Be nice. Use the magic words "I think" before expressing an opinion. Be willing to admit it when you're wrong. You'll be welcome everywhere. It's not hard.

  •  Red State is missing from your list... (7+ / 0-)

    ...and though they're one-sided (as is Dailykos, and virtually any blog left on Earth) their front-pagers deserve listening to. More often than not they're right about what they're talking about and their only fault, and it's a very forgivable one, is that they don't attack their own side with the same vehemence.

    If you want to understand the founded, principled, reasonable (and yes, this comes along with the unreasonable and cartoonish, naturally) opposition to the lefty worldview, read RedState. It has more intellectually sound front-page posters per capita than most blogs.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 05:53:14 PM PDT

  •  Good diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberalis, empathy

    (I just now tried to post this same comment and something bad happened...)

    Anyway, I've never been able to bring myself to venture over to the Dark Side, but I always think I should.  You make a pretty persuasive case for why I ought to, anyhow.  And your advice makes a lot of sense.

  •  moderate comments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opendna, liberalis, empathy

    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.

    The RNC blog, at the official RNC web-site, was like that when it first started. No comments were posted until vetted by the moderators first, usually 12 hours later. They never did have much traffic and last I heard (about a year ago after they had not received any comments for several months) shut the blog down.

  •  In addition... (4+ / 0-)

    Don't forget Hugh Hewitt. His fanatical boosting of Romney during the GOP primary made him an object of ridicule even among his loyal readers. (Lots of libs like to troll Hugh's site because it make the regulars there soooo mad.) Hugh is a Podhoretz/Kagan-school neocon, wishing and hoping for war with Iran.

    Then there's Michelle Malkin. Her mission in life seems to be to stir up as much hatred against illegal aliens and Muslims (all of them) as possible.

    BTW, the reason the neo-Nazis coddled up to Charles Johnson and LGF was that his blanket condemnation of all Mulsims was indistinguishable from theirs. Maybe Charles should have scratched his head and done some soul searching when that happened. Just like LGF, Malkin likes to target a group of people and point out that they are different, and therefore dangerous, unclean, or a threat to our way of life.

    The comment threads on LGF and Malkin often venture into discussions genocide (i.e., what are we waitin' for?) and the mental & cultural inferiority of non-white races.

    Fun stuff.

    •  Michelle is dreadful. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, empathy, DennisMorrison

      It always baffles me how someone so tiny and pretty can be so venomous. I don't read her on a regular basis, because it's too nasty.

      The Hot Air phenomenon, however, bears mention. They're the web host for Michelle, Ed Morissey, Allahpundit, and several other conservative bloggers. From what I gather, they merged together in an attempt to make a conservative media outlet to rival Kos. They were the ones that had the "counter-convention" during Netroots. Not so much, from what I gather.

  •  My dad's subscribed to National Review (4+ / 0-)

    for over thirty years now.  I've picked up a copy at his house now and again - always thinking "How can people (a) believe this shit? and (b) be so callous?"

  •  Welcome (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opendna, wyvern

    You aren't the first Republican to be disenchanted by Neo-con overreach and I think you won't be the last. As to those sites you mentioned, with all due respect, I kinda laughed. I think the only reason to read them is because they get some attention from the MSM. So you can see a meme in the making. As to quality, well, those you mention are regularly decimated by the left. I guess the problem is that they are so unapologetically wrong. Most of them still think history will vindicate Bush. It's hard to take someone like that seriously. This isn't so much a shot across your bow as it is a flare; folks on the left take pleasure is tearing holes in KLo's pet theories. Great pleasure.

    Welcome to the Great Orange Satan. Grab a pitchfork.

    "Nothing destroys irony like having to explain it."

    by liberalis on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 06:26:26 PM PDT

    •  They're often wrong on politics... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, liberalis

      ...but all of these authors can write well and coherently. That's worth a lot, regrettably. And all of them have outside interests that make them worth my morning cup of coffee, even if I need something stronger to stomach the political material.

      •  Which is totally cool (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mal Carne

        I wouldn't criticize you for that anymore than for what TV you like. I'm just saying that, on the left, they have a reputation for being profoundly wrong and kinda jerks about it. Just a heads up, Mal. And again, welcome.

        "Nothing destroys irony like having to explain it."

        by liberalis on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 06:50:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  do you have opinions on (0+ / 0-)

    Jonah Goldberg's blog?  Plus, doesn't Phyllis Schafly's son have a blog too? Don't forget

    I'm at the junction of short, nerdy, and oddly attractive.

    by Pan Zareta on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 06:36:08 PM PDT

  • (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Red Pen

    AJstrata writes seems to feel his place is fight for his cause while resisting the insanity that bubbles up from the swamps on the right. I respect that.

    NoQuarter and AtlasShrugs have gone into orgies of self-deception over Barack Obama's birth certificate, but AJstrata has the patience to stay in the fight against each new mutation of teh stoopid because it "inoculates Obama against criticism".  When LittleGreenFootballs and TheCorner made final call on the topic, the link was to Strata-Sphere.

    --- "opendna is high and just makin' shit up outta nowhere." - greenskeeper

    by opendna on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 07:00:49 PM PDT

    •  Has AJ Strata ever been right about anything? (0+ / 0-)

      It's hard to believe that strata-sphere has taken up the cause of moderation in the case of the "fake" CLOB.  He has championed some of the most brain-dead talking points of the right-wing blogosphere, particularly with regard to Iraq.

      Of course, you, opendna are a central figure in the case of the allegedly fake CLOB.  I believe that one version of the tale names you as the source.  I didn't see your name come up in Pam Geller's hilarious recent bullshit-o-thon, but it's come up on Free Republic.

      How does it feel to be famous?

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