Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ohio 16: One Mystery Resolved and Another Close

Jill pointed out an item in the Canton Rep. that answers one of the questions posed in the Worst Blogpost Ever. The question was what was State. Sen. John Boccieri talking about when he said that Republicans were attacking his military record. The Rep. opinion piece notes that the anonymous blog Stark Politics ran an item criticizing Boccieri for missing votes -- votes it turns out that he missed because he had been called up. The original Stark Pol. piece also accused Boccieri of cynically using his military service for political gain.

As Jill points out (follow her links), the post has been purged of its most egregious attacks. Which sheds a little light on a second mystery. I've had a couple of conversations with folks in Stark Co. about who Stark Politics is. If you haven't had the pleasure, it's an anonymously written blog that occasionally lauds Republicans but spends most of it's content on bashing Democrats. It does so with such petty and picayune snark that feelings of nostalgia for Naugle creep in if one reads for too long.

The theory I've heard is that Stark Pol is run by someone fairly well connected with the local party. The cleansing of the blog certainly suggests the same. In the Rep. story Schuring is quoted as condemning the attacks. And the blog magically throttles back it's attack. It sure looks like someone got word to the blogger and he was a good little soldier.

As for Jill's post. She wonders aloud how to resolve the problem of state legislators who get called up for active duty. In the context of the Stark Pol. post, it seems a little beside the point. The post wasn't about addressing the problem, it was about political attack. But I see Jill working.

My inclination is to allow the situation to persist. Much of the political strategy of the administration has been to insulate the bulk of the electorate from the costs of the war. I agree that having state legislators unable to discharge their duties is a problem. But it's also a problem that those same men and women can't be with their families or work their day jobs. Absolutely anything that reminds Americans that we are at war and that there are consequences to being at war is a Good Thing.

It is not fair to the citizens of, say, Josh Mandell's district that they functionally have no representative. But much of war is unfair. And everyone should think about that and all the other attendant consequences to going to war before supporting candidates that do so recklessly.


Jill said...

Thanks, Pho. I learned a lot from this post of yours too. Very interesting.

Yes - you know my interest: I just want to remove any and all weapons of attack that only serve to distract. I do agree with you - about the focus on the war and its ripple effects. Good point. But I also see how absence and not voting etc. is a larger issue, related to a representative government.

Maybe just having these discussions now is a good place to be, for now.

Happy New Year.

Cee Jay said...

I certainly agree with your statement, "Absolutely anything that reminds Americans that we are at war and that there are consequences to being at war is a Good Thing." Those consequences are largely being born by a small percentage of the population.