Friday, August 17, 2007

Odds and Ends

I've got a few things today that didn't seem like they were worth an entire post themselves, so I'll combine 'em.

Bush Approval

There was a diary at which had maps showing President Bush's estimated approval rating by state, congressional district, and county. Here's the map for congressional districts, July 2007, and here's the map from November 2004. The 7th District is looking a lot bluer lately.

This matters, of course, because Congressman Tim Walberg has made it clear that he stands with President Bush on nearly every controversial issue. If folks don't like Bush in the district, let's remind them that Walberg's been right there with him on everything.

Walberg Recall

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports on Tim Walberg's lawsuit to stop the recall. At the risk of seeming like I'm bragging, I do believe Walberg Watch reported on the lawsuit before anyone else!

Francis Pepper

The latest blogger to join Walberg Watch-- Francis Pepper-- seemed to cause quite a stir with his first two posts, and there were some very negative comments. I'd like to address all that now.

I really doubt that Francis is a Republican troll planted here to help Walberg. From what he's written elsewhere and from private communications with me, I think he's sincere in his desire to see a Democrat elected. Now, he's been vocal about his feelings that Senator Mark Schauer shouldn't run. Similarly, Doug has been vocal in his support for Jim Berryman. My policy has been that this blog won't take a position, but individuals are welcome to share their views.

I knew that when I asked him to join the blog, and I thought he might shake things up a bit by saying things a lot of us-- including myself-- might disagree with. We ought to be talking about who would be the best candidate, and we ought to be examining every aspect of them. Now, Francis has been vocal on this on several different websites, but he's not just "the anti-Schauer guy."

All I ask is that you give him a chance. He might surprise you.

If you don't think Mark Schauer's being given fair treatment, I'd love to add another blogger to make the case. For that matter, if anyone wants to join the blog to advocate on behalf of any candidate (besides Tim Walberg), I'm all for adding new voices. Just so long as you can write about more than just Candidate X, too.

Ah geez. That was longer than I wanted it to be.

Better Know A County

I was thinking earlier about how little some parts of the district have in common with others. What kind of interest might there be in a "Better Know A County" series of posts? More importantly than that, could I get any local insight from folks around the district? I hate to admit it, but I don't spend a lot of time in Branch or Hillsdale counties, for instance.

Something Fun

It's the end of the week, and I'm done with being serious. I want something totally, completely non-political to bring in the weekend. So here's a YouTube video of one of the finest musical groups I've ever seen: the Northwestern University Kazoo Choir.

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I like the better know a county idea! Could we find some Walberg quotes regarding each county to show how he really feels about us? Didn't he say at one point that Eaton County is nothing but a "bed-room county" for beaucrats?
Has he made any comments about Washtenaw or Jackson?
I'm all for desenting voices, but we ought not become the MSM, where every story is a he said she said regardless of the facts. One thing I like about the new media is that it takes sides, calls wrong headed people out. I think this notion that a Schauer supporter should have the same voice as a Schauer critic, as a Renier supporter as a Nacth supporter as a Berryman supporter gravely misses the point about this venue/medium.
It's one thing to have contrary voices...It's another to give him front page rights.
How about this.

Let's ban all talk about the primary candidates and focus our attention here on Walberg. Let the primary thing sort itself out and then we are united and focused on what really counts. Defeating Walberg.
We all need to take a step back and breathe. We can be constructive w/o lobbing accusations and criticism of each other, let’s calmly discuss the '08 Campaign scenario. It’s perfectly acceptable. To debate the candidates, all of our arguments are valid. Everyone has a pro-and-con for the candidates. At the end of the day, we are all on the same page, we can be nice. We can discuss with civil tones, with respect for each other and the process.
I think it's healthy to have a civil discussion about the merits/demerits of the various potential Walberg challengers. We've got to find the best person to take on the reactionary congressman. We can disagree about who the strongest Democrat is, but that's what discussion is for. I'm for more speech, not less.
Like any healthy democracy, there were plenty of dissenting voices on this site before. There was even the occasional Walberg troll. But no one freaked out and made ridiculous demands (Stop! There's a post criticizing a Right Michigan post on the front page! How dare you even reference such a site!) until a few Schauer supporters lost it. A political machine doesn't allow dissent. That's what the Republicans are criticized for, with good reason. It seems like the Schauer machine feels it has the right to take over this site, just like it feels it has the right to clear the Democratic field. That seems unfair, when they're not the ones who built this site. It was people who wanted to hold Walberg accountable. It was supporters of Nacht, Berryman and Schwarz. Now that all the hard work's been done, a few Johnny-come-latelys have decided they know what's best the site should change accordingly. That seems sad.
Let's be clear, the purpose of this site is to build a community that is committed to defeating Tim Walberg. If the purpose is to snipe at the various Democratic contenders then I am out of here. It seems like Francis Pepper and others are only here to promote or denegrate a particular alternative.
I spent yesterday afternoon considering the recall issue, and the more I think about it, the more I wonder why Walberg is "hiding" behind the federal constitution and saying that it is more powerful than the state constitution. Seems to me that Walberg ran on a platform of limited government, and generally speaking, doesn't limited government imply that one is in favor of states rights over federal rights? Afterall, Mr. Walberg votes against all federal funding for healthcare (SCHIP), and education.
Mr. Carr, I think you are on the right track! The fact that Mr. Walberg is spending money on lawyers to save himself from what he campaigned on is hilarious. Just more proof that Walberg is undeserving of this congressional seat, and that we need to get rid of him!
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