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October 10, 2005

Elitism and the Blogger Poll

I was surprised to catch so much flak for posting RWN's blogger poll. A lot of the responses were basically "Well who the hell are bloggers anyhow? Why should we care?"

That's a good point and all, but really, I was just posting it because I thought it was informative. I won't get into whether bloggers are good barometer of public opinion or are, in aggregate, a nontrivial influencer of public opinion. I was just posting it because I thought it seemed interesting.

But more interesting to me is this very odd and I think quite destructive us vs. them or elite vs. O'Reilly's "folks" dynamic that is developing. A lot of the criticism of the poll seemed to play right into that dynamic-- "How dare you, the bloggers, dare instruct us nonbloggers on how to vote?" Which is of a piece with the big anti-elitist argument against the disatisfaction over the Miers nomination. Once again, the presumed elite vs. "the little guy."

I find this whole argument to be silly. First off, I don't think many bloggers consider themselves elite. Surely not because they write dumb opinions on-line. Maybe some consider themselves elite owing to their real jobs, but certainly not due to blogging, which is a somewhat embarassing pastime.

And I continue to be perplexed by those arguing for Miers on the basis that those who oppose her are doing so on elitist grounds. Fact of the matter is, she's not particularly well-qualified to be on the Supreme Court. Basically, she's about as qualified as any other somewhat-successful lawyer would be. If this is the bar for qualification, Miers and about 500,000 other lawyers in the country are qualified for the Supreme Court as well.

The real objection to Miers, though, is that we don't know she's a conservative. We don't even know Roberts is a reliable conservative vote, but at least there we had some indicia of a general conservative bent. With Miers, we don't have that at all.

I wouldn't mind putting a retarded chicken on the Supreme Court if I knew for a fact that that drooling moronfowl would simply vote whatever way Scalia told it to. I have no guarantees -- not even any good evidence -- that Miers will pursue a strict constitutionalist Scalia jurisprudence. The fact that she seemed devoid of ideology at all or any strong philosphical principles makes her very vulnerable to simply become a liberal judicial activist, which is the easiest path to follow. After all-- you get to help people! And the New York Times will say nice things about you!

It's tough to be a conservative in a culture dominated by liberals. I don't know if Miers is a conservative at all. Certainly I know that, if she is a conservative at all, she's been too ashamed to say so in public.

Which makes me less than optimistic she will resist the blandishments of super-liberal DC dinner-party culture.

Really, I am so goddamned tired of this phony elites-vs.-the-commoners argument. It's stupid, quite frankly. I know conservatives like that template, but honestly, let's lay off using it so quickly against our political brethren, huh?

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posted by Ace at 08:24 PM

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