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October 05, 2006

The Ace of Spades House Of Gloom

I keep getting criticized for being gloomy, and posting bad news.

I thought I'd respond to that. Not angrily or anything; no Glenn Greenwald freak-out here. Just thinking about it out loud, on line.


First of all, the idea that this blog is "too gloomy" strikes me as simply wrong. One thing I actually worry about is that I'm too selective in my cherry-picking of optimistic stories, and thus guilty of the coccooning the New York Times is famous for. Some amount of such coccooning is expected of blogs; blogs, especially conservative ones, are expected to deliver the more-optimistic news the mainstream media ignores.

But there is a limit. I was one of the first bloggers to note the Mark Foley story; I got it just a few minutes after it went over the wires. (Thank you, RSS Bandit.) Now, that's obviously a "bad news" story, but I knew immediately it would be pretty big. Doesn't take a genius, after all. It's one thing to avoid the micro-scandals and fake-scandals that the sinistrosphere dwells upon, but what about something that's Big and Bad and can't be avoided? Do I just embargo that?

How far is that from simply blogging in an alternate universe?

The fact is, there's a lot of bad news out there. It really can't be avoided. I might like it if the Foley story went away tomorrow (how I would like that), but it's not going to. How do I avoid a story that can't be avoided? How can I possibly spin it as good news?

It's just not possible. There are some go-to spins that I phone in from time to time (meaning, at least once a day), like "The media will ignore x or y aspect of this, of course," but while I can make half-hearted spins like that, I can't make empty-hearted spins.

Was ABCNews sloppy? Yes. Did they intentionally, or negligently, conflate the more innocuous emails with the smoking gun IMs? Yes. Did they intentionally, or negligently, misstate the age of the young man involved? Yes. Was there a Democratic/left blog connection on all of this? Almost certainly yes. And I say so.

But now we have Kirk Fordham saying it's Denny Hastert's fault, and Denny Hastert saying Kirk Fordham is, basically, a liar, and they're both Republicans, so, you know, someone here is at fault and/or lying and it's a Republican.

That's bad news, and I'm not sure how I can be expected to spin it as anything but bad news.

I'm not under any delusions that too many people think about Ace of Spades HQ as their primary, fair-and-balanced news source, but I do feel some obligation to note the bad news too. At least the biggest bad news. The small bad news I tend to ignore. Not just to coccoon people, or because I do try (seriously) to run a light-hearted blog that makes people chuckle and occasionally feel good about things, but because I'm more optimistic myself, and I'd rather be writing about good news than bad news.

Still, again, there's a limit.

I mean, if we do lose thirty seats in the House on November seventh, I don't imagine anyone will take me to task for being in rather sour mood that day week month year.

One thing I thought was funny was when Hoke, of all people, was telling me to "man up." Hoke, from my experience, is one of the most pessimistic guys out there on Republican chances in any election; he's predicted losses in 2000, 2002, and 2004. Meanwhile, I'm more unhingedly optimistic, and expected (or at least allowed for a good possibility of) wins in those years. I was shocked to see that my goofball optimism proved right.

Just pointing out that I have a fair track record of being optimistic on these things, at least most of the time. But there's optimism and then there's reality, and if anyone thinks the GOP is not facing a strong possibility of losing at least the House, and by a not-inconsiderable-number of seats besides, I think you're in a dreamworld.

Do I hope for a GOP pick-up? Yes. Do I think there's some chance that may happen? Also yes -- a small one, if we can get some more good news at some point. But currently, with today's news, and extrapolating from today's news? It's looking bad, folks.

Even Ann Coulter says so-- she says this is the Democrats' year to win, and Republican's "can't keep winning everything." And no one's ever accused her of excessive gloominess or pessimism.

One thing that's kind of interesting is that I'm getting the same flack the real media does, when it highlights bad polls/bad news for Republicans. The same sort of thinking is at work-- such news dispirits the base, leads to lower turnout, makes a Republican loss more likely.

That may be true, but come on, only about 5000 morons read this site, half of the commenters have taken vows to never vote for the GOP again, etc.

And I've spun the gloomy outlook as a reason to vote for Republicans, even if you're pissed at them. Again and again I've said that even if you think the Republcians deserve two years in the wilderness, surely you don't want them to spend twelve years in exile, which is a pretty good reason to try to limit the damage by voting for Republicans, even the ones you don't particularly like.

Being eight seats down in 2008 is bad, but we can recover from it. Being 40 seats down will take four or five elections cycles to recover from-- if we're lucky.

Anyway, this is all a bit rambling, but guys, don't shoot the messenger. I'm not making this stuff up.

And yeah, lately I've been exhibiting a bit of Sullvian-esque bipolar disorder, high on life in one post and down on everything in the next. I wish I could avoid that, but hey, this is all spur-of-the-moment crap. When I post good news, I feel good at that moment. When I post bad news, well, things look a bit darker to me.

Hey, I try to keep this light. But things just aren't looking all that terrific at the moment.

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posted by Ace at 04:59 PM

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