In the past few days, John Hawkins of Right Wing News (where I occasionally cross post) was generating a bit of blogosphere buzz. In a post where he makes an error about Log Cabin (contending they “endorsed John Kerry in 2004” when, in reality, they just acted like they did), he announced that his conservative blog will be
. . . the first sponsor of Homocon. We’re going to be supporting the event, promoting it, and encouraging Republicans in New York to attend. Thanks to GOProud for giving us the opportunity and thanks to Ann Coulter for creating what’s sure to be a memorable event that people will want to attend.
While John wins kudos from gay conservatives, he was also taking some flak from other conservative bloggers for a column he ran, listing the 25 worst Americans of all time. This was based on a poll he conducted of right-of-center bloggers. As one such blogger, I regularly receive his e-mails asking me to participate in such surveys. And not comfortable with the question he asked in that particular poll (for a great variety of reasons), I chose not to respond to it — and not elected not to participate in that poll.
That said, I have participated in other such surveys John has run — and expect to do so again. He invited me, an openly gay man, to blog on his site and to participate in his polls, always identifying our blog when I do so, thus including a web-site with gay in its name on a list of conservative bloggers.
Taking issue with some of the attacks on John, Ed Morrissey pretty much voices my concerns:
my criticism of John’s list would be that it included too many recent figures, which shows a different kind of contextual failing. That’s a problem with blogging that Matt and Jim miss in their response; it’s too immediate in most cases for long-term perspective. When a 49-year-old President comes in second all time in worst figures in American history after only eighteen months as President, it shows a remarkable lack of perspective, and ignores at least the potential for redemption.
This particular survey shows that John suffers from the problems which (sometimes seem to) plague many political bloggers, seeing all things in a contemporary context. That said, it’s a flaw, not a defining aspect of his blogging. And we all have our flaws.
While I think he erred in sending out this survey, he, like many right-of-center bloggers, particularly those born in the last third of the twentieth century, has considered the ideas of and reached out to his gay peers. And that should not go unnoticed.
UPDATE: Now’ that John alerted me to his list of the 20 worst Americans, I’m less skeptical of his enterprise — though I do question some of his commentary.