Tuesday, May 16, 2006

After The Big Bang


Back in 2004, I was commenting on this great blog called “Polipundit”, and I got an e-mail from the site owner. Seems he wanted to go on vacation, and wondered if I and a few other commenters might be interested in writing a few articles while he was out? I did, and the results were pleasing for everyone. Thus a temporary gig became a team of five talented writers addressing the interests and issues of Conservative thought. We didn’t always agree, but we respected each other, and Polipundit.com shot onto the radar screen of the Blogosphere in a major way; during the Presidential Debates of 2004, we sometimes had more than a hundred thousand people visit in a single day.

But the topic of Immigration, specifically the crisis of millions of people crossing the southern border illegally into the United States, became too hot to handle, it seems. It did not help that the Rabies Wing of the Republican Party started it’s own vendetta against the President, after he chose a nominee for the Supreme Court who was not on their pre-Approved List, and it got worse when the President suggested that a deal allowing a company based in the United Arab Emirates, whose record as an American ally in the past quarter-century is arguably the best of any Arab nation, was not a threat to U.S. Security, and would actually be a good choice compared to the alternative, which essentially would be selling the lease to an Asian company with strong ties to Communist China; the knee-jerk reaction was to demand ‘No Deal!’, thus damaging relations with a key ally, souring the credibility of American integrity in business contracts, and allowing the People’s Republic of China a coup all in the name of ego. So, when the emotionally-volatile issues of Border Control, Illegal Entry into the U.S., and Immigration Reform came up all in the same package, the chances for cool and civil discussion were all but nil. And some who were already angry at the President went over the cliff to complete madness, taking up the weapons of the Left which until so recently they themselves had mocked. I noted Friday that it said something, something less than noble, when people were already attacking the President for a speech which had not yet been written, much less delivered. But as important as these issues are, for this column they must be set aside except that they served as forces in the environment which led, however undesired, to a show-down of sorts.

I saw what was coming, from the tone and verbiage Poli used in his attacks, to say nothing of his myopic topic selection. In short order I was attacked by readers who wanted to disrupt my threads, rather than let readers discuss the issue; I elected to remove certain useless and derogatory posts, and so “bootlicker” was joined by “fascist” in the names I was called. Yet I made a point of remaining at Polipundit, because silencing one side of an issue, especially when it has its own validity, does nothing to resolve the matter or advance the discussion. I don’t think Poli and his mob ever quite grasped that I too support the priority of building the wall first, of enacting substantive penalties for hiring illegals, and of establish reciprocity in our terms with Mexico – I simply do not think we can expect the White House to take us seriously, when we accuse our President of deliberate deception or outright treason; in fact I maintain that it works strongly against us. Poli’s response was hardly honorable; he quoted some of my posts, but out of context, and openly mocked my position, without offering a functional alternative, or acknowledging the cost of his proposals. This led to some sharp reaction from the other writers, as recent posts showed.

Ironically, if I had been allowed my posting at Polipundit.com, I should have taken some issue with Alexander’s last post; while the speech was good it ducked certain points and was flat wrong on others. But I never got that chance. Midway through the evening, I tried to pull up Polipundit.com to see what Poli’s take on the speech was, and found I could not reach the site. I later learned through e-mails that Poli had taken down the site himself, apparently angry with Alexander’s post. I also read through those e-mails, that Polipundit had decided to try his hand at Autocracy.

He requested that we not discuss the content of our e-mail discussions while we sorted out our differences, and out of respect for the man, I will not cite any specifics from those exchanges. However, when I read the site this morning, I not only saw Poli’s and Alexander’s threads about last night’s speech, but also Lorie’s “Goodbye” post and Poli’s reaction to it. That last post by Poli was, at best, unfortunate. What bothered me the most, was a false inference or two left by Poli about the character of the debate and disagreement; he was sadly disingenuous on the matter, which further damages any chance for repair. And I do not know a single person whose mind and mood are improved by an ultimatum, especially one which amounts to “Surrender Or Else”. Of course, Poli made the matter moot by locking out everyone early this morning. And that was that.

Moving on, the first steps are obvious. I will continue to blog here at ‘Stolen Thunder’, and more regularly for politics. Lorie will continue to blog at ‘Byrd Droppings’, which is always worth your attention, I promise. As for Alexander and Jayson, I would hope we can lure them into a group blog, for all kinds of reasons. Somehow, it has not yet occurred to many bloggers that a group blog can work in much the same way as a magazine, with different writers for separate issues and perspectives, but that’s fine with me – I believe that our new blog would skyrocket to success, or at least be successful to my standards. Also, I love the community aspect to the multi-writer blog, especially with the reader comments.

Well, I see I have topped a thousand words, so even I think I have said enough for now.


Anonymous said...

DJ, One of the reasons I was a daily reader of PoliPundit was the diverse views of the guest bloggers. I hope that you and Lori, JJ and AKM can start your own blog. I have had a big problem with the comments section on PoliPundit for a long time. The threads were usually hijacked and most of the comments after the hijacking were by one or two people. Also, they started disintegrating into childish comments. I stopped wasting my time going through them. I will check your blog now daily and Byrd Droppings instead of going to PoliPundit.

Tom Parsons said...


First of all, I am truly sorry to see this happen, particularly to you and Lorie. The two of you are without a doubt some of the most talented bloggers I know and it's a real privilege to read your insights on the issues of the day.

I hope that you, Lorie, Alexander, and Jayson will be able to form a new group blog. If it happens let me know and I'll be happy to provide publicity and ample linkage.

By the way, I have pulled Polipundit off my blogroll today. I would encourage others to do the same.

Keep up the great blogging!

Anonymous said...


Count me in as a readedf your blog, and any new group blog among the four of you. Over the last few months, I visited *expletive deleted* .com in spite of him, and because of you all. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see the breakup of PoliPundit. It was one of my favorite blogs. Lately I'd grown tired of Poli's venom, and appreciated your (and the other guest bloggers') more reasonable approach. I guess I'll be coming here and to Byrd Droppings instead now.

Anger doesn't work for the Kos Kids. Why does Poli think it'll work for him? I wish him luck with his endeavors, and you with yours, but I hope he takes his medication and calms down.

Keep up the great work

Anonymous said...

I've always enjoyed your thought-provoking essays at Polipundit, though I must admit that I'd only visited your personal blog once or twice. I wholeheartedly support the chance of a group blog starring you, Lorie, Jayson, and Alexander, and eagerly look forward to the possibility. Until that happens -- if it happens -- I'll simply make it a habit to stop by here and Byrd Droppings for a daily dose of my favorite former Polipundit Guest Bloggers.

Keep up the good work. It's a shame things had to turn out the way they did.

Anonymous said...

I, too, hope you guys can come up with another group blog. I found the blog world during the Rathergate stuff and eventually ended up with Polipundit as my main stop. Part of it was esthetics--the appearance was clean and clear, and it was easy to use. It took me awhile to sort out the different personalities, but when I did, that was another plus for the site. I remember being caught up in your turmoil, DJ, when the hurricane was headed toward Houston, and you found yourself unable to get out of the way in time. Lorie got me started on Prison Break and 24. I enjoy reading Alexander's analyses of elections all over the country. I don't think there's anyplace else just like that. I liked having different sides of the issues from a conservative point of view without all the name-calling. That ended with the Harriet Miers nomination. I pulled away from the site at that time, and had only recently come back to it, when the immigration controversity started. I also didn't like how some of the discussions were hijacked by trolls. Whenever I would see 100 or more comments, I knew there was no use even trying to read them. I hope those of you who are left can form a new site with all the good and none of the bad from the old one. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I do hope you will make an attempt to work this out after everyone (poli too) cooling down over the next 24\48 hours.
Everyone knew poli was on pins an needles and I'm not sure why AKM thought it wise to push it... but it's not like poli wasn't pushing the limits himself. Editorial control I do understand, but if he wants to outright censor postings on topic that's a whole other thing.

Anyway I hope you guys can come to an understanding, be a damb shame for EVERYONE involved.. if not then you guys should do your own group blog as all 4 of you including poli have interesting things to say. Well.. at least sometimes. :)


Anonymous said...

"I simply do not think we can expect the White House to take us seriously, when we accuse our President of deliberate deception or outright treason; in fact I maintain that it works strongly against us."

Exactly, DJ!

Bush has done A LOT for conservatives:

• Tax cuts and tax policies that stemmed the Clinton recession and kept the shocks of 9/11 and the corporate scandals from making the recession worse. Those same tax cuts have created a working environment where the economy is roaring.

• An aggressive foreign policy that seeks to tackle the tough problem of the Middle East, rather than sugar-coat it or punt it to the next administration. The result: Two barbarous tyrannies overthrown, 50 million people liberated, new democracies taking hold in Afghanistan and Iraq.

•Two strong conservatives on the Supreme Court and solid conservatives on federal benches in all districts.

And so on. But he's lousy on spending. And he hasn’t done what conservative bloggers want for the borders. Disregarding everything he's done, what do hard-core conservatives do? Tell Bush to go f*** himself.

Sickening. I guess I’m really not conservative then. I’m an Indy, who usually votes Republican and conservative. But if being conservative means being a myopic jackass like Polipundit, then I want no part of it.

--Big Mo

Anonymous said...


Please go into your setup and turn off the comments in seperate section.

I use (and am sure many others) use pop up blockers and we have to turn it off to post comments.

Anonymous said...

I hope the four of you form another group blog. I have enjoyed the different perspectives that a group blog of sensible, rational people can bring.

As others have mentioned, I will follow you individual blogs, but as the old saying goes "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts."

Anonymous said...

I would love to see you guy's get together to start your own site!
I had also got in touch with the fine folks at Red State. They would seem to be a great fit and I understand they may have offered an invitation to join with them. I feel that they would offer a great place to post and seem to welcome alternative viewpoints. If you guys don't start your own site Red State seems to be a place that would be welcome.

Rich said...

Thanks for your own corner of sanity. When the mainstream punditocracy loses it we had the online one to replace it. Now it seems everyone is going nuts. You along with a handful of others have become a rare and precious commodity. Thank you.

The Rabies Right -- what a great term I mentioned it to my teenage daughter while driving to school -- does not realize that they could be setting back the conservative cause back years in not decades.

As for your prolixity don't worry. Some of us not only appreciate it we also emulate it!

Anonymous said...


I am disappointed that Poli feels it necessary to behave in such an autocratic manner. While I don't agree with you on everything, or Lorie, or AKM, or Jayson, the diversity of opinion and the opportunity for engagement are what made the group unique. I would encourage the former writers to create a new group blog. I would frequent the site, as I used to do at Polipundit. Jayson and AKM are bright guys, and I would like to see those who can remain civil operate as a unit again.

Anonymous said...

DJ do you think Poli jumped the shark? -- If so, maybe he learned from you. Funny Poli banishing you for disagreeing with him -- just like you banished my Friday posts for disagreeing with you -- wonder if you are man enough to allow this comment to post?

Anonymous said...

a group blog with you all would be fantastic, i hope it works out.

Anonymous said...


I can only echo what everyone else has already said on this thread. I thought I had you on my blogroll but discovered I didn't. I've added it now.

I'll be checking in with you and Lorie daily to see what develops but if you go back to that insane asylum I'll have to hunt you down so I can kick your behind! :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jeanette, please DON'T make up with Poli!

This is a blessing in disguise!

Looking forward to more posts from you and commenting on your site!

Anonymous said...


Sorry all of this had to happen. I always enjoyed your posts along with the other three. Poli's acting like a child taking his football and going home. I'll be checking in here on a daily basis to see what's going on.

Anonymous said...

Will add your bookmark but sure hope you all join back up. I liked seeing all the talents bring something slightly different to the table.

Just call me a bootlicker because this President still makes the top of my lists, DJ. I am not a one issue voter. I am probably a touch to the right of Bush on immigration but miles from Poli and Malkin. We need a big tent and honest discussions.

Anonymous said...

How soon will the Fab Four reunite with their own blog??? Keep us all informed.

Mr. Right said...

Just a note to let you know I was here. You have my support and I will be dropping by more often now that this site is so much more than just a repost of articles I already read at PoliPundit!

I really hope you, Lorie, JJ and Alex get together soon on your own group blog, and like you hinted at at Lorie's, Oak Leaf & the Ace would be great additions if they'll join you!

All the best,

Mr. Right

Anonymous said...

I was active on Polipndit during the 04 elections. I think I talked a few of the commenters there off the ledge when the race was close, so I'm going to kinda miss the site. But it's just turned into a right-wing DailyKos.

Thanks for standing up for the President, even though he's disapointed us on some issues. Now's the time to rally around the C-in-C rather than give the Congress over to Democrats.

Anonymous said...

DJ, good luck. I hope there is some kind of future group-blog again. I agreed with most of Poli's position on this issue but not to the extent that I would aid and abet the enemy if I didn't get my way. And W does not deserve to be verbally abused.

I am still going to hang around Poli just to irritate his lynch mob. Besides, some of those guys will be won back to reality later this year. Right now they are just happy with their 'victory'. Kind of like liberals claim victory when they ban opposing views.

Robin said...

It is truly a sad day in the blogosphere. I completely agree with you about the "Rabid Right". Absolutely ridiculous. Come join the 101st Keyboardists at Captains Quarters. You would be a wonderful addition to the blogroll.

Anonymous said...

After looking at Monopundit this evening, I'm firmly convinced that any immigration plan that doesn't include his immediate deportation will be amazingly damaging to the country.

Anonymous said...

DJ, I sent you a private e-mail before you posted this. Just wanted to say publicly how much I enjoyed reading your views on "He Who Must Not Be Named" blog.

I do hope the remaining 4 of you will team up somewhere else. You have a loyal following.

PP is nuts to think that he's the reason we visited the website. I'd imagine his site meter is up today because of the scandal but is probably going into the death spiral about now. I'll never go there again.

Anonymous said...


I, too, am a "Build the Wall" advocate. However, we conservatives must learn one lesson form the lefties. We must be able to understand the word incremental. Just go back to 1992 to see what our principles did for us then. 8 years of Bubba. He never got 50% of the vote, but he did win with significant margins.

We don't need another Ross Perot. Incrementalism, Incrementalism, Incrementalism!

Anonymous said...

I am adding this site to my blogroll. Polipundit shoudl realize that, far from converting people to his position, his vitriol and bile are quite likely pushing people away from it, or at least making them take a step back and ask "My god, do I look like that?"

THere is NO excuse for the sort of behaviour he was exhibiting. None. THere can be none. For any reason> Ever. I hope he enjoys howling at the moon in his echo chamber, where all he has to hear is sycophants who echo his every thought ad nauseum.

Good luck in your new endeavours. Redstate might be a good option, or if you start up another blog that is what Polipundit SHOULD be that woudl also be good. Get four of you together and find some underappreciated small blogger somewhere and add them in to give them exposure. THat seems to be one of the things a group blog might do quite well. Add exposure to bloggers who have not yet had it but deserve it.

Anonymous said...

DJ, I'll follow you wherever you go. You always present reasoned arguments. I especially like the way you can pick apart polls and election data. You also have a great political intellect. So keep the comments coming. I'll be there to read them.

Ron Ballew said...

DJ, I completely understand your disappointment. I can see where the anger and bitterness over at poli would get to you. A major reason I even went to poli was your and the other bloggers posts. Differing view points are beneficial. Your loyalty to the President and your own principles is admirable.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you said about the issue and the tone of the debate. It's as though the Rabies Wing (haha) got a taste of blood with Harriet Miers, got a little more with Dubai, and it still wasn't enough. Greedy, spoiled toddlers. I've lost all respect for most of the blogosphere with this stupid issue, and I've got the same position on it as you do--it's not soft on immigration or "pro-amnesty," but the debate has soured me on the whole issue. I don't think I'd even write about it any more if I didn't feel FORCED to because of the idiocy of the Rabies Wing.

But you're right, you can't just be silent when so many are so WRONG in their tactics. It reflects badly not just on bloggers (big deal), but on conservatives as a whole, and it's political suicide. They Just Don't Get It. So people who aren't into political suicide have to stand in the middle of the sh*t pile and fight back. It's madness.

And you know what I've noticed? Look at the tone and thoughtfulness of those who are commenting here and at Lorie's, compared to those left in the fever swamp. You two have the "good audience," because you are both good thinkers and writers. Reason and sanity always win out in the end.

It's PP's loss, really, and everyone knows it.

Anonymous said...

As of late, I have been reading your posts on PoliPundit religiously because they give me a much needed shot in the arm when I'm feeling depressed about the state of the Bush Presidency. You are one of the few people who always seems to put things in context and not forget what the man as accomplished. Therefore, I've added Stolen Thunder to my favorites, and dropped PoliPundit. I'm looking forward to reading you everyday.

Skymuse said...

DJ, as others have said so well, I am a fan of yours and the other former Poli writers.

Your post here shows the recent unpleasantness from a very journalistic point of view and you are to be commended for your simle statement of facts.

It is terrible that the immigration issue is forcing the splintering not only of a formerly great blog, but of a party and movement as well. The Poli experience truly has served as a microcosm.

I will certainly put you on my blogroll and daily regimen, along with Byrd Droppings. I don't know about the other writers' blogs but I will add them as well when I find them.

Thanks for being above the fray and continuing your work.

I'm long-winded, too... :-)

Anonymous said...

DJ, I'll be dropping by here regularly (and at Lorie's site). Hopefully Alexander & Jayson can get back online soon. I've enjoyed reading all of your commentary over the last couple of years.

Sue in Ohio

Anonymous said...


I stop in over at Polipundit to see how the immigration debate is progressing and I find out this has happened? Wow, didn't see that coming.

Polipundit was a daily read of mine back during the election and whenever any hot political topic comes up. I used to comment pretty regularly under my old screename (CapnPlaty) but I've devolved to lurker status as of late. I can't say I won't read it anymore, but it definitely won't be the same without the group dynamic.

Anonymous said...

Somehow this "breakup" seems very suspicious. Poli is an anonymous owner of the sight, who all of a sudden bans the other writers.

Something else is going on! I look forward to seeing what develops.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of your comments. I got hooked on Polipundit in 2004, it's always been a regular stop, but Poli was getting over the top and I have been shaking my head for the last 2 months. He has not seemed to be interested in rational discussion on the subject. So perhaps things are better this way, and I will follow you and Lorie to your respective sites.

Best wishes for a new group blog.

Anonymous said...

DJ, Just a note to tell you that I look forward to reading your thoughts here now. I second the thought that you, Lorie, Jayson and Alexander need to form a blog magazine team. Take care!