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Saturday, September 06, 2003

Articulate arguments from the left about redistricting

Time for kudos to those left-of-center bloggers whom Beldar has quickly come to respect, if not agree with, regarding the ongoing Texas redistricting fight.

Burnt Orange Report, run by three UT-Austin students, proves the point of my questionably-Churchilian quote about age and politics.  I enjoyed reading and commenting on several recent posts there about redistricting (here, here, and here, for instance).  I'd gladly stand any of these guys to a couple or three pitchers of beer and a platter of nachos.  Even when I think they're badly wrong, what I've read so far has been articulate and sincere.  Hook 'em!

Charles Kuffner's Off the Kuff also continues to impress me.  He's always on top of the newest news (for example, here and here), reasonably clear-eyed and non-foamy-mouthed in his analysis, and quite often very funny.  On the only occasion I've had to point out to him via email something I thought was factually off (having to do with the composition of the three-judge panel in the Gonzalo Barrientos v. Texas lawsuit now pending in Laredo), he responded graciously and quickly, and after confirming the facts, made a conspicuous correction with a polite acknowledgement -- in other words, he acted quickly and with impeccable ethics, which impressed the heck out of me.

Charles also re-posts (e.g., here and here) from his blog sometimes on Texas issues at Political State Report.  I've been rather less impressed with the commenters there -- much more an Atrios-like than a CalPundit-like place for a conservative blogger to play devil's advocate.  (Hmmm, if I publish a response there to something that Charles originally put on his blog, would that be a riposte to a re-post?)

And I'd enjoy seeing even more Texas coverage like this from Edward Still at Votelaw; I'm no specialist in voting rights litigation, but I gather he is, as well as being a fan of politics in general.

There are probably other such that I just haven't stumbled across yet.  I enjoy reading conflicting opinions on other blogs and websites, and enjoy debating folks here whose opinions vary from my own, provided they're reasonably civil.  Maybe one or two more of them will see the trackbacks and come here to help explain what the heck Rep. Martin Frost is telling the press!

Being long-winded (and since, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan in New Hampshire ca. 1980, I'm paying for this bandwidth!), I'll reprint here the comment I left on CalPundit's post about Blog Civility:

Zizka, my interpretation of Kevin Drum's original post here was that he doesn't intend this to be a "team huddle." There are certainly other blogger-hosts on both sides of the political spectrum who are running "team huddles," but they're frankly much less interesting places to visit regardless of one's own place along the spectrum.

I'm a fairly new blogger myself, and a fairly new visitor to this one. But it's clear at even a glance that there are some very bright people who visit and comment on this site -- in addition to the very bright person who writes it -- and that most of those people have personal politics that don't overlap my own. I nevertheless enjoy reading what they have to say. I'm frequently informed of new facts when I do so; I'm very, very often amused, even by things I don't agree with at all; I'm sometimes surprised to find agreement when I didn't expect it; I often admire the eloquence or creativity of someone who impresses but fails to persuade me; and I'm sometimes actually persuaded of something that I thought I never would be persuaded of.

If I leave a comment here, it's with the hope and intention of performing some of those same functions for other readers here, and also because it helps me clarify and sharpen my own thoughts and ideas.

Personal attacks contribute nothing toward any of these goals.

Demonstrating -- bragging -- that you have a closed mind isn't likely to help you persuade anyone who's persuadable.

Anyway -- Mr. Drum, thanks for the bipartisan welcome, which I believe to have been absolutely sincerely intended, and which I find admirable in itself. I embrace and endorse your ground rules and the motives behind them.

Posted by Beldar at 01:48 AM in Texas Redistricting | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Articulate arguments from the left about redistricting and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» Late Night Reading from Modulator

Tracked on Sep 7, 2003 1:49:58 AM


(1) ByronUT made the following comment | Sep 6, 2003 4:45:45 PM | Permalink

Hey - thanks for the comments. I'll have to update my links. It's good to see a thoughful conservative perspective on redistricting. I remember hearing a quote that "if you're not a liberal by the time you're 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 40, you have no brain". Same thing basically. I know I'm partisan (although I am "fair and balanced"), but I try my best to be "articulate and sincere" about it. Interesting to see a trial lawyer supporting Prop 12, while I'm the son of a doctor opposing it. Odd.

Anyway, we might not agree on politics, but we probably share some interest in art. I have a print of the Dali clock that you have a few posts down hanging in my apartment. And of course, Hook 'em!

(2) Charles Kuffner made the following comment | Sep 8, 2003 7:12:17 PM | Permalink

Thanks very much for the kind words. I appreciate them, and I appreciate the civility of your comments. Just because we disagree doesn't mean we couldn't have a beer and talk about something really important, like baseball or Bruce Springsteen.

BTW, I may have to steal "reasonably clear-eyed and non-foamy-mouthed" for my tag line one of these days. ;-)

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