Blog Hill

May 18, 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on politics. I just haven’t felt like I could add much in the way of original thought to the cacophony of opinion, well-informed and otherwise, that’s been swirling around through the media and blogosphere.

It’s not that I don’t follow politics. My long-suffering wife can attest to that. Is there a 12-step program for freeing oneself from the addictive clutches of Real Clear Politics? How about Daily Kos? Drudge? They should all thank me for boosting their traffic stats.

But those sites aren’t my real vice. The site that I seriously, honestly, have a difficult time staying away from is … get ready … Blog Hillary. Specifically, the comments that her supporters post to the campaign’s blog entries.

It’s not because I support her. I don’t support her, I am not sure that I trust her, and I am fairly certain that if I met her in person, I wouldn’t much care for her.

I keep going back to the Hillary blog site largely out of a sense of morbid curiousity, I guess. I don’t spend much time on Obama’s – I do keep tabs on the Obama campaign website to stay current on events and endorsements, but have no interest in reading the comments posted by supporters. I already support Obama; I don’t need to be convinced by some guy I don’t know who calls himself “Joe from Austin”. Nor do I have any interest in reading comments posted to McCain’s site. It’s a safe bet that I’ll disagree with most of them, and I’d rather save my disagreements for the candidate himself.

I find myself returning to Hillary’s site because I have been fascinated to see what is going through the heads of those who continue to devote time and money to what is clearly a lost cause. (Money, by the way, that many of them don’t seem to have, judging by the number of posters who say they are selling possessions, racking up credit card debt, and putting off paying other bills in order to contribute to the campaign).

Her legion of blog commenters is an interesting lot. Actually, “legion” is probably not the proper term – I’m not sure how many people it takes to techically constitute “legion”, but I suspect that the number of Hillary website bloggers comes up somewhat short of that level. Scrolling through the comments, the same names start to appear over and over. Many are the innocuous sort of screen names that populate any message board, but a few – “HillaryIsMyShepherd” and “DIE 4 HILLARY” are two examples – are downright scary. With those limited exceptions, I suspect that the majority of posters are well-meaning types who, once having invested time, money and energy to the cause, and having received some positive feedback and encouragement on the site from like-minded folks, are finding it very difficult to give it up. I’m sure there is a Psychology or Sociology dissertation just waiting to be written on the phenomenon.

The posts typically fall into one of several recurring themes.

There are the we need to elect Hillary because she is a woman posts:

“I’m sick of men, we need real change and have a woman as our next President!”

There are the wishful thinking will make it so posts:

“I am convinced more than ever that Hillary will be our 44th president.”

“We know the FACTS–Hillary is winning”

“Hillary is already my president”

There are the Obama is evil posts:

“I think everyone should know that Barack is the one making back room deals to get SD’s to go against their constituents.”

There are the our cult is better than his cult posts:

“This Hillarymania is so addicting and contagious. Although I must say its not just a “mania”, as its not like a fad like that of the other camp.”

“Don’t be fooled they are running scared and we will not be motivated to vote for this Pied Piper I refuse to be led like blind mice over a cliff and into the abyss.”

There are the…um…admiring posts:

“She looks radiant in her BLUE Pants Suit.”

“She was in a pretty pale blue jacket with charcoal grey slacks. (Hillary looks so trim and tiny in person.)”

There are the I know it’s over and I’m really mad posts:

“We will also remembered who the traitors were, I will never forget Edwards, Richardson, NARAL, and and so many others..I will sit home and watch the election or vote for McCain.”

There are the I failed both Civics and History posts:

“Hillary, please go independent if you are not nominated. If you do you will win the presidency. I know it’ll be tough, but you can do it!”

Finally, there is the most popular theme – the media doesn’t think Hillary is going to win so I’m not going to listen to them any more posts:

“Stay away from Time magazine – forever”

“I had to stop watching the news and listening to the press. I get my information from here and I have not had the news on since Victory speech.”



“we all need to only listen to Hillary”

What will these people say and do when the end does come? Judging from some of the comments, I fear that some may do harm to themselves or others. I hope not.

We could find out as early as this week.


Run Like a Girl

May 11, 2008

My daughter, not me!

It’s been hard not being able to run over the past few weeks. Fortunately I can run vicariously through my daughter. She ran an 8K last weekend which I couldn’t have run even if I was healthy – an all-female event aptly called “Run Like A Girl”.

As with most races, there were many shapes, sizes and experience levels represented. There were, however, some clearly fast runners there, and this combined with the unfamiliar course had Morgan a bit nervous at the start.




Once they took off, though, Morgan looked strong and determined, and I had a feeling she’d do well.

It was a trail race on an out-and-back course though the woods, largely inaccessible to spectators, so for half an hour or so after the start it was just a bunch of guys (husbands, boyfriends and dads) milling around the finish area. Before too long, though, the lead runners started emerging from the woods. I was a vocal cheerleader, and yelled extra loud for several women who (like Morgan) were wearing Charlottesville 10-Miler shirts.

Then I saw her, in the middle of a small clump of women coming around a bend out of the woods. “C’mon Morgan, you’re looking strong! Push hard for the final kick!”

She gave a wave without breaking stride and turned on the jets. One advantage to being small is that it’s easy to squeeze your way through a crowd! Squeeze she did, passing all of the women in her pack, and came in 3rd in her 19-and-under age group.




Run like a girl indeed!