February 16th, 2009

WTF!?!: VDB Puts In Two Or Three Nice Words About A Republican, For Once

by Philip Baruth

You might conclude, from a quick glance at the banner of this site, or from a quick read-around in the recent posts, that the readership of VDB is composed exclusively of Left leaning moppets who haunt their parents’ basements when they’re not attending Free Mumia rallies or Star Trek conventions.

But not so. Not so at all.

More than a few of our oldest, hardest-core readers are of the Right leaning persuasion. And one of the biggest surprises associated with launching this site was discovering just how pleasant an ongoing email correspondence with your natural ideological opponents can be.

Take Chris Roy. Please. (Sorry, Chris. Couldn’t resist.)

In addition to lawyering for one of the Burlington area’s heavy-hitting law firms, Chris blogged for a good long while in support of “Reaganesque” approaches to the key policy debates of the day. He considers himself a pragmatic Republican of the small-government mode, without the jones for social issues that characterizes the Southern wing of his party.

And the shameful truth is that Chris and I have traded emails on most of the big questions of the last three or four years without ever a harsh word. I’ve learned more than a little from those emails, and I like to think that my notes have had at least some small impact on Chris’s thinking as well.

If blogs can create a self-selecting audience that produces group-think on the bulk of the issues, this blog did not, in this case at least. Quite the reverse.

In fact, when I blogged the Denver Convention for the Free Press, I suggested Chris to the Free Press editors as a likely counterpart to cover the GOP event in Minnesota. And I like to think that if someone read both of our coverage, they had the best view of all.

Worth mentioning because Chris announced last week that he’d formed an exploratory committee to run for Secretary of State, in the likely event that Deb Markowitz exits the job to gun for Jim Douglas’s job. Chris has already begun to make reaching across the aisle a central theme of his nascent campaign, smart for a guy running in a state where the GOP plays catch-up ball.

But I thought it was worth saying, before anyone else joins the field, that on that point Chris Roy is not blowing smoke. He does in fact listen to the other side, and he does in fact disagree without being disagreeable.

And VDB wishes him all the best in this run.