Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft, my favorite civil rights blog, answers this question from one of her readers:
Just curious, why do you promote Instapundit and Vodkapundit? They are right-wing oriented and 180 degrees from you?
One might as well ask why a blogg-thirsty warblogger such as myself promotes Jeralyn, but I’ll let her answer first. Read:
Norm, that’s a very good question, and probably a lot of people have wondered about this. The reason we promote Instapundit is because we agree on several issues that are of importance to us.
Glenn (Instapundit) is more libertarian than right-wing. He is a defender of consitutional rights, he doesn’t like government over-reaching, he’s critical of the drug war, and he is an advocate of privacy rights. Instpundit has been terrific on the opposing the Rave Act, the Racine raids and other excesses of Government power–like the attempt to federalize state and local crime and racial profiling. Currently he’s critical of the Ed Rosenthal marijuana grow conviction.
The Democrats, unfortunately, are not particularly concerned with privacy rights, look at the expansion of wiretapping and mandatory minimum sentences under Clinton. The Clinton/Gore team, as much as we like them for other reasons, were not good protectors of constitutional rights.
Vodkapundit is a libertarian as well. We only rarely agree with him. We promote him because he’s a class act personally and we really enjoy reading his non-political entries. We followed his courtship, his marriage, his home renovations–in other words, we just enjoy reading him. Also, he was one of the first major blogs to write up TalkLeft and link to us–and we are nothing if not loyal.
That being said, we don’t agree with either of them about the war or most political non-crime issues, just as they don’t agree with us that the Bush Administration and Ashcroft are terrible for the country and they don’t oppose the death penalty (so far as we know.)
We certainly don’t promote their positions on issues we disagree with, but we welcome their support on those we do agree on and consider them friends. Same for Jay Caruso of Daily Rant, by the way.
I’d like to thank Jeralyn for her many fine words. If nothing else, this site aims to entertain and amuse — although the more rabid left-wingers might need to take VodkaPundit with a chaser.
As for civil rights, you’ll find I’m probably more in agreement with Jeralyn than not, although I haven’t seen anything in the current administration any worse than, oh… anyone since Jefferson. Ashcroft? I think the nicest thing I ever said about him was last week, when I stated my preference for a “Demoral-laced Norm Mineta” over Uptight John.
And I’m still against the death penalty, although for strictly utilitarian reasons. The Consitution is 100% clear that it envisions a death penalty, so I can’t agree with any notion that it isn’t constitutional. However, with an imperfect (ie, human) judicial system, I can’t be in favor of a sentence that can’t be commuted.
But enough of that. Why do I link to Jeralyn? Because, whatever our disagreements, she is first and foremost a staunch defender of many of those rights I hold dear — a well-spoken, persuasive, and attractive defender at that. I’d link to her more often, but me not being trained in the law, her issues usually aren’t my own.
On any given issue, you take your allies where you find them. You take your friends there, too.