Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year From DISSENTING JUSTICE: My Not-So-Humble Year-End Review

2008 has been an exciting year for legal and political analysis. I started this blog because I believed that progressives and the media were absolutely uncritical in their analysis of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. Although I officially launched the site in April, I did not pay sustained attention to developing it until October. Since that time, I have been pleasantly surprised by the engagement of readers. I truly appreciate your comments, emails and readership.

A Few of My Favorite Things
I have enjoyed sharing my ideas with you, but I am particularly fond of the following essays. Overall, I like this essay, which criticizes the Left for being uncritical about Obama, the most: Progressives Awaken from Obama-Vegetative State. On the same theme, are close runners-up: 2008 Is Not 1964: Why Liberal Mania and Conservative Panic Are Nothing But Melodrama, Governing In Prose: Obama's Cabinet Picks Defy Campaign Narrative That Emphasized "Hope," "Change," and "Washington-Outsider" Status and Chicken Little Politics: Moderate Obama Causes Progressive Panic.

Sexism, Racism, and Homophobia
I have analyzed a lot of civil rights issues on Dissenting Justice. My personal choice on sexism examines the treatment of Hillary Clinton by the media: On Low Roads and Hypocrisy: The Media, Sexism and Hillary Clinton. This was my very first and probably angriest blog post, and it ranks as one of the most read items on the site. At the time, I had written similar pieces under pseudonyms on various other blogs, and I received a lot of positive feedback. So, I started my own blog after friends and students suggest that I do. I would later write the following zingers on "liberal sexism": Is Liberal Sexism Against Palin OK? No! and Raining on My Party's Parade? An Election-Day Analysis of Hillary Clinton and Liberal Sexism by a Progressive Law Professor.

On race, I have written several essays that attempt to provide some realism around the euphoric analysis concerning what Obama's success means about the state of U.S. race relations. This article crunches election data and analyzes it from an honest perspective that I have yet to see in mainstream media outlets: Reality Check: Obama's Election Victory Does Not Mean That Era of Race-Based Identity Politics Has Died. I provide a historical context for understanding the relationship between race and presidential politics in: Race and Presidential Politics: Pre- and Post-Obama. I was able to have fun writing on race when Alec Baldwin proclaimed that Obama's election would slay racism and the need for a civil rights movement. Here's my response to his "interesting" claims: An Obama Presidency Would Cause the Death of Racism and the Civil Rights Movement, Says Alec Baldwin.

I have written several essays on gay rights, which, along with gender and race, is one of my areas of academic expertise. My favorite piece on the subject ends up being my most prophetic one -- predicting the racial divide around Proposition 8: Anti-Gay Group Thanks Obama, Seeks to Exploit Black Homophobia to Constitutionalize Bigotry. I also analyzed the conflict over race and sexual orientation in the following two essays, which discusses how these issues place gay and black communities in deep conflict: Would Obama Have Won If He Were Black...and Gay? and Black Californians and Proposition 8: Is White Gay Anger Justifiable?. Finally, on the question of gay rights, I have tried to capture the essence of GLBT anger over Rick Warren's participation in the inauguration, and this essay presents a comprehensive analysis: Embracing Uncle Good-But-Homophobic: Why "Reaching Across the Aisle" to Rick Warren Does Not Feel Safe to Everyone.

Republic Windows and Doors
With respect to the economic crisis, my personal favorites all emerge out of the Republic Windows and Doors sit-in. I have analyzed the shady dealings of the company that evaded liberal and media scrutiny: MADE IN IOWA: Did Company in Chicago Sit-In Illegally Discard Its Workers and Quietly Relocate While Liberals Forced BOA to Pay for the Shady Scheme? I have also examined the exploitation of the laid-off workers by politicians and the media: Laid-Off Republic Windows and Doors Workers: Pawns in Political Football. And I have offered an alternative to the way liberals responded: What (I Think) Progressives Should Have Done for Workers of Republic Windows and Doors.

Wall Street Bailout and Crisis

Media Bias
This blog has also given the issue of bias in the media a substantial amount of scrutiny. Other than the sexist bias against Clinton, which essays posted above analyze, the following essays on the media stand out to me -- and to readers: Oy Vey: Liberals Dominate Media Because They Want to "Change the World," Says WaPo Ombudsman, Poll: 55% of Voters Believe Media More Biased Than in Past Elections, and the most-read article on here (thanks to RealClearPolitics for putting this on your front page), CNN and CBS Release Highly Misleading Polls Regarding VP Debate.

Finally, because my core identity includes a healthy dose of raw cynicism, I feel obligated to point out my most cynical work. During the primaries, Obama's supporters and surrogates demonized the Clintons as divisive and as unabashed racists, but Obama campaigned with both of them before the general election, and he has picked Hillary Clinton to serve as Secretary of State.

As a scholar of race relations and civil rights, that was just too much for me to understand as anything other than naked politics! So this pair of articles express that view: Obama Allows Two "Racists" to Campaign for Him: Why? and the sequel, Will Wonders Ever Cease! Bill Clinton and Barack Obama on the Campaign Circuit. Remarkably, the mainstream media, which helped spread the Clintons-as-racists narrative, have not expressed any sense of irony in the joining of "racists" and the nation's real first black president. But if they actually engaged in critical analysis, I guess I would not have felt the need to start my own blog.

During the short time that I have made daily postings, the blog has logged the following statistics:

25,000 page views

10,000 unique visitors

15,648 visits

105 countries

48 languages.

Top Countries
Readers came from 105 countries. The top country is, unsurprisingly, the United States. The top 5 countries include: the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany and New Zealand. The bottom of the list includes countries such as East Timor, Ethopia, Lebanon, Cuba, and Iceland. That they even made the list surprises me. The country with the most engaged readers, on average, was Jamaica -- where readers read an average of five different essays per visit.

Cities and States
Within the US, every state is represented. The top states are: California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois. The top cities are: New York, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Readers in 2,212 cities visited the blog. The most engaged readers were from Walpole, Massachusetts, who read an average of 27 essays per visit! Thanks, Walpole.

I also want to thank the many bloggers who sent readers to Dissenting Justice. While most readers came from Google searches and from links on RealClearPolitics, the following blogs (listed by descending rank) sent a huge percentage of my readership: The Confluence, Heidi Li's Potpourri, Political Wire, Taylor Marsh, Daily Puma, and Pollster.Com.

Keep Coming and Spreading the Word
Again, thanks for being such passionate and kind supporters. Have a safe holiday and new year, and I hope to see you back on Dissenting Justice soon.


Tony the Tiger said...

Thanks, Professor for a great blog. I visit just about everyday.

Susan Saunders said...

Hey. I have learned a lot reading your blog. Thanks.

DC Scholar said...

Great start with the blog, Professor. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Stumbled on it reading Digg. Love the stuff on Warren. I think he is going to go to the inauguration anyway, but it's cool that so many people spoke out against him. I mean, he said some pretty crazy things, and he needed the scrutiny. I will probably get heated again around the time of the inauguration.

msakel said...

Darren, you are one of only two law professors I agree with 99% of the time. I find your analyses and arguments cogent and well-researched but, more importantly, you are a balanced observer of the political theatre of the Absurd and this makes you invaluable to those who are searching for the Truth--and can't find it in the biased media too busy manufacturing illegitimate consent for The Chosen Messiah BHO.

Your articles on Sexism and Misogyny are great learning tools for anyone who wants to know how a capable, intelligent and dedicated public servant like Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton lost out to an Empty Suit. The article you wrote back in April on Misogyny, Sexism and Hillary Clinton's nomination should be must reading for all students of Politics and aspiring Journalists!

Thanks to Heidi Li's Potpourri, another phenomenal learning tool and antidote to media misogynist bias, I found Dissenting Justice here and for this I am grateful!

Let's hope the new Year 2009 finds Jon Favreau on the Unemployment insurance lines where he belongs, rather than xeroxing Obama's Inauguration Speech. It was Obama who wrote to NBC demanding Don Imus be fired immediately for his racist-sexist comments. The fraudulent Empty Suit has not only fired the punkish sexist Favreau, but promoted him to Director of Speechwriting! Yup! That's truly Change we can believe in, eh? If that's the type of Change we may look forward to, there's not much hope ahead for Barack's prez potential. Perhaps a cleaner xeroxed copy.

Have a wonderful 2009 and thanks for your efforts.

green libertarian said...

Fascinating and insightful writings, Professor. You voice is much needed, as is, as you so clearly say, the need for discussion and debate about the serious issues of the day is paramount.

Well done, sir.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Msakel -- thanks so much for your kind words. And thanks a lot for visiting. I visit Heidi's blog too. She is a smart and passionate advocate of critical analysis!

Green Libertarian - thanks for visiting and welcome aboard! Also, thanks for the compliment.

Christal said...

Happy New Year. I've found too few bloggers and journalists with the common sense (or moral integrity?) to tell it like it is so I was glad to have found your blog. Thanks again for your insight.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hey Christal. Glad to see you are back to web access!

navyvet48 said...

Great blog! I enjoyed your introduction. I did find your comment on Pat Buchanan interesting. I too am surprised at his words.

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Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hey, Navyvet. I took a look at your blog. Great work - except it's kind of hard reading that tragic story at the beginning.

Ken Ballweg said...

Found your blog as a result of a link posted by a commenter on Jon Taplin's blog, and ended up bookmarking your site, then elevating the bookmark to the top of my blog reading list.

Your "not-so-humble" voice in your postings is balanced by a combination of insight, what I would call "inspired righteous indignation" and damn good writing that doesn't just forgive, but justifies a little arrogance.

I'm hoping the 'bama boys and girls are reading material like this, since we are going to have to become more reality based to simply survive as a nation. The hope is that we can survive with dignity, not just by whatever means possible. I support your fight for that.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hi, Ken. Thanks for the kind words, which you posted, even though I just told you to "lighten up." Anway, my earliest writing role model (as distinguished from "teacher") was Bell Hooks. Her book "Ain't I a Women" was ruthless in its criticsm of icons in both feminism and antiracism. Over time, I have constantly tried to evolve and "figure out" what I want to say. This blog has really allowed me to develop a new way of talking -- and to reach new audiences. Thanks for visiting. I just posted in another thread that people can share space even when they disagree. So, keep coming back, whatever your views. Dissent is critical. We have never progressed without it.

ocgirlie007/Spoken Movement said...

Thank you very much for your insight. I'm always open to other ideas. Hopefully we can continue this topic.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

OC - thanks for the msg.

PeaceAndLove said...

I am so glad I found your blog, thank you Professor.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hey, PL. Thanks for posting. Hope you return and become a regular.

Margaret said...

When I stop using no-script I will post under my own identity :)

I want to thank you for providing balanced comments. I found your blog through Instapundit. I may not agree with some of what you advocate but that is ok too. What I like is that you analyse a situation and remove the fawning adulation of Umbama.

I have written a couple of pieces relating to the new president of the USA. I almost feel like saying the Pretender and think that the Platters song "Great Pretender" really sums it up.

I will be back to read more articles.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Margaret - thanks so much for you kind words. Glenn (at Instapundit) is very nice for posting my stuff. He has done so far more often than the major liberal blogs.

camojack said...

"Glenn (at Instapundit) is very nice for posting my stuff. He has done so far more often than the major liberal blogs."

You seem like a realistic the stifling of dissent at liberal blogs should come as no surprise to you, really.

Anyway, keep up the good work! It's nice to see someone from the "other side" who actually thinks for himself...

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Camojack - I am not sure I see a lot of "dissent" on conservative blogs either!

camojack said...

It varies, of course. My point was that you are unusual in that respect...which is a good thing, IMO.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hi, Camojack. I am a pretty unusual person. :) And given what "usual" looks like, I agree that's a good thing! Thanks for dropping by; hope you keep reading the blog.

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