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
I also analyzed the financial crisis. These two essays stand out to me: Bah Humbug: Both Parties Are Guilty With Respect to the Economy, But Neither Offers Concrete Solutions and Bringing Back Welfare As We Knew It: My Indignant Take on the Wall Street Bail-Out.
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
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.