"Blue Blogger in Red State"
The words used to write about Democratic Senator Max Baucus's health care bill were frank: "Now, I know why Baucus shouldn't get any credit. It's because he's stupid."
These words do not stem from a right-wing blog or Sarah Palin's Facebook profile; they are written by Ric Caric, an outspoken MSU government professor, on his blog Red State Impressions (http://red-state.blogspot.com/), which offers a left perspective on American politics.
Although Caric writes from the left and has been critical of Republicans, especially the Bush administrations, he has recently also criticized some Democrats including Baucus in yesterday's blog spot.
"I've been more critical of progressives for focusing so much on the media," Caric said. "They are also not very inclusive, of the labor unions, of minorities. I'd like progressives to be more open."
But conservatives are still his favorite target. On Tuesday he commented on Linda McMahon, the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, gearing up to run for the Republicans in a Connecticut Senate race.
He writes "Linda McMahon is the perfect Republican politician for these times. Actually, I'm rather surprised that the WWE has not run its executives, wrestlers, managers, and divas all over the country as Republican candidates. It's been known for a long time that politics is show business and the WWE puts on the kind of show that Republicans like to see. It's a natural fit."
Caric said he first started writing online on a daily basis shortly after the 9/11 terror attacks, concentrating on the possibility of a war against Iraq, which later would come true.
"I was convinced within days of the attack that the Bush administration was gearing up to invade Iraq," he said.
Caric first wrote in chat rooms of the online magazine Slate using various user names such as "riccaric", "keepacleareye" or "pinkroom."
"I'm the kind of person who gets bored with myself very easily," he said.
In 2004, he moved from the chat rooms to his own blog, and since 2006 he writes under the blog title "Red State Impressions." Caric averages about 10 posts a week updating the site sometimes multiple times per day.
"I have excess opinion that I want to write about beyond teaching or academic writing," he said.
Caric said the blog allows students to know about his political thoughts without injecting them into his regular teaching. In the classroom he takes various points of views to orchestrate discussion; on his blog his personal view of politics becomes clear.
Jordan Maynard, one of his students and a self-identified conservative, said he appreciates professors writing about their political opinions, even if he disagrees. "I think anytime a university professor expresses their views outside of the classroom, it is helpful to the learning process," he said. "It's actually problematic that more conservative thinkers do not blog on the college front."
Caric said writing a blog post every day has helped him with his academic writing by formulating new opinions and ideas.
"I've always struggled with my academic writing – writer's block and writer's anxiety--but writing every day has made it easier," he said.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Hey, That's Me
There's my picture for a story on my brilliant career as a blogger from the Morehead State University newspaper, The Trail Blazer. I've never really liked having my picture taken and I like it even less the older I get.
But I guess we all have to make sacrifices. There it is.
Here's the article in my college newspaper, The Trail Blazer below. It does take some of my flamboyant statements out of the context in which I wrote them and therefore makes them appear more unreasonable than they really are. One thing that I like, though, is that is that my writing and thinking about politics looks like its "quotable." That distinctiveness is part of what I'm aiming for.
While focusing on Red State Impressions, I should mention that I put up my 2,000th post for this blog a couple of days ago. Not bad for three years work.