Mary Katharine Ham

I disagree with Glenn Reynolds. Not on everything, but on some things.

Support for the war in Iraq as an important battleground in the War on Terror? Ditto, Glenn. Unequivocal backing of the notion that Americans should have the right to pack heat? I’m with you. A general respect for the free market and the innovations, efficiency, and gifts it visits upon us? Yep, there again.

On the stem-cell debate and other social issues, I can’t say the same. And, the “I had an abortion” T-shirt is not a fashion choice I would have made.

But here’s the thing. If you were to ask me if he’s with me or against me-- if you were to say, politically speaking, “is he on your team?”-- I’d say yes. Yes, the politically hybrid, libertarianish law professor who threatens to vote Democrat if they’d only give him something to work with on national security is on my team.

I feel the same way about a long list of other libertarianish political hybrids who vocally disagree with me on social issues—folks like Ann Althouse and Jeff Goldstein, both of whose blogs I consider favorites. And, I think most of the Right blogosphere feels the same way, even though many right bloggers are more conservative than these three writers. Their traffic numbers certainly reflect acceptance and popularity among righty blog-readers.

It occurred to me, after reading about the now-infamous Deborah Frisch’s comments to blogger Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom—well, more like bolted down from Heaven and hit everyone within a thousand-mile radius of an Internet connection between the eyes than “occurred”—that the Left blogosphere does not feel the same way about political hybrids.

For instance, I imagine that socially conservative bloggers disagree with Goldstein on just as many issues as the good Prof. Frisch does, and yet they regularly read his site, debate with him civilly, and manage to hang out in his comments section without threatening toddlers.

On the contrary, instead of seeing folks like Goldstein or Reynolds as possible allies on certain issues, the Left blogosphere doesn’t just avoid engaging or wooing these guys—it actively attacks them.

In the run-up to the ’04 election and in the time since, many of these politically hybrid bloggers—who I can only assume speak for and speak to an audience of many, many more similarly-minded folks, also known by the term “swing voter”—have positively advertised the fact that they are up for grabs when it comes to party affiliation.

Mary Katharine Ham

Mary Katharine Ham is editor-at-large of, a contributor to Townhall Magazine.

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