Welcome to the Show, Ms. Hovde.

Patch Adam Perryman

By Patch Adam Perryman of Milwaukie, Oregon. Patch is a novice writer, health care professional and native Oregonian with rural roots.

ElizabethhovdeI knew that my weekly reading of the Sunday morning Oregonian (now starting the post-David Reinhard era) would hastily welcome a mantle-carrying neophyte as the editors sought out some new dexterity for their "even-handed" publication. So, in her opening sentence, Elizabeth Hovde couldn't wait to high-five the public before she started swinging away with an anti-rhetoric Oberammergau at a readership akin to a major-league slider.

Stating that she'll happily take "[Reinhard's] hate mail", Hovde's inaugural column offers a diatribe in backpedaling rather than a start from scratch. She brings attention to her undefined identification as a conservative and instead writes that she's a long-time PNW resident (Western Washington's Bellingham and the 'Couv), a two-time W. voter, being spent from a Palin nonsense, and offers a redundant pack of GOP neologisms.

Ms. Hovde's writing, frankly, depicts her as an armour-clad warrior of the Right. Riding boldly into Stumptown with humility and verve after a decade of for The Columbian where she tag-teamed with Michelle Malkin. What she expects in her new role is a dragon of contention and an opposing army of foam-at-the-mouth "haters". What I suggest she'll find upon dismount is that once she lets her past commentaries subside and realize that her gossamer tunic is as tenuous as W. legacy, conversation in Oregon will not be difficult to initiate, mediate, tolerate or resuscitate.

Many are the number of heated comments I have read concerning the frailty of The O's past opining, but only a handful could be considered as hateful. So let me one of the first to accept Elizabeth's invitation for a robust conversation and make her (increasingly) think.

One word of advice though: Don't play the victim on your introductory pitch. Start with who you are, not with who you're trying to be.

Comments

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    "Thin Lizzy" had weeks to write a lead to her first column and she wrote the single worst lead sentence I have read since my days teaching primary school in outer SE Portland.

    She asks for hate mail, and when a few people criticize her, over at Oregonlive, Rowdy Rick Attig pops out of his hole and screams "foul".

    What a baby.

    That makes two.

    And "Thin Lizzy" says she is no partisan, then why did she beg her handful of readers at The Columbian, last month, to send President Bush a THANK YOU card?

    http://www.columbian.com/article/20081106/OPINION03/711065041/-1/OPINION

    For what? The worst economy since The Great Depression? All hell breaking loose in Gaza? New Orleans underwater years later?

    But "Thin Lizzy" did graduate at the top of her class from... Harvard? Yale? Columbia?

    No, WWU.

    Ooooohhh! She's got a big brain, too!

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Stating that she'll happily take "[Reinhard's] hate mail", Hovde's inaugural column offers a diatribe in backpedaling rather than a start from scratch.

    There you go. The O hired specifically for a troll on the perception that it sells and gets a response. She has little or no track record. Very vulnerable to being ignored. Liberals are starting to look like Spanish animal rights activists at a bullfight. They say they have to be involved, because it's important, yet, to the uneducated observer, all one sees is another group at the bullfight yelling and shouting for the animal or the man. You end bullfighting by not going to the bullfight.

    Put another way, they're winning. Look at the new administration. Talks progressive, but much of their announcements to date are spun as positive advances using conservative talk radio's regressive ideas as a comparison. That's what conservatives want. Have their rhetoric bind our imagination; don't let real progressives expand those horizons. How many times have you seen the approach taken here to trash the far right, but ignore "nabobs of Naderism"? However you cut it, one group is a party to the conversation and the other is not. Both sides seem equally proud of having got through the election completely ignorning alternative parties and policies. Oddly, the Palin effect might mean that next cycle all will have to deal with the mother of all third parties, the God Owns People party! Dems can take the progressives into the tent now, or the Reps left behind when the Neanderthals leave likely will. That scenario should alarm Dems much, much more than what the latest far right talking head is burbling, in my humble opinion.

  • melch (unverified)
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    Uh, you actually read the Oregonian?

  • Creswell (unverified)
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    The inagural column by Ms. Hovde represents so much that is wrong with contemporary Op-Ed writers.

    The most obnoxious offense from where I sit is the overwhelming self-referential focus. The column is about Ms. Hovde first and foremost.

    Why not simply write, "ME ME ME ME ME ME" and get it over with?

    Too many people in what some refer to as "journalism" view it merely as a means to become well-known, well-paid, and to have THEIR egos stroked.

    My message to Ms. Hovde - "Get over yourself" and write about issues. If you insist on public masturbation, confine it to your Facebook page.

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    melch,

    Only at the local chat and chew where someone else left it, and that's just for the comics. Now if I had a bird, I could use it for cage lining.

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    You know, Sid, I don't know who you think your audience is here, but speaking personally: while I also found much to criticize in Hovde's first column, deriding her for her weight or her lack of an Ivy League degree seems pretty sophomoric.

  • Ron Morgan (unverified)
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    "Both sides seem equally proud of having got through the election completely ignorning alternative parties and policies."

    As long as Nader and Kucinich continues to siphon 1 or 2% of the electorate, the Reps and Dems can ignore them at their leisure. Why not, the voters do...

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    A state of perpetual aggrievement, of victimhood, is central to conservative identity, and, from reading her first column, it appears Ms. Hovde will be no exception. Conservatives don't really want dialogue; they want the first excuse to say that liberals poisoned the dialogue. They can dish it out, but call them on any of their nonsense and they go down in an exaggerated flop, like a basketball player trying to draw a charge.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Why not, the voters do...

    Because that's not how "progressives" govern?

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    The O, as always, is years behind the trendline. They've hired a columnist who fit the mold perfectly for that period of conservative idealogue from about 97 through 02. Everywhere in America we're looking for change we can believe in, and the O gives us a blast from the past.

    They should have hired someone in the mode of Jack Roberts, who would spend the next few years examining the direction conservatism is headed, not where it's been. By the looks of Hovde's first column, they've hired the wrong person.

    (I could be wrong. Here's hoping Elizabeth has a better second column.)

    By the way, did anyone notice that other column, where the editors mentioned that daily circ is down to 283,000. Oy.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Zarathustra: per Naderites and Naderism--whatever those mean exactly--I would suggest that the most prominent representatives of Naderism at Blue Oregon have, sadly, taken it as a mission to insult the rest of the writers and commenters here, while simultaneously proclaiming their moral purity and superiority. These are not exactly persuasive tactics; then again, I've never felt these folks were trying to persuade anyone, but rather to just vent and pontificate.

    As for Elizabeth Hovde, in her introductory column, she pressed all the same buttons that Reinhard did every week: righteousness derived from imagined victimhood; obsequious deference to executive authority (as long as it's GOP authority); conservative (sic) economic dogma; and demonization of everyone who departs from the moral code of the Republican Taliban. Who cares if she does it with a smile instead of a grimace? Same bullshit, different day.

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    They should have hired someone in the mode of Jack Roberts, who would spend the next few years examining the direction conservatism is headed, not where it's been. By the looks of Hovde's first column, they've hired the wrong person.

    You nailed it, Jeff. This was exactly what I was hoping for when I opened the paper yesterday. A self-described conservative who was going to be critical of the ideology's failings in the past years and offer solutions that make the GOP or a new conservative party act more in-keeping with the laws of the nation while subscribing to a mantra of compromise and independence. Instead, as correctly mentioned above, The O hired a lock-step, neo-con troll in attempts to flame the readership (dwindling as it is) and try to infuriate activity.

    Bait noticed, and ignored.

    (I could be wrong. Here's hoping Elizabeth has a better second column.)

    Quite agree. My invitation to Ms. Hovde is with the hopes for an improvement on her aim after this initial salvo overshot the target.

    By the way, did anyone notice that other column, where the editors mentioned that daily circ is down to 283,000. Oy.

    They may have more if they don't do something soon. My Sundays are getting quite tight in the reading department these days.

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    They should have hired someone in the mode of Jack Roberts, who would spend the next few years examining the direction conservatism is headed, not where it's been. By the looks of Hovde's first column, they've hired the wrong person.

    I'll join Patch Adam in ditto-ing this. I've enjoyed reading Jack's comments on Blue Oregon and have agreed with him quite often. I've been thrilled to see Jack's editorials occasionally in the O recently and had actually thought he was taking over for Reinhard. What a shame.

    Here's hoping Jack's columns weren't just a temporary gap measure. I'd like to see more guest columns from him in the paper.

  • janek51 (unverified)
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    Thanks, Sid. I read that opinion column from "The Columbian". What a snarky undertone to the whole piece. "If Obama really wants to win folks over, he could use that election-winning charisma of his to raise as much money as he did while campaigning and then dole it out in equal portions to each American. (Redistribution of wealth is good, right?)". Ugh! Yep, poor li'l George was an innocent bystander to the last 8 years and deserves a thank you. I think I'll wait til he moves to Paraguay or Dubai. If Laura gets that $8 mil for her book, he'll be going alone.

  • Dave Lister (unverified)
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    Actually, you will continue to see Jack Roberts, along with yours truly as well, in the Reinhard slot. Ms. Hovde is just one of a team of us who have been asked to provide right of center commentary.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Bush loves nicknames. So do I.

    And as for the WWU crack, I didn't brag about it. She did.

    For the record, Western Washington University is a good state school for kids who don't have the grades, or stomach, for U-W. Not worth bragging about, though, really.

    And Ms. H's -- dare I say progressive -- views on marijuana confirm she spent some of her formulative years in Bellingham.

    Enlightened, natch.

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    I think Hovde's comment about "taking Reinhard's hate mail" was simply a tip of the hat to one of Reinhard's final columns in which he talked about some of the less intellectual replies his column had inspired over the years. That's all. But considering that Reinhard said he left the paper to go join a group of like-minded conservatives, Hovde's comments that she wanted to engage non-conservatives in a conversation actually read to me like a mild rebuke of her predecessor.

    I guess we'll see. It would be good to have a high-caliber conservative to push Sarasohn to play his best game every time.

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    Actually, you will continue to see Jack Roberts, along with yours truly as well, in the Reinhard slot. Ms. Hovde is just one of a team of us who have been asked to provide right of center commentary.

    This is very reassuring, Mr. Lister. Thank you for sharing. I'll be looking forward to your next column.

  • Pedro (unverified)
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    In the language of the right wing lunatic fringe columnists and talk show hosts "Hate Mail" means all those letters they receive pointing out their own factual errors!

  • Rap2321 (unverified)
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    I think Sid Leader is thinking of WWU circa 1972. WWU has been ranked for by U.S. News and World Report for the past 11 years as the number 2 rated public Master's granting universities in the west. WWU has a Vehicle Research program that has spent decades created solar and alternative fuel vehicles and always place very highly in competitions of these research vehicle. As for admissions, UW average GPA in 3.6, WWU is 3.5, OSU is 3.4, Oregon is 3.5. SAT percentage is higher than the two Oregon schools and just under UW. WWU also admits about 60 % of its applicants. Its ok to brag about WWU.

  • Ron Morgan (unverified)
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    Why not, the voters do... (ignore Naderites, et al}

    "Because that's not how "progressives" govern?"

    Nader's never had the nuisance of actually having to govern, so I'm not sure what you mean. If you mean that progressives, whatever that means, are supposed to be inclusive, I suppose a case could be made that they apply the degree of Nader's philosophies to their governance that's proportional to his constituency, i.e. tiny.

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    I would suggest that the most prominent representatives of Naderism at Blue Oregon have, sadly, taken it as a mission to insult the rest of the writers and commenters here, while simultaneously proclaiming their moral purity and superiority.

    joe dan, I would respectfully submit that your remark there is more personally condescending than most anything I've ever written. I've seen a lot of charges that people who have criticized business-as-usual in the Democratic party were setting themselves up as morally pure and superior, but I can't really remember anyone actually proclaiming it of themselves.

    And if you're looking for personal invective and name-calling, historically I think there may be a higher percentage of that on the "moderate" side of the debate.

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    If you mean that progressives, whatever that means, are supposed to be inclusive, I suppose a case could be made that they apply the degree of Nader's philosophies to their governance that's proportional to his constituency, i.e. tiny.

    Sometimes tiny constituencies make big differences, don't they? I suppose that if progressives, whatever that means, make the mistake of thinking they can blow off the wrong constituencies at the wrong time, then they only have themselves to blame.

    That philosophy certainly hasn't done the Republicans any good.

  • LT (unverified)
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    " I suppose that if progressives, whatever that means, make the mistake of thinking they can blow off the wrong constituencies at the wrong time, then they only have themselves to blame."

    The question is determining which people belong to which constituencies--the "my caucus right or wrong" types, the single issue voters, the folks who vote as a bloc vs. the folks who think for themselves. Speaking as someone who has questioned the wisdom of both Republicans and Democrats, and who has been registered in both parties and NAV, I'm getting tired about hearing that one group did another group wrong. We are better off when individuals make decisions and stand up for those decisions than when there are battling groups and the rest of us are just supposed to be spectators.

    Some friends of mine became Naderites in 2000 and didn't want to talk to friends they'd worked with on 1990s campaigns unless those friends also turned Naderite.

    What positive things does Nader (or do the Naderites) stand for these days other than getting on the ballot as a potential spoiler? ( an election victory like 2008 was unlikely to be affected by any spoiler, unless you are talking about what Brownlow did to Gordon Smith, or something like that).

    I heard Ralph Nader speak at OSU maybe 30 years ago. That man was admirable.

    A Democratic friend of mine was leaning towards Nader in 2000 until he ran that ad saying something like "You stupid people not only supported Death With Dignity when I told you not to, but you voted that way for the wrong reasons".

    Sorry, folks, but that sounds as dictatorial as when Tim Knopp said he knew why everyone who voted no on Meas.28 did so---that they all did so for the same reason and that it was an easy decision.

    My friend who agonized over his vote, decided to vote no although one of his relatives made a strong case for voting yes, sealed the envelope and then wondered whether he made the wrong decision is not someone who follows the legislature closely. I told him what Knopp had said in an interview and he was angry at some politician saying it had been an easy decision for everyone. But first I had to explain that Knopp was a member of legislative leadership.

    If you folks think Nader is some great leader, perhaps you can enlighten us about what specific proposals Nader has for 2009. If he has no specific proposals, then please quit bringing him into the conversation. It is time to turn the page.

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    If you folks think Nader is some great leader...

    I think you're making the mistake that people think Nader is a great leader. I certainly don't view him as any greater leader than any number of other national (Democratic) political figure I've voted for over the years. Did I think John Kerry was a great leader? Not hardly, but I voted for him anyway. And the idea that people had to fall in line behind Nader's opposition to the Death With Dignity act or not support him rings hollow when the same people are harangued to support Democratic candidates they don't agree with on every single issue, either.

    For those who viewed the people who were disillusioned with the Democratic party in 2000 as a monolith (albeit a very small monolith), it's not surprising if they don't understand what happened at the polls that year and it won't be surprising if they screw up the next time it happens, either. It ain't about Nader.

  • Ron Morgan (unverified)
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    "Sometimes tiny constituencies make big differences, don't they?"

    Mostly nope, they don't. They're marginal by definition. Once you're out of range of KBOO they may as well not exist at all.

    "I suppose that if progressives, whatever that means, make the mistake of thinking they can blow off the wrong constituencies at the wrong time, then they only have themselves to blame."

    Hmmm, you mean the tiny constituencies can act as... SPOILERS!? Heavens forfend!

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    Hmmm, you mean the tiny constituencies can act as... SPOILERS!? Heavens forfend!

    Mathematically, it makes no difference if the constituency you lose is on one end of the political spectrum or if it's in the middle. If it's big enough to cost you the election, you still lose.

  • gregd (unverified)
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    I can only hope she departs from the Reinhold school of rewriting RNC talking points in every column.

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    She'll have to Greg, at least for a while. The big regurgitation machine is currently in the shop for repairs.

    The mechanics told me that it's due the the fact that it was never designed to handle and sort multiple input streams.......

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    The sentence I loved of Hovde's piece was: "I supported the Iraq invasion in 2003."

    It just makes you want to ask her "Why?"

    • Was it because you were deceived by the Bush administration's lies about WMD and an imminent threat to the US? If so, why'd you vote for the idiot the second time?
    • Was it because you thought there'd be some sort of overhaul of politics in the Middle East? Don't you think the president shouldn't have lied to people about his reasons then? Don't you sort of feel bad about the millions of refugees and the hundreds of thousands of "newly-freed" Iraqis?
    • Was it because you just wanted to "get" that Saddam Hussein guy? Again, the refugees and the dead people.
    • Do you just get a kick out of American troops killing people with names that sound funny to you?
    • Are you bigoted against Muslims or something?
    • Do Republicans just automatically support any war that's set in front of the by a (Republican) president? Is it really just about waving the flag and whooping "Boo-Yah!"?

    I mean, I could go on, maybe make a checklist, but to just baldly say she supported the war without any which way about the rationale sort of fits into the rest of the piece and probably gives us a good idea about the incisive thought processes she'll bring to the Big O.

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    Sorry, second bullet point should have ended: "Don't you sort of feel bad about the millions of refugees and the hundreds of thousands of 'newly-freed' Iraqis who are dead?"

  • Ron Morgan (unverified)
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    "Mathematically, it makes no difference if the constituency you lose is on one end of the political spectrum or if it's in the middle. If it's big enough to cost you the election, you still lose."

    That big "if" proves my point. Mathematically the Nader bloc can neither win elections nor credibly threaten election loss to others, and is therefore marginal.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    "Thin Lizzy" made her MSM debut, in a pretty new dress, last Sunday and guess how many Letters To The Editor she has received?

    None. Zero. Bupkis.

    The chick wrote "bring it on" and all of Portland yawned.

    Maybe she should just sit down, eat a sandwich, and re-think her life, so far.

    First question: what happened? Why didn't any of the Oregonian's remaining readers care enough to drop a card?

    Why?

    Because you are boring, the death knell of all columnists.

  • David Lee Donnell (unverified)
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    Posted by: darrelplant | Jan 6, 2009 6:48:01 PM

    The sentence I loved of Hovde's piece was: "I supported the Iraq invasion in 2003."

    It just makes you want to ask her "Why?"

    We know that energy policy, which for this one is securing oil, was big on the agenda. Remember the petrol execs meeting with Cheney? Now, simple policy decision and you have the benefit of hindsight. Which is easier? Drilling in ANWR and letting statutes about off-shore drilling expire, or invading Iraq again?

    This allows you to move forward. Why aren't cons happy with W? He didn't do such a good job at grabbing the resources. Congrats to the neocons; you pulled it off! The constant refrain "it's not about the oil" worked. See, reread the logic. "What was she thinking?" Indeed, if it isn't about oil.

    That's why you Democrats are just the saddest thing. Even when the Republicans are pulling off an obvious con, they still seem to execute it far better than the likes of Pelosi and Reid. The Bush Administration has accomplished all its goals, save putting the Republicans in a permanent majority. Let's see how Barry rates on that one in 4.

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