Tuesday, October 25

IN DEFENSE OF BLOG SURVEYS AND POLIBLOGGERS

Participating in The Truth Laid Bare survey of where polibloggers stand on the Harriet Miers' nomination is not some silly, nonsensical enterprise, regardless of its small sampling size in the context of the blogosphere and its "miniscule" proportions against 112 million votes cast in the 2004 presidential election. It was a voluntary survey, after all, and its purpose was simply to give those bloggers keenly interested in and writing about President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the SCOTUS a sense of where those bloggers stood as a group: in opposition; neutral; in support. Statistical validity is a red herring.

Really, what's the big deal and why must anyone be offended, regard it as frivolous, take pot shots at those who participated, or, worse, stick its overwhelming outcome in the nose of someone with a different, more Miers-supportive point of view? Besides, it wasn't meant to be a statistically representative survey in the first place given its primary tracking requirement: registration in the "TTLB Blogosphere Ecosystem." A total of 327 registered blogs participated in the survey (as of 8:40am CDT today) out of a total of 40,454 TTLBBE-registered blogs. That "Ecosystem," after all, is hardly confined to polibloggers!

Carl at No Oil For Pacifists responds in his patented, multiple-links, comprehensive fashion to just such criticism.

Finally, if the results of the survey itself, or the collective opinions of those polibloggers in opposition to the nomination are so singularly unimpressive and unimpactful, then why does anyone bother to rail against them in the first place? Fact is, President Bush made a campaign commitment to his conservative base during his presidential race that if given the chance to nominate a candidate(s) to the SCOTUS, he would select a person(s) in the Scalia-Thomas mold. Conservative Republicans who comprise that base and voted for the president have, therefore, every right to express themselves on the subject and such expression is not counter-productive or obstructive of the Constitutional process. In point of fact, it's our right and our obligation as concerned citizens in a democracy to be heard. And it would appear that some in Washington care given recent conference calls held among the GOP (and at its invitation) and conservative polibloggers.