Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The antennae are erect out there

It's dicey, this business of expressing public judgments on public figures.

They have to protect their names, their "brands." They often hire lawyers to advise them (even when they are lawyers themselves). They often hire communications people to push their message (and crush their enemies). They can be D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S, and the person who doesn't recognize that (who grins, blogs and gladhands his way through superficial political "friendships") is a fool.

I thought about T-H-A-T when I brought up someone like Gov. Matt Blunt's former chief of staff Ed Martin in the context of a light, back-to-school item about my little bitty skinny kid.

My blog's narc Stat Counter reminds me I'm right to think about these things. Folks out there are forever Googling folks like "Matt Blunt" and "Chris Koster" and "Ed Martin" and "Joe Mokwa." Some of the folks are Googling from seats of substantial investigative power. The antennae are erect, out there. Data is being downloaded.

Former Blunt chief staffer Ed Martin wrote back to me. He was responding to my memory of talking power politics (as mutual enemies) while we were both picking up kids from school.

He wrote, "Thanks for your kind words on your blog. You are right about our kids - you sound like a good dad."

I wrote back thanking him for reading (everybody loves an audience) and writing (I like to hear what people have to say). I aknowledged that we are still enemies in political warfare, and I cherished the fact that families exist with strong ties of love on both sides of the trenches.

He doesn't need me to remind him that the war is still on. It's on. I'm on the side of safe and legal abortions, extensive sexual education in public schools, adequate public funding for public schools as the starting point of the education debate, and the protection and advancement of the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan.

Last time I checked, Ed Martin and Missouri Republicans in general don't act like they agree with me on any of these deal-breakers.

It's on.

I'm sorry to say, but the people who don't choose a side - and fight to win - deserve what they get in the end.