"They're already calling her the Weblog Candidate."
August 24, 2002 7:20 AM   Subscribe

"They're already calling her the Weblog Candidate." Tara Grubb is running for Congress against P2P bill cosponsor Howard Coble. She has a weblog, and she's getting a lot of support from the weblog world.
posted by Buckley (28 comments total)
She's 26 years old? Isn't there an age requirement to be elected to Congress? This reminds of the Simpsons episode in which there was a TV show called "Admiral Baby": "It's hard to believe someone so young could have risen through the ranks so quickly!"
posted by ac at 8:03 AM on August 24, 2002

project to elect Ms Grubb as the first Representatitve that the Internet helped elect
I'm going to assume that beyond the fact that she has a blog – as of three days ago – that she actually is worth electing, right?

If we could change just one seat in Congress people would stand up and take notice.
Notice what? A very large part of the major legal crap that's been going on for years now has in one way or another involved the net. It's affected taxes. Are we under some impression that the government is somehow unaware of the effect of the net?
posted by Su at 8:04 AM on August 24, 2002

I want to run for Congress. Send me money. I even have a weblog.
posted by birdherder at 8:16 AM on August 24, 2002

You have to be 25 to run for Congress (US Constitution, article I, section 2.)
Lot's of Saturday morning cynicism here.
posted by Buckley at 8:23 AM on August 24, 2002

Lot's of Saturday morning cynicism here.

...and grammar checking. Mind that apostrophe!

small, barely noticeable emoticon inserted to assure quality ribbing. : )
posted by gummi at 8:48 AM on August 24, 2002

she actually is worth electing, right?

Here's her background, courtesy Scripting News:
A young mom, 26 years old. Daughter of a Vietnam vet. All her brothers were in the military. She's been broke and homeless. 13,000 people in her district have lost their jobs recently. Very ambitious, but seems quite sincere in wanting to reform politics. Her only issue is the Internet. She says she got lucky with the Berman-Coble Bill. She's from High Point. ...The big industry is furniture. President Bush visited in July.
posted by ChuqD at 8:57 AM on August 24, 2002

Look beyond her stance on the legimate use of p2p networks what else has she got to offer...... Nothing i would much rather have better education and a well funded hospitals than the use of a magnet for viruses and trojans.
posted by Seipher at 8:59 AM on August 24, 2002

typical budding politician. first thing on her site is something about sending money. ..and her brilliant...'the history of the middle east is the history of oil'. just to let you all know,i e-mailed her opponent and pointed out a few things like the little pearl of wisdom above. and her weepy story and daddy being a vet wont cut it. "every ideology is utopian in theory"???????????????????????????? a 6 month maternity leave? who's the cruel bastard who put her up to this.
posted by clavdivs at 9:16 AM on August 24, 2002

I'm a bit perplexed by her candidacy as well, everyone is focusing on her using the weblog format for her site, and I'm not sure that's the best way to get her stances on the issues out. I'd much prefer seeing her develop 20-30 static pages to go with her weblog, each covering major issues and her stance on them. I don't know how she can get support unless others have a good idea of where she stands on everything else.

Also related, today's ditherati was a bit troubling.
posted by mathowie at 9:22 AM on August 24, 2002

Gummi, be nice.

Seipher has pretty much summed up my thoughts. The fact she's "already(read: three days) being called the weblog candidate" kind of makes me wonder if it's because there's frankly nothing else to talk about regarding her.

This isn't meant to sound negative towards her personally so much as that it's looking like one of those situations where people with a vested interest in the net are latching onto another chance to proclaim that the net Will Change Everything.
It wouldn't be a stretch to say that any politician who's been elected since the web explosion was helped by the net. It's sort of like a company touting some feature of their product that every manufacturer uses. It sounds kind of impressive, but in reality, it's only because they were the only ones who bothered to bring it up.
There are major and minor media outlets, independent publishers, and yes, bloggers posting their opinions every day, people are reading them, and even being affected by them. So what's new here? Dave decided to make it a formal(if somewhat meaningless) cause. Okay, and?
posted by Su at 9:22 AM on August 24, 2002

"magnet for viruses and trojans" - Heh, I've known some people who would fit that description.
posted by madprops at 9:23 AM on August 24, 2002

She kind of reminds me of Wil Wheaton. For many webloggers, he was the first "celebrity" to "get weblogs" and overnight, he was linked off 300 blogs, people were talking about him everywhere, and when he enabled comments on his site, 150 posts would show up in a matter of hours, supporting whatever he just said. It seemed like a lot of people went overboard supporting him before he had anything to say (and I probably feel this way because I didn't think his posts about his daily auditions were all that interesting to me).

Tara is the first weblog-based candidate for congress, and that's worthy of a little attention, but I kinda see that little bit of info blinding typically rational thought, which is the basics: who is she and what does she stand for? Like I said before, I don't think a weblog-only site is the best way to do things, I'd much rather see a typical election-related site, rich with a person's background and stance on issues, but with the weblog on the front page showing daily progress. Weblog in addition to, not in place of.

It's early, and I'm hopeful her site will eventually resemble that ideal (also, sheesh, put it at grubbforcongress.org not radio.weblogs.com/101020303450345). For now, it's too early to tell if she's anything more than a coble bill-killer. There's a lot I like in Libertarian candidates, and a lot I don't like, so I'm curious to see what her beliefs are. I can't vote for her, so my opinion probably doesn't matter, but I seem to know at least a handful of north carolinans I could convince to support her.
posted by mathowie at 9:42 AM on August 24, 2002

God, that's a horrifying quote from Coble's Chief of Staff. And while I like almost everyone I've met from the N.C. libertarian party, they don't ever seem to be able to get an articulate *and* well-funded campaign going -- at any level in the state.
posted by mediareport at 9:54 AM on August 24, 2002

I should add: in case anyone thinks I'm just poo-pooing her bid for the seat, she did email me a few days ago asking for assistance, and I've emailed her volunteering to help on all the suggestions I've laid out here.
posted by mathowie at 10:00 AM on August 24, 2002

Okay, this is all fine and dandy, but....the real question in my mind is.....

Is she hot?
posted by bradth27 at 10:27 AM on August 24, 2002

As things exist currently, congress is free to support major content providers to the detriment of the public they are ostensibly elected to serve. They can do this because most people don't understand these issues, and the ones that do don't make it a voting point.

I think the point is that if she can get some traction under and work up a moderate war chest of contributions, maybe even swing a few votes (I doubt she can really manage to get elected), then maybe congress is forced to look at that and reevaluate whether pushing through a given piece of legislation is going to help them more in the form of donations or hurt them more in the form of lost votes.

In the pork barrel you scratch my back and I'll go down on you world of politics, whether she has a plan to deal with the homeless is really beside the point.
posted by willnot at 10:43 AM on August 24, 2002

Yea - I want to see a picture...a sexy picture!
posted by ac at 11:36 AM on August 24, 2002

posted by davewiner at 2:16 PM on August 24, 2002

I generally agree with mathowie: the weblog format provides an interesting forum for dynamic pontification on current events and feedback, but I would have liked to seen some static pages on her beliefs and policies. Upon a cursory examination, it's difficult to know what Ms. Grubb represents beyond "pro-Internet".

Also, although I'm sure it was done in jest, the "is she hot?" line of thought seen in the comments here is an unfortunate one -- I'm sure a photo would not have been demanded so quickly of a male candidate.
posted by jess at 2:30 PM on August 24, 2002

Also, although I'm sure it was done in jest, the "is she hot?" line of thought seen in the comments here is an unfortunate one -- I'm sure a photo would not have been demanded so quickly of a male candidate.

Jesus, that's pretty funny. And you're right. Why the hell would I care what some GUY looks like?

Seriously, lighten up. Believe me, women vote on appearance just as men do. My comment hardly qualifies as fodder for some feminist rant.
posted by bradth27 at 2:43 PM on August 24, 2002

Oh, great: a bunch of weblog people have got themselves a toy politician to play with. And this distinguishes them from the RIAA just how?
posted by riviera at 2:44 PM on August 24, 2002

As a North Carolinian, I'll vote for her. A few points:

1. She's a Libertarian. I've been involved with the NC party in the past, and not been impressed, but she's still likely to be closer to my anarcho-capitalism than most of the rest of the candidates.

and, more germanely:

2. There are certainly more important issues than the P2P, copyright, etc. Like most people, I'd like to see massive reform in education, welfare, etc. However, at this point in time, a single politician has a much better chance of making a difference regarding the Internet issues, which are still up in the air, than completely changing entrenched federal bureaucracies that are decades old.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 3:06 PM on August 24, 2002

Jesus, bradth27, it was a lame joke, and worth noting. Be a man and suck it up, your joke was in poor taste and blew, no need to go all "feminazi" on others.
posted by mathowie at 3:14 PM on August 24, 2002


I LOVE feminazis. I love feminists. Both of comments were meant to be taken lightly. Sorry to offend.

I love everyone.
posted by bradth27 at 3:20 PM on August 24, 2002

It seems to me if you have time to make posts on your little weblog three months before an election you're not campaigning enough.

The Internet does not work for grassroots political organizing. You need one or two good volunteers in each ward to go knocking on doors. Preferably, they are women and the ward is their stomping grounds, so they can tell people they live "just two streets over" or some such. You do that in every ward and you'll win. Or at least make a good showing.


Contradiction in terms. The philosophy that came up with "property is theft" can in no way be melded with an economic system that requires private property to operate. Unless you're bastardizing both to make a brittle and unworkable kludge.
posted by raaka at 3:37 PM on August 24, 2002

They mean anarchy as in the simplest dictionary definition, i.e. "no government", raaka. As in, capitalism without government. Quasi-communist anarchists don't have exclusive claim to the term "anarchy", and the term provides an important distinction between those capitalists who support the role of government and those who don't.
posted by fhangler at 5:30 PM on August 24, 2002

"As in, capitalism without government... capitalists who support the role of government and those who don't"

Capitalism could not in any way work without an institution protecting the rights of owners. People who advocate anarcho-capitalist pollyswoggle are trying to find a way around this, all the while anarchy and capitalism remain in direct opposition.

People who do not support some form of government do not support capitalism. Ever has, ever will.

"communist anarchists"

Another contradiction in terms. Communism requires, theoritically, a dictatorship of the proletariat. It is also in opposition to anarchy.

Some words just don't play well together: capitalist anarchy, Marxist Bakuninites, celery hamburgers.
posted by raaka at 6:08 PM on August 24, 2002

Don't any of you ever vote? Jeez. Practically every House election there's a selection of a half-a-dozen fringe candidates representing some party or another. They all go there by the requisite 10,000 nomination signatures, or whatever. If you look closely -- usually requiring a check of position papers in the local news the week before -- you'll find many of them are single-issue candidates.

I certainly have been an advocate of pragmatism regarding the two-party system in the past, but the last thing I'd want to do is set the bar so only "approved" candidates can run. They run, they get their word out, they change a few minds, they make a few people laugh maybe -- it's American politics at its most interesting, just because it isn't so bound by political necessity. It's true that a smart voter would prefer a broader candidate, but that actually doesn't matter for a lot of people, and if we're honest, we'll admit that it really comes down to gun control, or abortion, or maybe prescription drug plans. Strategery and lockbox.

Even if 99% of the time these candidacies are quixotic, every one of them is a living, breathing human being with at some level a desire to change the world. I say give this gal a break. Most of us don't live in her district anyway! And if the candidate knows in her heart of hearts she can never unseat that incumbent -- and 90% of the time, that incumbent stays in place even if challenged by a major party candidate -- why not have fun and do your candidacy the way you enjoy ... and can afford?

Good luck to her, and I hope she does have fun, since the odds are so much better.
posted by dhartung at 12:08 AM on August 25, 2002

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