In other words: it's a fun place to hang out if you are interested in Vermont Politics.
I don't always (or even often) agree with what I read over there, and my screen name, "goDLC", ruffled a few feathers when I arrived. (In case you don't know, when Howard Dean made all that noise about the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, it was the Bill Clinton Democratic Leadership Council he was sounding off about. These people LIVE for Howard Dean, so my pro-Clinton stance was …out of the ordinary) On the whole, however, I've enjoyed the interchanges I’ve had on Green Mountain Daily.
Recently, the left, the far left, and whack-jobs have been involved in a bitter, bitter fight over supposed "neo-confederate" ties of the Second Vermont Republic group.
I have to admit, I haven't followed the debate too closely. In my personal opinion, a prolonged discussion of Vermont session is a slightly less profitable use of time than engaging in a debate with the flat-earth society. It's a fun parlor trick, but anybody who takes the topic seriously has been spending WAY too much time locked in the outhouse breathing their own fumes.
But today, that all changed. Don't get me wrong, the topic is still just as full of Bullshit as a flying saucer convention, but in their fury, the whack-jobs have reached out and done real damage to intelligent political discussion in the Green Mountian state.
Green Mountain Daily is a blog maintained by many; but the dominant voice there, and the "referee", is a guy by the name of Odum. Odum announced today that he was leaving GMD and the blog-o-sphere because people who disagree with him have been targeting him at work...the public nature of his day-job apparently leaves him vulnerable to this kind of attack (-Thanks to J.D.Ryan for correcting me here) .
I think this is both sad, and frightening.
I have found that my knowledge of, and interest in, Vermont Politics has grown a great deal, in part because sites like GMD exist: Bloggers there write about what interests them, not about what will sell papers; and, ironically, they manage to make local politics more dramatic, and fun to follow than many of the state’s mainstream media outlets.
It is sad to know that a few well placed hits can threaten the freedom of those who promote this kind of public service. And it's a little frightening, too, that someone’s political voice can be silenced in such a fashion.
So, while I'm sure that other people will be continue the good work at GMD, Mr. Odum will be missed, and I'm very sorry to see him go.
A little piece of intelligent political discussion goes with him.
Other Vermont Blog Reactions
Odum: It's Been Real
Vermont Daily Briefing: Serial Dismemberment of the Blogosphere Continues Apace: Odum Says Goodbye
She's Right: Odum Says Goodbye to Blogging (opts to keep job, feed family)
Five Before Chaos: Odum steps back from GMD
802 Online:Tuesday Deadline Linkdump: the secessionists strike back edition
And, over at Green Mountain Daily, there are, of course, many posts and comments on this subject. Here is my favorite:
GMD is a spare-time project of a father, husband and person who toils at a day job like the rest of us. This story [Second Vermont Republic] has stirred the emotions of a few on the fringe, but like every outliner dustup, it will soon be forgotten...I hope we readers of GMD will receive a signal from VNRC that they are not tampering with John's spare time citizenship activities.
Read the rest here.