Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Target: Eric Luedtke

Last month, I called for the revival of the state’s liberal blogosphere. That call has been answered! And the saviors of the online left are... the online right.

As I ended my series on the state of Maryland blogdom, Isaac Smith and Eric Luedtke resumed regular posting on Free State Politics. That has attracted significant attention from Red Maryland, the nexus of the state’s conservative blogosphere. Over a nine-day period from 7/17/08 through 7/25/08, conservative bloggers criticized Luedtke by name in nine posts on five different days. Luedtke’s views on transit, education and the environment made them howl like coyotes in the hills!

These Red Maryland bloggers have probably never met Eric Luedtke. Slightly-built, Luedtke has the appearance of a first-week college freshman searching for his backpack to avoid being late for class. A soft-spoken teacher from Burtonsville, he is no proponent of the two-by-four liberalism practiced by some on this blog. The laptop-toting, coffee-sipping Luedtke is about as threatening as dew on the grass.

But Luedtke is really driving the conservatives nuts as some of their criticism is strikingly personal. In one post, Brian Griffiths accuses Luedtke of promoting “racial nonsense” and says the following on accountability in education:

Luedtke, as we mentioned, is a teacher. He is a member of the teachers union. Once he reaches tenure, he is virtually unable to be fired. How's that for accountability?
This follows Griffith’s labeling of Free State Politics bloggers as “privileged Caucasians.”

All of this attention from conservatives is having an unintended consequence: they are helping to revive Free State Politics. Every time they link to one of Luedtke’s posts, they encourage their readers to visit them and pass them on. In the three weeks prior to 7/17/08, Free State Politics averaged 181 visits per day. But over the nine-day anti-Luedtke jihad, Free State averaged 268 visits per day – an increase of 48%.

On behalf of the Maryland left, I extend my sincere gratitude to Red Maryland for coming to the aid of Free State Politics. I only have one question for them: where’s the love for me?