Somewhere, over the rainbow, a blog is born. A blog for Kansas. A blog for America. A blog by a reporter with a difficult-to-pronounce last name. But most importantly, a blog that is AMERICA'S ONLY PLACE dedicated to the vital intersection of politics and Sunflowers. The Heartland gods nod in wise approval.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Man is Still Behind the Curtain

Hey -- blog got a mention in the LA Times today -- couldn't a done it without Gary Hart.  I guess the blogosphere is the Media Story of 2004, and as a practitioner I certainly hope it sticks around. Would hate to be looked at in four years the way we look at the online overload of 2000, a cautionary tale for anyone on the edge of anything.

Last night I had the most memorable moment of the convention at the "Salute to Agriculture" party -- one of those moments in which you find yourself an ambiguous moral actor in an impromptu set piece in which the Man Behind the Curtain is revealed and you find yourself identifying with an individual to whom you had previously felt no resemblance. It was an experience in which the intersection of media and politics were shown in the stark context of human need and regret, when the loneliness lurking beneath the superficiality of yet another alcohol-blurred affair peaks through the surface, revealing how the dynamics of power in American democracy serve to stifle the desires of the very powerless for whom the system is designed to protect.

Of course, I don't have time today to write about any of it, since there are receptions to attend. So how about that Michael Dukakis? USA Today is clearly reading too, as they answered yesterday's blog with an article on his presence -- or lack thereof -- at the convention. The state of Kansas had its own tidbits of the sun Tuesday. Kansas's favorite grandson, Barack Obama, made a huge splash -- the text of his speech, which mentions Kansas, is here. And while Gov. Kathleen Sebelius had to compete with dinner break in her three-minute address, the delegation loved her. She's expected to give the "Great state of Kansas ..." schpiel tonight as the nomination process begins.

Thomas Frank, author of the more-relevant-than-expected "What's the Matter With Kansas?" is in town for a book-signing today -- here's a particularly insightful review of his book by a rising literary figure. Today I want to go to the meeting of the Rural Caucus, then head to the center for the big events. Wednesday, and running on empty.