I’ll huff and puff and blow …


… insert Glenn Murphy Jr. joke here.

Keep going … that’s right … a bit more, please … yep, all the way down, until we reach the Hoosierpundit’s blog site, where’s he’s having his way with me, and I must confess to being titillated:

New Albany’s Mayoral War of Letters Continues

First, let’s take care of some housekeeping. I’d like to publicly thank Brenda Scharlow for the nifty yard sign, and if GOP chairman David Matthews was in any small way responsible, then thanks are due him, too.

Also, the Floyd County Democratic Party chairman’s Tribune response to the Matthews-attacks-England tempest, published yesterday, is instructive and educational. It can be perused here.

In responses to my blog postings offered by Matthews and Scott Fluhr (the Hoosierpundit), necessary attribution is scant when it comes to certain assumptions being made about me, as in the following:

Matthews: “The critic turned self-proclaimed web blog czar.”

Fluhr: “While I can understand this for Roger Baylor–he’s just a blogger and likes to self-style himself as a socialist.”

Fluhr: “Self-crowned smear detector Roger Baylor.”

Geez, you’d think they’re trying to make me look bad. Not to belabor the point, but you guys barely know me, and that’s three accusations of self-directed, auto-stimulation hurdling toward me just days apart – and from two different counties, no less.

Granted, someone like me who drinks beer for a living can never rule out anything, but all the same, I’m asking that you provide a bit of documentation.

I can’t seem to recall referring to myself as a “web blog czar” (at any rate, I’d have spelled it “tsar”) or as a “smear detector” (the gynecologists work their side of the street, and I work mine, right?) and about the closest I’ve come to self-identification with socialism would be periodically expressing solidarity with European Social Democrats.

It comes as no surprise, but Fluhr actually dredges out the “C” word and exposes me as a “Communist,” and now I must beat Whittaker Chambers to the pumpkin patch lest my career as a double agent is revealed. Funny, isn’t it, that a fellow who was all of seven years old when I was traveling through Eastern Europe and seeing Communism up close and personal now “deigns” to red wash me. Sorry to disappoint you, but being there didn’t make me want to do it here.

As for the significance of my pub’s Red Room, the Right just doesn’t do irony, does it?

Turning back to New Albany, both Matthews and Fluhr, and probably more than a few others, are taking great delight in uncovering what they regard as inconsistencies in my writings, and as I’ve noted previously, it’s no great feat to thumb through a few hundred thousand words and find statements that don’t match, or be able to prove and disprove virtually anything. It’s an occupational hazard for anyone who writes, and the hazards increase the better one is at it, but make no mistake: I’ve always quite enjoyed being articulate in a dunderhead’s world.

I’ve always found it strange that for some people, seemingly the highest aspiration in life is to first form an opinion, and then to doggedly stick with it from early childhood until dementia and death, all the while remaining oblivious to surroundings that have no constant feature other than perpetual change.

In political terms, both Matthews and Fluhr would have you think that I’ve scandalously flip-flopped, having once doubted the merits of Doug England, and now jumped aboard the ex-mayor’s bandwagon. Really? Seeing that my candidate lost in the primary, what am I to do now, sit out the general election in protest? My publicly stated misgivings have been considered privately by the candidate himself, and if the answers I’ve received are not entirely to my satisfaction, we’re close enough for rock and roll.

Why doesn’t England’s opponent ask these same questions at a public forum? Perhaps he will, yet.

Besides, didn’t the sainted Ronald Reagan switch political parties? Just like Reagan, for whom I hold little affection, I have a core set of principles that motivate me, with varying degrees of success, to face the passing days. Like anyone, I endeavor to stay with the program. Like anyone, I experience success and failure. But with experience, and by trials and error, my core set of principles has evolved, and certainly will continue to do so.

In the end, to me, elections may be zero-sum contests – one person wins, another loses (Al Gore believes there is a third possibility), but politics and ideas are non-zero-sum propositions. All is flux, adaptation, and evolution.

Hoosierpundit’s morbid interest in my level of self-confidence is duly noted. Alas, his own respect for discourse must be flagging, as – yes — no comments are allowed at his blog.

Have I yawned yet? No? Must be time for a beer.