Nashville is Talking's Christian Grantham says that it would be "nice to see some liberal bloggers stand up to elected officials who work with private developers to seize people's personal property." I agree. It would be nice to see liberal bloggers stand up to elected officials who work with private developers under many different conditions; that possibility is one of the reasons why I write Enclave, including posting on eminent domain issues. Local liberal bloggers seem generally uninterested in development issues.
But I also feel ambivalent about the degree to which conservatives leap to fight eminent domain on an overblown and sweeping premise of property rights. Besides the fact that I have a whole bunch of items I feel the need to write about, I have been less motivated to jump on this story because of the speed to which conservative bloggers he mentioned jumped to it in the name of overwrought property rights (which I believe should be balanced by a host of other human rights).
I believe that if developers or other corporate entities--instead of governments--were the primary agents involved in taking a person's land, conservative outrage would evaporate because their axes are generally not ground against taking people's land, but against anything that the government does beyond maintaining a military, leveraging tax money for private interests, or appointing conservative ideologues to government positions. Christian seems a bit naive in assuming that conservative bloggers are fighting private interests rather than taking up their usual crusade against government.
Maybe if there had been less shoot-from-the-right-hip zeal about this problem, I would have felt a sense of urgency to write against it (rather than writing on the subjects I have. And I naturally gravitate to underreported stories to begin with). But no one can accuse me of falling absolutely the other way: I am just as hard on government abuses as anyone else, but I don't give strong-arming businesses a free pass as others do.
As long as Christian is insinuating hypocrisy on the part of liberal bloggers, I have my own questions. One of those: if conservative bloggers are so committed to law-and-order and crime-fighting why haven't any of them joined me in calling upon the State of Tennessee to provide overnight security measures for public properties widely used like Bicentennial Mall State Park? And another: why hasn't Nashville is Talking encouraged them to do so?