Another blog bit the dust this week. Long-time radical right-wing shouter Bob Ellis posted his last post on American Clarion this week.
You may not have noticed, because, despite all the attention Ellis says his website got him (links by Limbaugh, USA Today, BBC; interviews with NPR, Newsweek, NBC, BBC… really?), Ellis appears never to have entered into South Dakota’s mainstream consciousness. I chose not to include his American Clarion RSS feed or the Dakota Voice feed that preceded it in my South Dakota Blogosphere ticker in my blog sidebar because Ellis usually strayed from actual South Dakota news to focus on recycled rants from the national arch-right third-tier media. Ellis’s most recent content reflects that bias toward far-flung rhetoric with no connection to South Dakota. Prior to his farewell, Ellis’s six most recent posts pop up in his National feed…and tellingly, five of those articles drew zero comments, while the sixth drew one. His South Dakota feed shows only five posts between March 24 and May 10, and one deals with a presentation on “How to Speak Communist” and another is about World War II history. Ellis put up a lot of videos of legislative crackerbarrels but not much analysis. Ellis offers nothing about nonmeandered waters, nothing about our gubernatorial candidates, and nothing that doesn’t fit his paradigm of guns, patriotism, and the evils of liberalism. If you wanted to keep up with South Dakota politics, you didn’t read American Clarion.
Ellis uses the word whore four times in his article to blast the fellow conservatives whom he feels have sold out their professed values. Yet right next to that blistering critique is Ellis’s sidebar filled with clickbait ads with busty women promising better results than Viagra in stiffening one’s willie, plus a Biblical cure for body fat.
Whoring? Takes one to know one, Bob.
Ellis been offering the same tired recitations of extremist right-wing fantasies for over a decade. The critique I offered of his exertions in 2007 remains valid—he and fellow conservative warriors against the evil Left (like Steve Sibson, long lost in anti-Heidelberger obsession) are missing the real corporate fascist threat to their professed religious values:
Bob and Sibby aren’t completely wrong. There is a vast secular, globalist threat to Christianity and family values, perpetrated by amoral agents devoted only to increasing their own power. it’s called global corporate capitalism. Corporations have no God, no morality. Corporations care by design and duty for nothing but increased profits. They don’t care what god you worship or what country you live in: they just want your money, your labor, and your loyalty/slavery [CA Heidelberger, “Bob Ellis and Steve Sibson: Deluded Tools of the Plutocracy,” Madville Times, 2007.12.28].
Ellis makes no mention of his conservative competitor Pat Powers (we should say ally, but Ellis would surely lump Powers in with the whoring RINOs he sees corrupting his party and country). Powers says less about Ellis than I do, dismissing him as “bitter,” sarcastically calling Ellis’s swansong as a “gracious exit,” but chickening out of a complete analysis, response, or fare-the-well.
Ellis heads out the door by redirecting his few lingering readers to the same sort of narrow, echo-chamber bloggings that will leave his readers uninformed and detached from the practical politics of South Dakota:
I’d encourage you–one of that remnant of people who is still dedicated to what is right–to stay informed (as I will be) by patronizing good sources of information that won’t whore out their values, that won’t water down the truth to curry favor with feckless betrayers of what we believe in, that will tell the truth even when it costs them. Here in South Dakota, a continuing source is the Right Side; I wish there were more, but the Right has become so corrupted here that most of the good people have beaten into silence or seduced into joining the dark side. Nationally, you can find the straight stuff at places like RedState and Resurgent. Don’t waste your time on “Right” wing propaganda sites (that use to be reliable) like Breitbart, Drudge and Fox News. And now that Rush Limbaugh can no longer be relied on to stand for conservatism, Steve Deace is my go-to guy on a daily basis (and in addition to hard-hitting conservatism, Deace brings to the table what Rush Limbaugh never did: the life-transforming Truth of a Biblical worldview) [Bob Ellis, “The Final American Clarion Article,” American Clarion, 2017.06.01].
The only South Dakota blog Ellis finds worth mentioning is Gordon Howie’s Right Side. I like Gordon. I’ve sat down and done blog videos with Gordon. I’ve had fun interacting with Gordon, whose legislative experience seems to help him keep at least one toe in the world of practical South Dakota politics. But for the most part, Gordon’s blogging is a fluffier-puffier revival tent version of Bob’s, dwelling on generic anti-Left hollerings that reinforce prejudices rather than informing readers about what’s happening in South Dakota. (That, and he fell for Annette Bosworth. Gordon, Gordon, Gordon….) That lack of South Dakota-specific information is why Right Side won’t be popping into my sidebar feeds… and why, like most of the soon-to-be deleted content on the now-defunct American Clarion, most posts on Right Side go without comment. If you want a blog to last, you have to write something worth talking about. That’s why Bob Ellis is gone and why almost no South Dakotans will notice.