It appears that my friend Gary Miller has pulled the plug on Truth vs. the Machine, which was until recently one of the key blogs on the starboard side of the Minnesota blogosphere. Gary hadn't been doing much with the blog and the other writers Gary had assembled were contributing less frequently, so it makes sense that it would quietly die.
TvM started out as a blog dedicated to following the election cycle in 2006, which was not an easy thing to do. It paid special attention to the travails of Mark Kennedy, the Republican congressman who ended up losing badly to Amy Klobuchar in the race to replace Mark Dayton in the Senate. Gary assembled some really talented people to write at the blog and it was a lively place, even as it became clear that candidate Kennedy was going nowhere. I'd argue that what was then called "Kennedy vs. the Machine" was better than Kennedy.
After the election, TvM became a place where good local conservative writers had a chance to discuss the topics of the day, but it was more than that. It was a lot of fun. Jeff Kouba provided excellent commentary on the travails of the television show "24," while Gary's brother, writing under the name "Carnivore," provided top-notch discussions of all things gun. And over the years Gary had some really outstanding talent from the local blogosphere on his team, including Doug Williams, Andy Aplikowski, Kouba, First Ringer, Pat Shortridge and Steam Valve. This was a heck of a roster and while the voices on the blog varied, they shared a sensibility that I found appealing -- they were quite serious about the issues, but no one who wrote for TvM in any of its incarnations took himself (or herself) too seriously. Gary even let me play in his sandbox, which was a great opportunity.
As Gary's day job and other responsibilities changed, I'm sure it was tough to devote the time needed to maintain the blog. These days most of Gary's creativity is channeled into his Facebook account and he has thousands of friends. It's no surprise -- he's still deadly serious about his faith and family, but his foray into social networking is usually hilarious, especially his dispatches from "Farmville," which are a bit like Hunter S. Thompson visiting Petticoat Junction.
Blogs come and go -- you have to be a bit of an obsessive to face the blank screen every day and bang something out, especially if you want to get past the received wisdom. While it was in its heyday, TvM was first-rate precisely because it wasn't about received wisdom. While I'll miss TvM, it served its purpose and served it well. Thanks, Gary.