The New Republic's columnist and blogger Jonathan Chait is not known for pulling punches. As a top name at one of the country's preeminent liberal political publications, Chait battles frequently with conservative writers, Republican politicians, and even the odd liberal. But now he's taking on a new foe: The state of Ohio. As a native of neighboring Michigan, Chait has a few thoughts about Ohioan culture and politics. He's sharing those thoughts in an ongoing series called "Life in Ohio," which had its fifth installment today. Here they are, sorted by date:
May 11: "Ohio Democrats have a new ad (via TPM) featuring a lot of shirtless guys attacking Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman. Those of you not from Ohio or the vicinity may find this confusing. As a native of Michigan, I can explain: Those were man-on-the-street interviews. This is just what Ohio is like." (Video here.)
June 10: "Life in Ohio ... an update." Chait posts the following:
June 15: "In 2004, Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio had erected a gigantic, 62' statue of Jesus alongside I-75, the north-south freeway that runs from Florida to the upper peninsula of Michigan. ... Last night it was struck by lightning and destroyed. ... Click here if you want to watch a local woman proclaim her belief that 'it's a sign, and not a good one.' Let me spell it out for you: God hates Ohio." (Images of the statue and its destruction here.)
July 14: "Sting once sang a song about how the Russians love their children, too. Apparently Ohioans do not." Chait reproduced this story:
A 56-year-old Cleves woman was sentenced to six months in jail on Wednesday after being found guilty of giving children at a church day-care center a supplement that made them sleep. Pamela Hartley was convicted in May of six counts of child endangering. Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Melissa Powers said Hartley “was knocking them out and making them sleep to make her job easier.’’August 4: "Readers of my series on life in Ohio must wonder if I am somehow cherry-picking stories to make the state look bad out of some deep-seated animus. Surely, you may wonder, even Ohio has some outposts of non-Ohioness -- a library, an antique shop, right? The answer is no." Here's the news story Chait used to prove his point:
NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH (WOIO) - A neighborhood feud over chickens is over in North Ridgeville. A judge found Richard Monaco not guilty of having too many chickens at his antique shop. Monaco keeps about 50 chickens and roosters outside the store.
He started the hobby last summer but ran into some trouble when neighbors started complaining about the noise. Bad news for his neighbors though because Monaco tells 19 action news he is also going to start raising parakeets for re-sale.