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To which Loesch shot back, "She's not my friend because friends don't do that. I'm not debating lies and hate written for hate. THE END."
Best-Oliver: "Quit making yourself out to be a victim." "Sounds like a good opportunity for constructive debate."
Loesch: "Calling someone a teabagger while asking for a constructive debate seems a bit ironic."
Best-Oliver: "Pretty sure the group itself has used that term frequently. Until they got mocked for it. So, yeah, not ironic." (Best-Oliver contributes to the RFT's food blog.)
It wasn't long ago that Judy and Loesch were friends, having struck up a relationship through the blogosphere and working to incorporate the St. Louis Bloggers Guild. "I feel like I'm disappointed by her method more than her message," says Judy, adding, "I feel like she takes it very personally when people disagree with her. For me, if I did that as a political writer, I'd have to be on Xanax. In her case I think it's part of a persona that is working for her."
Loesch's activism got in the way of a relationship with Craig Wagner, a longtime liberal friend of Chris who helped Dana with her website but quit last fall. "Mostly I try to keep politics out of friendship, but it gets to a point where you've got to put your foot down sometimes," Wagner says. "I mean, would Dana do free work for the Kennedys?"
Other liberal friends, such as Steve Truesdell, a photographer, have no problem calling Loesch to the mat. "You have the character of a Hate radio DJ down pat," Truesdell wrote in an e-mail to Loesch in October. "Your continued rise in this arena will be fun to watch. You have the aggression, the looks, and the vocab to go far in 'Hate broadcasting' and right wing idolatry. Do be careful though, one day the outrage you urge in others will turn to violence and innocent people will die in your name. This is assured. That is a lot to live with, even when one has Religious righteousness and a fervent belief in their absolute rightness. I hope when that day comes you can live with the results of what you have sown."
Says Truesdell: "I do like her, and a couple times a year we'll be at a social event and have a nice conversation. I do think there's a good heart there; I just disagree with everything above the neck." (Truesdell occasionally contributes photos to the RFT's website.)
Loesch has written repeatedly on Mamalogues about her dismay at losing friendships because of her politics. "It's not like people come to our house and we try to baptize them or convert them to conservatism," she says. "That's what makes me the angriest: I have never ever changed who I am or what I believed. The only thing I changed was that I just came out with it."
It's not as though Loesch's delivery strikes a chord with every conservative. "I really like her, and I find being with her to be really inspiring," observes Alanna Kellogg, a local food blogger. "At the same time, when I read her work — and I'm a conservative, so in many senses I should be a part of her chorus — I find it shrill. I would love to see her ground herself in history, political theory, more substance."
Loesch has wrestled with outing herself politically on Mamalogues. At the initial mentions of conservative views, she encountered pushback from liberal readers. She hemmed and hawed and finally censored herself — then struggled with that decision, too.
But in her opening entry of 2010, Loesch spouted off "SFW" — "so bleeping what" — to readers who want her to save the soapbox for the airwaves, and going forward she resolved to write whatever she pleases. "I'm going to say this: I'm not slighting men (and I don't have to preface every thing I say about women with 'no offense to you men' because it's ridiculous) but women have a different, not greater, different, relationship with their children. When you birth or adopt a child, nurse him in his infancy, when you can literally discern your individual children's scents, when it's woven into your very DNA to protect, protect, protect, nurture, nurture, nurture that child, you're going to pay attention to an election, the winner of which who [sic] could decide whether or not that infant you raised and know so well is going to war or whether or not he or she will have a world left when they grow up.
"Being a mother is a political act and a gigantic leap of faith."
What does the immediate future hold for Dana Loesch?
As a "momfluential": maybe some lucrative endorsement deals (Loesch currently pimps HP printers in a web-mercial). As a professional talker: a cushier 97.1 slot during daytime radio hours, from two to four o'clock, beginning March 1. As an activist with a celebrity following: appearances at conservative gatherings both established (Conservative Political Action Conference 2010) and parvenu (the Liberty Ship, a Caribbean cruise).
"If she stays focused on what is important and keeps plugging away, anything is possible," offers Michael Savage, who applauds Loesch's "energy level" and "passion" in an e-mail. "Dana is doing well, especially for her age. [She] must keep being persistent and keep up the fight."
A third child? Probably not. A run for office? Ditto. "It seems like absolute torture," says Loesch, adding, "You'd have to play a character all the time."
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