Cali Valley Girl
Blogging from Germany
National Summary had the opportunity to interview Britt from Cali Valley Girl to ask her about the web site she runs and about her insight to politics.
Britt publishes Cali Valley Girl from Germany and has a passion for military issues.
Below are her responses to our interview questions. And National Summary would like to thank Britt for her time and effort for this interview.
Web Site: Cali Valley Girl
Q. Please give us a little bit of personal background about yourself.
27 years old, and finishing up my masters in history. Originally from Los Angeles, I have been living in Germany for the past 9 years.
Q. And also give us a background about your interest in politics and in military issues.
I think that my parents are largely responsible for the way I think about things, they are conservative hippies. No, that is not an oxymoron. I see government with more of a Libertarian stance than a traditional conservative stance. However, I agree with conservatives on more issues than I do with liberals.
My interest in military issues began with the conflict in Iraq. I communicated with a few soldiers by email and chat to try and get a more personal picture of things (this was before milblogs were big). What initially started as simple curiosity about military life became more personal when I met my boyfriend, an active duty soldier stationed in Germany. He has since deployed to Afghanistan.
Q. What inspired you to create your web site?
The reasoning was twofold. I like to yak a lot, but don’t want to burden my friends with my babble or bombard their email accounts with my rants. A blog consolidated that nicely. Plus, I wanted desperately to be noticed by Sarah of Trying to Grok.com. And I figured that if I started a blog, she might respond to my stalking emails. And it worked!
Q. What have been the biggest challenges to maintaining your web site?
Inspiration comes and goes. Sometimes I feel bad when I don’t post something substantial for a while, but a commenter once reminded me that it was my own blog, and I wasn’t obligated to constantly posting. Lately I have been feeling a little brain dead since I am focusing on my final exams and prepping for those. Hopefully inspiration will return again soon.
Q. What has been the greatest satisfaction you have gotten from your web site?
Communicating with other bloggers or people who read my blog. Very interesting and supportive people. When a helicopter from my boyfriend’s unit crashed in April, the support I got from people reading my blog during those days of uncertainty was overwhelming.
Also the response I get from girlfriends of deployed soldiers. Our status is not official in the eyes of the military, but we still care for our significant others just as much as military wives do, while not always getting the recognition and support that they do. So it’s always nice to find kindred souls online, and I have met a few through my blog.
Q. The 2004 presidential election has been one of the most polarized elections in recent memory. Do you think that today people are more politicized than ever before?
The Iraq War has really politicized many people. In a way, it’s almost “sexed up” politics. It’s impossible not to have an opinion on the conflict. It’s hard to find other issues like that. Abortion comes close, but the war in Iraq is more powerful: pictures of it are on the news everyday. Everyone knows someone who is over there, or knows of someone.
Q. Do you think the bitterness and divisiveness in politics will recede or are things just getting ready for something bigger in 2008?
I think it is the natural ebb and flow of politics. I think there was a certain bitterness during Clinton’s administration with the Lewinsky Affair and the Starr Report.
Q. The president’s approval ratings are dismal. In your honest opinion, do you think that the media has been unfairly biased against the George W. Bush especially in regards to the Iraqi war?
Q. If so (to the above question), do you think that the Democrats have gotten a free ride from the press?
No. I think the press tends to be more liberal, but they will rip anyone to pieces. They love a good scandal. Scandal-free politics just doesn’t make for good news.
Q. What has been your overall impression of the Bush administration, especially in the handling of the war?
For the most part I am satisfied with the administration. You can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time. Since I am more a Libertarian than a Republican, I am of course not 100%. However, I am satisfied. I certainly don’t pull my hair out and think the sky is going to fall on us.
I am impressed by the President’s team. Especially Rumsfeld and Condi. Can’t say I have a soft-spot for Rove, but he definitely orchestrated the re-election, so I can’t complain.
Mistakes have been made in Iraq, but mistakes were made in every war. The administration and the military learn and adapt. Over all, the administration had done pretty well in Iraq. I appreciate their decisiveness, and the fact that they stick to their guns even under massive pressure.
Q. Who do you see as being the major contenders for the 2008 Republican nomination for president?
Hopefully, Rudy. I haven’t really thought about anyone else.
Q. Who do you think will be the 2008 Republican nominee?
Ditto to above.
Q. Who do you think would be the worst 2008 Republican nominee?
Other than Karl Rove and Dick Cheney? Jeb Bush. New blood needs to come into the Republican Party, someone with not too many connections to the Bush family.
Q. Who do you think are today’s most influential conservative female authors, columnists, or bloggers?
Obviously the big names like Anne Coulter and Michelle Malkin, although I have to admit to not reading them that often.
I like Corie Dauber’s Ranting Profs:
although they aren’t really that well-known.
Q. Is there a female author or politician that has greatly inspired you?
Wow…I feel bad for answering ‘no’ here. I mean, other than Condi having a wicked sense of fashion…I mean, those black leather boots are killer.
Q. There are so few women in the blogosphere. What is your opinion on why there are so few?
Honestly? I think married men have more time to type things up on the computer than married women do. I know it sounds pathetically sexist, but I think women are doing more around the house and taking care of the family, while men are clicking away at their keyboards.
And I would also venture to guess that among female bloggers the percentage of unmarrieds, is higher than among male bloggers. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but I think it follows the same logic as to why women are underrepresented in a lot of upper-management positions.
Q. Many segments of the media have all but declared Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. What kind of impact do you think she will have on undecided female voters?
I don’t think Hillary appeals much to conservative females. I think Condi would have an easier time getting undecideds to vote Republican, than Hillary would have getting them to vote Democrat. However, if the Republican Party’s nomination would have to be a very strong candidate to win against her. I mean, if Hillary had ran instead of Kerry last election, we might have had a different president now. Rudy versus Hillary in 2008 would be my dream.