Yesterday I read that “truthers” and “birthers” had been banned from the RedState Blog. So, just for fun, I peeked in on it. There were several posts by Erick Erickson explaining why he made this decision. Fine. It’s his blog, he can do as he chooses with it. I wouldn’t have banned anyone. A few fruits and nuts make the salad more interesting, in my opinion. But RedState is very successful, so Erikson must have the correct instincts.

But while reading I came across an interesting discussion posted by a new member. He said he had been banned from two leftie blogs, and wanted to start posting on RedState. What struck me were the replies he got to the discussion. Many were polite and welcoming, but about half were in the “you need to say what we want to hear or we’ll kick you off” vein. They were warnings, even threats. They said this is not a debating blog, but a blog that promotes mainstream Republicanism, whatever that is.

I was kicked off RedState when I published a diary about the meaning of Republican RINOs. My definition did not fit in with the officially sanctioned RedState definition. I was attacked, mostly with name calling, and a few scattered well reasoned replies. When I mentioned that I live in China the personal attacks and name calling got worse. Then I was disappeared. It was the only time I have been kicked off a blog.

It’s amazing to me that a closed minded, incestuous, blog like RedState can thrive as it does. Obviously Erick Erickson knows something I do not. His blog is extremely popular and influential. But the one thing that strikes me as most interesting is that Republicans are not at all interested in free speech or open debate. Like the old U.S.S.R., you follow the party line, or else.

If RedState represents Republicanism, we should all be very afraid.