…can never be defeated.
I finally managed to join 2004 and start using a RSS-based blog reader (Bloglines, in my case), which has meant that instead of randomly popping out to read blogs when I’m on boring phone calls (or procrastinating to avoid making boring phone calls), I now tend to just, robot-like, click down an alphabetical list of 62 blogs and newsfeeds (I’ll append the list).
And it’s kind of depressing.
Most of the blogs I read are fully engaged in electoral politics, which is on one hand good because it’s an important election and it’s neat to see citizen’s media play an important role in it, and on the other hand bad because the level of partisan venom is just stupefying.
Here’s a quick shoutout to my fellow bloggers.
It’s going to be a damn important election, there’s no question. But guess what. As much as there are at least two dozen people I’d rather have as president than either George Bush or John Kerry, one of those two will be our president on January 20, 2005. He’ll have to lead the country through what will be one of the most challenging periods in our history as we try and fight a low-intensity war and keep it from becoming a high-intensity one.
The biggest threat they will face isn’t Islamist terrorism, European intransigence, Chinese economic power, or Iranian nukes. It will be a polity paralyzed by internal rage, distrust, and contempt. If we – as a nation and as citizens – can manage to engage each other in constructive ways, I am certain that we will beat whatever events throw at us.
Go read Josh Marshall or Wizbang. Or look at how Kevin Drum’s rhetoric has changed over the year. These aren’t semi-humorous blogs like Scrappleface or IMAO. They are serious commentators on the events of the day, people who I take seriously, and their rhetoric displays exactly what it is that I’m afraid of. I used to comment (as snark) that Matt Yglesias’ overheated partisan rhetoric meant he was trying out for the DNC. That’s less funny in light of Atrios’ and Oliver Willis’ employment, but I wonder why it is that the amateurs are working so hard to outdo the professionals at thuggery.
It would be nice if we could all – acknowledging that we have sides – work to make the professionals a little bit ashamed instead.
It’s interesting how Dean Esmay’s challenge has fallen off the radar.
For what it’s worth, here are the blogs in my reader:
Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Dish
Brad DeLong’s Semi-Daily Journal: A Weblog
Daniel W. Drezner
DRUDGE REPORT 2004
Hit & Run
Howard Lovy’s NanoBot
IRAQ THE MODEL
Little Green Footballs
Los Angeles Times
Mark A. R. Kleiman
One Hand Clapping
Outside The Beltway
Priorities & Frivolities
Roger L. Simon
Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall
TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
The Idea Shop
The New Republic Weblogs
The New York Times > Home Page
The New York Times > Opinion
The Southern California Law Blog
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Washington Monthly
War and Piece