Friday, December 18, 2009

Political Silence

A commenter on the post below left a polite request for political discussion. ("You were a strong and vocal supporter of the Obama campaign and there were vigorous debates on a variety of topics. Now that the President has been in office for almost a year and his agenda is actually taking shape with real and actual consequences, there is a complete lack of comment or discussion.")

I'll do my best to compose some thoughts about this in the next week or two. As for the silence, there are a few reasons for it, none of them conspiratorial (or particularly flattering to me). The primary reason is simply that the blog as a whole has suffered from my attention to other projects. The rate of posting has slowed in general, as has the rate of posts that are primarily made up of my own original thoughts and writing. So that's one thing. Another is that, like many people, I get caught up in the uncertainty of an election cycle in a way that I don't get caught up in the day to day workings of government. Or, put a way that's slightly more generous to myself, and that better explains the blog's emphasis: I like sharing what I think about an election, whereas in my everyday life (and in my usual role as a blogger) I'm not a particularly activist person. My politics tend toward the middle of the road, and toward the analysis of both sides of an argument, which doesn't always make for exciting posts.

But there are probably two other things that help to explain the fall-off in politics around here: 1. I like Obama. And by that, I don't mean I like everything he does or I believe that I know the beneficent consequences that all of his proposed policies will have. But I identify with him, in the way that other people identify with George Bush or Hillary Clinton. (Does anyone identify with someone like Al Gore? Didn't think so.) This means, among other things, that I sense my lack of objectivity about him. I'm rooting for him. 2. I don't think he's The Answer. (With apologies to Allen Iverson, I don't think he is either.) The fact that I liked him -- and that I did/do strongly believe he was the best choice in '08 -- sometimes made it hard for me to convince certain blog readers that I didn't buy into the more messianic elements of his supporters. I'm a pretty cynical person, though I try not to lead with that, and I don't think I react to politics much differently than I did pre-Obama. And I still believe that a president -- I would say the same about Bush, et al. -- is not a one-stop shop for political analysis. There's Lieberman, Pelosi, Reid, the Republicans, the press, the public....

I do have thoughts about all those things (including Obama), and like I said, I'll try to put them together in some coherent (or semi-coherent) fashion before too long.


Blogger Dezmond said...

Obama's a commie.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... much for political discussion...
You Dezmond are an idiot, which you probably will enjoy hearing.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Mattathias Schwartz says in his recent Harper's article, The Church of Warren Buffett" --

"Like most drudge work, thinking is an undertaking that Americans would rather sub-contract to someone else."

12:23 PM  
Blogger Dezmond said...

Yes, I do enjoy hearing that. Immensely.

12:10 PM  

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