Friday, October 01, 2004

Last but not least, Brad DeLong's website

But reading only Powerline, or only Powerline and Andrew Sullivan, would greatly underutilize the blogosphere. Unlike the mainstream media, bloggers are allowed to have a bias. The best ones are honest about it.

When I read Powerline, I am pretty sure that I am going to get a conservative opinion. Because of the way I am wired, I will often agree with it. We should all be candid and admit that a lot of us read them so intently because they say more eloquently what we were thinking individually. Okay, fair enough, but that shouldn't be the end of it.

Another blog that I read daily is run by Brad DeLong, a macroeconomist and economic historian at U.C. Berkeley who has produced some excellent scholarship, served in the Treasury in the Clinton Administration, and developed his talent for writing about economics beyond an academic audience. I read Brad’s blog because I know that he is a liberal, that he makes good points, and that, chances are, I am not going to agree with the political ideas that he espouses. But I see common ground with him on a lot of important issues—his “Why Oh Why Can’t We Have a Better Press Corps?” postings have much to recommend them as commentary on the weaknesses in our mainstream media enterprises. Responsible use of the blogosphere requires that I seek out people with whom I disagree and try to understand their reasoning.

I'll close with a "thank you" to Brad for mentioning my new endeavor on his website yesterday.

1 comment:

mjn said...

Thank you for posting the link to Fallows' take on GW's appearance on Thursday night. Fallows is the dumbest guy in the universe, in my humble opinion, but his observations on GW's demeanor Thursday night match mine. Interesting to me because I don't know of any other observers who noticed these differences from GW's usual self.

I revere this president, and so I had a far different theory on why GW did not look like himself Thursday. (However, since others are now noticing the change in George's appearance, I have no doubt by Monday at 10:00 a.m., people will wonder if GW is on drugs! Back to the physical he missed in his National Guard day!)

It's my opinion that GW is quite ill, and the peeved expressions Thursday night were not at Kerry but himself. (The truth is that I thought all four luminaries looked really really exhausted Thurday night--Laura Bush and Theresa Heinz and John Kerry and George. But why wouldn't these people be completely exhausted! Who could stand the hot and unforgiving lights of the media attention these people have been living under for the past two years! They are only human beings.) But I think there's something serious afoot in GS's tired self, and he had that look I've seen on people's faces two months before they have a heart attack. He was just plain annoyed by whatever signals his body was sending him. I think he was short of breath for one thing. He's not used to not being in peak form.

It's interesting that Blair just got out of the hospital. These two guys have been through so much these past few years, and adrenalin after a while will take a toll on anyone.

I thought George Bush's speech and breathing were labored, his posture looked weak and he seemed slouched over, and his mouth was dry. I was wishing someone would give a glass of water. It was just hard for him, because he didn't feel good physically, to know what to say to Kerry's ill-informed and dangerous opinions. I'm sure he was thinking "I can't believe what I'm hearing!" If he were not so tired (and I know it was hot that day too and perhaps that was all it was, or the strain of visiting people who had been hit four times in a single month by killer hurricanes! Or maybe it was the 35 little kids in Iraq who were blown to bits by the terrorists just a few hours before the debate. That might have caused him to want to grab Kerry by his lapels and say, "Will you wake up!"), he wouldn't have been so distracted by the thoughts Kerry was expressing. The not-feeling-good distracted him from his focus on appearing composed at all times.

He may get through the election on one last ounce of adrenalin ("I found my second wind and made it over heartbreak hill!"), but I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the hospital soon.

I think the strain of feeling defensive about the War in Iraq has been terrible on him.


I wish people would reserve their arguments for domestic policy and lay off Iraq in terms of the criticism. The criticism is not doing anybody any good, and in fact it is hurting people who are trying to help the Iraqis on to their feet. Imagine if the world had reacted constructively, even if it disagreed with George Bush's assessment and recommended action regarding Saddam Hussein but nevertheless agreed to support the UN's 17 resolutions and faced Saddam Hussein in unison--or even if they couldn't make themselves do that, after the initial phase of the war was over, they had jumped in to help with the reconstruction, running the prisons, etc. etc., the outcome would have been so different than it has been. Daniel Henninger wrote the best editorial I have ever read about a year ago for the Wall Street Journal, something like "The president cannot fight this war by himself. He needs our help."

At any rate, good luck with your new blog. I think you hit a home run your first time out! Nice going.