The MSM and blogs are coevolving into . . . who knows what. I’ll leave the details for the techies to sort out in the future, but right now no one with even a passing interest in politics can keep up with the conversation without reading certain blogs–or talking to someone who does.
- In Illinois, Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax Blog and its cousin Illinoize–a metablog incorporating many points of view–are the best. This morning Miller drew on Tribune reporting to make clear the fact that Gov. Blagojevich’s administration is setting up the same defense that Mayor Daley patronage chief Robert Sorich tried. Sorich claimed he only made “recommendations.” That defense didn’t save him, and Miller thinks it’s unlikely to work for Blago.
- In the U.S., Brad De Long’s Semi-Daily Journal is a gateway drug. Thursday morning he drew on New York Times analysis and other sources to explain why the upset of incumbent Senator Joseph Lieberman in the Connecticut primary was an uprising of “irate moderates.” In the process he pulverized what little is left of Washington Post columnist David Broder’s reputation.
- For those who’d rather think about politics than commit it, Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution has a splendid post (“The Libertarian Vice”) explaining how libertarians often beg the question: “The libertarian vice is to assume that the quality of government is fixed. . . . But sometimes governments do a pretty good job, even if you like me are generally skeptical of government. The Finnish government has supported superb architecture. The Swedes have made a good go at a welfare state. The interstate highway system in the U.S. was a high-return investment. In the area of foreign policy, we have done a good job juggling the China-Taiwan relationship. . . . It is possible to agree with the positive claims of libertarians about the virtues of markets but still think that improving the quality of government is the central task before us. One could love markets yet be some version of a modern liberal rather than a classical liberal. This possibility makes libertarians nervous, thus their desire to fix the quality of government in advance of making an argument.” Oh, just read the whole thing. (FYI: He links to his May 2, 2005, post on the characteristic vice of liberalism: “The modern liberal vice is to think that everyone can be taken care of.”)
A few years ago, I had to subscribe to multiple magazines–and wait up to a month–to find this much great reading. Now all this and more is at our fingertips every day.