Between the Disasterous and the Unpalatable

For someone who has been surviving on a diet of nothing but RSS feeds and political gossip for the past five years, it’s about damn time I started a blog. This is my official foray into the legendary gladiatorial arena of the political blogosphere, and I enter it with clear eyes and an open heart to all that I may encounter. I come with great respect for those blogging giants that tower above me and on whose shoulders I wish to stand.

It seems almost passe to start a political blog in 2008 – like starting a dotcom company in 2000, or dealing crack in 1989: you might still be able to catch on, but you’ve missed the heart of the wave. That said, I’ve been studying the political blogosphere these past five years, and I think I have come to understand the art. The key to political blogging is to hover somewhere between the partyline hack and the heterodox contrarian – to seem like you’ve outwitted the “conventional wisdom” in a thoroughly conventional way. I will admit that becoming a full-on, sweater wearing, jowl waggling political pundit is my dream job, but for now I retain an earnest belief in the communicative potential of new media. I want to enter into discussion with my fellow bloggers, and, god willing, a few readers (hi mom!).


I’d like for this blog to get at both the importance and absurdity of politics. Bismark famously said, “Politics is the Art of the Possible,” but I think he may have been born a century too soon. John Kenneth Galbraith less famously said, “Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.” I think Galbraith may have been the wiser.

In this vein, I think we stand at a unique, perhaps generational opportunity to transform the way America works, and reestablish our place in the world, and I certainly Hope That We Can. But I think it’s important to recognize this moment for what it is, and to seize it before it passes. These changes will require real leadership from our political class, even in the face of countervailing incentives and established interests. It will not be easy.

Yes we might!