Now that I’m finally settled in D.C., I’d like to talk about what’s going on around here, which actually started after the primaries last year. Big changes, good changes, with more to come. There has been a change in the community, too, and that’s not over either.
First, I made a risky decision to focus on foreign policy, one of my passions, in addition to the usual fare of political analysis, my main gig. It was a jolt for some, especially after the primary season, because the wonky side of foreign policy isn’t as easily digested as the sport of campaign politics. But it’s a choice I made taking me further down a road I’ve been traveling through serious study for a very long time, long before I made it a central focus of my writing around here, though I do mix it up. This will continue and broaden, which won’t be for everyone, but it’s following my bliss, so there you have it.
Secondly, the community has shifted from last year in a dramatic way. We all know why, but considering Clinton is Secretary of State, it’s all good in my opinion. The newcomers are terrific, as was the big community we had going last year, as are the people who have been following me for over a decade.
However, some are struggling and want to rekindle the community of last year, bemoaning the tight group that finds consensus here in the comments at times. It’s intimidating for people who aren’t part of the die hard Obama chorus, which has naturally broadened since Barack Obama became president. So let me make something clear. This is a site for all opinions and political stripes, though I don’t have any patience for commenters who claim Dick Cheney is a hero, because it doesn’t foster serious debate, but is meant to bait people. That said, dissenters are welcome. In fact, I encourage you. We need more of it around here.
The one thing that is really odd is the lack of courage to engage the cliques that rise up inside the comment section, which cause it to be a bit insular. I’m getting emails about how hard it is to comment because of it. Buck up. Take a deep breath and engage. Disagree. Debate. Have a rhetorical rumble. Name calling is just that, so jump in and fight back. I can’t do this for you.
I’ve been writing on the web since 1996, so I’ve been through a lot of site incarnations. This move is a big one and it’s quite an adventure. I value everyone who stops by here every day, believe me. I learn from your debate when you choose to mix it up. I’d like to see more of it.
Also, I hope to bring the podcast back soon, though it will be different too. One thing it isn’t is the blog. Radio is entertainment; that is if you want to stay or get back on the air, though in this economy that is the biggest long shot of all. I don’t care, because I love doing radio, so I’ll do it however I can. But it’s a whole different thing than the blog, except for when I’m interviewing people on foreign policy, which I did a lot when my show was streamed live. No date, but we’ll get it going in the not too distant future.
So, to sum it up, yes, the blog has changed. It’s not for everyone, but I’m writing about what I find important. The rest will take care of itself.
Moving on… I’ll be out for a while today, so enjoy your Friday. And thanks for making this one of your stops. It means the world to me. My work is not a whim. It’s not just this blog or radio. It’s a passion I’ve had for many years to study, learn and then change my little part of the universe while exploring ideas that matter. Sharing it with those who are interested, one reader, one listener at a time.
Oh, and Happy Nowruz! President Obama has a message (available with Persian caption) for the Iranians. I second it. But I did get a chuckle imagining George W. Bush trying to do something like it, though the very effort will drive the wingnuts mad. Expect another crying fit from Glenn Beck.