After almost deciding to take my blog from semi-hiatus to full hiatus I got dragged into blogging heavily (by my standards) by something I didn't even want to talk about. As a result I got some of my biggest traffic days ever, and my highest volume ever of hate-mail, hate comments and all around hateration. I also got a lot of weird links. For one thing, I've been linked to by some lefty thingy, which calls itself - apparently without irony - "GNN", as in guerrilla news network. Heavy man . . . heav-ee. Hope those kids are prepared for when the serious shit goes down man. Wouldn't want their Williamsburg lofts to be re-possessed by their parents or anything. Vive la Revolucion! Put that Bennington College education to good use! Then there's this guy, whose ambition seems to be learning to imitate James Wolcott's blogging style. Well, we all need to have dreams. The guy who does the blog "double-plus-ungood" always seemed like a good guy to me and this post is well intentioned, but his commenters reveal some nasty, condescending, attitudes, just the kind of stuff that makes me want to round up a bunch of Jesus freaks and invade Canada. I was also linked by a lefty writing in Spanish bizarrely enough or perhaps not.
From the right the most charming link had to have been the one from this delightful little blog, where the blogger's idea of creative vituperation was to call me a "twat". (You know, in the UK that might not be such a big deal, but in the US that's a rather coarse insult. What would Jesus do?) This person also thinks that "that a lot of the 'Future & It's Enemies'/Reason magazine types are all over stem cell research, not because it might help the sick live, but because it will force the weak to die," so wit and subtlety apparently isn't their shtick.
Now, on to links that were actually thoughtful and welcome. This blog had a long, detailed rebuttal to the conservative crack-up "meme", which avoided the "Nothing to see here folks - just move along," tone that most of them had. Most excitingly (for me I mean, not you) I was actually quoted in a really good syndicated column by W. James Antle III, who is an editor at The American Conservative. The column - which appeared on a lot of websites I'd never heard of before, websites with names like Intellectual Conservative, and Men's News Daily that appeared to occupy some strange middle ground between "blog" and "publication" (though generating far fewer hits than a link from a big blog) did things with the idea of the conservative crack-up that I've yet to see anyone else do. Antle notes that both libertarians and traditionalists have long complained that the other group is taking over the Republican Party. What he does that's interesting is say that both groups are right. Social conservatives have long been thwarted on most of their goals - as this post (via Karol) succinctly shows - and despite the best efforts of libertarians the government just keeps getting bigger. According to Antle, the GOP isn't trading off one group's goals for another's, it's simply pretty much screwing everyone over. The solution is for traditionalists and libertarians, instead of fighting one another, to try to force the Party to be more accountable, which is an appealing argument that should fill a good many people with thoughts of mischief I would think.
UPDATE: And I forgot to mention the most exciting thing (again, for me not you), which is that Ramesh Ponnuru left a comment on my blog! (See last comment here). We hashed out our differences over e-mail. Essentially, he posted this, and his other snarky remarks about "SMTPs", and his somewhat vociferous comment on this blog, because he thought that Sullivan - and by extension I - were trying to claim all the "sane, moderate, thoughtful people" for our side of the debate. I took Sullivan's meaning to be that there are a lot of people who are disgusted by the overreach exhibited by Congress and by the President over the last couple of weeks, and not all of them are already card-carrying lefties who hate Bush and the Republican Congress no matter what they do. Many of them are, yes, "sane, moderate, thoughtful people" who may have voted for Republicans in the last election. Of course, there are also many "SMTPs", such as Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam, on the other side of the question as well. If that wasn't Sullivan's meaning that was most definitely my meaning, and I think it was borne out by the mini-rebellion amongst pro-Bush political bloggers that we've seen over these last 2 weeks.