The Lonely Centrist

A place for reasoned debate about the issues of the day.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Sorry Honey, I Forgot Your Anniversary

A year has come and gone since this little blog got started. In fact, more than a year - we hit the one year mark on July 10. And completely forgot about it.

The Lonely Centrist hasn't quite played out as I thought. Originally, I was to have a partner, but at the last minute he pulled out, for reasons I think perfectly appropriate. The blog's focus has been more narrow than I had anticipated - we had envisioned a site for general discussion of politics and issues, but it seems I focus mainly on campaign finance and political reform issues, althought I try to raise some other topics now and again. This is because - and it seems strange to me - I find increasingly that I've lost my interest in debating policy. Perhaps the same impulse that led me to feel detached from my friends of both left and right has simply left me tired of politics.

I've also found how tough it is to keep up a good blog, especially alone. Originally, we'd hoped to add in, for example, classic movie reviews, like this one, each week-end. That's also fallen off. Too often this blog has gone dark for several days at a time.

Still, I'm not prepared to give it up. My campaign finance commentary, in particular, has drawn some attention. Winfield Myers at the Democracy Project gave me an early boost. Mike Krempasky of the popular Red State called the Lonely Centrist "the best underrated blog you've never read," which I'm pretty sure is a compliment. Matt Johnston of Going to the Matt did a nice profile/interview on me.

Rick Hasen of Election Law Blog kind of likes the blog. He seems really put out that I blog anonymously or consider myself a centrist. While admitting that I "know a great deal about election law," he seems to think my posts cannot be evaluated on their own merit. (That, of course, is one thing I dislike about campaign finance law - it takes the focus off the issues and puts it on the speaker.) Anyway, he has linked here without shame, and I appreciate it - even if anonymity prohibits me from thanking you in person, Rick.

Not everyone liked the blog. Perhaps the most controversial thing I've published is a series of posts on the politicized career staff at the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. See here and here. Some complained that I was attacking the backgrounds of Justice bureaucrats, while my own background remains unknown. But they miss the point. I don't claim any legitimacy for my views based on my background. The Department of Justice bureaucrats and their fans were making precisely that claim - that their backgrounds entitled their opinions to special respect as non-partisan, non-ideological interpretations of the law. I merely pointed out - with nothing but facts - that that was open to question.

The DOJ posts drove readership to a record level in January, but unfortunately I was unable to build on the momentum and as I rarely had time to post in February and March.

Anyway, I hope - and in the areas of Voting Rights Act Enforcement and Campaign Finance, think I have - contributed something meaningful to the debate. I appreciate those of you who come here regularly. I'll try to post more regularly, too.


  • The Skeptic
  • Andrew Sullivan
  • Michael Barone
  • The New Republic
  • National Review
  • Democracy Project
  • Bob Bauer
  • Center for Competitive Politics
  • Ryan Sager
  • Going to the Matt
  • Professor Bainbridge
  • Volokh Conspiracy
  • Mystery Pollster
  • Amitai Etzioni
  • Alexander Chrenkoff
  • Middle East Media Research Institute
  • Right Democrat
  • Democrats for Life