Gary has been kind enough to invite me to post here, and I'm overcoming some real jitters to give it a try.
Obsidian Wings! One of the top blog sites and one of the top online communities of the past decade, hence pretty much of all time. Writing that could make you simultaneously rend your garments and thank the gods somebody, somewhere had the guts and the gift to say it - whether as writers like Katherine, Publius, Lindsay, Hilzoy, Eric, or G'Kar/Andrew, or commenters like Nell, KCinDC, or Gary. (Just to name a few, and not to overlook the rest.) Still not sure I'll belong.
Aside from jitters, though, I was also not sure how I'd fit with ObWi's recognizable "voice" -- probably basically hilzoy's, but somehow the whole site's as well.
I nevertheless think I've sometimes written some fairly good stuff there, usually when I stick to a topic for a while, learn more about it, research it, and finally start to get across to *myself* what the heck interests me about it.
Nor will I obsessively track how the Democrats fritter away what remains of the victories I advocated and helped work for in 2006 and 2008. I wish them -- that is, their leadership -- continued and deserved ill fortune, so that perhaps a better, more self-confident, truly progressive party can rise from their ashes.
Now you will say "but that's not being a voice of moderation at all, Thomas!" And of course you are right. But also, of course, it's not being much of anything else either: it's not as if I'm out on the hustings debating Barack Obama one day and buying ads to try to beat Van Hollen or O'Malley here in Maryland the next.
Instead, my latest jags, crusades, jihads (d'oh!), call them what you will are, of all things... drumroll: opposing bag searches in the DC Metro subway system, and a "Local Civil Rights Restoration Act."
More on those in future posts.
For now, I leave with the claim that these are in fact, moderate goals pursued at a very nearly feasible level -- my little corner of the world, which is more or less southern Montgomery County, Maryland and the metropolitan DC area. Despite the smallness of scale, the issues and the arena are often a microcosm of the tragedies and comedies of American politics today. At any rate, they are goals pursued in an arena I can work in, rather than just write about at my blog. (And now write about here, at least for a while.)
I'm also moderate in another way: I can never forget how deeply wrong I've been before, and therefore may be now. My most memorable moment of deep wrongness was when I handwringingly decided I supported the Iraq War after all, a month or so before it began, and wrote a post that was well received in all the wrong places as evidence that "even" liberals like me could be brought around to solving intractable problems by blowing stuff up. I can understand if some were to find that unforgivable, since I do so myself when I give it too much thought.
That's all for now.
(Gary wishes it noted that he included the links about Thomas, who is too modest, and people shouldn't think he's immodest enough to include them himself.)