September 05, 2004

I Quit Quitting

Or, "My name is Charles, and I'm a blogaholic."

Ok, I'm back.

I do so with some trepidation since, as Kevin Murphy noted, I've quit twice already, and my obsessive compulsive tendencies will almost certainly return with posting. Thanks to all who left kind, encouraging comments below and in e-mail. It means a lot to me and is the primary reason for returning so soon.

While I was away...

The Republicans held their quadrennial party in New York with a number of rousing speeches, successfully painting a stark contrast between their guy and the other guy. My jaw, as with so many others, dropped during Zell's speech. You rarely see such passion backed with reason these days. Oh, passion is everywhere in politics these days, but it does tend to be rather hollow upon close examination. Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall when Senator Miller and Senator Kerry happen to encounter each other in the Capitol? Of course, Senator Kerry would have to actually show up to work for that to happen.

Steven Den Beste retired, and if anybody in the blogosphere has earned a break he certainly has. Andrew Sullivan returned from vacation. Alas, Andrew's focus like a laser beam on one issue continues to give him myopia on so many other big picture issues. It's sad, really, but not nearly as sad as the total breakdown of civility on the part of the Angry Left. Whether it Susan Estrich advocating dirty tricks or Matthew Yglesias' foul-mouthed ad hominem attacks on Glenn Reynolds, or Matt Welch and Ken Layne losing control over at Reason's convention blog, the immense investment they have in defeating Bush coupled with their own self-righteousness has left them psychologically poorly prepared to deal with this hard, rude encounter with reality. Alas, it is probably only going to get worse for a while.

And what is this endless fascination politicians have with "fighting" to get something accomplished. In these days of zero tolerance for violence in our schools, wouldn't they set a better example by working for a solution, engineering a new approach, or even negotiating a compromise for a win-win outcome? Is this a byproduct of a view that politics is necessarily a zero-sum game which can only be won by making someone else lose? Come on guys, clean up your act and your language. Do it for The Children™.

President Bill Clinton apparently had a heart attack. Get well soon, sir. Why do so many on the right generally qualify this by saying something like, "we may not agree on much, but..." Politics is ugly enough these days without introducing it into a good-hearted wish for health and recovery. "Best wishes" shouldn't be burdened with a qualifier of any type. But I will note that Senator Hillary Clinton took the opportunity to lobby for universal health care, thereby turning the intensely personal into the political.

Some bastards that need (needed?) killing took over a school and murdered over 300 people, most of them children, in Russia. Will Arundhati Roy now loudly start asking, "Russian shoolchildren, why are you so hated?" The responses to this heinous act around the world have been quite telling, and not always in a good way. I expect things to get very bloody and brutal there soon as President Putin makes a point. And then another point. And another. And still another.

Speaking of bastards that need killing:

An extremist Islamic cleric based in Britain said yesterday that he would support hostage-taking at British schools if carried out by terrorists with a just cause. Omar Bakri Mohammed, the spiritual leader of the extremist sect al-Muhajiroun, said that holding women and children hostage would be a reasonable course of action for a Muslim who has suffered under British rule.

No further comment necessary on that one, is there?

President Bush has jumped out to a significant lead in the polls. It won't last though, will it?

There, that wasn't so hard. I almost feel normal. At least I can stop e-mailing my fellow bloggers with ideas I had while I wasn't blogging. Now, back to work.

Posted by Charles Austin at September 5, 2004 08:35 PM

Aw man, I knew I should have started a pool.

Posted by: Tanya at 04:39 PM

Glad you're hooked, er, back.

Posted by: Russ at 05:03 PM

What was it that Michael Corleone said...

"Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in!"

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 07:25 PM

Oh hey -- I didn't realize html was turned off. (Or if I did, I forgot. Hey, I take care of my clients!) It was nothing, just a link to IMDB's Gofather III page, but do you want me to turn html coding on? It's restricted by Sanitize so people can't fill your comment thread with pr0n jpegs and bad scripts.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 07:28 PM

Nice to have you back, Charles. You are funny.

Posted by: David at 01:00 AM

Well, I had good thoughts about you, and had a hunch you'd dip your toes back into the blogopool. It really is an affliction.

I keep getting this John Sebastian tune going through my head:
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

[If you keep going this way you could be known as the Mr. Kot-ter of blogging.]

Posted by: MarcV at 02:15 PM