Saturday, November 03, 2007

Top of the Blogs

Crooked Timber invites nominations for the five best blog posts ever. The following spring to mind:

(1) Hilzoy's 'Hatred is a Poison'.

(2) Hilzoy on 'Liberating Iraq' (and the distorting effect of violence more generally)

(3) Katherine's series on "extraordinary rendition".

(4) Jason Kuznicki's 'On Nurturing as the True Purpose of Marriage'.

(5) Fafblog with The Priest-Avatar of the State:
[The President] exists not to guide the nation to where it should be. He exists to project an image of what it wants to be.

America doesn't need a President to lead them; America needs a President who projects leadership. America doesn't need a President who's honest with his country; America needs a President who's honest with his wife. America doesn't need a President with a firm grasp of policy and a commitment to serving his country; America needs a President with the appearance of irrepressible optimism and Wholesome Heartland Values. America doesn't need a capable wartime President; America needs a President who makes himself look like war.

And President Bush has done a magnificent job of that. Indeed, he's even started a couple of them. Remember, it's not the President's job to finish or win wars - that falls into the lower realm of policy. But within the realm of Strength - or the apprearance of Strength - it is the Strong Leader who charges boldly into wars, undaunted by the humdrum webs of "post-war planning" and laborious "coalition-building" called for by "sensitive" policy-makers.

The job of the President of the United States is to forcefully emote the conscious and unconscious will of the American People. He is not the commander-in-chief. He is the Happy Warrior. He is the Priest-Avatar of the State.

(Again, Hilzoy offers the best serious version.)

Others have suggested Jacob Levy's contrasting of political theory and political philosophy, and Jack Balkin's 'What I learned about blogging in a year' - which is all the conventional wisdom now, but pretty insightful for its day (Jan 2004!).

Any other suggestions?


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