Saturday, January 2, 2010

Where I've Been

I am acutely aware of my recent blogging drought. It isn't for lack of desire or material, believe me. Rather, I have been making a concerted effort to focus my research and, consequently, my writing on a narrower range of topics. (I was also on vacation.) This will never be a simple, one or two topic blog, but my writing has been inconsistent and, at times, too reactionary. The insta-comment is inherent to the nature of blogging, but I've noticed that my reaction and desire to get a comment out right away has compromised my analysis, even in the short term. Part of this process of focus has also forced me to reevaluate my writing style and the aims of this blog.

As far as I know, I have two primary audiences that read this blog with any regularity. The first was my primary intended audience when I started this blog back in 2007: the everyday "real" American that is too busy being a productive member of society to pay attention to much of what goes on in Washington and, probably, someone who doesn't have a sophisticated or fully flushed-out political ideology. (Perhaps a preconceived and probably right-leaning political allegiance, but without the ability to distinguish Burke from Rousseau.)

The second audience is a small number of colleagues and counterparts in the DC area: wonks, for lack of a better term.

Most of what I have written on this blog is of little interest to wonks: they know it already. My analysis, whether one agrees with it or not, tends to be simple-to-digest and more concerned with principle than  nuanced policy argument. As I try to make my transition into the established DC wonkatariat, I need to address issues that make them think, instead of making them simply nod or roll their eyes.

Thus, going forward, the intent of this blog is to integrate more nuanced policy arguments into my writing without getting too far into wonkspeak and talking beyond the people from whom this blog--and my original column at the IDS that shared its name--was originally intended. I know that, at times, I will fail one audience in favor of the other, but I hope to minimize those failures and develop my own voice that bridges the large divide between the place I come from and the place I am today.

Comments always welcome.


NB: I don't necessarily at all stand behind some of what I wrote when I was at the IDS. The transition from life-long Republican to small "L" libertarian was a process that was in its infant stages the year I was at the paper.