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So I heard we might be starting blogging again. I kind of want to do a roundup of what’s happened since we stopped. But that seems like work. So I’ll note instead that today, I gave a lecture1 on 1968: Tet, Johnson surrendering the Alamo declining to run, MLK’s murder, RFK’s murder, Chicago (including Ribicoff v. Daley, Buckley v. Vidal, and selected truncheons v. a whole bunch of protesters) … is it the worst year in American history?

1Lecturing is for professors who should be writing their books what writing letters was for Hemingway:2 empty calories, an excursion that makes you feel as if you’ve done something really productive when kind of you haven’t.3
2I should probably have a link for that quotation but I can’t find one. Anyway I’m not sure we’re really starting blogging again, so I don’t know if I feel committed to looking for stuff like that, you know?
3Hey, html footnotes again! I can’t remember if we thought those were funny, or not.


A friend*, who happens to be among the most astute observers of the political scene I know, has this to say in the wake of last night’s Republican debate:

I think he’s [Romney] going to be an unbelievably good candidate in the general. He’s Obama — a tall, handsome technocrat who instituted universal coverage — with a different coalition behind him. I now have this dystopian fantasy about how the campaign will play out:

Romney: I’m Mitt Romney, and I’m not black.
Obama: I’m Barack Obama, and I’m not Mormon.
R: I’m not secretly a Muslim.
O: My religion doesn’t treat “Space Invaders” as a sacred text.
R: I don’t want to rape your daughters.
O: I won’t force them to become my sixth and seventh wives when they turn 13.

Good times. Oh, by the way, with the economy in tatters, Steve Jobs in the grave, and the nation mired in countless foreign wars, we’re considering coming back.

Time will tell.

* The Edge of the American West: new and improved and now with blind sourcing. Superpro!

As apo at unfogged notes, a poll of conservative bloggers answers the burning question, Who is American history’s greatest monster? Oddly, there’s not a conservative blogger on the list! Really, it’s sad how boring and predictable the results are, with FDR, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Carter occupying the top spots. Still, credit where credit is due: Saul Alinsky? Not bad, conservative bloggers. You surprise me with your latent antisemitism attention to detail! Then there’s Woodrow Wilson. Wait, what? Woodrow Wilson? Because of internationalism, I guess. But where’s Eugene Debs? Or Big Bill Haywood? Or any of the big-government-loving Federalists? These bloggers have no sense of history, I tell you.

It probably goes without saying that if we were to use some sort of inverse felicific calculus — to find the person responsible for visiting the greatest harm on the greatest number of people in the nation’s history — I’d offer pride of place to one of the Andrews, Johnson or Jackson, atop my list. Or maybe Roger Taney.

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