Filling in for a legendary blog pioneer is no small matter, and I admit this is a bit daunting. I don't like writing about myself, but I want to offer just a brief introduction, although it will be through my blogging that you'll really get a feel for me. I obviously cannot replace Steve, for these next several months, but I do hope you'll find my writing interesting and entertaining, and that even after Steve returns, I will be a welcome presence, here.
I was born into a very political family, and have been politically aware as long as I have been conscious. I have also always been a bit of a contrarian: when I was seven, my parents were for Eugene McCarthy, but I was a Kennedy man. My first paying job was in politics, and although my path has taken many twists and turns, I have always been the rude one, who can't seem to manage avoiding political conversations at parties. Blogging has become a natural outlet.
I believe we are at a critical moment in history, both in terms of the survival of our republic, and the survival of our species. I believe that the Democratic Party remains a very imperfect vehicle, but within the political system, it is the best vehicle for effecting positive change. I am an ideological idealist, but a pragmatist. I am a partisan. I think it imperative that we utterly destroy the current hyper-extremist iteration of the Republican Party, and I think it equally imperative that we reestablish the Democratic Party as the people's party.
I deplore internecine party warfare. Some say the negative primary campaigns are simply facts of life, and that it is how they have always been run. I say that we in the blogosphere are trying to shatter political paradigms, and one of those paradigms ought to be how we present and represent ourselves and our party. We need to focus on the real political enemies. We need to realize that however much we might love one or another candidate, only one will be our nominee, and the importance of electing that one next year cannot be overstated. Were he running, I would be supporting Al Gore. As it is, I am undecided.
If I criticize one of the Democratic candidates, it will be on the issues and facts. I believe they are all good, but flawed, human beings, and I believe several have the potential to be truly great presidents. I believe our current Democratic Congress can do much better, but I also believe it is partially hamstrung by the size of our majorities. You will read various nuances in my attitudes, on that.
So, please bear with me, know that the rest of the wonderful Left Coaster writers will still be writing, and that Steve will soon be back, refreshed and ready for the critical second half of next year. I'm very excited to be here, and look forward to getting to know you, too!