Interesting Conservatives

INTERESTING CONSERVATIVES….I’ve gotten a couple of emails recently asking me for names of good conservative blogs. This seems like a good blog topic itself, but I’m a little reluctant to publish my choices because (a) I read lots of conservative blogs and I don’t want to piss off all the folks I leave off, and (b) I know I’ll get lots of shit in comments asking how I can possibly recommend a complete asshole like [fill in the blank].

But what the heck. I remember asking the same question myself several months ago, and I figure some people might be interested in what I’ve found since then. So with that out of the way, here’s my top ten in alphabetical order. These folks are all conservative, conservative leaning, or libertarian in various degrees.

  • Asymmetrical Information. Jane Galt and Mindles Dreck, both from New York (or thereabouts). Jane is a former socialist turned libertarian ? I think ? and frequently has interesting points to make about economics, statistics, and the media. Mindles works in the financial industry.

  • AtlanticBlog. Bill Sjostrom, an American economist living in Ireland. He takes his shots at me, but he has an acerbic, curmudgeonly style that gives me a laugh and he happily owns up to his prejudices. He also owns a very nice dog. On the down side, he has a regrettable inability to recognize the perfection of feline nature.

  • Daniel Drezner. U of Chicago political science professor. He writes knowledgably about foreign affairs and maintains a pretty fair approach to analyzing events. I frequently use him as a sort of touchstone to ensure that I haven’t gone completely off the liberal deep end.

  • Outside the Beltway. James Joyner, “sardonic book editor, poli-sci Ph.D., and former army officer.” James is a moderate conservative, finds lots of interesting things to link to, and keeps a light tone. Sort of the Matt Yglesias of the right.

  • OxBlog. Josh Chafetz, David Adesnik, and Patrick Belton, all graduate students at Oxford (although I believe Josh is the only one actually resident at Oxford at the moment). They mostly blog about foreign affairs, where they’re all on the hawkish side, but have varying ideologies on domestic affairs. Aside from a peculiar fixation on Maureen Dowd, they write solid stuff that’s frequently provovative.

  • Virginia Postrel. She’s famous, so you already know about her. She has a pretty light touch when it comes to pushing libertarian views, and she frequently has insights that I don’t find anywhere else.

  • Priorities and Frivolities. Robert Garcia Tagorda, aka Boomshock, a fellow Southern Californian and Dodger fan. (Except he’s a real Dodger fan, not a namby pamby I-watch-them-when-they-make-the-playoffs fan like me.) He’s generally very solid and interesting, and he’s been blogging up a storm on the recall lately.

  • RealClear Politics. Tom Bevan and John McIntyre, a couple of conservatives from Chicago who write exclusively about politics. They go a little off the rails sometimes, especially when the subject is Paul Krugman, but what the heck. As I continue my seemingly fruitless quest to understand how conservatives think, reading this site sometimes helps.

  • Tacitus. A very conservative guy with a good military background. He definitely doesn’t go off the rails, is good at keeping things in perspective, and pays attention to the facts on the ground, even if they don’t always support his point of view. Fun fact: given the choice of Russian or French, he has chosen to learn Russian. This is inexplicable.

  • Volokh Conspiracy. A large group of scholarly types, mostly of the conservative/libertarian bent. The ringleader is Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA. The site has so many contributors now that it’s gotten a bit unwieldy, but on the plus side that means there’s always plenty of new material, and a pretty fair amount of it is stuff you won’t find elsewhere.

This hardly needs saying, but I’ll say it anyway: almost by definition, I rarely agree with these folks. But I think they all represent the conservative viewpoint pretty well, they’re definitely not idiots, and they frequently have interesting things to say.

And remember, although reading your opposites isn’t as comforting as sticking with your own kind, you should do it anyway. Sometimes you might be surprised to find a compelling argument you’ve never thought of, and even if you’re absolutely sure that will never happen, it’s always good to keep up with your enemies. Knowledge is power.

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