So Paul Glastris didn’t need to do this, but he did another farewell tribute to ye olde blogger today, and I just want to reciprocate. Nobody’s who not pretty intimately connected with WaMo or at least very familiar with the magazine biz knows how many times Paul has kept this enterprise going via a combination of audacity, imagination, and sheer stubbornness. As is the case with most small public-minded magazines that didn’t begin life with a trust fund, it’s not a matter of the wolf appearing at the door periodically; the wolf built an illegal structure right there on the front porch years ago, and is getting mail and Amazon Prime packages delivered. It’s just the nature of the industry. But Paul (with a lot of help from other WaMo staff and many alums) has managed to keep things moving along without compromising the integrity of the magazine or losing his jeweler’s eye for the kind of reported story that can capture an essential truth about Washington and advance a crucial reform.
In any event, I’ve been sheltered from the business side of things here at WaMo, but I get the sense it’s in better shape that it has been in the past–it’s just that so many important things need to be written about in print and online that there’s an institutional hunger you really can perceive. A long line of editors and publishers going back to Charlie Peters have inculcated that spirit, and that’s why Washington Monthly was an important center for pragmatic progressive reform before the Clintons came to town and will continue to be so after the Obamas leave (unless Barack sticks around to keep Michelle company while she fills a Cabinet post or Senate seat).
In any event, this place was an intellectual home for me before I ever worked here and will remain an important part of my life until I’m carted off to the glue factory where all Political Animals must eventually go. Thanks to every editor, colleague, and reader that put up with my idiosyncrasies and made me actually happy to face the world at 5:00 AM.