by Unknown | 1/06/2008 03:33:00 PM
I'm sitting in the DC airport after what I can only describe as the most whirlwind four days I've experienced in a long time. In that time, I've attended six panels, two formal luncheons, and two one-on-one meetings, and made hundreds of photocopies with strandsofpearl at Library of Congress. I've met history bloggers including Manan Ahmed, Rebecca Goetz, Ralph Luker, Rob MacDougall, Juan Cole, Scott McLemee, Joe Gabriel, Jonathan Dresner, Alan Baumler, Claire Potter, and our own Jim Livingston, Ahistoricality, Bastoche, and lurker Joanna. (Stop me if I'm leaving someone out!) On Friday night, I was privileged to be a guest at the annual Cliopatria banquet, which many of the abovementioned bloggers also attended; thanks very much to Scott McLemee for the invitation to what was a very stimulating evening. Yesterday, I attended the first (annual?) ProgressiveHistorians lunch at the AHA, and spent a fun couple of hours in the company of my colleagues strandsofpearl, Joanna, Bastoche (who came all the way down from New York just to attend the lunch!), Jim Livingston, Joe Gabriel, and (briefly) Jonathan Dresner. Incredibly enough, I also managed to take in some non-blogging events, including a fascinating presentation on "Memory in the Local" by Jonathan Dresner and Manan Ahmed and an absolutely brilliant paper by A Slave No More author David Blight. I'm still processing the whole experience, but I had a very enjoyable weekend and came away with lots of new ideas for historical and blogging endeavors.

Meanwhile, here's what's happened in the real world:

  • Obama defeats Edwards and Clinton in Iowa, Huckabee defeats Romney in Iowa. Biden and Dodd drop out of the race, but Duncan Hunter, who did worse than either of the other guys, refuses. Strangely, this tenacity pays off, as Hunter improbably picks up a delegate in Wyoming, besting Ron Paul, who also campaigned there. In more important news, Chris Bowers notes that between home-field advantage and DNC "superdelegates," Clinton could still be ahead of Obama even if the Illinois senator wins nearly every Super Tuesday state. We may be looking at a battle royal on a scale the country has not seen since 1976, when Gerald Ford vs. Ronald Reagan nearly went all the way to the convention.

  • Hillary Clinton on change:

    I want to make change but I've already made change, I will continue to make change. I'm not just running on a promise of change, I'm running on 35 years of change.

    So if we don't like the direction America has taken over the past 35 years, who do we have to blame? Matt Stoller says it better than I could: "Her theory of bail out more water faster, instead of fixing the hole in the boat, just doesn't work today."

  • I agree mostly with DemFromCT's take on Obama, though I don't think his condemnation of Republican injustice goes far enough. It's not just "the stolen election of 2000" I haven't gotten over, it's the Clinton impeachment and the slimy treatment of McCain in South Carolina in 2000 and the government shutdown in 1995 and the sheltering of Foley and the Abramoff scandal and every other thing elected Republicans have done to harm this country in order to help themselves. Republicans -- elected ones, not rank-and-file voters -- have no principles; they do nothing except help their friends and line their own pockets at the expense of everything this country and the American people stand for. I have no respect for them, and I want a candidate who has no respect for them either. One has run in my lifetime: Howard Dean. I'm still waiting for another.

  • 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern: impeachment of Bush and Cheney "is the rightful course for an American patriot." See also Bruce Miroff's new book on McGovern, arguing that the Senator's campaign represents an important "road not taken" for American liberalism. (H/t Paul Rosenberg.)

  • Congratulations to our newest diarist, badger, whose very first PH post, Real Progressives and War, made this month's History Carnival. For that matter, so did female pirates.

What's on your mind?




Blogger Unknown on 1/06/2008 4:57 PM:

In other news, I'm beginning to be concerned by the dearth of comments on this blog. I expected the comments to recover along with the traffic after we made the site switch, but although our traffic numbers have gone up slowly since early October (700 more hits in December than November, even though I was more active on the site in November and there were fewer holidays then), our comments are still waydown from what I expected. Plenty of blogs smaller than ours have stables of regular commenters, yet our recurring commentariat remains Ahistoricality and the frontpagers. Any ideas for how we can attract new, regular commenters to the site?


Anonymous Anonymous on 1/06/2008 6:37 PM:

I forget who gave me this advice, but: ask a question at the end of your post. If it's interesting enough, people will be COMPELLED to add a commment!


Blogger Unknown on 1/06/2008 9:44 PM:

Human, good point -- thanks for that. It may be a little more difficult here given that we're posting more essay-like things rather than traditional bloggy posts, but it's still good to remember.