Rest in Peace, Steve Gilliard.
The best, most honest, least compromising political blogger, Steve Gilliard, has died. He had a devastating sense of humor and no careerist agenda beyond excellent writing and saying exactly what he thought. Meaning that, unlike DailyKos or MyDD, he didn't use his blog for political activity and he didn't hang with politicians. He also wasn't looking to "move up" to the mainstream media--in fact, he often boasted that his readership was as large as many lefty print mags, so why did he need to join them? And he didn't just vent, he did his homework--for example, a memorable, well-researched series on the history of colonial warfare, from a strategic viewpoint. Reading those case studies helped you to recognize the Iraq War for what it is and also, strangely optimistically, to know that it is a 19th Century relic and therefore doomed (if optimism is the right word for an experiment with such a great human cost). Gilliard remains an inspiration and an ethical yardstick for all attempting to step out of established modes of communication. He will be celebrated long after the Tim Russerts and Peter Beinarts are forgotten jokes of history.
(photo by Lindsay Beyerstein)