I only began blogging in June. But because so many of my readers are new to the blog and we’re approaching the end of the year, I thought it might be fun to review some of the blog’s greatest hits.
Traffic to the blog has been growing steadily every month, with the blog on some days getting nearly 6,000 hits. My two most popular posts, by far, were this roundtable on the Obama presidency from August and my recent take on Christopher Hitchens. My personal favorite, which hasn’t generated nearly as much traffic, was this discussion of Ross Douthat’s views on sex.
In general, though, what seems to generate the most traffic are the periodic arguments I get into with various other bloggers. The debates can be divided into roughly three topics:
Capitalism and the State
The first big debate I got into was with Matt Yglesias about economic policy and the limits of neoliberalism. That series of exchanges wound up provoking one of the summer’s biggest arguments among liberal left bloggers. But it has remained an abiding theme of this blog, generating some further arguments with people like Will Wilkinson and friendly exchanges with friends like Mike Konczal.
Social Movements and the State
Obviously, questions of neoliberalism cannot be separated from the state. But on this blog, we’ve had a separate set of arguments with bloggers like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Adam Serwer, on the one end, as well as writers like Naomi Wolf, on the other, about the nature of the American state, the sources of its coerciveness, its potential as a transformative agent, and the limits and possibilities of progressive change.
Conservatism and the Right
Given my scholarly interests and the topic of my recent book, it’s not surprising that I’ve written a lot about the right. What is surprising, at least to me, is that through the blog, I’ve managed to engage quite a few prominent voices on the right. Andrew Sullivan has been a frequent interlocutor. More recently, I’ve mixed it up with Bruce Bartlett. Sometimes, my exchanges with the right have been edifying; other times, not so much. I’ve disagreed with critics of my views on the right. I’ve talked about Anne Coulter, Sam’s Club Republicanism, Ross Douthat (again), and the relationship between the American slaveholders and European fascism.
And I won a nice prize.
And that’s pretty much the year that was. Look forward to more discussion with all of you in the new year.