Monday, January 12, 2009

Stepping away

I started drawing "I Drew This" for my college newspaper in January 2004, five years ago.

I've said this before, but it was a different world, then. Bush was still very popular. Most Americans still thought Iraq was a good idea. And while the liberal blogosphere was rising, it was still in its infancy. The media was still treating Bush like a cross between Churchill and Lincoln. I had to say something, because there was a good chance that at least some of it would be a new point of view for some of my readers. I felt a moral obligation to speak up, and I was really angry and needed to vent that anger somewhere.

Five years later, the country has turned on George w. Bush, who is now destined to go down in history as likely our worst president, joining the company of Herbert Hoover and James Buchanan. A center-left administration is about to be sworn in, and the Democrats run everything in Congress.

Meanwhile, the liberal blogosphere--Kos, Digby, Firedoglake, Josh Marshall, Media Matters, scores of others--has gained the power to push stories into the mainstream media, perhaps even surpassing the once-unparalleled ability of the right wing echo chamber to do so. And they have friends in the mainstream media, like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, who are unlike anything that was on the air in 2002, 2004. The media landscape has changed. George W. Bush could not happen now.

In other words, I don't feel as needed, or as angry, as I did five years ago.

The coming era will be different. Will there be a lot to criticize? Of course, always. But it will require more subtlety, a greater willingness to sift through policy details, and...that isn't my area.

I'm not saying things are perfect, but loudly pointing out that the emperor has no clothes is not the important calling it once was.

And that's why, at least for now, I'm semi-retiring as a political commentator. This site will still be here, but I plan to stop putting new content here.

I'll be devoting my energies to other projects, including the graphic novel I'm going to start posting online later this week, "Raine Dog." And if I simply must say something political, I do have a livejournal.

It's been awesome, and thank you all for reading. I'll leave you with this...

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