How pleasant it is when friends come from afar!

I regard reading most Red blogs (with such key exceptions as some of the Volokh Conspirators or Megan McArdle or Reihan Salam) as unpleasant but necessary work, like cleaning septic fields. Most of the Red bloggers I used to admire and learn from switched teams during the Reign of Error.

But right now I’m enjoying the chore, and finding much to agree with. When Riehl World View describes Romney as having “gone from unlikeable to detestable,” I can only nod, and admire the fine turn of phrase. And when he threatens that he and his fellow wing-nuts will take their ball and go home if Romney is nominated, I can only smile. On the other hand, could there be a more accurate description of Newt Gingrich than Peggy Noonan’s “angry little attack muffin”?

Footnote The headline is from an old translation of the Confucian Analects, Book I, section 1. It might seem to refer only to the pleasure of a visit from a friend who lives far away. But my teacher Paul Desjardins taught that it meant also the pleasure of finding agreement across intellectual distance. I don’t agree with Mr. Riehl on much, but it’s good to know that he can recognize a scoundrel when he sees one, and that he acknowledges – from across the partisan divide – Barack Obama’s personal, moral superiority to Gov. Ken-Doll.