Welcome, PolySigh

Just what the world needed: a conservative weblog about politics that liberals can read without screaming in rage.

What the liberal part of the blogosphere really needs is a good conservative blog to link to.

In the run-up to November, the blog world is becoming increasingly cocooned. I’m reading less and less stuff from the right, and reading it less and less tolerantly. [Worse, I’m aware that my own writing is becoming narrower and less interesting (not to say more annoying) to those who will vote for George W. Bush on Election Day.]

Since paying serious attention to opposing views is essential to staying sane, this consitutes a problem. The Volokh Conspiracy (especially Eugene and Jacob Levy), Dan Drezner, Jane Galt, and Virginia Postrel are all fun, civilized, and useful, but none of them is really focused on electoral politics. Moreover, they’re mostly libertarians rather than conservatives in the sense that Burke or Oakeshott would have recognized.

So I am delighted to be able to add to the blogroll a worthy new effort called PolySigh, written by a group of academic students of politics of temperamentally conservative bent, including my friend Steve Teles, who likes to describe himself as a Whig.

See, as a good sample, Steve’s essay on Julia Child’s conservatism (and the follow-up). Even when I disagree with Steve (as I do on his analysis of how Democrats should deal with their cultural baggage) I always learn something from him, and his colleagues seem to operate at a comparably high level.

Update: I’m told that PolySigh is deliberately non-partisan and un-ideological. I stand corrected. Still, it’s a good place for liberals to turn for opinions that don’t reliably match their own.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com