I'm still thinking the same thing about Ross Douthat: excellent blogger, bit of a dud as a columnist. Ezra Klein liked yesterday's Douthat column a lot more than I did...he thought that it was fine except for some tricky ducking of issues at the end, while I thought it played partisan and ideological games throughout. Douthat has the panic of '08 as a result of public and private interests "too intertwined," but doesn't even mention the possibility that underregulation was at fault. Also: for Douthat, Robert Rubin is apparently the only public official identified with the causes of the crash...but if I recall correctly, Rubin had actually been out of office for almost a decade -- and to say that the American reaction was to install "more of the same" with Geithner and Summers, as if that intervening decade never happened. To me, that's just cheap rhetoric. But then his similarly themed blog post I found to be quite a bit more interesting and straightforward. Great blogger. Really weak columnist...so far, at least.
OK, on to the good stuff:
1. Kagan links: Jamelle Bouie on careerism and gender; Noah Millman makes the best case I've seen against cautious careerism.
2. Health care: Sam Stein goes behind the scenes about how it passed, with an emphasis on White House involvement. And the future of health care? Since I've argued that it won't be repealed, I really have to link to this research that might give reform opponents some hope, although I don't think it predicts repeal even in the case of a GOP landslide.
3. Marc Ambinder on detention under Obama.
4. On the other hand, sometimes elections mean fairly dramatic change. Harold Pollack assesses Obama's drug plan.
5. Don't miss Eric Alterman and Garry Wills on the bomb and democracy (I haven't read the book yet, but it's on my list). Or Andrew Sprung reading Gates.
6. Amanda Marcotte is smart about what is and isn't America (you all know I'm from Phoenix, right? So yeah, I'm gonna like that piece), and also takes aim at the Sage of Wasilla.
7. I don't mind a little hypocrisy, but Stan Collender sure does.
8. And closing with a baseball link: if you miss Joe Sheehan on a daily basis as much as I do, you might want to know about this.