In the aftermath of Volokh's descent into barbarity, I've seen more than a few bloggers rejoice that this should deny him the judgeship he's rumored to be shortlisted for. Probably true. But Volokh knew that. And the truth is, the guy's been pretty damn brave in the face of it. Back when I began blogging I, like most young activists, hoped one day to run for office. And so a friend who worked for Gray Davis told me this maxim: Never write it if you can say it, never say it if you can imply it, never imply it if you nod it, never nod it if you can nudge it, and never nudge it if you can wink it. A long trail of written statements is not exactly conducive to a campaign, nor a nomination fight.
Eugene is no kid, he knows that full well. And so I have to give him respect for hanging out in the blogosphere, enriching what we do he here (except when talking about strangling folks), and doing it all with a stunning lack of regard for his future prospects. Maybe he doesn't want a judgeship, I don't know. But if he does, or thinks he one day might, his refusal to allow that to affect his participation in the blogosphere is pretty admirable. So were his comments on participatory killings abhorrent? Hell yeah -- I could see the blood dripping from his horns. But I appreciate that he made them, and that he's made so many others. Rather than locking up his knowledge in LA's ivory tower so it'd remain fresh and virginal for the expected nomination fight, he's injected it -- good, bad and shockingly ugly -- into the public discourse. Good for him. Good for us.