Best of 2012 political journalism?
September 6, 2012 1:04 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find the best online American political commentary and analysis right now? Looking for bloggers, columnists, reporters, websites.

Last presidential election cycle, I was a total junkie and read a million blogs. In the intervening years, my focus shifted, but now that we're in the swing of the political "silly season" I'd like to find a few good blogs to read daily and get some good, intelligent takes on the political news. I'm also interested in good long-form political journalism.

I started out by checking the sites I used to check, but none of them seem that great anymore. I used to read Five Thirty-Eight, Wonkette, the Atlantic bloggers, TNR's the Plank, Politico and's Swampland. The only one of those that seems to be as good as it used to be is Five Thirty-Eight, but I'm not a NYT subscriber. And Ta-Nehisi Coates is still great, but the other Atlantic bloggers seem anemic.
posted by lunasol to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Charlie Pierce.
posted by timsteil at 1:13 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ezra Klein.
posted by lukemeister at 1:15 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Real Clear Politics
posted by John Cohen at 1:16 PM on September 6, 2012

Greg Sargent's Plum Line at the Washington Post
Ezra Klein's Wonkblog, also at the Washington Post
Matthew Yglesias at Slate
Mother Jones, particularly Kevin Drum and Adam Serwer
Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly
Steve Benen at MSNBC's MaddowBlog, formerly of Washington Monthly
The American Prospect, particularly Paul Waldman and Jamelle Bouie
Talking Points Memo and accompanying subsites

Most of these are actually group efforts with bloggers that have their own bylines. IMO, standouts include Sarah Kliff at Wonkblog, Brian Beutler at TPM, and Jonathan Bernstein at The Plum Line (who also has his own worthwhile blog).
posted by zombieflanders at 1:31 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, and if you're willing to wade through a lot of purple prose and oftentimes shitty snap analysis, Andrew Sullivan occasionally has a worthwhile gem from the POV of an "independent," although I prefer to wait until someone else links to him.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:36 PM on September 6, 2012

Mod note: Don't insult other people's answers, you can use MeMail.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:38 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I believe that if NYT articles are accessed via a social media site such as Twitter [538 twitter account] you don't need a subscription.
posted by mecran01 at 2:15 PM on September 6, 2012

It seems like I get at least half of my political news/commentary out of Twitter links, these days. Much of it from acquaintances with similar interests, but also from various pundity/activisty/interesting-weirdo types. A handful of those:


...but the more I try to build a list, the more it seems like I pick up interesting stuff from people who are generally just interesting to follow, and have an interest in politics, rather than people who are just trying to be pundits.
posted by brennen at 2:15 PM on September 6, 2012

I read all the same sources as you, for the most part, plus The Fix blog at the Washington Post. They do great work over there.
posted by brina at 2:27 PM on September 6, 2012

It would be hard to describe any political commentary as "best"--all will be slanted in one direction or another.

My daily political reads include Instapundit, Ace of Spades HQ and Legal Insurrection. I also intentionally read some small blogs by people I know who strongly disagree with me on politics. That way, I regularly encounter opinions different from my own.

I think the best approach to reading political commentary and analysis is to make sure that you're getting different points of view. Political commentary and analysis would be hard to objectively define as good or bad. Just different.
posted by John Farrier at 3:02 PM on September 6, 2012

Response by poster: John Farrier: perhaps I should elaborate. By "good," I mean well-founded (not just pulling opinions out of their asses), well-written, with a clear but independent point-of-view (ie, they may lean left, but they're not a mouthpiece for a campaign, and they don't just parrot whatever the common wisdom in DC happens to be that week).

Thanks for all the recs, please keep them coming! And mecran01 and brennan, thanks for the twitter tips.
posted by lunasol at 4:51 PM on September 6, 2012


I'm a bleeding-heart liberal and don't follow many conservatives, but I find @conor64, a libertarian-leaning writer at the Atlantic, to be thought-provoking.
posted by lukemeister at 5:01 PM on September 6, 2012

I normally would recommend The Economist's Lexington column & blog here. It's the wit and insight of that publication, combined with an outsider's take on America, that really gets it quite right. Sadly. The most recent Lexington was killed in a car crash a few months ago (an ironically apt end for a foreign writer on the subject of America?), and they haven't replaced him yet.

It may be, though, that I'm simply mistaken in how these things work, as they seem to be writing quite a bit on the subject, just not under the Lexington name.
posted by colin_l at 5:14 PM on September 6, 2012

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