It's been a hell of a year for politics in every possible respect, and we've published a lot of articles on every imaginable topic here on Blogcritics. In going through them to try to select the very best I found a lot of dross, but I also found so many really good articles — some of which I had missed the first time around — that I was hard pressed to trim the list down to a reasonable number. I had to run the candidates through a series of filters. No more than one from any writer. Nothing too politically partisan. No more than two on the same topic. Nothing with a really narrow focus. No more than two from the same month. Even after all of that, I still couldn't trim the list down as much as I wanted, so I bit the bullet and settled on 15 outstanding articles from 2008.
When the year started the election campaign had been dragging along for more than a year and we'd already published more than 100 articles about the candidates and the issues. January was packed with articles about the primaries, but one which stood out was This Voter Isn't Listening - Yet by Diana Hartman, who summed up the frustration and disenchantment of the voters remarkably well. SJ Reidhead also provided some real insight into the struggle that was going on for the soul of the Republican Party and is still going on now in her examination of How Conservatives Are Destroying the Future of the GOP.
February saw two of the most interesting articles of the year. Of the three score articles I wrote in 2008, my relatively little noted article on Campaign Songs and Shared American Values holds up as what I think is a good example of how political blogging works best, starting from a specific current controversy and using it as a lens to examine a more universal issue. Even better and more unusual was Silver Surfer's article on crime, television and censorship in Australia. I'd argue that his Bang Bang, You're Dead was one of the most interesting and eye-opening articles published on the entirety of Blogcritics in 2008.
Although the issue of universal health care was largely forgotten by the later days of the election, in the spring a number of our authors were exploring the issue. Leading the pack, John Bambenek laid out the background in The Health Care Crisis and Why it Was Inevitable and Dan Miller offered solutions from an expatriate perspective in Universal Healthcare - A Modest Proposal.