A reader writes:

Just wanted to say that I think it's wonderful that you are being so clear and direct and sane in talking about the things that are happening in our politics these days, whether that means calling out the GOP and the broader right wing for their disgraceful nihilism, identifying the incoherence of the Tea Party, giving Obama credit and criticism to the extents that they are due, or whatever else.

I've long appreciated your writing for your insights into our politics and culture, but in this present era of madness, its directness and boldness are especially refreshing. Thanks for not backing down, for not allowing yourself to be cowed into silence, and also for not losing hope in an environment that so easily breeds cynicism.

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