When he talks about things with which he is intimately familiar, on which he has spent a great deal of study and effort, he is extremely eloquent, sometimes even prescient. The resulting posts are what make him and his blog worth reading.
When, on the other hand, he talks about things with which he has little or no specific or comprehensive knowledge, he tends to say things which are more or less unintelligible, sometimes even howlingly stupid. These other posts are what make him and his blog at times maddening.
You can make some version of this statement about basically anybody, or at least anybody who knows anything about anything.
The difference between one individual and another on this score is mostly one of individuality. That is, what really separates one commentator from another is the frequency with which they wander into areas in which they have no specific competence.
On this score Josh Micah Marshall is pretty good. It's something he often gets criticized for, but his blog generally focuses on things that he really understands, and that selectivity is what makes his blog one of the best politics blogs, if not the best politics blog, in Washington.
I have much to learn from this man, on this and probably many other scores. In any case, behold one of his very best posts here.
You can think the filibuster is a terrible idea. And you may think that it should be abolished, as indeed it can be through the rules of the senate. And there are decent arguments to made on that count. But to assert that it is unconstitutional because each judge does not get an up or down vote by the entire senate you have to hold that the United States senate has been in more or less constant violation of the constitution for more than two centuries.
There are many thoughtful people who have supported the Republicans through many unwise and self-contradictory initiatives over the years. I know many of these people. And I believe in my heart that for many of them, this may simply be a bridge too far. Perhaps I am overestimating these people, or underestimating the ability of the Republicans to come up with some flashy rubric, perhaps invoking September 11th (wait for it...) that will give thinking Republicans some ideological cover.
But I feel in my heart that the Republican party is about to make the biggest mistake, politically, that it has ever made.
Let the games begin.