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Ettingermentum Direct: What To Expect This Summer
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First things first, I’d like to acknowledge an anniversary. As I’m writing this, on June 5th, 2023, it has officially been 7 months since I published my first post, all the way back during the Georgia Senate runoff election. Since then, this newsletter has changed in ways that I never could have imagined back then. What started off as a haphazard attempt to migrate to a new platform in case Twitter shut down has evolved into one of the top 100 political newsleters on the site. I haven’t really addressed it before, but I’d just like to say here just how grateful I am to every one of my subscribers. I’m floored by the support I’ve seen, and I only hope that I can live up to all of your collective expectations.
So, beyond sentimentality, why am I bringing this up? It’s because I believe that this newsletter has reached a level where I can make a full commitment to it for the next few months. During this summer, I plan to ramp up both the output and breadth of this newsletter to a degree exceeding anything I’ve done previously.
And, in my view, this change in approach should come a shift in transparency. Since I’ve started this newsletter, I’ve always kept my plans for any given article pretty close to my chest. Besides occasional teasers on my Twitter, I’d never revealed what I’d been working on before publication. This was in some part a deliberate strategy to make my posts stand out more, but also just a consequence of the newsletter being in an early stage, where I was still trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t.
But now, I have a clear(er) sense of that, and I feel comfortable giving out previews to some projects I’m going to be working on for this newsletter in the immediate future. These posts, which I have decided to entitle as “Ettingermentum Direct,” will go over my plans for new and existing projects, plans, and collaborations I have mapped out. Unless otherwise stated, this content will be available for paid subscribers only, as has been the case for the almost all of my articles so far. So, for the first of these posts, here’s what you can expect to be seeing as a subscriber over the next few months.
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The Art of Losing
Starting off, let’s talk about the first big project I’ve started so far. You know it, you love it: it’s The Art of Losing. What started off as a spiffy title for a piece I had always wanted to write about Stacey Abrams has grown into the pillar of my work so far, serving as the basis for pieces ranging from other failed politicians to news outlets. I, of course, intended to continue with it, with my main upcoming projects right now being the final installment for the FiveThirtyEight series as well as an article about Ron DeSantis’ failed early campaign over the past half-year.
Once those pieces are completed, I plan to bring The Art of Losing back a bit closer to its roots: focusing on the failed efforts of hyped-up, or otherwise important, politicians in pivotal states. This will include long-awaited pieces on figures such as Adam Laxalt in Nevada and Charlie Christ in Florida, but, as always, I’m open to any suggestions.
Now, onto my two, entirely new projects.
Substack is, of course, known for its newsletters, but it also has pretty well-integrated podcast functionality. This is a form of content I mostly ignored while starting off because of my lack of audio editing knowledge. Now, however, with the newsletter where it is right now, I can afford to outsource this part of the process, which makes this option for content suddenly very feasible.
While my writing while always be the main focus of this newsletter, the reception I saw to my guest appearance on Chapo Trap House made me curious about how this other form of content could work for me. I made my first foray in audio-based content by publishing the official audio reading of The Electoral History of Transphobia earlier this week, and I’m very happy with how it’s done. Going forward, you can expect to see me start regularly using the functionality, whenever it be for other official readings of my pieces, interviews, or anything else. At this stage, I think it works well for me as a great and relatively easy way to put out meaningful content in between the periods in between some of my longer pieces.
I plan for most of this content to consist of collaborations between me and my many very talented friends from Twitter, with potential topics ranging from politics, to history, to Souls games, to movies, to professional sports. Structurally, it could take the form of everything from candid one-on-one interviews to full-on projects consisting of multiple people. I’m really excited to see where it goes, and, of course, am open to any ideas or suggestions.
The Legacy of Losing
For my final announcement, I have an entirely new project to introduce: The Legacy of Losing. A companion project to The Art of Losing, The Legacy of Losing will differ in terms of both focus and content. Rather than cover contemporary politicians, The Legacy of Losing will look back into history, primarily at failed Presidential campaigns, and examine their impact on both the politics of their time and politics today. The inspiration for this project, and its inaugural piece, is George McGovern’s 1972 campaign, which I aim to asses in detail as a means of re-contextualizing how it is remembered today.
Other topics that have come to mind to me include Michael Dukakis’ campaign in 1988, Hillary Clinton’s losses in the 2008 and 2016 elections, Thomas Dewey’s campaign in 1948, William Jennings Bryan’s three losses at the turn of the century, and Henry Clay’s three losses during the antebellum period. I hope to be able to do these topics justice and move the discussion forward on periods of history that, in my opinion, are too often overlooked.
Along with everything I have laid out, I still expect to put out content outside of these categories. Depending on what’s on my mind, what I’m reading, or if there’s some new, major news event, you can absolutely expect to see me publish some standalone articles on more miscellaneous topics. I consider them to be a major part of what I put out. They just, by nature, can’t be laid out beforehand in this type of format.
Put together, however, I believe that these three projects together should be more than enough to constitute a meaningful output for this newsletter for the foreseeable future. One of my strongest beliefs right now is that we are far, far too out from the upcoming election to properly engage in the kind of direct commentary I provided in the runup to 2022 on Twitter. Of course, that sort of content will always be part of what I do, but now is not the time for it. That sort of analysis will come when the election comes. In the meantime, I’ve tried to provide meaningful commentary in other ways: looking at recent political developments and important contemporary questions from a unique, “historical” perspective. I’m very happy with how it’s done so far, and I’m even happier to keep on doing it for as long as you guys want.
There’s never been a better time to be a subscriber to this newsletter than now. Or, in other words: