Dan Darling of Regnum Crucis, Rantburg, and Winds of Change has become an intern at the American Enterprise Institute, the beating heart of the Vast NeoCon Conspiracy. Darling is damn near the last word in the warblogging end of the Internet on the War on Terror. His volume of work is simply staggering. His analysis is also excellent, and I find myself agreeing with him more often than just about any other warblogger out there.
I had always assumed that he was a returning grad student, given the utterly unimpeachable quality of his work. Young students can and often are brilliant, but rarely for long periods of time. The operating concept here is "prodigy flameout". I have never seen Darling demonstrate even a twitch of that sort of late-adolescent instability which usually characterizes the breed. This is notable, because the blogsphere is full of men and women in their thirties, forties, and early fifties who have yet to grow out of that late-adolescent emotional instability. (Yes, I class myself with those late-adolescents. It's a failing I'm all too aware of, sad to say.) Like I said, I assumed that Dan was in his thirties, going back for his grad degree after some period of time in the world.
Dan is two years out of high school. He's finishing up his college sophomore year. I'm speechless. He is the embodied refutation of Barone's aphorism that America "seem[s] to produce incompetent eighteen-year-olds but remarkably competent thirty-year-olds". If this is Dan Darling at the age of twenty, I can't imagine who he might be in ten years.