Steve was one of the first bloggers I read with any regularity. What I liked best about him was his sharp candor, clear prose, and passion. He had a definite opinion about many things, and rarely if ever watered down his thoughts for the sake of others. Not enough writers and political commentators do this, and I will always give Steve props for being up front.
Steve and I corresponded from time to time, and once, in 2005, linked up to take on Marc Cooper over Iraq. But at times I was very critical of Steve, and found some of his stated positions either conformist on behalf of the Dems, or simply immoral, like his support for the nuking of Japan. The last time we traded emails was over Al Franken's visit to Abu Ghraib. I thought that Franken's pose with an MP's dog was not only cynical (obvious visual fodder for his Senate run), but in pretty poor taste, given what military dogs had done to prisoners inside that prison. Steve sternly disagreed, informing me that military dogs are, for the most part, decent animals who help save lives. I replied that when I was in the Army, dogs were used to sniff out drugs and intimidate those being questioned or arrested by the MPs.
We didn't speak again after that.
Which is fine. Steve and I had different paths. His sadly, and unfortunately, ended at a very young age. My deepest sympathies to Jen, Steve's family, loved ones, and friends. Steve made a mark, and though I disagreed with him on several issues, I will miss reading him. RIP.