... that he thinks Wisconsin blogs have just now "devolved [into] crass identity politics [. . .] about tearing each other down"?
There may have been a "golden age" of Wisconsin blogging, but it did not last long. I was on the receiving end of plenty of profane, troll-ish, moronic attacks here, there at Owen's place in the comments, and on blogs around the state by not very long after I started blogging. A lot of that is long forgotten--or long-since deleted--but it existed from the start.
I mean, this is the internet, people. It's been bilious since, oh, 1985. Wisconsin blogs have never been some magical exception to the rule.
... adding, after sleeping on it--never bad advice, you know--that there are plenty of places to get discussion of the issues. For example, capper's posts here on the County Executive race did, in fact, feature conversation around policy and issues in the comments, in addition to the invective (Scott Walker has that effect on people). There's a relatively good discussion of energy policy going on in this thread right now. To suggest that such discussion has disappeared (or become more rare) does a disservice to all the places where it remains active.