Saturday, February 16, 2008

Miscellaneous Notes - Updated

  • I won't be posting much in the next few weeks due to work and family stuff. Don't read anything into a lack of posts except that I have a life.
  • I don't tend to reply to commenters. Nothing personal. I've had my say and prefer to let you have yours.
  • I read on other blogs how people will be glad when the Democratic nomination process is over and things can go back to normal. This is wishful thinking. The rupture in the "netroots" blogosphere happened in 2006, with certain high-profile bloggers trying to make the Connecticut senatorial election a referendum on, well, everything they didn't like and in particular translate a win for a namby-pamby rich white former Republican into some kind of proxy defeat of all things Clinton. There is no "going back" on the deep damage inflicted by Kos, Atrios, TPM, FDL and HuffPo (to name only the most prominent) when they made opposition to the Clintons on everything the litmus test of belonging to their club. When Paul Krugman is being called names and trash-talked because he won't join in the witch hunt, you know things have become seriously unhinged. It is not going to get better after the nomination.
  • My own psychological break with the netroots, when I stopped thinking of myself as part of it, was reading how Jane Hamsher accosted Barabara Boxer in a restroom at Daily Kos in 2006, demanding that Boxer condemn Lieberman and support Lamont. When Boxer told her to back off, Hamsher advocated that Californians mount an opponent to Boxer. Who the hell is Jane Hamsher to tell me what issues are important and how I should rate my Congress critters? I suspect a lot of Connecticut Dems who might have supported Lamont but ended up voting for Lieberman thought much the same thing. The netroots prima donnas don't want to acknowledge how much of what they do in actual politics is little more than blackmailing and bullying. This goes over very badly with the officials, the official's supporters, general citizens who don't like outsiders picking their candidates and dictating political priorities, and a truckload of bloggers who aren't too keen on being verbally abused for disagreeing with the A-List's self-aggrandizement program. You would think they would have learned a lesson with Lamont.
  • Obama is a media darling because he is seen as a Clinton killer. Should he succeed at that, he will be assailed from both sides - the Right will apply Clinton Rules to him and the Left will "suddenly" realize they have an untested ego maniac on their hands, up to his keister in the Chicago slime machine. And then we will be subjected to months, if not years, of netroots bloviating on how it was all the Clintons' fault. As I've always said, this election has one person running for President and everyone else running as the man who can defeat her.


Update - It appears that Armando (Big Tent Democrat) and I are thinking along similar lines, though I place the point of rupture at an earlier date, probably because I do support Clinton and so was more suspicious sooner:

"You know the Day the Blogosphere Died? It was when it decided to defend NBC's sexism and misogyny in order to score points against Hillary Clinton.

There was a time when the Netroots agreed with me that we needed Fighting Dems, that Obama was not measuring up on that score.

But the Obama Cult has taken over in its entirety.

I am not for Hillary Clinton. But I am for my issues and my beliefs on what is the proper political strategy for the Democratic Party.

As the famous saying goes, I did not leave the blogosphere, the blogosphere left me.

It will never be the same. It is now EXACTLY what the Right Wing o sphere has always been - a cheerleading section - just for their favored candidate.

The Netroots are dead."

Read the thread that comes out of his comment, too.


David said...

Anybody who votes for Lieberman just to strike at distasteful followers of his opponent gets the county they deserve. That's taking things too personally.

Until now, I couldn't believe that Dems could vote for McCain out of spite. We have become unhinged by the two party system. This isn't about politics any longer. The irrational has taken over when destruction of everything is seen as fit and satisfying revenge.

Anonymous said...

Anglachel, I will miss your well-written and thought-provoking essays, and hope we will have more of them before the nomination process is over.

I was never a "netroots" person, but I read them. I've always felt that the Left has almost as many fascistic tendencies as the Right; witness all the speech codes that the former tried to install at college campuses. And while I don't personally know any of the major players; just from their writing, I had always put them down as thin-skinned would-be Napoleons, more eager to win glory for themselves than to actually improve things for the citizenry. At least the French Jacobins probably did care about France and the people, but of course ultimately drowned in their own quest for ideological purity. I always rather liked Jane Hamsher because she's bright and pretty (oh, well); but even considering running someone against Boxer, one of the most consistently liberal people in the Senate, and then even telling her this, is laughable. And what kind of intellectual knowledge or insight does this Kos character have, that he should tell everyone which Primary legislative candidates are superior?

Obama of course, is their grand quest; and they will never stop until he is nominated and the evil Clinton is destroyed. Of course, Clinton is by far the more capable and the more deserving candidate; and her "destruction" and that of her husband, will leave the Democrats without a credible spokesperson for a decade; but these people don't care. They just want to win. Kos wants whatever payoff he can get in book sales or TV gigs or money. The discussions I have recently read on the standard blogs are not about issues at all; they are all about winning, and their adolescent perception of character.

That is why I wrote the other day that I will have a very hard time indeed supporting Obama if he is nominated. I don't want a McCain Presidency, but I don't want an Obama Presidency, either. And I don't want Kos and his gang to win; I don't want the Clintons destroyed; and I don't want the votes of millions of loyal Democrats taken for granted by this evangelical/New Age Obama crusade, which acts as if it transcends Party, transcends ideology, transcends rational discussion of policies. I don't have any illusion that if McCain wins, we'll get a better Democratic candidate next time--we are likely to get what we got after McGovern: a conservative Democrat such as Mark Warner. But I also know that if Obama wins, the Democratic Party will essentially have turned into the Church of Obama; and his empty-vessel acolytes on the Web will think they have done something wonderful, when the truth is that they will have defeated perhaps the last remaining electable Democrat with a New Deal philosophy. And for those of us who really want to have things better in this country, both are extremely dispirting to contemplate.

Anonymous said...

...the truth is that they will have defeated perhaps the last remaining electable Democrat with a New Deal philosophy.

Great comment, William. Your conclusion is the conclusion that I've also come to. Lately I've been feeling, as counter-intuitive as it is, that an Obama win would set back the democratic party - and progressive goals in particular - much farther back than a McCain presidency would. We won't get what we want with either of them, but I'm afraid that Obama will continue the destruction of the principals of our party into something we no longer recognize. I am left with the disquieting thought that a vote for McCain would be the lesser of two evils. What a horrible choice to make! That's why I'll continue to work for the election of Sen. Clinton.

Anonymous said...

I have to second what Williams said. I have never been a netroots person either. I just turned 25 and never paid much attention to HuffPo, TPM, DailyKos, and other political blogs so it was easy for me not to pay attention to whatever they have to say about this election. I agree that they will blame Clinton whether or not she wins the nomination. She can never win with these bloggers.
I know many young people who support Obama. They are the young, educated, grassroots, idealistic activists who believe Obama represents their generation. They want someone who can start a revolution and change politics and for them Clinton is just a bitch standing in their way. It is unfortunate how misinformed these people, who are good people with good intentions, have become by the Obama myth.
I love your blog. I come to your site several times a day just to see if you've posted something new. I hope you find a little time each week to post even a few paragraphs. I think your insight is very much needed during this election. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I also found this article about the Washington primary. Voters sound confused and pissed.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I never quite got on board with the netroots in the first place, but now I find myself even saying sayonara to TPM, which I once quite liked. It's too bad.

Additional on FDL v. Boxer, I took that blog out of my bookmarks and never went back when it referred to Barbara Boxer as a "clueless idiot" over the Lieberman thing - a truly clueless and idiotic thing to say (and I am no fan of Holy Joe). Babs Boxer is to the terms "tough" and "liberal" what Ronnie James Dio is to the term "heavy metal vocalist," right down to the fact that they are both about five feet tall.

BAC said...

Excellent post!