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How successful have the Netroots been in driving the political debate?
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Where do you suppose this came from?
So the entire Democratic caucus in the United States Senate — 50 senators — has sent a letter to the Washington Post attacking the dean of the Washington press corps, David Broder, for a column in which Mr. Broder dared to criticize their leader for his preemptive surrender to the terrorists in Iraq. "We, the members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, contest the attack on Sen. Harry Reid's leadership by David S. Broder in his April 26 column," the letter says. "In contrast to Mr. Broder's insinuations, we believe Mr. Reid is an extraordinary leader who has effectively guided the new Democratic majority through these first few months with skill and aplomb."

Mr. Broder's offense? The Pulitzer-prize winning columnist and reporter, 77, wrote a column criticizing the Democratic leader in the Senate, Mr. Reid, for Mr. Reid's comment that the Iraq war "is lost."
In a long analysis in The New Republic, Jonathan Chait discusses the impact of the Netroots on political debate today. As I said, it is long and necessarily so, but frankly, pretty well done. He traces the genesis of the Netroots to the 2000 election. And while I had to suppress my gag reflex as he essentially supported the "selected not elected" myth, what follows is an excellent piece which I think accurately describes the Netroots movement.

I'm not going to go into a great deal of detail on the piece, but would encourage you to read it. Instead I'm going to excerpt a few of the key points which explain the reason the entire Democratic side of the Senate felt it necessary to publicly defend Harry Reid.

That reason is the evolving pressure from Netroots.
What makes such internal enemies so dangerous is that they engage in self-criticism. It is not that the netroots forbid internal debate. Far from it: They indulge in all sorts of disagreements, tactical and substantive, just as conservatives do. What they consider treasonous is any criticism of any part of the Democratic Party or its activist base from the right. You can attack the Democratic leadership in Congress for failing to force a troop withdrawal from Iraq, but you cannot attack it for opposing a troop surge.

For instance, Moulitsas wrote that Tom Vilsack, in his former capacity as chairman of the DLC, "not only signed off on editorial decrees by the DLC opposing [John] Murtha's and other withdrawal plans, but also gave safe haven for these warmongering Democrats' to divide the party." It is permissible to divide the party from the left, by opposing a moderate Democratic position. But if you divide the party from the right, you are an enemy of the movement.
Party unity, regardless of subject or topic, is among the most important traits to Netroots, and, as Chiat mentions, any attack "from the right" whether within the party (Lieberman) or without (Broder) is unforgivable and must be answered.

Secondly:
As Ed Kilgore (a moderate liberal blogger with a complicated relationship to the netroots) has put it, this wording "reflects the strange belief that politics is all about noise' and narratives'; whoever makes the most noise or gets the most Google hits is going to win, regardless of objective reality."

This somewhat cynical outlook is not a habit the netroots have merely fallen into; it's a deliberate strategy. Political punditry, in their view, is not a form of intellectual discourse but of political battle. In an interview last year with ABC News, Moulitsas explained the ethos with remarkable clarity:
I learned to talk the way I do in the U.S. Army. And we don't mince words. In politics, I don't see it any different. I see it as a battlefield. We didn't create this political environment; the Republicans did. The Rush Limbaugh[s] and Ann Coulter[s] created the world we live in, and, for too long, Democrats tried to keep the high ground: "Oh well, we're not going to go down in the muck with them."

And the bottom line is that they've been winning and we've been losing, and it isn't because a couple of people use a potty word. It's because they were aggressive, they promoted their side very effectively, they riled up the troops, they motivated their supporters, they made sure their base was well-nourished.
When you're in a battle, you use any weapon available.
Chait discusses the fact that Netroots as a movement isn't satisfied with 'discussion'. They want action. And they're not at all concerned with 'decorum'. If what they say ruffles feathers, too bad. So instead of endlessly discussing a subject with no "on the ground" consequences, they have become a loud and persistent pressure group who concentrate their ferocity not only on the right, but on those within the Democratic party who stray from what the Netroots agree is the unitary position on an issue.

The obvious thing is Democratic politicians are not only figuring this out, but reacting to it as well. The attack on Broder is only the latest manifestation of that reaction to Netroots pressure to act when attacked.
They attack liberals who, in their fervor to be seen as fair-minded, bend over backward so far that they do violence to truth. And they are quite right to do so. But the netroots critique is not that the liberal intelligentsia has stretched the conception of fairness too far; it is that the conception of fairness itself is folly. Any sense of detachment from the partisan fray is impossible. Earlier this year, [Duncan] Black made the point quite lucidly:
Lots of people imagine themselves to be, somehow, above the fray. The most obvious group which does this is journalists and their brethren. They fail to see themselves as actors on the political stage, instead of detached observers. ... I've also seen it in academics, who for all their supposed liberalness, to a great degree really see themselves outside of this grand messy business called politics. It's dirty, somehow.

You see it in technocrats, who too often devise their magical pony plans without considering the need to understand the broader context. From what people say, you see it in a lot of liberal donors/institutions, who somehow like to see what they do as operating outside of politics.
This ethos helps explain the enormous distrust between the netroots and the traditional liberal intelligentsia. (Or, as Black put it, the "incredible gap between those who see the debate as a kind of game and those who, you know, actually give a sh*t about stuff.") Part of it is the slight whiff of anti-intellectualism in some quarters of the netroots. (Moulitsas, echoing Black's thoughts, suggested that "intellectuals' who'd rather read books and measure purity are next-to-useless. I prefer people of action, not of [sic] elitist academics.") The prevailing sentiment here, however, is not a distrust of pointy heads. Rather, it's a belief that political discourse ought to be judged solely by its real-world effects. The netroots consider the notion of pursuing truth for its own sake nonsensical. Their interest in ideas, and facts, is purely instrumental.
That last line is both important and instructive, because what it says is the Netroots are committed to having a 'real-word effect' and understand that it must skillfully wield facts and ideas in a way which help enable the desired effect. IOW, they understand and accept the fact that they're propagandists, because, they believe, propaganda, properly done will indeed give them the desired 'real world effect' they're pursuing.

Key point:
To Walsh and other journalists, the relevant metric is true versus untrue. To an activist, the relevant metric is politically helpful versus politically unhelpful.

There is a term for this sort of political discourse: propaganda. The word has a bad odor, but it is not necessarily a bad thing. Propaganda is often true, and it can be deployed on behalf of a worthy cause (say, the fight against Nazism in World War II). Still, propaganda should not be confused with intellectual inquiry. Propagandists do not follow their logic wherever it may lead them; they are not interested in originality. Propaganda is an attempt to marshal arguments in order to create a specific real-world result—to win a political war.
Anyone who has watched the development of Netroots knows quite well this is precisely it's purpose. And they're not only unapologetic about it, but feel that their thrust into the realm of propaganda has them finally catching up with the right who has employed it very successfully since the Goldwater era.

Which brings us to this summary by Chait which supports my contention above that the letter to the Washington Post from 50 Democratic senators is a result of this revolution on the left driven by Netroots:
The netroots have already changed U.S. politics in sundry ways. They have pressured the Democratic Party to adopt more innovative tactics rather than rely on the cookie-cutter advice of high-priced consultants. And they have pressed the party to adopt a more adversarial tone. Earlier this year, for instance, liberal bloggers successfully lobbied Democratic candidates to boycott a debate forum sponsored by Fox News, on the grounds that their participation would legitimize Fox's dubious claim to be a balanced news organization.

They have raised significant sums of cash for politicians, organized volunteers, and brought together like-minded activists. This has, in turn, created an alternative power center for recruiting candidates for office. Before the net- roots, potential candidates who wanted the national party to take them seriously needed to raise large sums from familiar donors. Now they can raise money on the Internet and approach the national party from a position of strength. "They have totally changed the equation for what makes it possible for somebody to be a viable candidate," notes Mark Schmitt of the New America Foundation.

But the most important role played by the netroots is to purvey liberal and pro-Democratic propaganda to offset that coming from the right. As Moulitsas has noted, "We're better as a message machine."
They are a real and rising pressure group which is changing the game on the left and, frankly, it has leftist politicians nervous. As Chait points out, Democratic pols flocked to the "YearlyKos" event in Nevada simply because of that nervousness. And Chait's term "alternative power center" is a good one, because it speaks to the power they are exerting. What is unclear at this point is how much power that alternate power center really has. But it has enough that politicians are certainly not willing to ignore it or blow off what it says.

The right likes to denigrate and dismiss the Netroots as extremists (and I'm as guilty as anyone) and pretend they have no real political effect. But reading Chait's piece should cause you to rethink that position if you hold it.

Chait concludes:
The Democratic Party, as Moulitsas has written, is indeed undergoing a comprehensive reformation, as is liberalism in general. At the end of this reformation, what will the left look like? It will look a lot more like the Republican machine that prevailed in Florida. It will be nastier and more ruthless, and less concerned with intellectual or procedural niceties. It will be more of a disciplined movement and less of a collection of idiosyncratic personalities.

Conservatives have crowed for years that they have "won the war of ideas." More often than not, such boasts include a citation of Richard Weaver's famous dictum, "Ideas have consequences." A war of ideas, though, is not an intellectual process; it is a political process. As my colleague Leon Wieseltier has written, "[I]f you are chiefly interested in the consequences, then you are not chiefly interested in the ideas." The netroots, like most of the conservative movement, is interested in the consequences, not the ideas. The battle is being joined at last.
For better or worse, those emphasized lines reflect the Netroots paradigm. How successful they will be - within that paradigm, and imposing that paradigm - certainly depends on how unified they can remain and how much pressure they can bring to bear on politicians to effect the changes they deem to be politically necessary and desirable. That's still not clear, but what is clear is they're here to stay and they're, at least at present, having a real effect on politics.
 
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So basically, the netroots are evil people....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Rather, it’s a belief that political discourse ought to be judged solely by its real-world effects. The netroots consider the notion of pursuing truth for its own sake nonsensical. Their interest in ideas, and facts, is purely instrumental.
That struck a chord of familiarity. The impulses underlying the netroots politics is essentially the same as those that gave rise to Fascism (my emphasis):
In setting out to revise Marxism, syndicalists were most strongly motivated by the desire to be effective revolutionaries, not to tilt at windmills but to achieve a realistic understanding of the way the world works. In criticizing and re-evaluating their own Marxist beliefs, however, they naturally drew upon the intellectual fashions of the day, upon ideas that were in the air during this period known as the fin de siècle. The most important cluster of such ideas is "anti-rationalism."

Many forms of anti-rationalism proliferated throughout the nineteenth century. The kind of anti-rationalism which most influenced pre-fascists was not primarily the view that something other than reason should be employed to decide factual questions (epistemological anti-rationalism). It was rather the view that, as a matter of sober recognition of reality, humans are not solely or even chiefly motivated by rational calculation but more by intuitive "myths" (practical anti-rationalism). Therefore, if you want to understand and influence people’s behavior, you had better acknowledge that they are not primarily self-interested, rational calculators; they are gripped and moved by myths.

[...]

Practical anti-rationalism entered pre-Fascism through Georges Sorel (25) and his theory of the "myth." This influential socialist writer began as an orthodox Marxist. An extreme leftist, he naturally became a syndicalist, and soon the best-known syndicalist theoretician. Sorel then moved to defending Marx’s theory of the class struggle in a new way—no longer as a scientific theory, but instead as a "myth", an understanding of the world and the future which moves men to action. When he began to abandon Marxism, both because of its theoretical failures and because of its excessive "materialism," he looked for an alternative myth. Experience of current and recent events showed that workers had little interest in the class struggle but were prone to patriotic sentiment.

[...]

All these arguments emphasized the vital role of active minorities and the futility of expecting that the masses would ever, left to themselves, accomplish anything. Further corroboration came from Le Bon’s sensational best-seller of 1895—it would remain perpetually in print in a dozen languages—The Psychology of Crowds, which analyzed the "irrational" behavior of humans in groups and drew attention to the group’s proclivity to place itself in the hands of a strong leader, who could control the group as long as he appealed to certain primitive or basic beliefs. (30)

The initiators of Fascism saw anti-rationalism as high-tech. It went with their fast cars and airplanes. Fascist anti-rationalism, like psychoanalysis, conceives of itself as a practical science which can channel elemental human drives in a useful direction.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I’ve always found grim humor in the fact that the Left is justifying its turn to, essentially, Fascism (as MichaelW points out) as an answer to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, which has (supposedly) in the 90s systematically infiltrated the media and subverted it their own end, rigidly forcing the right-wing party line onto all participants without debate or question, destroying the conversation in this country, etc. etc. etc.

And the membership list of this Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy is the same every time: Rush Limbaugh... and... uh... um... [somebody else]. (If you’re willing to reach into the 2000s, you can add Ann Coulter apparently, and "Fox News", although I find labeling an entire organization a cop-out.)

If I tried to list the left-leaning media personalities with the audience of Rush (albeit obviously not in Radio), it’d take me hours.

This one almost solitary deviation from acceptable Left-ness apparently justifies a turn to Fascistic group-consensus control techniques and any arbitrary manipulation of the media and truth necessary to prevent the other side from even having its say.

I gotta say, if you’re position is so tenuous that one man justifies this sort of response, you need to consider whether your position is worth anything.

(And I say this as a person who feels that cracking the Leftist hold on the media will not result in a glorious ascension of the Right, but in massively-increased diversity in views of all kinds.)
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
Just as in regular fascism, you need an enemy to blame your failures on. Thus the belief that the VRWC is locking out your message while in reality, your message is getting fine and that regular people just aren’t swallowing it.
 
Written By: cap joe
URL: http://
It appears that the netroots have become a lobbying group. Except it as a whole reacts more quickly than a lobbyist, and it pressures the popular media in addition to legislators.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
What they consider treasonous is any criticism of any part of the Democratic Party or its activist base from the right.
Tell me about it. On my seventh comment on The Huffington Post I dared suggest Governor Bill Richardson may have trouble running for President because of New Mexico’s reputation for political corruption. That got me banned for life.

The first step in establishing a totalitarian state is to silence any opposition. We are suffering through that phase now. The newroots are not interested in what is best for the country, they only crave power. By embracing these tactics the Democratic Party has lost any legitimacy in a free society. Maybe they will be able to “run the trains on time.”
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
Great post, McQ, but Chris Bowers is furious over the "propaganda" claim...
 
Written By: D.G. Hall
URL: http://www.cadillactight.com
I’m just waiting for glasnost or Erb to chime in. I need a good laugh...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Two words: Herbert Marcuse.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
It looks like the netroots is setting the Democrat agenda. Their premise seems to be that Clintonian triangulation was the wrong approach.

I do agree that winning is the goal in politics. However, you do not win by adhering to stupid ideas. Their realpolitic approach seems to be that of a spoild chiled who wants it all, right now.

I run into the same sorta thing among gun owners, quite a few of which are upset that NRA and Republicans haven’t overturned the ’86 machine gun ban, that Bush said he’d sign the AWB renewal, yadda yadda yadda. Give me everything, give it now, else I’m gonna throw a tantrum and vote third party . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
”The netroots consider the notion of pursuing truth … nonsensical. Their interest in … facts, is purely instrumental… To Walsh and other journalists, the relevant metric is true versus untrue. To [a Democratic]… activist, the relevant metric is politically helpful versus politically unhelpful…There is a term for this sort of political discourse: propaganda. [Notice how the author tip-toes around the use of the real operative word “lieing” here. Think that’s an overstatement? Re-read the author.] ...the most important role played by the netroots is to purvey liberal and pro-Democratic propaganda … As Moulitsas has noted, "We’re … a message machine."”
Yes, Moulitsas, et al, and some local commenters here are a message machine. I have no problem with that per se. Getting out one’s message is what politics is all about. The disregard for truth and the construction, support and maintenance of Liberal Lalaland for the lazy sheeple is what I find execrable.
Forget for the moment that they are promoting power for the Democratic Party. Can any party that gains power by disregarding truth be good for America? And, incidentally training its believers to care less about truth and to accept supporting lies as a cost of maintaining political power?

Perhaps we would be better off to get out of Iraq, protect abortion anytime, anywhere, even have special rights for minorities and gays; whatever. And maybe we need to get rid of whatever President Bush represents and throw Mr. Limbaugh and Ms. Coulter out with them. Those are relatively minor matters in the scheme of things, compared to inculcating a disregard for truth into our political system.

Why do these folks hate Joe Lieberman so? Because he won’t lie to support the Liberal Narrative, that’s why. Think how much easier it would be to sell the Narrative to the sheeple if the only people who disagreed with it were those on the right. Piece of cake. So they must try to pressure and intimidate everyone on the left into supporting it; truth be damned.

Finally, is it true that this movement is an equal and opposite reaction to similar lieing by the right? Think why so much effort went into “Bush lied – people died”. Why was convicting “Scooter” so important? Perhaps the most important phony plank in the Liberal Narrative is that Republicans lie.
We know that all politicians lie. We’re talking here about lies on a much more important plane. It is so much easier to sell the concept of disregarding the truth if the opposition has already broken the ground. Have they, in this case? I don’t believe so and never have. And, of course, even had they done so, the cure is to punish them for it and any of your own people who do; not to justify even larger lies by your side in order to gain political power. We can all agree where that will lead.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Ed Kilgore:___ ...the strange belief that politics is all about noise’ and narratives’; whoever makes the most noise or gets the most Google hits is going to win, regardless of objective reality.
Moulitsas:___ We didn’t create this political environment; the Republicans did. The Rush Limbaugh[s] and Ann Coulter[s] created the world we live in...
So if objectivity is right out, why should one believe Kos’ contention that Limbaugh, Coulter, et. al., created it. After all, as Kilgore states, it’s all about the narrative.
Chait:___ But the netroots critique is not that the liberal intelligentsia has stretched the conception of fairness too far; it is that the conception of fairness itself is folly.
In this sense, fairness goes hand in hand with honesty; if one has no compunction to be fair in a "debate", then they will use any tool, including outright lies to win.
McQ:___ And they’re not only unapologetic about it, but feel that their thrust into the realm of propaganda has them finally catching up with the right who has employed it very successfully since the Goldwater era.
Buying into the narrative here McQ? Certainly the right uses similar argumentative tools, but I seem to recall many left-framed narratives dominating the political landscape. Remember a reduction in the rate of increase for some social program being called a cut?
Chait:___ But the most important role played by the netroots is to purvey liberal and pro-Democratic propaganda to offset that coming from the right.
McQ:___ The right likes to denigrate and dismiss the Netroots as extremists (and I’m as guilty as anyone) and pretend they have no real political effect.
Denigrate? Yes, and rightly so, especially given the admissions herein listed. Dismiss? Hardly. All honest right-bloggers I read try and expose this admitted dishonesty, while recognizing, and lamenting the breadth of this influence. (Yes, traditional media, even most of those on the right share the deplorable trait of dismissing as irrelevant web-based pundits and opinion molders.)
Chait:___ At the end of this reformation, what will the left look like? It will look a lot more like the Republican machine that prevailed in Florida. It will be nastier and more ruthless, and less concerned with intellectual or procedural niceties. It will be more of a disciplined movement and less of a collection of idiosyncratic personalities.
Again the narrative. Us poor Democratic people are only reacting and responding to those nasty Republicans who have blindsided and bloodied us with their unscrupulously evil tactics. Furthermore, if the media had done our wishes their job and exposed it long ago, we would not have to adopt these their tactics.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Buying into the narrative here McQ?


Actually I’m describing their perception of what they’re up against.
Certainly the right uses similar argumentative tools, but I seem to recall many left-framed narratives dominating the political landscape. Remember a reduction in the rate of increase for some social program being called a cut?
Agreed. Again, the point here is to describe where they came from and that from which their new paradigm comes.
Denigrate? Yes, and rightly so, especially given the admissions herein listed. Dismiss? Hardly. All honest right-bloggers I read try and expose this admitted dishonesty, while recognizing, and lamenting the breadth of this influence. (Yes, traditional media, even most of those on the right share the deplorable trait of dismissing as irrelevant web-based pundits and opinion molders.)
A good portion of them blow off their arguments as "nutroots" too bains, and you know it. The point of all of this was to point out that the netroots folks think they’re in a political war and are acting like it and it would be useful for the right to understand that and join it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
As a footnote, both sides of the political debate have engaged in framing a story for countless years. What I find revealing/disturbing is that the left now is essentially admitting to doing so dishonestly, and unabashedly. That is a change.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Damn, you replied too quickly.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
There is a difference between framing and lieing. Framing is OK, if you can get your opponents or possible proselytes to accept your framing. Not caring about the truth and cynically crafting lies into a narrative to deceive the ignorant and lazy...

Historically, our culture called these people con artists and they were despised.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Notice that liberals will attempt to rise above this discussion and, if somehow drug into it, deny that they have anything to do with propogating the LN. Of course, they won’t admit that they knowingly lie, who will? But just how dilligent are they in testing the LN they pass on for truth? If we reason with them from their bases (if given - rarely) through to their conclusions are we to assume that they are simply unaware of the disconnect? Are they claiming sheeple status?

No,it seems that limiting themselves to the truth is disappointing. There is too much that we obviously don’t know about the events of the day. The LN provides the "knowledge" that one needs to craft effective position statements. What we really need is credible alternatives from the Democrats. Alas...
Liberals are faced with the fact that the closest path to gaining their political desires is the LN. It is the salt and pepper needed to make alternatives to the Republicans palatable. Once one dispenses with the truth, why we have jalapenos, curry, lobster... only the imagination limits the possibilities. Add starving liberals and you have an apparently irresistable temptation.

No, Senator Lieberman has not only resisted, he has IMHO distinguished himself. It can be done.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Oh, one more thing. Let me point out that (at least for this thread) it’s liberals’ night out. They are all to busy to jump in. But, hey, if they did, Boy would they kick butt! Yesseree, they have nothing at all to be ashamed of, nothing at all. Let the righties crank up the noise machine, no matter. So, let the righties drone on. None of this has anything to do with them. No, not at all.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
An apt statement Notherbob, replete with irony.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
This sounds a lot like the phenomenon in
"Critical Mass" and Islam
except change out Islam with "the Liberal Left."

It certainly looks like it to me. I mean skipping out on the Fox debates was so childish yet all the leading Democrat candidates obediently executed a left face and marched away due to extreme pressure from the netroots.

I occasionally hang out at some of these netroots sites to see what the left is talking about and the only arguing going on over there is about who isn’t being radical liberal enough. They continually talk about getting their own house in order and regularly post the names of legislators who aren’t toeing the netroots line. It’s not just Republicans they are targeting it’s moderate Democrats too. They really hated seeing Lieberman win because they know he’s not beholden to the netroots the way Ned Lamont would have been.

I don’t know if the Netroots phenomenon has hit critical mass yet or not. The Lieberman case makes one hopeful that at least some moderate and conservative Democrats may be turned-off by the thuggish netroots tactics. I’m not so sure though that the majority of Democratic voters are tuned into the netroots websites.

My prediction: You know how the netroots are so up in arms to make sure voters don’t have to show any identification when voting...well I bet they try to institute just such a policy to make sure that outsiders don’t pollute their primaries. You know...evil Republican operatives sneaking in and voting for Hillary.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
Lefties? Lefties? Beuler?

cricket - cricket - cricket
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Well, this isn’t surprising given that many of the current generation of hard leftists idolize Tom Hayden, the SDS, etc. Radical leftism is inherently violent (unceasing worldwide revolution by put-upon "workers") thanks to its Marxist and Jacobin underpinings. The Radical right are poodles compared to this lot. Can you really imagine Pat Buchanan or Bo Gritz leading mobs of frothing at the mouth paleo-cons and Stormfront types against Washington? Didn’t think so. For one, paleo-cons are much more "academic" than revolutionary. And Stormfront and its clones are just a bad joke. If we keep going like this, Chicago 1968 is going to seem like a walk in the park. Markos is the new Fidel and Duncan Black is the new Che (although less charismatic and I suspect that he doesn’t look as dramatic in a beret). Viva la revolution! Schmucks.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
What you see in this thread is a good example of why most lefties prefer to limit their commenting to leftie blogs. The key concept is "framing". With Mr. McQuain’s post, which required, of course, the original author’s article, the framing is the issue of the radical left (which is pretty much the left, these days) disregarding the truth in favor of what works, I am free to come in with my standard position of being in favor of telling the truth and eschewing lies. Who wants to go up against that? Are you against telling the truth?

Now, I happen to think that this framing is fair, just and exactly what is appropriate for today’s political discussions. I can, however, see the point of lefties who might say: "Yes, but if we stick to the truth, we have to admit that our leaders have abdicated or whatever and only given us the Liberal Narrative to work with. While we may have problems with that, we can see that it is working and therefore the argument that what is working is good has a great deal of appeal versus a principled approach of sticking with the truth that leaves us out of power."

Frankly, I don’t see the problem. The Republicans have screwed up so badly that they should be easy pickings for a party that knows what it is doing. There must be something going on today that I don’t understand, because, other than Joe Lieberman and (God help me) Hillary Clinton (!) the Democratic Party cannot come up with a coherent platform and a personality to go with it that has any appeal in the real world whatsoever. But, one presumes that they are coming with what they think will work the best. Back to the point of the thread.

Lefties believe that they can ignore this thread and come back tomorrow with their [b*llsh*t] and that no one will notice or care. Given the sheeple they are used to dealing with, I can understand why they think they can get away with that. I believe that they severely underestimate the independent voter and that QnadO is a microcosm of that voter class.

Bottom line: Lefties, if you really want the Independent vote, quit lying doggo when the issue of truth is raised. Whatever you have to say is better than hiding in the weeds til the issue passes. Independents are smarter than the sheeple and that sh*t won’t fly with them.



 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
"What you see in this thread is a good example of why most lefties prefer to limit their commenting to leftie blogs."

Actually, I disagree. Lefties are much better at trolling than Righties. I have a few people at my blog who will pretty much repeat the same trope over and over again, no matter how many times its discredited. I almost feel like they agree to send a couple to every blog.

And I don’t think this framing/conscious disregard for facts began with the netroots. Go back, ironically, to the "we only want every vote to count" schtick. Or even earlier "Clinton is being impeached for sex." This has been the Dems’ M.O. at least since the Clinton Administration.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com

 
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