January 28, 2006

Are bloggers making things difficult for Democrats?

The WaPo observes the way bloggers who are trying to help the Democrats are posing a problem for them:
Democrats are getting an early glimpse of an intraparty rift that could complicate efforts to win back the White House: fiery liberals raising their voices on Web sites and in interest groups vs. elected officials trying to appeal to a much broader audience.

These activists -- spearheaded by battle-ready bloggers and making their influence felt through relentless e-mail campaigns -- have denounced what they regard as a flaccid Democratic response to the Supreme Court fight, President Bush's upcoming State of the Union address and the Iraq war. In every case, they have portrayed party leaders as gutless sellouts.
But it's the same old story, as the article acknowledges. The most activist members of a party want something stronger than what ordinary people like. How have bloggers made this any worse? One of the examples in the story is the demand for a filibuster of the Alito nomination, which was made on DailyKos -- but it was made by John Kerry, who, for whatever reason, decided it was a good idea to be writing there. Whether that counts as bloggers putting on the pressure, I don't know. Kerry could have found a forum in any number of places. And the fact is, the NYT was calling for a filibuster too.


Jacques Cuze said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
knoxgirl said...

Are Democrat politicians *really* trying to appeal to the mainstream? Because I've been wanting them to try for a long time and I just don't see it.

I think almost all Democrats are sort of infatuated with and romanticize their more radical, leftist side--this makes them see something like filibustering Alito as "bold" and "brave"--instead of kookyand impractical.

I think they just can't resist defaulting to that with someone like Bush in the Whitehouse! So they keep sabotaging themselves again and again. Bloggers like kos may help that along, but they're certainly not causing it.

XWL said...

Being a liberal means it's always 1968

For some reason the Democrats think being successful means pandering to those hippie wannabes.

Pres. Clinton proved that wrong, even Pres. Carter to some degree, nobody espousing the old routine hippie crap has been elected president, and no one ever will.

That was the real damage done to Sen. Kerry in 2004, not the 'swiftboating' but the reminder that he pretended to be a dirty 'effin' hippie after coming back from the war.

It got him his party's nomination and a bunch of blue states, and nothing else.

Any Democrat who follows that path will garner the same.

Jake said...

A number of left-wing bloggers have 529 money behind them. That means the politician better do what the blogger says if he wants a massive donation.

I think the money is the element that is driving the Democrat politicians to the far left and away from mainstream thought.

Gaius Arbo said...

I had a pretty telling conversation with someone the other day. He's a life-long Democrat and a municipal employee union member. I mentioned this sudden filibuster stuff to him. His exact comment to me was: "I want my party back". He's sick of the charge to the extreme left. He no longer votes the union "recommended" lists.

I've said it before, if the Dems have lost the union rank and file they are in deep trouble.

Elizabeth said...

Interesting comments on Democrats. But I'm inclined to see this as yet another mainstream media mystified by blogging story.

reader_iam said...

In relatively recent memory, I've had someone say to me, in connection with our troops currently over see, that we need to remember Vietnam, where the protestors were the best and the brightest. In future, she says, today's current anti-war, progressive activists will be remembered the same way.

She's a staunch Democrat, a lawyer, in her late '50s or so. She is very sincere and passionate.

(And she doesn't live on a coast or a large urban area.)

Kling's onto something, I think.

reader_iam said...

I think SOME bloggers are making it difficult. Remember, media closely follows what's going on in the blogosphere these days, often taking tips and memes from there.

In this sense, I do think there is some truth to the charge.

Elizabeth said...

The Washington Post has a recent history with its own blog, doesn't it? I just don't give them much credbility in being objective here.

Pooh said...

XWL, out of curiosity, what is that "hippie crap"?

Jeff said...

It's the same old story but with a twist. The nutcase fringe is pulling the marionette strings of the Dems in a way that's not happening with the Republicans. You don't see Republican presidential candidates opining on Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler & LGF. Hillary lacks Bill's finessing smarm, the kind that makes MoDo wet. It will be entertaining to see the Dems outdo each other to stake out the Doppler Shift Left, & may foretell a split in the Dem party, the way the Social Dems split from Labour when it became infested with leftist ideologues. It took a split to get Labour to move back towards the center.

At SOME point - losing 06 & 08? - the Dems will realize that Vietnam era identity politics is over, & the left-wing coelacanths will be purged. Can you imagine how bad their prospects will be if the Republicans actually get their act together?

Aspasia M. said...

It seems to me that election advice from Republicans to Democrats is highly suspect.

(By the way, the 49 percent of the country who voted for Kerry are not "hippies." If they were, we would see a dismaying ammount of tie-dye and other horrible fashion choices. I can safely say that I was not responsible for any of those fashion mistakes.)

AJ Lynch said...

The Dems can't seem to figure out what and where the mainstream is. I suggest the Dems get one of those "Easy" buttons at Staples to help them find the mainstream.

Cause the liberal blogs sure ain't mainstream. They are nothing but very angry whackadoodles who see evil and conspiracies everywhere.

in_the_middle said...

let's not get so full of ourselves here. for the folks who deny there is just as strong of an intra-party division in the GOP, i have two words: terry schiavo. oh, wait, more: right to die. ooh even more: john mccain and rudy giuliani.

i know, go frist myself. but let's keep perspective here.