August 4, 2007

"Democratic presidential candidates have started treating the blogosphere like any other special interest."

"They’ve reached the conclusion that the liberal bloggers are more a community than an ideological movement, more like, say, the Armenian-American community than NARAL," says Politico.
And so candidates have reacted the way politicians always have to co-opt troublesome communities: They have put leading bloggers on payroll, showed up at blogger events and come out strong for narrow causes of interest solely to members of that community. Gone, at least for now, are the days when the Netroots seem poised to push the party to accept a unified view of the nation’s future.

“They’re so painfully craving any type of mainstream acceptance that they’re prone to the crassest kind of flattery and pandering, which weakens them,” said a senior aide to a Democratic campaign of the bloggers. Recalling a lavish party then-candidate Mark Warner threw at the 2006 YearlyKos convention in Last Vegas, the aide noted: “Mark Warner bought them off with a fountain and some chocolate strawberries.”
I think bloggers are tougher than this. We'd better be! Take the access, but don't be duped into liking anyone because of it. Demand respect. You deserve it. Don't feel flattered when you get it.


Paul Zrimsek said...

Calvin Coolidge famously took a photo-op wearing an Indian headdress. This weekend brings us the entire Democratic lineup posing in tinfoil hats.

rhhardin said...

I think the role of bloggers is limited to finding the right words for this or that.

When they're the right words, many others will seize on the words, and that's all the influence you get.

Anything beyond that, and the machine simply incorporates you.

vet66 said...

I note the democratic prime candidates found a convenient excuse to bail on the KKK (Kwazy Kos Kids.)

All it took was a chocolate fountain and some strawberries? Unbelievable!

Not really!

B said...

As far as your advice to Democrat bloggers:

Take the access, but don't be duped into liking anyone because of it. Demand respect. You deserve it. Don't feel flattered when you get it.

Too late.

Doyle said...

Demand respect. You deserve it. Don't feel flattered when you get it.

"How I Handle All the Respect I Get", by Ann Althouse

John Stodder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Stodder said...

I'm a little surprised by the kicker in this post. Ann, you have nothing in common with the Kos Kollection. Most good bloggers, you included, are more like journalists and commentators. I can't imagine you pimping a candidate unless it was someone you genuinely liked. And you'd expect your comment thread to turn into an argument about it, not a series of "how right you are, boss!" type salutes, like the Kos threads turn into.

The Kostkos are exactly as Politico says, an ideological movement that has quickly deteriorated into a special interest group. Meaning, nothing they say can be trusted because it is all in the service of their desired goals. They are the keepers of "the narrative," which is supposed to be the thing that all Democrats stand behind and never contradict or else its magic powers go away. (This is all stuff they've half-digested from that Berkeley linguist.)

How's it working out for them? Poorly. Their impotent rage at the FISA votes is a sign that their purported allies have figured out how much of a big nothing they are.

Most bloggers are narrative-disrupters, people who dance on the conventional wisdom til it breaks. They're not a political movement. They are authors in a new and very powerful medium.

Kos is like Mickey Rooney: "Hey everyone, let's all get together and elect a senator!" But those kinds of movies quickly became seen as corny, dumb fantasies.

Fen said...

Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) has amped up his running clash with Fox, demanding that his rivals return contributions from Fox executives.

Ha. Does that include the $800,000 he got from Murdoch? More evidence that the Left doesn't really believe in the things they lecture about:

John Edwards, who yesterday demanded Democratic candidates return any campaign donations from Rupert Murdoch and News Corp., himself earned at least $800,000 for a book published by one of the media mogul's companies.

The Edwards campaign said the multimillionaire trial lawyer would not return the hefty payout from Murdoch for the book titled "Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives."

Edwards: FOX is Evil but my book deal is...different

John Stodder said...

My God, what a stupid issue this FOX thing is. Hillary ought to just shoot him a look at the next debate and say, "John, don't we have more important things to worry about than a TV station?"

Fen said...

...wondering if Hillary is savy enough to appear on FOX, maybe an interview with Brit Hume. She'll talk about appealing to ALL of America, bridging divides, coming together to solve our problems, yada yada yada... and then challenge the other candidates to show their faces at a FOX debate.

She's the only Dem with the balls to do it.

blake said...

Hey! I love those Rooney/Garland Andy Hardy pix!

American Interests said...

Sometimes bloggers are not respected due to a virtual proliferation of citizen, self-referential amateur bloggers who serve up opinion and innuendo as fact, undermining truth and thus distorting the medium with noise. With so many of the latter around it becomes increasingly difficult to gain respect.

My tip is: Blog unconditionally, express yourself fully and honestly, put expectations away (or simply dispense with them) and respect your audience all the while seeking respect back. And if quoting from a source, provide a link to it.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that the best thing that Hillary could do politically would be to go on Fox, esp. with someone like Hume. But then, surviving O'Reilly would be even better.

I also though agree that the Kos crowd are somewhat similar to to the type of special interests that esp. the Democrats build into their coalitions. So, putting on a tin foil hat at a Kos convention is no different than trying to speak Black at a NAACP convention, or Spanish at a Hispanic event.

Ann is in the unwashed middle now, despite her belief in her liberality. There is some of this sort of working the blogosphere on the right, with at least Fred Thompson figuring out how to tap into the blogs there. Not the tone, but definitely working with the major right of center blogs.