Hogan's Alley

Friday, February 16, 2007

Netroots Taken To Task For Blind Support For Edward's House Bloggers

Dan Gerstein in Politico neatly highlights the problem with Kos and company. They are not interested in presenting or arguing political thought, they are purely interested in attacking their opposition by any means necessary. This is so even, as Gerstein points out, at the cost of winning converts to their view of things. While this is often also true of true believer bloggers on the right, Gerstein has chosen to take his own side of the political aisle to task.

What these liberal bloggers fail to appreciate is that this petty, polarizing approach is not how you ultimately win in politics – especially in an era when most average voters outside the ideological extremes are fed up with the shrill, reflexive partisanship that dominates Washington, and when the fastest growing party in America is no party.

The blogger bomb-throwing may be good for inflaming the activist base, and, as they demonstrated in the 2006 Lieberman-Lamont Senate primary race in Connecticut, for occasionally blowing up the opposition. It’s not bad for bullying your friends, either, as the liberal blogosphere did last week in pressuring Edwards to not fire the two bloggers who penned the offensive anti-religious posts.

But the typical blog mix of insults and incitements is just not an effective strategy for persuading people outside of your circle of belief – be they moderate Democrats, moderate Republicans, or the swelling number of independents – to join your cause. In fact, it’s far more likely to alienate than propagate them.

Something else most liberal bloggers fail to appreciate – we as Democrats can’t afford to repel those middle of the road, largely non-partisan voters.

In case you are in any doubt as to the truth of what Gerstein says, read the comments reacting to his piece. Precious little argument as to fact or philosophy, just pure name calling. They repeatedly refer to him as "Dangerstein", "Neocon" and that most dreaded of appellations, "Republican". (For the record, Gerstein is a Democrat who worked for Leiberman, a fact taken by the lefties as sure proof of his evilness.)

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