Hogan's Alley

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Joe Klein On Attacks By The Leftie Blogosphere

Joe Klein blogs today about the ongoing attacks on him by the "progressive" blogosphere following his posting about the votes of Rep. Jane Harman and Hillary and Barrack on the Iraq funding bill. He had the temerity to, "post(ed) what Harman said on Swampland, the political blog at Time.com, along with my opinion that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had changed their positions and voted against the funding for the worst possible reason: presidential politics."

This is not the first time this kind of free-range lunacy has been visited upon me. Indeed, it happens, oh, once a week to each of us who post on Swampland (Karen Tumulty, Jay Carney and Ana Marie Cox are the others). A reasonable reader might ask, Why are the left-wing bloggers attacking you? Aren't you pretty tough on the Bush Administration? Didn't you write a few months ago that George W. Bush would be remembered as one of the worst Presidents in history? And why on earth does any of this matter?
Klein celebrates the wisdom and potential of much of the blogosphere, but:

... the smart stuff is being drowned out by a fierce, bullying, often witless tone of intolerance that has overtaken the left-wing sector of the blogosphere. Anyone who doesn't move in lockstep with the most extreme voices is savaged and ridiculed—especially people like me who often agree with the liberal position but sometimes disagree and are therefore considered traitorously unreliable. Some of this is understandable: the left-liberals in the blogosphere are merely aping the odious, disdainful—and politically successful—tone that right-wing radio talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh pioneered. They are also justifiably furious at a Bush White House that has specialized in big lies and smear tactics.

The intolerance is not reserved only for those who take any nuanced view of politics, but progressives seem to want to assign a special place in hell for those they think of as reachable via appeals to the catechism of liberal ideology. It is rather like the vehemence of Scientologists toward those who leave the flock.

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