Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 1, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

THE LEFTY BLOGOSPHERE....Illinois Senator Barack Obama looks at the lefty blogosphere's strident vilification of the 22 Democrats who voted to confirm John Roberts to the Supreme Court and doesn't like what he sees. After all, he says, short of mounting an all-out filibuster, "blocking Roberts was not a realistic option":

In such circumstances, attacks on Pat Leahy, Russ Feingold and the other Democrats who, after careful consideration, voted for Roberts make no sense. Russ Feingold, the only Democrat to vote not only against war in Iraq but also against the Patriot Act, doesn't become complicit in the erosion of civil liberties simply because he chooses to abide by a deeply held and legitimate view that a President, having won a popular election, is entitled to some benefit of the doubt when it comes to judicial appointments.

....Or to make the point differently: How can we ask Republican senators to resist pressure from their right wing and vote against flawed appointees like John Bolton, if we engage in similar rhetoric against Democrats who dissent from our own party line? How can we expect Republican moderates who are concerned about the nation's fiscal meltdown to ignore Grover Norquist's threats if we make similar threats to those who buck our party orthodoxy?

American Prospect senior editor Garance Franke-Ruta also takes a look at the lefty blogosphere, and she's not especially happy either:

There has been a very weird backlash on the blogs against so-called civil-rights liberals in the past year, and, frankly, the more time I spend on the blogs, the less I know what liberalism still stands for, other than hating Bush and getting out of Iraq. There's a lot of talk of movement-building these days, but it's not at all clear to me what this new movement actually values.

Who's right? Both of them? Neither of them? Or a bit of each? Discuss.

Kevin Drum 1:26 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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