Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 7, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

THE NETROOTS....Prof. Bainbridge, who is unhappy that the White House is giving short shrift to the Harriet-phobes in its own party, emails to ask if I agree with this:

I have the distinct impression that the Democratic Party sees the liberal blogosphere as being inside the tent, while the Republican Party views the conservative blogosphere as being somewhere between an irrelevance and a minor nuisance. Maybe this is true, at least in part, because many prominent "conservative" bloggers (Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Reynolds, Stephen Green, and Eugene Volokh spring to mind) are not exactly stalwart Republican party loyalists but rather libertarians (or whatever) who put routinely put their principles ahead of party interests. Alternatively, maybe the Democrats have just decided to follow Lyndon Johnson's advice about keeping your critics inside the tent peeing out rather than outside the tent peeing in.

Democrats do seem to pay more attention to the blogosphere than Republicans, but I don't think party loyalty is really the reason. After all, liberals are famously fractious, and liberal blogs spend a tremendous amount of energy fragging the Democratic establishment. I'd offer the following explanations instead: (a) Howard Dean, (b) the success of Daily Kos, a phenomenon that's unique in the blogosphere, (c) natural liberal devotion to egalitarianism, and (d) the fact that Dems are out of power and Republicans aren't.

What's more, in the specific case of Harriet Miers, liberals aren't really any more united than conservatives just a bit quieter. In fact, at the moment, most liberal bloggers seem to be sitting around in confusion. Should we back off because she's probably the best we can do? Or is she a stealth ultraconservative? Should we get out the popcorn and cheer the prospect of conservatives tearing each other apart? Or stick up for principle and oppose her because she's flatly unqualified? And why did Harry Reid recommend her in the first place, anyway?

Plus there's one other thing: George Bush is an arrogant SOB who takes an almost adolescent pride in never listening to his critics. We've been trying to tell you that for a while. Now you know.

Kevin Drum 12:32 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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