Tuesday, August 01, 2006

 

Greetings from Lieber-land

I am spending the closing days of the Lieberman-Lamont primary race volunteering for my old boss at the Lieberman campaign headquarters in lovely Rocky Hill, Connecticut. So ends my tenure as a contributor to the pro-Joe Lieberman blog Lieberdem, which is independent of the campaign. But when I have a free moment in between the madness over the next eight days, I do intend to post some news and observations on the Lieberman-Lamont race here.

One quick item I wanted to share relates to my experience with Lieberdem, which is quite revealing about the state of discourse in the blogosphere.

Matt Smith, the founder and operator of Lieberdem, decided early on that he was going to allow Lieberman critics and Lamont supporters to comment freely on the site, and many of the commenters have been nasty and juvenile. But over time, some voices of reason emerged and there was actually some healthy, substantive debate within the comments thread (in stark contrast to the echo-chamber conversations on most of the big sites in the Democratic blog-world).

One of those voices of reason was a Lamont supporter and blogger named Sundog. Recently Sundog made the mistake of discussing his positive experience on Lieberdem -- and daring to suggest that Joe Lieberman is not the personification of evil -- on Atrios, one of the more influential Democratic blogsites. For that, Sundog was attacked with the same venom the Lieberman-haters usually reserve for my old boss.

Below is Sundog's account of this episode, which aptly sums up the blogosphere's credibility problems.


Sundog's Blog
Concern Troll
By Sundog | bio

I am concerned about the rhetorical tone in the lefty blogosphere.

Oh, sorry; that makes me a "concern troll." You are now free to ignore anything I say.

Let me tell you about my week online last week. I spent a good deal of it over at LieberDem, trying to defend Kos and the rest of the lefty blogosphere against the charge that we're all wild-eyed crazies. Pretty much alone, I might add, and pretty much successfully for the most part - Lieberdem himself thanked me for bringing reaonable discourse to the process, and admitted I made some good points. I suppose to some, that means I slept with the enemy. But at any rate, I had great discussions and turned some trolls into participants in the conversation. A very satisfying experience. I felt like maybe I made just a little bit of a difference. Then...

...fast forward to today, when Atrios posts a comment about "What exactly is there to like about Joe Lieberman?" Rather exasperated. I foolishly jumped into the comments and said, prominently identifying myself as a Lamont supporter, come on, he's been a solid Democrat most of his life; it's just his choices over the last few years are wrong in my book.

Ever see a pack of dogs go after red meat?

The irony and the unfairness of the situation are still with me. First of all is the fact that over the last week I probably had far more positive effect on the Lamont campaign than the people who were busily banging their keyboards at me, and then the fact that I busted my b*lls trying to defend the excesses of the blogosphere, only to fall a victim to those very same people, who treated me with the same jump 'em and dump 'em tactics thay use on any Republican insane enough to post there.

My eyes are opened. You know what? When one can get a better conversation going on a Lieberman blog as a Lamont supporter than on Atrios's blog as a Lamont supporter, something is clearly wrong. Someone clearly needs to try the decaf.

My efforts to defend the lefty blogosphere as a sane participant in the political process are over. Fend for yourselves, guys. I thought maybe I was doing a good thing, trying to build bridges, but maybe nobody wants to cross a bridge to where you've arrived.

Comments:
That's Bull. Why did Sundog try to build bridges? Because he's in the Lieberman camp. Check this telling quote at Lieberdem:
"Sundog and I will be posting our thoughts there over the next week or two while the new site is being completed."

So, he has absolutely no right to complain. Atrios and his commenters stand stauchly against appeasenicks like Lieberman. And this isn't about Center vs. Left, it's about crawling into Bush's a** vs. being a truely oppositional party. Everyone stomping for Lieberman and his false centrism now is just enabling the extreme right wingers and neocons and playing Rove's game. There's nothing to be earned this way, it's a one way street. What did Lieberman ever get in return, where is a single centrist judge that was nominated?

The Dems didn't start this game, but they have to adjust to the hard realities created by Bush uncompromising stance. Lieberman isn't a bad guy, but he doesn't realise this isn't the good ole time of Clinton anymore, there are no bargains from the GOP, there is no centrist way. All the praise from the republicans right now shouldn't prevent Joe from seeing that they don't offer anythig, it's their way or the highway. But, as the idiotic bear cub ad shows, Lieberman is living in the past. Sry, but he has become an anachronsim. And his disregard for democratic ideals, shown by claiming to be entitled for a second chance, is shameful. Technically, his manoeuver may be legal, but ethically it's wrong. If he wanted to run as an independent, he shouldn't have run as Dem first. There's no special moral rule for Lieberman that allows him to have it both ways when other candidates respected the will of the people.

Atrios & co. are totally right in vigorously fighting this dangerous erosion of the Dems. Bush policy is absolutely wrong, there are no bridges. Appeasement can only lead further into desaster. Fight the collaborators, no pasaran!
 
"A new politics of unity and purpose?" what does that mean? It sounds like a new paradigm of synergies going forward--that is, it means absolutely nothing. For someone who brags in bold-face type about his "finely-tuned writing facilities" to his prospective clients, you seem unable to say anything meaningful.

Unless, of course, you're lying about an honorable man, calling him a racist. You're a real pro at lying.
 
Hey Dan,

Thanks for the notoriety, but I think since you used my comments to make your point, it's only fair for me to post a link to our new blog, where people can get a better idea of what I stand for.

You are welcome there anytime.
 
Whew! Glenn Beck? World War III? You have to be the worlds least brilliant communications advisor, ever.
 
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