John Aravosis at AMERICAblog slams the NY Times Adam Nagourney for partisan editorializing in his supposed news report on the impact of the internet on politics: “Internet Injects Sweeping Changes Into U.S. Politics.” Throughout the piece Nagourney seems to reserve criticism for the Democrats and their use of blogs, but Aravosis is particularly annoyed by one glaring mischaracterization:
Bloggers, for all the benefits they might bring to both parties, have proved to be a complicating political influence for Democrats. They have tugged the party consistently to the left, particularly on issues like the war, and have been openly critical of such moderate Democrats as Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut.
Uh-huh. As Aravosis correctly points out, to characterize Sen. Lieberman as “moderate” is to imply that the rest of the Democratic senate caucus is substantially left of center. In fact, Lieberman is a conservative Democratic… by his voting record and public statements, the most conservative Democrat in the Senate. It is Lieberman, Aravosis says, who is out of step with the mainstream, not the bloggers who criticize him:
Tug the party to the left? You mean, the 60-some percent of the American people who agree with Democratic/progressive blogs that the war in Iraq is a disaster are now “lefties,” all 60-some percent of them? That is simply absurd.
But I think Nagourney has myopically missed a larger point. No doubt us liberal bloggers have created more heartburn for the Democratic establishment than our right-wing counterparts have for the Republicans… but that is because we’re more relevant. The conservative blogosphere mostly operates as a redundant organ of a well established right-wing media echo chamber, whereas the liberal blogosphere — the “netroots” — is making up for decades of Democratic neglect, by organically building an entirely new media infrastructure, virtually overnight.
Essentially… the right wing blogs are just another hammer in the GOP establishment’s toolbox, whereas the liberal blogs are not only providing a new and powerful media tool to the Democrats… we’re in the process of taking over the party.
The GOP has their corporate controlled media and their right-wing talk radio, so while the blogs are useful, they’re not essential to getting their message out. But us liberal bloggers are quickly becoming indispensable to the Democratic Party. And as we play a larger and larger role in communicating the message, we’ll also inevitably play a larger and larger role in shaping it. Our goal is to help the Democrats win… and then enact the policies we want.
How indispensable have the liberal blogs become? I’ll follow up in a later post, in which I’ll point out another fact that Nagourney missed: how quickly the liberally blogosphere has grown to eclipse the blogs on the right, both in terms of readership and impact… a trend that has not only played out nationally, but quite clearly in WA state as well.