I thought it was just my imagination, that the Left Blogosphere had become distressingly dull and dry. Apparently not:
But with another critical election two weeks away, politicians, political operatives, and even the bloggers themselves say the Netroots are a whisper of what they were only four years ago, a dial-up modem in a high-speed world, and that the brigade of laptop-wielding revolutionaries who stormed the convention castle four years ago have all but disappeared as a force within the Democratic Party.
I am a centrist and a moderate. I don’t identify either with the Right or the Left. Indeed, my eyes start to glaze over when I read the words “the Right” or “the Left”. And I vastly prefer a tempered, controlled level of discourse. I think such control promotes discourse where vitriol discourages it.
I do find it sad that the Left Blogosphere has fallen from its heights. I’m even sadder than there’s so little interaction between the two biggest corners of the American political blogosphere. Echo chambers are maddening whatever they’re echoing.
In my view there are a number of reasons for this that go unmentioned in the cited post, a collection of remembrances and interviews. I think these things are interrelated.
First, both political parties are dominated by technocrats and professional organizers. They have been, are, and always will be. Recent Harvard grad who hews to the party line, won’t pee on the carpet, and do what he’s told? Have or can raise money? Welcome, friend! Otherwise, fuggedaboutit. There isn’t much room for mavericks or, at least, mavericks without money.
And, as I’ve complained before, a lot of those in the Left Blogosphere really sound as though they’re angling for a job, presumably as a media consultant for a Democratic campaign or administration somewhere. There aren’t nearly as many of those jobs available as there are Left Blogosphere bloggers who want them.
Second, sadly, a lot of the Left Blogosphere bloggers of those olden days were sold a bill of goods. The people they put their support behind are narcissists who don’t give a darn about improving things, good or honest government, or much of anything else except getting elected to office and raising money to get elected to office.
They shouldn’t feel so all alone. The Right Blogosphere bloggers of today will be disappointed, too, because the people they put their support behind are narcissists who don’t give a darn about improving things, good or honest government, or much of anything else except getting elected to office and raising money to get elected to office.
Third, a lot of the discontent that was out there was just plain anti-Bush. No Bush, no urgency. Yes, there are a few True Believers out there. Glenn Greenwald comes to mind. I doff my figurative hat to him. I don’t really have a hat head.