And Signifying Nothing

In my last post I talked about the nay-sayers on the left, the ones who cannot find anything to praise about a Democratic administration.   At the end of it, I said that:

They don’t want the work and responsibility of making their ideals a reality, to do the dirty work of getting people elected.  They’d much rather sit and complain.   For people who claim to be “the future” when it comes to organizing an effective political movement, of being “reality based,” they’re not very effective or based in reality.

I didn’t make that claim idly, based on no evidence.  I have seen them in action, over the past two years.  I talked about one of the major factors in disillusioning me in one of my first posts here.  A little over a year ago, there was a special election for an open congressional seat – my congressional district, in fact.  The candidate the party selected was not “progressive.”   Daily Kos erupted about that.  To be honest, I wasn’t tremendously happy either, as my local Party chair will attest.  However, after meeting him, and getting to listen to him, I realized that yes, while he wasn’t “progressive,” he was a very impressive candidate, and I was willing to support him.  This was a district that had portions which had not had a Democrat representing them in 150 years.  The problem?  Daily Kos, and in particular Kos himself were not willing to get behind the candidate.  In fact, Kos more-or-less endorsed the Republican candidate in that race.

Real Democrats and progressive organizations turned out and worked, and helped along by a truly horrific Conservative/Tea Party candidate’s series of blunders, managed to elect the Democrat. Representative Bill Owens has done a fine job for this district, and has stood with the Party on several crucial votes.

I mention this not to demonstrate my remarkable capacity to carry a grudge, but because there are some aspects of this that bear examination.  There was a lot of vituperation directed by the Daily Kos and Firedoglake crews against the Democratic Party apparatus in this district.  Mostly because the Party chairs had failed to select a “true progressive.”   The idea that the Party chairs might know their regions better than the bloggers was not something they considered – or brushed aside.  The amount of actual “work” – get out the vote efforts, donations of money, etc. – the “netroots” did was non-existent.  There was a lot of talk about how losing this race would be “good for the Party.”  Those of us who objected to that were derided.

There were several take-aways from this.  First off, it turned out that it really didn’t matter to the voters or party officials what Daily Kos or Firedoglake thought.   Most of the people in this district (and I’ll bet in most congressional districts) have never heard of them.  The idea that their opinion mattered to the party officials and voters here was remarkably arrogant.  Second, they weren’t any help before, they weren’t helping then, and they’re not to be seen now.  If one is trying to build influence in a party, or make them notice you and take your views into account, it’s one of those things you really should do.  Third, the idea of “party loyalty” on their part was flushed down the toilet.  It’s not that they were disappointed – it’s that they immediately dumped on the candidate selected, and threw bouquets at the Republican nominee.

One time deal?  No, they’ve been doing it for quite some time.  Read all the gushing comments about Charlie Crist in the Florida Senate race.  You’d think he was a staunch progressive, wouldn’t you?  Except he’s not.  He’s a life-long conservative (mostly) Republican (now Independent).  It should be hard to believe that the people who screamed so much about the Blue Dogs and “ConservaDems” would ignore a fairly progressive Democratic candidate for the Senate in that state, but they’re demonstrating that consistency is not one of their virtues.   At the same time, they’ve managed to be … absent … when it comes to fielding challengers to their “enemies.”

In a comment on another blog a while back, I said that the netroots needs to remember that there are times to be less “net” and more “roots.”  Unfortunately, they think the “net” is sufficient.  Even worse, in inhabiting the echo chambers of the Internet, they’ve convinced themselves that they matter.  They’ve made a lot of noise, they’ve pontificated endlessly, but in the end,  they signify nothing.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “And Signifying Nothing

  1. TrumpDog

    I think a great example was the race between Blanche Lincoln and Bill Halter. DKos (understandably) hated her and threw their weight behind Halter. They cheered him, constantly touted his good poll numbers and raised money for him. What was the result? Lincoln won. Who did they blame? President Obama. Not the voters who actually lived there. Not Clinton – who endorsed and campaigned for her. Not the fact that Lincoln campaigned in a way that netted her more votes. In true ODS style, they blamed the president for standing behind her not understanding the incumbent gets the White House’s support.

    I wish the people at that site would use reason when making their arguments but many times they go off half-cocked and cling to hyperbole, rumors and innuendo. Unfortunately, it’s the Hamshers and the Moulistas that get the biggest mics because they offer red meat hate nuggets against the Obama administration. This has led them to believe they are of the utmost importance in opinion and can sway elections. Since they cannot, they’d rather sit on the sidelines, boo, hiss and complain and cheer ANY negativitity regarding the Democrats and the administration. It’s the classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Well, in about two months they will get what they want. I hope that finally makes them happy.

    • It’s become a group of very selfish people who are acting like spoiled children. They want their way (whatever it is at the moment) and they want it now. They want to be told how wonderful they are and have their self-esteem boosted.

      They’re really divorced from the realities of politics and governing. Anyone who bothers to pay attention, let alone just studying history, would realize that things are never simple or easy – and it takes time. For supposed “political geeks” they’re remarkably obtuse.