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Help Wanted | Main | Howard Dean Plans a Multi-Course Meal
February 14, 2005

The Leftosphere Got Its Scalps, Too, and I Don't Mean St. Gannon

In the Johnny Carson "I did not know that" file:

The New Republic's Ryan Lizza has a fascinating account of how "a guerrilla squad of Democratic bloggers" knocked down every other contender for the post [to clear the field for Howard Dean]. An example is ex-Rep. Tim Roemer of Indiana, who had the backing of Harry Pelosi and Nancy Reid:
The entire field of candidates, in concert with the insular liberal blogosphere, rose up and destroyed Roemer.

The hit was silent and deadly. One day I received by messenger a dirty and smudged envelope with no return address. Inside were five pages of anti-Roemer opposition research about his positions on everything from Israel and abortion to labor and Social Security. The same information was fed to numerous blogs, which quickly declared Roemer anathema. "Unless Roemer publicly, loudly, and completely repudiates his recent [pro-privatization] position on Social Security, he is utterly unacceptable as DNC chair," said a post on the pro-Dean site, which served as a key clearinghouse of information about the race. (Roemer did repudiate that position, but it wasn't enough.)

By the time Roemer showed up on "This Week" for a Sunday morning announcement of his candidacy, which, in the old days, might have helped solidify him as the establishment choice, he was badly damaged. He spent most of his interview with George Stephanopoulos defensively responding to bloggers he had clearly never heard of, like MyDD and The Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum. . . .

Roemer never recovered. ...

What's interesting here isn't the medium--the rise of bloggers is old news--but the message. In a column presumably filed before Jordan quit, U.S. News & World Report's Michael Barone contrasts the Howard Dean ascendancy with the Dan Rather scandal:

What hath the blogosphere wrought? The left blogosphere has moved the Democrats off to the left, and the right blogosphere has undermined the credibility of the Republicans' adversaries in Old Media. Both changes help Bush and the Republicans.

Interesting. I had no idea that left-wing bloggers had cleared the field for Dean. I thought they were too busy working on this HUGE ENORMOUS JEFF GANNON MEGA-SCANDAL.

So they got their scalps, too.

But, as BOTW notes, the dynamic here is right bloggers dragging leftwing institutions closer to the center, and left bloggers dragging leftwing institutions closer to the left wing.

We'll see how that works out for them.

digg this
posted by Ace at 11:18 PM

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