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July 10, 2006

David Brooks: Dems Hate Kos & Nutroots

Well at least we agree on that much.

Quoting David Brooks' recent column:

But over the past few years [Lieberman] has been subjected to a vituperation campaign that only experts in moral manias and mob psychology are really fit to explain. I can't reproduce the typical assaults that have been directed at him over the Internet, because they are so laced with profanity and ugliness, but they are ginned up by ideological masseurs who salve their followers' psychic wounds by arousing their rage at objects of mutual hate.

The most important words there are "ideological masseurs who salve their followers' psychic wounds." This isn't just politics.

And Dems are afraid of these maniacs:

Over the past few years, polarizers have dominated Congress because people who actually represent most Americans have been too timid or intellectually vacuous to stand up. Even today many Democrats who privately despise the netroots lie low, hoping the anger won't be directed at them.

This prompts Jim Geraghty to wonder:

How could I entrust a Democratic lawmaker to stand up to al-Qaeda, Iran, North Korea or some other angry extremist, if he or she won't stand up to Daily Kos?

In fairness, the threat posed by terrorists is largely abstract, and statistically unlikely. However, I think we all live in fear that the Freshmaker is going to show up at our homes with his rag-tag parade of drooling imbeciles who then dance around like monkeys on oxycontin, as happened to poor Ned Lamont.

Now that's terrorism. And I'm tired of Bush's declarations that I must go about my life as I would normally, just pretending I'm not under imminent threat of being swept up in some sort of impromptu psyciatric-outpatient-therapy/roadshow revue of Godspell.

Riehl World View rounds up some of the latest media news about Kos and the nutroots, and wondering if the Kossacks' excesses will hurt bloggers generally.

Obviously, they will. Let me postulate a conspiracy theory: the sinistrosphere, angry that the dextrosphere seems to get results and behave somewhat reasonably, has decided to destroy the right's blog-advantage by demolishing the credibility of bloggers generally by behaving like bug-eating lunatics. And the media, also eager to take bloggers down, focuses like a laser on the sinistrosphere's crazies.

Discuss.

BTW, of course I don't believe that. They haven't the requisite emotional control to manage such an operation. But that is the effect.

I dig this piece by Jonathan Chait, last seen declaring how much he loathed George Bush.

Here, he argues that Bush is, yes sirree indeedee, more dangerous than Osama bin Ladin:

A good window into the competing mentalities can be found in two arguments, one by prominent Lieberman supporters, the other by a prominent critic. First, the supporters. Writing in the Hartford Courant, Marshall Wittmann and Steven J. Nider of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council complain that "far too many Democrats view George W. Bush as a greater threat to the nation than Osama bin Laden."

Those loony Democrats! But wait, is this really such a crazy view? Even though all but the loopiest Democrat would concede that Bin Laden is more evil than Bush, that doesn't mean he's a greater threat. Bin Laden is hiding somewhere in the mountains, has no weapons of mass destruction and apparently very limited numbers of followers capable of striking at the U.S.

Bush, on the other hand, has wreaked enormous damage on the political and social fabric of the country. He has massively mismanaged a major war, with catastrophic consequences; he has strained the fabric of American democracy with his claims of nearly unchecked power and morally corrupt Gilded Age policies. It's quite reasonable to conclude that Bush will harm the nation more — if not more than Bin Laden would like to, than more than he actually can.

And here's the sad part. Chait is part of the "respectable media," and his unhinged pronouncements are considered to be part of the reasonable voices of the liberal establishment.

Even given Chait's fairly nutty thesis, the nutroots attack him for going on to suggest that they are too obsessed with left-liberal ideological purity. Sure, what he wrote was crazy, but it wasn't crazy enough.



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posted by Ace at 01:55 PM

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