Jerks In The Circle
The libloggers have spoken, sort of, and man, what a sorry group they are. I knew that many of the larger lib sites contained little more than "Go Dems Go!" rhetoric, but I must admit that I was somewhat surprised by their inability to defend this position, such as it is. Max Sawicky nailed them and nailed them good; and their whiny, self-absorbed responses merely reinforced Max's original point.
I thought that Steve Gilliard would put up a better fight -- not necessarily a fact-based counterstroke, given Gilliard's rather loose grip on political reality beyond his keyboard, but something that possessed a little passion. His ego alone could cough up a quick 700 words. But instead, Gilliard retreated, waxing on about some anonymous housewife in Ohio who wants her own voice heard in national affairs, and how her desire is feared and despised by elitist, lefty pointy heads who hate average people, unlike Gilliard and his friends, who are the real populists, and who, through blogging, are empowering her while changing the world.
Yeah. Can't you just feel the societal shift?
While Gilliard composed his fantasy scenario, Marcos "Kos" Moulitsas decided to engage Max directly:
"Here's my take on the whole matter -- 'intellectuals' who'd rather read books and measure purity are next-to-useless. I prefer people of action, not of elitist academics. And I say that as someone who collected degrees as a hobby. What did all those Marx readers deliver the country? Nixon. Reagan. Bush. Bush II. Not to mention the DeLays, the Scalias, and the long national nightmare that is just now being stemmed.
"That's not a knock on people who've been fighting the good fight. Just on those who think the intellectual circle jerks of the 60s are superior to what we're building today."
To say that Kos is ahistorical here is an understatement. The guy is simply a dolt -- an aggressive, careerist dolt, mind you, who is clawing upward for senior mule status, but a sack of rocks all the same.
The inescapable bottom line is this: libloggers largely talk and link to each other. When Kos complains about "intellectual circle jerks," he's simply projecting what he, his followers, and imitators do on a daily basis (though their exertions are more pseudo-intellectual). The idea that online libs are "changing reality" or "saving lives" or even "reaching out and empowering" the common folk is a self-serving delusion. The vast majority of the American public do not read political blogs of any stripe, and I guarantee you that I can walk down my Midwestern street, knock on every door, ask "What's your opinion of DailyKos?" and receive more blank stares and mumbled "Who?"s than "Why, he's a man of action! A true progressive force!"
What Kos and company are "building today" is little more than a pro-Dem consensus for those already predisposed to the idea. Idependent, critical thinking about empire, global capital, other "wars of choice" (just wait until their Dem heroes support a US attack on Iran -- we got a preview of their reactions during Israel's cluster bombing of Lebanon last summer), class relations, and other, actual problems that the Dems have no real interest in addressing, much less attempting to solve, is either beyond them or beneath them, in Kos' case, probably both. Those who proudly know nothing about earlier, important struggles cannot be trusted or even expected to lead or help forge serious, contemporary struggles. But they can appear on political chat shows and handicap who will be their corporate party's nominee in '08. That's a form of action, I suppose.