Monday, March 17, 2008

The Battle of the Lefty Blogosphere

As many of you probably know, I've been politically active on the internet for only a few years now; and next month will be the second anniversary of this blog. It's been quite the education, that's for sure. I greatly appreciate that you take the time to read this stuff (in fact, it frequently amazes me that anyone reads my blog!)

One thing that I lately find astonishing within the lefty blogosphere is the not-entirely undeserved but still surprising animosity between the supporters of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

This is astonishing because there hasn't been a year in the last few decades in which the Democratic Party has been in such an advantageous position to take control of both the Executive and Legislative branches of our government. This was certain to be THE year for the Democrats.


...because of the twisted machinations of fate, the party is locked in an increasingly bitter and antagonistic contest for the nomination. Obama and Clinton are nipping and swiping at each other nearly every day.

And this acrimony is starting to seep into the lefty blogosphere. It's impossible to ignore, actually.

On national blogs such as FireDogLake and DailyKos there have been quite a few people who have either complained about "Obama bias", or have simply stopped participating altogether. Some frequent commenters on Kos have actually gone "on strike" as a protest.

I'm not interested in discussing the reasons it seems the blogs favor Obama right now; that's a topic for a later post. What I'm most concerned about is how we deal with the situation we currently have and how we can prevent it from tearing apart our unified support of the eventual nominee.

The thing that's starting to really bother me is how we (and I include myself in that grouping) are getting less than civil with each other. I've read too many comments on blogs that contain roughly this statement: "If so-and-so wins the nomination, I'm a.) voting for McCain, or b.) voting for Nader, or c.) not going to vote!"

This is exactly the wrong attitude to encourage.

We need to remember a few things here.

First of all, neither Hillary nor Barack was the favorite candidate of the left blogosphere back when this started early last year. Both candidates are likely second or third choices for a majority of us. John Edwards, Chris Dodd and Dennis Kucinich were my preferred candidates before they dropped out. That would make Barack Obama my FOURTH choice at best.

But you need to understand that even though Hillary Clinton is pretty much my FIFTH choice, if she gets the nomination, that will make her the person I'll vote for and work to see win in November. I'll put aside any reservations about how she ran her campaign and support her 100%. Because no matter how underhanded and nasty either campaign gets, it won't even compare to the shit storm that awaits us if John Sidney McCain the III manages to slither into the White House while everyone is still shell-shocked from the Clinton-Obama brawling.

We all need to make a sincere effort to respect the choices our fellow Democrats make, and remind each other that no matter WHAT, we'll ALL need to work together going into the stretch to see a Democrat WIN in November.

So please, let's all take a deep breath, agree to disagree but respect each other, and work together to kick John Sidney McCain's butt this year.

Because, as Ben Franklin so eloquently stated when referring to America's fledgling insurrection against unjust rule by England:

"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."


Anonymous said...

"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

I still recall being a bit floored when I first learned that Franklin meant that quite literally - as they were committing treason in the eyes of the crown.

Despite all the rhetoric, I would like to think that the stakes in the 2008 election are a bit less severe.

As the nomination race on your side continues I don't see how your party avoids becoming deeply divided into rival factions. If it lasts all the way through the convention the challenge to the eventual winner to heal the rift is going to be enormous and take up valuable time from a short general election.

Seemed that the last round of primaries in Texas and Ohio forced both candidates to adopt a more populist tone as well. If they keep pushing each other to the left wing of the party they're going to have trouble moving back to the center by November.

Anonymous said...

Roberto: Thou art such a pacifist.

Certain (ahem) Lamont supporters tried to take the let's-all-be-friends-after -the-primary approach. Unfortunately, a number of the Lieberman supporters were still exhibiting animosity towards the Lamonsters. Ah well. Turn the other cheek, especially since we all have 4 of them.

You are right, though. We can all strive to be better. I am as neutral as I can possibly be..It just turned out that 2008 was a bad year for white men.

Sellitman (Kevin) said...

Never try to post political points on your iPhone when you are drunk in a bar on St Patricks Day.

Just saying.

CT Bob said...

Excuuuse me, Sellitman, but I'm Italian, and I only get loaded on Columbus Day. I'm as sober as a judge today.

Well...then again, it IS happy hour right now, and my wife has plied me with two glasses of Pinot Grigio.

But I posted the article hours ago.

CT Bob said...

Adam, I agree it was an extreme example. But while we may not be faced immediately with the prospect of execution should we lose the November election, I don't think I'm going all that far out on a limb in saying that we'll ALL be in for a horrific time with 4 or 8 more years of Republican leadership.

Notwithstanding any specific policy issue, we can't forget that the next term will see at least one, and maybe as many as three Supreme Court justices appointed.

Consider the one vote majority decision that ended the recount in 2000 and put Bush in the White House; don't doubt for a nanosecond what we stand to lose if hard line conservatives are put in those seats.

And yeah, Franklin had a wonderful way with words. Boy, can we use a statesman like Ol' Ben these days!

Sellitman (Kevin) said...

Sorry for the confusion but I was talking about myself.

I was the one drunk and fumbling with my iPhone last night. Fortunately the bar was on the other side of the hotels parking lot.

fuzzyturtle said...

I had to laugh when I saw this front paged at MLN. What a joke. Brilliant satire.

I noticed that there's been nothing BUT Clinton bashing over there ..and NO frontpage MENTION of the whole Wright sh*tstorm (or were his comments taken out of context? you can't put lipstick on his personal attacks on Clinton or the little 'KKK of Amerika' quotes.

AND they pick a Rasmussen poll that's nowhere NEAR the national average. Last I checked the president isn't elected by CONNECTICUT but by the whole country.

I know you don't have control over what's published over there.. but I thought it was good for major yuks.

Sorry, you can't join hands and sing kumbaya with clinton supporters and then contribute to a very one sided board that shatters the very unity you long for.

fuzzyturtle said...

wanted to share this article with you (link originally found, for me, at Hilary Clinton Chronicles, if you were wondering)

"Poll: McCain bests Obama, Clinton
Nader wins 5%, taking more support from Democrats"

from Zogby International March 16, 2008 Riding high after locking up his party’s presidential nomination, Republican John McCain of Arizona has moved ahead of both of his potential Democratic Party rivals in a national general election test, the latest Zogby telephone survey shows.

source :

CT Bob said...

Actually, I crossposted the article myself over at MLN. I have front page rights, but use them very rarely.

I haven't been too happy with all the bashing going on in both camps; both by bloggers and the campaigns themselves. We're giving the Republicans too much ammo to use in the fall against the eventual Democratic nominee.

Otherwise, I'm cool with whatever happens. However, it really bugs me that supposed good Democrats make statements like, "If Obama/Clinton wins the nomination, I won't vote for him/her."

Sorry, but that's got to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Some people hate Clinton, some people hate Obama, but we ALL hate Republican rule. Let's remember that when it counts.

NavyVet said...

Thanks for your insights Bob.

I, like many of my fellow liberals, have watched sadly as my choice candidate (Edwards) dropped out of the race. I remain undecided but supportive of anyone but a republican.
Meanwhile, the "Lefty Blogosphere" participants have become disrespectful and incoherent. I can't remember the last time I've read a meaningful exchange of ideas or a discussion of relevant issues. It is quite unfortunate.

As I see it, there are two sides to this predicament:

There are those who are abusive and bullying others who don't share their views. Some of them are aware of how hurtful they are being, and some haven't taken the time to stop and look at who and what they have become.

AND, there are those who provide the mouthpiece, the venue by which this abuses are aired freely. They have become participants in these abuses... Some of them openly condoning and even instigating these exchanges.

And again...
Some of them are aware of how hurtful they are being, and some haven't taken the time to stop and look at who and what they have become.

Social responsibility, ethics and decorum are to be strived for by individuals and the larger systems which serve specific needs and functions in our society.

I firmly believe it is possible to monitor what is allowed to be posted on sites WITHOUT restricting a free flow of ideas. Giving bullies a medium to verbally abuse others is not allowing for freedom of speech! Intimidation and silencing those who hold opposing views is OPPRESSION!

It has become PAINFULLY obvious that certain "titled" internet sites have become candidate biased (and not just the KOS). It is apparent in what stories they post or chose not to post, and in the distortions and twists in their presentations. Being fair and balanced is really quite simple... (i.e. present both sides, facts, compare and contrast, pros and cons, the good and the bad). After 8 years of republican MSM FAUX News propaganda we (I) need an ethical and intelligent news source.

I wonder if you all could find the courage and take the time to stop and look at who and what you've have become.

by: NavyVet @ Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 23:12:41 PM CDT

CT Bob said...

Navyvet, thanks for the comments (here and on MLN). I agree with pretty much most of what you've said.

Bloggers, like any free-thinking group of people, tend to embrace dissent and encourage debate. That's one of the things I enjoy most about blogging.

But I'm seeing a kind of disconnect going on, where many of us, who are passionate and expressive, want to see a Democrat win so badly in 2008 that we're losing our common sense.

Each side's supporters have gone from "I don't care who wins as long as it's a Democrat" to "Ah, Christ, if that idiot gets the nomination, we're doomed to lose!"

I appreciate the intensity of everyone's convictions, but we really do need to keep the big prize in sight. We need to win, no matter WHO it is.

And the solution to those who object to candidate biased sites is to, naturally, create sites of your own. The internet is an amazingly democratic medium, and there's no law or rule that prohibits anyone from forming their own place to support their candidate.

Maybe some of the "strikers" from Kos will take the initiative. Personally, I think it would be great, rather than seeing them complain about the unfairness of it all.