The Blog

Democratic Voters to Nutroots: Take a Long Virtual Walk Off a Short Virtual Pier

1:20 PM, Jan 4, 2008 • By DEAN BARNETT
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Matt Stoller is one of the left's most insightful and influential bloggers. Thus, the comments he made regarding Barack Obama's victory in Iowa deserve some attention:

"I have deep reservations about Obama, as readers of this site know. I spent time discussing with exuberant Obama supporters and staffers some of these reservations (including his abandonment of Ned Lamont and his failure to fight the Military Commissions Act), and they just couldn't understand how anyone could possibly doubt his commitment to progressive values. I loved his speech (last night) and the phrase the 'tyranny of oil', though I must confess that the theme of unity and America coming together to promote Obama struck me as weird at a victory speech for a Democratic caucus."

You'll see in the above quote just how different the left wing blogosphere is from even the normal left-most regions of the Democratic party. Bringing America together after a fractious and destructive fifteen years has to be a top priority for the next president, regardless of what party he hails from. Most people, regardless of their party affiliation, know that. But in the liberal blogosphere, the prevailing sentiment is that a Democratic victor in 2008 should have as his top priority seeking retribution for the Bush years.

Here's a dirty little secret that the liberal blogosphere will probably try to flush down the memory hole in the coming weeks - they didn't like Barack Obama. They had reason not to. When they stamped their little feet over Obama doing something like having a Gospel singer with decidedly non-progressive views on social issues campaign for him, Obama ignored them. That particular storm caused Markos Moulitsas to declare the Obama campaign in the throes of a full meltdown.

Obama incurred the wrath of the progressive blogosphere, and good God, a miracle occurred - he won anyway. Unlike his principal contenders who sucked up to the liberal bloggers at every available opportunity, Obama showed indifference or even hostility to their agenda. His success reveals the liberal bloggers' lack of king-making ability. This particular emperor has no clothes.

A progressive blog-reading audience of roughly 100,000 people has alternately enthralled and frightened the Democratic party for a couple of years now. Obama either saw that foolishness for what it was, or was sufficiently committed to his principles that he refused to pander. If he paid a price at the Iowa caucuses for this "gamble," it was one he could afford. More likely, he paid no price, as the progressive blogosphere is deeply unrepresentative of the Democratic party rank and file. We learned that much last night.

Special note to Democratic politicians: If you don't feel like it, you don't have to keep attending the Yearly Kos. Your time would probably be better spent raising money or kissing babies.