Monday, October 30, 2006

Netroots should grow up

When Senator Lieberman was defeated in the Connecticut senate primary, the advocates like Daily Kos claimed "victory" for allowing Ned Lamont to win. They reasoned that the voters of the state would follow them off the cliff to their pristine extremism. But they did not. Now some of them are beginning to assign blame as to why Lamont, who seems to be mostly an empty suit, will lose on November 7.

For example, one Matt Stoller comments (about the American people) " They know that Democratic Senators are moral lepers, weaklings, and that is the only reason we aren't further ahead when the Republicans screw everything up. The Democratic Senate leaders will sell us out at every opportunity, be it torture, Iraq, Alito, Lieberman, the Bankruptcy Bill, or stopping war with Iran. They aren't poll-driven, they aren't fear-driven, and they aren't driven by strategic differences. They are simply driven to beat us down, their voters, by any means necessary. That's why they cheered Joe. . . . We can win this fight, as the polls are tightening. But it would be a whole lot easier without that knife in our back."

One could argue that part of the reason for Lieberman's resurgence has been the lack of support that the GOP offered to Mr. Schlesinger (remember there are three candidates in the race?). But for the netroots crowd they only see their side.

I believe the reason that Mr. Lieberman is ahead in the polls is based on his performance as a senator. Like all other politicians, and even advocates for netocracy, he is human. He is a complex mix of issues and beliefs. The problem with the netroots crowd is their stridency. The benefit of the net is its ability to open up all of us to varied points of view. The reasons for its success have been tied closely to its ability to independently judge events away from the things that drive the mainstream media. But that is also a defect. A good many of these new players in politics listen to themselves a bit too much. They would benefit from the same thing the mainstream media would - a bit wider perspective.

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