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Saturday, January 28, 2006
Loser Lefty Blogs--Updated!

Are dragging the Democrats kicking and screaming to defeat says Jim VandeHei of the WaPo.

First, liberal Web logs went after Democrats for selecting Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to deliver the response to Bush's speech next Tuesday. Kaine's political sins: He was too willing to drape his candidacy in references to religion and too unwilling to speak out aggressively against Bush on the Iraq war. Kaine has been lauded by party officials for finding a victory formula in Bush country by running on faith, values and fiscal discipline.

Many Web commentators wanted Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), a leading critic of the Iraq war who advocates a speedy withdrawal, to be the opposition voice on the State of the Union night. Most Democratic lawmakers have distanced themselves from the Murtha position. "What the hell are they thinking?" was the title of liberal blogger Arianna Huffington's column blasting the Kaine selection.

There is some sense that the bloggers are dragging the party over the cliff:

"The bloggers and online donors represent an important resource for the party, but they are not representative of the majority you need to win elections," said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic lobbyist who advised Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. "The trick will be to harness their energy and their money without looking like you are a captive of the activist left."

The blogs-vs.-establishment fight represents the latest version of a familiar Democratic dispute. It boils down to how much national candidates should compromise on what are considered core Democratic values -- such as abortion rights, gun control and opposition to conservative judges -- to win national elections.

Where VandeHei goes off the rails is when he compares lefty bloggers to the talk radio phenomenon of the "early 1980s", which he claims pulled the Republicans to the right on tax cuts and social issues. First, Rush didn't even go national until 1988. But more important, he misses the real dynamic at work here. Rush didn't pull the Republicans to the right; he pulled the entire country to the right.

Bulldog Pundit is a lot less impressed with this article than I was. I think VandeHei gets the problem with the left-wing blogs; he's just clueless when it comes to conservatives.

Update: Right on cue, Byron York points out that the criticism offered by Elmendorff of the moonbats has resulted in a fatwa by Kos.

Here's notice, any Democrat associated with Elmendorf will be outed. The netroots can then decide for itself whether it wants to provide some of that energy and money to that candidate.
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