Friday, June 16, 2006

Danger! Blogs Ahead

This opinion piece warns politicians of falling too much in love with blogs. Just look at what happened to Howard Dean! The yell, oh the yell. Had he just gone to the blogs for money and then stayed away with the moderates and other sane people he would not have yelled.

Well, that's my version of the message, but it doesn't veer very much from the real one:

Memo to aspiring Democratic candidates: The blogs can be a good first martini. Don't let them be your second.

As a first martini, left-wing sites like and can lift the spirits of a new candidate. They boost confidence and raise some quick campaign cash. These blogs are good for democracy and Democrats, because they force the party to open its primaries to promising outsiders.

As a second martini, though, the blog can be a real problem. All that enthusiasm and love can cloud a candidate's political judgment. The contender starts thinking that these kids represent more voters than they do — and is sucked into left-wing dogma that doesn't play well in the bigger-than-Berkeley world. Even good liberal stances get dressed in a rhetoric that's unbecoming.

After the second martini, a blog-besotted candidate can get sloppy. The hopeful spends too much time around the blogosphere regaling the congregation with what it wants to hear. The Republican foe makes sure that America's bus drivers, janitors and data processors hear the vaguely (or at times overtly) anti-American tone that emerges from some of the radical "critiques."

Anti-American radicals. It's not just our name; it's what we do, to quote a recent recurring commercial on my local Air America station. There's something a little flattering about this; I never thought that I'd be called a radical by anyone ever. I'm the Goddess of Milquetoast. And don't tell me that the author didn't mean me but the powerful lefty blogs. She didn't make that distinction in the piece, and I take whatever excitement I can these days.

But really. To call the blogs anti-American if they criticize George Bush's war lies and the other policies of his administration! How exactly should such criticisms be presented for them not to be labeled anti-American by the Republicans? We might as well just shut up already.