Carol Platt Liebau: One Big Difference

Saturday, June 10, 2006

One Big Difference

In the New York Times, Adam Nagourney argues that the internet has become for liberals what talk radio has been for conservatives.

To some extent, he's right -- the internet has allowed the left to become energized and organized in an unprecedented way.

But the most important point is that the internet is helping to destroy the Democratic Party by giving voice to the wildest rantings from the looniest fringe. Talk radio allowed mainstream Republican views, which were not well represented in the MSM, to reach the public. The public has always had access to left wing views through the MSM -- and now, the sky's the limit for the lefty fringe, because (unlike talk radio) the internet provides no parameters for debate, or leaders, or ideological framing the way talk radio has.

That's why the KosKidz and are as big a liability for mainstream Democrats as Rush Limbaugh has been a boon for mainstream Republicans. Just ask Joe Lieberman.


Blogger jeankelly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:47 PM  
Blogger jeankelly said...

Anne Coulter's book is No. 1 at Amazon.

12:48 PM  
Blogger RovingWireTap said...

Isn't this a bit of a rant in itself. The loonie left and the righteous right. LOL

Dixie Chicks very bad.

Limbaugh and Coulter very good.

I wonder what Limbaugh would have said differently had he not been high as a kite on drugs. Limbaugh is the result of canned radio. Similar to the one package deal with cable. No requirement to be of high quality just cheap.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Dr Faust said...

Here is some news that is in reference to a previous post "Hypocritic Oath" where Carol claims GITMO is well run prison and the prisoners couldn't be treated better anywhere.....

WASHINGTON - Three detainees at Guantanamo Bay apparently committed suicide amid protests of the U.S. military prison by inmates, the Defense Department said Saturday. They were the first reported deaths at the controversial detention center where suspected terrorists have been held for as long as 4 1/2 years.

1:34 PM  
Blogger jeankelly said...

Ideological framing is another way of saying sugar coated dog po. Regardless of the messenger and the medium, we end up with Bush’s 9.17.02 statement….

"There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

4:27 PM  
Blogger Poison Pero said...

You are so correct, Carol.

I love Koz and MoveOn.......But then again, I love seeing Democrats lose.

4:56 PM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

I think the desire to paint the leftist blogosphere as being "loonies" is not accurate. In fact I think you're just trying to engage in a bit of propaganda yourself Carol, to make people fear these bloggers.

Many of the lefty bloggers are actually quite sensible and reasonably positioned in terms of their opinions. There are no Marxists amongst them arguing that the workers should control the means of production, and there are no major discussions about Gun control or reversing the second amendment - many of these lefty bloggers are gun owners.

Moreover these lefty bloggers can be as hard, if not harder, on the Democrats than upon the Republicans. There's been a notable shift in the last 6-9 months about the suitability of Hilary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid, with most lefties thinking that she's not the best candidate - and this is not because she is too "conservative" for them (she's not), but because there is a deep seated doubt about the way in which the Democratic party machine has been operating since 1994. "Crashing The Gates", the book of choice amongst lefty bloggers, is mostly a critical look at the Democratic party and how it has failed since 1994.

The difference between the left and the right on this issue is that the "base" of the right that used talk radio as its source is generally a one-way street, while blogging is generally quite complex and has a two-way communication system. In that sense, the right essentially uses its media (talk radio, Fox network) to communicate to its base and tell them what they should think. The leftist blogosophere, however, relies upon networks and critical discussions - the result being that the policies put forth by the base are actually an amalgam of the base's beliefs and not the result of "indoctrination".

Take Health care for example. Many leftist bloggers want an increase in federal government spending (paid for by tax revenue) to provide a decent health care system for ordinary Americans. Whether this constitutes a universal health care scheme or simply the government paying private health insurance is debatable. Most on the right would see this as a radical, almost socialist alternative and try to portray it as such... yet polls have consistently shown that ordinary Americans would respond very well to a federally run universal health system.

All I'm trying to say is that the current lefty blogosphere is not as radical as you might think it is, and yet is far more powerful than you give it credit for.

6:10 PM  
Blogger jeankelly said...


How true. Anyone wanting to see Carol get slamed need only go to the archives at Huffington and pull up her posts.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Dr Faust said...

I've decided this will be my last comment. This site is decadent and un-American.

Their depravity has no bounds.

With this administration, I am so grateful I have been a lifelong reader, and regret now reading more, as I do have a rather rich pool of words to use to describe them. Still, though, I find that 40 plus years of reading has not given me enough words to truly describe Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, Liebau, et al.

My soul quakes in emotion against them. I dare not call it hatred, as hatred hurts the hater, so I will call it disgust.

9:23 PM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

Don't let the door hit you in the -ss on the way out, Dr. Faust.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Dr Faust said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:39 PM  
Blogger jeankelly said...

I agree with Dr Faust. This is my last comment and I'm never coming back to this evil site.

Carol get a better picture. One in your Nazi uniform.

9:51 PM  
Blogger CAB said...

I wonder if the cause of the divergence between center-right and left blogosphere culture is the MSM. If it is the case that center-left ideology captured established television and print media, then it should not be surprising that rational center-right AND movement left talent would appear in the new writen medium (web) and on radio.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Orphan in Bama said...

I read the comments, and am not sure of what I read. They are all over the map, but they do prove one thing...the initial article is correct...the Left is utilizing the BlogWorld to get its message out .....unless I missed my guess and this really isn't a Weblog.

And some say they won't be back, then blame it on the lady running this Blog, who posts what she considers to be interesting news articles worthy of discussion, of which she has the final decision because, well, it's her Weblog. Harrumphh! Strange that they ignored the message and got frustrated knowing they can't kill the messenger.

And that is the problem with the Left in a nutshell. No message except one: Kill the messenger before his message is taken seriously.


4:13 AM  
Blogger RovingWireTap said...

There isn't anything to discuss on this site. The left are loonies and on the right, Bush is the decider.

This site is a waste of time.. Ta, Ta.

5:44 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

Since Dr Faust, jeankelly and RovingWireTap have announced their departures from this site, I feel at liberty to comment on their contributions without getting personal.

Having spent several years in both Cambridge, MA, and the Bay Area, I am convinced that the primary motivation for the majority, if not the vast majority, of "progressives" is vanity.

They embrace particular causes primarily to feel good about themselves. This not only allows for considerable selectivity (e.g., boycott Israel for treatment of Palestinians, but say nothing about Russian in Chechnya, China in Tibet, Moslems in Sudan, etc.), but to refuse to explore whether certain policies that have a noble purpose actually achieve anything or even have a counter-productive effect (Prop 82, global warming, etc.).

In departing from this site, the three bloggers mentioned above spoke in terms of good (themselves) and evil (those who disagreed with them). It was not enought for the conservatives to be wrong, since that would simply make the departing bloggers right; we had to be "evil", so they could be "good". More vanity.

Mark Twain once commented that he found everything he read in the newspapers absolutely correct, except with regard to subjects with which he was familiar.

I was struck in the blog on the death tax how some of our liberal co-bloggers were not only absolutely wrong about how the estate tax works (I have written a book on this subject with an eminent estate-planning professor) but unwilling to plug any corrections into their analysis of the situation.

Now, no part of the political spectrum has the monopoly pig-headedness. This site is at its best when we substantiate our views with analysis, and at its worst when people (conservative included) spout unsupported conclusions. For these reasons, I think the site is better for the departure of the three bloggers, but will suffer if what's left is a group of conservatives who sit around agreeing with each other.

As a public service, let each of us ty to find and invite to this site those with differing views who are prepared to support them with analysis, mutual respect and good humor.

9:39 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Dr. Coyote:

I am afraid it's going to be very difficult to find people who disagree with your politics to discuss with analysis, mutual respect, and good humor if you start your invitation by stating that our most deeply held political and moral beliefs are simply vanity.

There can be no honest discussion of ideas if you first take the position that the other side has no ideas, just runs around spouting whatever makes them "feel good."

Why should we waste our breath with you? What you are expressing is sheer contempt for anyone who disagrees with you. Do you really think that patronizing people is the best way to open a dialogue?

And speaking as one of those who debated you on the issue of the estate tax, yes, you posted several highly technical explanations of how the tax laws work. I did not debate them, nor did I change my basic beliefs -- that the estate tax is both a moral principle and a heavy contributor to the success of this country by not allowing a permanent aristocracy to rule over the rest of the people. I suppose we could quibble over whether the tax is paid by the estate or the inheritor -- who writes the check, essentially. To my position, this is a distinction without a difference, and therefore not worth my time.

11:50 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...


You're conflating several points.

Just because many (or a vast majority) are primarily motivated by vanity, does not mean that there aren't other motivations, that many are motivated by something else, or that the whole group (whatever the motivation) is right on a particular issue.

I do think that the three who bade us farewell generally failed to substantiate their conclusions with germaine facts or analysis, and the frequency with which Carol had to delete their comments suggested they were lacking in the mutual respect and good humor departments.

Re the estate tax, I submit that if you go back over the strings, the matters you now call technicalities and quibbles were in fact raised as substantive defences of the tax itself.

2:26 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

Ah wrabkin - I believe tht whaat you are saying is:

From each according to his ability to each according to his need

That does sound magnificant, but what about incentive? If I can't leave an estate to my kids, but have the government dictate what I do with it, why work so darn hard?

The beauty of capitalism is that it spurs incentive. Rich people buy more stuff, people make and sell stuff,everyone does nicely. But simplistic you will say? To which I will reply? "Ever hear of Occams Razor?"

3:11 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Wile E,

(If I may risk the informality...)

Re: the estate tax: What you see as substantive defenses of the tax are indeed quibbles to me. My point is that there is a moral good in ensuring that we don't allow this country to be dominated by a handful of super-rich families making up an aristocracy of wealth. To me, the imposition of a healthy tax on inherited wealth over a certain level is a positive good for all of us (although I do understand why a member of the Walton family would disagree). Therefore, questions of whether the estate or the heir pays the tax are of little import to me. If you see ways to adjust how the tax works to make it more fair, in your eyes, I would be interested in hearing them. But as I believe that the breaking up of enormous fortunes is one of the key positive features of this tax, I don't see how anything you've posted previously would convince me otherwise.

You will notice, however, that I don't claim that your support for this tax is due to "vanity." Partially, I suppose, it's because I don't really understand what you mean, except as a patronizing slap at anyone whose opinions are not yours. But more importantly, it's because I have no idea who you are, and therefore the notion that I can psychoanalyze your reasons for believing a certain philosophy is simply ludicrous. By doing so, I merely give myself permission to ignore your arguments in favor of an ad hominem attack.

Granted, I do not always live up to my own standards. I did say on another thread that non-rich people who support estate-tax-repeal were suckers. That is indeed an attack. I do believe that many of them have been talked into working against their own interests because of a $200 million sales job by the 18 wealthiest families in the country. But for all I know, maybe they have serious moral and intellectual reasons for their belief, and I must make room for that possibility in my own philosophy if I want to be taken seriously by them.

3:22 PM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

Just letting everyone know that I have no intention of stopping my commenting or reading on this site - it's actually one of the few places on the internet where I engage with those on the opposite end of the political spectrum.

I'll say this again - if you make comments be prepared to have a blog site that people can check on. Flomblog has one and so does cab - good on those two for being brave and letting others see who they are.

8:36 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

Oversight - Thank you.

I am personally in an unusual situation. I teach college in the same state as Ward Churchill. That situation has made me evaluate myself greatle.

Without going OT too much, I generally believe that if my ideas are so weak that I need to enforce them by punishing undergrads who disagree with me, or by bellicosity on the web, then my belief system is not of any value. I enjoy, greatly enjoy, respectful discussion with those who have a different world view from me.

I thank Carol for providing this forum


7:42 AM  
Blogger dodger said...

Dr Coyote, you hit the nail on the head. Another tack I take, which enrages liberals, is that they seek the security of government protection. I derive this conclusion by interpolation, people in dense population areas are liberal, namely they fear their neighbors and look to the government to protect them. People in the red states do not have a similar fear, hence are content with the results obtained from looking to themselves for security.

As to the estate tax, I appreciate that wrabkin reveals himself as one who believes the wealthy are evil. Again, he believes they are the source of his condition and seeks the government to protect him from them.

While a conservative, like myself, not wealthy, yet endorsing the wealthy as the entrepreneurs, innovators, the engine that directs this great economy.

I derive this latter from the thoughts on greed I once read: greed is not bad, its uncontrolled greed that is the problem.

8:05 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Salient, sorry, I don't have time to write my own blog, and yes, I suppose I do enjoy a little anonymity because frankly, there are a lot of crazy people in this world.

Flomblog, I too am in Colorado, and my family has been here since the early 1870s. The Federal Govts. main and possibly ONLY job should be to provide a military to protect our borders. And then they should protect the Constitution and leave the rest to the states...we need to SIMPLIFY and get rid of frivilous law suits...that would help.

Dixie Chicks - canceling venues due to lack of ticket sales.

Ann Coulter - #1 seller on amazon.

9:05 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Mr. Dodger:

Congratulations on the discovery that you can make liberals mad by insulting them to their face. I suspect I, too, could make you mad by insulting you, but I don't really see how this will advance anyone's understanding or leave the world a better place.

As to the estate tax, you might want to reread my post. I never said I believe wealthy people are evil, nor do I believe it. I would, in fact, be happy to compare my tax receipts against yours, should you so desire it. I am actually one of those evil Hollywood liberals who secretly are trying to ruin America from our fortress atop the entertainment industry -- you know, the only people in the country conservative talk hosts believe shouldn't be allowed to be wealthy.

I do, however, believe that huge aglomerations of wealth in a few hands tend to be destructive to a democratic society, and thus I am in favor of seeing these multi-hundred-million or billion dollar estates taxed heavily. Like our founding fathers, I do not want to see the country run by an aristocracy. (It's the same reason I'd rather not see another Bush or Clinton elected president in my lifetime.)

For some reason you choose to personalize this. I suppose that it's easier to claim I hate rich people than to argue the issue.

Mr. Flombog:

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his necessity" is actually a fairly profound thought. It certainly was when Jesus was saying essentially that. I can't say much good for those who claimed the slogan and then created totalitarian dictatorships, but that hardly diminishes the power of the idea, any more than a priest who molests a child belies the teaching of the Church.

I do believe in Capitalism, but I also understand that the market requires regulation. A completely unregulated free market turns quickly to monopoly and criminality, and to a world in which victory inevitably goes to the most brutal. Mankind came out of the jungle many thousands of years ago; I have no desire to return there.

Also, if you find that the notion that anything you own over $5 million will be taxed upon your death wipes you of all desire to succeed, I'm afraid I'm going to have to suggest that your will to win is not all that strong in the first place. (Darn it, I was going to start that multi-national corporation, but now that I realize my estate will be taxed decades from now, I'm just going to sit on the couch and watch Judge Judy!) And if you're afraid that your poor children will go hungry if their second $5 million is taxed, you might want to teach them some slightly better financial management tricks. Many people manage stumble through life with even less than five mil handed to them on a silver platter. The human spirit is amazing, isn't it?

Mr. Oversight:

I'm sorry to say that for many reasons I don't have a blog. (As my wife would point out, I already waste far too much time on other people's!) You may feel free to check me out on IMDB, if you choose. My name is William Rabkin.

9:44 AM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

Mr. Wrabkin

I do believe that Marx was the original author of that statement, I might be wrong. Can you cite the source?


When you draw a line, n matter where the line is drawn, the concept has been put in place - It might be $5,000,000, today, but what will it be tomorow?

Also, I do believ e that you are mixing metaphors. I was talking strictly about taxation. Not consumer defense. Lets leave that for another session.

12:10 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I thought about starting a Web Log. Well, actually, I have one: Fatman's Corner. But I've never done anything with it.

First, I don't have the time.

Second, to be honest, there are so many good blogs already, I don't think I'd add anything worth anyone else's time.

Third, if I did actively blog, I would more than likely spend my energies on non-political stuff. You guys probably wouldn't be interested.

Fourth, I'm lazy. Comments are easy. Someone else picks the subject. All I have to do is offer my opinion, right or wrong.

As for anonymity, what's wrong with that? Does it invalidate points made? If I'm a ditch digger would you take me more or less seriously? If I'm a professor do I get your approval or your disdain? If I'm a paid Party mole does that make my arguments null and void?

12:11 PM  
Blogger amber said...

I agree about the whole annonymity thing. Just because I comment here does not mean that everyone who comes to this site needs to know what I do for a living, where I am from, how much money I make, etc. I am a woman, I am VERY conservative, I love our president (don't always agree, but I think he is the greatest we have ever had), I love Rush Limbaugh and know he is a very positive person and people who comment angrily about him have never listened to his show. I think we should disolve the Dep of ED, the IRS, the Dep of Ag. The only thngs I believe the government should do is provide a transportation system, keep and train the best military and defense force in the world, and keep citizens safe with a regular police force. I believe it is the reponsability of the citizen to care for other citizens if they choose. I give money to varies people who I believe in, I help people out financially, I donate to the food shelf. The Federal government should not do that for me. If you go to my blog you will not find any political stuff on it, frankly I do not want to have to deal with people who spew hate towards me like Carol does. I also take my safety very seriously, no one would even think of comming to my house unnannouced. Oh, and I love guns. But anything that would identify myself to you all, no thanks, I will let Michelle Malkin deal with her death threats, I do not need that aggrivation and if you discount my comments because you don't know what color hair I have, I really don't care, you would discount them anyways.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

"...but I think he is the greatest we have ever had..."

Amber. Please.

5:18 PM  
Blogger amber said...

Please what? I truely believe that. See, even if I had a political blog, it would not matter what I replied, if you do not agree, you disregard. That is your perrogative. I also do not think Nixon was bad. I have a ton of respect for President Bush. He fight raving lunatics all day long and he still stands by what he says, I am never surprised by him, and I am glad. It is refreshing to have a President who says what he is going to do, what he stands for, and follows through, even when he is being attacked constantly. I prefer strength and charachter to a President who changes his mind with every new poll. I did not vote for a poll. He has done an exceptional job. We have not had 1 attack on our nation, including places people forget about like embassy's and airline carriers. We could have gone into a serious depression after the attacks, but we actually were able to reduce the jobless rate to one of the lowest in our history and we increased revenue after lowering taxes. This mantra about the tax cuts being only for the rich is BS. Since those rich tax cuts, my family (one income government paycheck) is much bigger and we get over 6,000 back in taxes. So, yes, I love him, he is great and I would vote for him every time. That may not be saying much, though since I would vote for Jeb just to piss all of the bush haters off, and then I would vote or Jeb again, and then Jebs son, ad then the red headed bush nephew, we could have Bush's in the White House until I die and I am young and healthy.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Amber, seriously, put down the glue.

He is a reckless, stubborn fool who has led us, balls a'clacking, into the briar patch. UNNECESSARILY AND AT ENORMOUS EXPENSE.

And that's putting it kindly.

9:04 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

I think Amber makes her position p pretty clear, and it's think it's typical of those who still slavishly follow Bush -- they have no interest in democracy. They want a king to rule over us and to leave us plenty of descendants to follow in their line. That way, we never have to do the hard work that democracy requires of its citizens, we can just worship our God-appointed leader.

And Amber, I hope you don't take this as an insult. It's not meant that way. But when you write that you want an inherited dynasty ruling over our country for the rest of history, it's hard to come to any other conclusion.

8:22 AM  

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