Carol Platt Liebau: Same Function, Different Effect

Monday, June 12, 2006

Same Function, Different Effect

Michael Barone notes that the vitriolic tone adopted by the left netroots and even by some Democratic politicians is standing in the way of Democratic victory at the polls.

Of course, he's right. And it amplifies the point I was trying to make here, relating to Adam Nagourney's assertion that the internet was doing for Democrats what talk radio had done for Republicans.

In fact, it may be performing some of the same functions -- providing a sort of communal political campfire where those who feel that their views are underrepresented in the MSM can gather -- but the effect couldn't be more different. Buoyed by the information and the message discipline that talk radio provided, Republicans surged to victory in 1994.

But now, as Barone points out, the effect of the lefties on the net is to force Democrats seeking office to make or signal commitments to the left that severely hinder its chances of electoral success.

It's tempting to conclude that the difference is a matter of substance -- that the great mass of voters is more likely to agree with something like the Contract With America than with immediate and unilateral withdrawal from Iraq. But it could also be a matter of style. Vitriol and vituperation are never attractive, especially in those who are seeking power over the rest of us.

9 Comments:

Blogger JillMartin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:05 PM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

There us a general feeling amongst many Americans that Bush and the GOP has completely FUBARed the nation.

It may work to try to demonise "the left" and frighten people into thinking that the world is going to end if "they" get into power, but the facts stand for themselves - the GOP runs congress, the White House and the Judiciary.

I think 1994 will pale in comparison to what occurs in 2006. Many Americans feel betrayed and are far more hurt about things they they did in 1994. I think it is very likely that the Democrats will regain power in both the Senate and the house in the mid-terms this year.

The best thing Republicans and conservatives (like yourself Carol) to do is to stop reacting with shock and fear and instead admit that this coming electoral failure is the fault of the GOP and Bush, fair and square. Then work with the angry conservatives into reforming the GOP into a values-based party rather than a power-based party. Radical changes are necessary - like abolishing the electoral college and destroying the cronyism and corruption that people like Frist and DeLay helped to create.

It's not enough to run around and say "The left are evil and will destroy us". People have heard that for far too long and are sick of it.

If you want to survive as a political commentator in the next 10-15 years, then be courageous.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Orphan in Bama said...

Cancel the 2k6 elections...the returns are in. Either that or there is a loud whistling sound coming from the lane by the graveyard.

On the idea that the 'Net is reaching the left like talk radio reaches the other side: Don't believe it. Talk radio is in the doorway speaking out of the room, while the 'Net is in the same doorway speaking into the room...a closet. Please visit DU, for instance. Is that the message?

david

3:10 AM  
Blogger JillMartin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:16 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Wow, and jillmartin calls us the "radical Christian right"!

Those Howard Dean talking points are nice for the Kosmonauts, but they're absolutely hilarious when you post them here.

"voodoo economics" was one of my favorite! 4.4% unemployment here in Colorado Springs...hmmm, too bad there are 4.4% lazy people. And oh yeah, we employ PLENTY of illegals here too...and I say, boo-yah!

The MSM and blogosphere has certainly clouded the minds of the left with fear and loathing of the evil Republicans.

7:54 AM  
Blogger JillMartin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

This is toooo much! Seems you of the leftist persuasion have absolutely no common sense, nor can you learn from history.

Have I seen one post from Jill that doesn't include charges of homophobic fears? Doesn't matter the subject, we get the charge anyway. Could this be a simple matter of transferrence, Jill? Are your own fears so overwhelming you must accuse others of sharing them?

And BTW, the only global warming I see evidence of is the hot air blown out of the mouths of you leftists and Algore! you hear the rumor of the sun heating up over the last 20/30 years? Or the fact that the earth travels in cycles, between hot and cold times?

Here's a side splitter! "...destruction of the UN because America can do better on it’s own in ruling the world." Advocating our removal from a clearly ineffectual organization and wasting our tax dollars there is a reasonable path to follow. But the real laugher is the part of America ruling the world. Who writes your material? Al Franken? Where in any U.S. foreign policy document, or Constitution, or ANYPLACE, do you see our stated goal of ruling the world? There is no Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Hussein, etc. etc here, Jill. What bolderdash!

I just don't have the time or patience to continue with other ridiculous fabrications in this string - except one. Let me change your wording on one statement, Jill:

"One could not think of better words to use than vitriol and vituperation to describe the role Franken, Algore, Reid, Pelosi, Kerry, Murtha, Dean, McKinney, Clooney, Moore, Robbins, Striesand, Baldwin, Jackson, Farrakan, and Sharpton perform."

Did I forget anyone? Sorry.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Jill:

"...All we have to do is believe and vote Republican. ..."

Take a leap of faith, Jill. Vote Republican!


Salient:

"There us a general feeling amongst many Americans that Bush and the GOP has completely FUBARed the nation. ..."

How did you measure this "general feeling"?


"... admit that this coming electoral failure is the fault of the GOP and Bush, fair and square. ...

... Then work with the angry conservatives into reforming the GOP ...

... Radical changes are necessary ..."

Um, let's wait for the ACTUAL election results before we prescribe "radical" changes to the GOP. OK?

10:21 AM  
Blogger JillMartin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:00 AM  

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