Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Morning in Blogsville

Jane Hamsher, always brimming with the testosterone of progressivism, takes aim over at firedoglake, the blog site she maintains, at two impertinent revolutionists who have strayed from the fold.

“If you'd been sitting in Le Pan Quotidian restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard yesterday afternoon you would have seen me pitch back in my chair and howl with laughter when Digby told me John WATB Harris and Jim "Pool Boy" VandeHei were leaving the WaPo to honcho a groovy new interactive news media site:

"'Harris and VandeHei note that their move is tied to a new vision of political reporting. It uses every medium on the web — text, video, and interactivity — to pull back the curtain on political stories and narrow the gap between reporters and their audience.'

“Tears…tears…oh lordy, it's just too funny…I can just hear the sales pitch for this future dinosaur (probably the same one they made for Hot Soup): ‘We'll tap the great untapped center, the people who are sick of partisan politics. Blogs are written for wacko political extremists, and nobody is speaking for the common man…the little guy in the middle…just ask Joe Lieberman. We'll own the internet.’”

Progressive bloggers have a problem with "centrists."

“Those ‘centrists,’ the people who can be convinced to swing Democratic in one election and Republican in the next, who don't make up their minds until the night before an election or just run in the voting booth and pull all the top levers are probably not engaged in the political dialog to the point that they will want to "interact" with those who bring them their news. They might be stupid, apathetic or working three McJobs just to make ends meet but they're probably not going want to spend their leisure time shootin' the shit with VandeHei. People who are engaged political junkies tend to have strong opinions and they want to interact online with others who are like minded. If there were a great gaping demand for a moderate site, Joe Gandelman would be a rich man.”

The reader will note the progressivist's elitist view of her opposition: They are "stupid, apathetic" and not a little weary holding down two jobs and slinging hamburgs at the greasy spoon, while Hamsher sips lattes at the chic Le Pan Quotidian restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard with other well-heeled progressives.

Centrists are pointing to Joe Lieberman’s victory over Ned Lamont, the darling of progressive bloggers, as an indication that the Kosacks, avatars of DailyKos and the Huffington Post, two progressive blog sites, are not quite the wave of the future. This has engendered some resentment among progressives, who spend much of their time sitting in Le Pan Quotidian restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard discussing the news of the day reported in such favorite progressive haunts as Firedoglake.

Over at National Review, the conservatives, who also took a beating in the late elections, are more sanguine, less edgy – and, as always, full of good humor.

The latest edition of the magazine, “Election 2006,” has in it nine major articles that explain in lurid detail what went wrong and how to fix it. “The Week,” a section of the magazine known for its perfectly sculpted paragraphs, begins “Well, at least Lincoln Chafee lost too.” And if the reader of this line does not understand the humor involved in this gentle retort, it is a fair bet he or she is no conservative.

Chaffe was a liberal Republican, now vanished in a puff of smoke from the political scene. The late elections – particularly here in the Northeast – have been hard on what the conservatives might call liberal to moderate Republicans.

The moderate mojo – We are social progressives, but economic conservatives – clearly did not work this time for Republican U.S. Reps. Chaffee, Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons. And before anyone supposes that the two multi-term Republican moderates were knocked off by their support of President Bush’s failing policy in Iraq, it should be recalled that the two Connecticut politicians most closely associated with that policy were Sen. Joe Lieberman and Rep. Chris Shays – both winners.

Down at Le Pan Quotidian restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard and at other progressive watering holes, people like Jane Hamsher – best known for carrying on her blog site a picture showing ex-President Bill Clinton in sunglasses and present Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman in blackface – are still sifting the data.

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