Thursday, August 09, 2007

Standing for Something Counts for Blogs, Too

I agree with practically everything Demosthenes adds to the current "why don't they pay attention to blogs?" argument going on right now, but I'd like to replay an old record that thudded loudly a year or so ago. He rightly notes that the blogs are seen primarily (totally?) as a source of funds, for legit candidates and possible wannabes, but that whatever messages are being posted are primarily for the choir and its self-absorption ("look at me on tv!!", "John Kerry blogged with me!!!"). There's no point in lamenting the sole value as an ATM that the progressive blogs have earned. That's where it's been intentionally taken.

Two dot-commers who failed in the boom of the 90s, one of whom got caught cheating, turned the idea and principle world of Billmon (as he famously noted) into a money-making enterprise, at least for them and a few others. Since then, Kos in particular got famous and wealthy by pulling the old Tom Sawyer makes money conning others to do his work, and by shutting off any serious discussion of the ethical implications of the founders' fraudulent activity, with all their acolytes chanting in unison, "Kommandante Kos doesn't control me, Kommandante Kos doesn't control me" when they followed his orders to deny oxygen from the reveal of Armstrong. It was a clear example of what's wrong with the blogs, just as it's wrong with the party it supports and which craps on it. The bloggers expound and stand for issues and some are smarter than others and seem like interesting if often too high maintenance people. But if someone asked, "What is the uniting principle of our blogosphere?", what would they say? There would be a 621 word statement they called a principle, incorporating 18-25 issues and concepts. IOW, just like the Dems.

The Dem leadership [sic] knows that, when push comes, the blogs can't mobilize anyone around any central core ideas. They can be anything they want because there's nothing to truly hold them accountable to. A party and a movement based on, say, Lincoln's underlying beliefs, or King's, would present and proclaim a message to future voters that would inspire and make those principle-less focus grouped "leaders" afraid to cross. But Kos, Armstrong, Bowers, et al., for all their strong stands, are clearly shooting for "leading" and profiting from their new "fame." The one clear and obvious operating principle of this blogosphere IS raising campaign funds and whatever influence they bring for a few key bloggers, and ideas, principle, and standing for something that can unify and advance this nation are all just peripheral, no matter how devoted to and heart-felt the causes for which the minions write. And until the rest of the blogs accept this and what they are and where they're (not) taking us, they'll just keeping putting the whitewash on that fence.

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