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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Getting Lynched, And Learning

I've given Richard Cohen from the Post a tremendous amount of crap over the 10 months since I started writing this blog. Well, today (mark it on your calendar kids) I agree completely with his column "Digital Lynch Mob". My friends on the left definitely need to read it, it contains a warning that you shouldn't miss.

The point Cohen is making is one that I've written about here a number of times, the anger of the far left. We've all seen bloggers on the right (like me) use quotes from Daily Kos, etc, to show how whacked out the 'netroots' are.

His experience came from saying that Steve Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner wasn't funny. That apparently was enough to get him almost 3500 (mostly angry) e-mails from the left.

Truth to tell, I peeked into only a few of the e-mails. I did this because I would sometimes recognize a name I thought I knew, which was almost always a mistake. When I guilelessly clicked on the name, I would get a bucket of raw, untreated and disease-laden verbal sewage right in the face.
Cohen, who's got me by a few years, remembers this from an era I'm not old enough to, and so knows the consequences of one side of a party turning this ugly. He refers to them as the 'Digital Lynch Mob', the group riled up on sites like Kos and Atrios, who all fire up their copy of Outlook at the same time and fire off an e-mail.

But the message in this case truly is the medium. The e-mails pulse in my queue, emanating raw hatred. This spells trouble -- not for Bush or, in 2008, the next GOP presidential candidate, but for Democrats. The anger festering on the Democratic left will be taken out on the Democratic middle. (Watch out, Hillary!) I have seen this anger before -- back in the Vietnam War era. That's when the antiwar wing of the Democratic Party helped elect Richard Nixon. In this way, they managed to prolong the very war they so hated.
This same type of behavior by some on the far right helped turn off enough centrist Republicans to help get Clinton re-elected in 1996, either by writing in candidates like I did, or voting for Ross Perot.

I'm not sure if Cohen realizes it or not, but he may actually be helping bring about that downfall of the centrist Democrats. With only a few exceptions, most of the ugliness of the fringe left has been hidden pretty well. Sure, when Steve at "The News Blog" did his cartoon of Michael Steele they got some attention on a wide scale, but other than that not much has been paid to them.

Speaking of Steve, he's written "L'affaire Colbert", and if you go read the comments on it, you'll see EXACTLY what Cohen is writing about. It's almost hilarious, the way the readers prove Richard's point for him.

The point Cohen doesn't make in all this, is that anger could actually be chanelled, and help the Democrats. To do that, though the folks on the far left would have to get over their Bush Derangement Syndrome, and actually start talking ideas, instead of slinging insults and colorful adjectives at every chance.

No one other than the 'Angry Left' gives a damn if Nancy Pelosi wants to hold hearings on Bush, they want to know how Nancy & Co. plan to save Medicare and Social Security.

All one has to do is read the blogs that are writing about this column to see that ideas aren't likely to surface, only more bile. Like The News Blog, they've pretty well proven Cohen's point for him.

They can't see that it wasn't the fact that they criticized his column that has Cohen worried about the future of the Democrats, it's the manner they are doing it. When your base is outnumbered 3-2, screaming and and shouting down anyone not in lockstep with you isn't going to attract a lot of new folks to the cause.

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Blogger shoprat said...

Anger creates energy and the left sees that as useful. They forget that energy can destroy and burn out as well as build up. If they keep this up they will self-destruct (and wouldn't that be too bad.)

4:06 PM  

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