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You gotta love The New Republic.  Yes, the magazine that wrote enthusiastically for the Iraq War disaster, the magazine that endorsed Lieberman in '04, the magazine that profiled every Democratic candidate during the primary season except the one who actually got the nomination, has been in steady decline.  Yet somehow, they act as if they're still relevant.  Amusingly enough, they did have enough foresight to write of their own demise in an article about the great "Netroots movement".  For a moment, I thought that they actually "got it", and were going to join the team, but a quick peruse at their blog The Plank made me realize that they are going to cling to their DLC ways until their magazine is shuttered for good.

First take a look at Jonathon Chait's cover article about the netroots, titled "How the netroots became the most important mass movement in U.S. politics.  The Left's New Machine".  The article is of coursed flawed in various ways, but the larger message, that the netroots is a force to contend with, I think Chait got right.

The most significant fact of American political life over the last three decades is that there is a conservative movement and there has not been a liberal movement. Liberalism, to be sure, has all the component parts that conservatism has: think tanks, lobbying groups, grassroots activists, and public intellectuals. But those individual components, unlike their counterparts on the conservative side, do not see one another as formal allies and don't consciously act in concert. If you asked a Heritage Foundation fellow or an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal how his work fits into the movement, he would immediately understand that you meant the conservative movement. If you asked the same question of a Brookings Institute fellow or a New York Times editorial writer, he would have no idea what you were talking about.

The netroots have begun to change all that. Its members are intensely aware of their connection to each other and their place in relation to the Democratic Party. The word "movement" itself--once rare among mainstream liberals--is a regular feature of their discourse. They call themselves "the people-powered movement," or "the progressive movement," or, often, simply "the movement."

That is absolutely correct, and I think it is what made the difference in '06 with victorious netroots candidates like Jon Tester in Montana or Jim Webb in Virginia being the difference in our taking back the Senate against all odds.  Chait also goes in depth in describing the beginnings of the netroots back in 2001, naming such greats as Jerome Armstrong, Markos Moulitsas, Jane Hamsher, and Duncan Black.  That's great as far as it goes, but his inability to acknowledge the power of smaller, local blogs like Raising Kaine, for instance, shows that he has only scratched the surface of what has been going on.  Still, there were many parts of the article that showed Chait acknowledging what we all know is the huge influence of the blogs on political discourse.  But just because you can describe something, doesn't mean you get what's going on.  Check out this passage, where he shows an understanding of the fact that Democrats don't join Republicans in attacking Democrats.  Ever.  Yet he can't quite pull it off, acting like the sin was committed out of "conviction":

For the netroots, partisan fidelity is the sine qua non. As Moulitsas told Newsweek in 2005, "The issue is: Are you proud to be a Democrat? Are you partisan?" What they cannot forgive is Democrats or liberals who distance themselves from their party or who give ammunition to the enemy. The netroots will forgive Democrats in conservative districts for moving as far to the right as necessary to win elections. But they do everything within their power to eliminate from liberal states or districts moderates like Joe Lieberman or Jane Harman, whose stances are born of conviction rather than necessity. This is precisely the same principle espoused by Norquist and other GOP activists. They will defend Republicans who need to demonstrate their independence from the national party in order to maintain their electoral viability. (As Norquist once remarked about Lincoln Chafee, "A Republican from Rhode Island is a gift from the gods.") But deviation by a Republican from a conservative state--say, Arizonan John McCain--is unforgivable.

"Conviction"?  No, what it is is a lack of spine and a full out sell out to the Republicans.  Sorry, a war of choice on a country that never attacked us is not a liberal value.  That one word shows that although TNR is getting the fact that something is going on here, they can't quite let go of their, well, DLC ways (despite their laughable explanation of why they're not DLC.  Whatever).  Monday's The Plank is a hideous example of how out of touch they still are with the netroots:

Joan Venocchi, one of the best commentators in Massachusetts, had an excellent column in yesterday's Boston Globe that lays bare the unfortunate state of machine politics in that state.

She cites a rather grave statistic concerning the junior senator's popularity among his own constituents. A December poll found that John Kerry's approval rating stood at 43 percent with 53 percent disapproval. Fifty-six percent also believe that Kerry should give up his seat. In most states, these widely-felt sentiments would presumably open up the door for a Democratic challenger. But not Massachusetts, where machine politics die hard. As I noted before, Massachusetts' political class is arrogantly unresponsive to the will of the voters. The state legislature has scuttled the people's will on liberal and conservative causes ranging from public financing of elections to term limits. These know-nothings believe they know best.

Kerry's delusions of grandeur about himself and his role in national politics are not just "John Kerry's Neverland," as Venocchi states, but Massachusetts's Neverland, because both he and Ted Kennedy will hold their seats for as long as they want. At the end of the day, of course, the voters are to blame for reelecting these men time and again. But the Massachusetts machine is so firmly entrenched that it's nearly impossible a Democrat would ever risk his future political prospects by mounting a bid against either senator.

How can a "liberal" magazine get so many things so wrong, starting with Joan Vennochi.  Here's what she said about Elizabeth Edwards when she found out about recurring breast cancer:

John Edwards ran for the US Senate, then for president, and then for vice president as John Kerry's running mate in 2004.

Elizabeth Edwards had two more children, a daughter and son, who are now 8 and 6. She took on the daunting task of new motherhood in her 50s; they also have a daughter, Cate, 24.

Elizabeth Edwards also immersed herself in every aspect of her husband's political campaigns, all the time thinking how much Wade would have relished the adventure. The Edwardses are building an extravagant 28,200-square-foot dream house, west of Chapel Hill, N.C.

This is not a judgment on the way this family chose to deal with their loss. Still, the memoir reveals a desperate effort, especially on Elizabeth Edwards's part, to fill her life with anything -- speeches, travel, lofty goals for America -- that will fill the void left by her son's death. She never will; no mother could. But she will keep on running until someone makes her slow down.

I don't think I am being hyperbolic by stating that this is the utmost worst piece of punditry I have ever read, striking below the belt in matters that are none of her business even in a presidential race.  Hurtful doesn't begin to describe it.  To write such a mean spirited column, I can only surmise that Joan is a bitter individual devoid of any sense of decency or decorum.  Not to mention the fact that the American people overwhelmingly supported John Edwards's decision to stay in the race.  Anyone who thinks she is "one of the best commentators in Massachusetts" clearly has no judgment or insight into what makes good commentary.

Now let's get to the meat of the matter which was TNR's attack on Ted Kennedy and John Kerry as somehow being "machine" encumbents for which the voters are powerless to overcome.  No, that's not really what the writers at TNR are saying.  Rather, what they are actually saying is that they don't like Kennedy Democrats.  Real liberals who stand for progressive values, in direct contrast to DLC Democrats who don't.  And, I may add, both of these two great senators are Kossaks, who garner a great deal of support in the netroots for the work they do in the Senate.  Kerry and Kennedy have also displayed time and time again the greatest value highlighted in the article:  they are team players who always defend their fellow Democrats when attacked by the Right.  In addition, I have seen many examples of them pushing the envelope in ways the TNR writers are uncomfortable with.  The Alito filibuster, which was in partnership with the netroots, was led by John Kerry and supported by Ted Kennedy, and it was specifically what the netroots asked for in hundreds of comments to Senator Kerry.  In addition, the Iraq plan that the president vetoed yesterday was largely written by Senator Kerry in the spring of '06, and is now supported by nearly the entire Democratic party.  

For several years, The New Republic, has limped along, as their circulation declined.  They have consistently bashed Democrats who stand up for progressive values, and yet insist on being called "liberals".  Well, the game is over.  Their decline will only hasten as Democrats gain seats in 2008, thwarting all of the TNR "wisdom" that we should somehow be ashamed to be Democrats.  This article, acknowledging what we at DailyKos and elsewhere have known for some time, is simply the obit that solidifies the end of The New Republic.   Let us raise a glass to toast the end of an era, and may The New Republic and Joe Lieberman go gently into that good night.

Post Script

I would be remiss if I didn't rebut the brunt of the attacks on John Kerry in Massachusetts.  First of all, the new USA Survey poll shows Kerry back at a healthy 54% approval rating (41% disapprove).  Secondly, read two posts by the Massachusetts netroots (and these are not Kerry partisan blogs) to get a general temperature of how "the people", not arrogant dinosaurs from the DC elite, feel about their senator:

The Chimes at Midnight:

Wistful Joanie...

Columnists all eventually run out of ideas and start recycling old themes at some point, unless of course they are fantasists a'la Mike Barnicle. Such is the case with Joan Vennochi's column today in which she clearly looks back in sentimental glee on the royal snarking she gave John Kerry back in campaign '04. Oh those were heady heady days for Ms. Vennochi, hardly a week went past when she didn't challenge our Junior Senator's manhood in some unsubtle fashion.

Clearly Joanie has an unhealthy thing about John Kerry. It is not hard to see why, he brings out the Junior High School Queen Bee in Columnist Vennochi, By Ghod I think he makes her feel young again!

And this from The Eisenthaler Report after a blogger conference call with Massachusetts bloggers:

sco also noted that Sen. Kerry seemed well briefed on the participants in the blog conference. "I've done a bunch of blogger conference calls in the past and Kerry is so far the only one who had been at all prepped on all the participants." This reflected very good work on the part of the Senator's staff - not surprising since good staff work was one of the reasons that John Kerry almost became the 44th President of the United States.

One other reaction I had to the blog conference is that Sen. Kerry mostly responded to the blogger questions directly and thoughtfully. He largely avoided canned answers that sounded like excerpts from a stump speech - something that not all politicians are able to avoid in such settings. In considering the Senator's directness and thoughtfulness, this observer feels all the more keenly the tragedy that was the re-election of George W. Bush as President of the United States in 2004. This country - and the world - almost had the benefit of John Kerry's directness and thoughtfulness in the Oval Office. If Senator Kerry could approach a discussion with home state bloggers in such a way, imagine how President Kerry would have dealt with foreign leaders - not to mention all of the other stakeholders a President deals with. Compare this to what we have now.

Originally posted to beachmom on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:36 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'd Sharpen the Focus One More Stop: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silence is Complicity, M Loutre

    We're supportive of convictions and bipartisanship.

    What we oppose more strongly than occasional agreeing with Republicans is actively attacking other Democrats.

    I think Republicans can appreciate that about 11 ways, wouldn't you say?

    --Oh, and attacking and dismantling our entire system of government.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:40:22 AM PDT

  •  That's so amazing. My hair is standing on end! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beachmom

    I am shaking my head wondering where (they) got the gall to psychoanalize E.E.  Or to call two of the most respected (and hated by the wingies) members of the Senate who get voted in year after year because they work their a$$ off and they stand up for the little guy even though they wouldn't have to BUT they also stand up with dignity and integrity.

    Excuse this rant but how dare those people make such vile assertions and lies?

    Politics does not have to be that hate mongering.  If they're going down, I'm glad.

    P.S.  Cheers for the netroots movement for getting rid of people like that.

    Support truth tellers. Read Jesselyn Radack's The Canary in the CoalMine. http://patriotictruthteller.net

    by Silence is Complicity on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:42:39 AM PDT

  •  TNR, A "Clap Louder" publication (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beachmom

    when all else fails

    CLAP LOUDER

  •  thanks beachmom (4+ / 0-)

    A toast to the demise of TNR - not a moment too soon, either.
    As to the netroots, liberal, progressive movement; It's about time! The republicans have a 16 year head start on us so we definitely have some catching up to do.

  •  Good post beachmom (3+ / 0-)

    Jonathan lost his way in the TNR piece or rather he tried to explain something that he really doesn't understand and it shows.

    As for Joan, what can one say except isn't she  just - well - irrelevant?

  •  tnr is trying to grasp at something (3+ / 0-)

    they really can't comprehend.  The netroots movement is also about power being decentralized and about acknowledging the real concerns of people at a grassroots level.  Chait wants to see this in traditional terms of 'who has the power and who doesn't.'  

    Arguments about social security are arguments about something that matter to people.  They are not just arguments about who has the power to change or abolish this program.  It is, in a sense, personal and that changes how it is argued about fundamentally.

    The liberal web is also taking a long overdue chance to insert itself into arguments that it has been locked out of for a long time. This is also about power being shared, and in some cases devolving, back to the people.  What a refreshing idea.

    BTW, I loved your point about blogs like Raising Kain in VA.  Excatly right.  The power of these smaller blogs is going to be immense.

    •  Good points there. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      M Loutre

      After having written this diary, I still don't understand how TNR could praise the netroots one moment, and then denigrate some of the Democrats who are deeply involved with the netroots.  It just doesn't make any sense.  At this point, the magazine isn't changing fast enough to survive.  Only time will tell if they can REALLY change.

      •  Chait is making an academic argument (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        beachmom, M Loutre

        and is trying to coolly analyze a phenomenon that is about passionate things.  This is a contradiction in terms, in some ways.

        The netroots are also about anger and rage.  Chait is ill-equipped to deal with that without denigrating it.  All good political movements seem to start with anger and with a passion from someone to fix something or amend something that is perceived to be broken.  This is not the kind of thing that a think tank is good at analzing.

        Chait can see this emotion, he can see that it is, in part, fueling some of lefty blogs, but he can't quite bring himself to take it seriously.  Passion, anger, rage and all those other things that have always had a place in politics are low to him and deeply suspect.  

      •  I think you just proved Jonathan Chait's point... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fstlicho

        I still don't understand how TNR could praise the netroots one moment, and then denigrate some of the Democrats who are deeply involved with the netroots.

        As Chait writes in his TNR article on the Netroots:

        If you asked a Heritage Foundation fellow or an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal how his work fits into the movement, he would immediately understand that you meant the conservative movement. If you asked the same question of a Brookings Institute fellow or a New York Times editorial writer, he would have no idea what you were talking about.

        Jonathan Chait, writing for the The New Republic, writes a very flattering piece on the netroots.  James Kirchick, writing on TNR The Plank, denigrates Democrats involved with the netroots.  Your inability to understand how "TNR" (apparantly one entity) can take these views pretty much sums up Chait's point--older left-leaning establishments, like Brookings or NY Times Editorialists or The New Republic, have no coordinating movement-based agenda.  Hence, one article in TNR can completely contradict another.  The Netroots do have a movement-based agenda, and I can kind of see that projecting through you when you can't understand why TNR isn't a coordinated, completely consistent entity.

        "'Shit' is the tofu of cursing" --David Sedaris

        by LiberalVirginian on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:09:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Except that Chait has a history of (0+ / 0-)

          hating the two Massachusetts senators.  And Michael Kelly (former editor of TNR) wrote a hit piece for GQ about Ted Kennedy from 20 years ago, and they just resurrected it on TNR, and bashed the Democratic party TODAY for Ted Kennedy's alleged behavior from 20 years ago.

          So I guess, I still think the TNR agenda is largely DLC and anti-Kennedy Democrats.  It was this new article by Chait which stood out like sore thumb.

          •  Why... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fstlicho

            do you assume TNR has a definable agenda?  Seems to me their agenda is to publish any variety of left-of-center that will sell subscriptions.  With something like TNR, you're always going to find stuff that pisses you off and stuff that makes you go "Effing-A Right!"  Like Chait says in his article on the netroots, institutions like TNR do not see themselves as part of a movement with an agenda.  The netroots does.  Neither way is "better" than the other, but I think his observation is very apt.

            "'Shit' is the tofu of cursing" --David Sedaris

            by LiberalVirginian on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:21:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Are they in their "death throes"? (0+ / 0-)

    TNR obits are a dime a dozen here.  Perhaps the comparison's a little over the top, but I'm reminded of Cheney's statements about the insurgency.  They're a magazine, we're a blogging community and the two are entirely different markets.  Plucking random Plank items you don't like is a rather easy matter - as is finding less than palatable diaries here.  Reading their issues as a whole puts TNR in a very different context - there may be disagreements here and there, they may be scornful of Kerry (but then I don't find many folks singing his praises), but they've done quite a lot to undermine Bush and their reporting on George Allen last year was first class.  Give this vendetta a rest already.

    "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

    by fstlicho on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:57:49 AM PDT

    •  I guess you didn't read John Kerry's diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MH in PA, A Patriot for Kerry

      yesterday.  200+ comments of mostly praise.  And TNR's hatred of Kerry is beyond my comprehension.  Even The Economist wrote something positive about him in late 2003, but TNR couldn't?

      This Plank entry was from THIS WEEK.  This did not involve cherry picking.  Just checking it out for a week you see this DLC undercutting of Dems.

      Yeah, they'll blast Republicans, but they blast Dems, too, which hurts our cause.  And that TNR reporting would have gone nowhere had Allen not uttered the M word.

      •  We blast Dems too (0+ / 0-)

        Chuck Schumer came in for a real scolding a ways back.  There are any number of people here taking pecks at Obama or Hillary or whomever else.

        John Kerry's comments are largely a self-selecting bunch.  I refer to conversations I've had offline.  The guy ruled himself out of 2008 for a reason.  Remember the botched joke?  I recall several suddenly-deleted diaries expressing real and merited annoyance that the guy was incapable of delivering a paltry joke right.

        It's a party, not a cult.  Some degree of self-criticism and analysis is healthy.  TNR doesn't walk on water, but then neither do we.

        "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

        by fstlicho on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:17:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But it is a faulty argument (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          M Loutre, A Patriot for Kerry

          and one that self-contradicts. tnr is on the outside of this movement, looking in. Chait states in his article that he is partly incapable of fully understanding what the netroots are and what they are doing.  He then proceeds to describe what the netroots are and what they are doing.  You don't see the problem with that?

          •  Is it only a movement? (0+ / 0-)

            TNR may stand outside the movement, but this movement alone can't determine the big outcomes.  DK and other sites can do great things, but we're not moving mountains all by ourselves.  Reporting by TNR or other, less movement-committed sources can come in handy.  Markos seemed to think so when he repeatedly cited Ryan Lizza's reporting on George Allen (Ah, remember when?)

            "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

            by fstlicho on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:26:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Okay -- maybe YOU need to read the article again (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MH in PA, A Patriot for Kerry

          The attack on Kerry regarding pronoungate (dropping one word, "us") was from the RIGHT.  You join in with the Right one week before the election, and you are no longer a trustworthy member of the party.  Dick Cheney (who you think I am like, apparently) copped to waterboarding one week before.  The entire GOP backed him up and defended him, because there was an election coming up.  But for Kerry's innocent mistake?  You have Hillary and Harold Ford and God knows who else joining in in the scalping.

          By the way, Markos and all the big blogs defended Kerry.  And he doesn't even LIKE Kerry.  No wonder you're defending TNR, since you think it's perfectly okay to side with KARL ROVE against one of your own.

          •  Don't be silly. (0+ / 0-)

            This us versus them mentality is some strange mirror image of the White House view of the world.

            There's a broad, blindingly obvious difference between being annoyed at Kerry for saying something dumb and possibly damaging and being offended at him for seeming to insult the troops (something I never bought into).  At the time I was phoning around for Jim Webb; all of us in the office shared a few gripes about Kerry's gaffe and got back to calling rural Virginia.  

            It's really revealing that you've gone ad hominem on me after a few minutes.  It rather reinforces one of Chait's more apt statements about the paranoid tendencies one occasionally encounters here.

            "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

            by fstlicho on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:30:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, you brought it up. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MH in PA, A Patriot for Kerry

              You bash Kerry for the botched joke on a liberal blog, well, then, be prepared for a fight.  And I'm in Virginia, too.  And you don't seem to get how to build the Democratic party -- Kerry, whether you like it or not, was our last nominee.  If you had spoken up for him, that it was a silly gaffe meaning nothing, and that Kerry has been SO RIGHT about everything from '04, then you are helping our brand.  When you side with the White House, then you are UNDERCUTTING our brand.  

              And Kerry fully funded Webb's GOTV for the primary, and endorsed him, thereby persuading many of us liberals that Webb could be trusted even though he had been a Republican.  In fact, Kerry's efforts in '06 made a big difference in the outcome of many elections for which he helped out a great deal.

              BTW -- I launched no ad hominem attack.  I simply stated that you sided with the WH, by bashing Kerry over the joke.  That is a fact.

              •  Good golly this is silly (0+ / 0-)

                a.) this is months and months after the fact and we should feel uninhibited about casually discussing it.  If the botched joke comes up, it will have zero impact.
                b.) you presume quite a lot about what I personally did.  I had other fish to fry in the preelection days and I most certainly did say that this was a tempest in a tea cup.  
                c.) Linking me to Karl Rove on an issue is in fact a bit ad hominem.  
                d.) This isn't Pepsi.  We don't have to retroactively exalt Kerry because he was the '04 nominee.  We can actually exercise a bit in the way of critical judgement - it's one of those things that makes us better than Republicans, you know.  He made some good moves and some bad moves; comprehending what the latter were puts us in that much better a position for 2008.

                "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

                by fstlicho on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:43:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Reading your comments in this diary, there (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  A Patriot for Kerry

                  was something familiar about you -- you sound like me in 2002.  I subscribed to the Economist at that time but I voted Democratic.  I thought that we should all be civilized and reasonable, not ruffle too many feathers.  We should question ourselves constantly, and acknowledge maybe when the Republicans had a point.  And maybe free trade and globalization without protections wasn't all that bad, what with the economy growing.

                  I don't think that way anymore, fstlicho.  The war and what was done to John Kerry in '04 (I will never forgeet that they denigrated a veteran, someone who was shot at and killed for his country) had changed the way I view politics.  And the way wages have stagnated or gone down, with 47 million uninsured, and more plunging into poverty merely solidifies my view that this country needs to move leftward.  You can't move leftward without being liberal.  Centrism just plays into the hands of the Right.  Being reasonable only allows you to be slaughtered that much more easily.  

                  Your reading of DailyKos and TNR is not balance.  It is merely confusion.

                  You figured you were only being "reasonable" by staking a centrist position on "the joke".  Oh, Kerry didn't insult the troops, he's merely a gaffe prone has been.  Well, that PLAYS into the Right's hands, by taking the argument to their side.  You've already lost by speaking that way.

                  This war of words with the Right is a fight to the death.  There will be no handshake after the battle is complete -- you will be dead.  Until you understand that, you can't effectively fight them.

                  •  It's easier to go off a cliff in lockstep (0+ / 0-)

                    If anything we've drawn opposite lessons from the past few years.  The GOP is tearing itself apart because of blind loyalty, because they've interrogated every question as "is this objectively pro-Bush or anti-Bush" irrespective of whether it was good for the country or their broader movement or not.  Here again Chait may have a point about an imitative quality, a creeping Rove-envy on our side.  

                    It's absurd of you to posit that anything I've said in what I've said about discourse implies real differences in position on substantive policy issues.  

                    Lest we forget, the people we were trying to win over were those a bit more likely to be irked by Kerry's remark.  Telling them it was being overhyped and used as a smokescreen was a lot more effective than explaining and excusing it to the nth degree and pretending that it was yet another brilliant product of Kerry's dazzling intellect.  

                    I'm not seeking a handshake with the Right.  It would be nice to see a little less dogmatism on our side, because the instincts nurtured here are a lot less effective when it comes to choosing our own course than they are at battling right wing spin.  Chait had that right too.  

                    I'd carry this on but you seem equally happy arbitrarily choosing positions for me and then conducting a debate with your very own imaginary straw man.  Why should I want to get in the way of that?

                    "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

                    by fstlicho on Thu May 03, 2007 at 12:19:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you don't fight back, then any principle (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      A Patriot for Kerry

                      you stand for will be undercut.  I am sorry that you cannot understand the difference between blind obedience and learning to stick up like a team ONE WEEK before an important congressional election.  And I never said you should say Kerry's botched joke was a great intellectual moment, but rather for all Democrats to have been on message:  he made a mistake but what the White House has accused him of is just another smear and distraction from a completely botched war.  Carville said this at the time:  "What's worse?  A botched joke or a botched war?"  It's called pivot and attack.  Too bad Hillary didn't get the memo or Harold Ford, or many "liberal" pundits or so many other Dems who were dreaming of '08 primaries instead of sticking together like a team one week before an important midterm election.

                      No strawman was created.  Your sad devotion to a DLC dinosaur magazine has colored you blind to the long fight we face which requires real muscle.  Perhaps one day you will reconsider.

                      •  Don't be ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

                        What I described to you was pivot and attack, and you seem incapable of distinguishing between conversations among liberal friends (no one needed convincing) and conversations with others.  Your fidelity to staying on-message verges on being Stalinist.  In Montana Jon Tester gauged the mood and decided it was better to condemn and - if it helped him win - I'm glad he did so.  Are you?

                        You've very methodically assumed everything about me, without ever taking the time to inquire.  Anyone whose stereotypes fall into place so readily has ceased to be a thinking, inquisitive individual.  In your hatred of the GOP machine, you've unwittingly become the mirror image of a Limbaugh dittohead.  I savor TNR not because I agree with them 100% of the time, but because they retain a commitment to free inquiry that seems a lot more sporadic here and utterly absent from your replies.  Jon Chait could scarcely have wished for a better illustration of his theses than the author of this diary.

                        "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

                        by fstlicho on Fri May 04, 2007 at 04:15:37 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You are the one going too far (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          whometense

                          Beachmom has posted a huge number of well thought out, reasonable diaries that are not especially ideological in nature.

                          Calling her Stalinist is beyond the pale and is what the Limbaugh crowd would do. Only a few weeks ago, with Cheney in attendance, he called the Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Stalinists. I seriously think you owe her an apology.

                          I would tend to agree with her that THE NEW REPUBLIC has been pretty much on the neocon side. There are good articles, but there are others that make you want to pull your hair out. Those are ones where they in pious tones claimed that people who were against the neocon ideas had lost their idealism.

                          I never expect to agree with every article in a newsmagazine, but when the ratio is as low as this one's, I opt to read the interesting ones when they are on line.

                          As to Tester, I'm glad that we got the seat and was impressed when I saw him speaking - I think on Kerry's small business committee. I do not think he is as great as his fans here - I haven't seen that yet. While I do think that establishment Democrats, including the Clintons, owed Kerry support, a non- incumbent in a red state should have done what he did.

                          Kerry had done an incredible amount of work for 2006 and deserves a lot of credit. He was right about making Iraq the issue. The intended words were known, the spoken ones did not mean what the RW said and Kerry had a 3 decade history of working with vets. The Clintons likely forgot that Kerry was the most effective advocate Bill Clinton had when the draft dodger/ loathe the millitary stuff happened in 1992. (don't forget that this was within weeks of the disgusting, dishonest "Heyjohn" attack.

                  •  I wish I could recommend this more than once (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Creosote

                    Excellent comment beachmom.

        •  Are you related to someone (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          beachmom, MH in PA

          who works at TNR or perhaps you have a good friend who works there?

          Trying to figure out why you're so passionately defending TNR.

          •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

            I often find their reporting very interesting.  Their international dispatches are first rate.  TNR fills an altogether distinct niche from DKos.  I'm happy to read both and baffled that there's this bizarre animosity that mostly relates to nursing old grievances.  Sometimes you just gotta move on.

            "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

            by fstlicho on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:34:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have no attachment, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MH in PA

              bizarre or otherwise, to TNR.  Of the articles of theirs that I have read, I find many of them quite slanted in perspective or lacking in some aspect of reality-based thinking.  

              Which is why I'm wondering why you're defending them.

              •  Try, for example (0+ / 0-)

                Some of Joshua Kurlantzik's international reporting.  His work on the petro-politics of today is absolutely terrific, fully worth the price of admission.  It's something I wouldn't get here.

                "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

                by fstlicho on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:44:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah really. A post from 4/30/07 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MH in PA

              is an old grievance.

              •  more the Lieberman thing (0+ / 0-)

                Anyone conversant with TNR of late can see they have no use for him and haven't cared much for him for a while.  

                "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

                by fstlicho on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:45:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  well, William F Buckley is worried too (0+ / 0-)

      people once thought I was crazy for predicting that george bush was destroying the repuglican party

      last week William F Buckley said the same thing

      the repuglicans and conservatism have been exposed as a false doctrine, based upon and shielded by lies

      publicity like that isn't good for a political party

      read up on the demise of the original Federalist Party

      •  agreed (0+ / 0-)

        I think the GOP is in for choppy choppy waters.  But then that's another topic.

        "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

        by fstlicho on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:18:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  file it under "Wurlitzer Down" (0+ / 0-)

          the mighty repuglican wurlitzer is in the process of crashing and burning

          george bush says we need to find "an acceptable level of violence in Iraq"

          tony snow is asked "What is an acceptable level of violence ???"

          tony snow's answer "I HAVE NO IDEA"

          next up, repuglicans spin that into "Leadership"

          does anybody wonder why the repuglican party is dying ???

          all the repuglicans have to offer is bullshit

          and they're running out of THAT too

    •  By the way: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Patriot for Kerry

      I never thought anyone on DailyKos would compare me to Dick Cheney.  Thanks a lot for your civil discussion of the matter.  <sarcasm>  Who knows how long it will be before I can be insulted so completely again.  

      •  that takes it a bit too far (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think you're like Dick Cheney.  The odds are overwhelmingly against it; if more than .0001% of the globe's population resembled him, we'd never have survived the Cold War.  I do think these premature declarations of doom rather replicate his own proclamations.  It's a trap we should know better than to fall into.

        "There will always be two different views / Of the same thing, baby / Too many views with loaded pride." - The Fixx

        by fstlicho on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:36:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, not in their death throes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beachmom, MH in PA

      but as a former TNR subscriber, I see a long slow decline for them. They've gotten in bed with the wrong people. And stayed there.

  •  I knew if I hung around you all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    M Loutre, A Patriot for Kerry

    long enough, my worlds would connect.

    So here is some trivia about TNR that facinates me and sort of gives me chills in my me-centric little world.

    Some of you know I am writing a book about Rudolf Laban. I have been researching and writing for what seems like decades, and most of you in my blog cohort know only the frazzled scholar-me, as opposed to the normal "thoughtful" type I used to be.

    The book is alsmost complete; I am doing edits.  As I have been checking facts and running back over history, I came across this fact:

    Laban was brought to England after he fled or was kicked out of Germany by the Nazis by a couple named Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst. They owned an estate called Dartington Hall, which was a mecca for artists, writers, organic farmers, and enviros.

    Leonard was a Brit and was interested in organic farming and local crafts. Dorothy however, was an American; her maiden name was Dorothy Payne Whitney, of the NY Paynes and Whitneys. She had a great deal of money and her previous husband (who died in the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918) was a man named Willard Straight.

    Willard Straight founded The New Republic.

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk...

    Dorothy Straight and her husband, Willard Straight, were both deeply influenced by The Promise of American Life, a book written by the journalist, Herbert Croly. In 1914 Croly was invited to meet Dorothy and Willard at their Long Island home. While there, Croly commented that Norman Hapgood, the recently appointed editor of Harper's Weekly, had failed to turn it into the liberal journal that America needed. Dorothy suggested that the three of them should start their own journal.

    The first edition of the New Republic appeared on 7th November, 1914. Willard Straight supplied the money and Herbert Croly became its first editor. The magazine was run by a small editorial board that included Croly's friend, Walter Lippmann. All outside contributions were submitted to the editorial board and had to be accepted by all members before it could appear in the magazine. Early contributors included Walter Weyl, Randolph Bourne, Charles Beard, Amy Lowell, Henry Brailsford and H. G. Wells.

    and

    Writers who wrote for the New Republic between the wars included H. L. Mencken, John Dos Passos, Willa Cather and Michael Gold. In 1946 Henry A. Wallace became editor and under his leadership circulation reached a all-time high of nearly 100,000. Wallace resigned in December, 1947, when he decided to run for the presidency. He was replaced by Michael Whitney Straight, the son of the magazine's founders. Circulation of the New Republic fell to 30,000 in the 1950s and one commentator described it as "that faint voice of the left".

    This trivia is interesting to me, of course because of the book and I've also become more and more fascinated with Dorothy Payne Whitney Straight Elmhirst.  But the info is also a lesson in the history of ideas.

    The Elmhirsts were gentry and landowners; beneficiaries of capitalism (as were many of the lefties of that time, including John Reed and Louise Bryant) without being self-protective pigs.  They shared and they believed in sharing.  When I went to Dartington to do research, I met many people in the local pub who had grown up "on the estate", and who had been read stories to by Dorothy, who had seen open rehearsals of the Martha Graham Company in the 1940s, who knew who Henry Moore was, who were simply educated about the world and human imagination.

    The estate and the village near it are still a community in the best sense of the word. Individuals are cherished for their uniquenesses and the village comes together when necessary to work differences or issues out.

    There is a "village idiot" and everyone talks with him and takes care of him. They enjoy him as he is. They don't elect him President.

    Anyway, I wanted to add this little tidbit to the conversation, because I think beachmom really nailed it in the header.  The netroots is very much like the village, and the New Republic has gone astray from the deeply cherished lefty beliefs of its founders.

  •  TNR RIP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beachmom, M Loutre

    It should not be forgotten that the TNR was once a great progressive magazine, founded by people like Herbert Croly and Walter Lippman.  However, since the mid-70s when neo-con fellow traveler Marty Peretz took it over, the magazine has gone down the toilet.  Necon in foreign policy, neo-lib in domestic policy, the magazine has drifted far, far away from its progressive roots.

    If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

    by Paleo on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:48:28 AM PDT

  •  The anti-netroot meme of those like TNR (3+ / 0-)

    is expressed perfectly in this part of the Chair quote:

    For the netroots, partisan fidelity is the sine qua non. As Moulitsas told Newsweek in 2005, "The issue is: Are you proud to be a Democrat? Are you partisan?" What they cannot forgive is Democrats or liberals who distance themselves from their party or who give ammunition to the enemy.

    All of those old MSM lines like TNR have to criticize the netroots, and they've settled on this one. "The netroots won't tolerate dissent."

    In my (small) experience in the netroots, this is just plain untrue.

    But expect to see it a lot more from TNR, NYT, WaPo, etc.

    •  Ironic... (0+ / 0-)

      From Chait's article (not a part quoted in this diary, but germane to your comment):

      Like any political community, the netroots have developed distinctive linguistic tics that hold special meaning to adherents, and these reveal something about the way the movement thinks. Among the most revealing is the netroots' incessant use of the words "meme" or "frame" to describe ideas. It is a formulation that assumes that establishing the truth about an idea matters less than phrasing the idea in the most politically effective way and repeating it as much as possible.

      "'Shit' is the tofu of cursing" --David Sedaris

      by LiberalVirginian on Thu May 03, 2007 at 12:08:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The NR can't die soon enough for me! (0+ / 0-)

    Good diary.

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