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  • Lance Mannion
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coturnix

First Shakes link is to an e-mail we cannot read.

Lance

Thanks for the heads-up, Coturnix. It's fixed now.

Elayne Riggs

"MOST contemptible of all"?? I doubt bloggers measure that high on the Beltway insiders' radar. They don't even measure that high on MY radar, and I'm one of them! :) Otherwise, very nice essay.

charlie

I feel your anger, Lance, but methinks you missed the target.


Most of the "500", as The Note identifies them, are culturally from the Blue. Right wing nuts have real reasons to worry.

But what you are seeing now is another bias: a return to bipartisanship. There is a narrative in this country that to be an effective leader, you need to be bipartisan. You need to reach out to t the other side. You need to go to the Gridiron club and make little jokes.

And that narrative is not spun by political operatives, but by the people who filter 98% of politics for the American people -- your "500 club."

Lieberman is the patron saint of bipartisanship.

What this county needs now is a good internal cleansing, not being bipartisan. And if the political reporters had any common sense, they would be happy about that.

But they are so caught up with being part of the pagent they get upset when the agenga changes....

Linkmeister

Another sample of the Gang's thinking, from Howie Kurtz's column today:

Now the question is whether a press corps that has been openly at odds with the president will hold the newly empowered Democrats to the same tough standards.

"a press corps that has been openly at odds with the president"???????

Howie, buddy, for five years, with only a few exceptions, the press corps loved that man. Damn, go next door to Froomkin's archives and see how often he had to chastise the press corps for its wilful consumption of the White House Kool-Aid.

Jeepers.

sfmike

Nice rant and I share your anger at the media enablers. My fervent hope is that places like this blog are going to be what helps sweep this particular group of people into the dustbin of history. It's on the way to happening, although it sure is painfully slow.

Dan K

I gotta say, this issue is annoying but doesn't really burn me up.

Why? Because the American people have proven to be consistently out in front of the "beltway elite". This dynamic has only gotten stronger since the Iraq war fiasco and I don't think the media insiders are ever getting their power back. That horse has left the barn (for an example, just look at the irrelevancy of the NYTimes Op-ed page).

And there is a huge upside to the media spinning this as a "middle of the road" Democratic win. It gives all current Democrats a chance to say they too are mainstream (certainly the name Nancy Pelosi did not strike fear into voter's hearts) and all future candidates a chance to move the country even further left.

torridjoe

Y'know, I was nodding my head and eating this line of argument up, as I have since Wednesday. And then Dan K's comment totally threw me off the rails:

So What?

So WHAT if the Gang of 500 wants to spin this as Joe's victoy and Rahm's victory and Chuck's victory, and try to tell us that Jon Tester and Jim Webb are victories for the centrist mind?

For one thing, many of us--particularly those in the contemptible positions of "netroots activism"--aren't buying their bullshit. I'm beginning to wonder if our vehement attempts to claim some piece of the prize, perhaps even magnanimously on Howard Dean's behalf, are at root only marginally less self-serving and self-congratulatory than Lieberman's vainglorious vamp. After spending a week figuratively shouting, "No, it was US who put you over the top, and you'd betta RECUGNIZE!!", those of us who know the truth can be secure in that knowledge, and pay no mind to the Gang of HoweverMany.

And why is this bit of mistaken history-building OK in the short-to-medium run? Because it gives the party some cover. If the meme is that the new Democrats are "centrist," let them be called centrist. It's much harder to shake a bad label (which "liberal" still is in much of the country), than it is to fake a good one. And while it makes the skin of progressives crawl almost as much as the term "wingnut," as far as the mainstream politik is concerned, being a centrist is about the best thing you CAN be.

So if Howard Kurtz wants to tell (directly or indirectly) Joe MidwestIndependent that the Democrats finally elected a bunch of moderates, God bless him. If we can get to 2008 with habeas restored, warrants on wiretaps, fully functioning ethics committees, a new minimum wage, cheaper prescriptions and implemented 9/11 reccomendations, and the Beltway Gang wants to call it the work of Democratic centrists, what could be an easier electoral meme in 2008 than, "Why not elect a few more?"

Think about it, then...shhhhhhh.

Avedon

The new crop of Democrats are centrist - they believe in the liberal policies that the neocon/neoliberals have been trying to eradicate for the last however long. Lieberman, however, is not a member of the new crop of Democrats. Which proves things.

Molly, NYC

Avedon's right. Elected Republicans operate and think by consensus. (1) And their consensus is 'way far to the right of most Americans' (to put it charitably). It finally caught up with them.

I think Lieberman really does want to see himself as the man who can bridge the gap, but he's been getting all his news from the Beltway crowd for so long, and he's so in love with himself in that role, that the the GOP's corruption and insanity isn't registering with him. It's like what would happen to his integrity if he tried to bridge the gap to the Mafia, or tried to be the Jew that even the KKK trusted.

* * *
(1) Actually, the Contract on America turned the GOP into a franchise operation, like Burger King; candidates put up a certain amount of money, swear to put out an identical product to the other franchisees', and in return, they get advertising, training and other centralized support. It's worked very well for them.

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