Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Nutroots seethe over Democrats breaking FOX boycott

This one is simply too rich to pass up, folks. You have to hand it to Howard Dean in his ability to rally the nutroots when the party needed them most. But in giving them legitimacy that they didn't really earn, he spawned a monster. After the 2004 election MoveOn.numbnuts PAC people sent a message to the Democrat party --"Now it's our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back.” They think they've been running the show ever since. They received a rude awakening this week when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton appeared on FOX News. And that has the nutroots' knickers in a twist:

The nation’s top Democrats are suddenly rushing to appear on the Fox News Channel, which they once had shunned as enemy territory as the nemesis of liberal bloggers.

The détente with Fox has provoked a backlash from progressive bloggers, who contend the party’s leaders are turning their backs on the base — and lending credibility and legitimacy to the network liberals love to hate — in a quest for a few swing votes.

In a span of eight days, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.) and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean are all taking their seats with the network that calls itself “fair and balanced” but is widely viewed as skewing conservative.

With the party’s presidential contest reduced to hand-to-hand combat, Democrats are turning to the ratings leader among cable news channels in a clear rebuff to the liberal activists known as the Netroots.

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the leading liberal site Daily Kos, told Politico’s Michael Calderone: "Democrats are being idiotic by going on that network.”

Ari Melber, the Net movement correspondent for The Nation, told Politico by phone that progressive activists and the Netroots are “not happy about it.”

“I don’t think that it is tenable to completely neglect or ignore what your base wants,” Melber said.

First off, to Melber, the nutroots aren't the totality of the Democrat base. Just as much as the starboard side bloggers aren't the totality of the GOP base, you guys aren't the end-all, be-all for yours either. So it's disingenuous for the nutroots to proclaim that they are "the base" of their party, and exclude others from having a voice in it. Secondly, to Markos, the Democrats aren't being idiotic. FOX News has more viewers than CNN or MSNBC. Democrats hoping to swing votes their way should be going on the one cable news outlet so that they can speak to other Democrats. Just as much as liberals are a good chunk of Rush Limbaugh's 20+ million-per-day listeners, they make up a good amount of FOX News viewers as well.

See, poor fools like Markos there fail to understand strategy. This might be why his moronic backing of Ned Lamont in 2006 blew up in his face when Lamont got beaten like a bongo drum by Joe Lieberman in the general. We'll recall that Markos rallied up the base for the primary, where Lamont defeated Lieberman, but afterwords, Lieberman switched parties and trounced him in the general election. Where was the support then, Markos? Couldn't cut the mustard, eh?

Both Obama and Hillary are looking to persuade moderates, independents, and any fence-sitters that are left to vote for them in the primaries. Given Obama's stumbles over the last few weeks, he needed to have a sensible dialogue with a legitimate news source that takes the delivery of news seriously. (Hey Markos! It's pretty telling when even Terry MacAuliffe calls FOX News "fair and balanced," huh?) Hillary's resurgence in the primaries showed her that, like Obama, she had to reach out to the voters.

CNN and MSNBC can't provide that. FOX can. In the Politico piece, there's a part when Obama people tried to soothe the nerves of the nutroots, essentially throwing them a bone; He'd be "tough" on FOX. The nutroots weren't happy when they saw a civilized discussion instead of the frothing, spittle-filled diatribes they're used to hearing. (Of course, for the nutroots, that is "civil" in their book.)

The nutroots have just discovered that they don't own the Democrat party, and that they're strategy of trying to delegitimize FOX has failed. they didn't accomplish it. But their surly, childish ways have marginalized them right off the radar.

Publius II


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