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Monday, May 14, 2007

Jonah Goldberg is in my newspaper

With apologies to Atrios for an Eschaton style title, why is Jonah Goldberg in my newspaper this morning? And why is it almost a week late? Projecting your own fears and foibles onto the netroots is so early May. Hey, Oregonian, check out how Goldberg closes:
Netrooters want it both ways. The GOP is evil and intellectually bankrupt because it doesn't care about anything but winning. But it would be the greatest thing in the world if Democrats could be just like Republicans!

That doesn't sound like a winning strategy to me.
First off, the GOP is evil and intellectually bankrupt because it embraced an ideology that is evil and intellectually bankrupt, an inconvenient truth that Goldberg tries to slide past earlier in his column by claiming it was all "Great Thinking" and look how those silly libruls think it was all PR, as if we are incapable of understanding the relationship between the two.

Conservatism went off the rails because its ideology went off the rails on all fronts--economic policy, international relations, environmental policy and domestic social policy were all captured by the most extreme elements of the GOP. What the PR did was claim, with some success thanks to a press that was phoning things in, that these extreme conservative policies were actually moderate policies that are supported by a majority of Americans. Turns out, eh, not so much, although we seem to continually battle the media, trying to convince them that it's no longer 1994 and Newt Gingrich is finished, at least until he pops up on MTP again.

We still get the press warning oh-so-sincerely that Democrats better watch out and not "overreach," as if goals like providing health care, basic consumer protections and a non-insane foreign policy are the same as dropping acid in the Haight in '67. Peace, love and help for my sciatica, as it were.

It's actually becoming rather amusing to watch morans (sic) like Goldberg continue to fruitlessly label the netroots as this or that thing, when anyone who has closely observed it knows it is vibrant and alive with a multitude of competing ideas. Here's an experiment Goldberg should find easy: go post something stupid on Daily Kos and watch how quickly it is logically torn to pieces, probably with links and statistics.

Conservatives always loved to talk about "the marketplace of ideas," and now that there actually is one in the netroots, they are finding that conservative ideas don't always hold up so well. Drowning the government in the bathtub didn't work out so well for New Orleans, and a Reagan-Rambo foreign policy has led to disaster abroad. And so on.

As for the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, well, that's another area the netroots has proved effective against. Conservatives pay for their opinions to be manufactured according to the specifications of industry groups and ideological groups bent on making sure their agendas stay front and center.

That's not to say we haven't seen groups started to fight back, like Moveon, but clearly the netroots itself is not funded at anything close to the level conservative infrastructure is funded. (I'm looking at you, Soros.) That may change, or not, but for now the netroots is a relatively spontaneous national uprising of thought combined with action. Different people can be involved at different levels, as the internet tubes have lowered the transaction cost of participation to a very low level. You don't even need a Microbus.

In short, we're exactly like the Christianist right, minus the theocracy, homophobia and misogyny, and we're exactly like the economic royalists except we think consumers have some rights as well, and we're exactly like the Haight in '67, without the drugs, the music, the sex, the crowds and the street crime.

But what the heck, everyone, levitate the Pentagon today using your magical modem-mind powers. It'll blow your mind. Ommmmmmmmmm..........

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