Sunday, October 10, 2004

Dear Rook...

(Note to ASZ readers: In my "mosh pit" thread last night, I posted a link over to Talking Points Memo, and made a short snide remark about TPM. One or two readers picked up on it and made a comment - so I figured a response was in order. Trouble is, as I typed my response in the comment section, it grew longer and longer and more impassioned, and in the end it wouldn't fit in the 3000 character Haloscan limit. So I figured, what the hell. Here's my response.)

So, what exactly do you have against Josh over at TPM? Well, other than he's got his nose up the Beltway boys rear ends 5 ways to sunday.
Rook | Email | Homepage | 10.10.04 - 6:04 pm |

I've blogged about this topic before, Rook - in my humble and absolutely worthless backwater blog opinion, the Marshalls and Drums and Yglesias' of blogosphere pretty much lost me at 9/11 - as in, Fahrenheit 9/11. Each of them refused the wet sloppy kiss offered to the left by Michael Moore, and that's when I realized that they were playing both sides of the aisle.

I started to read all of them a little more critically after their shunning of Moore, and I didn't like what I was reading.

More than three years ago, George Bush laid down the gauntlet to the world - you're either with us or against us. I've been against everything that Dubya stood for since before his selection in 2000. I knew well before the day that Antonin Scalia cast the deciding vote that Bush was trouble writ large. And as I waded into blogistan a few years later, I thought Marshall and Drum and Yglesias did too. Then I started to see a change in all of the 'big dog' bloggers, with the exception of maybe Kos and Atrios.

The collective rebuff of F9/11 by Josh, Kevin and Matt crystallized a lot of things for me. For a few days, I just couldn't figure out why they'd take that path. Then it hit me. They'd become just like the "journalists" and media they rail about - wanting to hedge their bets on both sides of the felt, just in case.

In case what???? In case this administration gets reselected, and keeps driving this clown car we're all riding in toward the abyss of Armageddon™, so Josh, Kevin, and Matt can be there to opine on the veracity of the rapture???

[Whew. Take a breath, Richard. Note to self: gonna burst a vessel.]

Listen, I believe that if George Bush is reselected, this country is headed farther and faster down the shit chute than we already are. I can almost taste the fecal matter already. That's what drives me. That's what (honest to God) gets my blood pumping in the morning, and the reason why I only sleep five or six hours a night. It's got nothing to do with obsession, and everything to do with doing everything in my admittedly limited power to make sure that when the votes are counted on November 2, I've done absolutely everything I can personally do to ensure that the Crawford Hillbillies pack up their road show and head out of town in late January.

I have volunteered with ACT.

I have canvassed.

I have registered voters.

I have passed out literature.

I have blogged.

I have contributed money.

I have held fundraisers.

I have organized.

I've attended house parties.

I marched in the big NYC protest.

My yard and house windows and junker cars are red, white, and blue with pro-Kerry / anti-Bush stickers and signs.

People at work walk the other way when they see me coming...or they start talking politics, one of the two...because that's the mode I've been in for the last four years.

The only reason I'm boring you with a resume of my own commitment is to highlight why I'm disappointed -- I thought (mistakenly) that Josh, Kevin, and Matt were on the same wavelength. Or perhaps, on the other hand, my expectations of them were just too high. Maybe the grunt work of politics, like the grunt work of life, is best accomplished by people who aren't afraid to get dirt under their fingernails.

Don't get me wrong - I don't discount their overall contributions to the cause. I just think they could have done so much more. The biggest axe I have to grind with Kevin, Josh, and Matt is that they each have the luxury of a bully pulpit that's very large in political cyberspace. Yet all three continue to find fault with liberal candidates, causes, writers and events, rather than taking the spin back to the neocons. And why?

To be safe.

Fuck safe.

I've been saying since the day I started this blog that we progressives have to throw all the chips on the table this year. Everyone needs to be "all in". Regardless of whether one believes or not that John Kerry is the solution, we have one shot left in our arsenal that stands between us and "Bush Unchained": the election on November 2nd. That single, simple, scary thought is what drives me unmercifully.

But apparently this thought doesn't drive the big boys too far from the cushy confines of being "safe". It doesn't keep them up at night. They're getting the invites to the "C" and "B" list parties already, and they'll still be getting those invitations regardless of the outcome on election day. Listen, I have a little secret for you: I've been on the hamster wheel inside the beltway, and it ain't that great. I'm quite comfortable with the fact that I'm the anonymous little sniping prick on the outside looking in. I'm ok with that. I aspire to nothing greater, particularly in the blogosphere.

Josh, Kevin, and Matt have had the ability to exert more influence on the results of this year's presidential campaign than I think even they realize. And they haven't "pushed the envelope" in exerting that influence. That's my lone beef with each of them. On the best day in the history of ASZ, we clocked about 10,000 visitors (the day we broke the Dave Guindon story). I'm guessing that each one of these guys clocks that many visitors an hour at peak times on most days. That's what I'm talking about when I say "influence".

So, yeah Rook, that's why I won't break a sweat anymore operating the scroll wheel and left mouse button to get over to TPM. But that's just me. Your mileage may vary.