Thursday, December 21, 2006

Seasonal stresses and all

have made me a delinquent blogger, but I did want to point to this stellar Mark Barrett post with which I agree entirely. There are very few bloggers whose clear thinking blows me away, and even fewer whose blogs I check eagerly, hoping for new material. The Premise is new to my list, but it's already raced to the top, mainly due to Barrett's unflinching honesty. Take this point from today:
    ...Which brings me to my last point. Anyone who’s read this blog for even a week knows that I supported John Kerry in 2004, and that I’ll support him again if he runs again. What’s surprised me over the past four months, however, is the degree to which left-leaning bloggers either gloss over their own political leanings while still advocating for particular candidates, or attack candidates they don’t like using charges as false as any leveled by the opposition party. John Kerry’s botched joke was a real wake-up call for me not because of what the GOP did, but because of how the left-leaning blogosphere and associated Democratic politicians reacted.

    But again that’s only part of the story. Over the past months, with the release of the April NIA on terrorism, the release of the Iraq Study Group report, the debate about withdrawal or redeployment from Iraq, and now the call by the Bush administration for a larger military, we’ve learned that John Kerry was not only right about the policy choices we should have been making, we’ve learned that he’s where the country is on those choices as well. And yet almost no one on the left is willing to say so because that might encourage John Kerry to run again, which might muck things up for other candidates...
The ridiculous which candidate is more electable? debate of 2004 has spun itself off into left-leaning conventional wisdom complete with talking points lifted wholesale from the right. The horse race is everything, bloggers back candidates based on their "charisma" rather than their qualifications, and the pre-season competition is littered with trash talk.

Mark Barrett:
    And I guess I don’t think that’s healthy for the Democratic Party, or honest. Sitting on one’s hands and refusing to acknowledge the truth is what bloggers used to complain about with regard to the mainstream media. And yet the more I look around these days the more I see the left-leaning blogosphere functioning not as a counter-weight to cable and network news, but as simply another pipeline for the same bias.

    And I don’t really know what to do about that. Or even what to say.

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