I commented a bit about this in Twitter, but NRO’s disgusted sneer at Sadly, No! deserves a little bit more observation. Not because of the Lefty site in question – after all: they affect nothing, influence nothing, and ultimately change nothing – but because of why it – and quite a few sites like it – still exists in the form that it does.
Short answer? dKos. The Establishment Left was exceptionally clever to find a pliable Lefty site, provide it with more or less exclusive patronage, and then use it to hammer the rest of the Left-blogosphere into impotence; imagine how badly the primaries would be going for incumbent Democrats right now if they were facing an independent and effective digital grassroots that was angry at the 2010 Democratic debacle. As it stands, the Democratic establishment can bleed off poltiical pressure and divert netrooter attention from what the netroots really need to do: which is to say, remove the Democratic establishment. The best part? The netrooters think that they’re making a difference. Well played, Democratic establishment. Well played.
Heck, I imagine that the Republican establishment is envious: you think that they’re happy to have to return my* calls? And I’m one of the nice ones… and I can be nice because both I and the Republican establishment know that there are a lot of alternatives out there who aren’t as nice. It gives them an… incentive, shall we say. Yes, “Deal with me, or deal with him,” is an old trick in activism. You know why it’s an old trick? Because it works.
*That would be ‘my’ in terms of ‘RedState,’ of course. No sense in pretending that the site’s not a major factor; then again, I helped build the site in the first place, so it all evens out in the end.