Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just Doesn't Get It

My co-bloggers Adam and Nat-Wu are familir with my raging contempt for the left-wing blog "TalkLeft", and most particulary for one of its two bloggers, Big Tent Democrat. BTD is one of the most witless "liberal" bloggers in the entire blogosphere, and he demonstrated that time and time again during the primary season as he engaged in the most shallow, superficial and thoughtless analysis of the campaigns to criticize Barack Obama for every action he took or every minor connection to notorious people (Wright, Rezko, Ayers...you name it) while all the time proclaiming to support Obama for President. BTD is infected with the sort of knee-jerk contrarianism (with a healthy heaping of condescension to boot) that he mistakes independent thought, and he seems to regard himself as some sort of hero for not being in the tank for the Democratic Party like the rest of the progressive blogosphere supposedly is. Here he is today, writing about a piece by Matt Stollers and Chris Bowers who discuss why the progressive blogosphere doesn't get more respect from Democratic politicians:

Therein lies the problem. Most of the Left blogs work for politicians, not for issues. THAT is why the Netroots gets no respect.

Bowers is making the point that progressive bloggers should not expect Democratic politicians to come running to them because the bloggers support them. Which is entirely sensible. But not enough for BTD, who feels the need to indict the whole left-wing blogosphere for uncritically supporting Democrats:

To gain respect, fight, with the truth, for what you believe. Not the politician you believe in (as I said it is a mistake to believe in any politician). The "Netroots"/Left blogs stopped doing that for the most part. They became a Wurlitzer for Barack Obama, during the primaries against Hillary Clinton and now of course during the general election - without regard to issues.

When it comes to McCain, the choice is easy it seems to me. While I strongly disagree with Palinpaloooza for political reasons, I must say that I owe the Netroots a modicum of respect because they are acting in detriment to Barack Obama's political fortunes because they despise Sarah Palin. Palin seems standard issue to me and I REALLY despise John McCain and what he stands for so it is easy for me to do the politically smart thing - focus on McCain.

This is beyond stupid. The reason many in the progressive blogosphere came around to Obama is because they believed Obama to the be the more progressive candidate based on their evaluation of the candidates stances on the issues, which anyone who read progressive/liberal blogs from last year on would easily realize (for an example see us in our endorsement of Obama, where we laid out a list of reasons-based on the issues-for why we supported Obama over Clinton; we were not alone in this regard.) BTD is so clueless that he doesn't even realize that his point leaves the reader wondering exactly what criteria he progressive blogosphere used to select Obama over Hillary. In BTD world, liberal and progressive bloggers unfairly hitched their wagon to Obama over Hillary at the outset (for unknown reasons) and then never wrote a critical word about Obama again. Reading that, you might be startled to see BTD write this:

It surprises many people to know that I supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the primaries. I considered the two to be identical on the issues (except for health care, where I felt too ignorant to take a position on which of the two positions was superior) and preferred Obama because I believed him to be more electable. Weak tea for many people I imagine, but that was my view of the race.

Why does this surprise people? Because I have been extremely critical of Barack Obama since 2005 and was before, during and after the Presidential primaries.

The reason people are surprised by this is because BTD has never written anything indicating he supported Obama over Hillary other than the words "But I support Obama over Hillary"which he appended to the end of every post wherein he attacked Obama. Everything, and I mean almost literally everything, he has written about the primaries has been critical of Obama, or critical of the left for supporting Obama. What little actual analysis of their positions he offered is epitomized by this gem, wherein he argues that Obama demonstrates his naivete by stating that nuclear weapons don't deter terrorists. He says he thinks Obama is more electable, but this appears to be the case only if certain conditions that he demands are met, such as Obama selecting Clinton for VP, or the Democratic Party allowing FL and MI to revote (otherwise the Democratic party would be torn asunder and McCain will most assuredly win.) And now he lambasts the progressive blogosphere for being uncritically supporting of Obama and praises himself for his own critical eye, when the progressive blogosphere time and again detailed the differences between the two candidates in a thorough and informative manner, while BTD wrote post after post explaining why Obama wouldn't win based on his silly and superficial analysis. 

Although I have written my co-bloggers many times to complain and criticize BTD's witless condescension, I've refrained from criticizing him or TalkLeft in general on the blog because frankly there are too may other things to write about, the idiocy of left-wing bloggers is low in the hierarchy of things to be concerned about and I enjoy far more training my sights on idiotic right-wing bloggers. But idiocy is idiocy, and is not to be tolerated even from supposed "allies." BTD insults the progressive/liberal blogosphere with his comments, and he insults our blog in particular. I consider us members of that community (if not prominent ones) and we have done nothing but illustrate over and over again why we think Obama was the better candidate based on the public stances and comments that both Obama and Clinton made on the issues, and it is an insult to us to state otherwise. And I don't lightly take insults about my intellectual integrity from people who are clearly far stupider than I. 

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