Anonymous Dem Politician: Netroots can be “mean and irrational”

posted at 5:47 pm on April 28, 2007 by see-dubya

The SF Chronic looks at the swarm of blog coverage of the California Democratic Convention, and recognizes that blogs have changed the way politics are conducted.

Depite all the money they bring in, it’s not always for the best:

But one key state Democratic strategist, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of concern for riling the netroots crowd, warns that such efforts are potentially positive and negative.

Netroots commentary can frequently be intensely personal, even “totally mean and irrational,” the strategist said, with some bloggers finding power in their ability “to assassinate political characters online.”

“It’s amplified by the anonymity, and it can be scary that it’s so irresponsible,” the insider said. “And it’s pulling the mainstream media in that direction.”

Who was it that said neither party likes their base, but the Democrats are scared of theirs?

UPDATE: In the comments, Ed Driscoll (the other conservative blogger in Northern California) suggests the quote was from Peggy Noonan. It was indeed, though this 2006 column instead of this 2002 one with similar themes. I badly misremembered it:

Democratic leaders in Washington are in a worse position than Republican leaders in Washington. Neither likes their base, really, and both think they are smarter. But the Democrats think, deep down, that their base is barking mad. The Republicans don’t. They just think their base is a bore.


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One thing I admired about the Republican leadership coming into the 2006 election was that they were so confident in themselves that they were able to completely ignore their base. The Democrats just aren’t that strong.

frankj on April 28, 2007 at 5:52 PM

One thing I admired about the Republican leadership coming into the 2006 election was that they were so confident in themselves that they were able to completely ignore their base.

That worked out so well.

Nonfactor on April 28, 2007 at 5:55 PM

I think the Democratic takeover was a good thing for one reason, we got to see how they can run the country and found out they really suck at it.

djohn669 on April 28, 2007 at 6:00 PM

djohn669, I sure hope your right. It appears that way.

Rose on April 28, 2007 at 6:03 PM

The base is important in primary season but doesn’t win you elections. It’s the independent and crossover votes that win in a general election. Republicans and Democrats each account for roughly 30% of the electorate. The hardcore base is probably 25% of that. Get 50% of the Independents and 10% of the other parrty to vote for you and it doesn’t matter what the hardcore base does.

In the last election the Democrats won the Independent vote and won enough seats to gain a majority. Many of these elections were by very slim margins.

crosspatch on April 28, 2007 at 6:16 PM

“Who was it that said neither party likes their base, but the Democrats are scared of theirs?”

That sounds a lot like this Peggy Noonan column from November of 2002. Scroll down to (I believe) the fourth subhead.

Ed Driscoll on April 28, 2007 at 6:16 PM

Fer gawds sake, the Democrats are afraid of FOX, nevermind anonymous blogs…

JetBoy on April 28, 2007 at 6:20 PM

Jeez,
Can these people even be happy in THEIR OWN VICTORY?
Cripes what a bunch of whiners! (please note I didn’t say winners.)
They won the congress and still aren’t happy Crimeny. does the world have to come to and end for them to finally just say gee every thing is peachy!

As they say in Ireland FEK! go take a prozac!

-Wasteland Man.

WastelandMan on April 28, 2007 at 6:23 PM

Guess what, when the netroots started coming to prominence in the Democratic Party the Democrats just so happened to win back Congress after twelve years. Sure, establishment Democrats might see this and be scared, but for the Democratic party as a whole it’s a lot better.

P.S. These netroots who you guys love to hate are more in line with the rest of America on Iraq policy than you are.

Nonfactor on April 28, 2007 at 6:25 PM

Good name for a blog Base Camp. We should invite the Dem base camp out to dinner!

sonnyspats1 on April 28, 2007 at 6:42 PM

Peggy Noonan is the best political writer of our time. I’ve never had anyone else move me to actual tears in a political essay (her WSJ column about her grandmother’s first night in the USA, contrasted to Peggy’s subsequent experiences in the Reagan White House).

“Barking mad” — could anyone else sum up the Defeatocrat base quite so succinctly?

P.S. These netroots who you guys love to hate are more in line with the rest of America on Iraq policy than you are.

Nonfactor on April 28, 2007 at 6:25 PM

Not just the netroots. I was in a diner this week in an industrial area of Savannah, GA. A local truck driver in the next booth was arguing about missing weapons of mass destruction with his buddy. Both were spouting “Bush lied, people died” talking points. So what? I still don’t want to see America pull out of Iraq and leave the civilians to the muj death squads.

What is the Democratic plan to assure we don’t trigger a repeat of the Cambodian killing fields? I still haven’t heard one, unless it is Kuchinich’s “screw them” policy.

Anton on April 28, 2007 at 6:44 PM

P.S. These netroots who you guys love to hate are more in line with the rest of America on Iraq policy than you are.

Nonfactor on April 28, 2007 at 6:25 PM

Yeah, we and the rest of America want to Win, the Democrats and the nutroots want United States and Coalition forces to loose, anything to make Presidnet Bush look bad, no matter the consequences. That’s a fair assesment, thanks for the clarification, Nonfactor.

PinkyBigglesworth on April 28, 2007 at 6:45 PM

“Guess what, when the netroots started coming to prominence in the Democratic Party the Democrats just so happened to win back Congress after twelve years.”

I don’t believe it was the netroots that won anything. Seems to me their largest profile candadate was the one they threw at Lieberman, we know what happened there. I think the dems took back power by running more moderate ‘Blue Dog Democrats’, hardly the choice of the netroots.

EEprom on April 28, 2007 at 6:46 PM

The closer we get to the election, the less the Donks can run against Bush. Already they are circling the firing squad. This is going be sooooo delish.

ronsfi on April 28, 2007 at 7:01 PM

…. neither party likes their base, but the Democrats are scared of theirs?

I’d never heard that before, but it is so absolutely true.

LegendHasIt on April 28, 2007 at 7:16 PM

Nonfactor, I think the difference is that we’re INFORMED, and most of Americans are not. They only hear one side of the story most of the time, and even that side is falsely reported. Too many people are willing to believe what they see when they turn on the news, which makes it easy for liberals in the media to deceive people into thinking something that isn’t true.

j_ehman on April 28, 2007 at 7:16 PM

“Guess what, when the netroots started coming to prominence in the Democratic Party the Democrats just so happened to win back Congress after twelve years.”

The democrats didn’t win with the help of the netroots. The democrats won despite the help of the netroots. The thing the netroots helped the most with was funding. Beyond that, and especially ideologically, the democrats made every effort to distance themselves from views espoused by moveon.org, dailykos, and others; apparently they were pretty successful.

gryphon202 on April 28, 2007 at 7:35 PM

These Nutroots are a throwback to their teachers’ and professors’ glory daze. They want desparately to be apart of a movement. Any ol’ movement will do.

Where’s my newspaper? I feel a movement of my own coming on.

hillbillyjim on April 28, 2007 at 7:51 PM

sp. desperately

hillbillyjim on April 28, 2007 at 7:52 PM

Vote Democrat, vote traitor.

georgej on April 28, 2007 at 8:21 PM

P.S. These netroots who you guys love to hate are more in line with the rest of America on Iraq policy than you are.

Nonfactor on April 28, 2007 at 6:25 PM

P.S. As several people have already pointed out, you’re wrong again. And you’re lost again, far from DU

Janos Hunyadi on April 28, 2007 at 9:37 PM

P.S. These netroots who you guys love to hate are more in line with the rest of America on Iraq policy than you are.

The Netroots thinks that Iraq was a mistake because it was an imperialistic war, a “war for oil.” Most Americans who do not support Iraq because they think it was merely a foreign policy blunder (thanks, I might add, from the ideologically liberal media).

But even if we grant that your point about Iraq is accurate, that still does not even remotely establish that the “netroots” could in any sense be considered within the American mainstream. Hell, even the netroots’ manner of communication would be enough to alienate mainstream America by itself. Add to that the positions on crucial topics like abortion, gay marriage, and affirmative action, and the netroots might as well be on another planet.

FormerLiberal on April 28, 2007 at 9:44 PM

But the Democrats think, deep down, that their base is barking mad. The Republicans don’t. They just think their base is a bore.

Ah so we are supposed to forget that the powers that be in the Republican party can’t stand us simpleton christian conservatives?

Benaiah on April 28, 2007 at 9:47 PM

Sure, the Dems have funding, but at what price?

ZK on April 28, 2007 at 9:54 PM

Anonymous Dem Politician: Netroots can be “mean and irrational”

The same politician also went on to say: “Spades have definite spade-like qualities.”

ReubenJCogburn on April 28, 2007 at 10:09 PM

Never argue with someone who knows they’re right. It’s a statement I’ll take to heart concerning this thread. How can you know your position is right without knowing the future? When someone points out a reality (netroots are more in-line with the American public than the people here are) everyone gets hostile. Calm down.

Nonfactor on April 28, 2007 at 10:44 PM

I’m onto you See-Dubya,

It’s a trick question:

Who was it that said neither party likes their base, but the Democrats are scared of theirs?

You did.

token on April 28, 2007 at 10:48 PM

Has anyone heard of these guys Unity 08? Can anyone tell me if this outfit could be viable for a future third party candidate?

sonnyspats1 on April 29, 2007 at 12:03 AM

Has anyone heard of these guys Unity 08? Can anyone tell me if this outfit could be viable for a future third party candidate?

This group will only have a following as long as it’ll keep a republican out of the office. you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

much like perot’s reform party, the leftist support fell away as soon as it was no longer needed to split the republican vote.

lorien1973 on April 29, 2007 at 12:14 AM

lorien1973 on April 29, 2007 at 12:14 AM I guess the jokes on me then. Thanks for the insight.

sonnyspats1 on April 29, 2007 at 12:35 AM

Never argue with someone who knows they’re right. It’s a statement I’ll take to heart concerning this thread.

How can you know your position is right without knowing the future?

When someone points out a reality (netroots are more in-line with the American public than the people here are) everyone gets hostile. Calm down.

Nonfactor on April 28, 2007 at 10:44 PM

How can you the netroots and some of the American public know your their position is right without knowing the future?

Entelechy on April 29, 2007 at 1:22 AM

Too many people are willing to believe what they see when they turn on the news

Not exactly. I saw a report (earlier this week was it?) hat newspaper circulation is down again. Most people are really tired of their crap.

But to be honest, the lefty nutroots did help the traitors Dems quite a bit by digging up Foley and swinging those vaunted independents. Don’t forget, 2006 was all about Dem dirty tricks. The ‘pub’s always want to fight fair, and always seem to forget that they are about to be sucker-punched.

(Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a ‘pub’ so I don’t have much sympathy for them. I am an arch-right-y. But it’s annoying that the ones who are supposed to be keeping the psychotics in check actually belong in the asylum with them.)

urbancenturion on April 29, 2007 at 2:29 AM

Never argue with someone who knows they’re right. It’s a statement I’ll take to heart concerning this thread. How can you know your position is right without knowing the future? When someone points out a reality (netroots are more in-line with the American public than the people here are) everyone gets hostile. Calm down.

Nonfactor on April 28, 2007 at 10:44 PM

I keep hearing this over and over again, then look into the basis for the statement. Left-laoded questions, asked by documentably left leaning pollers being both paid by and the results repeatedly reported by a almost uniformly leftwing media.

Whenever I hear the same thing over and over again out of the left controled media, and it directly contradicts what I see in front of me, somehow I think that just maybe it might be the propaganda it looks like.

P. James Moriarty on April 29, 2007 at 2:39 AM

The netroots are in line with the American public? Goodness, I had not idea that the majority of the People are for abortions in any shape or form, massive taxes (ie, taking people’s money to give to someone who didn’t earn it), repressive all-encompasing government, weak and defeatist national security policy, etc, and so on.

Oh, and that the majority of the People are f’ing insane.

William Teach on April 29, 2007 at 11:11 AM

Never argue with someone who knows they’re right. It’s a statement I’ll take to heart concerning this thread. How can you know your position is right without knowing the future? When someone points out a reality (netroots are more in-line with the American public than the people here are) everyone gets hostile. Calm down.

Nonfactor on April 28, 2007 at 10:44 PM

No-one’s hostile Nonfactor. Indirectly disagreeing with you doesn’t constitute hostility, though you obviously think it does. Makes me wonder why.

Aylios on April 29, 2007 at 9:29 PM

P.S. These netroots who you guys love to hate are more in line with the rest of America on Iraq policy than you are.

Nonfactor on April 28, 2007 at 6:25 PM

You are either self-deluded and honestly mistaken or else willfully ignorant and deceptive. Haven’t seen these then, I suppose?

From Cliff May over on NRO:

According to a recent USA Today/Gallup poll, 61% of Americans oppose “denying the funding needed to send any additional U.S. troops to Iraq,” and opposition is up from 58% in February. (3/23-25, 2007).

A Bloomberg poll reveals 61% of Americans believe withholding funding for the war is a bad idea, while only 28% believe it is a good idea (3/3-11, 2007).

A recent Public Opinion Strategies (POS) poll found that 56% of registered voters favor fully funding the war in Iraq, with more voters strongly favoring funding (40%) than totally opposing it (38%); (3/25-27, 2007).

POS found also that a majority of voters (54%) oppose the Democrats imposing a reduction in troops below the level military commanders requested (3/25-27, 2007).

A separate POS poll finds 57% of voters support staying in Iraq until the job is finished and “the Iraqi government can maintain control and provide security for its people.” And 59% of voters say pulling out of Iraq immediately would do more to harm America’s reputation in the world than staying until order is restored (35%); (2/5-7, 2007).

A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll show 69% of American voters trust military commanders more than members of Congress (18%) to decide when United States troops should leave Iraq. This includes 52% of Democrats, 69% of Independents and 88% of Republicans (3/27-28, 2007).

According to a recent Pew Research survey, only 17% of Americans want an immediate withdrawal of troops (4/18-22, 2007). That same poll found a plurality of adults (45%) believe a terrorist attack against the United States is more likely if we withdraw our troops from Iraq while the “country remains unstable”

Should a date for withdrawal be set, 70% of American believe it is likely that “insurgents will increase their attacks in Iraq” starting on that day. This is supported by 85% of Republicans, 71% of Independents and 60% of Democrats. (FOX News/Opinion Dynamics, 4/17-18, 2007).

An LA Times/Bloomberg polls reveals that 50% of Americans say setting a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq “hurts” the troops, while only 27% believe it “helps” the troops (4/5-9, 2007).

Sure doesn’t look like America is very much ‘with’ you arrogant ‘elitist’ nutroots, does it? Look closely at the Democrat numbers. I think the Democrats are waking up to the realization that their party and the media have been absolutely overrun with radical leftists.

Like you, non. Just like you.

And they have every right to be fearful and genuinely concerned. You self-absorbed idiots are beyond dangerous, at this point.

Man, the coming months are gonna be fun!

I wish that there was an index fund that somehow had something to do with psychotherapists or therapists of any stripe. The dem party is about to have a massive psychotic breakdown and that stock would definitely be rising. Hmmmm… and companies that make mood elevating meds…

Hey, just planning ahead. After all, America IS the land of opportunity ya know.

techno_barbarian on April 29, 2007 at 10:51 PM

techno_barbarian on April 29, 2007 at 10:51 PM

Well done techno, as I said Nonfactor, WE want to, and are winning, you want to loose, that is the difference. Put that in you poll and smoke it………

PinkyBigglesworth on April 30, 2007 at 12:17 AM

Well done techno, as I said Nonfactor, WE want to, and are winning, you want to loose, that is the difference. Put that in you poll and smoke it………

PinkyBigglesworth on April 30, 2007 at 12:17 AM

Can’t take credit for it. Cliff May over at NRO is where I got those most encouraging and uplifting poll numbers and they made my day. Well that and all the other really encouraging news coming out of Iraq.

Tonight, on our local news broadcast, I was amazed to see the positive reporting of operations in Iraq. Man… this has just got to be bad for the traitor harry reid and the defeatocrats.

I’m gonna sleep very well tonight. My Country is MUCH saner than I thought. I was worried there for a while.

Who says prayers aren’t answered?

techno_barbarian on April 30, 2007 at 1:14 AM

Respected atheists, notwithstanding. ;)

techno_barbarian on April 30, 2007 at 1:14 AM