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11/10/06

5:20 PM

Recount 

Lefty Bloggers Snatch Angst From Jaws of Victory

This innocent child will grow up to be a blogger.Photograph: iStockphoto.com

Yesterday, we walked through a minefield of Republican misery following what Paul Krugman calls "the downfall of movement conservatism." As you'd expect, a read through the Democratic blogosphere is somewhat cheerier, but the mood isn't hubristically buoyant as one might imagine.

Old rivalries die hard, and the one between Establishment Democrats and Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean is still kicking like a pistol. Party bigs are claiming his 50-state strategy may have cost the Dems four House seats. James Carville would like failed Tennessee Senate candidate Harold Ford to step in. "Suppose Harold Ford became chairman of the DNC? How much more money do you think we could raise? Just think of the difference it could make in one day. Now probably Harold Ford wants to stay in Tennessee. I just appointed myself his campaign manager."

Grassroots activists aren't too psyched about this notion. As Markos Moulitsas puts it over at the widely read Daily Kos, "Carville needs to shut the fuck up. If he wants a war, we'll give him one." Elsewhere, less potty-mouthed pontificators are debating how much credit to give the "netroots." Blogdom's candidate of choice Ned Lamont went down, but 'rootsters blame that on the strange three-way nature of the Connecticut Senate race and point to victorious contests where bloggers gave candidates early pushes the Democratic Congressional Committee later picked up on. Netroots naysayers argue that ultimately big money and traditional party mechanisms elevated candidates to victory, joining the universal chorus of praise for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Rahm Emanuel, the man Paul Begala called our "our skinny, nine-fingered, Jewish, Chicago version of LBJ."

But Noam Scheiber argues that the netroots-versus-establishment theme is a false dichotomy altogether, "Rahm did a solid job recruiting competitive candidates for the most obviously competitive races — which, as head of the Democrats' campaign committee, is what he needed to focus on. The Netroots did a solid job of identifying and funding candidates in districts where Democrats were a longer shot — the kinds of high-risk prospects you wouldn't necessarily want your congressional committee worrying about."

Finally, popular Democratic blogger Atrios thinks the who-gets-credit debate is itself a waste of time. "I really don't care who gets 'credit.' I just know that it's silly to set this up as a competition, and some of the hostility you see from some in the party organizations to the 'netroots' is absurd. Whatever role people online play — and the money raised isn't the most important role — they're, you know, trying to help Democrats get elected."

We admire this healing tone. Enjoy the sunshine, kids. It may not warm your keyboards forever.

A Putsch at the DNC? [The Plank]
Carville Wants a War [Daily Kos]
Opinion Roundup: Who Gets Credit, Rahm Or Netroots? [TPM Cafe]
Netroots Candidates [Act Blue]
21st Century Democracy [Firedoglake]
A Little Unfair to Rahm [TNR's The Plan]
Credit [Eschaton]

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