Via Dennis Perrin, I see that Max Sawicky, of whom I'm not usually a great fan, has explained that "The 'Internet Left' is a mostly brainless vacuum cleaner of donations for the Democratic Party." Even from these boondocks of Pittsburgh, I can feel the heat rising into the pale, aquiline face of Markos Moulitas, subcommandante of the Netroots revolution. Sawicky also says:
The "Internet left" is substantially a captive of the Internet bubble. It's a nice bubble, full of fun. It is awash in hypertext and flash graphics, but it doesn't demonstrate much depth in history, political-economy, or ideology, which is another way of saying it is fairly stuck in mainstream ideology and narrow tactics. It needs to step away from the LCD monitor and crack some difficult books, go to some boring meetings, wear out some shoe leather.To which the Donkle rabble rises like a fish to a fly with such songs as "Marx was a communist!" and "the SDS were terrorists!" All this in service of positing Thomas Franks and his Sweet Kansas: Suite as a better Antonio Gramsci and the FireDogLake chicks as the Sophie Scholls of this generation.*
Elsewhere and otherwise, Glenn Greenwald mildly chastises big libbloggers K. Drum and Atrios for speaking too blithely of the war. Atrios can be forgiven, I think, for his tone, which I take to be dismissive of Drum's moderated lust for launching aggressive wars and not intentionally callous about the toll of this particular aggression. Greenwald notes properly that what is absent from our present dialogue is any "horror" at the prospect of war, and there you have another unfortunate concurrence between the current powder keg in the Middle East and the pre-Great War situation in Europe. A happy comparison, surely.
In any case, the Internet Dems whine day and night that their elected officials demonstrate an insufficiently zealous committment--or any committment at all--to ending the Iraq war, even though they themselves show zero ideological committment to a dismantling of the imperial apparatus of the American state. They can chatter all they want about how "extreme" the right has become and how hard they're pushing back against the rightward drift of the American center, and they can yell "Progressive!" up to the damn rafters, but the truth is that they have staked out one side of a very carefully circumscribed intellectual territory. Hucksters like Kos and egomaniacal half-rate scholars like Eric Alterman spend as much time excoriating the far left or futiley courting a few dedicated libertarians in the name of Democratic victory as they do "opposing" President Bush. They're as fond of stab-in-the-back narratives as the prowar right. "If not for that fucking Nader . . ." Dennis Kucinich looks funny. Libertarians should support welfare statism and we will deign to prosecute fewer and more graceful imperial holding actions. You know the song and dance.
I don't know. What's a Democrat done for me lately?
*Good health and best wishes to Jane Hamsher, regardless, who has again been diagnosed with breast cancer.