Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Sunday, July 9th, 2006.


Frisch Follow Up

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blogging, Bush Administration

Please note the following chart:

This chart shows traffic patterns on Debbie Frisch’s blog over the past 30 days. Here it is for the past week.

Now, what do these charts tell us? They tell us that Debbie Frisch got next to no traffic before the recent little dust-up with Jeff Goldstein. As of right now her sitemeter says she gets 5,781 average daily visits. Before this weekend she was getting, um, way less. Possibly fewer than 100 visits a day. I took a look at her site meter yesterday afternoon after the controversy was already spreading around the blogs, and her average at the time was under 500.

Skippy figured out that Frisch has been blogging less than a year, and in that time she had been honored with a total of 12 links to her site before the Goldstein flap.

I bring this up because this fellow wrote,

Well checking her site meter it looks like Ms. Frisch is averaging 5,700 hits a day with today well over 10k hits already. I am sure her average has spiked due to this controversy. Still looking at Maha’s meter her blog is averaging only 1,800 hits per day. Maha has been around a lot longer but Ms. Frisch’s blog is definitely not some unknown lil voice out in the internet wilderness.

Yes, it is.

Update: Preemptive Karma offers an apology. But not for Frisch.

Update: I see from Memeorandum that the righties are still nipping at Frisch, who is warped enough to still be responding to them. Look, I don’t know what Frisch’s problem is. I don’t know if she’s just immature or if she’s bipolar or is being deliberately provocative to drive up her traffic — which is working brilliantly — but it’s way past time to leave it alone. I learned a long time ago on the Internets that when it becomes clear the person you are “debating” is a few clowns short of a circus, it’s time to walk away. Let ’em have the last word, and just walk away, and ignore or twit filter the loon in the future.

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Comments Improvements in Progress

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blogging

I’ve spent a big chunk of this afternoon trying to install preview and quicktag functions for comments. As of now the quicktags work but the preview doesn’t. It “previews” a blank post by “anonymous,” but then if you go ahead and post the comment you wrote does post.

I’ll leave the plug-in activated for now, so you can at least use the quicktags. If I can’t find out what I did wrong, maybe I can find another plug-in that does work.

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House of Lords

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Bush Administration, Congress, Democratic Party, elections

When did being a U.S. Senator become an entitlement? I thought senators served at the pleasure of voters. But somebody must’ve changed the rules while I was napping.

Today the Cabbage writes (behind the firewall; see also Raw Story) about Ned Lamont’s challenge of Joe Lieberman’s Senate seat:

This isn’t a fight between left and right. It’s a fight about how politics should be conducted. On the one hand are the true believers — the fundamentalists of both parties who believe that politics should be about party discipline, passion, purity, orthodoxy and clear choices. On the other side are the quasi-independents — the heterodox politicians who distrust ideological purity, who rebel against movement groupthink, who believe in bipartisanship both as a matter of principle and as a practical necessity. …

… What’s happening to Lieberman can only be described as a liberal inquisition. Whether you agree with him or not, he is transparently the most kind-hearted and well-intentioned of men. But over the past few years he has been subjected to a vituperation campaign that only experts in moral manias and mob psychology are really fit to explain. I can’t reproduce the typical assaults that have been directed at him over the Internet, because they are so laced with profanity and ugliness, but they are ginned up by ideological masseurs who salve their followers’ psychic wounds by arousing their rage at objects of mutual hate.

Those last couple of sentences could describe what’s written on the Internets about anybody in American politics. But I skipped over the part of Brooks’s rant that compares netroots activists to fascists —

In the 1930’s, the Spanish Civil War served as a precursor to the global conflict that was World War II. And in a smaller fashion, the primary battle playing out on the smiling lawns of upscale Connecticut serves as a preview for the national conflict that will dominate American politics for the next two years.

Seems to me that there’s plenty of mob psychology on Lieberman’s side. For all the hysteria you’d think this was the first time an incumbent Senator faced a primary challenge.

Jonathan Chait is on a similar tear:

… if Lieberman’s allies are irritating and often wrongheaded, alas, his enemies are worse. Lieberman recently declared, “I have loyalties that are greater than those to my party.” Markos Moulitsas, the lefty blogger from Daily Kos who has appeared in a Lamont commercial and has made Lieberman’s defeat a personal crusade, posted this quote on his website in the obvious belief that it’s self-evidently absurd. But shouldn’t we all have greater loyalties than the one to our party — say, to our country? Partisanship isn’t nothing, but must it be everything?

Is he saying that opposition to Lieberman is unpatriotic? Weird.

Their technique of victory-via-purge is on display in Connecticut. Although Lamont decided on his own to run, the left bloggers made his campaign their central cause. One result is that Lieberman has announced his intention to run an independent candidacy should he lose the primary. Moulitsas and other Lamont supporters are filled with outrage that Lieberman has opened up the possibility of splitting the liberal vote and letting a Republican win.

Well, OK, some anger is appropriate here. But doesn’t this suggest that the whole Lamont crusade has sort of backfired?

If Lieberman loses the primary and runs as an independent, then splitting the vote to let a Republican win — a likely outcome — is not the fault of Ned Lamont and his supporters unless you assume Lieberman is entitled to his Senate seat, and that there’s something wrong with another Democrat challenging him for it. Why isn’t it the case that if a challenger wins a primary against an incumbent, that must’ve meant the voters wanted a change? For whatever reason?

And surely Lieberman realizes that if he runs as an independent he will likely be handing the seat to a Republican. What does it say about him that he’d rather the seat goes to a Republican than to a rival from his own party? And doesn’t this prove that Lieberman is a liability to the party?

The whole anti-Lieberman blog campaign has a self-fulfilling quality: They charge that Lieberman isn’t a Democrat, they drive him from the party, and they declare themselves to be correct. The more ex-Democrats they create, the more sure of their own virtue they become.

First Chait says that Kos et al. are too partisan; next they’re not partisan enough. Weird.

I keep hearing is that activists are applying an Iraq War “litmus test” to Lieberman. Or that Lieberman should be admired and supported for taking a “principled stand” on Iraq. In reverse order:

Lieberman’s stand on Iraq may indeed be “principled,” in that he sincerely thinks the invasion was the right thing to do. But if the voters disagree with that position, why should Lieberman be rewarded for holding on to it? Politicians can hold all kinds of positions for principled reasons, but if those positions are way different from my equally principled positions, I’m not going to vote for those politicians, am I?

And anyway, it’s not about the war.

Let’s go to Cenk Uygur for a reality check:

I am constantly amazed by how uninformed people are when their job is to inform others. Every press article or editorialI have been a centrist all my life and I was a Republican until five years ago. Lieberman doesn’t offend my non-existent leftist ideology. So why would a centrist be so angry with a senator who claims to be a centrist and tries to find common ground between the two parties? Because the Republicans today are so far to the right that going over to their side is abandoning centrists in favor of siding with right wing zealots.

He knows. Lieberman knows that these are the same guys who have been unabashedly using 9/11 as a political tool. He knows these are the same guys who linked Iraq and 9/11 when there was absolutely no connection. He knows they campaign against gays, immigrants and anyone else they can focus people’s hatred on. He knows they have devolved into a party of misinformation, propaganda, ill-conceived wars and religious zealotry — and he still loves them.

He doesn’t just vote with Republicans, he relishes it. He talks like them, he walks like them, he is them. It’s not the Iraq War vote people care about nearly as much as when he said, “It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be commander-in-chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.”

That’s going out of your way to support not just their ideology and their war, but to support their demagoguery. It’s ugly and it reeks. We get plenty enough of that from Republicans, we don’t need any of that from so-called Democrats.

I’ve seen on the Lieberman issue completely misses the point. We are not against Joe Lieberman because we are leftists who require ideological purity. We are against him because he aids and abets an out of control Republican Party.

What’s sad about Jonathan Chait’s op ed is that Chait almost gets it. He writes:

A good window into the competing mentalities can be found in two arguments, one by prominent Lieberman supporters, the other by a prominent critic. First, the supporters. Writing in the Hartford Courant, Marshall Wittmann and Steven J. Nider of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council complain that “far too many Democrats view George W. Bush as a greater threat to the nation than Osama bin Laden.”

Those loony Democrats! But wait, is this really such a crazy view? Even though all but the loopiest Democrat would concede that Bin Laden is more evil than Bush, that doesn’t mean he’s a greater threat. Bin Laden is hiding somewhere in the mountains, has no weapons of mass destruction and apparently very limited numbers of followers capable of striking at the U.S.

Bush, on the other hand, has wreaked enormous damage on the political and social fabric of the country. He has massively mismanaged a major war, with catastrophic consequences; he has strained the fabric of American democracy with his claims of nearly unchecked power and morally corrupt Gilded Age policies. It’s quite reasonable to conclude that Bush will harm the nation more — if not more than Bin Laden would like to, than more than he actually can.

This is what Lieberman and his backers don’t understand. They piously insist that “partisanship stops at the water’s edge” and that they won’t take political potshots at a Republican president when he’s waging a war in America’s name — as if Bush were obeying this principle, and as if Bush were just another Republican president rather than a threat of historic magnitude. Lieberman seems to view the alarm with which liberals regard Bush as a tawdry, illegitimate emotion.

Yes, exactly. But then Chait turns around and says the netroots activists who support Lamont are worse. So we agree that there’s a case to be made against Lieberman, yet somehow it’s wrong to challenge Lieberman’s Senate seat.

I ask again — when did being a U.S. Senator become an entitlement?

Update: See Greg Sargent.

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This Is Brilliant

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conservatism

And so true.

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