There is something strange going on in the progressive blogosphere these days: instead of uniting against Republicans, progressive bloggers like Matt Stoller have decided to declare war on every Democrat who they consider not to be progressive (read anti-war) enough. Seemingly frustrated that there are actually Democratic Congressmen that do not necessarily always vote along party lines – but make up their own minds – they have decided to ask their readers to make profiles of so-called “Bush Dogs” (Blue Dogs and New Democrats) as to be able to target them in the coming years, and to replace them with progressive, left-wing Republicans.
An example of a so-called Bush Dog they are targeting is Brian Baird. Baird opposed the war against Iraq from the get-go but believes that since the US went ahead and attacked anyway, it should persist and be successful. He believes that the surge might be paying off, at least to a degree, and that – therefore – the troops should not be withdrawn soon. So, Open Left and Daily Kos have decided to target Blair – they are writing negative posts about him, etc.
Of course, Baird is not the only victim. Once one pays attention to what is happening, one also sees that they are targeting Hillary Clinton. Obviously not to replace her, but instead to make sure that she does not win the nomination. Besides attacking Hillary straight on, the left-wingers of the Daily Kos, Open Left and MyDD, also seem to have declared Bill Clinton their enemy. Their new best buddy? Al Franken.
Those who dare support non-Democratic candidates for president – like Independents – have to be put away as well well. As a result of all their actions, Chris Bower believes that “progressives are moving closer to Democratic Party control.”
This prospect should – as far as I am concerned – scare the hell out of everybody who thinks that some independence of thought is actually a good thing. We have seen some of this being done by conservative bloggers and activists, but never on the scale as we currently see (it being done by progressives). The intention is clearly to stifle all dissent, and all debate. Whether one is a Democrat or not, and whether one is more progressive than conservative, and left-of-center is irrelevant to these people. Nor do they seem to care that the voters voted these people into office in the first place. They have decided that they are enemies of the Democratic Party (even though they are Democrats themselves) and therefore enemies of the people.
The most important issue according to the progressives? Iraq. it is all that matters. In this instance they decide not to go after someone for not being progressive enough on certain issues, because this person opposes the surge. In other words, one might argue that it is not so much about progressive vs. less progressive, but about anti-war vs. open-minded. Make no mistake about it however: once these people get their way regarding Iraq, they will target politicians who they deem not progressive enough on other issues.
And so, slowly but surely, these people are destroying the Democratic Party. The average American does not favor truly progressive policies nor does the average American think highly of the anti-war crowd (led by Kos and Stoller). They might have their fair share of groupies, but so did other totalitarians in the past. These people are totalitarians because they do not accept any dissent. It is not as if policies are up for debate: they have made up their minds about certain issues, everybody else must agree. If they do not, they have to be targeted. More, Chris Bowers, Matt Stoller and “Kos” are now even making themselves unpopular among local Democratic activists. These activists basically tell Stoller and Bowers to bugger off. They know what is happening in their districts, they know what to do. National activists, they argue, do not have any idea what is going on in certain districts and / or states.
Of course, these concerns are easily dismissed. Indeed, one could argue that these bloggers have to be careful: otherwise they may be targeted soon as well. The Minnesota blogger has already turned against Bower et al.: instead of going ahead and endorsing other, more progressive candidates, he has decided to actively support the person (so-called Bush Dog) his more totalitarian thinking colleagues are attacking. The Ohio blogger I link to basically did the same thing by asking fellow Democrats to donate some much-need money to the two Ohio Representatives who Stoller and Bowers labeled “Bush Dogs.”
The centralization aspect of the campaign is quite interesting to see as well. One could argue that Stoller et al. believe that the centralized government knows best, or at least does not know less than the governments at a state level. The result is that they want to centralize politics as much as possible. This does not only reveal itself in their politics, but also in their campaigning. In essence, they want to centralize local campaigning with the goal of making every Democrat – in whatever district – a copy of every other Democrat – in other districts thus with different constituents.
When the Ohio blogger wrote that his reps. are targeted, Stoller told him that they are not targeting them (yet) and that he was free to write a positive profile of his Reps. The only problem with that is, of course, that they are already forced to play defense. If they do not, one can count on it that the Reps. from Ohio will be targeted – soon and aggressively. O, and then there is also the fact Stoller already labeled them “Bush Dogs.” I especially liked a comment from someone who supports the initiative: ‘You have no damn business telling the rest of the country to leave your “candidates” alone.’ Of course they do not: the ‘centralized and big campaign’ (governments) knows best.
The Minnesota blogger wrote: “Chris, you’re not the DSCC, and this revolution wasn’t about creating an online movement that would be as abusive as the old system.”
Quite right. But this is the result of the political theory people like Bowers adhere to. To them, any and all dissent should be destroyed. That is how they think and that is how they (now finally) act. It has been said for a long while already, but these people reflect totalitarian movements more than they reflect the spirit of liberty and diversity.