Don't listen to that man! LA LA LA LA LA!
The blogger bomb-throwing may be good for inflaming the activist base, and, as they demonstrated in the 2006 Lieberman-Lamont Senate primary race in Connecticut, for occasionally blowing up the opposition. It’s not bad for bullying your friends, either, as the liberal blogosphere did last week in pressuring Edwards to not fire the two bloggers who penned the offensive anti-religious posts.
But the typical blog mix of insults and incitements is just not an effective strategy for persuading people outside of your circle of belief – be they moderate Democrats, moderate Republicans, or the swelling number of independents – to join your cause. In fact, it’s far more likely to alienate than propagate them.
Something else most liberal bloggers fail to appreciate – we as Democrats can’t afford to repel those middle of the road, largely non-partisan voters.
The Iraq war notwithstanding, which has temporarily tilted the political landscape in our favor, the long-term electoral math is stacked against us – surveys show conservatives currently outnumber liberals three-to-two. Thus, if we want to win the White House and become a majority party again, it’s not enough to excite our base. We must also expand it.
One sure way to do the opposite, and consign our party to minority status, is to broadly tar Christians in general and Catholics in particular as “Christo-fascists” and misogynists, as the Edwards bloggers did.
Catholics are one of the biggest and most important swing-voting blocs in this country. They often tend to decide elections. So it’s probably not the smartest idea for a leading Democratic presidential candidate to hire people who openly defame Catholicism’s sacred figures by talking about the Lord filling the Virgin Mary with “his hot, white, sticky spirit.”
That so many leading bloggers could not see or acknowledge that point suggests at a minimum a giant blind spot on their part – after all, these guys are the first to protest the notion that Democrats are in any way hostile to religion and denounce it as a conservative canard.
But more than likely it just indicates that these bloggers didn’t see anything wrong with the bigoted rants of their peers – and that the far left’s disdain for people of faith is not only alive and well, but has gone digital.
Howard Dean, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the party leadership recognize this religion problem is real, and much to their credit, they have made it a priority to reach out to faith-based voters over the last few years and show them that they are welcome in the Democratic fold.
One has to wonder what they thought as they watched their blogger wards, whom they have lately been favoring with public praise and special access, trample the godly garden they have been trying to re-seed.
In the long run, the only way to prevent embarrassments like this from escalating and causing greater damage – and more importantly, to fulfill the rich potential of the blogosphere as a persuasion and organizing tool – is for the voices of reason within the Netroots to stand up to the smack down artists and prod their peers to trade their juvenile accusations for mature arguments.
Democrats just don't understand that many people, Libertarians and Republicans, were driven from the Democratic party in the the last 40 years.
Every time I hear Democrats gassing on about their "faith" I remember all of the insults that Christians have endured from their fair-haired children and I just say, "You lost me there, Skippy."
For a good example of what I'm talking about, check out the comments to the linked article. Nasty, nasty.