"Thinking Outside the Blog"
June 22, 2006 5:22 PM   Subscribe

"This is the kind of idea no politician could put forward now." In light of the recent Yearly KOS liberal blogger gathering, "old media" columnist David Broder surveys the potential emergence of a new generation of liberal blogs that strive to be taken seriously as promoters of actual domestic and foreign policy, including Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The Democratic Strategist. Broder highlights a piece by Duke law professor (and anti-ironist wunderkind) Jedediah Purdy on "The New Biopolitics" (which suggests that first-world nations today should invest more into third-world economies, with the understanding that those third-world economies will later help pay the booming pensions and medical costs of first-world workers). Will liberal "ranty" blogs give way to more sober online journals of this sort? Or is it just more insider wonkery by another name? Was Woody Allen correct when he imagined what the merger of commentary and dissent would lead to, or can we look forward to a heightening of political discourse in the near future?
posted by bardic (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
ALVY: (Taking Robin's hand) I'm so tired of spending evenings making fake insights with people who work for Dysentery.

ROBIN Commentary.

ALVY Oh, really, I heard that Commentary and Dissent had merged and formed Dysentery.

ROBIN No jokes-these are friends, okay?

Not to derail my own FPP with snark, but this is the first thing that came to mind while reading the Broder column. However, Democracy looks like a really strong journal. First issues can be deceiving though--let's hope they can keep it up.
posted by bardic at 5:28 PM on June 22, 2006

blogs that strive to be taken seriously as promoters of actual domestic and foreign policy

So people can't just write about what they think anymore?
posted by Space Coyote at 5:31 PM on June 22, 2006

So, will this lead to unification or further fracturing?
posted by mischief at 5:37 PM on June 22, 2006

I see nothing wrong with Dems taking a more publically visible interest in foreign policy, and only gain as everyone in the country will discuss substantive issues on a fair emotional playing ground — no more stereotyping, or at least we don't have the time for it. We'll need to as a country, in any case; one need only look at the Machiavellian mess we have been left with by the neo-conservative movement.
posted by Mr. Six at 6:28 PM on June 22, 2006

How powerful is el kostifer these days anyway? here he seems to be complaining about it.

Either way, he annoys the hell out of me. He seems to be will to play fast and lose with the truth, if not fast and lose with the bounds of rational argumentation. I'm a bit of a political junkie so I read the site quite a bit. It just seems like he's the kind of person who cares more about the "team" then about governing well, which is what's been making the republicans suck ass lately.

Then there's this where he asks other liberal blogers not to mention a mini-scandal involving his friend and the SEC. He makes a reasonable argument (his friend can't comment until he's reached a settlement with the SEC) but come on, that's obviously not how the U.S. media works. Imagine if no one talked about any of these political corruption scandals going on until someone got convicted or settled.
posted by delmoi at 6:37 PM on June 22, 2006

If all goes to plan, according to Broder, you'll never have to worry about Moulitsas again. I think that's a good and a bad thing. More to the point, I think these two journals are really strong and have potential. But isn't a blog with academics doing does sober foreign policy no longer a blog (which I believe is what Space Coyote is getting at, and the reason for my Woddy Allen reference)?

There's room for all of them, and on the right too. If The Weekly Standard came along today, it proably wouldn't even bother with a print edition.

So I like Broder's analysis and think there's some room for optimism, but as long as Jedediah Purdy's writing doesn't sit under a Paypal link, KOS and Talkleft and MyDD will have their place. (And I happen to love Rudepundit, FWIW--but for different reasons than the ones that make me want to pay attention to Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. YMMV.)
posted by bardic at 6:49 PM on June 22, 2006

Since George Washington, American national politics has turned as much on personal charisma as on soundly made policy. In America, even great policy needs a handsome father to see the light of day. It's mainly by dumb luck that we've gotten a few guys with both charisma and policy moxie when we've needed it, but it's never been a sure result of our system.

Problem is, at present, the left has a dearth of statesman with genuine national appeal, the current crop of wannabees from the right are little better, and it's not clear that anyone with the necessary personal dynamic to make it much of a race in 2008 will emerge. Failing that, as I think likely, I believe we'll see another $350 million Presidential campaign, consisting mostly of expensive TV negative ads and canned stump speeches on "safe" issues, that results in lackluster turnout, and an under 2% majority result.

And it won't matter much which way that 2% drops, given the deficits and the economy we'll have by then. Pity the fool that follows Bush into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, as it'll be scorched earth and ashes by then...

But hey, mazeltov to those opening new stands. Salt, bread, and wine for their houses. For the rest of us, American national politics has long since become an excercise in short dealing and defensive strategy, not a meritocracy of ideas.
posted by paulsc at 6:50 PM on June 22, 2006

*Woody. *probably. Urg.
posted by bardic at 6:50 PM on June 22, 2006

Regarding charisma, I'd argue since Solon. And Nebuchadenzzar before him. And Moses before that.
posted by bardic at 6:51 PM on June 22, 2006

I was going to make a FPP about the recent Kostroversy but I honestly have no idea what to think about it. I'm starting to think that Kos should take his name off the site so he can get a little bit of the target off his back.
posted by empath at 5:28 AM on June 23, 2006

But isn't a blog with academics doing does sober foreign policy no longer a blog

These aren't blogs themselves. They look like quarterly journals with 'issues', whose contributors appear to have known/popular political blogs.
posted by SenshiNeko at 4:45 PM on June 23, 2006

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