The Jon Chait netroots article in TNR generated a lot of commentary and blog responses last week, and I was excitedly awaiting the big Daily Kos smackdown on account of the fact that Chait labels Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the Daily Kos founder, as “almost comically lacking in phlosophical depth.”
The ideology of the netroots is, indeed, somewhat amorphous, as liberal bloggers themselves often point out. A major source of the ideological confusion is Moulitsas himself, who is almost comically lacking in philosophical depth. In one oft- discussed blog post, he described himself as a “libertarian Democrat” and proceeded immediately to outline a philosophy that was pure traditional liberalism. (“A Libertarian Dem believes that people should have the freedom to make a living without being unduly exploited by employers. … A Libertarian Dem gets that no one is truly free if they fear for their health, so social net programs are important to allow individuals to continue to live happily into their old age.”)
Granted, that’s kind of embarrassing, but Chait freely notes in the article that there’s been no love lost between Daily Kos and TNR in the past, and this feels like a cheap shot. When you blog a lot, some things you write are going to end up looking kind of stupid, inevitably. Chait should know this because some of his past writings are rather dumb in retrospect (on the Iraq War, for example, or his desperation to prevent Howard Dean from winning the Democratic nomination in 2004).
I am still a little surprised at the radio silence from Kos on this subject (here are his posts for the last few weeks), who isn’t exactly shy about going after his critics (such as dissing TNR in February). Perhaps he feels that TNR just deserves to be ignored. He may have a point there, though it’s too bad I didn’t get a laugh out of his would-be vitriolic response.