Oliver Willis, as well as a few commenters are trying to "out" Jeff Jarvis and Michael Totten as secret Bush operatives. I'm personally offended to have been left out, and am worried that when GWB is re-elected, my promised 2nd term ambassadorship to Grand Fenwick may not actually come through. Actually, I am fairly pissed about this. First, Jarvis criticizes MoveOn.org and their anti-Bush ad campaign (the one where they silently pulled the Bush=Hitler ad). And then, in the comments, he gets piled on for being 'inadequately liberal'. And that's a pisser. First, and foremost, it once again wraps up the smug 'I know better than you' that the Democratic Party has become associated with - and which lots of people, including me, find amazingly offensive.
From commenter anne.elk (her handle):
At other times, when Jeff bravely stood by Jewish kids in France by stating how he would wear a kippah if it would only help them in their struggles against French anti-semitism, I tried to help Jeff understand how anti-semitism does exist in our own country, and encouraged him to wear a kippah to help our children. Again, to my dismay, Jeff did not respond to this invitation. I know that within Jeff is a liberal heart, and a considerate man, and I only ask again for Jeff to make use of his pulpit to explore his own ideas and theories.I try and help my seven year old understand how to do division. I try and help him understand adverbs. When I am talking to my older sons, we discuss things and I express my opinions and make arguments with the intent of convincing them, because I believe they are individual actors with moral and intellectual standing comparable to my own. That may be a subtle difference to some, but to me it is as clear as a summer's day. Willis - whose blog has the tagline 'Like Kryptonite to Stupid' takes the intellectually sophisticated tack that liberal interests are served by the following:
I call these two guys on their liberalism because I am very aware of the straw man of liberalism that gets an enormous amount of play in the media and blog world. I don't expect people to toe the line with the Democratic Party, because I myself disagree with the DNC on quite a lot of issues. In their two cases, I find very little straying from the GOP line on any issue of merit. Even more so, I find that they both take every chance to bash liberals at the first blush - while giving the right a pass on practically everything. In contrast, I find folks like Alex Knapp and John Cole who are certainly more amenable to Team Bush even more critical of their "team" than Jarvis/Totten. I don't know either of them much in real life (although my brief meeting with Jeff tells me that he's wicked tall) so I look at their blogs and wonder how someone so orthodoxly in favor of the right can be considered a liberal. For Christ's sake, even the WSJ editorial page disagrees with the Bushes every 1,000 years! I look at the evidence, and call it as I see it.Help me out here, Oliver - why does 'calling someone out on their liberalism' do anything at all to advance liberal causes? As opposed to, say burnishing your own self-image? I mean you're not even taking issue with any specific thing that they say, except 'Why do you pick on the liberals?' And, sadly, the basis is right there - in his explanation that Alex Knapp and John Cole are 'more critical' of the Right than Jarvis or Totten. Because, you doofus, Totten, and Jarvis, and I all care about liberal causes - real liberal causes like improving the lives of the less-well off, defending the environment in ways that actually accomplish something, and working to create a world politics that neither empowers the multinationals nor the kleptocrats. These values have been hijacked by the Bad Philosophers and the Nannies. This means that a) they are going to lose a lot of political power; and b) where they get political power, they will imitate the California State Legislature and do and spend lots while accomplishing very little. I said it a long time ago, and I've never understood why people just won't accept it:
"...I’ll comment that while my posts are pretty critical of the DNC establishment, they are critical with an eye toward creating an unassailable Democratic hegemony...so watch out!!"We've been here before, of course. Remember POUM? And go read Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia" to get a sense of what I'm talking about.