Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Quote of the Day

From the Joan Walsh Salon review of Matt Bai's The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics:

This is the crux of what's wrong with "The Argument." Bai depicts the revolt against Lieberman as though it's the cool kids turning on a nerdy old friend they don't like anymore. Throughout the book, he minimizes what the Iraq war means to bloggers, to Democrats, to the vast majority of American voters, to the world, in order to depict Democratic insurgents as power-mad kingmakers or simply haters. But this wasn't some wonky clash over, say, the dimensions of welfare reform or the estate tax; or some venal battle to protect the power of teachers unions or the tax advantages of hedge fund executives. It wasn't Egomaniac Asshole Pol No. I vs. Egomaniac Asshole Pol No. 2. The dishonest marketing of the Iraq war and the treacherous lies behind it, the cavalier way it was executed, the disastrous way it unfolded, along with some Democrats' collusion in all or part of the debacle, have shaped and will shape American political culture for years to come. And it happened because the so-called vast right-wing conspiracy, the intellectual and media infrastructure Rob Stein charted, had succeeded in a decades-long campaign to smear Democrats as un-American in every imaginable way -- and very specifically, after 9/11, as terrorist sympathizers and appeasers. Most disturbing to angry party insurgents, Democrats like Joe Lieberman helped them along, not only by supporting the Iraq war through today, but by going on right-wing Fox News and the Wall Street Journal wingnut editorial page attacking Democrats in exactly the same terms Republicans used.
Update: I was reminded of Bai's subtitle, which I have added above, by this interesting Kevin Drum post on the Walsh review.