"Eat a Turd, Troll"
by Milo Millipede, Sun Sep 28, 2008 at 03:55:45 AM EDT
A few days ago I posted a blog on MyDD about George W. Bush's way of "leading" the United States by stampeding Congress and the media into Afghanistan and Iraq and the Patriot Act and now the great Wall Street bail-out. What kind of "cowboy President" leads by stampeding?
It's a picture of Bush as an insane cowboy, with the rest of the so-called establishment playing the role of mindless cattle.
So far so good, for a little impressionistic diary about the financial meltdown...
But then I also mentioned that Barack Obama hasn't exactly been leading the Democrats on this issue, and this observation garnered the one and only comment on my blog:
"Eat a turd, troll."
What difference does it make if somebody writes "Eat a turd, troll" under a blog on MyDD?
It matters just a little, because the progressive blogosphere was supposed to matter, and it doesn't.
Every once in a long while Glenn Greenwald pesters the powers that be into paying attention to something they want to ignore, and this sort of rare event is celebrated all over the internet. But Greenwald and the few other consequential bloggers are bloggers more or less by accident, and there's always a place waiting for them in some old-media venue, if they quit the blogoshere.
Meanwhile, the battle between Clintonistas and Obamabots was so ugly and intense that everyone forgot that it had absolutely nothing to do with the progressive agenda.
Neither Clinton nor Obama has any claim to be called progressive, unless you dream up some other category for Dennis Kucinich and Russ Feingold. Early polls on Daily Kos showed a strong preference for Kucinich, who favors exactly the same programs as most progressive bloggers: single-payer health insurance, immediate withdrawal from Iraq, abrogation of NAFTA, green energy, and so on.
None of that agenda was ever in play after the first few primaries, and it wouldn't have mattered much if Hillary Clinton had been nominated instead of Obama.
While the progressive blogosphere was totally dominated by a war between Clintonistas and Obamabots for six months, all other issues disappeared in the sound and fury of that meaningless conflict.
Now we don't matter. We don't even matter to ourselves. Yes, McCain is very, very bad, and yes, Obama is very, very good. But if you had any doubts about any of it, you wouldn't be here.
Let's try to imagine how MyDD and Daily Kos and other "progressive" sites would impress a fairly intelligent person who wandered in for the first time...
Wouldn't all these sites look like nothing other than echo chambers for singing the praises of the center-right candidate Barack Obama? Patient research might turn up a few blogs advocating single-payer health insurance or the sort of commitment to green energy that Kucinich and Feingold represent, but how many of our hypothetical newcomers would stick around long enough to find these atypical holdovers from the progressive era of the "progressive" blogosphere, when they also encountered a level of discourse that was previously reserved for prisons, or gangsters on the street.
Where else but the blogosphere do any of us who aren't in jail hear anything like "Eat a turd, troll?"
So this is who we are now: A foul-mouthed chorus in an echo chamber for a center-right politician, and nobody gives a damn about this asylum except the inmates.