We already know ours is a deeply divided country. Turns out CLB is a divided blog, too. The blog part is a good thing. By and large, blogs have become the principal venue for thoughtful discussion (and no small amount of snarkery).
Check out comments from DK and LeftyMN in the past couple of threads here and here to see what thoughtful and emotional commentary looks like. And btw, thoughtful and emotional are not mutually exclusive. We love hearing what our readers are thinking, even when you take us to task. (Perhansa and Poet and Paul, where the heck are you?)
DK, you’re technically right about my “misrepresentation of fact” on the FISA voting. Turns out my take that “Hillary didn’t vote and Obama did” was based on early MSM stories that were live-covering the voting. You wrote: “I’d just read in the NYTimes that neither one of them (Clinton and Obama) had hauled their fannies back to Washington to vote! That’s a fact.”
Turns out that's not a fact. I checked the U.S. Senate site’s voting recap. Read on.
Obama was present to vote on the first and second Feinstein amendments, the first and second Feingold amendments, the Dodd amendment, and the Specter amendment. In other words, he voted on all of the FISA-related amendments. True, however, that he did not participate in the final vote.
Clinton was never present. She did not vote on any of the FISA amendments nor did she participate in the final vote, even though she was reportedly (see how careful I can be?) in D.C. at the time. Interesting that Clinton has been critical of Obama for his “present” votes in the past. It’s one of her talking points. "A president can't pick and choose which challenges he or she will face," she said in October. True enough.
DK submits that one of the pitfalls of blogging is that “there are no gate keepers on the factual truth. And since blogs are read mainly by those who already agree with them (except for the occasional mouth-foaming crazy who makes no sense anyway), the readership is only too happy to go along with whatever is being represented as fact, ‘the truth.’”
Hoo boy! By and large, I am more trusting of a small, carefully culled handful of blogs than of the MSM. It has become apparent over the past several years that major money and influence-wielding powerbrokers (political and otherwise) have an inordinate impact on what is written, how it is written, and what is conveniently omitted in the MSM. Read this, for example. I suppose some bloggers have been “bought,” but to date, I don’t see much evidence of that. Well, on the left, anyway. We have a couple of radical right-wing bloggers that are clearly in their party’s corner pocket.
The MSM also picks and chooses their fans and detractors, cherry-picking feedback that they will print or air. A smattering of LTEs show up a day or two or three after the article appears.
As for sycophantic blog fans, hoo boy again. On most progressive blogs, the readers are the first to call foul, failure, fallacy. They thrive on finding mistakes in content, grammar, spelling. And they do diligent research to back up their complaints. Y’all keep us humble, for sure. Immediately. Which is the beauty of an interactive medium. The CLB doesn’t cherry-pick feedback. It’s all out there – the good, the bad, the ugly. And frankly, that’s part of how I learn and shape my opinions. Blog readers – CLB readers – by and large, are smarter than the average bear. Your depth of knowledge and ability to analyze is flat-out stunning. You keep us from operating in a vacuum.
“Journalists of all stripes” had damn well better worry about the internet. Some extraordinary bloggers are doing the journalists’ job, i.e., ferreting out the truth, digging for facts, researching their butts off. So let’s not be doing a Grover Norquist on the blogosphere, okay?
The Obama/Clinton battle is a painful one, played out for all the world to see. It’s what progressives do, I guess.
At the end of the day (I am SO tired of that hackneyed phrase), each of us has to go where our gut takes us. Yes, really. Fill up your head with facts. Compare and contrast. Chitchat and ponder. And then, finally, let your own good instincts guide your decision. That and your own feelings about trust.
Clearly, we’re not on the same page about last Democrat standing. Viva la democracy, eh? A very good thing, so thanks, DK and Lefty.
Because McCain equals Bush's Third Term, I will vote for the survivor. For the one who doesn't get booted off the island. Right now, today, my ample gut is going with Obama.