Jim VandeHei at the Washington Post reports on the attack of the angry leftist bloggers on liberal Democrats who are trying to broaden (or at least prevent further erosion of) the party’s appeal to mainstream voters. The piece includes this quote from Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic operative and lobbyist:
The bloggers and online donors represent an important resource for the party, but they are not representative of the majority you need to win elections. The trick will be to harness their energy and their money without looking like you are a captive of the activist left.
At one level, Elmendorf is merely describing the perennial balancing act that both political parties must engage in — keep the base happy without alienating swing voters. Although both parties occasionally trip up, the task is far from insurmountable, particularly when a party has been out of power for awhile. What’s unique about the situation the Democrats find themselves in now is the unhinged nature of the base and the juvenile “power”-crazed nature of the bloggers who speak for a portion of it.
Indeed, as if on cue, Kos threw a temper tantrum, responding to Elmendorf by referring to him as a sleazebag amoral lobbyist, and by threatening to “out” any Democratic politician who associates with him. As a political operative, Kos makes a good ACT-UP activist.
Moving beyond bluster into question-begging, Kos added, “There’s nothing ‘extreme left’ with demanding Democrats act like Democrats.” But Democrats have never acted like Kos and his Kiddie Korps.