For many left-wing bloggers, it’s all about “the narrative,” which is often a euphemism for the lie. According to a core piece of the left-wing blog narrative, as rehearsed in this bit of poorly written fantasy by Markos of the Daily Kos, Joe Lieberman had the “inside track to the [Democratic] nomination” in 2004 until a grassroots insurgency spearheaded by Howard Dean and fueled by bloggers like Markos kicked into gear. Never mind that no serious analyst ever imagined that Liberman would be the Democratic nominee. He had been his party’s vice president nominee in the previous election. That, apparently, was enough to create and sustain the myth that Lieberman’s failure to gain traction was a victory for lefty bloggers, notwithstanding the spectacular failure of their darling Howard Dean.
Now, in 2007, another losing vice presidential candidate seeks the Democratic nomination for president. This time, he’s favored by a substantial portion of the left-wing blogosphere. Yet John Edwards seems headed for well-deserved oblivion. He’s a distant third among Democrats in the latest Rasmussen poll, fourth if you count Al Gore. And in New Hampshire Edwards has less than one-third the support of Hillary Clinton and less than one-half the support of Barack Obama. Indeed, Edwards is in a statistical dead-heat with Bill Richardson, and not too far ahead of where Joe Lieberman finished in the 2004 New Hampshire primary.
But if you’re a lefty blogger, a new narrative is always right around the corner. In this case, the problem turns out to be Edwards’ haircuts, which played right into the hands of the “right-wing noise machine.” How that alleged machine turned Democratic primary voters against Edwards is something Markos and the others are still trying to work out, or would be if they possessed the requisite intellectual honesty.
The alternative narrative — that as left-wing as the Democratic base has become, it’s still not prepared to take cues from the blog vanguard — must be too terrible to contemplate.
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