That could mean Las Vegas, I suppose; the city can be otherworldly at times. But I’m thinking of the Blog World Expo that I participated in today. I was on two panels. The first was on “the left vs. the right in the blogosphere” and was moderated by Hugh Hewitt. The second, led by Professor David Perlmutter, was on “political reporters and bloggers, friends or foes?” Or something like that.
About half the participants in both panels were liberals; these are the people who had me thinking I had passed into a different world, and entered a sort of bubble inhabited only by leftists.
The first panel went off, inevitably I suppose, on Iraq. What was striking was the dogmatic nature of the liberals’ assertions about what is happening there. Things aren’t getting better; things can’t possibly get better; the facts don’t matter, it’s tautological; no matter what happens from here on, the policy stays the same; we must get out as fast as possible regardless of the facts on the ground. This view, they repeated more times than I could count, is shared by “70% of the American people.” One of the 70%, apparently, was Markos Moulitsos, who interjected loud comments from the audience from time to time.
I’m pretty sure the number of people who think the facts don’t matter in Iraq is quite a bit less than 70%, and I’m also pretty sure that a political movement that explicitly declares its indifference to reality is in trouble.
Several of the liberal bloggers vowed to cut Hillary Clinton little or no slack as President if she does not act quickly to remove the troops from Iraq. There were references to Lyndon Johnson, and one of the liberals (who seemed like a nice person) fondly recalled Country Joe and the Fish. I was nonplussed: the liberals haven’t even elected their President yet, and they’re already talking about how to go about destroying her.
The second panel, on the relationship between mainstream reporters and bloggers, was stranger. It was devoted largely to the off-topic claim that the conservative blogosphere has an “infrastructure,” while the liberal side does not. We must have heard the word “infrastructure” fifty times; it apparently refers to Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh and perhaps Fox News. The same lefties argued vociferously that newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post are organs of the right, notwithstanding the fact that nearly all of their editors and reporters are liberal Democrats. The disconnect from reality was complete.
What makes this theory doubly weird is that several of the more popular liberal blogs are, I believe, directly financed by leftists like George Soros. So, this is the logic: if the Drudge Report links to your site every few months, you are the beneficiary of an unfair “infrastructure,” but if you live off a left-wing sugar daddy, you’re not.
The effect of all of this unreality was cheering. Disconnects this total can survive only inside an echo chamber, which appears to be what the left has going on. That’s good, if you’re a Republican.
Beyond that, the Expo was a fun event. I met a number of people whom I’ve known from a distance, like Dean Barnett and Eric Egland. Here is a photo of the exhibition hall where vendors and others had displays; you can see the Townhall booth, from which Hugh broadcast his show, in the middle:
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