That was obviously violated today as the New Republic betrayed, once again, that it seeks to destroy the new people-powered movement for the sake of its Lieberman-worshipping neocon owners; that it stands with the National Review and wingnutoshpere in their opposition to grassroots Democrats.
The magazine published, in its website, an email I sent to the list. There is nothing controversial about the email, but Jason Zengerle tried to spin it as evidence that there is a “smoke-filled room” and that I send “dictats” to other bloggers, controlling what they can and cannot write about. In a subsequent post, Zengerle went further, saying that I control the financial fates of much of the progressive blogosphere. My power apparently knows no bounds!
Ludicrous, all of it, but that’s the new rules of the game. TNR and its enablers are feeling the heat of their own irrelevance and this is how they fight it—by undermining the progressive movement. Zengerle has made common cause with the wingnutosphere, using the laughable “kosola” frame they created and emailing his “scoops” to them for links. This is what the once-proud New Republic has evolved into—just another cog of the Vast RIGHT Wing Conspiracy.
Goldstein notes the dripping paranoia from Kos:
The New Republic, by dint of its uppity presumptions to report news that, for Kos, violates what he believes is the necessity of a “unified message in the face of a unified conservative noise machine”—that is, by violating what he has determined is the official narrative stance of liberal progressivism (with Kos as decider-in-chief)—has surrendered its claims to authenticity. And in doing so, it has become, to Kos, “just another cog of the Vast RIGHT Wing Conspiracy.” You can’t be on the left and disagree with Kos. Or rather, you can’t be on the left and disagree with Kos publicly — which suggests that the defining characteristic of progressivism is fidelity to its officially-sanctioned narratives.
Goldstein is exactly right: the “progressive” movement is based on a particularly vicious sort of identity politics — those who don’t toe the party line get purged — witness Senator Lieberman and now The New Republic. Moderate, thoughtful Democrats aren’t wanted.
Of course, given that self-identified liberals are a tiny minority of the American electorate, the Kossacks are leading the Democrats towards political irrelevancy. And really, it couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people. Until then, centrist Democrats should watch their backs – the Kossack Kommittee on Vice and Virtue is out for blood and those deemed insufficiently “progressive” all have targets on their backs.
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds has a huge roundup of links on the Kos payola scandal. I don’t think Kos has the level of control over the Advertising Liberally network as some claim, but there’s no doubt he has a sizable amount of power of the left wing of the blogosphere – and given the puerile nature of him and the other Kossacks, that’s not to his credit. Then again, it’s not as though there’s a paucity of nut-jobs on either side of the political spectrum.