Well, that’s what Dan Balz of the Washington Post seems to think. I was reading this article about the YearlyKos convention by Balz, and he kept referring to the positions the participants held as “doctrinaire” and “liberal.” Now, and I say this as someone who is proud to call himself a liberal, my one concern with the whole Kos phenomenon and the appointment of Kos-the site and the author-as the standard bearer of the Democratic Party is that it’s not liberal enough. So why does Balz think the Kossites are “doctrinaire liberals” and engage in “liberal attacks?”
John Aravosis sums up the five ‘liberal doctrines’ that Balz describes:
1. They don’t like Bush.
2. They’re upset about the Iraq war.
3. They bash Republicans.
4. They don’t like the fact that the White House jeopardized national security by outing a CIA agent.
5. They believe that the mainstream media isn’t doing its job.
Aravosis adds that another reporter told him that the attendees’ desire to have Rumsfeld replaced is a mark of liberalism. So now, George Bush Sr., who actually tried to get Rumsfeld replaced, is a liberal too?
Take a good look at the five points above. With maybe the exception of #3 (which is what politically active Democrats of all stripes are supposed to do), each of those positions is held by either a plurality or a majority of Americans. Consequently, we are to conclude that the majority of Americans are liberals.
I would be thrilled if this were the case, but I don’t think that it’s so (although I do think the number of people who lean liberal combined with actual liberals is much higher than is commonly thought).
But this isn’t just about shoddy language. By describing the attendees as doctrinaire liberals, Balz and the rest of the celebrity media miss the entire point of the left-of-center blogosphere. If my experience is any indication, a lot of Democratic/progressive bloggers turned to the internet because it was the only place left to go. I still think the story, and more importantly, the question is will the Democratic Party listen to its alienated base?