Monday, April 18, 2005

Blog Wars: Powerline Outshines Kos

Today, the leading blog of the left, Daily Kos had this to say about the leading blog of the right, Powerline:

Note, conservatives and those who blog in their name are out to destroy the independent media…The Right won't be happy until the only media outlets left standing are FNC [Fox News Channel] and the Washington Times.

Talk about paranoia. We’ll admit that Powerline suffers from a bad case of partisanitis that renders them incapable of admitting conservatives errors (or, in the case of blatant error, of restraining their instinct to blame it all on the liberal media). But their posts are concise, thoughtful arguments that, while not always convincing, at least use a rhetoric of reason (check here and here for recent examples of how skilled they are at framing arguments, even if their conclusions in these cases would fail to persuade anyone left of Bob Novak).

Daily Kos, on the other hand, far too often resorts to the kind of paranoid hyperbole witnessed in the above quote. (Here’s another recent example of Kos paranoia run wild—this time with an assist from an equally paranoid writer for the NYTimes Magazine).

Why is this important? Because Daily Kos and Powerline have become major opinion leaders and will likely help set the tone of their parties during the next election cycle. If Democrats adopt even a tinge of Kos’s vitriolic paranoia, they will seem far less appealing to moderates than would a Republican party using Powerline’s calm, confident demeanor.

It doesn’t matter if you agree with Kos’s conclusions, you simply can’t trust a group that seethes with such unbridled anger. Either they actually believe their paranoid theories (and that’s a frightening thought) or they lack any ability to control their anger. Either way, what reason-loving moderate is going to support them?

If the Democrats ever hope to regain power, they need more voices of reasoned rhetoric and fewer voices of unhinged anger.


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