Media Blog

What Role Do Lefty Blogs See for Themselves in 2008?

This about sums it up. Markos:

To all the concerned people emailing me about “being played”, don’t waste your time. I’m not about to revert to writing puff pieces about Obama thinking that his magic “new politics” bull**** will carry us to victory. He may or may not believe that crap, but I don’t. We’re going to win this thing the way campaigns are won — by playing hardball. Politics is a blood sport. Republicans understand this and never flinch from flinging the s***. We won’t win until we learn to fight back in kind. And I’m more than happy to get down in the mud with our friends on the Right so Obama doesn’t have to.
Recent history vindicates the “tough and aggressive” path. We went toe to toe against Rove and his machine in 2006, and our math beat his. I have no doubt we’re in for a two-peat this year, and it’ll happen because we won’t back off from exposing the GOP for the den of lies and corruption it has become.

The same can be said of mainstream bloggers like Andrew Sullivan as well as MSNBC’s Olbermann and Maddow. They really see themselves in this attack-dog role.
And here’s an interesting post from FiveThrityEight.com on why this attack-dog strategy is not going to work:

Dems Must Give Voters Explicit Permission To Like Palin

Because they already do. That ship has sailed. When facts are used to discredit Sarah Palin, emotion trumps facts. The instinct is to defend against the facts. Consider: you meet someone and like him or her on a gut level. A stranger – someone who doesn’t have built-up personal credibility with you – gives you a list of reasons not to like that person. How do you react?

On an emotional level, you want them to be wrong, and you will take every possible favorable inference on the likable person’s behalf. Using facts is pushing a big rock uphill. You might get it to the top with a few voters, but you’re going to expend a lot of energy for only a little return. […]

For example, a man at Palin’s rally in Carson City heatedly told an Obama volunteer in response to his anti-Palin argument, “I don’t trust the facts!” Some people hear that and think: “I cannot relate to someone who would say that.” I hear it and think: “Defended around emotion and feels under attack.” People under attack can’t be persuaded. And persuasion is the goal, remember? You can’t reason someone out of his or her feelings. But you can validate those feelings, buy their willingness to listen, and then calmly make your logical case.