I think Jeff from Protein Wisdom is a good blogger, and I like reading his stuff, even though we've come to Twitter blows on that stupid, retarded, ridiculous Herman Cain smoking ad, which demonstrated to the world that The Herminator wasn't ready for youTube, much less prime time.
I'm sure Jeff still thinks it was the Greatest Ad Ever Made and will propel Hermie the Love Bug to the White House, and everyone who doesn't see it that way is an idiot or something.
Today Jeff is upset that Joy McCann and Ace of Spades and a couple of other bloggers have endorsed Rick Perry. I think.
From Protein Wisdom, "Blogger makes the case for Rick Perry by citing bigger traffic bloggers making the case for Rick Perry"...
And in one precious piece sums up both the incestuous state of conservative opinion online and it's very real cliquish power.
You know, conservative online media is cliquish. That's because it's composed of humans. Humans are by nature cliquish. They get along with their group, they don't get along with someone who acts like a dick to them. There's no conspiracy, unless you consider human DNA conspiratorial.
Let me summarize the arguments: Perry has governing experience. The other candidates don't. Except for Romney and Huntsman, who lack Perry's swagger and drawl and the kind of manly Texas red state appeal we haven't seen since, well, the last Republican president who made his "compassionate conservative" leanings available. Meanwhile, Newt was booted from a leadership role by his own party. Santorum lost big running as a conservative at a time the GOP was telling us the era of Reagan is dead - which naturally means he can't win at a time when conservatism is once again ascendant. And Bachmann? Well, you know, Gardasil. Not to mention those eyes. I mean, how c'mon.
Look: I put Perry on my list of candidates I'd happily support when I made my own feeble (and largely ignored) "endorsement" yesterday; but watching Perry fumble through the debates - and listening to his most ardent supporters consistently (and often nastily) dismiss strong conservatives candidates - has made me wary, frankly. I mean, the same people who are so full-throated in their support for Perry wouldn't dream of making a case for Bachmann, Palin, Santorum, or even Cain? Why?
I was very pro-Herman Cain until it became apparent that he was running to increase his name ID and sell books, and that the people he hired to work for him were liars and crooks. Go ask some of his vendors about that. The ones he stiffed.
Hiring scum who've been banned from working in politics for three years? Not so conservative to me. FYI: Mark Block is STILL on the Hermie payroll. What a great way to spend that $7 million dollars from decent, hard-working Americans.
So no, I'm not terribly interested in giving full-throated support to a Herman Cain that screwed the pooches and dropped out of the race.
Point being: just because you see a 'strong conservative' in a candidate, doesn't necessarily mean that others (who might have first-hand-knowledge outside of their computer room about the matter) will agree with your 2.0 version of reality.
This strikes me as odd. And worrisome. Because it is precisely the kind of counsel that has previously and vocally dismissed as unhelpful the kind of Hobbity True Believers most consistently critical of, eg., Boehner's GOP leadership and legislative "compromises." And how's that working out for us?
Seriously? Come on, Jeff. Some bloggers endorsed Rick Perry. BFD. Everyone in the GOP field has major flaws. There is no messiah. Attacking conservative bloggers for endorsing a candidate you don't like in the same way you'd attack a card-carrying member of the Socialist Worker's Party is not only silly, it's counter-productive.
How about concentrating fire on foes, and debate your allies?
Bear in mind, this is coming from a guy who's had more than his fair share of silly internecine fights.
Update 1: Jeff responds on Twitter: "If only I'd so expertly distilled my own argument. Would have saved me such grief!"
Update 2: BWAHAHAHA!
...These are life and death struggles for Truth, Justice and Juicier BlogAds! We are bloggers, dammit! We're IMPORTANT! We MATTER! People tell us so! Other people squat in their basements for hours on end just to insult us! Why, we're going to do for the future of this country what Menelaus and Agamemnon did for the future of Troy!
If anything, we're not squabbling hard ENOUGH! Think of it as fighting for internet tenure: we have to be particularly vicious because the potential rewards are so small! So let the battle rage! Let our self-appointed Odysseuses (Odysseyi?) scurry around thinking how clever and manipulative they're being, while our vainglorious Ajaxes sulk in their tents, their brilliance unappreciate, as our virtuous Hippolotuses (Hippoloti - screw it, did that joke already) have their honor and naiveté exploited and our wretched Philocteteseses suffer tormented exile for impiety towards the Gods of the Web.
It's tragic, isn't it? When people turn to politics as "a means to an inflated sense of self and purpose in their own lives," they often lose perspective to such a degree that they do hateful and atrocious things.
Like, for example, endorsing Rick Perry.
Will the madness never end?
Coulter isn't becoming "a political kamikaze." She's always been that. Her misfortune, assuming she even cares, is that her bombast isn't currently being directed at the Left; it's targeting the very people who were more prone to view her positively. In that sense, her brand is still about going down in flames, but for a different audience.
Debate your own side; don't treat them like SWP members.
Update 5: Jeff comments in a new post, "From the "some people stopped talking about the 'Blogosphere' in 2005″ files: "Politicos for Romney, Bloggers for Perry"
I was mocked for raising the question yesterday - the mockery, ironically!, was packaged and sent in a Tweet to at least one "big" conservative name who hadn't been a part of the earlier back and forth, making my point for me - but then, the mockery was itself designed to marginalize the larger points of my post, which I still maintain are worth discussing: namely, why is it that we continue to take counsel from new media outlets (and I'm speaking broadly and generally here) whose past advice has proven so shortsighted, or outright wrong? How is it that these outlets are able to maintain their influence? And what does that maintenance mean for a conservative movement?
The only point I'm trying to make is the one above: debate your own side; don't attack them like SWP members, unless they attack you (like Glennie Blech attacked those people who moved from supporting Herman Cain, to supporting Newt Gingrich, by calling them racist, which to my mind is an unforgivable sin).
Lest we forget, my part in this debate began when the mockery was thrown in my direction in regards to Hermie The Love Bug's Smokin' Ad. I thought it was atrocious, and there was all kinda mockery goin' on' out there from the Protein side towards me.
As for Jeff's larger point, should I continue to take counsel from his new media outlet, which proved so shortsighted and outright wrong? (in the case of Hermie the Love Bug?)
The answer is yes. Jeff's a good writer, he has good insights, and while his compass is not always pointing magnetic north, he's a sure sight better than Media Matters.
Update 6: With one caveat: media influence is all fractal pattern. One group or another may seize the field for a few hours, but it's impossible to hold it permanently. Conservative blogger X or Y may influence on a given subject for a short while, but it never lasts.
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