The Online Left vs. Obama: They’ve Been In Hillary’s Pocket All Along.

By and large, the online left hates Obama. It’s one of the underreported ironies of this political season. Obama has more in common with the netroots than Hillary. He’s to the left of her on the war, on corporate issues, on social welfare issues – even on life issues Obama appears to the left of Hillary. But the online left does not like him.

There are a few reasons for this. For one, Obama is no Ned Lamont. He’s a dazzling, rising star of the left, but unlike Lamont, Obama is not a product of the online left. He has, in fact, done it on his own. Obama has had a brilliant online operation. His online fundraising was Dean’esque without Joe Trippi’s involvement. His website and Web 2.0 strategy has been dazzling without Jerome Armstrong’s involvement. His ability to get people fired up and directed in a particular direction has been stellar without Kos’s involvement. In fact, Obama’s relations with bloggers have been frosty and he hasn’t spent much time stroking their egos.

Obama is, by and large, a testament that the online movement remains ancillary to the cause.

There is another reason too, and one we should pay attention to.


The online left is interested, more than anything else, in the accumulation of power in their hands. The shallowness of Obama on policy issues is right at home with this, but Obama actually tries to play to the center. He talks too nicely about bipartisanship. The same argument the right frequently makes in criticizing McCain — that he’s too eager to work across the aisle — is also a criticism the left has of Obama.

In other words, whether you realize it or not, the online left has been in bed with Hillary Clinton for a good long while, and they have a vested interest in defeating Obama. If Obama is defeated, they can maintain the fiction a little longer that the online movement is a vital part of the cause.1

Let’s look at a few of their recent arguments:

First, the online left is beginning to agitate for Michigan and Florida to be seated at the convention. This does nothing but help Hillary. It’s also based on shoddy thinking. And this should be a lot of fun. It puts the online left in bed with Jesse Jackson and against Al Sharpton. It also puts them against the bulk of black voters within the Democratic party. But considering the demographics of the online left, that shouldn’t be too surprising.

Second, the online left has decided that Obama is … wait for it … too far left to win. He is, they argue, George McGovern. This is actually the best argument, given Obama’s total failure to win in swing states and primaries — he is the Mike Huckabee of the Democratic Party, needing caucuses to win. I suspect it’ll also be the argument we hear them push more and more.

Lastly, and some of you will totally get the irony in this one (others won’t), Armando is accusing Obama of being sexist and misogynist. Why? Because Obama said, of Hillary’s attacks,

I understand that Senator Clinton, periodically when she’s feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal.

“Periodically” … “feeling down”… it’s a good thing he didn’t use the word “bloated” or the New York Nags would fire bomb him. Clearly, Armando knows his misogyny and we should bow down before his abilities to pick up PMS references.

Unfortunately for the left, time is running out. Obama is winning. He is advancing. They are going to have to unleash hell on Obama now to hurt him. And they are going to have to pressure superdelegates to go with Hillary, despite Obama thus far getting the popular vote. I wonder if Al Gore will support that argument.

Many Republicans, including me, have thought all along that we were screwed this year. More and more, it’s looking like the Democrats may rescue us from our hopelessness and screw themselves in the process.

We should continue to root for the Ned Lamont left online left.


  1. The righty netroots see themselves as part of a larger, older conservative movement and seek to advance the cause of the movement in getting conservative policy enacted. The lefty nutroots see themselves (as movements of the Left always do) as something new and revolutionary, and because they see themselves as the important part, they are all about accumulating their own power and influence even at the expense of people who otherwise agree with them.

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Erick Erickson

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