Big Blogs and Barack Obama became Big Media jokes this past week.
First, the Big Blogs and their Big Blog convention this past weekend revealed why their self-proclaimed “reality based community” is not reality based at all and why Big Blog self-infatuation polls have Hillary at single digit support. Big Blogs are not reality based – they’re demography based:
Still, there was opportunity for lots of hand-wringing about how the blogosphere is not all it should be. The blurb for one forum, called “blogging while female,” noted, “The blogosphere was supposed to be a place where gender didn’t matter and voice was all. So what happened?”
Several attendees noted that it was the whitest group they’d ever been in. It was fairly male, too, and surprisingly gray. Bloggers said that while their biggest stars, like Daily Kos namesake Markos Moulitsas, tend to be in their 20s and 30s, the foot soldiers are often in their 40s to 60s.
Big Blogs further became jokes by running away and stomping out issues at their convention such as impeachment (Bob Fertik claims he was not allowed to organize an impeachment forum) — and — THE IRAQ WAR.
The Hotline almost equated Big Blogs with the best of the old Soviet media which would ignore big issues and discuss the insipid:
Sometimes the best way to tell when a Dem WH ’08 has made a real gaffe is to see which incidents the netroots don’t address at all. With both the Pakistan and US administrations condemning Barack Obama’s recent thoughts on using unilateral US force in Pakistan, one would think the issue might come up in the Yearly Kos presidential forum. And indeed, Pakistan did come up. But Obama conspicuously was not asked about it and chose not to offer an answer. The crowd at the forum was largely behind John Edwards anyway, and Hillary Clinton’s refusal to disavow campaign funds from lobbyists ruled the headlines. But the Obama campaign better beware; in less hospitable forums than a blogger conventions, he will be pressed on the issue.
As to Obama, he became a punch line for Comedy Central (which, in fairness, has also poked fun at this website). Comedy Central’s “The InDecider” is running ads on the internet. The first story they highlight is “Stay the Hypothetical Course — Barack Obama refuses to redeploy imaginary troops from Pakistan.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is standing by foreign policy comments that sparked anger in Pakistan and attacks from his opponents.
Obama told a group in Nevada he didn’t think he’d made a mistake in suggesting he would use military force in Pakistan if necessary to hunt down terrorists.
He also sought to clarify his assertion that the use of nuclear weapons in such an attack would be “off the table.” Obama says “every military expert” knows it would be better to use conventional weapons in that situation.
The latest to try to explain what Obama meant was Greg Craig who tried to explain what Obama meant after Samantha Powers tried to explain what Obama meant after Obama tried to explain what Obama meant. It did not work. Obama is still explaining and still digging.
Greg Craig, a former State Department official under Clinton and now a top foreign policy adviser to Obama, spoke to us at some length, and in the interview, he clarified some of Obama’s recent comments.
For instance, the Wedneday speech where Obama said he’d chase down terrorists in Pakistan without government approval has been somewhat misinterpreted, Craig said.
Craig did his best, but seemed to dig a bigger hole when supporting an attack that even hothead neo-con Donald Rumsfeld thought was not wise.
He said it shouldn’t be viewed as a threat to Pakistan or proposing an “invasion” of the country, as rival campaigns and others have suggested. Instead it was meant to be a rebuke of President Bush’s policies.
Obama said in the speech that it was a mistake not to have launched a strike at the 2005 meeting attended by Al-Qaeda operations chief Ayman al-Zawahri, a move rejected by Donald Rumsfeld because too large a force was required. However, Obama was only saying it was a mistake to have missed the opportunity altogether given the unusually good intelligence.
As a TPM commenter wrote: “If Obama would just speak clearly himself, he wouldn’t need so many press agents and spokespersons to clarify things over, and over again.”
Another TPM commenter wondered “Is there anyone in the Obama camp that can tell the truth? Anyone?”
Obama can think the self-interested Big Blogs, when they put blinders on and ignore issues such as the invasion of Pakistan or is it an attack on Pakistan or is it only an unilateral attack in Pakistan, can protect him in the nearly impossible event that he would get the nomination. But the Ripublicans have now made it clear they see Obama as a weak lamb ready for the slaughter.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who leads the GOP candidate field in Iowa, said, “In one week, he went from saying he’s going to sit down, you know, for tea, with our enemies, but then he’s going to bomb our allies. I mean, he’s gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week.”
Big Blogs have been an unfunny joke for a long time. Ripublican candidates for president and their policies and party are a malevolent joke. Ripublicans fear Hillary. Ripublicans don’t fear Edwards or Obama. Ripublicans ignore as insignificant, John Edwards. Ripublican clowns have turned Obama into their punchline.