Victims of the Factual Revolution
I found this post at Powerline called 'Blumenthal Responds, Kind Of' to be both fascinating and instructive.
'Sid Vicious' Blumenthal, writing for Britain's Guardian Newspaper makes the charge that Bill Frist is a hypocrite, alleging
Frist, like most Republicans in favour of the nuclear option, had enthusiastically filibustered against Clinton's court nominees, 65 of which were blocked from 1995-2000."We can handily apply the 'ol chess fork to Blumenthal here: either Blumenthal is lying through his teeth, or he does not know what a filibuster is.
I ask you: what are the chances that a former Assistant to the President does not know what a filibuster is? Not bloody likely, is it. That only leaves the alternative.
In his defense, Blumenthal cited Dianne Feinstein, who makes completely disingenuous arguments that Clinton's judicial nominees were 'filibustered'. Apparently the Democrats, now desperate to show that judicial filibusters were started by the Republicans, are now labelling any and all procedural hurdles a 'filibuster'. If the language does not help the Democrats, it is the language that must change, not the Democrats.
The lesson I drew from the Powerline post is that demagogues like Blumenthal are having a much tougher go of things now than they have in the past. As Powerline points out, Blumenthal probably thought he could write for a british audience without fear of being contradicted on his 'facts'. Blumenthal has been quite thoroughly chewed up and spit out over his lack of integrity, the Powerline post pretty much tears him limb from limb, and a few years ago he would not have needed to defend himself. There was no forum to challenge him, but now there is.
Perhaps we are witnessing the emergence of a 'factual revolution' in which slippery operators like Blumenthal will not be able to gain a toehold. Whereas once they were rewarded with money and percs for peddling half-truths and insinuations, they will now become fodder for the corrective machinery of bloggers and other alternative media. This does not bode well for the Democratic party, which gleefully places someone like Howard Dean, who speaks first and thinks later, in a position to become a laughingstock.
It does bode well for the Republicans however. Republicans thrive on facts, new ideas and reasoned defense of theory. That is what earned the Republicans control of both houses and the White House. Compare the leftists blogs like Kos or Eschaton, etc., with blogs like Powerline or Captain's Quarters. The leftists are just hopelessly outclassed and outgunned. Why? Because people like Kos think that demagoguery, character assassination and invective is political discourse. Granted, those can be effective ways to convince or convert undecideds, but in the end they do not suffice, there is a limit to their appeal. And those pesky facts just don't seem to want to go away.
Instead of fighting the Factual Revolution, perhaps the Democrats need to join it.