Keep Trying

Friday, December 26, 2003

Barlow Rages, But Regains Sensibility

John Perry Barlow has started blogging by taking pot shots at William Safire:


William Safire has managed, by his current lexicographical persona, to obscure the memory that he once sat on the right hand of Richard Nixon
...
The most grimly entertaining part of his screed comes at its end. Safire proposes a scenario in which Dean will falter, and, after the Democratic party has been recaptured by the Republicrats, he will leave the party in a sulk, creating conditions for a Bush landslide. Safire worries that a huge Bush mandate, as opposed to his mere reelection, might be bad for the country.

Right.

We can't afford to lose this one, folks. If we do, we'll have to set our watches back 60 years. If they even let us have watches in the camps, that is.



In his comments, a potential swing voter going by the name of Misanthropyst says:

I was tempted not to add a comment because it is not difficult to predict the response I will get, but - the Democratic Party might attract more swing voters if it and its supporters avoided comments like:

"...We can't afford to lose this one, folks. If we do, we'll have to set our watches back 60 years. If they even let us have watches in the camps, that is..."

"...Bush II is a scary freak of nature..."

"...Yes, we must win in 2004. Absolutely. Whatever it takes..."

"...If you're outspent and out-hated on the public airwaves?..."

"...Bush has created this mess..."

I have significant concerns about the current iteration of the Repubican Party, and after voting Republican for 20+ years I am interested in alternatives. But this all seems to be so disconnected from reality that it is off-putting.

If your goal is to attract the same-old same-old, fine. Mission accomplished. But as to broadening your appeal...

The Democratic Party faces a loss of staggering proportions in the next election cycle. Root causes should be considered.



Barlow was wise and honest enough to subdue his rage and respond:

Thank you, Misanthropyst, for that reminder. I find it generally to easy these days to be swept into the cozy certitude of anger and to say things that create more heat than light.

Whatever the foundation of our piety, no one likes the pious. There are good people in the world, and in the administration, who do not see things as we do.

If we prevail, we will do so by making arguments that are grounded in your reality as well as our own.

Besides, as Jefferson wrote to his nephew, arguments are futile. If you have a disagreement with someone in a democracy, votes count for more that all the hot words or sardonic wit that you might throw at him, which will, in fact, likely lose you those votes.



Since the reasoned response was in the comments, I would say Barlow overall raised the WHI - Worldwide Hate Index, but at least he is conscious of it. Here is to continue hopes and prayers that the collective wisdom of the democrats will lead them to less hatred and more listening and understanding.