JOE AND THE BLOGS….Ezra Klein muses on the increasingly vitriolic backlash from the pro-Joe forces in the Lieberman-Lamont primary:
Often, when I drill down into anti-Lamonter motivations, I find their ideological and electoral motivations mere sandrock obscuring a core rage at this affront to tradition and orderly succession.
….In some ways, Lieberman is the canary in their coal mine, and if his sanctimonious song stops, so too may all of theirs. They never reacted this way to the Club for Growth primaries, or the Unions’ promise to work against Melissa Bean, or NARAL’s threats to primary Casey, because they were comfortable with the role and global motivations of those groups ? they were part of the structure, and they sought only to make it work better for them, not substantively challenge its mechanisms. The bloggers, however, are different, more unpredictable, less obviously invested in the perpetuation of this fine political system we have. And so they represent not a challenge to Joe Lieberman, but a challenge to the establishment as a whole. And that’s why the establishment as a whole is howling.
Well, Ezra’s been talking to these guys and I haven’t, so I suppose there must be a kernel of truth to this. And perhaps there really is something to it. In our daily lives, we fear seemingly random violence (terrorism, kidnappings) more than we fear known threats (car accidents, bathtub drownings), even if the known threats are actually more objectively dangerous. Perhaps that’s what’s going on here. While a threat from NARAL or the Club for Growth is a known quantity that can be dealt with, no one has quite figured out what sorts of things might set off a blog lynch mob. If you knew, you could craft some clever plan to triangulate around it, but if you don’t, you have to watch every word that comes out of your mouth, always in terror that you might say the one thing that gets them screaming for your head on a pike.
Or something like that. I’m just riffing here. But if this is true, it means blogs aren’t really a long term threat after all. Someone just has to figure out how to predict their behavior better. And ? trust me on this ? someone will.