Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The New James Carvilles 

The Guardian on how the internet has turned everyone into James Carville.

Today, it seems that every online political junkie secretly - if not openly - believes he's James Carville, a strategist possessed of such uncontested political genius that a particular candidate would be crazy not to listen to his advice, especially if that particular candidate is John Kerry. It's possible to find people on the web who'll claim that they could do at least as good a job in winning political races as the veteran consultants on the inside. So what if these people have never worked in any actual campaign? At least some of them were warning, months ago, that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth would be a problem for Kerry and that he should respond hard and fast - an idea that Kerry's team would have been wise to consider.

How is it possible that amateur political junkies are potentially having an effect on actual campaigns? The answer is that the internet has fundamentally changed politics as we know it. There is just so much out there that we didn't have access to four years ago: polling data, fundraising data, media-buy data; instant access to every TV ad and press release and unguarded gaffe and well-timed leak to jolt the campaign; insider dish on what the media's covering and what it's not covering and why; and perhaps most fun of all, there are massive online communities in which hundreds of thousands of people submit their mostly corny, often silly and sometimes unimaginably brilliant ideas for how this candidate or that should run his campaign. "As a political junkie," says Moulitsas, "this is heaven for me."

It's true, the internet has turned everyone into a political junkie, and now nothing that happens gets missed-someone out "there" has heard or seen it, and now is reporting it on their blog or commenting on it, on someone else's blog. I think it is a good thing, if it creates less bias in the media, or causes a politicican to watch what he/she says, but it also leads to the legions of internet junkies, to micromanage and complain about everything that happens. Nothing that Kerry does/says slips by without some criticism from the blogs(which tend to be more on the left than the candidate himself), and in my mind causing people to not realize that they're being unfair at times. If Kerry were to do everything that is suggested, he'd probably be denounced as being to far left to be President. To sum it up: keep up the anlaysis, but don't expect everything to happen the way you want it.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?