Someone just pointed me to this radio interview of John Stauber by Bob McChesney (it is the 8/19 interview) on the Netroots (especially Move On) and the Iraq issue, and I think it is excellent.
In fact, the entire netroots’ performance opposing the Iraq war during 2007, and especially the performance of MoveOn, has been nothing short of pathetic. For example, MoveOn , seconded by such netroots stalwarts as Chris Bowers and Matt Stoller, then of the blog MyDD, and the Daily Kos blog, tried to rally support for the Democrats’ utterly inadequate Iraq supplemental spending bill. Predictably, the effort ended in disaster for Democrats.
But no matter, at least for MoveOn, which decided that this failure would be a great jumping off point for a political campaign to challenge Republicans in the 2008 election. MoveOn is still in the middle of that campaign. What we do not see from MoveOn or any of the leading left blogs are any attempts to pressure Democrats into taking action immediately to end the Iraq war. Every plan, every project, seemingly every post, is focused on how to exploit Iraq as a political weapon against Republicans in the 2008 elections. Very little thought is brought to bear on how to pressure Democrats to use the power of congress to end the Iraq war now.
MoveOn and many of the leading left-wing blogs have become nothing but appendages of the Democratic party – defending every initiative, no matter how wrong-headed, cowardly and obviously ineffective. And since the Iraq supplemental fight, where the netroots did such a horrible job, the discussions of what congress should do to end the Iraq debacle are practically nonexistent in the leading left blogs. They have seemed intent on confirming Bai’s view that the netroots are more interested in being kingmakers than in dealing with the issues. A review of the leading Left blogs shows very little coverage of Iraq issues and what congress should be doing. Instead, they are obsessed with 2008 presidential horserace blogging.
Stauber is not someone I am going to agree with a whole lot on a wide range of issues (for example, he is a big impeachment proponent), but I thought Stauber was especially good in this interview. Take a listen.