Bai's Blogger Beatdown

(AP Photo)
"One of the hallmarks of netroots culture was a complete disconnect from history – meaning, basically, anything that had happened before 1998. The political consciousness of most of the bloggers seemed to begin sometime around impeachment, when they had first tuned in. Whatever had gone on before then, the fight between Clinton and the liberal establishment, the very real debates inside the party over trade and taxes and defense – all of these things felt as ancient to the bloggers as the underlying causes of the Peloponnesian War, and about as useful. It wasn't just that the bloggers didn't know much about the political world before impeachment, it was that they didn't want to know, either. So burning was their contempt for "Washington insiders" and the "mainstream media" that they were moved to dismiss not just the individuals who fell into these categories, but all the knowledge such people had accumulated. In a sense, the way the netroots saw it, the more you knew about Democratic politics before 1998, the less relevant you actually were."

--Matt Bai, author
"The Argument – Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics"