Do blogs help the left?
: Iain Ducan Smith, a conservative MP in Great Britain, predicts that blogs will play a big role in the next British election and he has an interesting view of their role with the left in America:
You would also expect this electronic revolution to be good for the Democrats, but the American left’s relationship with the internet has been disastrous. The internet has sunk a knife into Bill Clinton’s moderate Democratic party. Mainstream business people were Clinton’s principal funders, simultaneously approving and driving his centrism. But the Democrats’ new paymasters are the 600,000 computer users who, in 2004, supported Howard Dean’s bid for his party’s presidential nomination. Dean energised an unrepresentative group of voters with a stridently anti-war message. Electronic money powered Dean’s campaign, and all of the other contenders for the Democratic crown soon pandered to his base.
The Democrats’ problem has only worsened since. The dailykos.com site of a Democratic consultant gets 500,000 hits a day. That site’s memorial to four American contractors murdered in Iraq was “screw them”. Hatefulness also pours out of the popular websites of Michael Moore and MoveOn.org. The conservative blogosphere has dubbed the Democrats’ IT base its MooreOn tendency….
But the blogosphere will become a force in Britain, and it could ignite many new forces of conservatism. The internet’s automatic level playing field gives conservatives opportunities that mainstream media have often denied them.
Conventional wisdom has been that blogs started leaning right (the war, dontchaknow) but that the left used them most effectively in the campaign. But this conservative argues that blogs brought out the left’s fringe or their anger. Now the right fringe certainly used the internet (see: Swifties) but now the conservative bloggers are taking on an above-it air. By all that, I don’t mean to come to a conclusion but to ask the question: Which side is using blogs better now (post-campaign) to establish a reputation and agenda?