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"an Exceptional Piece... That Everyone Interested In Politics Should Read


As noted below, Jon will be responding to critiques of his big netroots piece in the coming days. For now, here's a sampling of early blog reaction from Garance, Andrew, Kevin Drum, and MyDD's Bowers ("It actually isn't nearly as bad as one would expect, but...").

Many more "but"s to come, no doubt. And you'll be able to read some good ones here at tomorrow.

P.S. Yglesias will have more to say but for now his commenters are having at it.

More: TalkLeft says "quite a good piece" even if "he gets a lot wrong." Also see Podhoretz:

I am not ordinarily an admirer of Jonathan Chait's. To put it mildly. But I have to say his big article in the New Republic on the Dem-left "netroots" is an exceptional piece of explanatory and analytical journalism that everyone interested in politics should read.

Even more: Ross Douthat weighs in:

Netroots liberals may cheer when the Democratic Congress exhumes the ERA, say, or "comparable worth," but that's not why they're in politics - they're in politics to end the Iraq War and beat the Republican Noise Machine at its own game. And the consequence, for liberalism and the country, may be that once the war is over and Bush has exited stage right, we'll be left with a new movement liberalism that imitates the worst qualities of the contemporary conservative movement - the team-player mentality, the obsession with keeping "our guys" in power and "their guys" out - without having bothered to acquire any more substantive reason for being in politics. Markos Moulitsas says he wants to imitate Grover Norquist; the danger is that he's starting out where Norquist has finished up.

And, finally for now, Duncan "Atrios" Black dramatically confesses that he once named Chait as his favorite columnist--although he now claims Jon "seems to fail to understand much," adding that "the point of giving a shit about stuff is that you give a shit about ideas."

--Michael Crowley

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