Let 'Em Gloat

I hear that the weekend saw Eason Jordan resign? Really? Wow, I take a few days off and you guys totally drop the ball.

As if. Is someone out there actually impressed by the Jordan's resignation? Yes, yes, I know Hugh Hewitt is going to print out a picture of a scalp and staple it to his wall, but if an egomaniac cackles and nobody cares, does he make a sound? I think not. Which is why I'm so nonplussed by the lefty bloggers lauding the remarkable takedown abilities of the right. Nailing public (or, in this case, semi-public) figures for absurd comments and getting them fired is a dance older than dirt. CNN will spend five minutes genuflecting, install his replacement, and move on with their lives. And Digby, who I generally agree with, is giving the wingers way too much credit for their waltz:

If liberal bloggers' record of scalps is Trent Lott losing the leadership post that Bush wanted him out of anyway then we aren't even in the same league. The Right Wing Noise machine is a group seasoned professionals made up of bloggers, newspapers, FOX, talk radio, and a direct pipeline to powerful Republicans in the government. We are Kos and Atrios et al. We are not equivalent.

These cats blowing their wad over every intemperate comment are not seasoned professionals, they're overexcited teenagers. Funnily enough, its their obsession with "scalps" that has actually reduced their effectiveness. While Kos and Atrios raise hundreds of thousands for their chosen candidates, their conservative counterparts are rain-dancing around the latest functionary to resign. While Matt Yglesias and Josh Marshall are helping sink the privatization plan, Instapundit and the gang are fulminating over obscure academics.

If I was Billmon, I'd now dredge up some comment by a Nazi about how power only matters when no one can see it. The right-wing blogosphere has decided to focus their efforts on fame. If they're going to have a role, they'll make it as high-profile as humanly possible. They'll also make it useless. Eason Jordan's successor won't make moronic remarks, but he's not going to do his job any differently. Meanwhile, the people in his organization and the rest of their colleagues populating the "mainstream" media have no interest in reading Hewitt's latest tirade. They're reading the wonks and reporters they can identify with, the Plumers and Drums and Marshalls of the world, and their coverage is being affected by them. Meanwhile, the activist wing of the left is filling the DNC's coffers and funneling their cash where it matters, they're creating a voice for themselves and, as Kos did a month ago, addressing the Senate Democratic Caucus.

The right spent a long time laying the groundwork for their victories. And they didn't do it in front of the cameras. Instead, they worked tirelessly to build institutions and create stealth movements that'd change the landscape without anyone realizing it. When your enemy is loud, you're lucky. It's when their progress evades the radar that they're dangerous. For now, they're all flash and no impact, while we're doing the institutional work that's become so necessary. So, contra Digby, I'm not impressed by the seasoned professionals across the aisle so much as I am by the amateur activists and journalistic prodigies on my side. And that's why I'm not worried.

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