The rule being applied to bloggers by the Democratic Party of Virginia increasingly appears to be “thou shalt not disagree with us”, in the latest example of how the Democratic Party is anything but democratic. The two blogging powerhouses of the left in Virginia, NLS and Raising Kaine, are being excluded from the Democratic National Convention at the behest of 11th District Chair George Burke according to Red Virginia, presumably because of their harsh (and well-justified) criticism of boss Gerry Connolly, and occasional disagreements with Governor Timmy. I wonder if for his next number, George Burke is going to try to prevent Fox News or the Washington Times from covering the convention as well, since on occasion they’ll run critical articles about Democrats.
As someone who occasionally drives Republicans to some degree of distraction for straying from a strict party line, there are occasions when I’m not quite openly embraced by the Republican Party, but I’ve never seen the Party or any of it’s leadership try to exclude me from anything. That has even been the case when I was attacking that leadership itself. I’m sure there were some grumbles when I would show up at some party activity, and there were some open disagreements at the county convention about whether I should be a delegate at the state convention, but not only were those handled fairly, they were resolved very quickly and with a minimum of fuss. Republicans, who are criticized by the left as being exclusionary, have pretty much set a standard here that the Democratic Party of Virginia has proven itself incapable of meeting.
While Republicans managed to substantially reform the state party and local units at this year’s conventions, the DPVA is still under the iron fist of Dickie Cranwell and a host of District Chairmen that are absolutely determined to retain control over how party money is spent, who runs for office, and who is awarded contracts from DPVA. Lefty bloggers don’t fit in too well with this ossified outlook, prompting these fights among the DPVA and the more influential bloggers who would otherwise be supportive of them. That’s going to substantially hinder party leadership reform, and the ongoing friction this causes is going to make it quite a bit harder for Democrats to win elections.
Republican bloggers, who weren’t subject to loyalty tests or given demands for ideological purity, played a role in this widescale reformation of the Republican Party of Virginia, and it is already yielding some pretty substantial benefits. While there’s never going to be perfect agreement among Republicans, those disagreements sure look a lot healthier and more productive than what is happening on the other side of the aisle. Republican bloggers aren’t at war with their party, and aren’t throwing too many rocks at Republican nominees. When they are, these are about policy differences rather than attacks against the character and personal judgement of their candidates.
Eventually the lefty blogs are likely to prevail in a fight like this. The more the DPVA attacks them, the harder and more harshly NLS and RK are going to fight back. Whether it be months or years, the accumulated trashing of this party leadership is going to bury it.
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