On the Rise of the Obamasphere

               There is a deep-seated craving common to all
                men of words which determines their attitude
                to the prevailing order.  It is a craving for
                recognition; a craving for a clearly marked
                status above the common run of humanity.
                "Vanity," said Napoleon, "made the Revolution;
                liberty was only a pretext."
                               --Eric Hoffer, The True Believer

Too many progressive websites now serve up identical daily fare: endless praise for Barack Obama; relentless criticism of Hillary Clinton; and, above all, great torrents of mathematical argumentation explaining why the contest needs to end immediately.

Some on the left are worried about potential Democratic disunity in the fall.  Many more seem dazzled by Obama's apparent charisma.  Still others are simply incapable of dealing rationally with the Clintons.  (Jonathan Chait of The New Republic called Hillary a "fratricidal maniac" for not yielding to the dictates of Obama math.  Whatever, Jon.)

But there's another reason for Obama's popularity among bloggers--indeed, among much of the left-of-center commentariat from TNR to The Nation.

They need each other.

Hillary Clinton may or may not make a good president, but one thing's for sure--she won't be reinventing the wheel.  No transcendental speechifying.  No post-partisan mind-melding with Mitch McConnell.  A Clinton presidency will contain its fair share of divisive politics.  We pretty much know what that looks like.  Some of us even welcome it.

For many bloggers the problem with Hillary isn't that she's a shrieking, mendacious harpy.  That's for their comment sections.  The problem is that her candidacy doesn't provide them with a subject worthy of their talents.

Enter Barack Obama, a slick politician peddling an extremely vague blueprint for change that cries out for further explication.  In due course, from the fertile steppes of progressive cyberspace, appears a multitude of bold theoreticians and stalwart number crunchers, all eager to work overtime constructing an intellectual framework to support the Obama hype machine.

Right now their efforts are concentrated on ensuring that no renegade superdelegates or pesky voters in Michigan and Florida threaten the Obama campaign's Fortress of Inevitability.  Leading the charge is Josh Marshall, and what a sad and sorry spectacle.  Once an indispensable source of honest progressive journalism, TPM has lost all credibility by becoming little more than a clearinghouse for the latest Obama campaign spin, sprinkled with a few Clinton smears.  (Has a more shameless Washington suck-up artist ever revealed himself?)

As long as the mainstream media has the Clintons to kick around, they'll be in lockstep with the Obamasphere, at least until their McCain fetish overpowers them.  If Obama manages to get elected, an unfortunate dynamic will emerge.

The media has no interest in promoting a Democratic agenda--ever.  Obama will be expected to fulfill his canpaign promise--as caricatured by the press--to end all the "partisan bickering" and start compromising.  If he doesn't...Well, Time magazine has some vintage Clinton-era "Incredible Shrinking President" covers they can recycle.

Obama won't relish getting photoshopped into that particular picture.  His universal health care plan will start looking even less universal than it does now.

Howls of protest will come from hardcore policy wonks, but Obama needn't worry--the big brains at Open Left, along with the rest of his online vanguard of hope, have his back.  They're currently seen waving his old Iraq speech in front of Hillary Clinton like Van Helsing brandishing a crucifix because they're not sure he's very committed to progressive solutions.  It's no big deal, though.  Obama is transcendentally transforming American society, and something so grand takes time.  The policy will have to wait for the politics.  Someday Congress will be full of Wellstone liberals.  Someday.

Eric Hoffer:

               What de Remusat said of Thiers is perhaps true
                of most men of words: "he has much more vanity
                than ambition; and he prefers consideration to
                obedience, and the appearance of power to power
                itself.  Consult him constantly, and then do
                just as you please.  He will take more notice
                of your deference to him than of your actions."

At least we still have Paul Krugman.

There's more...

Over. The. Top.

Any doubts I had about saying: "Markos' has continually displayed a total lack of responsibility to the welfare of the Democratic Party this year," are now gone.


The big orange ugliness known as the "leading progressive blog" has done it. That vitriolic, vile excuse for a "community" is completely over the top, as is now clearly evident by their commentary--in no less than nine diaries today and counting--with regard to the Randi Rhodes episode. If ever there was a clear case of just how twisted "community sentiment" really is there, all you have to do is make a quick review of that community's reaction to this incident. Case in point...  

There's more...

Remember to nominate your favorite female blogger!

Remember when the media portrayed bloggers at YearlyKos as being mostly white males? Wouldn't it be great if an organization would work with the blogosphere to help women bloggers get more exposure?

There's more...

Daily Insults Work

I am down. This is a downer diary.  I am also so far over the hill I won't even tell you how old I am. But based on that you can bet I know this blogosphere is not my world.

But stupidly, I guess, inspired by Hillary and  with time on my hands while taking care of an 88-year-old Mom with alzheimers--smack dab in the middle of  a right-wing militia neighborhood in southern california-- I decided to Blog!

Woohoo for me.

I began by finding the democratic blogs. And dailykos seemed like the Big Daddy. That last word is the right one. Sexism is alive and well in the blogosphere. It ain't that women don't blog there, they do, but they don't count. Don't tell me how I know this. I just did after my first week.

There's more...

More on blogging for profit

This is a bit of a quick hit, and perhaps a bit dated as well, but I think it's too fascinating to pass up.  About a month ago Chris Anderson (author of The Long Tail) wrote a post exploring media revenue models, which is to say, revenue models for businesses which produce a lot of content, and hope to somehow make some money off the whole enterprise.  The post touched off a bit of a mad dash by commenters and other bloggers to name as many revenue models as possible.

There are a few revenue models which come to mind immediately - subscriptions and advertisements, mainly.  But there are also some fairly obscure models which are nonetheless potentially very lucrative.  Those models include selling access to an API, having the audience create something of value and monetizing it, live events, customized content feeds, and consulting, which essentially amounts to using your blog as a big advertisement for your business.

Naturally, all of this has got me thinking of my posts from last summer about sustainable blogging, in particular with regards to cost per action advertising on the blogosphere and blog profitability.  After all, a blog is a classic case of a media outlet which gives away a lot of content and needs a good monetization strategy.  Follow me across the jump for more.

There's more...


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