(DEAN BARNETT HERE)
Remember the blogola scandal? If you don’t, don’t expect a recap here. It was too trivial and boring to live through once; to dredge it up again would require a level of discipline that I’m simply not capable of.
There is a forgotten footnote of that scandal, however, that warrants revisiting. When the blogola story broke that put some of the nutroots’ luminaries in a negative light, Markos Moulitsas sent out an email to his fellow nutroots denizens that, among other things, suggested that they don’t discuss the story in order to deprive it of oxygen.
These words don’t spring forth easily from my laptop, but this was clever. And shrewd. It’s tough to have a full blown controversy without two sides braying at each other. If one side makes the tactical decision to dummy up (so to speak), the controversy will die a lot sooner.
The tactic, and the discipline to implement it, also evidenced a surprising level of discipline among progressive bloggers. Their urge to call Moulitsas’ detractors every name in the book had to be overwhelming. Other than a risibly self-important Moulitsas blog post that urged his readers to cancel their subscriptions to The New Republic, the progressive blogosphere showed a remarkable level of maturity in this instance. I don’t intend to be condescending, but when you read the left-wing blogs, “maturity