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Sunday, July 25, 2004

Building the vast left-wing conspiracy.

When you read Matt Bai's illuminating article in today's New York Times Magazine about the liberal entrepreneurs who hope to build a new progressive network of ideas, funding, and activists to rival the vast right-wing conspiracy, I think it would be invaluable first to read Nicholas Confessore's Washington Monthly article from the beginning of the year: "The Myth of the Democratic Establishment."

I'd also like to note that the Times Magazine editors took the paradox out of the paradox Bai writes about near the end of his article. He writes: "Given how desperately the activists behind the Phoenix Group want to dispatch Bush this November, the paradox is that their longer-term goals, from a purely tactical standpoint, may be better served if he wins." But the paradox must be that their long-term goals would be better served if Kerry loses. Sure enough, only one sentence later Bai writes: "If Kerry wins, some of the passion will likely drain away, and a lot of Democrats will tell themselves — like gambling addicts after a hot streak at the blackjack table — that everything is just fine and that, despite the statistics and the polling, the party remains as vibrant as ever." This is the sort of mistake that an editor somewhere is surely kicking himself for making.

("Wiring the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy," Matt Bai, New York Times Magazine 7.25.04, reg req'd; "The Myth of the Democratic Establishment," Nicholas Confessore, Washington Monthly Jan/Feb 2004)

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 25 July 2004 at 2:43 PM

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July 26, 2004 11:40 AM | Permalink for this comment

Follow-ups: Michael Tomasky of The American Prospect thinks the Phoenix group may reinvigorate the Democratic Party, but the founder of the progressive activist blog par excellence, Daily Kos, thinks the Phoenix group spells the end of the Party.

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