Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight

So Yahoo’s having an email Q & A forum with’s director, Eli Pariser. Users can add a question to a long list sent in by readers. Apparently Yahoo, moderator Judy Woodruff and Pariser will pick out their favorites for him to answer in an upcoming column.

That’s all fine and good, I guess. MoveOn is a decent organization who, from what I’ve seen through my own involvement with them, are trying (and succeeding) to connect people of similar political persuasions. They aim, at the very least, to educate and if they can make an activist or donator out of participants, they’ll gladly do so.

That they’ve become downright demonized in the right wing media is sheer testimony as to how effective they’ve become at raising both consciousness and capital—and how much they scare the pants off “conservatives” and the GOP faithful.

After reading down the “what would you like to ask Eli Pariser” message board, one fact become glaringly, pitifully obvious… (And forgive the polarization here, I tend to despise lumping regular folks’ personal politics in to one camp or the other. It’s become a lazy, divisive technique of the base-catering goons on AM radio and cable news, but it serves to set the stage here.) … As I said, after reading down the message board, one fact just jumps right out and boxes your ears.

It seems that one side of this fight comes armed to the teeth with facts and has a strong grasp on issues and the players involved. By and large, they’re willing to consider the opinions of others and even attempt to bridge some of those great empathic gaps we all seem to keep falling in to these days.

The other side in this fight paints with strokes as broad as their sentences are short. They toss out characterizations about catchphrases without a hint of shame. They offer little in making their point beyond the petty mocking of opinions and ideas that they plainly don’t understand. There is little substance and less good will. They give us a clear look at the ass-end of the echo chamber. Manufactured outrage distilled to its basest, most simple sentiment.

Perhaps not surprisingly, these folks are made up of the blindly pro-Bush, the GOP grunts, and the "with-us-or-against-us" crowd. Nevermind that the torchbearers of the ideology that they're still clinging to have been unmasked and exposed as the plunderers and swindlers they've been all along.

Not that the “left-leaning” comments are spun entirely of gold. There’s plenty of knckleheaded brain farting and party-line lockstepping. But the genuine, thoughtful, knowledgeable, heart-felt sentiment comes overwhelmingly from that “left.”

I don’t know how long this is gonna be up, or how much you can stand, but if you feel like wading into those particular waters, check out Talk to Eli Pariser of

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