The Washington Post published an article today about the lag the Republicans face in their presence on the internet. There are plenty of reasons proffered by both left and right leaning sources in the piece, but the article shies away from making the assertion that seems, to many of us, to be glaringly self-evident, namely, that it’s a matter of intention.
It doesn’t take a very long look around the web to realize that the Republicans and right wing outlets tend to function from the standpoint of disseminating rhetoric and propaganda mostly in the form of opinion pieces. While, more often than not, their left-leaning counterparts tend to prefer transparency and fact-based reporting. (This tendency has even spawned its own catch-phrase, courtesy of TV’s Stephen Colbert, “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”)
This isn’t to say that GOPers don’t enjoy their studies and charts or that the progressives don’t have their own circle-jerking, hyper-linked witch hunts. But the tendency is solid. It’s there in black and white. And the internetting public has very clearly responded to that dynamic.
Afterall, on a message board flame war, some clever talking points and a shrill put down might win the day, but when hammering out your position on, say, the existence of Sadaam's WMD's a pile of links to actual reports from the UN weapons inspectors goes a hell of alot further than a link to Bill O'Reilly's latest rant or a venomous Ann Coulter quote.
Now this hasn’t always been the domain of the Democrats to any great extent, but after two electoral drubbings the party discovered a need to reinvent itself, from the bottom up. And it certainly didn’t hurt that despite of, or perhaps because of, their public victories the GOP evolved into a bloated and historically corrupt political party who’s penchant for secrecy and top-down lockstep loyalty have provided endless fodder for truth-seeking John Q. Public’s everywhere.