Hit & Run

Let Slip the Blogs of War

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While the long weekend rolled on, a pro-war web group called the Victory Caucus was attracting thousands of visits and (they claim) pledges to donate money and organization to the defeat of anti-war Republicans.

Amid a mounting campaign in Congress to limit Bush's military options, conservatives led by talk show host Hugh Hewitt have created an advocacy group designed to counter the anti-war MoveOn.org. And its first round of targets will be the 17 GOP lawmakers who voted for last week's Democratic resolution in the House opposing the troop increases.

First in the sights of the new Victory Caucus is Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., whose district includes Orlando… Keller is a prime target, organizers say, because of his House speech last week comparing the Iraq war with a neighbor's unkempt lawn. "Imagine that you have a next-door neighbor who refuses to mow his lawn, and the weeds are up to his waist," Keller said. "You mow his lawn for him every single week. The neighbor never says thank you, he hates you and sometimes he takes out a gun and shoots at you. Under these circumstances, would you keep mowing his lawn forever?"

This is a natural (and rapid) evolution of the pro-war blogosphere, which a few weeks ago was merely pledging not to donate to anti-war Republicans. It would be very, very easy to argue that the Victory Caucus is the ultimate in armchair warrior chic, the natural end of warblogging's devolution. But this would be wrong. It's an unalloyed good for people to use the internet to band together and defeat politicians. The Victory Caucus people are the mirror universe version of the netroots supporters of Ned Lamont, so it's obviously within their power to knock off a Republican congressman and terrify the D.C. establishment. (It's also in their power to fall short and piss off their target, producing a Republican or independent congressman who's more anti-war than ever before. Still…)

As far as pro-war coalitions go, this is the opposite of the namby-pamby and pathetic Euston Manifesto. That's just another web petition; this is an insurgency. This'll attract some actual passion and cash.

I assessed the growth of political blogs back in 2006; also, I sang the praises of the anti-GOP establishment Club for Growth.