Patterico's Pontifications

1/25/2010

How “David Axelrod Astroturfing” Works, Step by Step

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 am

I noted in an earlier post that some recent Astroturf had been tracked by this blogger to the Democrat party. I’m worried that it got lost in the mass of updates, so I am noting it again, and doing a step-by-step demonstration of a similar Astroturf job from Organizing for America.

Go to Organizing for America’s web site. There is a page you can use to write letters to the editor.

Organizing for America Astroturf

Fill in the information and it takes you to this page, with some suggested talking points:

Organizing for America Astroturf 2

Here’s a close-up:

Organizing for America Astroturf 3

Write your letter, and BOOM! some editor somewhere prints it:

Organizing for America Astroturf 4

And he’s not the only one, by a longshot.

Again, as noted above similar form at the Democrat party web site

Democrat Party Astroturfing

ended up in the Danbury News-Times, the Baytown Sun, the Austin-American Statesman, the San Francisco Chronicle; San Gabriel Valley Tribune; the Tulsa World; the Santa Clarita Valley Signal; The Citizen’s Voice; the Suffolk News-Herald; the Cincinnati Enquirer; Chicago’s Daily Herald; the Cape Coral Daily Breeze; Missouri’s Lake News Online; and the North County Times.

I think it’s worth noting that when the GOP was caught doing this in 2003, the story made the New York Times. (H/t Life Line.)

What will be the media response now?

66 Responses to “How “David Axelrod Astroturfing” Works, Step by Step”

  1. [...] UPDATE x3: It bears repeating that, as I noted in a previous post, a series of letters published in newspapers recently has been traced to the web site for the Democrat Party. And Barack Obama’s Organizing for America has been in on the act, too. More on that here. [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » The Recent Evidence of Astroturfing, Summarized; UPDATED: Ellie Light Located? (e4ab32)

  2. Ignore it. But you know what, I’m so pissed
    that republicans did it that I don’t really
    care what the MSM does.

    Jack (e383ed)

  3. This GOP 2003 scandal that the New York Times covered is probably the one that imdw was talking about.

    I read the New York Times link, and it pointed to a very limited version of this. Also, it’s the Times, so who knows what the truth is (though credible folks seem to agree the GOP did this crap). They shouldn’t have, but I’m glad it is nothing like the ellie light degree of dishonesty.

    Dozens of people did not agree to use the same name across the country.

    I disagree in a way with Patterico to the extent that he says “when the GOP did this”. I think they probably did what is described in this post, show an example letter for people to emulate (which is pretty lame), but I think the main story is Ellie Light, which is unlike other astroturf efforts in its brazen dishonesty.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  4. Pathetic.

    Good Lt. (51111a)

  5. In confronting editors about this, you will find they are tone deaf to the degree of their bias. Whereas most editors stopped the GOP letter because they personally disagreed with it, you will find most editors agree with the Democrat letter and will print it no questions asked.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  6. This is “David Axelrod Astroturfing.” Ellie Light is “Donald Trump Astroturfing.”

    Both are happening.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  7. The editors issue alerts and queries on a 600-member e-mail list run by the National Conference of Editorial Writers.

    So… What happened to that? Hope and Change?

    George (f66dff)

  8. “Both are happening.

    Comment by Patterico —”

    Yeah.

    Also, I’m not stupid. I know that the GOP has a few jerks who would be delighted to get away with Donald Trump style astroturfing. I certainly don’t vote for Republicans because they are lightworkers or free of corruption.

    One of the interesting aspects of the media is that its lax attitude for democrats is probably the main reason democrats so often abuse our trust. If the democrats feared publicity of scandal like republicans do, I don’t think they’d have been so reckless with the Ellie Light astroturf.

    Anyway, this part of the story is interesting, but at least some individual in some locality decided to be part of the astroturf. Sure, there’s a lot fake about it, but at least they signed on. Ellie Light takes it beyond that to completely different level of lie.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  9. Propaganda Campaign Launched by Someone in the Obama Admnistration Posing as a Concerned Citizen?…

    Ellie Light responds: Prolific pro-Obama letter writer talks about her online critics

    By Sabrina Eaton, The Plain Dealer

    January 24, 2010, 9:00PM
    A well-traveled letter writer who has used dozens of different
    addresses to publish a……

    Defend America (347d54)

  10. Isn’t this the fault of the papers’ editors, more than anything else? Because prompting these sorts of letters is nothing new – interest/advocacy groups have been encouraging people to send specific form letters to their Congressmen for years.

    And, on the flip side, Congressmen have been “astroturfing” their constituents with these sorts of letters for years, too.

    Leviticus (0fca60)

  11. A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Astroturf by David Axelrod…

    Patterico has this information that was found in the previous post’s update at the bottom of the post on this blog.

    http://patterico.com/2010/01/25/how-david-axelrod-astroturfing-works-step-by-step/

    Defend America (347d54)

  12. There’s some fool somewhere else on the internet I’ve been talking with who’s insisting that this has nothing to do with Obama because “they tried to cover their tracks so badly, the Administration couldn’t have had anything to do with it!” Yeah man, that myth of government competence is still going strong in some quarters.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  13. [...] Obama Supporter McCaskill Says Dems Moved “Too Far, Too Fast” Patterico’s Pontifications: How “David Axelrod Astroturfing” Works, Step by Step GayPatriot: Dems’ “Characteristic Condescension” Caused Their Collapse Thomas Del Beccaro, [...]

    Hello, Train Wreck: Obama’s Agenda Is Crashing… Calling Bill Clinton on Advice to Get Out of His Mess? « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  14. Congressmen have been “astroturfing” their constituents with these sorts of letters for years, too.

    How can you even attempt to make a coherent claim at similarity here? One is clearly marked as being campaign/PR fluff from a politician, while the other is presented as evidence of a citizen that’s been vetted by a credible news source as voicing a strong opinion about politics.

    You’re better than this, I think.

    Dmac (539341)

  15. The Axelrod astroturfing is de rigeur in politics. It is emblematic of the Progressive idea of community support, though. The community supports the talking points created by party flacks and PR managers, or at least that is the appearance. Professional pre-printed protest signs. Paid union members masquerading as supporters. Etc. Under this definition of grass-roots, Nancy Pelosi was not being an imbecile when she said she was a grass-roots organizer.

    And no wonder they sneered at the home-made signs, diffuse and uncoordinated messages and lack of central control at the tea parties. People being people is so gauche. Better when they work as c v robots.

    Hadlowe (5ea8d4)

  16. “This is “David Axelrod Astroturfing.” Ellie Light is “Donald Trump Astroturfing.”

    Both are happening.”

    What’s the David Axelrod part of it? That the GOP did it in 2003?

    “Pathetic.”

    Indeed

    imdw (c5488f)

  17. imdw, your spin is becoming more incoherent and risible.

    Much like Gibbs’ is.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  18. Pathetic.

    Yes, iamadickwad. You are.

    JD (b1c350)

  19. What’s the David Axelrod part of it? That the GOP did it in 2003?

    Comment by imdw

    Are you really calling Patterico’s argument pathetic? You said Rush was an antisemite and refused to admit or deny if you knew Rush quotes are often fabricated or distorted. You said Beck was a rapist of kids only to backtrack to that you found such rapes to be really funny and deserved of people who ask too many questions. You always take a course of argument that is so unjustifiable and angry.

    And someone points out Obama’s political astroturf strategy, up above in links with screencaps and everything, and associates that astroturf with Obama’s political strategist and so-called “astroturf master” who has been astroturfing professionally for years before 2003, and you say it’s pathetic to associate it with this strategist, David Axelrod?

    Why? He’s the pioneer of Astroturf. It’s like calling an Airplane the “wright brothers style of vehicle.”

    You’re calling his argument “pathetic”, without any support, because that’s the best you can do. Yes, it’s Axelrod’s responsibility, even if the GOP did something like it a million years ago on a drastically smaller scale.

    And let’s suppose that this was something the GOP just as badly as Obama is doing. Didn’t Obama break his word to be transparent and honest by merely supporting Axelrod and Cass Sunstein? My tax dollars going to lie to me is not OK, and the only person who thinks it’s OK if it’s done by their own party is imdw.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  20. [...] Patterico on how to run your own Ellie-type operation. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Connecting the Ellie Light DotsUPDATED: Dear [...]

    UPDATED: Ellie Light Update « The Rhetorican (6f1d2a)

  21. [...] the names of Jan Chen and Gloria Elle here and shows us exactly how the astroturfing campaign works here with [...]

    The Astroturf Brigade In Action « The Underground Conservative (bd1ac8)

  22. “I read the New York Times link, and it pointed to a very limited version of this. Also, it’s the Times, so who knows what the truth is (though credible folks seem to agree the GOP did this crap).”

    Dustin, you are awesome.

    “And someone points out Obama’s political astroturf strategy, up above in links with screencaps and everything, and associates that astroturf with Obama’s political strategist and so-called “astroturf master” who has been astroturfing professionally for years before 2003, and you say it’s pathetic to associate it with this strategist, David Axelrod?”

    And it’s not pathetic to associate it with Donald Trump either!

    imdw (2d0308)

  23. [...] see it in letter writing campaigns, we see it in call in radio  talk show campaigns. Patterico has discovered that Organizing For America actually provides a webpage for people to write letters [...]

    Is Recent Astroturf Campaign Part of Dept of Justice Propaganda Unit? « Nice Deb (942eaa)

  24. I sent one in and I thank OFA for helping me do so.

    However, I did change the wording a bit:

    “We are closer now than ever to enacting comprehensive reform. An unprecedented coalition of doctors and nurses—and a huge percentage of the American people are against this bloated pile of corruption that will have more to do with growing government, raising taxes, lowering care quality and piling up unneccesary debt, all according to President Obama’s plan. It’s time to re-work the job and pass real, common-sense changes such as tort reform, tax breaks extended to individuals that are now only available to corporations and unions and the ability of persons to carry existing plans across state lines.”

    harkin (f92f52)

  25. “One is clearly marked as being campaign/PR fluff from a politician”

    - Dmac

    You misunderstand me. When I speak of Congressmen “astroturfing” their constituents, I don’t mean with campaign tracts and fliers and such (which are, as you say, clearly marked). I’m talking about constituent-representative correspondence: when a constituent writes their Congressman, they receive a form letter in response, which is designed to trick them into thinking they received something meaningful and personal when in fact it’s nothing of the sort.

    So constituents are sending Ellie Light form letters to newspapers now – and to their Congressmen (as I’ve observed). This is nothing new. Yes, it is pathetic – pathetic that Obama’s machine can’t even find enough real apologists to obviate the necessity for fake ones. But what’s more pathetic to me is the failure of supposed journalists – who ought to be professional skeptics – to even suspect that these letters are mass-produced, which their form so blatantly indicates, and to act accordingly to verify their suspicions.

    This is a journalistic failing, not an evil political plot. There is nothing sinister in Organize for America prompting its members to lobby their Congressmen or write their local paper a form letter – though it certainly bespeaks a general intellectual laziness on the part of those members, and a general decline in the independent quality of political discourse.

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  26. I mean, you emphasize yourself (in your comment) that the real problem in all of this is that these letters were “vetted by a credible news source” as genuine. And I agree. But that doesn’t make the letters themselves particularly despicable.

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  27. And it’s not pathetic to associate it with Donald Trump either!

    Comment by imdw

    Of course it isn’t. It’s a humorous way of pointing out that Ellie pretends to own billions of dollars worth of real estate. You see, some people think this is funny. Only psychos think smearing Glenn Beck as a child raping killer is funny, so we aren’t surprised actual good humor escaped you.

    Leviticus, it is pretty pathetic when an LC sends one of those fake letters, but is that astroturf? Usually, the chief of staff or the congressman has some say in what’s in the bank of replies, and this is an efficient way to get the candidate’s POV to a ton of correspondents. I would prefer these letters clearly noted whether the congressman actually wrote the thing or if it’s from “the office of so and so”.

    What’s unfortunate is that many of these responses are not very responsive. Still, if it’s not really from who it says it’s from, you have at least some merit in comparing the lies.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  28. I can’t figure out what the big deal is. Surveys have shown that conservatives know more about issues and events than liberals. (just like conservatives give more and a larger percent to charity) If liberal doyens want their followers to write letters to the editor, the doyen has to write the letter for them.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  29. I’m talking about constituent-representative correspondence: when a constituent writes their Congressman, they receive a form letter in response, which is designed to trick them into thinking they received something meaningful and personal when in fact it’s nothing of the sort.

    Anyone who can’t recognize a form letter isn’t intelligent enough to be used as a point in your argument, sorry.

    Really, how did you think that was going to fly?

    chaos (9c54c6)

  30. If Ellie et al are using such a tool, how the heck are they creating a home town in the newspaper’s locale?

    That would take individual attention to each message (which seems to defeat the point of the tool), or the tool generates such information, or the editors created it. Either of the last two is fraudulent, it would seem to me.

    sherlock (75417a)

  31. Leviticus, Why are you so enamored with “Fake But Accurate” when it supports the Democrats only?

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  32. I’m talking about constituent-representative correspondence: when a constituent writes their Congressman, they receive a form letter in response

    Thank you for the clarification.

    This is a journalistic failing, not an evil political plot.

    Agreed – but after the unreal journalistic malpractice that we witnessed during the last campaign, can you understand why many would assume otherwise? This smacks of most of the MSM organs just taking the daily Dem talking points and repeating them in the guise of actual news, when in essence they’re nothing but PR flacks doing their thing.

    Dmac (539341)

  33. I find it humorous that in the first example shown, the submission even includes the typo from the original web source (“that” instead of “than”).

    VG

    Voiceguy (21bf12)

  34. #24 Leviticus
    Not to pile on, but:
    Another problem with your analogy between these latest letters and a Congressman’s form letter “in response [to] a constituent [who] writes their Congressman” is that those form letters are responses to letters received; they aren’t always on point, and they aren’t responsive, per se, but they serve as acknowledgments of letters received.
    These letters to the editor weren’t responses to letters *from* the editor.

    m (41b5c3)

  35. #23 harkin
    Nice. Odds on your letter being published are. . . .

    m (41b5c3)

  36. If you have any complaints about Astroturfing at the LA Times, a new readers representative has been named

    The open spot goes to Deirdre Edgar, the L.A. Times’ national copy desk chief since 2006. Memo to the newsroom from Editor Russ Stanton, after the jump, goes into some changes in the job. They like her at the American Copy Editors Society, where she is a vice president.

    Bradley J. Fikes, C. O.R. (a18ddc)

  37. No doubt the numerous and glaring problems at the LAT will soon be adequately addressed.

    (crickets chirping)

    I can’t think of one reader’s rep that was worth anything, other that Orkent at the NYT.

    Dmac (539341)

  38. James Taranto at WSJ-Online/BOTW reports that Ellie is now writing from Brest, France.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a1830d)

  39. They also use this method every morning on C-SPAN Washington Journal. They started back in the primaries by giving out prepaid calling cards.

    Just listen for the guy with the deep voice from Rocky Mount NC (also uses Pink Hill NC, Wilson NC, Kinston,NC to keep us fooled)

    BB Key (e00326)

  40. got the right thread this time – I just went to the Organizing for America and sent in my message to support Health Care Reform. I said I support the president’s call for more competition, so we should let insurance companies sell across state lines. I also mentioned tort reform and custom buying insurance to fit my needs. Use their own weapons, flood the message system with support for the President and his calls for reform, or transparency, or bi-partisanship. Any of those would work, use his own words against him. Course I will not leave my real address or phone number, read too much about Obama thugs at Hillbuzz.

    Dan (431719)

  41. [...] Patterico’s Pontifications – How “David Axelrod Astroturfing” Works, Step by Step [...]

    A Vengful Return to Obama the Enforcer (UPDATED 4:33 pm 25 January) « ON MY WATCH – the writings of SamHenry (ea1fd5)

  42. How will the media respond? Same way they responded to the John Edwards stories.

    Ignore, ignore, ignore,

    Bury, bury, bury,

    Spin, spin, spin.

    glenn (757adc)

  43. [...] Paterrico offers an at least partial explanation for how so many similar-sounding letters from people other than “Ellie Light” may have [...]

    an Ellie Light list « The Church of the Apocalyptic Kiwi (4797e5)

  44. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_FZVD5lsAw

    music to search for ellie light by

    ice (b698c3)

  45. At least this is different than the frequent spectacle of lefty blogs all being silent on a topic which is bad for the left and then suddenly writing at the same time with very similar sounding points to defend or advance whatever position is in question. It’s hilarious to watch and I’m sure that it’s purely a function of the fiercely independent thinkers of the left arriving at similar conclusions simultaneously by applying the grand unified principles of progressivism as opposed to the result of any coordinated message machinery.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  46. [...] subject to reguritated letter campaigns encouraged by political organizations as is pointed out at Patterico’s Pontifications referencing a Dec. 1 letter by Terri Reese of [...]

    Was the NCT a Ellie Light-style target? « NCTimes.com Blogs (3683b9)

  47. The astroturf letter generators are only half of what makes this work. The other half is Democrat-left editors at newspapers across the country looking for Democrat talking points to publish in their letters sections.

    They could get a thousand letters making conservative points and would still never exceed their once-a-week quotas.

    Alec Rawls (51d49a)

  48. Click the link to the pingback at #46 to read my editor’s reply to the Astroturfing letters.

    Here is the full text for the link-averse:

    Was the NCT a Ellie Light-style target?
    By: Kent Davy — January 25th, 2010

    There has been discussion in some parts of the blogosphere about the “Ellie Light” phenomena —- the “astroturfing” of identical pro-Obama letters to the editor signed by one Ellie Light and appearing in newspapers across the country. I am unaware that we’ve been hit with particular tactic, but we have been subject to reguritated letter campaigns encouraged by political organizations as is pointed out at Patterico’s Pontifications referencing a Dec. 1 letter by Terri Reese of Vista.

    To clear things up, with his readers, I this note I sent to him earlier today (Monday, Jan. 25):

    Patterico:

    The North County Times may be unique in its treatment of letters to the editor. We publish all letters that we receive that are from someone within our circulation area or concern a topic of local interest (limiting writers to once every other week). We don’t pick and choose letters for “worthiness” or “political balance,” but run them on, roughly, a FIFO basis. When volume picks up we add additional letters space to the section (we have run as many as five pages of letters during the peak of a hot election).

    So, publishing a letter that contains language duplicated elsewhere isn’t surprising.

    On a number of occasions, we have been hit with letter writing campaigns by organizations who suggest “talking points” to their members. For instance, a few years ago during one of Bush’s state of the union speeches I was hit with dozens of letters from people with local addresses beating on the president’s remarks with nearly identical wording —- and this was 20 minutes before Bush had finished his remarks. I emailed several of the writers back to ask if this was part of a MoveOn.org letter campaign. Several people wrote back to affirm it as so.

    Our normal procedure with a letter is to call the writer to confirm the authorship (an admittedly loose verification system, but that is one price of publishing more than 6,000 letters a year). If we catch some one plagiarizing, we will ban or warn and ban on a reoccurrence (adopting suggested language doesn’t strike me as plagiarism even if it is lazy). If we find a copy and paste campaign, we typically will run one or two as examples and discard the rest. We also don’t knowingly allow false signatures on letters.

    When facts are obviously in error, we will edit it, try to get the letter writer to straighten it out, or reject the letter if it is unsalvageable.

    Regarding organized letter writing campaigns, however, I’m not particularly alarmed by them. People from all across the political spectrum adopt other people’s language and use it for various purposes including debating with their friends and neighbors. Nothing new there. It’s just easier to mount letter campaigns with the internet —- doesn’t cost you postage.

    Since you have raised the question about this particular letter, I have left a voice mail and sent an email query to its author. She appears to be a local citizen (there are several internet traces of her presence locally). I’ll let you know how it comes out.

    Best,

    Kent Davy

    Bradley J. Fikes, C. O.R. (a18ddc)

  49. I admire Mr. Davy’s approach, Bradley.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  50. “She appears to be a local citizen (there are several internet traces of her presence locally).”

    That part was strange.

    otherwise, that sounds like a pretty kickass policy, Bradley. It’s a shame that people are too pathetic to just write their own words. I’d snark about moveon, but perhaps both sides do it. Eventually, the paper will get rid of its cool policy.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  51. The real story is not the political group using the method … it is the fact that the MSMers don’t know and if they do don’t care…. that they are being suckered.

    OMMAG (d1f910)

  52. SQPR and Dustin,
    Thank you.

    Kent says by “Internet traces” he means there’s Internet mentions of this letter writer in connection with North San Diego County events. So it’s evidence she is a local person.

    Bradley J. Fikes, C. O.R. (a18ddc)

  53. “At least this is different than the frequent spectacle of lefty blogs all being silent on a topic which is bad for the left and then suddenly writing at the same time with very similar sounding points to defend or advance whatever position is in question.”

    - daleyrocks

    Not at all like conservative blogs, right?

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  54. [...] also think that Organizing For America’s online service to send letters to editors is beyond ridiculous to suggest actual text and to believe that imploring people to not copy and paste would actually [...]

    define “astroturf” « The Church of the Apocalyptic Kiwi (b4fd43)

  55. BB Key at 39 – Good catch on reminding me of CSPAN. Back in 98 and 99 I had a job on third shift and would get home around 7AM east coast and would listen to the morning call in show on CSPAN while getting breakfast/dinner. Got to the point very quickly where I could recognize at least a half dozen regular callers when such callers were not supposed to repeat. Won’t mention which side of the aisle they reresented. (Also the same people who would call on the conservative line and spam liberal talking points. Brian Lamb would have to cut off fraudulent callers several times a week.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  56. “Not at all like conservative blogs, right?”

    Leviticus – Not in my observation. Usually conservative blogs are not hesitant to write about subjects because they have core principles to measure the subjects against. It contrasts sharply versus the lefty blogs who hesitate to publish until somebody tells them what to say or a community consensus is reached behind the scenes. Tom Maguire has done some good charting on this phenomenon.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  57. [...] el equipo de campaña tiene que decirle qué escribir, esto sí que es confianza en el electorado]. Patterico también cuenta esto, la historia al fin y al cabo la lanzó [...]

    ¿Quién es Ellie Light? ¿Salvará a Obama del naufragio? « Sarah Palin en Español (d9f52e)

  58. So, this is an on-line, interactive version of “Letters to the Editor For Dummies”?

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  59. EVERYONE should be offended by Astroturfing.

    WE – elect people to go to Washington to represent us… to vote our principles and be OUR voice in Congress.

    THEY – (the party machines on both sides) want us to agree with THEIR ideas and give them our blessing to do what THEY think is best for us.

    FAILING THAT – They want to do what they want, PRETENDING they have our blessing. This is the purpose of Astroturfing – to create the FALSE APPEARANCE of broad popular support as a COVER for their self-serving agendas, AGAINST the will of the people.

    I found this in the Huffington Post: “But let’s be real. Obama’s aides are unleashing a grassroots organizing operation, targeting citizens with localized advocacy to pass a single piece of legislation on a tight schedule. ” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ari-melber/breaking-obama-taps-email_b_162572.html
    By definition, a “grassroots movement” starts from the bottom, as a groundswell of public opinion – it can’t be “unleashed” by a few policy wonks at the top.

    This is from last March: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/15/AR2009031501350.html

    The initiation of an Astroturf campaign is an admission that true public support is lacking for their cause. The success of an Astroturf campaign depends on many factors – financial resources of the organizers, marketing skill of promoters, gullibility of its audience, absence of an effective competing idea, and the strength of the promoted idea. Roughly in that order.

    SteveW, Ohio (07beaf)

  60. Usually conservative blogs are not hesitant to write about subjects because they have core principles to measure the subjects against. It contrasts sharply versus the lefty blogs who hesitate to publish until somebody tells them what to say or a community consensus is reached behind the scenes. Tom Maguire has done some good charting on this phenomenon.

    Comment by daleyrocks

    This has been my general impression too. Maybe a few netroots blogs will occasionally say Obama isn’t liberal enough, but there is a strange consistency about certain stories sometimes. It’s obviously behind the scenes. Every now and then, it’s reveals that KOS is paid by Dean, or Soros backs so and so, or there’s a Joun–l-list deal going on.

    But it’s not just that. Fairly moderate or liberal democrats who challenge there readers are automatically assumed to be free thinkers, and therefore, no longer “progressive”. I don’t like Althouse’s blog as much as I used to, but she’s not conservative. She’s considered one by the left because she is critical of Obama sometimes (even though she’s more critical of Mccain and Palin).

    Patterico has had fights with conservative bloggers occasionally, and yet it’s still obvious he’s a conservative.

    So, the consistency behind the scenes that Daley and I detect is just one aspect. Look at the PUMAs… these people are not very forgiving. If you didn’t support Mccain in 2008, you are not considered the devil to the right, but if you didn’t support Obama? You are the devil to the left. There are 100 examples of this tendency.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

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