Why Do Liberal Blogs Have More Influence?
Professor Bainbridge makes an interesting point about conservative bloggers:
I have the distinct impression that the Democratic Party sees the liberal blogosphere as being inside the tent, while the Republican Party views the conservative blogosphere as being somewhere between an irrelevance and a minor nuisance. Maybe this is true, at least in part, because many prominent “conservative” bloggers (Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Reynolds, Stephen Green, and Eugene Volokh spring to mind) are not exactly stalwart Republican party loyalists but rather libertarians (or whatever) who put routinely put their principles ahead of party interests. Alternatively, maybe the Democrats have just decided to follow Lyndon Johnson’s advice about keeping your critics inside the tent peeing out rather than outside the tent peeing in.
I’m going to stick my neck out on this one and argue that this has more to do with the demographics of the party than anybody else. Liberals tend to be younger. Younger people tend to be more tech-savvy.
Also, the liberals I worked with in the Dean campaign were extremely tech-savvy. They visited the Dean blog every single day and they used online tools like Meetup.com to bring more people into the fray. I haven’t seen this same savvy from the conservatives I’ve met.
So perhaps the conservative/libertarian bloggers suffer for the simple reason that the people who seem to matter the most in the current conservative hierachy, the religious right, aren’t really into reading blogs?
Also, since the Dems aren’t in power, perhaps they’re more inclined to listen to their base. The blogosphere delivers a daily pulse on what’s going on and where the prevailing opinions lie within the liberal body politic. Conservatives haven’t really had to worry that much about this since their strategy has been working and they’ve been gaining more seats.
In other words, if it’s not broke don’t fix it.
However, all political engines need a tune-up, and I think the conservative noise machine could need one in very short order, especially with Bush’s number dipping into the 30s.