The Democratic netroots are really irritating.

First they started a war with the Nevada Democratic Party because the Nevada Dems had the temerity to let Fox News Channel broadcast one of their primary debates. They’re gripe? It would “legitimize” FNC.

Never mind that it would send a couple hours of Democratic politics out over Fox’s airwaves, giving them a chance to reach voters they might never reach otherwise. Even if the Kossacks believe that all Fox viewers are partisan automatons, they’d be pre-empting Fox’s regular programming during that time. Surely they would count a two-hour shutdown of FNC as a good thing?

More irritating, it demonstrates a style over substance ideology in which it doesn’t matter what the broadcast would actually say; all that matters is that it would be said on FNC.

I don’t watch FNC; I don’t watch much television news, period. And I could understand Democrats deciding FNC wasn’t a good venue because it would force Democrats to tune in to a channel they generally dislike if they wanted to see the debate. But one gets the feeling that even if Fox started broadcasting flower-children videos tomorrow, the netroots would oppose it because it was on FNC.

At least Air America found some humor in the situation, offering to broadcast Republican primary debates. It’ll be interesting to see if the Republicans agree — although, ideology aside, Air America’s tiny listenership offers a valid reason to reject the offer.

The netroots then followed up that idiocy with a campaign to demonize moderate Democrats who aren’t sure they support Nancy Pelosi’s “date certain” Iraqi withdrawal bill. They refuse to acknowledge either the political realities Democrats in conservative districts face, or the big tent nature of the Democratic Party, or the principled disagreement about how best to untangle the Iraq mess. Disagree? Fine. Call members of your own party “saboteurs”? Lordy, they sound like Sunni fundamentalists, who consider insufficiently pious Sunnis to be even worse than nonbelievers.

Of such rigid, shallow ideology are failed movements made.

Perhaps they don’t realize how counterproductive their actions are to their own party. Those members they call “saboteurs” are the only reason Democrats control Congress. And that control is the only reason we’re finally starting to see movement and get answers on a long list of issues that were buried during the long years of one-party Republican rule. Ideological purity may be nice, but it’s not the way the real world works. Thank God.

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