In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 22, 2007 / 8 Elul, 5767

Popping the Left's Internet bubble

By Jonah Goldberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "The government and the corporate media," declares a prominent activist Web site, have created a "propaganda machine whose goal is to continue the expansion of a (fascist) state and to control every aspect of our lives and fortunes."

Sounds like any one of a bajillion posts on a left-wing "netroots" Web site these days, right?

Wrong. It's from 1998. And I cheated a little. I've doctored the quote. "Fascist" was originally "collective." The activist Web site? The populist-conservative FreeRepublic.com.

The short history of the Internet is already long enough to repeat itself. In dog years, I'm 288, but in Internet years, I'm Methuselah. I was the founding editor of National Review Online in 1998 (and before that, I worked down the hall from this quirky Microsoft start-up called Slate).

Back in those days, when the Internet ran on a series of pneumatic tubes and hemp-rope pulleys, conservatives were patting themselves on the back for seizing the commanding heights of the digital frontier. The argument was that because the Liberal Industrial Complex maintained a stranglehold on the Old Media, conservatives had, with ninja-like stealth, mastered the fledgling forms: direct mail, talk radio, cable news and, now, Al Gore's newfangled invention, the Internet.

"There's no question that conservatives have become much more sophisticated and much more aggressive in taking their message to the media, to radio talk shows, through the Internet, through faxes, through all kinds of activist groups and, in some cases, are directly broadcasting their message through conservative cable TV networks, for example," explained Washington Post and CNN media critic Howard Kurtz in 1995. "The Democratic side doesn't seem to have anything comparable in this realm."

But news clips like that have yellowed like a dowager's fingernails. Today, we're constantly told not only that it's liberals who have conquered the Internet but that it was their destiny to do so.

In May, the Washington Post suggested that conservatives are losing the battle for the Web because of the very "nature of the Republican Party and its traditional discipline," which is "the antithesis of the often chaotic, bottom-up, user-generated atmosphere of the Internet."

More recently, Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's 2004 campaign manager, described the Web as "a medium that abhors command and control." He continued: "Two guesses: Which party is really good at command and control? The Republican Party. Which isn't? The Democratic Party."

Translation: Progressives are better at the Web because the Web is all about hangin' loose, letting your freak flag fly and stickin' it to the Man, and that's what freedom-loving liberals are all about. "Web 2.0," we are told, is ushering in a "new politics" of participatory democracy and a new Progressive age.

Feh. "Web 2.0" is a nothing but a buzz phrase designed to make money for people who use phrases like "Web 2.0." There's no disputing that liberals have taken the lead on the Web in recent years. Sites such as Daily Kos and Moveon.org have become formidable clearinghouses for activism and fundraising. As a result, every Democratic presidential candidate kowtows to the netroots crowd. It's also true that the Republican National Committee and conservative activists are playing catch-up.

But enough with the metaphysical mumbo jumbo about how the Web and liberalism were made for each other. The real story is much simpler: Liberalism is having a nice moment — largely because the Republican president and the Iraq war are very unpopular.

The energy is on liberalism's side — and that translates into success in the digital world. Conservative media and FreeRepublic-style activists prospered in the Clinton 1990s because that's when they were on offense. And it's always more exciting — and easier — to be on offense. In the Bush years, it's the other way around.

In 2000, John McCain was hailed as a genius for raising a lot of money on the Web. Four years later, Howard Dean was a revolutionary for the same reason (before spectacularly losing the Democratic nomination). Today, Barack Obama is dazzling the pundits by raising huge amounts on the Web.

What do these campaigns have in common? Brilliant Web gurus and shiny Web 2.0 warp drives? No. The secret ingredient is exciting, popular candidates. Ask yourself: if Sen. Christopher Dodd appropriated Obama's or Hillary Clinton's Web operation, would we now be talking of the Dodd juggernaut?

Lastly, the netrooters claim that the Web is hostile to established power. They also claim that we're on the cusp of some grand progressive era in which the differences between the U.S. and Canada will be some spellings and the use of "eh." Well, if that turns out to be true (I doubt it), you can be sure that soon enough we'll be talking about the right's dominance of the Web. Again.

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