Atrios asked an interesting question last night. How many democratic pundits identify themselves as the base? Among those who would identify themselves with the base, how many would be disowned by the party leadership?
Michael Moore springs to mind -- he's unapologetically grass-roots liberalism at its sartorial shabbiest. But can you imagine Harry Reid sitting down for an interview with Moore?
Al Franken is a rising voice on the left, but he's an avowed DLC Democrat. At least he was while Rush Limbaugh was a Big, Fat Idiot. Franken speaks to the base daily -- but does he speak for and as the base?
Take a look at our local scene. Would Nick Coleman identify himself with the Democratic base? Even if he would, would Janet Robert have let him proclaim such a thing on the air?
The City Pages reported in August:
"Gays, guns, and abortion" were off-limits, Coleman says. And he says he was expected to minimize the airtime he devoted to the war in Iraq, which he claims Robert supports.
The one progressive radio station in the Twin Cities was more or less barred from discussing the key issues of the day?
In short, Atrios highlights an important point, but it's not just about identification. Do liberal leaders share liberal values? What the heck do they believe in, anyway?