Shaun Kenny: 
If you are a Virginia blogger, chances are that the Webb campaign has an opposition research book on you. Bloggers that made the cut include Chad Dotson , Jim Hoeft , Ben Tribbett , Waldo Jaquith , Josh Chernila , Lowell Feld , Jim Riley , J.C. Wilmore , Jon Henke , and a host of others. These are not your typical background checks either… a significant amount of money was spent crafting the kind of opposition research one would typically find on a candidate running for public office.
It seems as if the Webb campaign made a strategic decision to unleash this opposition research if something damaging came out against their candidate, simply to personally slander the blogger making the claim.
Once source for this information described it as “Nixonian”. Not only were Republican bloggers thouroughly researched, but Democratic allies of Webb as well, in the event they turned on the Webb campaign.
He’s got a number of updates, that I think you will find of interest, too.
I note Henke has responded already, he’s suppsoedly one of the targets. I’m sympathetic to the complaints…. to a point.
But here it is, gang… this stuff is part of the bigtime, as distasteful, and morally questionable as it is. It’s been going on for years. And hardly Nixonian, in the sense that he invented it; it’s been going on far longer… indeed, as long as the country itself has been around. (Good Lord, have you looked at some of the stuff coming out of the political fights of the early 1800’s?)
The amount of whining going on now from the bloggers in question strikes me as out of kilter with the reality of what the press has dealt with… and dealt out… in situations like this, for dozens of generations. Did the bloggers really think themselves protected from such attacks? Did they really consider that when antagonizing the bear, the bear wouldn’t respond?
Oh, by all means, call them out when they pull this nonsense. But spare me the pretense that this is by any means a new thing, or that bloggers, having attained serious visibility in the political world, should be immune to it.