Now that Sean Hannity’s had his say about the Netroots, make room for the grownups. New Republic senior editor Jonathan Chait has penned a fascinating analysis of the liberal blog message machine, including how it broke from the old New Left mode of street demos and third-party fantasies, modeled itself after the New Right’s intellectual network, and enforces ideological conformity with a discipline unheard of in liberal circles. Of course, Berkeley’s Markos Mouslitsas is front and center, and Chait has some decidedly unflattering things to say about him (Mouslitsas is “almost comically lacking in philosophical depth”). But the story is a measured, thoughtful account of both the Netroots’s frustratingly manichean worldview and its emergence as a powerful force in American politics. Many of us have quietly thought that the era of Berkeley’s stereotypical irrelevance is ending fast; whether that’s good for the country is another question.