Bloggers: Torture Commission would be good politically. Energy & Climate, or Health, will help Obama's online appeal:

In this week's National Journal poll of political bloggers, the first question was: "Does your party stand to gain or lose politically if a torture commission is established?" While the question generated a fair amount of pushback from both the Left and the Right (in that political concerns should not be the determining factor), the overwhelming vote on both sides was that their party would be much more likely to gain than to lose. On the Right, I was one of the few who voted "lose," although for the anomolous reason that I am one of the few (perhaps the only) Democrat in Right group. I wrote: "Obama loses. The inquiry will consume the nation's political energy, as did Lewinskygate and Watergate. The result would make it harder to move the Democratic agenda forward."

Which is not say that this reason should be decisive in anyone's consideration; most people today agree that pursuing the Watergate investigation was the right thing to do, despite the fact that it consumed the nation's political energy for over a year.

Question 2 was "Which of Obama's policy priorities presents the best opportunity to rally his network of online supporters?" On the Right, 53% said alternative energy/climate change, and 33% said health care. On the Left, 76% said health care, and 18% picked energy/climate. The other choices (budget, reduce wasteful spending, taxes) got hardly any votes. I wrote: "The climate issue appeals to lots of idealistic young people, the core of Obama's online network." If the question had been about Obama's base and interest groups more broadly, I might have voted for health care. I concede that the Left bloggers obviously have a better sense of the desires of their readers; my guess was about the "online" supporters more broadly--such as people who signed up as Obama fans on Facebook, but who are not necessarily regular readers of political blogs.