NICK GILLESPIE: “With the possible exception of the Republicans, is there a major political party more stupefyingly brain-dead than the Democrats? That’s the ultimate takeaway from The Argument, Matt Bai’s sharply written, exhaustively reported and thoroughly depressing account of ‘billionaires, bloggers, and the battle to remake Democratic politics’ along unabashedly ‘progressive’ (read: New Deal and Great Society) lines. Well-financed and influential groups ranging from the Democracy Alliance to the New Democrat Network to may be taking over the Democratic Party, he says, but they are not doing the heavy thinking that will fundamentally transform politics — unlike the free-market, small-government groups formed in the wake of Barry Goldwater’s historic loss in the 1964 presidential race.”

Meanwhile, Bai’s book doesn’t seem to be very popular with the netroots crowd.