Friday, May 30, 2008

It Takes a Village

Once in a while, a comment thread is far, far more interesting than the original post.

That happened yesterday on TalkLeft when BTD posted "Document the Atrocities," a short snark at Atrios/Duncan Black (Eschaton) specifically and the Blogger Boyz generally, about the way they no longer challenge the MSM, and giving props to the Incomparable Bob Somerby for always calling the media (major and minor) on their lies, smears, bullshit, and general mendacity.

Bob Somerby of Daily Howler should be a daily must-read for anyone who calls herself a liberal, so be sure to read his latest offering now. I'll be waiting when you get back.

OK, now that you've just seen an example of how media criticism should be done, go and read the comment thread for the TalkLeft post. In particular, look for a poster called Seymour Glass and another (down the thread a ways) called Donald from Hawaii. Glass is a powerhouse in this thread, talking about Bob Somerby, Al Gore, the media whores and the Blogger Boyz. Here for me is the key post. It came in response to someone lamenting that Somerby doesn't get invited to the right cocktail parties and has no influence on the media:

Bob could have gone to those Parties

(but he never ever would . (I tried to take him)

unlike Josh Marshall or Atrios or Kos or everyone else - Bob doesnt take or solicit money for his daily grind and howl.

But he does bite those who suck up to our enemies - and BOY - do they HATE that.

All the JR Big bloggers like the Ezra and the Atlantic Boys...

theyre all just dreaming of jobs at the wash post or the ny times and hell, they wet themselves when they get invited over to do hardball or any other cdable stupid fest.

Our lefty world was getting better at understanding JUST how bad our media was - but when the Obama campaign picked up the medias scripts and ran with them
- I knew then - that a Obama win would guarantee the dominance of this bad media for at least another decade.

the ONLY really good thing about the "netroots' was its effect on the media - and now that obama has merged his campaign with it and 95% of the "prog Dem blogs....

forgetabout it....

This is the achilles heel of the blogosphere, not so much being bought out as being seduced, having your ego stroked, being invited inside the magic circle where the sheer force of your intellect and the brilliance of your insight will get the big talking heads on TV or the colunists and editors from the Big Papers to frown, deep in thought, and then grudgingly admit that you are right, by golly. See, see, look, I'm having an impact on the MSM! Look how important I am! Look how powerful I am!

While I'm sure there is a good dose of careerism at work, ego has carried them to their current extreme. I don't even want to call them Media Whores because a good whore knows that this is a cash transaction, not a courtship. They are just giving it away, so caught up in the adreneline rush that accompanies their power trip.

This was the dynamic I saw back with Atrios and Hamsher (and not just them) over Ned Lamont. The combination of the intensely personal hatred of Joe Lieberman and their non-stop pimping of Lamont, complete in miniature with all of the disdain, arrogance and contempt we now see on a much wider scale throughout the blogosphere. *We* are going to pick the winner. *We* are the ones calling the shots. *They* (everyone they disliked in the Democratic Party, which was everyone who had some connection to the Cintons, including at that time Obama) were going to learn a lesson about the all powerful Internets. *We* netroots are the new core of the Party and *they* will have to reckon with us. Instead, they promoted a milquetoast candidate in an ineffectual campaign, sucked the air and money out of truly competitive contests (like the one here in San Diego between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray) that would have added to Democratic power in Congress, and set up the battle lines for the divisions we see today.

There may be some politicians who were afraid of the bloggers after that fiasco, but not many. The power brokers instantly saw that they could get free 27/7/365 attacks on Hillary out of the Boyz and planned accordingly. I could see the writing on the wall even then.

What has taken even me by surprise is the degree to which the Blogger Boyz have rushed to coordinate thier "Kill Hill" campaign with their alleged foes, the major media outlets and figures. They are so focused on this one objective that they have completely lost sight of the real issues in not just the Democratic campaign, but in the Republican one. For example, who will McCain pick as his VP? What can that tell us about how he will position himself in the general? What does it mean that the Republicans are rolling out a new issue in the state initiatives, where are they being rolled out and why are they chosing this particular issue, given events of the last two years?

They have assisted the MSM is conducting non-stop character assassinations, setting a tone for the GE that they will not be able to call back. The over-the-top defense of their own candidate in their hysteria to defeat the "Monster" has only left Obama exposed, allowing the Right to use fairly mild attacks to do some effective work. They have willingly allowed themselves to be manipulated by both a political campaign and by the self-interested MSM, and have lost most of their credibility in the doing.

Crashing the gates? Not so much. More like getting invited to the big soiree in the Village country club.



Andre said...

I've read Atrios since he started in 2002, and contributed to him twice, and startet reading Josh and Kos shortly thereafter. I contributed to Josh twice also, and while I was conversing with him by email as to why I supported Clinton, he was posting his idiotic "Queen of Pennsylvania" post. I think that makes him a real jerk, but I have no trust in blogs now, and sorry, present company isn't necessarily excluded.

orionATL said...

this is not intended as an excuse;

i think it is a very reasonable explanation.

these guys (and they are mostly guys) are YOUNG.

they are excited about what they are doing.

they feel like they are in the midst of big happenings, acting sophisticated.

they love to sound hip - they employ cute, slang, phraseology.

they love being recognized in the corporate media.

they love to be in agreement with each other, like a flock of birds roosting in a tree in the evening and and cooing to each other.

they appear smart and clever and savvy.

but they are political babes in the woods who seem to have no sense of the entrapments of power.

babes who don't know s**t about power, political manipulation, and the deep, deep, focused determination of those in real power to hold onto that power.

decades ago, when i was young, i happened into a gov't job, a job i hated, which allowed me to get tickets and partial days off (in fact begged me to get those tickets) to go to the rose garden whenever richard nixon had an honored guest, e.g. indira ghandi.

i was really impressed.

to do this job, i also received airplane tickets at gov't expense to travel inside or outside the country.

i was really impressed.

now i'm older, a lot older.

you could not pay me in gold bullion to do that job.

i wish some of the weblog world posters who get all the media attention were the older posters.

they might be a lot tougher about bribery, aka enticements, aka media publicity.

they might prove not so much susceptible to the lure of crafting a "powerhero" public persona.

RayN said...

Yes, it's interesting that the pillorying of Hillary has been carried out mainly by young and wannabe young men. It reminds me of a remark Anglachel floated recently, about how this reminds her somehow of an honor killing.

Who carries out honor killings? Sometimes it's the elders, but very often it's young men--a girl's cousins or brothers. And of course it's done to a girl who in some way steps out of line. The world is a much different place than it was 50 years ago, and some of the changes--reliable contraception, the change of the economy from a base in physical labor to intellectual labor--some of these changes are allowing women to slip slowly but surely out of the control of men. It infuriates some people, most particularly young men, who have the most to lose.

So Anglachel, you're right. This is a metaphorical honor killing--the nearest our young men can get to publicly stoning an uppity woman.

Anonymous said...

I've been offered money, as I'm sure you have. And sometimes, the flattery is hard to resist. But I am determined to keep my voice free and independent. I am grateful for the bloggers who choose to write with me. It seems like we are all on the same page in maintaining our independence. It is very easy to let one's ego get too big and we must be on our guard. Free speech must remain "free". There is still a place for altruism.

cal1942 said...

Several months before the first primary I determined that KOS regarded himself a great kingmaker. There seemed to be no amount of bandwidth adequate to transmit a complete picture of his ego. It's apparently grown worse since he appears to believe that anyone who disagrees with him is disturbed. A former Republican who says he's a Libertarian; I wonder how many of the rubes who comment on his site understand that a Libertarian is simply a far right Republican who wants to do drugs?

TPM was 2nd on my daily trip. Marshall's work on the threat to Social Security was good but following that he seemed to lose control of his ego. Always friendly with DLCers it was no surprise he favored Obama, it was the over the top CDS, the complete loss of integrity that lost my hits.

There is a common thread connecting some of the boyz beyond CDS. Many were Republican or DLC and some (Marshall, Yglesias, Drumm) supported the invasion of Iraq.

The a-list boyz have lost all credibility in my judgement. Their fall from grace has forced me to take a closer look at all blogs. It's like Somerby and the late great immortal Media Whores Online sharpened my view of the media and now the perfidy of the boyz has sharpened my view of the blogs.

Cathy said...

Anglachel, please link back to your earlier post about affirmative action and the blogger boyz. You astutely noted that the only affirmative action threat they actually feared came from women.

The other point of origin is the flame wars of internet. The internet allows anonymity for cowards, rapid release of invective, and distance from the target. Makes dehumanizing someone so much easier.

Andre said...

Well, yea, at 64 I'm having a bit of difficulty with the 'word verification' needed for posting, but I'm coming around to that thing about 'youth' and how it's wasted on the young. I think maybe I could say "I don't trust" any blogger "under" 40! They are all so god dam sure of everything. Of course now I am exactly opposite of that, in that I am sure of nothing! What put me in this frame of mind is going to a blog and reading comments about how someone born in the 30's hasn't got a clue about 'racism' or how stupid the use of the term 'reverse racism' is. Sounds like Atrios but it isn't.

Thirty five years ago, in one of my first vote castings, I labored about voting for a gentleman name Ed Brooke for US Senate. He was a Republican but (something we rarely see now) liberal. I was a true Dem, so I was concerned, even though he was good for this state. I eventually voted for him, one of two Republican votes I've cast in my life, but it never entered my decision process that he was AA. But of course I was born in the 40's.

This year may be my third R vote.

Anglachel said...

RD - Nah, nobody's offered me one red cent, the cheap bastards. I think I swear too god damn much and don't have a dick. [checks] Nope, still no dick.

cal1942, Yup, I've written about the common support for the Iraq War, too. The Bad Mother.

andre, whether you "trust" me is irrelevant to what I write. In a few months, I'll be back down to 2 visitors a day but I'll be writing on the same things.

Orion, Kevin Drum is a retiree, not a young guy, so should know better. I've emailed him directly and told him to stop being such an enabler of the extreme bullshit. I am, however, impressed that you got to see dignitaries in the Rose Garden.

Cathy, I can't find that post.


Pat Johnson said...

My fear is that those blogs who have been Hillary friendly will just as easily turn off the spigot and find a seat on the Obama Express as soon as Tuesday. The rationale will be that we need to get a Dem into the WH at any cost so just put your feeling aside and vote for BHO.

Since January I have found myself going to fewer blogs since the insults that have been included in the postings were ridiculous. But I am beginning to see a tilt in the
"let's get together for the sake of the party" meme I am probably going to end up more limited as a result.

What do I owe the party? I have been a member for over 40 years, a true believer of what it stood for. I have carried signs, driven people to the polls, made calls, held coffee hours, licked envelopes, marched for civil rights and a woman's right to choose. I am now being told my time is over and to step aside. But before I do, don't forget to vote for a man I truly have come to dislike. No, I cannot.

The party promised change in 2006 but the took impeachment off the table, gave into Bush on everything he asked for, appointed Alito and Roberts to the bench, pushed Mukasey through with little effort, and failed to halt the spending on a war that may have saved another hundred lives. I owe this party nothing.

As for Bob Somerby, I read him faithfully each day along with your insightful and well researched columns. Your intelligence is amazing and I thank you for the perspective you bring to the blog.
It is refreshing. Thanks.

Shainzona said...

Pat Johnson: I have the same fear...I sense that some of HRC's supporters are ready to sing Kumbaya...and I am not. In fact, I am more resolved than ever to stop the unity pony in its tracks.

"What do I owe the party? I have been a member for over 40 years, a true believer of what it stood for. I have carried signs, driven people to the polls, made calls, held coffee hours, licked envelopes, marched for civil rights and a woman's right to choose. I am now being told my time is over and to step aside. But before I do, don't forget to vote for a man I truly have come to dislike. No, I cannot."

Me, neither. I hope that the group of us who feel this way will band together/stick together into November and beyond.

Andre: word takes me at least two tries and I'm only 62!

And Anglachel, I guess I'm going to be one of your two visitors in a couple of months...but I'll bet you're going to be surprised how many of us stick around!

CognitiveDissonance said...

I'll also be one of those who stick around. It's rare these days to find more than a handful of blogs that aren't just all regurgitating the same talking points. Or reporting on the same news with the same point of view. Your blog shows an intelligence I don't find anywhere else, particularly the ability to put what is happening today into an historical context. That is something glaringly missing at the Boyz Blogs.

salmonrising said...

Well, you'll have at least 3 readers, including this newbie. I found this whole world of proClinton websites because you all link to each other, and for that I am thankful. I had deleted so many blogs from my bookmarks that I was reduced to reading the business blogs and foreign newspapers before finding these sites. Ditto for AirObama.( Be careful what you wish for, I've decided. The leftwing noise machine displays the same pathologies as that on the right.) Meanwhile, my blood pressure has returned to normal by switching my listening to, Portland's fine 24/7 live streaming classical music station.
thanks for your work...hope hospital saga has had a positive outcome.

Cathy said...

Aha, I knew that I still had it. (I forwarded it to my friends when it came out. See below.) Your original post was called weeding out the competition and posted it sometime around April 10, 2008.

How unsurprising that the second post in my email belonged to Riverdaughter. Finding you two has been a slight balm among all the bitterness.

>>These two pieces are really good. The first explains why so many progressive men are opposing Hillary (hint think sandbox). It's for anyone who has ever dealt with misogyny. The follow up comments are also revealing so check out

Anonymous said...

As much as I hate a love-fest... but I LOVE this site! Your Journal and The Daily Howler (okay - Jon Swift too)are among the few sane harbours left. I have lurked here for ages and will continue to do so, and I don't even know what "word verification" is, (oh, that green thing - okay!) Thank you for all you do and all you are.

Anonymous said...

It was more along the lines of, "where is your contribution button? I want to send you something." This from many readers earlier on. Not so much anymore. And I too lack a dick. But what is really sad is that i've purged so many blogs from my reading list that i find myself going to my own blog for information. And that has forced me to keep my content fresh just so I'll have something to keep myself entertained. It's a bit like mental masturbation.

CMike said...

Cal1942 writes:

TPM was 2nd on my daily trip. Marshall's work on the threat to Social Security was good but following that he seemed to lose control of his ego.

For the purpose of paying a tribute to Bob Somerby, I'll use your comment as an excuse to take this thread a bit off course.

Throughout the 90s conservatives ever more boldly sold the notion that Social Security was a doomed system on the road to insolvency. Two important figures, heroes really, in the left's push back were Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot. Those two were the academics who, if I understand the story correctly, called out Paul Krugman when he was speaking on the wrong side of the issue in the late 90s.

Krugman concedes that, in this matter, he got caught out parroting the conventional wisdom without performing his own due diligence. The influential Krugman thereafter became the zealous defender of the current Social Security system that he is to this day.

It would be my guess that Josh Marshall first began learning about the Social Security debate even before Paul Krugman began challenging George W. Bush for his fuzzy math during the 2000 campaign. Marshall, who had helped pay his way through school by designing web sites, no doubt was reading the work of a particular blogger in the late 90s -- that's right, in the late 90s.

Here is what Bob Somerby was blogging about the subject long ago:
The Daily Howler
Caveat lector

15 September 1999

All week, we've looked at major Washington scribes bollixed by simple fiscal topics. The lockbox, the surplus, our current tax rates—it's a steady stream of misstatement and error. And the Medicare mess of 1995-96 remains a tribute to fiscal confusion.

But the granddaddy of them all for press fiscal follies? It's long been Social Security. Ever since the so-called "trust fund" came on the scene, designed to bolster the program's long-term prospects, the press corps has virtually made a living creating confusion about SS. Our favorite example?

In April 1998, a great debate about Social Security was about to start, and five major papers covered a highly-publicized forum at which President Clinton discussed SS with the public.

When the SS forum in Kansas City took place, THE DAILY HOWLER's spectacular World Headquarters had just been opened for business. Our excited young analysts were starting the work that continues right up to the present.

And when our analysts spied the various articles describing the president's Kansas City event, they quickly saw that major work lay ahead in this crucial area. Indeed, anyone who reviewed the work of the five major papers would have seen why SS has long been so opaque.

The papers agreed that SS was OK now. They agreed that a problem lay ahead. But what was the problem? The papers explained it in a bewildering variety of ways. Two said the problem began in 2012; the Wall Street Journal said 2019. The New York Times said the problem began in the year 2029.

And what exactly was the problem? Well, that was remarkably tangled up too. If you read one paper, you thought you knew. If you read two papers, you were no longer sure.

We filed two dispatches, in those earliest days, assuming we'd follow this great debate closely. When we founded the HOWLER, we already knew how much confusion pervades fiscal reporting.

Of course, the great SS debate never really took place—as a nation, we took a different option. We decided to spend the year clowning around, chatting on Everything Monica.

We strongly suggest that you read the two pieces we filed back in April '98. We think they provide a striking look at the confusion surrounding SS.

And by the way—these articles remind us of the basic advice we give school kids this time of year. We tell the kids to stop clowning around, and above all, get back to the basics.


There's no one on the web who has done a better or more thorough job explaining the Social Security controversy to the layman than Somerby. And there's really no one else at all who has warned of the rhetorical tricks the corporatist talking heads use in trying to undermine the system.

Here's Somerby discussing Social Security issues.

Arabella Trefoil said...

I come here every day. When I read anglachel's words, I say "yes, yes, yes!" I also visit riverdaughter every day.

You and your commenters energize me. I haven't felt so alive and full of hope since the early feminist movement of the 1970's. At 56 years of age, I am an activist again.

That's it. Back to lurking.

Hillary 2008

Erick L. said...

This is one of the best stand-alone posts I've read in a long time. There's a sense of history all the way here (and the reference to Lamont v. Lieberman fiasco was a perfect example). So far as I'm concerned, this entry is a keeper as a May 2008 reference point.

I can accept that some sites are commercial mouthpieces for one agenda of another. But I always thought that the Web 2.0 thing would amount to more than it has, and I find myself switching away from the 'bravado' blogs to those which are more deliberative.

One of the sites that I used to visit regularly lost me before the this primary food fight really got started when he started posting baby pictures. This was jarring to me somehow. I was never sure whether this was an attempt to be folksy, or a signal that more money was needed for the business. Everything about the site seemed pretty professional otherwise, but that seemed to be so "all about me" that I really couldn't accept the place as a go-to news source anymore.

Another site I go to occasionally ran cat pictures from time to time along with the other notes of interest. These were honestly and enjoyably folksy additions to the experience. Unfortunately the website has changed languages, so I don't go there too often anymore. I guess I should buy a 'Teh dictionary' or something.

gendergappers said...

Amazing how talk radio such as AirAmerica has followed [or led] the blogger boyz down the yellow shit road.

AAR has practically merged with NSNBC and swap experts and or pundits.

I've escaped this blather of "BO all the time", and gleefully discovered this blog and River Daughter. I'll be another that stays with you. Thanks so much.

TLE said...

Pat Johnson, I'm in the same boat as you. My bookmarks list got trimmed down from 30 to about 4 in February; it has slowly been built back up, but is so different from the list I used for the past five years.

I have two satellite radio systems, because I bought Sirius first for Air America (they also had something called "Sirius Left," so that was the deciding factor). Then XM grabbed Air America exclusively, and after two months of anxiety, I got XM as well. I listened 8 - 12 hours every day. Last summer I started becoming uneasy. My sister came to town to help me start a business venture, and I would have Air America playing, and I started to notice that I was more and more often embarassed to have her listening to Randi Rhodes. One of the things my sister pointed out was that every host was drilling on one theme: Dennis Kucinich stands for everything we believe in, but HE CAN'T WIN. Her view was: of course he can't win if his supporters insist he can't win. Gradually, we dropped one show at a time, with Rachel Maddow being the last to go. I don't even recognize the intelligent, insightful woman she used to play on radio. Now the radios are always tuned to old-time radio shows or music.

I long ago quit trusting traditional media outlets. I watch no TV news (except occasionally the BBC), and believe the AP (which is almost always the source for every news item printed in any newspaper) only for crime and disaster stories. Even then, I find I really have to wait for days or weeks to feel that I have facts. Google News is my home page, and when I follow a story about politics, I always select foreign news sources to read about what is going on here, because it is the only way to get any semi-objective news about our country anymore.

I agree with you, Pat, as well, about the worm starting to turn regarding "party unity." I see these rumblings, and even my sentimental favorite Bartcop is laying the foundations for "it's got to be a Democrat no matter what." So I have a feeling I'll be revamping my Bookmarks yet again in the near future.

I'm 54 years old. All my life, I've been offered vanilla ice cream or vanilla ice cream. Oh, boy! This time, they are offering us vanilla ice cream vs. vanilla ice cream with chocolate sprinkles! Sorry; I want the banana split. I'm so sick of vanilla ice cream, that if the super sundae is not on the menu, I will go with the orange popsicle. There is always an orange popsicle on the ballot. I leave the rest of the country to decide between sprinkles or no sprinkles.

Unknown said...

There's a lot to think about here, but what I'd specifically like to ask about is, what will an Obama presidency do to progressivism to destroy it? It was mentioned or implied in a few of the comments. Could someone elaborate? (I'm not trolling here. I just want to know what is thought.)

Shainzona said...

k: (speaking only for me - who is definitely not the smart one on this subject here).

First, I don't find Obama to be a progressive at all. Oh you'll tell me his and HRC's policies are the same...but I don't agree AND I don't "feel" them to be the same - and it relates to the conviction of each candidate. For example: pro-choice. BO gets all the "right" grades...but when you listen to him talk, he weasels his comments, leaving room for "compromise". That's when I get nervous about his "present" votes and whether he won't try and play Kumbaya/strategy with MY rights. I simply don't trust him to do what's right...which is often a difficult thing to do.

Second, Obama's advisers are NOT progressives. I have asked repeatedly for a BO supporter to explain Jim Cooper to me and have never gotten a single reply. His behind the scenes advisers are NOT progressive. And since he is (IMHO) a puppet looking for a master, that is a big concern. We don't need another Cheney/Bush presidency.

Third, when I worked in business (successfully, I might add), when we needed a paradigm shift (e.g, needed to move things along and not stand in one place) we "forced" clients into thinking outside of the box, and to not start the process by saying "it can't be done". Obama's "universal" health care program is safe while HRC's is "out there" - maybe tough to achieve in total, but more likely to be progressive than Obama's once Congress plays its game of compromise. We'll be right back "in the box" with Obama's plan (hey, I heard the other day that Dems are already saying that UHC can't happen for a couple of decades yet).

Finally, I fear a repeat of the 2006 Congress with Obama. We were all over the moon at Pelosi and Friends taking "control" and they have been as bad, if not worse, in delivering progressive results. I fear that an Obama presidency will result in a Repug POTUS in 2012 and a Repug congress because nothing progressive will truly happen. We will be back with the sharks for another 8+ years.

Americans want change BUT THEY ALSO WANT SOMETHING TO HAPPEN. I do not believe that Barack Obama is progressive or will actually deliver the goods.

Anna Belle said...

The invite is not nearly enough. It must be an invitation to the party with a big whelping helping of CDS. I read Crashing the Gate, and it reads like Marcos personal "burn book," a teenage phenomenon whereby a person tracks every single little injustice done to them with the intention of paying it back someday.

That's how petty these people are, and how mature. That anyone would want to hand over any keys to anyone even associated with such left-wing Broderism tells us exactly how successful Republicans have been in impacting the culture. It's no mistake that the biggest leaders of this neolibealism are either former Republicans, or Republican sympathizers a la GKJM.

Unknown said...

Shainzona; so the answer will be to support the local races, and walk away from the big one? I'm thinking this is what I'll need to do, because I can't give McCain a mandate.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, anglachel. The so-called "a-list" boys obviously all read and respond to each other, thereby becoming what they once criticized.

I feel kind of bad, by the way, since nobody has offered me any money. As I used to say during the 60's, I'd sell out, but nobody wants to buy me!

orionATL said...

k -

everybody decides for themselves.

i have a great new dem member of the house of reps in my cong district. i hope this election will present him with his second two year term.

if i have to, i'll walk to the polling place to support him.

but i will vote in the presidential only for senator clinton. she has earned my vote with her 12 years as first lady of arkansas, 8 years as first lady of the u.s., a senate career filled with legislation that demonstrating caring, and 30 years of working within the democratic party with a large range of democrats.

that's my presidential candidate.

salmonrising said...

What will Obama Do(WWOD)? I don't think anyone, least of all his supporters, really knows, since His Inspirationalness goes as squirmy as a teenaged wrestler in a clinch when he is asked direct questions. Here is my personal worst case scenario of his impact on progressive agendas: his closeness to Chicago School of Economics/MiltonFreeTraderFriedman/Disaster Capitalism. As Naomi Klein exhaustively documented, these folks deliberately use the "shock" of economic crises to impose the necessary free market medicine upon the "awed" electorate. And, counterintuitively, just as it took a Republican, Nixon, to go to China, it will take a "Democrat" Obama to shred both social security (which is NOT the problem and is fixable) and medicare (which IS a huge problem requiring integration into an overall health care reform to survive). To accomplish this, His Kumbayaness will rely on Blue Dog Democrats and Republicans. Ain't post-partisan politics going to be just wonderful?

orionATL said...

cmike (4:34)-

that was interesting history to read.


CMike said...


Shainzona's response to you covers some important ground. You did read the previous post and thread here at Anglachel's Journal I suppose. Therein you found a problem with Sen. Obama's political vision that a lot of liberals/progressives are worried about.

Missplsd, who is at times a bit of a gadfly around here, made an intriguing comment in that thread:

...I blame law school for Obama's libertarian leanings. Legal education has been in the thrall of behavioral economics for the last couple of decades. It's terrifying how much more attention most young lawyers pay to [incentives] and efficiency when they should be worried about rights and justice.

I, myself, have a more cynical take. I never liked the guy, at least, not since I came to realize what his message was in his Me Note address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. I believe Sen. Obama's core post-partisan philosophy to be that we should all come together and make the advance of his career a stand-in for our own dreams.

Kate Willette said...

ang, i'll still be reading you in 3 months, and hopefully a long time after that.

the women have shown themselves to be smarter and more interesting over the last 6 months than the great majority of the people with dicks.

you, riverdaughter, jeralyn, digby have all shown both integrity and fairness--not to mention good writing.


gendergappers said...

I watched and listened to most of the hearing today. What a clear picture of each candidate emerged from the lips of their presenters: -

One if all for himself, his rights, his votes.

The other is for the voters, their right to vote and have their vote counted.

Just too bad most of the people in this country will not see this presentation. They will just get 20 seconds of reconstituted crap from the Obamamedia.

That Rev. catholic dude was just another brick in the oven that forged Obama, along with Rev. Wright. Do you see a pattern emerging?

Katherine said...

I have a weird corner of optimism in the midst of this madness.

For me, the RFK issue was a point of no return. There is no walking back from that. A political candidate was using money, party establishment and the almost utter collusion of the corporate media to eliminate a rival by accusing her of wanting, encouraging, or even **wanting to commit** a crime. As I read on one blog, a phrase that's stuck with me, "If you'll accept that, what won't you accept?" It's simply unthinkable to me that I would unite with that, full stop.

I had developed a deep cynicism about the online scene, and had concluded that scene was doing nothing more than mirroring and amplifying the points of the corporate media -- and progressives, once upon a time, had been arguing that the corporate media was eroding public discourse and the democratic process. I have come to believe, seeing the circle of community springing up around this blog and others, that I need to re-think my cynicism. I've been influenced by the idea of a new progressive blogosphere community. So, I'll be around when all this current controversy dies down because to me, the work is just beginning. It appears that if an Obama presidency comes to pass, someone, somewhere, will need to attend to the little matter of accountability and checks on power. If the blogging boys of the brave new world did not hold the Obama campaign accountable for circulating the story that Clinton wanted to eliminate a rival by wanting (or **wanting to commit**) a crime of murder, then what will they hold accountable? If they accept this, what else will they accept? And, as salmonrising stated, I have no idea what an Obama administration would actually do, given Obama's branding methodology of all-things-to-all, so there's an unknown quantity of things that the brave new blogging boys might need to "accept."

To me, we're just getting started. I believe more than a few of us will remain. I agree with Arabella -- I'm starting to feel energized by the task, and knowing I'm not alone.

speck said...

Anglachel and others, you have opened my eyes to many things since I started reading here a month or so ago. This makes me happy even while I'm so mad.

The other thing that makes me happy is what people are writing about a "new progressive blogosphere community" as kat said.

Since I'm largely powerless now about the election, I've asked myself what to do with all this energy of my anger. Whoever the next president is won't make that much difference to what I should do, I think. Even if it is Clinton, she'll need to have her feet held to the fire, same as any politician. Don't know yet what I'll do - work on health care? social justice and the environment?

How are others thinking about what to do going forward?

Shainzona said...

gob: I'm going to join some new feminist organization that reflects the outrage that I feel from this primary...and also an organization to bring down and expose the MSM as the vultures that they are.

The press has chosen the Dem nominee. They must be held accountable for this travesty against democracy and the will of the people.

Anonymous said...

I will also contnue to read your posts everyday. I so appreciate your insight. I have had to delete so many bookmarks too. Even some of the humor blogs have become , because of their Hillary hate. I've been so disappointed by some of the comments that I've read- I used to feel a kind of kinship with some of the the regular commenters, and now I just feel angry and sad. So, thanks for being here and hope you remain for a long time.

Katherine said...

Gob, I'm with you -- I've had my eyes opened to so much over the past few months, and it's blogs like Anglachel's that are focussing me on the new possibilities and the fights to come. It's a strange feeling of happiness amidst the anger! I didn't even have the right words for it until I saw the term "PB2.0" over at Corrente -- progressive blogosphere 2.0. I thought that was such a great phrase and captured what I hoped would emerge from the mobilization of our growing online community. It's renewal time.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

yeah, this blog is freakin' awesome. I learned first from this blog that I don't know crap about politics. Don't get me wrong, I knew where I stood ideologically long before I began reading Anglachel. But I didn't see how I fit in as a cog into the political machinery of the Democratic party until I started reading Anglachel.

And oh, I gotta tell ya. She is the perfect exposition of the old saying: "Knowledge is a dangerous thing." The Democratic party used to be able to count on me being on auto-pilot; always reflexively pulling the D-lever for whatever candidate they put in front of me.

No more. And I can honestly say that a lot of it is because of Anglachel. I always had the anger inside me (stupid wind-surfing Kerry); but Anglachel showed me that my anger comes from a legitimate source and freed me to do the unthinkable: VOTE FOR SOMEONE OTHER THAN WHO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY BOSSES TELL ME TO VOTE FOR!

This blog is bad-ass and deep.

Hillary all the goddamn way!!!!