Friday, May 23, 2008


I'm reading the reports on the mendacious attacks the Bogger Boyz are making on Hillary by completely perverting her comments about RFK.

Rather than weigh in on the current idiocy (which is being handled very nicely by Riverdaughter & Co. over on the Confluence. If you have not read that blog, stop, go there, read and bookmark. I'll be here when you're done.) what I've done is go back in time, to the summer of 2006, when Obama was not such a darling to Left Blogistan. The blow up occurred right around the time of Yearly Kos. Here are a few links:
  • Entitlement and the Deserving Middle Class - June 29. The fury of the netroots over Obama's was making itself known. I prefaced a longer article about Edwards' economic arguments with reference to the spew.
  • Adopting the Frames of the Right - June 30. This is my initial commentary on the brutal attacks launched at Obama for a speech he gave about the role of religious belief in politics.
  • Battle for the Entrenched Power Broker Positions - July 04. While not directly about Obama, it is a commentary on just what game the netroots movers and shakers were playing.
  • Reimagining the Beloved Community - July 05. My commentary on the commentary of Kevin Drum and Ed Kilgore on the attacks upon Obama by the blogosphere.
  • Over the Edge They Go - July 06. Why I gave up reading Digby a long time ago. This assault on Boxer was, for me, a defining moment in understanding the real intent of the Blogger Boyz (and, yes, Digby is one of the "Boyz"), which was to destroy any politician who, in their eyes, was connected to "the DLC", which is their shorthand for the Clintons.
  • The Curious Case of Obama Bashing - July 15. A short note on the optics of what the netroots was continuing to do to Obama, fully two weeks after his original speech.

What is my point here? Namely, that the Left Blogosphere has always behaved like this, they have always swarmed and spewed at their favorite target of hate, the Clintons, and that their embrace of Obama is purely instrumental. They don't give a damn if he can win the general. They are obsessed with preventing the Clintons from returning to power. If he can do that, then they'll be back to bashing him since he will have served his useful purpose.

My other point is to make very deliberate note of the straightforwardly racist sneers aimed at Obama. He was called "Lieberman's boy" (Hell-lo? WTF?!? Racist and gay bashing in one insult?), a demonstration of the failure of affirmative action, accused of "sucking up to massa", and a whole host of other hideous insults in the same blogs where he is now lauded as some kind of demi-god. This was also the election season where Jane Hamsher of FDL posted and refused to take down a photoshopped image of Joe Lieberman in black face standing next to Bill Clinton. The willingness of these bloggers who are so offended by Hillary's "racism" to shovel it out without apology is beyond hypocrisy.

They are jackals.



Teresa said...

I don't know if you realize it, but the blackface picture is still around.

Here's a link to it via Slate Magazine.

Anglachel said...

Thanks, but no thanks. It was disgusting enough to look at the first time. I haven't returned to FDL since that episode.


Anonymous said...

I don't doubt the outline of racist behavior the post offers. Five/six blogs is the most I ever read regularly and most of those were and are rather polite and not even remotely racist. This blog is a discovery of the last couple of months.

Tonight I am livid, a vast deviation from the typical dismissal of the burning of the Reichstag practiced daily by the Obama skin heads (i.e. Boyz).

Hillary is not going to be the nominee; there is no single bone in the superdelegades spine. They'll go, by and large, for Obama. We should leave now. We should let Obama run against McCain with the less than half of the Democratic party that supports him.

Supporting Obama will inflict untold damage on the party and the country. We are watching the explosion of a volatile bomb that may end up worse than a run of the mill dictatorship. Let's leave now!

Joseph Cannon said...

I think it is very important to emphasize that the progressive left always despised Bill Clinton. Week after week in the Nation, Alexander Cockburn would repeat absurd tropes that had made their way through the right-wing grist mill.

Xeno said...

Oh, I remember the firestorm over that blackface picture. When I first laid eyes on it I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. When you're Black, you come to expect to encounter a certain amount of racist bullshit even today. But what you don't expect is to see that sort of vicious crap coming from a so-called progressive. Hamsher's non-apology ("Sorry you were offended, you thin-skinned jerks, now let's never mention it again.") only made it worse. In addition, she continued to allow racist posts on FDL. One of her co-bloggers told a Black female blogger she was unintelligent and should "know [her] place", and racist slurs were regularly flung at Michelle Malkin. Malkin is a useless hack and a racist herself, but it's impossible to criticize her behavior while indulging in the same thing. While they were letting their inner bigots play, no one was allowed to point out how negative their actions were, or the impact they were having on progressive causes.

It was strange to me how other "big-name" bloggers circled the wagons and protected Hamsher and FDL from the blowback she deserved. Had a rightwing blogger run such a picture, the outcry on the left would still be reverberating.

Anonymous said...

There is something menacing in the fact that the left blogosphere at core is a hate machine. It was clear to me that Kos and Josh aren't lefties; their behavior was one of brown shirts rather than May day marchers. But I didn't know that this behavior goes way back. I thought that Obama pushed them over the edge.

Is there any left left? Are we, by and large, a nation Republican dotted by isolated surviving lefties? Is Obama the first to make peace with this reality? If that's the case, why would we prefer Obama over McCain; the latter seems a little more decent (kind of).

NĂ¡mo Mandos said...

So, I'm a little surprised that the dislike of the Clintons by the left blogosphere is news around here.

A lot of the left blogosphere blames Bill Clinton's political tactics and accomodations for leaving left-leaning Democrats in a perpetually weak position. And the Kosinoids have never hid the fact that they believed that the Clintons' take on campaign strategy might have won two elections but only at the expense of future elections.

I'm not convinced that they're entirely wrong, but it's not the reason why I'm suspicious of Obama: I simply dislike the fact that his campaign relies on huge amounts of magical thinking to overcome his negatives. The biggest piece of magical thinking is the Unity Pony which just makes me break out in hives.

However, if it turns out that in a hypothetical future after Obama wins the nomination, they'll turn against him, well, then, they'll also gain a bit of my respect back. I have a certain amount of love for people who bite the hand that feeds them.

gendergappers said...

At first read, I think you've done an injustice to Jackals.

Sure they have their faults but also have some redeaming virtues - the hate bloggers have none.

They are pure evil - a state of man - but not the so-called lower animals.

grayslady said...

Thanks, Anglachel, for being one of the havens of sanity and intelligence. I've long since stopped reading the jackal blogs. Alas, the pack mentality has infiltrated the traditional media, as well.

I remember when Josh Marshall single-handedly exposed the U.S. attorney scandal, providing the kind of investigative journalism that is usually lacking in the traditional press. Now, it's all hatred and outrage. I don't see how the blogosphere can ever be taken seriously again as the answer to the failings of the Fourth Estate.

orionATL said...

i have to say, anglachel, that i am astonished to read your comment on some of the great names in weblog history (short as it is).

i concur with many of your criticisms of these worthies.

for me, though, it is not any perpetual attack on the clintons that leaves me cold about these weblogs.

it is that they are a self-congratulatory clique, acting as a mob on occasion.

now a different metaphor comes to mind:

these socially interconnected weblog maestros are like a line of elephants at the circus. going round and round the ring, one truck entwined around the tail in front of it. another trunk entwined around the tail in front of it. round and round.


perhaps the metaphor of a troop of baboons endlessly preening and grooming each other, praising each others wisdom and style, the accuracy or merit of which praise often eludes me.


to use a derogatory from the vocabulary of scorn they themselves developed,

these weblog maestros are just another, the newest, set of cocktail weenie eaters.

orionATL said...

i particularly enjoyed reimagining the beloved community and christ among the partisans. garry wills is such a thoughtful, no b.s writer. he works to keep religion from being engulfed by politics.

wethepeople08 said...

Thanks, Anglachel. I've had the sense for some time that the blogger boyz are animalistic in their behavior - jackals captures it perfectly.

FlipYrWhig said...

orionATL -- that pattern of animal behavior is precisely what the Corrente term "lek" names so well, IMHO. (See the Wikipedia entry: Lek [mating area].)

Here's a teaser:

"A lek is a gathering of males, of certain animal species, for the purposes of competitive mating display. Leks assemble before and during the breeding season, on a daily basis. The same group of males meet at a traditional place and take up the same individual positions on an arena, each occupying and defending a small territory or court. Intermittently or continuously, they spar individually with their neighbors or put on extravagant visual or aural displays (mating "dances" or gymnastics, plumage displays, vocal challenges, etc.)."

If that doesn't describe the ceaseless, histrionically puffed-up feather-flapping outrage of Marshall, Kos, Aravosis and their regular comments, I don't know what does.

orionATL said...

flip -

well i'll be damned.

when lambert used that term in one of her headings yesterday, i wondered what in the world it meant.

now i know.

i have to admit to being completely out of touch with, maybe oblivious to would more accurate, weblog lingo and mores.

thanks a bunch for the tip.

p.s. i hate the word "blog". it is one of the ugliest words ever added to the english language, worse even than "plethora".

i type "weblog" when i am paying attention, but then, alas, i sometimes slip and use "blog".

you can remain apart from your culture and society only so much.

FlipYrWhig said...

orion -- corrente was the site of the creation of the term "lek," and it hasn't yet been picked up anywhere else, really. So it's not slang -- maybe one day, if we're lucky! But it's perfect, isn't it?

What I like is that it's also the word for the place where the displays happen. So you can say, Man, that stupid RFK non-story is all over the lek today! Or, well, maybe not. But I enjoy it.

Unknown said...

Jane Hamsher has not endorsed Obama or Clinton. She has also remained largely neutral in this primary. Using her as typical of the blogosphere attacking Obama is simply incorrect.

As for Bill, this is the man who passed NAFTA and gutted welfare. There are plenty of reasons to dislike Bill just as there are reasons to like him.

Neither Hillary nor Obama is particularly liberal, progressive or left wing although of the two Hillary is moderately more left. What distresses me isn't that people dislike Clinton, it's the intensity of the dislike and the unwillingness to grant her any virtues at all. But that is not something FDL (which yes, I write for, which is why I know, because I have read it since 2 years ago) has been all that guilty of and certainly not paradigmatic of. Try Americablog, or DKos or any of a number of other places.