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Pick a side, Digby

One more time, with feeling:


Back when the 2008 primary season started to heat up, DailyKos purged its Hillary Clinton supporters.  Oh, yes it did, you doubting Thomasinas.  You can’t believe that a “news site” like DailyKos would be involved in hurrying them off the site as quickly as it possibly could to make way for the Obama ads but it did.  And it wasn’t nice about it.  I was one of the first victims.  That’s why I’m here at this blog.  And to be honest, I never regretted it.  But as we were picked off, one by one, Hillary’s supporters got less of a voice in the left blogosphere.  Pretty soon, a Democratic party loyalist got the distinct impression that the entire party was converting to Barack Obama with all of the fervor of a religious reformation.  The jihad quickly spread to other blogs and the comment threads filled up with Obama zealots who were enthusiastic about killing the infidels.  Some of those Hillary supporters fled to this blog and a few others.  We weren’t welcome anywhere else.  And mind you, we’re only talking about February of 2008.  It happened quickly and thoroughly, almost as if someone had given marching orders for sites to be flooded with anti-Hillary rhetoric.

Digby held out for awhile but even she succumbed.  In the book, the Bloggers on the Bus by Eric Boehlert, Digby confesses that she was “chickenshit”, intimidated by her commenters and somewhat dependent on ad revenue.  Ok, fine.  We get it.  It took her by surprise four years ago.

But what is her excuse now for being a Doormat Democrat and not holding the party accountable for its rampant misogyny and sexism?  Believe me, I hate to be doing this, pointing out the party’s ugly history, but it isn’t doing enough to combat the crazy assholes on the right.  It is the Democratic party’s feet we need to hold to the fire, not the Republicans.  The Republicans wouldn’t have been able to get this far if the gates weren’t already down to let the barbarian horde in.  Where have the Democrats been for the past decade?

And what is Digby’s role in this?  I’ve got a problem with her co-writer, thereisnospoon.  Back in the Great Purge of DailyKos 2008, right in the middle of the Rec List Hostage Crisis, blogger Alegre, who was a well respected Hillary blogger on DailyKos, got fed up with the pressure to convert and decided to stage a “writer’s strike”.  It was symbolic, of course, but its purpose was to call attention to the way that Hillary voices were being marginalized and persecuted on the largest and most influential group blog.  Markos made fun of her.  (nice going, Markos.  How very impartial)

Alegre’s strike post got a lot of comments.  Let me just highlight one:

Don’t let the door hit you (39+ / 0-)
on the ass on your way out.

I have not been posting much or commenting much in the past months, but I have been reading almost everything.

You are propagating baseless, self-serving, inaccurate, and whiny meme’s on a regular basis.

You smear and deride with the worst of the lot, and you expect people to overlook your own behavior?

Spare us the drama.


The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

by RedDan on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 05:26:55 PM PDT

straight from the HRC blast faxes (4+ / 0-)
really sad, actually.

Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio’s progressive radio site!

by thereisnospoon on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 05:39:18 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Oh, look!  It’s thereisnospoon, suggesting that Alegre was getting her marching orders from Hillary’s campaign.  We were very fortunate here on The Confluence to be invited to Clinton’s press briefings and got email updates but these were strictly informational.  No one ever asked us to do anything.  I kind of liked the low pressure tactics.  I never felt indoctrinated by Hillary’s campaign and I doubt that Alegre did either.  In fact, when it comes to the writer’s strike on DailyKos, Alegre got that idea from me.

This morning, Atrios pondered why it is that women are told that their issues are a distraction.  It’s always the wimmen.  Why is that?  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because, it doesn’t really serve the purposes of the Democratic party or the Obama administration to rehash old history now, does it?  The last thing they want is an uncomfortable spotlight directed their way so that all the ugliness of four years ago is revealed in all of its glory. “These are not the droids you’re looking for.”  They would much prefer that the Republicans take the blame for all of the wretched mess that happened to women.

But Digby has to take a stand.  What is the role that thereisnospoon plays on her site? The Democrats are never going to do right by us if no one holds them accountable and forces them to act instead of sitting back and letting them bask in undeserved glory.  If you support the Democratic party, no matter what it does or *doesn’t* do, it will not do anything for you.  And the attack on women is so severe that to do nothing and say nothing on your behalf is a crime against your own sex.  That goes for NARAL, NOW, the Feminist Majority, Emily’s List and any other women’s advocacy group that has lost its brass ovaries in the past several decades. They are taking your contributions and giving them to Democratic organizations.  What are they demanding in return?  Why don’t we ask them? If they do not have the courage to stand up for women now, and hold the only party who pretends to care accountable for its actions, then we will continue down this spiral of fewer and fewer rights and less and less respect.

Make the Democrats answerable for all of the less than progressive candidates they are supporting this year.  Make them explain why they are supporting an independent male in Maine rather than a liberal woman.  Force Obama to vigorously defend you.

Women’s groups are not keeping up.  When Occupy is taking to the street, demanding economic equality and non-believers are organizing and demanding recognition as a influential voting bloc at the Reason Rally this coming weekend, women’s groups are timidly hiding behind the Democratic party, hoping it will protect them. They’re still trying to work with the system that screwed them over four years ago. Fuck that shit.  Organize a rally in DC, women.  Get your act together.  No one loves you more than you love yourself.  Let’s stick up for ourselves and make the Democrats court us as aggressively as they court the pro-illegal abortionist lobby.

Make a choice, Digby.  Get rid of your party mole or watch women’s rights get whittled away by the Democrats themselves as they pretend to protect them while doing nothing.  Now is the time, when they are telling us to shut up and sit down, to stand up and raise Hell.

Do I expect Digby to actually do this?  No, I expect that she’ll read this post and that she and her discussion group will laugh about it.  Her conscience will feel a twinge but she won’t act on it because she doesn’t want to alienate herself from the group.  Right, Digby?  And they care about women HOW, exactly?

And for those of you ladies who naively think that DailyKos is some innocuous Democratic news site, pay attention: DailyKos is a site that uses thought reform tactics to promote authoritarian Democratic party propaganda.  Whether it started off with this intention is debatable but there is very little doubt in my mind, after having seen it in action in the 2008 election season, that it was exploited by the political campaign operatives and that Markos put his thumb heavily on the scales for the Edwards campaign and then Obama’s campaign.  Alternative voices were purged.  Here are some posts I wrote a few months ago to warn people about the dangers of thought reform in the political blogosphere.

You’ve been Love Bombed



Ok, I think we’re on to something here

Finally, those of you doubting Thomasina’s who are caught completely off guard about what is happening this year and can’t possibly believe that Hillary was done in by her own party, go back to the origins of this blog and read from the beginning.  We followed it very closely.  It is not a pretty story.  You will be disgusted.

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pantsuit

I’ve got a theory that the last thing Republicans want is for the Democrats to start advocating for women.  It suits them just fine that there are so many libertarian and conservative Blue Dog Democrats running for office.  It works in the Republicans’ favor that so many new Democratic candidates are center right.  The minute that the Democratic party starts to get energized and stops sitting on women, the non-religious and labor, the Republicans will be in trouble.  As long as the Democrats take no stand, the Republicans win.

Think about it.

In Defense of the “Emily’s List candidate”

(note from Dkat:  Please welcome our own Wonk the Vote to the front page)

Yesterday on MSNBC during the Ed Shoutz hour, before the big election results were in, Ed posed the following question throughout his show: Is the Massachusetts senate race a referendum on Obama? One of his guests was Salon editor Joan Walsh. With a straight face Joan said that “this is not any kind of a referendum on President Obama, it is a referendum on Martha Coakley.”

After the race was called for Scott Brown, Walsh was on MSNBC again and went further out of her way to take the low road, saying “feminists need to put on their grown-up pants” and “take their lumps.”

Meanwhile, Paul Begala over on CNN one-upped Walsh, chastising Coakley for running “the worst campaign from a Democrat that we’ve seen since I don’t know when… Ms. Coakley mocked Brown for going out to Fenway Park where they were having a hockey game outdoors, and shaking hands. She mocked him for that. She said Curt Schilling, for goodness sakes, was a Yankee fan. You know, just on and on.”

Looking at the actual substance and context of what Coakley said about Fenway Park, it was a sarcastic response to the dismissive notion that she was wasting her time at the inauguration of Kimberly Driscoll, the mayor of Salem. (For the record, Coakley won Salem, 53% to 46%). Still, it was a foot-in-the-mouth remark that did not help her win the PR battle, no doubt. Her “Curt Schilling…another Yankee” gaffe did her no favors, either, and her spokesperson trying to pass that remark off as a “very, very deadpan joke” only highlighted the fact that her campaign was desperate by that point.

None of these missteps, no matter how clumsy they were, is what cost her the election, though.

What these missteps did was reinforce a caricature of Coakley that emerged only after she reversed her position on health reform and said she would vote for the current bill as it stands. That flip was her original electoral sin. THAT was the essence of her “bad campaign.” Once she did that she was up against a tidal wave of voter disaffection that ripped apart her every comment and her every move, and she responded poorly to it. She instantly turned into a deer caught in the headlights, and it wasn’t because she didn’t have it in her to be a good senator or to run a good campaign.

The Obama apologists want to play the Blame Emily’s List card. They think shaming feminists–telling them that Martha ran a a bad campaign so suck it up–is the Get Out of Jail free card for Obama and the rest of the Democrats.

When will the Activist Left work together to support Women when they Make Good in Politics?

There is more to Martha Coakley than the one-dimensional cartoon that Begala and the rest of the mainstream media would like viewers to believe. She is a hard-working woman who has been in public service for 20 years. She is not a poor little lady who doesn’t understand politics, nor is she an elitist shrew who thinks it’s beneath her to connect with voters. She understood the politics of the primary race very well and connected with voters then, even as Caroline Kennedy was saying one of Coakley’s opponents winning would be amazing.

The “bad candidate” rationale for what happened in Massachusetts is inadequate as an explanation, and so is the “local issues” excuse. Emily’s List produced a winning primary candidate (they backed the candidate who won the popular vote in the 2008 primaries too for that matter). It’s the Obama Era of the Democratic party that has created bad electoral conditions for Democratic nominees and made it difficult for liberals to stand on principle. (Even the socialist in the U.S. Senate voted for Obama’s health insurance scam. Way to discredit the right-wing canard that Obama’s terrible policies are synonymous with socialism.)

The one surefire way to avoid becoming the target of local backlash against Obama is to run against Obama’s policies–and in today’s environment where the activist left is split up along deep fault lines (“submit to party unity or else you’re a certain class of politician, voter, or woman”), Democratic nominees do not have the benefit of a ready-made independent fundraising network to take on the Obama machine during a general election yet. Of course they could try to build one, but either way it is an uphill battle and there is no easy path to victory whatever they choose.

The “new kinda politics” that progressives were so giddy about in 2008 is exactly what strong-armed Coakley to cave and reverse her initial position that she would vote against Obamacare. And, we saw the result of that last night. The seat occupied by Ted Kennedy for 47 years has gone to a Republican who won by running against the signature “reform” effort of Barack Obama. Obama has dropped the torch that Kennedy passed to him in 2008. Whether he or any of the Democrats can pick it back up remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t hurt the Obama apologists to take their own lumps and learn from the mistakes the Democrats have made. Either that or they will need to put on their grown-up Depends before they watch the returns in November.

Afternoon Open Thread

It’s a cold and chilly day here in Central PA. Not very “May” like. Days like today make me feel like I’ll never be warm again. We’re going to dinner in about an hour. In the meantime, here are some things to ponder.

Emily’s List founder, Ellen Malcolm, wrote a piece for the Washington Post this morning called Quitters Never Wiin. And it’s true. The Obamaphiles seem to be counting on a strong, persistent demand to get out of the race as the best way of forcing Hillary out. But so what if she doesn’t? Then what? Well, it only means that Obama has to wait longer to wrap it up or not wrap it up at all. And we’re behind her all of the way.

Following up on Anglachel’s and Bringiton’s math, I’d just like to point out another little detail that works against Obama. In the primaries, we see him winning decisively in two scenarios: the state is sparsely populated, has a lot of Republicans and runs caucuses OR the state has a critical mass of African-American voters. In the case of the latter, African-Americans are voting for Obama in overwhelming numbers. They now represent a block for Obama. But even with a block, the difference in delegate counts between Obama and Hillary is pretty small. That means that even with almost every African-American in the country voting for Obama, they can just barely swing it for him and with FL and MI, they can’t even do that. So, what’s going to happen to Obama when that 12% of the population that is concentrated in the greatly non-discriminatory Democratic party now is diluted by independents and the more racially picky Republican party in the general election? They AA population is no longer a critical mass, methinks. Forget ever carrying North Carolina.

This is an open thread.