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The “screaming woman” who confronted Jane Hamsher on C-Span wasn’t actually screaming

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake

I admit I have been warming up to Jane Hamsher a bit in the past couple of weeks because of her strong fight against the abortion language in the health care bill. But apparently I got fooled again. We’ve all read and discussed Jane’s post, “Shaking Off the Hangover of the Primary Wars.” Riverdaughter did a spectacular verbal takedown of Jane’s rationalizing yesterday.

The post itself is troubling enough, but Jane’s comments about Hillary Clinton and her supporters in the thread clearly demonstrate that she (Jane) is not yet ready to take responsibility for actions she took or did not take during the divisive primary fights of 2008.

Many of us were able to see through Obama early in the primary process–after doing our own research on his character and his political experience (or lack thereof). But Jane claims that her site remained neutral throughout the primaries because there were no significant policy differences among the top three candidates, Obama, Clinton, and Edwards.

It’s true that FDL did not publicly endorse a candidate, but the posts and comment sections certainly favored Obama. It’s possible Jane couldn’t control the Axelrod astroturfers and just threw up her hands, as Digby did. But she allowed her comment sections to be infested with abusive language toward Clinton and anyone who defended her. And she banned commenters who complained about the bullying.

Jane writes:

Sophisticated campaigns marketed the candidates as personalities and people became attached to them and felt like they knew them. Everyone who opposed them was the “enemy,” rhetoric was amped up and overheated, identity politics were exploited by both sides as strategic campaign elements and suddenly the blogosphere was a giant pie fight.

We made the decision to stay true to our charter and didn’t take sides, pledging to support the candidate that emerged with the nomination. We believed that once the election was over and we could get back to discussing issues again and evaluating politicians on both sides of the aisle with the same yardstick, we’d be back in our element.

She assumes that everyone who followed the primary battles focused on candidates as personalities rather than looking closely at their characters, policy goals, and personal accomplishments. She could not be more wrong. Most of us didn’t support Hillary Clinton for her personality. I actually began the primaries as an “anyone but Hillary” voter. But her performances in the debates convinced me she was the best candidate. It wasn’t about her personality or about her husband, and it wasn’t about her gender–although I admit I would have liked to see a woman President in my lifetime. I supported Clinton because she showed herself to be smart, knowledgeable, and most of all issue-oriented.

Obama, on the other hand, was all about Obama. He never was specific about issues, he never demonstrated any commitment to Democratic ideology. He admired Ronald Reagan, for heaven’s sake! He cozied up to fundamentalist preachers their anti-abortion, homophobic followers. Most damning of all, it became obvious from his many comments about and to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin that Obama was a misogynist through and through.

I knew Hillary was more conservative than I am, and I knew I probably wouldn’t be happy with her Iraq and Afghanistan policies. But I was even more concerned about domestic issues. All I wanted was a Democrat in the White House who would fight for universal health care and would protect what is left of our social safety net. Instead, thanks to people like Jane and Markos, we ended up with a Republican pretending to be a Democrat–who, if anything is as bad or worse than George W. Bush.

In the discussion thread attached to her post, linked above, Jane posted this comment:

“I had a woman call up and scream at me when I was on CSPAN the other day for all the horrible things Markos and I had done to Hillary Clinton during the primaries, telling me that I had destroyed the Democratic party.

“And I’m like, seriously? I know some people you should meet, you guys would have an interesting fight.”

Many thanks to Gweema for posting the link to Jane Hamsher’s appearance on C-Span’s Washington Journal on November 26, 2009. I watched the whole thing, and right now I’m practically shaking with anger (want to call me a “screamer,” Jane?).

The women caller on C-Span did no screaming. She did not even raise her voice. Instead, she listed her credentials to confront Jane Hamsher and then did so very articulately. Jane responded with condescending lies and half-truths. I decided to transcribe that portion of the interview so we can dissect it here. The relevant section begins at about 25:50.

Elizabeth from Tennessee, calling on the Democratic line, wishes Jane and the interviewer a happy Thanksgiving and says she appreciates their working on the holiday weekend. Here is Elizabeth’s question:

To Jane Hamsher, I have been a lifelong Democrat, I was very involved in the health care battles of the 90’s. I was involved in actual implementing of town hall meetings back then in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois; so I don’t take a back seat to you.

But in the area of February of 2008, I discontinued reading your blog and also the dailykos blog altogether because of your extreme hatred and villification of another Democratic candidate, and that was Senator Hillary Clinton. [Jane Hamsher rolls her eyes at this point]

I don’t know how much you are aware [of]…how much damage you did and how much damage Markos did–

Hamsher interrupts the caller: “Are you sure you’re talking about our blog? We had Hillary Clinton on [patronizing laughter] …

Elizabeth says: I’m talking about your blog, ma’m, and you should know it. If anyone wants to know they should go read…from that time. [interviewer breaks in and asks when this was, but Elizabeth goes on with her points.]

“You mentioned today that Obama was an anti-war candidate. He was no such thing. In fact, throughout the campaign, he continued to say that Afghanistan was a good war…. ”

[Jane Hamsher breaks in to agree with Elizabeth on this point.]

Elizabeth says: “You really caused a lot of people to leave the Democratic party during the 2008 campaign. And I’m telling you now, I’m sorry that you’re sick, I’m sorry that you’ve had three bouts with the cancer, but I’m gonna say this. You are going to be shown exactly what damage you caused our party last primary season, and I will never forgive you for that.”

Elizabeth was a bit harsh at times, but she maintained a level tone of voice and did. not. scream. In fact I’d have to say that Jane’s characterization of Elizabeth’s presentation as “screaming” verges on sexism. Perhaps Jane has some unconscious issues in that department.

Here is Jane’s response [highlighting is mine]:

I know that there was a certain class of women who decided that they would start supporting John McCain over what they thought was bad treatment of Hillary Clinton. In fact…I took a video at the Rules Committee meeting, a woman, Harriet Christian who said that…she was not going to support a party who would have an inept black man as a candidate, and that became a…rallying point for some people.

We didn’t take a position…in the primaries. We said that we would support whoever was the winner and in fact had Senator Clinton as a guest on the blog, so I think we represented all viewpoints. I think there were people their who were Hillary Clinton partisans; I think that there were people there who were Barack Obama partisans, and I think that each side…collectively saw the other side as the issue. But I don’t think we were unfair to Senator Clinton, and I don’t believe that the people who left the party to vote for John McCain, who was very much an anti-choice candidate, a pro-war candidate, reflect the same values that I have anyway, or reflect the values of Senator Clinton.

There is so much wrong with Jane’s response that I don’t know where to begin. You do need to watch the video–her facial expressions while listening to the caller and responding to her are unbelievably patronizing and condescending. It is evident from her use of the words “class of women” that Hamsher sees herself as superior to these working class (?), pathetic women (though we’re not all women by any means) who mistakenly think that Hillary Clinton was treated unfairly. In addition she twists Harriet Christian’s words in order to imply that Harriet is a racist.

And what the f&ck is it these people don’t understand about protest votes anyway?

I honestly think that Jane’s rationalizing is an unconscious defense mechanism. Now that she has seen what Obama really is–a DINO, a conservative hack, maybe just barely qualifying as a Rockefeller-style Republican–she has to go back and try to cover up her own behavior during the primaries. But Jane has a very very long way to go before she understands the damage that she and the other A-list bloggers caused. I sincerely doubt that she will ever take responsibility for her actions–or lack of actions. For one thing, Jane was at the Rules Committee meeting and apparently she had absolutely no problem with Obama being given delegates belonging to to Clinton or with Obama getting delegates from a state he didn’t compete in!

Obviously Riverdaughter demolished Jane’s rationalizing yesterday afternoon, so I don’t have to do it. I’ll just post these three paragraphs from RD’s righteous rant here:

People like me are pretty steamed at you and your buddies. You took away our choice. We didn’t get a fair primary season. We didn’t even get a floor fight. There was no unity, Jane. It was all an illusion. Your guy was forced on many, many Democratic voters because YOU decided that Obama was best for us. And many people swallowed that because they were convinced that Republicans were worse. So they voted for a Democrat and they got a Republican anyway.

Jane, how many times do we have to tell you that it wasn’t about Hillary after May 31, 2008? It was about choice. Remember Choice, Jane? The right to self-determination? The ability to choose your own destiny? If someone else took that choice away from you, you’d be on their doorstep with a bullhorn and wouldn’t let up. But because it was YOUR guy who won, it was OK? What about the choice of the rest of us, Jane? What about CA, NJ, NY, MA, OH, PA, TX, IN, NH, WV, TN, FL, MI and so on and so on? Those big, Democratic states did not vote for Barack Obama in the primaries, Jane. They deserved to cast their votes for the candidate they *did* vote for. I was one of those voters, Jane and I am not letting the Democratic party off the hook for its outrageous behavior towards me and the others. With a primary this close and disputed, the nullification of my vote was unforgivable.

That is why the primary of 2008 isn’t going to go away and why you are going to continue to get angry callers who blame you and your friends for the state of the country under Obama. You took our choice away. Your incredibly high handed and self righteous decision to support Obama and shut down the rest of the party for the supposed good of that party has lead us to this point.

Don’t come crying to me with any more of your action e-mails, petitions, and fund-raising drives, Jane. I figured it out. You think I’m in “a certain class of women” who are beneath your contempt. You won’t get another chance from me, Jane. You’re just not seeing reality clearly yet, and I’m not sure you ever will.

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Friday: We’re not done yet

I was checking the Kossack Anxiety Index yesterday when I spotted this passage by the proprietor himself about Hillary’s name being placed into nomination:

Some people worry that this would spawn countless “Democrats divided” storylines, but it seems harmless enough. And if it helps bring closure to some of Clinton’s staunchest supporters, so much the better. And if it helps remind the world that the Democratic race came down to a woman and an African American, then that’s just gravy.

It should make for some nice theatrics. A dramatic roll call, with Clinton delegates hopefully sticking with her for the first count, and then unity as the party comes together on the second count.

LOLOLOLOL!

(Wiping eyes, catching breath, clearing throat)

I don’t know what I find funnier, that they think a symbolic vote is going to satisfy us or that they think we are really just that stupid.  What would be cathartic about a symbolic vote?  Isn’t that the same as no vote at all?  The candidates are virtually *tied* in pledged delegate counts.  Oh, I know that the various state parties have jumped aboard the UNITY! Express and that they’ve convinced delegates to go over to the dark side.  I know there is not a lot of time.  I know that is the cold, hard reality – *now*.  But it may be a completely different playground in 10 days.

Who knows what will happen?  Darragh Murphy has been giving plenty of interviews.  The media is all over this.  It’s getting a lot of attention.  Voters all over the country will start to take notice.  Maybe they *don’t* have two unacceptable choices in the fall.  Maybe they can have a president they can trust after all.  Maybe they can have a champion on *their* side who won’t care if they aren’t Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models with PhDs in Architecture.  Maybe they can have a Madame President.  It could happen. Why give up now?

What isn’t impossible must be possible.

One more thing: The insidious Tom Schaller was on To The Point yesterday with a fresh set of Obama talking points.  Yep, the Obama PR guy is a real piece of work.  Projection anyone?  Look, if anyone tells you that the Clintons are trying to “steal” the election, ask them about the 4 MI delegates that were “stolen” from the ones that Clinton “earned” by a guy who wasn’t even on the ballot.  In fact, if the Credentials Committee had acted on the letter that Obama sent to them requesting that Florida and Michigan delegations be restored to full strength, he wouldn’t even be the presumptive nominee.  The final delegate count for that title would change and Obama would have no right to be making these decisions in the first place.  Facts don’t lie:  Neither candidate is the presumptive nominee.  Obama highjacked that title by “stealing” delegates and if *anyone* is stealing the nomination, it is Obama.  He’s a thief and a dishonest and unscrupulous man.

PS To David Shuster:  Just wanted to answer your question about factionalism within our ranks.  There isn’t any.  We are all united in one single purpose: self-determination.  We are committed to having our votes count at the convention this year in spite of the media interference.

Wednesday: Across the Divide

The party sure is divided.  Yep, I’m thinking Grand Canyon territory.  The party loyalists, their eyes glazed and glittering with feverish intensity, are screaming UNITY with an urgency that belies the reality of that claim.  Witness Debbie Wasserman-Schultz last week on Larry King Live insisting that Obama addressed the Women’s Congressional Caucus and everything was fine now.  There were air kisses and make-up sex and no, no one had an orgasm but they sure did come close!

As the Cry of the PUMA video says in it’s final frame “Simply proclaiming UNITY doesn’t make it so”.  And may I say something to the party leaders that I’m sure they will ignore, because why start paying attention now?  It isn’t Hillary’s job to unify the party. I know, I know, this comes as a shock to some of you but it’s true.  Hillary is not the presumptive nominee.  If you wanted her to unite the party, something that would have been a piece of cake for her, you shouldn’t have *selected* the guy.  You should have let the election process play out without a year’s worth of interference.

Hillary *could* just sit out the rest of the primary season and work on paying off her campaign debt.  Just like Joe Biden and Chris Dodd and John Edwards, nothing more should be asked of her but her support.  There is no need to drag her along on some dog and pony show where she is forced to ask her reluctant and adamant supporters to vote for Obama.  Either we will or we won’t. The party is behaving like evangelists who will not stop trying to convert us in spite of years of persistence and emotional blackmail and shaming and every other trick in the book. We got the message.  You can stop now.  Some of us LIKE being heathens. If we’re not going to paradise with you, maybe it’s because the thought of spending an eternity with fundamentalist evangelicals makes us physically ill.

But whatever.  It looks like some of the blogosphere are starting to figure out what’s causing the rift, some more cogently than others.  For example:

  • Did you know that Markos is a racist??  Yeah!  Yesterday, he decided to withhold his maxxed out contribution to Obama. (No, I am not providing a link) He claims that he hasn’t given a dime to any of the candidates during the primaries, no doubt to preserve the credibility of his famed impartiality (snort!).  But yesterday, Markos realized that Obama’s turn to the right was unacceptable.  There are a lot of things he could overlook, like throwing working class, elderly, women, gays, asians, latinos and Muslims under the bus and using Rovian campaign techniques to destroy Bill and Hillary’s characters when it comes to race.  No, those things were OK.  But when Obama shoved the Dirty F%&@ing Hippies under there, that’s when Kos blew the whsitle.  Well, we won’t say we told you so but we *did* mention on more than one occasion in the comments that Obama was going to have to turn to the right after he snagged the nomination but the Kossacks would have none of it.  And he will probably have to continue going right now because he’s on a bit of a slippery slope.  The more he goes right, the more votes he loses in his base, the more he has to go right.  That’s because he doesn’t have any core Democratic Principles to begin with to know where to stop.  That’s what we’ve been trying to tell you all this time, Kos, but you and your “shrieking band of adolescent zealots” just keep calling us racists.  You might as well send the $2300 bucks.  After all, as the party leaders have told us, “Where else are you going to go?”  Oh, and look for your “Now that you’re a Racist” welcome package in the mail with brochures on our program and coupons for free gifts.  It will arrive in a white envelope.
  • Speaking of “Where Else Are You Going to Go?” go read Anglachel’s brilliant piece on the subject titled “No Where Else To Go”.  I’m starting to get the feeling that the Clinton supporters are being punished by the Stevensonians because so many of the working class defected to the Republicans during the 80’s and 90’s.  Nevermind that the rest of us didn’t or that they have come out of their trance now and want a true Democrat this year.  They ain’t gonna get one.  The party elite is determined to hold us down and force Obama on us and they are filling the void of the country club voters that the Republicans deserted in their quest for world domination through movement onservatism.  For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s over yet.  There are still two months and a lot could happen between now and then especially if we make a lot of noise and Obama keeps alienating people like Kos.  For sure the swing voters he is courting right now don’t want anymore moralizing on patriotism, faith and race.  They just want to be able to fill their gas tanks.  Go read the whole piece.  Well worth it.
  • Heidi Li Feldman is trying to give the DNC one last chance to heal the divide before we take our votes and walk.  She has set up The Denver Group whose goal is to persuade the party to conduct the convention in a fair, open and transparent manner.  The means to do this are through advocacy for the millions of voters whose votes need to be honored at the convention.  This may require buying media so The Denver Group is accepting contributions for ads.  Please take a look and if you have the means, contribute to this worthy cause.

The blue PUMA is actually the old logo for my alma mater’s mascot, the Pitt Panther from the University of Pittsburgh.  I completely forgot that the panther is really another name for PUMA.  It must be in my blood.  And remember, JustSayNoDeal,

Ok, Let’s Nip This Meme in the Bud Right Now

Damn, Hillary Clinton!  The race is virtually tied (and with MI and FL *actually* tied) and she has the unmitigated gall to want to continue to let people vote.  She wants to drag this out to the convention.  And now Kos, doing his best Natalie Imbruglia impersonation,  is blaming Hillary for ripping the Democratic party asunder.  Oh, woe is me!

HI, Will!  I don’t even know you yet but I am inventing PUMA, right this every second.  Party Unity My Ass.  See?  It’s like Back to the Future. Isn’t this cool?

How awful it is to allow the remaining states add to her win column.  Of course, those states count as long as they don’t count according to Obamaphiles.  Yeah, see, if your vote actually means something, it must be smothered.  We can’t have voters determining the election.  Like MI and FL can be seated as long as they sit on their hands and don’t make a fuss.  Better to be seen and not heard.  Causing a scene is soooo gauche.  Why do they want to be rude and disruptive?  Can’t they see Obama is trying to wrap this baby up?

Kos and the Official Obama Blog of the 2008 primary season are terribly worried that this dragging things out is just prolonging the inevitable and will make Clinton pathetic.  I dunno.  I find it fascinating.  It’s like watching the “Butterfly Effect” in action.  Who knows what little gust of ill wind will finish one of the two off?  But anyway, getting back to that inevitable coronation, er, nomination for Obama, I think Kos might have forgotten those of us who already voted for Clinton.  Yeah, those of us in NY, NJ, CA, MA, OH, OK, AZ etc depend on MI and FL in our column or none of our states count.

Let that sink in a sec, Kos.  The RULZ as presently dictated, not only disenfranchise   FL and MI but every other big state and swing state that voted for her- decisively. I would hate to piss us off if I were Barry, because that would be very divisive, in a rather huge and unpleasant way.  I’d much rather piss off Wyoming and Utah.

But there’s still time.  Yep, because August is  5 months away and as long as the result is still a tie, a very likely scenario, the superdelegates can go to the convention and select the candidate best suited to run against John McCain in November.  If we don’t rush it by demanding that the supers pick one NOW!, then if it turns out that the GOP war machine starts going  negative on either candidate, the other could step in to the frontrunner’s place.  If I were Kos, this is precisely the scenario I would want if I wanted to win in the fall.  The strongest candidate at the time of the convention would be the nominee.  That’s not divisive, Kos.  That’s saving your bacon from being the dimwitted blogger you turned out to be.

As for divisions, this can be solved rather easily: 1.) seat the delegates from FL and MI as is.  That will make the voters of these states hate the Democrats less. 2.) Stop being the anti-Clinton supporters.  That will make the rest of US not want to put your nuts in a vice.  And 3.) Get behind Hillary because she’s the best qualified candidate, unlike Barry who has nothing going for him right now except for the fair weather friends in the media. That should be the only criteria for nomination, who is the best presidential material.

And stop trying to rush things.  Your strategy is obvious and irritating and it makes you look pathetic.

“Wishing doesn’t make it so”

My Dad used to say that to me when I would go off on a tangent and spin a fantasy of what would happen if something I divinely wished would come true. I guess these days we would say he was “harshing my mellow”.

Regretfully, Kos’s mellow is unharshable. He is still daydreaming:

At this point we know that 1) Obama will end the contest with the most pledged delegates, 2) Obama will likely end the contest with the popular vote tally, 3) Obama will end the contest with the most money and greatest fundraising potential, 4) Obama will end the contest with the most states, 5) Obama will end the contest with the best poll numbers against McCain, and 6) Obama will end the contest with the most primary state victories and caucus state victories….

Clinton is in a bad place. She is behind in every metric that matters, and has been relegated to trashing our likely nominee and entire Democratic Party constituencies and states in order to make the case that she’s somehow “more electable” despite all evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately for her, the super delegates aren’t all cloistered in New York or in DC.

and later on…

And as Democrats around the country see Clinton insulting their states and constituencies, don’t think they’re not taking that into consideration as they mull their own votes.

Ok, that last sentence is just laughable in the wake of Obama putting his foot down on seating FL and MI delegations AND revotes.

I don’t know what planet Kos is on. I think he might have signed onto something without carefully considering the damage to his reputation and brand name. But what’s done is done. It’s just that there is no point going on like this when The Math isn’t going to amount to a hill of beans at the end. Neither candidate has enough delegates to win the nomination outright. And since the DNC does have superdelegates *for just this eventuality*, they are going to play a role in deciding this whether Kos likes it or not. Not only that, but the delegates have to consider strategy and other intangibles that go beyond counting and proclaiming one the winner based on numbers alone.

Kos would very much like it if the inconvenient voters of NY, NJ, MA, CA, OH, AZ, FL and MI would just acknowledge the intellectual superiority and rights of the young, college educated and creative classes. To Kos, they just know what’s better for us. After all, we’re just Archie Bunker-type, working stiff, uneducated, old females. That’s all. More than half of the Democratic electorate are just like Edith Bunker and Kos is shouting “Stifle!”. At some point, Hillary Clinton is going to look out over her millions and millions of middle aged dumpy, invisible women and say to herself, “They’re right. Why am I fighting so hard for these people? They’re just the gamma and delta classes of the Brave New World. I should just accept Obama’s higher tally and fade into obscurity.”

I’ll tell you why it won’t happen. It’s because those voters have finally woken up and decided to vote for their own self-interests. It’s because they might be uneducated but they’re not dumb and they know quality when they see it. They may be working stiffs but that just means they can appreciate hard work. And as for creative class, there are plenty of people in Hillary’s camp that get creative everyday to pay the bills and make things run. And these people have a right to express their opinions and be counted. And they are represented by superdelegates. And they live in big populous states where Democrats are needed like FL, MI, OH, NJ, and PA, states that Hillary has won- decisively.

Kos might want to wish them away, but wishing doesn’t make it so. So, Obama is going to have to continue to prove he’s better. He has to earn their votes. He has to persuade them. And stiffling FL and MI, which ends up disenfranchising all of the other Clinton states is a losing proposition. Throwing a diva fit about racism and accusing a lifelong advocate for civil rights starts to look rude and desperate after awhile and people notice. Winning caucuses instead of primaries *in spite of outspending your opponent” tends to make voters wonder why you can’t close the deal.

I hate to harsh Kos’ mellow, but the perception game has turned against his candidate. Hillary has become a more legitimate candidate. She’s had to confront obstacles from both sides and she is winning. She’s not backing down. She’s getting better and I think that is earning her a lot of respect. Voters are noticing even as the news media, Obama and the Republicans beat her up. She stays above the fray. She takes the high road. She risks her own gains so that the disenfranchised have an opportunity to vote for her opponent. She is earning it. If she wins this, she really *will* have made history.

The daydream is almost over. A new reality is taking hold.

Money Changes Everything- Brainstorming Session I

Hi guys, today is going to be a light posting day for me. The BFF’s birthday is coming up and I will be in Manhattan all day doing Broadway with him and “Brook”, the adolescent creature person. But in the meantime, I have a little proposition for you.

If youre like me, you watched the unravelling of the Big Orange Satan with great dismay. TPM jumped the rational shark recently. And Keith Olbermann turned into his own worst enemy. It’s my theory that money is at the root of these evils. All three of these operations are driven by advertising dollars. (Well, not DailyKos anymore, apparently)

Now, I’m not saying that money is bad or that we shouldn’t desire wealth especially if we’ve worked hard to earn it. No, what I’m saying is that when there is an incentive to make money, the behaviors and activities that generate money will tend to influence one’s preferences and tastes. I think that is what we are seeing here. For sure it is what drives MSNBC. Jack Welch was a formidable salesman and created the Rank and Yank performance review. In The Smartest Guys in the Room about the Enron scandal, you’ll see what happens to the corporate culture where this kind of attitude thrives. The business environment is nasty, brutish and short if you don’t rake in the bucks and super rewarding if you do. It’s an all or nothing thing. I always suspected that Keith Olbermann’s liberal passion was ephemeral. The minute ad revenue sags, he’s on his way out and when Obamamania hit, Welch must have seen a twofer- get rid of Hillary the Monster and pump up the bucks with Keith going nuts for Barry.

As long as there is money in the system, my friends, our free speech and ability to get our message out will be subject to market forces. Those who own the biggest microphones will be able to shout dissenters down and put our voices on mute.

When I first started this blog, I said I was looking for collaborators and one reader asked me in a private email what exactly I had in mind? I’m not sure yet. Let’s face it, if you want to create a safe place for political voices to go on the internet and you want it to be big enough to make an impact (and believe me, I’m not at all into quitting my full time job to do this for a living), money is a necessity. But money is a trap that keeps us tethered to our audience too tightly.

So, what is the best business model for Progressive Blogosphere 2.0? I think the closest model to what I think we might want to go with is a National Public Radio or Public Broadcasting System model. There would be one umbrella organization where a variety of political blogs could co-exist and the system would be funded by pledged contributions. I realize that even NPR and PBS has been tainted in recent years but it took longer for the rot to reach them and it ddn’t happen until their boards of directors were infiltrated by ideological Republicans. So, if we had such an umbrella organization, how would we set up our board of directors? And as for money, well, I do this blogging thing for free but I could imagine wanting to get a little filthy lucre when the private school tuition bills start to roll in. But how would one structure renumeration in order to minimize market forces so that even potentially unpopular voices have a chance to be heard?

That is the task I put before you today. Answer the following questions:

  1. Is there a need for an umbrella group for Progressive Blogosphere 2.0?
  2. How should it be structured?
  3. How do we compensate bloggers for their work without succombing to the stifling forces of the free market?

Have at it.  I am off to brave the madness of the NJ Transit- NYC subway system.

What Kos really is (in his own words)

Kos is a Libertarian Democrat. This should not really come as any surprise to anyone. He started out as a Republican (Ok, he was young, I forgive) but then trended towards the Democrats in the Army. Now, he is a business owner and I think this is partially what drives his “new progressivism”. How might that affect Kos’ true feelings about universal healthcare, especially a plan that comes with a mandate to cover every employee? He states in his diary,

Of course, this also means that government isn’t always the solution to the nation’s problems. There are times when business-government partnerships can be extremely effective (such as job retraining efforts for displaced workers). There are times when government really should butt out (like a great deal of small-business regulation). Our first proposed solution to a problem facing our nation shouldn’t be more regulation, more government programs, more bureaucracy.

Kos and I may be seeing things completely differently. If the social safety net is strengthened and all Americans are covered by universal healthcare, the cost of that healthcare should become more affordable. And with the extra security that comes from being covered, people may be more willing to take risks with new business opportunities. There could be a real boom in innovation and entrepreneurship.

He says he understands the need for the social safety net but he is supporting the person most likely to compromise with Republicans in undermining it. With Obama, there is no mandate. People can choose to opt out until they start getting ill and the rest of us will be forced to subsidize them. His social security rhetoric sounds suspiciously freindly to Republicans. With Barack Obama, you may very well be seeing the rise of Libertarian Democrats and the new kind of progressive politics that Kos is referring to. These are the people who are socially laissez-faire, hate the corporations that employ many of us and want the government to stay out of their small businesses. The ideas of Libertarian Democrats will work very well for people who have the liberty to opt out, which leaves the rest of us right where we started from. What kind of Change! is that?

PS. Note that Kos makes a big deal about winning the western states and places like Virginia. And where has Obama been winning? Hmmmm….

PPS: From Big Tent Democrat at TalkLeft, we have a chain that leads to KagroX at DKos wringing his hands over the fact tha Obama, his saviour and messiah, might be somehow in cahoots with the dreaded DLC. Horrors! (yeah, I never liked you either, KargoX)