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Glenn and Digby discuss the meltdown of PB1.0

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Since there are no bookmarks for me to link you to the relevant section, I hope Glenn will forgive me for fair-using a large section (with any objections from him or Digby, I'll trim this down to a smaller citation).

See Glenn's Salon post about this interview (includes audio link), the comment I posted there, and the full transcript.

The relevant section appears below the fold:

GG: ... Now, one of the things I want to ask you, and we're running out of time, but I do want to touch on this a little bit, is, you were, you know, around in the blogosphere in, very active first as a commenter for, you know, at Atrios's blog, and then your own blog, you know, leading into and part of the 2004 election, whereas I was just kind of a distant observer then, not paying all that close attention to what blogs you were doing as part of the election.

But I have paid a lot closer attention this time around for obvious reasons, and what's surprised me a little bit, during the primary, was that - you know, for me the value of blogs is when blogs fill the roles are being unfulfilled by the establishment political media institutions. The more, the greater the uniqueness is of what we do, the greater the impact is. The more we sort of replicate what the political, the already existing political and media institutions are already doing, the less of an impact we'll have.

And I felt like during the primary season, the net roots had very little impact on either the media narrative or the course of political events, because by and large the functions that they performed were just duplicating what, you know, media outlets were already performing, and the political campaigns were already performing: cheering for one candidate, hating another, you know, embracing whatever narratives help their candidate, attacking the ones that undermine their candidate, regardless of whether they were true or false.

Do you think that's true, is that different than what it was like in 2004? And what do you think the role is that bloggers can play, if anything, in terms of having an impact in the general election?

D: Well, I think - I really like your definition of what bloggers should do, sort of filling this unfilled void out there. I think that's something that most bloggers should think about; they should try and put that into practice when they're thinking about what to write about and how to write about it. I mean, at least those who are, you know, sort of seriously committed to being, you know, progressive bloggers.

2004 was a preview of this, and it was, the problem was, that the primary was really truncated. Kerry ran away with it, and, but up to that point, there had been some pretty, it was building into a intra-party spat among what was the net roots then, which was a much smaller community than it is now. and certainly much less, I don't know, institutional in nature. We were, you know, all just hobbyists essentially at that time. But it was a preview, I mean, there was, you know, this Dean, Clark, Kerry, you know, people getting nasty overnight, people turning into complete freaks overnight, you know. Yeah, the same thing.

And I think that in a weird way it set up an expectation among people who didn't have a lot of experience with politics, you know, maybe younger people or people who sort of came into politics later in life. But that's how primaries work. So you had a short little fight for a couple of months before the primary started, and then the primaries would start and it would be over. The idea of long, drawn-out primary was really, you know, completely surprising to a lot of people and angering, like, you're not allowed to do this. The truth is that primaries have often been long, and this one was quite close by historical standards, I mean, it was really was, and there was a lot of passion involved. So, I think that the blogosphere, it was a sign of political immaturity that what happened this time, and I hopefully that experience will lead people to look at it differently. I assume, I'm assuming Obama will win and we won't have to look at this for another eight years but, you know, an open primary is an unusual...

GG: That would actually be the best, come to think of it, that's one of the best reasons to rout for Obama, is so that one doesn't have to be subjected a primary war for another eight years.

D: They're always miserable, Glenn. I mean, I've hated them my whole life, you know - not easy. mean, 1980 was a nightmare. You know, the whole Gary Hart experience, you know, heart-breaking, Jesse Jackson in the 80s, you know, this stuff this not, this intra-party fighting is really one of those things that's most difficult things — you're fighting with your friends, right? I mean this isn't..

GG: Over very little, over very little of real significance.

D: It's rarely over something, you know, major and, you know, and just, it's a family fight and you know how those are — they get really, really vicious, and people know...

GG: Right.

D: ...exactly how to, where to stick the knife in to really make it hurt so, you know, it's a dare(?) unpleasant. I don't people really got that. I shouldn't say people - plenty of people did, but there those who didn't. So the blogosphere I think kind of lost its way.

And I think the main way that it lost its way was in failing to, you know, as a progressive movement and as the net roots specifically and this online, you know, group of writers and readers in, you know, trying to use some leverage that we did have in these primaries, to, you know, extract certain promises or loyalty from the candidates. I think we failed to do that and I think it was a missed opportunity, because now we're sort of flailing around, you know. What can we say? We didn't ask anything...

GG: Right, we're captive, you're captive, right.

D: But the other thing is I think we dropped the media critique, and I think that was huge mistake, because, this, I truly believe, and it's not just because, you know, one of my main beats in the blogosphere, I really think it's true, that this critique of the media and the way that they do things, this is at the heart of our problem in American politics today, and we're one of the few, you know, quasi-institutions to take that on, from the outside, and be able to exert some pressure against it. And it's not much, but it's something, and it can have an effect over time. And I think it was a big mistake for bloggers to turn a blind eye to some of the things that happened in the campaign on both candidates.

GG: Or not even to turn a blind eye, but even worse than that, to start embracing terrific media figures who were horrific before and are going to be horrific again, whoever they perceived happened to be helping their particular candidate. I mean, you would see the most lavish praise being heaped on, you know, people on CNN and ABC and MSNBC who are completely integrated in the entire rotting media structure...

D: Absolutely.

GG: ...and part of the problem in every single way, because the had to, whatever they, whatever, you know, gossip they were passing on, or crap were disseminating, and because it was helping one or the other candidate, instead of constantly pushing back against that process and undermining it the way the blogs have been doing, you know, I think fairly successfully over the past four years. They not only turned a blind eye to it, they started openly embracing it, you know, this reporter is brilliant, and thank God for this station, they're the only ones who are speaking the truth. You know, Fox News or MSNBC or whatever it was, you know, suddenly bloggers became, you know, and the Politico became not only the most cited source, but some of the time the most approved source.

D: Oh, absolutely.

GG: Yeah, or even Drudge. So the complete reversal I thought was a little alarming, and I think you're right, I think that it's a by-product of that temporary situation. One wonders whether it will really be long lasting or if bloggers can sort of revert back to what they had doing before that, that was having, you know, a least relatively speaking, the greatest impact.

D: Yeah, well, I mean, I think I already see, you know, people - you know, there's a definite sense of people coming back down to Earth a little bit. And, you know, nothing that you and I have discussed before together, you know, nothing radicalizes you more than the right wing attacking. So it, you know,...

G: Right.

D: ...people tend to get a little more clear eyed about things once they see what happens with the right wing and how that affects whoever the liberal or progressive candidate is.

So, you know, I see it, I see them coming back down to Earth. We haven't had any real post-mortems on this, and I don't think we will until after the election, and we're moving into a new phase where Democrats are going to be in power and, as you know, with our mutual projects and other projects that we're doing, that presents a whole new set of kind of assumptions we're going to be making about to affect politics. And so we're in a period of transition trying to figure out how to be something more than just oppositional.

But the media critique remains the same. I absolutely...

GG: Yeah, constant.

D: ...believe that that is not something that should ever be sacrificed on the altar of politics, because it will just never work in our favor. These are huge corporate entities, the political establishment is a small sort of provincial village of people who all know each other, and all reinforce each other's prejudices and it's never going to rebound to our favor as liberals, it's just not; and we have to, you know, that's an essentially, definitionally conservative sort of institution...

GG: System. Yeah, and cult, yeah, absolutely.

D: ...doesn't work for us, and so we our jobs should really be — whatever we're doing politically, whatever tacks we decide to take, oppose or support politicians in various issue and what have you — that particular thing should remain constant. I think it's a big mistake to let that go. And I'm hoping, you see, there's a danger here, you know, Obama's going to be president, hopefully, knock on wood, and we're going to see a different media environment, and I'm hoping that we keep a clear eye on that because, you know, that is easily manipulated in ways that we may not see coming.

I watched Bill Clinton, you know, he had a very successful convention in 1992, and coming out of a weird campaign with Ross Perot, and, you know, the economy was in the dirt, and you know, Clinton had been revealed to be a womanizer and blah, blah, blah. And he came out of that convention like a shot. I mean it was a real, very, very powerfully well done event and the press was in love with him through the end of the election. They really were. I mean, he, whatever problems they've had with him before, sure there was some little gossipy things, but in some ways they actually helped Clinton. You know, his womanizing kind of made him seem more interesting and more baby-boomer and more generational change and what have you.

And, you know, the minute he got into office the press turned in a huge way, almost on a dime, and the right wing was ready there. And it wasn't just the right wing, it was also the conservative members of the Democratic party.

GG: Absolutely. Yeah, and that's, you know, I think, you know, any movement that wants to be new, and to have a purpose, needs to conceive of itself as outside of the establishment, and oppositional to it first and foremost. And whatever benefits can be derived from the establishment almost coincidentally, you know, are secondary at most. And, I think that's one of the most important things to keep in mind.

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

looks like some of this was double posted

anyway, the biggest problem is that netroots still largely consists of people who are not active in their local party organization, don't respect local volunteers, and have no notion that primaries are different from general elections, those who are your opponents today are your friends tomorrow and that scorched earth tactics don't work.

the sad thing is that they will work this year, so all these harpies will feel vindicated

also, a handful of high traffic bloggers let their status as opinion makers go right to their swollen head.

Submitted by lambert on

Branding, you know ;-)

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I'm not strictly sure what it means, but I suspect it's the old Titanic too-little, too-late meme. I don't want to mock Glenn and Digby for having this discussion. If the deck chair isn't intended as something derisive, my bad.

I think Glenn raised it because he's genuinely aware that something went wrong in PB1.0, and Digby's playing our tune re: the missing media critique.

Sure, there's a lot of talking past the heart of the issue here (like the rather careful avoidance of saying which blogospheric camp screwed the pooch during the "death march" primary), and I posted this discussion to open up an honest debate about it and to surface such issues.

Submitted by lambert on

Wasn't meant to apply to them, but it could have been interpreted that way.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

Sure, there’s a lot of talking past the heart of the issue here (like the rather careful avoidance of saying which blogospheric camp screwed the pooch during the “death march” primary), and I posted this discussion to open up an honest debate about it and to surface such issues.

For a moment there, I thought that you saw this nonsense as being of some value.

I read about half of it, and scanned the rest, looking for some citation of specific problems by looking for the words "Obama" and "Clinton". "Obama" appears on in reference to genuflecting to his candidacy, and "Clinton" appears only in reference to Bill's 1992 campaign.

What is most interesting is the admission by both of these PB 1.0 "sages" that they saw what was happening -- and even though both of them are always more than happy to critique the incenstuous relationship between the media and right wing blogs, they kept silent when it came to the way that the Obamasphere simply mirrored the worst of the media.

Its really quite a remarkable 'performance' in this way -- neither of them seem to understand that "silence=consent", and by their silence they were complicit. (I think Digby did try to discuss it on occasion, but silenced herself when the Obots attacked her; she lacked the courage and commitment to fight. Greenwald was fully complicit.)

Submitted by lambert on

... in all their born days were the WWTSBQ drivers and the "progressive" blogosphere wasn't able to self-correct. Kill me now.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

when they started pushing the "Presumptuous = uppity" bullshit.

That meme was a transparent attempt by Obamanation to immunize him from all criticism. It was not only stupid it was offensive.

Both of them had their thumbs on the scale for Obama all the way through the primary too.

The weren't participating in the worst of the CDS stuff like the RFK smear, but they weren't denouncing it either.

If you're gonna make your living expressing your opinion, in print, on television or in the blogosphere, you either have to disclose your sympathies or stay out of politics.

Any blogger who wants to claim they have a code of ethics must be willing to call out your own team when they are wrong.

We don't need a biased bunch of hacks on our side to balance out the ones on the right. We need people who make decisions based on principles, not convenience.

Loyalty to political parties and/or candidates is pretty far down the loyalty priorities list, way after family, country and sports teams.

------------------------------------------------
“But hysteria is all the rage these days, I guess” - gqm

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... through."

Do I feel they've, on occasion, cut Obama undeserved slack and given Hillary undeserved criticism? Yes.

Do I think Digby is standing on her head to make supporting Obama alright? Well, kinda.

But I don't think either of them is a dishonest broker, and neither was an uncritical shill. They've both proven full capable of criticizing Obama and some of the toxic dynamics of his campaign, in later days, Glenn especially.

More on Glenn and the "in-the-tank" accusation:

http://www.correntewire.com/glenns_reply...

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

was extensively rebutted in that post -- despite your efforts to turn my comments into a personal attack on Greenwald (rather than an observation/theory that would explain his behavior.)

Even now, Greenwald can't lower himself to identify the sexism of the Obamasphere as a problem -- to him (and Digby, now that she's drinking the kool-aid) its all simply part of a generic phenomenon.... as if one should expect that the sexism and misogyny demonstrated by the Obamasphere was on a par with overzealous critiques of the candidates records and gaffes.

But you know what -- its not. Its on thing to note that advocates for one candiate or another might get overzealous in their critiques, but that is separate and distinct from the adoption of bigotry as an integral part of that critique.

The adoption of sexist/misogynist themes and means is a completely different concern than the gaffe-o-mania that both Clinton and Obama supporters engaged in. Its separate and distinct from "Bosnian snipers" and "bitter/cling", because it goes to the very heart of what progressivism is supposed to be about. (see Melissa McEwan's progressism=feminism post {shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/04/important-announcement.html,} and the attendant controversy.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

The "presumptuous = uppity" complaint is pretty silly, as is freaking out over Mr. Bittercling being called an elitist.

Just because Democrats have been unfairly labeled "elitists" in the past doesn't mean that a smarmy "creative-class" Democrat has earned an immunity from that assessment.

He certainly has no qualms about describing Democrats as elites who look down on religion (only he is allowed to do that, re: the racists who voted against him in PA) and who ride around in limos drinking Chablis. Why turnabout is considered shockingly unfair play with the Hopeful One is beyond me.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

Tell the truth. Back it up with links. Make sure your links are to the point you're making.

Everything else is spitshine on bullfeathers.

Submitted by lambert on

... but it needs to be "we are the instruments of the truth," not "the truth is one instrument that we use, sometimes."

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

The negative obligation is "don't lie." Digby and Glenn met that duty.

But there is also an affirmative obligation to to speak out and not remain silent so that lies don't go unchallenged.

D & G were AWOL at key moments during the first half of this year.

------------------------------------------------
“But hysteria is all the rage these days, I guess” - gqm

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

shutdown from her own blog because of the freeper-inspired hatefest in her comments.

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

just before the NC lekkage over voter registration.

She didn't make any effort to defend WVWV or even investigate. She just published a disclaimer saying she wasn't a member of the group, but was just an award recipient.

I don't recall her expressing an opinion on the RFK fauxrage either.

------------------------------------------------
“But hysteria is all the rage these days, I guess” - gqm

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

In fact, we could ask him sometime. But, again, I think many bloggers can't decide their role. They don't know if they're talking "at the dinner table," as Frum said, or are opinion (op-ed) writers or reporters or activists. They change hats with impunity, as they feel at the time.
I don't know that you really can do all those together but if you do (as some writers must) you would certainly have to have some kind of standard of truth. In fact, if you don't have some kind of standard of truth, you can't report. You also can't decide what your opinion is--until and unless you get your marching orders from a higher campaign, say, and you can't be a convincing activist (because if you're just going to cheerlead and deflect criticism you usually can't convince anyone but fans already wearing team shirts.) This has been shown to us extensively during this campaign season.

Historiann's picture
Submitted by Historiann on

I thought they were meant to graphically represent the idea of "folding like deck chairs," as in "PB 1.0 gave up the media critique and folded like deck chairs during the 2008 Democratic primary when most A-list blogs became shills for the Obama campaign."

N'est-ce pas?

That illustrates, rather than mocks or contradicts, the main issue that Digby and Greenwald discussed in the excerpt here. I don't think either of them should or would take offense at that.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Isn't that what they spent about a thousand words saying here? For supposed "A-list" writers they really could tighten it up, y'know? Anyway, what I think they really meant was: "Oh, those darned kids! Ho ho, they really do get into mischief don't they? Maybe we should look into that.... What to do, what to do? Oh well, no use crying over spilt milk!"

Anyway, I just took a look and I don't think this guy agrees (he is my one-stop-shop for fauxrage, he never dissapoints!).

I never type in The Name of the Beast blog where lots of people have diaries, but my guess is they aren't convinced either.

-----------------------------

Around these parts we call cucumber slices circle bites

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

"Just get over it".

Which if you don't write something regarding how completely INSANE it is and how FUCKING EMBARRASSING it is to Democrats everywhere that Bill Clinton (BILL FUCKING CLINTON FOR THE FUCKING LOVE OF GOD!!!! THE LAST DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT WHO WAS ONCE CALLED "THE FIRST "BLACK" PRESIDENT"!!!!!) feels he has to go on NATIONAL FUCKING TELEVISION FOR THE FUCKING LOVE OF GOD to protestingly say "I am not a racist", in response to what FUCKING DEMOCRATS were saying about him (and neither one of these "A-listers" even mentions it), then that is all you are saying. "Just get over it" I mean.

Sorry, got a little lost there. A little bit upset, doncha know.... Kind of like "outraged" or something.

I'm going to go watch SpongeBob now and cool off. That ukelele does me good.

-----------------------------

Around these parts we call cucumber slices circle bites

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

It's just a little family spat and we can all kiss and make up now. We won't have to do this for another 8 years. Isn't that great? They're all just indistinguishable anyway, unless you are trying to make a case for deciding between them. In THAT case, the guys with the giggest billboards and internet real estate win! They are allowed to be as nasty as they want to be. But we'll get over it.

Why does GG even *pretend* to be objective. Intellectually, he knows the difference between right and wrong. But he just doesn't want to get lumped in with the stupid, geriatric sino-peruvian lesbian bunch. Obamaphiles are just better than everyone else.

Come together at The Confluence

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... GG and Digby seem to be biting their tongues about important topics here, especially:

* Describing Obama vs. McCain as if Obama hasn't seriously delegitimized himself in countless ways that are relevant to the discussion

* Assiduously avoiding pointing the finger where it deserves to be pointed re: the meltdown of PB1.0 (can someone please remind me of the major A-list sites and forums where Obama supporters were drummed out the way Hillary supporters were from DK, DU, AmericaBlog, and every leading blog's comments pages?)

Still, the claim that Glenn and Digby were in the tank for Obama doesn't match the record as I recall it.

I see no reason not to take Glenn at his word about having no preference in the campaign. That doesn't mean that I don't disagree with certain posts that I felt did slant toward Obama.

For her part, Digby has frequently damned Obama with faint praise.

Neither is a liar, and neither is a Kool-Aid drinker. I think both are trying a little too hard to convince themselves that Obama is an acceptable standard-bearer for the Democratic Party, rather understandable given the urgent need to keep today's Conservative Movement away from the levers of power. You and I see a vote for Obama being that old wine in a hopey new bottle, and they're still seeing him as (more or less) 2% less evil. I understand that perspective. I've been there.

Submitted by lambert on

I agree. And it's pretty obvious that neither Glenn nor Digby purged their sites of Hillary supporters -- which is pretty much the litmus test for Kool-Aid drinkers, so far as I'm concerned.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

gyrfalcon's picture
Submitted by gyrfalcon on

their sites themselves, Lambert, but both of them allowed the mobs of screeching torch-carrying Obama supporters to do it for them. That's what most of the A-blogs did, from TPM on out and down.

It all rather reminded me of the rough old days of the independent BBS's pre the public Internet, where the forums were ruled by aggressive, foul-mouthed almost exclusively male Walter Mittys.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

Greenwald showed all the symptoms of CDS -- and starting in February, that meant you were 'in the tank' for Obama. His complete refusal to even acknowledge the sexist treatment of Clinton (while making outrageously hateful statements about Bill Clinton, and vibrating in ectasy over The Greatest Speech on Race Relations Evah!!) tells you all you need to know about Greenwald.

(I mean, get serious -- he didn't notice the sexism because he assumed that Obama was the nominee starting in February...as if the coverage of the Obama and Clinton campaigns were two separate and distinct entities? Can you say "rationalization"?)

Digby is another story entirely. I got the sense that she actually preferred Clinton, but was too much of a coward to say so -- and rather than confront the hatefulness of the Oborg, she simply kept her mouth shut. But the minute Obama became the 'presumptive nominee' she mainlined the Kool-Aid. You have to put her next to Taylor Marsh for it not to be glaringly obvious how radically her approach to the election has changed since June.

As someone else noted above, both Greenwald and Digby jumped with both feet onto the whole "'presumptuous' means 'uppity'" crap. Obama is presumptuous -- the only reason I didn't describe him as "presumptuous" last year was that I didn't think he was serious about being president, i.e. that his campaign was to get his name out there for future consideration and/or a VP slot.

At best, both Greenwald and Digby have decided to put their brain's on hold when it comes to a genuinely progressive critique of the media -- and IMHO are not longer credible media critics, but merely partisan mouthpieces.

Submitted by lambert on

... is going to have to put together a timeline on this, because our recollections and views aren't matching up. I can't even remember the details of February now, except for the constant sense of horror and impending doom.

And I can't imagine a better candidate for that task....

NOTE Also, again, the litmus test for me is the purging. Neither GG nor Digby did that so, like Avedon, they are in some sense "intact," unlike, say, The Obama 527 Formerly Known as Kos or DU. I think you're conflating the two cases.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

Lambert, very little actual purging occurred. I mean, its not like John Cole or WKJM purged anyone -- there is/was only so much of the Kool-Aid based nonsense one can take before one abandons a site.

But that really isn't the point. Greenwald writes for Salon, and doesn't control his own comments section. Digby, as I noted earlier, does not show signs of Kool-Aid consumption until June... no need for her to have engaged in a purge to begin with.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... there is the matter of whether the blogger is capable of criticizing The One (GG plainly is, and in a way that's made an impact on a lot of people) or of being rationally unimpressed with him (which Digby plainly is).

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

I got the sense that she actually preferred Clinton, but was too much of a coward to say so — and rather than confront the hatefulness of the Oborg, she simply kept her mouth shut. But the minute Obama became the ’presumptive nominee’ she mainlined the Kool-Aid.

Almost exactly how I'd summarize it. Although I cringe at the word "coward," I can't reject it. I prefer to view it as pragmatically seeing the writing on the wall and privately taking a hit for the team. But maybe that's just another way of saying "coward." I just don't know. Everyone here seems so much surer of their judgments than I can be.

As someone else noted above, both Greenwald and Digby jumped with both feet onto the whole “’presumptuous’ means ’uppity’” crap.

What a huge disappointment that was for Digby to do it. I KNOW she's too smart for that.

The other night I started a little list to get sleepy, but could have gone on for hours:
***
“AP Poll: More Voters See Bush As Arrogant “
***
“Four of five Democrats said Bush is arrogant... Seven in 10 [Republicans] view Kerry as arrogant. "
***
“The narrative of [Al] Gore as arrogant but smart and [George W.] Bush as honest but dumb really took hold and led to distorted coverage of the campaign.”
***
“[HR] Clinton's Arrogance Hurt Chances”
***
“Republicans See [Bill] Clinton as Arrogant, Unrepentant”
***
“Huckabee Hits Romney as “Arrogant and Presumptuous”
***
“Rudy Too Arrogant For America”
***
“McCain Gets ‘Testy and Arrogant’”

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

GG and Digby are talking themselves into it. They've spent huge amounts of energy fighting Republicans and they've bought a less than optimal product as their knight in shining armor. They are taking a risk that Obama is a Democrat but he has not really proven that he is. And if he gets elected, some of the things that make Democrats a party to be reckoned with, like Social Security, might undergo significant changes. And when THAT happens, the party as we know it will cease to exist.
GG and Digby have to convince themselves that the cheap plastic and painted chrome is really as good as the item they passed up. But they've almost bought the Republican frame. They think there is no choice. It's either Obama or McCain. It isn't even in the radar that they can pool their resources and make an exchange for something much more substantial. And why is that? It's because they so wholly identify with the Obama brand: ultra cool, hip, creative, smarties. They do not want to be US. We aren't anything like our Axelrod stereotype but they siomply cannot see it.
BTW, no matter how much you might have admired Digby in the past, wasn't it Digby who called us racists only a few days ago?
Come together at The Confluence

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Two things, though:

• I wouldn't say they bought Obama as much as refused to refuse a gift pony, the only (presumably) viable option to McCain left standing after the MSM and the true Kool-Aid drinkers did their stuff

• Since neither was really in the tank for Obama, I don't think it's fair to ascribe creative class identity politics to them

Let's also recall that they voluntarily embarked on a mini-critique of the meltdown, something no Kool-Aid drinkers would do.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

At all.

More like the PB1.0 equivalent of Broderism, and Greenwald more than Digby.

Lambert, Vastleft, you are coming in here and trashing the place, and it's not your place!

-----------------------------

Around these parts we call cucumber slices circle bites

Submitted by lambert on

Except it is our place, and I don't hear them saying that it isn't. Digby, for example, is an old Eschatonian, just like us.

There's a lot of history here!

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Wasn't it Digby who recently conflated the two? (Can't get to Digby right now, unfortunately)

I have to give GG and Digby credit for not purging. FireDogLake too. But it doesn't lessen my disappointment with them. They gave in. The temptation to belong to the Obama mystique is very strong for them. Does advertising have anything to do with that?

Come together at The Confluence

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

with beating down on Digby or GG. seriously, this reminds me of all the jokes about the revolution eating its own and circular firing squads. no, i will not bother to say more except: i am not part of that part of corrente who feels they deserve this sort of 'critique.' fuck no i'm not.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Your comment was a reply to the original post, so I'm not sure if you think I'm a part of Corrente who is beating down on Digby and GG. I certainly don't see it that way. I hold both in very high regard.

As with anyone, I don't think they're beyond reproach, but I think they've earned a lot of respect, and some folks are being a little quick to ascribe the sins of others onto them.

However, any of us who puts out our two cents on the intertubes should expect to be critiqued now and again. If and when that critique is unfair -- especially on my watch -- I'll bluntly speak out about it.

I do feel some of the criticisms I've heard from commenters here are over-the-top, but I also think that even some of the very best bloggers have cut some corners to pretend that all is well enough with Obama's candidacy. And truthiness rots everything it touches.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

They think there is no choice. It’s either Obama or McCain. It isn’t even in the radar that they can pool their resources and make an exchange for something much more substantial.

Having come so close, if the Democrats were, at this late date, withold the nomination from Obama, the entire African American vote would walk. The importance of Obama to the AA community cannot be overstated. Even lefty AA blogs that initially supported McKinney have come around.

Dems understand that not only would Clinton lose if they gave it to her at this point, all of the down ballot Dems who depend upon the black vote (Almost everyone outside of New England and the Great Plains) would also lose. Not just this cycle, it is the sort of thing that would not be forgiven. So, even if Democrats were to think Obama is the next McGovern, they would still go through with this.

In spite of the recent Zogby poll (why would anyone listen to Zabgy?) I think Obama will win and will win big. There in lies the problem, these radioactive tactics will have been vindicated.

But that's just me.

Submitted by lambert on

Yeppers. I can see that one coming a mile off.

Why we need a new space....

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

but it looks to me like the GOP is following the strategy that I said would be their best bet months ago...

that's the "boiling frog" strategy...the one where they don't do much more than chip away at Obama all summer, just enough to make it clear to the Clintonistas that Obama will lose, but not enough to make it obvious to the Kool-Aid drinkers just how vulnerable Obama is....

The biggest problem with the Democratic establishment is that they really don't care what happens to this country -- all they care about is maintaining their own power. And since even an Obama loss is unlikely to unseat them, and since speaking out would create problems for them if Obama does manage to win, they just keep their mouths shut -- and say stuff like "we can't afford to consider dumping Obama because AA's will walk."

Personally, I don't think that many AAs would walk -- and that their loss would be more than made up by GOP and "independents" women who would flock to Clinton in droves.

And, unlike Obama, you can rest assured that Clinton would do everything in her power to repair any damage in relations with a crucial part of the Democratic base.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... the mainstream narratives.

His tiny, questionably-gotten lead in pledged delegates was spun into a mountain.

If he were to be "upset" by an unexpectedly legitimate convention, unless his stock went much lower than it is today (well, it wouldn't happen unless his reputation tanked much further than its current low), the media and the blogosphere would have a field day with talk about how "insiders" stole the nomination. This would have happened even if Hillary hadn't suspended her campaign, doncha think?

No matter that the party insiders all fell into line behind Obama, of course.

Submitted by lambert on

I've seen some nasty, nasty stuff from that, and indeed, a "tiny" lead could evaporate if, say, felony indictments were on offer. Then again, that's all in the hands of the PUMAs, and for all I know, they're going start fundraising for Republicans, thereby destroying their own credibility, and double-screwing the Texans who agreed to speak out.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

I haven't read her regularly for months. I used to read Atrios everyday. Now, very rarely. I was a commenter at both and Atrios very early on, like back before the 2004 election. I remember what he wrote the day Kerry lost: "Go find your bloggy goodness somewhere else". Then he went off to recoup for several days. I don't think there is anything wrong with being a bit critical of them. At some point in time, they flipped the switch in their brains. I just expected more from them. More thoughtfulness, deliberation and foresight. Less going along with the crowd.

Come together at The Confluence

Submitted by lambert on

... that things cannot be, or perhaps never were, the way that I felt that they were (not a comment directed to Digby, just addressed to the world in general). That goes for many relationships, not just online.

To the winner go the spoils -- and the spoiled, as well.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Yes, there would be quite a few people with egg on their faces but that does not excuse them from doing the right thing. As for AAs walking, that would indeed be regrettable but it was also preventable. Oddly enough, no one ever considered whether women would walk. It is dawning on quite a few women that Obama doesn't offer them anything. His shift rightward is unlikely to benefit them in any significant way economically and he has a tendency to moralize in the area of choice. He may find it politically expedient to go along on too many Republican proposals. But for some reason, the idea that *women* might walk out doesn't ring any bells.
The math is all wrong for this election. You can not expand the AA population of voters outside of the Democratic party in any meaningful way for the General. BUT, recruiting Republican women would have been a cinch for Hillary. Moderate suburban Republican women would have voted for her in droves. Indeed, it would have been hard for her to lose. And even AA women might have been enticed. Why not? With either candidate they win.
But to mitigate the embarrassment and save the election for the Dems, there is only one way out. Hillary goes at the top of the ticket and Obama becomes her running mate. The embarrassment could be short lived with the right spin. We could always say, "He's smart enough, he's clever. He's just not ready. He needs some seasoning and he'd get that as a VP for Clinton." I think most people would accept that regardless of color.

Come together at The Confluence

Submitted by lambert on

So far, that hasn't happened. I don't think it's likely to happen. All the "math" arguments have already been made and found wanting.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

I hope you understand that "not your place" crack was snark.

Also, the fact that Digby and Greenwald are addressing the issue of how off the rails PB1.0 went is good. However, the conversation sounds rather like this to me:

"I would say this large, heavy grey thing is rather rough on the carpet, wouldn't you Glenn?"

"Oh yes Digby, I prefer that gigantic hairless four-footed mammals with long noses and floppy ears be situtated in the zoo, rather than my living room."

"Me too Glenn, what do you think we should do about it? Should we spray some Glade on it? It smells just a touch."

"Well, since we ignored it when it came in the door. Maybe if we politely suggest to each other that it leave it would get the hint."

"We certainly wouldn't want to offend it by actually identifying it Glenn, or describing to it what it left in the foyer.... That would be counter-productive."

"Agreed, let's just ignore it and hope it goes away in 8 years."

"I concur."

"Well, another problem solved Digby!"

"You bet Glenn, I think our work here is done, let's go outside and get some fresh air!"

-----------------------------

Around these parts we call cucumber slices circle bites

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I think they tap dance around the causes (and I have no doubt that Digby knows who the biggest offenders in her comments were) because this stuff must be painful for those involved early on in the blogosphere in a much more personal way than it is for random commenters like me. And because I think they - like a lot of folks, including I'm sure some at Corrente - were so invested in the potential for what they thought the blogs could be. That's all gone now, IMO. But it's human nature to want to go back there, where it was nice and everyone got along and all the fissures didn't exist or at least could be ignored (like Kos's occasional sexism). That's a lot easier than admitting that the community you valued no longer exists and the future you saw for that community will have to be altered.

And I think it's easier for Glenn and Digby to convince themselves we can go back because neither seemed particularly invested in the primary battles. Sure, Glenn wrote some pieces for Obama, many of which I'm sure he now regrets and I'm not defending his pushing the Clintons are racist bullshit because it's one of his worst moments as a blogger, but he was not nearly as invested in the primary as many of his cohorts. He's no Kos or Marshall. Having a blind spot, which I think he had for Obama, in part because he trusted info from the blogs, doesn't make one a shill.

And I always thought Digby was more sympathetic to Clinton than Obama, although she was careful about it. Sure, she could've fought the flame wars, I guess, but how do you beat an astroturf operation? She's probably an A-list blog or close to it and the Obama tolls were never going to just leave her alone, she's too influential. She could've gone every day and fought the flame war, but I can understand not having the stomach for that. The blame for what happened on the internet does not fall on Digby, IMO. It falls on Obama and his campaign and his supporters.

While I think the more productive thing is to try to rebuild something useful from the rubble, I understand the desire to want to go back to a time when there was a community and not rubble. I think that's all they're doing. Accountability may be necessary, but it's also painful. The primary stuff isn't that far behind and we're in the middle of a General Election campaign. I want to wait and see what happens as we go forward. I think it's too soon to write off these kinds of discussions, which have much more potential than that disgraceful panel at Netroots Nation (or whatever YearlyKos is now called). People are still coming to terms with what happened and not everyone operates on the same timeline for those kind of things.

Submitted by lambert on

I've got what, 5700 posts here, and there are some I regret. (If I gave it some thought. Haw.)

You write:

And because I think they - like a lot of folks, including I’m sure some at Corrente - were so invested in the potential for what they thought the blogs could be. That’s all gone now, IMO.

Yes. That's why the PB 2.0 discussions.

And this really is the key strategic question:

how do you beat an astroturf operation?

Well, I don't know. Maybe the way lightly armed insurgents fight any large, mechanized, and highly funded organization.... And one thing is sure: We can't "out-truthy" them.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

With so many bloggers leaving?

The reason was really a denied request for fair play, right?

Alegre: "I’ve decided to go on "strike" and will refrain from posting here as long as the administrators allow the more disruptive members of our community to trash Hillary Clinton and distort her record without any fear of consequence or retribution...Over the past few months I’ve noticed that things have become progressively more abusive toward my candidate and her supporters.

I’ve put up with the abuse and anger because I’ve always believed in what our on-line community has tried to accomplish in this world. No more. DailyKos is not the site it once was thanks to the abusive nature of certain members of our community.

Instead, I will put my energy into posting at sites where my efforts aren’t routinely trashed, spammed and ridiculed..."

If you let one group of your blog writers attack another group of blog writers and refuse to treat them the same under the usual blog rules, did you purge them or let them be purged? With public on-your-grave-dancing afterward?

Read further in Alegre's letter for that whole effort, blogged on, about going after Hillary supporter bloggers' RLs...purge? Oh yeah.

Moreover, I spent less time reading comments than many here I'm sure but I definitely read about a number of writers actually and publicly banned/purged from a few usually progressive sites (myDD for one, right?) WKJM dropped blog writer Linda Hirshman--because she wasn't in the tank for Obama, and because, explicitly, she cared about the women's vote (Andrew from TPM to Linda:"I recognize that you think female voters should be one of those things (we cover on the blog), we disagree.") There was that weird little time where Greg Sargent wasn't posting at TPM at all when his last comments had been on the press's treatment of Hillary; purge averted? When Sargent came back, he didn't make posts like that anymore. At HuffPo, a number of people said they were asked to leave and comments were deleted or not posted that were pro-Hillary. There have been a number of posts on blogs recently about revisionist history with a now-banned blog writer's back work deleted. (I'm not talking about blog etiquette or BTD's recent brother annoyances--he banned them off him and not the blog for one--or resignations that weren't asked for.) I'm talking about purges where the main "problem" was the purged blogger's support for Hillary. You'all probably know better than me; I'm just posting this because of the vanishing, and cleaning up, even here, of some recent history to make things look not so bad. RL calls me very hard here--but there are more explicit links to more of the above that still exist now. We should make sure we remember what really happened, right?

Submitted by lambert on

Though much of it I repressed.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

All it requires is for some superdelegates to start calling for Dean's and Brazile's heads. A set of SD's start to grumble at the poll numbers. They start to point out the damage to downticket Dems. More grumbling snowballs into a full scale avalanceh of grumbling. Obama is sternly chided for taking a week off in Hawaii. Crowds got positively NUTS when Clinton makes an appearance.
More grumbling, getting louder. If the poll numbers continue to sink, it might just happen.
Of course, we might speed it along if a group of blogs start raising money for downticket Republicans. That might get their attention.

Come together at The Confluence

Submitted by lambert on

If you want people to conclude the PUMA is funded by the Republicans, indeed yes, raise money for them.

If you want to undercut the TX caucus vid, indeed yes, do that.

Have at it, say I! Let's introduce a note of bracing clarity into the whole situation!

[pounds head on desk]

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

But damned hard when the media so clearly chooses sides and the media critique is all-but-dead (and never got as mainstream in its own right as it should have been).

And I'm with Lambert with the head-on-keyboard over progressives floating the idea of funding Republicans. As they say on SNL, "Really?"

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

IMHO, the time has come to draw a line of differentiation. I'm a newbie without say, of course, but it's my two cents. I don't mean censoring dissent, just minding the brand.

"Of course, we might speed it along if a group of blogs start raising money for downticket Republicans. That might get their attention."

Goldberry... nothing personal. Our politics have too little in common, but I sincerely admire and applaud your activism. And enjoy your intelligence and wit immensely.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

..and never was.

It is, however, PUMA friendly, because PUMAs are all that is left of the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party".

Everyone assumes that PUMAs will be supporting if Obama is the nominee -- but I see no indication of that. Each PUMA will be allowed to vote their conscience because that is the essence of being a PUMA -- rejection of the idea that you have to vote a certain way to be a PUMA.

Indeed, I expect that some current PUMAs will wind up voting for Obama in November (and no, VL, that doesn't mean you can go back to supporting Obama as the 2% less evil candidate NOW) ;)

Submitted by lambert on

If not as "censoring dissent"?

Personally, I'd rather have the notion floated right before my eyes, so I can call it out for the bullshit I see it to be.

And, frankly, I've had a bellyful of sites that purge people because of positions they take on electoral politics, and having been purged personally, I'm reluctant to purge others. Lying, trolling, chronic truthiness are one thing --- but banning people under a euphemism like "protect the brand"?

Where does that end, pray tell? In a few months, this will all be over anyhow.

NOTE I also see the idea of branding anything as not something else as silly. What, Corrente, the un-PUMA?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

Then I meant it.

I was thinking of something as little as a strikeout over the "[ ] Any mullah-sucking..."

Branding is adding and removing the X in front of [ ] Very tepidly...

Those modifications were not "silly" and hardly provoked wailings and a Stalinist purge.

But never mind.

Submitted by lambert on

Branding is putting up something in the sidebar, say. Applies to the whole site, not one contributors comment line. That's a big proposal and a big change, and that's why you got the reaction you did.

No, I don't propose to change my sig -- though Obama has the power to change my sig (though after his disgraceful FISA vote, and the hideous plank on health care, not much).

However, you too have the power to make your own sig to express your views as a contributor -- go to My Account, the edit tab, and scroll down. Have at it!

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

And I don't see the need to, either way.

We've had some, well, interesting discussions about what constitutes a true PUMA anyway, and I don't believe that's ever really been settled.

I agree with Paul that this site is relatively PUMA-friendly. But that doesn't mean that some of us won't pounce like jungle cats about, say, generous talk about McCain or suggestions of funding the GOP.

Personally, I'm sympathetic to the fundamental idea that forced or otherwise unwarranted unity in the face of an unapologetically destructive campaign is bad idea. That's not to speak ill of those who decide (or have decided) that voting for Obama is the right thing to do. But I don't like the taste of bullshit, and pretending that everything is hunky dory in Donkeyland is bullshit.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I hope we get to see something because there are definitely leads that needed to be followed up on. And if what they appeared to indicate is true, then it's a story that should be told. Even if it doesn't change the nominee this year, perhaps it would discredit the caucus system enough to get us all primaries. Although given that states like Washington had citizen initiatives to institute primaries, but the Democratic Party decided it was okay to still use caucuses (presumably to keep the power in the hands of the elite), I'm not sure any amount of bad action will get them to take action. The party, like so much of the Village these days, appears to not know the meaning of the word "shame."

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Just because *I* tell people that friends don't let friends vote Republican, doesn't mean that other PUMAs wouldn't do it. As a matter of fact, I have seen that idea floated out there. I don't know how serious people are about doing it. If I were the DNC, I'd be concerned. These things develop a life of their own and there's no telling what voters might do if they're ticked off enough. It's wrong, wrong, wrong but, hey, they're adults.
And so what if they get called Republicans? It's only slightly less bad than being called racist by your own party. Come together at The Confluence