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Who kidnapped Chris Bowers?

First, misrepresent "dozens of comments." Next, ignore those who correct the misrepresentation. What is this, Versailles?

A very disappointing post. Democrats deserve better.

No votes yet


Submitted by hipparchia on

a 'bad' score isn't absolutely horrible in this case.

that part of the blogosphere that is whole hog for obamacare will point and laugh, but that just means that citizens are going to have be ready to get on the phone to their congresscritters immediately and say: yes, i'd pay that [in taxes] in return for 'free' care. we're also going to have to start talking up a storm among our friends and neighbors to get them to call too.

even a full study would point out the fact that costs are going to be X [huge] and that taxes would be need to be raised by Y [not huge for most people] to cover that. there are older cbo studies of single payer available to use for comparison.

because the bill is fairly simple, and based on systems that have been proven to work over and over, it will be a [relatively] simple task to demonstrate where the bulk of the savings lie, and exactly how much the 'average family' would pay in taxes compared to what they pay in premiums now. need to demonstrate how much can be saved on drugs as a for instance? compare medicare's spending to medicaid's or the vha.

a full study is a nice-to-have for single payer, but it's an absolute have-to-have for something as arcane and obscure and experimental as hr3200.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

was different before? I thought he was always like that.

(Just started reading him on Open Left a few weeks ago.)

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I see him as a well-meaning guy who's caught up in a culture where inhaling your own fumes is inevitable, and where flying close to the Village flame is an attractive danger -- a siren call of illusory gate-crashing promise.

He bought a ticket to the "public option" dance, thinking he was doing the right thing. And since all the kewl kidz were doing it, how could it be a mistake?

Je répète:

Alas, the tools for consensus-building among the top tier of the blogosphere and activist groups like MoveOn are a little too efficient. Support coalesces quickly and pervasively, as it did in the netroots groundswell around Obama. But does it coalesce wisely? And where will the course-corrections come from if it doesn't?

And if we don't get wiser activism from those with the big megaphones, then who's running our country? The status quo is. Same as it ever was.

I'm disappointed, because I think he's fundamentally thoughtful, but compromised by the imperatives of the crypto-MSM.

selise's picture
Submitted by selise on

if it were me, especially at his age, i don't think i could reject the temptation of the siren call.

i do hope i would eventually figure it out though, and i really hope people not exposed to the temptations would pester me with their povs. i figure that's all we can do for chris -- his choices are his own, but we can try to assist... even if our dissent not sought.

the thing is that there have been earlier examples that i had hoped would be lessons about how the grass roots are manipulated by the party and some progressive organizations (see moveon). an example that comes to mind (especially because i gave chris hard time about it) was in 2007 when moveon whipped the progressive caucus to vote for the war supplemental bill (they had gone through the motions of getting member feedback with a manipulative poll).

i wish people like chris (and jane for that matter) would consult with their readers and other outsiders before taking decisions (like the hcr pre-compromise in favor of a flawed party policy), especially those that go against an authentic progressive grass roots effort.

dblhelix's picture
Submitted by dblhelix on

to kick up site hits.

The sites you call 'a-list' are commercial enterprises and thier owners generally don't have jobs, except to fundraise off the internet. Another day, another fundraiser. Otherwise, they depend on ad money, often from reactive sources.

Why anyone would support a "Chris Bowers" (or anyone else) being rude to them, mystifies me.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I remember a while back being in a discussion about the professionalization of bloggers. I thought it would be bad back then and worthy of more discussion. I can't remember all of my arguments, but I still think its worth discussing. Especially in light of what we've called V2M.

V2M = Village-Versailles Media.

I think this is much more important a distinction than calling it the corporate media (sorry jawbone) because it encompasses the professional bloggers who want to build an empire/brand and make money (Talking Points Memo) and all the little insider wannabes (Bowers, etc) who want so desparately to be part of the hip, trendy (or "Pibber") Village crowd.

dblhelix's picture
Submitted by dblhelix on

I see bloggers as derivative, more or less -- much like repackaged securities. For all the crying about the traditional media, without them, they're nothing. That's the off-time -- during election cycles, it's fundraising for the DP.

If you want to call Versailles manufactured consent, then blogs = manufactured dissent. It's all managed by the same reactionary elements at the end of the day. The range of permitted conversation is, of course, quite narrow, hence the shunning of single payer, along with other progressive topics.

It works off the 'first hit is for free' marketing principle. Most bloggers who are heavily invested are in the top two quintiles of household income. "Taking on the DLC" or the Lamont brouhaha is what pulled many in -- the idea that through small donations, you can control outcomes. You'd have to look long and hard to find a success story over the past 5 yrs though, unless you're the DSCC/DCCC.

The second point is that the online progressives are not the base of the part. The base = single women and minority voters. This is why OFA was so successful in the primary, and I give them full credit. If you really want to effect change, online organizing is only one component -- you need to go into neighborhoods and universalize membership. That's how OFA effectively blew off the blogs, leaving them the option of adapting, dying or reorganizing.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Do you have any data supporting the idea that OFA and Obama did better than Hillary with minorities and single women? Seems to me that the exact opposite was the case. Hispanics in general went for Hillary two to one. The limited data I saw on Asian Americans suggested even stronger support for Hillary over Obama. African Americans went 95-100% for Obama, but that is a special case in this instance. Obama's base was the wealthy white, the youth vote and African Americans. He's definitely been helping out one of those groups. The others....?

This has been talked about, and well written and documented essays are available, but Obama's delegate lead was exclusively through the caucus system, which we know was rampant with fraud. Additionally, *EVERY* state that had both caucus and primary showed consistently different results, suggesting further that the caucus system was not the most reflective way to judge voter preferences. Oh, and there is that whole fact that more people voted for Hillary despite her being outspent 2 to 1 or more in many states.

Submitted by lambert on

... on OFA "going into the neighborhoods" (which ones?) and to "universalize membership." Because whatever they did, it wasn't enough to get a majority of the primary popular vote (assuming that MI and FL are part of your neighborhood).

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

I just did a quick round of the msnbc and cnn exit poll sites on the Dem. primaries. (yes, I know, the sources -- but not a lot of sites have exit polling broken down by marital status)

They didn't have numbers for Single Women for all states. But of the primary states for which they did, Clinton won 14, Obama 10, and one was a tie. In the other primary states, Clinton won women overall and white women in 8 and Obama won in 3.

State-counting isn't really a legit measure, I admit (which was why it was so annoying when the OFB trumpted Obama's "10 [small red state caucus] wins in a row!"). But Clinton won single women or women overall in most of big populated states.

On race, there's no exit data (in my cursory search) for most primary states aside from white v AA, but where there is, Obama won among Hispanics in only 3 states (CT, IL and VA -- in IL only by 1 point, interestingly), while Clinton won by wide margins, 20+ pts, in 9. I could find numbers for Asians only for CA, where Clinton won 71-25.

Single Women:
Clinton (AZ, AR, CA, CT, FL, MA, MT, NH, NJ, NY, NM, OK, SD, TN)
Obama (AL, DE, GA, IL, MD, MO, OR, SC, UT, VA)
tie (WI)

Women Overall and White Women:
Clinton (IN, KY, LA, OH, PA, RI, TX, WV)
Obama (MS, NC, VT)

Clinton (AZ, CA, FL, MD, MA, NH, NM, NY, TX)
Obama (CT, IL, VA)

Clinton, 71-25

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

You all know the post I'm referring to right?

If you still respectd Bowers as a worthy liberal analyst after that, then you would be surprised by what he does now. As we saw in the primary, and really, what any person paying attention in the 1990s would see, the Clintons weren't exctly the Village favorites. The difference with Capt. Pibber's Village is that its more overtly elitist and full of self-love.

That he was silent on the "pie fights" is even more reason for me not to take what he says to be actual liberalsim. You can't be a liberal if you're *ever* willing to disregard democracy. Principles matter.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Since then, he's blown off my e-mails, my being slandered on his site, etc.

Still, his writing a post defending a blogger nobody reads and everybody hates shows character. If his subsequent actions haven't impressed me, I can still see that.

I hope he learns something from his seemingly disastrous advocacy for "public option," and his playing into the stultifying power-orthodoxy of the Blogosphere Elite.

Submitted by lambert on

Which is why I had a great deal of hope for him. Then again, it probably doesn't make a lot of sense to take any attitude but "there but for the Grace of God go I." Apparently, the blight from contact with Versailles spreads incredibly fast.

dblhelix's picture
Submitted by dblhelix on

It's not too hard. You can be the most important guy in the room for about 5 min if you can write a check (or collect a lot of small checks). You just have to play under somebody else's rules.

If you're more the activist type, there's nothing wrong with ad sponsorship as long as there's no conflict of interest w/ mission. That's time-consuming to develop, though, esp since the market for 'political blogosphere' is pretty small.

Submitted by lambert on

Actually, I'm implementing ads. But for us readers.

selise's picture
Submitted by selise on

did anyone hear ian master's interview with sarah robinson this week? i heard a bit of it earlier (wasn't a topic i was v interested in, but happened to catch some of it).

anyway, if i heard correctly, she said something about demands/threats the obama administration had made on progressives re healthcare reform that is potentially semi-related to the topic of this post and i was wondering if anyone had heard the interview?

i don't want to paraphrase by memory because i could have heard wrong. but i'll try to catch it on another station (and record if possible) -- otherwise i'll have to wait until the podcast goes up in a couple of weeks.


sorry to be so cryptic, but the curiosity is killing me and misery loves company.

Submitted by lambert on

Nice to see you picking up the cudgels over at OL.

selise's picture
Submitted by selise on

i think it may be the program that is going to start in about 10 min on kucr ( has streaming link).

[EDIT TO ADD: WRONG PROGRAM :( -- will have to try again]

looks like podcasts go up about 2 weeks later. there will be a link then.

p.s. thanks. always nice to have company when expressing dissent. do wish chris had made the effort to respond.

selise's picture
Submitted by selise on

found it at wbai, scroll down for the tues sept 22 9am show. the mp3 tmp available for download:

Live from the Left Coast with Ian Masters
How to build a fascist proof America. The death of conservatism.

the interesting bit starts at about 17 min in. i've made a rough transcript of the central bit (i hope someone can fix it up, i'm way too tired to do it now):

[context is ian saying something about fdr msg to the left "make me do it" --s]


oh yeah, obama is going to the activists now, [??? --s] healthcare debate. he went to left wing activists and said, "don't you push for single payer and don't go leaning on the blue dogs. and if you do, we're going to go to your funders and have your funding cut. he went to all the liberal think tanks and media outlets and they said we hold your purse strings and if you cross us on this, if you don't come over to the center with us on this, we're going to cut your funding. that was horrifying, [laughing] i work for some of those left wing think tanks.

but it was a sign that rather than let their left flank take the edge of the window and drag it all the way over and talk about really radical things like single payer [imo sarcastic, sara has previously written in support of single payer --s]. and then obama could cut a deal that was somewhat to the right of that but not very far and get a lot more. we were a strong negotiating thing that he had going on and they cut us off on at the face [i'm not sure about this sentence, hard to hear --s]. jane hamsher has written about this.


i was going to say just to follow up on the fdr analogy, fdr said to the liberal activists, "make me do it."


obama says, "get out of my way."

a couple initial thoughts before sleep:

1. i'm not sure what is the timing of the warnings sara describes. were the policy warnings (no single payer, come over to the center) earlier? that, i think, might make sense -- it's not like anyone was making a big single payer push this summer. and maybe the blue dog warnings were more recently? just guessing.

2. unless i missed it, jane wrote about the warnings not to go after the blue dogs, but nothing about warnings re single payer / policy. in fact i don't know of anyone who's previously described threats from obama camp re single payer.

anyone else have any thoughts to share?