Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Quote of the day: 12/13/06

The problem with the FDL* strategy is that they're trying to use establishment tactics to win progressive support and incite progressive passion. You can't do that. You can't make people feel clannish and defensive and small and then hope that they'll band together with people who scare them and start a revolution.


*for example--ed.


R. Mildred said...

I object to Piny implying that FDL or any of those hacks actually have a strategy!

Unsane said...


Nanette said...

But the thing is, they ARE establishment. Or, rather, are trying to break down the doors so that they can become recognized as such.

In some minds, "progressive movement" just seems to mean "I want to replace you with me... and if I have to use them to do so, I will".

Nothing progressive about that... been going on since the dawn of politics.

Also, I agree with r. mildred.

Where did piny say this?

belledame222 said...

US: "firedoglake"

Nanette: toward the end of the comments thread, uh, the one with 106 or so comments (waves vaguely downward)

belledame222 said...

"Once again, Black Amazon is right," that is, that thread

sunrunner said...

r.mildred, not that I can read Piny's mind or anything, but perhaps he meant "agenda!"

Nanette said...

What a great conversation that is/was. I kept trying to figure out a place to jump in, both here and at black amazon's, but my brain has been pretty much refusing to engage the past couple of days, and I just couldn't think of anything to say, lol.

kactus said...

yea, piny. He's up there with Ann-Margret for things I'd like to see under my xmas tree.

Lol. Just for the conversation, of course.

Eli said...

I think "establishment" is relative.

In the grand scheme of things (i.e., the greater universe of politics & media), *all* blogs are outsider rabble. But within the little liberal blogosphere pond, FDL is definitely establishment, along with Kos and sort-of-Eschaton (I don't think Atrios particularly gives a damn about being "establishment", but he's big enough that he can't help it).

I can't really object to the desire of major (or any) bloggers to break into the larger establishment so that they can propagate their message outside of the tiny handful of the population that reads blogs, but I don't think it's necessary to *emulate* that establishment.

If I keep typing, I'm pretty sure I'll come up with a point eventually. I just need to type FASTER and HARDER, and everything will fall into place and the point will greet me with flowers and candy.

belledame222 said...

(picturing piny doing a frug duet with A-M)

hey, welcome, eli.

>I think "establishment" is relative.

Yeah, exactly.

Bitch Lab had talked about how the (loosely defined) left in general has this weird sort of romanticization of the "margins," the self-concept as the "outsider," because--she traced it back to Hegel, this idea that the slave knows more than the master, on account of the master only has to know his own world whereas the slave has to know the master's as well as hir own.

which is part of what leads to i think the sort of ineffectuality that -supposedly- the new! improved! progressives were supposed to be countering. not all of it of course; but, it's there.

but instead joints like fdl have the worst of both worlds: all of the social climbing and elitism of the straight "establishment" chasers and -still- claiming outsider status. and behaving enough like gits, i might add, that they very likely will keep that status to a large degree, albeit not for the reasons they fondly like to imagine.

i mean, there's being "punk," and then there's just bein' an asshole.

belledame222 said...

but yeah, i think the mistake is in the common suggestion that having broken into the mainstream -inherently- means that so and so has "sold out." Which, no. The whole -point- is to get into the mainstream; that's what we want to -change.- The question isn't "how big are they," the question is, "are they walking their talk; are they still cognizant of what they supposedly started out to do in the damn first place."

it's probably -likely- that people who reach a certain degree of popularity have somehow made themselves more palatable and probably sacrificed someone or something to do it; but i don't know that it -has- to be that way. i mean, in that case, what would even be the point of trying?

Ravenmn said...

I tried to comment in response to this great post the first time I saw it, but the internets ate it.

I think FDL is very upfront about their grasp for power, and I have to give them credit for the honesty of their ambition. That's more than I expect from the run-of-the-mill politician.

Faint praise. Damning. Yeah.

Eli said...

I think it's great when FDL or any of the other liberal blogs hold political and media assholes accountable.

But there's an old saying, "Who watches the watchers?"

I *am* giving FDL a chance, though - I really did used to like it there, and I'm curious to see if I can detect any changes. I haven't seen any kind of piling on or Death From Above, which is encouraging, but I've generally only in a couple of threads per day.

Being ambitious is not a sin in and of itself, but it often tends be a leading indicator.

belledame222 said...

I understand they've actually hired a PR consultant?

Nanette said...

I understand they've actually hired a PR consultant?

Press secretary. And if they had any sense they'd fire her, toot sweet.

Unless the PR consultant is a new someone else to recover from the press secretary? Possible.

I don't have a problem, really, with bloggers wanting to be insiders and have political power or whatever, or with them being ambitious or taking the "outside" voices "inside"... well, not much anyway. I mean, that's sort of to be expected, especially once people figured out that blogs could be a vehicle to achieve all that.

I do have a problem with them attempting (apparently) to replicate the existing structure, only have it be a tiny bit leftier. I suppose what I really dislike is that I think it is a massive failure of imagination and innovation and opportunity.

And maybe that's just the way it goes as - unless you play the insider game to some extent, you don't have much of a chance of getting anywhere close to the door.

belledame222 said...

well, it's just -stupid,- the way they're doing it. Attack the right as the enemy, but also alienate your potential base on the left and violently attack the ones who dare to criticize you when you do (which in no way is further alienating); suck up to power relentlessly but at the same time position yourself as "punk" outsiders, snipe viciously at people one rung up from you (i.e. Wonkette) and simultaneously sneer at the people one rung down, never mind further. Yeah, that's a tenable position.

Oh yeah, and turn yourself into an amateur relentless campaign for a given candidate, then make a P.R. mistake that results in him dissociating himself from you and from the blogs in general. Then he -loses,- and...

and all the people who'd asked "gee, wouldn't it be nice to talk about something -else- at some point?" are probably long gone one way or the other...

you know. you can piss off some of the people all of the time, and all of the people all of the time, but...

ballgame said...

OK, I just want to say that I dissent from the Emerging Consensus on this and the previous thread.

I realize I am saying this on the basis of limited knowledge … I have not read all of the extended past thread debates on all the other blogs that have been referred to. I am not a regular FDL reader. But I did read the TRex Japan post. I also read one of the referenced thread debates whereby Jane Hamsher gets into it with one of her critics. And I read the Hamsher column that originally had the blackface graphic.

My conclusion is that this wholesale condemnation of FDL is way overboard and when they get pissy defending themselves they occassionally Have A Point. Hamsher sure as hell deserves better than to be compared to Ann Fucking Coulter as one of commenters here did on their blog (a rhetorical offense that far exceeds anything that I've seen come from TRex so far).

Donna said...

You're not paying attention then, Ballgame. How about this lovely little post?

belledame222 said...

Really, ballgame? You read the kidneystones post and some, any of the responses? (all 244 of them...) D'you really think that these were appropriate for an off-site criticism? someone's diary, as someone notes (I will get to this) four months later? Does this even make sense? and yes, I include the flying monkeys.

I apologized (1+ / 0-)
And you full well know that, Jane. I have the emails to prove it. I don't think people would be very impressed by you if I were to post your replies to what were my honest apologies for my mistake.

Progressive Wave
"Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

by PsiFighter37 on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 02:06:32 PM PST
[ Parent ]
Anyway (0 / 0)
I could care less whether Jane or anyone else gets drinks or even gets drunk.

But that is not the issue.

FDL is infected with some pretty substantial racist tendencies, and the fact that Jane has to resort to bringing up a personal grudge in order to "defend" herself is pretty telling.

by not your standard poodle on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 07:47:28 PM PST
[ Parent ]
What's racist? (1+ / 0-)
TRex was simply saying that America is better than Japan. What could possible be wrong with saying that? Are you saying it's racist to write that?

Whose standard poodle are you if you're not MY standard poodle?

by TeddySanFran on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 08:25:55 PM PST
[ Parent ]
sniff sniff (2+ / 0-)
does it smell like dangerstein in here?

We are not "compassionate conservatives." We are "fighting liberals." And we'll kick your ass.

by Pachacutec on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 08:28:48 PM PST
[ Parent ]
Actually (0 / 0)
I live in NYC and volunteered "on the ground" time and phone time in both the primary and the gen election and gave quite a lot of $$ to Lamont. Defeating joe was a huge priority for me.

Lamont should've won.

by not your standard poodle on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 08:36:17 PM PST
[ Parent ]
ah, so you're an envious attention seeking (2+ / 0-)
talentless pseudo-intellectual fraudster who hates Jane and chose a sock puppet screen name purposely to riff off the fact that Jane has full sized poodles.

Jeebus, this is sad.

We are not "compassionate conservatives." We are "fighting liberals." And we'll kick your ass.

by Pachacutec on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 08:42:07 PM PST
[ Parent ]
Why is it... (0 / 0)
that anytime someone criticizes poor little Jane, you come creeping out of the woodwork and accuse whoever it is, no matter what the issue of having no talent and attention-seeking.


And getting really old.

by not your standard poodle on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 08:44:59 PM PST
[ Parent ]
i fight the lies (2+ / 0-)
and I take it our paths have crossed before under another of your sock puppets names.

We are not "compassionate conservatives." We are "fighting liberals." And we'll kick your ass.

by Pachacutec on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 09:00:23 PM PST
[ Parent ]
Actually (0 / 0)
I typically never read blogs and don't comment. But what I am reading here is typical of what I have seen on other blogs, particularly on a comment thread a few months ago on FDL, when you could not handle the valid points that Jeffrey Feldman made.

And go ahead, call me a liar! Can you "prove" one? Just one?

by not your standard poodle on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 09:04:54 PM PST
[ Parent ]
correction (0 / 0)
I meant to write that I typically read blogs and never comment.

But you can be assured that you and I have never crossed swords -- before this.

by not your standard poodle on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 09:06:20 PM PST

before you call me a liar, I meant a thread on mydd, not fdl.

by not your standard poodle on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 09:07:43 PM PST

Jeff and I came to much of an understanding, and he's joined us in comments at FDL since.

Others in that thread, like you, ignore any engagement of the facts I brought to light, attempting to precipitate an unending cycle of discussion of irrelevant extrannia whose purpose is to shout, "Pay attention to ME."

With that, I'm done with you. Go back to lurking.

We are not "compassionate conservatives." We are "fighting liberals." And we'll kick your ass.

by Pachacutec on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 09:28:53 AM PST


Tangentially, y'know who says "I'm done with you" in that same "tone?" Barbara Bush.


If you're implying... (0 / 0)
...that this person is a sockpuppet of mine, you're quite mistaken. Even when I get into arguments with people I don't like, I don't resort to the childish insulting this person appears to be utilizing. If you've seen any of my previous arguments with Armando (when he was around), you'll notice that I was always asking for a more polite tone.

So please abstain from implying this person is somehow related to me. I don't live in NYC, nor could I donate much money to the Lamont campaign (I gave $10.01).

Progressive Wave
"Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

by PsiFighter37 on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 09:43:51 PM PST
[ Parent ]

Prove it (3+ / 0-)
I think you'd be proud of this. Who did you work for? Where? What's your name? What did you do? You shouldn't have anything to be afraid of if you did all of this positive work. Come on, let's have it. Or do you just cringe behind the counter when you're race baiting and engaging in ad hominum, wingnut attacks?

by Fire Dog Lake on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 11:25:05 AM PST
[ Parent ]
*Crickets* (0 / 0)

by Fire Dog Lake on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 08:05:14 AM PST
[ Parent ]
From the FAQ (1+ / 0-)
Many people chose to post to Daily Kos under pseudonyms, keeping their real names confidential. There are many reasons why people would choose not to reveal their real names. Revealing the identify of someone who has chosen to remain anonymous is a bannable offense. It is also a morally reprehensible thing to do.

Marisacat got banned long ago for constantly asking posters to reveal their real identity. Such behavior is verboten on Daily Kos



Seriously, does this look like anything but rank bullying to you? Because if not, well, I guess we really -aren't- seeing the same thing.

Coming to someone else's page to complain that they are criticising you in this spew-y manner and making -yourself- (plural) out to be the victim--as noted by the complainers themselves, a relatively obscure diary and MONTHS LATER-- reminds me of nothing so much as g-m-r's m.o. Which in its own way I suppose is also a form of attempted damage contron & P.R. putting out a fire with gasoline, but hey, it's Everyone Else's Fault, Always.

I -think- "firedoglake" is Jane herself, there.

Really? (3+ / 3-)
So instead of publicly apologizing in the same way you publicly libeled me (as I asked in your preciously little horded emails), you're now threatening me on top of it? Because if you did, I'd like to see it. Please, link to it right now, right here.

You're an arrogant fuck who took private information he got from working as a volunteer on the Lamont campaign and put it up on the web, no doubt to the delight of the Lieberman campaign, which caused virtually everyone who worked on the Lamont campaign to have to cease from blogging after that.

You're a pissy, thin-skinned, preening little asshole who didn't like getting spanked for his sexist bullshit and now spends his time race-baiting and name calling to soothe his bruised ego and demands to be taken seriously.


by Fire Dog Lake on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 11:21:18 AM PST
[ Parent ]
Oh and might I say (3+ / 1-)
How very brave of you to troll rate me for calling you on your bullshit.

Thin skinned wanker.

by Fire Dog Lake on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 11:26:25 AM PST
[ Parent ]
To the thin skinned wanker (3+ / 0-)
Taking private information and posting it is the lowest form of blogging there is (not to mention the drinking remarks) and sheds light on your character sir, which you sorely lack. You are a COWARD...

by Jamato on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 11:46:00 AM PST
[ Parent ]
How many of them are there? (0 / 0)
Now I am completely confused, because I am a large-numbered DK commenter without trust. Is kidneystones psyfighter37? Is kidneystones not your standard poodle? Is psyfighter37 not your standard poodle?

I guess we'll never know the answers to these burning questions. Not all irritants are bi-partisan, apparently.

by TeddySanFran on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 12:17:12 PM PST
[ Parent ]
Tri-partisan? (0 / 0)
Or trip-artisan?!

by TeddySanFran on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 12:17:49 PM PST
[ Parent ]
I am not a sockpuppet (0 / 0)
I already explained that upthread. Apparently, you will use whatever method you have at hand to undermine a dKos member in good standing here.

It's worthy of a GOP hatchet job, to say the least.

Progressive Wave
"Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

by PsiFighter37 on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 12:37:32 PM PST
[ Parent ]
I asked you if you wanted a public apology (1+ / 0-)
You never gave me an answer one way or the other. You simply continued to attack me in the same childish manner that you are doing now.

Would you like me to post a public apology? If so, I would be glad to do so.

And I'm not a 'thin-skinned wanker', as you like to put it. You're posting personal attacks that are unfounded, so I am following the rules by troll-rating you.

P.S. Next time, you can leave your supporters at home instead of making sure they come here to pile on.

Progressive Wave
"Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

by PsiFighter37 on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 12:29:34 PM PST
[ Parent ]
Supporters vs. sockpuppets (1+ / 0-)
If one has supporters who see one libelled and falsely accused, one's supporters won't stay "home." Sure beats sockpuppetry, having real people who agree with you. Try it some time.

by TeddySanFran on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 12:37:03 PM PST
[ Parent ]
Read above (1+ / 0-)
These other people are not my sockpuppets. If you even bothered to frequent Daily Kos more often, you would know this.

You are pathetic.

Progressive Wave
"Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

by PsiFighter37 on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 12:38:16 PM PST
[ Parent ]
Personal attack (0+ / 1-)

by TeddySanFran on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 12:39:35 PM PST


Longish sample, but it's -just- a sample:

piling on (on, let's repeat, -someone else's blog-; on fdl itself threads are frequently locked, posts deleted, people banned), repeated accusations of sockpuppetry with absolutely no basis, accusations of jealousy, "show me your creds," demands to reveal the -real name-, (paging Ann Bartow), bringing up old grudges rather than address the content; on and on and fucking on.

How is this reasonable? More to the point, how is this -helpful-? To me, it looks, well, kind of insane.

belledame222 said...

this one's my favorite, from Pacachutec:

ah, so you're an envious attention seeking
talentless pseudo-intellectual fraudster who hates Jane and chose a sock puppet screen name purposely to riff off the fact that Jane has full sized poodles.

Jane. Has. Full Sized. Poodles.

like -me.- Grrr!!


and everyone in the world is just "envious," everyone.

oh yah, speaking of: another T-Rex gem.

You may also be interested in this thread, a thoughtful post and follow-up discussion by a number of fdl "alumni."

Be sure to read lotus' explanation of how and why she got banned from fdl.

the Ballad of the Banning of Lotus:

Between the week immediately following YKos and the 26th of August, Jane responded to me three times (the only three times she ever did). Each time, something I'd said had mightily pissed her off and she wanted everyone to understand that. Each time, what I'd said (and only the first was directed to her) was in one way or another a request that we avoid "friendly fire" between commenters.

KaBOOM #1, The Margaret Incident, was Jane's tearing into a new commenter named Margaret, who'd ID'd herself as a little-old-lady type dismayed by some of the pretty-rough anger being exchanged among the commenters that night. Remember how edgy the whole place was that week? Anyhow, I said something unwise -- something like "I'm sorry to see this happen, Jane, and I hope when you're better rested you'll come to see Margaret as an ally instead of an adversary." And here came Jane, blazing away at me for "hijacking the thread." I did what I could to get offstage ASAP.

This is the first of the "kabooms," btw, as archived by sunrunner:

And yeah, Belledame222, that Make Them Accountable post was eye-opening, wasn’t it. In fact, there was more on that FDL post, starting this mild criticism here:


I don’t think FDL is superficial. I come here because it’s mostly not superficial, as far as Christy’s Posts and some of Jane’s about Plame are concerned. But, at times the meanness and just plain nastiness of Jane’s posts, especially about other women, seem terribly off the beam we should be riding to victory over evil Repubs. (And thanks, for agreeing, that integrity is #1 concern.) Who the heck cares about Wonkette? Cox is totally irrelevant.

Which brought was followed up by this (after some piling on by others):

Well, now, we have a bunch of folks who love the nastiness, and we have a small bunch who like some intelligent analysis, sans vituperation. And, we have a few who suggest if you don’t like what you read, go……..somewhere else. And, a really physically lovely, intelligent woman with a gift for language, i.e., Jane, abuses her gifts with really the kind of words, I’m afraid I have never encountered, not even on bathroom walls while in college. I don’t even know what they mean.

The problem with these dark words is that they stay in the head, and change one’s internal grace as a human being. I simply don’t want certain images in my head, be it bathroom graffiti, or, to carry it further, detailed descriptions of beheadings by Middle East terrorists, or stories about rape victims, or accident victims, or any other victims of horrendous action. Words have great power, and we should be careful how we use them. They can incite the unhealthy to assassinations and other kinds of violence. On the FDL level, it doesn’t amount to anything with any depth. It’s only word-slinging back and forth to give the Poster and the bloggers who share the Poster’s low-mindedness strokes. Weird, to me. And, a form of word-rape.

It’s responsible to be inventive and creative with language; it’s dangerous to sling language around, carelessly, insensitive to whom it may hurt or offend. Ah, for the days of Addison and Steele.

And evoked this from Jane Hamsher:

Margaret 116 — “Ah for the days of Addison and Steele.”

You’re a smug, self-righteous bitch. How about those words?

And this:

Margaret 119 — You can call me “hateful” and “angry” and that’s okay. I guess you’re the only one who gets to choose the invectives? You’re a self-absorbed, condescending scold who wants to dictate the level of discourse and wag your finger everyone who doesn’t meet your high standards. Regardless of the topic of the thread, you’re going to drag it into whatever bullshit seems to be under your skin at that particular moment. You have no respect for the blog, the comment system, or your fellow commenters. You want to lecture me? You’re a complete, utter sanctimonious bitch. You obviously know what it means, so I’ll leave it at that.

And then this (guess Margaret really got under her skin):

Oh and Margaret, consider this a warning. If you want to continue this topic of conversation, you can do it here in THIS THREAD but if you try to drag it into a new one and derail yet ANOTHER conversation in the rude, selfish and uncivilized way that is your wont, you’re out of here.

Do you understand that, or shall I get you a dictionary?


By the way, sunrunner posted that as a response to my own incredulity at the original post from whence that came, in which Jane takes on Ana Marie Cox (former Wonkette) : Time Magazine Launches Bukkake Festival

t one point during our FDL caucus on the first day of the convention, Ana Marie Cox was standing out in the hallway with Byron York and Pach hailed them inside. York came in and sat down, but as Wankette teetered through the crowd on a pair of spindly legs shown to ill-effect in a set of shorts I’d seen on the markdown rack at Barneys (others wisely having steered clear), she looked like some self-fashioned Marie Antoinette afraid that the unwashed masses were going to mob her. After that the only place I ever saw her was in the media room, safely protected from the dirty horde. Tap tap tap, intrepid girl journalist, where’s that guy from the Weekly Standard.

Her previous career may have been launched by a wilingness to coarsen political discourse by talking about the things she inserted into her rectum, but at Time she seems to have changed positions. TBogg alerts us this morning that her new stint seems to be on her knees:

She also emails: "Bonus material: I saw Joe Wilson get not one but two standing ovations today; he was also called ‘a true American hero.’ People waited in line for his autograph. I’m going to begin drinking now."

That was me, and I called him one at 9:45 in the morning. Since Wankette was looking a bit puffy (especially around the eyes) the entire time she was there I can only imagine she made good on her threat.

It’s aparent Cox isn’t quite bright enough to understand the dynamics of what is going on either in politics or with the netroots so I’m sure she must go to someone for an explanation, and Instacracker is as good as the next I suppose. (Talking about things she doesn’t understand seems to be her new specialty — or maybe not, I never really read her so it’s possible I just didn’t notice. I’ll certainly take the trouble to do so now.) But in the interest of being helpful to another gal, I thought I’d give her a brief history lesson and let her know why I said it.

...I realize this isn’t on a par with, you know, being willing to degrade everything you touch by acting like some drunken public slag and treat people like lepers without whom you wouldn’t be where you are today, but it will have to do.

(please note, this is the same woman who was self-righteously thundering at kidneystones for claiming she was "drunk in public" herself! how sexist, of kidneystones, to cast aspersions on a Woman's public behavior! indeed).

Somehow, I can't get too worked up about a relatively obscure blogger likening her to Ann Coulter, you know?

Although I suppose the point could've been made just as easily with:

"Bitch ca-RAZY."

belledame222 said...

by the way, please note: I have no personal dog in this, at least as far as personal axes against Hamsher and TRex and so forth. Never posted on fdl in my life. Don't think any of 'em ever spoke to me anywhere else. used to like TRex back when he was on Shakespeare's Sister. that's it, though.

And I was early on persuaded by such thoughtful dissections as Kai's problem with (one of) fdl's use of yellowface.

But what's really appalling to me and i think most people aren't even the original posts (blackface, yellowface, "slurping the gnarly knob of power," "drunken slag," etc.) but their brassknuckled attempts at controlling the response. Seriously, who -needs- this? Like we don't have enough nasty, thin-skinned egomaniacs in power already. The master's tools? Or just plain tools? I vote the latter.

R. Mildred said...

The whole -point- is to get into the mainstream

The whole point is to make the marginalised group equal to the mainstream actually - thinking marx's proley-roley revolution here - which creates the side effect of completly getting rid of the very existence any sort of marginalised status.

belledame222 said...

anyway, the climbers there would do well to remember a couple of old maxims:

"The dogs bark, but the caravan passes on"


"Be courteous to the people you meet on the way up; they're the same ones you're going to meet on the way down."

yes, even if "they" are all "thin-skinned," "envious," "attention-seekers," "self-absorbed, condescending..."

more projection than the Sundance Goddam Film Fest

belledame222 said...

The whole point is to make the marginalised group equal to the mainstream actually - thinking marx's proley-roley revolution here - which creates the side effect of completly getting rid of the very existence any sort of marginalised status.

right, that's what I meant.

and, as per the original quote, you don't get there by creating a new elite right off the bat.

or as someone else called it, a "shadow-Democratic party."

R. Mildred said...

Somehow, I can't get too worked up about a relatively obscure blogger likening her to Ann Coulter, you know?

Well in so far as Ann Coulter exists to push the rightwing political dialogue further rightward, hamsher is no leftwing coulter, more of a leftwing... who on the right pushes the political discourse to left again?

belledame222 said...

she's actually reminding me of O'Rilly? more than anyone else, with the belligerant-martyred self-righteousness.

belledame222 said...

>who on the right pushes the political discourse to left again?

well the equivalent would really be a left person who uh. pushes it more to the left?

how the hell are we defining "left" at...

well anyway. i dunno. Ward Churchill? he's hardly a party hack, though.

"egomaniac, power-tripping" seems to me to be associated more with what i think of as if not the "right" then certainly "authoritarianism," (ideologically; de facto obviously it can be and is freaking -anybody-) which is what we're -supposedly- fighting against. anyway i don't exactly see fdl taking a you know Leninist approach to economics, and we've seen their record on what's been called "identity politics," so I'm not really sure in what sense they're "left" at all.

R. Mildred said...

or as someone else called it, a "shadow-Democratic party."


how the hell are we defining "left" at...

I was going by self identified identities there, though that's generally a Kosian "left" these days, which comes with the silent "...of mussolini" on the end of it.

sunrunner said...

Well, it is true, as r.milfred says that Hamsher does not push the left-wing more left-ward. Rather her similarity Coulter is more in "style" --the personal attacks, the name-calling and the flat-out meanness. Anyway, I didn't come up with the idea all my own, rather it was brought up at this BagNewsNote post and comment thread. Who I might add, was the first on the left, other than Liza Sabater--to call Hamsher out on her blackface follies.

And Ballgame. You are right. My blog is obscure. Has it occurred to you that I like it that way? That in the larger scheme of things, having a blog might not be such a big deal to some people? So, you might wonder, why do I even bother at all? Well, occasionally I feel like saying something, and MY blog gives me a place to do it. Isn't that what the "net" is supposed to be about--an opportunity to give everyone a voice? Which truth be told, seems to be the part that Hamsher has the most problems with--it is alright for her to write anything she wants about anything and anybody she wants to, but when others do, if they don't have her traffic (which she built by spending substantial amounts of money on advertising on sites like dailykos btw) then they should just stay in their insignificant places in technorati and stay out of her way.

Fat chance.

belledame222 said...

oh yeah, that was rhetorical.

sure, I mean, Vladimir Zhirinovsky called his party the "Liberal Democrats," too. you can -call- yourself anything you want, as far as I'm concerned. ("Agnes," say. It's a nice name). but, like, well?

"by their fruits you will know them."

anyawy to answer the earlier question, as i've said, "progressive" would now appear to mean "partisan Democrats who eat their Wheaties and strap on the Codpiece o' Macho" before swaggering out to meet th'Enemy."

issues? what issues?

wiki's take on the term:


There are at least three distinct meanings of the word "progressive", as it is used today. Ordered from the most vague to the most specific, they are as follows:
In the broadest sense, the label "progressive" may be used in self-description of anyone who advocates any kind of change in a society, or in any part of the political spectrum.
In a somewhat more restricted sense, "progressive" is a term used within left-wing politics to distinguish those who advocate moderate or gradual social change - often called either "progressives" or "reformists" - from those who advocate larger and more rapid changes - called "revolutionaries" or "radicals".
Finally, in the most specific sense, there is the continuation of the political movement/ideology that began in the late 19th century. This ideology is usually considered to belong to the political left-wing. Progressives support the continual advancement of workers' rights and social justice. The first progressives were some of the earliest proponents of anti-trust laws and the regulation of large corporations and monopolies. They were also among the first advocates of government-funded environmentalism, and the creation of National Parks and Wildlife Refuges. It is this meaning of progressivism that will be covered more extensively in the rest of the article below...

Note that Teddy and Woodrow are both "progressives;" this bunch would seem to be aspiring to Teddy's colonialism and "big stick" whilst not really paying much attention to the workers' rights or "trust-busting," which, it'd be nice if -someone- did, because it'd be a fine idea right about now.

belledame222 said...

sunrunner, my apologies, but actually i was the one who used the term "obscure." And i realize that that comes off as insulting, and i apologize. i meant: we're all obscure compared to fdl (and if we forget it, they swoop in with a reminder).


belledame222 said...

but yes, exactly: with power comes responsibility. So you say you want small-d democracy? And you're boasting left and right about yer HYUUUUUGE package I mean readership? Okay. So why does it seem like you're -more- sensitive to criticism than the bloggers who have like 1/100th of your readers? Why would you care enough to go hunting down someone like Liza or kidneystones? Why such a heavy hand with the "ban" and "delete" buttons? yah, there are real trolls, but frankly it looks like Jane has gone beyond "moderating" to "purging."

TRex's fixation on "I'm a superstar!" ("I going to make you a star") (whatever he said to Tom Watson, don't get vain just 'cause Wolcott linked to you, which wasn't exactly something Watson was going, "nyah, nyah, Wolcott NOTICED ME!!"), the constant accusations of "envy" and "social climbing" (!) to those down and up from them, respectively...yeah. This is the very opposite of a "democratic" impulse. One can only speculate its origin in each of them, but, I think, even if Jane hadn't made such spectacularly assy remarks her own self, I'd be pointing the finger at her. Fish rots from the head. And she -is- the head of that organization, and don't you -ever- forget it.

belledame222 said...

and now, getting my own mean on, I will voice this Bad Thought:

TRex=Andy Dick?

Donna said...

I'm always curious when someone has the impulse to protect the powerful against the weak. Like we are going to have an impact on the ignoramuses who read and comment at FDL? Sure we may pull away a few POC and anti-racist/anti-sexist readers, but FDL doesn't encourage or welcome those readers anyway. Caring about other people's issues, problems, and feelings; that's so Guy Lombardo. It's all about FDL and only FDL! Now that's punk baybeeeee!

sunrunner said...

belledame -- really I wasn't offended! I thought it was funny...

But the real point is, that Hamsher isn't a whole lot better than Coulter. Being an attention-seeking narcisist for the left is worse than being one for the right, in my book, that is.

But more importantly, I have a feeling that there were/are a whole lot of "moderates" and "conservatives" with a small "c" who have been offended/turned off by/repulsed by Coulter since day one but still they kept their mouth's shut. Why? Because she served their purposes in some way.

And because like many "liberals" (eg, Beyerstein) they don't give a shit about the "poor" and the "oppressed."

The same mistake should not be made with Hamsher and her ilk on "our" side of the political spectrum.

belledame222 said...

I'm always curious when someone has the impulse to protect the powerful against the weak.


Eli said...

and now, getting my own mean on, I will voice this Bad Thought:

TRex=Andy Dick?

I dunno; Andy Dick can be pretty funny sometimes.

I'm more conflicted on Jane: I really do like her posts, and I thought she was delightful when she visited Pittsburgh Drinking Liberally on her way to CT. But when she goes into self-righteous brook-no-criticism attack mode, I wince. It's like being at dinner with someone you really like and respect, and they suddenly start abusing the waitress for bringing them Coke instead of Pepsi.

She sent me a surprisingly nice e-mail in response to my post about FDL, but her response to my response (basically that what changed with the Clinton and blackface incidents was that it exposed a disconnect between the front-pagers and the commenting community as a whole, rather than just individual commenters, plus some imploring to be more sensitive to the Voice-Of-God phenomenon when front-pagers visit the comments - I know I always try to be mindful of how my readers tremble at my words when I respond to them) was rather terse and formal, so I'm pretty sure I'm on her shit list now. I feel a little bad about that, but I spoke my mind and I have no regrets.

I still get enough value out of the comments that I'll keep participating unless/until it starts getting ugly again.

belledame222 said...

It's like being at dinner with someone you really like and respect, and they suddenly start abusing the waitress for bringing them Coke instead of Pepsi.

Yeah. See, and that's the sort of thing that makes me stay the hell away from that person.

I mean, I'm sure she is capable of being charming and nice; I doubt she'd have gotten as far as she did if she didn't.

and, too, I forget who first said this, but:

"Everyone has fifteen minutes of nice."

belledame222 said...

which is not that i am saying, don't post there, if you're comfortable posting there, i hasten to add (like it'd matter if i did, but that's not my intention).

mostly i am just expressing my impression based on what I've seen and prior experience with...certain types, the TV Guide capsule being:


Eli said...

I'm always curious when someone has the impulse to protect the powerful against the weak.

That sort of thing, along with Lieberman bragging about how courageous he is for capitulating with the ruling party, always make me think of this great bit on Family Guy: A flashback to Stewie at Woodstock, singing (to the tune of "America, America") "Establishment, Establishment, you always know what's best..."

belledame222 said...

and you know what, too, it's not that i blame politicians for being politicians. well, technically these guys are supposed to be "punk outsiders," but whatever: i strongly doubt anyone ever gets that level of influence without a certain amount of Machiavellianism. I don't mind that. It's just--well, -look- at how they're doing it. It's -stupid.- It's not actually rational at all, i don't think, even if one were to look at it in strictly cold and calculating terms.

Donna's question is a good one; I don't actually think the answer lies in anything that makes sense to the adult, conscious mind, tbh.

Eli said...

Well, it's not like I'm at FDL for the sole purpose of talking to Jane (not that I mind either) - I rather doubt that she'll be talking to me much. I mainly like having an outlet for fast-paced political analysis and occasional wordplay, and I've kind of burned out on Eschaton. I'm really enjoying the lively threads on some of these "outsider" blogs (for want of a better word), though.

Eli said...

It's just--well, -look- at how they're doing it. It's -stupid.- It's not actually rational at all, i don't think, even if one were to look at it in strictly cold and calculating terms.

Donna's question is a good one; I don't actually think the answer lies in anything that makes sense to the adult, conscious mind, tbh.

I think it's about credibility and legitimacy. I think the reasoning is that if you want to be player, you need to be taken seriously. If you take a serious approach like Greenwald, this is pretty easy. If you want to be edgy and confrontational, it's not nearly so easy. And where it gets really problematic is if you start to view all criticisms as dangerous threats to your credibility which must be ruthlessly crushed rather than addressed and evaluated (because that would give the *criticisms* legitimacy).

Also, I think the bigger you are, the bigger the target on your back is, so I think there's also an urge to show that you're not an easy mark, so that people will think twice before attacking.

Thank God I'm a nobody without any aspirations to credibility (hell, I post Weekly World News stories, for fuck's sake).

belledame222 said...

I don't get the appeal of most of the "big blogs," tbh. I looked at Eschaton and...i dunno. A headline with a couple of lines of commentary, and then about a thousand comments, most of which have nothing to do with the subject...

As for showing that they're a big shot, fdl--well you know what though, you pick your battles. And most of the criticism levelled at them has been due to -their- screwups. If they'd had a right-wing blast at Hamsher a la Althouse at Jessica that'd be one thing. Going after small blogs because they dare to say "look, your use of blackface was offensive" proves--what? "No it ISN'T, no it ISN'T, no it ISN'T offensive, lookie! (trots out some-of-my-best-examples). so, you CANNOT BE OFFENDED, on our blog or your or ANYWHERE. U R just JELLUS. Me big! You small! We will CRUSH you like ant!..."

one of these days, they're going to pick on the wrong target, and it will not be pretty, guaranteed.

Nanette said...

ballgame, I don't have a problem with people liking FDL, or deciding to participate there or anything... they can do and have done some good work when they are concentrating on that, and not on being... well, whatever it is they are trying to be. I have never been a part of that site, or participated there, although I'd glance over it from time to time - when they were discussing things other than Plame or Lamont, that is.

Still, though, I'll try and explain why I now have major issues with FDL, in general.

One, their bombastic style of communication, not only with opponents, but towards their own commenters - basically commanding agreement and adulation or "You're gonna get it when Jane sees this! Better hide!" type stuff is not at all my cup of tea, but it's certainly well within the rights of the site leaders, as well as the commenters, to mutually decide that this is the sort of participation and level of communication/discussion they desire. No biggie, there.

Well, you know... I was going to do a long explanation thing, but I decided not to (chalk it up to luck!).

To understand the distaste some of us feel, first you'd have to understand that, while one racist incident (Asian honky, anchor baby stuff) can be passed off as a mistake (even with some of the truly vicious defenses of the posts), when it gets to two (blackface incident, which got more attention than the first one), then three (young white man accusing a woman of color of "assailing her betters"), then four (geisha mockery thing), then five (anti Japan, pro American Exceptionalism rant), with each defense of the actions more vicious and race coded than the last (mau-mauing low rent race-baiters, attention seeking whores, so on)... well, if you are a person of color especially, you begin to think there might be a problem there. Okay, understatement.

That's not even getting into all the sexist stuff.

I, of course, don't think the wholesale condemnation is overboard... I think there actually has not been enough of it among the higher profile lefty sites. I don't want to drum them out of business, or into exile or anything - but I also don't want these sorts of people representing themselves (without dissent) as some sort of "leaders of the lefty blogosphere", or such a vital part of the "progressive movement" that any criticism of them is an attempt to destroy said movement and thus traitorous. Or whatever it was that pachawhatever was saying.

belledame222 said...

anyway the question is: taken seriously by whom? Yeah, in their case, I guess by the big important people; dude, if Lamont is distancing himself from you, the smart response is -not- to attack the people who told you in the damn first place "lookit, this wasn't such a hot idea, TAKE IT DOWN," the smart response is to apologize properly for the screw up and -not do such again.-

unless you just want to be a legend in your own mind.

or, you know...a Bush appointee.

I dunno. I mean, there's "taken seriously" as in "actually having influence on the issues of the day," and then there is "taken seriously" as in "finding the right stars who will reward your attempts at starfucking."

belledame222 said...

...and then there is being inept at both, because your sheer thin-skinned vanity has gotten in the way.

i mean, yeah, jealous, okay. they want to live the life of O'Reilly, they're welcome to it, you know? I don't get it, but whatever.

but if they're attempting to become the Voice for the People..

uh, well, I am a People, and they don't fucking speak for me when they pull that shit, and yeah, i think that's important and bears repeating.

Eli said...

As for showing that they're a big shot, fdl--well you know what though, you pick your battles. And most of the criticism levelled at them has been due to -their- screwups.

Just in case I wasn't clear (I think you got me, but I'm just making sure) - I was not essaying a defense; merely an attempted explanation of what the thought process might be. It's also possible Jane et al are a little more insecure because she's not as large or established as Atrios or Kos, and is therefore more worried about slipping back to the pack.

But I agree wholeheartedly that relentlessly attacking all criticism and critics does more harm than good, especially when they're on the same side of the political spectrum.

ballgame said...

And Ballgame. You are right. My blog is obscure.

For the record, sunrunner? Reread my comment. I never called your blog "obscure" (or even used the word). Some other commenters on this thread were either characterizing your blog that way or quoting someone else who was.

belledame222 said...

I did say that. and that I said it.

Donna said...

The difference between eli and ballgame is that eli isn't trying to excuse or minimize what is wrong with FDL and that's what I think ballgame is trying to do. Ballgame, are you doing this because you weren't aware of how often this happens? Nanette recapped it very well. It's not just the original incident, but their reaction too...and again...and again...and again.

There is/has been some good writing at FDL, they have done some good work, but it is like eli described with the 'nice' friend who abuses the waitress. Or any type of analogy you want to make about someone or something good with a serious flaw. You should know that either you do something about the flaw or drive people away, instead FDL amplifies the flaw and expects people to respect that!

ballgame said...

belledame: yes, I missed your mea culpa, sorry.

donna: yes, I admit I am basing my reaction on limited exposure (though I think I've read a reasonable hunk of stuff by now). And I am also definitely giving FDL-ers the benefit of the doubt because they are Left. Charges of arrogance and careless indifference to important sensitivities don't seem unreasonable on their face but at this point I don't accord them the same status of Fatal FDL Character Flaws that others seem to see them as. (Though I'm not sure I'm completely convinced, I did think eli's post on the topic seemed pretty reasonable, btw.)

I guess part of it is I don't see the original incidents (at least the ones I've checked into) as warranting all of the supposedly "progressive" outrage they seem to have provoked.

… and I started to write 'why' but then I thought, re-opening a can of worms that everyone has already eaten (to thoroughly mangle a metaphor). If people think it would be Productive of me to go into that and not a Tiresome Re-hash, I'll be happy to Go There, but for now I'll restrain myself.

So, if the original offenses weren't the Outrageous Heresies they were trumped up to be, then the ensuing imbroglios seem less FDL Compounding the Error than a more justified, "WTF? Why are we facing fratricide from our avowedly progressive brethren?" I did NOT read ALL the threads because as an outsider it's simply impossible for me to judge (or at times even follow — poodles?? wtf?) the charges and countercharges … which I think is essential to do in order to assess who's being an asshole and who's engaging in Justified Self Defense.

belledame222 said...

okay. one more time, and then yeah, i don't think it'll be productive anymore.

thing is, a lot of people -did- find the original offenses, well, offensive. you may not agree. you may or may not have been among the target populations who'd have been more likely to be, you know, offended. that's fine.

again, though: when people complain, and you are touting yourself as a progressive, lefty, yadda, generally, it is probably best to at least pay this, a goodly chunk of your supposed "base" (you know, same problem as with the mainstream party that they're supposedly reacting to), some thought. wearing the hairshirt maybe not necessary, but...

the point of that little excerpt, ballgame, is that it's been fdl's M.O. fairly consistently. send in the shock troops. shut down dissent. with extreme prejudice. that is a PROBLEM, and no, just because they are calling themselves "left" doesn't make it any better; it makes it -worse,- in fact, because, yea, they're supposed to be on "our" side.

and again, with "our side:" well, who is this "us," finally? It's not cool to treat people like crap and then expect them to rally faithfully to your side when you need them.

and they -have- been cut a lot of slack, is the thing. again: it keeps happening over and over and fucking over.

shrug. if you still don't see the problem, there's not much else I can say, i don't guess. i can't put it any plainer than that.

and if you don't see what's offensive about the use of blackface, or the spewing about Malkin...and if everyone else here can't make it plain enough...

mainly, just this, let's try:

If I say something, and so and so says it's offensive, and so and so is someone whose opinion i value, i might ought to at least give it some consideration. if a -lot- of so and so's say it's offensive, then probably it would be best to assume that, yep, it was offensive (pretty much by definition, since, you know, people are OFFENDED), rather than truncheon them over the head with "no, I you cannot be offended, I am GOOD, YOU are STUPID and OVERSENSITIVE."

and ban the dissenters, and then go swarming over to other peoples' blogs and try to bully them into submission as well.

not if I expect to keep them as friends/supporters, anyway. that would be very, you know, arrogant.

and again, as per their being "left:"

"by their fruits you will know them."

so far they've mostly thrown all their energy behind exposing the Plame case, which seems to have died; and supporting Lamont; and again, the blackface thing may not have made much a difference in itself, but it was STUPID, if nothing else because LAMONT NEEDED TO DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM IT, therefore they weren't just hurting the poor nobody shlubs whose feelings (a who?) were hurt, they were HURTING THE KING THEY WERE TRYING TO MAKE.

-when- that happens, the POLITIC thing to do is CHANGE YOUR TACTICS.

otherwise it's not even Machiavellian; it's just fucking inept, and stupid, all about protecting egos rather than accomplishing even the sort of backroom politicking they're clearly only interested in.

with "allies" like that, who needs enemas?

*deep breath*

yeah, but whatever, they're the good guys, let's cut them slack, even when they can't or won't return the favor; it's -hard work,- after all.

belledame222 said...

but here, ballgame, maybe you're right. So you can test it out, okay:

go onto fdl, find a post where Jane or TRex or another one is saying something you disagree with, and say so. See what kind of response you get. I'll be interested to hear how it works out. maybe i'll be pleasantly surprised.

belledame222 said...

and, they don't see the other progressives as "brethren," clearly; they see them, us, whomever, as people who need to get with the program, which they are clearly in the position to do because They R Pop U LR.

belledame222 said...

(I mean, if you read the "liza, Liza, Liza" post and didn't see it as a vicious and hamfisted attempt to put someone back in her "place," which frankly was fucking offensive enough even without the -yes- racist and sexist overtones...well yeah, i've said my piece, no really this time)

belledame222 said...

btw, ballgame, you were asking about MRA's at one point, right?

so, here's one charmer, apparently not atypical:

"Diana wasn't murdered, she was an out of control whore who acted exactly like the totally spoiled brat cunt she was. She had it all, she married the Prince who eventually would be King, and she would be Queen. All she had to do was to keep her legs together, raise her sons, and have a wonderful life.

...If England had a real King as she had for many centuries, he would have slapped the bitch into the tower, or had her hanged for crimes against the state. Unfortunately, England has been without a King since Charles's grandfather abdicated his throne to a cunt. His abdication was the outward act that represented the spiritual abdication of England to the females. For more than half a century England has been ruled by the cunts. Englishmen are dominated, their families are destroyed, and they are bound into slavery of servitude to serve emotionally irrational females."

or this one

Now, what have feminists done besides bych, moan and decimate families and society? If they were another species - surely there'd be no question that they were inferior? If it weren't for Men, where would women be today? Still sitting in caves eating their toejam gossiping about the latest cavewh0re? Certainly not sitting comfortably in an air-conditioned building powered by AC electricity typing on a computer over the internet...all invented by MEN!


74-yo Jew, Bonnie Ginzburg Erbe makes a false 1-to-1 association between foreign bride marriages and abuse as her excuse for wanting to ban ALL foreign brides!

...I think this is just another ridiculous miscarriage of justice here and a complete trampling of other peoples' rights for feminists' own selfish agendas. These hypocrites will defend lesbian rights 'till their bitter end but aggressively assault the personal freedoms of heterosexual marriage-minded men and foreign women???

Geezus krist, do these cranky old byches ever stop at anything to make our lives more miserable??? You're 74 for god's sakes you man-hating bych - go kill yourself already!!!

or this one

Fuck you Dr Harris you mangina cunt; if he doesn't like vindictiveness then he should be out condemning feminism instead of his own sex, the backstabbing liberal twat. Evidence and common sense makes it clear that children bought up by lesbian and "solo parents" tend to be fucked up, miserable and prone to drug abuse and crime. Actually, though, children raised by single fathers tend to be fine, it's just single mothers who produce feral bastards.

or this one

Persian Advice

"Khoda made women to please us and NOT the other way around. Women want you to tell them what, when and how to do everything. They want you to treat them like the whoes they are. This is human fucking nature. You probably think I'm full of shit, but I swear if you just try it for a few days, you'll have to beat her off of you at night. This is what every bitch wants. It's just that television has been fucking up their heads for so long now and confusing them. Women were made to serve us, please us and service us. This is the natural order of life on this planet. When you start acting like a man again, she'll stop trying to tell you what to do. All she'll want to do is be your little love slave."

Complete article of the Persian man laying down the law right here:

and so on.

you'll find pretty much the same sort of thing at most or all of the links they have.

don't tell 'em I sent you.

ballgame said...


OK, I've got like 2 mins during my lunch break to respond for the moment. I'm totally confused by the extremely offensive MRA quotes you posted (or at least the three that I read). Are you saying they're FDL supporters? Are you saying FDL supports them? Are you saying you're wondering if I support them (god I hope not)? I'm not quite understanding the connection here.

The rest will require a more thoughtful response later.

belledame222 said...

No, no, no. It was a tangent, since I was already in marshalling-evidence mode, and happened to surf through from someone else and was, well, gee, that's nice; the connection was i thought i remembered us having a disagreement about "well maybe they're not -that- bad." totally totally different "they," though, really a red herring in context of this thread, feel free to ignore.

belledame222 said...

and if i misremembered you voicing a "well maybe they're not so bad" sentiment toward self-defined MRA's (as opposed to simply men who take issue with some of the radical/ feminist tenets about this or that), my apologies.

yeah, i'm sure there are some that aren't that obnoxious; one's been quite polite on RE's website. on the whole, though...

anyway as i said: not relevant to the fdl business.

belledame222 said...

but yeah, the connection was you & I having a disagreement (I thought) about "well, give 'em a chance/they're not so bad."

like i said: MRA's themselves not otherwise relevant to fdl, no. just a free-association, probably not a terrifically useful one.