The “Progressive” Blogoshpere’s Deal With The Devil

Via lambert, Suburban Guerilla quotes Eric Boehlert:

What’s happening online now is potentially dangerous: HRC has gotten dreadful press, not fair, “gotcha,” and so on — there’s a portion of the blogosphere that has ignored that and there’s a portion that has encouraged that.

It’s dangerous because the media criticism has to be consistent and relentless, and we can’t very well say, “You can’t go after our candidates … except this one.” I get nervous about pushback regarding disingenuous coverage – our response needs to be, “You can’t treat Democrats this way.” When people in the left blogosphere are quoting an anonymous Matt Drudge source, it makes me nervous.

It makes me nervous as well. A growing portion of the progressive blogosphere went from advocating issues and holding politicians and the media accountable to advocating candidates at all costs. Specifically, the advocacy of Obama at Hillary’s expense is particularly troubling.

I find the slow descent to progressive irrelevancy on a couple of issues worthy of deeper discussion. First is the protection of the franchise. The idea that rules can be written to deliberately disenfranchise voters, and that politicians are “sleeping well at night” after disenfranchising voters should be something progressives shout about. A former friend of mine (good ol’ Unity Pony Obama has broken up more of my friendships than even Bush did!) used to be a big advocate of paper trails and protecting the vote. On the disenfranchisement of FL and MI because of “rules” (funny, using non secure e-voting machines can be considered “rules” as well)? Silence. An Obama win by adhering to fundamentally unjust rules is more important than principles of democacy. Sad. And dangerous.

The other issue is the legitimization of media manipulation. When the media was giving George W. Bush a free ride and cheer leading the nation to war in Iraq the progressive blogosphere was rightly up in arms. But, as Boehlert says above, part of the progressive blogosphere has encouraged the manipulation of the facts in regard to press coverage of Hillary Clinton. There has been a willful acceptance and active participation in the sexist attacks and character assassination of Hillary Clinton, as the Drudge picture fiasco so clearly demonstrates. The progressive blogosphere’s participation in the manipulation is probably best characterized by Matt Yglesia’s claim that us Hillary folk need to be told by “credible party leaders” how to vote and participate in the electoral process.

Sadly, I think that the current progressive blogosphere, and the progressive media as a whole (The Nation, Air America, etc.) has given itself a lethal blow that it may never recover from. What I’m seeing more and more is the cheering of the coverage by Lou Dobbs, Joe Scarborough and even Fox News because they are more “fair” than even progressive blogs and progressive media. This self-inflicted wound, if not addressed and discussed seriously has implications beyond either Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It’s people planning to leave the Democratic Party. It’s people revolting against progressive media. It’s people who no longer want to be part of the “progressive movement” any longer.

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9 Responses to The “Progressive” Blogoshpere’s Deal With The Devil

  1. Pingback: The “Progressive” Blogoshpere’s Deal With The Devil | Hillary Clinton Chronicles

  2. Pingback: The “Progressive” Blogoshpere’s Deal With The Devil | Barack Obama Chronicles

  3. 1950democrat says:

    Hope this isn’t too specific, but … whatever did happen about Drugde’s Somali photo? Did Drudge ever produce any evidence of a ‘Clinton staff’ email? Did anyone even ASK him for any?

    The photo was legit and on an African site for months. It was in a tabloid in early Feb, and reproduced and discussed and linked at RW sites, who talked about sending it to Drudge. One journalist (TAppir iirc) said hit had been sent to him several times in email, no connection with Clinton staff. No one else reported getting it from Clinton staff.

    That ought to be enough for ‘case dismissed’ — but was a conclusion ever made? What did Drudge say when asked for evidence? If he WAS ever asked….

  4. Gilbert

    In my post last night I noted that Kerry was treated in the same way by progressive bloggers in ’04 (and after to be honest) as Clinton is being treated. There was a time after the ’04 election when I was about the only progressive blogger that ever defended Kerry and worte anything flattering about him. This blog was founded in the wake of there being no where in the progressive blogosphere that Kerry supporters could discuss him with out being attacked.

    That said this is same old same old in my opinion and because of that I try not to get too wrapped up in it. It sucks to see this happening to HRC and thank goodness for Eric Boehlert who always points to the facts on Media Matters.

    HRC has gotten a raw deal from the press and bloggers on both sides of the aisle.

    As for the mess with the rules — well… that’s another dilema that will take a lot more to fix.

  5. Janis says:

    Pamela, this isn’t just women arguing for one pro-choice guy versus another. This is one of our own up there. This is different, and it feels different to us. It doesn’t matter if it’s theoretically the same because Candidate X is taking a trashing. The gender of candidate X matters, and that equation doesn’t take it into consideration.

    It’s not a matter of whether it makes theoretical sense in some gender-free equation for women to feel the way we do. We do feel that way. This is the first time that this has ever happened; things are shifting and changing in ways that have never happened before. There’s some constants, but flipping the gender switch on one of the candidates had changed the way things are playing out.

  6. There is no argument weaker than “those were the rules”. Life is a continuous open neogtiation on the rules of life and any and every consensual rule change always overrides whatever it replaces. When we try to freeze any part of life at any particular moment in time, and defend the decision at any cost, we pretty much always end up doing more harm than good.

    In fact that’s the whole foundation of the claim of superiority of the left over the right. They always believe in markets over any other set of rules, and we always believe in the concept that growth through the passage of time always require creative adjustments.

  7. Janis

    I don’t need a lecture on any of this — thank you. I have been an active member of the progressive blogosphere for nearly 5 years. I don’t just read these progressive bloggers that Glibert is talking about I know quite a few of them and have worked with them over the years.

    I was relating to Gilbert that Kerry got similar treatment from the progressive blogosphere — it is a fact. I will repeat again I worked for the Kerry campaign — and I worked with Hillary Clinton’s internet director Peter Daou. So take that as I speak from experience.

    One of the things that drove me to support HRC and endorse her here on the Dem Daily was the treatment she was receiving from the media and the blogs. I have stated that frequently here – long before you came along and decided to tell us what should be.

  8. Gilbert

    Just to clarify also about my comments about how the progressive blogosphere treated Kerry in ’04 and after — This all concerns me too, because I know full well that they could have done more to get Kerry’s back in the general election and many times they did not. I have no doubt that if Hillary wins the nomination these bloggers supporting Obama will not be jumping in enthusiastically to support HRC in the general election. Many will continue to pick away at her then as they do now – which is exactly what they did to Kerry.

  9. Pamela: I trust what you say, but it still blows my mind. Some things are just absolutely self evident. Like that a Kerry or a Hillary is a true gem compared to any Bush or McCain. I just can’t understand where in the hell some people are coming from.