Obama Dimocrats are rightly upset with the Tea Party movement because it is indeed a movement. David Kuhn today makes the point we have repeatedly made in our “Mistake In ‘O8″ series that Barack Obama was a product of a singular economic event, not the product of a mass movement:
“The crash of our time came two years ago today. We know the economic story well. Lehman Brothers fell. The markets went with it.
But the political story of September 15 is barely known. That it made Barack Obama’s majority. That, two years later, it explains why the Democratic majority is on life support.
Recall the Obama hyperbole of November 2008. Talk of an enduring progressive majority. New York Times’ columnist Paul Krugman typified a corps of liberal analysts at the time. “We’ve had a major political realignment,” Krugman wrote. “[The] presidential election was a clear referendum on political philosophies — and the progressive philosophy won.” Krugman won a Nobel Prize in economics that same year. Yet even he disregarded how the economy made Obama’s mandate that day.
By March 2009, liberal analyst Ruy Teixeira wrote a report on the “New Progressive America.” It dissected the presidential electorate. How white, brown, black and educated voted. Everyone but bicycling Norwegians. Yet, as I noted then, the nearly 50-page report ignored the economy’s role. The lapse was, again, typical of the time and type.”
Obama Dimocrats want us to forget 2008. They fear the repercussions and consequences if our analysis is the correct one. And if we are right in our analysis, then indeed 2008 when Democrats ignored primary voters in order to gift Obama the nomination, was a tragic monumental Mistake of multi-generational proportions. In short, it was the the economic events of late 2008 that saved Obama, not a mass movement.
Those are the kind of posts that make Hillary is 44 a must read. And so much of the net isn't even worth a visit. Corrente has an important post about a site that's nothing and not worth visiting. This is from Hugh's "Leaving Firedoglake" (Corrente):
So I asked Fein and my comment was censored. I was told it was "off-topic". It was inconvenient. It was uncomfortable. It was embarrassing, but it was not off topic. I went to the Seminal, the part of the Firedoglake site where commenters can post diaries on subjects of interest to them. I raised the point I made about Fein and also the issue of censorship. That post too was censored.
Think about that. It's really rich from so many perspectives. It has always been something of a myth that the left blogosphere was the transparent, fact-based side. There have been, in fact, two left blogospheres running for years in parallel with each other. You might consider them the front porch which faces the street and a back porch which is private and for members only. The front porch is what most of us see when we go to the various big name liberal blogs. Many of us probably don't even know there is a back porch. Even among those who do, it's importance is minimized. It is just bloggers talking to each other on the side, much like you or I might do having a side conversation on a topic. There is a significant difference, however. When you and I talk to each other privately we aren't setting agendas and creating policies. Obama's accession to the Presidency fragmented this system but did not end it. The pieces go on. If the left blogosphere were anywhere near as transparent as it would like to think, at a minimum, it would admit to the back porch, and the nature and results of its back channel deliberations would be reported in a timely fashion. Not going to hold my breath on that.
At the same time, an argument based on facts may not get you anywhere fast. The great recent example of this was the healthcare debate where single payer advocates faced heavy seas and storms of criticism. We were not just shut out by what Jane Hamsher so aptly called the liberal veal pen but faced fairly uniform opposition from the main posters at sites like Jane Hamsher's Firedoglake as well. Just as it never helped the left blogosphere vis-à-vis conservatives, it did not help us at all with this segment of progressives that events proved us right. Indeed Jane's belated opposition to Obamacare was declared a great victory for progressive thinking.
Censorship fits into this because it is part and parcel of this system of opaqueness. It is insidious, not just because it is arbitrary and prevents discussion. It is hidden. You don't know what's been censored or why because it has been censored. How can you even know censorship is a problem if any discussion of it is itself censored? This was the position I was in at Firedoglake, a progressive blog. I found it to be intolerable so I decided to leave. I wrote a farewell post again at the Seminal to let some of the people I had got to know there that I was leaving. I had a terrible time even getting the post up. There was a barrage of various error messages, but at last I succeeded. In the post, I had expressed some fear that it too would be censored. I was correct. There was just time for one person to comment before it too was pulled
That's really sad and rather telling. We don't have an opinion community-wide about FDL. We'll either link to it or not. We're not big fans or big enemies. But we don't make a point to note Glenn Glenn because we know his 'bravery' is a media creation. (With FDL, we just don't trust Jane -- for obvious reasons. She nearly destroyed an actress who is a very good friend of C.I.'s and she did it by behaving like a sexist pig.) I feel sorry for Hugh because he was pretty much driven out of a place he considered his home.
And I'm glad he called FDL on it. That's what has to take place if we're going to see any improvements taking place. There should be a push for accountability, not a push for forgetting.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"