The Activist Class War Continues

I tried to make this shorter, I really did. Still, I think it is important, and I ask you to read it anyway--Chris

I have stayed almost completely silent about the Hackett-Brown primary on MyDD. I am not going to offer a candidate preference in this post, but I am going to try and offer an explanation for why the netroots and the blogosphere gave more support to Hackett than Brown, and why there is so much anger over how the primary came to an end.

Two weeks ago, in a post about Hillary Clinton, I posited a class-based view of the progressive movement that I feel strongly applies to what has happened in the Ohio Senate race. My general theory is that if the world of progressive activists is understood as a discrete entity, one can look inside of that entity and see massive class stratifications based upon the greatly differing levels of power over that entity. My theory goes on to postulate that almost the entire audience of the progressive political blogosphere is drawn from the world of progressive activists. While progressive activists of all classes of power use the blogosphere, those with comparatively little power over the direction of the progressive movement greatly outnumber those with moderate or high level of power. It is from this perspective that one can understand why the blogosphere is so regularly angry at what it calls "the establishment" of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement:
The audience of the blogosphere is full of political activists, and the blogosphere has emerged as the primary means for progressive to communicate with a large segment of their activist class. That segment is perhaps best understood as the "creative class" segment of the progressive activist class. (...)

Within the progressive activist class, there is also a very real class stratification. While the blogosphere and the netroots may not be "the people" within America or the Democratic party as a whole, within the world of progressive activists, they are definitely "the people,""the masses,""the rank and file," and any other populist term you want to throw out there. I believe the main mark against Hillary Clinton within the blogs and the netroots is the degree to which she is perceived as the uber-representative of the upper, aristocratic classes of the progressive activist world.

Within the world of progressive activists, from the viewpoint of the working and middle class progressive activists, Hillary Clinton is seen as hopelessly aligned with the establishment activists, with the insider activists, with the wealthy activists, with the well-connected activists, and with every possible progressive activist "elite" you can possibly imagine. Is it thus in any way surprising that the activist base, which is largely on the outside looking in, generally does not harbor much positive feeling toward her? The progressive activist base considers the progressive activist elite to be the main culprit in progressives losing power around the country. We keep losing, and we blame them. Thus, why should it be a surprise to anyone that we dislike the person who is viewed as their primary representative? We literally hold her, and what she represents within the world of progressive activism, to be responsible for the massive progressive backslide that has taken place over the past twelve years.
I would like to think that the furor surrounding Hackett's withdrawal from the Ohio Senate race that has been expressed over the past day on Dailykos, MyDD and other sites has gone a long way toward finally convincing a large number of journalists and members of centrist Democratic organizations that what the progressive netroots and blogosphere want from the Democratic party is not simply a hard push to the left. Hopefully, witnessing the online anger over the Ohio Senate primary being handed to Sherrod Brown, who happens to be the only Democratic member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to ever run for statewide office (Bernie Sanders is also a member of the CPC, but he is not a Democrat), has caused more than a few people who have simply dismissed the netroots as "hard left" to reconsider their views. I would like to think that, and I would like to hope that, but I am probably asking for too much. Viewing internal struggles within the Democratic Party and the progressive movement as always arising from ideological differences in a simplistic, left-center-right, linear matrix has become an all too easy way for lazy minds to conceptualize the American political scene. I suppose if, after Howard Dean and Wesley Clark, after the online outcry against further campaign finance regulation and the Kelo decision, after the frequent blogger collaboration with the New Politics Institute, after the total collapse of Nader's support online, after the netroots support for Ben Chandler, Stephanie Herseth, and Paul Hackett in their special elections, anyone who was still viewing the netroots as simply an online uprising of the left-wing of the Democratic party wasn't paying enough attention to actually understand the netroots and the blogosphere anyway. As with many people who view the world in purely ideological terms, no amount of actual evidence to the contrary will help uproot their comforting belief that the netroots and the blogosphere differ from the rest of the Democratic Party mainly on ideological grounds. The fact that the majority of the netroots activists who were invested in the race are upset that the only Democratic member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to ever run for statewide office just won his primary probably won't change too many minds on this subject either.

The real reason so many people are upset that Hackett left the race has less to do with ideology than it has to do with the ongoing class war within the world of progressive activists. Online, Hackett's support came primarily from those activists who have very little power within the progressive movement as a whole: the working class within the progressive movement. By contrast, Sherrod Brown's support came from the aristocracy within the progressive movement: those who, like Charles Schumer and Rahm Emmanuel, have a lot of power over the direction of the progressive movement. Class, in this sense and in the world to which I am applying the term, is not determined by income. Rather, it is determined by power and ownership over the progressive movement. The outrage comes from the generally accurate perception among the progressive activist working class that the progressive activist aristocracy used their vastly greater power to remove Hackett from the race in favor of Brown. The outrage comes from the fact that, like in IL-06, they made this decision on behalf of a candidate of their choosing without consulting the progressive activist working class. The outrage comes from the very real fact that the activist working class places the blame for the nation's continued conservative backslide squarely on the progressive activist elite.

Don't believe me? Check out this excerpt from the diary that is currently sitting on top of the recommended list at Dailykos:As I right these words, right above Kos's post making excuses for the power play that stabbed Hackett in the back, is this quote:

Crashing the Gate is a refreshing, bold exposé of the status quo party politics that are threatening to make Democrats the permanent minority party. -- Donna Brazile

Now then, leaving aside for a moment the question of whether or not DONNA FREAKING BRAZILLE of all people can ever be an effective or serious critic of status quo politics (by the way Donna, have I thanked you yet for running Gore's campaign with an ineptness that would make Michael Dukakis' campaign manager go "Damn, that was inept"?) does anyone see an inherent contradiction going on here? You won't see many complaints about Brown not being progressive enough in the comments of these and other similar diaries at Dailykos that have been popping over the last sixteen hours. You will, however, see a lot of complaints about insider power plays, about the ineptness of "DC Democrats" in picking candidates who can win elections, and about the anti-democratic nature of the Democratic Party itself.

This is about power and class within the world of progressive activists. This is how the netroots and the blogosphere primarily diverge from the rest of the Democratic Party. Over the past four years, the blogosphere has emerged as the primary messaging medium for the progressive activist working class. While progressive activists of all levels of power participate within the blogosphere, for every Hill staffer who reads blogs, there are one thousand small donors, canvassers and envelope stuffers who read them. For every elected official or high-level campaign who starts a blog, there are one thousand political blogs written by people who have little or no connections within the progressive establishment. Event today, with the rise of highly trafficked institutional blogs such as Think Progress and The Huffington Post, for every person who reads a blog produced from established powers within the progressive establishment, there are five or six people who read blogs written by people like me who started blogging without any institutional power or connections whatsoever. Paul Hackett had the support of the majority of the online, progressive, activist working class. He was forced out of the race by the aristocracy of the progressive activist class. That is where the anger is coming from.

The anger is also coming from blame for the continued failures of the progressive movement over the past twelve years. The activist working class blames the activist elite for our losses since 1994. They frequently don't trust the decisions the elite makes, especially when the elite does not consult with them when making decisions, and especially when the decisions seem primarily to benefit the progressive powers-that-be (like this one). Considering the recent track record of progressive in the political arena, can anyone really blame them?

The anger is also coming from being taken for granted. The activist working class is not employed in the world of politics. They do not derive their income form politics, but they do spend their income and their free time on politics. When people who re running the show keep losing, the activist working class sees its hard earned money and precious little free time go to waste. The anger comes form people growing tired of offering their resources to leaders who seem to be making nothing but bad decisions that lead to defeat. They feel as though they are expected to keep giving, as though the resources they are offering aren't precious to them.

The anger is also coming from a newfound class stratification within the online world itself. Many bloggers, myself included, who were once total outsiders in the progressive movement have definitely leapfrogged a few class levels within the progressive movement. Markos is no longer just someone with a blog who regularly joins in the comments sections to his posts. Now, he is a media mogul with an audience approaching one million readers per day. He can raise tens of thousands of dollars for candidates. He can make news with a single blog post. He can call a Senator and have the call returned by that Senator, not by a form letter photocopied by a staffer. And I shouldn't single out Markos on this front either. A lot of us, myself included, now have a lot more access and power than we ever imagined we would. In the last two months, I have met Howard Dean and Russ Feingold. I have been to a meeting in Harry Reid's office, not fifteen feet from the Senate floor itself, with many high level consultants I had only seen on television or heard quoted in the newspaper. Presidents of major advocacy organizations will sit down and talk with me personally. I have interviewed more than a handful of federally elected officials, and several major news outlets have interviewed me myself. I was actually able to commission a full-fledged public survey, for crying out loud.

This is another way the anger is coming out here. The same bloggers who were once total outsiders, average community members, and representatives of the progressive activist working class online are no longer members of the progressive activist working class. They have become upper-middle class--sometimes even higher than that--but they are still running the blogosphere that is the primary communication with the activist working class. As our position within the class structure of the progressive activist world changes, it is almost inevitable that our perception of the world changes as well. We are not as good at representing the activist working class as we once were. Not two weeks ago, I begged MyDD readers to take me back to school and re-educate me as to the psychology of the netroots. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was gradually growing more annoyed with, and dismissive of, the same community that I once found so incredibly stimulating and insightful.

The way that the Ohio Senate primary ended, and the anger that ensued online, is another example of the ongoing and constantly evolving class war within the progressive movement. I am not saying that I have the solution to this class stratification, but I think we would all be better served if we started recognizing it and talking about it.

Tags: Activism, Blogosphere, Democrats, netroots, Primaries, progressives, Senate 2006 (all tags)



Re: The Activist Class War Continues

I think this is really spot-on.  It's a divide between people who believe that party elites may sometimes know what's best for Democratic victories, and those who want to let The People sort it out.  It's a bias against anyone in "the Establishment", regardless of beliefs.

And you're absolutely right that this isn't ideological, because the same people supporting pro-gun Hackett are generally the ones who want lefty anti-gun Pennacchio to get a fair shake as well.

by Adam B 2006-02-14 08:08AM | 0 recs

I wish this site weren't so difficult to read. The words and letters seem to be too close together.

Or maybe I'm just getting fucking OLD.

Good piece, Chris. Apt. And succinct, given the topic.

by Maryscott OConnor 2006-02-14 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

Good analysis.

This is why I DO keep driving home the ideological point. If what you care about is solely power within the Democratic Party infrastructure, and to feel validated within the party, then this whole situation should really really piss you off. So much so that you might threaten to completely withdraw from the party and not give money or support or time to any Democrats ever again.

But if your goal is to further an egalitarian society. To create a better life for all people. Then I can't understand why you would not let bygones be bygones and go out and support a really progressive candidate. Like Chris said, the only Democrat in the CPC to run for statewide office.

What are you really trying to get out of this game of politics? More power, or a better world?

by adamterando 2006-02-14 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues are they differentiated? Presently, we have an ever increasing % of elected officials at the national level who basically either inherited the job, or the huge bankroll that got them job. Not accidentally, at the same time the laws they pass favor people from the top stata. And it just isn't Reps., a whole lot of Dems. thought the bankruptcy bill was a fab idea.

Menawhile, folks like you argue that these folks should now control who we can vote for. Great.

by ElitistJohn 2006-02-14 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

Er....they're differentiated because Sherrod Brown has always fought for laws that favor people at the BOTTOM strata.

This is what I'm talking about. Sheesh....Did you even read what I wrote? Do you know what the CPC stands for?

by adamterando 2006-02-15 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Aspects of the Ohio Senate conflict

The withdrawal of Paul Hackett from the Senate race in Ohio is a disappointment.
As an observer of the political scene for more than thirty years,
I've swallowed many disappointments and I suppose I will see many more.

Usually, however, when I'm handed a bitter defeat, it's by the Republicans.
Once or twice, by the (to my mind) misguided efforts of a third-party candidate
whose influence has backfired.
This time it feels like betrayal from my own party's leadership.
I see a difference between cajolery and persuasion, on the one hand,
and deliberately sabotaging the fund-raising efforts of a fellow Democrat,
or engineering false press reports that a candidate still in the race
has withdrawn, to disrupt his support.  
Issues of trust are raised by that.

We'll each react in our own way.  
I hope no one withdraws from engagement in other races
that speak to their hopes and goals.  

There are 467 other national races in 2006 -
435 House seats, and 32 other Senate seats in contest.
I'll react to my own disappointment by devoting more attention to
the Senate race in Missouri, and to the many House and local races in which I'm interested.
I'll be making my contributions directly to the candidates I support,
rather than to the national committees, for the forseeable future.
(I used to do both.)

If I feel a frustrated impulse to deliver a poke in the eye
to the power-brokers who've harassed an inexperienced but charismatic candidate out of politics,
a natural (and constructive) way to do that is
to send some more money to Christine Cegelis's campaign in IL-6.
There's a box for that very purpose on my ActBlue page at: y+%27No%27+to+Spoilers

Feel free to visit.

by Christopher Walker 2006-02-14 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

Ok  I don't disagree but I am confused by some of your language/metaphors.

When you say progressive do you mean democrat?  Because it sure sounds that way and I thought progressives were a sub-category of democrats--you know the left wing of the dem party and all that.  Well I am not so sure that I can agree that the people who encouraged Hackett to withdraw are progressives and I am not so sure that our anger is directed at progressives.  It is directed at a power structure that I wouldn't define as progressive.

I am anger at the old guard, the dems who want easy primaries, who don't want to take chances, who rely on a tried and failed strategy for winning, who didn't vote against the war, who let the bush admin run roughshod over them, who have been in power a real long time, who I think are out of touch.  I don't consider these folks progressives.

I do think we don't all agree on political strategy or even what a progressive is and there is no long term plan for furthering any agenda.  Some of the discussions here are about that.

So is it semantics?  maybe and I think we should get our definitions straight.  Your use of certain words make it confusing.

as an aside I have never heard class distinctions used as power distinctions without there being a relationship to money and earnings...maybe its just me?

by aiko 2006-02-14 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

"The activist working class blames the activist elite for our losses since 1994."

Arguably, the last truly progressive legislation on a federal level was signed into law during the hated Nixon administration. Everything since has been tinkering, or worse - dismantling New Deal or the Great Society programs. (File under Welfare "Reform")

For some of us, the Dems have been resting on their laurels since 1972. And it is pretty amazing that the only folks who seem to pick up on this are on the other side: article.html

Crashing the gates, my ass.

by redstar66 2006-02-14 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

Bravo redstar66. And bravo to Chris who cops to the reality that people's class stance changes when their class position changes.

by janinsanfran 2006-02-14 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

Important post, Chris.

by Matt Stoller 2006-02-14 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

Very interesting Chris.  

Increasingly, I too have noticed a divide in opinion between some of the older bloggers and the many masses of people who have joined more recently.  The more pragmatic people are coming to odds with those who want it all now, damn it.

Any major change in politics is slow and there will be serious setbacks on the way.  This Hackett episode is one of those setbacks.  The anger is real and palpable at the decision makers.  Those that even try and defend them are being jumped all over.

For me the biggest disappointment is seeing all of these demoralized activists.  They were working to support someone only to have an upper-class person interfere.  Never mind that it is Schumer's job to try and interfere the best way he knows how.  I wonder what the reaction would be like if they did not call up his donors.  That for me was the overstep in boundaries.

It will be interesting to see if this incident drives more netroots people away from the DSCC and the DCCC and towards the DNC.  Already, with Dean's leadership and the hiring of Tim Taggaris people were starting to embrace that power structure.

by juls 2006-02-14 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

I like the word Radical better. It says a lot more to describe how this Activist class you are talking about is perceived. I believe The Elites as you describe them actually perceive us in the term framed by the wingnuts. They have bought into this negative meme. In fact we better represent the true base of the party, this is what we , the Radicals feel. I don't think of the the elites as powerful but fearful and Cowardly. I think Kerry is an example I think we Chose the Kerry of Vietnam and got the Cowed cautious Senator Kerry of the Beltway. I think the Hackett/Brown clash is representative of this dilemma in the liberal arena.

by eddieb 2006-02-14 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

Right on!  If I would add two other factors that seems to set the two classes apart, it is the Establishment's hesitancy to criticize Bush specifically and Republicans in general and the Establishment's emphasis on decorum.  Hackett made a lot of friends among "the working class" by slamming Bush.  Dean became almost a patron saint by saying Bush and his war sucked loudly and vociferously when the Establishment types tiptoed around Georgie Boy.

What does this mean?  I want somebody, anybody to run against Behner, for example, just for the opportunity to call him out.  It isn't all about winning and losing.  Sure, a lot is winning and losing but this is just a low cost opportunity that "we" need to take advantage of.

I am never going to meet Sherrod Brown or George Bush or Paul Hackett.  But out of this group, the blunt Democrat comes closest to who I identify with.  Sure I feel powerless.  In some strange version, MyDDD feels more real than kos because fewer of the politicos write diaries that get posted here.  For God's sakes, DH in MI criticized me for calling Tom Carper a corporate democrat on kos.  If Carper is not a corporate Democrat, who is.  it's no secret, DH.

All in all, this is a needed diary.

by David Kowalski 2006-02-14 08:59AM | 0 recs
Liberal Blogosphere Explosion

The Liberal blogosphere has gotten so huge that participation in it really requires a different strategy than three years ago.

Even for someone who is a reader and a commentator, not a blogger, like me.

In the beginning, I read Atrios, Kevin Drum and Daily Kos.  With MyDD on hiatus, there just wasn't much else out there.  Then, Billmon trickled in and Steve Gilliard ...  And then Scoop Daily Kos and an avalanche of newer blogs, some of them spectacular works of commentary genius -- like Fire Dog Lake and Cheers and Jeers.

Daily Kos has become so huge that it has various cliques, cabals and constituencies of its own that group together outside the forum and then bring issues to the greater Daily Kos community with a united front.  This is what often seems to happen with Booman, My Left Wing and even -- to a lesser degree -- Next Hurrah and the pre-implosion Liberal Street Fighters.

I think that it is natural when something gets this big for it to become divided and develop and class system of its own.  There are definitely agenda-setters in the Liberal blogosphere and, over the last year or so, there has been an ossification of who gets to be an opinion-maker and who doesn't.

Again, this is natural, but it is also contrary to the original spirit of the beast.

I'm sort of waiting with bated breath to see where we go on the next level here.  I think we'll see an increased recognition by political insiders that the blogs are the new mainstream ... and a greater effort at detente between the blogosphere and the establishment regarding party politics.

What I don't see happening, sadly, is the kind of party reform that so many -- including me -- thought that Netroots activism and the blogs would stimulate.  Instead, I see the folks who were very good at online politics becoming the next generation of establishment political operatives.

Which is fine, in itself, but it's not where we started out so many years ago now.

by bink 2006-02-14 09:02AM | 0 recs
some is inevitable

I think you are right in many ways and that power divisions are inevitable.
One of the things I found specifically with the Hackett situation is how some with little voice in the party, the region or state but lots of time for commenting in weblogs can be whipped into such an almost messianic fervor about a candidate and then drive forward without the need for reality checks.
I live in OH 02 and have given money to Hackett. A few times when I would post about conditions on the ground here in Southwestern Ohio I would have people blast me for not being a real progressive or a real democrat because I didn't report what they wanted to hear. People from Oregon or New York who knew nothing of this area yet KNEW that Hackett would win overwhelmingly if I would only believe harder or not report on what I was hearing in the neighborhood or district.  Unbelievable vitriol from people who had passion but no knowledge.

There were many people in this district who felt Hackett should have run again for the 02 and that he was not ready for the bigger stage.  There were people here who took down Hackett signs from their yards in '05 because his outspokenness was becoming profane and personal. I don't mean the activists, I mean people in their 50's to 70's who still voted for Hackett but began becoming uncomfortable with his increasingly personal attacks. The possibility that Hackett's "Said it, Meant it,Stand behind it" attitude would have garnered a lot of votes from people in their 20's to early 40's but little support from the traditional money pots was very real. You can't win in Ohio that way. As the potential reality that he was losing to Brown in the pre-primary polls, some feared he would start going for Brown's blood and fatally hurt the eventual candidate for the general election.
The enthusiasm for Hackett from activists around the country does not change the reality on the ground.  Ohio is a moderately conservative state and that conservatism is also reflected in the way people express themselves.  The blogosphere may like loud and proud and confrontational but my lifetime experience in Ohio informs me that the confrontational part isn't such a big draw in our neck of the woods.
Maybe the netroots would like a shooting star that goes down in spectacular flames but at the end of the day, for those who want to defeat the current legislative majority, a loss is a loss.  We need wins.
Perhaps the netroots were projecting their hopes on a candidate they sorely felt should be in Washington but they seemed to be overlooking that you need to get there by winning elections... and that in the major leagues they play hardball.
DeWine wouldn't have forgotten that. I'm certain if he were to face Hackett he would have been sitting in regular meetings strategizing how to provoke Hackett into an off-the-cuff inappropriate comment while on camera. And then sit back and grin as they waited for the inevitable, "Said it. Meant it. Stand behind it." and the sound of the whiff of the bat as the candidate went down swinging.

by carsick 2006-02-14 09:04AM | 0 recs
Underlying Reasons

My anger comes from the fact that one day after the one billion dollar election in November, candidates began to (carefully and quietly) send out feelers for the next one.  In a supreme act of the tail wagging the dog, some "progressive" blogs even put forth polls on who would run for President four years hence in the first quarter of last year.

First, I will make my choice of the best candidate in a primary election for any office.  I don't need, and in fact abhor, any party's endorsement of a candidate prior to those primaries. The fact that "leadership" chooses to limit my choice speaks volumes about their perception of the electorate.

Secondly, between rigging the choices, and constant campaigns, it's no wonder the electorate is sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Class is the least of it.  Noted above, there is no democracy to be found in the structure of today's party politics.  

Finally, I think the battle for power has engendered fear of loss in the powerful.  Fine.  Just go play in your own yard in D.C.  The rest of us are informed and educated enough to make our own damn decisions without your help.

by rba 2006-02-14 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

Not two weeks ago, I begged MyDD readers to take me back to school and re-educate me as to the psychology of the netroots. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was gradually growing more annoyed with, and dismissive of, the same community that I once found so incredibly stimulating and insightful.

Sounds to me like you didn't like what you found out.  What were you expecting to learn?

by KimPossible 2006-02-14 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War: What Activists?

My theory goes on to postulate that almost the entire audience of the progressive political blogosphere is drawn from the world of progressive activists. While progressive activists of all classes of power use the blogosphere, those with comparatively little power over the direction of the progressive movement greatly outnumber those with moderate or high level of power.

What progressive activists? While many of your point are well taken and could be right-on in many respects I think this one 'mis-step' is the problem in many ways.

We think that the people who read progessive (whatever the hell that means) are themselves activists. But time and time again they proven that they are not. Ciro Rodriguez is the latest.

With well over a Million+ plus eyes a day reading how he needed support only 1,800-1,900 gave in the first week. (More have recently) This isn't activisism.

In CA-48, we had large well publicized calls for volunteers to walk the precincts and had nearly no one show up. And that includes have the message on National media and through every Dem club in the county.

Thinking that the average person with a keyboard is an 'activist' mean that you believe that same person is willing to brave the cold in the East, the heat in the West and give monehy they can barely afford no matter what, because they believe.

Not hardly.

It been my contention for sometime that the average reader and diarist doesn't do more than once in a while reach for a credit card.

And in that difference in preception crucial to understanding to the Blogs and their readership and WHY occassionally it seems that 'Practical Politics", like having the guy most likely to win be the standard bearer is greeted as a 'betrayal'!

Look at this:

Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio's closely watched Senate contest, said yesterday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders. <snip>...and said he would not enter the Second District Congressional race.

So Hackett takes his pussy ball and goes home! He couldn't control his mouth or he'd have won last time. With the dipshit stuff Schmidt has already done in Congress he could probably win this time with full backing of everyone in Washington. He'd have all the funds and all the expertise.

But no he says he's taking his ball and going home. Bullshit. Being one of the 435 members of the House of Representatives is one of the highest honors in the USA. You don't turn down the Party leaderships request to run for a seat.

And the E.D. for the Band of Brother is wrong. This is about one race not all the races. Hackett is a pussy if this is his reaction he LOST a Congressional race unnecessarily because he couldn't control his mouth and he energized the Right. So then he runs for a much harder seat to win?

The Party only care about ONE thing: Winning.

And since I've been at this is 1966 you might want to think about it before you attack.

by BigDog 2006-02-14 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War: What Activists?

"The Party only care about ONE thing: Winning.

And since I've been at this is 1966 you might want to think about it before you attack."

So, have you guys been winning? You haven't won a two-way presidential race since 1976, and given the post-Watergate environment out there at the time, I'd call that an exception that proves the rule - that the Dems since 1964 have run out of gas and not really advanced progressive causes since shortly thereafter.

If you're saying you've been at this since 1966, I'd say you're part of the problem.

by redstar66 2006-02-14 10:22AM | 0 recs
Now, now

Don't tell an ineffectual baby boomer they're ineffectual. Or you'll hear all about their entire...boring...obsolete generation again, in all their self-imagined glory.

by ElitistJohn 2006-02-14 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Now, now

Damn, how did I miss that?

Oh yeah, gen-xer baggage. I forgot.

Thanks for the reality check. I had forgotten about the defensiveness of the older generation, what with their general poltical entitlement complex, based on having burned a bra or watched watergate hearings or whatnot. I forgot we owe them everything the left has accomplished since 1972.

Which is to say, virtually nothing.

by redstar66 2006-02-14 10:47AM | 0 recs

My favorite bi6t is that practically everything they claim to have done (civil rights, etc...) was actually achieved in great part by the Silent Gneration that came before them.

by ElitistJohn 2006-02-14 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Yep

Well, let's be fair to their generation, they have had an impact on US politics since they've come of age.

On the other side, of course.

The neo-cons are boomers almost to a man (or woman...)

by redstar66 2006-02-14 11:07AM | 0 recs

And for having spoken this truth, I'm troll rated. Sort of proves my point.

by ElitistJohn 2006-02-14 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Heh: Me Too!

And by the same catamite moron.

by redstar66 2006-02-14 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Heh: Me Too!

You are both trolling. Smearing an entire group of people based on their age.

There was ZERO constructive in your comment. So yeah. I troll rated you. Cause you earned it.

by Curt Matlock 2006-02-14 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Heh: Me Too!

okay, sorry.  i'll give it a "1".

by jgarcia 2006-02-14 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Heh: Me Too!


by Curt Matlock 2006-02-14 06:12PM | 0 recs
Unhide BigDogs comments too

Now why don't you do the same thing for all of BigDog's comments you zeroed out as well? You don't have to like what he said but zeroing them out was uncalled for.

by Curt Matlock 2006-02-14 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Unhide BigDogs comments too

I didn't know that a "0" was hiding them.  I have no idea how to find it to undo the zero rating.

by jgarcia 2006-02-14 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Unhide BigDogs comments too

Ahh, that explains it. Go to your page and there's a tab called Ratings. You can see all the ratings you've given there and can jump to them.

I think this should link to your ratings page.

by Curt Matlock 2006-02-14 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Unhide BigDogs comments too

this sucks.  for some reason, they are not showing up.  when i click on the comment to change the rating.  it's as if they don't exist anymore.  i never wanted to do that to someone's comments.  shit.

by jgarcia 2006-02-14 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Heh: Me Too!

Sorry to offend the PC brigade.

And you have the gall to call others trolls?

If I feel like calling bullshit on a boomer who says BS like "I've been at this since 1966 so you'd better think twice before challenging my stnace," I'm going to do it.

It is people like you who have destroyed the Democratic party.

by redstar66 2006-02-15 02:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Heh: Me Too!


by Curt Matlock 2006-02-15 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Heh: Me Too!

Please see my comment to your conversational partner. It fits your bigoted commentary every bit as much.

by Andrew C White 2006-02-14 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Heh

Your "speaking out" along with your compatriot here has been rude, ignorant, and completely unproductive. That you got troll rated for acting like a nit wit is not to be unexpected.

This whole series of comments has been classically bigoted in that it paints a wide swath of negative commentary across an entire "class" of people.

Pure ignorant bigotry. Any valid points about "some" people are lost and invalidated in the bigotry.

by Andrew C White 2006-02-14 04:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Heh

Sure buddy. Spoken like a true boomer.

I see a guy claiming special status cuz he's been around the political block as long as a boomer would, and because of this, "think twice about challenging my POV," and you don't think folks are going to pick up on the boomer entitlement complex there?

I understand why you'd need to call that bigotted, because it means you don't have to argue the merits.

The generation which gave us "Tom Friedman Democrats" and the neo-cons is very prickly about its putative contributions to society. We all get that.

by redstar66 2006-02-15 02:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Heh

Your commentary is bigoted because it paints an entire class of people as being "this" or being "that". It is no different than saying all Republicans are fascists or all Democrats are pinkos or all blacks are crooks or all white people are members of the KKK or all young people are idiots or all old people conservatives or all latinos are illegal aliens or... the list goes on and on. It's all crap. Your comments have been similar crap.

If you had a valid point about some people's attitudes or problems then it got lost in the overriding problem of having been stated in a bigoted manner dismissive of an entire class of people without any room for recognizing the differentiation that exists in all groupings of people.

The end result... your commentary is pure worthless crap.

If you have a specific example, a specific complaint, a way in which to qualify and therefore give credence to whatever point you were trying to make then please do so. There may be some value in it.

But as it stands your commentary here has been nothing but worthless dung.

by Andrew C White 2006-02-15 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War: What Activists?

good point, redstar!

it's a bad move to mention "winning" and "since 1966" in the same breath, because, what (besides clinton, and to a lesser degree, carter) have we won since 1966?

by skippy 2006-02-14 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War: What Activists?

Yup. And if it weren't for Perot and Watergate, you can forget about 1976, 1992 and 1996 too.

Not to mention Clinton governed to the right of Nixon.

by redstar66 2006-02-14 11:11AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War: What Activists?

He isn't running OH-02 because he promised the other Democrats that he would'nt get in there primary unlike some people...

by Liberal 2006-02-14 12:46PM | 0 recs
It's simple.

Hackett endeared himself to the blogosphere in his special election.  They expected the Democratic Party to treat him as a friend.  And the party did - until another candidate appeared.  Then, they treated him as a nuisance, then an enemy.

Anyone who doesn't sympathize with Hackett in that situation - well, they aren't the same sort of person I am, to say the least.

Fact is, this has nothing to do with class.  Nor does it have anything to do with ideology.  It has to do with something more fundamental: reciprocity.  Hacket was good to the Democratic Party.  We expect the Democratic Party to be good to him in return.  It wasn't; we're pissed.

by Drew 2006-02-14 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: It's simple.

So you think the party should stay with a candidate when they don't have confidence that that candidate has a chance to win.  Sounds like the same reasoning many believe is the problem with the NDC already.

by carsick 2006-02-14 10:04AM | 0 recs
Yes, that's exactly what I think.

Because that's exactly what I said, isn't it?

No, I think the Democratic Party should, at the very least, not be a bunch of assholes.  I don't think that's a hard standard to meet, do you?

by Drew 2006-02-14 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, that's exactly what I think.

We don't really know what the party was saying to Hackett.  We only know his version and his reaction. His reaction tells me enough.

by carsick 2006-02-14 10:20AM | 0 recs
Plenty of places to find fault

... and Hackett's response is one of them, IMHO.  Did he get a raw deal?  Sure.  Does it give him the license to pout like a baby?  Not so sure.

He could have stayed in the race, no one stuck a gun to his head and forced him to leave.

He could have tried for the Congressional seat again.  In fact, he still could, and I hope he reconsiders once the heat of battle fades a little.

I'm not saying that Schumer and others are right.  Just that it's more complicated, as always, than a simple case of Bad Guys v. Good Guys.

by looty 2006-02-14 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

I've said this on the thread above, but I will repeat it here:

a.  If the storyline is accurate, the democratic establishment acted in an undemocratic way, by going behind Hackett's back, to eviscerate his funding.  Instead, they should have just let the primary happen.  May the best man win!
b.  This is an undemocratic action, that has outrages the "netroots" - or at least me.
c.  Rather than a full-throated protestation, the netroot leaders have rationalized this undemocratic behavior by the democratic establishment.
d. My - perhaps unrealistic - expectation, is that netroots leaders like Kos, Bowers, etc, DO full-throatedly protest this UNdemocratic interference, especially when Hackett is a symbol of what we are trying to achieve, with "Fighting Dems".

by jc 2006-02-14 10:03AM | 0 recs
Fighting Dems

The Democratic party leadership surrounded by loser consultants have lost election after election and have zero track record of success.

Instead of supporting open democratic primaries and encouraging many candidates and allowing Democratic party voters to decide who best to represent them, these DC politicians use backroom machinations as they are afraid of losing their patronage system. They don't really care if they are a permanent minority as long as they get to share in the looting of the taxpayer.

What is interesting is that unlike the Repubs that play to their base at all times and as a result engender unswerving loyalty even when there is clear evidence of corruption and abuse, the Dems leadership always stomp over their base by wanting to move to the "center". The electorate are no dummies. They would always prefer the real deal in comparison to Repub-lite. They prefer candidates with courage of conviction than weather vanes.

As the recent MyDD polls and other polls show, there is no "center" in America today. The electorate is deeply divided. There is no way in hell any Democratic candidate will ever get the Repubs to vote for them. So, in my opinion the only way Dems get elected is by playing strongly towards their base and getting them energized and excited to go out and vote. And by the way as these polls show the majority of independents support liberal positions.

Since the Dems DC leadership are afraid of standing up to the Repub slime machine and actually taking the fight to the political opposition, they are quite happy acting tough with their base who have behaved in an incredibly masochistic manner over the past few election cycles. These DC leaders are quite happy winning "safe" Dems seats and playing their patronage games.

The netroots needs to keep up the good fight despite the DC crowd. We must support fighters in the primaries not just the DC "annointed" ones.

by ab initio 2006-02-14 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: What consultants?

What the fuck LOSER consultants? Name one that is in the Congressional or Senate race! Save the same the old sorry bullshit for the Presidential races.

I'm so sick of amateurs that wouldn't know a consultant if they fell across one....listen up.

Consultants on the Congressional level teach Candidates how to raise money, how to design an effective Direct Mail Campaign, how to use the right words to get the money out of the Donors pockets, how to motivate the volunteers out of the streets when it's 105 or 45. And they teach them how to find the right staff so the Candidate doesn't try to run his own campaign. ( A death rattle in itself.)

Did I just describe more than one consultant that steps in for a specific task then leaves...only to be available by goddamn right.

I dont' get mad often and if you go throught the 360+ post at The Political Dogfight you won't find a handful as mad as I an now.

The biggest problem we've got in 2006 isn't that we are contesting nearly every seat. It's we are doing so with people with NO political background who are surrounding themselves with people with NO political background! It's receipe for diaster.

by BigDog 2006-02-14 10:29AM | 0 recs

Plus they aren't cutting people like you checks, dammit!

Funny enough, the qualification to be a "consultant" is to be in a couple of elections as an "amateur". That's about it. Other than that, it's networking.

Big fracking deal.

by ElitistJohn 2006-02-14 10:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah!

Yeah, and in the democrat's camp, you need to have been in a few LOSING elections, so you can tell the next crop of candidates how to lose.

That, plus networking.

by redstar66 2006-02-14 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Fighting Dems

You are off-base here:

What is interesting is that unlike the Repubs that play to their base at all times and as a result engender unswerving loyalty even when there is clear evidence of corruption and abuse, the Dems leadership always stomp over their base by wanting to move to the "center". The electorate are no dummies. They would always prefer the real deal in comparison to Repub-lite. They prefer candidates with courage of conviction than weather vanes.

Sherrod Brown is certainly not a move to the "center" or a Repub-lite. He is arguably more progessive than Paul Hackett and is a bona fide liberal. This doesn't fit the narrative many want to take but it's reality.

by Curt Matlock 2006-02-14 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

Chris, I think that this is an excellent post, except for one issue.  Who in the world likes Rahm Emanuel?  Chuck Schumer I'm not a big fan of, but I'm alright with, whereas Emanuel I cannot stand.  I also didn't have a dog in the Brown-Hackett fight, but I supported Brown.  And, really, I just don't understand where you get the sense that ANY activists like Emanuel and Schumer.

by DanM 2006-02-14 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

i will simply repeat what i said over at raybin's post on mlw:

when i first heard about hackett quitting because of the squeeze play, i felt nothing but sorrow.  what chance does democracy have if the dem insiders are going to continue manipulating the system and ignoring the actual campaigning, getting one's message out, primaries and voting?
what the insiders did to hackett's contributors sounded positively rovian to me.  and if the dems are continually operating on the repubbbs level, well, (and don't get mad at me for saying this folks) it only reminds me of nader's complaint that the two parties are just one party.  

and i read kos and bowers and why it was only smart strategy for this to happen, and i still felt like i was manipulated without my say (i speak figuratively;  i am nowhere near ohio, i couldn't vote for hackett if i wanted to).

ok, so hackett didn't have a chance in hell.  so brown would have been the smarter choice for progressives.

then f*cking let the system work, and cull hackett out of the process!!!

to scramble behind the scenes so drastically keeping money from a no-win candidate so the might-win candidate gets richer smacks of desperation.  

it's no surprise that the grass/netroots are discouraged.  what's the point of getting involved, if the powers-that-be behind the doors in the smokefilled rooms are the only ones that count?

and for kos and bowers to make excuses for it shows just where they are.  not with us.  with them.  the manipulators.

please.  let's try democracy for once.  just once.  see how it goes.  whaddya say, huh?

note:  i wrote the above on my left wing before i read chris's post here in detail.  i have since gone back to my left wing and corrected my impression that chris was carrying water for the powers-that-be.  and as you see, i struck out chris's name in the above rant.

by skippy 2006-02-14 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues
While the problem of the eventual disconnect of the uppwardly mobile from their roots is an age-old problem, the fact that you have acknowledged the gap and are consciously trying to do something to resolve the problem puts you, Kos, Atrios and others light years ahead of those who were called "yuppies" back when.  This post was absolutely spot on with the conflict, since I was also angered over the Hackett thing as well, consciously aware that this was some kind of top down decision by the "elites" of the party to engineer an outcome.  It effectively disenfranchises a segment of the party, possibly compromising turnout in a curcial election cycle.  Loosing in a primary is one thing, getting jobbed is another.  I had no dog in the Hackett race either, accept that I wanted to see a primary sort out what kind of candidate Hackett might actually be.  I'm sick of losing elections because an out of touch, vested and entrenched uppercrust has allowed termites to nest in the party
by Retired Catholic 2006-02-14 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

"We think that the people who read progessive [blogs] (whatever the hell that means) are themselves activists. But time and time again they proven that they are not. Ciro Rodriguez is the latest."

Mistake - contibuting money does not an activist
make.  I would love to have given Ciro money, but simply didn't have it.  I'm supporting my congressional candidate with what little extra I have (and volunteer for a campaign committee, as well).  Also am boots on the ground in my local party. Precinct committeeperson,attend monthly exec. meetings, work on two other committees, etc., etc.

Lots of blog commenters speak about their active work (even if they didn't vote in that particular Kos poll - talk about unscientific!).

So, yes, many of the many blog readers/commenters are, indeed, activitists.  And many, many of us are, indeed,  thoroughly disgusted with the "elite," if you choose to call them that.

Someone said the top Dems don't have power.  They do--they have power over Democrats downmarket, and they keep using that power in stupid and unproductive ways.  

by Ravenwind 2006-02-14 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

 Not two weeks ago, I begged MyDD readers to take me back to school and re-educate me as to the psychology of the netroots. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was gradually growing more annoyed with, and dismissive of, the same community that I once found so incredibly stimulating and insightful.

Well at least you admit it.

As two great novels (Animal Farm, Brave New World) once described-those once on the outside immediately start identifying with those on the inside-when they get inside. Sad really.

Re-reading that post you link to it actually astonishes me that you describe a complete failure of inside dem leadership yet still blame us members of the "great unwashed" for the failure to filibuster Alito. And fuck kerry btw, he didn't step forward 'til he was sure the filibuster would fail. A better description of "identifying" with the inside can't be had-I don't think.

by bobbyk 2006-02-14 11:28AM | 0 recs
Right On!

I'll add my voice to the chorus- GREAT POST!!!

To echo some of your points:
Even when I agree with the candidate the party insiders side with, for example Tammy Duckworth in IL, I think that they are incredibly arrogant and clumsy in the ways they throw around their influence. In this case it's even worse, because Schumer and the DSCC, from what I understand, practically begged Hackett to enter, only to remove that support once he entered. That's not only arrogant and clumsy, it's incredibly stupid.

The real crime here is that Brown will now endure the wrath of my fellow Hackett supporters, when, as you point out, he will be one of the few true progressives in the Senate. That is if he can actually win.

Anyway, thank you for articulating this so eloquently!

by Alex Urevick 2006-02-14 11:30AM | 0 recs
Good post. n/t

by Meteor Blades 2006-02-14 11:35AM | 0 recs
This is politics

it has never been about ideology. This battle is about politics and that means it is about power.

Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanual have taken stances oppossed to Paul Hackett and Christine Cegelis because of power. They want Democratic power to remain concentrated in their small inner circle with them as power brokers. They cannot afford to have candidates such as Cegelis and Hackett that are beholden to "we the people" rather than "they the power brokers," win and gain power. Everytime a Hackett, Cegelis, or Dean gains power a Schumer or Emanual loses a little power. That is all they see. What they don't see is that everytime a Cegelis or Hackett or Dean wins "We the People" of the Democratic Party wins (no, actually they see that part and are scared shitless of it) and (what they don't see) is that the Democratic Party gains more power at the cost of the Republicans not other Democrats.

Defeat Lieberman.

Defeat Duckworth.

Don't contribute money to the DSCC or the DCCC.

Do contribute money directly to candidates.

Do contribute money to the DNC.

Do not contribute to the DSCC or the DCCC.

Contribute to Cegelis.

Contribute to Lamont.

by Andrew C White 2006-02-14 12:05PM | 0 recs

You aren't advocating "Defeat Brown."

Why not?

by Alex Urevick 2006-02-14 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Funny...

Why should I? This has nothing to do with Sherrod Brown and never has.

by Andrew C White 2006-02-14 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Funny...

Of course it does, at least as much as Cegalis has to do with Duckworth. Ah, but don't knock the double standard!  

by Alex Urevick 2006-02-14 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Funny...

I'm sorry... what double-standard is that?

The reality is that Duckworth has nothing to do with it either. The only reason to defeat Duckworth (who, like Brown, seems like a perfectly decent person that I might support under other circumstances) is that this district ought to belong to Cegelis. She has earned it and the DCCC is wrong to have taken action to so strongly oppose her. As a result I oppose them and their candidate.

It has nothing to do with Duckworth herself. It has nothing to do with Sherrod Brown himself.

What double-standard?

by Andrew C White 2006-02-15 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Funny...

"belongs to?" HA! Now YOU sound like the DCCC!

by Alex Urevick 2006-02-15 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues
Marvellous article, and E. B. White or Mr. Strunk would certainly forgive Mr. Bowers for not making it shorter.
In 1967, many of the members of my university's Eugene McCarthy for President organization were  outraged when one day, out of the blue, the leaders of the-anti-war-faction of the Democratic Party informed us that we were expected to abandon Senator M. and his campaign in the party's state primary and switch our support to Senator Robert Kennedy because, ultimately, the latter  had a better chance of winning the election. Kennedy represented an excellent choice; however, the heavy handed, condescending and elitist manner with which the party's leadership delivered its message caused me, and others in our group, to change our voter registrations to independent, which I have retained all of these years. And yet, the Party's big kids" are as clueless today as they were forty years ago.
Bravo to Mr. Bowers for such an ansightful and coherent presentation of this subject.
by ThomasM 2006-02-14 12:56PM | 0 recs
in addition to activists

we are also voters, whose only chance to really effect change happens in the primary elections for most of us. we don't donate huge sums of money, we don't go to the same cocktail partries, and as you correctly pointed out, we don't get our phone calls returned by our congressmen, let alone senators. one reason why this strategery and fucking with fundraising is so galling is that it doesn't even let us have a choice in the primary, which means that once again, this is all about money, and really all about the big donors. in essence, emmanuel and schumer have told us point blank, sit down, shut up, and vote for who you're told to.

a lot of us got into activism because we were so disheartened by the crappy choices and unresponsive incumbants that the democratic party offered up to us during elections. we tried going outside the party, and were roundly lambasted for spoiling the vote with third parties, but now when we stay inside the system and try to effect change within the party, nearly all of the folks that we've championed are being squeezed out by denial of funds, one after another, right out in the open, so that we know who is in charge.

it is intended to put us in our place, as activists and voters, and that is why we're incensed.

by wu ming 2006-02-14 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

This is a less-furious version of the comment I posted in reply to TFLS' diary at MLW and dKos.  P

Activist working class???  Class??  CLASS???  Phrasing it in class terms is exactly the wrong way to do this, even as it recognizes some of the problems, it then places a presumption of deserved power upon those who are "higher-class."  Now while y'all worked, and thought, and wrote, and did things, many of us out here are walking the talk as well.  It is not class, it is who has the most page views.

To phrase it as class is to say that people like doctors, plumbers, people on disability, lawyers, and anybody who doesn't have a huge audience are now "working class activists" if Technorati is the new social ladder.  Class implies power and access and an immutability which is something NOT to encourage.  I thought the key to blogs was that it didn't matter who you were, the strength of your arguments was key?

Straight up:  If you are becoming comfortable with "doing business in Washington," as the saying goes, then you are no longer capable of an informed, educated, and HONEST presentation of the wants, needs and opinions of people OUTSIDE that rarefied circle.  As someone who grew up bouncing back and forth between inside the beltway and out, believe me, I understand it's a hard balance to keep.

While we're at it, what's up with "running the blogosphere?"
That's like saying Slashdot runs the technosphere.  It's like saying Brad, Jen, and Jennifer reached a higher class in the entertainment industry over the last year because they had the most mojo on them.  To refer to it as an issue of control, and to comment on it as class is to imply a permanence to the current situation that does not exist.

Yes, there are "realities of power," but those realities can go lick a cactus as far as I'm concerned, because those "realities" will not move us forward, they will keep things as they are.  Remember what happened in 1994:  The GOP took control of a sweeping movement based on outrage, and turned it into a political victory that accomplished one thing:  Changing who was holding the reins without changing how they are held.  This is exactly what we do not want.

To restate with a sledgehammer:  Becoming adept and familiar with how business is done is always at the peril of NOT CHANGING how business is done.

I'm not saying you're one of the evil elites, but you do need to walk the talk of "I begged MyDD readers to take me back to school and re-educate me as to the psychology of the netroots."  I'll tell you exactly how you do it; because they can't re-educate you.  Your readers just can't do it, and it's not incumbent upon them to do so - what attracted your readers in the first place is that YOU did it.

You hang up the goddamn phone, you take a week off your blog, you don't go to any Senate meetings, and you look at what's happening in the country.  You watch what people are saying and doing, and research it, comparing it with what has been said and done in the past.  You do the research that you have already known how to do, and you draw conclusions based on it, and you recognize one key fact:  To not change how business is done, is to insure that no matter which party is in power, things will only get worse.

Being a broken record one last time, you do what you started with.  It's not possible for someone else to do it for you.  Use your mind, or you will find yourself increasingly having it used for you, and against what got you into blogging in the first place.

by stealthbadger 2006-02-14 04:27PM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

I think a constructive outlet for the anger that is being aimed at the party power structure would be to focus on promoting public campaign financing. Right now, the power structure has the power because it controls distribution of funds. If we want candidates to rise on their own merits then we need change the funding mechanism. We are presently largely revolutionaries trying to work within the existing structure. We need to change the structure.

We all have 1000 legitimate reasons for being disgusted with the performance of our party's leadership over the last several years. We have even more reasons for being appalled at the republicans. To some extent we're torn between needing to focus on breaking the republican lock on control because of the level of damage they are doing, yet we're simulataneously trying to shape up our own party. Both need to be done. But I think we also need to focus on avenues for reform that are not dependent on specific candidates. We need to stop the whole lobbying pay-for-play process, period. We need public campaign financing. We also need election reform because our election system is no longer trustworthy.

We may need election reform before we'll actually be able to stop the republicans.

by aahhgh 2006-02-14 06:59PM | 0 recs
Really good post Chris

You say what I'm feeling. Wish I had more time to comment...

by michael in chicago 2006-02-14 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: The Activist Class War Continues

I agree that it's all about power.  I don't see, though, how that doesn't make the guys WITH the power the bad guys.  Power that quashes democracy (primaries... remember those) is always bad.  And that's what we have here.

I maintain that the "powers that be" are infinitely more interested in maintaining their power WITHIN the party than they are in winning elections.

We need to throw the bums out!!!  

I disagree that we need to defeat the Tammy Duckworth's of the world.  She's mostly just an innocent bystander in this fiasco.  I do recommend, however, doing everything we can to level the playing field when these power brokers attempt to force a candidate down our throats.  So, yeah, give to Cegalis if she's falling behind fundraising wise because of the DCCC (I don't believe she is, though).  Don't give to the power hungry b*st*rds at DCCC and DSCC.  But DO vote for the best candidate, even if it turns out to be someone the power brokers pushed.  

That is how WE win.  We win when we nominate the best candidates.  We can't win by changing our focus to merely defeat the power brokers and throwing out the good candidates whom they happen to have supported.  That's just stooping to their level.

Remember, COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY, and that's stands whether you're trying to promote or punish your party.  Put the country first and everything else will work out.

by ICantBelieve 2006-02-15 07:35AM | 0 recs
A Small Price for Honesty (victory)

Duckworth is going to need all of the help she can get.  

We need to make peace between the factions NOW!  For the establishment, 75K is a small Price to pay for peace.  A Small price for Transparency.  A Small price for a United Front.

Having said that, I suspect it won't happen for they fear being overturned in favor of Cegelis.

Remember, it is about winning the election against the R's that count.  We need to re-unite behind the winner (no matter how bitter) for the November (remember November) Elections.

From reading the comments, it looks like we are starting to loose our focus on reform & change and going back home to sulk.

Great Post Chris.  More battles like this are coming up.

by NvDem 2006-03-22 02:55AM | 0 recs
I like the analysis

I might suggest one change: rather than using the word "establishment," what about referring to "entrenched interests." Minor quibble, but I think that left = anti-establishment quickly brings to mind the hard-left mindset that you argue, rightly, isn't reflective of the blogosphere.

by renska 2006-03-23 03:51AM | 0 recs


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