David Sirota Article: My Comments

Equal time, new poll too. From the diaries, jerome

David Sirota has published a new article about the direction of the Democratic Party, doling out some tough words to the pro-Hackett liberal blogosphere (http://www.alternet.org/story/26973/). Essentially, Sirota's argument goes something like this 1). Paul Hackett is not a true liberal and therefore those who support Paul Hackett are compromising their principles 2). The Beltway Establishment hypes up charisma over substance and therefore, the grassroots is aligning itself with the Establishment, rendering Sherrod Brown the real outsider.  As I hope to illustrate in detail, these points are uniformly inaccurate.

(To provide some context, Sirota describes the Democratic Party as being afflicted with "delirium" among other mental disorders)

What's troubling is that this kind of delirium is most commonly found on the Internet blogs, supposedly the progressive ideological bastion, but increasingly a place only of traditional partisan prioritization. Case in point was the recent brouhaha over Ohio's upcoming 2006 U.S. Senate race. Iraq War veteran Paul Hackett...what followed was illustrative of the delirium plaguing the progressive base. Within hours of Brown's announcement, "progressive" Internet blogs lit up with intense criticism of Brown. And let's be clear -- Brown's move was tactically clumsy. But the attacks went well beyond criticism of his decision to be a candidate to the core of who he is, showing that the supposedly "ideological" base is, in part, anything but. In many parts of the base, there is no ideology at all."

In other words, Sirota argues that those who support Paul Hackett and felt anger towards Sherrod Brown for entering the race have no ideology or unifying code of moral values, principles, or beliefs.  If the fallacy in this argument isn't already obvious, let me flesh out why.  First of all, Hackett is a liberal democrat.  There isn't an issue of significance with which he differs from core democratic values.  The Iraq War, gay rights, abortion, progressive taxation, the environment, and yes, even guns (his position is almost entirely symbolic).  Hackett is no DLC centrist, so the notion that supporting him compromises progressive principles is absurd.  

Secondly, supporters think Brown has no chance to win the Senate seat.  We perceive his entry into the race against Hackett, who DOES have a chance, as potentially squandering a major opportunity to improve the party, the state and the country.  The principle of wanting change in the country and seeing Brown as a threat to the REALISTIC accomplishment of that change may be too pragmatic for Sirota's taste, but a healthy connection to reality is also a principle.

"...while Hackett has no voting record on any issue at all. Even on his signature issue, Iraq, Hackett never supported withdrawing troops."

Paul Hackett supports withdrawing the troops.  Watch the clip.  The message could not be clearer: http://wcpo.com/news/2005/local/10/15/paul_hackett.html

"Instead, parts of the progressive base did the opposite, attacking the ideological champion; calling him "untrustworthy" for his tactical decision despite his years of steadfast trustworthiness casting the tough progressive votes; and venerating the other candidate with no ideology or voting record to speak of but whose "profile" they liked."

Again, this notion that Hackett has "no ideology" is just patently false.  The fact that Sirota bases his entire argument about style vs. substance on this false notion reveals his argument's overall weakness.  Secondly, Sherrod Brown, by all accounts, lied to Paul Hackett's face when he said he wouldn't run.  Lying is a breath of trust.  Therefore, the conclusion that Brown is untrustworthy is morally reasonable.  

"...parts of the grassroots have taken on the establishment's condescending, self-fulfilling prophecy that personality, charisma, image and "profile" matter more to voters than anything of substance.  It's hard to say which is more troubling -- that this profile-always-trumps-substance delirium both insults voters' intelligence and has no actual basis in reality, or the fact that many who claim to speak for an ideologically motivated base actually don't care about issues at all. Either way, it is troubling -- and dangerous -- for the left."

What's particularly interesting about this paragraph is how Sirota twists the scenario from its reality (outsider, Paul Hackett vs. insider, Sherrod Brown) to its inverse.  By associating the pro-Hackett grassroots with the "Establishment" via this ludicrous "delirium" label, Sirota is trying to present Brown as the outsider and Hackett as the insider.  Is it necessary to iterrate that Sherrod Brown is the career politician, not Paul Hackett?  That the DSCC intimated that Hackett drop out, not Brown?

Additionally, Sirota provides no evidence of the Establishment's supposed fixation on charisma and personality.  In fact, judging by the Democratic presidential candidates of 2000, 2004, and possibly 2008 (Gore, Kerry, and Hillary) it is more accurate to conclude that the Establishment values the type of experience and credentials that Sirota champions in his article- rather than the charisma and personality he claims they ineffectually trump up.  Besides, the grassroots have always been attracted to magnetic, firebrand politicians.  Look at their hero, Howard Dean, with whom Hackett shares considerable characteristics.  The popularity of Paul Hackett isn't a sudden, new alignment with the "Establishment." 

I agree with Sirota's general point that the  Democratic Party is populated by unprincipled shills, neglecting to do their duty as the opposition party.  But if there's anyone who realizes that and wants to change that, it's Paul Hackett, a total outsider.  He has made it clear in both the speech I saw and the Channel 12 newsclip that he feels a remarkable disgust for Beltway politicians who "hold their fingers to the wind."  Charisma is central to Paul Hackett, but it is also the supreme confidence in his convictions that enables Hackett to connect with such a broad spectrum of voters.  That Sirota misrepresents Hackett's desire to bring backbone to the Democratic Party betrays the entire purpose of his argument.    

Tags: (all tags)



Why do you think
Brown has no chance to win the Senate seat.
by tgeraghty 2005-10-20 05:24PM | 0 recs
A few of your points
Hackett said Brown called him and told him he was gonna run.  Hackett didn't sound too pissed about it.   The (only) person spreading the "told Hackett to his face" rumor was a Hackett campaign operative.

Additionally, in the Ohio 2nd race, Hackett said he opposed withdrawing the troops immediately, or setting any timeline for their withdrawal.  In an American Prospect article from July 25, Jim McNeill writes:

"Hackett, who worked alongside and helped train Iraqi troops, believes U.S. forces should remain in Iraq until at least 140,000 Iraqi soldiers have been trained, and won't put a timetable on American withdrawal. "

Thirdly-Hackett hasn't proven he can win.  Sure, he did good in the special election, but you can't extrapolate anything from that.  He was the only game in town, which meant that every donor, volunteer, and operative was free to help out.  When the generals come around, how do we know he'll be able to cut through the noise?  Hell, he couldn't even pull the trigger when there wasn't any noise.  

by ratdg1 2005-10-20 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: A few of your points
Oops, forgot to ask how you can tell Hackett's a progressive?  I thought his whole appeal was that he's a centrist who will pull GOP votes into the blue column.  

He can't be a progressive centrist.  Sorry.

by ratdg1 2005-10-20 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: A few of your points
This is true.  These Hackettphiles make all these claims about how progressive the guy is, but where's the proof?  The only two issues I know where he stands is that he wants out of Iraq and doesn't like gun control.
by Paleo 2005-10-21 02:33AM | 0 recs
Re: A few of your points
Wow, you Brownies keep talking.  Your colors are showing.  "Hackettphiles"  nice name.  That seems to be your only argument, name calling, distortions and not telling the truth.  If you really wanted proof as you claim, you would look at all referenced materials and Paul Hacketts original site with where he stands on the issues.  The truth shall set you free.


by LindainCincinnati 2005-10-21 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: A few of your points
Here is what his web site has to say about the Environment

" "

Follow your link

by Buckaroo 2005-10-21 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: A few of your points
oops, my bad.  I should have checked first and should have expected work would be done to shut it down or converge.

Sorry, his info has been there for a long time that anyone could have viewed.  I suspect by next week there should be something for you to look at online.

by LindainCincinnati 2005-10-21 07:19AM | 0 recs
Sirota is where the party should be.  Populist and supporting a candidate willing to stand up and fight for populist issues.
by Paleo 2005-10-21 02:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Sirota
Yes the blogosphere has been bought off.  It was announced immediately that Sirota blog was supporting Sherrod Brown.  Obviously bloggers definitely don't consider themself any type of news source if their writings can be paid for and they can lie as they obviously have.  Blogs are now the Fox of the internet.

I never knew David Sirota until his appearances on AAR, but I guess as we are exposed to things for a while, they become clearer.

by LindainCincinnati 2005-10-21 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Sirota
Linda. You (and Parker) should be ashamed of yourself for so glibly smearing others just because they don't support your candidate.

You've gone way over the top with this comment.

by Curt Matlock 2005-10-21 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Sirota
I have nothing to be ashamed of.  I'm not the one making false statements or calling names.  IF you are referring to bloggers working for campaigns, that's not a smear, that's a fact.  Ask them.  Some have even stated they felt they should come clean about it.  So what are you talking about and calling me that way.
by LindainCincinnati 2005-10-21 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Sirota
LindainCincinnati:  Keep up the good work, every time on of the DLC trollz hitz atcha they expose what many of us have been sayin fer a long time...the biggest impediment to a successful populist/progressive campaign iz the "centrist" establishment whose livelyhood and perks are dependant on Democrats losin'.
by LiberalFlamethrower 2005-10-21 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Sirota
You are truly clueless. I'm not a troll and neither is LindainCincinnati. If you think I have anything thing to do with the DLC then feel free to go back through my comments and print the proof. I chided her because I have not appreciated the way in which she has cast aspersions on the integrity of bloggers in her recent comments. When she said:

Yes the blogosphere has been bought off.  It was announced immediately that Sirota blog was supporting Sherrod Brown.  Obviously bloggers definitely don't consider themself any type of news source if their writings can be paid for and they can lie as they obviously have.  Blogs are now the Fox of the internet.

I never knew David Sirota until his appearances on AAR, but I guess as we are exposed to things for a while, they become clearer.

I was offended. I respect the regular bloggers here at MyDD, including Jerome Armstrong, and I respect the regular bloggers at Kos. I also respect David Sirota.

As far as LindainCincinnati, she's obviously a very committed Hackett supporter and I have no problem with that as far as it goes but I'd really hope she stops worrying about the affiliations of everyone who writes a comment and instead concerned herself with the issues and the strengths of her candidate. In most of her comments that I've looked at that's exactly what she's done so I hope this is the last conflict we ever have.

by Curt Matlock 2005-10-22 08:14AM | 0 recs
It's an NDN Blogswarm
Not much transperency left in the blogosphere... Isn't Rosenberg is giving funds to Sirtora's "Plan"...???

The blogoshere has been bought off... Hackett will be persona non grata in these parts...

Perhaps there will be a backlash... when the blogoshere starts begging for money...

At this point any candidate that is touted by Kos and his Krew... I immediate start to look in the opposite direction... I am not the only one... the blogosphere is now toxic with everyone trying to cash in.

by Parker 2005-10-21 06:08AM | 0 recs
But my hat's off for this blog post
MS. Driscoll, A great post.  Thank you.  It was a pleasant change to see some honest, independent thought with some pretty good analyzing.    
by LindainCincinnati 2005-10-21 06:24AM | 0 recs
I think locking up the blogs
is a BIG MISTAKE. Not only for Brown but for the credibility of the blogosphere.

The Associated Press has a story about the Ohio 2006 Senate primary noting that Paul Hackett "no longer has sole command of a blogosphere." The story notes that "some of the heaviest hitters in the world of liberal blogging, including DailyKos.com's Markos Moulitsas Zuniga and MyDD.com's Jerome Armstrong, have urged Hackett to step aside." The story notes that "Brown recognized the importance of blogs before he was planning to run and has often reached out to bloggers to earn their respect." Additionally, he has been a longtime progressive champion, meaning he's got strong ties to the Democratic activist base

"reached out to bloggers to earn their respect"

I guess Brown think that "earning respect" is paying off the blogosphere... I am smelling a nasty BACKFIRE..for Brown... if we wanted this controlled information shit...we would be watching Fox news.

And if Brown was a good as he says he is... then there there would be no need to buy up all of the bloggers...he sounds weak... and considering he only agreed to run after someone else stuck their toe in first... looks like he needs to be molly-coddled through the primaries... then we will have the same shit like Kerry... an over pampered pol running against a deperate GOPer...

by Parker 2005-10-21 06:41AM | 0 recs
Hackett as Victim
I guess Brown think that "earning respect" is paying off the blogosphere... I am smelling a nasty BACKFIRE..for Brown... if we wanted this controlled information shit...we would be watching Fox news.

Nobody has stopped you from spinning your conspiracy theories Parker so exactly what control of information are you talking about?

What's with the victimhood mentality of Hackett supporters?

That's not the way for a campaign to show confidence and strength. Try talking up your guy instead of constantly running down Brown.

by Curt Matlock 2005-10-21 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Hackett as Victim
Hey Brown is the one who bought up the blogosphere so no one would challenge him... unfortunately ... It is not my fault it is back firing with the heavy handedness of people trying to earn their keep.

Not only is this going to hurt Brown... but the whole so called "movement" as well ... it is one thing to get people to vote for a candidate it is another ball of wax to get them to pay for a "chosen candidate" ... while you are shitting in their faces.

There are going to be some interesting dynamics ahead...

by Parker 2005-10-21 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Hackett as Victim
I am not a parker supporter and don't bother to read his comments. What I am responding to is the victimhood theory. Nice try. But, let's be honest- it's mostly been coming from most Brown supporters who argue that any questioning of Brown is a) bashing Brown b) playing in to the Republicans hands and c) will mean that in the general we will lose next year. I've seen a couple good exceptions that actually provide some interesting arguments such as the fact that Brown's loses were also a long time ago, not just his wins. I don't know the history, but to me that's an interesting point. This diary is the first where I can see a Hackett supporter acting as though they have a major issue w/ Brown in the primary.  People such as Pounder and Bob Bingham have been saying something different the whole time- they certainly have not been acting the victim- they've been saying we will fight just as well as Brown fights. Indeed, go to swing state and that's what you will read there. I am not from Ohio- but I do want to the Democrats to win that state because it is vital to the national interest of changing this country around. I am more in favor of Hackett than I am of Brown, but at this point I think a primary is a good idea. My problem with the primary was the question of wasted resources- it still is, but I think the best way to hone both candidate- whoever wins is throough a good primary. Rather than speaking with sweeping language (notice how I said most Brown supporters, not all) you may want to talk from specific instances- I can go pull up hundreds of response that all reflect the three prong approach above from  Brown's bloggers. This approach to flip arguments - to make what the your weakness of your position (that you are essentially asking people to back off "bashing" Brown while pretending people are asking you to back off Hackett)- the weakness of those who are questioning you is very good. But, some of us nobodies out here recognize that's exactly what you are doing. Even the diary above spend most of her time defining hackett- she makes a mistake I think with the primary side but overall- what was her points aobut?
by bruh21 2005-10-21 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Hackett as Victim
I like Hackett and loved his run in OH-02. If he wins the primary I'm sure he'll be a much better Senator for America than DeWine.
by Curt Matlock 2005-10-21 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Hackett as Victim
I think either Hackett or Brown would be a better Senator. The issue is which of two progressive candidates is showing us thus far that he really can win. Of the two, I am still on Hackett because he just seems more like the tell it like the is type that I favor in politics. One of the problem with Clintonian style politics is that whereas you liked him, you never quite new where you stood. I think it's refreshing and necessary to have more people where I know where they stand. As for Brown, I think legislatively I know where he stands, but in terms of running his campaign thus far he leaves a lot to be desired. The strong manipulation of the fact that they won't to pretend that history is not history- that events didn't occur is a tell all for me. It's what got Kerry in trouble, and can hurt us here in unseen ways.
by bruh21 2005-10-21 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Hackett as Victim
Great post...now maybe we can let the 2 candidates duke it out ON ISSUES THAT CAN GET THEM ELECTED and spend our time shuttin' down the DLC poison machine when they attack a candidate.
by LiberalFlamethrower 2005-10-21 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Hackett as Victim
I think its about establishment versus non establishment of which the DLC is part of the establishment, but by no means the only issue. You have a lot of progressives who rather lose than admit any idea that they have created is a bad idea or that someone they support may not be a perfect candidate. Appearly like the right they must believe the person is perfect before they can support him. I don't think a lot people have heard of lately that old saying- love someone warts and all. I take that view with politicians. i can think they are great and see their short comings, and yet still come out in support of one choice or another for a lot of different reasons
by bruh21 2005-10-21 04:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Hackett as Victim
This is the heart of the issue. The DLC and their subversion of the democratic system in their favor. They denounce any candidate who is not in their pocket in ways that make any primary challenger look disloyal to the Party for engaging in the primary.

Here in PA I am watching the same thing happen in the bid for Santorum's seat. The DLC controlled Party machine has the media and the polling organizations all ignoring the TWO progressive challengers to the preordained DLC candidate, Bob Casey. The media coverage is all Casey v Santorum. The polling is all Casey v Santorum. Almost six months to go to the primary and it looks like we are in the middle of the general election if you look at the polls or read the newspapers.

The same on the GOP side. There is a progressive Libertarian,who is ignored, challenging Santorum in the GOP primary.

ALL progressives are systematically ignored or denounced and driven out of the process by the right wing dominated leadership of the two dominance parties. This is why there are frowing third parties. The progressives are not represented by the two party system in America.

People always complain about the system being broken and this is a clear manifestation of that broken system. the parties do not dictate to the people who the candidates will be. The people choose the candidates they want.

This is why I say its not a matter of partisans vs. ideologues. It is a matter of right wingers vs. progressives for the control in both parties. The right wing simply hides behind the intentional mischaracterization of being partisans. They are not. They are right wingers and they demand capitulation from everyone else.

by aahpat 2005-10-22 05:54AM | 0 recs
Hackett / Brown not equal Pennachio/Casey
You guys have this backwards. In the case of Casey of Pennsylvania, yes, he has the full backing of the establishment party and of the DLC and Pennacchio has been dismissed out of hand for being too liberal. But the situation in Ohio is different.

In the case of Brown/Hackett it is more mixed. Brown has the greater party roots in Ohio but he is not idealogically the sort the DLC cares for and is being attacked as too liberal for Ohio. The "challenger", Hackett is hardly wanting for backers and will be able to raise money, unlike Pennacchio who only has a few online voices pushing for him (I have been among them) but little money and little other support. In Ohio it is a very even fight and it's very hard to tell at this point who the nominee will end up being.

Right now it is unclear exactly how Hackett and Brown differ on important issues since most of the discussion on the blogs so far has just been about character attacks and non-sequitors about how liberals can't win in Ohio. Both candidates and their supporters have been insulted by various posts and comments. A neutral observer would no doubt see mud being slung on both sides, although some in this debate obviously have blinders on and only see mud being flung their own direction.

by Curt Matlock 2005-10-22 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Hackett / Brown not equal Pennachio/Casey
Nuance and rationalization that avoid the point. the point is that there are more candidates than the preordained Party candidates and ALL of those candidates deserve equal respect by the party organization, the media and the polling outfits through the primary process.

In the race for the Santorum seat in the senate the progressives are:

Alan Sandals

Chuck Pennacchio

John Featherman

For me, this is not about candidates. It is about the integrity of the democratic primary process for ALL of the declared candidates.

by aahpat 2005-10-22 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Hackett / Brown not equal Pennachio/Casey
I hardly was avoiding the point when I pointed out that you chimed in on a thread and had your facts wrong.

The commenter you responded to was implying that the DLC was somehow behind Sherrod Brown in opposition to Paul Hackett when Brown as a member of the Progressive Caucus is the unlikeliest of candidates to ever get DLC support.

That's why when you said:

The DLC and their subversion of the democratic system in their favor. They denounce any candidate who is not in their pocket in ways that make any primary challenger look disloyal to the Party for engaging in the primary

you were completely off base in regards to the comment you responded to.

by Curt Matlock 2005-10-22 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Hackett / Brown not equal Pennachio/Casey
that is just tortured.
by aahpat 2005-10-23 09:27AM | 0 recs
Sirota is insulting my intelligence
Sirota sounds like the sterotypical label typecasted by conservatives: NE elite-liberal.  Condescending with a touch of boorish scorn for Hackett, Sirota expects we ignore Brown's mea culpa, be at awe of Brown's resume, and dismiss Hackett's telegenic personality, charisma, and spine as to be loathed.  Nonsense!  I won't be suprised if Sirota was a paid consultant for Kerry's Campaign.    
by optimusprime 2005-10-21 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Sirota is insulting my intelligence
Do you ever read Sirota on other stuff?

If you did, you would be shocked if it ever turned out that he was a paid consultant for Kerry.

Sirota is passionately committed to genuine Progressiveism. Kerry wasn't.

by Thresholder 2005-10-21 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Sirota is insulting my intelligence
Sirota sounds like ....

Nice research.

by Curt Matlock 2005-10-21 08:07AM | 0 recs
This debate stinks.
Now, don't jump to conclusions. I am not pointing the finger at anyone in particular.

But I am appalled at what is happening in Ohio and in the Blogosphere.

In essence, 2 Dem assets are being transformed into a suicidal self-inflicted wound.

I dunno what to say about Hackett and Brown. I know very little about Brown. I was initially sceptical about Hackett, but later came to like a lot about him, and not just his effectiveness.

I do know this: I will support with money whichever of the two wins the primary and I am clear on what the real target is: defeating ReThuglicans.

I also know David Sirota enough to know that, while he can be egotistic and sanctimonious, he is a deeply committed progressive. The idea that he has sold out is ludicrous.

Yes, he is deeply involved in certain activist and political organizations. You bet. He probably gets some money from some of them.

But he helped create some of those organizations, shaping them as much as they shaped him.

And I have never seen him waver in his fight for progressive values. He will take on anyone in that fight.

I would think that we would like that, since the opposite instinct has all but destroyed the Democratic Party.

At the same time, it is clear that we need moderates in the Party as well. We need Sirota howling his jeremiads and we need people like Hackett fighting on other levels. We need them all.

You know, the Democratic Party consistently lags behind the Thugs in one key aspect: they don't know how to integrate the different parts of their coalition.

The Thugs have just as wide an array of viewpoints in their coalition as we have.

But they keep their factions from fighting each other to the detriment of the coalition.

Or, they used to. And the GOP is weakening insofar as the fanatics have taken their atchets to their own allies.

Well, we do that all the time. I hate it.

Simple, perhaps naive question:

Why can't we just say, "Hackett and Brown are both valued members of our coalition. Let them run against each other and test each other's strength as candidates and we will support the stronger"?

This primary battle can be a good thing. It can strengthen both candidates. And it can provide an opportunity for both candidates to hammer the corrupt GOP.

But it will hurt us if it becomes a source of self-consuming conflict. In a thread like this, and indeed in Sirota's article, I see distressing signs of this.


I'll end with this:

I don't care what your ideology or politics are.

Until the partisan monolith of the Republicans begins to lose some key elections, nothing else matters.

Let's beat Republicans. Then, later, we can sort out what we will do with the new opportunities that arise out of that transformed political landscape.

Until we start beating Republicans, arguing with each other about how progressive to be is nothing more than ideological masturbation.

by Thresholder 2005-10-21 07:53AM | 0 recs
Re: This debate stinks.
I don't believe anyone accused Sirota of selling out on progressive values.  And your statement "Why can't we just say, "Hackett and Brown are both valued members of our coalition. Let them run against each other and test each other's strength as candidates and we will support the stronger"?  That's the point.  He and other (bloggers) and staff are making some pretty rought and incorrect statments, which totally flies at the face of even your argument.

It didn't have to be, but they apparently wanted it this way.

by LindainCincinnati 2005-10-21 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: This debate stinks.
I don't have "an argument."

I am just appalled.

Nor am I picking sides.

I like what Sirota does.

I like what Hackett does.

I want Hackett and Sirota to be allies in fighting Thugs.

's all I'm sayin' ...

by Thresholder 2005-10-21 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: This debate stinks.
Great Post.  I too am disappointed in Sirota's attack on Hackett, but remember, the real test of an honest progressive is whether  they attack other progressives' motives, integrity,  or values and not their policies.  Sirota's flamer is typical of what we have been seein' fer the last 10 years (at least) from the DLC and Biden/Lieberman crowd.  So, unfortunately, Sirota has exposed himself yet again and letz note it and move on...we must leave folks like him behind.
by LiberalFlamethrower 2005-10-21 04:01PM | 0 recs
Bottom line
The best of all worlds is a fighting progressive.  But the blogosphere has shown it is willing to get behind someone who vigorously opposes the GOP agenda, even if they take centrist positions on some issues.  To your average Kossack, one of these "fighting Dems" is worth 10 establishment Democrats who claim to hold progressive values but roll over and play dead when it comes time to actually call the GOP on their wrongdoing.

Maybe Brown is the perfect fighting progressive, I really don't know him.  But in answer to why so many people support Hackett, the fact is that at this moment in time, combativeness versus the GOP is valued much more highly among the netroots than ideology or position statements.

by Steve M 2005-10-21 08:17AM | 0 recs
Disappointing 'liberal' Democrats
"First of all, Hackett is a liberal democrat.  There isn't an issue of significance with which he differs from core democratic values.  The Iraq War, gay rights, abortion, progressive taxation, the environment, and yes, even guns (his position is almost entirely symbolic)."

It is disappointing to see my worst fears for the Democrats confirmed in this statement. No mention at all of the old time core Democratic values of human right, social justice and civil liberties. Only divisive interest group pandering buzz phrases.

by aahpat 2005-10-21 09:56AM | 0 recs
Not ideological?
Then good!

I think it's a good thing if the liberal blogosphere is not motivated by blind ideology (one of the things we criticize the Republicans for).

We should have a practical approach towards creating a Democratic majority, not an ideological one.

Sirota's trying to use this to put us down?

by LiberalFromPA 2005-10-21 01:03PM | 0 recs
Has succinctly articulated some of the issues that have manifested themselves as people who have quit the Democratic Party.

Although I am coming to realize, in the debate of these issues these past couple of days, that --partisans vs ideologues-- is itself  inaccurate framing.

Those who bill themselves as partisan Democrats are actually right wing Democrats who are hiding their real agenda  behind this partisanship vs. ideology smokescreen. If you support their status quo candidates you are a smart partisan first Democrat. If you assert progressive values for candidates you are denounced and demonized as a left wing ideologue.

So it is not really partisans vs. ideologues but rather right wing ideologues vs. left wing ideologues within the Democratic Party. The right wing is pissed that the left wing is finally coming to realize how they have been getting screwed these past forty years and, like Sirota, are starting to stand up for progressive values again.

Tough love Bubba's. You either with us or your against us.

by aahpat 2005-10-21 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Sirota
aahpat:  there iz a simple one-word response to yer post about "partisan" Democrats and that iz  BULLSHIT.  I am a 57 year-old Viet Vet with a couple degreez and a political pedigree that goez back thru my paternal grandfather and the IWW (if ya know what THAT waz). I know "left wing" or progressive and you and Sirota ain't it. Stop shootin' the folks yer tryin convince...give me political argument not personal attack.  But you can't because all ya have iz yer self-inflated sense of ideological purity.
by LiberalFlamethrower 2005-10-21 04:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Sirota
If there was anything in your position other than denunciation to argue with I would. I have talked about politics and nothing but politics. Left v right politics. You denounce in vague terms without substance.

Since I agreed with Sirota, about his POLITICAL argument, all that you need for fodder in the political argument is to rebut Sirota. But all that you do is denounce and cast aspersions at me. Typical illigitimate right wing debate tactics.

I was a third generation Democrat until the right wing drove me out of the Party. I worked ward politics in the ward politics days of Frank Rizzo in Philadelphia. I do more to defend democracy within the Democratic party than ANY of the DLC Democrats of today who all work to force progressives and liberals to capitulate to right wing politics.

by aahpat 2005-10-22 06:05AM | 0 recs
David Sirota Is Starting to Annoy Me
I appreciate his interest in beating the Dems into some sort of cohesive political party, but pardon my cynicism here: Sirota is a hypocrite, too. He refuses to address difficult issues like immigration himself, but is oh-so-quick to jump on Democrats for not adressing issues.

And, so it goes....

Personally, I'm not a Dem operative like Sirota, so I am free to pick and choose my stand on issues. Maybe Sirota should try criticizing Republicans once in a while. It would do his outlook wonders, and it would do my outlook on him wonders, too.

by Signals 2005-10-21 02:13PM | 0 recs
Hackett is a "Libetarian Democrat"
I am a "Libertarian Democrat"-therefore I support him.  Here is my definition of a "Libertarian Democrat": "The government shall not prevent anybody from doing anything that does not harm others.  The government, however, shall provide goods and services that the free market is unable or unwilling to provide, and charge a reasonable level of taxation to pay for such services."  The first sentence is Libertarian; the second sentence is Democratic.

The person currently elected to Federal office who is closest to being a Libertarian Democrat is Russ Feingold.  Here is an analysis of his voting record from a Libertarian Democratic position (they use the term "Freedom Democrat"): http://www.freedomdemocrats.org/node/75

by Geotpf 2005-10-21 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Hackett is a "Libetarian Democrat"
i guess i must be a libertarian democrat then too- altough i dont like being associated with libertarians :)
by bruh21 2005-10-21 05:21PM | 0 recs
Paid Brown Supporters all over the blog
It seems that some of the Left blogs heavy hitters are all working for the Brown campaign.

Interesting how things turn out. The blogs are suppose to counter the "corrupt party establishment". Today, we find the heavy hitters within the blogsphere PLAYING the ROLE of Insiders working for a Career Politician.

Nonetheless, I am VERY CONFIDENT that you will see a Strong Majority of rank & file Democratic bloggers all over the country giving Paul Hackett the support he needs.

Some of these people proudly CLAIM to be  Anti-Establishment only until they meet the right INSIDER to support.

I have NEWS FOR YOU! Insiders are Insiders! There are Insiders who happen to be Liberals just like DLC'ers. SAME BANANA!

by labanman 2005-10-22 07:14AM | 0 recs


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