I meant to leave this as a comment to the post below this one, but Typepad is not allowing it. So, let's bring the thing up here (knowing that's probably bad).
Craig, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you. As I tried (albeit poorly) to explain, I'm tired. I have little to no patience left with many things, one of which is being held responsible for the actions of others. If I get prickish with you, that would be why, because I see you holding me responsible for the actions of others.
"Emoprogs" is a term from Twitter. It refers to those who simply can't abide that they are not the special little snowflakes. They have personalized 'discussion' , especially of politics, so very much that they can't see beyond they're own limited role. That's the funny part. Politics isn't about the individual's role or importance, though those have a part to play. Politics is about governance. If you require evidence of what I'm talking about, think of how many times the emoprogs proudly refer to themselves as "the base" while denigrating independents, moderates and centrists ("sheeple"), you know, the people who really do influence elections. I'm certain that you've seen me write many times that the worst thing you can do to a liberal is to disagree with them. That was imprecise. The worst thing you can do to a liberal purist is to disagree with them. Funny, that's the same as it is with the Tea Party Conservo-purists. In truth, the two groups are so closely tied they could turn their heads slightly and find themselves shaking hands. They want what they want when they want it, and the rest of us can go fuck ourselves, as far as they're concerned.
Regarding Jon Tester and Chuck Schumer, I have to ask if you really have a basis for your claims. Wasn't Jon Tester the only Democrat to vote against the Wall Street bail out? Yes, he was, even after a private meeting with Schumer attempting to change his mind. He also voted against the auto-industry bailout, a vote he has now admitted may be wrong, given that the loans to GM and Chrysler have been (are being) repaid. Have you considered that Jon Tester is correct in his claim that the swipe fee cap hurts small financial institutions? There is a reason that Jon Tester's amendment was endorsed by the Credit Union Association of America (over half of the member institutions are supposedly exempt from such ruling anyway. But it will effect them as they have to compete in a market with Wells Fargo.) Schumer himself wouldn't endorse Tester's amendment. He voted for it and fled the chamber. So please, tell me who's serving the big banks, and who's looking out for Montana? I'm betting on Tester every time.
Now, about the fights I'm supposedly picking. I've never picked a fight with Oschenski. He's the one who told me (and Matt) that we weren't qualified to discuss legislation because we've never written it ... like he has ... as a lobbyist. So, by the magic power of George O, there are good lobbyists and bad lobbyists, and somehow he (a lobbyist) gets to decide which is which. It shouldn't be mysterious why I have a problem with that. My interaction with George over the last 6 months has been very limited and civil, unless your aware of something I am not.
Not once have I attempted to pick a fight with jhwygirl. She claims that I've kicked her in the teeth "twice". The second one was pointing out that she's promoting an insane narrative (backed up with ample evidence.) She's never bothered to tell me the first, though I can imagine what it was. I sent her an email, very direct and forthright, attempting to derail the badness creeping into the Montana left-o-tubes. She never responded. From some of the comments she left on Twitter, I am assuming (yes, assuming) that she thought I was holding her responsible for the actions of others on 4 & 20 Egobirds. I accept that she's not responsible, save that she's made it clear that any disagreement with those others is an attack on the website and she takes that personally. So, Craig, I ask you. Is she responsible or not? Of course she's not, especially if she buys into the myth that I'm responsible for their behavior. Problem solved, yes?
Mark is a fruitcake, and in case you missed the obvious, he attacked me in a very craven way well before I ever said one thing bad about him, or even disagreeable to him. You might want to do your research on that one before claiming I picked a fight.
Matthew Kohler is a snake. He cares about Matthew Kohler and only Matthew Kohler. This one I am responsible for because I actually cared enough to give him front page posting status at LITW. I am not above being naive or stupid, and trusting Kohler was both. I have rules of respect in online communication. They are deeply ethical. In case you haven't noticed, they are posted very clearly at this website. Kohler has no such scruples, and will do anything, ethical or otherwise, to promote Matthew Kohler. When he posted an attack ad on LITW against Jon Tester, he made it very apparent that he ran the joint. Through email, he shared that with just about everybody, as well as sharing private emails publicly and with those to whom they were never sent. Don't ever tell me I'm responsible for picking a fight with Matthew Kohler. The man is slime, and anyone who 'picks a fight' with him is doing good works.
I attempted to reconcile with Lizard over email when he had a freak out because 'I deleted' a comment he never left. Reconciliation isn't anything he wants. He wants capitulation, and has demanded it. The recent argument over the Earth Firsterests! should be clear evidence that I'm not picking this fight. His big argument, which he had no foundation for, was with Pogie. Yet somehow, I'm the bad guy because I didn't just agree with the clearly bullshit. He is clueless. That isn't an attack; it's an obvious observation. How many times have you seen me use the same harsh verbiage against the bullshit coming from the right, yet somehow when I use it against the left, I'm responsible? Lizard and I started our disagreement because he claimed that and activist district court judge could unilaterally strike down a law, and force policy on the CIC. I pointed out that that isn't Constitutional and needed to be challenged by the Attorney General and the DOJ. I became just a tool of the President ~WHO WE HATE~ for pointing out what was the clear legality. The Ninth circuit court has now ruled that DADT was unconstitutional and upheld the district court injunction, very specifically since Congress repealed the fucking law. You know what you're never going to see from this particular Egobird? You will never see any admission that I was correct in disagreeing with him, not ever. Lizard has made his choice. I must be wrong, period and end of story. Even when I'm not, I must be wrong because I'm responsible for them being wrong. My question to you, Craig is this: why do you support such stupidity, and blame me for not 'making up'? Lizard, when Mark Tokarski trolled their website thoroughly and successfully, likened Mark to me as "a little shit", even though I've never done anything to them like Mark did. Lizard is clueless, and that's obvious. Of course, it's my fault for seeing the obvious, isn't it?
JC is the tough one. I like the guy, or at least did. He personalizes everything. Look back in the comments to the Health Care debate at LITW and you will see JC basing almost every argument on his own conditions, his own will. He has a very personal problem with Jon Tester. When he put up a post about why, Pogie shredded it with facts and reason. It was easy for Pogie to do because JC didn't really post the truth. JC doesn't like Jon Tester because he thinks (ego out of control) that Jon Tester insulted him personally. That is the point he carries into any discussion about our Junior Senator. Where things went south between JC and I was when JC had a total hissy fit about an innocuous op-ed from Jon Tester. I commented, pointing out that JC might be a bit over the top (extreme) in his complaint. He responded, as I clearly pointed out, with Straw Men and Ad Hominem. I tried to be reasonable. JC's bullshit response was to tell me that I can't tell him what Ad Hominem really means (apparently it means whatever he wants it to mean) and he escalated the drama. His ego was out of control, and remains such to this very day. To JC, any discussion of politics only has value as regards how it effects JC. So, Craig, do you really think I burned that bridge?
And that's what it boils down to. I have made inroads with CFS, who I was probably unjustly mean to more than any other Egobird.) But holding me to account for the bridges they've burned? Not gonna happen. Even with Jay, I have always been more supportive of 4 & 20 then they ever have of me. The difference is, I didn't care. They do. They are not a 'sister blog' anymore. They think themselves a big fish in a little pond, and completely ignore that this pond called Montana is very big, very big indeed. These things are on the table, but they'll never be picked up. I know where the Montana online has been, and where it's going. These folk don't give a shit as long as they keep patting themselves on the back. If you wish, as you suggest, to keep the Montana online going then you'd best not hope for any to "make up and push on". They want their world. They've no interest in 'making up'. We want ours. I will push on without them, and if you find that insulting, I'm not so very sorry.
For every action there is an equal an opposite reaction. Those crazy tea party people! Look what doo-doo they got themselves into over there.
I'm probably just being pedantic in pointing out that the reaction equation only works in Newtonian physics. It's never worked very much or at all in the social/political sciences. The bulk of her post is worth reading and crowing about. Wisconsin did good, and that's no lie. Keep in mind, though, that the Wisconsin primary vote wasn't about the Tea Party. It was anger at the people that these same folk who voted for true Democratic candidates yesterday elected just 9 months ago. If there is a reaction then it was from those who 'acted' in the first place. I find jhwygirl's post adorable, if only because she can't use the term "shit" when it's really deserved. And shit is truly what the Tea Folk have offered to Wisconsin, and Wisconsin reacted appropriately. This is their fight. The rest of us can support them, with money and praise, but making the larger point that the Tea Party is facing annihilation due to their actions is a bit over the top. Let's see what happens in the general of the recall. (For the record, I think those six state Senators are going down.)
As most of you who have read me for than a day can well sense, I haven't brought this up without a more serious disagreement. jhwygirl writes:
Thank Goddess for those crazy radical storm-the-capital union-loving progressives! It sure as hell wasn’t a bunch of milquetoast leftys out there camping in the capital, or marching the streets or gathering signatures up within weeks of their legislative session’s sine die to recall the Republicans and regain control of their state.
I'm having a real difficult time knowing exactly what the hell she's writing about here. Union loving progressives? I don't know how familiar she is with what actually happened in Wisconsin, but the first salvo in this progressive fight was from students at UW Madison with a bunch of Valentine's cards to Scott Walker. When the capitol got "stormed" it was by those students and public union members themselves. I will likely remain curious as to why jhwygirl was so intent on pointing out "progressives" as opposed to the actual unions, which organized very quickly. Within a day of the first protest march, the SEIU and the AFT were organizing protest against provisions which had already passed the Wisconsin budget repair bill, but not it's more loathsome requirements. Within 2 days the Capitol hill (which lies in the middle between two large lakes, yes, I've been there) was occupied by between 30,000 and 50,000 people. Most of those folk were union organized. So why should there be a distinction between " union-loving progressives" and the unions themselves? That makes little sense, unless one has an agenda beyond promoting union activism.
Quite recently, here in Montana, we had a bunch of "anarchists" protest big oil. They acted like a bunch of buffoons, but it seems important that some Montana progressives promote them as doing important stuff. They didn't, but the folks in Wisconsin did. Which leads to the real quandary I have with jhwygirl's post.
It sure as hell wasn’t a bunch of milquetoast leftys out there camping in the capital, or marching the streets or gathering signatures up within weeks of their legislative session’s sine die to recall the Republicans and regain control of their state.
If that's sarcasm, it really isn't very good. It reads way too much like an indictment. Democracy for America were those milquetoast lefties out there garnering signatures. The SEIU were those camping out at the capitol. The union protesters weren't trashing the place as the right accused them of. Are some of the left accusing them of the same? It wouldn't surprise me. It was the milquetoast lefties that got this damned job done. There is more to do, and the DFA, the SEIU, the AFT and other organizations (not anarchists) will see it through. It hasn't been radicals (extremists) that have seen this calling to this point. It's been working people who actually care about what happens beyond dancing on tables.
For one, satire is usually funny. Mimicking in a completely bullshit way is rather apish, and one of the many reasons that the right is so poor at it. It saddens me that so many on the left are so poor at it as well. Satire begins with 'the truth' and then points to its absurdity. Satire does not begin with a Straw Man, then commence knocking it down with Ad hHominem, contradictory thinking and insult. That's the right wing method. If one wants satire I suggest The Borowitz Report, The General J.C. Christian or the Onion. If one wants self-important bullshit, I suggest this.
And for the record, Mark Tokarski actually had the balls to confront Milt Shook. Milt smacked him like a bug.
Thanks for proving the point of the article for me.
Wanna talk about arrogance and hubris? How about your assumption that I don't "support Social Security, Medicare, oppose torture and want the wars to end, the tax structure restored, jobs protected."
No one's marginalizing the far left. The far left is marginalizing itself. Have you noticed? The far right keeps winning elections, even though they represent the smallest portion of the American populace. And it's because of people like you, who think it's "the Democrats" who are marginalizing you. Democrats have NEVER betrayed liberals; that's a fantasy. MOST minorities and poor ARE Democrats. Union members are MOSTLY Democrats. When you say you've been "betrayed" by "the Democrats," what you are actually saying is, blacks, Hispanics, the poor, gays and the elderly are "betraying" you.
That you were deeply insulted by the post demonstrates a galling level of narcissism. And the only one demonstrating "arrogance and hubris" here is you.
I've alluded to something several times that's been bugging the hell out of me for a while now. I wanted to state it clearly, but surprisingly enough, didn't want to be accusatory. I also wanted to wait for the shitstorm to pass first. I'm also going to point it out here at a website whose legacy doesn't browbeat me into not pointing and laughing at the obvious.
After the shooting of Representative Giffords, many were very quick to point out that violent rhetoric coming from the right is souring our national discourse, and quite frankly making it rather dangerous. I agree and think that's sound reasoning. I do not believe in the counter-arguments of moral equivalence between right and left unless they have reasonable relevance. I deleted a comment from Rusty Shackledurp at LitW today which linked to a post from some Internet Toughguy who talked all kinds of smack about punching people who favor feminist use of language. The left has taken a very principled stand against the violence of torture perpetrated against enemies.
What do these three disparate things have in common? I'll tell you. The writing of this post was inspired by a diary at Daily Kos which came over the left blogwire today. It posits two kinds of Democrats, those who are weak and those who are strong, like our Good Governor. But there was a quote in that which puit my hackles up:
that’s pretty much what I expect far too many Democrats to do, unless we can grab ‘em by the lapels
And do what? Punch them? Threaten them? Kick them in the junk? Tell them "Nice Democracy you got here, it'd be a shame if sumpthin happened to it ..."
Here's the entire quote, just for context which won't change my point:
Since negotiating away Medicare and Social Security is hugely unpopular…that’s pretty much what I expect far too many Democrats to do, unless we can grab ‘em by the lapels and show ‘em that voters want Democratic Democrats—you know, the kind of Democrat who understands how to grow a brand, and how to keep it strong, and how to set fire to bad ideas, loudly and publicly, when that’s the right thing to do.
Now AH-AH! Yes, that is the sound I make when my dogs are fixing to misbehave. Don't tell me that kind of speechifying is just meaningless metaphor. No it isn't. It is a direct call of threat to very real people. So is the ever popular endorsement of medieval torture: 'Holding their feet to the fire'. That is a very precise endorsement of hurting another to achieve a personal agenda. So don't no one be telling me that isn't "violent rhetoric". It quite explicitly is. It is a statement of 'Do what I want or I will hurt you.' What saddens me most of all is the number of folks who use such verbiage to coerce others to sign onto such an authoritarian will, with a complete blind-spot about what they are demanding. That's only slightly more sad than the number of people who actually think they personally have that kind of power.
In truth, I'm very happy that some I've butted heads with over the last weeks have moved to the language of accountability. Favoring a politician or not, one doesn't need threat to control them. At heart, that threat actually attempts to control others who might not share the view of the extortionist who uses it. That was much of the point that many were trying to make after the shootings in Arizona. Nine people didn't die because Sarah Palin used architectural symbols targeting reticules in her literature. They died because some twisted asshole thought the threat didn't go far enough. How will the left deal with upping the threat ante should something happen because they're advocating 'grabbing lapels and burning feet'?
This is the story, from the AP as filed by Matt Gouras, which was top center in the fish-wrap copy of the Bozeman Chronicle today. You won't find it on the front of the Chronicle website, but rather only in State News. It details how the Montana House of Representatives Judiciary Committee sent HB 516 on to a full floor vote. If any are unfamiliar, that would be the bill that would strike down any anti-discrimination ordinance that deviates from the statewide version. It's passage would be a victory for the Montana Talibangelicals.
I'm not bringing this up solely because this a blow to universal human rights, which it is. Jamee Greer and others make that point far better than I. No, I bring this up because not once in the article does it mention the city of Bozeman. "So what?" you might ask. Allow me to respond. There's two reason's actually. The first is that the Bozeman city commission has a city wide policy statement of anti-discrimination similar to Missoula's ordinance. That too would be struck down by HB 516. One would think it significant to mention that in the home town Bozeman newspaper.
Second, look at the headline: Montana GOP targets Missoula Gay Rights Ordinance. Accepted that Matt Gouras may not be the writer of the headline, there is still something chilling and instructive about it, and the actions taken by the Montana Republican representatives. Though the bill's text speaks clearly of 'protecting classes' of people, this is all about teh GEY, and how they must not be "protected". In other words, this is a direct attack against the rights of GBLT people, the very rights the rest of us enjoy as being protected in one manner or another. Simply put, they are not worthy of protection. It's also rather pointed that this is aimed at Missoula, and only at Missoula. Bozeman's fair policies are only collateral damage to the hippy punching of putting Missoula in it's 'proper place'. And this coming from the same bunch of folks who bristle at the fact that the Federal Government can tell them what to do. I invite you to consider the bitter irony of that on your own.
I recently had a terrific conversation with an individual in the know who stated something that I've recognized for some time. Bozeman is not well liked in Montana. We are seen as 'snooty'. But having grown up in the Bitterroot (almost spelled it Bitterrot ... wouldn't that be pointed) I recognize that whatever disdain is directed at Bozeman pails in comparison to the bile reserved for Missoula. It does not speak well of us as a state when our GBLT friends and family are used as disposable pawns in games of civic rivalry.