Bloggers Behaving Badly: Rayne at FireDogLake.com, Part Deux

And the attacks on the left by the so-called left just keep on happening.  Rayne is at it again, this time using analysis of the failure of Howard Dean’s organizational methods as cover for once again insulting the left.

Right off the bat, Rayne dismisses the left as being “poorly informed” about how and why the Democrat Party victories of 2006 and 2008 have gone once again to the very likely prospect of huge losses in 2010.

For the last several weeks there’s been an increasing number of posts which bash all manner of Democrats, from the president to the party itself and plead for alternatives. The anger driving this bashing is understandable since the country’s economy has floundered and promises made and values shared haven’t been kept under a Democratic president with a Democratic majority in Congress.

The anger also stems from disillusionment; after the great double-emotional high of the first person of color and Democrat winning the White House in 2008, there was the expectation that winning could continue, sustained in terms of legislative initiatives.

But unfortunately, much of this anger is poorly informed. There’s backstory which explains in part why we are here today.  . . .

I find it difficult to believe that, as someone who regularly posts on a blog that goes out of its way to inform its readers about what the far right in the Democrat Party does on a daily basis, Rayne would think the left is “poorly informed” about how and why we’ve gone from victory over the GOP to facing a repeat of ’94.

After doing a somewhat glorified history lecture about the Dean grass-roots revolution and its collapse, which most if not all readers already knew the details of, Rayne then makes another swipe at the left, claiming:

Lastly, the rest of the left which did not identify as Democratic has not been organized. It has changed very little since 2004 except that it has a few more internet-based bells and whistles. Its proponents still have no plan to develop a critical mass across folks who identify as left on the political spectrum. It talks a lot; it does less.

This is a flat out lie, one of two glaring omissions.  First, left-wing parties have been trying to organize to win elections for years. The Green Party, though it does suffer from poor organization, has never given up on running candidates at local, state, and federal levels.  Cynthis McKinney was the party candidate for president in 2008, and this year Green Party and other independent candidates are continuing to run for public office.  So there is active, if so-far improvable, organization on the part of the non-Democrat left.  Second, Rayne conveniently leaves out that the gatekeeper blogs, which include FireDogLake,com, “Open” Left, and Daily Kos, all actively sabotage efforts by left-wingers to organize outside of the Democrat Party institution.

Examples range from Seminal owner Jason Rosenbaum’s attack on disillusioned progressives right before the Massachusetts election to replace the late Ted Kennedy, which dismissed us as “Naderites” – which very likely had the opposite effect he intended as Democrats stayed home in droves to allow Republican candidate Scott Brown the victory – to the more recent post by ‘Phoenix Woman,’ which used instant runoff voting as a not-even-close-to-subtle way to thwart third party efforts.

By attacking the left as being “poorly informed” and by telling lies of omission about how and why third party organizational efforts have failed to yield results, Rayne and her cohorts accomplish only two things: the continued frustration of the American left, and the perception that so-called left-wing sites such as FDL are nothing more than Democrat Party gatekeepers, designed to keep the left angry but unfocused, outraged but tied to a political party that despises us and works daily to oppose everything we say we stand for.

FDL and others need to cease acting against the left and start acting with it. This means that, even if no official endorsements of, or fundraising efforts for third party candidates are made, there should be at least the reporting of them – who they are, where they’re running, and what they stand for. This will help spread awareness and allow voters options besides two equal (and equally unpalatable) evils. Until or unless this begins to happen, count on Democrats to continue losing to Republicans as more and more voters choose to sit elections out and stop participating in the electoral process altogether.

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    • RiaD on September 18, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    i find this quite distasteful.

    that you call out another blogger somewhere other than where that blogger posts. so s/he doesn’t have a chance to defend themselves.

    informing others of an opinion stated elsewhere does not have to be done in this manner.

    imho it just makes you look unattractive and whiny.

    why don’t you tell me of the better way you see, instead of concentrating so much on what others are doing “wrong”.

  1. … “Democrat Party”? Among Democrats and those who value correct English, it’s “Democratic Party.”

  2. about bloggers I’ve never heard of who may or may not be ‘behaving badly’ .

    What I am I supposed to do? Go read the whole damn thing at fdl? who cares.

    Your point that these biggest web sites are gatekeepers blocking 3rd parties is true enough, and is an important point- could have made a good essay. I’m not sure fdl is up there with dk and huffpo and a bunch of other gatekeeper sites, but whatever.

    More than third parties, these sites block any reform at all.

    Markos at idiot central has long been against both third parties and campaign finance reform, because it threatens his access to the halls of power.  And of course, against demonstrations or job actions or anything else–b/c these things actually work.

    Can’t have that.  

    • jeffroby on September 19, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Lastly, the rest of the left which did not identify as Democratic has not been organized. It has changed very little since 2004 except that it has a few more internet-based bells and whistles. Its proponents still have no plan to develop a critical mass across folks who identify as left on the political spectrum. It talks a lot; it does less.

    You argue that the reason the above is the case is because of sites like FDL, OpenLeft, etc., which undermine organizing.  But you don’t argue that the above is not the case.

    I have 2 suggestions for overcoming the above.

    (1)  I am arguing that the left (and everyone else) should take on the slogan of Dump Obama, to build that into a movement for a 2012 challenge in both the Democratic primaries and the general election.

    (2)  The greatest source of genuine mass outrage is the destruction of the poor, the shredding of the safety net, the mounting scourge of homelessness, etc.  I checked out the Green platform.  Strong on war, strong on the environment.  Weak on fighting poverty.

    If those being destroyed by Obama’s economic policies, or lack thereof, could be organized, they could provide the driving engine of a serious Dump Obama movement.

    As for discouraging resistance, I used to be a Docudharma front-pager.  Last week I wrote a diary “Time for a Dump Obama movement.”  I was told it had to be done as a side diary, that if it were frontpaged, it would “marginalize” Docudharma by arousing the ire of DKos, and was particularly problematic since there was an election coming up.  It would be inflammatory.  It would be “boring.”

    I agreed to do it as a side diary.  I have always played by the rules.  But I was then stripped of my front-page privileges.

    Per the Docudharma FAQ:

    Docudharma is about discussing and debating ideas. All ideas. We are not about being respected by other media or electing …anyone.

    Do much for that.

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