Sep 04 2007
I wrote this for the Guardian site today:
Today the netroots faces a new challenge of avoiding being seen as a top-down driven movement. This month is a pivotal time in the fight to end the Iraq debacle. Yet organizations like MoveOn and netroots “leaders” like Matt Stoller and Chris Bowers are more interested in launching campaigns for the 2008 elections than in organizing to pressure today’s Democrat-controlled congress to do all it can to end the Iraq war now, during the Bush presidency. I think that does not reflect the views of the “people power” the netroots is said to represent.
A real acid test is now before the netroots: will it be what Bai describes – a top-down group who take direction from its self-appointed leaders? Or will it be a people-powered movement, which fights for issues it cares about? September may very well tell the tale.
Sep 03 2007
Someone just pointed me to this radio interview of John Stauber by Bob McChesney (it is the 8/19 interview) on the Netroots (especially Move On) and the Iraq issue, and I think it is excellent.
In fact, the entire netroots’ performance opposing the Iraq war during 2007, and especially the performance of MoveOn, has been nothing short of pathetic. For example, MoveOn , seconded by such netroots stalwarts as Chris Bowers and Matt Stoller, then of the blog MyDD, and the Daily Kos blog, tried to rally support for the Democrats’ utterly inadequate Iraq supplemental spending bill. Predictably, the effort ended in disaster for Democrats.
But no matter, at least for MoveOn, which decided that this failure would be a great jumping off point for a political campaign to challenge Republicans in the 2008 election. MoveOn is still in the middle of that campaign. What we do not see from MoveOn or any of the leading left blogs are any attempts to pressure Democrats into taking action immediately to end the Iraq war. Every plan, every project, seemingly every post, is focused on how to exploit Iraq as a political weapon against Republicans in the 2008 elections. Very little thought is brought to bear on how to pressure Democrats to use the power of congress to end the Iraq war now.
MoveOn and many of the leading left-wing blogs have become nothing but appendages of the Democratic party – defending every initiative, no matter how wrong-headed, cowardly and obviously ineffective. And since the Iraq supplemental fight, where the netroots did such a horrible job, the discussions of what congress should do to end the Iraq debacle are practically nonexistent in the leading left blogs. They have seemed intent on confirming Bai’s view that the netroots are more interested in being kingmakers than in dealing with the issues. A review of the leading Left blogs shows very little coverage of Iraq issues and what congress should be doing. Instead, they are obsessed with 2008 presidential horserace blogging.
Stauber is not someone I am going to agree with a whole lot on a wide range of issues (for example, he is a big impeachment proponent), but I thought Stauber was especially good in this interview. Take a listen.
Sep 03 2007
In a very fine post, Turkana concludes:
The truth about Iran is that the same people who gave us the Iraq War would love to give us an Iran War. . . . The truth about Iran is that we can’t trust our government, our military, their government, or the corporate media to tell us the whole truth. . . . We might start bombing Iran tomorrow. We might not ever bomb them.
The truth about Iran is that we need to keep our minds clear as we try to do whatever we can to prevent another immoral, illegal, and disastrous war. Be skeptical. Research. Know your sources. Agitate for peace.
(Emphasis supplied.) I submit that the way to avoid war with Iran is to end the Debacle in Iraq. Previously I wrote:
The chance of Congress authorizing military action against Iran is zero. Zilch. None. Bush will not even consider asking for it. Everyone must know this. How could they not? The ONLY reason Bush can even contemplate action against Iran is – surprise – BECAUSE WE ARE IN IRAQ! You want to stop military action against Iran? Then work like hell to get us out of Iraq.
Aug 31 2007
I think we are all here because we all believe sincerely that, no matter how much we disagree, and man do we ever disagree, everyone here respects the fact that we all are committed to positive, even progressive change for our country and world.
I believe that I have had a serious policy disagreement with everyone on the planet so it should comes as no surprise that I have had huge disagreements with every poster here and will no doubt have a hell of a lot more of them going forward.
So why am I here? Simple – having disagreed on issues, large and small, with Buhdy, OPOL, Turkana, EK, etc. – I have found that they and I could dust ourselves off and still have fun, respect each other, fight again, and then fight again. And then have some more fun, respect each other and so on.
When Buhdy told me about this site I wanted in. Hell, I insisted on being in. Why? Because it brings back what used to be a staple at daily kos – a community that could fight together, fight each other and play together.
I miss that as much as I miss anything in blogging. I could not get that at Daily Kos for a long time. I know I’ll get it here.
So we will discuss important ideas and issues, organize for important fights, fight important fights amongst each other, but also have fun together. Be a real blogging community. And I have a real confidence that Buhdy, the Zen Dictator, will keep it that way. So I’ll be around a lot. To discuss. To fight. To play. To bond. But mostly to regain that old feeling that I miss, the feeling of being a part of something special – a real political blogging community.
I can’t wait.