DISCLAIMER: I, metamars, am speaking only for myself, not NPA, FDL, or Jane Hamsher.
(Note: I was alerted to the Reid Report via this dailykos posting).
Dear Reid Report:
I read Firebags and afros: the *genius* plan to primary Barack Obama and it’s not half bad. Very defective, but with lots of links that can serve as a good jumping off point to get a clearer picture.
While not half bad, and even useful, it has some ‘blunders’. Well, I don’t know if they’re really blunders, or if you are being deceitful. Perhaps you’ll care to elaborate? Maybe they’re simply gross distortions, which you are incapable of recognizing as such.
There are examples in your piece of marginalizing serious critics, by what are ad hominem attacks. (E.g., “And the most notable feature of anti-Obama progressives like Greenwald, Sirota and Moore, is their utter contempt for anyone marginally loyal to the Democratic Party.” Yeah, right! I haven’t read much of Greenwald, but saying Sirota and Moore have such “utter contempt” is a fantasy, which reveals you to be a misleading propagandist.)
However, I will simply focus on the following, so that there is a clear record of a few of your mis-conceptions in at least one, limited place.
“In a two-party system, it’s a zero sum game. Seeking the defeat of Democrats means seeking the election of Republicans, period. That is no way to advance the progressive cause. Push the Democratic Party as far left as you can, where you can. Speak up. Get involved. But trying to elect Republicans? That puts those who do that on the opposite side of people like me.”
First of all, NPA has no explicit policy to seek the defeat of Democrats for the gain of Republicans. (Now, yours truly has argued for exactly that, on a limited basis – up to, say 5-10% per election cycle; but yours truly doesn’t speak for the NPA, isn’t on it’s steering committee, etc.) Basically, the NPA doesn’t care about the Democratic Party, considering it terminally corrupt. (Again, yours truly doesn’t agree with this; In fact, I’m concerned that it’s a major strategic blunder, and that a progressive, trans-partisan voting bloc should make final decisions about which candidates, via whatever party, they find most suitable. See, e.g., Recommended Short and Long Term Voting Strategies for the Dump Obama Movement.)
The NPA is looking to grow it’s own political muscle, not get Republicans elected. If some Republicans do get elected, as a result, this is considered to be an acceptable loss. Boo, hoo! During WW2, the Allies bombed French towns that had Germans in them. They weren’t trying to kill the French, who happened to be there, also, but of course they killed some French, anyway. The loss of seats to Republicans is supposed to be temporary – NPA, to amount to anything, has to pursue a multi-election-cycle strategy of growth. Embracing a mental straight jacket of dominating fear of Republican victories in the next election has contributed mightily to the current state of disempowerment of the public.
Your simplistic outlook shows a strategic naivete that ignores the desired effects of persistent, multi-election cycle efforts, the continuing demoralization – with attendent withdrawal from electoral politics – of progressively inclined voters due to electing back-stabbing con men like Obama, and the desperate need to strike back in a convincing, aggressive manner against the corporatized, dominant segment of the Democratic Party.
My guess is that you truly suck in a strategic game like chess, and that you’d suck as a psychologist, also.
You say, “Push the Democratic Party as far left as you can, where you can. Speak up. Get involved.” but who can take you seriously? While I’m not familiar with your writings, and you may actually have written something insightful and useful about pushing the Democratic Party leftward, my brief encounter with your writing is not encouraging. Can you please tell me how your notions of “speaking up” would have any more effectiveness than sending a bouquet of roses to the White House, and attaching a tender note, saying “Please, please don’t screw us any more, like you did with Obamacare. We love you, we really do! Love and kisses, your loving, progressive base”. And do tell us, won’t you, if after speaking up in a Reid-report approved way (whatever that might entail), we find out that Rahm Emmanuel calls us “F@#$@#$ retards” and both he and Obama snicker at us, when they chat on the phone?
Finally, I’ll also add that you appear to have deliberately, selectively quoted me to mislead your readers. You wrote, “one of whom, an FDL diarist who goes by the handle “Metamars” — even saw an opportunity to put West on the front lines, to “educate” … the “Afro-Americans” to understand that Obama is “not their friend.”]”
However, what I wrote is, “Obama is not the friend of black or white Americans when it comes to health care, and a whole lot of other stuff.” (emphasis mine).*
And, indeed, he is not. One wonders why you haven’t figured this out. He is the great friend of the parasitic healthcare industry, which sucks the financial life blood out of America’s struggling workers, both black and white. John Q. Public, not so much.
* I’ve recently wrote about what can be described as 2 common categorization errors, commonly seen in political arguments. One is dichotomous tribalism – basically “us good, them bad”, which typically allows for all manner of ugly smearing of the “them”. The other sort of categorization error is sort of the opposite. It can be described as “our leader good (all the time)”.
In the former case, overly negative characterizations of political opponents are made. (I wrote about a particularly ridiculous example, here.) In the latter case, an overly positive, optimistic and naive image is accepted of the leader.
P.S.: I’m half expecting visitors from a site called “Balloon-juice.com” to try to “shout down” this diary. I say that based on this comment:
FDL commenters (admittedly only a few) appeared to be either supporting or giving very measured criticism of the FDL piece until we lot showed up and started shouting them down. And as we’ve seen in the past, the community there keeps falling into this same trap. If they want a different perception, they have the power to effect it – both Jane and co and the community itself. I don’t think it’s an unearned perception.
ETA: Once again, I cannot reply to comments, though I can still edit. (This happened 2 diaries ago, also.)
Reply to shekissesfrogs, who says, “You misquoted yourself.” Nonsense, as simply reading what I wrote would show you. Furthermore, there’s no contradiction between my quote of myself, which you say is a “misquote”, and the second quote of myself, which you introduce. So what you’re trying to argue, even if were true that I misquoted myself, may make sense to you, but not to me.
Kindly think things through a bit before you post, OK?