So much contention over the past several days has occurred within the progressive blogosphere. It’s time to do another post calling it out.
First on the agenda is the issue of President Obama saying that he never campaigned on the public option. This was a false claim, no matter how some want to spin it. It may have just been a “gaffe”, but it is something he needs called on none the less.
A lot of us are rightfully pissed over this comment, but being pissed doesn’t mean we don’t want President Obama removed from office, as some in the progressive blogosphere are claiming. To say that holding President Obama accountable to his promises is somehow calling for his impeachment is highly dishonest, and I am putting that very nicely.
The very fact that I supported President Obama means I will fight to hold him to a higher standard than someone like Bush. I have spent the last 8 years watching George Bush go against every thing conservative, yet conservatives backed him to the end. Once that end came they turned to flat out insulting him. It’s because of that damn Reagan “11th commandment” that goes “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican”. That is a horrible mantle to hold in a democracy. Our country was built upon questioning our leaders and holding them accountable, and I sure as hell don’t want to see my party start following that highly flawed logic. If we do then we are no better than the other side.
Also to question someone’s party loyalties over where they stand on health care is not only dishonest, but a down right insult. We have seen this from progressive bloggers, columnists and even television personalities. I have spent more than 1/2 my life going out, knock on doors in bone chilling cold and rain, working on campaigns, ringing phones and doing anything else I can to help elect Democratic politicians to office – both local and federal. People calling into question my loyalty to the party because of how I view the health care bill is down right wrong. I never once called them “corporate sellouts” or “Republican wannabes”. I would expect the same courtesy to be extended to me and other’s who had serious problems with this bill.
But I do understand that this is one of those most serious debates our side has been able to have in decades and emotions will run high.
I think Chris Hayes summed it up perfectly this morning on Twitter:
That sums up my feeling 110%. We aren’t going to be happy with health care until it is totally universal, and then we will still look for ways to fix it. That is the meaning of progressive to me. Some of us are also less optimistic than others. While almost everyone believes the bill needs fixed, the opinions on how to fix it vary widely. That is the nature of the beast, but the name calling and silly little jabs does need to stop now.
Now I want to move on to something happening on the side of the bill I was on – the kill it and start over (in the Senate). In this instance I am going to single out a particular site, Firedoglake. As most know I used to be involved with that site as their developer. I left in 2008 and have remained particularly quiet on some of the craziness coming out of there, but I can’t hold my tongue any longer.
That was until this move to get Bernie Sanders removed from office. Perhaps it’s time to remember something that happened in 2006.
Joe Lieberman used to be a rather progressive individual, despite his stance on terrorism and the Iraq war. The blogosphere, at the charge of Jane Hamsher, went to war to get Lieberman removed from office. Now we have an “independent” Joe Lieberman who is pissed and doing things to get back at the liberals. Hell he even admitted as much. Has this been a win for the progressive movement? Well we saw a lot of the health care bill get stripped out because of Joe, so I would say no.
As pissed as I am over some of the stuff the bill backers have said about us that opposed it, nothing pisses me off more than this. What really makes it bad is that networks like MSNBC have anointed Jane the mouthpiece of the progressive blogosphere. I’ll tell you right now that she in no way represents the views of this progressive blogger.
I hope the rest of the blogosphere can join together to let everyone else know that Jane doesn’t speak for us. If not then her views will continue to be held up as those of the blogosphere and that will mean certain demise to all of us.