Saturday, June 23

More on Digby

A long time reader of BG wrote me about what I had to say about Digby's speech and suggested I owe her an apology. Here's what I wrote in response:

Maybe I do need to clarify my position on Digby's speech. As I said I really did lie awake that night thinking about it. It made me really angry, and I'm still trying to figure out why. Maybe it's just mere jealousy, I'd be willing to consider that. But what I was angry at when I was listening to the speech was her spirited defense of working with the Democratic Party. I am just so angry with the Democrats these days I could spit. Maybe she feels the same way, but she didn't say so.

I thought about her speech again this morning (I do my best thinking on the pillow, btw) and one thing she did do, and perhaps only one of the "big bloggers" could do this, is put a non-bathrobed human (and yeah, female) face on the blogosphere. This is an accomplishment and all of us should be grateful to Digby and Take Back America for doing that.

Finally, I don't think what I said about Digby's speech was un-Christian. Sure I pasted a "where's the beef" label on that speech, but all speeches at political conferences, at any conference, where someone is congratulating a group of which they are a part, is exactly the same thing. That's not Digby's fault, it's a part of the genre in which she found herself, as many have said, rather unwillingly.

There are days like today where I feel very discouraged with the whole political process. Then I see Jon Stewart do something like this and I remember why I, Blue Gal, am here. Too much of what is going on in this country is pure evil, but much of it is merely ridiculous. Perhaps I need to pull back on the political analysis, which we both agree Digby does better, and focus on the panties and the blogswarms and the nurturing of the small blogs, all of which I think I do pretty well.

[BTW I'm always grateful for feedback, even negative. My correspondent is absolutely right that by creating a "big VERSUS small" blog dichotomy here at BG, I'm starting a war that really need not exist. Thanks for correcting me on that.]


  1. Hmm... I hadn't gotten the impression you were starting a big v. small blogwar (perhaps I just didn't get that e-mail). I think a lot of people are frustrated because they don't see very real, very human concerns being addressed by the Democratic Party. And then when larger bloggers (I've never followed Digby so I don't want to single her out) say, essentially, "Just trust the Democrats," well, it rings hollow. On the other hand, I haven't seen an independent/third party candidate yet I like (including Dennis K.). Give me a call when Bernie Sanders gets a chance at being President. Until then I'll support the Democratic candidates, albeit however reluctantly.

    Wait... What were we talking about?

  2. I must say (and I expect to get slammed for this) that I always find it amusing when someone on the Left accuses anyone else on the left of being "unChristian."

    Considering that so many folks on the left side of the room have such disdain for religion - and for Christianity in specific - I always wonder where any one of said folks gets off criticizing people's religion. Like, how would they know?

    But that's just little old Universalist Quaker guy me, I guess.

  3. QD -- It's a "No True Scotsman" fallacy. It's something we're well practiced at on the left and use it for a lot of things, not just gaging other people's religious identity. "No true progressive would..."

  4. How were you starting a blog war? Have I missed the bombshells? So you took issue with something a hero said. Is that the issue? You made a valid observation.

    I don't know if Digby meant to say, "just trust the Democrats," and there wouldn't be anything wrong with that if she did insinuate it. However, she didn't say, "Help get good candidates elected (in ways that don't involve posting). BUT after we win, don't let them off the hook" which would have been blogoriffic.

  5. People are discontent, and they have a right to be. The mainstream media has failed us with honest debate, and so too has the mainstream blogosphere disappointed us as a true alternative. We are frustrated, and we have a right to be. Never apologize for being perceptive. That's our job.

  6. Anonymous4:40 PM


    For those of us who do not identify with a/any religion we never miss a chance to point out when someone who does embrace a set of teachings or manages to not live up to the aspirations of that faith. Pettiness is not a Christian teaching. Reminding someone of that fact is not anti Christian or anti any other belief system, more a little poke in the ribs.

    BTW My brother is a Christian Fundi, my sister is Muslim and I'm Nada. But we love each other and respect their beliefs. But we do have some spirited talks around the dinner table.


  7. Oh PUH-Leez. There was nothing wrong with what you wrote, and if you "pull back on the political analysis" to pacify one person or group, then you might as well write about knitting. (Not that I don't like knitting.)

    We both disagree on stuff all the time, and we both write things that the other finds offensive. (I recently asked you why you didn't just marry Trent Lott! That was pretty mean of me.)

    If you merely preach to a choir, then you will have to change the name of your blog to "GOP Girl." Marching in lockstep is not really your style.

    I say more political analysis, not less. And we should all promise to disagree vehemently when and where we feel it is appropriate to do so.

    And I still say Pelosi in '07, and Kucinich can go fly a kite, so **there.** (Insert loud rasberry here.)

  8. I guess I just dont care. Not to sound rude, but there are so many bloggers and I am tired of the A list, B list, who is a big shot and who isn't crap that it doesn't even concern me. Many people take themselves and their importance way too seriously and while I think the blogosphere in general is very important, I dont get too into the drama.

    While there is so much focus on traffic and competition, we miss the boat on the fact that we have opportunities to make real connections.

    Now Blue Gal, I dont know you very well but I dont think you owe anyone an apology for expressing yourself. If people dont like what you say, they can go to one of the other hundred million blogs. Do your thing, if its knitting one day (which I thought was interesting with the sweater project!) fine. If its anlysis, fine. Blogs are cool because you can be many things.

    Disagreeing helps us, doesn't it? Arent we here because we care and are enagaged and interested?

    There are some big shot bloggers who are losing traction, some are gaining.

    What is sad though is how the blog wars have become the latest way to keep people paying attention. Did you see what this one said, or the response, blah blah. We have BIG problems. We need to stop the ego crap and get to work.

    Sometimes I feel like I am reading the frikkin Enquirer.

  9. Thanks. I had left a longer comment in the other thread on this. The key thing for me is that there's no need for competition. Some of the big bloggers may or may not be snobs, but I certainly can't describe Digby as one. We're on the same side here. We can disagree, and should, and will focus on different things. I like what Digby does, and I like what Blue Gal does, too.

  10. The big dogs attract attention. They get invited to address conferences. They get stroked by the party.

    Its human nature for them to feel included and empowered. Sure they're gonna act like "one of them".

    Personally, I think the Dems need more constructive criticism and I see that more in the we're-smaller-and-don't-have-anything-to-lose blogs.

  11. Blue Gal - what's that saying about the path to hell?

    Lookit, it is human nature. We all start to believe our own press sooner or later. The Dems come oozing about, and lo! we will say something not as acerbic as normal.

    the thing with the so-called A-list bloggers is that it happened so fast. 2008 is the Democrats to lose, and they certainly have it withing their grasp to lose it. And the DLC crowd will certainly show them the way.

    So I'm not sure this is really about big vs. little blogs, it is about the slippery slope of access and influence.



  12. Life's too short, Blue Gal. Do whatever you want, and whoever don't like it gets their money back. Ha!

    By the way, you make your thought process very entertaining. That's a great skill. Making decisions about these issues isn't important when you can reason so well along the way. Keep thinking and figuring and you may not ever really know the answers, but you'll be sharp as a very sharp knife or something.

  13. I hope to God there's always room for a reasonably expressed difference of opinion on the internet, or we're ALL in trouble!

    A diversity of viewpoints is essential to the healthy exchange of ideas; yet it's really important that we don't let our differences cause us to other each other.

    Remember, as just about the last bastion of free speech in America, the blogosphere is the next target for corporate control. And the first step in controlling us will be to divide us into camps of people who aren't supporting each other.

    I have to confess to having missed your original Digby post BG, but I can't imagine that you intended to "other" larger blogs in general by offering your thoughts on her speech.

  14. Anonymous6:13 AM

    I think you're mistaken about those ringtones. Barack Obama adds a lot to this race and is attracting a lot of positive attention and excitement among younger people. If something like this gets people excited about the democratic process and interested in the issues, it's worth it.

    As for what you said about not working with the Democratic Party: I can absolutely understand being fed up, but you have to keep in mind that the newly elected House of Representatives *kept its promises* and passes a whole raft of progressive legislation right at the beginning of this year. Most of them got blocked in the Senate by Republicans, and Democrats in the Senate did not have enough votes to override a filibuster.

    And you know, there is also a lot of potential for this presidential election and beyond. All the Democratic candidates are coming out in support of universal health care, ending the war, alleviating poverty and the decline of the middle class, etc. It's like after a conservative nightmare people are waking up. This is not the time for some wild-eyed third party romance; if half the people who voted for Ralph Nader had voted for Gore, it wouldn't have mattered if he had won Florida or not (he did in fact). If we throw this election to the Republicans, the effects will be felt for the next 100 years, and I promise you it won't be good.

    We have a two-party system in this country, largely due to the winner-take-all method of conducting elections (a few offices at state levels have runoffs though). I think you'd agree that we have to push back the Republicans so that they can't do any more damage. Now, if you listen to when the Democratic candidates are talking about the issues (such as Thursday's debate on PBS, etc) you'll see that the discourse is being raised. They aren't launching personal attacks or waging very dirty campaigns against each other. They're out there fighting for our issues, all of them! Al Gore is still out there working to combat global climate change.

    Oh and by the way, I like Kucinich's idea for a "Department of Peace" since we apparently have none in the Bush administration. However before Bush the US did have a department of peace. It was called the U.S. State Department.


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