Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Will the "Progressive" Blogosphere Grow Up or Implode?

Hard to say. Right now, things are in flux, and that's always an interesting period, but it is froughtful as well.

Jane-as-Kali seems to have had her meds adjusted, or maybe she wasn't all that interested in HEADS! after all. There is still her smoldering animosity toward Those Who Have Crossed-and-Thwarted Her (Rahm, Hadassah, Holy Joe, among others), but since her alliance of convenience with her Toad Prince Grover Norquist garnered so much attention, she's almost calmed down, and can sometimes be as sweetly rational as ever.

Toad Grover, it seems to me, is looking for relevance in this Neo-Liberal phase, but he's always had a tendency to hook up with anyone who would show him due deference and play his Let's Punch Some Hippies and Destroy the Democrats game. It's just the way he is.

Attendance at the Church of Jane seems to have dropped off precipitously after an initial burst of clamor that attracted hordes of Libertarian zombies. They may still be there, but if they are, they are keeping a low profile. Most of the chatter is by Jane herself, a small core of writer/acolytes, and a couple of dozen regular commenter, some of whom seem to be satisfied with saying "Jane's nuts" every now and then.

But the argument is actually getting much better. Cassiodorus has a knock-out analysis of the Neo-Liberal programs and policies that are being adopted and pushed by the Obama regime, On Anti-Corporatism And Its Critique that should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand what's going on beyond the intercine struggle and get some hints on what to do about it. David Dayen points out that "personalities" have overwhelmed the consideration of policy, The Fannie/Freddie Uncapping: More Important Than the Coalition Questioning It, and Jane Herself gets into a consideration of a defense of Libertarians, Libertarians on Establishment Demonization, all of which tends to add some yeast to the dough and actually start bending the curve (my, how certain phrases just trip off the tongue!) of OUTRAGE!!!!™ back toward what's really gone wrong and what to do about it.

Over at dKos, high dudgeon at Jane's misbehavior still reigns, now with calls to ban her crazy ass and those of her paid minions. I won't link, because to my mind it doesn't further the discussion of what's wrong and what to do about it as it is still based on personality. Oh, and the dKos tactic of banning anyone who strays off the reservation.

What's most interesting to me about all this ferment is that there was no equivalent ferment -- together with calls to overthrow the Powers That Be (let alone identifying what those Powers really were) -- during the Bush years. any hint of such a thing was immediately suppressed, shushed and shouted down. You simply could not talk in crypto-Revolutionary terms with regard to Bushevism in the Lefty Blogosphere. It was considered Rude, but more to the point, it was considered Dangerous. The Stasi was watching everything, and the Gulags were waiting.

Now? Not so much.

Is it because the Regime has changed, or is it something else? Why would crypto-Revolutionary cant and rhetoric be suppressed during the Neo-Conservative phase of Corporate Rule, but be released in full cry during the Neo-Liberal phase? Could it be because there was an unspoken "agreeance" among some of the prominent Lefty Bloggers that the Bushevik Program was pretty much OK with them? And could the hyped up chants of "Revolution Now!" actually be trying to set the conditions to lead back to Bushevism?

Is there really a nostalgia for Bushevism?

The constant through this, now being discussed in public, is the libertarian influence on what passes for "Progressive" these days. Libertarians certainly had their issues with Bushevism, but the overarching Republican themes of Lower Taxes and Less Government (whether or not they were instituted) are very appealing to the Libertarian soul. On the other hand, the more forthright, "You gotta pay for this shit, and follow the rules too," coming from Team Obama is aggravating to Libertarians, sufficiently, apparently, to drag them from their general argumentation to specific calls to Overthrow the System and start anew.

They also tend to think that Bush was strong and to be feared, while Obama is weak and to be undermined (like Clinton or Carter dontchaknow).

Anti-Corporatism is the New Thing these days, discussed openly, though by no means clearly understood. Opposing Corporatism is one thing, what to do about it is something else again, and apart from the Revolutionary act of casting a vote "we" don't have (ie: to stop HCR), there is no common agreement among "Progressives" about what to actually do to thwart the Masters of the Universe who Rule Us with An Iron Rod.

I've said elsewhere that Democracy -- specifically Social Democracy, but other forms of mutual interest->common action work, too -- is Kryptonite to Corporatism and its continual cycling between Neo-Conservative and Neo-Liberal phases of operations, can control and ultimately defeat it utterly. And how very interesting it is that you will not find discussions of Social Democracy or even mention of it in all the Anti-Corporatist yammering going on in the Lefty Blogosphere.

It's the absence of any real Leftism from the Lefty Blogosphere that acts to maintain the status quo -- rule by Imperial Autocracy on behalf of Corporate interests.

Funny how that works.

So here's Jane shaking things up, but doing so in a manner that will, if successful, lead to a restoration of (and who knows, perhaps the perfection of!) Bushevism and all its psychotic Neo-Conservatism.

Jeebus, batten down. We may be in for a real bumpy ride in the New Year.


  1. I've been following your posts with interest. I don't necessarily agree with all of your analysis, but the points you derive from them are good points. One side note re: Hadassah. I was appreciative of Jane's revealing that link to the Komen foundation. I got all this stuff with their pink ribbons (bike shoes, etc). I will give those kinds of purchases more careful thought in the future. Jane connected some dots that are important to me.

  2. Hi bystander,

    Thanks for continuing to follow my ravings. I realize I make some pretty strong statements and have a somewhat churlish point of view about all the tumult Jane's behavior has been causing.

    Yes, she goes through these episodes; we've seen it before, we'll see it again. And while I think that going after Holy Joe's wife is inappropriate under the circumstances, her presence on the Komen board is questionable to say the least. But it is a separate issue.

    This is something Jane seems to be incapable of grasping. Connecting these dots has nothing to do with Health Care Reform, and hammering Hadassah will do nothing to change Joe's mind about punching some more hippies. In fact, it's only going to make him more rigid and spiteful as we've already seen.

    I don't call that "eleventy dimensional chess." It's WYSIWYG, and if you want a different outcome this time, you'll set out to find and employ different tactics.

    The question for me is whether that "different outcome" is what the leading lights of the Left-Blogosphere really want. Gazing into my Magic 8 Ball, "signs point to No." Your mileage may vary!

    All that aside, I really appreciate your own thoughtful and insightful comments and links wherever I see them. I never fail to learn from something you've said or passed on, and I really appreciate that.


    -- Ché