Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blogging for 'The Cause'?
Nonsense! I Write for Money

You're a conservative, and what is conservatism? The belief that liberalism is wrong. Very simple, and you don't really need anybody to explain that to you. Given that Democrats are the party of liberalism, you oppose Democrats generally and specifically, both in terms of politics and policy, which is also pretty much self-explanatory.

Things are a bit more . . . nuanced for Booman's buddies in the progressive netroots community:
If you are doing full-time political blogging, something is motivating you. For most of us, that motivation was originally outrage at what the Bush administration and the Republicans in Congress were doing. . . .
What brought people together into progressive blogging communities and networks was related to policy (the invasion of Iraq, torture, illegal surveillance, regressive taxation, bad environmental policy) but also other things (a one-sided corporate media, incompetent government, and lack of meaningful and effective resistance by the Democrats). . . .
OK, with a set-up like that, perhaps you're starting to get an inkling of what comes next:
If we got into blogging and political activism to put the Democrats in power, should we not be focusing on helping them pass their agenda and stay in power? . . .
[I]f you are waking each morning to blog about what a bunch of corporate whores the Democrats and the president are, you haven't really adjusted your style to the new situation in Washington. . . . Is this first thing you do in the morning to look for ways to talk about how the president has disappointed you? How Congress sucks? Then you aren't interested in keeping the Republicans out of power any more. You are fighting a different battle. . . . No one is compelled to support the Democrats over the Republicans or to support policies they disagree with. But we should call this kind of blogging what it is, which is anti-Obama, and anti-Democratic Party . . . and anti-government, really.
Hmmmm. Wonder who that was aimed at? Jane Hamsher, perhaps? Three weeks after the 2008 election, I wrote about "Future Ex-Democrats." And it's important to keep in mind that the backlash against the Age of Obama won't be limited to moderates repulsed by the administration's radicalism. There will also be many sincere progressives repulsed by the cynicism and hypocrisy of Democrats in power.

I, Chump
Speaking as an ex-Democrat myself, I always tell my "cradle Republican" friends that Democratic disillusionment can happen in the most surprising ways. If you intervene at the right moment, you might find that your fiercest opponent today could be your staunchest ally in the future. When conservatives see the "progressive netroots community" issuing these calls for solidarity and threatening to excommunicate heretics -- "We must support the Democrats, no matter what they do!" -- you are being alerted to an opportunity.

For me, believe it or not, one of the breakthroughs was reading William Greider's Who Will Tell The People?, a left-wing critique of the Clinton administration's economic policies. (Remember that I actively supported Clinton in 1992.)

Having campaigned on promises of a "middle-class tax cut" and an economic "stimulus package," the Clintonistas abandoned those plans between Election Day and Inauguration Day. In part, this was a recognition of fiscal reality. In part, it was a sellout to the Clinton campaign's corporate sponsors.

It's hard to overstate the impact of Greider's revelation that the Clintons weren't really sincere about their class-warfare campaign promises. It was all just convenient political rhetoric, motivated by focus-group studies, and they were just as sold-out to "corporate America" as the Republicans. Once you cease to swallow liberal rhetoric as gospel and begin to examine the Democrats from a cynical perspective (i.e., "What's in it for them?"), you acquire a certain contempt for the kind of naive chump you used to be.

"Chump" is a very tough self-judgment to accept. And once a Democrat realizes he's been hoodwinked, bamboozled, sold out, backstabbed and betrayed -- do you hear me, Jane Hamsher? -- a revolutionary change in worldview becomes possible.

'Who Is John Galt?'
What happened to me was that friends and co-workers encouraged my second thoughts. One of my editors turned me on to The Freeman, the monthly magazine of the Foundation for Economic Education, a publication full of Austrian School economic insights. And then, in a heated argument one day with a Dittohead co-worker, I said, "Have you read Who Will Tell the People?"

"No," he said. "Have you read Atlas Shrugged?"

Heh. I hadn't. Personal pride in my own erudition was ruffled, and I was embarrassed by this literary one-upsmanship from my Dittohead friend. So I went out, bought Atlas Shrugged and spent a weekend reading it.

Thus I became one of millions converted to the capitalist cause by Rand's radical classic. I'm constantly amazed at how common that experience is, just as I'm amazed to discover how many "cradle Republicans" have never bothered to read it, nor even to read Leonard Read's brilliant free-market essay, "I, Pencil." How can you defend entrepreneurism and free markets if you haven't read these classics?

Once you understand that capitalism is not actually evil -- do you hear me, Jane Hamsher? -- then the fundamental corruption of the Democratic Party becomes transparently obvious: They gain money and power by hypocritically claiming to oppose money and power.

Screw the Democratic Party and all their cynical lies. Stop "blogging for The Cause" and come on over to the side of shameless greed. I Write For Money. There is no conflict of interest between my advocacy of capitalism and my practice of capitalism. So please hit the tip jar!


  1. The only good Democrat is an ex-Democrat!

  2. Ted Kennedy recently became a good Democrat.

    (Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.)

  3. Animal Farm is a pretty good primer for those who graduated from public schools and are not ready for Atlas Shrugged.

  4. How about Camille Paglia? Technically not a D but is a Obama supporter
    Although reading her columns it seems she is moving away from
    the debacle of this administration.

  5. Kennedy has also been sober for months now.

  6. Regarding "Atlas Shrugged," you and your readers might find my still-in-progress collection of podcasts on the novel of interest.

    -- Diana Hsieh. Ph.D, Philosophy