Comments: Meet The Scanner

Wow, he's good.

Posted by Dan Coyle at December 27, 2007 12:26 PM

A CREDE (in black and white or green if prefered)Voter Initiative of the BUDGET AND TAXES.
POSITIONAL STATEMENT. (in red if you like) That YOU THE TAXPAYER have total control of how much money comes out of your pocket to support your government and and that YOU THE TAXPAYER have a YES or NO final say-so agreement vote on any and all BUDGETS to which your money has contributed toward.
VALENCE STATEMENT: (in blue, of course) After all YOU OWN all three, it's your government, your pocket, your TAXES.
CONSTITUTIONAL? (any color at all) Fits right in with NO Constitutional change needed.
The progressive movement has NO LEADERSHIP, no rudder, therein lies the problem. FOLLOWING THE MONEY IS NOT LEADERSHIP.

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 27, 2007 12:31 PM

The Scanner = the new Billmon?

Posted by scudbucket at December 27, 2007 12:45 PM

But of course the liberals don’t have a creed, all their energy goes into trying to prove that they are not pinkos and traitors to the nation.

Because, of course, there are only two groups - it's a two-party-system - and if one group already absorbed all the patriots and 'free enterprise' enthusiasts, then what left to the liberals?

Their 'creed' would sound something like this: we are totally not commies or traitors and yet not as crazy as those other guys.

Posted by abb1 at December 27, 2007 01:03 PM

Wow, he's bad.

The Green party and the Progressive Democrats of America, for two, both have specific progressive agendas.

Posted by Don Bacon at December 27, 2007 01:08 PM

My thought exactly,scudbucket.
Just by coincidence,I visited A Tiny Revolution direct from Moon of Alabama.

Posted by aUsualSuspect at December 27, 2007 01:41 PM

Atrios is a cause for celebration?

Afternoon Thread

Play nice now.

Comments (675)

Wow! Does Rudy Suck!

Giuliani opens his big mouth once again. Will he ever learn?

Comments (921)

Liberal And Proud

What Josh Marshall says.

Comments (832)

Evening Thread

Rock on!

Comments (1,257)

Posted by Dennis Perrin at December 27, 2007 01:44 PM

Unfortunately, anyone wanting to leave a comment has to sign up. This is the comment I would Iwould have left the Scanner:


I think your points valid (although the term "movement" is way to grand to explain what's happening). It boils down to the fact the democratic party long ago lost sight of the inherent power of political rhetoric. One need only peruse the speeches of FDR and Harry Truman to gauge how enfeebled (read: craven) today's gobblygook is in comparison. In turn, it's become a party of the mush-mouthed, the mush-minded, the gutless, and the the corrupted. It's become the party of "impeachment is off the table".

Maybe it's just me. I have no problem whatsoever declaring the apparatchiks of the GOP as being enemies of the Republic. I find it sickening that congressional democrats still accord those enemies the respect due an honorable opposition.

By the way, there's no such animal as a political "scientist". Politics is not a science.

Posted by JW at December 27, 2007 02:41 PM

The “new progressive movement” is fucked because it's a fuck or be fucked world. The conservative creed consists of euphemisms for "our group intends on doing the fucking."

Posted by racrecir at December 27, 2007 06:54 PM
The conservative creed consists of euphemisms for "our group intends on doing the fucking."

I thought that as progressives, we're not supposed to insist on being the top (that rigidity is for authoritarianly reared conservatives). Is there no satisfaction to be gained in being f*cked?

Posted by ted at December 27, 2007 07:05 PM
I thought that as progressives, we're not supposed to insist on being the top (that rigidity is for authoritarianly reared conservatives).

No, what they insist on is being EITHER the top or bottom. They prefer to be giving orders, but the next best thing to giving orders is TAKING orders. (See: Blair, Tony.) The one option that leaves them panicked is being neither the top or bottom.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at December 27, 2007 07:25 PM

What ever happened to abstinance only? Can't they just say no?

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 27, 2007 08:22 PM

What is this New Progressive Movement? I'm open to believing this movement exists if someone can point to some evidence of it. What are its origins? Where is it? Who is it? And where can I sign up.

Posted by Arvin Hill at December 27, 2007 11:13 PM

That post was trollish and deceptive. Should I bother disputing that all new people coming into politics subscribe to CAP's mission statement? CAP is a DC-based institution built by Clintonistas and traditional Democratic money. Yet The Scanner is fronting them as a leader in this 'new' movement. They are in fact the same people who the Scanner didn't like in the 1990s, and he chooses to conflate them with the actual new people in the political process.

The key ideological and institutional innovation of this new movement has been the strong embrace of partisanship and grassroots activities. Beyond that, our ideological underpinnings are still being worked out, but they do exist. There is a reason that free culture and open networks matter as much as traditional labor rights to this new group of people, and that the Bankruptcy bill caused an explosive bitterness. There is an ideology here, and it combines shards of the anti-globalization movement with a media critique, a resurrection of anti-imperialism and strong civil libertarianism, and an embrace of open progressive energy and media systems.

Posted by Matt Stoller at December 28, 2007 12:35 AM

Er, no. Sorry. I love this blog, but first I'll need to see some evidence that the Scanner does in fact have a clue what they're talking about. Specifically, those choices for valence vs positional don't make any sense. It can't be a valence issue if the rhetoric can't switch sides, which Scanner's examples can't.

What are the chances of a Republican talking about "open and effective government" nowadays? Or trying to "re-awaken America's conscience?" Those are valence rhetoric, but "free enterprise" is positional rhetoric? I do not think those words mean what Scanner thinks they mean.

I don't doubt that the neo-progressive netroots groundswell (I assume that's what Scanner is talking about, since it's not spelled out explicitly) is more policy-focused than ideology-focused, but that only means they're "fucked" if you adopt the typically righty^H^H^H^H^H lefty preference for ideology at the expense of governance ;-) Meanwhile, pragmatic wonkery is a perfectly good strategy for people who are trying to salvage a failing political system, and PR will always be PR.

Posted by radish at December 28, 2007 01:33 AM

Hi everyone. Thanks for the comments. I've replied to both sets -- the ones posted on The Scanner and those posted here -- over at my place:

http://thescanner.blogspot.com.

Thanks to Jon for exposing the world to my malice. And please do subscribe to the feed! More comments inspire more posts. (That's not a threat.)

Posted by The Scanner at December 28, 2007 02:06 AM

Radish:

[first I'll need to see some evidence that the Scanner does in fact have a clue what they're talking about. Specifically, those choices for valence vs positional don't make any sense. It can't be a valence issue if the rhetoric can't switch sides, which Scanner's examples can't.

What are the chances of a Republican talking about "open and effective government" nowadays?]


http://www.in.gov/legislative/house_republicans/newsroom/opengovpr.html

NEWS RELEASE
Indiana House Republican Caucus
Room 401-6, Statehouse
Indianapolis, IN 46204

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 4, 2005

“House Republicans Provide Open and Effective
Government as 2005 Legislative Session Begins”

[...]

Posted by The Scanner at December 28, 2007 02:17 AM

Cybersocializing the Eschaton


Baseball great Lawrence Berra once said, "Nobody goes there anymore - it's too crowded." That's sort of how I feel about Atrios - he puts a quip, or just a tag line, and then there are 400 comments. As another Berra saying goes, "You can observe a lot just by watching," and I think that for the crowd that comments there, the main point is the cybersociality of it (I don't recall reading this word before, but it already has 296 Google hits - whereas MICFiC* is an original** creation de moi, however modest) - it seems the majority of the comments are content-free in a substantive sense.

Atrios does put up an occasional contentful post, however, and his coinage for the subprime/CDO/SIV/international bankers swindle, "Big Shitpile", is memorable and apt. He also draws attention to issues and events that light up the "progressive" neural networks.

As the saying goes, "compared to what?" Compared to Eschaton, "A Tiny Revolution" is much more interesting, both in its posts and its comments - and the comments are not so many in number that one grows weary reading them, or scanning for one's own comment and the occasional response to it. Cybersociality, though it can be overdone, is a kind of love - and as D.H. Lawrence wrote, "love lures life on."

*MICFiC -

M ilitary
I ndustrial
C ongressional
Fi nancial
C orporate Media Complex -

a conspiracy to use, abuse, and confuse the people, to "milk, shear, and slaughter the sheeple", figuratively speaking - except the slaughter is literal.

**There's an African-American fellow in Indiana who has been using the screen name MicFic since 2006 - but as far as I can tell, his name is not a critique of The Ruling Class. The capitalization is different, too.

Posted by mistah charley, ph.d. at December 28, 2007 09:21 AM

The primary problem I have with Eschaton is the primary problem I have with Kos: Jesus fuck, their designs HURT MY EYES. Clutter clutter clutter!

Except for a delightfully nasty hit piece on Richard Cohen's sexual harassment history, I haven't found anything of intrested on Eschaton.

Posted by Dan Coyle at December 28, 2007 11:50 AM

Okay, fine, the chances are non-zero, and I should google everything I write.

How is a three year old newswire from the Indiana legislature introducing a specific (and rather detailed) legislative agenda in response to an established public corruption problem on par with a stump speech or a mission statement? The query that led you to that page has a CAP video as the fourth search result, and there's a nontrivial chance that the expression itself was used in that newswire only after it had gained local currency as a result of pre-existing usage. Maybe somebody with lexis/nexis access can trace it for us.

So "open and effective government" was adopted by some particular state Republicans in a manner that happens to have gotten good search engine rankings. Where are all the Republicans talking about "reawakening the conscience" or some of the other phrases you regard as valence?

Posted by radish at December 28, 2007 12:26 PM

The key ideological and institutional innovation of this new movement has been the strong embrace of partisanship and grassroots activities. Beyond that, our ideological underpinnings are still being worked out, but they do exist.[...] There is an ideology here, and it combines shards of the anti-globalization movement with a media critique, a resurrection of anti-imperialism and strong civil libertarianism, and an embrace of open progressive energy and media systems.
Posted by Matt Stoller

The belief that this is a new movement seems to me a bit misguided. Progressives have been around for a long time: the Populist labor movement, the womens suffrage movement, another labor movement, the civil rights movement, the anti-vietnam/anti-war movement, the environmental movement...

Secondly, the rise of (e.g.,) labor-rights in America could not have been accomplished except thru partisan politics supported by grass roots activism.

But more to the topic addressed in the OP, progressives are very willing to condemn existing institutional structures (as being inequitable, unjust, etc.) but are very unwilling to identify the root cause of those structures: unequal distributions of wealth and power. Hence, progressives are usually silent on economic issues which are very relevant to achieving their policy goals.

I don't believe there can be a progressive ideology which does not also include radical ideas regarding wealth, economics and the 'rights of property'. But since progressives are generally allergic to revising economic principles from which they themselves benefit, most of them are unwilling to accept a progressive ideology. Instead, they accept a set of policy goals which may be achieved within the existing and accepted political-economic institutions.

The noteworthy problem with this is that while each policy goal can theoretically be achieved on the retail end - within the existing political-economic structures - there can be no wholesale ideological revision of American politics.

Posted by scudbucket at December 28, 2007 02:31 PM

hf: My Dad NEVER shook hands with any politician and when he died, he STILL had his wedding ring, watch and ALL his fingers.

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 28, 2007 07:53 PM

Hee! But wait, did you mean that as an answer?

Posted by hf at December 29, 2007 05:34 PM

Otpor seems like the best example I can think of for their pro-rhetoric claim. And Otpor succeeded in removing Slobadan Milosevic from power. Their lack of a strong ideological focus beyond nonviolence and "He is finished!" probably helped them bring enough people together to realize their goal.

Social Credit in Canada could fit the article's claim or refute it depending on how you look at the history. The name derives from a specific policy. But from the start they used fascist^H er, I mean conservative rhetoric (like some of the people in the "religious left" I might add), and that aspect took center stage when the courts interfered with their original policy stand.

Posted by hf at December 29, 2007 05:49 PM