I read a dKos diary yesterday that left me disappointed in that community. DavidNYC tried taking CO-02 Representative-elect Jard Polis to task for daring to publish an op-ed piece about business in the … gasp … Wall Street Journal. The irony that a New York City blogger would attack a Westerner’s work based on a perceived “presumptuous”-ness is rich. The fact that numerous Kossacks jumped on DavidNYC’s bandwagon in attacking Jared is a clear signal to me that the role of the site has indeed shifted over the years, as another SquareStater observed recently.
I read the WSJ piece the day it was published (Thursday, I think). I thought it was both daring and humble. In it, Jared proposed a number of steps he thought might be tried in order for the auto industry to emerge from its crisis. But he also made sure to drive attention to the fact that members of this Congress, and those elected to the next Congress, likely didn’t know the best solutions in their attempt to ensure the Big 3’s survival.
DavidNYC took an approach that I hope not to see much more of: he simply cound’t believe a progressive from Colorado would have the audacity to question whether Congress had the experience to determine how the auto companies would be run. And make no mistake about it – the bill the House and Senate voted on last week went much further towards dictating how business was to be conducted than the similar Bush-Wall St. Bailout passed earlier. Looking at how Congress has approached regulating the auto industry in the past 20 years, I agree that they may not be the go-to group to decide how it should operate in the future.
Another facet of the diary irked me: more time was spent on questioning Jared’s “progressive credentials” and intelligence than was spent seriously addressing the proposals Jared wrote about. First of all, I don’t know who DavidNYC thinks he is deciding who is progressive and who isn’t. The same goes for the band-wagoners who decided to take the same approach in the comments section. Either we’re a big tent or we’re not. Second of all, if DavidNYC thinks his experience and ideas are so much more superior than anyone else’s, I recommend he run for the U.S. House also. It’s easy to throw things from the sidelines. It’s much harder to get directly involved with the legislative process and be responsible to constituents. Jared had good reason to choose the WSJ for his op-ed. He reached a much different audience that he would have had he posted a diary at dKos or HuffPo or SquareState. Further, the voters of CO-02 had every opportunity to examine the kind of legislator Jared would be and approved of him, for better or worse. Jared never claimed to be a perfect politician or the ultimate progressive.
When a dKos front-pager first writes about a person, they usually couch their language in polite and respectful tones. The method of call-out seen in this diary is usually reserved for people who have a demonstrated history of being on the “wrong” side of numerous issues. Has DavidNYC front-paged diaries about John or Ken Salazar, two elected officials from Colorado with a history of voting against human and progressive interests? I don’t claim to know for sure one way or the other. But it’s a question that is relevant to the treatment Jared received. DavidNYC made little effort to directly engage Jared, despite the large number of ways to do so. Quite frankly, I expect much more out of one of the premier liberal blogosphere sites. Valid criticism of Jared’s piece was available to make – I am not advocating for a further devolution to an echo chamber. But too many people took the opportunity to make personal attacks against a just-elected Representative. The bias against a different viewpoint presented by someone from the Western U.S. was disturbing. It was why I stopped reading diaries about Presidential candidates early this year. It will make me hesitate to read future diaries about Western politicians, espeically by DavidNYC. Okay, this rant is done.