Still Fighting

Kudos to Chris Bowers, who says he is still fighting for the public option.

Good job.

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    Classy post (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:53:54 PM EST
    for a wanking pundit like yourself!

    I cannot get into Chris Bowers (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:01:37 PM EST
    He's too diaphanous for me...........AND OVERLY COURTEOUS.  I can handle overly courteous along with precision like Krugman and I can deal with the diaphanous inconsiderate :)

    Yeah, but (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:10:19 PM EST
    he does refer to Stupak and his buddies as the "coathanger bloc," which is superb and not at all polite.  (I do wish he'd figure out that the word for a group isn't "block," it's "bloc," but whatever.)

    Well, Progressive "Block" (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:58:40 PM EST
    was actually intentional. That is, if the bloc remained united, the leadership would be blocked from dropping the public option.

    See what I miss when I don't read him (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:44:30 AM EST
    I have a renewed respect for him.

    Why do I torture myself (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Maryb2004 on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:37:44 PM EST
    clicking through to read his tortured prose?  

    He hasn't given up on the public option but now he has an "expanded" definition of victory.  


    I have a different way to describe the prose (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:42:36 PM EST
    But since we're being nice. . .

    Well, yeah (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Maryb2004 on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:50:41 PM EST
    I was being nice.   At least, as nice as I'm capable of being these days.

    How effective can you fight for (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:39:33 PM EST
    something when you announce publicly that you are willing to give it up?

    Dear Congress,

    I support the public option but if it is not included, I will settle for whatever you give me.

    No kidding (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:41:41 PM EST
    Huge problem with several liberal wankers.

    Blogs and activism. (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by phat on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:12:48 PM EST
    Blogs are not activist in any manner. They are good for imparting information you may not find in your local paper or a monthly magazine or whatnot. Bloggers can't be activists just by having a blog. There are other things to do that are activism.

    SEIU's "Adopt-a-state" is not activism.

    New media is not activism.

    In negotiations (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:44:35 PM EST
    my clients and I are generally very clear, between ourselves, about what we're willing to settle for in negotiation.  I try to be very realistic in advising my clients what we can expect to get out of negotiations, maybe even erring on the conservative side, because I don't want them to harbor unrealistic hopes.  It's called "managing expectations."

    Too many bloggers act like their posts are private conversations between themselves and their "clients."  They're not of course, and they're giving away the game as surely as if I had my conversations with my clients by means of skywriting.

    Sometimes we're privately willing to take second-best, of course.  Maybe what happens is some bloggers get their readers all fired up to fight for the best outcome, and they make such a good case that the readers start saying "nothing less is acceptable! kill the bill if we don't get what we want!" and the bloggers feel compelled to take a step back and say "hey, wait guys, second best is still okay" - thereby giving away the game.  Somehow they need to do a little better at expectations management from the start.

    That's why I've been saying (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Maryb2004 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:23:41 AM EST
    for a couple of years now (ever since the FISA fight) that you can't be a trustworthy blogger AND an activist.  Being a good blogger means your readers need to trust that you are imparting good information AND accurate analysis. And that means you have to tell your readers the good and the bad; you have to tell them ALL about what's in the legislation not just the part you want them to be activist about.  You have to give them an honest picture of what is likely to happen  - and that means saying things you would NEVER say in public as an activist.  

    Being an activist means you can't be completely honest with your readers.  And that means that readers cannot (SHOULD not) trust what is written as the absolute truth.  By virtue of being an activist, a blogger is required to USE his/her readers.  

    Once bloggers started calling themselves activists I pretty much stopped taking any of them seriously.  Because by definition I can't trust what they write at any given time.  If I want to be used, there are plenty of activist groups I can join who will use me.  Most of them are better organized and by necessity less opaque in their organization and use of money than the bloggers are.  


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:13:54 AM EST
    If you read, for example, Erick Erickson of Redstate.com (which hopefully you don't), he is positively shameless about lying to his readers if it will get them fired up.  I guess they don't seem to mind.

    Anger gets results.  Full disclosure and nuance don't seem to have the same effect.


    Well that's just the problem, isn't it? (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:56:57 PM EST
    Most blog readers will never be invited into the meeting where the Democratic negotiators give an honest appraisal of the strategy. And so suspicions breed, some justified and some not.

    Moreover, and what makes this much worse, (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:00:21 AM EST
    many of us have read the tea leaves and decided that Democratic negotiators consistently do a TERRIBLE job (at achieving our most important goals). So we're all left to wonder how much of it is about mismatched priorities and how much of it is about a difference in strategy.

    The important thing (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:14:25 AM EST
    is that expectations management is not a negotiating tactic, it's a client relations tactic.  There's really no need to get bogged down in it at all if it's actually going to interfere with your ability to negotiate a good outcome.

    My recommendation is that, rather than attempting to define victory down in advance so that we can call it a win later, progressives should simply employ what I like to call the "NY-23 strategy."  That strategy, quite simply, is to strive for the maximalist outcome, and regardless of what happens, loudly claim to have won regardless.  It has the virtue of keeping things simple.


    And we really have no idea (none / 0) (#17)
    by s5 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:44:34 AM EST
    For all the talk of "trial balloons" and trying to divine what Obama or Reid "really" thinks, we have no idea.

    I think Maryb has a better (none / 0) (#24)
    by dk on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:51:56 AM EST
    take on it than you do.  I don't really see the analogy between a lawyer-client relationship and a blogger-reader relationship.  Any who writes for public consumption will necessarily be taken for either a journalist or an op-ed writer.  So, either by necessity bloggers either need to write what they believe to be the truth, or just acknowledge that they are just another man/woman with an opinion who is willing to pick and choose facts to bolster their arguments.

    Of course, the temptation is to try to blur the lines between journalist and op-ed writer, but that's really just being a demagogue, and usually whoever does it is caught out at some point, and sufferes damage to their credibility.  


    Huh what? (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by s5 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:42:44 AM EST
    I cannot make heads nor tails of Bowers's position at this point. He is for the public option but he will take a bill without one but he is pushing for the public option but he will review his options at conference but he supports the Progressive Block but they folded but they didn't fold but WHAT??!?!?!!!

    Take a position, man, and stick with it. If people on "the intertubes" are confused, it's because you're being confusing.

    This is (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:40:12 AM EST
    why I have never been much of a fan of Bowers. He seems to always have some sort of pretzel logic or excuse going on.

    Me too (none / 0) (#22)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:31:34 AM EST
    I can never figure out if his logic is tortured or his prose is incoherent, or both. I have long since given up trying.

    Maybe Bowers is just modeling himself (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:05:42 AM EST
    after the "leader" in the WH, who also cannot seem to be consistent in his positions, and is constantly sending contradictory messages out via the Department of Anonymous Sources.

    It's bad enough - it's terrible, in fact - that Democrats have had a serious problem taking a hard line and fighting for anything in the last I-don't-know-how-many years, but now they also seem incapable of pushing back against the wishy-washy messages coming from the president.

    Total vacuum of leadership, as near as I can tell, and for reasons I cannot understand - I've tried, and I just can't do it - now these so-called activist bloggers are being sucked right into it.

    Where did I read that today? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:55:59 PM EST

    that's all the nets need to do (none / 0) (#6)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:41:25 PM EST
    expand their definition of victory.

    Here's the Public Option (none / 0) (#26)
    by SOS on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:53:13 AM EST
    Health insurance giant Aetna is planning to force up to 650,000 clients to drop their coverage next year as it seeks to raise additional revenue to meet profit expectations.

    In a third-quarter earnings conference call in late October, officials at Aetna announced that in an effort to improve on a less-than-anticipated profit margin in 2009, they would be raising prices on their consumers in 2010.

    In a normal world, (none / 0) (#27)
    by SOS on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:59:07 AM EST
    you would say it's amazing that they have the gall to do this, right in the middle of the health insurance debate. But it tells you they are confident -- in that they know they own enough of Congress to do as they wish.