Firedoglake, the Ralph Nadar of Health Care!

Why do some people take actions that go against their own self interests? It happens on the left and the right, a lot of the time it can be put in the hypocrisy column and other times it seems to be caused by some emotional reason that is overriding that person or organizations own goals and beliefs. Some of the folks over at Firedoglake, Jane Hamsher, Jon Walker, Emptywheel, David Dayan and others, seem to contort their own beliefs to justify their opposition to the health care bill. They are using very similar tactics as Republicans like using trite phrases, narrow interpretations, denial, suppositions that are false, clinging to old talking points that are no longer true, vilifying people and corporations unfairly and using that vilification to help bolster their flimsy reasoning and narrow agenda.

The biggest example of this is watching the “Hamsher Gang” talk as if we live in a socialist country all of a sudden. They talk from a premise that suggests that democrats somehow have 60 very liberal, progressive votes in the Senate. There is major denial going on in their camp about what is possible with the current makeup of the House and Senate. They expect President Obama to dictate to the congress single payer health care or at the least the public option as if all he has to do is say “you must do this now, I am King Obama.” Well, that ain’t how it works folks. I’ve visited FDL on occasion to try and figure out what their thinking is and have found in the comments section mostly right wing people who simply attack the President personally, attribute ideas and thoughts to him much like the tea partiers do, based in suspicion, rumors, hatred for Rahm Emmanuel and the president and basically no engagement on the issues at all. Sure there are some who are liberal or progressive who have chosen one anti corporation mentality that guides everything they think. When you challenge them on any point, they throw out the fact that insurance companies will make money off having more people covered. No acknowledgment that those people covered might actually get health care, they only focus on the potential money the insurance companies might make due to an increase in people covered.

I’m not a fan of big corporations that have gotten away with all sorts of things during the Bush/Cheney and to some extent the Clinton/Gore administrations, but I’m not one who thinks they are inherently evil, they are driven by profit in a capitalistic society…uh, it’s been that way for quite a while in this country. Did these folks just wake up from a lifelong dream of living in a socialist country. Did they just now realize that we are a capitalist country? Our country isn’t going socialist anytime soon, get over it people. I personally wish we were more socialistic, a delicate balance between being profit driven and exacting controls on them that protect the public. This balance was tilted far to the right during the W years and needs to be tilted back very quickly. Regulations need to be enforced, they are there for a reason.

I was challenged at FDL with a series of questions that asked about liberal principles and I answered them as I would, very liberally. I was then asked if Obama were to do the opposite of one of my answers, phrasing it as “throwing me under the bus”, and I realized that they are admitting that they are choosing one principle and holding firm to it. Now that idea isn’t necessarily bad, but when sticking to that principle causes you to lose all sense of perspective, all views of the bigger picture and the overall goal of a progressive movement, then it becomes self serving and really just plain stupid. When people can actually type “oh, the old people will die argument” and poo poo it as if people dying isn’t important. Now that is when I know that sticking to that principal has made them go off the rails.


12 thoughts on “Firedoglake, the Ralph Nadar of Health Care!

  1. Awesome smackdown, Jim! Well, here’s what I believe after witnessing the outrages diatribe over on FDL over the last 6 months to a year: THEY HATE OBAMA NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES AND THIS IS WHY DENNIS KUCINICH HAD TO BREAK AWAY FROM THEIR EVIL SPELL TO GO WITH PROGRESS RATHER THAN BACKWARDS REGRESSIVE HATEFUL THINKING! I applaud him, you, me, and everyone else who understands it’s better to get something on the books now and then work hard to change and perfect it. It also makes sense to back better Democrats this year as we head to November, but that isn’t going to stop the FDL’ers from AGAIN doing the wrong thing by having a hissy fit and supporting & voting for republicans to PUNISH. Again, this is regressive thinking and I like Dennis Kucinich understand how dangerous it is!

    We are on the cusp of history this weekend! Can’t wait to witness it. If for some reason health care reform isn’t passed, then I think we still work hard to get er done!

  2. I feel the same as you. FDL has gone off the deep end. Some of the people I met here in Texas from that site are really nice people and I don’t see them on there very much anymore.
    They aren’t even coherent any more. What a shame, it used to be an informative site and enjoyed some of the comments.No more. I don’t think they really paid attention to Obama’s campaign. I knew he was more of a centrist and wanted to really change how things were done, but I don’t think he wasn’t aware of the vagaries of the Repugs. I think he played them really really well. What say you?

  3. They aren’t the only “progressive” website that hates on anyone a millimeter right from their perceived CORRECT progressive positions. Read New Cafe (used to be Cafe Utne) and you might think you are at Free Republic some days rather than on a “progressive” blog. Some hate on Obama in every posting, calling him names like “Obomber”, love “B.O.” (but like in body odor) and in the link below, “Kingfisher” from “Amos and Andy!” However, many who control that blog (are there 24’7) are Naderites, who will put Ralphie up for president after he is dead and treat his corpse like “Weekends at Bernie’s” and take him everywhere!

  4. You know if I were a candidate that Hamsher wanted to give money to, I think I’d say “no thanks, keep it”. She really has gone over the edge in threatening candidates, trying to buy them with PAC money from one of her scam non-profits. You are very right, Kay, some over there HATE Obama with a passion and we’ve both talked before about how they are bitter Hillary supporters who want to prove that the country should have picked her, no matter the cost.

  5. Very true, Grant. I would add Huffington Post to the bunch too, although there is a mixture of ideas on there I guess. I stopped going to Huffington a few months ago and you know what, I think I’m a better person for it. :) I’m serious. When I used to go there, I found myself getting sucked into the “Lindsey Lohan Breast Slip” stories, and other voyeuristic stories that polute the site. I remember one time my wife walked into my office when Huff post was up on the screen and she accused me of surfing porn….seriously. There was a side bar with some naked photo.

  6. Roberta, I bet some of the new names over there on FDL are just the regulars posting who are too afraid to reveal themselves, because they know they’re wrong and are too embarrassed to fess up!

    I was a Dennis Kucinich supporter in the beginning. I (and myself and others who supported him) got called a ‘nut’ by Johnny ASSvosis and Jane LIEberman many times, because according to them Kucinich had pointy ears, wasn’t tall enough to be president, and was just “way out there weird”. Well, now look? THEY’RE ADHERING THEMSELVES TO THIS REAL PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL (which is funny, because I backed away from Kucinich over the last few months because he was backing these monsters!). It’s too late! Anyway, ask anyone who was reading my blog back in 2008 and you will find me not happy with having to choose between Clinton, Obama, and Edwards after Kucinich backed out of the race. I sat on my hands until Kucinich one day announced to his supporters to throw their support to Obama. It took a few days and I used my blog to think outloud about it, and then decided to back Obama. I’m glad I did! I have no regrets so far.

    Hamsher, ASSvosis and others backed the Clintons. They were pissed when Obama got on the ballot and they’ve done their best to brainwash their morons believing in untruths about him. THEY’RE NO DIFFERENT THAN THE TEABAGGERS AT THIS POINT IN MY EYES!

  7. Bribing is okay to her. Taking money from Verizon is too…..even after she spent many a day going after George Bush’s illegal surveillance program! It all boils down to money and fame for her as far as I can tell. I used to have a huge amount of respect for Janey, but that ended the moment she want on a misogynist tirade against Caroline Kennedy! I’ve never forgiven her and I never will.

  8. Not only Verizon, but Time-Warner too. They backed her film “Natural Born Killers” which I posted about before. She’s so fucking hypocritical when she rails about “Corporatists” when she has been so cozy with them for so many years. Her and Arianna are both driven by profits, fame, clicks and they are playing progressives. Arianna set up a non-profit supposedly to do investigative journalism for media outlets who can’t do it themselves. It turned out to be a way for her to get tax free work which she then funnels into her profit making ventures. Pretty slick if you can get away with it.

    Hamsher’s PAC’s are another example of that type of scam, she raises money under the guise of wanting to make progressive change and then stabs those in the back who are trying to pass the most progressive reform of health care ever, and one that will get better over time if progressives can maintain control of the government. But with friends like Hamsher, who needs enemies.

  9. It seems Democratic Underground are experiencing the similar issues regarding the posters on the site. According to some posters if you like the bill too much or if you’re critical of sites like Firedog Lake or the Young Turks then you’re a corporatist or sell out.

    While I think this bill isn’t prefect yet I rather have this than nothing at all and give the Republicans a issue to really run on.

    And I guarantee if this bill had gone down and the Republicans slime their way back into power Firedog lake, some posters on D.U. and Cenk from the Young Turks will be saying gee golly why didn’t the Dems take the deal when they had the chance.

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