I”ve been a supporter of the Democratic Party since I was 10 years old, stuffing envelopes and handing out leaflets for George McGovern in his run against President Richard Nixon. In all that time, I’ve grown up and matured as a Democrat and learned that although everyone in the party doesn’t necessarily agree, the greater good that comes from electing Democrats is unmistakable. There ARE consequences to elections. I’m writing this post because I firmly believe that some people who claim to represent the base of the Democratic Party and claim to speak for us – are parasites, feeding on our party for their own selfish gains and in bitter retaliation for Barack Obama kicking their asses in the primary and going on to win the presidency. This post is going to focus on revealing Jane Hamsher, her tactics and how they are undermining the left. It is an expose’, to try to understand why she has focused her efforts so squarely on damaging our Democratic president and how we should deal with it as a party.
Jane Hamsher Comes To Prominence With A Just Cause, Electing A Liberal – She Just Screws It Up Really Bad!
I first noticed Jane during the Ned Lamont primary versus Joe Lieberman and I was definitely rooting for Ned, not knowing that Lieberman would run as an independent. I have no idea what Joe Lieberman’s problem is, he is one of the strangest politicians I’ve ever seen. Back then, I actually bookmarked Jane’s website, signed a petition and got on her email list. But very quickly, I started to see how she plays the game. The photo she put up on a Huffington Post column had a picture of President Clinton with Joe Lieberman, “photoshopped” with blackface, it was taken down very soon after it went up. She was trying to make a statement about Lieberman’s appeal to African Americans. This was just the first example of her vitriol. Here are some reactions to that event.
From Dan Balz at The Washington Post…(emphasis mine in all below)
Arianna Huffington, the founder of HuffingtonPost.com, said that no one from the Web site has asked for the photo to be removed. “We did not ask her, nor would we have asked her,” she said. “It was a satirical point she made in the picture, and there was nothing in the text that was racist, and there is nothing about Jane that is racist.”
Yea, well, Arianna…I’ve spilled a lot of digital ink on her as well. Some more reaction to Jane’s “blackface” problem…
From Slate’s John Dickerson
Then it was Ned’s turn. “I don’t know anything about the blogs,” he said according to Dan Balz in the Washington Post. “I’m not responsible for those. I have no comment on them.”
Lamont, who thus far remains the “not Lieberman” choice, is also missing a chance to be senatorial. His spokeswoman denounced Hamsher. Why didn’t he? The campaign asked Hamsher to take down the image from her post; she did, and then offered the non-apology preferred by loutish boyfriends—I’m sorry if I made you upset. Lamont should have gone further to show some spine.
Here is Jane’s response, at least the first two paragraphs. I don’t EVER link to Hamsher, that’s what she wants.
I sincerely apologize to anyone who was genuinely offended by the choice of images accompanying my blog post today on the Huffington Post. It’s also important to note that I do not, nor have I ever worked for Ned Lamont’s campaign. However, at their request, I removed the image earlier today.
Unfortunately, Senator Lieberman’s campaign has used this in attempt to hurt Ned and score political points, mustering their own faux indignation in attempt to further distract from the issues important to the voters of Connecticut.
You’re kidding Jane, a political candidate trying to “hurt’ his opponent and score political points, say it ain’t so Jane? To me that sentence speaks volumes about Jane’s intelligence and political naiveté. Just amazing. And her lack of political acumen shows up in a lot of her writings. I wonder if she’s ever watched C-SPAN for 5 minutes?
BagNews in the Notes section did a great expose on this event too.
From BagNews Notes
What follows is a snippet of Hamsher’s apology (or, “non-apology,” according to Dickerson) for the photo-illustration (also featuring a link to a Connecticut site documenting a racial flier allegedly circulated by the Lieberman campaign). What makes the response particularly BAG-worthy, however, is the question Hamsher poses about the relevance of her choice of images. She writes:
“For weeks, Senator Lieberman has attempted to woo African Americans by pretending to be someone he clearly is not. Meanwhile, his campaign has liberally distributed race-baiting fliers that have the “paid for by” Joe’s campaign disclaimer at the bottom, lying to the press about their intended recipients.
But for some reason, more questions have been asked about me, a blogger. With so much at stake this election, is the choice of images used by a mere supporter really newsworthy?“
First off, Jane needs to step a little closer to the plate. This “mere supporter” just happens to attract about 450,000 page views a week. Also, excuse me for being technical, but the phrase “choice of image” is not that forthcoming, either. As I understand it, Hamsher didn’t just choose this illustration — she conceived it.
More important, however, is the question of whether a blog image is newsworthy. Interesting question coming from a site that leads nearly each post with an image, a great many of which constitute strong parody, or almost stand-alone op-ed.
Jane As The Self Appointed Leader For Progressives and Feminists!
Next I want to take a look at Jane and the idea that she represents progressives and feminists. This next link is to a diary at Daily Kos by Deoliver47, it’s a very good read. She is very wise and her views are through the eyes of someone new to Jane Hamsher’s world, which also makes it interesting. Although Jane seems to think the world revolves around her and that she has some sort of right to represent “progressives”, Deoliver47 didn’t even know who the hell she was…and we were almost done with the health care debate at that point. I only wish I didn’t know who she was then, I may be on a smaller dose of high blood pressure medication.
From Deoliver47 (go read the whole thing, it is wonderful)
It has come to my attention, that somehow a filmmaker and blogger named Jane Hamsher, who seems to be the new leader (appointed by whom I don’t know) of a portion of “left progressives” has proposed a new political alliance with Teabaggers.
Curious I went over to HuffPo, to read what this woman had to say, barely able to imagine that anyone in their right mind who calls themselves a “leftist” or a “progressive” or a “feminist” would countenance an un-holy alliance with a rabble of racists, reactionaries and anti-abortionists.
Since I know nothing about her at all…and had no idea that she was my “new leader” and “spokesperson” for leftists and feminists I did what we all do and headed over to wiki to find out some more about her political credentials to lead a movement from the left.
Hmmm. Nada. Zilch. No organizing experience, no electoral experience (that’s okay, though cause my leadership in the past like Mrs Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm and Martin didn’t have any electoral experience either).
The google is good. I found her critique of Carolyn Kennedy, a woman I admire for her quiet work here in NY vis a vis inner city education.
She said of Caroline:
It seems Caroline Kennedy has decided she’d rather have a US Senate seat than a pony for Christmas[…] Really? She’s “making calls this morning to alert political figures to her interest?” I guess it was either that or get her nails done.
Nice, real sisterly solidarity.
Deoliver47 goes on to show some images that the Tea Party were circulating during the campaign and says this, “Now before y’all get in a snit. Miz Jane didn’t carry these signs. She just wants us to form a coalition, to primary Barack Obama with the people who did.” and a little while later, she follows it with this “You are not my leader Miz Jane. In my book you are not a feminist. My Feminism allows for no alliances with racists.”
Along those lines, BlatantLiberal at DKos posted this about Jane Hamsher’s unholy alliance with the enemies of progressive ideas.
There is a fundamental flaw in FDL’s argument that is not pointed out enough. Coalitions with political opponents can be desirable when the end goals are the same (ex. lefty groups and libertarians making common cause for marijuana legalization). If they are not, they don’t make any sense.
Ostensibly Ms. Hamsher wants a better health-care bill (I actually doubt this, but let’s assume it’s true for arguments sake). Grover fucking Norquist doesn’t want a better health-care bill. He doesn’t want any bill. He wants to dismantle the entirety of the US social safety net, repeal the New Deal, and (his words) “drown the government in the bathtub”.
The stupidity of this alliance is astounding. How is weakening the President and trying to kill his legislative agenda going to help get “progressive” legislation passed?
The final sentence of that quote says it all, really, “How is weakening the President and trying to kill his legislative agenda going to help get ‘progressive’ legislation passed?” That’s the part that bothers me the most about the Professional Left and makes me skeptical of their real motives. In regards to the health care debate, if they can’t understand anything about the environment the President was operating in with so many on the left and right demanding things and drawing lines in the sand and threatening filibusters throughout the process – then they surely can’t comprehend that the President kicked some ass and passed national health care. He got coverage for children with pre-existing conditions, for people with children in college, for seniors who were trapped in the donut hole of Part D and for people who will get treatment for the first time in their lives at community health clinics. And that isn’t all, there was a lot more good that came out of that historical piece of legislation. The status quo apparently looked better to Hamsher and her selfish minions and that is disgusting, absolutely disgusting that someone who calls herself a progressive, let alone a leader of the progressive movement, can be so unconcerned about real people. Clicks man, clicks. $$$$
Some Hillary Supporters Completely Lost Their Minds And Revealed Their Deep Seated Hatred, But Jane Got Lots Of Clicks!
In my research for this article, I came across an incident I wasn’t aware of that happened during the 2008 campaign. Since I am and was a political junky, reading everything I can, it’s curious that I missed this one. Well, I guess it isn’t that curious, I was very busy that year and I won’t cry a river about it here.
I came across the clip below at Ebogjonson.com of an angry Hillary Clinton supporter and “Ebog’s” commentary on the event that happened during the 2008 campaign. It was at the height of the tension between the Clinton camp and the Obama camp. I’ve been saying that the people on the “Professional Left” were some of the bitter Hillary supporters and the same vitriol they displayed during the campaign never went away, they just shelved if for a few minutes. Literally, a few minutes. At Ebogjonson.com, he sheds some light on Jane Hamsher in a post called “A Special Kind of Stupid”…
I’m late to this party, but, I had to make sure the ebogblog’s search results included this bit from my dear friend Jane “Blackface Joe” Hamsher. As many of you know, I’m no fan of Hamsher’s. To me she and her acolytes represent a revanchist strain of the Democratic party that was popular before the Age of Obama, where faux-muscular white Democrats / netroots types tried to prove their fitness for taking on the right by making a big show of reclaiming the Democratic party from the troubling grip of special interests, coloreds, political correctness and identity politics.
The first :52 seconds of the clip are the remarks that are important to the discussion below.
More from Ebogjonson.com…
Anyhoo, this is the Hamsher quote that caught my admittedly biased, anti-Jane eye. Writing of the video she took of Harriet Christian, the racist Clinton supporter who called Barack Obama “an inadequate black male,” Hamsher says in the Huffington Post:
The clip became a YouTube phenomenon; by the time I got home over 200,000 people had seen it. It’s now been viewed by over a million people. It appeared on CNN, Fox News and the Daily Show. Within 24 hours, 10 of the top 20 political videos on YouTube were people’s responses to it.
The comments section (which now stands at nearly 19,000, one of the most commented upon political videos on YouTube of all time) was filled with people arguing fiercely about the contest. Some calling Christian a racist who showed the true face of the Clinton campaign, others calling her a truth teller who speaks for them. She turned into a Rorschach test for a Democratic party divided. She was raw, but we were all raw.
I want to point out how important getting internet traffic is to Janey. For her to actually go into such great detail on how many views and comments her Youtube clip got is so revealing. A woman goes on a rant and says this about our future president, “The best nominee that’s possible and the Democrats are throwing the election away. For what? An inadequate black male!?” And what do we get from Jane, she basically tells us how fucking proud she is about how many people watched the clip and commented on it. That speaks many volumes to me, how about you?
I don’t want to keep pasting from Ebogjonson.com, you really have to just click over and read it. It’s very good. He goes after the “Rorschach test” line and breaks down the rant from the Hillary supporter above. Go, now, then come back. Or go later, free will, gotta love it.
It’s The Clicks And The Money, Stupid!
Even before the President took office in January, the “Professional Left” who made lots of cash on their blogs and with their PACs during the Bush years, turned their focus from Bush to Obama in no time flat. They took every rumor, lie and prediction of what the President was “going” to do as the gospel and rather than waiting to see what he actually would do, say with health care, they proceeded to set up a straw man, knock it down, set up another straw man and knock that down too. I think the Professional Left was responsible in large part for how the health bill turned out, by pounding on the president so hard, they weakened him, gave the media fodder for their meme and diminished the President’s negotiating strength. It was very clear to me that they were more concerned with crying and whining and attacking the president than they were helping poor people get health care. They had to try to prove to themselves and everyone else that the Democratic voters made the wrong decision when we nominated Barack Obama. They refused to give him credit, to listen to anything he said during the general election and proceeded to chip away at him from the left for their own petty and selfish needs. And when Robert Gibbs pushed back, after taking hit after hit after hit, they all ran to jump in front of the bullet. They all wanted to be the Professional Left, clicks man, clicks.
One incident that shows the Professional Left’s ability to twist things to fit their narrative is the incident where Rahm Emmanuel offended them by attacking an idea, but they successfully turned it around as an attack on them personally. Very much a Republican like tactics in my opinion. From The Wall Street Journal…
Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, [progressive activists] say, is the prime obstacle to the changes they thought Mr. Obama’s election would bring.
The friction was laid bare in August when Mr. Emanuel showed up at a weekly strategy session featuring liberal groups and White House aides. Some attendees said they were planning to air ads attacking conservative Democrats who were balking at Mr. Obama’s health-care overhaul.
“F—ing retarded,” Mr. Emanuel scolded the group, according to several participants. He warned them not to alienate lawmakers whose votes would be needed on health care and other top legislative items.
And the one and only Booman responds to the idea that Rahm was calling them retarded.
Rahm Emanuel didn’t say that progressives were retarded. He said that the decision to target Blue Dog Democrats with campaign ads was retarded. And his reasoning was that it would not convince them to support stronger health care reform, but alienate them and make it harder to pass anything at all. You can disagree with Emanuel’s assessment without walking around with wounded feelings for the rest of your life.
Although I’ve seen how ham-handed Rahm can be, as a Democrat who watched wimpy politicians for years not standing up to bullshit, not fighting hard for our ideas and being so respectful and cautious while Republicans pull out all the stops was just a little frustrating. Rahm wasn’t like that and I rooted for him, even though he wasn’t opposed to running moderate or conservative Democrats in conservative districts…what a concept? We would be in much deeper shit in both the last two years of the Bush administration and the first two of President Obama’s if Rahm hadn’t done that. I’ve read some people who think Jane’s hatred for the Obama administration was because of her dislike of Rahm. If she didn’t love her clicks so much, I might put some links up where she twists and turns Rahm’s comment as a personal attack against her and her minions. Once again, jumping in front of those bullets, even if the bullets are aimed at a concept.
Leftover links That You Should Check Out If You Need More Examples
There are some very fishy things going on with her PACs, which Karoli writes about.
And here is another one of those PAC stories, hat tip to Oliver Willis.
Angry Black Lady is not a fan of Ms. Hamsher either and has lots of great posts over their, this one is particularly good and so is this one.
Don’t forget about Jane’ cozying up to the Tea Party folks and bonding with them.
Who can forget Jane Hamsher’s attack on Hadassah Lieberman the international spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer charity.
Shoq at Shoq Value has a great post about Jane Hamsher and her PAC for Bradley Manning’s defense, a second one…that she gets paid to administer…and isn’t really needed…and if I’m not mistaken, our “friend” Glenn Greenwald is in on that too.
Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right, takes Jane’s Firedoglake to task for their misleading polling, another very revealing item about Jane’s character.
My Final Thoughts On Why This Is Important To Winning On November 6, 2012
There is a lot more out there about Jane Hamsher’s journey to this point and the wreckage she has left along the way for the Democratic Party and the liberal movement in general. I take comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one who sees through her charade, her money making scheme, her pent up irrational hatred for our first black president and the vitriol with which she displays her anger and hatred. I actually have a lot more I could add to this post including her experience producing “Natural Born Killers”, that nice family movie that glorified violence so much, Quentin Tarantino wanted his name pulled from it. Some of the sources for that stuff aren’t very reliable so I didn’t go there, I stuck to her politics.
As I was proofing this piece today, I realized what that feeling in the pit of my stomach is like, when I listen to or read Jane Hamsher’s writing. It is like being on a team in sports where you have that one player on your team, who seems to be doing more to help the opposite team. The one who looks like they purposely fumbled the ball or are so incompetent that they couldn’t help themselves. In my mind, I wish I could put Jane Hamsher in the incompetent camp, but based on the persistence of her vitriol and her utter lack of self-awareness, I am finding it hard to do that. She can’t find any time to attack Republicans these days.
The definition of the word Insidious is (last two entries apply here) “2. stealthily treacherous or deceitful: an insidious enemy. 3. operating or proceeding in an inconspicuous or seemingly harmless way but actually with grave effect: an insidious disease.” What Jane Hamsher and her buddies Glenn Greenwald and Cenk Uygur are doing to the Democratic Party is insidious. They are deceitful and operating from within the “progressive” movement in a seemingly harmless way, but in reality they are attempting to bring the party to it’s knees. Glenn Greenwald all but admits that in some recent articles I’ve read about that man, the subject of my next expose’, coming to a blog near you – as soon as I get it all together.
As we head into the next battle with the Republicans, who are more right-wing than ever before, do we need a parasite like Jane Hamsher undermining us as a party as she plays to the Tea Party and other populist dimwits? Do we need a person who can’t give any credit where it is due, for fear that she might look like an Obot or admit that President Obama represents the left very well, considering the political circumstances we are in. Do we need someone who calls people that support our Democratic president – Obama-lovers or Obots or any number of other clever words. With friends like her, who needs enemies. We need to confront these people right away before they begin to chip away at the momentum our party is experiencing in light of what is happening in several states across the country. We need a team that is all in, willing to fight hard against the right and willing to cover our backs when the going gets tough. Hamsher’s group has none of that and they either need to stand up for progress or go find some other money making scheme.
And progress is what it is all about, in my mind. These people like Jane Hamsher have thwarted progress for the last two years while trading on the idea that they are actually for it. They’ve usurped our Party by claiming to be leaders within it, while they have been slowly eating it from the inside out. It’s time to remove the parasite and win in 2012.