On the Perfidity of Progressive Hacks

Please see Nate Silver on why David Sirota is a hack. (Read the whole thing, as they say).

I am concerned that the progressive infrastructure, that I argued yesterday only partially exists, will not be useful during Obama’s administration because they (/we) won’t pick the right fights or fight the right way. To the extent that the infrastructure of the left does exist, as a movement in the way the conservative movement exists, it exists through online political organizations, such as Moveon, and the progressive blogs. These organizations drive a lot of the activism and political discourse around progressive issues. Unfortunately, these organizations, borne of opposition, have never lived through in an era of progressive ascendancy and so perhaps lack the political sophistication to navigate the more treacherous waters of governing.

The Wall Street bailout provides a stark example of this dynamic, because it is unquestionable that the government needs to take action to save the banking sector. The netroots could – should – have a role to play in pushing for useful changes to how this intervention occurs: namely, I think all empirical evidence points to nationalization as the least worst option available to policymakers. No Zombie banks: everyone needs to know which banks are safe and which ones are fucked. Even short of advocating temporary nationalization, there are tons of accountability measures that progressives should pressure congress into placing on the disbursement of the additonal TARP funds.

Unfortunately, some on the left are using the complicated issue of voting for the second tranche of the TARP funds as an excuse for demagoging and playing the gadfly. These kinds of empty gestures are fine for building political support for a budding progressive movement, but they don’t acknowledge the responsibilities of government and they don’t advance a progressive agenda.

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2 Responses

  1. […] policy outcome. I have already criticized both the President’s new organization and unaffiliated leftists who are already harping about problems with Obama policies. The trick here, as all else in […]

  2. […] hypothetical readers of this blog may remember, I have called Mr. Sirota out as a hack in the past, but I am surprised to see him actually respond. It is precisely this […]

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