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Huff Post: Attacks On Hildebrand Aren't Progressive But Politics As Awful

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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:30 PM
Original message
Huff Post: Attacks On Hildebrand Aren't Progressive But Politics As Awful
Lee Stranahan
Posted December 8, 2008 | 05:13 PM (EST)

Attacks On Hildebrand Aren't Progressive But Politics As Awful

Welcome to the hangover of slash and burn politics. We're gotten rid of George W. Bush. Karl Rove is reduced to a Fox News mouthpiece. The Democratic party will be running all three branches of government in just a few weeks time but the knee-jerk, over-the top-bickering that has characterized what passes for political discourse in recent memory are still with us; we don't even need Republicans any more.

I just got off the phone with Steve Hildebrand, whose piece A Message To Obama's Progressive Critics has caused a stir throughout the progressive blogosphere. David Sirota went as far as to call it a rant-ish and said Hildebrand's piece was "demanding the Dirty Fucking Hippies of "the left" STFU."

Of course, Hildebrand - who told me he considers himself 'way left' - said no such thing. Hildebrand's article isn't incendiary. He spends a good deal of his piece stating the obvious; that America faces some dire problems such as worst economic crisis in our lifetime and suggests that solving those problems has to be the first priority for all Americans. The tone of Hildebrand's piece isn't STFU but 'let's come together.'

I asked Hildebrand specifically where the line was on valid criticism and he was clear that it's not his call. "I wrote the article speaking entirely for myself, not anyone else. I certainly wasn't trying to control anybody. I'm not the arbiter of whether criticism is fair or unfair. I was stating my opinion, that's all."

It's Hildebrand's first piece for The Huffington Post. He says it came up a couple of weeks ago when he was talking to his friend Hillary Rosen, the political director at HuffPost. While talking about issues, Hildebrand mentioned to Rosen that he was tired of what he felt was 'sniping' and asked if she'd be interested in a piece on the subject. He wrote something up, sent it to Rosen without showing anybody else and it was posted as he wrote it with the addition of the article's headline, which he didn't write. He stands by the piece and says that he's only received a couple of pieces of negative email but has been hearing about the firestorm it's caused.

But people hear what they want to hear sometimes and the politically charged atmosphere doesn't seem to have lost it's electricity just because No Drama Obama won in a landslide. Maybe after years of seeing dissent put down at every turn by the Bush administration, people aren't used to the idea that people can disagree without exaggerating the positions of other people, as Sirota's 'rant-ish' characterization clearly did. Far from telling Obama's progressive critics to shut up, Hildebrand was treating them like adults and explaining a different position.

Hildebrand said he understands the frustration of some people because he's felt it. "I was personally very angry at Joe Lieberman, for instance. But I'm proud of the way Barack Obama handled that situation because it was true to his pledge to put partisanship aside. I believe that was part of Obama's appeal to many voters. After two years of working for Obama, that's who he really is."

Speaking for myself, I wonder is it wrong to expect fair and calm discourse when liberals disagree with liberals? I sure hope not - because otherwise we're not going to do much better than the conservatives who've caused the trainwreck we find ourselves in.

I'm not telling anyone to shut up. I'm just asking everyone to live up to the liberal values of free, open, and respectful debate.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-stranahan/attacks-on-...
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. "has caused a stir throughout the progressive blogosphere."
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 07:35 PM by wyldwolf
What DOESN'T cause a stir throughout the progressive blogosphere? Thank God Obama isn't paying them much mind.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I was expecting an "I want my pony now" backlash...
Sure enough, some folks haven't let me down...though the whining did start a bit earlier than expected.
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tomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
28. good old mr. everybody's president except the left....nt
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. This is why nobody pays "progressives" any mind.
It doesn't matter what you do. You could impose a military dictatorship, or you could offer everyone universal health-care with a 99-cent copay, and they'd complain just as loudly and just as "passionately." Any attempt at rational discussion is met with the kind of knee-jerk insanity Sirota was happy to provide.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I didn't see any "knee-jerk insanity" in Sirota's piece
Where is the "knee-jerk insanity" you're bloviating about?
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Let's start with the second line.
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 07:47 PM by Occam Bandage
"Now, here's a rant-ish "Message to Obama's Progressive Critics" from top Obama aide Steve Hildebrand today demanding the Dirty Fucking Hippies of "the left" STFU."

That is both knee-jerk and insane. As is the entire article, which lobs firebombs based entirely off two out-of-context snippets of a muted, reasoned discussion piece.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I like liberals quite a bit.
I don't like outrage addicts. The two are independent variables.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. "Muted, reasoned discussion piece"
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 08:08 PM by brentspeak
LOL.

Hildebrand spends most of his article rehashing the various economic troubles the nation is currently facing -- like we need him to tell us any of this stuff -- then finally -- finally, after droning on forever -- gets to his "point": 'This is not a time for the left wing of our Party to draw conclusions about the Cabinet and White House appointments that President-Elect Obama is making.' In all the hot air proceeding -- and following -- that sentence, he somehow runs out of sufficient article space to identify just who or what this "left wing" is. He also neglects to clarify what he means by "drawing conclusions" about Obama's cabinet picks. The only thing he did do was to make sure he threw in the words "left wing".

So what does Hildebrand mean by "this is not the time for the left wing to draw conclusions" about Obama's cabinet picks? LOL.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #18
25. I think it's pretty obvious what he means.
It's a pointless drain on the left to be drawing negative conclusions before any of his picks have even had one day of governing under a President Obama. Apparently you believe that criticism without context or evidence gives one a valuable voice. I disagree.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Yeh, OB, us stupid illiterate ignorant empty-headed folks who have been 100% right
on oh so many things.

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

This time they do NOT shut us out.

You may rant at those of us who opposed the war, and the other things in the link above.

But you and this administration are going to have to quit with the damn snide remarks.

We are not going to be treated like that anymore.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. A'ight. nt
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. "paranoid shriekers" "offended" to be lumped as a liberal with me?
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
4. LOL, oh it stings!
So now we're being told to stop criticizing Hildebrand's rant(and yes that is what it was, a rant). And that this wasn't some sort of semi-official position, just Hildebrand's personal opinion. Sorry Lee, many of us have been deeply involved in politics and political organizations, and we recognize that nobody, I mean nobody, whips off the sort of rant that Hildebrand did without approval from a boss or bosses. And looking at where Hildebrand works, we can get a pretty clear idea of who those boss or bosses are.

We on the left were and are living up to the liberal values of free, open, and respectful debate, after all, it's not us who is telling others to sit down and shut up. No, that would be Mr. Hildebrand. Perhaps you should direct your criticism at him.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. It wasn't a rant, and he wasn't telling you to shut up.
Perhaps if you read his piece instead of the Sirota-led screechfest, you'd have seen that.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. I did read his piece
And from what I read, it's very much an over the top reaction. Yes, the left has been complaining about Obama's cabinet choices, yes, the left has been complaining about Obama's trial balloons regarding the Bush tax cuts, windfall oil taxes and the war. However that is our right to voice our opinion. Yet Hildebrand is trying to squash our voice by scolding the left, essentially telling us to sit down and shut up.

Put yourself in our shoes. Let's say that Obama had stacked his cabinet with Kucinich, Feingold, and others on the left, even reached across the aisle and brought in a Socialist or two. Let's say he started dropping trial balloons about UHD and nationalizing the auto industry. You're a centerist, would you start complaining? Would the centerist blogs and media start complaining? You know they would, that's what happens in America, in a democracy, the group that's feeling left out of the loop starts making noise to be included. Now then, lets say somebody like, oh who's a good centerist, Carville say, wrote a piece similar to Hildebrand's, only instead of directed at the left, he was telling the center to sit down and shut up. Would you be pissed, and would you dutifully shut up? You'd scream to high heaven and you know it!

So think about it, put yourself in other's shoes. We on the left have a legitimate complaint, and furthermore we have every right to voice it. If you don't like such criticism, well there are many fine one party, no critics allowed countries that you can move to. Peace :hi:
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
26. He did not tell you to sit down, nor did he tell you to shut up.
He said, more gently than I am about to, that complaining before Obama's had a chance to do, well, anything is stupid. That's his opinion. His having such an opinion does not mean that you do not get to have an opinion any more. If you're a freethinker, act like it. Don't start crying about how you're being "silenced" every time someone disagrees with the validity of your complaints.

I'm not a centrist. I don't know why you think I am.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
7. The tone of Stranahan's article makes it worse in some ways..
He does not seem aware that the minute we win or lose....the warnings come.

I stand by my post, and everything I wrote in it.

This time the party needs to come to terms with us who are considered such nuisances...or we all lose everything.

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Uzybone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
16. The small but loud group of professional whiners
needs a damn pacifier. No moment goes by that they don't find something to cry about. Solutions? Reasonable alternatives? Nah, just more self righteousness and whining from the back of the class.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Ya. But they're so "protesty"...
:)
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. You're right, corporatists, centerists, DLCer's are always whining,
Especially when those of us dare to exercise our right to free speech, especially since the left has been right on the issues all along. But no, those corporatists, centerist, DLCer's don't want to hear others speak up, so they whine and whine when the left does.

Your binky is waiting.
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Uzybone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. that was weak
no one is telling you to stop whining. Free speech is safe under a democratic administration, no matter what LaRouche tells you.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Speaking of weak,
Stating that "no one is telling you to stop whining" after blasting the left for exercising our right to speak is weak. Especially when you accompany it with LaRouche references. Talk about an epic fail :eyes:
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
22. I don't know who is leading the charge...
It's kind of sad that people can't disagree, or raise concerns without all the insults and outrage. Maybe we just like to fight..about anything other than what lies beneath that defies easy solutions. Perhaps that's why 'we the people' never gains any traction.


"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."-- Robert F. Kennedy



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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. We are just used to fighting.
Wes Clark said something long ago, back in 2003, when folks were loving Bush.

He said......We live in a liberal democracy....Thats what we created in this country. I think we should be very clear on this. You know, this country was founded on the principles of the Enlightenment... It was the idea that people could talk, reason, have dialogue, discuss the issues. It wasn't founded on the idea that someone would get struck by a divine inspiration and know everything right from wrong. I mean, people who founded this country had religion, they had strong beliefs, but they believed in reason, in dialogue, in civil discourse. We cant lose that in this country. We've got to get it back.
Interview with Bill Maher, on Real Time with Bill Maher (5 September 2003)
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Wesley_Clark
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OhioBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
24. I read Hildebrand's original post
and I agree - he wasn't telling anyone to shut up. He stated his opinion - that now isn't the time to draw conclusions. He is allowed to have an opinion and I'm sure he has inside knowledge that leads him to believe that we shouldn't draw conclusions b/c either there will be more progressive picks coming or those already picked will turn out to be more progressive than we think.
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