I have to thank rootless for noticing and posting here about the Huffington Post article on the OFA state director of New Mexico sending out my article on the debt ceiling deal. The author of the Huffpo article, Amanda Terkel, choose a curious headline for her piece: "Obama Campaign Staffer Sends Out Email Bashing Paul Krugman And The 'Firebagger Lefty Blogosphere' " - which is marginally better than its previous version, in which she accused me of calling Krugman a Firebagger. I pointed out the fact that I have never directly called Krugman a Firebagger in an email to Terkel, and she, to her credit, clarified the lede.
But I digress. Terkel's choice of the headline is curious, and not the least because my article on the debt ceiling, titled Paul Krugman is a Political Rookie. Or How Barack Obama Left John Boehner Holding the Teabag, Again., is actually primarily about the political (and policy) merits of the debt ceiling deal. And I expect that is the reason OFA's New Mexico state director Ray Sandoval sent it to supporters. But of course, you can always expect the Huffington Post - a corporate media outlet sold for a cool $315 million in cash and at the cost of 200 American jobs lost - to pick up on the poutrage and not concentrate on the merits. No surprises there.
Incidentally, nor is the article, contrary to Terkel's claims, about "bashing" Paul Krugman. Here's what I said:
Paul Krugman is a political rookie. At least he is when compared to President Obama.That's a fact. Paul Krugman is a political rookie, compared to President Obama. I don't think even Paul Krugman would dispute that fact. If anyone would like to claim that Paul Krugman is better experienced and more knowledgeable about how things work in the political world than the first African American president of the United States, they are welcome to make their case, but I don't think they'd get anywhere.
At this point, I would be remiss if I did not say a word of thanks to Ray Sandoval for picking up on the article and getting the message out - I am grateful!
But Terkel did get something right. I mean, you know, credit where credit is due. She patiently explains to her readers - who I suppose she assumes are even more political novices than Krugman - what the term firebagger could possibly mean.
"Firebagger" is most likely a combined reference to the liberal blog FireDogLake, founded by Jane Hamsher, and "Tea Bagger," a less-than-flattering term for Tea Party activists.Almost right. So close. Except FireDogLake is not a liberal blog. It's a Pseudo-Left-Libertarian extremist ideologue blog. But other than that, on the money. Why, yes, Sherlock, Firebagger is a term that combines FDL's hair-on-fire ridiculousness with Teabaggers (for example, opposing things just because President Obama supports them) - whom the FDL rah-rah types act like, only from the Left. It's a characterization that fits them perfectly - they are more interested in tearing things down than building a country up, more interested in ideological podium-pounding than pragmatic solutions. The bagger (both tea and fire) mentality is the reason our politics is in a rut. If one side was busy spreading hatred and propaganda to increase wingnut turnout, the other (firebaggers) side was busy spreading hatred and propaganda to subdue Democratic turnout. Oh, also, as John Cole points out, it's a name the Firebaggers gave themselves.
By the way, can someone please tell me why criticism of whiners and Krugman is cause for clawing the chalkboard from Huffington Post, but the constant propagandist bashing of President Obama never gets a critical eye from the same folks?
Speaking of Firebaggers, her Majesty the Highness of FDL, Jane Hamsher, picked up on Terkel's article and went nuts with it. You know, the usual.
By the way, Ms. Terkel, you seem very upset about the OFA state director in New Mexico sending out an email pointing out the political and policy merits of the debt ceiling deal, an article that also calls out the firebaggers, but for some reason I cannot find our outrage article about Jane Hamsher - the Firebagger in Chief - calling Obama supporters the "dumbest motherfuckers in the world." Am I missing something or is your reporting just not objective?
Let me send a message to Huffington Post, FDL, and all the ideologue havens in the Firebagger Lefty Blogosphere (that's right, I said it again): You have been propagating your anti-progressive, pro-dysfunction political message without accountability for too long. In President Obama's words, Enough! Count on us in the pragmatic progressive blogosphere to stand up and fight back. You do not represent progressivism or liberalism, and we are done letting you hijack it. You wanted a fight, didn't you? Well, you got one.
Update Re: White House distancing themselves from email:
I just got an email calling me a "faggot" and informing me that the President is distancing himself from the email, saying it doesn't reflect their views. Uh, duh. People who see the White House's reaction to this as a "story" are much worse political novices than Krugman. The President does not want to - and should not want to - be associated with terms like "firebagger" or "teabagger" for that matter. I am sure if a staffer sent out an email with an article containing the word "teabagger," they would have the same reaction. There is no need for the President to own those terms, which is the intent of the Huffpo article.
People act like they have never seen politics before. It shouldn't require saying, but I (and other outsiders) can say things and use terms that need to be said but the President cannot say or be associated with. That's one of the reasons partisan media and blogs exist. Only with the ideologue Left blogosphere, they have turned the fire of that privilege towards the White House more so than the wingnut Right.