Okay. Cheap joke. I'll get to that in a second though. First, below the Fleur-de-Kos, you'll find a listing of diaries republished to A Perfect Conversation since the last diary I posted (which was something like two weeks ago), as well as a quick update on APC matters, such as why I've been gone so long and what the future holds for the group. In other words, stuff those of you who follow the group will be interested in, but everyone else will likely not give a rat's ass about. (Well, except the republished diaries. I hope everyone is interested in checking them out.)
Now then, getting back to the title. Apologies, but I'd like to start with some links.
For those living under a rock, stef has an excellent summary of what we know or suspect we know about "WeinerGate" to date in this diary: Breitbart's #Twitterhoax - What We Know Now. Also, Stranded Wind has news that this may have been a coordinated attack by a known hate group: Breaking: Christian Infowar Militia Attacked Congressman Weiner. For the record, I'm skeptical of this second diary since it lacks specifics, but what is provided does show there could be history here which implicates the group. So I'm not going to discount it just yet. Finally, one more link. A diary by robert cruickshank republished to this group some time ago reminding us of how to act like a coalition: Why aren't progressives as good at politics as conservatives?
So, what does coalition politics have to do with WeinerSchnitzel?
I don't see politicians as part of our coalition. I'll make my argument for that in next week's diary. (One of those infamously long-awaited diaries I keep talking about but never seem to get to.) For now, let me say that politicians and activists are two different beasts with goals and motivations too remotely removed from each other for us to form a workable coalition. We can however be situational allies.
Why is Weiner being targeted, and why is it our job to defend against those attacks?
What the specific reason is for the attack doesn't matter. Anthony Weiner is seen as a progressive champion, much like Obama. Whether or not you agree with that view, that's the media consensus, not to mention the right-wing belief. So the right is more than happy to use any excuse they can reasonably make to themselves to attack him. (The excuse doesn't have to make sense to us. It only has to make sense to them.) They found one and went with it.
If we—the progressive/liberal/lefty coalition—don't defend him, we lose by default, because the attack is not just against him but also against us. Again, Weiner is seen as a progressive champion. So if the right takes him down, the media broadcasts it as a loss for us. Like it or not, the beltway media narrative holds strong sway in DC. For now, we have to fight using those rules.
Okay, Gabriel. Riddle me this. If we should be defending politicians viewed as progressive champions, why don't we defend John Edwards?
That attack isn't coming from the right. It's coming from the government.
Uh...Hello! Don Siegalman?
Okay, I'll elaborate.
We can only respond based on the information we have and how credible we believe that information to be. The credible information on Edwards indicates he shot himself in the foot. He's not being attacked by the right. He did this to himself, and there's nothing we can do about it.
The credible information on Siegalman indicates the government was a proxy in the right-wing attack. Whether Siegalman is a progressive champion or not, in this case, a certain old adage holds true. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." So we should defend him. If we lose, we lose. But we don't have much to lose at this point, so it's a risk worth taking. And if we win, the least we get out of it is a stronger coalition. Overall, it's worth the risk.
The credible information on Weiner indicates he was framed. Does it pass legal muster? I don't know. I'm no lawyer. But there's too much evidence indicating that it's not only possible, but that the people most likely to have framed him are acting suspiciously like they did so. So we fight this for much the same reason we fight for Siegalman. And if it turns out later that we were wrong, at least we've shown that we can hold together as a coalition, which sends a message to both our allies and enemies. In other words, even in the worst case, we're better off fighting.
The basic point, then, is that there are things we do as a coalition that, as individuals, we might not fully agree with. We do these things because they make our coalition stronger, and a stronger coalition means that, as individuals, we are more likely to get what we want. This is what it means to be in a coalition. So even if you have your doubts about Weiner's responsibility in this incident, there can be no doubt that we're all under attack. It's up to each of us to step up so that together we can fight back.
A Perfect Conversation is a group for republishing diaries that:
A) Challenge the DK conventional wisdom.
B) Provide information which may lead to new ideas.
C) Push for action that is innovative or not just playing defense.
The point is not to agree (or disagree) with these diaries. It's about challenging ourselves to rethink our political philosophies, activities, and issue positions.
Have you read a diary you think deserves republishing here? Send us a message.
Interested in joining? Read this first.
Republished to A Perfect Conversation:
|Welcome To The Desert of The Real||Armando|
|Can the Tea Party to provide lessons in how activists can change political realities? If so, what are those lessons?|
|A Manufacturing-centered economics, part one||JonRynn|
|As I believe I've commented elsewhere, our current economic system has failed us. This diary starts a discussion of a new way to understand economics which may lead us to finding and advocating for a better system.|
|Desmond Tutu: "God Is Not A Christian"||TomP|
|In this large coalition in which we find ourselves, here is an argument for strengthening it along atheist/theist lines rather than allowing ourselves to succumb to infighting as we normally might.|
|Protesters Given Permission to Set Up "Walkerville" Tent City Near Wisconsin Capitol||Giles Goat Boy|
|The activists in Wisconsin continue to find innovative ways to protest their state government's actions.|
|An interesting take on Corporate Taxes||PACmenDotOrg|
|A suggestion to base the corporate tax rate on how responsibly they behave.|
|Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction by Ken Binmore||annieli|
|An overview of a book introducing game theory, a subject that touches on practically every decision we make.|
And now, as mentioned at the start, a note about group activities.
I'm not ending the group or anything, but I do have to consider time constraints and other personal matters. While I was writing one diary a day, that just turned out to be too time-consuming, not to mention I was putting up junk that wasn't really worth reading just so I could hold to that schedule. (Admittedly, I don't write decent diaries to begin with, but a daily schedule just makes it worse.)
Further, my personal schedule for the past couple weeks has been...inconsistent. The next few weeks promise more of the same. So that also plays a major role in what I can do for the group.
I also had hoped to get at least one other person to help out, but other than a couple early offers, neither of which checked back after learning I actually expected them to do stuff (nothing wrong with that), there've been no bites. So as a one person operation, I have to do what's convenient for me. And what's convenient for me is this:
I'll continue republishing diaries to the group which fit the group's purpose. That remains the priority and so if nothing else, that will always be the case even if I never write another diary.
Instead of trying to write a roundup diary every day, I'll write one once a week. Probably over the weekend. I'll shoot for Saturday evenings, though I'm not sure exactly what time, yet, though it will be earlier than what you've come to expect. I will stop adding my personal rec list to the diaries. For one, that would end up being a very long list every week that I doubt you'd care to read. For another, having to copy down every diary I rec and format them into a table is a hassle and a time waster. That said, I may include, from time to time, some diaries in a separate "group recommended" list. Diaries that don't quite fit the group's purpose, but that I think followers of the group would still be interested in.
Finally, consider these diaries to be somewhat open threadish, which is to say, try to stay within the subject matter of the group, even if you don't talk about the topic du jour. And if you want to chat a little, that's fine, too. Truthfully, that's always been the case, but I wanted to make it more explicit in case some here felt uncomfortable "breaking" the site rules.
Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 10:12 PM PT: Cross-posted to firefly-dreaming