Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Open Thread for comments about the Article

Fire Away.

30 comments:

Ken said...

I wish you luck on your quest. But I'm skeptical your approach will work.

I'm (by your standards) very conservative politically yet I'm very concerned about the present lack of a credible opposition party to the Republicans. I take seriously the admonition that "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" whether we're talking Democratic or Republican hegemony.

First you have to get the Democrats back onto the political scene in a credible manner. Then you can start pulling further to the left.

I'd rather the Democrats found a credible voice and then started pulling for their ideas than they be effectively excluded from the political conversation. I suspect that this is the thinking of the DLC, though I certainly am not privy to it.

Best of luck!

Adam P. Short said...

Ken:

Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure you've really absorbed what I'm trying to say; I invite you to keep reading my articles to get a clearer picture of what I'm advocating. I wouldn't characterize it at all as a move "to the left." On the contrary, I think there are concerns shared by common people of all political stripes that we can come together and agree on.

It's not "liberal," for example, to believe in local control over school curriculum. Quite the contrary, in fact - for years liberals (particularly wealthy liberals) have fought hard to take rights away from local schools due to fears that those schools might be teaching things that liberals might find backwards or offensive. The result is schools that are not products of the community they are in, which helps no one. Liberals need to rethink their position on issues like this.

Thanks for the comment, and hope to hear from you again.

APS

Heynonynony said...

It is interesting that DU should go after the DLC when the founders of DU list the DLC magazine and think-tank as clients of their Web design form.

http://www.onlineworkshop.com/index.html

Adam P. Short said...

Don't know if you're really interested or if you're just snarking, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and respond.

You're right that David Allen, owner of DU LLC and founder of the site, did the NDOL website (he also did a hamburger website, so I guess I shouldn't be talking bad about ground beef either if I know what's good for me.) As far as I know Allen, aka Principal Skinner on the DU forums, is fairly DLC-like in his viewpoints and probably did not enjoy reading They Want War altogether too much. If you want to know you can probably ask him and he'll tell you.

However, Allen has little or no control over what the site publishes; that aspect of things is handled by my esteemed editor, EarlG. EarlG is, again to the best of my knowledge, much closer in ideology to the current author.

It should be noted that even pieces which to my best estimation appear fairly far from EarlG's POV still make it into the publication with a fair degree of regularity. My assumption has always been that the key criterion is the quality of the writing; after all it is not EarlG Underground but Democratic Underground.

Heynonynony said...

It's actually comendable that they allow opposing views in columns.

But their lack of disclosure raises serious ethical issues. Also, they seem very, very quick to ban posters who express opposing views. DU has a reputation for being an outpost for angry, disaffected folks who are outside the mainstream of the party. That's a shame. It does not have to be that way.

I think DU is in need of some "adult supervision" (meaning someone with a real editorial background) and some serious re-thinking.

Adam P. Short said...

Ah, you're a disaffected DUer. Welcome. Are you the kind who thinks he was banned because he was too conservative, or the kind who thinks he was banned because he was too liberal?

Heynonynony said...

Yes, at one point I was banned from DU (after being publicly attacked by Skinner) when I dared to express a desire for flexibilty on a sensitive issue.

But that is more or less beside the point. My aim here is not to "get back" at DU, but to point out that there are problems there. Disclosure of potential conflicts is one big one. It is violation of media ethics.

Other problems include the fact that they do not really have anyone there with an editorial background or with any "institutional memory" about to the Democratic Party of the past 30 years or so.

That, and the often reactionary and back-biting tone of the site tends to keep them on the margins. A bit more professionalism and depth could make them a player.

Heynonynony said...

And hey, I apologize.

I didn't mean to hijack your blog.

There is work here. I'll go away now. Good luck.

Adam P. Short said...

Hey, you didn't hijack anything. I wish more people would come around and post. It's the fun part of blogging, in my opinion.

I'm intrigued now. What was your argument with Skinner about? I'd like to rib him about it next time I correspond with him.

Heynonynony said...

I'd rather not get into the gory details here. I really don't want to embarrass DU over what was, really, a silly misunderstanding. I am sure they're decent enough when you get to know them.

If you post an e-mail address and REALLY want to know, I'll give you the details privately. But I have no interest in a "feud." Quite the contrary, actually.

I'd still like to be in a position to help them if they ever get their noses out of joint. There is, in my view, a lot of potential in DU.

And I think I really could help. I have 20-plus years of experience in the publishing and journalism realms (most recently as editor of a Web venture).

Adam P. Short said...

Whatever, no big deal. Honestly, I'll bet if you wrote a feature for DU, they'd print it. They'll print anything in my experience, though my articles are all awesome, of course. ;-D

Ken said...

APS,

Sorry, I was unintentionally ambiguous. I was using "left" as short-hand for "opposed to current Republican party policy". I understand and respect the points you've made re: how current Republican party policy has strayed from traditional conservative viewpoints.

Though I'm willing to self-classify as "conservative", and as a practical matter usually vote Republican, I no more agree with all Republican policy positions than I expect any given "liberal" would agree with all Democratic policy positions.

Ken

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