Monday, June 14, 2010

'Cause I said so. So there!

For the record, I love Jane Hamsher. You know where she stands, which is nice, even though there are times she seems to think President Obama could create a liberal Utopia by snapping his fingers, the need to get laws through Congress be damned! Hell, I even forgive her willingness to lend credibility to Fox and Friends and the execrable Grover Norquist because I believe she thought it was the best thing to do to move the country toward more progressive health care reform. (Did I agree with her decision? No.)

But this Hamsher article on Huffington Post is, frankly, bullshit. (Leave aside the fact the article which launches her tirade is typical Politico Drudge bait from the reporter who brought us the claim the media treats Obama with "kid gloves" and said John Edwards would have been our "first woman president.") How can anyone take seriously Hamsher's 1,300-word full-throated complaint about the "reluctance of the environmental groups to criticize the administration over the cleanup" when it provides not a single reason why the administration should be criticized? Nor does it even attempt to take down the claims of the environmental groups Hamsher trashes. Is Obama "the best environmental president we've had since Teddy Roosevelt"? Who knows. Certainly Hamsher makes no attempt to rebut that claim.

Hamsher even quotes Obama's statement that, "when you look at what most of the critics say ...and you ask them, specifically, what is it that the administration could or should have done differently that would have an impact on whether or not oil was hitting shore, you're met with silence." She then provides more silence on that issue.

In fact, all Hamsher does is provide ammunition for Republicans who have been chastised by the Sierra Club, the National Resources Defense Council or other organizations by labeling those groups "partisan cheerleaders." It's only a matter of time before a Republican points out that "even the liberal Jane Hamsher"--or, better yet, "even the left-wing extremist Jane Hamsher"--says environmental groups are simply organs of the Democratic Party. Even as she admits the "Sierra Club has one of the most well-known progressive brands," she has no qualms about chipping away at that brand because it "appears that they have opted for an 'inside' game."

Appears. In other words, Hamsher has no evidence this is the case. She points to no areas where the Obama administration has failed in its cleanup efforts. She just seems to sense collusion.

It "appears" Hamsher feels she has to destroy the Progressive movement in order to save it.

Update: A Hamsher defender points out that she does mention the MMS was "still granting offshore drilling permits, even after Ken Salazar promised they wouldn’t," but the thesis of her article is that, by failing to go after Obama in regard to the cleanup efforts, environmental groups are proving they are bought and paid for. She can't actually chastise the Sierra Club and others for ignoring the drilling permit issue since they've filed suit to stop drilling permits. Also, they called for a moratorium on offshore drilling on May 20 and got it seven days later. Call me a tribalist, but that seems like an effective organization to me.

Update: Now these seem like valid, substantive criticisms of the administration's policy regarding the cleanup. Of course, Hamsher did not mention any of these problems--or, again, any cleanup failures--but instead chose to attack and tarnish environmental groups by unjustifiably smearing them as paid-for puppets.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jane Hamsher suffers from a common ailment among many progressives. Her heart is in the right place yet she lacks both any sense of pragmatism, is repeatedly uncompromising, and cries havoc if there is any digression from what she perceives to be necessary. These qualities are what lead her to post inane articles such as the one you discuss.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Dave Meiser said...

I also criticized her article

see My reply to her article on the Sierra Club

5:57 AM  

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