Sunday, March 02, 2008

Should Progressive Bloggers Give Dems a Pass?

This should be a lively debate.

Should progressive bloggers refuse to speak ill of other Democrats? Yesterday, I spoke about blogging at the Georgia Federation of Democratic Women's Spring Meeting. (It was, by the way a very well put together, well planned event thanks to people like Tina Simms, Kathy Bird and others. Great work, ladies.) Catherine Smith from Blog for Democracy was also there and chimed in with some helpful information. Toward the end of my remarks, Gail Buckner who served in the Georgia House and then was the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State stood and, in summary, expressed her concern about some things that were written about her on blogs during the last cycle, observed that she does not see conservative bloggers bashing Republicans (must not have been reading Peach Pundit lately) and opined-I am paraphrasing-that perhaps we should not speak ill of our own, and if we do, we should be sure that what we say is true.

Well, I certainly agree with the last part of her statement-that we shouldn't write something unless we believe it's true, but what about the rest? I have taken, and will continue to take Democrats to task on issues important to me personally. I was critical of Jim Marshall for his vote on Children's Health Insurance, and I questioned John Barrow about his statements about children of illegal immigrants. I took a couple of Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly to task for co-sponsoring the "Personhood" legislation and fussed with Kevin Levitas about his position on reducing the number of jurors required to impose the death penalty. I have challenged campaign tactics and the lack there of. I could go on. But, on balance, I spend far more time challenging Republicans than Democrats.

My thought has always been that if we are unwilling to challenge our own, then how do we have any credibility when we challenge Republicans? But, my question to you is, should progressive bloggers back off other Democrats and instead adopt Regan's Rule? If there's a line, where is it?

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Tina said...

A good rule for written comments (and spoken ones for that matter) is to qualify an opinion with "I think" or similar wording, and to substantiate facts with sources...just as we were told in high school and college when we were taught how to write a research paper.
Incidentally, we at GFDW surely appreciated your attending and speaking at our state meeting on
Saturday !

Jen said...

As someone who recently called on Rep. Jamieson to resign, I certainly don't think that bloggers (or commenters for that matter) should be in the business of protecting the riffraff of the party.

If Perdue or any other Republican official hadn't paid their taxes in eight years, there would definitely be some howling.

And yet, all is silent when it's one of our own.

So where's the line?

Certainly, it must be truthful, but it must also be reflective of that person as an official.

Example: Mark Taylor's votes, positions and perhaps campaign tactics are fair game. His son is not.

I'm not sure exactly what Gail Buckner was referring to, but I'm sure it probably had something to do with the fact that many Democrats were, "Gail Who? What has she done?" And that's a fair question to ask.

Amy Morton said...

Tina, right, but I know plenty that I don't write, and I hold some strong opinions that are not expressed here because I make decisions about the overall value of publishing vrs. preserving relationships. I do think, Jen, that if we do not hold our own to high standards-or at least some standards-then we are become Fox News-ish-not very credible. I'm just trying to figure out the blanace.

Tina said...

:-) Yep, that was among the wise pieces of advice that my grandmother used to give: "Don't tell everything you know!" It's good advice too... said...

JonF said...

Well, progressive bloggers by and large are part of the reality based community, and we all call them like they see them. Sometimes it's supportive, and sometimes...not so much. It's just part of the deal. I generally try to keep my criticisms constructive, but I would acknowledge I've had a few I wish I didn't write.

I think that is different than the "life-long Democrats" who blog and seemingly relish any opportunity to trash Democrats. These lifers have usually never lifted a finger to actually try and help the party too, which I think speaks volumes about their credibility. Most of us have families, full time jobs, and we manage to chip in time to actually help our Party. I think some of our leaders should have thick enough skin to take it from us when they deserve it. The others can go fly a kite as far as I'm concerned.

Trackboy1 said...

Jenna Jamieson, Sharon Beasley Teague, Ron Sailor, Ron Ramsey.

C'mon now Gail Buckner...quit living in a fantasy world. The Braves don't keep .200 hitters on the team for very long. They don't keep productive players who can't stay out of trouble on the team for very long.

Funny that bloggers don't often call out the David Adelman's, the Kasim Reed's, the Steph Stuckey's, etc. Produce and stay out of trouble. If you're good at what you do, you can take a 'lil criticism and even learn from it if it has some validity.

If not, hit the road jack. And that's you, Jamieson, Beasley Teague, Sailor, & Ramsey.

Tina said...

I sincerely wish we had Gail Buckner at the helm of SOS right now! And I wish we had a Democrat sitting in the governor's chair right now.
But we don't, and there's a multitude of foolishness going on in Atlanta. The party in power gets to make policy.
The big job ahead for Democrats is to elect Democrats

Nick said...

I don't think the Democratic Party in Georgia is in any position to trample over substantive dialogue. As long as the conversations remain substantive and not personal I think blogs ought to let the elected officials have it!

Tina said...

...and get out the vote and elect Democrats....

VictoratGaImproper said...

that's right preserve friendships with corrupt political friends while rome burns.

good plan Dems!