Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

8/09/2005

Kos, NARAL

I just want to say, in response to Neil's post and Banjosteve's comment, that I don't necessarily agree with NARAL's strategy (i.e., endorsing pro-choice Republicans) and I don't necessarily disagree with those who say this is short-sighted. I didn't really intend to weigh in on that particular question (I'm not sure where I come down); rather, I wanted to highlight what I think is Kos's repulsive attitude toward women's rights generally - an attitude exemplified by his "pet cause" remark.

Look at the NARAL statement again:
Tell top bloggers that choice matters!

With the Roberts nomination front and center, choice is being talked about more and more, especially on some of the most well-known political blogs. But what’s disturbing is that choice and abortion are being discussed—in blogs and in the media—more as a political tool than as an issue that affects women’s lives.

So NARAL is issuing a call to action. We’ve listed five of the some of the most well-known progressive blogs below—go to them and make your voice heard. Use their comments sections to make sure that choice is being discussed as something that affects women, not just politics.
With regard to Kos, the statement reads:
Perhaps the most well-known progressive blog, Daily Kos gets ridiculous hits and covers a broad spectrum of issues. Like many political blogs however, it could use a nice dose of women’s voices--especially on choice.
Now, this (very mild) request for big-time liberal bloggers to devote more attention to abortion rights says nothing about the things Kos is complaining about (viz., endorsing Republicans). Kos just brings that up out of nowhere, refusing to take NARAL's advice on the grounds that they did something he didn't like, thereby committing the 'poisoning the well' fallacy.

Disagreeing with NARAL over strategy is one thing; dismissing their advice to take abortion rights seriously because you're still mad at them is boorish and immature. Promising NARAL the sky once Democrats regain control of the federal government - Kos seems to simply assume that this is just around the corner, when there's absolutely no reason to think that it is (Kos is one of many "victory is just around the corner" Democrats who, in my opinion, refuse to face up to the bleak reality and are constantly assuring us that a political sea change is imminent (think Ruy Teixeira), but that's a subject for another post) - is just silly.

Again, if this were an isolated incident, I probably wouldn't make a big deal about it. But Kos has made it clear where his priorities lie - you know, the important shit - and women's issues seem awfully low on that list.


UPDATE: Pennywit defends single-issue advocacy groups:
Kos is wrong in his contempt for single-issue groups. While single-issue groups can be extremely annoying and infuriatingly bloody-minded, in many cases, they can also be the most effective voices for their individual causes. While Kos might have a point in terms of strategy, he also demands that NARAL effectively abandon its cause in favor of some ill-defined object such as a Democratic Congress. After all, if the greater Democratic Party consistently fails to elect enough officials to take control of the legislature, then groups like NARAL must find ways to work with Republican politicians.
Does anyone actually believe that the Democratics in Congress would make abortion rights a priority without groups like NARAL holding their feet to the fire?

The Republic of T. argues that simply electing Democrats into office is not sufficient - they have to be Democrats willing to stand up for "liberal" or progressive values. R of T also chides NARAL for its focus on the "big boys" and points out another annoying thing about Kos -
if Kos utters one more iteration of his "I’m just just a guy with a blog" routine, I think my head will explode. I am just a guy with a blog. Kos is a "new media" mogul.
This kind of whining is Kos's standard effort to avoid responsibility - this was his response to those who complained about his lack of coverage of alleged vote fraud in Ohio:
Since when was I appointed king of the liberal agenda? If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve. You know what's amazing about open source politics, about the growing netroots revolution? That everyone has the power to take matters into their own hands.

...I'll write about whatever I find interesting or compelling. If people don't like what I write, it's a big blogosphere -- they can find a more receptive home. And if what they're looking for doesn't exist, it's a user-friendly internet -- people can build their own homes.
Sorry, no. This is Republican reasoning ("It's my blog, and I'll do what I want with it!"). We don't accept this kind of reasoning from the mainstream media and we shouldn't accept it from bloggers. We on the left believe, as Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker, that "with great power comes great responsibility." Kos is probably the most powerful blogger out there, and he can't simply avoid the responsibility that comes with this position by making flippant remarks like "it's a big blogosphere." By virtue of his unique position, he has certain responsibilities, and it is his duty to live up to them.

OK, I will try to make this my last remark on Kos for the time being.

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