A Special Note Re: Third WayIf "the views expressed on Matt’s blog are his own," then what the hell is this? Lady, you are on Matt's blog! How did you get there? Did you just barge in like some burglar in the night? Do you know the first thing about blogging and a blogger's relationship with his readers?
This is Jennifer Palmieri, acting CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Most readers know that the views expressed on Matt’s blog are his own and don’t always reflect the views of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Such is the case with regard to Matt’s comments about Third Way. Our institution has partnered with Third Way on a number of important projects - including a homeland security transition project - and have a great deal of respect for their critical thinking and excellent work product. They are key leaders in the progressive movement and we look forward to working with them in the future.
I'd never heard of "Third Way" until I read this post. Now, I think it sucks. Not because of something Matt once wrote about it -- which I hadn't noticed -- but because of this completely creepy intrusion into Matt's space. Why didn't Palmieri email Matt and ask him to quote a statement from the Center for American Progress Action Fund? Maybe she did and he refused. But either way, the invasion of a man's blog is unjustified, wrong, and also stupid. It's stupid, because even if you don't mind pushing around a respected blogger, you're doing it where everyone can see.
Let me quote some more of the comments:
"Why did Matt leave The Atlantic? This ‘bullshit’ post reveals the limits how independent-minded one can be when associated with this website. (Not to say CAP doesn’t do a lot of good - it does) I think this really is a big deal - Matt needs to decide if he is a independent thinker or an activist. This post shows how hard it is to be both. Did he even approve this post - on his blog?"And Kos has posted on it too:
"Think of all the posts that didn’t merit a ghostly materialization of the CEO! Perhaps CAP really does support all those other views of Matt’s. The CAP Action Fund hates turkey."
"Next post from Jennifer Palmieri: Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia."
"VERY CREEPY. that being said, matt said he left the atlantic because he wanted some skin in the game. well, i think perhaps his indy days gave him some impolitic ticks that now coming back to bite him now that he’s part of The Movement."
"Fuck off Palmieri. If we were interested in what you thought, we’d read it on your own blog. Jeez."
"Sadly, after his workplace retreat in the Pine Barrens, Matt was never heard from again…"
"Dear Jennifer, Nice boneheaded move. Dear Matthew, You left The Atlantic for this? Take your fucking balls—er, blog—back man, and perhaps you won’t suffer a loss of readers. This is just embarrassing."
"Jennifer, fabulous job. In one short post, you managed to focus attention on Matt’s original post, convince folks Third Way is nothing but a bunch of lame frauds, alienate loyal readers, cast a pall on CAP’s credibility, and possibly shoot your job prospects in both feet. Heckuva job."
The Center for American Progress should not make a habit of doing this.Kos points us to the original Yglesias post:
And for the record, the editors on the site can say whatever they want about whoever and I won't get all creepy and Big Brother on them.
p.s. And yes, the Third Way is a bunch of assholes who make the DLC look downright palatable.
I’m getting sort of tired of the endless discussion of whether Barack Obama is a wholesome liberal or an evil centrist, but I have to say something about one aspect of this story:The irony is: I'm the sort of person who actually likes the sort of thing Matt would call "hyper-timid incrementalist bullshit." I voted for Barack Obama because I was betting that he really is a pragmatic moderate. And now Palmieri has made me hate the Third Way.“Barack Obama has never made any bones about it: He is a moderate,” said Matt Bennett, co-founder of Third Way, a moderate public policy think tank. “People who ignored that did so at their peril.”Third Way is a neat organization — I used to work across the hall from them. And they do a lot of clever messaging stuff that a lot of candidates find very useful. But their domestic policy agenda is hyper-timid incrementalist bullshit. There are a variety of issues that they have nothing whatsoever to say on, and what policy ideas they do have are laughable in comparison to the scale of the problems they allegedly address. Which is fine, because Third Way isn’t really a “public policy think tank” at all, it’s a messaging and political tactics outfit. But Barack Obama’s policy proposals aren’t like that. At all. Nor do personnel on his policy teams — including the more ideologically moderate members — stand for anything that’s remotely as weak a brew as the stuff Third Way puts out. And yet, Third Way loves Barack Obama and says he’s a moderate just like them. Which is great. But everyone needs to see that these things are moving in two directions simultaneously. At the very same time Obama is disappointing progressive supporters on a number of fronts, he’s also bringing moderates on board for things that are way more ambitious than anything they were endorsing two or three years ago.
We have now learned one of the great lessons in the history of blogging: Never Palmieri on an Yglesias.
UPDATE: Yglesias now has several posts since Jennifer Palmieri dropped that turd on his blog. One obliquely refers to the stink:
As we’ve clarified, speaking as ever purely for myself and not as an institutional position of CAP/AF, Third Way’s First 100 Days agenda strikes me as pretty weak tea. For starter’s here’s their retirement security agenda [blah blah blah].Sample comment:
“As we’ve clarified …” We?More sympathetically:
What’s going on here is pretty obvious: Matt doesn’t like that Third Way demanded the editorial wrist-slap that appeared on his blog, but doesn’t want to directly criticize his boss. So, having covered CAP’s ass with the previous post, he is now going to make a project of picking on Third Way with special relish. What is it people want Matt to address here, exactly?AND: Julian Sanchez says it well:
It’s like they made a list of the dozen ways they could’ve handled some minor internecine friction—including just ignoring it—and asked: “Which of these is really guaranteed to blow up in our face in the most self-defeating way possible?”...
So congratulations, Third Way, a whole lot of people who’d never heard of you now know exactly one thing about you: You’re thin-skinned whiners.
AND: Yglesias finally gets around to addressing the question directly, not that he says anything interesting.