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View Diary: Corrupt Democracy 21 (155 comments)

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  •  Great push-back (none)
    And spot on Kos. The hypocrisy is certainly there, but underscores the real problem at the core of the argument that we have to shut down and regulate online discourse in the name of campaign finance reform.

    It is, to my eyes, just like the bassakwards extent to which "journalists" have been arguing that Judith Miller and others are standing on principle by not reveling their sources. It is 180 degrees in opposite in service of the larger principle which anonymous sourcing came about. That being protecting a whistle-blower or source form retribution for getting the truth out in order to best serve the public interest. Not to hide behind that as a shield to lie to, smear and attack those who are in fact critical of the malfeasance of those in power who have harmed the public interest.

    This is similar to what we see here. People who have gotten wholly of-track as to what principle they are serving when all is said and done.  Fred Wertheimer and Democracy 21 are using the very methods they decry as a corrupting influence, to influence Congress to restrict access and filter the electronic public square which, is precisely what is Not in the public interest or good. We need freer, fuller more robust public discourse, not controlled and regulated discourse. Unfettered public discourse, particularly in the realm of politics, is precisely why it is enshrined in the very first of the bill of rights. Our founding fathers knew precisely the value and import of such discourse.

    This smacks of destroying the village in order to save it myopia, and framed in ironic hypocrisy.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 11:49:23 AM PST

    •  fred wertheimer is not corrupt (none)
      the diary starts with a completely false notion.
      •  I think he is (none)
        Based on his own logic that trying to influence members of congress is inherently corrupt.

        And he hates the First Amendment too. And he's a hypocrite.

        •  That's ridiculous (4.00)
          This guy has been the force behind most major post Watergate government corruption scandals.

          And the way the lobbying system is set up right now, yes, it is inherently corrupt, as the law is vague and hazy, and try finding one Hill staffer who understands it. It needs to be reformed, badly, because people break the law without intending to break it, and people can get away with truly swarmy things under the auspices of the law. The lobbying laws are terrible.

          Does that mean that because Fred is advocating his position, mostly through a melee of press releases and a series of meetings is a hypocrit? No! Of course not, any reform to the current law would clearly allow people to have meetings with congressmen. However, the junkets, the skyboxes? That needs to go, and Fred is NOT doing that sort of thing.

          "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

          by VirginiaBelle on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 12:25:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You seem to be missing the point (none)
            That Democracy 21 is lobbying COngress (thereby being "corrupt" if you buy into the reasoning that paid for lobbying of COngress is inherently corrupt) while arguing that truly open and unfettered public discourse (blogs) be stymied and regulated.

            We can both agree that what the people at Democracy 21 have done has been fighting the good fight, but on this they are wrong and hypocritically so.

            cheers,

            Mitch Gore

            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

            by Lestatdelc on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 01:00:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And that is an intentional misreading (none)
              Of Fred's comments, as well as an intentional misunderstanding of the differences between paid lobbying and advocacy.

              Fred's comments referred specifically to soft-money laundering by paid lobbyists used to entice lawmakers to enact specific legislation. And to the fact that this is in large part caused by antiquated and ridiculously confusing lobbying laws that are vague at best and therefore prone to abuse by anyone who cares to do so and even some people who are just, well, sloppy.

              Democracy 21's "war room" etc., was the organization itself meeting with Congressmen, none of which will have or will ever receive donations from Democracy 21. They first of all represented themselves. Secondly, did not donate, and lastly, used no soft money. Under kos' definition of what is and what is not acceptable to Fred, no one would be allowed to visit their Congressperson to argue for an issue they care about, because that would be tainted lobbying. That's not at all what's being said. What's being said is that lobbyists should wine, dine, and buy Congresspeople through junkets, skyboxes, and donations wormed through third parties.

              I understand kos' frustration on the internet regulation stuff, although I respectfully disagree, but this is, frankly, crap.

              "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

              by VirginiaBelle on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 01:09:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  WTF? (none)
                WTF? is this Kos?

                Warning: Posting rate exceeded

                You have exceeded this site's maximum posting rate. You are only allowed to post a certain number of comments or stories in a short period of time. Your user account is now locked from posting for five minutes, after which it will become normal again. Be warned though: if you attempt to post again while you're locked out, the timeout period will double, and this will keep happening as long as you keep trying to post. Walk away for a few minutes, have a nice cup of coffee, come back, and everything will be cool. Thanks.

                WTF kind of "posting rate" is this shit?

                I have posted at the following rate in the past hour:

                12/06/2005 13:14:36 PST
                12/06/2005 13:04:12 PST
                12/06/2005 13:03:33 PST
                12/06/2005 13:00:58 PST
                12/06/2005 12:57:20 PST
                12/06/2005 12:38:45 PST
                12/06/2005 12:36:22 PST

                What sort of whacky-low threshold has been immplmented?

                I have never run across any such rate warning/limiting here... ever.

                Is this some new policy?

                If so I really suggest you change the thresholds, because posting comments once in a 3+ minutes or so rate is hardly something that should be disabling someone.

                cheers,

                Mitch Gore

                Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                by Lestatdelc on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 02:34:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ironically (none)
                  I received this replying to YOUR previous comment. I assumed it was because the site has been iffy all day, but perhaps the higher-ups are telling us to cool it.

                  "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

                  by VirginiaBelle on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 02:56:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  bugged me (none)
                  but inevitable.

                  I wrote a dense and unreadable piece - but accurate - about this phenomenon.

                  Peer to peer politics, netroots, this rises like the other peer to peer phenomenon and then maxes out, a structure of cruft forms making a heirarchy out of the peer to peer distribution, and it protects the voice of the top, and the common voice diminishes.

                  It's attributed to "scaling" and is in fact the phenomenon "failing to scale".

                  No, large groups don't need that, large egos do.

        •  that argument (none)
          is too trivial for you kos.

          it's a gotcha.

          that's not the real difference of opinion.

          you have wandered into a pro-corporate area and so he's corrupt.

          no.

      •  are you sure? (none)
        He's a part of the old pre-internet political order. He had lots of power and influence then. Now he sees things changing and he wants that power and influence back. Who are his donors?  Kos brought that up in his piece. Just who are they?  Why won't he disclose? He should be embracing the blogs (and watching them) instead of opposing and proposing legislation. I see blogs doing a lot of what Werthiemer used to do and potentially a lot more effectively.

        "We ought never to do wrong when people are looking." Twain

        by dougymi on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 12:22:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  From their website: (none)
          Democracy 21 and Democracy 21 Education Fund are supported by contributions from individuals and from a number of foundations, including The Pew Charitable Trusts, Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Joyce Foundation and Open Society Institute.

          "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

          by VirginiaBelle on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 12:27:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  lame pushback (none)
      "Corrupt Democracy 21".

      un-credibley put.

      This is a disagreement... I've not seen such a stretch for a long time, as that "but look, they're corrupt too for taking part in public debate and government".

      dkos is a corporation so corporations don't need regulation now.

      SHOCK!

      •  But that is PRECISELY (none)
        what Democracy 21 is in fact arguing when it seeks to put blogs under regulation. It fundamentally is working from the flawed thinking that bloging is corrupt if there is unregulated bloging. They are arguing that we are, by our nature, a corrupting activity (not that there is any substance to it) that therefore has to be regulated.

        Why should Democracy 21 be able to be privately funded to influence Congress, yet somehow we, the blogsphere have to be forced into a regulated tar-pit that will stymie the fundamental principle of free public discourse?

        While we may agree that folks like Democracy 21 generally do and have fought the good fight, in this they are fundamentally wrong, not to mention rather hypocritical.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 12:57:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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