The Partisan Blogosphere

by William Skink

By now it should be apparent what happened to the progressive blogosphere in Montana: it turned partisan, and the political winners became vociferous gatekeepers who’d rather scuttle what can’t be controlled. This continues today.

Last week’s Indy piece, Click Fate (read the comments, corrections will hopefully be forthcoming) was a tale told by the victors, a tale that conveniently left out the intriguing parts behind the shuttering of Left in the West and muting of 4&20 Blackbirds. What was included, like numbers regarding online traffic at 4&20, turned out be less than accurate.

For the record, my transgression, which earned me and JC the boot from 4&20, was speculating on the sheepdog factor regarding the Bernie Sanders campaign—the idea that Sanders is playing a helpful role corralling progressives for the eventual pass-off to Hillary. That was just too much, so Jay Stevens, the absentee landlord, suddenly materialized and literally locked out JC and myself.

Now the Democratic primaries are in full swing, and new attacks are being mounted by the partisans. Funny thing, it isn’t new at all, at least in regards to the Hillary Clinton strategy of smearing her opponent with the allegedly rampant online sexism of his supporters. This election cycle, it’s the Bernie Bro. In 2008 it was the Obama Boy (Salon, 2008):

Young people are voting for Obama; Clinton is a troubling candidate for many women and men; and there is a sense that younger women feel more distant from second-wave feminist leaders than ever before.

Yet some female voters have begun to express nearly as much disenchantment with the Obama-mania of their peers as with their Clinton-promoting mothers. And even while they voice dismay over the retro tone of the pro-Clinton feminist whine, a growing number of young women are struggling to describe a gut conviction that there is something dark and funky, and probably not so female-friendly, running below the frantic fanaticism of their Obama-loving compatriots.

And here is a Daily Kos piece about this year’s cycle, highlighting that the breakdown is more generational than gender, but that doesn’t stop the attacks on the gender issue:

If you follow Matt Bruenig at all, you’d know by now that the idea of the “Bernie Bro” is a complete myth. Indeed, poll after poll shows that the perceived “gender” gap is really nothing more than an age gap. Sanders polls much better than Clinton with young women. It’s like this entire primary is just old Democrats telling young Democrats to get off their lawn. ​

So, Sanders was recently forced to condemn mean sexist people on the internet. Yet, as Gloria Steinem says that young women support Bernie because they are just boy crazy, Clinton is not called to condemn her sexist supporters. And when Madeline Albright tells people that “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other out,” Clinton does not apologize. In fact, she just laughed.

When I wrote a post about the Bernie Bro attack, using a post from a Democrat partisan that featured absolutely no evidence or links of what he claimed was polluting his Twitter feed, this is the comment I received:

Those Iraqi children are sure glad you’re writing poetry, man. It really lifts their spirits in whatever afterlife they inhabit. The rest of us don’t even write them poems. And writing about other blogs? Whoa! That will really lift them up. The best way to take down the American empire is certainly to falsely equate concern about misogyny with disregard for kids killed by sanctions.

While the world is collapsing into a neoliberal or neoconservative hell, only some have the insight, decency, and courage to fight like you do. I mean, damn, you post some trenchant insight in those poems. I just wish the other bloggers showed your heroism.

I think I speak for all seven readers of this site when I say thank you.

Ridiculing substantive criticism with how a political campaign is run has become par for the course with partisans. Attacking my use of poetry is a particularly curious personal attack coming from an English teacher.

The fact of the matter is Hillary Clinton is no progressive, and electing her will absolutely exacerbate the neoliberal hell people are already experiencing in locales like Libya, where the situation is so bad a second war is coming to the land Hillary “protected” 5 years ago as Secretary of State with a humanitarian intervention cheered on by that partisan English teacher, among many others.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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42 Responses to The Partisan Blogosphere

  1. Dan Brooks has another post on this subject worth reading.

  2. Steve W says:

    I hadn’t the foggiest that your ouster was the result specifically of your (I believe) erroneous assumptions about Bernie Sanders isn’t sincere in his obviously reasonable belief that he can beat Hillary and win the general election against the Repos.

    I figured it was just the whole deal of you and JC writing about unapproved subjects and sometimes holding unapproved opinions.

    I await Don’s concern column about Hillary coming off as such an unabashed sexist that even Dems down ticket may be harmed here in the state if she wins the nomination.

  3. Democrats held office for eight years. Now it is the Republicans’ turn. That’s all we need to know – that, and whoever it is, it will not be Trump.

  4. Matthew Koehler says:

    “Attacking my use of poetry is a particularly curious personal attack coming from an English teacher.”

    Literally, Skink, I immediately thought the same thing when I read that comment from Pogreba. Maybe it’s just the (technically) certified English teacher in me that found it weird for an English teacher to make fun of poetry and writing.

    • dpogreba says:

      This is complicated, so read slowly.

      The author of this post accused me of supporting the whatever conspiracy to rule the world he believe in today because I had the temerity to post a criticism of some Sanders supporters, even though I clearly acknowledged in the post that I support Sanders.

      My point about poetry is that just because someone isn’t writing a screed attacking globalism/capitalism/neoliberalism.etc it doesn’t mean they support that agenda.

      This English teacher was using something called irony.

      But, hey, you’ve made it almost a whole three months without attacking me based on my profession over here. I’m really proud of you guys. Now, one might argue that the somewhat obsessive focus this site shows about my site might just be distracting them from the war to bring down global capitalism, but who am I to question the strategists at work here?

      • the Bernie Bro smear campaign isn’t just my fevered conspiracy theory, as evidenced by my use of other sources. if you wanted your claim of what Bernie supporters are doing online to have substance, you could have at least included some evidence of what you claimed, but you didn’t. if you really support the Sanders insurgency against the corrupt DNC, you sure have a funny way of doing it. I will look forward to a post actually supporting the Sanders campaign (have you even written one yet?).

        as for your comments regarding my penchant for sharing poetry, I don’t think irony is the most accurate term to use. sarcasm maybe, mockery definitely. again, I think that is a strange angle of attack for an English teacher to make.

        anyway, I’m glad you still choose to engage with us after claiming 3 years ago you were going to stop. kind of like saying you were stopping comments on your posts. not only did you not do that, you unleashed LK. are you trying to be a politician by saying one thing then doing another? are you getting ready to run for office again? or will your obsession with Ryan Zinke (your white whale) take up most of your spare time? please don’t deny Montana your candidacy. poetry won’t change the world, but maybe a Don Pogreba congressman will.

      • Matthew Koehler says:


        Skink writing: “Attacking my use of poetry is a particularly curious personal attack coming from an English teacher.”

        And my responding: “Literally, Skink, I immediately thought the same thing when I read that comment from Pogreba. Maybe it’s just the (technically) certified English teacher in me that found it weird for an English teacher to make fun of poetry and writing.”

        Hardly equals: “attacking me based on my profession.”

        But whatever really.

  5. Honestly, see what is before your eyes. This English teacher is simply not a very smart man. That’s why I question authorship if the pieces run under his name.

    • is the sun real?

    • Interesting comment … Sometime read about how our major religions including Christianity all originate in sun worship. The first 30 minutes of the 2007 documentary Zeitgeist do a magnificent job laying that out. I first caught hold of that idea in 2010. It is ridiculously obvious once you see it.

      Like so muchelse. Ata age 65 I never imagined that life would be both so interesting and such a joke! And yes, Pogie is fake. It is as plain as the nose on my face.

    • Short answer: Sun is real, Pogie is fake. I have him by the short hairs. He is getting meaner every day. In the not-too-distant future, he will decide that blogging is too stressful, and quit.

      • Don writes both his posts and his obnoxious comments. if you want to claim otherwise, you have a blog where you can make whatever ridiculous claim you want.

      • I stand by my remarks. I have evidence … Different voices, knowing how to read and having read a lot of people doing a lot of writing and all that. You have … .??? … a bold assertion. You just think it must be so. Good for you. OK … Two Pinot Grigs behind me, I will take a shot at this:

        (Some day I have to analyze the bold assertion without evidence. It seems to be the predominate arguing tool on blogs.)

        Here’s me as Eric: “You gotta wonder when you see this stuff. LOL! Hillary has a queen complex. She wants to be king. LOL!”

        Swede: ” ”

        Koehler: “First we must analyze all the details. In 1995 … (one hour later) … “And so the ultimate outcome was predicted, but it is hard to understand why Senator Tester said what he did in 2006. Is he saying things that cannot be substantiated? Why does he not come forward with background data?”

        Kralj: “Possum turds come to life and just starts with the talking. Mini Barfus sees his shadow and pukes! You see, we are not as stupid as they think we are! Jebus Jimminy Criminy!”

        Kailey: “The process eventually leads to an outcome that maximizes the predominate opinion held by members of the electorate. It is not a pretty or predictable process. But it works, gradually. The obstinate idealists who can’t understand the manipulations that go in while we stand abject without certainty of the process is producing good marginal outcomes over time … some people have a hard time with this, process is what matters, and a touchdown on a fumble cannot be predicted but fumbles in general are predictable I’ve done the math … And philosophy … ”

        JC: “I studied that in my freshman year, I got this … Now listen…”

        Pogie post: “The Hanford Observer recently ran a news story claiming that Senator Jon Tester was influenced by outside interests when he voted to give 10,000 acres of public land to an obscure timber mill in New Mexico. But the background suggest that there is a process and some wisdom behind his move. Several environmental groups were part of the extensive process that resulted in this decision, but Republicans, wanting to undermine good public policy, lied about Senator Tester, claiming he was “bought” by a lobbyist. This is a laughable assertion, but one I have come to expect …

        Pogie comment: “Yeah, well, your seventh grade education is not doing you and your three readers any good.”

        Kurtz: “Dems, control the judiciary. Phalagalate the emissary. Yeah baby.”

      • Just having shits and giggles, Kailey. You were wise to quit blogging. It is not your forte.

      • dpogreba says:

        I keep telling you, Mark. It’s John Lennon writing my posts. I don’t know how I can make that more clear. He’s hanging out with Elvis, the real shooters in Dallas, and the “victims” of the false flag shootings from Paris.

        Clearly with your powers of discernment you can see that, right?

    • Or write about football.

  6. steve kelly says:

    “Either way, change will come. It could be bloody, or it could be beautiful. It depends on us.”
    ― Arundhati Roy

    It depends on us.

    Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic. – Anonymous

    • Big Swede says:

      Like the Roy quote, waiting on the slavery/slaughter.

      “Freedom is not empowerment…. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It’s not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the “right” to education, the “right” to health care, the “right” to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.

      There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you…please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.” (P.J. O’Rourke, “The Liberty Manifesto”, May 6, 1993.)

      • Someday we need to explore the meaning of the word “freedom.” I think it has been bowdlerized. Those who imagine they enjoy freedom have anything but.

        True freedom is scary. You have I think your own thoughts.

        • “You have to think your own thoughts.”

        • Big Swede says:

          I was thinking about a new Bernie bumper sticker.

          Give Me Free Stuff or Die.

        • In case you’re wondering, that is a gross mischaracterizarion of the general debate between so-called “free market” types who Are tooling for oligarchs, and false opposition types like Sanders who know the words when pretending to care about ordinary people, but lack the music. Bernie sounds so strident anf choppy when he speaks because it is not coming from his heart. It is coming from rote memorization. God what a way to live! Baucus did it for decades. That’s why he stuttered.

          Politics is far more more deceitful than you know, on every level. It is not a game for amateurs.

        • Oops, long paragraph. Swede trailed off.

  7. steve kelly says:

    Thanks for the FOX update. You say you like freedom. Free your mind from this pollution, Swede. Corporate “free stuff” cannot be topped by government assistance to people who really need it. Never has, never will. Who writes the bills, and who buys the candidates. All you need to know.

  8. no, kurtz, you are not banned. knock yourself out.

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