Today’s the final day of our fundraising drive. Thank you to everyone who’sdonated this week. You’ve helped out with our hosting costs, and made sure Scout can get down to New Orleans again, and given us a bit of a safety net if our hardware goes kablooie. That’s incredible, and it means so much to me and to all of us that you value what we do here.
I’ve tried to make sure everyone who donated through Paypal got a note acknowledging their contribution, but if I missed you, please know your support is greatly appreciated, as are those of you who used the snail-mail address. Also appreciated are those who couldn’t donate but took the time to send us notes telling us what this place has meant to them. When we started this blog I don’t think any of us imagined it would become such a wonderfully generous community of whip-smart people, and I for one am very proud of what it is today.
When we started this week I wanted to write something about the concept of thewingnut welfare state, the bizarre network of magazines and publishers seemingly set up to give even minor right-wing pundits pay for spewing their hatred. I can think of no other explanation for why thissquirrel nut has a book out.
There’s been a whole thing going on over at Kos about incumbments giving to insurgent candidates, around the idea that if you’re doing fine, and your opponent is a mouth-breathing idiot boy, you should give some of your six zillion dollars to those who are doing less well but still fighting it. Which is kind of how I feel about the whole political money train anyway. Why give your money to The New Republic? They don’t need it. Why pay for Victor Davis Hanson’s insanity? Meanwhile blogs, good blogs, rely on our readers to support us when, as somebody said during the New York confab last weekend, we really ought to be able to go into somebody’s office and come out with a sack of cash. Without the angry online left there wouldn’t be an invigorated Democratic party, but while the conservatives nurture and fund their base, we fend for ourselves.
This stuff is hard, and in a lot of ways it should be hard. I know it’s easy to talk about the virtues of the struggle when you’re struggling a little less, but look at the shallowness of the commentary on the right. The reason they’re not better is that they don’t have to fight for it. Seven million dollars for Pajamaline Media? They make cracks about Soros delivering crates of money to Kos’s house but it’s nothing but projection. It’s like the crack about Bush being born on third base; they’re the party of bootstraps and personal responsibility and toughness, and instead they’ve had unprecedented support just handed to them, yet all they can manage to do with it is suck up to authority and call it patriotism.
This stuff is hard, but when we get something done, we know what we did. The trolls came calling after the Paul Hackett loss, after Kerry, after the torture bill, acting like we should be ashamed of ourselves for fighting the fight. I wasn’t ashamed of one single thing I did in those election cycles (except for buying the dancing shoes in advance, that wasstupid) win or lose. I did what I had to do, and said what I had to say, and so did you, and that’s all we can be responsible for. And after the Lamont primary, everybody partying knew they had a hand in doing what had just been done. When you work for something, you value it when you get it.
We value this medium because we built it, we fought for it, we live with it and it feeds our political need and brings us together. The disparity between this little reality-based, people-powered place and the massive Wingnut Wal-Mart of lookalike sites with soundalike people couldn’t be more stark, and I’m so happy to be living here instead of there, with you instead of them.
Thank you for everything you’ve done.