The House You Built

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.


6 thoughts on “The House You Built

  1. A., y’all are good, damned good. Thanks for the reminder of Pajamas Media being paid millions to spew out crap. The difference is y’all are smart; you do your homework, and you have mostly smart commenters – except for the trolls. Thanks to all of you again for your hard work. If I had millions to give you, I’d do it.

  2. I had the same thought recently when some nameless radio shouter was going on about how Cindy Sheehan took money from someone on the left! (As if the 100’s of think tank war supporters Don’t take money from the right. “Did War Hawk. Who is paying your salary?”
    The wingnuts get money not because they are good, but because they are ideologically pure. And, as someone noted the other day, when they support something there is usually a pay off for some big corporation behind it. The good of the people? Pfft.
    If I was a corporation funding them I would care less of their accuracy than about ‘did they get my message across?” It’s the difference between advertising and editorial. You want to have someone or some ad say EXACTLY what you want? You pay for it. You want a pundit to say what you want? You pay him.
    Then when you can’t totally subvert the media you buy your own.
    “Hmmm, what can be used to influence people? Radio? TV? I’m buy me some of those. Now people see that maybe those bloggers can be inferential? Then they buy them.

  3. Oh boy do I need a nap! By inferential I meant influential (although I’m sure there are several bloggers who are inferential!) And by “Did War Hawk” I meant “Dear War Hawk.” Good thing I’m not getting paid!

  4. Unlike some folks, I’m slow on the internets. To do half of what you guys and gals and critters do, I’d have to quit my work and blog full time. But alas, the taxman and the cable man and the foodstores, especially the foodstores, won’t take blog postings as payment, so i gotta work.
    But there has got to be ways to make it happen, to where we own our own servers, and people come to us for ideas and advice and expertise and management and leadership.
    Scout and some others could put together a plan for helping to rebuild New Orleans, blog about it while in progress, it would be a sort of live blogging reconstruction workshop, resources from willing volunteers and organizations could be organized, funding proposals laid out, contracts written, permits researched, rights of way, EIR’s worked on, Congress lobbied, and so on, if we had the right business model and backup, the proper amount of professionalism and patriotism and passion to get some things done that need doing.
    Of course, that’s what we’re doing with this election, right?
    But it would be nice if they came to us, instead of us knocking doors down with that beat up old chair of Athenae’s.

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