Some of you may have read a diary on Daily Kos entitled “Steve Filson and the question every Democrat needs to answer” on January 8. It was a superficial piece attacking Jerry McNerney full of all sorts of strawmen about the campaign. And the author, these5janks, simply refused to back up his assertions with anything of substance. But don’t bother looking for it now. The diary has been deleted. Which makes sense because the author is Steve Filson’s new Finance Director Colin Bishopp.
Now the entire diary started its life as a comment on another diary, and therefore it has been preserved for posterity. In fact, the comment included one telling sentence that was omitted in the diary. Since it started as a comment, I think it’s fair enough to post it here (the sentence in italics is the one omitted from the diary).
Pombo is done. The guy is ripe for a beating and we've got to give it to him. The guy to do it is Steve Filson. Both Pelosi and Tauscher support him and are working to transform him into a powerhouse. So what if he hasn't yet figured out how to navigate the blogosphere? So what if he's not a proficient Kos-poster? He will be soon.
We all know this race is critical. We need to back a candidate who can win in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and San Joaquin County. That candidate is Steve Filson. We all need to understand that this isn't about who has the "right" to run or which candidate "deserves" the party nomination. This is about winning. The fact is Jerry McNerney cannot win. He is a dedicated and quality human being who simply cannot win votes in San Joaquin county [sic]. Steve Filson can and will. Indeed, I am so sure that he will I am moving out from Chicago so that I can be there to help him.
This McNerney/Filson noise is the typical Democratic Party bull. Everyone's logging
on to their blog to whine about this or that and wants the world to recognize how perverse and unjust it is that centrist Democrats "neglect" the party's base principles. The Republicans figured out a long time ago that winning is what matters. We need to stop talking about how good a guy Jerry McNerney is and start talking about winning.
In every corner of the country, dedicated, life-long Democrats are going to have to accept that in order to take back the House and Senate, they will have to step aside. This will hurt, but it's the truth. We need to rally behind the best candidate in every race even if it means that a good guy has to take the back seat. I'm sorry Jerry. You're a good guy but you're not the best candidate. Steve Filson isn't a perfect candidate, but he, too, is also a good guy. He's also a life-long Democrat and a quality human being. But what is critical is that he can win. Pelosi and Taucher [sic] obviously think so and so do I. And I'm willing to spend the next eleven months
of my life doing everything I can to see that he does.
I have just one question for the Kos community: What's more important, patting McNerney on the back for running an uphill campaign two years ago or beating Richard Pombo? Democrats all over the country need to start asking themselves this question and they need to start now. And they better come up with the right answer soon, or the Republicans will continue to run things around here for a very long time.
The reason I bring this up is two-fold. First of all, this is pretty typical of Filson’s outreach to the netroots. You get people attacking McNerney and failing to engage in a substantive discussion about Filson, all while hiding behind their aliases. To be clear, people are allowed to have their beliefs and they are allowed to express them anonymously or pseudonymously. But I think it is outrageous that all of this effort is spent criticizing McNerney and criticizing other bloggers instead of actually putting forth substantive arguments for Filson. In any event, this diary is more egregious because it was written by one of Filson’s top people. And yet when asked about his connection to Filson, Colin Bishopp dissembled.
Note, when the diary was deleted, the comments to the diary were deleted as well. But I have a hard copy of the diary and a lot of the comments.
A member of Daily Kos using the name Wu Ming responded to both the comment and to the diary itself. Wu Ming was suspicious of the tone of the diary and Bishopp’s unwillingness to address certain substantive issues about Steve Filson. This prompted Wu Ming to ask, “How much are you being paid? Or are you coming from Chicago to volunteer?”
These5janks responded (emphasis mine):
Wu Ming: I came to Chicago for grad school and am coming back to California
because it is home. No one is paying me anything. I will walk precincts and make phone calls for Steve Filson for nothing. If I can do more, I will. But I plan
to help other Democrats too. I just happens that I hate Richard Pombo and I want
to contribute to his defeat in any way I can. I’m young and not tied-down so I
can afford to move around and start from scratch.
The clear implication is that he is going to volunteer for Filson, not that he’s moving back to California to join Steve Filson’s staff.
I, for one, find this type of diary really unhelpful. And I’m not the only one. In case you think that I’m the only one who thinks this diary was out of line, I’ll refer you to a couple of comments.
RonK Seattle wrote: “Better diary if you told us something about Filson. Anything. Just sayin’.”
Elwood Dowd wrote:
Please note. I follow politics reasonably closely. I hadn’t heard of Filson or
McNerney until this post.
Thanks to you, my first impression of Filson is: this guy is running a negative campaign against another Democrat, and is touting his endorsements.
With friends like you…
Diary No [sic] helpful.
I live near CA-11 and plan to contribute time and money to whichever candidate wins the primary. At present, I am listening to both democrats and seeing is there is a reason to support one over the other.
Your diary gives us nothing. I suggest that you tell us about Filson’s background (navy pilot, United pilot, active with the United union) and tell us where he stands on some important issues. We may also enjoy hearing a few facts about Pombo while you are at it.
In any event, it’s completely consistent with the level of behavior I expect from Steve Filson’s team. There is a lot of unscrupulous stuff happing and I cannot discuss most of it. But it’s maddening to see it.