Monday, August 31, 2009

Divided we fall.

There's been a dust up over at 43rd State Blues. It started here with a post by Sisyphus, but got nasty when Binkyboy levied a personal insult against Julie Fanslow. Some soul searching by one of the site's owners here, and a long discussion of 43rd's philosophy and a bit of navel gazing here. TVA wrote in a comment that he was done with 43rd State Blues. TUBOB likened the controversy to a tempest in a teapot. Worth a read.

Also, when viewed from a bit of distance (I tumbled onto the dispute a bit late, having been decisively engaged for the last week) it reveals something about Minnick and Idaho blue politics. And that is, his DINOness is causing a schism on the left.

There are two camps. One is, as long as he's got a D by his name, I'll support him. The other is, I voted for him because I wanted to elect a Democrat.

The first camp says, Walt's not really doing any harm by voting R so often. Dems in Congress have sufficient adequate majorities so they don't need his vote. Also, they argue, being a D means he has access that he can use to help his Idaho constituents. Finally, having him there means Idahoans get exposed to a conservadem, will see that a person can be a D and still be conservative, and perhaps be more willing to give other Ds a chance.

The second camp says, yes, Walt is conservative, we knew that, but he's going too far. He's to the right of Bill Sali, fer cryin' out loud. He's a darling of the Club for Growth, and he's the most conservative member of the Northwest delegation, even counting Republicans. Most damning, he's not supporting the signature issue of the moment, one he said he'd support; health care reform. He's a Johnny One Note, viewing everything narrowly through the lens of federal spending.

Well, there it is. Two camps. Walt has succeeded in doing something that lately the Republicans haven't been able to do; he's divided Idaho Democrats.


fortboise said...

FWIW, I unhuffed shortly after I huffed, but if BB were still there cursing up a blue streak (so to speak), I'd stay huffed.

Your point about the schism thing is true enough, but not exactly news. Dems have a big enough tent that we've always had to deal with more contention than Rs, it seems to me. We argue about whether our rules provide for sufficient inclusiveness and balance for goodness sakes. The Republicans do not spend energy on that sort of thing.

I saw a comment somewhere recently about how Democrats aren't self-critical. Fortunately, I wasn't drinking anything, because it would've been spew city.

I live in CD-02, as fate and gerrymandering would have it, and I've used that fact as an excuse to say less than I think about Minnick's work. Just as an existence proof that it's possible to be a Democrat and circumspect.

Suffice it to say that I lean quite a bit more liberal than Walt does.

ericn1300 said...

BinkyBoy has long been a flame thrower over at 43sb. As an independent who is most like Joel's over at The Stupid Shall Be Punished description of himself, “Politically, I'm a moderate realist. In Idaho, that makes me a Democrat.”, I used to frequent the 43sb site until I got banned for responding with an admonishment to one of BinkyBoy's rants. It was very strange, I've never been banned from any other site and in my response I was cordial and even agreed with some of what he had to say and just asked him to tone down the name calling. The only time I go over there now is if I find a link to one of Sisyphus' posts elsewhere.

Serephin said...

ericn1300 --

After reading your note, I checked your account at 43SB. It shows your account is active, you've been an active member for 2 years and 21 weeks, and your last login was 26 weeks and 5 days ago.

You may have had a dust-up with Bink in the past, but you have never been banned from our site. The only people who can activate or de-activate an account is me or D2, and yours has never been touched since it was activated over two years ago.

As far as I can recall, we've only de-activated the accounts of 3 people in the over five years we've been on the 'net, and you weren't any of them.

ericn1300 said...

Those dates seem right Serephin, and true I can still login to you website but my posts are blocked and never appear. We really don't need to get into it here, contact me at

Alan, I really don't want to get into a pissing match here with Serephin but you really need to get a “contact me” link on your web site so we could take this private without the postings.

Alan said...

Ericn, can you tell me more about the "contact me" link? Other than the one I have to contact me on the main blog page, I'm not sure what you're referring to or how to do it.

If you prefer, you can email to

ericn1300 said...

Ok, sorry I found it this time under "send fan mail to".

Sisyphus said...

Hey Alan. I've been out of commission and just saw this. I appreciate the write up and your riff on what happened. While I think you're mostly accurate, it may be simplistic. I certainly count myself among those that eschew and discourage divisions among Democrats. I've been supportive and even defensive of Walt, in part, as a result of it. But he has to pick at least one issue to champion for important the majority of the people that elected him. IMO, health care would be ideal. He could sell it cause it would especially help that district, particularly to the small businesses he purports to represent. I've directed my comments accordingly and yes, I have been critical of his pandering to the wrong people. But mostly I wanna change his mind on the issue, not unseat him. His rigid ideological stance is immensely frustrating though and makes it difficult to maintain the level of support I've had for him.

Eric, I'll take those words as a compiment. Of course, you may just be coming to flame me. ;-) I always enjoy our discussions.