Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Sorry Miz Jane Hamsher. No.

(This diary was posted first to Daily Kos, and I am including it here as it unfolded with updates and an addenda)

It has come to my attention, that somehow a filmmaker and blogger named Jane Hamsher, who seems to be the new leader (appointed by whom I don’t know) of a portion of “left progressives” has proposed a new political alliance with Teabaggers.  

While idly skimming comments today in a diary here on DKos, this factoid happened to catch my eye.  The reference was to recent statements she has made on the Huffington Post, a place I rarely visit, unless it is to follow a link posted here.

I realize that this person has her own blog.  Found that out during the health care debates around here. Never been there.

Curious I went over to HuffPo, to read what this woman had to say, barely able to imagine that anyone in their right mind who calls themselves a “leftist” or a “progressive” or a “feminist” would countenance an un-holy alliance with a rabble of racists, reactionaries and anti-abortionists.

Sure enough.  There it was.   I read on.  Even more amazed, I read the comments section (though they are not as easy to read as the ones here on Kos).

They ranged from outright adulation, to calls from teabaggers for a Palin- Hamsher ticket to defeat Barack Obama.

Oh. my. word.

I examined my coffecup – took a sniff, suspicious that perhaps my cat had dropped something into it.  I must be delusional.

Since I know nothing about her at all…and had no idea that she was my “new leader” and “spokesperson” for leftists and feminists I did what we all do and headed over to wiki to find out some more about her political credentials to lead a movement from the left.

Hmmm.  Nada. Zilch.  No organizing experience, no electoral experience (that’s okay, though cause my leadership in the past like Mrs Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm and Martin didn’t have any electoral experience either).

She produced a film.  My.  I don’t go to movies much so pardon my ignorance.  She wrote a book about it.  She got a blog.  She is now on tv regularly as a leader of the “health care reform” movement. A pundit. Saw her on Kos tv.  


Curious I read on to find out just what are her feminist credentials?

She writes a blog.  She is on tv. She is adoringly admired.

The google is good.  I found her critique of Carolyn Kennedy, a woman I admire for her quiet work here in NY vis a vis inner city education.

She said of Caroline:

It seems Caroline Kennedy has decided she’d rather have a US Senate seat than a pony for Christmas[…] Really? She’s “making calls this morning to alert political figures to her interest?” I guess it was either that or get her nails done.

Nice, real sisterly solidarity.

I googled on and found lots of references to her, on black blogs, and a few here on daily kos, from a while back. They weren’t very flattering.  ‘Cause this seems to be the same woman whose photo of Joe Lieberman in blackface ignited a fire storm in my community.  We don’t take kindly to blackface.

This photo.


It was removed from Huffpo.

She later issued a non-apology apology.  I love those.

I sincerely apologize to anyone who was genuinely offended by the choice of images accompanying my blog post today on the Huffington Post.  It’s also important to note that I do not, nor have I ever worked for Ned Lamont’s campaign.  However, at their request, I removed the image earlier today.

Someone had to request she remove it.  What the heck (I’m restraining my self here in language usage) did she put it up for in the first place?

Let me note here I have no love or respect for Joe Republican Lieberman.  I do love my folks though.  As I said – we don’t take kindly to blackface.

So let’s go back to this coalition with teabaggers.  

Folks who walk around with signs and posters like these:





Now before y’all get in a snit.  Miz Jane didn’t carry these signs. She just wants us to form a coalition, to primary Barack Obama with the people who did.

Seems like there are some folks here who are okay with this.

Y’all go right ahead.  But if that’s where you are headed, you need to check your coffee cups.  

I’ll say this to her. Perhaps she reads here.  

You are not my leader Miz Jane.  In my book you are not a feminist. My Feminism allows for no alliances with racists. I come from the Lucy Stone, Sojourner Truth lineage of feminism.  You want to lie down with the devil…go right ahead Miz Jane.  Have fun in your run for the Presidency, or whatever.  

I have nothing else to say but No.

(Still think my cat dropped something in my coffee).

I am really curious…how many of y’all are down with this?

UPDATE. Well seems like some folks did a “run and tell that” to Miz Hamsher, to quote my sister Robinswing (from Black Kos).

She has responded proudly (of course no mention of the blackface or sexist remarks)

I’m not afraid to join cause with the libertarians if they’re right about something, as I wrote the other day – new and interesting alliances are the lifeblood of change.  We have a difference of opinion over what we think the role of government should be, but I think they’re coming from an honest position.

I refuse to put a link to drive traffic to her site. Google it – or look in the comments section.

My response to her: Bob Barr is no friend to my community, and won’t be one to this one. You lay down in bed with dogs you get up with fleas, as my grandma always said.


Just in case you are wondering who else she is “coalitioning” with:

The left-right coalition sent a letter to members of the Senate today includes Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage, Americans for Taxpayer Reform president Grover Norquist, FireDogLake blogger Jane Hamsher, Eagle Forum president Phyllis Schlafly Campaign for Liberty president John Tate and Center for Economic and Policy Research president Dean Baker.

I wouldn’t sit in the same room with Phyllis Schlafly. Seems I
remember her leading the charge against the ERA, among other wing-nut positions.

Strange bedfellows.


I rarely find myself in agreement with conservative columnists, but a commenter to the original diary raised the issue of Hadassah Lieberman and that led me to Kathleen Parker’s piece.  It needs to be read.  



  1. after it was mentioned here. Quite an interesting comment thread, although I didn’t read anywhere near all of them.

    We’ve had people on this site talking about Hamsher. I have argued that she is a marginal player in politics. I’m sure she would like to have more influence and it appears the media is willing to enable her. However, I agree with what you say in the diary. She has no background in politics. She’s a johnny-come-lately. I don’t understand what all of the fuss is about?

    BTW Denise, How familiar are you with Cuba? I’m working on a diary about U.S. relations with Cuba and where they might go from here. I’m still in the research phase. Any input would be appreciated.  

  2. I tried to read most the comments on Kos, and follow the Tim Russo diary that followed. It seems he and several other state and nationwide bloggers feel taken for a ride by FDL and Hamsher. They were fighting for a public option, but not “kill the bill” and certainly her call for an alliance with teabaggers (subsequently backpedalled to libertarians) and her alliance with Freedomworks shows the limitations of oppositionist thinking.

    What it seems to me, from this distance and slightly ill informed perch, is that a lot of people are vying for prominence in the liberal blogosphere. The tools are partly purity tests, but old fashioned media exposure always helps, and the more extreme voices seem to get more airtime and traction.

    From my experiences with Jerome, and to a certain extent with Huffington, visibility, status, a ruthless cohort of vociferous supporters, and a keen eye for the publicity stunt seem to be the stock in trade of these battles for liberal commanding heights. In many ways, the left blogosphere suffers from the same kind of desire for extremity and outrage – albeit on different issues – as Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, or to a certain extent Palin.

    It’s weird to see democrats jumping on this fissiparous competing bandwagons; but hell, it’s human nature, and there’s a world of influence, high paid consultancies and media appearances to play for.

    I also checked out that arsehole’s diary you suggested that you might be shill, merely because you disagreed with the obstructionist left. The net effect of it of course was only to reinforce all the great work you’ve done over the years, so more good than harm done there.

  3. sricki

    Glad you crossposted here. I haven’t been on dKos as much lately. Where once I found the incessant Obama adulation oppressive as a Hillary supporter, I now find the prolific Obama bashing to be rather nauseating.

    I was okay with Hamsher until this. I was not overly upset about people screaming, “Kill the bill!” I disagree, but I understand the sentiment — a lot of people are disappointed, and sometimes it takes awhile to overcome disappointment. But for Hamsher to be allying herself with teabaggers… if they are “libertarians,” they are such in the vein of my father — a self-identified conservative who left the Republican party because it wasn’t conservative enough, and who fancies himself a “libertarian” because he thinks drugs should be legal to facilitate natural selection and believes the death penalty should be outlawed because it’s “too good” for criminals. Worse, true teabaggers are racist filth — human detritus clogging the pores of an otherwise great nation.

    Truly, Hamsher is bedding the devil.  

  4. HappyinVT

    I just don’t get why she’s treated like some kind of expert.  I’ve seen her on Rachel’s show and the only qualification ever listed is owner of FDL.  Some of the folks she’s paying to blog may have some relevant experience but so do lots of other people with different opinions.  I laugh when I see people wait with bated breath for one diarist to offer her opinion like she’s some healthcare expert; she’s a former House staffer.

    To be truthful that whole group started to lose me with their Rahm derangement syndrome and copy/paste diaries but  completely lost me when one wrote that Rahm was going to torture progressives back in the summer of HCR.  

    The goal of Hamsher and her fans might be noble but their methods and rhetoric leave much to be desired.

    Kudos, Denise, for not backing down.

  5. louisprandtl

    about public option. I don’t see any reason to regret it. They are activists (and gimme a break about paid bloggers, they were being paid $400 a week) and they are supposed to be screaming for their cause. At least in the blogworld, they took lot of heat for leading the public option fight. Sometimes their strategies were over the top, but then the Congressmen were deluged with powerful lobbyists from pharmaceutical, insurance and medical industry. Compared to the hundreds of millions that private industry was spending, the $400 seems peanuts. BTW we don’t even know which bloggers are actually paid by the insurance industry or actually work for the insurance industry.

    I found White House’s commitment to public option weak. But then I’m not sitting in the President’s desk and making a decision that needs help from pharmaceutical, insurance, AMA, AARP, and gazillion interest groups to prod Congress to pass something meaningful.

    I do not agree with Jane Hamsher on trying to kill the bill. I think that’s foolhardy. Senator Kennedy regretted everyday that he didn’t take Nixon’s deal. You take what you can get and then work for more. It is more foolish to join hands with teabaggers. And I’ve very little patience for those idiots who called Deoliver a troll.

  6. creamer

     I’ve mentioned before the pull that ego and money must have on the more exposed blog and media celebs. Hamsher has recieved exposure on Maddow and Huffington Post who need if not extreme at least headline catching stories to stay relevant and viable to advertisers and their money. Markos has become a lefty media darling, and while he had the ability and foresight to make DKOS a viable business, his views on healthcare or any number of subjects deserve no more weight than many of the posters here. But Oberman and others treat him as some kind of prophet.

    Today on my drive home I listen to Ed Schultz guest host rant about Obama being a weak nonvisionary President. I turned it off. Obama has never been as far to the left as some want him to be, so I have to wonder how much of the discourse is being driven off camera,mike or keyboard by managers and agents with a marketing plan.  

  7. DeniseVelez

    I didn’t know there was a whole diary calling me a shill.

    I though you were talking about this one at Kos.

    Someone just emailed me.  Yikes.  I’m a shill because of my UID?

  8. what to make of it.

    have people gone bat-shit crazy? coalitions with racist fuckknobs who challenge the president’s place of birth???? is it political immaturity or plain insanity?

    the thing that makes it even stranger for me is that i really wasn’t the biggest obama fan until he took office – but the vitriol, racism, sexism, anti-semitism and other left attacks on a variety of politicians and others are absurd and demonstrate that some people in our community aren’t quite as progressive as they claim to be.

  9. creamer

    Quit going to dkos after the election, have really only visited some of the “progressive” sites. Last night and this morning I took some time to follow some of the links posted here. I cannot imagine why somone would openly admit to being part of one of theese “progressive” communities. This is what dysfunction looks like. I think they should be required to list the medications their on.

    For a lot of these people I don’t think its ever been about anything but them. The ranting and us against them nature of the dicourse is destructive. You want to show a moderate republican why he doesn’t like progressives, send him/her to dkos.

    This isn’t a movement its a fucking train wreck. Hey Markos, do you look down and say” what have I wrought?”  

  10. HappyinVT

    Tea Party activist David McKalip, who sent out the now-famous picture of Obama as a witch doctor, is now reaching out to the very progressives who sent him hate mail, calling on them to unite in a left-right coalition to “Stop the Final Corporate Takeover of Medicine.”

    In what he describes as “a call to action from an unlikely ally,” McKalip, the Florida neurosurgeon who recently appeared as an anti-reform expert on Glen Beck’s show, tells progressives to call their House representatives and “tell them ‘No to the Senate Bill!'”

    “Last July many of you emailed me to express your anger over an email I forwarded on that was offensive. … Clearly you take action when the time is right and you follow the debate closely,” he writes. “I kept your email addresses because I identify with fighters like you and I know that you are likely as worried as I am about insurance companies being in charge of your medical care and our health care system.” (Read the full e-mail here.)


    He’s the one who sent the last image in the diary around.  Hmmm, maybe Denise ain’t so wrong after all.

  11. HappyinVT



    “I have NO DOUBT that Obama’s lack of experience and poor negotiating skills led to this horrible weather on the east coast this week.”

    Ya got that right. Jane Hamsher’s got a “Kill the Weather” petition up right now at FDL. Don’t miss her on Fox News tonight doing kissy-kissy with George Will on climate change denial.

    I heart Balloon Juice.

  12. DeniseVelez


    Someone please please diary this – I am laughing too hard.

    And they called me crazy?


  13. HappyinVT

    Sorry Miz Jane Hamsher. No.

    will be the White House’s response to a plea from Jane and Grover Norquist.

    We believe there is an abundant public record which establishes that the actions of the White House have blocked any investigation into his activities while on the board of Freddie Mac from 2000-2001, and facilitated the cover up of potentially malfeasance until the 10-year statute of limitations has run out. …

    We both come from differing political ideologies. One of us is the conservative head of a transparency foundation, and the other is the publisher of a liberal political blog. But we make common cause today out of grave concern for the future of our country in the wake of corruption-riddled bailouts. These bailouts continue to rob Main Street to benefit Wall Street, and, because of that, we together demand the resignation of Mr. Emanuel, a man who has steadfastly worked to obstruct both oversight and inquiry into the matter. Rahm Emanuel’s conflicts of interest render him far too compromised to serve as gatekeeper to the President of the United States.

  14. HappyinVT

    You are either one brave woman or a glutton for punishment.  Or both.  But I don’t think your tip jar was hr’d this time.  (Of course, other than budhyharma or whatever his name is the FDL flamethrowers stayed away.)

  15. rfahey22

    She seems to have had a vendetta against Rahm for quite a while now, and I have to believe that it is coloring her judgment.  Even if he were involved in some malfeasance 10 years ago (and unless I’m missing something, there is no real evidence that that is the case), it’s another question entirely whether government resources should be tied down investigating this.  I get the sense that maybe Hamsher doesn’t understand that people have to pick their battles and do so with an understanding of the likely consequences of their actions.  Bogging the administration down in another Rezko- or birther-type conspiracy does not help anyone.

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