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The League of Extraordinarily Stupid Gentlemen


In the East, it’s Larry Summers. In the West it’s Kevin Drum, proudly holding up the “Girls Keep Out” sign for on-line political writing. That’s no surprise for anyone who knows The Washington Monthly and its founder Charlie Peters. Peters refused to hire women for years, a fact that – when I called it to his attention last year – Drum didn’t acknowledge last time he hashed over this issue.
CORRECTION:Kevin Drum reminds me that he did cite my comments about The Washington Monthly when we discussed this issue last year. I had sent him a more pointed note than what he posted on his site. He chose to identify the fault as the magazine’s. I pointed to its editor. The links above take you to the note I sent Drum, which I posted here, and to his post describing our correspondence.
This week, Drum thinks there aren’t enough women bloggers because women aren’t comfortable with the “food fight” atmosphere that’s part and parcel of blogging. Girls, as we all know, don’t like to fight.

Does this guy not read enough or what? For a while, I had an entire industry afraid of me and I’m just one cranky broad with a pen.
So Kevin let me give you the treatment. You’re right about one thing. I don’t like food fights. I normally carry a stiletto. It’s very sharp.
You’re boring, Kevin. You’re a boring, self-satisfied white man.
Your site is supposed to provide grist for smart political thought for Democrats and it doesn’t do either very well. It’s not smart as your post about women bloggers proves. And whatever your brain is doing, it’s not thinking. Otherwise you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that women can be as nasty as men.
But let’s not talk about your dime store Larry Summers imitation. Let’s take something neutral. Things we both know and write about.
How about your stance on redistricting here in California? Or on stem cells. I’m taking two local examples not because I’m a local writer – as you once suggested to me with a condescension that I now see is characteristic – but because they’re California stories that have national legs. As someone writing a site based here, it seems to me that you would consider them your bailiwick. I do. That’s why my site isn’t boring.
Redistricting is a national story. It’s part of a coast-to-coast trend. But you didn’t have the smarts to realize that. It’s also a strike at California’s unions. Again, you took a pass. It’s a campaign promise that Schwarzenegger made and one he’s going to work hard to keep. And it’s going to change the Democratic party – your readers – in ways you can’t imagine. Your initial reaction? To say that you couldn’t support the idea because it could throw Democrats out of office. These days you like it but that’s only because you heard Republicans thought it was a bad idea.
You didn’t think. Kevin. You just typed.
You did something similar with stem cells. Since you’re against ballot initiatives, you told your readers you would vote against the idea. The rest of your coverage was namby-pamby back and forth on the science and scientists. What about the politics, Kevin? Again, this is a national story. One with long-term economic consequences for the state and the country. It’s favored by tech folks for exactly that reason and its one that Democrats should be looking at – hard – for the leg up it gives them with that nominally partisan crowd I call Progressive libertarians. But, no, you stuck to your guns.
I get up every morning and beat you with a stick on a host of issues, large and small, Kevin. You’d know this if you read it – which you don’t. Because if you did, you’d have been able to cite my post on Larry Summer’s and political writing ahead of Susan Estrich’s fight with the LATimes. You wouldn’t have made the flatly bone-headed comments you made on this topic because you would have learned something before you started typing.
But you took the easy way out. You looked about the room and sighed: Why there aren’t more women bloggers? Oh why can’t a woman be just like a man?
So here’s the challenge: Ever thought about engaging in a little back and forth with some – any — of the women in your most recent post? Try it. Pick an argument once a week with a woman writer. Boost her traffic, get her noticed. Break out of the boys club and talk to someone besides Anna Marie Cox who is a gifted and smart writer but not exactly adding to the quality of our political discourse.
You’re a political animal, Kevin? More like a lazy house cat.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 2:05 PM | Permalink

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