Loss Of Control

One door closes, another opens.

After about a year of doing political blogging at my friend Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog, Bob and I have agreed to end that arrangement. And today, I began blogging about politics at my friend Tommy Christopher’s Blog Daily Dose. My first piece is posted there now, about health care reform.

That’s the formal announcement and I could leave it at that – but that’s an emotional element to the whole thing, too.

Like a marriage that drags on, the blogging relationship with Bob and I should have probably ended a couple of months ago. Bob and I are both passionate advocates for health care reform but around the time it was revealed that the Obama administration had cut a deal with PhRMA a pretty major rift occurred between Bob and I.

Without getting into the wonky political details here, I was very unhappy about that deal and what I saw as the consequences of it. Bob actually thought the deal was good, smart politics and also took the Obama administration at their word that there was never a deal to begin with.

That rift was really echoed in the larger progressive blogosphere – some liberals are unhappy with President Obama’s performance on health care reform and some aren’t. I thought that this difference between Bob and I was symptomatic of that.

Bob took my disagreement a lot more personally. He felt (and still feels) very strongly about his position and didn’t much like me arguing against him on the blog that bears his own name. So there was a lot of heated discussion in public and private.

That’s when I should have left. Since August, I’ve been unable to write about health care reform with the worry of a huge blowup with Bob. And the hell of it is – Bob and I like each other. We’re friends and we agree about this issue, just not President Obama.

But I’m not faulting Bob. I should have left because I ended up censoring myself. I’ve written almost nothing about health care reform (except on Twitter) and done almost no heath care videos since August. I just lost interest.

Writing the piece for Daily Dose was the first time I’ve felt really free to write about health care in months. I can’t explain the feeling of freedom of not censoring myself; of not being worried that I was going to get in trouble for writing what I think.


  1. Well, as hard as it may have been, I must say it’s refreshing to see people behaving in a civilized manner, even if it involves self-censorship. It’s regrettably uncommon for people to handle disagreements in such a thoughtful and adult manner, since doing otherwise tends to result in huge surges of Schadenfreudian popularity/pageviews.

    So I feel the need to thank you for this, because even though you were censoring yourself, you were still doing the right thing. It could have been a big batch of bitchy controversy, but instead it was polite and respectful.

  2. If you participate at community Blogs or are a moderator at any of them, there is always a certain degree of self-censorship. I have my own Blog where I can and will post whatever I want. At some community Blogs I participate at (Like dKos and My Left Nutmeg) I tend to self-censor taking into consideration that they are allies in most of my fights BUT they are Democratic party oriented (“More and Better Democrats”) and I am not. I am just an unaffiliated liberal here.

    At ePluribus Media, where I am one among several moderators, my party affiliation is not so much an issue but they do have their own different standards that I find less inhibiting except when I really want to “fuckin’ rant” about something. I don’t necessarily not post a rant there, but it probably won’t go to the front page.

    I also cross-post some of my healthcare material to Corrente. Since I was about as anti-Hillary as they were anti-Obama during the primaries it leaves some areas that I try not to step in. It is a minor issue compared to solving healthcare that both their more regulars and myself recognize is not worth butting heads over when we need all the allies we can get for Single Payer. Anoither one of the differences is that I have always been more open to the possibility of a strong public option solution. There is currently no strong public option in all of Congress. At least, nothing that even remotely resembles the original Hacker proposal that would be needed.

    Self censoring will almost always be an issue when it comes to participation at any group Blog. It all comes down to whether or not you are OK with what you have to self-censor while still being, in your own mind, effective and/or true to yourself.

    Just my two cents…


Leave a Reply