Teach the Controversy

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The overall ThinkProgress bossman Faiz Shakir has a post over at the main ThinkProgress blog addressing the Third Way controversy that I think everyone interested in this subject should read.

And since it’s a slow news day, a lot of people seem interested so I thought I should write something myself to address this. So here goes:

I wish the guest post from Jennifer Palmieri that I put up Sunday evening had been handled differently in a variety of ways since just sticking it on the blog and then going to bed seems to have given people a lot of misleading notions about the site being somehow “hijacked.” But when you get right down to it, all she was doing was reiterating what’s always been the case — I’m posting un-screened posts on an un-edited blog and covering every issue under the sun. Under the circumstances, it’s better for me, better for CAP and CAPAF, and better for everyone to understand that I’m writing as an individual not as the voice of the institution. Pointing that fact out isn’t contrary to me having an independent voice, it’s integral to having one. Nobody has deleted my post criticizing Third Way, or forced me to retract those criticisms, or prevented me from following up with a more substantive critique of something they wrote. And most of all, contrary to some of the crazier stuff I’ve read in comments, it’s not as if the senior management is leaning over my shoulder censoring every posts. For one thing, if someone was leaning over my shoulder there wouldn’t be all these typos. More seriously, the whole point of clarifying that things I write don’t automatically become “official” CAP/AF positions is that nobody is leaning over my shoulder. I’m not getting the stuff pre-approved or pre-screened by anyone, so sometimes I say stuff that other people here wouldn’t say. That’s the nature of a large organization, and especially of a large organization where different people have different roles. My role is to say what I think on the blog; that’s what I’ve always done and will keep doing.