Jane the Hamsher is one of the cool kids, I realize; her front page status at Arianna’s place helps maintain her illusion of intellect and relevance. Yet she wouldn’t recognize progress if it smacked her in the face, and so far has achieved nothing resembling progress on any front. Indeed, I have been waiting for someone to tell me what this woman’s “progressive” credentials are.
She is first and foremost a self-aggrandizing publicity whore whose Accountability Now PAC has so far given $0 to progressive candidates in the first two years of its existence while spending $285,272. If she ran a non-profit this way, it would get shut down. As things stand, the PAC (which also counts Kos and Glenn Greenwald as operators) has only made noise.
Accountability Now PAC started in the wake of Greenwald’s Salon eruption over Democrats voting for FISA telecom immunity. In what he aptly described as a “strange bedfellows” campaign, the PAC’s foundation came in the heady days of Ron Paul triangulation and was always aimed at attacking Democrats from the left.
This was reflected in her media appearances. Hamsher’s kill-the-bill madness included an appearance on FOX News just months after her own call to boycott the network. She later returned to that channel spouting nonsense about cap-and-trade. Her recent appearances on Lawrence O’Donnell leave me convinced progress is not her purpose.
Jane has a troubling problem with transparency and truthfulness. Her web ad company took money from BP while Hamsher simultaneously attacked the Sierra Club for doing the same. The numbers for Accountability Now complete the picture: Jane Hamsher is a for-profit fringe phenomenon.
Accountability Now PAC began with $15,841 from BreakTheMatrix, a Ron Paul organization — meaning the money trail leads to the same libertarianism that spawned the tea party. In fact, Accountability Now PAC has only ever cut one check — to Republican representative Paul Ryan, about whom one can read at the conservative American Spectator:
Those who accept the idea that entitlement reform is the third rail of American politics should have to grapple with the rise of Rep. Paul Ryan.
In the past year, Ryan has drawn a lot of heat for his ambitious plan to confront our nation’s looming entitlement crisis. Democrats from President Obama on down have eviscerated his “Roadmap for America’s Future,” arguing it would destroy Social Security and gut Medicare.
Nor does she pull the Overton Window left. Instead, she has become a divisive force within the Democratic coalition. Her ire is reserved only for Democrats at the center — and with the coordinated triangulation of such people as Grover Norquist, who wants to drown the government in a bathtub. She seems to get along with fringe right wingers very well; she endorsed Erick Erickson upon his hiring by CNN, calling him an “honest broker.”
There is nothing “left” left about Hamsher. She is known as a firebagger, after the name of her website. But in Nixon’s time, she would have been called a ratfucker.
H/t to Thurman Williams
UPDATE: Turns out the Accountability Now PAC contribution wasn’t made to Paul Ryan but Ryan Bucchianeri (you can see his one and only $5000 PAC contribution listed here). Bucchianeri went on to lose badly to an establishment Democratic candidate in the contest for John Murtha’s seat in Pennsylvania-12. My apologies for the confusion. What I find most curious about Bucchianeri is that he was picked for defending the health care law Hamsher tried to kill; the trigonometry of her triangulations usually escapes me.
ADDING: As you can see by the comments below, this post has brought the FDL chorus out in full song to accuse this blog of being a “cult” to the “dear leader.” It’s all projection: Hamsher and Greenwald are the closest thing the left has to cult figures. Regular readers will know this blog rarely posts on lefties and will recognize their behavior from my examinations of the Glenn Beck cult.