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Demopublican Apologists

Call me old fashion, but right is right and wrong is wrong. Its not only the line item veto but a host of other issues that Democratic bloggers excuse their emperors of.

Lets start with a king of all apologists, Seth of In Effect. I thought maybe, I know I was hoping for too much, that he’d come down hard on Wisconsin’s most corrupt governor.

No, here is what he has to say abut the Troha Gate.

And that has nothing to do with Doyle himself, but rather the Office of Governor in the State of Wisconsin.

What the fluck, that’s like saying hey I am not responsible, it my families fault. And then he titles his post, Its the Institution Stupid, like somehow there is such a thing as a institution devoid of human agency. Our institutions are corrupt because of stupid people that elect corrupt politicians like Doyle and Thompson.  

Oh, that’s not all. Bert at Folkbum endorsed if not wrote a little piece making light of the contradiction between Gore’s public words and private deeds. Like Dick Cheney’s daughter, Gore’s mansion is inbounds because of its direct connection to both global warming and public policy.  I don’t give a crap how many credits he has stored up, his energy use is inexcusable for any American.  I would even go so far as to call it energy terrorism. For a more non-apologetic piece on Gore check out  Al Gore, the Kilowatt Whore !?!.


21 responses to “Demopublican Apologists

  1. ben masel ⋅

    Gore can recover by turning this into a teaching moment. next film should document an energy audit and installation of renewables on his spread.

  2. I agree. I’m also not entirely sure that for someone committed to the issues that he is a mansion is an essential.

  3. Oh, Nate. I really don’t mind if you call me a “Demorepublican” or an apologist. But it’d be nice if you didn’t misstate what I write as evidence.

    That quote of mine is an explanation for why Doyle extended his margin of victory across the state in 2006 in spite of the fact that he was hammered on ethical issues throughout the campaign, including the Milwaukee area where he was hammered the most. It’s not an excuse for why Doyle should be able to accept campaign money that’s been funneled through a donor’s children — read the first line of my post for my thoughts on that — it’s an explanation for why the public, on the whole, won’t really give a shit about it.

    My argument is that the public, for the most part, accepts a relatively large amount of graft in our top elected offices because it’s seen as part and parcel of the institution. As I write: “To put it bluntly, the bar for what constitutes an ethical bombshell for governors in Wisconsin is so high because the bar for public expectations of gubernatorial ethics is so low.”

    Of course human agency plays a role in those institutions; nothing I write says otherwise. But what I’m talking about here is not what’s right and what’s wrong, but rather how the public expects top elected officials to act on issues like campaign finance. After all, even when everything is done to the letter of the law under our current campaign finance system, that doesn’t mean there isn’t graft. And, in the end, the only way I see to stop the graft is public financing of all elections, which must just be the Demorepublicanwhore in me.

  4. folkbum

    Do you have solar panels on your house? Gore does. Do you run two (at least) businesses out of your house, which might require more energy than just a family? Gore does. Do you pay extra to your utility company for energy from renewable sources? Gore does.

    Per square foot, and per resident, Gore’s use of energy overall is average or slightly less and his use of clean and renewable energy is far above average. Yeesh.

  5. Seth,

    No, pushing for public financing of elections would not make you a Demopublican whore, but simply stating there nice in theory may.

    Here is how I saw your post, what Doylie did was wrong and then you spent 3 paragraphs coming up with excuses for him. Funny the governor’s office must have read it because their press release sounded almost identical.

    Way back in November, I wrote a piece called The Tale of two Governor’s pointing out that this large donation for his inauguration party was improper and unethical. I was told that this was no big deal and it was essential funding for the Girl and Boy’s club. Now it turns out it was a bigger deal, Ed Garvey is right on on this one. Even he can be a consistent progressive every now and then.

    Doyle has turned the state house into a whorehouse. I don’t think one can seriously blame that on the institution. I think it would be much fairer to blame the institutional corruption on Doylie himself.

  6. No, but my neighbor does. But,

    In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

    That’s a hell of a lot of energy. What does square feet have to do with anything? I you want to break down his family and business energy use go for it. If, it is in the energy use norm of everyday Joe and Jane, I’ll change my tune.

  7. Well done, Nate. You say I said something, I point out that I didn’t, and now you fall back on saying it’s just the way you read it.

    You’re certainly right about one thing — you’re no apologist. You stick to your story, however wrong it may be.

    And, on the Gore thing, the reason Gore’s bill is so high is precisely because he uses electricity generated through renewable energies, as Jay points out. It’s called the “Green Power Switch,” and it costs $4 more per 150 kilowatt hours than the standard electricity sold by the TVA.

    The use of energy itself is not what causes global warming, it’s the production of electricity through coal burning plants that’s the problem. If Gore’s getting his electricity through renewables, not coal, then he’s not contributing to the problem, regardless of the size of his bill.

  8. I meant to say “The use of electricity itself is not what causes global warming” in my last comment. My apologies.

  9. Well Seth an average home uses 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. In 2006, Gore used nearly 221,000 kWh.

    Actually its a great program and the extra cost is minimal. I wish WI had something similar, mention it to Doyle. But there is no standard TVA electricity, it is all part of the same grid. The energy from the Green Power Switch does not go to Gore’s or anyone else’s home, but to TVA. The energy Gore consumes may be wind, solar, coal or any other source. Its a good program but along the lines of MG&E’s program to shut off your air conditioner for X hours a day on hot summer days.

    The switch can supply 150 kWh, a month for about 13,000 Tennessee Valley homes. Last August Gore used 22,619 kWh which is enough energy to supply 150 Tennessee Valley homes. If those 150 homes have to go elsewhere, what good deed is he serving.

  10. jody

    Nate – Three things

    – I had something to add to that business about the post where the guy went all ballistic about the Boys and Girls Club, but decided not to. As inflammatory as people perceive me to be, I actually find/know stuff that I think looks “funny” and decide NOT to mention it quite often. But I think you would find it interesting now, since that B and G Club remark seems to have derailed some questioning you were doing and perhaps wrongly so.

    – There are many permutations to the “apologist blogger” issue – also not discussed here. Though I hope someday we are able to

    – And then the “public funding being the only answer” thing.
    Given the art form that has resulted from the McCain Feingold loophole that allows our current culture of 527 domination, I doubt personally that public-funding is the cure-all proposed here by Seth. In fact, studies show that is what the public beleives and that is why they are by and large against it. Precisely BECAUSE of current corruption levels. The average American assumes that power-mad amoral people will then be distorting the laws, as they are now, and using their own hard-earned dollars to do that. The public seems to feel that, while corruption is rampant now, at least the bastards have to grub for the money they use to boink us with, as opposed to being able to boink us while we are forced pay them directly for it, and probably thank them for their services too.

    So the “boys will be boys” attitude here (still being an apologist) where we are seemingly not supposed to expect non-criminal behavior from our leaders, is still at the root of the behavior, still the problem, and yes Nate you are correct to question that fundamental ideology that makes it all Okay. However it is expressed –
    it’s not okay.

    Seth is also wrong in that the public does not ACCEPT the corruption. The public accepts that they are POWERLESS in the face of it, powerless to change it. There is a difference.

    Finally, Seth would not have gotten that blogger of the week (or whatever it was) award from the One Wisconsin Now PAC blog if the people running the PAC were not absolutely sure that Seth would not up and say something that would embarass the party or other PACs, their blogs or programs. There are things that say loud and clear “I am not an independent blogger”. PAC blog seals of approval are one. Sorry Seth, there are advantages to the path you have chosen and disadvantages. I suspect given the number of party and PAC mouthpieces that are among bloggers that the advantages trump anything I could ever say. So enjoy, you’re on the winning team.

    Nate – I should give you an Independent Blogger Award

  11. Nate,

    Keith Olbermann did the math and found that the Green Power Switch adds a little over $5800 per year to Gore’s energy bill. What constitutes minimal cost is, of course, debatable, but the fact that the program adds about 20 percent to Gore’s annual bill is undoubtedly significant.

    And perhaps the actual electricity that Gore’s house uses doesn’t come entirely from renewable electricity, but the point is he’s making sure that his share of the total electricity pie is not created by processes that contribute to global warming and other environmental degradation.

    Also, just to be clear, the Green Power Switch program, according to the TVA, can provide 150 kWh of electricity a month for about 54,000 homes, not 13,000.


    I never said addressing 527s isn’t important (in fact, in the comments section I note that dealing with them is an important part fully realizing the benefits of public financing). And I didn’t even say that public funding was a “cure all.” I said it’s in the best interest of the state to give the public at large as much control over elections as possible. Something doesn’t need to cure all ills in order for it to be a worthwhile endeavor.

    I also never said that the public accepts political corruption. What I wrote is this: “And this isn’t to say that Wisconsin voters don’t care about ethics, as some conservatives assumed after the election. Rather, most simply see it as part and parcel of the institution of governor in the state. For most, ethics was going to be just as questionable under Green as it was under Doyle. In short, ethics was a wash.” Sounds to me like I’m expressing that exact distinction you made between not caring about corruption and feeling powerless to do anything about it.

    As I said to Nate, I really don’t mind taking heat for things I actually write. But it’s a bit frustrating to get critiqued on the things I don’t write.

    And, regarding the One Wisconsin Now, to say I’m in the back-pocket of the Democratic Party because I was given a blogger of the week award by a progressive group is an absolute joke. And, just so you know, OWN is run on a modest budget by a staff of four people in a loft in Bay View, WI — it’s an important group that does good work, but it’s not exactly Dem headquarters. Also, here’s a list of groups that have open ties to OWN, including around a dozen unions, the Sierra Club, COWS, Fighting Bob Fest, the Hunger Taskforce, the Hmong American Friendship Association, the National Association of Working Women, the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and many others who I’m sure would be interested to know they’re in the the clutches of the Democrats because of that affiliation with OWN.

    But I suppose if I was tight with Green Party leaders then I could still maintain my independence because, well, they’re just always right.

  12. Seth,

    Yes, but that is just a estimate calculated if he got all his energy from Green Power. And if he did there is the problem that X amount of consumers would have to go elsewhere – coal – for their energy needs.

    Here is why why Gore’s excessive energy use is an issue. Any true plan for renewable energy will no doubt require consumer sacrifice. This may come in the form of less energy used or taxes. As a leader who is committed to this issue his use is too excessive. Geeze, if frickin Bush can build a better green house than Gore we are in trouble.

    Where the Republicans have missed the boat and the Dems should focus their energies is Cheney’s energy use. Gore’s crime is we should expect more from him, but Cheney’s energy use is on the public dole. As the C&L link you gave pointed out Cheney’s energy use (VP mansion) in 2001 was $200,000.

    The talking point could be that individual energy use such as Cheney and Gore is not sustainable. Those whose energy use exceeds the median household should be required to pay a premium that goes towards renewable energy.

    To be fair in WI we should put in a rider that this fund cannot be raided by the governor for his spending sprees.

  13. You don’t seem to be understanding the Green Power Switch. By opting for it, that means the electricity you consume is generated through renewable energies; in other words, Gore is paying his energy company more so that it produces more clean electricity. There isn’t simply a finite amount to go around and since Al Gore wants a lot of it that leaves less for others. The goal, in fact, is to get more people opting for clean electricity because when demand goes up, the price will go down as financial incentives are created for energy companies to put more resources into developing it more efficiently.

    As for the tax on above average energy use, I have no doubt Gore would be glad to pay it. In fact, he already adds 25 percent to his bill for the Green Power Switch.

    And, for the record, Doyle’s budget includes $40 million in funding to get 1/4 of all the electricity and transportation fuel in the state produced through renewable sources in the next decade and a half. That’s making state environmentalists quite happy.

  14. Just thought I’d add the Wisconsin does offer programs like the Green Power Switch. WE Energies calls it “Energy for Tomorrow ” and MG&E’s program is just called “Wind Power.”

  15. No, Seth you don’t understand. For $4 you purchase 150 kilowatt hours of energy. Many consumers besides Al Gore do this. This energy is put into TVA and then the consumers get their energy as they always did. Al Gore has no control where the energy for his house comes from.

    Seth we have an energy overuse problem in this country. If we all used energy the way Gore does there are not enough renewables on the planet. Get out of your la la fantasy world that renewables alone will solve all of societies ills. You take the neo liberal position that if he pays for it what harm does it do.

    Thats great news about Doyle. 2025 can’t come too soon. Does that also mean that he’s returning all the money he stole from PSC conservation and renewable fund. Good thing we don’t have a Green power switch or that would be in the red too.

  16. The wind power is especially good since you have an option for wind to fund 100% of your energy. An average customer uses 600 KwH a month compared to Gore’s 22,619 KwH last August.

    That tax on your energy bill that Doyle raided also went for renewables. This is why everyone is so pissed about ATC. Money that was set aside for renewables to make new power lines unneeded, and building them if they were still needed was the money Doyle raided. We have to pay twice; once in a tax and again to ATC.

  17. Why is this so hard for you to understand, Nate?

    Here’s the wording directly from the TVA (emphasis mine): “Green Power Switch is sold to residential consumers in 150-kilowatt-hour blocks (about 12 percent of a typical household’s monthly energy use). Each block adds $4 to the customer’s monthly power bills. Consumers may buy as many blocks as they like.”

    As Think Progress points out, Gore purchases enough blocks to account for his entire electricity usage. In other words, if Gore used zero electricity, that wouldn’t decrease the amount of Tennessee electricity created through coal burning methods one bit.

    To simply parrot GOP talking points like you did — as eager as you are to hit a Dem at any chance — you completely ignored the point that Gore takes steps to make sure that his entire share of the electricity usage in Tennessee does not contribute to global warming and other environmental degradation. Now you’re just trying to slip around the fact that you didn’t do your homework before falling into line with the Right by trying to say that whether energy comes from renewables doesn’t matter when it’s clear to any rational observer that it does.

  18. Yes, but no evidence if it. TP saying they’ve taken numerous steps but not validating those steps doesn’t cut it. Now if he signed up for 100% power that’s great, but …

    Here is the question, if Gore’s energy use was the norm would we as a country be better because of it. What if we all used 20 times the norm tell me how we’d be in a better place. Renewables will not solve this problem.

    The Repubs attacked Gore for attack sake. If you spit wads on the ceiling some are bound to stick sometimes, this is one of those times. I don’t take issue with his use of alternative energy, just his excessive energy consumption. It is not sustainable, period.

    I think the Repubs talking points backfired. Gore is being attacked for not being enough of an environmentalist rather than an envirofacist.

    That has been my point all along. The Dems rather than sticking to their values spent their time excusing corruption or in this case gluttonous energy use. Me, I say call the Repubs bluff. They are right Al Gore has not done enough. Any real attempt to curb global warming is to limit consumption. Gore, Cheney, and others whose energy use is excessive need to step up.

    As I said the Repubs opened up a Pandora’s box that they’ll wish they never opened. But if the Dems don’t even realize the box is open, well..

  19. folkbum

    By the way, Nate, the 10k kwh you cite as “average” is for all residences in the US, including studio apartments, trailer homes, homes in moderate climates that don’t require a lot of heating or cooling in the appropriate seasons.

    When you compare the amount of electricity Al Gore’s house uses per square foot to other houses in his geographical region (i.e., accounting for size, since it clearly costs more to power a larger home and less for a smaller one, and for region, since you can’t compare TN and WI, for example), Gore’s energy use is average.

    Got it? You with us now? The right-wing smear group that was formed in Tennessee exclusively to produce this press release (it did not exist before at all) put those two numbers (10k and 220k kwh) into their press releases to make Gore look bad and the media parrotted them without considering whether, perhaps, they were being duped.

    You, too, have been duped by these right-wing thugs. Congratulations.

  20. You are right about the right wing media. But, even terribly biased sources are right sometimes.

    Jay, square foot is faulty logic. That’s like saying semis get better gas mileage per square foot. The question is, does Gore and other members of his class need mansions to carry out their life business. I still hold his energy use is excessive.

    But Al Gore wins on this one. No matter how hard they try making this a talking point, this is not your every day Republican values. In the end Gore is not doing enough, even GW is more green than him.

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