The Sheer Idiocy of David Sirota, and How Sirota-Ism Is Ending the Netroots

January 16, 2009

I can’t take it. I just can’t take it anymore. Someone shut this guy up. I have never known a more ill-informed, idiotic rabble-rouser in my life than David Sirota. He makes some of the morons on the National Review seem like Val Kilmer’s roommate in “Real Genius.”

I know, I know, I’m getting repetitive – and I yearn for the day when there are more substantive things to blog about – but I can’t help it. And it’s not a question of disagreeing with someone. There are plenty of people I disagree with. It’s a question of David Sirota being an idiot.

I’ve railed against him before, so my feelings are nothing new. I’ve always felt like Sirota is an intellectually shallow hack who shoots first (at Democrats) and asks questions later. However, I was wrong. He never actually asks the questions later, he ends at the “shooting first” part. Part of me thinks he does this shtick to get attention. Part of me thinks he does it to prove some magical working-class credentials that he actually doesn’t have. But all of me thinks he’s helping bring down the left-wing netroots fast.

First there is his totally uninformed ranting against the infrastructure spending in the stimulus package (in a post titled, of course, “They Can’t Be Serious”). As it happens, that’s a huge amount of spending for a very small period of time and it’s just part of a short-term stimulus package, not the final word on infrastructure spending under Obama. Yet, in order to justify his faux-outrage, Sirota compares the short-term stimulus infrastructure spending against ALL the infrastructure spending that the Army Corps of Engineers estimates is necessary period in our country. It’s an apples and oranges comparison, but apples-and-oranges comparison are how dishonest hacks gin up anger.

When Matthew Yglesias, who has been writing about infrastructure and transportation issues at a level of tremendous expertise debunks said Mr. Sirota and proclaims himself pleased with the spending, we can see the hack’s efforts at drumming up hysteria for the transparent shtick it is.

And of course, almost instinctively, Sirota opposed Obama’s efforts to get the remaining $350 billion from the rescue bill, or as Sirota puts it, “The Wall Street Bailout” – even though the priorities are going to shift under Obama to doing what should have been done from the beginning regarding home foreclosures, and even though almost every economist thinks that money is another essential part of stimulus. Now Sirota has developed his own purity test, slamming Dems who opposed the Bush bailout (knowing, perhaps, that it might be mismanaged) but support it under Obama with his new strategy. Slamming Dems, seems to be a nice theme under Sirota.

Now again, I’m not opposed to pushing Dems on policy. That’s not what Sirota does. He uses intellectual dishonesty (or, more likely, ignorance) to gin up anger and knee-jerk opposition to Democratic office-holders, especially Obama.

Here’s a question for someone who claims to be speaking for the left: Hey David, as mismanaged as it was, what effects did the first-half of the bailout have on our financial system? Is it possible that things could have been worse without it? Is it possible that the new half might have beneficial effects on our financial system? Hell – do you even know what role banks and credit markets play in our economy, or would you rather rail against something, anything, in an attempt to get attention for yourself?

The sad part is, of course, that most of the left-wing netroots’ community sites have been infected with Sirota-ism. Take a look at this front-page post on the DailyKos about the bailout money, complete with beauties such as:

Obama needs for the kind of people who are waiting to steal this money to know that it’s still coming even though he’s going to be in charge of it.

Markos has taken to citing Sirota in his equally ill-informed and irresponsible posts, and very smart guys like Matt Yglesias feel compelled to respond to his rantings.

Well, Sirota is probably rejoicing now. The fact that someone like me is writing a post like this means he’s gotten his wish for greater notoriety. I mean, this is a guy who wrote a post recommending great holiday gifts for progressives and featured his own book. And I won’t dispute the notion that Sirota-ism has taken greater hold of the left-wing netroots. It absolutely has.

He would define the influence of Sirota-ism as a greater amount of “populism,” although I’ve never seen him actually define that word which he loves to use as his litmus test on everything. Does he know you can be a populist right-winger or a left-winger and that the term populism doesn’t actually have anything to do with political ideology? Probably not.

But as far as I can define Sirota-ism, it is the art of knee-jerk opposition writing that is bereft of intellect or even a fifth-grade level of historical knowledge – and it is a virus that is bringing down the netroots fast. He can rejoice in turning the left-wing netroots into an opposition party against Democrats, since it makes him king of that hill. It’s just too bad it’s a hill built on a base of total misinformation.

Congrats David, your work is being more and more widely read. And we are all the dumber for it.

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7 Responses to “The Sheer Idiocy of David Sirota, and How Sirota-Ism Is Ending the Netroots”

  1. Kitty Says:

    I share your feelings about Sirota. He had a post up at Open left about the TARP. He says that we shouldn’t trust Obama – I responded that I trust Obama more than I trust him

    Right now, bondad has a recommnded diary up at Kos

    Daily Kos
    Why TARP Was — And Is — Still Necessary

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/1/19/73843/1714/587/683864

    My own feelings are to give Obama the tools he needs to right the economy. Why tie his hands?

  2. dansac Says:

    His latest anti-Obama screed is warning us of the rise of “American Czarism.” What an idiot.

  3. Clownshoes the clown Says:

    Ah, good!

    Unfortunately Sirota has great hair and a demagoguish attitude which will keep him employed rousing the dirty-f*cking-hippy crowd.


  4. […] Liked this post from a fellow wordpress blogger titled, “The Sheer Idiocy of David Sirota.” Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)BUY AMERICANā€¦PERIOD!!Stimulus must be based on […]

  5. maxberger Says:

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one with a seething hatred for Sirota and all that he represents. I’ve been a hater for a while now – he’s always been my least favorite writer in the blogosphere – but now I have a more personal reason to really dislike the man and his writing.

    Check this out:

    http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=11268

    Uh, yeah. I responded on my wordpress blog, but it was something of an asymmetric response (I get a hell of a lot less readers than him).

    http://yeswemight.wordpress.com/2009/01/31/david-sirota-thinks-im-right-wingignorant/


  6. […] 1, 2009 It’s difficult not to return to my favorite subject, simply because he keeps providing me more fodder. I’ve long contended that David Sirota is, […]

  7. Latia Says:

    Hi to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more
    from this site, and your views are pleasant for new viewers.


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