Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wingnut Welfare Becomes Wingnut Warfare; Or, When Conservatives Collide

It's hard to believe it's been two months since my last post--did anything happen while I was away?

Via Tbogg, I notice that some self-proclaimed "free marketers" have learned a horrifying truth: they have been subsisting as wards of charity and may now actually need to find productive employment. I speak, of course, of the allied bloggers associated with Pajamas Media. Says Roger L. Simon, Man of Mystery:
I wrote a letter to the Pajamas Media network bloggers yesterday, some of whom took it a bit more personally than intended. We disbanded the ad network part of our business for a simple reason: it was losing money and we couldn’t see how in the reasonable future that would change.

Actually that part of our business has been losing money from the beginning, so the people getting their quarterly checks from PJM were getting a form of stipend from us in the hopes that advertisers would start to cotton to blogs and we could possibly make a profit. Didn’t happen. No wonder those people are kicking and screaming now that they are off the dole.
Stipend? Dole? Dole? Them's fighting words! The gist of which causes Jeff Goldstein to clutch his pearls of Protein Wisdom:
Here’s the thing, Roger: you never once told us that the blog network you kept insisting was the next great thing “has been losing money from the beginning” — at least, not to our faces, and certainly not in any way that would suggest that you were carrying us like welfare recipients.
Well, you see, Jeff, as those of use who work in the real world of the free market can tell you, the last thing a struggling business wants to do when it's, um, struggling is let all its creditors and affiliates and clients know that it's in danger of collapsing: that pretty much will insure the enterprise will collapse.

I might also point out the lack of "free market" wisdom, protein or otherwise, exhibited by the business model of Jeff's blog, which depended entirely on another firm for its only source of revenue. But, Jeff assures us, evidence to the contrary: "We free marketers aren’t complaining that the business model failed."

The remainder of Jeff's response is a shot across the bow (grab the popcorn!): Jeff's former source of income is now "a vanity site for wannabe journalists"--which marks, I'm afraid, the first time Goldstein and I have ever agreed on anything. Then Jeff really tells us how he feels:
The fact is, Roger, not everyone was given millions of dollars of venture capital to blow through. So before you go comparing people YOU SOLICITED TO JOIN YOUR ORGANIZATION to people taking welfare (you ever try paying a hooker with food stamps?), you might want to think about where it is “your” money is coming from.
Regarding the forms of payment accepted by prostitutes: I'll admit this is beyond my area of expertise and will leave that argument to Rush Limbaugh. But what really seems to gall Jeff is that the "venture capital" (dole) for Pajamas Media will now go to Roger's new enterprise: online conservative video featuring people too ugly even for radio (to enhance a joke from one witty commenter).

Alas for Jeff:
What this means is that as of April 1, I am officially out of work. So save going to a pay model, this site will likely have to shut down.
Equally alas for Jeff, Starbucks isn't hiring--and I doubt his Protein Wisdom is protean enough to get a job in the current administration.

Meanwhile, proving yet again that misery loves company, another nascent conservative war is brewing. Via Instaputz, we see that Erick Erickson (no relation), intending to rally the troops against the skinjobs hiding in the ranks of the Republican Party, has regurgitated the speech he wrote when he ran for (and, we're guessing, lost) senior class secretary at Ridgemont High--a homily that is only slightly short of the world's record for most cliches in a final paragraph:
We must fight and our fight must frequently induce pain on our own side. It is frequently the only way to make headway.

... We will be sometimes defeated. We will be sometimes victorious. But most importantly, we won’t be idly bitching and yelling into the wind — we’ll be working to make a difference. It is no good to complain and not act. It is very good to act without complaint and fight the good fight until the setting of the sun.
Oh, yea--you and what army?
One way to do so is to join the RedState Army.

(Above: the reaction from one Dog of War upon reading Erick's post.)