Most readers know that the views expressed on Matt’s blog are his own and don’t always reflect the views of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Such is the case with regard to Matt’s comments about Third Way. Our institution has partnered with Third Way on a number of important projects - including a homeland security transition project - and have a great deal of respect for their critical thinking and excellent work product. They are key leaders in the progressive movement and we look forward to working with them in the future.This action has provoked a fair amount of blog reaction/rebuke -- check out William Beutler, Brad DeLong, Belle Waring, Ann Althouse, James Joyner, Brendan Nyhan, Julian Sanchez, and many more -- as well as follow-up posts from Yglesias himself and CAP's Faiz Shakir. Yglesias gets the understatement of the day: "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.'” As near as I can figure it, bloggers are very annoyed at the Center for American Progress, but they're angry for two very different reasons:
The reason an online jab gets elevated like this is that CAP is no longer just a think tank: It's interwoven with the transition, and expected to be close to the Obama White House. The perception that it was hostile to Third Way could have damaged Third Way's ability to raise money, among other things. It's an early sign of how the new Democratic infrastructure faces a new set of challenges with Democrats controlling the government.Glenn Reynolds has a point here: "Sorry, if you can’t stand what bloggers blog, don’t pretend you’re cool enough to hire bloggers." Or, if you allow "clarifications" on posts that deviate from your parent institutions' views, don't pretend that you're a cool blogger any more. UPDATE: I see that Palmieri is being considered for assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. While Palmieri is getting a little too much blame for an act that Yglesias was complicit in, I have to think that this whole brouhaha is not a point in her favor. For sheer theater value, however, I would love for this to come up in a confirmation hearing: "Ms. Palmieri, I'd like to bring up the CAPping incident with Mr. Yglesias...." ANOTHER UPDATE: Uh-oh... it's spreading.
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.