A Long Election Cycle

David Brooks has a piece up discussing Obama’s ruthlessness and cynicism, in which he appears to think that the definitions of ruthless and cynical are “not a complete and total moron.” In short, Brooks and others are beginning to learn that Obama is tough, calculating, will throw punches, and is not going to sit back and take crap from them.

That has to scare them.

The best part of this election is about to start, though- we are going to be treated to months of folks on the right learning Obama really is not as liberal as they think he is and becoming upset that they can not simply attack him as a radical left-winger (although some morons will still continue with the Marxist nonsense because it is all they know), all the while having to watch left-wingers kvetch and moan as they learn he really is not as liberal as they thought he was and that he will move to the center to and compromise. Put together, it has the potential to be really damned amusing.






72 replies
  1. 1
    Crust says:

    Put together, it has the potential to be really damned amusing.

    I know I’m damned amused that Obama still hasn’t lifted a finger to stop the FISA telco amnesty “compromise“.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    DragonScholar says:

    I admit the entertainment factor is really one I’m enjoying, much to my own shame.

    Ironically one of the unexpectedly revealing things for me, as a definite liberal, is seeing some of the very reactions you mention. I think Obama’s a pretty decent person and politician – which is like saying decent person and lawyer, decent person and surgeon, decent person and soldier, etc. He’s a man in a profession where you get your hands dirty, make compromises, and it’s not always pretty.

    In no way do I think he’s perfect, never thought he was, and the best I think we’ll get is someone who will be centrist-left and rational. I’ll take that over the utter insanity of the last eight years with the hope that the move to the center can keep carrying the motion farther in years to come.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    I know I’m damned amused that Obama still hasn’t lifted a finger to stop the FISA telco amnesty “compromise“.

    It is a done deal. Why would he?

    Seriously, why should he get involved when nothing can be done about it? I would prefer that he gets himself elected in November rather than fight valiantly and leave a bloodied and broken corpse at Thermopylae.

  5. 5
    Teak111 says:

    “throw you under the truck for votes.” Isn’t that sposed to be under the bus?

    Sometimes Bambi worries me.

  6. 6
    jake says:

    Obama’s ruthlessness and cynicism, in which he appears to think that the definitions of ruthless and cynical are “not a complete and total moron.”

    No, it means “Uppity brown dude.”

  7. 7

    It’s entertaining (in a sad and rather disturbing way) to watch Jeralyn at Talk “We are a Democratic Blog and we support the nominee” Left find new and exciting things to bitch about about Obama

    I’m getting angry that every time I click on a news site, his face is staring at me from the top banner ad or some other prominent space on the site.

    He doesn’t need to do this. We all know who he is and that he stands for hope and change and bringing a new kind of politics to Washington.

    Yes, god forbid that, in an election year, of all years, the Democratic nominee for President should (gasp) take out some political ads in an attempt to convince a captive audience of undecided voters watching the Olympics to vote for him. The gall of the man!!

  8. 8
    nightjar says:

    Just spent some time over at Capn. Ed’s new gig, reading the wailing and knashing of teeth that Obama isn’t the polite liberal they expect, but rather an awful person cause he’s playing to win. The Faux outrage is both hilarious and heartwarming and Watching Wingnuts outraged at a liberal using their brand of ruthless is priceless.

  9. 9
    dr. bloor says:

    Spot on. The most aggravating part is going to be listening to the Hillbots explode whenever Obama does/says something vaguely nonprogressive, as if Their Girl hadn’t ever met a progressive idea that she wasn’t willing to unload thisfast when it became politcally expedient to do so.

  10. 10
    slippytoad says:

    It is a done deal. Why would he?

    Seriously, why should he get involved when nothing can be done about it? I would prefer that he gets himself elected in November rather than fight valiantly and leave a bloodied and broken corpse at Thermopylae.

    John, that’s the most intelligently-stated observation of the situation I’ve read so far. Of course the corrupt elements of our government are going to be churning as fast as they can all summer and fall to cover their asses, and yes Obama could probably stand there and get pelted by them but he’s got an end-game in his sights of the Presidency. And believe it or not, he’s not fuckin’ Neo (despite the wonderful iconography that’s arisen around him).

    I’m not happy that this is going on, but he’s made his position clear that this stuff is illegal. I halfway wonder if any bill out of Congress can really be considered valid if challenged later on? Does the ex-post-facto provision work on retroactive immunity as well?

  11. 11
    Singularity says:

    “Fast Eddie Obama”? Really?

    How on Earth did David Brooks develop a reputation as a guy who understands the average American? He’s like some caricature of a spluttering egghead trying to be “hep”. Like Tony Randall in a Frank Tashlin movie, only evil. What a maroon.

  12. 12
    jibeaux says:

    Brooks appears to be channeling MoDo…

    That is seriously inane, Fast Eddie v. Dr. Barack and

    the Scarlett Johansson set

    .

    Public financing is “the primary cause of his life” and he did it for a “tiny political advantage”? Seriously? You’d think Barack Obama had renounced everything he’d ever stood for in an attempt to pander a few more votes, you know, kind of like how McCain keeps doing the hokey-pokey on about 45 fairly major different issues…you stick your independent wing in, you pull your right wing out, you stick your right wing in, you pull your independent wing out.

    Apologies to Dana Milbank for the plagiarism.

  13. 13
    D. Mason says:

    It is a done deal.

    It is??!?! I thought they were voting in the house today and that the senate hadn’t even received the bill. It seems to me like the presidential nominee could sway at least a few of these traitorous assholes to vote “fuck you Bush”.

  14. 14
    Face says:

    In short, Brooks and others are beginning to learn that Obama is tough, calculating, will throw punches, and is not going to sit back and take crap from them.

    They honestly don’t know what the hell to do about this. They’ve have never had a Dem they couldn’t verbally sodomize with no recourse. They’re simply clueless on what to do next: they have the worst of all R candys in Yawn McCane, but a Dem they cannot demonize without getting hit back.

    Smack the bully in the chops just once, and watch him slink away stunned. Welcome to Election ’08.

  15. 15
    greynoldsct00 says:

    I’m getting angry that every time I click on a news site, his face is staring at me from the top banner ad or some other prominent space on the site.

    He doesn’t need to do this. We all know who he is and that he stands for hope and change and bringing a new kind of politics to Washington.

    Better than looking at Mr. Cottage Cheese and Green Jello. It’s an election, somebody’s mug is gonna be up there. She needs to get a grip.

  16. 16
    jibeaux says:

    somebody’s mug is gonna be up there.

    Soon, perhaps, it will be Barack ‘n’ Hillary, out campaigning together. (No implication of veep spot for Hillary express or implied here.) Query: will Jeralyn find this better, or worse?

  17. 17
    Face says:

    I’m getting angry that every time I click on a news site, his face is staring at me from the top banner ad or some other prominent space on the site.

    He doesn’t need to do this. We all know who he is and that he stands for hope and change and bringing a new kind of politics to Washington.

    Shorter Jeralyn: GET THAT SCARY NEGRO OFF MY COMPUTER SCREEN! Jungle fever!! EEEEEEEEEKKK!!

  18. 18
    John Cole says:

    What if someone had written the following:

    I’m getting angry that every time I click on a news site, her face is staring at me from the top banner ad or some other prominent space on the site.

    Hillary doesn’t need to do this. We all know who she is and that she stands for hope and change and bringing a new kind of politics to Washington.

    You would be accused of Clinton Derangement Syndrome and most assuredly would be informed you are a sexist and misogynist to boot.

  19. 19
    GSD says:

    The GOP heads explode too when they can’t be triumphalist, smearing your face in shit winners.

    So now the crowd that claims to be the messengers for “a conservative majority” get to play whiney victim’s at the mercy of the evil leftwing machine.

    Boo Hoo Brooks can chomp on my left nut.

    -GSD

  20. 20
    Crust says:

    It is a done deal. Why would he?

    It sure is looking like a done deal at this point. But it wouldn’t be if Obama had made it clear — either in private or in public — that he would fight this (ditto for Pelosi and Reid). That window probably close a day or two ago.

    Nonetheless, while you may not like to watch it, I think it’s pretty important to “kvetch and moan” about the violation of “radical left wing[]” principles like the rule of law, civil liberties and uniformity of justice. I want the powers that be to know that trampling on our constitutional order will not be costless. But maybe that’s just me.

    I would prefer that he gets himself elected in November rather than fight valiantly and leave a bloodied and broken corpse at Thermopylae.

    Look, net net Obama is infinitely preferable to McCain. People should still donate to and vote for Obama. No one is perfect. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold him accountable when he fails though. Yes it was a risk, but he could have done the right thing (ditto for Pelosi and Reid) and come out stronger here I think.

  21. 21
    Cris says:

    fight valiantly and leave a bloodied and broken corpse at Thermopylae.

    But who among us wouldn’t love to watch Obama shout “This is Sparta!” and kick McCain into a pit?

  22. 22
    Punchy says:

    It seems to me like the presidential nominee could sway at least a few of these traitorous assholes to vote “fuck you Bush”.

    He could filibuster. THAT would be leadership.

  23. 23
    John Cole says:

    By the way, here is a prediction for you, assuming Obama wins in November. The racists still will not be able to control themselves, but rather than say what they really mean, we will be treated to years of phrases like “Obama just does not seem Presidential…”

    You know what is “Presidential?” Being fucking President.

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    I think Jake has it about right– the windbags haven’t yet (and may never) figure out that Obama is just smarter than they are. And yes, skin color has something to do with that.

  25. 25
    John Cole says:

    He could filibuster. THAT would be leadership.

    You know what this country will never see:

    President Russ Feingold.

    Wonder why that is?

  26. 26
    crw says:

    They honestly don’t know what the hell to do about this. They’ve have never had a Dem they couldn’t verbally sodomize with no recourse. They’re simply clueless on what to do next: they have the worst of all R candys in Yawn McCane, but a Dem they cannot demonize without getting hit back.

    Actually, this bears a striking resemblance to the eruptions in the 90s over Bill Clinton. Expect the wingnut smear mongering and legal harassment to continue for 8 years. This will only become worse as it becomes clear Barack is actually a competent politician. The only thing that can stop them now is a decisive landslide and keeping them out of national power for a generation. Even then they wont shut up. They’ll just be made toothless.

  27. 27
    Gregory says:

    Brooks and others are beginning to learn that Obama is tough, calculating, will throw punches, and is not going to sit back and take crap from them.

    That has to scare them.

    Word.

    The whole idiotic hissy fit over Obama opting out of public finance is because Obama didn’t agree to unilaterally disarm the way Kerry did.

  28. 28
    Crust says:

    Only “radical left-wingers” hang on to antiquated notions of a government of laws not of men and get incensed by this viewpoint (see Update III):

    I’m not here to say that the government is always right, but when the government tells you to do something, I’m sure you would all agree that I think you all recognize that is something you need to do.

    Make no mistake, that’s the seachange we’re going through here: under the rules, when the government tells you to break the law, as a patriotic American your duty is to do so.

  29. 29
    jrg says:

    Shorter David Brooks: “Hate the player, not the game”.

    What a fool. Every time I read or hear his mindless gibbering, I congratulate myself on not having a subscription to the NYT. The nice thing about the internet is that you can read this crap without subsidizing it (ad hits notwithstanding).

  30. 30
    Balakirev says:

    Bah, John, I’ve been moaning and kvetching about the moderate Obama for some time, since I was an Edwards supporter. That said, I’ll keep it to a bare thread, since I’d rather get him in the White House than keep the massive manure pit we currently have, there.

    But I would dearly, dearly love to see a raft of prominent individuals from the executive branch investigated for illegal activities, and brought before the courts if cause is present. Dearly. We need one law for all.

  31. 31
    crw says:

    He could filibuster. THAT would be leadership.

    You mean stop campaigning dead so he can spend a week in the Senate reading the Hong Kong phone book? Because you KNOW those are the rules in play now, right? Republicans can fake filibuster and go home to sip mint juleps and diddle pages. Democrats actually have to stop their lives and do the real thing.

  32. 32
    Mike D (different one) says:

    Oh for the love of god…I hate these people so much.

    “Back when he was in the Illinois State Senate, Dr. Barack could have taken positions on politically uncomfortable issues. But Fast Eddie Obama voted “present” nearly 130 times. From time to time, he threw his voting power under the truck.”

    Of course, that’s out of a few thousand votes.

    This has been discussed. Repeatedly. Present votes are used all the time in Illinois on bills you generally like but have one or two issues that concern you, to acknowledge specific concerns, and even as a general strategy, for example: “the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council says Obama’s “present” votes were actually part of a careful strategy to prevent those restrictions from passing.

    President Pam Sutherland said the group feared several senators were going to vote “yes” on the legislation because of attacks from Republicans over their past opposition. Sutherland says she approached Obama and convinced him to vote “present” so that the wavering senators would do the same. For their purposes, a “present” was as good as an outright “no” because it kept the bills from reaching the majority needed to pass.” Src

    This is an old and dead issue, and Brooks is an asshole for pushing that old point. He’s an asshole for many other reasons too, of course, but this is today’s reason he is an asshole.

  33. 33
    ThymeZone says:

    I may post this to an adjacent thread, too ….

    What I am seeing today is a focussed and discipline campaign the likes of which Dems have not enjoyed for a long time. Maybe ever.

    Yesterday the Big STory was that Obama had bitchslapped McCain’s public financing shell game and flipped him the bird, much to the faux outrage of the McCainists.

    Today, probably according to plan, Obama replaced the Big STory with a new Big Story, the fact that he is planning a campaign trip with Hillary next week.

    The campaign funding thing has all but disappeared off the cable news blatheradar. Meanwhile McCain is getting pwned in the blogworld for the very thing that Obama pointed to in his statement about funding yesterday …. “gaming” the finance rules and trying to have his funny money and eat it too.

    We are watching a well orchestrated show here, and I am starting to wonder if I don’t need to press my bet with DougJ on the popular vote election outcome. I have McCain getting less than 35% of the popular vote. I am not sure that he could set a new record for failure here that will never be broken.

  34. 34
    PeterJ says:

    Shorter Jeralyn: GET THAT SCARY NEGRO OFF MY COMPUTER SCREEN! Jungle fever!! EEEEEEEEEKKK!!

    That’s not only a bit too far.
    (It would work for most posts over at NoQuarter though.)

    I would say that Jeralyn doesn’t want to see Obama on TV since it reminds her that her candidate lost.
    It has nothing to do with race.

  35. 35
    Sloegin says:

    Paris vaut bien une messe.

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    David Brooks has a piece up discussing Obama’s ruthlessness and cynicism, in which he appears to think that the definitions of ruthless and cynical are “not a complete and total moron.” In short, Brooks and others are beginning to learn that Obama is tough, calculating, will throw punches, and is not going to sit back and take crap from them.

    That has to scare them.

    Yes! Once the Democratic Primary battle was settled McCain and the right wing punditocracy thought that they could succeed by trying to paint Obama as young, inexperienced and naive. But now that he is outwitting them at every turn, he is a (gasp! clutch the pearls!) tough politician, and the GOP just can’t keep up.

    It is too damn funny. It’s like every Roadrunner cartoon you ever watched as a kid, speeded up and turned into a YouTube Mashup. McCain’s Wile. E Coyote (Liebermanus Dogleashus) is trotting out the ACME Ponderous Public Funding Neutralizer(tm) only to watch helplessly as the MUP (Contributati Incalculus Internetus) effortlessly whooshes by.

    Meep! Meep!

  37. 37
    Dave says:

    You know what this country will never see:

    President Russ Feingold.

    Wonder why that is?

    Duh. Because he’s a white male.

  38. 38
    D0n Camillo says:

    I love Obama and the way he’s been running his campaign so far. This is the most hopeful I’ve felt since 1992 when Bill Clinton ran circles around Daddy Bush. That being said, I know that I am going to have issues with a lot of his policies when he takes office. Democrats tend to take that more in stride. You can disagree with a Democratic president and still be a Democrat in good standing. It’s not like the leader worshiping personality cult that the Republicans created around W.

    Besides, I’ll take an Obama who occasionally disappoints me to any more of that bugfuck insane system of govenment that the Republicans have devised.

  39. 39
    Brachiator says:

    Mike D (different one) Says:

    Oh for the love of god…I hate these people so much.

    This is an old and dead issue, and Brooks is an asshole for pushing that old point. He’s an asshole for many other reasons too, of course, but this is today’s reason he is an asshole.

    Paul Krugman was the Designated Pundit Shill whose role during the primary campaign was to try to damage Obama while pretending to be a moderate voice of reason.

    Brooks is the Designated Pundit Shill for the general election campaign.

  40. 40
    Joe Max says:

    Spot on. The most aggravating part is going to be listening to the Hillbots explode whenever Obama does/says something vaguely nonprogressive, as if Their Girl hadn’t ever met a progressive idea that she wasn’t willing to unload thisfast when it became politcally expedient to do so.

    Meh. I haven’t heard much from the Clintonista brigades on this yet (unless you count Larry Johnson, and he’s certifiably nuts). I suspect the glee at beating the Repubs at their own game for once will outweigh any “outrage” on their part, and this trend will continue as the season gets further away from the primaries.

    Obama is absolutely right in that the so-called public financing system is broken – in fact it was broken from the get-go. I remember when it was created, it was generally seen as a way for underdog primary contenders and third-party candidates to get a voice – that was the rationale behind it. It was assumed the two major parties didn’t care (they had all the money) and wouldn’t follow it anyway.

    What even Brooks recognizes is that it’s about time the Dems had someone with the sharp elbows of a Chicago machine politician leading them, and that the Repubs are making a big mistake if they think he’s a namby-pamby lefty in the McGovern mold. He’s not that much of a liberal, which is why I supported Edwards (and then Clinton). However, now he’s our best hope, so let the Repubs discover to their dismay the kind of politician they’re dealing with.

    Because compared to Bush and the last 8 years he’s pretty damn clean. I’m celebrating Obama’s decision by sending him more money.

    Half-a-billion dollars by November? Whoa.

  41. 41
    MDee says:

    I love it. The bubble-bound DC/NY media just don’t get it. You don’t get far in Chicago politics by being a weenie. You need some sharp elbows and street smarts just to survive.

    Being a different type of politician doesn’t mean rolling over in the face of attacks. The Dems have done an excellent job of lowering expectations of their ability to fight back. Obama is blowing those expectations out of the water. No wonder heads are exploding.

    Just as they painted Clinton “inevitable”, they’ve painted Obama “nice guy lightweight liberal”. Bwahahahaha! Catastrophic Failure once again on the part of the media.

    The purity trolls have already started crawling out of the woodwork. That they are surprised by Obama’s centrism just makes me shake my head in disbelief. What part of not that far from Clinton on the issues, did they not get? Obama is not a DLC hack, but he’s no far left liberal either. I thought everyone knew that.

    As for the wingnuts – eat it, suckers.

  42. 42
    4tehlulz says:

    Is “Fast Eddie” this week’s dogwhistle for “nigger”? It’s so hard to keep track.

  43. 43
    ThymeZone says:

    As for the wingnuts – eat it, suckers.

    Boo ya. w00t.

    We are aware of all wingnut traditions.

  44. 44
    Billy K says:

    Dave Says:

    You know what this country will never see:
    President Russ Feingold.

    Wonder why that is?

    Duh. Because he’s a white male.

    Not the reason, but jew are getting closer.

  45. 45
    CarolinCA says:

    I admit I take a certain amount of satisfaction in seeing the right-wingers freak out when they realize that we ‘Obamabots’ actually aren’t a bunch of starry-eyed lobotomized hero-worshippers, but rather realists who have long been ready to do what’s needed in order to ensure that Bush and his ilk go far, far away come January.

    Still, I have my moments. I don’t expect Obama to single-handedly throw on an “I’m So Pure” costume and stop the FISA capitulation. He is not on this earth to fulfill all of my most idealistic dreams.

    But neither am I pleased with Obama’s radio endorsement this week of John Barrow, an established Bush-enabler DINO (he yells about “cut and run” Democrats and favors warrantless eavesdropping and telecom immunity) who is running against a progressive African American woman whose policy stances dovetail with Obama’s.

    Sometimes reality is pretty sickening. But I can’t afford to forget that when all is said and done, we’re dealing with politicians here. I’ll take the Obama brand over most others, but that doesn’t mean I’ll always be happy about it.

  46. 46
    PanAmerican says:

    Is “Fast Eddie” this week’s dogwhistle for “nigger”?

    I think Fast Eddie is yet another round of Chicago bashing. Like in Fast Eddie Vrdolyak. Brooks is such a raving moron it’s hard to decipher. His piece reads like the inane bullshit getting flung at riverdaughter:

    They are trying to decide how badly they want alienate their child who has just admitted for the first time the boy she’s been too embarrassed to bring home is really her childhood best friend, who’s lived next door all along. Can they see her in love and say they never want her to know the joy of a real wedding? They don’t know, but they’re trying so hard to decide.

  47. 47
    jake says:

    You would be accused of Clinton Derangement Syndrome and most assuredly would be informed you are a sexist and misogynist to boot.

    Yep. But we’re supposed to be kind and understanding and give these whackaloons foot rubs and flowers so they’ll vote for Obama or at least not vote for McCane.

    Pass.

  48. 48
    Doubter4444 says:

    He sounds like a jilted lover… what did Obama not call the next day or something?

  49. 49
    Dreggas says:

    Quite honestly I am enjoying watching McCain and his surrogates get all red faced and pissy over the campaign finance thing. It’s like watching the scene from the princess bride with the iocaine powder. Obama said he would discuss it should he win, he discussed it and opted out. Meanwhile McShitstain is stuck in it which is going to make him non-competitive save for maybe advertising on the side of a Milk Carton.

    New politics never meant rolling over and getting sodomized by the opposition. In fact I think, for democrats anyway, Obama is bringing a new politics. Namely not taking anything lying down.

  50. 50
    Rick Taylor says:

    all the while having to watch left-wingers kvetch and moan as they learn he really is not as liberal as they thought he was . . .

    I think us left-wingers already know Obama is not that left wing. There were plenty of blog posts criticizing him for his proclivity for dismissing the left wing politics of the past in favor of unity. It’s just that when Clinton started arguing about Michigan and Florida and taking it to the convention, everything else was set aside.

    One more thing. You may disagree, but by now I think you pretty much are one of us left-wingers.At least that’s how I felt reading your last post on Bush.

  51. 51
    mark says:

    It is too damn funny. It’s like every Roadrunner cartoon you ever watched as a kid, speeded up and turned into a YouTube Mashup. McCain’s Wile. E Coyote (Liebermanus Dogleashus) is trotting out the ACME Ponderous Public Funding Neutralizer™ only to watch helplessly as the MUP (Contributati Incalculus Internetus) effortlessly whooshes by.

    Meep! Meep!

    This needs an update, but it’ll do for now.

  52. 52
    Bird Dog says:

    What scares conservatives is that Obama is going to get away with his untruthiness about the “new kind of politics” that he pledged. His “yes we can!” packaging has so far masked his basic garden-variety liberalism.

  53. 53

    Heck I just liked it where he said Obama wasn’t a Libera Goo Goo!

    Ha!

    I’ve Obama called a bunch of stuff, but never that… *hehe*

  54. 54
    SpotWeld says:

    …*blinks* He’s pretty much said, “No Second Chances” and is coming out swinging against all threats.

    Obama is the 10th Doctor?!

  55. 55
    Todd says:

    The punditry class has become soft. They are still in 2002, and expect the world to follow that script.
    The 2006 elections were the wake-up call for Democrats. The 2008 elections will be the wake-up call for the punditry. And they will fall all over themselves in shock, while explaining to us ignorant folk that no one could have expected this and that Obama is not typical of the Democratic Party.

    The media has consistently been at least a year behind the public since 2004. They will fight Obama for at least the first year of his term. And they will look like the out-of-touch fools that they are. They are essentially paid to think, and they stopped thinking years ago, while coasting on Republican talking points.

  56. 56
    The Other Steve says:

    It should be noted that Obama wasn’t part of the Chicago machine, rather he beat the Chicago machine. You don’t get to be tough being part of the machine, you get tough when you beat it.

  57. 57
    Tsulagi says:

    I know I’m damned amused that Obama still hasn’t lifted a finger to stop the FISA telco amnesty “compromise“.

    It is a done deal. Why would he?

    Seriously, why should he get involved when nothing can be done about it?

    So what you’re saying is if the serious adults have decided, the presumptive Democratic nominee and Democratic party leader should rest back on his heels and be quiet. He seems to agree. Good to know.

  58. 58
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Church Lady Says:

    I checked the roll call vote and am proud to say that my Congressman, Steve Cohen, voted no.

    What I am gathering from the comments is that there are two camps here – those holding a principled stand on the issue and expecting their favored candidate to speak out against it NOW, when it counts, and those whose stand is all that matters is getting their preferred candidate elected in November, so giving him a pass on showing leadership, in order not to upset any potential independent voters, is A-OK. Am I reading the tea leaves correctly or am I off base?

    That’s what it looks like to me, and it truly is a Hobson’s choice.

    My take is that leadership is what a political figures does when it may cost them political capital to move the Overton Window on an issue. Thank you Tom Udall, who BTW is running for Senate in a culturally conservative state that is traditionally very supportive of the military, and still voted NAY. I’m disappointed that Obama hasn’t shown more leadership here, but I suspect this bill moved from back-burner to up for a vote so quickly (and WTF is up with that*) that Obama had little time to do anything to stop it without overstepping the boundaries of the institutional prerogatives deterring Senatorial interference in House business. The was not enough time to deploy a bully pulpit approach without explicitly calling out the House Dems who voted YES in a way that would have been damaging to the party, and difficult to justify doing so when the Senate still has to weigh in on this bill, and it probably couldn’t be stopped in the House regardless.

    Note that Obama has consistently campaigned in a way which emphasizes process over just results. In that respect he is a temperamental small-c conservative. Not big-footing the House leadership at the last minute looks to me to be part of his MO. The place for Obama to show leadership on this issue is now in the Senate, and I am reserving judgment on his stand until it comes up there in due time.

    So for now, everybody calm down, but keep sending messages to the Dems in the Senate, with emphasis on Obama, that now is the time for them to step up and show some leadership for a change.

    *The real scandal here is: why was this bill brought up for a vote so quickly after being on the back-burner for a long time? Something stinks here, and Hoyer has some e’splaining to do. I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility that key members of the Democratic House leadership are actively being blackmailed. My guess is that Bush & co. used their super secret powers to spy on everyone and everything and stashed away as much dirt as they could get for use against the Dems. It’s what Nixon would have done, as Cheney well knows having been there.

  59. 59
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Awww shoot, cross posted to the wrong thread.

  60. 60
    montysano says:

    I know I’m damned amused that Obama still hasn’t lifted a finger to stop the FISA telco amnesty “compromise“.

    It is a done deal. Why would he?

    Seriously, why should he get involved when nothing can be done about it?

    So what you’re saying is if the serious adults have decided, the presumptive Democratic nominee and Democratic party leader should rest back on his heels and be quiet. He seems to agree. Good to know.

    If the House Dems were willing to give BO some covering fire, that’s one thing. But for him to take a principled stand all alone, while Pelosi and Reid cower in the corner… well, sadly that would just be stupid. The Flying Monkeys would bray about it for weeks, with no one except BO, and maybe Feingold and Kucinich, to return fire. No thanks.

  61. 61
    Joe Max says:

    Brooks is such a raving moron it’s hard to decipher. His piece reads like the inane bullshit getting flung at riverdaughter:

    I went over there and commented, rather politely I think. I basically asked why, if HRC is on board with Obama, do many of her primary supporters refuse to go along with her? I said there’s probably a deal afoot to cement her support (I guessed a SCOTUS nomination) and four more years of GOP executive would be a disaster we can’t afford.

    My comment got deleted.

    They did however keep another commenter’s response to me:

    Joe Max,
    We can’t stand a waffler who won’t commit to anything either.
    I don’t think Clinton on the Supreme court makes any sense at all, and I also think she told Obama to take his vp slot and stick it.
    Seems to me, Obama isn’t racking up the bucks like he used to, he hasn’t reported for May yet and when Clinton did that, it was because she had a shortfall.
    Anyway, whatever HRC recommends, my decision, like my vote is my own.
    How I’ll exercise it remains to be seen.
    So far, Obama is still lacking in my book.

    Kudos to John Cole, whom even when I called Clinton Derangement Syndrome on him, he never deleted my comments, he answered them. Whether I agreed with his answer is irrelevant, it’s that he kept the comment and he answered it.

  62. 62
    Cris says:

    The punditry class has become soft. They are still in 2002, and expect the world to follow that script.

    That’s surprisingly up-to-speed for them. The major share of their brains are stuck in 1968-1972 or so.

  63. 63
    Cris says:

    there’s probably a deal afoot to cement her support

    Chicago politics, eh

  64. 64
    georgia pig says:

    It is a done deal. Why would he?

    Agreed. Telco amnesty is simply about being able to file civil suits against private parties to unearth government wrongdoing, which ultimately is a rather convoluted way of dealing with the lawlessness of the administration. Suing AT&T doesn’t put anybody in jail. The better way is to get political control, i.e., win control of the Justice Department and solid majorities in Congress. Sure, it’s great to lobby your congressperson about it, but to expect Obama to make it a cause celebre right now, in the middle of a presidential campaign, is utter stupidity.

    Also, for all those bemoaning that Obama’s tactics preclude him from claiming he’s for a “new politics,” that seems to be based on some ridiculous personal assumptions of what that will look like. The campaign finance laws allow for opting out, it’s not like it’s a crime, and opting out doesn’t mean you don’t support public financing. What Obama’s new politics look like to me is “getting shit done”, playing fair without being a chump, which is certainly new politics for Democrats.

  65. 65
    liberal says:

    Rick Taylor wrote,

    I think us left-wingers already know Obama is not that left wing. There were plenty of blog posts criticizing him for his proclivity for dismissing the left wing politics of the past in favor of unity. It’s just that when Clinton started arguing about Michigan and Florida and taking it to the convention, everything else was set aside.

    Yeah.

    In terms of voting records, he’s really about the same as Hillary, AFAICT. Maybe I’d give him the edge on the Iraq war, but OTOH he’s hardly been a leader for shutting the war down.

    Still, by the time the primaries came around to my state, I voted for Obama (only he and Clinton were left), partly because Hillary seems to have no core convictions. (Of course, I’d still vote for her over McNutJob in a heartbeat—and McNutJob has even fewer core convictions than she does.)

    But the notion that, if Obama gets elected, we won’t have to fight to change US policy on Iraq, etc, is just silly.

  66. 66
    dana b says:

    Seriously, folks, if I had to make up my mind by reading this blog on whether to vote McCain or Obama, I’d vote for McCain. I feel like I’m sitting in the stands watching a team of all boys disrespecting anyone who disagrees with them.

    I do want to give Obama a chance to convince me otherwise sometime between now and November. For that reason, I’m not going to read here any more. You really are hurting your candidate’s cause — that goes for John Cole especially.

  67. 67
    montysano says:

    Seriously, folks, if I had to make up my mind by reading this blog on whether to vote McCain or Obama, I’d vote for McCain. I feel like I’m sitting in the stands watching a team of all boys disrespecting anyone who disagrees with them.

    I do want to give Obama a chance to convince me otherwise sometime between now and November. For that reason, I’m not going to read here any more. You really are hurting your candidate’s cause—that goes for John Cole especially.

    kthxbai

  68. 68
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    I do want to give Obama a chance to convince me otherwise sometime between now and November. For that reason, I’m not going to read here any more. You really are hurting your candidate’s cause—that goes for John Cole especially.

    Say ‘Hi’, lay out your concerns and then GBCW, all in one post? Now that is an efficient concern troll! Lets see if this one keeps their word to stay away.

    Any bets? ;)

  69. 69
    handy says:

    That was some pretty flacid trolling. You’d have been better starting with a “As a lifelong Democrat…”, but even that would have just been splashing Tabasco on a bowl of boiled crabgrass.

    Keep trying, though. You may yet graduate from T-ball.

  70. 70
    rikyrah says:

    “Fast Eddie Obama”? Really?

    How on Earth did David Brooks develop a reputation as a guy who understands the average American? He’s like some caricature of a spluttering egghead trying to be “hep”. Like Tony Randall in a Frank Tashlin movie, only evil. What a maroon.

    Color me ignorant, but I thought this was a Chicago Shoutout to Fast Eddie Vrydolyak, leader of the Opposition ’29’ during Harold Washington’s first term as Mayor.

  71. 71
    Buffoon says:

    Obama (praise be unto his name) a centrist? Nah, if he wins, which I doubt (polls are not the privacy of a voting booth) he’ll return to doing what the puppet masters (socialist) put on the tele-prompter…

  72. 72
    Josh says:

    A Democrat learned how to putt…uh oh…

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