FISA Hold’Em

It has been a while since your have had a playable hand, and your supporters are antsy. But now you have a low pocket pair- the six of diamonds and the six of hearts. You push the betting pre-flop, and then it happens- the House flops an AK of diamonds and a K of clubs. You did what you could with your hand, but events beyond your control have left you in a really weak spot right now.

You are now out of position, you don’t have many outs, but the crowd is not cutting you any slack. Do you check, and try to limp into the turn to see what the Senate does there and on the river? That would be the smart play- the pot payoff is too low, the stakes are too high, and you need to get to the final table before you are in the money. Additionally, you don’t have much of a chip lead, as you spent the last few hours whittling away a really tenacious opponent, and while you eventually knocked her out of the game, others around you were growing strong as well, so you have to spend your chips wisely. But who knows, maybe something game changing will happen on the turn (a Feingold filibuster is sustained?).

Or do you, inexplicably, go all in? Just on the principle, and nothing else, because you really have no control over what the other players do and what happens on the turn and the river. That is what the crowd wants. They are catcalling and jeering, telling you to do it.

Choose wisely. Losing the hand will be bad, but knocking yourself out of the game before the final table would be worse, even if the crowd does not understand it.

Consider this an open thread, and no doubt one which will be marred by the inability to separate the politics of the FISA situation from the contents of the bill.

*** Update ***

Bonus poem my mother taught us all as we were learning to drive:

He was right, dead right
as he drove along.
But he is just as dead
as if he’d been wrong.






556 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    shortstop says:

    Consider this an open thread, and no doubt one which will be marred by the inability to separate the politics of the FISA situation from the contents of the bill.

    That is no doubt true. But since you demonstrated late last night that you have no idea what the contents of the bill actually are, resisting the urge to snark would have been the better part of dignity in this post.

  3. 3
    Helena Montana says:

    I posted this in the last thread too, but it certainly applies to this one, too.

    I have given Obama way more than I can afford to, and would cheerfully have kept doing so, but his position on the FISA bill leaves me really dismayed.

    Even taking that into account, he’s still a better choice than McCain or Clinton, but as far as I’m concerned, he just spectacularly flunked the first leadership test.

  4. 4
    The Dangerman says:

    You’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk way, and know when to run.

    Hey, that’s kinda catchy; I wonder how that sounds to music.

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    But since you demonstrated late last night that you have no idea what the contents of the bill actually are, resisting the urge to snark would have been the better part of dignity in this post.

    I am not sure what else I can do- I have read
    Greenwald, I have read Balkin, and it looks like so far the bill is pretty much a cave-in and near total capitulation. This Lederman post seems to be the best one.

    It looks to me like the WH got everything they want, and the House Leadership decided to just give them what they want with a few minor concessions that Bush will probably ignore anyway.

    It sucks, but I am not sure what Obama is supposed to do about this. Additionally, my only real comment on the contents of the bill have come in the form of calling it an epic failure on the part of the house leadership, and this remark last night in which I tried to somewhat put make-up on a pig:

    The immunity portion sucks. The rest of it, from what I have read, does appear to have been a restoration of the spirit of the law to pre-Bush era setting. Others with legal training can fill you in more on the good parts of it.

    That is the sum total of my postings on the content, and I oppose the bill. Not sure what exactly you want from me.

  6. 6
    Dan says:

    Yesterday’s “yes” votes are here, along with home page links.

  7. 7
    James Hare says:

    It still has to go through a conference with the Senate, correct? There are several Senators that have made it clear they won’t accept immunity in the past. As to expanded surveillance powers? Well I’d have to read the bill, but I think there’s a pretty good chance we’re stuck with something along those lines. Unfortunately, there isn’t some grand group of folks in Congress who are as devoted to civil liberties as we like.
    Me, I’m most concerned about immunity. That’s been my concern from day one because it’s unlikely I’d ever be extended immunity for my own personal lawbreaking — that and the only way we’ll ever find out exactly what happened appears to be through lawsuits because the Congress either cannot or will not engage in oversight.
    Asking for purity on this issue is probably expecting a bit much from our politicians. Really, I’m with John on this one. Wait and see what the Senate does. With luck this FISA compromise goes the way of the last one — dead in the water just like the last one because the House and Senate cannot reconcile their differences.

  8. 8
    Balakirev says:

    I was willing to toe the line and vote for Obama, despite preferring a far more progressive candidate, Edwards. But I’ve been uneasy about the people Obama has been gathering ever since his chief legal counsel posted an emotional plea for the forgiveness of Scooter Libby. Since then, we’ve heard that he’s hired a team of policy “experts” who are Very Serious People, mostly Conservative Democrats, and now…this.

    So the vote’s off. I know my vote in the usual American way won’t count this fall, so I’ll either not vote at all for president, or write in Edwards. Four more years of McSame? It will be terrible. Catastrophic. And it just may finally touch the anger of enough Americans to get them to throw all the play-the-gamers out of DC, start up trials, and get good people, progressive Democrats, into the system in sufficient quantities to make a difference.

  9. 9
    JenJen says:

    If I understood poker analogies, I imagine I would have enjoyed this post.

  10. 10
    Genine says:

    Helena Montana Says:
    …….

    Even taking that into account, he’s still a better choice than McCain or Clinton, but as far as I’m concerned, he just spectacularly flunked the first leadership test.

    I understand how you feel. I am really pissed about his decision. The only reason I can think of why he did it is because of politics. He cannot afford to piss off superdelegates before his nomination is secure.

    As Hillary supporters love to point out- they can change their minds any time between now and the convention. Sure, he has sway with the voters and he has some momentum, but he is still at the mercy of the Party Machine at this point.

    I think its a tough call, but he did what he thought was best. He has the perception of power on his side, but he doesn’t actually have the power- yet.

    I have no clue about hold’em. But I do know its easier to make judgments and pronouncements from the sidelines. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors?

    Hell we still don’t know what Lieberman and Obama was talking about during that famous confrontation in the hall, out in public. Why would we know what goes on behind closed doors?

    But it is obvious that the superdelegates Obama needs to win want this bill passed. And he cannot call them out in the media, charge them with being wimps, call them traitors and tell their constituents they people care more about the telcos than people and expect these same people to cast their vote for him in August. That might happen in Bizarro World, but not here, not at this point in time anyway.

  11. 11
    nightjar says:

    That is no doubt true. But since you demonstrated late last night that you have no idea what the contents of the bill actually are, resisting the urge to snark would have been the better part of dignity in this post.

    The contents of the bill are no doubt disappointing to many progressives, including myself. That is not the point we are arguing. The question is can Obama stop it now and the answer to that is no, unless your an idiot. Whining to force him to take a futile stand at this time is just stupid politics, and yes, again, Obama is a politician in the middle of a campaign for the POTUS, not for class president.

    And in the current climate after 8 years of wingnut ideological governance, it would be political suicide for either candidate to paint themselves as ideological warriors, liberal or conservative (and Mccain is currently doing just that, hence the Newsweek poll of a 15 point lead for Obama). The American people just won’t stand for any more of that. And if you can’t see that then your just not paying attention, or blinded by self-importance. Save your indignance for when Obama IS the prez and screws up, not now.

    You people are giving me a headache. I’m going for a long walk.

  12. 12
    vg says:

    For real, man. Like, what’s up with that clammyc dude on dKos? Offensively inane is the only way to describe it.

  13. 13
    jenniebee says:

    If this isn’t where you draw the line, where do you draw it?

    I mean, when did the 4th amendment stop being a safeguard and start being a loophole? And when was it exactly, in your analogy, that the crowd and the chips started being one and the same?

    What constituency exactly do you think supports this bill and would also ever in a million years support Obama, no matter how he votes on it?

  14. 14
    Daniel Munz says:

    I have to say, as much as I’m disappointed by this entire thing, it’s starting to seem besides the point. If you think the President is someone who (a) basically disregards the law and (b) is, as head of the executive branch, unwilling to prosecute others disregarding the law, it really doesn’t seem like passing a new law is going to work. At this point, we can all either just impeach the guy or just wait until he goes away.

  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    I have to say, as much as I’m disappointed by this entire thing, it’s starting to seem besides the point. If you think the President is someone who (a) basically disregards the law and (b) is, as head of the executive branch, unwilling to prosecute others disregarding the law, it really doesn’t seem like passing a new law is going to work. At this point, we can all either just impeach the guy or just wait until he goes away.

    Pretty much. Even if the bill is passed the way the most progressive netroots voter wants, Bush will just issue a signing statement anyway. And since the Democratic leadership has taken impeachment off the table, you don’t even have the option you outlined above.

  16. 16
    Otto Man says:

    If I understood poker analogies, I imagine I would have enjoyed this post.

    I do, and I did.

  17. 17
    Laertes says:

    Your problem, Mr. Cole, is that you brought reason to an emotion fight.

    The people moaning about how Obama has let them down remind me of nothing so much as a teenage girl who’s shocked that her new boyfriend didn’t think to call her before school today. She now feels a little bit silly about having spent the previous evening doodling his name in her notebook, and she’s going to compensate herself for those feelings of embarrassment by indulging a brief snit.

    Or maybe they’re more like a baseball fan throwing up his hands in disgust and stomping out of the stadium because his pitcher, in the eighth inning of a shutout, ahead six runs, just gave up a one-run homer.

    Nancies, the lot of ’em. We’ve got a smart, tough, serious-minded candidate, and he’s going to spend the next few months mopping the floor with Bob Dole’s retarded cousin. Come November we can all enjoy some great victory parties, and another round of them on January 20th.

    There’s a lot of joy coming our way. Some people just can’t handle that.

  18. 18
    The Dangerman says:

    If it’s unconstitutional, won’t it be struck down by the SC someday?

    As for retroactive immunity, GWB or the Telcos would be prosecuted right after pigs fly out my butt. Yeah, it sucks, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

    Bigger picture over purity.

  19. 19
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    So the vote’s off. I know my vote in the usual American way won’t count this fall, so I’ll either not vote at all for president, or write in Edwards. Four more years of McSame? It will be terrible. Catastrophic. And it just may finally touch the anger of enough Americans to get them to throw all the play-the-gamers out of DC, start up trials, and get good people, progressive Democrats, into the system in sufficient quantities to make a difference.

    Shorter first-time poster: “Nach Hitler, uns.”

  20. 20
    shortstop says:

    Look, John, this bill assuredly does not restore the “spirit of the law,” whatever the fuck that means, to “pre-Bush era” parameters. It expands warrantless surveillance powers in keeping with the Protect America Act, basically turns all judicial oversight into a show for the rubes and inserts huge honking loopholes against what court review does exist.

    I am not arguing against your position that there was little Obama could effectively do to stop this in the House (although I will be watching his next moves with immense interest). I’m simply asking you to minimally familiarize yourself with the bill so that you don’t grossly mischaracterize it. That’s the least you can do if you’re going to blog energetically on this subject.

  21. 21
    BFR says:

    Pretty much. Even if the bill is passed the way the most progressive netroots voter wants, Bush will just issue a signing statement anyway.

    The administration doesn’t consider this legislation necessary in order to continue the eavesdropping program anyhow. As I understand it, they believe that the president’s Article II powers in wartime trump any legislation, so good bill/bad bill, it’s all essentially meaningless unless they’re willing to talk up impeachment.

    What strikes me as really odd about this is that the congressional GOP is so behind it. “Let’s see just how much power we can invest in a future President Obama!”

  22. 22
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Disappointed? Sure. If Obama and the Senate can strip out immunity, though, I’ll count that as a win. Even more so than watching the GOP doing an insta-180 on FISA once Obama’s elected.

  23. 23
    Cassidy says:

    I thought we weren’t allowed to wear purity before Labor Day? I’m so confused by fashion rules.

  24. 24
    MH says:

    This analogy is complete strawman, excluded-middle failure.

  25. 25
    RandyH says:

    I am not sure that this is such a terrible “compromise” bill after sleeping on it, really. The part of the bill that so many seem to be upset about its the so-called “immunity” part. After a little review, it seems that this only relieves those facing civil lawsuits. It does not forgive any criminal liability of anyone in government or in the industry. They can still face criminal charges for past lawbreaking – if we have an administration willing to do the prosecuting. Some will argue that Bush will pardon everyone before he leaves office. Maybe he’ll try, but I doubt they could find everyone involved – and wouldn’t that be like publicly admitting guilt on the way out of office? Think about wht that would do to his “legacy.” And all of this this still doesn’t stop the facts about the past lawbreaking from being made public – which is the whole point of the civil suits going through the courts now.

    The other part of the bill – the changes to FISA for easier surveillance by intelligence agencies – is, unfortunately, necessary when you’re in an election year against fear mongering Republicans who will stop at nothing – including engineering, assisting or just allowing another major terrorist attack in October. If such an event should happen and the Repub’s blame the Dem’s for not expanding FISA, the scared masses WILL go running to Grampa War Hero in November.

  26. 26
    Keith says:

    IMO, it’s a lost battle but not one worth getting so pissed off that we lose the war. The parallel to the right’s base regarding hostility to any compromise whatsoever is there (although not as all-encompassing), but it’s time to move on (no pun intended)

  27. 27
    Ted says:

    So the vote’s off. I know my vote in the usual American way won’t count this fall, so I’ll either not vote at all for president, or write in Edwards.

    This is becoming a new genre of concern trollery. “Since Obama’s only 95% of what I wanted, and not 100%, THE WHOLE THING IS OFF! McCain will punish and teach you people!”

    Are these people brand new to politics?

  28. 28
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Are these people brand new to politics?

    In this economy, you gotta earn those McCain golf balls any way you can.

  29. 29
    eastriver says:

    Your analogy is fundamentally flawed. Politicians don’t have to play the cards they’re given. They can effect the flop, the turn, and the river. If they can’t, they shouldn’t be in politics.

    (And only an asshole would even think about playing a low pair with that board.)

    Obama made a tactical decision, not a decision of principal. It was a huge mistake for many reasons, and a huge win for others?

    Will it prove to be a sum plus or minus in the end? Who knows.

    But misleading poker ananlogies will always be a minus in the end.

  30. 30
    WereBear says:

    Regarding the many who say they will throw away their vote so things get WORSE enough to get, maybe, better:

    I think things are quite bad enough already. The latest polls show Obama up 15% over McCain, and that is what we want.

  31. 31
    Ted says:

    I think things are quite bad enough already. The latest polls show Obama up 15% over McCain, and that is what we want.

    Not apparently what they want. They want a President McCain to teach us all a lesson. What we did to deserve that, I’m not sure.

  32. 32
    John Cole says:

    Your analogy is fundamentally flawed. Politicians don’t have to play the cards they’re given. They can effect the flop, the turn, and the river. If they can’t, they shouldn’t be in politics.

    I have heard this somewhere else- I think it was phrased differently, though. Something along the line of “we create our own reality.”

    128 votes against in the house. Not even half the caucus. But of course Obama could have changed all that. As it is now, at most only 32 will oppose in the Senate. But somehow, Obama could magically change all that.

  33. 33
    wmd says:

    I’m another disappointed Obama supporter. And I will be doing further volunteer work for him, and probably give more money to his campaign in the future.

    That said both of these will be much easier if he shows some leadership in the Senate. He can make a clear case that extending the PAA into 2009 is enough to protect us; the immunity is just saying the rule of law isn’t important. Throw Kit Bond’s words back at him – disobeying illegal orders from the US government is what real americans do, have done since at least the underground railroad and the abolition movement.

    He can filibuster. Dodds is down one helper with Ted Kennedy on the DL, so let Obama step up.

  34. 34
    Huego says:

    And on and on it goes. This really is the 9/11 of concern trollery. Seriously, has it ever, since the beginning of all internet traditions, been worse than the last 24 hours?Some people are totally fucking immune to issues of, say, trying to win.

    Plan A:
    (1) Win
    (2) Fix Shit

    Plan B:
    (1) Gratuitously differentiate self from McCain on issue of national security in the minds of dimwitted but essential Ohio State fans, many of whom think you are both a bomb-throwing Muslim and pussy pacifist with a crazy Christian pastor
    (2) ???
    (3) Profit

    I’ll talk a hot, steaming glass of Plan A, please

    But, hey, having demonstrated himself so politically unsavvy and ineffectual in the primary, I’m sure he has no fucking clue what he’s doing and is just a big sellout after all.

  35. 35
    rob! says:

    we’ve built this system that punishes a politician for not doing everything we want the exact way we want it, then complain that they are spineless.

    people have a right to complain about Obama’s take on the bill. i wish he had been more strident against it, and saying “i’ll look over it when i’m president” sounds lame to this die-hard Obamabot. i mean, come on.

    but the voters who say “that’s it, i’m not voting for Obama! nyaaah!” are not looking for a politician to steer America away from the cliff Bush has us perched on; they’re looking for a personal savior. and no politician will ever be able to meet that standard.

    maybe its good that Obama lets some people down once in a while, it keeps them from becoming too identified with the guy, too enamored. because when that happens, you find yourself running websites like hillaryis44.org.

  36. 36
    BH-Buck says:

    By a show of hands, how many here are going to vote for McCain in November (because of what Obama did didn’t do yesterday)?

    None? Oh, ok.

    Question: Who are “they” and/or “them” that’s catching so much hell? I don’t see them anywhere.

    Many people are upset by the happenings of yesterday, and rightfully so… who do NOT plan on voting for anyone other than Obama. These people, including myself, are getting tired of being lumped into the anti-Obama, pro-Hillary/McCain pile.

    Could you people possibly take aim a little better. Or, at least, knock it the hell off?

  37. 37
    Ted says:

    Question: Who are “they” and/or “them” that’s catching so much hell? I don’t see them anywhere.

    Well, here is a good example:

    So the vote’s off. I know my vote in the usual American way won’t count this fall, so I’ll either not vote at all for president, or write in Edwards. Four more years of McSame? It will be terrible. Catastrophic. And it just may finally touch the anger of enough Americans to get them to throw all the play-the-gamers out of DC, start up trials, and get good people, progressive Democrats, into the system in sufficient quantities to make a difference.

    And there are tons more in previous threads on this blog alone. And it’s getting really pathetic. They won’t even take the first step towards the ‘change’ they want (and the country needs), because it has turned out to be only 95% sufficient.

  38. 38
    replicnt6 says:

    I think most of us have no illusion that Obama speaking out on this issue would have swayed enough dems in the House to sink the bill. However, we’d sure like to hear him speak out for what is right. Showing some spine is only damaging politically in the scaredy-cat-lily-livered-we’re-afraid-of-the-big-bad-republicans school of losing elections (cf. John Kerry). From where I’m standing, I can’t help feeling like he’s adopted some old-school dem advisors who are advising “capitulate, capitulate, capitulate”.

    His response is weak, weak sauce. He say’s “I don’t like it, but I’m not going to put up even a little fight”. Yeah, that’s a great big political win. Forget those of us who care about the issue itself. It’s just not demonstrating strength or leadership.

    He can’t afford to take time out of the campaign to fillibuster? That would _be_ his campaign. It would get a ton of publicity, everyone would think Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It would be a striking contrast to McCain who has never stood up to Bush.

    Your analogy, John, sucks. Folding when you’re probably going to lose is good poker. It’s often bad politics. In poker, it’s only the outcome that matters, not how you get there. In politics, it’s often how you get there. Did Clinton’s vote for the AUMF hurt her because it would have changed the outcome? No. It hurt her because she made a bad political calculation that it was going to pass anyway, and voting against it might be dangerous.

    I agree with Genine, who says that perhaps Obama can’t afford to piss off and risk losing superdels before the convention. Even so, capitulating to your party’s congressional leadership shows neither strength nor leadership.

    Of course I’m still going to vote for Obama, and contribute to his campaign, etc. But don’t ask me to respect his decision on this one.

  39. 39
    Keith says:

    He can filibuster.

    Not with only 32 other Senators on his side.

  40. 40
    Laertes says:

    BH-Buck: Balakirev.

    This has been SASTSQ.

  41. 41
    RandyH says:

    Is this only happening to me?

    Every so often, when refreshing the page, a wide-format ad for Washington Mutual comes up in the rotation in the Pajamas Media ad column on the left side of the screen, widening that column and squeezing the center and right columns down considerably.

    It’s annoying.

  42. 42
    Ted says:

    This is the same crap the GOP base is going through with McCain. What a great idea; let’s emulate their party base’s loathing of their own candidate due to ideological impurity. That’s a winning strategy!

  43. 43
    Huego says:

    BH-Buck, if people better aim at appropriate targets Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi, and you have a deal (with me anyway).

    I think pretty much any disappointment with Obama is approaching hysterical, and the sheer volume of it (from the left) on the intertubes is gobsmacking.

  44. 44
    Ted says:

    Every so often, when refreshing the page, a wide-format ad for Washington Mutual comes up in the rotation in the Pajamas Media ad column on the left side of the screen, widening that column and squeezing the center and right columns down considerably.

    No, it happens to me as well, on FF v2. Roger Simon screws up other people’s blogs as well.

  45. 45
    PeterJ says:

    They want a President McCain to teach us all a lesson. What we did to deserve that, I’m not sure.

    Well some didn’t learn enough from what happened when Bush got elected and reelected.
    Instead of having four more years for everybody, I think they should head for Special Ed. Cause I doubt they will learn anything more from four years of McCain.

  46. 46
    BH-Buck says:

    Ted and Laertes, arguing with such shallow people is no different thatn arguing with that pesky pro-Bush 28% crowd. The ignorant can’t be reasoned with.

    But their numbers are small. I don’t understand why so many posts, so many comments, have come about over just a handful of idiots.

    There is no helping these people. Is best to just avoid them.

  47. 47
    wmd says:

    I agree with Genine, who says that perhaps Obama can’t afford to piss off and risk losing superdels before the convention. Even so, capitulating to your party’s congressional leadership shows neither strength nor leadership.

    If he speaks up, makes a strong effort to show a better “compromise” than the capitulation engineered by Hoyer he’s doing something different from “politics as usual”. If he doesn’t he’s demonstrating to an activist portion of his base that he will cave under pressure. he needs to drink some of his kool-aid and get out there on the floor of the Senate, say “Yes we can” stop immunity and stand for the rule of law.

    He’s not lost my support. I still hope that he shows leadership in stopping the capitulation and offering a compromise.

  48. 48
    EL says:

    The choice is not between a candidate who is 100% of what I personally want, and one who isn’t. It’s between two candidates, and which one’s positions are more of what I want. I encourage people to see that these are two POLITICIANS who must make compromises frequently to run, to legislate, to govern. They are not our parents, idols or best friends. They will disappoint.

    So the question comes down to “who is closer to my position?” Not even a contest as far as I’m concerned. Obama wasn’t my first choice, but he’s head and shoulders above McCain on so many issues I care about.

  49. 49
    RandyH says:

    He can’t afford to take time out of the campaign to fillibuster? That would be his campaign. It would get a ton of publicity, everyone would think Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It would be a striking contrast to McCain who has never stood up to Bush.

    This bill doesn’t make it to the Senate until next week. Who knows what will happen there. I suspect he will take the time out from his campaign to do a big performance in the Senate. But, most likely, the bill will still pass.

  50. 50
    Helena Montana says:

    Nancies, the lot of ‘em. We’ve got a smart, tough, serious-minded candidate, and he’s going to spend the next few months mopping the floor with Bob Dole’s retarded cousin.

    No, we’ve got another weak, spineless, lazy Democrat who can’t be bothered to take the time to understand exactly what this bill does and to formulate a good valid argument against it. This reminds me very much of John Kerry’s flip-flop decision to vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq. It’s a disaster.

  51. 51
    Ted says:

    But their numbers are small. I don’t understand why so many posts, so many comments, have come about over just a handful of idiots.

    Hope you’re right. But the wailing and gnashing of teeth at DKos and plenty of other major blogs, that comment thread a few below this one here with over 450 comments, etc, suggest they’re not that few.

  52. 52
    Sojourner says:

    If Obama can’t get ahead of a bill that the American public don’t want, WTF is he going to do when it’s a more controversial bill?

  53. 53
    Laertes says:

    Helena Montana says:

    ZOMG I WANT MY MCCAIN POINTS.

    Well done. Go collect your golfballs.

  54. 54
    BH-Buck says:

    Ted, I don’t read DKos. And it’s probably good that I don’t.

  55. 55
    Ted says:

    If Obama can’t get ahead of a bill that the American public don’t want, WTF is he going to do when it’s a more controversial bill?

    Oh, lovely.

    Newsflash to SoJourner: 90% of this country’s population doesn’t know what the hell this is about, if they’ve heard of peep of it at all. It just is not an issue that registers widely. Sure, it affects all of us, including the politically ignorant. But in a general election campaign, the population’s general political ignorance HAS to be taken into account in choosing your battles, or, you know, you LOSE.

  56. 56
    Sojourner says:

    I think pretty much any disappointment with Obama is approaching hysterical, and the sheer volume of it (from the left) on the intertubes is gobsmacking.

    Good for the left. If you want lock-step obedience to the party leader, join the Repubs.

  57. 57
    John Cole says:

    Is this only happening to me?

    Every so often, when refreshing the page, a wide-format ad for Washington Mutual comes up in the rotation in the Pajamas Media ad column on the left side of the screen, widening that column and squeezing the center and right columns down considerably.

    It’s annoying.

    I will be rolling out a completely new site design in a month or so. It is on the agenda for July and August.

    Hope you’re right. But the wailing and gnashing of teeth at DKos and plenty of other major blogs, that comment thread a few below this one here with over 450 comments, etc, suggest they’re not that few.

    Many of the most vocal commenters are Clinton concern trolls who have not commented here since before Clinton conceded- MYIQ2XU is one of them. Sojourner, who I like, is another one who lurks here and has been here for a while and will probably pop up any time there is a potshot to take at Obama. We were probably linked in a Talk Left or Corrente comments section where most of the Clinton die-hards hang out and get their daily hate on, and they came over.

    Other than that, we do have a lot of people who are already way to the left of any of the candidates save Kucinich and Gravel, and they have already, in their minds, gone more than halfway to meet Obama and/or Clinton or whatever centrist the party barfs up to run in the general election. So, for them, they really are genuinely let down by the events of the past week, and I understand where they are coming from.

    That being said, I still do not think peiople have a realistic opinion of what Obama could have done, which I think can be best summed up as- “Not much.” The depth of support in the House and the fact that the leadership was in lockstep on this tells me the fix was in, and sniping at Obama because this went down the way it did looks to me to be the very definition of friendly fire.

  58. 58
    John S. says:

    But the wailing and gnashing of teeth at DKos and plenty of other major blogs, that comment thread a few below this one here with over 450 comments, etc, suggest they’re not that few.

    Remember, Ted, that blogs are magnifying glasses that take the most motivated and vocal constituencies and amplify them to an unrepresentative magnitude.

    The average voter who isn’t following this issue closely isn’t mad at Obama for his lack of leadership on it because they don’t care. People that don’t care won’t swarm blogs to say so.

  59. 59
    Sojourner says:

    Newsflash to SoJourner: 90% of this country’s population doesn’t know what the hell this is about, if they’ve heard of peep of it at all.

    The polls suggest otherwise.

    So are you suggesting that Obama only need care about the parts of the Constitution the American people care about?

    Interesting. Do we take a vote or how does this work?

  60. 60
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    No, we’ve got another weak, spineless, lazy Democrat who can’t be bothered to take the time to understand exactly what this bill does and to formulate a good valid argument against it.

    Because he’s had so much time to study it while campaigning and working on his Presidential platform.

    I remain unconvinced this isn’t potential ju-jitsu on behalf of the Democrats. House passes bill, Senate strips immunity, House passes revised bill, Bush vetoes. Rinse, wash, repeat until January 2009.

  61. 61
    Helena Montana says:

    ZOMG I WANT MY MCCAIN POINTS.

    Go fuck yourself. I’ve given close to 1000 to Obama that I can’t afford. You’ll just have to understand that anybody who doesn’t agree with you isn’t some GOP troll.

  62. 62
    corwin says:

    The point is not so much about immunity. I, for one, would not be so troubled with letting the telecoms off the hook, at least when it came to civil penalties. The real issue is discovery. If the telecoms get immunity, there is no discovery, which means that whatever the administration did during its wiretapping stays permanently hidden. Given what we know about them, I think it is safe to say that a big part of their wiretapping program was more about their political opponents here, than about terrorists overseas. All that has to happen forward is for the courts to accept that the justice dept certified that the telecoms were acting at the behest of the government, and, presto, the whole program is buried forever.

  63. 63
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Ted, I don’t read DKos. And it’s probably good that I don’t.

    Smart man. I second what John S. said too.

  64. 64
    montysano says:

    I’m not disappointed in BO. As I’ve commented numerous times: was he supposed to take a strong, principled stand while Pelosi and Steny cower in the corner? Was he supposed to stand strong with only Feingold and Kucinich watching his back? If he were to do so, here’s what you’d hear from the rightwing echo chamber in 5…4…3…2…1:

    “Even the House Democrats understand the need to empower the president to keep us safe from terrorists. The only one who doesn’t seem to get it is Barack Obama.”

    My father-in-law is a Methodist minister. Last week at a service, the woman leading the hymns suddenly veered off course to deliver a wide-eyed, trembly discourse about how BO is a Mooslim with terrorist ties and “America needs to wake up!!”. For sure, it was a wildly inappropriate thing to do, but she did it.

    We just can’t afford to supply the flying monkeys with free ammo. I fucking hate, HATE, that Hannity and Limbaugh have that much control over the process, but that’s the world we live in.

  65. 65
    Sojourner says:

    That being said, I still do not think peiople have a realistic opinion of what Obama could have done, which I think can be best summed up as- “Not much.”

    Fair enough, John. Maybe he couldn’t stop the bill. So that means he should come out and support it instead?

    Seriously, I do not understand his logic. Why not simply vote no and shut up? By actively supporting it, he comes across as weak and a flip flopper. First, I was against it, then the party I lead forced me to support it.

    Hardly inspiring.

  66. 66
    BH-Buck says:

    I will be rolling out a completely new site design in a month or so. It is on the agenda for July and August.

    John, if you’re sticking with WordPress and could use some help, I’d be glad to lend a hand.

  67. 67
    Brachiator says:

    Helena Montana Says:

    I have given Obama way more than I can afford to, and would cheerfully have kept doing so, but his position on the FISA bill leaves me really dismayed.

    Even taking that into account, he’s still a better choice than McCain or Clinton, but as far as I’m concerned, he just spectacularly flunked the first leadership test.

    It’s really not about Obama’s failure. The recent Supreme Court decision on habeas corpus offered the country a way out of the excessive executive privilege mess, but somehow, for some inexplicable reason, the Democrats in Congress are addicted to failure.

    There was no reason for this bill to come forward again, except that Bush (and others) are hot to try to get some wins in the last months of his term. And, for some strange reason, Nancy Pelosi wants to play Ms Machiavelli.

    But this also puts Obama in the spot of possibly antagonizing the Democratic leadership when he is not in a strong position to do so. He is the presumptive nominee, not the president. And there are still Democrats looking for a way to dislodge him in favor of Clinton at the convention.

    He is not the president yet. Perhaps we should stop acting as if he is totally responsible for the lingering cowardice of the Democratic Party.

    Balakirev Says:

    So the vote’s off. I know my vote in the usual American way won’t count this fall, so I’ll either not vote at all for president, or write in Edwards. Four more years of McSame? It will be terrible. Catastrophic. And it just may finally touch the anger of enough Americans to get them to throw all the play-the-gamers out of DC, start up trials, and get good people, progressive Democrats, into the system in sufficient quantities to make a difference.

    There are few things that irritate me more than the progressive wet dream that sitting back and allowing catastrophe to happen will somehow magically bring revolution.

    The only thing that catastrophe brings is more catastrophe.

    Anyone who sits out the election or votes for McCain will be complicit in the deaths of Americans and civilians in Iraq and possibly Iran. You will be complicit in the absolute increase in misery among your fellow citizens.

    If you have progressive Democrats who can replace the cowards currently in office, bring them out. Bring them out now.

    But stop pretending that you need the engergized masses to rescue you from your misguided fantasies.

  68. 68
    PeterJ says:

    The choice is not between a candidate who is 100% of what I personally want, and one who isn’t. It’s between two candidates, and which one’s positions are more of what I want.

    Those that want a candidate who is 100% of what they personally want only has one option.

    Run for office.

  69. 69
    John Cole says:

    Ted, I don’t read DKos. And it’s probably good that I don’t.

    I read DKOS. I think the diaries are often a must read. You have to watch out for the hive mind, but I like it over there. Often times I run into a lot of syrupy shit that makes me cringe, but other times you can find some quality stuff you would have missed otherwise.

    As far as the front page, DarkSyde is one of the most under-appreciated bloggers out there in the blogosphere, period, and I also like McJoan and SusanG. Hunter is good, as well, but he is like my Jack Russell terrier- he does not know when to let go.

    I also really like MYDD and Openleft and Booman. I dunno, I just like variety.

  70. 70
    Captain USA says:

    Shorter John Cole: Who cares about the Bill of Rights? Let’s gamble!

  71. 71
    John Cole says:

    Shorter John Cole: Who cares about the Bill of Rights? Let’s gamble!

    In order for the shorter concept to work, it has to somewhat accurately but also sarcastically reflect what the longer piece stated. I oppose the bill, so claiming I don’t care about the Bill of Rights is, well, bullshit.

  72. 72
    Ted says:

    and sniping at Obama because this went down the way it did looks to me to be the very definition of friendly fire.

    And therein lies a hilarious thing about your transition away from the GOP. You were used to rigid party unity behind the candidate (a winning political condition, as we’ve seen), and the circular firing squad of the Democratic party is new, and no doubt perplexing, to you. Welcome again! Perhaps we can throw this election too!

    Seriously, though. The GOP base hated McCain before he got the nomination. Now, they’re ready for battle on his behalf, all the way. Wish we could pull that off.

  73. 73
    montysano says:

    But in a general election campaign, the population’s general political ignorance HAS to be taken into account in choosing your battles, or, you know, you LOSE.

    We have a winner.

    Newsflash to SoJourner: 90% of this country’s population doesn’t know what the hell this is about, if they’ve heard of peep of it at all.

    The polls suggest otherwise.

    Horseshit. Then the polls are wrong. I don’t know where most of you live, but out here in flyover country, people have zero understanding of or concern with the issue. They’re more interested in drilling through the floor of their church in hopes of finding a cup of oil.

  74. 74
    Genine says:

    Of course I’m still going to vote for Obama, and contribute to his campaign, etc. But don’t ask me to respect his decision on this one.

    That’s pretty much my take on it. I will vote for him and contribute to his campaign and all and I hope he can get immunity removed from the Senate version of the bill. I am sad that he will vote for it but, since I do not know the full story behind it, I am not going to condemn him for it. I think those in power (and he’s not one of them -yet) are holding this over him.

    Now, if he were President Obama doing this- I probably wouldn’t be so understanding. But let’s get him to the President Obama stage before roasting him over a pit.

  75. 75
    Sojourner says:

    Horseshit. Then the polls are wrong. I don’t know where most of you live, but out here in flyover country, people have zero understanding of or concern with the issue.

    I live in Ohio. The people I know do care.

    Isn’t it a leader’s responsibility to educate people why they should care? Otherwise, he’s not leading, he’s following public opinion. I thought Obama was supposed to be a different kind of politician, one who was above the political BS?

  76. 76
    BH-Buck says:

    Bonus poem my mother taught us all as we were learning to drive

    This is the one mom taught us:

    The night was dark
    The sky was blue
    Down the trail
    The shit wagon flew

    A bump was hit
    A scream was heard
    John Cole got hit
    By a flying turd

  77. 77
    eastriver says:

    Johnny Cole says:

    128 votes against in the house. Not even half the caucus. But of course Obama could have changed all that. As it is now, at most only 32 will oppose in the Senate. But somehow, Obama could magically change all that.

    Barack is the number one democrat in the country. If he had gotten on the phone and called every democrat voting for this and told them he was making a stand and they had to take his back the bill would’ve been defeated.

    If he had threatened to do this last week the bill would’ve been defeated.

    Leaders lead.

    They effect the game around them.

    Senator Obama made a decision not to lead, but to follow.

    I don’t think you appreciate the anger, disillusion, and bitterness on the left.

  78. 78
    Ted says:

    Isn’t it a leader’s responsibility to educate people why they should care? Otherwise, he’s not leading, he’s following public opinion. I thought Obama was supposed to be a different kind of politician, one who was above the political BS?

    Yes, I’m sure Obama could just give a speech that the networks may or may not decide to air, where he explains the ins and outs of FISA law and telecom companies (at this point the public’s eyes glaze over) and exactly what this is about. And they’ll watch, in rapt attention, instead of turning to whatever game they wanted to catch.

    Good thing you’re not a political strategist.

  79. 79
    John Cole says:

    Barack is the number one democrat in the country. If he had gotten on the phone and called every democrat voting for this and told them he was making a stand and they had to take his back the bill would’ve been defeated.

    If he had threatened to do this last week the bill would’ve been defeated.

    We will be greeted as liberators!
    The war will pay for itself!
    Democracy will sweep across the Middle East!

    Magical thinking is teh awesome.

  80. 80
    Cassidy says:

    Randy H- what you are witnessing has nothing to with web design. The influx of hysterical progressives is what has actually squeezed out the center and right. Think of it as electronic attrition.

  81. 81
    Ted says:

    Oh, and Sojourner? I’ve had enough of a “leader” who doesn’t give a shit about public opinion. So if you’ve come to the conclusion that Obama just follows polling about policy, see how that compares to the Bush “who gives a shit what the public thinks?” standard and tell me which one you’d prefer right now.

  82. 82
    Elvis Elvisberg says:

    and then it happens- the House flops an AK of diamonds and a K of clubs.

    See, this didn’t just drop out of the sky. The House passing a lousy bill happened after lots of work with the Senate, and there’d been public rumors that something was about to happen for a while.

    I see it as, you have pocket jacks, the flop is three of hearts, seven of diamonds, ten of spades, and a notorious bully whose act is wearing thin goes all in. Call the son of a bitch.

    (Why pocket jacks? Because people are hardly clamoring for this bill, it’s been out of the news for a while, and the GOP’s fearmongering just isn’t working like it used to).

    The thing is, the Dems were kinda eager to fold here. Unless desire for campaign donations explains it all, I think there’s some secret reason why.

  83. 83
    Sojourner says:

    Yes, I’m sure Obama could just give a speech that the networks may or may not decide to air, where he explains the ins and outs of FISA law and telecom companies (at this point the public’s eyes glaze over) and exactly what this is about. And they’ll watch, in rapt attention, instead of turning to whatever game they wanted to catch.

    The telecoms broke the law under the direction of the president. Do you think a president should be able to break the law and give unconstitutional orders that impact your personal privacy?

    Yeh, it’s rocket science, alright. Right up there with explaining why it’s bad to lie the country into a war.

  84. 84
    Sojourner says:

    I’ve had enough of a “leader” who doesn’t give a shit about public opinion.

    The Constitution trumps public opinion.

  85. 85
    ThymeZone says:

    ThymeZone Says:

    McCain hasn’t been raising, or spending, a lot of money. He hasn’t needed to because he did not have any elections he needed to win for quite a while.

    That all changes soon. I maxxed out on Obama’s primary campaign and I will max out on the general too. I can’t really afford to put out $5600 for political contributions, but if I held back one dollar that I could have sent, and John McCain won, then I would have let down my country, and I won’t be in that position.

    My opinion of anyone who would hold back money from the Obama campaign on account of FISA is that they are goddam fools and I am ashamed to have to share a party, or even a country, with the likes of them. It’s the same way I feel about people who think the earth is 6000 years old. I don’t believe in the melting pot America model any more. I now believe that the American experiment depends on the defeat of the stupid people, and I have no use for stupid people as a result. I don’t like sharing a country with them, I wish they’d go away and start a stupid country somewhere else. And if you are one of those who is barking that you’d withhold support from Obama over FISA, then I am talking about you.
    June 21st, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Just posted that to the adjacent thread, and it needs to be here too.

    I am not going to spend the day arguing over this as I did yesterday, I have other things to do, and I have said all I have to say on the subject. But my disdain for those of you who are on the wrong side of this is real, and considerable. You suck, and the only thing good about it is that there aren’t that many of you in the big picture. Outside of blogdom, your foolish and spiteful bullshit won’t have much if any effect. And that is a very good thing because the future of the fucking country depends on beating John McCain in November, and agita over this issue is a pimple on the ass of the things that are really important right now. You fucking people would apparently be content to see McCain win the White House in order to fully express your useless “outrage” on this issue.

    America can survive the segregationists, the warmongers, the religious nuts, the Naderites, the Libertarians, but I am not so sure it can survive a full on coalition of stupid people if they all get together. Yes, FISA concern trolls, I am talking to you. You have joined the ranks of the stupid people who would put your emotional and foolish nonsense ahead of what is good for the country over the long term because you cannot tell a battle from a war.

  86. 86
    RandyH says:

    I live in Ohio. The people I know do care.

    Isn’t it a leader’s responsibility to educate people why they should care? Otherwise, he’s not leading, he’s following public opinion. I thought Obama was supposed to be a different kind of politician, one who was above the political BS?

    a) So now it’s not “polls” saying this, but “people you know.” Okay. You don’t know many real people I guess, because all most know is what comes from the teevee, where this doesn’t get reported. It’s a downer story. People might change the channel.

    b) NO politician is “above the political BS.” That’s what at least half of politics is about. If you’re just learning that now, you’re forgiven. And I’m sure that if he gets elected, in spite of all the sniping from folks like you, he might have a chance to show us what kind of leader he is capable of being. Until then, he’s just a candidate– not yet a leader – fighting to win over the rubes, who are more concerned about many other things than what they see as the government “spying on terrorists.”

  87. 87
    Ted says:

    Shorter Concern Trolls: Why won’t Barack Obama use his bully pulpit that he doesn’t have yet, and never will after this outrage if I have anything to do with it!

  88. 88
    demimondian says:

    It’s actually a mixed bag — and Obama appears to have chosen a nice mechanism for splitting the difference.

    The immunity provisions are a non-starter. The Prez can pardon for criminal violations, so that civil immunity provisions need to be stopped. But Obama seems to want to stop them — and focusing his fire on them is likely to work. The rest of the bill doesn’t seem so bad, though, and, frankly, in a lot of places, it’s actually an improvement.

    So why *not* compromise on taking the parts where it’s better, and fight only on the parts where it’s unacceptable? I’m confused?

  89. 89
    tim says:

    Most satisfying, I must admit, watching Obama being revealed as just another craven pol with zero balls in the take a stand/leadership crotch area.

    John, it’s not about wishing Obama would pretend we exist in a false reality, it is about wishing he would use that beautiful speaking voice for something other than empty, sunshine platitudes, like perhaps CONVINCING and PERSUADING and EDUCATING the american people about what is what, and raising pure holy hell in the media and on the bully pulpit he already commands, to stop cynical, corrupt bullshit like the FISA caper, and thus actually CREATE a new, actual reality.

    Oh, and take a look at the list of Beltway old timers and crooks and liars on his national security advisory panel or whatever the hell it’s called.

    “Change,” hell…Barry is changing NOTHING. He may, in fact, turn out to be one of the most cynically smooth operaters in American political history.

    Did I mention I am enjoying watching the Obamaphiles’ heads explode. Welcome to the REAL reality, folks.

  90. 90
    Sojourner says:

    You suck, and the only thing good about it is that there aren’t that many of you in the big picture.

    Then I’m proud to suck. The big picture is that what makes this country unique is the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    The president takes one oath: to protect the Constitution. My expectation is that all of our elected representatives will do exactly.

    I will proudly wear whatever smear you and the others want to throw out. I get it all the time from the 28%ers I work with. I hear the same arguments from them.

  91. 91
    JLundell says:

    …Burma Shave

  92. 92
    Tsulagi says:

    I tried to somewhat put make-up on a pig:

    The rest of it, from what I have read, does appear to have been a restoration of the spirit of the law to pre-Bush era setting. Others with legal training can fill you in more on the good parts of it.

    There’s not enough makeup nor shorts short enough to make this ugly porker look good.

    Well, I guess Obama thinks it’s attractive, though, as he said yesterday he now welcomed the FISA changes to confront “grave concerns.” Maybe that’s the gentler, progressive way of saying WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE UNLESS THE PRESIDENT HAS MORE POWER TO PROTECT US!

    The changes transfer judicial oversight to executive. Not to worry, Obama has pledged that as president he would carefully monitor the program. Gee, Bush has said he’s done the same all along. I’m sure Abu Gonzales and John Yoo would certify that leaving no room for doubt. That’s a relief. Guess Bush got a early jump on that transcending thing.

  93. 93
    Ted says:

    The telecoms broke the law under the direction of the president. Do you think a president should be able to break the law and give unconstitutional orders that impact your personal privacy?

    You know what? Just shut up. Seriously. If you have total amnesia for anything I, and plenty others, said in threads here from yesterday, I have no use for your nonsense.

    The telecoms broke the law. They should pay, and heavily. WTF is ANYONE going to do about it? Obama can’t, that’s for sure. So why don’t you run along now and find your Green Lantern?

  94. 94
    D. Mason says:

    I dunno about everyone else here but the only thing I expect Obama to do is vote no. If he votes yes then he is not the candidate I thought he was. But hey, look on the bright side, the H44 crowd will have gotten their female candidate.

  95. 95
    Sojourner says:

    Shorter Concern Trolls: Why won’t Barack Obama use his bully pulpit that he doesn’t have yet, and never will after this outrage if I have anything to do with it!

    Even Shorter Concern Troll: First Obama was against it but now he’s for it. But that’s okay because it’s Obama.

  96. 96
    phobos says:

    The influx of hysterical progressives is what has actually squeezed out the center and right.

    Speaking of squeezing things out, it looks like a certain concern troll woke up on the wrong side of the concern bed and is feeling extra-concerned today.

  97. 97
    Sojourner says:

    So now it’s not “polls” saying this, but “people you know.”

    Well, no. Someone said the polls were wrong because people in his state don’t care. I’m saying the polls are right and I do know people who care.

    I’m sorry I confused you.

  98. 98
    Sojourner says:

    You know what? Just shut up.

    What a compelling argument!

  99. 99
    Huego says:

    Congrats, tim, that is downright Olympian-caliber concern trolling.

    If offered a spot on the team, would you be willing to go to Beijing to go for gold?

    I’ll say it again. 6/20/08 is to concern trolling what 9/11 was to terrorism.

  100. 100
    curtadams says:

    They want a President McCain to teach us all a lesson. What we did to deserve that, I’m not sure.

    Who does? I’ve only seen liberal one post saying they wouldn’t vote for Obama now, and that was by somebody in a non-swing state who can can protest votes harmlessly. I see a lot of people disappointed, and some saying they’ll direct their hard work and money elsewhere, and that seems a very fair response.

    I’m really shocked that Obama didn’t stand up and say “Lawbreaking is wrong. I won’t allow it in my administration, and I will do everything in my power as a Senator to keep the Congress from excusing it.” Talk about a political win. I’m guess he didn’t want to embarass the supporters of the bill, but who knows.

  101. 101
    Ted says:

    What a compelling argument!

    Go ahead. Ask me, yet again, if I approve of presidential lawbreaking, on the basis of my not trashing Obama while he needs the most support. It’ll be funny.

  102. 102
    ThymeZone says:

    But that’s okay because it’s Obama.

    It’s not okay, it’s insignificant, not because it’s Obama, but because Obama is the best candidate this party has put up in almost 50 years, and his victory is essential to the country.

    I am saying this to you because, of the concern trolls, you are the only one who is actually smart enough to understand this. The rest of them are a bunch of fucking morons. I am not wasting my time on them any more. But before I depart the thread to do other things this morning, I am taking this one last chance to appeal to your better nature on this topic.

    And as for being for something and then against it, does anyone here seriously want a president — after living through the one we have now — who cannot change his mind, and more importantly, will not change his mind, and even more importantly, doesn’t have the guts to change his mind, when it’s the right thing to do? Whether you agree with the change of mind or not, poking fun at a candidate because he changes his mind puts you in the ranks of the stupidest of the stupid people, the Republicans, who mock all intellect, all process, all human ambiguities and inconsistencies because those are threats to their dogmatic and inflexible worldviews. Shame on you for descending to that level of intellectual depravity and then daring to masquerade as Democrats.

  103. 103
    AkaDad says:

    As a Liberal, the last 28 years seem like one long poker game, in which I’ve suffered mostly bad beats.

  104. 104
    D. Mason says:

    Or maybe they’re more like a baseball fan throwing up his hands in disgust and stomping out of the stadium because his pitcher, in the eighth inning of a shutout, ahead six runs, just gave up a one-run homer.

    I know I am skipping ahead a lot here, I chose to sleep late this Saturday morning. This analogy is missing one crucial element. The one run homer hitting that fan right in the face.

  105. 105
    Genine says:

    Barack is the number one democrat in the country. If he had gotten on the phone and called every democrat voting for this and told them he was making a stand and they had to take his back the bill would’ve been defeated

    This is a glimpse into Bizzaro World.

    Sojourner:

    Seriously, I do not understand his logic. Why not simply vote no and shut up? By actively supporting it, he comes across as weak and a flip flopper. First, I was against it, then the party I lead forced me to support it.

    He is NOT the leader of the party yet. He NEEDS the support of these people to become the leader. Get it?

    Now, yes, he could have been quiet and voted no, but, maybe, those WHO WILL BE VOTING FOR HIM in August put some pressure on him. Can you, acknowledge, that you do not know everything that is going on behind the scenes? And there is definitely something rotten in Denmark for the Democrats to be so spineless on something so basic.

    I totally understand the anger and I share it, but I am angry at all the Democrats for fixing things to be in this manner. It is not Barack, alone, who is at fault here.

    But this also puts Obama in the spot of possibly antagonizing the Democratic leadership when he is not in a strong position to do so. He is the presumptive nominee, not the president. And there are still Democrats looking for a way to dislodge him in favor of Clinton at the convention.

    What Brachiator said

  106. 106
    shortstop says:

    Christ, you’re tedious, Sojourner.

    I know, I know: “I’m sorry if my concern for the Constitution is boring you.”

    Right. Got it. STFU.

  107. 107
    ThymeZone says:

    I get it all the time from the 28%ers

    Sorry, but my point is, you are now one of them.

    You will put ideology and rectitude ahead of the practical imperatives of winning a critical election. That’s the whole point of the thread, see the top post.

    You are on the wrong side of this. Seriously. Forget that it’s me telling you this, just think about it. Are you going to be happy with this choice you are making today, if you wake up on the Wednesday after election day to President Elect McCain? When you realize that you didn’t just get a pebble in your bean soup, you just got four years of rock lasagna, rock sandwiches, and rock milkshakes?

    Step back from this thing and look at the big picture.

  108. 108
    pillsy says:

    I’m pretty irked that Obama didn’t decide to make a more forceful stand. He could pledge to vote no if they don’t strip the immunity provision. He could pledge to vote no regardless. He could promise a filibuster or pledge to support a filibuster. All of this would almost certainly be futile, but sending messages and making symbolic gestures are a big part of a politician’s job.

    I think Greenwald’s basically correct: Obama should be fighting the right-wing narrative on civil liberties the same way he’s fighting it on foreign policy. I also think that by doing so he wouldn’t a really bad political hit.

    That being said, I’m not particularly disappointed by this. I figured stuff like this would be happening from time to time back when I decided to support a centrist Senator for President about a year ago.

  109. 109
    Sojourner says:

    I am saying this to you because, of the concern trolls, you are the only one who is actually smart enough to understand this. The rest of them are a bunch of fucking morons. I am not wasting my time on them any more. But before I depart the thread to do other things this morning, I am taking this one last chance to appeal to your better nature on this topic.

    It’s condescending to talk about my better nature as if I’m not capable of holding a principled position. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being furious that Obama is choosing to support one of the worst bills that has been put forward in decades by a Democratic congress. Frankly, I am disappointed that you don’t share that anger.

    Being angry does not mean voting for McCain, it does not make one a Clinton supporter. I did not vote for Clinton because she didn’t SHOW UP for the first vote. Obama, quite frankly, is topping her by voting FOR the bill. You’re arguing that I should be okay with that. I am not okay with that.

    Will I vote for Obama? Probably. But not if he continues to capitulate on issues that I hold very dear. You want to look at Obama as a whole. Fair enough. But you are out of line when you attack those of us who have consistently held positions on issues that matter most to us. You have absolutely no right to insist that your position is more “right” or more “principled” than mine.

    I expect better from you. And fuck the name calling. I don’t do it to you. I expect you to stop doing it to me.

  110. 110
    montysano says:

    Look, I’m about as left as they come, and I’m horrified at how Bush has trampled the Constitution, among a long list of other Bush horrors. I admire the passion about this issue.

    I’m really shocked that Obama didn’t stand up and say “Lawbreaking is wrong. I won’t allow it in my administration, and I will do everything in my power as a Senator to keep the Congress from excusing it.”

    If I thought:
    A) That what would actually come out of the teevee, and:
    B) People, upon hearing it, would actually say “Hmmm…… lawbreaking is bad. Let me ponder this.”
    Then I’m all for it. But sadly, that’s not the field we’re playing on. What I want is to win big in November. Then we can get t work.

  111. 111
    ThymeZone says:

    “I’m sorry if my concern for the Constitution is boring you.”

    On that note, try to keep in mind what the fate of the Constitution will be after four years of John McCain, and a couple of his SCOTUS appointments, and then tell me that this FISA thing is more important than that.

    That’s just fucking nuts.

  112. 112
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Laertes Says

    lolz

  113. 113
    shortstop says:

    Who does? I’ve only seen liberal one post saying they wouldn’t vote for Obama now, and that was by somebody in a non-swing state who can can protest votes harmlessly.

    Yeah, I’m also not seeing as much of this as Ted et al. apparently are. Why the rush to assume that legitimately disappointed and annoyed people are walking away from Obama in droves? Who other than one or two outliers is saying this?

  114. 114
    shortstop says:

    This is so meta. Thyme Zone is giving a serious response to my premptive snarky quote of Sojourner’s likely response to my telling her how tedious she’s being. I can’t wait for the rest of this to unfold.

  115. 115
    ThymeZone says:

    It’s condescending to talk about my better nature as if I’m not capable of holding a principled position.

    I never said you weren’t capable of holding a principled position. I am saying that you are putting too much importance on the secondary principle here, while overlooking the more important one: Keeping John McCain out of the White House.

    No matter how valid your principle is, it cannot be more important than that. You cannot seriously want to lose a war because you think the battle is so important?

    If you really don’t care about the war, then ignore my posts, I have nothing to say to you. But I don’t think you are really that stubborn, are you?

  116. 116
    Sojourner says:

    Step back from this thing and look at the big picture.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with progressives expecting their candidate to do the right thing.

  117. 117
    cybergal619 says:

    To all the whiners who were behind Obama until he fucked this up – even though he had nothing to do with the House vote yesterday – and are now either going to sit home in November or vote 3rd party and/or not going to contribute to this campaign: Please take your narrow-minded, twisted “logic” someplace else.

    I’m on the side of what his record has been and what he’s stood for all along re immunity and I trust his judgment. I’m not on the side of the crystal ballers who are sure he’s going to show up in the Senate next week waving an “I love teleco immunity!” banner and then ceremoniously roasting marshmallows over a torched Constitution.

    I appreciate a good debate as much as the next person, but arguing facts versus pure speculation gets exhausting.

    Oh, Great Blog, John. You’re fast becoming my go to place – even before I open my email.

  118. 118
    BH-Buck says:

    Being angry does not mean voting for McCain, it does not make one a Clinton supporter. I did not vote for Clinton because she didn’t SHOW UP for the first vote. Obama, quite frankly, is topping her by voting FOR the bill. You’re arguing that I should be okay with that. I am not okay with that.

    That’s the point I tried, unsuccessfully, to get across. I don’t think it’s possible, really.

    But, regardless, I’m still voting for Obama. It’s not a question of if or maybe. I HAVE to. We can’t survive four more years.

  119. 119
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Yeah, I’m also not seeing as much of this as Ted et al. apparently are. Why the rush to assume that legitimately disappointed and annoyed people are walking away from Obama in droves? Who other than one or two outliers is saying this?

    I haven’t been touching the Dkos threads today. Yesterday, though, it wasn’t very pretty.

  120. 120
    Sojourner says:

    No matter how valid your principle is, it cannot be more important than that. You cannot seriously want to lose a war because you think the battle is so important?

    I think it’s important to remind the Dems of what they are supposed to stand for. I don’t see the value of meekly going along, letting them believe that what they’re doing is “okay.”

  121. 121
    Ted says:

    On that note, try to keep in mind what the fate of the Constitution will be after four years of John McCain, and a couple of his SCOTUS appointments, and then tell me that this FISA thing is more important than that.

    That’s just fucking nuts.

    Don’t bother. This person is incapable of political and electoral calculation. “There’s a -4 in the equation!! I can’t even solve that at all now!”

  122. 122
    montysano says:

    Help me out here, BJ friends. My argument here is based largely on the fact that if BO were to take a stand, I can hear Fox News’ narrative in my head. Where’ I live out here in Red State land, it’s not news if it’s not on Fox.

    Is this not as true in, say, the northeast, or Ohio, or Cali or Texas or Florida? Maybe my logic is skewed by having to live with the horror that is Fox.

  123. 123
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I am not going to spend the day arguing over this as I did yesterday, I have other things to do, and I have said all I have to say on the subject.

    Yeah, same here. While it is awful tempting to sit around and poke fun at the stoopid, I got a to-do list that needs to-doing.

  124. 124
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Being angry does not mean voting for McCain, it does not make one a Clinton supporter. I did not vote for Clinton because she didn’t SHOW UP for the first vote. Obama, quite frankly, is topping her by voting FOR the bill. You’re arguing that I should be okay with that. I am not okay with that.

    Um, it certainly sounds like he’s not voting for a bill with immunity attached.

  125. 125
    ThymeZone says:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with being furious that Obama is choosing to support one of the worst bills that has been put forward in decades by a Democratic congress. Frankly, I am disappointed that you don’t share that anger.

    I don’t share that anger because I don’t agree with the premise. Over the last couple years I have argued this topic up, down and sideways here, and I simply do not agree that this FISA bill is worth this level of agita. Nor do I think its effects are irreversible. Nor do I even think that on the scale of fucking the Constitution and screwing our liberties and ruining our government, it even makes the finals in the reality show. It’s part of a dark quagmire of stuff that the government has been doing, a vast shell game, for 75 years now, games of deception and manipulation in the guise of “National Security” …. it’s just one of hundreds, thousands of insults to truth and justice that have been perpetrated by the people who would use security as a screen for their power grabs. Hopefully we can start to reverse some of that damage in the near future, but we sure as hell won’t get a start on that if we manage to lose sight of what’s really important right now … defeating John McCain.

    You care about principles? Then put your energy into defeating John McCain. Otherwise, frankly, I don’t have a lot of respect for your understanding of principle right now.

  126. 126
    Sojourner says:

    If you really don’t care about the war, then ignore my posts, I have nothing to say to you. But I don’t think you are really that stubborn, are you?

    Now there’s a strawman argument. If you don’t go meekly along with everything Obama and the Dems do, then you don’t care about the war. Sounds an awful lot like, if you’re not willing to give up your civil rights, then you don’t care about homeland security.

    Come on, TZ. It’s not an either/or situation.

  127. 127
    Sojourner says:

    You care about principles? Then put your energy into defeating John McCain. Otherwise, frankly, I don’t have a lot of respect for your understanding of principle right now.

    Whatever. I disagree with the way you’re framing the situation so your opinion is kind of irrelevant.

  128. 128
    shortstop says:

    I haven’t been touching the Dkos threads today. Yesterday, though, it wasn’t very pretty.

    No good can come of reading DKos threads. I’m not seeing a lot of vote-withholding idiots here.

  129. 129
    ThymeZone says:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with progressives expecting their candidate to do the right thing.

    Until it reaches the level of nose, spite, face.

    Then, there is something wrong with it.

    We are at that level here. Ergo, my posts.

    This is the most important election year in our lifetimes. Don’t blow it over this.

  130. 130
    Ted says:

    Now there’s a strawman argument.

    You should talk. You’ve been building strawmen for everyone else like a factory.

  131. 131
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Then again, this turning into the TZ and Sojourner show isn’t anything good, either. Time to find something more productive to do.

    Last note: The chorus of Dem heavyweights who are either against immunity or the whole shebang outright (Reid, Obama, Dodd, Feingold, Leahy) makes me think any bill with immunity is DOA. Which means the bill itself is DOA, ’cause Bush isn’t going to sign it. This sturm und drang may all be for nothing.

  132. 132
    PaulB says:

    We are at that level here.

    Not even close but thanks for playing. We have some lovely consolation prizes for you.

  133. 133
    Sojourner says:

    Until it reaches the level of nose, spite, face.

    TZ, you want to support everything Obama does. Have at it.

    No, really, if that makes you happy, do it!

  134. 134
    ThymeZone says:

    It’s not an either/or situation.

    Politics is not an individual sport like golf. It’s a team sport like baseball and football.

    You are having an argument with yourself, about your principles. But the game being played is about a team effort, a huge and incredibly complex and difficult team effort that requires putting one’s individual goals and priorities below those of the team for the purposes of reaching the team’s objectives.

    Get on the team, or get off the team. Yes, it is exactly an either/or situation, Soj. You are the kind of person the coach throws off the team. Get on the team, or get off.

  135. 135
    slippy hussein toad says:

    I haven’t been touching the Dkos threads today. Yesterday, though, it wasn’t very pretty.

    The fainting couches have been deployed. I signed off for a week. Ech. Maybe longer than that. I’ll have to see if I miss it much. People are wringing their hands so hard they’re cracking their metacarpals.

  136. 136
    PaulB says:

    makes me think any bill with immunity is DOA

    The Senate has already previously passed a bill with full immunity. Why would you think that they would be reluctant to do so again, particularly since they have a “compromise” figleaf to hide behind?

  137. 137
    Ted says:

    Sojourner’s new model, the Strawman-1000: “If you aren’t trashing Obama and reconsidering your vote for him, you don’t give a damn about the Constitution, and sanction presidential lawbreaking!”

    On sale now!

  138. 138
    Sojourner says:

    Get on the team, or get off the team. Yes, it is exactly an either/or situation, Soj. You are the kind of person the coach throws off the team. Get on the team, or get off.

    Sorry, I’m not into groupthink. Throw me off the team – PLEASE!

  139. 139
    wmd says:

    There is and should be much wrath towards Steny Hoyer and Pelosi. How did we get from the house standing up and refusing to pass retroactive immunity in March to capitulation?

    It sure wasn’t Obama’s doing. His tepid support means my shorter term donations will be going to thestrangebedfellows Blue America PAC (will be getting a new name soon). Notably they are targeting Hoyer. It is also worth noting that they are not targeting Obama for more than calls for leadership. So far they’ve raised over $260,000 with close to $200,000 in the past 3 days. Hmm, what does this say about the importance of FISA to grassroots donors?

    I have hopes that Obama will be able to remove the de facto immunity in the Senate. And I also hope he’ll forcefully denounce Kit Bond’s statement: “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.”

    I’d like to see Obama make a forceful speech on immunity.

    The government told abolitionists to return slaves to their owners, it was wrong then and the abolitionists were right in their disobedience. Another government told its agents to commit genocide, those that resisted were right. Unquestioning obedience is not American, we value freedom and civil disobedience is a long honored American tradition.

    Will Obama say something like this? I think he has better speechwriters, so I hope he says something much better.

  140. 140
    ThymeZone says:

    you want to support everything Obama does.

    Nope, not letting you get away with that. I have no need to have a candidate who agrees with me all the time. I have been sucked into political action since I was seven years old, I am way beyond that kind of foolishness.

    You are the one who needs ideological purity, apparently. At least have the honesty to stand up for your own view on this and don’t try to turn it into my view. I have a big mouth, I don’t need you to represent my views, I can do it myself.

    My whole point here is exactly the opposite of the false notion implied by your blurb.

  141. 141
    Philip A. Scalamogna says:

    Dear John:

    An excellent post. While much of the progressive blogosphere is gnashing their teeth in anguish (which only gives satisfaction and pleasure to the wingnuts), you offer a fresh perspective that makes this crisis less dire than it seems. Your analogy is very trenchant for this situation. Right now things are going reasonably well for Obama. He doesn’t need a “soft on terror” meme that the opposition, as well as the media, can use as a cudgel to beat him with and create an additional distraction. Because if it is one thing the Republicans are good at, its distractions.

  142. 142
    Genine says:

    I think it’s important to remind the Dems of what they are supposed to stand for. I don’t see the value of meekly going along, letting them believe that what they’re doing is “okay.”

    I fully agree with that. We have to keep our politicians accountable and showing our displeasure in real, tangible ways is vital.

    But this election is important and I think its important that we give all the support we can to getting Obama elected. I believe he is the best candidate, though definitely not perfect. But I think he, more than others, will heed the people when we put our foot down. He is just NOT in a position to do that right now.

    Its great having principles, but those principles aren’t going to mean much and will, in fact, get trampled on if McCain gets into office.

  143. 143
    ThymeZone says:

    Sorry, I’m not into groupthink. Throw me off the team – PLEASE!

    So be it. If you think teamwork is the same as groupthink, you are not cut out to be on any team.

    Sorry I wasted my time talking to you, I did not realize that you were that kind of person.

    This is a team sport we are playing, and it’s for keeps. People who don’t get that, as far as I am concerned, are not need on this team. Go away.

  144. 144
    Sojourner says:

    Sorry I wasted my time talking to you, I did not realize that you were that kind of person.

    Shorter TZ: If you don’t agree with me, you’re not worth talking to.

    Nice.

  145. 145
    ThymeZone says:

    Well, the clock wins, and the team-breakers and handwringers can have the last word, I have to go.

    Have a pleasant day, all. It’s going to be 115 here and there are things to do before it gets too hot.

  146. 146
    ThymeZone says:

    Shorter TZ: If you don’t agree with me, you’re not worth talking to.

    Fuck you, Soj. Seriously. That’s not what I meant, and you know it.

  147. 147
    shortstop says:

    The Senate has already previously passed a bill with full immunity. Why would you think that they would be reluctant to do so again, particularly since they have a “compromise” figleaf to hide behind?

    Correct. This is very likely to pass with immunity. Even Dodd’s no longer speaking against it.

    Um, it certainly sounds like he’s not voting for a bill with immunity attached.

    What in his statement makes you think this?

  148. 148
    Balakirev says:

    There are few things that irritate me more than the progressive wet dream that sitting back and allowing catastrophe to happen will somehow magically bring revolution.

    The only thing that catastrophe brings is more catastrophe.

    So if I understand you correctly, Brachiator, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover didn’t lead to a crisis that gave us FDR? Thatcherism’s catastrophic effects on (among other matters) the Welsh coal mine towns didn’t bring along the first Labour government in nearly 20 years? No, of course catastrophe never results in voters finally getting wise and “throwing the bums out.” Never happens at all. Thank you for pointing out that reality doesn’t count.

    If you have progressive Democrats who can replace the cowards currently in office, bring them out. Bring them out now.

    Am I supposed to be impressed by your rhetorical flourishes, such as repeated lines? Because I’m not, since we both know the progressive candidate for president lost. So should I bring out Edwards, now–whom I said I supported, earlier? Will that help anybody? Or do you mean bring out progressives on a state and local level? I have been supporting them with money. Perhaps you are unaware that a person can actually vote and work for candidates for federal and state Congress, without voting or working for candidates running for President. It’s hard to believe, but true. You might want to look that up.

    I’m overlooking your remark about me being “complicit” in the deaths of millions in Iraq because I’ll do a write in vote for Edwards. It’s just plain silly. Not as funny as Robert Benchley, but hey, you can only try.

  149. 149
    Sojourner says:

    Fuck you, Soj. Seriously. That’s not what I meant, and you know it.

    I don’t know what you meant. I just think it’s a shame that BJ has become so intolerant of other views. And it’s disappointing to me that you appear to be a part of that.

  150. 150
    A. Hidell says:

    I’m still waiting to see what he does when this hits the Senate. He’s shown a fine sense of timing so far. He’s also shown that while he’s not afraid of a fight, he’ll choose the party unity route over a public fight with other Democrats. I’m also interested to know just how progressive he will be as president. This is a good test case. I don’t think his play here will have much of an impact come November, so I want to see where his priorities lay once the bill actually arrives. Hopefully Dodd or Feingold can kill it for him so he can keep his cards unplayed.

  151. 151
    ThymeZone says:

    I don’t know what you meant.

    Obviously. I wish you did. I think I made it pretty clear.

  152. 152
    Ted says:

    So if I understand you correctly, Brachiator, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover didn’t lead to a crisis that gave us FDR?

    Oh dear god. I can’t take much more.

    Because I’m not, since we both know the progressive candidate for president lost. So should I bring out Edwards, now—whom I said I supported, earlier?

    And, had Edwards gotten the nomination, you’d be insulated from ever having to learn that he’d do EXACTLY the same thing in the same situation as Obama, simply because he’s no longer a senator. Your delusion is safe.

  153. 153
    anne says:

    The crowd is stupid. There is a difference between supporting everything Obama does and shooting yourself in the foot. The kossaks right now are shooting themselves in the foot. Man, it’s going to be funny to see what happens with President McCain. If I wasn’t American and had to live here too I would almost think they deserve it. It’s a case of a broken heart and I hope they get over it soon.

  154. 154
    ThymeZone says:

    it’s a shame that BJ has become so intolerant of other views

    You are willing to let John McCain have the country because the better candidate doesn’t agree with your views, and you think BJ is intolerant?

    I have started to wonder if you are not just a spoof troll, that is just way out there on the credulity scale.

    If you are not willing to let McCain have the country over this, then start talking like you are going to be a team player and get on the damned team.

  155. 155
    shortstop says:

    I just think it’s a shame that BJ has become so intolerant of other views.

    There is a rather large difference between “intolerant of other views” and “unwilling to spend the entire day arguing with someone who’s hanging to a pork chop like a pit bull while ignoring the entire deli behind her.”

  156. 156
    Balakirev says:

    And, had Edwards gotten the nomination, you’d be insulated from ever having to learn that he’d do EXACTLY the same thing in the same situation as Obama, simply because he’s no longer a senator. Your delusion is safe.

    I bow to You, All-Knowing One, who comprehend what Edwards’ position on FISA is in an alternate reality. Since known of us poor mortals could possibly determine this “what-if” with the certainty you possess.

  157. 157
    Sojourner says:

    Obviously. I wish you did. I think I made it pretty clear.

    You’re accusing me of supporting the war because I dare to be angry with Obama over the FISA vote.

    You spew profanity at me.

    All because I’m angry with Obama’s FISA position.

    Well, excuse me but that sure sounds like exactly what I said. I disagree with you on one issue – I believe that people should speak up over the issues that matter to them.

    I believe that everyone has that obligation. If you have a problem with that, tough.

  158. 158
    shortstop says:

    Hidell, there you are. LTNS.

  159. 159
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    We live in a country where Dunkin Donuts can be accused of supporting terrorism for having a woman with a scarf draped over her shoulder in one of their ads and where the reaction from that is so strong that the ad gets pulled. It’s going to take a while to undo the hysteria. That won’t happen if McCain is elected. Despite our disgust with the current administration, this is going to be a close, hard fought election. That any Democrat isn’t the runaway favorite right now proves that. The war on terror is the only strong issue McCain has so I don’t see how handing him a club on this one helps.

    And yes, Sojourner, the Constitution trumps Dunkin Donuts.

  160. 160
    anne says:

    There is and should be much wrath towards Steny Hoyer and Pelosi

    Seriously. I see some anger at them, but the democrats who voted and caved to Bush are getting nothing. But super Obama who should have saved the day is getting the most of their anger. I guess that’s what you get when you are the leader of the party, even if the party is spineless.

    That’s why I think this would have happened about something eventually anyway. Obama let them down, which was going to happen. When Hillary let them down we all saw how that went, right?

  161. 161
    Sojourner says:

    You are willing to let John McCain have the country because the better candidate doesn’t agree with your views, and you think BJ is intolerant?

    OMG. I’m angry over Obama’s FISA position, therefore I’m willing to let McCain win?

    What is the matter with you?

  162. 162
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Unlike a lot of others out there, my rep (DeFazio) voted against this abomination and I sent him a message thanking him for doing so. Now, those of you whose reps voted against this should do the same for your rep, give credit where it is due. If your rep was one of the many who voted for this abomination, then you need to let them know your displeasure. Bitching and whining about Obama doesn’t mean squat because unless you are from Illinois, Obama does not represent you. One day he hopes to represent us all, but until then he is still the junior Senator for Illinois who has not voted on this issue yet.

    Give credit or place blame where it is due. If your rep voted against this then be happy, if your rep voted for this then be pissed. At your rep.

    For you whiny-assed babies who are crying in your tea about something Obama has not even voted on yet, quit trying to use this as an excuse not to support Obama. As our dumbfuck President says, ‘you are with us or you are against us’. You are either for McCain or Obama, even if you don’t vote for either of them your wasted vote will still help make the decision in the general.

    Every person who comes in here and says that they are not supporting Obama is an automatic McCain booster. For example:

    So the vote’s off. I know my vote in the usual American way won’t count this fall, so I’ll either not vote at all for president, or write in Edwards. Four more years of McSame? It will be terrible. Catastrophic. And it just may finally touch the anger of enough Americans to get them to throw all the play-the-gamers out of DC, start up trials, and get good people, progressive Democrats, into the system in sufficient quantities to make a difference.

    Shorter Balakirev: “I want John McCain to be our next President!

    That will be my translation of all posts of this kind because that is exactly what this person wants.

    John, you may like Sojourner but I think Sojourner is just another whiny Hillary! supporter who is only here to try to point out why their girl was the better choice. People like Sojourner remind me why I hate the extremists on the left just as much as the extremists on the right, there is no reasoning with them. None. They don’t believe in compromise, they only believe in what they believe in and everyone else is wrong, so they whine endlessly to make sure you get their message loud and clear. Then they whine some more.

    We have had seven plus years of that from the right, and I sure as hell don’t want more of the same from the left for the next four to eight years. People like Sojourner are the reason I quit the Democratic party in ’92. Purity assholes to no end, who will harp on their pet peeves non-stop to the point that you wish both they and a crowbar were handy so you can shut them up.

    Oh, and tim, calling Obama “Barry” lets me know who you don’t support and never have. No McCain points for you. We need to put in an order for better trolls here because the ones who have been slithering in are pretty lame.

  163. 163
    Ted says:

    I bow to You, All-Knowing One, who comprehend what Edwards’ position on FISA is in an alternate reality. Since known of us poor mortals could possibly determine this “what-if” with the certainty you possess.

    Well, you’re so certain he would have done it differently in that situation (which luckily you don’t even have to consider), that you’re going to write his name in. Good for you! We’ll take our McCain punishment just as you wanted.

    Now fuck off.

  164. 164
    ThymeZone says:

    You’re accusing me of supporting the war because I dare to be angry with Obama over the FISA vote.

    Groan.

    The “war” I refer to in this context is the war between us and the Republicans, for the country. Not the Iraq war.

    We are in the middle of a war for our own country, Soj. That’s why it’s important to focus on the war and not a particular battle. You apparently would be content to lose this war in order to have the victory you desire in this FISA battle. I am telling you, the big picture is more important. Clearly you don’t get that.

    I give up, you win. Fuck it.

  165. 165
    Balakirev says:

    But super Obama who should have saved the day is getting the most of their anger. I guess that’s what you get when you are the leader of the party, even if the party is spineless.

    Anne, wouldn’t you agree that whether or not the presidential candidate for one of the two main (ie, electable) parties can make an immediate difference on an important matter, the stand s/he takes is extremely important? It sends out a signal to all voters of what type of individual s/he is, what they’ll support, what they’ll fight against. In these days, even what they will respect in the Constitution–or not. At least, where FISA is concerned.

    Obama may be the head of the Democratic Party at this time, but he obviously doesn’t control the Senate and House. Was it too much to ask him to take a stand in favor of the Constitution? Shouldn’t the symbol of the party embrace the symbol of the United States?

  166. 166
    pinola says:

    What’s the beef? Once Obama is elected, we’ll be able to spy on Republicans with impunity to our hearts’ content./s

  167. 167
    Sojourner says:

    I give up, you win. Fuck it.

    You’re right. We will never agree on this.

    It’s just a shame that we can’t politely agree to disagree.

  168. 168
    Ted says:

    OMG. I’m angry over Obama’s FISA position, therefore I’m willing to let McCain win?

    Sojourner? We get it. You’re angry with Obama over FISA. Why are you still commenting about this? You don’t want anyone to get the impression you’re voting for McCain, but you don’t want anyone to forget that you’re ANGRY!!1 Don’t worry, we won’t. So do you have anything else to whine about? Or is this going to be it for a while?

  169. 169
    John Cole says:

    I just think it’s a shame that BJ has become so intolerant of other views.

    What on earth are you talking about? People are free to say pretty much whatever the hell they want here. I have banned a total of 5 people in the course of this blog, and two of them came back. You are arguing with one of them right now. I have deleted about 100 comments total in a few years, and most of them had to do with personal attacks that involved the c-bomb or various sexism/racism. Comments don’t get troll rated here, and unless a first time commenter gets sucked up into the spam filter, anything goes. This is one of the most open websites on the intertrons.

    We are tolerant of other viewpoints. That isn’t the same as agreeing with them.

  170. 170
    Sojourner says:

    Why are you still commenting about this?

    I was responding to TZ’s claim that I was willing to let McCain win.

  171. 171
    phobos says:

    Sojourner Says:

    Will I vote for Obama? Probably. But not if he continues to capitulate on issues that I hold very dear.

    Yeah, whatever. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–Democracy is a good idea waiting for proper execution.

  172. 172
    D. Mason says:

    I’m on the side of what his record has been

    If he votes in the senate the way he says he will vote then his record changes drastically. He goes from someone who takes a stand against something that’s wrong to someone who takes a stand until it really matters then folds. To me that is a major change.

  173. 173
    Sojourner says:

    We are tolerant of other viewpoints. That isn’t the same as agreeing with them.

    Sorry but I get tired of the name calling. I think it has driven a number of people away who had interesting things to say.

  174. 174
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Sojourner? We get it. You’re angry with Obama over FISA beating Hillary in the primary. Why are you still commenting about this? You don’t want anyone to get the impression you’re voting for McCain, but you don’t want anyone to forget that you’re ANGRY!!1 Don’t worry, we won’t. So do you have anything else to whine about? Or is this going to be it for a while?

    Fixed.

  175. 175
    eastriver says:

    Juanita Cole quips teh funny:

    We will be greeted as liberators!
    The war will pay for itself!
    Democracy will sweep across the Middle East!

    Magical thinking is teh awesome.

    We can get something by doing nothing!
    Blogging makes a difference!
    People know who I am!

    No, no, and no, Juanita.

    (I bet you own a blow-up strawman for those lonely nights in bloggy wilderness. Sad.)

  176. 176
    Balakirev says:

    Well, you’re so certain he would have done it differently in that situation (which luckily you don’t even have to consider), that you’re going to write his name in. Good for you! We’ll take our McCain punishment just as you wanted.

    Now fuck off.

    Ah, Ted, your sophisticated arguments and empathic understanding of those you enter into discourse with–so like the refined gentleman you are!–almost brings me over to your side…but no, I must, with genuine regret, decline. After all, if you read what I wrote, I never claimed Edwards would speak out against telecom retro-immunity from prosecution. I only addressed the fact that there are several things about Obama that I haven’t liked over time, that I regard him in general as too conservative for my tastes, and that this refusal to endorse certain Constitutional protection really takes matters over the top for me. As I wrote, I may not vote at all for president. So what Edwards might have done isn’t the issue governing my choice, but what Obama *did* do. Doesn’t mean I won’t work for progressives on a local or state level; I fully expect to.

  177. 177
    Ted says:

    I was responding to TZ’s claim that I was willing to let McCain win.

    Yet, you’ll still be commenting about this for possibly days. We got that you’re angry YESTERDAY. Either declare something interesting (like “I’m voting for McCain!” or “I’m sitting this one out!”) or just stop whining. You’re pissed about Obama, yet apparently will still vote for him and even donate. Yet you’re still arguing with people about it.

  178. 178
    Shygetz says:

    So be it. If you think teamwork is the same as groupthink, you are not cut out to be on any team.

    What very limited power I have to influence politics is based solely on my choice to give or withhold support from a candidate when s/he does something I like or dislike. If I refuse to exercise my discretion, then I have lost all power to influence the political process.

    Obama did something I didn’t like. It’s not enough to make me not vote for him, and it’s not enough to make me not lobby my friends to vote for him. But it did probably cost Obama about $50 from me, and I’m not going to sit here and scream “Yay Obama!” about it.

    Get on the team, or get off the team.

    Hmmm…now doesn’t that sound familiar…

    This is a team sport we are playing, and it’s for keeps. People who don’t get that, as far as I am concerned, are not need on this team. Go away.

    A) Politics is not a sport, and it really pisses me off when people characterize it as such, and B) my vote counts just as much as so-called “team players”, so you might not want to actively throw it away with both hands. Just a suggestion.

  179. 179
    D. Mason says:

    This is the most important election year in our lifetimes. Don’t blow it over this.

    Maybe you’re too much of an Obama supporter to see this, and I can appreciate that. If Obama votes yes on this bill, as he has apparently said he would do, then HE is blowing it. A yes vote on this shitpile is basically like a neon sign that says he is full of flowery rhetoric and nothing else. You can argue that fighting this bill hard would hurt him because of the division it would cause with critical dems and you could be right. Casting his one vote as a senator on the right side of this issue will cost him nothing because the republicans are already going to beat him to death with being weak on national security.

  180. 180
    mark says:

    Channeling Groucho Marx: I wouldn’t vote for anyone slimey enough to win an election.

    Personally, Obama has won my trust. He has the right to make judgement calls and even be just plain wrong once in a while.

  181. 181
    Ted says:

    Ah, Ted, your sophisticated arguments and empathic understanding of those you enter into discourse with—so like the refined gentleman you are!—almost brings me blah blah blah…

    Just write in Edwards or don’t vote, and help the wingnuts give us McCain as president. Just like you said you thought would be good for the country (oh, in the long run) in the end.

  182. 182
    Sojourner says:

    ojourner? We get it. You’re angry with Obama over FISA beating Hillary in the primary.

    Yep, that’s it. Every single leftie who is angry about Obama’s FISA bill is a former Hillary supporter.

  183. 183
    pinola says:

    If Blue Dog Dems are voting their constituency instead of their conscience, it may be for the best. We want to *keep* all the Congressional seats we have and thensome.

  184. 184
    southpaw says:

    Why is everyone fighting over a fait accompli? The bill, however hideous, is going to pass (unless someone has some super strategy for killing it off in the senate with 32 votes). So I think you need to approach the reality that this will be the law and go from there.

    One (lunatic) response is to vote for McCain. Another is to challenge it in the courts. That seems pretty promising to me, since the immunity provisions are Schiavo-like in their encroachment on the judiciary. Another approach is to start building grassroots support for repeal. Yet another is electing a president who opposes immunity (Obama). In any case, sniping at each other over sunk costs is unlikely to have much effect.

  185. 185
    BH-Buck says:

    Glenn Greenwald, today:

    The excuse that Obama’s support for this bill is politically shrewd is — even if accurate — neither a defense of what he did nor a reason to refrain from loudly criticizing him for it. Actually, it’s the opposite. It’s precisely because Obama is calculating that he can — without real consequence — trample upon the political values of those who believe in the Constitution and the rule of law that it’s necessary to do what one can to change that calculus. Telling Obama that you’ll cheer for him no matter what he does, that you’ll vest in him Blind Faith that anything he does is done with the purest of motives, ensures that he will continue to ignore you and your political interests.

    Beyond that, this attitude that we should uncritically support Obama in everything he does and refrain from criticizing him is unhealthy in the extreme. No political leader merits uncritical devotion — neither when they are running for office nor when they occupy it — and there are few things more dangerous than announcing that you so deeply believe in the Core Goodness of a political leader, or that we face such extreme political crises that you trust and support whatever your Leader does, even when you don’t understand it or think that it’s wrong. That’s precisely the warped authoritarian mindset that defined the Bush Movement and led to the insanity of the post-9/11 Era, and that uncritical reverence is no more attractive or healthy when it’s shifted to a new Leader.

  186. 186
    BethanyAnne says:

    So, I’ve been sitting out these long threads, trying to think this through a bit. I’m disappointed, but the folk making the point that Obama has to focus on winning the big game make a lot of sense to me. And I realized something: Obama just really strengthened his hand with the superdelegates by playing it this way, including the “I’ll vote for it” bit. We are focusing some of our anger at him instead of them. He just gave them political cover. That he did it on an issue where I so profoundly disagree with him is truly annoying, but for whatever reason, large parts of the superD’s that he needs to keep in his corner wanted this bill. It really sucks that “well played” and “not what I want” are overlapping so closely here. And this may all be premature; the game isn’t over yet.

  187. 187
    Sojourner says:

    Thank you, Glenn Greenwald.

    And thank you, BH, for sharing this gem.

  188. 188
    Balakirev says:

    Just write in Edwards or don’t vote, and help the wingnuts give us McCain as president. Just like you said you thought would be good for the country (oh, in the long run) in the end.

    Now, Ted! If you’re going to quote me, “blah blah blah” isn’t accurate. I realize you’re recondite humor reaches over my head, but still…! I really must request that you quote what I say, or not quote me at all. It is, after all, a standard you normally hold to, being such a demonstrably fair individual.

    For the rest: you left out the part where I wrote that I thought four years of McSame would finally knock enough sense into the American public that they wouldn’t settle for half measures in government–and that means the spineless Democrats that run Congress, as well as the ostensibly moderate Obama who has just raised my hackles over his rejection of a portion of the US Constitution. So no, to clarify for you: I don’t think McSame would be good for the country. I *do* think McSame would lead to a rejection of the lice infesting DC right now, and bring in a genuinely progressive team to run things.

    Is this proposed course of action certain? Nope. Not at all. Is it likely? Well, as I pointed out before, Harding and Hoover did yield FDR. Thatcher did yield Blair. (And yeah, I know there was a lot wrong with Blair, but at least it meant an end to nearly 20 years of Conservative rule in the UK.) So I think, purely on my own personal observation, that four more years of Junior’s latest incarnation would make everybody so thoroughly sick of the worst people and the most spineless leading us together that something would finally be done about it. At this point, I’m not convinced Obama’s going to make much of a change. That rejection of the Constitution did it, for me. I was really shocked. Sorry if that leaves anybody else here chuckling at my political naivety, but there it is.

  189. 189
    D. Mason says:

    Get on the team, or get off the team.

    This makes your view quite clear TZ: You’re either with us or against us.

  190. 190
    ThymeZone says:

    What is the matter with you?

    Well, quite a number of things, too numerous to list here. But not the ones you are thinking of.

    It’s a team effort, politics. You are either on the team, or you are off the team. Yes, it’s one or the other. Teamwork isn’t compatible with inflexible individualism. Sooner or later, the inflexible individual either has to bend for the team, or go away. This is that moment.

    You have to decide whether you are on the team that wants to take the country back from the crazy assholes, or not. Otherwise, it isn’t about FISA, it’s about you.

    I have given up thinking that you will see that, but others may, so at this point I am only talking to you because you are an example of what can happen when individual “rightness” trumps teamwork. The team loses, in case you are missing my point. The team loses when the players make it about them instead of the team.

    Barack is the manager of the team. You don’t have to agree with him. That is not your job as a team member. You do have to support him and play hard for him. That is your job as a team member. Do your job, or get off the team.

    And I swear to Jesus MYM that I am getting away from the thread. Here I go …..

    { door noises }

  191. 191
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Yep, that’s it. Every single leftie who is I am angry about Obama’s FISA bill is and I am a former Hillary supporter.

    Fixed, and we already know this from your endless rants during the primary. Anything new?

  192. 192
    Sojourner says:

    And I swear to Jesus MYM that I am getting away from the thread. Here I go …..

    When you get back, read Glenn Greenwald. He says it the way I wish I could.

  193. 193
    Brachiator says:

    Balakirev Says:

    There are few things that irritate me more than the progressive wet dream that sitting back and allowing catastrophe to happen will somehow magically bring revolution.

    The only thing that catastrophe brings is more catastrophe.

    So if I understand you correctly, Brachiator, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover didn’t lead to a crisis that gave us FDR? Thatcherism’s catastrophic effects on (among other matters) the Welsh coal mine towns didn’t bring along the first Labour government in nearly 20 years? No, of course catastrophe never results in voters finally getting wise and “throwing the bums out.” Never happens at all. Thank you for pointing out that reality doesn’t count.

    You must be joking. You began by suggesting that people actively bring about catastrophe by not voting or by voting for McCain. Now you try a bit of rhetorical back pedaling with this passive voice contingency crap, “lead to,” “bring along,” “results in.”

    But no one in the 1920s or 1930s ever said, “Let’s have more of that Depression stuff because something wonderful will inevitably happen.”

    If you have progressive Democrats who can replace the cowards currently in office, bring them out. Bring them out now.

    Am I supposed to be impressed by your rhetorical flourishes, such as repeated lines?

    I write well and think clearly. You do neither. I am willing to engage your ideas. I don’t much care what impresses you.

    … since we both know the progressive candidate for president lost.

    We don’t know that at all. But thanks for playing.

    Or do you mean bring out progressives on a state and local level? I have been supporting them with money.

    Then it might be useful to name them or to provide links to their sites, especially those with a reasonable chance of winning an election.

    I’m overlooking your remark about me being “complicit” in the deaths of millions in Iraq because I’ll do a write in vote for Edwards. It’s just plain silly. Not as funny as Robert Benchley, but hey, you can only try.

    If you write in Edwards name, you are not trying at all. And don’t overlook my accusation that you and others who think as you do will be complicit in the murder of thousands if you don’t vote for Obama.

    The choice is between McCain and Obama. That is it.

    If you write in Edwards’ name, you are no better than the Opportunists noted in Dante’s Inferno, souls of people who in life did nothing, neither for good nor evil, and the angels who refused to take a side in the battle between Good and Evil.

    These souls are neither in Hell nor out of it, but reside on the shores of the Acheron, with maggots and other vermin drinking their blood and tears.

    Or more simply, as the old union song says:

    “Which side are you on?”

  194. 194
    Balakirev says:

    Good quote, BH-Buck. And Greenwald, as usual, offers commonsense.

    So tell me, all those who say “You support Obama, or you wish to kill baby seals!” -What other options are there? What other political measures do I truly have open to express my extreme displeasure with Obama’s rejection of the Constitution? The only thing that comes to mind is a line Groucho Marx utters in one of his films: “I have a good mind to ring his doorbell and run away!” -Sending a letter of protest to his campaign isn’t going to cut it. What other serious options are there? Tell me.

  195. 195
    BH-Buck says:

    He says it the way I wish I could.

    Sohourner, me too. I’m terrible at getting a point across sometimes. This is one of those times apparently.

    I’m out. You all take care. And keep up the good fight!

  196. 196
    ThymeZone says:

    You’re either with us or against us.

    Duh. Yes, that is correct. In a two-team race, if you want to be on the team, you are either with us or against us. This is one of those moments in life when you have to choose.

    Mock the idea as much as you like, but that won’t change the reality.

    Shit, even Hillary Fucking Clinton managed to get on the team. If that giant powerseeking ego can do it, a few BJ commenters can find a way to do it. If not, fuck them. The team goes forward without them.

    If Democrats think they can govern this country without learning how to play as a team, they will find themselves sadly mistaken. Knowing when to do that is a judgment call. This is a judgment moment. Choices matter. Knowing how to decide which choice is more important, matters.

    President McCain can explain it all to you later.

  197. 197
    Sojourner says:

    Fixed, and we already know this from your endless rants during the primary. Anything new?

    Ah, the royal “we.”

    LMAO.

  198. 198
    Ted says:

    I really must request that you quote what I say, or not quote me at all. It is, after all, a standard you normally hold to, being such a demonstrably fair individual.

    Alright, here’s a quote from you:

    So the vote’s off. I know my vote in the usual American way won’t count this fall, so I’ll either not vote at all for president, or write in Edwards. Four more years of McSame? It will be terrible. Catastrophic. And it just may finally touch the anger of enough Americans to get them to throw all the play-the-gamers out of DC, start up trials, and get good people, progressive Democrats, into the system in sufficient quantities to make a difference.

    Sounds like you think McCain will be good for the country in the long run to me.

  199. 199
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Now, Ted! If you’re going to quote me, “blah blah blah” isn’t accurate. I realize you’re recondite humor reaches over my head, but still…! I really must request that you quote what I say, or not quote me at all. It is, after all, a standard you normally hold to, being such a demonstrably fair individual.

    For the rest: you left out the part where I wrote that I thought four years of McSame would finally knock enough sense into the American public that they wouldn’t settle for half measures in government—and that means the spineless Democrats that run Congress, as well as the ostensibly moderate Obama who has just raised my hackles over his rejection of a portion of the US Constitution. So no, to clarify for you: I don’t think McSame would be good for the country. I do think McSame would lead to a rejection of the lice infesting DC right now, and bring in a genuinely progressive team to run things.

    Is this proposed course of action certain? Nope. Not at all. Is it likely? Well, as I pointed out before, Harding and Hoover did yield FDR. Thatcher did yield Blair. (And yeah, I know there was a lot wrong with Blair, but at least it meant an end to nearly 20 years of Conservative rule in the UK.) So I think, purely on my own personal observation, that four more years of Junior’s latest incarnation would make everybody so thoroughly sick of the worst people and the most spineless leading us together that something would finally be done about it. At this point, I’m not convinced Obama’s going to make much of a change. That rejection of the Constitution did it, for me. I was really shocked. Sorry if that leaves anybody else here chuckling at my political naivety, but there it is.

    Shorter Balakirev: “John McCain will make everyone a Democrat so I want John McCain to be President!

    Gotcha. I’m with TZ so see ya later kids. It’s a weekend and I have better things to do right now than inhale the vapors that the vapid are giving off in here.

  200. 200
    pinola says:

    Unless he starts Iran-baiting, a major Hillary turnoff for me, I’m backing Obama. It would be particularly unfortunate to do this now, considering evidence of a potential Isreali strike against the country. I really hate to see this come to the forefront of the news right now. But at least it will give McCain another chance to demonstrate his blind war-mongering side.

  201. 201
    mark says:

    …this attitude that we should uncritically support Obama in everything he does and refrain from criticizing him is unhealthy in the extreme.

    Criticism / anger -> healthy.
    Not voting, voting for Nader, etc. -> Presidents W, McSame.

  202. 202
    ThymeZone says:

    He says it the way I wish I could.

    Good for you, how noble. You want to make speeches.

    I want to win an election.

    I happen to think that the election is the overriding imperative. And I also know that it’s an imperative that will force people to choose, just as they will choose when they step into the voting booth: A, or B.

    In this case, it’s Team, or Me. The team clearly needs your full support. Give it or don’t give it, but don’t pretend that you can have it both ways. You can’t. The team and its objective are more important than you are.

    Fine with me if you don’t understand that, I don’t care any more, honestly. I am going to continue to work to take the country away from the bad people. That requires teamwork.

    If you want an example of that works, observe Hillary Clinton for the next week. She is about to teach you a lesson.

  203. 203
    John Cole says:

    And Greenwald, as usual, offers commonsense.

    Greenwald offers strawmen- such as this:

    Beyond that, this attitude that we should uncritically support Obama in everything he does and refrain from criticizing him is unhealthy in the extreme. No political leader merits uncritical devotion—neither when they are running for office nor when they occupy it—and there are few things more dangerous than announcing that you so deeply believe in the Core Goodness of a political leader, or that we face such extreme political crises that you trust and support whatever your Leader does, even when you don’t understand it or think that it’s wrong.

    Who has said you can’t criticize Obama? I know I haven’t. I have said you can be as upset as you want about this, I just think it is misplaced and misguided anger to flay him alive for something he does not fucking control.

    Nancy Pelosi.
    Steny Hoyer.
    The leadership that put him in this position. Those are the people you should be pissed at.

    I have, however, repeatedly stated that anyone who looks at what has happened this week and says “That is it, there is no difference between Obama and Bush or McCain, so I am not going to vote or not going to do evcerything I can to beat McCain” is a complete and total moron. Anyone who subscribes to the “maybe if things get bad enough, we can hit liberal nirvana” deserves 8 years of McCain and then another 8 years of Romney. Additionally, I have thrown some FU’s at Hillary concern trolls who have come out of a month long hibernation to crap all over the place.

    And, I will note- all of this shit being heaped on Obama is pre-emptive trash talk. He hasn’t even voted on the god damned bill yet.

  204. 204
    PaulB says:

    Yes, it’s one or the other.

    No, actually it isn’t. There are far more choices available to me. Sorry if that bothers you.

    The team loses when the players make it about them instead of the team.

    ROFL… Oh, the irony….

  205. 205
    Shygetz says:

    Yes, that is correct. In a two-team race, if you want to be on the team, you are either with us or against us. This is one of those moments in life when you have to choose.

    Mock the idea as much as you like, but that won’t change the reality.

    No, that is not the reality. I could be for neither. Regardless of your demagoguery, a nonvote is not as damning as a vote for McCain–it’s only 50% as damning. I could vary the level of my support for one, all the way from hardcore campaign volunteer to silent voter. I could up and quit this country altogether.

    Fallacy of the excluded middle(s) does not look good on you, TZ.

  206. 206
    PaulB says:

    Greenwald offers strawmen

    Um, John? Pot. Kettle. Black.

  207. 207
    pinola says:

    Oh, and what do we really expect from someone who was notably not present for the vote on Kyl-Lieberman?

  208. 208
    tim says:

    Congrats, tim, that is downright Olympian-caliber concern trolling.

    Hey Huego, I’m not at ALL concerned…I’m enjoying the show.

    Yours must be the Two Headed Dumbshit part of the act.

    It is so pathetic and weak that anyone who disagrees with the main vibe here is denounced as a “concern troll.” What a wonderful, all encompassing, meaningless term; and best of all, you get to feel extra-special close to John cause you’re, like, all on his side and stuff. Spare me.

  209. 209
    PaulB says:

    Regardless of your demagoguery, a nonvote is not as damning as a vote for McCain

    And, of course, you can still vote for Obama while simultaneously criticizing him for his actions, or lack thereof, something that doesn’t do a damn thing to hurt Obama’s chances in the election.

  210. 210
    John Cole says:

    Really, the utter inability of people to realize what a shitty position Obama is in right now because of the House leadership (and, I might add, the members of the Senate Democratic caucus who will also not back a filibuster). Somehow, one of the folks who actually voted against this bill and worked to remove immunity is the one being blamed for it.

    Maybe you all do deserve McCain.

  211. 211
    John Cole says:

    Oh, and what do we really expect from someone who was notably not present for the vote on Kyl-Lieberman?

    Citing Alegre gives up the game, Pinola. Have you guys hanged Steve Soto yet for high treason?

  212. 212
    Michael Scott says:

    I’m with demimondian and Doug H. (Fausto no more) on this one: It’s political ju-jitsu on Obama’s part.

    Think about this: If Obama succeeds in stripping retroactive telecom amnesty out of this bill before it passes the Senate (with or without his vote), what’s left in the bill that Bush wants?

    Longer delays before having to get FISA warrants?

    So, with amnesty stripped out, before November, Bush gets to either: (a) sign it into law; or (b) veto it.

    If he signs it into law, he and the telcos are still facing potential civil AND criminal liability. But he (for six more months, and Pres. Obama after him) gets a little more leeway on when to get warrants. Whoop-de-doo!

    If he vetoes it, Obama gets to point out that the entire bill was a figleaf to cover up the retroactive amnesty.

    And House Dems who voted for the bill get to campaign this Fall as “tough on terrorism.”

    I can’t help but think Obama’s mapped out this whole Kabuki show in advance.

  213. 213
    PaulB says:

    Sorry I wasted my time talking to you, I did not realize that you were that kind of person.

    ROFL…. Oh, the irony….

  214. 214
    Balakirev says:

    Brachiator Says:

    You must be joking. You began by suggesting that people actively bring about catastrophe by not voting or by voting for McCain. Now you try a bit of rhetorical back pedaling with this passive voice contingency crap, “lead to,” “bring along,” “results in.” But no one in the 1920s or 1930s ever said, “Let’s have more of that Depression stuff because something wonderful will inevitably happen.”

    Your point earlier was:

    The only thing that catastrophe brings is more catastrophe.

    You didn’t add on, “Uh-uh! Can’t quote catastrophes that people don’t plan for! I made that rule!” Catastrophes don’t just bring in more catastrophes–and that was the point of yours I replied to. Are you suggesting that if a political catastrophe is deliberately caused, it is more likely to have only catastrophic results, than a political catastrophe that isn’t planned? Can you explain why this is so? Just curious.

    Then it might be useful to name them or to provide links to their sites, especially those with a reasonable chance of winning an election.

    If you really want to know who has a good chance, check out Crooks and Liars, and DailyKos. I do all the time. I also get mailings from Firedoglake and MoveOn, and usually, if not always, support the causes they present. Because I do believe in the difference those causes and people can make.

    The choice is between McCain and Obama. That is it.

    No, that’s your definition of it. I see a range of choices and a range of results, depending upon a large number of factors, some internal, some external to the presidential election. At the moment, I’m really, really pissed at Obama for jumping to McSame’s side of the fence and kicking the US Constitution when it’s down. If things get bad enough, it’s just possible more people will get as pissed as I am–and perhaps we can all vote to do something about it.

    I only regret that enough people don’t see yet just how bad it has been. Something that I’ve been pointing out since 2001.

  215. 215
    southpaw says:

    Greenwald is characteristically lucid, but he takes his argument to an extreme that it can’t support. The theory of imposing political costs on Obama assumes that he’s going to take power. You need Obama in the White House for all your strategizing to have any measurable effect on national policy. If your criticism, boycotting, etc. imposes such grievous political costs that the Republican ends up getting elected, then you’re out in the ideologically pure wilderness again and the country lumbers on without you. So at some point, the imperative of getting a Democrat in the White House for the next four years takes precedence over strafing the Democrats for frustrating you today.

    I’m disappointed with Obama; everyone here is. But this legislation is going to pass, and there’s a bigger battle to win.

  216. 216
    D. Mason says:

    If Democrats think they can govern this country without learning how to play as a team

    I’m not a Democrat though. I’m an American citizen who is sick to fucking death of watching our “Dear Leaders” trample and trash the nation I once loved and it’s entire system of governance. I’m ashamed to be an American because of the last 8 years and I have no desire to see 8 more years of the same old shit. Obama has talked an awesome game and that’s why I like him so much, but so far talk has been all it is. This is an opportunity for him to show me, the pissed off American, that he really means business. All I’m asking him to do is vote no. Is that really asking too much? I don’t expect some superman shit, just for him to cast his own vote for the defense of the Constitution. If that’s too much to ask then he is not the leader or change agent he claims to be.

  217. 217
    NR says:

    John – I will still vote for Obama in November come hell or high water. I know how important it is to keep McCain out of the White House.

    But if he doesn’t at least try to stop the FISA bill in the Senate, I will be extremely disappointed in him. I just don’t know what else to say. The man was a constitutional law professor, he of all people should know how bad this bill is.

  218. 218
    pinola says:

    I have no idea what you’re talking about, John. I noted in my earlier post that I was trying to be realistic in backing Obama despite all the criticism. My point was to illustrate that people should not be that surprised at his current position on FISA, given his past voting record. I say this as I am not an Obamabot, but a realist.

    And I’m not citing anything. He wasn’t present for the vote.

  219. 219
    PaulB says:

    If your criticism, boycotting, etc. imposes such grievous political costs that the Republican ends up getting elected

    See, that’s the point. We haven’t seen any evidence yet that there would be “grievous political cost” if Obama were to take a stronger position.

  220. 220
    ThymeZone says:

    Fallacy of the excluded middle(s) does not look good on you, TZ.

    Oh, fuck off. It’s a two team race and one of them is going to win. Your parsing of the situation does not change the reality. If you want to be on the team, you support the team. You don’t flip off the team and then sit on the sidelines and say, it’s no big deal.

    It is a big deal. Apathy, low voter turnout, a few people too lazy or too grumpy to get out and vote, or put a yard sign up, or contribute some money … these things count.

    It’s a team. Get on the team and give it your full support or get the hell away from me, I have no use for you.

  221. 221
    Punchy says:

    Um, John? Pot. Kettle. Black.

    Racist!

  222. 222
    John Cole says:

    But this legislation is going to pass, and there’s a bigger battle to win.

    NOOOO! Obama is supposed to take a stand! If only he had given a speech the outcome would be different in the chamber of Congress he is not a member! He has sold us all down the river! Why does Obama hate the netroots! Why does he not cherish the Constitution like Sojourner!

    If he does not go down with the ship, Obama does not care!

  223. 223
    pinola says:

    Steve Soto? That was talkleft.

  224. 224
    ThymeZone says:

    We haven’t seen any evidence yet that there would be “grievous political cost” if Obama were to take a stronger position.

    It’s a team. Either support the leader of the team, or get off the team. Trying to pretend that you can second guess the leader of the team and bark about to anyone who will listen and that this is okay is the kind of behavior that earns you a boot in the ass.

    Get yourself and all these whiny fuckers away from our team. You are as bad as the Hillbots. Worse, actually, because most of them are lining up behind this team in droves (see recent polls). Get that, the intolerable Hillbots are becoming team players, but the FISA whiners can’t bring themselves to do it.

  225. 225
    Punchy says:

    NOOOO! Obama is supposed to take a stand! If only he had given a speech the outcome would be different in the chamber of Congress he is not a member! He has sold us all down the river! Why does Obama hate the netroots! Why does he not cherish the Constitution like Sojourner!

    We get it, John. Understood. Go play outside for awhile and let TZ take over.

  226. 226
    srv says:

    The exasperated Obamamaniacs here are going to have a long, hard slog as they fight the clinton-trolls, libertarians, progressives, unsure dems, real-trolls and what-not as Obama tacks to McSame’s right.

    Mark my words. If Barack doesn’t start playing Full McSame Jacket soon instead of this lipstick-on-a-pig routine and give the wankers months to get over it, the trickling surrender on one cause after another through election day is going to leave a lot of people who thought they were part of the base behind.

    We all understand you Obamamaniacs can only rationalize with balefulls straw, and after the last 8 years, you are only capable of binary thinking. I’m not agreeing with anybody. I’m just telling you what is going to happen.

  227. 227
    PaulB says:

    It’s a team. Either support the leader of the team, or get off the team.

    Gee, weren’t you claiming that you were going to be out of here by now?

    In any case, you are flatly incorrect. Those are not my only two choices. And, frankly, pretending that those are my only two choices is pretty stupid.

    Trying to pretend that you can second guess the leader of the team and bark about to anyone who will listen and that this is okay is the kind of behavior that earns you a boot in the ass.

    Um, people “second-guess” their political leaders all the time here in the U.S. It’s called “democracy.” You should look into it.

    Get yourself and all these whiny fuckers away from our team.

    ROFL…. “Our” team? Sorry, but I see no particular reason to take you seriously when you resort to nonsensical assertions like this.

    You are as bad as the Hillbots. Worse, actually, because most of them are lining up behind this team in droves (see recent polls).

    Dear heart, where on earth have I said that I would not vote for Obama in November?

    Get that, the intolerable Hillbots are becoming team players, but the FISA whiners can’t bring themselves to do it.

    ROFL…. Man, this is just too precious. I do so love an argument with someone who has so clearly lost it and has nothing rational to bring to the table.

  228. 228
    Ted says:

    Anyone who subscribes to the “maybe if things get bad enough, we can hit liberal nirvana” deserves 8 years of McCain and then another 8 years of Romney.

    The Horror

  229. 229
    John Cole says:

    We get it, John. Understood. Go play outside for awhile and let TZ take over.

    How about we do this. What do you want or expect Obama to do. IN your analysis, include the political downfall, and the odds of success of your gambit. Give a realistic appraisal of the upside and downside.

  230. 230
    John Cole says:

    The exasperated Obamamaniacs here are going to have a long, hard slog as they fight the clinton-trolls, libertarians, progressives, unsure dems, real-trolls and what-not as Obama tacks to McSame’s right.

    Really? Obama is now to the RIGHT of McCain?

    You have lost all sense of reality. Not some. All.

  231. 231
    PaulB says:

    Get on the team and give it your full support or get the hell away from me, I have no use for you.

    Q.E.D. Sorry, dear, but you’re just going to have to put up with us.

  232. 232
    slippy hussein toad says:

    mark Says:

    Channeling Groucho Marx: I wouldn’t vote for anyone slimey enough to win an election.

    Personally, Obama has won my trust. He has the right to make judgement calls and even be just plain wrong once in a while.

    He’s won the right to play the game his way. When he stops winning the war I will kvetch.

  233. 233
    Balakirev says:

    John Cole says:

    Who has said you can’t criticize Obama? I know I haven’t.

    I posted some criticism of Obama, not here, but in other forums. I was told in various ways that you either support him unconditionally–which is the only way he can get elected–or you’re against him, and should STFU. So from my perspective, it isn’t a strawman Greenwald’s identifying. It follows upon my own experience.

    Nancy Pelosi.
    Steny Hoyer.

    The leadership that put him in this position. Those are the people you should be pissed at.

    Hell, yes, I am, John. I’ve contributed to the MoveOn advertising campaign in Hoyer’s district. I’m thoroughly pissed at the Rethugs and the spineless Dems in the House that have voted for this particular FISA bill, but I’ve already financially contributed to a couple of the campaigns to oust them. (I’m not made of money. I just do what I can.)

    As I wrote above, though, the man heading the party, running for the presidency, is a symbol. Embracing or rejecting the Constitution is another symbol. Obama had a chance to really stand up for something, to make a difference simply by a vote and a few words, even if it didn’t change the result. And he blew it.

    That’s why I’m very disappointed and (in case you can’t guess) quite upset. I knew he was a moderate, not a progressive, and that was okay–but this?

    And, I will note- all of this shit being heaped on Obama is pre-emptive trash talk. He hasn’t even voted on the god damned bill yet.

    He’s issued a statement, so the reaction–including yours–are to that. Those words really matter.

    I may change my mind, but right at the moment, Obama’s done something I never expected to see from a Democratic presidential candidate.

  234. 234
    PaulB says:

    IN your analysis, include the political downfall …. Give a realistic appraisal of the upside and downside.

    John, are you prepared to do the same? Because, thus far, you haven’t.

  235. 235
    srv says:

    It’s a team. Either support the leader of the team, or get off the team. Trying to pretend that you can second guess the leader of the team and bark about to anyone who will listen and that this is okay is the kind of behavior that earns you a boot in the ass.

    George Bush could not have said it better. Kudos.

    Please proceed to attack rather than cajole those who wanted to think Obama was different, but isn’t, and alienate them over their single-issues as they pop up into November.

    You’re really Obama’s worst enemy here.

  236. 236
    PaulB says:

    This, I think, is what quite a few of us are disappointed about. From Greg Sargent:

    Time and again, in his debates with Hillary, and now with John McCain, his whole debate posture on national security issues was centered on the idea that he could challenge and change what it means to talk “tough.” His candidacy has long seemed to embody a conviction that Democrats can win arguments with Republicans about national security — that if Dems stick to a set of core principles, and forcefully argue for them without blinking, they can and will persuade people that, simply put, they are right and Republicans are wrong.

    Obama has done this already in this general election — repeatedly. And no doubt he will do it again and again and again in the months ahead.

    To be clear, I’m not even talking about whether opposing this would or wouldn’t have carried political peril. It really doesn’t matter. Because if there were ever anything that would have tested his operating premise throughout this campaign — that you can win arguments with Republicans about national security — it was this legislation. If ever there were anything that deserved to test this premise, it was this legislation.

    And this time, he abandoned that premise.

    [Emphasis in the original.]

  237. 237
    John Cole says:

    Obama’s done something I never expected to see from a Democratic presidential candidate.

    What Democratic party have you been following for the last 30 years? Clinton, the only Democrat to win since Jimmy Carter, will in the long-term be viewed as more “conservative” than Bush. DOMA, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Balanced Budgets, massive military spending, very few military interventions. Hell, many of the things that came to life in the Patriot Act were simply stuff from the establishment national security apparatus that Clinton wanted enacted after Oklahoma City.

    What political scene have you been watching?

  238. 238
    PaulB says:

    I was told in various ways that you either support him unconditionally—which is the only way he can get elected—or you’re against him, and should STFU.

    In fact, that is the sum total of TZ’s argument above, repeated over and over and over again, ad nauseam.

  239. 239
    NR says:

    John – Again, I am still going to vote for Obama in November. As disappointed as I am, he is still better than McCain, and that is enough for him to get my vote.

    As for my money and my volunteer time – well, locally I have both a House AND a Senate race where the Republican incumbents have not only supported this FISA atrocity, but also have supported every gawd-damned thing that Bush has done to fuck this country up for the last eight years. They both FINALLY have serious Democratic challengers and there’s a real chance that we could beat them both. That’s probably where my time and money will go now, since I think it’s a good place for them and it could make a big difference in the years ahead.

  240. 240
    Punchy says:

    How about we do this. What do you want or expect Obama to do. IN your analysis, include the political downfall, and the odds of success of your gambit. Give a realistic appraisal of the upside and downside.

    This is all I got:
    1) Was pissed yesterday, realized sun still came up today, about to enjoy a cold beer, so I no longer care
    2) Figged the Senate will finish the job even if Obama filibusters by reading from his Koran and singing Ice Cube’s “A Bitch is a Bitch” lyrics
    3) Dems will continue to curse their reps, but then go and vote for the bastards anyways
    4) I dont have any international friends anyways, so they’ll never tap my phone, and if they want to tap my lappy, they’ll just get some cool porn and a shitload of downloaded crossword puzzles.

    Hence, my suggestion to you to go enjoy your day and quit trying to defend yourself. You’ve done well thus far, grasshoppah.

  241. 241
    srv says:

    Really? Obama is now to the RIGHT of McCain?

    You have lost all sense of reality. Not some. All.

    Iran, AIPAC, Jerusalem, FISA… What’s up for next week? I’m sure all those leftists can tell the difference.

    You keep at it buddy, you keep telling all those leftists they’re crazy. And when they don’t show up in November, you’ll no doubt create a new reality and blame them for not asking for more beatings.

  242. 242
    PaulB says:

    From a comment by sysprog over at Greenwald’s blog:

    Argh

    Why are so many four-year-olds and fourteen-year-olds making comments on blogs?

    Four-year-olds see their preferred politicians as god-like fathers (or mothers) whose virtuous character will guarantee good judgment. If a judgment looks questionable to you, then it’s because you don’t know all the facts that mommy and daddy know, or it’s because you aren’t as wise as them.

    Fourteen-year-olds have had their illusions shattered about those devilish politicians so now they perceive the TRUTH – – that mommy and daddy make bad judgments because mommy and daddy are utterly corrupt.

  243. 243
    Balakirev says:

    Southpaw says:

    Greenwald is characteristically lucid, but he takes his argument to an extreme that it can’t support. The theory of imposing political costs on Obama assumes that he’s going to take power. You need Obama in the White House for all your strategizing to have any measurable effect on national policy. If your criticism, boycotting, etc. imposes such grievous political costs that the Republican ends up getting elected, then you’re out in the ideologically pure wilderness again and the country lumbers on without you. So at some point, the imperative of getting a Democrat in the White House for the next four years takes precedence over strafing the Democrats for frustrating you today.

    I’m disappointed with Obama; everyone here is. But this legislation is going to pass, and there’s a bigger battle to win.

    Well put; but I have to wonder how far a political candidate I have claimed for my own can go outside those boundaries, before they cease to be someone I would support? I have been willing to support Obama despite the DC-as-usual team of political advisors he’s built. Despite some positions on MidEastern issues that seem dangerously close to maintaining the conventional failed political viewpoint. But then something like this comes along, directly involving Constitutional issues. I have to step back and reevaluate the person I was going to vote for in lieu of Junior’s successor. Obama’s wracking up points that push him far to the edge of what I can believe, and with this, beyond. Should I hope to get him in office in the hopes of influencing him? That’s never worked, before.

  244. 244
    Karmakin says:

    #1. Obama really had the rug pulled out from under him by the conservative elements of the party. He would have been framed as a radical if he got in front of this. Wouldn’t be a smart political move.

    #2. The logic behind the whole being upset thing doesn’t pan out. Pretty much everybody (including myself, even though it doesn’t sound like it sometimes) supports warrantless wiretapping of non-citizens. This isn’t something to be angry over. Is it a legally bad decision? Possibly. But from an ETHICAL standpoint, most people are in agreement that spying on the bad guys trumps privacy concerns.

    Unfortunately, this really is the worst kind of emotional grandstanding, personally, I think the whole thing needs to be built from scratch, and every wiretap needs to go through some sort of independent control process, so the information is used for its intended purpose or destroyed. Full stop. Frankly, I’m more concerned with them getting information and using it to overthrow “unfriendly” foreign countries than I am tapping Kos’ phone line. (I don’t mean that as a personal jab at him, btw)

    The progressive blogosphere lost when they declined to force a real showdown on FISA. Of course, that as well is a political loser I think…American Exceptionalism and all that. But all the same, this was a lost cause from the get go. It’s a horrible argument, and bad politics.

  245. 245
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I have always known, of course, that Obama would need to show his core supporters soon that he would have to disappoint them on some issues in order to win votes. The presidency requires support from a lot of different people with a lot of different views, so there will never be a president that represents my views 100% of the time, and that is probably a good thing. I’m no genius.

    But I was really hoping he wouldn’t cower on this issue. Civil Liberties is very important to me, and it’s hard for me to stomach the lawlessness of this administration. What Obama is signaling is that he is going to let them off the hook, and set bad precedent in the process, because … why? He needs to win a few white votes in Indiana? Is he so insecure about his chances that he is afraid of not supporting the compromise created by a Congress and President whose approval hasn’t cracked 30% in several months?

    I think this is bad policy AND bad politics. It shows that Obama is weak, and his late response to it shows he is disorganized.

    I am still going to vote for him, of course. And I still think he is going to be a fantastic president. But I also think he flubbed this one, as he will sometimes flub other issues in the future. He had a chance to do something courageous and instead he blinked, following the conventional wisdom argued by John Cole yesterday and today. If he’s going to be a transformational leader, he needs to do better than this. He needs to do better than the tired pragmatism that John Cole is suggesting we support. You can’t change things in this way. This only guarantees the status quo. This is a part of the problem.

    Anyway, I am withholding money from his campaign for a while. There isn’t much one person can do, but this is how I am going to express my disappointment. I’ll get over it for sure. He’s going to do a lot of great things. But he failed this time.

  246. 246
    Rome Again says:

    As Hillary supporters love to point out- they can change their minds any time between now and the convention. Sure, he has sway with the voters and he has some momentum, but he is still at the mercy of the Party Machine at this point.

    I think its a tough call, but he did what he thought was best. He has the perception of power on his side, but he doesn’t actually have the power- yet.

    Obama couldn’t take a stand because Pelosi and Hoyer couldn’t take a stand. The problem is not with Obama, he had to follow leadership while he’s trying to get elected. The problem is with the Madame and her wannabe Steny. So far Pelosi and Hoyer make me wish someone else had gotten those positions.

  247. 247
    Balakirev says:

    I said:

    Obama’s done something I never expected to see from a Democratic presidential candidate.

    John Cole says:

    What Democratic party have you been following for the last 30 years? Clinton, the only Democrat to win since Jimmy Carter, will in the long-term be viewed as more “conservative” than Bush. DOMA, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Balanced Budgets, massive military spending, very few military interventions. Hell, many of the things that came to life in the Patriot Act were simply stuff from the establishment national security apparatus that Clinton wanted enacted after Oklahoma City.

    I have always said that Bill Clinton was the best Republican president of the 20th century.

    John, I’m referring to the Constitutional issue, of course. Clinton to my knowledge never trod on it. Bush–well, we needn’t go there. It’s too depressing. And McSame? Of course; it’s expected. But I didn’t expect Obama to indicate in his words a willingness to disregard certain provisions of it.

    What political scene have you been watching?

    This one. Which makes me just another lunatic in the asylum.

    I’ve got to head off. Wife and I have tasks to run.

  248. 248
    John Cole says:

    John, are you prepared to do the same? Because, thus far, you haven’t.

    I have repeatedly given an appraisal of how I see things. You dismiss them or ignore them. From my perspective, the ship has already sailed, and the fact that the House leadership pushed it so quickly and so forcefully, as well as got so many votes for it (again, only 128 no votes) that the fix was in. Why they did this is open for speculation.

    Maybe they are complicit and this is just CYA. Maybe they have so many conservative Democrats who are already in a lot of trouble in their districts and needthis issue disappeared and off the table. Maybe some of them believe this bill is necessary. Maybe they have just been yanking the netroots chain the entire time with the issue, ala Republicans and social conservative issues. I don’t know. But the overwhelming support from Democrats yesterday says something,.

    For Obama, the downsides are multiple here. He came out against immunity, but right now it looks like no matter what he does, it will pass. One article I saw said as many as 68 Senators will support the bill, meaning a filibuster is unsustainable. What can Obama do?

    Well, he can come out and vehemently oppose the bill. In the process, he will be saying that all of the Democrats in the House, people he needs campaigning for him, are hacks who supported an unconstitutional bill. Hopefully even you can see the downside to this. This will also hurt him in conservative districts where you better believe Republicans will use this and last week’s habeus ruling to attack him, hurting downticket Democrats.

    He can try to lead a filibuster with Dodd and Feingold, but as noted earlier, that will fail. He will then be portrayed as a feckless liberal with no political clout who was rejected by 2/3 of the Senate, and you better believe the media will have a field day with it. They have already had their meal ticket stamped with the unity crap after months of the Hillary/Barack rift, this will just me more fuel for the fire. Again, I hope you can appreciate the political downside of that. I can see the GOP commercials now- “obama, the most liberal man in the Senate according to the National Journal, is too liberal for even the vast majority of his own party!”

    He can work to have Reid shelve this, but that will not happen- I think Reid and the Senate leadership want this passed. I think Rockefeller has a lot to hide. At any rate, he is now wasting political capital he needs for the General.

    And all of this, and I say again, all of this is in vain, because the bill is going to pass. And even if Obama does somehow get immunity stripped from it, Bush will veto the bill. If they alter it in any appreciable way, Bush will simply issue a signing statement accompanied with a middle finger or it will quietly get stripped out in conference.

    And, of course, it goes without saying that if he does anything, he will be portrayed as soft on terrorism. So he has that going for him regardless what happens. The only thing he can do is what he did- get out of the way of the speeding train and, as I noted in the poker analogy, try to limp into the Senate and see if the dynamic change.

    Right now he is trying to make lemonade out of lemons, and you all are pissing in the water and not taking one minute to appreciate the dynamics of the situation. Probably the best outcome will be for him to try to remove immunity and if that fails, vote against it, but should he fail and vote for it, I will not hold it against him- that is a judgment call, and there just is no upside for him either way since the bill is going to pass with or without his vote.

    That is how I see things. I thought I pointed all this out three or four times already, and I thought you all would figure it out with the poker analogy. Michael D. did in the very first comment. His only option right now that makes sense to me is to fold. Going down with the ship may make some of the egos in the netroots self-satisfied, but it does not help Obama or Democrats in the general.

  249. 249
    TenguPhule says:

    If he had gotten on the phone and called every democrat voting for this and told them he was making a stand and they had to take his back the bill would’ve been defeated.

    When I dream, I dream of ice cream.

    The difference is, I will get that ice cream.

  250. 250
    NR says:

    So far Pelosi and Hoyer make me wish someone else had gotten those positions.

    Pelosi and Hoyer make me wish that Hastert and DeLay were still running Congress. They weren’t nearly as effective in advancing Bush’s agenda as Pelosi and Hoyer have been.

  251. 251
    PaulB says:

    He would have been framed as a radical if he got in front of this. Wouldn’t be a smart political move.

    He’s already being “framed as a radical.”

    #2. The logic behind the whole being upset thing doesn’t pan out.

    Sorry, but based on your analysis, it’s pretty clear that you have no idea what’s in the bill. Accordingly, I’m not even going to bother responding. I will suggest, though, that you visit the ACLU website and look into this a bit. Keep in mind that this is far more than “spying on the bad guys.”

    The progressive blogosphere lost when they declined to force a real showdown on FISA.

    Um, who is the “they” in the above sentence?

    Of course, that as well is a political loser I think… American Exceptionalism and all that. But all the same, this was a lost cause from the get go. It’s a horrible argument, and bad politics.

    Sorry, but the above statements make absolutely no sense. Do you have any idea at all as to what you’re saying?

  252. 252
    TenguPhule says:

    If things get bad enough, it’s just possible more people will get as pissed as I am—and perhaps we can all vote to do something about it.

    And if ponies could fly, Iraq would be buried in flowers and candy.

  253. 253
    Rome Again says:

    Maybe you all do deserve McCain.

    Not me, I don’t, and neither does TZ, that makes two, so, no, we can’t have McCain. ;)

  254. 254
    Sojourner says:

    If he does not go down with the ship, Obama does not care!

    John, you’re losing it. You and TZ need some time away from the computer.

  255. 255
    TenguPhule says:

    but should he fail and vote for it, I will not hold it against him.

    On that John, we disagree.

    If he can’t stop the vote, he damn well better be in another state campaigning when the final roll is called for it.

    Hillary fucked up by going with the tide.

    Obama should be smart enough to get out of the water.

  256. 256
    Sojourner says:

    What can Obama do?

    A good start would be to not vote for it.

  257. 257
    John Cole says:

    A good start would be to not vote for it.

    The bill is going to pass anyway. Why can you not comprehend this?

  258. 258
    ThymeZone says:

    I am still going to vote for him, of course. And I still think he is going to be a fantastic president. But I also think he flubbed this one, as he will sometimes flub other issues in the future. He had a chance to do something courageous and instead he blinked, following the conventional wisdom argued by John Cole yesterday and today. If he’s going to be a transformational leader, he needs to do better than this. He needs to do better than the tired pragmatism that John Cole is suggesting we support. You can’t change things in this way. This only guarantees the status quo. This is a part of the problem.

    Yeah, this material is the PaulB argument and the Sojourner argument in slightly different clothes.

    Which is: I know better than Barack Obama what the best course for Barack Obama is here. I have no proof of this, but I assert it anyway, and on that basis, I will sit here and criticize him, and bash anyone who gets in the way.

    My argument is slightly different: Obama is the best and smartest candidate I’ve seen at this level, and he has proven to me that he knows what he is doing. I defer to his judgment and support him fully. I also know that there is a lot more to the FISA story than we are reading on the blogs. There is a vast empire of deal-making spaghetti behind the scenes, and while we have every right to hate the idea that there is, the fact is, there is. And there is a vast empire of backstory of fucking over democracy behind this national security curtain, and if we don’t elect somebody like Obama, we’ll never get to fixing it. Another reason I support him fully.

    So, it comes down to Obama’s judgment versus PaulB’s judgment. Let’s pick and choose how much we will support the only candidacy standing between us and a collossal tranwreck and disaster for this country, and if anyone criticizes us, we will complain that it’s okay because, you know, it’s just criticism. Except when it isn’t, such as when it’s “I wont vote for him” or “I wont contribute to him.” Which is, you know, okay, because, you know, what effect would that have anyway?

    The term “no brainer” comes to mind here. I choose Obama’s judgment over the complainers’ judgment.

    And, bonus, I seem to be making PaulB sick to his stomach. Those are the little things that make life really worthwhile.

  259. 259
    Rome Again says:

    John, obviously a few people here don’t understand risk assessment. Don’t take it personally, it’s not you.

    Sojourner, do you want a Democrat to win the next election or would you rather that we lose that ability with this FISA bullshit?

  260. 260
    TenguPhule says:

    The bill is going to pass anyway.

    So let it pass without Obama’s vote.

    If he can’t stop it, the best defense is to not be there.

  261. 261
    Sojourner says:

    The bill is going to pass anyway. Why can you not comprehend this?

    So if a bill is going to pass, then he should vote for it?

    Clinton voted for the Iraq war bill. It was going to pass anyway so what’s the big deal? Right?

  262. 262
    Sojourner says:

    Which is: I know better than Barack Obama what the best course for Barack Obama is here.

    It’s not Obama that is the issue. It’s the fourth amendment.

  263. 263
    Sojourner says:

    Sojourner, do you want a Democrat to win the next election or would you rather that we lose that ability with this FISA bullshit?

    You are assuming that criticizing the Democratic candidate means losing the election.

  264. 264
    ThymeZone says:

    John’s 2:13 post is the best piece I have seen on this so far in two days.

    Says it all, says it well.

    With that, I must adjourn to another electronic venue where I can earn a crust.

    —//

    Hmm, yes. John 2:13

    Haaaahahahahaha. Goddam, I am one funny sumbitch.

  265. 265
    cleek says:

    JC is absolutely right here – there’s is very little Obama can do at this point, either as a Senator or as the nominee. the politics are bad in all directions and he doesn’t have the power to change that.

    as for all of you saying you’re going to note vote for Obama, or are going to withhold donations, etc: McCain, the other option in the race, is going to happily vote for the bill, along with every other Republican in Congress. Obama got boxed-in by his leadership and the political reality of not wanting to fight 3/4 of Congress over such a (frankly) esoteric issue during an election year. McCain is going to vote for it with glee. watch where you aim that angst – don’t shoot yourself in the foot.

  266. 266
    Rome Again says:

    Obama should be smart enough to get out of the water.

    Obama did not authorize an illegal war, what he is doing is authorizing the administration to do the dirty work it’s already done so they can finish it and then when Obama becomes president he’ll be able to start with a clean slate and start taking names. BushCo is hanging themselves here, there will be questions later. This makes the current administration more complicit.

  267. 267
    ThymeZone says:

    So if a bill is going to pass, then he should vote for it?

    I ask you, how is the republic to survive if its citizens have NO FUCKING CLUE how the processes actually work?

    John 2:13. BJNTB (Balloon Juice, not the Bible).

    Read it. Dig it.

  268. 268
    TenguPhule says:

    It’s not Obama that is the issue. It’s the fourth amendment.

    Then I suggest you direct your outrage to the Ratfuckers in the House.

    Until Obama actually votes or does not when this comes up in the Senate, the whole thing is much ado about nothing.

    Obama is not the nominee yet. He’s still trying to change American minds that ‘Habus Corpus’ does not mean ‘OMG the Terrorists are going to run wild’ that Fuckstain and his GOP brothers in arms are pushing. He’s also standing up on ANWR, which IS costing him political capital thanks to the ratfuckers who can’t imagine not wasting gas as an American right.

    Let’s see how he does next week before the perpetual outrage machine is set into gear.

  269. 269
    Rome Again says:

    You are assuming that criticizing the Democratic candidate means losing the election.

    I’m not assuming that at all. Don’t presume to tell me what I assume. I am assuming that Obama needs the leadership to help get him elected, and he does.

  270. 270
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Not to stomp all over Sojourner’s efforts to see how many different ways she can say “I know you are but what am I”, I think the fundamental divide here is between idealists and pragmatists. There may indeed be a few fourteen year olds posting and TZ may in fact be papering his chicken coop with the constitution but it appears this little kerfluffle falls into the typical camps of idealism and pragmatism.

    Obama is not an idealist, he is a pragmatist. If that wasn’t already obvious you haven’t been paying attention. If this is a problem for you, by all means write in Kucinich on election day. You will change nothing, as you are surely accustomed to by now.

  271. 271
    Sojourner says:

    The latest poll I saw showed that Democrats have a harsher view of the Congress’s performance than do Republicans. Polls also show that most Americans are against giving immunity to the telecoms.

    So why wouldn’t Obama take a public stand against the bill and the breathtakingly incompetent Democratic leadership (Pelosi & Reid)? He would certainly get the attention of the growing numbers of independents as well as rewarding the left for their support.

    The assumption that voting for immunity is the politically savvy choice is questionable, unless you’re trying to win over Bush’s base.

  272. 272
    Sojourner says:

    I’m not assuming that at all. Don’t presume to tell me what I assume. I am assuming that Obama needs the leadership to help get him elected, and he does.

    Um, the leadership needs him as much as he needs them. They desperately need a Democratic president to help keep them from continuing to shoot themselves in the foot.

  273. 273
    myiq2xu says:

    Telco immunity is unpopular with just about everyone outside of Washington DC

    The Bush administration loves it, the Village idiots think it’s a great idea, and the lobbyists for the Telcos are very generous.

    But voters hate it.

    So what would be the downside to bold leadership in this case?

  274. 274
    TenguPhule says:

    what he is doing is authorizing the administration to do the dirty work it’s already done so they can finish it and then when Obama becomes president he’ll be able to start with a clean slate and start taking names.

    With all due respect, no.

    Obama should not give authorization on anything Bushco does. He is running as the Anti-Bush. Going along with the flow was a Hillary mistake. It wrecked her credibility and judgement perceptions.

    If he gets his hands dirty by actively *helping* this FISA decapitation, he’s fucked.

    Either work to stop it, or stay out of the way. Do not hop on board the crashing train.

  275. 275
    ThymeZone says:

    You are assuming that criticizing the Democratic candidate means losing the election.

    I am not assuming, but asserting with confidence, that whining and bitching that you didn’t get your way is anathema to teamwork, and that teamwork is what we need to save the country.

    Get on the team. Stop bitching and whining.

    Yes, I said bitching. Bitching, bitching, bitching.

    In other words, what Hillary is NOT doing these days.

  276. 276
    Rome Again says:

    So why wouldn’t Obama take a public stand against the bill and the breathtakingly incompetent Democratic leadership (Pelosi & Reid)? He would certainly get the attention of the growing numbers of independents as well as rewarding the left for their support.

    You do realize a bunch of those people he would be pissing off are SUPERDELEGATES?

  277. 277
    Sojourner says:

    I think the fundamental divide here is between idealists and pragmatists.

    What is pragmatic about voting for an unpopular bill?

  278. 278
    TenguPhule says:

    So what would be the downside to bold leadership in this case?

    And Hillary Clinton looked back and said nothing.

  279. 279
    dslak says:

    Kudos to Balakirev et al for making the perfect the enemy of the good. Let me know how that works out for ya.

  280. 280
    ThymeZone says:

    TZ may in fact be papering his chicken coop

    Okay, last night it was the rooster, today the chicken coop.

    I feel a strange pull toward a poultry force, a feathered doom that is approaching me from

    BAWK!

    OH MY GOD

  281. 281
    Rome Again says:

    Um, the leadership needs him as much as he needs them. They desperately need a Democratic president to help keep them from continuing to shoot themselves in the foot.

    In case you haven’t noticed, the Dems are not looking at losing seats in this coming elections, the Repubs are. The Dems still will have jobs when this is said and done.

  282. 282
    Michael D. says:

    I have deleted about 100 comments total in a few years, and most of them had to do with personal attacks that involved the c-bomb or various sexism/racism.

    I have to step up and defend Cole here. I used the c-bomb and was warned. Other than that, I can post whatever I want.

    As long as it’s not too gay.

  283. 283
    Rome Again says:

    Okay, last night it was the rooster, today the chicken coop.

    That’s not allowed in city limits, is it?

  284. 284
    TenguPhule says:

    So why wouldn’t Obama take a public stand against the bill and the breathtakingly incompetent Democratic leadership (Pelosi & Reid)? He would certainly get the attention of the growing numbers of independents as well as rewarding the left for their support.

    Because, as has been explained several times already, Obama CAN NOT KICK DEMOCRATIC RATFUCKERS IN THE BALLS UNTIL AFTER THE AUGUST CONVENTION. He is not the nominee yet. Calling out Superdelegates who can still send Clinton as the nominee is fucking suicide.

    In the end, all that matters is 41 votes in the Senate.

    Do Obama and Dodd have that? If they don’t then they can’t stop it. And all the calls for ‘reward the supporters’ is bullshit.

  285. 285
    ThymeZone says:

    What is pragmatic about voting for an unpopular bill?

    What could possibly be going on among those 600 of the most powerful people in the country month in and month out that I might not know about and which actually drive the public face of it that I seen CSPAN? Why don’t they realize that my feelings are more important than their machines of power, and that Mister Obama should be listening to me, me, me no matter what?

    Why is it all so confusing and upsetting? Waaahhhhhhh!

  286. 286
    PaulB says:

    I have repeatedly given an appraisal of how I see things.

    Sorry, but you really haven’t. You’ve been ranting, snarking, offering up silly strawman arguments, pretending that the legislation doesn’t really do anything wrong other than immunity, and basically insulting people right and left. Your privilege, of course, since it’s your blog. But please don’t pretend that you had really sat down, thought this through, and issued a coherent, thoughtful analysis, because you pretty clearly had not done so.

    From my perspective, the ship has already sailed, and the fact that the House leadership pushed it so quickly and so forcefully, as well as got so many votes for it (again, only 128 no votes) that the fix was in. Why they did this is open for speculation.

    I agree that there is little that be done to derail this now. The Senate is almost certainly going to pass it, as is, with Obama voting in the affirmative. I really wish I knew exactly what was going on and why the House leadership committed to something that was, in my opinion, politically very, very stupid, over and above the damage that this bill will cause.

    For Obama, the downsides are multiple here.

    See, here’s the thing: I’m just not seeing all those downsides, even in a losing cause. I don’t really expect him to do a “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” last stand, but he could still do such things as:

    – Take a stronger stand against this bill and point out its shortcomings. His statement yesterday indicated support, not opposition, and it listed the bill’s supposed strengths, not its weaknesses.

    – Take the fight back to the Republicans, as he’s done so successfully in recent months. His statement yesterday contained a couple of assertions that were not only flatly false but that bought into Republican memes instead of confronting them. He’s given up too much ground. See, for example, this analysis over at the Technology Liberation Front, much of which I agree with.

    – Announce that he will vote “no” and then do so. His statement yesterday gave a pretty clear indication that he will vote “yes”. (As for his his statement that he will “work” to remove retroactive immunity, that’s a Kabuki dance that I’m not buying.)

    That’s really all I want from Obama. Now you tell me: were he to do these things, what would the political cost be? My own assessment is that he would suffer little, if any, cost. And the gains, supporting a view shared by not only his base but by the majority of U.S. voters, refusing to buy into Republican memes, demonstrating real leadership, and so on, would outweigh those costs.

    Well, he can come out and vehemently oppose the bill. In the process, he will be saying that all of the Democrats in the House, people he needs campaigning for him, are hacks who supported an unconstitutional bill.

    Um … do you really think he’s that unskilled politically? Democratic politicians disagree with one another all the time without those catastropic effects you fear.

    This will also hurt him in conservative districts where you better believe Republicans will use this and last week’s habeus ruling to attack him, hurting downticket Democrats.

    But here’s the thing, John: they’re going to do this, anyway! Hell, they are already doing this. One of the reasons I liked Obama is that he actually fought back, refusing to buy into their memes, reframing the debate in such a way that he countered these arguments quite successfully. And yet, here, he abandoned that approach, one that I think is critical to Democratic success, both now and in the future.

    And even if Obama does somehow get immunity stripped from it, Bush will veto the bill.

    Personally, I happen to think that’s the best scenario. Because when the Republicans try to pretend that the Democrats have left the nation “undefended,” they have a quick and easy counter.

    And, of course, it goes without saying that if he does anything, he will be portrayed as soft on terrorism.

    And, again, he already is. You don’t win that battle by capitulating. You win that battle by reframing the debate, making a compelling case supporting your views, just as he has been doing with respect to Iraq and the “war on terror.”

    Right now he is trying to make lemonade out of lemons, and you all are pissing in the water and not taking one minute to appreciate the dynamics of the situation.

    I do appreciate them, John; I just don’t agree with you as to what the dynamics and costs really are.

  287. 287
    ThymeZone says:

    That’s not allowed in city limits, is it?

    No. But fuckhead has some poultry plan, I just know it.

    I am trying to understand it, but it just doesn’t cluck. I mean, click.

  288. 288
    Rome Again says:

    What is pragmatic about voting for an unpopular bill?

    Soj, 50% of the electorate don’t even know there WAS a vote, and come next week when this has blown over, they STILL won’t know. If you think this bill is going to change the election, you’re dreaming.

  289. 289
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    As long as it’s not too gay.

    You’d prolly do better sticking to what you know, ;)

  290. 290
    ThymeZone says:

    Now you tell me: were he to do these things, what would the political cost be? My own assessment is that he would suffer little, if any, cost

    No, you tell me. Who is the better judge of it, him, or you? And since you are asserting that you are, please explain why I would be wise to choose your judgment over his.

    Because that’s the choice you are asking us to make here, isn’t it? Yours, versus his? So, sell it. Convince me, or anyone, that you are the better judge of it all.

  291. 291
    montysano says:

    How about we do this. What do you want or expect Obama to do. IN your analysis, include the political downfall, and the odds of success of your gambit. Give a realistic appraisal of the upside and downside.

    And while compiling your analysis, imagine the voices of Hume and Krauthammer and Hannity talking about it.

    No takers so far………….. thought so.

  292. 292
    Fwiffo says:

    This sort of logic is surely what led so many Democrats to support the Iraq war authorization. By all means, let’s keep making that same mistake over and over again, hoping against hope that cowardice will lead to electoral success. Cause hey, it worked so great for Democrats in 2002.

  293. 293
    Rome Again says:

    Will you let the man get elected first? Geez!

  294. 294
    Sojourner says:

    You do realize a bunch of those people he would be pissing off are SUPERDELEGATES?

    The superdelegates have already made it clear they’re going to follow the voters.

  295. 295
    PaulB says:

    My argument is slightly different: Obama is the best and smartest candidate I’ve seen at this level, and he has proven to me that he knows what he is doing. I defer to his judgment and support him fully. I also know that there is a lot more to the FISA story than we are reading on the blogs.

    That’s the four-year-old argument, as noted by sysprog:

    Four-year-olds see their preferred politicians as god-like fathers (or mothers) whose virtuous character will guarantee good judgment. If a judgment looks questionable to you, then it’s because you don’t know all the facts that mommy and daddy know, or it’s because you aren’t as wise as them.

    Q.E.D.

    and if anyone criticizes us, we will complain that it’s okay because, you know, it’s just criticism.

    ROFL…. Like I said, a drama queen. Dear heart, it is, in fact, “just criticism.” Deal with it.

    Except when it isn’t, such as when it’s “I wont vote for him” or “I wont contribute to him.” Which is, you know, okay, because, you know, what effect would that have anyway?

    Do tell me where I’ve ever made either of those statements, won’t you? I eagerly await your reply.

    And, bonus, I seem to be making PaulB sick to his stomach.

    ROFLMAO…. Dear heart, you give yourself far too much credit. I don’t take you seriously enough to give a shit about your opinion or to be upset by anything you write, particularly when it’s so clearly unsupported by anything resembling logic, reason, or data. You see, TZ, you’re funny, which is why I had so much fun trolling you yesterday.

  296. 296
    Sojourner says:

    In case you haven’t noticed, the Dems are not looking at losing seats in this coming elections, the Repubs are. The Dems still will have jobs when this is said and done.

    Which means nothing concerning whether Pelosi and Reid will keep their leadership roles.

  297. 297
    ThymeZone says:

    This sort of logic is surely what led so many Democrats to support the Iraq war authorization.

    I seriously doubt that. But on that line of thought, I more and more think that there is a large bowl of hidden spaghetti in Washington that represents all the ways the government has fucked with principles in order to grab power under the guise of national security … and that if you pull on the wrong strand, it all would fall apart.

    My hunch is that this is the reason why you can get strong bipartisan support for keeping up the pretenses. And that this thing is bigger than either party, and bigger than any candidate.

    I have no illusions that Barack can sweep all this away, but I also have no illusions about what happens when John McCain gets sworn in as president: The vast empire of deception gets vaster.

  298. 298
    PaulB says:

    No, you tell me. Who is the better judge of it, him, or you?

    Dear heart, you do realize that an “appeal to authority” is just much a fallacy as is “argument by assertion,” do you not? That’s the difference between us: I don’t assume that those I support never make mistakes or that they should be supported unquestioningly.

    And since you are asserting that you are, please explain why I would be wise to choose your judgment over his.

    Mosty because there actually is some small, but real, evidence that supports my point of view (e.g., the House special elections this year, opinion polls, etc.), not to mention the fact that Obama’s statement of yesterday was flatly incorrect in at least a couple of his assertions regarding the bill.

  299. 299
    Desmond says:

    Because, as has been explained several times already, Obama CAN NOT KICK DEMOCRATIC RATFUCKERS IN THE BALLS UNTIL AFTER THE AUGUST CONVENTION. He is not the nominee yet. Calling out Superdelegates who can still send Clinton as the nominee is fucking suicide.

    Oh please, he’s the fucking nominee! You honestly think the superdelegates can still overturn that? It’s a done deal, and stop acting like his nomination is still questionable.

  300. 300
    Rome Again says:

    Which means nothing concerning whether Pelosi and Reid will keep their leadership roles.

    Don’t change the fucking subject, you were wrong. Dems are not going to lose the election over this issue.

  301. 301
    ThymeZone says:

    Shorter PaulB: Why won’t anyone listen to me?

    you give yourself far too much credit.

    No, actually, I do self-deprecation better than just about anybody around here. I don’t give myself a lot of credit, I leave that to others.

    So, how’s your credit thing going? Do you think you are winning this argument here?

    Discuss.

  302. 302
    Sojourner says:

    Soj, 50% of the electorate don’t even know there WAS a vote, and come next week when this has blown over, they STILL won’t know. If you think this bill is going to change the election, you’re dreaming.

    Great. Then what’s the harm in voting the way he has to this point?

    People do know that Bush has trashed the Constitution. Obama could have used this as a perfect example of how he’s going to restore the Constitution. It’s a perfect opportunity to give one of his speeches on regaining America’s moral authority and respect for the law and the Constitution. Most Americans love that stuff.

    What’s he going to say now? I didn’t want to piss off the congressional leadership of my party so I voted for a bill that I know is wrong and enables McCain to say that even Obama understands that the commander-in-chief was right to break the law.

    Somehow I don’t think even Obama could come up with a noble speech on that topic.

  303. 303
    Cassidy says:

    Oh please, he’s the fucking nominee! You honestly think the superdelegates can still overturn that? It’s a done deal, and stop acting like his nomination is still questionable.

    You must be one of those new to this whole Democrat thing.

  304. 304
    Rome Again says:

    The superdelegates have already made it clear they’re going to follow the voters.

    The Supers have the right to change their mind, no matter what they said previously, until the convention nothing is safe. Obama is not the nominee, is the PRESUMED nominee. Let him get elected first.

  305. 305
    PaulB says:

    Shorter PaulB: Why won’t anyone listen to me?

    ROFL…. Dear heart, I could give a shit about whether anyone “listens” to me. Unlike you, it appears, my ego isn’t on the line in these interactions. This is a blog comment area; I know precisely how meaningless these discussions ultimately are.

    No, actually, I do self-deprecation better than just about anybody around here.

    ROFL…. Q.E.D.

    So, how’s your credit thing going? Do you think you are winning this argument here?

    See above about “giving a shit.”

    Since I actually have a life, I’ll move on for now. Feel free to engage in whatever snark makes your day. I’m sure it will make you feel all warm and gooshy inside. TTFN.

  306. 306
    Sojourner says:

    Don’t change the fucking subject, you were wrong. Dems are not going to lose the election over this issue.

    The Democratic leadership, who is pushing this bill forward, want to keep their leadership positions. That is the “fucking” subject.

  307. 307
    Fwiffo says:

    What I can’t understand is how people can believe there is a political cost for standing up to Bush at this point. Standing up to Bush is like curing cancer. Nobody’s going to get mad at you for it. Taking a heroic stand against this kind of thing would win political capital, not lose it.

  308. 308
    Rome Again says:

    What’s he going to say now? I didn’t want to piss off the congressional leadership of my party so I voted for a bill that I know is wrong and enables McCain to say that even Obama understands that the commander-in-chief was right to break the law.

    He would say that in order to get into a position to change the ballgame, he had to play by the old rules and now there’s a new umpire on the field.

  309. 309
    Desmond says:

    What’s he going to say now? I didn’t want to piss off the congressional leadership of my party so I voted for a bill that I know is wrong and enables McCain to say that even Obama understands that the commander-in-chief was right to break the law.

    Exactly! This is why the negatives of supporting this travesty so far outweigh the positives. By doing the “safe” thing (notice I put that in quotations) he opens himself up to all kinds of criticism, both from the left and the right. But if he does the right thing, he endears himself to his progressive base, and closes off a line of attack from the Republicans (that he’s weak and flip-flopped on telecom immunity).

  310. 310
    Sojourner says:

    The Supers have the right to change their mind, no matter what they said previously, until the convention nothing is safe.

    Yes, they have been so bold and forthright to this point that they certainly would happily change their votes and watch their party go up in flames.

    Right.

  311. 311
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    PaulB sez:

    That’s the four-year-old argument

    Dawg, I haven’t really weighed in on the merits of whose judgment is worthiest of consideration but even with Obama being my fourth or fifth choice, it’s sort of a no-brainer to go with his judgment over this motley assortment of Clintards, ratfuckers and assorted agitpropists in an anonymous comment thread.

    No personal offense to you, of course. You’re clearly different and better than all the other folks on your team. They’d do well to elect you king.

  312. 312
    ThymeZone says:

    I don’t assume that those I support never make mistakes or that they should be supported unquestioningly.

    Nor do I wrongly assume that supporting them at critical junctures is the same as “unquestioning support,” or unwise. Knowing how, and when, to pick battles is a large part of what happens the next few months. I have seen Obama’s work in this respect, I like it, and I support it. I have seen yours, and I don’t like it, and I don’t respect it.

    I don’t agree with your choices in this context. I don’t agree that you are the better judge of when it is appropriate to support, and when it is appropriate to criticize. That’s the basis of our disagreement, and I stand on that disagreement as it currently is framed.

  313. 313
    Desmond says:

    You must be one of those new to this whole Democrat thing.

    Oh yeah, after months of being the nominee, rallying the party against Bush, a few asshole congressmen are going to vote for Hillary at the convention and throw the entire party into disarray. Give me a fucking break.

  314. 314
    Rome Again says:

    What I can’t understand is how people can believe there is a political cost for standing up to Bush at this point. Standing up to Bush is like curing cancer. Nobody’s going to get mad at you for it. Taking a heroic stand against this kind of thing would win political capital, not lose it.

    Why don’t you email that to Pelosi? She’s the one who doesn’t understand this. Pelosi is the problem here, NOT Obama.

  315. 315
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    No, actually, I do self-deprecation better than just about anybody around here.

    Beg pardon?

  316. 316
    4tehlulz says:

    Oh please, he’s the fucking nominee! You honestly think the superdelegates can still overturn that? It’s a done deal, and stop acting like his nomination is still questionable.

    PROTIP: Neither McCain nor Obama are officially their parties’ nominees until the delegates actually vote at the conventions.

  317. 317
    nightjar says:

    Take the fight back to the Republicans, as he’s done so successfully in recent months. His statement yesterday contained a couple of assertions that were not only flatly false but that bought into Republican memes instead of confronting them. He’s given up too much ground

    This is the fault in your argument. It is not a republican meme when 105 House dems vote for it and as many as 20 or more senate dems may vote against it. It should not have been brought to the house floor before the election and that’s not Obama’s call. For him to take the fight to repubs, as you say he should, he would also be taking it to about half the dems in Congress. And again how is that smart campaign politics, other that to smooth the feathers of a few nattering nabobs of negatism on the left wing.

    *sorry for the Agnew quote. I just always wanted to say that in a blog comment.

  318. 318
    Sojourner says:

    He would say that in order to get into a position to change the ballgame, he had to play by the old rules and now there’s a new umpire on the field.

    Except, of course, it’s the Dems who control the bills that get to the floor. And if he votes yea, he is indicating his support for the bill. It’s pretty darn tough to explain why you voted against something, and then voted for it. Just ask John Kerry how that worked for him.

  319. 319
    ThymeZone says:

    This is a blog comment area; I know precisely how meaningless these discussions ultimately are.

    Only when you are in them.

  320. 320
    D. Mason says:

    I don’t give myself a lot of credit

    AHAHAHHAHAHA

  321. 321
    John Cole says:

    What I can’t understand is how people can believe there is a political cost for standing up to Bush at this point. Standing up to Bush is like curing cancer. Nobody’s going to get mad at you for it. Taking a heroic stand against this kind of thing would win political capital, not lose it.

    The support of the house and senate democratic leadership sort of threw a monkey wrench in that. That is kind of my point in the 2:13 post listing the downsides. he really got thrown into a touch situation.

    And even then, who knows what he will end up doing?

  322. 322
    Desmond says:

    PROTIP: Neither McCain nor Obama are officially their parties’ nominees until the delegates actually vote at the conventions.

    There’s this little concept called “facts on the ground”…

  323. 323
    Rome Again says:

    Yes, they have been so bold and forthright to this point that they certainly would happily change their votes and watch their party go up in flames.

    Right.

    If you have forgotten, there is another Democrat who was fully willing to be in that position. The party would not go up in flames, it would become a very heated tent with a lot of anger, but it would not go up in flames.

  324. 324
    ThymeZone says:

    Beg pardon?

    I’m grandfathered in, sorry. And by that I mean, literally, since I am in fact a grandfather.

    But you are the next generation. You are laying the eggs … er, foundation … of the future.

    Bawk!

  325. 325
    John Cole says:

    it’s sort of a no-brainer to go with his judgment over this motley assortment of Clintards, ratfuckers and assorted agitpropists in an anonymous comment thread.

    Speaking of Clintards, talk left has at last count 8 posts flaming Obama for any number of things, to include my personal favorite, Jeralynn complaining that Obama is not bailing out denver for hosting the DNC.

    But they support Obama. How do I know? Armando and Jeralynn have said so, convincingly. No mention of Dame Hillary’s position on FISA, sadly.

  326. 326
    Rome Again says:

    Except, of course, it’s the Dems who control the bills that get to the floor. And if he votes yea, he is indicating his support for the bill. It’s pretty darn tough to explain why you voted against something, and then voted for it. Just ask John Kerry how that worked for him.

    I guess you’ve never heard of that word called “EXPEDIENCE?”

  327. 327
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    And even then, who knows what he will end up doing?

    A handful of anonymous commenters. “Mark my words” is always a sure tell for a prophet.

  328. 328
    Desmond says:

    The party would not go up in flames, it would become a very heated tent with a lot of anger, but it would not go up in flames.

    Yes it would! There is no way that Hillary can suddenly become the nominee in August after Obama has already run a general election campaign for several months with everyone treating him as the nominee. At least, no way it can happen without the Dems then getting trounced in November. It would be the most stupendously idiotic political move in generations, and there’s no fucking way that any superdelegate would be responsible for that just because Obama disagrees with them on telecom immunity.

  329. 329
    Rome Again says:

    Yes it would! There is no way that Hillary can suddenly become the nominee in August after Obama has already run a general election campaign for several months with everyone treating him as the nominee. At least, no way it can happen without the Dems then getting trounced in November. It would be the most stupendously idiotic political move in generations, and there’s no fucking way that any superdelegate would be responsible for that just because Obama disagrees with them on telecom immunity.

    I can’t help it that everyone treats him like the nominee, that’s the people’s fault for not understanding the process. He is the PRESUMED nominee. He is not the nominee until the convention, no matter HOW you want to frame it.

  330. 330
    Sojourner says:

    If you have forgotten, there is another Democrat who was fully willing to be in that position. The party would not go up in flames, it would become a very heated tent with a lot of anger, but it would not go up in flames.

    Oh please. The same people who didn’t want to support her when she was a candidate are now going to switch their votes to her?

  331. 331
    dslak says:

    So long as Obama votes against giving the telecoms immunity from civil suits, what’s the damned problem?

    The courts have already ruled against attempts at a criminal case because the plaintiffs could not provide evidence that their rights were violated.

    Before Obama expressed support for this new bill, how did people expect a criminal case was going to be possible? It’s because they thought an Obama administration would bring the details of criminal operations in the government to light, right? The basis of that belief still hasn’t changed, so it’s unreasonable to jettison it simply because Obama doesn’t vote the way you want on one particular bill.

  332. 332
    Sojourner says:

    The support of the house and senate democratic leadership sort of threw a monkey wrench in that.

    Except the majority of Dems in the House were able to vote against it. Why can’t Obama?

  333. 333
    Desmond says:

    I can’t help it that everyone treats him like the nominee, that’s the people’s fault for not understanding the process. He is the PRESUMED nominee. He is not the nominee until the convention, no matter HOW you want to frame it.

    Like I said, facts on the ground. Obama is going to be the nominee, and to think his position as nominee to be would be put in grave danger by principled opposition to telecom immunity (which in fact has been his position all along; if anyone would be betraying anyone, it sure wouldn’t be Obama) is quite frankly insane. It’s so insane that I can’t believe otherwise reasonable and intelligent BJ commentators are pushing it.

  334. 334
    Rome Again says:

    Before Obama expressed support for this new bill, how did people expect a criminal case was going to be possible? It’s because they thought an Obama administration would bring the details of criminal operations in the government to light, right? The basis of that belief still hasn’t changed, so it’s unreasonable to jettison it simply because Obama doesn’t vote the way you want on one particular bill.

    Absolutely!

    People are getting their panties in a twist because they don’t realize that there is a process and it’s not as cut and dried as they’re making it out to be.

  335. 335
    ThymeZone says:

    OT This Has To Be Said: Watching Shawn and Gus of Psych sing “Ebony and Ivory” is maybe the best thing I have seen on tv in a long time.

    Teh awesome.

  336. 336
    Rome Again says:

    Like I said, facts on the ground. Obama is going to be the nominee, and to think his position as nominee to be would be put in grave danger by principled opposition to telecom immunity (which in fact has been his position all along; if anyone would be betraying anyone, it sure wouldn’t be Obama) is quite frankly insane. It’s so insane that I can’t believe otherwise reasonable and intelligent BJ commentators are pushing it.

    You wanna bet there aren’t a bunch of Hillary supporters out there watching this and thinking there might be a way to get her back in the fight? Nothing is final until the convention. The supers can vote for anyone they choose. If they chose to not support Obama due to this vote, they could technically put her in as the nominee.

  337. 337
    Rome Again says:

    OT This Has To Be Said: Watching Shawn and Gus of Psych sing “Ebony and Ivory” is maybe the best thing I have seen on tv in a long time.

    Teh awesome.

    TZ are you getting your work done? I’m waiting for you. ;)

  338. 338
    Rome Again says:

    Except the majority of Dems in the House were able to vote against it. Why can’t Obama?

    Ask Nancy Pelosi.

  339. 339
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    You wanna bet there aren’t a bunch of Hillary supporters out there watching this and thinking there might be a way to get her back in the fight? Nothing is final until the convention.

    Yeah, that crossed my mind when the nth Clintard showed up insisting Obama piss all over House dems and immolate himself in the Senate.

  340. 340
    Sojourner says:

    You wanna bet there aren’t a bunch of Hillary supporters out there watching this and thinking there might be a way to get her back in the fight?

    There’s a bunch of Al Gore supporters who would love to get their guy in the fight as well. So what?

    Ask Nancy Pelosi.

    Good grief. If Obama can’t take on Pelosi, how the hell is he going to handle foreign leaders?

  341. 341
    Rome Again says:

    Oh please. The same people who didn’t want to support her when she was a candidate are now going to switch their votes to her?

    You must have been a loner in high school.

    If the leadership opposes Obama’s nomination for one reason or another, do you want to take bets that others won’t fall in line behind the leadership?

  342. 342
    Rome Again says:

    Good grief. If Obama can’t take on Pelosi, how the hell is he going to handle foreign leaders?

    Who said he can’t take her on? He has to continue to maintain unity for the party, you idiot! If he breaks away from the party (the leadership) he can be presented as a renegade candidate. It’s too risky at this time to fall away from the leadership.

    Go out and take a sunbath, will you? This stuff is too hard for you.

  343. 343
    dslak says:

    If Obama can’t take on Pelosi, how the hell is he going to handle foreign leaders?

    How do you propose that Obama “take on” Pelosi? Please include in your answer the significance of the fact that Congress has two independent chambers.

  344. 344
    Rome Again says:

    There’s a bunch of Al Gore supporters who would love to get their guy in the fight as well. So what?

    Al Gore’s name wasn’t in the hat. Clinton’s is, and her delegates will be counted at the convention, hopefully they will be supporting Obama.

  345. 345

    By the way:

    Anyone who thinks that Clinton is “any better” on this issue needs to think again.

  346. 346
    Sojourner says:

    If the leadership opposes Obama’s nomination for one reason or another, do you want to take bets that others won’t fall in line behind the leadership?

    The leadership won’t oppose his nomination. They’re hanging onto their own leadership jobs as it is.

    He has to continue to maintain unity for the party, you idiot!

    What unity? The majority of the house Dems voted against it. The American people, including Democratic voters, are against it. The bill has been largely successful because of the Repubs. Is that the unity you’re talking about because I don’t really care what the Repubs want.

  347. 347
    Sojourner says:

    renegade candidate. It’s too risky at this time to fall away from the leadership.

    OMG. He votes with the majority of the party and in a way that’s consistent with his previous record. Are you really that afraid of the Democratic leadership? OMG!!! Afraid of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?

  348. 348
    Sojourner says:

    How do you propose that Obama “take on” Pelosi?

    Boo!!! Pelosi is one very scary woman. Look how she has put the Bushies and the Repubs in their place.

    Oh wait!

  349. 349
    dslak says:

    He votes with the majority of the party and in a way that’s consistent with his previous record. Are you really that afraid of the Democratic leadership?

    When you traveled to the future in which Obama had voted for this bill, what other interesting things did you see?

  350. 350
    ThymeZone says:

    TZ are you getting your work done? I’m waiting for you

    See your mail.

  351. 351
    Rome Again says:

    What unity? The majority of the house Dems voted against it. The American people, including Democratic voters, are against it. The bill has been largely successful because of the Repubs. Is that the unity you’re talking about because I don’t really care what the Repubs want.

    As the leadership goes, so goes the current candidate. That will pretty much always be true. Obama does not want to make waves with the leadership while he is trying to secure the nomination. As I said, you really need to go out and play with a beach ball or something.

  352. 352
    Sojourner says:

    Al Gore’s name wasn’t in the hat. Clinton’s is, and her delegates will be counted at the convention, hopefully they will be supporting Obama.

    I thought Obama already had all the delegates he needs.

  353. 353
    dslak says:

    Boo Pelosi is one very scary woman. Look how she has put the Bushies and the Repubs in their place.

    This is not an answer to the question, but a dodge. I’m afraid that’s a FAIL.

  354. 354
    Sojourner says:

    When you traveled to the future in which Obama had voted for this bill, what other interesting things did you see?

    Didn’t have to travel to the future

  355. 355
    Rome Again says:

    OMG. He votes with the majority of the party and in a way that’s consistent with his previous record. Are you really that afraid of the Democratic leadership? OMG Afraid of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?

    It’s not about fear, it’s about respecting the leadership while they are trying to get him elected but, of course, you wouldn’t know that.

    Soj, if you don’t like the way it all works, perhaps you should get yourself elected and go to Washington and learn the ropes first hand. I’m sure you’ll come back with a whole different perspective.

  356. 356
    Sojourner says:

    As the leadership goes, so goes the current candidate.

    Obama is the leader of the party.

    This is not an answer to the question, but a dodge. I’m afraid that’s a FAIL.

    Just having some fun with the Pelosi fear factor. Best laugh I’ve had all day that some of you are afraid of her.

  357. 357
    dslak says:

    Didn’t have to travel to the future

    I’m not seeing a mention there of Obama having voted for the bill. Could you point it out to me?

  358. 358
    Sojourner says:

    It’s not about fear, it’s about respecting the leadership while they are trying to get him elected but, of course, you wouldn’t know that.

    Respecting the leadership that put him in a terrible position for no good reason other than their own self-interest. With friends like that… yep, the Dems may once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  359. 359
    Rome Again says:

    Didn’t have to travel to the future

    Since he hasn’t voted yet, yes, you DID travel to the future. He can say he’s backing it and still vote present if he chooses. You have no idea what he may have up his sleeve, but you seem to act like you not only ironed his shirt but dressed him yourself.

  360. 360
    Brachiator says:

    Balakirev Says:

    Your point earlier was:

    The only thing that catastrophe brings is more catastrophe.

    You didn’t add on, “Uh-uh! Can’t quote catastrophes that people don’t plan for!

    I didn’t add it because it’s not relevant. Your words:

    I know my vote in the usual American way won’t count this fall, so I’ll either not vote at all for president, or write in Edwards. Four more years of McSame? It will be terrible. Catastrophic.

    You are not just planning for catastrophe, you are yearning for it, solely because you didn’t get your way in seeing your preferred candidate, Edwards, secure the nomination.

    By your own words, you want to bring about death, oppression, and misery, under the delusion that the survivors might come around to your way of thinking.

    Those who don’t survive — what are they to you — acceptable losses?

    Just Some Fuckhead Says:

    Not to stomp all over Sojourner’s efforts to see how many different ways she can say “I know you are but what am I”, I think the fundamental divide here is between idealists and pragmatists.

    Actually, the divide here is between those who support the Democratic nominee for president of the United States and those who are still looking for room to subvert his candidacy or to rationalize their refusal to support him.

  361. 361
    Rome Again says:

    Obama is the leader of the party.

    Not until he’s the nominee.

  362. 362
    myiq2xu says:

    The rationalizations here are comedy gold!

    I’m sure that in just a few short years y’all will be arguing that The Precious needs to be reelected so that he will finally be free to unleash the MUP magic.

  363. 363
    dslak says:

    Obama is the leader of the party.

    Why should I believe this to be the case?

    Just having some fun with the Pelosi fear factor. Best laugh I’ve had all day that some of you are afraid of her.

    I’m glad to see that you have not lost your talent for taking down strawmen. It’s plain however that you have conceded that Obama really can’t “take on” Pelosi in any meaningful way, since you cannot offer any examples of how he might do so.

  364. 364
    Wolfdaughter says:

    I, too, am disappointed that Obama didn’t make a stronger statement against immunity for the telecomms. But like ThymeZone and others on BJ, I am more of a pragmatist than idealist. If Obama is elected, and that’s still a big IF, I believe that he will be able to start reversing some of the trends that we’ve seen, particularly in the last 7 1/2 years, and to a degree ever since Reagan was elected. These trends have been a long time building and it will take more than 4 years to reverse them.

    This is how I read Obama, based on his speeches and past votes: central-leftist, but that he REALLY REALLY wants to work towards more unity, more comity. If he’s elected, I think we’ll see a lot of trying to work with people of different viewpoints and a fair amount of compromise. More than I as a committed leftist would prefer, but still a vast improvement over what we have now.

    Think about when you have personally been involved in disputes with others. What worked best in the long term, you getting everything your way, or the other person getting everything their way? Or instead, the two of you figuring out a way for each person to get something of what they wanted? I think that’s Obama’s driving principle. Yup, he’s a politician. But what I think he’s going to do will be not triangulation, although it can appear that way, but trying to figure out ways that everyone gets something they want, recognizing that in that case nobody gets everything they want. I also see him working to bring people who disagree along by persuasion rather than brute force.

    My 2 cents.

  365. 365

    So Obama is all-powerful? That’s a new one on me. If that were the case, Blue Dogs like Oklahoma’s Boren wouldn’t be threatening to back McCain over Obama.

    Thing is, the FISA foofaraw’s been going on for quite a while, and nobody, not even the sainted Chris Dodd, has exactly covered themselves in glory here. Hillary skipped the vote in February to strip the Senate FISA bill of the immunity provision, one month after she showed up at FDL to promise to oppose immunity. Obama at least managed to be there for that vote, and to vote for stripping immunity from the bill, which is something that the No Quarter types have been ignoring when they try to pretend that their candidate would have been better on this issue.

  366. 366
    Sojourner says:

    Since he hasn’t voted yet, yes, you DID travel to the future. He can say he’s backing it and still vote present if he chooses. You have no idea what he may have up his sleeve, but you seem to act like you not only ironed his shirt but dressed him yourself.

    Cool. He was against it before he was for it before he was against it.

    That definitely helps things.

  367. 367
    Genine says:

    Yes it would! There is no way that Hillary can suddenly become the nominee in August after Obama has already run a general election campaign for several months with everyone treating him as the nominee. At least, no way it can happen without the Dems then getting trounced in November. It would be the most stupendously idiotic political move in generations, and there’s no fucking way that any superdelegate would be responsible for that just because Obama disagrees with them on telecom immunity.

    Actually, there is a way for Hillary to become the nominee. And, if Obama fights the supers on this bill, they might make it happen.

    Look, outside of the political blogsphere, most democrats support Hillary and Obama equally. For a lot of them “Any Democrat ’08” is still their mantra. The supers who get pissed at Obama will just put some media narrative out thre on why they have to switch their support. That’s not a hard thing to do. They’d only piss off political junkies, a third of whom are Hillary dead-enders anyway. The rest of the people will go along with it because they don’t follow these things as much as we do.

    Also, keep in mind, that towards the end of the primary, a number of supers switched their support from Hillary to Obama when she really started getting caustic. Those supers that changed their minds had a press release or statement which explained why they changed their minds in perfectly reasonble language that soothed the average joe voter.

    So, yes, its possible for the supers to back Hillary and get away with it, too. At this point Obama does NOT have a large chunk of the Democratic party behind him. That’s slowly changing, but you still have your hold-outs. (I think that is part of his reasoning for having some establishment Dems on his advisory boards, etc). Hillary and her supporters are waiting in the wings “ready on day one” to be the nominee. Of that, I have no doubt.

    The real question for me is why the Dems want to capitulate so badly? To stand up against Bush is a good thing and helps in the eyes of the voters, so why is the Dem leadership “caving”? There is some major shit going on, I think. Because this is a huge capitulation. They’re not doing it out of deference to Bush. But I don’t know what the reason is.

    Also, the fix for this “compromise” has been in for months. Months before the primary season was over and the race was still “up in the air”. I think Obama made his statement of support because, like Bethany Anne said, it was to provide political cover. They knew the netroots were going to be on their asses, so they had their “golden boy” cover for this by throwing his “support” behind it. I really wish he didn’t do that, but the votes he needs right now are those of the Superdelegates for whom CYA, Telco Money or SOMETHING is more important than the Constitution.

  368. 368
    dslak says:

    He was against it before he was for it before he was against it.

    Which part of the bill was Obama against before that he now supports?

  369. 369
    Sojourner says:

    I’m glad to see that you have not lost your talent for taking down strawmen. It’s plain however that you have conceded that Obama really can’t “take on” Pelosi in any meaningful way, since you cannot offer any examples of how he might do so.

    What strawman? Aren’t you the one claiming that Obama is following Pelosi’s lead on this?

  370. 370
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Not until he’s the nominee.

    Actually, not even then. It appears we have a lot of new converts to the Democratic party who think the organization is top down like the Republican party or Clinton campaign

    In fact, we have many many leaders in the Democratic party.

    See Healthcare, 1993 Reform of for one recent example.

  371. 371
    Sojourner says:

    Why should I believe this to be the case?

    Because he is acting as if the general election as already started. By your logic, he should not.

  372. 372
    dslak says:

    They’re not doing it out of deference to Bush. But I don’t know what the reason is.

    One plausible explanation that Greenwald gave is that the Democratic leadership actually believes in some version of the unitary executive. Why are Democratic politicians only ever considered cowards when they side with the opposition, rather than vicious?

  373. 373
    Sojourner says:

    So Obama is all-powerful?

    No, but presumably powerful enough to vote consistently with the way he has done so recently. If not, he should not be a senator, let alone president.

  374. 374
    dslak says:

    What strawman?

    The “you’re afraid of Pelosi” one.

    Aren’t you the one claiming that Obama is following Pelosi’s lead on this?

    I’m not claiming that, but even if I were, it would be irrelevant to any of the arguments you’ve advanced so far.

    Because he is acting as if the general election as already started.

    This claim is ambiguous, and some meanings of it do not entail that Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party. Why don’t you just explain how Obama can be said to have this position?

  375. 375
    Sojourner says:

    Why don’t you just explain how Obama can be said to have this position?

    Oh, okay. You don’t think Obama is the leader of the party. He is simply a senator working for the Democratic congressional leadership.

    So when it comes time to vote, we are actually voting for the Democratic congressional leadership.

    Given the polls, the Dems really are screwed, aren’t they.

  376. 376
    dslak says:

    Oh, okay. You don’t think Obama is the leader of the party. He is simply a senator working for the Democratic congressional leadership.

    Instead of setting up and knocking down more strawmen, why don’t you just explain how Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party, as you claimed he is?

    I realize that the answer is probably “because I can’t,” but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubht.

  377. 377
    nightjar says:

    myiq2xu Says:

    The rationalizations here are comedy gold!

    You mean like the rationalizations for the hilarious past episode when HC voted for Kyle -Lieberman giving Dick Cheney a green light for his wet dream to bomb Iran on the way out the White HOuse door. (and Obama voted no) or the olde but goldie AUMF HC voted for that has given us the thing we call Iraq Quagmire.

    Now those were funny rationalizations in a blood soaked kind of way.

  378. 378
    Sojourner says:

    Instead of setting up and knocking down more strawmen, why don’t you just explain how Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party, as you claimed he is?

    How about because Obama will be responsible for the platform that is put forward at the convention? How about because as the Democratic candidate, he will be defining what the Democrats stand for?

    How about because he will be leading the charge on how to win the White House and, if he wins, he will be defining the direction HE wants to take the country.

    Leaders define goals. Leaders define strategies. Obama is expected to do that now that he’s the nominee.

    The convention is just a formality. How do I know that? Because there was much moaning and screaming about Clinton still being in the race during the convention. She’s gone now. Obama is on the front page of the Democratic website.

  379. 379
    dslak says:

    Sojourner, your argument appears to be that Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party because he will become the leader of the Democratic Party. Or are you trying to say something else?

  380. 380
    Sojourner says:

    Sojourner, your argument appears to be that Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party because he will become the leader of the Democratic Party. Or are you trying to say something else?

    I’m saying that a true leader takes the leadership role. He doesn’t wait for permission.

  381. 381
    dslak says:

    I’m saying that a true leader takes the leadership role. He doesn’t wait for permission.

    In other words, you’re not answering the question the question at all. Quelle surprise.

  382. 382
    Genine says:

    dslak Says:

    They’re not doing it out of deference to Bush. But I don’t know what the reason is.

    One plausible explanation that Greenwald gave is that the Democratic leadership actually believes in some version of the unitary executive. Why are Democratic politicians only ever considered cowards when they side with the opposition, rather than vicious?

    Yeah, maybe they believe in some version of it. I should hope a more moderate version, but I can’t be sure. After all, authoritarianism isn’t exclusive to one side of the aisle, its just more prevalent on one side of the aisle.

    But that still doesn’t seem right to me. Of course I can imagine all kinds of scenarios, but I don’t know the real answer.

    I am really looking forward to the day when we have more progressive leaders, but in the meantime, we have to work with what we’ve got.

  383. 383
    Punchy says:

    This thread has become soiled. Fresh one, por favor?

  384. 384
    dslak says:

    I am really looking forward to the day when we have more progressive leaders, but in the meantime, we have to work with what we’ve got.

    I’m from Oklahoma. The closest I’ll ever get to having a progressive leader in national politics is in the presidency.

  385. 385
    dslak says:

    This thread has become soiled.

    So TZ ran out of Depends. Give the guy a break!

  386. 386
    Sojourner says:

    In other words, you’re not answering the question the question at all. Quelle surprise.

    Quelle surprise you didn’t understand my answer.

    You want someone to give Obama official permission to become the leader of the party. My position is he IS the leader of the party and he should act accordingly.

  387. 387
    Genine says:

    Leaders define goals. Leaders define strategies. Obama is expected to do that now that he’s the nominee.

    Jeez Louise! Sojourner, Obama is NOT the nominee. He is the PRESUMPTIVE nominee!

    I totally understand what you’re saying and I agree with the principle behind what you say.( Although I am leaning more towards pragmatism at this point.) But your insistence that Obama is the nominee and is leader of the party is just sheer stupidity. If that was the case there wouldn’t even need to be a vote at the Convention in August.

    The common perception is that Obama is the nominee but that is NOT locked up tight at this point. He and Hillary are VERY close in voter primaries. Its all about the supers now, WHO CAN CHANGE THEIR MINDS.

    So please leave the whole “He’s leader of the party. He’s the nominee” thing alone. Because it is not true!

  388. 388
    Pasota says:

    My take is that Obama means it when he says that he supports the bill except for the immunity aspect, which he is willing to acquiesce to. I don’t think it’s all about not squandering political capital on a lost cause. Rather, I think he is laying the groundwork for his administration — this legislation will give him more power to do the good things that he’s aiming to do, and he’s not worried about his abusing it. He will see to it personally.

    In other words, what he said in so many words in his statement.

    The saving grace is that Scalia, Thomas, Alito, etc. will suddenly discern the original intent of the framers in prohibiting warrantleff wiretapf.

  389. 389
    dslak says:

    Quelle surprise you didn’t understand my answer.

    You seem to be confused. We are not discussing the qualities of “a true leader,” but how Obama can be said to be the leader of the Democratic Party. What is there to understand when a description of the former is used in an attempt to show the latter?

  390. 390
    Sojourner says:

    Jeez Louise! Sojourner, Obama is NOT the nominee. He is the PRESUMPTIVE nominee!

    Then by all means write to the Democratic party and have them take him off the main page of their website that is devoted to their presidential candidate.

    Its all about the supers now, WHO CAN CHANGE THEIR MINDS.

    If Obama is scared of the superdelegates at this point, he doesn’t deserve to be president. The superdelegates have repeatedly shown themselves to be spineless.

    I’m sorry but you are naive if you think the superdelegates will change their minds – unless he commits murder or something equally horendous in the mean time.

    Obviously, you don’t understand power. Leaders grab power and they use it. If Obama can’t handle the likes of Dean, Pelosi, and Reid, this country is seriously screwed.

  391. 391
    Sojourner says:

    We are not discussing the qualities of “a true leader,” but how Obama can be said to be the leader of the Democratic Party. What is there to understand when a description of the former is used in an attempt to show the latter?

    Isn’t it obvious?

  392. 392
    dslak says:

    Pasota, have you considered the possibility that investing absolute power in one man, no matter what his intentions, might not be such a good idea? On the other hand, thanks to your post, myiq and his ilk can feel vindicated in saying that we’re all Kool-Aid drinkers for Obama, so it’s not a total waste.

  393. 393
    dslak says:

    Isn’t it obvious?

    Isn’t it obvious that it’s not?

    Can you, Sojourner, or any other similarly brain-damaged person, explain the nature and function of the office of “leader of the Democratic Party” and what kind of powers a person has by virtue of holding that office? Once you try that, you might begin to see how facile any arguments which depend upon the power of that supposed office really are.

  394. 394
    Genine says:

    WHO CAN CHANGE THEIR MINDS.

    If Obama is scared of the superdelegates at this point, he doesn’t deserve to be president. The superdelegates have repeatedly shown themselves to be spineless.

    I’m sorry but you are naive if you think the superdelegates will change their minds – unless he commits murder or something equally horendous in the mean time.

    I never said Obama was scared of the supers. He needs their votes in August. It would not be out of the realm of possibility to switch their allegiance to someone who almost get 50% of the vote. Hillary and Obama were nearly equal in terms of voter count. The supers are the ones that brought Obama over the edge. Those same supers can change their votes, just like some changed their vote from Hillary to Obam, during the primary.

    Anyway, I’m done.

    Later!

  395. 395
    Laertes says:

    Rome Again, this entire line of argument about how Obama isn’t technically the nominee is beneath you. It’s unutterably silly and childish.

    On November 5, 1980, Ronald Reagan was the president-elect. You’d have looked pretty silly on that day, standing there with your arms crossed, rolling your eyes, loudly insisting that you don’t understand why everyone was talking like this was a done deal, because nothing’s official until the Electoral College votes.

    No, you know what? Obama is the nominee. Full stop.

    Also, this bit (indulged not only by you) about how Obama isn’t “the leader” of the party because his power isn’t absolute is also silly. Obama is the Leader of the Democratic party. His power isn’t as great as it’ll be after he’s elected, but he’s still stronger than anyone else. Pointing out that there are other, lesser, leaders doesn’t change anything.

  396. 396
    Sojourner says:

    Can you, Sojourner, or any other similarly brain-damaged person, explain the nature and function of the office of “leader of the Democratic Party” and what kind of powers a person has by virtue of holding that office? Once you try that, you might begin to see how facile any arguments which depend upon the power of that supposed office really are.

    Thanks, dslak. I think I’m beginning to understand one difference between those who are fine with Obama’s FISA position and those who aren’t.

    The pro FISA folks are concerned about rocking the boat, about pissing off the Democratic leadership in a way that could keep Obama from winning the WH.

    The pissed FISA folks expect Obama to act as a leader. To take the principled position and move the party towards him.

    Interesting.

  397. 397
    Pasota says:

    dslak Says:

    Pasota, have you considered the possibility that investing absolute power in one man, no matter what his intentions, might not be such a good idea?

    Yes.

    On the other hand, thanks to your post, myiq and his ilk can feel vindicated in saying that we’re all Kool-Aid drinkers for Obama, so it’s not a total waste.

    What?

  398. 398
    dslak says:

    Obama is the Leader of the Democratic party. His power isn’t as great as it’ll be after he’s elected, but he’s still stronger than anyone else.

    And what would be the major difference in his powers after he’s elected? It’s a pretty important one, isn’t it?

  399. 399
    dslak says:

    I think I’m beginning to understand one difference between those who are fine with Obama’s FISA position and those who aren’t.

    I’m beginning to understand that you’re incapable of putting forward an argument that isn’t a strawman.
    You should try addressing the actual claims made by your opponent, rather than the absurd claims you would like them to have made because they’re easier to refute. You might find that it makes a significant difference in whether people consider you to be a dishonest hack.

  400. 400
    Sojourner says:

    Can you, Sojourner, or any other similarly brain-damaged person, explain the nature and function of the office of “leader of the Democratic Party” and what kind of powers a person has by virtue of holding that office? Once you try that, you might begin to see how facile any arguments which depend upon the power of that supposed office really are.

    I already have. Someone who will define the positions of the party and lead the effort to attain those goals.

    Hopefully, Obama won’t feel the need to wait for a job description that meets your needs.

  401. 401
    Sojourner says:

    I’m beginning to understand that you’re incapable of putting forward an argument that isn’t a strawman.

    You want a job description and a title. I don’t. What’s strawman about that?

  402. 402
    Laertes says:

    You’ll have to help me out, dslak. Since I’m not in the dock, I’m not compelled to answer you through whatever elaborate chain of questioning you’ve got planned. So, where you going with this?

    For my part, as I read this thread, I saw a number of terribly silly people quibbling about whether or not Obama was the leader of the party, some going so far as to advance the farcical argument that since his power over the party wasn’t absolute, he by definition couldn’t be called the leader.

    So I piped up with my $0.02, calling silly where I see silly.

    But apparently you feel I’ve trod upon your ground in so doing. So. Where you going with this? Shall I presume you’re one of the people arguing that Obama’s power isn’t great enough that he could have spiked this bill if he wanted to?

    I think that’s probably true.

    I’m taking a radical approach here: I’m taking the man at his word. I trust him. So, for instance, when he says something like “I like the bill that was just passed, except for the bit about retroactive immunity and I’ll try to get that part taken out” then I figure, and stay with me here because this is confusing, that he likes the bill that was just passed, except for the bit about retroactive immunity, which he’s going to try to kill. I imagine he’ll try this when the bill reaches the Senate, where he wields some technical power, whereas in the house his power is entirely of the “bully pulpit” sort.

    So. What part of all this makes you give me that squinty look and start asking leading questions in a belligerent tone?

  403. 403
    dslak says:

    You want a job description and a title. I don’t. What’s strawman about that?

    You’re right. I asked you to substantiate your claims when I already know that you’re incapable of doing so. You have my sincerest apologies.

  404. 404
    Sojourner says:

    You’re right. I asked you to substantiate your claims when I already know that you’re incapable of doing so. You have my sincerest apologies.

    You want a job description and an official title. I am, frankly, amazed that you don’t think a party’s presidential nominee is not the leader of the party. If not the candidate, then who?

    If it’s not the candidate, then who is deciding what his platform is? I’d like to know that so I know who I’m really voting for. If it’s Pelosi and Reid, I’ll stay home.

    Sure, you can argue on technicalities. Have at it. I’ll be evaluating the candidate on his ability to lead. My experience is that leaders lead. They get in front of an issue and don’t worry about whether someone has authorized them to do it. I’ve done it myself.

    FISA was an opportunity for Obama to do that. He didn’t. That’s the gist of the issue for a lot of us.

    If you’re fine with Obama waiting for permission, or waiting for a job definition, or whatever your beef is, have at it.

    I’ll still be looking for the guy who can lead.

  405. 405
    dslak says:

    some going so far as to advance the farcical argument that since his power over the party wasn’t absolute, he by definition couldn’t be called the leader.

    I didn’t see anyone make this claim. Could you give an example?

    But apparently you feel I’ve trod upon your ground

    In my experience, beginning a dialogue with an attempt at psychoanalyzing your opponent is not conducive to winning friends and influencing people, but your mileage may differ.

    What part of all this makes you give me that squinty look and start asking leading questions in a belligerent tone?

    I was actually pointing out that there’s a distinctive difference between someone being leader of the Democratic Party simpliciter and being President. I’m not sure where the squinty looks or belligerence come into it.

  406. 406
    dslak says:

    I am, frankly, amazed that you don’t think a party’s presidential nominee is not the leader of the party. If not the candidate, then who?

    And I’m amazed that you continue to speculate about what I think rather than offer basic support for your claim.

    I’ll still be looking for the guy who can lead.

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  407. 407
    Anticorium says:

    Four more years of McSame Bush? It will be terrible. Catastrophic. And it just may finally touch the anger of enough Americans to get them to throw all the play-the-gamers out of DC

    Fixed. How’d that work out for you?

  408. 408
    Sojourner says:

    And I’m amazed that you continue to speculate about what I think rather than offer basic support for your claim.

    Actually, I don’t really care what you think. I was simply thanking you for (unintentionally) helping me to understand at least one distinction between the pros and cons.

    And contrary to what you think, I’ve got a pretty good understanding of what constitutes effective leadership. It just doesn’t involve what you think it does.

  409. 409
    dslak says:

    I was simply thanking you for (unintentionally) helping me to understand at least one distinction between the pros and cons.

    Shorter Sojourner: I was making up completely absurd things and claiming that you believed them.

    And contrary to what you think, I’ve got a pretty good understanding of what constitutes effective leadership.

    If by ‘leadership’ you mean what most other people mean by ‘magic,’ then I agree.

  410. 410
    Sojourner says:

    Shorter Sojourner: I was making up completely absurd things and claiming that you believed them.

    Yep. Absurd claims about expecting leaders to lead. That’s fine. No magic. Just committing to an issue and having the commitment and ability to get people on board.

    As opposed to doing what you’re told and waiting for permission to take a stand.

    Thanks, dslak!

  411. 411
    Laertes says:

    some going so far as to advance the farcical argument that since his power over the party wasn’t absolute, he by definition couldn’t be called the leader.

    I didn’t see anyone make this claim. Could you give an example?

    Just Some Fuckhead did, when pointed out that the party had several leaders and therefore no one person could be called “the leader” of the party.

    You, for your part, are squirrely about exactly what you think. So, I’ve answered you. Simple question time: Do you think Obama is the leader of the Democratic party?

    Simple question. I bet you can’t give a simple answer. Probably more evasion like “what are the precise duties of the office? What does the office letterhead look like? Where in the bylaws is the title of leader defined?

    Right?

    I mean, there’s no possible way you’ll give a simple answer like “Of course he’s the leader of the party, simply by virtue of being the nominee. But that doesn’t mean his power is absolute, and in fact his power is a good deal less than both his most avid supporters and his most rabid opponents would like to expect. I hesitate, however, to admit that he’s the Leader of the party because it’s more fun to be evasive and to answer questions with questions, and admitting that he’s the leader of the party means that I have to admit that he’s at least in some small way responsible for telco immunity should it pass.”

  412. 412
    D. Mason says:

    I’ve got a pretty good understanding of what constitutes effective leadership

    Clearly, leadership is following orders from people who have pissed off over 80% of the people you’re asking to vote for you. Get with the times dummy.

  413. 413
    Sojourner says:

    Get with the times dummy.

    Uh, yeh. That appears to be the gist of it.

  414. 414
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    With Laertes help, I seem to have wound up on both sides of this fight so I’m going to declare victory over myself and move on. Well done, Fuckhead, we’ll fight another day.

  415. 415
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    304… 473… 414 and counting…

    Don’t some of you have, y’know, actual lives away from the keyboard? I know the xkcd rule is in effect, but c’mon.

  416. 416
    D. Mason says:

    Soj, just to let you know. Some of the people you’ve been arguing with here would follow Obama into hell to sell space-heaters because he has a (D) beside his name.

  417. 417
    dslak says:

    Just Some Fuckhead did, when pointed out that the party had several leaders and therefore no one person could be called “the leader” of the party.

    I thought that’s what you might have in mind, but he’s saying that since the Democratic Party has no leader, Obama can’t be it. The position you describe however was that no one could be a leader who did not exercise absolute power, and it’s not clear that JSF meant that.

    Simple question time: Do you think Obama is the leader of the Democratic party?

    Yes.

    Simple question. I bet you can’t give a simple answer.

    I bet you’re not a very good gambler.

    Probably more evasion . . .

    So you are either Sojourner or are for some reason taking my dispute with her personally? Or is it just general paranoia that makes you think I’m trying to cut your legs out from under you?

  418. 418
    Sojourner says:

    Soj, just to let you know. Some of the people you’ve been arguing with here would follow Obama into hell to sell space-heaters because he has a (D) beside his name.

    Apparently so. I just find it fascinating to see what the Obama followers will tolerate from their candidate. The same people who argued he was the second coming of Christ, above politics, bringing about real change, would never execute a political vote, are good with his capitulating on an important bill.

    Strange times, aren’t they?

  419. 419
    dslak says:

    I just find it fascinating that Sojourner is pushing a Clinton meme from four months ago that was false even then.

  420. 420
    Sojourner says:

    I just find it fascinating that Sojourner is pushing a Clinton meme from four months ago that was false even then.

    What meme might that be?

    Other than BJ’s favorite: anyone who challenges Obama must be a Clinton supporter.

  421. 421
    dslak says:

    I also just find it fascinating that Sojourner likes to play dumb when she’s not taking down strawmen.

  422. 422
    Laertes says:

    Naw, I’m not paranoid. Quibbling is a pet peeve of mine, that’s all.

    About the rest, you’re half right. I’m neither a very good gambler nor Sojourner. I think Sojourner is one of those disappointed Obama supporters who feels personally betrayed because she spent a recent afternoon doodling “Mrs. Sojourner Obama” in her notebook. And I think YOU took advantage of the fact that Sojourner isn’t very good at this game to indulge in a lot of quibbling about what exactly the leader of the party is or isn’t. I think that if you look upthread at some of your posts, you’ll realize that you’d have written a number of things a lot differently if you’d taken Sojourner more seriously as an adversary.

  423. 423
    Sojourner says:

    I also just find it fascinating that Sojourner likes to play dumb when she’s not taking down strawmen.

    Nice dodge.

  424. 424
    Sojourner says:

    I think Sojourner is one of those disappointed Obama supporters who feels personally betrayed because she spent a recent afternoon doodling “Mrs. Sojourner Obama” in her notebook.

    Yep, I cry myself to sleep every night.

  425. 425
    dslak says:

    And I think YOU took advantage of the fact that Sojourner isn’t very good at this game to indulge in a lot of quibbling about what exactly the leader of the party is or isn’t.

    Actually, I was trying to get her to consider the content of what she was saying. It’s all well and good to say “Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party,” but before he can be blamed for certain failings of the party, the power of that office relative to the offices held by others has to be considered.

    I think that if you look upthread at some of your posts, you’ll realize that you’d have written a number of things a lot differently if you’d taken Sojourner more seriously as an adversary.

    Sojourner and I have a history which precedes this thread, and she rarely if ever argues in good faith. If I am guilty of anything, it is of viciously abusing the ignorant.

  426. 426
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I think Sojourner is one of those disappointed Obama supporters who feels personally betrayed because she spent a recent afternoon doodling “Mrs. Sojourner Obama” in her notebook.

    Swing and a miss.

    And I think YOU took advantage of the fact that Sojourner isn’t very good at this game to indulge in a lot of quibbling about what exactly the leader of the party is or isn’t.

    Strike two.

    I think that if you look upthread at some of your posts, you’ll realize that you’d have written a number of things a lot differently if you’d taken Sojourner more seriously as an adversary.

    Out!

  427. 427
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    While waiting for grain filler to set (repainting a guitar of mine) I decided to drop in and see how things are going here. Nothing changed from the last visit earlier today and I see that Sojourner is still skipping like an old record, singing the same old song.

    /yawn

    I think these Hillary supporters are hoping that they will be able to bitch, moan and groan about Obama so much that the super delegates see the error of their ways and crown Hillary in August. It is easy to dismiss Sojourner and the other Clintonistas because they do not come in here to engage in constructive criticism, their point is to make Obama look weak and ineffective so the super delegates will hopefully dump him and vote for Hillary. That is the only explanation that makes sense to me. This battle is not over until after August, and I will bet that Sojourner and the other Clintonistas will be in here hyperventilating every time they can find an excuse to do so.

    They will never accept Obama, so the best thing for them to do is to try to take him down in any way they can before August. The fact that Sojourner came out of nowhere and just in this thread alone has posted sixty six of the four hundred and three current posts shows that there is an agenda being worked on.

    I get your point Sojourner, Obama is BAD and you are a fucking idiot. I am sure the latter was not your point to make, but you have made it anyway.

  428. 428
    Sojourner says:

    Sojourner and I have a history which precedes this thread, and she rarely if ever argues in good faith. If I am guilty of anything, it is of viciously abusing the ignorant.

    Sorry but I don’t remember you. Rarely argues in good faith but is ignorant. Yet you haven’t produced a convincing argument. Poor baby.

  429. 429
    Sojourner says:

    It is easy to dismiss Sojourner and the other Clintonistas because they do not come in here to engage in constructive criticism, their point is to make Obama look weak and ineffective so the super delegates will hopefully dump him and vote for Hillary.

    Ah yes, BJ’s favorite argument: if you’re not totally infatuated with Obama, you are a Clinton supporter!! Whoo hoo!

    I’m so relieved to see the old lame arguments trotted out like they’re brandy new!

    LMAO!

    Thanks, CL!

  430. 430
    Laertes says:

    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m outta here.

    Well, not really.

  431. 431
    dslak says:

    Sorry but I don’t remember you.

    That hurts. You can begin to refresh your memory here. If you don’t remember me, why would you mention Rarely Posts as though I have some kind of history with her?

  432. 432
    Laertes says:

    Also, Fuckhead, you’re a lousy umpire. That first swing was definitely a miss, but the other two were dead on.

  433. 433
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Thanks, CL!

    No problem! I enjoy pointing out the obvious to the oblivious. I think I will go watch filler dry on wood because it sure is a hell of a lot more productive than watching Clintonistas and ratfuckers bitch and whine about Obama.

  434. 434
    Sojourner says:

    If you don’t remember me, why would you mention Rarely Posts as though I have some kind of history with her?

    Perhaps because I didn’t.

  435. 435
    Michael Gass says:

    Sorry, but our men and women in the military don’t have the choice of how much flesh they are able to give for our constitution. How many have paid for it since our American Revolution with their lives, limbs, sanity, families?

    Anyone who thinks we should “compromise” our very foundation, our Constitution, for any reason, doesn’t deserve to call themselves Americans.

  436. 436
    Sojourner says:

    No problem! I enjoy pointing out the obvious to the oblivious. I think I will go watch filler dry on wood because it sure is a hell of a lot more productive than watching Clintonistas and ratfuckers bitch and whine about Obama.

    That would be good. Perhaps you would be able to distinguish what you want to believe from what really is.

    I wish you luck with that!

  437. 437
    D. Mason says:

    Ah yes, BJ’s favorite argument: if you’re not totally infatuated with Obama, you are a Clinton supporter!! Whoo hoo!

    Villification of anyone who doesn’t support their guy is a hallmark of a fanatic. I was dreading pulling the lever for Hillary, if she was the nom, but I was willing to do so despite her being a little too Bushie on many issues. I was ecstatic that Obama was kicking her shit. His position here has sapped almost all of my enthusiasm. The fanatics can call me a Hilldabot or a McCainiac or whatever “clever” dig they have on hand at the moment, but I can’t help it that their guy dropped the ball big time.

  438. 438
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    The fanatics can call me a Hilldabot or a McCainiac or whatever “clever” dig they have on hand at the moment, but I can’t help it that their guy dropped the ball big time.

    Psst, he’s our guy now. Unless you’re pulling for McCain Nader.

    I also note how this conversation has been All Obama All The Time and nary a grunt about how Hoyer and Pelosi sold us down the river in the first place. I’d think that there’d be a bigger stink about the congresswoman from San Fran letting this abomination get passed to begin with than about Obama fighting rear-guard actions.

  439. 439
    srv says:

    The fanatics can call me a Hilldabot or a McCainiac or whatever “clever” dig they have on hand at the moment

    You’re either with us, or you are against us. You pragramitically challenged folk just don’t understand the nuance of change and just need to STFU.

    Sojourner, save your strength, it’s going to be a long GE. There are many, many positions to retreat on.

  440. 440
    Sojourner says:

    D, D, D. Let me see if I can explain it to you.

    If you don’t believe that every decision Obama makes is exactly the right one, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    If you voted against her because of her (lack of a) position on FISA and you hold Obama to the same standard, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    If you expect Obama to lead on a non-controversial position and he doesn’t, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    If you don’t use name calling to compensate for the lack of an argument, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    If you want to vote for someone who believes the same things you do, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    I hope this helps!

  441. 441
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    You know, with all the straw lying around here, one match could send the whole thread up in flames.

  442. 442
    srv says:

    I’d think that there’d be a bigger stink about the congresswoman from San Fran letting this abomination get passed to begin with

    I’ll shut up about Obamamania for a couple weeks if our host tries to help out with that.

    You’d think the Obamabots would help on that redirection, but they’re happier bashing everyone who didn’t drink the kool-aid or is having withdrawals.

  443. 443
    Laertes says:

    If you see a man made of straw and call him a stray man, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    I hope this helps!

  444. 444
    Laertes says:

    If you can’t spell straw, you’re a Clinton supporter!

    I hope this helps!

  445. 445
    Sojourner says:

    Sojourner, save your strength, it’s going to be a long GE. There are many, many positions to retreat on.

    Thanks, srv. I’m not too worried about it. This dialog has confirmed what I expected. Obama can do no wrong. You’re either for him (and for the country) or you’re against him (un-American).

    Most of the people who think otherwise stopped posting here a while ago.

    I do find it ironic that the people who are pissed off really did take Obama’s promises seriously. I wonder what the others think they signed up for.

  446. 446
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Also, Fuckhead, you’re a lousy umpire. That first swing was definitely a miss, but the other two were dead on.

    No, you were dead wrong. Sojourner isn’t ignorant and no one is taking advantage of her. She has a schtick she’s perfected, same game every time.

  447. 447
    Sojourner says:

    I hope this helps!

    Thanks, Laertes!

    If you can’t come up with a decent response, accuse the other person of putting forth a strawman argument, never explaining why it’s a strawman argument… and, of course, being a Clinton supporter.

  448. 448
    Laertes says:

    JSF, if some guy who’s unfamiliar with Sojourner’s shtick takes a minute or two to catch on, and you call him on it…

    you’re a Clinton supporter.

    I hope this helps!

  449. 449
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    I’ll shut up about Obamamania for a couple weeks if our host tries to help out with that.

    You’d think the Obamabots would help on that redirection, but they’re happier bashing everyone who didn’t drink the kool-aid or is having withdrawals.

    Point #1: Replacing Pelosi with Cindy Sheehan would be about as effective as replacing her with Emmett Kelly. Aren’t there any better options from her district?

    Point #2: Calling the other side ‘Obamabots’ is not conducive to getting people to take your side seriously.

  450. 450
    Sojourner says:

    She has a schtick she’s perfected, same game every time.

    Absolutely the same schtick. Daring (gasp!) to suggest that Obama should live up to his promise of being (gulp!) the change candidate who doesn’t kowtow to his party leadership for political reasons.

    Shame, shame on me for suggesting such a shocking position!

  451. 451
    Sojourner says:

    JSF, if some guy who’s unfamiliar with Sojourner’s shtick takes a minute or two to catch on, and you call him on it…

    you’re a Clinton supporter.

    As I have defined it above, yep, I’m a Clinton supporter!

    Thanks, Laertes! You really are making this too easy.

  452. 452
    Laertes says:

    Point #1: Replacing Pelosi with Cindy Sheehan would be about as effective as replacing her with Emmett Kelly. Aren’t there any better options from her district?

    If Pelosi were to lose her seat, who’d be her likely replacement as Speaker? Hoyer?

  453. 453
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Absolutely the same schtick. Daring (gasp!) to suggest that Obama should live up to his promise of being (gulp!) the change candidate who doesn’t kowtow to his party leadership for political reasons.

    Where did he say he’d buck his own party’s leadership?

  454. 454
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    If Pelosi were to lose her seat, who’d be her likely replacement as Speaker? Hoyer?

    Not if Hoyer loses as well. I could totally go for Stephanie Tubbs-Jones as Speaker.

  455. 455
    srv says:

    I do find it ironic that the people who are pissed off really did take Obama’s promises seriously. I wonder what the others think they signed up for.

    There are a lot of people who a desperately want to believe there will be a change, and they were happy to oblige them. A lot of people will accept a return to the status quo, a lot of people won’t. Changed the election in 2000, they better be careful this year.

    I imagine all this screaming gives Edwards a better shot at the VP slot. But I’m certain his VP will be to the right. Expect potential VPs to be hogging the spotlight soon on their Iran hawkishness.

  456. 456
    D. Mason says:

    D, D, D. Let me see if I can explain it to you.

    If you don’t believe that every decision Obama makes is exactly the right one, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    If you voted against her because of her (lack of a) position on FISA and you hold Obama to the same standard, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    If you expect Obama to lead on a non-controversial position and he doesn’t, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    If you don’t use name calling to compensate for the lack of an argument, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    If you want to vote for someone who believes the same things you do, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    I hope this helps!

    Woot, thanks for the introduction to so many new internet traditions!

  457. 457
    Laertes says:

    If you are aware of all internet traditions, you’re a Clinton supporter!

    I hope this helps.

  458. 458
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    JSF, if some guy who’s unfamiliar with Sojourner’s shtick takes a minute or two to catch on, and you call him on it…

    Dawg, I feel like we’re commenting past each other. I have no quarrel with you. You seem smart and funny. If Sojourner is getting what you feel like is a bum rap, go browse through months of old threads where she was trashing Obama for HRC’s benefit. There is nothing new going on here. SSDD: Same schtick, different demagoguery.

  459. 459
    D. Mason says:

    I imagine all this screaming gives Edwards a better shot at the VP slot. But I’m certain his VP will be to the right. Expect potential VPs to be hogging the spotlight soon on their Iran hawkishness.

    I hear there’s a certain “Independent” Senator who would bring a lot of jomentum to the Obama campaign.

  460. 460
    Laertes says:

    How to put this?

    Look, you’re right and I’m wrong. I thought Sojourner was getting a bum rap, and dslak was actually just treating her exactly as she deserved.

    Now, can I go back to mocking her?

    If you can’t let me eat my defeat in peace and go back to mocking the idiot troll, you’re a Clinton supporter.

    I hope this helps!

  461. 461
    nightjar says:

    Thanks, srv. I’m not too worried about it. This dialog has confirmed what I expected. Obama can do no wrong. You’re either for him (and for the country) or you’re against him (un-American).

    No. Current reality dictates you are either for Obama or your for McCain. If you vote for Mccain it’s obvious. If you write in HC your for Mccain, and if you don’t vote your for Mccain. I think that about covers it. Oh, and criticism is something else altogether.

  462. 462
    Sojourner says:

    Where did he say he’d buck his own party’s leadership?

    Of course, he meant change, not CHANGE.

  463. 463
    Laertes says:

    Oh, and Sojourner? Check this out:

    I’m an Obama supporter. I don’t like Clinton, and I’m glad he beat her ass. You hate me.

    And I’m still happy about Obama.

    This FISA thing? I’m disappointed it went down like it did, but I’m still a happy and enthusiastic Obama supporter, I’m still happy Clinton’s not the nominee, and I’m still having a great time watching my guy win.

    Eat it.

  464. 464
    Sojourner says:

    If Sojourner is getting what you feel like is a bum rap, go browse through months of old threads where she was trashing Obama for HRC’s benefit.

    Good luck with that!

    Oh, I’m sorry. I’m a Clinton supporter even though I didn’t vote for her. Whoops. Gotta remember the new definition of a Clinton supporter. You can be a Clinton supporter even though you didn’t vote for her!

  465. 465
    srv says:

    your, you’re, yer, der.

  466. 466
    Sojourner says:

    I’m an Obama supporter. I don’t like Clinton, and I’m glad he beat her ass. You hate me.

    You can still be a Clinton hater and a Clinton supporter. See above.

  467. 467
    D. Mason says:

    You can still be a Clinton hater and a Clinton supporter. See above.

    Rush Limbaugh pretty much proved this.

  468. 468
    TenguPhule says:

    Yes, they have been so bold and forthright to this point that they certainly would happily change their votes and watch their party go up in flames.

    Yes, they would never do sometihng so stupid as push through a shitty bill to destroy American rights and kneecap the presumed nominee…Oh wait.

  469. 469
    TenguPhule says:

    Daring (gasp!) to suggest that Obama should live up to his promise of being (gulp!) the change candidate who doesn’t kowtow to his party leadership for political reasons.

    And Freedom Ponies will have wings.

  470. 470
    TenguPhule says:

    It would be the most stupendously idiotic political move in generations, and there’s no fucking way that any superdelegate would be responsible for that just because Obama disagrees with them on telecom immunity.

    You must be new to Democratic Politics.

  471. 471
    TenguPhule says:

    I am, frankly, amazed that you don’t think a party’s presidential nominee is not the leader of the party.

    If you think Fuckstain is the GOP leader, you need to stop drinking.

  472. 472
    TenguPhule says:

    The leadership won’t oppose his nomination.

    This has been another fact free post from Soj.

  473. 473
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Of course, he meant change, not CHANGE.

    So you don’t have any examples then. Gotcha.

  474. 474
    Sojourner says:

    Yes, they would never do sometihng so stupid as push through a shitty bill to destroy American rights and kneecap the presumed nominee…Oh wait.

    Oh wait. The nominee thinks the bill is just fine. Where’s the problem?

  475. 475
    Sojourner says:

    This has been another fact free post from Soj.

    And which facts are you citing?

  476. 476
    Sojourner says:

    So you don’t have any examples then. Gotcha.

    If you had read the post this was a response to you would know that the first post claimed that Obama had not promised to go against his own leadership. Which, apparently, he has chosen not to do by supporting the FISA bill so I’m not sure which examples you have in mind.

  477. 477
    TenguPhule says:

    Oh wait. The nominee thinks the bill is just fine. Where’s the problem?

    If you’re going to keep making shit up, we can’t help you.

  478. 478
    Napoleon says:

    It does not forgive any criminal liability of anyone in government or in the industry.

    yeah, Bush will take care of that on his way out the door with a pardon. That is why civil action is the sole game in town on this.

  479. 479
    Sojourner says:

    If you’re going to keep making shit up, we can’t help you.

    Help yourself first.

  480. 480
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    If you had read the post this was a response to you would know that the first post claimed that Obama had not promised to go against his own leadership. Which, apparently, he has chosen not to do by supporting the FISA bill so I’m not sure which examples you have in mind.

    I’m reading this several times and it still doesn’t make sense. Obama had not promised to go against his own leadership? Well, um, yeah, that’s what I’m saying.

  481. 481
    Sojourner says:

    Obama had not promised to go against his own leadership? Well, um, yeah, that’s what I’m saying.

    So you’re saying that Obama promised to bring change – as long as it doesn’t involve contradicting what the Democratic congressional leadership wants?

    Given that they’re less popular than Bush, that’s definitely a winning strategy!

  482. 482
    cbmc says:

    Didn’t you people who’re telling everybody stuff like “And on and on it goes. This really is the 9/11 of concern trollery. Seriously, has it ever, since the beginning of all internet traditions, been worse than the last 24 hours?Some people are totally fucking immune to issues of, say, trying to win.

    Plan A:
    (1) Win
    (2) Fix Shit”

    …wasn’t that the very stance that Clinton was being excoriated for at every turn: win, whether you’re ethical or not? vote badly but stay alive? screw that. this is a failure of leadership and those of you who won’t admit it look like you’re just circling the wagons & demonizing those who disagree with you.

  483. 483
    Shade Tail says:

    What’s with all the melodrama? Everybody is wallowing in the melodrama. Even John’s post was wallowing in the melodrama.

    This isn’t the end of the world. Nor is it some kind of fight for our lives or high-stakes poker game or whatever the metaphor was. It’s just a simple bill. A viciously unconstitutional one. One which contains a provision that Obama promised he would filibuster and fight against.

    OK, so he went back on his word about that. That has me extremely pissed off and I simply can’t believe he’s doing it. And it would not cost him anything whatsoever to turn back around and actually work against this. Lobbying to remove immunity, supporting a filibuster, and voting against it would all be easy enough for him to do, and it wouldn’t cost him any political points since polls show Americans do not support retroactive immunity.

    But you know what? I never believed he was perfect and unless he sinks to Clinton-campaign levels I’ll still vote for him. Because it is imperative that we get rid of the GOP, and Obama is still head, shoulders, and waist above the competition.

    So all you people trying to dismiss this, don’t insult the rest of us who understand that this really is a major issue. And all you people hyperventilating about Obama falling from grace, get over it and realize that nobody is perfect.

  484. 484
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    So you’re saying that Obama promised to bring change – as long as it doesn’t involve contradicting what the Democratic congressional leadership wants?

    Hell, everyone running promised ‘change’. I’m at a loss, however, at how the guy who’s change platform involved working across partisan lines to get things done is supposed to be the next Dennis Kucinich.

  485. 485
    TenguPhule says:

    this is a failure of leadership

    And if you want to kick the wanker leaders who brought this about, nobody’s stopping you.

    Pelosi and Reid need to be horsewhipped.

  486. 486
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    So you’re saying that Obama promised to bring change – as long as it doesn’t involve contradicting what the Democratic congressional leadership wants?

    Yes, but only once he is the leader of the party and our nation.

    This has been another episode of SAFSF. Your welcome!

    Plan A:
    (1) Win
    (2) Fix Shit

    Sojourner believes Hillary is Plan A and we won’t see the end of that plan until after the convention in August, which won’t come soon enough for me this year. I am under no illusions though, I believe that people like Sojourner have found their cross to bear and they enjoy lugging it everywhere just for the attention it gets them. I am looking forward to at least four years of ‘… if the primary had not been stolen from Hillary, she would have done the right thing…’ from these asshats.

    Extremists from both sides of the aisle are just about the ugliest people in our country. They are equally intolerant of anyone in the middle or on the other side of the political divide. Obama has said that he will work with both sides of the aisle, which means that both sides are going to have reason to be happy and to complain at various times. I believe that intelligent people will have no problems understanding this, but extremists on both sides of the aisle are going to do everything they can to attack and take down Obama between now and November.

    The extremists on the right are going after him because he is black, a Democrat, they don’t like him and for myriad other reasons. The extremists on the left are going to attack him because he is not Hillary and/or progressive enough for them since he is willing to work with the right.

    I was afraid that after the seven years of hell we went through with Bush, we were going to get a Democratic candidate for president who would be the mirror image of Bush. While I believe Hillary is about as far from that as can be, her supporters believed that she would stick it good to the Republicans. That it was their turn to make the right miserable.

    Obama is not going to play that game, and frankly I am relieved to know that. We will not make any progress in our country as long as we keep reliving the past. While I do not want to let Bush, Cheney or any other criminals get away with what they have done, I believe that Obama will allow his AG to look in to any criminal behavior yet he will still focus on moving us forward as a nation.

    IMO, Sojourner and their ilk want retribution, and they are pissed because Obama is not going to give them that satisfaction. Tough.

  487. 487
    Desmond says:

    So all you people trying to dismiss this, don’t insult the rest of us who understand that this really is a major issue. And all you people hyperventilating about Obama falling from grace, get over it and realize that nobody is perfect.

    Oh sure. I’m still 100% behind Obama, because despite however he votes on this issue, he’s still leagues better than McCain, and quite frankly, leagues better than Hillary. I too find it ironic how all the Hillaryites are talking smack when her record is even worse on this issue!

    But that doesn’t mean we can’t be disappointed in his actions sometimes. It doesn’t mean we have to make up bullshit excuses for him. I think Atrios had a good point; I hope the Democrats remember this four years from now when the Republicans are impeaching Obama for abuse of power.

  488. 488
    shortstop says:

    More than 80 posts in a nine-and-a-half-hour Saturday marathon, assuming that she’s done.

    Sojourner, that’s just sick. It just is.

  489. 489
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    More than 80 posts in a nine-and-a-half-hour Saturday marathon, assuming that she’s done.

    Sojourner, that’s just sick. It just is.

    Try a total of 151 posts in 26 hours and 42 minutes. That is a post every 10.6 minutes over that time, for a total of just over 15% of all the posts in those two threads.

    Yes, sick it is. Obsessively sick.

  490. 490
    Dayv says:

    This made more sense to me *before* the poker metaphor.

  491. 491
    Huego says:

    cbmc,

    I suppose that’s maybe half-true if you are completely and totally oblivious to the relevant atmospherics of the situation.

    Believe me, you won’t believe the amount of demonizing that will occur if all the purists and pearl-clutchers actually succeed in turning this into the Great Big Fucking Deal they want it to be. Over the last 48 hours, BJ is pretty much the sole bastion of pragmatism throughout the liberal interwebs, and it’s still solidly 40% fainting-couch.

    Why do the Republicans do more than their share of winning even though a majority of people pretty much never agree with their actual positions on just about anything? Because they aren’t totally oblivious to the relevant atmospherics of the situation du jour. Once Ann Coulter realized she was stuck with McCain, all the “I’m voting for Hillary” crap stopped (at least so far as I’ve seen…). For the first time ever, perhaps it is wise to take counsel from Fraulein Coulter’s behavior — indeed, last I checked, she’s moved on to comparing The Audacity of Hope to Mein Kampf.

    I realize this all dove-tails nicely to reinforce your arguments about idealogical purity and how you’d never be a Coulter-like hyprocrite, but don’t accuse the Repubs of not knowing what they are doing. Enjoy marinating in your ideological purity when Maverick McMaverick is bombing Iran.

    I’ll repeat myself. This really is a choice between:

    Plan A:
    (1) Win
    (2) Fix Shit

    Plan B:
    (1) Gratuitously differentiate self from McCain on issue of national security in the minds of dimwitted but essential Ohio State fans, many of whom think you are both a bomb-throwing Muslim and pussy pacifist with a crazy Christian pastor
    (2) ???
    (3) Profit

    In the defense of most concern trolls and pearl clutchers, they are overwhelmingly not as dumb as most of the Buckstache hordes whose votes are being sought. To their discredit, this is why they think staking out the moral high-ground while the ship sinks is a good idea. Be happy that the people running the Obama campaign are smarter than both the Buckstaches and you.

    This should not be so hard, and yet this really is the 9/11 of concern trollery. The scariest part is how NOT BAD it is here compared to other interweb locales. Just take a look around…

  492. 492
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    This should not be so hard, and yet this really is the 9/11 of concern trollery. The scariest part is how NOT BAD it is here compared to other interweb locales. Just take a look around…

    I have, and you would think it was the end of the world. It is easy to see how Democrats are almost conditioned to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Like it or not the right wins because they back their candidate, even if they have to hold their nose to do it. They loathe Democrats that much. But the purity/concern progressives crawl all over each other to shred any candidate that won’t toe their line, right up to election day.

    It is easy to formulate a plan to win on the right, all they have to do is step in and pretend to be angry progressives. A little chum in the waters and the Democrats start feeding on themselves. Then all they need to do is toss a bit more in to keep the feeding frenzy up.

    I like BJ because the people here are generally level headed and not too prone to hyperventilating over the smallest thing. Plus this place attracts trolls like a magnet because even if regulars here don’t agree on a topic, they do pretty much agree that bagging trolls who try to play the members on one side of an issue here against the other side is great sport.

    Most of the trolls are pretty lame, but every once in awhile we get a good one. Nothing like bagging a trophy troll, and it looks great hanging on the wall! ;)

  493. 493
    myiq2xu says:

    Over the last 48 hours, BJ is pretty much the sole bastion of pragmatism throughout the liberal interwebs, and it’s still solidly 40% fainting-couch.

    Around here they snort their kool-aid in powder form – without sugar.

  494. 494
    myiq2xu says:

    I like BJ because the people here are generally level headed and not too prone to hyperventilating over the smallest thing.

    ROFLMAO!

    This has been hissy-fit central for the last 6 months.

    And you oughta know, you’re the #1 hissy.

  495. 495
    Johnny Pez says:

    Wrong analogy, John.

    This isn’t a poker player folding, it’s a boxer being paid to take a dive. The telcos payed good money, and plenty of it, to see this bill passed, and passed it’s going to be.

  496. 496
    Rome Again says:

    I also note how this conversation has been All Obama All The Time and nary a grunt about how Hoyer and Pelosi sold us down the river in the first place. I’d think that there’d be a bigger stink about the congresswoman from San Fran letting this abomination get passed to begin with than about Obama fighting rear-guard actions.

    Actually I said this was Pelosi and Hoyer’s bag to begin with. I said it several times.

  497. 497
    Rome Again says:

    myiq2xu Says:

    Speaking of trolls…

    McCain must be paying extra for today’s efforts.

  498. 498

    Cripes, I am well to the left of Obama, in fact any of the previous candidates as well. Kucinich almost qualified, but he’s shit on the 2nd and that takes care of left. I also understand politics and I’m damn unlikely to live long enough to see someone as left as I am so Obama gets a pass on something he really couldn’t stop.

    As for the gnashing of teeth around here, who the fuck told you there was much of anything left of the 4th? How fucking stupid are you that RICO didn’t clue you in. Exactly how far in the distant past is that one? A bunch of the foot stampers are the same cretins who see the 2nd as archaic and meaningless. Go ahead and tell me about tanks and I’ll show you how to take a pilot out of his seat on the runway. You throw fits about shit you don’t even understand and while it’s hitting you in the face you miss it. The 4th? The fucking FBI can sneak your house with no warrant, WTF, over?

    You want Saviours, get in the damn religion business, meanwhile there’s politics going on.

  499. 499
    TenguPhule says:

    Go ahead and tell me about tanks and I’ll show you how to take a pilot out of his seat on the runway.

    Not this shit again.

  500. 500
    sglover says:

    Hilarious. Cole, who voted for Bush TWICE, is gonna give people advice about “the smart play”.

    It’s really fucking stupid to think that yet another Dem roll-over is somehow clever politics. In fact, it’s a really good way to demoralize a core of the Dem coalition. Sure, sure, the Dems will still get their November sweep — and then they’ll find that the bank account’s been drained, and all the happy promises are bust. THEN they’re going to need devotees, believers. But only a moron would believe anything the Dems say.

    So expect an encore of the same damn GOP gangsters round about 2012 or 2014.

  501. 501
    TenguPhule says:

    Around here they snort their kool-aid in powder form – without sugar.

    IQFail, please step away from your crack stash with your hands in the air.

  502. 502
    Kevin says:

    While a bunch of dumb-assed purity trolls are wanking away on Balloon Juice, Matt Taibbi goes and talks to the Republicans.

    You eejits whining away about Obama and his so-called sell-out should read that article and get a fucking clue.

    Unless, of course, you want McCain and the drooling morons he’ll bring along with him to win in November.

  503. 503
    dslak says:

    How can Obama be said to have gone back on his word when he hasn’t even voted in favor of amnesty for the telecoms yet? It’s not fair that only some people have time machines!

  504. 504
    dslak says:

    Even though Obama is the nominee, day still follows night, and night follows day. I thought Obama was supposed to change things, but I guess not!

  505. 505
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Nothing like bagging a trophy troll, and it looks great hanging on the wall!

    I ran off myi

  506. 506
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Nothing like bagging a trophy troll, and it looks great hanging on the wall!

    I ran off myi

  507. 507
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Fuck, sorry.

    I had a hand in running off myiq2xu the first time he GBCW’ed but then when cbear and dennis expressed some concern about the missing hosebag, I felt bad and kept my mouth shut. Now that she’s revealed what a piece of shit she is, I don’t really give a damn.

  508. 508
    Huego says:

    I can’t wait until next year’s “ZOMG, they still haven’t charged George Bush with war crimes and it’s already March 2009 … I thought he was bringing CHANGE … just another politician I guess … Hillary would have totally strung W up Mussolini style” purist douche fusillade. Actually, it won’t be as bad as this because that presumes Obama will have won.

    These are like the people who walk up to the airport metal detector totally unaware that laptops are coming out of bags, shoes are coming off, belts are being undone … or those who snap their fingers and yell “garcon!” in the French restaurant because that’s what they were taught in 7th grade French class. No fucking situational awareness whatsoever.

    Reading Atrios or Daily Kos (or…or…or…), you’d assume that Obama must have skull-fucked a bald eagle while sucking Kim Jong-Il’s cock.

    No sense of proportionality, and absolutely no fucking situational awareness, pragmatism, capacity for strategic thought. Someone says, “OK, have fun voting for McCain” and gets an avalanche of “fuck yous,” as if it’s not a concise, cogent and nearly complete argument for a little more STFU and discipline, and a little less “I’m taking my ball and going home.” Fucking whiners.

  509. 509
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    myiq2xu GoatBoy Says:

    I love the smell of hot goat sex in the morning. You know, one time I was loose in a goat pen… for 12 hours. When it was all over, I looked up. I couldn’t find one standing… not one stinkin’ goat. The smell… you know that hot goat sex smell? The whole pen. Smelled like… victory.

    Some day this war’s gonna end…

    I asked you this before Mikey, but you never answered me so I will give it a shot again. What ever happened to that goat in the AFLAC commercial? I notice that it disappeared about the same time you started your hot goat sex fetish.

    Speaking of goatfucking trolls…

    Fixed.

    JSF, I remember it well as I am sure GoatBoy does too…lol! Mikey likes to come here for the high quality abuse and nothing more than that. We like to oblige.

  510. 510
    dslak says:

    First, myiq complained about ratfuckers. Then he became one.

  511. 511
    Sojourner says:

    Nothing like bagging a trophy troll, and it looks great hanging on the wall!

    I’ve really enjoyed watching the Obamaites shriek and shake when someone dares hold their guy accountable. Oh the moaning, keening, and sobbing. The world will surely come to an end.

    Those damn Clinton supporters! They’re everywhere, lurking behind every tree, peering into your windows. It’s a scary world out there.

    It’s been great entertainment, guys.

  512. 512
    dslak says:

    Shorter Sojourner: I’ve got nothin’.

  513. 513
    Sojourner says:

    Shorter Sojourner: I’ve got nothin’.

    Hardly. You and the other Obamaites have pledged your votes to him no matter what he does.

    The votes of those of us who are appalled at his FISA position are up for grabs. If Obama wants to hang onto this constituency, he’s going to have to give us something.

    So by all means, give yourself to him freely. That increases the likelihood that we will get what we want on the Constitutional front.

    Thanks!

  514. 514
    dslak says:

    You and the other Obamaites have pledged your votes to him no matter what he does.

    And your evidence for this is? That’s right, you got nothin’.

    If Obama wants to hang onto this constituency, he’s going to have to give us something.

    Since he’s never going to have a sex change, bleach himself white, dye his hair blonde, and change his name to Clinton, he’ll never be able to give you what you want.

  515. 515
    Sojourner says:

    And your evidence for this is?

    I can read. I’ve been lectured by the likes of TZ and John Cole that I must support Obama no matter what. That’s their public position and I’m good with that.

    Since he’s never going to have a sex change, bleach himself white, dye his hair blonde, and change his name to Clinton, he’ll never be able to give you what you want.

    It’s fun watching someone try to hide the fact that he’s lost the argument.

  516. 516
    John Cole says:

    I can read. I’ve been lectured by the likes of TZ and John Cole that I must support Obama no matter what.

    I never said anything of the sort.

    You are a first rate troll, though.

    I’ve really enjoyed watching the Obamaites shriek

    Misogynist.

  517. 517
    dslak says:

    I can read.

    No evidence here. Moving along . . .

    I’ve been lectured by the likes of TZ and John Cole that I must support Obama no matter what.

    The fact that you think this is what Cole has said is good reason to doubt the truth of your first claim.

    It’s fun watching someone try to hide the fact that he’s lost the argument.

    Winning an argument requires making a case for the propositions which you are defending. Since you never even bothered to support any of your contentious claims with any evidence, by what criteria can you claim to have won?

  518. 518
    dslak says:

    Sojourner: Making the perfect the enemy of the good since 2007.

  519. 519
    Sojourner says:

    Winning an argument requires making a case for the propositions which you are defending. Since you never even bothered to support any of your contentious claims with any evidence, by what criteria can you claim to have won?

    Not my fault if you’re too lazy to read what people write here.

    But really, keep accusing me of being a Clinton supporter, keep pledging your devotion to Obama.

    I’m good with that. It really works for me.

    Thanks!

  520. 520
    Huego says:

    “If Obama wants to hang onto this constituency, he’s going to have to give us something.”

    Shorter Sojourner: I’ve snuck a bomb onto this plane, so fly me to Crazytown or I’ll blow myself up and, if I’m lucky, take the plane down too, thus proving my original point that Boeing makes shitty airplanes and Airbus is teh awesome.

  521. 521
    dslak says:

    Shorter Sojourner: It’s your own damned fault for treating a whiny four-year-old like me as someone capable of being reasoned with!

  522. 522

    Hey folx, I’m late to the game so pardon me if this is a repeat (500+ posts?!?!) but on TPM they quote Obama saying that he will fight the immunity proviso in the Senate:

    It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses.

    The immunity is what bothers me the most (because everything else can be changed when the Democrats win back the White House). So if Obama sez he is going to fight immunity – and nothing has happened yet to prove that otherwise – then what is everyone so angry about?

  523. 523
    Sojourner says:

    Shorter Sojourner: I’ve snuck a bomb onto this plane, so fly me to Crazytown or I’ll blow myself up and, if I’m lucky, take the plane down too, thus proving my original point that Boeing makes shitty airplanes and Airbus is teh awesome.

    You are welcome to your opinion. Mine is that candidates have to earn our votes and we have an obligation to use our votes to support the positions we consider most important. The very essence of democracy.

    Shorter Sojourner: It’s your own damned fault for treating a whiny four-year-old like me as someone capable of being reasoned with!

    A “reasoned” argument based on a falsehood. Hardly a winning strategy. But keep up with the name calling. That certainly is the essence of a “reasoned” argument.

  524. 524
    Huego says:

    “Mine is that candidates have to earn our votes and we have an obligation to use our votes to support the positions we consider most important.”

    And yet it’s the haters who refer to Obama as “The Precious”? That’s the most fucking precious thing I’ve ever heard.

    Of course, what you are really saying is, “If I can’t check off all 20 boxes on my private checklist, I’ll have to consider staying home, even if I disagree with absolutely everything about the other guy.”

    Funny that that’s JUST how all the mouth-breathing Republicans feel… except, uh, totally different. Gee, I wonder how they manage to win so much? But hey, keep threatening to (try to) blow up the plane … always works out great for the bomber and the passengers, to say nothing of the airline. Now I actually feel kind of dumb and dirty for (sort of) negotiating with terrorists…

    Thanks for the faux Patrick Henry pearl-clutching. Res ipsa loquitur.

  525. 525
    Sojourner says:

    Of course, what you are really saying is, “If I can’t check off all 20 boxes on my private checklist, I’ll have to consider staying home, even if I disagree with absolutely everything about the other guy.”

    Wrong. What it means is there are a few core issues that for me are non-negotiable. I would hope that everyone would have some. If not, what exactly do they believe? My team, right or wrong? I’ll pass on that.

    Now I actually feel kind of dumb and dirty for (sort of) negotiating with terrorists…

    Terrorists? OMG. When does having a different opinion make one a terrorist? How sad for you that you are so afraid of different views.

    Funny that that’s JUST how all the mouth-breathing Republicans feel… except, uh, totally different.

    Just the opposite. The Repubs are expected to get into line behind their candidate, whether they like the candidate or not. How ironic that I’m now hearing the same thing from the Dems.

  526. 526
    dslak says:

    Sojourner was never going to vote for Obama, so don’t assume that she’s now refusing to vote for him out of principle (she doesn’t have any).

  527. 527
    Michael Gass says:

    In reply to A Different JC:

    So if Obama sez he is going to fight immunity – and nothing has happened yet to prove that otherwise – then what is everyone so angry about?

    If you read his statement, you’d know. Obama very clearly states that he SUPPORTS the compromise. Whether or not he’ll “work” to get the immunity removed, I foresee him having a few latte’s, and putting out a press release along the lines of:

    “Sorry folks, you know, I had some latte’s and talked to the Democratic Senator’s, and there just isn’t any support… so, oh well, I tried”.

    Basically… he’s giving in BEFORE the fight starts by stating his support even though it’s “not what he’d like”.

    If you think that immunity is going to be pulled, or you’ll see a filibuster, or a secret hold, by a Democrat on this, well… I don’t.

    We KNOW that the Rethugs have sold our country and constitution down the river… but some of us (especially us veterans) were HOPING that by helping put Democrats into office, SOMEBODY would work to save the constitution we fought for… and we have been let down.

  528. 528
    Sojourner says:

    Sojourner was never going to vote for Obama, so don’t assume that she’s now refusing to vote for him out of principle (she doesn’t have any).

    And your evidence for this is… what?

  529. 529

    Michael Gass Says: In reply to A Different JC: If you read his statement, you’d know. Obama very clearly states that he SUPPORTS the compromise. Whether or not he’ll “work” to get the immunity removed, I foresee him…

    Thanks for the answer, Michael. I guess I will wait to see what he does before I get disappointed, but I see why people are angry. They want him to talk tougher.

  530. 530
    Michael Gass says:

    To A Different JC:

    Not just TALK tough… but DO something. He’s got the majority of America behind him on this!!!! It’s a no-brainer politically to put a statement saying:

    “I do not believe in this compromise, much less the retroactive immunity. I will not only work to get the immunity removed, but, I will put a hold on the bill and if Sen. Reid tries to stop that, I will personally filibuster the bill until it dies or I drop… and I call on every patriotic Senator who believes in our Constitution still to be there beside me when I do it.”

    Instead… we get press releases and no action. Yeah, I know it hasn’t hit the Senate yet… but, let’s just say, I see the writing on the wall… the constitution I fought for is dead. This time, it wasn’t just the Rethugs, but, Democrats as well.

  531. 531
    xoites says:

    Repeal FISA is up and running. Anyone who wants to is welcome to sign up and become a Poster on it. The purpose of the blog is to organize a drive to repeal the FISA laws and all laws that pardon or give immunity from prosecution anyone who has violated the Constitution during the Bush Administration.

    That is why we want everyone to be able to Post so they can start a conversation about an idea they have to make this happen.

    Stop on by and check it out. By all means leave a comment and sign up to blog with us as we figure out what needs to be done to return our Fourth Amendment Rights and our rule of law.

    http://repealfisa.wordpress.com/

  532. 532
    Sojourner says:

    Thanks, xoites!

  533. 533
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    You are a first rate troll, though.

    You were complaining about not being able to attract and keep quality trolls. The blog gods have smiled upon you.

  534. 534
    Sojourner says:

    It’s interesting to see the name calling that goes on around here. But whatever.

    There appears to be a growing, organized pushback on the FISA bill, which is definitely good news for a lot of us.

    Those of you who wholeheartedly stand behind Obama can continue to do so and those of us who are disgusted with the Democratic party’s continuing capitulation now have a means to work with others to try to bring about change.

    Sounds like a win-win to me.

    But what do I know? I’m just a troll.

  535. 535
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m just a first-rate troll.

    Fixt. Don’t sell yerself short, babe.

  536. 536
    Sojourner says:

    Fixt. Don’t sell yerself short, babe.

    Good to see you using your first amendment right to free speech. Gotta love that Constitution and Bill of Rights! At least what’s left of them.

  537. 537
    John says:

    Some thoughts on Senator Obama’s retreat on FISA:

    1. The claim that it doesn’t matter since “90%” of Americans don’t understand the bill. Since when did that justify a bad bill?

    2. Obama got to the position he is in now by claiming this is exactly the sort of fight he would engage in. Now we hear that he needs to avoid the fight so he will not alienate some super-delegates?

    3. The FISA bill will pass whether he opposes it or not. Then vote No anyway and at least demonstrate that you meant it when you said you would not vote for telecom immunity.

    $. “I’ll fix it later”. This claim barely deserves to be taken seriously. “Hic Rhodus, hic salta!”

  538. 538
    myiq2xu says:

    Give it up Sojurner, this is the Cult of Obama headquarters.

    If they made a list of all the reasons why they support Him, and he came out in opposition to everything on their lists, they would change the lists.

  539. 539
    Sojourner says:

    Hey myiq2xu:

    Actually, it’s my fault. I bought into the Obama campaign message of real change. At some level, I was hoping that Obama was made of the same stuff that drove Paul Wellstone. Wellstone repeatedly won over a heavily Republican state through the sheer force of his integrity and commitment to basic American values. He took the controversial, risky stands. Nobody else does that. His death was a terrible loss.

    Maybe Obama will. It’s hard to say but I am disappointed that he backed away from such a low-risk position just to please the Democratic leadership. After watching the antics of Pelosi and Reid, I now realize that I am no longer a Democrat. Ironically, it’s a refreshing realization because now I can reserve my vote for those who share my position on a small, core set of issues. It appears that a growing number of people share my position, which bodes well for achieving some real clout. Real change may mean that we no longer have to settle for the lesser of two evils.

    Balloon Juice used to be a place where a lot of different positions were expressed. John is correct that people aren’t booted out for not sharing the Obama-at-all-costs position but real sharing of ideas has been replaced by name calling.

    John and the BJ’ers have every right to make this blog what they want. It’s an ideal forum for those who are committed to the belief that Obama will live up to his promises. I wish I were still one of them.

    Best wishes to you!

  540. 540
    Sarah G says:

    I understand politics and I play poker….

    To continue the poker analogy, we can now assume he is and always has been “dead money”.

    Or to put it another way… he’s a donkey…and in poker, that has nothing to do with being a democrat!

  541. 541
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Actually, it’s my fault. I bought into the Obama campaign message of real change.

    Bullshit. You have been railing against Obama non-stop here, and now you are trying to say that he actually sold you on something?! That you had him on a pedestal and he has fallen off of it? You deride Obama supporters as swallowing his ‘change’ spiel, and now you are saying that you swallowed it?!

    Bullshit, you are a lying troll. I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if your eyes were brown. One minute you assholes are claiming that Obama’s supporters are drinking kool-aid and worship him as the messiah, and the next you are saying that he has the power to stop something when he is only one of five hundred and thirty five votes on the matter. Then when we logically conclude that this is an issue that can hurt Obama with the super delegates who support this bill (among the many other ways this could hurt him), you claim that he has the power to stop this all on his own and it won’t hurt him one bit. Oh, and that your vote for Obama is conditional on this issue. If he does what you want, you are happy and might vote for him. Bullshit. You will never vote for him. Never.

    What you want is for Obama to inflict maximum damage on himself, and that is it. You have never been for Obama, and you will never be for Obama. You are acting like Obama is the president and he has the power to stop this all on his own, not acknowledging that he really is a weakened presumptive nominee and there is little he can do about it without inflicting damage in one way or another. No, you want him to inflict maximum damage on himself.

    Talking to you is impossible because you are always right. I bet you are a legend in your own mind too. You just issue your proclamations and everyone has to agree with them or they are drinking kool-aid. Fuck you.

    Obama is where he is right now because of the decisions he and his campaign people have made. I will trust his decision in the matter much more than I would trust what some mealy-mouthed troll on a blog says.

  542. 542
    chiggins says:

    So if I understand you correctly, Brachiator, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover didn’t lead to a crisis that gave us FDR?

    Who then wanted to add 4 more justices to the Supreme Court so he could stack it to do what he wanted. Also, he was responsible for the internment of over a 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry, about 2/3 of whom were American citizens. Not sayin’ that FDR wasn’t a great president, only that he wasn’t the Great God of Constitutional purity. Just sayin’.

  543. 543
    Michael Gass says:

    In reply to Conservatively Liberal:

    First, let’s get the dynamics correct. You have liberal’s and you have Progressive’s, just like you have neo-con/religious right and you have moderate conservatives. You also have Independents.

    Second, many, like me, supported Edwards, whose campaign was against all of the corporate interests that we saw come into play on the FISA capitulation by the lobbying and millions of the telecom’s.

    Third, many, like me, knew Hillary for what she was, and for what she has since proven to everyone else through her actions; she was for Hillary and nobody else. With Edwards being driven from the race by the rightwing media pundits who gave him bad press when he got any press at all. Make no mistake here, the corporate America feared a President Edwards. That left those like me with one viable candidate: Obama.

    Who was left? McSame? Hillary “I’m all for Myself” Clinton? So, we tossed our hats in with Obama.

    Keep in mind, this was AFTER those like me tossed our weight behind the Democratic Party in 2006 to bring about “change”; change that never came. In fact, the Democrats we helped elect to power in 2006 have been giving Bush MORE then he could have hoped for at every turn.

    People wonder why Ross Perot got 18% of the vote? It was because there was 18% of America who got tired of politics as usual.

    As I have stated, we KNOW that that Rethug’s are all about destroying our Constitution. We thought the Democrats were better, yet, we see them rolling over and playing dead. Actions, not press releases.

    I have been accused of being a “one-issue” voter. That is not true, at least, it wasn’t until this election. There is no issue more important to a veteran like me, who took our oath seriously, then our Constitution. We KNEW McSame would just be Bush III. We KNEW Hillary would be Rethug-lite and all for Hillary at all cost (which she later proved). Edwards got kicked out by the media that drove his framing as a pretty-boy instead of a game-changing maverick.

    And that left us Obama.

    When your one, last hope, raises the white flag before the fight is joined… what? You hold your nose and vote for him because he won’t shit on the constitution as much as the others? Sorry… but, to me, the constitution isn’t a poker chip to be bet, bargained, compromised, or given away… for any price, by anybody.

    Yes, for many of us, this election has turned into a “one-issue” vote; who will actually work to restore the rights the GOP have worked to take from us.

    The Democratic Leadership in Pelosi, Reid, Hoyer, have all shown themselves to be just another corrupt, morally bankrupt, muckrakers… just in another Party. The Democrats in Congress have shown themselves to be spineless, gaming, idiots who have no will to fight with all the power they have and procedures at their disposal.

    Does that mean I will vote McSame? Hell no. Does that mean I’ll vote Bob Barr, who is nothing more than GOP in a Libertarian’s clothing? Hardly.

    But, there are some of us who believe in the Constitution… and while we still have our One-Voice, our One-Vote, do have our right to use it… because that is what our veterans throughout history have fought, and died, to give us all.

  544. 544
    Sojourner says:

    Bullshit, you are a lying troll.

    You have no idea what my views are, you have no idea who I have voted for.

    I have gotten slammed on this blog because I was unhappy with the sexist language that was used against Clinton which pissed off a lot of women of my generation. Enough people shared my view that it has gotten some attention in the media, including a story on the front page of the NYT.

    I also got slammed when I suggested that Obama supporters should reach out to the Clinton voters. Ironically, the Obama people are currently figuring out how to do that. You must not have gotten the memo.

    Finally, I got slammed because I thought Obama made a lousy decision on the FISA bill. A lot of people, although not many on BJ (for obvious reasons), share that position.

    Only ONE of these positions could be considered even remotely anti-Obama.

    But in your delusional, judgmental world, that makes me consistently anti-Obama.

    Believe what you want. Your name calling clearly demonstrates you really don’t have much to say. It also demonstrates my argument that BJ is not a welcome place for those who dare to have an alternative view. So keep your precious Obama echo chamber. That way, you’ll never have to worry about somebody challenging your position. That should calm whatever demons are driving you.

  545. 545
    myiq2xu says:

    Sojourner:

    Pay no attention to conservativeliar

    He is a McCain ratfucker posing as an Obama supporter to stir up conflict between Democrats.

    Months ago he flipped out because I said McCain looked like the CryptKeeper. (He said it was because I was making fun of McCain’s jerky arm movements, but the Cryptkeeper doesn’t even have puppet arms.)

    He originally claimed he was an independent, but now says he’s a Democrat. Can’t keep his stories straight. Even if it were true, he’s late to the party and thinks he has the right to decide who “real” Democrats are.

  546. 546
    Sojourner says:

    He is a McCain ratfucker posing as an Obama supporter to stir up conflict between Democrats.

    OMG! That is hilarious!

    Good catch on your part!

    I guess I never realized how much BJ is like a high school boy’s locker room. All of them strutting around proving how manly they are – where manly is based on who can fling the most shit.

    Not my cup of tea.

    Thanks for the info!

  547. 547
    MNPundit says:

    Pretty simple here.

    Obama is the New Politics.
    This shows his New Politics is the same as the old.

    I don’t expect him to stop it. But I do expect him to give more than token opposition to it.

  548. 548
    nightjar says:

    I guess I never realized how much BJ is like a high school boy’s locker room. All of them strutting around proving how manly they are – where manly is based on who can fling the most shit.

    Not my cup of tea

    That must be why you’ve hijacked at least two recent threads with likely well over 100 comments. Most of them duplicitous nonsense.

    You and Myiq make a cute couple. Something like the Captain and Tennille or maybe Laurel and Hardy.

  549. 549
    Sojourner says:

    Most of them duplicitous nonsense.

    Really? Then why don’t you challenge on the merits?

    Some folks have. Others prefer name calling. Interestingly, the name callers fail to produce evidence for their claims. But I guess it makes them feel better.

    Whatever rocks your boat.

  550. 550
    nightjar says:

    Some folks have

    Most have, as have I, over and over again. But that’s OK, we just don’t agree with your analysis, being the strutting manly men shitslinging name callers at poor victim Sojourner.

    I feel like I might just cry and your lonely struggle.

    And now I’ll be leaving the Soj. Hamster wheel. Hope you get to wherever your going.
    :)

  551. 551

    […] For Glenn, the long-term means the fight must start now, and if you fight now, the election will turn your way, as it will be a reflection of the public’s embrace of your willingness to fight. Any of the short-term political concerns that I noted here are of little relevance, and your larger message will carry the day. In essence, Glenn is arguing that the reason Democrats keep losing is because they refuse to fight, and I have to admit, there is a helluva lot of truth to that. With that in mind, I can fully understand why many feel let-down by Obama’s “capitulation.” Again, I do not see it as a capitulation, but a recognition that the fight is lost and there is no point wasting political capital on the issue, but if you work from Glenn’s frame, anything other than a barn-burning rebuke of the FISA garbage that just passed the house is capitulation. […]

  552. 552
    Tax Analyst says:

    I can’t believe I read the whole thing.

    TWO HOURS of my life on this thread.

    Good thing I’m at work and getting paid for this, otherwise I’d really be pissed off.

    But I really should exercise better judgment in the future, ’cause this thread went WAY past monotonous and redundant. My bad.

    No, I don’t like FISA. No, Obama’s PRESUMED position on it will not affect either my donations (consistently to Obama) nor my vote (absolutely to Obama).

    I was certainly pleased to see so much dogmatic purity, otherwise this race might be too easy.

    I can see that many of you would, if allowed, would parcel out only a portion of your vote to Obama now…say 3/4, if you could – withholding the rest like some grumpy parent or something. It doesn’t work that way. And it’s idiotic to vote for someone you KNOW will make things worse either out of spite or some twisted belief that imposing MORE misery on the country will somehow lead to the election of a more “pure” candidate in the future.

    You have a complaint? Then state it, and then get back on board, por favor. If it will prevent you from supporting a candidate who is clearly the better choice I’d have to say it had better be pretty fucking important to the survival of the Republic because we are talking about no less than that here. You don’t think things are BAD ENOUGH YET? Fuck you. This election is not a joke, people, and there is no way to say it doesn’t make any difference who wins. If you think so you just haven’t been any attention the last 7+ years.

    As many others have suggested, anything else just seems like sour grapes because “Your” guy/girl didn’t win the nomination.

    It appears we have a serious and viable candidate who can win this election. That makes it incumbent on all of us who desire a change in course to fucking GROW UP. Preferably sooner rather than later.

  553. 553
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    A first-rate troll sez:

    Not my cup of tea.

    Did you decide that it wasn’t your cup of tea before or after your one hundred and sixty comments?

  554. 554
    Sojourner says:

    I’m glad to see that at least some BJers are beginning to understand the issue given the responses on John’s latest post.

    Makes your name calling look pretty darn foolish. But that’s your problem, not mine.

  555. 555
    Michael Gass says:

    (in response to Tax Analyst)

    You know, I find it a bit ironic that someone tosses out “purist” and “dogma” labels while trying to tell everyone else that they should act in a certain way. Is that not the very definitions of “purity” and “dogma”?

    I also find it laughable that people love to attack others as being kids and children, simply because they have a belief that goes beyond political expediency. I guess that makes every one of our founding fathers kids, since at the time, it was more “politically expedient” for them to give into the ruling British than to fight against them.

    You see, regardless of whether the telecom’s get immunity, the evisceration of our Constitution, in the form of the Fourth Amendment, in this new bill is a foregone conclusion. Even Obama isn’t going to stand in the way of that. Whether or not Obama will use it as President is not the point.

    The reason people whittle away at our Constitution is because once rights are lost, it is almost impossible to get them back. You lose a little. Then you lose a little more. Then more. Until suddenly, you have few rights, if any. But, it doesn’t work the other way; you don’t whittle your rights back.

    You believe that THIS election is the most important, yet, in reality, EVERY election now is important. So, Obama wins this one, and we don’t lose any more rights this time. But, next time, what do we lose because nobody stood up this time? And the time after that? And the time after that?

    No, obviously it ISN’T bad enough yet, because while we sit here arguing over what is right and wrong, what rights we will concede this time for political expediency, our Congress is giving away those rights more and more.

  556. 556
    Sojourner says:

    Well put, Michael.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] For Glenn, the long-term means the fight must start now, and if you fight now, the election will turn your way, as it will be a reflection of the public’s embrace of your willingness to fight. Any of the short-term political concerns that I noted here are of little relevance, and your larger message will carry the day. In essence, Glenn is arguing that the reason Democrats keep losing is because they refuse to fight, and I have to admit, there is a helluva lot of truth to that. With that in mind, I can fully understand why many feel let-down by Obama’s “capitulation.” Again, I do not see it as a capitulation, but a recognition that the fight is lost and there is no point wasting political capital on the issue, but if you work from Glenn’s frame, anything other than a barn-burning rebuke of the FISA garbage that just passed the house is capitulation. […]

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