Gotta Love It

The New Republic’s Jamie Kirchik is really quite the dick:

Barack Obama isn’t even President yet, and he’s already angering some of his most devoted followers on the party’s left wing. This is the mark of what could be a very successful presidency.

“With its congressional majority, the Democratic Party has refused to seriously try to end the war, to stop the bailout and to stop the trampling of civil liberties, just to name a few off the top of my head,” wrote David Sirota on the popular liberal blog OpenLeft, decrying the serial betrayals of Obama and the congressional Democratic majority. The Democratic Party, he wrote, has “faced no real retribution” for its manifold heresies, something that Sirota believes he and his band of angry bloggers must change. “We better understand why this happened,” he fumed.

Allow me to provide an answer. You don’t matter.

Kirchik, on the other hand, apparently does matter. I really do not understand why it is that certain elements of the Democratic party just naturally assume that the only way to succeed as a Democrat is to endlessly provoke the “progressives.” While I understand and have written that there is going to be a good bit of letdown when folks realize how centrist Obama is, I don’t understand the need by Kirchik to openly taunt- he could have saved us all some time and just written “SUCK ON THIS DFHer’s!” It is almost as if he wants to create a schism so the party can fall apart before they even take power.

Again, not sure what to say but “what a dick.” I also have to snicker because this is the mindset of the editors of the New Republic, the magazine we were told was a super liberal ultra hard left America hating rag during the Beauchamp affair. And why is that some of the folks at the New Republic always feel the need to act like children to people who are, well, right a helluva lot more than they are? From what I can tell, with a few exceptions, the New Republic is the Michael O’Hanlon of magazines- usually wrong, always loud, and for reasons no one can really explain, looked upon as if they know something.






70 replies
  1. 1
    pink thinker says:

    for the record, Kirchick is kind of a neocon – I don’t think he would ever claim to have the best interests of the Democratic party at heart. well, scratch that, he might, but it’s not because he’s a democrat; it’s because he’s a specious blowhard. Also a dick.

  2. 2
    Josh Hueco says:

    battered-spouse syndrome. that’s the only reason i can think of.

  3. 3

    Wait … is this the same blog that only last summer was stamping its feet and vowing to vote for McCain because Obama wouldn’t fall on his sword over FISA?

    Obama is a pragmatist. The left and right wings of the two political machines are anti-pragmatist. It’s that simple.

    We saw how pragmatism works in the hurricane of presidential politics, when opposed by old-style divisiveness.

    Let’s see how competent pragmatism works in government now.

    Everyone who doesn’t get this, please just STFU and go do something else for two years. TIA.

  4. 4
    kay says:

    Obama wasn’t supposed to win. The traditionalists in the Democratic Party who gave him long odds on winning only allowed his real rank and file support, the Lefties, about twenty minutes to celebrate the victory before they started crowing that Lefties don’t matter.

    Because he wasn’t supposed to win. They so decreed.

    It’s ungenerous at best and stupid at worst.

    The response to the Left, who did the grunt work in this election, from the traditionalists, who did not, should be: "wow! good work! thank you!".

    I’m appalled, but not surprised that it’s not. They’re not great when they’re wrong.

  5. 5
    RSA says:

    What I think is a little strange is that The New Republic tends to be viewed as a balance, on the left, to National Review, on the right (or so it’s my impression). But TNR isn’t nearly that liberal–they have Martin Peretz, Charles Krauthammer, and Andrew Sullivan on their masthead. Sure, they express a lot of liberal views, but they’re not that liberal.

  6. 6
    cleek says:

    all the pundits are doing it.

    the guy doesn’t even have the keys yet, and everybody’s pissed he hasn’t taken them to D.Q. for a milkshake. assholes.

    there are too many pundits out to catch whatever attention they can: Obama will get no honeymoon.

  7. 7
    Pooh says:

    Kirchick is Peretz without the heiress wife. There’s a reason people in the TNR comments call him "Mini".

  8. 8
    ninerdave says:

    Speaking of Obama,

    His latest Saturday address on YouTube:

    Initial Stimulus program will be a "down payment"

  9. 9
    Fred says:

    TNR contains multitudes. Their Plank blog, for instance, is way less homogeneous than The Corner. Kirchik, for what it’s worth, is an outlier among the writers there. He fits the Peretz mold way more than anyone else currently writing there, it seems to me. I enjoy the Plank daily, but almost without fail, I find myself disagreeing with Kirchik.

    I guess what I’m saying is: don’t hold Kirchik’s dickery against the rest of them.

  10. 10
    John Cole says:

    @Fred: They actually have several good blogs. I like Eve Fairbanks and Michael Crowley, and Noam Scheiber is interesting.

    But my assessment of the mindset of the magazine stands. They really seem to think that any serious policy requires democrats shitting on “teh left.” Otherwise, it just can’t be any good.

  11. 11
    Jim says:

    A word for this – Triangulation.

  12. 12
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    @cleek:

    there are too many pundits out to catch whatever attention they can: Obama will get no honeymoon.

    Thing is, the pundits were Totally Wrong(tm) about nearly everything this election cycle and we proles pretty much did what we wanted. Which begs the question: If a pundit falls in the woods and no one gives a shit, does it really matter what they say?

    These guys are chattering at themselves and the political gentry, but Obama is doing an end-run and speaking directly to the public. Pundits hate that shit.

  13. 13
    SDW says:

    Isn’t it a bit early for TNR to go to war with the DFHs? Hillary isn’t even president yet…

    Peretz & co. switched their party affiliation to Connecticut for Lieberman back in 2006.

  14. 14
    kth says:

    ROFL at the thought of Kirchick pronouncing on who matters and who doesn’t, like he’s so fucking plugged in.

  15. 15
    Leo says:

    I really do not understand why it is that certain elements of the Democratic party just naturally assume that the only way to succeed as a Democrat is to endlessly provoke the “progressives.”

    1972.

  16. 16
    JimPortlandOR says:

    TNR is the epitome of the phrase ‘when it is good, it is very good, and when it is bad, it is very very bad.

    Some fine writers at TNR, but some (like Kircheck) piss in every pot of their soup. Until Marty Peretz is gone (and the ownership changes again from the Canadian wingers back to some reality folks), TNR will be a continued frustration. Every year I think I must stop the subscription and then some great article appears.

    I wouldn’t dignify Jamie by saying he’s a dick – that’s overstating his goodness substantially. Even as*hole or douchebag is too much praise. His brain is composed of the contents of last week’s football game port-a-potty.

  17. 17
    zhak says:

    The thing that is being overlooked here is that to say "you don’t matter" which implies that ending the war, restoring civil liberties and so forth also do not matter. And this flies in the face of every poll I have seen.

    I know Obama is center-right (whatever the great thinkers of the right may think) and I dread his presidency, because what we need right now is a real progressive, which he most definitely is not. He was the better candidate (by far) but that’s not saying a whole lot.

    We need an FDR, and we’ve got an Obama.

    We need elected officials who will actually listen to the will of the people. We’ve got a bunch of folks who feel they’re members of a very exclusive club and manners must be maintained. (Witness Reid’s sendoff of Ted Stevens — a convicted felon.)

  18. 18
    o kanis says:

    Jane Hamsher had a good take on TNR.

    http://tinyurl.com/5b3kso

    TNR exists on wingnut welfare provided by CanWest, owned by the neocon Asper family, mega Canadian media moguls. It was their National Post which spread the lie about Iran requiring Jews to wear badges.

    Lieberman leghumpers.

  19. 19
    Melinda says:

    I have to say that I think is premise, that Obama’s got a lot of devoted followers on the left who don’t realize that he’s centrist and are going to be surprised, is just plain wrong. Sirota’s the only real pinko I can think of who was on the Obama train pretty early on and I never could figure out what that was all about.

  20. 20
    Napoleon says:

    I don’t @zhak:

    I don’t know what "reality" you live in but Obama is clearly a liberal. Now that is not to say he is also not a pragmatist (which I think is why John and some other perceive him as a centrist) but there is no reason a liberal cannot be a pragmatist. He ran on a platform farther to the left then all but 2 Democrats since FDR died.

    By the way, I look forward to the day Republicans have the same reaction to the Christanist as Jamie "Mini" K and the others do to the "left".

    As to Jamie K. he is a first class knob and him and his ilk in the Dem party are about to get run into oblivion by Team Obama and the new resurgent left in the Dem party. TNR really does have interesting people, but until people like Jamie over there and their anti-DFH tripe is gone I will not be subscribing.

    PS, wouldn’t the jobs program Obama came out today be the biggest jobs program in the nations history, except for perhaps FDRs?

  21. 21
    Cain says:

    @Melinda:

    The problem is providing a litmus test of left and right. What we want is pragmatic leadership. Good ideas on both right and left. I don’ t think the left has all the answers anymore than the right. We need someone who can look at all sides and then come up with the right solution for that particular situation regardless of what the solution is branded at. For that we need to trust that Obama knows what he’s doing. I have that trust.

    The left needs to understand that it’s not FDR’s nation anymore and we can’t do all the stuff FDR did all at once. The U.S. has gone quite a bit rightward since then. More importantly, we have several crises that we need to repair. That said, Sirota hasn’t been overly hyperventilating. OpenLeft even has one of their members in Obama’s list of advisors so they have someone on the table who represents progressives. Everybody has a voice and no ideas are bad. That is a sign of a good leader.

    cain

  22. 22
    Leo says:

    I don’t know what "reality" you live in but Obama is clearly a liberal. Now that is not to say he is also not a pragmatist (which I think is why John and some other perceive him as a centrist) but there is no reason a liberal cannot be a pragmatist.

    Indeed. I think the main reason people are so confused about whether Obama is a liberal or a pragmatist is that at this particular moment in our history smart pragmatic governance and ideological liberal governance look pretty damned similar. That’s what happens when the country is run by conservative ideologues for long enough–a pragmatic correction and a lurch to the left become largely indistinguishable.

  23. 23
    Jon H says:

    CNN is reporting that Obama’s communications director will be the woman who heads up EMILY’S LIST.

    What you just heard is alegre’s head exploding.

  24. 24

    I think the number of TNR’s good regular writers (Krauthammer’s on the masthead, but doesn’t write regularly for them) easily outstrips the number of really bad ones (Kirchik and Peretz being the most egregious offenders), but bad stuff just sticks more easily in the mind.

    I just try and ignore Kirchik and Peretz and focus on Cottle, Chait, Scheiber, and the other solid folks on board. What else can I do?

  25. 25
  26. 26
    The Other Steve says:

    To be fair David sirota is an ass.

  27. 27
    tavella says:

    @Cain: The problem is providing a litmus test of left and right. What we want is pragmatic leadership. Good ideas on both right and left.

    Great theory, except that he apparently doesn’t want to hear any of the ‘good ideas from the left’. Given that his entire national security team consists of people who were fans of the Iraq War. Apparently people who actually got it *right* are still Dirty Fucking Hippies that no one should listen to.

    It does not surprise me, but it’s still disheartening.

  28. 28
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Sure hope this article is correct. Without an investigation and public airing of the basics of what went on, America can’t begin to wash out the stain of torture currently plastered on it’s forehead.

    Despite the hopes of many human-rights advocates, the new Obama Justice Department is not likely to launch major new criminal probes of harsh interrogations and other alleged abuses by the Bush administration. But one idea that has currency among some top Obama advisers is setting up a 9/11-style commission that would investigate counterterrorism policies and make public as many details as possible. "At a minimum, the American people have to be able to see and judge what happened," said one senior adviser, who asked not to be identified talking about policy matters. The commission would be empowered to order the U.S. intelligence agencies to open their files for review and question senior officials who approved "waterboarding" and other controversial practices.

  29. 29
    cyntax says:

    @Napoleon:

    He ran on a platform farther to the left then all but 2 Democrats since FDR died.

    Well, is that an indicator of Obama’s liberalism or the Repub-lite branding of the Dem party? I’m thinking the latter. But I think you’re spot on about his pragmatism which, frankly, I think is great. The Naderist-style obsession about the purity of someone’s liberalism just isn’t all that compelling to me.

    Getting sh*t done actually counts for something in my book and though I do see Obama as rather centrist (maybe that’s my left-coastiness showing through), I also see him as fundamentally different in his centrism than someone like DiFi and the others of the capitulating school of the Dem Party.

    So we’ll see, but right now I have the expectation that he’ll actually make some changes, maybe not exactly the amount of change I’d like, but something effective and a definite improvement.

  30. 30
    bago says:

    Goddamn, it’s so nice to hear coherent sentences.

  31. 31
    cyntax says:

    @tavella:

    Given that his entire national security team consists of people who were fans of the Iraq War. Apparently people who actually got it right are still Dirty Fucking Hippies that no one should listen to.

    Maybe, but it’s also possible that since he wasn’t for it, he doesn’t need to get that perspective from someone else; he can see it himself. Handicapping cabinet picks is all we have to do in the interim but as long as we get out of Iraq, do you really care exactly who’s in his cabinet?

  32. 32
    Vincent says:

    I think we need to separate domestic policy and foreign policy. Obama looks like he’ll be more left on the former and more hawkish on the latter. Pretty much what I expected of any Democrat who managed to get elected. As long as he’s not starting unnecessary wars, I can live with that.

  33. 33
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @cyntax:

    Handicapping cabinet picks is all we have to do in the interim but as long as we get out of Iraq, do you really care exactly who’s in his cabinet?

    The DFH’s have been out of the loop for the past eight years, trying to glean what’s going on from outside the wire. Only pro Iraq Apparatchiks, to use a Comrade term, of the Bush regime know the details of the Bush Messinpotamia. Details that are crucial toward unwinding it in a safe and deliberate manner. Obama will be preznit and responsible for the safe withdrawal of our GI’s from Iraq. I’m glad he’s asking those who got us into this mess how to accomplish the tricky and dangerous task of de-occupation. Relax Tavella, your going to worry yourself into ill health.

  34. 34
    Napoleon says:

    @cyntax:

    We have a winner. And Obama took that position when it was very difficult to do that. I have no doubt he is not some secret neo-con. If you want to see how powerful the push to get on board with the war was, go back and read Jim Fallows piece in the Atlantic before the Iraq war on what could go wrong in the war and pay close attention. At first read you think Fallow’s is offering an opinion against the war, but on careful reading he never offers an opinion, and he is a writer, not a politician who is dependant on the publics votes, yet Obama at the same time didn’t take the easy out and come out for the war (or perhaps say nothing).

  35. 35
    srv says:

    I guess the Magical in MUP was really for ‘Moderate’.

    These next two years are not going to be an era where moderation are going to be of much help. We’re way, way past the point where pragmatic cat juggling is going to get us to the other side quicker.

    Great the some ginourmous jobs program is planned. Not like that’s a very original idea, or obvious given the circumstances. But Obama didn’t jump on board when all those DFH bloggers suggested that course back in the day, he did it when he had no f*ing choice and the talking heads are TV practically hysterical about the stock market that you can hear their producers saying "don’t say depression!" into their ears.

    John, I really look forward to your Bacevich review. There’s no way you can meet that man and listen to him speak and think your idea of pragmatism and his idea of pragmatism are even in the same ball park. They aren’t. One is staggering onward between the lines the corporate and special interest parties have drawn for you, and the other is transformative. Because everything we’ve been doing has been wrong, what y’all call ‘pragmatic’ is just another magical word.

  36. 36
    Jay C says:

    Leaving the aside the issue of whether or not Jamie Kirchick is a dick or not, or how big a one (not really in question!) – he does have a sort of point about the relative influence/importance of left-wing bloggers to the incoming Obama Administration.

    Which of course, should not be news to anyone who has seriously examined Barack Obama’s positions, policy statements, speeches, etc. at all during the Presidential campaign, or read more than one or two blogs. Yes, Obama is "to the left" of the current regime – but that’s only by the hideously skewed standards of American politics today. And anyone who had expected otherwise would be bound to be disappointed. But then, that’s par-for-the-course for "the Left". Again, no news there.

    Look at the main Internet organ of "progressive" politics, Daily Kos: the diaries sputtering with outrage that Barack O. hadn’t instantly ordered all our troops home, shut Gitmo, deported Bush and Cheney to The Hague in shackles, and instituted universal free healthcare -NOW! – started on about November 6, and are still fulminating away.

    Obama’s election, and his upcoming Administration, still looks to be an enormous improvement over the disgraceful clownshow of the last eight years (and its thankfully-averted extension) – but the real "Left" won’t (ever) be satisfied with anything short of Instant Utopia*

    *which of course, translates to "Nowhere"

  37. 37
    Melinda says:

    @Cain: Well, no, I don’t think so. [If I hear the word “pragmatic” again I’m going to heave something at something (I’m already there with “meme” and am approaching it with “trope”)]. Anyway, I hope what you’re talking about is some balance among good policy, principle, and the ability to get stuff done, because "pragmatic" in the service of nothing is nothing. Sure, I’d like an effective president but I’d prefer an effective president that is working to effect decent policies. For example, I don’t think that Obama had to sell out on telecomm immunity or has to compromise as much on healthcare as he’s already made clear he will.

    In the past few weeks or so it appears that "pragmatic" has been redefined to mean something along the lines of "this is how I’ve become an apologist for crappy policies."

  38. 38
    robertdsc says:

    To be fair David sirota is an ass.

    No joke. He is one of the few on the Left that I would punch out in a heartbeat. His relentless negativism about almost anything concerning Obama is disgusting and his persecution complex when people have the temerity to disagree with his screeds is brutal.

    His saving grace is when he does investigative reporting. His tracking of media use of the ‘center-right’ meme is very nice.

    Otherwise, that guy can go Cheney himself.

  39. 39
    tavella says:

    @cyntax: Maybe, but it’s also possible that since he wasn’t for it, he doesn’t need to get that perspective from someone else; he can see it himself. Handicapping cabinet picks is all we have to do in the interim but as long as we get out of Iraq, do you really care exactly who’s in his cabinet?

    Oh, let’s see. People who were stupid enough to be taken in by the "we must attack Iraq" con — and it was a transparent fucking con — vs. people intelligent and thoughtful enough to see through it. A world filled with future potential threats and people attempting to bamboozle people into other stupid actions.

    And a national security team that constens entirely of people from the first, stupid and gullible group.

    Thanks, I’d rather have people, or at least fucking SOME of them, who were smart and proved right.

  40. 40
    Comrade Stuck says:

    I don’t think that Obama had to sell out on telecomm immunity or has to compromise as much on healthcare as he’s already made clear he will.

    In order to sell something out, you must first have the power to sell something in. Are you saying that Obama, as a brand new Dem nominee, had that power? I guess this meme will never die amongst the liberal wing, if only he had voted no, it would have made all the diff.

  41. 41
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Thanks, I’d rather have people, or at least fucking SOME of them, who were smart and proved right.

    Well, you have Obama. And he’s the top dawg. Next complaint please.

  42. 42
    Joe Max says:

    I’m a DFH from way back, but I’m finding this pearl-clutching by "the netroots" tedious. It accomplishes little more than letting hired human squawk-boxes like Kirchik point-and-laugh like Nelson Muntz at them.

    No, my netroots friends, Barack Obama is not Dennis Kucinich. And at this moment in time, it makes no sense for him to give any indication that he is.

    Both Clinton’s and Carter’s big mistakes were to roll into town with their own posses, "shake things up" and piss off the DC establishment so that nothing they wanted to do actually got done, even with their own party controlling Congress. I don’t blame Obama at all for wanting to try an approach that isn’t a proven failure.

    He came out today and laid down a pretty detailed set of primary political objectives. I can’t see progressives having a problem with any of them. I don’t give a fuck if he hires Darth Vader, Satan, Loki and Cthulhu to do the job, as long as the job actually gets done.

  43. 43
    cyntax says:

    Thanks, I’d rather have people, or at least fucking SOME of them, who were smart and proved right.

    Well, for my money, there’s a certain level of tea-leaf reading that should be acknowledged here. Picks that look good can end up going bad and vice versa.

    As long as no one in the administration is listening to Bill Kristol, then that’s a start.

  44. 44
    srv says:

    because "pragmatic" in the service of nothing is nothing.

    Pragmatism in support of the status-quo. Some of that might be from 2000, some from 2008.

    But it isn’t change. Not by a long shot. And for all those folks that got hood-winked (duh, I told you so), just go back outside and let the responsible folk who got us into these messes figure a way out.

    These people really think there is an endzone with 3 million employed teamsters in 2010. And the ranks here will argue all day how you just need to put the blinders on and shut up.

  45. 45
    MobiusKlein says:

    I wish Obama were more lefty too.

    But that’s chicken feed to my desire to
    1) Work on national healthcare
    2) Deal with global warming
    3) Fixing the economy

  46. 46
    Melinda says:

    @Comrade Stuck: I figure that if it didn’t matter that he voted to give immunity to the telecomms it wouldn’t have mattered if he hadn’t. That was a deeply unprincipled vote and I sure hope he got some magic beans for it. Or maybe it wasn’t unprincipled and he genuinely thinks that it’s a good thing if telecomm companies aren’t held accountable for breaking the law at the president’s direction.

    As for work on national healthcare, this is one area where the left really needs to be all over him. His proposal is expensive and doesn’t provide universal coverage. My sense from this thread is that right now Obama could decide to privatize Medicare and fauxgressives would respond with "He’s such a pragmatist!"

  47. 47
    cyntax says:

    @srv:

    Do you want to work from outside the system or from inside? Both have merit and both are needed.

    Just look at Nader and everything he accomplished as a consumer rights advocate, but don’t think for a minute that he could have done what he did without a legal system in place to support the changes he tried to make.

    And when we’re talking about the change a POTUS can enact, that’s about as inside the system as you can get. So duh, you didn’t tell me anything, I saw it for what it was and I was OK with that. Criticism is very necessary, and if you’re more comfortable with being a critic than a consensus builder–great! Just try to make it constructive criticism.

  48. 48
    Walker says:

    But it isn’t change. Not by a long shot. And for all those folks that got hood-winked (duh, I told you so), just go back outside and let the responsible folk who got us into these messes figure a way out.

    It is quite simple. Either he is going to introduce some change and make people feel more secure about economy/health care, etc. Or he will become the next Carter, and do to the Democrats exactly what Carter did to them (and for all the new-found respect he gets these days about being right, he still could not lead).

    BTW, the fact that Summers isn’t treasury secretary suggests that he is not totally tone deaf about who he picks to fix these messes.

  49. 49
    The Raven says:

    "It is almost as if he wants to create a schism so the party can fall apart before they even take power."

    Well, of course he does. These people thrive on partisan fights. Solving problems, now, that we leave to the DFHs.

    Caw!

  50. 50
    Comrade Stuck says:

    I figure that if it didn’t matter that he voted to give immunity to the telecomms it wouldn’t have mattered if he hadn’t.

    You see, this is where the Left wing doesn’t think past the ends of their noses. The truth is, he couldn’t have done anything to change the outcome, or even to prevent it from coming to a vote. What we saw was dem congresscritters caving to their fears of the RWNM. Nothing else, and they were going to take this issue off the table for wingnuts to use, period. At the time, we didn’t know that the economy was going to smother out all other issues, even those on National Security. Obama made his vote to also take it off the table for wingnuts to use. The only upside for voting no would have been so folks like you would stop complaining. But again, he was smart enough to know that you would just find something else to whine about. And to suggest that he is really in favor of warrantless wiretapping is just silly on it’s face, as is the rest of your self-absorbed rant on Healthcare and social security.

    My sense from this thread is that right now Obama could decide to privatize Medicare and fauxgressives would respond with "He’s such a pragmatist!"

    That’s just it, he really hasn’t done anything yet, and all we have to discuss are news reports and rumors about possible personnel decisions. But do carry on, it makes for some entertaining reading on a slow Saturday night. I could be wrong, but It sounds like your pining for Hillary and her brilliant policies to be implemented. Sorry, she lost.

  51. 51
    Eli Rabett says:

    Eli can’t wait for his first solicitation from Chuck and Harry. Suffice it to say the quid pro dough is ditch Joe.

  52. 52
    Napoleon says:

    @Jay C:

    ook at the main Internet organ of "progressive" politics, Daily Kos: the diaries sputtering with outrage that Barack O. hadn’t instantly ordered all our troops home, shut Gitmo, deported Bush and Cheney to The Hague in shackles, and instituted universal free healthcare -NOW! – started on about November 6, and are still fulminating away.

    I quit reading the Kos diaries because they are filled with know nothing losers. Everything that has gone wrong on the left the last 40 years is on proud display over there.

  53. 53
    Napoleon says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    Sorry, she lost.

    Thank God.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Steve The Other Plumber says:

    No joke. He is one of the few on the Left that I would punch out in a heartbeat. His relentless negativism about almost anything concerning Obama is disgusting and his persecution complex when people have the temerity to disagree with his screeds is brutal.

    Yeah, Sirota was a big fan of John Edwards. Everything Edwards did was good and liberal, and what Obama did was moderate and DLC light.

    The guy can just go fuck himself. Edwards was by far the most conservative of all those trying to run. Anything he was saying that was liberal was just that, just sayings. If he’d been elected it would have been cover your back pretend to be a Republican business as usual.

    We really lucked out this year. Edwards bombed out, even before we found out he was a fucking liar.

  56. 56
    JGabriel says:

    (Killed by author, for unjustified meanness.)

    .

  57. 57
    Alan Black says:

    Glad someone finally called Kirchik a dick. I’ve been thinking it for months.

    Though some of TNR’s stuff is pretty good, they do take themselves pretty seriously.

  58. 58
    maxbaer (not the original) says:

    Apologies to the netroots, but it won’t bother me if Obama turns out to be a centrist. There are many fine Conservative principles which haven’t been in evidence in a long time. Let’s dust off balanced budgets, minding our own business and that old Constitution thing.

  59. 59
    JGabriel says:

    MaxBaer (not the original):

    Let’s dust off balanced budgets…

    Under normal circumstances, I’m all for balanced budgets – and thought balancing the budget was one of Clinton’s best achievements.

    But right now? Krugman, Roubini, et. al. – every economist with a working brain – will tell you the same thing: deficit spending is what we need now, big honking stimulus spending to get the economy going again, about $600 billion dollars worth.

    Once the economy is back on track, probably in about 5-10 years, then we can talk balanced budgets again.

    .

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    We will always remember Michael Kelly’s noble sacrifice for our country, all so that President Bush could force freedom and free markets on to the Iraqi people, while simultaneously eliminating the most dangerous Islamists on Earth.

    Perhaps Kirchik, along with the rest of his magazine, will have to make sacrifices for our country. Hopefully, The New Republic will destroy its credibility so that they can take the Left with them.

    I kind of miss Charles Krauthammer. He made Central America dangerous for Communism.

  61. 61
    Nancy Irving says:

    I would be surprised to hear Kirchick claim to be a Democrat.

    Going by what he has written, I’m sure at least that he voted for McCain.

    TNR has many conservative voices. For many years it was a bonafide liberal magazine, but not now.

    TNR’s value and interest is in its diversity of opinions. But because it still has some liberals on its staff, the right sees it as a liberal organ. For the right, even a single liberal editor gives a publication an unacceptable "liberal bias."

    With Peretz in charge, the idea of TNR as part of the "liberal media" is just not tenable. Oh, and the magazine was recently sold to a Canadian company known for its conservative views.

    Kirchick is "on the left" on one issue only–gay rights, and this is only because he happens to be gay himself. In my book, that doesn’t count. You have to care about OTHER people’s rights as well as your own, to count as a person of the left.

  62. 62
    DougJ says:

    TNR is a right-center magazine and one that’s not worth reading for the most part. Not because of its perspective but because of the fact it’s wall-to-wall Kaus/Kinsley contrarianism. They do employ Rick Perlstein, who is fantastic, but other than that, it’s pretty much all shit.

    I kind of agree that the "get Lieberman" stuff from Kos et al. is overblown, though. It’s the kind of ridiculous demand that will usually be ignored no matter who is making it.

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    Cain says:

    @tavella:

    Great theory, except that he apparently doesn’t want to hear any of the ‘good ideas from the left’. Given that his entire national security team consists of people who were fans of the Iraq War. Apparently people who actually got it right are still Dirty Fucking Hippies that no one should listen to.

    What you’re not understanding is that he needs to hear the other perspective. Why was the Iraq War good/bad? He needs to understand that point of view no matter of repugnant it might be for the rest of us. National security people are all hawks, you won’t find a dirty hippy in that group. But more importantly, there needs to be good experience and a level head and an open mindedness. If those qualifications exist then it shouldn’t matter what people’s stand was on the Iraq War. We can’t afford to use these tests at that level, they aren’t the local public. It’s a different ball game at that level.

    Please notes that the cabinet people he has tapped some have completely diametrically views about any range of topics. He will be using that to formulate his decisions. I think these choices show that nothing is off the table.

    Open Left’s problem is that any ding in a candidate’s record immediately means that any particular candidate is no longer progressive. They do not even know the criteria that Obama uses when he interviews these candidates or their conversations. I’m much more interested in hearing what Obama saw in these candidates that made them qualified for the job than blindly applying a litmus test.

    Also David Sirota is a douche. :-) I like the other guys though. It’s okay to question, we all need some indication how far we have strayed. So, Open Left should keep doing what they are doing.

    cain

  64. 64
    Cain says:

    @robertdsc:

    No joke. He is one of the few on the Left that I would punch out in a heartbeat. His relentless negativism about almost anything concerning Obama is disgusting and his persecution complex when people have the temerity to disagree with his screeds is brutal.

    That guy started whinning the day Obama won. Jeezus.. Fucked up.

    cain

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    Xanthippas says:

    Kirchick is the Big Tent Democrat of print media. Supposedly a lefty (though actually an unreformed neo-con) his preferred activities are whining about how mean people are on the left to losers like him, constantly agitation for war, deriding everyone else who isn’t a warmonger as "unserious" and offering all kinds of "advice" to people on the left who, were they to take it, would immediately lose power. He’s a perfect example of someone getting ahead by who-not what-they know.

  66. 66
    Xanthippas says:

    Obama’s election, and his upcoming Administration, still looks to be an enormous improvement over the disgraceful clownshow of the last eight years (and its thankfully-averted extension) – but the real "Left" won’t (ever) be satisfied with anything short of Instant Utopia*

    This sort of talk is tiring. The "lefty" blogosphere is considerably more diverse than people seem to think, and has considerably more impact on electoral politics than the right-wing blogosphere does. And just because the Obama administration doesn’t immediately rush to meet the demands of diarists at Daily Kos, doesn’t mean that in general the bloggers on the left are dissatisfied.

  67. 67
    anonevent says:

    There’s a contest to see how quickly you guess that an article has been written Kirchick. In most cases, you don’t even have to get beyond the title, but there are some rare exceptions where you make it to the end of the first sentence.

  68. 68
    LiberalTarian says:

    Some one remind me … how does it go?

    First they ignore you, then they insult you, then they fight you, then you win … is that it?

  69. 69
    Blow Riley says:

    It’s not really "Democratic Stupidity", it’s "New Republic" stupidity. I don’t recognize them as Democrats. Maybe you need a new category?

  70. 70
    pdq says:

    " a good bit of letdown when folks realize how centrist Obama is"

    Ummm…didn’t we just endlessly hear from the GOP that Obama was like "THE MOST LIBERAL SENATOR EVAH!"?

    He’s going to end the pointless involvement in Iraq as soon as is prudently possible, he’s going to take advantage of the mandate to "do something" to rebuild America’s infrastructure, he’s going to help in a prudent fashion to make sure that Americans don’t lose their jobs wholesale, he’s not going to try to turn Social Security into something else, and when economic conditions allow, he’s going to move toward reform of our dysfunctional health care system.

    Man, if that’s centrist, sign me up. The fact of the matter is that after 8 years of malfeasance, doing the right thing is going to be popular no matter what political term you apply to it.

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