Otherwise Occupied

Greg Sargent Avi Zenilman has a great observation here:

We finally found one Democrat willing to defend Obama’s national security approach from Republican attacks.

Rep. Jane Harman’s office sent us over her statement responding to the attempted bombing of Flight 253, where she raised concern about Al Qaeda in Yemen but also warned about the costs of overreaction:

***

Harman also defended America’s current efforts to go after terrorist suspects in Yemen and Pakistan, which Obama also did in his speech yesterday. “I think the case can be made for surgical counterterrorism actions around the globe to prevent al-Qaida from expanding its training and equipping of people who want to attack us,” she said.

See, that isn’t so hard. What happened to the rest of the Democrats?

If elected Democrats are anything like left-wing bloggers, the reason they are not defending Obama is because they are too busy flaming him for not turning America into Utopian Commie Franceistan in the first eleven months. Or they are busy screaming at the people who try to defend him.

Also, they probably hate Rahm Emanuel, too.






197 replies
  1. 1
    ts says:

    avi zenilman, not greg sargent.

  2. 2
    Max says:

    How do you defend against batshit crazy and why even bother?

    When Obama is being criticized for using one of those “Harvard law” words like allegedly, it’s best to let the usual GOP suspects mantrum out.

    IMO, it seems to be a deliberate strategy on the WH’s part, because otherwise, Biden, Clinton(s), etc. would be out there in support of the administration.

  3. 3
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    John, you’ve turned into The Ropers. Just the same joke over and over and over again. It is rapidly losing its ability to amuse and will soon not even be antagonizing those it is intended to antagonize.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): Seriously- why are none of them defending him?

  5. 5
    aimai says:

    Since the Congressional Democrats, and the Senate ones, are, of course, nothing like the liberal/progressive base you can be sure that the reason they are not out in front of this is that–no one is asking them and they are all in their districts handling local issues. The problem isn’t that they aren’t willing to defend Obama and the Dems on issues relating to terrorism, its that the media are only going to the insane right side of the aisle for quotes and the Democrats, as usual, are not at all disciplined or pro-active about getting on TV.

    No one asks me but if I were head of the DSCC or the DCCC I would include with every bit of funding for every legislator–blue dog or regular dem–that they agree to appear on TV when ordered to do so, with talking points in hand, throughout the year. Quid pro quo. No one wants to know Jane Harman’s opinion because of who she is. We just need to have all the Dems on the same page at important media events–they should have a round robin of available senators and congressmen to appear on every tv show imagineable at these times.

    aimai

  6. 6
    KCinDC says:

    If elected Democrats are anything like left-wing bloggers …

    Well, they’re not. At all. So you need another explanation. Perhaps left-wing bloggers are right about their spinelessness.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): Also, I will note that maybe you are beginning to understand how irritating it is to read all the blogs you like and see them playing the same “OBAMA SUCKS” note over and over and over again.

  8. 8
    Clark says:

    the Democrats, as usual, are not at all disciplined or pro-active about getting on TV.

    Hear, freaking hear, aimai.

  9. 9
    Ash Can says:

    I’ve had a few disagreements with Jane Harman in the past, but here she’s spot on. And to echo commenters in previous threads, I too believe that some prominent figure in the administration or legislature needs to make him/herself a lightning rod, get in front of the cameras and in the faces of the network pundits on a regular basis, and call the GOP in particular and the RW in general on all their bullshit. The trouble is, it would have to be someone with a spine and without an actual job, since it would be a full-time occupation to shovel all of the bullshit the GOP is dumping.

  10. 10
    John Cole says:

    @aimai: That would be a great idea.

  11. 11
    lawguy says:

    Kick that straw man now that he’s down.

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    Where are Grayson and Schumer- can’t they throw right hooks? What about Franken?

  13. 13
    scudbucket says:

    “I think the case can be made for surgical counterterrorism actions around the globe to prevent al-Qaida from expanding its training and equipping of people who want to attack us,” she said.

    Limited to 30 civilian casualties per strike, of course.

    Training and equipping? Is she serious? The best GWOT move the US could make right now is show a picture of this guys nuts on Yemen t.v. with the words ‘this is what AQ can do for you’.

  14. 14
    Why oh why says:

    I wonder if you’re aware of the horrible record of Rep. Harman on war and civil liberties.

    For the record, Obama’s West Point speech got favorable reviews from Kristol, Rove, McCain et al. It must be Emanuel’s fault too!

  15. 15
    CMB says:

    Over the last several days, the GOP has certainly hammered Barack Obama on national-security matters. I surely hope this is another example of Obama giving his opponents enough rope with which to hang themselves before the jiu-jitsu response. There is plenty of ammunition for a response.

  16. 16
    Ash Can says:

    @scudbucket: “These are your nuts. These are your nuts on AQ. Any questions?”

  17. 17
    KCinDC says:

    @John Cole, maybe someone can get into journalists’ contact lists and put Grayson’s and Schumer’s and Franken’s numbers in place of Peter King’s and McCain’s and Ridge’s.

  18. 18
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @aimai:

    #5 – true…

  19. 19
    El Cid says:

    If elected Democrats are anything like left-wing bloggers, the reason they are not defending Obama is because they are too busy flaming him for not turning America into Utopian Commie Franceistan in the first eleven months. Or they are busy screaming at the people who try to defend him.

    Yeah. Elected Democrats. Just like left wing bloggers. And that is why often they give into right wing memes about idiot hawkishness and Republicans being better for national security. Because they’re like left wing bloggers.

  20. 20
    eemom says:

    an OT, but I thought folks would like to know…..especially those among us females who were heartbroken yesterday to hear that Peter Orszag is off the market………there’s a new Most Eligible Bachelor in town!
    http://www.politico.com/news/s.....31036.html

  21. 21
    Zifnab says:

    If elected Democrats are anything like left-wing bloggers…

    They’re not.

    The elected representatives have, largely, been very supportive of Obama’s windmill charging exercises in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Harman’s support for sending teams into Yemen isn’t entirely removed from Lieberman’s “Let’s Invade Yemen!” pep rally a few days ago.

    By contrast, the left-wing bloggers are dove-tacularly hippie-tastic, and think the entire War on Terror – from useless TSA regulations to endless foreign wars – is a giant money sucking con game.

    And, I know this is really hard to wrap your head around, but the bloggers were generally on board with Obama on health care right up until the public option got yanked. Just because there was a blow up over the final Senate Bill doesn’t mean the netroots have been at the throat of the White House over all things always.

    The current Congress has a tendency to bank right. The netroots will continue to pull hard left. If anything, I suspect the conservative Democrats are trying to line up their talking points so they can paint themselves as equal to their pants-wetting, mouth-breathing, Real American GOP counterparts. And the liberal Democrats aren’t being let within a thousand miles of a mic, for fear someone will say something that can be stretched out of context into, “I love Osama Bin Laden Abortion Communism Illegal Immigration.”

  22. 22
    aimai says:

    Yes, both 12 and 14 are correct. Jane Harman is pretty awful, and if she likes what Obama is up to its almost a sure thing its terrible. She’s lieberman in drag, as far as I can see. Also, since the proximate cause of the balls-afire-bombing was the “surgical counterterrorism” of civilian deaths in Yemen you can see that, as usual, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In a small country like Yemen we’d be one thousand times better off pouring all our money into schools, scholarships, and health care than killing thirty civilians to get one Al Quaeda guy and end up recruiting two more.

    Years ago, right after 9/11, I had the pleasure of hearing a very elderly Israeli peace activist and former terrorist speak about the right way to handle Bin Laden. Just while we were talking about “draining the swamp”–by which we seemed to think we meant killing all the civilians–he was arguing that *as a former terrorist himself in the irgun* the most important route to stopping terrorist acts was to make the local population hostile to the terrorist, not aligned with him. Of course, we did the exact opposite, and still do.

    aimai

  23. 23
    beltane says:

    @John Cole: Cheer up. The daily FDL anti-Obama spam diary is up at GOS and it’s eliciting a very hostile reaction from the majority of commenters, including two front-pagers. I think the tide is turning.

  24. 24
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    What John Cole has learned over the last month:

    When your criteria for choosing a political party is “less stupid and crazy than Republicans”, try to remember just how low you’ve set the bar.

  25. 25
    blahblahblah says:

    Jeesh, John. Perhaps the reason why you left the GOP in such a huff is the same reason why you preach for Obama: You’re drawn to personality cults. I mean, when you finally do get fed up with that shit sandwich of a health care bill, the continued violations of civil liberties and human rights, as well as continued inaction on the financial regulation front… just who will kowtow to then?

  26. 26
    shep says:

    If elected Democrats are anything like left-wing bloggers, the reason they are not defending Obama is because they are too busy flaming him for not turning America into Utopian Commie Franceistan in the first eleven months.

    Actually, they are kind of busy flaming Republican hypocrisy on the issue, which does actually defend Obama:

    http://www.americablog.com/200.....o-gop.html

    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) is right, you need to give the “crazy left” meme a rest. I’m sure they’ll give you a legitimate excuse to pull it out again if it still amuses you.

  27. 27
    Lolis says:

    Because elected Democrats enjoy using our president as a punching bag as much as liberal bloggers. The way Dems “get cred” in the media is by bashing the prez. I am sick of it. There is some value in presenting a united front on occasions like these.

    There were hardly any Senate Dems on the Sunday show fighting for health care, although many of them have enjoyed passing the blame to Obama for the public option not passing. I am sick of it. Congress needs to do it’s damn job and not expect Obama to be the coach and run the field.

  28. 28
    Comrade Jake says:

    I do wonder how many Dems might actually be thankful for the diversion the latest nutjobber has provided from all the attention that was being placed on HCR. The fact that the PO is probably going to be dropped has been reduced to a lone item in CNN’s ticker.

  29. 29
    Ash Can says:

    @eemom: Please. I just ate lunch. Have a heart, willya?

  30. 30
    Mike Kay says:

    who has been attacking him besides peter king and hoekstra and fox?

  31. 31
    freelancer says:

    @Max:

    When Obama is being criticized for using one of those “Harvard law” words like allegedly, it’s best to let the usual GOP suspects mantrum out.

    “criticized”? “usual”?! Whoa, slow down there brainypants.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Mike Kay says:

    @Lolis:

    GREAT POINT – Feingold runs his big mouth about OBama not pushing PO, yet Russ thinks he’s too good to lower himself in the mud wrestling of cable news and sunday shows. Seriesly, since he dropped out of the 2008 race, he hasn’t appeared one time on Olbermann or CNN, etc.

  34. 34
    donovong says:

    Look. No matter what any Democrat says, the idiots in the Republican party are going to spout the stupid just the same. I suspect the Democrats are at home, breathing hard and enjoying family time…

    Oh, never mind. They are a bunch of candy-asses, leaving Obama hanging out to dry.

  35. 35
    El Cid says:

    @freelancer: “Mantrum”. I love it.

  36. 36
    BTD says:

    John:

    Didn’t you post a piece critical of TSA and DHS the other day? I read it and thought it made sense.

    Are you critiquing yourself now for being insufficiently supportive of the Obama Administration?

  37. 37
    Lolis says:

    Also, why isn’t Harry Reid or other Senators shooting out press releases about Jim DeMints blocking on nominees and then scheduling the vote for as soon as Congress is back in session.

    If the situation were reversed Republicans would whinging from the rooftops about the “obstruction.” This is not Obama’s job this is the Senate’s job.

  38. 38
    Maude says:

    @aimai: I heard a piece on the radio a few weeks ago about US soldiers in Afghanistan talking with civilians and that the change in strategy was hard for them. The soldiers get used to it in a couple of weeks.
    I do think that Obama is trying to lessen the hatred toward the US and that it will take a long time.
    It must be something for people outside of the US to hear the righties screaming and putting down the president.

    I don’t know why the Dems have been quiet.
    They may be waiting for the facts to come out and then ridicule the hysterics. I do hope so.

  39. 39
    mk3872 says:

    This is not new. Republicans put much more effort and emphasis on controlling the newscycle. They have played the media right into their hands with their liberal-bias whining and controlling their own news channel (FNC), newspapers (WT, WSJ) and magazines (WS).

    And this problem where Dems are slow or clumsy in defending Obama has existed since the campaign last year.

    Many of the Dems in Congress have been there for a loooong time and do no respect Obama.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    El Cid says:

    By the way, personally I wouldn’t phrase this as “defending Obama” rather than simply dismissing weirdo right wing freakouts and hysterical right wing ‘be askeert’ propaganda.

    I don’t usually guess this, but I think a lot of elected Democrats are still convinced that it’s better to not argue with a fool.

    They haven’t gotten any better at messaging or campaigning than they have been over the past few decades.

    Have there been any significant talking points elected Democrats haven’t allowed the Republicans to dominate the discussion with until finally, belatedly, and often tepidly responding?

    How is this different?

  42. 42
    Jim Once says:

    @eemom:
    ” . . .and the family requests that its privacy be respected.”

    Just like a certain CIA agent’s cover was respected.

  43. 43
    Mike Kay says:

    @mk3872:

    Many of the Dems in Congress have been there for a loooong time and do no respect Obama.

    To be sure there is jealously of a young guy who ZOOMS to the top. There was jealousy of Clinton and JFK as well.

  44. 44
    Rob says:

    You’re wrong, John Cole. Dead wrong.
    And your snide tone doesn’t hide the fact that Obama hasn’t defended us against the predations of the pharmaceutical, insurance and hospital industries. In fact, he’s making it possible for them to acquire even more wealth and power at our expense. Why should we bother to defend him against Republican attacks?

  45. 45
    BTD says:

    I found the piece. I especially agree with this:

    I’m really not sure how we can ever expect much out of our security efforts if, eight years after 9/11, a disaffected Muslim from Nigeria whose father warned authorities can buy a one way trip to the United States, pay cash, and then board the plane with explosives sewn into his underwear. Maybe if he was wearing a t-shirt that said “I’m carrying a bomb” we would have had more success. Shouldn’t the one way ticket purchased in cash be a warning sign alone? Have any of you paid for a one-way overseas plane ticket with cash? Who does that besides drug runners and terrorists? What have we spent all this money on? How does the DHS justify its existence?

    I think that is spot on analysis myself.

  46. 46
    K. Grant says:

    @Mike Kay: This. How frustrating Feingold has been this year.

  47. 47
    Martin says:

    Why bother defending it?

    It’s a catch-22. If you spend your oxygen defending against the attacks, they’ll just ramp up the attacks. And if the policies are sensible, and people can see that they’re reasonably sensible, they don’t really need defending. To be honest, 90% of the people I’ve mentioned the terror attack to were completely uncaring of it. Nobody died. They just don’t care. And that goes for the Republicans as well.

    But the attacks also take you off of what you want to talk about, which is the real reason they’re doing it. The GOP wants Democrats off of the health care topic and off of the topic of the economy. Their defense of Obama should be ‘The security system worked – not as well as it should have but that’s being addressed. Now let’s talk about some systems that aren’t yet working because the GOP wrecked them and how Democrats plan on fixing them…’

  48. 48
    Comrade Jake says:

    I really don’t think this is all that big a deal. As others have pointed out, it’s just the usual host of right-wingnuts on the teevee criticizing Obama on this. I think the only person in the country who listens to what Peter King has to say is Sean Hannity.

  49. 49
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Seriously- why are none of them defending him?

    A serious question, eh? I’m not Kreskin, so I can only surmise that Dems are playing it close to the vest for the usual reason; they have no genuine principles with regard to the projection of American military power and are balancing their fealty to the national security state with the demands of the voting base. There is also the possibility that only Republicans have such dysfunctional family lives that they feel the need to disrupt the holidays with this sort of thing. Can’t think of anything else off the top of my head.

  50. 50
    Mike Kay says:

    @shep:

    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) is right, you need to give the “crazy left” meme a rest. I’m sure they’ll give you a legitimate excuse to pull it out again if it still amuses you.

    Why is the crazy left so sensitive? They can dish it out, but they can’t take it.

  51. 51
    scudbucket says:

    @John Cole: Maybe Congressional Dems aren’t supporting Obama’s call for expanding the GWOT because they finally understand that you can’t bomb surgically air strike people into liking you.

    Bwaaaahaaaaahaaaa.

    But regarding all the Obama bashing: I think you have it a bit wrong here. I bash Obama for what appear to me to be clear cases in which he sides too quickly with corporate interests at the expense of his constituency, most of which occurs purely in the executive branch. (I’m also pissed about the Afghan surge, but he campaigned on that one as his obligatory and defining Presidential War – they all seem to be doing it these days.) My frustration with Obama re: HCR is that he wanted this thing, and it was classic over-reach since the pro-PO votes weren’t there. In the end we get a bill which effectively punishes (almost) everyone while those who benefit from it could have been reached with a limited bill expanding Medicaid. About that, I’m pissed at Obama.

  52. 52
    Seebach says:

    The terror attack was foiled and the dude lost his balls. How is this not a win-win for everyone?

  53. 53
    R. Johnston says:

    Why in the world would anyone want to defend the massively counterproductive and entirely nonsurgical air strikes in Yemen? What’s sad is how little criticism Obama gets from the left on bullshit like this. What’s amazing is how Obama keeps taking wingnuttaliscious foreign policy action like the Yemeni strikes, keeps getting reamed by the wingnuts for not being wingnutty enough, and somehow continues to think that if he blows more things up then more people will like him. What’s frightening is that Democrats aren’t rallying to Obama’s defense not because his policy is fucking insane but because they believe that defending Obama’s massive wingnut turn will open them up to attack from the right.

    At some point you’d think that Democrats would realize that bombing groups of people who have some vague possibility of including some middle tier terrorists al Qaeda is never going to miss just because you can do so and because you don’t have any better idea what to do is 1) bad policy that radicalizes the afflicted population for no perceivable gain and 2) bad politics that won’t ever win over the wingnuts and will piss off those on the left who don’t orgasm at the thought of blowing up brown people. Moderates and lefties can never, ever outhawk the wingnuts. People who really think that blowing towelies up for shits and giggles is good foreign policy will vote (R.) regardless of how many Islamic women and children Obama puts in the ground.

  54. 54
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Maude:

    I don’t know why the Dems have been quiet.
    They may be waiting for the facts to come out and then ridicule the hysterics. I do hope so.

    If that’s what they’re doing… waiting for the facts to come out… they’ve been pursuing this strategy for a long, long, long, long time w/ not much to show for it.

    I suggest a new tact… one involving brick bats, to say the least… perhaps some lead pipes wrapped in newspapers…

  55. 55
    Mike Kay says:

    @Martin:

    The GOP wants Democrats off of the health care topic and off of the topic of the economy.

    GREAT POINT – if HCR is such a bad issue for Dems why did the wingers jump at a chance to change the topic.

  56. 56
    wilfred says:

    Jane Harmon, eh? Last seen shilling for Aipac, as I recall. Now officially rehabilitated, is that so? Whatever happened to that whole thing with…oh, never mind.

    Damning with faint praise right there.

  57. 57
    Comrade Jake says:

    @BTD:

    That’s amazing. What you’ve shown is that, well, just yesterday Cole had a sensible post up that was critical of the TSA. And yet here he is today asking why more Dems aren’t defending Obama against idiotic attacks.

    How is it that John Cole can hold two separate ideas in his head at one time? Inquiring minds want to know. Why don’t you go write a post about that over at TalkLeft, so the rest of us can ignore it?

  58. 58
    donovong says:

    @Comrade Jake: Unfortunately, King and Hoekstra are the only ones whose ugly mugs are appearing on a half-hourly basis on CNN and for the last three days on NBC Nightly News. If there’s nobody else to fill the air, then they will let those two idiots take it all up.

  59. 59
    Taylor says:

    Given the propensity of this WH to throw its allies under a bus (Dodd, Pelosi and Reid have all got the skidmarks or attempted skidmarks), if I were a Congressional Democrat I would keep my powder dry and enjoy my holiday.

    Pelosi’s statement that Afghanistan is “Obama’s war” is a pretty nasty harbinger of what may be to come. This White House does not seem to inspire loyalty on Capitol Hill.

  60. 60
    Mike Kay says:

    @scudbucket:

    My frustration with Obama re: HCR is that he wanted this thing, and it was classic over-reach since the pro-PO votes weren’t there.

    Tell it to the screaming-crazy-left. They think the exact opposite — that he didn’t want it, or that he sold it out and that he never reached far enough.

    funny world we live in.

  61. 61
    Mike Kay says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Why don’t you go write a post about that over at TalkLeft, so the rest of us can ignore it?

    OMG – does talkleft still exist? I thought they turned off the lights after Hillary lost the primaries.

  62. 62
    Comrade Jake says:

    @donovong:

    Well, I don’t know about NBC, but I’ve gotten a healthy dose of CNN the past couple of days (my father in law having it on almost constantly) and I haven’t seen King nor Hoekstra once. There’s plenty of inane analysis on the topic du jour, with even Candy Krowley wondering why Obama didn’t get out in front of this sooner, but in the big scheme of things I fail to see the big effing deal here.

  63. 63
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Maybe the reason elected Democrats haven’t defended Obama’s plan is because they haven’t formed an opinion about it yet. We already know what the Republicans take on every issue is — whatever the President thinks, they’re agin’ it.

    Remember when Obama waited several days before hitting back on executive compensation? “I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.” We could all learn something from that.

  64. 64
    donovong says:

    @scudbucket: Oh, for crying out loud. Every fucking Democratic candidate had HCR as a central part of their campaign, and it was very central the the Democratic platform. But they only did it because Obama wanted to? Gimme a freaking break.

  65. 65
    Makewi says:

    It would be cool if the various factions in this country could come together to put a reasonable plan together for how to deal with terrorism and terroristic rogue nations, including how best to deal with Iran and Yemen in a way that hopefully would not devolve into full blown war. It will never happen, of course, but it would be nice to think it could.

  66. 66
    Napoleon says:

    I have a feeling that the timing of when this happened has a lot to do with the silence from the Dems. It is the week between Christmas and New Years and for those in the Senate they were working long hours right up to X-mas eve. I think a whole lot of people who work on Capital Hill are just tuned out.

    Of course that doesn’t explain almost total silence, but I have a feeling it would be nothing like this if everybody was back in Washington.

  67. 67
    Mike Kay says:

    @beltane:

    what dos GOS stand for???

  68. 68
    scudbucket says:

    @Mike Kay: Tell it to the screaming-crazy-left.

    The image of a guy burning off his nuts gives a new, and somehow appropriate, meaning to the term ‘firebaggers’. Yes, they are crazy.

  69. 69

    @John Cole: Firebaggers to the left of me, teabaggers to the right
    Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

    thx2 Stealers Wheel

  70. 70
    Cain says:

    @blahblahblah:

    Jeesh, John. Perhaps the reason why you left the GOP in such a huff is the same reason why you preach for Obama: You’re drawn to personality cults. I mean, when you finally do get fed

    John can defend himself but let me point out that John was never an enthusiastic supporter of Obama from the beginning. John irritation comes from the fact is identifying the same kind of craziness you saw on right wing blogs showing up on left wing blogs.

    I can understand forcing Obama and Democrats to move towards a more liberal policy, but to blame the entire enterprise on one man seems really silly. Obama is not to blame for the antics of the Senate. Worse yet, calls to “stay home” sounds like politics of the 90s AGAIN. Why the fuck would you do that? Do you really want to give the keys of the country back to the morons who put us in the position in the first place. I can clearly see this… I have no idea whether this overreach is supposed to be some kind of plan or not, but it is turning me off for sure.

    We’ve done a lot, more than we’ve ever done with Clinton at the helm. Patience. Don’t expect perfection in the first go in politics.

    cain

  71. 71
    Leelee for Obama says:

    I think the apocalypse is very nigh. I just watched Larry Johnson, yes, that Larry Johnson and former Trans. Sec. Mary Schiavo bashing the DeMint hold on the TSA appointee, that this is no place for politics, it’s about law enforcement, and saying that Frances Townshend and Tom Ridge should be asked why the in-bound flights to the US do not have as strict a security regime as we do, when they were in charge after 911. As well as why the body scan technology, which is more wide-spread than we know, isn’t being used.

    I almost passed out.

    Maybe, just maybe, the idea that politics in security matters is getting bashed by Obama opponents will catch on this New Year. The idea that someone, or themselves, might get blown up by an asshole with explosive undies has concentrated the minds?

  72. 72
    Mike Kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    I have a feeling that the timing of when this happened has a lot to do with the silence from the Dems. It is the week between Christmas and New Years and for those in the Senate they were working long hours right up to X-mas eve.

    In actuality, I don’t think Dems like doin hit and run talking points on tee vee. They view it as demeaning.

  73. 73
    Martin says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    I think that most of Congress is actually looking at what happened and what needs to change to make this better. Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of security theatre coming out of that effort, but on issues like this I think members from both parties simply get down to work.

    There really aren’t a lot of members of Congress working to politicize this – maybe half a dozen out of 500+. I’m not seeing that anything needs a defense, nor do I think a big response to this small action is appropriate.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m a big fan of ‘quietly fix the problem and move on to the next thing’. You can grandstand for the big positive stuff, but this type of crap should just be ignored.

  74. 74
    Mike Kay says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    I just watched Larry Johnson, yes, that Larry Johnson and former Trans. Sec. Mary Schiavo bashing the DeMint hold on the TSA appointee,

    Where was this — cnn or msnbc?

  75. 75
    Shell Goddamnit says:

    @R. Johnston:

    Yep, this here.

    Fuck that reflexive “must defend even bad policies at all costs argh loyalty is the only thing” bullshit. Let’s get some sensible policies FOR ONCE – or at least really push for some sensible policies FOR ONCE – and then we’ll see how the left reacts. I don’t hope to get the answer to this question in my lifetime, at this point.

  76. 76
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Napoleon

    It is the week between Christmas and New Years and for those in the Senate they were working long hours right up to X-mas eve. I think a whole lot of people who work on Capital Hill are just tuned out.

    Good point. Of course if you’re a Republican, you don’t have to be bothered with tuning in. Whatever Obama is for, you oppose, no thought required. They will always have the advantage when it comes to spouting off first.

  77. 77
    Napoleon says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Great Orange Satan = Daily Kos

  78. 78
    BTD says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    That would make sense if the ideas were not related.

    Here is Cole criticizing people for not defending the performance of the TSA and DHS in the latest attempted terrorist incident while just yesterday he was criticizing the TSA and the DHS for its performance in the latest attempted terrorist incident.

    Perhaps Cole meant to ask why Dem pols were not defending this performance but he wrote:

    If elected Democrats are anything like left-wing bloggers, the reason they are not defending Obama is because they are too busy flaming him for not turning America into Utopian Commie Franceistan in the first eleven months. Or they are busy screaming at the people who try to defend him.

    I think the dissonance is clear – Cole criticized the performance of the DHS and the TSA the other day, rightly in my view, and today seems to be critical of people not supporting the performance of the TSA and the DHS.

    Of course, like most of us, Balloon Juice rightly noted the nonsensical criticisms of the Republicans and the right wing on this. Jim DeMint’s position is especially ridiculous. And good for him.

    At some point, valid criticisms can be made. If you think they are invalid, it is best to address them, rather than pretend none of them have merit.

  79. 79
    thomas says:

    what’s the guy goig to do with 72 virgins and no balls?

  80. 80
    scudbucket says:

    @donovong Look, the bill sucks, absolutely sucks. I think there is plenty of blame to go around – certainly Lieberman gets a good bit of it. And Reid. But that Obama didn’t get out front of the PO when the bill first emerged from committee, knowing full well that the PO would be the political focal point of the whole bill, means he dropped the ball. He made no public effort – and took no risk – in trying to get that included in the final bill. He then had the audacity to say that he didn’t campaign on the PO provision. His role here, or lack thereof, must be included in why that bill sucks as hard as it does.

    What I am saying is not controversial.

  81. 81
    Davis X. Machina says:

    In actuality, I don’t think Dems like doin hit and run talking points on tee vee. They view it as demeaning.

    It’s not so much demeaning, as pissing into the wind.

    It’s taken years, but the GOP has taken control of the terms of the discussion, so that when they say “national security” we hear “Slaughtering brown people who worship the wrong God without let or hindrance, after invading their country on the slightest of evidence, or no evidence at all”.

    We know that “counter-terrorism” is just their way of saying “Running the Constitution through a paper shredder and turning American law enforcement into a Stasi tribute band”.

    Unfortunately, both of those are pretty popular positions.

  82. 82
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @Mike Kay: CNN!

  83. 83
    Mike Kay says:

    @scudbucket:

    Look, the bill sucks, absolutely sucks. I think there is plenty of blame to go around – certainly Lieberman gets a good bit of it.

    Dude, that’s so two weeks ago. Try to keep up. We’ve moved on to NEW bashing points and targets. Haven’t you heard, Bernie Sanders is the new traitor.

  84. 84
    Barry says:

    Hey John,

    on the one hand it drives me crazy, too that Democrats aren’t better about striking back forcefully at Republicans, conservatives and idiots.

    On the other hand, your whole ‘oh noes, Democrats are eating their own! They’re crazy’ routine is starting to just look lazy to me. You offer no examples and criticize nothing specific. Just lazy generalizations that would support your point if true.

  85. 85
    Artnoize says:

    i have lost interest in politics…..
    i think Rahm Emanual needs to get a soul…
    Obama is a total disappointment….
    goodbye blogistan…

  86. 86
    scudbucket says:

    @Mike Kay: Shit! Thanks for the wake-up call. Let’s get out the old Zippo and firebag him.

  87. 87
    Rick Taylor says:

    Just because the press isn’t reporting any Democrats defending Obama doesn’t mean they aren’t. They may or they may not, but I certainly don’t trust the press to give a full picture.

  88. 88
    Mike Kay says:

    @beltane:

    @John Cole: Cheer up. The daily FDL anti-Obama spam diary is up at GOS and it’s eliciting a very hostile reaction from the majority of commenters, including two front-pagers. I think the tide is turning.

    Can you be so kind to give us some play-by-play?

  89. 89
    Svensker says:

    @R. Johnston:
    \

    Yes. This. And this this this.

  90. 90
    MBunge says:

    scudbucket – “What I am saying is not controversial.”

    No, just stupid. It’s taking Yglesias’ “Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics” and applying it to domestic policy, where it works about as well.

    Mike

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BTD:

    Except that John was wrong on a significant detail — the ticket purchased was round-trip, not one-way. So there was no flag that would have gone up for the airline, particularly since Nigeria is a cash economy.

    I really wish John would go back and fix that in his original post because there are a whole lot of people drawing weird conclusions based on something that didn’t actually happen.

  92. 92
    Da Bomb says:

    @Barry: okay, where have you been residing for the past week? Cole has given plenty of examples.

    Huh?

  93. 93
    scudbucket says:

    @MBunge: No, just stupid.

    See, this is why we can’t be nice to each other. But I’ll try: your apparent claim that the public leader of the Democratic party bears no (zero, zilch) responsibility for the legislation that his party produces is …. naive.

  94. 94
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Mike Kay: You can read it here.

  95. 95
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @BTD:

    Here is Cole criticizing people for not defending the performance of the TSA and DHS in the latest attempted terrorist incident

    I can’t speak for John, but I don’t think this post is about “defending the performance of the TSA and DHS,” but rather about defending the administration’s overall strategy as regards terrorism. TPM has been pointing out that the Republicans are claiming, via this incident, that Obama’s attitude towards terrorism looks weak and makes more terrorism happen, and wonders why Democrats haven’t taken up the mantle of terror-fighting success. I take John to be asking the same question.

  96. 96
    John Cole says:

    I have no idea why anyone thinks defending Obama from stupid attacks means going on tv and defending stupid things that the TSA might do.

    TSA making people sit in their seats for the last hour of a flight = stupid

    Hoekstra going on tv and blaming the attack on Obama not taking terrorism seriously = ALSO stupid.

    Republicans blaming Obama for not having a director of the TSA when it is them blocking his nominee= believe it or not, this is stupid, too.

    See how this works?

  97. 97
  98. 98
    slag says:

    @BTD:

    I think the dissonance is clear – Cole criticized the performance of the DHS and the TSA the other day, rightly in my view, and today seems to be critical of people not supporting the performance of the TSA and the DHS.

    I’m honestly trying to determine whether the obtuseness inherent to this statement is deliberate or accidental. But either way, it doesn’t look good.

    Yesterday, Cole was criticizing the DHS for failing to prevent the terrorist attack. Very reasonable. Today, it seems the conversation is centered around the Administration’s response to the attack, and Cole is criticizing those who do not defend the administration’s response. Also very reasonable.

    Is this issue really that hard for people to wrap their minds around? This is akin to accusing Napolitano of saying “the system worked” when she said, “Once the incident occurred, the system worked”. Those are two very different ideas and pretending they’re not is either knavish or foolish.

    Also, yes, the TSA security standards are stupid and indefensible. The end.

  99. 99
    Rhoda says:

    This is nothing new.

    Congressional Democrats were completely unprepared for the teabag assault and blamed the adminstration.

    They didn’t have the president’s back on GITMO and the release of the photographs and were actually questioning the adminstration leading to a reversal and Craig being sidelined and pushed off the fence.

    They didn’t have his back on the stimulus and they didn’t sell the stimulus afterward as the damn Republicans have been hitting the adminstration WHILE taking credit for the effects of stimulus.

    That very pretty man whose in the House leadership and is a Rep from Richmond, he’s held like three stimulus centered job fairs and I have yet to see any VA democrat hit him on the hypocrisy or do the same.

    This is such an excellent opportunity to hit the Republicans for filibustering the defense appropriations bill in the senate, DeMint declaring he STILL won’t release his hold on TSA, the votes against the TSA budget by all Republicans etc etc. And how this is just like the Reid shoe bomber and a result of Republican policies that have not been reviewed because Republican are filibustering the confirmation of Obama officials. Easy as Pie: But no one is willing to make the case because they are all effing cowards IMO.

  100. 100
    BTD says:

    @John Cole:

    Then I am not following your post. What is the point of your conclusion?

    I’m pretty sure you think of me as an Obama basher and I bet if you look at my posts on the attempted terrorist attacks, you’ll find little to differentiate from what was written on Balloon Juice. I think that is true for the entire Left blogs (except I think you and I were the only ones who criticized TSA and DHS.)

    Of course bloggers can’t go on TV and defend the Obama Administration since most of them do not go on TV.

    I guess it seemed to me a gratuitous swipe that, in this context, did not make sense. As far as I can tell, you have been among the most critical (along with me) of the TSA and DHS.

  101. 101
    danimal says:

    I don’t think the Dems are as concerned with winning the daily cable tv message war as the GOP. Fighting this war may be an unwise expenditure of time and money. The demographic profile of a cable news watcher, I’m guessing, skews heavily toward:
    -older persons,
    -upper income earners,
    -whites and
    -people with higher educations.
    With the exception of higher education, these folks better fit the GOP median voter profile. I’m open to argument on this theory, but I don’t see marketing and demographics considered as a reason for unequal Democratic/liberal representation on the cable networks.

  102. 102
    BTD says:

    @slag:

    This is inaccurate if John’s post was about Jane Harman’s statement, which very much discusses the performance of DHS and the TSA. And defends it.

    That is why I questioned Cole’s closing graf.

    Look, perhaps Cole did not mean what he wrote, but he wrote it.

  103. 103
    BTD says:

    To be clear, this is from the linked post at Greg Sargent’s blog:

    “Rep. Jane Harman’s office sent us over her statement responding to the attempted bombing of Flight 253, where she raised concern about Al Qaeda in Yemen but also warned about the costs of overreaction:

    The intelligence on Mr. Abdulmullatab did not result in putting him on a “no fly” list, a process which must be tightened. But civil liberties matter, and we must stay mindful that an overreaction has the potential to overwhelm the system and fail to make us more safe.

  104. 104
    El Tiburon says:

    Me thinks Cole has hit on a sure-fire comment bonanza.

    Otherwise I have no idea why he keeps flogging this dead moose like Palin on stupid.

    Cole, are you setting yourself up (and us) for another conversion moment and using the “liberals hate Obama” as the impetus?

  105. 105
    BTD says:

    @John Cole:

    Is that what you were trying to say? If so, explain the concluding graf?

  106. 106
    ET says:

    There is a great opinion piece over at CNN by Bruce Schneier.

    The best defenses against terrorism are largely invisible: investigation, intelligence, and emergency response. But even these are less effective at keeping us safe than our social and political policies, both at home and abroad. However, our elected leaders don’t think this way: They are far more likely to implement security theater against movie-plot threats.

    “Security theater” refers to security measures that make people feel more secure without doing anything to actually improve their security. An example: the photo ID checks that have sprung up in office buildings. No one has ever explained why verifying that someone has a photo ID provides any actual security, but it looks like security to have a uniformed guard-for-hire looking at ID cards.

    Security is both a feeling and a reality. The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the public and its leaders. When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn’t truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn’t make any sense.

  107. 107
    beltane says:

    @Mike Kay: It’s getting better by the minute. At the top of the rec list is a diary titled “All your DKos are NOT belong to FDL”.http://dailykos.com/story/2009.....ong-to-FDL!

  108. 108
    Jay says:

    If elected Democrats were like crazy left-wing bloggers we’d have a decent health care bill rather than more corporate welfare, we wouldn’t continue unlawful detention without trials, we would be pulling out of Afghanistan not wasting more lives, etc…

    So no, they’re not like left-wing bloggers. What they are is cowards who don’t want to get targeted by the right-wing and who’d love to go start another war if it would get them reelected.

  109. 109
    John Cole says:

    BTD- I’m not endorsing Harman’s defense of TSA, I’m endorsing the idea of her at least publicly defending the administration.

    It is depressing, because anyone who wasn’t sleeping the last eight years knows what an idiot Harman is, yet she is the only one we can get to come forward and defend the Administration?

  110. 110
    BTD says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I do not think I agree with you that the purchase of a return ticket changes the equation that much.

    But if John thinks otherwise, I’m sure he can clarify.

    In my view, there was failure in many quarters. The State Department did a poor job because its embassy did not, imo, react appropriately to the warnings provided by the father.

    The DHS and the TSA should have done more to investigate even given the inappropriate signals provided by State.

    And finally, the DHS and TSA clearly are not doing enough to insure that overseas flights inbound to the US are meeting the necessary and, as I understand, enunciated standards of security checks.

    How serious was the failure? It is worth a close hard look it seems to me.

  111. 111
    scudbucket says:

    @John Cole: John, what’s your take on the silence?

  112. 112
    John Cole says:

    Cole, are you setting yourself up (and us) for another conversion moment and using the “liberals hate Obama” as the impetus?

    I’m really not sure if you have been paying attention, but I haven’t been moving to the right on issues the past couple of years. I continue to move to the left- in fact, I am probably now solidly to the left of the administration on most issues. The difference between me and others, though, is I realize the rest of the country is not with me, and I understand that screaming that Obama sucks and undermining the administration does not mean that things will move to the left in 2010 and 2012. This is a two-party system. Guess who wins when the Democrats lose?

  113. 113
    BTD says:

    @John Cole:

    Well, it is a bit of a sticky wicket it seems to me.

    Something went wrong. And fingers will be pointed. Napolitano bungled her attempt to get control of the message imo (yes I know the context has been distorted, surprise! that happens in politics).

    The next person to go to would ideally be the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. In the Senate, that is Joe Lieberman. In the House, it is Bennie Thompson. I’m not that comfortable with either being the face of the Obama defense personally.

    So who’s left? I dunno.

  114. 114
    Joey Maloney says:

    I just finished reading Plouffe’s book about the campaign, and he makes a very strong point of saying that a key decision of the campaign made was not to worry about who was winning the news cycle. They had a goal; early on they developed their strategy to reach the goal and the message that would implement their strategy and they stuck to it. McCain’s people, by contrast, were so obsessed with winning the news cycle that they ended up looking like they were flailing – and they were flailing, dissipating their energy on a new outrage du jour. They thought they were winning the battles but they lost the war.

    It looks like this is still the plan for the White House. It may turn out that what worked for campaigning won’t work for governing but for the most part it has so far. Obama is projecting the image of the only grownup in a roomful of screaming, hyperactive, pants-wetting toddlers: sometimes slightly vexed but for the most part ignoring them and getting on with his work. If Plouffe’s high-flown rhetoric in the book is not complete bullshit, Obama and his team are betting that the American people will recognize competence and good intentions when they see it and act accordingly in 2010 and 2012.

    Shorter me: we are fucked.

  115. 115
  116. 116
    John Cole says:

    @scudbucket: Part of it is I think the Democrats as a whole still refuse to believe how much control the GOP has over the day to day narrative in DC and on the cable networks. Look at this Politico piece. Remember, during 2008, McCain/Palin “won” most every news cycle.

    And all the other stuff people talk about is true, I think. Democrats are just shitty team players and are also constrained by reality. Democratic flacks aren’t capable of doing what Mary Matalin did the other day on Fox.

  117. 117
  118. 118
    Mr Furious says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    Shorter me: we are fucked.

    LMAO. But, unfortunately I think you are right.

  119. 119
    El Cid says:

    I would also remind that only the most hawkish Democrats are considered “serious” voices to comment on security issues. I can imagine the Village would both scoff loudly and be outraged if some actual liberal came out and dared speak on security issues, because you can only do that if you seem to agree with Republicans on bombing brown people.

  120. 120
    tamied says:

    @Rhoda: It seems almost too easy, doesn’t it?

  121. 121
    Mr Furious says:

    @John Cole:

    Democratic flacks aren’t capable of doing what Mary Matalin did the other day on Fox.

    BINGO.

    And lamenting that Chuck Schumer or anyone else isn’t willing to fight for Obama isnt changing that math.

    Schumer is anything but camera-shy. And he can throw a punch—I just don’t think those on the left are as willing to sweep the knee.

  122. 122
  123. 123
    freelancer says:

    @Mr Furious:

    Schumer is anything but camera-shy. And he can throw a punch—I just don’t think those on the left are as willing to sweep the knee.

    You’re killing me, Smalls!

  124. 124
    Corner Stone says:

    @R. Johnston: You are a deeply unserious person.

  125. 125
  126. 126
    Da Bomb says:

    @beltane: It’s getting pretty wired over there. I read both of the blogs you mentioned and the subsequent comments and people are pretty pissed.

    I am actually shocked.

  127. 127
    adolphus says:

    I’m real late to this party, but I echo John on this. The Reps are not just attacking Obama on this, they are also reviving the whole “Dems are pussies and weak on terrorism” meme. Dems have always responded to this nonsense by trying to pound their chest harder, even when chest pounding was so clearly unsuccessful in achieving US diplomatic and/or security goals. For the last couple of years the tide was turning and the public was reporting trusting dems more than repubs on national security issues and we got a administration that adopted a different approach and, while early, it seemed to be paying off in increments. But now we have a test. There is an incident. The Reps have charged the airwaves and internets with coordinated attempts to resurrect the old stereotypes of pussy Dems and manly Reps. All Dems will lose if it goes unchallenged long enough. It doesn’t matter that you’re right if you don’t fight for your position. All John is doing is asking some Dems to stand the fuck up and be heard.

    TV stations might be more willing to put Reps than Dems in front of the cameras, but that is because the Reps have been so good, for so long at getting their people out their and on message. The Dems need to start emulating and sticking up for their foreign policy strategies or we are back to the dick measuring contests of the Bush administration.

  128. 128
    Corner Stone says:

    WHY WAS I NOT TOLD ABOUT THIS? WHY DIDN’T SOMEONE TELL ME?
    Mega Shark v Giant Octopus

  129. 129
    El Tiburon says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m really not sure if you have been paying attention, but I haven’t been moving to the right on issues the past couple of years. I continue to move to the left- in fact,

    I should have been more clear: not converting back to the Republican party, but something…

    I am probably now solidly to the left of the administration on most issues. The difference between me and others, though, is I realize the rest of the country is not with me,

    I think this is demonstrably false. I believe a solid majority of Americans are to the left of Obama. It is the mainly worthless whores in Congress.

    and I understand that screaming that Obama sucks and undermining the administration does not mean that things will move to the left in 2010 and 2012.

    Who is screaming that Obama sucks? Can’t Hamsher or Greenwald lay out their case that Obama sucks on certain issues, which he does? But if all of this screaming does get Obama and the party leaders to listen, then it is worth it. Sitting on our hands and being quiet certainly is not going to shift this country to the left.

    This is a two-party system. Guess who wins when the Democrats lose?

    Why is it just assumed that criticizing Obama means the Democrats lose? I don’t think most who voted for Obama are going to vote for whomever the Republican nominee is. But the liberal base holding Obama accountable may just make Obama…accountable.

  130. 130
    Waynski says:

    @thomas — Post 79 FTW

  131. 131
    MBunge says:

    scudbucket – “But I’ll try: your apparent claim that the public leader of the Democratic party bears no (zero, zilch) responsibility for the legislation that his party produces is …. naive.”

    The reason why you have to use the phrase “apparent claim” is because I’m not actually claiming any such thing. What I was claiming is that the majority of the criticism of Obama on health care reform boils down to “he didn’t try hard enough”. There’s no actual alternative strategy, tactics or anything else offered up that Obama should have done. It’s only “he needed to make a bigger deal of the public option” or “he needed to lean on Senator X and make him/her back down”.

    That’s remarkable similar to the neocons and other cons who been arguing since Vietnam that “will” is the only thing that matters in military action or foreign policy.

    Mike

  132. 132
    burnspbesq says:

    Imagine my surprise: Hoekstra is using the failed Christmas Day attack as the centerpiece of a fund-raising appeal.

    http://politics.theatlantic.co.....t_plot.php

    Scum.

  133. 133
    MBunge says:

    El Tiburon – “I believe a solid majority of Americans are to the left of Obama.”

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Mike

  134. 134
    Mike in NC says:

    Most Eligible Bachelor in town!

    First the Palin grandkid custody battle, now Turdblossom’s getting unhitched. All in one day. Guess that “Family Values” stuff only applies in non-election years.

  135. 135
    scudbucket says:

    @El Tiburon: Can’t Hamsher or Greenwald lay out their case that Obama sucks on certain issues, which he does?

    Have you read any of Hamsher’s writing about this? She’s hated Rahm since the beginning because of his DLC/Blue Dog cred. and she sees (perhaps incorrectly) his fingerprints on the bankster bailout, finance reform, Fannie/Freddie bailouts. She thinks Rahm runs over the liberals on the hill, pushing generally bad policy for K street gain and political expediency. All this may be true or false, but she actually does ‘make her case’. It’s on this issue that she thinks Obama sucks.

    Greenwald, he thinks Obama sucks on civil liberties.

  136. 136
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I believe a solid majority of Americans are to the left of Obama.

    Maybe in some parallel universe, but not in this one.

    But the liberal base holding Obama accountable may just make Obama…accountable.

    In order for that to be even remotely logical, one has to believe that the “liberal base” was pivotal in getting Obama elected, because absent that any threat to withhold support is meaningless. If you sincerely believe that, then I’ll just stop, because disabusing you of that delusion is beyond my feeble powers of rhetoric and argument.

  137. 137
    eemom says:

    @MBunge:

    hey, how did you get your comment to go outside the box??

  138. 138
    scudbucket says:

    @MBunge: So, your saying that since Obama did play a role in HCR, he does deserve some of the blame for that shit-pile of a bill. I agree with you.

  139. 139
    slag says:

    @Mr Furious:

    And lamenting that Chuck Schumer or anyone else isn’t willing to fight for Obama isnt changing that math.

    This is a good point. And one of the things the Obama campaign calculated (rightly) is that Republicans do dominate the daily media arena. And their only chance was to change the rules by which the game is played. Which they did well during the campaign for the most part.

    But as Joey Maloney points out, that strategy is foundering right now. Whether it’s because the strategy itself doesn’t translate to governing or because they haven’t found a way to implement it successfully yet is a question. But at this point it’s hard not to agree that we’re screwed. Especially in and after 2010 when Congress will be ducking and covering.

    I’m just hoping Rahm has lost Dick Morris’s number by now. A new and different kind of weasel is the only change I’m prepared to believe in.

  140. 140
    scudbucket says:

    @El Tiburon: Ooooops. El Tiburon, I misunderstood what you were saying there. SOrry. I thought you were running those guys down for not making specific cases. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

  141. 141
    slag says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Maybe in some parallel universe, but not in this one.

    Don’t make me pull out the polling on the public option.

  142. 142
    John Cole says:

    El Tiburon, today:

    Who is screaming that Obama sucks?

    El Tiburon, yesterday:

    Sorry, didn’t realize I had to enumerate all of the “Big Ticket” items that Obama is no better than Bush on.

    Fact is, Obama is NO better than Bush on Afghanistan.

    Fact is, Obama is appears to be worse than Bush on using drones to bomb targets in Pakistan

    Fact is, Obama is NO better than Bush on indefinite detention and other related civil right issues

    Fact is, Obama is NO better than Bush in giving trillions to the Too Big Too Fail financial industries.

    Fact is, Obama appears to at least be enabling a massive tax-payer butt-kiss to the healthcare industries.

    Oh, but Obama makes a play at maybe enforcing some ethical rules on this or that and maybe a bit more transparency, well, I am impressed.

    Sorry, you all can take your Stockholm Syndrome and your pacifiers and go sit in front of the boob-tube. I guess I’m more of a Hamsherite. I’m mad as hell and I ain’t gonna take it anymore. It would be nice to see some of the same passion from the rest of you.

    Multiple personalities or did someone steal your account?

  143. 143
    eemom says:

    @scudbucket:

    “All this may be true or false, but she actually does ‘make her case’.”

    Except that “making a case” usually encompasses, you know, producing evidence that something IS true rather than not.

    When you throw “true or false” out of the definition, any irresponsible accusation against anybody based on nothing more than speculation amounts to “making a case.”

    I know the response to this, of course. We CAN’T know what evil secret machinations Rahm is up to behind the scenes. Therefore, it’s irresponsible not to……well, you know.

  144. 144
    Will says:

    @John Cole:

    Grayson has nothing to lose at this point, and should be all over the court on this. Schumer is a talented legislator but a naturally self-centered one; I’ve never seen him go to bat for anyone else when it counted. Franken probably doesn’t want to go 200% polarizing until next year. They’re still smarting over his pointing out their pro-rape agenda. He wants the wounds to heal so he can rip them open again before the midterms.

  145. 145
    gbear says:

    Not to disrupt a good brawl, but did anybody else start singing ‘Who’s Sorry Now’, ‘Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool’, or ‘Lipstick On Your Collar’ when they saw the phrase ‘Utopian Commie Franceistan’?

  146. 146
    Mr Furious says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I believe a solid majority of Americans are to the left of Obama.

    I think the country is more to the left than it thinks, especially if you break it into individual issues, but as a blanket statement or a way of pursuing policy, this is nuts.

    I believe that if you sat down and quizzed the average American how they felt and what they want on the whole spectrum of issues without applying a label or ideology to anything, what is commonly referred to as “liberal” would probably win the day in total.

    But getting the country to recognize that is another matter.

  147. 147
    Will says:

    I’m not sure that I’d call Americans liberal, as such, but the polls show they really want the government to do more for them. A solid majority definitely wants the type of benefits found in other Western nations, is growing weary of war and is worried about global warming. They’d also like the government to do something about the whole “no jobs” thing.

    Poll after poll shows this. Americans may be bigoted, violent and too fond of crappy food, but they are by and large not free market ideologues – which pretty much de facto puts them to the left of the vast majority of Washington, the press and the business elite.

  148. 148
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BTD:

    I do not think I agree with you that the purchase of a return ticket changes the equation that much.

    Since people have been ranting about a missed “red flag” that never actually existed, I think it matters very much. If we spend all of our time going down the rabbit hole of saying that we should have been alerted that this guy bought an international one-way ticket when he didn’t, we’ve solved precisely nothing.

    It’s very important to find out what the equation even is before you start trying to solve it. Criticizing the administration based on things that never happened makes you look like a fucking moron.

  149. 149
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Mike Kay:

    OMG – does talkleft still exist? I thought they turned off the lights after Hillary lost the primaries.

    It’s what FDL aspires to be: another lefty blog formed around another way-to-full-of-hisself blogger who went off the deep end.

    It’s quite possible that Armando (Big Tent Democrat) and Hamsher are the same person. I mean I’ve never seen em together. Funny that.

  150. 150
    Mr Furious says:

    @burnspbesq: I’m not sure how telling the liberal base to shut the fuck up moves anything to the left…

  151. 151
    Martin says:

    @burnspbesq:

    No, I think most Americans actually are on some number of issues. They just don’t realize they are or are afraid to recognize they are.

    The real truth is that Americans are fucking cowards when it comes to new ideas and doing things differently. We’re the only country to seriously reject something as perfectly sensible and universally useful as the metric system. We’re afraid to learn, afraid that the new thing might actually be better than the old thing, and the longer we reject the new things, we then start to worry that our act of rejecting the new thing will make us feel like idiots for holding out for so long.

    Maybe if someone had bombed our cities to dust a half century ago we could learn to let go and move ahead, but I just know that taking off our shoes at the airport will turn into some semi-religious ritual that we come to embrace, giving little candies to the TSA agents when we do it, and when Malia Obama is President and decides to end the practice she’ll be decried as hating America’s cherished traditions.

    So, yes, I think most people genuinely, deep in their heart are to the left of Obama. But they’re afraid of being there. That’s why the GOP is strong even in small numbers – their message is ‘don’t change a goddamn thing ever’ and we inherently like that. They’re forcing the Democrats to be the only change agent out there which requires a ton of extra work on their part just to stay competitive.

  152. 152
    Will says:

    Thinking about it a bit more, average Americans are actually Peronists – isolationist right wingers in favor of a strong leader, widespread social safety nets and throwing hippies out of planes.

  153. 153
  154. 154
    scudbucket says:

    @eemom: any irresponsible accusation against anybody based on nothing more than speculation amounts to “making a case

    I’m not sure the accusations are entirely irresponsible: Rahm did preside over Freddie/Fannie, and there were some shenanigans.

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scudbucket:

    So, your saying that since Obama did play a role in HCR, he does deserve some of the blame for that shit-pile of a bill. I agree with you.

    Some of the blame, yes. But all of it? Especially when Harry Reid is standing around saying, “No, really, I left those 60 votes for the public option around here somewhere“? Not so much, unless you’re going to claim that Reid’s screw-up is solely Obama’s fault because shut up, that’s why.

  156. 156
    slag says:

    @Mnemosyne: I, for one, didn’t know the ticket was two-way. And that knowledge does make a difference to me.

  157. 157
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scudbucket:

    I’m not sure the accusations are entirely irresponsible: Rahm did preside over Freddie/Fannie, and there were some shenanigans.

    Shenanigans that led to Emanuel being investigated twice by the Bush administration. But I guess they let him off the hook twice because they were so likely to go easy on Democrats, eh? It’s not like they fired a bunch of USA’s for refusing to gin up charges against Democrats or anything.

    Seriously, when your conspiracy depends on the Bush administration giving a free pass to Democrats, you’ve got a pretty shaky foundation.

  158. 158
    Mr Furious says:

    @slag:

    Don’t make me pull out the polling on the public option.

    @Will:

    I’m not sure that I’d call Americans liberal, as such, but the polls show they really want the government to do more for them. A solid majority definitely wants the type of benefits found in other Western nations, is growing weary of war and is worried about global warming. They’d also like the government to do something about the whole “no jobs” thing.

    Poll after poll shows this. Americans may be bigoted, violent and too fond of crappy food, but they are by and large not free market ideologues – which pretty much de facto puts them to the left of the vast majority of Washington, the press and the business elite.

    Precisely.

    Because liberal is a dirty word, you cannot call anything that or imply this is a liberal country. When the truth of the matter is that taken issue by issue, I suspect the liberal position wins the day more often than people might think.

    There just isn’t a way to [groan] catapult the propaganda to convince anyone of that.

    Ask people if they want “socialized medicine” like the fucking morons in the media do, and the numbers look bad. Explain what an effective public option is and what it would mean, and would you prefer that to the unsustainable status quo? Not only would it dominate polls two- or three-to-one, but people would be demanding it.

    Again, Democrats are still content to play within the frames provided to them by the ouright enemy (GOP) and the not-at-all-neutral observers (the media).

    I thought Obama would be better able to deliver on this messaging than he has been. I’m not blaming him exclusively—as I said, telling people what they want to hear, what they need to hear, and trying to do that when they are nowhere near ready to hear either is not to blamed solely on Obama.

    It is a decided challenge to elevate that type of messaging from effectively campaigning to actually governing.

  159. 159
    Mr Furious says:

    @Martin: I think we’re on the same page.

  160. 160
    eemom says:

    @scudbucket:

    no, he didn’t fucking “preside over” those entities. He was on the Board of Directors, as were a lot of other people, and neither Calamity Jane nor anybody else has produced ANY evidence linking him personally to any “shenanigans.”

    Why aren’t Jane and her new BFF Grover demanding investigations of ALL the directors, if she is suddenly so interested in the Fannie Freddie debauchery?

    Which, come to think of it, has WHAT exactly to do with why HCR should be killed?

  161. 161
    Mr Furious says:

    @Martin:

    So, yes, I think most people genuinely, deep in their heart are to the left of Obama. But they’re afraid of being there.

    In fact, for John Cole to make the transition from thumping winger to “left of Obama” in a matter of a couple years is evidence of exactly that.

    What exactly changed for John personally except actually stopping to think and consider his opinion on matters.

    None of what he was buying into previously actually ended up holding any water with him.

    He was liberal all along, just too fucking brainwashed to know it.

    When you factor THAT in, I think there actually is a majority of the country to the left of Obama.

    So, how the fuck do we wake the sheeple up to that?

    Messaging. Which gets all the way back to @aimai at #5.

  162. 162
    gbear says:

    If Obama loses the next presidential election, the rest of the civilized world is just going to go ahead and bomb us into oblivion until every last American, left and right, has STFU. We will be seen as terminally stupid and a danger to the planet.

  163. 163
    BTD says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I never focused on the one way ticket myself. so I suppose you are directing the moron comment at Cole.

    Personally, I thought the father’s reporting to State the big issue in terms of investigation.

    In terms of security checks, I think the issue of insuring that the standards the US demands for overseas flights to the US was the big issue. The technology was there and IN PLACE and was not used. I am speaking of the puffer machines in particular. It is true of course that the GOP blocked the new TSA head and funding for more puffers and other equipment. But still, the necessary tools were in place and they diod not work as they were supposed to.

    The system failed. And the accountable persons for this are, imo, the DHS head, Napolitano, the head of State, Secretary Clinton, and ulitmately, in a buck stops here moment, on the President.

  164. 164
    aimai says:

    I hate to enter back into a discussion that is becoming more rarefied and bizarre by the moment–how much blame does Obama get in a tripartite system of government? 1/3, 1/6th? none, all? But I think something that the “excuse Obama/blame Harry Reid” people keep not understanding is this simple, obvious, issue:

    Politics is theater. I don’t care how mature and manly and shy and retiring Obama is as a President, or how he thinks of his role as leader–its theater. His voters expected him to act like he cared about the things they cared about–and they expected him to look like he cared enough to fight for those issues. Chief among those issues was *some way of bending the cost curve* by creating necessary competition with the private insurance industry*. He campaigned on it. It was one of the chief differences between him and Hillary. It was also very good policy.

    It was obvious very early on that Obama and his team had decided not to risk any imaginary political capital by pushing too hard for any specifics that they might not be able to get. Obama started getting very vague and leaving things rather up in the air very early. That made sense from a “hoard your capital” point of view. If he believed that he’d never get the public option and that his voters would be more embarrassed by a public failure than a default on his reform promises that was a smart move. But, as it turns out, sometimes its not true that your supporters would rather you save yourself a humiliating public rejection. Sometimes they want to see that you are willing to go to the mat for something. I’m not saying its right or wrong–its a fact of political life and political organizing. And its one the democrats are well aware of since Obama and his team are starting the process of walking back the Public Option and talking up the reforms *in order to heal the wounds left by his unwillingness to fight for it publicly.*

    I think it would have been wiser, politically speaking, for Obama to have fought harder, and uglier, and more publicly for the public option because I think since he didn’t he and the dems have a harder hill to climb convincing voters that they *at least did the best job they could under the circumstances.* They have to do that because they have to sell the bill *emotionally* in advance of rolling out its actual benefits.

    I think the whole discussion of whether Obama is at fault or not is misplaced–who cares? Its also not a difference between Obama being a mature political actor and a hysterical leftist political actor. All choices were political. All were made with the same goals in mind: get some kind of health care reform, pass some kind of bill, run again on the bill holding his base and getting more center votes.

    He had the chance to stride the stage like a colossus and that came with the danger that he’d end up in a pratfall. He chose to be more cautious and retiring and to try to shift the fight and the blame onto Reid and the Democrats in the Senate *but without ever demonizing or attacking the most difficult dems*. That was as political a choice as fighting harder and maybe getting slapped back publicly. Its all politics. Its all theater.

    aimai

  165. 165
    Royce says:

    “What happened to the rest of the Democrats?”

    They were bought up. Some time ago, actually, quiet as it’s kept. Big Corpses run the nation. The question I have is, why is this still not widely realized? That I really would like to understand.

    Maybe it is because the Republicans are so obviously the mouthpiece of corporate money (da powah!), that people assume the Democrats must not be. Two Parties at opposite ends of the fabled spectrum, going at it toe to toe, seems to be the common shared illusion. I say “illusion” because it is not based on evidence as far as can tell.

    I’ll join with the “new” progressives and blame Nader. If he’d just kept his big mouth SHUT we could have let the kossacks uncover this fetid truth and then they’d know, oh boy. Then they’d know!

    F’in Nader did it!

    Or else, scapegoating the man who put seatbelts in cars provided the necessary psychological trapdoor to avoid confronting painful political reality.

    See, no matter how you turn it: f’in Nader did it!

    Nader ruined e v e r y t h i n g. Iraq is burning because Ralph Nader ran for president and Nader also said something else mean about Obama. I’m pretty sure that part’s true.

    Why yes, I am feeling the futility of our times, why do you ask?

  166. 166
    scudbucket says:

    @eemom: You’re starting to sound like an Obologist.

  167. 167
    scudbucket says:

    @Mnemosyne:Some of the blame, yes. But all of it?

    Calm down. Who said anything about all of it?

  168. 168
    Royce says:

    @BTD:

    You have to be joking.

    In any event, it’s the holidays and for its continued serenity and joy I’m going to take it you are just acting the fool.

    Hahahaha. And ah gotta says, man, that blame the administration for wahteva happens eva is truly some bizarrely funny stuff.

    You know who is really to blame? RALPH NADER

    Amirite, biiiiiig t?

  169. 169
    slag says:

    @Mr Furious:

    I thought Obama would be better able to deliver on this messaging than he has been. I’m not blaming him exclusively—as I said, telling people what they want to hear, what they need to hear, and trying to do that when they are nowhere near ready to hear either is not to blamed solely on Obama.
    __
    It is a decided challenge to elevate that type of messaging from effectively campaigning to actually governing.

    Totally agree on this. But I really did hope that Obama’s political style would be a bit infectious. I didn’t necessarily believe it would but I had hope. This failure, in my mind is the biggest one of the year. It’s true that change doesn’t happen over night, but I had hoped our discourse would be in a better place at the end of this year than it is. Every day it seems like we go one step forward and two steps back.

    And as much as I agree with John that some lefty critics of the Administration have gone way too far, I also see–very clearly–how several of the Administration’s tactics haven’t exactly helped matters in that regard. As for independents and righties, they might as well be off the map at this point.

    So while, in terms of the issues, the country is to the left of the Administration; in terms of having the confidence we need to make progress on those issues, we are no better off than we were a year ago. In fact, with the momentum gone and the left in disarray, an argument could be made that we’re worse off in that regard. And that’s in spite of the fact that we seem to have averted calamity after calamity and may soon be passing HCR.

  170. 170
    scudbucket says:

    @Mnemosyne: Seriously, when your conspiracy depends on the Bush administration giving a free pass to Democrats, you’ve got a pretty shaky foundation.

    More hysterics. Did you read upthread? I wrote that in response to the claim that Jane isn’t criticizing the Obama administration on specifics. Eemon said it was an ‘irresponsible accusation’. I wrote that there were, in fact, shenanigans. Then you bust out with the ‘the GOP found him innocent of all wrongdoing, so Jane – and Scudbucket – are obviously conspiratorial nut-driving assholes’. I could give a rats ass if Rahm is guilty of any of this. Jane has a case – you think it’s absurd. Relax.

  171. 171
    eemom says:

    @scudbucket:

    Nah, just a ‘bot.

  172. 172
    Mr Furious says:

    @aimai: That was a MUCH better version of what I was trying to say.

    I think Obama had a brief and unique window to come in and kick some ass. Even if it was just theater. It could have gone hand in hand with nose-to-the-grindstone pragmatism and competence behind the scenes, but I think you are 100% correct that he eschewed any and all ass-kicking in favor of hoarding political capital for a time well beyond its expiration date.

  173. 173
    scudbucket says:

    I’ve coined two new words today:

    1. a) Firebag: to enter into an unholy political alliance which will eventually burn your balls off.

    b) firebag: to singe the scrotal hairs of a political enemy for political purposes

    2. Obologist: a person who explains away evidence casting doubt on the purity of the Obama adminstration as due to either a firebagging (see def. 1) conspiracy or an inattentiveness to 11-dimensional chess.

  174. 174
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Martin

    So, yes, I think most people genuinely, deep in their heart are to the left of Obama.

    And I believe that President Obama, who praises Reagan as a political ploy, is to the left of Citizen Obama, who was inspired by James Baldwin and Saul Alinsky. But President Obama doesn’t have the luxury of being as idealistic as Citizen Obama. He has to take the population’s cowardice and selfishness into account, understand that unnecessary drama will be exploited by the opposition party and keep matriculating the ball down the field.

  175. 175
    Martin says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    I agree.

    I think the problem for Democrats is how to unchain more Americans from their fears of the unknown and how to make clear to the public that sitting still creates its own sets of risks.

  176. 176
    BTD says:

    @Royce:

    Not sure what you are referencing. but the President agreed with me today in his press conference.

  177. 177
    DFH no. 6 says:

    aimai way back in the beginning at #5 was, as usual, right on both the analysis of the problem (“why aren’t more Dems defending Obama in re: ball-burner from Nigeria?”) and on a sensible solution which I am certain will not actually happen, because for one thing we’re talking about Democrats here. Our esteemed host said much the same at #116, talking about the Dems being “shitty team players” who are also, unlike, say, Mary Matalin, “constrained by reality”.

    But it’s more than just that. They aren’t just constrained by reality, they are constrained by allowable discourse in the MSM, which both Davis X. Machina at #81 and El Cid at #119 accurately portray as “the GOP has taken control of the terms of discussion” — for a very long time, I might add — and “only the most hawkish Democrats are considered serious voices to comment on security issues”.

    So any sensible discussion or reaction is unavailable since you must first acquiesce to fantasyland pantswetting rightwing bullshit — “OMG! Terrorists!! We’re all gonna die!! Who could have allowed such a horrible threat to our very existence as a Nigerian airline passenger setting his underwear on fire!?” — before you are given any serious consideration by the media.

    In essence, Democratic officials are being asked to defend the indefensible (which, obviously, almost none of them are going to do) since some really screwed up asshole managing to set his crotch on fire on a passenger jet is de facto evidence that the Obama Administration is failing in its fight against terrorism.

  178. 178
    Elie says:

    @eemom:

    eemom:

    Save your bloodpressure.

    Some of these folks are here to raise H and still others may have darker agendas. They want the issues and the agrievement — not interested in really the progress of initiatives or outcomes per se. Some are righteous and perfectionistic with high ideals. Way too many have other less sterling motives, in my opinion. It may be way more interesting coming on this site “playing a role” than sitting around.

    I know you know and will pick your battles depending on your mood or inclination at the time. Just didnt want you to fall into the trap I did initially in assuming that there was a desire on both sides to learn and come up with a reasonable understanding of what has happened or should happen in a fair minded way. That is not, unfortunately, what they want.

    Enjoy the rumble for its entertainment to you but expect not much else…

  179. 179
  180. 180
    DFH no. 6 says:

    And bingo, here’s BTD at #163:

    The system failed. And the accountable persons for this are, imo, the DHS head, Napolitano, the head of State, Secretary Clinton, and ulitmately, in a buck stops here moment, on the President.

    Right on cue! Which Royce already caught while I was crafting my lengthy screed at #177.

    Christ on a crutch — how fucking safe do you think we all should be? Do you drive a fucking tank to work, or at the very least carry a gas mask with you at all times, just, you know, in case the President fails to keep you safe from all harm?

    The system failed? No it didn’t — the “system” fucking works really goddamn well, as proven by the absolute rarity of things like this even being attempted. And anyway, as a commenter on some other thread put it so well — faily terrorist failed!

    If I was Osama I’d be laughing my beard off at all this WATB (see: Atrios) handwringing. I’m just glad that we’re not really the scared-rabbit candyasses the media, Republicans, and fellow-travelers like BTD think (or pretend) we are.

  181. 181
    Karen says:

    What I find interesting is that no one in the media is pointing out that Obama has only been in office for about a year. The guy with explosive underwear had been a person of interest for YEARS. Not just year. YEARS. That means, while Obama gets some of the blame, the years ago that nothing was done to put the guy on the No Fly list is W’s FUBAR. And let’s not forget that it’s the Republicans who are holding up the confirmations of anyone to head these departments. I think the Republicans would love a large bodycount, Rush has even said as much because it would it all be blamed on Obama.

  182. 182
    Darnell says:

    Maybe Jane Hamsher and John Bolton will issue a joint statement…

  183. 183
    Whispers says:

    If elected Democrats are anything like left-wing bloggers, the reason they are not defending Obama is because they are too busy flaming him for not turning America into Utopian Commie Franceistan in the first eleven months

    You don’t seem to like Democratic bloggers very much, do you?

    At some point you constant negativity starts to reflect poorly on you and not on the targets you want to be hitting.

    We’re well past that point. I used to like this blog.

  184. 184
    Whispers says:

    If elected Democrats are anything like left-wing bloggers, the reason they are not defending Obama is because they are too busy flaming him for not turning America into Utopian Commie Franceistan in the first eleven months

    You don’t seem to like Democratic bloggers very much, do you?

    At some point your constant negativity starts to reflect poorly on you and not on the targets you want to be hitting.

    We’re well past that point. I used to like this blog.

  185. 185
    BTD says:

    @DFH no. 6:

    Your argument is with Obama now.

  186. 186
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Will:

    I pass my crown of WIN for this thread to you, sir. Well played.

  187. 187
    scudbucket says:

    @Elie: Well I take great offense to that characterization. Had you read what was going on, you would have realized that I in fact don’t endorse Jane’s theory, but was merely pointing out that she had one, and the Eemon jumped to hysterical conclusions – as you are now – because I merely mentioned this fact. And I thought we had something special.

  188. 188
    DFH no. 6 says:

    @BTD:

    Your argument is with Obama now.

    Well then, I lose, apparently.

    Since, obviously, no one, at any time, in any place — most particularly an airplane because, well it’s an airplane, that’s why — can ever even try to cause mischief of any sort (including setting his own genitalia on fire) without it being proof of “systemic failure” (as you said, Obama’s words).

    By such incredibly ridiculous standards nothing we ever come up with can do anything but fail. That’s the absurdity regarding “security” I’m trying to point out. No matter how many milliions upon millions of airline passengers fly all around the world, day after day, month after month, year after year, a vanishingly rare incident like this — and unsuccessful at that, like the last time years ago with Reid the “shoe bomber — means the “system” failed.

    I say bullshit — it demonstrates the exact opposite (but that’s because I believe absolute perfection, forever, is a foolish and unobtainable goal for anything made by man, much less something as complicated and vast as world-ranging transportation security).

    And by the way, I understand completely why Obama said what he did. It’s unfortunate, I believe he knows better, but the obvious political calculus pretty much made what he said a no-brainer. That’s the rightwing dominated political and media environment we live in. The absurdities therein are boundless.

  189. 189
    El Tiburon says:

    @John Cole:

    I guess I am confused with the semantics here.

    Is it “screaming” to simply point out that Obama is pursuing many of the same destructive Bush policies, or is even worse?

    I realize this is all text-based and you can’t really hear my voice or my inflection.

    But using the established rules of the internet tubes, to me “screaming that obama sucks” would be like this:

    “ZOMG, Comrade OBAMA is a SOCIALIST FACIST intent on ruining this COUNTRY!!!!!!!!! He is the worse fucking President ever and wasn’t even BORN HERE!!!!!”

    That is some fucking screaming right there.

    So that I’m very clear here, pointing out Obama’s faults in rational language = SCREAMING HE SUCKS!!

  190. 190
    Elie says:

    @scudbucket:

    My feelings are just so hurt!

    The only one hysterical is you…

    I just recognize the game and am two steps ahead of where you are going..

    Resent away, take great offense or whatever…that IS what YOU do and all you want to do.

  191. 191
    El Tiburon says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Maybe in some parallel universe, but not in this one.

    On the hot-button issues I think polls show a majority want a public option, want American troops out of Afghanistan, would pay more in taxes for better healthcare. Using this metric I think a majority of Americans are left to Obama, or at least his policies.

    In order for that to be even remotely logical, one has to believe that the “liberal base” was pivotal in getting Obama elected, because absent that any threat to withhold support is meaningless.

    This is so nonsensical. Are you making the claim that a vocal group of liberals who get media attention can’t force Obama to shift gears? Wow. Are you telling me having a mobilized liberal base who calls representatives and money-bomb candidates can’t affect change? I don’t even know what to say to this.

    If you sincerely believe that, then I’ll just stop, because disabusing you of that delusion is beyond my feeble powers of rhetoric and argument.

    Don’t give up, slugger.

  192. 192
    El Tiburon says:

    @scudbucket:

    s’okay. Sometimes my writing good not so much.

  193. 193
    eemom says:

    @Elie:

    thanks Elie. Yes, I have long since learned not to take the bizarre medium of blogdom too seriously.

  194. 194
    eemom says:

    @scudbucket:

    hold on, scudley — I didn’t jump to any hysterical conclusion. I just pointed out that accusations do not equal evidence, and that wrt to Hamsher’s screed against Rahm, there is none.

    Learn to read, idiot.

  195. 195
    El Tiburon says:

    Uh-oh, more HYSTERICAL SCREAMING THAT OBAMA IS TEH SUCKAGE!

    Actually, a good read on the topic that has held sway over here at the Be Polite You DFH Juice Blog.

    http://firedoglake.com/2009/12.....-new-evil/

    Sadly, it’s not just Obama who consistently takes the easy road; large chunks of the Democratic and progressive worlds have adopted the same approach. Harry Reid doesn’t want to take on Obama or the Lieberman Caucus by pushing the public option through reconciliation. The progressive orgs in the Veal Pen don’t want to oppose Obama because he might choke off their donations. The unions don’t want to oppose him because they’re afraid he won’t back EFCA (although why they think he’ll lift a finger for EFCA based on his track record so far is beyond me).

    And that, in a nutshell, is why Jane and FDL continue to fight, kicking and screaming, even enlisting unlikely allies like Grover Norquist: We are trying to move the path of least resistance back to the left, by making corporatist corruption and religious intolerance politically painful, by pressuring progressive politicians to use their power – because it’s the only way to make Obama and the Democrats do the right thing instead of the good enough thing.

  196. 196
    scudbucket says:

    @Elie: This makes no sense.

  197. 197
    scudbucket says:

    @eemom: no, he didn’t fucking “preside over” those entities. He was on the Board of Directors, as were a lot of other people, and neither Calamity Jane nor anybody else has produced ANY evidence linking him personally to any “shenanigans.”

    Why aren’t Jane and her new BFF Grover demanding investigations of ALL the directors, if she is suddenly so interested in the Fannie Freddie debauchery?

    Which, come to think of it, has WHAT exactly to do with why HCR should be killed?

    That doesn’t sound hysterical to you?

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