Money Well Spent

Those of you sending money to FDL can rest assured that it is being well spent on things like this:

Comparing Obama to McCain on an issue that has already been settled is an excellent use of funds and a real great way to advance the progressive cause. And to make things even better, there will probably be three or four diaries concern trolling us about the base being depressed for 2010. Wonder why that is? Couldn’t have anything to do with the constant and steady drumbeat from the firebaggers telling us how much Obama sucks on a daily basis, could it?

I’m sure Norquist is thrilled with the efforts.

And if you are going to come in here defending this nonsense, telling us they are doing a valuable service by pushing the Overton window to the left, spare me. You don’t move the window to the left adopting right wing frames. You just validate what the wingnuts are saying.

416 replies
  1. 1
    eastriver says:

    Sorry, but pushing the window is the only way to effect what’s going on. To make them (the dems in office) think that you won’t vote for them next time. No GOTV.

    And bitching about those that are doing the window moving isn’t helpful or smart. Just bitchy.

  2. 2
    moe99 says:

    Jane can’t go home again. She’s stuck on the end of the diving board and she doesn’t want to go in the water, but she doesn’t want to back up and off. There is no way that she can save face at this point that I can think of, because to do so she would essentially be ceding most of what she’s accumulated in the past 4-5 years. Sad really.

    ps. eastriver, there is a difference between “effect” and “affect” that you might want to look up.

  3. 3
    Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    @eastriver: I can’t tell. Are you agreeing or disagreeing with Mr. Cole?

  4. 4
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Between the awful awful tragedy unfolding in Haiti, and the mind numbing stoopidity of internet progressives, I am driven to Galtness. The good news is that dems are making solid progress, yes, I said progress, does anybody understand this simple but powerful word, on a HCR bill.

    I will take that for sustenance of spirit.

  5. 5
    sgw94 says:

    FDL is truly like watching a beautiful building burn to the ground right now. So much good they have done over the years and now they are going to rightly be shunned by most folks on the left, all because they became obsessed and nobody over there were able to pull them back from the edge.

    Its almost fitting that Jane partnered up with Grover Norquist as his Club for Growth has been just as destructive to Republicans trying to get elected as FDL soon will be to Democrats trying to keep a majority in both houses. And still neither will get their stated policy positions passed.

  6. 6
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @eastriver:

    And bitching about those that are doing the window moving isn’t helpful or smart. Just bitchy.

    They aren’t moving any window, they are standing on the ledge threatening to jump.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    sacman701 says:

    I think FDL is a Republican sleeper cell.

  9. 9
    eastriver says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    That’s certainly one way to look at it. But, respectfully, there are other ways.

  10. 10
    Maude says:

    It’s hard to tell the righties from the lefties now. McCain doesn’t know how to plan. I think that this left diatribe is going to wear thin.
    There was a link by a Toronto writer that I stupidly clicked on from a commenter last night in one of the threads. It took down my browser. It said that the player was illegal. I know better than to click on unknown links. That’ll learn me…again.

  11. 11
    Tom Hilton says:

    You don’t move the window to the left adopting right wing frames. You just validate what the wingnuts are saying.

    Everyone at FDL should have this tattooed backwards on their foreheads so they have to read it every time they look in the mirror.

  12. 12
    Incertus says:

    @eastriver: Yeah, but the way you’re apparently looking at it is through moron-colored glasses.

  13. 13
    Guster says:

    This isn’t about moving windows. This is about asserting power.

  14. 14
    MTiffany says:

    …there will probably be three or four diaries concern trolling us about the base being depressed for 2010.

    So… anyone who is disappointed with Obama’s performance and feels like sharing their thoughts (eg, if enough “Left of the Left fringe” like me is as discouraged as I am, then 2010 is probably bad for Dems) isn’t entitled to either their opinion or their judgment? We’re just concern trolls? Really?

  15. 15
    Robin G. says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: Pretty much. There are more effective ways to handle our disquiet with Blue Dogs and the like (I’m a big believer in primary challenges, for example), but firebaggers want to turn this into a murder-suicide operation. Sit down for 2010, and we’re left with having stood by impossible ideals, but nothing else.

    No. If we want to fight, burn money on primary challenges. If we win, fantastic. If we lose, get behind the Democrat and fight just as hard. That’s the way representative democracy works. Flawed, but there it is.

  16. 16
    Interrobang says:

    Hey, I agree Obama sucks, but I’m not a firebagger; I’m just way too far left to like an unctuous corporatist who talks like a televangelist.

    Speaking as an actual rhetorician (advanced degree and everything), I agree with you about reinforcing the right-wing frames — no, no, no, do not do this. Jane Hamsher has definitely gone over to the dark side. I figure anyone who worked in Hollywood has too much of a streak of “cool kid” in her not to be at least partially seduced by the sheer power the right can offer.

    Also, while we’re on the subject of rhetoric, Norquist famously said “Bipartisanship is date rape.” Jane Hamsher really needs to grow some self-respect.

  17. 17
    Kyle Moore says:

    eastriver

    I think the point is, you’re no longer pushing the window to the left. At this point, it’s poisoning. It’s sanctimonious whining that isn’t actually accomplishing anything because:

    1) You’re not going to get any kind of significant push left on this bill anymore. The pols want this done with. They’ve been getting their asses kicked by all parts of the ideological spectrum and special interests and their own constituents for almost a full year now and a good majority of these people are up for reelection.

    2) If the bill dies, the bill and hope for healthcare reform in general is dead for the foreseeable future. I love you self-righteous my way or the highway firebagging assholes who think they are so in the right when, if they get there way, more people will die because of a lack of healthcare coverage. It’s kill this bill, you delay this bill, you increase the chance of destroying the current push to reform healthcare. Judging from a number of factors, this is also going to be the FRIENDLIEST executive and legislative combination for healthcare reform we are like to see for at least a term. Dems are most likely going to lose a few seats this fall in the house and the senate, and no, they are not going to lose them to more “prorgressive” candidates. They’re going to lose them to Republicans. Not the nice string us along Republicans like Olympia Snowe, but the firebreathing teabagging Republicans…

    …wait a minute, those are your allies now. Well hell. never mind.

  18. 18
    Kevin K. says:

    John, as I wrote this morning, I don’t know how you do it. I saw some amazingly stupid shit from Dems during the primaries, but I would have never imagined in a million years the kind of stuff, like this, that I’m witnessing now.

    Now excuse me while I start reading the new Jonathan Lethem and then settle into viewing either Anvil or Black Dynamite. Then I’ll take a nap and hopefully when I wake up David Sirota will be president.

  19. 19
    Demo Woman says:

    After the election, I drifted away from FDL , although I would occasionally read TBogg and posts by Christie. Not so much now.

  20. 20
    geg6 says:

    Well, much as I hate this bill and wish like hell our Dems, including the president, would remember what it means to be a liberal in the proud manner of FDR, I can’t go for this sort of thing.

    It’s really sad what has happened to FDL. It’s a shame that someone like me (a Senate bill hater) cannot go there to talk about this with like-minded people, especially since I can’t do it here without being called a liar. I really believe you can oppose this version of HCR and still be a loyal Dem. Unfortunately, FDL does not and I can’t go there without feeling dirty.

  21. 21
    eastriver says:

    @Incertus:

    My, isn’t that clever. Please go back to your homework and let the adults discuss adult matters.

  22. 22
    Donald G says:

    Hmm. Caption on video reads “‘White House defends Health Tax’ Associated Press, 1/11/09” over footage of Obama. The president on 1/11/09 was still George W. Bush, and I doubt he had much to say about health taxes, one way or the other.

  23. 23
    John Cole says:

    @MTiffany: You are entitled to voice your opinion, and I am entitled to tell you that you are being an idiot.

  24. 24
    cleek says:

    To make them (the dems in office) think that you won’t vote for them next time.

    if you don’t vote for them this time, there won’t be a “next time” for a long while. or were you asleep from 2001 through 2009 ?

  25. 25
    Incertus says:

    For everyone who thinks that slapping down the Dems in 2010 will send a message, I ask you to remember 1994, and ask yourself if maybe the reason Clinton was the best Republican president of the 20th century instead of a good Democratic one was because he had to deal with Speaker Newt Gingrich. Because for all of your bullshit talk about “moving the Overton window” (and teaming with Norquist proves you missed the whole fucking point of those books), that’s what you’re actively working toward–a more conservative Congress for Obama to work with.

  26. 26
    Royce says:

    Please quit with the progressive-bashing already. For me, the anti-Nader jihad ended any perception of value I ever had for knee-jerk concern-trolling on behalf of the Dems. They will use your efforts to reduce pressure on them to screw their constituents, and you can think back to Congressional Dems under Bush to see what I mean.

    And who is holding back the conservative base anyhow? Why is it that progressives have to fight with their hands tied — by their own side? If people stand up for views I believe in, I say you have to support them. That’s why I come to your site after all; I wouldn’t if you were still a Right-wing con. Trust.

    I do hope you feel better soon, Cole. You are a talented writer and a great political observer, and human in a good way. For my part, however, I hope you don’t force a choice between your track record of insight and even that of FDL’s. (see Spitzer, Eliot)

    Just my view.

  27. 27
    eastriver says:

    @John Cole:

    Right back at ya.

  28. 28
    John Cole says:

    They aren’t moving any window, they are standing on the ledge threatening to jump.

    They aren’t threatening to jump- I’d be fine with that. What they are doing is pushing us all out the window and telling us that we’ll be so much better off when we hit the bottom.

  29. 29
    kid bitzer says:

    teaming up with norquist is the last straw.

    you cannot possibly pretend to be a friend to progressive causes–or women, or human beings in general–once you crawl into bed with him.

    this is the man who coined the phrase, “bipartisanship is just another word for date-rape.”

    poor jane. had to learn it the hard way.

  30. 30
    Ash Wing League says:

    For the love of god, do any of these idiots realize that they’re doing exactly what the Republicans wanted?! They can’t be stupid enough to not realize that the Demoacrats are in their tough position because all the Republicans keep voting against any of Obama’s bill, right?!

  31. 31
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @eastriver:

    Sorry, but pushing the window is the only way to effect what’s going on. To make them (the dems in office) think that you won’t vote for them next time. No GOTV.

    That’s not pushing the Overton window. Pushing the Overton window involves convincingly arguing for ideas on your side that are seemingly unthinkable.

    Threatening to sit out the vote just contracts the Overton window. On your side. Which (just so we’re clear) is not what you want.

  32. 32
    Ash says:

    @Donald G: It appears that the person responsible for the copy is a giant dumbass, since it should say 1/11/10.

  33. 33
    jwb says:

    @eastriver: Unlike John, I’m sympathetic to the notion of moving the Overton window to the left, but I have to say this is no way to do it. FDL has become an unwitting tool of the right.

  34. 34
    John Cole says:

    @Royce: For the last time, I’m not against trying to influence or change the system. I’m against their methods, which seem to me to be burning down the building to fix a broken toilet.

  35. 35
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @John Cole: True dat.

  36. 36

    @eastriver:

    Jesus fucking christ in a sidecar, the only political theory the firebaggers seem to have is the Overton window, which is exactly the kind of weak-ass useless tool that poli sci majors are made fun of regularly for. Look, it’s just a frame, and the frame of the debate was set by Joe Lieberman when he voted NO. Trying to punish Dems for not getting what you wanted and giving the legislature back to conservatives will do NOTHING to advance progressive causes. Please see the past 8 years for details, and if you say one fucking thing about Ralph Nader being right I swear to gawd I’m going to punch a hole in the space-time continuum and kick your grandfather’s ass.

    Meanwhile Jane’s tantrums are effectively irradiating the left, making us less and less likely to have any seat at the table in future negotiations. Net result: FLAILURE.

    I’m so fucking sick of the amateurish shit coming out of den of fools, and the half-witted “Overton” defense from people whose political experience began in 2004.

    And while I’m at it, let me just say this: Jane Hamsher has limited frakking liberal cred. She produced some particularly crappy movies, wrote a tell-all about one, did some good investigative reporting that has been pretty much cancelled by her divisive. bird-brained fuckwit-tactics.

  37. 37
    Scott says:

    You don’t move the Overton window leftward by cuddling up to the folks on the far right. That’s just giving the right and the media exactly the spin they want — “Even the liberal Firedoglake hate the black guy in the White House…”

    I don’t know what’s gotten into the FDL folks, but they’re running the risk of making themselves as irrelevant as the PUMAs.

  38. 38
    eastriver says:

    @jwb:

    I think they are doing good. They are affecting the conversation. Bitching about someone affecting the conversation does not affect the conversation. It’s simply bitching.

  39. 39
    Yossarian says:

    Yeah, “I hate taxes, taxes are evil” is a GREAT way to move the Overton window to the left. No downside there.

    On the specific merits of this issue, the fact of the matter is that Obama was wrong on two major points during the campaign (no mandate, and beating up McCain for taxing benefits), but he’s moved in the correct direction on both. As I think Ezra has pointed out, the problem with McCain’s health care “plan” isn’t that he wanted to cap the subsidy, it’s that he would have replaced the employer-based system with absolute dogshit. Sure, Obama’s now contradicting himself, and no one likes that. But I’d rather he have the wrong position in the campaign and the right one while governing than the other way around, or than if he had maintained consistency on the wrong position.

  40. 40
    donovong says:

    Fortunately enough, I don’t think FDL is doing anything more than depressing their own base, such as it is. Anybody who believes that they are doing one ounce of good by attempting to undermine Obama needs to take a look at the last 8 years of history, and accept the fact that, by uniting with the likes of Norquist, they are accelerating the pace with which the same idiots will regain power.

    Pushing a window? Hell, they are poisoning the well.

  41. 41
    Guster says:

    The sanctimony is nauseating.

    Some of us think that unless you’re willing to damage people who are ostensibly on your side–and to damage the country in the process–they will never work to improve the country, which will do more damage in the long run.

    Others think that if you’re working to damage the only party in US politics that is even marginally rational, using the tools of pathological liars who dream of turning the country into Chile circa 1975, you’re done more damage than you can possibly know.

    Fine. I know where I stand. But this smug ‘oh aren’t I clever, I know the truth to which you manic halfwit assholes are blind,’ stuff doesn’t help as much as some of us appear to think.

  42. 42
    Ash says:

    @Royce:

    Please quit with the progressive-bashing already.

    I don’t really see any “progressive -,” in this instance. It’s more along the lines “stupid-methods-that-don’t-work-wtf-are-you-idiots-thinking-bashing.”

  43. 43
    jwb says:

    @eastriver: No, they are lining up their attacks with rightwing talking points. In that respect they are actually moving the overton window to the right, if you want to be honest about it.

  44. 44
    batgirl says:

    @Incertus: Doesn’t matter. They are all the same /firebagger

  45. 45
    eastriver says:

    @media browski:

    I couldn’t agree more about Ralph Nader. If’n I had a time machine, I would go back and beat his consumer-protecting a-hole into a fine, spreadable paste.

    Jane Hamsher is a self-promoting vanity queen. But I believe enough in what she’s doing to take her back a bit from knee-cappers like JC.

    I don’t really have time to delve into this more than twatter sound bytes. I gots work to do. More later, browski.

  46. 46
    southpaw says:

    If FDL takes Grover’s anti-tax pledge and sticks its tongue out at Obama while doing it, does that move the Overton window to the left too?

    If you want to move the Overton window to the left, here’s a thought: Try espousing progressive positions.

  47. 47

    Whatever happened to the death of the GOP? Weren’t they the ones who were supposed to be eating their own?

    Stupid is, as stupid does.

  48. 48
    Zifnab says:

    I mean, I don’t know what to say on this. The Senate bill does tax health care benefits. I’m, honestly, somewhat up in the air on the value of this. On the one hand, I agree that you really don’t want to tax benefits that came at the expense of increased salaries. On the other hand, the one way to cram down inflating premiums is to remove government incentives.

    I honestly don’t like the House response to rising premiums of just charging them to the top income earners. Raising taxes on rich people won’t lower premium growth rates. And that’s at the core of the health care cost crisis.

  49. 49
    Bobby Yamaha says:

    Now, here’s some irony via a link from Crooks and Liars to digby to Tbogg – who is the only redeeming quality at FDL now – post from 2 years ago.

    A blockquote won’t do it justice, so just go read it. Beautiful.

  50. 50
    burnspbesq says:

    @MTiffany:

    No, of course you’re entitled to your opinion.

    However, since it is demonstrably wrong in every material respect, you should expect to be mocked for holding it.

  51. 51
    John Cole says:

    @eastriver: You know who else “affected the conversation?” Sarah Palin with her death panels bullshit.

    Again, I am sympathetic to moving the window to the left- Tim, Dougj, and I have talked about it at length. I’ve read the Lakoff texts. I’ve done my research.

    Launching stupid and childish attacks at your own team on issues that have already been decided while adopting right-wing frames is not moving the Overton window towards the progressive side. Period. No matter how many times EastRiver says it is.

  52. 52
    Frank Chow says:

    Anybody read “Liberal Fascism” by Jonah Goldberg? …it’s happening….

    FDL seriously just teabagged themselves on this one

  53. 53
    SGEW says:

    @Bobby Yamaha:

    Tbogg . . . is the only redeeming quality at FDL now.

    I gotta keep on jumping on this: Attackerman is still essential (tho’ his stuff is best read at the Washington Independent – his most recent article is, as always, a must-read for everyone following national security).

  54. 54
    Donald G says:

    Attempts to consciously move the Overton Window to the left too often paradoxically succeed in moving it to the right. When it comes to health care reform, I’m a freaking commie – Universal Healthcare and socialized medicine – but I know going into it that with our current governmental system, that the country isn’t going to get that out of congress. The best you can hope for is to be the camel getting its nose under the tent, get some small reforms to begin with, and then work to expand the opening so that more people are helped.

    The firebaggers’ strategy appeals to the demoralized and disappointed’s anger and resentment. If it ultimately results in a Republican majority, the firebaggers will have effectively cut off their noses to spite their faces.

  55. 55
    Rob says:

    the mind numbing stoopidity of internet progressives

    What was that about adopting right-wing frames being counter-productive?

  56. 56
    cleek says:

    And who is holding back the conservative base anyhow?

    according to them, it’s the RINOs and the sellouts, and the traitors to the conservative cause. if only people were truer to conservative values, it would be electoral success forever!

    it only sounds funny when describing Republicans, though. it’s not so funny when you hear the same bullshit from lefties.

    Why is it that progressives have to fight with their hands tied—by their own side?

    because the US political system is a two party system, and you’re fighting your own party. the time for this kind of ideological fighting is in primaries, when you’re choosing the person who will represent you in the fight against the GOP. attacking your team when they’re fighting the GOP only helps the GOP.

  57. 57
    gwangung says:

    Jane Hamsher is a self-promoting vanity queen. But I believe enough in what she’s doing to take her back a bit from knee-cappers like JC.

    I believe in holding down health costs. However, coming in with assault rifles and mowing down insurance executives would not be helpful. EFFECTIVENESS should be the goal. And you’re not being effective.

    You’re acting like an amateur. And you’re being insecure; you’re mistaking criticism of tactics with criticism of you.

  58. 58
    Stooleo says:

    Ha! Democrats destroying their own party, no one would have ever predicted this.

  59. 59
    Bobby Yamaha says:

    @SGEW: OK, I’ll give you Attackerman. Thanks for squaring me up.

  60. 60
    Scott says:

    @cleek:

    according to them, it’s the RINOs and the sellouts, and the traitors to the conservative cause. if only people were truer to conservative values, it would be electoral success forever!

    it only sounds funny when describing Republicans, though. it’s not so funny when you hear the same bullshit from lefties.

    Repeated for emphasis.

  61. 61
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @John Cole:

    @MTiffany: You are entitled to voice your opinion, and I am entitled to tell you that you are being an idiot.

    The way I read it, John was saying that the people who are breathing fire about killing this HCR bill will be the ones breathlessly writing about the depressed progressive turnout in 9 months.

  62. 62
    gwangung says:

    @cleek: @Scott:

    The inability of advocates to see within themselves what they critique in their opponents is what will insure their ineffectiveness.

  63. 63
    Demo Woman says:

    @Bobby Yamaha: Thanks for the link reminding folks about Nader and the world we live in. It’s time to block quote Tboggs response for all the fdl defenders.
    Let me see if I can explain it this way:

    Every year in Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land all of the sprites and elves and woodland creatures gather together to pick the Rainbow Sunshine Queen. Everyone is there: the Lollipop Guild, the Star-Twinkle Toddlers, the Sparkly Unicorns, the Cookie Baking Apple-cheeked Grandmothers, the Fluffy Bunny Bund, the Rumbly-Tumbly Pupperoos, the Snowflake Princesses, the Baby Duckies All-In-A-Row, the Laughing Babies, and the Dykes on Bikes. They have a big picnic with cupcakes and gumdrops and pudding pops, stopping only to cast their votes by throwing Magic Wishing Rocks into the Well of Laughter, Comity, and Good Intentions. Afterward they spend the rest of the night dancing and singing and waving glow sticks until dawn when they tumble sleepy-eyed into beds made of the purest and whitest goose down where they dream of angels and clouds of spun sugar. You don’t live there. Grow the fuck up.

  64. 64
    Zifnab says:

    @cleek:

    it only sounds funny when describing Republicans, though. it’s not so funny when you hear the same bullshit from lefties.

    It’s funny because, in a way, it’s true. The establishment Republicans have a vested interest in staying middle ground. That’s where the independent voters that swing elections live.

    Likewise, the Democrats don’t want to stray too far to the left, because – as good or bad as their ideas may be – they won’t get support come election time. And the best ideas in the world don’t work when they’re espoused by the minority party. 2002 – 2006 proved that.

    The difference between the left and the right tends to be the quality of the ideas. When you’ve got the CBO scoring the left-most health care plans with the best scores, it’s a little frustrating to see the legislation pulled to the right, particularly by self-espoused “fiscal conservatives”.

    FDL is right in spirit. It’s pushing for good programs and quality legislation. But it’s taking critical aim at some of the left-most voices in the party to accomplish it’s goals. Running that ad against Republicans in red states seems like it would be more effective than running it against a Democratic President during a mid-term election season.

  65. 65
    eastriver says:

    @John Cole:

    Yeah, SP did move the conversation with her idiotic lies. BUT SHE MOVED THE CONVERSATION.

    Now, does that mean the left needs to move the conversation with idiotic lies? I certainly hope not. But there has to be more counter-balancing than just refuting the lies.

    We have the senate, the house, and the WH. But they aren’t advancing progressive measures progressively enough.

    (And the R isn’t capitalized in eastriver. Not to be petty, but to be petty.)

  66. 66
    Bobby Yamaha says:

    @Zifnab:

    FDL is right in spirit.

    If they were at a SDS rally.

  67. 67
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Rob: Stoopid is stoopid and is fully non-partisan.

    edit – and if some so called progressives would cease making GOP ads for the GOP to gain from, then I would have no use nor reason to use the S word for people on my own side.

  68. 68
    Fencedude says:

    @eastriver:

    Good god you’re a moron.

  69. 69
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @eastriver:

    Yeah, SP did move the conversation with her idiotic lies. BUT SHE MOVED THE CONVERSATION.

    And she managed to move the conversation by not threatening to sit out the next election. Which is not what the firebaggers are doing.

    You can’t just find some vague common thread between situations and declare them the same thing. Because they aren’t.

  70. 70
    eastriver says:

    @Fencedude:

    God has nothing to do with my stupidity. Thanks.

  71. 71
    Calming Influence says:

    @eastriver:
    With you.

    Pragmatists should thank Activists for the things Pragmatists are willing to settle for.

  72. 72
    Scott says:

    Yeah, SP did move the conversation with her idiotic lies. BUT SHE MOVED THE CONVERSATION.

    You say this like you think it’s a good thing. It’s not a good thing. Moving the Conversation, by itself, isn’t really a goal to shoot for. Moving the Conversation, by itself, is nothing but a publicity stunt.

    We have the senate, the house, and the WH. But they aren’t advancing progressive measures progressively enough.

    So clearly, we need to oppose Democrats. Because when Democrats lose the Senate, the House, and/or the White House, they’ll be much more able to advance progressive measures.

  73. 73
    Persia says:

    @cleek:

    the time for this kind of ideological fighting is in primaries, when you’re choosing the person who will represent you in the fight against the GOP. attacking your team when they’re fighting the GOP only helps the GOP.

    I would like this embroidered in gold thread and pasted on the top of every ‘liberal’ blog, kthks.

    Also, I hate to concern troll here, and I do think it’s possible to do more than one thing at once, but it sort of grates that FDL is spending this much effort when there’s a gigantic humanitarian crisis they could be rallying the troops for.

  74. 74
    cleek says:

    @Calming Influence:

    without pragmatists, activists are merely noise.

    if something progressive was passed, thank a pragmatist.

  75. 75
    Mudge says:

    Go read about all the back-biting, and murdering between anarchists, socialists and communists (all of whom hated the Fascists, but were ideologic purists) during the Spanish civil war. The Soviet ambassador was called bourgoise because he wore a hat. Then remember who won that war and who ruled Spain for the next 40 years.

  76. 76
    aimai says:

    eastriver, I spent quite a while defending fdl, and jane, because I believe in a strong and vibrant and unapologetic push from the left (or drag/tow from the left) to keep the country moving in a progressive direction. But they have descended from talking about progressive policies to attacking democrats personally, and impugning the motives of basically every single person involved in the Health Care Reform struggle. Its good to remember that each political figure is also a political actor, and may have many irons in the fire/relationships/promises to keep and that they all need to be reminded, from time to time, of their campaign promises and their electoral future. But the public–the very public–attacks on pivotal people for bad faith, corruption, etc… are very destructive. I wrote a long piece about it over at NMMNB and in another piece on the “ethic of responsibility.”

    I don’t think that what FDL is doing now, as opposed to the very good work that they have done in the past and may yet do in other areas, is going to do anything good, and I think its pretty clear that they have descended into smearing and attacking Democratic activists and political leaders as their primary tactic. That’s because their only explanation for why things aren’t going well, progressively speaking, is primarily that our leaders/elected officials want to fuck us over. They are like former believers in a ruthless, all powerful god who go overnight from believing that god does all things for good to seeing evidence that god, as it turns out, is really satan and everything now must be seen as evidence of evil intent.

    Well, fine, I’m not going to argue that the democrats are anything but a centrist, fairly cautious, coalition of hysterics, right wingers, progressives, liberals, blue staters, intellectuals, a comic and some old jewish socialist who votes with them. In other words, they aren’t perfect. But they never were. There was never a moment when the whole kit and caboodle of them were going to be able to do everything on the progressive wish list with a wave of the hand.

    The fDL approach is, if I may coin a term, “self liquidating.” If the entire of our political hierarchy is already fatally compromised and coopted and has no integrity whatsoever *and you can’t take the entire thing over electorally at one fell swoop at the next election* you are doomed to having to work with the fatally flawed politicians you have, not the ones you dreamed up. That’s just the way it is. FDL is refusing to recognize that. They imagine that if they could just take down the dems, or frighten them enough, the dems would magically become more progressive. If they are really bought and paid for I can assure FDL that there’s no electoral bribe that will swing them far left. And if they aren’t totally corrupted it would make more sense to work with them than to align with the right wing to have them removed from power and to replace them with the next george bush or john mccain.

    aimai

  77. 77
  78. 78
    Zandar says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    The way I read it, John was saying that the people who are breathing fire about killing this HCR bill will be the ones breathlessly writing about the depressed progressive turnout in 9 months.

    Even better, the same folks will be wondering why the GOP now has control of Congress 12 months from now.

  79. 79
    aimai says:

    Hm, I’m in moderation and also I don’t see my link appearing. Click here for my modest take on the “splinter group” phenomenon as it applies to FDL.

    aimai

  80. 80
    danimal says:

    @Bobby Yamaha: Indeed.
    @cleek:

    the time for this kind of ideological fighting is in primaries, when you’re choosing the person who will represent you in the fight against the GOP. attacking your team when they’re fighting the GOP only helps the GOP.

    This. Also.

  81. 81
    Senyordave says:

    Bush and the GOP (especially toads like Grover Norquist, who should be sharing a prison cell with Abrahamoff) RUINED this country. Every major policy initiated by those shitbags worked out terribly.

    Thanks to these assholes, we spent trillions on a war we never should have been in, we have a gigantic structural deficit, we have a Justice Department that still has holdovers from when the GOP demanded that new people be loyal party members (actually, one of the vastly under-reported scandals – I think all people hired under Bush should be rooted out and fired since we know this occurred) and we have a lunatic fringe that controls the Republican party.

    I think Bush will go down as the worst president ever, and the Republican party in the last ten years as one of the worst political movements.

    And Jane Hamsher wants to go in with those people. Either she is delusionally stupid, or is a plant, because these people are totally evil, and Grover Norquist and the teabaggers represent the worst.

    Maybe she can get some of those wonderful banners from the Tea Parties showing pictures of bodies from the Dachau concentration camp and comparing it to Health Care Reform.

  82. 82
    Todd says:

    I think this TBogg post (from FDL no less!) seems oddly relevant…

    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2.....n-anymore/

  83. 83
    David in NY says:

    @eastriver:

    What was this conversation that Palin moved??? Explain me that. The woman never entered a conversation with anybody, and she never introduced any idea worth discussing. She just insulted liberals and repeated her “mavericky” talking points. That’s it. And she’s cute.

    Your statement in this regard is firm proof that you have no clue about how things work.

  84. 84
    Da Bomb says:

    @media browski: Okay, that was the bestest comment evah.

    I have to steal this:

    Please see the past 8 years for details, and if you say one fucking thing about Ralph Nader being right I swear to gawd I’m going to punch a hole in the space-time continuum and kick your grandfather’s ass.

    FTW.

  85. 85
    Wulfgar says:

    Ms. Hamsher herself seems terrible clueless when it comes to the effects ofproviding tools to the right wing.

    And for the record, I prefer to call them FirePumas.

  86. 86
    Senyordave says:

    So clearly, we need to oppose Democrats. Because when Democrats lose the Senate, the House, and/or the White House, they’ll be much more able to advance progressive measures.

    Scott,

    I guess its just like Palin saying she could do more for Alaskans by quitting.

  87. 87
    gex says:

    @Yossarian: Don’t forgot, it’s not just the GOP-like freak out over taxes. They also have there “you can’t tell me what to do!” libertarian response to the mandate portion of the bill.

    They think they’re moving the Overton Window. They don’t seem to realize which direction they are moving it.

  88. 88
    Llelldorin says:

    @Zandar:

    No, they won’t. Have you seen one Naderite behave like this at any point in the last decade?

    They’ll be floating on a cloud of smug self-satisfaction that they were right about Obama all along.

    The problem with our idealists isn’t their ideals, it’s their tactics. Right-wingers try to take over the Republican party, and they work for that. They take over all the silly low-level “precinct honcho” positions, and work upwards from there. Our left-wingers seem to prefer to sit in a cardboard box with “REAL PROGRESSIVE PARTY” written on it in crayon, from which they can bemoan their lack of influence over the Democratic Party, and delight in their own purity as the country burns.

  89. 89
    Incertus says:

    @eastriver: Oh, you’re right about that. Even if there were a god, it wouldn’t be to blame for your stupidity.

  90. 90
    BTD says:

    @John Cole:

    Don’t you think you are overstating their power John?

    If Coakley loses for example, you aren’t planning on blaming Jane for the loss are you?

    Of course the ad is stupid NOW. I agree with you. But I think Dems’ electoral trouble, such as it is, is not because the “all powerful” Jane Hamsher is running ads.

  91. 91
    gwangung says:

    God has nothing to do with my stupidity.

    Against stupidity, the gods themselves rage in vain.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Citizen Alan says:

    In 2010, I’ll be voting for my Blue Dog representative, even though I expect him to lose handily to the Republican douchebag who will run against him. In 2012, I’ll be voting for Obama, even though my only hope for his winning is if the Republicans put up a teabagger as nominee. But I don’t expect that I’ll donate time or money, because my economic situation is bad right now and I have better things to do with both my time and my money than donate them both to people who will probably lose and who, if they win, will pursue policies which I strongly oppose just because these candidates are less crazy and evil than the other people whose policies I oppose even more.

    Basically, I’m still where I was in December of 2004 — without any great faith in America and completely without hope for its long term future. Back then, I was making immediate preparations to emigrate to Canada, and I only put a hold on that after a very emotional Christmas Eve conversation with my mother (now aged 72) regarding the health of my father (now aged 79), at the end of which I promised her that I would not leave the country while they were still alive.

    That said, as I see it, America is still on an express train to Hell, and every four years, we the passengers get to vote on who will be the engineer. One engineer wants to get to Hell as fast as possible and so he campaigns on running the train as fast as possible, despite the danger of a horrific crash that will kill everyone even before we get to Hell. The other engineer is more sensible and appealing. He wants to gingerly apply the brakes and pull the train down to a slower speed so we can all take a leisurely, pleasant trip to Hell. No one who seriously suggests that we try reversing direction or switching tracks to go someplace other than Hell will ever be allowed anywhere near the engine.

    With regard to health care, the absolute best outcome I foresee is passing the current weak bill which provides a few (largely illusory) benefits to consumers while representing a massive giveaway to some of the most demonstrably evil corporations to have ever existed. Oh, and that’s assuming Martha Coakley’s inept campaign doesn’t end health care reform completely next week, along with Obama’s entire legislative agenda for the next three years.

  94. 94
    Calming Influence says:

    @cleek:
    You’re right. So am I.

  95. 95
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Llelldorin:

    The problem with our idealists isn’t their ideals, it’s their tactics.

    Sometimes I get to thinking that on our side, what separates a pragmatist from an idealist is that the idealist has no grasp whatsoever on strategy or tactics.

  96. 96
    Joel says:

    U@sgw94:This reminds me of when MoveOn ran the “Betray Us” ad. It really undercut them and nothing good ever came from it.

  97. 97

    The whole idea of the Overton Window is a creature of the punditocracy. It’s an elegant manifestation of the Post Hoc fallacy. It’s just bullshit, aimed at making noise and churn appear to be relevant, when in fact they are just the product of for-profit noisemakers. Meanwhile …

    Congress is run by lobbyists and money, not imaginary “windows” and bloggers.

  98. 98
    Incertus says:

    @cleek:

    without pragmatists, activists are merely noise.

    if something progressive was passed, thank a pragmatist.

    Absolutely. Who had more of an effect on passing Great Society policies–establishment Dems and liberal Republicans or the SDS?

  99. 99
    eastriver says:

    @Incertus:

    But if there were a god, he might explain your lack of wit.

  100. 100
    Frank Chow says:

    The only thing this ad is missing is a winking Sarah Palin high fiving Jane Hamster and Grover NoTaxes.

  101. 101
    gwangung says:

    The problem with our idealists isn’t their ideals, it’s their tactics.

    For one thing, a lot of them have a hard time differentiating between strategy and tactics. And a lot have a hard time evaluating the effectiveness of their strategy.

    And we have at least one here who has a hard time seeing what their tactics are actually doing.

  102. 102
    gwangung says:

    @eastriver: This is moving the Overton Window, how?

  103. 103
    The Pragmatists says:

    @Calming Influence:

    Pragmatists should thank Activists for the things Pragmatists are willing to settle for.

    Actually, it’s the Activists who need to grow the fuck up while the Pragmatists do what is doable in way that is necessary.
    The activists only ever start the conversation, but unless the country is a dictatorship of one form or another, they never finish it or wake up the next morning to deal with the results.
    So. Thanks for getting the conversation started. Now, either move on to something else or shut the fuck up.
    Thank you,
    The Pragmatist.

  104. 104
    Osprey says:

    FDL was one of the first blogs I read (mostly for the aspect of getting news in a truthful fashion and the comments were good). I think they really took a turn for the worst when Christy Smith left to attend to family and health issues. They really did a lot of good work in investigating issues and creating a progressive push, but in the past year it’s gone beyond helpful.

    It seems General Jane Westmoreland has developed a severe case of “Burn the village down in order to save it” mentality that’s going to wind up biting people in the ass. They had such high hopes and painted such a glorious liberal pony over the blank slate that was Obama they’ve turned into a version of the Teabaggers. The Teabaggers movement is based solely on various forms of racism and class priviledge, whereas the firebaggers are nothing more than people so disillusioned with what they thought Obama was that they’ve collectively lost their shit.

    Things like this (the Obama comparison) are what will never allow a strong progressive movement or government. They thought that no more Bush and getting a D majority was going to bring rainbows. We need more and better Dems (or Indies like Sanders), but going apeshit after less than a year after winning the election isn’t going to get it done.

  105. 105
    Calming Influence says:

    That’s interesting: “You do not have permission to edit this comment.”

    Any way:

    Pragmatists should thank Activists for the things Pragmatists are willing to settle for.

    Activists should thank Pragmatists for the things Activists get done.

    (This of course presumes Activist v. Pragmatist = Day v. Night.)

    And people sitting on their asses should shut the fuck up. (John Cole currently excepted).

  106. 106
    Rick Taylor says:

    Wonder why that is? Couldn’t have anything to do with the constant and steady drumbeat from the firebaggers telling us how much Obama sucks on a daily basis, could it?

    __
    While I’m sympathetic with most of your post, I disagree with this point. The percentage of people following FDL are tiny; it’s not going to have much effect on the election. Most people aren’t nutcases like us who obsessively follow the various political blogs. If Democrats don’t show up in the midterms, it will be because the economy is crap, people are losing their homes, and maybe the way the cable networks slant their coverage will have something to do with it. I like Obama, I don’t think we could have picked anyone better last election, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been disappointed or there aren’t things I think he could have pushed harder on that would have helped (cram down being a major one, and one he campaigned on).

  107. 107
    Sly says:

    Fucking amateur hour.

    American politics has fuckall to do with Overton Window’s and other claptrap that might get you a rubdown from a cute poli-sci undergrad. American politics is about constituencies. Constituencies that vote, and that vote in unison.

    What Trumka and the AFL did was textbook politicking. They had a reliable Democratic constituency, saw something in a bill they didn’t like, and threatened to withhold that constituency’s support if concessions weren’t made. They had specific demands, and the power to make those demands a reality. It wasn’t some bullshit argument they had a flack put up on Politico or mouth to Ed Shultz. It was the millions of voters that they could march to the polls on election day. Everything else is theater.

    FDL has no constituency and they’re not trying to build one or, if they are, they’re doing an absolute miserable job at it. Instead they want to move right past what would make their support necessary and on to making threats of withholding support without the leverage necessary to back up those threats. You know what that makes them in the eyes of veteran politicians who’ve been at the game for years? Useless for anything more than the occasional donation. And they will be treated as such.

  108. 108
    jwb says:

    @aimai: The link was there. For some reason, all caps just doesn’t appear in blue when it’s a link.

  109. 109
    eastriver says:

    @gwangung:

    This is a question worth answering, why?

  110. 110
    Calming Influence says:

    Also, too: If a solid majority of the public wants health insurance reform that includes a strong public option, fighting reform that DOESN’T include a strong public option is not evil.

  111. 111
    eastriver says:

    @Sly:

    In re the ineffectiveness of FDL, see JOE LEIBERMAN. They were instrumental in almost taking the fucker DOWN.

  112. 112
    Joe Beese says:

    Old John: “I don’t have to dispute what some moonbat says.”

    New John: “I don’t have to dispute what some firebagger says.”

  113. 113
    gwangung says:

    I like Obama, I don’t think we could have picked anyone better last election, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been disappointed or there aren’t things I think he could have pushed harder on that would have helped (cram down being a major one, and one he campaigned on).

    Let alone the fact that other people may think that there are different things Obama is disappointing on and truly think that the things some people are disappointed about aren’t worth the energy to be disappointed about. (The joys of a representative democracy….)

  114. 114
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Zandar:

    Exactly.

  115. 115
    DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio says:

    @Sly:

    Why are you stealing my material? I’ve been saying exactly the same thing for years, except that I use the construction “American politics is about coalitions.” My coalitions are your constituencies voting in unison.

    Of course, that’s only what it’s about at the voting booth.

    On Capitol Hill, American politic-government is about money, and lobbying.

    The contest is between the voting coalitions, and the moneyed interests. Right now, the moneyed interests have been winning for a while. We’ll see if this continues.

    But only in the blog world would anyone be naive enough to think that anything that goes on at FDL would move a “window” that affects actual politics, or government.

  116. 116
    jwb says:

    @DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio: “Congress is run by lobbyists and money,” Yes, but the world has an interesting way of intervening in unexpected ways that keeps the lobbyists and money from being all-determining.

  117. 117
    gwangung says:

    Also, too: If a solid majority of the public wants health insurance reform that includes a strong public option, fighting reform that DOESN’T include a strong public option is not evil.

    Tactically, you have not made the case.

  118. 118
    Svensker says:

    I argue this with my hub all the time. He’s on the “I shoulda voted for Nader, Dems are just like Repubs” thing 24/7. He’s also on the “maybe if we had elected McCain/Palin, things would get so bad that we’d have a revolution and progressives would get in” fantasy. (Shoot me now, thanks.)

    Of course, he’s also bemoaning the fact that Christie will be the governor of NJ next week and there is no way in hell that gay marriage will pass during Christie’s term.

    Cognitive dissonance anyone?

  119. 119
    clonecone says:

    It’s not just going for ads. According to the FEC reports she’s paying herself a couple of thousand dollars a month. Some of her buddies are in on the payout too. I don’t remember her mentioning that in any of her emails begging for cash. Demands for transparency are a one way street in FDL land.

  120. 120
    DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio says:

    @Calming Influence:

    That would be heartwarming, if there were even a solid minority, let alone a majority, of Americans who even know what a Public Option is. There isn’t and your assertion is nonsense. People being polled on the idea are just doing Slogan Recognition, they don’t what they are for.

    They didn’t vote for anything called a Public Option in the recent election. Obama offered only a Public Plan, which was never the same thing as a Public Option except in the indirect sense that a subsidized alternative should be made available to the underinsured or uninsured. But the details of that were deliberately omitted, which was a smart move.

  121. 121
    les says:

    @eastriver:

    We have the senate, the house, and the WH.

    Ya know, if this were true you might have a point. But, since it is not true, you firebaggers just come off like idiots. And you will assure that it won’t get any truer.

  122. 122
    DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio says:

    @jwb:

    You are watching way too much television.

    @Svensker:

    You need a new husband. Nader? Are you fucking kidding me?

  123. 123
    slag says:

    Very sad.

    Under the guise of fighting on behalf of progressive causes, FDL has made it clear that they’re only in it for themselves. They benefit more when Democrats are out of power, so that’s what they’re working for.

    FDL is now the Rush Limbaugh of the left. But without nearly the amount of influence on Dems as Limbaugh has on Republicans.

    Very sad. And very stupid.

  124. 124
    eastriver says:

    @les:

    What you wrote makes no sense. Stop drinking and typing.

  125. 125
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    First off, it’s clear Hamsher has gone way off the reservation, esp., given the Club-for-Fire-Growth (or is it American-Dogs-for-Tax-and-Lake-Reform?) shenanigans.

    But I rather like that ad. How exactly does one get “right-wing frame) out of pointing out (correctly) that Obama is pushing for adoption of the funding mechanism from McCain’s plan (which Obama ran against, from the left)? I ususally think that saying that the president is adopting a Republican policy on a particular issue is more like a, um, left-wing frame, no? (Reasonable people can differ on the merits of the issue –Krugman thinks the tax a good idea and criticized Obama for demagoguing the issue — but that’s a different argument.)

    Nor is the ad — at least to my eyes — aimed at convincing Dem voters to sit out 2010 or saying, ‘We want magic unicorns or nothing.’ (This is not to say that the Firebaggers haven’t engaged in tactics that have those likely and probably intended consequences.) Rather, the ad is about the most pragmatic thing they’ve done for a while. There has been some room for movement on the mis-named “Cadillac Plan” tax and I read this ad as being aimed at applying pressure to get a compromise on that tax (which is happening in the labor negotiations, although Hamsher will piss on that compromise as well).

    I understand John’s frustration with the Firebaggers. But his reflexive defensiveness when any criticism of Obama is raised (regardless of merit) is becoming almost as tiresome as Jane’s rants.

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    FDL has no constituency and they’re not trying to build one or, if they are, they’re doing an absolute miserable job at it. Instead they want to move right past what would make their support necessary and on to making threats of withholding support without the leverage necessary to back up those threats. You know what that makes them in the eyes of veteran politicians who’ve been at the game for years? Useless for anything more than the occasional donation. And they will be treated as such.

    Just wanted to emphasize this. The difference between what the unions did and what the firebaggers are doing is that the unions had a very specific change that they wanted and they were able to back up their threat with a specific block of votes that the Democrats know they can count on.

    Nebulous whining about how progressives are going to stay home because they’re unhappy about a laundry list of unrelated items is just going to get you ignored.

  127. 127
    eastriver says:

    @Sebastian Dangerfield:

    Yes. And how.

  128. 128
    jwb says:

    @Osprey: “The Teabaggers movement is based solely on various forms of racism and class priviledge…”

    Actually, my sense is that the anger of the tea bag movement comes less from racism and class privilege than from the bailout of the banks, which the right was very clever to harness and redirect toward more properly rightwing goals.

  129. 129
    clonecone says:

    @eastriver: You and the rest of the firebaggers need to go back to first grade and learn to count to 60. Do you understand how a bill becomes a law?

  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio:

    People being polled on the idea are just doing Slogan Recognition, they don’t what they are for.

    It’s like all of the polls showing that people are worried about the deficit. People are worried about high unemployment and inflation, and “the deficit” is a handy thing to project those worries onto, but they don’t realize that the deficit has jack shit to do with those. It’s just a handy boogeyman that the right has been screaming about, so people grab onto it when they mean, “I’m worried about general financial instability.”

  131. 131
    les says:

    @eastriver:

    In re the ineffectiveness of FDL, see JOE LEIBERMAN. They were instrumental in almost taking the fucker DOWN.

    Did you say that on purpose? Let me see, which “independent” senator is fucking over health care because somebody almost took him down? Well a big wet sloppy kiss to eastriver on that.

  132. 132
    grendelkhan says:

    And to make things even better, there will probably be three or four diaries concern trolling us about the base being depressed for 2010. Wonder why that is? Couldn’t have anything to do with the constant and steady drumbeat from the firebaggers telling us how much Obama sucks on a daily basis, could it?

    You know, it might have to do with how disappointing Obama’s performance is. (Of course, everyone has something different they hate, but for me, the formalization of our disappear-you-if-we-feel-like-it policy is the insult topping on the shit sundae.)

    But more to the point, the certainty that the root of the problem resides not within Obama’s actual performance, but within the failure of his party to clap harder… well, it reeks of the claims that failures in the Middle East were due to a failure of those at home to sufficiently Support the Troops, i.e., to clap harder.

    But hey, enjoy doing your part as a member of the Circular Firing Squad.

  133. 133
    jwb says:

    @DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio: “You are watching way too much television.”

    TV, the only TV I watch these days is sports.

  134. 134
    Tsulagi says:

    @Zifnab:

    When you’ve got the CBO scoring the left-most health care plans with the best scores, it’s a little frustrating to see the legislation pulled to the right, particularly by self-espoused “fiscal conservatives”.

    Yep. Plus consistent polling showing Independents by a wide margin favoring a strong public option or even single payer based real HCR that could provide real cost containment. Hell, in one recent poll even a majority of Rs favored a 55+ Medicare buy in.

    But rather than fight for that, the Ds went into R-bagger appeasement mode on the absolutely loony premise that if they capitulated enough Rs would love them and reward them with a few of their votes. Bipartisanship. That worked out well.

    The Dems got punked on HCR. Or they self-punked depending on your point of view.

  135. 135
    clonecone says:

    @eastriver: “In re the ineffectiveness of FDL, see JOE LEIBERMAN. They were instrumental in almost taking the fucker DOWN.”

    Jane posted a picture of Lieberman in blackface. She was most likely instrumental in taking Lamont down.

  136. 136
    les says:

    @eastriver:

    Well, eastriver, you better define “we.” ‘Cause if you think progressives have a majority in either house, or that Obama ever claimed to be a progressive, you’re a complete f’n idiot.

  137. 137
    The Moar You Know says:

    More help from Hamsher: commissioning push-polls to test the effectiveness of anti-HCR republican talking points against a vulnerable Democrat.

    My jaw hit the floor. Bad enough to team with Norquist.

    But this is beyond the pale.

  138. 138
    Chad N Freude says:

    For those who insist on HCR perfection ab initio (Latin for “from the get-go”), I recommend at least thinking about this thought-provoking New Yorker article by Atul Guwande:

    Where we crave sweeping transformation, however, all the current bill offers is those pilot programs, a battery of small-scale experiments. The strategy seems hopelessly inadequate to solve a problem of this magnitude. And yet—here’s the interesting thing—history suggests otherwise.

    Be warned, it’s fairly long and people with short attention spans will not have their thoughts provoked.

  139. 139
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @eastriver:

    In re the ineffectiveness of FDL, see JOE LEIBERMAN. They were instrumental in almost taking the fucker DOWN.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. What happened in Connecticut with that election was an absolute disaster for the Democrats. Nice fucking work there, FDL.

  140. 140
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @eastriver:

    What you wrote makes no sense. Stop drinking and typing.

    …and now, I think we can safely pie filter eastriver and move on.

  141. 141
    moe99 says:

    @ aimai

    Loud, sustained applause….

  142. 142
    DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio says:

    @jwb:

    Heh. In that case, Go Steelers.

    Oh …. sorry, never mind.

  143. 143
    eemom says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I noticed yesterday that Jane and her bots were accusing the unions of “selling out.” How exactly is it “selling out” to get the best deal you can for your own constituency?

    I’ve said many times what I think about Jane, so I won’t reiterate it; but I do think there’s an interesting psychological phenomenon to be observed in the fact that no matter how far off the deep end she goes, she still has her little cadre of slathering, loyal groupies that will defend to the death anything she does or says, and whose attempts to rationalize same are increasingly removed from reality. (e.g., “Paul Krugman sucks! He’s just another ObamaRahmabot sellout!”)

    I seriously believe it has reached the level of cultism now.

  144. 144
    gwangung says:

    But rather than fight for that, the Ds went into R-bagger appeasement mode on the absolutely loony premise that if they capitulated enough Rs would love them and reward them with a few of their votes.

    Hm. Not sure that’s what really happened, given the nature of the Democratic coalition–a lot of the reviled Blue Dogs come from areas that aren’t that liberal and aren’t as bought into particular tactics as other areas (being in favor of a tactic isn’t necessarily the same as being a whole hog supporter). And the defeat of the Republicans doesn’t mean that support automatically goes to the most progressive ideas of the Democrats.

    Misreading what happened and the causes of what happened generally means your tactics from here on will be ineffective (even though the strategy and goal may be good).

  145. 145
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Tsulagi: I agree with this sort of, but the anti-progressive faux progressives with D after their names may have made it impossible not to cave on some of the contentious issues and still get anything passed.

  146. 146
    Scott says:

    @eemom:

    I seriously believe it has reached the level of cultism now.

    That. For some reason, FDL has started reminding me of Shakesville, and you just made the connection for me.

  147. 147
    cleek says:

    How exactly does one get “right-wing frame) out of pointing out (correctly) that Obama is pushing for adoption of the funding mechanism from McCain’s plan (which Obama ran against, from the left)?

    Obama didn’t write the HCR bill(s) in question. this ad misinforms people by putting the blame for its problems on Obama, instead of on the people who wrote, negotiated, and voted for the bill(s) in question. instead of saying “The centrist dems who crafted the current HRC Senate bill are proposing to tax your HC benefits (but only if you have a certain kind of plan, etc.)”, it attacks the leader of the party for having to compromise and accept what the Senate was (barely!) able to deliver.

    this perpetuates both the “ObamaCare” and the tax-and-spend tropes.

    it’s 30 seconds of misleading bullshit which does nothing to address the source of the problem : the Senators who straddle the line between cloture and failure who made this bill what it is. if FDL really wants better Democrats, they should spend their money going after the blue dogs (by supporting strong primary challenges) who made the Senate bill what it is. or they could go after the Party Of No who gave the Blue Dogs so much power in the first place. but Obama is not the Senate, or the House. he didn’t write the fucking bills.

    the Hamsters show no signs that they understands how politics in America works: either in matters of procedure, or in matters of persuasion. they are flailing and blindly striking at the wrong targets.

  148. 148
    eemom says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    OMFG. Can anyone really be dumb enough to BELIEVE that??

    Lieberman is living proof of how absolutely Hamsher has failed at ever accomplishing, like, anything for the public good.

    And please, spare me the “great work” she’s done in the past that everyone keeps alluding to. There is none. Marcy Wheeler “liveblogged” the Scooter Libby trial and wrote a book. Big fucking deal.

    Back in the dark days of Bush, FDL was a cool blog where some good people hung out. That’s all.

  149. 149
    Chad N Freude says:

    @aimai: Why are you bringing reality and logic into this?

    (I really like your post at NMMMB.)

  150. 150
    Svensker says:

    @DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio:

    You need a new husband. Nader? Are you fucking kidding me?

    He has other attributes that keep me happy.

  151. 151
    feral1 says:

    The thing that really bums me out about the fdl immolation, is that I though they were on exactly the right track with serving as a hub for primary challenges for crappy Dems. That is a concrete, doable strategy that will reap real benefits. I donated a number of times through their ActBlue account.

    I won’t be doing that any more. Hopefully, another lefty blog will fill the void. Daily Kos does to some degree, but things get lost over there because it’s so big.

  152. 152
    Lisa says:

    @ Clonecone #134 –

    Word.

  153. 153
    Da Bomb says:

    @clonecone: Could you please provide a linky?

  154. 154
    eemom says:

    heh. To top it all off, the lead “diary” at Lake Batshit right now is “Why I will not be voting for Martha Coakley on Tuesday.”

  155. 155
  156. 156
    Quiddity says:

    We all know John Cole doesn’t like FDL & Co.

    But where does John stand on the Senate tax on health care plans? Does he think it will reduce the price of drugs and services (no, you can’t use the word “costs”, because that’s really referring to expenditures – a different thing).

    By scaling back insurance coverage and/or making it more expensive through higher deductibles or co-pays – which is essentially rationing – is John saying that that’s the way to bend the curve?

    Not to defend the video, but offloading the costs of health care to individuals is precisely what McCain proposed. Is John saying that there should be no dissent on this issue? Is party unity paramount over principles?

  157. 157
    GReynoldsCT00 says:

    @eemom:

    well isn’t that just swell…

  158. 158
    Citizen_X says:

    In re the ineffectiveness of FDL, see JOE LEIBERMAN. They were instrumental in almost taking the fucker DOWN.

    But. They. Didn’t.

    And as others have pointed out, that’s been a worse disaster. As Napoleon pointed out when one of his generals fucked up as badly, “If you’re going to take Vienna, take Vienna.”

  159. 159
    Tracy says:

    @eemom:

    Fortunately, Tbogg appears to set the diarist straight.

  160. 160
    Chris Andersen says:

    @eastriver:

    Sorry, but pushing the window is the only way to effect what’s going on. To make them (the dems in office) think that you won’t vote for them next time. No GOTV.

    Some people really don’t understand the concept of the window very well. You don’t move it by pushing elected officials. You move it by pushing the electorate.

    Elected officials generally go where the voters are. If you convince voters that single payer is good, the politicians will see that and adjust their policies accordingly.

    Politicians are at the end of a rope. You move them by pulling it, not by pushing it.

  161. 161
    clonecone says:

    @Da Bomb: http://query.nictusa.com/pdf/2.....navpanes=0

    Page 21 and beyond. And that’s just one report.

    Many more here. http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?C00452177

  162. 162
    Da Bomb says:

    @clonecone: Thanks for the info!!

  163. 163
    Nick says:

    @gwangung: If Jane Hamsher actually came around with assault rifles and mowed down insurance executives, I’d have slightly more respect for her. At least she’s doing something instead of complaining and undermining.

  164. 164
    Nick says:

    The good news in all this is that after Scott Brown gets elected, FDL and progressives will be sidelined at least for the next seven years. They will have literally -10% influence.

    Couldn’t happen to better people.

  165. 165
    Chris Andersen says:

    @media browski:

    Jesus fucking christ in a sidecar, the only political theory the firebaggers seem to have is the Overton window, which is exactly the kind of weak-ass useless tool that poli sci majors are made fun of regularly for.

    The problem is that there are some people who talk about this (and about framing in general) who have a completely backwards understanding of what they mean. The Overton Window is not something you “push” by forcing politicians to do your will. The Overton Window is the range of acceptable opinion as perceived by the general populous (you know, the people who vote these guys into office). If the window is sitting to the right on issues like taxation (less is always better), than politicians who support cutting taxes, even in a recession, will get elected.

    You move the window by advocating for your position in a way that persuades *voters*, not the politicians. Get the voters to shift and the politicians will follow.

    Jane and crew have this completely backwards. They are trying to push the cart (the Democrats) when the should be pulling the reigns of the horse (the voters).

  166. 166
    Nick says:

    @Chris Andersen:

    Jane and crew have this completely backwards. They are trying to push the cart (the Democrats) when the should be pulling the reigns of the horse (the voters).

    they know they can’t, so they figure they’ll get themselves on TV by pushing politicians. They’re upset that they can effectively move people on issues, so they’re taking it out on the leaders.

  167. 167
    Kerry Reid says:

    I’m really glad the TeaProggers weren’t leading the charge for any major civil rights movements in the history of this country, because these WATBs would never have had the fortitude — or smarts — it takes to really bring about change in the face of actual oppression. Seriously, can you imagine Hamsher, et al facing down firehoses and police dogs? Going through force-feeding a la the early suffragists?

  168. 168
    Chris Andersen says:

    @Stooleo:

    Ha! Democrats destroying their own party, no one would have ever predicted this.

    Both parties do it. The Democrats just do it faster.

    Yeah for us!

  169. 169
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    What percentage of the firedogbaggers are PUMAs?

  170. 170
    Chris Andersen says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    Seriously, can you imagine Hamsher, et al facing down firehoses and police dogs?

    She’d probably attack Johnson and King as sellouts for not working hard enough to get real civil rights reform.

  171. 171
    CalD says:

    @John Cole:

    And if you are going to come in here defending this nonsense, telling us they are doing a valuable service by pushing the Overton window to the left, spare me. You don’t move the window to the left adopting right wing frames. You just validate what the wingnuts are saying.

    You also don’t move the Overton window by over-reaching, inspiring backlash or going down in flames over a point of principle — whereas any sustainable change actually achieved, even a modest one automatically recenters the window and opens up new possibilities.

  172. 172
    geg6 says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Can I marry you? ‘Cause, baby, I’m right where you’re at.

  173. 173
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio: This.

  174. 174
    Will says:

    @Interrobang:

    Barack Obama “talks like a televangelist”? This is news.

  175. 175
    Guster says:

    The point can relax, it has been missed by a wide margin.

  176. 176
    Will says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    What percentage of the firedogbaggers are PUMAs?

    It’s growing daily. Check the comments section over there, and you’ll see newly arrived teabaggers complimenting the firebaggers on their use of Galtian language.

  177. 177
    Kerry Reid says:

    To put it less snarkily: can anyone defending FDL and Hamsher’s tactics point to a single goddamn time that getting in bed with ultra-conservatives has actually led to a progressive outcome on a particular issue, or pushed that stupid window that has somehow become this fetishistic object of worship for political johnny-and-janey-come-latelys?

    Show me the historical proof of the viability of this tactic, and I’ll reconsider my opinion of the TeaProggers as overprivileged self-important narcissistic drama-mongering assholes who couldn’t buy themselves a clue with a fucking Amex platinum card.

  178. 178
    John Cole says:

    @Quiddity: I thought taxing the so-called cadillac plans make sense if you are not going to get rid of the employer tax exemption. I became persuaded that the politics of it were awful and that it made no sense to do this to union workers and others without first raising taxes on the rich.

    And I don’t hate FDL- I hate what they are doing.

  179. 179
    eemom says:

    psst: since it’s the end of the thread, can I tell y’all a secret?

    I’d never even heard of “the Overton window” before this lunacy started, I still don’t know where the term comes from, and I have failed to google it. But I do have some amusing mental images of Jane Hamsher pushing a window around.

  180. 180
    Woodrowfan says:

    TBOGG is still well-worth reading. The born-again PUMAs, not so much..

  181. 181
    fraught says:

    I don’t know. eastriver sounds kinda young with her frail sarcasm. I can just picture the eyerolling from here. She must know that the Overton Window is not a real window, right? It seems that she’s imagining herself standing there in the window bravely fending off the Bj attacks, a heroine for the cause. Later, bathed in sweat, she will go back to FDL and accept the plaudits from her leaders, ready for a rubdown.

  182. 182
    Scott says:

    To put it less snarkily: can anyone defending FDL and Hamsher’s tactics point to a single goddamn time that getting in bed with ultra-conservatives has actually led to a progressive outcome on a particular issue, or pushed that stupid window that has somehow become this fetishistic object of worship for political johnny-and-janey-come-latelys?

    It seems like they’ve absorbed the lessons about compromise and cooperation, but they’ve misunderstood who they should be compromising and cooperating with. They’re supposed to work with the people who agree with them on the most issues, not with the ones who fantasize about killing everyone to the left of Sarah Palin and Tom Tancredo.

  183. 183
    Kerry Reid says:

    eemom, I only heard of it last year — and I’ve worked on every presidential campaign since 1984 and been active with women’s issues since I was a middle-schooler (1977, you do the math). Clearly, I need re-education on true progressive values from my betters!

  184. 184
  185. 185
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    TBOGG is still well-worth reading. The born-again PUMAs, not so much..

    Born-Again PUMAs <– that’s awesome

  186. 186
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cleek:

    if FDL really wants better Democrats, they should spend their money going after the blue dogs (by supporting strong primary challenges) who made the Senate bill what it is.

    But that’s so haaaaaard. I mean, they’ve been doing it for four whole years and the entire system hasn’t been fixed yet, so clearly the entire experiment is a failure and progressives should go back to self-righteously sitting out elections because the Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same.

  187. 187
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I don’t even see why the FDLers On The Roof think that they’re “left.” They’re just glib nihilists who think everything sucks. That’s not left, that’s Age 14.

  188. 188
    NR says:

    I’m not particularly sympathetic to your argument, John. The GOP base marched in lockstep support of Bush for eight years, and this did massive damage not only to the country, but to their own party. I don’t want to see the Democratic party repeat the same thing with Obama. When Obama is wrong, he needs to be criticized from the left. Loudly. And if that means bringing up his campaign rhetoric and comparing it to what he’s doing now, so be it.

    This health care reform bill a) is massively unpopular, and b) will not do anything to reduce costs or improve quality of care. If the Democratic base lines up in lockstep support of it, then we’re all just marching off the cliff together, just like the Republicans did.

    More broadly, I recognize the need to support Obama and the Democrats in the short term, because the Republicans must be kept out of power. But if the Democrats continue on the path they’re on, I cannot support them in the long term. I mean, really – do you think having the only choice being between the corporatist center-right and the batshit insane fringe right is a healthy thing for the country? I sure don’t.

  189. 189
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chris Andersen:

    She’d probably attack Johnson and King as sellouts for not working hard enough to get real civil rights reform.

    She’d probably enter into a pact with noted anti-corporate populist George Wallace. Because people who want better civil rights policy and people who want much worse civil rights policy are both opposed to the corrupt status quo.

  190. 190
    Paula says:

    @ aimai

    “But they have descended from talking about progressive policies to attacking democrats personally, and impugning the motives of basically every single person involved in the Health Care Reform struggle.”

    Um, yeah, to my (arguably limited — as since 2004 I’ve tried to avoid sites like FDL and DKos because they were, to me, the death knell of progressivism) perception this whole situation the Hamsher/FDL has created for themselves is the direct result of not having a coherent strategy that would work towards a clear set of goals. If they talked about “policy”, they talked about it in the context of “good” vs. “bad” people who said things that they liked or didn’t like. They reacted to policy talk rather than creating it. Their version of “grassroots activism” was manning the phones for candidates, not talking to actual people outside the political process and making them understand progressive policy. Which would take more time than they’ve allowed for major “social change” and involve actually sitting with the great unwashed who don’t read blogs 24/7.

    So, I would probably amend aimai’s statement to say that FDL was well on the way to some kind of meltdown simply because it seems like there was never anything but “politics based on personality” on that site. (And other bloggers have pointed this out to Jane many times.) To cosign on Sly’s entire statement, they don’t have a constituency. If they did, their work would not be reduced to fanboying/denigrating candidates. They would actually have input for clear policy goals and recognize various levels of need and have an identifiable base of support if indeed they did want to stage a noticeable withdrawal of support from the Democrats.

    What they have appears to be a political version of fandom, where people are given membership based on their agreement with certain ideas and participation in certain practices, like Comic-Con (or in this case, calling various people sell-outs). People are there because it’s satisfying to be among your own kind, but it probably doesn’t involve much actual work being done.

    I’m pretty dissatisfied w/ the past year, but it’s hard to expect more when the prominent media/intellectual class of progressive in America are still pretty much acting like tweens. They misuse (and waste) their soapboxes. They have provided neither the clarity of real journalists nor the organizational skills of real activists/advocates.

  191. 191
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR:

    b) will not do anything to reduce costs or improve quality of care

    Oh, Christ, we’re doing this again.

  192. 192
    Mary says:

    I just read those FEC reports. The AccountabilityNowPac looks like a giant slush fund for Jane Hamsher and her friends that was targeted to both the left and the right. Is she really taking out $2,000 every two weeks in addition to all her travel expenses and paying her own blog thousands?

    Ahem. This looks like a business plan that was started 18 months ago and makes the latest call to the teabaggers and Norquistians just an extension of an existing moneymaking strategy.

    The teabaggers are getting busted for their crooked PACs as we speak.

    Maybe it’s time to turn our attention to the crooked PACs on our own side.

    AccountabilityNow indeed.

    I want my damn money back.

  193. 193
    Kerry Reid says:

    I mean, really – do you think having the only choice being between the corporatist center-right and the batshit insane fringe right is a healthy thing for the country? I sure don’t.

    Well, Hamsher seems to think that the batshit insane fringe right is preferable to the corporatist center-right and are in fact natural allies, which is, I believe, why she is catching a lot of shit from the not-insane progressive left.

  194. 194
    NR says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    Well, Hamsher seems to think that the batshit insane fringe right is preferable to the corporatist center-right and are in fact natural allies, which is, I believe, why she is catching a lot of shit from the not-insane progressive left.

    I find it strange that some people here seem to care a lot more about what Jane Hamsher is doing than they do about what Barack Obama is doing.

    Barack Obama actually matters. Jane Hamsher doesn’t.

  195. 195
    Crusty Dem says:

    Condensed details of this thread:

    Pragmatist – Corporatist douchebag who doesn’t care about anything but getting something done, independent of whether it actually accomplishes their goals (if they actually had any in the first place).

    Activist – Hippie asshole who will pitch a raging, screaming-baby shit-fit if they don’t get every little thing they want. Would rather destroy the world than give in one bit.

    Firebagger – Proud anti-establishment (of any kind) progressive loser, points to previous failures as accomplishments, ridicules those who agree with him/her if they negotiate and give up anything at all (see activist). May pray daily to gold-plated shrine to Jane Hamsher.

    Overton window – Most overused, misunderstood term since “weapons of mass destruction”.

  196. 196
    gwangung says:

    Well, Hamsher seems to think that the batshit insane fringe right is preferable to the corporatist center-right and are in fact natural allies, which is, I believe, why she is catching a lot of shit from the not-insane progressive left.

    Why shouldn’t she catch hell for this? And why shouldn’t people who follow this same path catch hell for this as well?

  197. 197
    Kerry Reid says:

    I find it strange that some people here seem to care a lot more about what Jane Hamsher is doing than they do about what Barack Obama is doing.

    Barack Obama actually matters. Jane Hamsher doesn’t.

    Some of us can multitask.

  198. 198
    eemom says:

    @NR:

    I care very much about what Barack Obama is doing, and for the most part I like it.

    And I may joke about being an O-bot, but actually I’ve never been a bot of any kind for anybody. I think the man is a fine leader with a brilliant mind, an excellent temperament, and for the zillionth time, DOING THE BEST HE CAN WITH THE MASSIVE LOAD OF SHIT Bush left him.

  199. 199
    Comrade Luke says:

    I don’t really know where to put this, but I figured putting it in threads about the BJ get together didn’t make sense.

    I mentioned in a previous thread that my friend’s niece and goddaughter was missing in Haiti.

    She didn’t make it
    .

    Twenty-two years old, volunteering at an orphanage, and…that’s it…

    I’m really having a hard time giving a shit about Jane Hamsher right now.

  200. 200
    cleek says:

    I find it strange that some people here seem to care a lot more about what Jane Hamsher is doing than they do about what Barack Obama is doing.

    Congress wrote the bill, not Obama. Obama’s compromising on some minor points to give Americans a far better deal than they currently have.

    Hamsher is objectively fighting for the status-quo.

  201. 201
    Kerry Reid says:

    Sorry, the sentence about Barack Obama mattering and Jane Hamshe not mattering should have been in the block quote. I said I could multitask — I said nothing about posting skills. ;)

    And fwiw, what I see Barack Obama doing is working with Congress, against horrible obstacles and in the worst economy in a couple of generations, to get the largest piece of social legislation in decades passed. And in the process he’s also trying to reignite the idea that government — big government, even — can do some good in the lives of citizens. After decades of being told that “Government is the problem, not the solution” and “the era of Big Government is over,” that is, in fact, a profound ideological shift.

    Certainly there are many aspects of the HCR bill that I’m unhappy about. There are aspects of every bill that have unintended consequences and should hence be revisited. But again: the bill-killers have no coherent strategy for getting more progressive legislation through, given the current makeup of Congress (and accounting for the fact that the Dems probably will lose seats next session). I believe “nihilist” is the correct designation for people who want to toss over the game table this soon in the process.

    Again, it’s awfully lucky for white progressives that African Americans didn’t abandon the Democratic Party despite actual betrayals they suffered time and again (the failure of FDR to move on federal anti-lynching legislation or integration of the armed forces, the slow-as-molasses move toward federal civil rights legislation).

  202. 202
    Paula says:

    Barack Obama actually matters. Jane Hamsher doesn’t.

    NR, whether so-called progressives wanted it or not, she and her site have become defacto leaders of “the movement”. They’ve linked to her blog, supported her campaigns. When she goes on TV, and now, when she speaks to conservatives, the people who invite her and the people who watch those interviews assume that she is representing “the Left”. So she’s now very much a part of the conversation about “the Left”. The fact that she is now teaming with conservatives reflects on progressives as a whole. Which is why people are disappointed and/or mad. Because she has made you look, at best, foolish, and at worst, deeply unprincipled — which, by extension, tends to damage your credibility when fighting for the causes you espouse.

  203. 203
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Comrade Luke: I am so very sorry to hear that. So sad for her family and friends.

  204. 204
    Kerry Reid says:

    Luke, that is truly awful. My thoughts and prayers (well, of the agnostic variety) for her family and loved ones.

  205. 205
    AxelFoley says:

    @Senyordave:

    So clearly, we need to oppose Democrats. Because when Democrats lose the Senate, the House, and/or the White House, they’ll be much more able to advance progressive measures.

    Makes sense, don’t it?

  206. 206
    geg6 says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    That’s terrible news. Please pass on my sympathies to your friend. It’s no consolation, but her niece/goddaughter died in service to others. It’s a noble death and I honor it.

  207. 207
    Mark S. says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    With regard to health care, the absolute best outcome I foresee is passing the current weak bill which provides a few (largely illusory) benefits to consumers while representing a massive giveaway to some of the most demonstrably evil corporations to have ever existed.

    This.

    And if this is the absolute best package we could hope for, then this country is truly fucked.

  208. 208
    Mary says:

    @Comrade Luke: I am really sorry to hear about your friend’s niece and goddaughter. She must have been a wonderful young woman to be volunteering at an orphanage in Haiti. My God, that is so sad.

  209. 209
    Mark S. says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    I’m so sorry. My condolences to her loved ones.

  210. 210
    NR says:

    @Paula: Again, if this worries people and/or makes them angry, then I would suggest that their concern and/or anger is misplaced. If the left was happy with Obama, then there would be no room for Hamsher’s antics to have any effect.

    Some people seem to think that Hamsher is manufacturing discontent on the left. She’s not. She’s just tapping into what’s already there. And it goes beyond health care reform – there’s Afghanistan, gay rights, etc.

    Polls are saying that 45% of Democrats are either not likely to vote or are certain not to vote in November. As much fun as it may be to hate on Jane Hamsher, she does not have the power to cause 45% of Democratic voters to sit out the next election. Barack Obama does.

  211. 211
    Wulfgar says:

    Because she has made you look, at best, foolish, and at worst, deeply unprincipled—which, by extension, tends to damage your credibility when fighting for the causes you espouse.

    It’s not nearly so passive when she’s handing the media and conservatives the very weapons they need to launch attacks against such causes, and those who would fight for them. I think that’s why I was so disgusted with her polite appeal to Rupert Murdoch not to be the very dick we all know that he is.

  212. 212
    NR says:

    @Comrade Luke: My condolences to you and your friend. She really was doing a wonderful thing by volunteering.

  213. 213
    Da Bomb says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    Again, it’s awfully lucky for white progressives that African Americans didn’t abandon the Democratic Party despite actual betrayals they suffered time and again (the failure of FDR to move on federal anti-lynching legislation or integration of the armed forces, the slow-as-molasses move toward federal civil rights legislation).

    Don’t let facts get in the way. FDR was the great white hope, I mean progressive overlord which Obama should aspire to be. And he accomplished all of his accomplishements in two weeks, because that is how he rolled./SNARK

  214. 214
    Paula says:

    @ NR

    And my point is that whatever she thinks she’s trying to do, she’s actually pretty useless. And she’s taking attention away from people who have better ideas and more constructive methods of building a mobilized constituency. Better ideas than sitting out the next national election.

    Discontent is an important tool for driving activism. As channeled by FDL, they sputter and fade because they have no idea how to direct it to something constructive.

  215. 215
    Kerry Reid says:

    Obama also really needs to be more like FDR when it comes to civil rights and start interning tens of thousands of American citizens solely on the grounds of ethnic origin.

  216. 216
    Kevin K. says:

    This gave me a much needed chuckle:

    I’d never even heard of “the Overton window” before this lunacy started, I still don’t know where the term comes from, and I have failed to google it. But I do have some amusing mental images of Jane Hamsher pushing a window around.

    Thanks, eemom!

  217. 217
    cleek says:

    @NR:

    As much fun as it may be to hate on Jane Hamsher, she does not have the power to cause 45% of Democratic voters to sit out the next election. Barack Obama does.

    what, exactly, should Obama be doing right now to get those 45% to vote ?

    and be sure not to assume that Hamsher’s gripes are shared by all of those 45%ers.

  218. 218
    Da Bomb says:

    @Comrade Luke: I am sorry for your loss. She was performing a wonderful service. My condolences.

  219. 219
    Scott says:

    @Comrade Luke: Utter, total sympathies and condolences. :(

  220. 220
    WaterGirl says:

    @Comrade Luke: One minute this wonderful young woman is working at an orphanage in Haiti, and then in a heartbeat she’s just… gone. It’s almost incomprehensible. What a terrible loss. I am so sorry.

  221. 221
    DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio says:

    @Svensker:

    He has other attributes that keep me happy.

    Well … alright, then.

  222. 222
    Da Bomb says:

    @Chris Andersen: @FlipYrWhig: No, she would just put blackface on MLK, Johnson, and Malcolm X, becuase that of all things would turn the tide for Civil Rights.

    Of course, as soon as that campaign would have failed, she would have to figure out a way to join hands with George Wallace and sing “Kumbaya” with Bull Connor and wonder why she is still sitting in the back of the bus.

  223. 223
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    I’m so sorry. Let us know if the family wants donations in her name — I know some of us (me included) are still putting our Haiti money together and would be happy to help out.

  224. 224
    Fern says:

    @eemom: And what I’ve noticed (in my brief and infrequent visits) is that independent-minded, thoughtful commenters who I used to respect are now all singing from the same songsheet. I find it sad. Well, sad and infuriating.

  225. 225
    Da Bomb says:

    @Mary: I agree, didn’t you talk to her about getting money possibly from Norquist?

    Didn’t she basically admit that she did?

  226. 226
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Comrade Luke: This is heartbreaking. I am very sorry for your family’s loss.

  227. 227
    Chad N Freude says:

    @John: I didn’t think it was possible, but Comrade Luke’s comment made me even angrier about Pat Robertson’s inability to keep his vile beliefs to himself. We need a new tag: “This is good news for Pat Robertson”.

  228. 228
    Ash Can says:

    @Comrade Luke: Terrible news. How tragic. What a fine, fine young lady, and what a terrible loss. Sympathies and best wishes to the family.

  229. 229
    clonecone says:

    @Mary: It’s much much worse. Al Giordano at The Field is working on a story that will blow the lid off the whole fucking thing.

  230. 230
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Da Bomb:

    FDR was the great white hope, I mean progressive overlord which Obama should aspire to be. And he accomplished all of his accomplishements in two weeks, because that is how he rolled.

    Whatever you think about the accomplishments of FDR, he did not achieve any of them them by reaching out to the people who called him a Socialist and making “bipartisanship” his #1 priority.

  231. 231
    Bostondreams says:

    @Tracy:

    Oh my god. I read that link and I now feel stupider. Calls for revolution and riots and making things worse and how only completely ‘anti-corporatist’ candidates deserve votes and purity tests and on and on and on. Two or three realists in a world of Che Guevara rainbows.

  232. 232
    The Raven says:

    What am I missing, John? It seems to me a legitimate argument–Obama campaigned against what his administration is now advocating. And, yeah, the teabaggers will probably make hay from it, but maybe it’ll get the Administration to improve the plan a bit.

    Explanation of the Overton window.

  233. 233
    Comrade Luke says:

    Thanks for the kind words everyone. I didn’t really know who to talk to so I just posted here.

    I didn’t know Molly, and I hadn’t talked to or seen her aunt in years, but seeing all this unfold was very difficult and brought out a lot of emotion for some reason.

    Part of it is that I have a new nephew and I can’t imagine how bad I’d feel not only for him but for my sister. I’m also having a hard time imagining what must have been going through her mind when it happened.

    The other thing that’s bugging me is that from what I can tell, we’re looking at a country that is essentially flattened, and I get to hear Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh say mean, hateful shit and have no accountability for it. Then you get the people responding to that, and people responding to THAT, and all of a sudden I just feel like shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!

    We can’t seem to focus on anything, or be introspective, or put the bullshit aside for even a few hours anymore.

    It’s impossible to keep up, and at times like this I take a step back, look at what I’m trying to keep up *with*, and wonder if it’s worth it.

    Time to turn off the tv and the internets for a while I think.

  234. 234
    Mary says:

    @Da Bomb: I chatted with Jane after she proposed an alliance with the teabaggers but before she announced her alliance with Grover Norquist. What I asked her was whether she was taking money from FreedomWorks or other right wingers and she said she would take money from anyone because she wasn’t ideologically constrained [and it was in her business plan from summer 2008 all along?]

    Yeah, I am waiting for Al Giordano’s story. If I recall, he drops heavy hints that someone, presumably Glenn Greenwald with whom she started the PAC, is also taking 4 grand a month from the PAC through a cutout. DMDM Enterprises, anyone?

    As for the FEC forms, the donor list appears heavy on libertarian types from the Silicon Valley and Ron Paul types and, in addition, one Robert Kagan.

    Is it any wonder Hamsher again tried to appeal to “libertarians,” with her alliance with the right wing, as they appear to have been significantly contributing to her lavish lifestyle all along? It’s just a short hop, skip and a jump to Dick Armey and Grover Norquist then, because those guys have the big bucks, if you look at it that way. And I do.

    Accountability Now for the sleazy operators on our own side!

    Does anyone have the FEC forms from 2009?

  235. 235
    No Sacred Cows says:

    Jane Hamsher is a despicable person and a political wannabe.

    There I said it. I know we’re not supposed to question “the great one” of the “anti-corporatist” movement, but to hell with it.

    She’s just a few years removed from being a washed up, no talent, Hollywood producer. And when her imdb.com profile began to fly at half mast in mourning for her career, she glommed onto politics.

    She is just one of a few high profile bloggers who thought they’d have an administration job once Obama was elected, but now spurned are behaving no better than Rush Limbaugh.

    Jane has lied and aligned herself with people who hate every liberal cause in this country. She’s worse than Michelle Malkin, at least you know where the anchor baby REALLY stands.

    Only a true fool or fake liberal could still listen to this moran after the crap she’s pulled.

  236. 236
    eemom says:

    @Mary:

    oh man, how I would love to see JH the target of a “scandal” of her very own. Please keep us posted.

  237. 237
    eemom says:

    @No Sacred Cows:

    one slight correction: she hoped to get a job in a CLINTON administration. One of the reasons she hates Obama so much.

  238. 238
    clonecone says:

    @Mary: 2009 FEC filings are due by 1/31. 527 filings (she has 527s as well) are due 2/1.

  239. 239
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @The Raven: Nothing is the matter. And it may be a genuine argument, for wingnuts.

    Political reality sometime forces compromise, and sometimes candidates change their minds, and even, oh noes, break campaign promises for whatever reason.

    Jane has the have the right to make the GOP’s ads for them, and you to apologize for here, and we have a right to say what we think about it.

  240. 240
    scudbucket says:

    Is this thread still alive? If so, here’s some good news from the DOT about changes in funding transit related projects. Little things like this can have huge positive impacts.

  241. 241
    Da Bomb says:

    @Citizen Alan: Some of his social programs that were enacted by excluding large swaths of the population. Which is how the majority of our social programs are passed.

    It doesn’t make FDR a bad president either.

    But people like to have revisionist history with FDR and how his programs were accomplished. He had three terms to push his legislation.

    Obama campaigned on utilizing bi-partisanship. He tried it and it didn’t work. That’s it. I don’t understand why people keep harping on that either. We see that completely depending on his own party didn’t necessary accomplish everything he wanted either.

  242. 242
    Mary says:

    @clonecone: Has anyone done a LEXIS search on lawsuits she may be involved with? On December 2, Ben Smith of Politico alluded to her legal difficulties with her old partner Howie Klein. And didn’t she start FDL with Christy Hardin Smith? I wonder whether they too had legal difficulties and that may have contributed to Christy withdrawing. Christy didn’t seem the type who would appreciate the kind of legal difficulties Jane Hamsher brings to her dealings, if you know what I mean.

    I say this because Hamsher was actually sued for libel when she wrote her tell-all book about Hollywood. In retrospect, that seems like a red flag warning that should have been heeded before trusting her, which so many of her donors did, including me.

  243. 243
    cleek says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Whatever you think about the accomplishments of FDR, he did not achieve any of them them by reaching out to the people who called him a So–alist and making “bipartisanship” his #1 priority.

    in 1934, the Dems had a majority of 69 to 25 in the Senate !

  244. 244
    Kerry Reid says:

    Whatever you think about the accomplishments of FDR, he did not achieve any of them by reaching out to the people who called him a Socialist and making “bipartisanship” his #1 priority.

    Actually, Citizen Alan, that is almost exactly what he did. He shelved federal anti-lynching legislation for the sole purpose of placating southern Democratic senators and getting their votes for the New Deal.

    So no, FDR didn’t try to make friends with those who called him “socialist,” nor was he after bipartisan support.

    He just quietly went along with racists to get their votes for his social legislation. There, isn’t that better? I mean, who gives a fuck about lynching black people when there’s the symbolic victory of the public option at stake? Let’s keep our moral priorities straight, people!

  245. 245
    John Cole says:

    @BTD:

    If Coakley loses for example, you aren’t planning on blaming Jane for the loss are you?

    Of course the ad is stupid NOW. I agree with you. But I think Dems’ electoral trouble, such as it is, is not because the “all powerful” Jane Hamsher is running ads.

    Why on earth would I blame FDL for a Coakley loss?

    On the other hand, Scott Brown winning will not in any way, shape, or form advance progressive interests, so you would think instead of flailing away at bullshit like this ad, like push polling people about HCR, like testing surveys for the GOP, and pushing total nonsense about Gruber, our progressive masters would be leading the charge to defend Kennedy’s seat.

    But then again, the answer for that is self-evident. That would be leadership. Our progressive overlords are not about leadership. They are about ideological purity, being proven right, standing around making bullshit comparisons to Bush, and screaming at everyone who thinks it is better to get what you can out of a deal rather than scuttling it and settling for the promise that in a few years we can get a “better bill.”

    What we are seeing out of the so-called progressive leaders is a massive failure of leadership. It is a fucking disgrace.

  246. 246
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Da Bomb:

    Obama campaigned on utilizing bi-partisanship. He tried it and it didn’t work. That’s it.

    We’ll see. But nothing I have heard so far suggests that Obama has accepted the reality of permanent unanimous Republican obstructionism or that he won’t immediately start gutting cap and trade or whatever the next big issue is in futile hopes of getting one or two Republicans on board to show how bipartisan he is.

  247. 247
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @John Cole: This. Word.Also. Too.

    Focused. completely ornery, but focused, and true imho.

  248. 248
    Quiddity says:

    @John Cole:

    Thank you for that clarification. Until now, I thought you didn’t have serious reservations about the “Cadillac” tax.

    I wouldn’t oppose such a tax if it was accompanied by other elements that would drive down prices (e.g. importation, Medicare negotiation, public plan).

    Last year I watched one good health care proposal after another go down in flames. And I didn’t complain. Compromise and all that. But seeing the funding be done in this (Senate) way, was the last straw. The argument for “cost” control was dubious, or worse. And to see it being argued for, by the likes of Ezra, made me wonder which side he was on. Seriously.

    I think that the trajectory of this health care plan has created major tensions, largely because of the Senate bill. I think those could have – should have – been ameliorated by better bill management by the White House. They are getting a pass from lots of people.

    As to FDL, I take second place to no one in being critical. I blasted Hamsher for the Lieberman-in-blackface when few other bloggers did at the time.

  249. 249
    No Sacred Cows says:

    Wait a minute here….

    When you factor in the PAC issue (i.e. how Jane makes her comfy living, certainly not from her residuals since ALL of her movie credits LOST millions) and then you look at the wish list on her site of what MUST be in the health plan, you realize something’s not right.

    The bill she wants is simply an impossibility. And she knows it.

    With 58 Dems in the Senate + 1 Nelson + 1 Lieberman, it is totally illogical to expect her demands for a health care bill to come to fruition. So why all this?

    Well, let’s say you want the status quo, and have a lot of money….and suppose you give it to a “liberal” blogger who will then mug the President and the health plan under the guise of said plan “not being progressive enough.”

    Clever. Sure it’s a theory, but it makes more sense than taking Jane Hamsher at her word at this point.

  250. 250
    PTirebiter says:

    from today’s TPM

    So far, 19 GOP lawmakers — three senators and 16 members of Congress — plus 44 other Republican office seekers (and counting), have signed ‘Repeal It!’ pledges written by The Club for Growth, promising to repeal any health reform legislation passed by Congress.

    I wonder if Grover is more interested in promoting this, or letting Jane leverage his media status to embarrass the White House?

  251. 251
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Quiddity:

    I think that the trajectory of this health care plan has created major tensions, largely because of the Senate bill. I think those could have – should have – been ameliorated by better bill management by the White House. They are getting a pass from lots of people.

    I can’t find it now, but read this morning how Lieberman broke his word to Reid about the Medicare buy in compromise. Lieberman also flip flopped on his earlier supporting a PO like solution when he was running for President. You seem to think the WH could have changed holy joe’s mind, the holy joe that voted and campaigned for Mccain.

    And without his cooperation, you need to supply Cole’s and the worlds answer to the supreme question, or how could Obama get the 60 votes needed to pass such measures out of the senate. Without an answer to that question, which should be obviously nothing would budge Lieberman, then your argument that “better bill management” by Obama is moot.

    There are people to blame here, but IMO, and with the facts on the ground, it is not Obama.

  252. 252
    clonecone says:

    @Mary: I’m not sure. I know Al is following dozens of threads that are leading to more and more skeletons in closets.

  253. 253
    clonecone says:

    @John Cole: “Our progressive overlords are not about leadership.”

    I’ve always said that the netroots’ #1 goal is to say “I told you so.” It’s not accurate to call them progressives because progressives believe in progress. FDL doesn’t want a long series of first downs. They want every single kick-off returned for a touchdown.

  254. 254
    moe99 says:

    Oh yeah. Obama is really not delivering on his legislative agenda. NOT

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress......orking.php

  255. 255
    Mary says:

    @John Cole: We need to be a lot more careful of who our “leaders” are in the future. I, for one, don’t plan to overlook this disgrace in the future when the cult followers ask us to forgive the regrettable mistakes as those “leaders” attempt to recoup their reputations (as I coldly note Digby’s two posts today attempting to lead her followers away from the cliff).

    Thank you for paying attention and trying to keep the left blogosphere honest, John, even through all of your travails and adventures. I do feel that you have been looking out for us, much more and much earlier than most. I’m giving you a tiny donation, because I am broke, but you deserve much more.

  256. 256
    Uriel says:

    @grendelkhan:

    But hey, enjoy doing your part as a member of the Circular Firing Squad.

    Are you being facetious, or just completely unself-aware?

    Posts like yours, and the hyperventilating over at FDL, are the fucking definition of the what it takes to be a member in good standing of the ever popular democratic circular firing squad. It’s exactly the type of behavior that the term was invented to describe.

    And this, right here?:

    Of course, everyone has something different they hate, but for me…

    That’s been the goddamn motto of every circular firing squad since the dawn of man.

    You must be joking, right? I mean, really, how can you not see this?

  257. 257
    willf says:

    Shorter FDL Ad: Obama’s healthcare plan looks a lot like the plan McCain campaigned on, in 2008.

    Shorter Balloon Juice: Stop using rightwing frames!

    So, pointing out that the administration is running to the right on healthcare is the same as adopting right wing framing?

    The things you learn on blogs.

  258. 258
    willf says:

    Yelling about the democrats forming a “circular firing squad” assumes that the democrats are organized enough to stand in a circle in the first place.

  259. 259
    Paula says:

    Re Al Giordano:

    Man, if that’s true about Hamsher and possibly Greenwald, it would explain A LOT about Giordano’s seriously pissed attitude about them.

    He’s a guy who’s been around a bit longer and who is still pretty attached to grassroots activism in Central and South America. Regardless of how people feel about his Obama boosterism, it’s hard to deny cred like that. Even narcissistic leftier-than-thou twits like Paul Street @ ZMag have to admit that, so it’s not a surprise that he’s generally outside the circle of “accepted” Left bloggers. But I always wondered why he bothered with them.

  260. 260
    Redstar says:

    Ummmm, John Cole, look, you’re just not going to get it.

    Maybe you should give up trying?

    One of the cardinal rules of communications…if you don’t get the message, it isn’t intended for you. You’re not the target audience. Think those Miller Lite commercials a decade ago. You don’t get it, you don’t think it’s funny…you’re not the target audience.

    Same thing here.

  261. 261
    Mary says:

    @Redstar: I think John is just pointing out that Hamsher’s former donors have a right to be ticked off. I would go so far as to call it fraud myself.

  262. 262
    The Raven says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: “Jane has the right to make the GOP’s ads for them”

    How is an ad critical of both Obama and McCain a GOP ad?

  263. 263
    Quiddity says:

    @General Winfield Stuck

    Bribes. Threats. More bribes. Whatever it takes in backroom deals. Lieberman can be bought.

    Maybe even some goodies for the state of Maine to capture one or two additional votes.

    Also, the White House tolerated the joke-a-rama of the Gang of Six negotiations and the delays over the summer. Obama said he wanted a bipartisan bill. I fault him for taking that position.

    That is all predicated on the notion that we should be dealing with a 60-vote requirement from a non-representative body (of the nation as a whole). Clearly, the moves by the Republicans to defy the traditional operation of Senate rules (remember “blue slips”?) shows that those rules have to be scrapped or sidestepped. Maybe it should be budget resolution for part of health care and vaulting over the filibuster for the other (less contentious) parts. In any event, I’m tired of hearing about how the White House’s hands are tied. Why did Obama tell the House they had to accept the Senate bill? Why not the other way around? Sometimes you have to take a stand and, yes, gamble that you will win. This White House is way to cautious.

  264. 264
    willf says:

    Why would they be pissed? They agree with her.

    All this ad does is point out that Obama’s HCR plan looks a lot like a reform plan that a republican would have come up with (and did, McCain had a very similar plan during the campaign).

    I don’t see how pointing out that someone is acting like a republican is using republican framing. That’s nonsense.

  265. 265
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Raven:

    How is an ad critical of both Obama and McCain a GOP ad?

    It’s an ad meant to help the GOP candidate win in Massachusetts and defeat the Democrat. Please explain how an ad meant to help a GOP candidate beat a Democrat is not a GOP ad.

  266. 266
    Rick Taylor says:

    Well, let’s say you want the status quo, and have a lot of money….and suppose you give it to a “liberal” blogger who will then mug the President and the health plan under the guise of said plan “not being progressive enough.”

    __
    This is insane. But not particularly more insane than the accusations that I’ve heard on FDL and from Greenwald that Obama secretly wanted the public option to fail.

  267. 267
    Da Bomb says:

    @cleek: Thank you for pointing that out.

  268. 268
    gwangung says:

    I don’t see how pointing out that someone is acting like a republican is using republican framing.

    A “Republican” result is not the same as acting like a republican. Nor, as has been observed before, is it an accurate summation of where the problem lies.

  269. 269
    Quiddity says:

    There is a superb comment over at Kevin Drum’s place regarding the Senate bill’s taxation of (some) health care insurance plans. Here it is:

    Did I miss something, or was this excise tax the centerpiece of John McCain’s and the Republican’s health care plans in 2008? I seem to recall many Democrats and a Senator from Illinois criticizing that approach, and rightfully so. Now, virtually every Democrat, and every “liberal” pundit is suddenly in favor of it.

    Now, I get the theory, but I’m not at all convinced that it will work the way it’s proponents think it will in practice. Isn’t it the Republicans who think the main problem with health care is that people just get too damn much of it. As I understand it, that is the argument that people are making in favor of the excise tax now. That with more out of pocket payments, people will be more discriminating on the health care that people purchase.

    Wasn’t the criticism with the Republican approach the notion that medical care isn’t like buying a TV. Most consumers are not knowledgeable or objective enough to discern what treatment is actually in their best interest or not. If my doctor recommends an MRI, for example, who am I to question him/her? The main reason I wouldn’t get the MRI is that, with my less generous employer based health care plan, I wouldn’t be able to afford the MRI. Is that really the recipe for bending the curve?

    So, I can see that the excise tax could (note, *could*) reduce what we, as nation, spend on health care, because with the inability to come up with the out of pocket payments, people will simply *use* less health care. I don’t really see how this will actually reduce the cost of that health care, however. Drugs will cost what they used to, people will just not have the money to buy as many. MRIs will still cost what they used to, but people will not be able to afford to get as many. Etc.

    So, why is the Democratic party now in favor of the centerpiece of the Republican plan circa 2008? And why is the Republican party against it? What am I missing?

  270. 270
    moe99 says:

    This is NOT Obama’s HCR plan. There is the House plan and there is the Senate plan. One of the things Obama has done in all of this, mindful of what happened to the Clintons back in ’93, is to let the legislative process create the legislation. Obama supports HCR but he did not craft either bill.

  271. 271
    Mary says:

    @willf: McCain’s “plan” bears no resemblance to the healthcare reform the Democrats are about to pass. That’s why the GOP is so dead set against it.

    FDL is now a right wing site in left wing clothing or, in other words, the empress Jane Hamsher has no clothes. Shudders.

  272. 272
    Sentient Puddle says:

    EDIT: Actually, I think I better make sure I know what I’m talking about before I say that.

  273. 273
    cleek says:

    I just don’t see how pointing out that someone is acting like a republican is using republican framing.

    i’ll let JC answer for himself, but to me…

    it perpetuates the “Obamacare” meme, which posits that the HCR plan was written by Obama and shoved down the throats of the American people. in fact, the proposals on the table now were written by Congress and Obama is going to get only a fraction of what he campaigned on in order to get something which is less than ideal but far better than the status quo.

    the problem with the HRC bill(s) is, and has been, a problem with the Senate. if the Senate make up was more favorable to progressive policies, we’d have a better HCR bill. but it isn’t. we don’t have the numbers. we got the best billwe could hope to get, given the Senate we have. so, any discussion of the problems with the HCR bills that isn’t almost completely framed within the Senate is a fraud.

  274. 274

    […] Variations on a theme — see John Cole, “Money Well Spent,” and then Nate Silver, “Liberal Website Helpfully Tests Messages Against Vulnerable […]

  275. 275
    clonecone says:

    @Quiddity: Sigh. It takes 60 votes. That’s reality. Nelson and Lieberman won’t budge. That’s reality. Obama can’t change the senate rules.

    As for reconciliation, that requires 50 + Biden. That means you can only lose 10 votes. Nelson, Lieberman, Lincoln, Landrieu, Baucus and Conrad are on record opposing reconciliation. Byrd and Feingold have both said they will not vote for any bill non-budget bill under reconciliation. Webb, Warner, Hagan, McCaskill, and Johnson have also hinted that they would oppose. Reconciliation isn’t a magic option.

  276. 276
    NR says:

    @Quiddity: Exactly. All hope of meaningful health care reform died when the Democrats bought into the bullshit frame that they needed 60 votes in the Senate to pass the bill.

    There were other things they could have tried. Reconciliation. Dust off the nuclear option. At the very least, they could have had their Congressmen and Senators and talking heads out there saying “Up or down vote, up or down vote, up or down vote” nonstop for the past several months. But they didn’t do any of those things. And so every news story about HCR has talked about the Dems trying to get “the necessary 60 votes.”

    If the dialogue had been about “The Republican filibuster of health care reform” instead of “the necessary 60 votes,” we could have had a much better result.

  277. 277
    Sentient Puddle says:

    OK, turns out I did know what I was talking about. So to paraphrase what I just edited out (because I wasn’t smart enough to copy/paste it)…

    @Redstar: OK then, who is the target audience? And further, what exactly is this ad attempting to accomplish with said audience?

    To me, the second question is more important, because the target audience flows from what you’re trying to accomplish. And I’m still not convinced the firebaggers have a coherent strategy going here.

  278. 278
    willf says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Just because you disagree with some of her recent tactics, you’re willing to write off her and all her supporters. Talk about counterproductive.

    The thing is, I don’t see anyone actually talking with the FLDers about why what they are doing is wrong, just this massive push to make them shut up and sit down.

    Is that how “reasonable” people do politics? By casting everyone who does something they don’t like as “crazy, shrieking, ego-driven”, or “too stupid too live”?

    You guys really don’t see that all the snickering about “firebaggers” is just as stupid and unproductive as what you think they’re doing?

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  279. 279
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    @cleek:

    Obama didn’t

    write the HCR bill(s) in question. this ad misinforms people by putting the blame for its problems on Obama, instead of on the people who wrote, negotiated, and voted for the bill(s) in question. instead of saying “The centrist dems who crafted the current HRC Senate bill are proposing to tax your HC benefits (but only if you have a certain kind of plan, etc.)”, it attacks the leader of the party for having to compromise and accept what the Senate was (barely!) able to deliver.

    this perpetuates both the “ObamaCare” and the tax-and-spend tropes.

    Bullshit. Obama anointed the Finance Committee — and Nelson in particular, with his Wellpoint Executive as scribe — to do the work of the first draft. He consistently made clear that the Senate Finace Committee bill was the one he favored. He has been vigorously advocating the tax on health plans. If he desired another way to finance the thing, he certainly could have managed the initiative differently. He didn’t.

    I’m unpersuaded by those who way that the particular arrangment of bun, pickles, may, and shit on the Senate Shit Sandwich are the only ones that possibly could have resulted given the palyers involved. That’s crap. Obama as leader of the Party could have pushed things in different directions by actually showing some leadership. (E.g., threatened to pull financing for assholes who got in the way, threatening Holy Joe’s prized chairmanship, etc.) Single-payer in a worker’s paradise, no. But a plan that is something like the Shit Sandwich but less of a massive wealth transfer to Pharma and Big Insurance, paid for by a surtax on plutocrats of various stripes, perhaps. That he never showed the slightest interest in anything other than what Wellpoint could live with suggests more about what Obama actually wanted than it does about the outer limits of what could be achieved otherwise.

    It’s a cute trick to say that the Shit Sandwich that has resulted from this (lamentable) process is obviously the only result we could ever hope for precisely because this is the result that we happened to get from this (lamentable) process (the view of the self-styled “pragmatists” upthread), and from that circular premise deride anyone who suggests that different results could be achieved through different tactics and goals as dewey-eyed idealists. I call shenanigans on this assumption-of-the-conclusion bullshit. (Or I call bullshit on the shenanigans.)

  280. 280
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @willf: Uh…you sort of misunderstand. We don’t “disagree with some of her recent tactics.” We think said tactics are fucking counterproductive.

    If I’m being counterproductive to a counterproductive (countercounterproductive?) tactic, I’m happy.

  281. 281
    NR says:

    @cleek:

    it perpetuates the “Obamacare” meme, which posits that the HCR plan was written by Obama and shoved down the throats of the American people. in fact, the proposals on the table now were written by Congress and Obama is going to get only a fraction of what he campaigned on in order to get something which is less than ideal but far better than the status quo.

    I know that Obama doesn’t write legislation. But the fact is that if Obama had said “Any health care reform bill must contain a strong public option or I will veto it” at the beginning of the process, that would have greatly changed the course of the entire debate. Obama cannot write specific elements of legislation, but he can frame the bills in broad terms, like he did when he said the bill had to be deficit-neutral. Remember that? He said that at the beginning of the process, and it has guided the bills put forth by the House and the Senate ever since.

  282. 282
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    Sorry, typos more legion than ever. And FYWP was no help.

  283. 283
    gwangung says:

    The thing is, I don’t see anyone actually talking with the FLDers about why what they are doing is wrong, just this massive push to make them shut up and sit down.

    Sorry, but this is bullshit. Alternative tactics have been talked about before (focussing pressure on more vulnerable congressmen, more use of grass roots demonstrations, counter demonstrations in August, etc.).

    And as Sentient Puddle is alluding to, criticism of tactics has been conflated into criticism of the person and the overall strategy.

  284. 284
    cleek says:

    @Sebastian Dangerfield:

    Obama as leader of the Party could have pushed things in different directions by actually showing some leadership. (E.g., threatened to pull financing for assholes who got in the way, threatening Holy Joe’s prized chairmanship, etc.)

    this just in: Obama is not the Boss of the Senate. got a problem with Lieberman’s chairmanship? talk to Reid.

    But a plan that is something like the Shit Sandwich but less of a massive wealth transfer to Pharma and Big Insurance,

    apparently it’s not a big enough handout, since they don’t seem to be too happy about it. or maybe you think their opposition is just a show because they’re in on the conspiracy, too. wheels within wheels, man.

  285. 285
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @The Raven: If you cannot see this without me describing it, then I doubt my describing it would convince you. Politics for me, and I think others, is a two part solution. One is when your side is out of power and the electoral solution is the only one really relevant. And when your side is in power, then issue legislation, or policy activism, or whatever you want to call it, is the second part solution.

    The thing is, that now, while we are in power, both parts are needed, imo, not just the activism part. There is a way to push the leaders on your side who now run things, and to maintain a level of support at the same time. This seems to be lost on you, and it sure as hell is with Jane, and some others.

    And making caustic ads, that could just as easily be made by wingnuts to promote their meme of Obama can’t lead, and can’t govern, while they are doing everything in their power, especially in the senate, to see that he fails, IS NOT the right way to practice two part solution politics, that does the activism responsibly, and does not destroy your party’s ability to stay in power long enough to do what you want them to do.

    It is the all policy or issue driven, my way or the highway politics that Jane is following, not unlike the last bunch we had in power. I will say it again. This is not a zero sum game. Either a wingnut or a dem is in power at any given point in time./ And we have elections every two and four years.

    And an ad like this is even doubly destructive because it comes from alleged dems, or liberals. Not progressives though, not in the least, not even a little. And please, don’t continue to insult my meager intelligence that these tactics by Ms. Hamsher is just trying to get better legislation.

  286. 286
    Rick Taylor says:

    Just to add, I don’t like the excise tax. I think it’s politically awful; it buys into the frame that Democrats want to tax you to give to undeserving poor. Politics matters, because it’s the politics that will decide if we can expand an improve the bill that passes today, or if we’re constantly engaged in defending it. The best programs in this regard are those like social security, that benefit everyone, and so are harder to demonize (plus you save in administrative costs because you don’t have to worry about means testing).

    All that said, while I don’t like the excise tax, this is not the way to attack it.

  287. 287
    cleek says:

    @NR:

    I know that Obama doesn’t write legislation.

    then why are you defending this TV ad which implies it’s all his fault ?

    the tax in question came from THE SENATE. it didn’t come from Obama. and yet… not a fucking mention of the Senate in that ad.

    the ad is misleading bullshit.

    But the fact is that if Obama had said “Any health care reform bill must contain a strong public option or I will veto it” at the beginning of the process, that would have greatly changed the course of the entire debate.

    yup. sure would’ve. there would be no bill to debate because we wouldn’t have even had 50 votes in favor.

  288. 288
    NR says:

    @cleek:

    apparently it’s not a big enough handout, since they don’t seem to be too happy about it.

    Are you kidding? Pharma and HMO lobbyists are pouring money into Coakley’s campaign. Yeah, they sure don’t want that health care reform bill to pass. Right.

  289. 289
    Paula says:

    @ willf

    Who was last on TV, John Cole or Jane Hamsher. Who gets namechecked on msnbc and fox: Balloon Juice or FDL? Who gets consistently linked by Greenwald, Hulaballoo, DKos, Eschaton? Cole or Hamsher?

    As for who’s being useful: who pretends to be “doing something”, i.e. holding the feet to the overton window fire or whatevers? Cole or Hamsher? Who in this thread has stated that they think they’re “doing” anything wonderful and progressive by opposing FDL’s tactics?

    As for me, FDL supports policy that I agree with. I want to get as close to it as possible. That FDL should be made to represent that cause is I think, damaging. So yes, I have a right to voice complaint counter to FDL’s influence. Both FDL and I have a right to say what we think is wrong w/ politics. So stop using that herring about how people who criticize FDL’s tactics just want to stop criticism against Obama overall. Because it’s a lie.

  290. 290
    The Raven says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s an ad meant to help the GOP candidate win in Massachusetts and defeat the Democrat.

    Where and when is it being run?

  291. 291
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Quiddity:

    How do you know that a PO won’t be proffered later thru reconciliation? I don’t, and neither do you. And if so, wouldn’t it be actually smart to get the other reforms passed first?

    And only dense people continue with the nuclear option nonsense, that not a single senator on either side would support. Not for legislation. It is a red herring argument for piss and vinegar wankers. From either side of the isle depending what party is in power at the time.

    And if you want to continue to rail “that Obama should have done SOMETHING, Anything, then have at it. And I and others will knock down that nonsense, every single time. It is utter bullshit and will be treated as such by at least moi.

  292. 292
    Osceola says:

    It can be said that Jane Hamsher is a bitch. It may even be true. I have no brief whatsoever for someone who produced “Natural Born Killers.” A case can be made that the sophisticated Left and the sophisticated Right have common ground on critical issues of the day (e.g., see Eugene Genovese in The Southern Tradition). Grover would not be a representative of a sophisticated Right, but such representatives are all either dead or out of the picture. So Jane missed the boat there, I’m afraid.

    But, and this is a big “but”: The President has not followed up on his “change we can believe in” campaign. Period. On anything that matters to the people who elected him, i.e., those who read Balloon Juice (whose proprietor was a Bushista Wingnut not so very long ago, so spare me the wailing and gnashing of teeth about someone who is not liberal enough for you; hope the shoulder heals soon, John). And don’t start with the “60 votes” bullshit. Barack Obama did not even try. Private efforts do not count because they may not be real. Who believes a word Rahm Emanuel says? Obama is no LBJ (thank goodness), but it is better to go down fighting than to have placed our fate in the hands of bipartisan puddknockers like Baucus and Reid and Snowe and Collins. HCR is too important to too many for him to have let this happen without going down without a street fight if that is what it would have taken. Ditto for Gitmo, Employee Free Choice, DADT.

    Let the flames begin.

    Have a nice weekend, everyone!

  293. 293
    Mary says:

    @willf: It’s a lie to say that people have not tried to talk to the FDLers. I understand Hamsher’s current response is to say “Fuck off.” Then her followers go out on the blogs trying to either defend her or further sell her poisonous messages. Those followers might be paid by her or they might be cultsters who are paying her. Either way, it’s a disgrace.

  294. 294
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    @cleek:

    [1] this just in: Obama is not the Boss of the Senate. got a problem with Lieberman’s chairmanship? talk to Reid.

    [2] apparently it’s not a big enough handout, since they don’t seem to be too happy about it. or maybe you think their opposition is just a show because they’re in on the conspiracy, too. wheels within wheels, man.

    [1] A president doesn’t have to be “Boss of the Senate” to exert influence over his own damn party members. You might try and read up on a guy named Johnson. Seems he was able to work the Senate fairly well, against worse odds. (Ben Nelson ain’t nothin’ compared to the Dixiecrats.)

    [2] Not really just a show, no. They want to exact more concessions, get some features they don’t like removed. This is nothing like an all-out assault (again, a glance back in time is instructive: 1994 ring a bell? Now that was a Big Insurance Blitzkrieg!) Stuff your fatuous “wheels within wheels” shit and stay on the point. You might try to avoid quite so many false binaries while you’re at it.

  295. 295
    Mnemosyne says:

    @willf:

    The thing is, I don’t see anyone actually talking with the FLDers about why what they are doing is wrong, just this massive push to make them shut up and sit down.

    Huh? People have pointed out over and over in this thread that what the FDLers are doing is directly benefiting Republicans. In many cases, they’re openly cheering for the Republican to win one or both of these races and advising people not to vote so the Republican will beat the Democrat.

    Do you really need an explanation why electing Republicans is a really bad idea?

  296. 296
    clonecone says:

    @Sebastian Dangerfield: Obama can’t threaten Lieberman’s chairmanship. The senate is an equal and separate branch of government and the president has no say in chairmanships. Also, anyone with the slightest bit of knowledge of how the senate works knows that chairmanships of committees controlled by seniority on the committee. Lieberman would have to be removed from his committee by the leadership and that would require a new organizing resolution. That resolution can be filibustered so it would take 60 votes to remove him. Do you think Lieberman is going to vote for cloture on his own removal? If not, which Republican is going to cross over and help remove the primary obstruction to reform?

    Obama didn’t assign the bill to the Finance Committee. Senate rules assigned the bill to the Finance Committee. Want to change the rules? You need 60 to do that, too.

    The nuclear option permanently removes the filibuster. FOREVER. You won’t find a majority of senators willing to sign on to that.

    What you want is a liberal version of Yoo’s expanded executive powers. You want Obama to rule by executive orders and signing statements. Grassroots Democrats fought that bullshit for 8 years and now you expect us to demand it from one of our own?

  297. 297
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    @Osceola: Word.

  298. 298
    Cris says:

    @NR: Earnest question: are those same pharama and HMO lobbyists also pouring money into Brown’s campaign?

    It’s my general observation that industry prefers to play both sides of the field. If you can afford it, you want to make sure you have a place at the table regardless of which candidate wins.

    Individuals support candidates whose policies they agree with. Corporations and industries support candidates in order to influence those policies.

  299. 299
    cleek says:

    @NR:

    17 are federally registered lobbyists, 15 of whom have health-care clients. Of the other five hosts, one is married to a lobbyist, one was a lobbyist in Pennsylvania, another is a lawyer at a lobbying firm, and another is a corporate CEO.

    yeah. i’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that lobbying firms have more than one client; and furthermore, i’m going to assume that concluding that every time one of them attends a fundraiser that it is trying to serve the interest of whatever it is you’re upset about is pretty fucking silly.

  300. 300
    NR says:

    @cleek:

    yup. sure would’ve. there would be no bill to debate because we wouldn’t have even had 50 votes in favor.

    Bullshit. We had over 50 votes in favor of the public option before the Dems let Lieberman kill it. That was with an indifferent White House. If Obama had been willing to throw his full weight behind the public option, the necessary 50 votes would have been easy to secure.

    Again – Obama said the bill had to be deficit-neutral, and the Senate and House both complied with that. They listen to what he says.

  301. 301
    cleek says:

    The President has not followed up on his “change we can believe in” campaign. Period. On anything that matters to the people who elected him,

    speak for yourself.

  302. 302
    Paula says:

    Let it be noted that Osceola was the first person to state that Jane Hamsher might be a “bitch” and mentions Jane’s former role as a movie producer, which is the kind of stupid ad hominem argument that I was glad to see people on this thread avoid for the most part.

    These are harsh words in the guise of support for Jane. I’m sure she really appreciates it.

    Seriously, this not about Jane the person, it’s about Jane the representative of FDL who is doing stupid crap right now.

  303. 303
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Raven:

    Where and when is it being run?

    It’s being run on the internet on the weekend before a special election between a Democrat and a Republican.

    Oh, but I’m sure that’s just a total co-inkydink and if we bring that election to Jane’s attention, she’ll totally pull the ad because she had no idea there was a special election going on that could change the balance of the Senate and that this ad could possibly influence people to not vote for the Democrat! My stars, how could she have been so foolish as to let something like that slip her mind!

    You’re right, we should give her the benefit of the doubt by assuming that Jane Hamsher is a total fucking idiot who doesn’t follow politics, had no idea that a contested election was happening on Tuesday, and just didn’t understand that this ad might influence people against Democrats.

  304. 304
    cleek says:

    @NR:

    We had over 50 votes in favor of the public option before the Dems let Lieberman kill it.

    that’s great.

    but 60 is the magic number.

    60 includes Lieberman, Nelson, and all the rest of the blue dogs who chafed at having to vote for the bill we got.

    60. got it?

    60 is the issue.

    60.

    not 50.

  305. 305
    redstar says:

    @SP

    Target audience is left-leaning (and I do mean left, not some muddle-headed idea of “progressive,” a meaningless term in US politics if ever there were one) activists and voters, engaged or not, who instinctively know these things the Democrats are doing (and not just HCR) do not reflect their values or their ideas of the chage they were led to believe in a mere 14 months ago.

    This message certainly resonates with me. I am checked out of the 2010 cycle, and I know more than a few others.

    And the funny thing is, I don’t like the HCR bill, but Bernie Sander’s getting billions for community heatlh centers gets me on board for this one. It’s more than that. It’s no cram-down. It’s no relief for individual debtors (whatever happened to repealing that bipartisan abomination called “bankruptcy reform” that supposedly working stiff Joe Biden voted for?) Why all the billions for bankers and trillions to prop up their balance sheets, and jack shit for jack and jill?

    Seriously guys and gals the Dems have a serious problem, and Obama is their leader. They got elected to change things. For regular people’s benefit. Not give massive mounds of cash to the banks and the insurance companies. The optics are awful, and they will get worse in the next year, you can take that to your tax-subsidized bank.

    Time to peel away the socialists and the other core left values voters from the Democrats. That’s the target audience, and trust me, we get it. Obama’s not doing what McCain was saying (I recall McCain meant to make medical insurance benefits, all of them, taxable, a much bigger tax to be sure but nonetheless a tax on the middle class – less so on the working class which doesn’t tend to get those benefits from employers so much) but it’s close enough and those of us over on the left side of the ledger know this is a variation of Clinton = Dole, which given all the bullshit Clinton pulled really isn’t as wrong as you in the center might think.

    Maybe, just maybe, these will will shock the party into actually getting the people’s interests represented as opposed to their donor base. I look at the severe reaction of Dem partisans, especially centrists like this blogger here, as a good indication that the import is not lost, even if the message goes over their head.

    And hopefully a few Dems will get it even if it flies over others heads. Because otherwise they are fucked. And Jane Hamsher is hardly to blame for that. Don’t do the people’s business, and they, like me, simply won’t bother.

  306. 306
    NR says:

    @cleek: Only because the Dems bought into the bullshit frame that they needed 60 votes. I already covered this.

  307. 307
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    We had over 50 votes in favor of the public option before the Dems let Lieberman kill it.

    No, we had over 50 votes in favor of allowing people 55+ to buy into Medicare with their own money until Lieberman decided to go back on his own position and kill it.

    “Public option” actually means a specific program in the House bill. It’s not, “Whatever Joe Lieberman didn’t like.” The public option and Medicare buy-in for people 55+ are two separate things, and yet you’re claiming that Lieberman killing the Medicare buy-in was the public option.

  308. 308
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @NR: You covered it, we dug it up, stomped it, burnt it, and drove a stake thru it’s false heart.

    Then gave it a proper burial.

  309. 309
    The Raven says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Politics for me, and I think others, is a two part solution. One is when your side is out of power and the electoral solution is the only one really relevant. And when your side is in power, then issue legislation, or policy activism, or whatever you want to call it, is the second part solution.

    From my viewpoint, Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s remark “The fact that you’re on their side doesn’t mean that they’re on your side,” applies here. (She was writing to proto-tea-baggers, during the 2000 Florida ballot count.) The Democratic leadership doesn’t want progressives. The unions, small business people, young men, and all women, all, in this bill, take second place to, first, the insurance companies, and, second, the pharmaceutical manufacturers.

    Now, for strategic reasons, it often makes sense for progressives to support Democrats. I don’t want the fanatics of the Republican Party back in power. But if we just roll over and line up behind the Democrats, even as they stiff us we are participating in our own abuse. And how is that ever going to improve matters? We have to make noise if we are going to make any progress! Perhaps this is a strategic error. But supporting the Democrats without question is also a strategic error. So, General, what strategy would you suggest?

  310. 310
    moe99 says:

    Hey Dangerfield, seems that on the numbers, Obama has been MORE effective than Johnson thus far.

    I posted this upthread but obviously you couldn’t be bothered to read it:

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress......orking.php

    Why am I not surprised?

  311. 311
    JMY says:

    I ask anybody who writes for or comments on FDL to become president and see if they can get their version of HCR passed.

  312. 312
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @NR:

    But the fact is that if Obama had said “Any health care reform bill must contain a strong public option or I will veto it” at the beginning of the process, that would have greatly changed the course of the entire debate.

    That’s exactly what Bill Clinton did the last time we had a big HCR bill working its way thru Congress. He came out and told the Senate not to cross the line he’d drawn on what sort of bill he would sign. That worked out well, didn’t it?

  313. 313
    redstar says:

    @ Cleek.

    60, not 50?

    Yawn.

    Who cares? We’re talking America, it’s a Democracy. 50% + 1 decides things.

    I’ll guess I’ll let you explain that one to the American people who expect results, not double-digit unemployment while watching bailed-out bankers buy new imported cars, on election day.

    And I’ll let you explain to Joe and Jane Six-pack donors, the 5% of the population who actually give a shit how the Senate millionaire’s club’s rules work, and who gave so much money to Dem Senate candidates the past two cycles in a quest to get to 60 votes to break that log-jam. Explain to them that 60 really isn’t 60, because a few so-called Dems aren’t real Dems. Ask them to donate to another Dem, and convince them they are really a Dem.

    Good luck with that.

  314. 314
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @The Raven:

    So, General, what strategy would you suggest?

    First, stop doing the GOP’s work for them. Get organized into focused, rational, advocacy group. Or, iow’s, stop dousing gasoline on your own side and threaten to strike a match.

    Then lobby like any other interest group. An interest group with a liberal voting block where failure to address it’s concerns will have implied consequences. CC’s aren’t stupid, they realize full well with whomever they deal with, what it means in votes if he or she doesn’t pay requisite due diligence.

    As my grandpappy used to say, don’t make threats. Say what you expect and just do whatever you need to do when the time comes.

    From my viewpoint, Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s remark “The fact that you’re on their side doesn’t mean that they’re on your side,” applies here.

    Ever heard the old political credo. Perception is 90% (, or whatever high number,) in politics. It is an immutable fact and rumors to the contrary are exagerated.

  315. 315
    cleek says:

    ladies and gentlemen, please welcome The Idealist !

    @redstar:

    Who cares? We’re talking America, it’s a Democracy. 50% + 1 decides things.

    wow! wasn’t that great ?

    walking to Quizno’s today, i was trying to formulate a little aphorism about the differences between idealists and pragmatists. i came up with:

    a political idealist is someone who has neither regard nor knowledge of history, civics, or of politics as practiced by politicians; for an idealist, political outcomes are the result of strong will and pure spirit. that’s why pragmatists are ithose who actually get things done.

  316. 316
    redstar says:

    @ cleek.

    Actually, I’m a realist. Ever talk to a real voter, one who isn’t plugged into the arcane bullshittia which is how Senate rules work?

    They don’t give a shit about your bleating about 60 votes or this and that.

    They want results, and your bleating sounds like excuse-making.

    And somehow, I’m the idealist. Actually, I’m a hard realist. I know damn well how your excuse-making will play on election day.

    And again, good luck with that.

  317. 317
    redstar says:

    @ cleek.

    Actually, I’m a realist. Ever talk to a real voter, one who isn’t plugged into the arcane bullshittia which is how Senate rules work?

    They don’t give a shit about your bleating about 60 votes or this and that.

    They want results, and your bleating sounds like excuse-making.

    And somehow, I’m the idealist. Actually, I’m a hard realist. I know damn well how your excuse-making will play on election day.

    And again, good luck with that.

  318. 318
    gwangung says:

    @cleek: Honestly, a great deal of America thinks like that. It’s not without justification.

    But it’s also something Republicans count on for their dirty work.

  319. 319
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @redstar:

    60, not 50?
    Yawn.
    Who cares? We’re talking America, it’s a Democracy. 50% + 1 decides things.

    No, we’re talking about the United States Senate.

  320. 320
    cleek says:

    Actually, I’m a realist.

    guffaw.

    They don’t give a shit about your bleating about 60 votes or this and that.

    ignorance is a terrible thing. it leads to so much unnecessary heartache.

    They want results, and your bleating sounds like excuse-making.

    i want results too. probably the same ones you do, in fact. the difference between people like me and, well, other people, is that i don’t think stomping my foot is going to get them.

    YMMV.

  321. 321
    blackwaterdog says:

    @eastriver:

    And bitching about those that are doing the window moving isn’t helpful or smart. Just bitchy.

    They are no moving the window, they smash it.

  322. 322
    blackwaterdog says:

    @eastriver:

    And bitching about those that are doing the window moving isn’t helpful or smart. Just bitchy.

    They are not moving the window, they smash it.

  323. 323
    Uriel says:

    @Sebastian Dangerfield:

    particular arrangment of bun, pickles, may, and shit on the Senate Shit Sandwich

    And, dear lord, could you people please put away the coprophilia metaphors for like five minutes?

    They’re tired, juvenile, and off-putting- and, the fact that you’ve all decided to “spontaneously” latch on to this one obnoxiously offensive term reeks of contrived, manufactured outrage.

    Not to mention, your fascination with scat hardly speaks well for your intellectual superiority, rigor or soundness.

    Sorry, just had to get that off my chest….

  324. 324
    redstar says:

    @ Comrade Kevin

    Fellow citizens, I think we all know how the US Senate works.

    But…do you really think a majority of Americans do?

    Especially a majority of Americans who remember not so long ago a certain Republican getting lots done, like going to war in Iraq, even though the Democrats controlled that Senate?

    Sorry guys, but we’re really reaching here if we think that this is a winner on election day. Dems can’t get shit done for regular people. That’s a theme. Been a theme for quite a while. They can nibble around the edges occasionally (like Lily Ledbetter under Obama’s watch) but usually they can’t get big stuff done for regular people. So, regular people aren’t so enthused about voting Democratic (even if they should be more than the others!)

    On the other hand, the GOP – they get shit done. They can get shit done in the Senate with just 45 votes…just ask St Ronnie Reagan!

    Again…when you start citing your putative realism and Senate rules, at least try to have some semblance of perspective and connection to historical reality.

    And once you’ve got those, again, go back and think how this plays to regular Jack and Jill voters, the ones who aren’t getting shit from the Democrats in the past year all the while Obama’s Fed and Treasury are using literally a trillion+ to backstop the banks.

    And…I’m the idealist?

  325. 325
    Comrade Kevin says:

    The review for “Shark Sandwich” was merely a two word review which simply read “Shit Sandwich”.

  326. 326
    Mary says:

    FDL won’t be getting left wing money anymore because they’ve proved they can’t be trusted. So they will continue to take right wing or “libertarian” money and they will do the GOP’s bidding whilst trying to make excuses for their disgraceful behavior. Like “we’re only trying to move the Overton window, we’re very sophisticated.” Or “maybe we made a strategic error but our hearts are still in the right place.” Or “we’ve done so much good work in the past, you must continue to trust us.”

    Bullshit.

    Don’t piss on our legs and tell us it’s raining.

  327. 327
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @redstar:

    Actually, I’m a realist.

    OK Mr/Mrs hard headed realist – let’s take you at your word. You understand retail politics better than anyone else here, apparently. And Obama is a corporatist sell out by your score. So how many presidents have you succeeded in electing, using that hard headed pragmatic realism of yours? Obviously Clinton wasn’t good enough to meet your high standards of anti-corporate goodness. Nor was Carter. And your type chased LBJ out of office with chants of “hey, hey LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?” back in 1968, and then turned around and pissed all over Humphrey as an establishment sellout.

    So what about Truman and FDR? Were they pure enough for you? Given all the holes in social security as initially passed, given that Truman didn’t fight hard enough to get any sort of health care reform at all, and given FDR’s cozying up to the southern racists in the Democractic party of the 1930s, apparently not.

    So just who have you ever succeeded in electing into office, ever? That sure is some impressive electoral realism you’ve got there.

  328. 328
    cleek says:

    But…do you really think a majority of Americans do?

    whether they know it or not is irrelevant. it works the way it works.

    that’s reality.

    On the other hand, the GOP – they get shit done

    no, they don’t. they only hit a few select items out of the whole conservative Utopia.

  329. 329
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @redstar:

    On the other hand, the GOP – they get shit done. They can get shit done in the Senate with just 45 votes…just ask St Ronnie Reagan!

    You really don’t know jack about US political history, do you? Do you have any idea how Reagan got what he wanted out of Congress? Any idea at all? Here’s a hint: he watered down the ideas the right wing purists on his side wanted until they were acceptable to the conservative Dems (aka the other party) and then sold them to the general public as…

    [wait for it]

    [wait for it]

    Bipartisanship!

    And what he got for his trouble was, middling favorability ratings for most of his administration, lots of things passed thru Congress, and a lot of screeching and hollering from the purists on the right about how he was selling them down the river, all the way thru to the very end of his administration. Only once he was safely out of office did he become the secular saint they’ve converted him into, and most of that after the 1992 election when the GOP lost the WH and starting pining for what they’d had but hadn’t appreciated until it was gone.

  330. 330
    redstar says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ

    I never said I understand retail politics better than anyone here. I also never called Obama a corporatist sell-out. And I’d appreciate you not putting words in my mouth.

    This said, I’ve done retail politics (on other’s behalf, door-knocking, et c.), in two countries and in two languages in fact, and so maybe I know a thing or two, but that doesn’t make me smarter than the next person.

    LBJ escalated Vietnam and sent tens of thousands of American boys and girls to a lost war. He did good things, this is true, really good things. But, are you saying protesting a lost (and stupid) war was a bad thing?

    Clinton gave us botched healthcare reform. He screwed it up much more than Obama, and Obama has a few excuses (a much more powerful industry lobby) that Clinton didn’t have. He gave us “welfare reform” (which we now, given the first economic downturn, start to see the real effects of). He gave us Greenspan not once but twice, and all that magical Clinton economy was the Greenspan bubble (and yes, the Clinton bubble). His foreign policy was incompetent in the first term and a precursor to Bush in the second term (why do you think so many Democrats voted for Iraq?) He did the capital gains tax cuts George HW Bush campaigned on. So yes, from a left perspective (and I am not at all ashamed of my beliefs) Clinton was not a good President for me.

    Ditto Carter by the way. Carter started the deregulation that Reagan accelerated. Carter started the belligerent attitude in the Cold War (starting with Afghanistan), Reagan only accelerated that too. (Not sure I blame Carter so much as his Russophobe NSA but ultimately the buck stops at the Oval Office, no?) Outside of the Cold War Carter had some major foreign policy advances we all can be proud of (CD Accords) and was indeed the last President with a decent energy policy and he has redeemed himself even more since he was President on his other endeavors so on balance I truly respect is legacy but it is not an unmitigated one.

    Truman and FDR were pretty good I think but before my time. I think Debs would have been better than FDR though and, of course, I remember that it was a Democrat, one you guys are still so proud of, who put Debs in jail. And he was right, back then, ’14-’18 was a rich man’s war, just like the ones Obama is escalating or unnecessarily drawing out.

    On my side, I’ve worked on a number of campaigns, in the US usually at the State level since I have family working in State gov’t in my home state. The last few were Democrats who ultimately lost but I’ve volunteered for winning cmpaigns too. And I was precinct chair for a number of years in my city back in the US.

    And, the last guy I campaigned for (lit drops, pamphleteering, etc.) did in fact win and is now MEP for Ile de France, Patrick Le Hyaric, Front de Gauche.

  331. 331
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @redstar: OK, so you answered question #1. How about question #2 (which, if you need repeated, is what exactly is this ad trying to accomplish)?

    At least I’m pretty sure you didn’t answer #2, because if you did, (a) it was between the lines, and (b) the answer is “depress Democratic voter turnout.” Which I’m pretty sure is not the answer you’re intending.

  332. 332
    redstar says:

    To be honest I don’t give a shit about what’s true or false about the Reagan mystique or what was the motivation for what happened back them.

    I just know back then there were a lot of scumbag Democrats. And there still are. And back then they worked with Reagan. And now, they are working against regular people and on behalf of their banking and insurance industry donors (to name a few).

    That’s the important part. That, what voters are seeing now isn’t new. It’s a continuation of what they’ve been seeing for a long time.

    Hard to get motivated to get out to vote for that. Especially since employers don’t necessarily make it easy for working people to vote, no one seems to care about this, and elections happen on what is for most people a work day.

  333. 333
    redstar says:

    @SP, not depress Democratic turnout. No need for that! The Democrats are already doing that!

    No, this is more a direct threat to the Democrats actually in power. They know there is an active minority of (usually very politically active) people who are only nominally Democrats and who mostly formed the 3% who went Nader/Laduke (and some of us who went with our guts and didn’t but wanted to).

    The Dems may think they can do without, but this is, given the youth vote that put them over the top in 2008, probably 6-8 percent of their base. Hamsher is encouraging them (us) to demobilize, threaten to withhold our votes and work and dollars, to put pressure on the Democrats.

    Really, against their corporate donor base, it’s all we got. But, I strongly suspect they suffer at the polls without us.

    But if that’s not true, well, why do you all care?.

  334. 334
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @redstar: You’re not answering the question.

  335. 335
    redstar says:

    Seems clear…demobilize the left..it’s an internet only ad so youth vote, ones who voted for Obama but aren’t getting shit for it.

    Backdraft of theme is to remind Democrats that the left is unhappy and expects more, without which kiss our ass goodbye in the next election.

    You really have to remind people of their interests. This is a class interest ad in a guerilla marketing mode, and Mr. Cole is doing FDL a favor by putting it up for free (like so many others).

  336. 336
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Mary:

    I believe that old Missouri phrase was “Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining”

    Fletcher in The Outlaw Josey Wales said it, so therefore it is memorable movie quote law. :-)

  337. 337
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Uriel:

    They’re tired, juvenile, and off-putting- and, the fact that you’ve all decided to “spontaneously” latch on to this one obnoxiously offensive term reeks of contrived, manufactured outrage.

    I’ve found it a very handy term, because it instantly tells me I can ignore that commenter. They won’t have anything new to say and will only repeat talking points.

  338. 338
    clonecone says:

    @Sentient Puddle: He never will. I used to go round and round with him at dkos until I realized he’s not debating in good faith. He’s simply a contrarian who hates anyone who has ever been elected to office. No piece of legislation that has ever been enacted is good enough. I remember when he said FMLA was a worthless law for corporatists.

    He has been, and always will be, a purity troll.

    BTW Redstar – you liked Edwards and then Clinton because they had mandates in their healthcare plans. You said you were following Krugman’s lead. You said he was the “best progressive in print today”. Is Krugman now just another corporatist sellout for endorsing the current bill? I’ll bet you hate the mandates now, just like every other PUMA firebagger who claimed they were progressive nirvana in 2008.

  339. 339
    Mnemosyne says:

    @redstar:

    No, this is more a direct threat to the Democrats actually in power. They know there is an active minority of (usually very politically active) people who are only nominally Democrats and who mostly formed the 3% who went Nader/Laduke (and some of us who went with our guts and didn’t but wanted to).

    Yeah, that “Republicrats” strategy of Nader’s sure worked out well for the country, didn’t it?

    As ThatLeftTurnInABQ pointed out, you’ve been following the same failed strategy for 40 years. Your “brilliant” strategy gave us Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Bush II and hobbled Carter and Clinton.

    Maybe you should, you know, come up with a new strategy since the one you’ve been relying on for forty years hasn’t worked. But, hey, I’m sure this year is the year it’s finally going to come together for the Cubbies … er, the left.

  340. 340
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Who said it first? It really caught on. 48 hours, and they were all using it.

  341. 341
    redstar says:

    @Mnemosyne…

    Haha! I was waiting for that….of course I voted Gore but no matter…you can go without the left, that’s cool…keep moving to the center! Maybe you;ll get a few Republicans or donors to move your way! But, maybe you know the electorate is closer to me than to what your party is delivering, which is why you all are a bit worried about more criticism from us over on the left…

    But really, it wasn’t us who worked with Reagan to increase the regressive SS taxes all the while halving taxes on the wealthiest Americans. It was you Democrats, spearheaded by a hero that perhaps you’d prefer to forget, Daniel Patrick Moynihan who also helped scuttle HCR under Clinton.

    Your brilliant strategy gave us new Democrats like Clinton and the DLC, who reminded Americans that Democrats were sorta like Republicans but maybe a little better for them. Except, they didn’t deliver when push came to shove though they talked a good game.

    My strategy dude? My wife and kids aren’t in the US anymore. So…you can call that my strategy. I had the good fortune of being born a dual national and I can tell you this much…I trust a GoOper to fuck me, and I also know I can trust a Democrat not to do shit for me.

    I know getting fucked is worse. But…not getting shit…not so good either.

    But again, guys, I’m super far away now…and I really do wish you’s luck.

    You will need it, you know?

  342. 342
    Mary says:

    @redstar: Aren’t you the least bit tweaked to know that Nader was actually a pet of Grover Norquist’s and funded by the right wing? Isn’t it accepted wisdom that those who fell for the Nader spiel were not sophisticated but in fact were hopelessly naive? What is making you act in such a regressive manner this time around?

  343. 343
    Mary says:

    @redstar: Are you working for Bibi? Is that what you’re saying? Because that would explain a lot. He has a whole separate ratfucking operation going on. LOL

  344. 344
    redstar says:

    @ Clonecone.

    That’s bullshit. I think Mitterrand got a whole hell of a lot accomplished here in France, much of the time with the opposition in charge of the Congress over here.

    But I don’t make excuses for the pathetic accomplishments of the Democrats in the US in my lifetime.

    You call it bad faith, that’s fine. That’s because you’ve nothing else.

  345. 345
    clonecone says:

    @redstar: That’s hilarious. You cite the regressive Reagan SS tax but last year you were claiming that Obama is an economic conservative for wanting to eliminate the FICA cap.

    You’re a simple contrarian, emphasis on the simple.

  346. 346
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @kay:

    Who said it first?

    That particular term has been floating around the econ/finance blogs for years. Judging from the comment sections I’ve read it started out as being more popular with the right-libertarian Austrian school types, but seems to have more recently crossed over to the left as well, and is now in favor with anybody who is pissed off at the establishment in general for any reason.

  347. 347
    clonecone says:

    @redstar: Are you really going to site a French politician who operated under a completely different system of government and hold that up as your example of faith in elected officials?

    I’m sorry you never learned to count to 60 or find out how a bill becomes a law. Which country’s educational system is to blame?

  348. 348
    Mary says:

    @clonecone: Nice job of troll-busting.

  349. 349
    clonecone says:

    @kay: It’s a line from Full Metal Jacket. “It’s one big shit sandwich and we’re all gonna have to take a bite.”

  350. 350
    redstar says:

    @ Mary…bibi? who is this?

    Night all!

    I’m going to bed in “socialist” France, one with the most right-wing President in my lifetime, but where tomorrow I wake up again in the best, most cost-effective public healthcare system in the world, where we vote on Sundays instead of a work day, where if I break my hip I get 100% sick-leave/disability instead of a greatly reduced take home pay, where if I get laid off I get 75% of my salary for a year and 60% the second year, where we have a strong military which actually does good things instead of invading countries on the other side of the world unprovoked, kill hundreds of thousands and leave them there for a decade or so, where we have a tax and fiscal structure which levels things out instead of favoring the rich, and where we are incented to drive the most fuel efficient vehicle to work every day, a bike, instead of a Ford F-150.

    And tomorrow, you’ll all wake up in change you can believe in and will read Nate Silver tell you more about why Dems should be worried.

    Of course, you and I will draw completely opposite conclusions….

  351. 351
    clonecone says:

    @Mary: Thanks. It’s always been my specialty (as lame as it is).

  352. 352
    Mary says:

    @clonecone: What about the term “corporatist,” which has suddenly become so popular?

  353. 353
    redstar says:

    @ Clonecone

    I have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. Eliminate the Fica cap, great…

    But even talking about SS in the campaign? Plays to right-wing frame.

    Curious though, go ahead and find cites…you can’t. It’s true though I was no Obama fan.

    Neither were a lot of people, including Krugman.

  354. 354
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @redstar:

    I think Mitterrand got a whole hell of a lot accomplished here in France, much of the time with the opposition in charge of the Congress over here.

    And you think the French system of government and politics is so very much like what we have in the US that this is a good analogy?

    So we are to take political advice from somebody who already has one foot out of the country (“My strategy dude? My wife and kids aren’t in the US anymore“), who thinks that Eugene Debs was the last really good political leader here (“I think Debs would have been better than FDR though“), and who has a bad opinion of every Democrat elected to the Presidency in the last half-century?

    Whatever, dude. What you’re selling, I ain’t buying.

  355. 355
    redstar says:

    And again guys and gals, seriously, BEST OF LUCK in the next couple of elections.

    But, I am seriously glad my kids are more or less protected from paying for the consequences of your ineptitude, being quite far away.

  356. 356
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @redstar:

    But I don’t make excuses for the pathetic accomplishments of the Democrats in the US in my lifetime.

    Dem accomplishments have been rather thin the past 30 years. But that’s because the country gave the levers of power to the goopers. Don’t know how long your lifetime is, but Medicare and Social Security, not to mention civil rights legs got done before the 1980 shift to wingnuts getting the votes.

    Now, it has swung back the other way. And we got the largest progressive program spending bill in our history stealthily termed a ‘Stimulus Bill” for current economic woes. It was not that so much as makeup for the dry run of the wingers running the show for so long. And Yes, I will hawk this truth till the cows come home, and it was done first thing, and now in the first year of dem governance, we will get HCR, compromised for sure, but still with reforms that no one has been able to do since Truman tried.

    But by all means, shut off the valve after a single year of not getting everything you want. Put wingnuts back in power, so the poutrage is sweeter and more rightious. That’ll show em who’s powerful.

  357. 357
    clonecone says:

    @redstar: “It’s really simple. Health care reform doesn’t work unless it is mandated.

    Obama might have a point when he talks about doing away with the FICA cap, but when he frames the issue as “bailing out an insolvent Social Securty system” this does real damage.

    I’m sorry, but Obama is really the least progressive of the three front-runners on bread and butter economic issues, and that’s saying something.”

    http://www.dailykos.com/commen.....3/103#c103

    That comment thread also contains more of your Krugman mancrush. Does it hurt you deep down inside to know that Krugman has endorsed the healthcare bill? It shouldn’t since the bill contains the only thing you named as essential.

  358. 358
    clonecone says:

    @redstar: I’m glad they are far away too. The thought of my future kids hooking up with your kids makes my stomach turn.

  359. 359
    Devildawg says:

    @moe99:
    I don’t understand how the linked article proves that Dangerfield is wrong. Are you suggesting that since the legislation that Obama stakes out a solid position on is successful, if he provided more concrete support of the HR bill he wouldn’t be able to affect the outcome of the bill’s language and contents? It seems the article would support the opposite. Or are you just trying to show that bills that receive Obama’s support pass?

    One could argue that the positions that he had strong or solid position were those that he knew would be successful, which could make those successes seem less than amazing.

  360. 360
    redstar says:

    Thanks for proving my point.

    Exactly what I just said. Do away with Fica cap, fine. But, framing as a right winger (by saying SS needs to be bailed out) is damaging.

    You do know how this works, right?

  361. 361
    redstar says:

    Night all!

  362. 362
    kay says:

    @clonecone:

    Ah. I had to leave Full Metal Jacket. I can’t bear watching people hit other people. I would have been bawling and/or cringing had I stuck around, so I took off.

  363. 363

    Firedoglake has had the best coverage of the Prop 8 trial going on in San Francisco.

  364. 364
    Mark S. says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    The other thing that’s bugging me is that from what I can tell, we’re looking at a country that is essentially flattened, and I get to hear Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh say mean, hateful shit and have no accountability for it.

    In any sane country, those two assholes would become instant pariahs.

    This isn’t a sane country.

  365. 365
    Colin K says:

    @John Cole

    FDL doesn’t have to compare Obama to McCain.

    Obama did that for them.

    Why does it hurt your brain when people point this out? If Obama and the Democrats are doing so well, then is one little website with a relatively small profile really going to wreak so much havoc?

  366. 366
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @redstar:

    here in France

    Fuck off.

  367. 367
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Colin K:

    then is one little website with a relatively small profile really going to wreak so much havoc?

    This is even a smaller website, does what John Cole say really going to wreak so much havoc. Otherwise, your comment gets today’s prize as the dumbest one posted on this site, and maybe the whole internets.

  368. 368
    Mnemosyne says:

    @redstar:

    Haha! I was waiting for that….of course I voted Gore but no matter…you can go without the left, that’s cool…keep moving to the center! Maybe you;ll get a few Republicans or donors to move your way! But, maybe you know the electorate is closer to me than to what your party is delivering, which is why you all are a bit worried about more criticism from us over on the left…

    I’m always astounded by how many people are actually proud of themselves for refusing to do anything to change the political system when given a chance. They actually come here and brag about it. And now we have Brave Sir Robin to tell us all about his lefty heroism.

    Weird.

  369. 369
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Colin K:

    If Obama and the Democrats are doing so well, then is one little website with a relatively small profile really going to wreak so much havoc?

    I guess you missed the part where Jane Hamsher appeared on Fox News with her new bestie, Grover “bipartisanship is date rape” Norquist. She’s well on her way to becoming their new pet “liberal.” Maybe Hannity will take her on as his new Colmes.

  370. 370
    Emma says:

    Amazing. Three hundred plus comments, the largest number of them arguing with an asshole who can afford to be a purist because he lives in a country where he gets health care for free. The ultimate “I’ve got my kids covered; if yours die because no emergency room would take them, well, you know, you can’t make omelets without breaking eggs.”

    If there was any justice in this world, Mr. redstar would wake up with all of his family in North Dakota with no insurance and working minimum wage. And at least two of them with pre-existing conditions.

  371. 371
    Osceola says:

    @Paula

    I suppose I was too subtle, but that wasn’t an ad hominem attack on Jane Hamsher. I like her public persona for the most part (let the flames begin), although I do believe that Natural Born Killers was one of the most breathtakingly immoral movies ever made. The main point of my comment was paragraph #2. Obama has not stood up for the millions of voters who like me and many readers of Balloon-Juice gave him money and time because we believed in his promises. Silly us. Jane is fallible human being just like all of us. But she is holding the President to his promises, loudly. No one expected Obama to get everything, but no one expected him to fight for so little, especially in the guise of bipartisanship with people who are not serious, i.e., the entire GOP and its appurtenances, and who want him to fail. Period.

  372. 372
    Tim I says:

    I hope Jane gets the diving board up her ignorant, racist ass!

    The fuckers at FDL sent me an email asking me to sign some fucking petition – I don’t know what it was about – the email was in black and white, while I could only see red.

    I told them to drop me from their list in wver colorful language, which i will spare your sensitive readers – is it true they are mostly nuns?

  373. 373
    Karen says:

    Obama can see the writing on the wall and he wants to avoid the same problems Clinton had in 1994. As wonderful as the far left is, the middle is where you get more people on your side. Compromise. It’s all a matter of compromise. That is why up until now, the GOP wins, because they recognize that you won’t get everything and you need to take what you can get. FDL’s philosophy is the same as Demint’s: to paraphrase, he said that he’d rather be right than win. He’d rather have his pure GOP, weeding out the RINOs. FDL would rather be Kali, destroying the world in order to rebuild and purify. Never mind all the people who will suffer. Never mind that when the GOP is in charge they destroy everything. This time it was eight years that Obama has to undo. Are the FDL people saying that a nuclear bomb is better than the chance of molotov cocktails being thrown?

    But if you don’t agree, by all means, be with the FDL and Norquist people, two sides of the same coin of purity. Maybe your goal to destroy then rebuild will be successful. I hope that’s the case. But don’t even start complaining about the economy, theocracy or health care. You won’t have a right to complain at all.

  374. 374
    Mary says:

    @Osceola: Actually, Balloon-Juicers are for the most part on the President’s and the Democrat’s side and who increasingly agree that Hamsher’s actions are disgraceful. Her cultster’s mournful pleas to overlook Hamsher’s failings because she is a fallible human being (as opposed to a corrupt ratfucker) are laughable as she takes her ratfuckery to new heights every day.

    Just this week she has engaged in these specific acts of ratfuckery: (1) attempted to market a false scandal involving economist Jon Gruber, which was called out by progressive columnist Paul Krugman in the New York Times, (2) run a push poll against Democrat Vic Snyder who was running against Karl Rove’s sidekick Tim Griffin, which was called out by progressive blogger Nate Silver and (3) made an ad equating the President with the GOP on the eve of the special election in Massachusetts, which was called out by progressive blogger John Cole.

    Hamsher is a corrupt ratfucker, in the pocket of the GOP, who wants the President and the Democrats to fail. She proves it every day and she is being called out for her actions quite publicly. And that’s aside from the fact that she operated at least one of her PACs as a slush fund for the personal benefit of herself and her friends, as shown by the FEC returns.

    At this point, when her dwindling band of supporters are unable to remove their blinders in view of all of the evidence, it’s fair to question whether they are ratfuckers themselves or simply woefully misguided cult members. In any event, her credibility is fully blown at least on this blog.

  375. 375
    Osceola says:

    @Mary
    Nonsense on Gruber. His work may well be correct. He has the expertise and apparently an excellent reputation. But he was paid almost $800,000 to come up with the work product, and while his defenders here have maintained that at some point he disclosed this, he neglected to do so on several occasions. Krugman admits as much, and this failure to disclose the source of his support is not what we should expect from an independent academic expert. We all have the right know who supports such critical “research” every time it is cited; it is not our job to check up on him. More to the point, Gruber’s ~$800,000 was in the form of a sole-source consulting contract from HHS. It was not a GRANT, which would have been reviewed by a panel of his peers, who would not have gone along with any analysis by a proprietary model, by the way. That is not science. Gruber actually has an NIH grant to work on Medicare Part D. Look it up if you want to: Google “NIH Reporter” and put his name in the principal investigator blank. I’m sure he will use the support (to the NBER, not Gruber himself, by the way) wisely and objectively. But the White House presented Gruber as an independent analyst from MIT on the excise tax. He was no such thing. He was a very well paid consultant. And what does a consultant do? Borrow your watch and tell you what time it is.

    I look forward to your explanation of how I have missed the point on Gruber (well, not really). But don’t tell me I don’t know how research grants work. My graduate students and I have received over a million dollars in grant support from NIH and other private agencies since 2003. I know how they work.

    BTW, “Ratfucker”? My, you are articulate. But Donald Segretti would be laughing his ass off right now if he read your post. Donald was a real ratfucker!

  376. 376
    Mary says:

    @Osceola: As a loyal follower of Hamsher’s, you should be grateful that I’ve elevated her status from “useful idiot” to full-on ratfucker. I’m giving her full credit in matching her actions with her intentions. Some people just think she’s mentally ill.

  377. 377
    cleek says:

    @Colin K:

    Obama did that for them.

    no. the fucking Senate did that. Obama did not write the bill.

    Obama has the option of signing an imperfect bill which still does quite a lot for Americans, or he can sign nothing and maintain Hamsher’s beloved status quo.

    being a rigid ideologue is great, if you’re a cartoon superhero. IRL, it’s not actually that great a thing to be.

  378. 378
    sglover says:

    Hey, I want to thank all the believing, loyalist Dems for bucking up my decision to vote Green from now on.

    I don’t think I’ve ever looked at the FDL site, so I don’t have anything to say about it, or the linked video. But I don’t see how any sentient creature can deny that Obama and the Dems owe their victory to:
    1) a completely discredited, demoralized and confused Republican Party
    2) building up the hopes of significant numbers of hitherto apathetic new voters.
    3) party members, including those dreadful, hateful PROGRESSIVES.

    Obama signaled early that his was going to be a small-bore, thoroughly conventional administration when he chose perennial wheezers like Biden and Clinton — so, granted, there’s no **real** reason for disappointment. But in the beginning of his term, the financial crisis handed him an extremely rare opportunity. Any sentient politician, **especially** one with Obama’s purported talents, should positively salivate about having an enemy like the financial “industry” and their congressional scutboys. That gang comes pre-demonized. And in an era when ONE IN FIVE Americans are un- or underemployed, taking them on in open political and prosecutorial warfare would have been an electoral godsend and a genuine social benefit.

    But instead of a “malefactors of great wealth” speech, we got Larry Summers and little Timmy Geithner. Retarded, bound-to-fail attempts at a “bipartisanship” that hasn’t existed since maybe 1973. Exorbitant sums thrown at the banks — necessary, no doubt, to prevent the system from completely imploding, but all of it given with NO strings attached, and deviously. Obama pissed the main chance away. Frankly, this is strategic idiocy on the Bush/Cheney scale.

    Obama is now thoroughly — and **correctly** — identified as a coddler of finance “industry” excesses. The scale of public spending necessary to stabilize and rebuild the economy will **never** be mobilized, now. We will continue to see 20% un/underemployment rates **throughout** Obama’s term. How do you believing Dems think your party’s going to do after another three years of that? Don’t count on Republicans being in disarray forever. Hell, Obama’s **revived** them.

    So I hope you enjoy insulting dismayed leftists, calling them idiots, telling them to grow up. I see it on many of the political blogs that I visit, any more. I expect that lots of the voters newly registered in ’08, **deliberately** misled by the Hope’n’Change mantra, are going to conclude that politics is, after all, a huckster’s game — and stay home. Meanwhile, lefties, the only other part of the Dem coalition, rationally conclude that playing along means getting played for a sucker. And your collective response is to alienate them even further. Very shrewd.

  379. 379
    Ron says:

    @eastriver: What on earth makes you think that all democrats would vote lockstep ‘progressive’? the Democratic party is a pretty big tent, and includes people like Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln. And for anyone who thinks the solution is to primary them, all I can say is good luck getting a “true progressive” elected in Nebraska or Arkansas.

  380. 380
    cleek says:

    Retarded, bound-to-fail attempts at a “bipartisanship” that hasn’t existed since maybe 1973.

    err, he ran on a platform of bi-partisan co-operation. people elected him at least in part because of that. that was as much a part of his campaign as Hope & Change. in fact, it was part of the Change. call it retarded, but it’s what people wanted.

    but sure, i guess it’s more fun to blame Obama for the fact that the GOP decided to use that as a tool against him, than it is to blame the GOP.

  381. 381
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @sglover:
    thanks for sharing. Now fuck off!!

    somebody please close the idiot window.

  382. 382
    sglover says:

    err, he ran on a platform of bi-partisan co-operation. people elected him at least in part because of that….

    but sure, i guess it’s more fun to blame Obama for the fact that the GOP decided to use that as a tool against him, than it is to blame the GOP.

    Oh, so I should be impressed that **this** part of Hope’n’Change he followed up on. It was only the **substantive** bits he let slide.

    Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways. Obama’s had this aura of being a fabulously gifted politician — so suddenly, starting in January 2009, he discovers that the Republican Party is completely intransigent?!?! I think you’re better off agreeing with me that, in fact, he’s not an especially good strategist.

    And by the way, about that mean old GOP: They’ve been playing the same hardball tactics my entire life — and getting results. It’s no secret. Sorry, but it’s a little late for Dems to play this stupid “golly, they blindsided me again!” game any more. Jay-zus H. Key-rist, if Obama said that he preferred ham sandwiches over turkey, the usual GOP gasbags would be yammering about it for a week. You’re honestly trying to tell me that it’s a **surprise** that Republicans somehow used Obama’s (again, stupid) nod to Holy Bipartisanship “as a tool against him”?!?! (How, exactly, did they do this?)

    Do you know what the lesson of the long Republican ascendance was? When you win, you RUN WITH IT. You steamroll the opposition at **every** turn, right down to ensuring that the other side has the lousiest, stuffiest rooms in the congressional office buildings. (The Republicans actually did this.) That ascendancy **only** ended because Republican theology is batshit crazy, at odds with external reality, and it couldn’t be papered over. But in the interim, they got a helluva lot done. (For the constituents who mattered, the connected business class. The anti-abortion, born-again crowd were never the people who counted.)

    Obama and the Dems had the initiative in their grasp after the inauguration — and even now it isn’t clear that they ever even realized it. But believing Dems insist that their left wing should hang in there and overlook this kind of imbecility. It’s crazy!

  383. 383
    sglover says:

    thanks for sharing. Now fuck off!!

    somebody please close the idiot window.

    Hey, thank **you** for, again, verifying my impressions of the modern Democratic Party. Good luck in 2010 and 2012, ace!

  384. 384
    sglover says:

    Hey Osceola —

    Obama has not stood up for the millions of voters who like me and many readers of Balloon-Juice gave him money and time because we believed in his promises. Silly us. Jane is fallible human being just like all of us. But she is holding the President to his promises, loudly. No one expected Obama to get everything, but no one expected him to fight for so little, especially in the guise of bipartisanship with people who are not serious, i.e., the entire GOP and its appurtenances, and who want him to fail.

    I’m told by that master of rhetoric, “General Winfield Stuck”, that the proper response to your remark is a hearty “fuck off”.

    Thus do we build winning coalitions.

  385. 385
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @sglover:

    Mom says it’s past yer bedtime, ace. No mo Cheetos for you.

  386. 386
    George J. says:

    I like Jane. I think she is smart and dedicated to the progressive cause and I believe she knows what she is doing. I guess what I’m saying is that I will put my faith and trust in her for the time being.

    And yes I am one of those that try to donate to FDL on a regular basis now. You do FDL a solid there by helping to motivate me to give.

  387. 387
    Mary says:

    @sglover: Have you really not visited FDL yet? Because it seems to me that FDL would be a perfect place for you. Oh, and they’re looking for new members to replace all of the people that have left so you will no doubt receive a warm welcome. You should try it.

  388. 388
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @George J.:

    You do FDL a solid there by helping to motivate me to give.

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  389. 389
    Mary says:

    @George J.: Thanks for sharing. I’m sure Jane appreciates you being willing to keep her in Laboutins as she stabs the Democratic party in the back.

  390. 390
    The Raven says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s being run on the internet on the weekend before a special election between a Democrat and a Republican.

    It’s also the time when the health care bill is being debated; it’s not like there is time to wait.

  391. 391
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Raven:

    So all of the talk about how Coakley Must Be Defeated is just a total co-inkydink?

    You must own several shares of the Brooklyn Bridge.

  392. 392
    The Raven says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    stop dousing gasoline on your own side and threaten to strike a match.

    Perhaps the “Pass this bill, now, in its current form or we’ll never have another chance,” argument is just this.

    Then lobby like any other interest group. An interest group with a liberal voting block where failure to address its concerns will have implied consequences.

    Perhaps this video one of the consequences.

    Perception is 90% (or whatever high number) in politics.

    How do you see that as relevant here?

  393. 393
    Paula says:

    The most hilarious thing on this thread is Osceola stating that calling someone a bitch and then putting down their previous profession makes for a subtle attempt at praise.

    sglover, thank YOU for verifying why I put up with so much shit from the Democrats!

  394. 394
    The Raven says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So all of the talk about how Coakley Must Be Defeated is just a total co-inkydink?

    I haven’t seen any “Coakley Must Be Defeated” talk from the FDL editors. They seem to be neutral. Some diarists have said they are not voting for her because the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries are supporting her. I don’t think FDL is needed to make those connections unpopular.

    Is there more I haven’t seen?

  395. 395
    Mary says:

    @The Raven: FDL is all about Coakley’s defeat and the failure of the President and the Democrats. All of the time. That’s the whole point of John’s post, Raven. And how is that not disgraceful, as John has said?

    Also, since you seem exquisitely aware of FDL editorial policy, favor us with your opinion as to when the destructive ratfuckery is going to stop. Will it stop with the passage of healthcare reform, as you seem to imply, or will it continue for the duration?

    And who is FDL’s constituency beyond Grover Norquist and the teabaggers, Raven? It’s pretty clear that the unions have abandoned Hamsher and won’t be coming back, for EFCA or for anything else. It’s also pretty clear that Hamsher is being called out pretty hard by respected progressive voices and that she no longer has anyone of note on her side. Even the single payer advocates want nothing to do with Hamsher.

  396. 396
    Mary says:

    Correction. Arianna Huffington and Glenn Greenwald do seem to still be on Hamsher’s side, but Greenwald is a libertarian, not a progressive. I don’t know what Huffington is. Oh. And Cenk Uygur, whatever he is.

    The fact is that there is not a single Democrat on Hamsher’s side that I can think of. Am I missing any Democrats that are on Hamsher’s side?

  397. 397
    Mary says:

    @The Raven: And since you’re here representing, we’d like to know the sources of Hamsher and FDL’s funding, so we can evaluate any conflicts of interest properly. It seems only fair that the funding be disclosed in view of FDL’s recent actions that have caused so many questions, as well as FDL’s notable demands that everyone else must disclose their own funding.

  398. 398

    […] the term you were looking for to describe Jane: Firebagger. (Go read that post to find out where your FDL donations have gone (hint: to compare Obama to […]

  399. 399
    Karoli says:

    Jane’s most recent push-poll probably undid Vic Snyder, leaving an unopposed run for Tim Griffin. Need more evidence? Firebagger is exactly the right term for her, and everything she’s doing works to the detriment of every progressive-minded voter in this country.

    It’s not about progress anymore for her. It’s about being right. For Jane, being right is so important she has no problem turning right.

  400. 400
    Mary says:

    @Karoli: Griffin is now unopposed? Are you sure?

  401. 401
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Raven:

    I haven’t seen any “Coakley Must Be Defeated” talk from the FDL editors.

    Interesting how you draw that line so finely. So you’re saying that the diaries that are highlighted on the front page of the website are chosen completely at random so the fact that the first two diaries listed are “Why I will not be voting for Martha Coakley Tuesday” and “Obama to Campaign for Coakley: Good Luck With That” is just a coincidence?

    Amazing how many coincidences just happened to pile up here, and every one of them on the same subject: stopping the Senate bill by making Martha Coakley lose the election and giving the Republicans the power to block the bill. Most people would start to see a pattern, but all you can see are the lovely individual trees.

  402. 402
    Mary says:

    @Mnemosyne: Did they attempt to raise one thin dime for Martha Coakley?

  403. 403
    Mary says:

    @Karoli: There’s something grossly perverse in taking down an incumbent Democrat for the benefit of Tim Griffin, Karl Rove’s right hand man, who was front and center in the U.S. Attorney’s scandal. Karl Rove must be very pleased.

  404. 404
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @The Raven: It is obvious that you have no clue how politics works in this country and apparently no desire to learn, or even care, especially electoral politics, as well the legislative kind. And are 100% results orientated. That makes you a perfect match for the Jane Hamsher’s of the left, which wants what it wants, all of it and now.

    That is cool, as it is a free country, but don’t come here and blow smoke up our asses that you are a progressive, and remotely reasonable/rational. You are neither, and be a pure ideologue. No more, no less.

  405. 405
    The Raven says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    It is obvious that you have no clue how politics works in this country and apparently no desire to learn, or even care, especially electoral politics, as well the legislative kind.

    Ah, yes, calm rational coalition building.

    Croak!

  406. 406
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @The Raven: That is as calm as can be possible to say what I think is the truth. Don’t be such a Heather.

  407. 407
    Osceola says:

    @Paula

    You cannot read. I said that it could be said Jame Hamsher is a bitch. People here certainly do it, whether they use that word or not. I also said it may even be true. I don’t know and you don’t either, unless you know her personally and have witnessed such behavior. I’m pretty sure that Rahm Emanuel thinks it is true. I don’t. I did not put down her previous profession, either. I stated up front that “Natural Born Killers” was a horrible movie, whether it was well made or not. The praise was where I mentioned that the Right and the Left can have common ground, even if Grover Norquist is not the representative of the Right to have common ground with. Jane should have stayed away from any mention of him whatsoever. The outright praise was in the second paragraph. Someone pointed out to me that Balloon-Juicers support Obama. I do to. I just believe he is in need of an intervention. His unnatural need for bipartisanship with the GOP under current circumstances is pathological.

  408. 408
    gbear says:

    Good morning. Just stopping by to post this link about the MA election for all the firepupspuds. Wall Street is luvin’ them some Brown.

  409. 409
    eemom says:

    THIS, from the above link to this post:
    http://www.drumsnwhistles.com/.....#more-3016

  410. 410
    Mnemosyne says:

    I have to say, I love how many people can spot conspiracy in every move Obamarahm makes, but present them with actual evidence showing that FDL is working to defeat Martha Coakley and all of a sudden it’s just a bunch of completely disconnected coincidences that have nothing to do with each other. Heigh-ho.

  411. 411
    Dayv says:

    Shifting the Overton Window: you’re not doing it right.

  412. 412
    AxelFoley says:

    I still find it remarkable that FDLers love to call those who support the President O-bots (which I proudly call myself) and members of the cult of personality, but it’s they who slavishly worship at the altar of Jane.

    And they defend her gettin’ in bed with the likes of Norquist.

    Amazing.

  413. 413
    AxelFoley says:

    @George J.:

    There’s one born every minute.

  414. 414
    AxelFoley says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I have to say, I love how many people can spot conspiracy in every move Obamarahm makes, but present them with actual evidence showing that FDL is working to defeat Martha Coakley and all of a sudden it’s just a bunch of completely disconnected coincidences that have nothing to do with each other. Heigh-ho.

    I know, right?

  415. 415
    grendelkhan says:

    @Uriel: Are you being facetious, or just completely unself-aware?

    That’s adorable, how you’re ignoring the point I was trying to make. Again, John (and you) seem incapable of considering that it may in fact be Obama’s actual actions which have depressed the base, rather than our failure to, as I put it, clap harder.

    Health care reform is causing this kind of disintegration among the base because it’s a fucking fiasco. People are calling for the bill to be junked (even though that is, indeed, a bad idea, since the bill isn’t quite worse than doing nothing) because it’s turned into such a terrible piece of legislation.

    Is it entirely Obama’s fault? Of course not; he’s not a dictator. But the buck stops with him. This was his baby, and it’s turned out to be a horror. Holding hands and not complaining will not, it turns out, change the facts of the matter.

    I am not the problem. If Obama wanted an energized base, perhaps he should have done a better job to inspire them.

  416. 416
    CF Oxtrot says:

    STRATEGY GUIDE FOR THE DONKLEFASCIST MOVEMENT

    Remember, Team…

    …it’s all about the Eternal Super Bowl of American Politics.

    …it really IS as simple as Democrat = Noble, Rethuglican = Evil.

    …whenever a Noble Democrat shits his/her own bed, it’s an Evil Rethuglican’s fault.

    …when a Noble Democrat intends to run his or her office the same way an Evil Rethuglican did (see Obama as 3d Term of Bush/Cheney for examples), it’s more important to protect the integrity of the Team — the Noble Democrats — than it is to recognize you’ve been gulled by a charlatan (again, see Obama as 3d Term of Bush/Cheney).

    …and lastly, whomever points out problems such as Obama delivering the 3d term of Bush/Cheney, remember to call that person a “concern troll” or “purity policeman.”

    You’re welcome.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] the term you were looking for to describe Jane: Firebagger. (Go read that post to find out where your FDL donations have gone (hint: to compare Obama to […]

  2. […] Variations on a theme — see John Cole, “Money Well Spent,” and then Nate Silver, “Liberal Website Helpfully Tests Messages Against Vulnerable […]

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