Discretion is the better part of valor

Bradrocket writes:

When I voted for Hope’n’Change two years ago, I didn’t think it would involve bribing the living shit out of every major stakeholder and interest group in the country. We used to have political leaders who would relish taking on unpopular special interests in the name of the public good. If anyone knows what happened to that sort of political courage, I’d be glad to know.

I remember Obama saying he would bring everyone to the table and work something out. To me, that was short hand for “I will bribe the shit out of every major stakeholder and interest group in the country.” The only question for me was if the bribery would yield a decent deal.

I think it has.

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161 replies
  1. 1
    slightly_peeved says:

    If anyone knows what happened to that sort of political courage, I’d be glad to know.

    I’ll take “innacurate halcyon views of the past” for $1000, Alex.

  2. 2
    JMY says:

    The only question for me was if the bribery would yield a decent deal.

    I think it has.

    This.

  3. 3
    robertdsc says:

    Considering it’s come this far with a bunch of fucking GOP animals saying no all the way down the line, I’m OK with things as they are. Hopefully on Sunday it will be finished.

  4. 4
    JMY says:

    Block quote fail….

  5. 5
    Jody says:

    He makes a good point tho. What I wouldn’t give for a guy in the White House who would jump at the chance to prove his working class credentials by sticking it to every special interest he could, starting with the military-industrial complex.

  6. 6
    Tom Hilton says:

    We used to have political leaders who would relish taking on unpopular special interests in the name of the public good.

    What fucking country did Bradrocket formerly live in?

    @slightly_peeved: Yup, exactly.

  7. 7
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    After this bill passes I’m going to cherish every second of wingnut outrage. It will be almost as good as election night 2008 was. Almost.

  8. 8
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I don’t know what it is about us, that we need to see the past through rose-tinted glasses. I am reading about the history of the Great Depression and New Deal right now, and the politics then was just as messy as it is now, in fact there are remarkable parallels between the two eras. I am sure if we go further back to Roman times or the times of the Pharaohs in Egypt, we would find that politics back then was no different. I am sure there was plenty of deal making and back stabbing (literally and figuratively).

  9. 9
    Lolis says:

    Um … I smell bullshit. I have a hard time believing anyone who wrote that actually voted for Obama. It sounds like a Republican troll.

    Most Democrats would love it if Obama were far more unscrupulous than he is in achieving progressive goals. Most voters wants results and don’t pay attention or care about “backroom deals.”

  10. 10
    Svensker says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    #1 for the WIN please.

  11. 11
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    We used to have political leaders who would relish taking on unpopular special interests in the name of the public good.

    Your use of the word “unpopular” kind of undermines your argument about those Good Old Courageous Pols of Sweet Yesteryear, but nitpicking aside, name one example of a President successfully taking on powerful interests, and some person or persons on this blog will name six examples of that same pol ‘selling out’, being ‘gutless’, ‘not leading’ or whatever the Firebagger buzzword du jour is about Obama.

  12. 12
    mr. whipple says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    Indeedy. I love how it was in the good old days. Riiiiight.

  13. 13
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Lolis: I have to agree with your assessment.

  14. 14
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Jody:

    What I wouldn’t give for a guy in the White House who would jump at the chance to prove his working class credentials by sticking it to every special interest he could, starting with the military-industrial complex.

    Yeah, no kidding. If only we had a President with the guts to do something like end the F-22 Raptor program.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: My point being, not that we should either give up or give Obama a free pass, exactly the opposite. The fight goes on, the cause endures, and the dreams only die if we let them.

    (Haven’t even had a drink yet).

    and in fairness, I don’t know the context of the original comment.

  16. 16
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Lolis: I don’t think Brad’s a troll – he just has major untreated anxiety issues.

    Pardon me if you’re familiar with his work and think what you do; it’s not impossible, I just don’t think it’s so.

  17. 17
    ajr22 says:

    What do you folks think the passage of this bill will do to the tea party movement? clearly the republicans will try to ride fake promises of repealing the bill into nov, but do you think once this fight is over and some of the corporate cash is gone the movement might kinda fade?

  18. 18
    gwangung says:

    When I voted for Hope’n’Change two years ago, I didn’t think it would involve bribing the living shit out of every major stakeholder and interest group in the country. We used to have political leaders who would relish taking on unpopular special interests in the name of the public good. If anyone knows what happened to that sort of political courage, I’d be glad to know.

    Whenever I hear someone say this, I hear someone who’s slept through their American history class.

  19. 19
    Shalimar says:

    I admit part of the reason I want this rather mediocre bill to pass is because the wingnuts think it will allow Obama to euthanize all of their descendants. The freakout will be interesting to watch.

    More on topic: though I think Doug’s memory of the campaign is a little better than Brad’s, I also seem to remember lots of promises about getting special interests out of government. Making a secret deal with drug companies doesn’t fit very well with those promises, and it doesn’t fit well with Obama’s promises to make government more transparent. So it’s not like Brad is interpreting this hopey-changey shit however he wants. There are valid reasons behind his disillusionment.

  20. 20
    Steve says:

    I was not a fan of the “bring everyone to the table” approach because I thought it was a load of BS that would end up with a bad result, but if this bill passes, guess what I was wrong!

  21. 21
    mcc says:

    Thing is, guys, remember? We’re an interest group. That’s what public option advocates were, one of the interest groups at the table here. If you are bothered about the lack of a public option what you’re concerned about is that your interest group did not achieve its core objective in the end whereas some other interest groups did. This by itself is a legitimate reason to be bothered.

    But when you say something like what Bradrocket did? What you’re saying is that you expect enormous, country-changing legislation to be written with your interest group in mind and no other. This is a plainly silly demand even if Barack Obama is a member of our interest group himself.

    You elected Barack Obama to do something no other President had done before. He did. You didn’t elect him to repeal the law of gravity.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    I remember Bill Clinton taking on unpopular special interest groups. Unfortunately, those groups were welfare recipients and labor unions, which didn’t exactly help his lefty cred.

  23. 23
    Capri says:

    As I was once told by someone who help push parimutuel betting through the government in Indiana – “I never realized that politics was so political.”

    Obama’s approach reminds me of a boa constrictor. He just held on and slowly, slowly squeezed the life out of the opposition. The folks against this bill kept throwing out distractions and he just let them use up more of their energy while he tightened the noose a little bit.

  24. 24
    Lev says:

    If this were 1935, this dude would be railing at FDR about what a sellout he was, and how he didn’t have the guts to really take action to make peoples’ lives better. We’ve all read letters like that.

  25. 25
    beltane says:

    When did we ever have leaders who relished taking on unpopular issues? Bradrocket must be at least 200 years old, because even going back to Abraham Lincoln presidents did not relish taking on controversial issues. When they did take those issues on it was generally because it was forced on them one way or another.

  26. 26
    gwangung says:

    More on topic: though I think Doug’s memory of the campaign is a little better than Brad’s, I also seem to remember lots of promises about getting special interests out of government. Making a secret deal with drug companies doesn’t fit very well with those promises, and it doesn’t fit well with Obama’s` promises to make government more transparent.

    This is an interesting question, though. Could reform (if it goes through) have been possible taking on insurers AND pharmaceuticals at the same time? It’s a matter of strategy and tactics–what was the best way to divide the previous blockages to reform? And what’s the best way to keep to the various platforms of your campaign? Is it defendable to violate one campaign platform to fulfill another?

  27. 27
    Emma says:

    Does anyone study political history any more? Does anyone remember the old saw about “those who like sausage and the law should not watch either one being made?” In any sort of participatory government, deals are made all the time, by everyone.

  28. 28
    Lev says:

    @ajr22: I wrote about this on my blog. I think there’s really something to the notion that the teabaggers will be really discouraged if health care passes, and I don’t think they’ll be nearly as enthusiastic about fighting off Wall Street regulation and campaign finance reform, which I figure will be the next issues up. By the time climate change legislation comes up, hopefully the economy will be in better shape and the whole movement will kind of collapse.

    Put another way, defeats breed poor morale and destroy movements. And success does just the opposite.

  29. 29
    Da Bomb says:

    @mcc: Yes I want him to repeal the law of gravity, repeal mayonnaise, and ban Glenn Beck from my teevee.

    If he can’t fulfill any of those requests, then I shall sit on hands this upcoming November and cry a bucket filled with purity tears.

  30. 30

    I’m real unsure who Bradrocket is referring to, that said, is there something wrong with preferring it? Maybe demanding it?

    The responses I’m seeing seem to be that since it is what we have it’s just going to be that way. Since it can’t be pointed to in the past we aren’t supposed to progress? I know, it’s important to punch a hippie…

  31. 31
    beltane says:

    @gwangung: I wish he would have at least provided us with the name of one of those fearless leaders of past.

  32. 32
    mcc says:

    Whenever I hear someone say this, I hear someone who’s slept through their American history class.

    And the Clinton health care plan debate.

    And the Bush social security privatization debate.

    If having COURAGE and standing up and demanding what you want and not thinking about what parts might be unpopular or who might try to stop it and why… is what it takes to pass social program legislation, then hey, then it would have worked for those other presidents riding congressional majorities and the wave of elections perceived as mandates.

  33. 33
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Lev: I think immigration reform will bring out all the crazies out of the woodwork though, even more so than the health care debate has. I wouldn’t mind being proven wrong on this one.

  34. 34
    JMY says:

    @Shalimar:

    Making a secret deal with drug companies

    I don’t think that was a secret.

  35. 35
    slag says:

    We used to have political leaders who would relish taking on unpopular special interests in the name of the public good.

    How long ago was that, anyway?

  36. 36
    Dreggas says:

    @MoeLarryAndJesus:

    Wingnut tears are sweet…so very, very sweet.

  37. 37
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @slag: How about never?

  38. 38
    Yossarian says:

    I think Obama’s campaign message way overpromised on process changes and weeding out the special interests and all that. It’s not possible, and more to the point, it’s not really desirable. In a large, complicated democratic republic you are going to have transactional politics and deal-cutting. It’s fine by me, and attempts to cut that out are either going to go nowhere or even worse, have serious unintended consequences involving democratic accountability and so forth. It was my least favorite part of the Obama campaign.

    Of course, McCain was actually worse on that front, and no doubt if he had been elected, apart from all the other disasters I’m sure we’d be subjected to endless chest-thumping about President McCain’s purity and imperviousness to the special interests. The very thought makes me shudder.

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Da Bomb: I’m down with the mayonaise and Beck portions of your manfesto.

  40. 40
    mr. whipple says:

    @Capri:

    “Obama’s approach reminds me of a boa constrictor. He just held on and slowly, slowly squeezed the life out of the opposition. “

    Good analogy. I’ve been thinking about him in terms of a marathoner. Let people sprint ahead, get gassed and drop out. And then just keep going and going and going.

  41. 41
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Yossarian: We would probably be at war with elebenty countries right now, including Russia. We sure dodged a bullet.

  42. 42
    Zifnab says:

    We used to have political leaders who would relish taking on unpopular special interests in the name of the public good. If anyone knows what happened to that sort of political courage, I’d be glad to know.

    In what country was that, exactly?

    Seriously, f-‘n a’, man. Pick up a history book (not approved by the Texas School Board).

  43. 43
    rob! says:

    Will I be visiting that blog anymore? Sadly, no.

  44. 44
    jncc says:

    We used to have political leaders who would relish taking on unpopular special interests in the name of the public good

    How about 8 or 10 examples off the top of your head (and episodes of the Andy Griffith Show and scenes from To Kill a Mockingbird don’t count)

  45. 45
    Shalimar says:

    Could reform (if it goes through) have been possible taking on insurers AND pharmaceuticals at the same time?

    With a perfect strategy and some luck, yes. In the real world, no way in hell. They didn’t even do a particularly good job of taking on the insurers. Most of the worst parts of the bill were compromises to get the votes of insurance industry lackeys.

  46. 46
    Violet says:

    Scott Murphy, D-NY has flipped from No to Yes. Link. Maybe he deserves a thank you from constituents.

    Keep calling!

  47. 47
    ajr22 says:

    @Lev: I agree, I think it is important to turn to financial reform, campaign finance, and jobs. These things will have less grass roots(if you want to call it that) support from the teabaggers, and will be hard votes for republicans. I worry about taking on Immigration or climate change. Those issues stir up the same kinda emotion as health care, and will get the right wingers going crazy again. I can assume all the white people at the teaparty events don’t really want to make it easier for hispanics to become citizens.

  48. 48
    Tsulagi says:

    The only question for me was if the bribery would yield a decent deal.

    With PhRMA, AHIP, and AMA giving it a big thumbs up, how could it not? If the acronyms are sated (for now) and happy, it will trickle down.

  49. 49
    Yossarian says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Oh, no doubt. I think McCain would have been horrific, and everything he’s done since the election has validated that opinion. I’m just saying we would have been subjected to his preening self-righteousness in addition to everything else.

    It would have been like a vinegar-soaked cherry on top of the world’s largest shit sundae.

  50. 50
    IM says:

    Another no to yes switch, according to TPM:

    Scott Murphy (D-N.Y)

    So the bill looks in good health.

  51. 51
    beltane says:

    @Zifnab: Henry VIII took on the Catholic church. But that was a long time ago, in England, and he was a tyrant of the first order. I don’t think this is what Bradrocket had in mind.

  52. 52
    Taylor says:

    While I think the public option was over-played (fighting for Medicare buy-in would have been smarter politically), I do think that Obama’s say-one-thing-in-public-and-another-in-private is good reason for disillusionment. This will pass because the health insurance industry will go belly-up if it does not, and I am in favor of passage just to move the ball down the field, but there are some interesting times ahead.

    You know the GOP narrative is going to be about Dems forcing Americans to buy insurance from their paymasters, we can all write the ad copy ourselves. The question is, do the Democrats have a strong enough sense of self-preservation that they will take on health insurance down the road with an alternative to the loathed private insurance system?

    Similar remarks apply to drug importation, exemption from anti-trust, etc. The current healthcare compromise is evidence of how badly broken politics in this country has become. While most politicians are happy to bury their snouts in the trough, are there enough non-Rahms in position of influence to see what is coming and turn the tanker around, before we end up with President Huey Long?

  53. 53
    Da Bomb says:

    @Zifnab: Not approved by the Texas School via 2010 onward.

    Hey, at least people aren’t scarred by having to take Texas History. That course was completely maddening.

  54. 54
    Mark S. says:

    We used to have political leaders who would relish taking on unpopular special interests in the name of the public good.

    Is everybody missing the word “unpopular”? Lincoln took on the unpopular (in the North) slaveholders, TR took on the unpopular trusts, LBJ took on the unpopular segregationalists. I realize that’s simplifying things, but the Brad’s statement isn’t as ridiculous as people are making out.

  55. 55
    BTD says:

    Got a link to your post saying that during the campaign dougJ?

    I can link to mine.

  56. 56
    MikeJ says:

    Be fair. Bush stood up to all those people who say they love the troops and got thousands of troops killed and tens of thousands maimed.

  57. 57
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Yossarian: This.

  58. 58
    Shalimar says:

    @JMY: That a deal had been made wasn’t a secret. What exactly the White House gave up in the deal was. There were leaks, but no guarantee the leaked items were everything.

  59. 59
    ruemara says:

    Nothing like people with no federal legislative experience whining about the process and focusing intently on the good that could have been done with …people who aren’t the ones you have to work with at all. I loves me some sadly naughts but I’ve avoided it due to the level of infuriating progressive moping. I all about single payer, but until you replace nearly every Senator and half the House with Kucinich clones, it just ain’t happening.

  60. 60
    mcc says:

    @MikeJ: I think it’s extremely clear, looking at history, that a leader with courage, dedication and an unwillingness to compromise can kill an enormous number of people.

    But if you want to do something other than kill people maybe it requires other skills also.

  61. 61
    Da Bomb says:

    @Mark S.: But they didn’t relish taking it on. They were pushed into doing it.

    I think that’s the problem that people are seeing with that statement.

  62. 62
    Tsulagi says:

    @Zifnab:

    Pick up a history book (not approved by the Texas School Board).

    I’m guessing the Creation Museum is the history book publisher of choice now for the T-school board.

  63. 63
    Martin says:

    Wow, looking at the TPM reports of who’s flipping, it looks like someone figured this thing out. I’d love to read about how the endgame here played out – is it just old-school arm-twisting, earmarks, what?

    But to my eye, it looks like they’ve got the votes in the House with a few to spare.

  64. 64
    mcc says:

    @Shalimar:

    Most of the worst parts of the bill were compromises to get the votes of insurance industry lackeys.

    Sure, definitely. But I do hope you’re not trying to include the individual mandate (strenuously fought for by John Edwards and Ted Kennedy) in that category.

  65. 65

    @ruemara:

    until you replace nearly every Senator and half the House with Kucinich clones, it just ain’t happening.

    Well, when the sandwich with a banana train hits the wall maybe it’ll happen. Not the clones … but then reaction to catastrophe isn’t too reliable or generally sensible.

  66. 66
    liberty60 says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    If anyone knows what happened to that sort of political courage, I’d be glad to know.

    I’ll take “innacurate halcyon views of the past” for $1000, Alex.

    Excellent- I wonder what sort of bullshit deals LBJ had to make to get Medicare; today, does anyone remember who got a bridge to nowhere in Bumphuk West Virgina, in exchange for a vote?

  67. 67
    Lev says:

    @Mark S.: It’s true that LBJ’s civil rights bills were legitimately courageous and pushed against his home region pretty hard. But all that Great Society stuff was all passed in partnership with business, labor, etc. LBJ was an uberpragmatist and consensus-builder who didn’t fight battles he couldn’t win, which is why he didn’t pass single payer along with the rest of the Great Society stuff. Obama doesn’t have Johnson’s game (few do), but he’s more like Johnson than not.

    As for TR–overrated. He railed against the trusts and did some good things, but Taft did more of that than Roosevelt did, and Woodrow Wilson had a lot more in terms of measurable achievements. WW was the most progressive of the early progressive presidents.

  68. 68
    JMY says:

    I always find it funny when someone says, “Well this legislation is a gift to the insurance companies.” I guess I didn’t get the memo, b/c they don’t seem to like the “gift” they are supposed to be getting, judging by the amount of money they’ve spent opposing reform & sending and funding teabaggers at town hall meetings. I find it hard to believe they would waste billions of dollars on opposing legislation that people claim is beneficial to them.

  69. 69
    FlipYrWhig says:

    There WAS a campaign based on the idea of promoting a ruler who would do things for the public good instead of for corrupt special interests. In England, in the 1730s. Theoreticians got tired of the dealmaking Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, and hoped that one day there could be a “Patriot King” who rose above petty partisanship. They were hoping it could be Frederick, Prince of Wales.

    Maybe that’s what Brad is remembering.

  70. 70
    liberty60 says:

    @Lev:

    Put another way, defeats breed poor morale and destroy movements. And success does just the opposite.

    YES. People forget how many more fights we will have- if you thought HCR prompted cries of “Wars of Yankee Aggression” wait till you hear the Erickson/ Tancredo/ Buchanan faction on the subject of doing something fair for 12 million brown skinned people.

  71. 71
    mr. whipple says:

    Obama doesn’t have Johnson’s game (few do), but he’s more like Johnson than not.

    I think it’s too early to tell, just over a year in.

    Johnson had more time, bigger majorities and a ton of sympathy, but the biggest plus was the goopers weren’t insane like they are now.

  72. 72
    Pasquinade says:

    Reduce spending and payback…

    Close some military bases in Red States.

  73. 73
    gwangung says:

    Is everybody missing the word “unpopular”? Lincoln took on the unpopular (in the North) slaveholders, TR took on the unpopular trusts, LBJ took on the unpopular segregationalists. I realize that’s simplifying things, but the Brad’s statement isn’t as ridiculous as people are making out.

    I think what people are focussing on the “bribes” part—because damn near every piece of legislation have compromises built into them (and the whole system is set up that way).

  74. 74
    demo woman says:

    John, Doug, Tim and all the great posters at Balloon Juice, Thank you for your posts about health care.
    Sunday during the vote would it be possible to have a fund-raiser for the reps that you deem worthy for their vote on health care.

  75. 75
    Malron says:

    Doug,

    I usually tune out as soon as some yahoo leads off their condescending post with any sort of derisive mention of “Hope n Change” because a) they probably didn’t vote for the guy and b) the posts always morph into either a bunch of right wing attacks or Hamsheresque kneecapping.

    In related news: I just sat through the CBS Evening News report on the health care story. 60% of what they put up during the initial story was the same GOP talking points and 40% was about Obama’s health care rally today. Then, the next story was 100% GOP bullshit talking points about all the supposed deals being made to secure Democratic votes. Its no wonder people are reacting to impending health reform with these absurd ideas that deal making is this new phenomenon Obama invented.

  76. 76
    kay says:

    I always think LBJ-civil rights is a poor comparison.

    Segregation wasn’t a for-profit industry, and health care is, and no one ever suggested providing health care should be non-profit.

    What’s been missing in this whole discussion is the huge role health care plays in the economy. You bet there are “stakeholders” and they’re not all insurance companies. Not by a long shot. I’m not even knocking that, I recognize the reality, but to pretend it’s a civil rights issue and ignore that it’s 1/6 of the economy is way too easy.

    I just don’t think the two things are at all comparable.

  77. 77
    Lev says:

    @mr. whipple: We’ll see. HCR will be huge.

    I disagree with you about the goopers, though. If you read Before the Storm and Nixonland, you quickly learn that the teabaggers have always been roughly the same. In the 60s, there were fewer of them, but they were there. Reading those books are crazy because the stuff the wingnuts were saying is EXACTLY what they’re saying now, almost verbatim.

  78. 78
    slag says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: That’s what I thought. Although at whatever time Bradrocket was imagining this stalwart leader of men to have existed, the people at the time may have been totally unaware of the various backroom deals being made to accomplish the goals at hand. They may not have had cable news back then.

  79. 79
    Mike The Dealer says:

    I remember him being on the ledge, assured of McCain’s impending victory in the election. He’s moved from ‘snarky Sadly, no! writer’ to a fear mongering, whiny concern troll. Almost all the posts he makes now are laments about how Obama and Democrats have failed us all.

  80. 80

    @Tom Hilton:

    What fucking country did Bradrocket formerly live in?

    Seriously.

    Sez Bradrocket:

    If anyone knows what happened to that sort of political courage, I’d be glad to know.

    Sez I:

    Look up the three-fifths compromise and luxuriate in the supple political courage that founded our country by ending the slave trade and emancipating the slaves selling out to the Southern slave holding states.

    Someone named Brad definitely cut History class to hit the bong.

  81. 81
    MikeJ says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    There WAS a campaign based on the idea of promoting a ruler who would do things for the public good instead of for corrupt special interests.

    I don’t know about a campaign, but I seem to remember a book

  82. 82
    mcc says:

    Segregation wasn’t a for-profit industry

    Slavery was! Maybe looking at this whole Lincoln/Slavery thing a little closer would be interesting after all.

  83. 83

    @Lev:

    the wingnuts were saying is EXACTLY what they’re saying now, almost verbatim.

    Sure enough, but the vaunted “middle” sounded a hell of a lot less like them, then.

  84. 84
    Da Bomb says:

    Apparently, according to Congressional Quarterly, President Obama get Congress to pass his bills like 96.7 percent of time, which is a smidge more than LBJ. This is all during his first year.

    Here’s the linky:
    http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmsp.....0003276768

  85. 85
    Lev says:

    @Polish the Guillotines: I read the craziest story about the South during the Revolutionary War. At one point, the Continental Congress was considering allowing slaves to fight against Britain in exchange for independence. After all, the colonists were a little outgunned. I think it was South Carolina that defeated this idea by saying that they would surrender to the British if Congress passed that law. Of course, they couldn’t just filibuster it like they could now.

    This is pretty o/t, but it popped into my mind.

  86. 86
    mcc says:

    Johnson had more time, bigger majorities and a ton of sympathy, but the biggest plus was the goopers weren’t insane like they are now.

    So given I wasn’t there at the time but I don’t think that sounds right to me.

    No single incident in the campaign involving Johnson did more to help the ticket than the public abuse of Lyndon and Lady Bird by right wing opponents in Dallas four days before the election. Lyndon confronted a mob of angry protestors at a downtown hotel on November 4. Led by Dallas congressman Bruce Alger, Texas’s only Republican representative, they carried signs denouncing Johnson as a Carpetbagger controlled by Yankee Socialists. As Lyndon and Lady Bird walked across the street from the Baker to the Adolphus Hotel and then through its lobby to an elevator, the crowd, partly of Junior League women, “the Mink Coat Mob,” some called it, verbally and physically assaulted the Johnsons, hitting Lady Bird on the head with a picket sign and spitting at them. Although Lyndon was genuinely outraged by the abuse, he immediately saw the political advantage in Texas and throughout the South in the televised pictures of a shrieking mob assaulting an unprotected vice-presidential candidate. Indeed, as they inched forward through the crowd, Johnson asked the police to leave: “If the time has come when I can’t walk through the lobby of a hotel in Dallas with my lady without a police escort, I want to know it.'” When Lady Bird lost her temper and started to answer one of the hecklers, “Mr. Johnson kind of put his hand over her mouth and stopped that and brought her right along.” The Johnsons could have made their way through the Adolphus lobby in five minutes, one observer recalls. But they “took thirty minutes… and it was all being recorded and photographed for television and radio and the newspapers, and he knew it and played it for all it was worth.”

  87. 87
    mcc says:

    Ah gosh darn it, I used the bad word. Trying again:

    Johnson had more time, bigger majorities and a ton of sympathy, but the biggest plus was the goopers weren’t insane like they are now.

    So given I wasn’t there at the time but I don’t think that sounds right to me.

    No single incident in the campaign involving Johnson did more to help the ticket than the public abuse of Lyndon and Lady Bird by right wing opponents in Dallas four days before the election. Lyndon confronted a mob of angry protestors at a downtown hotel on November 4. Led by Dallas congressman Bruce Alger, Texas’s only Republican representative, they carried signs denouncing Johnson as a Carpetbagger controlled by Yankee Soci – alists. As Lyndon and Lady Bird walked across the street from the Baker to the Adolphus Hotel and then through its lobby to an elevator, the crowd, partly of Junior League women, “the Mink Coat Mob,” some called it, verbally and physically assaulted the Johnsons, hitting Lady Bird on the head with a picket sign and spitting at them. Although Lyndon was genuinely outraged by the abuse, he immediately saw the political advantage in Texas and throughout the South in the televised pictures of a shrieking mob assaulting an unprotected vice-presidential candidate. Indeed, as they inched forward through the crowd, Johnson asked the police to leave: “If the time has come when I can’t walk through the lobby of a hotel in Dallas with my lady without a police escort, I want to know it.'” When Lady Bird lost her temper and started to answer one of the hecklers, “Mr. Johnson kind of put his hand over her mouth and stopped that and brought her right along.” The Johnsons could have made their way through the Adolphus lobby in five minutes, one observer recalls. But they “took thirty minutes… and it was all being recorded and photographed for television and radio and the newspapers, and he knew it and played it for all it was worth.”

  88. 88
    Violet says:

    We used to have political leaders who would relish taking on unpopular special interests in the name of the public good. If anyone knows what happened to that sort of political courage, I’d be glad to know.

    Guess he’s thinking of the Bush presidency, where they just kept on doubling down on the Iraq War, even though it was unpopular. Because it was “good for us.” Yeah, that must be it.

    eyeroll

  89. 89
    kay says:

    @mcc:

    Well, sure, but that isn’t what I said. Everyone points to LBJ – civil rights.

    I’m not even sure LBJ-Medicare is valid. He was basically promising to deliver a government guarantee of payment to the health care industry for millions of old people. New enrollees.

  90. 90
    mr. whipple says:

    @Lev:

    Look at the final votes by party, for example, and compare to the Republican support Obama is getting for HCR(none).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....ct_of_1964

  91. 91

    @Lev: Oddly, I’m not so sure it’s that off-topic. Think about it: It’s the same mentality you see with the GOP that makes them willing to vote “no” en bloc against something like TARP — even at the risk of the total collapse of the financial system.

  92. 92
    sbjules says:

    liberty 60Excellent- I wonder what sort of bullshit deals LBJ had to make to get Medicare; today, does anyone remember who got a bridge to nowhere in Bumphuk West Virgina, in exchange for a vote?

    I know, I know, Robert Byrd.

  93. 93
    Martin says:

    @JMY: The insurance companies aren’t exactly crying here. Many of them were with Obama last year, before the left felt it necessary to rail 24/7 against the insurance industry (for whatever reason).

    They aren’t thrilled with a rapidly diminishing customer base. No industry is. And if given the choice of a larger base of customers and less room for profits vs a race to the bottom to protect profits, I think they’ll side with the former (though just barely). Remember, Aetna != the insurance industry, just one for-profit corner of it, and they’ll be far, far more against it than Kaiser Permanente will.

    Ultimately, their concern is that the individual mandate is a double-edged sword. They like the customers, but they’re worried that they’re being set up to fail because there isn’t enough cost containment from pharma, etc. If the insurers themselves can’t contain costs (and they really don’t want to do the hard work to contain them, to be honest) they know the public option or single payer will ultimately show up to fix the problem.

  94. 94
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Polish the Guillotines:

    Someone named Brad definitely cut History class to hit the bong.

    Of course, in Texas in the future, those’ll be the people who are better informed about history.

  95. 95
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The comparisons to LBJ always irritate me. Besides the massive corruption (another thing that undermines Bradrocket’s original point) and wildly different political map–in terms of Southern Dems and honest-to-god liberal Republicans– there was the small matter of the martyred president whose mission was being fulfilled. It’s like talking about Bush’s bullying of Congress without mentioning 9/11.

  96. 96
    WereBear says:

    @mr. whipple: It was the Southern Democrats who were insane, then.

    They would stand there and read the phone book to keep segregation alive. The story of how Johnson out-maneuvered them takes up most of Master of the Senate.

  97. 97
    JMY says:

    @kay:

    I don’t know if Lincoln is valid either, because he stated himself that if he could save the Union and kept slavery he would have done it. Granted, he signed the Emancipation, but even then only slaves in the Confederates were freed.

  98. 98
    Maude says:

    @Polish the Guillotines: Don’t you think Brad oughta get an adult name? I mean, rocket in his pocket comes to mind with the one he uses.
    How are you? Good to see you here.

  99. 99
    Martin says:

    @liberty60:

    Excellent- I wonder what sort of bullshit deals LBJ had to make to get Medicare; today, does anyone remember who got a bridge to nowhere in Bumphuk West Virgina, in exchange for a vote?

    How could you tell if West Virginia had a bridge to nowhere?

  100. 100
    mr. whipple says:

    @WereBear:

    Indeed it does. But in the end LBJ got it due to having reasonable Republicans(the party of Lincoln, back then), huge majorities, etc.

    And again, for people who constantly whine about how Obama needs to be more LBJ, we are a little over a year into his first term. Wonder how that talk with Kucinich went on the plane trip to Ohio Monday? We won’t know until history looks back in 30 years or so.

  101. 101
    Allienne Goddard says:

    Bah, there isn’t a person here who is smart or funny enough to be allowed to shine Brad’s shoes. I spit on all of you.

  102. 102

    As all the Realists step up to throw rocks … the past failures validate the present failures and the future ones. Around half the people eligible to vote do not do so, primarily saying it makes no difference and here you are saying the same thing. OH, it’s OK because that’s how it’s done.

    You don’t get the connection that it is done this way because you elect them with that acceptance? There are no electoral consequences, you won’t Primary them and if there is a challenge will mostly vote for the status quo “electable” one. We get the government that you deserve. That’s just hippie talk? Sure it is in the face of you defeatists. If it is Obama it’s not OK to say it stinks but when it’s GWB it is OK?

    The teabaggers are idiots who don’t realize that they’re being played by the exact people they say they’re pissed at, but the sentiment isn’t exactly misplaced.

  103. 103
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @mr. whipple:

    Good analogy. I’ve been thinking about him in terms of a marathoner. Let people sprint ahead, get gassed and drop out. And then just keep going and going and going.

    Sorry, I just don’t buy it. If Obama had been fighting for HCR as hard last year as he is this year, I’d agree, but he wasn’t. This isn’t a case of “slow and steady wins the race”.

    My own theory (which is probably wrong) is that the President just doesn’t know how to “protect the lead”, so to speak. “Come from behind”, however, he excels at.

  104. 104

    @Tom Hilton:

    Of course, in Texas in the future, those’ll be the people who are better informed about history.

    Sad, but true.

  105. 105
    Admiral_Komack says:

    Anthony Weiner Smacks Down Peggy Noonan On Health Care (VIDEO)

    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpoin.....h-care.php

  106. 106
    Gwangung says:

    Ultimately, their concern is that the individual mandate is a double-edged sword. They like the customers, but they’re worried that they’re being set up to fail because there isn’t enough cost containment from pharma, etc.

    so, when it comes to addressing costs, it’s quite likely there’ll be one less set of lobbyist to fight? Or maybe a set in reformers’ corners?

  107. 107
    Martin says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: Maybe. Could just as easily be learning curve, too, or listening to the wrong people, or fuck, maybe he was just tired after a year of wading to office in the lake of insanity that was the primary/general election. Let’s see how he does with future legislation before we establish trends here.

  108. 108
    scav says:

    @Allienne Goddard: and we giggle at your maturity and verbal dexterity. Now that you’re all moistened up, maybe brad can get his shoes cleaned by someone who appreciates him properly.

  109. 109
    WereBear says:

    @mr. whipple: Yes, the landscape was very different. I simply remember reading the book with open-mouthed astonishment.

    The NE Republicans and the Southern Democrats were mirror images of each other… and now they have merged in a terrible, human-animal hybrid sort of way.

  110. 110
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I know, it’s important to punch a hippie…

    Y’know, I am so fucking sick of the firebaggers calling it hippie-punching to criticize them for letting the world burn just because they didn’t get a fucking pony.

    I killed all the ponies in the world. Clearly, the only option is suicide. Have fun.

  111. 111
    Allienne Goddard says:

    I’d be honored to do it. Thanks for the misogyny, by the way.

  112. 112
    scav says:

    @Allienne Goddard: you’re welcome. I’m unaware of the gender of either of you, couldn’t care less but make a gift of it to you. ta ta!

  113. 113
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Martin: Actually, you’re probably right. Maybe it says something about modern politics that “maybe he learns from his mistakes” never even occurred to me as a possibility.

  114. 114

    @Maude:

    How are you? Good to see you here.

    Busy, in a mostly good way. Thanks for asking. I’ve been in lurk mode since the whole Tea & Fire bagging tantrum went critical-mass. It was just getting me down. And since the good folks here were pretty much speaking my mind, I just stood down for a bit.

    Tim F’s whip-cracking has been very inspirational, I must say.

  115. 115
    Martin says:

    @Gwangung: Well, the insurers don’t want to slug out the cost problem. Lots of people say that’s what insurance is good at, and to a degree it is, but they aren’t doing shit to bring down the cost of drugs. They don’t want to tell customers they have to buy generics. They don’t want to go head-to-head with pharma. They want the federal government to do that for them.

    The upside to the individual mandate is that the insurers expect to feel somewhat more liberated with making tough calls for their customers with individual policies – after all, those individuals are trapped in the system to some degree. But the insurers just don’t have the stones to tell their group plans to accept some compromises. They perceive that it’s just too dangerous for them. Again, if the fed stepped in and mandated it, they’d probably be pretty happy. This is why they were in support of HCR early on.

  116. 116

    @FormerSwingVoter:
    funny, since I’ve post PTDB, but swing away asswipe.

    If your handle is the least accurate, I’m willing to say this country is in this mess thanks to people exactly like you.

    I”m reeeeeally pleased to note that you are all in favor of bought and sold pols and the rest of it. Good on ya.

  117. 117
    mr. whipple says:

    @Admiral_Komack:

    Weiner also had another classic smackdown on the House floor today when some gooper read the Faux Memo as real. It was awesome.

  118. 118
    Violet says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Sorry, I just don’t buy it. If Obama had been fighting for HCR as hard last year as he is this year, I’d agree, but he wasn’t. This isn’t a case of “slow and steady wins the race”.

    I agree he wasn’t fighting for health care as hard last year as this year. But who knows how it would have worked if he’d been specific about what he wanted from the beginning. Might have worked better because our spineless Congress barely functions without being told what to do.

    Or it might have failed miserably because Congress doesn’t like being dictated to. And if they saw the polls didn’t support it, they could just step away and say, “It’s Obama’s plan, not mine.” This way it’s their plan – Congress owns it. So they’re more invested in seeing it succeed.

    I think he could have fought harder, but who knows if it would have been successful in the long run.

  119. 119
    Tom Hilton says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Y’know, I am so fucking sick of the firebaggers calling it hippie-punching to criticize them for letting the world burn just because they didn’t get a fucking pony.

    A-motherfucking-MEN!

  120. 120
    mr. whipple says:

    @WereBear:

    Yes, the landscape was very different. I simply remember reading the book with open-mouthed astonishment.

    Me, too. Great book.

  121. 121
    Gwangung says:

    Y’know, I am so fucking sick of the firebaggers calling it hippie-punching to criticize them for letting the world burn just because they didn’t get a fucking pony.

    Some of us are swinging to the right by my reckoning.

  122. 122

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Sorry, I just don’t buy it. If Obama had been fighting for HCR as hard last year as he is this year, I’d agree, but he wasn’t. This isn’t a case of “slow and steady wins the race”.

    What was he supposed to do, break up Ben Nelson’s little finance committee clusterfuck? IIRC (I’m not googling it, you can do that yourself), he had several town hall meetings last year, and recall he had a speech before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9, 2009. In addition to dealing with a SCOTUS nomination, two wars, the stimulus bill, and assorted other headaches.

    So get out of here with that weak b.s.

    You might check this timeline for further details.

  123. 123
  124. 124
    mr. whipple says:

    Sorry, I just don’t buy it. If Obama had been fighting for HCR as hard last year as he is this year, I’d agree, but he wasn’t. This isn’t a case of “slow and steady wins the race”.

    Obama let Congress write the legislation while he traveled around and did Town Halls. It’s nonsensical to say he didn’t try.

    Also remember they took up HCR right after the Stim, and there were still plenty of things to do like travel all over the world trying to get our FP back on track, deal with AFPAK and Iraq, and a myriad of other things that needed immediate attention. There’s only 24 hours in a day, and I can’t remember a President who came into a bigger pile of crap than Obama.

  125. 125
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Da Bomb:

    Apparently, according to Congressional Quarterly, President Obama get Congress to pass his bills like 96.7 percent of time, which is a smidge more than LBJ. This is all during his first year.

    In this bizzarro thread, you are the only one on topic, IMHO> And thanks for that info. Obamafail, my arse.

  126. 126
    slag says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Y’know, I am so fucking sick of the firebaggers calling it hippie-punching to criticize them for letting the world burn just because they didn’t get a fucking pony.

    Yeah? Well, I’m sick of people calling progressive legislation that could have made a bigger difference in people’s lives “a fucking pony”. But life’s a bitch, isn’t it? Grow up. You’re as bad as they are.

  127. 127
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Oh, blow it out your ass Butcher!!

  128. 128

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    blow it out your ass

    You’re entirely too far away to manage that trick

  129. 129

    @Chuck Butcher:
    since I don’t have permission to edit my own comment,

    just let me add – that’s a real competent re-butt-al

  130. 130
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    How long is your epic hissy fit going to last? Never figured you for a watb. Live and learn.

  131. 131
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @mr. whipple:

    It’s nonsensical to say he didn’t try.

    I didn’t mean to say that he wasn’t trying last year, but that he wasn’t trying as hard. The most likely explanation is that he had too many things going on at once (Stimulus, Iraq, AfPak, Sotomayor, Iran, etc.) to focus 100% on HCR like he is now. Or he may have guessed (probably correctly) that intervening too early would piss off Congress and ensure that it never came to the floor.

    I guess the “slow and steady” metaphors just reminded me too much of the tenth-dimensional chess stuff.

  132. 132

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:
    If you like the status quo of elected officials then you keep quiet and vote for them. I didn’t kick any of your sacred fucking cows, boyo. You want to take it that way … be as much an ass as you like. I’d rather swell the voting ranks and encourage people to push for difference – you seem to have another idea.

    You’d best go upthread and kick DennisG for advocating Primarying a (D) then …

  133. 133
    Violet says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:
    Might as well add some Obama-Fu and Rope-a-dope comments in there too. Lolz.

  134. 134
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I’d rather swell the voting ranks and encourage people to push for difference – you seem to have another idea.

    Then quit whining and rally around a candidate of your choosing and swell to your hearts delight and we will start the 2012 primary early. But hanging around here starting fights to claim victim status when people return fire won’t get it done.

    With caveats, most of us here think Obama is doing a pretty decent job considering what he’s up against. Sorry if you and others hate that, but it is the truth, as of today at least. But carry on, that brick wall don’t care whose head bangs against it.

  135. 135
    slag says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Then quit whining and rally around a candidate of your choosing and swell to your hearts delight and we will start the 2012 primary early. But hanging around here starting fights to claim victim status when people return fire won’t get it done.

    I couldn’t agree with this more.

  136. 136

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    considering what he’s up against. Sorry if you and others hate that,

    Why don’t you just go ahead and back that assertion up with a single fucking quote? Because you can’t? You can’t because it doesn’t exist. WATB, yourself. That’s the crux of it, ain’t it? You want to cry because I don’t think and never did think that Obama is a second coming and worked my ass off for him anyhow? Poor poor pitiful you.

    You don’t like that I think the health insurance bill stinks and say pass it anyhow? I think it stinks because of who we elect, not the process in Congress and you disagree how? You want to point out to me where the left has been wrong on policy in … say … thirty years? You propose to find a quote of me patting Hamsher on the head? You’re welcome to try – waste your time as you please.

  137. 137
    SeanH says:

    Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money points out that the New Deal was a huge compromise with Southern segregationists – it only passed because it was manifestly racist, benefiting whites much more than it did blacks. And yet, the programs were a good deal on balance – it wasn’t a choice between a racist welfare state and a just welfare state, it was a choice between a racist welfare state or nothing. Would things have been better if the civil rights movement had killed the New Deal?

    @kay:

    Segregation wasn’t a for-profit industry, and health care is, and no one ever suggested providing health care should be non-profit.

    It is in my country, and we get along just fine*.

    *okay, not quite true. But close enough.

  138. 138
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher: You’re the one who promised to “swell the voting ranks” . I support that and your right to do it and suggest you do. It’s good for democracy, but your whining and baiting us to hippie punch you is fairly pathetic. That is my only point to you. But it is perfectly acceptable you continue your rantings, it is the BJ way, as is others response to it.

  139. 139

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    baiting us to hippie punch you is fairly pathetic

    Bait you? That is particularly pathetic on your part, it’s been the passtime of choice around here for months. If you want to conflate Hamsher with the left, that’s you own stupidity. You’re a couple threads below and above and some days away from threads begging for Primarying (D)s and …? This differs from the Left’s disdain for Blue Dogs exactly how? Because it’s you? Why don’t I find you on those posts screaming, “Ponies”?

    I think hippie punching is particularly stupid, especially considering the mess you “oh so reasonable” people have walked us into over the last 30 plus years. Out of around 5 models used by industrial countries with better results for health insurance what we’re doing is … looks nothing like any of the above? Pushing for improvement will…delay it?

  140. 140
    DaBomb says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Even though you have linked to this people will still say that he did absolutely nothing last year.
    @mr. whipple: This
    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: I try to educate and share the knowledge that’s out there. It always seems to fall on deaf ears.

  141. 141
    DougJ says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I know, it’s important to punch a hippie…

    I wasn’t punching a hippie. I was agreeing with his assessment and saying I was okay with it.

  142. 142
    DougJ says:

    @BTD:

    I already said I was an Edwards supporter. Isn’t that good enough? (I never blogged about the primaries much.)

  143. 143

    @DougJ:

    The responses I’m seeing seem to be that since

    No reference to you, sir.

    I don’t know who these heroes are, though.

  144. 144
    Robert Waldmann says:

    Damn straight

    saved gay, bi in purgetory.

    With all due respect and hoping I am not violating some condition for commenting, I think this post is the fucking most brilliantest fucking political commentary on fucking reality evar.

    I mean no shit. The man said he was going to negotiate and reach a compromise. What the hell does bradrocket think that means ?

    What the fuck are the other 5 words you can’t broadcast. Where the shit is George Karlan when I need him ?

  145. 145
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Never said I haven’t thrown my share of punches. I would have preferred that term not been initiated from your side, not ours, and we could have just called it a disagreement on tactics. But you seem to hold onto the term and the only reason I can think of why is to feel victimized. I could be wrong, and you can prove me wrong by stopping the use of that term directed at people who disagree with you.

  146. 146
    Joel says:

    @Chuck Butcher: It’s important to have goals. It’s just as important to achieve them.

  147. 147

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:
    You want to quibble about hippie punching? You prefer “lefty punching?” Victimized? You’re a clown, you know that? You threw all those punches because you perceived yourself being victim of the left, the left was going to sink … blah, blah, blah. Go for it, I’m actually amused watching you trying to walk this dog. Is your memory sufficient to remember the number of times I told you the left always folds to you?

  148. 148
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    You’re a couple threads below and above and some days away from threads begging for Primarying (D)s and …? This differs from the Left’s disdain for Blue Dogs exactly how? Because it’s you? Why don’t I find you on those posts screaming, “Ponies”?

    LOL, you must not read or remember that well. I’m on record opposing most primarying Blue Dogs unless they join winger filibusters or lead organized charges to thwart dem intiatives, like Stupak, who is the only one in the House I support to primary, and Nelson in the senate who is the only dem to regularly join winger filibusters.

    Funny, I got flamed for that, especially on Lincoln, and get flamed by you for whatever the reason.

    And Ponies is a good description for those who go bananas and want to burn down the dem house because they didn’t get everything they wanted. And then have the temerity to call themselves progressives. And I regret that some who call themselves that and really are, get caught up in the fight, but maybe they should just call themselves liberals like I do, and be damned with the wingnut smears of that term.

  149. 149
    NobodySpecial says:

    I can tell how stupid so many of the posters are when they refer to Brad as Bradrocket. Protip: Bradrocket is the guy from Powerline, the Minnesota lawyer zombie Republican asshole. Brad is the Boston soshulist writer from Sadly, No.

    And people who say ‘I’m never going there again because he said MEEEN THINGS’? Priceless.

  150. 150

    @Joel:

    It’s just as important to achieve them.

    Yes, and as long as the theme is “ponies?” you’ll get the pile of shit instead.

  151. 151
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NobodySpecial: Um, “BradRocket” is a nickname Brad Reed of Sadly, No! gave himself as a kind of ironic tribute to John “Hindrocket” Hinderaker of PowerLine.

  152. 152
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    because you perceived yourself being victim of the left, the left

    That is funny Butcher. You are losing your fucking mind dude, right here in public. I am a false persona on a blog, and my only concern is not letting our dem president and other dems to become a victim to idiots like you and others from the left or right. Because then we get a wingnut.

    The only exception to that is with good argument and evidence that they deserve the scorn. We have disagreed over that and so it has become “hippie punching” Ever ask yourself why an “Obot Punching” term has never been proffered by me or anyone else on this blog. Your side is the only one that insists they are being punched, and not just disagreed with. Or, victimized.

  153. 153

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    but maybe they should just call themselves liberals like I do, and be damned with the wingnut smears of that term.

    Well, please yourself with all those labels that I’ve never used in reference to myself, lefty is the term I use and I don’t mean whatever it is you think those labels of yours mean. I didn’t consider myself “liberal” when that label was considered polite and the current people who use that label or progressive are way to close to the right for my taste. I never mistook RR for anything other than a fear mongering racist plutocrat from before he ever ran for President and that’s back some time. I’ve watched the liberals/progressives drift right and right and settle for crap long enough to know that I’d be insulted to have that label. Just so you know.

  154. 154

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I am a false persona on a blog

    Sure enough. I’m waiting for that quote of me bashing Obama, here, my poor little site, someplace…

    Nada?

    Last I looked, this is me typing this under my own name with something like a bio attached to it and the only name I use online. Google even knows something about finding me.

  155. 155
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher: You are the one whining about being hippie punched. I don’t know exactly what your problem is, though I doubt it has much to do with politics, and it is a waste of time trying to talk sensible with you. You can have the last word, if you want. I’m done with this session, until next time.

  156. 156

    I figured you had nothing other than your whining about a term that was soooo important that I “blow it out my ass.”

  157. 157
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Chuck Butcher: You are a crazy person

    edit – get help

  158. 158
    DougJ says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think it’s a funny nickname and I use it out of respect.

  159. 159
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @DougJ: That’s what I figured. NobodySpecial seemed to be confusing “Bradrocket” with “Hindrocket.”

    Bradrocket is the guy from Powerline, the Minnesota lawyer zombie Republican asshole.

  160. 160
    myiq2xu says:

    Kool-aid is a helluva drug.

  161. 161
    apnea says:

    Ah, the Mushy Middle, the Praisers of Process, the Stringent Strategists Folding Forcefully, etc.

    Those of you arguing that advocates for better public services from their own government should become more savvy, more keen on the political moves necessary to appease, negotiate, move up in Washington – those of you arguing thusly haven’t learned a thing from the Right these last 30 or so years.

    (You’ll note that this 30 years time frame comes back a lot when talking to people willing to put the present Administration in perspective – a hint: Neoliberalism)

    The Right haven’t learned process, politesse or savvyness; on the contrary, they’ve become a government-stopping power block. Their antics and pathologies aside, they’ve long understood that political weight comes through perceived narratives of things like “strength”, “values” and a certain kind of continuity in political positions. (Entirely illusory at the level of actions, but unyielding at the level of rhetoric)

    The continuous emphasis on strategy, bipartisanship, pragmatism, the endless arguing on the side of the technocratic number-game against the deeply-held (and campaigned-upon) values of their base makes the Democrats seem, and become, weak.

    For those of you unwilling to consider being at least as critical of Obama as you’ve been of Bush on the ground that any momentum lost on the Democratic side is gained by Republicans should consider this: without actual pressure from blocks other than Industry and the ever-ebullient Right, this administration will move right.

    Now, that’s just a fact.

    The more they do move right, the less they can meaningfully position themselves against Republican charges, Republican positions, Republican policies.

    If you actually have some political values that you wish upheld, values not having anything to do with the savvy process of Washington politicking: that is, if you value something else than the organizational goals of your Party, then maybe now would be the time to start evaluating this Administration’s actions in the light of this thing or things you value.

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