I’m With Mistermix

I simply refuse to see how it was a bad decision to support Halter. Lincoln is just a horrible candidate who is most likely going to lose in November anyway, was notoriously and openly hostile to just about everything important to the Democratic base, and the netroots were able to find a good solid candidate to attempt to primary her. If ever there was a case to primary someone, this was it- there was quite literally nothing to lose and everything to gain.

And Halter came very, very close to beating her. I just fail to see why anyone should be embarrassed, or feel foolish or demoralized. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you always lose if you never try. Rather than mocking the attempt or getting some schadenfreude because people you don’t like on the internet feel bad today, you should get off your ass and make sure this sort of action, primarying bad politicians, becomes more rather than less common.






374 replies
  1. 1
    Joshua Norton says:

    It wasn’t a bad decision. All hind sight is 20/20.

  2. 2
    Jade Jordan says:

    Why is everyone taking for granted that Politiho is being honest about the anonymous quote. I see a republican dirty trick. We fight amongst ourselves so much publicly it is no wonder we can’t get anyone elected anymore.

  3. 3
    tim says:

    HOORAY. And AMEN.

  4. 4
    fucen tarmal says:

    the big dog not withstanding, and lets face it, hillary didn’t run from new york because his pull was all that mighty in that state, i have thought the referendum on netroots being a democratic primary in arkansas was always an overblown story…because in the end, half give or take, of the democratic primary voters in arkansas won’t buy you much in a general election….

    similarly, lincoln isn’t going to be,say, by contrast, bernie sanders, even if she wanted to be, coming from arkansas, nor would halter be, its just the way that state rolls.

  5. 5

    “I simply refuse to see how it was a bad decision to support Halter. “

    Oh for fuck’s sake. Here:

    1. He refused to endorse EFCA.

    2. He had no chance of beating the Republican in November. Arkansas is full of racists, they hate the black President, and this is a midterm election. It would have taken a bona fide act of God for Halter to beat a bologna sandwich in November.

    Now of course, this also depends on what you mean by support. If you mean “endorse them and toss some bones their way,” then whatever. But if you’re talking about spending lots and lots of cash, again, for a candidate who doesn’t openly support your top priority and has no chance of getting elected anyway, that’s just fucking dumb.

  6. 6
    cleek says:

    @Jade Jordan:

    i see a Republican dirty trick, here.

  7. 7
    jl says:

    I want my 50 bucks back, it didn;t work and I wuz robbed! Damned Hamsher, it’s her fault (snark)

    On a more serious note, this is Missouri. That rings a bell.

    Turnip Day Session
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnip_Day

    That kind of thing works sometimes in politics. The Tbaggers have been trying to make it work for nonsense and foolishness.

    It you tried to make it work with sense and wisdom, it might work.

    The Democrats have not tried Turnip Day anything in a long time, and what have they been, mostly losers, until the GOP messed things up so much, even a chronic loser could win.

    I saw supporting Halter as experimenting with a little Turnip Day action, and I do not see how it has messed things up so very much.

    As I commented in a previous thread, Lincoln changed from a likely loser who was causing problems into a likely loser who was being constructive.

    If Lincoln tried enough Turnip Day, she might have a chance. Not sure she has it in her, though, but let’s see

  8. 8
    QDC says:

    It seems likely that we got (or will get) a substantially stronger financial reform bill out of it too, right? Her position on derivatives seems to be a direct result of the challenge.

  9. 9

    To be clear, I don’t give a flying fuck what the netroots does. Fuck them, fuck their petty imaginations and grudges, etc. I do care when labor wastes huge amounts of money on something that doesn’t event present the potential for net benefit.

  10. 10
    fucen tarmal says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    He refused to endorse EFCA

    would the distinguished gentleman from the great state of walmart please stand up?

    there is only so much you can expect from the walmart state, falling prices, yes, efca, no.

  11. 11
    QDC says:

    Also, OT, but will the changes to California’s primary system potentially save that state? It would seem to be a huge boon to moderates, which the state legislature desperately needs. Long term, it could really alter the dynamic of state politics, it seems to me, but I don’t know much about the details.

  12. 12
    Jade Jordan says:

    Since I have my tin foil hat on I may as well run the table. I definitely think the republicans ran the nobody from nowhere in South Carolina. Gave him money, voted for him, to make sure that Jim Demented ran unopposed. Now it up to the Dems in SC to root out the imposter so they can throw him off of the ticket and run someone good.

  13. 13
    demimondian says:

    @Brien Jackson: Um…how much money did the unions *actually* spend? Not shoe leather, but, you know, real dollars and cents? (Hint: about $1M.) Do you know how many pay cycles it will take to recoup that expenditure?

  14. 14
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    2. He had no chance of beating the Republican in November.

    Again, because Blanche Lincoln stands such a great chance of winning? If that’s your argument against supporting Halter over Lincoln, that’s a pretty fucking stupid argument.

  15. 15

    @fucen tarmal:

    But that’s my point; had Halter somehow managed to win, he would have gone on to be an Arkansas Democrat. There was nothing to be gained for labor by putting so much money into a race in Arkansas.

  16. 16
    J.W. Hamner says:

    I would agree. At the very least, I think progressives who sent money or otherwise supported Halter should feel very good about the fact that financial regulation is significantly more hardcore than it otherwise would have been, thanks to the primary challenge from the left.

    I’ll say that as someone who thought it was dumb/pointless. Halter couldn’t have won either, but it has had some tangible effects.

  17. 17
    mistermix says:

    @demimondian: So where did this $10 mil figure come from? $1m sounds like the right number for a primary, to me at least.

  18. 18

    @Midnight Marauder:

    That’s an argument for ignoring it altogether.

  19. 19
    demimondian says:

    @mistermix: The original piece in Politico is the source of the $10 million figure.

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I was always a little bewildered by people claiming Halter was a progressive. He was a cudgel to beat a stupid incumbent with. Obama and CLinton were stupid to waste any energy on Lincoln (though I guess it didn’t take much time for BO to cut some radio ads, and BC may have had some long-standing deal with BL, which I can understand him needing to hold to, but it still smells like CT ’06), and I hope (without much hope) that the DNC and DSCC will allocate valuable resources elsewhere over the next five months.

  21. 21
    ruuffles says:

    @Jade Jordan: SC had a hot GOP gov race. Why would so many GOPers eschew that to make DeMint go from 95% certainty to 99% ?

  22. 22
    NobodySpecial says:

    Brien Jackson is a Serious Person who believes that Nothing Can Be Done.

    I’m with Cole, though. You don’t get that ‘better Democrat’ thing until you start putting up Democratic opposition that pushes politicians to the left instead of putting up Blue Dogs that push the party to the right. There is already concrete results that came from pushing Lincoln on the left, therefore supporting Halter was a win. Period.

  23. 23
    someguy says:

    If you’re going to probably lose anyhow, better to do it with a candidate that moves the party to the left. Halter might have had an outside chance to win at best, but he’d have been a better choice than Lincoln for this reason.

  24. 24
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    That’s an argument for ignoring it altogether.

    Well, I guess that is the fundamental difference here in position, isn’t it? A lot of people think that the hideous monstrosity of a legislator and Democrat, Blanche Lincoln, was a) worth taking down; and b) Halter was solid enough to rally behind for that purpose.

    I don’t for a single second think any money, energy, or effort spent holding Blanche Lincoln’s feet to the fire was flushed down the toilet just because Bill Halter came up a bit short.

    Sometimes, paradigm shifts don’t come easy.

  25. 25
    Martin says:

    It wasn’t a bad decision to support Halter. It was a bad decision to destroy Blanche in the process, just in case she won. And if you have to throw so much money into a primary race, maybe you need to step back and consider if the voters in that state really want a different person and if that money would be better spent elsewhere.

    Remember the lessons of the PA elections – local issues and local effort won. Once you nationalize a local election, you really start to piss some people off, so the harder everyone pushed in on Halter, the stiffer some of his opposition was likely to get. Rather than back off after the primary and let local efforts carry Halter for the run-off, it appeared that everyone doubled down – both on the money, outside efforts, and attacking Lincoln. Having Clinton (an insider) show up for Lincoln was huge. Throwing outside money against that was stupid and a waste. It’s precisely what we mock and criticize the right for doing, but somehow the motives of the left mean that it’s okay for us to do it instead.

  26. 26
    LD50 says:

    I simply refuse to see how it was a bad decision to support Halter. Lincoln is just a horrible candidate who is most likely going to lose in November anyway, was notoriously and openly hostile to just about everything important to the Democratic base, and the netroots were able to find a good solid candidate to attempt to primary her. If ever there was a case to primary someone, this was it- there was quite literally nothing to lose

    Except money.

  27. 27
    feebog says:

    Hey, it was a case of close, but no cigar (Clinton pun intended). Look, progressives are not going to win every time they try to primary an incumbent like Lincoln. I agree that she is corprate hack, and she has no chance, none of winning in the general. Halter certainly would have been a better candidate in the general, but it still would have been an uphill battle.

  28. 28
    taylormattd says:

    @Brien Jackson: I’m not sure the “nothing gained” thing is true. Frankly, if nothing else, we’ve gained a Blanche Lincoln who at least seemed to push hard for tough financial reform because of this primary challenge.

  29. 29
    ruemara says:

    My biggest problem with this is the effect it’s having on Democratic circles. Every single “anonymous” quote divides us during an election year. I’m listening to Thom Hartmann now raising this to the White House saying this. Not an anonymous quote, not a staffer, but the Obama White House. He bashes Obama, bashes Democrats, has a riled up, not actually reading the story series of callers who then vow they will take some on unknown action. What. The. Fuck. There’s no analysis and Hartmann is a smart guy with some excellent scholarship abilities. Amazing. The unions have every right to go against a candidate that is against their side in this. Unlike republicans, Democrats have no idea how to let this shit go after a primary.

  30. 30
    Stooleo says:

    So my question is how do you move forward? Do the dems support BL, or let her go fuck herself. Is it better to have a shitty Democrat, or a shitty Republican?

  31. 31
    demimondian says:

    @Martin: You’re proceeding from a false premise. Nobody “destroy[ed] Blanche in the process”. She was already toast. That’s what everyone on this thread has been trying to tell you.

  32. 32
    Brian J says:

    Halter. Hitler. Compare that to Linconln.Just saying.

    Okay, calm down. He’s not anywhere near being Hitler. But we haven’t, as far as I can tell, had a good flame war devoted to anything Hitler-related in a while.

    Seriously now, I’m not sure whether it was a good decision, but surely wasn’t an awful one like the idea that was floated about launching primaries against people like Lynn Woosley in California. Now that it failed, I’m not sure if there are more pressing races to devote our attention and resources to. The odds look pretty daunting, but it’s still only June. If it looks just as bad come September, we should cut our losses, but right now, I think we should try to help Lincoln keep the seat. As annoying as her presence might be, the alternative is surely worse.

  33. 33

    @NobodySpecial:

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve read yet. You know what I think can be done? I think Democrats can replace Republicans in Ohio, Missouri, and New Hampshire, a pretty big gain for labor.

    And for the life of me, I don’t know why “progressives” insist on deluding themselves about people like Halter.

  34. 34
    demimondian says:

    @ruemara: Um…yeah, maybe *you* don’t know how to let this shit go, but politicians sure do.

    You don’t play in politics if your fee-fees don’t heal fast when they’re hurt.

  35. 35

    @Midnight Marauder:

    And I contend that anyone who thought Halter was a worthwhile candidate didn’t pay any attention to him.

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    To be clear, I don’t give a flying fuck what the netroots does. Fuck them, fuck their petty imaginations and grudges, etc. I do care when labor wastes huge amounts of money on something that doesn’t event present the potential for net benefit.

    And any person who thinks Andy Stern is taking calls from the Queen of the Firebaggers is out of their damned mind.
    Which means that Labor obviously saw a benefit to backing Halter. I don’t always agree with their decisions and backroom dealmaking, but to intimate that they “flushed” substantial resources with no end goal in sight is a little iffy to me.

  37. 37
    stuckinred says:

    Better Democrats? The “people you (I) don’t like on the internet ” have spent 6 months running their (her) mouths about how they were going to do this and that and kick Lincoln’s ass. Now they want non-violent civil disobedience to impact “real progressive change”. We’ll I’ll tell you what, some of us have been in these non-violent civil disobedience actions where the loudmouths sit it out and have a great time when heads get busted. When I see their (her) ass actually on the line instead of flapping her gums as a self-appointed representative of the “real progressive movement” maybe I’ll stop gloating.

  38. 38

    @taylormattd:

    Well…whatever I guess. I don’t think derivatives are all that important, nor do I think most of what she wrote will last anyway, so I don’t think that’s all that useful. But YMMV.

  39. 39
    flotsam says:

    I get the feeling that the pushback on this is coming out of fear. The DLC/WH/Brien Mcjacksons of the world see this primary truly for what it was on an organizational level – the netroots and labor, not having a clue how to run a campaign, tossing stacks of money and coming within 2% points of taking out a 2 term incumbent. My guess is that they are shit scared about what happens when, not if, the unions and net roots learn how to run campaigns like that more effectively. This was a learning process…as the estimable Rep. Clay Davis once said, “crawl. walk. then run”. Not bad for a 1st shot. And by the way, let’s be realistic – it’s not like the unions are in danger of running out of money. It’s just that the est. Democrats ain’t gonna be seein any of it in the near future.

  40. 40

    @Corner Stone:

    The Blue Jays thought Vernon Wells was worth the contract they gave him too. What’s your point?

  41. 41
    PanAmerican says:

    @someguy:

    How exactly does this happen when his voters were to the right of Lincoln’s?

  42. 42
    Paula says:

    And Brien is totally insulting to Troo Pwogwessives who Believe in Shifting the Overton Window!! Boo hoo!!

    Seriously, though, I’m kind of in middle of whatever ya’ll seem to be arguing about, but as I am a flagrant Left Coaster I’m inclined to believe that Arkansas is not a state that is friendly to Democratic or liberal ideas, esp. given how it voted in 2008. I was kinda skeptical about netroots people’s passion for this race and their mistaking “dissatisfaction with the establishment” w/ “real enthusiasm for broad progressive change”. Like THEY ALWAYS DO.

    If what Brien is suggesting is true — that netroots’ posturing is somehow infecting union leadership as well, then progressive policy supporters are well and truly fucked.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    MikeMc says:

    Is Blanche Lincoln really so awful? I don’t know much about her. I was checking in on other blogs and they act like she’s their arch-enemy. Is this real or are they just miffed about the loss?

  45. 45
    The Moar You Know says:

    It wasn’t a bad decision – it’s always good for our representatives to be afraid of the mob.

    However, that doesn’t mean I can’t troll the shit out of the Great Orange Satan with Blanche’s election victory and revel in their butthurt tears. Gotta find the pony where you can.

  46. 46

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I hope (without much hope) that the DNC and DSCC will allocate valuable resources elsewhere over the next five months

    Precisely why these and the DCCC don’t get a Gaia-damned nickel from me anymore. Hoping (without much hope) that better Dems result from blind support of incumbents didn’t work well for me. Thank you, ActBlue.

    Brien Jackson @9, am interested in how you define ‘potential benefits,’ as “Labor” isn’t a monolith.

  47. 47
    demimondian says:

    @flotsam: Feh. Of course the “establishment democrats” will be seeing union dosh!

    The Democratic Party and the unions have far, far more common interests than they have divergent ones. The problem has become that the Dems have taken the unions for granted, and have decided that they should drift into the vacuum where the moderate Republicans want to be. That’s good politics.

    The unions, by contrast, don’t see any benefit of the Dems being in that space. So they have every reason to remind the pols what they have to risk if they drift too far. That doesn’t mean there’s going to be an instant schism in the traditional left in the United States; this is nowhere near that big.

  48. 48
    fucen tarmal says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    i agree, but the netroots “failure” is one of enthusiasm, and thinking the world can move in internet time. they fetishized the 60 vote object, and developed a case of GOPness envy, where they thought, those votes would magically be whipped into voting a straight party line, a true nationally led, top down party.

    they want to believe the blue dogs, the lincoln’s etc are going to put “party in power” and the national agenda ahead of their regional convcerns, because that is what they saw the gop party in power do.

    democrats aren’t that. they still are responsive to regional concerns. the gop became what they are over a long period of time, so when they are handed the keys, you know what is driving….

    the democrats might have an opportunity to become more powerful in power, like the gop, but it will take more time than the internet seems to abide.

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @demimondian: And it’s the figure that’s being shamelessly bandied about by certain individuals who swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
    OpenSecrets has Halter raising some $3.4M this election cycle.

    The link indicates data is as of 6/9/2010.

    Here’s another that says it’s as of May 2010

  50. 50
    flotsam says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    someone’s got their emopants on…between that, and you’re “derivatives don’t matter” bullshit, you’re kinda sexy when you’re gettin you’re cheney/rove on…

  51. 51
    Paula says:

    @flotsam: Wow, that’s some serious delusion.

    You might wanna check out the fact that Netroots fave Marcy Winograd lost to security hawk Jane Harman AGAIN in Venice/South Bay. That’s VENICE, hippie central in Los Angeles county.

  52. 52
    Steve says:

    I agree with John. Frankly, the message got sent win or lose. Other Democrats are not going to think “hey, Lincoln won so I guess that means I can do whatever I like,” they’re going to think “hey, maybe I had better listen to the base so I don’t have to face a difficult primary challenge.”

    Of course it would have been better to win, but it’s nothing but 20/20 hindsight to say that we lost by a couple percentage points, so gosh, shame on us for even trying.

  53. 53
    60th Street says:

    Amen to that brothers mistermix and Cole!

    And I’ll add that if Lincoln intends on keeping her job in November, she’s got to walk back across the many bridges she spent torching the first half of this year. So her troubles have only just begun.

    Politico and a few now notorious others, but especially Politico, LOOOVE stoking both partisan and intra-party warfare. There isn’t much in this made-up playground universe of theirs that’s worth attention and who really cares what they think. They’re the sock-puppets of journalism. No matter which way you approach these anonymous “quotes”, it’s wanky bullshit and not worth the time grumbling about.

    Yesterday was a great day for Progressives and only the start of what we can achieve. And, although I don’t particularly care for the petulence of the firebaggers, I’d like to thank Jane Hamsher Glenn Greenald and AccountabilityNOW PAC for making Blanche Lincoln shit cinder blocks for the past few months. It was a wonder to behold!

  54. 54
    demimondian says:

    @Corner Stone: A lot of that money came from the money spong…I mean, netroots. (Which, full disc, includes me, in this case.) The Lincoln campaign ran ads on the $1.2M figure.

  55. 55
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    And I contend that anyone who thought Halter was a worthwhile candidate didn’t pay any attention to him.

    But how worthwhile Halter is does not exist in some kind of void that is detached from real world ramifications. Is he more worthwhile than Blanche Lincoln in a general election against Boozeman? And the numbers have appeared to consistently back up the fact that, yes, Bill Halter is the more worthwhile candidate to support if you wanted to have a chance to keep that Senate seat in Democratic hands. No one is deluding themselves that Bill Halter is some kind of Bernie Sanders in the making; all people are saying is that he is a far more viable alternative than Blanche Lincoln.

    I don’t need Bill Halter to be the Last True Progressive Standing; I need him to be a more competent and effective senator than Blanche Lincoln.

  56. 56
    Malron says:

    I am not ashamed to say i supported the draft Bill Halter campaign. I am gld the unions threw their weight behind his candidacy. i think it was a stupid comment from the WH, one that will cause friction in the Democratic base.

    My guess is that they are shit scared about what happens when, not if, the unions and net roots learn how to run campaigns like that more effectively.

    I suggest we draft Halter to run an independent campaign. I also suggest Kos and Hamsher hire someone to run the thibng,

  57. 57
    Cacti says:

    I’m a little dismayed that so many are willing to take an “anonymous source” story from Politico as gospel. The beauty about “anonymous” pieces is that nobody can actually stand up and deny them.

  58. 58
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @MikeMc: She was one of the biggest spokes in the wheel in trying to get health care reform through, frequently threatening to join Republican filibusters if HRC was sufficiently ‘fiscally conservative’ for her;she voted for Bush’s wars and tax cuts and the only issue she really seems to care about is eliminating the estate tax (see Walton Family). Granted, in HRC she probably provided cover for others who would have bolted if she and the filibuster weren’t giving her cover, but she was particularly obnoxious about it.

  59. 59
    Paula says:

    @Malron:

    I suggest we draft Halter to run an independent campaign. I also suggest Kos and Hamsher hire someone to run the thibng,

    Satire, right?

  60. 60
    stuckinred says:

    @60th Street: Put down the bong.

  61. 61
    mikey says:

    I consider myself politically sophisticated, but I honestly don’t understand what advantage the Blue Dogs bring the party. Just because they have a “D” after their name? Without Stalinesque party discipline it’s meaningless, perhaps worse then meaningless because it creates the appearance of a more powerful majority than actually exists, and therefore contributes to the sense of Democratic weakness.

    At this point there is no real “Left” left in American Politics, but we should do everything we can to keep the right wing out of the Democratic caucus. Having Lincoln or Nelson in the caucus is the same as having two more Republicans.

    I would love to see EVERY one of them challenged from the left every time. Win some, lose some, they contribute nothing but a greater opportunity for weakness and failure…

    mikey

  62. 62
    aimai says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    I think that’s wrong. Its wrong because Labor wants to have a bigger presence in places like Arkansas and the way you get to a bigger presence is by being a political player–by getting your people organized, angry, and out to vote. From the activist’s point of view if you got your people mobilized and put them to work its always better than sitting something out and “keeping uyour powder dry.” Because the one thing you don’t usually run out of is enthusiasm when your people are working on something.

    Lincoln was opposed to EFCA and the Republican will surely be opposed to EFCA. So the three candidates are a wash from a very narrow EFCA perspective. But EFCA isn’t the only thing Labor is thinking of in Arkansas or anywhere else. Whether Halter would have won, or would have supported EFCA if he did win, isn’t really the determining thing in whether the Unions did or did not waste their time organizing for Halter. I’d argue that showing muscle and (had they won) winning was a good excercise for Union organizing at the grassroots in Arkansas. Remember, every contact they made while working for Halter was also a contact they made for union/labor related issues.

    aimai

    I tend to

  63. 63
    BombIranForChrist says:

    It was very important to stand behind Halter, just as it is important not to give Obama a free pass on all the shit he has flip flopped on.

    If we are to hold politicians to the promises they make in campaigns, we need to give them a very credible fear that they will lose the next campaign if they don’t. The very fact that Lincoln had to run against Halter in a run-off was a clear signal to every corrupt Dem who hustles for corporate money behind the veneer of “centrism” that they may pay the ultimate price.

    Frankly, I wish John, Doug, etc. felt this way about a lot of Obama’s shenanigans. I am not saying they are Obots, but they do seem to give him a pass on a lot of things, and I am generally confused by it. We’ve got to give Obama the credible fear that he may lose in 2012, or he is not going to listen to us. This doesn’t mean we need to take a giant shit in front of the White House a la FDL and that crew, but we need to let him know, for example, that if he decides he needs the Bank’s political contributions more than support from his base, he may lose it all in 2012.

  64. 64
    Paula says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I don’t need Bill Halter to be the Last True Progressive Standing; I need him to be a more competent and effective senator than Blanche Lincoln.

    Dude, I think the question is whether the state of Arkansas politics would allow for any such thing, at least from the liberal POV.

  65. 65
    Sheila says:

    Though I tend to be skeptical about some of the anti candidates being pushed by “progressives”, who don’t seem to pay much attention to what some of these candidates espouse, I agree with your point about schadenfreude, John. I had wanted Halter to win and would have voted for him had I lived in Arkansas (mercifully, I do not), and though I am not sure his loss is worth all the handwringing, I do think it is a good thing that he ran and certainly encourage progressives to support alternative candidates in the future, though I wish they would find some true progressives, capable of making a coherent case for their values, to challenge incumbents, rather than some of the lackluster opponents of recent years.

  66. 66
    Chuck says:

    Nope.

    You NEVER lose if you never try.

  67. 67
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Y’know, of all the things I was expecting BJ commenters to freak out about in a totally egregious manner next, the Arkansas primary results was pretty far down on the list.

    At least the Gaza blockade has something to do with policy…

  68. 68
    ruemara says:

    @demimondian:

    STFU, ass. This has nothing to do with politicians and everything do to with manufactured outrage that helps demoralize the base.

  69. 69
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Not only was backing Halter not a bad decision, it several weeks ago served its purpose. The derivatives amendment in the finreg bill (we’ll see if it stays) is at least in part the result of pressure from Halter, and without this challenge it would have been replaced with an amendment that banishes all Latinos to north of the 40th parallel and proclaiming Jesus as our collective Lord and Saviour. In fact, that the finreg bill is not a complete joke (like the credit card bill was) is thanks to populist pressure in general, of which the Halter challenge was a part. So mission accomplished.

  70. 70
    fourlegsgood says:

    @Malron: Well, that would be one way to guarantee that the GOP takes that seat.

    I was okay with Halter primarying her, but now that she’s won, it’s over. I’m not interested in throwing away senate seats over purity tests and firebagger pique.

  71. 71

    I believe in primaries, they usually are good for the process and party of record and moderated the winner Lincoln somewhat. I could care less about the so called progressive movement, as it is the flip side of the tea party one imo. Both akin to troubled bowel movements.

    Senate seats are precious in who runs that critical institution, and I don’t give a shit about Lincoln, or Halter, but keeping that seat in dem hands from someone who hasn’t joined wingnut filibusters, say like Blanche Lincoln, is my concern. I doubt Halter had a chance in the GE. Lincoln does- a chance.

    But I am glad that fighting progs got their rocks off some, and fools and their money are soon parted.

    I think all you deep thinkers should run this Schadenfraud character more often.

  72. 72
    Corner Stone says:

    @BombIranForChrist:

    Frankly, I wish John, Doug, etc. felt this way about a lot of Obama’s shenanigans. I am not saying they are Obots,

    They are self-described Obots.

  73. 73
    Cacti says:

    @mikey:

    I consider myself politically sophisticated, but I honestly don’t understand what advantage the Blue Dogs bring the party

    Because it’s more advantageous to have a Blue Dog who votes with you 5 out of 10 times than GOPer who votes 0 out of 10.

  74. 74
    Paula says:

    @aimai:

    Its wrong because Labor wants to have a bigger presence in places like Arkansas and the way you get to a bigger presence is by being a political player—by getting your people organized, angry, and out to vote. From the activist’s point of view if you got your people mobilized and put them to work its always better than sitting something out and “keeping uyour powder dry.” Because the one thing you don’t usually run out of is enthusiasm when your people are working on something.

    OK, well, where/when/how should we look for proof that the unions actually made a dent in AK politics? Lincoln running to the left on issues? The Republican challenger being moderate? More polling support for EFCA?

  75. 75
    MikeMc says:

    @BombIranForChrist: What are his big flip flops? And not just things he hasn’t done yet

  76. 76
    Bill H says:

    @QDC:

    Also, OT, but will the changes to California’s primary system potentially save that state? It would seem to be a huge boon to moderates, which the state legislature desperately needs. Long term, it could really alter the dynamic of state politics, it seems to me, but I don’t know much about the details.

    No. Republican districts will wind up with two Republicans on the general election ballot, Democratic districts will wind up with two Democrats. Moderates will be shuffled to the margins, much as they are now. Nominees will wind up being picked in party caucases and things will be as partisan as ever, if not more so.

    Unless we change the way district boundaries are drawn up, nothing will ultimately change.

  77. 77
    cat48 says:

    OK, so it is fine for progressives & unions to excoriate Obama continuously in public on a fucking daily basis, but the WH is to never, never say anything back! Reminds me of repugs.

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    No one is deluding themselves that Bill Halter is some kind of Bernie Sanders in the making

    And yet, somehow, several people here at BJ keep trying to convince us all that people here really did believe Halter was Sanders, Jr.

  79. 79
    Lex I. Con says:

    A good way to draw attention to the fact that you are misusing the term ‘literally’ is to modify it with the word ‘quite.’

    Literally nothing? Literally everything?

    Quite silly.

  80. 80
    jl says:

    How did I confuse Arkansas with Missouri? And why did no one humiliate me for such a goof? Some fruit hangs too low to bother, I suppose.

    But Arkansas is NEXT to Missouri, so the general point that if you never try, you never have a chance to win.

    Howard Dean was correct that Democrats need to field credible candidates that will move things in the right direction all over the country, regardless of whether one is tempted to write off a state as conservative, or red.

    I do not see how Lincoln remained a very credible candidate for issues that need to be addressed by the country. And she was in trouble before she was primaried anyway, to some extent because she could not explain her own decisions and behavior convincingly to anyone.

    I really do not see it as a big loss or foul up that Halter primaried Lincoln and he lost.

    If this gets Lincoln on the right side of Senate legislation until November, it will be good thing. Her chances of holding the seat were not high anyway.

  81. 81
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Paula:

    Dude, I think the question is whether the state of Arkansas politics would allow for any such thing, at least from the liberal POV.

    Agreed, but you have to start somewhere if you want to change the status quo. Again, I don’t need Bill Halter to be a flaming liberal on the national stage. I just need him not to be a self-involved incompetent asshole who decides to sabotage the Affordable Care Act as it’s being created and threatens to join Republican filibusters.

  82. 82
    aimai says:

    @Paula:

    You know, Paula, Union organizing is kind of a long fucking game. To do it right you have to get up every day and try something new in the way of organizing and electoral politics. You might just as well argue that there’s no point to unions at all because Reagan broke PATCO. Since then we’ve seen the rise of the SEIU and attempts to organize non white and unorganized groups.

    As for the “effect” that Union activities had in Arkansas absolutely *everyone* agrees that absent Halter’s strong primary challenge we wouldn’t have forced Lincoln to introduce the derivatives bill. So regardless of the instant success of any individual union activity in Ark. that’s a pretty big effect.

    aimai

  83. 83

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Last I checked, Halter was down by ~17% to Boozeman. So really, what difference does that make. Or are we not actually paying attention to polls anymore either?

  84. 84
    NR says:

    @fourlegsgood:

    Well, that would be one way to guarantee that the GOP takes that seat.

    That’s guaranteed anyway. Lincoln is toast in November, no matter what happens.

  85. 85
    Paula says:

    @aimai:

    As for the “effect” that Union activities had in Arkansas absolutely everyone agrees that absent Halter’s strong primary challenge we wouldn’t have forced Lincoln to introduce the derivatives bill.

    Do they, now?

    Is that a guarantee that Lincoln will continue to support her own bill when it comes down to the wire in the GE? Especially now that she absolutely knows the unions will not be supporting her in that fight?

    EDIT: Oh, look, the WSJ got there, too: http://online.wsj.com/article/.....theadlines

  86. 86
    demimondian says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: Dude, you’re deluding yourself. If Lincoln had had a chance, I’d have been first in line to support her; that’s a seat we’re never going to get back. But she *didn’t*. With favorables below 50% and a competent Republican running against her, she is Go. Ing. To. Lose.

  87. 87
    flotsam says:

    @cat48:

    yes, it’s called being a grown up.

  88. 88
    Allison W. says:

    @flotsam:

    it’s not like the unions are in danger of running out of money. It’s just that the est. Democrats ain’t gonna be seein any of it in the near future.

    Unions can talk smack in a primary. In the general, they don’t have much room to make threats. They want their policies to come to light, they will back the candidate and the party that will help them the most in DC. They will fall in line.

  89. 89
    Cacti says:

    The reason why I’m completely down with laughing and pointing at the Firebaggers is, they were on an ideological purity scalp hunt. In f**king Arkansas.

    As long as their M.O. is purity trolling, I’ll always be glad to laugh and point at what a toothless tiger the internet left is. Or “the base” as they so self-importantly anoint themselves.

  90. 90
    NR says:

    @Brien Jackson: The difference is that Halter had more potential upside. He wasn’t as well-known as Lincoln, so he had more potential to win people over as they found out more about him. Lincoln is the incumbent; pretty much everyone has already formed their opinions about her.

  91. 91
    tkogrumpy says:

    @NobodySpecial: Exactly, if you don’t think getting 48% of the vote against a sitting senator in the primary is a win, than you don’t know long term retail politics. The people who do know retail politics are all saying, “Whew, that was close”.

  92. 92
    Calouste says:

    OT, but no open thread:

    Haaretz reports that Israel have asked the US to put another $400 million worth of weaponry into warehouses in Israel that already hold $600-800 million worth.

    Israel is also seeking to increase the amount of gear held by the American army in their emergency stores in Israel by 50% – from $800 million to $1.2 billion. The Obama administration placed the stores in Israel in December, as part of a number of steps to improve U.S. assistance to Israeli security. To date, $600 million worth of American emergency equipment has been placed in Israel.

    The American stores hold rockets, bombs, aircraft ammunition and armored vehicles, along with other weapons. The gear fully matches equipment already used by the Israel Defense Forces and is cataloged upon arrival to ensure quick and easy access at a time of need, pending permission from the United States. The American move has a dual purpose: bringing military equipment closer to areas in which Americans might need to fight, and assisting the U.S. ally should the need arise.

    That also undermines the idea that Obama was put under pressure by the AIPAC in his response to the flotilla raid. Supporting Israel to the hilt seems to be the modus operandi.

    I wonder how much oil you can clean up with $1.2 Billion, but I don’t wonder if anyone in the press is ever going to ask that question.

  93. 93
    NR says:

    @Cacti:

    Because it’s more advantageous to have a Blue Dog who votes with you 5 out of 10 times than GOPer who votes 0 out of 10.

    This ignores the role that the Blue Dogs play in weakening and watering down legislation before it even comes to the floor for a vote.

  94. 94
    JasonF says:

    @MikeMc:

    Is Blanche Lincoln really so awful? I don’t know much about her. I was checking in on other blogs and they act like she’s their arch-enemy. Is this real or are they just miffed about the loss?

    She’s not that awful in absolute terms — she votes with the Democrats roughly 85% of the time. That’s not a particularly good score relative to other Senators (there are only four or five Democrats with worse scores), but in absolute terms, it’s not like she’s constantly siding with the GOP.

    http://projects.washingtonpost.....ty-voters/

  95. 95
    MikeMc says:

    @aimai: What did Unions have to do with the derivatives bill? Was that an issue for them?

  96. 96
    Violet says:

    @Paula:

    OK, well, where/when/how should we look for proof that the unions actually made a dent in AK politics?

    AK is Alaska. Are you talking about unions in Alaskan politics?

  97. 97
    Martin says:

    @demimondian: No, from the polling, Lincoln went from 10 down against Boozman to 20 down. Halter was always 10 down. Halter was in no stronger (or weaker) position to defeat Boozman than Lincoln was, and Lincolns polling got worse over the last 3 months – even though the HCR was settled long before the shift in the polls and her action on derivatives shouldn’t have that kind of impact on the polls. I don’t know what else to credit that drop in the polls other than the primary campaign.

    To say that Lincoln couldn’t win but Halter might flies in the face of the fact that they were polling identically in the head-to-heads until recently.

  98. 98
    taylormattd says:

    @Corner Stone: Lol. Um, that’s funny. According to this she dated Andy Stern for two years.

  99. 99
    cmorenc says:

    @Brian Jackson:
    [responding to John Cole’s assertion that: “I simply refuse to see how it was a bad decision to support Halter.”]

    Oh for fuck’s sake…[stuff deleted]…that’s just fucking dumb

    Brian:
    If you and I are sitting on a front porch discussing politics over a couple of beers, are you going to be this nasty and insulting if we disagree over some issue?

    My regular Air Conditioning Service Tech, who is a redneck Glenn-Beck loving wingnut (and who long ago noted the Obama sticker on the bumper of my car) manage to always have very pleasant conversations about our starkly contrasting politics, me an unabashed O-Bot progressive. We manage to enjoy each other’s company enough that he always hangs around an extra 15 minutes or so to shoot the breeze with me in the cool shade underneath my house (it’s at the beach, raised on pilings). While neither of us would vote the other near our first choice in people to hang out with all night, nonetheless we manage to have a fun, civil relationship and I’ve come to gain from him (and some others like him) a much better understanding at a human level where many of these tea-party Beck-nuts are coming from, and their framework becomes understandable, deeply flawed (and dangerous for the country) though it is.

    I seriously doubt you understand (or really influence) anyone but your own opinions, until you learn to lighten up, bud.

  100. 100

    @aimai:

    Now you’re just throwing shit against the wall.

  101. 101
    fourlegsgood says:

    @NR: Never say never and don’t underestimate the influence of the Big Dog in that state.

    My point is that she still has a ghost of a chance, if the vote is split by an independent run by Halter, then we’re doomed for sure. I imagine the GOP candidate is an asshat of epic proportions like all wingers from that state.

  102. 102

    @demimondian: Weren’t you one who declared a HCR bill dead this year? Maybe not, but you’re certainty on this is amusing. I bet you one wooden nickel she pulls it out. Maybe that competent wingnut has man diapers in his closet.

  103. 103
    mikey says:

    @Cacti: That’s the theory they teach in PolySci 101. But does it hold up to examination in the real world?

    I’m gonna say…No. No, it does not. If the 5 times they vote with you are on bills renaming post offices and saluting the contributions to American life of Park Rangers, and the 5 times they vote against you are on health care, jobs, stimulus, EFCA and war funding, how deeply do we actually care?

    I always heard Lieberman was totally liberal in his social and domestic politics. I’m not so sure that’s true, but even assuming it is, his net contribution to the American political process and the Democratic agenda has been extremely negative. Same with the blue dogs, of which he’s somewhat prototypical. Net negative, challenge them at every turn….

    mikey

  104. 104
    gwangung says:

    @NR:

    This ignores the role that the Blue Dogs play in weakening and watering down legislation before it even comes to the floor for a vote.

    No, I don’t think it does, in the end. The positions, whether in the party or not, still play out, I think, in the legislative process.

  105. 105
    Paula says:

    @Violet: Whoops: AR. Did you think I was talking about Alaska on a thread about Arkansas?

  106. 106
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    The Blue Jays thought Vernon Wells was worth the contract they gave him too. What’s your point?

    Vernon Wells has 3 Golden Gloves and is currently ranked in the top 10 in HR, SLG, RBI and OPS in the AL. Some regard him as the best CF in the AL. He’s batting .302 with 15HR’s and 40RBI’s so far in 2010. Sounds like they paid a market rate for a quality OF who’s had well over 400 AB’s every season since 2002 and a career BA of .281.
    So what’s your fucking point?

    ETA – IOW, a return on their investment.

  107. 107
    Nick says:

    No, sorry, I think this was a big fuck up on the part of labor and the netroots.

    this is not a year where we can play fun games with primaries. This is a year where we have to stop the irrational national knee-jerk to the right. We won nothing from this except the eternal scorn of the MSM who will consistently remind unions and liberals that they can’t win a primary in their own party in Bill Clinton’s home state.

    Maybe you all feel nice, warm and fuzzy inside because for a month people were taking seriously the guy you donated to, thus giving you a whiff of relevance, but in the end, the millions of dollars pissed away in this race could have went to shore up people like Lee Fisher or Jack Conway or Joe Sestak or Alexi Giannoulis, who are far more friendly to labor AND progressives than Halter. Instead we pissed away all this money because Blanche Lincoln hurt our feelings. We can try to put together a progressive governing majority or we can undergo personal vendettas, your choice.

    Anyone who thinks Halter stood a chance in a general election is deluding themselves. This state is NOT progressive and this has done nothing to change it.

  108. 108
    fourlegsgood says:

    @taylormattd: That’s absolutely true – she did date Stern for 2 years.

  109. 109
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Boozman is up 17% on Halter.

    He’s up 22% on Lincoln.

    Tell us again which one has a better chance of holding the seat?

    Or tell us again, if no Democrat can hold the seat anyways, why pushing Lincoln to the left while she’s still in office was a bad thing?

  110. 110
    p.a. says:

    I get the feeling that the pushback on this is coming out of fear. The DLC/WH/Brien Mcjacksons of the world see this primary truly for what it was on an organizational level – the netroots and labor, not having a clue how to run a campaign, tossing stacks of money and coming within 2% points of taking out a 2 term incumbent.

    Agreed. There is a whole cottage industry telling the left to STFU, and all it’s done is give up 8 years of Republicans undermining Clinton, 8 years of Bush, and Obama obstruction.

  111. 111
    demimondian says:

    @Martin: If neither of them were an incumbent, you’d be right. However, incumbents don’t gain over time, as a rule, and Lincoln is an incumbent.

  112. 112
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Last I checked, Halter was down by ~17% to Boozeman. So really, what difference does that make. Or are we not actually paying attention to polls anymore either?

    This is from Real Clear Politics, as of 5/3-5/26:

    RCP Average:
    Boozman: 58.7
    Lincoln: 33.7
    Boozman +25.0
    __
    RCP Average
    Boozman: 56.3
    Halter: 35.7
    Boozman +20.6

    Not so much.

  113. 113
    gwangung says:

    @Brien Jackson: Bleah. You may have a point in general, but this particular point was dumb.

  114. 114
    Sly says:

    there was quite literally nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    Then why hasn’t their been a groundswell of support for a moderate or center-left Democratic candidate against DeMint or Coburn? There is even less to lose in SC and Alabama.

    This all, I suspect, had little to do with actual politics, and even less to do with policy. It was spite. Which isn’t to say that Lincoln doesn’t deserve a hefty amount of spite, or that spite doesn’t have a role in politics, but I think trying to dress this up as anything pure and noble is nonsense.

  115. 115

    @NR:

    It doesn’t matter. Arkansas is overflowing with racists, and accordingly no Democrat has a chance in November.

  116. 116

    @Corner Stone:

    Well you’re ignoring that he’s been horrible to this point since signing the extension, and either way he’s still being overpayed in terms of total dollars and years committed.

  117. 117
    Corner Stone says:

    @taylormattd: I found it humorous as well. Especially since Stern resigned and Mary Kay Henry is now head of SEIU.

  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Because it’s more advantageous to have a Blue Dog who votes with you 5 out of 10 times than GOPer who votes 0 out of 10.

    If Blanche Lincoln can overcome her double-digit weakness against Boozman, bless her half-witted heart. Whether she wins or loses, if I find out that national orgs spent significant money on Lincoln when Dems have winnable but close races in NH, OH, IL, CO, MO (another Blue Dog I’m less than thrilled about) and maybe even CA, then I’ll be pissed. Let Blanche sink or swim on her own.

  119. 119
    robertdsc says:

    I have no beef with Halter’s challenge. Best wishes to him in the future.

  120. 120
    Nick says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Boozman is up 17% on Halter.
    He’s up 22% on Lincoln.
    Tell us again which one has a better chance of holding the seat?

    Boozman.

    Really, once you’re down by that much, it doesn’t matter. There was a poll out not that long ago before the first round that showed Lincoln closer to Boozman than Halter.

  121. 121

    @Nick:

    in the end, the millions of dollars pissed away in this race could have went to shore up people like Lee Fisher or Jack Conway or Joe Sestak or Alexi Giannoulis, who are far more friendly to labor AND progressives than Halter.

    ^

  122. 122

    Since this seems to have moved on w/o me, C&P from last one:

    Twenty years ago the GOP right nut brigade having any control of the GOP was delusional daydreaming … today? Whatever you think of their agenda they managed to drive the Party in their direction. Now if you’re satisfiedt to have the Democrats follow right in their wake you’ll pull for status quo in search of the Nov victory even if it means the candidate’s (D) is meaningless.

    If you want to worship at the feet of Terry McAuliff and Rahm and turn the Democratic Party into the GOP while the GOP turns into the Birchers, then say so instead of bemoaning political strategy that seems to cost Lincoln some points. I used “seems” deliberately because this is just post election and not even politically close to Nov.

    If political discussion is not pushed, then the table is not set for victory later. I don’t give a damn what Obama specifically campaigned on, valid criticism sets the table for later. If you want some more for Health Care then criticizing what is possible now sets the direction for later. If you got all or more than you wanted, staying shut up will serve your interests.

  123. 123
    PeakVT says:

    Can anyone who objects to the Halter candidacy define when it would be acceptable to challenge an incumbent in a primary?

  124. 124
    debbie says:

    @Calouste:

    The article doesn’t mention who actually holds the keys to the warehouses. I see where American permission is required to get access to the weapons, but I’d bet Israeli parsing of that concept would be something like “at our convenience.”

  125. 125
    tkogrumpy says:

    @60th Street: And Amen to that also, too.

  126. 126
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Halter never struck me as progressive. He seems to be much more like that Schweitzer/Tester/Webb group, essentially populists with some heterodox ideological opinions. But that would be a buttload better than Lincoln, who is neither progressive nor populist.

    Now that we know the outcome, Halter vs. Lincoln doesn’t strike me as an obvious mistake _or_ as an obvious Good Thing. The “White House official”‘s quotation makes a valid point: if you’re going to spend $X million on politicking, was _this_ really the best use of that money? _I_ don’t know the answer to that. Actually discussing it might yield some useful insights. But instead we get to watch the ritualized dance where everyone emerges from the woodwork to say that something bad happened because their unique good advice wasn’t taken.

    And can we talk about how Lincoln managed to turn the tide like she did? Didn’t Halter beat her in the first round and lead her in all the polls? What happened there? All the people claiming a moral victory in how Halter came close need to account for how he (seems to have) choked in the clutch.

  127. 127
    PanAmerican says:

    The upside? kos just dumped Research 2000.

  128. 128
    fucen tarmal says:

    @Calouste:

    you know you’re a hoodrat when….

    i was gonna say, “that is so ghetto”, but i pussed out.

  129. 129
    Nick says:

    @PeakVT:

    Can anyone who objects to the Halter candidacy define when it would be acceptable to challenge an incumbent in a primary?

    When the incumbent’s views are clearly out of line with his or her district/state, and when the challenge has a clear general election advantage on the incumbent. Neither of which was the case in Arkansas.

    I’m sure you’ll ask again in another thread.

  130. 130

    @robertdsc:

    Neither do I. I don’t mind at all the challenge itself, what annoys me is tossing lots of resources at a race that ultimately isn’t going to matter. The most likely scenario by far is that a Republican wins that seat, and the next most likely scenario is that whichever Democrat wins votes in Congress like a generic Arkansas Democrat. Which is to say; well to the right of me and the AFL-CIO.

  131. 131
    Paula says:

    @PeakVT: For frak’s sake, it’s not that Halter’s candidacy was unacceptable, it’s whether the amount of financial and emotional investment in it was justified given the environment in which it was happening.

  132. 132

    @PeakVT:

    As far as I can tell, that’s a complete false dichotomy. It’s not the candidacy anyone objects to, it’s tossing a large amount of resources at Halter.

  133. 133
    Nick says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Didn’t Halter beat her in the first round and lead her in all the polls?

    No, Lincoln won the first round by like 2%.

  134. 134
    shortstop says:

    @Brien Jackson:
    someone’s got their emopants on

    Oh, hell, when doesn’t he? Even when he’s right, who besides his mother could stand to spend more than two minutes with him? Even she might need to be fortified with mood enhancers first.

  135. 135
    Bill Section 147 says:

    It is rare to find someone who will argue that money is not the driving force in politics today. Money speaks louder than almost anything other than the candidate putting their foot in their mouth (good morning Sue Lowden).

    Every dollar that Halter got spoke to the Democratic Party that Lincoln was not meeting expectations. Every dollar Lincoln spent to keep afloat sent a message to the Democratic Party that she was not meeting expectations.

    There are some who think surrender was the better course. They feel the corporatists and the power-brokers were going to win regardless. Well, if you quit before you start they win anyway and have more money to throw at you somewhere else.

    You could make the case that the special interests work even harder in primaries like this one to try to get you to feel hopeless. To quit without a fight. The only advantage the people have is numbers and if we can take the fight to them everywhere and every time we have a chance to wear them down. Frankly, it is the only chance we have.

    I am glad that I gave what I could to Halter. Just like I was glad that I gave what I could to Lamont. Winning one battle isn’t what wins in the end. Fighting every battle doesn’t guarantee victory. Quitting guarantees defeat.

    So I spent money. The unions spent money. We lost. But we fought. What kind of big picture message would the unions have sent if they just rolled over?

  136. 136
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BombIranForChrist:

    We’ve got to give Obama the credible fear that he may lose in 2012, or he is not going to listen to us.

    That will only work if we give him a credible fear that he will lose the nomination. There is no credible fear you can instill for the general election that is greater than the fear that we’ll end up with Caribou Barbie with her finger on the nuclear button saying, “Go ahead, Turkey — make my day!”

    If the Republicans were not batshit insane, then, sure, let’s threaten to not vote in the general election in 2012 and risk getting another Bush (or worse) into power. Personally, I kinda like not living in a nuclear wasteland, so I will vote for anyone with a “D” after their name in the general to prevent us from sliding further downhill.

    The place for intraparty fights is in the primary. Sulking because your preferred candidate didn’t win the primary and refusing to vote in the general because of it is a recipe for handing the election to the other party.

  137. 137
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brien Jackson: Batting .302 and being ranked in the top 10 in your league is horrible?
    I’m starting to understand you a little more…

  138. 138
    fucen tarmal says:

    @PeakVT:

    all or none…either you enforce the “rules” and respect the seat, or you primary every candidate, if you believe that primarying a candidate brings out the best in them….

    and i’m not that opposed to halter, i just think folks got their hopes up, but that happened long before this cycle…lincoln was just the result of that.

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    @PeakVT: Certainly.
    “Anytime but this election cycle.”

    Repeat as needed.

  140. 140

    @Bill Section 147:

    What kind of big picture message would the unions have sent if they just rolled over?

    Again, a false (and strangely conservative) dichotomy. No one is saying labor should do nothing, we’re saying they should have found a better place to put the money where it could do more good.

  141. 141
    Nick says:

    @Bill Section 147:

    What kind of big picture message would the unions have sent if they just rolled over?

    How about; “Fuck You Arkansas, we can elect better Senators in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Illinois who will be much more friendly to our issues than any moron you Wal-Mart loving regressive racists will spew across the Mississippi”

  142. 142
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nick:

    and when the challenge has a clear general election advantage on the incumbent

    Damn. You care for fries with that?

  143. 143

    @Corner Stone:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/stats.....osition=OF

    He’s going to have to do more than that to make up for last year. Especially considering that there’s 6 more years on the deal, and he ain’t getting any younger.

  144. 144

    @Nick:

    Don’t forget New Hampshire.

  145. 145
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nick:

    Instead we pissed away all this money because Blanche Lincoln hurt our feelings.

    She threatened to join a Republican filibuster on HCR.
    What does that have to do with feelings?

  146. 146
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Nick: Whoops.

    Still, what’s the current take on how Halter went from leading in the polls to losing when the votes were actually counted?

  147. 147
    Nick says:

    @Brien Jackson: New Hampshire isn’t very friendly to unions, but, yeah, Paul Hodes would definitely be a better vote than Kelly Ayotte and perhaps generally better than even Halter.

  148. 148
    Nick says:

    @FlipYrWhig: undecided Dems (DC Morrison supporters) went for Lincoln.

    OR

    The only pools had showed Halter leading were DKos polls and kos had R2k muck up the waters a bit.

  149. 149

    @Brien Jackson:

    it’s tossing a large amount of resources at Halter.

    Did anybody ever bother to mention to you that it costs money to play politics? It wasn’t your fucking money and it obviously wasn’t your agenda so why is it you’re so hot to tell people whose agenda it was how fucking stupid they were? If you’re a great lover of the status quo, why not just up and say so? I don’t care what state you’re in, if you want to have political clout anywhere you need to be able to show that you can sway significant numbers of votes and if you think 48% vs a 2 term incumbent Sen is pointless you’re a bigger ass than you’ve previously demonstrated.

    The Unions play on a national stage, not just AR and their agenda is national, not just AR. How many infomercials would that money have purchased to what effect next to that 48% number? The political process favors the status quo, especially in the Senate, and moving that behemoth requires money, effort, and losses.

  150. 150
    Allison W. says:

    A number of things:

    1. During the primary, I read that Halter won over conservative counties. Now instead of taking a bit of a pause, the Left rejoiced with glee as if it was proof that conservatives in Arkansas were moving towards them. You know what I immediately thought? Either Halter is not a Progressive or once he gets elected or nominated he is going to have to swing right in order to win or keep his seat. This is Arkansas folks, his wins in those areas should have given everyone pause.

    2. That comment from the WH aide? stop taking it personally. This is politics. Any money spent on a candidate that lost, is a waste of money to them – period.

    3. Speaking of money wasted – where was the netroots, labor, SC Dems and the DNC in South Carolina? That should be an embarrassment for all of us.

    4. This bragging that the challenge pushed Lincoln to the Left? Doesn’t make sense in Lincoln’s case since she continued to boldly and vocally trash the Left and the union. Makes sense with Specter, not with Lincoln. She put up a stronger finreg bill to pander to the Left while telling you to go f-yourselves? Yeah, okay.

    5. Halter did not have a better chance of beating boozman than did Lincoln. And please remember that Lincoln won when so many were so sure that she would lose the primary and now those same people are saying that she is sure to lose in Nov. I notice that when the Left supports a candidate, how far behind they are in the pools is seen as an opportunity and every one puts on their can do hats and keep working. When its a candidate you can’t stand like Lincoln or Reid, they don’t have a chance in hell.

    6. You win some you lose more. Suck it up. Move on. Do better next time.

  151. 151
    4tehlulz says:

    @PeakVT: When they’re actually progressive would be nice.

    I can’t believe the unions spent $10 mil on a guy that shills for Wal*Mart and Tyson Foods. Jesus Christ.

  152. 152
    Nick says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Did anybody ever bother to mention to you that it costs money to play politics?

    I think he knows that, the question is whether or not the money would have been better spent ELSEWHERE.

  153. 153
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    The Unions play on a national stage, not just AR and their agenda is national, not just AR.

    +

    @Corner Stone:

    Instead we pissed away all this money because Blanche Lincoln hurt our feelings.

    She threatened to join a Republican filibuster on HCR.
    What does that have to do with feelings?

    Is really what it’s all about.

    Nick and Brien, you keep talking about “any moron you Wal-Mart loving regressive racists will spew across the Mississippi” and the EFCA, but this primary battle was about issues well beyond that. The day Blanche Lincoln threatened to join with a Republican filibuster was the day she was a marked woman.

    Period.

  154. 154
    Paula says:

    Well, I dunno, how many times do people have to mention to you that money and effort are finite? That sinking it all in ONE state w/ considerable (and consistent) hostility to your agenda while there are other states and other races with more amenable environments and (arguably) more reliably liberal candidates that could have used that money is, you know, not politically savvy?

  155. 155
    Bill Section 147 says:

    @Brien Jackson: The choice was supporting Lincoln or supporting Halter or supporting nobody. You don’t have any standing to say that the losing dollar spent in Arkansas was going to equal a winning dollar in any other state.

    Maybe if you can find where the unions have listed who they are not supporting in those other states because of their support of Halter you would have a point. Your assumption is that all dollars are equal. I think the message that the unions sent will push for better candidates in all 50 states and not just in this election cycle. I think the message that Halter’s numbers sent is of a lot greater value per dollar than you. I am glad the unions disagree with you.

  156. 156
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Allison W.:

    4. This bragging that the challenge pushed Lincoln to the Left? Doesn’t make sense in Lincoln’s case since she continued to boldly and vocally trash the Left and the union. Makes sense with Specter, not with Lincoln.

    Except for the fact that she:

    put up a stronger finreg bill to pander to the Left while telling you to go f-yourselves?

    I’ll take it.

    “Yeah, okay” indeed.

  157. 157
    Nick says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    The day Blanche Lincoln threatened to join with a Republican filibuster was the day she was a marked woman.

    So this was a $10 million vendetta. Sorry, I prefer to get my revenge by electing 4 friendlier Dems to make Lincoln irrelevant, rather than risk the entire Senate Majority in a primary in a state hostile to my agenda because a Senator from the state trending Republican at a faster rate than any other, decided to do what Democratic Senators have been doing since the days of Andrew Jackson.

  158. 158

    @Nick:

    would have been better spent ELSEWHERE

    I’m pretty goddam sure that the Unions’ agenda and yours are not congruent and that they’re a lot better judge of what unions need versus your opinion. In fact the chances that … ah shit, the search for the invention of the wheel would have been a waste of resources with you in charge.

  159. 159
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    they should have found a better place to put the money where it could do more good.

    It’s already done an astonishing amount of good.

    I’ll say it again; the most important thing by far that this congress is going to do is re-regulate the financial industry. Health care was done first but is a distant second in importance. As of now — and keep your fingers crossed — there are good things in the bill, including Lincoln’s derivatives amendment. It’s astounding that the professional cowards in Washington have gotten this far with a not-terrible bill, and populist pressure, including the Halter challenge, is the reason. I personally could care less whose ass grooves are in the Senate chairs so long as policy is influenced in a positive direction.

    If you’re arguing about labor-specific issues, then maybe labor’s money could have been better spent elsewhere, I don’t know. Seems to me though that getting a strong result in Arkansas puts the rest of the players on notice that they are in the game.

  160. 160
    Corner Stone says:

    Can anyone find a solid lead to prove out the $10M figure we keep seeing?
    I’ve done a couple simple searches but everything I see keeps going back to rightwing blogs gloating about Halter’s loss, and the “flushing” of resources. It’s strangely similar to what a couple people here keep doing.

    I’d honestly like to see a real link to this $10M number since OpenSecrets says Halter had $3.4M as of May 2010.
    If Labor spent it otherwise I’d like to read about where it went, and in what amounts.

  161. 161

    @Nick:

    prefer to get my revenge

    Not your fucking money asshole and obviously not your agenda. The Unions spent money, your 10M figure is pretty iffy, that was theirs in their interest and fuck you. Do you start to get that the Unions are NOT the Democratic Party?

  162. 162

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Look, we can piddle back and forth on this all day, but the bottom line is simple; unions do not have a lot of influence in Arkansas. It’s a very anti-labor state. Everyone knows this, including labor. Now of course they should try to change this, but you don’t change that by jumping right to the upper level. I don’t even know where this is coming from.

    This was about Blanche Lincoln, plain and simple. What makes it stupid is that Lincoln is going to lose anyway, as would Halter, and that Halter wouldn’t be that much better than her.

  163. 163
    Nick says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I’m pretty goddam sure that the Unions’ agenda and yours are not congruent

    Ah, the old “you don’t agree with me and thus you’re really a conservative plant” fall back argument

    they’re a lot better judge of what unions need versus your opinion

    What they need, yes, how to get it, they haven’t the slightest clue in the world.

  164. 164
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Nick:

    So this was a $10 million vendetta. Sorry, I prefer to get my revenge by electing 4 friendlier Dems to make Lincoln irrelevant, rather than risk the entire Senate Majority in a primary in a state hostile to my agenda because a Senator from the state trending Republican at a faster rate than any other, decided to do what Democratic Senators have been doing since the days of Andrew Jackson.

    No. It was a $10 million statement. And it’s amazing to me how union opposition to Lincoln is being recast as some kind of random, blind occurrence, as opposed to something that we discussed on this site at great length, predicted, and even anticipated. Really, that shit is stunning.

    What this comes down to is you are fucking crazy if you don’t think the unions feel like that got a worthy return on investment in this primary. 48% against an incumbent like Lincoln, with the kind of backing she had in that state–including a former POTUS from the goddamn state in Bill Clinton–is an very impressive accomplishment. A lot of people should be rightfully terrified of the implications this spells out for future primaries. Lincoln should be doubly terrified of how devoid of support she’ll be in the general on the Democratic side. I would honestly be stunned if any of the unions support her in the general election.

    And please tell me how someone like my main man Jack Conway in Kentucky is all of a sudden not going to get any support from unions in the general election just because they spent a nice chunk of change on a competitive primary?

  165. 165

    Lincoln threatened to join a gooper filibuster only if it contained a public option. And as we know a PO was never to be due to Lieberman. She did not and has not joined a single GOP filibuster since Obama took office, to my knowledge. She ended up voting yea for all of the subsequent votes for cloture and the HCR bill to pass, though voted no the reconciliation package. A reelection political vote that wasn’t critical for passage.

    I have threatened to clobber idiots with my rubber mallet sometimes, even my self when being idiotic. But haven’t done it yet. Now she has proposed better finance bill regs on derivatives, above and beyond what her more libtard dem senators have. What evil this woman is.

  166. 166

    @Brien Jackson:

    but it did. without that pressure from the left, Lincoln would have never introduced the language on derivatives. and if she lost, the senate was ready to strip it out. That’s not so easy anymore, especially if they want her to win.

    So i disagree that there was no net benefit.

  167. 167
    NR says:

    @gwangung: Lots of people put a lot of stock in the so-called “scorecards,” which track how often a Congressman or Senator votes liberal or conservative. Barbra Boxer has a 96% liberal rating, etc.

    But these are bad indicators. The problem is that they are only based on what is allowed to come up for a vote, and that is based on a conservative political infrastructure.

    Take single-payer health care. That was never allowed to come to a vote, but if it had, how many Democrats would have voted for it? Maybe 20 in the Senate and 100 in the House, if that. So this is a data point where over half the Democratic caucus should have been scored on the conservative side, except that they weren’t, because it never came to a vote.

    Another example – tax rates. Say we wanted to restore Reagan-era tax rates for the top 1% (to say nothing of, say, Kennedy-era tax rates). I guarantee you that there would be a LOT of Democrats in the House and Senate who wouldn’t vote for that. (Hell, Obama couldn’t even get the votes to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the top 1%, which is why he had to let them expire instead). And yet, they are spared from having this conservative mark on their voting records because this issue never comes up for a vote.

    So long as a conservative political infrastructure controls what is allowed to come to a vote, a Congressman or Senator’s voting record will always make him or her look more liberal than he or she really is. This is a bad way to judge someone.

  168. 168
    Paula says:

    @Corner Stone: So … what … are accusing someone of trolling? Why don’t you just name names?

    I’m not basing my opinions on a specific dollar amount in re the unions. I’m basing it on the amount of frothing I read about this race in the netroots. Of course, if you’re admitting that what’s going on in the netroots has little bearing on what’s going on IRL …

  169. 169
    Nick says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Oh, Since you know me and my agenda so well, you also know I belong to a union (Local 1981 of UAW), do you not?

    So, yeah, it was MY fucking agenda you feckless bastard.

  170. 170
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Can anyone find a solid lead to prove out the $10M figure we keep seeing?
    I’ve done a couple simple searches but everything I see keeps going back to rightwing blogs gloating about Halter’s loss, and the “flushing” of resources. It’s strangely similar to what a couple people here keep doing

    Closest figure I can find comes from this NYT article:

    They have knocked on 170,000 doors, made 700,000 phone calls, sent 2.7 million pieces of mail and spent almost $6 million on television and radio advertising.
    __
    That is how badly labor unions, by their own count, want to defeat Senator Blanche Lincoln, a Democrat they once supported. Even though Arkansas’s labor force is one of the least unionized in the country, labor has thrown huge support behind Mrs. Lincoln’s primary challenger, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, in a runoff election on Tuesday.

    For the record, the article is from June 4. I guess they must have dropped another cool $4 million in the last three days?

  171. 171

    @Nick:

    you’re really a conservative plant

    No, stupid, it is “you’re an asshole” Yes, as stated, I do think you’re an asshole.

  172. 172
    Nick says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    No. It was a $10 million statement.

    and what a statement! “America’s labor movement can’t even win a primary in the national left wing party in the state of Arkansas”

  173. 173

    @Nick:

    This is a year where we have to stop the irrational national knee-jerk to the right. We won nothing from this

    We won the primaries, only because the GOP right now has more crazier wingnuts than our side. That is the scorecard.

  174. 174

    @Bill Section 147:

    The choice was supporting Lincoln or supporting Halter or supporting nobody.

    Right, and I’d take nobody.

    I think the message that the unions sent will push for better candidates in all 50 states and not just in this election cycle.

    Labor doesn’t have that much money.

  175. 175
    Paula says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    It was a $10 million statement.

    Look, man, I don’t wanna cross you, but OHMYFUCKINGGAWD, if you don’t see what, precisely, is wrong with this type of thinking in politics, then we really may not be on the same side of anything.

  176. 176
    Mnemosyne says:

    @tkogrumpy:

    Exactly, if you don’t think getting 48% of the vote against a sitting senator in the primary is a win, than you don’t know long term retail politics. The people who do know retail politics are all saying, “Whew, that was close”.

    Yep. Here in California, Barbara Boxer had two primary challengers. She walked away with 80 percent of the vote. That’s pretty typical for a primary.

    This primary put the fear of God in Lincoln. Which way she’ll swing, though, I can’t say for sure.

  177. 177
    Nick says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Noticed you edited out the part of labor not being my agenda, you want some salt to go with that foot for taste?

  178. 178
    Paula says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Labor doesn’t have that much money.

    No, it doesn’t! Jesus Christ, when does any Liberal organization have money to piss away?

  179. 179

    FYI: voter lawsuit in Arkansas:

    The lawsuit, filed by Hot Springs attorney Ben Hooten, states that the commission intentionally scheduled only two polling sites for “the purpose of disenfranchising ” minority, elderly, poor and disabled voters in the county. It also says that “the greater part of the voting electorate are unable to find or reach” the polling places and are “thereby deprived of their right to vote and were disenfranchised.”

    “They’ve tried this before,” Hooten said in an interview with Politics Daily. “They tried it in 2008 and I fled suit then. It was a special election on bonds that year, but they closed all the polls citywide, but one.”

  180. 180
    PeakVT says:

    @Nick: Actually I’ve asked three different questions. Do try to keep up.

    I have to run to the hardware store, so let me say I find the LOE argument against the Halter campaign unconvincing. There’s no point in mounting a primary challenge without doing it well, and $10M is not unreasonable for a Senate race. I think the unions saw both practical and strategic reason for getting into this race, and they put their money on the line. I’m glad they are looking more than one election cycle ahead.

  181. 181
    Paula says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This primary put the fear of God in Lincoln. Which way she’ll swing, though, I can’t say for sure.

    The $6-10 mil (?) question.

  182. 182

    @Nick:

    (Local 1981 of UAW)

    Ah, so you’re satisfied with the current state of labor organization and political swat?

  183. 183
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Nick:

    As far as election spending goes, you can argue that having to spend money on the primary hurt Lincoln for the general because she had to spend money she didn’t plan on for this primary. I’m really not seeing how the unions spending $10 million in June is going to seriously hurt their ability to support candidates for the November election. It’s not like they can’t do any fundraising between now and then.

  184. 184
    KCinDC says:

    @Cacti:

    Because it’s more advantageous to have a Blue Dog who votes with you 5 out of 10 times than GOPer who votes 0 out of 10.

    The problem is that the 5 out of 10 times the Blue Dogs are voting with you are the times you don’t need their votes because it’s not close. When it comes to the nailbiters, they’re voting with the Republicans. Also, they fall for the Republicans’ old “motion to recommit” trick every time.

  185. 185
    Corner Stone says:

    @Midnight Marauder: If anyone wants to read the article linked to by Midnight Marauder, it’s a pretty good laundry list of exactly what Labor’s motivations and goals were in this race, and others.
    And protip – it’s not about feelings.

  186. 186
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Nick:

    and what a statement! “America’s labor movement can’t even win a primary in the national left wing party in the state of Arkansas”

    Good thing that wasn’t the fucking statement they were making, then.

    @Paula:

    Look, man, I don’t wanna cross you, but OHMYFUCKINGGAWD, if you don’t see what, precisely, is wrong with this type of thinking in politics, then we really may not be on the same side of anything.

    You’re right, I don’t see anything wrong with this at all. The unions are running a nationally based strategy, and chose Blanche Lincoln as their major target. As a result of their pressure, she added stronger derivatives language than anyone in the White House or Senate wanted, she was forced into a run off, and then escaped with a 52-48 victory. Again, if you can’t see why labor would be more than satisfied with this result–along with following through on their threats to sit out the general for Lincoln and other Dems–then we are just going to keep being like two trains passing in the night.

    @Brien Jackson:

    Look, we can piddle back and forth on this all day, but the bottom line is simple; unions do not have a lot of influence in Arkansas. It’s a very anti-labor state. Everyone knows this, including labor. Now of course they should try to change this, but you don’t change that by jumping right to the upper level. I don’t even know where this is coming from.

    So, again, how do you go about increasing your influence? And if you want more influence, don’t you have to put some fucking skin in the game and try to make things happen and shake up the status quo? You’re telling me a target like Blanche Lincoln wasn’t more than inviting for them to demonstrate that the rules of the game have changed? You don’t change it by jumping in to the “upper level”? Where the fuck should they have started then? If Blanche Lincoln’s performance over the past year didn’t deserve a primary challenge of some kind, then I don’t know what in the world would.

  187. 187
    Nick says:

    @Chuck Butcher: No, and I don’t think wasting away money on a primary challenge in an unwinnable race for the left in a state like Arkansas whose people have often given us people Clinton, who have helped put our unions in the precarious position they’re in today, is going to help.

    If we’re ever going to have a real progressive, pro-labor, pro-human rights, pro-working class majority, we’re going to do it despite Arkansas, not because of it.

  188. 188
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Paula:

    Labor doesn’t have that much money.

    No, it doesn’t! Jesus Christ, when does any Liberal organization have money to piss away?

    They’ve got a pretty big war chest specifically for the general:

    At least two influential unions will spend close to $100 million on the 2010 election, with most of those funds going to protect incumbents.
    __
    Union officials told The Hill they plan to help endangered members — particularly freshmen — who made politically difficult votes in a year during which an anti-incumbent mood has filled the country.
    __
    […]
    __
    The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) plans to spend in excess of $50 million during the 2010 campaign, part of which will fund “a massive incumbent protection program,” according to Gerry McEntee, president of the union.
    __
    […]
    __
    The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) plans to spend $44 million in total on its 2010 election program. The union spent $85 million on its 2008 campaign, according to union officials.

  189. 189

    @Midnight Marauder:

    If Blanche Lincoln’s performance over the past year didn’t deserve a primary challenge of some kind, then I don’t know what in the world would.

    I don’t know why this makes a damned bit of difference, frankly. To me, what matters is that Lincoln will hold the seat for the remainder of the 111th Congress, and a Republican will hold it in the 112th.

  190. 190
    Paula says:

    And how much is the Republican war chest? The corporate war chest? How many pro-labor people are in danger in swing states? In nominally conservative states? These numbers mean nothing unless they are applied to some kind of context.

  191. 191

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Awesome. They’ve got $100 million…to spread over 435 house races and 34 Senate contests.

  192. 192
    uloborus says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:
    As always, I learn things from your posts. Thank you!

  193. 193
    kindness says:

    Man….I hate to say it but some threads here read like the flame wars between the Hillary & Obama primary.

    People…..the phrase ‘put your money where your mouth is’ has no meaning if you put no effort into what you want. Blanche may have an 85% voting with Democrats record, but that doesn’t score all the times she moved important issues to the right or off the table completely. She sucks as a Democrat no matter what state she is from.

    But this circular firing squad stuff & some of you taking yourselves like your Moses or something…..Man….reasons I don’t read firedoglake any more.

    I’m happy Blanche was challenged. No Halter didn’t win & that’s too bad as I think he did have a better chance of winning in November no matter what polls are sited as polls are indicators more than actuals & sometimes they don’t indicate squat if they are shitty polls (see anything from Rasmussen). having said that will I now support spending resources on Blanche for November? I wouldn’t. Blanche is Lindsey Graham. Blanche is Senator Grassley. Blanche is Lucy pulling the football from Charlie Brown every damn time. She’s a bad bet unless your last name is Walmart.

    Having said that, now fellow threadians…..heal thyself. There’s way better targets to be picking off right now. Shooting your own hunting party only works if you are Dick Cheney. Don’t be a Dick (Cheney or otherwise).

  194. 194
    Nellcote says:

    @Paula:

    Is that a guarantee that Lincoln will continue to support her own bill when it comes down to the wire in the GE?

    No. It was understood that the vote for it wouldn’t happen until after the primary and that it would be watered down/voted down then. It gave her a talking point until then.

  195. 195
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Awesome. They’ve got $100 million…to spread over 435 house races and 34 Senate contests.

    Yeah, because they are definitely going to spend money in every single fucking House race, right? it’s not like they’ll have any fucking priorities or anything like that, right?

    Come on now, you are being completely obtuse with statements like that.

  196. 196
    Jade Jordan says:

    @ruuffles:

    Jim Demented is nuts and hated by Dems and Republicans. He is one or two crazy comments or actions from being vunerable.

    They may know some scandal about to blow (unlike Dems they know how yo keep it in the family and not whine to Politiho).

    Why not protect yourself by running a manchurian candidate. Now he is unopposed.

  197. 197
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Paula:

    And how much is the Republican war chest? The corporate war chest? How many pro-labor people are in danger in swing states? In nominally conservative states? These numbers mean nothing unless they are applied to some kind of context.

    You could start by reading this article I linked to earlier, if you haven’t already. The one that talks about their larger strategy for taking on Lincoln and others this election season.

  198. 198

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Well no, you just half proved my point. Of course they’ll prioritize some races over others. So the question is why they prioritized Arkansas, where a Republican will almost certainly win the seat no matter what in November, and the candidate they were supporting wouldn’t endorse their top legislative priority.

  199. 199
    Nick says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Good thing that wasn’t the fucking statement they were making, then.

    That may not be the statement they intended to make, but that’s the statement that was made.

  200. 200
    demimondian says:

    @Jade Jordan: Hey, wow. Space aliens!!

    What color is the sky on your world?

  201. 201
    ChicagoTom says:

    Not only did Lincoln threaten to filibuster HCR, she also did a complete about face on EFCA.

    She was a public supporter of EFCA up until the point when it looked like it might actually have a chance at passing at which point she flip-flopped and pulled support.

    The Unions have to make someone pay a political price that kind of stab in the back or else who the fuck would take them seriously?

    At the end of the day, the unions are looking out for the unions. (as it should be) And if they want to spend gobs of money to send the message that they arent to be double crossed, more power to them.

  202. 202
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    So the question is why they prioritized Arkansas, where a Republican will almost certainly win the seat no matter what in November, and the candidate they were supporting wouldn’t endorse their top legislative priority.

    Listen. You know exactly why they prioritized Arkansas. Stop acting like you don’t know why they choose Blanche Lincoln. HOW MANY GODDAMN THREADS DID WE HAVE DURING THE HCR PROCESS TALKING ABOUT THIS VERY INEVITABILITY?! I mean, come the fuck on, man! Surely, you cannot be this dense!

    And again, the polls continuously indicated that Halter was better positioned to run against Boozman in the general, so the notion that “a Republican will almost certainly win this seat” actually is only in full effect because the HIGHLY UNPOPULAR Blanche Lincoln won the race.

    And maybe you should take note of the fact that, for whatever reason, the unions were okay with Halter’s position on EFCA and went balls to the walls for him anyway.

  203. 203
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Nick:

    That may not be the statement they intended to make, but that’s the statement that was made.

    Only to people as dense as you, it was.

  204. 204

    @Nick:

    despite Arkansas, not because of it.

    Try to keep up, this was tangentially about AR – it was about Congress and Unions. Take us for granted and screw with us and we can do this to you. Even in AR and you’re in OH, MI… If you don’t think the Unions, and by extension the left, don’t figure they’re taken for granted and eminently screwable, well…

    I’d have used strike through on that comment, but it tends to blow up the site. You repeat the arguments of the status quo seekers and corporatists and I’ll assume something along those lines.

  205. 205
    demimondian says:

    @Brien Jackson: Oh, wait. So…health care wasn’t their top priority? Lincoln’s flip-flop on EFCA wasn’t their top priority? You do realize that she supported card-check until this year, right?

  206. 206
    Nellcote says:

    @brendancalling:

    I’m glad somebody’s suing, the lack of polls there was really an outrage. They should have done this before the primary. I think it may have swung the results as it was a Halter county.

  207. 207

    @Midnight Marauder:

    And again, the polls continuously indicated that Halter was better positioned to run against Boozman in the general, so the notion that “a Republican will almost certainly win this seat” actually is only in full effect because the HIGHLY UNPOPULAR Blanche Lincoln won the race.

    Halter was trailing Boozman by about 15-20%. Arguing over whether Halter or Lincoln is the “better candidate” is like arguing over whether Kansas City or Baltimore is more likely to win the World Series this year.

    And in any event HIGHLY UNPOPULAR Blanche Lincoln got more votes than Halter, so I don’t for the life of me know why you think you have a point here even putting aside that Boozman is stronger than both of them.

  208. 208
    ChicagoTom says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    And maybe you should take note of the fact that, for whatever reason, the unions were okay with Halter’s position on EFCA and went balls to the walls for him anyway.

    This!

    Halter had been in communications with the unions. I believe his public statements were something to the effect of “Unions will be happy with my positions on this issue”

    The whole “Halter doesn’t support card check isn’t really a good criticism. The unions and Halter had been in communication, and unless you were privy to those conversations you can’t say what he supported.

    Not publicly coming out strong for card check might have been positioning for the general to not allow those attacks from his opponents. I dunno for sure, but I am sure that the subject had come up between Halter and the Unions

  209. 209
    JMS says:

    The “electability” argument only makes sense if one candidate is likely to win and the other one likely to lose in the general. If they are both likely to win, or both likely to lose (which is the case here, but those with a stake in this race only like to talk about how the other candidate would lose), it’s pointless. From the viewpoint of disliking the smugness of the GOS mindset, one almost wishes that Halter would have won, just to be crushed in the general election, but I’m sure they’d have found some reason to justify that too.

    All that being said, I’m not against primary challenges, symbolic or otherwise. Just don’t overstate the “meaning” of the race if both candidates are fairly conservative and equally likely to lose in the general election. I sometimes think progressives are just as likely to apply their own brand of the “who would you like to have a beer with” test as anyone else.

  210. 210
    Paula says:

    @Midnight Marauder: I read the article. Their beef with the Blue Dogs is completely acceptable. The article doesn’t address what skeptics have been griping about, which is the question of which competitive races are the most likely to turn out favorably for Dems with progressive support vs. races that have become symbolic “flashpoints” of a sort but don’t actually yield reliable results even w/ grassroots progressive efforts. I say “reliable”, because we still don’t know for sure whether Bill Halter could have won the GE, and even if he did win we don’t know whether he could have been a reliable vote for “liberal” causes given the state he represents. Is that uncertainty worth the time and money spent? That’s the debate. And for all of the wanking about a circular firing squad I think it’s worth having, mainly because I really really want progressives to start taking responsibility for their tactics (win or lose, but particularly when they lose) rather than focusing on abstract arguments about “moving the debate to the left” or making symbolic stands that don’t guarantee policy changes.

    No, you didn’t “win” your derivatives regulation yet. You have no idea what Blanche Lincoln will do w/ her bill even if she wins the general. It’s her essence as a Blue Dog in a conservative state. It might be better to focus on other candidates in other states who might overrule her ONE vote.

  211. 211
    Martin says:

    @PeakVT: I don’t object to in on principle, but I’ll answer.

    I think three things should guide the decision:

    1) Is there enough support within the state/district for the incumbent challenge? If this is going to be a pure outsider effort, don’t bother, it’ll probably backfire. That doesn’t mean you don’t bring in outside resources, but it has to have enough insider energy to feel like it’s driven by the constituents. I’d say the AR primary skirted that line at best, but it’s hard to say from the outside. The fact that Lincoln had Clinton in her corner tells us that this was going to be a very tough uphill fight on that front.
    2) If you are going to challenge a Dem, don’t fucking undermine their chance for the general in an effort to win the primary. You have to run a sufficiently positive campaign that you don’t risk losing the war to win the battle. The teapartiers (bless them) have precisely that problem where we’re seeing the GOP incumbent plummet in the polls because the teaparty can’t help but trash the establishment candidate. The firebaggers were more intent on punishing Lincoln for her positions as they were in trying to secure the seat (my criticism of their attitude toward Obama as well).
    3) Don’t blow your war chest to make a point. If Halter isn’t that much more progressive than Lincoln, why spend $10M on him? If all you want to do is push Lincoln’s positions, there are other ways to do it that don’t risk our ability to fight contests in November. I’m guessing there are a lot of really solid progressives in other states that would have *loved* to have some extra money for November.

    I was more supportive of challenging Specter because of his recent party switch. There wasn’t a lot of internal support for him across the state and it was hard to see how to influence his policy since it was responding purely to electibility issues. If he wasn’t threatened from the right, he’d still be a Republican. I think that much is obvious. That’s too fragile a scenario for the Dems.

  212. 212
    Mike Kay says:

    Hanoi Jane Hamsher = Box Office Poison

  213. 213
    kay says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    And in any event HIGHLY UNPOPULAR Blanche Lincoln got more votes than Halter, so I don’t for the life of me know why you think you have a point here even putting aside that Boozman is stronger than both of them.

    I don’t get that either. You can say the loss was worth it, because it was leverage, and you can say the loss wasn’t worth it, because it’s ten million dollars but I think we have to stop saying the less popular candidate won.

    She got more votes, in Arkansas, and those are the only people voting, so they’re the only people who matter.
    She’s not less popular with Democrats, in any way that matters. If she was, she would have lost. DESPITE polling. We can discard polling now: we had VOTING.

  214. 214
    Violet says:

    @Paula:
    You never know, maybe you were. That’s why I asked.

  215. 215

    @Brien Jackson:

    so I don’t for the life of me know

    Your continuing argument demonstrates quite clearly that this is only the tip of that particular iceberg. A 2+ point win over the challenger to a 2 term incumbent Sen sends a huge message. You fail to understand that all politics is not local in some regards, especially where national organizations are concerned. You also fail to understand that the Unions are NOT the Democratic Party.

  216. 216
    Mike Kay says:

    Shorter John:
    “LEAVE JANE ALOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE!”

  217. 217
    ChicagoTom says:

    And in any event HIGHLY UNPOPULAR Blanche Lincoln got more votes than Halter

    Not to get all conspiratorial, but on the day of the runoff, there were only 2 polling places (down from 42 for the first election) in all of Garland County (Halter’s strongest county and Lincoln’s weakest)

    Did it make a difference in the outcome? I dunno.

    DId it most likely depress Halters numbers? Most likely

  218. 218
    Jules says:

    I voted for Halter.
    My husband and son voted for Miz Blanche.
    We’re all good Dems.
    No shame here.
    I’ll hold my nose and vote for Miz Blanche in Nov. because as much as I dislike her I dislike that bastard Booze-man more.

    Personally I’m much more interested in making sure that POS Tim Griffin does not win Vic Snyder’s old seat.
    That would be a crime.

  219. 219
    kay says:

    @Jules:

    Right. And you’re all Arkansans (is that the word?) so ultimately we have to leave it up to you.

    Do what you think is best :)

  220. 220
    Violet says:

    Dang, we need a new thread.

  221. 221
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Paula:

    I say “reliable”, because we still don’t know for sure whether Bill Halter could have won the GE, and even if he did win we don’t know whether he could have been a reliable vote for “liberal” causes given the state he represents. Is that uncertainty worth the time and money spent? That’s the debate.

    But a reliable vote for “liberal causes” in relation to who? Blanche Lincoln, of course. And on the subject of liberal causes this past year, you had the 1-2 punch of her switch on card check/EFCA and her grandstanding obstructionism during the HCR process. So when you’re asking “is the uncertainty of how Bill Halter will perform worth the time and money spent,” you need to realize that in the minds of the unions, the answer is a resounding “FUCK YES!”

    No, you didn’t “win” your derivatives regulation yet. You have no idea what Blanche Lincoln will do w/ her bill even if she wins the general. It’s her essence as a Blue Dog in a conservative state. It might be better to focus on other candidates in other states who might overrule her ONE vote.

    Actually, by virtue of Lincoln squeaking out her win, the fate of derivatives regulation will most likely be improved. Because the biggest thing Lincoln had going for her was how she was crusading against fat cats on Wall Street with her ultra tough language that not even the White House wanted. So they delayed stripping it out until the first primary…but then we had a runoff. So now they were waiting for the inevitable Lincoln defeat and…she managed to win somehow?!

    And that’s where Blanche Lincoln finds herself. Acquiesce on the tough derivatives language and guarantee that she loses big time, or fight for the language and give herself the best possible of chance of not losing THAT badly.

    So…yeah, I have a pretty good idea of what is going to happen if she even wants to have a chance of winning that election.

    And again, I am amazed at how people are just forgetting that this primary challenge against Blanche Lincoln by labor was OVER A YEAR IN THE MAKING!

    @Brien Jackson:

    Arguing over whether Halter or Lincoln is the “better candidate” is like arguing over whether Kansas City or Baltimore is more likely to win the World Series this year.

    No. It’s like arguing over who to vote for in a Democratic primary.

  222. 222
    Bender says:

    you should get off your ass and make sure this sort of action, primarying bad politicians, becomes more rather than less common.

    Yes, purge all centrist infidels from the Bocialist Party! There must be only one HiveMind! All those who stray from the Scriptures of Markos must be destroyed! Small-But-Pure Tent!

  223. 223
    Mike Kay says:

    cruch.

    cruch

    [eating popcorn]

    cruch

    cruch

    cruch

  224. 224

    Some of you will insist on confusing Hamsher with the Left or progressives. That’s pretty much the equivalent of calling Obama a Communist because he’s not a Bircher. I know quite a few Lefties and even more progressives and I don’t know of one that doesn’t consider Grover Norquist absolute poison. I don’t know what the fuck Hamsher is, but the Left ain’t playing in that sandbox, that is something different going on.

  225. 225
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @ChicagoTom:

    Not to get all conspiratorial, but on the day of the runoff, there were only 2 polling places (down from 42 for the first election) in all of Garland County (Halter’s strongest county and Lincoln’s weakest)

    I mentioned that in another thread. It’s incredibly suspicious to me.

  226. 226
    Nick says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Only to people as dense as you, it was.

    so 95% of the country then.

  227. 227
    gwangung says:

    Some of you will insist on confusing Hamsher with the Left or progressive

    Hmph. I think that’s true of “hippie” punchers and punchees.

    But the point is well taken by anyone. You can certainly criticize Hamsher’s tactics and still support progressive ideas and policies.

    (Hm. Can we encourage the use of liberal and progressive as adjectives instead of nouns, as well?).

  228. 228
    Resident Firebagger says:

    The comment made by Rahm the anonymous Democratic official about “labor” flushing $10M on Halter is made out of fear. The Dems see the drooling moron teabaggers organizing and forcing out establishment Republicans, and they don’t want their base getting more ideas.

    In truth, we should be kinda embarrassed. If the lunatics can take over the Republican Party, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to infiltrate the Democratic Party with something other than corporate toadies.

  229. 229
    Jules says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    It is not that suspicious.
    This is Arkansas and we have a higher then average percentage of morons.
    The guy who made the decision has resigned:
    http://www.arktimes.com/Arkans.....erComments

    Though I would have been highly pissed if I live in Garland County and my local polling place has been closed. There is a pending lawsuit…I think.
    Not that it would change the outcome of the election.

  230. 230
    Paula says:

    @Midnight Marauder: I think we are agreeing to disagree about whether Halter would be a more reliable Democratic vote than Lincoln because we’re disagreeing about what we assume AR could “bear” in terms of liberal policy. Being “against the banks” should not be taken as a sign of a larger progressive trend in the state, IMO.

  231. 231

    If the lunatics can take over the Republican Party, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to infiltrate the Democratic Party with something other than corporate toadies.

    Maybe the wingnuts can rent us some of their extra lunatics. We’re coming up a little short for the complete clusterfuck threshold requirement. Nice spoofery, btw.

  232. 232
    Nick says:

    @ChicagoTom:

    Not to get all conspiratorial, but on the day of the runoff, there were only 2 polling places (down from 42 for the first election) in all of Garland County (Halter’s strongest county and Lincoln’s weakest)
    Did it make a difference in the outcome? I dunno.
    DId it most likely depress Halters numbers? Most likely

    Turnout in Garland County was down about 30% from May 18, about the same as statewide, so it depressed her numbers as much as his. If there was disenfranchisement in Garland County, people overcame it.

    and Garland County wasn’t Halter’s strongest, some fo the counties down along the Texas and Louisiana border were much stronger for him. That was his base.

  233. 233
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Nick:

    so 95% of the country then.

    Misery Density loves company, I guess.

    @Jules:

    Though I would have been highly pissed if I live in Garland County and my local polling place has been closed. There is a pending lawsuit…I think.
    Not that it would change the outcome of the election.

    Maybe not, but just because the guy is a moron doesn’t make it less suspicious. Either way, I’m glad to see a lawsuit is being filed.

    @Paula:

    I think we are agreeing to disagree about whether Halter would be a more reliable Democratic vote than Lincoln because we’re disagreeing about what we assume AR could “bear” in terms of liberal policy. Being “against the banks” should not be taken as a sign of a larger progressive trend in the state, IMO.

    But see, I think enough information is there to demonstrate that Lincoln was particularly egregious in her obstruction, well beyond her fellow Arkansas Democrat, Mark Pryor. Lincoln went out of her way to attempt and sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Moreover, I think if you want to make a state like Arkansas more amenable to liberal policies, you need a representative who is not roundly despised by the citizens of the state at the forefront. Again, I believe there is a substantially better chance of that happening with someone like Halter on the ticket versus Lincoln.

  234. 234
    Tsulagi says:

    Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you always lose if you never try.

    Likely the way the unions saw it too. Common sense. Have told my two spawn the same thing more than once.

    But what didn’t show any common sense was the “flushing down the toilet” comment from the senior WH official. Plain dumb. Now they look back instead of forward. Smart.

    #1 priority and reason for living for both parties is getting elected/reelected. Instead of saying to the unions, one of the Dems largest campaign contributors and GOTV orgs something along the lines of “Okay, we had a disagreement on this race, no big deal” they’re told “Neener neener, in your face, we won; howdya like that sound of your millions swirling down the toilet?!”

    Wonder how much money the admin flushed down the toilet to hire brilliance like that.

  235. 235
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Try to keep up, this was tangentially about AR – it was about Congress and Unions.

    Wasn’t one of Lincoln’s chief closing arguments that she was the candidate for Arkansas and Halter was the candidate backed by outside players? It seems like that’s a large potential downside to campaigning as though the specific state was “tangential.”+ The bullshit part about Lincoln’s strategy, if I have gauged it right, is that she’s good for Arkansas _business_ but crap for Arkansas _citizens_.

    I thought the initial appeal of Halter was that he was supposed to be Democrat-populist rather than Democrat-corporatist. But if being backed by blogs and unions made him seem more of a national symbol and _less_ in tune with everyday voters of the state he wanted to represent, their backing seems like a tremendously counterproductive strategy. (And BTW it’s almost the exact opposite of what Conway was beginning to attempt against Paul in KY: defining him as the pawn of national/out-of-state interests rather than the authentic grassroots, or, bluegrassroots, I guess.)

    + Not that Halter himself did that — I wouldn’t know, not being in AR — but it seems like a leitmotif of the union/blog campaign for him.

  236. 236

    @Tsulagi:

    yup. exactly right.

    poor winners are just as lame as sore losers. It was an unnecessary insult to an important democratic constituency.

  237. 237
    Nick says:

    @Tsulagi:

    “Neener neener, in your face, we won; howdya like that sound of your millions swirling down the toilet?!”

    That wasn’t what was meant by them at all, but reactionaries do tend to interpret things badly.

    It was more like “You dumb fucks, we could’ve used that money somewhere where unions are a lot more powerful and popular”

  238. 238
    Bill Section 147 says:

    @Brien Jackson: Nobody didn’t win. Nobody didn’t even get a vote. Sure you spent nothing but you also got nothing. And your strategy will get nobody elected – it never has. Ever.

  239. 239
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Tsulagi:

    they’re told “Neener neener, in your face, we won; howdya like that sound of your millions swirling down the toilet?!”

    IMHO it was more of a world-weary “toldja so” than a “neener neener, in your face.”

  240. 240
    kuvasz says:

    It was a Long March too from Jiangxi to Shaanxi, citizen.

    The only sure way to be beaten is not attempting to win.

    “Don’t waste any time in mourning. Organize”
    Joe Hill

  241. 241
    Mike Kay says:

    Rahm 13 Hamsher 0

    This is getting bloody. As some point the refs should stage an intervention.

  242. 242
    kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Wasn’t one of Lincoln’s chief closing arguments that she was the candidate for Arkansas and Halter was the candidate backed by outside players? I

    It was, and I think that’s always effective in rural areas. Works like a charm here, anyway. I watched a Club For Growth-backed GOP House candidate get clobbered here and all his opposition had to say was “they’re coming from outside and telling you how to vote”. The winner ran ad after ad on “outsiders””. Local Republicans resented the hell out of what they saw as “interference”.

    Bill Clinton is no dummy. I think it’s safe to assume he knows what he’s doing in Arkansas.

  243. 243

    @Bill Section 147:

    Funny, the last time I checked Arkansas wasn’t the only state that had representation in the US Senate.

  244. 244
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    IMHO it was more of a world-weary “toldja so” than a “neener neener, in your face.”

    Either way, it was a highly counterproductive statement.

  245. 245

    @FlipYrWhig:
    There’s a difference between motives and what you say in public. Electioneering for votes is one thing, what you’re saying to politicians in other places is another all together. I would not made it possible for Lincoln to credibly make the claim to being the local candidate regardless of what I was doing for Halter from where.

    The question is about support and money. Take a stroll down historical lane and see how often incumbents are challenged at all much less pushed to a 2+ point win in Primaries. As long term muscle flexing this makes a lot of sense, short term is a more difficult question to answer.

    The Dean 50 State strategy is similar (now abandoned because it “worked”) in that respect. A certain amount of competitive race money was spent on non-competitive states with the idea of building to competition later. Doesn’t work short term – ah well. We’ll not find out about it now because Obama won.

  246. 246
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Resident Firebagger:

    In truth, we should be kinda embarrassed. If the lunatics can take over the Republican Party, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to infiltrate the Democratic Party with something other than corporate toadies.

    It took the lunatics 30 years to infiltrate the Republicans to that level. As survey after survey has shown, teabaggers are only slightly to the right of Republican legislators, so, contrary to what the media has been claiming, they’re not some kind of brand-new uprising. They’re just a league or two further on from the main branch.

    Current progressives don’t have the stamina to work for 30 years to take over the Democrats from the inside the way the crazies took over the Republicans. I wish to God we did, but I’ve seen too many people flip out because Obama hasn’t fixed 30 years of Republican misrule during his first 18 months in office to think that it’s possible at this point. If we can stop throwing a fucking temper tantrum every time something doesn’t go our way, then maybe I’ll believe that progressives are finally in it for the long haul.

  247. 247
    Nick says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Either way, it was a highly counterproductive statement.

    In response to a highly counterproductive move by labor. I don’t know if whoever said it should have said, but I know I agree with him/her 1000%. If Rand Paul and Rob Portman win because labor spent money in Arkansas Conway and Fisher could’ve used, they deserve another decade of being whipped around by corporate whores.

  248. 248
    Mike Kay says:

    @Tsulagi: don’t get so sanctimonious. This is a two way street. The day after the initial primary, when Lincoln was declared dead, they danced “ding dong the witch is dead” and said “Neener neener, in your face RAHM!, we won” Just read their May 19th posts. It’s as if none of yous remember the ugly racist caricature of Loserman in blackface. Hubris abounds. Of course, it’s okay if you’re a blogger.

  249. 249
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tsulagi:

    they’re told “Neener neener, in your face, we won; howdya like that sound of your millions swirling down the toilet?!”

    I kind of liked Citizen Alan’s take on it in another thread where he said this was more about the aristocracy telling the dirty peons to know their place.

    I mean, you’ve got Bill Clinton stumping for her and she wins by 2%? How much does anyone think he’s worth in statewide elections in AR? Maybe 5%? More?

    And the fact that a two term incumbent squeaked by, even after outspending her opponent 2 to 1, AND she had Bill Clinton admonishing people they were morons if they voted for Halter.

  250. 250
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Nick:

    In response to a highly counterproductive move by labor.

    Labor would disagree with you on that point.

    @Nick:

    If Rand Paul and Rob Portman win because labor spent money in Arkansas Conway and Fisher could’ve used, they deserve another decade of being whipped around by corporate whores.

    Because, of course, labor doesn’t have the ability to raise replacement funds for what they spent in Arkansas over the next 5 months. Nor do they have a sizable warchest saved up specifically for targeted competitive races in the general election.

    Nope. Those things do not exist.

  251. 251

    @Mike Kay: Do you have any other pet ponies to ride? We all know the one trick this one is capable of. What the hell, did you date Jane and she threw you over in favor of cancer?

  252. 252
    Mike Kay says:

    This is one the worst posts ever.

    Money doesn’t grow on trees, especially 10,000.000.00.

    Instead of spending that dough on getting even with some witch in a race that even halter supporters say would have been an uphill fight, the cash could have been used in competitive races in Ohio and Kentucky, or at the very least, in support of endangered LOYAL LIBERALS like Boxer.

    But nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

    Rage on, sports fans.

  253. 253
    Terrell says:

    strong>I simply refuse to see how it was a bad decision to support Halter.</strong

    The unions spent millions on this primary. Surely these millions would have been better spent in November on a swing state.

    Needless to say, I think it was a terrible decision to spend all this money on a primary. Furthermore, this is Arkansas. Neither Halter or Lincoln would have a chance in November. So, what was the point?

  254. 254
    Nick says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Labor would disagree with you on that point.

    I would expect they would

    Because, of course, labor doesn’t have the ability to raise replacement funds for what they spent in Arkansas over the next 5 months

    Oh ye of little political knowledge…a loss like this has the nasty effect of leading to disillusionment and hopelessness, and tends to lead to lower fundraising totals for the losing side. So, in a way, labor just screwed itself royally. What is their fundraising pitch going to be “We ALMOST won Arkansas, give to us and we can ALMOST beat Ben Nelson too?”

  255. 255
    Terrell says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Because, of course, labor doesn’t have the ability to raise replacement funds for what they spent in Arkansas over the next 5 months. Nor do they have a sizable warchest saved up specifically for targeted competitive races in the general election.

    I’m glad the Unions have unlimited funds. I guess I won’t bother to donate this fall then.

  256. 256
    Paula says:

    Yes, Barbara Boxer is in danger out here in “liberal” CA, kiddies.

  257. 257
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Nick:

    Oh ye of little political knowledge…a loss like this has the nasty effect of leading to disillusionment and hopelessness, and tends to lead to lower fundraising totals for the losing side. So, in a way, labor just screwed itself royally. What is their fundraising pitch going to be “We ALMOST won Arkansas, give to us and we can ALMOST beat Ben Nelson too?”

    Unless, of course, you don’t view the outcome of the election as disillusioning or hopeless…like a great deal of people in this thread…and the unions.

    So I get your point, but just understand that on this side of the tracks, people don’t find a 52-48 loss to a two-term incumbent who had to resort to getting Bill Clinton to yell at people about how the union are evil and trying to trick them to be disillusioning.

    In fact, over here, it’s a pretty fucking impressive accomplishment.

  258. 258
    Mike Kay says:

    @Nick: Shhhh. Pravda says it’s a victory. You disagree with the “official” version of events at your peril.

  259. 259
    Tsulagi says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I kind of liked Citizen Alan’s take on it in another thread where he said this was more about the aristocracy telling the dirty peons to know their place.

    That sounds about right. How dare those dumb fuck peons try to compete in all 50 states when they could have been told where to dutifully put their money.

    @Mike Kay: No idea what you were trying to say so I’ll just assume you’re still getting your starbursts mooning at the FDL windmills in your mind.

  260. 260
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Terrell:

    I’m glad the Unions have unlimited funds. I guess I won’t bother to donate this fall then.

    Who said anything about unlimited funds? They certainly have $100 million set aside for the general, and that’s nothing to sneeze. I seem to remember people getting panicked about Karl Rove and his “shadow RNC” having $130 million, and just look at the batshit insane candidates they’re going to be throwing that money behind in the general.

    All I’m saying is that the unions clearly viewed this as a worthwhile investment, and they feel like they got something out of it to build on in the future, even if they did not accomplish their ultimate goal.

    And if you disagree with the strategy, then why the fuck would you be donating to the unions anyway? It’s an entirely moot point.

  261. 261
    Mike Kay says:

    @Midnight Marauder: one angle that hasn’t be examined is who do the PUMAs feel after being shived in the back by Bubba. They supported Bubba through thick and thin and to the bitter end and he turned around and sunk their candidate. Must be a bitter pill.

  262. 262

    @Mike Kay:

    do the PUMAs feel after being shived in the back by Bubba

    So Halter has now morphed into a PUMA in your psychotic little mind? Are you old enough to vote?

  263. 263
    Bill Section 147 says:

    @Brien Jackson: Wow you are a genius. Keep spreading your knowledge. I remember when supporting candidates in tough races was consider a waste of money. I’ll have to go with those who bucked the that conventional wisdom and changed the way I viewed fighting battles in politics. Safe money didn’t get anywhere near the results of across-the-board effort.

    If you want to support only races where you think you have a chance to win then nothing is stopping you.

    I am still glad with everything but the 2010 Arkansas primary result.

  264. 264
    Mike Kay says:

    @Chuck Butcher: I guess you can’t read. The PUMAs who supported Halter and halter are mutually exculsive subjects. Try again, ass wipe.

  265. 265

    @Corner Stone:

    I fail to see why you’re still obsessing over Lincoln. The relevant point is that neither Halter nor Lincoln have much of a chance of winning in November, so it’s pointless to even worry about the primary.

  266. 266

    @Bill Section 147:

    We’ve already established that labor doesn’t have enough money to contest every election, so this “across the board” nonsense isn’t going to stick.

  267. 267
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m pretty sure Labor already knows how they feel about Bill Clinton. This wasn’t a soap opera last minute reveal.
    And like all advocacy groups, Labor will work with him and his affiliates when it makes sense, and work to further their own separate goals when that makes sense.
    As much as some here have tried to make this about feelings, or spite, or some childish nonsense, I think it should be pretty clear that Labor did not commit resources and millions of dollars to be able to shoot someone the finger at the end of the day.
    Other single interest advocates may get away with that attitude at some points in their charter, but not many and not often.

  268. 268
    Bill Section 147 says:

    @Terrell: You find gladness in the strangest way.

    And because you think the Unions misspent their funds you conclude you do not need to donate in the Fall. Shouldn’t the conclusion be that all of those races the Union should have spent their money on will need more money? And wouldn’t that mean that you should be donating more?

    Those races need your money. Punishing your candidates to get back at the Union leadership doesn’t seem to be a very wise strategy.

  269. 269
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brien Jackson: That’s what this thread is about. The Halter v Lincoln primary challenge in AR.

    The relevant point is that neither Halter nor Lincoln have much of a chance of winning in November, so it’s pointless to even worry about the primary.

    You don’t disappoint, my friend.

  270. 270
    Bill Section 147 says:

    @Brien Jackson: Only contributing to the Brien Jackson approved races has not worked for anyone and to assume that your plan would work better than to attempt an across-the-board strategy makes no sense. I think Dean had a pretty solid idea with the 50-State Strategy. You act as if the Union leadership got drunk one night and decided to blow a wad on Halter. I would guess they gave it more thought than that. But you…if only they would have listened to you.

  271. 271

    @Mike Kay:

    Try again, ass wipe.

    I can’t think of much of anything more gratifying than to be insulted by you, it is virtually a badge of honor. You wrote that tangled shit, not me – and you’re still on the same pet pony with your head up its ass.

  272. 272
    JMY says:

    @cat48:

    It would be interesting to see the WH (particularly the President) push back against the Glenn’s, Hamsher’s, Kos’ of the world. The downside is that it will create so much turmoil inside the Democratic Party.

    This “source” sounds too much like Rahm, btw.

  273. 273
    Larv says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    I don’t really see why they would need to contest every election. From Labor’s perspective, this wasn’t about putting a Dem in office. It was about putting the fear of god into Lincoln and other Congresspeople that they think may be taking the unions for granted, rather than earning their support. It’s not necessary to repeat it in every state as long as the threat is credible. Was 10M too much to spend to send this message? Maybe, but Labor doesn’t seem to think so.

    As for your point about neither being able to win the general, again, from Labor’s perspective that’s irrelevant. In fact it’s a slight plus, because it means they can send the message without potentially costing the Dems a seat.

    Now, the question of whether progressive (non-union) activists would have been wiser to donate their money to more competitive races is a whole ‘nother question.

  274. 274
    Corner Stone says:

    @JMY:

    It would be interesting to see the WH (particularly the President) push back against the Glenn’s, Hamsher’s, Kos’ of the world.

    Is this snark? Are you being funny?

  275. 275

    @Larv:

    activists would have been wiser to donate their money to more competitive races is a whole ‘nother question.

    It was a 2+ point Primary race and that’s competitive – what’s your point? The General? That would be in Nov?

  276. 276
    Mike Kay says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Heh!

  277. 277
    JMY says:

    @Corner Stone:

    No, I’m not. I’m just responding to a comment.

  278. 278
    Mike Kay says:

    @JMY:

    It would be interesting to see the WH (particularly the President) push back against the Glenn’s, Hamsher’s, Kos’ of the world.

    The blogosphere rings all the bells when it comes to self importance, but this is silly.

    Why would any president lower themselves to get into a mud fight with a blogger, and conversely elevate an almost completely unknown self publisher.

  279. 279
    JMY says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Did I say it was a good idea? I’m just responding to what cat48 said:

    OK, so it is fine for progressives & unions to excoriate Obama continuously in public on a fucking daily basis, but the WH is to never, never say anything back! Reminds me of repugs.

  280. 280
    Mike Kay says:

    I’m laughing at this notion that some apologist are posting: “if Labor doesn’t think it was a mistake, then it wasn’t a mistake.” or alternately, “who are we to question Labor, when they have so much more experience”.

    I didn’t hear that rationalization by bloggers when Labor supported Specter over Sestak.

  281. 281
    Larv says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Yeah, I mean the general. I don’t think either of them has/had much of a chance. Halter had a lot more upside, but probably not enough.

    BTW, I’m not criticizing anyone. Who you donate to is your own business. I’m just pointing out that the unions and individual donors don’t necessarily have the same priorities. If your goal is electing Dems, AR seems like a long shot. If you mostly just want to scare some Blue Dogs, though, that’s fine by me. The problem is that several people here are pretending that only one of those motivations is acceptable or even conceivable.

  282. 282

    @Mike Kay:
    I do wonder if the only person more obsessed with FDL than you is Jane, herself. It’s a blog and while Jane may have delusions of importance there’s no reason to fall for it. Halter was not a product of them, he was a product of Lincoln. He was a product of general disgust with a number of Democratic incumbents.

  283. 283
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    but I’ve seen too many people flip out because Obama hasn’t fixed 30 years of Republican misrule during his first 18 months in office to think that it’s possible at this point.

    Come on. Let’s have a little intellectual honesty here. There’s a big difference between Obama not fixing the damage done by his predecessor, and Obama actively continuing and even expanding upon some of the worst policies of his predecessor (see Afghanistan, for example).

    The idea that people are pissed just because Obama hasn’t fixed everything yet is a straw man that needs to die.

  284. 284

    @Bill Section 147:

    Even putting aside the continued ignorance of what the 50 state strategy was, when is the last time the DNC put $10 million of its own money into a single Senate race?

  285. 285

    @Larv: I don’t know why you’d assume that money in individual hands isn’t readily replacable by Nov. I like Primaries, that is when the voters have a chance to determine the direction of their Party, by the General it is frequently a choice of the lesser evil.

    Hell, I’m a big fan of sticking any available finger in the corporatist/plutocratic eye at any available time.

  286. 286
    Mike Kay says:

    @NR:

    Obama actively continuing and even expanding upon some of the worst policies of his predecessor (see Afghanistan, for example).

    The war in afghanistian was supported by eveyone except Barbara Lee. The vote was 424-1 in the house and 100-0 in the senate. Yes, even Kucinich and Wellstone (he was still alive), and Conyers, and Feingold, and Teddy, and Sanders, and Mr. 2-Americas John Edwards ALL supported the invasion. Hell, even Howard Dean supported the invasion. But no, they’re all worse than bush.

  287. 287

    @Larv:

    , this wasn’t about putting a Dem in office. It was about putting the fear of god into Lincoln and other Congresspeople that they think may be taking the unions for granted, rather than earning their support.

    I’m not sure how this is much of a defense either, since that only works in states that tend to lean your way, not states where you’re at a disadvantage.

  288. 288
    Mike Kay says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Hey, Hey!

  289. 289

    @Brien Jackson: @Brien Jackson:

    ignorance of what the 50 state strategy was

    Do you have a clue? Dean was continually slammed by some in this Admin for the expenditures, that would include Rahm. I was a Party player in the 50 State and I do know something about it.

    You continue to act as though Labor is the Democratic Party and has reason to act like DNC/etc does.

  290. 290
    Larv says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    I don’t know why you keep insisting that this is only about AR. What if AR is just where Labor decided to send their message, trusting that media coverage would convey it to other labor-unfriendly Dems? Call it the Ledeen theory of party politics: Every few years an interest group needs to pick up a candidate and throw them against the wall, just to show them they mean business.

  291. 291
    kay says:

    @NR:

    (see Afghanistan, for example).

    Really poor example. You weren’t listening if you thought Obama was going anywhere on Afghanistan. In fact, he made headlines during the primary when he announced he was probably going into Pakistan. Remember that?

    That’s what he said. He was the most forthright and specific on Afghanistan of any candidate in either Party. I was really surprised he went that far, but I remember the DAY he brought in Pakistan and he’s done exactly what he promised he would.

  292. 292

    @Larv:

    What if AR is just where Labor decided to send their message

    Well, then it’s really dumb. I mean, if that’s all you’re trying to do, go to a labor-friendly state. At the very least pick a more neutral state. Don’t go to a state as anti-labor as Arkansas, especially when everyone knows both of the candidates will get their ass kicked in November.

  293. 293
    Jay B. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Current progressives don’t have the stamina to work for 30 years to take over the Democrats from the inside the way the crazies took over the Republicans. I wish to God we did, but I’ve seen too many people flip out because Obama hasn’t fixed 30 years of Republican misrule during his first 18 months in office to think that it’s possible at this point.

    Yeah, could you imagine if “current progressives” supported challengers in primaries, had some successes and some failures and are consistently opposed in these efforts by the Democratic establishment, not to mention scores of short-sighted and smug defenders of the status quo — and these progressives kept doing it, despite losing?

    That would be weird. And, certainly wrong headed. I like the idea of ‘taking over a party’ with silence and endless obedience. The party will come around eventually.

    What’s this thread about anyway? Oh yeah, those losers at Kos. Hahahahahaha. Losers.

  294. 294
    kay says:

    @NR:

    July 2008:

    “The Afghan government needs to do more. But we have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent here in Afghanistan. And I believe this has to be our central focus, the central front, on our battle against terrorism,” Obama said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

    “I think one of the biggest mistakes we’ve made strategically after 9/11 was to fail to finish the job here, focus our attention here. We got distracted by Iraq,” he said.

    Obama said troop levels must increase in Afghanistan.

    “For at least a year now, I have called for two additional brigades, perhaps three,” he told CBS. “I think it’s very important that we unify command more effectively to coordinate our military activities.”

    No one should be surprised by Obama’s position on Afghanistan.

  295. 295
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jay B.: clap harder.

  296. 296
    Larv says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I don’t know why you’d assume that money in individual hands isn’t readily replacable by Nov.

    Sorry if I gave that impression, but I’m assuming no such thing. I have no problem with anything in your comment, and I don’t think we actually disagree. What comment of mine are you objecting to?

  297. 297
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Paula:

    No, she’s not. She was theoretically in “danger” in a general election because she was polling about 10 points ahead of a generic Republican, but she is in zero danger of losing to Carly Fiorina.

    It’s funny, I remember the pundits talking about the “danger” that Feinstein was in during her last election. She won with over 70 percent of the vote. They just love to try and speculate about the Democrat losing “liberal” California, and they’re always proved badly wrong.

    Pretty much the only way Boxer is going to lose to Fiorina is if she’s caught with the proverbial dead boy or live girl, and even then I think Silicon Valley would rally in Boxer’s favor.

  298. 298
    kay says:

    @NR:

    2007:

    Obama said if elected in November 2008 he would be willing to attack inside Pakistan with or without approval from the Pakistani government, a move that would likely cause anxiety in the already troubled region. “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” Obama said.

    I don’t know that it gets much clearer than that last sentence.

    I suppose he could have added “and kill them all”.

    Anyway, I felt I completely understood his intent there.

  299. 299
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    I mean, if that’s all you’re trying to do, go to a labor-friendly state. At the very least pick a more neutral state. Don’t go to a state as anti-labor as Arkansas, especially when everyone knows both of the candidates will get their ass kicked in November.

    You know EXACTLY why the unions chose Arkansas. You just happen to feel this way about it:

    Well, then it’s really dumb.

    But stop fucking pretending like the choice of Arkansas was some kind of random occurrence.

  300. 300

    @Larv:
    Well, this:

    Now, the question of whether progressive (non-union) activists would have been wiser to donate their money to more competitive races is a whole ‘nother question.

    Maybe you meant less by it than I took it to mean.

  301. 301
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay B.:

    Yeah, could you imagine if “current progressives” supported challengers in primaries, had some successes and some failures and are consistently opposed in these efforts by the Democratic establishment, not to mention scores of short-sighted and smug defenders of the status quo — and these progressives kept doing it, despite losing?

    The Birchers didn’t take over the Republicans by voting. That’s pissant shit. They took over by running for office for everything from dogcatcher to school board. They took over by actually working for the party apparatus and getting themselves into positions of power in the party. Show me which vocal progressives are going out and volunteering to be precinct captains. That’s what the teabaggers are doing, and that’s why they’re getting their candidates nominated when we’re not.

    This is exactly what I’m talking about. All you’re thinking about is voting when voting is the very last step in the process and where you have the least amount of power. This is why the conservatives have been kicking our asses for the past 30 years — they’re willing to do the work to get themselves into the non-elected positions of power that allow them to pick the candidates. We’d rather bitch and moan about how no one hands us good candidates on a silver platter.

    If you want to change the quality of the candidates, get up off your fucking lazy ass and work for it like the conservatives did. But I guess whining on the internet and showing up in the voting booth once or twice a year is easier than actually dedicating the necessary time.

  302. 302

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Right, they wanted to get Lincoln. Still dumb.

  303. 303
    Mike Kay says:

    @kay: Over time a lot of lefties have passively conflated Iraq with Afghanistan. I think some view anything that touched bush’s hand (even a poorly reactive hand) must be bad.

    They seem to forget that Afghanistan was the base for the attack on the USS Cole, the African Embassy bombings, and 9/11, and that Mullah Omar, Bin Laden, and Ayman al-Zawahiri are still at large.

  304. 304
    Mike Kay says:

    @Brien Jackson: Shhhh. The left can never be wrong. The left can only be wronged.

  305. 305
    Larv says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Could you expand on this a bit? It’s not clear to me why the union-friendliness of the state or the competitiveness of the election matters. As I said above, the fact that the Dems have almost no chance in the general isn’t a bad thing if you’re primarily trying to send a message. It means you don’t cost the Dems a seat if you successfully primary your target and end up with an inferior candidate for the general. What matters is that the message is sent: If Dem politicians are sufficiently dismissive of Labor, they will devote lots of resources to primarying your ass, even in a lost-cause election in freaking Arkansas.

    As for labor-friendliness, how many truly bad Dems are there on labor issues in union-friendly states? It seems like most potential targets of such a warning are likely to be from less union-friendly states.

  306. 306
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Larv:

    Could you expand on this a bit?

    That is literally his entire point.

  307. 307
    kay says:

    @Mike Kay:

    I don’t usually opine on foreign policy because I don’t know enough. I was completely confident, however, that Obama was going to ramp up Afghanistan. Clinton and McCain would have too, but Obama didn’t hide it one iota.

    He said so. Not only that, he said he was going into Pakistan whenever he saw cause, and doing whatever he felt necessary.

    “We will act”.

    He’s drawing down in Iraq and focusing on AfPak, and that’s what he said he’d do.

    There’s nothing whatever wrong with Code Pink or whomever objecting to his AfPak deal, but they shouldn’t be shocked and hurt.

  308. 308
    Jay B. says:

    @Mike Kay:

    That doesn’t even make the sense you normally don’t make. It’s not about clapping harder and hoping for magic, it’s about organization, fundraising, inspiration, planning, phone banking, canvassing, more fundraising, recruitment, cajoling, and making yourself heard. The Internet is a great tool that helps facilitate that, including and especially participation. Scores of people on Kos have started running for office, and winning — and they credit the site for helping spur their interest. That’s how to establish a movement beyond a single election cycle, which is something some of you idiots can’t seem to grasp.

    You can mock this shit all you want, but it’s a fact that kos has established something. You’ve done dick. He got noticed by the national party. You’ve made a name for yourself for being the Net’s leading Jane Hamsher fetishist. Regardless of the loss, he was instrumental in getting Halter to run AND, in 6 months, raise $3.4 million.

    You can keep on thinking that’s it’s totally stupid, emo and futile or you can see it for what it is: an attempt to have a better, more responsive Democratic party. Will it be successful in the way that the crazy right was successful in capturing the GOP? No way of knowing. But it’s more than possible.

    The idea that, because some “progressives” aren’t happy with the way things are right now (the nerve!), that they’ve just given up and are simply content with bitching is just wrong. The reality is that you can criticize AND plan for the future. Really.

    And I expect that whatever happens as a generation of internet-oriented politicians start coming into office, you and Brien Jackson will still think it was a failure because one time Jane Hamsher had sex with Grover Norquist or something.

  309. 309
    NobodySpecial says:

    Remember the battle cry of the Brien Jacksons of the Democratic Party:

    Nothing Can Be Done.

    Now, as to why they’re following a guy whose battle cry is ‘Yes We Can!’ Got no clue.

    I can’t help but think that these people were the same ones who were complaining about supporting folks like Tester not so long ago. The ones who support McCauliffe’s ‘Triple Bank Shot’ strategy.

    In other words, losers.

  310. 310

    Jayzus on a crutch, the electioneering of the Democratic Party and its various wings like DSCC is a completely different thing from Labor. Labor has its own reasons and its own future that may or may not coincide with Democratic electioneering. Brien wants Labor to be the Democratic Party and have its ends – it isn’t and it doesn’t.

    Lets get to the very core of what Labor is about – distribution of weath and benefit in opposition to the plutocratic agenda. That is by definition LEFT. Some of you want to confuse all kinds of things with that and it won’t work and you’ll be confused by Labor. Labor will look wrong if you assume that the Democratic Party is Labor. Some rather large chunks are very Labor oriented and get a hell of a lot of support from Labor. DPO has had a very good relationship with Labor, even so there are strains at times because they are not the same thing.

    Robt Gibbs today stuck a finger in their eye when he should have kept trap shut. That will not be helpful. The answer should have been that it is Labor’s money – end point. It doesn’t matter what the fucking WH feels about it because it is Labor’s money and they don’t owe the fucking Admin their belly button lint.

  311. 311
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jay B.: Clap Louder! Heh!

  312. 312
    Jay B. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This is why the conservatives have been kicking our asses for the past 30 years—they’re willing to do the work to get themselves into the non-elected positions of power that allow them to pick the candidates. We’d rather bitch and moan about how no one hands us good candidates on a silver platter.

    That’s just not true. There is an entire generation of candidates who are running, right now, because of their experience on kos or other outlets. Voting is only part of it. Granted this has only been going on for 5 years or so — and there have been failures — but it’s being willfully obtuse to bitch about “progressives” not doing anything, especially when they DO do something, like recruit a high-profile, credible candidate to run against an incumbent, you complain about that too. Because liberals have largely ceded politics to the right — up to about 5 years ago — they are still in the beginning of the process. It’s frustrating.

    And you think that kos isn’t getting to the point of “non-elected positions of power”? He got Hilary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to go to his convention two years ago.

    It seems that you’re the one who is looking for quick fixes and instant credibility, at least regarding who controls the Democratic Party. It’ll take longer still.

  313. 313
    Mike Kay says:

    The left has become as bad as the right.

    The left is unable to admit a mistake and instead they point fingers and offer rationalizations and cower in self pity and self victimization.

    They seriously need a shrink, otherwise, they’re gonna repeat the same mistakes over and over and over again.

    Now, on to the next John Edwards.

  314. 314
    kay says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Robt Gibbs today stuck a finger in their eye when he should have kept trap shut.

    Was it him? I am to the point where I cannot stand him. I think he flat-out sucks at that job, and he’s not just press secretary, he’s close to Obama and (sadly) has a larger managerial role.

    I understand he has small children. He should spend more time with them.

    He picks up every stupid petty battle, and loses the war.

    The thing about Obama is, he really does throw people under the bus. He’s freaking ruthless. That wasn’t a false charge. I wish he would throw Robert under a wheel.

  315. 315
    Larv says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Yeah, I should have been clearer. I tried to clarify in my next comment, but all I meant was that if your main goal is electing Democrats to national office, donating to Halter might not have been the best investment, as he was very likely to lose the general even if he won the primary. But there are a number of other legitimate reasons for donating to Halter, such as sending a message to Lincoln and others like her. I don’t think there’s any one true reason to make a campaign donation; you can donate for tactical reasons, like ensuring a candidate has enough money for media buys, or you can make a more strategic donation to bring attention to an issue. Neither one is more legitimate than the other.

  316. 316
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay B.:

    That doesn’t even make the sense you normally don’t make. It’s not about clapping harder and hoping for magic, it’s about organization, fundraising, inspiration, planning, phone banking, canvassing, more fundraising, recruitment, cajoling, and making yourself heard.

    No, it’s not. That’s all working from the outside. That’s where your mistake is — you’re confusing advocacy and electioneering with party politics.

    Until Kos actually runs for office, all he’s doing is working around the edges of power hoping to get a few crumbs thrown his way. And we’ll still be standing around with our dicks in our hands wondering how the hell our crazy next-door neighbor ended up on the school board and gave them that last vote they needed to ban teaching evolution.

  317. 317
    Jay B. says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Hey Mike,

    What are you still doing here? Jane usually takes her dog out for a walk around now, it’s normally your time to rifle through her laundry.

  318. 318

    @kay:
    Gibbs responding to a question about the anon source, slightly gentler language – same effect.

  319. 319
    Mike Kay says:

    @kay: why are bloggers so thin skinned? I agree, Gibbs should lower himself to the level of someone in his/her pajamas self publishing from their basement.

    But bloggers get up every morning, get their lattes and run down to the basement and pound out one screed after another, bashing everyone in site. Yet they cry bloody murder and wilt on the faint couch with Stigmatas when anyone (in the media, in politics, in office) makes the slightest remark.

    In short, they can dish it out, but boy-O-boy, they are not built to take it.

  320. 320
    Jay B. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You 20 minutes ago on conservatives:

    This is why the conservatives have been kicking our asses for the past 30 years — they’re willing to do the work to get themselves into the non-elected positions of power that allow them to pick the candidates.

    You, now:

    Until Kos actually runs for office, all he’s doing is working around the edges of power hoping to get a few crumbs thrown his way.

    Well, when you put it as a Lose-Lose proposition, then yes, it is hopeless and we’re doomed!

  321. 321
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jay B.: Heh!

  322. 322

    @Mnemosyne:

    The Birchers didn’t take over the Republicans by voting. That’s pissant shit. They took over by running for office for everything from dogcatcher to school board. They took over by actually working for the party apparatus and getting themselves into positions of power in the party. Show me which vocal progressives are going out and volunteering to be precinct captains.

    Amen. And it really where this prog v obot schism currently lives. On the issues, we are not all that different with the big picture. It is tactics, and the equivalent of getting more liberal/progressive policies enacted. But it is more than that, it is changing the baseline for American thinking and life. Some call it a movement, others the Overton Window shifting.

    But what it is — is what Americans see when they look at an Orange. To the wingnuts, it is big bidness that brought it, it is American supply and sacrosanct above all else. It might taste good and serve as sustenance, but it is foremost a product brought only by the captains of industry.

    Liberals want Americans to look at the Orange and first think it is product of nature primarily, and therefore connected to Earth Mother that must be nurtured, or no Orange for you wingnut. And secondly, brought about by the labor of many, from the dudes who keep the tree watered and fed and protected from the elements. And that they are no less important in creating the Orange as the shiny life sustaining fruit it is, than the the growers and wholesalers and retailers and transporters to bring about the little bundle of joy. We might even add in the evil stock brokers if they weren’t such fucking thieves.

    Anyways, the moral of this rant is the leftists think making progressive change in policy and more liberal national thinking patterns is best done by running liberal politicians in places they are unlikely to win, and repeating it till voters see the light, and not having much problem letting the wingers take the reigns of power in hopes they will fuck shit up even more and cause voters to then turn to liberals. This sometimes works, but is sporadic at best. And never turns into the one fell swoop change fantasy.

    We Obots think that it all starts with holding power, even with imperfect and even sometimes assholish dems, and then fighting for progressive, but far from perfect legislation that is incremental in nature and fits nicely with the prog definition. IOW’s elect the best candidate you can for a given electorate, and then try and get the best new laws you can. The draw back here is where to draw the line with slacker conservadems, to where they promote no, or little progress and must go. I draw that line with routinely joining gooper filibusters line B. Nelson, others seem to make it at threatening them, or that most here seem to think it is anything less than Bernie Sanders.

    I do not agree with, and fight against the last category. Consider this. Go and compare Blanche Lincoln’s voting record with the likely one you would get from her winger opponent.

  323. 323

    @Mnemosyne:
    Horseshit, some people make good candidates, other people are much more effective working at it. I know people who have huge measures of respect in political circles and influence who have never run and shouldn’t. You generally don’t even know their names unless there’s a reason to.

  324. 324
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @kay:

    Was it him? I am to the point where I cannot stand him. I think he flat-out sucks at that job, and he’s not just press secretary, he’s close to Obama and (sadly) has a larger managerial role.

    He wasn’t the person responsible for the anonymous quote that sparked this whole brouhaha off, but he certainly did not help matters by saying this:

    “I don’t think that the President would necessarily agree with that characterization made by somebody here,” Gibbs remarked. “I think we would certainly agree that we are likely to have very close elections in many, many places throughout the country in November. And while the President may not have agreed with the exact characterization, I think that whether or not that money might have been better spent in the fall on closer elections between people who cared about an agenda that benefited working families and those that didn’t, that money might come in more handy then.”
    __
    “I think that everybody that supported one of the Democrats will have an obligation to now — as the President would and has in races that the nominee that he has supported hasn’t one — now support the Democratic nominee,” Gibbs added.

    If you can imagine, the AFL-CIO was none too please by that last comment.

  325. 325
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay B.:

    Granted this has only been going on for 5 years or so — and there have been failures — but it’s being willfully obtuse to bitch about “progressives” not doing anything, especially when they DO do something, like recruit a high-profile, credible candidate to run against an incumbent, you complain about that too.

    Again — it took the Birchers 30 years to get to this level of control over the Republican Party, 40 years if you count starting with Goldwater’s campaign. You’re bitching and moaning because progressives haven’t been able to completely take over the structure of the Democratic Party within 5 years. And, as I keep trying to tell you, recruiting a candidate from the outside and picking a candidate as part of the party’s infrastructure are two very different things. Getting politicians to come to your party is very different than knowing those politicians from your days of being on the school board or the water board together.

    I’m not the one who’s been talking about giving up and ceding the presidential election to the Republicans in 2012 because Obama hasn’t done everything on your wishlist. It’s these supposedly hard-working and long-term-thinking progressives who are sulking because they’ve worked hard for five. whole. years. and they’re not POTUS yet! So now we have to soothe them with some warm milk and cookies and reassure them that they are too totally important.

  326. 326
    Jay B. says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Or did a restraining order finally come through and the bracelet won’t let you leave?

  327. 327
    Gwangung says:

    @Jay B.: Hm. I think you miss her point. Five years isn’t enough to get the penetration into the party machinery she’s talking about. It’s very basic logistics and organizational behavior that I think most people in general are ignorant of.

  328. 328
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay B.:

    Well, when you put it as a Lose-Lose proposition, then yes, it is hopeless and we’re doomed!

    As long as you want to present it as a binary:

    We can continue what we’re doing now and be continually surprised that we’re getting our asses kicked.

    We can change what we’re doing now and go to a strategy that we know is effective.

    Apparently, your choice is to continue the ineffective strategy in choice #1 because you prefer to feel hopeless and doomed than to actually take the steps needed to make real change in our political system. Some people are like that, I guess.

  329. 329
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Those are the people in the unelected positions within the party that I’ve been talking about — the precinct captains and above. The people who actually run the day-to-day operations while candidates come and go. Those people can make or break an organization, and Democrats suck ass at recruiting and holding them.

  330. 330
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jay B.: Heh!

  331. 331
    Jay B. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You’re bitching and moaning because progressives haven’t been able to completely take over the structure of the Democratic Party within 5 years.

    No, in fact, I’m telling YOU that it’s going to take more than 5 years. You are arguing with the Fake Progressive you’ve made up in your head. I reserve the right to bitch about the idiotic Democratic Party, however. I didn’t know I had to run for City Council first.

    And, as I keep trying to tell you, recruiting a candidate from the outside and picking a candidate as part of the party’s infrastructure are two very different things. Getting politicians to come to your party is very different than knowing those politicians from your days of being on the school board or the water board together.

    Since I don’t see this obvious observation as contradicting anything I’ve said, I’m not sure what you are supposed to be telling me. Here’s something I do know. Most of the current crop of Democrats cut their teeth on the wildly unsuccessful McGovern campaign. In 1972. Many have known each other since then. I see what you’re saying. Likewise, you’ll see — but soon enough! — a crop of high-profile Democrats who cut their teeth on the wildly unsuccessful Dean campaign.

    I’m not the one who’s been talking about giving up and ceding the presidential election to the Republicans in 2012 because Obama hasn’t done everything on your wishlist.

    OK. And neither have I. Still, I think Obama should continue to ignore civil liberties, worry about deficits and tweak labor, just to test your theory.

    It’s these supposedly hard-working and long-term-thinking progressives who are sulking because they’ve worked hard for five. whole. years. and they’re not POTUS yet! So now we have to soothe them with some warm milk and cookies and reassure them that they are too totally important.

    Who? Who is “sulking”? The losers over at Kos are spinning moral victories as we speak. Why?

    The bulk of the commentariat at Balloon Juice seeks to marginalize “totally important!” “emo!” “JANE HAMSHER!!!@11” “lazy!” “hopeless!” “losers!” what is, by any definition, a movement. Which is fine. But you attribute to them qualities which, largely, don’t exist. In their eyes, it hurts to lose, so yeah, there’s probably a little grumbling today — but tomorrow they’ll have another cause, another candidate, another campaign that the losers here will continue to complain about and whine that the nutroots are just a bunch of whiners who can’t change anything.

  332. 332

    @Mnemosyne:

    So now we have to soothe them with some warm milk and cookies and reassure them that they are too totally important.

    Ah cool, I’ll take mine shoved up your … nose, thank you very much.

    Somebody says we’re working not wishing and you start in with the shit. Ya know, there were a whole range of Obama voters, from fanboy mindless Obots to dedicated policy wonks, but you’re really happy to lump anything “progressive” into a whiny camp. A whole shit load of progressives and lefties have been laboring away for decades trying for incremental change but because their names aren’t Hamsher you’ll just lump away and offer up your cookies.

    I sort of expected better than Mike Kay out of you, but…

  333. 333
    Mike Kay says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Gibbs comments seem very, very tame. Which part-which words are inflamatory? to the extend anyone is angry, it seems like they’re simply looking for any outlet to vent/release their anger over last night’s loss.

  334. 334
    Mike Kay says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Clap louder. Heh!

  335. 335
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gwangung:

    Exactly. I’m talking about building a machine and Jay B. is talking about buying gas to put in the machine to keep it running. Which is necessary, but you do kinda need to have a machine to put the gas into first.

  336. 336
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Ya know, there were a whole range of Obama voters, from fanboy mindless Obots to dedicated policy wonks, but you’re really happy to lump anything “progressive” into a whiny camp.

    I’m lumping “progressives” into the whiny camp because voting is not enough and yet that’s all they seem to talk about. You need an infrastructure or your votes will just go into the ether.

    I really don’t know how I can be much more clear.

  337. 337

    @Mnemosyne:
    Gee, thanks for telling me all about an elected office I’ve held for years and years – precinct committeeman. Yes, the County Clerk just mailed me my certification once again. Maybe you’ll tell me about some more offices I might hold – like State Delegate, Co. Vice-chair, Co. Chair, Caucus Chairs, State Platform Delegate, or maybe about some offices I could run for like US Rep. Thanks, shove your cookies.

  338. 338
    NR says:

    @Mike Kay: You really are a fucking idiot. The situation surrounding our Afghanistan policy has changed dramatically in the nine years since the war began. Back in 2001, the war in Afghanistan was not the longest war the U.S. has ever fought, just to name one way it’s different. But no, just go on pretending that Afghanistan in 2010 is identical to Afghanistan in 2001.

    Just stick to whining about Jane Hamsher. It’s all you’re good at.

  339. 339
    kay says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Mike, Gibbs whole job is to make Obama look good. He’s supposed to get his boss credit.

    How’s he doing at that job?

    How did he do on getting Obama credit for stimulus, or health care, or any of the other successes? Christ, the auto company bail outs are going to be a success, and no one thought that would work, including me.

    He’s great at throwing punches at Sarah Palin (and getting her press, incredibly) , or jeering at reporters, or giving advice to unions.

    But he sucks at that job. His measure is if Obama gets credit for successes. Does that happen?

    He has to stop fighting, and start selling something. They’re in power. The election is over. His one and only trick, belligerent snarkiness, won’t work. It isn’t working. All he does is sow discord and fight stupid, pointless battles. He’s one huge puffed up ego.

  340. 340
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Good for you. Any way you can try and talk a few more progressives into doing the same thing instead of standing on the sidelines whining about how they aren’t getting their ideal candidates handed to them on a silver platter so they’re totally not going to vote in November?

  341. 341
    Jay B. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Jesus fuck. Are you just being obtuse? I’m pointing out, repeatedly, that there are kos kids running for things, and running things like campaigns, all over the country. Here are two quick examples.

    The first, from a Halter moral victory post mortem on Kos:

    * PCCC staffers Michael Snook and Keauna Gregory directed Halter’s field program and invented new ways of working seamlessly with our partners like Democracy for America and MoveOn…practices we will bring to future races that we win.

    * We mobilized 3,000 Arkansas PCCC members — and our field program empowered volunteers across the progressive movement to make a whopping 400,000 calls to Arkansas voters.

    The second from Kos-affiliated/linked/netroot Blue Hampshire:

    “Why I am running
    by: Lucy Edwards
    Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 18:27:55 PM EDT
    (Thank you, Lucy, and best of luck with your campaign. – promoted by Jennifer Daler)

    I am running for state representative in Rockingham District 1, the towns of Candia, Deerfield, Northwood and Nottingham. I will bring my experience with the strengths and challenges of small town government to the legislature. I have served as a selectwoman for Northwood, and on many of the town’s volunteer boards and committees. I have participated in the visioning for the town’s Master Plan, the creation of a public access broadcasting program, and the establishment of the Northwood Farmers Market as a founding member of the market association. I am part of a network of volunteers who keep a local newspaper available on-line and in print.

    I’m running for State Senate in District 3
    by: beverlywoods
    Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:45:21 AM EDT
    (And another hamster steps in! – promoted by Dean Barker)

    Good morning Blue Hampshire! I am here to tell you that I’ve decided to run for NH State Senate in District 3.

    I know this is going to be a lot of work. There’s no way I can do it alone. But I firmly believe that with the help of everyone who would like this to happen, we can win this election. ”

    Both machine, field drives, grassroots, elections, unelected organizing, blah, blah, blah. This is happening. Will it be successful? Who fucking knows? But you haven’t yet said one thing that exists outside your own perspective of what you think is happening.

  342. 342
    NR says:

    @kay: I’m not talking about people being “shocked and hurt,” I’m talking about Obama implementing bad policy. Lots of people here act like the only reason that people are upset with Obama is because he hasn’t fixed everything yet, but the fact is that he actively pursuing a lot of bad policies. This is a big part of the reason why people are upset with him, and to pretend otherwise is just foolish.

  343. 343
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay B.:

    OK. And neither have I. Still, I think Obama should continue to ignore civil liberties, worry about deficits and tweak labor, just to test your theory.

    Funny, you seem to have a whole theory built up in your mind for me, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what that theory is. Can you expound on it a little? You should be able to since you’ve built it for me.

  344. 344

    @Mnemosyne:
    There you go, talking about people you know Jack Shit about. Your little blog world experience has not squat to do with much of anything. Go join a goddam Co Party and meet the very people whose existance you deny. Like I said, shove your fucking cookies and your opinion based on other than real world Party politics. The people you scoff at are there year in and out whether there’s an election or not. Yep, they want more and keep working for incremental change anyways.

  345. 345
    kay says:

    @Mike Kay:

    And, they’re screwed if they ever have an actual scandal.

    I knew the Sestak stuff was partisan sniping bullshit, but Gibbs was up there sweating and hemming and hawing. Good Lord.

    Listening to him, you’d think they bugged the Watergate.

    He sounds guilty when he’s not.

  346. 346
    Jay B. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This theory. Which you ascribed to the “progressive you”:

    I’m not the one who’s been talking about giving up and ceding the presidential election to the Republicans in 2012 because Obama hasn’t done everything on your wishlist.

    That has to be theoretical, because it’s unlike anything I’ve encountered yet in reality* — however, it may yet turn out to be true, if Obama continues to shred, or not mend, the Constitution Bush seemed happy to ignore. Or did I misquote you? Is there something that you’ll continue to willfully not understand, or can I help you in any other way?

    *Acknowledging that there may be people on comment boards who’ve said something remotely like this.

  347. 347

    @kay:

    He sounds guilty when he’s not.

    His real problem is that he’s trying to live up to not
    practicing politics in politics. That’s one of the traps of
    running on bi-partisanship and a “new” way. It is still
    politics and you’ll wind up doing politics and somebody will
    notice.

  348. 348
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay B.:

    Both machine, field drives, grassroots, elections, unelected organizing, blah, blah, blah. This is happening. Will it be successful? Who fucking knows? But you haven’t yet said one thing that exists outside your own perspective of what you think is happening.

    I’m giving you the perspective of people that I hear from every day who have given up on electoral politics because voting in a single election didn’t magically fix every structural problem in the country and, frankly, I am pissed off at them. I’m especially pissed off at the people who are planning to give the Republicans another try because, hey, everyone says that Obama is doing the same things a Republican would do, so why not give the Republicans another crack at it?

    But, hey, why listen to me when every news outlet in the country is talking about the disappointed progressives who are pissed off because, “It seems like yesterday, doesn’t it? Barack Obama was going to take office, he was going to change the world and we would just go home and hit the couch.”

    Oh, yeah, the quote is from Arianna Huffington, so clearly it’s from a complete unknown who couldn’t possibly influence people to give up and not vote in November because Obama has failed them by not magically fixing 30 years of Republican misrule.

  349. 349
    kay says:

    @NR:

    I recognize that. I think he’s on schedule for Iraq and there are no surprises on Afghanistan, so I don’t accept that particular charge.

    The detention in Afghanistan is actually, really, a complicated legal issue. There’s two good faith sides to that argument. The judge that just went Obama’s way on that begged the defense to GIVE HIM A RULE. Make a battlefield distinction. They couldn’t do it. It’s in the opinion. He wanted to go their way. He couldn’t come up with a rule, and they couldn’t either. He can’t be giving all combatants held in Afghanistan show cause hearings. That’s ludicrous. They don’t get that level of process, they don’t get criminal protections, and we’ve never given combatants that level of process.
    Obama’s a flat-out hawk on Afghanistan, and he never once pretended to be anything else, is my point.
    What did you think he meant when he said he “would act” if Pakistan wouldn’t?
    He wasn’t talking about serving a warrant. He meant “kill them”.

  350. 350

    @Mnemosyne:
    And you do what? Write about milk and cookies?

  351. 351
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Is there anything more cringe-inducing than Huffington opining on the needs of the Common Man?

    It’s like we want to be a bad stereotype.

    Please. My kingdom for a credible populist. Not her. She’s killing us.

  352. 352
    Paula says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think you underestimate the amount of anti-incumbent knee-jerkism there is in the state right now given our budget crisis on top everything else on the national scene.

    In any case, LA Times actually allowed itself to write with a straight face:

    “On the Democratic side, we find that we’re no fans of incumbent Barbara Boxer. She displays less intellectual firepower or leadership than she could. We appreciate the challenge brought by Robert “Mickey” Kaus, even though he’s not a realistic contender, because he asks pertinent questions about Boxer’s “lockstep liberalism” on labor, immigration and other matters.”

    The LAT opinion page is swill precisely because they care less about honesty or coherence than about going w/ whatever popular sentiment is currently the rage. Boxer has been popular in CA in the past, so why does she suddenly merit a slap in the face like this? Carly Fiorina is a dolt but she’s a dolt with money and outsider cache (see also Whitman, Meg).

  353. 353
    Jay B. says:

    I’m giving you the perspective of people that I hear from every day who have given up on electoral politics because voting in a single election didn’t magically fix every structural problem in the country and, frankly, I am pissed off at them.

    Oh for fucksake. First, people have a right to be pissed. Whether you allow them the privilege or not, the haves are winning and the game seems fixed. Obama promised to change that and so far, he sure seems to have been listening to the “haves” more than the “wants” — fair or unfair, that’s certainly the way it seems. Beyond Obama being a self-described agent of change or the President, people would be saying that regardless of who was in power. You’ve just decided to ignore any legitimate reason they have to be angry because they happen to be pissed off during an Obama administration. And other than returning their anger, what the fuck are you doing to persuade these ignorant fucks that their lives aren’t currently in the wringer at the moment?

    Oh, yeah, the quote is from Arianna Huffington, so clearly it’s from a complete unknown who couldn’t possibly influence people to give up and not vote in November because Obama has failed them by not magically fixing 30 years of Republican misrule

    Well, it certainly seemed like you were bitching about real progressives, people who have been critical of Obama, sure, but have also worked their ass off to make a difference (even in failure!) and NOT idiot, irrelevant dilettantes who…Oh forget it.

    I bring up community/progressive organizers, kos kids and the Bill Halter candidacy and what I derive from them and you blame people for feeling like shit about the current situation of two wars, massive environmental degradation, economic uncertainty, 9.7% unemployment and sundry other catastrophes and point to Adrianna Huffington as your proof of what constitutes the progressive movement.

    Clap harder indeed.

  354. 354

    @kay: Kay, do you have a blog? Clicking your handle gives a broken link to something called ernation, or some such.

  355. 355
    kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    God, no, I don’t have a blog. Don’t I post enough swill here? I don’t think I need a whole arena.

    I have no idea what’s happening with my name, but now I’m alarmed.

  356. 356
    Mike Kay says:

    @NR:

    Hippies sure are thin skinned.

    Heh!

  357. 357
    kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I fixed it. I think.

  358. 358

    @kay: LOL, might check if something is hidden in the website clipboard just above this comment box, maybe clear it.

    edit – yup it’s fixed:)

  359. 359
    Mike Kay says:

    @kay:

    The election is over. His one and only trick, belligerent snarkiness, won’t work. It isn’t working. All he does is sow discord and fight stupid, pointless battles. He’s one huge puffed up ego.

    He’s make a good blogger.

  360. 360

    @Mike Kay:

    Hippies sure are thin skinned.

    LOL, they better be with you around. Though I support your hippie punch jihad, mostly, if only because it annoys those in need.

  361. 361
    Jay B. says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Hey Mike,

    Hey you’ve made it over a hour without worrying about Jane Hamsher. Maybe you were just carving her name in your arm. Or on your head.

    But at least you’ve socked it to those hippies! Wavy Gravy’s crying right now.

  362. 362
    Mike Kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: I really don’t see it as a jihad.

    The way I see it, I respond to the punches being thrown. I mean, you don’t see me punching Ezra or Steve Benen and that’s because they don’t write juvenile crap about how obama is evil because he won’t cry and affirm our feelings.

  363. 363
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jay B.: you need to bath in pickle juice. maybe you’ll toughen up. until then, keep the bandages handy.

    Heh!

  364. 364
    Jay B. says:

    @Mike Kay:

    And since juvenile crap is your metier, you should know!

  365. 365
    Jay B. says:

    @Mike Kay:

    I’m not the screeching emo stalker, dude.

  366. 366

    @Mike Kay: Don’t get hung up on a word. But you do do it a lot and with so many tender pods around, well. Like I said, it don’t bother me one whit, and sometimes makes me giggle a little. So carry on sir, with whatever you are doing.

  367. 367
    Mike Kay says:

    5 Stages of Grief

    1# Denial

    2# Anger

    3# Bargaining

    4# Depression

    5# Acceptance

    Seeing loser bloggers score last night’s surprising, shocking, upset loss as a victory indicates the born losers are still stuck on stage 1#. Either that or they’re audition to be the new Baghdad Bob. They’ve got a long way to go.

  368. 368
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jay B.: I guess you don’t own any mirrors.

    Carry on, loser.

    Heh!

  369. 369
    Jay B. says:

    @Mike Kay:

    I’m surprised the Daily Show hasn’t snapped you up, really. Fresh material. Smart commentary. Quick wit (samples: “Heh!” “Loser!” — where do you come up with that stuff? Your mind is like acid on acid!) You really bring it each and every day.

    Please tell me you’re gonna do the Hippie bit again tomorrow! I can’t leave here for the day without knowing.

    That and complain about bloggers. That’s even funnier.

    When’s the tour?

  370. 370
    Mike Kay says:

    Tour

    “We going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York … And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House!”

    “Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

  371. 371
    Darnell From LA says:

    The Dem establishment has a habit of picking horrible candidates.

    I remember here in California when the Dem establishment picked Phil “Half Man, Half Weasel” Angelides to run against ARnULD instead of State Controller Steve Westly. Good call. Good call….

  372. 372
    Jay B. says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Yeah, that’s the stuff. Trenchant. Hilarious. Current.

    I bet Dan Quayle is terrified of you.

  373. 373
    FlipYrWhig says:

    All this is because of Bill fucking Halter and Blanche fucking Lincoln? Get a grip, all y’all.

  374. 374
    Mike Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And any person who thinks Andy Stern is taking calls from the Queen of the Firebaggers is out of their damned mind.

    what does that mean? you do know they used to be a couple for “over two years”.

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