This

1000 times this:

I think the frustration that supporters of the president have (at least it is for me) is that his critics give him credit for nothing. NOTHING.

He gets a health care reform bill passed that is sweeping in scope and more than anyone has done in decades. And the left-wing critics say “Not enough.”

He gets a stimulus bill passed that pretty much kept a massive recession from getting worse and all the left-wing critics said was “Not enough.”

He’s on the verge of getting DADT repealed through law as opposed to using a reversible executive order and all the left-wing critics say is “Not enough.”

He gives a speech that talks about peak oil, points out how government corruption played a role and begins to lay out the way forward towards an alternative energy future and all the left-wing critics say is “Not enough” while having orgasms to Rachael Maddow’s satisfying-but-completely unrealistic “Fake President” speech.

Never mind Lily Leadbetter, killing the F-22 (something BUSH couldn’t do), expanding SCHIP, credit card reform, tobacco regulation…but no, it’s not enough. It’s NEVER enough with some people.

There is legit criticism to be made when it comes to President Obama, especially in the civil rights arena. But to hear the WATBs on the left tell it, he hasn’t done a damn thing. And that is simply not true.

And when you point that out, you are hippie-punching or just an O-bot and not a critical thinker. And he managed to do all this without ANY help from the Republicans and minimal help from the Blue Dogs, all while dealing with a childish media (Is he smoking? Does he hate the womyn folks because he won’t shoot hoops with them? Is he angry enough?) and a left-flank that thinks teaming up with Grover Norquist and echoing Republican talking points is moving the fucking Overton Window.

You point out the fact that this is the most successful Democratic Presidency in my lifetime and all you hear is but, but but… He didn’t get single payer!

And now this thread will rapidly become populated with WATB telling me I’m just as in the tank for Obama as I was for Republicans and that I hate the left and that I’m showing my authoritarian Republican roots and, oh, forget it. You know the damned drill. If I were a tough manly man like Keith Olbermann, a fierce and independent thinker who alone has the insight, bravery and knowledge to criticize the President, I’d just pre-emptively shut this blog down because you just know some anonymous commenter is going to say something mean on the internet and break my heart.

All I know is that if Obama doesn’t stop the oil leak with his massive Kenyan penis and then give a rousing FDR/Trumanesque speech delivered using a grade 7.5 language level that gives Chris Matthews a blue-vein hard-on and then personally scrubs every drop of oil from the gulf without hurting BP’s profits and making sure every oil worker has a job, I’m out. I mean, come on. That isn’t asking too much, is it? And why don’t we have gay marriage and a cure for cancer? What a loser! If only he hadn’t turned off his progressive base, all this could happen. Ed Schultz told me so.

And he better wear a flag lapel pin while doing it.

*** Update ***

Here’s what we’re dealing with:

Obama gives a speech on energy, but can’t bring himself to say “climate change.”

Beyond parody.

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576 replies
  1. 1
    Violet says:

    This.

    That is all.

  2. 2
    NobodySpecial says:

    Hey, look! It’s Ray Bolger!

  3. 3
    Emma says:

    Approved and co-signed.

  4. 4
    Bud says:

    Republicans criticized Obama for putting mustard on his hamburger, people! If he parted the Red Sea, they would say he was killing fish.

    Criticizing Obama from the left is a healthy part of democracy, but I agree with this post. Obama has an incredibly difficult job to do, and instead of bitching and pissing and moaning all the time, try giving the guy some credit for pulling off some very difficult and necessary moves.

  5. 5
    Michael G says:

    I’d just pre-emptively shut this blog down because you just know some anonymous commenter is going to say something mean on the internet and break my heart.

    Going Galt does have a certain appeal at times.

  6. 6
    eyepaddle says:

    This. Too. Also.

    I try to avoid empty posts (which is why I don’t post much)

    But I repeat: This.

  7. 7
    Comrade Mary says:

    It’s pen1s day on Balloon Juice! God love you, John Cole.

  8. 8
    Tone in DC says:

    All I know is that if Obama doesn’t stop the oil leak with his massive Kenyan penis and then give a rousing FDR/Trumanesque speech delivered using a grade 7.5 language level and then personally scrub every drop of oil from the gulf without hurting BP’s profits and making sure every oil worker has a job, I’m out.

    Stop the oil leak with his massive Kenyan…
    Oh, MAN.

    Now to get the cola off my screen. My coworkers no doubt wish I’d laugh more quietly. Thanks, John.

  9. 9
    robertdsc says:

    Perfect.

  10. 10
    stevie314159 says:

    Hey, did I see you at the Super Soaker party?

    :)

  11. 11
    jacy says:

    Yep. I would say that pretty much sums up our current political discourse. Which is why the only news I watch now is sports news and I only talk politics with the cat. Fuck the rest of it, and fuck everyone who can’t grow the fuck up.

    (sorry for the language, John’s mom)

  12. 12
    Jon O. says:

    Chris Matthews blue-vein hard-on

    NOOOOO MAKE IT STOP

  13. 13
    stuckinred says:

    But Jane is so pretty and she is the ONLY one who tells the truth!

  14. 14
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Epic Rant, FTW!

  15. 15
    The Moar You Know says:

    WATBs: wrecking society one tear at a time.

    Agreed. These people have gotten 90% of what they ever could have asked for out of this president, and to hear them tell it, Obama sent them to bed without any supper and shit on the sheets beforehand, just to be a dick.

    Fuck these fucking ingrates.

  16. 16
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Bud:

    Actually, it’s not so much Republicans as members of our so-called liberal media. You have to adopt Republican talking points to make it in the media Village, and talking about all that boring policy stuff is such a snore. THAT, my friend, will get you kicked out of the Village.

  17. 17
    Rosalita says:

    Excellent!

  18. 18
    Crashman says:

    Wow. That second to last paragraph was the funniest thing I’ve read all month. I can’t stop laughing.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    gwangung says:

    @Bud:

    Criticizing Obama from the left is a healthy part of democracy, but I agree with this post. Obama has an incredibly difficult job to do, and instead of bitching and pissing and moaning all the time, try giving the guy some credit for pulling off some very difficult and necessary moves.

    There’s a tendency toward Manichean thought in all of us. I think it’s equally important to say “Good job” and to say also “Here is where we need to improve, however.”

  21. 21
    Tonal Crow says:

    Ad revenue down again, John?

  22. 22
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jon O.: Yeah, it was unkind to unleash that image on our collective imaginarium.

    I don’t know if I’d lump Schultz in with the others. He can be bombastic and mercurial and driven to rage-filled incoherence (all traits I share, maybe it’s a red-head thing), but he also seems wore willing to take the fight to the Senate, where IMneverHO it belongs, rather than constantly whining that Obama just needs to really want X.

  23. 23
    Paul1351 says:

    100% yes, John.

  24. 24
    funluvn says:

    Hell yes, this!

    It’s time for the left to wake up and understand that this guy is doing a shit load of work just to get through what he has managed so far, and that is a hell of a lot more than most have done since Roosevelt.

  25. 25
    jeffreyw says:

    @eyepaddle: What he said about what you said about what they said. There, I said it.

  26. 26
    DiTurno says:

    This is, to put it mildly, bullshit. The problem isn’t that Obama’s accomplishments have fallen far short of what liberals want. The problem is that in spite of an electroral landslide, he hasn’t even *tried* to do much.

    For instance:

    1. The initial number he gave for the stimulus package was much too low, which meant that the final number was spectacularly low. That’s why we have unemployment that’s over 9%.

    2. Obama never put his weight behind, for instance, a Medicare buy-in.

    3. Obama gives a speech on energy, but can’t bring himself to say “climate change.”

    4. His policies on rendition are almost exactly the same as Bush’s.

    The Republicans understand that you have to throw your base a bone. The Democrats don’t.

  27. 27
    Arguingwithsignposts - ipod touchs says:

    This injustice will not stand, dude!

  28. 28
    John says:

    You sound awfully defensive today, John. I don’t know that all criticism of the president is unfounded. While it’s true that the GOP is going to anti-whatever Obama does, it seems to me that criticisms from the Left are a bit more substantial than calling him a socialist or asking about his birth certificate. Still, you bring up a good point that too much negativity can be counter-productive. I’m not even sure if that makes sense.
    Anyway, part of this might be that 2010 is like one of the worst years ever, for America and most of the world, it seems. Perhaps after FinReg and Capn’ Trade finally get through the Congress we’ll have something happy to talk about again.

  29. 29
    John Cole says:

    The Republicans understand that you have to throw your base a bone. The Democrats don’t.

    Jesus christ. Read the list of accomplishments. You got half the god damned cow.

  30. 30
    NobodySpecial says:

    @DiTurno: The Republicans have no meat, so all they do is throw bones.

    The Democrats, on the other hand, have no desire to please what used to be known as ‘the base’. You know, before Pragmatism.

  31. 31
    John Cole says:

    Obama gives a speech on energy, but can’t bring himself to say “climate change.”

    Fucking shoot me.

  32. 32

    No, if DID wear a flag pin that would be a deal breaker.

  33. 33
    J.W. Hamner says:

    Just want to chime in and agree 100% before this thread becomes an unreadable 300 comment monstrosity in 10 minutes.

  34. 34
    bemused says:

    Dave & John both said it well.

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Bud:

    Criticizing Obama from the left is a healthy part of democracy, but I agree with this post.

    Hear, hear. I was as glad to see Jon Stewart take on Obama’s back-tracking on executive power as I was disgusted to see him do some silly bit about “He says he wants to stop the oil leak, but then he met with some athletes!” The latter bullshit, from Stewart or anyone else, just weakens valid, executive-directed criticism.

    I saw a blogpost this morning pre-emptively being disappointed with Democrats for not exploiting Joe Barton’s apology. The fact is, Dems will talk about it, it’s too bizarro for even the David Gregorys to ignore, I think, but the old rich white people who vote Republican and vote in mid-terms and think Obama wants to turn their sons into black gay Frenchmen don’t care.

  36. 36
    TX Expat says:

    Sullivan wrote about this today as well.

    Getting that $20 billion is a BFD, legally speaking. We should be giving Obama huge props for that or apologizing to foreign corporations, whatever suits your fancy.

  37. 37
    xe-nwb says:

    Ever stop to think that the “WATBs” define success differently? That maybe they were more interested in dismantling the current System than giving it a Leftist face?

    It’s funny, but conservatives dealt with this issue a decade ago. In the end they decided to stick with Bush, who, at the end of 2001, was arguably the most successful Republican president in recent history. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

    Is Left now the new Right? Why don’t we check back in a few years.

  38. 38
    Uloborus says:

    And behold, as @DiTurno: fulfills your exact argument, John.

    The list of stuff you gave above that he has *accomplished* should put Obama in the freaking ‘legendary’ category, but hey, he hasn’t *reached* for enough.

  39. 39
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @DiTurno: .

    The initial number he gave for the stimulus package was much too low, which meant that the final number was spectacularly low. That’s why we have unemployment that’s over 9%.
    2. Obama never put his weight behind, for instance, a Medicare buy-in.

    Do you know what a “Senator” is, Binky?

  40. 40
    jacy says:

    @DiTurno:

    The problem is that in spite of an electroral landslide, he hasn’t even tried to do much.

    I hereby promote you to the post of Ambassador to Candyland, where everything is a piece of cake if only you try hard enough.

  41. 41
    dmsilev says:

    and then give a rousing FDR/Trumanesque speech delivered using a grade 7.5 language level

    Some of his critics wouldn’t be satisfied by Truman; they want Churchill. Or Henry V, as written by Shakespeare.

    dms

  42. 42
    Lab Partner says:

    This for me too, please, also. Not that I want to be an O-bot, but I’m so tired of running serpentine to keep from being labelled an O-bot.

    Also, John, it’s become painfully obvious that the more dogs you get the more feisty you get. So I’ll be leaving more dogs out in front of your house over the next few days. Expect them to be slightly plump, collarless and squat, just the way you like ’em.

  43. 43
    maye says:

    @DiTurno: The Republican understand HOW TO MARKET their policies – as shitty as they are. The Democrats don’t.

  44. 44
    Libby says:

    This. 20 billion times this. Literally brought tears to my eyes. If I wasn’t so old, I’d beg you to marry me for posting it.

  45. 45
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @DiTurno:

    This is, to put it mildly, bullshit. The problem isn’t that Obama’s accomplishments have fallen far short of what liberals want.

    The Republicans understand that you have to throw your base a bone. The Democrats don’t.

    So it turns out that the thing that isn’t the problem is actually the problem? Amazing how that’s so consistently the case in these situations.

    You don’t want a bone; you want a wish list with a check mark next to everything.

  46. 46
    matoko_chan says:

    @John Cole:

    Fucking shoot me.

    nooo!
    these troglodytes dont get it.
    looking weak is part of the strat, like feints and parries and kabuki.
    the conservatives never even see the blade untill its twisting in their guts.
    like cap n trade.
    an‘ then its too late.

    Obama is playing 11D chess. i’m cool wid that.
    the GOP, and may i suggest certain local commenters, are still trying to get their pieces out of the box.

  47. 47
    NickM says:

    This O-Bot says: Affirmative.

  48. 48

    5. He’ll have a beer with some overreacting police officer, but won’t go to Netroots Nation

  49. 49
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Also,the Beltway pundittubbies have been relentlessly anti-Obama. Was it the same during Clinton’s first term. I am too young to remember.

  50. 50

    6. My lunch is getting cold

  51. 51
    MobiusKlein says:

    Dunno, I’ll bitch that he’s not on top of cleaning out the Agean stables, hasn’t filled many of the appointive jobs, hasn’t filled many federal judge positions (when the Senate is the most favorable to liberal judges as it has been in ages)

    I’ll bitch because I’m a professional nit-picker.
    And then I’ll turn right around and defend him for things he’s doing right.

  52. 52

    You point out the fact that this is the most successful Democratic Presidency in my lifetime and all you hear is but, but but… He didn’t get single payer!

    I think that Obama has accomplished a tremendous amount so far.

    But I’ve still got some sense of proportion. And I think it’s appropriate to say:

    But, but…he’s given up on cap-and-trade!

    Seriously, if HE isn’t going to push cap-and-trade in an Oval Office address about oil, then he can’t expect other people to prioritize it for him. He has to give Scott Brown a reason to be concerned for his political future if he doesn’t vote for cap-and-trade. (Ditto Snowe and Collins.)

    By failing to even mention climate change in his speech, Obama ducked what is possibly the biggest issue of my lifetime, at what may well be the last moment when addressing it might be within reach.

    I was in a funk for a month after the 2004 election, mostly because I knew it would be at least another four years before we did anything about climate change. Now we’re coming up on six years later, and the odds look poor that we’ll do anything useful before 2013.

    I think that even if Obama had gotten a stimulus package that was twice as big as the one he got, and if he’d gotten a strong public option, and gotten a far better financial regulation bill than will actually come out of conference, then if he’d failed on climate chance, he’d have still simply failed.

    That’s how important this one is. It’s unfair to Obama that this issue should come along now, so that even a string of remarkable legislative accomplishments will potentially pale next to this particular failure, but life just isn’t fair.

  53. 53
    Taterstick says:

    John Cole for the motherfucking win!!

  54. 54
    Tone in DC says:

    @DiTurno:
    I think this person is channeling Ms. Hamsher.

    Yes, I am disappointed with significants aspects of this presidency as well. There is always room for improvement.

    Thing is, any of us on this blog would have gotten even less done. This press, these Republicans and a country full of people who seem to think that schools and universities, police and fire departments, and all other state and federal services require LITTLE OR NO TAX MONEY have made it damn near impossible to get anything accomplished.

  55. 55
    Uloborus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I was actually pretty mad about Stewart’s thing on executive power. A lot of that stuff he’s wildly misrepresenting, which is screwing up the debate on what really is wrong with Obama’s civil liberties record.

    …but you know, Stewart is a comedian, and he never claims for an instant that he’s trying to be fair, only that he’s trying to get laughs. We tend to think of him as a journalist only because the rest of television news has fallen so far that a comedian who doesn’t care about journalistic standards has much higher journalistic standards than they do.

    So I move on and blame it on myself for being thin-skinned.

  56. 56

    7. These pretzels are making me thirsty

  57. 57
    Michael57 says:

    Amen, brother.

  58. 58
    MobiusKlein says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yes. Perhaps even worse.

  59. 59
    NobodySpecial says:

    @John Cole:

    Okay, let’s run with that. Now go down the list again.

    1) There were a metric fuckton of economists telling everyone who would listen that this thing was too small. That argument was trumped by ‘You’ll never get a stimulus that big passed, best not to try it.’.

    2) The deal with Big Pharma knocked out a lot of the support from the…whatever the hell you want to call it today on health care. Supposedly, if you have a winning plan, you play like you want to win the game, not bunker down, settle for a draw and pray that next fight you’re up against Australia and not Spain. Plus, it also raises valid questions about what you’re willing to put up a public fight for.

    4) DADT is a terrible example of him leaving it up to Congress. I’ll repeat: Truman with a much weaker hand went ahead and DID it by Executive Order, and essentially shamed Congress into signing law afterwards. There’s nothing to suggest that couldn’t have been done here…but again, Obama seems unwilling to try.

    5) I’ll agree with you here – the ones bitching about the BP thing are being idiots, and I’ve said so all along.

    Of course, then you go on to add in some Republican criticisms and pretend to stick them on ‘the left’ or ‘hippies’ or whatever. Flag pins? Really? Talk about ‘echoing Republican talking points’. Are you sure you’re not with Hamsher on this?

    :P

    I repeat: It’s always nice to see Ray Bolger, even if he’s dead.

  60. 60
    BC says:

    When a Republican president messes up, the Republican base supports the sumbitch to the hilt – no apology, no admission of mess up. When a Democratic president doesn’t get the exact policy that the base wants, the Democratic base starts flinging poo and crying that they’re going to take their marbles and go home because they wanted x and just got y, even though y was all that was possible because of the politics. My god, if I were a cynical politician, I would be GOPer because their base has their back no matter what. I don’t want us to be the rubber stamp that the GOPers are, but I do think we need to watch our president’s back and be realistic about what is possible given the makeup of the Congress. Look at DiTurno, for example – would you want this fucker on your team, constantly complaining that if you had just done one thing instead of the other, you could have gotten the magic pony? DiTurno just sits on sidelines and bitches that he didn’t get the public option or the Medicare for all, but what was he doing to help the team during the time it mattered?

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Dave says:

    Basically, these WATBs think Obama should be Santa Claus. He should be gift-wrapping every last god-damned fantasy of theirs and putting it under the tree.

    The problem being that these people forget that 25% of this electorate is bug-shit nuts. And that these 25% have a disproportionate influence in the Congress, particularly in the Senate. How many Democratic senators represent states won by McCain in 2008? I can think of at least seven off the top of my head. In what reality are these Senators going to actively support a full-on Progressive agenda?

    But hey, why face reality when you can sit back and just bitch about how Obama Claus hasn’t given you Utopia 2.0 yet.

  63. 63
    inkadu says:

    @DiTurno:

    Points 1 and 4 are fair criticisms. Points 2 and 3 are missing some key realities. For the millionth time, Obama was not going to repeat the mistakes of the Clinton administration and tell Congress what to do. He certainly did put his ass on the line for the health care bill, but he doesn’t have a magic wand, and he might wisely have decided that a medicare buy-in would too directly threaten private insurance and would therefore lose the support of the blue dogs. Then we would have nothing but a satisfied sense of self-righteousness.

    And Obama is not saying climate change because it’s already become a polarized issue. His job is to get things done, and if everyone agrees we need to move to a non-petroleum based energy economy, why stir up trouble with “climate change”? The American people have already demonstrated that facts don’t matter to them.

    It’s called politics.

  64. 64
    tim says:

    This post is just stupid, “I’m so mad!”, red meat, BJ comment bait, John. You can do a lot better.

    What I don’t get is why you and your codependents are so invested in pretending Obama is awesome.

    In the area of evaluating presidents at least, John, you have no credibility. Stick to pets.

  65. 65
    danimal says:

    Clinton’s triangulation strategy, which I hated for the past 15 years or so, finally makes sense to me. There is just no pleasing the left wing netroots types. Might as well piss ’em off and make in-roads with the Nelsons.

    They don’t just want the victory; they want style points as well. Apparently pragmatic solutions to real solutions don’t count if there isn’t a bloody conservative corpse to preen over.

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DiTurno:

    The problem is that in spite of an electroral landslide, he hasn’t even tried to do much.

    Really? Stimulus, health insurance reform, making a profit on the bank bailout, and getting BP to cough up $20 billion up front to cover costs within 18 months isn’t enough for you?

    You expected Obama to repair 30 years of Republican misrule during his first year in office and we’re the ones being unrealistic? I’m sure that pony will arrive in the mail any day now.

  67. 67
    strandedvandal says:

    Amen.

  68. 68
    Jrod says:

    Isn’t it a legitimate criticism that Obama din’t push hard enough on the stimulus and health care? Obviously we’re better off with what we got than nothing, but neither are sufficient to fix the problems they’re supposed to fix.

    I’m with you on the firebaggers being petulant whiny idiots, but that doesn’t mean they can’t stumble over a good point once in awhile. And sure, Obama does deserve more credit than he’s getting, but siting in the big chair means dealing with the big heat. Obama will be fine. In fact, he’ll become a secular saint once we’re comparing his admin to the upcoming Palin/Bachman years.

    I also don’t blame Olbermann for skipping out of DKos. Fuck that place.

  69. 69
    Nimm says:

    Every time I get the urge to go blogging again, I realize there’s no point, since everything I might want to say, ends up being said here. Better than I would say it.

    So…yeah. What you wrote up there.

  70. 70
    jl says:

    I agree with this post, except that I do think Obama should try to deliver more

    ‘rousing FDR/Trumanesque speech delivered using a grade 7.5 language level’

    I think Obama also should quit producing prepackaged compromises for his legislative initiatives when he does not need to.

    But the extremes we see in Obama bashing on both the right and the left are silly.

    Trying to grade Obama on controlling the oil spill is silly because we do not have all the information yet. I think we do have enough information to say that BP was somewhere between criminally negligent, and unprofessionally irresponsible. That seems to be consensus opinion on oil industry blogs and discussion groups.

    What the heck could have Obama done to stop this? Only thing I can think of is that he could have come down like a ton of bricks on the feds who got cozy with the extraction industries during the Cheney administration, and got the rubber stamping stamped out of various places like the MMS. Did he? Did he do as much as a responsible and informed executive should have? I do not know and I don’t think anyone else does either yet. Simply saying that appointment of Salazar is proof that he didn’t does not cut it.

    After the blow out, Obama would have to be a superhero who could stop the spill WITH HIS FIST DOWN THE OIL WELL’S THROAT! HELL YEAH! Maybe the country is now stupid enough to expect that fantasy come to life.

    Better to concentrate criticism in areas where there is a definite pattern and he is demonstrably, IMHO, not delivering on his campaign promises, and for no good reason that I can see. That area would be civil liberties that are involved in national security issues.

  71. 71
    gbear says:

    Nothing to say except that I agree with John’s rant completely. WATBs go to hell.

    I’d slap on my flag pin except that it’s a “Stranger’ flag pin with ITMFA on the bottom of it. I’m storing it away until the next republican president.

  72. 72
    dollared says:

    Sorry, John, I’m not on board.

    I’m happy with his accomplishments. But we are in wayyyyyyy more trouble than he has fixed.

    The US economic model is simply upside down. It gets worse every year that 1) we don’t have enough tax revenue; 2) that we overfocus on finance in place of manufacturing; 3) that we load health care cost on employment; 4) that we don’t invest in our infrastructure at minimum replacement rate; 5) that we overspend on the military.

    His execution model is 1) concede the Republicans are both honest and right; and 2) then compromise with them on terms that Robert Dole would have been thrilled to get.

    Note that he has not fixed ANY of 1-5 above. He has stopped the worsening, but when you are upside down, freezing current conditions is not good enough. You have to reverse things.

    It really isn’t good enough, both in rhetoric and in substance.

    I give him a B-. But we have been flunking for 22 of the past 30 years, and we need an A to graduate.

    I’m sorry to put it on him, and maybe he could pull it out in his second term. but that means at least 10 million Americans have to wait 2-3 more years for a real job.

    That’s just not acceptable.

  73. 73
    BC says:

    @DiTurno: What were YOU personally doing to get a bigger stimulus package or the Medicare buy-in? Were you e-mailing all your friends, setting up senate call-ins to lobby senators, sending money to the advocates for your preferred policy? Or were you just sitting on your hands carping from the sidelines. DIAF

  74. 74
    stevie314159 says:

    @John Cole:

    Obama gave a speech on energy and didn’t say “put down your car keys and walk, you fucking fat pigs”.

    I’m done.

  75. 75
    Pat says:

    Looks like a lot of folks are color blind in this country. They are blinded by our president’s color. He can do nothing right as long as this blindness is allowed to continue in our land. Racism still lives and it is sickening to see 24/7 as this man tries to do what is right for all Americans.

  76. 76
    Pangloss says:

    If only we had elected Dennis Kucinich….

  77. 77
    walt says:

    Occasionally, it helps to prop up the leader, ala El Cid, just to enhance the whole potency thingie. Some of us on the Left despise that idea because tribalism seems so downscale. We’re better than that!

    NO, WE ARE NOT. Until we fight the assholes with every weapon we have, we’re just whining. Grow up, lefties. Obama isn’t perfect because this country is really fucked up. Start kicking ass and let Glenn Greenwald worry about the liberal soul.

  78. 78
    Jules says:

    Thank you.

  79. 79
    PeakVT says:

    I think some of the criticism of Obama is due to what I call the distressing gap. Obama has been successful. But at the same time the gap between the policies in place and the policies that should be implemented is growing wider in a number of areas, most notably the global warming/energy complex. I think the end of the culture wars is sight, and I expect total defeat of social conservatives around 2020. But economic inequality is going up, global warming is accelerating, fisheries are still collapsing, animals are still going extinct, the US establishment is showing little interest in ending our wars, the US is enabling an ever more self-destructive Israeli government, banks and the financial industry still seem to own Congress, and so on. I think a lot of people find that list very upsetting, and I can’t blame them. But that doesn’t excuse anyone from giving credit where credit is due – whether it’s Obama, Pelosi, Reed, or anyone else in the federal government.

  80. 80
    cleek says:

    The Republicans understand that you have to throw your base a bone. The Democrats don’t.

    spend 20 minutes cruising wingnut blogs (or do a search for this new thing called the “tea baggers”) and it’ll become pretty obvious that they feel the opposite is true. and it is; the parties are far more centrist than their respective bases would like them to be. always have been. always will be.

    that’s the way a two party system works.

    frankly, shitting on your Base is the only way to get things passed in the Senate.

  81. 81
    ChrisWWW says:

    John,
    I, for one, am glad that liberals are passionate about their politics and refuse to rollover like conservatives did for George W. Bush. Obama has done a lot, but he’s made a lot of mistakes too. Should we just ignore the downsides and pray quietly to the FSM for the policies we really want?

    The liberal outrage machine is already well outmatched by the rightwing noise machine, if we ask folks like Olbermann and Yglesias to shut up then how will we ever get our way?

  82. 82
    frankdawg says:

    OK, this is basically the same thread we just had a couple back. I don’t think we are going to come to any more agreement now than a hour ago.

    John, you are right – Obama has done some things but look at your list; would you want to run for re-election on the F22 & Ledbetter? Maybe he could not have gotten better on HCR, maybe he would not be able to get an alternative energy/conservation bill out of the Senate but we will never know because he has not tried.

    It might be cliche but having Obama standing on the Gulf shore, surrounded by fishermen & drillers, bullhorn in hand saying “The polluters & the oil barons that did this to us will be hearing from us soon” might have swayed public opinion enough to force Congresses hand. That would do nothing to stop the current situation. Nothing is going to make the current disaster go away. But it might have prevented the next disaster that is just waiting.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @xe-nwb:

    Ever stop to think that the “WATBs” define success differently? That maybe they were more interested in dismantling the current System than giving it a Leftist face?

    And you thought we could dismantle the current system during Obama’s first 18 months in office? The same system that it took Republicans 30 years to build? How was that going to happen, exactly?

  84. 84
    rootless_e says:

    @NobodySpecial: Because black voters, the most reliable Democratic voting block, are not part of the base.

  85. 85
    rootless_e says:

    @danimal: They don’t want the victory, they want style points instead

  86. 86
  87. 87
    Jrod says:

    @dmsilev:

    Some of his critics wouldn’t be satisfied by Truman; they want Churchill. Or Henry V, as written by Shakespeare.

    But only if it’s rewritten at a 4th grade level.

    “Do it again, homies.
    Make a wall of dead fuckers.
    You can be a pussy when it’s peaceful, I guess.
    But when it’s on, it’s on like Donkey Kong.
    And you gotta be an asshole.
    There was more, but you get the idea.”

  88. 88
    SpotWeld says:

    I’ll give him credit for this, for the most part he has been pretty boring, And that’s what I want.

    He has, as much as it is possible for the president, avoided drama. Through this disaster he has not done anything like a jump-suits carrier landing.

    When he does flub he publicly takes his criticisms and acknowledges his error. He doesn’t just stand there and stare at you like you farted in the elevator.

    The kind of action, the kind of change being implemented here is gradual and incremental.

    That is the only sort of change, our government, is capable of doing, that’s how it was designed.

    You want fast, decisive, dramatic change you need a dictatorship. You want a Democracy, you accept something more methodological.

  89. 89
    Taterstick says:

    @tim:

    What I don’t get is why you and your codependents are so invested in pretending Obama is awesome.

    Glenn Greenwald will be by here any minute to give you your puppet points, asshole.

  90. 90
    Kryptik says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    The difference between the integration of the military and DADT is…was there an explicit federal law that needed to overturned and/or repealed in regards to integration like is necessary with DADT? I’m genuinely curious, since I’m not finding any specific statutes, but find it hard to believe there weren’t specific federal legal hurdles that had to be taken care of past the executive orders (and eventual relevant Civil Rights Act titles).

  91. 91
    jl says:

    I will attempt a constructive start to non-Obama bashing by listing the Republicans who have opposed the BP escrow fund:

    Officials:
    Sen Joe Barton
    Rep Michele Bachmann
    Rep. Tom Price
    Gov. Haley Barbour

    Media celebs:
    Rush Limbaugh
    Sean Hannity
    Oliver North

    And those I who have complained about ‘unfair treatment’ for BP
    Sen candidate Sharron Angle
    Sen candidate Rand Paul

    I think that is enough to make opposition to holding BP accountable for the damage it has done a real ‘GOP issue’.

    I hope the national affairs media points this out. (hahaha, that was a joke, son, a joke, I tell ya)

    Edit: List was from
    Party of BP
    Steve Benen, Washington Monthly
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....7.php#more

    Also, I think it’s everyone’s duty to their country and humanity to refer to the GOP as the GO(B)P.

  92. 92
    Uloborus says:

    @NobodySpecial:
    1) Obama didn’t even get all he asked for. ‘If he asked for twice as much he’ll get twice as much after the negotiations’ is magical thinking by someone who is not dealing with congress, a fractious and egotistical organization. Face it: First, he asked for a reasonable amount, whether or not it’s the number you wanted. Second, if he had decided to ask for more, odds are just as good we’d have gotten nothing.

    2) I’m sorry. Obviously those other presidents who tried and failed to get this done for the last 100 years would have gotten you a better deal. In fact, the thing you’re particularly mad at appears to be that he’s gotten us a health care bill without making sure to punish an industry you don’t like in the process.

    4) You do realize that your entire complaint here is armchair commandering? You’re mad because you don’t like the strategy used by someone who has the same goal as you have and will probably achieve it, but is in an actual position to know how it’s done?

    This is all exactly what John is talking about. The man’s accomplishments are amazing. You’re whining because he didn’t do it exactly the specific way you wanted.

  93. 93
    inkadu says:

    @frankdawg:

    having Obama standing on the Gulf shore, surrounded by fishermen & drillers, bullhorn in hand saying “The polluters & the oil barons that did this to us will be hearing from us soon” might have swayed public opinion enough to force Congresses hand.

    And Michael Dukakis riding around in a tank might have won the election.

  94. 94
    Eric F says:

    I’m constantly amazed that there are, apparently, tens of millions of people who managed to graduate high school without learning the difference between a President and a King.

    To paraphrase Daniel Kaffee: I guess they were out sick the day they taught social studies in social studies class.

  95. 95
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Seriously, if HE isn’t going to push cap-and-trade in an Oval Office address about oil, then he can’t expect other people to prioritize it for him. He has to give Scott Brown a reason to be concerned for his political future if he doesn’t vote for cap-and-trade. (Ditto Snowe and Collins.)

    Yes, he can. It’s calling life in a representative democracy. That’s the entire point. The onus is not entirely on him to give recalcitrant senators and representatives an incentive to behave in a certain manner. That needs to come from the citizens whose interests they allegedly represent. The citizens who are often persuaded to vote and act against said interests.

    If the push for comprehensive energy reform and climate change legislation dies just because the President of the United States didn’t say “climate change” in an Oval Office address, then we as a country don’t deserve it. We didn’t do the necessary work and due diligence to make it happen.

    We are just as culpable for the status quo as our supposed leaders, if not more so. We are the ones who elected them to represent our best interests, after all.

  96. 96
    eemom says:

    another reason the $20B is a Huge Fucking Deal is that it’s not a LIMIT on what BP will eventually have to pay.

    Usually when corporations pay shitloads of money they do it to be done with the thing, and in exchange for the payment they get a nice big fat “release” from all, any and every claim of any kind that anybody could have ever thought of bringing against them since the beginning of the world.

  97. 97
    NobodySpecial says:

    @rootless_e: You don’t think a bigger stimulus bill wouldn’t have helped black voters?

    Or maybe even a health care bill without the giveaway to Big Pharma that they didn’t hold up their end on?

    Sorry, can’t agree with you on that one.

  98. 98
    curious says:

    jonathan chait posted something earlier today in the same vein: http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonath.....presidency

    as always, being neck-deep in the middle of our own history, we have to endure (in real time, unfortunately) all the silly memeorandum-type noise that accompanies this administration’s accomplishments.

  99. 99
    EvolutionaryDesign says:

    You know, for the impatient left, this all comes down to not taking the “long view”. I’ve been kvetching back and forth on this one for a while. Yeah, it would be cathartic to have Obama rule by fiat and change everything perfectly yesterday, but, personally, I believe patience is a virtue that the universe is trying to teach me this go-around. He IS doing things, they just aren’t the mirror-image of the colosal fuck-up power grabs Bush made, so the moves O has made don’t “make up” for what Bush did.

    Another thing that bothers me, is that people who want him to do everything now don’t ever think about unintended consequences. I, for one, prefer a President who is working to change the game.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    By failing to even mention climate change in his speech, Obama ducked what is possibly the biggest issue of my lifetime, at what may well be the last moment when addressing it might be within reach.

    Here’s the thing: Obama cannot announce any action on climate change until the leak in the Gulf is plugged. We don’t actually know what the damage there is yet, and trying to make sweeping pronouncements before we know is doomed to failure.

    As I said yesterday, it would be like the fire chief standing in front of a burning building describing what the new development that will be built on the site will look like, you know, once they get the fire put out. No one is going to listen as long as this emergency continues, and the emergency will continue until the leak is plugged.

  101. 101
    bobbo says:

    @DiTurno:

    The Republicans understand that you have to throw your base a bone. The Democrats don’t.

    Sorry, but when he does throw the base a bone, the base says, “He’s just throwing us a bone. Not gonna be fooled by that!”

    I know this because I am guilty of it myself sometimes. That is why I am grateful for John’s post.

  102. 102
    rootless_e says:

    @frankdawg: We didn’t elect a guy who stands on a pile of trash with a bullhorn and talks crap. For that, maybe you should look for a drunk ex-yale cheerleader with a chip on his shoulder.

  103. 103
    SpotWeld says:

    Goverment must be a collaboration. Because of the breakdown of the GOP it has become adversarial.

    Rather than coming to the table with a list of items to build a bill into something, there has been an utter refusal to compromise on the right.

    Because there must be collaboration, I think the left has on some levels become it’s own opposition part if only to make certain that there is enough variation in opinion to ensure robust and incremental chagne towards improvement.

  104. 104
    Rainy Day says:

    Is it me, or do you think Obama is treating the BP spill like damaged
    step children he didn’t count on dealing with when he married?

    I think the reason he’s ‘not showing emotion’ or really any kind of
    conviction when talking about BP is because in HIS mind, he’s
    compartmentalized BP out of the mental filing cabinet — it’s too damn draining for too little reward.

    Which leads me to my next point. I think ole Obama is
    compartmentalizing everything on his plate. He doesn’t get to do
    anything he wanted to do as President. He has to keep dealing with other people’s mistakes and mismanagement. I think he’s reached his ‘fuck it’ phase. Status quo for X; status quo for Y; status quo for Z.

    I have no idea what’s going on with health care, but I feel like he’s
    got to get that one right to get his Mojo back.

    And, he desperately needs a job program. It’s all jobs and health.
    If he can’t get traction on either of those, I think all of his policies will be treated like bastard and/or unwanted step children.

    He’s NOT fired up. And, right now, he doesn’t even have anything to sell to people to get them fired up. It’s a huge bummer for me because I want to be fired up — but not over the continuation of Bush policies.

  105. 105
    MMonides says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: This is so much like Clinton’s first, with the DC media and the left flank both turning on POTUS with the long knives, that it scares me.

    OTOH, Obama seems to get this, and is preemptively ignoring them both.

    John, thanks for this one ;) This morning a friend on twitter, Socratic, coined the term “masturbatory victimhood” to describe the current mood.

    Re Obama’s support for cap and trade, well, it would help enormously if there was majority support for it among progressives, much less everyone else.

  106. 106
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I just don’t understand this need that many have for the President make dramatic pronouncements, and lo and behold everything falls into place.

  107. 107
    gbear says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    grmhhh ::cough:: ::cough:: ::wheeze:: bonk. oww.

  108. 108
    russell says:

    The problem is that in spite of an electroral landslide, he hasn’t even tried to do much.

    I’m critical of Obama quite a lot of the time, but I have to say this is just wrong.

    Obama works his ass off, and he’s a remarkably effective executive. He actually does get stuff — good, necessary stuff — done.

    My criticisms of Obama have nothing to do with his competence. I’m just looking for stronger advocacy for positions I think are important.

    I don’t actually expect to see much of that from Obama, because I am, plainly and simply, well to his left. Obama’s not a lefty.

    I appreciate what he has accomplished, and I’m quite glad he is President rather than most of the other folks who ran in 2008.

    I’m also not so happy with more than a few of his positions and actions, because they don’t reflect my own priorities. If I want to have any chance whatsoever to “move the Overton window”, as it were, I need to speak up rather than shut up.

    Not just on blogs, but elsewhere. But not excluding blogs, because they do have some influence, however small.

    It might be useful to distinguish between people who have unrealistic expectations of Obama, and people who simply want to advocate for positions that he doesn’t espouse.

    He’s a great President, and I don’t agree with everything he says or does. It’s not that weird.

  109. 109

    Never mind Lily Leadbetter, killing the F-22 (something BUSH couldn’t do), expanding SCHIP, credit card reform, tobacco regulation…but no, it’s not enough. It’s NEVER enough with some people.

    WATBs don’t StFu just because things are going well. They can’t shut up. Whining is all they have and no wild mystical ponies are going to take that from them.

  110. 110
    Beth Blankenship says:

    I guess it’s too much to ask that the clean up and containment response be organized, effective, comprehensive, and not chaotic, haphazard, at the whim of BP, behind a curtain of control over media access enforced by BP rent-a-cops and our own Coast Guard.

    I live in New Orleans. I see exactly what is going well and what is not with this response, and I can tell you one fact: this is not about Obama, or who supports him or who’s a WATB and doesn’t recognize the “fact” of the “most effective Democratic presidency EVAH!”

    It’s about the fact that the oil is in our wetlands, killing our seafood, our glorious pelicans and dolphins and turtles, and that no tankers, no trawlers, no skimmers, were deployed until well after such time as they could have helped stave off some of this tragedy. It’s not in my interest to protect this administration from legitimate criticism about that. That’s your WATB mission. Have at it.

  111. 111
    eemom says:

    And now this thread will rapidly become populated with WATB telling me I’m just as in the tank for Obama as I was for Republicans and that I hate the left and that I’m showing my authoritarian Republican roots

    And yea, as thou hast foretold, so it hath come to pass.

  112. 112
    Snatchpipe says:

    Still, when it comes to civil liberties he has been abysmal. The radical middle is a bit of an oxymoron. Er.. oxymoran.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    I’ll repeat: Truman with a much weaker hand went ahead and DID it by Executive Order, and essentially shamed Congress into signing law afterwards. There’s nothing to suggest that couldn’t have been done here…but again, Obama seems unwilling to try.

    Except for it FUCKING BEING ILLEGAL FOR OBAMA TO ISSUE AN EXECUTIVE ORDER REPEALING DADT. It was decided in 1953 that the president cannot override Congressional legislation with an EO.

    Look it up. It’s in fucking Wikipedia. I’m fucking sick of you people being too fucking lazy to actually know what the fuck you’re talking about before you start spouting bullshit about these mythical executive orders THAT THE SUPREME COURT HAS DECIDED OBAMA CANNOT ISSUE.

  114. 114
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Kryptik: AFAIK, there was nothing beyond Plessy v. Ferguson stopping Truman. That said, there’s a sound logic behind Obama issuing the EO, on the basis that he IS the CinC of the armed forces, and that his power is maximized during times of war, which Congress has backdoor authorized with the Iraq War Resolution. The case with the steel mills failed because the Court ruled that Truman wasn’t the boss of the economy during wartime. That said, it would be hard for anyone fighting in court against an Obama EO to claim that he doesn’t have power over the military structure…and Truman’s EO would be a part of that argument FOR him.

  115. 115

    Oh come on, he’s gone fey before an asteroid strike. This is the big one, and Obama has misunderestimated the oil men.

    Keep your Eye on the Ball here, the Well Casing is collapsing.
    That is the extra time Obama bought for BP, and he will go down in history for it –as this catastrophe begins to dwarf all that you have put before it.
    No more Top Kills or Junk Shots, it is not a matter of IF but WHEN that Well Collapses. So Obama will have to make some hard decisions.
    Can he do it?

  116. 116
    RevPhat says:

    Had to come out of lurk mode to say great rant and to ask if this is penis day at bj.

  117. 117
    JCT says:

    Total agreement.

    And just imagine how much fun it will be in 2012 when these wankers help get some mind-blowing Republican idiot elected.

    Then they’ll have something to whine about.

  118. 118
    Osceola says:

    Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein are savvy businessmen. Yes indeed.

  119. 119
    A Guest says:

    @DiTurno:
    4. is the thing in your list that is closest to a good point, and the worst thing about his tenure thus far.

  120. 120
    rootless_e says:

    @NobodySpecial: black voters still support the president by a vast majority. I believe that’s because black Americans, by and large, cannot afford to live in la-la-land about the reality of power as can privileged white americans.

    The point I’m trying to make is that it’s really obnoxious for people who I generally assume are either white or otherwise privileged to claim to speak for the Democratic Party base as if black Democrats do not count.

    As for your theory on stimulus negotiation, I can only say that as a business guy who does a lot of negotiations, the progressive take on this makes me blindingly angry.

  121. 121
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Rainy Day:

    Which leads me to my next point. I think ole Obama is compartmentalizing everything on his plate. He doesn’t get to do anything he wanted to do as President. He has to keep dealing with other people’s mistakes and mismanagement. I think he’s reached his ‘fuck it’ phase. Status quo for X; status quo for Y; status quo for Z.

    The Affordable Care Act would disagree with you.

  122. 122
    Kryptik says:

    @MMonides:

    My issue isn’t that Obama isn’t ignoring them…but that the other Dems in Washington don’t just go out of their way to NOT ignore them, but internalize it so damn much that the whole Democratic initiative is crippled. It’s just hair-pullingly frustrating.

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It’s the hold over from the Bush years. Bush proclaims, Congress falls over themselves to immediately make it so, or failing that, rewrite history to blame the failure on the angry left.

  123. 123
  124. 124
    jl says:

    Add to list of GO(B)Pers who support Barton’s apology to BP for creating an escrow fund to pay damages:

    Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, conceded that he “shares” Barton’s “concerns.”

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....024309.php

  125. 125
    joe from Lowell says:

    I don’t even have a problem with “Not enough.” The HCR bill – which needed to be passed – is not enough.

    But what too many do is take “not enough” to mean not “Let’s push for more,” but “I’m talking my ball and going home, so the Republicans can take over.”

    Hey, DiTurno:

    The Republicans understand that you have to throw your base a bone. The Democrats don’t.

    Maybe you should aim for a higher standard of thought and behavior than the Republican base.

  126. 126
    david mizner says:

    I could point to all the critics of Obama who, in fact, praise him.

    Instead, I’ll accept the flawed premise of the post and say that to the extent that it’s true, it’s because Obama has lost a lot of progressives. You know why. For some it was his continuation of Bush’s terror war. For others it was his orthodox neoliberal economic policies. For others offshore drilling or the triangulation or the refusal to fight. For anything. To pre-compromise, and then compromise again. For most people, it’s the cumulative effect of all these things. Some subset of progressives are anxious about the country and the state of the party — about dead pelicans, dead soldiers, and the dead recovery — and they think time is running short to enact policies that could help the country and the party and they don’t feel like writing measured on-the-one-hand-this, on-the-other-hand-that posts. They want to vent.

    By the way, many of us warned that there would be a tipping point, when Obama’s relentless caution and moderation would turn progressives against him, and we were told to STFU, progressives love Obama, just look at the polls.

    Reap what you sow and all that.

  127. 127

    A lot of the criticisms at Obama get oddly personal too. Kucinich and Dean fail and are heroes. Obama doesn’t do or get what they want and he’s a corporate whore planning on losing in 2012 so he can work for Goldman Sachs.

  128. 128
    joe from Lowell says:

    The most important thing to Protest People is their self-image as Protest People.

    If they don’t oppose whatever Obama is doing, then they aren’t being Protest People.

  129. 129
    NickM says:

    “Climate change,” you see, is the phrase that pays, and had he said it, he would have won the door prize.

  130. 130
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    1. Sign my name on to the thread, agree 100%

    2. As said on previous thread, this isn’t just about criticism of Obama any more. This is about the fact that every single butthead on tv now thinks that all of this stuff is about him, and them. As if oil spills and other national affairs are now just part of their tv shows, as if what they think is the most important thing we should focus on. Fuck them and the horses they rode in on. All of them, there is not now a nickels worth of difference between Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann. Sure, they sing for different teams, but they are singing the same song: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME.

  131. 131
    Kryptik says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    But law is still law, and the administration seems to want to cover all bases here. And the eased restrictions making an ouster under DADT much more unlikely seems to be a good step in that direction before the full repeal can happen.

    I don’t want to see an EO that basically says ‘we’re going to ignore this law because we feel like it’, even if it’s for a good thing. I saw too much of it during Bush, and with DADT still federal law, all it takes is a Repub presidency to immediately strike that EO, if the repeal isn’t taken up first.

  132. 132
    rootless_e says:

    @Culture of Truth: but “fail” is not a problem for “progressives”. they’ll tell you that all the time. “I’d rather Obama took a stand on single payer and got nothing than his soft squishy approach that gets better health care for 10s of millions”.

    The thunder is what they want. Lightning, not so much.

  133. 133
    Observer says:

    John,

    this is a b.s. strawman post.

    The easiest way out of your self created dilemma is just to draw up a list of things you expected Obama to fight for. But not a list from today. Do the list as of Election Day Nov 4, 2008. Make it an ordered list in terms of importance to you.

    Then compare it to what we got. But not what legislation we got. What Obama actually fought for, defined entirely by you.

    i.e. what we “got” for having a Dem in the White House. either someone who fights for what we believe in or someone who doesn’t.

    If are okay the results then okay. But if, like many people who voted for him, you are not then you’re not.

    If we all did this, then at the top of many peoples list would be “health care – public option”. Not single payer as you mentioned in your strawman. And it’s about what he told us during the campaign that he’d fight for.

    If you believe he fought for, but failed, on the public option then you’re okay with Obama. If you don’t, then you’re not.

    Going down what I suspect are many people’s list would be (in addition to the public option for health care):
    1) closing Gitmo
    2) ending the Iraq debacle
    3) re-establing habeas corpus or at least ending the b.s. Bush legal theories being argued in court.

    In many people’s opinion, he’d be 0 for 4. Again what he fought for not what legislation ended up being enacted.

    Failing to address how he fought and only after-the-fact justifying the legislation that we got is *possibly* a reason for someone to think a commenter is an O-bot.

    YMMV. But you have to stop with this strawman stuff.

  134. 134
    flukebucket says:

    a blue-vein hard-on

    Precious memories.

  135. 135
    singfoom says:

    John,

    Those are good accomplishments. But guess what, I haven’t heard anything about returning the rule of law to the United States.

    I’m sorry, until the President (regardless of who holds the post) cannot just point at an American citizen, call them a “Terrorist” and have them shipped off to Guantanamo or Bagram, we don’t have rule of law.

    So yeah, Obama has had some accomplishments. But he still hasn’t removed the stain on America’s soul started by Bush the II’s administration.

    We’ve still got Guantanamo. He’s talked about indefinite detention as an institutionalized process. Fuck, I hope every terrorist gets their due, but maybe, just maybe we could use a normal justice system that proves their guilt before we throw away the key?

    So, call me all sorts of names, but Obama gets a D+ from me until the rule of law is restored in this country.

  136. 136
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    While Cornyn is sympathetic to Barton, other Republicans are more anxious to throw him under the bus. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), whose Pensacola district is already feeling the brunt of the spill, announced today that he’d like to see Barton step down as the ranking member of his committee. (Note: if Republicans retake the majority, Barton is currently positioned to be the next chairman of the House Energy Committee.)
    __
    “I condemn Mr. Barton’s statement,” Miller said in a written statement. “Mr. Barton’s remarks are out of touch with this tragedy and I feel his comments call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee. He should step down as Ranking Member of the Committee.”
    __
    Politico reports that Barton’s apology has caused a bit of a panic in Republican circles. “People are calling for his head,” said a GOP member of the committee.

    Nice to know that not all the stupid fucks are Democrats today. For once.

    The New Republican Party: The GOBP.

  137. 137
    Emma says:

    Dollared: As soon as you come up with a list of ways in which the President of the United States can force a half-way-to-wingnut Congress to pass the laws he wants RIGHT NOW OR ELSE I encourage you to send them to the White House.

  138. 138
    matoko_chan says:

    @tim: we aren’t pretending.
    Obama is simply full of win.
    the conservatives are full of Fail.
    and so are you.

  139. 139
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Kryptik: Yes and making those dramatic pronouncements of stern resolve, didn’t make Bush particularly effective did it? Towards the end of his Presidency it almost made him sound delusional.

  140. 140
    Tom Hilton says:

    I love Rachel Maddow, and she’s a lot more level-headed than Olbermann…but I just couldn’t sit through that ridiculous ‘fake president’ bit last night. As I said elsewhere, the whole speech-I-would-give thing is terminally lame whoever is doing it. Especially when it’s just repeating the same damn criticisms (some just, some less so) she’s been making over and over since the spill began.

  141. 141
    LWC says:

    John over-reacted, and Russell in 108 summed it up for me.

    John, you come off sounding like you’re saying “CLAP LOUDER”.

    Carry on.

  142. 142
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @david mizner:

    Instead, I’ll accept the flawed premise of the post and say that to the extent that it’s true, it’s because Obama has lost a lot of progressives.

    By the way, many of us warned that there would be a tipping point, when Obama’s relentless caution and moderation would turn progressives against him, and we were told to STFU, progressives love Obama, just look at the polls.
    __
    Reap what you sow and all that.

    I knew Al Giordano was right when he wrote about entitled white “progressives” and their unknowing disdain for the actual progressive coalition that exists in this country, but goddamn, you just took it to another level.

    There is currently no quicker way for white progressives to further divide themselves from African-American, Hispanic-American, working class and poor Americans – all sectors without which serious and successful progressive movements in the US would be impossible – than to invent derogatory psychobabble terms for us because we do not share Klein’s tendencies to feel somehow demoralized by the country’s first African-American head of state, and demonstrably its most progressive since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
    __
    […]
    __
    Here’s what the academic left – hopping mad, frustrated and now, like Klein, lashing out at those of us in the working left – doesn’t get: It was Obama – not Klein’s post-Seattle ’99 milieu of “anti-globalization activists” – who opened the doors of the American left for the first time since the Civil Rights movement of the ‘50s and ‘60s to the building of an authentically multi-racial movement. It was Obama – not Klein and her colleagues – that got working class whites struggling alongside working class blacks and Hispanics in the United States, and who turned a new generation onto the art of community organizing that the activist left had abandoned.
    __
    When colleagues like Klein so summarily insult Obama supporters and sympathizers, they are driving yet another stake between their white college-educated ghetto and the 94 percent of African-Americans, and the 73 percent of Hispanic Americans, and the 60 percent of the entire American working class, that is pleased, as I am, that this unique historic figure is, for the next four years at least, the President of the United States.

  143. 143
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    In Nevada, Senate candidate Sharron Angle has said the appropriate response to the disaster is further deregulation of the oil industry. In Kentucky, Senate candidate Rand Paul said it’s “un-American” for the president to criticize BP.

    Again, courtesy of WaMonthly.

    I can’t believe that the Republicans are failing this simple test so badly.

    Actually, yes I can. And lovin’ every minute of it.

  144. 144
    Bridget says:

    THIS, 1000 times this, is why I come here every day.

    THANK YOU.

  145. 145
    NeoOstrakon says:

    Yup.

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    The case with the steel mills failed because the Court ruled that Truman wasn’t the boss of the economy during wartime. That said, it would be hard for anyone fighting in court against an Obama EO to claim that he doesn’t have power over the military structure…and Truman’s EO would be a part of that argument FOR him.

    Really? You really picture John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy all saying, “You know, you’re right — Obama is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces and so he should be allowed to make decisions for them.”

    And then you woke up.

  147. 147
    Wannabe Speechwriter says:

    I think this goes to my theory that cable news is what is destroying America. Everything has to be in some sort of conflict. There’s either good or bad, wrong or right, everything or nothing. There is no compromise, or total success or total failure. For something like a Presidential election, this makes sense-one person wins, everyone else looses. Remember, the media spent 2 years covering the 2008 election. It was pure heroin. Now everything else is just cheap crap.

    However, actual governance and policy making is something entirely different. To build a governing party come up with its policies you need compromise. I don’t mean bi-partisanship (though it can take that form). I mean taking a variety of groups who often times have different interests (cultural, economic, regional, etc) and making them all work together. It’s hard, tedious, and often boring. Yet it is the basis of how you can actually get policies through.

    I remember reading “Rules for Radicals” and Saul Alinsky putting forward that you publicly state “All Or Nothing” but ultimately accept the best deal you can get (even if it’s only a small fraction of what you want). I think there are those activists there (remember, even Maddow and Kos eventually endorsed the health care bill) however, in an environment where the person who screams the loudest is the most rewarded, this line of thinking is very often dismissed.

    Until the news outlets stop peddling in portraying governance as one giant argument, we’re going to keep seeing this mess…

  148. 148

    […] I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by some of the more left of the left who are constantly upset that Obama isn’t pounding tables and acting dramatic, but I am given he was nicknamed by some as no-drama Obama which was one of the best things about the guy.  There are certainly valid criticisms of his Presidency and I respect those criticisms in general, but John Cole sums up my general take on it here: […]

  149. 149
    wrb says:

    Is it me, or do you think Obama is treating the BP spill like damaged
    step children he didn’t count on dealing with when he married

    I’ve suspected the quiet early public response, which got interpreted as being slow to react (when it turns out tons of things were in motion) was because he didn’t want it to become the big focus because if it did it would potentially screw up two big successes he was on the verge of: financial reform and a climate bill.

    It has blown financial reform off the front page, opening the field for lobbyists, and may have screwed the climate bill since the expanded offshore drilling was probably needed for it to pass. I’m sure he regarded those as far more important in the long run than some damned industrial accident.

    So rather than play to the bleachers from the beginning he chose to play cool and hope it would go away soon.

  150. 150
    rootless_e says:

    @Observer: It’s amazing how Obama collapsed on closing Gitmo after the way the “progressives” backed him up on the issue. When the Republicans and many Dems attacked on this issue, progressives really showed why they deserve to be called the base by rallying to Obama’s defense and making life hell for those who opposed his attempt to restore the rule of law.

    Oh wait, they didn’t do shit.

    Sorry, I was mixing up “progressives” with people who have leftist politics and stand by their convictions.

  151. 151
    Kryptik says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Effective, no, but it definitely helped to further the impression of ‘EVIL BIG GOV’T LEFTIES WANT TO TAKE YOUR MONEYS!’ that we’re still seeing. And the successes he did have, the country as a whole is still paying for.

  152. 152
    Patrick says:

    Can I ask, are we still torturing? Are we talking about using drones inside of US airspace? Are we still in Afghanistan (I know he did not say he’d get us out of there, that he thought it was the right war….) Does the President still act like it is okay to order the assassination of American citizens without any sort of due process?

    Does this nation have a manufacturing/industrial policy?

    This is what I am angry about as far as the POTUS is concerned. All the shit in your post, that is small stuff (and I really am not trying to minimize any of it), throwing out the good for want of the perfect. All the stuff you talk about in your post are quarterly reports, satisfying but ineffectual.

  153. 153
    fucen tarmal says:

    i don’t think people fully appreciate how much stuff liberals like has gotten its ass kicked since, just for a basis of comparison, carter’s malaise speech, which sucked at the time, but in retrospect….well, read it..

    maybe people are aware, and are seeing through hcr, and the stim, and through the glory of the internet, how much of an ass kicking the left has really taken…

    its nice to play the lefter than thou card, in polite company of course, but in the real world, it doesn’t get much done…our asses have been completely out of a place where we could even discuss single payer and financial regulation,for fuck sake barney frank still is to blame in not far from mainstream circles because those city blacks bought homes and that crashed the housing market.

    you can only do so much so fast, and our asses have been deeply kicked and it will take a long time just to root out the do nothings at all levels of the govt…mms shows how profoundly the spirit if not the statutes reflect the notion that government can never do right. these people are still, in of all place, government!

    cheers mr. cole!

    folks its gonna take time, but if we don’t come out of our shoes, and try and do it all at once, we got this.

  154. 154
    RalfW says:

    If I’m with you, that means I’m not against you, yeah?

    Keep it comin’ John.

  155. 155
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Obama doesn’t do or get what they want and he’s a corporate whore planning on losing in 2012 so he can work for Goldman Sachs

    This is not an original charge, nor an exaggeration — I was told by a long-time progressive commenter at Steve Benen’s place, during the stimulus debate, before Obama was in office three months, that Obama had no interest in his own re-election, or in securing a legacy, and was in fact deliberately one-terming himself so as to secure the looming payoff from the banksters four years early — because the money was so good, he just couldn’t wait.

    And that just because it was unlikely that a president, and the first colored President to boot, wouldn’t seek re-election, or to solidify his legacy, or do something to secure his place in history with more than his election, that didn’t make his impending self-inflicted defeat and buyout any less plausible.

    I consider his conceding that the timing of tuition payments for Sasha and Malia meant that he could wait to take the money and run till 2016 a major accomplishment on my part.

    An MLB third-string shortstop makes more than the President, has to eat less shit to earn it, and has his winters off. I’ll be damned if I know why anyone sane wants the job. Is being on some future AP US History exam actually worth it?

  156. 156
    Tom Hilton says:

    @walt:

    Occasionally, it helps to prop up the leader, ala El Cid, just to enhance the whole potency thingie. Some of us on the Left despise that idea because tribalism seems so downscale. We’re better than that!

    NO, WE ARE NOT. Until we fight the assholes with every weapon we have, we’re just whining. Grow up, lefties. Obama isn’t perfect because this country is really fucked up. Start kicking ass and let Glenn Greenwald worry about the liberal soul.

    The right-wing adulation of Bush (which they’ve all forgotten now, but that’s another story) was stupid and ridiculous, but it actually kind of worked. The right understood instinctively that their fortunes rose or fell with Bush’s, and they acted accordingly, and so for most of Bush’s presidency (really until the last year, year and a half) instead of a beleaguered unpopular president we had a popular president being attacked by rabid partisans of the other side.

    And I didn’t really understand this until I saw the dynamic we have with Obama.

  157. 157
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Observer:

    Then compare it to what we got. But not what legislation we got. What Obama actually fought for, defined entirely by you.

    Wow. “Who gives a fuck about tangible results! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU WILL FIGHT FOR!”

    Going down what I suspect are many people’s list would be (in addition to the public option for health care):
    1) closing Gitmo
    2) ending the Iraq debacle
    3) re-establing habeas corpus or at least ending the b.s. Bush legal theories being argued in court.

    You do remember this happening, right?

    President Barack Obama’s campaign pledge to shut the prison at Guantánamo Bay was rejected by his own party yesterday when Senate Democrats joined their Republican counterparts in voting not to pay for the closure.
    __
    The vote is the latest setback for the Obama administration, which has been widely criticised by supporters for deciding to restart the controversial military tribunals for detainees, first established by President George Bush, but halted by Obama when he came to office.
    __
    The 90-6 vote in the Senate follows a similar decision in the House of Representatives last week – a clear sign to Obama that he may struggle to convince the Democratic-controlled Congress to agree with his plans to shut down the detention centre and move the 240 detainees.

    90-6. But I’m sure a little more fighting on his part would have gotten it to 87-9, right?

    EDIT: And that was in May 2009! What have you personally done since then to change Congress’ intractable stance on this issue?

  158. 158
  159. 159
    matoko_chan says:

    @Observer: results man, results rule.
    Demint said HCR would be Obama’s waterloo.
    HCR passed.
    FinReg is going to pass.
    O is appointing TWO scotus before hes 2 years in.
    The teatards are bleeding out.
    The wingnuts said cap n trade was dead how many times?
    now it looks like a sure bet.
    guess what else ima bet on?
    the Israelis will freeze settlements. they are already talkin’ lifting the blockade.
    lawl.

  160. 160

    There is no doubt some small subset of progressives who are indeed convinced that they, and they alone, care about dead pelicans or dead soldiers. (Not necessarily in that order, one hopes).

  161. 161
    General JAFO Willibro says:

    Criticizing Obama from the left is a healthy part of democracy

    Yeah, sure. Except when somebody actually does it. Then suddenly it’s unhealthy and bad and Palin-supporting WATB Republican-lite fifth-columnism.

    I don’t even bother criticizing Obama to anyone anymore. It just annoys rubes like John Cole, who apparently need to believe that the American political leadership still has something to do with meeting challenges and advancing our fortunes as a nation.

    That particular Titanic sank around 1993. What the political establishment is busy with now is making sure there’s a nice, high, solid fence between the elites and an ever-growing mob of angry, jobless, ill-informed and disenfranchised “citizens”.

  162. 162
    Emma says:

    Editilla: And what in the name of Koschei can he do if the well collapses? Send in the Marines? Execute the head of BP? Order Americans to walk or bike to work under penalty of death so we stop using oil? WHAT?

  163. 163

    […] guess some people think politics is like being a kindergarten teacher and their job is to build their students’ self esteem, even if there’s nothing all that […]

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    But what too many do is take “not enough” to mean not “Let’s push for more,” but “I’m talking my ball and going home, so the Republicans can take over.”

    And my favorite part is when they then try to claim that wasn’t what they said — all they said was that they’re going to stay home in 2012 and that’s totally not the same thing.

    Lefties (or, more properly, middle-class, white lefties) got this weird idea in their heads back in 1968 that electoral politics were beneath them and their withdrawal helped open the door for Reagan and the 30 years of Republican misrule that followed. That’s why the default position from the left is “give up” and not “kick harder” — it’s in our culture at this point, and I’m not sure how to fix that.

  165. 165
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I cosign with Cole. There are legitimate arguments to be made about Obama’s decisions, but can we at least give credit where credit is due? It is not all or nothing, and he is the best president in my lifetime (I’m the same age as Cole). Then again, I am not one of the Democratic base, nor have I ever been, so I don’t have that sense of entitlement that many of the so-called base seem to have. If the ones who want Obama to rule by fiat would just admit that they want Obama to be W., I would appreciate that, thankyewvery much. If you have to put an asterisk by every accomplishment he’s done, then maybe you need to start your own party. I used to think I was very left, and I am in politics and issues, but I don’t think that’s so true, any more. I am not center or right, whatever that means, so I guess I am a woman without a party yet again. I am to Obama’s left, but I can understand why he is operating as he is. That does not mean I approve of all of his decisions, but it also means that I’m not going to tear him down every time I perceive he has not given me exactly everything I want.

  166. 166
    Bill Section 147 says:

    But where is MY unicorn?

    Since it’s World Cup time:

    Obama is keeping the ball in front of the GOP net and they have yet to get it past midfield before he steals it back. Sure their ‘deny everything defense’ is tough and their goalie is constantly making heroic ‘saves’ and preventing yet another goal but the 4-0 score isn’t enough for the fans in Blue. And the announcers are nostalgic for the excitement of the last cup when the Red team was on top.

    They forget GW didn’t even score a goal but his tight shorts, determined look and manly swagger kept the concession stands humming and the TV guys sold a ton of commercials.

  167. 167
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Kryptik: My thing is, no one ever challenged the validity of Truman’s EO. Not even the most race-baiting Boll Weevil you could think of erupted in outrage and took it to court. And after that, no Republican even so much as mentioned the idea between ’48 and ’64 of taking the Negroes and resegregating them, even though civil rights was hardly a won battle by that point. I personally believe that (again) Obama is trying to perfect his defenses against an enemy that will never show up, and gays (another loyal Dem voting bloc) suffer because of it.

  168. 168
    Tazistan Jen says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    The Democrats, on the other hand, have no desire to please what used to be known as ‘the base’.

    Oh please. I am The Base. Yes, me, personally. I have been a Dem forever, vote in every election, give money, volunteer for campaigns, “supervise” (ha ha) eight precinct captains. I make calls and knock on doors and deliver yard signs. I have been doing this stuff for decades, rain or shine, even when I felt like quitting in frustration after Gore got taken out or Kerry lost.

    I am so tired of firebaggers thinking they are The Base. They are just really loud and annoying about it whereas I and those like me comment on a blog every so often.

  169. 169
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @DiTurno:

    The initial number he gave for the stimulus package was much too low, which meant that the final number was spectacularly low. That’s why we have unemployment that’s over 9%.

    Of all my criticisms of the president, this is definitely the biggest. There wasn’t going to be an opportunity to go to the well again, so he had to get everything he needed with that first package.
    Now, it’s possible that the end result would have been about the same because Specter hadn’t flipped yet and he needed at least one of the three Republican votes he wound up getting. (And even with them, the vote was only 60 in favor.) But it’s unforgivable not to have tried, and this failure set up a lot of others down the road.

    At the same time, on the face of it that $20 billion escrow from BP is pretty damn impressive. (By comparison, there are enough warts on HCR not to be that impressed by it.) Getting a foreign company to make that kind of commitment with nothing but the MKP deserves several rounds of applause. It resurrects hope that maybe this administration is throwing sharp elbows behind the scenes, after all.

  170. 170
    Tax Analyst says:

    Easily one of John Cole’s best (and most well-targeted) rants. I couldn’t help chuckling and chortling throughout, but I especially liked this part of it:

    …All I know is that if Obama doesn’t stop the oil leak with his massive Kenyan penis and then give a rousing FDR/Trumanesque speech delivered using a grade 7.5 language level that gives Chris Matthews a blue-vein hard-on and then personally scrubs every drop of oil from the gulf without hurting BP’s profits and making sure every oil worker has a job…

  171. 171
    Comrade Mary says:

    @RevPhat:

    Had to come out of lurk mode to say great rant and to ask if this is pen1s day at bj.

    It was officially announced in comment #7. Perhaps the Canadian spelling of today’s Blue Vein Special confused you.

  172. 172
    jl says:

    I think people here know I am no Obot, and I have been chewed out for criticizing him too much.

    But I cannot go along with a blanket and bitter condemnation. Take health care reform. Yes, what we got stinks compared to any of the possible policy options. Yes, I think there is evidence that he went back on his campaign support of something like a public option to buy off some big players in the the US health/industrial complex. Yes, the whole thing will have to be redone, probably as soon as all the provisions come into effect, because the reform is based on flawed economic assumptions and will start falling apart soon (just as the current system is falling apart).

    But there have been pushes for some kind of national health insurance since Teddy Roosevelt. Several presidents, including Truman, Nixon and Clinton backed failed efforts.

    Obama is the first to turn the US down the road towards a sensible, and economically sound, and humanitarian health care policy. It is a very flawed start, but it is a start.

    I have some huge problems with Obama, but that does not mean I will totally discount any and all the accomplishments of this administration.

  173. 173

    All I know is that if Obama doesn’t stop the oil leak with his massive Kenyan penis and then give a rousing FDR/Trumanesque speech delivered using a grade 7.5 language level that gives Chris Matthews a blue-vein hard-on and then personally scrubs every drop of oil from the gulf without hurting BP’s profits and making sure every oil worker has a job, I’m out.

    I wish I could fit this on a cooking apron with a picture of Tunch.

  174. 174
    Michael says:

    Bravo!

    Also, too: Henceforth “MKP” is the official acronym to reference the President in the face of Big Babyism.

  175. 175
    Tax Analyst says:

    Well, don’t know why my comment #170 is in moderation. Shit, all I did was say I liked John’s rant, laughed & chortled and was generally in pleased and amused agreement and then I b-quoted one particular section of it that really tickled my funny bone.

    Oh…in the minute or two it took to type this it seems my #170 cleared moderation and got to sit with the big people. Well, then nevermind…

  176. 176
    wrb says:

    Now, it’s possible that the end result would have been about the same because Specter hadn’t flipped yet and he needed at least one of the three Republican votes he wound up getting.

    Or it is possible that the huge number that I would have liked would have so mobilized opposition that nothing would have passed and we’d have 40% unemployment and machine gun nests in the streets.

    That was the fear and seems legitimate.

    Who can know?

  177. 177
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Mnemosyne: If you’re really thinking that they’re part of the ‘bust Obama’s balls’ train, then why did they toss the birther suits?

    Yes, they are assholes, but they’re assholes who believe in a Unitary Executive.

  178. 178
    Observer says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Gitmo vote? It was all Kabuki theater. He never intended to do anything. Bought Rahm’s argument.

    And the response was in regards to why people are disappointed. Which *is* about feelings.

    Feelings of betrayal or being a used (a sucker) is a big reason why people get disallusioned with someone. Electing someone to fight for you and then you perceive that they’re not fighting will lead to feelings of betrayal.

    If you want to go by the record…that’s easy.
    1) public option? No.
    2) Gitmo closing anytime soon? No.
    3) iraq war ending anytime soon? No.
    4) b.s. Bush era “gov’t can do anything it wants” court arguments ending? No.

    So 0-4 on the results too.

  179. 179
    Dog is My Copilot says:

    I may not agree with everything President Obama does or says, but I think he’s done a hell of a lot more than any recent President that I can remember! A lot of people say he’s “too cool” and detached, but I happen to sense that he’s genuine in most everything he says. Yes, he’s a politician, too, but I happen to think he’s doing a great job – in a position no sane person would want!

  180. 180
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Thank you a million times for this. I felt this way through the HCR debate. I looked at the prominent people arguing for shooting down the bill, and I wondered how many of these um, pigment-challenged people had healthcare insurance of their own. They were way too quick to dismiss the millions of people who would get healthcare with the law. I still get the feeling that ‘the base’ most people talk about is the middle-class, mostly white base.

  181. 181
    jl says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I thought the stimulus was too small. But I cannot call it a failure. It did do some good. Obama probably did get conflicting advice, particularly from Summers.

    I think Summers has recognized now that he was wrong and that the stimulus was too small. Obama’s economic team seem to all be calling for another jobs bill.

    If crummy jobs reports keep coming in, as they have for last two weeks, then the Obama administration needs to do something, at least make a strong case for a jobs bill, so that they will have ‘I told you so’ rights over next elections if they cannot get anything.

    But I think calling the stimulus an unambiguous failure is too extreme at this time.

  182. 182
    Emma says:

    jl: the whole thing will have to be redone, probably as soon as all the provisions come into effect, because the reform is based on flawed economic assumptions and will start falling apart soon (just as the current system is falling apart).

    Same thing happened with Social Security. It has gone through dozens of modifications, additions, changes. etc.

    Obama just put into place something that will serve as a foundation.

  183. 183
    licensed to kill time says:

    Good gawd, John Cole, how do you get into my head and express my thoughts and feelings so well? It’s scary, man. But I love it. And your blog.

    Never give up. Never surrender.

  184. 184
    cleek says:

    @jl:

    I have some huge problems with Obama, but that does not mean I will totally discount any and all the accomplishments of this administration.

    this.

    additionally: anyone who thinks the US electoral system is likely to give us anything better in 2012 is insane.

    besides, what would help the progressive agenda (whatever that is) more than challenging Obama in 2012 is more and better Dem Senators. the Senate, as always, is the bottleneck to getting solid progressive legislation passed.

  185. 185
    Origuy says:

    Here’s the new thing someone’s fussing about:

    Why is his wedding picture, and loving (obviously posed) family photos so visible in the oval office at this time of “national crisis”? I don’t recall any other president feeling the need to position his family photos in such a prominent location during an oval office speech.

    I saw this in Facebook a few days ago. This comment is from the Washington Times. I tried not to read the other comments; they make my brain hurt.

  186. 186
    xe-nwb says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “And you thought we could dismantle the current system during Obama’s first 18 months in office? The same system that it took Republicans 30 years to build? How was that going to happen, exactly?”

    1. I’m not a liberal, so I really don’t care whether Obama is Left or Right on issues.

    2. The question at hand isn’t whether Obama is able to dismantle said system, but whether he has any interest in doing so.

    3. He doesn’t. While 18 months is too soon to achieve a longterm goal, it’s long enough to state what that goal is. For Obama, that goal is to “progressivize” the current mechanisms to make them more palatable for liberals.

    4. The only choice civilians have in the matter is whether or not to go along with the plan. If you chose to go along with the system you spent 8 years protesting, then I wish you dozens of fat children.

    5. However, other people wont, and it’s useless to get butt-hurt over it.

    6. Also, know this: when, in a few years time, the citizenry (again) demands that the system be dismantled, everyone who cast their lot with DC will be on the wrong side of the pitchforks. Remember, we’re still fighting two simultaneous wars and Goldman is still stealing billions. It won’t be Sarah Palin holding the torches, but it won’t be progressives, either.

  187. 187
    MikeJ says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    What’s the opposite of “Dayenu”?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86QJ2rF-eTg

  188. 188
    Brachiator says:

    1000 times this

    Yeppity yep. Yep.

    @david mizner:

    Some subset of progressives are anxious about the country and the state of the party—about dead pelicans, dead soldiers, and the dead recovery—and they think time is running short to enact policies that could help the country

    I don’t get this at all. Too many self-described progressives seem to live in a special never-never land all of their own where there is zero unemployment, plenty to eat, and eco-friendly mini-mansions. And curiously, while fundamentalists cling to the feeble delusion that if you just clap your hands together three times and say “Baby Jebus,” all will be well, the worst progressives insist that if only the president would enact their progressive agenda (whatever that is, details not necessary) whole and entire, then tomorrow morning we would have solar powered jet aircraft and zero calorie protein fizzy water.

    Oh yes, and a 90% marginal tax rate.

    But in the world I live in, a fellow commuter nearly burst into tears as he talked about having to take another pay reduction in order to keep (for now) his job. I don’t hear anybody talking about how they yearn to see a progressive agenda implemented.

    Nobody.

  189. 189
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Tazistan Jen:

    See, this is an argument no one can ever win.

    We’ve got one commenter insisting that blacks are the base.

    We’ve got other commenters like you insisting they’re the base.

    Hell, you’ve even got people like me saying they’re the base.

    My biggest thing is if you never hold someone to a higher standard, you’ll never get it. And most critics of Obama aren’t the full-bore firebagger variety, and most of them DO give praise. But they’re buried on here beneath a layer of snark that turns into a meme.

  190. 190
    Davis X. Machina says:

    anyone who thinks the US electoral system is going to give us anything better in 2012 is insane.

    Anyone who thinks the US electoral system is going to give us anything better in 2012 is insane. posting here.

    Fixed.

  191. 191
    Cat says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    And I didn’t really understand this until I saw the dynamic we have with Obama.

    This is the way many many organisms are wired. When times are tough you stick with the pack, you follow the strong leader. The leaders survival skills will drag you along.

    When times are fat, you start thinking you don’t need to stick with the pack, you are skill full enough to survive on your own. The strong leader is cramping your style. You strike out on your own.

    Edit: I shouldnt say strong leader, they’ll follow who ever is in charge.

  192. 192
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Observer:

    Gitmo vote? It was all Kabuki theater. He never intended to do anything. Bought Rahm’s argument.

    Unreal. You people are a fucking joke.

    Feelings of betrayal or being a used (a sucker) is a big reason why people get disallusioned with someone. Electing someone to fight for you and then you perceive that they’re not fighting will lead to feelings of betrayal.

    You feel betrayed because you are a naive WATB with no stomach for the grueling struggle that is politics. You feel betrayed because you went into this presidency with unreal expectations founded on promises that were never made and dreams that were never shared by others outside of your own mind.

    You feel betrayed because you want to feel betrayed. You are more than welcome to have fun in Pity Town. I’ll be sure to roll up my windows when I drive through.

  193. 193
    FlipYrWhig says:

    There is a proportion of the Democratic party who are the leftier version of the Tea Party: probably about 15%. They’re never happy. They don’t want to be happy. They want to “fight” (but never by putting boots on the ground). They think they’re “principled” because they don’t actually care about results, just symbolism. The blogs connected them to one another and made them feel like they were much more prevalent than they are. They’re a smug bunch of douchebags who for some reason are both vastly proud of themselves and yet simultaneously chronically on the verge of utter despair. Remember how one of the original Rachel Maddow Show segments was called “Talk Me Down”? These people just want to stay riled up. They should just stay in their rooms putting on black nail polish and cutting themselves with razor blades like the emotional 14-year-olds they are. “No one understands me! But one day I’ll be gone and then you’ll be sorry!”

  194. 194
    Tax Analyst says:

    @dmsilev:

    and then give a rousing FDR/Trumanesque speech delivered using a grade 7.5 language level

    Some of his critics wouldn’t be satisfied by Truman; they want Churchill. Or Henry V, as written by Shakespeare.

    Yeah, and still deliver it at that 7.5 language grade.

  195. 195
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @MikeJ: Well played, sir!

  196. 196
    NobodySpecial says:

    @asiangrrlMN: As an argument, I’d bet if Cole did a survey, this blog comes out overwhelmingly white, middle aged and middle class or higher. Not to many poor folks like me. Most of the ones who post not having health care are the folks with long-term debilitating illnesses.

  197. 197
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Origuy: You made Basement Cat cry with this comment. Why do you hate the Basement Cat?

  198. 198
    a1 says:

    John,

    this is a b.s. strawman post.

    The easiest way out of your self created dilemma is just to draw up a list of things you expected Obama to fight for. But not a list from today. Do the list as of Election Day Nov 4, 2008. Make it an ordered list in terms of importance to you.

    Then compare it to what we got. But not what legislation we got. What Obama actually fought for, defined entirely by you.

    Here’s the ordered list of importance that John Cole and the rest of the Wankers For Power have on this site:

    1) Listening to President Daddy.
    2) Defending Daddy’s reputation from the taunting going on at the schoolyard.
    3) Saying if you don’t point out how Daddy got rid of Saddam/kept America safe/passed Healthcare/expanded SCHIP (OOOOOH!), then WAHHH!! You’re Just Not Fair!
    4) Doing the above in an amusingly snarky manner.
    ….
    ….
    6728) Any adult principle or standard whatsoever.

  199. 199
    eemom says:

    the idiocy. It boggles the mind.

    Hey, maybe THIS is where the Accountability Now funds are going. These people are paid shills of Greenwald and Hamsher. You know, like Hamsher is always accusing everyone who disagrees with her of being a paid shill of the Corporatists.

  200. 200
    rootless_e says:

    @xe-nwb:

    Perfect

    “2. The question at hand isn’t whether Obama is able to dismantle said system, but whether he has any interest in doing so.”

    Mere facts
    and dull results
    are merely regressive
    it’s thoughts that count
    in la-la land
    if you’re really a progressive!

  201. 201
    Cat says:

    @Brachiator:

    But in the world I live in, a fellow commuter nearly burst into tears as he talked about having to take another pay reduction in order to keep (for now) his job. I don’t hear anybody talking about how they yearn to see a progressive agenda implemented.

    I bet if someone brought up how collective bargaining might have kept him from taking yet another pay cut the whole bus would have said unions ruin the economy despite the evidence to the contrary.

    Hows that conservative wonderland?

  202. 202
    david mizner says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Al Giordano! There’s no quicker way go discredit yourself than to quote him favorably.

    I especially love that oft-heard claim: the most progressive president since FDR! LBJ — hello? On a good day, Obama might be more progressive than Clinton.

    As for Obama alleged coalition of working people (in fact, such a shaky coalition exists every four years), Obama’s shown enormous disdain for it with his neoliberalism.

    But yeah, there was a moment when a progressive resurgence was possible, a window that’s rapidly closing.

    Lastly, I don’t even understand what you’re trying to say.

  203. 203
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I wonder what the comments on a Unionist, Republican blog in, say, August 1862 would have looked like?

    But yeah, there was a moment when a progressive resurgence was possible, a window that’s rapidly closing.

    Don’t you have to have surged at one point to have a resurgence?

  204. 204
  205. 205
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Davis X. Machina: About half of them would be slagging Black Republicans for screwing up a perfectly good majority worrying about Negroes and the other half would be flaming them for not being progressive enough.

  206. 206
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @NobodySpecial: Perhaps. Though, I tend to think there is a slightly bigger racial diversity here than, say, at RedState. However, I still would bet that most people who argued for completely scrapping the healthcare bill probably have healthcare insurance.

    As for your base statement, I don’t think MM was arguing that blacks were the base–just that they are a part of the base, which the middle-class whites tend to ignore. Like I said, I know I’m not the base, so it’s all a matter of semantics to me.

  207. 207
    JC says:

    You always miss the main point. Obama has argued he can legally lock you up with no right to see a judge, ship you off to a foreign country to be tortured, sign off on your assassination without even a warrant, but we are the idiots that should acknowledge all the good he has done.

    Without Habeus Corpus there is no freedom. Period.

    Never mind a fucking public option.

    That’s not an unhinged rant.

    That’s a fact you ignorant asshole.

  208. 208
    Tazistan Jen says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    See, this is an argument no one can ever win.
    We’ve got one commenter insisting that blacks are the base.
    We’ve got other commenters like you insisting they’re the base.
    Hell, you’ve even got people like me saying they’re the base.

    Yeah, that was kind of my point. I don’t actually think I, personally, am The Base. :-) But I get testy when the base is defined in such a way that I am defined out of it, just as rootless gets pissed when it seems like voters of color really don’t count as the base.

    When people say the base is pissed/discouraged/hurt because Obama didn’t argue enough about the public option, they are leaving a whole lot of people out.

  209. 209
    Quiddity says:

    John writes:

    “And now this thread will rapidly become populated with WATB telling me I’m just as in the tank for Obama as I was for Republicans …”

    So true. That was pointed out by commenter Royce (back in the days of the health care legislation).

    Also, the emotional heat by JC&Co is a “tell”. No serious, sober analysis of politics has the invective that we are witnessing here.

    The comment cited by John is curious. It refers to various things that “he” got enacted. But from all reports, the legislation was something he didn’t do. It was Congress. So why so much Obama love?

  210. 210
    MMonides says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Al’s spot on there; I refer to it as “Privileged White Suburban Progressivism.” Luckily they have very little actual influence outside the immediate blogosphere.

  211. 211
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I thought all our base belonged to Tunch

  212. 212
    david mizner says:

    @Brachiator:

    ??????

    Fantasy land?

    There’s a financial reform debate going on. In Congress. Right now. There’s a not-shitty chance that a not-shitty bill could pass. With leadership. Obama is opposing the tough language on derivatives after opposing efforts to break up the big banks — the two most progressive and important aspects of the bill. He’s to the right of not just many members of his party but of a number of Fed officials.

    What’s does “progressive” reform look like. Like that. Like the bill that could have been enacted but that Obama chose to oppose.

  213. 213
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @david mizner:

    I especially love that oft-heard claim: the most progressive president since FDR! LBJ—hello? On a good day, Obama might be more progressive than Clinton.
    __
    As for Obama alleged coalition of working people (in fact, such a shaky coalition exists every four years), Obama’s shown enormous disdain for it with his neoliberalism.

    That’s mighty white of you, david. Mighty white.

    Lastly, I don’t even understand what you’re trying to say.

    I know you don’t. The acoustics in your ivory tower aren’t that great.

    I also love how you saved the thesis statement of your post–“I don’t even understand what you’re trying to say”–for after your haphazard attempt to refute an argument you were shortly about to confess to not understanding.

    A tour de force of inanity, this guy.

  214. 214
    Origuy says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Basement Cat should go poop in the shoes of the people who are saying this.

    Edit: Hey, I said the sh-word and didn’t go into moderation!

  215. 215
    jl says:

    More on GOBPgate:

    Poor ol’ Joe Barton, he apologized to BP for being pressured into the escrow account, and took a position identical to one announced the HRS yesterday. And everyone gets all pissy all of a sudden.

    To Barton’s Defense
    Josh Marshall, TPM

    “…the HRS [House Republican Study Committee] put out a pretty much identical statement yesterday about the Escrow account and President Obama yesterday. And more than a hundred members of the House Republican caucus belong to that group.”

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.c.....?ref=fpblg

    Edit: and now GOBPers are asking the BP CEO whether establishing the escrow fund was a ‘shakedown’? What? This is bizarre. Or, more likely, the GOBPers are bizarre.

  216. 216
    ChrisS says:

    Sorry, I guess I’m just a stupid fucking moron.

    Thanks for the enlightening thread.

    Now, go away, ‘batin.

  217. 217
    El Cid says:

    Minor detail: the F-22 wasn’t “killed”, if it’s still as I recall — it was simply limited to the ordinary production run already agreed to and requested by the Pentagon and not the additional production which the Pentagon didn’t want and which was simple local pork by, among others, Georgia representatives around the Marietta area.

  218. 218
    Comrade Jake says:

    It should be clear to everyone that Obama’s problem is that he doesn’t advocate strongly enough for progressive legislation that has absolutely no chance of appearing on his desk! Duh!

  219. 219
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @NobodySpecial: That’s what comes of electing President a one-term Rep Senator from Illinois, I guess.

  220. 220
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Midnight Marauder: I’m with you. Funny how I immediately got what you were saying, as did several others.

    @Tazistan Jen: Double-down on this. Who, exactly is the base, and who gets to define it? And, do we really want a base that is the equivalent of the Baggers of Tea? I, for one, do not.

  221. 221
    NobodySpecial says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Oh, I’m sure we’re more diverse. That’s not a stretch. But there were people like me – who don’t have insurance and who had real specific problems with this bill as written – who were lumped in with Jane Hamsher automatically and regardless how many times we brought up our specific objections. Makes a person not want to bother with ya’ll when it comes to the next issue, if you’re gonna just fall in line behind Stuck and Kay when they start foaming.

  222. 222
    Tom Q says:

    Like many here, I agree with every word John wrote.

    I’d add this: I think a funny thing happened over the last 48 hours, post-speech. The press — very much including the supposed-to-be-our-Fox MSNBC — was sure the moment had arrived when the Democratic base would rise up en masse against Obama for continual failure at being our Savior-Superman. And, indeed, you have the bunch of bozos at GOS thrilled at the Olbermann/matthews tantrum; shouting how much they wished Rachel Maddow’s night-after fantasia had been instead uttered by Barack, and how irredeeemably pissed off they are it wasn’t.

    But more of us — the majority, it seems, based on Obama’s polling numbers, and especially his near-perfect percentages among Dems — chose to see it as an opposite watershed moment: the moment when we just needed to tell these newbies/fantasists/Naderites/political naifs that they mostly don’t know what they’re talking about, don’t even faintly understand how politics in this country (esp. after a 30-year GOP reign) works, and really are hurting everything to do with the cause they claim to support.

    I said this at this site sometime in the last year, but it bears repeating: there’s a certain breed of progressive for whom failure is not only not a disappointment, it’s the virtual sanctification of their ideas’ moral superiority — if the majority came to accept these ideas, they’d lose their special appeal. Martyrdom is the triumph. Look at one of the touchstone pieces of liberal literature, To Kill a Mockingbird: Atticus stands as the great moral exemplar of his time and place. But, oh yeah, Tom Robinson gets killed. The perfect story for upscale liberals, far too many of woem have spent the past 30 years cultivating a victim’s pose, and are at this point addicted to it.

  223. 223
    wengler says:

    I think Obama is a centrist who has been successful in passing a center-right agenda. Of course this agenda is the only one possible with the right wing extremist abuse of rules in the Senate.

    Obama is much more a mediator than an idealogue. I’ve noticed that he is very passionate about arms control and disarmament, which is both refreshing and extremely important to world security, but on other issues he will give a mile just to get things done. And that plays into the hands of the corrupt partisan hypocrites in the Republican and Dixiecrat parties.

    On some issues Obama’s approach will work, and in better times he would be a great person to have as President. But on important issues like the economy and environment he has appointed the sort of Ivy League educated middlebrows that the establishment loves because they are insiders, but who don’t really give a shit about anyone other than other Ivy League educated insiders.

    In summary to be an effective President, Obama has to destroy the relationships he has cultivated his entire life with the people that have destroyed our economy and made a mockery of he rule of law. It’s just not going to happen.

  224. 224
    Observer says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Perhaps you should stop personalizing this.

    Did *YOU* believe Obama when he said during the campaign he’d close Gitmo? And also pulling troops from Iraq in 12 months?

    See, I never did. Still had my vote but I never did. So *I’m* not one of those disappointed in him.

    The Repubs never did too and were pissed that the press didn’t really come down on him for this (“the MSM is in the tank for Obama”).

    However, many Dems did believe him. and that’s where the noises of discontent are coming from. Feeling suckered.

    If you don’t feel suckered then you’re either in the tank for Obama or you’re easily fooled.

    Every major issue has the same blueprint from Obama:
    1) make some progressive sounding objective
    2) wait for the love
    3) allow the legislation to go forward with seemingly tough measures
    4) wait
    5) make a big speech
    6) change the legislation in some meaningful way that favors the corporate interests
    7) blame the Senate or some senator or Republicans or progressives or labour
    8) allow “practical” Democrats to crack back on the so-called base telling them they are naive or stupid or both.

  225. 225
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Origuy: I agree. And, the shoes thing got changed awhile back, but sockulism is still deadly.

  226. 226
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Two terms, if you please.

  227. 227
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @NobodySpecial: Or are you just picking them out? I recall plenty of crap-flinging from both sides of that debate as well as many others. I think you (and I mean a general you) tend to just remember the ones who irritate you more than the ones who support you (which I do as well).

  228. 228
    CaseyL says:

    I honestly do try to keep things in perspective. You’re right, though; I didn’t, with this speech. (Note to self: In future, do NOT liveblog Obama speeches).

    I do feel for the President: so much trouble, so much flat-out insane opposition, so much accomplishment in the face of little to no approval. I suppose one could take comfort in the fact that he probably little if any attention to the blogging world other than OFA (powers know he’s got a lot more important things to think about). I’m not even sure how much attention he pays to MSNBC.

    I think one way I can keep myself from joining the Greek Chorus o’ Doom is to think about who I’m keeping company with: not people I would otherwise want much to do with!

  229. 229
    John S. says:

    Al Giordano! There’s no quicker way go discredit yourself than to quote him favorably.

    Why, was he part of some purity purge by True Progressives® that the rest of us are not aware of?

  230. 230
    JoshA says:

    Thank you. Obama has made some mistakes, but there are a lot of people who treat a B+ or better President as though he deserves an F.

  231. 231
    david mizner says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Well, I understand you’re trying to say along with Giordano (everybody’s favorite radical-who-likes-centrism) that netroots critics are privileged whites (even, presumably, if they’re black and/or decidedly un-privileged.)

    But beyond separating the progressive universe into people who are street and those who aren’t, I don’t see any there there.

    I know it makes you feel good to think your ideas are somehow correct because of where you come from, or imagine you come from, but that’s just cheap identity politics, and that ain’t the revolution, hell that’s not even close.

  232. 232
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @NobodySpecial: The Rep, or the Senator? (Just finished Carwardine‘s Lincoln bio — very good on Abe’s Illinois-based political career, though the center of gravity of the book is later.

  233. 233
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Bill Section 147: win..

  234. 234
    John S. says:

    6) change the legislation in some meaningful way that favors the corporate interests

    If you think that this a failing attributable to OBAMA, then you are fucking world-class moron who doesn’t understand our political system.

    HINT: The executive branch doesn’t change legislation.

  235. 235
    NobodySpecial says:

    @asiangrrlMN: See, I don’t claim the ‘kill the bill’ people in that debate as my supporters. Most of them were idiots. Like I said, I have specific problems with the bill as written, based on the big hole in ability to pay at my income level/debts because of a smaller subsidy. Didn’t matter to the Purity Police on this blog, who were led by Stuck and Kay and eemom. I was just whining about ponies and rainbows and whatnot. Go back and check the threads – half the time they were posting that nonsense well before anyone had time to log an objection to the health care debate.

  236. 236
    Fleas correct the era says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The opposite of Dayenu? Here ya go.

  237. 237
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Both. Abe DID get reelected, after all. And Obama will be in 2012, in the face of opposition best resembling the Know Nothings than anything in the last two centuries.

    EDIT – any good? I was just rereading Catton’s Centennial History of the Civil War.

  238. 238
    demo woman says:

    @NobodySpecial: It’s not about falling in line with me. It’s understanding that Health Reform is something that can be improved and built upon. It might take decades but it will improve over time. I congratulate the President for achieving what no other president has done before him.
    Republicans put through a flawed prescription drug plan because they understood the importance of the elderly vote. There are very few bills passed that aren’t flawed, social security being one of them.

    BP putting aside 20 billion is a Big Fucking Deal!

  239. 239
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @jl:

    If crummy jobs reports keep coming in, as they have for last two weeks, then the Obama administration needs to do something, at least make a strong case for a jobs bill, so that they will have ‘I told you so’ rights over next elections if they cannot get anything. But I think calling the stimulus an unambiguous failure is too extreme at this time.

    My point is that it doesn’t work that way. Digby had this pegged over a year ago. Republicans can now say, “we tried it your way and government spending doesn’t work. No one (other than Roosevelt and Reagan) ever spent themselves out of an economic crisis.” You and I both know that the failures were in the scale and not the approach itself, but that’s not how it gets translated through the corporate media. There is no second bite at the apple.

    And at this point, like it or not, we’re headed for a double dip that might have been preventable. I call that failure.

    Failure doesn’t mean “Game Over.” But it does mean that the policy failed.

  240. 240
    david mizner says:

    @Observer:

    Clearly you’re just a privileged white person. Hell, you probably even went to college.

    You see, people of color and people who didn’t go to college like Al “Street” Giordano (who marched with Abbie Hoffman, Ghandi, and Jesus) are cool enough to ignore Obama’s continuation of Bushian terror policies and his embrace of neoliberalism. Anybody who cares about that shit is clearly a Chablis-sipping pussy living in some fortress in the ‘burbs.

  241. 241
    John S. says:

    Did YOU believe Obama when he said during the campaign he’d close Gitmo? And also pulling troops from Iraq in 12 months?

    And how exactly would OBAMA accomplish those things on his own? I took Obama’s pledge for what it was – his personal agenda was to close Gitmo and wind down the troops. Unfortunately, the Democratic congress doesn’t share his zeal. That isn’t Obama’s fault.

    Clearly, you REALLY do not understand how this thing called government works.

  242. 242
    PTirebiter says:

    Today at FDL

    Stop the BP Bailout: 50,000 Petition Signatures by Next Week
    By: Michael Whitney Thursday June 17, 2010

    Sometimes it’s worse than getting no credit.
    I posted this late on an earlier thread and I’m late again.

  243. 243
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    It should be clear to everyone that Obama’s problem is that he doesn’t advocate strongly enough for progressive legislation that has absolutely no chance of appearing on his desk! Duh!

    Well said. This is exactly the complaint. Obama should use “leadership” to get non-liberal Democrats, many of whom represent non-liberal electorates, to vote for liberal policies. Why, it’s so easy, his refusal to do so means he’s a corporatist sell-out. Why does he compromise so much, when all he has to do is “leadership”? It’s a puzzlement. It can’t possibly be that there are key figures in his party who have to be dragged kicking and screaming in the direction of even milquetoast liberalism. He just has to use the Wand Of Leadership — carved from the original Bully Pulpit — and all would come to pass. What a disappointment.

  244. 244
    Sarah in Brooklyn says:

    i love you, john cole.

  245. 245

    Chris Matthews blue-vein hard-on

    LOL, Tweety is just another media squirt.

    Oh, and the post –meh, I haven’t read the comments yet. If it didn’t make fuckhead cry, then it was worse than Bush. :-)

  246. 246
    rootless_e says:

    I gotta say, Al Giordano as a “centrist” is nearly as stupid and mind-blowingly ignorant as my previous favorite by many of the same people – Hillary Clinton as hard core progressive activist.

  247. 247
    rootless_e says:

    I gotta say, Al Giordano as a “centrist” is nearly as stupid and mind-blowingly ignorant as my previous favorite by many of the same people – Hillary Clinton as hard core progressive activist.

  248. 248
    NobodySpecial says:

    @demo woman: I don’t know anyone seriously arguing that the BP escrow isn’t a big win, and on that issue I wouldn’t treat seriously anyone arguing that, either.

    And ya’ll passed health care, but if nothing much improves for me before 2014, it’ll be a big problem for me specifically. It’ll be nice for those folks who can’t get insurance now and those folks who gain the new access to Medicare, but for me it’s a loss, which is not what I expect from a Democratic President with 59 votes.

  249. 249
    Observer says:

    @John S.:

    I never said it was a failing attribute of Obama. I wrote that this is what happens on big issues.

    Predictably. Every time. There has to be some reason for that.

    If you don’t understand the term “behind the scenes” then you really do not know how this game is played.

  250. 250
    NobodySpecial says:

    @John S.: What act of Congress opened Gitmo as a prison?

  251. 251
    Deb T says:

    I’m glad you posted this John. I totally agree. I don’t give Obama a pass for some of his civil rights and security stuff, but I do give him props for what he has done. I just thank my lucky stars old man McCain and what’s her name didn’t win.

  252. 252
    ChrisS says:

    @Observer:
    However, many Dems did believe him. and that’s where the noises of discontent are coming from. Feeling suckered.

    Which is where my feelings come into play. I’m happy that HCR was passed, I think the stimulus was weak, but it helped.

    But I voted for Obama in the hopes that he’d make true on his campaign promises for smarter energy policy and he started down the right path by nominating Chu. I felt a little betrayed by the “let’s not focus on the past” stuff (pssst Hey Ben! want a job?) But where the fuck did lifting the moratorium on off-shore drilling come from? That was right out of the McCain/Palin playbook. That BP’s rig blew up wasn’t Obama’s fault, but man, he took a bet on the wrong side of that issue and then the biggest environmental disaster in, oh, let’s put a timeframe on it, ever happened.

    His speech focused on some kind of policy things and faith and America. Not impressed. Meanwhile that he got $20 billion from a company that shits $10 billion a quarter doesn’t drive the conversation (Bush would have gotten a $20 million library donation, so, point for Barack). I don’t watch cable news, I don’t read the newspaper editorial sections so whatever Chris Matthews said is lost on me and I don’t give a shit.

    But Obama disappointed me with his energy policy. My issue. Sorry, I can’t make it to the Gulf though, I’m remediating a manufactured gas plant in upstate NY right now. A fucking mess from the early part of the 20th century. My nieces and nephews will have to clean up the gulf mess. And I’m sick of being called a know-nothing dipshit for advocating for my cause. But, hey eat your own.

  253. 253
    fucen tarmal says:

    @a1:

    aw! you think we are amusingly snarky? (imaginary sarcastic hair flip)

  254. 254
    IndieTarheel says:

    Damn, John, when you blow your top, you really go all the way off. Great post.

  255. 255
    MMonides says:

    @david mizner:

    Damn, having to ad hominem Giordano and use Limbaugh-esque claims of “identity politics” to defend yourself? Midnight Marauder sure has you on the ropes.

  256. 256
    Trinity says:

    Righteous rant, Cole. Most righteous.

    Obama Akbar!

  257. 257
    kuvasz says:

    You are full of shit, Mr. Cole, completely, full of shit.

  258. 258
    Randy P says:

    @NobodySpecial: Apparently you forgot the part where both houses of Congress managed to tie Obama’s hands on the closure.

    There are prisoners there. They have to go somewhere. Congress has refused to authorize that “go somewhere” part.

  259. 259
    Quiddity says:

    @Observer: Your observations are sensible. I find it interesting that in today’s forum, we read exchanges like this:

    Commenter 1: I have some problems with Obama not pushing more vigorously for X, Y, and Z.

    Commenter 2: Oh yeah? What have you done to advance the legislation?

    Over the last 6 months, this blog has moved outside the “normal” contours of discussion and analysis of intelligent blogs like Drum, Chait, even Benen. Mostly, it’s raw anger that you find here. An anger that, I suspect, is due to Obama’s diminishing prospects going forward – because he is losing political support (albeit gradually). And who better to blame for that than, to use John’s grown up acronym, WATBs?

  260. 260
    PTirebiter says:

    @NobodySpecial: see 239
    Check out the article and tell me where it acknowledges even a hint of accomplishment on Obama’s part.

  261. 261
    MikeJ says:

    @kuvasz: My, what an enlightening explication of your thesis.

  262. 262
    Brachiator says:

    @Cat:

    I bet if someone brought up how collective bargaining might have kept him from taking yet another pay cut the whole bus would have said unions ruin the economy despite the evidence to the contrary.

    You would bet wrong. And along the way, we passed some picketers. A manufacturing company that has been striking for several weeks. Nobody snarked. Nobody was anti-union. And nobody had much time for what unions “might” be able to do when they are not actually doing much.

    @david mizner:

    There’s a financial reform debate going on. In Congress. Right now. There’s a not-shitty chance that a not-shitty bill could pass….What’s does “progressive” reform look like. Like that. Like the bill that could have been enacted but that Obama chose to oppose.

    You’re joking, right? I’ve been reading some great stuff about the 1930s Pecora Commission (see the current issue of Vanity Fair or an old link to Bill Moyers’ Journal episode). Your example of “progressive” reform is not much more than diffident Democrats trying to get back a piece of a regulatory framework that the they helped gleefully demolish during both the Clinton and Bush administrations.

    By the way, I really recommend the Vanity Fair piece on Pecora. Senator Carter Glass of Virginia makes a cameo appearance. Glass, as in Glass-Steagall Act.

  263. 263
    Observer says:

    @John S.:

    took Obama’s pledge for what it was ….the Democratic congress doesn’t share his zeal

    John S, since you seem like such a nice guy, let me explain how this works for you.

    If you’re, say, a non-progressive but want to win the White House and calculate that you need “progressive voters” to win and then get re-elected, you do some form of the following:

    Articulate a progressive goal knowing people will get behind you but ensure that what gets into law is whatever non-progressive stance you really want and then do a bank shot and let someone else take the blame.

    A really good way to do this is to give big speeches where you set goals high but when the opposition comes, don’t really fight them or secretly kill the progressive parts, but let the public think it was filibusters or a particular senator.
    To do this you have to figure out who will want to kill this bill ahead of time and then let them do their thing. Like Joe Lieberman and healthcare. Or Barney Frank and finreg.

    As much as possible ensure the progressive parts of the legislation is scheduled to happen in the future. Like healthcare exchanges. That way when it get’s killed later, you don’t take the blame because you’re already gone. Commissions and studies are good too.

    Do this in such as way that your gloves are never on it in public.

    That way people on blogs, TV and newspapers can argue it was somebody else that was constraining you; it was never you.

  264. 264
    some other guy says:

    I agree with you that many of Obama’s critics from the left lack perspective– hell, some are downright unhinged. The only thing I really take issue with is that folks such as yourself and many of your commenters make such a huge deal out of the, what, 3%? 5%? of liberals who truly are being counterproductive and denying Obama’s accomplishments (read: Hamsher, PUMAs, et al). For how few people the Greenwalds of the world represent, this blog spends a TREMENDOUS amount of time griping about them.

    As a result, virtually any criticism of the president is read here as “oooh, did Obama hurt your fee-fees” butthurt. Commenters that don’t reflexively praise or make excuses for whatever the president does (or doesn’t do) are treated as a firebagger purity trolls who believe the president is some combination of Superman, Lex Luthor, and George W. Bush.

    I think the self-righteous pragmatist act here is getting nearly as tiresome as the self-righteous idealism it mocks.

  265. 265
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Randy P: Can’t buy a new facility to house them. Doesn’t say a damn thing about using existing SuperMax prisons. Also doesn’t answer my question about which act of Congress opened Gitmo as a prison. Hint: There was none. That was all Presidential, baby.

  266. 266
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Why can’t Obama just be like FDR? What I think is really failing this time is that GWB’s term ended right when the economic collapse occurred. If we’d had two more years of Bush policies – one being where he would not have passed a stimulus – then the Republicans and Blue Dogs wouldn’t have the clout to pull the crap they are right now.

  267. 267
    Daddy-O says:

    He refuses to investigate, prosecute and demand accountability for his predecessor’s crimes. He continues many of those criminal activities.

    His ‘successes’ are pale giveaways to corporations.

    He has granted a de facto pardon to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. For that reason alone, he loses my vote.

    Unless he actually needs it to defeat a piss-poor GOP candidate. Like they’ll nominate ANYONE besides a Teabagger…

  268. 268
    Martin says:

    @ChrisS:

    But Obama disappointed me with his energy policy.

    Can you even explain the energy policy? I’m skeptical.

  269. 269
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Quiddity:

    Commenter 1: I have some problems with Obama not pushing more vigorously for X, Y, and Z.
    __
    Commenter 2: Oh yeah? What have you done to advance the legislation?

    Strange. I hear more exchanges like this:

    Commenter 1: I have some problems with Obama not pushing more vigorously for X, Y, and Z. X, Y, and Z just need “leadership,” and the fact that he won’t use leadership shows that he’s a pro-corporate compromiser who, it pains me to say, is losing my precious, precious good opinion, which means that he will lose, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    Commenter 2: Your policy positions might be valid, but your emo pride in your own righteous despair makes you sound like a self-important dick.

  270. 270
    Joe Bauers says:

    “… if Obama doesn’t stop the oil leak with his massive Kenyan penis…”

    I’m still laughing at this. Kudos, John.

  271. 271
    david mizner says:

    @MMonides:

    On the ropes? How so?

    You’re a smart (if misguided) person: Maybe you can help me out.

    What is Marauder saying beyond people who criticize Obama are white and privileged? At best, I guess s/he’s saying that criticism of Obama is anti-person of color, which is at least substantive, though even more offensive and stupid.

    (By the way, should I disregard the email in which you suggested we not acknowledge each other?)

  272. 272
    Brachiator says:

    @Cat:

    Crap. A reply is in moderation heck. Here is the part that is most important.

    I bet if someone brought up how collective bargaining might have kept him from taking yet another pay cut the whole bus would have said unions ruin the economy despite the evidence to the contrary.

    You would bet wrong. And along the way, we passed some picketers. A manufacturing company that has been striking for several weeks. Nobody snarked. Nobody was anti-union. There was a great deal of sympathy for workers, as there had been about an earlier teachers’ strike that affected the schools that some of the commuters’ children attend. But nobody had much time for what unions “might” be able to do when they are not actually doing much.

    Your policy positions might be valid

    Heck, I’d say that the policy positions aren’t valid, and often are little more than progressive posturing (“We have always believed this. We don’t care that the world has changed or that we may need to re-examine our assumptions. We just want what we want and will stamp our feet until we don’t get it”).

  273. 273
    NobodySpecial says:

    @PTirebiter: That’s ONE person. With ONE diary. With less than 10 percent of the comments this meta strawman has. Not convincing that we’re all firebaggers who secretly long for the Age of Palin to strike down President Hussein Obama X., as Sadly, No! calls him.

  274. 274
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    I do believe the biggest Whiny Ass Titty Babies in the world are Obama’s supporters, as evidenced by this thread. (“Leave Barack Obama alooooone!”)

    He is exactly one percent better than Bush/McCain.

    And one percent better than that is worthless to this country at this time.

    So stay on that worthless liar’s ass until he shows up for work. Hey, it could happen.

  275. 275
    Noonan says:

    After decades of incompetence, Democrats should still be trying to ice-down their raging HCR boner. Expectations are a funny thing.

  276. 276
    Randy P says:

    @NobodySpecial: I know that was your point. And my point is that the closing is not “all presidential” because there are things that have to happen that Congress has to authorize. Which they have refused to do, for cheap political points.

    My previous link was a couple of weeks ago. But they’ve been singing this tune for over a year. The above is how they tied his hands in May of 2009.

    What exactly are you suggesting for the Guantanamo Closing Plan that doesn’t require funds from Congress? Just closing the doors and having the military sail away, leaving the prisoners on the island?

  277. 277
    NobodySpecial says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Strange. I hear more exchanges like this:

    Commenter 1: I have some problems with Obama not pushing more vigorously for X, Y, and Z. X, Y, and Z just need “leadership,” and the fact that he won’t use leadership shows that he’s a pro-corporate compromiser who, it pains me to say, is losing my precious, precious good opinion, which means that he will lose, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    Commenter 2: Your policy positions might be valid, but your emo pride in your own righteous despair makes you sound like a self-important dick.

    Fixed for accuracy.

  278. 278
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @russell:

    It might be useful to distinguish between people who have unrealistic expectations of Obama, and people who simply want to advocate for positions that he doesn’t espouse.

    As usual, russell nails it, calmly and clearly.

    The psychology of our situtation isn’t that complicated. The country is fucked up. Socially, economically, environmentally, fiscally, militarily, and in all sort of other ways. Not just in short term ways either, but in deep, damaging long term ways that will take years or decades to fix, if ever. And a lot of people have, courtesy of the recession, have finally figured this out after years of being in a state of not-just-a-river-in-Egypt.

    So we are doing what groups of primates (homo sapiens being no exception) always do when they look around a see a lot of scary stuff: when in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

    Thus: There will be screaming.

    The exact nature of the screaming however is determined by the ideology of the screamer – to the right of Obama: “soshulist!”, to the left of Obama: “corporate sellout!”. It is Obama’s peculiar talent and burden that he is more or less positioned at the exact ideological center of the country. Which means that more or less everybody is pissed off at him for being too far to the right or too far to the left – and the number of people who are precisely satisfied with him is on a good day just large enough to make a nice picnic, if you bring the bucket of BBQ chicken and I show up with a six pack of beer, and Rahm stays home so as to not spoil the occasion.

  279. 279
    matoko_chan says:

    @ChrisS:

    But Obama disappointed me with his energy policy.

    erm….but capntrade is GOING TO PASS.

    @Observer: i know ur an Israel otaku (fanboi), Observer. how u liek dis?
    Israel to liberalize Gaza policy
    Just watch, next Obama will get the settlements frozen.
    Simply full of win.
    ;)

  280. 280
    CalD says:

    WATB… OK, not bad.

    I still like my term better. I’ve taken to calling ’em “Progressiverers” (which I freely admit to having stolen from, Dumb and Dumber^er, but for the record I’ve never seen the movie).

  281. 281
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    As an O-bot, I have a question for other O-bots: What would valid criticism of Obama look like?

    A question for the rest of you: Do you ever accept “under the circumstances, what we got was the best I think we could have” or does this rejection only apply to the president?

  282. 282

    wtf, my goddamn comment got disappeared!

  283. 283
    matoko_chan says:

    is it just me? im moderated more than n/e one.
    :(

  284. 284

    I like Obama, but in retrospect he probably did make a mistake in sending Bill Ayers and the Black Panthers to blow up the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

  285. 285
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Observer:

    If you’re, say, a non-progressive but want to win the White House and calculate that you need “progressive voters” to win and then get re-elected

    That bloc of “progressive voters” is minuscule (sad but true). What you really need, if your goal is to make policy that has actual real-world benefits for actual real-world people, is to find a balance that gets the non-liberals in the Congress to back the liberal-most policy they can stand, knowing that they have to stand before an electorate that’s gravely suspicious of liberalism by nature and probably even more so when the economy is struggling. (It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.) The positive effect of making congenitally disappointed “progressive voters” slightly less dismal is _vastly_ less than the positive effect of keeping it possible to enact bland technocratic fixes that help people’s lives.

  286. 286
    Dave says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    The issue with Gitmo is that Congress blocked the funds to move the prisoners. Believe it or not, that stuff costs money.

    Basically, you want Obama to be Left-Wing Bush, Unitary Executive and all.

  287. 287
    MD Smith says:

    THIS is the reason I read this blog. Good posts and good comments. Thanks for some sanity in response to all the absurdity!

    Why don’t intelligent people get that politics [and to a great extent, life] is the art of the possible?

  288. 288
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    when in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

    Thus: There will be screaming.

    This.

  289. 289
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Observer:

    Articulate a progressive goal knowing people will get behind you but ensure that what gets into law is whatever non-progressive stance you really want and then do a bank shot and let someone else take the blame.

    Ah, the return of “health insurance reform was just a big giveaway to the companies!”

    I’m also not entirely comfortable with your stance that the only two possibilities are progressive and non-progressive, which will of course give you that lovely self-righteous feeling when you get to declare that Obama is just like Bush because health insurance reform didn’t include an independent public option but instead used the OPM to achieve the same effect.

  290. 290
    The fake fake al says:

    Nice John, nicely written. Sometimes I wonder if Ob is gonna run again because he gets absolutely know love at home even with a boatload of accomplishments.

    Its the trouble with competence, everyone wants more. With Bush, we had no expectations at all, just making it to the next day was an accomlishment.

    Remember too, Ob nominated a coupla decent Supreme Courts Justices (assuming Kagan passes), installed strong and sane FDA and an FCC with some teeth, began unwinding Iraq, faced the problems in Afghanistan, restored a sane and competent foreign policy, and avoided The Depression II.

    But god dammit, my grass still has dandy lions!!!! Dudes a shitheal!!!

    If its true what the say, good policy is when everyone is unhappy, Ob is the Einstein of politics.

  291. 291

    @Observer: By “progressive” you are talking about a tiny number of loudmouths on the internet. Obama’s record high approval among dems is led by “liberal democrats” at around 85 percent. Obama can treat them how he wants, I will hold them down and steal their lunch money. Then stand them up for an Atomic Wedgie because they need one.

  292. 292
    eemom says:

    I nominate “There will be screaming” for a new tag.

  293. 293
    Nick says:

    @DiTurno: Thanks for proving John’s point.

    By the way, in what world is 52.8% “an electoral landslide?”

  294. 294
    russell says:

    Lefties (or, more properly, middle-class, white lefties) got this weird idea in their heads back in 1968 that electoral politics were beneath them and their withdrawal helped open the door for Reagan and the 30 years of Republican misrule that followed.

    You know, this is starting to piss me off. If you want to speak, speak for yourself.

    I’m an middle class white suburban homeowner with a white collar job. I’m a lefty.

    Over the last few years, I’ve spent time canvassing for candidates I support. I’ve contributed lots of money (i.e., a number with a comma in it) to political campaigns that I thought were important, in my district or elsewhere. I’ve made phone calls for candidates that I supported.

    Among other things, I’ve done all of the above for Obama, and I’m damned glad I did, because if McCain were President we’d be royally fucked.

    I got interested in politics around the time of the USA Patriot Act, because I thought it was a crap law. I sponsored a motion in my town to require the local police to report to the selectmen whenever they were required to participate in USAPA related actions. When Ashcroft came and spoke at Faneuil Hall in Boston in support of the Act, I went and joined a couple of thousand other folks and protested his speech. It was the day after I got married.

    I have good friends, also middle class white suburban bourgeouis with white collar jobs, who have gone to jail, chained themselves to federal buildings, and otherwise put their asses on the line to support what they believe in.

    So fuck this noise. What the hell have you done?

    If I don’t like something Obama says or does, I’m going to say something about it. If that bugs you, grow a thicker skin.

    IMO Obama’s a very, very good President, and I’m damned glad we have him. I also disagree with a lot of things he says and does.

    He’s not fucking Jesus, he’s the POTUS, and as such he’s not above criticism.

  295. 295
    Nick says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    The Democrats, on the other hand, have no desire to please what used to be known as ‘the base’.

    In order to please the base, they must have to want to be pleased. No matter what he does, they will always want more, and will also be disappointed they didn’t get more.

  296. 296
    licensed to kill time says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    So we are doing what groups of primates (homo sapiens being no exception) always do when they look around a see a lot of scary stuff: when in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

    I would only add “and look for someone to blame”.

    Excellent comment, as always.

    edit: I second the “there will be screaming” nomination.

  297. 297
    Martin says:

    What would valid criticism of Obama look like?

    Two components:

    1) Some expression of what Obama could realistically have done differently and why that would actually work/be better. If it’s an objection to a policy issue, what would the better policy look like?
    2) Don’t get on Obama for issues that belong to Congress, or to the states, or the courts, etc.

    Some of us actually extended Bush these courtesies. It’d be nice if Democrats would extend their own guy the same. What I more often see is bashing against Obama with no expression of what a good, realistic Democratic policy would look like. It’s just clap harder bullshit, completely divorced from what could ever get through Congress.

  298. 298
    Legalize says:

    Where do I get my “I’m with Cole” bumper sticker?

  299. 299
    Sheila says:

    Amen, John Cole. I don’t believe the criticism is really about Obama, but rather, about the criticizers themselves. As Thoreau has written, “If anything ail a man so that he does not perform his functions, if he have a pain in his bowels even . . . he forthwith sets about reforming — the world.” I presume that most of the frustrati do not feel a firm sense of personal satisfaction and it is the obligation of the true progressives to work toward an enlightened culture that allows every individual to feel a sense of personal power without doing harm to others. How far are we from this? Obama’s style of leadership is at least a step in the right direction.

  300. 300
    Ed Drone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Do you know what a “Senator” is, Binky?

    Alas, neither do most of OUR Senators.

    Ed

  301. 301
    PTirebiter says:

    @Randy P: Not to mention he made the promise at time when every Democrat on the planet was on board.
    Then John Boehner went Boo!!!!! The fact is Obama did his part. Of course he did have the option of making the Gitmo closure the single accomplishment of his one term presidency. WWJD?

  302. 302
    gwangung says:

    IMO Obama’s a very, very good President, and I’m damned glad we have him. I also disagree with a lot of things he says and does.
    __
    He’s not fucking Jesus, he’s the POTUS, and as such he’s not above criticism.

    Agreed. So am I supposed to punch you or hug you?

  303. 303
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    As an O-bot, I have a question for other O-bots: What would valid criticism of Obama look like?

    I think there’s a whole lot of extremely valid criticism of Obama’s civil rights record, and that needs to continue.

    The thing that drives me nuts with that, though, is Greenwald’s favorite trick of speculation about the psychological motives for why things are done. That’s where we get silly things like people claiming that Dawn Johnsen’s nomination was a slap in the face to the left because they somehow saw inside Obama’s heart and knew he didn’t really mean it when he nominated her.

    The other thing that drives me nuts with certain criticisms — especially health insurance and financial reform — is that they all concentrate on looking backwards. It always seems to be “I’m going to bitch and moan about decisions that were over and done with months ago” and never “Great first step. Now we need to do X, Y and Z to improve the legislation.”

    If the health insurance reform legislation sucks as bad as people claim, why are they not out there trying to improve it rather than whining about what wasn’t in it six months ago? Legislation is not written in stone. You can still get your public option pony if you’ll get up off the goddamned couch and campaign for it.

  304. 304
    Paula says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I take Giordano’s pro-Obama stuff w/ a grain of salt but it’s hard to criticize a guy who puts his money and time where his big mouth is — e.g. a school for progressive journalism, actually reporting on grassroots movements, etc.

    In any case, I may not agree w/ AG all the time about policy, but he’s got the antics of the so-called “progressive blogosphere” down cold. Even Znet seems to leave him alone.

  305. 305
    inkadu says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    Just want to chime in and agree 100% before this thread becomes an unreadable 300 comment monstrosity in 10 minutes.

    It’s taken 3 1/2 hours, but we’re almost there.

  306. 306
  307. 307

    a left-flank that thinks teaming up with Grover Norquist and echoing Republican talking points is moving the fucking Overton Window.

    This is equal in stupidity with what is being decried in the post. Please yourselves by pulling your dicks over Janey. She amounts to not shit, but thanks for pulling a whole bunch of is into her muck.

    We do have a President who was the best one running and we do have the Congress the people elected and that is how that is – it certainly doesn’t make anyone great or the results good. People may have bought into “hope and change,” but DC certainly didn’t.

    Whether what the left wants makes sense or not is immaterial, it is left and that’s all there is to it. The self-reinforcing cycle in this country is rightward and that’s how it is going to go until the shit actually hits the fan. The plain and simple of it is that what’s happened over the last 10 years isn’t bad enough to change the narrative. I don’t know that this Democratic culture in government is enough to put the brakes on for awhile or not. I don’t see much sign that any real effective measures are going to be taken that will stave off a shit storm of bad results. What the last 10 years show is that this country won’t tolerate more than incremental horseshit without an actual disaster. That’s too bad because disasters suck.

  308. 308
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Dave: Actually, what I’d like is for the (nominally) Democratic Party to not keep shitting on Obama’s stated goals, and for Obama to use what leverage he has to keep them from doing said shitting. Now, if you want to claim that Obama has no leverage, then you shouldn’t be giving him too much credit for anything good that happens on his watch, either.

  309. 309
    The fake fake al says:

    An obot here, but one point of concern is not enough on jobs for the upcoming election. Everything from now on has to be about jobs and improving the econ. Enough with an oil spill he can do nothing about (despite his appendage). Its the econ, stupid.

  310. 310

    @russell:

    You are free to criticize and others free to criticize your criticism. That is how this works.

    No, he’s not Jesus. All we are saying that if you want to criticize, then bring facts with you, because they will be asked for. Criticizing a president you purport to support is not a zero sum game on the meta scale. Presidents live and die the support they get or don’t get from the public, especially from their own supporters. It gives them the capital of power to persuade congress and the public to do their bidding, or not.

    I have seen it time and again, a phony meme getting made on the netroots that is not based in fact, and then picked up by the media wankers to sell as democrats warring with themselves and unhappy about this or that Obama is doing. When the criticism is warranted, you will likely get even Obots here to your side. If not warranted, then you will get flamed. Fairly simple in theory.

  311. 311
    Mnemosyne says:

    @russell:

    I got interested in politics around the time of the USA Patriot Act, because I thought it was a crap law.

    Here’s the funny thing, russell — if you didn’t start in politics until 2001, I’m not talking about you. Unless you’re claiming that you’re a Baby Boomer in your 50s who only just got interested when something looked like it might affect you, I’m not talking about you.

    There has been a tendency on the left for decades for people to turn their backs on electoral politics when they don’t get exactly what they want. You almost never hear the same sentiment from people on the right. They went out and took over electoral politics so they could run things the way they wanted. Now we’re living in their world because they did the work.

    It’s great that you’re doing the same work, as long as you keep in mind that they had to work for 30 years to get to the point they are today. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and we can’t just lay down because we finally got Step 1 of about 1,756,064 in place by electing Obama.

  312. 312
    Mike Kay says:

    Don’t forget about:

    1. Nuclear Arms Treaty.

    2. Saving the US Auto Industry

    3. Withdrawing from ….. um…. whats that word… um…. it used to be used in every sentence posted on blog…. um… oh yeah, Iraq.

  313. 313
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Nick: Like I said: You don’t get more until you demand more. That’s the whole part of that ‘more and better’ thing.

    And like I said before: There’s no getting folks like you on board at all, no matter what the issue.

  314. 314
    jwb says:

    Step out for lunch, and John blows up the damn intertubez while I’m gone. Beautiful!

  315. 315
    Nick says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Also doesn’t answer my question about which act of Congress opened Gitmo as a prison. Hint: There was none. That was all Presidential, baby.

    Yes, it was, but who allocated the funding for Gitmo? Congress. Who opposed the funding to establish Gitmo? Liberals in Congress. Do you know what would’ve happened if they had succeeded? No Gitmo

    Obama wants to move them from outside US jurisdiction to inside US jurisdiction. Congress allocates the funds to do so, they refuse to, so he’s stuck.

    And act of Congress isn’t needed, just money.

  316. 316
    russell says:

    Do you ever accept “under the circumstances, what we got was the best I think we could have” or does this rejection only apply to the president?

    To me, this is a tautology.

    The results we see from the political process *are a function of the circumstances*. By definition, the results we are seeing from the political process are “the best” we could have given the circumstances.

    The point is to change the freaking circumstances.

    The point is to change people’s minds. Change their understanding of what is good and valuable, change their expectations about what can be achieved and about what the political process should deliver to them.

    The country is pretty fucked up. It’s not going to change significantly by everybody settling for whatever they can get.

    Ask for more.

  317. 317

    The lesson here is: Do not upset Sally Quinn.

    She, and she alone, has the power to destroy worlds. And Presidencies.

  318. 318
    frankdawg says:

    @inkadu: @rootless_e:
    A different thing entirely. To say nothing of the fact that I was speaking metaphorically. He could have used the opportunity to appeal to our desire to do great things. As I said, it wouldn’t do anything to stop this disaster but it could have prevented the next one.

  319. 319
    frankdawg says:

    @russell:

    yes!

    The country is pretty fucked up. It’s not going to change significantly by everybody settling for whatever they can get.

    Ask for more.

  320. 320
    Waynski says:

    @John Cole — The post is full of win, but this

    gives Chris Matthews a blue-vein hard-on

    was full of hurt. That’s one of those images you’d really wish were never placed in your imagination.

  321. 321
    Dave says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    He has used his leverage. That’s how health care got passed.

    What the disconnect is here is that some people think using his leverage is going to enact single payer health care, a massive stimulus and all the rest. That’s a pipedream. There are too many Democratic senators from too many states that voted for McCain for that to ever happen.

    For Obama to have gotten that stimulus package and health care reform done, along with SCHIP, tobacco regulation and the rest, in less than 18 months is a remarkable achievement. And that needs to be recognized as opposed to this bullshit “Obama is a corporatist suckup/do-nothing” meme.

    He does deserve criticism, especially in the area of civil rights. No arguments here. But frankly, us “O-Bots” seem a lot more willing to admit his faults than the WATB progressives seem willing to admit his successes.

  322. 322
    Mike Kay says:

    @NobodySpecial: by the way, if you think this post is a strawman then PROVE it.

    Why don’t you post a past comment of yours where you give the president credit for something. It’s easy enough to find ones past comments using google. Do it. Do it. And the reason I say this is because you have never ever posted comment giving the president credit. Not once. And yet you have the nevre to say the argument is made from whole cloth. And while you may have never said, directly, “it’s not enough,” you have never posted a word of credit. Go ahead, prove me wrong. But you can’t because Cole is right.

    No go suck some firebag bath water.

  323. 323
    fucen tarmal says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    the important thing, often missed, is that criticism can be done by degrees.

    there is nothing wrong with saying; i prefer single payer, but i understand the political reality…

    or this or that issue…vs. simply, i didn’t get what i want therefore obama is just like bush!

    i didn’t like the speech that sparked this imbroglio, or is it a rhubarb, have we achieved the full on rhubarb? i hope it doesn’t become a donnybrook….when i first heard it, briefly, but then i thought about it,considered the situation, the crisis at hand, and how we could be still in the early stages of it…the medium and long term aspects of energy, the history, when i came aboard this planet til now….carter’s malaise speech….then i realized the speech wasn’t what i was expecting, but it did get me thinking.

  324. 324
    Nick says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    You don’t get more until you demand more. That’s the whole part of that ‘more and better’ thing.

    There’s also a point where if you demand more, you increase the likelihood of getting nothing at all. There needs to be a cutoff…as far as you’ll go before you judge you risk getting nothing.

    There are people on the blogsphere who would rather demand the whole pie and get nothing, rather than demand a slice and get the slice…I support the latter, I voted for Obama because he supported the latter, and I’m not sorry about it.

    And President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress has a list of accomplishments because of it, instead of a list of unfulfilled demands that got the David Sirotas of the world all hot and bothered.

  325. 325
    rootless_e says:

    @Culture of Truth: oh boy, now we understand what happened to that Whitey Tape.

  326. 326
    Emma says:

    Why do people keep insisting that Obama has “59 votes” in the Senate? Did I miss the conversion of the Blue Dogs? Did we manage to pull them over to the Dark Side, or what?

  327. 327
    Mike Kay says:

    @Dave:

    He has used his leverage. That’s how health care got passed.

    The goal of HCR was first established by Teddy Roosevelt over a 100 years ago. Since then ever fucking president — Wilson, FDR, Truman, JKF, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, the Clintons and Ted Kennedy — have failed. One after another. Fuck, FDR had 80 Democratic senators in the senate in the 1930 and he still could get 50 of the fuckers to sign on. Truman fucking Nuked TWO cities and he couldn’t get the fuckers to sign on. Even the greatest senator in US history, the master of the senate himself, LBJ, failed.

    But they act like Barack won a push over. It was never a push over, just ask history.

  328. 328
    Tax Analyst says:

    @fucen tarmal:

    the important thing, often missed, is that criticism can be done by degrees

    Absolutely not. My Way or The Highway. Bring me my Damned Pony and it had better have Perfect Tits.

  329. 329
    Observer says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    No one said Obama is just like Bush regarding healthcare.

    Executive presidential powers and illegal detention maybe, a la Greenwald.

    But health care? No.

    Look, just because there’s a disagreement, doesn’t mean you have to build strawmen arguments.

    Once again, if you feel he’s stuck up for your principles and “others” are to blame then you’re going to be happy. If not, then not. *easily* explained.

    There’s reasons to feel he hasn’t but one can make an argument either way. And that’s a different argument.

    You don’t need a strawman to explain the discontent.
    The people who disagree with you are not irrational.

  330. 330

    @Nick:

    There’s also a point where if you demand more, you increase the likelihood of getting nothing at all

    You’re confusing Congress with the people who vote for them. A mistake.

  331. 331
    Paula says:

    @russell:

    “The point is to change the freaking circumstances.
    The point is to change people’s minds. Change their understanding of what is good and valuable, change their expectations about what can be achieved and about what the political process should deliver to them.”

    I don’t really want to get into this bullshit argument again, because I take none of this side seriously precisely because self-identified progressives on teh intertoobz have not shown that they are able or have been able to to do this in any consistent and effective way. That’s why you can’t put any pressure on Obama to be more progressive. But you refuse to admit your responsibility in this relationship, it is always up to Obama to move the conversation — even though he is the power, the symbol and the protector of the status quo by virtue of his position. How is it rational to expect him to subvert himself just because you say it’s your right to be heard — even though you represent NO –AND I REPEAT NO — reliable constituency? Are you w/ the unions? Are you with people of color? Are you with the poor? Are you with the middle class? Stop talking about polls because they mean nothing. Who is with you? What policies are they willing to fight for? Who is backing you up beyond the computer? Will they volunteer? Will they show up to vote?

  332. 332
    Martin says:

    @Observer:

    No one said Obama is just like Bush regarding healthcare.

    The people who disagree with you are not irrational.

    From this thread:

    He is exactly one percent better than Bush/McCain.
    And one percent better than that is worthless to this country at this time.
    So stay on that worthless liar’s ass until he shows up for work. Hey, it could happen.

  333. 333
    russell says:

    Unless you’re claiming that you’re a Baby Boomer in your 50s who only just got interested when something looked like it might affect you, I’m not talking about you.

    Not quite.

    I’m a boomer in my 50’s who was always interested and who got involved because I thought the country was heading down the crapper. The Patriot Act didn’t touch my life one way or the other as far as I can tell, I just thought it sucked.

    But other than that, yeah, I’m a boomer in my 50’s who was not significantly politically active prior to about 2002.

    All we are saying that if you want to criticize, then bring facts with you, because they will be asked for.

    Fine with me, and likewise I’m sure.

    If not warranted, then you will get flamed. Fairly simple in theory.

    I’ve been flamed by worse. My skin’s pretty thick. No worries.

    No matter what he does, they will always want more, and will also be disappointed they didn’t get more.

    Speaking personally, f**king A I will always want more, and will do my best within whatever limited abilities I can bring to bear to make it happen.

    When Obama was nominated, my prediction was that he would be this generation’s Eisenhower. My expectations from him personally were not that enormous, and IMHO he’s doing a good job.

    That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t ask more from him.

  334. 334
    matoko_chan says:

    @Observer: sillie.
    you are an Israel fanboi, right?
    check this.
    do you know what i see in Matoko’s Quantum Crystal Ball?
    Obama will be remembered for brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
    next we will see a settlement freeze.
    just watch.

  335. 335
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @david mizner:

    But beyond separating the progressive universe into people who are street and those who aren’t, I don’t see any there there.

    I’m sorry. People who are “street”? What the fuck does that mean exactly? Because you should know what most rational, logical people take that kind of language to imply. So in the word of David Mizner, there are progressive who understand that President Obama is a failure and those who are…”street” who don’t think so.

    Again, it’s not hard to understand why you see no “there there.” Because you are a culturally blinded elite who thinks your definition of being a “progressive” is the universal standard. And the people who disagree with you are “street.”

    Again, mighty white of you, David. Miiiiiiiighty white.

  336. 336
    fasteddie9318 says:

    On some level the “not enough” sentiment is important, because these things aren’t enough by themselves and we shouldn’t be lulled into thinking that they are. Health care is still going to need serious work in the years to come, and the stimulus was a nice start, albeit one that was seriously watered down with pointless tax cuts and the like, but another jobs bill and PARTICULARLY another infrastructure bill simply must happen or this country is going to literally collapse on itself for lack of maintenance.

    That said, “not enough” shouldn’t lead directly to “ZOMG OBAMA = BUSH!!!!!” That’s just asinine. And the people who are shouting that over these areas in which he’s demonstrably not like Bush make it difficult to genuinely criticize him in those areas where he frankly deserves some criticism, like on civil liberties.

  337. 337
    AxelFoley says:

    @BC:

    Look at DiTurno, for example – would you want this fucker on your team…

    LOL, I’m sorry, but this part had me crackin’ up, LOL

  338. 338
    gwangung says:

    That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t ask more from him.

    That’s what I thought you said.

    And, folks…you do realize that this is substantially different from what Cole was complaining about? A lot of the cauterwauling seems like the wails of people trying on shoes that don’t fit them…

  339. 339
    rootless_e says:

    @Emma: because they are ignorant and refuse to learn.

  340. 340
    Matthew Reid Krell says:

    @dmsilev: “As written by Shakespeare” is inconsistent with a “Grade 7.5 language level.”

  341. 341
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @david mizner:

    What is Marauder saying beyond people who criticize Obama are white and privileged? At best, I guess s/he’s saying that criticism of Obama is anti-person of color, which is at least substantive, though even more offensive and stupid.

    Here’s a hint:

    That’s not what I’m saying in the first place.

  342. 342
    Jules says:

    This thread makes Cole’s point loud and clear….

  343. 343
    Jesse says:

    Do it again, homies.
    Make a wall of dead fuckers.
    You can be a pussy when it’s peaceful, I guess.
    But when it’s on, it’s on like Donkey Kong.
    And you gotta be an asshole.
    There was more, but you get the idea.

    Wow, this is incredible shit.

  344. 344
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @russell:

    When Obama was nominated, my prediction was that he would be this generation’s Eisenhower.

    Unfortunately we seem to have skipped over getting this generation’s FDR.

  345. 345
    russell says:

    How is it rational to expect him to subvert himself just because you say it’s your right to be heard—even though you represent NO —AND I REPEAT NO —reliable constituency?

    I represent myself. That is the basis of my insistence on my right to be heard. I don’t need a fucking army.

    I don’t expect Obama to “subvert himself”, whatever the hell that means. He’s a big boy, he has responsibilities I can’t even imagine, and he’ll do what he needs to do.

    And I will do what *I* need to do, which is to advocate for what I think is good and worthwhile.

    Sometimes that will include criticizing Obama. Suck it up.

  346. 346
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Mike Kay: I don’t have to search. Go read post 245. Apologize. And then seal your hands with duct tape and a blowtorch, so you don’t continue to up the noise level here with your witless, unfunny bloviating.

  347. 347
    jwb says:

    @Matthew Reid Krell: Grade 7.5 level is too high anyhow. No higher than grade 6.

  348. 348
    MikeJ says:

    @Matthew Reid Krell: Not all of it. I remember studying Shakespeare pretty much every year from about 5th grade on, with the easier stuff early.

  349. 349

    Dear John Cole,

    Word.

    Hugs and Kisses,
    Parrotlover

  350. 350
    Martin says:

    @Jules: Yeah, no shit.

  351. 351
  352. 352
    TuiMel says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    I, too, am a fan of Rachel, but her show was so brimming with smugness last night that I fast-forwarded through her “set up” for her faux speech. I was going to FF through the speech, as well, but the FF was not fast enough to outrun the smug. So, I turned her off and walked away.

    I’m not an O-Bot. I have had to take a hard look at myself, and remind myself that I knew going into the election that I was well to Obama’s left, and because of that his administration was bound to disappoint me (the civil rights disappointments have been the hardest for me to swallow). And the condescension of O-Bots and Near-Bots sometimes pisses me off. But, Obama is not toiling in the political vacuum of my desires. He cannot ignore the likes of political pigs like Mary Landrieu, who has her snout deep in the pockets of big oil, but likes to complain that the Feds are not doing enough to help her state deal with the unholy mess an oil company’s actions has created.

    The elation of Obama’s inauguration day did make me think that anything was possible. Every day since then I have been working on descending from those psychological heights to the reality that as president Obama has to balance interests that I probably don’t think deserve consideration. He has to continually be aware of the full-on freak out that some of his constituents entered upon seeing a black man in the White House. I have to face the fact that a sizable part of his electoral crushing of McCain / Palin came from votes that were anti-Bush as were prObama. He has to make that calculus and, yes, some days he is too cautious by half to inspire me. But he still beats the alternative by a country mile, and I still think his overall course is positive for the country.

    Finally, I know that action on DADT is way too slow for those whom the policy discriminates against. I wish it had been ended long ago. But, I think Mike Mullen’s statements before Congress in support of repealing DADT probably did more to move the Overton window vis a vis this issue than anything Obama could ever say.

  353. 353
    rootless_e says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    You guys need to learn about the actual FDR. Here’s a tip: FDR did not go out and organize the CIO.

  354. 354
    tim says:

    @Taterstick:

    So weird: right away with the vicious name calling.

    I’m sure John loves you and appreciates your support. Relax.

  355. 355
    Mike Kay says:

    @russell: have you ever gave him any credit?

    see, the Cole’s criticism is about criticisim, it’s about balance. To never give Obama any credit, even for saving he auto industry, robs his critics of any credibility.

  356. 356
    les says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    And ya’ll passed health care, but if nothing much improves for me before 2014, it’ll be a big problem for me specifically. It’ll be nice for those folks who can’t get insurance now and those folks who gain the new access to Medicare, but for me it’s a loss, which is not what I expect from a Democratic President with 59 votes.

    I well remember this endless whine. I think your point is clear–a bill that helps millions of people is an absolute failure and needs to be killed if it doesn’t fix your personal situation, right fucking now. You seem to believe that if I just understood you, I’d agree with you. That turns out to be incorrect.

  357. 357
    Paula says:

    @russell:

    Yeah, I’m merely pointing out that people who criticize w/ the aim of “activism” are also big boys/girls w/ responsibilities.

    I latched on to your comment because it’s pretty much representative of a lot of the arguments I hear, so in all honesty none of this is personal to you.

    But yeah: re sucking it up: right back atcha. Once again, no one’s infringing on your right to be heard, but don’t be surprised if nothing changes as a result of you being merely “critical”. Have a nice day.

  358. 358

    Expecting Obama to single handedly fix this mess and complaining he hasn’t or doesn’t emote enough is stupid.

    The fact is that MMS was not dismantled and fixed under this Admin and it wasn’t an underground news story that it was a fucking mess.

    The fact is that on the basis of not shit we got the Obama version of Drill Baby Drill – unless you count that industry and its shills in MMS.

    If you think this is an example of good – well… fanboi.

    This shit is the Executive Branch, nobody else dropped this ball, Congress didn’t put its grubby fingers on it and neither did SCOTUS.

  359. 359
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I don’t think he actually killed the F-22.

    I am definitely an Obama critic, but if I had to vote for him again today, I would, largely for the reasons you listed above. ESPECIALLY the health care issue.

    I think he has been weak. Rather than lead, he passively sits around, poking at problems with a stick until he his ratings start sinking, at which point he does something.

    I also think that people who are more pro-Obama, like Cole, give him too much credit for passing things. I mean, who couldn’t pass legislation when you have a 60 senator majority. Maybe it’s a glass half-empty/half-full thing, but I am disappointed in him because he had this enormous advantage and still only managed to squeak things through. It makes me think he will basically be neutered after the 2010, and we will look forward to 2 more years of Carter level malaise until we vote for Jeb Bush in 2012.

    Also, I can’t quite figure out why he is so slimey with all the Civil Rights stuff. Unlike some of these other things, he actually had the power to change some of these things, and he didn’t. I think that’s very telling. In this case, he can’t blame a recalcitrant congress for his failure, and so he just doesn’t explain at all. His silent hypocrisy speaks volumes.

    I was hoping he would be a great president, but he is merely competent. And he will be less so when Republicans take more seats in 2010.

  360. 360
    Davis X. Machina says:

    When Obama was nominated, my prediction was that he would be this generation’s Eisenhower.

    Nah.

    And not the Black Jimmy Carter, either, pace John’s tag.

    The Black Dukakis. (I know Mike Dukakis a very little, and you could do way, way worse, America…)

  361. 361
    les says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    If it’s good beer, I’ll bring the chicken–but Stroud’s, to match the beer. Six pack is about the right number.

  362. 362
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    What act of Congress opened Gitmo as a prison?

    With what money is he going to transfer the prisoners and to what facility?

    Congress controls the purse strings, not the President.

  363. 363
    Munira says:

    Amen. I expect the Republicans to be crazy because they’re – well – crazy. But it’s the poutrage club that bugs me the most. I get the feeling that these people are more comfortable being out of power, screaming from the sidelines, and maybe they want to go back there. I remember seeing a youtube of Van Jones talking to OFA before the election. He said, it’s easy to be in the opposition, but it’s much harder to govern, and you’re going to have to learn how to do it. Governing requires compromise and negotiating and not always getting exactly what you want, but some lefties are just too pure for that. I wonder if they wouldn’t be happier with President Palin after all.

  364. 364
    Mike Kay says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Damning with faint praise is not giving someone credit.

    Here, take the opportunity now. Just say, the President deserves credit for saving the auto industry. Just say it. Of course auto workers are beneath elitist firebaggers like you.

    Prove me wrong. you can’t. you’re too hateful to give the president, straight-up, any credit, even when on this.

  365. 365
    russell says:

    have you ever gave him any credit?

    Um, read my comments.

    see, the Cole’s criticism is about criticisim, it’s about balance. To never give Obama any credit, even for saving he auto industry, robs his critics of any credibility.

    No, Dave’s comment from the “somebody’s wrong on the internet” thread was about criticism and balance.

    Cole’s post was about how all the WATBs who criticize Obama were going to pile on him for citing Dave.

    Also, something about Obama’s penis.

    I’ve made the same freaking point in every one of my comments on this thread. I’ll make it one more time.

    Obama’s a very, very good President. He’s an excellent executive, and he’s gotten a number of very important and necessary things done.

    Are you with me so far?

    All of that said, *I don’t agree with everything he says and does*, and to the degree that is so, I plan to say so. Whether Cole or anyone else thinks I’m being a WATB or not.

    Because if I don’t speak up for what’s important to me, sure as fuck nobody else is.

  366. 366
    russell says:

    don’t be surprised if nothing changes as a result of you being merely “critical”.

    The only thing that would surprise me would be if the opposite happened.

    Hope you have a nice day as well.

  367. 367
    Mike Kay says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    What act of Congress opened Gitmo as a prison?

    You can’t be this dense. It was the authorization to go to war after 9/11. As LBJ said about the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, “It’s like grandmother’s nightshirt. It covers everything.”

  368. 368
    NobodySpecial says:

    @les: I never said kill the bill. Your lack of understanding is noted, however.

  369. 369
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    As an O-bot, I have a question for other O-bots: What would valid criticism of Obama look like?

    Oh, I don’t know, probably like the dozen or more posts by John on Obama’s use of drones, his civil rights stances and failure to roll back the excesses of the Bush administration’s imperial Presidency, just for starters.

    You guys really just see what you want to see, right?

  370. 370
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Mike Kay: Already proven my point, you’re wrong. Dick move by you not to apologize, not unexpected. DIAF.

  371. 371
    mai naem says:

    Late to the thread and jeez I am sure I have stuff to say that nobody else has said…..I think Obama’s doing a good job when you consider 1.how much crap he’s having to deal with and 2. the idiot bluedawgs in congress. Forget the republicans. They aren’t going to lift a finger to help remove the dirty diaper they’ve left on this country. Hell, they’re busy looking for a clean one to soil. All that said, the combination of the real fear I have that Obama and the Dems are not going to win a second term and that there was so much damage done in the previous decade leads me to wanting a lot done to turn this country going back strongly in the right direction. I don’t think we can afford another Clinton presidency where the needle is only pushed back to the left by ten degrees rather than the eighty degrees that it needs to be pushed back. Also too, I like the left pushing him to the left. The right did that to the Repubs. Nothing wrong with the left doing that with Obama.

  372. 372
    Jennifer says:

    This? Is why I love you so.

    Wish I’d written it.

    Certainly have thought it.

  373. 373
    Mike Kay says:

    @russell:

    Are you with me so far?

    Not at all. Unless you can prove a citiation to a comment wher e you give the president credit on anything, then you’re just a WATB.

    Go ahead prove me wrong. post a link. I dare you. But you can’t. Any you know you can’t.

  374. 374
    Frank Chow says:

    This is why I visit this site every day. Now post more dog pictures you lazy excuse for a human! ; )

  375. 375
    Emma says:

    Again. One more time. Because I’m an idiot who thinks people will sooner or later learn.

    Obama DOES NOT have 59 or 60 votes in the Senate. There are these folks called the Blue Dog Coalition. Conservative Democrats, officially, but centrist Republicans in fact. AND AS LONG AS THEIR CONSTITUENTS KEEP REELECTING THEM, Obama will have to contend with them.

    Sorry for the screaming.

  376. 376
    Mike Kay says:

    @mai naem:

    Also too, I like the left pushing him to the left.

    So do I. It’s just a shame that some have never provided support when he earned it. Like any relationship, it’s a matter of balance: in good times and bad, and in sickness and health.

  377. 377
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Dr. Morpheus: Now, see, if I was really the lefty Unitary Executive drooler people seem to claim, I’d note that a certain 21st century President took money authorized for Afghanistan and spent it on sending troops to Kuwait, totally against the Constitution and nothing was done about that, either.

    I don’t support that notion, either. But that’s immaterial to the Mike Kays of this board. He’ll be claiming it from now to forever.

    My thing is, why does a resolution like this get out of committee, if Obama has leverage over the House and Senate? And if he doesn’t, then why does he get the credit for using leverage to pass HCR? Can’t be both powerful and powerless at the same time. That’s not a knock against him, that’s a knock against the reflexive cheerleading that goes on here.

  378. 378
    Jules says:

    @Dr. Morpheus:

    You guys really just see what you want to see, right?

    So it seems.

    If not freaking out like KO, Matthews, Fineman and Matthews did the other night makes me an O-Bot I will proudly wear that title.

    I have no problem with reality based bitching about the President, but folks spare me the Freak the Fuck Out National Heart Attack the left has been having because the President is not doing the things you assumed he would do or that he can’t do given the Congress he has to work with.

  379. 379
    Mike Kay says:

    @NobodySpecial: refusing to give him credit for the auto industry proves you’re nobody special.

  380. 380
    Emma says:

    Mai Naem: Also too, I like the left pushing him to the left. The right did that to the Repubs. Nothing wrong with the left doing that with Obama.

    Me too, but that’s not what happening. What we’re seeing are the Left thrashing the President at the smallest possible sign of something happening that they do not approve of. I’d like to see people actually working with him. You know about the old FDR cliche? “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”

    I don’t know about you, but if you keep calling me names, I’m going to shut you out.

  381. 381
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Mike Kay: And even if you can, he’ll say you didn’t! Because he’s a lying sack!

  382. 382
    lawguy says:

    Vote Obama and the democrats probably not quite as bad as the other guys.

    Yeah, that makes me want to get out and work and vote for them again.

  383. 383
    les says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    My bad. You merely repeated endlessly that it was a worthless piece of legislation that did not deserve to pass and was completely beneath your support.

  384. 384
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Mike Kay: Refusing to jump through your hoops on command makes me not nearly as…special as you are, I agree. You’re the King of Special around these here parts.

  385. 385
    AxelFoley says:

    @RevPhat:

    and to ask if this is penis day at bj.

    I see what you did there.

  386. 386
    Jules says:

    @lawguy:

    I know lawguy because President Romney and Vice President Palin sound awesome.

  387. 387
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    O.K., we go back to the illegal shit that Bush pulled.

    Gotcha, an imperial presidency, but a nice one.

  388. 388
    Mike Kay says:

    @NobodySpecial: hilarious, people won’t give him any credit for HCR, but in the same breath blame him for any flaws in HCR. Yes, the consistency of the diesased hippie, firebagger, Naderites.

  389. 389
    NobodySpecial says:

    @les: Can’t read, don’t try, eh?

    I always said in this debate that it was going to be good for preexisters and the poorest. Also said that it was really stupid of Obama to do that giveaway to Big Pharma, because they welched on their deal. Also noted that it would hurt me (and not just me) directly when Congress gave up on the public option and went with Baucus’s numbers on the subsidies, and I wished Obama would have pushed harder for the public option like he said he wanted before the election and said in speeches several times during the HCR debates.

    And, yeah, I wasn’t enthused. Who would be in my situation? But I never said kill the bill like you claimed.

  390. 390
    Beej says:

    John Cole you are my new hero. Thanks, thanks, and by the way, thanks for saying exactly what needs to be said. If the crap that’s been going around is what progressive thinking amounts to, then allow me to withdraw my membership in the progressive club. We know, don’t we, why Repugs keep getting elected in spite of being toxic to the health of most living things? Because they have not, at least not until the Tea Party, perfected the exercise of the circular firing squad. Why do Democrats have so much trouble remembering that you can’t accomplish anything if you don’t get elected? Do they think their rants against the POTUS and Congress are going to help Democrats get elected in the fall? Or is it just that they’re not thinking at all?

  391. 391
    Observer says:

    @Emma:
    That’s the core issue. You are correct in the re-elect thing.

    I think the issue for many people is that they believe Obama is a Blue Dog himself. Didn’t at the beginning but many now do. This growing realization is the source of much of the discontent.

    Now, I always thought he was a Blue Dog myself but a fake progressive Blue Dog instead of a proud out-in-the-open Blue Dog. But a Blue Dog nonetheless.

    This is the real issue. There could a be big-ass debate on it but some people (not you) prefer to call people names and get upset that others are discontented.

  392. 392

    […] someone’s criticism of Obama got under his skin yet again, because the esteemed Mr. Cole went off on a tear again about how nobody gives President Obama any ‘credit’: And when you point that out, […]

  393. 393
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Dr. Morpheus: Can you really not read?

    I don’t support that notion, either. But that’s immaterial to the Mike Kays of this board. He’ll be claiming it from now to forever.

    What was that quote from you? Seeing only what you want to see?

    Physician, heal thyself.

  394. 394
    Jenn says:

    On a somewhat different topic, I just read about the oil industry in Nigeria — which, according to the New York Times, has evidently resulted in oil spills along the lines of the Exxon Valdez every year for the last 50 years.

    Heartbreaking.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06.....ia.html?hp

    On topic: I agree with the OP. I’m all in favor of constructive criticism (and I add my voice to the choir re. civil liberties), but I want that criticism in context. Frankly, I look at that man’s to-do list, and it makes me want to weep. (Yes, everybody, be very glad that I’m not President.) What I expect from him is good faith effort to turn this enormous ship of state; I don’t expect miracles; I don’t expect that Republican mismanagement over the past 30 years is going to get turned around in a little over a year — actually, I don’t really expect it to get all the way turned around in 2 terms. I believe I’m getting that good faith effort; more than that, I am seeing results from that effort — so the man gets my support.

    What am I not happy with? I’m not happy with Congress (or more particularly the conservaDems*), and I’m not happy with the left wing that seems more interested in bitching than putting their shoulder to the wheel, and helping to force Congress to see things the way it wants them to. And in case anyone’s wondering, that pointing finger is pointing at me, too — I donate funds, I write and call my Senators and Congressman, but I could and should do more.

    If we’re going to make a difference, then WE need to be working our asses off for it. One thing that I think needs to be done is (after making sure that the Dems retain the majority!) encouraging our Senators to support re-writing the Senate rules for adoption at the beginning of the new Congress, such that the abuse of filibusters and holds can be ended. At that point, we may be able to get some more progressive appointments filled, and more progressive legislation passed.

    (*That I’m not happy with Republicans putting party above country is a given!)

  395. 395
    Gene108 says:

    For the left, I think it’s been decades of frustration pent up and hoping Obama was as liberal as they are, when he clearly is a centrist or maybe a bit center-left that’s led to the meltdown at times about him not doing enough.

    The Republicans still don’t throw Reagan under the bus for passing the largest payroll tax increase in history, wanting to abolish nuclear weapons, selling arms to a terrorist nation (Iran), etc. They use whatever he did to promote their agenda as a wedge to hold the door open, so they could do more.

  396. 396
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Mike Kay: Did he do the deal with Big Pharma? Or was that Pelosi and Reid?

    He gets knocked when he makes mistakes like that. He gets credit when he does good like the BP escrow. Only in your diseased mind is everyone a Kuchinich supporter who also voted for Ralph Nader and wrote in Hamsher if they don’t agree that Obama isn’t the neatest thing since sliced bread.

  397. 397
    Mike Kay says:

    @lawguy: I like “there’s no difference btwn bush and gore” better.

  398. 398
    rootless_e says:

    @BombIranForChrist:

    “I think he has been weak. Rather than lead, he passively sits around, poking at problems with a stick until he his ratings start sinking, at which point he does something.”

    And I think, like many of us, that you are so bombarded by MSM propaganda that you can’t make such a judgment on any reliable evidence. That’s why I suspend judgment on nebulous “weak/strong” etc. issues and just go on verifiable facts. When you are in the matrix, you better fucking learn not to rely on feelings

  399. 399
    Mike Kay says:

    @NobodySpecial: = diesased hippie, firebagger, Naderite.

  400. 400
    wrb says:

    don’t be surprised if nothing changes as a result of you being merely “critical”.don’t be surprised if nothing changes as a result of you being merely “critical”.

    Oh, it is quite likely that something will change due to these self-indulgent babies being “critical”

    They, Arianna, Jane, Glenn and the lot will bring about Republican control of the house and/or senated and doom us.

    I think they want big-breasted warrior goddess-queen Sarah to lead us into the purifying fires.

  401. 401
    Emma says:

    Observer: I don’t see how anyone can confuse Barack Obama with Bill Nelson. In anything.

    I do believe that Obama is a moderate. He came across as a moderate during the elections. One of the things he clearly stood for was restoring the separation of Presidential and Congressional spheres. The man taught Con Law, for crying out loud! Which meant that a liberal unitarian presidency was right out. Yet people keep clamoring for one.

    I also believe he’s the kind of person who believes in grabbing what he can get now and building on it. His is the art of the possible, which, considering the political climate, it’s not such a bad thing.

  402. 402
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Mike Kay: Like I said, the King of Special, that’s you.

    It’s a damned shame you had to inflict yourself on a decent blog. Maybe 4Chan is more your emotional level.

  403. 403
    BombIranForChrist says:

    @rootless_e:

    Yes, yes, we are all mindless drones controlled by the MSM. Did I accidentally click on the Daily Kos message boards?

  404. 404
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Observer:

    Now, I always thought he was a Blue Dog myself but a fake progressive Blue Dog instead of a proud out-in-the-open Blue Dog. But a Blue Dog nonetheless.

    Right. Because Blue Dogs were just lining up to pass the Affordable Care Act.

    “One of our own is in the White House finally,” said the jubilant Blue Dog Caucus.

    Hilarious.

  405. 405
    Mike Kay says:

    @Observer:

    Now, I always thought he was a Blue Dog myself but a fake progressive Blue Dog instead of a proud out-in-the-open Blue Dog. But a Blue Dog nonetheless.

    Since when do blue dogs pass a $800,000,000,000 stimuls bill and a $1,000,000,000,000 health care bill.

    you dumb shit reds are a hoot.

  406. 406
    jaleh says:

    You must see this, it is really funny:

    How Dummies report the Gulf Oil Crisis

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uC67CqvXME

  407. 407

    I agree with Russell, that in the end, what will remain historically significant is the fact that the stimulus wasn’t nearly large enough. The result has been a discrediting of government action in this country. Imagine if Hoover’s half-hearted efforts to buck conservative orthodoxy after the stock market crash were considered by the public to be the last word in liberal economics. That’s the situation we’re in for years to come.

    Obama’s liberal hour is just about over. After the mid-term elections, I would expect him to shift towards deficit reduction and a return to normalcy. In the foreign policy realm we can expect some minor military interventions once we pull out of Iraq, just to let off steam, like his last Democratic predecessor.

    What Obama’s progressive critics are irate about is that his election wasn’t the opening of a generation-long era of liberal hegemony, but was like Clinton and Carter’s (and Eisenhower’s) elections, an ideological interregnum. This isn’t his personal fault so much as it is the weakness of the trade unions, of minority groups, and of the liberal intelligentsia, but there’s enough blame to go around.

    I will say this: his first year in office was very impressive for a Western head of state in the neo-liberal epoch. It’s just that some of us thought that the Great Recession would mean the eclipse of neo-liberalism.

  408. 408
    rootless_e says:

    @Mike Kay:

    “Here, take the opportunity now. Just say, the President deserves credit for saving the auto industry. Just say it. Of course auto workers are beneath elitist firebaggers like you.”

    That’s really the most obvious one: $60billion to save the largest unionized manufacturing sector in the USA and it’s nothing to “progressives”

    A gy on Kos told me that Hilda Solis’ brokering of raises for farm workers, which a union guy said was their biggest win since Cesar Chavez in the 1970s, was “window dressing”

    Fuck those people. I’m not on the same side as them.

  409. 409
    Tlaloc says:

    No actually This

    Cole is accused of being an O-bot because he’s, you know, a fucking O-bot.

  410. 410
    rootless_e says:

    @rootless_e: the delusion that considering oneself to be “progressive” means that MSM propaganda and endemic social prejudices don’t have any affect on you is characteristic of the shallow and privileged viewpoint of the “progressives”.

  411. 411
    Mike Kay says:

    @rootless_e: the lefties on the blogosphere sound no different than the nazis on talk radio.

  412. 412
    4jkb4ia says:

    Desperately flags down Mike Kay and gives GOS credit for the following 3 people:

    Webb
    Tester
    Mark Begich. This was marginal because Stevens was a convicted felon at the time.
    Tom Perriello. Had strong support on the site because Virgil Goode was such a turkey, was Orange to Blue IIRC

    All of these gentlemen won by such thin margins that every amount of publicity and money sent by Kossacks had to have helped.

  413. 413
    Jay C says:

    And now this thread will rapidly become populated with WATB telling me I’m just as in the tank for Obama as I was for Republicans and that I hate the left and that I’m showing my authoritarian Republican roots and, oh, forget it.

    Well, four hours and 405 comments along, I (for one) will wholeheartedly agree with you…..

  414. 414
  415. 415

    […] from John Cole; All I know is that if Obama doesn’t stop the oil leak with his massive Kenyan penis and then […]

  416. 416
    Mike Kay says:

    @4jkb4ia: the way I remember 2006, it was beat loserman 24/7/365 and a couple of minutes here and there on tester and webb.

    I’m sorry, webb and tester won narrow victories and every vote counts, but dkos never put it’s back bone into those campaigns, not when you compare their all-hands-on-deck effort/failure to oust loserman, and therefore they didn’t earn any street credit.

    But lets face it, there all out 24/7/365 efforts for edwards was an abysmal failure. He got 5% of the vote in the Nevada primary. What a fucking failed effort.

  417. 417
    Observer says:

    @Midnight Marauder:
    namecalling notwithstanding, I get the impression that many of you guys here really don’t get what happened over the last 18 months.

    *YES*, Blue Dogs were lining up to pass the “ACA”.

    That there had to be a health care bill passed is not in question. No HCR then no Obama re-election. Whether he wanted HCR or not, doesn’t matter. “Make me do it” is I believe what Obama said before being elected.

    Take that as a starting point. There was no other option for them. There had to be a bill.

    The best way to kill the PO/Single Payer was to allow Repubs to freak out and let their mad henchmen Tea Partiers freak out and create a massive public outcry.

    Then all a Blue Dog had to do is threaten to filibuster so that they’d kill it.

    The poker “tell” in the HCR was Lieberman mentioned to the press that nobody (as in “not one person”) ever called him from the White House to try and get him to drop his filibuster threat.

    So *YES* the Blue Dogs wanted to pass HCR reform. BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO KILL THE PO/SINGLE PAYER.

    For a bunch of folks who keep calling everyone else names, you guys seem to not understand a whole lot of stuff.

  418. 418
    4jkb4ia says:

    Here is what Ezra wrote, and after reading that I said to my husband, “It’s a big meh out there,” and didn’t look for any more comments.

    The optimistic take, at least for environmentalists, is that this is the language and approach Obama uses when he really means to legislate. The pessimistic take is that Obama shied away from clearly describing the problem, did not endorse specific legislation, did not set benchmarks, and chose poll-tested language rather than a sharper case that might persuade skeptics.

    Is Ezra a leftist? Is Kevin Drum a leftist? “Village Dems” is only one of the phrases that have been applied to these two bloggers. You don’t have to say, “We will have something this year” the way that Rachel Maddow did to say that if Obama was going to talk about energy policy this was the moment for him to seize to talk about what was important to him in an energy bill. There was a clear-cut disaster being paid attention to by most of the public instead of a slow systemic crisis as with the health care bill.

  419. 419
    Malron says:

    All I know is that if Obama doesn’t stop the oil leak with his massive Kenyan penis and then give a rousing FDR/Trumanesque speech delivered using a grade 7.5 language level that gives Chris Matthews a blue-vein hard-on and then personally scrubs every drop of oil from the gulf without hurting BP’s profits and making sure every oil worker has a job, I’m out. I mean, come on. That isn’t asking too much, is it? And why don’t we have gay marriage and a cure for cancer? What a loser! If only he hadn’t turned off his progressive base, all this could happen. Ed Schultz told me so.

    I am a die-hard O-bot Obamacrat and I approve of this message.

    Hell to the mortherfucking yeah I do. Rant on, Sir John of Cole.

  420. 420
    Observer says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Since when do blue dogs pass a $800,000,000,000 stimuls bill

    When you know you have to pass one but you want to appease Republicans (“Blue Dog” by definition) and your only Nobel prize winning economist says you needed a stimulus double the size to do the job. So you pass one about half of what he says or about $800B.

    And then when events pan out more or less exactly how the Nobel prize winning economist said it would, you try to ignore that and tell people about how wonderful HCR is and scream at people and call them names.

    What’s the unemployment rate again right now? About 3 points higher than the Obama worse case estimate back during stimulus negotiations.

    You can go argue with Paul Krugman if you want to about this.

  421. 421
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    Webb
    __
    Tester

    What’s classic about that is that both of them are precisely the kind of heterodox not-very-liberal Senators whose political stances are occasionally vexing to blogospheric liberals. Their virtues are in being buttloads better than the alternatives and in being close to the leftmost limit of what the political entities they represent will bear.

    I think there’s an analogy in there somewhere.

  422. 422
    kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Particularly Webb, who opposes trying suspected terrorists in federal court.
    Ahem.
    Unlike that sell-out, Eric Holder.

  423. 423
    Mike Kay says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    Is Ezra a leftist? Is Kevin Drum a leftist?

    Yeah. Leftist is not a bad position. They both used to blog for The Prospect. Drum blogs for MotherJones. I really respect Ezra and Drum because they are balanced if not objective in the analysis of Obama. They give him credit and criticism. What’s lacking of the general blogosphere is they only do the later.

    as I said earlier, I would respect the quarters that criticize Obama if they just once gave him credit once in a while. That’s the issue, not criticism, but balance. but when have you ever heard those people credit him for saving the auto industry, for example.

  424. 424
    Emma says:

    4jkb4ia: We live in a country in which nearly half of the people do not believe in climate change, and in which a sizable minority is convinced that any such talk is cover for some sort of liberal power grab that will end with the UN taking over the US government. That sizable minority will not be moved by anything the president says. They listen only to their right-wing gurus.

    We also live in a country where the people of the area most directly affected (Louisiana) answered a poll about further drilling with “hell, yea”. A full 77%. It’s their livelihood. It’s how they feed their families. They aren’t going to listen either.

    The Blue Dogs haven’t met an oil corporation they didn’t like. And Congressional Republicans would feed their own children to the Devil if it would get one of them back in the White House.

    I hope to God Obama can do something. I’m not optimistic.

  425. 425
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Tlaloc:

    Yay, Susie Hatrack! Yay for her commenters even more:

    Lori

    Obama is a fucking Trojan Horse. And yes, kerry, Gore, Clinton, and any number of pols would have been dramatically better. He’s a stupid, rightwing, lazy asshole who doesn’t give a damn about anybody besides himself. He’s aggressively making life worse for ordinary Americans. Fuck him. Fuck his advisors. Fuck his mealy mouthed, narcissistic, asshole presidency. He’s a fucking infant who took the nomination away through corruption from a genuine liberal with the backbone and the vision to do the right thing.

    He’s the worst fucking Democratic president since Buchanan, and no, McCain wouldn’t have been worse. Obama is that fucking bad.

    PUMAs will never stop being funny.

  426. 426
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Observer: The Senate, as has been amply demonstrated and continues to be so, DOES NOT SUPPORT larger stimulus. A $1 trillion stimulus would be better. No shit! How about a $0 stimulus, which is what we’d get if it was determined that it was either $1 trillion or nothing? It’s astounding to keep having the same argument. The Senate cuts everything down because there is a bloc in the middle ideologically (think Baucus, Nelson, Nelson, Lincoln, Landrieu, Carper, Bayh, et al) who WON’T STAND FOR the biggest best plans liberals dream up. On principle. They really mean it. Because they’re (a) dimwitted and (b) see more value in projecting “fiscal responsibility” than in doing what’s best in therms of policy. Fix that and maybe you can make dramatic liberal change. Fuck it up and maybe you’re on the business end of a 40-60 Senate debating austerity measures and building border fences.

  427. 427
    Violet says:

    @jaleh:
    That’s hilarious. Dummies on TV. Pretty much what all the blathering talking heads are.

  428. 428
    Gene108 says:

    I agree with Russell, that in the end, what will remain historically significant is the fact that the stimulus wasn’t nearly large enough. The result has been a discrediting of government action in this country. Imagine if Hoover’s half-hearted efforts to buck conservative orthodoxy after the stock market crash were considered by the public to be the last word in liberal economics. That’s the situation we’re in for years to come.

    There’s been some deregulation and a lack of regulation for new technologies and products, but please don’t act like we’re back to 1910 and the minimum wage has been ruled unconstitutional, labor unions are unconstitutional, and other progressive reforms of the last 100 years have disappeared.

    Even Republicans jumped on stimulus measures in 2001, but they just wanted it all to be tax cuts. No one deep down believes the stimulus was a total failure and government spending doesn’t work, other than 25% of people who are just nuts.

  429. 429
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    Observer, how do you get the Blue Dogs to agree with a larger stimulus when they carp about inflation and the government deficit?

    On what planet would they EVER agree to a larger stimulus and what could Obama have done to get them to agree?

  430. 430
    jaleh says:

    @Violet:
    Violet:

    Send it around. I am sending to friends.

  431. 431

    @Lawnguylander:But is he in the sweet spot, of worse that Palin, but better than Hitler? What say you mighty spoof orb?

  432. 432
    rootless_e says:

    @Observer:

    I’ve had more interactive conversations with rocks and Republicans.

    You just keep sticking to that script.

  433. 433
    Malron says:

    @rootless_e:

    That’s really the most obvious one: $60billion to save the largest unionized manufacturing sector in the USA and it’s nothing to “progressives”

    I distinctly remember kos posting multiple front page articles about why he feels we should let the Big 3 die, with excuse #1 being he hasn’t driven an American car in years. The GOS never did a thing to support the unionized workers; in fact, they spent more time promoting GOP spin about the UAW that they did defending part of the Democratic Party’s loyal base.

  434. 434
    gwangung says:

    We live in a country in which nearly half of the people do not believe in climate change, and in which a sizable minority is convinced that any such talk is cover for some sort of liberal power grab that will end with the UN taking over the US government. That sizable minority will not be moved by anything the president says. They listen only to their right-wing gurus.
    __
    We also live in a country where the people of the area most directly affected (Louisiana) answered a poll about further drilling with “hell, yea”. A full 77%. It’s their livelihood. It’s how they feed their families. They aren’t going to listen either.
    __
    The Blue Dogs haven’t met an oil corporation they didn’t like. And Congressional Republicans would feed their own children to the Devil if it would get one of them back in the White House.
    __
    I hope to God Obama can do something. I’m not optimistic.

    I think I should note that one root problem among this is that traces directly back to our fellow Americans. I.e., grassroots. The problem here is not in the party or in politics or in policy, but in people as a whole. As such, the solution will not be in leaders or politicians. The fault is in ourselves, not the stars, and expecting leaders such as Obama to solve them is truly fruitless.

  435. 435
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    FlipYrWhig said it better.

  436. 436
    Mike Kay says:

    @Observer: So you agree, blue dogs don’t pass 1,000,000,000,000 health care bills. I’m glad too see you conceed.

    I’m also glad to see your argument appeals to authority of the eminent Dr. Krugman. I can therefore take it for granted that you supported NAFTA and PNTR, just like the nobel laurate did. I mean it wouldn’t be principled to cite the good doctor when you agree, but not when you disagree.

    I swear, you dumb shit reds are a bunch of clowns.

  437. 437
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Tlaloc:

    From your Susie Madrak link, nutpicking in our time:

    Lori

    Obama is a fucking Trojan Horse. And yes, kerry, Gore, Clinton, and any number of pols would have been dramatically better. He’s a stupid, rightwing, lazy asshole who doesn’t give a damn about anybody besides himself. He’s aggressively making life worse for ordinary Americans. Fuck him. Fuck his advisors. Fuck his mealy mouthed, narcissistic, asshole presidency. He’s a fucking infant who took the nomination away through corruption from a genuine liberal with the backbone and the vision to do the right thing.

    He’s the worst fucking Democratic president since Buchanan, and no, McCain wouldn’t have been worse. Obama is that fucking bad.

    Please, PUMAs, never get over it.

  438. 438
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Observer:

    So YES the Blue Dogs wanted to pass HCR reform. BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO KILL THE PO/SINGLE PAYER.
    __
    For a bunch of folks who keep calling everyone else names, you guys seem to not understand a whole lot of stuff.

    Let’s be clear. Single payer was never on the table. Never! NEVER?! NEVER! So when you talk about people who don’t understand things, you need to understand that a large part of the point you are trying to make is based on fantasies and delusions (that being single payer).

    Moreover, you have entirely changed the nature of the topic you brought up. You made the accusation that President Obama is a Blue Dog. A lot of people think that it is just a fucking crazy thing to say or believe. You back up your assertion with comments like:

    The best way to kill the PO/Single Payer was to allow Repubs to freak out and let their mad henchmen Tea Partiers freak out and create a massive public outcry.

    Ignoring the fact that single payer was DOA during health care reform negotiations. Do you understand? The entire basis of your objection in the aforementioned post is a goal that was entirely unrealistic from the beginning.

    What you aren’t getting is that a lot of people think your perspective is based on notions that are equal parts absurd and unreflective of reality. We’re calling you names because you are talking like a crazy person. It really isn’t hard to figure out…

    unless you are a crazy person.

  439. 439
    Mike Kay says:

    @Malron: that’s because techogeeks are elitists. They bow to google and apple but look down their noses to factory workers.

  440. 440
    Observer says:

    @Dr. Morpheus:

    what could Obama have done to get them to agree?

    Your assumption is that Obama disagrees with them.

    You’d have to read Greenwald if you wanted a coherent body of works that attempts to convince you otherwise. Generally, I’m in that camp.

    But as for your question, one way would be to withhold re-election support if they didn’t vote his way. But in fact, Obama supported Lincoln over Halter.

    You may disagree with that way. But he’s the POTUS.

    If the argument is that the POTUS is the most powerful person on the planet but he has *no* way, none whatsoever, to influence people in his own party, then I think that’s another reason why people call others O-Bots. (I’m *not* calling you one).

    It’s like, c’mon, POTUS has influence if he wants, he’s just using it for other things. Greenwald would says it’s because he’s a Blue Dog and I would agree.

  441. 441

    @J.W. Hamner:

    Just want to chime in and agree 100% before this thread becomes an unreadable 300400 comment monstrosity in 10 minutes.

    Well done. I’m waaaay to late for that.
    ;- )

  442. 442
    david mizner says:

    @Brachiator:

    In fact, if the derivatives proposal and especially Brown-Kaufman were part of the bill, it would have been well worth passing but alas, there was no support from the White House.

  443. 443
    Emma says:

    Observer: The concept of the POTUS as the most powerful person on the planet is an American delusion.

    No, let me refine that. If you mean “the person with the most bombs to rain on anyone,” yes, he is. If you mean “the person who can force epic change through on a stern glare and three speeches,” then no. He isn’t.

  444. 444
    FlipYrWhig says:

    As for the topic of legitimate criticism: I get impatient with purists, but I actually don’t think there’s much wrong with _being_ a purist. What sets me off is when “I’m pissed because I want Obama to do X, and he won’t” becomes “Obama won’t do X for nefarious motive Y” or, worse still, “Obama’s refusal to do X, which pisses me off, means he will lose, because I represent millions upon millions of voters on whom his presidency relies.” Sometimes you’re pissed for what feels like a good reason… but there aren’t really that many of you. You’re probably not a movement. I’m an atheist and there are millions of atheists out there. Has Obama done anything to help the “atheist community”? No. There have been a few symbolic gestures and that’s it. Is it reasonable to pout and yell about how he must do more or all the atheists will stay home and teach him a lesson he’ll never forget? I don’t think so.

    If you have complaints, air those complaints. If you want to make a big statement, organize. But unless you organize your way into vote-changing influence — like the NRA or the AARP — I don’t think you get to call yourself “the base” and make a lot of threats.

  445. 445
    Mike Kay says:

    @Midnight Marauder: anyone who says HCR was passed to kill single payer is nutter conspiracy theorist. This rises to the level of glenn beck’s looney theories of the census and FEMA detention camps.

  446. 446
    Emma says:

    Gwangung: I know. It’s just that I’m hoping that in his usual low-key way he can get something that can buy us breathing time.

    I’m not optimistic. The fundamentalist radical right has spent thirty years moving the political environment into insane territory. Now… considering some of the conversations on this thread, I don’t think we can move it back.

    We are well and truly up the proverbial waterway without the appropriate movement enhancers.

  447. 447
    Lawnguylander says:

    Oops, sorry about the fucked up formatting. Fucking handy-dandy HTML buttons, how do they work?

  448. 448
    Observer says:

    @Midnight Marauder:
    You have this amazing way of ignoring things which you don’t like.

    “PO/Single Payer” means Public Option *AND/OR* Single Payer to most people. Or Public Option *AND* Single Payer.

    To only address one half of an A OR B proposition is to be willfully blind.

    You need to stop projecting.

  449. 449
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Observer:

    You have this amazing way of ignoring things which you don’t like.

    Fine. There were never enough votes for the Public Option, either. Otherwise, it would be in the fucking Affordable Care Act.

    You need to stop projecting.

    You think President Obama is a Blue Dog, but I need to stop projecting?

    L.O.L.

  450. 450
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Observer:

    But as for your question, one way would be to withhold re-election support if they didn’t vote his way. But in fact, Obama supported Lincoln over Halter.

    True, but what incentive would Lincoln and her cohort have for ever cooperating with Obama if he was just going to support a primary challenge to her/them afterwards?

  451. 451
    Quiddity says:

    @Observer: Re Obama as a Blue Dog. I don’t know if that’s quite right. For one thing, the Dogs are very pro-military (spending) but I don’t see that sort of enthusiasm in the White House. However, I think it’s fair to say, at a minimum, that Obama is not strongly liberal.

    I don’t think he’s strongly anything. That’s the rap on technocrats, which is basically what he is. A technocrat takes the political situation he faces, pretty much as a given, and navigates through that maze as best he can.

    Is that something to be excited about? Sometimes it is. But it also makes a lot of people wonder if the president couldn’t have done more to change the dynamic through back room dealings, horse trading, and raw political intimidation.

  452. 452
    Observer says:

    @Emma:
    Emma, “most powerful person on the planet” normally means “the person who has more power than any other person”.

    It doesn’t mean that person can death stare a goat into dying and simply will things into being or not being.

    This is what I mean by strawmen arguments.

    There’s a point at which if all people throw up are strawmen arguments or willful lack of comprehension of basic english or logic, then you have to wonder if there’s an unwillingness to engage in a reasonable debate.

  453. 453
    Nick says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    He gets knocked when he makes mistakes like that.

    sorry, the deal with Big Pharma was not a mistake IMO, it may very well had sealed the deal.

    It’s politics, deals with the devil are common.

  454. 454
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Observer:

    There’s a point at which if all people throw up are strawmen arguments or willful lack of comprehension of basic english or logic, then you have to wonder if there’s an unwillingness to engage in a reasonable debate.

    Said the person who maintains that President Obama is a Blue Dog.

  455. 455
    Observer says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    There were never enough votes for the Public Option, either.

    And on that agreement, let’s call this a day.

    “Said the person who maintains that President Obama is a Blue Dog”.

    It’s called an opinion. That’s what the debate could be about.

    Pretending you don’t know how to read common English in order to score points is another issue entirely.

  456. 456
    Mike Kay says:

    @Quiddity: he passes something that eluded LBJ, yet critics say he should be more like LBJ, even though LBJ failed, even though LBJ had 68 dems in the senate, and the gop didn’t filibuster. I wonder at what point critics will present a logical argument and not just feelings and emotion (the dutch have expericene plugging dikes, also too).

  457. 457
    gwangung says:

    @Emma: What’s not heartening is the failure of some progressives to direct more of their efforts at grassroots and fellow Americans. Yes, there are problems progressives have with the Blue Dogs; what doesn’t get mentioned is that there are lots and lots of voters who agree with the Blue Dogs and voted them into office. If you can’t arm twist the Blue Dogs into supporting your solution, perhaps the the problem isn’t with the Blue Dogs, but with the people who elected them. Perhaps more time persuading THEM would be more useful.

  458. 458
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Observer:

    This is the old argument I’ve had on a bunch of blogs and ended up in a stalemate repeatedly. My thinking is that the “centrist” group concluded that they wouldn’t ever support the public option — we heard about the leaders of that group (Lieberman, Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson, Baucus) but there were others who laid low (Mark Pryor, Mark Warner, Mark Begich probably among them). They drew a line there, because that was the item that could still be easily twisted into “government-run health care.” They couldn’t be on record having voted for such a thing.

    So what do you do, if you want some kind of health care reform to pass? What can you do as carrots or sticks?

    I guess you could say, “Fine, we’ll support primarying your stupid ass.” From there, what are the outcomes? (a) Primary challenger wins! Cool! Doesn’t happen a lot! (b) Incumbent wins, running explicitly against the White House, hence being rewarded for undercutting the White House. (c) Other party’s challenger wins, _assuring_ less support for the White House.

    You would have to be _really_ confident in that primary challenger to go through with that plan. The downside is huge.

  459. 459
    Emma says:

    Observer: Emma, “most powerful person on the planet” normally means “the person who has more power than any other person”.

    Yep. And I’m telling you the perception of the president of the United States as that person is an illusion. Either in domestic or foreign politics the President has a large number of constraints on him. None of which you’re willing to admit to.

    Talk about strawmen.

  460. 460

    @Observer:

    This is like the World Series of wrong headed, half witted internet gobblety goop.

    Your assumption is that Obama disagrees with them.

    Oh please, pay attention. This is just nonsense.

    You’d have to read Greenwald if you wanted a coherent body of works that attempts to convince you otherwise. Generally, I’m in that camp.

    Coherent and Glenn Greenwald should never appear in the same sentence. Or anywhere else. Full of mazed links to himself and mind reading for peoples motives. That if you follow the links to his original source, it is either another blogger’s opinion, or from msm generated anonymous source.

    But as for your question, one way would be to withhold re-election support if they didn’t vote his way. But in fact, Obama supported Lincoln over Halter.

    Know this, this president, and all the others before him DO NOT personally care who wins what Senate seat, so long as it remains on their side of the isle. And the odds of winning are just about always best with incumbents, especially 3 term ones. Unless there is some scandal at play. The political atmosphere in AR, right now, in an already red state, is flush with tea bag fervor, and not ripe for progressive victories. Lincoln may well lose and she is way behind, but so would Halter be. Keeping the seat in dem hands is THE ONLY calculation the WH has made supporting Lincoln. Rightly or wrongly on the politics of electability. And idiots that now with hold their support after a free election primary cause their guy didn’t win, is a perfect example of what Cole is talking about in this post.

    You may disagree with that way. But he’s the POTUS.

    Yes, he is, and a far greater political tactician than you or I.

    If the argument is that the POTUS is the most powerful person on the planet but he has no way, none whatsoever, to influence people in his own party, then I think that’s another reason why people call others O-Bots. (I’m not calling you one).

    Do you really think he does not influence people in his own party, albeit mostly behind the scenes, really? Did you stop to notice him reviving a dead HCR debate and motivating a moribund and seemingly defeated congress?

    And Obots in a practical sense, are simply people who support the president of their own party. They may also be critical of some of the stuff that president does and should make their complaints heard, if they have a solid argument with evidence. But they don’t abandon and do nothing but carp and complain on blogs about every fucking little detail that upsets them, while offering no credit when it is due to that president. If they are like this, then they, for all practical purposes, should be treated like wingnuts who do the same damn thing. Calling yourself a dem, or progressive, or crowing about all the stuff you’ve done to get Obama elected doesn’t mean squat if you don’t act responsibly after he is elected.

    It’s like, c’mon, POTUS has influence if he wants, he’s just using it for other things. Greenwald would says it’s because he’s a Blue Dog and I would agree.

    Don’t understand this.

  461. 461
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Observer:

    And on that agreement, let’s call this a day.

    Awesome. I’m glad you now agree that there were never enough votes from the public option OR single payer. Truly, your point has never looked stronger.

    @Observer:

    It’s called an opinion. That’s what the debate could be about.
    __
    Pretending you don’t know how to read common English in order to score points is another issue entirely.

    Your opinion is a fucking joke. Your comments about my reading skills are a poor diversion.

  462. 462
    Emma says:

    Gwangung: Exactly.

    Maybe we could form the Balloon Juice Coalition and get cracking!

  463. 463
    Citizen Alan says:

    @cleek:

    besides, what would help the progressive agenda (whatever that is) more than challenging Obama in 2012 is more and better Dem Senators. the Senate, as always, is the bottleneck to getting solid progressive legislation passed.

    We tried that in Arkansas with Bill Halter, only for Obama and Clinton to jointly drag Lady Blanche of Wal-Mart across the finish line by a nose and then turn around and lecture the progressives for daring to mount a strong primary opponent against someone who talked about filibustering HCR.

    The lesson of 2000 is that progressives suck if we support third party candidates instead of working within the system. The lesson of 2010 is that progressives suck if we try to work within the system to replace bad Democrats with good ones. I’m assuming the lesson of 2012 will be that progressives suck because we didn’t clap loud enough and thereby cost Obama reelection due to our bad vibes harshing his mellow or some shit like that.

  464. 464
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Quiddity:

    But it also makes a lot of people wonder if the president couldn’t have done more to change the dynamic through back room dealings, horse trading, and raw political intimidation.

    How can you tell the difference between those and “compromise,” which is anathema to the Fight Harder crowd? We heard a lot about dealmaking around health care; it was always depicted as kickbacks and such. But remember how the solution to the Cuban Missile Crisis _played_ as “JFK stands firm, makes the Reds back down,” when the actuality was “JFK trades away Turkey nukes.” On HCR, some of those moves looked like weakness (to blogosphere lefties) or bribery (to disgruntled Small People), but who’s to say there haven’t been threats as well as promises?

  465. 465

    @Citizen Alan: I guess life just sucks for faux progressives. So be it.

  466. 466
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    We tried that in Arkansas with Bill Halter, only for Obama and Clinton to jointly drag Lady Blanche of Wal-Mart across the finish line by a nose and then turn around and lecture the progressives for daring to mount a strong primary opponent against someone who talked about filibustering HCR.

    Why would Lincoln ever support anything Obama wanted, at any level, if a primary challenge loomed? She has to have some incentive to play at all. Because in terms of sheer political self-preservation, she’d be better served thumbing her nose at Obama on every major issue. What keeps her in line, even to the limp degree she was?

  467. 467
    Mike Kay says:

    I think the far left is in the midst of an emotional meltdown over the loss of Bill Halter.

    All that money down the shit hole. Even the naderits know $10,000,000 doesn’t grow on trees. All their inflated dreams of self importance, down the drain. No pony caused a major freaky breakdown.

    Case in point: they’re spouting conspiracy theories that “obama is a republican” that mirrors the right’s crack-up after the election and descent into birtherism.

    A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  468. 468
    gwangung says:

    he lesson of 2000 is that progressives suck if we support third party candidates instead of working within the system. The lesson of 2010 is that progressives suck if we try to work within the system to replace bad Democrats with good ones. I’m assuming the lesson of 2012 will be that progressives suck because we didn’t clap loud enough and thereby cost Obama reelection due to our bad vibes harshing his mellow or some shit like that.

    The lesson is to start working on fellow citizens as well as find better candidates.

    And be aware; that was a fairly narrow victory for her. Persuade a few more folks in Arkansas and Halter might have won. If all you took out of that was you lost, that may not be the right lesson to take.

  469. 469
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Citizen Alan: Also, if Blanche Lincoln (whom I wanted very much to see lose) was really so anathema to Arkansas Dems, support from Clinton and Obama shouldn’t have been so game-changingly persuasive.

  470. 470
    Snarkyspice says:

    THANK YOU!

    Yes, I know all caps is shouting – I am shouting.

    There’s a reason you’re my favorite blogger.

    THANK YOU!

  471. 471
    Mike Kay says:

    @Citizen Alan: I laughed so hard watching Clinton fuck over his PUMA base. This time he wasn’t even gentle when he shoved his cigar up their ass.

    But hey, don’t take it personally. You’re not the first person, nor will you be the last person Bill Clinton cheats on.

    I

  472. 472
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mike Kay: I don’t think I’d go that far, but IMHO Halter is in that Tester/Webb mold that doesn’t usually manifest as “bold progressive champion.”

  473. 473

    I’m probably repeating what’s already been said 470 times (man, that’s a long comment thread!) but while I agree there is some merit to what you say, on issues such as healthcare the big concern among us lefties was that the bill that was actually passed would in fact take us further away from the direction we wanted to go because it basically codified our inefficient, expensive, private, for-profit insurance system. So yes we got change but it wasn’t the change everyone agreed was necessary and in fact could be an obstruction to creating the change we all agree is necessary.

    And I personally have a big fear that this is what will happen in our energy policy.

  474. 474
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    @Observer:

    How do you know he agrees with them? Can you read his mind?

    And how do you know he wasn’t exerting pressure on them to change their minds and it just didn’t work?

    Are you or Greenwald privy to Presidential conversations?

    You do know that one of Greenwald’s habits is to write columns pretending he knows what is going on in people’s heads.

  475. 475
    HyperIon says:

    @Eric F: I’m constantly amazed that there are, apparently, tens of millions of people who managed to graduate high school without learning the difference between a President and a King.

    And I’m constantly amazed that there are, apparently, tens of millions who do not know the correct usage of the verb “to graduate”. This post tries to enlighten those folks.

  476. 476
    Mike Kay says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    I’m assuming the lesson of 2012 will be that progressives suck because we didn’t clap loud enough and thereby cost Obama reelection

    only losers, defeatists, and cutters mad at their daddy hope Obama loses. “I’m gonna marry the wrong man to hurt you daddy!” Spoiled brats.

    But then again, that’s the text book definition of a Naderite. Say it with me, “there’s no difference btwn bush and gore”.

  477. 477
    Citizen Alan says:

    @PTirebiter:

    WWJD?

    Jesus would have closed our fucking torture camp and said “to hell with reelection – I’m doing what’s right.” He was like that.

  478. 478

    @Southern Beale: On HCR, I was disappointed that we didn’t get a PO, or some government direct involvement to interject a non profit element into the profit system we have. And to mitigate the mandate to keep cost down and insur. companies honest. People smarter than me claim the regulatory framework should do this, but I am skeptical. We shall see.

    But unless the country was ready to ditch entirely, the for profit system we currently have and go single payer, there had to be carrots to the private industry to keep them solvent from having to accept everyone, and all the other regulations. Maybe that carrot will turn out to be too big, I don’t know.

    But saying doing nothing is better than having a regulatory framework in place, albeit flawed is just wrong, imo. And so is discounting the fact that many who did not have insurance and now will.

  479. 479
    Nick says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    We tried that in Arkansas with Bill Halter, only for Obama and Clinton to jointly drag Lady Blanche of Wal-Mart across the finish line by a nose and then turn around and lecture the progressives for daring to mount a strong primary opponent against someone who talked about filibustering HCR.

    Oh boo-freaking-hoo…the Democratic voters of Arkansas, a large percentage of them actually voted for John McCain, are more interested in the opinions of so-called “corporate Dems” than you. Are you really whining because Clinton and Obama have more influence over the voters than you do? Do you really think 5,000+ Arkansas Democrats are saying “I WAS going to vote for Bill Halter because Blanche Lincoln opposed the public option, but since Bill Clinton is behind her…”

    The lesson of 2000 is that progressives suck if we support third party candidates instead of working within the system. The lesson of 2010 is that progressives suck if we try to work within the system to replace bad Democrats with good ones. I’m assuming the lesson of 2012 will be that progressives suck because we didn’t clap loud enough and thereby cost Obama reelection due to our bad vibes harshing his mellow or some shit like that

    Damn right. I’m sorry you can’t seem to win any elections. Maybe you need to get the fuck out of your echo chambers and start influencing ACTUAL voters.

    So to recap…yes, you should primary Democrats you don’t like, but you should NOT whine when you get your ass kicked.

  480. 480
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Jesus would have closed our fucking torture camp and said “to hell with reelection – I’m doing what’s right.” He was like that.

    He probably would have said something cryptic about fish or sheep as he did it, though.

  481. 481
    AxelFoley says:

    @Tom Q:

    Martyrdom is the triumph. Look at one of the touchstone pieces of liberal literature, To Kill a Mockingbird: Atticus stands as the great moral exemplar of his time and place. But, oh yeah, Tom Robinson gets killed. The perfect story for upscale liberals, far too many of woem have spent the past 30 years cultivating a victim’s pose, and are at this point addicted to it.

    Damn if that ain’t a perfect example.

    Atticus gets looked at as a hero by those upscale libs, but Tom still loses his life.

    Ah, well, at least Atticus fulfilled their purity test. Fuck it that the black dude still got executed.

  482. 482
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Observer:

    You’d have to read Greenwald if you wanted a coherent body of works that attempts to convince you otherwise. Generally, I’m in that camp.

    That explains a lot, actually. Though I think calling Glenn’s attempts to peer into his crystal ball and decide what people’s nefarious secret plans are “coherent” is abusing the word.

    He’s good at rounding up facts. He sucks ass at interpreting them, and then he attacks anyone who points out that his interpretation is, well, incoherent.

  483. 483
    Nick says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Jesus would have closed our fucking torture camp and said “to hell with reelection – I’m doing what’s right.” He was like that.

    Jesus would never have run for President, so this is irrelevant.

  484. 484

    @HyperIon: So now you are our personal “Grammar Girl”. Cool, lard knows we need us one.

  485. 485
    AxelFoley says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    An apt username.

    Don’t you got some pubes to brush off your Coke can?

  486. 486
    mcd410x says:

    America: We aim for mediocrity!

  487. 487
    taylormattd says:

    @NobodySpecial: Hey dumbass, Truman issued that executive order THREE YEARS into his presidency.

    Obama and the democratic congressional leadership have managed to put together, despite republicans and blue dogs in the Senate, a congressional coalition that will actually pass a bill repealing DADT, and he did this in A YEAR AND A HALF.

  488. 488
    mcd410x says:

    @Nick: Wouldn’t need to run: He’s already King of the Jews.

  489. 489
    handy says:

    @mcd410x:

    Nice.

  490. 490
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @AxelFoley: Are you done masturbating with it yet, my dear?

  491. 491
    Citizen Alan says:

    @gwangung:

    And be aware; that was a fairly narrow victory for her. Persuade a few more folks in Arkansas and Halter might have won. If all you took out of that was you lost, that may not be the right lesson to take.

    Oh Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ! We really only needed to persuade one more person in Arkansas for Halter to have won — Bill fucking Clinton, easily the most influential living being in Arkansas political history, who swept in at the last moment to urge “good Democrats” to vote for Lady Blanche, who is going to get absolutely crushed in November.

  492. 492
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Citizen Alan: It’s such a shame that Bill Clinton knows so much less about Arkansas Democratic politics than you do.

  493. 493

    @Citizen Alan: Big Dog knows which horse to back, what pony to ride, and where the votes are in AR. Every last fucking one of them. You just made pretzel logic against your own argument.

  494. 494
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Mike Kay:

    only losers, defeatists, and cutters mad at their daddy hope Obama loses. “I’m gonna marry the wrong man to hurt you daddy!” Spoiled brats.

    For the record, I fully intend to support Obama in 2012 despite his moral cowardice on the torture/war crimes issue because I’m certain that the Republicans will nominate someone far, far worse. I was merely referring the fact that if Obama does lose, no matter what the circumstances (continued 10% unemployment, worsening problems in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan still disasters), somehow it will magically be entirely the fault of left-wing voters who didn’t grovel before Obama enough to satisfy folks like John. We all understand perfectly well that Obama can never fail, he can only be failed.

    But then again, that’s the text book definition of a Naderite. Say it with me, “there’s no difference btwn bush and gore”.

    The saddest thing to me about Al Gore is that there were huge differences between him and Bush. Gore just went to extraordinary efforts to pretend that there were no differences because he was embarrassed at the thought of being to the left of George Bush’s son.

  495. 495
    matoko_chan says:

    Alla you WATBs bitching about the PO and HCR need to revisit Bill Kristol circa 1993 to 2008.

    Still, conservatives have always dreaded the day that Democrats discover (or rediscover) that there is a happy political synergy between delivering liberal economic reforms and building the liberal movement. The classic statement of this fear is a famous memo that Bill Kristol wrote in 1993, when he had just started out as a political strategist and the Clinton administration was preparing to propose some version of national health care.
    “The plan should not be amended; it should be erased,” Mr. Kristol advised the GOP. And not merely because Mr. Clinton’s scheme was (in Mr. Kristol’s view) bad policy, but because “it will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests.”

    Historian Rick Perlstein suggests that this memo is “the skeleton key to understanding modern American politics” because it opens up a fundamental conservative anxiety: “If the Democrats succeed in redistributing economic power, we’re screwed.”

    In the Clinton years, of course, it was the Republicans who succeeded. And the Democrats’ failure — the failure to deliver national health care that is, not the act of proposing national health care — was a crucial element, in Mr. Perlstein’s view, in the Republican Revolution of 1994. Assessing the accomplishments of the “party of the people” after those first months of Clintonism, middle-class Americans were left with what? A big helping of Nafta. Mmm-mmm.

    Fourteen years later, we find ourselves at the same point in the political debate, with a Democratic president-elect promising to deliver some variety of health-care reform. And, like a cuckoo emerging from a clock, Mr. Kristol’s old refrain is promptly taken up by a new chorus. “Blocking Obama’s Health Plan Is Key to the GOP’s Survival,” proclaims the headline of a November blog post by Michael F. Cannon, the libertarian Cato Institute’s director of Health Policy Studies. His argument, stitched together from other blog posts, is pretty much the same as Mr. Kristol’s in 1993. Any kind of national medical program would be so powerfully attractive to working-class voters that it would shift the tectonic plates of the nation’s politics. Therefore, such a program must be stopped.

    Liberal that I am, I support health-care reform on its merits alone. My liberal blood boils, for example, when I read that half of the personal bankruptcies in this country are brought on, in part, by medical expenses. And my liberal soul is soothed to find that an enormous majority of my fellow citizens agree, in general terms, with my views on this subject.

    But it pleases me even more to think that the conservatives’ nightmare of permanent defeat might come true simply if Democrats do the right thing. No, health-care reform isn’t as strategically diabolical as, say, the K Street Project. It involves only the most straightforward politics: good government stepping in to heal an ancient, festering wound. But if by doing this Barack Obama also happens to nullify decades of conservative propaganda, so much the better for all of us.

  496. 496

    @Nick:

    Damn right. I’m sorry you can’t seem to win any elections. Maybe you need to get the fuck out of your echo chambers and start influencing ACTUAL voters.

    That would be who? You? Allow me to laugh out loud. The GOP managed to poison the word liberal, so progressive got brought out, which is now an anathema linked to the left – who actually laugh at being called such a weak tea name – by…
    wait for it…
    their own side as though the GOP wasn’t doing it well enough. This post and thread are laughable from a bunch of Eisenhower Republicans. You’re all about “you can’t have it that way because that’s not how it is” while that situation is all about “you can’t have it because that not how it is” for decades. YOU pointed and laughed until the situation reached Geo II with McPalin as successors and Obama as Saviour. “Not as bad as …” is not a fucking reccomendation it is default failure. You have to be pretty fucking stupid to find yourself in a situation where not as bad as the goddam loons is what you’ve got.

    I continue to work for the “Not As Bad Party” because of the occasional bright lights and the prospect of the Confederate Party of Republicanism but y’all are fucking tiresome. Fortunately the people I work with aren’t you bunch or I’d walk the fuck away. Mike Kay and The Corporal are the best arguments going for staying the fuck home, along with too many others to bother naming. That’ll be enough of a problem without your help.

  497. 497
    matoko_chan says:

    That is why the GOP fought like cats dipped in turpentine to derail HCR.
    Its the end of the line for them, and they know it.

    Our guy promised us HCR.
    And he delivered.
    What did their guy promise to deliver?
    Oh yeah.

  498. 498
    Citizen Alan says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Big Dog knows which horse to back, what pony to ride, and where the votes are in AR. Every last fucking one of them. You just made pretzel logic against your own argument.

    Fuck the fucking Big Dog. Unless Boozman gets caught in a gay sex scandal in the next four months, Blanche Lincoln is going to lose by over 20 points. Maybe Halter would have done just as badly, although he was trending up against Boozman. We’ll never know. But I do know that Lincoln is hopeless, and I remain convinced that in this highly anti-incumbent year, we’d have been better off in Arkansas with a fresh face instead of someone who is deeply unpopular and a completely unreliable vote to boot. Or are you so stupid that you think Blanche Lincoln would have pushed for derivatives reform if she hadn’t been in a tight election?

  499. 499
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Citizen Alan: I wanted Halter to win too. (In the Virginia Senate primary in ’06, I voted for Webb against Harris Miller, or Miller Harris, or whatever his name was, along similar lines: I’ll gladly take a plainspoken centrist populist over a corporate weasel.) Arkansas Democrats, including Bill Clinton, see things differently than you and I do, and it’s kind of their call.

  500. 500
    Nick says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    The GOP managed to poison the word liberal, so progressive got brought out, which is now an anathema linked to the left – who actually laugh at being called such a weak tea name – by…
    wait for it…
    their own side

    Nobody laughes at the word progressive. My guess is all of us here call ourselves that.

    it’s not the word, it’s the actions.

  501. 501
    Nick says:

    @Citizen Alan: If Bill fucking Halter couldn’t beat an incumbent who is losng by 20 points, how the fuck was he going to beat Boozman?

    C’mon man, be realistic.

  502. 502
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Nick: Self-styled hardcore lefties hate the word “progressive.” The gadfly commenters at Digby and Yglesias rag on “pwoggies” and such.

  503. 503
    BrianM says:

    Was sitting in a coffeeshop/restaurant today when I heard one of the staff/owners talking to a customer about Obama. After she said that the health care bill would raise her taxes to pay for other people’s insurance, she said, “And the thing about him is, he hasn’t *done* anything.”

    They have CNN on all the time.

    This is a problem.

  504. 504
    Karmakin says:

    Here’s the deal. America is fucked. I mean really beyond fucked. Things are REALLY dire. You see a structual unemployment rate that is probably around 15% now, wages are going in the wrong direction, cost of living is going up up and away, the environment is going to shit, nothing is being done about global warming…

    The middle class is on life-support.

    I mean things are REALLY REALLY BAD. And this is probably the last chance to fix these things before they blow out of control. That is the feeling. On some topics, I think this is correct, on others, not so much. But this is the feeling.

    So people think that immediate answers are needed. And maybe you can not get these answers through, but you start the debate. And these people on the left think they can win the debate. (I happen to think that by and large they are right)

    But I do not blame congress, Obama or even the media for this. I really do not. I blame the upper-middle class middle manager living in his McMansion who drives the SUV 30 minutes to get to his work, who goes ape shit if people who are not as important as him make a decent wage, or they he sees some public construction worker take a break while he sneaks out of the office for his latte. The idea of somebody getting something for “nothing” drives him bonkers.

    All he cares about are his property values, and that his 401K keep on going up. Global warming doesn’t matter because he’ll be dead. His kids? They’ll be supermen who can overcome!

    He’s the guy who would live in a box eating sparrows if the guy next to him didn’t have a sparrow.

    This. Is the swing voter, ladies and gentleman. A self-absorbed douchebag waste of fucking space. And these are the people that our political system, from top to bottom, worship.

  505. 505
    wrb says:

    Ah, well, at least Atticus fulfilled their purity test. Fuck it that the black dude still got executed

    But Atticus was sad. And looked noble.

    Is there something greater to which you can aspire?

  506. 506

    @Citizen Alan:

    Or are you so stupid that you think Blanche Lincoln would have pushed for derivatives reform if she hadn’t been in a tight election?

    No, I said this was her likely motive for it in earlier threads. But are you so stupid as to think Halter has a chance in that state without at some point getting as wingnutty and influenced by the tea baggers as Lincoln? Halter would have been eaten alive in the home stretch of this election promoting issues like would satisfy folks like you, and me, and fed to tea tard dogs. It is fantasy to believe otherwise. THE ONLY chance is with an incumbent with experience in dog eat dog elections like these, and with the Clinton Machine as an ally, that knows the electorate with experience running as a US Senator.

  507. 507
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Karmakin: Too narrow. He’s an asshole, but so are all of the other members of the consumerist middle class, regardless of political affiliation.

  508. 508
    Nick says:

    @Karmakin: So why the hell do you think the left can win the debate if these douchebags dominate the political system?

  509. 509

    @Nick:

    My guess is all of us here call ourselves that.

    I’ll thank you to not call me your rude names ;-)

  510. 510
    kay says:

    @BrianM:

    Yeah. It is. Still, approval for the health care bill has been rising fairly steadily.

    The latest Associated Press-GfK poll on Obama’s top domestic achievement finds support for the new overhaul has risen to its highest point since the survey started asking people about it in September — six months before it became law.

    The results now: 45 percent in favor, 42 percent opposed. That’s a significant shift in public sentiment considering that opposition hit 50 percent after Obama signed the health plan into law in late March and that in May, supporters were outnumbered 39 percent to 46 percent.

    “I thought when people began to realize what was in the health care package that they would see it’s a good, solid program and that would dispel some of the misinformation,” said Brigham Young University English professor Claudia Harris, 72, of Orem, Utah.

    Electrical contractor Kerry Eisley of Moscow, Pa., said he thinks people are starting to get nuts-and-bolts information on how the law affects them.

    “If we can insure more people across the United States and get the cost of health care down, I think that’s a better thing,” said Eisley, 43, a Republican who supports the plan, which passed without the vote of any GOP lawmaker.

    The poll found support increased since May among men (from 36 percent to 46 percent), people in their prime working years (from 35 percent to 49 percent among 30-49 year-olds) and Republicans (from 8 percent to 17 percent.) The uptick among Republicans comes even as party leaders are calling for the law’s repeal.

    It was never about college educated white people, health care reform. 94% of them have health insurance. Most of them are happy with it.
    The same is true for “jobs”, ironically. College educated white people are at or near norms for employment, and people with post graduate degrees are near “full employment”. It’s those without college or a trade who are getting killed, and bumping up the unemployment number.

  511. 511
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: I can imagine Halter having more crossover appeal than Lincoln; again, Halter looked to be gearing up to fight the “populist” fight rather than the “liberal” one, and God knows Lincoln doesn’t run as either one of those. So his candidacy might have sparked interest among a different slice of the electorate, because it wouldn’t be strictly on a left/right axis.

    But IMHO Halter lost a chunk of votes due precisely to the fact that he had become a proxy for liberal interest groups, which Lincoln jiu-jitsued against him. So, O. Henry style, the way Halter raised enough money and made himself competitive was also the way he ended up losing.

  512. 512
    Karmakin says:

    Nick:It’s easy actually. You just have to get non-voters out to the polls. That’s the argument made by the left, that if they made a strong push for real change, and called out directly the people opposing that change, that you could get rid of a lot of cynicism.

    That force, actually is why Obama won.

    I happen to think that they could be right but I’m not to the point where I’d say that moderate progressivism is wrong either. To me it’s a 50-50 which way is better.

    I also happen to think that if you federalize and standardize elections you immediately move things vastly to the left.

    And yes, consumer as a religion is a big part of the problem as well.

  513. 513
    kay says:

    Here’s the stats on unemployment. They’re from the Department of Labor. CNN has been reporting this disparity, but I’m not sure why it isn’t talked about more.
    I think it’s probably a partial explanation of why there isn’t more widespread outrage over the unemployment rate. The people who are unemployed at a really high rate (less then high school diploma) don’t get a real big megaphone.

    Some high school: 13.3%
    HIgh school grad: 9.0%
    Some college 7.2%
    Bachelor’s degree: 4.3%

  514. 514

    @FlipYrWhig:

    But IMHO Halter lost a chunk of votes due precisely to the fact that he had become a proxy for liberal interest groups, which Lincoln ju-jitsued against him. So, O. Henry style, the way Halter raised enough money and made himself competitive was also the way he ended up losing.

    This is my point. It is always required to a large degree to dance with the one who brung ya, in politics. Which is why an outside liberal benefactor is inherently toxic in a small southern conservative state, and once you are tied to it financially and spiritually, you can’t get untied.

    If Lincoln hadn’t used it to bludgeon Halter with, the wingnuts would have pounded him into mincemeat with it. Especially in the political climate we have, especially in the south. Round hole, square peg.

  515. 515
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Karmakin:

    You just have to get non-voters out to the polls. That’s the argument made by the left, that if they made a strong push for real change, and called out directly the people opposing that change, that you could get rid of a lot of cynicism.
    __
    That force, actually is why Obama won.

    OK, but the crucial presumption there is that the heretofore non-voters are also eager for _liberal policy_. I wish! My guess would be that heretofore non-voters are eager for git-‘er-dun fixes and don’t particularly care about liberal ideology — and that’s why the Republicans’ big strategy is just to make the country as ungovernable as possible, which disillusions people who want to see something, anything, being done.

  516. 516
    Tiparillo says:

    @Wannabe Speechwriter: Well said. Way too late to this massive thread, to say or read any more.

  517. 517
    AxelFoley says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Are you done masturbating with it yet, my dear?

    You’d get off on that thought, wouldn’t you, sweetheart?

  518. 518
    Tazistan Jen says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Who, exactly is the base, and who gets to define it? And, do we really want a base that is the equivalent of the Baggers of Tea? I, for one, do not.

    Three hours late but . . .

    I don’t know how to define the base – though I agree 100% that it shouldn’t be a tiny furious group along the lines of the teabaggers. I also don’t know who should get to define it. Not me, though I will try.

    I guess I would say that the base is people who fundamentally agree with Democratic values – a strong safety net, support for the middle class and for people trying to reach the middle class, fairness in education and opportunity, government regulation where appropriate, civil rights and civil liberties, etc.

  519. 519
    master c says:

    oh shit 500+ posts-!
    shall I work backwards or forwards?

  520. 520

    @master c: i always work backward. More blood on the monitor.

  521. 521
    JMY says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    She mentioned an executive order and I don’t understand why they insist he do things that way, when they crapped their pants anytime Bush did it.

  522. 522
    russell says:

    Unless you can prove a citiation to a comment wher e you give the president credit on anything, then you’re just a WATB.

    Scroll to the top, Ctrl-F, type “russell” in the search bar, press enter, and read.

    This is a crazy place.

  523. 523
    Nick says:

    @Karmakin:

    I also happen to think that if you federalize and standardize elections you immediately move things vastly to the left.

    Well, yeah, if you forced everyone to vote, Democrats would always win.

    Which is what really makes me wonder why Democrats just don’t always vote with vigor.

  524. 524
    tballou says:

    What a load of crap. The “left” is unhappy because the SOB said he would do a whole list of things and he has done the exact opposite, things that were entirely within his control. He said he would push for a whole lot of other things that needed Congressional help, and he didnt even try. All that in less than two years.

  525. 525

    @tballou:

    Give a us a list, and be specific. These blanket pooh bahs just don’t cut it.

  526. 526
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Karmakin:

    Here’s the deal. America is fucked. I mean really beyond fucked. Things are REALLY dire.

    John almost made it through a whole month without posting Episode 16,000,441 of the Leave Obama Alone Chronicles but, alas, here we are again. Since there is nothing more I have to say about this incessant whine I’ll use your observation about America being fucked as a jumping off point.

    America is indeed fucked if the trajectory doesn’t change. First comes “defense” (translation from Newspeak: Empire). The devotion to the National Security State is as full-throated as ever, even with the dusky socialist in the White House. Unless this gets seriously retrenched (it won’t) that’s another $20-50 trillion stolen from you and me and transferred to Boeing and Halliburton.

    Next a few words about the health care bill. It was a hold your nose and vote for it affair and, contrary to Obama’s protestations that we’re the last generation to deal with this, we’ll be taking it up again in a decade or two. Yes, the reform we got was an improvement on the status quo, but the abject cowardice of the “moderates” and “centrists”, Obama included, will be a good thread-starter in 2030.

    Those are two of the three biggest areas where we as a nation are well and truly fucked, and where our center-right Democratic President has represented a small but ultimately inadequate improvement on the previous regime. On a more positive note, the third leg of the Triple Crown of Urgency, financial re-regulation, is trending in a genuinely helpful direction. Obama and Friends get gold stars (keep your fingers crossed) for this one.

    Those are the biggies. We can leave aside foolishness like the credit card bill (please don’t anybody ever again bring up this bipartisan joke on the body politic as an “accomplishment” for Obama or anybody else), since the three I outlined will determine whether we survive as a nation or not. So that’s the measuring stick.

  527. 527
    Jeffro says:

    I blink, metaphorically speaking, and this thread shoots to 500+ posts.

    It’s funny, about 20 posts in, I thought to myself, “hey, mebbe Cole has a point and I should start giving Obama more credit for doing what he can in the environment he’s in”.

    Bonus thought-to-myself: “Mebbe I read a lot more of my own ultra-super-duper progressivism into him than was really there…but he’s still far better than the/any alternative”.

    Of course, that was 500 posts ago. I shall scramble upthread to see if there is wisdom to be had…

    …or maybe just watch the 2nd half of the Celtics/Lakers…

  528. 528
    Ailuridae says:

    Remember the health care bill wasn’t progressive. 40B per year in federal Medicaid funding isn’t progressive because, well, because people who wanted something more progressive (as did I) said so. And, yes, that is because progressives writ large aren’t overly concerned with the working poor. Sorry, facts is facts.

    For those arguing the public option was doable please explain either of open left’s whip counts on the issue neither of which rose above 44 Senate votes and the second of which (passing the PO separately via reconciliation) topped out in the high 30s.

    I’ve asked this question in every one of these threads for the better part of nine months and the collective assholery of the “No public option is Obama’s failure” camp has yet to take up the issue. Can just one of you, any one of you , be remotely intellectually honest?

    Through arm twisting they got, by all measures, 59 votes for a Medicare buy-in at cost for those over 50. That would be preferable to a PO to m but alas a sociopath killed it.

    The health care bill isn’t perfect but it covers 3/4 of America’s currently uninsured, is a massive expansion of (unpopular) public government run insurance and is fiscally responsible capping one of the biggest corporate tax giveaways in the US. If the bill doesn’t cover you because of extenuating circumstances, that’s unfortunate but that does nothing to change the fact that is a good, progressive bill.

  529. 529
    Will Danz says:

    Agree with many of your main points, but…

    The health care bill isn’t perfect but it covers 3/4 of America’s currently uninsured

    Sorry, no. It does not “cover” them, it requires them to buy private insurance. And the fucking insurance companies are jacking up the premiums like nobody’s business. It remains to be seen whether these people can afford what they’re going to be charged, and whether any help will be there for them.

    There ARE very good things in the Health Care bill, among them subsidies for those in poverty. And the end of recission is fantastic. But let’s be a little more precise. This bill doesn’t cover 3/4 of America’s currently uninsured. Single payer or a good public option might have, but this doesn’t. (Yes, before someone says it — single payer had no chance of passing in this Senate. Public option probably wouldn’t have with some different strategy, but… not 100% sure of that.)

    Calling the HCR reform worthless is unrealistic, but so is selling it for more than it actually is.

  530. 530
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @AxelFoley: You could have saved time, and not missed a stroke, by just saying “No.”

    Now please attach a picture of your “O” face.

  531. 531
    Will Danz says:

    Sorry, my post in 528 was in response to @Ailuridae .

  532. 532
    Ailuridae says:

    @Will Danz:

    Well a whole lot of the 3/4 of the uninsured will actually become covered by Medicaid so they certainly will not be “forced into buying private insurance”, right? That 40B a year spent into Medicaid the largest expansion of public insurance in 45 years?

    Now for the rest they will receive a subsidy to buy insurance. In each and every exchange there will be a non-profit option to choose from. People have crunched the numbers (like the CBO) by looking at a similar program in MA and factored in community rating, guaranteed acceptance, etc have determined that 3/4 of those who would not have had insurance without the bill will end up with it now.

    And that argument that the public option would establish something near universal coverage is on its face silly. The public option was likely going to cost between 92 and 94 cents on the dollar what a comparable private plan would have cost in the same market. Yes, thats better but its not enough to make up the gap.

    If progressives want to push for something going forward it should be an expansion of Medicare at cost to anyone who is willing to pay for it. Its simple, its coherent, it hurts the actual source of health care cost inflation (doctors and hospitals) and its a wildly popular program. Start selling it now and it’ll likely be a wildly popular idea by time Prsident O’Malley takes office in 2016. Someone tell slinkerwink and nyceve – they can actually help some people.

  533. 533
    Gemina13 says:

    Wordy McFucking Word.

    You know, a lot of the WATBs tend to forget one thing: we’re not just going up against a so-called, “weak-willed” Democratic administration; we’re fighting 30 years of entrenched, ossified Randism dressed up as moderate conservatism given life and meaning by St. Ronnie.

    You don’t cut through this bullshit in a day, especially not if 2/3 of Congress has been bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists.

    Obama has a lot of ideas I don’t like, but he has plenty that I do. In the meantime, there are petitions to sign, groups to join, letters to write, and donations to make. What time should any progressive have to whine? Spit out, “The hell with this shit!” a few times, and then get back to work. Time’s a-wastin’.

  534. 534
    tkogrumpy says:

    Sorry I’m late, but I wanted to check the internet to see if anyone said anything negative about John Coal, and I couldn’t find anything! What’s that?…….. not how it’s spelled? Oh, no.

  535. 535
    Rarely Posts says:

    Personally, I’m seeking a lot of WATBs from both the Pro-Obama side and the Anti-Obama side.

    I am really scared that global climate change is happening, that we’re going to see temperature increases at the high ends of the predictions, and that the destruction to our oceans, agriculture, fishing, and quality of life will be massive.

    I want someone to do something about it. I understand that the President alone can’t do it. But, if nothing is done, we really, really are going to be screwed, and every politician on the planet should spend at least 5 minutes a day being asked: why aren’t you delivering on this? And, we all should ask them this question every day.

  536. 536
    kay says:

    @Will Danz:

    Sorry, no. It does not “cover” them, it requires them to buy private insurance. And the fucking insurance companies are jacking up the premiums like nobody’s business. It remains to be seen whether these people can afford what they’re going to be charged, and whether any help will be there for them.

    The mandate acts a cap on premium costs for people who are now uninsured.
    The subsidy is a sliding scale. It starts at 133% of poverty level (under 133% are covered under Medicaid).
    The rest of the uninsured will receive a subsidy based on income. Premium costs are pegged at percentage of gross. So, 4X the poverty level cannot be mandated to purchase a policy unless total cost is 10% of gross. That slides down for lower incomes, to 3% of gross.
    I understand the concept because I work with it now. Every state requires never-married parents to provide health insurance for their children. But, only if it’s “reasonable”. if it isn’t “reasonable” they have to contribute 5% of gross towards health care costs.
    The federal health care law uses “affordable”, but it’s the same idea. If the insurance companies want to sell to the 15 million or so people who will be purchasing private policies, they have to provide an “affordable” premium, or the mandate isn’t operable.
    The mandate for never married parents went into place in 2007. It’s not a new idea. It applies to those who use a child support system, because that gives a state agency the power to reach the parents.
    That’s where the Senate got the concept.

  537. 537
    Royce says:

    I honestly see more people whining about the WATB’s on this thread than actual, you know, WATB’s.

    If there is only Right and Left, as the refrain goes, and you are punching the WATB’s on the Left, what, is that being the most pure at not being purist?

    Some might decide to be pragmatic and sit on principle for whatever reason, but others aren’t and that’s a good thing too. They might be seeing things more correctly, who knows? John Cole hasn’t been right about everything, lol.

    Seems strange to attack your own side in the name of … not attacking your own side.

  538. 538
    Mike Kay says:

    @Royce:

    Seems strange to attack your own side in the name of … not attacking your own side.

    There’s a PUMA blog currently hoping obama has a sudden heart attack, but no you’re right, we shouldn’t step on their fee fees.

  539. 539
    Mike Kay says:

    @Rarely Posts:

    I am really scared that global climate change is happening

    Then you should turn off you computer which is run on coal fired electricity.

  540. 540
    Mike Kay says:

    @russell: too fucking lazy to provide a link.

  541. 541
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @rootless_e:

    FDR did not go out and organize the CIO

    No, but he did pass a revenue act that people referred to as the “soak the rich tax” and directed the typical populist anti-elite rage (obviously amplified by the Depression) properly against the, you know, elites, rather than against census workers and IRS bureaucrats like the pretend populists of today like to do.

  542. 542
    Kerry Reid says:

    @david mizner:

    Because of course only the Bestest Progressive EVAH! would put American citizens of color in internment camps for no goddamn reason whatsoever.

    Get back to me when you’ve finished high school American history.

  543. 543
    Karen says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    And that just because it was unlikely that a president, and the first colored President to boot, wouldn’t seek re-election, or to solidify his legacy, or do something to secure his place in history with more than his election, that didn’t make his impending self-inflicted defeat and buyout any less plausible.

    By using the word “colored,” that commenter just proved that they didn’t want him in office and that they’d turn on him the first moment he wasn’t perfect. They’d accept less than perfection from Hillary Clinton and they accepted it from Bill Clinton. But someone like Obama had to be beyond perfect.

    In that regard, the commenter and others of his ilk, are worse than the GOP. At least you expect racist crap from them. But ever since he was elected I’ve had the feeling that the Jane Hamsher type of “progressive” (and I’m not saying every progressive) thinks Obama owes them an apology for winning the election. Every day I’m more and more sure

  544. 544
    Uriel says:

    Well- apparently, to sum up the 450+ replies I managed to read before the walls of sleep started reaching claustrophobic dimensions, I can only quote one one the most trenchant sources of our times for trenchant-y quotes:

    “It’s a very dangerous time. The coalition for reason is extremely weak.”

  545. 545
    Uriel says:

    @Uriel: arrgh- one of those “one”s should have been an “of.” The latter one.

  546. 546
    Mike Kay says:

    @Karen: No, you’re right. Many “bloggers” (Edwards/Hillary supporters) never got over the primaries. To some race was/is a factor, but to most, they couldn’t believe the lost to someone who only had been a senator for 4 years. They simply never understood the reason they (Edwards/Hillary) lost is because of their support of the iraqi invasion. In short, there are alot of sore losers behind keyboards.

  547. 547
    electricgrendel says:

    You know what happened the last time liberals said “Good job. We did enough.”? The Boomers melted into the conservative fold and we got the Reagan Revolution. Because when you say “That’s great. That’s enough.” then you become complacent.

    Notice how conservatives never say “That’s enough.”? Notice how this country has been driven hard to the right over thirty years of conservatives never being satisfied? Well- take what lessons you will from that.

  548. 548
    atheist says:

    Yeah I have certainly criticized Obama with the rest of them, but I agree with you here. I know people hate the politics of “lesser evilism” but honestly, I don’t think Obama’s as bad as McCain woulda been. I do think Obama’s hard pressed to get anything done given the Republicans making a solid wall of red against anything he wants to do and things he probably doesn’t want to do. It’s just redonkulous, retarded.

    I can undestand people who’re mad about wars, thinking Obama’s just like Bush. But foreign policy, while very important, isn’t everything.

    I guess my question to the voices saying they are completely disappointed in Obama, would be “What did you think he would do, honestly?”

  549. 549
    GatsbyGirl says:

    This² x 1,000. Fuckin’ A. Thank you, John Cole! I couldn’t agree with you (and the commenter whom you quoted) more. I am so tired of this bullshit.

  550. 550
    madmatt says:

    and everything he has done or signed off on has been for the benefit of corporations at the expense of the poor and middle class….you still never said if you would be sending me $3000 a year to cover a policy with a $5000 deductible which I can’t afford either…..but by god corporate profits will never be affected. The whole system is rigged, the banks still have unlimited power, the oil companies can still do whatever they want and the best dems can do is find ways to cut social security. And so many of those things he is “on the verge of” will all die in november without being accomplished…much like the improvements to HCR you kept telling us to look for.

  551. 551
    russell says:

    @russell: too fucking lazy to provide a link.

    mike kay — too fucking lazy to read.

    come on back again and I’ll yank your chain some more. i’m having a slow work week, I need the entertainment.

  552. 552
    myiq2xu says:

    . . . this is the most successful Democratic Presidency in my lifetime . . .

    Bwahahahahahahahaha!

    Only if you’re eight years old.

  553. 553
    Kerry Reid says:

    @myiq2xu:

    Only if you’re eight years old.

    Or, as you call them — “date material.”

    Or are you still all about trying to score with the older embittered demographic?

    myiq2xu March 14th, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    “What is Hillary’s core constituency? Women.
    Older, yet “liberated” women.
    At 47 years old, I am a “boy toy.”
    Since they are post-menopausal, that means they don’t swell, they don’t tell, and they’re grateful as hell.”

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=9901

  554. 554
    woody45 says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    This.

  555. 555
    John Bird says:

    Whatever. Y’all defend the man first, we’ll push the Democratic agenda first. Between the two of us, we might get something done.

  556. 556
    Chris says:

    Really, 550+ passionate replies over leftist ingratitude?
    Why should you give a shit?
    If Obama’s accomplishments are as solid as you think they are, progressive internet noise is laughable, irrelevant.
    This topic hits too close to home to be about whether the man is getting his due props from a handful of malcontents.

  557. 557
    Monala says:

    Here’s a great article on just this point: “Against Despair.” Main points I got from it: the march toward progressivism is slow, requires a lot of struggle, and victories often come in fits and starts. To think that Obama could suddenly overturn all the conservative reversals of the past 30 years in a short time is to misunderstand progressive history.

    Moreover, to compare him unfavorably to FDR and LBJ is also unfair. FDR and LBJ made quite a few compromises in their times as well, often angering their bases. Meanwhile, they were operating in a much more favorable environment for making progressive changes: there were more moderates among the Republicans, more liberals among the Democrats, and two monumental events–the Depression and JFK’s assassination–resulted in overwhelming public support for FDR and LBJ. Yet they still didn’t achieve everything they or their progressive base wanted. Why do we think Obama can in a much more hostile environment?

  558. 558
    Carlton says:

    No, it’s true. When you point this out you are just an Obamabot and not a critical thinker. In fact, I don’t think you even know what “critical thinker” means.

    If all progressives were like you then there would be no progressive movement whatsoever.

  559. 559
    Carlton says:

    What is “critical thinking” anyway? If critical thought is only measured against how much it praises the President’s accomplishments then you are not practicing critical thinking.

  560. 560
    Carlton says:

    @Chris:

    You hit the nail on the head, somebody give this person a medal.

  561. 561
    The Raven says:

    Ronald Reagan did a lot “for us,” too. Lots of people are still grateful.

    Do the things listed make up for the massive sellouts to the finance and energy corporations, the continued expansion of abuses of executive power, the torture, …? Oh, we corvids are eating well.

    But Obama seems to be teflon president II–no matter how awful his administration is, no matter how much it sells out, there’s always people to say that he’s great.

    Croak!

  562. 562
    Junket says:

    Truthfully I think that the level of frustration that supporters of the President have with his critics has risen to the level of malady. Surely at some level you must realize that by attacking Obama’s critics you are also alienating potential future voters. It is this point that I truly cannot get a handle on.

    One doesn’t have to wade very far into this post and its comments to come get neck deep in the mud. And it’s true on all Obama-defending blogs out there. Why are you so sure of yourself that you feel safe in dismissing Obama’s crtitics so harshly? Are just absolutely certain that Obama’s critics are so few in number that any alienation caused by such vitriol will make zero difference?

    Or is it that you would rather loose elections than give credence to points of view you may not agree with? In all honesty I simply do not understand this hostile point of view and would like to know more.

  563. 563
    Oscar Leroy says:

    I wonder what Chait will say when Obama’s government cuts Social Security benefits.

    He gets a health care reform bill passed that is sweeping in scope and more than anyone has done in decades. And the left-wing critics say “Not enough.”

    Well. . . it wasn’t enough. I would hardly call Mitt Romney’s reform plan “sweeping”, since we literally couldn’t have done less and still called it a change. People are still losing their health care, not least because the government Obama leads won’t extend it for them (see COBRA for instance) and health costs are still rising.

    He’s on the verge of getting DADT repealed through law as opposed to using a reversible executive order and all the left-wing critics say is “Not enough.”

    Well. . . it isn’t enough. After all, we’ve been “on the verge” of this for a year and a half. Thousands of troops have been broomed out of the service in that time. And what about ENDA or DOMA?

    He gets a stimulus bill passed that pretty much kept a massive recession from getting worse and all the left-wing critics said was “Not enough.”

    Well. . . it wasn’t enough. The stimulus was clearly way too small, and even Obama’s own estimations bear that out since unemployment is much higher than he said it would be if we didn’t pass it. And when you look at all the budget cuts being done by states, those come close to canceling out what little stimulus was passed.

    Never mind Lily Leadbetter

    That should be easy, considering how miserable the job market is thanks (largely) to the inadequate stimulus.

    killing the F-22

    Obama RAISED the Pentagon’s budget. You know this, right?

    tobacco regulation

    Obama’s plan to expand oil drilling will help make this country uninhabitable, but at least it will be slightly harder for kids to get cigarettes.

    There is legit criticism to be made when it comes to President Obama, especially in the civil rights arena.

    Yes, the one area of all these where Obama’s influence is the strongest and it’s by far the most abysmally bad.

    He gives a speech that talks about peak oil

    Oooh, a speech! ! ! ! ! He gave a fucking SPEECH! I take it all back! What an accomplishment! Only every president since Nixon has given a speech about the problems of oil dependence!

  564. 564
    Junket says:

    @Chris:

    Yes, Exactly. In fact I think I should hang what you wrote up on my wall for the next time this topic comes up.

  565. 565
    fish says:

    These people have gotten 90% of what they ever could have asked for out of this president

    I asked for a president that would not expand unnecessary wars and stop torturing and killing innocent people. And all I got was a bullshit rant from “realist” that is overjoyed that Obama was amazingly successful at securing GS bonuses and keeping nonexistent inflation under control while 10% unemployment is the new norm.

    People should be more grateful for the crumbs the king allows them to eat.

  566. 566
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Junket:

    It’s really fucking simple. There has NEVER been a truly progressive president in the history of this country. Name one. I double-dog dare you.

    LBJ and FDR most certainly do not count, what with that whole “Vietnam” and “Executive Order 9066” stuff. I mean, I know that was shit that mostly hurt people of color, not extra-special white progressives with an internet connection (what some of you call “the base,”) but it still should keep them out of contention by anyone who actually cares about progressive values. And yet — were they better than the alternative? Hell yes. Was the country better off for their efforts, compromised and tarnished and inadequate and morally bankrupt as they were? (Passing Social Security legislation that effectively kept women and people of color out was a nice twist — but again, white progressives weren’t singled out for discrimination, so that’s copacetic.)

    If most black voters were as clueless and self-defeating as the purer-than-thou Poutrage Posse, civil rights legislation would never have passed only a mere 100 years after the Civil War — which is a bit longer than waiting 18 months for the first black president to kiss all your political boo-boos and make everything all better!

    Oh boo hoo hoo — you didn’t get a public option and the president didn’t say the magic “climate change” word. Guess what? FDR put aside anti-lynching legislation to get the New Deal past the southern Dems. But you still think he’s a demi-god of progressivism, right? Tell the south you’ll effectively ignore the strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees, toss Japanese-Americans into internment camps, and white progressives will kiss your graven imagine unto perpetuity and hold you up as a model of purity.

    Some idiots think that because they got their widdle fee-fees hurt on the internetz, the only thing to do is punish the world by sitting out elections in order to “send a message.” That’ll show those mean ole Obots! Who cares if the GOP gets back in power and makes things ten times worse? Vengeance shall be thine, right?

    That’s not “progressivism.” That’s narcissistic personality disorder.

    @ Monala #557: Great comment and link. Thanks.

  567. 567
    myiq2xu says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    Ah, twisted sister! What are you doing in this neighborhood?

    Don’t they have drag races on Friday nights?

    ps:We Told You So!

    Bwahahahahahahaha!

  568. 568
    Platonicspoof says:

    @Paula:
    Thanks for the link.

  569. 569
    Kerry Reid says:

    @myiq2xu:

    Shouldn’t you be fantasizing about throat-raping underage girls?

    And you told me WHAT, exactly? That you and the other “18 million strong” PUMA losers would “punish” Obama by voting for McCain? Yeah. Remind me what that massive, throbbing “movement” where you hang out, hoping to score some tail (the kind that doesn’t swell, tell, and is grateful as hell, as you told us here) accomplished?

    And I notice you didn’t rebut a single point I made.

    But “drag races?” Tsk tsk tsk! Goldfinger or whatever-the-hell the name of the Loser Queen of PUMAville at the Confluence is called will be very upset that you are being so “elitist.”

    For an alleged lawyer, you suck at relitigating.

  570. 570
    McDuff says:

    I feel really sorry for the poor little president. Imagine having to be constantly criticised – by the people who voted for him, even! Why, anyone would think that democratic responsibility didn’t just end at the ballot booth every couple of years! Don’t people understand that your job now is to “support” the Presnit, who only has the massive resources of the federal government to fall back on? He’s in authority now, and what we have to do with authority is fawn over it and respect it, not agitate and attempt to hold its feet to the fire however we can!

    Or something.

    For me, it’s simple. His foreign policy and civil liberties record sucks. I knew it was going to suck, during the primaries. Not as bad as McCain’s, but, well, we’re talking shit sandwich or shit sandwich with fresh basil time. Obama’s all about about competent management of the imperial interest here, rather than any attempt to challenge the governing philosophies of Washington. And since those philosophies universally suck, everything is totally expected and par for the course and bad.

    Not disappointing. To be disappointed in someone you have to have expectations of them. But, for me, that’s it. He could shit jobs and fart healthcare for all I care – as long as his DOJ is solidifying the Bush-era “anti-terrorism” policies I’m not going to climb on board the “just give him a chance!” wagon.

  571. 571
    Kerry Reid says:

    @McDuff:

    Um, “competent management of the imperial interest” is pretty much the job description. Can you name a president who hasn’t done just that? Even Jimmy Carter, whose image has been polished up to that of a secular saint post-presidency, had some major failings in that department (see “Kwangju Massacre” for starters).

    Did you just now wake up and realize “OMG, I’m living in an imperialist nation!” I’ll put the coffee on.

    Seriously, the anti-Obama rhetoric would be easier to take if his detractors could make a coherent case for just which president in the past has lived up to their notion of progressive ideals. Again, I say the answer is “none of them.” Presidents of imperialist/capitalist states tend to act in ways that benefit imperialism and capitalism. Duh.

  572. 572
    Kerry Reid says:

    @McDuff:

    And again, if you thought Bush’s anti-terrorist policies sucked, you REALLY ought to hate FDR’s guts. Not even Bush/Cheney tried to establish internment camps for innocent Americans based on nothing but ethnic origins.

    But if you’d like to indicate which past president Obama should be looking to as a model of probity on civil rights, I’d love to hear it.

    It’s fine to be disappointed in him for not living up to his promises. But to suggest that he’s somehow uniquely disappointing compared to the records of past presidents is intellectually dishonest and/or naive.

  573. 573
    Carlton says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    I’ll wait as you unwad your panties and clean the spittle from your keyboard before reminding you that you didn’t even come close to “responding” to anything I said. Did you just hit “reply” at random?

    So what was this rant about? Oh, I see. Just more hyperventilating. Keep it up, it helps a lot. I just wish I could take you dull-minded O-bots seriously, do you ever have anything worthwhile to say? After re-reading your post I can see you don’t.

    So just got back into your corner and recurl into the fetal position as you and your party, as well as your holy president, lose big in the upcoming elections. I won’t cry, even though it is a little sad that you guys keep thinking having a little less spine and little less conviction is what will win you elections.

    You’ve all become worthless twaddle now, the party has nothing left except its ancient history of good works. The only thing that keeps people voting for Democrats is because they aren’t Republicans. And somehow you foolishly think that is a good thing.

  574. 574
    Junket says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    I’ll wait as you unwad your panties and clean the spittle from your keyboard before reminding you that you didn’t even come close to responding to anything I said. Did you just hit “reply” at random?

    So what was this rant about? Oh, I see. Just more hyperventilating. Keep it up, it helps a lot. I just wish I could take you dull-minded O-bots seriously, do you ever have anything worthwhile to say? After re-reading your post I can see you don’t. It’s even funny! I suppose voting Democrat has become a “narcissistic personality disorder” and I’m glad to be rid of it.

    So just got back into your corner and recurl into the fetal position as you and your party, as well as your holy president, lose big in the upcoming elections. I won’t cry, even though it is a little sad that you guys keep thinking having a little less spine and little less conviction is what will win you elections.

    You’ve all become worthless twaddle now, the party has nothing left except its ancient history of good works. The only thing that keeps people voting for Democrats is because they aren’t Republicans. And somehow you foolishly think that is a good thing.

    Have fun with your loss!

  575. 575
    Carlton says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    Your assumptions are simply idiotic, I’d really hate to be stuck in a plane seat next to you.

  576. 576
    Carlton says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    Looks like Moveon and other progressive groups are taking the fight against social security and medicare cuts up a notch. But didn’t they hear that no presidents have lived up to their progressive ideals? What a bunch of nincompoops!

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