The WATB musings of a “Progressive” media star

I am glad that there are some reliable progressive and liberal voices on the teevee, but I am disappointed that most of them are also WATB. There are exceptions like the excellent Rachel Maddow, but sadly most of the rest of them are far more concerned about their brand, their ratings and their influence than they are with policy, facts and getting actual things done.

Case in point is Ed Schultz who–for reasons that must have seemed like a good idea at the time–was given the opening speech at Netroots Nation.

And what did he do during his speech?

According to TPM Big Ed did the same thing that any speech maker at any Republican/Teabagger event would do: he went on the attack against the Obama Administration. He hit all of the talking points of Wingnutopia: Obama is weak; Obama can’t be trusted; Obama is following policies that harm America; Obama doesn’t care about you; Obama doesn’t listen to you… Etc. Etc. Etc. Of course big Ed put a so called ‘progressive’ patina on the wingnut talking points, but he still embraced them all.

And why wouldn’t he. This was a great moment for Ed to use this space to promote his brand as THE angry man of the people standing up for the little guy against weak Democrats and mean Republicans. It is a great media star brand.

Of course TPM also reported on what Ed’s anger at Obama was really all about:

He also complained that Obama hasn’t gone on his show or sat recently for interviews with Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow, adding that during the campaign, “I busted my ass for Obama.” Schultz said that instead of going on The Ed Show, Obama went on Bret Baier’s show on Fox, “in my time slot. What’s that all about?”

If Obama would just go on Ed’s show then he could count on a little support from America’s only champion of the little guy. If Obama would just put the same priority on Ed’s rating and Ed’s celebrity status that Ed requires then Ed might support him. But Obama betrayed Ed by going on another Network (FOX!!) during Ed’s timeslot and so Obama must pay the price of angry Ed’s ferocity.

And of course this must makes sense, as we all know the most important fight and issue in America is the epic battle between Fox News and MSNBC. The fight between our ‘progressive’ media stars, bloggers and pundits against our ‘conservative’ media stars, bloggers and pundits trumps all other issues. It really is groundbreaking that progressives were able to celebrate this epic struggle with Ed as the Netroots Nation began. Awesome!

As for me, I just think Ed is a windbag and I could care less about his ratings or even the existence of his show. And yes. I am aware that this must mean that I am a bad person. So it goes.

Worse than that, I find myself agreeing with Daniel from the Northwest Progressive Institute who said as he live blogged Ed’s rant:

“You are either with us or you’re against us in the progressive movement in America,” Schultz shouted, sounding very much like the last person who occupied the White House. [snip]

If we want to win over hearts and minds, we have to reframe, which is more difficult than pumping a fist and declaring war on the political establishment. (Incidentally, Ed made sure to look in the camera and direct his provocative Bushism to the White House). [snip]

We may not like the establishment, but we also don’t like dealing in absolutes. You’re either with us or you’re against us is one of the most criticized things that George W. Bush ever said, for a reason. It’s polarizing and divisive.

Anger is a powerful emotion. It’s easy to feel rage, resentment, or contempt. It’s also not difficult to express those feelings — Schultz is doing a fine job of that at the moment. But it’s difficult to channel such feelings into something positive. There’s nothing wrong with feeling determined, but people who let their fury get the best of them aren’t going to be able to accomplish much.

Angry Ed helps the Wingnuts win the day and block progress, but that must be OK because his angry media persona helps Ed’s TeeVee status shine and that gives hopes for other pundit wantabes to follow in his large footsteps. The bench of so called progressives willing to attack Democrats and the Obama Administration with Wingnut talking points is deep and Ed’s teevee network is willing to try them out as guest hosts for their shows (like this guy).

I wonder why the network of Joe Scarborough and Rove-dancer David Gregory is so excited to give these folks airtime? I’m sure it is because they want to see the Obama Administration succeed. Of course it is. I mean, what other motives could they have…

Cheers

dengre






244 replies
  1. 1

    You need to put some sort of Irony Overdose warning on this thing.

    He also complained that Obama hasn’t gone on his show

    Jesus. Who is this moron anyway?

  2. 2
    Wiesman says:

    Geez, I hate to sound like a grammar nag, but, aw hell, this tilts me. Please change,

    “for reasons that must of seemed like a good idea at the time”

    to

    “for reasons that must have seemed like a good idea at the time”

    Thanks.

    And good post.

  3. 3
    QuaintIrene says:

    Obama doesn’t care about you; Obama doesn’t listen to you…

    Health care reform, financial regulation, extending unemployment benefits and letting tax breaks for the rich lapse.

    Why, Obama is an absolute menace to the working man!

    On his radio show Schultz has been working his ‘being tough with Obama’ for months now.

    Why do I keep wanting Colonel Klink to come marching in and yelling…!

  4. 4
    Dennis G. says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:
    Yes. There should be an emoticon for that somewhere.

  5. 5
    JGabriel says:

    Typo/grammar alert: Second paragraph, must of should be must have. Sorry if I’m nitpicking – substituting “of” for “have” is one my pet peeves.

    Edited To Add: Ah, Wiesman got there first.

    .

  6. 6
    Napoleon says:

    Yeah it’s not like Obama has been busy with other stuff.

  7. 7
    BR says:

    I liked Ed for about the first three weeks of his show. After that, not so much. I never learned anything new from his show, and he just went on more and more rants about Obama.

    I’ve also, sadly, tired of Olbermann. (Well, probably a year ago.) I’m still grateful for his voice of sanity during the middle Bush years and for helping Maddow get her big start, but he started phoning it in during the election and it’s been downhill since.

    Rachel Maddow is really the only real journalist left on TV, now that Moyers is out. That she happens to be progressive is just incidental.

    But I wonder – when are we going to get a new Al Franken type – someone who can be that sort of loud, funny progressive voice without framing everything in Teabagger-ese?

  8. 8
    Dennis G. says:

    @Wiesman:
    Done and thanks for close read.

    Cheers

  9. 9
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I don’t really mind rants about how Obama should be fighting more for the little guy. I don’t even mind rants about how those fights should still happen even when the Senate and the media make their success less likely. (I disagree with that tactically for reasons I have articulated repeatedly here and elsewhere.) But I kind of mind rants about “sissies” and weakness.

  10. 10
    mistermix says:

    I wonder why the network of Joe Scarborough and Rove-dancer David Gregory is so excited to give these folks airtime? I’m sure it is because they want to see the Obama Administration succeed. Of course it is. I mean, what other motives could they have…

    I think the reason is that someone convinced them that someone whose shtick was similar to Rush Limbaugh’s, but who came from the left, would be just what Nielsen ordered.

  11. 11
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    He sounds like an insecure junior high girl.

    “I wanted Barack to come to my party, but he went to Brett’s instead! How dare he! I’ll just tell everyone that’s he’s a slut with herpes, that’ll show him!”

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:

    @Dennis G.: And I thought he was going to complain about “could have cared less” v “couldn’t have cared less.”

  13. 13
    Culture of Truth says:

    Only Sith deal in absolutes!

  14. 14
    licensed to kill time says:

    I used to listen to Ed Schultz on the radio, where he was ok, but he always struck me as wanting to be the Rush Limbaugh of the Left. Plus, I hate listening to or watching someone when I am constantly distracted by the possibility of them having a stroke or heart attack on air.

  15. 15
    ellaesther says:

    @MeDrewNotYou: That sounds about right.

    Only, according to my memory banks, he sounds like Tom from my high school who, when I wouldn’t make out with him, told everyone I was a slut (without herpes, I think).

  16. 16
    angler says:

    Hamschultzwaldgold!!

    We need to keep the list relatively short for the sake of the acronym.

  17. 17
    Paul L. says:

    the excellent Rachel Maddow,

    Rachel Maddow is a Dishonest Hack part 3

    Rachel Maddow repeated her ACORN deception from April 6, 2010 and dishonestly “edited” the CA AG report again to make it look like Vera reported O’Keefe and Giles to the police immediately instead of 9 Days later.

  18. 18
    Frank says:

    Obama doesn’t care about you; Obama doesn’t listen to you

    I take it that Ed doesn’t the understand the US constitution, the one that requires Congress to pass new laws. Obama is not a dictator. Considering that he must fight against FoxNews and a unified a GOP, I think Obama is doing a hell of a job.

    Who needs FoxNews when you got allies such as Schultz?

  19. 19
    MikeJ says:

    @ellaesther:

    he sounds like Tom from my high school who, when I wouldn’t make out with him, told everyone I was a slut (without herpes, I think).

    Did he think this would make you *less* popular with teenage boys?

  20. 20
    danimal says:

    I thought that Obama’s election would end the circular firing squad character flaw in Democrats. Alas. I can’t stand watching Ed, or most of the MSNBC lineup because they are too invested in contrasting themselves with the sellout Obama.

    NEWSFLASH: Obama isn’t the problem. Really. If a more progressive HCR bill passed Congress, he would of have signed it. Obama just signed a more progressive financial regulation bill than the one he proposed. If Congress passed another stimulus, Obama would sign it within minutes.

    Congress is the problem. More specifically Republican obstructionists in Congress are the problem. They get a pass every time Ed and the preening left turn their fire on Obama. Assholes. We win when we fight Republicans and not each other.

  21. 21
    taylormattd says:

    Thank you.

    It’s hardly a surprise. NN, formerly Yearly Kos, is likely the largest gathering of “left” Obama haters in history. Lol.

  22. 22
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @ellaesther:

    told everyone I was a slut (without herpes, I think).

    You think? I’d hope you’d know whether or not you had herpes. ;)

    Seriously, though, I know what you mean. The same sort of thing happened to me in 8th grade when I was flirting with a girl that another guy liked. A few days later I found out that my family was poor and that my parents were alcoholics. Unfortunately the good ole’ double standard meant that calling me promiscuous wouldn’t have the same sting as on a girl)

  23. 23
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @danimal:

    I can’t stand watching Ed, or most of the MSNBC lineup because they are too invested in contrasting themselves with the sellout Obama.

    The way not to be a sellout? Get a lucrative job with a massive media conglomerate!

  24. 24
    Dennis G. says:

    @Paul L.:
    Ah, so that’s how it is done in the Kingdom of Idiots. A closer look at the facts will prove you wrong. Perhaps somebody will want to do that for you (again).

    As for me, and I mean this with all due respect, refuting your hype is not worth my time. The entire ACORN story was scam from beginning to end. It was a big score for the neoRacists of the Right. Lives were and are being damaged by this, but please keep beating your horse. Perhaps some day you will notice it is dead.

    Cheers

  25. 25
    Davis X. Machina says:

    In 1994, Ed Schultz considered running as a Republican against Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) for the U.S. House. At some point subsequent he had a conversion discovered that the queue for talk-show hosts was much shorter on the left than on the right. The rest is history.

  26. 26
    someguy says:

    Pardon me, but did somebody here get a great deal on a case of leftover Kool Aid from the Bush Administration, where criticism from the base was outlawed? What are you going to do to Ed, Denis? Frum him out of the party for insufficient loyalty to the party?

    Please. The life goal of Ed, and Keith Olberbite, and the other attack dogs is to piss on people, usually Republicans. That’s their schtick. You ask them to speak at your event and they’ll piss on Republicans, maybe, or on Democrats who are acting like Republicans Lite. Which last time I checked the Sherrod-firing, Drill Baby Drill, Screw Cap & Trade, Wall Street Coddling Dems including the Democrat-in-Chief were doing…

    Guess I just excommunicated myself from the club for attacking from the left, huh?

  27. 27
    ricky says:

    @Paul L.:

    If you are going to link to someone calling Maddow a
    Dishonest Hack, make it to someone who does not edit her transcripts to attack her on a piece about edited tapes.

  28. 28

    @Culture of Truth:

    Um, that sentence is an absolute, George. You fucking bearded man-child!

  29. 29
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Meh.

    Shorter Dennis G:
    “Why can’t Ed Schultz be more like a big fat bratwurst and cheese eating version of Rachel Maddow?”.

    I call this putting out firebagger bait.

    The answer to the question is: in today’s media environment, we’re dammed lucky to have even one person on TV like Rachel. Ed is just running with the vast cable TV wasteland wolf pack.

  30. 30
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    Plus, I hate listening to or watching someone when I am constantly distracted by the possibility of them having a stroke or heart attack on air.

    But what about Lewis Black?!

  31. 31

    I cannot fucking stand The Ed Show.

  32. 32
    MattR says:

    How is this not a legitimate criticism? Schultz may be whining and may be blaming Obama for things that are out of his control, but I think he has a right to be pissed off about this one. I also think it is oversimplistic to try and pin this snub as the real cause of Schultz’s anger.

    He also complained that Obama hasn’t gone on his show or sat recently for interviews with Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow, adding that during the campaign, “I busted my ass for Obama.” Schultz said that instead of going on The Ed Show, Obama went on Bret Baier’s show on Fox, “in my time slot. What’s that all about?”

  33. 33
    Culture of Truth says:

    “outlawed..” “excommunicated…”

    Everybody needs to be a victim

  34. 34
    ricky says:

    @danimal:

    I thought that Obama’s election would end the circular firing squad character flaw in Democrats.

    Instinct is not a character trait.

    And Forrest’s momma was right about stupid.

  35. 35
    tatere says:

    “It’s easy to feel rage, resentment, or contempt.”

    (cough, cough)

  36. 36
    Zifnab says:

    I wonder why the network of Joe Scarborough and Rove-dancer David Gregory is so excited to give these folks airtime? I’m sure it is because they want to see the Obama Administration succeed. Of course it is. I mean, what other motives could they have…

    I’ve seen the conservative Democrats operate, admirably engaging in the time honored circular firing squad at every opportunity.

    Maybe Ed Schultz isn’t any better at politicizing than Blanche Lincoln, Martha Coakley, or the rest of the party failures.

  37. 37
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    But what about Lewis Black?!

    He makes me nervous, too, but at least I’m laughing while nervioso.

  38. 38
    someguy says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    How’s the Kool Aid taste, COT? Sufficiently chilled, I hope?

  39. 39
    Elisabeth says:

    TPM was flogging Schultz’s rant on different areas this morning. I might need to take a break from the the Internets for awhile because that really pissed me off first thing this am.

  40. 40
    kay says:

    @Paul L.:

    That’s ridiculous, Paul. Your whole accusation hinges on whether Vera left all the information in a voice mail?

    Did he contact the police immediately? Yes. Did he tell another employee? Yes. Did he tell a superior? Yes.

    It’s freaking amazing to me that you’re still smearing these people. This conservative obsession with ACORN employees is bordering on mental illness.

    You smeared those ordinary people as a political tactic, and not a one of you is willing to admit it. That you would continue to misrepresent what they did and said is just disgusting.

    From the record:

    Immediately after the couple left, Vera telephoned his cousin, Detective Alejandro Hernandez, at the National City Police Department. [He left a voicemail message for Detective Hernandez stating that some “crazy people” were in his office providing information. Vera did not explain
    the substance of the conversation and did not make reference to prostitution or human smuggling on the message. He asked his cousin to call him back. (Interview with Vera; Vera Phone Records, at p. 4 [reflecting a 2-minute call to Detective Hernandez’s cell phone at 6:40 p.m.];
    Detective Hernandez Phone Records, at p. 132 [reflecting a call to voicemail at 6:45 p.m.].)
    Later that day, Vera also reported the incident to fellow ACORN employee Cruz Acosta. Acosta had been away from the office while the couple was present. Vera explained to him what happened. Vera also reported the incident, either the same day or shortly thereafter, to Mar 15
    Murrillon, an ACORN board member. Vera told Murrillon that he had reported the incident to the police. (Vera Interview.)
    Vera eventually spoke with Detective Hernandez on August 27, 2009. He told Detective Hernandez ] …[and said] that a self-admitted prostitute had been to the office and was discussing human smuggling

    Have you filed O’Keefe’s appeal on his admission of trespassing yet? How’s that going?

  41. 41
    Frank says:

    @someguy:

    Please. The life goal of Ed, and Keith Olberbite, and the other attack dogs is to piss on people, usually Republicans. That’s their schtick. You ask them to speak at your event and they’ll piss on Republicans, maybe, or on Democrats who are acting like Republicans Lite. Which last time I checked the Sherrod-firing, Drill Baby Drill, Screw Cap & Trade, Wall Street Coddling Dems including the Democrat-in-Chief were doing…

    This reminds me of when Jane Hamsher wanted to primary Bernie Sanders after he supported the HCR bill. I thought “what the hell”…

    Republicans win far more elections than they should. Part of the reason for that is that they tend to stick together and avoid the proverbial singular firing squad.

    What’s the point of criticizing Obama from the left? He gets enough crap from the media, foxnews and the GOP. When his own people don’t stand up for him, he and the Dems will lose more than we should in the next election.

  42. 42

    Leave Paul L. alone! At least he’s able to deploy jackalopes that aren’t branded “Abortion” or “Duke Rape Trial.”

    That, my friends, is progress.

  43. 43
    MattR says:

    @Frank:

    What’s the point of criticizing Obama from the left? He gets enough crap from the media, foxnews and the GOP. When his own people don’t stand up for him, he and the Dems will lose more than we should in the next election.

    Wait, so this means that it is now a positive trait to blindly support the president simply because he is in your party? I thought we decided that was a bad thing at some point between 2001 and 2009.

  44. 44
    John Bird says:

    I haven’t seen Schultz’s speech, nor am I terribly interested in seeing Netroots Nation’s anything, but I can say that once we are in a position to get “actual things” done, our next step is to define what those “actual things” are and stick to them, which is going to take loyalty to ideals over loyalty to Party.

  45. 45
    QuaintIrene says:

    Guess I just excommunicated myself from the club for attacking from the left, huh?

    Oh dear. The blog equivalent of an angry letter to the Editor, ending with ‘I bet you won’t print this!’

  46. 46
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    I don’t understand why Obama’s “Progressive” critics don’t understand this one thing:

    If you want to push the Overton Window to the left, you can’t do it by repeating the same talking points the right is using.

    Really, guys. This isn’t rocket science.

  47. 47
    Dennis G. says:

    @someguy:
    I don’t care if you want to criticize the Administration, Obama or the Democrats. I just think you should agree with yourself when you do it. If you claim to be a progressive you should be able to go after the Administration, Obama and any Democrat using progressive talking points and framing. It is the lazy use of wingnut talking points I find objectionable. I know that is a nuance point of view and so I can see how you missed it when I wrote:

    Big Ed did the same thing that any speech maker at any Republican/Teabagger event would do: he went on the attack against the Obama Administration. He hit all of the talking points of Wingnutopia: Obama is weak; Obama can’t be trusted; Obama is following policies that harm America; Obama doesn’t care about you; Obama doesn’t listen to you… Etc. Etc. Etc.

    I thought that was clear, but evidently the prose was too obtuse for you to grasp. My bad.

    Cheers

  48. 48
    Pangloss says:

    Just because the Republicans work in lockstep and never criticize their own doesn’t mean we MUST ALWAYS do the exact opposite.

  49. 49
    ricky says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    In a comment fully of imagery this stands out:

    running with the vast cable TV wasteland wolf pack.

    Somehow you have picked a verb, prepositional clause, adjective, and noun that I would have never used for Ed or his broadcast peerage.

    I would start with braying.

    My clause would place him in the fetid TV corral.

    Jackasses would be my animal of choice.

  50. 50
    demo woman says:

    @kay: The Boston Globe had an article stating that facts don’t matter. Folks like Paul will just go someplace else to spread their lies.

  51. 51
    blackwaterdog says:

    They should have listen to Van Jones right now:

    “Barack Obama volunteered to be the captain of the Titanic AFTER it hit the iceberg. I Can’t stand it and it’s baffling when netroots bash him”.

    And this is a guy who was forced to resign from the WH. Ed is an idiot. And a bully too.

  52. 52
    blackwaterdog says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    Why would Obama go to a show that gets 2% ratings?

  53. 53
    Keith G says:

    “I busted my ass for Obama.” Schultz said that instead of going on The Ed Show, Obama went on Bret Baier’s show on Fox, “in my time slot. What’s that all about?”

    Gee, I don’t know Ed. Maybe he was going after a specific demographic or maybe he just wanted more than a few thousand people to see the interview.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    frankdawg says:

    OK, I may be missing the point but are you saying liberals are not allowed to complain about Obama? And your reason is that the wingnuts do?

    I agree that we should never buy into wingnut memes when complaining but I have no problem with liberals pointing out Obama’s faults. Had the Republican’s performed that service for Boy Blunder we would all be better off today.

    As far as it being off limits to point out that Obama is weak I would highly recommend his admin not fold like a cheap deck chair at every opportunity.

  56. 56
    Jager says:

    I’m a long time broadcaster and while looking for a couple of FM stations to buy, I found a high power, great, full market signal for sale in a top 10 market. This station has full coverage 24 hours a day…I wasn’t looking for something like this, but it may be too good to pass up

    I’d like to go against the grain and do a truly liberal talk station and hopefully not go broke in the process. My question to all of you opinionated bastards is what do I put on it?

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    @Frank:

    Republicans win far more elections than they should. Part of the reason for that is that they tend to stick together and avoid the proverbial singular firing squad.

    I try to avoid firing squads of all varieties, including both singular and circular.

    Also, too ~ your statement is inaccurate.

  58. 58
    Wordsmith says:

    I’m pretty sick of the “progressive” shrills who were once ReThugs – Ed being one, Arianna Huff-n-Puff……

  59. 59
    Frank says:

    @MattR:

    Wait, so this means that it is now a positive trait to blindly support the president simply because he is in your party? I thought we decided that was a bad thing at some point between 2001 and 2009.

    Nobody is talking about blindly supporting him. But when people talk about primarying either Obama or a senator such as Senator Sanders for not coming up with more progressive HCR, it gets absurd. If this people thought it was so easy to get HCR passed, then why did Clinton fail? Why didn’t Carter even bother trying?

    It is hard to take the criticism seriously when you look at it rationally. These people would want a Kucinich presidency without realizing that even he would have to deal with Congress.

  60. 60
    Legalize says:

    I never understood why MSNBC gave Ed a show. I suppose his heart is in the right place, but his show sucks. It’s the same format as all the other stupid he-said-she-said shows, with all the same babbling talking heads – none of whom tend to be helpful in any way in explaining the details of policy; and he’s a terrible arguer / advocate for progressive policies.

    Wait, maybe that IS why MSNBC gave him a show

  61. 61
    Culture of Truth says:

    “Off limits”, “not allowed”

    I don’t know if people know what these phrases mean.

  62. 62
    Paul L. says:

    @kay:
    You will notice how your quote from the CA AG report differs from what Maddow said

    Quoting from the attorney general‘s report, “Immediately after the couple left, Mr. Vera telephoned his cousin, Detective Alejandro Hernandez, at the National City Police Department … [and said] that a self-admitted prostitute had been to the office and was discussing human smuggling. Detective Hernandez contacted detective Mark Haas at the San Diego Police Department. Detective Haas works with cases involving human smuggling.”

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dennis G.:

    If you claim to be a progressive you should be able to go after the Administration, Obama and any Democrat using progressive talking points and framing.

    In your opinion, what would these look like?

  64. 64
    Tom Hilton says:

    I find Ed Schultz unwatchable (as opposed to Olbermann, who is mostly just almost unwatchable, and only occasionally crosses the line into compltetely unwatchable). If I wanted to listen to a self-involved blowhard peddle simplistic bullshit, I’d have voted for Bush.

    Maddow is far and away the best–because she understands the importance of nuance, because she is consistently civil, and because she’s more committed to truth than to self-promotion.

    Meanwhile, in other news from Netroots Nation, Van Jones isn’t buying what Ed Schultz is selling.

  65. 65
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Ed Schultz is yet another former Republican — According to Wikipedia, he pondered a run at a House of Representatives seat in 1994.

    I don’t mind that he’s a former Republican, except that it seems like it’s more of a case of the Republicans moving too far to the right than actually becoming a liberal. He is pro-union, though…

    And yeah, he sounds too much like early Rush Limbaugh for my liking.

  66. 66
    joe from Lowell says:

    The liberal Rush Limbaugh.

    Never liked the guy.

  67. 67
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Frank:

    Republicans win far more elections than they should. Part of the reason for that is that they tend to stick together and avoid the proverbial singular firing squad.

    I dunno about that — the whole Tea Party phenomenon is consumed by policing ideological fealty, which is to say, splitting rather than sticking together (think of Bob Bennett getting run out of the Senate for being insufficiently far-right). The FireDogLake crew and other self-proclaimed lefty critics of Obama and Democrats are very much in that spirit. (They also profess admiration for the Fifty State Strategy, of course, which is wholly antithetical to the view that all Democrats should run as liberal Democrats, but, um, look, “banksters”!)

  68. 68
    Culture of Truth says:

    Are Schultz supporters saying criticism of Ed is not allowed?

    Of course not, that would be stupid.

  69. 69
    frankdawg says:

    @Jager:
    Bartcop in afternoon drive – schedule him after the anal cyst is on whatever local shithole broadcasts him. Bart with take a scalpel to Rushs BS & smash the remainder to tiny bits – it will be must hear radio :)

  70. 70
    JAHILL10 says:

    @blackwaterdog: This.

    And what I find really annoying is this childish determination not to celebrate any of the successes of this administration in the face of unprecedented obstructionism on the right.

    If the Repubs had passed as many key priorities in a year and a half as this last congress has in the face of that kind of opposition, they’d be crowing from the rooftops about how weak and sorry the Democrats were. And if Obama were too classy to do it, the netroots people would do it for him. Instead the left netroots act like our every success is a failure and no success is ever good enough. Good way to pout yourself right back to minority status where your impotent rage is more appropriate.

  71. 71
    MikeJ says:

    @Frank:

    These people would want a Kucinich presidency without realizing that even he would have to deal with Congress.

    Imagine the yowls if we had a President Kucinich and somebody dared criticize him for being unable to get any of his agenda passed.

  72. 72
    Dennis G. says:

    @frankdawg:

    @See this for a reply.

    Again I am sorry that this nuance idea that progressives should be able to criticize their own without the use of Wingnut memes, frames and talking points is so hard to grasp. It is not a call for zero criticism. It is a call for honest and smart criticism. It is a call for useful criticism. And by any measure the work of Big Ed is useless (IMHO).

    Cheers

  73. 73
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Corner Stone: for one thing, they would focus on policy and avoid gratuitous and irrelevant attacks on the character of the people who, for better or worse, are our best hope for getting anything done.

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    Pay czar chose not to go after $1.6B in bank pay

    The Obama administration’s pay czar said Friday that he did not try to recoup $1.6 billion in lavish compensation to top executives at bailed-out banks because he thought shaming the banks was punishment enough.

    He said such a fight could have exposed banks to lawsuits from shareholders trying to recapture the executives’ money. Feinberg said his public shaming of the 17 banks was sufficient.

  75. 75
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Jager: Develop some local talent, no matter who you bring in on syndication. Tip O’Neil’s dictum applies to covering politics, not just politics.

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    for one thing, they would focus on policy

    Ok. In your opinion, what would a criticism of any current policy look like framed in progressive talking points?

  77. 77
    Frank says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I dunno about that—the whole Tea Party phenomenon is consumed by policing ideological fealty, which is to say, splitting rather than sticking together (

    You are exactly right. I meant elections prior to this year. The tea party is acting like democrats.

    You had Reagan’s 11th commandment etc. It worked very well. People in general supported Dems on the issues, but they end up more often than not voting GOP.

  78. 78
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @MikeJ: Why wouldn’t it pass? Surely its self-evident excellence and reasonableness would be enough.

  79. 79
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Jager:

    My question to all of you opinionated bastards is what do I put on it?

    Me.

  80. 80
    kay says:

    @Paul L.:

    Paul, it’s a ridiculous distinction. The fact that he called them “crazy people” indicates he didn’t take O’Keefe’s elaborate scam seriously. He went over and above what an ordinary employee would do, in that situation. He called the police, he told another employee, and he told a board member.
    Maybe you should give us all the standard for reporting elaborate stories told by underemployed young conservatives to the authorities. We need guidelines. We’re not all on Code Red look-out for lawbreakers in the course of our work day.
    We’ll need applause guidelines, too, apparently, because one or another of you nutcases is sitting in some basement viewing tape, with the hotline to Hannity at the ready.

  81. 81
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    Maddow is far and away the best—because she understands the importance of nuance, because she is consistently civil, and because she’s more committed to truth than to self-promotion.

    I’ve come to suspect that giving Rachel her own show was, from MSNBC management’s point of view, a mistake. Not a mistake because she is somewhat liberal – they probably wanted that. But a mistake because they thought they were getting just a liberal blowhard, just another entertainer, and instead what they got was an actual journalist. And that isn’t supposed to happen. The species Homo Journalista Americanus was extinct and everybody knew it, which was their excuse for not having any in their zoo. And now they are stuck with her, because they can’t fire her without good cause, but she makes the whole rest of their lineup (not to mention the other news networks) look bad by comparison. Really, really bad.

  82. 82
    Joy says:

    Sometime in the first few months of Ed’s MSNBC show, I had the audacity to write a diary at DKos pretty much saying the same thing. The comments received on that diary said it all to me. I apparently had crossed a line I didn’t know existed and was blasted out of the water with only a few people standing up for me. I decided never again would I participate on that site and only rarely visit it now (except for blackwaterdog – I love his diaries and pictures)!

  83. 83
    Calming Influence says:

    @Wordsmith:

    I’m pretty sick of the “progressive” shrills who were once ReThugs – Ed being one, Arianna Huff-n-Puff……

    Oh, and don’t forget John Cole – you know, the guy who’s blog you’re commenting on…

  84. 84
    MattR says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    for one thing, they would focus on policy and avoid gratuitous and irrelevant attacks on the character of the people who, for better or worse, are our best hope for getting anything done.

    Is calling Obama weak actually gratutitous or irrelevant? That largely depends on whether or not you think it is true. If you think that Obama is afraid to take on the Republicans head on or caves to their pressure too easily, then that weakness of character is a legitimate problem that should be up for criticism. And if you disagree with that assessment, you are going to think the conversation is unhelpful because it is creating something out of nothing.

  85. 85
    El Cid says:

    I don’t hate him, and occasionally he does well at putting Republicans and rightists on the spot by using the same aw shucks blue collar schtick that they do, but he’s also been a vainglorious doofus a bunch of times. And this is just hearing or seeing his show but every once in a while.

  86. 86
    frankdawg says:

    @Dennis G.:
    – BTW – I have never heard Ed’s show on TV or radio
    I hear you but somehow most of these posting come off as sounding like ‘the left shouldn’t complain cuz it could be soooo much worse” And immediately we are firebaggers who want to primary Obama and Bernie Sanders and Jesus himself.

    I think we need to hammer on any Dem that will not support progressive causes. Sometimes a vote may have to be shed for local reasons but there is no reason that Ben Nelson should be allowed to call himself a Dem when he wants to gut social security so we can continue the insane tax policy of Boy George.

    And if Obama wants to negotiate with the Rs from a position of weakness (give up public option for no return, cut the stimulus so we can have useless tax cuts for no return, fire someone because fake news is going to run a story) then I think it is important for liberals to do whatever it takes to help him find a spine.

  87. 87
    demo woman says:

    @Corner Stone: What’s up with that. I read that earlier and it turned my stomach.

  88. 88

    I think that during the GW years some of these people got used to being “the opposition”. It felt brave, daring – patriots on the edge – and admitting that Obama 1. never offered himself as a flaming liberal candidate and that 2. what he has been able to get was all ANY president was going to get from this Congress just doesn’t have the same elan.
    I am far more progressive than Obama (social democracy seems just fine to me) but I voted for him knowing that he would do far more that I would approve of than anyone else who had a chance of getting elected and as someone mentioned above, I can’t see him vetoing a bill because it’s too liberal. If you want more progressive legislation you need to elect more progressive legislators i.e. those who produce legislation.

  89. 89
    Gus says:

    Can’t stand Schultz’s bluster or Olbermann’s smarm. Love me some Rachel Maddow though.

  90. 90
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Corner Stone: d’Fuh? I don’t know what your particular policy beefs are, and I really don’t care…so there’s no way I’m going to go to the trouble of framing them for you. Figure it out for yourself. Jeezus, it isn’t fucking rocket science.

    I will give you a hint, though: it is entirely possible to express policy preferences without saying anything at all about the characters of the people who are in the position of acting on them. No, really–it is.

  91. 91
    MikeJ says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Amen. Local is the only way to go. Go to the local alt-weekly newspaper, start taking reporters out for beer. The ones that can string two sentences together can be regular guests. The ones that can keep talking no matter what happens and sound half way sane you hire as a host. Start ’em on weekends or late night and if they can make it work with nobody listening, they can do a lot better with an audience.

  92. 92
    Dee Loralei says:

    @Jager: Get Rachel back on the airwaves. I also liked Sam Seder. Find another Al Franken. Only use people who do their own research and study up on topics under discussion. Have on the air fact checkers and correct guests who tell lies as soon as they are caught.

    I had a great and bizarre dream last night that I was running Fox news and in my dream I fixed Fox. We turned Glenn Beck’s program into a real comedy show, by letting Beck be himself and do his crazy schpeil, but the producers comedified (totally a word) it with sound effects and graphics. And I made Hannity actually fulfill the bet he made and he got waterboarded on air. (Rupert Murdoch lost a huge bet to me and my payment was to do Ailes job for two years.)

    I would also have aprogram devoted to a true “On the Media” expose. Call out all the tv and newspaper programs on some of the shite they report, including the Sunday talking Heads.

    I would also do a program on real in depth stuff that folks really need to know about bills, how government works, numeracy etc. Heck I’d even call it Need to Know. You know have your opinors commit real journalism, with a progressive flair.

    Best of luck to you and let us know if you do it so we can tune in please.

    And now I absolutely must get shit done.

  93. 93
    Frank says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I try to avoid firing squads of all varieties, including both singular and circular.

    Ooops; Of course, I mean circular, not singular. Good catch.

  94. 94
    Jay B. says:

    @demo woman:

    But is it, at all, a surprise?

    Here’s something that has nothing to do with an admittedly shitty Congress, but the Administration, even holding all of the cards, folds.

    But is this a stupid “right wing meme” or an Overton Window pushing blahblahblahblah? I need someone to explain this away using particularly ludicrous logic about “optics” and “political necessities”, thanks.

  95. 95
    Dennis G. says:

    @Corner Stone:
    There are many people who do this well. I think Rachel Maddow is very good at taking on the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress without depending on the use of Wingnut frames, memes and talking points. Greg Sargent at The Plum Line is very good at it. So are Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias and
    Steve Benen. Josh Marshall and his group of reporters of at TPM are also good at really criticizing Obama and the Democrats with buying into Wingnut bullshit to make their point.

    There are a lot of folks who do it well, but it will always be the self-proclaimed ‘progressives’ who use the wingnut frames, memes and talking points who will find themselves on a fast track to establishing their brand as a good person to have on the teevee. That way both the person on the left and the person on the right can yell at each other while supporting the old weak, ineffectual Democrats meme vs the strong but mean Republican meme.

  96. 96
    joe from Lowell says:

    Is calling Obama weak actually gratutitous or irrelevant?

    Yes.

    Criticizing specific decisions, or even a pattern of decisions, not to be confrontational on the grounds that it is a bad strategy is neither gratuitous nor irrelevant.

    Criticizing a legislative strategy of pre-compromising on the grounds that it is ineffective and inappropriate given the bad-faith of the Republicans is neither gratuitous nor irrelevant.

    On the other hand, criticizing Obama the person for being weak and/or a sellout because he doesn’t pick the battles you want to fight, or fight them the way you want them fought is gratuitous and irrelevant.

    Can you see the difference? On the one hand, we have criticism of strategy. On the other, we have criticism of a person’s moral character. On the one hand, we have a complaint that Obama is not as effective an ally for liberalism as he could be. On the other hand, we have wanking assertions that Obama is the enemy.

  97. 97
    stuckinred says:

    The idea that Obama is “afraid” or “scared” is, to me, ridiculous. To risk what he does by even running for, much less winning, the presidency of this crazy fucking country seems to me to be above and beyond. You don’t like his politics, fine, but afraid he ain’t.

  98. 98
    DavidNC says:

    I’m so glad to read this post. I loved Ed when he started at MSNBC (never heard his radio show), and can’t watch him at all anymore. Obnoxious, intellectually dishonest, self-important, and self-interested–that’s Ed Schultz. What a huge disappointment he’s become. Same with Keith. They both can eat dicks.

    For the record, this isn’t MSNBC’s fault. It’s DKos’ fault, for the 24-7 sloppy one they give these attention whores. Is it common knowledge yet that the GOS has outlived its usefulness?

  99. 99
    Lawnguylander says:

    @frankdawg:

    Getting cloture on the bill was a pretty good return for dumping the public option. It sucked that it was dropped but no return? And what was so wrong with the tax cuts in the stimulus?

  100. 100
    kay says:

    @Paul L.:

    I really am curious, though. At what point for you, personally, does this turn your stomach?

    How long are internet conservative activists going to pursue Mr. Vera?

    To his next job?

  101. 101
    John S. says:

    I hear you but somehow most of these posting come off as sounding like ‘the left shouldn’t complain cuz it could be soooo much worse”

    Ah, yes. It doesn’t matter what Dennis G. actually said, it matters what you think he said. I guess that’s why the people who are upset about missing ponies that Obama never promised are the same people who are always upset about hippies that never got punched.

    I guess possession perception really is 9/10 of the law.

  102. 102
    joe from Lowell says:

    I think it is important for liberals to do whatever it takes to help him find a spine.

    Do you think accusing Barack Obama of being secretly in the pocket of the banksters he just regulated up the ass, on the grounds that you can imagine even stronger regulation, puts stiffness in his spine?

    Do you think that accusing him of secretly working for the health insurance companies, on the ground that he realized Ben Nelson wouldn’t vote for an HCR bill that contains a public option, puts steel in his spine?

    Do you think that working to make him less popular, and thus, more eager to run to the middle, puts steel in his spine?

  103. 103
    MattR says:

    @joe from Lowell: I understand the difference perfectly well, but I disagree that criticizing the person is completely out of bounds. If one has made an attempt to point out the strategic deficiencies of a course of action only to watch those actions repeat themselves over and over, you are left with the choice that the other party is either happy with the results, too stupid to realize what is happening or too weak to change his strategy despite knowing its flaws. In this case you are left with no choice but to point out and criticize the character flaws. Any other criticism is uselessly repetitive.

  104. 104
    Dennis G. says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    That was well said. Thanks

  105. 105
    BR says:

    @Corner Stone:

    In your opinion, what would these look like?

    See Franken, Al.

    Seriously. The guy knows how to frame a progressive position perfectly.

    And Obama during the campaign, also too.

  106. 106
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    God DAMN I loves me some balloonbagger circle jerk!
    .

  107. 107
    General Stuck says:

    @Corner Stone: One current example would be criticism of Obama in not going to the mat for this or that progressive hero appointee.

    It is okay to express disappointment and a desire to have that appointee fought to the max. Which either means recess appointing them, or going through a lenghy and time consuming process of calling for Senate votes that take up valuable Senate floor time.

    It is not okay to describe Obama as weak and feckless and always folding to the wingnuts. Or that it represents a pattern of these things.

    The reason why these are not okay tactics of prog criticism and using winger framing, is because in large part this is what wingnuts are hoping for with their obstruction. Internal squabbling within the dem party factions.

    Both parties engage in these blockage of appointees for specific political reasons, when the opposite party that controls the WH, controls the senate.

    To whit

    1. To force internal squabbles of the presidents party, whether dem or GOP – so as to weaken that presnits credibility and support among his/her base and give the media wanking points

    2. Or, to force time be wasted in floor fights in the senate, thereby limiting precious senate floor time for passing a presnits initiatives and also precious WH time for same.

    While the repubs are using this time honored tact much more than is usual, the same dynamic worked in the Bush WH when the dems took back the senate in 2006, the purpose is the same. Wingers have just lost all inhibition for using it because their party /was/ is in shambles and have been taken over by southern lunatics. They are running the risk however, of getting tagged with the party of no with the public by not using restraint.

    Progs should not fall into this trap set by wingnuts, but being dumb as sacks of hammers, full of self righteous entitlement, and watb’s they apparently can’t help themselves.

  108. 108
    joe from Lowell says:

    @MattR:

    Matt R.,

    Character flaws that exist entirely in your own head are not appropriate subjects of criticism.

    Barack Obama got the most significant health care bill in my lifetime passed through the Congress. He judged that he could not get a stronger bill through.

    Whether he was right or wrong in that judgement is an appropriate area of criticism.

    Projecting onto him character flaws, for which there is no evidence beyond his disagreement with you over strategy, because he doesn’t share your strategic perceptions on the other hand, is not.

  109. 109

    Yes, and then Brian Schweitzer followed him onto the stage and gave a masterful speech of how you actually do politics as opposed to throw red meat to the masses. He even invoked Perfect v. Good in defense of Obama.

    Van Jones this morning said flat out, “Stop beating up on Obama. He volunteered to be the captain of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.”

    So there are rational people at Netroots Nation speaking out. Just not Ed.

  110. 110
    Kerry Reid says:

    This is why I avoid large-scale political conventions in general. If I wanted to watch a lot of self-important people stand around screaming in poopy diapers, I’d volunteer at a daycare center.

    Or with the David Vitter campaign.

  111. 111
    Marc says:

    From the article on the pay czar:

    “Feinberg couldn’t force the banks to repay the money. But the law instructed him to negotiate with banks to return money if he determined that allowing them to keep it was not in the public interest.”

    In other words, there is no evidence that he had the ability to actually do what he’s being criticized for not doing. And I remember this from the time when it was reported: basically, there were no legal tools available to force compliance.

    It’s extremely frustrating when crooks get away wtih things like that, but the system sometimes ends up being set up that way. It is also extremely frustrating to see people condemn folks like Obama for not doing things that they, well, can’t in practice do even if they want to…

  112. 112
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Lawnguylander:

    was so wrong with the tax cuts in the stimulus?

    Didn’t accomplish a god damn thing.

    Cost a hellofalot of money.

    In other words, increased the price tag of the final package substantially (thereby handing the Republicans a talking point) without actually helping the economy at all.

    May not have been politically avoidable, with Democrats needing at least some cooperation from Republicans, but it’s undeniable that as a matter of policy the tax cuts were a gigantic mistake.

  113. 113
    gpleigh says:

    I find it absolutely astounding that Ed Schultz of all people believes that during the campaign he “busted his ass for Obama.” Seriously? What does that mean exactly? Did he stand on the street and register voters? Did he purchase volunteer packs and distribute them at grocery stores and malls? Did he phone bank all 50 states and canvass neighborhoods? Did he raise money five bucks at a time? Did he enter data into our volunteer database system? Did he give workshops explaining how the primary system works in this country? Did he cook or buy food for people at Obama Volunteer Headquarters? Did he write LTEs? Did he give rides to people on Election Day? What?

    Maybe he thinks bashing the hell out of PBO everyday sounding just like a tired old Republican is helping. To me, it just looks like a lot of hot air blowing out of his fat cheeks. He deserves to be laughed out of town.

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dennis G.: Dennis,
    I’m actually not being a jackass for once. I’m familiar with all the people you mentioned, and have some level of regard for all their work.
    But I asked you, Dengre, in your opinion what would a criticism look like properly framed in progressive talking points.
    I would honestly like to see this done using any example you choose.

  115. 115
    ruemara says:

    @MattR:
    I dunno. I could be that criticism is about talking regarding the facts of what can actually be done, whereas, complaining is talking about what you want without any regard to what is, or has been done. This is what Schultz is indulging in. In fact, as a Thom Hartmann fan, I can attest that most of the beloved überprogressive voices often fail a simple test. Is it actually possible to have the outcome you desire with the same set of circumstances?
    Do we have a true supermajority? No. So why are you beating that dead public option/bigger stimulus/closed guantanamo horse over and over? Obviously, this is just because Obama is not bullying his pulpit.

    @gpleigh:
    Ed did do some work in debunking smears and supported him once the field was pretty clear. There may have been rallies.

  116. 116
    Ecks says:

    @Corner Stone: Good question.

    See here for one great example.

    More examples:

    Criticize him for not doing more to shut down torture and indefinite detention and other freedom-crushing activities by the government (the word “freedom” does not belong to the right).

    Criticize him for not coming out with a big enough stimulus to jump start the economy back into being healthy enough to sort itself out.

    Criticize him for not discussing discussing unemployment benefits as the duty Americans have to stick together when times get rough.

    Criticize him for letting the “deficit hawks” act like they are helping the country, rather than starving it of economic activity when it is most desperately in need, and American employers can’t find enough people to buy their products.

    It’s not just “policy X isn’t good enough”, it should be “policy X does not meet these important American values”

    Where “American values” are selected from the liberal set, not the conservative set.

  117. 117
    Foxhunter says:

    One little piece of history that I have not seen mentioned – Schultz was sharpening his HRC axe back during the primary season for the ’08 elections. Why? Because the future SoS ‘would not come on his show’. Seems to be repeating the pattern….’do my show or doom’.

    Warning: Politico linky.

    Added: Clinton did eventually end up on his show after his on-air meltdown.

  118. 118
    Corner Stone says:

    @BR: I agree. I like Senator Franken.

    ETA – edited heavily

  119. 119
    Jager says:

    Since this station came on the market a few weeks ago and I got fired up about it, I started to think about how to to do it::

    All local and find talent in unlikely places, when I got into radio back in the Progressive Rock days, none of us knew what the hell we were doing, the only thing we knew was we didn’t like the music the other stations played and niether did our friends, that was the first step we took and it worked.

    I know a guy in the market, a former newsman, who teaches at a major University. He’s smart, liberal, well respected and knows everybody. Perfect for the morning.

    To do well in radio, you don’t have to have a set of “pipes” you do have to be warm, human, relatable and know “shit” about what you’re talking about. The knowing “shit” is the hard part.

    You have to reflect all aspects of the target audience’s life, more than politics, good food, movies, books, kids, pets. Al Franken’s best shows happened when he talked about how policy touches people’s lives, his story about social security enabling Frannie’s family to make it after her dad died is the perfect example.

    I’d want the station to be agressive and call out the bullshit the moment the bullshit happens. This can be done via production pieces and great writing, the hosts don’t have to carry that burden all the time, the station can do it.

    Give me more, dammit!

  120. 120
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tom Hilton: That’s why I asked, “in your opinion”.
    Thanks

  121. 121
    Tom Hilton says:

    @MattR:

    Is calling Obama weak actually gratutitous or irrelevant? That largely depends on whether or not you think it is true.

    No, it doesn’t. If you have a legitimate argument that the President should have acted other than as he did, then argue the merits; speculation about the President’s character doesn’t add anything to your argument, and is entirely irrelevant to whether you’re right or wrong.

    In fact, people generally drag character into it because they have a weak argument on the merits, and they need a distraction. For example, whenever you see the assertion that the President should be ‘tougher’ on Republicans (or whatever) coupled with a characterization of the President himself as ‘weak’, that’s a dead giveaway that the assertion is an unexamined belief rather than a coherent strategic argument.

  122. 122
    BTD says:

    This is a pretty whiny post. Just saying.

  123. 123
    El Tiburon says:

    Don’t really care for Ed Schultz.

    OTOH, big whoop. He knocked Obama. Good for him. Who fucking cares.

    But this portion is pure and utter bullshit:

    Angry Ed helps the Wingnuts win the day and block progress,

    So, old Angry Ed should hold his tongue for fear of helping the wingnuts. Give me a fucking break. I doubt anyone really listens to Ed anyhoo, but even if they did, we should not fear speaking our minds for fear of helping the wingnuts.

    The bench of so called progressives willing to attack Democrats and the Obama Administration with Wingnut talking points is deep and Ed’s teevee network is willing to try them out as guest hosts for their shows

    Excuse me? So, the “so called progressives” can’t attack the Democrats and Obama? What right-wing-robot planet are you from? Rush Limbaugh would be proud of you. I think Obama and the Democrats can take some criticism, in fact, I think they need a lot more of it.

    Or we can listen to you and shut the fuck up.

    Also, fuck Jane Hamsher, right?

  124. 124
    Corner Stone says:

    @demo woman:

    What’s up with that. I read that earlier and it turned my stomach

    The decision to not go after the money is one thing. And I guess could be made on a variety of legit criteria.
    But to say you’re not doing it because you feel they’ve felt the full impact of “shaming”?
    W.T.F.?

  125. 125
    MattR says:

    @joe from Lowell: I can see why you would think so, but I was not really speaking about the current Barack Obama. I was trying to have a more general, hypothetical discussion about whether it would ever be appropriate to criticize any person for a perceived character flaw. To me, that is a far more interesting question than what any of us personally think about Barack Obama.

  126. 126
    El Tiburon says:

    @BTD:

    This is a pretty whiny post. Just saying.

    For this I will finally give an “amen”.

    It sure seems that you hear a lot of “don’t be attacking the Prez like those old Hamsherites and Firebaggers” from this site lately.

    Did someone lose their balls or something?

  127. 127
    General Stuck says:

    @BTD: It only sounds like that from trying to be nice — the direct and shorter version would be whiny complaining progressive idiots can kiss my Obot ass. I much prefer the shorter version, but tender feelings are in play.

  128. 128
    joe from Lowell says:

    El Tib,

    Using the magic of cut and paste from your comment, I will show you where you went wrong:

    The bench of so called progressives willing to attack Democrats and the Obama Administration with Wingnut talking points

    vs.

    So, the “so called progressives” can’t attack the Democrats and Obama?

    Did you catch it?

    Oh, and fuck Jame Hamsher. Anybody stupid enough to describe the teabaggers as anti-corporate should be eating with a cork on her fork like Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

  129. 129
    Tom Hilton says:

    @General Stuck:

    The reason why these are not okay tactics of prog criticism and using winger framing, is because in large part this is what wingnuts are hoping for with their obstruction. Internal squabbling within the dem party factions.

    Agreed, but there’s an even more compelling reason: any character-based attack on the President inherently reinforces character-based attacks from the right.

    Policy-based criticism (if well-framed, which is another story) is pretty specific to party/ideology; if you say HCR is flawed because it doesn’t have a public option, that’s not a criticism that lends itself to co-optation by the right.

    If, however, you say the President is weak for not standing up for the public option, then you’re saying exactly the same thing wingnuts are saying (“the President is weak!”). There is no character-based criticism that cannot be successfully co-opted by the other side.

  130. 130
    ruemara says:

    @Corner Stone:

    If you don’t mind, sir, may I respond? Here’s my criticism.
    Despite a mastery of rhetoric and charm, President Obama did not sit down and frankly, commandeer some prime time tv minutes to lay out where the healthcare debate was, explain the issues with regard to the public option, nor has he given his communications team a strong directive to use his name and push the benefits. It is too wrapped up in the office of the presidency and oddly, limit his ability to frame the message at a key point in time.

    As a person who is well aware of the Senate traditions of comity, he is too respectful of their desire to keep controls as they are, additionally hamstringing his own goals. He needs to push Harry Reid and the progressive Senate caucus to craft new rules. In fact, that should have been the operating drive from January 21st 2008.

    He needs to be louder and as Democratic Party head, has got to start sending out better alternates to explain things on the chat shows. It’s a bitch, but for pete’s sake, please give us as many graysons as you can find.

    When the netroots finds that better Democrat to run in a primary, I can understand backing the proven performer. However, once that guy wins, step up boldly and support that progressive candidate. Make it very obvious to the Village even if it’s low key due to the region.

    Executive Orders. I know, douchy, but if you do things for us, we’ll forgive or completely ignore you being head douche. Trust me. DADT, DOMA. Do the real legal work, I get that, but throw us a fricking bone to fight with the right over. They’ll fuck it up, but we’ll be on your side.

    Is that clear enough?

  131. 131
    kwAwk says:

    @danimal:

    Congress is the problem. More specifically Republican obstructionists in Congress are the problem. They get a pass every time Ed and the preening left turn their fire on Obama. Assholes. We win when we fight Republicans and not each other.

    That would seem to be the rub. Obama doesn’t want to fight with the Republicans, he seems to want to have a tea party with them. No pun intended.

    To some degree I think you guys would be careful to pay more attention to the criticism coming from Obama’s left. There are not guarantees that people on the left will come out to support Obama in 2012 if he continues on the path that he is on.

    Obama’s advisors, Rahm particularly, were telling him to drop the whole healthcare issue, but it was the party leaders in the congress that pressured him to stay in the game, so when you guys keep crediting him with all of the progress that has been made in the past two years it rings rather hollow.

    The chorus is growing, of people getting unhappy with Obama’s hardline centrist approach to every issue, which seems more in line for advancing Obama than it does a progressive agenda. Obama as President has been just about reliably progressive as Blanche Lincoln or Joe Lieberman. Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but not much.

    Feel free to flame away folks.

  132. 132
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    Policy-based criticism (if well-framed, which is another story) is pretty specific to party/ideology; if you say HCR is flawed because it doesn’t have a public option, that’s not a criticism that lends itself to co-optation by the right.

    Or process-based criticism. Obama holding out too long for bipartisanship? Fine. Obama not using the bully pulpit enough? Fine. Obama being too conciliatory towards his critics on the right? Fine?

    Inventing out of you own imagination the notion that the guy who just volunteered to be target practice for every Klansman and Neo-Nazi in America for eight years, is weak and spineless, on the grounds that you don’t like his political process: not fine.

  133. 133
    El Tiburon says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    You rotten, commie cut and paste nazi. You know sometimes I get excited and frothy and my eyes glaze over.

    But, not so fast my friend. Here are the wingnut talking points Denny G attributed to Ed:

    Obama is weak; Obama can’t be trusted; Obama is following policies that harm America; Obama doesn’t care about you; Obama doesn’t listen to you

    Now, I don’t consider these “wingnut” talking points. I don’t know if Obama can be trusted, I think a lot of his policies harm America. I’ll leave the “doesn’t care about/listen to you” alone.

    So, I think my original assessment is correct in that Dennis G. ascribed what many of us progressives think about Obama as wingnut talking points.

    So, there.

  134. 134
    hitchhiker says:

    Kee reist.

    Half the time Ed doesn’t understand that his callers are agreeing with him. He’s stupid — a stupid man.

    He spent the early days of the 2008 primary explaining how rude HRC’s staff was to him, and how nice Obama’s staff was, and to him that was enough to make a presidential decision on.

    This speech is more of the same. Remember when they shut Rush up by inviting him to stay in the Lincoln bedroom during the Bush I regime?

    If Ed got to go sit in the East Room for an hour, that would make him change his tune about Obama.

    It’s all about Ed. The only thing that matters is whether or not he can get the politicians to suck up to him.

    Gag me.

  135. 135
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Which tax cuts didn’t accomplish a god damn thing? All of them? Like the payroll tax credit? If you cited specific elements of the act I might agree with you on those specifics but otherwise I can’t take what you’re saying seriously. Maybe you didn’t need any extra help but I’m sure I’m not the only one who needed and spent every penny that came to me in the form of tax cuts.

  136. 136
    j low says:

    This is the same guy that blamed Kerry’s 2004 loss on Teh Gays. He’s a dirtbag.

  137. 137
    t jasper parnell says:

    How about this sort of criticism?

    FRANK: I would say to the president, look, I sympathize with President Obama. He’s been criticized by some of my liberal friends. We didn’t get a public option and we didn’t get the other things we wanted. That wasn’t his fault. The economic recovery bill, the stimulus — it wasn’t as big as it should have been. That wasn’t his fault. He couldn’t get the votes. But with regard to appointing Elizabeth Warren, that’s his decision. No one can stop him from making it. And I hope he will appoint her.

  138. 138
    Tom Hilton says:

    @El Tiburon: But they are wingnut talking points (regardless of the intent behind them) because they are inherently helpful to wingnuts.

  139. 139
    Dennis G. says:

    @El Tiburon:
    Ah, you’re such a close reader. As I’ve mentioned above the point is not a call for zero criticism. It is a call to avoid wingnut frames, memes and talking points when you criticize Obama and the Democrats.

    I am sorry that this distinction is giving you fits. I know the angry wingnut frames are very easy to use and very hard to let go of. I know these frames fluff your anger and give you excuses to avoid actually having to do anything about it. You can be pissed and disengage from solving problems at the same time. Nice hat trick.

    It seems that these wingnut frames really work for you. Great. Have fun with that and good luck in November.

    Cheers

  140. 140
    General Stuck says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Now, I don’t consider these “wingnut” talking points. I don’t know if Obama can be trusted, I think a lot of his policies harm America. I’ll leave the “doesn’t care about/listen to you” alone.

    Then I would suggest picking someone to support in 2012 who you can trust and come here with that straight up debate as an Obama opponent. And drop this smarmy routine of being a dem Obama supporter that is just concerned. Shit or get off the pot. And that goes for the rest of the progs who want to use winger tactics and talking points for discourse here. And then scream we are punching them, fellow liberals.

    I am getting so sick of this shit, somebody make it stop.

  141. 141
    Corner Stone says:

    @ruemara: Of course, we’re all friends here.
    My snark0meter pegged out during the Skeert of the Mean Lady thread, so I’m going to take your post as straight.
    Given that pretext, do you honestly feel you could say these things at this blog and not get absolutely firebaggingly flamed ~ for each and every one of them?

    Because I’ve seen these points mentioned by others (in very clear language like this example) in various threads and at various times, and the poster gets assrabied.

  142. 142
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @kwAwk: So Obama’s advisers were pressuring him to drop healthcare, while Congress urged him to keep up the fight. Doesn’t the fact that Obama didn’t listen to Rahm indicate that he’s willing to fight? How is this a knock against Obama?

  143. 143
    El Tiburon says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Oh, and fuck Jame Hamsher. Anybody stupid enough to describe the teabaggers as anti-corporate should be eating with a cork on her fork like Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

    I think the teabaggers, the actual rank-and-file teabaggers, are anti-corporate, or at least they think they are. But they are too stupid to realize they are being led around by the very corporations they claim to despise.

    Regardless, I think Hamsher’s body of work far outshines this characterization.

  144. 144
    Dennis G. says:

    @BTD:
    Describing WATBs and why their embrace of wingnut memes, frames and talking points always runs the risk of sounding whiny. So it goes.

  145. 145
    burnspbesq says:

    @Paul L.:

    Don’t you get it? You’re a worthless piece of shit and no one here wants to hear from you. Go make babies with Sanka. You two are perfect for each other.

  146. 146
    shep says:

    Angry Ed helps the Wingnuts win the day and block progress…

    .
    As Maddow expertly made the case yesterday – in response to the sycophant Jonathan Alter arguing that the Obama team doesn’t fight right-wing smears and dogma because it would just make some people too uncomfortable and “block progress” on their agenda – so does failing to fight right-wing smears and dogma. Schultz’s critique sounds like garbage but I bet what’s really got him pissed is that Obama’s ability to move more progressively, assuming he wants to, is being hampered by public opinion, including half the country thinking he’s a socialist who’s harming the country because he doesn’t share their values. Liberals can’t believe that after the clusterf#ck that was the Bush/Cheney Administration, we’re losing the goddamned narrative war against “conservatism” even as it becomes ever-more extreme. In the face of the mendacious right-wing/FOX Wurlitzer, you can’t bi-partisan your way to progressive policy or a progressive-minded electorate and liberals hate that either ORahmba can’t figure that out or they just don’t care.

  147. 147
    Joy says:

    @gpleigh: Absolutely! Thank you for this comment. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  148. 148
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dennis G.:

    You can be pissed and disengage from solving problems at the same time. Nice hat trick.

    Not to be a nitpicker twice in the same thread but that’s actually only two things. Something AND something else.
    Should’ve went with twofer. Or in BJ parlance, “toofer”.

  149. 149
    General Stuck says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Go make babies with Sanka. You two are perfect for each other.

    We could name it Godzilla from the ethers.

  150. 150
    burnspbesq says:

    @someguy:

    Guess I just excommunicated myself from the club for attacking from the left, huh?

    No. You were never in the club. We have standards.

  151. 151
    El Tiburon says:

    @General Stuck:

    Then I would suggest picking someone to support in 2012 who you can trust and come here with that straight up debate as an Obama opponent.

    Ok, I pick Dan, my next-door neighbor. Real straight-shooter that guy. So, that I criticize Obama, that I think he has a lot of harmful policies, this means I can’t or won’t support him in 2012? I really don’t have a choice, do I?

    And drop this smarmy routine of being a dem Obama supporter that is just concerned. Shit or get off the pot

    Never claimed to be a Dem. Obama supporter, yes. Did I expect too much? Absolutely. Has he done many good things? Absolutely. But smarmy? Me? Nah!

    I am getting so sick of this shit, somebody make it stop.

    Yes, please someone make everyone leave Obama ALOOOONE!!!

  152. 152
    kwAwk says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:

    You tell me Pizz. What part of Healthcare reform was Obama willing to fight for? What particular section in the bill do you specifically credit Obama for getting in?

    It sure looked to a lot of us that it was Nancy Pelosi who was willing to fight for the public option. It looked like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid doing the heavy lifting to get the bill passed.

    To take it even further, what legislation do you think we’ve gotten over the past year and a half that we would not have gotten if any other Democrat was President?

  153. 153
    geg6 says:

    @gelfling545:

    I am far more progressive than Obama (social democracy seems just fine to me) but I voted for him knowing that he would do far more that I would approve of than anyone else who had a chance of getting elected and as someone mentioned above, I can’t see him vetoing a bill because it’s too liberal. If you want more progressive legislation you need to elect more progressive legislators i.e. those who produce legislation.

    I was going to type a big, long comment about the bullshit my fellow liberals spew about the president, but I read this and decided that it says everything I feel about the matter.

    Oh, except…

    Ed Schultz is a huge, stupid idiot. I say this not only because of that dimwitted speech, but because he flaunts his huge, stupid idiocy in front of millions of people every day and, apparently, does not understand that people like me come across it and just point and laugh.

  154. 154
    ruemara says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I have no problem posting that criticism here. I join in with most of the people you can’t stand on the firebagger label. You have no idea how my blood boils at some the “criticism” that seems to be around. When I hear “corporatist” thrown at someone that CEOs despise, I marvel. You see, this is what is done: “Obama is corporate sellout. He’s so weak, he’s letting Republicans have a say on this ___ bill (ignorant of the process right there). He campaigned on the Public Option and won’t fight for it (we never had the votes, not without a realignment of how the senate works, house-yes). We should primary him! or He should be impeached (yes, I have heard some on the left say this) because BP is in control of the oil spill! Plus he fired Shirley Sherrod!” Oi.

    I can’t stand bipartisanship. I am a leftist and fucking proud of it. I work in government. Do you think I cut republicans off and treat them poorly? No. I take my job seriously and give even people I completely disagree with to the point of personal enmity a voice. It’s just right. On duty, I’m pretty sure you’d dismiss me as either republican lite or a stupid hack who doesn’t know much about politics. I have to be neutral to a fault. And I am so minor a functionary, I just can’t begin to understand how fricking neutral even a state senator must be. But I have seen it in action and I know some of their constituents would be surprised how passive elected officials have to be to get things done. But that’s my 2¢.

  155. 155
    General Stuck says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Now, I don’t consider these “wingnut” talking points. I don’t know if Obama can be trusted, I think a lot of his policies harm America. I’ll leave the “doesn’t care about/listen to you” alone.

    And again. This could have been a statement from any tea bagger/wingnut in America. Explain to me how I should treat you any different than Paul L. Who also easily could have penned the above. Constructive Criticism is one thing, and the above ain’t it. At least not on my planet, earth. Where are you from again?

  156. 156
    mnpundit says:

    He’s right though. You are either standing in the way of progress or you are helping it.

    A lot of people do both however.

    But he’s right to be angry. That’s why the right constantly beats us, why it’s continuing to grow. It has the power of its passion and we have none of that. Time to get some.

  157. 157
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jager:

    I think the answer is that you’re going to have to grow your own. There isn’t enough good liberal talk in syndication to fill an entire day.

    If you could get Scott Horton to do a daily show, that would be AWESOME.

  158. 158
    Ecks says:

    @Jager: I have no idea what I’m talking about here, but just off the top of my head, it seems like there are a lot of very smart and articulate liberal types like Krugman and Klein and Yglesias et. al., who spend a lot of time digesting the complicated bits of reality into intelligible chunks.

    That suggests to me that your hosts don’t have to do all original work, and that perhaps you can have segments that involve calling up these kinds of people for interviews, or reprocessing the key things they find into more radio-friendly recastings? I mean, maybe this is the way things already work, but it seems to me that liberal thinkers are always tempted to reinvent everything them self from scratch, whereas… I’m not suggesting a full-on echo chamber here, but a bit of a resonance chamber that amplifies some of the beautiful notes out there a little louder might not be a terrible thing to do.

  159. 159
    El Tiburon says:

    @Dennis G.:
    This reply sounded kind of whiny as well.

  160. 160
    geg6 says:

    @BTD:

    As opposed to Big Ed’s speech, I guess.

    Really.

  161. 161
    Jager says:

    Reading these posts, it would take one hell of a talk show host to work through an hour of calls from you guys.

    As far as Ed Schultz goes, I’ve had dinner with he and his wife. She is the reason for his conversion from right to left and she seems to have a pretty strong hold over him. He started as a sportscaster on TV, the TV station had a radio station and gave hiim a couple of hours to and it strayed into politics, mostly local. Ed has a good heart, that said, he is an egotist, he talks about shit when he doesn’t have all the facts and he is very driven to make it. Kind of like every other talker I’ve worked with. He was smart enough not to get involved with the fools at Air America, though.

  162. 162
    El Tiburon says:

    @Jager:
    Thomm@General Stuck:

    This could have been a statement from any tea bagger/wingnut in America. Explain to me how I should treat you any different than Paul L.

    Or from a lot of progressives and liberals as well. From the public option to habeas corpus to a host of other examples, I think Obama has shown a lot of what he says can’t be trusted. And his embrace of a lot of national security issues, even more stringent than Bush, have been argued by many on the left to be harmful to America.

    So perhaps I need to stop explaining this to you and you should open your eyes because it’s there. Or continue to stick your head in the sand and pretend it all away. I really don’t care.

    As far as Paul L, fuck him and the horse he rode in on. Splitter!

  163. 163
    Dave says:

    President Obama always said, before and after the election, that he wouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I guess Ed and all the other firebagging WATBs decided to gloss over that.

  164. 164
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jager:

    Once in a great while, Mike Lupica goes political, and it is awesome stuff.

    I’m pretty certain that Jay Bilas is not a liberal, but he is smarter than 99 percent of the people on talk radio, and he can string two coherent sentences together, and he is certainly opinionated.

  165. 165
    geg6 says:

    @kwAwk:

    To some degree I think you guys would be careful to pay more attention to the criticism coming from Obama’s left. There are not guarantees that people on the left will come out to support Obama in 2012 if he continues on the path that he is on.

    Well, if that isn’t the stupidest thing ever and just solidifies to me that idea that, although I am a lifelong liberal Democrat, my fellow liberals are too stupid to live.

    Fine. Take your ball and go home. Feel free to pat yourselves on the back while Jane Hamsher has lunch with Grover Norquist and President Palin and Speaker Boehner finish the job of destroying the country and its people that W started.

    I’m sure you’ll feel all tingly and happy that you showed that damn DINO, Obama, your power.

  166. 166
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jager:

    My question to all of you opinionated bastards is what do I put on it?

    We’ve been led to understand that Cole has a face for radio.

  167. 167
    Jager says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I agree, the syndication is thin. I would rather “grow my own”. My early days in progressive rock we were inventing it as we went along, we weren’t afraid to fuck up (and we did) we constantly looked for ways to get the listeners involved, and excited. We built a community. The staff music meetings were battles, it took hours to reach consensus on adding a god damned cut. We were fortunate to have a young, but experienced manager running the station, his philosophy was simple…he built a corral and told the ponies (the staff) you can do whatever you want, just don’t jump the fence. He added, you can talk about anything you like, anything you want, just make sure it is better than a Beatles record. Made us think hard before we did anything stupid on the air! I’ve used that philosophy since I’ve been in management and I’d use it with budding talk show hosts in a minute! Being on the air, radio or TV doesn’t give you a license to bore!

  168. 168
    Jager says:

    @Corner Stone:

    He’d be perfect, he can do the show remote from his house, the barking dogs would add color to the broadcast!

  169. 169
    Ecks says:

    He was smart enough not to get involved with the fools at Air America, though.

    I know very little about AA other than I think it is defunct now (right?). Oh, and being on it clearly held back the careers of Maddow and Franken. Man, some days I think one of those two could have been a senator or something if they’d only been smart enough to stay away from those fools.

  170. 170
    El Tiburon says:

    @geg6:

    Feel free to pat yourselves on the back while Jane Hamsher has lunch with Grover Norquist and President Palin and Speaker Boehner finish the job of destroying the country and its people that W started.

    For the love of God, talk about right-wing sounding douchetards. So Hamsher had lunch with Norquist. Hillary did a spot w/ Gingrich. Clenis did a spot w/ George W. FDR sat down w/ Stalin. Def Leppard did a thing with Taylor Swift.

    I can’t believe all of the henny-pennys over here bitching and crying like little school kids over pointed criticism of our Dear Fucking Leader.

    I think it was Greenwald who said replace “Republicans” with “Al Queda” in all of your little scare mongering.

    “Oh No! If we criticize Obama, the Republicans, er Al Queda will win, do don’t criticize you all! okay, thnx!”

  171. 171
    Dennis G. says:

    @Corner Stone:
    As an effort, I would say this.

    I think that President Obama made a serious tactical misstep in the first six months in office and has been paying for it ever since. I think he had a number of big changes he wanted to make and one of them was to restore the traditional balance of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches. In the wake of the Bush/Cheney Unitary Executive era this seemed like an important thing to do and coming from a Legislative background he thought Congress would embrace the effort to rebalance power. This priority was one of the first things he acted on and it was a bad idea to give this effort a higher priority than his legislative agenda.

    First, this strategy gave too much scheduling control to the various wankers in the Senate. Once the Senate had this control the Republicans were able to slow things down and demagogue this, that and the other thing. Reasonable policy efforts become insane battles and everything moved more slowly. Meanwhile, in the wake of the Bush years, folks expected that Obama would also use the powers of an Unitary Executive to force his agenda through. He didn’t use these unconstitutional powers and that made things even harder. The right pretended he was using them and the left blamed him for failing to use them.

    His effort to trust the Senate and his belief that the Senate was an institution that would rise to the challenge was a serious mistake. By the time six months were up it was clear just how big a mistake it was and then the death of Ted Kennedy made things even worse.

    That anything has been done in this current environment is amazing, but you have to wonder what might be the state of progress might have been if President Obama had put a higher priority on his legislative agenda than he placed on his effort to restore constitutional balance between Congress and the WH.

    By trusting the Democrats in the Senate to move quickly he gave the wingnuts an opening and they took it. The result is that a lot of items on the agenda are still waiting for action and a lot of political capital was wasted just to get the Senate to act. It was a big error and President Obama is the one who made it.

    Cheers

  172. 172
    liberty60 says:

    @MeDrewNotYou:

    He sounds like an insecure junior high girl.

    “I wanted Barack to come to my party, but he went to Brett’s instead! How dare he! I’ll just tell everyone that’s he’s a slut with herpes, that’ll show him!”

    Wait, is that Ed re: Obama, or Tucker Carlson re: Journolist?

  173. 173
    El Tiburon says:

    @Ecks:

    He was smart enough not to get involved with the fools at Air America, though.

    I don’t know who wrote this, but whoever it is, they are a fool.

    Air America in its first few years was some outstanding radio. Sam Seder, Al Franken, Rachel Maddow were awesome.

    Al Franken especially. Franken may be one of the smartest and level-headed people in this country. He really cared about the issues and more importantly he honestly wanted to learn as much about every issue he could.

    I was a neophyte back then and I owe so much of my political education to him and the people he introduce me to, such as David Brock, Joe Conasan, the girl from Crew and Think Progress and on down the line.

    I can’t recommend his “Big Fat Liars” and “Rush Limbaugh is an Idiot” books enough.

    Also Sam Seder, especially when he got rid of janene garafalo, who I love, but just not on the radio w/ Seder

  174. 174
    Dennis G. says:

    @El Tiburon:
    Oh snap. I am done in by your quick wit. So it goes.

  175. 175
    El Tiburon says:

    @Dennis G.:

    I think that President Obama made a serious tactical misstep in the first six months in office and has been paying for it ever since.

    This.

    I think his biggest screw-up was not realizing the mood of the country and taking the bull by the horns. He should have rode in and demanded more than he knew he could have gotten, then let them negotiate down to what the country needed and wanted.

    My take is never has a President done so little with so much opportunity. Before I get flamed, I realize his achievements, by most metrics are historical. But those achievements were there for the taking because of the place in history. But I think we could have gotten a true public option and really turned this corner on this Reaganite brand of bullshit that has been destroying this country for a generation.

    Also I am willing to concede that this is happening (hey social security as we know it today didn’t happen overnight) right now as we speak; that the tide is turning and we are on a new path. But I fear not.

  176. 176
    General Stuck says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Or from a lot of progressives and liberals as well.

    Absolutely, that’s why I put the lot of you in the same pod.

    And his embrace of a lot of national security issues, even more stringent than Bush

    My eyes are wide open and what I see is.
    Not in your wildest prog dreams. Not even close to Bush. But you and those who wank this nonsense are certainly like the tea tards. The circle of ideology sometimes meets itself on the backside when the far right and the far left get far enough away from the center. You and Paul L are good examples of this phenom.

    Luckily, there are not that many of you. At least on the left.

  177. 177
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @kwAwk: Obama set clear guidelines for what he wanted in the bill from the start. He got most of what he wanted. After Sen. Brown’s election, his advisers wanted him to scale back the bill drastically, into something like an expansion of SCHIP. Obama refused, though, and spent the next two months helping to build support for the Senate bill and reconciliation, including direct lobbying of Congressmen. That’s what fighting for a bill looks like. Of course Pelosi and Reid did a lot of heavy lifting – that’s what they’re supposed to do. But Obama fought for it.

    As for your other question, first, that’s a counterfactual that’s nearly impossible to assess. However, I think Obama might be the best at actually getting bills through Congress, and another president might have gotten less, for example, a more scaled-back healthcare bill. Specifically, one example is Sotomayor. Second, are you saying that another Democratic president would be better? Because if there is a better candidate, please say who. If there isn’t, then why are you so disappointed with Obama?

  178. 178
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dennis G.: Thank you for your response. It certainly seems like reasonable criticism.
    But I fail to see how it is framed in a progressive way or uses progressive talking points.
    I don’t want to belabor the issue any further at the moment. I’m sure this will come up again in the next two or three threads.

  179. 179
    Jager says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I wrote it and I wasn’t referring to the talent! I was referring to the owners (numerous) the shitty management (even more numerous), the lack of focus as a business and a network. I’m talking about the people who let Sam go, who jacked Rachel around, who fired Randi. (Al had a plan and that was to run for the Senate, he got it done via his platform at AA.) The network burned the talent like they burned money in the beginning, the new offices and studios, they didn’t need in the heart of Manhattan, shitty engineering, and on and on. AA had a tremendous chance to make a difference, the owners/management blew it not the talent!

  180. 180
    Corner Stone says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:

    Because if there is a better candidate, please say who. If there isn’t, then why are you so disappointed with Obama?

    Not to speak to any of kwawk’s points, but I for one am so very tired of this specific dodge. It is so much bullshit.
    It should be held on the “you wanted a pony!” level for ridiculousness.

  181. 181
    El Tiburon says:

    @General Stuck:

    Not in your wildest prog dreams. Not even close to Bush.

    Just one example.
    http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....4/06/obama

    The internet tubes are filthy with stuff like this. But I guess Greenwald is a Grover fucker just like Hamsher so his thoughts don’t matter.

    Luckily, there are not that many of you. At least on the left.

    Please. The left feels more like I do than you. You can’t swing a dead cat in Left-Blogistan without hitting a post about this very topic.

  182. 182
    El Tiburon says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Another amen.

  183. 183
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Dennis G.:
    This tactical analysis sounds right to me, but I have some caveats.

    First, if we didn’t face so many different simultaneous crises, then Obama would get a lot more credit than he does for getting things passed thru this Congress. Two years in, he’s gotten more of his agenda passed than did TR in his entire 1st term, albeit less than LBJ and FDR did (and people tend forget that after the court packing scheme went sour, FDR didn’t pass anything of consequence thru the Senate again). Additionally, Obama problem is that after the credit market crisis of Fall 2008 faded away he was left facing slow moving systemic and endemic crises, rather than the more abrupt and accute sort for which the executive branch is better positioned to deal with.

    Second, regarding the very thing you fault him for on tactical grounds: “he wanted to … restore the traditional balance of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches“, it had to be done.

    90 percent of the proximate reason why our quality of governance sucks rights now is that the Senate sucks. And the Senate sucks because for a long time now the Senate hasn’t mattered. The only way to solve this problem is to make the Senate matter again. Obama has done this – perhaps too well in the short run, but I think this is a dark tunnel we have to slog through. And it will probably be at least another 50 years, perhaps much longer than that, before we elect another President temperamentally and intellectually suited to perform this thankless task and to do it right. So it was either now or never.

    For the rest of us, the way forward is clear: we need a better Senate, both in terms of individual membership and in terms of rules. That means agitating for filibuster reform, campaign finance reform, a better news media that actually covers issues, a more focused electorate that pays attention to Congress, and anything else that will help get the job done. Obama has prepared the ground for that change, now we need to do something with the chance he’s given us.

  184. 184
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    If you think that Obama is afraid to take on the Republicans head on or caves to their pressure too easily, then that weakness of character is a legitimate problem that should be up for criticism. And if you disagree with that assessment, you are going to think the conversation is unhelpful because it is creating something out of nothing.

    Honestly, I always think that questioning people’s motives for doing things is ridiculous unless you’re talking about actual corruption. Yes, it was fun to talk about Bush the Dry Drunk, but I never thought it gave any actual insight into the policies that the guy chose to put forth.

    That’s why I think the “Obama is weak!” talk is stupid. Seriously, people actually think that Barack Obama is afraid of Republicans? He got healthcare reform, financial reform, and is trying to get climate change legislation passed because he’s a weak person who’s afraid the Republicans are going to say mean things about him? Are you fucking high?

  185. 185
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m only responding to kwawk. The argument is flawed and fallacious, but kwawk was implying that Obama was both obstructive/impotent and the same as any another Democrat, which seemed inconsistent.

  186. 186

    @Jager:
    From everything I have read about Air America, your analysis sounds spot on. Lots of shady management types running that circus.

    Good luck with your project.

  187. 187
    Dave G says:

    You know what’s the easiest and safest thing in the whole world?
    Sitting on your ass calling President Obama a “sissy” or “sellout” in a blog comment.
    You know what’s not the easiest and safest thing in the whole world?

  188. 188
    BC says:

    Well, Obama did run as a person who could change the atmosphere in Washington. He had visions of being the president to bring the two parties together and have the grand compromises that would be needed to get this country on its feet again. The Republicans, seeing this vision as being the bait that got the independent vote, decided at the beginning to not cooperate with the president, so they could then run on the theme that Obama was unsuccessful in getting the two parties to work together. I don’t think anyone, in January 2009, thought that the GOP would be such an obstacle. After all, if we liberals had been so profligate that we brought the country to its knees, we would have thought it only right to be repudiated by the electorate. But the Republicans have refused to take the blame for the shape the country is in and we see the result in the train wreck that is Congress. I hope the Dems retain control of Congress this fall, because there is a chance for us to gain seats in 2012. Back to the topic of Ed Schultz – he’s too loud, like Limbaugh is too loud. And then he has the odious Ron Christie on his show all the time. Ugh.

  189. 189
    Jager says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Some were shady, most were incompetent.

  190. 190
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So, that I criticize Obama, that I think he has a lot of harmful policies, this means I can’t or won’t support him in 2012?

    Well, it makes you a hypocrite at best. Why on earth would you support him if you genuinely think he’s destroying the country?

  191. 191
    Malron aka eclecticbrotha says:

    Fuck Ed.

    I’m reminded of the Jon Stewart segment where he played a clip of Ed hyperventilating about something Rush Limbaugh said. To which Stewart sheepishly replied “well said, guy who looks eerily similar to Rush Limbaugh.”

    I also got a nice chuckle out of this NN observation from Matt Yglesias.

    Their Manic Progressive Self-Delusion Disorder seems to be in full bloom.

  192. 192
    General Stuck says:

    @El Tiburon: LOL, I am so glad you brought up the EFF case.

    Here is what happened. And I have previously laid all this out here at BJ when it occurred.

    As I said: the government refused to engage on the merits, al-Haramain made a sufficient prima facie case, so the government has basically conceded the case.

    I don’t have time right now to link to a more objective source than FDL, but even they state what happened at the end of their piece on Judge Walkers summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.

    The government threw the case in short. And I called this long ago when Obama first took office, that they would string along with the case to the appeals level and only argue to maintain future viability of state secrets claims, but allow the case to be won by those plaintiffs, before it got to the supremes to set precedent.

    And so what happened?

    The plaintiffs, EFF requested summary judgment in favor of their case. Judge Walker, then requested for the Obama DOJ to make a case on the merits, as to why it shouldn’t be granted. The Obama lawyers declined to defend on the merits, but only insisted that state secrets privilege be protected for future use, like when not covering up crimes like Bush. By default, the Judge granted the judgment to the plaintiffs.

    All the Obama administration had to do was claim national security would be damaged to continue this case. Judge Walker, like all federal judges pay great weight to such arguments and almost always don’t grant such summary decisions if the government protests even a little.

    So Obama threw the case like I said he would from day one. Of course, GG claimed Obama’s lawyers were just incompetent as did his cult members.

    So you might want to pick another example, say like the secret torture prison at Bagram, that isn’t secret and the only interrogation techniques being used are those in the Army Field Manuel. Not water boarding, not prolonged stress positions like Bush, but keeping people awake for 32 hours/

  193. 193
    Sly says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Your assumption is that “Left-Blogistan” is a reliable sample size of liberal/Democratic sentiment. You might want to do some research on the breakdown of Obama’s approval ratings based on party affiliation before you persist in this assumption.

    Back to the semi-original topic, a lot of the stuff coming out of NN is fairly awesome. Schweitzer and Jones were superb. Ed I could do without, but at the end of the day he has a kind of folksiness that is often missing from the liberal discourse, and that kind of stuff goes over like gangbusters with a significant portion of the Democratic base. He’s not my cup of tea, but I don’t begrudge people for liking him.

    But Markos isn’t inspired, the poor fucking baby. Better hope the White House gets on that problem right away. We can’t afford to have our prima donnas sulking in public.

  194. 194
    bemused says:

    @Jager:
    Living in the boonies, getting satellite radio and discovering AA was a godsend. Rachel, Franken, Seder, Randi and Ring of Fire saved my sanity during the Bush years. All of them had a great lineup of guests. Thom Hartmann and Stephanie Miller are favorites. I really miss the early AA and wish there was something like that again.

  195. 195
    General Stuck says:

    @El Tiburon: And BTW, I curse you for making me read that GG article again and revisiting all the bullshit lies contained therin. Such as Bush “creating” the states secret privilege, which is horseshit and GG knows it. It has been around in it’s present form since the early 50’s and has it’s origin back near the founding.

    Why you people believe anything this GG person says is beyond me.

  196. 196
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Tiburon:

    He should have rode in and demanded more than he knew he could have gotten, then let them negotiate down to what the country needed and wanted.

    Oh my God, not this fucking runny bullshit all over again. He should have demanded more! That would totally have overcome having half the Senate Democrats being not at all liberal! And having 250 whiny bloggers being perhaps slightly less pouty-faced would have been totally worth the massive policy debacle on every conceivable level!

  197. 197
    El Cid says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Well, it makes you a hypocrite at best. Why on earth would you support him if you genuinely think he’s destroying the country?

    That’s not necessarily true.

    Let’s say I were convinced that neither candidates A nor B had policies which would stop what I imagined to be the destruction of the nation. (I wouldn’t have to be correct in my analysis of destruction onrishing.)

    But candidate B seemed likely to hasten that destruction and maybe worsen life until that point, whereas candidate A might maintain or improve living conditions and perhaps delay the national destruction I imagined.

    In the ballot box it’s still the more moral choice to vote for A, because, who knows, maybe things will change. Or we’ll have time to do other things.

    If there’s no other choice, why would I care to express ‘my conscience’ for some other candidate, or write myself in as the only one to totally agree with my own goals?

    I still supported the financial regulation for the things it did appear to do even though I don’t think it would prevent another collapse like the one we went through and which for all I know may still be building again.

  198. 198
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sly:

    But Markos isn’t inspired, the poor fucking baby.

    I will never understand how the same Markos Moulitsas who in 2004 _made_ Stephanie Herseth, and who tried _very hard_ to make Brad Carson too, morphed into a self-styled scourge of the insufficiently liberal.

  199. 199
    General Stuck says:

    @El Cid: But there is a choice for 2012. Obama hasn’t been re nominated. You and others can choose any candidate from the left you wish, and support them, and come here to debate their differences with Obama and why your guy would be better.

  200. 200
    Sly says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Because now he’s part of an ideology that is, for the most part, in a position to govern. Not many activists can make that switch. Hell, not many activists see that there is a difference between the two. It’s like a guerrilla taking over the government, and then wondering why he can’t run the country like he could his little rebel army.

  201. 201
    Cacti says:

    I’ve often thought Ed Shouts is a lot less of a “reformed Republican” than he lets on.

    He’s just another talk radio carnival barker who saw the field was crowded on the right, and decided to switch his audience.

  202. 202
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @195 General Stuck Up:

    As a typical balloonbagger, you disagree with GG because you don’t know how to read. GG’s quote is below. In it, he states not that the Bush Administration “invented the state secrets privilege” in the first place, but that the Bush Administration invented the “outrageously broad state secrets privilege”. See the difference, ballooney? The state secrets privilege already existed, but the Bushies added outrageous breadth to it.

    Now act on your newfound understanding by apologizing to GG.

    Glenn Greenwald quote:
    “In other words, beyond even the outrageously broad “state secrets” privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and — even if what they’re doing is blatantly illegal and they know it’s illegal — you are barred from suing them unless they “willfully disclose” to the public what they have learned.”

  203. 203
    General Stuck says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    “In other words, beyond even the outrageously broad “state secrets” privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and—even if what they’re doing is blatantly illegal and they know it’s illegal—you are barred from suing them unless they “willfully disclose” to the public what they have learned.”

    Okay. what do we have here. There was nothing “invented” that was outrageously broad about Bush’s use of the SS privilege. It was because he used it to cover up fucking crimes. It is typical GG wordsmithing stuff in a way that makes it sound like Obama is doing the same thing as Bush. Or, covering up crimes. So I don’t owe GG anything, and certainly not an apology.

    As for the rest of it. There is no evidence that Obama is doing anything unlawful with eavesdropping. Now the question of whether the FISA law that was passed has some real problems with it, I fully agree. But this gets to my whole point about GG’s bullshit and those who come here claiming Obama is as bad, or worse, than Bush. Bush was bad, because he was a criminal that clearly broke American and International laws concerning torture and wiretapping as they were on the books at the time.

    Torture as done by Bush is still as illegal now as it was then. And again, there is no evidence that Obama is conducting torture like Bush did. But asshats come around here claiming he is, with nothing along the lines of evidence. As for wiretapping, the current law, even with it’s flaws, still involves going through the FISA court, and there is no evidence Obama is not following the current law. Bush just said fuck it, and bypassed the FISA court altogether that was clearly illegal. Try again Uncle Clarence.

  204. 204
    General Stuck says:

    And to my knowledge Obama has not used the state secrets privilege much, if at all. I think it sucks that it is allowed without any legislative framework to keep it from being abused. There is a bill pending in congress to fix that so that it is rarely used and not to cover up illegal activities by the government. The problem is, it’s use arose out of our judicial system in case law way back when. That is never a good way to grant executive branch power, and hopefully congress will soon do something about that.

  205. 205
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @ 203: General Stuck Up

    I see. You are backtracking and no longer accusing GG of “lies” — so apologize already. Your own “wordsmithing” is meant to imply that Obama is not doing exactly the same thing as Bush did, when you have no idea whatsoever if that’s the case or not.

    In fact, there is no evidence that Obama is following the law, except for balloonbaggers’ vociferous and uninformed assertions. There is every reason to believe he is still using torture at Bagram, for example, including eyewitness accounts.

    And here’s some actual evidence that Obama is breaking the law: no U.S. war criminals are being investigated, let alone prosecuted, when there is ample credible evidence of their crimes to do so. That’s his job — and he’s not doing it, which is an actual crime in itself.

  206. 206
    General Stuck says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    I see. You are backtracking and no longer accusing GG of “lies”—so apologize already. Your own “wordsmithing” is meant to imply that Obama is not doing exactly the same thing as Bush did, when you have no idea whatsoever if that’s the case or not.

    Lemme clear that up for you. I do accuse GG of “lies” and you of being an idiot. And it is true, I have no idea when Obama quit beating his wife. weak trollfu Uncle.

  207. 207
    kwAwk says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:

    I think you have your timeline a little backwards. The healthcare reform bill was passed before Scott Brown was elected, and it was obvious that the only way forward from that point was the reconciliation solution. Tim F did a great job of blogging about it at the time.

    The behind-the-scenes details seem to confirm what many liberals have long suspected: That Emanuel is oriented more toward pragmatic politics than taking big risks like aggressive health care reform. As Ben Smith notes, the president’s team was widely skeptical of the health care push, with only domestic policy council chief Melody Barnes strongly in favor, according to the book.

    Alter reports that Emanuel spent a week last summer trying to convince the president to instead pursue a scaled-down plan that would have brought insurance to 10 million Americans and was more likely to attract bipartisan support.

    Once he was overruled, however, Emanuel reportedly devoted himself to passage of the president’s more-aggressive plan. As Sargent notes, the book quotes Emanuel asking the president last September if he felt lucky despite his poor poll numbers on health care.

    Responded the president: “My name is Barack Hussein Obama and I’m sitting here. So yeah, I’m feeling pretty lucky.”

    In any case I agree with the bloggers here when they feel it is preposterous to blame Obama for everything and anything. But unlike you I also find it preposterous to blame Obama for nothing.

  208. 208
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kwAwk: Weren’t you originally saying that Obama doesn’t fight for anything progressives care about? How does your vignette help prove that? Doesn’t it show that Rahm urged him to compromise rather than fight, but Obama fought for the “more-aggressive plan” anyway?

  209. 209
    kwAwk says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    My impression on the matter is that Obama was fighting to get some form of generic healthcare reform, so that he could say that he did it, as opposed to fighting for the type of healthcare reform wanted by the left.

    He could have bailed and followed Rahm’s advice, yes, but he could also have fought harder for a more left leaning version of reform. There seems to be a problem on the left where certain people or politicians deem themselves the furthest left it is sensible to be and anybody further to the left is a moron, to paraphrase geg6.

  210. 210
    Dennis G. says:

    @Corner Stone:
    In large measure, what makes it a progressive frame is that I could make a valid criticism without using memes like Obama is weak or Obama is a sell-out or Obama doesn’t listen to me or Obama can’t be trusted or Obama is following policies that harm America or any of the other crutches that so many use to support their critique because they are either too lazy or too dumb or too train or too angry to discuss issues without using wingnut memes, frames and talking points.

    Valid critiques can be done without embracing the spin of Grover Norquist, Rahm paranoia, teabagger foolishness or any crap from Wingnutopia.

    There are some progressive choices in my critique as well. I think that it would be a fair progressive defense to argue that pushing back on the theory of the Unitary Executive was a more important goal than making greater progress on Obama’s legislative agenda.

    That may prove to be true, but I think the balance point was missed when President Obama assumed the Senate was a less damaged institution than it actually was. I think misjudging how broken the Senate was is a costly error. Time will tell how costly.

    Cheers

  211. 211
    Dennis G. says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:
    This is a fine response to my criticism and at times I think you may be right. The issue is a President playing for long-term gain despite short-term negative feedbacks and attacks.

    Fixing the Senate is important, but I think he put too much trust in the institution in the first six months. The damage was far greater than he thought and missing the balance point has been costly.

    Still, you may be right,

    Cheers

  212. 212
    kay says:

    @kwAwk:

    Liberals really didn’t know that Emanual was “oriented more towards pragmatic politics than taking big risks” ?

    You have “long suspected” that, to quote the Politico?

    I don’t know how you missed it. It wasn’t a big secret. He ticks off numbers of seats and agenda items. Has he ever made the slightest effort to pretend to be anything other than pragmatic?

    I hope you’re not taking that as a check in the “we were right!” column.

    You may be the last to know.

  213. 213
    General Stuck says:

    @Dennis G.:

    I think that it would be a fair progressive defense to argue that pushing back on the theory of the Unitary Executive was a more important goal than making greater progress on Obama’s legislative agenda.

    I did and will make that argument. The Unitary Executive thing was the precursor to most of Bush’s damage to this country. From detention, to torture, to Iraq etc….. etc…….

    And I don’t really agree much with the assertion Obama didn’t also start off with big legislative actions. Say, like the stimulus bill, which was historical in it’s size and content toward furthering progressive goals in a variety of areas.

    There have been plenty of mistakes, but big ones, I don’t think so, really. He also promised to reach out to the wingnuts and I supported the effort, if for none other than pure optics and politics of honesty from campaign promises.

    And the GOP came out of the gate as opposing everything Obama did, which only made it possible to get anything thru the senate by glad handing people like Snowe and Nelson to get the 60 vote requirements.

    And it has been a long standing unanswered question first posited by John Cole, before you came here, of how did progressives propose to get Lieberman’s vote on the PO. Because without it, the PO was not legislatively possible given senate rules. And there wasn’t support for doing it by reconciliation, even to get 50 votes.

    And I think Obama learned lessons from Carter and Clinton in 93, that democratic congresscritters are not like gooper ones, especially in the senate. Whereas, top down command from a Bush would not have had the same result as Bush. Carter tried bullying his dem senate and got nowhere, and same with Clinton drafting and submitting bills like HCR from the WH.

    Although it is highly frustrating that dems are like this at times, in the end, I am glad for it, because there is a very good reason for separations of power in this country, and no room for unitary exec. bullshit that leads us to shit like Iraq.

    The only fault of Obama I have on the HCR debate is that he let it go on too long. It should have been wrapped up by October one way or the other to avoid the Brown thing. But it was never going to have more expanded government into health care insurance, other than what already exists. Not with Lieberman, a non dem and unanswerable to the dem party./

  214. 214
    kwAwk says:

    @kay:

    I’ve never much paid attention to Rahm. Just as I don’t pay much attention to Steny Hoyer. I was simply using Rahm as an example to show how the real movement for healthcare reform as envisioned by Democrats wasn’t coming from the White House. When the chips were down only Nancy Pelosi was willing to stand behind the public option. The public option being a very watered down version of single payer as it was.

    Imagine if you will someone, say Howard Dean, runs a primary challenge against Obama in 2012 (hypothetical only) and he stands up in a debate in Iowa and says his famous line, I’m Howard Dean and I represent the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party. What is Obama’s respsonse? ‘Well, you know, I really like me some Democrats, but what I want to be is Olympia Snowe in drag.’

    Ya know, a lot of us thought it was okay for Obama to want to reach out to Republicans at first and try to be bi-partisan at first, but at some point you have to show a learning curve when your first instincts fail you.

  215. 215
    kay says:

    @kwAwk:

    Absolutely, kwAwk.
    Primary Obama. I think anyone who wants to should enter a race, and I mean that sincerely.
    We just fundamentally disagree on what “strength” is, I think, but we’ll have a race and settle that.

  216. 216
    Bill H says:

    @Wiesman:

    “for reasons that must have seemed like a good idea at the time”

    Well you’re still mixing singular and plural there. How about,

    “for reasons that must have seemed like good ideas at the time”

  217. 217
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck:

    But there is a choice for 2012. Obama hasn’t been re nominated. You and others can choose any candidate from the left you wish, and support them, and come here to debate their differences with Obama and why your guy would be better.

    Ridiculous. Like who? Zombie Teddy Kennedy 2.0?

  218. 218
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kwAwk:

    My impression on the matter is that Obama was fighting to get some form of generic healthcare reform, so that he could say that he did it, as opposed to fighting for the type of healthcare reform wanted by the left.

    Wait, so because Obama had a different idea of what he wanted for healthcare reform than you did, he’s weak and a sellout?

    Jesus, even your own quote showed that he didn’t knuckle under and go for the most generic healthcare plan when it would have been easier to do so and yet you’re still somehow convinced in the face of the evidence that you quoted that he just wanted “some form of generic healthcare reform”?

  219. 219

    @Corner Stone:

    The point is either criticize Obama constructively and still support him without all the Obama worse than Bush or winger light rhetoric frames, or stfu, or get treated like trolls. Your choice, I don’t care either way. Maybe you could run Corner Stone, or talk hills into it.

  220. 220
    lurker phil says:

    @Dennis G.: I do hope you’ll post this diary over at Kos site, dengre

  221. 221

    @Mnemosyne: Whatever the questionable vehicle it arrived in. Obama accomplished what dems and even TR have attempted for 100 years plus, and that is to achieve universal coverage for all Americans. That has always been the bottom line. There are other very important considerations on how HC insurance and coverage is provided in this country at this point in time, mostly containing rising cost, that this bill may end up falling short of. But the Holy Grail of democratic desire has always been universal coverage. And it is now law of the land.

  222. 222
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: No one is going to primary Obama. It’s the depth of stupidity to suggest that’s a remedy.

  223. 223

    @Corner Stone: No one has to primary Obama. All the whiny brats here have to do is pick someone they could trust to do what they want as presnit and debate from that direction. Just don’t tell me you are an Obama supporter, even though he is worse than Bush. That won’t wash, and is an insult to even my limited intelligence.

  224. 224
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @General Stuck Up:

    > Lemme clear that up for you. I do accuse GG of “lies”

    True, and you do it on the basis of poor reading skills, and even when you are proved to be factually incorrect. (BTW, that’s not a positive attribute.)

    > and you of being an idiot.

    True, and again you accuse without bothering to provide any evidence as to why. That seems to be your forte. (Again, not a positive attribute.)

    > And it is true, I have no idea when Obama quit beating his wife.

    False analogy, but worthy of Beck or Palin if that’s any consolation.

    > weak trollfu Uncle.

    General Stuck Up, you are projecting again. Accusing others of lying, being an idiot, and trolling, while failing to answer their direct questions and criticisms and providing no logic, argument, facts or evidence to support your pre-manufactured opinions is the very essence of trolling. (Maybe it’s time for you to eat a bowl of fuck, or increase your banana intake. I leave that decision up to you.)

    Let me make it easy for you. Address my single point of Obama’s complicity with the war crimes of the previous administration and his refusal to investigate them. Address it with counter-facts, counter-evidence, counter-logic and/or counter-arguments.

    I predict you will instead decide to evade the issue and insult and troll, and perhaps blame a lack of time to answer adequately. Have a nice day. :)

  225. 225
    burnspbesq says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Dumbfuck,

    Only a court or Congress (which is ultimately responsible for the Federal Rules of Evidence) can “broaden” a privilege. DOJ can argue for expansion, and it can increase the frequency with which it asserts the privilege – both of which the Bush DOJ did. Not the same thing.

    I believe you owe Stuck an apology.

  226. 226

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    . Address my single point of Obama’s complicity with the war crimes of the previous administration and his refusal to investigate them.

    Okay

  227. 227
    kwAwk says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Well Mnmosyne, yeah. If Obama had proposed the current healthcare law in the Democratic Primary back in 2008 he would have been torn to shreds politically.

    This law achieves Universal Coverage by simply requiring all people who don’t have it to buy it from private insurance companies with tax credits from the government.

    That sounds eerily familiar doesn’t it? Like maybe I’ve heard of it before this year. Could it be the fucking McCain/Palin healthcare plan?

    @kay

    You see, I don’t really believe there will be a primary challenge to Obama in 2012, I’m just trying to get you to explore why some people on the left are upset with Obama.

    Don’t tell me Obama is great. Sell me. Sell it to me as if I’m a liberal Democrat who believes that traditional Democratic values are worth fighting for and traditional Democratic values are what’s best for America. Sell me on why Obama is the man I want to be the head of the Democratic Party for the next 6 years. Sell me on how Obama’s constant run to the center doesn’t prove the old axiom true that there isn’t any difference between the political parties.

  228. 228
    Corner Stone says:

    @kwAwk:

    You see, I don’t really believe there will be a primary challenge to Obama in 2012, I’m just trying to get you to explore why some people on the left are upset with Obama.

    Not sure why anyone plays with this false construction.
    Anytime someone tells you to find someone to support who will primary Obama, or debate about some mythical non-existent D who will be used as a stand in for such, they are full of shit and should be told to go look for their ponies somewhere else.

  229. 229

    @Corner Stone: Like I said, do want you want, it was only a suggestion. We will do what we want as well. That is how that works.

  230. 230
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kwAwk:

    That sounds eerily familiar doesn’t it?

    Why, yes, it does. It sounds an awful lot like the way South Korea transitioned from a for-profit healthcare system to national healthcare.

    Sorry, I forgot that you’re less interested in actually changing our healthcare system and more interested in making sure it’s done in the way you specifically prefer with no deviations.

  231. 231
    kwAwk says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Well, all I can say is that it only took 3% of voters being fed up enough with Clinton in 2000 to make George W. Bush President for 8 years.

    A primary challenge to Obama is highly unlikely as he’s done well in co-option the establishment in a way that Carter wasn’t able to, but don’t discount the notion of a third party candidate in 2012 if Obama isn’t seen as strong within his own party or isn’t perceived to be proud of his party.

  232. 232
    Corner Stone says:

    @kwAwk: Never happen. Tell me where the third party entity will raise $700+ million.
    The “find somebody to primary him” challenge is a fluffers cry.

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    @Corner Stone: You are one stoopid sonofabitch. You know that. Fluffers cry my ass. You fill these threads with nothing but fluff, brain dead incomprehensible jabber. Go fluff your buddy Atrios, and you both can cry how Obama lets you down. Because that is all you have tried to offer here. And any fool can do that. Texas trash.

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    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: Bottleworm got you again dog?
    It’s ok. You can sleep it off and spew some more nonsense tomorrow.

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    chaseyourtail says:

    I so totally agree with this post! Big Eddie’s schtick is old, play-out and completely transparent. I honestly can’t stomach this phony a-hole anymore at all. I look forward to the day his shitty show is finally cancelled. Come on MSNBC, you know you want to…

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    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kwAwk:

    My impression on the matter is that Obama was fighting to get some form of generic healthcare reform, so that he could say that he did it, as opposed to fighting for the type of healthcare reform wanted by the left.

    You quoted a story about Obama pushing for HCR that was MORE LIBERAL than what his notoriously centrist, get-the-job-done, points-on-the-scoreboard chief of staff wanted, and MORE LIBERAL than anything his inner circle found advisable. You completely screwed the pooch on your big point that Obama tends to cave; you illustrated that with a story about him having the opportunity to cave and refusing to do it, even when the polls foundered because of it. You could have chosen anything to make your point and you picked up something that explicitly contradicted your premise.

    Your real gripe, I suspect, is that the outcome wasn’t as liberal as you would have liked. That would have been a legitimate point — although it immediately triggers the question of how he could have accomplished that, and we have been going around and around on that argument for months. But it doesn’t prove that he doesn’t fight. It actually proves that he fights to push things to the left when expediency would indicate he should stay center-to-right. You’re welcome.

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    Mum says:

    @mistermix:

    You’ve got it! And if you want to hear Schultz fly into a rage, let him hear someone call him the Limbaugh of the Left. I rarely listen to him and never watch his show, but I happened to catch his radio show a few weeks ago and someone made a similar statement. He proceeded to read the guy the riot act. It wasn’t pretty, and he came across as more than a little bit deranged.

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    Admiral_Komack says:

    I think Tweety, Big Ed, Keith, and Rachel are WATBs.
    I don’t watch their shows and my blood pressure is the better for it.

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    slightly_peeved says:

    My impression on the matter is that Obama was fighting to get some form of generic healthcare reform, so that he could say that he did it, as opposed to fighting for the type of healthcare reform wanted by the left.

    This is my beef with a lot of the criticism of Obama; it relies on impressions. It doesn’t rely on facts.

    You have a problem with the health care laws? How about reading the bills, and coming up with a specific issue. Like say, how an insurance company could violate the 85% premium rule without being kicked off the exchanges by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Or in what ways the relatively small proposed public option would be sufficiently better than the federally-administered FEHBP-based insurance exchange. And whether these improvements were worth risking the death of the whole bill to get.

    You want Obama to use the “bully pulpit” more? How does he deal with the media allegations of overexposure, like he had during the Health Care debate because of all the time he actually spent using the damn bully pulpit?

    You want Obama to “fight harder”? Fight who? Ben Nelson, the democrats, Fox news, Rahm? What leverage does he have? What incentives does him kicking Nelson’s ass give for Nelson to help him get legislation through?

    I’ve lost count of the times it’s turned out someone’s complaints about Obama have turned out to be just plain wrong. Like complaining about him not withdrawing from Iraq when the withdrawl’s going to schedule. Or complaining that the healthcare bill is bad because insurance companies can still charge higher premiums with pre-exisiting conditions, when they can’t. Complaining about his role in getting Sherrod Brown to resign, when there’s no evidence he knew about it before it had happened.

    That’s the way you make criticisms of Obama useful and constructive – ground them in reality. Telling him to fight harder isn’t much better than a coach telling his team to play better.

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    kwAwk says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Wow. So on healthcare refrom big bad Obama stood up to his subordinate and gave him the what for? Impressive.

    As for whether I’m upset that healthcare reform wasn’t done exactly how I wanted it, I never demanded that it be done exactly the way I wanted it, only better than it was done.

    Using the South Korean model as you suggest seems to imply there is decades more work to be done. Perhaps more given the state of the right wing in this country. Would we have held Johnson in such esteem for passing Medicare and Medicaid if he’d simple won a mandate forcing seniors and poor people to purchase private insurance? I think not.

    In any case what this seems to boil down to is that you guys don’t seem to think that anybody but you has a right to an opinion on Obama’s accomplishments. Anything that Obama does is good enough for you, so it must be good enough for everybody else. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. I have a right to evaluate Obama for what I think a President should accomplish given historical majorities of the same party in both houses, and its a little bit more than incrementalism.

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    giantslor says:

    The main thing to keep in mind is that Obama is A LOT fucking better than W, A LOT fucking better than McCain, and A LOT fucking better than whatever Republican he’ll run against in 2012. Yet all this anti-Obama rhetoric from the left is helping to depress enthusiasm for Obama and may very well lead to Obama’s defeat in 2012.

    We need to learn from Republicans to rally behind our man once he’s in office. Sure, Bush did some things that conservatives didn’t like, like Medicare Part D, but overall he was a net win for the conservative agenda with his policies and appointments.

    Progressives don’t agree with every Obama policy or appointment, but he is a net win for the progressive agenda. We can call him out on the things we don’t like, but we shouldn’t descend into general disparagement of his leadership, his administration, and his accomplishments. For one thing, it’s focusing on the negative when there is much more positive to praise. For another thing, such unrelenting negativity will depress voter turnout for him. Do we really want Romney or Gingrich to be our next president?

    Of more immediate concern is 2010. Our Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are A LOT fucking better than Republican majorities. Democrats should be motivated to go to the polls to thwart a Republican insurgence, but all the unnecessary negativity (along with the economy) is depressing enthusiasm. I got news for ya: This Congress has enacted more progressive policies than any Congress of the past 40 years at least.

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    ed kriner says:

    I agree with much of “Big Ed’s” analysis. Last night Rice was in Philly playing the piano with her bloody hands instead of being in the dock for war crimes (agressive war, torture). Gonzalez just got “cleared”. Don’t even ask about Afgahnistan. Gitmo still open. Health insurance has no public option (and thus is simply the Insurance Industry Re-Vitalization Act). The banksters got their bonuses and a “reform” that they (the banksters and fraudsters) basically wrote. FISA and Patriot Act still in force.

    This is simply the Black Bush running the show! We are still subjects and not citizens in Obama’s “America”.

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    Bobby the Lip says:

    As well, have you noticed that Ed just isn’t that bright? He’s a know-nothing, and dumb lefties (if lefty he really is) are not much better than morons from the right. Were I in some situation that required an advocate who knows the facts and argues with logic rather than bluster and loudness, be assured that Ed is the last person I would choose to speak for me. Olbermann is ten times better, Maddow a hundred. MSNBC should dump him and bring back David Shuster. During Ed time, I turn off the teevee. Even Tweety is more watchable.

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    Your posts are invariably outstanding. Kudos.

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