I’m mildly annoyed and I will likely have to take a whole lot more.

Well, folks, it looks like the Democrats are in for a serious ass-whooping tomorrow. Already, bloggers and pundits are shaping their narrative. The right-wing bloggers will, of course, scream that Republicans took back the House (and maybe the Senate) because of Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco values and Obama’s obvious socicommufascimuslinism, while some left-wing folks are going to scream that Obama was given A Progressive Chance of a Lifetime in 2008, which he wasted because he wasn’t progressive or forceful or angry enough. The stimulus was too small! The healthcare bill didn’t have a public option! Obama didn’t eviscerate DADT with a stroke of his pen! What’s with all this bipartisan crap?!

And then there’s Eugene Robinson. He is one of the few members of the punditocracy who seems to have paid any attention during Obama’s campaign. Obama didn’t campaign as a radical liberal, and those who say he did either weren’t paying attention, or just heard what they wanted to hear. Perhaps I’m reading too much into the left-wing complaints (like this one and this one) regarding Obama’s failure to be “progressive enough,” but it seems to me that the only thing that some lefties haven’t yet screamed is, “BUT YOU’RE BLACK!! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE RADICALLY PROGRESSIVE! ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR BLACKNESS!”

As Robinson points out, the votes were not there. They just weren’t. And I can guarandamntee that if Obama had used the “bully pulpit” sufficiently enough to appease the so-called manic progressives, the racism from the right would have been much more pronounced, and much more vociferous. It likely would have reached levels that would have been more destructive to this country.

To state it bluntly, black men don’t have the luxury to get “mad as hell.” When black men get “Network mad,” white folks get nervous. Look how nervous white folks are now.

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305 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Look, ABL, I am nervous, but I am nervous about what the other white folk are going to do.

  2. 2
    Nick says:

    I can guarandamntee that if Obama had used the “bully pulpit” sufficiently enough to appease the so-called manic progressives, the racism from the right would have been much more pronounced

    aside from the racism, the bigger problem is if he used the bully pulpit, Congress would just ignore him or publicly scoff at him.

    Look at what happened with the Bush tax cuts…and a lot of people forget that he demanded HCR on his desk by Aug. 2009, and he did it multiple times that summer.

  3. 3
    Steeplejack says:

    Amen, sister. Obama does not have the luxury of showing strong emotion. But then most presidents don’t show strong (negative) emotions in public. Besides, I don’t think it is in his nature. I have always thought of him as a young black Eisenhower. And I am okay with that. Whatever his flaws, he is miles ahead of the alternatives–any of them, Democrat or Republican.

  4. 4
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Co-sign, ABL. And, because we Asians are known for our inscrutable calmness, I can say I’m fucking mad as hell and not be stereotyped for it.

    I am fucking tired of the drama. I just want tomorrow to be over. I was so happy and proud to vote for Obama. Now, I am just beaten down, pissed off, and tired.

    @Steeplejack: Hi, you. Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? I am.

    @Scott: Well, as they don’t actually have an agenda other than impeachment, yeah, I don’t see them doing jackshit if they take power in the House.

  5. 5
    Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s what makes me nervous, too, I think. Racists are trouble when they’re down, and more trouble when they think they’re up. They’re just plain trouble, and that’s all there is to it.

    I’m hoping that the bright side of all this is that the GOP won’t be enacting very much of their usual agenda — they’ve already committed to not passing a goddamn thing for the next two years, so it won’t matter how much the teabaggers want to outlaw brown people and gays and women and not-listening-to-Rush, ’cause the GOP can’t be bothered with bills anymore.

    And anything they do manage to pass is likely to get zapped by the veto pen.

    Unfortunately, we’ll also get treated to the Impeachment-Every-Month Show, but what can ya do… :/

  6. 6

    Exactly. I’ve been saying it since the campaign. No one has ever had to walk such a tightrope.

  7. 7
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Nick: Yep, he did. And yet somehow David Brooks decided that Obama’s grasp of traditional bourgeois american values like Punctuality is too shallow and he needs to demonstrate them again….

  8. 8
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Continuing from the previous thread, even if the Republicans get, say 52 Senate seats (i.e. win every competitive race and a few more besides), someone like Bernie Sanders or Al Franken is going to filibuster everything in sight, right? It’s only fair.

  9. 9
    Tyro says:

    My complaint is that the activist infrastructure that Obama put together was placed in the freezer while the Republicans are the ones that flooded the town halls and whipped up the outrage. Instead of sticking to a message and flooding the zone with attacks on right wingers, they refused to back up anyone else when they attacked the right wing crazies. I think, ultimately, the administration didn’t understand how crazy the right wing is and thought the left was a convenient prop to be used for campaigns.

  10. 10
    valdivia says:

    amen. co-sign. thanks for saying it.

  11. 11
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Nick: The problem with the bully pulpit isn’t that Congress ignores you, the problem is that everyone ignores you.

  12. 12
    DougJ says:

    but it seems to me that the only thing that some lefties haven’t yet screamed is, “BUT YOU’RE BLACK!! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE RADICALLY PROGRESSIVE! ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR BLACKNESS!”

    Are you sure they haven’t screamed that yet? I’m pretty sure I’ve read it somewhere. (I’m not kidding.)

  13. 13
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Damn fucking right. I think Franken will do it. He has shown he’s willing to fight.

    @JGabriel: And I must say if the Dems retain control of both the House and the Senate, I am going to be cackling in maniacal glee and spitting on every pundit I see. Vindictive? Oh, hell, yeah.

  14. 14
    beltane says:

    Back in 2007, one of my neighbors told me he supported Obama because he would be “the next Che Guevara” who would “line them up against a wall”, “them” being various members of the Bush administration. This person is not a nut by the way, but he was just incredibly angry and disgusted with the Iraq War. His words may have been extreme but they reflected something similar to what others were secretly feeling at the time. At the time of the inauguration there was the hope that maybe this time the Democrats would finally be able to wreak vengeance on the Republicans for the Clinton impeachment, the election theft of 2000, the travesty of the Iraq War, etc.

    And the grotesque reality of David Broder’s Washington DC came crashing down over everyone’s heads. Obama is a good man trying to steer a ship that is in poor repair, taking on water, and that is manned by pirates and mutineers

  15. 15
    Loneoak says:

    In all fairness, reading Obama’s books and knowing his biography could lead one to believe he’s pretty progressive. Definitely more progressive than some of his political strategies have proven. We all know he probably believes in much more lefty policies than the compromise health care bill we got.

    But that’s not really at issue, imo. Us lefties have done a crappy job of keeping organized around a positive vision of our government without shitting all over each other over stupid nonsense.

  16. 16
    JGabriel says:

    ABL @ Top:

    Well, folks, it looks like the Democrats are in for a serious ass-whooping tomorrow.

    Hmm, can we hold off on prognosticatorin’ our demise?

    We’r gonna lose seats, no doubt. But we’re likely to retain the Senate, and according to Nate Silver, we’ve still got a chance of holding on to the House.

    There’s also a chance that the polls are undercounting Dems to cell-phone bias. Point is, we won’t know till tomorrow night or Wed. morning.

    .

  17. 17
    General Stuck says:

    but it seems to me that the only thing that some lefties haven’t yet screamed is,“BUT YOU’RE BLACK!! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE RADICALLY PROGRESSIVE! ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR BLACKNESS!”

    Oh but they have, in code. Why isn’t he standing up to the repubs.? Why don’t he use that bully pulpit? He should have destroyed the GOP by now, when he had the chance? Why does he bipartisan? Code for inadequate black man when we could have had a liberal lion white dem presnit. It is behind most of the carping on this blog, imo, and in the netroots at large. It began in the primary with some very severe flame wars that all had the same theme, can’t get elected being black, and now has evolved to can’t president being black. At least liberal president. And on the other side, and the immediate reason why dems are going to lose likely big tomorrow, you have the wingnuts gone rage virus because he is seriously presidenting while black, and isn’t keeping his place and doing all this soshulism shit.

    For the sane, the whole thing is like straddling a demilitarized zone between two great warring clown armies.

  18. 18
    beltane says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Bernie will filibuster anything he sees as hurting his constituents and he will get a lot of support from them for doing so.

  19. 19
    inkadu says:

    AIDS activist heckled Obama at a rally today. Apparently he hasn’t done enough to fund global AIDS programs. The left is turning into a South Park caricature of itself.

  20. 20
    morzer says:

    Look how nervous white folks are now.

    Truly, the zombies are restless.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    Okay, I’ll be the thread’s designated insane optimist:

    The election isn’t over. Hell, the majority of the ballots haven’t even been cast yet. I refuse to play the right-wing game and concede the victory to them before the goddamned polls even open.

    The polls aren’t showing bupkis this year, which is why they keep desperately circling back to the generic poll. The generic poll doesn’t tell you shit about how O’Donnell is going to do, but Fox keeps claiming she’ll pull it out despite the fact that she’s 10 points behind because generic poll is magic!

    This year, the media has been claiming that Barney Frank’s seat is in trouble because he’s “only” 10 points ahead of his opponent. Unless they’ve started handicapping the election in Massachusetts, I don’t think Frank is in any kind of trouble.

    We’re going to lose some seats, but I don’t think we’re going to lose control of either house of Congress. Plus I’ll get to keep Boxer as my senator and have crazy-but-competent Jerry Brown as my governor, so I’ll at least feel like I’m slightly ahead of when the Governator was running things.

  22. 22
    NR says:

    Obama didn’t campaign as a radical liberal,

    Can I have another straw man, please?

    No one is saying that Obama campaigned as a radical liberal. But the simple fact is that he campaigned, and was elected, on a promise of sweeping change from the Bush years. And then once he took office, he failed over and over again to deliver that change. In many cases, he failed to even try. And now the Dems are going to pay the price for that.

  23. 23
    jl says:

    ‘ To state it bluntly, black men don’t have the luxury to get “mad as hell.” When black men get “Network mad,” white folks get nervous. Look how nervous white folks are now. ‘

    Many of them do have the luxury of getting mad as hell enough to go vote. So do Hispanics.

    And maybe our dear white GOP folks are more nervous than we know, hence the hysterical voter suppression efforts.

    I have to admit that I would be surprised and disappointed if the GOP operatives had more political acumen to pick up the subtleties of voter sentiment in different communities than the Democratic party poohbahs. (Edit: but, then I am very naive.)

    Who else would know? The unions and community groups I guess, but they are too busy GOTVing and do not rate a voice in our elite media.

    To some extent, as Silver kind of pointed out, the doom saying is function of relatively crude and very correlated models that predict about who votes in the midterms.

    Let’s hope for the best.

  24. 24
    Splitting Image says:

    I’m still not convinced there will be an “ass-whupping”.

    Basically, everybody who is usually right about these things (e.g. Larison) is bearish about the Republicans’ chances tomorrow, and everybody who is usually wrong about these things (e.g. Kristol) is already celebrating.

    We’ll see, I suppose.

    I’ve seen people mention the cell phone business, but I honestly don’t think that will turn out to be an issue. This is strictly a contest of the parties’ Get Out the Vote operations. The Republicans have polled as “enthusiastic” but that enthusiasm is highest in districts they already control. The House is the most at risk for the Democrats but they have overperformed in most of the special elections for the House that have been held since 2008. Hard to say how well they’ll do when they are all up for grabs simultaneously.

    I do think the Republicans will pick up seats and have a chance to win the majority, but I’ll believe it when I see it. I suppose Kristol has been right occasionally before, but it doesn’t happen that often.

  25. 25
    beltane says:

    @Loneoak: I agree. We dropped the ball during the health care debate, going after Democrats and practically forgetting the Republicans even existed. The GOP was still vulnerable at the beginning of that ordeal and had we directed a lot of bombastic wrath their way the beltway’s beloved “narrative” could have been different.

  26. 26
    The Dangerman says:

    I’m a lemonade from lemons kinda guy, so I’ll try to find some silver linings tomorrow regardless the outcome.

    If Angle wins, it’ll prove that having a majority leader from a barely purple state (let’s face it, Nevada is RED) is STUPID. She’s only 1 vote and she’ll be the face of the Tea Partiers for 2 years leading to 2012. She’s an ignorant fuck and will be far less capable than, say, Joe Miller at portraying a positive picture of the Tea Types (Miller is an evil fuck, but a well educated one).

    In my home State of CA, unless the entire metropolis of San Francisco is too hung over to vote tomorrow, Meg and Carly will have their political careers end. Good riddance. Don’t let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out.

    I almost hope the Republicans come close in the Senate; they could have never got to 51, but I would laugh if that O’Donnell did cost them control of that chamber. And thank the Tea Types for the gift.

    The Republican controlled House will have to get shit done if they want to have a viable chance in 2012; it’s going to be a knock down, drag out, bare knuckle brawl for 2 years, but it will be fascinating. Let’s face it, the power lies in the Senate and the White House (obviously).

    Lastly, I hope there will be some critical analysis of the effect of Citizens United and how it opened the floodgates. It may not happen in the MSM, which is a corporate whore of the first order, but someone will do the analysis.

  27. 27
    Nick says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The problem with the bully pulpit isn’t that Congress ignores you, the problem is that everyone ignores you.

    “If he just talks, the media has to cover it” is the biggest bullshit lie I’ve heard from progressives, especially since the same people end up calling out the media when they cut off one of his speeches to tell you about Sarah Palin’s latest tweet.

    I know it’s hard to accept that nothing can be done, but it’s time we accept it and aim to change it

  28. 28
    morzer says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I happen to think that the cell-phone voters, African Americans and kids might yet have more to say than the press believes. I reckon they and GOTV will save us in Nevada, Illinois and Colorado.

  29. 29
    Steeplejack says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Haven’t done the paperwork or even gone to the site. I was psyched to do it a week or two ago, and now I realize it sort of slipped out of my mind this last week, mostly because of the Stewart/Colbert rally (and going back to the sucko job).

    I think I have an account from a few years ago. And of course it’s easy to get a new one. Give me some inspirational words of wisdom to get me psyched. I think I am psyched enough, but I respect the fact that you have not only done it several times but have done it successfully, i.e., finished something.

  30. 30
    Steeplejack says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Amen to that as well. The Internet never forgets, and I will be prepared to pepper every pundit with reminders of his/her dismally bad predictions.

  31. 31
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I’ll be optimistic too. If you grant that the Dems take Djou’s and Cao’s seats back (and they might get a pick up like PA-15, IL-10, or DE), that’s 41-43 seats the GOP needs. That just doesn’t happen that often. Only 3 times, in fact, since 1960, and only once since 1974. I get that these are extraordinary times, but it seems like Washington is always in a fundamental state of interia when it comes to political “revolutions.”

  32. 32
    General Stuck says:

    @Loneoak:

    Far be it from me to point out the obvious, but getting near universal health care seems fairly progressive . Now the means of achieving it may have not been the best way in a progressive sense, or economic sense. But the primary progressive goal for HCR has always been since TR, getting people covered, everyone, or nearly so.

    He told us he was going to do what was necessary to win the war in Afghan, and basically, most things have been a mixed bag of pragmatic and progressive, with some concessions to the conservadems, but few to the core conservative GOP, which is one reason they are pissed.

  33. 33
    JGabriel says:

    Basically, everybody who is usually right about these things (e.g. Larison) is bearish about the Republicans’ chances tomorrow, and everybody who is usually wrong about these things (e.g. Kristol) is already celebrating.

    Bingo! That’s how I feel about it too.

    I’ve seen people mention the cell phone business, but I honestly don’t think that will turn out to be an issue.

    Maybe, maybe not. And of course, as you say, the actual vote tomorrow will come down to GOTV efforts.

    But if the vote is off from the polls by 5%, as they were in ’98, then you can bet the media will blame it on the polls not hitting cell phones users, no matter what the real cause is — because that’s the narrative that is already in place.

    .

  34. 34
    sfinny says:

    For me, the fact that the election will be over is a relief for now. No matter what the results are. In the last two weeks, I’ve been called by the college republicans (including an exciting Newt Gingrich recorded call), Cuomo, Bill Clinton, Obama, NY Democratic party, Ed Koch, and a generic anti-dem candidate call from who knows who. Well at least the dems seem to be using more individual star power.

    Hey, I am hoping for the best, but this whole struggle is not just a marathon, but on ever ongoing struggle. Which is one reason that reading history is a balm. Things have always been screwed up in some way, there is always the fight against the powers that be. So good year, bad year, I am in for the long haul.

    That said, go Adams in AK! And please god, no Paladino surprise in NY.

  35. 35
    jl says:

    A word in favor of ‘the bully pulpit’:

    The bully pulpit is not solely designed to get a specific legislative proposal passed by a certain date.

    The bully pulpit can also be used to build popular support for the President’s goals and vision. both short and long run goals and vision. It can also be used to keep voters motivated.

    I still believe that Obama did not do a good job at that kind of bully pulpit. But I admit I may be wrong.

    That is an argument for another day, since now, voting and GOTV is all.

  36. 36
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Nick: I’m not actually exaggerating Edwards’ argument that much, and his book seems pretty sound to me. One of the more interesting poli-sci books I’ve read. Jonathan Bernstein’s blog put me onto it.

  37. 37
    Ross Hershberger says:

    @General Stuck:

    Clown armies… /wipes nose from laughing/

    Thanks

  38. 38
    Kryptik says:

    ABL, as much as I want to be sympathetic, I have a gut problem with your analysis, because what it essentially boils down to is “Obama walked the tightrope he had to due to his circumstances, and did as good as he possibly could, but he’s still fucked because he was doomed to fail no matter what he did” And I find myself worried at that takeaway, because it essentially says nothing Dems will ever do is good enough to prevent the country from saying ‘Hey, you assholes had 2 good years to do everything…lets give the assholes who really fucked things over another 10 just to see if they can fix it’. In other words, we’re playing with an impossibly stacked deck and will never, ever, ever win in the long run.

    Please tell me that my assumptions here are off-base, because it honestly feels like at this point, 75% of the country at least is more worried about gratuitous hippie punching and making sure those goddamn dirty libs get it, rather than actually fucking fixing this country.

  39. 39
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I’ve long been a cut-Reid-some-slack kind of guy, but he’s just been sleepwalking through the election. I don’t want him to lose, but Durbin or Schumer taking over his old job wouldn’t be too horrible either.

    Wouldn’t be hilarious if the Blue Dogs revolted until they got someone like Mary Landrieu or Max Baucus into that position? That would be so hilarious.

  40. 40
    matoko_chan says:

    meh.
    so what if they get the house ABL?
    they wont get the senate, and they dont have the presidency.
    they cant pass legislation, they cant repeal HCR.

    if it was my move in this 11D chess game id force cap-n-trade thru in the lameduck and spend the next two years nobly and valiantly trying to force immigration reform past the refuglican obstructionists, welding the hispanic/latino vote onto the dems for perpetuity.
    Id haul ass out of Iraq at the earliest opp– the SOFA comes up in December 2010, GTFO A-stan on the July 2011 timetable, bring our troops home and put them to work building roads and schools here in the USA. Let the refugs try and stonewall a bill to employ the troops or send vets to college.
    i DO think Obama has planned all along to do HCR first (the hardest) and saved immigration for the run up to 2012.
    ABL, we shall overcome.
    i promise.

  41. 41
    Martin says:

    Whatever happens tomorrow, I guarantee the pundits will have been wrong about at least half of it. They’ll all declare that they had the pulse of the nation, when they were pretty much all laying out some kind of marker, evidence based or not, to come back to in order to pimp their own awesomeness.

    Oh, and Olbermann is a whiny bitch who can eat a bag of dicks.

  42. 42
    low-tech cyclist says:

    To me, this notion that a black man can’t be assertive without getting “mad as hell” reeks of something in between the proverbial soft bigotry of low expectations, and outright racism.

    I thought the thinking on this side of the political spectrum had moved past this shit 30 years ago. Have we slipped into a time warp here?

    Madness takes its toll.

    Look, it would have hardly been Eldridge Cleaver territory to propose a bigger stimulus than the one Obama eventually settled for, so that he could have made the point if need be (as was in fact needed) that he wanted a bigger stimulus in the first place.

    Instead of getting half the stimulus he wanted, and being able to argue that the reason we were in such bad shape was that we didn’t get the rest, he claimed he got everything he asked for, which meant that IT DIDN’T WORK.

    Getting himself in that bind had nothing to do with being shrill or angry. It doesn’t really even have anything to do with how progressive Obama is or isn’t. It had to do with compromising with himself in advance of contact with the opposition. We on the left have been pointing out the problems with such an approach since well before we knew who the 2008 nominee would be. It was a fucked-up approach then, and it’s a fucked-up approach now.

  43. 43
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @sfinny:

    A “Paladino Surprise” sounds like some particularly disgusting form of sexual harassment.

  44. 44
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Steeplejack: Sign up! It’s easy. And, you don’t have to start today to actually do it. I would say, have fun with it. The best thing about NaNoWriMo is that it pushes you to actually write every day (especially if you’re OCD like me). Don’t think about the word count–just write. For me, I have made my personal goal this year to have a publishable novel by the end of the month. I have started, and I’ll try to knock off a few more chapters tonight. Really. I look at it as a motivational tool; you should, too.

    @Steeplejack: Damn right. Especially William Kristol. That guy bugs the shit out of me.

    @NR: If you think what is going on right now is the same as what was happening during the Bush years, then you have a very short memory.

  45. 45
    gwangung says:

    Can I have another straw man, please?
    No one is saying that Obama campaigned as a radical liberal.

    Bullshit yourself.

    I can’t count how many times people on this board were saying that Obama did this and Obama campaigned on this WHEN HE CLEARLY DIDN’T. (And the biggest whopper was the delusions about the public option–he clearly expressed a very precise line and people STILL said he wanted something he clearly only supported). He’s no more and no less a moderate, and not some progressive paragon.

    You wanna call out the straw men? That’s a good thing. But don’t start constructing your own. He should be called out for not delivering as much change as he promised, but don’t obscure it by engaging in the very same tactics you’re criticizing.

  46. 46
    AB says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Nope, the filibuster will be removed just in time for Republicans to take power.

    That’s How It Works. … or how it ends up working anyways. It kind of sucks… won’t there be more than 60 Senators in office after the election anyway who are anti-choice?

  47. 47

    @The Dangerman: Angle accomplished nothing in the Nevada Assembly so, you’re right, she’ll be totally ineffectual if elected. A teeny, tiny sliver of silver lining.

  48. 48
    srv says:

    “and those who say he did either weren’t paying attention, or just heard what they wanted to hear. Perhaps I’m reading too much into the left-wing complaints”

    The votes will never be there, with you losers. Go ahead, throw out your strawmen and blame the DFHs. Best of luck with the strategy of blaming your base, however misunderestimated of Obama they were.

    More destructive? Jesus fucking christ. What is wrong with you people? You can’t be more courageous because the racsists would be more racists?

    “N ACCOUNT OF YOUR BLACKNESS”

    Sheesh. Now you’re just parroting right-wing talking points about liberals being the real racists. I’d tell you to just go fuck yourself, but you’ve already accomplished that. You and this blog are completely irrelevant as of tomorrow. I hope your “realism” and hippie punching keeps you warm for the next decade.

  49. 49
    NR says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    If you think what is going on right now is the same as what was happening during the Bush years, then you have a very short memory.

    Which is, of course, not what I said. But straw men are so common around here these days, what’s one more?

  50. 50
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Another positive to take from this election (hopefully), is that there is an outer limit to the Crazy, in the form of people like O’Donnell and Paladino. Well, as long as you’re running in New England and your opponent is too boring to arouse suspicions, but still: an outer limit.

    And Whitman, Rick Scott, McMahon and Fiorina losing would be at least a temporary butt-kick to the “I’m-a-bored-billionaire-and-I-want-to-fuck-things-up-by-buying-me-a-senate-seat” option. In public, anyway.

  51. 51
    Loneoak says:

    @General Stuck:

    Well, I think our national political discourse has been so backasswards for so long that we mistake mandatory private insurance for ‘progressive.’ I think it’s a mildly conservative, market-based, and partial solution to a problem that all modern states face. The French and Canadian models are progressive, as would have been Medicare-for-all or single-payer or whatever we call it that doesn’t rely on fucking insurance companies to dispense a public good.

    This is not to reduce the monumental change that HCR represents for our country, or to demean Obama’s accomplishments. But, really, it ain’t progressive. And that’s okay. I just want to call it what it is and recognize that while we shouldn’t shit on Obama it wasn’t what it could have been if he played the game a little differently. I think he’s smart enough to learn from it, as long as he doesn’t ‘learn’ the teabag-lite punditocracy narrative from the midterms.

  52. 52

    @asiangrrlMN: I, too, am so tired of the drama, and I’m really glad I went to the rally although the trip ended up costing me my boob because I upgraded to first class since I was too hungover to travel yesterday (elitist!) because it actually did restore my sanity. For one, I had a lovely chat with a Palestinian cab driver who praised Obama for wanting to create peace and who laughed about people calling Obama a Muslim. His main point? “At least he didn’t start a war like that crazy person, George Bush–the junior one.” For two, seeing all the reasonable regular non-crazyfaces made me realize that we progs will bounce back–if not in 2012, then in 2014 or 2016. And even if we don’t and we are forever fucked, at least we will know that we are right. As in not wrong. The Teafools are wrong. They are objectively wrong. It’s not even a question in my mind. The asshats will keep being asshats because that’s all they know. And like Celine fucking Dion, our hearts will go on.

    What the hell am I even saying, right now?

    I’m going to be a totes pissed if Comedy Central de-angried me.

    That said, you’re pretty good at math, huh?

  53. 53
    gwangung says:

    Getting himself in that bind had nothing to do with being shrill or angry. It doesn’t really even have anything to do with how progressive Obama is or isn’t. It had to do with compromising with himself in advance of contact with the opposition.

    Well, yes. (You are thinking that the opposition is within his own party, right?)

  54. 54
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @AB:

    Oh, enough already. You need at least 60 people to do something like that. There aren’t 8 or 9 Democrats that suicidal. There’s a fine line between disappointment and introspection and just wallowing in misery.

  55. 55
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @NR: Let me rephrase then–if you think there hasn’t been significant change since the Bush years, you have a short memory. It’s folly to think that Obama could have overturned everything W. did in two years–or at all, really.

    @Angry Black Lady: A whiz! And I know karate. And, seventy-six ways to please a man without even touching him. And, I’m a motherfucking submissive who walks two paces behind her man all the goddamn fucking time.

    @srv: See, who exactly are you counting as the base? That’s part of the questions. People of color who voted for Obama are still very happy with him. Yet, I keep hearing how Obama has disappointed his base. Are we not the base? Oh, I guess not. See ya.

  56. 56
    Nick says:

    @Davis X. Machina: No I know

    But I’ve been trying to say for over a year, the media decides who gets to use the bully pulpit. I know because I’ve seen them do it. I’ve been told to do it on a local level and have, even in recent months, risked my job to stand up to my publisher and tell him i won’t do it.

    And I got mocked for it.

  57. 57

    @srv: Did you copy and paste that from somewhere? Settle down and have some pudding.

  58. 58
    The Dangerman says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I don’t want him to lose, but Durbin or Schumer taking over his old job wouldn’t be too horrible either.

    No, I don’t want him to lose, either, but it’s not going to be the end if he does (although the media will go ape shit about it; see Foley, Tom).

    For the Senate, unless you have 60 and complete command of those 60 (read: fuck Nelson and Lieberman), not much difference between 50 and 59.

    By the way, I suspect this cell phone polling error is way overblown. Cell phones are used by young Republicans, too. Sure, trends are blue for youth, but with the enthusiasm gap and the patterns of voting from that age group … I just don’t see being that big of a deal.

  59. 59
    morzer says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    the thinking on this side of the political spectrum had moved past this shit 30 years ago

    This is highly debateable. There are plenty of good, white Democrats who panic easily when the topic is angry black people. Also, it isn’t just our side of the divide. The electorate are still easily roiled up – as witness the teabaggers.

    Look, it would have hardly been Eldridge Cleaver territory to propose a bigger stimulus than the one Obama eventually settled for

    As I recall, they did talk to Pelosi and Reid, as well as key Senators, and a larger stimulus was not considered sellable. The Blue Dogs are and were the stumbling block here. A few words: Nelson, Landrieu, Bayh, Lieberman, Lincoln.

    he claimed he got everything he asked for

    Two points: 1) He had to sell it this way. You don’t start out by announcing a defeat/fudge and implicitly blaming your party. 2) The White House economists were pretty optimistic at the time that the stimulus was enough to do the trick.

  60. 60
    Nick says:

    @NR:

    But the simple fact is that he campaigned, and was elected, on a promise of sweeping change from the Bush years.

    which he said would take more than two years

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @srv:Reading comprehension fail much?

  62. 62
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Well, folks, it looks like the Democrats are in for a serious ass-whooping tomorrow.

    I think it’s going to be more of an ass kicking than an ass whooping. [/obrother]

  63. 63
    Ming says:

    What I wish is that OFA had been kept active in the last couple years. I thought, from things I’d read from him and about him, that Obama knew the problem with government was Congress’s (read: the Senate’s) unwillingness to do anything against special interests, and was planning on countering that by getting regular folks involved (read: community organizing on a national scale) to pressure their Senators to do the right thing. But then as soon as he got some criticism for “overexposure” he gave up on that, and seemed to approach getting things done via compromising like mad.

    I don’t actually blame him for giving up the public option; it was completely anemic in the form it took — it was really just symbolic, and really wasn’t worth going to bat for. And I think he has actually accomplished a great deal of change — an astonishing amount of change when you factor the unprecedented Republican obstructionism. Health care insurance reform is nothing? Then why had it never succeeded in decades? Gay people can visit their partners in the hospital. Putting real teeth into civil rights enforcement, bringing transparency into federal agencies’ operations, Lily Ledbetter. Reducing and reversing nuclear arms proliferation. Becoming a positive part of the international community — for the most part.

    Still, I think he’s failed to use his greatest strength — his capacity as a community organizer. It’s all fine and good to show up now to GOTV, Barack, but you could have used us this whole time…

  64. 64
    BerkeleyMom says:

    The San Francisco Giants and their SF values just won the World Series by giving a serious butt whooping to the Texas Rangers. Long hair, beards, immigrants and just plain nice guys won the big one.

    Congratulations Giants!!

  65. 65
    JGabriel says:

    @Loneoak:

    The French and Canadian models are progressive, as would have been Medicare-for-all…

    There were significant increases to Medicaid in the HCR bill. Maybe I’m wrong, but it looks like a stealth step towards Medicare For All.

    I wouldn’t completely count the idea out yet.

    .

  66. 66
    morzer says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    ABL, you do know that ACORN stole the pudding? Or Obama betrayed the real left wing and allowed Larry Summers to eat it while he personally slaughtered the public option.

  67. 67
    sfinny says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: OK, that is an image I never want in my brain again.

  68. 68
    General Stuck says:

    @Loneoak:

    Like I said, the means to getting universal health coverage is separate from having it, which having it has always been the progressive goal. I agree that a lot of the means is not progressive, but there is an all or nothing at play with providing HC insurance in this country at this time. It is either all in for single payer, or a mandate to keep private companies whole, while forcing them to cover more people. The points along that spectrum can be less or more progressive, per profit margin ratios and providing actual health care, but a mandate was necessary short of ditching the entire for profit system. Even with a PO, puny as it was. This country is just not ready for that, imo

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I’m going to try to do NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, so I’m turning off the intertubes, going in the other room, and staring at the ceiling for a while. Picked a random first line from my Writer’s Toolbox, picked a random playlist from iTunes, and we’ll see how it goes.

    Now I have to sign off or G is going to unplug my internet connection. He’s more enthusiastic about me doing this than I am.

  70. 70
    gwangung says:

    the thinking on this side of the political spectrum had moved past this shit 30 years ago

    Let me back up on this. The thinking on this side of the political spectrum AMONG THE RANK AND FILE moved past this shot 30 years ago. I don’t think it has among the leadership–it’s not only the Republicans still stuck in a time warp.

  71. 71
    Gian says:

    many had compared Obama to the boxer Ali during the early days of his campaign.

    I thought then, as I do now, the apt sports comparison is to Jackie Robinson.

    Ali was pretty much in your face

    Robinson had to take it and take it bad – it took the like of hall of famer stan the man to get players to not knife him.

    you couldn’t get a rise out of Robinson, and you can’t get a rise out of Obama.

    picture the fear if he actually showed anger? at the heart of the the stupid reach-out to the GOPers is I think a question of how bad would the fertilizer hit the fan if he didn’t.

    I mean to look at his presidency and NOT see the role of race, and how some Black pioneers have have to handle it as shaping some of his work is just not right.

  72. 72
    tmr says:

    lefties have done a crappy job of keeping organized around a positive vision of our government without shitting all over each other

    This.

  73. 73
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Outright racism? In this country? No way.

    But seriously, how many different ways has the right – FOX News – said that Obama is setting this country up for blacks at the cost of whites? It’s run the gamut from dog whistle to punching you in the face.

    Sorry to all of you over 65, but I cannot wait for a majority of the Fox viewing audience to die off over the next 20 years. And as they die, we should should engrave their markers with the percentage of the population that is white.

    I’ll probably be gone within 20 years after that, so I’ll just tell them the final total when i see them in hell.

    the thinking on this side of the political spectrum had moved past this shit 30 years ago

    I heard a statistic the other day that 76% of gay white men voted for McCain. It’s not over yet.

  74. 74
    NR says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Let’s see. National security state running unchecked, never-ending war in the middle east, Wall Street flacks setting economic policy…. Yes, some things here and there have improved at the margins, but big, sweeping change this ain’t.

    @Nick: That’s great. Now if only he were taking the necessary steps to ensure that we got the change he promised. As things stand now, with his current advisers and policy path, it doesn’t matter if Obama’s had two years or twenty, we’re not getting major change.

  75. 75
    Matthew says:

    I don’t see impeachment being a thing unless they actually want to take responsibility for the economy in the next two years.

    On a completely unrelated note, I sometimes get my Eugene Robinsons mixed up. They should give this guy an op-ed column. (NOTE: link leads to noisy music and a man in his underpants)

  76. 76
    JGabriel says:

    Does anyone else find it odd that demographics are on the Democrats side, but everyone is expecting a GOP blowout, despite the Dem performance in 2006 & 2008?

    The demographics are supposted to be better for us now, than they were two or four years ago.

    That’s one reason why I think the polls must be off to some extent. It just doesn’t match demographic trends, unless you assume only white Republicans are motivated to vote this year — which most pollsters do — and that seems like a very risky assumption.

    .

  77. 77
    The Dangerman says:

    Now, as the first to declare a fondness for Lemonade, let me paint of picture of when the shit really hits the fan. It isn’t tomorrow. It’s when the Roberts Court votes 5 to 4 making HCR unconstitutional (on some grounds that are entirely ginned up, but see Citizens United)…

    …or if the economy stays in the shitter. Which it very well may do for a while. Here’s hoping it’s a very busy session of a Lame Duck Congress. I want the Middle Class Tax Cut made permanent and the Top 2% take it up the ass for a change.

  78. 78
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Mnemosyne: Good luck! And, have fun with it. Really. That’s the best advice I can give.

    @gwangung: Agreed. And, not completely among the rank-and-file, either.

    @morzer: No shit. Good god. I am nearly as tired of our side as I am of the other.

  79. 79
    morzer says:

    For anyone who thinks Obama should get angry and that those who suggest that this would not help are soft racists – just remember the recent conniption over the “Republicans can sit in back” story.

  80. 80
    morzer says:

    @JGabriel:

    It’s the economy, stupid, kemosabe.

  81. 81
    kdaug says:

    @JGabriel: Not odd at all. The billionaires own the networks. They shape the narrative. Facts need not intrude.

    Throw in a little Diebold mojo, and welp, there you go.

  82. 82
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @srv:

    .
    .

    More destructive? Jesus fucking christ. What is wrong with you people? You can’t be more courageous because the racists would be more racist?

    Clearly, srv FOR THE WIN. And the balloonbaggers weep sneering tears of morally compromised impotence.

    .
    .

  83. 83
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Ming: I am not certain what happened to OFA, whether Dems thought that they wouldn’t need to campaign any longer once they “won”, but the transition from campaign to Democratic Party Leader seemed like it could have gone differently.

  84. 84
    morzer says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    If you really think our Galtian overlords are going to share space, even in hell, with unwashed moochers like us, I fear you may be in for a disappointment. I’d say that Satan is pretty clearly a libertarian. Just remember that kerfuffle with God over the government interference thing.

  85. 85
    The Dangerman says:

    Last HCR thought:

    If it doesn’t get overturned by the USSC, the Insurance Companies are completely fucked and Single Payer will be the end of the game. How to get there was always going to be messy…

  86. 86
    Brian J says:

    I’m going to go a bit out there and say unless the polls are somehow masking something really good for the Republicans, the Democrats are in better shape than people realize. Of course, that’s not to say they are in good shape, but rather not in the shape that will lead to 80 seats being lost. Here’s my case, in no particular order:

    1. The Democrats have a huge margin in the House right now. The Republicans need 39 seats to win. That’s a helluva lot for the Democrats to lose. Except that, the Republicans really need to win 43 because Democrats will probably pick up four, and there’s a decent chance they could pick up a few more.

    2. The Republicans aren’t really popular, so I have a hard time believing that a gain of 70 or 80 seats is that likely. Assume a baseline of 50 seats lost before the gains come in. Assume we only win four seats. That brings the numbers down to 46.

    3. It just so happens that a lot of the competitive races are clustered in states such as Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, which could provide coattails and ground game to help Democrats. If Democrats save just one seat in each state that would otherwise fall to the Republicans (based on things like Nate Silver’s model, among other things), the number goes from 46 to 42. If we save two seats in each of those states, we go down to 38. (Any sort of random race that we win even when we lose the other races in the region, like Perriello’s or Kratovil’s race, would work the same way.) We then keep the House.

    Of course, it gets harder if the baseline is more favorable to the Republicans. Start from 55. I’d still say that Democrats can do it, and even at a baseline of 60 seats, it’s possible, I think, but less likely. I just don’t think all of the races are going to flip towards the Republicans because either (a) the playing field isn’t nearly as large as some say and/or (b) because they are that unpopular, the Republicans won’t run the table like some are predicting. The Democrats will be helped in part by ground game and coattails in this regard.

    4. I suspect the pollsters are wrong in some way of the composition of the electorate they are drawing. I don’t think there’s going to be that much of a difference, but it doesn’t need to be that big to make a difference. Perhaps there’s some bias in the polls to cell phone only uses and/or black or Hispanic turnout will be higher than expected. If that’s the case, in races that are very close, that could make a difference.

    Generally speaking, I don’t expect any of these things to mean that lots and lots of seats that would otherwise go to Republicans will stay with Democrats. But we can still lose quite a few seats and retain the majority, so saving one or two here or there will make a difference.

    I don’t want to say the Democrats will keep the House, because I have bad luck, but I think it’s a lot more likely than people realize.

  87. 87
    Steeplejack says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Okay, you got me psyched!

  88. 88
    morzer says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Did you think of that dazzling critique all by yourself under the bridge? How truly impressive.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gian:

    picture the fear if he actually showed anger?

    It’s funny, because I’ve seen him show anger more than once. But the president and I are both from Illinois, so I understand completely that when someone’s voice goes real low and they start. talking. in. short. sentences. that the person you’re talking to is PISSED and barely able to keep themselves from ripping your head off.

    People want him to jump up and down and scream and yell and get red in the face, but you know what? That’s not what people do in the Midwest. We’re not New Yorkers, fer chrissakes.

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Thanks! I get myself tied up in perfectionist knots very easily, so I’m trying to do things as randomly as possible so I don’t obsess about whether I should have picked one story idea over another. I picked a random idea from a pile of ice cream sticks and I don’t have to worry about whether or not it sucks.

    Now I really am going. ‘Night, all. I expect to see all of you at the polls tomorrow (well, except for the lucky early voters) or I’ll have John send Rosie to each of your houses.

  90. 90
    General Stuck says:

    @JGabriel:

    I think there is some uncertainty, but not enough. I suspect. to likely lose the House. There were from the beginning 25 to 30 seats dems have held since 2006, that really were wingnut seats with wingnut constituents, and add that to the historical trend of a first term presidents party, plus the high anger level of the goopers, and it gets past 39 fairly easy. Then also is the unknown tribal and racial factor, economy bad, etc… It is still largely a fifty fifty country, and I don’t think demo shifts have occurred enough to significantly change that setup. But it will, as older more conservative Americans pass on,

  91. 91
    The Dangerman says:

    @Brian J:

    ….black or Hispanic turnout will be higher than expected. If that’s the case, in races that are very close, that could make a difference.

    State wide races? Perhaps.

    House races? With the gerrymandering that occurs, I doubt it.

  92. 92
    Anya says:

    Hmm, can we hold off on prognosticatorin’ our demise?
    We’r gonna lose seats, no doubt. But we’re likely to retain the Senate, and according to Nate Silver, we’ve still got a chance of holding on to the House.

    I whole heartedly agree with this. On Wednesday, we will have plenty of analysis, blame, crying, whatever, but can we just wait and see what happens.

    For some reason, I think public policy polling is full of crap. They are trying so hard not to be accused of bias. I do not trust their numbers.

  93. 93
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I can’t do NaNoWriMo because I’m already committed to NaPicDrawMo.

  94. 94

    @Kryptik: My point was not to excuse Obama’s failures (and yes, I believe the failures exist and are significant) but to try to explain that, in my experience talking to “regular black folks,” this issue comes up again and again. The “could you imagine if he had done XYZ?” I like to call it the “Negro, please!” argument.

    To me, this notion that a black man can’t be assertive without getting “mad as hell” reeks of something in between the proverbial soft bigotry of low expectations, and outright racism.

    Nowhere did I make this argument, so I’m not sure who you’re talking to. And even if I had, it would be stereotyping, and not “outright racism.”

    Look, the reason I qualifiedly my statement by using the word “perhaps” is because it’s something I’ve been thinking about. So to all those who have attacked or will attack my post on this basis, slow yer damn roll.

    And as for “hippie punching,” I’m the daughter of a jew and a black man who met at a political rally in the 60s. My mother wants to get goats and chickens, FFS. I went to Oberlin. I AM a goddamn hippy, albeit one who went to law school and gave up peasant skirts. So, just shut it already. Say something new. Something interesting. Or I will ignore your childish outbursts.

  95. 95
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Speaking of gerrymandering, does anyone have any analysis for what happens to Florida if Alex Sink gets elected? I don’t know the history there, but some of those seats have VERY weird district boundaries. Does that go away somewhat?

  96. 96
    General Stuck says:

    @General Stuck:

    But i will offer a disclaimer for something that is not known. And that is how good demsObama GOTV program is compared to the wingnuts. If it is as good as some have claimed, dems might, or likely will do better than polls suggest. Whether that saves the house, who knows? I am confident dems will hold the senate, and actually do better than expected there, and only lose 6 or so seats.

  97. 97
    Martin says:

    @Loneoak:

    Well, I think our national political discourse has been so backasswards for so long that we mistake mandatory private insurance for ‘progressive.’ I think it’s a mildly conservative, market-based, and partial solution to a problem that all modern states face. The French and Canadian models are progressive, as would have been Medicare-for-all or single-payer or whatever we call it that doesn’t rely on fucking insurance companies to dispense a public good.

    The French got to build their system on the back of a national disaster. It’s always easier to introduce radical change when radical change is thrust upon you.

    The French model is half private/half public. Basically, look at Medicare, take Part A and make it fully universal, and take Part B and make it more private but subsidized than the US has.

    I like the French model a fair bit, but it would require a fair bit of government money to make that transition. And, well, we don’t have it. Maybe if Bush hadn’t pissed a balanced budget to the wind we could have done it.

    To repeat for about the zillionth time – ACA wasn’t an initiative for consumers. It was entitlement reform. It was supposed to reduce the cost of Medicare, and part of doing that was to get everyone insured. The government can’t afford to foot that bill through the tax base, so in lieu of that, we get a mandate. That’s reality. In 5 years, people will be pissed about the mandate and demand a public system. That kind of incremental movement is how every non-crisis derived healthcare system has been developed – including Canadas.

  98. 98

    @Anya: Point well-taken. However, Blogistan is already preparing, and some folks have their “toldja so posts” ready to go.

    I guess I’m just preparing myself now to keep my blood pressure low.

  99. 99
    Ash Can says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: The Democratic candidate, Dan Seals, is polling very well in IL-10. There’s every reason to be optimistic about that seat.

  100. 100
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Tomorrow is going to be the first time in my voting life that I go into the booth and vote straight ticket. I’ve always looked at each race separately and, even if I voted all Dem, it was only after concluding that it was the right call in each individual race. And, usually, I’d throw a third party vote in there on one or two local races where the third party might actually have a shot at winning. But tomorrow I don’t really care about the specific races, I care about inmates from Glenn Beck’s loony bin taking over the country. So I’m voting straight ticket Dem.

    The fact that they’ve gone so far off the deep end that I feel the need to do this just makes me angrier at the Republicans. I used to think I’d never be one of those people who just mindlessly enters the booth and votes straight ticket. I want to be a more thoughtful voter than that. Fuck the Republicans for leaving me with no choice.

  101. 101
    jl says:

    “So to all those who have attacked or will attack my post on this basis, slow yer damn roll.”

    This is Balloon Juice. You will have better luck ordering the moon to evaporate. Slowing one’s damn roll violates the 108 varieties of Balloon Juice code, some random version of which each commenter holds near and dear.

  102. 102
    max says:

    It likely would have reached levels that would have been more destructive to this country.

    Yeah. Jim Crow never goes away, it just grows back like Kudzu. It’s amazing how many different ways white pundits (like David Brooks) can cook up coded references to the fact that Obama is black.

    It makes it almost refreshing when someone complains he’s too cerebral.

    max
    [‘A black intellectual really can’t catch a break.’]

  103. 103
    Loneoak says:

    @General Stuck:

    I just don’t see the point of calling it progressive except to make ourselves feel better. If you take for granted that all modern industrialized states have to provide universal health care in order to have a functioning economy and vaguely just social system (which everyone but US Republicans accepts prima facie), then on the spectrum of possible solutions HCR was not progressive.

    I’ll take it and not gripe about it and was elated when it passed (remember I coined NANCY SMASH!), but it weren’t progressive.

    Btw, I think saddest likely consequence of this election is that we will lose Speaker Pelosi, who is one of our best politicians and a wonderful asset to national Democrats.

  104. 104
    Martin says:

    @General Stuck: I’ve gotten 3 live person calls in the last 2 days – one for the House race, one for Governor, and one for Senate – all Dems. I’m a registered independent. The GOP hasn’t done shit here. Maybe they don’t need to for the House race, but they sure as hell do for the other two.

  105. 105
    Brian J says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    That’s actually false. He’s been doing a great job of running. I’ve read a lot about him and his reelection efforts in this past week, and I’ve come to the conclusion that if he loses, it’s because there just weren’t enough votes for him. But I think he’s going to win.

  106. 106
    Tyro says:

    I thought, from things I’d read from him and about him, that Obama knew the problem with government was Congress’s (read: the Senate’s) unwillingness to do anything against special interests, and was planning on countering that by getting regular folks involved (read: community organizing on a national scale) to pressure their Senators to do the right thing.

    Or maybe he just did all that shit to get elected but doesn’t want to get on any senators’ bad sides by actually having his supporters do anything other than vote.

    To state it bluntly, black men don’t have the luxury to get “mad as hell.”

    Then maybe it’s more correct to say simply that Obama wasn’t the right man for the job for these times. At first I was impressed how well Obama was able to read the zeitgeist correctly by running on a platform of bringing people together. But now it’s clear that he read the overall electorate completely wrongly: it turns out that Republicans aren’t good people who want everyone to work together for the good of the country, after all. And he doesn’t have the capacity to deal with that sort of circumstance.

    He’s a good guy, of course, but he really belongs in a late 1980s centrist think tank where everyone talks about the “new direction” Democrats need to take to reconnect with the American people after the losses of 1984 and 1988. He’s sort of out of place in the post-George-W-Bush-world which needed someone to basically shore up the Democratic party and marginalize the GOP while fixing the country.

  107. 107
    Nick says:

    @NR:

    As things stand now, with his current advisers and policy path, it doesn’t matter if Obama’s had two years or twenty, we’re not getting major change.

    my diabetic brother can get health insurance, i consider that major change. I’m sorry you don’t.

  108. 108
    morzer says:

    @Loneoak:

    It’s progressive relative to what we had, and as a foundation for further work.

  109. 109
    Dennis SGMM says:

    I’m old. I fought the good fight from the streets outside the Oakland AFEES center in the mid-Sixties until now. We have come up with an HCR that still leaves us behind the other industrialized nations and a Fin Reg bill that requires several hundred rulemakings to determine whether or not it will actually regulate anything. There are any number of excuses for this. Now put all of the excuses in one hand and shit in the other then tell me which hand fills up first.

  110. 110
    General Stuck says:

    @Loneoak:

    I just don’t see the point of calling it progressive except to make ourselves feel better

    I don’t call it progressive to feel better. I call it progressive because about 30 million people will feel better, now being able to get adequate HC.

  111. 111
    NR says:

    @Angry Black Lady: Yes, there are a lot of racists in this country. Which is why we can’t afford to alienate the non-racists with Republican-lite policies.

  112. 112

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I heard a statistic the other day that 76% of gay white men voted for McCain. It’s not over yet.

    What percentage of white males overall voted for McCain? I’m sure it was more than half, at least two-thirds.

  113. 113
    Ross Hershberger says:

    @Martin:

    Probably because the Dems have a lot more money to spend on that sort of thing. D outraised R in the traditional areas that pay for actual campaign work. R outspent D in the slushy areas of corporate and outside ad buys thanks to Roberts and CU. Which will be more effective? I dunno but find me someone who prefers one more damn political ad over being called on the phone by a real human.

  114. 114
    morzer says:

    @Tyro:

    someone to basically shore up the Democratic party and marginalize the GOP while fixing the country

    Given the Blue Dogs and the weak sauce faction within the Democratic party, I really don’t believe that such a being is possible. I like the idea of miracles, but I have yet to see one.

  115. 115
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Twitter is going to be the best tool for gaining perspective ever, EVER. I just had a wild chat with a lady who blithely asserted that Obama didn’t love the country. He only loved himself and the ego boost that being president gave him. I was like, you don’t mean that. That would mean you don’t think Obama loves his daughters.

    The lady didn’t think Obama loves his daughters. She was happy to say so. In her mind, Obama is a narcissitic personality and was unable to love anybody beside himself. Well, I kind of went nuts. I told her that I had posted at a site called the Smirking Chimp during Bush’s presidency and I would never have questioned Bush’s love for his daughters or the country!

    And the lady told me to stop drinking the Koolaid. Me, stop drinking the Koolaid!

    This is what we are up against. These are the people coming after Obama. Completely unreal.

  116. 116
    jl says:

    I like the cognitive dissonance of the Obama hate. He is a weak effete cowardly dhimmituded waffling arugula and fancy mustard eating BAD ASS BLACK MASS MURDERING REVOLUTIONARY, DESTROYER OF PLANETS! MaoHitlerGenghisAttila Bad ass Cthulhu all rolled into one, who cannot handle ketchup on his burgers and chokes on iceberg lettuce.

    But, don’t we all know some guy in our neighborhoods who fits that description?

  117. 117

    @NR: As he said on TDS, “I campaigned on ‘change you can believe in,’ not ‘change you can believe in in eighteen months.'”

    Failed to deliver again and again? Nope. That is hyperbole; hyperbole which–as I learned from a rally sign–is killing America’s children.

  118. 118
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @BerkeleyMom: Well, the stars shone bright, just until tonight, when we whupped the asses of Texas!

    Jeez, people, enjoy the moment, even if it’s the last free air we breathe for the next two years. I demand a Series open thread.

    Colette +4 in SF and planning on tying on a whole lot more

  119. 119
    Steeplejack says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Tomorrow is going to be the first time in my voting life that I go into the booth and vote straight ticket [Democratic].

    Reading my mind with your whole post. I don’t even know if the voting machines have those “pull one lever for the whole ticket” levers any more, but I will be voting a straight Democratic ticket for the first time in my life. The Republicans are in danger of becoming, or have already become, a cargo cult, not a real political party, and they need to be spanked and spanked hard.

    Even in districts that they win I want them to see the handwriting on the wall.

  120. 120
    SectarianSofa says:

    @NR:
    That’s the dumbest fucking thing I’ve seen on this site in at least an hour.

  121. 121

    @morzer: Sweet bieber, I hope so. I don’t want to hear any “he couldn’t even deliver the black vote” BS.

    I have to say, I get a lot of texts from Obama and I’m hoping the whippersnappers do too.

  122. 122
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    76%, wow. Is that a normal number for gay white men in terms of voting R?

  123. 123
    Brian J says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Not in every district, but perhaps in some, and certainly in the Senate races. Supposedly, if Perriello is to have any chance of winning, he needs to have blacks come out for him, which might explain why Obama made a special visit to him. Of course, his district is close to the White House, and Perriello is a class act, so maybe it was just that easy.

    Again, we aren’t talking the sort of thing that is going to make up for an 11-point deficit in a lot of races. We’re talking about the sort of thing that could make the difference in a few close races, assuming it’s not an absolute massacre.

  124. 124
    morzer says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    That depends on who is making the excuses. I don’t think the American people have much wiggle room here. They haven’t bothered to inform themselves about reality in their own back yard, let alone elsewhere. I don’t think the GOP has a leg to stand on, and if you wanted the Blue Dogs shot at dawn, I’d be extremely sympathetic. That said, given these realities, I haven’t seen anyone explain how, realistically, Obama and those who voted for HCR and Fin Reg were supposed to get more, purely in terms of getting the votes.

    Of course, I was only part of the Seattle Seven, so my view may seem compromised.

  125. 125

    @General Stuck: Clown armies! Thank you for that.

  126. 126
    Ron says:

    I have no idea how bad the ass-whooping will be. I’m torn between expecting the worst so I’m not disappointed and hoping for the best. As many people here have pointed out, it was a complete fantasy that Obama and/or the democratic congress was going to just pass unadulaterated progressive bills. Anyone who thought so didn’t actually understand the makeup of the democratic caucus in the House or Senate or the rules of the Senate. And yet, a lot of really good stuff got done. HCR ain’t perfect, but it’s a damn big improvement over doing nothing. The stimulus wasn’t perfect, but it was better than doing nothing. A lot got done.

    Finally, I wonder what drugs the GOP is smoking when they seem to think that if they win the House they can just enact whatever agenda they want. First of all, the Senate is likely to stay democratic and even if somehow the GOP gains enough seats to control it, there is still the filibuster. And even after all that, Obama still has the power to veto. The dems in this congress were in a much better position than the incoming republicans are and still couldn’t do everything they wanted to do.

  127. 127
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I heard a statistic the other day that 76% of gay white men voted for McCain. It’s not over yet.

    Sorry, but I absolutely, positively do not believe this. It defies all logic, self-interest, and voting history. With all due respect, and I have indeed respected your posts and opinions in the past: reliable sources, or it doesn’t count. (I have a feeling you’d be as happy to see this disproved as I would be.) Sure, gay white men have as much right to be self-abnegating jackasses as anyone else, but in my anecdotal-but-very-extensive experience – they aren’t.

  128. 128
    SectarianSofa says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I tend to agree on the cell phone thing. I hope I’m wrong, but I can’t see it making more than a 2% difference except maybe in California. Probably not there either.
    Also, voting’s on a Tuesday, so the young people’ll be hung over.

  129. 129
    wasabi gasp says:

    Apparently the revolution will be rotary dialed.

  130. 130
    va says:

    Obama never had to get mad. Someone from the WH just had to point out now and again that Republicans are extreme nuts who lost all the jobs, but instead all we heard is that Obama wants to work with them. Well, congratulations, Sir!

  131. 131
    MattR says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I heard a statistic the other day that 76% of gay white men voted for McCain. It’s not over yet.

    Of course there is only a 58% chance that this is accurate.

  132. 132
    parsimon says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    But tomorrow I don’t really care about the specific races, I care about inmates from Glenn Beck’s loony bin taking over the country. So I’m voting straight ticket Dem.
    The fact that they’ve gone so far off the deep end that I feel the need to do this just makes me angrier at the Republicans.

    This. I invariably wind up voting straight Dem anyway, with the occasional third party candidate thrown in here or there if reasonable, but I am so deeply angry at the Republicans for their vicious idiocy — not at Democrats for failing to be progressive enough (though there have been serious disappointments) — that there’s no room for anything but an utter straight-ticket rejection of the assholes.

  133. 133
    morzer says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    I think it comes down to what Obama’s sister said during the election. She said he would win, because he was of Kenyan descent, it was a long distance race, and Kenyans are the world’s best long distance runners. I believe she was right then, and she’s right now. Unfortunately, too many Americans, and some folks on here who ought to know better, treat politics and life as if it were the hundred meters sprint.

  134. 134
    NR says:

    @Ron: The GOP has one major advantage over the Dems: The leader of their party isn’t dedicated to co-opting and endorsing the opposition’s policies.

    @va: Yep. Why shouldn’t people vote Republican? Obama likes Republican ideas!

  135. 135
    JGabriel says:

    @General Stuck:

    I don’t think demo shifts have occurred enough to significantly change that setup. But it will, as older more conservative Americans pass on.

    I thought they all has a stroke when a ni…black man became president. Isn’t that why they’re all riding Medicare scooters?

    .

  136. 136
    DPirate says:

    Why do we say Obama is black? Isn’t he as much white as black? Is it that any black means all black?

    Obama didn’t campaign as a radical liberal

    Yeah, we know, cause he got elected president, remember?

    I am curious what Obama “ran as”, though, other than as black, of course…

  137. 137
    Paul says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Don’t forget about down-ticket “nonpartisan” races like school boards, conservation boards and contested judgeship. Teatards are sneaky SOBs. This site might help:

    http://www.theballot.org/

  138. 138
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @JGabriel: Angry, committed minorities roll apathetic, diffuse majorities all the time.

  139. 139
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @JGabriel:

    There were significant increases to Medicaid in the HCR bill. Maybe I’m wrong, but it looks like a stealth step towards Medicare For All.

    Is there seriously anyone besides Martin who actually knows what’s in the damn health insurance bill?

    No, it wasn’t a “significant” increase in Medicaid availability. It was only up to 133% the poverty level, i.e. the compromise position within the party. The only reason why that modest expansion covers >15 million people in this country is because we have an absurd amount of poor people in this country given our size.

    It would take an absolutely massive legislative effort to keep expanding that limit upwards, or a redefinition of the poverty level in this country itself. And it would cost out the wazoo if they tried. There’s a reason Washington is wedded to the employer-based system through thick and thin, after all.

    Also, as a fellow dude of color, albeit of the brown not black variety, thank you once again BJers for promoting the false narrative that liberals are the real racists in society because they didn’t get erections for the half-assed stimulus bill. Because clearly this administration’s utter inability to design, pass, and then communicate great economic policy is a matter of black and white, and not green.

  140. 140
    Ross Hershberger says:

    I’m not getting all cranked up about what might happen. No currently available information is reliable enough to give us a useful prediction. Even Nate Silver’s hedging his bets. We don’t know, can’t know and mostly will know by this time tomorrow. Why fret?

  141. 141
    General Stuck says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    welcome :)

  142. 142
    JGabriel says:

    DPirate:

    Why do we say Obama is black?

    Because Obama identifies as black. We follow his lead.

    Not sure he had much choice, though. The American media seems to think you can’t identify as white unless you could pass as Aryan under the Nazi purity laws.

    .

  143. 143
  144. 144
    Yutsano says:

    Wake me on November 3rd. No seriously. I’m this close to just checking the fuck out and looking at the ruins left over.

    BTW I already done voted, and I live in a vote by mail state (mostly). So don’t bitch at me for not getting out the vote.

  145. 145

    @Angry Black Lady: I don’t know how many people wanted Obama to get all angry. But why not use a surrogate? Have you noticed how many people are cluthing their pearls because Grayson dares to fight back(I mean Democrats of all people)? And no one has been able to prove to me that Grayson was wrong in what he said about “Taliban” Dan Webster. Why hasn’t Elizabeth Warren been on MTP? I guess what I’m most pissed off about is the WH communcation strategy. I mean, look at how many people think TARP passed under Obama and not Dubya.

  146. 146
    morzer says:

    @Yutsano:

    Write letters, sir! Have you no shame?!

  147. 147
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @morzer:

    Of course, I was only part of the Seattle Seven, so my view may seem compromised.

    Then my hat’s off to you. I was just another freak who got out there and stopped the buses for a while despite the best efforts of the Alameda County Sheriffs.

    I’m not blaming anyone and I still worked the phones this year in CA-26, more out of inertia than any hope that Russ Warner will unseat David Dreier.

    Must be that long-ago freak in me that has come to believe that once politics has devolved to convincing x-number of undecideds that Really Bad Things will happen if you vote for the other side then the outcomes will disappoint.

  148. 148
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    It was bedlam at Pedro’s Cantina across from AT&T Park as the bottom of the ninth began with people locking arms, jumping up and down and chanting, “Right f- now.”__
    With the final strikeout, fans sprayed beer on one another. The floor was soaked and slippery as patrons pounded on tables and chanted, “Let’s go Giants.”__
    The crowd of people poured out onto King Street, where they sprayed champagne, waved team flags, blew bullhorns and fired up celebratory joints. The street was quickly closed to traffic.__”That was beautiful,” said Louis Ngo, 26, of San Francisco. “We had a chance to make history, and it’s so sweet that it happened. I just want to f- cry!”

    __

    at the 44 Castro bar, the crowd had erupted in screams as the last strike flew over the plate to end the game and give the home team the trophy. Boys kissed boys, other boys booed George W. Bush and three beefy barmen stripped off their shirts and yelled, “Yeah!”__Manager Marshall Beichner leaped on the bar and shouted the oft-dreamt of, but rarely heard: “Open bar the next five minutes!”__South of Market, homeless men cheered outside a shelter as boom boxes broadcast the game.

    Colette +5 and workin’ it hard, reporting from DFHCentral

    Edit: FYWP

  149. 149

    @jl: Just pointing out that some people should brush up on their reading comprehension skills.

  150. 150
    Hob says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: And in the very same stadium that Mr. G.F.W. Bush scammed the people of Arlington into building! It’s like… like rain on your wedding day! Except FUN.

    BTW, I wasn’t even supposed to be reading blogs and I delurked to tell you this, so from now on whenever I waste time on the Internet it’s your fault!

    Hob +2? [+eleventy million due to secondhand fumes from outside]

  151. 151
    SectarianSofa says:

    @morzer:

    Hmm. I’m going to go with low-tech cyclist. The whole thing does seem a bit easy. Kind of a Fear of A Black Planet 20-years-ago feel to it.
    In Dallas, there are angry white men, there are angry black men, angry cub scouts and angry Unitarians. Sports fans, black and brown and white, bitching together, angry. I don’t think it makes much difference to anyone. ‘Nervous white folks’ may apply in some cases, but I don’t think that can be considered a serious characterization that would have substantial explanatory power.

  152. 152
    Comrade Luke says:

    Must-see video.

    Hi, I’m a Tea-Partier.

  153. 153
    BR says:

    ABL – I’m with you on 95%. The one thing I have come to realize was a fatal mistake was his economic team. I’m not going to demonize Summers and Geithner. They’re conventional guys. What we needed was folks who were acceptable to the establishment but unconventional.

    These would be folks like Elizabeth Warren, Bill Black, Robert Reich, Nouriel Roubini, etc. I think the people would have set forth a different path, and we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. It’s not too late – he could still get someone new at Treasury like Reich, though getting him confirmed will be harder in a new senate.

  154. 154
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @morzer:

    .

    Don’t come up out a bag on me, bitch. Either you have an argument, or you don’t. You don’t. All you have is a generic insult, which is of course the signal characteristic of a true balloonbagger. Let me put it directly to you so you can understand what I’m saying, monkey:

    Did you think of that dazzling critique all by yourself under the bridge, morzer? How truly impressive.

    Now, do you feel bad at what I just said to you? Do I win because I said it? (Answer: No, I don’t. One doesn’t win with generic insults.)

    Next time, send the Head Monkey to do battle. I’m tired of explaining the facts of life to flunky monkeys with matted fur and bad breath flinging generic poo hither and yon. Have a nice day.
    .
    .

  155. 155
    El Cid says:

    David Brooks is fucking smoking crack.

    The biggest change is in the camp of the potential victors. Two years ago, Democrats waxed romantic. This year, the Republicans seem modest and cautious. I haven’t seen this many sober Republicans since America lost the Ryder Cup
    __
    Republican leaders are also prepared to take what they can get, even if it’s not always what they would like. Republicans would like to extend all the Bush tax cuts until the sun fizzles out. They’re willing to take a compromise extension of two or three years. Republicans are under intense pressure from the business lobbies to compromise with Democrats to get certain things done: more infrastructure spending and tax breaks for energy innovation…
    __
    …The new Republicans may distrust government, but this will be a Republican class with enormous legislative experience. Tea Party hype notwithstanding, most leading G.O.P. candidates either served in state legislatures or previously in Washington. The No Compromise stalwarts like Senator Jim DeMint have a big megaphone but few actual followers within the Senate.
    __
    Over all, if it is won, a Republican House majority will be like a second marriage. Less ecstasy, more realism. The party could have used a few more years to develop plans about the big things, like tax and entitlement reform. But if a party is going to do well in an election, it should at least be a party that has developed a sense of modesty.

  156. 156
    BR says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    No, it wasn’t a “significant” increase in Medicaid availability. It was only up to 133% the poverty level, i.e. the compromise position within the party. The only reason why that modest expansion covers >15 million people in this country is because we have an absurd amount of poor people in this country given our size.

    That’s a huge increase in some states. Some states (mostly GOPer run ones) had levels at a tenth of that, so low it was absurd.

  157. 157
    morzer says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    I suspect that politics has always involved a heavy dose of “Vote for us because the evil scum who oppose us want to rape your dog and marry your wife”. It certainly did in Periclean Athens, and modern American politics hasn’t quite reached the level of personal hatred, violence, street-fighting and political murder that attended the death of the Roman Republic. I’d like to think that reason and decency could prevail, but history suggests otherwise.

    Did you ever hear of the Seattle Seven? That was me and six other guys.

  158. 158
    SectarianSofa says:

    @JGabriel:

    The French-Canadian model, on the other hand, c’est horrible.

  159. 159
    Suck It Up! says:

    “BUT YOU’RE BLACK!! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE RADICALLY PROGRESSIVE! ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR BLACKNESS!”

    they haven’t said those exact words, but they’ve been thinking it since they first laid eyes on him.

  160. 160
    MattR says:

    @El Cid: I thought your description was hyperbolic, but then I read the piece. How many seats would the Republicans pick up if the voters thought that was really their plan? The entire Tea Party would stay home.

  161. 161
    morzer says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Ape, please, not monkey. We evolved creatures care about our ancestry. From your surly demeanor, I take it that under the bridge is a cold and lonely place tonight. Had you considered origami? Basket-weaving? Giving yourself an O’Donnell special?

  162. 162
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @El Cid:

    Enough monkeys. Enough typewriters. Etc.

  163. 163
    monkeyboy says:

    I believe the results will be nowhere as bad as some of the whiners who appear to be pissing themselves seem to think.

    I DO think there will be one or two races where the teabagger candidate loses and certain teatards attribute that to left wing vote stealing so they get liquored up and start driving around with guns to find the nearest ACORN office to shoot up. When after driving and drinking and driving and drinking they still can’t find an ACORN office they become less discriminating and start firing potshots into certain neighborhoods.

    Massive police power arrests them. Then their supporters start screaming about political arrests by the soshulist state and start hooking up with the white militias and demanding succession.

    Well, things might not go this far but I do think some right wing violence will be likely.

  164. 164
    JGabriel says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Don’t come up out a bag on me, bitch.

    Your Clarence Thomas impression really is flawless.

    .

  165. 165
    SectarianSofa says:

    @NR:
    Now, that snark is much better.

  166. 166
    MattR says:

    Craig Ferguson: It’s important to get out there and vote tomorrow. Everyone needs to get in that little booth and discretely press that little button or pull that little lever. And then go out and vote.

  167. 167
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Hob:

    Hob +2? [+eleventy million due to secondhand fumes from outside]

    Better you than me, as (despite my yes-on-19 vote) I hate the smell of that stuff. Judging by the number of cherry bombs I’ve heard in the last hour, my people would rather blow stuff up than smoke it.

    Colette rockin’ #6

  168. 168
    JGabriel says:

    @El Cid:

    David Brooks is fucking smoking crack.

    You know, just because someone smokes a little crack once in while, or even every 5 minutes, that’s no reason to insult them like that.

    I mean, David Brooks?

    That’s just harsh, man.

    .

  169. 169
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    IMO, the President was right when he referred to the right as the “enemy”. I understand him later walking it back but he was right on target the first time. I don’t view them as an enemy in the sense of one that you would kill but in too many ways they and their supporters are an enemy to our society.

    They thrive on intolerance and push ignorance. They literally bank on it as the just the thing they need to regain power.

  170. 170
    General Stuck says:

    @El Cid:

    Jeebus, smoking crack and huffing paint as a chaser. His ivory tower seems to be filtering reality.

  171. 171
    John PM says:

    Even if Republicans take majorities in the House and Senate, I do not think that impeachment will follow. McConnell has said recently that their goal is to make Obama a one-term president. Also, if they impeach Obama, that would just mean President Biden, unless Republicans plan to impeach him at the same time and deliver President Boehner.

    Anyway, ABL, I agree with your post. I will be voting straight ticket Democrat tomorrow in Illinois and have been encouraging everyone I know to vote the same way.

  172. 172
    kuvasz says:

    The logical conclusion of your remarks are that if one wants a leader who can deliver the goods, progressives would be wise to pick a white man.

  173. 173
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @BR:

    He was discussing using Medicaid as a path to a nationwide single payer, not as a comparison to the old rules system. As an expenditure, the Medicaid expansion is huge (~500B in the next decade if I remember right), but the percentage of the population that is eligible is still rather small compared to the total insurance market.

    Basically, the expansion is mostly good for making sure Texas actually bothers insuring people for a change, and isn’t much of a stepping stone to anything bigger.

  174. 174
    JGabriel says:

    John PM:

    Also, if they impeach Obama, that would just mean President Biden …

    You seem to think that the GOP’s goal with impeachment is conviction. It’s not; it’s discreditation.

    .

  175. 175
    Nick says:

    @Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:

    Have you noticed how many people are cluthing their pearls because Grayson dares to fight back(I mean Democrats of all people)? And no one has been able to prove to me that Grayson was wrong in what he said about “Taliban” Dan Webster.

    Actually, it’s been proven that Grayson took his words out of context and he’s gonna get killed tomorrow. I’m not sure he’s the best example of someone to follow.

    Why isn’t it obvious to you that Democratic voters don’t want their candidates to act like that and will abandon them when they do? Why would Obama emulate a candidate whose own base deserted him?

    .

    Why hasn’t Elizabeth Warren been on MTP?

    Because they don’t ask her! The White House doesn’t get to decide who goes on Sunday talk shows. I don’t understand why people think they do.

  176. 176
    SectarianSofa says:

    @Bob Loblaw:
    Oh, lump all of us together, then. Fine with me if you’re going to be fatalistic, but don’t take me down with you.
    Oh, shit, nevermind, I did sign the balloon juice loyalty oath, I just remembered. So your whiny stereotypery is cool after all.

  177. 177
    morzer says:

    @SectarianSofa:

    On this one, I have to say you are flat wrong. I’ll give you an example. New Haven CT, where I lived for a decade, until about nine years ago. Run by Democrats for years, solidly blue. The Democrats who boss the joint, in every sense of the word, are good old white Italian boys. The mayor has been a white Italian forever. I’ve talked to them, worked with them, lived in apartments owned by them. You might be surprised to learn that these good, white Democrats basically view black people (except at election time) as violent, uneducated, potential rapists. Of course, they don’t express these views openly, much less in public – but when they get talking about the news in private, or just swing by to chat about nothing in particular, you will almost always hear some disparaging remark about black people, especially if there’s anything in the local rag about crime involving a black person.

  178. 178
    SectarianSofa says:

    @DPirate:
    No, actually you’re not curious. You’re an idiot. Go away.

  179. 179
    Yutsano says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    Better you than me, as (despite my yes-on-19 vote) I hate the smell of that stuff.

    Try being allergic to it. Or more accurately, hypermetabolizing it so THC overloads your brain and you get migraines. Fun shtuff, especially when your roommate is a pothead.

    @Hob:

    BTW, I wasn’t even supposed to be reading blogs and I delurked to tell you this, so from now on whenever I waste time on the Internet it’s your fault!

    Ya know, I had been wondering where you had run off to. You should de-lurk more often.

  180. 180
    El Cid says:

    @MattR: Yeah. If there’s one phrase I could think of describing the likely incoming House Republican class it would be “sober“.

    Nothing says “sober” like proclaiming the President a soshullist and taking over the entire private economy with Obamacare and nationalizing the auto companies and both bailing out the banks and punishing the wealthy for their success.

    The absurd notion that this was limited to “Tea Party” backed candidates is yet another occasion in which Brooks shows himself to be a party-fluffing hack.

    [Pro-tip: Any failure to pass Republican-proposed legislation will be due to Democratic partisanship, of course.]

  181. 181
    MattR says:

    @Yutsano:

    Fun shtuff, especially when your roommate is a pothead.

    I’d imagine that even if he was trying to be considerate, being a pothead he would often forget.

  182. 182
    morzer says:

    @El Cid:

    Could “sober” be the new “mean drunk”?

  183. 183
    jl says:

    @El Cid: Brooks has been watching those ‘meta’ cynical dark avant garde flock comedies about NOTHING, protraying the loneliness of low-density networks (mainly Jack Benny and Allen’s Alley) and has gone mad.

    Sad and horrible thing. Brooks stared into the abyss and George and Gracie stared back.

    Expect nothing but gibberish from the man we fondly remember as David Brooks, and after a decent interval or twenty or thirty years, he will be quietly retired.

  184. 184
    Bedbugsandballyhoo says:

    (Some) White folks scare the bejebus out of me! That’s why I live in Suburban MD. Oh yeah, I’m white…I keep forgetting that… and my Mom is Jewish. (I think it is flashbacks to places previously lived in that causes this paranoia (of some white folks) in me)

  185. 185
    morzer says:

    @jl:

    Actually, I think he stared up Rush Limbaugh’s ass-crack and Sarah Palin stared back.

  186. 186
    Yutsano says:

    @MattR: Amazingly enough he was a really smart guy. Used to be a total Republican poli sci sort until he figured out to get anywhere in politics you have to believe in nothing. He pretty much lost himself in a cloud of smoke after that. It didn’t help he was very straight, knew I was gay, and flirted with me anyway.

  187. 187
    Suffern ACE says:

    @El Cid: Don’t let him get to you, man. I let him get to me this weekend and if it wasn’t for David Broder speculating that a war with Iran to bring back the economy would revive Obama’s chances, i’d still be fantasizing about the day when throngs of people finally have enough, go to the Times building and stone him to death. Now I fantasize about the day when people finally have enough, go to the Washington Post building, and stone David Broder half way to death as a compromise.

    This is why I need more sleep.

  188. 188
    John Bird says:

    Perhaps I’m reading too much into the left-wing complaints . . . regarding Obama’s failure to be “progressive enough,” but it seems to me that the only thing that some lefties haven’t yet screamed is, “BUT YOU’RE BLACK!! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE RADICALLY PROGRESSIVE! ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR BLACKNESS!”

    Well, some Balloon Juice front-page posters are totally wrong in their assumptions. Who’s to say who or why or how!

  189. 189
    suzanne says:

    I posted this on the other thread but I’m not sure if anyone is still reading that one. So I repeat.
    ————–
    I did six more hours of GOTV for Mitchell and Goddard today. Lots of people were so unbelievably nice. One lady in North Scottsdale said, “I feel like the only Democrat in the world! Thank you SO MUCH for calling!” I helped her find her polling place, so that was nice.
    Met Glassman (McCain’s opponent). He’s very tall.
    In other news, the Sprog is looking just great. Almost four and a half pounds, and her spine looks perfect. (This is the big concern for epileptic women.) And they were 100% able to tell she’s a girl, so my mother-in-law won’t be mad at me.
    I am full of hope for tomorrow.

  190. 190
    morzer says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Just get him to say Jehovah and then stand well back.

  191. 191
    danimal says:

    Don’t Panic, people. The next two years will be worse than they should be, but the American people aren’t total morons, just a little too slow to understand the radical change in the GOP. The Great Recession has given them cover that they won’t have if their responsibility increases.

    These guys won’t get a pass when they fail to act as statesmen, and they certainly don’t have the character or desire to act as anything other than a clown show. 2012 will be a GOP bloodbath.

  192. 192
    El Cid says:

    @morzer: By “sober”, we now mean “there’s still a shot or two left of something or other in the liquor cabinet, but make sure and take all the empty fifths off the dinner table and put them in the recycling bin”.

  193. 193
    SectarianSofa says:

    @morzer:
    Fair enough — and I’ve heard similar things about other spots in the northeast. When I was up in Mass, I didn’t get out much. So I can’t speak.
    Still, I can’t imagine this is the whole picture. It just seems too easy a characterization to deliver useful conclusions.
    I could be swayed, I suppose …. Got to go, though — small child is up and wandering about the bedroom.

  194. 194
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: When my friend Alicia was pregnant, they called her daughter as she was growing inside Zoltar the Space Invader. Fortunately she came out much cuter than your typical alien.

  195. 195
    Ross Hershberger says:

    Done. 01:15 hours & I’m shot. Gonna go read about broken Supersymmetry, Higgs particle mass and the Hierarchy problem until I fall asleep.
    And probably have nightmares with a weasely CT Senator in them.

  196. 196
    El Cid says:

    @Suffern ACE: Brooks’ particular offense is that he’s one of those conservative hacks who liberals love to love.

  197. 197
    MattR says:

    Can someone explain this to me? I was just looking at flights from Newark to Vegas. There is a flight that stops in Phily for $243. So I thought maybe I would drive to the Phily airport instead. However those same flights from Philly to Vegas and back now cost $288.

  198. 198

    @Tyro: The point is, though, who aside from Franken and Feingold and Sanders is that liberal? The Republicans all believe the same thing and if someone strays too far off the reservation, they are hauled back. See, e.g., Karl Rove, the man himself. Hell, in the past few days the Reps have abandoned Miller and have gone back to wanting to make out with Murkowski. They are lockstep. Dems aren’t. That, in my view, is what Obama and any Democratic president is up against. The mainstream Democrat of today is yesterday’s Republican. Today’s Republicans are crazy people.

    And don’t even get me started on gerrymandering. Gah!

    The anger: she returneth.

  199. 199
    Joseph Nobles says:

    A proposition to discuss:

    If a citizen eligible to vote in a democracy cannot find a candidate worth supporting or opposing and thus does not vote, that citizen has an obligation to run for office.

    Thoughts? I don’t mean to hijack a thread that’s not open.

  200. 200
    KDP says:

    @NR: Y’know what? You don’t know that he didn’t try. You do not know what he is presented with behind the closed doors of the White House. I have not been happy with every decision, or with the slow progress of some of my personal initiatives, but to state that he didn’t try? You just have no conception of the complexities involved in changing public policy.

    gnash teeth, grumble, and hope

  201. 201
    John PM says:

    @JGabriel:

    I understand that the Republicans would impeach merely to try to discredit (I do not think that discreditation is a word) Obama, but that approach did not work well against Clinton. The Republicans have nothing on Obama and there is no more special counsel law, so there can be no more years of endless investigations by a supposedly impartial source.

  202. 202
    JGabriel says:

    morzer:

    Could “sober” be the new “mean drunk”?

    I do believe you’ve broken The Brooks Code.

    .

  203. 203
    Nick says:

    @Tyro:

    Then maybe it’s more correct to say simply that Obama wasn’t the right man for the job for these times

    maybe not, but he’s the one who can get elected.

  204. 204
    Martin says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    No, it wasn’t a “significant” increase in Medicaid availability. It was only up to 133% the poverty level, i.e. the compromise position within the party. The only reason why that modest expansion covers >15 million people in this country is because we have an absurd amount of poor people in this country given our size.

    Actually, it is a fairly significant increase. You’re correct that it’s up to 133%, but the really big effect is to eliminate the asset test and the income disregards. States now have to set Medicare eligibility at net income relative to the federal poverty level. That’s a MUCH simpler system and allows a lot of people – particularly those that are moving onto Medicaid due to unemployment – to get coverage where now they are excluded, even if they’re below the 100% poverty level.

    The goal here is to try and eliminate the higher expenses that Medicaid and Medicare face due to deferred treatment by getting people into some kind of coverage.

  205. 205
    morzer says:

    @JGabriel:

    The Brooks Code?

    Now that could almost be a novel for NaNoWriMo.

  206. 206
    Nick says:

    @Tyro:

    He’s sort of out of place in the post-George-W-Bush-world which needed someone to basically shore up the Democratic party and marginalize the GOP while fixing the country.

    This person doesn’t exist because this isn’t possible.

  207. 207
    morzer says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    I would add: “or to move to Canada”.

  208. 208
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @MattR: Deregulation is always the answer. You are asking the wrong question. Just shut up and pay your betters the respect they are due the man.

  209. 209
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Angry Black Lady: “Today’s Republicans are crazy people. “

    Exactly.

  210. 210

    @Joseph Nobles: What level of office? National? State? Municipal? I think it’s unrealistic to expect Joe or Jane Citizen to run on a national level without the millions required to do so.

    That said, I think the citizen has an obligation to do something more than sit around singing the Somebody Done Somebody Wrong song.

  211. 211
    Martin says:

    @MattR: Yeah, the economics of filling planes is pretty crazy. Many years ago I needed to fly from L.A. to Minneapolis. The direct flight on Northwest was say, $300, but for $250 I could go there by way of Nashville and Dallas. Yes, I flew from LA to Nashville to Dallas to Minneapolis, saved $50, and because each leg earns a minimum number of miles, I picked up something like 12,000 miles on that flight and earned half of a free round trip ticket.

    And they say that government is inefficient…

  212. 212
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @KDP: “You just have no conception of the complexities involved in changing public policy.”

    Herding cats would be a breeze compared to what the President has faced. More like herding cockroaches, without any bait.

  213. 213
    El Cid says:

    @Angry Black Lady: What, you mean the sober, eager to compromise experienced legislator Republicans that David Brooks sees?

  214. 214
    morzer says:

    @Martin:

    All I can say is that if Delta Airlines is an example of what the free market produces, put me down for the command economy special.

  215. 215
    Martin says:

    @Martin: I said that states ‘now’ have to set that up. It goes into effect in 2014. So, not so much now, as ‘will have to when required’.

  216. 216
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Martin:

    Read my second post for clarification. I thought we were talking about scalability to the broader population.

    I have no problem with the expansion mechanism itself as a way to reach the previous ill-served market it addresses.

  217. 217
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Those three are the most vocal about it, but there’s plenty of people like the Rhode Island senators, Gillibrand, Kaufman, and Sherrod Brown doing good work out there.

  218. 218
    JGabriel says:

    @John PM:

    I do not think that discreditation is a word

    English is known as an infinitely extensible language, for the simple reason that our word-formation rules allow us to create words like discreditation, where the meaning is understood whether or not the precise conjuction of prefix, postfix, and noun/verb have appeared before.

    In this case, I’m pretty sure discreditation has been used before, but if hadn’t, so what? It obviously fits our word-formation patterns. There’s nothing unusual about it in that sense. It’s just a little clunky. It’s not like, for instance, irregardless, which breaks the word-formation rules by having a double-negative while meaning a single one.

    Read a little Chomsky or Steven Pinker, why doncha?

    .

  219. 219
    El Cid says:

    @John PM:

    The Republicans have nothing on Obama and there is no more special counsel law, so there can be no more years of endless investigations by a supposedly impartial source.

    I anticipate the immediate launching of numerous Congressional hearings on potential Obamian crimes against the Constushun by our new Republican overlords, and the ones doing so will not care that it didn’t work with Clinton, and any bit of nonsense resulting from these hearings will be endlessly repeated as loudly as the threats we all face from the New Black Panthers.

    No, I’m not kidding, I really do anticipate the launching of lots of House hearings on Obama wrongdoing. Including crap like Tony Reszko.

  220. 220
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @morzer: I vote and I’d move to Canada. Not good enough.

    @Angry Black Lady: Something. A start. Yes, national’s not the place for anyone to start. A young person couldn’t start anywhere but municipal elections, probably. But school board, city council — something. Not voting is only an option if you get ready to run.

    And running is going to be the best education process out there.

    Now, of course, if every person that’s not voting did what I said, it would be an interesting couple of years, to say the least. Conversely, it might be hard to inspire someone who can’t vote for or against somebody to actually run. So it’s unworkable both ways, probably. But it might shame a few people off the sidelines.

  221. 221
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @El Cid: “I anticipate the immediate launching of numerous Congressional hearings on potential Obamian crimes against the Constushun by our new Republican overlords…”

    It’ll be their way of tossing meat to their lions to keep them happy. Ok, meat substitute. They know their lions wouldn’t know the difference between the two.

  222. 222
    MattR says:

    @Martin: But it’s the same f’in plane :) In the end it doesn’t really matter since it is a work trip so they will pay for the nonstop from Newark but it just baffles me that I would have to pay more for US Airways not to transport me from Newark to Philly. (And of course there is no way that I can buy the ticket from Newark but only use the Philly segments.) OTOH, I hate that Continental now wants to charge me $50 to change flights when I am already in the airport, but at least I understand that they are providing me something for that money.

    (EDIT: I learned about the economics of hubs and why they were more cost effective and it made sense at the time, but I can’t remember a bit of it.)

    @Senyordave:

    Nationwide the cell only percentage is over 20%.

    I would be curious how many other people are like me – have a landline but anyone I want to contact me has my cell number so I don’t answer the landline if it is from a number I don’t recognize.

  223. 223
    Senyordave says:

    Since I work in the public opinion biz, I’ll give my two cents on cell phone effect. Cal is one state where the cell percentage is actually quite low (cheap landlines out there!), so it probably won’t make a lot of difference there. Where is it high? TX, much of the midwest, any college towns. Somewhat inversely proportional to income, the northeast is fairly low. Nationwide the cell only percentage is over 20%. How much of a difference will it make? My guess is less than people think. It is predominately 18-44 year olds, but also the sort of low-enthusiasm types that may sit out a midterm election. The wild card is the Hispanic piece. It is disproportionately high Hispanic, so there is hope there.

    Most of the low-budget polls have little to no cell phone only percentage, and if they do have it, they weight it up.

    I’m hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. At least I can still laugh – I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “if the Republicans take the House, they’ll have to act responsibly and compromise”.

  224. 224
    morzer says:

    @JGabriel:

    Teh Google rather suggests that discreditation is in reasonably general use among the English speaking populus. Accreditation is a valid form, so discreditation should be acceptable too, by analogy.

    Apparently, irregardless originated in western Indiana, which seems strangely appropriate.

  225. 225
    morzer says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Why should it not be good enough, if a citizen finds no satisfactory political representation in his polity, for him to choose another polity?

  226. 226
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Angry Black Lady: I’m totally with you, and I have no idea why so many people on our side just rule out the existence of conservative Democrats. We all long to say, “Fuck you, Ben Nelson Evan Bayh Mary Landrieu Blanche Lincoln Joe Lieberman.” And that’s not even counting other problem children like Pryor, Webb, Carper, Conrad, Bill Nelson, McCaskill, Feinstein, and, oh God I almost forgot Baucus. And then on top of those you have people who still aren’t liberal but at least don’t tend to act up, like Reid, Warner, Tester, Casey, and Tim Johnson. We’re dealing with a Senate that maxed out at 60 Democrats _including at least 18 non-liberals_ and probably more. There aren’t enough liberals or even near-liberals to get close to 60 votes, not even 50. As a consequence, no matter how hard we liberals wish that the Democrats would hang together, get tough, and ram through liberal policy, “Democrats” includes a large number of people who _genuinely don’t want those things_. Sometimes they’re persuadable, and sometimes they draw a line in the sand and refuse to cross it. You have no leverage against them, so you have to stroke and nuzzle them a lot. That’s what we’re up against, like you said, regardless of who’s president.

  227. 227
    suzanne says:

    @Yutsano: Heh. I saw “Alien” fir the first time while eight months pregnant with my daughter. Freaked me right the fuck out, let me tell you. But, as with your friend’s munchkin, she came out way cuter.

  228. 228
    morzer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Can I add the specter of Jim Webb to your list? (And, I suppose the Specter himself, although we hardly knew him).

  229. 229
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Those three are the most vocal about it, but there’s plenty of people like the Rhode Island senators, Gillibrand, Kaufman, and Sherrod Brown doing good work out there.

    Remember when the big blogs were all worked up about how awful and insufficiently progressive Gillibrand was and how it was a slap in the face and how poor Caroline Kennedy was sandbagged to prop up the very very bad Gillibrand, who had Republicans in her family? That was great.

  230. 230
    Suffern ACE says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Which is why, I’m thinking, liberals might want to focus their efforts, in addition to “electing more and better Democrats” to figuring out how to create more liberal voters so that “more and better Democratic” Senators can win. That part is a challenge.

  231. 231
    Hunter Gathers says:

    If the election goes as the CW says it will, the public at large will get it’s “Holy shit, what the fuck did we do?” moment in about February, when the GOPer led House tries to default on the debt by not raising the debt limit, which would make September, 2008 look like a mild case of the hiccups. And they will try to pull that off. It’s what the teabaggers want. All this talk from the likes of Bobo and the rest of the Villagers about a ‘new, sober GOP’ is bullshit. They have gone nuts, and the establishment GOP can’t control the tiger that they have latched themselves onto. There are going to be about 20-30 freshmen GOPer House members (and 4-5 in the Senate) whose sole goal is to completely fuck shit up. What, you think McConnell and the Ohio Orangeman can control these fucks? Does anybody really think that McConnell has any control over soon to be Senator Rand Paul?

    Remember that feeling of extreme remorse, that moment of “What the fuck did we do” those hectic days following Labor Day, 2005?

    At least this time, it won’t take scores of dead bodies in New Orleans to wake the country up out of it’s stupidity.

    Then again, it may take the prospect of President Snowmobile Snookie to do it. Let’s hope the country puts down it’s crack pipe and sobers up before then.

    We live in interesting times.

  232. 232
    Anne Laurie says:

    @MattR:
    __

    it just baffles me that I would have to pay more for US Airways not to transport me from Newark to Philly.

    I’ve only had to use the Philadelphia airport twice (opposite ends of the same trip), but if those experiences were an indicator, I’d pay them not to go through there again. Sarte’s Hell, with a side of Hieronymous Bosch.

  233. 233
    Nick says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Which is why, I’m thinking, liberals might want to focus their efforts, in addition to “electing more and better Democrats” to figuring out how to create more liberal voters so that “more and better Democratic” Senators can win

    I’ve been saying this for over a decade. the problem is many liberals think the country is full of secret liberal voters just waiting for Dennis Kucinich to get the Presidential nomination to come out a vote.

  234. 234
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @morzer: I had him under “problem children,” but you can bump him up to “Fuck You” status in the home game. And what’s sad is that I voted for Webb and would do so pretty gladly again, because my current home state of Virginny is filled with rich retirees and assorted peckerwoods, so a more progressive representative we will not soon have.

  235. 235
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    liberals might want to focus their efforts, in addition to “electing more and better Democrats” to figuring out how to create more liberal voters so that “more and better Democratic” Senators can win. That part is a challenge.

    I call that effort “college.” Mwahahahaha!

    No, you’re right, I agree that we need to make more liberals in the first place. What’s interesting to me is that I think _Obama_ agrees wholeheartedly, which was a lot of the point of the OFA and youth campaigns and stuff.

  236. 236
    MattR says:

    @Anne Laurie: Ha. I will make a mental note. I really can’t complain. No matter what flights I end up taking it will be better than flying to Toronto for a week in December.

  237. 237
    morzer says:

    For my money, the ball game has to be reaching more of the great apathetic non-voter demographic, and making them into voters for your team. Get them into the habit, keep them through social ties/groups, make it something enjoyable and meaningful. If you can do that, you might just create a more liberal Congress and Senate.

  238. 238
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Not really. I don’t follow West Blogistan’s civil wars. So why am I here, you may ask? For the doggehs, of course.

  239. 239
    Suffern ACE says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yeah. It was like there is this imaginary ultra liberal New York out there where politicians don’t have to run any longer taking positions that their voters will vote for. And then she had to go through the New York Times/Wealthy NY Dem threat of a Harold Ford primary challenge, for no other reason I think than the fact that she was from Upstate-and-not-one-of-us-so-she-must-be-vulnerable-and-too-close-to-Schumer. Nothing wrong with Harold Ford, I just don’t think working for Bank of America was going to win over the hearts and minds of the people this cycle. I think she’s handled herself well.

  240. 240
    suzanne says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Which is why, I’m thinking, liberals might want to focus their efforts, in addition to “electing more and better Democrats” to figuring out how to create more liberal voters so that “more and better Democratic” Senators can win. That part is a challenge.

    Well, the only way, short of letting demographic trends run their course, is to improve and increase education in the populace. But that’s still gonna take a while….

  241. 241
    piratedan says:

    well to be honest, I’m kind of getting tired about all of the “missed opportunuties” issues that keep coming up during the last two years. Rachel Maddow had a great segment on her show tonite that outlines everything that got done

    Lily Ledbetter Act
    Hate Crimes legislation
    student loan reform
    HCR
    Wall Street Reform
    Credit card reform
    auto industry bailout
    stimulus package that inluded huge spending on eductaion and infratsructure and clean energy initiatives and… that was done in less than two full years because of the hoohah regarding the seating of Al Franken, Kennedy’s death and seating of Brown, and now Byrd’s death and all of the crap regarding Blanche, Ben and Evan and the blue dog tango.

    Considering the makeup of the Senate and the amount of effective fillibustering done by the other side, that’s still an impressive list imho, granted ymmv…it’s too bad the MSM had/has the attention span of a Cocker Spaniel and there was/is an ongoing spin campaign waged by the other side since the election results came in.

  242. 242
    Calouste says:

    @MattR:

    Little known fact:

    The only reason that Douglas Adams used “bistromathics” in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was because he couldn’t come up with a good short name to describe the airlines’ pricing system.

  243. 243
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    My philosophy is that a Democrat is always better than a Republican. And if there’s a better Democrat available, then that Democrat is better than the first one. So I’ll say “Fuck You, Joe Lieberman” with impunity, because Connecticut can surely find someone better than Joe Lieberman. But honestly, if Mary Landrieu is the most liberal senator you’re going to get out of Louisiana, I’m fine with that. She’s better than Boustany or Jindal or any of the Republican fuckwads. Maybe Melancon would be marginally better, I don’t know. Some states you’re just not going to get a liberal elected in, or at least you’re going to spend a lot of resources doing so that could be spent elsewhere. But I think the idea is making Democrat the sort of “default” option for people, and making the Republicans into a scary sort of “other” that has to fight to get elected. I think building that sort of broad national Democratic base is a good long term strategy.

    (The exception to this rule is Ben Nelson, who is just a loathsome human being that I can’t bring myself to apologize for.)

  244. 244
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Loneoak:

    If you take for granted that all modern industrialized states have to provide universal health care in order to have a functioning economy and vaguely just social system (which everyone but US Republicans accepts prima facie), then on the spectrum of possible solutions HCR was not progressive.

    Please name a country that was able to craft a universal healthcare system and implement it in a single step. Just one.

    South Korea is considered to have switched from a private, for-profit healthcare system to a single-payer system with lightning speed since it only took them 15 years. It took Canada over 30 years to settle on their present system.

    The US was never going to switch from a for-profit to a single-payer system overnight after passing a single piece of legislation. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    So, yes, the US taking steps to secure coverage for all of its citizens is progressive, because it moves us towards the goal of universal coverage.

  245. 245
    MattR says:

    @Calouste: That is an interesting nugget. That a genius like Adams could not come up with an appropriate name shows how truly messed up it is.

    Now that I think about it, I am kinda surprised that New Jersey has not adopted a similarly pricing scheme on their highways. Take the NJ Turnpike all the way from Delaware to NYC and it will cost $6, but take it from central NJ to NYC and it costs $10.

  246. 246
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  247. 247
    Suffern ACE says:

    @suzanne: I hope you are doing well, mamma-to-be. I think there are going to be issues with that demographic trend. One of the things about it that worries me quite a bit is certain types of liberals, not all, and I am one, tend to think that those new groups automatically want them in charge when the time comes so they do things like, say, write off the entire state of Texas as a backwater of slack jawed hicks when that is where, say, the Hispanics are living that are supposed to turn the state purple and lead to this mythical permanent Democratic but not actually very liberal majority.

    I’ll add to that by saying that, as a New York guy, I populist mobilizing progressive movement is NOT going to come from the high end of the northeast liberal establishment. It needs to move here from somewhere else.

  248. 248
    Calouste says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The UK.

  249. 249

    alright, look, if change isn’t going to show up for these threads, what kind of damned troll is he/she? we deserve better!

  250. 250
    Calouste says:

    @MattR:

    And there I thought that “Little known fact” was well-known amongst the BJ commentariat as short hand for “I’m making this shit up” :)

  251. 251
    Yutsano says:

    @Calouste: Actually, no. The National Health Service was an offshoot of various health systems that developed during World War II when health care was nationalized in order to keep it from being wiped out entirely. So you’re talking a process that started in 1936 that wasn’t solidified into law until 1948. The NHS is an odd duck for how quickly it was put into place, but it was created more or less out of whole cloth.

  252. 252
    MattR says:

    @Calouste: Well, I am glad I didn’t go straight to post it on Facebook, though it would be kind of cool to spread that rumor far and wide and then know we were the original source.

  253. 253
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Calouste:

    ‘Fraid not. The system they’re operating under now is not the one that was set up in 1946.

    ETA: But Yutsano was even more complete in pointing out that it wasn’t a single step to get from A to B in the first place.

  254. 254
    ruemara says:

    @suzanne:

    Well, I love you and think you’re doing a great job.

  255. 255
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: I never understood why we look to the British for all good things in universal health care when the Germans have been doing this for over 120 years.

  256. 256
    Calouste says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And the point there being? That they made changes between 1946 and now? Yes, figures. And as the article you linked to mentions, they still had the 1946 system for more than 30 years.

  257. 257
    morzer says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s not actually what repeal of the Act in question would mean, and in fact the 1977 Act repealed AND REENACTED the 1946 Act. Repealing an Act like this is fairly common when tidying up and systematizing old legislation, just as a good deal of the material in any new bill before Congress will involve modifying or deleting old areas of law. If you look at the history of the NHS, you’ll see that there were quite a few health acts of one sort of another between 1946 and 1977,and so what happened in 1977 was consolidation of ongoing reforms/revisions rather than any radical departure from the past. There was also an Act in 2006, which explicitly referenced the 1977 Act as a consolidation, and similarly repealed and reenacted that Act as part of its own consolidation of legislation enacted between 1977 and 2006.

    In practice, the NHS today is very much a development of the institution created in 1946.

  258. 258
    Wallace says:

    I think it misreads the situation to think people blame Obama, as a singular entity, for not achieving a more progressive result. The original article says “the votes were not there”. That’s the whole point. The whole lot of them aren’t worth fighting for.

    I knew, and said all through the election (to my friends that I discussed politics with) that Obama wasn’t particularly liberal, and was not a reliable ally for progressives. That, to me, hasn’t been surprising. The disappointment, for me, has been Congress. They’re the ones that leave me wondering how invested I’m supposed to be in fighting to sustain the kind of outcomes they seem to be willing to achieve.

  259. 259
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Yutsano: Because at the time the “welfare state” model was being developed, it probably wasn’t a good idea to bring up ideas that had their roots in Germany.

  260. 260
  261. 261

    @va: So the issue is that folks want him to keep only the campaign promises that they like. he did promise bipartisanship, didn’t he? weren’t democrats seething when republicans rolled right over them during The Bush Years? do we want good policy or do we want revenge?

  262. 262
    morzer says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    I think they have the dance-off model in mind:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzyT9-9lUyE

  263. 263
    morzer says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Well, that’s pretty much the story of leading a coalition of interest groups united largely by their dislike of the interest groups on the other side.

  264. 264
    morzer says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Well, that’s pretty much the story of leading a coalition of interest groups united largely by their dislike of the interest groups on the other side.

  265. 265
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    he did promise bipartisanship, didn’t he?

    Something like 70% of the country wants bi-parisanship (it was in a NYT poll, or something like that). But revenge would have been so much sweeter. I hear revenge has the electrolytes that plants crave.

  266. 266
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Angry Black Lady: You know that episode of the Simpson’s where Homer takes a job working for a Branson parody in a town where there are coffee shops every six feet and all wants and needs are taken care of, but it turns out that the new corporation is a terrorist organization trying to take over the world by force?

    Sometimes, I think that is what we want, when looked at from the 5,000 foot level. Individual desires may vary greatly, however, after disaggregation.

  267. 267
    morzer says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Not so much. Bismarck set the pattern for what one might call the defensive conservative welfare state in the legislation he passed in Wilhelmine Germany in the late 19th century, but Austria-Hungary also enacted social welfare provisions for workers, as did the French Third Empire. Britain began creating its welfare state in 1911, before WWI had established longterm hostility to Germany.

  268. 268
    Yutsano says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    You know that episode of the Simpson’s where Homer takes a job working for a Branson parody in a town where there are coffee shops every six feet and all wants and needs are taken care of, but it turns out that the new corporation is a terrorist organization trying to take over the world by force?

    I think that came from a visit Matt Groening made to Seattle. I pass four Starbucks on my way out of the bus tunnels every day.

    And I only go three blocks.

  269. 269
    Brachiator says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    To state it bluntly, black men don’t have the luxury to get “mad as hell.” When black men get “Network mad,” white folks get nervous. Look how nervous white folks are now.

    Obama is the freaking President of the freaking United States. He has running room that few men or women of any race ever will have. The tired, old conventional wisdom of what he may not have the luxury to do simply does not apply (it really doesn’t ever apply, but some people find it hard to renounce “received wisdom”).

    A core of mainly white conservatives can’t deal with Obama, and their discomfort is constantly whipped up by the Tea Party People and Fox News, among others. There are probably a few liberals who use the “Obama is not sufficiently progressive” mask to disguise their racial discomfort as well.

    Don’t matter. And getting angry is largely beside the point.

    Obama has the power and the authority, and has to find a way to wield it effectively, despite all the whining and distractions and insanity by the crazed minority who weave fantasies about his lack of legitimacy.

    And while I think that the opposition that Obama has to deal with is significantly different from what, for example, Bill Clinton had to deal with, still a part of it is just a variation of the same old GOP playbook. The Republicans always try to shut down the government when Democrats are in power, and a segment of the citizens always fall for the okey doke.

    Unfortunately, the stakes are higher this time. The Republicans screwed the country up big time during the Bush/Chaney Error, and they want the opportunity to do it again. The midterm elections may be a big setback for the Democrats, but the fact remains that the Republicans have no ideas, the Tea Party is worthless, and it will fall on Obama to try to get the country out of the jam it is in.

  270. 270

    @FlipYrWhig: THISTHISTHISTHISTHISblargh.

  271. 271
    NobodySpecial says:

    Someone tell me where Obama is on the ballot this year, because ya’ll seem to be fixated on him.

  272. 272

    “I can guarandamntee that if Obama had used the “bully pulpit” sufficiently enough to appease the so-called manic progressives, the racism from the right would have been much more pronounced, and much more vociferous. It likely would have reached levels that would have been more destructive to this country.”

    Obama saying….

    “Standard macroeconomics in an emergency when unemployment is at 9% is for government to increase expenditure.”

    “Americans are dying unnecessarily and 80% want a public option so I’m going to push hard for that.”

    “Spying on Americans, assassinating Americans, and keeping people in jail without judicial review is immoral, illegal, and unAmerican, so I’m not going to do those things or let people get away with those things.”

    “Torture is wrong and illegal will be punished.”

    “The government is corrupted by corporations so I will fight to end that.”

    … would have increased racism on the right, so Obama is right to not do those things.

    Got it.

  273. 273
    Catsy says:

    @General Stuck:

    Oh but they have, in code. Why isn’t he standing up to the repubs.? Why don’t he use that bully pulpit? He should have destroyed the GOP by now, when he had the chance? Why does he bipartisan? Code for inadequate black man when we could have had a liberal lion white dem presnit

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    Is this a poor joke? Hyperbole? Or do you actually believe this claptrap?

  274. 274
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Catsy: Stuck is a self-admitted troll. Treat accordingly.

  275. 275
    El Cid says:

    Americans will say that they want the two parties to work together, but they’ll say they want politicians to say where they stand and fight for what they believe. They say that they’re tired of all the partisan fighting but they don’t like whatever weak or hard to understand or notice policies which come out of such agreements. And so on and so forth.

    Americans are perfectly capable of simultaneously wanting contradictory things. And why not? These are just polls. It’s not like the Average American cares to really think about these questions in great detail, or whether or not their views make that much sense.

  276. 276
    Trinity says:

    Girl – I just made this EXACT point to my Canadian cousin over the weekend! I think Obama has done the best he could within the sociohistorical contraint of being a black man in America…even if you are the President.

    Personally, I can’t wait until after his Presidency when he can say what the hell he really wants.

  277. 277
    chicago dyke says:

    very elegant, if ultimately inadequate. the problem is not that there aren’t enough white people to rise to his defense. there are, and they elected him. the problem is of course he’s doing exactly what he wants, which is to say he’s the “moderate” (by which i mean “conservative”) that the system allows to be preznit. if he’d actually been progressive he’d never have been allowed in office in the first place. the system is that broken, and it is this fact that people resist at all costs, including by making excuses for him. go ahead if you think there is value defending obama the man and president, but my attention is on the other element of your argument, which is to say: given how you basically admit that progressive concerns are “impossible,” national politics is mostly Kabuki then, isn’t it?

  278. 278
    General Stuck says:

    @Catsy:

    Absolutely I believe it. And I am not the only one. Sorry if it ruffles your feathers, but maybe you thought all liberals were more pure than they are and were above such things because they were liberals. I was here when Obama started winning the primary and some of the most avowed and dedicated progressives came here screaming Obama could not be elected because he was black. And that evolved into not being all sorts of this or thatweak memes from the left

  279. 279
    General Stuck says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    WTF is it with you? self admitted troll? self admitted liar? etc etc……/ You appointed yourself my personal minder on this blog?

  280. 280
    brantl says:

    As far as the racism right now, you don’t beat the opposition by letting it push you away from confronting it. That’s never worked, and it probably never will.

    Jesus’s believing in turning the other cheek eventually got him nailed up on the cross; only meaningful if you believe in the resurrection.

    I don’t know about you, I don’t believe in it….

  281. 281
    brantl says:

    @NR: Tell me again, when did Congress pass this sweeping change, and when did Obama veto it? I missed that. They wouldn’t even agree on a place to put the Guantanamo prisoners, and actually put them in a MaxSecure prison, so that they could have trials. Congress (the Senate, essentially) pussied out on him. Face the facts.

  282. 282
    jinxtigr says:

    @Martin Gifford:

    Yeah. Going with a theme of fighting punishing pushing black men is like giving candy to racism. He has to do those things in more of a stealth mode, which he may well be doing.

    I’m sorry. I think it’s pretty much bullshit, but it’s tactics.

    Besides, what people seem to want is bluster and posturing. It’s all very well to want RAAAGH FIGHT bluster, like the Republicans enjoy so much, but real fighting can mean holding the line even while your ass is being shot off, and not giving up. The narrative there looks like ‘your ass got shot off, beleaugered’ but if the person didn’t give up or run away, things can be accomplished.

    I’m not totally sure which things Obama is fighting for. I know some he’s directly going for, others he’s either not bothering with or working some 11D chess thing on them, or expecting that it is someone else’s job (for instance, restraining executive power is not the responsibility of the executive, and I still suspect he waves red flags in his capacity as Prez as a hint)

    I do know that you’re not going to get RAAGH ANGRY BLACK MAN SMASH out of him, though, and that’s entirely a good thing. The poster who compared him to Jackie Robinson was on the money. You realize, we STILL have a black President? Given the makeup of this country, that alone is amazing :)

  283. 283
    chopper says:

    @NR:

    But the simple fact is that he campaigned

    that was his biggest mistake.

  284. 284
    someofparts says:

    I always understood that Obama did not have the option of showing anger because of the way that gets distorted through the lens of white racism.

    I also think the point about the votes not being there is a good one. Others have noted that electing better Democrats instead of blue dogs is the way to go.

    Also, I live in Atlanta and, not being rich, have always had to work a lot. Still do. So I have worked for conservative black Republicans. I think about the conversations I have had with those colleagues when I am tempted to imagine all blacks are progressive.

    I admit that I was so thrilled when Obama won I couldn’t go to work the next day, because I cried so much on election night that my face was still red the morning after. I will even admit my feelings were driven in part by the sense that Martin King’s legacy was being gloriously realized. Not that I expected Obama to be a Martin King figure in his policies, but because things had reached a point when a black man could be elected President.

    Even then, there were plenty of lefty bloggers warning that Obama never was liberal, and I understood that from the start.

    As an old person, I notice that me and the other geezers don’t always catch on right away when the times have moved on and left us behind. The whole civil rights things is just history now to most people living. Those of us who remember it from actual experience are old and apparently kinda clueless. It is past time for me to start living in the world as it is now.

    Running Obama was just another trick our owners used to keep the most hard-core, stupidly idealistic liberals in the game for another round or two. As you noted in your links, the best Obama and Pelosi were able to do wasn’t enough to save us. Apparently it is just too late to prevent the economic and cultural decline ahead of us. The votes were never there in the first place. It was already too late before we even started.

    Meanwhile, in anticipation of the times ahead, one thing I’ve learned about oligarchs, blue dogs and republicans is that they never, ever, no-how, no-way, take even a speck of responsibility for anything they do. That means that the bigger the fuck-ups they cause, the nastier and more vicious their attacks on scapegoats will become. It won’t be a good time to be a person like me in the days ahead.

    So I’m shopping for places outside of the country to retire. Joe Bageant has lived in Mexico for more than a decade and he mentioned that sometimes he goes an entire week without thinking about the U.S. That sounds like heaven to me and I want to try to achieve it in my own life.

    I have a picture of the French strikers at my desk. A young fellow is holding up a big sign that says, “Ecoutez la colere du peuple.” Sounds like a great retirement destination for a stupid old hippie idealist, doesn’t it? With any luck, before I’m dead, I can say I have spent entire weeks never giving the ole US of A even one blinking thought. Better for me and better for, well, everybody.

  285. 285
    chopper says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    this illinoisan agrees completely. we don’t yell. we stare, we clench our teeth and we. talk. slowly.

  286. 286
    Elie says:

    @Tyro:

    I think that there is an argument to be made for not using the same attack strategy as the right… it just perpetuates and strengthens them and their insanity.

    We do not want to use those same tactics. Ultimately they do not work. Our side does have substance and over time, that wins out — always. Don’t let self doubt dictate our strategy… we have to believe in what we believe and let the other take care of itself. Crazy, mouth foaming insanity is not our shtick — its theirs. Its going to blow up on them even if they win big this election. It is not a strategy for rational governance — only for opposition. We need the emotional discipline to stand by our own values and not get drawn into what the right wants. They WANT to fight and distract. Its all they got.

  287. 287
    Elie says:

    @someofparts:

    I am sorry for your despair. You own it but you ignore a lot of good things that have happened to us over the many past decades. Good and brave things that people with your values created under risk but also hope.

    Your lense is focused on the micro and not on the sweep of history. How different and better this country is today than it was 50 years ago! Remember and do not idealize the past and put down the present or the future. Relationships are always difficult over the long haul. The relationship with your country is no different. Don’t give up.

  288. 288
    Tyro says:

    We do not want to use those same tactics. Ultimately they do not work.

    I think you are wrongly interpreting a strong hard line with insanity. Mitch McConnell is not insane. Destructive, but not insane. I am not in the party for the polite conversation.

    You sound very earnest. But if you don’t like the dirty work of politicking and driving narratives, then politics isn’t for you– it’s not just about being being nice and reasonable and letting the rest take care of itself: you are just enabling and empowering bullies that way. nthevrestvtake care of itself. And that’s the problem I have with a lot of Democrats: they seem to have chalked it up as their lot in life to be targets of republican bullies. Obama’s election just made that worse in a lot of ways.

  289. 289
    cckids says:

    @Gian:

    I thought then, as I do now, the apt sports comparison is to Jackie Robinson.

    Ali was pretty much in your face

    Robinson had to take it and take it bad – it took the like of hall of famer stan the man to get players to not knife him.

    you couldn’t get a rise out of Robinson, and you can’t get a rise out of Obama.

    I agree. And after watching “Invictus”, I can’t help but make the (I know, easy) comparison to Mandela. Someone who realized that, even tho he had the power, it wasn’t right or smart to completely infuriate the other side. It was their country too.
    While we are in the midst of this hateful tornado right now, hopefully through having a calm, adult presence in the WH, we’ll be better off for the lancing of this boil of ugly racist backasswardness. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

  290. 290
    Tyro says:

    Relationships are always difficult over the long haul.

    Sometimes two people grow apart. “I love you, but I think we should see other people” is not an unreasonable reaction. Infrastructure and quality of life in the USA isn’t going to improve anytime soon. I couldn’t blame anyone who would rather enjoy some years living the lifestyle they want now rather than dying waiting for it to appear in the USA.

    I actually view it the same way I view my parents: they actually did a good job raising me, but the truth is that they’re never going to be the kind of parents I want, being at home for any time longer than a relatively brief visit is kind of unpleasant, and I am perfectly capable of putting together the life and environment I want for myself without desperately trying to turn my parents and life at home into something it’s not.

    The jury is still out on this for me: plans change, relationships change, but one should always evaluate what kind of life you want for yourself.

  291. 291
    Tyro says:

    I can’t help but make the (I know, easy) comparison to Mandela. Someone who realized that, even tho he had the power, it wasn’t right or smart to completely infuriate the other side.

    If I had to point to any mistake Obama made, it was his thinking he is like Mandela. I don’t know if you noticed, but the other side is infuriated. And they may well channel that infuriation into electing enough outright lunatics to Congress to control it. So nice job, Obama, with that message of “looking forward” by giving the Republicans a pass on the last 16 years– he just ended up painting a big target on himself saying “kick me.”

  292. 292
    rikyrah says:

    I have issues with the President. That he’s never lost his temper on camera and called all those mofos out is not one of them. Makes me respect him a bit more, because, contrary to what some might think, Barack Obama knows he is a Black man…and one slip…just one….

    will turn him into the ANGRY BLACK MAN.

    so, while I would personally be gratified if he just would say, ‘ Fuck all y’all’, that’s not who the President is, and that’s ok with me.

    and for any White Progressive who doesn’t understand this, why don’t they go and ask their ‘Black friend’, and actually ask them why doesn’t the President ‘get angry’.

  293. 293
    cckids says:

    @John PM:

    I understand that the Republicans would impeach merely to try to discredit (I do not think that discreditation is a word) Obama, but that approach did not work well against Clinton.

    But that would imply that Republicans learn from history. Whatever makes you think they have the capacity to do such a thing?

  294. 294
    cckids says:

    @Tyro: What makes you think he didn’t have that target on him before he ever stepped into the White House? I don’t know if he thinks of himself like Mandela, but he could do far worse as a role model. In the sweep of history, the way he is/has governed will turn out to be a plus ( I believe). Accomplishing things through legislation rather than executive fiat. Putting in place the building blocks for future growth & movement (see parts of the stimulus re green energy & HCR). While it is a great fantasy to think that if only he was angrier/tougher/louder & we all clapped & believed really hard he’d change the world overnight, the job of POTUS doesn’t come with a magic wand.

  295. 295
    Tyro says:

    cckids, it’s quite clear Obama didn’t even understand he had that target painted on him, because he was too caught up in his belief that he was a “great unifier.” And I don’t know if you noticed, but the congress is about to be stacked with a bunch of right wing crazies. Having the Democratic party in the House decimated and basically accepting the inability of congress to function without 60 votes is not the “building blocks of future growth & movement.” It’s a concession that the inability to grow and move is “the new normal.”

    The time for the “great unification” was not now, and I think Obama missed that simple fact.

  296. 296
    henqiguai says:

    @morzer (#157): Just for the record…

    Did you ever hear of the Seattle Seven? That was me and six other guys.

    Wikipedia seems to think one of those guys was a gal – Susan Stern with “…a memoir entitled With the Weathermen: The Personal Journey of a Revolutionary Woman about her experiences”.

    Late and just drifting through some comment threads; took the day off to vote, now just chillin’.

  297. 297
    morzer says:

    @henqiguai:

    Your are not aware of all Big Lebowski internet traditions, then?

  298. 298
    NobodySpecial says:

    @General Stuck: If you don’t like the truth being told, perhaps you should have kept it to yourself the first time.

    I’m just reminding people that you’re not a serious actor and never will be.

  299. 299
    henqiguai says:

    @morzer (#297):

    Your are not aware of all Big Lebowski internet traditions, then?

    Well, no. Never saw the movie; know of it, just never saw it. Much to the disgust of my co-worker in the next stall cubicle. But, seriously, that’s you ?! I’m impressed. And even moreso with this blog for the amazing people who like to hang out here (yeah I’m lookin’ at the likes of you, Prof. Levenson, et. al.) !

  300. 300
    General Stuck says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    If you don’t like the truth being told, perhaps you should have kept it to yourself the first time.

    Just a compulsive truth teller I yam

    ps – you might want to proof read your insults just in case they come out as positive reinforcement instead. LOL.

  301. 301
    300baud says:

    I have no idea what everybody else wanted, but I wanted a little passion, not anger. E.g., in his recent appearance on Jon Stewart he was pretty dry. Which was fine for most of it, but all of it? It was a week before the elections. He could have gotten passionate on getting out the vote, and I can’t imagine that scaring anybody.

    He seems a very competent administrator, but that’s not the whole of the job description. He is also supposed to be a leader of a nation of human beings, and I haven’t seen much of that.

    Also, I’m a little skeptical of the thesis that things would have been much worse if he had actually gotten angry from time to time. It’s not like the right aren’t already scared of him; they just make shit up to do it. Would them being rabid about true things be any worse?

  302. 302

    @jinxtigr:

    I’m not totally sure which things Obama is fighting for.

    He’s not fighting for principles, morality, law, or economic sense.

    If you look at when he has fought hard, it has been against progressives. In other words, he is fighting hard to not rock the boat politically.

    Message to Obama supporters: In politics, if you don’t fight you lose.

  303. 303
    socraticsilence says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    You will nmever convince me that wasn’t a not-so-subtle CPT reference by Broder.

  304. 304
  305. 305
    DPirate says:

    @SectarianSofa: I guess you don’t know, either.

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