Not Sure I Can Handle This

One of the odd things about switching from the Republican party to the Democratic party is how both approach elections. Republican bloggers would go to great lengths to prove their devotion to the cause and their slavish love to the cause, competing with each other to prove who is the most loyal.

Democrats, it seems, spend the year and a half prior to an election arguing with each other about who has been betrayed the most by their own side:

The one who primaries Obama will be the next Democratic president

Or this one:

I could have called this post “Kicking his base in the teeth” after Rachel Maddow’s formulation. But let’s leave it at this: The 2012 Problem.

Or anything from here:

Now I know that the usual suspects will come in here calling me an authoritarian, unable to handle dissent, still a republican at heart, an Obot, an apologist, blah blah blah. I can write the comments myself. All I am saying is that I don’t think I have it in me to spend the next 18 months listening to people argue who is the real base and how Obama has let them down and that there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. I really just don’t think I have the strength to do it.






497 replies
  1. 1
    Hawes says:

    If Bill Clinton had had to deal with Daily Kos, he never would have won a second term.

    Of course, the Ur-Kos is Ralph Nader, so….

  2. 2
    satby says:

    God John, neither do I. I was around for the Nixon – Vietnam era, and honestly, this is worse. I never in 50 years have felt the despair that I feel right now for this country.
    So we all have to work harder to turn it around, not give up.
    Edit to say that I know John isn’t giving up, I’m talking about the rest of the noobs who whine about everything, take their balls and stay home.

  3. 3
    Guster says:

    So you’ve got enough strength to write a post inviting the argument onto your blog, but not enough to spend the next 18 months listening to it?

    ETA: And what do you think of that ‘progressive economic plan’ post on dKos? Why let Ryan have all the Overton fun?

  4. 4
    Huntly says:

    “I really just don’t think I have the strength to do it.”
    Then don’t. It’s probably not as hard as you think.

  5. 5
    Hawes says:

    I found video of the next Netroots Nation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_12E1EN6fs

  6. 6
    The Political Nihilist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    When I read something like this, I have to remind myself, before I have a conniption:

    The dissent, argumentation, and general snarl amongst Dems really should be how a healthy political discourse should be. Yes, unite as one, but after a good policy base and ideologically sound (and sound ideology) are established enough to put to paper and put to vote.

    The fact that this has become a glaring detriment to our side shows not how fucked up we are, but how fucked up 1) the GOP and the general monolith that they’ve become are, and 2) How utterly broken the larger national discourse is, when the media slavishly acts as stenographers for the GOP, but as the “Bad Cop, Badder Cop” for the Dems. I mean, the fact that the GOP, in all depressing prescience, managed to brook their massive political comeback on the idea of ‘If we remain monolithic against the dirty Dems, the public will believe that the DEMS are the awful hyperpartisan hacks, and we get infinite monies!’ shows how fucking broken it is.

    And then that’s when I have my fucking conniption because I can’t see how the fuck we’re going to fix that.

  7. 7
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Republican bloggers would go to great lengths to prove their devotion to the cause and their slavish love to the cause, competing with each other to prove who is the most loyal.

    To be fair, the Republican party generally rewards their loyalty. The Democratic party, OTOH, will usually find a way to rub their supporters’ noses in it.

  8. 8
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    I like you better when you’re pissed off and shrill.

  9. 9
    superluminR droid says:

    It’s really not fair you do this to us and expect us to lay in the popcorn at our own expense. I demand a primary of John Cole, he sold us out!

  10. 10
    Trinity says:

    I hear your frustration Cole and share it.

    Also, too.

  11. 11
    Ann B. Nonymous says:

    It’s the difference between people who live in the family basement who crave membership in larger society and people who live in the family basement because they loathe larger society.

  12. 12
    Noonan says:

    Good lord, reading that rundown of topics at Kos made me want to smoke a cigarette. Suddenly I understand why punching hippies is a bipartisan pastime in this country.

  13. 13
    Punchy says:

    Did you say something about Republicans and fucked up elections?

    Arizona, Oklahoma, and now Idaho are in a ketchup-mustard-relish stadium race for the most corrupt places to ever establish a government.

  14. 14
    aimai says:

    I think there’s a huge difference between critiquing the Democratic strategy and failing to properly support the Democratic party/leadership. I also think you are comparing apples to oranges when you talk about right wing bloggers and left wing bloggers. There were tons of people criticizing George Bush II from the far right, people who held their noses to vote for him. But they supported him in office because he not only gave them what they wanted, he made clear that he was their president first and not the president of all America. Bush *never* made the mistake of reaching accross the aisle without a wink, a nod, and a cash handout for his own side and his supporters. Even while he was screwing his own working and middle class supporters he paid them off with the social issues, the bigotry, and the racism that they were willing to accept in exchange for actual economic goods and services.

    I loved Obama, and I supported him and support him–and I’ll do so financially and physically. But he needs to win hearts and minds too–not mine, actually, because I vote a straight dem ticket and always will–but the low information voter and the desperate voter and the youth voter and the old white voter. To do that he is going to have to inspire people to believe that he is fighting their fight. He can claim to have his back to the wall. He can claim its going to be hard. But he is going to have to step up his rhetorical game if he wants to motivate those voters. Just like Bush did. And he’s going to have to do it without the money Bush’s wealthy supporters were pouring into massaging the egos of right wing pundits and bloggers. That’s just politics.

    Its not because Dems are different from Republicans. Its because the Democratic leadership always despises the votes it already has and moves to the center/right to get more votes. While the Republicans not only own their “base” through secret payments–as with the Tea Party–but they actively fear their voters at the local level.

    aimai

  15. 15
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    As an example of what I was saying, the last Republican to really buck the party was John McCain and he was pretty much loathed by the rank and file until he got back in the tank. Now he’s still kinda detested.

    Meanwhile, on the other side, Democratic politicians line up to kick us in the teeth and it’s the rare politician that inspires and keeps loyalty. Dean comes to mind, although I was never a Deaniac.

  16. 16
    RoonieRoo says:

    This is how it’s always been according to my father. He was a McGovern delegate back in the day. I remember when I got old enough to wrap my head around political participation (1970’s) I asked my dad why he wasn’t active anymore.

    He said that all the Dem. meetings always devolved into who had a bigger chip on their shoulder and who was the most abused by society/the party and he couldn’t take it.

    So as far as I can tell, it’s SOP.

  17. 17

    @Punchy:

    Arizona, Oklahoma, and now Idaho are in a ketchup-mustard-relish stadium race for the most corrupt places to ever establish a government.

    Sorry, but they’re all running for second place. Florida has the lead and is pulling away fast, I’m afraid.

  18. 18
    gogol's wife says:

    Thank you again for expressing my thoughts exactly. I went to Krugman yesterday to see his link to you, and I was appalled by the comment section. He’s assembling a whole anti-Obama army over there. Why does he think this helps the cause? I guess it gets him on television.

  19. 19
    Poopyman says:

    Really? There’s no daylight between “The President ignores the left” and “there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats?” Seems to me the folks who claim the latter are few & far between around here, and get bashed regularly when they make the claim. OTOH, it’s no secret that nearly everyone on the left feels like the White House has dissed its base some way or another. How people are handling their letdown is ranging from despair through a reasoned better–than–the–alternative acceptance on out to sheer lunacy.

    Yeah, we’re gonna see the full spectrum of reactions from the left. One advantage I have that you (for now) don’t is that I can walk away from blogs when I need to. If it comes down to it I won’t fault you for doing the same. Spending too much time on the blogs gives as warped a version of reality as Fox News. (I presume, since I never watch it.)

    The other remedy is to do what you mentioned yesterday and take action. Once again, I’ll put my money where my mouth is, but I may feel more driven to actually pound leather in 2012 than I ever did before.

  20. 20
    geg6 says:

    @satby:

    I’m with you and John. I’ve lived with these shits, both the holier-than-thou Dems and psychopathic GOPers, for over fifty years and I’m sick to death of both.

    For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

    Teddy said it best and it’s how I feel and will always feel.

  21. 21
    Poopyman says:

    @Punchy:

    a ketchup-mustard-relish stadium race

    I’m laughing trying to guess what OCONUS readers imagine when they read that.

  22. 22
    El Tiburon says:

    @The Political Nihilist Formerly Known as Kryptik:
    +1

    I will never understand Cole’s position on this topic. So do you want your cake and want to eat it but don’t want the calories? I mean, seriously, what the fuck is the point here?

    Yes, it’s a shame that the ONLY alternative to the Democratic nominee is a Republican which negates the ability to vote for anyone other than a Democrat. I get it.

    But I am at the point where I may simply withhold my vote because Obama seems to be steering this country further over the abyss on the big-ticket items. And yes, you can take your HCR and shove it up your ass. Oh, right, we got Lily Ledbetter Act. (Yes, the Supreme Court nominees is another reason that you have to vote Democrat)

    But as Greenwald has pointed out, when do we escape this ‘voter capture’ and play long-term?

    I try to look for the big positives in Obama, and I just don’t see them. From his economic team to his civil liberties and the wars and so on.

    So yeah, I will be interested in a very serious primary opponent if for nothing else to hopefully drag his ass back to the left. Although Obama has proven he can talk liberal-speak in campaign mode yet toss it all overboard once elected.

    Tell me now though: do I need to STFU? Will ABL come and jump my ass for something?

  23. 23
    El Cid says:

    Beyond perspectives on the subject matter, it’s also the case that non-front-pagers’ posts probably won’t receive such top billing without some sort of arresting title.

    It’s the number of “recommends” which pushes posts up that sidebar.

    I haven’t done many posts there, but I did notice that I had to rework the titles of the posts for many people to notice and recommend them. (Which often meant going from, say, two to a few dozen recommends.)

    If there were a ton of FP’s here but comments striving for ‘recommends’ in order to be visible also on the FP somewhere, it would be the same.

    Like the actual left I knew from a couple decades ago — though now such an ideology isn’t required to have the sort of perspectives now seen on blogs — it’s also quite the thing to have truly over-the-top declarations of what will be done now by those reading or sharing that view.

    Not that sometimes appeals don’t lead to pretty big actual results.

    Just that it’s incredibly rare.

    And such declarations can be as unrealistic or not focused on some practical (to any extent) takeaways as declaring semi-regularly that it’s time for a new general strike to throw out the government and re-make the economic system. I don’t mean the ones saying that that may be what’s required or a necessary goal, but the ones which sound more like a routine clarion call.

    A lot of times I don’t quite get what people are saying when they say things like they are ‘done’ with Obama. There have certainly been times where I had hoped he would do things I thought possible and which were necessary to actually bring about helpful rather than less shitty policies, but I was never ‘with’ him in some sort of deep personal identification.

    Then again, that’s why I’m not the type for a political campaign, because I can’t focus on editing my outlook to focus only on those things to back my chosen candidate. Or declaring that candidate X really will focus on doing something I don’t think will be done, or done in the manner the average listener might expect or hope. Something which has to be done when the focus is on people outside an existing smaller subset.

  24. 24
    capt says:

    Maybe is we can bitch and moan about Obama enough he will become convinced we really do support him?

    That makes sense in lala-land.

    The midterms prove my point – people stayed home, the D’s didn’t vote so where would a politician turn when his “base” doesn’t support him? Any politician will turn to the middle.

    If you really want Obama to be more progressive it would make sense to support him.

    But what do I know, eh?

    lol

  25. 25
    stuckinred says:

    @RoonieRoo: I agree but nobody else seems to. The 68 convention riots were not at the Republican convention.

  26. 26
    kwAwk says:

    My thoughts are that while I’m disappointed in some of the choices Obama has made, he really is the best we’ve got at this point.

    I think if we on the left focus on getting the majority back in both houses in 2012 we’ll see Obama more willing to take the stands that need to be taken in order to move the country in a progressive direction.

  27. 27
    The Political Nihilist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @aimai:

    The prime difference that you touch upon here, to me, is this:

    The broader Republican Party goes out of its way to motivate its base, and banks on independents/moderates to come on the sheer enthusiasm of the base.

    The broader Democratic Party goes out of its way to capture the middle independents/moderates, and takes its base for granted because ‘there’s no other choice’ for them.

  28. 28
    Tom W. says:

    I’m hardly an Obot – indeed, I supported Hillary till she left the race and then (apparently nearly alone if you believe the blog fights) calmly switched my flag to Obama. I’ll support him next year, and it’s an easy call.

    Why?

    Because I’m not disappointed. The title (unless you’re pretty senior) of “greatest Democratic president of our adult lifetimes” carries with it a fairly low bar that may still be attainable for President Obama. I never thought he represented a massive movement for progressive change; indeed, he said quite clearly that he did not.

    Sure, it’s all defense now and that’s sad but hardly surprising. And yes, the left should push the guy as hard as it can – while still making the right choice in November, 2012.

    Which it will.

  29. 29
    superluminR droid says:

    @HGW
    You know, I think Mr Cole may be single. And I hear he’s incredibly handsome too, with a friendly cat and completely obedient dog to boot. You two should hook up…

  30. 30
    pablo says:

    Americablog is right next to Firedog on my bookmarks, I think I may be to blame for their morphing into Americadog.
    While I have a lot of issues with the Obama Presidency, (and weak-kneed Dems in general), the Repugs would have to raise A. Lincoln from his grave, and re-animate him to even make me THINK of voting for someone over Obama in 2012.

  31. 31
    General Stuck says:

    GO Dennis the Menace/2012!!

    Or, there’s an olive in the pit of my stomach.

  32. 32
    Carnacki says:

    I swear there are times I prefer the right wing trolls on West Virginia Blue to the left wingers. Both are often detached from reality, or rather spin their own elaborate realities, but it’s more fun to poke the right wingers than to argue with the left wing purity drama queens. In every case the progressive hero touted by our purity trolls turn out to be just as bad on many issues important to progressives, but the purists are convinced they heard what they wanted to hear from their candidate.

  33. 33
    El Tiburon says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    He’s assembling a whole anti-Obama army over there.

    The other day Cole nominated a post for “post of the year” or something.

    I hereby nominate this quote as “Stupidest Quote of the Year.”

    I think it will be hard to beat. I can’t wait for the Fox chyron: “Krugman’s army to overthrow Obama, according to influential lefty-blog”

  34. 34
    Rey says:

    I’m with you JC. As a person that reads political blogs daily to stay in the loop, I have this weird love for Dkos because it was the first blog that I came to during the 2008 election where the majority of people felt like me. The community of liberal ideals and logic felt like home. I really appreciate Moulitsas though, he started a great community. But I don’t have time for the Obot bashing and I do enjoy positive picture dairies about our President and first family. Ballon Juice is now my first and last read of the day- Tunch and Lilly are the new Malia and Sasha and all is right with the world. I’m just a simple Obot though, what do I know…

  35. 35
    BTD says:

    I like the Bash Andrew Sullivan at Every Opportunity format.

    Stick to that. It is wonderful

  36. 36
    aimai says:

    I guess my shorter is always this;

    Fucking Politics! How does it work?

    The Obama campaign was madly successful because it pulled people in emotionally and intellectually and it gave them a dozen different places to put their energy, their emotion, their creativity, and their hopes. People got out and walked, and fundraised, and worked with each other in a way that was truly inspiring to novice political actors and to old hacks. And Obama and the Dems have let that all just fade away in pursuit of the politics of inside baseball. That’s fine if it works–but it didn’t exactly work and anyway the next election cycle is on us. Obama and his team are going to have to go begging, hat in hand, for the billion dollars that he needs to run this campaign and also go to the small donors and the voters for the actual footsoldiers to put him back in office.

    Its not some kind of whiny leftist conspiracy to point out that this is going to be both easier (because hes an incumbent) and harder (because people are feeling (in some cases) disappointed and confused, in other cases uninvolved and disconnected. Politics is about giving your supporters what they need–whatever they need–to come out and vote for you and then using the power and the mandate they gave you to keep giving them more stuff that they want.

    That’s politics in a nutshell. And the people who bitch about the disloyalty or the shortsightedness of “their own side” or “their voters” or “their base”–or who tell loyal voters that their votes aren’t wanted because they are whiny and stupid–are not going to be successful politically. The Republicans never publicly diss the Tea Party because you just don’t shit on your own voters. And neither should Obama, the Dems, or his supposed loyal followers here. Hell, I’m a loyal follower. I have concerns about how *we* are going to pull off this next election. That’s not disloyalty. That’s just common sense.

    aimai

  37. 37
    cleek says:

    if “conservatives” didn’t suffer from the same kinds of dissatisfaction, we wouldn’t have seen the rise of the teabaggers.

  38. 38
    Jeff says:

    The line of comment I love most, that anyone who reads this stuff often will see frequently, is “Obama is destroying the party of FDR and LBJ.”

    Does anyone stop for a minute to think about how laughable this is? Guess what? The problems that America faces exist in part because FDR and LBJ didn’t do enough. Massive segregation, a problem far worse than anything we face today, existed at the beginning and the end of FDR’s terms. Where was he? WHY WAS HE NOT LEADING ON THIS ISSUE? Why did he not propose the Civil Rights Act himself and ram it through Congress instead of kicking the can down the road?

    Anyone wonder why we’re still talking about a public option today? Because LBJ limited Medicare to people over age 65–i.e., he passed a half-measure. Oh, was he just acting within the constraints that Congress had imposed on him? Well golly gee, doesn’t that sound familiar.

    Where were the calls to primary FDR over Korematsu? Court-packing? No more of this lesser of two evils stuff!

    … And that’s not to mention the “Obama’s the weakest negotiator ever, but at the same time he’s also corrupt because this is what he wanted all along, and to be honest let’s look into how he was actually elected as Harvard Law Review editor because despite cheering for that as a leading qualification in 2008 I now think it’s pretty meaningless and possibly actually shows him to be emptyheaded” line of argument.

    Also too: “Oilbummer sent me a donation request and I mailed back a long diatribe about his failure to unilterally sign via executive order a $1T WPA-style bill and his failure to respect Congress on foreign policy. I said I would volunteer at my local GOP headquarters because maybe after 8 years of a real Republican people will finally get their heads out of the sand.”

    At a certain point, it really has nothing to do with Obama and everything to do with how very stupid some of these people are.

  39. 39
    gogol's wife says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Thank you. I consider it a great compliment that you think my comment was stupid.

  40. 40
    Geek, Esq. says:

    The Netroots has reverted to the Nutroots.

    In the defense of the Daily Kos crowd, however, they are extremely stupid and hyperemotional.

  41. 41
    BTD says:

    @Tom W.:

    I never thought he represented a massive movement for progressive change; indeed, he said quite clearly that he did not.

    True. But take out the word progressive, and he clearly DID say that. But pols say anything. Taking what pols say seriously is a fool’s errand.

  42. 42
    geg6 says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So yeah, I will be interested in a very serious primary opponent if for nothing else to hopefully drag his ass back to the left.

    LOL! You really are new at this politics thing, aren’t you?

    I hate to break the news to you, Bucky, but all this will do is make Obama look better and better to the vast majority of Americans. You and Greenwald need to grow up and start working with reality here. I have no hope that Greenwald ever will and I doubt you’ll take my advice either. I hope you like it when you and all your buddies can take credit for President Bachmann.

  43. 43
    stuckinred says:

    @Jeff: Fuck LBJ

  44. 44
    Poopyman says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But I am at the point where I may simply withhold my vote because Obama seems to be steering this country further over the abyss on the big-ticket items.

    The only way this makes sense is if you’re already out of the country along with all of your money in yuans, and subsistence farming. Really. Giving Republicans any advantage in an election is tantamount to giving them the OK to destroy the country, because that’s the path they’re on.

    Tell me now though: do I need to STFU?

    Sure! Why not?

  45. 45
    Chris says:

    @aimai:

    But they supported him in office because he not only gave them what they wanted, he made clear that he was their president first and not the president of all America. Bush never made the mistake of reaching accross the aisle without a wink, a nod, and a cash handout for his own side and his supporters.

    I read on another blog awhile back (sorry can’t link, computer filters it out) a theory that Bush’s sudden drop in approval ratings in late 2005 wasn’t because he mishandled Katrina, but because he signed a bunch of legislation soon thereafter that centered on recovery activities. Which would, of course, mostly benefit poor black people.

    The blogger points out that up until that point, Bush could always count on a solid 40%+ base in the polls, but that it suddenly dropped off at that point because a ton of anti-welfare-queen voters, who had trusted him for his wink-wink-nudge-nudge rhetoric on those issues, no longer did.

  46. 46
    El Tiburon says:

    @Noonan:

    Good lord, reading that rundown of topics at Kos made me want to smoke a cigarette. Suddenly I understand why punching hippies is a bipartisan pastime in this country.

    Really? Care to elaborate? Can you take just one topic posted there at random and report back why you find it pernicious or without merit or otherwise cigarette inducing?

    Seriously, go to Kos, read one of those posts, dissect it a bit for us, and then report back and let’s see.

  47. 47
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @pablo: are you the Protein Wisdom Pablo?

  48. 48
    BTD says:

    @geg6:

    President Bachmann? Yeah, there’s a realistic possibility.

  49. 49
    BTD says:

    @Chris:

    What do you think of that analysis? Sound like horseshit to me.

  50. 50
    cleek says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So yeah, I will be interested in a very serious primary opponent if for nothing else to hopefully drag his ass back to the left.

    go ahead and name one incumbent president who has been reelected after facing a serious primary.

    all a “serious” primary does is guarantee that a large portion of the president’s potential base ends up hating him by the time the election comes around because he said mean things about the Pony Primary challenger.

    given how our electoral system works, a primary against an incumbent just a stupid stupid fucking stupid idea. yeah, it meas you don’t get everything you want. yeah, it means the president will do things you don’t approve of. but, that’s how our system works.

    it’s time for people to grow the fuck up.

  51. 51
    Geek, Esq. says:

    @Poopyman:

    Really? There’s no daylight between “The President ignores the left” and “there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats?” Seems to me the folks who claim the latter are few & far between around here, and get bashed regularly when they make the claim.

    Obviously, you have not spent much time amongst the Nutrooters lately. Obama=Bush is taken as an article of faith by that crowd. The only variation is of which bizarre conspiracy theory to embrace–on Daily Kos, it’s that Obama is a Manchurian Candidate foisted upon the masses by Wall Street, whereas at places like FireDogLake, he’s an evil fascist dictator bent on world domination (or a House Ni**er, as one recommended diary put it).

    But, don’t forget, angry old white people who hate the President and have vowed to work for his defeat are the real base.

  52. 52
    Josh James says:

    A crucial difference that you’ve not noted … Republicans rarely, if ever, betray their base, and when they do they’re punished for it (Newt and the christian soldiers, Bush I raised taxes, etc) …

    Democrats, on the other hand, not only take their base for granted and then forget about them once they take office (and really, is that an exaggeration? They take office and the people they’re usually most interested in appeasing are non-Dems, true or false) and, in fact, are expected to punch a hippie every once in awhile to prove their “seriousness”.

    I don’t disagree that there are liberals out there who go too far and don’t understand that compromise is necessary at times, not at all.

    but it’s also more than fair to note, the liberal base gets shit on by the people they elect a whole lot more than gets reported.

  53. 53
    Jeff says:

    @The Political Nihilist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    The dissent, argumentation, and general snarl amongst Dems really should be how a healthy political discourse should be. Yes, unite as one, but after a good policy base and ideologically sound (and sound ideology) are established enough to put to paper and put to vote.

    The fact that this has become a glaring detriment to our side shows not how fucked up we are, but how fucked up 1) the GOP and the general monolith that they’ve become are, and 2) How utterly broken the larger national discourse is,

    Indeed. Another problem is that there’s no healthy outlet for the justifiable anger people on the left feel when they ARE kicked in the teeth over and over again… since our politics are essentially zero sum, liberals have no substantive way to act on their unhappiness with the Democrats, since anything that weakens the Dems empowers the Confederate/Republican party…

    Worse, I’m not sure there’s a way out of the situation that doesn’t involve an awful period of Republican dominance leading to the establishment of some sort of plutocratic dictatorship followed by a violent quasi-marxist revolution – and given historical precedent, that probably wouldn’t have a particularly good outcome either…

  54. 54
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    Cheer up Cole.
    The teabaggers are going to primary Boner.

  55. 55
    Steve M. says:

    The one who primaries Obama will be the next Democratic president

    I’m shaking my head at the staggering naivete of this, but it stems from an extremely common fallacy, which proceeds in the following steps: (1) Obama got 67 million votes; (2) I’m mad as hell at Obama right now, and I voted for him; therefore (3) all 67 million Obama voters are as as angry as I am.

    The vast majority of Democratic voters aren’t Kos/Krugman/Maddow/Eschaton lefties. Not even a particularly significant plurality of Democratic voters are. We’re not like the Republicans — over on that side, Fox and talk radio have made a significant voting bloc (a third of the party? half? more?) into purists. Purists probably constitute a percentage of the Democratic Party in the single digits. I’d guess the low single digits.

    I don’t mind this level of purism — or at least I wouldn’t if the purists had a real answer to the question You and what army? They simply don’t represent a voting bloc that can tip elections (and I wish they could, because that would mean they could tip general elections, not just primaries).

    But worst thing is that they don’t know this. They have purist ideas (many of which I share), but they don’t think they need to build a purist — or just call it seriously progressive — base. They naively think it already exists, just because a lot of people in ’08 who’d never voted, or voted for Bush in ’04, said, “Yeah, y’know, I kinda like that Obama.”

  56. 56
    geg6 says:

    @BTD:

    Well, how does President Trump sound? None of them are implausible to me at this point with the GOP as it exists today. None of them.

    That stupid bitch is getting tongue baths in the press. Her poll numbers aren’t bad. The same is occurring with Trump. Do you really respect the intelligence of the GOP base enough to say without any doubt that either of these two are completely ludicrous? I don’t.

  57. 57
    Kane says:

    Imagine. You’re elected president of the United States of America. As you walk into the White House on the first day, you’re presented with an enormous pile of challenges: The country is involved in two wars, one which has been overextended and the other ignorned and mismanaged since the invasion. We’re loosing 800,000 jobs per month and facing massive unemployment beyond the foreseeable future. Some governors are considering bankruptcy, while others are talking about seceding from the Union. Millions of homes are being foreclosed. Fifty million Americans don’t have healthcare insurance. The American auto industry is about to disappear. The infrastructure of the country is rapidly crumbling. The country is in massive debt. There are terroists at home and abroad who want to kill Americans and destroy the country. Scientists are offering dire warnings about climate change. Our students can’t afford college. We are falling behind in science and math. Gays and lesbians are being denied their civil rights. Our relationships abroad are fragmented. And the list goes on.

    Now, fix it!

    Oh, and by the way, the political party responsible for much of these problems has decided that it’s in their political best interest to try to prevent you from fixing any of these problems. And you should also know that Blue Dog congressional members of your own party are going to oppose you as well; they have bigger fish to fry. And lets not forget a corrupt conservative media offering their 24/7 attacks and conspiracy theories, and a juvenile left that threatens a primary challenge everytime they are unhappy with you.

  58. 58
    aimai says:

    I disagree with El Tiburon on the witholding the vote thing but I’d like to point out that one thing that lots of Obama supporters, as well as detractors, have argued is that we need a stronger left to enable Obama to take a more successful central position–just the way Boehner sucessfully triangulated his crazy rightist faction into getting most of what he wanted in the budget debate.

    I know Americablog can be annoying and I barely read it but I did actually read the pilloried “Next Democratic President” post and he is actually arguing a totally non controversial point which is that the Democrats need the same kind of stick tooitiveness of a Reagan–someone who will run, and run again, to get to the top job. He’s really talking about trying to create a more progressive farm team approach to fundraising and campaigning.

    And to those who interminably explain to us that Obama is not a progressive, well, if that’s true and so obvious to his “real” and “smart” and with it voters from the last time around then progressives should, in fact, look elsewhere for their standard bearer long term. You really can’t have it both ways. If you want to argue that your hopes and desires for an Obama presidency have been fully met well, bully for you! But when you argue that some significant portion of his voters were self deceiving and foolishly believed what they thought they heard during the campaign well, you can’t blame them for feeling buyer’s remorse at having bought a pig in a poke. You are happy and they are not? That’s politics and that’s why campaigns have to be fought. You may not have to please Obama’s disapoointed voters but he does. And he knows it. You aren’t doing him and his campaign (among whom, again, I include myself) pointing at other voters and calling them names.

    aimai

  59. 59
    BTD says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Do you think that group is a serious threat to Obama’s reelection chances? Are they worth paying attention too? And if so, who should pay attention to them?

  60. 60
    El Tiburon says:

    @Poopyman:

    Giving Republicans any advantage in an election is tantamount to giving them the OK to destroy the country, because that’s the path they’re on.

    Agreed. But the Democrats are not much better. To paraphrase on old one – maybe we have to burn the village to save it.

    As of right now, Obama does not seem to represent any of the core values I have for this country. To get along by just going along may not be the right strategy.

  61. 61
    Geek, Esq. says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Oh, I’ll take the “Obama supporters are a ‘threat to us all'” diary as splendid example of the deranged idiocy that’s the norm at Daily Kos.

    Nutjobs produce page hits, so at least Markos has a profitable website, if also an increasingly irrelevant one.

  62. 62
    Jason Stokes says:

    If Bill Clinton had had to deal with Daily Kos, he never would have won a second term.

    If Obama had to deal with Kenneth Star, he would have impeached himself by now.

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: There are two problems in contemporary politics that must be addressed concurrently. First, how do we bend the tracks to the left and regain momentum for progressive issues? Second, how do we keep the reactionaries from wrecking everything? Any political action from people who are left of center should be taken with both of these problems in mind. In my opinion, supporting Obama and the current Democrats is absolutely necessary to deal with the reactionaries. At the same time, we should be recruiting and encouraging more progressive people to enter politics and forcefully make the liberal and progressive arguments. If you are frustrated by Obama and the current office holders, perhaps you should focus your efforts on the other problem while, I would humbly suggest, still voting for the better of the two options currently available.

  64. 64
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    angry old white people who hate the President and have vowed to work for his defeat are the real base.

    plus freemarket fucktard concern trolls like Sully and EDK that work hard to sow doubts about Obama.

  65. 65
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Except the Republican reward most of the voters with “If you will just vote for us one more time, we’ll be sure to take care of everything you asked of us. Those bad Dems blocked our agenda again.”

  66. 66
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Ah, using Teh Orange’s Wrecks List to prove a point.

    Keep in mind that much of the Wrecks List is populated by FDL Firebaggers of the Left and other Purity Dems who voted for Nader in 2000.

  67. 67
    alwhite says:

    I think there is plenty of room to discuss who is the base & who let whom down. That can lead to a healthy exchange and better understanding – a stronger party. But to say there is no difference between the Rs & the Ds shows a disconnect from reality approaching Ryan levels. Sure, there are too many Ds that are in the pocket of the Masters Of the Universe but they don’t control the agenda so there is some hope.

  68. 68
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @aimai:

    we need a stronger left to enable Obama

    and we dont get that until the demographic timer goes off.
    The bubba vote is still at approx 50%.

  69. 69
    Geek, Esq. says:

    @BTD:

    No, they’re more like grains of sand beneath one’s feet in sandals–ultimately irrelevant, but a mild irritant if one bothers to notice them.

  70. 70
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Even if I agreed with your assessment of EDK, don’t lump him in with Sully. And I don’t agree with your assessment of EDK.

  71. 71

    Wait a minute. Republicans fall all over themselves proving themselves loyal to the cause, right? Well, isn’t that exactly what the posters at GOS et al. are also doing? The cause for them, however, is an actual issue or policy position. They are upset because of how much they feel party leaders have sold out the cause.

    And there’s plenty of that RINO bullshit on the right. I don’t really get what John is saying here. If it’s just the Will Rogers “no organized party” sentiment, well, that’s just us all over and has been.

  72. 72

    I am not now and never have been a member of the Republican party, but our host’s description of his experience sure fits my ignorant impressions. I think the reason is simple. US liberals are liberal. That is, for whatever reason, relatively egalitarian Americans are liberal in the original sense of the word: we believe that debate is good, we think authority should be questioned, we think that the world works better if people think for themselves (even if they don’t know as much as the experts) etc etc etc.

    One doesn’t have to be an authoritarian to be an enthusiastic unambivilant supporter of a leader. But it helps.

    Also too Bush Jr was really really extreme. The extreme loyalty of Bush supporters took the form of agreeing to policies, such as torture, which were so extreme that they were unmentionable. I would guess that, had there been a right blogosphere back in the day, right bloggers views on Bush Sr would be similar to left bloggers views of Barack Obama. Activists tend not to be centrists. It is, I think, natural healthy and normal for President of the day to be firmly criticised by blogs from the right and from the left.

    Basically, I’m saying Republicans should be more like Democrats, because we are more democratic and republican.

  73. 73
    BTD says:

    @aimai:

    You may not have to please Obama’s disappointed voters but he does.

    I’m not sure Obama has to, but it is certainly up to the political candidate to decide the course he will take.

    All we do on blogs is wankery anyway, but this is especially true when it comes to critiquing voters of any stripe. “stupid and hyperemotional,” as Geekesq labels them? Perhaps, but that is who they are.

    It really doesn’t matter of John and Co. bash them for it. The real issue, at least for Obama, is what effect does ithave on his chances for reelection. Probably not much,in that he and his team appear to have chosen their strategy for reelection – run the Clinton 1996 campaign.

    Hopefully it will work, but the economy needs to cooperate.

  74. 74
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Remember folks, the time to show your dissatisfaction with a candidate is in the primary process. Unless it’s Obama, then what is your fucking problem – do you want a Republican elected?

  75. 75
    El Tiburon says:

    @Steve M.:

    I’m shaking my head at the staggering naivete of this

    Perhaps, but as my dear friend (ok, met her just once) Molly Ivins said

    Here�s what we do. We run Bill Moyers for president.

    Do I think Bill Moyers can win the presidency? No, that seems like a very long shot to me. The nomination? No, that seems like a very long shot to me.

    Of course she wrote this in 2006 when W. was sinking the ship. Her argument was Bill Moyers would turn the conversation back to the left – he wouldn’t be trying to massage any benefactors or preening for the camera.

    So, yeah, why not a serious challenger (Russ Feingold, a boy can dream)? Is this a democracy or a super-cool frat house?

    For those who have not read Molly on this, check it out:

  76. 76
    Lolis says:

    This isn’t rocket science. Look at the numbers of people who self-identify as conservative, liberal, and moderate. Liberals are a small fraction of Americans and the Democratic Party. Plus, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard really liberal people say they were “fiscally conservative.” Obama’s base encompasses a wide ideological spectrum. Plus Americans are confused. Remember when huge majorities liked the tax cut compromise even though they didn’t like most of the details? Most Americans just don’t follow politics enough to be informed voters.

  77. 77
    aimai says:

    @Chris:

    Chris, I can’t speak to that because I’m not that into polls and don’t remember the ups and downs of Bush’s tenure. As I recall it Bush didn’t really fall from grace so much as McCain couldn’t capitalize on Bush’s popularity with his base. And McCain, of course, failed upwards into the nomination and was deeply hated by a lot of the most die hard Republican fans.

    aimai

  78. 78
    sixers says:

    Suck it up cole. Sorry there’s people who don’t agree with the president on an issue and don’t just interalize it for the good of the party. This is what healthy parties do. Aren’t you embarassed you went along with that shit during your previous party affiliation?

  79. 79
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Except the Republican reward most of the voters with “If you will just vote for us one more time, we’ll be sure to take care of everything you asked of us. Those bad Dems blocked our agenda again.”

    That seems nicer than “Who else ya gonna vote for Firebagger?”

  80. 80
    BTD says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    So ignore them.

    Personally, I’ve become a single issue voter – taxes. I want them to go up. I hope Obama does too.

    But he’ll do what he will do and I will vote for him. What else can we do? There is no better alternative.

  81. 81
    steviez314 says:

    Republicans who piss on Bush get excommunicated.

    Democrats who piss on Obama get 6pm MSNBC TV gigs.

  82. 82
    Geek, Esq. says:

    @BTD:

    Well, I recently stopped posting at that place. I’m kind of going through withdrawal–first step was to stop participating, next step will be stop talking abou them, third step will be to stop giving Markos site hits.

  83. 83
    jwest says:

    It’s obvious that by the time the Democrat Convention rolls along, polls will indicate that Obama will be facing a Mondalesque loss. Solidly blue Michigan lost the governorship by a stunning 20 points to an unknown republican, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and a number of other states are basically out of play in 2012.

    The only hope is for Obama to step aside and let Hillary run.

  84. 84
    benintn says:

    I wrote a diary to this effect which was highly recommended and which pointed to the problem with blaming Obama for the fact that the GOP is in the majority now. (Or, for that matter, blaming Obama for not getting a public option, blaming Obama for the stimulus being too small, blaming Obama for not nationalizing the banks, blaming Obama for the lack of progress on ENDA, card check, climate legislation, etc.)

    My guess is that Kossacks are genuinely angry but that trolls are also joining in the fun and tipping the scales of anti-Obama sentiment. We’re all angry about how hard the Congress sucks. But blaming Obama for that is ludicrous.

  85. 85
    benintn says:

    I wrote a diary to this effect which was highly recommended and which pointed to the problem with blaming Obama for the fact that the GOP is in the majority now. (Or, for that matter, blaming Obama for not getting a public option, blaming Obama for the stimulus being too small, blaming Obama for not nationalizing the banks, blaming Obama for the lack of progress on ENDA, card check, climate legislation, etc.)

    My guess is that Kossacks are genuinely angry but that trolls are also joining in the fun and tipping the scales of anti-Obama sentiment. We’re all angry about how hard the Congress sucks. But blaming Obama for that is ludicrous.

  86. 86
    Joe Beese says:

    As long as anyone is still thinking in terms of who should get the Democratic nomination, they are still awaiting enlightenment.

    The party is an irredeemable sinkhole of venality and corruption that befouls anyone who associates with it.

    Go third-party or go overseas. But for the love of Pete, stop giving a shit about which hyena scrambles to the top of that garbage heap.

    As for Mr. Cole’s attack of the vapors, I’m sure that after a brief restorative interlude on the fainting couch, he’ll be back in the pugnacious form we’ve all grown to love.

  87. 87
    BTD says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Funny, I just returned ,but I only participate in my group on legal issues for the most part.

    You should join our group. You always have something interesting to say about law stuff (not that you do not on other stuff.)

  88. 88
    Beverley says:

    You say this in April 2011 but you’ll feel differently in 2012 because you know what’s at stake. These folks who criticize Obama were never in his camp. They were for someone else until it was it was between McCain vs Obama and then jumped on the bandwagon because “Hey this is historic!”

    They never listened to his campaign speeches when he said that “Change is hard, power doesn’t conceed without a fight, you need to hold me accountable. These are the same people who were disappointed in his Grant Park Spech, when he said “if you didn’t vote for me, I’ll be your President too”.

    Winner takes all politics is why we have a divided nation. We need to stop this.

  89. 89
    maye says:

    Seems like the Republicans are having just as much trouble with their tea party wing as the Dems are having with the Kos wing.

    The conservative Dems in Congress still put a (D) next to their name, but they are as liberal as Olympia Snowe.

  90. 90
    Geek, Esq. says:

    @jwest:

    It’s obvious that by the time the Democrat Convention rolls along, polls will indicate that Obama will be facing a Mondalesque loss. Solidly blue Michigan lost the governorship by a stunning 20 points to an unknown republican, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and a number of other states are basically out of play in 2008 2012.

    PUMAs are actually kinda cute nowadays.

    The only hope is for Obama to step aside and let Hillary run.

  91. 91
    Bobbyk says:

    All I am saying is that I don’t think I have it in me to spend the next 18 months listening to people argue who is the real base and how Obama has let them down and that there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. I really just don’t think I have the strength to do it.

    Good, get out then. Apparently you’re saying we should all be lavishing slavish devotion to the “dear leader”?
    Sorry, but it’s always been in the democratic DNA to try to hold leaders accountable. No matter how you spin it this is yet another cave in by obama.

  92. 92

    @Jeff:

    Jeff, take a bow. That was spot-on.

    In all honesty, I think history some of these folks is some cut-and-paste idealogically purist nonsense that distorts the truth about people and events.

    Me? I’m giving Obama my vote next year. Call me an Obot or sue me, I really do not care. I’m more concerned about trying to move this country out of the cesspool of 30+ years of Repug nonsense.

    To paraphrase Ishmael Reed, “…the government envisioned by some of the Left…exists only in heaven.”

  93. 93
    Steve M. says:

    @El Tiburon: I go back and forth on this, but I think it’s possible that a challenge to Obama from the left could be helpful, not because it’s a challenge to Obama per se, but because a challenger might actually get serious applause on the campaign trail for articulating ideas that are outside the current Overton window: tax the rich; put some bankers in jail; get serious about mortgage modification; get the hell out of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. These are liberal ideas that are popular across the political spectrum, yet even Democrats don’t dare to articulate them. If someone did, and drew big, Obama-in-’08-style crowds, that could have an impact.

    I still don’t think such a person could win the primaries, or a general election. But reframing the debate would be well worth it.

  94. 94
    David in NY says:

    I’m just puzzled. I find it hard to justify the shutdown compromise or Obama’s approach in general of late, and I don’t consider myself anything other than an old New Dealer.

    First, I find it hard to justify on policy grounds. It’s insane cutting spending in this way at this time — Obama has probably just strangled his baby recovery in the cradle. http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/.....-post.html

    And second, in this case, policy grounds do equal political grounds. Anybody who thinks people will love Obama for cutting the budget if unemployment stays at almost nine percent, is nuts.

    And third, politically, the old saying is you can’t beat something with nothing. So far, that’s playing Obama’s way, because none of the Republicans has developed a real identity with the general populace. But come November, 2012, they’ll have a candidate pushing Paul Ryan’s vague “reforms” and really, Obama has just bought into them. If that’s the playing field, why will people choose a wimpy budget cutter, when they’ll be able to get the real thing? What Obama is equipped to do, but hasn’t done, or doesn’t want to do, is set out some alternative vision and explain why some cuts should not be made and revenues should be raised. That’s the “something” he needs, and like Krugman today, I’m damned if I know why he isn’t busy at it.

  95. 95
    McMullje says:

    @Kane:
    Thank you! It’s nice when someome puts your exact thoughts into words!

    We are ALL bedwetters when we don’t get instant gratification. Talk about a sense of entitlement!

  96. 96
    maye says:

    We’re all angry about how hard the Congress sucks. But blaming Obama for that is ludicrous.

    I don’t blame Obama for Congress, but I blame him for not attempting to control the message. Of course I will support him in 2012. What choice to do I have?

  97. 97
    Kane says:

    We all have a role to play in politics. For President Obama to reap the full measure of compromise­, it is incumbent on liberals and progressiv­es to scream to the high heavens everytime they feel slighted so that the media will take notice and portray his base as outraged. Only then will the moderates and independen­ts and undecideds feel as if the president is considerin­g their wants and needs and keeping his promise to be the president for all Americans. When those at the Daily Kos and elsewhere vent and Krugman offers his occasional disappoint­ment, it’s actually a good thing.

  98. 98
    Zifnab says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Go third-party or go overseas.

    Does this mean you’re finally going to move to Canada if Ralph Nader isn’t elected President?

  99. 99
    Geek, Esq. says:

    @BTD:

    I’m flattered, and may act on that suggestion. But, I need to work on my discipline in terms of biting on bait. Maybe in a couple of weeks.

  100. 100
    El Tiburon says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I would humbly suggest, still voting for the better of the two options currently available.

    While I agree mostly with your comments, this particular quote is the crux of it all, isn’t it?

    So, I am to vote for a person who I don’t think is a good leader and seems to be legitimizing a lot of the repugnant Bush policies? Is this right?

    At least if a Republican was the President, maybe the spineless Dems would at least pretend to oppose some of these policies.

    Or perhaps getting a loon in the White House would finally wake the American people up. AGAIN. Look at what’s happening around the country with these loony Republican governors. Yes, they are on the precipice of destroying unions, etc. But it awoken the masses. This is what we need.

    Sitting humbly by while hoping aw gee shucks Obama doesn’t invade Yemen or Iran maybe ain’t the right strategy.

  101. 101
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): its a free country.
    /shrug
    But EDK SAID this.

    EDK: I believe in free markets

    Deal.
    Posted in: Free Markets Solve Everything, Fuck The Middle-Class, Fuck The Poor
    Posted in: Assholes, Free Markets Solve Everything, Glibertarianism

    Both Sully and EDK have recently started concern trolling Obama. Wonder why? Because they see their side is going to lose.

  102. 102

    @geg6:

    “LOL! You really are new at this politics thing, aren’t you?”

    It’s either that, or they were asleep in history class and didn’t learn about what happened in 1968, 1980, or 1994…and that the imbroglio in 2000 was all Al Gore’s fault.

    And Greenwald is a Libertarian who’s hooked into the Cato Institute. Whatever he utters now, at least to me, is less than impeccable.

  103. 103
    OzoneR says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: You really need to meet more Republicans. Many of them saw Bush as a huge sellout, but they were more than happy to vote for him in 2004 without bitching and rub Democrats’ noses in it.

  104. 104
    lacp says:

    Does anyone on this thread actually believe that somebody is going to make a primary challenge to the president? Frankly, the only one I can imagine is LaRouche and he’s not exactly credible.

  105. 105
    El Tiburon says:

    @Steve M.:

    I still don’t think such a person could win the primaries, or a general election. But reframing the debate would be well worth it.

    Bingo.

  106. 106

    Today’s threads so far have 10 comments, 8 comments, 27 comments, 17 comments, and 4 comments. And now this one has 100 and counting.

    No one trolls this blog half as well as its owner.

  107. 107
    pablo says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: No, wisdom has never been attached to MY name, nor never shall.

  108. 108
    NovShmozKaPop says:

    To be fair, I did see a reference to this:

    http://politifact.com/truth-o-.....mise-kept/

    in DKos.

  109. 109
  110. 110
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Marc McKenzie:

    To paraphrase Ishmael Reed, “…the government envisioned by some of the Left…exists only in heaven.”

    and by the Founders and Framers.
    They were utopians too.

  111. 111
    Left Coast Tom says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So, yeah, why not a serious challenger (Russ Feingold, a boy can dream)? Is this a democracy or a super-cool frat house?

    If you’re going to “dream” of a “serious challenger”, how about looking for one who _won_ their most recent election?

  112. 112

    @Kane:

    Good one, Kane…but here’s the problem.

    Sure, they can imagine it…but then they also imagine that you can whip out a magic wand (like the ones used by Hogwart’s students) and then wave said wand and poof! All problems solved in two seconds or less!

    When in truth, it’s going to take a hell of a lot longer to fix things. And maybe it’s just me, but I distinctly remember Obama telling us that on the night he won the Presidency.

  113. 113
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @pablo: I knew him pretty well.
    You look like a moby from here.

  114. 114
    OzoneR says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So, yeah, why not a serious challenger (Russ Feingold, a boy can dream)

    Because it’ll turn to a free for all and solve nothing. The story will not be about the left challenger, but about black voters, young voters, how Republicans will win easily and said left-wing challenger will not be able to get any message out beyond the echo-chamber and Obama will be weakened.

    It will, as it did every single time we’ve done it in the past, move the Overton Window to the right.

    There are plenty of ways to change the conversation. Challenging an incumbent President with an 85% approval rating within his party is NOT the way.

  115. 115
    gene108 says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But as Greenwald has pointed out, when do we escape this ‘voter capture’ and play long-term?

    When you brand “conservative” as a dirty word. When a reporter asks a Republican, if they are conservative and they squirm in their seat trying to dodge the question and not alienate the conservatives, who vote for them, while not tipping off independents he (she) is a conservative at heart.

    Republicans and conservatives understand how to structure a long-term narrative. Liberals have no fucking clue.

    Look at what the other side has done successfully and as much as it would pain you to admit it, accept the fact right-wingers are damn good at public relations and figure out how to duplicate their success as a liberal.

    It will probably mean getting rid of some of the anarchic liberals seem to live and being more business like, but if you want to own the “long-term”, it’s not about what 10%-20% of the electorate – those who are probably self-identified liberals – do to influence the Democratic Party, but what liberals can do to influence the vast swath of moderate voters that liberal positions are better for them.

  116. 116
    Geek, Esq. says:

    @David in NY:

    An ‘acceptable’ spending alternative was never in the cards. The basic reality is that John Boehner alone has the power to initiate every single dime of federal spending.

    Shutting down the government while refusing any compromise would (a) hurt the recovery and (b) send the signal that the government really isn’t all that necessary–that shutting down the government is worth it to make a political stand.

    Now, for the Teabaggers, that’s a 2/2 wins, but for Democrats, that’s 0/2. The only possible leverage Obama, Reid et al had was that people could possibly blame Republicans more than Democrats for a shutdown. It’s not like the Republicans WANT to spend money or that they want the economy to recover by November 2012.

  117. 117
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Do I think that Obama and Democrats have allowed the Republicans to gain control of the narrative in almost every instance? Yes. Do I think that he sometimes tries too hard to remain above it all? Hell, yes.

    Will I work the phones and knock on doors for the Democrats again in 2012? Yes, because the more the Republicans make themselves an unthinkable alternative “Better than nothing” will have to suffice.

  118. 118
    Zifnab says:

    @David in NY:

    But come November, 2012, they’ll have a candidate pushing Paul Ryan’s vague “reforms” and really, Obama has just bought into them. If that’s the playing field, why will people choose a wimpy budget cutter, when they’ll be able to get the real thing? What Obama is equipped to do, but hasn’t done, or doesn’t want to do, is set out what he stands for.

    Do you remember his State of the Union address? He got up and spelled out a dozen different reforms and resolutions. He has pushed hard to curtail the most wasteful military spending (namely the F-35 program). He campaigned heavily against the Bush Tax Cuts and continued to verbally abuse them. Rhetorically, he’s on our side.

    But his budget was DOA in Congress. The Senate didn’t even try to pass it. The House went off the rails trying to defund half the discretionary budget.

    Obama has been aggressively pushing reforms. But the majorities in Congress simply aren’t there. He’s having the same exact problems that Clinton encountered. The system is dysfunctional to the core, and all the good intentions in the world aren’t going to reverse that.

    I’m sorry, but if you don’t think Obama has an agenda, you haven’t been paying attention in the least. Of course, neither has Congress, so I can’t entirely blame you.

  119. 119
    stuckinred says:

    The hard left wants the worst possible right-winger to be president so that the “revolution” comes.

  120. 120
    OzoneR says:

    @Steve M.:

    I still don’t think such a person could win the primaries, or a general election. But reframing the debate would be well worth it.

    They won’t be able to reframe the debate because they won’t be able to get a word in edgewise. They’ll be forced to answer questions about why they’re alienated black voters.

  121. 121
    Msskwesq says:

    Thank you, John, for saying what many of us are thinking. The idea of having a Democratic challenge in 2012 is just idiotic. I read that tripe yesterday, and just wanted to give up on the Dems, and that’s saying alot as I am lifelong Dem. There is so much Dems do to ruin their chances at success – we will loose 2012 if we turn on President Obama!

  122. 122

    @jwest:

    “The only hope is for Obama to step aside and let Hillary run.”

    (Reads this a couple of times then breaks out into hysterical laughter. Calms down after a few minutes and takes a shot.)

    Seriously…ever thought of writing stand up? ‘Cause that’s gotta be one of the funniest (if not delusional) things I’ve read.

  123. 123
    Dr. Squid says:

    At a post slobbering over Aravosis’ question “Is there any part of the base that Obama hasn’t disappointed,” I’d answer “People of color that Aravosis bans from his site.”

    If Aravosis is in favor of a particular primary candidate, I won’t support him, because Aravosis is a racist pig.

  124. 124
    Joe Beese says:

    @Beverley:

    These folks who criticize Obama were never in his camp.

    Wishful (and laughable) thinking.

    Daily Kos was shitting itself with pleasure when Obama was elected. All those diarists there bitching about him now earned their disillusionment legitimately.

  125. 125
    Suck It Up! says:

    Try not to worry about those people because they do not represent the Democratic party or those outside of the party that would think about voting for Obama. They sure as hell aren’t the base. These people would like the same influence that the T party has on the Republican party but they don’t. They will never have that influence as long as their dissents are based on lies and fantasy.

  126. 126
    Chad N Freude says:

    @stuckinred: The 68 Convention rioters were not disaffected Democrats.

  127. 127
    gene108 says:

    @David in NY:

    Obama seems to govern as if he was still a legislator, who has to shepherd legislation to a vote on the floor, rather than an executive, who has to set an agenda for the legislature to follow.

    Maybe it is his 14+ years as a legislature that’s caused this problem.

    He does not govern as a chief of the executive branch.

    I too find it annoying. I still think his positives out weigh his negatives though.

  128. 128
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @OzoneR: Yes Nick, you are the only Republican I’ve ever met.

  129. 129
    El Tiburon says:

    @gene108:

    Republicans and conservatives understand how to structure a long-term narrative. Liberals have no fucking clue.

    True. They started back in the 60s and it is paying off in spades. This is my point. We are so worried about tomorrow that we can’t see the Big Picture here.

    Trust me, nobody hates Republican politicians more than me. And I was very emotional when Obama won. I just don’t think he is the man for the job. Sadly, there may not be a man or a woman for the job, at least one with any chance of getting near the nomination.

  130. 130
    OzoneR says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Daily Kos was shitting itself with pleasure when Obama was elected

    But they weren’t in his camp initially, they were hypnotized by John Edwards’ bullshit

  131. 131

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    Your point being?…

    And guess what–they were also slave owners too. And probably didn’t think highly of women’s rights. But they were also not very keen on giving too much power to the people either.

    And frankly, Mr. Reed is pretty much smarter than any of us here–he’s dead on with what he said.

  132. 132
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: Yes, I would say vote for the lesser of two evils if that is how you see the two candidates. If you truly don’t see it that way, if you see Obama as actively harmful and believe that we would be better served with a Republican government so that people will see the need for a real progressive, then I believe you should vote that way. I don’t agree with that assessment and I think the results of a Republican presidency would be catastrophic, but you need to vote your conscience.

  133. 133
    AnonGuest84 says:

    Now I know that the usual suspects will come in here calling me an authoritarian, ……… blah blah blah.

    There’s a test for that. Note your reaction to this statement;

    The personal and the political are today in perfect alignment. Virtually all U.S. senators, and most…[House] representatives…are members of the top 1 percent….are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent. When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift–through legislation prohibiting the government…from bargaining over price–it should not come as cause for wonder….Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work.

    The less this bothers you, the more of a Conservative you are.

  134. 134
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Marc McKenzie:

    The question to me is not whether Hillary should run, that’s up to her. The question is, Which Hillary? Would it be the sniper-dodging Srebrenica Hillary? The “We’re going to have to do something about Iran,” bellicose Hillary? The hard drinking, speeches from the back of a pickup truck Hillary? There are these and at least a couple of others to choose from.

  135. 135
    Dan says:

    There are maybe a couple hundred angry people on the internet who are stupid enough to even think of primarying Obama from the left. It is a waste of time to even listen to them.

    People need to grow up. As long as the Republicans hold some sort of veto points, it is going to be necessary to compromise with them. It sucks, but it’s reality.

  136. 136
    Dr. Squid says:

    @gene108: Which leads to the question “Why doesn’t Greenwald help to try to make ‘conservative’ a dirty word?” It’s not like he doesn’t have influence somewhere, unlike me.

    My guess is that like a lot of people in politics, he wants to be conservative, but doesn’t want to associate himself with those nutjawbs that presently call themselves that. Meanwhile, he’d like to keep the word open when the nutjawbs go away in order to reclaim the word for himself.

  137. 137
    Redshift says:

    @The Political Nihilist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    The prime difference that you touch upon here, to me, is this:

    The broader Republican Party goes out of its way to motivate its base, and banks on independents/moderates to come on the sheer enthusiasm of the base.

    The broader Democratic Party goes out of its way to capture the middle independents/moderates, and takes its base for granted because ‘there’s no other choice’ for them.

    But part of the reason they motivate their base is because “movement” conservatism is built in large measure on lying to them. They motivate their base, but that doesn’t mean they give them what they want, or what they’ve been promised a lot of the time; rather, they run repeatedly on the outrage that the only reason they haven’t done what the base loudly wants is because the evil Democrats prevented it (and avoid talking about why they didn’t do it when they controlled both houses and the presidency.)

    Think of the religious right. The GOP strung them along for decades, got them to be their most loyal footsoldiers in campaigns, and carefully avoided giving them more than crumbs because it wasn’t good for them electorally and it was hard. One of the most revealing incidents with Reagan was his addressing a massive anti-abortion rally and saying “I am with you!” Via audio link-up. Speaking to a rally that was literally a block from his residence.

    Sure, all politicians lie to get elected, but I have more respect for the ones that are mostly lying about things they’d really like to do but know they can’t. I’d rather be in the crowd that is fractious and thinks for itself than the one that swallows huge amounts of BS and thinks what it’s told. And while I wish Dems could have more “message discipline” because I know it works, I also understand that’s easier when the message is all there is.

  138. 138
    p.a. says:

    Republican bloggers would go to great lengths to prove their devotion to the cause and their slavish love to the cause, competing with each other to prove who is the most loyal.

    I feel long term the above isn’t a strength but a weakness, and that lefty carping is a sign of life. Long term.
    I also think, beside the (I assume) very small minority of remaining Hillbots, most of these people are more angry about the perception that Obama is bringing an overcooked rhetorical noodle to a knife fight. It has been ‘back benchers’ like Weiner and Grayson responding to republican bs, while the White House takes a ‘can’t we all just get along’ tone. Dems shouldn’t rely on back benchers (and can’t rely on the eunuch press) to respond to liars like John ‘90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions’ Kyl. In hockey terms, the admin. needs a goon to help protect Crosby Obama.

  139. 139

    @stuckinred:

    Hmmm…and they’ve been thinking that way for years. Except it usually ends up boomeranging back at them, and the rest of us are stuck with Repubs who pretty much bend America over the rail and give it the business with no vaseline.

    But since when did those folks who hope for the “revolution” care about the cost of that revolution? In terms of people’s lives and such. That thinking wasn’t there in 2000, and look how many lives were affected by Bush’s bull***t. But Nader and company never gave two s**ts.

    (Apologies for the crudity, but I’ve pretty much had it with Kossacks and their-holier-than-though/diluted racism anti-Obama crap).

  140. 140
    David in NY says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    It’s not like the Republicans WANT to spend money or that they want the economy to recover by November 2012.

    And it is not Obama’s job to give them more than they WANT. It’s his job to get them to take something less than they want, and to get something that he wants. Which is a real compromise, not a capitulation.

    The Republicans want to cut every penny that they can. I think they’re wrong. Most people, could be convinced they’re wrong. But Obama has not given any rationale for where we quit cutting. He’s got to draw some kind of line, and he didn’t, so the blackmailers will be back again in just a minute.

    Look, any negotiator who ends up giving his adversary 25% more than their initial highest request is really not doing his job. They ask for 32 initially, and he just goes and offers 33? That’s crazy, and it led to cuts so great that Obama has endangered his re-election chances.

    I’ll probably vote for him, but if unemployment stays at 9% and my kid doesn’t have a job (which he’s been looking for for nine months), the the temptation not to will get stronger and stronger. And I’m hardly alone.

  141. 141
    Emma says:

    I am down to TPM and this blog on political commentary, along with TBogg for snark. I can’t take anymore, honestly. Even here, during the health care act debate, when I read things like “Obama should not have negotiated, even if the whole thing never went through” and I thought of my best friend, who could finally, after years of having to deal with medical issues without insurance, now get some, I wanted to reach out and strangle somebody.

    Living in a permanent state of rage isn’t good so I’ve shut down my political consumption.

  142. 142
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    Aravosis’ question “Is there any part of the base that Obama hasn’t disappointed,”

    For that matter, I’m not sure how you get to claim to be “the base” when the first thing you always want to do is withhold your support. That’s kind of the antithesis of what “the base” means.

    I think there’s a rather simple rule. Anyone who has ever heard of Bradley Manning… is not The Base. We’re way out on the high-information, deep-in-the-weeds leading edge of political obsession. The things that occur to us as major concerns are narrow and specialized. We’re not the left-wing equivalent of evangelical Christians, we’re the left-wing equivalent of people who want to return to the gold standard. Have some perspective, people.

  143. 143
    stuckinred says:

    @Chad N Freude: really, and you know that how?

  144. 144
    Aredubya says:

    I definitely approve of Robert Waldmann’s comment above, but would like to take it one step further. Liberals are long-suffering politically. I’ve lived my entire 36 years without memory of a liberal presidency. My first real political memory was when Reagan was shot. I then grew up in the 80s with Mike Dukakis as my competent, assured governor, and watched with horror as his cool demeanor was turned against him during a key ’88 presidential debate. My feelings were summed up days later by a pitch-perfect SNL skit, where Jon Lovitz’s Dukakis responded to Dana Carvey’s GHW Bush’s incoherent babble with “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.” I still can’t believe it, 23 years later. The best I have is reading up on Jimmy Carter, hearing about his fireside chats in a sweater and thinking “that guy was a nerd, but he was right.”

    Back to the main point: while we’ve had Clinton for two terms, and Obama for 2+ years and hopefully a 2nd term to come, our Dem presidents have all been unabashed centrists. The supply-siders have had 4 full terms of tax-cutters, and only limited increases under Bush 41. The social righties got 8 years of Bush 43 (with his favorite philosopher, Jesus Christ), and have memories of St. Ronnie coming to their side. Liberals badly want to see our version of Bush 43, a true believer, unwilling to compromise, with the balls (and votes in Congress) to push through policies we think will change the country for the better. Instead, we get compromise. We get Obamacare, which sounds like it will be helpful when it eventually comes fully into service, unless the GOP manages to gut it first. But it misses the most liberal of functions, a non-profit insurer, aka the public option.

    To sum up, people often dream of a president who’ll be like them. The press turns this into the guy who you’d like to sit down and drink beer. Me? I’d like a computer-savvy self-made president, a nerd who cares. Minus the computer savvy, that’s who Jimmy Carter was. He sweat the details. Instead, we get political calculations, not policy calculations. We want someone who cares about both. Is that so much to ask?

  145. 145
    jwest says:

    @Marc McKenzie:

    No one is going to run in a primary against Obama, but a week before the convention when it is obvious to everyone that Obama doesn’t stand a chance of winning, democrats will be grasping at straws trying to find someone who won’t lose as bad.

    Obama steps aside to “spend more time with his family” and Hillary gets the nomination by acclamation. She goes on to lose badly, but at least they have an excuse because of the late start and confusion.

  146. 146
    aimai says:

    @Beverley:

    Wow. I think that’s pretty confused. The middle of the roaders/low info voters who “jumped on the bandwagon” when it looked like Obama was going to win were definitely not disappointed when he said “even if you didn’t vote for me, I’ll be your president too.” Those were the people who, because they were uncertain about voting Dem or for Obama, welcomed that statement. Its the hard left partisans, presumably, who wanted a kind of payback time. But I doubt that your statement is accurate even for them because the hard left wanted, and at that point still hoped, that “being president for everyone” wouldn’t necessarily mean dropping prosecutions for criminal acts under Bush and etc… People of all kinds were pretty fucking excited by Obama’s Grant Park speech and they were still massively celebrating at the Inaugural.

    People at Kos who are disapointed now aren’t, for the most part, people who were anti Obama at the start. They are just voters who each had agenda items they wanted to see addressed and who feel–rightly or wrongly–that Obama has bargained away or given away things that were key to them. Some of the angriest posts John screenshotted were from teachers and union members who took Obama’s pro union and pro teacher bona fides for granted and who feel betrayed because they are fighting for their lives in WI, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan and they don’t see much help from the White House.

    One can argue that Obama and the Dems need to retake the house and some governorships to do much–and I would make that argument–but its cold comfort to people who want to know he’s going to make a serious fight on their behalf.

    This is just the pitfall of our Presidential system which every four years puts up a technocrat or a tool to woo the voters as a close personal friend, a savior, a political leader. Its not Obama’s fault that that’s the case, its just the terrain on which he fought for our votes the first time. Now people want some obvious payback.

    As for whoever said upthread that Obama doesn’t “have” to offer his voters anything…well, Obama sure thinks he does. I get pleading letters all the time listing things Obama thinks I will be happy he’s done. He is, quite rightly, selling the last two and a half years and promising me more of the same, or something different, for the next five and a bit.

    aimai

  147. 147
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @jwest:

    The only hope is for Obama to step aside and let Hillary run.

    From Calamity Jane’s mouth (and the collective mouths of her minions, many of whom again infect the GOS Wrecks List) to the electorate’s ears. Oi fucking vey.

  148. 148
    David in NY says:

    @gene108: Me too, probably, see above.

  149. 149
    satby says:

    To win a primary takes some bare-knuckle brawling. A lot of the negative ads McCain ran in 2008 had roots in the Dem primary slugfest.
    In 2000, it was assumed by very many people that there really wasn’t that much of a difference between the Repug nominee and the Dem one. And the following eight years dragged us the rest of the way into the cesspool we’re in right now. Just once I’d like people to play smarter during the election cycle. Just once. Because even a tiny bit of progressive progress is way better than what the Teapublicans have planned for us all. When you’re starving, even 1/4 of a loaf is better than nothing.

  150. 150
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @p.a.:

    It has been ‘back benchers’ like Weiner and Grayson responding to republican bs, while the White House takes a ‘can’t we all just get along’ tone. Dems shouldn’t rely on back benchers (and can’t rely on the eunuch press) to respond to liars like John ‘90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions’ Kyl. In hockey terms, the admin. needs a goon to help protect Crosby Obama.

    Um, wouldn’t a “back bencher” be precisely equivalent to a hockey goon? You don’t want someone with talent, you want someone who rattles the opposition and doesn’t mind sitting out a few minutes.

  151. 151

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Heh heh…true, Dennis (and I say this as one who supported Hillary at first).

    But remember, the Kossacks hated the hell out of Hillary during the campaign, even going so far as to regurgitate the Right wing lies from the 1990s that were pretty much debunked (i.e. she and Bill had Vince Foster killed).

    What still galls me, though, is that history–especially since 1968–has shown that primary challenges to incumbent US Presidents usually end with their defeat. If the Left hopes that a primary challenge will pull Obama further in their direction (instead of pissing off minorities in this country, which it will), then they have forgotten the past. And that is not good.

  152. 152
    priscianus jr says:

    Count me among those who find the purity drama queens tiresome and worse than tiresome. Fortunately I am not faced with the dilemma of whether to write about them, as a mere reader I can more or less ignore them.
    In the left blogosphere they cut a disproportionate figure. But what portion of the Dem vote do they really represent? I have no idea, but I take a wild guess that it’s very small. Their main accomplishment seems to be a lowering of morale among people who read LW blogs.
    But even though at times John may seem like a lone voice, I’m sure that’s not true. The point is not just to pay LESS attention to the purity crowd, but MORE attention to writers of more nuanced judgment. But first we have to find them. I would like to see some recommendations from other commenters. Off the top of my head I would recommend Mahablog (which is on John’s blogroll), P.M. Carpenter, and Booman Tribune. I’m sure there are a lot more.

  153. 153
    gene108 says:

    @Zifnab:

    Rhetorically, he’s on our side.

    I sometimes find that debatable. I don’t think he governs from a core ideology, but rather from a view of wheeling-and-dealing needed to get legislation passed.

    For example, before the BP oil spill, President Obama was pushing to expand off-shore drilling to the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, so he could get a bi-partisan renewable energy bill or a carbon cap-and-trade (forget which) bill through Congress. The Interior Department was a mess, when Bush, Jr. left office. Obama didn’t aggressively tackle reforming the MMS Dept., until the BP spill.

    I think in a general sense he is ideologically a liberal, but I do not think his approach to government is driven by any ideology. Rather it was driven, when he was first elected, by accomplishing the agenda he laid out in his election campaign and now, absent an underlying ideology, his Administration is left to wheel and deal to find some sort of stability, since some things he wanted do aren’t going to happen, without Democratic super majorities in Congress.

    I think the 2010 tax compromise was a not a bad thing, since it acted as a sort of stimulus, which the economy still needs. I think this budget compromise was not a good thing, because it rewarded the Teabagger hostage takers and undercut whatever stimulative effect other compromises may have.

    I do not for the life of me believe the 2010 elections was an embrace of right-wing ideology, anymore than the 2008 election was a defeat of right-wing ideology and an embrace of Democratic governance.

    Basically, when you have staked very little into a core ideology of what you want to do as President, you end up lacking the weight to stay balanced, when the political winds start to shift.

    I think there will be more bad compromises over the next couple of years and the political debate will shift further to the right than it ever has.

    I think the next Republican President, whenever that is in 2016 or 2020 will have a political debate so far to the right, he or she will easily be able to dismantle the remaining New Deal and Great Society programs, like Social Security and Medicare, which clearly is the end game for the right wingers. If there’s not a successful stand made today, I don’t see what will stop them.

  154. 154
    Joe Beese says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Which Hillary?

    I’m hoping for “gasoline tax holiday Hillary”.

  155. 155

    Don’t let a handful of internet weirdos get you upset, John.

    If you go by Daily Kos, Mike Gravel was popular.

  156. 156
    Silver Owl says:

    I still don’t understand why there is so much focus on the president when it’s the House and Senate that creates the legislation.

    Sure Obama isn’t what I wanted but it’s the Senators and the Representatives that continue to churn out poor legislation that harms more than helps the United States.

  157. 157
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But as Greenwald has pointed out, when do we escape this ‘voter capture’ and play long-term?

    Later. When you have a gun to your head, it’s not your first priority to make a passionate argument for gun control so that future people don’t have guns to their head. It’s your first priority to stop the bastard from pulling the trigger.

  158. 158
    Dr. Squid says:

    @gene108: Sorry gene, but that point of view is Not Allowed. There’s nuance in it, and therefore must be stomped out at all costs.

    /snark

  159. 159
    Lol says:

    ITT: A overwhelmingly wealthy white male demographic pretends it’s the real base of the Democratic party.

  160. 160
    PurpleGirl says:

    Without reading the comments so far:

    We have to remember that the (National) Democratic Party has been a coalition of local (city/state) parties and other interest groups. Not all the groups agreed with each other on any one issue. There was always horse trading at all levels. I’ve been watching politics since I was 12 or so (the 1960 convention was my initiation) and somewhere in those 40-odd years since the coalition broke down. I’m not sure where.

    Light-mood anecdote: I was at the Madison Square Garden Birthday rally for JFK at which Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday”. I was all the way up in rafters — we (father, mother, me) had the tickets from his union.

  161. 161
    The Raven says:

    All I am saying is that I don’t think I have it in me to spend the next 18 months listening to people argue who is the real base and how Obama has let them down and that there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. I really just don’t think I have the strength to do it.

    Well, you could spend the next 18 months listening to people tell you how great Sarah Bachmann/Mike Huckabee/Tim Pawlenty is. Could be worse. In unsettled times, debate is normal. This is what democracy looks like. Not a lot of fun, no, but it beats marching off a cliff in lockstep. This is the real austerity, the real hardship, the real self-sacrifice in politics: involvement in and engagement with conflict.

    Well, what do you expect from a raven?

  162. 162
    madmatt says:

    @Noonan: fine enjoy the punching, just stop asking us to vote for you lying scumbags.

  163. 163

    @Emma:

    Emma, Balloon Juice is one of the best around, but you can also try The People’s View and Planet POV.

  164. 164
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @priscianus jr:

    But what portion of the Dem vote do they really represent? I have no idea, but I take a wild guess that it’s very small.

    A rough estimate would be to figure it as

    (100% – (percentage of self-described liberals who approve of Obama)) * (percentage of voters who are self-described liberals)

    That’s something like, wild-assed guess, 15% * 35%, or 5.25% of the electorate.

    ETA: And I think that’s on the high end.

  165. 165
    gene108 says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I just don’t think he is the man for the job.

    Politics is a team game. A good sports team not only has the players on the field, i.e. the President, the Cabinet, Democrats in Congress and coaches, i.e. the DNC and other party operations, but also a well managed front office, which makes sure the team has good practice facilities, good medical facilities, good strength training, etc.

    We are the front office, in my analogy. We have to find a way to push the little things that make a difference, since unlike Republicans, there aren’t billionaires funding think-tanks and newspapers, to push our ideology.

    Turning on the coaches and players, like we seem wont to do, doesn’t seem to advance our overall agenda of fielding a winning team, in my opinion. We need to attack the Republicans first, rather than what we are doing, which is attack Democrats first.

  166. 166
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Silver Owl: I agree; we have to focus on getting the House back and maintaining the Senate.

  167. 167
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Marc McKenzie:

    If the Left hopes that a primary challenge will pull Obama further in their direction (instead of pissing off minorities in this country, which it will), then they have forgotten the past. And that is not good.

    True, ‘dat. Unless there’s a major turnaround in the economy, something that seems less likely than ever now that “austerity” is the buzzword, the ice under Obama will already be plenty thin in ’12. I’ve come around to believing that to primary Obama, particularly if it’s in the chimerical hope of pulling him leftward, would be a disastrous mistake. Moreover we will be contending with the shit-ton of corporate cash that the Supremes unleashed and that alone would make re-election an uphill battle.

  168. 168

    @benintn:

    the problem with blaming Obama for the fact that the GOP is in the majority now

    That’s part of the problem, though; the GOP is not in the majority. They’re in the majority in one house of Congress, that’s all. Yet, somehow, they are indisputably in charge of the country again. Why have the Democrats allowed that to happen? Why is every policy debate taking place on Republican turf, with the disagreement limited to whether we should eat the poor all at once or just harvest small pieces of flesh from them over time? WTF has to happen before we get a full-throated defense of Democratic ideals from the leadership of the Democratic Party? I can stomach the budget compromise, but then I have to listen to Reid and Obama crow about how fucking historic and awesome a deal it is? Give me a break.

  169. 169
    Kane says:

    At least those on the left are consistent. They voiced their outrage towards Bush policies that they disagreed with and they have voiced their outrage towards Obama policies that they disagree with.

    For many on the right, they portrayed any criticism of Bush as an unpatriotic act, an act that endangered the troops and emboldened the enemy. Funny how we don’t hear those red, white, and blue patriotic arguments from those on the right anymore now that Obama is president. If republicans had held Bush to the same standards that they now hold Obama, we might not be in the current mess that we find ourselves in.

  170. 170
    Sloegin says:

    It’d be nice if we had 3 choices, left, center, right. Currently we have 2. Center and right.

    There’s no amount of positioning or strategy that can get us out of the demographic jam we’re in; baby boomers at retirement. It’s gonna take 10 or 20 more years for that population bolus to start dying off in large numbers before any kind of sanity returns to the body politic.

  171. 171
    soonergrunt says:

    @jwest: Concern troll is concerned. Very, very concerned.
    Also dumber than a bag of wet mice if it thinks that anyone will fall for any bullshit that includes the word ‘Democrat’ as an adjective.

  172. 172

    @jwest:

    So, let me guess…A) you’re trying to prove that time-travel is possible because you’ve gone into the future and seen this, B) You sincerely hope that this will happen, or C) this is bad comedy masquerading as political observation.

    My money’s on c). Oh, and predicting the future’s a mugg’s game.

  173. 173
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Joe Beese:

    I’m still nostalgic for the “Commander-in-Chief threshold” Hillary, with a frisson of “I lived in the White House for eight years and therefore I should live there again,” Hillary.

  174. 174
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    All I am saying is that I don’t think I have it in me to spend the next 18 months listening to people argue who is the real base and how Obama has let them down and that there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. I really just don’t think I have the strength to do it.

    Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot:

    ESTRAGON: Why don’t we hang ourselves ?
    __
    VLADIMIR: With what?
    __
    ESTRAGON: You haven’t got a bit of rope?
    __
    VLADIMIR: No.
    __
    […]
    __
    ESTRAGON: I can’t go on like this.
    __
    VLADIMIR: That’s what you think.

    .

  175. 175
    Woodrowfan says:

    If you can’t get enthused about Obama in 2012 (and I’m a bit “eh” myself) then remember two words, “Supreme Court.” The next President may well get to nominate another 2 Justices. Who would you prefer, another Sotomayor and Kagan or another Alito and Roberts? Sorry, those are your choices.

  176. 176
    Mary Jane says:

    John, please don’t confuse GOS with a Democratic blog. Democrats aren’t welcome there, only those with “Progressive” tattooed on the forehead.

    I’m embarrassed to admit I wasted far too much of three years in that cesspool. In retrospect, I see that I wanted to belong to a like-minded group and have a forum to voice my views. Turned out to be more like voluntarily returning to the cliquish horrors of junior high, complete with starburst-inducing mean girls and locker room bullies. Even the geeks must resort to hysterics to maintain their popularity.

    DailyKos is it’s own world, and a small and insignificant one at that.

  177. 177
    Lol says:

    I love the Professional Left’s canonization of the Clintons as liberal lions even as they castigate Obama for not repealing their policies fast enough.

  178. 178
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @aimai: well…you are not counting in the hard-wired difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals doubt, conservatives don’t. Whether this is due to genome or phenome no one knows for sure yet. But we will find out.
    @gene108:

    I think there will be more bad compromises over the next couple of years and the political debate will shift further to the right than it ever has.

    Yup. Its evolution in action. The electoral demographics are changing. The anglosaxon protestant male landowners that comprised the original voters are becoming a minority.
    There is going to be a whole lot more crazification before they accept being the new minority.
    Obama does what he can, not necessarily what he would like to.

  179. 179
    Geek, Esq. says:

    @David in NY:

    Well, one could argue that this also shows that lengthy, drawn-out negotiations don’t always work out to our benefit. But, according to liberal bloggers, there is not a single problem that could not be fixed by simply being more stubborn.

  180. 180
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Without bothering to read this thread, may I make a suggestion?

    Stop being such angsty pussies and don’t read blogs you don’t respect. Simple. Out of sight, out of mind.

    Obama isn’t going to lose because of something that was written on Daily Kos. Stop making everything about you, and your own need for tidiness, comity, and self-gratification. You are not the cosmos. Just learn to shut things out rather than demanding they go away.

  181. 181
    madmatt says:

    @cleek: EVERYTHING, try ANYTHING!

  182. 182

    @satby:

    “When you’re starving, even 1/4 of a loaf is better than nothing.”

    So very, very true.

    Problem is, some folks want the whole darned loaf, even if all they can honestly get is just the 1/4.

    Then again, progressive change is always slow, never magically instantaneous. It will happen, and it will benefit the many, but we often have to travel down a long road, sometimes slowly, sometimes in fits and starts, and very, very rarely at high speeds.

  183. 183
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @JGabriel: LOL!
    you absolutely rawked that.

  184. 184
    MarkJ says:

    Well, in the current environment it’s really hard to see how the left can fight back. One party threatens to tear everything down around them and the “impartial” media won’t call them on it. It’s all he said/she said.

    Case in point – I’m listening to NPR this morning and here a snippet from Paul Ryan about too much spending and debt. The NPR journalist sums up his statement by saying that he’s proposed a budget that “dramatically cuts spending”. Yes, it does this, but the host could have just has accurately summed up by saying he’s proposed a budget that “is projected to make the deficit worse.” Or “dramatically cuts taxes for the rich.” Why not say that instead?

  185. 185
    Woodrowfan says:

    and whenever some purity troll says “I just can’t vote for the lesser or two evils!” I have one thing to say. It’s not about YOU ass****! It’s about the people who will be hurt by the policies enacted by a full Republican government. We’re supposed to feel sympathetic for YOU because you only got a half a loaf candidate-wise while some people really do starve because of the Republican policies? bit me.

  186. 186
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kane:

    At least those on the left are consistent. They voiced their outrage towards Bush policies that they disagreed with and they have voiced their outrage towards Obama policies that they disagree with.

    Consistently outraged is no way to go through life, son.

  187. 187

    @gene108:

    “We need to attack the Republicans first, rather than what we are doing, which is attack Democrats first.”

    This.

    Or put it this way…the house is on fire, and instead of running after the arsonists and slapping the cuffs on ’em, we’re throwing stones at the the firefighters trying to put out the blaze.

  188. 188
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @The Political Nihilist Formerly Known as Kryptik: /sigh
    the country is still 50% bubba.
    its the demographics.

  189. 189
    cat48 says:

    “…the government envisioned by some of the Left…exists only in heaven.”

    This best covers my thoughts today.

  190. 190

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Later. When you have a gun to your head, it’s not your first priority to make a passionate argument for gun control so that future people don’t have guns to their head. It’s your first priority to stop the bastard from pulling the trigger.

    “Later” then really means “never,” no? Do you see a point when the GOP will put the gun away? I don’t, especially not when, tactically, holding the country at gunpoint had been phenomenally successful for them.

  191. 191
    The Political Nihilist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    I honestly agree that primary challenging would be a folly, but at the same time, what the hell can the folks who want a bone thrown to them before the landscape shifts to yet another seemingly one-way, hard-right tilt?

  192. 192
    David in NY says:

    @Zifnab:

    Do you remember his State of the Union address? He got up and spelled out a dozen different reforms and resolutions.

    My point is pretty much what Kruman’s is today. First, he can’t do the most important programs and reforms, notably including implementing the Health Care Act, unless he’s got the money, and he’s not really fighting for it. If he keeps negotiating away his position, if because of that, the economy doesn’t recover, and if people can’t figure out what he stands for, except what the Republicans are offering in a purer form, then he’s history, and you can kiss all those “reforms and resolutions” goodbye.

    My points were that this was both a policy and a political failure, and that’s just true. I’m hoping that his speech in a couple of days has something in it other than more wonderful budgets cuts, but I have no sign yet than that he’ll tell us what a good Republican he’ll be. Maybe he’ll draw a line, and explain why he’s defending it, but if not, he’s going nowhere.

    As I said, and you may have missed it, he’s failing to do anything to keep unemployment much below 9%, and if he doesn’t he has no chance. Don’t know if you have someone unemployed in the family, but it does sour one’s view of the status quo.

  193. 193
    Brian R. says:

    Jwest: put down the bong, dude.

  194. 194
    jakethesnake says:

    This post once again misses a huge part of the Obama problem. When the right get in a competition about who is most loyal, they have a lot of red meat that someone like GWB had been throwing them the whole time they were in office. Things like federal funding of religious activity and the like. Bush did one thing after the next to placate his base. No wonder they worshiped him. Obama has done exactly the opposite. That’s why we all talk about primaries and Obama. Clinton certainly didn’t have this problem. Obama has a problem with his base because he has not served them up any red meat, he has been too busy caving to the right. Why is that so hard to understand?

  195. 195
    OzoneR says:

    @David in NY:

    And it is not Obama’s job to give them more than they WANT. It’s his job to get them to take something less than they want,

    they did get less than what they want

  196. 196
    Chad N Freude says:

    My response to stuckinred @143 keeps vanishing when I hit submit. See the Wikipedia entry for 1968 Democratic Convention. Also I was around then, reading the news and watching TV. The demonstrators were not interested in Democratic politics; they were anti-Vietnam War and anti-LBJ for not ending the war.

  197. 197
    Redshift says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    In my opinion, supporting Obama and the current Democrats is absolutely necessary to deal with the reactionaries. At the same time, we should be recruiting and encouraging more progressive people to enter politics and forcefully make the liberal and progressive arguments.

    This. Absolutely.

  198. 198
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @fasteddie9318: IMHO Obama should rightly be focusing on crisis management, and other people should be focusing on long-term party-building and “narrative” and “framing.”

  199. 199
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jakethesnake:

    Obama has a problem with his base because he has not served them up any red meat, he has been too busy caving to the right. Why is that so hard to understand?

    I dunno, maybe because it’s not true and because a bunch of jokers bitching on the internet aren’t really “the base”?

  200. 200
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @David in NY:

    I’m hoping that his speech in a couple of days has something in it other than more wonderful budgets cuts, but I have no sign yet than that he’ll tell us what a good Republican he’ll be.

    Well, then you’re not really “hoping” for a good speech, you’re hoping for a bad speech, so you can be both right and angrier.

  201. 201
    A Farmer says:

    Well Cole, I have to say that talking to people in Western Ohio doesn’t make me feel any better. Luckily, I heard the same things in 2008 and Obama still won. Then Kasich won the governorship barely, even though Democrats just didn’t turn out. Now the GOP freak show is huddled together in the tent pissing on each other and trying to start fires. Just because all my moron neighbors think Michele Bachmann or Donald Trump would make a great president doesn’t mean either has any shot at being president. We are still so far from Peak Wingnut, that when it hits, it will make Fukushima look like child’s play. People with brains, and even Democrats, will be able to unite against the crazy GOP jihad when they are standing in the piss showers and watching news clips from birther rallies.

  202. 202
    Josie says:

    @Dr. Squid: I can’t believe that even Aravosis would ask such a stupid question. Any woman who has been watching the Republican party for the last three months should have her head examined if she considers any action that would damage Obama. He is definitely good on women’s issues, and there is a huge difference between Republicans and Democrats here. This, as DougJ would say, is a hill to die on.

  203. 203
    Chris says:

    @Redshift:

    And while I wish Dems could have more “message discipline” because I know it works, I also understand that’s easier when the message is all there is.

    This.

    And I don’t even think it’s about the “message,” which changes all the time without them noticing or caring (they think the individual mandate is Socialism a mere ten years after they themselves came up with it, they were for Medicare cuts before and after they were for it, etc). Their base comes together over a common identity (racial or religious or lifestyle, usually a bit of all three), a common outrage at the existence of people who are different, and a common determination to put these people back in their place by electing politicians who hate them and will pass legislation to hurt them.

    Good luck creating a Democratic version of that. We don’t come together over identity and we couldn’t if we tried, not with a base as diverse as ours. I don’t know what to do about it, and I am always thrilled to hear suggestions, but it isn’t as simple as just watching what the Republicans do and then duplicating it.

  204. 204
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Josie:

    I can’t believe that even Aravosis would ask such a stupid question.

    Aravosis once wrote that Katherine Harris was a lovely person. He’s capable of much greater tone-deafness and stupidity than this.

  205. 205
    OzoneR says:

    @jakethesnake:

    Bush did one thing after the next to placate his base. No wonder they worshiped him.

    For crying out loud, they did NOT worship him!

  206. 206
    David in NY says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Well, one could argue that this also shows that lengthy, drawn-out negotiations don’t always work out to our benefit. But, according to liberal bloggers, there is not a single problem that could not be fixed by simply being more stubborn.

    Have you ever negotiated? Obama wasn’t in there for long when he was offering more than his adversaries had asked. That is ridiculous. You cannot make your opponents understand that you’re serious if you do that. And look what happened, he ended up in a worse position than they wanted in the first place. It wasn’t the length of the negotiations that was the problem. It was the apparent ineptitude with which they were conducted.

    And now they’re sure to be back. What it looks like is that all they have to do is threaten and he won’t push back, he’ll cave. And I can’t believe they don’t see it that way. Explain to me what’s going to keep this from happening again, and again, and getting worse and worse?

    Isn’t there a reason you can’t give in to blackmailers?

  207. 207
    soonergrunt says:

    WAY O/T: Laurent Gbagbo has been captured in Cote D`Ivoire.

  208. 208

    i have no interest in the discussion. I gave up on Obama a long time ago, and if extending the Bush tax cuts wasn’t the final nail in the coffin, the cave on Friday certainly was. I look forward to watching everyone act surprised when he caves on medicare in a few weeks to prevent the US from defaulting (and if it’s not medicare, it’ll be something else: I’ve seen this movie twice now). Needless to say, I will not be supporting him in 2012.

    Instead, I’ll support democrats when they deserve it, and will probably be spending a decent amount of time
    (and maybe even some money) supporting the Green Party. They’ve got a great candidate for sheriff here in Philly, and she deserves support. In a city that’s run by a corrupt democratic majority (enabled by a corrupt republican majority), she’s a real breath of fresh air. Also, she fights, which is more than i can say for the current occupant.

  209. 209
    Chris says:

    DAMN IT!!! I hate moderation limbo.

    Trying again:

    @Redshift:

    And while I wish Dems could have more “message discipline” because I know it works, I also understand that’s easier when the message is all there is.

    I don’t think it’s even about the message, not when the message changes all the time without them noticing. I think their base is about a common identity (racial, religious or lifestyle, usually all three in some measure), a common outrage at people who don’t share that identity, and a common determination to put these people back in their place.

    Democrats don’t unite over identity and with so much diversity in the base, couldn’t do it if they tried. I think everyone knows we need to do better, but it isn’t as simple as looking at what the Republicans do and just trying to clone it on our side.

  210. 210
    soonergrunt says:

    @OzoneR:

    For crying out loud, they did NOT worship him!

    Where the fuck were you during 2001 to 2008?
    Cause you damn sure weren’t in America near a TV at any point if you can actually post that with a straight face.

  211. 211
    Culture of Truth says:

    I have many opinions on this issue, but since this is an old thread I will just say I’m still an Obama supporter. If there is a progressive primary challenge, well, I doubt I’ll be on board, but good luck to them.

  212. 212
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Sloegin: The youngest of the boomers are just reaching 65 this year. That’s 20 to 30 or more years before they die off (depending). The boom lasted until 1964 or so; that takes them into 2029. And there are three groups of boomers: early, middle and late. The middle and late boomers are the first ones to be hit by the destruction of the safety net.

    While the Republican tea party may have some boomers in it, it is really the older siblings of the first boomers (people like my sister who is 10 years older than I am).

  213. 213
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @The Political Nihilist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    …what the hell can the folks who want a bone thrown to them before the landscape shifts to yet another seemingly one-way, hard-right tilt?

    Nothing, really. Our choices currently run the gamut from the right to the lunatic right. Hippie-punching is en vogue and it’s now “austerity” rather than “jobs.” At times like this I try to hope against experience that things will eventually get better while continuing to suit up and show up for GOTV work in every election. Anything else seems like waiting at the airport for your ship to come in.

  214. 214
    Kane says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Consistently outraged is no way to go through life, son.

    Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies.
    -Elie Wiesel

    FYI – I’m not a son, but a daughter. :)

  215. 215
    nancydarling says:

    I don’t have time to read all the comments, but among the many reasons I will support President Obama in 2012 are just two words, people: SUPREME COURT.

  216. 216
    priscianus jr says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Obama isn’t going to lose because of something that was written on Daily Kos. Stop making everything about you, and your own need for tidiness, comity, and self-gratification. You are not the cosmos. Just learn to shut things out rather than demanding they go away.

    Bob, this is one of those rare times I agree with you about something.

  217. 217
    JGabriel says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But as Greenwald has pointed out, when do we escape this ‘voter capture’ and play long-term?

    This is AMERICA, you commie — there is no long term!

    (I’m not entirely being snarky here. An electorate with a significant minority composed of Revelationists and Millennialists expecting and praying for the end of the world tomorrow is not going to be terribly focused upon long-term consequences in the mortal world.)

    .

  218. 218
    Linnaeus says:

    Yes, the political infighting can be depressing and tiresome, but I have the same view that a few other commenters have had: in the end, this kind of vigorous discourse is to be preferred to the lockstep positions of the Republicans. It’s also to be expected, simply because the Democratic Party consists of a broader coalition of interests than does the GOP.

    I know a lot of people here will disagree, but I like Daily Kos and I think it serves a function that no other blog on the left side of the spectrum in America does. It really does bring an aggregate of views in one easily accessible place; some of the views may be, ahem, poorly thought out, but I think there’s still a lot of good information and good argument to be found there.

    Regarding Obama, though, I tend to stay out of the pie fights over him because it all too often descends into a Obot/firebagger (two terms I don’t like, btw) false dichotomy. The threads get so huge and it’s hard to get a word in edgewise if you offer something a little more complicated.

    For me, I really don’t see what other choice there is in 2012 if you’re a Democratic voter. The president did have a gigantic mess to deal with coming into office and he’s done some positive things to address that. The Republicans have gone so far right that a Republican presidency has to be prevented. To me, it’s as simple as that.

    Now there are some things that Obama has done that I don’t care for. But the problem goes beyond him – he’s a reflection of trends that have been at work in the Democratic Party for years, in particular the increasing embrace of conservative (or, if you prefer, neoliberal) economic policies. There’s still enough difference between Democrats and Republicans that is discernable, but when even a Democratic president is speaking the language of austerity during an economic downturn, you know the game’s changed. And so the game needs to be changed back. That means doing the work at the ground level and building upward. Start local, and build a bench of liberal candidates. Organize independent institutions that can do the political and activist work that the party and its elected officials can’t or won’t do. That’s where the real recovery (in many senses of the word) will spring from.

  219. 219
    Dr. Squid says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I remember that. He then began banninating everyone that objected to his Katherine Harris tongue bath.

  220. 220
    David in NY says:

    @FlipYrWhig: No, really, I wish him well — that’s mean of you, saying I hope he’ll do badly, just because I think his approach here was really bad.

    But I know a negotiating disaster when I see one. And no one here has refuted the point that Brad Delong makes in my link high above, that the deficit reduction will slow, maybe kill, the recovery that Obama needs to get re-elected.

    I just can’t fathom what they’re doing, whether it’s ineptitude or lousy strategy, or really great 11th dimension chess. Maybe budget cuts are just what the economy needs, but that makes no sense to me. He’s going to have to draw a line somewhere, he should have done it already, and I’m damned if I know what his justification for doing it can be now that he’s bought into the budget-cutting mind-think.

    I mean, explain it all to me. I’d love to hear why this was good and well-handled. But don’t just say, “He had to,” because 1) then he’ll have to keep doing it again and again, and 2) that really probably is not true.

  221. 221
    OzoneR says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Where the fuck were you during 2001 to 2008?
    Cause you damn sure weren’t in America near a TV at any point if you can actually post that with a straight face.

    Actually talking to real Republicans. They did not care for him, they saw him as a sellout because he wouldn’t tackle the tax structure. They saw No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D as sellouts to the left. They didn’t think he fought enough for Social Security privatization. they didn’t even see him as a real conservative. They defended him publicly because they weren’t going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

  222. 222
    mclaren says:

    Well, Cole, I know that the usual suspects will come in here calling me a firebagger, unable to handle reality, still a fantasizing unrealist at heart, a Naderite, an apologist, blah blah blah. I can write the comments myself. All I am saying is that I don’t think I have it in me to spend the next 18 months listening to people like John Cole argue that it’s a really great idea to cheer ourselves hoarse as Obama hangs up the United States from a meat hook and cuts its collective throat with a straight razor by pre-emptively surrendering to the insane unsustainable policies of the Tea Party that are bankrupting the U.S. and destroying the middle class. I really just don’t think I have the strength to do it.

  223. 223
    Redshift says:

    @Lolis:

    This isn’t rocket science. Look at the numbers of people who self-identify as conservative, liberal, and moderate. Liberals are a small fraction of Americans and the Democratic Party.

    It actually isn’t that simple. The portion of Americans and the Democratic Party who agree with liberal policies is frequently a majority. Self-identification is whacked because conservatives have spent decades demonizing the word “liberal”, but have been much less successful at undermining the popularity of actual liberal governing, in part because they’ve killed liberal identification by only arguing against a straw-man version of liberalism.

    While this is annoying, it’s better than the reverse. While I’d like politicians to proudly call themselves liberal the way conservative ones do, I’d rather have them working for liberal policies. Plus, conservatives are doing a good job of making their actual policies toxic, no matter how proud they are of the label.

  224. 224
    Sly says:

    The left never misses an opportunity to gnash their teeth over the inability of their heroes to live up to their perfect expectations. Lincoln was too willing to forgive the Confederates. TR was a gluttonous imperialist. FDR was a shill for state capitalism. LBJ was a feckless warmonger. Bill Clinton was a gutless triangulator. And now Barack Obama is a Wall Street handmaiden (a fact that has, oddly enough, not been embraced by Wall Street… go figure).

    In fifty years some member of the Democratic Party will probably be in the White House. The left will call that person a corporate sellout, and collectively wonder what happened to the good old days, when we had Democrats like Barack Obama who actually cared about working people.

    It is inevitable. It is our destiny.

    Because we’re dumb.

  225. 225
    Dr. Squid says:

    @OzoneR: Really? They had pictures of Bush on their walls next to the Pope, and Bush always seemed to have a bigger halo.

  226. 226
    JGabriel says:

    I’d love to hear why this was good and well-handled. But don’t just say, “He had to,” because 1) then he’ll have to keep doing it again and again, and 2) that really probably is not true.

    And if it is true, we’re well and truly fucked anyway. Unfortunately, I suspect that it may be true.

    .

  227. 227
    Dave says:

    @OzoneR: Did you ever see Jesus Camp? Watch it…there is a part where they literally worship a picture of Bush.

  228. 228
    geg6 says:

    @jwest:

    Jeebus. You’re even more stupid than I had thought. Didn’t think it was possible, but there you are.

    Are you 12 or do you just live in the fantasies in your head 24/7?

  229. 229
    OzoneR says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    Really? They had pictures of Bush on their walls next to the Pope, and Bush always seemed to have a bigger halo.

    No, not they really didn’t

  230. 230
    debit says:

    @OzoneR: Actually, they did.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2c7_1173547096

    ETA: Dave beat me to it.

  231. 231
    spark says:

    This whole situation gives me some feeling for what it must have been like for die-hard conservatives in, say, 1972.

    A nominal member of your party is in the White House, enacting the policy agenda of the opposite party…and being called an extremist by the activists of that party.

  232. 232
    OzoneR says:

    @Dave:

    Did you ever see Jesus Camp? Watch it…there is a part where they literally worship a picture of Bush.

    Yeah Jesus Camp is as much the base of the Republican Party as DailyKos is to the Democrats.

  233. 233
    hrprogressive says:

    Well then John, I think you might as well take a sabbatical from the Internet and all of humanity until January 2013 then.

    Cause quite bluntly, if we aren’t having this sort of shouting match, we might as well not bother.

    And if you’re going to cover politics, and you don’t like how politics is, then you’re probably better staying away from politics.

    Just sayin’

  234. 234
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @spark: Good sweet Christ, “enacting the policy of the agenda of the opposite party?” No, just no.

  235. 235
    noodler says:

    JC, I am right there with you, and coming over to your side, blogs like this are helping me get there (might even to to meet Tim F this eveining, since I am in DC! ), but there is a lot of internecine warfare from all sides.

  236. 236
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @spark: driveby troll.
    The freemarket fucktards want to cover this up, but ACA is slow death for the GOP.
    The GOP threw everything they had against it, and they cant repeal it.
    And they know it.

  237. 237
    Dave says:

    @OzoneR: Yeah…fundamentalist social conservatives are hardly the base of the GOP.

  238. 238

    pretty much every post in this thread that wasn’t by aimai was not good.

  239. 239
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @JGabriel:

    For the longest time things generally got better in America. Many of us were born into an America where people took it for granted that their children would live better than they did. When the our economic base started to erode and wages remained flat people borrowed money and signed hallucinatory mortgages to make it appear to themselves that things were still getting better. We know now that our recent prosperity was a sham but, things have gone so far downhill that even with if both parties acted like adults we’d still have a hard slog in front of us. That one party is now ruled by people whose motto is “Before I give an inch the whole shithouse can go up in chunks!” it will be that much more difficult, maybe impossible, for the ship of state to right itself.

  240. 240
    debit says:

    @OzoneR: Look, you said his base didn’t worship him. We said they did, and offered proof. Now you’re saying the party as a whole didn’t worship him. Maybe, but his base, the 27% that would vote for him if he skullfucked a baby, absolutely did.

  241. 241
    jwest says:

    “One of the odd things about switching from the Republican party to the Democratic party is how both approach elections.”

    Normally, someone who was a republican doesn’t vote for democrats until they are dead and buried, at which time they miraculously become some of the most stalwart liberal supporters.

  242. 242
    gwangung says:

    Now there are some things that Obama has done that I don’t care for. But the problem goes beyond him – he’s a reflection of trends that have been at work in the Democratic Party for years, in particular the increasing embrace of conservative (or, if you prefer, neoliberal) economic policies. There’s still enough difference between Democrats and Republicans that is discernable, but when even a Democratic president is speaking the language of austerity during an economic downturn, you know the game’s changed. And so the game needs to be changed back. That means doing the work at the ground level and building upward. Start local, and build a bench of liberal candidates. Organize independent institutions that can do the political and activist work that the party and its elected officials can’t or won’t do. That’s where the real recovery (in many senses of the word) will spring from.

    Yeah, co-sign this.

    If there isn’t a big wad of progressive politicians in office, progressive policies aren’t going to be advanced. Focusssing on the top officials is useless if there isn’t a large segment of the legislature he/she can work with.

    And I just don’t think there’s a large progressive coalition in Congress….

  243. 243
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @spark: ACA is hardly the the policy of the agenda of the opposite party since it going to be the end of the GOP.
    Did you notice that Obama scored that goal for Team Liberal? Sure it wasn’t perfect, but neither was the civil rights bill initially.
    And what did your side get?
    Oh yeah.
    This.

  244. 244
    mrami says:

    Wow, so far down nobody will ever see this…

    @John Cole: What you see there, it’s the difference between an organization that is winning, and an organization that is losing. The difference between a board meeting at Google and a board meeting at Microsoft, circa 2002. Sure, the President may be our Xbox, but the DKers feel the ground slipping beneath them, and I can’t say that they’re wrong.

  245. 245
    different church-lady says:

    @Steve M.:

    They simply don’t represent a voting bloc that can tip elections

    They believe they can because they “gave all this time and all this money.” They think they are the only reason he had an election operation.

  246. 246
    "Serious" Superluminar says:

    @mclaren
    ok, that was pretty funny.

  247. 247
    OzoneR says:

    @debit:

    Look, you said his base didn’t worship him

    and you’re proof was a group of people in a movie worshipping him. That’s not a “base”

    Maybe, but his base, the 27% that would vote for him if he skullfucked a baby, absolutely did.

    If we’re going by polls, Obama’s base worships him a lot more than Bush did, so maybe we should stop peddling this bullshit that Obama “hates his base” because “the base” clearly disagrees.

  248. 248
    Dr. Squid says:

    @OzoneR: Sweet Jesus, what a silly statement. Is there any part of “the base” of the Democratic Party that some other part won’t automagically discount? Aravosis ignores blacks and women, you ignore the GOS.

    At least the GOP doesn’t ignore sections of their base of nutjawbs, the religiously insane, greedheads, and sheetheads.

  249. 249
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But as Greenwald has pointed out, when do we escape this ‘voter capture’ and play long-term?

    When progressives become smart enough to do exactly what the religious right did and get themselves elected to every local office they can, from dogcatcher to school board, to get the experience they need to climb up the political ladder.

    Of course, that’s hard work, and progressives have the attention span of a hyperactive toddler with a cookie in one hand and a lollipop in the other, so it’s never going to happen. We’ll just get the same bullshit calls to drop out of electoral politics that we heard from the left for 40 years while the right became more involved in electoral politics and successfully took over the system.

    And then progressives stand to the side scratching their asses and say, “Well, clearly the problem is that we participated too much, and if we just make sure to withhold even more of our votes, the Democrats will totally listen to us two years from now when the next election rolls around!”

    ETA: Also, what gwangung said.

  250. 250

    @Linnaeus: This was good post, too.

    But I just want to add: you’re obviously not a real democrat because Obama told you to fuck off in his speeches and you didn’t listen; plus you’re the reason Al Gore lost, also.

  251. 251
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @mrami: it is just a basic difference between base liberal and conservative psycho-biology. Liberals doubt, conservatives don’t. They are losing. They can’t even dig up a viable presidential candidate.

    Sure, the President may be our Xbox

    Nah. Social justice is our killer app. And we just have to wait for the demographic timer to run out.

  252. 252
    Linnaeus says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    But I just want to add: you’re obviously not a real democrat because Obama told you to fuck off in his speeches and you didn’t listen; plus you’re the reason Al Gore lost, also.

    LOL. Funny thing is, I also get a little grief when I go into political spaces (on- and offline) and offer criticism of the president to people who think I don’t support him enough. Not too bad, though.

  253. 253
    Nellcote says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So, yeah, why not a serious challenger (Russ Feingold, a boy can dream)?

    The same Russ Feingold that voted to keep Gitmo open? sorry not pure enough.

  254. 254
    Ash Can says:

    John, next time use big words and classical artwork illustrations like Tom Levenson did last night.

  255. 255
    debit says:

    @OzoneR: WTF? I said nothing about Obama and his base. I was talking about your silly assertion that George Bush was not worshiped by his base. Whether he encouraged it first or took advantage of it later is the only thing up for debate.

    http://www.rense.com/general47/mandate.htm

    This one is especially egregious: http://www.theocracywatch.org/bush_halo3.jpg

  256. 256
    bystander says:

    @John Cole:

    I really just don’t think I have the strength to do it.

    Then you might as well mothball your computer, or plan to limit where you go on the internet and/or the content you choose to feature yourself. Because, apparently, Obama is going to remain Obama, Congress is going to remain Congress, and Krugman, Atrios, Greenwald, Hamsher, et al aren’t going to stop writing about them. And, the folks who read these critics aren’t going to just vaporize because you don’t have the patience for them.

    @aimai:

    Sing it. Sing it. Sing it. I take exception to only one thing you’ve written.

    But he is going to have to step up his rhetorical game if he wants to motivate those voters.

    For many, rhetoric alone isn’t going to cut it. His campaign speeches are archived, and his policy choices are now history. It is what it is, and it’s his.

  257. 257
    OzoneR says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    At least the GOP doesn’t ignore sections of their base of nutjawbs, the religiously insane, greedheads, and sheetheads.

    except they do! Seriously why don’t you ask some of them instead of ignorantly taking your assumptions from some documentary created by liberals.

  258. 258
    Hawes says:

    Daily Kos is orange.

    John Boehner is orange.

    Coincidence?

    Methinks not!

    The whole shitting on the base thing forgets that the base shits on the leadership. It’s a two way shit street.

  259. 259
    Maude says:

    @Dennis SGMM:
    From crying in New Hampshire while lying about Michigan and Florida to General MacArthur in charge, Hillary could run as Sybil.

  260. 260
    Nellcote says:

    @Steve M.:

    If someone did, and drew big, Obama-in-’08-style crowds, that could have an impact.

    I still don’t think such a person could win the primaries, or a general election.

    I don’t think such a person exists.

  261. 261
    Jon O. says:

    This Yglesias quote I saw over the weekend bears repeating:

    I hope people remember this year next time large Democratic majorities produce an inadequate stimulus bill, a not-good-enough health reform bill, a somewhat weak financial regulation bill, and fail to deliver on their promises for immigration and the environment. It’s easy in a time like that to get cynical and dismissive about the whole thing. But there’s actually a huge difference between moving forward at a slower-than-ideal pace and scrambling to reduce the pace at which you move backwards. Now we’re moving backwards.

  262. 262
    Chris says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    Sweet Jesus, what a silly statement. Is there any part of “the base” of the Democratic Party that some other part won’t automagically discount? […] At least the GOP doesn’t ignore sections of their base of nutjawbs, the religiously insane, greedheads, and sheetheads.

    Republicans do it too. They just phrase it by attacking the other parts of the base as “RINOs” or something of the sort. I have read lone isolated articles denouncing Sarah Palin or the religious right or big money Republicans or whatnot, but always by explaining that they’re somehow closet liberals or too much like liberals.

  263. 263
    Dr. Squid says:

    @OzoneR: Right, the nutjawbs, religiously insane, greedheads, and sheetheads are ignored by the party as a whole. We only know this because most every part of their wishlist has been enacted in the states.

    Quit contradicting yourself, quit making uncited assertions, and actually do some homework for a change, boy.

  264. 264
    Scott P. says:

    But as Greenwald has pointed out, when do we escape this ‘voter capture’ and play long-term?

    You had that chance in 2008. We had a primary and you could support Obama, Hillary, Edwards, Kucinich, and a bunch of others. Obama won. You’ll get another chance in 2016.

  265. 265
    OzoneR says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    Right, the nutjawbs, religiously insane, greedheads, and sheetheads are ignored by the party as a whole. We only know this because most every part of their wishlist has been enacted in the states.

    George Bush is Governor of the states?

    I thought we were talking about Bush. Is Scott Walker loved by his base? Yes, and he’s done for because of it.

    I was saying Bush wasn’t, but they backed him anyway.

    Quit contradicting yourself, quit making uncited assertions, and actually do some homework for a change, boy.

    Yes, I definitely should stop talking to real people, get back into my bubble and base my assertions from documentaries made by others in the bubble. Thanks for showing me the way.

  266. 266
    mrami says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Perhaps, but I’m just commenting on how people feel. And the progressives are acting as if they feel like they’re losing ground.

  267. 267
    Huckster says:

    I just wish some of these people could have been alive in 1980 when Ted Kennedy was clamoring for Jimmy Carter to “come out of the Rose garden” and the complete ass he made of himself at the convention by not taking Carter’s hand. I still wonder if Ronald Reagan ever sent him a thank-you card for that. That is what a primary challenge achieves.

    I won’t even bother with the whole Nader-Gore 2000 debacle.

  268. 268
    mclaren says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    Let’s hope you’re right.

    All the evidence, however, shows that the Massachusetts health care non-reform is collapsing and imploding, losing money and curtailing medical benefits. In Massachusetts many low-income who previously got free health care now can’t get health care at all because they can’t afford the co-payments for the health insurance they’re forced to buy:

    Massachusetts has been lauded for its healthcare reform, but the program is a failure. Created solely to achieve universal insurance coverage, the plan does not even begin to address the other essential components of a successful healthcare system.

    What would such a system provide? The prestigious Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, has defined five criteria for healthcare reform. Coverage should be: universal, not tied to a job, affordable for individuals and families, affordable for society, and it should provide access to high-quality care for everyone.

    The state’s plan flunks on all counts.

    First, it has not achieved universal healthcare, although the reform has been a boon to the private insurance industry. The state has more than 200,000 without coverage, and the count can only go up with rising unemployment.

    Second, the reform does not address the problem of insurance being connected to jobs. For individuals, this means their insurance is not continuous if they change or lose jobs. For employers, especially small businesses, health insurance is an expense they can ill afford.

    Third, the program is not affordable for many individuals and families. For middle-income people not qualifying for state-subsidized health insurance, costs are too high for even skimpy coverage. For an individual earning $31,213, the cheapest plan can cost $9,872 in premiums and out-of-pocket payments. Low-income residents, previously eligible for free care, have insurance policies requiring unaffordable copayments for office visits and medications.

    Fourth, the costs of the reform for the state have been formidable. Spending for the Commonwealth Care subsidized program has doubled, from $630 million in 2007 to an estimated $1.3 billion for 2009, which is not sustainable.

    Fifth, reform does not assure access to care. High-deductible plans that have additional out-of-pocket expenses can result in many people not using their insurance when they are sick. In my practice of child and adolescent psychiatry, a parent told me last week that she had a decrease in her job hours, could not afford the $30 copayment for treatment sessions for her adolescent, and decided to meet much less frequently.

    In another case, a divorced mother stopped treatment for her son because the father had changed insurance, leaving them with an unaffordable deductible. And at Cambridge Health Alliance, doctors and nurses have cared for patients who, unable to afford the new copayments, were forced to interrupt care for HIV and even cancers that could be treated with chemotherapy.

    Source: “Massachusetts healthcare reform is failing us,” Susanne L. King, Boston Globe, March 2, 2009

    Are you absolutely sure you want to celebrate as a great policy triumph health care legislation under which poor people who used to get health care can no longer get access to any health care at all?

    Are you absolutely certain you want to applaud legislation which takes away life-saving chemotherapy from dying cancer patients?

    Think carefully before you answer.

  269. 269
    different church-lady says:

    @mclaren: There. Did everyone see that?

    We’re dealing with a group of people who see any compromise whatsoever as “capitulation.” If you make a deal with the enemy, you are “enacting their policies.” There’s no middle ground. There’s no such thing a partial victory. There’s no such thing as making the best of a bad situation. It’s either complete victory or complete defeat. And if you are defeated in any way it’s either because you’re utterly incompetent or a traitor.

    If we could scrape away even the top 10% of this BS we might be able to have a rational conversation about Obama’s weaknesses and strengths. But we can’t. The extremes control the dialog, and always will. Especially in the internet age, where the dog who howls the loudest gets to lead the pack.

  270. 270
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @gwangung: I live in a small (7500) Maine town. Blue county, blue state. For twenty-five years, with the exception of 2008, the town Democratic committee could, and did, fit into one booth of the town’s only real restaurant. Our two delegates up the food chain, to the county committee, were whoever could be bothered to go to their meetings. Off-year delegates to state convention, ditto.

    There have been local elections where the number of openings on the school board — thankless job, I know — has been larger than the number of candidates. I’ve turned down running for stuff — I had two little kids, it looks bad for a public employee to serve, even if it’s legal because the job is in a different jurisdiction — and felt guilty about it, because that’s where it has to start to make the progress we need.

  271. 271
    OzoneR says:

    @mrami:

    And the progressives are acting as if they feel like they’re losing ground.

    They are, and I wish they would blame the people whose fault it is

    Americans.

  272. 272
    rickstersherpa says:

    Actually, in the 1980s and early 1990s, there was a lot of Conservative criticism of Reagan (or at least of all those who surrounded the Sainted Ronny, including Nancy, “the cry was “Let Reagan be Reagan”) and G.H.W. Bush, to the point Buchannan primaried Bush in 1992. And as Nate Silver has indicated, President Obama is probably right now just a tiny bit left of center (and of course the center has shifted pretty far right these last 30 years). And it was after the Republicans had taken a hard loss in the 1990 congressional mid-terms.

    I also don’t see anyone who could give a credible political challenge to Obama in the Democratic party, as the most true blue Liberal, Dennis Kucinich, is unfortunately never going to be taken seriously, and most other leaders in the Senate and Governorship are truckling to conservative memes of Fiscal responsibility as is Obama and lead the retreat on Military Commissions. Really, Andrew Cuomo, John Kerry, or Mark Warner would be better than Obama? Russ Feingold of course got himself in trouble in part by screwing the Union base in Wisconsin on a regular basis.

    As Glenn points out, being the base essentially means that you are in something of a trap. But our friends in the Conservative Movement have shown the way to the future. As they did starting in the late eighties through 2010, be ready to primary and caucus each Senator or congressman of your party who plays to far to the political center than is absolutely necessary for for their state and District. Now, the Democratic party in such a regime will be more centrist then the Republican, at least in the Senate, given the large number of small, rural, white states, but that should be the long term strategy. http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....index.html

  273. 273
    BC says:

    As the base of the party, we can bitch and complain about the leaders, but it is our job to help them move to the left. If there is no payback for moving left or advocating for lefty positions at the ballot box, there won’t be any candidates running that way or voting that way. The reason the Dem pols move to the center is that is where the votes are. If there were enough votes on the left, that’s where they would go. One thing we need to do is make the case that Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal fails in all aspects – in reducing deficit, in providing health care for older people. When asked what proposal those on left have, point to Affordable Care Act, which does start reducing cost of health care and reducing the cost of Medicare over time. I want flamethrowing Democratic politicians who will call the Republicans all sorts of bad names as much as anyone, but that’s not who we have in office now and we need to deal with what we have for the good of the country. Obama for all his faults is way, way better than any Republican. The good of the country demands that we have as many Democrats as we can elect in office at this time. Later we can start to move the party leftward, but right now the Republicans are so nihilistic that we won’t have much of a country left if we allow them in power.

  274. 274
    Scott P. says:

    A crucial difference that you’ve not noted … Republicans rarely, if ever, betray their base, and when they do they’re punished for it (Newt and the christian soldiers, Bush I raised taxes, etc) …

    You don’t spend a lot of time listening to Republicans do, you?

    Because pretty much all of my Republican friends think that every Republican official since St. Ronnie has been a liberal RINO sellout.

  275. 275
    madmatt says:

    @Zifnab: BS 60 person supermajority he was too scared to use…He could of had harry reid threaten the bluedog scum with loss of seniority if they didn’t vote for cloture…but it was more important to cave to the corporate interests. They can get the votes from em too!

  276. 276

    @Jon O.: I basically agree with you/Yglesias, but I also think this (WARNING FROM FDL AKA STORMFRONT) is a fair rebuttal:

    the notion that Democrats lost the 2010 midterms because liberals weren’t clapping loudly enough isn’t supported by the evidence. Democrats lost because they lost independents by 15 points, and independents don’t care what liberals think.

    So why did Democrats lose independents?
    Because the economy hadn’t improved enough because the stimulus bill was inadequate. It didn’t help matters that the Affordable Care Act was stripped of its most popular feature or that HAMP was a total failure or that the Democrats punted on immigration and host of other progressive goals — but it was mostly about the economy.

    People on both sides of this squabble vastly overestimate the importance of the Professional Left.

  277. 277
    OzoneR says:

    @Scott P.:

    Because pretty much all of my Republican friends think that every Republican official since St. Ronnie has been a liberal RINO sellout.

    They almost certainly do and aren’t telling you. Seriously, ask them, they’re not going to give you glowing reviews of Bush or Gingrich or even Boehner. I guarantee you

  278. 278

    @OzoneR: Hey, dude, can you tell me who the base of the GOP is? I’ve stupidly been thinking that the religious right has been an integral part of the conservative coalition since the late 1970s–stupid, stupid, stupid–so, as you could imagine, I’m totally lost on this one. Thanks!

  279. 279
    OzoneR says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    So why did Democrats lose independents?

    Because the economy hadn’t improved and they bought into the deficit garbage. Even had the stimulus been bigger, the economy would still be hurting, and the deficit would have been larger.

    The idea that more progressive policy would have endeared independents is ludicrous. Independents don’t stand for anything. They would have been fearmongered into divided government just the same.

  280. 280
    OzoneR says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    Hey, dude, can you tell me who the base of the GOP is?

    Historically, small-government fiscal conservatives.

  281. 281
    cyntax says:

    You know aimai’s injunction about Obama’s rhetoric got me thinking about the difference between Dem and Repub messaging. I really do think she’s right that the Republican’s do a lot more base maintenance than the Dems. Often we say that they’ve got a more homogeneous base, and that’s true in many ways, but I don’t think their base is completely monolithic so I don’t think that explains the messaging difference. And in one way or another I think we could agree that hippie-punching is a real phenomenon, so I’m wondering to what degree the Dem’s messaging enables hippie-punching. If Dems’ were more careful to be deferential with their base, if they took their base more seriously in an overt way, would the national media be more likely to take the Dem’s base seriously?

    Obviously the fact that the national media likes to hippie-punch influences the Dems, but I think that it’s a bit of vicious cycle where the Dems’ actions also influence the outcome.

  282. 282
    Nom de Plume says:

    I really just don’t think I have the strength to do it.

    Rule #1: Avoid reading Daily Kos diaries at all costs. I’ve been a member there for something like 8 years, and it only just recently occurred to me that the same fight has been ongoing on the recommended list for the entire time, with mostly the same participants. One of the longest flamewars in history.

    The funny thing is, when you look at page views, only a very small percentage of DK visitors actually read the diaries. The very definition of a circle jerk.

  283. 283
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @BC:

    As the base of the party, we can bitch and complain about the leaders, but it is our job to help them move to the left.

    We can do whatever we want to try to move politics to the left. But we should do so in full awareness that _the left is not The Base_.

  284. 284
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Man, I’ve never seen you try to bigfoot a thread as hard as you’re working on this one. Somebody lace your cheerios this morning?

  285. 285
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @cyntax: you and amai both deny the obvious because you are nice people.
    I’m not so nice.
    The conservative base is simply not as smart.

  286. 286
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cyntax:

    I’m wondering to what degree the Dem’s messaging enables hippie-punching. If Dems’ were more careful to be deferential with their base, if they took their base more seriously in an overt way, would the national media be more likely to take the Dem’s base seriously?

    Democrats do “hippie-punching” because “hippies” _aren’t_ the base, not because they are. If Democrats deferred to the “hippies,” they’d lose almost every election, for the simple reason that there aren’t enough “hippies” to win. The Hippie Party would have, by our standards, excellent positions on every issue. And they would get at most 27% of the vote.

    Democratic politicians _are_ hyper-cautious and position themselves towards the center. That’s true, and it’s frustrating from the standpoint of being someone farther left then center. But the _reason_ why it happens is utterly, starkly obvious. There aren’t enough people on the left to win. The left needs the center to win.

  287. 287
    Chris says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    We can do whatever we want to try to move politics to the left. But we should do so in full awareness that the left is not The Base.

    Out of curiosity, since there’s this talk of who is and isn’t the Republican base above, what exactly is the Democratic base? Not the left as a lot of people have said, but then who? Or do we not really have a base at all, and serve mainly as a catch-all for people who’ve been screwed by Republicans and realize it? I’m inclined towards the latter at the moment…

  288. 288
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Corner Stone: Well he is right.
    Bubba is still the base.

  289. 289
    mrami says:

    @OzoneR: Blame doesn’t get you to your goals. It’s a very difficult trick to get people to focus again once you’re losing. It’s hard during a basketball game, when everyone can agree on a) what the goal is and b) what needs to be done to achieve the goal. In the real world, of course, there can be as much debate on what you need to achieve as how you need to achieve it. Without strong leadership to enunciate those goals, the loser will flounder. And DK shows what floundering looks like. Blame the people. Blame the President. We should push him harder. We should primary him…

    I’m not saying that Obama should provide this leadership. He is not a progressive, and anyways, he needs to lead the whole country now, progressives and teahadists all. Progressives need a leader. Unfortunately for Obama, when he came on the scene, everybody hallucinated that he was that leader. Broken hearts all around…

  290. 290
    Corner Stone says:

    @David in NY:

    And now they’re sure to be back. What it looks like is that all they have to do is threaten and he won’t push back, he’ll cave. And I can’t believe they don’t see it that way. Explain to me what’s going to keep this from happening again, and again, and getting worse and worse?

    The beauty of it is that now the lunatics on the right are making a credible first blush to primary Boehner. And he will definitely get the message and adjust accordingly.
    But what are the people on the nominal left doing? All getting lectured to to STFU and give your voice to agreement! Agree we got a great deal motherfucker! Agree!!

  291. 291
    Corner Stone says:

    Of course the blackmailers will be back. Once they get their hooks into the fat cash they don’t let it go. You’ve got to pay someone to kill the blackmailer, then you have to strangle the contract killer and feed his body through a wood chipper and sift it into a local park’s greenspace at least two counties over.
    Or so someone once told me.

  292. 292

    @OzoneR: Don’t think I asked for the “historical” answer. Don’t think that was the conversation’s pivot point…ever.

    Let me double-check….

    Nope. Take 2?

  293. 293
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: Pent-up frustration I guess. Car problem, pest control, work uncertainty… have to vent somewhere.

  294. 294
    OzoneR says:

    @Chris:

    what exactly is the Democratic base?

    They don’t have a specific base, because the “base” consist of different groups who are often in conflict with each other.

    I’d say labor is a base, but labor isn’t a big priority of rich liberals in big cities. I’d say social liberals, but then you’ve never witnesses the homophobia of some rural Democrats. So I don’t know who “the base” really is.

    I can say that the Democratic base where I grew up in Indiana and the Democratic base where I live now in Brooklyn are two completely different groups of people with nearly nothing to common who wouldn’t be able to stand being in the same room with each other.

  295. 295
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Chris: Base Composition: Independents are still mostly bubbas. Republicans are all bubbas or shills for the bankstahs and glibertarans.
    Liberals are whoever is left.

  296. 296
    MikeMc says:

    Have liberals ever been satisfied with a Democratic President? If I remember correctly, they loathed Clinton. They’re always pissed about something or another. They have wildly fond memories of the people that lost. Of the people that never had to govern the entire country or make a difficult decision. I’m sorry, but these people live in a dream world. A world where Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich are viable candidates. They are not. They never were. And I don’t know why. Why are they so easily mocked?

    The hard left is a minority in this country, as is the hard right. The difference, and I think what angers the far left most, is that that the far right is taken seriously in America. For better or worse, they’re listened too. For better or worse, they get people elected. Which makes them seem like a much stronger force in America than they actually are. For some reason, the left can’t match that.

  297. 297
    Joe Max says:

    Anyone who doesn’t think the teabagger base isn’t pissed at the GOP establishment should read all of this:

    http://www.first-draft.com/201......html#more

  298. 298
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chris: IMHO there are a lot of definitions of the Democratic base, but if the key concept is die-hard support, I don’t see how “the left” can be the base. There are reliable lifelong Democratic voters who aren’t very left at all.

    I’d prefer to think of the base as the people who always turn out, then, secondarily, have a discussion about what the people who always turn out actually believe — as opposed to starting from the belief and haggling out whether the bloc of people who hold that belief are or aren’t the base.

  299. 299
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @mrami: what is wrong with you?
    bubbas are immune to messaging. they only respond to demagoguery.
    Obama is doing what he can. I don’t agree with some of it, but as far as domestic policy goes he is limited by the current makeup of the electorate.

  300. 300
    cyntax says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:
    Well for being dumb, they do seem to get better service.

    @FlipYrWhig:
    So wait, there are enough conservatives to win without the center? I don’t think your formulation, as I’m understanding it, accurately describes what’s going on. I think aimai’s correct that the Right approaches this differently by trying to everything they can to keep their base in the tent while enticing the center to join them, and the Dems are pretty happy to move the tent to the center, expecting their base to come with them.

  301. 301
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @MikeMc:

    For some reason, the left can’t match that.

    I think this is totally true, and totally lamentable, and I think it’s a relic of the ’60s and ’70s view of liberals as draft-dodging potheads and well-intentioned wusses who look the other way while decent folks fall prey to muggers. Like “Death Wish” plus “Woodstock.” The pundit class is very hung up on that view, and the caste of political consultants buys into it as well. It’s definitely the case that there’s a strong streak of “hippie-punching” that has resulted from that (spurious) history.

    Basically, when the left mobilizes, the media recoils.

    That said, one of the interesting aspects of the Wisconsin rallies was that demonizing didn’t really happen. So maybe we’re moving in the right direction — and IMHO we have Egypt to thank for it.

    Anyway, retraining professional Democrats to be less cautious is a _massive_ undertaking. A vitally important one. I still think it’s a long-term project that isn’t well-served by blogospheric Sturm und Drang.

  302. 302
    OzoneR says:

    @cyntax:

    there are enough conservatives to win without the center?

    close to it.

    I’d say conservatives need far less of the center to win than liberals do.

  303. 303
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cyntax:

    So wait, there are enough conservatives to win without the center?

    Actually, no. I think the reason why conservative Republicans have had a string of wins (going back to Reagan) is that they struck a coalition with their own center, but they have successively purged that center, and I’m pretty sure that this is the high-water mark for Republicans-as-conservatives because of it. But in recent years there have been enough conservatives — many more than there are liberals — to notch victories because there’s a long tail on the Republican party that remembers the Eisenhower/Nelson Rockefeller mode of the party and keeps voting for the crazier contemporaries out of partisan loyalty.

  304. 304
    cyntax says:

    @OzoneR:

    I don’t know. I’d say their rock solid base is the 27% crazification factor, which I agree is higher than the left’s but not that close.

    @FlipYrWhig:
    That sounds pretty plausible. I think you’re particularly right about them purging their center.

  305. 305
    OzoneR says:

    @cyntax:

    I’d say their rock solid base is the 27% crazification factor, which I agree is higher than the left’s but not that close.

    Problem is, that 27% crazification factor gets 45% of the vote. Our 27% barely cracks 35% sometimes.

    And if liberals don’t show up/vote third party, that goes up to 46%-47%-48%.

    As long as a significant number of independents and less crazy conservatives believe crazy is serious, they can get away with it.

    Christine O’Donnell got 40% of the vote…in Delaware.

  306. 306
    taylormattd says:

    A. Fucking. Men.

  307. 307
    Jon Karak says:

    So why doesn’t this phenomenon convince you that it is our two-party system that is broken?

  308. 308
    soonergrunt says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: I wonder if he even got the reference.

  309. 309
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Except for McCain-Feingold, McCain never bucked the party. He always talked a good talk, but when push came to shove, the only time he ever went against his party was to put the knife in another Republican’s back over some personal vendetta. One wonders whether his most famous piece of legislation (with all his years in the Senate, he sponsored virtually nothing else) was also driven by some private spite.

    The last one actually was Nixon, believe it or not. His domestic policy admittedly was more a matter of defaulting it to a liberal congress, but he actually pushed for and eagerly signed measures that these days would see him pilloried as a radical liberal. By Democrats.

  310. 310
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jon Karak:

    why doesn’t this phenomenon convince you that it is our two-party system that is broken?

    Capitalism sucks too. But good luck ushering in something better.

  311. 311
    OzoneR says:

    @Jon Karak:

    So why doesn’t this phenomenon convince you that it is our two-party system that is broken?

    This meme just won’t die.

    EVERY system is a two-party system. The different in other countries is they’re not parties, they’re coalitions.

    Unless you’re calling for a progressive party to win elections and form a coalition with Democrats, which will just get you right back to where we are, the problem isn’t with the two party system, it’s with democracy.

  312. 312
    taylormattd says:

    @FlipYrWhig: This is spot on Flip.

  313. 313
    cyntax says:

    @OzoneR:

    Problem is, that 27% crazification factor gets 45% of the vote. Our 27% barely cracks 35% sometimes.
    __
    And if liberals don’t show up/vote third party, that goes up to 46%-47%-48%.

    I can see that formulation as accurate. Of course that does bring us back to concerns about keeping newer members of the base motivated and involved.

  314. 314
    kay says:

    @MikeMc:

    For some reason, the left can’t match that.

    I think it’s because liberals won’t focus at the state level.
    The conservative governors in the midwest are teeing it right up for them, but they keep veering off to Obama, here, anyway.
    They can get to a national message at the same time, just working on state issues, and it’s a perfect time to work on state issues, because we have horrible conservative governors. They’re an absolute gift.
    I don’t understand why I can’t convince them that a national message is just adding up a coherent series of state-level arguments, and it’s making me very frustrated.
    There is more than one way to do this.
    I feel as if they’re stuck, here, and I can’t budge them off the Obama Cycle Of Blame or something.
    I feel as if this great opportunity is just slipping away, because they keep looking federal, when state is right in front of them.

  315. 315
    brantl says:

    @satby: “I’m talking about the rest of the noobs who whine about everything, take their balls and stay home.” Did you mean that double-entendre?

  316. 316
    Tonybrown74 says:

    I guess I am the only one who thought of this song/video when I saw the title …

    http://youtu.be/IyYnnUcgeMc

  317. 317
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @kay: yes, you are right. The only remedy for Distributed Jesusland is Distributed Enlightenmentland.
    My life for yours.
    /hermione salutes Kay with respect

  318. 318
    Gus says:

    You are correct. I am not the base. Obama is far too right for me. However, I recognize that in our current political climate, I have about as much chance of having a president far enough left for me as Michele Bachmann has winning the presidency. Obama is badly flawed, but right now, the best we’re gonna do.

  319. 319
    Gustopher says:

    If Obama didn’t disappoint his base on a regular basis, his base wouldn’t be so disappointed in him.

    It might not be the fault of the left that they’re not in love with the guy any more.

    Still, I’d rather be disappointed than f.cked in the ass with a broken bottle and left to find a price-gouging free-market solution for rectal bleeding, so I’ll vote for Obama over any Republican, but I’ll still be disappointed.

  320. 320
    Hawes says:

    One reason the Right has such cohesion is that they don’t perform the circular firing squads.

    The religious right has been advocating the overturn of Roe v Wade for forty years. The GOP as a political institution has moved slowly but surely in that direction, nibbling here and there. It leaves the RR with a sense of both progress and frustration. They look at the Left and decide, OK, I’m not getting everything I want, but there’s no way I’m voting Democratic.

    Whereas the Left takes the same dynamic and pouts and votes for Ralph Nader.

  321. 321
    brantl says:

    @El Tiburon: Read what passed in the last 2 years. The Republicans got their asses kicked. Not as much as we’d have liked, but they still got their asses kicked.

  322. 322
    OzoneR says:

    @Gustopher:

    If Obama didn’t disappoint his base on a regular basis, his base wouldn’t be so disappointed in him.

    Well then he must not be disappointing them on a regular basis, seeing as they’re not disappointed in him.

  323. 323
    homerhk says:

    will anyone read this so low down in the thread? dunno but here is my two cents. For the so-called progressives who moan about Obama disappointing the base and my god ‘what has he actually done?” those moans are usually followed by “and don’t talk to me about HCR, wall street reform, Lily Ledbetter, 2 supreme court justices etc..”. Well, actually, I WILL talk about these things because you might think it’s just fine and dandy to talk about areas of disappointment but you don’t get to do that while ignoring the historic things he has presided over and achieved in his own non-confrontational way. You don’t get to ignore that he got passed health care reform. You don’t get to side-step that by saying (as I have seen in numerous blogs) (a) but Pelosi really did that or (b) but it will be repealed by the republicans anyway and still criticse the bill. As to (a) Pelosi is a progressive’s wet dream and yet when she says the proudest things she has done is get ACA passed, she is ignored. As to (b) if you think that ACA is such a crappy law why are you worried about it being repealed?

    And I’m sorry you don’t get to ignore the substantial accomplishments of this man which would stand up to any President’s entire two terms of office and then say you’re just picking between lesser of two evils. No in fact, you’re picking between evil on the one hand and not quite excellent on the other hand.

  324. 324
    Tonal Crow says:

    Hey! I’ve got an idea! Let’s rename this blog “DLC Juice” and replace all the bloggers except ABL and Cole with Joe Lieberman. That’ll show everyone that this blog is serious Democrat territory.

  325. 325
    JAHILL10 says:

    This may have been said many times above, but it always strikes me as funny the dissonance between what the liberals say they want and what they actually want. They will rave for hours about how if we or the President were more on message — like the Republicans — then we’d win all these political battles. Then someone suggests we all get on message to support the Democratic political leaders and all you hear are choruses of, “Ooooh! You are silencing my dissent. I have the right to dissent! Now we see the violence inherent in the system! He was oppressing me! Did you see him oppressing me?”
    Make up your mind. Do you want the freedom to draw your own lines in the sand? Or do you want to get with the message discipline? The DKos folks are line drawers. Which is fine. To each his own. But to me those people aren’t serious about progressive change because that takes work, long term work with setbacks and battles you don’t always win and sticking with your guys even when you don’t agree with every position they hold on everything.

  326. 326
    Geek, Esq. says:

    @Nom de Plume:

    All very true. I would add that the comments are even dumber and more toxic than the diaries.

    While its’ a good idea to limit one’s exposure to that sewage, it also bears noting that once a web community turns into a free-for-all dominated by the LCD and drives the sane people away, they rarely recover. It happened to Mydd during the primary and FDL during the health care debate.

    Same thing is underway over at Big Orange. Once they abandoned the founding principle of the site–being a partisan, Democratic blog–it started its transition just another clearinghouse for the non-Republican fringe, from LaRouchies to McKinney types. Like Democratic Underground without the Democrats.

    Upshot is that demographics drive content, and as that place turns into Daily Nader, FP content will eventually bend that ways. At which point the only pols willing to be associated with the place will be retired, or Kucinich.

  327. 327
    Huckster says:

    @JAHILL10:

    Exactly! They want Obama to be the Progressive George W Bush. I think they secretly admired him all along.

  328. 328
    Jim Pharo says:

    Horse dead yet? Good. I need something to beat.

    I disagree with John (which is pretty rare). I think it’s perfectly rational and reasonable to have expected Obama to make a deeper and more fundamental difference than many other candidates, and it’s perfectly rational and reasonable to view his time in office as confirming Nader’s POV that it doesn’t really matter which party takes office.

    I’m with Chris Hedges’ perspective that regular political activity is pointless and takes away from what’ really needed, which is resistance. Obama may have be the best person we are likely to get in a modern Presidency. If this is the best he can do, it’s clear to me that the actual powers that be have rendered the government more or less pointless.

    Are there some differences around the margins? Sure. Slightly less offensive Supreme Court decisions. A handful of egregious abuses that the GOP would tolerate but that Obama won’t. But on the things that matter – economic justice and security (which includes access to medical care without regard to ability to pay), the rule of law, non-murder of innocent people around the world, — well, all the stuff he ran on — it seems clear either that he never held the views he espoused as a candidate, or has found it expedient to modify his views in light of what he now knows. Either way, we lose.

    I had expected Obama to founder for the first year or two, not really understanding just how serious our situation was and how to get the government to do what you want it to. But I’ve found instead that Barack Obama simply does not share my values, all the lovely speeches to the contrary.

  329. 329
    different church-lady says:

    @OzoneR:

    EVERY system is a two-party system.

    Here’s an idea that I believe bears thinking about: even those who rail against a two party system are thinking within the framework of a two-party duality.

    The difference is that the two “parties” in this case are “us” versus “the two-party system.”

    The interesting tie-in of this tangent to the targets of the original post is that they’re both the result of the need to sort the world into rigid camps of “us” and “them”. And that’s the result of a useless combination of petulance and lazy thinking.

    Personally I’d love to see a third (and fourth and fifth) party emerge. But it isn’t going to happen simply because people on the internet are having a tantrum. Maybe it will make the tantrum throwers feel less impotent for a bit, but it isn’t going to make anyone any smarter.

    Maybe that’s not what John was trying to get at, but it’s a major reason I align with his sentiments — tantrum throwing appears to have replaced thinking.

  330. 330
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @capt:

    You know more than the fake-ass-progressives do.

  331. 331
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @JAHILL10:

    Thank you.

  332. 332
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim Pharo: Or maybe Obama shares your values but doesn’t actualize them in the ways you prefer. I don’t know why we have to keep acting like everything that happens in American politics is a reflection of what the current president lets happen on purpose.

  333. 333
    Jim Pharo says:

    I don’t believe he shares my values because he has repudiated so many of his statements that reflected those values, from the need for universal health care to the limited power of a President to launch wars to the importance of the rule of law. He has shown by his affirmative actions (and in many cases by his statements) that he no longer believes those things.

    So if that’s not actualizing properly, so be it. But by my lights, it’s the embrace of values that are antithetical to the interests of the great number of people who make up this country, both by my own calculation and by theirs. (Overwhelming numbers of people support increasing taxes on those who can afford it, maintaining and strengthening the safety net, exiting Afghanistan, a public health care option, etc.)

    He’s of course free to embrace whatever he likes, and actualize things any way he likes. But I’m free to conclude that he is in fact part of the problem and in no relevant way part of the solution.

  334. 334
    4jkb4ia says:

    Well, you will have the comedy gold of the Republican field once it gets going.

    I probably will be forced to be around because Steve, David, and Arjun’s posts will be very good, in which case it’s going to be interesting to see how much enthusiasm DKos can try to whip up next year and how much they will just try to destroy the Republican joke candidate. Those people are never coming back. Once you’re arousing alarm in Jonathan Cohn, you have to start doing something seriously right.

    (And you can ignore things, John. I should know :))

  335. 335
    Scott P. says:

    They almost certainly do and aren’t telling you. Seriously, ask them, they’re not going to give you glowing reviews of Bush or Gingrich or even Boehner. I guarantee you

    Ummm, that’s what I just said.

  336. 336
    Loviatar says:

    Here is a simple question for the John and the Obots:

    What will Bush Jr. Obama have to do for you to finally rethink your support for him?

    – Start a war?

    – Cut Medicare?

    – Erode our rights?

    – Torture?

    – Support the rich vs. the middle class and poor?

    – Cut Social Security?

    So once again, what is the turning point for you to say enough with Obama?

    P.S.

    Yes I state unequivocally that he is a better choice that any Republican, however that is not my question.

  337. 337
    lushboi says:

    There’s no difference between Republican and Democratic purists.
    ^fixed

  338. 338
    different church-lady says:

    @Loviatar: As Letterman said to O’Reilly: “It’s not a simple question for me because I’m a thoughtful person.”

  339. 339
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Silver Owl:

    Exactly. Which is why, next year, we have to work as hard as we can to elect more progressive people to the House and the Senate. One way I plan to work toward this is that I will not donate any money to the DCCC, DLC, or DNC, but will instead donate to people running who express progressive values. I got a call from the DCCC the other day and I told them that.

    So, everybody, do what you can. Put signs on your lawns. Go door-to-door. Help in phone banks. I’m not saying that everyone has to do all of these things. But do SOMETHING and also, let it be known that you will not support blue dogs. Well, I guess if you live in a very conservative area, that may be the best you can do. I’m lucky that way–my House Rep is Grijalva. I’ve yet to be disappointed in the way he votes.

    And for those of you who might like to become pols, get on your precincts and your school boards. Like the righties did starting in the 70s.

  340. 340
    virag says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    very reasonable. obama is governing a bit worse, a bit more to the right, than he campaigned but not _that_ much. despite his bullshit, flowery rhetoric, he stated pretty clearly that he was a center-right, status quo sort of corporatist. no surprises. the shame, the big letdown, comes from the fact that some quite thoughtful liberal types held out a teeny tiny hope that this milquetoast douche candidate would transcend his bland, accommodationist centrism and grab the mandate he was given to become the transformative president the times required. the fact he could not or did not is what stings of tragedy.

  341. 341
    El Tiburon says:

    @brantl:

    Read what passed in the last 2 years. The Republicans got their asses kicked. Not as much as we’d have liked, but they still got their asses kicked.

    Yeah, I got it. The most accomplished administration or whatever in history. Quick, name me something (other than HCR). Yep, what I thought.

    Coming off eight years of true destruction, Obama had the chance to truly change the direction of this country. Not only has he not done so but has not even tried. (Again, HCR is a Republican warmed over POS)

  342. 342
    different church-lady says:

    @Silver Owl: Oh, it’s quite easy to understand. The president is one person. Congress is a bunch of people. A bunch of people are harder to think about than one person. And thinking is hard when you’re trying to rant.

    I’m only half kidding. Maybe only one-tenth kidding…

  343. 343
    El Tiburon says:

    @Loviatar:

    Here is a simple question for the John and the Obots:

    I see what you are doing. And I like it.

  344. 344
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @virag:

    the fact he could not or did not is what stings of tragedy.

    That’s just comical in how maudlin it is. You’re a parody of yourself.

  345. 345
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Tiburon: Look at me, I’m mad! Mom! Look! I’m mad! See! Grrr! Mom! You’re not looking! See how mad I can be! Mom! I’m also disappointed! Remember? Mom!

  346. 346
    Another Bob says:

    I take responsibility for having voted for Obama and contributed to his campaign based on what he was claiming at the time, and the general tone of him claiming to be against much of the Republican agenda.

    I’ve spent the past couple of years since his inauguration watching him make the weakest case for actual liberalism I could have ever imagined a Democrat making. I think he’s even afraid to call himself a liberal, literally. The Republicans are making mince-meat out of him in their negotiations, with Obama and the Dems being too cowardly and too inept even to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for the wealthy. And now he’s apparently acknowledging the “need” for cuts in “entitlement” programs, validating the Republicans’ rhetoric and actually even doing their dirty deeds for them. Does this guy even have a sense of self-preservation? Who’s gonna vote for this putz after all of this?

    I’m fed up with Obama. At the present moment, I can’t believe I could even vote for him again, let alone contribute to his campaign. Maybe Team Obama will sneer at disenchanted Obama voters like me, and all I can say is, “Fuck Them.” Don’t screw your base if you want their support. Go ask Pete Peterson or Jeffrey Immelt to support Obama if all you care about is putting a shill into office. Good luck finding enough rich people with secure retirements who aren’t already voting Republican.

  347. 347
    General Stuck says:

    @different church-lady:

    Or as my grand pappy opined one day after an especially lengthy snort offin the moonshine jug “It’s not the answers so much as the stupid questions that piss me off”

    edit – he passed out after that and nearly burned down the chicken coop trying to light his cigarette with a blow torch. Later in life, btw, I myself perfected that maneuver to carry on the family legacy.

  348. 348
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Marc McKenzie:

    Yes, progress is in fits and starts, gain an inch, backslide 7/8 of an inch.

    OTOH, there is progress. I don’t believe that slavery is legal in any jurisdiction in the world, although it certainly still happens. But 150 years ago it was legal here, and 200 years practically everywhere that had a system of laws.

    Today, the idea of racism per se is almost universally deplored. See how the right reacts to being accused of racism with some justification, by twisting the meaning of racist to be someone who accuses someone else of racism. Nobody wants to think of him/herself as a racist.

    I liken progress to a helix, not a linear line upwards. At this time, we are very much on the lower end of a helix loop, but it will go upward again. Fortunately, the Tea Baggers have been showing their ugly (and true) side.

  349. 349
    virag says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    since you have no idea who i am, this shows you’re an idiot. thanks for coming in!

    and by the way, i’m pretty sure you don’t know what maudlin means…

  350. 350
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar: Here is a simple question for the Pathos Party. Do you admit that from the standpoint of what you’d really, really want, _all_ politicians are failures? Because it’s not really that interesting to hear about how Obama hasn’t fixed the contradictions of finance capitalism and brought forth a wholly new paradigm for American politics _if no one can fucking do that to your satisfaction_. We need to narrow the discussion.

    Otherwise you’re complaining that a frog isn’t furry enough. It really should be furrier! And it didn’t even try, when everyone knows that fur is awesome! OK, fine, true, so noted. That would be nice. Now let’s talk instead about how it’s doing as a damn frog.

  351. 351
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    I DO see a point where a lot of the country will get sick of having the gun held to their collective head. It’s already happening in WI, IN, OH, etc. We just have to keep that momentum going, while swimming upstream against the lamestream media.

  352. 352
    WereBear says:

    I know one thing for certain. If George W Bush wasn’t crazy enough to “wake up America” then nobody is.

    So quit threatening to inflict some crazy nutjob on us to teach us a lesson. Been there, done that, haven’t we?

  353. 353
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @virag: You don’t like “maudlin”? How’s this? “It stings of tragedy” is bombastic, bathetic, and overwrought.

  354. 354
    4jkb4ia says:

    @Nom de Plume:

    And I think what they meant to do with this new system was to get the two tribes away from each other so that people who cared about issues could find each other in some kind of safe space.
    I essentially walked away two years ago because
    My computer broke–natural stopping point,
    Open Left was such a wonderful place,
    I recognized fewer and fewer of the people I knew,
    and I thought to myself, “They are going to have this fight over whether Obama is a real progressive for the next 6 months and I don’t really have to be around for it, but when the election comes I’ll probably be back”.
    Well, they are still having this fight, teacherken is the only person I respect who can get on the rec list that I know of, and I found SSP, which is a delight without all the insistent asking for money.

    Another thing about 2008-vintage DKos is that the fight got so much stupider. I know BTD agreed with this.

  355. 355
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob:

    Who’s gonna vote for this putz after all of this?

    I dunno, maybe some of the people who supported the budget deal that everyone on every blog just knows is a fiasco. A mere two-thirds of Democrats and 58% of the country. Your chronic disappointment represents the view of a very thin wedge of an already thin wedge. We get it, you’re very disillusioned. There aren’t very many of you.

  356. 356
    El Tiburon says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    For someone to accuse me of seeking attention by acting like a little brat is amusing to say the least.

  357. 357
    virag says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    holy shit, you don’t know what a parody is either! jeebus, you’re a moron!

    people who feel betrayed _may_ overcompensate and prostrate themselves trying to become worthy, or they may give up and become embittered. what do think will become of so many of those once-enthusiastic obama supporters?

    why am i asking you?

    is it possible that he will lose? i don’t see how, but it is becoming interesting. perhaps the answer is the supreme court. perhaps not.

  358. 358
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Just read that poll, and found it interesting and par for course, that CNN framed it as “no slam dunk, like with Clinton”. A twenty point spread for Obama ain’t no slam dunk in the world of serous thinkers.

  359. 359
    virag says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    don’t they have online thesauruses for you?

  360. 360
    4jkb4ia says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    DTA was bucking the party if the party was defined by Bush and Cheney. The OPR report showed that Team Cheney was alarmed by “getting killed on the Hill” at the time the Bradbury memos were written.

    (My house!!)

  361. 361
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @virag:

    what do think will become of so many of those once-enthusiastic obama supporters?

    “So many” of a vanishingly thin fraction is still a vanishingly thin fraction. They’ll probably go back to the grad student bars they came from.

  362. 362
    Max Power says:

    Oh come on! You know you get a good laugh when people suggest a primary challenger will bump Obama off the Democratic Party ticket for 2012!

    DailyFOX has been great for laughs the last few days and the latest CNN Poll on the Budget debate proves it.

  363. 363
    El Tiburon says:

    @geg6:

    I have no hope that Greenwald ever will and I doubt you’ll take my advice either. I hope you like it when you and all your buddies can take credit for President Bachmann.

    One thing I’ve learned is to never take advice from someone who calls another grown man “Bucky”. Are you from the Midwest and also wear overalls and like Pabst Blue Ribbon beer?

    Greenwald, on the other hand, he may take your advice. He looks like a Bucky.

    Just so I’m clear: if we have a President Bachmann, once again it is because of our actions, not those of Obama? Once again it’s the DFH’s fault? Sounds about right.

  364. 364
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @virag: The fact that you dislike my choice of words hurts my tender feelings. In fact it “stings of tragedy.”

  365. 365
    virag says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    it’s not that i dislike them, it’s hilarious that they make you sound like an annoying middle school writer!

  366. 366
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @virag: Ouch, the tragedy, it stings.

  367. 367
    Another Bob says:

    Your chronic disappointment represents the view of a very thin wedge of an already thin wedge.

    @FlipYrWhig: I’m not expressing my views because I think it represents a significant slice of the electorate, or because of what it will or won’t do for Obama’s chances of reelection. It’s just what I think. Do you think it’s wrong to do that? Is it disloyal? Is it the duty of all good Democrats to stand together and clap loudly whenever Obama claims that validating the Republican agenda is a victory for his side? I will vote according to my conscience and let the chips fall where they may. If Obama loses — which he may well do — then perhaps it will turn out that he was listening to, and doing the bidding of, the wrong people. Only time will tell.

  368. 368
    virag says:

    the simple democratic base will not be enough to get obama a second term. he needs the enthusiastic and committed especially if–and it’s a big fucking if–the repubs can nominate a candidate attractive to those horrible ‘independents’. obama’s political operation is taking a chance here.

  369. 369
    virag says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    that’s it? you suck. now i feel kinda’ bad for you.

  370. 370

    @rickstersherpa:

    As Glenn points out…

    Okay, stop, please.

    What in the hell does Glenn know about being part of any political base? He’s the ultimate free agent, another Dave Kingman if you will, a guy who will sign with a club but never become part of the team- in fact, he’ll tear the team apart in the clubhouse- and happily leave once he wears out his welcome, only to destroy the next club he joins. Thus untempered libertarians…

  371. 371
    Marc says:

    Nah – it’s just that people advocating not voting are basically serving the interests of Republicans and they deserve to be treated like Republicans.

    Anyone who thinks that a significant primary challenge to Obama will help is factually wrong. There is absolutely no evidence that this is true, and three recent examples (1968, 1980, 2000) where a challenge from the left backfired and led to the victory of a more conservative candidate. (And, yes, liberals were really unhappy with Humphrey, Carter, and Gore. Those conversations sounded *a lot* like the unhappiness with Obama.)

    So, again – advocating for a course of action which will be a disaster for Democrats = working in the interests of Republicans = get treated like a Republican.

  372. 372
    General Stuck says:

    obama’s political operation is taking a chance here.

    This is the funniest concern troll quote of the day. Congrats!

    It’s like so 2008 PUMA all over again.

  373. 373
    Another Bob says:

    So, again – advocating for a course of action which will be a disaster for Democrats = working in the interests of Republicans = get treated like a Republican.

    What does it mean to “get treated like a Republican?” Does it mean you’ll preemptively surrender to my agenda without putting up a fight like Obama and Axelrod would do? Oohhh . . . I’m scared now!

  374. 374
    uptown says:

    I don’t think I have it in me to spend the next 18 months listening
    So don’t listen and make it a banning offense in your comments.

    I do worry about the folks in the real world who seem to have little reason to vote in 2012; except because of fear of something worse from a republican Pres. Maybe somebody should look into that.

  375. 375
    OzoneR says:

    @El Tiburon:

    if we have a President Bachmann, once again it is because of our actions, not those of Obama?

    show up and vote, no, don’t, yes

  376. 376
    OzoneR says:

    @Max Power:

    DailyFOX has been great for laughs the last few days and the latest CNN Poll on the Budget debate proves it.

    You should see the diary about the poll. Heads explodin’ sounds like the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks

  377. 377
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob: Go nuts. Be as disillusioned as you want to be. You have one vote. You can use it to prevent harm, or you can use it for your “conscience.”

  378. 378
    Marc says:

    @Another Bob:
    No. It means that you might as well be getting paid by Rove, because you’re doing his work for him. If you like that, keep it up. If you don’t, think about what is going to happen if you get your way.

    But then – I’m sure that there are a lot of pro-life Democrats looking forward to your lecture on why they should shut up and support *your* candidates, even if they are pro-choice, but if anyone disagrees with you on *anything* then you get to lobby for the other side.

    Look at Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Michigan. That’s the good old USA if Obama loses – with extra special fun because the rest of the country will get to live with Mississippi social rules.

    If that’s the future you’re working for, might as well go to the Republicans and get paid for it.

  379. 379

    @Steve M.: THIS.

    The purists are ineffectual but don’t know it. Unfortunately, they are a vocal part of the online left and the loudest part as well, which makes them think they are more powerful than they actually are.

    I find them obnoxious and decidedly unhelpful.

    I think Obama will probably be more progressive in his second term since he won’t need to worry about reelection.

    Hopefully by 2012, Greenwald and Moulitsas and Hamsher all will have published their books, screenplays, etc. and I can entirely ignore their shrieks of outrage for 4 years while they continue doing what they do best: bitching for profit.

    #obot

  380. 380
    geg6 says:

    @Another Bob:

    It bears repeating over and over and over again.

    You are not the base.

    You are not the base.

    You are not the base.

    In fact, if you want to discuss which group is the most loyal and committed group to the Democratic Party, I’d suggest you look no further than our African American friends. If the Dems even HAVE a base, they are it.

    If you are a white, middle class male? You are NOT the base.

  381. 381
    whogivesaflying says:

    What a bunch of suckers. I really find the notion that I am somehow required to give Obama or the worthless Democratic party my respect or loyalty regardless of what they do to be repugnant. I don’t know about you but to me those are two things that have to be EARNED with action not just rhetoric. You lower yourself when all it takes is some fear mongering about the President Palin or Bachmann boogeyman to shut you up and get you back in line supporting the party line. Anybody that is cowed by such arguments is no better than conservatives that throw up their hands and acquiesce to whatever is asked of them at the mere mention of terrorism or Muslims. Scared, scared people. PATHETIC.

    Want to get Democrats to actually DO something worthwhile? Make them feel they’re going to lose their job if they don’t! Or you can continue to throw your unconditional support behind people who break nearly every pledge they’ve made in the hopes that if you just KEEP ON LOVING them they’ll come around and do the right thing. Wake the fuck up, they’re going to take your money and continue doing the same exact thing they did last time, in case you haven’t noticed.

    If you vote for Obama in 2012 you’re part of the problem, not the solution.

  382. 382
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    The purists are ineffectual but don’t know it. Unfortunately, they are a vocal part of the online left and the loudest part as well, which makes them think they are more powerful than they actually are.
    __
    I find them obnoxious and decidedly unhelpful.

    …and I will therefore dedicate hours and hours and hours of my time to talking about them whenever possible. Because I’m a very constructive person. Unlike them.

  383. 383
    John Casey says:

    I haven’t read the comments so I post knowing I’m probably duplicating some prior posts but, nevertheless,

    Anyone who votes in 2012 for anyone but a Democrat is evil and ignorant. Ditto for those who do not vote at all. Surely the events since November 2010 are enough to convince anyone of the truth of the foregoing.

  384. 384
    geg6 says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Are you from the Midwest and also wear overalls and like Pabst Blue Ribbon beer?

    Actually, sort of, yes. Western PA is more Midwest than East Coast. I live in proximity of Pittsburgh, but also right next door to several farms (and grow large amounts of produce on our own acreage with only our own labor, sometimes wearing overalls). And, though I don’t drink PBR (which is actually the “irony” beer of the moment for the elite who laugh at people who live here), I do drink the very pedestrian Iron City Light.

  385. 385
    Another Bob says:

    FlipYrWhig:

    You have one vote. You can use it to prevent harm, or you can use it for your “conscience.”

    It’s getting to the point where Obama is harming the legacy of liberalism in this country. I’m not a rubber stamp and I’m not interested in being party to the gradual erosion of everything I thought liberals were supposed to stand for. If someone doesn’t stand up for real liberalism, then it pretty much doesn’t exist any more.

    Marc:

    No. It means that you might as well be getting paid by Rove

    That’s pretty silly. I think I’m a thoughtful person who is more interested in principles than in personalities or parties (although I’ve been a life-long Democrat and almost always vote for Democrats). I’ve been really disappointed with a lot of Democrats lately, and I don’t think it’s my fault. If they’d rather do the bidding of Goldman Sachs or GE then that’s their choice. Just don’t expect any help from people like me.

  386. 386
    Marc says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Or, perhaps, because unless we counter the sniper brigade then they overrun all discussions, turn them into a sewer, and the Republicans benefit.

    @geg6:

    I drink wine, dammit, and I’m proud of it. And I don’t drink crap beer if I’m going to drink it. No apologies there either.

  387. 387
    Chrisd says:

    I think [he] will probably be more progressive in his second term since he won’t need to worry about reelection.

    When did I hear this–quite a lot, if memory serves–before? Somewhere back in the misty political past…

  388. 388
    Huckster says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Well it sure wound up being profitable for Arianna

  389. 389
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Casey:

    I haven’t read the comments so I post knowing I’m probably duplicating some prior posts but, nevertheless,

    After Cole’s lede and 381 comments, whatever would make you think your comment “Anyone who votes in 2012 for anyone but a Democrat is a poopyhead” may be duplicative?

  390. 390
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chrisd: He’ll be set free from the modern system’s constraints! Free to do what he really wanted to do the whole time!
    Can’t you see? Can’t you?

  391. 391
    Chrisd says:

    @Corner Stone: Change, then Chess, than just wait until the second term for the real deal.

    I just know I remember hearing this before. Wait, gimme a minute…

  392. 392
    Max Power says:

    @OzoneR:

    I haven’t looked at DFOX this afternoon, but is that diary authored by their Czar of Conspiracy Theory, Boob Swern?

  393. 393
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob: So, “conscience” it is. Good luck with that.

  394. 394
    General Stuck says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Hopefully by 2012, Greenwald and Moulitsas and Hamsher all will have published their books

    They all have hungry tigers by the tails with their followers, that will need daily feedings of red Obama fail meat to be sated. A simple book or screenplay might make for an all day picnik, but they won’t be returning to planet sane anytime soon.

    Greenwald will have cracked the nut behind the Obama / Carlyle Group coalition by then, and found Obama’s secret torture camps in Antarctica, provided Mars is still out of play. The crazy will get cranked up, and the only thing that might save Obama from the wackadoodle butthurt of the left would be a blue dress to rally the troops against the wingnuts witchhunts to follow. On second thought, I doubt even that would do it.

  395. 395
    wasabi gasp says:

    Unless I see the whitey tape up-front, I’ll never vote for a black guy again.

  396. 396
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Marc:

    Or, perhaps, because unless we counter the sniper brigade then they overrun all discussions, turn them into a sewer, and the Republicans benefit.

    Yeah, how’s that? If we can’t have our comment sections, the Republicans win?

    Is your precious “enthusiasm” being dampened? How? Is your ability to organize/whatever compromised by anything less than a pristine internet playground? Did Democrats only start winning elections after blogs were invented, and now that the medium is being “ruined,” everything is going to go to shit?

    No, there’s no practical considerations to your little slapfights. You’re just being pissy, demanding, and insecure. And it breeds a neverending cycle of stupidity and escalation. Stop caring so much about what is said online. It really doesn’t matter.

  397. 397
    Max Power says:

    @uptown:

    How are the events in OH, MI, and WI working out for ya? Oh yeah, no one should vote for Obama because “the other guy’s worse,” right? Do you people even read what you type before you post it?

  398. 398
    geg6 says:

    A little lesson for those who obviously don’t know their history. And for those who choose to ignore it and scream about how it’s all the Dems’ and Obama’s fault that we are where we are:

    http://rudepundit.blogspot.com.....-what.html

  399. 399
    geg6 says:

    @Marc:

    Well, I drink wine, too. And am damn proud of it. I also listen to jazz. But those weren’t on the snippy little-purer-than-thou’s list of obviously hickness he gave me.

  400. 400
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bob Loblaw: If only there had been blogs in the mid-century! Just think of all the great political strategy that could have been being punched into boxes of Hollerith cards and shipped from room-sized computer to room-sized computer!

    Compiling…
    Compiling…
    ‘Not cool, daddy-o!’
    Aw, heck, man, that’s squaresville, now I’m never voting for Adlai Stevenson!

  401. 401

    @Bob Loblaw: what? pie, you say? how delicious.

    (i don’t actually have anyone pied, but there are people to whom I will not respond substantively and lucky you! you’re on that list! how does it feel? makes you feel like eating pie, doesn’t it. pie IS delicious.)

  402. 402

    @Chrisd: i couldn’t give one less of a shit where you think you’ve heard it before. i’m expressing my opinion.

    so you can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister.

  403. 403

    and no, my last comment doesn’t make sense, but most of the comments here are word salad, anyway, so why not just finger bleed all over the blog.

    it’s what jesus would do.

  404. 404
    Marc says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Are you doing anything besides pissing and moaning in comment sections? I guess that people like me are supposed to listen to magical thinking, conspiracy theories, and endless attacks on Democratic presidents. And you whine whenever anyone disagrees with you.

    How..precious. I’ve been an active liberal for my entire adult life, and I’ve also spent that entire life seeing fools acting out the Monte Python Judean People’s Front skit. I can tell the difference between what feels good and what’s actually a good idea.

  405. 405
    Chrisd says:

    @Angry Black Lady: Touched a nerve?

    Sorry, you make it too easy.

    If I were you–and yeah, you could care less what I think, got it–I’d stick with Obama being the very best we can hope for, PERIOD, and anyone who dares think otherwise should just shut the fuck up. Dangling hope for a (more) progressive second term is kinda conceding the point.

    And derivative.

  406. 406
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Marc:

    Are you doing anything

    No, rather explicitly not. That’s why I’m posting anonymously on some site called Balloon Juice. I’m doing the opposite of something constructive, worthwhile, and valuable to society. You’ll notice how I’m not confused on that point.

    I guess that people like me are supposed to listen to magical thinking, conspiracy theories, and endless attacks on Democratic presidents.

    Yeah, you are. Because you shouldn’t give a shit. Demanding fealty is your insecurity, not mine. Everything you read online isn’t the Most Important Thing Ever Written. As xkcd said, somebody on the internet is wrong. GASP.

    And you whine whenever anyone disagrees with you.

    Sorry slugger, you can say whatever you like. Literally, whatever you like. I’ll be fine, I promise. Because I’m not a precious little flower needing my internets monitored for deviant thought.

    Also, too, PC users suck. Apple rules. Your choice in video game systems is incorrect. Harry Potter is the most overrated drivel ever written. Other than Firefly. My favorite sports team is superior to your favorite sports team. And President Obama is a shithead. Flame on.

  407. 407
    debit says:

    I love the projection in some of these comments. No one in the administration is sneering at you or your vote; Rahm left, remember? But no, go ahead and clutch your precious vote to your chest. But you don’t get to have it both ways. You don’t get to opt out of the process and then bitch when you’re unhappy about where things go.

    But really, I think the bitter vote clutchers are more about convincing everyone to give up, shut up and stay home. Well, fuck that.

    And frankly, I am sick to death of the Obot bullshit. You are fucking correct that I support him and will continue to support him and if anyone comes back with “Bradley Manning! Gitmo! Explain that! How can you support that, huh?” my answer is: Call your fucking congress person. Call the fucking White House. Write a fucking editorial. Work to make the change you want to happen. Scoring points on a political blog means nothing and accomplishes nothing positive.

  408. 408
    General Stuck says:

    @Chrisd:

    Dangling hope for a (more) progressive second term is kinda conceding the point.

    I didn’t see a concession. ABL claimed in so many words that you are a clueless fool on politics. Which I think was and is the only operable point from your commentary.

  409. 409
    Lynn Dee says:

    Just keep on doing what you’re doing, John. Me, I’m carefully cultivating the sites I can go to when the “perpetually aggrieved, we’re going to eat worms instead of voting” crowd gets to be too much. Don’t know if I can make it through the next 18 months either without a well thought out plan.

  410. 410
    Lynn Dee says:

    @geg6: @satby: Hear hear! This thread is cheering me up…

  411. 411
    Lynn Dee says:

    @El Tiburon: So it’s not enough that there are any number of sites where you can pen diaries, chain smoke cigs of rage and threaten to stay home on election day? You need to post a lengthy note here explaining why everyone who doesn’t feel the same is wrong?

  412. 412
    Max Power says:

    @debit:

    But really, I think the bitter vote clutchers are more about convincing everyone to give up, shut up and stay home. Well, fuck that.

    BINGO!

    Half of them are GOP shills just playing a little divide and conquer on the ole internets. They think they’re clever, but I know few if any real progressive Democrats who would enable GOP candidates by not voting or try to depress Democratic turnout in general.

  413. 413
    El Tiburon says:

    @OzoneR:

    show up and vote, no, don’t, yes

    Then tell me what the fuck am I voting for? Just to keep the Republicans out of the White House? Sorry, just ain’t enough.

    I did that before and yet somehow it seems many of the same policies are being strengthened by Obama.

    Does anyone recall the joy and elation we all felt on election night? The National Nightmare was finally over. We were going to stop torturing and holding people indefinitely and stop enriching corporate America while the middle class suffered and stop these stupid fucking wars and be transparent and go back to the rule of law and respect the civil liberties of all people.

    Fuck all of ya. I didn’t vote for Obama to get some shitty piece of health care reform that (again) enriches corporate America while still leaving millions of Americans without healthcare.

    So, yeah, maybe I’m a naive little whiny-ass titty-baby who reads too much Greenwald and for some reason believes we can do better than what we have; that the ONLY reason worth voting for Obama is to keep it away from Bachmann is bullshit.

    So put that in your tea and bag it.

  414. 414
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Marc, you need to man the fuck up. Yer totally harshing my intertoobz.

  415. 415
    Marc says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    You’re the sort of person who I’m very happy to make unhappy. If you and yours do anything, it’s to help Palin and her crowd.

    I’m in Ohio. I could piss and moan and posture. Or I could notice that Sherrod Brown is running for Senate re-election in 2012, and I like him a lot. I could notice that we have a wingnut US Rep now, and had a Dem last time (not even a Blue Dog – a liberal.) We may have referendums on the plate, and Ohio leg races which look relevant all of the sudden.

    I can see the true extent of the crazy on the other side too – as in what Kasich is doing to my state, and what he and his would do to the country if they got the chance. Or I could sit in left-wing echo chambers on the web and mope.

    So I’m going to work, and work like hell. And whenever I see someone who’s working to take this country into the dumps with their false equivalences and doing things that help Kasich and company – well, I’m not going to put up with their wrongheaded garbage. That counts as manning up to me. Whining about the evil Obama: not so much. Not giving a shit about the people who the Republicans hurt when they get a shot: deeply immoral too.

  416. 416
    debit says:

    @El Tiburon: I think that your blaming all of those things on Obama tells me that I shouldn’t listen to you at all, ever, on anything. Yes, it also makes you a whiny ass titty baby.

    He’s not a king, or a dictator and can’t do anything on his own. To point out that he was crippled and hamstrung by members of his own party seems to fall on deaf ears. It’s easier to condense everything into a simple “it’s Obama’s fault” than to admit Washington is really fucked up and it’s going to take time and hard work to fix it. But you just stay home and let everyone else do the work.

  417. 417
    Carol says:

    @cleek: Not only that, but no primary challenger has ever even won the nomination. A primary challenger to Obama not only would lose, but lose permanently because they will never get any African-American votes ever. So they get to ruin their political career with no compensating benefits.

  418. 418
    OzoneR says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Then tell me what the fuck am I voting for? Just to keep the Republicans out of the White House? Sorry, just ain’t enough.

    Well it’s going to have to be, sorry

  419. 419
    Another Bob says:

    Half of them are GOP shills just playing a little divide and conquer on the ole internets.

    I think that there’s a lot of sincere disenchantment with Obama on the part of many real, honest-to-God liberal Democrats. Dismissing these people as “shills” is denying reality. I know — because I’m a disenchanted former Obama supporter — that I’m not a GOP shill. I hate the GOP and everything they stand for, which is why I think it’s inexcusable and infuriating to see Obama wasting his time “negotiating” with them when he’s being played for a sucker. I waited through eight years of Bush II to hear a Democratic president say that maybe the GOP has a point about taxes and entitlements? It’s so bad that I’m almost starting to think that Obama is a GOP shill if anyone is.

  420. 420
    El Tiburon says:

    @debit:

    He’s not a king, or a dictator and can’t do anything on his own

    Really? He just sent US troops to war in Libya. ON HIS WORD ONLY. That kind of sounds like a king or dictator to me. How about you? Or am I just whining some more? Perhaps so.

    Obama claims the right to assassinate US citizens anywhere in the world without due process. I don’t know. Kind of sounds like a king. Or dictator. Maybe it’s me whining again.

    As Commander-in-Chief, Obama allows a US soldier to be tortured on US soil. Freedom loving Democrat or Dictator? Or more whining?

    Reneging on a campaign promise, Obama will allow terrorists suspects to be tried in a rigged, military court instead of a US federal court. Hmmm, don’t know…sounds kind of kingy and all.

    Pushing to immunize the government from any legal challenges for wiretapping.

    Claiming the right to hold human beings without charges of any kind in a cage FOREVER.

    So you can get off of your righteous high horse and get a fucking clue. Wake up and smell the coffee. Your freedoms are being eroded right beneath your birkenstocks and you can’t see it. Oh, sorry, just the freedoms of the brown, suspected terrorists and one white dude named Manning. So, you shouldn’t worry. Because when they come for you, I’m sure Obama will have your back.

  421. 421
    El Tiburon says:

    @OzoneR:

    Well it’s going to have to be, sorry

    Yep. Especially if we listen to some of the mentally-challenged around here. Just be cool, dude. Go vote. Like wow.

    Answer me this: how can a few thousand teatards change the trajectory in a few short months, yet millions of liberals and progressives can’t seem to change their mind? Oh, yeah. Many of them are a bunch of wet noodles who comment here on Balloon Juice and get their panties all wadded up if someone isn’t so polite. Really, you are just as bad as the Republicans. I think the term is ‘enabling’.

  422. 422
    Corner Stone says:

    @Carol:

    but lose permanently because they will never get any African-American votes ever.

    I don’t understand. If they run against Obama in a primary and lose, but then go on to be the D candidate for some other elected office afterward the AA community would not vote for them ever again?

  423. 423
    El Tiburon says:

    Ahem.

    A senior United Nations representative on torture, Juan Mendez, issued a rare reprimand to the US government on Monday for failing to allow him to meet in private Bradley Manning, the American soldier held in a military prison accused of being the WikiLeaks source. It is the kind of censure that the UN normally reserves for authoritarian regimes around the world.

  424. 424
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Tiburon: I think there’s vastly too much religion in politics. I am not religious. I would just as soon see all religion vanish overnight. But there are a lot more religious people than people with my views, so railing at why American politics pays so much heed to religion and religious people is not going to be a great use of my time, energy, and emotion. And if I decide that religious-minded candidates will never deserve my vote, I’m not going to be doing a lot of voting.

    Similarly, yes, it is regrettable that left-ish voices aren’t stronger in American politics, and that left-ish politics is treated as beyond the pale. But if you decide that Obama is so little left-ish that he no longer deserves your vote, I don’t think you’re going to be doing that much voting. Because the sad fact is that as squishy as Obama is, he’s about as far left as our system will bear, and there aren’t enough people to his left to push him farther.

    I think you have to grade on a curve in these things.

  425. 425
    Andrew says:

    @Aredubya:

    Actually, Carter’s reputation as a liberal is entirely a post-presidential phenomenon, due mainly to two things: (1) RW demonization of Carter in an effort to pump up Reagan, and (2) Carter’s post-presidency.

    Carter, though, was arguably the most conservative Democrat to occupy the White House since Woodrow Wilson. Despite congressional majorities as large as those enjoyed by Johnson, he completely shot down all attempts to expand the welfare state, instead pushing a domestic agenda focused around deregulation, balancing the budget, and energy conservation. He abandoned ’70s-era Keynesianism for monetarism, upped the defense budget dramatically, and turned U.S. policy towards the Soviets in a significantly more confrontational direction.

    Remember that Ted Kennedy’s primary challenge to Carter came from the left. And one of the major reasons why Carter’s ratings were generally poor throughout his term was that, despite solid ratings from independents and approvals from a decent chunk of Republicans, his ratings among Democrats were often piss-poor, languishing in the 50th percentile or lower.

  426. 426
    different church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I did that before and yet somehow it seems many of the same policies are being strengthened by Obama.

    Have you considered thinking about the ramifications of the word “seems” in that sentence?

  427. 427
    different church-lady says:

    @Andrew: …and those Democrats then voted for Reagan. Who rewarded them by pulling the country back to the left like they wanted.

    Wait… wha?

  428. 428
    doofus says:

    It took the Birchers years to take over the Republican party. I keep listening for the same kind of takeover on the Left. But outside of loud arguments about how Obama has failed, all I hear is crickets. I almost get the impression that the left really don’t want a progressive Democratic party enough to actually work for it.

  429. 429
    Another Bob says:

    @different church-lady

    Have you considered thinking about the ramifications of the word “seems” in that sentence?

    I dunno, what does this seem like to you?

    For that reason, as The Guardian reports this morning, a letter signed by “more than 250 of America’s most eminent legal scholars” that “includes leading figures from all the top US law schools, as well as prominent names from other academic fields” — featuring “Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who is considered to be America’s foremost liberal authority on constitutional law”; who “taught constitutional law to Barack Obama and was a key backer of his 2008 presidential campaign”; and “joined the Obama administration last year as a legal adviser in the justice department, a post he held until three months ago” — not only denounces Manning’s detention but also the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner’s personal responsibility for it:

    How about this?

    Several presidential advisers interviewed in recent weeks said Mr. Obama has been torn between wanting to propose major budget changes to entice Republicans to the bargaining table, including on Social Security, and believing they would never agree to raise revenues on upper-income Americans as part of a deal.

    A Democratic president is condoning the illegal detention and torture of a U.S.citizen — so far convicted of nothing — on U.S. soil, and simultaneously opening the door himself on cuts to future Social Security benefits? I think it’s past the point where you can claim that he’s doing this only because the Republicans or the Blue Dogs are forcing him to. Sooner or later Obama has to answer for his own actions.

  430. 430
    different church-lady says:

    @Another Bob: Greenwald and Digby. Perfectly unbiased sources both.

    If you know what I mean now.

  431. 431
    Another Bob says:

    @different church-lady

    Greenwald and Digby. Perfectly unbiased sources both.

    So you deny these facts because it’s “Greenwald and Digby” rather than because it’s true or false?

  432. 432
    debit says:

    @El Tiburon: Hey, I guess he is a king! Or a dictator! Except, if he was a king, or a dictator, he could have forced New York to try Khalid Sheik Mohamed in a regular court. But they wouldn’t do it. And he could have told Congress to stuff it, he was closing Gitmo whether they funded it or not. But wait, no, I’m sorry for inserting logic and facts into your tantrum.

    Do you honestly think for one fucking minute that if Obama had done anything not granted by the power of his office that there wouldn’t be impeachment hearings five minutes later? Issa jerks off to fantasies like that, daily.

    You’re right about one thing: we have lost civil liberties. But that was under a different president and a different (but not by much) Congress. Staying at home and denying Obama your vote isn’t going to restore one single civil liberty. Voting for progressive candidates, at every level of office, is where we have to start. It’s going to be a lot of work, and it’s going to take time. Having hysterics and discouraging people from voting, or from thinking there’s any point to voting, hurts that. And I resent it.

  433. 433
    Danny says:

    Frankly, I’d like to see the new left kicked out of this party. Nixon was right. The hippie bums gotta go, what the fuck do they know about anything?

    Truth is, the democratic party’s power to get some actual good done in this world has been in constant decline ever since it deluded itself that it would be hip letting a vocal gang of doped up college idiots run the party and were from that moment on doomed to bitching and moans about anyone who wasnt george mcgovern, and just as sure would have bitched and moaned about him as well had he ever got to set foot in office.

    Funny thing: Jimmy Carter is remembered these days as some ultra liberal super failure. Because thats how conservatives want him remembered. At the time though he was weak, ineffective and ultimately went down to defeat because the netroots of the time then, as now, sniped at him and undermined him from the left, choose to turn their back on him when the going got rough and threw their lot with a magical savior that in the end delivered nothing (teddy kennedy).

    But conservatives got to write the history on Carter, and why that is, is something the Hamshers of the world should ponder, if they truly care about progressive ends. Because it will happen again, in just the same way.

    The Daily Kos & Firebagger lefts have only acquired the power to shoot down fellow progressives, their opinions are only sought and deemed to be of public interest when they contain critique of democrats. If there is any room for self critique in the professional left this must be viewed as a catastrophic failure, given that the purpose of a grassroot interest group is not primarily to exert influence on politicians already sympathetic to their cause – but to convince the public at large.

    A perfect example to illustrate the point is the public option: as soon as it died in the senate negotiations and was dropped from the ACA, the netroots could have done this to work towards it becoming law down the road: Relentlessly keep on talking up the public option in whatever forum was available to them. That might mean on tv for some, on their blog for others, and in their extended family or workplace for someone else. Thats how an evangelical christian would go about whatever flavor of the month was deemed koscher by his preacher. And thats what eventually has a chance of working.

    Then, when Obama is up for reelection you lean on him to make it a part of the 2012 platform. When there’s a non incumbent primary you make that a factor in your vote and you are public about it.

    But then on the other hand, one can instead make it personal, because yeah it’s really all about betrayal and whether you are important enough to get everything you want delivered to you right now, without having to pull any load yourself.

    It’s about having the right to demand a president that will boldly apoint himself judge and jury and declare a soldier not guilty of treason, because – man – isnt it self-evident that it’s not a crime to steal 600 thousand pages of classified information and give them to wikileaks if you’re a homosexual soldier having to live with dadt. And, its wikileaks, Julian Assange is cool, he’s on our side, it’s not the same thing as giving it to aipac or Kim-jong il. Even if they end up downloading it. Martin Luther King Jr wouldnt have commited murder if he had shot down George Wallace if he got the chance. Right?

    Any president that hasnt got the cojones to boldly stand up for those universal values – when Andrew Sullivan demands it (while simoultaneously managing to yawn at DADT repeal as a foregone conclusion) – is obviously a sellout.

  434. 434
    Max Power says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Really? He just sent US troops to war in Libya.

    As part of a NATO No Fly Zone mission sanctioned by the UN. You make it sound as if he ordered an invasion of Canada over border territory disputes dating back to the War of 1812. Obama is not a dictator, no matter how much you’d like him to be.

  435. 435
    Another Bob says:

    @Danny

    But then on the other hand, one can instead make it personal, because yeah it’s really all about betrayal and whether you are important enough to get everything you want delivered to you right now, without having to pull any load yourself.

    Why do some people insist on trying to mischaracterize principled, policy-based opposition to some of what Obama has done as some kind of a petulant shit-fit? Is that the only way you can deny the otherwise completely legitimate disapproval of Obama’s policy decisions and negotiating tactics — by making a childish caricature of it?

    Who are you to criticize people about “pulling the load?” What about Lawrence Tribe, who campaigned for Obama and worked in his administration and now criticizes him harshly for the treatment of Bradley Manning? Is he just a childish, petulant whiner too?

    And what about kicking the left out of the party? To me, that sounds a lot more like the way a Republican might deal with a little healthy dissent, by ridiculing it, denying it and ultimately trying to banish it. I thought one of the main differences between Democrats and Republicans is that the former have actual principles. Is that even true, and if so, at what point do they come into play?

  436. 436
    Max Power says:

    @Another Bob:

    That’s why I used the qualifier “half of them.” No doubt there are a few internet commenters that are so sincerely upset with Obama that they are willing to enable a GOP takeover by insisting no one vote for him. They’re still lunatics.

    A few of us uncovered a GOP shill fronting for Rand Paul over at DKOS last September. They do exist and they love to pose as disenchanted progressives. There are many more of them than you would assume posting their concern on lefty blogs, right out of the Rovian playbook.

  437. 437
    Another Bob says:

    @Max Power

    There are many more of them than you would assume posting their concern on lefty blogs, right out of the Rovian playbook.

    Just because Republicans are douchebags doesn’t give Democrats license to belittle principled criticism within their own ranks. Because Karl Rove is a fat asshole doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to look the other way when Obama condones unconstitutional violations of American citizens. Maybe if more Democrats weren’t so quick to make excuses for Obama he’d realize that he can’t get away with B.S. like that. I’d say that people who unquestioningly support any candidate or any party are part of the problem if they keep being cheerleaders when the entire system becomes so corrupt. And it’s just not good enough under some circumstances to keep saying that it’s OK because the other side is worse.

  438. 438
    debit says:

    Someone tell me where this huge coalition of Obama supporters are. Is it on MSNBC, where Ed said he wasn’t going to vote because he didn’t get what he wanted from Obama? And where Cenk got a gig playing his one hit wonder “Blame Obama for everything!”? Is it on the big “liberal” news site Huffington Post? Or the big liberal blog Daily Kos? No, not there either. So, where is it that all of you Obama haters are feeling oppressed by the unrelenting Obot excuse makers? I’d really love to know, so I can go there and be with others of my kind.

  439. 439
    El Tiburon says:

    @Max Power:
    Dipshit. You keep believing the UN mandate nonsense and that I want obama to be a dictator.

    What do you call it when a leader declares the right to kill his own citizens anywhere just like that? Progress?

  440. 440
    El Tiburon says:

    @debit:

    Having hysterics and discouraging people from voting, or from thinking there’s any point to voting, hurts that. And I resent it.

    I resent your apparent lack of reading comprehension. I am not discouraging anyone from voting. Nor do I believe there is no point to voting. I am wrestling with whether or not I am going to vote for Obama. That is my right. I don’t enter into it lightly. It shows how frustrated I am.

  441. 441
    Squarepeg says:

    @Another Bob:

    And it’s just not good enough under some circumstances to keep saying that it’s OK because the other side is worse.

    Really, bitch? Because it’s good enough for me. You may want Republicans back in power, but I don’t.

  442. 442
    Another Bob says:

    @Squarepeg

    Really, bitch? Because it’s good enough for me. You may want Republicans back in power, but I don’t.

    So Bradley Manning being held in solitary confinement is good enough for you? Having your Social Security benefits cut because Obama is an spineless establishment shill is good enough for you? Maybe if more Democrats weren’t chumps like you Obama would actually fear doing the kinds of things that no Democratic president should ever do.

  443. 443
    Danny says:

    @Another Bob:
    I have no problem with principled opposition. It’s just that I prefer the republican way of principled opposition, f.e like this : “in this case I don’t feel entirely sure that the president makes the right judgement and I may let on as much but god dang it the other side is WORSE so I’ll argue the principle and if I get the chance to argue my case in public I’ll keep my f-ing priorities straight and dish it out on my prime opponent first, so to best make use of my limited resources”.

    Secondly I prefer the kind of principled opposition where my level of threshold in assuming the worst is proudly biased in favor of toning it down and really arguing on principle and not throwing personal accusations of betrayal and bad will at what is in effect the captain of “my team”.

    That entails f.e. taking the time to ask myself:
    – What do we know for certain about the Bradley Manning case, and what information does the admin have?

    From the info at wikipedia it sounds to me that Bradley Manning claims that the staff has falsely made up that he was suicidal and he had strip down to his shorts during a period. Whether someone is suicidal is a matter of judgement and it is not necessarily true that Mannings word must be accepted as received truth.

    Reading up on the public letter from Tribe, Ackerman etc I see that they also claim that Manning is forced to answer questions at regular intervalls – every 10 minutes – during the day and given certain conditions during the night (if he hides his head under a blanket or similar).

    From the information given, specifically the part with the questions every 10 minutes I would say that it sounds like – let’s call it “harassment” – if true. It is not obvious to me to what extent this is verified apart from Mannings own statements. If it is true I do not support that treatment, on principle. It sounds like it wouldnt be a necessary precaution with someone, were he suicidal.

    But I (with my admitedly limited knowledge), have as of yet not seen that “every 10 minutes” is independently verified. Furthermore, this is Obama:

    “… I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assured me that they are.”

    Assuming good faith, that doesnt sound unreasonable to me.

    However – if all true, and assuming bad faith and not just ignorance from admin – I am still not bothered to the same extent as if he had been subjected to sleep deprivation, stress positions, waterboarding etc (as is still as it happens advocated by the other party) and I definetely don’t think it could plausibly be called “torture” without severely watering down the definition of torture.

    Furthermore this, from Glenn Greenwald: “a whistle-blower acting with the noblest of motives”, and “a national hero similar to Daniel Ellsberg.” (from wikipedia on Greenwald) is a perfect example of the kind of new left hippie bullshit that Greenwald should be perfectly free to advocate, but which we should think very long and hard about embracing as progressives – especially if we would get the impulse to feel mortally betrayed by the president, should he not follow us there.

    Because what Greenwald is saying is in effect that it’s o.k. to break the law if we sympathize with the cause, or the purpetreyor. If guilty (which Greenwald seems to assume), then we should consider the fact that Manning leaked 250 thousand diplomatic cables, and could not possibly have been in a position to judge neither if all of them were things the public “needed to know”, nor if they would do damage to american interests, help our enemies, or put our citizens in danger.

    It is the worst kind of hypocracy arguing that Scooter Libby should serve time for outing Valery Plame while arguing that Bradley Manning shouldnt. The crime is the same, or rather Mannings crime is (if guilty) arguably much worse given the volume of leaked material.

    Is Lawrence Franklin also a whistleblower and a hero? It comes down to whether it’s more patriotic to spy for Aipac or wikileaks. If guilty they both deserve punishment, because they broke the law.

    Demanding the president hold Greenwalds position is demanding him to claim a ground that will necessarily become indefencible, put another way – political suicide. (As I personally believe it should be).

    You are of course free to disagree, but if you want to be anything but a “petulant whiner” in my book, I’ll expect you to weigh that consideration against all the other things the difference between a democrat and a republican in the white house entails. Waterboarding, stress positions and sleep deprivation for afghan farmers that hasnt got a name we can remember easily is just one of them. And if it seems prudent, try to do whats right while keeping the good or at least slightly better on speaking terms with the perfect.

    About Lawrence Tribe, and “who am I to…”, I really don’t know enough of neither his work or his deegre of petulant whining to have an opinion. If his whining manifests in a Hamsher-esque degree then sure I’ll call him a usefull idiot for the forces in our country that doesnt give a shit about his values and are just itching to, when given the chance – one and a half years from now – stuff a damp rag down Mannings throat and pour away, or as some has suggested, put Assange in front of a firing squad. But like I said, I’m ignorant on the subject of Lawrence Tribe.

    I am however very aware of Hamsher, and her followers, and of other commenters of that persuation on lefty blogs like f.e. El Tiburon spouting confused new left conspiratorial nonsense about the man. They’re junkies needing a new fix of something to complain about, they’re addicted to the belief that “the man” always wins in the end anyway. Those are people who’ll only ever be good for being in permanent state of opposition to whomever happens to be in charge at the moment, never having any incentive to fight to win and seeing their goal become realized.

    Sometimes I suspect that bored freepers and redstaters keep secret caricature hippie alter egos for posting on progressive blogs, for sowing confusion, infighting and obscuring what could be cause for real, well deserved pride and satisfaction over real progress (Dadt, end of state sponsored torture, expanded medicaid and deeply progressive subsidized insurance for minorities, single mothers and other low income groups through ACA, reregulated finacial industry and a reversal of the last 30 years of hegemony for the idea that deregulation is good) – by means of this endless shitstorm of perpetual nirvana fallacy that one is subjected to whenever one enters the so called progressive blogosphere these days.

  444. 444

    @Another Bob:

    Oh, for chrissakes, look at the letter.

    First, the letter was written in early March (“During the past week he was forced to sleep naked and stand naked for inspection in front of his cell…” refers to the incident that occurred on March 2). It does not acknowledge the Pentagon statement that posits that Manning was not forced to stand naked outside of his cell, that statement neither challenged by David Coombs, Glenn Greenwald nor any other of Manning’s advocates.

    Then there’s “For nine months, Manning has been confined to his cell for twenty-three hours a day. During his one remaining hour, he can walk in circles in another room, with no other prisoners present.”

    First, that claim dates back to December, and it came from Coombs. If you read David House’s post from about the same time, House acknowledges that Manning had been exercising outside until a few weeks earlier…Which coincides with late autumn/early winter in Northern Virginia, when it’s cold and rainy, transitioning to snow. Neither Coombs nor Greenwald have publicly acknowledged House’s statement.

    Second, he exercises alone because he’s on Prevention of Injury watch, which leads me to this point from the letter:

    “Private Manning has been designated as an appropriate subject for both Maximum Security and Prevention of Injury (POI) detention. But he asserts that his administrative reports consistently describe him as a well-behaved prisoner who does not fit the requirements for Maximum Security detention. The brig psychiatrist began recommending his removal from Prevention of Injury months ago.”

    All well and good, but it fails to take into consideration that there might be others being held in the brig who would consider harming a high profile detainee as a notch in their belt. Not every one of those being held are facing charges just short of treason. In fact, there are probably a few murderers in there who consider themselves the most patriotic guys in the country who had to kill a haji or two to protect their bros. These guys could care less if Manning ever gets to trial.

    Finally, this:

    “…this pattern of degrading treatment aims either to deter future whistleblowers, or to force Manning to implicate Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a conspiracy, or both.”

    Two points, the first that Manning would have faced his court martial some time ago had his own attorney not filed for a sanity board hearing; second, that Manning went far beyond whistleblowing when he downloaded over 260,000 files without ever considering that the vast majority of those files had absolutely nothing to do with crimes being committed. Had he stopped after the “Collateral Murder” release, he’d be getting a lot more sympathy from me. As it is, he did little more but contribute to WikiLeaks grand experiment in anarchy.

  445. 445
    Another Bob says:

    @Danny and Temporarily Max McGee

    I understand the “lesser of two evils” argument and realize that this is the consideration that goes into a large proportion of electoral decisions. As someone who voted for Obama in both the primary and the general election, and who donated to his campaign, it hasn’t been quick or easy for me to conclude that I no longer like or support him. But that’s how I feel. I can’t bullshit myself about it. I’m just sick and tired of his lame, milquetoast ass now. I will vote for other Democrats when I think it matters — which is most of the time — but I actually think that Obama is harming the cause of liberalism and I refuse to condone it or make excuses for it any more. If other Democrats did the same, we’d get candidates we could be enthusiastic about. But candidates like Obama are like slow death, and I refuse to give a damn about him any more. Sorry if you don’t like it, but that’s just the way it is.

  446. 446
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob:

    If other Democrats did the same, we’d get candidates we could be enthusiastic about.

    If other Democrats stopped voting for insufficiently liberal Democrats, how the holy fucking fuck is that going to lead to “candidates we could be enthusiastic about”? The first thing it leads to is crazy-ass Republicans running the table. And the second thing is leads to is moping and moaning from supposedly liberal Democrats about how it’s not fair that no one represents their non-voting, never-satisfied, princess precious sparkle pony selves, seeing as they represent a healthy 2% of the political nation, way, way below the number of people who think it’s important to store a backpack full of foil-wrapped beef stroganoff in their closets in case it’s Armageddon tomorrow. And the one thing it absolutely, definitely will never lead to is better liberal politicians.

  447. 447
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    If other Democrats stopped voting for insufficiently liberal Democrats, how the holy fucking fuck is that going to lead to “candidates we could be enthusiastic about”?

    But then progressives could stuff and mount the half dozen or so true blue libs that could get elected, and put them under glass to be admired and worshipped over, while the wingnuts run wild with the country. Come on Flip, wouldn’t that be cool, or are you one of those icky pragmatists? OR worse. an Obot?

  448. 448
    Another Bob says:

    @FlipYrWhig

    If other Democrats stopped voting for insufficiently liberal Democrats, how the holy fucking fuck is that going to lead to “candidates we could be enthusiastic about”?

    You can’t even call Obama a liberal, and he’s too spineless himself to make such a claim. Obama has unilaterally surrendered the cause of liberalism. What are Democrats supposed to stand for? Is it “a less pernicious brand of corporate hegemony” or “less severe violations of constitutional rights,” or do they have actual principles? I simply don’t agree that always making excuses for whatever a Democratic politician does and calling it “good enough for me” is any way to bring about the kind of world you want to live in.

    I’m not saying that I have any answer to this quandary. But at some point, it has to come down to people standing up for their beliefs. That doesn’t mean that candidates have to be “pure;” it means that they have to at least help the cause, and I don’t think that’s the case with Obama. In more ways than one, he’s been the best thing that could have ever happened to the Republicans, and I refuse to play his bullshit game any more.

  449. 449
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    And the one thing it absolutely, definitely will never lead to is better liberal politicians.

    Pragmatism can never fail, it can only be failed.

  450. 450
    Corner Stone says:

    I wonder why elected Republicans are running shit scared from the people to the right of them?
    Is it maybe because they told the politicians they could fuck off and take their god damned fund raising efforts with them if they didn’t get with the rightist agenda?
    Because the one reason it absolutely, definitely did not stem from was the rightists being pragmatic.

    And yeah, the rightists may have cost the R’s the Senate this time round. But in 2012 when we have an R House and an R Senate, I wonder what it will look like? Because Orrin Hatch, for one, is pissing himself right now ~ all the way to the 2012 primary. And whether he survives or another loon is advanced over him it is a lead pipe fucking cinch that that Senate seat will be further right than it is now.
    And Manchin? If he survives he’ll be as loony as any fucking R Senator. We supposed to quisling up to his ass too? And feel good that there’s a D beside his name, even though he’s a fucking snake?

  451. 451
    Danny says:

    @Another Bob:
    Seeing there were very many words in my reply to you, but I failed to adress your last paragraph.

    Yes I agree that Democrats are better at sticking to their principles. I’m not sure exactly which principles you’re refering to though.

    One principle embraced by the “right” is that acting in accordance with your own self interest is good for everyone. One principle embraced by the “left” is that working together in union can often benefit everyone more, than everyone only looking out for themselves.

    Yet we find that in the political arena,
    – in our two party system
    – in our federal republic
    – in our fractured media environment
    – and with our low intensity voters
    – where message cohession is imperative and hammering in a narrative over and over.

    We find that it is the republican political machine that through a finely trimmed system of incentives, where conservative pundits, talk-show hosts, columnists, scientists get rewarded working to always forward the conservative agenda at any moment, and protect the current conservative standard bearer at any time.

    And we find that it is the democrats that on principle believe that it would be corrupt in some sense to try to intervene or critique people falling out of line, serving their own interests (power, professional success, money).

    And accordingly, we feel icky about giving i.e. Jane Hamsher & Glenn Greenwald a nosebleed and telling them it’s enough with the power trip and luring easily fooled college kids down the rabbit hole, time to get back in line.

    And so, here we are 2 1/2 years into the presidency of Barack Obama, that started out with the biggest recession since the 30s, two wars ongoing and Usama Bin Laden at large. That continued with the worst US environmental disaster in a lifetime (ever?), a seismic revolutionary wave of uprisings in the most infected part of the world thats sits at the center of our foreign policy the last 30 years, the first passed HCR law ever, a midterms with 10% unemployment, a trillion $ deficit and a progressive base that stays at home in no small part (aside from the fact that they usually do in the midterms) because powertripped idiots like Greenwald and Hamsher chooses to declare war on their own team over not delivering enough.

    I frequented FDL after the passage of the ACA and the moron bloggers were all high on some magical thinking around the concept of the Overton window that they read in some book or at some blog but didnt understand.

    The theory went like this: We will now throw all our energy into punishing Obama for not delivering a Public option. Thereby – by being unreasonable – we force Obama to the left & we will shift the understanding of what is reasonable to the left – thereby accomplishing profit & caek 4 everyun.

    Only problem is that the only thing they accomplished was loosing a midterms and since they had no gameplan for writing the history about why the midterm was lost, the predictable outcome (which may I dare say I warned of in that forum) was immensely strengthening conservatives and the conservative narrative of what americans want.

    So those were the preconditions Obama had to work with. Remember how the talk went that anyone who actually wanted the presidency in 2008 had to be insane? Remember all the rest of the bad shit that went down?

    Given those circumstances – if anyone thinks that a black president is going to boldly assert his manhood with 9% unemployment tell the american public that a trillion dollar deficit is nothing to worry about (note that very few progressive bloggers actually think that nothing has to be done sooner or later, they just think that it should be done later) and become a Christie, a Ronald Reagan, don’t understand what allows Christie to be Christie and Reagan to be Reagan.

    They can be bold just because they have the finely trimmed infrastructure painstakingly built ever since Goldwater, and just because their followers are foot soldiers that fall in line and backs them up no matter what.

    When Bush II was in his mid 20s approval wise, there were some rumblings among some conservative pundits. It was nowhere near the discontent, the bitching and the general fratricide now witnessed among the professional left. And while many conservatives publicly pay lipservice to distancing towards W you only need to peek into the Corner at NRO and you’ll already find there’s a vibrant discussion underway if GWB can be considered to be a Reagan class saint president, or only a human yet dependably conservative. All the commenters agree.

    That’s where the swagger comes from. So, you get to chose:

    1) Stand up for your team and recognize that a little bit better means the world.

    Or

    2) Get to keep your intellectual hiptster cred, not anyones tool but get used to loosing, time and time again. What’s that? You already are?

  452. 452
    True Scientist says:

    What I love most is no one answered the questions of Loviatar @ 336. No one here can accurately state what is the Democrats base if it not the Left?

    I have no question that most “Democrats” people will vote for Obama for the fear of Teabaggers than any stated principle policies he has passed. I really wonder what he will say what his accomplishments are to compensate the fact that the unemployment levels are still high?

  453. 453

    @Another Bob:

    You can’t even call Obama a liberal, and he’s too spineless himself to make such a claim.

    In fact, Obama’s never made the claim. He is and always has been a centrist. That some liberals deluded themselves into thinking otherwise is on them.

    @Corner Stone:

    And Manchin? If he survives he’ll be as loony as any fucking R Senator. We supposed to quisling up to his ass too? And feel good that there’s a D beside his name, even though he’s a fucking snake?

    And your Senators R? I mean, Texas, right?

    Your goddamm neighbors, always seeing things differently than you do! You should move!

  454. 454
    Corner Stone says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I’m sure this comment meant something to you, but it seems a little tortured to me.
    Oh, right! You don’t mind a little torture now and again.

  455. 455

    @Danny:

    I agree with everything but:

    …powertripped idiots like Greenwald and Hamsher chooses to declare war on their own team…

    Greenwald has never been a part of anyone’s team, and Hamsher demands not only to start at quarterback, but also to be head coach, general manager and CEO- otherwise she’s sitting it out. She demonstrated a tendency for this sort of thing before she became so politically aware, iirc.

  456. 456
    Corner Stone says:

    The two Senators from TX both have an R by their name and act accordingly. I expect them to be slime and they do not disappoint. And when KBH goes away she will be replaced by another R slime, not an R in D clothing.
    Not much to do about that this time around.

  457. 457

    @Corner Stone:

    You don’t mind a little torture now and again.

    No, I just don’t see it happening in Manning’s case.

    At about 2:30 am EDST it will be the 6th anniversary of my only arrest. I spent the night in the drunk tank, sleeping on the floor- the benches/beds were taken- and had to try to sleep on the floor. Without a belt. Torture, I sez! Why did they have to take my belt? I wasn’t going to harm myself or anyone else! They should have put me up at the Holiday Inn! Torture!

  458. 458

    @Corner Stone:

    GTFO, man! Quit Texas! Fuck ’em, taking your tax dollars and all, doing shit with it you don’t care for. You deserve better.

  459. 459
    General Stuck says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    . You deserve better.

    no he doesn’t

  460. 460
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I wonder why elected Republicans are running shit scared from the people to the right of them?
    Is it maybe because they told the politicians they could fuck off and take their god damned fund raising efforts with them if they didn’t get with the rightist agenda?
    Because the one reason it absolutely, definitely did not stem from was the rightists being pragmatic.

    Maybe it’s because the right wing has put up successful primary challenges. (And, yes, I did support the Halter challenge, even though Obama himself did not; but I did not think Halter was liberal; he was more like a Tester/Webb unorthodox Democratic populist. And, yes, I was downright excited about Ned Lamont.)

    The right doesn’t mourn, they organize.

    The left makes a show of organizing, then loses interest.

    By all means, primary Manchin if you don’t like him. Primary Ben Nelson, primary Claire McCaskill, primary Barbara Boxer. Primary Obama himself, whatever. Do your worst. Will it be viable? Hope so. Because it’s not really a time to be fucking around.

    The Republicans had the luxury of fucking around because they had already been reduced to a rump and had so little left to lose. They took a high-risk strategy, obstruct everything, and nailed it. They’re already getting sniped at for insufficient revolutionary zeal.

    I mean, seriously, enjoy discussing how sucky Obama sucks like the Scott Stapp chair in suckology at Duke University. But he’s still better than the alternative. The alternative is actually malevolent.

  461. 461

    @General Stuck:

    Hey, I’ve been to Kentucky…People in glass houses…

    Then again, you aren’t stomping your feet, making demands…

  462. 462
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: If a Joe Manchin-esque Democrat runs against Generic Horrible Republican in Texas, get into that voting booth and start pulling that lever. Then, cast your vote. Because even a bad Democrat is that much better than any Republican, especially a Texas Republican.

  463. 463
  464. 464
    General Stuck says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Oh, I left Kentucky 20 years ago, and haven’t been back. I live in The People’s Republic of New Mexico that is baby blue between two of the wingnuttiest states in the union.

  465. 465
    Danny says:

    @Another Bob:

    I understand the “lesser of two evils” argument and realize that this is the consideration that goes into a large proportion of electoral decisions. As someone who voted for Obama in both the primary and the general election, and who donated to his campaign, it hasn’t been quick or easy for me to conclude that I no longer like or support him. But that’s how I feel. I can’t bullshit myself about it. I’m just sick and tired of his lame, milquetoast ass now. I will vote for other Democrats when I think it matters—which is most of the time—but I actually think that Obama is harming the cause of liberalism and I refuse to condone it or make excuses for it any more. If other Democrats did the same, we’d get candidates we could be enthusiastic about. But candidates like Obama are like slow death, and I refuse to give a damn about him any more. Sorry if you don’t like it, but that’s just the way it is.

    Refer to my anwer upthread.

    Further: You’re evoking your “feelings” and as you’re well aware there’s not much arguing with those. In the end you’ll do what you choose to do.

    However:

    “sick and tired of his lame, milquetoast ass now”

    This is a perfect example of the dysfunction of left bloggery and how they sometimes are quite useless. Steve Benen – God bless him, his one of the best and my favourites – but he is perfectly capable of pointing out at times that Ronald Reagan (the anti milquetoast, you’re dreaming Obama would be like, albeit progressive) signed into law the “largest peacetime tax increase in American history”. Suck on that one. It’s not only something to whack conservatives over the head with when they claim that raising taxes is a deadly sin.

    It’s something to keep in mind when considering 38 billion $ in the context of 4 trillion $ budget.

    It’s an example of keeping your friends to a much higher standard than your enemies. I happen to support that, but not on the political public arena. You’re misled on Obama’s milquetoastness by weak strategists with to much of a platform, but unfortunately conservatives will jump at the opportunity and it might become a self-fulfilling profecy. What you then can expect is truelly “The Black Jimmy Carter” and what might follow.

    “harming the cause of liberalism”

    How? You’ve now qualified for childish, petulant whiner (strictly in my book). Where’s the measured, principled critique on the issues as contrasted to personalized ramblings of betrayal? New left.

    “If other Democrats did the same, we’d get candidates we could be enthusiastic about”

    How? By the power of your magical thinking while sucking smoke from the big bong oracle?

    The cold, hard facts of life in a two party system such as ours – buddy – is that everytime one politician delivers a slice more of what you want in contrast to “the other guy” if you vote for him you give him an incentive to deliver one more slice of what you want next time. If you reward only the guy that delivers the whole steak and nothing less then you become a none-factor, someone to disregard, useless.

    But that’s the cause of your childishness I suspect, fear of being doomed to not matter, to always loose, to always get a Carter or McGovern or Dukakis – never a Reagan.

    (Thats why you like Clinton even though he abolished welfare and was in that way a far greater “traitor” to the “liberal cause” than Obama – but we’re safe in the knowledge that Clinton in the end was a winner.)

    Too bad it fucks up your head and makes you turn on your team…

  466. 466

    @General Stuck:

    D’OH!

    I shouldn’t talk, anyway. Yeah, MI has one excellent liberal Democratic senator, one centrist Democratic Senator…But the rest (with the exception of our *wink* non-partisan *cough* Democratic city council) are flaming red.

  467. 467
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I’m in Virginia. When Republicans win, we end up with George Allen, Bob McDonnell, and Ken Cuccinelli. You learn to adjust your expectations accordingly. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine become Howard Fuckin’ Dean, and Jim Webb becomes Bobby Fuckin’ Kennedy. When they win, you’re excited. Then they’re kind of dull and inconsequential and, in the case of Webb, kind of an ornery concern troll. Well, that was disappointing, you think. Then, when the Republicans win, you look upon those dull and inconsequential and ornery moments as the halcyon days. And you think, man, why can’t we find more good solid Democrats like Warner and Kaine and Webb?

  468. 468
    Danny says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Greenwald has never been a part of anyone’s team, and Hamsher demands not only to start at quarterback, but also to be head coach, general manager and CEO- otherwise she’s sitting it out. She demonstrated a tendency for this sort of thing before she became so politically aware, iirc.

    I stand corrected. However, may I suggest they be brought temporarily into the “big tent” for a good spanking?

  469. 469
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Danny: Make it a spanking administered by Bradley Manning, and they’ll both come galloping in on all fours.

    ETA: Yes, that was in bad taste.

  470. 470

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Hey, I live in Jerry Ford’s old district- and Jerry would be an inch to the right of the Democratic Party’s center these days- where we had a Democrat follow up Jerry for a term, then nothing but Republicans. Thing is, those Republicans weren’t horrible- or not extremely horrible anyway. However, we got a teabagger who just replaced Vern Ehlers, and I’m a bit worried. Then there’s the governor and the state legislature…

  471. 471
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I haven’t been around terribly long, but I moved from Philadelphia and acclimated myself to the difference in politics ASAP.

  472. 472
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Another Bob:

    The problem I have with criticism of Obama is this: I see a lot of seriously unbalanced criticism, mind-reading, predicting dire futures. There are legitimate criticisms to be made of Obama, and I have criticized him and will continue to do so. But many of the critics act as if he has totally sold us down the river, when in fact he has accomplished a number of good things. Some criticisms really do seem to be premised on the idea that he does have dictatorial powers and that all he has to do is pound his shoe and scream and all sorts of wonderful things will happen.

    C’mon, folks. At least admit that he’s a little more than 2 years, against 30 years, that he’s dealing with Republicans who are for the most part clinically insane and who don’t want to compromise, and a media which heavily tilts Republican, at least based on who they interview on talk shows, plus the unending lies from Fox. Many of you critics refuse to acknowledge these facts, as far as I can tell.

    And PLEASE don’t bring up the 60 thing again! He never had more than 59 Dems and some of them blue dogs.

    But there certainly are many things to criticize, and we need to keep on letting Obama and the Dems know that. But try to avoid sounding like drama queens, ok?

  473. 473
    Danny says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I wonder why elected Republicans are running shit scared from the people to the right of them?
    Is it maybe because they told the politicians they could fuck off and take their god damned fund raising efforts with them if they didn’t get with the rightist agenda?
    Because the one reason it absolutely, definitely did not stem from was the rightists being pragmatic.

    What people with good hearts but thick heads and poor guidance fail to grasp is that those circumstances didnt fall like manna from heaven one day when Saint Ronald #40 got inspired to exercise his mojo. There was a time – a long time – from the great depression until ca 1980 where the repubs would have been rewarded with certain and humiliating defeat had they chosen to walk down that path in 1964 for example.

    But what happened was that a – small at first, but extremely vocal – minority, grassroots movement if you will worked ceaselessly night and day to advocate the different causes that we today associate with “movement conservatism”.

    People that were frightened by advancements equal rights for gays, women and blacks. People horrified at the seeming triumf of science and the modern world over christianity. People that liked to hunt. Rich people that payed high taxes. And so on… I dare you to find one republican president before Ronald Reagan that “stood up” for “conservative principles” in the way you expect Obama to do (whose name isnt Barry Goldwater and who didnt lose the popular vote by 22,5% in 1964).

    There’s a reason why it wasnt any (sitting) president that ever served as that knight in shining armor for conservatives that you are so shocked to not find in Obama.

    Thats because when you advocate, when you f-kin understand how you actually go about moving the Overton window – you understand that the advocate will risk overreaching, he will risk a backlash and he will risk being discredited. If that advocate is the sitting president of the united states, and you have reason to believe that your enemies will get to write the history of what went down, the price of failure can be very steep.

    McGovern and Carter and Dukakis should be illuminating examples. Those traumas are the reason why our heads are still not screwed on right after all these years and we keep wanting to make back-assed choices all the time to get our dignity back.

    Who knows what Goldwater would have done to the repubs, hade not old bigoted dixie south and the vietnam war fallen into their laps?

    So you see, the little fairy tale fantasy dream of magically reclaiming our balls that know nothing charlatans like Hamsher et al keeps dangling under our nose while whispering that we only have to click our heels and wish – how that becomes reality starts with her, with us going out in the real world, pulling our reel amuricans mantle over our sholder and starting to preach the gospel that conservatives are dangerous, out of touch, and out to ruin it for real hardworking amuricans taking away their right to choose, selling them out to big business all that good stuff. And going to the ballot in every freaking election and voting for the plausible candidate who delivers whatevers feasible, but at least a little bit more than candidate (R).

  474. 474
    Corner Stone says:

    @Danny: Do you practice reading these in front of your mirror?

  475. 475
    Danny says:

    I use a teleprompter :)

    Seriously though, those numerous words are the product of believing in something and wanting to see it happen. I thought you did too, since you were all bitching and moaning out of frustration just now?

  476. 476
    Another Bob says:

    When Obama takes it upon himself and his party to cut your Social Security and Medicare — doing the Republicans’ dirty work for them and reinforcing their favorite meme that tax cuts for rich folks is always the highest priority in our society — who’ll be the last Democrat clapping? If Obama were a Republican it would be business-as-usual, because we already know that Republicans suck. But he’ll be doing it as Democrat, repudiating everything that the party of FDR is supposed to stand for. Like Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman, maybe the Republicans will one day invite him to be a keynote speaker at their national convention so he can mock his fellow Democrats about “spitballs” and trash their silly liberal ideology. I wouldn’t be surprised.

  477. 477
    Danny says:

    @AB
    Obvious troll is obvious.

  478. 478
    Another Bob says:

    @Danny:
    Danny, I could play the disrespect game and mock you for being, oh, let’s say, a complacent sheep. But I have no reason to doubt your sincerity. We all know that Republicans have a tendency towards intolerance of other viewpoints, and that “party unity,” i.e. doing and saying whatever the party bosses tell you to, is more important than intellectual honesty or sincerity. But I think that Democrats shouldn’t play that game. You can be intolerant of dissent and dismiss it as trolling, but I’m not sure what the point of that is supposed to be.

    Obama convened this Catfood Commission with buffoons like Alan Simpson, who compared Social Security to a cow with 310 million tits, and then came up with a plan that was so abhorrent even to fellow panel members that, in the end, they were too divided even to issue a final report. Now Obama intends to make that piece of shit the framework for his proposals. So tell me, Danny, how will you feel when Obama announces that your future Social Security and Medicare will be cut, because our society can’t possibly expect millionaires to go back to paying the same tax rates they did back in the terrible old days when Bill Clinton was president? What will you say, that it was the best compromise he could find, even though he’s the one who’s unilaterally proposing these cuts? Did Obama fight for you? Did he articulate an opposing vision to the Republicans “shrink the government” rhetoric? No, he unilaterally conceded the point, like he’s done so many times before. That’s why I say that he’s actually hurting the cause, and doing more damage than the Repubicans could have hoped for. He’s empowering Republicans at a time when they should be relegated to the dustbin of history. It’s inexcusable, and it’s equally inexcusable to applaud while he does it.

  479. 479
    Corner Stone says:

    @Danny: I generally don’t layer in paragraphs of background info I expect other commenters here to already have.
    That’s the kind of thing you and joe from LoL do in an attempt to smug the rhetorical high ground.

  480. 480
    Danny says:

    @Corner Stone
    I dont asume any required prior reading in anyone I know nothing about, there’s nothing smug about that. I am making a case for what I believe to be the truth. The fact that you could not assume good faith about that and respond with anything substansive in addition to the snark is dissapointing.

    In your defence I’m aware that I was not being particularly nice from the go – but neither were you; and neither have you firebaggers been for about a year now.

  481. 481
    Danny says:

    @Another Bob:
    I took you for a troll on account of the fact that I adressed your various complaints at length upthread and you popped back in here without bothering to respond on the merits, only throwing up another list of unsupported accusations in the directions of the president and his administration.

    That makes me suspect either bad faith or lazyness.

    I dont intend to get drowned by the shitstorm without you making the small effort to adress what i wrote.

  482. 482
    Another Bob says:

    @Danny

    I dont intend to get drowned by the shitstorm without you making the small effort to adress what i wrote.

    Maybe the length of your posts presumes too much indulgence on the part of your intended audience. You think I do this for a living?

  483. 483
    Corner Stone says:

    @Danny:

    The fact that you could not assume good faith about that

    So not only do you not read your posts in front of a mirror, you do not read what you write at all.
    Don’t sit there and fucking lecture me about what an “advocate” is and does. I know WTF an advocate’s job is. Jeebus cracker, several of your tl;dr posts over the last couple days have been the height of smugdom. And you wonder why someone wouldn’t take your argument in good faith?

    and neither have you firebaggers been for about a year now

    Way to end with a flourish.

  484. 484
    Danny says:

    @AB
    Noone’s holding you at gunpoint. However, no contention doesnt buy you the right to just happily wank on and expect anyone to give a f-k.

  485. 485
    Danny says:

    @Corner Stone:

    What I was describing was MY view of what an advocate OUGHT TO DO in order to be EFFECTIVE, as opposed to one that has had his mind fucked asunder by Hamsher, Greenwald et al.

    The sad fact is that it’s perfectly possible for you to put in many long hour of work and for someone else, me, to still think that someone may have fooled you into wasting your efforts on something that is counterproductive and stupid (as teaming up with Grover Nordqvist to go after Rahmbo, just to take an obvious example).

    Pure speculation of course, I have no idea how you spend your time – i dont know you.

    But what you might take away from what I wrote is that I consider Jane Hamshers ideas of advocacy – the firebagger idea of advocacy – counterproductive and stupid.

    I’m not making any assumptions of whether you share my views on that subject or not, and I fail to see how thats smug at all.

  486. 486
    Another Bob says:

    @Danny

    However, no contention doesnt buy you the right to just happily wank on and expect anyone to give a f-k.

    So don’t give a f-k, then. Now you can award yourself another self-importance brownie point.

  487. 487
    Danny says:

    @AB
    It’s a deal.

  488. 488

    @Marc:

    “There is absolutely no evidence that this is true, and three recent examples (1968, 1980, 2000) where a challenge from the left backfired and led to the victory of a more conservative candidate.”

    True. However:

    “Nah – it’s just that people advocating not voting are basically serving the interests of Republicans and they deserve to be treated like Republicans.”

    Hmmm…don’t think I would go that far. I would say that they’re blinded by idealogical purity, but I personally do not feel that they are serving the interests of the Repubs. I would fault them for believing in the “no difference between the two parties”, since the past 40 years has shown us that that phrase is a piece of bull***t, plain and simple.

  489. 489

    @Angry Black Lady:

    “The purists are ineffectual but don’t know it. Unfortunately, they are a vocal part of the online left and the loudest part as well, which makes them think they are more powerful than they actually are.”

    Nailed it!!

  490. 490

    @John Casey:

    Hell, John, the aftermath of 2000 should have driven this point home like a steel spike to the noggin. The fact that this was forgotten by 2010 is either a sign of a major case of historical amnesia, or bone-stick-stone stupidity.

    Methinks the latter sounds better, IMHO.

  491. 491

    @geg6:

    And what’s he got against Pabst Blue Ribbon? That’s Frank’s favorite!!

    (Sorry…couldn’t help throwing in a Blue Velvet reference…)

  492. 492

    @El Tiburon:

    “Then tell me what the fuck am I voting for? Just to keep the Republicans out of the White House? Sorry, just ain’t enough.”

    Well, sorry to bust your bubble, but that’s what’s important–to keep the Repubs out of the WH. After Bush, they don’t deserve to be there for a few generations. And with the country as polarized as it is, it will have to be enough.

    Fuck all of ya. I didn’t vote for Obama to get some shitty piece of health care reform that (again) enriches corporate America while still leaving millions of Americans without healthcare.”

    Oh, boo hoo hoo. Do you even have a clue about HCR? It is helping millions of Americans now. And if it’s enriching corporate America, then why the f**k were they putting in serious bucks…to help kill it? Does that make any sense at all?

    “So, yeah, maybe I’m a naive little whiny-ass titty-baby who reads too much Greenwald…”

    Hmmm…reckon so. You certainly prove what Harlan Ellison meant when he claimed that all that really exists on the ‘Net is “endless adolescent behavior on the level of a baby showing his pee-pee.”

  493. 493

    @debit: @debit:

    “He’s not a king, or a dictator and can’t do anything on his own. To point out that he was crippled and hamstrung by members of his own party seems to fall on deaf ears.”

    Yep. That’s just the cold, hard facts. The funny thing is that he’s made sure that Congress is carrying out its duties as the legislative branch of the US government. He’s not strutting around howling about how he’s “the Decider”.

    “It’s easier to condense everything into a simple “it’s Obama’s fault” than to admit Washington is really fucked up and it’s going to take time and hard work to fix it. But you just stay home and let everyone else do the work.”

    Correct!

  494. 494
    doofus says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I wonder why elected Republicans are running shit scared from the people to the right of them?

    Because the people to the right of them took over the goddamned Republican party from under them. The purity trolls on the left have a different plan. They whine and ask others to do for them what they are too lazy to do for themselves. Teabaggers may be racist morons, but at least they work a whole lot harder than the purist left.

  495. 495
    Another Bob says:

    @doofus

    They whine and ask others to do for them what they are too lazy to do for themselves.

    You’re just making up silly caricatures because you’re apparently too threatened by a little intra-party criticism of Obama to simply let other people speak their minds. It’s like, “SHHH!! If anyone hears this CRITICISM it might DEMORALIZE the shit out of our base!” Heaven forbid that we’re not a zombie army like the Republicans, where party unity is always put before intellectual honesty or sincerity. You don’t have to agree with it yourself, but questioning the motives or the character of those who do so is really uncalled for.

  496. 496
    Corner Stone says:

    @doofus:

    Because the people to the right of them took over the goddamned Republican party from under them.

    Bullshit. The TP is a shockingly small subset of the GOP.

  497. 497

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