Political Negotiation is Hard and Puzzling

Today it’s being reported that Obama offered up raising the Medicare eligibility age as part of a package deal on the debt ceiling. As ABL posted below, this could be an extremely smart example of offering a sacrifice you know the other side won’t take to get some credibility and to put Boehner in a box. It could just be an example of Obama’s raging corporatism. Perhaps Obama thinks he needs to show extreme flexibility because the “both sides do it” media won’t recognize that Democrats are the reasonable ones in this negotiation unless it’s jammed down their throats. Or maybe raising the Medicare age to 67 is a giant slice of nothingburger, since everyone who can’t afford insurance will be subsidized once HCR kicks in.

You know what? I have no fucking clue. I don’t know how much of the “Pelosi will stop this” drama is a reflection of a real break between Pelosi and the White House, and how much of it is political theater designed to show the Republicans that they can’t take House Democrats’ votes on the debt ceiling for granted. I don’t know if Obama’s “wait until the last minute” negotiating strategy indicates weakness, vacillation and indecision, or if it is a reflection of his cool character and ability to let his opponents burn out before he enters the fray.

All I know is that we wouldn’t be having this absolutely goddam tedious and infuriating discussion about one of the longest hostage dramas in history if more Democrats had come out to vote in 2010. Whatever evil a Democratic Congress would have perpetrated at the behest of their corporate masters, I know with great certainty that they wouldn’t be risking a financial disaster by holding up the debt ceiling vote as we hurtle towards the second dip of the Great Recession.






203 replies
  1. 1
    cleek says:

    but what about the delicate feefees of the self-proclaimed lefty base? do you really want them to suffer the indignity of having to vote for anyone but a Pure Progressive Pony Person ?

    get real.

    besides, everyone knows Obama holds all the cards, always. Congress is just there to do his bidding.

  2. 2
    OzoneR says:

    All I know is that we wouldn’t be having this absolutely goddam tedious and infuriating discussion about one of the longest hostage dramas in history if more Democrats had come out to vote in 2010.

    Democratic turnout was the same percentage as in 2006, Republican turnout was through the roof. Blame Independents, who, conveniently, have no interest in raising the debt ceiling.

    In the meantime, all this is doing is riling up the suicide liberals who love to dance on the grave of progress. They’re proud they didn’t show up because it shows they have power (they don’t) and that’s all they want. It had little to do with them.

  3. 3
    Bruce S says:

    And it’s precisely because we DON’T KNOW – and also because we are in a vastly different vantage point as well as pressure point than the White House is – that Democrats at the grass roots should exercise deep concern, make serious noise about that which we care most deeply, start getting into campaign mode for changing the face of Congress in 2012 and – most of all – not expend energy trying to dampen down active Dems or suggest that Obama has everything taken care of and not to worry.

    Whatever else one might say, complacency or simple faith in the Dem’s upper echelons is not a plan. A “calm” base isn’t going to help Obama or the Democratic Party – not at a time when, the slightly foggy is-Medicare-on-the-table questions aside, we’ve been forced into an absolutely dreadful set of negotiations that are totally framed by the GOP’s crackpot agenda.

  4. 4
    kerFuFFler says:

    OT but I thought the readers here would be interested in the story of a Michigan woman being threatened with jail time for growing vegetables in her front yard.

    http://oakparkhatesveggies.wor.....egetables/

  5. 5
    Town says:

    And Democrats didn’t come out to vote in 2010 because?

    Because “progressive voices” told people to stay home in 2010 to “teach Obama a lesson.”

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    Whatever evil a Democratic Congress would have perpetrated at the behest of their corporate masters, I know with great certainty that they wouldn’t be risking a financial disaster by holding up the debt ceiling vote as we hurtle towards the second dip of the Great Recession.

    you absolutely speak the truth. so, if you didn’t vote in 2010, then you are to blame for this nonsense.

  7. 7
    MomSense says:

    Yes, exactly Town @#5.

    Ozone R, we would not have won the Presidency in 2008 if we hadn’t grown the party by registering so many new voters. 2006 numbers would not have been enough. The reason we lost in 2010 was because so many of our new voters didn’t show up.

  8. 8
    BobbyK says:

    All I know is that we wouldn’t be having this absolutely goddam tedious and infuriating discussion about one of the longest hostage dramas in history if more Democrats had come out to vote in 2010.

    I see OzoneR beat me to it but it deserves repeating. Democrats did come out to vote. Independents went republican apparently cause all that joblessness got to ’em.

    I see a narrative trying to be developed here to blame democratic voters for obama’s failures and it’s just not true.

  9. 9
    MarkJ says:

    The “debate” is depressingly slanted in the GOP’s direction still. NPR this morning had some GOP Congressional rep from Michigan on talking about how raising the debt limit was “the republican compromise.” Basically the story is that they’re giving in just by agreeing to raise the limit so they should get everything else they want. Steve Inskeep of course never once asked about why eliminating corporate welfare is beyond the pale. Also – no democrat was invited on to provide an opposing view.

    Also, their intermittent soundbites about the debt limit negotiations contain the GOP talking point about raising taxes – but nothing about the GOP’s plans to slash programs that help the middle class. Those are just amorphous “spending cuts”, which could be painless as far as NPR’s discussion goes. Nor is there any real discussion of what Democrats have put on the table, or anything about the consequences of failing to raise the debt limit (economic catastrophe).

  10. 10
    zmulls says:

    Preach it, brother.

    You go to negotiations with the Congress that got elected, not the Congress you wish got elected. If the President has to work with a stark raving mad Congress, it means that there will be some stark raving mad elements to whatever comes out at the end.

    I’m not a believer in the 11-dimensional chess model. I don’t think that’s realistic. But I do believe he plays the “wait calmly until the opponent has played every card, showed every move and burned him/herself out” strategy. This doesn’t mean that the strategy is always the right one, or the effective one — but I think that *he* thinks it *usually* works. And it does — *usually* work. I’m not sure his blood pressure ever rises, to tell the truth.

    We’d like to see more political theatre, we want to cheer someone on. We’d like more entertaining politics on TV. But my take on Obama’s MO is that he has nerves of steel, and feels that if he just waits it out, the whole board will become visible, and he’ll know what move to make.

    Yesterday’s press conference was just such a moment. We’ve all been waiting for him to say something. Finally he steps out and says what appears to be just the right thing to box in the GOP and make them look like irrational jerks. No, I don’t think he had this on his schedule from the beginning — I think he saw that the moment was finally here.

    I get nervous when I hear Medicare and SS are on the table, I get nervous when I see the August 2 date come up, I get plenty nervous. But until I see the details (or lack of them) on any end result I’m not going to get pissed. The budget deal came out pretty well for Obama in the end, as I recall.

  11. 11
    Observer says:

    Whatever evil a Democratic Congress would have perpetrated at the behest of their corporate masters, I know with great certainty that they wouldn’t be risking a financial disaster by holding up the debt ceiling vote as we hurtle towards the second dip of the Great Recession.

    Ah, the good old “Repubs are so bad that Dems don’t actually have to be good to earn your vote” theory of governance.

    Pro tip: this cynical strategy only works for a genuinely likeable person, such as President Obama, or if you have a really truly cartoonish opponent like Christine O’Donnell…it doesn’t work for just any old average incumbent politician and it generally doesn’t work in large numbers.

  12. 12
    Han's Solo says:

    @Town:

    And Democrats didn’t come out to vote in 2010 because?
    Because “progressive voices” told people to stay home in 2010 to “teach Obama a lesson.”

    That wasn’t the whole reason, but it was a part of it.

    Some other factors:

    1) Obama didn’t come with a magic wand he could twirl to fix 30 years of Voodoo Economics, deregulation and Starve the Beast. After Rush Limbaugh played “Barack the Magic Negro” a few thousand times apparently some people thought Barack must really be magical, instead of the truth, that Rush Limbaugh is a racist pig.

    2) Crazy sells, and the extreme right wing of the Republican Party repackaged itself (or was repackaged by cynical wingnut political players like Dick Armey) then went out and sold crazy like nobody’s business.

    3) If the Republican Party has a skill set it is playing the victim. They (the GOP) passed policies and pushed economic theories (deregulation, lowering taxes on unearned income, etc) that crashed the economy then turned around and blamed it on the Democrats. This would have been laughable, but

    4) Our media is a bunch of fucking morons.

  13. 13
    Mattminus says:

    I’m sure we won’t see any Republicans running campaign ads about how Obama proposed raising the eligibility age to 67.

  14. 14
    Ash Can says:

    One of the most important questions to keep in mind when listening to politicians talk or watching them do things is, “Who is the audience?” A great deal of politics is mere theater — positioning, posturing, scene-setting. Remember, most of the people involved are lawyers, and trial lawyers are on stage every moment of their work. Instead of influencing judges and juries with their acts, however, the pols are looking to influence the entire voting public, or at least vast swaths of it. When Obama or any other Dems say things like “Everything’s on the table” or “Our offer to the Republicans includes Medicare spending cuts,” they’re not speaking solely to the reporter doing the interview, and they’re sure as hell not speaking directly and specifically to a handful of yahoos who post rants on some political blog.

  15. 15
    Loviatar says:

    Political Negotiation is Hard and Puzzling

    No its not.

    2 simple steps to negotiation

    1) You have your core priorities and you refuse to negotiate them away (everything else is fungible).

    2) Don’t negotiate against yourself

    Now can someone tell has Obama’ followed either one of these steps

  16. 16
    Bruce S says:

    And Democrats didn’t come out to vote in 2010 because?

    Because “progressive voices” told people to stay home in 2010 to “teach Obama a lesson.”

    Evidence? Or don’t we do that here?

  17. 17
    dan says:

    Firedog… right now – To Harm of Millions, Obama Wants to Raise Medicare Age Requirement

  18. 18
    Morbo says:

    But surely the contradictions are heightened now, are they not?

  19. 19
    NonyNony says:

    @Town

    And Democrats didn’t come out to vote in 2010 because?

    Because Democratic turnout is never good in off-presidential years.

    This has been a problem for the Democratic party for as long as I’ve been a part of politics. And it’s one that nobody in the upper eschalons of the party seems to give a damn about. Republicans turn out for every single election, Democrats turn out for big national elections where the President is on the ballot.

    Because “progressive voices” told people to stay home in 2010 to “teach Obama a lesson.”

    Probably not – the “progressive voices” don’t actually have much weight with voters. Which is why the Democratic party mostly ignores the “progressive” wing except in areas where they actually do form a sizable voting block (Pelosi’s district, for example, is one where you can’t afford to ignore the left-wing). But it might depress the number of volunteers for “get out the vote” operations. But then those are also already depressed for Democrats in off-presidential years – it would be interesting to see if the number of volunteers were actually lower in ’10 compared to other off-presidential years or not.

    A serious problem for the Democratic Party is that their voting base doesn’t actually believe that every election counts. For some reason Democrats tend to think presidential elections are important and Congressional elections are a waste of time when, in fact, for the most part exactly the opposite is true in a representative democracy.

  20. 20
    geg6 says:

    I see a narrative trying to be developed here to blame democratic voters for obama’s failures and it’s just not true.

    No need to try to develop it. It’s exactly what happened. Fuck the self-proclaimed “progessives.” They’re as shitty and stupid as any Teabagger.

  21. 21
    JG says:

    Membership of 111th House of Representatives:

    Democrats – 255
    Republicans – 179

    Membership of 112th House of Representatives:

    Democrats – 193
    Republican – 242

    The blame for this shift? Progressive bloggers of course. They not only cost Democrats the House, they are now clearly at fault for debt ceiling negotiations entered into voluntarily by a Democratic President. Based on these facts, the inescapable conclusion is that the progressive caucus in America is truly the most powerful political force currently operating.

    Back in the real world…seriously? Is this seriously the argument this blog is now making? This is like confidence fairy land, that is how much it reeks of butt-hurt bullshit.

  22. 22
    Trurl says:

    Yes, we can’t be sure whether Obama wants to cut entitlements, as suggested by his repeated actions and statements, or whether he’s playing 11-dimensional chess, as suggested by his loyal ‘bots – but one thing is certain: It’s always, always, the DFHs’ fault.

    Remember that for Election Night when “It’s the economy, stupid” makes its comeback.

  23. 23
    Svensker says:

    Purely anecdotal, but in our family the hubster refused to go vote against Chris Christie and for Jon “Goldman Sachs is Fun!” Corzine. He now is upset with Christie. Thanks, hon!

    I bet there were a lot of similar stories out there.

  24. 24
    Loviatar says:

    No need to try to develop it. It’s exactly what happened. Fuck the self-proclaimed “progessives.” They’re as shitty and stupid as any Teabagger.

    This folks is why my money and I are staying home in 2012.

    Not because my fee-fee was hurt, believe me I’ve heard worse. But if this is what you think of me I can guess what you think of my policy priorities.

    Win it on your own.

  25. 25
    TK-421 says:

    All I know is that we wouldn’t be having this absolutely goddam tedious and infuriating discussion about one of the longest hostage dramas in history if more Democrats had come out to vote in 2010.

    That is some primo 100% pure Colombian hippy-punching right there. Awesome.

  26. 26
    Dave says:

    @ Loviatar – There’s more to it than that. Negotiations can also involve offering things you know won’t be taken because of other requirements, or threatening things that you may not follow through on.

    What President Obama discovered, and what I think he knew early on, was that taxes are the rock upon which the GOP stands, and that they can be broken upon as well.

    Obama offered them a deal any sane person in the GOP would take: $4T in deficit reduction at a 3-1 ratio, Medicare and SS on the table in some fashion. That’s why Boehner was ecstatic. But the Teatards, led by Cantor, killed it.

    And now the numbers will drop. And as long as taxes are in the mix, it will keep dropping. Obama is exposing the GOP as liars on deficit reduction. And he looks like the adult while the GOP look like fools.

    Also don’t forget about Boehner. He’s an ass and a fool. But he is also an old-school pol and does NOT want to be the Speaker who sent the US into default.

  27. 27
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Town
    Did you read OzoneR’s comment at #2 or are you just here to hippy-punch?

    Most of the time the narrative is that progressives are a starry-eyed, tiny fraction of the party whose wishes the administration can safely ignore. Now they’re the folks whose super powers tanked an election. It’s one or the other, not both.

    Mid-terms historically go badly for the party in power. That’s a simple fact. If you prefer to blame the progressives for our reverses then go ahead on. There are other factors to consider here and ignoring them will imperil the 2012 election as well.

  28. 28
    cat48 says:

    Jay Newton Small at Times Swampland has the best info. This is what happened yesterday. “Cantor’s in a box”

    In the Monday White House meeting, Cantor proposed cuts to Medicare benefits, but nothing that might entice Democrats. Go learn the definition of “shared sacrifice,” Obama scoffed. He assigned Cantor homework: We are short of the $2.4 trillion goal that will get us past the 2012 elections, find some cuts that Republicans don’t particularly like to put on the table, we’ve already offered you a bunch of cuts Democrats don’t like. You must, Obama said, work to meet us in the middle.

    Boehner hardly said a word in the meeting. His stance seems to be: if Cantor didn’t like the grand bargain, he’s welcome to negotiate one on his own. Republicans left the meeting noticeably subdued. Few had anything they wanted to say about it. And Cantor may have just jumped from the frying pan of Biden’s debt talks and into the fire of Obama’s. He has little experience hammering out legislative deals — particularly at this level. He wanted a smaller deal, and now Boehner’s sitting back and watching silently as Cantor flounders. A deal without at least some symbolic revenue increases, even if they’re offset with an Alternative Minimum Tax or another fix, cannot pass the Senate. Cantor is quickly learning that the purism that plays with the freshmen doesn’t work in the Oval Office. It will be interesting to see how long he lasts as the loudest negotiator, especially if the markets start to freak out. The Dow dropped nearly 200 points on Monday. Give it a week and we’ll be near TARP levels of panic.
    Related Topics: eric cantor, Republican Party

    Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2011.....z1RtmR0LSc

  29. 29
    cleek says:

    @Mattminus:
    no need for commercials, when the self-described lefty base will be sure to broadcast that message and remind everyone that Obama is TehGrateEvilSuck as often as it can.

  30. 30
    Han's Solo says:

    @Loviatar: Dick Armey and the Teabaggers really appreciate your support!

    With friends like these…

  31. 31
    TK-421 says:

    Purely anecdotal, but in our family the hubster refused to go vote against Chris Christie and for Jon “Goldman Sachs is Fun!” Corzine. He now is upset with Christie. Thanks, hon! I bet there were a lot of similar stories out there.

    Your husband is a liberal blogger? Does he work for FireDogLake?

    This post is awesome. I can’t wait until John Cole joins in the yelling by linking to some Jane Hamsher ridiculousness. I’m starting to see a pattern with the Balloon Juice posts.

  32. 32
    cleek says:

    @Loviatar:

    Not because my fee-fee was hurt, believe me I’ve heard worse. But if this is what you think of me I can guess what you think of my policy priorities.

    Win it on your own.

    and then when the Dems lose again, you’ll all be able to continue complaining about how they always fail to enact the Progressive Purity Party’s Pure Pony Platform. which is what’s really important.

    nice little racket you’ve got there.

  33. 33
    TK-421 says:

    Most of the time the narrative is that progressives are a starry-eyed, tiny fraction of the party whose wishes the administration can safely ignore. Now they’re the folks whose super powers tanked an election. It’s one or the other, not both.

    SHUT UP YOU FIREBAGGING HIPPY! SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!

  34. 34
    Culture of Truth says:

    Could someone post a link to Obama supporters going on about “11 dimensional chess?” I read here yesterday they use that phrase too much.

  35. 35
    Loviatar says:

    @26 – Dave

    Disagree

    It is as simple as that. Everything else is crap that is put out to help sell negotiation books.

    Have you core beliefs and don’t get pushed off them – everything else is negotiable and I mean everything.

    Don’t negotiate against yourself – this one is actually the more important point its surprising how many people end up doing this (watch an experienced negotiator and notice how little they say, its always the novice who talks first and most often).

  36. 36
    Yevgraf says:

    @bloviator

    This folks is why my money and I are staying home in 2012.

    All 85 cents? AND we’ll be deprived of your brilliance in coffee shops and alternative music/folk music bars?

    Damn – I’m crushed…

  37. 37
    Gozer says:

    Loviatar – July 12, 2011 | 9:48 am · Link

    But if this is what you think of me I can guess what you think of my policy priorities.

    Win it on your own.

    Must not be much of a priority if you’re willing to take your ball and go home over some pixels on a screen.

  38. 38
    Trurl says:

    But if this is what you think of me I can guess what you think of my policy priorities. Win it on your own.

    You seem to think that your vote belongs to you – to give to whichever candidate you like. When in fact, your vote belongs to the Democratic Party. And if you have to suppress retching when delivering it, that’s your own fucking problem.

  39. 39
    Unabogie says:

    Comment #24 is exhibit A.

    How anyone can claim that “ignore my priorities and I’m sitting out in 2012” isn’t a commonly held belief among the left is beyond me.

    And it’s so unbelievably dumb. Let’s say you think President Obama only agrees with you 20% of the time, while the rest of the time he’s horribly corrupted by his corporate buddies. Let’s say that’s you, saying this. So then what about the GOP? Do you agree with them 1% of the time?

    So this is all you need to know when voting.

    20% > 1% therefore Democrats > GOP therefore get out and vote so you get 19% more of those priorities represented.

    And if you’re like me, where you think Obama is more like 80% and the GOP 1%, then the choice is even more stark.

    As President Bachmann will say, “it’s a no brainer, don’t let me become presdient!”

  40. 40
    Han's Solo says:

    @cleek: Sometimes I really do wonder if some of our “Progressives” are really Republican plants.

    Their point seems to be, “You think I’m ugly, well I’ll show you, I’ll cut off my nose and take a band saw to my face!”

    It’s just incredibly self destructive and outlandishly stupid.

  41. 41
    OzoneR says:

    Told ya mistermix.

  42. 42
    OzoneR says:

    Told ya mistermix.

  43. 43
    Lee Hartmann says:

    Not to interrupt the “purist” hippy-punching here, but vastly stronger forces in the “catastrophe” of 2010 was the swing of independents to the Rethugs, as noted by others above, due to – oh, I don’t know – perhaps because the economy sucked, jobs were lost, Obama and the Dems didn’t push through enough stimulus, and the Rethugs mounted a very effective rebuttal to the health care act by lying about what it would do to Medicare without adequate rebuttal by D’s.

  44. 44
    OzoneR says:

    Ozone R, we would not have won the Presidency in 2008 if we hadn’t grown the party by registering so many new voters. 2006 numbers would not have been enough. The reason we lost in 2010 was because so many of our new voters didn’t show up.

    Anyone could’ve predicted that. There was a reason they showed up in 2008 and it wasn’t the public option or jobs programs.

    It was Obama.

    Perhaps they’ll show up for him in 2012, I think they will, but they didn’t register to vote so they can be a part of a movement of progressive change, they registered to vote for Obama.

    That was it.

  45. 45
    OzoneR says:

    Not because my fee-fee was hurt, believe me I’ve heard worse. But if this is what you think of me I can guess what you think of my policy priorities.

    Oh I love your policy priorities. You’re just a complete asshole.

  46. 46
    burnspbesq says:

    @loviatar:

    Well, you haven’t told us what your policy priorities are, but I’ll hazard a guess that they can’t possibly be enacted without Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress and a Democratic president. So your behavior is neatly within the definition of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Kindly get out of the way and let the responsible adults do what needs to be one, you fucking crybaby.

  47. 47
    TK-421 says:

    and then when the Dems lose again, you’ll all be able to continue complaining about how they always fail to enact the Progressive Purity Party’s Pure Pony Platform. which is what’s really important. nice little racket you’ve got there.

    Somewhere along the line, this blog and a lot of Democratic Party members got it into their heads that the default position for Progressives is to vote D, always and forever, no matter what. In their minds, the burden should never be on anyone else to earn Progressive support.

    I would love to know how these people think the real world operates. When I go into the supermarket, the Coke rep doesn’t incessantly yell at me for not buying his product, or guilt trip me, or threaten me by claiming that unless I buy Coke the Pepsi guy is going to blow up the soda aisle.

    The burden is and always should be on the organization doing the selling, not the customer doing the buying. And if the customer wants to leave in a huff and buy nothing, that’s his right and his decision. That’s not a “racket,” that’s how the world works.

  48. 48
    Bruce S says:

    Does anyone here think Obama WANTS the Democratic base to not make noise about any possibility of Medicare or Social Security cuts? Does anyone think that Obama WANTS the GOP framework of this debate to be strengthened, with Democrats sitting back and saying, “Hey, whatever you do is fine with us, because the GOP has a congressional majority and things are tough. It’s all good. You’ve done so much already.”

    The context Obama has been forced to operate in is that the GOP’s base is the more insistent, activist and potent. Do you imagine he wants MORE of that? Is anyone so dense that they think that from the vantage point of grass-roots, Dems increasing the imbalance between the “left flank” and “right flank” of our current politics is some brilliant and sophisticated approach that will help Obama succeed? I’m stunned. “Calm” is great for the negotiator in chief, but it’s NOT a political strategy for a party.

  49. 49
    Captain Haddock says:

    I remember reading that voter turnout was higher in general (for a midterm election), but among blacks and young voters it was down. It wasn’t Democrats in general, just people you’d expect to vote Democratic.

  50. 50
    NonyNony says:

    @Han’s Solo

    Sometimes I really do wonder if some of our “Progressives” are really Republican plants.

    What? You mean that anonymous people in comments of blogs might not be who they claim to be? And some may in fact be shit-stirrers, trolls and/or ratfuckers out to screw with people’s heads?

    Shocking! Next you’ll be telling me that nice minister of the treasury from Nigeria really doesn’t intend to leave some of his millions of dollars in my bank account when he transfers it out of his country. And then my worldview truly will be rocked.

  51. 51
    Loviatar says:

    @30

    Have never given a penny or a lick of support to any Republican. I wonder how many of our suddenly righteous Balloon Juice Democratic Obama’s supporters can say the same. More likely you’re one of those who supported the Republicans until they recently went absolutely bat shit crazy, then all of a sudden you saw the light.

    Also, please don’t call me your friend. Never was and probably never will be your friend.

    .
    @32

    I have a right to complain because I helped to get Obama elected in 2008. Believe me I’ll just be along for the ride from now on. The main difference is I won’t be as invested as I was after 2008.

    As I said, good luck with winning it on your own in 2012.

  52. 52
    OzoneR says:

    Well, you haven’t told us what your policy priorities are, but I’ll hazard a guess that they can’t possibly be enacted without Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress and a Democratic president.

    Fixed.

  53. 53
    Dave says:

    @35 – Loviatar

    I think you and I are going to have to agree to disagree on this. Unlike most negotiations, these have a public component to them as well, and that changes the rules. You can “negotiate against yourself” when you know the other side is going to be an irrational actor. And that is going to strengthen your side in the realm of public opinion and allows you to continually hammer them on that point.

    And there is also the historical weight on Boehner. He will NOT allow himself to be the guy who presided over the US going into default.

  54. 54
    Han's Solo says:

    Only a total moron would think that if they can’t get exactly what they want they will go for exactly what they don’t want.

    “You can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” President Barack Obama, campaign 2007 and 2008. He said it hundreds of times and has shown he really believes it. Good, so do I.

    I once heard that a “Progressive” is someone who thinks the country should make “Progress.” Even if that, or especially if, that progress is slow, we keep fighting. Progressives don’t win all their battles, indeed, for every two steps forward there is a step back. But measured over time, we do progress towards a better future.

    These days that definition of “Progressive” is defunct, at least that is what the Firebaggers want us to think. These days, per the FDLers, a progressive is someone who throws tantrums, pouts and behaves like a petulant first grader when faced with reality.

  55. 55
    burnspbesq says:

    @Trurl:

    Y’know, you’re not required to show up every day with new evidence that you’re clueless. We get that, we’ve accepted it, and we’ve moved on.

  56. 56
    Han's Solo says:

    @NonyNony: I stand in awe of your snark.

    I was trying to be gentle, but I think you captured what I was trying to get at. And you did it with humor, which is always a good thing.

  57. 57
    Yevgraf says:

    Most of the time the narrative is that progressives are a starry-eyed, tiny fraction of the party whose wishes the administration can safely ignore. Now they’re the folks whose super powers tanked an election. It’s one or the other, not both.

    Actually, they are resource hogs. They manage to insert themselves into a position to siphon resources (and pay) while bolsheviking their own side. Back in 2009 and 2010, they could have been arranging to bring people to town halls to bloster the notion that health care reform was necessary (and consequently tamping down the teabag crazy of what DID show up). Instead, they chose to sit the sidelines, bitching endlessly about the lack of purity, all while siponing off resources that would have been used better elsewhere.

    Interestingly for the common guy, progressives haven’t brought about shit for the past 30 years. The only real achievements – gay rights – happened because enough glibertarians wanted it as well. Also interesting, Obama never was the candidate of choice for the more-progressive-than thous, and won despite them, not because of them. Even more interesting than that, the paid progressive activists and pundits have been on his ass nonstop even as he has bent over backwards to signal his intention to sign every piece of progressive legislation to come his way.

    Paid progressive activists remind me of the current crop of conservatards who whimper about their liberty being deprived by the decriminalization of homosexuality, the elimination of state subsidy for Xtianist proselytization, the availability of contraception and the availability of abortion.

  58. 58
    Loviatar says:

    @46 – burnspbesq

    Well, you haven’t told us what your policy priorities are, but I’ll hazard a guess that they can’t possibly be enacted without Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress and a Democratic president.

    Jan 20, 2009

    President of the United States – Barack Obama D

    Senators – 55 D 2 I 41 R

    House of Representatives – 256 D 178 R

  59. 59
    Berial says:

    The problem basically boils down to who, ‘doing nothing’ benefits the most. Doing nothing can cause all sorts of problems for the US but the Republicans don’t seem to care. If they can just wait till election time and say ‘See! Everything is worse with that guy in charge. Put us back in charge and everything will go back to being better’, and the public buys it then they WILL win.

    The Democrats up on the hill have GOT to make it so that ‘doing nothing’ is the absolute WORST thing that can happen for the Republicans before anything will happen.

    At this point I honestly don’t think the current crop of Republicans give a shit about what happens to the economy or the US if it means they gain power in the next election.

  60. 60
    Ash Can says:

    @Loviatar: Here’s the news: NO ONE gets everything they want from their government or their elected officials. Furthermore, while geg6 has an unattractive tendency to fly off the handle, if you’re going to refuse to vote because of something like that, then that’s the epitome of not voting because of “hurt fee-fees.”

  61. 61
    Han's Solo says:

    @Loviatar:

    Have never given a penny or a lick of support to any Republican. I wonder how many of our suddenly righteous Balloon Juice Democratic Obama’s supporters can say the same. More likely you’re one of those who supported the Republicans until they recently went absolutely bat shit crazy, then all of a sudden you saw the light.

    Yeah, no, you, as usual, are wrong.

    Also, please don’t call me your friend. Never was and probably never will be your friend.

    Don’t worry about it, I tend not to be friends with halfwit morons like you. Especially not halfwit morons who pose as “progressives” on blogs in order to concern troll.

    DIAF

  62. 62
    Loviatar says:

    @52 – OzoneR

    Well, you haven’t told us what your policy priorities are, but I’ll hazard a guess that they can’t won’t possibly be enacted without Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress and a Democratic president.

    fixed the fix

  63. 63
    Bruce S says:

    The dichotomy between “staying home” and “calm the fuck down” is a false one. I’m not for staying home, nor am I for calming down. Both are bad ideas. Democrats on the left have the option of helping their most favored candidates in primaries. That doesn’t mean you then stay home if you don’t get the best candidate. I favored Deborah Bowen in CA36, but I’ll make phone calls (out of district – I’m in northern CA) for Janice Hahn. Bowen wasn’t a spoiler candidate – it was a contest worth having.

    These threads are devolving into bullshit straw man arguments, hysterical accusations (I was accused of being a Naderite and terrified of a “black muslim president” or some such by a totally moronic jerk in a previous thread) false or exaggerated dichotomies and manufactured “enemies.” It’s kind of sad and not even close to edifying or interesting. I’m taking a break.

  64. 64
    cleek says:

    @TK-421:

    I would love to know how these people think the real world operates. When I go into the supermarket, the Coke rep doesn’t incessantly yell at me for not buying his product, or guilt trip me, or threaten me by claiming that unless I buy Coke the Pepsi guy is going to blow up the soda aisle.

    for someone who is so hung up on how “the real world operates”, that’s a pretty shitty analogy.

    in the real world, there are two parties who have a shot at holding the majority in the House or Senate or both. and one of those two parties will hold the White House. that’s the situation. that’s the real world. and your choice is between a party that will satisfy your policy preferences most of the time and a party that promises to do everything it can to undo all the things you claim to value. one of those two is going to win. Obama is going to be the Dem candidate and the GOP will cough up something for him to run against. that’s your choice.

    if you want to withhold your support from the party that provides you the best chance of fulfilling most of your policy goals because they don’t satisfy all of your policy goals, all the time, in the time frame you demand, regardless of procedural, parliamentary or numeric constraints, then nobody has any reason to believe you actually give a shit about all those policies. in fact, they have every reason to believe that you’re just in it for the bitching.

  65. 65

    I would love to know how these people think the real world operates. When I go into the supermarket, the Coke rep doesn’t incessantly yell at me for not buying his product, or guilt trip me, or threaten me by claiming that unless I buy Coke the Pepsi guy is going to blow up the soda aisle.

    But do you yell and scream at the Coke guy because he doesn’t give you rainbow-colored unicorn pee in a bottle? Naow! Or you won’t buy his product?

  66. 66
    OzoneR says:

    I favored Deborah Bowen in CA36, but I’ll make phone calls for Janice Hahn. Bowen wasn’t a spoiler candidate – it was a contest worth having.

    Most Democrats don’t see it that way. They don’t rally behind the winner often, that’s why we had all those PUMA wars in 2008.

    Primaries are terrible for Democrats because Democrats don’t rally, they’re factionated and independent. If they don’t win, conservatives vote Republican, progressives will vote third party.

  67. 67
    Loviatar says:

    Policy Priorities

    – Universal Healthcare

    – A return to an equitable tax structure – I’d settle for Clinton era tax rates

    – Complete withdrawal from Iraq

    – Return to pre-Clinton era Financial Regulations

    – Prosecution of Financial speculators who caused the crisis

    – Prosecution of War criminals

    – Return of Civil Liberties to pre-Bush level

    – Repeal of DOMA

    .
    Yeah, real radical hippie stuff

  68. 68
    OzoneR says:

    I would love to know how these people think the real world operates. When I go into the supermarket, the Coke rep doesn’t incessantly yell at me for not buying his product, or guilt trip me, or threaten me by claiming that unless I buy Coke the Pepsi guy is going to blow up the soda aisle.

    You’ve never walked passed the make up counter at Macy’s, have you? This is a really stupid analogy. Of course they yell at your and guilt trip you, that’s advertising when enticing doesn’t work. Have you not seen the GM commercials that show good wholesome Americans working in factories?

  69. 69
    geg6 says:

    This folks is why my money and I are staying home in 2012.
    __
    Not because my fee-fee was hurt, believe me I’ve heard worse. But if this is what you think of me I can guess what you think of my policy priorities.
    __
    Win it on your own.

    Oh, darlin’. Despite your claims to the contrary, your fee fees are most definitely hurt. Stay home. With friends like you, we don’t need enemies.

  70. 70
    MomSense says:

    I am basing my opinion on thousands of phone calls and lots of canvassing.

    The constant “progressive” criticizing hurt us in 2010. Is it scientific? No. Do I believe it is accurate after years of campaigning? Yes.

    In mid cycle elections you are always fighting an enthusiasm gap. Nothing breaks enthusiasm better than the memes constantly pushed by the “progressives” like betrayal, caved, hasn’t accomplished anything, blah, blah, blah.

  71. 71
    OzoneR says:

    Yeah, real radical hippie stuff

    No, just as I suspected. “Let me find a list of things they DIDN’T do and make that my list”

  72. 72
    Loviatar says:

    @70 – MomSense

    And constantly insulting and mocking our policy priorities is great for enthusiasm

  73. 73
    OzoneR says:

    And constantly insulting and mocking our policy priorities is great for enthusiasm

    No one is insulting and mocking your policy priorities, just your stupidity.

  74. 74
    overeducated says:

    Wow, the concern trolling the past few days have been pretty intense.

  75. 75
    Loviatar says:

    @71 – OzoneR

    Every single one of the priorities I listed were known as liberal/progressive core points before, during and after the election. To say I grabbed a lot of “didn’t gets” shows either your lack of knowledge about a portion of the Democratic party or a I just don’t give a dammed what those dirty hippies want as long as they give money and get out and vote perspective.

    Based on your previous posts I think I know which one it is.

  76. 76
    geg6 says:

    overeducated @74:

    Well, that’s what happens when the rat fuckers are out in force.

  77. 77
    Duckest Fuckingway: Ask not for whom the Duck Fucks. . . says:

    Momsense: I am overwhelmed by your robust and exhaustive methodology. Will you assist me with my next grant proposal, as your talents are sorely lacking in the professional and academic fields? We clearly lack people who can pull conclusions out of their ass.

  78. 78
    Unabogie says:

    Lovitar: I notice you don’t have repealing DADT on your list. Why is that?

  79. 79
    TK-421 says:

    if you want to withhold your support from the party that provides you the best chance of fulfilling most of your policy goals because they don’t satisfy all of your policy goals, all the time, in the time frame you demand, regardless of procedural, parliamentary or numeric constraints, then nobody has any reason to believe you actually give a shit about all those policies. in fact, they have every reason to believe that you’re just in it for the bitching.

    I never advocated for withholding support. I simply pointed out that it is a person’s right to do that, that his vote is his own to do with as he pleases. You seem to want to repeatedly insist he’s being an asshole, and you might be right, but you’re never going to sell him by calling him an asshole.

    The thing that moderates refuse to acknowledge is that, right or wrong, Progressives will withhold their support. We saw that happen in 2000 (and possibly in 2010). And regardless of whether Progressives are right to do that, no one should pretend that this is an unpossible “surprise.” This has happened before, and it could happen again.

    So we know that Progressives will sit elections out. And…that either matters, or it doesn’t. If it matters, then efforts should be made to prevent that (i.e. selling to Progressives). And if it doesn’t matter, then bitching about those who sit out is irrational and counterproductive.

  80. 80
    Loviatar says:

    @78 – Unabogie

    said before, will say again.

    Credit where credit is due.

    Repeal happened on his watch and he signed it.

  81. 81
    overeducated says:

    The thing that moderates refuse to acknowledge is that, right or wrong, Progressives will withhold their support. We saw that happen in 2000 (and possibly in 2010). And regardless of whether Progressives are right to do that, no one should pretend that this is an unpossible “surprise.” This has happened before, and it could happen again.

    If they do sit out of the election, then they will get exactly what they deserve.

  82. 82
    4tehlulz says:

    I wish that the conservatives acted like our purity ponies after ’64.

  83. 83

    Loviatar

    This folks is why my money and I are staying home in 2012.

    Jenius.

    Win it on your own.

    I will, you fucking pussy. [and before you screech “misogyny!!!!!!!” I prefer Barely There (38C :-) and Always with Wings]

  84. 84
    Unabogie says:

    But why did you leave it off your list? You list only includes things which haven’t passed. You included “full withdrawal from Iraq”, but you failed to mention how much of that has already taken place.

    You also left off:

    Financial regulations.
    Consumer Protection Board (Now with more Warren!)
    EPA being used to fight GHGs.
    Extending benefits to same sex couples.
    Removing global gag rule on abortion.
    Two great supreme court justices. (in fact, you don’t mention the SCOTUS at all).

    Funny, how your “priorities” seem to fit your hurt feelings like a glove.

  85. 85
    Glen Tomkins says:

    The chicken or the egg?

    “…we wouldn’t be having this absolutely goddam tedious and infuriating discussion about one of the longest hostage dramas in history if more Democrats had come out to vote in 2010.”

    Think maybe more Ds would have come out to vote in 2010 if perhaps our politics wasn’t such that you have to hallucinate some 11th dimensional chess strategy — to politicans on our side! — to make our politicians understandable as anything but corporate stooges intent on crushing the average D voter?

    Who defected first, the D voter or the D politician? Wait, unlike the chicken or the egg conundrum, that one’s not even a conundrum.

  86. 86
    TK-421 says:

    If they do sit out of the election, then they will get exactly what they deserve.

    And this matters because…?

  87. 87
    OzoneR says:

    The thing that moderates refuse to acknowledge is that, right or wrong, Progressives will withhold their support. We saw that happen in 2000 (and possibly in 2010). And regardless of whether Progressives are right to do that, no one should pretend that this is an unpossible “surprise.” This has happened before, and it could happen again.

    Moderates DON’T CARE because they don’t share your priorities. That’s why they’re moderates. They don’t care what you do, and they’re not going to go out of their way to please you. They’d vote Republican if they weren’t crazy. That has happened before, and it could happen again.

  88. 88
    Loviatar says:

    @79 – TK-421

    First time I’ve seen somebody actually make sense regarding my position.

    I had previously said convince me why I should come out and support Obama in 2012 when I feel he has ignored my policy priorities.

    The abuse above is a sampling of what I got, not any attempt to convince me but a whole lot of name calling. After all of that though I am still willing to be convinced, but calling me naive and telling me to DIAF is not too convincing.

  89. 89
    cleek says:

    @TK-421:

    The thing that moderates refuse to acknowledge is that, right or wrong, Progressives will withhold their support.

    as is their right. and the rest of us have the right to mock their ignorance and naivete.

  90. 90
    The Raven says:

    All I know is that we wouldn’t be having this absolutely goddam tedious and infuriating discussion about one of the longest hostage dramas in history if more Democrats had come out to vote in 2010.

    Nonsense. The big GOTV operation of 2008 wasn’t operating on 2010, post. Whocoodanode that the unemployed weren’t going to vote for the party in power?

    Step blaming the Democratic voters for this. Stop blaming the progressives. Blame the top-to-bottom corruption of the US political system instead. It is like the financial disaster: people, by and large, did the right things, and the system had been so corrupted that doing the right things did not matter.

    Infighting on the left serves your enemies.

    Croak!

  91. 91
    OzoneR says:

    I had previously said convince me why I should come out and support Obama in 2012 when I feel he has ignored my policy priorities.

    Obama has ignored ending DOMA? His administration stopped defending it.

  92. 92
    OzoneR says:

    And this matters because…?

    President Bachmann is going to hurt you a hell of a lot more than she’ll hurt me.

  93. 93
    OzoneR says:

    Think maybe more Ds would have come out to vote in 2010 if perhaps our politics wasn’t such that you have to hallucinate some 11th dimensional chess strategy—to politicans on our side!—to make our politicians understandable as anything but corporate stooges intent on crushing the average D voter?

    No, period

  94. 94
    cleek says:

    @Loviatar:

    I had previously said convince me why I should come out and support Obama in 2012 when I feel he has ignored my policy priorities.

    President Bachmann will give you approximately zero percent of your policy preferences, and will work to destroy all existing liberal policies, all the while doing as much as she can to prevent future liberal policies from ever being enacted.

    if you think Obama has ignored what you want, be assured, President Bachmann won’t ignore those things. oh no. she’ll make it her #1 priority to eliminate, destroy, eviscerate and rescind every single liberal policy she can.

    that’s your choice.

  95. 95
    OzoneR says:

    I just don’t give a dammed what those dirty hippies want as long as they give money and get out and vote perspective.

    Don’t want your money and don’t need your vote. Just want you to realize that so you’ll shut up.

    The funny thing is even as you don’t vote and we win anything, you’ll still be bitching no one is listening to you.

  96. 96
    overeducated says:

    And this matters because…?

    Because ultimately the progressive movement is going to need to grow up and put on their big boy pants if they ever want to accomplish anything. If they act like petulant children every time something doesn’t go exactly their way they ware going to walk away with nothing. I figured 2000 would have knocked some sense into folks but apparently it didn’t so the beatings will need to continue until folks understand.

    More progressive candidates/platforms will not appear until folks start routinely electing the most progressive candidate that can reasonably win routinely. That is exactly what the Republicans did over the past 40 years. They didn’t quit voting Republican because their candidate didn’t end abortion, or eliminate the capital gains tax immediately, or stop teh gays from getting married. They continued to vote for the candidate that best represented their ideology and they hung together. As a a result they pushed the entire country to the right.

    If progressives want similar success they need to man (and woman) up a start showing some unity, even if they won’t get exactly everything they want.

  97. 97
    Berial says:

    Jenny is cool. She hangs out and will talk to anyone, but she won’t date me so I refuse to vote for her for class rep.

    Why does that rich bitch Rebecca keep winning class rep every year?

  98. 98

    @Loviatar

    So that’s why you come here? To get people to hold your whiny wittle hand, tell you why Obama is your fwiend and the GOP tewwowists are your enemy?

    Grow the fuck up.

  99. 99
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    I can’t believe it-progressives who want to stay home and not vote are like poor white people who vote against their class interests by voting Republican. Not being able to raise the debt ceiling scares the shit out of me, and that’s not laughing matter.

  100. 100
    OzoneR says:

    Because ultimately the progressive movement is going to need to grow up and put on their big boy pants if they ever want to accomplish anything.

    They DON’T want to accomplish things, except justify their cynicism.

  101. 101
    Loviatar says:

    @84 – Unabogie

    you have your priorities I have mine.

    If yours were met then continue to support the president.

    Mine weren’t met.

    .
    P.S.

    – Financial regulations – weak and limited (where are the prosecutions)

    – Consumer Protection Board (Now with more Warren!) – yet to implemented (been burned too many times I’m in a wait and see mode)

    – EPA being used to fight GHGs. – great, huge major victory (not)

    – Extending benefits to same sex couples. – presidential order, can be reversed by any president (why not a law, harder to reverse)

    – Removing global gag rule on abortion. – presidential order, can be reversed by any president

    – Two great supreme court justices. – 2 moderate SC justices replacing 2 more liberal justices (court has moved further to the right

  102. 102
    cleek says:

    @Loviatar:
    now explain how Obama’s GOP opponent will better address your priorities.

  103. 103
    TK-421 says:

    President Bachmann is going to hurt you a hell of a lot more than she’ll hurt me.

    Ok, so we’re using the hostage-taking logic: vote D or Michelle Bachmann is going to destroy us all. And, well…good luck with that sales pitch. I think that was used in 2010, but maybe I’m wrong.

    Regardless, if the hostage-taking sales pitch doesn’t work in 2012, then I don’t think you can blame potential customers for that.

  104. 104
    Loviatar says:

    @102 – cleek

    probably won’t, but has Obama

    So according to you and the amen crowd I have two choices Obama or a worse choice. Well I decided on choice number 3 – I’m going to stay home. Why waste my time and effort when I don’t see the results.

  105. 105
    The Raven says:

    BTW, I think it’s only a small minority of progressives who are unlikely to vote. Everyone knows the other side is much, much worse, and if we had any doubts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, and Indiana have answered them. At least we are still in the game with the Dems in power; with the Kochtopus in power, no-one is in the game except for the very rich.

    But–I don’t have the heart to work for conservative Democrats, though I will vote for the lesser evil. If any candidate wants my whole-hearted support, they will have to show me that they are on my side.

    Don’t go blaming us progressives—we don’t have the power. Don’t go blaming the Democratic rank-and-file; they’re being abused and deceived. If you want to put the blame anywhere, put it on the spiteful, mean spirit of the times and the rich reactionaries that are building a political coalition from it. That is the real enemy.

  106. 106
    Duckest Fuckingway: Ask not for whom the Duck Fucks. . . says:

    Moderates don’t give a shit until their ox is gored, then they become holier-than-thou converts. Witness the current ex-Republican Obama moderates. Of course they don’t mind that entitlements are on the table: that’s what they wanted when they were Republicans, that’s what they want as Dems.

    FYIGM is the new motto of the centrist Democrats.

  107. 107

    @cleek

    now explain how Obama’s GOP opponent will better address your priorities.

    I’d love to hear junior’s response to this. Unfortunately, I have to get back to running my business, which BTW has benefited from some of the laws signed by The Great Progressive Traitor Obama. Low interest SBA loan allowed to achieve my wet dream of a SUN Workstation (woohoo!), the next time AETNA raises my premiums 68% overnight, I can go to my state ins. comish and demand an explanation other than “because we can”, and I’m starting to think I’ll make it to 2014 and the Ins. exchange. And did I mention that nagging female problem I have that’s classified as a pre-existing condition and has, in the past, prevented me from shopping around for new insurance?

    And to our little whiner, Loviatar:

    Business. It matters.

  108. 108
    OzoneR says:

    Ok, so we’re using the hostage-taking logic: vote D or Michelle Bachmann is going to destroy us all.

    not us all, just you.

  109. 109
    TK-421 says:

    Because ultimately the progressive movement is going to need to grow up and put on their big boy pants if they ever want to accomplish anything. If they act like petulant children every time something doesn’t go exactly their way they ware going to walk away with nothing. I figured 2000 would have knocked some sense into folks but apparently it didn’t so the beatings will need to continue until folks understand.

    And this is the Progressives Should Be Better argument. Please note I have explicitly avoided discussing what Progressives should do. I only want to discuss what they will do, if that matters, and how to counteract that. I get the feeling moderates/people here don’t want to get into that. I wonder why.

  110. 110
    Loviatar says:

    @109 – TK-421

    my belief (probably wrong, but you never know)

    currently a lot of the moderate “Democrats” are former Republicans or former republican leaning Independents. They’ve been pushed out of their party by the crazies, they had to go somewhere. While they now call themselves “Democrats”, their ideas and priorities are still those of a pre-crazy Republican party.

    Thats also reason why they are so comfortable in name calling when it comes to liberals, they’ve been doing it their entire political life, why stop now.

  111. 111
    Berial says:

    If you want more progressive representation then it’s simple. Make sure the more progressive Democrat wins the primary but always vote for the Democrat in the general even if it wasn’t ‘your guy’.

    Please explain how “I’m staying home” is going to result in more progressive representation when your vote would be going to the more progressive representative. If that progressive isn’t getting your or other “I’m staying home because you weren’t EXACTLY what I wanted” progressive voters how do you expect your point of view to EVER be represented?

    Staying home is basically the same as casting a vote for the conservative. The fact that you think ‘staying home’ is somehow helping your point of view be expressed in ANY way is what others are rightfully making fun of.

  112. 112
    OzoneR says:

    I only want to discuss what they will do, if that matters, and how to counteract that.

    Not exactly sure how you do that without discussing what they should do.

  113. 113

    @dan – July 12, 2011 | 9:37 am

    I read that…And, since someone decided to clumsily introduce an advertising analogy into this thread…Did you notice that Jon Walker has decided to officially re-brand the ACA as “Obamacare”?

    Not sure if I’ve seen that before on the front pages, with consistency anyway…

    How long until “the base” over there starts in with the “Democrat party” nonsense?

    I really don’t think we’re that far from that stage…

  114. 114
    cleek says:

    @Loviatar:

    Why waste my time and effort when I don’t see the results.

    the “results” of electing Dems, even inept Dems, over Republicans is that all the things you claim to value are not aggressively eliminated.

    how fucking hard is that to understand ?

  115. 115
    overeducated says:

    And this is the Progressives Should Be Better argument. Please note I have explicitly avoided discussing what Progressives should do. I only want to discuss what they will do, if that matters, and how to counteract that. I get the feeling moderates/people here don’t want to get into that. I wonder why.

    Because we like being honest with them and telling them the truth?

    If folks are going to act irrationally, they are not going to be swayed by a rational argument. Are you suggesting we should act equally as irrationally for the sake of getting them on board?

    Which goes back to my original point, if progressives act this way they will get exactly what they deserve: less than nothing. It is in their interests to do so. If they are too myopic to see that then they should enjoy losing.

  116. 116
    DecidedFenceSitter says:

    – Financial regulations – weak and limited (where are the prosecutions)

    SEC prosecutions are incredibly hard to prove; and many things should be illegal, but aren’t.

    – Consumer Protection Board (Now with more Warren!) – yet to implemented (been burned too many times I’m in a wait and see mode)

    Blame Congress critters who are dragging their feet. Obama has done what he can.

    – EPA being used to fight GHGs. – great, huge major victory (not)

    So you are upset that this is a minor victory? Not sure where the sarcasm starts and ends.

    – Extending benefits to same sex couples. – presidential order, can be reversed by any president (why not a law, harder to reverse)

    Congress would have to pass. Too many conservative Democrats and not enough liberal Republicans to pass.

    – Removing global gag rule on abortion. – presidential order, can be reversed by any president

    Congress would have to pass. Too many conservative Democrats and not enough liberal Republicans to pass.

    – Two great supreme court justices. – 2 moderate SC justices replacing 2 more liberal justices (court has moved further to the right)

    Senate would have to confirm – Senate is an anti-democratic institution that can and will allow one person to block confirmations. Too many conservative Democrats and not enough liberal Republicans to confirm.

  117. 117
    OzoneR says:

    Why waste my time and effort when I don’t see the results.

    This is like the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say, but certainly proves why liberals are suck fucking losers.

  118. 118
    Lol says:

    @101:

    Warren’s been implementing the CFPB for the past year, you stupid fuck. It’s already in operation. Try picking up a newspaper.

  119. 119
    Loviatar says:

    @ 111 – Berial

    Under Obama here is how my Policy Priorities were met.

    – Universal Healthcare half-ass expanded Insurance scheme

    – A return to an equitable tax structure – I’d settle for Clinton era tax rates – extension of the Bush tax cuts

    – Complete withdrawal from Iraq – 2 1/2 years into term an announcement that withdrawals will begin next year – maybe

    – Return to pre-Clinton era Financial Regulations – weak and limited regulations that do little to rein in the hedge funds or the financial speculators who caused the crisis

    – Prosecution of Financial speculators who caused the crisis – Bueller, Bueller, Bueller

    – Prosecution of War criminals – Bueller, Bueller, Bueller

    – Return of Civil Liberties to pre-Bush level – acceptance or expansion of the majority of Bush’s civil liberties policies

    – Repeal of DOMA – Bueller, Bueller, Bueller

  120. 120
    The Raven says:

    I get the feeling moderates/people here don’t want to get into that. I wonder why.

    Much easier to claim moral superiority, and then blame progressives for “elitism.”

    I have dropped “should” from my postings; it is the hiding place for a multitude of errors.

    I remind everyone yet again that progressives only have power to the extent we can persuade. By and large our ethics forbid us from lying, buying, and threatening, which puts us at a disadvantage in politics.

    Croak!

  121. 121
    Lawnguylander says:

    If I go into the supermarket and Diet Coke is being sold next to poison and I can’t tell the difference between the two and end up buying the poison instead, then it’s Coca-Cola’s problem if I end up buying and drinking poison. They’re the sellers so it’s on them to make sure I buy their product and not the poison. Insulting me and calling me stupid for drinking poison isn’t going to bring my corpse back to life. I don’t know when you centrist morons are ever going to figure this out.

  122. 122
    Halcyan says:

    My local progressive radio station here outside Seattle has “Norman Goldman” on in the afternoons for my commute home. It is a contest each day to see how long I can listen (the station is on because the commute TO work has Stephanie Miller, who I adore) before angrily shutting the damn thing off.

    Norman was one of those “Obama has sold us out”, and spoke for a year about what a worthless piece of shit Obama has been for the Democratic party for at least a year, then 2 days before the November election started saying, “Well, we have to vote Dem cuz the Repubs are insane.”

    Do you think these idiots contributed to the lack of D voter turnout? They absolutely think they are blameless in that catastrophe.

    The Koch brothers and their ilk are THRILLED every time a progressive acts like Obama is the enemy.

  123. 123
    Loviatar says:

    @118 – lol

    why pick up a newspaper when I have google. You should try it sometime.

    The United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a federal agency which will hold primary responsibility for enforcing the federal laws and regulating consumer protection in the United States. The bureau, which will commence operation on July 21, 2011

    United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

  124. 124
    Lol says:

    @119:

    100,000 troops have been withdrawn from Iraq so far, you stupid lying fuck.

  125. 125
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Evidence? Or don’t we do that here?

    Yes, if you say something that contradicts the narrative the Obots have constructed of Super President.

    If, OTOH, you are Cap’n Mnemo, you can spin whole tales out of the voices in your head about how Boehner is getting regular calls from the MOTU telling him what to do..

    Or if yer FlipYrNick, you can tell us exactly what Obama is thinking about any particular issue just by the way he furrows his brow.

  126. 126
    Lol says:

    @123: lol Wikipedia.

    Hundreds of people have been working at the agency for nearly a year, you stupid lying fuck. July 21st is just when certain rule making authorities go online. You might have known this if you read anything other than FDL, DailyKos and Wikipedia.

    Here’s a google search, shit for brains: “know before you owe”

  127. 127
    Berial says:

    @119 – Loviatar
    Under Republicans you’d get NO health insurance of any kind. You’d get an ever more inequitable tax structure, probably find some reason to have another war or two, the dismantling of any financial regulations, the dismantling of every New Deal structure around and basically the exact OPPOSITE of everything you say you want.

    HOW IN HELL IS HAVING REPUBLICANS GET ELECTED SUPPOSED TO HELP YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT?

    What ‘lessons’ do you think the politicians get from conservative Republicans getting elected? Do they learn ‘wow, if only I’d been MORE progressive I’d have won’ or do they learn ‘seems the public wants more conservative representation, guess I should move a little more to the right next time’?

  128. 128
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    From USA Today:

    At one point, McConnell said: “I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is unattainable.”

    This is the sit, for reals. The Republicans will NOT cooperate with that Negro in the white house; and anything he puts on the table will immediately be anathema to the GOP just because Obama is for it.

    [playing the race card]Most black Americans understand this intrinsically, and we have a loooooooooong fucking history of not getting everything we want from ANY president. Yet we’ve kept turning out for white presidential candidates, year after year because we understand it’s far better to get some of what we want/need from someone who gives a shit rather than the back of the invisible hand (holding a rusty chainsaw) from THOSE people.

    The “progressive” trolls showing up are almost invariably white and pretty well off. They can bitch and moan because they can afford to. The “inadequate black man” can’t give them every thing they want when they want it.

    Every goddamn one of ’em has Harriet Christian’s privileged yet small, shriveled and cold heart. [/playing the race card]

    ETA: Edited to add link to USA Today page with quoted text.

  129. 129
    cleek says:

    @Lawnguylander:

    If I go into the supermarket and Diet Coke is being sold next to poison and I can’t tell the difference between the two and end up buying the poison instead, then it’s Coca-Cola’s problem if I end up buying and drinking poison.

    if you seriously can’t tell the difference between the GOP and the Dems, you might as well drink the fucking poison.

  130. 130
    The Raven says:

    I think this post could safely be retitled, “Whocoodanode that the unemployed weren’t going to vote for the party in power?”

    Croak!

  131. 131
    Lawnguylander says:

    @loviatar

    2 simple steps to negotiation

    That certainly is the simplest bit of thinking I’m likely to read all day, I’ll grant you that. Based on your view of negotiations, I should never need to prepare for any negotiations I’m involved in from now on because things are so fucking simple and uncomplicated. No need to try to figure out my opponents interests vs. their positions, no need to try to predict their walk away scenarios. It’s tempting to be a lazy-ass fool sometimes. I think, though, that if I took your Negotiation 101 course I’d get my ass kicked in all future negotiations so I think instead I’ll just consider you a simpleton not worth listening to.

    And I can’t tell from reading this thread if real, true lefties staying home like Ed Schultz and others told them to was a problem in 2010, or if that’s bullshit and just a bunch of hippie-punching. If it’s the latter, then isn’t anyone arguing that the Democrats need to do a better job of selling to real, true lefties engaging in their own brand of hippie-punching? Stop hitting yourselves.

  132. 132
    Loviatar says:

    @124 – lol

    Troop Levels in the Afghan and Iraq Wars,
    FY2001-FY2012: Cost and Other Potential
    Issues

    FY ’09 – 135,600

    FY ’10 – 88,300

    FY ’11 – 42,800

    FY ’12 – 4,100

    Based on official US reports still less than 100,000 withdrawn since Obama took office.

  133. 133
    OzoneR says:

    If I go into the supermarket and Diet Coke is being sold next to poison and I can’t tell the difference between the two and end up buying the poison instead, then it’s Coca-Cola’s problem if I end up buying and drinking poison.

    these analogies keep getting dumber and dumber. Coca Cola didn’t put the labels on the poison. Legally, it wouldn’t be their fault at all, it would be the fault of the poison seller for misrepresenting their product.

    Insulting me and calling me stupid for drinking poison isn’t going to bring my corpse back to life.

    Nothing is going to bring your corpse back to life, I don’t know when you lefty nuts will realize that.

  134. 134
    FlipYrWhig says:

    There are always people like Loviatar professes to be in politics. There are not many of them. Ignore him/her. His/her views are not typical of “liberals” or “hippies” or anything as grand as that. Instead, they are typical of someone who thinks the world should cater to their preferences and demands that that happen without much of a method for how. It disgraces actual liberals, lefties, and hippies to group this kind of bullshit narcissism with them. They at least understand praxis.

  135. 135
    Lol says:

    @137:

    You’re just transparently dishonest.

    “Afghan and Iraq wars”. And what was it we were talking about? Oh, wait, that’s right. IRAQ, you stupid lying fuck.

    I guess you’d rather lie through your teeth than give Obama credit for anything.

  136. 136
    Lawnguylander says:

    @someone whose shtick is pretending to be a bird

    I think this post could safely be retitled, “Whocoodanode that the unemployed weren’t going to vote for the party in power?”

    It would be safe if that were first proven to be the case. Have you got some proof that that’s what happened?

    @cleek

    Indeed, the remarkable thing would be, how did I manage to stay alive this long if I were that kind of fool?

  137. 137
    Quiddity says:

    I spoke to a progressive recently who said he’s not going to vote for Obama in 2012. I asked why. He said that Obama made it clear that he doesn’t want his vote.

    That’s what proposing to raise the Medicare eligibility age does, among other things (Libya, Guantanamo, gay rights, etc).

  138. 138
    Lojasmo says:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-2666737

    @Tk-421

    Your soda analogy only works if the Democrats are selling the nation coke, and the republicans are selling the nation pepsi.

    In that case, walking out in a huff is perfectly harmless.

    Unfortunately, the republicans are selling strychnine, arsenic, and mercury.

    Grow the fuck up.

  139. 139
    Town says:

    “Hippy punching,” huh?

    This is why liberals/progressives don’t win, because they’re too busy whining about their hurt fee-fees.

    *kanyeshrug*

  140. 140
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ JSF / 125 : Aw, is this gonna be another one of those days where you whine about how too many people who post here to talk about actual politics just don’t understand the deeply-felt _community_ you used to have?

  141. 141
    OzoneR says:

    That’s what proposing to raise the Medicare eligibility age does, among other things (Libya, Guantanamo, gay rights, etc).

    maybe perhaps you want to take gay rights off that list?

  142. 142
    Lawnguylander says:

    @OzoneR

    Jeez, is it not obvious I’m making fun of TK-421 for his/her idiotic soda marketing analogy? Maybe being a ratfucking firebagger is an easier gig than I thought if I can pull it off so convincingly.

  143. 143
    Quiddity says:

    @JG: This blog has become clinical. It’s in love with Obama and any dissent is attacked with greater ferocity than against other groups. Very much like any cult, it’s the heretics (liberals that don’t praise Obama unreservedly) that are the focus of attention.

    It’s sad. The blog was, for a while, sane and skeptical. That’s all changed.

  144. 144
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Aw, is this gonna be another one of those days where you whine about how too many people who post here to talk about actual politics just don’t understand the deeply-felt community you used to have?

    Wow, yer mindreading abilities aren’t reserved exclusively for Obama spin.

  145. 145
    Loviatar says:

    @135 – lol

    If you could read instead of flying into spit spittle rage over everything you would see the numbers I gave you were only for Iraq. If I had included in the Afghan numbers the withdrawal numbers would have been much worse, because a goodly potion of the troops leaving Iraq went to Afghan.

    Are you on anger management or high blood pressure medication, because I’m worried about you. The others here seem to limit themselves to just insults and name calling, you on the other hands seem to fly into a rage.

    Dude, strike up the bong and relax.

  146. 146
    cleek says:

    @Lawnguylander:
    heh. oops. sorry, i missed it too.

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ Lojasmo / 138 :

    Unfortunately, the republicans are selling strychnine, arsenic, and mercury.

    And it’s not _selling_ at all. In a commercial transaction you can decide not to buy. This is more like two firms bidding for a contract to service the municipal water supply, and one is kind of sloppy and their service guys take forever to get there, and the other just wants to hook up giant vats of poison and mainline them into every house. But you want to make sure that the first bunch doesn’t take your support for granted, and there are all those service delays that are rather frustrating, so, bring on the poison pipeline!

  148. 148
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Quiddity

    I spoke to a progressive recently who said he’s not going to vote for Obama in 2012. I asked why. He said that Obama made it clear that he doesn’t want his vote.

    In the last week I have spoken to 37 progressives who told me that they’re going to enthusiastically vote for Obama in 2012 because he’s making progress under insanely difficult circumstances and because they had these nice, warm feelings inside that Obama considers their votes very important. My anecdata beats yours by a factor of 36. Your move.

  149. 149
    lawguy says:

    I find it facinating that the people who are at fault are the voters who were angry and punished the people who didn’t do what they said they’d do. It is never congress or the president’s fault. It is only the fault of the voters for not clapping hard enough.

    Obama can never fail he can only be failed.

  150. 150
    Lojasmo says:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-2666910

    @loviator

    So, your position is that your pet priorities trump the good of the nation, and so you are going to take your ball and go home.

    Kindly lock the door on the inside, and immolate your house.

  151. 151
    Lol says:

    @145:

    You grabbed a two year old document, you stupid lying fuck. Next time you type “troop levels in Iraq” try reading past the first search result.

    100,000 withdrawn

    Maybe you’d have heard if you didn’t rely on Wikipedia for your news, asshole.

  152. 152
    Loviatar says:

    @150 – Lojasmo

    By jumping in late you missed the whole name calling and insults don’t work portion of the thread.

    By the way hostage taking also doesn’t work (vote for Obama, otherwise you’ll get Bachmann).

    Try something new, like maybe explaining to me why should I vote for someone who hasn’t met my policy priorities. Who actually doesn’t seem to give damm about them.

    Why don’t you give that a try.

  153. 153
    cleek says:

    @lawguy:

    It is never congress or the president’s fault. It is only the fault of the voters for not clapping hard enough. Obama can never fail he can only be failed.

    i don’t see much of that. i do, however, see a lot of the opposite: people who seem to find pleasure in casting everything Obama does as a complete failure while completely ignoring the role and the rules of Congress.

  154. 154
    Berial says:

    I’ve decided to pie loviator. He seems to have the voting habit and makes decisions like a single issue voter. If you don’t share that single issue then there is really no reason to engage them.

    If the progressives that are complaining about not getting exactly what they want are single issue type voters and they’ve decided that the current president doesn’t measure up to their single issue, is it really worth it to even try to change their minds?

    I mean think about an anti-abortion single issue voter. They really don’t care about a candidates economic or social positions. All they care about is a candidates abortion position. They’d vote for anyone from a mass murderer to a cow turd just so long as they promise to do away with abortion.

    Loviator and other ‘progressives’ in this forum seem to be of the same position with the only difference being “None of the candidates are saying exactly what I want so I’m staying home”.

  155. 155
    TK-421 says:

    I agree with FlipYrWhig at 134. While I don’t agree with Loviatar’s decision to sit the next election, I will always defend his right to do that. It’s his vote, he can do with it as he pleases. It’s up to the rest of us to convince him his interests are best served by voting for D.

    What I don’t get, however, is this idea that even though Loviatar is entitled to do with his vote as he pleases, he’s somehow a BAD PERSON for voting the wrong way. I know we tend towards those statements when describing hardcore conservative voters and teapartiers, but I’ve always felt what we said about them didn’t really matter because they would never vote for D anyway.

    Loviatar, however, is not in that same category (IMO). His vote is gettable, but it seems like it requires a concerted sales effort and yes, real policy outcomes to sway him. Is it worth the effort? I don’t know, but when I see this…

    All I know is that we wouldn’t be having this absolutely goddam tedious and infuriating discussion about one of the longest hostage dramas in history if more Democrats had come out to vote in 2010.

    …I tend to think that a lot of people think that decisions made by the Loviatars of the world do matter. So, if they matter, then it logically follows that a concerted sales effort (i.e. NOT YELLING AT HIM AND CALLING HIM AN ASSHOLE) is worth it.

    You can make the argument that “pure” liberals like Loviatar don’t matter. And to a certain extent, I’d probably agree with that. But then, if that’s the case, then CUT THE FUCKING BULLSHIT BLAME GAME about who’s at fault for bad election outcomes. It’s not the ones that sat out, because “fuck ’em we don’t need ’em,” remember?

    You can’t have it both ways- either they don’t matter (in which case quit your bitching about 2010), or they do (in which case you need to do a better job of selling to them).

  156. 156
    Lol says:

    Loviator’s constant lying indicates he thinks he can reject reality and substitute his own.

  157. 157
    Trollenschlongen says:

    I’ve decided to pie loviator.

    Oh my. How will we go on knowing you have made this weighty and monumental decision? I’m not sure Loviator will be able to continue living.

    @Loviator: You are wasting your fingers and pixel strength on this thread. Ozone and the Obotomaniacs have no interest in earnest discussion. They exist here to throw spit balls at anyone who doesn’t worship the cool, smooth talking class president Barry O, no matter how much BO has lied and dissembled and betrayed.

    Someone above said it better: Cleek, Ozone and the like really do think the Dem party owns your vote and somehow it is a betrayal of your natural obligation to ask for a clear motivation to cast it. Well, beyond “Michelle Bachman sucks more!”, that is. Never mind that Michelle sucks more than about anybody, even her husband probably…

  158. 158
    Lawnguylander says:

    @cleek

    And I thought you were playing along with my joke. Looks like I’ll never figure this commenting game out.

    @lawguy

    I find it facinating that the people who are at fault are the voters who were angry and punished the people who didn’t do what they said they’d do. It is never congress or the president’s fault. It is only the fault of the voters for not clapping hard enough.

    I find it fascinating that some percentage of the people who are most affected by the GOP’s insane political agenda think it’s Democratic politicians’ problem if the GOP is in power. To some extent it is a problem for a senator or representative to lose his/her seat, of course, but they’ll all be just fine like most rich people. And Obama’s still living in the White House, flying around on Air Force One. He couldn’t hear you up there no matter how loudly you clap so don’t you worry about any of them. Childish, paranoid revenge fantasies don’t ever really hurt their targets whether in politics or other areas of life. You should know that by now. Always be rational instead.

  159. 159
    Loviatar says:

    @151 – lol

    From following your own link, I found the numbers are not so clear.
    .

    Obama’s Inauguration – a little under 150,000 troops

    Sept. ’10 – a little over 50,000
    .

    Still not the over 100,000 you keep claiming.
    .

    Also, where do these numbers come from, mine were from the Congressional Research Service, did yours happen to come out of Matthew Yglesias ass, because I see no referencing source.

  160. 160
    Sleeper says:

    I agree with TK-421’s comments for the most part. If the argument is that the votes of the Disaffected Left don’t matter, than no further attention need be paid to them. If the argument is that they are necessary, then the diehard Obama supporters would do well to find out what would make the DL happy, and try to deliver it. Merely dismissing them as impossible to please, or secretly rooting for Obama to be crushed not because they hate his policies but because they hate the man himself, is making excuses, really. It’s letting your personal disdain for people not inclined to cheer on the President cloud your judgment. (The same principle can also be applied to those whose disdain for Obama’s style or rhetoric spills over into disdain for his actions and policy.) The Tea Party has tremendous leverage over the GOP in large part because of their obstinance and so-called irrationality; they want what they want, they have a high minimum standard to be met, and they back up their demands with consequences. If you think the Disaffected Left are not a factor, then don’t bother trying to appease them. If you think their votes are needed, then you try to bring them back into the fold. It’s clear by now that insulting them and threatening them are poor tactics; screaming about President Bachmann, calling them whiny losers who want a pony, and imputing racist motives are not wise prefatory remarks to a pitch for support and donations. Demanding they “be better progressives” is also not going to work; you may be right, but you can’t just yell that at people and expect them to eventually agree with you. The Disaffected Left want concessions. It’s a mistake to think that they are purists; in 21st-century America, no liberal could survive being one without blowing their brains out or going insane. It’s a question of percentages. You guys think the win/loss ratio for Obama is acceptable, and for them, it’s not good enough. So apply some pressure to the Dems and try to eke out some more wins, enough to win some of the DL back. Why is that so hard to fathom?

    I’ll answer my own question. To too many people here, it’s more important to lash out at those they consider wrong or stupid than it is to actually reach out and try to influence their voting. “If progressives don’t vote for Obama they deserve what they get.” Those are the words of a fan who’d rather lose than admit that their hero should have to change what he’s doing. Hey, if you’re fine with what the President’s done and is doing, that’s your right and you should be proud to defend that position. But if you’re going to try and convince others to agree with you, you have to actually make a case, preferably with a minimum of snark and insult. If they’re snarky with you, too fucking bad; either you need their votes, in which case you press your case, or you don’t, in which case why even have the conversation.

    I just don’t understand the uncritical Obama supporters here. (Or those who rally around ANY politician uncritically.) Why should he ever listen to your concerns if you promise your vote without any conditions? None of us are public figures of note (presumably); he doesn’t need our endorsement to get by. There is no reason in the world not to make the Dems sweat over our votes up until the moment we walk into that voting booth next year. As for such negativity supposedly turning the mushy center against us – the only way to really win those fickle voters over is to improve the country’s situation, mainly it’s economic situation, and the best way to do that is to press hard and demand our policies be put into effect to the maximum extent which is politically feasible, and on that our reach should always exceed our grasp. Phony pivoting and grandstanding is not going to rack up votes when they involve endorsing lousy policies that exacerbate the problems which we are facing. It’s foolish to insist that Jane Hamsher, who 99%+ of the country has never fucking heard of, is somehow more of a threat to Democratic prospects next year than a President who has given up on lowering unemployment and who isn’t out there every day demanding more attention be paid to this crisis. And it does no good to yell “He doesn’t have the votes!” at someone who hasn’t worked in a year and can’t feed their family or pay rent and is fucking scared and angry. Obama is the President, so Obama will get their blame. That’s just the reality here.

  161. 161
    ornery says:

    What a great post. The endless eating of our own is making me lean to just voting Republican to end it all. Thanks!

    There is apparently no joy found in being a Progressive, only in punching them in their various imagined alternate forms. I’m finally beginning to see the joy in pissing of someone like the DougJ … might as well get *some* satisfaction out of American politics.

    I appreciate the release from caring.

  162. 162
    Berial says:

    TK-421 The problem with your position is how do you ‘sell’ something to someone that has already bought something else and can’t be swayed by any ‘logic’ but their own internal version?

    These are people that claim to be progressive and want things to move to the left but refuse to vote in a way that moves things that way but instead sit out and watch the whole nation move FURTHER from what they profess to desire.

    I mean is there any reason for me to try and talk to Trollenschlongen? He’s already decided that the Democrats haven’t ‘earned’ his vote. He doesn’t accept the position that his so-called ‘obots’ have, that letting Republicans win is a BAD thing and perhaps he should hold his nose and vote ‘D’ instead of ‘staying home’.

  163. 163
    Loviatar says:

    @158 – Lawnguylander

    I find it fascinating that some percentage of the people who are most affected by the GOP’s insane political agenda think it’s Democratic politicians’ problem if the GOP is in power.

    Jan 2009

    President of the United States

    – Barack Obama Democrat
    .

    Senators

    – Democrats – 55
    – Republicans – 41
    – Independent – 2
    .

    Membership of 111th House of Representatives:

    – Democrats – 255
    – Republicans – 179
    .

    So what happened between Jan 2009 and Jan 2011. We had the power then, so who should we blame for the GOPs insane agenda if not the people we put into power.

  164. 164
    OzoneR says:

    Why should he ever listen to your concerns if you promise your vote without any conditions?

    Politics shouldn’t be a hostage situation.

  165. 165
    Loviatar says:

    @160 – Sleeper

    thank you

    another sane poster

    guys I’ve refrained from responding to most of the insults (with the exception of LOL) here, but if you want my vote you have to convince me. Insults, name calling and hostage taking aint it.

    Why should I support someone who does not take my policy priorities seriously?

    Why should I support someone who has not produced to the level I think he should have – and no I’m not a pie in the skyer, I understand the realities of the political system.
    .

    I gave uncritically in 2008, money, time, effort and my vote, it got me bukpus. I refuse to go down that path in 2012.

  166. 166
    Sleeper says:

    Politics shouldn’t be a hostage situation.

    ??? That’s the essence of politics. “Here’s what I want. Give me enough of what I want, and I’ll let you be in charge. It’s up to you to find out how little I will settle for and still vote for you.” This is how it’s been since we lived in caves. And moreover there is nothing wrong with this. We SHOULD exact demands from those asking for the power to rule in our name. Otherwise we’re just begging to be enslaved.

  167. 167
    Berial says:

    Sleeper
    I can respect your position, but how do you take seriously someone who professes to be progressive yet refuses to vote for the more progressive candidate?

  168. 168
    Loviatar says:

    @167 – Berial

    Compared to the current Republican party, yes Obama is the more progressive candidate. Hell, as been said in other places, compared to the current Republican party Reagan would be a more progressive candidate. So thats not saying much.

    I’m not going to repeatedly support someone just because they’re less crazy than someone else. You have to produce, Obama has had almost three years, two with a democratic majority in congress. What has he done to make me say OK he took my policy priorities seriously, I’ll support him again.

    Nice try though, give it another go.

  169. 169
    Sleeper says:

    I can respect your position, but how do you take seriously someone who professes to be progressive yet refuses to vote for the more progressive candidate?

    You don’t have to take them seriously. If their vote doesn’t mean anything to your side, then don’t bother with them. If you, or your side or whatever, determine that you do in fact need the votes of the Disaffected Left, then you find out what they want and try to deliver it. It’s really that simple. And like I said, just dismissing them altogether by saying they’re impossible to please is lazy excuse making. Very, very few people are “impossible” to please. Just because someone is harder to win over than you (the impersonal “you,” i.e., the satisfied Obama supporter, not you specifically) doesn’t mean they can’t ever be won over.

    And you probably will not respect this notion, and maybe even call me crazy or dangerous, but when it comes to politics, I think you have to be willing and able to dig in and say “No.” Even to your own party. Even if it costs them the election, and the country suffers in the short-term. THEY serve US. Not the other way around. You have to be willing to fire “your side” if their principles fail to meet a minimum standard, with each voter deciding for themselves what that minimum is. And yes, the current candidate the opposition is running is egregiously bad, and things are perilously bad all over, and we have to make do with what we’ve got…I’ve heard it all before. I do not accept the definition of “progressive” touted on many websites as “working towards progress, however marginally.” If you’re in a crisis and you need a 180 degree course change, and the “progressive” is mulling over a 30 degree change, that’s not good enough. Insufficient change to adapt to current conditions is retrogressive and sometimes can be more dangerous than a stubborn refusal to change at all – at least in that circumstance everyone’s still aware that we’re in danger. If people want to call me irrational or a Leninist or what have you, fine, that’s their right. I just think it’s a mistake to ever have anything but an adversarial relationship with a politician – even the ones you help to elect. Especially them. As far as I’m concerned, the moment they’re sworn in, they become opponents, and you shouldn’t let up on them an inch or give them the benefit of the doubt. A politician’s natural inclination is to do nothing (at best), or cause harm (at worst) if there’s advantage in it for them. We should not be their fans or their friends. We hold their jobs hostage, and if they do what we say enough of the time, we’ll let them keep them. Maybe. That’s the proper attitude an electorate should hold towards their political class, in my opinion.

  170. 170
    OzoneR says:

    . “Here’s what I want. Give me enough of what I want, and I’ll let you be in charge. It’s up to you to find out how little I will settle for and still vote for you.”

    No, that has been your job to make it clear where that line is.

  171. 171
    Lawnguylander says:

    @loviatar

    You responded to me by quoting me and then ignoring the subject of the text you quoted and the rest of my comment as well. I guess that’s only fair because I’ve been ignoring your pleas in this thread that your feelings be paid attention to. So, OK, I’ll pay attention to your demands that your feelings be addressed. I don’t give a fuck what you do in 2012. Go ahead and stay home. It won’t make a difference. Sorry, but that’s the best I can do for you.

  172. 172
    Sleeper says:

    No, that has been your job to make it clear where that line is.

    Uh…what? Why would I do that? I want all of it. You’re saying if I’ll settle for fifty percent of my demands, I should tell them that?
    “I’d like $5000 for this car, but I’ll settle for $2500. Now, what are you offering?”
    Why on Earth would anyone do that? Why would YOU do that?

  173. 173
    Loviatar says:

    @169 – Sleeper

    well said.

    Too many on our side are simply becoming cheerleaders. Someone has a “D” beside there name and they mumble something that sounds vaguely progressive and all of a sudden they have our vote for life.

    No, as you said they work for me and they have to prove themselves every term. I may give them some slack if they have a history of doing good, but thats it. My vote like my trust must be earned, if I wanted to be a cheerleader and just support the most popular and successful guys I would have become a Republican.

  174. 174
    Berial says:

    SleeperThat’s fine for the most part, but saying ‘no’ should, in my opinion, only be exercised when it will actually send the message you want.

    In today’s political climate voting for a Nader or some green candidate instead of a Democrat will simply result in a very conservative Republican victory. If the number of votes for the ‘no chance to win but very leftist’ candidates plus the Democrat total more than the Republican votes then a message of ‘move left’ is delivered. But staying home and having that total be LESS than the number of votes a Republican gets sends a very different message. That message would be ‘move right if you want to win’.

    What message got delivered in 2010? That’s the message that the Republicans are taking to heart right now. They are digging in and going all tea party on everyone because that’s what their primaries and the general told them to do.

    Staying home and refusing to vote can ONLY harm a progressive’s agenda.

  175. 175
    Loviatar says:

    @172 – Sleeper

    LOL, LOL

    This thread started around mistermix’s proposition that Political Negotiation is Hard and Puzzling. I told him no its not, negotiation boils down to 2 simple steps;

    1) You have your core priorities and you refuse to negotiate them away (everything else is fungible).

    2) Don’t negotiate against yourself
    .

    What you describe is what I said not to do in step 2 – negotiate against yourself. It seems to be pathological with Obama and his supporters.

  176. 176
    OzoneR says:

    Why would I do that? I want all of it. You’re saying if I’ll settle for fifty percent of my demands, I should tell them that?

    yes.

  177. 177
    Loviatar says:

    @171 – Lawnguylander

    I didn’t ignore your text. I quoted your opening sentence because the rest of text’s proposition was based upon the fact that the Democrats had no power so how were the going to control the insane Republicans. I just pointed out that wasn’t true from Jan ’09 to Jan ’11.

    If that portion isn’t true then that leads to the rest of your statement be specious and just more name calling, so I ignored it.

    I thought I was being rational in that comment and this thread in saying I’m not going to support someone who does not support my policy priorities. Please point out the irrationality of that statement.

  178. 178
    Loviatar says:

    @176 – OzoneR

    thank you

    talk about perfect timing

    LOL LOL

  179. 179
    Sleeper says:

    What message got delivered in 2010?

    “People Want Jobs.” Unfortunately, nobody in Washington heard it.

    As far as the third party option goes, Green or lefty Independent candidates who catch on are the fault of the Dem running against them. It would be the easiest thing in the world to regain those votes – why cast a protest vote for the guy who’s gonna get creamed, when you can vote for one of the two major parties and stand a chance at winning? If a Dem running against a Green is looking to avoid a narrow loss, here’s a wild thought: steal some of the Green’s ideas. Win those voters back, rather than moving to the “center” (which just means the right). To be honest, in major elections, these are the only reason third party candidates should be considered, so that voters can go to the Dem and say “Your Green opponent is in favor of X, Y, and Z, which are all important to me. Where do you stand on these issues?” Use that leverage of being undecided to move the Dem towards your positions. I once met a Socia_list presidential candidate (can’t remember his name) who came right out and said that third parties run to try and get one of the two major parties to co-opt their ideas. Period. So if “progressives” (bah, I hate that fucking term) are looking to a third party candidate, back them to the hilt, but don’t be shy about letting the Dem know you can still change your mind. Make them compete over OUR ideas for once, and not the goddamn center.

  180. 180
    Sleeper says:

    Why would I do that? I want all of it. You’re saying if I’ll settle for fifty percent of my demands, I should tell them that?
    yes.

    Interesting negotiating technique there. Why would you do that?

  181. 181
    burnspbesq says:

    @Loviatar:

    I’m going to explain this for you in the simplest way possible, on the off chance that you might get it.

    Democrats want to help you.

    Repuicans want to fuck you up.

    You can either help the people who want to help you, or you can enable the people who want to fuck you up.

    There is no third option.

  182. 182
    Sleeper says:

    You can either help the people who want to help you, or you can enable the people who want to fuck you up.

    Okay, and if that argument doesn’t persuade someone whose vote you need, then what do you do? What do you tell the people who do not accept as axiomatic “Democrats want to help you?”

  183. 183
    Berial says:

    Okay, and if that argument doesn’t persuade someone whose vote you need, then what do you do? What do you tell the people who do not accept as axiomatic “Democrats want to help you?”

    Ask them if they are a millionaire or better? Because if they aren’t then it’s pretty axiomatic from what I’ve seen that ‘Republicans want to fuck you up’. :)

  184. 184
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    Hi, Harriet. Nice to see you back.

  185. 185
    The Raven says:

    burnspbesq, #180: “Democrats want to help you.”

    They do? Have they helped my unemployed friends? How ’bout the ones who got thrown out of their houses?

    “The Computer is your friend. The Computer wants you to be Happy.”–*

    Croak!

  186. 186
    Sleeper says:

    Ask them if they are a millionaire or better? Because if they aren’t then it’s pretty axiomatic from what I’ve seen that ‘Republicans want to fuck you up’. :)

    Ah, that point was never in doubt. But that being true doesn’t make the other assertion true.

  187. 187
    Lawnguylander says:

    @loviatar

    I didn’t ignore your text. I quoted your opening sentence because the rest of text’s proposition was based upon the fact that the Democrats had no power so how were the going to control the insane Republicans. I just pointed out that wasn’t true from Jan ‘09 to Jan ‘11.

    Nah, I said nothing of the sort. What I did say, you didn’t address at all.

  188. 188
    Loviatar says:

    @186 – Lawnguylander

    I find it fascinating that some percentage of the people who are most affected by the GOP’s insane political agenda think it’s Democratic politicians’ problem if the GOP is in power

    you said that, after showing you that the Democrats had control from Jan ’09 to Jan ’11 I said

    so who should we blame for the GOPs insane agenda if not the people we put into power.

    so my question to you again, so who should we have blamed between Jan ’09 and Jan ’11 for the GOP’s insane agenda if not the Democrats who were in charge of the presidency and congress.

  189. 189
    Berial says:

    @The Raven,

    It would be my opinion that the 40 Republican senators and their filibuster has had more blame for no help for the unemployed than the various and sundry bills the Democrats tried to pass to help the unemployed. That would be a reflection of my world view. But I am not unemployed and the anger and frustration of being in that situation doesn’t color my view as it would someone in it.

  190. 190
    OzoneR says:

    Interesting negotiating technique there. Why would you do that?

    you’ve already preconceded that you weren’t getting everything when you said this

    Give me enough of what I want

    If you’re willing to be ok with “enough,” you should probably make it clear what that “enough” is, isn’t this what we tell Obama?

    Or you can go in saying “I want all of this” and see how far that gets you, probably not far.

  191. 191
    Lawnguylander says:

    @loviatar

    Oh, I see, you’ve got the same level of understanding of written text that you do of negotiating dynamics. Anyone just slightly less simple-minded would understand that when the GOP is in power, it’s not wealthy Democrats politicians who get the truly raw deal, but actual vulnerable people. Take note, also, that I was responding to lawguy there and not any comment that you made.

  192. 192
    OzoneR says:

    Have they helped my unemployed friends?

    Do they still get unemployment? If so, then yeah, they’ve helped them

  193. 193
    Loviatar says:

    It would be my opinion that the 40 Republican senators and their filibuster has had more blame for no help for the unemployed than the various and sundry bills the Democrats tried to pass to help the unemployed. That would be a reflection of my world view.

    This quote right here is my problem with the so called moderate wing of the Democratic party.

    When does our team come in for some blame. Between Jan ’09 and Jan ’11 we had majorities in both houses of congress, the presidency, a motivated base, the republicans on the run and a hamstrung financial community and we only ended up with a half-assed expanded Insurance scheme to show for it.

    But according to Obama’s cheerleading team we should be satisfied with the crumbs and not blame the people we put into office who failed at implementing the policies we put them into office to implement.

    Again, why should I support someone who does not take my policy priorities seriously?

  194. 194
    Loviatar says:

    @191 – OzoneR

    Do they still get unemployment? If so, then yeah, they’ve helped them

    another crumb that we should be satisfied with

  195. 195
    OzoneR says:

    another crumb that we should be satisfied with

    It’s all crumbs to you.

  196. 196
    FlipYrWhig says:

    why should I support someone who does not take my policy priorities seriously?

    Because you’re not just fucking with yourself, you’re fucking with the rest of us, too. It’s not like deciding to be a vegan, where you can decide to pursue your own ethical approach to eating. It’s like deciding that you’re so vegan that you’re boycotting the organic farm because it makes honey, and thus is functionally no different from a full-on slaughterhouse, so why should you care if a developer wants to buy the land and put up an actual slaughterhouse? You’re deliberately choosing to create greater harm. It utterly flies in the face of what you claim to believe.

  197. 197
    OzoneR says:

    It’s like deciding that you’re so vegan that you’re boycotting the organic farm because it makes honey, and thus is functionally no different from a full-on slaughterhouse

    Stuff like this has happened btw.

  198. 198
    Berial says:

    FlipYrWhig @196

    You’re deliberately choosing to create greater harm. It utterly flies in the face of what you claim to believe.

    And that’s all I have to say about that. /Gump

  199. 199
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ OzoneR : Oh, I know. But instead of making common cause between vegans, vegetarians, non-red-meat eaters, and foodies to protect that organic farm, accepting that there are a range of reasons for doing so, it’s apparently more “principled” to let it wither away rather than accept that other people don’t have the same problem with the honey.

  200. 200
    Loviatar says:

    @195 – FlipYrWhig

    When does our team come in for some blame. Between Jan ‘09 and Jan ‘11 we had majorities in both houses of congress, the presidency, a motivated base, the republicans on the run and a hamstrung financial community and we only ended up with a half-assed expanded Insurance scheme to show for it.

    you call it deliberately causing harm. I call it holding those who work for us to account for not accomplishing the policies we voted them into office to accomplish.

    Again, my Policy Priorities follow, none of them are radical or over the top, yet not a single one was accomplished. Yet according to you I should reward the politicians who work for me and failed in their job with reelection. Saying the other guy is crazier works only once with me it is not a repeatable message, after the first time I expect results.

    – Universal Healthcare

    – A return to an equitable tax structure – I’d settle for Clinton era tax rates

    – Complete withdrawal from Iraq

    – Return to pre-Clinton era Financial Regulations

    – Prosecution of Financial speculators who caused the crisis

    – Prosecution of War criminals

    – Return of Civil Liberties to pre-Bush level

    – Repeal of DOMA

  201. 201
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I demand that the government discontinue use of religious language, remove all troop presence from Germany and the Koreas, and sign an executive order declaring burlap the official national textile. And until that happens, I will feel justified in withholding my precious, precious vote.

  202. 202
    FlipYrWhig says:

    What’s it like when you want to buy a car, because your current one broke down, and it wasn’t your fault? Do you refuse to buy any car until there’s one that gets 80 MPG and costs $5,000, or do you figure out which one gets you CLOSEST to the things you desire and shoot for that? I have a feeling you’re going to be walking a lot.

  203. 203
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Raven:

    Yes, they do want to help your friends. Unfortunately, the Fuck You Up Party controls one house of Congress.

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