0, 8, and 10


 Every progressive who thinks a primary would be a good idea should read this, from commenter Too Many Jimpersons (formerly Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.):

Dude, if you don’t like something Obama has done—or hasn’t done—then by all means call him on it. He said as much way back while he was still running. Nudge him further the way you’d like him to go.

But for fuck’s sake, do it in a way that helps rather than hinders. Don’t start screaming about primary challenges because he hasn’t done everything you wanted. Don’t go all over Fox and screech that he’s a sellout and as bad as Bush was.

Those were a few handy “don’t”s. Here are some “do”s:

Go out and work for the candidates in the primaries who fit your bill. Show up at their offices and do shitty, dull work for them. Trudge through the rain canvassing on an October Saturday when you’d much rather be at home. Send them some money. If you don’t like who’s running, run yourself.

Those are helpful tips. But before you do all that that I suggested, here’s another “don’t”:

Don’t work for some Democrat you love above all else if it means you’re likely to badly weaken the Democrat in office who votes as you’d like 9 times out of 10, or even only 7 or 8, or even only 6 or, yes, even only 5 out of 10, if—and here’s the thing—the 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 out of 10er is the best you can get. Examples: O.K., we all know Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson are irritating assholes. But before you go out and work your ass off for Louisiana or Nebraska’s version of Dennis Kucinich, bear in mind that Landreiu and Nelson are the best we can hope for in those states. Yeah, I’d love it if Louisiana sent somebody who speaks and votes like Al Franken to the Senate. But that isn’t going to happen. The choice isn’t Mary landreiu or Al Franken; it’s Mary Landreiu or some dickwad who votes like David Vitter. There are reasons Minnesota sends people like Franken to Washington and Louisiana doesn’t. Those reasons are called “voters”.

I live in Virginia. In 2006 and in 2008, I worked for Jim Webb and Mark Warner when they ran. If Virginia were a place where somebody like Franken or Sanders or Sherrod Brown could win statewide, I’d happily have worked for them. But it isn’t, and no amount of wishing by me will make it so. So I worked for the best I could reasonably hope for. And much to my delight, I got two Democratic senators in the last two elections we had here. They aren’t as liberal as I am; they aren’t as liberal as I would like them to be. But none of that matters. I live in Virginia in the early 21st Century, not some fantasy world where everybody thinks the way I do.

Now as for Obama, well, you know what? I would like it if he were more like Al Franken or Sherrod Brown. I’d love that. But right now, it’s hard to get somebody like that into the presidency. It isn’t going to happen right now, however much you might want it to. So, yes, maybe Obama does what I’d like 8 or 9 times out of 10. Guess what? I lived through 8 years of George Bush, who did what I would have liked 0 times out of 10. And Rick Perry and Romney would also do what I’d like them to 0 times out of 10.

0. 8. 10. Those are the numbers to keep in mind next year, 0, 8 and 10. There are, to be sure, fantasy candidates who would give me what I want 10 times out of 10. (Nader sure as hell isn’t, however many people wrongly think of him as some kind of liberal crusader; he’s only an egoist who wants to throw fits and show everybody how wrong they were. If he got in, he might well appoint somebody like Palin just to stick a thumb in our eyes. I don’t trust him or anybody who works with him.)

Anyway, 0, 8 and 10. Keep those in mind. Maybe President Franken would give you what you want 10 times out of 10. But that means nothing. He’ll never be president, not in this country, not as it is. This is a country that chose George Bush 7 years ago, knowing fully what it was getting. So 10 is an important number because it’s what you—we—won’t be getting. That leaves 8 and 0. What we have to choose from is getting our way 8 times out of 10 or no times out of 10. Maybe you don’t like that. Tough shit. That’s what you have, and whether you’re happy with it has nothing to do with the world as it is.

Do you want to get your way 0 times out of 10 as long as you can happily, smugly tell us all about how pure you are and how devoted to The Cause—whatever it may be—you are? Are you willing to live with that? Or would you rather have somebody who does what you like 8 times out of 10? That isn’t as good as 10 out of 10, I know that. But what if these are your only choices? Then what? Are you going to work to get Rick Perry voted in so you can feel like you’re one of the few who are really, truly committed to doing what’s right, even though you might have to take a few lumps for it? (Keep in mind that you are unlikely to get any lumps; it’ll be some other poor losers, but, hey, eggs and omelettes and all that, right?) Or will you take the 8 out of 10 and be willing to be let down once in a while for the sake of all of us? Because these are your choices. These two. Forget about 10. Forget about President Franken. Forget about President Sanders. Forget about President Kucinich, and for the love of God, forget about President Nader. Can you do that? I hope so, since you’ll never get them. Understand that: You will never get them. It won’t happen. You get to choose between President Obama and Governor Perry, or between President Obama and Governor Romney. That’s it. That’s all.

And if you work for Nader or some other asshole in the primary, all you will do is weaken President Obama and make the likelihood of President Perry or Romney that much greater. That’s what primary challenges to sitting presidents do. It happened in 1992. It happened in 1980. It happened in 1968 (Humphrey was running more or less for Johnson’s third term). It happened as far back as 1912. Each time—each time—the challenging party got the advantage and each time it won. That’s what happens when you run a serious primary against a sitting president: you help elect somebody from the other party. We can’t afford that.

Now, before anybody weeps and wails about “Don’t I have the right to vote for whomever I want? Isn’t this a democracy, don’t you believe in democracy?” let me just say: Yes, you have the right to vote for whomever you choose. Yes this is a democracy. And yes, I believe in democracy. Yes, yes and yes. Nobody is telling anybody else, “You have no right to vote for Nader,” or anything like that. What we are saying, what we are asking you people who have legitimate criticisms of Obama, is to put your own feelings and your own egos and your own need to feel holy or to feel like martyrs to the cause to the side. That’s all we’re asking. We’re asking you to take a good look at what’s going on here in this country, and to swallow your pride for a little while, and to get over the bruise Obama gave your ego when he didn’t do everything just the way you wanted him to.

We aren’t telling you; we aren’t ordering you. We aren’t shooting you or threatening you or jailing you or hosing you down with fire hoses or beating you. We are asking you. Yes, sometimes you (collectively; people like you) piss us off and we call you mean names and say intemperate things to you. But, Lord in heaven, get over it. If you can’t even take a few nasty comments without crumpling up and whining about how this is just like what Martin Luther King or somebody had to go through—and there are manic progressives who go on that way; I am not saying you are one of them—then you really aren’t the fearless liberal warriors you like to think you are.

So, again: Please do not work for or encourage primary challenges to President Obama in 2012. If you do, you greatly weaken his odds of winning next year, and if you do that, then lots of other Democrats will get highly pissed off at you, and we withhold the right to call you mean names. If we do that, then live with it. It’ll be the least you’ll have to worry about.

Yes, yes, yes.

[ image via 2modern]

[cross-posted (ish) at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]






478 replies
  1. 1
    different church-lady says:

    This should be interesting…

    PS: new title much improved over old

  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    So glad this was front paged. Loved reading it last night.

    0, 8, 10 is brilliant. And memorable.

    Good comment by Mumphrey/Jim whatever, and good on ABL for giving it prominence.

  3. 3
    Li says:

    It’s too late to do anything about it now, but perhaps next time we should be more careful not to pick a slick-talking, corporatist, crypto-republican as our front runner. It turns out, that such a figurehead is only good at stoking progressives when he needs to get elected, while he bends over for Wall St. criminals the rest of the time.

    Here is a hint; if the next candidate experiences a meteoric, inexplicable rise, was once employed by a business intel unit like BIC, and is deeply connected with the global powers, then we should run like hell. Better to run a cheese sandwich than a candidate like that, because at least we would have the opportunity of a choice between a sandwich and a republican, rather than a ‘choice’ between two republicans.

  4. 4
    Yutsano says:

    @different church-lady: 500+ comment threads don’t appeal to you? :) I fully expect this to take all the oxygen out of the room until I at least get home tonight.

  5. 5
    Daveboy says:

    Really short version of this article:

    Choose the lesser of two evils. This country will never be want you want it to be, whiny liberal person.

  6. 6
    Cain says:

    sometimes I just want to say..
    “Ancient spirits of evil.. transform this thread into Mum-ra! The ever living..mwahahaha”

    Carry on, carry on.

  7. 7
    different church-lady says:

    @Daveboy: OK. Now… why do you suppose the country will never be what they want it to be?

    Think…

  8. 8
    Social outcast says:

    No matter how much a person might dislike Obama’s approach to politics, there’s nobody who is going to be able to primary him and then win the election. We’ve tried this before, and it worked out bad for everyone except the republicans.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    ABL: Thanks so much for giving Mumphrey’s post the front-page treatment. It’s really an amazing piece of writing. Good job, Mumph!

  11. 11
    Pliny says:

    I’m not sure which is sadder, the fact that “accept and vote for the corrupt establishment douchebag because OOGA BOOGA REPUBLICANS” is being offered as a strategy, or the fact that most commenters are going to love the shit out of it.

  12. 12
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Li:

    It’s too late to do anything about it now, but perhaps next time we should be more careful not to pick a slick-talking, corporatist, crypto-republican as our front runner. It turns out, that such a figurehead is only good at stoking progressives when he needs to get elected, while he bends over for Wall St. criminals the rest of the time.

    Okay. Let’s play a game.

    Let’s list all the the people who ran for President in the Democratic Primary in 2007/2008.

    Who among them would you say is the most progressive?

    After you pic that person, tell me if s/he would have one the general against John McCain …

    I’m curious …

  13. 13
    Xenos says:

    As a more orthodox lefty rather than emoprog or ‘trendy lefty’ I would not consider Obama an 8. More like a 6.5. Still the idea that he is, for example, a 3, is ludicrous. He can only be a 3 if you care more about ideological purity than is realistic or healthy.

    Umoja!

  14. 14
    Samuel Knight says:

    Way over stated.

    Although people love to talk about primaries weakening candidates and the DNC does everything to discourage primaries, there is little to no evidence that a primary challenge weakens the candidate. However incumbents have a massive interest in perpetuating this myth – because it increases their chance of staying in office.

    Do people think that the Ted Kennedy challenge is really what gave us Reagan? Really?

    However, there is no point in a primary challenge if you don’t have a better candidate – and right now there is no other credible Democrat who’s willing to do it.

    So if you’re really disappointed in the Prez, put your energies elsewhere – Congressional, gubenatorial, etc.

  15. 15
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    I largely agree with that comment, but this is just plain bad analysis:
     

    That’s what primary challenges to sitting presidents do. It happened in 1992. It happened in 1980. It happened in 1968 (Humphrey was running more or less for Johnson’s third term). It happened as far back as 1912.

    Primary challenges to sitting presidents don’t this. Every sitting president has had some collection of idiots go up against them, and usually the challengers lose badly. A sitting president takes a hit when a well financed campaign by a popular leader with strong standing in the party is launched. Carter wasn’t hurt in 1980 because generic somebody challenged him. He was hurt because Ted-freaking-Kennedy challenged him. Ditto for the rest.

    Is Hillary Clinton running against Obama this time around? No. Is anybody else of similar stature in today’s Democratic party or left of center circles running against him? No. It is Ralph Nader and his running dog clown show, in other words somebody of about the same political stature as the folks who ran against FDR from the left in 1936 and 1940. Big Whoop. Best to ignore them. I thought Dennis G made a mistake front-paging this issue yesterday. They won’t go away if you ignore them, but giving them more attention just encourages them, in a “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” kind of way. Stop doing it.

  16. 16
    Daveboy says:

    @different church-lady: Don’t really enjoy guessing games. Spell it out or get out.

    BTW I’m not endorsing this article; I’m distilling it.

    I do feel it’s really disingenous to imply that the current candidate does liberal stuff 8 times out of 10. Or even 5 times out of 10. But whatevever.

  17. 17
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Pliny: Again,I ask:

    OK then,WHO should primary Obama that could actually stand a chance of WINNING THE ELECTION? I would love to hear the possibilities.

  18. 18
    lacp says:

    If you think the Democratic Party is the best fit for your political views, you should be willing to put up with some aspects of candidates with which you disagree. If you don’t think the Democratic Party is the best fit for your political views, become an independent or join another party. Registering as a member of a party that doesn’t represent you doesn’t make sense, so continuing membership in such a party and throwing fits or primarying people doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense either. How hard is this, anyway?

  19. 19
    different church-lady says:

    @Daveboy: You’re distilling it incorrectly. I was just wondering if you knew why.

  20. 20
    Heez says:

    @different church-lady: Fucking easy: MONEY.

    Let me rephrase that for you; MONEY, DUMBASS!

  21. 21
    Loneoak says:

    @Daveboy:

    Choose the lesser of two evils. This country will never be want you want it to be, whiny liberal person.

    For fuck’s sake, this really isn’t that hard to understand: The country will never be the way you want it to be by virtue of electing any president, whether it’s Nader or Hamsher or West or Jesus Fucking Christ himself. That’s why we think you’re whiny, not because anyone disagrees with how you want the country to be. Obama doesn’t have a magic wand, and nor should we want him to. Quit complaining about how Obama disappointed you and start making it possible for him to impress you.

    And, also too, in the meantime, Our Progressive Betters might want to stop praising Sarah Palin and transpartisanshiping with Grover Norquist.

    Fucking hell IT’S NOT THAT HARD TO FIGURE OUT.

  22. 22
    Li says:

    A game is exactly what it is. I would say, the most progressive would have been Edwards, but since the game is fixed in the Republican’s favor, especially when it comes to sex scandals, there was no chance of him getting elected. It’s hard to win a game when the rules are fixed, the ref is bought out, and the guys in the box are talking out of their ass.

    But, perhaps it’s not the public that is the problem, but rather the game? Because money buys everything, those that have stolen the most money are running the game at this point, and if you play, you will loose. Perhaps it’s time to stop playing games with our future, and accepting a panoply of false choices, and start fighting! If you keep playing their game, you will end it as a slave or a serf. The game is fixed, and that is the predetermined outcome. If you continue to embrace this two sided, single outcome farce, then we have already lost.

  23. 23
    different church-lady says:

    @Heez: That’s one valid answer, yes. And it’s probably valid in more ways than you intended it.

  24. 24
    Miracle Max says:

    A civil, constructive primary challenge could be a useful educational exercise for everyone, including Obama. Of course it would never succeed electorally, but it could actually strengthen Obama and motivate the electorate for the general election.

    Nader is not capable of such a challenge and is in general toxic. But there are others who could do it well.

  25. 25
    AkaDad says:

    If I can’t get 10, then in 2012, I’m staying home and listening to 25 or 6 to 4.

  26. 26
    MikeJ says:

    @Li: Edwards couldn’t win a majority of *Democrats*. The sex scandal had nothing to do with it since it didn’t come out until he was gone. Even Democrats didn’t want him.

    If you can’t win a majority of people on your side, why do you think you could win a majority of US voters?

  27. 27
    different church-lady says:

    @Li:

    If you continue to embrace this two sided, single outcome farce, then we have already lost.

    a) embrace
    b) acknowledge the reality of

    Does anyone know or care about the distinction?

  28. 28
    Daveboy says:

    This article is telling people to hold their nose and support a candidate that they do not feel represents their best interest and does not support their values, because the other guy is even worse. This is almost the textbook definition of “lesser of two evils”.

    This article tries to sugar coat it with “but he does what you want, 8/10 times compared to the other guy! Why are you being so unreasonable.” But the people who are suggesting that O. be primaried do not feel this way. This article also is ascribing a false motive (“Obama is not pure enough!”) to the people calling for a primary.

    Like 95% of what ABL posts can be boiled down to “shut up and support Obama unconditionally because EVIL REPUBLICANS” and it’s tiresome and trite as hell, as dumb as anything a right-winger would post.

    Anyway I don’t see any point in continuing because the disaffected will remain disaffected and the cultists will remain cultists.

  29. 29
    Yutsano says:

    @Miracle Max:

    But there are others who could do it well.

    Such as?

    @MikeJ: Stop being all factual and shit! Jeez can’t you see there’s a poutrage about to happen here?

  30. 30
    different church-lady says:

    @Daveboy:

    Anyway I don’t see any point in continuing because the disaffected will remain disaffected and the cultists will remain cultists.

    And everyone who isn’t in one of those two groups will be herded unwillingly into one of those two groups.

  31. 31
    Pliny says:

    I also love the token Nader hatred, complete with the hilarious lie that he isn’t really a “liberal crusader”. I guess the author slept through his decades of crusades? Maybe he hasn’t heard of the NHTSA, a direct result of Ralph Nader’s crusade to force car companies to stop putting profit in front of safety?

    Perhaps instead of blaming Nader the Democratic Party should have learned to distance themselves from the Republicans when it comes to complete and total capitulation to the Military Industrial Complex, Wall Street, Oil, and Pharmaceutical companies?

  32. 32
    eemom says:

    I see we’ve got us a whole plethora of shiny new trolls.

    Slow day over at FDL?

  33. 33
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @AkaDad: Sitting cross legged on the floor. . .

  34. 34
    MikeJ says:

    @eemom: Or Red State.

  35. 35
    Daveboy says:

    Oh one last thing: I don’t think there’s any point to primarying Obama because the Democrats have shown repeatedly that they are a Big Money party and that no amount of electoral smashing will move them to the left. Instead you have to smash the mechanism.

    I also really enjoy everyone saying, “The president can’t do what you want him to do” while simultaneously crying, “If Obama loses IT’S OVER, YOU HAVE FUCKED US ALL.” Either the presidency can’t do shit and doesn’t matter, or is an important position that can move society in different directions – please pick one guys.

  36. 36
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Daveboy: Yes but you left out the most striking part, which was the long extended list of “Do this. Don’t do that” followed incoherently later (much) by “We aren’t telling you … We are asking you.”

    Needs moar self-importance if you ask me.

  37. 37
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Li: And sooo,what do you suggest? Specifically. The politicans are not the least bit scared or intimiadated by the people. The fewer people who get fed up and don’t participate,the better chance the right wing has of winning. So,what IS the answer?

  38. 38
    piratedan says:

    well I guess all the hand wringing about whether our current Prez really rates an 8 is to be expected. The point that needs to be relentlessly made is that we KNOW that Perry and Romney are ZERO’s. Screw this equivocating about how sad it is that Obama couldn’t be better, doesn’t everybody remember the Bush years and after having elected a man of color to the Presidency how the folks on the other side are longing to return to the 1840’s. Fine, call it the fear factor, or hold your noses or any of those other arguments that you have to tell yourself in order to feel like you’ve taken the appropriate Brooksian arguments to their logical conclusion and face the unmitigated truth that the people on the other ticket are just flat out fucking odious and you wouldn’t even trust them to water your plants for a weekend much less watch over the country.

  39. 39

    @Tonybrown74:

    the 2008 game:

    The only person other than Obama that had a chance of winning was Clinton, and she always was more conservative than Obama.

  40. 40
    Miracle Max says:

    Russ Feingold. Bob Reich. Howard Dean. Cornel West. Byron Dorgan. Chris Dodd.

  41. 41
    gwangung says:

    This article is telling people to hold their nose and support a candidate that they do not feel represents their best interest and does not support their values, because the other guy is even worse.

    You didn’t read far enough. There are other points, far more important, that you are ignoring.

    This is a process, not a single behavior in a single voting point at a discrete point in space and time.

  42. 42
    ABL says:

    If you think Obama is a Republican, you should ask yourself why all Republicans opposed everything here.

    Like 95% of what ABL posts can be boiled down to “shut up and support Obama unconditionally because EVIL REPUBLICANS”

    This is a gross misrepresentation of what I write and a gross misrepresentation of what Jimpersons wrote, which was:

    [I]f you don’t like something Obama has done—or hasn’t done—then by all means call him on it. He said as much way back while he was still running. Nudge him further the way you’d like him to go.

    How that translates into “shut up and support Obama unconditionally” is between you and your reading comprehension tutor.

  43. 43
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Li:

    A game is exactly what it is. I would say, the most progressive would have been Edwards, but since the game is fixed in the Republican’s favor, especially when it comes to sex scandals, there was no chance of him getting elected. It’s hard to win a game when the rules are fixed, the ref is bought out, and the guys in the box are talking out of their ass.

    Ha!

    You think Edwards was more progressive than Obama?? Are you taking into consideration that he actually DID vote for the AUMF?

    You honestly thought he would have one the General Election?

  44. 44
    Li says:

    I agree with Daveboy wholeheartedly. The Democratic party is not an opposition party to the Republicans. They are a foil. Obama, for instance, by being to the right of Reagan on most issues, has moved the Overton Window so far to the right that outright hate mongering demagogues like Bachmann and Perry seem like viable candidates. Certainly, the damage that electing someone like that would do to our country would be incalculable, but so is the damage that Obama has done by making right-of-Reagan appear to be left-socialist.

  45. 45
    ABL says:

    “The president can’t do what you want him to do”

    another failure of reading comprehension.

    try this:

    “The president can’t always do what you want him to do.”

  46. 46
    different church-lady says:

    @Daveboy: If he did it 1 time out of ten, it would still be more than the other guy.

    It’s like the freakin’ marshmellow test, except that the scientist says to the kid, “I’ll give you one marshmellow now, but if you don’t take it now then in 10 minutes… I’ll give you no marshmellows. In fact, I’ll take all the marshmellows out of all the stores for the next 4 years,” and the kid says “I WANT THE WHOLE BAG RIGHT THIS SECOND!” and then ten thousand people write idiotic shit about the whole thing on the intertubes.

  47. 47
    gwangung says:

    @Daveboy:

    I also really enjoy everyone saying, “The president can’t do what you want him to do” while simultaneously crying, “If Obama loses IT’S OVER, YOU HAVE FUCKED US ALL.” Either the presidency can’t do shit and doesn’t matter, or is an important position that can move society in different directions – please pick one guys.

    Nope. That’s binary thinking. How about, “Presidency can make positive change slowly, but can make things worse very quickly, because they have more help in the latter than the former.”

  48. 48
    Li says:

    Ha!

    You are still seing everything as a horse race rather than a fight for your lives. Don’t fool yourself. Obama might well have voted for the AUMF if he had been there at the time; his separation from the Iraq debacle (which he has only expanded into other countries) was ideal from a deception standpoint, so that he could get the support of the progressives and liberals that he disdains. And I doubt that Edwards would have used the AUMF as a carte blanche to murder anyone anytime anywhere in the world, merely on the declaration of our ruler, like Obama has.

  49. 49
    sherparick says:

    @Pliny: I would really like to hear the argument from folks like you Pliny (and Ralph Nader) how in this continental, tribal, and fractured country your agenda is going to win. We have been waiting a 100 years since the time of Eugene Debs and the Wobblies when the Socialist Party got 6% of the vote and Teddy Roosevelt got 27.5% as a the Progressive nominee, of an electorate that was then all male and mostly all white. This is a continental size country, riven with deep tribal, religious, and sectional divisions that transcend economic class. Further, the Conservative Movement has made it quite clear that their strategy if a Democrat is elected, whoever he is, is to make the country ungovernable and him/her to fail. And apparently you want to help them.

    I have written many critical posts about President Obama and the mistakes in economic policy he has made (and which have come back to bite him big time). But he considerably better than the alternative which will claim an election victory as a mandate to repeal the New Deal and for that matter the 20th century.

  50. 50
    soonergrunt says:

    @Li: You love watching the point, and the world, fly right past you as you sit in your little Purity Throne, don’t you?

  51. 51
    Zandar says:

    I love it.

    People still think the 2012 election is about what you personally want, rather than what’s good for the country.

    What’s good for the country is not having it run by Republican assclowns, because even this thread thick with the “I only like Obama 1 out of 10” crowd has to admit Perry’s still worse.

    Get over yourself or we’re fucked, period.

  52. 52
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Miracle Max: Um,who among these people could win the general election if they won a primary against Obama? Seriously. Show your work too please.

  53. 53
    Yutsano says:

    @Miracle Max:

    Russ Feingold

    Voted for Iraq War and lost last election and refuses so far to run in another.

    Bob Reich

    Never held a political office. And to get shallow, he’s short. 5’3″ next to Obama is funny.

    Howard Dean

    Already lost a Democratic primary and hasn’t done boo since.

    Cornel West

    LOLwut?

    Byron Dorgan

    The man not brave enough to try and get re-elected in his own state?

    Chris Dodd

    Who has been representing banksters his whole career.

    Here’s my point: THERE IS NO FUCKING PURE PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATE. Anywhere. Stop trying to come up with delusions of grandeur. We have an election to win.

    @Zandar: THIS AD INFINITUM.

  54. 54
    butler says:

    And I doubt that Edwards would have used the AUMF as a carte blanche to murder anyone anytime anywhere in the world, merely on the declaration of our ruler, like Obama has.

    And this insight is based on… what? A magical look through the “What if?” machine?

  55. 55
    seriously says:

    Barry could murder a classroom of schoolchildren and ABL would still insist that opposition is counterproductive.

    You see, it’s not about his policies.

  56. 56
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Yutsano: Smootch!

    And once again I shall ask,to all of you who think someone else can win the General Election instead of Obama…WHO? And Please Tell Me Why,show your work. Defend your position.

  57. 57
    different church-lady says:

    @Yutsano:

    Bob Reich
    Never held a political office.

    To amplify: couldn’t even make a dent in the democratic primary for Mass. governor. (And I love the guy, but facts is facts.)

  58. 58
    singfoom says:

    So how does one nudge the President away from Wall Street money? I ask as someone who is definitely voting for him in 2012 and who thinks the primaries are stupid and won’t accomplish anything, but is terribly disappointed with this administration’s response to the Financial Scandal.

    Seriously, how as a voter can I even create the idea of a nudge in that direction? I get it, Republicans will destroy us/ eat our babies/ their babies / all babies unless we re-elect Obama.

    I think it would be good for the country if we actually had a sane fiscal policy. Note, I do not think that the administration is the only institution to blame for not cleaning up the financial mess, but they could have done more.

  59. 59
    ABL says:

    @Zandar: a million times this.

  60. 60
    eemom says:

    bwaaahaaaahaaaahaaaaa

    TBogg has an awesome post up about the Nader love for Palin, and the Janebots are tearing into him like a pack of ravenous wolves.

    heeheeeheeeheeheee

  61. 61
    Catsy says:

    Co-motherfucking-signed.

  62. 62
    Cap'n Magic says:

    Sorry, gang, but its too late. When Obama threw his lot with Summers and the rest of the Clinton economic retreads, threw Volker under the bus and failed to back Warren that was the end. The only way that Obama wins is if Romney doesn’t get the GOP slot.

  63. 63
    different church-lady says:

    @singfoom: I see you’re actually attempting to move the ball down the field here. I expect the usual suspects will be along shorty to place it back on the one yard line.

    (And no, I don’t have any answers to your questions.)

  64. 64
    Li says:

    You are all missing the point. If we expect to win this with elections, we loose. The game is rigged. There is no opposition. If you wish to continue shaking the left hand of the devil, because the right hand is so much worse, then you have lost. It’s time to start a new party that represents the interests of the majority, or revolt. End of story.

  65. 65
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Li:

    Your thinking is extremely juvenile. Someone above pointed out the marshmallow test, and I think you fit that perfectly. Choosing a politician to best represent your interest is all about the lesser of (in America) two evils. Who exactly can you get elected that can best represent your interests?

    Instead you fight for purity, and you end up with nothing. But I think that is how you like it. That way, you can bitch and moan to your heart’s content.

    If you were part of a religion, you would belong to the Brothers and Sisters of Perpetual Victimhood.

  66. 66
    eHombre says:

    Um, obviously, yes, **Politics Is A Team Sport**

    If you would like the health care/financial reforms (even if you think they were insufficient) replaced by nothing at all, then sure, primary Obama.

    If the idea of Justice Alito as the Supreme Court’s swing vote sounds great to you, then sure, primary Obama.

    If you really think Republicans have become any less militaristic (hint: they’re only against Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya because it’s Obama who’s doing the bombing; just wait until you see Pres. Perry’s Axis of Evil 2.0), then sure, primary Obama.

    But if you want our government to implement more liberal policies, listen to @Mumphrey. Support President Obama; remember, he’s on your side (no, really, he is!). And go out and work to elect more Democrats at the local level so the president can actually get sh*t done.

  67. 67
    Paula says:

    Seriously. “Progressive candidate” my ass. I pointed out to some Edwards supporter during the primaries that his list of “Foreign Policy Advisors” were a grocery list of R & D execs from military contractors — and the supporter basically hemmed and hawed and said that it didn’t matter because domestic policy would rule and Edwards didn’t care about doing stuff overseas.

    PEEPLZ ON DA INTERTOOBZ SO SMART. WE SHUD LISTEN TO DEM!

  68. 68
    Daveboy says:

    @ABL – I mean what I am saying sincerely: If you ask me to “call out Obama” for his (IMO) atrocious policies, but expect me to vote for him regardless of what he does, you are for all intents and purposes telling me to “shut up and support the President”, because my criticism now has no teeth at all. Bitching at a politician while simultaneously promising to vote for him/her no matter what is a great way to be ignored by that politician about everything, forever. This article, boiled down, is “Bitch all you like, but hold your nose, and vote for the guy.” Which makes you powerless.

    One more thing: if there was a pure progressive candidate, y’all would be telling me not to vote for him because REMEMBER NADER and UNELECTABLE and all that. Isn’t it odd how all the arguments come back around to “just Vote for Obama dude?”

    ABL thanks for engaging with me, I appreciate it.

  69. 69
    Elie says:

    @Tonybrown74:

    Don’t waste your time. Its a fetish with these folks.. kinda like they have some sort of autism… they can’t enjoy or share any successes that this President or the communnity of Democrats experience because of their obsession with markers of the “true faith”. They have no understanding of the reciprocity of relationships and consider loyalty, that isnt chapter and verse consistent with their beliefs, to be a sell out.

    They will never see it — indeed, are not able to see what you mean or any of the logic of it. Its their fetish and fixation which remains inacessible to any other consideration.

  70. 70
    Miracle Max says:

    Mom — if you read my original comment again you’ll see I acknowledged that a primary candidate could not beat Obama, much less a general. Its value would be educational, since Obama has done a lot to muddy the general understanding of progressive ideas and solutions.

    Yutsano — nobody said or thinks there is a pure progressive candidate. The idea is that some kind of progressive debating Obama, who is not progressive, would elevate the discourse among Democrats, maybe get more of them to vote than otherwise. After all, disseminating progressive views ought to make people more determined to beat Perry/Romney/MickeyMouse, not less.

  71. 71
    Li says:

    The lesser of two evils means letting evil rule over you forever, while wrecking the world for future generations in the process. You might be happy with that, you lickspittle.

    I am not.

    Let me put it this way; if we continue to elect good democrats that let disasters like the Gulf Oil Spill go unpunished and unchallenged, then the Earth is over. There will be no limits put upon the destruction that our leaders and their corporate masters will wreck upon our world, and your children will die of lung disease or cancer with curses for you and your foolishness in their throats. Victory!

  72. 72

    @Miracle Max:

    I think that Robert Reich is not as liberal as you might like. He really is centrist.

  73. 73
    A Mom Anon says:

    @singfoom: That’s an awesome question. Citizen’s United has made the problem worse so I have no idea. It’s going to have to be incremental and the public needs to be more educated. In other words it’s going to take a long time to undo the mess. Meanwhile,I think we need to begin locally,just like the GOP did in the late 60s and early 70s. We need to take back the school boards and city councils and the like. The older generation needs to educate the younger generation too. The GOP does it,we need to do it better and smarter.

  74. 74
    Cat Lady says:

    some guy – literally his nym – proposed Rosanne Barr in Dennis’s thread last night. That’s how far down the rabbit hole some of these idjits have gone. These purity trolls just can’t be taken seriously. They have the temperament and attention span of a three year old in the midst of a tantrum. We go around and around with them here – they’re so Disappointed, but can’t name anyone who can turn Blue Dogs into progressive heroes and make Eric Cantor cry, and to point that out to them that that person doesn’t exist means we’re Obot cultists who are deluded into thinking that voting and working to elect better Democrats matters, because they’re going to stay home, which will show Obama how serious they are because they’re the base. The stupid does burn.

  75. 75
    ABL says:

    @singfoom: i’m not sure how one goes about nudging this president away from wall street money, but i would say, if we work harder to elect progressive democrats in local elections across the board, that will go a long way to making sure the next democratic president won’t be beholden to corporate interests.

    there’s absolutely no question that both sides are beholden to corporate interests. the question becomes, which “corporatist” will work to advance progressive goals.

    the answer to that question is NEVER “a republican one.”

    This article on how the Tea Party took over Wisconsin is very instructive.

    They built the Tea Party movement brick by brick from the bottom. They inculcated ordinary people with their free market talky talky and those ordinary people ran for school boards, city council, etc.

    Enter the American Majority.

    On Saturday, at about the exact moment Michael Moore was addressing 40,000 people at the Capitol (and comparing events in Madison to those in Egypt), about four-and-a-half miles away at the Vitense driving range and minigolf course, the American Majority was holding a sold-out day-long training event. The event, in partnership with the Sauk County Tea Party, consisted of lessons like “Implementing Freedom” which teaches “how to plan a campaign, fine tune your communication skills, and fundraise.” The event provided “an opportunity to meet other patriots in your community, the seminar provides an opportunity to network and learn from grassroots organizers with successful campaign experience.”

    Now, is that “community organizing?” Because it uses the both those words and sure as hell sounds like community organizing.

    American Majority brags that it trained 27 city council candidates in Oklahoma and saw 17 of them win. More importantly, the group claims that all but one of those 17 had never run for office before.

    In an interview with WisPolitics, a co-founder of the Virginia-based organization, Drew Ryun said, “The letter behind that candidates’ name to some extent does not matter… What matters is are these folks at any level of government that are advancing free market conservative principals.”

    I will never understand why folks on the left think electing a super progressive POTUS will solve the problem of conservadems and Republicans in the majority of local and congressional elected positions.

    Bottom up, folks.

    (i never can figure out how to deal with block quotes and hard returns. meh.)

  76. 76
    Brian R. says:

    Yes, yes, yes. A million times, yes.

    And this part needs to be repeated:

    Keep in mind that you are unlikely to get any lumps; it’ll be some other poor losers, but, hey, eggs and omelettes and all that, right?

    It’s never someone who depends on Social Security or Medicaid to survive who talks about primarying Obama. It’s always some safe and secure ivory tower dipshit whose personal life won’t be affected by a Republican presidency in any way.

  77. 77
    Pliny says:

    @ABL:

    You really are hilarious. Why did they vote against that list of things? Because Barack Obama supported them, REGARDLESS OF THE SUBSTANCE. Should a Republican win the next election, gaze with wonder and amazement as ideas they supported in the past and opposed under Obama magically transform overnight into things they can really get behind. On the flip side, notice the near-complete silence coming from Congressional Democrats regarding Barry’s ownership of the Bush/Cheney Constitution-shredding machine. I wonder what they’ll say a few years down the line when a Republican continues doing the exact same things Obama is doing right now?

    By the way, are you planning a post telling us why we should support Obama’s forthcoming veto of Palestinian statehood OR ELSE THE REPUBLICANS WIN???

  78. 78
    butler says:

    go out and work for the candidates in the primaries who fit your bill. Show up at their offices and do shitty, dull work for them. Trudge through the rain canvassing on an October Saturday when you’d much rather be at home. Send them some money. If you don’t like who’s running, run yourself.

    This is the most important part of this piece. The biggest return for your political investment is going to come at levels lower than the Presidency. Local office, state office, Congress, Governorship… all of these things matter, in some cases MORE than who controls the Presidency. These are battles which need to be fought and won constantly. I guarantee there is one near you.

    Giving a Primary challenge to the President is ultimately about one thing: ego. Its an undertaking that, at best, will fail quickly and quietly, and at worst will result in your worst possibly electoral outcome coming true. But it sure makes the ego feel good, doesn’t it? Knowing you didn’t “sell out” like the rest of the proles? I bet West and Nader really love to look up again and see their names in the papers, maybe take another more trips around the talking head circuit?

    Here is the reality: barring an untimely death, the next President of the United States will either be Obama, or the Republican nominee. That’s it. That’s the choice. It sucks, but that’s the state of things. So either start (and successfully carry out) an actual revolution to replace the system, or pick between those two. Which pivot point do you want when legislation comes down the pipeline from Congress? Who do you want pressing the agenda for the next 4 years? Which guy would you rather want sitting on the back porch of the White House drinking home brew? Most importantly: who do you want picking the next 1, 2, or even 3 Supreme Court Justices?

    After you have made your pick, go out and get some progressives elected to Congress.

  79. 79
    Elie says:

    @Li:

    Prince Valiant! Tally Ho!

    Raise your Swords all ye who gather! We Must Ride at First Light to tackle the Dragons of Doom!

  80. 80
    Gretchen says:

    I live in hard-red Kansas. All the Daily Kos folks rail against the Blue Dogs, and they have no idea what it’s like out here. I went to the first organizing meeting when Dennis Moore ran as a Democrat for congress, and the lady who was leading the meeting said “a Democrat CAN win in Johnson County!” I thought “Don’t be delusional. We have to run somebody for pride’s sake, but there’s no way he’s going to win” He did win, and served for ten years, and the progressives said we ought to be punishing the Blue Dogs for not toeing the progressive line. They didn’t understand that Rep. Moore was doing the very best he could with the constituents he had to work with. He retired last year, and was replaced by a tea-partier. So are we better off having gotten rid of an impure Dem? I’m hoping for a strong Democrat to run next year, but not holding my breath. Out here in Kansas, the choice is Blue Dog or Tea Party. Progressives don’t exist.

  81. 81
    fuckwit says:

    Fucking awesome. Thank you for this.

  82. 82
    Brian R. says:

    I’m not sure which is sadder, the fact that “accept and vote for the corrupt establishment douchebag because OOGA BOOGA REPUBLICANS” is being offered as a strategy, or the fact that most commenters are going to love the shit out of it.

    Can I vote for “c” — the idea that Obama is a “corrupt establishment douchebag”?

  83. 83
    Paula says:

    Citizen’s United fucked leftist shit worse than a turkey on Thanksgiving.

    Many people are willing to excuse or downplay that decision because they are a bunch of dumb fucks.

    Let these people run a primary. Just don’t let them come crying like a bunch of babies if or when they 1) have so little support that they are laughed out of any viable future political careers or 2) actually weaken Barack Obama.

    Vote however you want. Just be ready to deal with the consequences, which will included ridicule and blame, and don’t say you weren’t warned. All I ask is that if they want to wear their big-boy pants they shouldn’t revert to being babies after things don’t turn out the way they like.

  84. 84
    Ash Can says:

    @Yutsano: This isn’t a thread, it’s a shit-show fail parade. Like all the others.

    How so many people can be so thoroughly ignorant of how the American political system actually works is amazing enough, but the fact that this doesn’t stop them from expounding on the subject is what really makes my ass tired. The aversion to reality on the left is of the same cloth as the aversion on the right, and in fact it’s often difficult to tell the two apart.

  85. 85
    Poopyman says:

    Obama is only the Executive in our system, and he can’t do much about the Legislative branch we the people send him, but ask yourself whether you’d like the next two Supreme Court justices to be chosen by Obama or by Mitt/Rick Romney/Perry.

  86. 86
    different church-lady says:

    @Daveboy:

    Bitching at a politician while simultaneously promising to vote for him/her no matter what is a great way to be ignored by that politician about everything, forever.

    You’re pointing out why we’re never going to get out of this debate: because both what you said there AND what To Many Etc Etc Etc said is true.

    This article, boiled down, is “Bitch all you like, but hold your nose, and vote for the guy.” Which makes you powerless.

    But that’s not what it boiled down to. It boiled down to “You’re going to get less than you like or you’re going to get less than nothing. Please stop pretending there’s no difference.”

  87. 87
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Li: Then what do you suggest we do? Be constructive please.

  88. 88
    Wrong Numbers says:

    I think the 0, 8, 10 is kind of ridiculous. Probably 2, 3, 8 is more realistic. In other words, Obama and Romney probably wouldn’t be that different on policy. Obama pretends to be a progressive to energize his base, Romney, who brought healthcare to MA, pretends to be a wingnut to his. In the end, Romney might not do that much differently than Obama, and the benefit of Romney being in the WH is that liberals would actually go ape when he tried to imprison Bradley Manning indefinitely in solitary without charges, assassinate American citizens without due process, immunize torturers, extend the Bush tax cuts, cut Medicare, etc. Now, like this poster, liberals police dissenters in their own party when they speak out. If Obama goes down, maybe the next dem president realizes he can’t ignore his base. If Obama wins despite ignoring his base, politics shift ever rightward.

  89. 89
    burnspbesq says:

    @Daveboy:

    I don’t see any point in continuing

    Good. GTFO and stay out of the way while the adults do what’s best for you, whether you realize it or not.

    P.S. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

  90. 90
    AkaDad says:

    It’s been 3 years since Hillary lost and her supporters still haven’t gotten over it. At least we know who to blame if Perry gets elected.

    Let’s make a deal. Vote for Obama in 2012 and in 2016 I’ll vote for Hillary.

  91. 91
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    FDR SOLD US OUT! HE WAS NO BETTER THAN HERBERT HOOVER!

    @singfoom:

    and who thinks the primaries are stupid and won’t accomplish anything, but is terribly disappointed with this administration’s response to the Financial Scandal

    And yet for the moderated fixes the Obama administration did Obama has been labeled the American Joesph Stalin. Go look at the “going gault” tag in this blog. The real problem isn’t Obama, the real problem is the elite in this country are on a massive ego trip and throw massive temper tantrum over anything that even resembles criticism.

  92. 92
    Paula says:

    Also, they oughta quit calling themselves “left” or “far left” or whatever.

    There’s representing actual political and policy POV of the Greens and the small-s so.shu.ma.lists in overturning large parts of the system—and then there’s wanting to score points/create publicity with the voting public by dinging one of the two big tent parties.

  93. 93
    trollhattan says:

    @eemom:

    I see we’ve got us a whole plethora of shiny new trolls. Slow day over at FDL?

    Actually, no, there’s a metric buttload of butthurt being unleashed at tbogg’s shop.

    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2.....eeks-same/

    They’re multitasking!

  94. 94
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Li:

    Let me put it this way; if we continue to elect good democrats that let disasters like the Gulf Oil Spill go unpunished and unchallenged, then the Earth is over. Your children will die of cancer with curses for you and your foolishness in their throats. Victory!

    Juvenile.

    As long as there is more than one person required to vote, any election is always going to be about the lesser of a certain number of evils. To believe that this country is going to get the most progressive candidate YOU decide, simply by assigning a purity test in the primary shows that you have NO idea how elections and politics work.

    Elie is right … I need not waste my time on you any more.

  95. 95
    Arclite says:

    The point of an Obama primary challenge isn’t to field a general election candidate. Its to push him to realize his base desires liberal policy choices.

  96. 96
    JCJ says:

    @Samuel Knight:
    Perhaps Ted Kennedy did not lead to the result of Reagan, but was Reagan always in the lead vs. Carter in the early polling? 1980 was my first time voting and I remember Kennedy criticizing Carter. Why wouldn’t a voter hear that and think, “Wow, even his own party thinks he sucks.” In any event I never had any use for Kennedy after that. Then when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma and didn’t resign we ended up with Scott Brown instead of whoever would have been elected in 2008. Seems he and Nader are similar to me.
    (In case you don’t know glioblastoma has a very poor prognosis with Kennedy’s unfortunate outcome being what was expected)

  97. 97
    Elie says:

    @Gretchen:

    Now there you go again with REALITY…

    What you say is without a doubt, FACT. If we build more and better progressives, we will have to with selecting good candidates, (not a trivial consideration) and good staffs who know and can relate to the community, tailoring the progressive message to a context that the locals can feel. Too many of the times, local Democratic organizations are weak or suck and the first battle becomes taking THOSE over (no mean feat)

    So alls you Prince and Princess Valiants out there – “Get to Work!”

  98. 98
    Pliny says:

    @Brian R.:

    If you don’t think Barack Obama is a corrupt, establishment douchebag, perhaps you haven’t taken a look at such things as: his cabinet/economic advisers (that covers “corrupt” and “establishment” nicely, I think); and his murder of children via flying sky robots (if that doesn’t make someone a douchebag, I don’t know what does). Some other examples from the article were Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu, basically walking examples of corrupt, establishment douchebag.

    @A Mom Anon:

    Here’s mine: stop making “because at least they aren’t a Republican” the driving factor behind your vote for a Democrat.

  99. 99
    feebog says:

    Some very short memories on display here. If the last 30 years since Reagan has not convinced you that Republicans suck at governing and are permenently yoked by special interests then you simply have not been paying attention. Have I been disappointed by some of the things this administration has done? Hell yes. Afghanistan and the recent EPA decision readily come to mind.

    On the other hand, DADT expired last night. Permenently. No executive order that the next Republican President could undo. Expired. By law. And I could name a dozen more positve things over the past two and half years. When I look at the 2012 election, I am concerned with three things; keeping the Senate (tough slog there); retaking the House (doable if the Boner keeps on obstructing); and reelecting a Democratic President who may be replacing one or more additional Supreme Court Justices in the next 5 years. Thats it. Regain a majority in both houses and retain a Democrat in the White House.

  100. 100
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Arclite:

    The point of an Obama primary challenge isn’t to field a general election candidate. Its to push him to realize his base desires liberal policy choices.

    It’s Quixiotic, silly, and narcissistic, but more than that it’s destructive to the progressive agenda. Following the logic of this post, you’re pushing away from 8 out of 10 and towards 0 out of 10. That’s not smart politics.

    The Perfect IS the enemy of the Good.

  101. 101
    different church-lady says:

    @Li: Yeah, you’re right! How the hell are we ever going to levitate if so many people keep insisting that gravity exists?

  102. 102
    Paula says:

    What’s hilarious is that most motherfuckers can’t deal with the idea of going third party. I mean, why waste the effort on the big tent when actual left parties might need your help?

    No, you want the vanity of saying you still “matter” within the mainstream political cosmos without working to build a reliable representative constituency for your POV.

  103. 103
    soonergrunt says:

    @Miracle Max: I think you missed the part that included “electable” at a national level:
    Russ Feingold–lost his own seat in the Senate
    Bob Reich–great guy, never ran for anything
    Howard Dean–couldn’t win his own party’s national primary and governed liberal Vermont like a centrist.
    Cornel West–never ran for anything, can’t win the party primary–possibly couldn’t win a primary of African American voters, but ABL would be better suited to address that.
    Byron Dorgan–who?
    Chris Dodd–more with the failing to win primaries against other Democrats, and is a tool of the very moneyed interests you are complaining about as Senator from Conn.
    So really, dude–are you fucking kidding?

  104. 104
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cap’n Magic:

    Thank you for telling us that. I guess we’ll take your word and just sit on our hands now.

  105. 105
    ruemara says:

    @singfoom:

    You nudge the president to the left by electing congressional representative that are left. Also, by not ignoring congress and the presidency and the down ticket races until 4 years pass.

  106. 106
    soonergrunt says:

    @Arclite: And the point of licking arsenic-laced lollypops isn’t necessarily to die but that tends to happen rather predictably too, now doesn’t it?

  107. 107

    @Miracle Max:

    As I understand it, you want to be heard. Is this right?

  108. 108
    Li says:

    Tonybrown74

    This is not a game. If we cannot solve this problem with elections, then what are we to do? Lay down and allow our Earth to be destroyed by these fools and their corporate masters? Do you want your children to live? It is that serious, if our oceans die, if our atmosphere is destroyed, then we are dead. Dead, dead, dead. You might think that concern about the future survival of the human race is juvenile. But you are mistaken.

    If we can’t bring these planet destroying idiots to heel with elections, then do you have the strength to look your children in the eyes and say “I know that you are the last generation of the human race, and I am sorry. But since we couldn’t solve this problem in a ballot box, without danger to myself, I decided that it was better that you should die.”

    You might be ‘mature’ enough to make that decision, but count me out. It is our responsibility to revolt if we cannot solve this problem otherwise, because our very survival is at stake. It is typical for cowards to think of their cowardice as maturity, but it is not.

  109. 109
    Li says:

    Tonybrown74

    This is not a game. If we cannot solve this problem with elections, then what are we to do? Lay down and allow our Earth to be destroyed by these fools and their corporate masters? Do you want your children to live? It is that serious, if our oceans die, if our atmosphere is destroyed, then we are dead. Dead, dead, dead. You might think that concern about the future survival of the human race is juvenile. But you are mistaken.

    If we can’t bring these planet destroying idiots to heel with elections, then do you have the strength to look your children in the eyes and say “I know that you are the last generation of the human race, and I am sorry. But since we couldn’t solve this problem in a ballot box, without danger to myself, I decided that it was better that you should die.”

    You might be ‘mature’ enough to make that decision, but count me out. It is our responsibility to revolt if we cannot solve this problem otherwise, because our very survival is at stake. It is typical for cowards to think of their cowardice as maturity, but it is not.

  110. 110
    Legalize says:

    Christ, Nader got the NHTSA passed in the 60s. 12 years ago helped cock-block Al Gore and make a path for the resulting installation of GWB. Thanks for the seat belts though.

    9 months ago, President Obama got DADT repealed, and 18 months ago he got us a big step closer to universal health care coverage – the biggest step since the 60s. And every few months when the hostage-takers strap on a suicide vest and point a gun at our collective heads, Obama manages to get away with the hostage, keep the hostage-takers from blowing up the city.

    And then he gets to deal with Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman.

    What the fuck?

  111. 111
    28 Percent says:

    ROFL – look, the frenetic hand-wringing about some blogger is getting excited 14 months before a national election and is making noise about primarying the President is the biggest pile of “so what?” like maybe ever. Because the President isn’t going to be primaried. It’s already a year too late for him to be primaried. A primary contender would have to have been pounding pavement in New Hampshire and in Iowa and would have been having to work the cocktail circuit in New York and LA and DC for almost a year already. He (or she) would have had to have volunteers out getting signatures on petitions all accross the country all this past summer even to show up on the ballot in the primaries. Whether or not it would be ill-advised is moot. If Cornell West and Ralph Nader want to get a headline or two, let them. Nobody’s going to even be looking at the Democrats until the convention because the Dem nomination is a done deal and even if it weren’t, unless we change our rules so that the Dem nominee is chosen by a Reality TV process something like American Idol meets Fear Factor on Paradise Island, we cannot compete with the Republican nomination process for sheer entertainment value.

    So as truly delightful as the fervent efforts here to get the other voters who agree with you on 8 out of 10 points to just shut up because of wow are, and as amusing as it is on a meta-level to watch people engage in infighting by arguing that infighting is destructive, arguing with your allies about something that 1. was out of either yours or their hands in the first place and 2. you’ve already won by default, is almost as politically ill advised as primarying a relatively popular sitting President.

  112. 112

    @Zandar: Since the GOP platform for 2012 is “Anyone But Obama”, our slogan needs to be, “Yeah, but Perry…?”

  113. 113
    Elizabelle says:

    @JCJ:

    Yeah, I have some serious problems with Saint Teddy, for all the good he did.

    Believe he passed on Richard Nixon’s plan to expand private insurance coverage because he thought he could get a better deal?

    That worked out swell.

  114. 114
    beergoggles says:

    I’ll agree on this when it comes to the president. Just not going there when it comes to congresscritters. There’s certain party platforms a congressional candidate should not cross and there should be penalties for crossing them – like losing their support. If good behavior isn’t rewarded and bad behavior punished, they will never learn.

  115. 115
    scav says:

    For those that might need a quick break, a smoke and a giggle, here’s the totally unsurprising OT info that Peta really is planning a pr0n site for realio-trulio. All cucumbers, aubergines and zucchini beware!

  116. 116
    gene108 says:

    @Samuel Knight:

    Although people love to talk about primaries weakening candidates and the DNC does everything to discourage primaries, there is little to no evidence that a primary challenge weakens the candidate. However incumbents have a massive interest in perpetuating this myth – because it increases their chance of staying in office.

    The Republicans showed us what getting a dream candidate in the general can do for your overall election chances.

    Exhibit A: Christine “Not a Witch” O’Donnell, R-Senate candidate in Delaware, in 2010

    Exhibit B: Sharron “Pay the doctor with Chickens” Angle, Senate candidate, 2010, Nevada.

    Delaware was a sure shot win for Republicans, but the base decided their Congressman – a state wide office in Delaware – wasn’t pure enough for their tastes and nominated O’Donnell, who had clarify, before the election in November about her status as a witch.

    The alternative, in our two party system, is between Democrats and Republicans. You have an unelectable Democrat and the electorate will chose a Republican.

  117. 117
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Li: You sure talk a lot of tough shit on a fucking blog don’t you?

  118. 118
    Elie says:

    @Ash Can:

    They have fetishes and obsessions that are not accessible to logic or new information. The rigidity, the inability to understand “loyalty” or prioritizing competing values, is a feature, not a bug. They can’t share any understanding of hard fought successes that do not meet the hard coded criteria, which are frequently narcissistic ideas they have about how things should be, rather than any other valid source — such as the Constitution. Yes, they share many things with some of the same personality types on the right who are also inacessible to logic or other rational input.

    Toy with them if you must for entertainment, but it aint going anywhere. You will never convince them of anything. Like impaired Savants, they are going to play that piece on the piano until their cold fingers have to be pried from the keys.

  119. 119
    different church-lady says:

    @Legalize:

    9 months ago, President Obama got DADT repealed, and 18 months ago he got us a big step closer to universal health care coverage – the biggest step since the 60s. And every few months when the hostage-takers strap on a suicide vest and point a gun at our collective heads, Obama manages to get away with the hostage, keep the hostage-takers from blowing up the city.

    WHAT? NO GRAVY?

  120. 120
    Li says:

    Better than being chicken shit all the time, I think.

  121. 121
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Pliny: Oh for fucks sake. Then I suppose I have two choices left. Vote for the republican or stay home. I asked for constructive ideas,that’s not close. But thanks for playing.

    Again,this shit didn’t happen overnight. The GOP has been at this for at least two generations,three really. And they did not start at the federal level,they started at the very bottom(while working from the top down as well,actually). They’ve been organized and relentless. We could learn from that in alot of ways.

    Also,for you 3rd party people out there pay attention to who’s running that show. In GA the Greens and the GOP run in exactly the same circles. Now why would that be?

  122. 122
    Elizabelle says:

    @trollhattan:

    Love it.

    TBogg’s blogpost title re Nader praising Palin:

    Attention Whore Seeks Same

  123. 123
    eHombre says:

    @Daveboy

    There’s presidential politics, and then there’s everything else. Here’s how it works:

    In presidential politics, you work to get your favorite candidate nominated by your party. A realistic assessment of your candidates’ general election chances is also in order here.

    When your unicorn candidate doesn’t win the nomination, you support your party’s nominee, because he/she supports 80% of what you support. Remember, he/she would become the head of the entire executive branch, which, for better or worse, is in charge of most of the government agencies.

    Finally, if this person becomes president, barring some truly MASSIVE act of betrayal (yeah, no), you support him/her for not four, but eight years. Your next opportunity to elect more progressive candidates comes during the next open primary.

    IN THE MEANTIME, you work to elect more progressive congresscritters, the ones who will actually shift the dial to the left.

  124. 124
    soonergrunt says:

    @A Mom Anon:

    Be constructive please.

    Being constructive does not appear to be the point of this exercise for them, but good on you for being optimistic!

  125. 125
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Li: Again,what is the answer to actually make things better? I want to hear concrete DOABLE ideas.

  126. 126
    cintibud says:

    @Li: Did you pick up Tony Starks Iron Man suit? Cause that the only way you have hope to make the changes you would like in the short term. In the long term we can only hope for steady progress. A republican presidency at this point would be disastrous to that progress – re: Supreme Court.

  127. 127
    gogol's wife says:

    @Miracle Max:

    Hahahahahaha

    Cornel West. Wow.

  128. 128
    A Mom Anon says:

    @soonergrunt: LOL,there is a method to my madness and sunny optimism. heh.

  129. 129
    eemom says:

    This is a new wrinkle on the old evil vs. stupid debate.

    I will give the trolls on this thread the benefit of the doubt and assuming they aren’t paid whores of Uncle Grover and Aunt Jane. (though knowing how Lady Jane loves to shriek that accusation at so much as a whisper of disagreement in her direction, ya do gotta wonder…)

    I will also give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they don’t want this country and everybody in it except the superrich to be flushed down the toilet come 2013.

    That leaves only two possibilites: hopelessly naive or criminally stupid.

  130. 130
    Ash Can says:

    News flash to all the pearl clutchers, crusaders, Maoists, Naderites, and other purists on this thread: Unless and until you are a reliable, consistent Democratic vote — and that does mean, no matter who the Dems run — YOU ARE BY DEFINITION NOT “THE BASE.”

  131. 131
    Brian R. says:

    @Pliny:

    If you don’t think Barack Obama is a corrupt, establishment douchebag

    Or perhaps I live in a place called “the real world.” Have fun on Planet Unicorn.

    I’ll be sure to tell my friends who’ve benefited from health care reform, the repeal of DADT and the Lily Ledbetter Act that you said they can go fuck themselves.

  132. 132
    Catsy says:

    @Loneoak: Also, this.

    Choose the lesser of two evils. This country will never be want you want it to be, whiny liberal person.

    This is not a complicated piece of math or logic. It boggles the mind how so many so-called progressives are incapable of grasping it.

    It is a structural and mathematical certainty in the way our two-party system is designed that there will be two major, viable candidates in any given presidential election–and that one of those two, and only one of those two, is going to win.

    Period. This is a fact. If we cannot even agree on that fundamental truth, you are too ignorant of history or detached from reality to have an opinion about American politics worth anyone’s time.

    Moving on from there.

    Of those two major candidates, one of those will be more favorable towards the policies and positions you prefer, and one will be worse. Again, this is a fact.

    Don’t believe me? Quick reality check: do you care about gay rights? Name one single GOP presidential candidate who would be better on that issue than Obama. Name one who would have allowed DADT to be repealed. I’ll wait.

    Don’t care about gay rights? Whatever. How about women’s rights? I absolutely defy you to name one of the GOP candidates who would’ve signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Or who would be anything but deferential to anti-choice religious fanatics.

    The list goes on. It is really not difficult to figure out. Maybe you don’t care about those issues. Maybe you do, but they’re not your pet issue. So find something else. Pick a given issue, and I will guarantee you that at least 99% of the time, Obama will be better on that issue in ways that you care about than any given Republican who has a snowflake’s chance in hell of getting the GOP nomination.

    The choice is not between Obama and your perfect fantasy candidate. Your fantasy candidate will not be elected President, period. The choice is between Obama and a Republican who on any given issue is at worst arguably equivalent, and who is inarguably worse when you look at the big picture, at the sum total of their records and positions.

    Your vote is, at worst, about choosing the lesser of two evils. So do you choose the lesser of the two evils, the greater of two evils, or do you stick your head in the sand?

    Because those are your only options. Anything else is living in a fantasy world. You don’t have to like that. I don’t. But it is a fact.

  133. 133
    AxelFoley says:

    Good God, already 130+ posts on this. Ah, should be interesting reading the responses…

  134. 134
    Brian R. says:

    @Pliny:

    stop making “because at least they aren’t a Republican” the driving factor behind your vote for a Democrat.

    Says the guy who makes “Obama is just a Republican” the driving factor behind his refusal to vote for the Democrat.

    Brilliant. Take the rest of the day off, champ.

  135. 135
    eemom says:

    @trollhattan:

    I wonder if T is taken aback at all by the reaction he’s getting.

    Maybe he will finally wake the hell up and haul his ass out of that cesspool.

  136. 136
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Catsy:
    Well said.

  137. 137
    Ash Can says:

    @Elie: Agreed. And I think your reference to narcissism is spot-on.

  138. 138
  139. 139
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Just to blow most of the people’s minds here, I’m pretty pleased with Obama’s performance – I’ll give him an 8/10 (sound familiar?) – and I think that primaring him will do absolutely nothing but hurt the Democratic party, and then the country if Obama loses. I thought Obama was the best candidate in 2008, and I still think he’s the best we can have as president.

    On the other hand, what’s killing us is Congress. And if you disagree, name me your favorite piece of Democratic legislation that passed without significant majorities and/or Republican help.

  140. 140
    lacp says:

    @A Mom Anon: One of my in-laws tells me the same situation exists in TX. It’s not like that with Greens here in Pennsylvania, but the fact that this is happening in GA and TX indicates to me that the national party organization should start paying more attention to what the state parties are doing.

  141. 141
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @eemom: Hey, the Flamethrower has his back. Are you banned over there? Sure would like to say hi to Norkse.

  142. 142
    Pliny says:

    @eemom:

    It really is amazing when you spell out exactly just how much you love to be completely and totally irrelevant. Here is what you are saying to the Democratic Party: “Run whomever you want, and I will always vote for them. I am totally convinced that the Republican agenda is so wildly different from yours that all you have to do is find someone to put a D next to and my decision is made.”

  143. 143
    Geoduck says:

    @Daveboy:

    Either the presidency can’t do shit and doesn’t matter, or is an important position that can move society in different directions – please pick one guys.

    The Presidency does has varying degrees of power. Right now, Obama can’t get much accomplished, because crazy people who want to destroy him are running the House. If Perry/Romney get elected, the House will do backflips and jump through hoops on command.

    As for the main point in all this.. I don’t suppose we could just have Obama have one debate with a strong progressive? No? Oh well..

  144. 144
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @A Mom Anon: “In GA the Greens and the GOP run in exactly the same circles.”

    huh?

  145. 145
    RossinDetroit says:

    I wanted filet mignon for lunch so I threw my pizza in the trash. Now I’m hungry. Curse you, Centrist Democrats!

  146. 146
    Li says:

    If you think that the only way that real change can happen short term is with super powers, then I suggest you go tell that to the people in Tahrir Square, in Pearl Square, in the blood stained streets of Syria and Yemen. Do you want real ways of changing things now? Disinvest from corporate america. Buy your food locally, bank locally, use as little energy as possible. Patronize only local businesses. Elect people who are not sold out, when available. If not, sit it out. Participating in rigged elections only validates them. And then, FIGHT! The people camped out on Wall St. have more chance of effecting real change short term than an infinite amount of elections choosing between the left and right hand of the devil. And trust me, given the current rate of environmental destruction, we don’t have time for long term planning. If we have only a few more Gulf Oil Spills or Fukushima fuckups, then this phase of human civilization will end in our lifetimes. We need to stop the corporate criminals. We need to cease the environmental destruction. And we need to mine those thousands of patents that are forcibly classified every year (4000+ a year every year since the 1940’s) to find solutions to our environmental problems. And we need it now. Failure means death, for you, and your children.

  147. 147
    soonergrunt says:

    @Ash Can:

    News flash to all the pearl clutchers, crusaders, Maoists, Naderites, and other purists on this thread: Unless and until you are a reliable, consistent Democratic vote—and that does mean, no matter who the Dems run—YOU ARE BY DEFINITION NOT “THE BASE.”

    This can’t be repeated enough.

  148. 148
    28 Percent says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Actually, a serious primary challenger is one of the Keys to the White House. Vanity candidacies that never gain traction don’t count as serious primary challenges.

    Incidentally, going by the Keys, Obama is a mortal lock for re-election, even with the economy in the crapper.

  149. 149
    LauraNo says:

    We should all be talking all the time to other people about our preferred policies and why we think they are better. No president can make the electorate as liberal as we would like. WE have to do that. As we did with DADT and as we are with DOMA. Then we give the president the room he needs to do those things we want. I wish someone like Oprah would publicize the issues to the trailer park crowd, I don’t mean that as an insult but there are many people who pay very little attention even to the news, nevermind politics.

  150. 150
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Elie: I’d kinda like it if we could step off the autism based insults. My kid is autistic and he’s not like that.

    I agree with you though. I’d attribute it more to wanting to be right more than anything else. Wanting to be right SO much in fact that they’d rather let everything burn than to acknowledge they can’t have everything right now. That it’s hard and it’s going to take at least a decade or more of incredibly hard work,disappointment and uphill climbing to even start to set things on a better path again.

    And this isn’t all about politics either. We can’t change hearts and minds by politics alone,our communities are blown apart. They need to be healed in as many ways as we can think of.

  151. 151
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Pliny: The mere fact that you refer to the President of the United States as “Barry” tells me all I need to know about you. Get your talking points from Rush this morning did you?

  152. 152
    trollhattan says:

    @eemom:

    Lord only knows how he’s tolerated the crazy factor this long or, frankly, why the Powers that Be haven’t given him the ol’ boot for not toting the corporate torch. I suspect he gets them a lot of hits. (Something I’d rather not do myself, but what can I say? Must. Have. Bassets.)

  153. 153
    different church-lady says:

    @Li: Wow. And getting rid of Obama is going to fix all that?

  154. 154
    Cap'n Magic says:

    @Elizabelle: You’re welcome. I know that there’s over a year between now and next November. But the fact that there are still no criminal indictments for the housing crises, Holder’s “nothing to see here” DOJ (save the bone being thrown against the AT&T/T-mobile ‘merger’) and the GOP being run by Dominionists, I don’t see things changing all that much. If the Euro contagion spreads here, 2008 will look like the good old days.

  155. 155

    It has become absolutely clear to me that there is nothing whatsoever, no argument, no appeal to reason, that is going to move the purists away from the position that OMG OBAMA BETRAYED US, HE’S AS BAD AS BUSH WAS, I’M STAYING HOME or its more toxic equivalent, OMG OBAMA BETRAYED US, HE’S AS BAD AS BUSH WAS, LET’S WORK TO UNSEAT HIM.

    If the Teahadist Takeover in 2010 didn’t show you what a completely counterproductive attitude that was, nothing will, and certainly not any number of blog posts which do nothing but provoke more tantrums, more accusations of “selling out” and “repressing dissent,” and more determination than ever to do exactly those things that will assure that the Tea Party–a minority, but one whose members DO turn out for elections– will pick our government for us.

    Therefore, I have come to believe firmly that we are going to have a Tea Party approved Republican President, House, and Senate in 2012.

    Thereafter, we will be irretrievably fucked.

    Where’s the best place to live in Canada?

  156. 156
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): where I am that was the case. I should have qualified that,sorry. When I first moved to the ‘burbs,I wanted to do something locally,so I went to GOP meetings,Dem meetings and Green party meetings. I saw GOP operatives(buddies of Ralph Reed actually)at the Green meetings,as actual party affiliated operatives.

    I am not as involved these days,my time is caught up in trying to help an autistic teen graduate from high school and dealing with that fun filled fiesta of FUBAR. So it may be different now. I hope so,but I wouldn’t be shocked if it hadn’t changed much.

  157. 157
    Maude says:

    We need John to do better quality control on the trolls. The recent ones aren’t even amusing.

  158. 158
    Pliny says:

    @Brian R.:

    That really is some impeccable logic. Barack Obama did some legitimately Good Things that have helped or will help lots of people, therefore he cannot be a corrupt douchebag, QED.

    Although then again, George W. Bush increased aid to Africa by billions of dollars and organized huge amounts of support in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami, so I should let him off the hook for his worldwide torture regime? Is that how this works?

  159. 159
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Arclite:

    The point of an Obama primary challenge isn’t to field a general election candidate. Its to push him to realize his base desires liberal policy choices.

    A thought experiment. How much support do you think the just-right liberal policy-backing primary challenger would draw? My upper-limit guess would be 15%. What’s yours?

  160. 160
    Ian says:

    @Li:
    A serious examination of Edwards voting record in the senate puts him strongly into blue dog territory.

    He was talk, not walk.

  161. 161
    Ash Can says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    what’s killing us is Congress.

    And how. Like the Mad Hungarian Jimperson says in his brilliant commentary, not all congresspersons are the same because not all districts and states are the same. And in some of them, as Gretchen @ #80 says, progressives simply do not exist. There’s no way a progressive legislator is going to be conjured out of thin air in those places. The only way to do it is from the ground up — years of education and reiteration, in neighborhood groups on up, of why the conservative agenda is bad for people and the progressive agenda isn’t.

  162. 162
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @A Mom Anon: Hmm, agents provocateurs like this Li jamoke.

  163. 163
    Svensker says:

    @Li:

    Oh. OK. I’ll get back to you. Real soon.

  164. 164
    LauraNo says:

    The two parties are not the same. One party (mostly) does believe in the right things but they have an evil opposition who is hell bent on ruining us. If you do not vote against that evil you are to blame for at least part of our problems.

  165. 165
    Pliny says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    It’s hilarious that you obviously ignored every other word I typed if you’re comparing me to Rush, but I’ll fix that for you anyway: President of the United States of America Barack Hussein Obama’s ownership of the Bush/Cheney Constitution-shredding machine.

  166. 166
    Gozer says:

    Wow. This thread asploded.

  167. 167
    eemom says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred):

    heh. I’ve been banned there since Bush was president.

    I’ve sneaked back in under various sockpuppets, but I’m never what you’d call subtle in my contempt for Her Ladyship, so after two or three comments old Eunuch-In-Chief always boots me out again.

  168. 168
    different church-lady says:

    @Pliny: Hey, that’s pretty cool, but you forgot to put Hussein in italics.

    For your next offering, try typing Osama by ‘mistake’. Laughs aplenty!

  169. 169
    Li says:

    different church-lady: Obama is an overglorified middle manager. He is not the problem, merely its current figurehead. Getting rid of him doesn’t solve the problem, nothing that can be done in the ballot box will. A primary would be the wrong idea, because it would reinforce the false belief that elections have consequences. They do not, except in the social sphere that our masters don’t care about. Most of them are screwing prostitutes and snorting coke, do you think they really care whether gay men can marry? But I assure you, regardless of who is in office, when BP tells them to jump, they will reply “How high?” And that is what really matters, folks.

    We need to solve this problem, OURSELVES. That will take courage, and will. It will mean abandoning our floundering 401ks and disinvesting in Wall St., and reinvesting in Main St., regardless of the penalties. It will mean taking the extra effort to not participate in the destruction of our world, this precious and irreplaceable jewel of a planet. It will take the strength to do without the luxuries we are accustomed to, to eat rat now rather than choke on oil later. But we can do it; we will do it. We must, because not doing so will create a future too horrible to contemplate.

  170. 170
    different church-lady says:

    @eemom:

    I’ve sneaked back in under various sockpuppets

    Point of order: I think you mean zombies, not sockpuppets.

  171. 171
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @eemom: I haven’t done that but I guess I could. I tried to get NF’s email but he wouldn’t come across.

  172. 172
    wrb says:

    Daveboy Li, Pliny and pals are either too dim and immature to be believed or are Redstate trolls.

    Well, only one of the above is believable.

    Absolute focus on identifying “the lesser of two [or 3 or 20] evils”

    Is how one successfully navigates life, the real one, the meat world one.

  173. 173
    different church-lady says:

    @Li: Only took 168 comments for you to start making some sense. Might want to think about that.

  174. 174
    Brian R. says:

    @Pliny:

    That really is some impeccable logic.

    Logic? What in any of your comments indicates an interest in logic?

  175. 175
    Elie says:

    @A Mom Anon:

    I apologize if I offended you in any way but I stick with my aspergers/syndrome allusions. My hubby has some of these traits and would acknowledge same — the tendency towards fixations and difficulty with empathy/seeing other perspectives at times.

    There is a lot of controversy about how to talk about the whole range of human traits and behavior without making individual differences be labeled as “abnormal” — and I acknowledge that I may not have struck the right tone. That said, these “personalities”, “behaviors” or whatever are in very successful people and in many of us to varying degrees. If we cannot talk about them at all, its going to make dealing with the results of their behaviors pretty difficult, dont you think? My hubby suffered greatly during a lot of his life without understanding until the last 5 years or so, what might be happening. Its helped ME a lot too…

    Anyway, point taken. I will just describe the behaviors from now on and avoid any “labels”

  176. 176
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): That’s when I realized the dynamics involved in 3rd party politics. We have a two party system,like it or not. If we want Dems to be more liberal we have to do what the GOP has done. Start locally,build strong coalitions,get people in office and learn what their(the GOP’s) dirty tricks are.

    I’m not saying all 3rd parties are co-opted. But it might be smart to see which spectrum of voters they’re trying to attract. If it’s our side then it wouldn’t hurt to follow the money(not to mention the people running the show).If they are well meaning,then perhaps it wouldn’t be an awful thing to look at some of their policies and invite them into the tent.

  177. 177
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Li: Good luck with that.

  178. 178
    eemom says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred):

    yeah, it’s pretty easy — you just register under a new name with a different e-mail. I think the registration system may have fucked up their ability to ban by IP address.

  179. 179
    Marc says:

    I’m curious, by the way, why conservative Democrats should agree to vote for the mythical purity candidate.

    If liberals insist on a long list of inflexible demands, there will be a growing list of people who disagree on one matter or another. Add up enough of them and you’ve ensured a loss.

    Right now everyone competes in a primary, then all of the coalition members work together even if they disagree with the nominee on some issues. (Such as, for example, the numerous pro-life Democrats. This includes much of my extended family.) The right route is persuasion in a 2-party system. The freedom that you otherwise have is the freedom to throw the election to the other party, who are run by ranting loons in the current environment. That isn’t a choice that anyone with a conscience should favor.

  180. 180
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Elie: I have no problem talking about autism(obviously,lol)but it makes me cringe to hear assholish and just plain stubborn behavior labeled autistic. My son has suffered tremendously because of these stereotypes,so I acknowledge being sensitive. Autistic people can be assholes,lol,but that’s a human thing,not an autistic thing.

  181. 181
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @A Mom Anon: I LOVE the idea of multiple parties, as happens in just about every other developed country. I’m just not sure it would result in any better results in terms of policy. Is there a huge functional difference between having, instead of one unwieldy Democratic party, a Social Democrat Party and a Neoliberal Party? Either way, neither one of those is going to be able to rule, so they’ll need each other to make a coalition, and then we’d be right back to where we are now, with “business-friendly” Democrats from red states moving policy to the right and frustrating old-line liberals in the process.

  182. 182
    Pliny says:

    @different church-lady:

    Well, it turns out that’s his name. The previous sycophant was upset that I used his actual nickname, incorrectly assuming it was some sort of insult. Now that all that business is out of the way, do one of you care to defend President Obama’s policies that are in direct conflict with the Constitution?

  183. 183

    @Li:

    If you think that the only way that real change can happen short term is with super powers, then I suggest you go tell that to the people in Tahrir Square, in Pearl Square, in the blood stained streets of Syria and Yemen. Do you want real ways of changing things now?…Buy your food locally

    You were so close, yet so far, from getting at the secret behind attaining the critical mass required for effective street demonstrations in the Middle East this year: Food shortages.

  184. 184
    different church-lady says:

    @Pliny: You think we’re stupid, don’t you?

  185. 185
    Scott says:

    Can’t believe we still hear people praising Nader for anything. He’s not a Democrat, he’s not a liberal, he’s not a progressive. He takes money from Republicans, his efforts are solely focused on pooh-poohing Democrats, he’s a union buster who abuses employees. Nader is a Republican, and he has been for years.

  186. 186
    ET says:

    I was going to make some snarky comment about Pliny and Li and their need to live in the real but frankly I just can’t be bothered. This is all they get, this is all they deserve.

    Do I wish Obama had been a little more “liberal?” Of course. But I knew that in the beginning of his term Democratic control of Congress was tenuous – especially considering the Blue Dogs – so I was hadn’t set my expectation too high. Do I wish he was fought a little hard (whatever that means) earlier? Yes. But he waited a while because he ran on trying to be the grown up and compromise and working with the other folks on the ideological fence. And he got elected (he didn’t get elected just because Palin and McCain were the other ticket).

    And remember he is the President of the United States, those that voted for him and those that didn’t. The same can be said for the non-pure Democrats like Landrieu. She maybe a sell out but not because she doesn’t vote Democratic all the time. There are a fair number of Republicans and others that didn’t vote for her and she represents them as well as those that did vote for her.

  187. 187
    lawguy says:

    @Tonybrown74: OK, I’ll bite. Maybe or maybe not, but we really wouldn’t be in as bad a position going forward as we are now.

    By the way, I absolutely agree with the idea of the post. Primarying Obama is a waste of time, energy, and money. We do need to work for the down ticket candidates.

  188. 188
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @A Mom Anon: Interesting.

  189. 189
    bayville says:

    hahahahahaha….

    He forgot to lecture us about eating our peas and carrots, brushing our teeth twice a day and the dangers of playing in the rain during a lightning storm.

    Oh God. If you people are the “good” and represent the “smart Progressives” then our civilization is indeed doomed.

  190. 190
    Elie says:

    @A Mom Anon:

    Agree — blogs are not the place to make the differential between plain human stubborness and fixations from some other source. That said, reading over and over many attempts with logic and reason and the sheer inability of some commenters to share any of the good feelings of their supposed affiliations with other progressives — is definitely a pattern worth noting — without labeling. There is little reciprocity or ability to acknowledge other values by some of the commenters. In some instances, that may not be accidental — whether by explicit design or effect of personality quirks.

  191. 191
    pete says:

    @eemom: They’re so cute when you tickle them.

  192. 192
    Li says:

    Temporarily Max McGee: No, I am getting at it precisely. As long as you are buying your food from the transnational corporations that control the food supply, you are supporting a system that is producing massive food shortages all over the world despite the fact that we produce enough food to feed everyone several times over! As long as you are buying food from transnational corporations, you are supporting the system that speculates on food prices to make themselves money, while willfully starving people to death. Both ADM and Monsanto saw their stock value and profits soar even as massive, illogical food shortages have been roiling the world. This is unconscionable, and in my mind ethically equivalent to murdering people for money, and it has to stop.

    By the way, I also agree with the principle of this post; primarying Obama would be worse than useless. Anyone who can rise to those levels in this system is sold out, hook line and sinker, and it’s unlikely we will find anyone who can run and win, who is not. The battle is on the down ticket, where we can elect people who can fight on our behalf on a local level. Politically, it’s the best we can do right now. But we have to fight in other ways as well. The dollar is a more powerful vote than the ballot at this point, and our feet and hands are the most powerful vote of all.

  193. 193
    les says:

    @Pliny:
    NHTSA: 40 years old. And still Nader’s main, if not only, claim to real accomplishment–as if any single person can claim it. If this is your best hope, sonny, get back in line.

  194. 194
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Marc:

    I’m curious, by the way, why conservative Democrats should agree to vote for the mythical purity candidate.

    The answer you’ll get: “I don’t see why I have to hold my nose and vote for a conservative Democrat but that the conservative Democrats can’t extend me the same courtesy.”

    But my view is similar to yours. Conservative Democrats come in many varieties, some more like the New Deal-era Dems who are solid on poverty and social class but lousy on race, gender, and ethnicity; others more like the DLC Dems who are OK on civil rights but lousy on redistribution and skew towards big business. They make life difficult from a liberal perspective, but if you cut them off you basically re-create the old “moderate Republicans” and ensure that the Pure Dems lose out to a crazy-eyed Tea Party plus pro-business coalition for the foreseeable future.

    And we _really_ don’t want that. It’s much worse. Democrats would have a clearer message, but would be reduced to a rump, and I don’t know what that would do in terms of tangible, albeit incremental, progress towards compassion, justice, and equality.

  195. 195
    kMc says:

    I severely dislike Barack Obama and the entire Washington establishment, and I will vote for Barack Obama because I would rather die in a third world country, and not in the world of “Beyond Thunderdome”.

  196. 196
    Ash Can says:

    @Scott: I’ll always respect the work he did on behalf of consumers years ago. Now, though, he’s just an ass.

  197. 197
    Pliny says:

    @different church-lady:

    Well, you’re smart enough to avoid actually discussing substantive things like the President’s body count or his total subservience to the military and Wall Street, lest you get put into the uncomfortable position of defending them, I’ll give you that.

  198. 198
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Li:

    Oh, I see what you want now …

    REVOLUTION!

  199. 199
    28 Percent says:

    @kMc: Who run Bartertown?

  200. 200
    Elie says:

    @kMc:

    THANK YOU!!!

    We’ll take your vote extending our grubby, claw-like, bandaged hands (the other one holds the bowl for alms)…

    Thanks be!

  201. 201
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Li:

    This is unconscionable, and in my mind ethically equivalent to murdering people for money, and it has to stop.

    How do you propose to stop it? It’s not like the Locavore Party is in a position to win a lot of elections either. I don’t see why you can’t vote for Democrats, even the corporatist wussbag ones, within the contours of the electoral system — while at the same time, in your own life, act in ways that express and support your vision of a just world. Why not do both?

  202. 202
    Li says:

    Violent revolution against the very masters of violence would be a foolish thing to do. It would only validate the use of violence against us of a sort that we can hardly fathom, and I for one would not like to be blown up on remote control by robotic death machines. On the other hand, peaceful revolt against them might well be the only way to save humanity. It starts with our dollars. It ends with our hands. But it has to happen, or you might as well just give up and go down into that night quietly, and without protest.

  203. 203
    grumpy says:

    @Tonybrown74: Almost anyone. Wait, scratch “almost”.

    Are you saying that you would have recommended running a black or a woman candidate, for the first time ever, on the basis of practical electability?

    Anyone could have beaten McCain/Palin. For that matter, only the Democratic establishment could have chosen a candidate capable of losing to George Bush.

    And just as a by the way, from what I can see, it should not matter who we choose this time either. If ever there was a time to primary a sitting president, this is it.

  204. 204
    Elie says:

    @Pliny:

    I dunno. I like talking about the President’s body count.
    Looks like he has a great chest from photos in 2008 (Hawaii) and a nice long in-seam (36-38″) Shoe size? 11 or 12.. nice slender build. Can’t weight more than 180-85.
    Alls those look like good body numbers to me…

  205. 205

    @Li:

    Dude, the point is that they don’t even grow the food needed to sustain their populations, they import huge percentages of their food. There had been active movements against the then-sitting governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya for decades, but it took a drought in Russia and the Ukraine, suppliers of wheat to the Middle East, to get the people out in the streets. When people are paying $10 for a loaf of bread here, then you can bitch when they don’t stand up like some of the Arab world has this year.

  206. 206
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Elie: I’m gonna go with by design. Notice what happens if you ask them for something constructive that stands a chance of working,or if you ask them to defend their position. If they really need the time to construct a good point,then fine,I understand it can be hard to articulate things sometimes. Beyond that,there are people who have nothing better to do than ridicule people and derail the conversation by whatever means they can muster. A few pointed questions makes it clear who is who.

  207. 207
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @lawguy:

    So … who would have been a more progressive candidate that would have won the general?

    I really want to know.

  208. 208
    bayville says:

    Christ it doesn’t matter who the President is anymore.

    That’s why I am voting for anyone but Obama.

  209. 209
  210. 210
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Li: What do you, yourself, actually do in support of these goals you articulate? It sounds like you’re arguing in favor of what an ideal world would be, which is interesting, but it’s at a right angle to the question of what to do now, much less what to do in the arena of electoral politics, partisanship, and coalition-building.

  211. 211
    Marc says:

    @Pliny:

    You’re a fanatic. Anyone who uses language like you do is very far outside the mainstream and impervious to evidence.

    Extreme leftists are the enemies of working people, the enemies of liberals, and not part of the Democratic coalition. You’re my political enemy, not ally, and I’ll treat you accordingly.

  212. 212
    Van says:

    I have to say great post. But also to all you dissatisfied progressives out there, get out there and build a progressive movement. And I mean not just in San Francisco, or Massachusetts, but out there in the red and purple states. I miss the part where Obama vetoed the great progressive legislation passed by the house and senate. And above all, vote. They won’t take you seriously if you don’t regularly vote. The teapublican types vote in every election. Let’s make them be the discouraged ones sitting at home.

  213. 213
    Li says:

    FlipYrWhig: National elections are functionless in stopping any of the rampant criminality that is destroying our world. Hell, by this point most Democrats and Republicans are war criminals by any rational standard; they will never turn against their own kind. But if you want to destroy the people who are starving people for profit, the fight begins and ends in your pocketbook, not the ballot box. Disinvest in ADM and their ilk, or better, short them. Crash their stock. Stop buying their products. Push back on a local level, to keep your food stocks out of their clutches. If you rob these immortal vampires of the lifeblood they are sucking out of you, your money, they will die. But that is only the first step.

    In answer to what I am doing, I am doing all of that, and more. I’ve sacrificed years of my life to spreading the good news of what we could do with technologies we already have on hand, and warning about the chaos those fools in their high towers are bringing unto the world. You say that I am working at right angles, and you are right; when fighting a giant, you don’t push against his hands, he will win. You pull at his legs sideways, until he falls to the ground. We must do the same when fighting this evil giant of corporatism. The force we are facing is larger than any country, and has the power to tell the President of the United States to shut up and do as he is told. We cannot fight such a force with ballots. We can only fight it ourselves.

  214. 214
    Marc says:

    @bayville:

    You’ve outed yourself as a Naderite on the other threads here. Go play in the street.

    And, good God, but the extreme left is going berserk over at Tbogg. They’re torqued that thoughtcrimes like attacks on Nader are allowed at FDL..

  215. 215
    Pliny says:

    @Marc:

    Man, if opposing the murder of children and wishing the President would at least attempt to regulate Wall Street makes me an extreme leftist, I’m really, really curious how you feel about these issues and where that places you on the political spectrum.

  216. 216
    deep cap says:

    wow, there are some impressive trolls in this thread. Sorry ABL, but I just come to your threads to watch the flames that erupt; I seldom actually read your posts.

    (But I’m sure you are a great blogger!)

  217. 217
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Li: Why not grow a garden and/or join a CSA and _also_ vote for Democrats over Republicans? Outside game, inside game.

    For that matter, you’d need to get millions upon millions of people to do what you describe, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not too eager to take on the additional task of growing my own ethical food supply when I can barely pay my mortgage and all my major appliances are starting to fail.

  218. 218
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    It has become absolutely clear to me that there is nothing whatsoever, no argument, no appeal to reason, that is going to move the purists away from the position that OMG OBAMA BETRAYED US, HE’S AS BAD AS BUSH WAS, I’M STAYING HOME or its more toxic equivalent, OMG OBAMA BETRAYED US, HE’S AS BAD AS BUSH WAS, LET’S WORK TO UNSEAT HIM.

    Close but not quite. There is one thing that is 100% guaranteed to have the firebaggers singing Obama’s praises like a choir of angels. And that is to have yet another centrist Dem as president circa about 2024 or so. The same people who went from “Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids have you killed today!” and “Clinton sold us out, the triangulating DLC bastard!” to slagging Obama because he isn’t more like, wait for it, wait for it… more like LBJ and Clinton!, those same folks will be shouting to the rooftops in 2026 that “President Dem X sold us out! Why can’t she/he be more like Obama!“.

  219. 219
    Marc says:

    @Li:

    You may think that they’re laughing at you because they don’t understand your genius.

    Actually, it’s because you put your shirt on inside out, have a ziplock bag on your head, and have a roll of toilet paper wrapped around your foot.

  220. 220
    Corey says:

    The arrogance of this post is tremendous, particularly for a person who angrily reacts whenever someone tells her what she should think or feel.

  221. 221
    kMc says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I can answer this for myself, because I struggle with it all the time (keep in mind that I have already said I will vote for Barack Obama next year).

    I think it is undeniable that the President of the United States (Republican or Democratic) is partially responsible for a lot of evil in this world. When we advocate for a certain candidate, we are in many ways (IMO) advocating for the brand of evil we feel least icky about. Lest we forget, though the President is a lot better than Republican X, he is still at the head of a military / intelligence complex that kills lots and lots of people with impunity in the name of…something. That should give us pause.

  222. 222

    @FlipYrWhig:

    What’s the quantity of wheat, corn and soybeans that the average backyard gardener can grow?

  223. 223
    Ohmmade says:

    This is the dumbest advice I’ve ever seen on this blog.

    In short, don’t do what you morally believe you should do, but work your ass off for someone you don’t like, because SHUT UP.

    Also, if you don’t work your ass off for Obama, you must be a Naderite, or a PUMA or a Firebagger.

    I thought the 11th commandment shit is for losers on the GOP who jerkoff over photos of St.Ronnie, not for us educated liberal types.

    Nice little clique you’re setting up here. It fascinates me that it hasn’t dawned on you that NOT EVERYONE THINKS LIKE YOU DO, and they have their own valid reasons for believing and thinking the way they want to.

    And to label people who believe otherwise, is such a self-centered, egotistical thing to do it is just disgusting to me. And to watch it again and again in these threads is horrible. Witnessing all of you jumping headfirst into the echo-chamber is such a shame, and you people should really be embarassed of yourselves.

    @ABL – You’re a one-dimensional crank, and the worst writer here. The tiny boxes you try to shove people into is garbage and I’m not sure why John ever invited you here.

  224. 224
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Book it. It’s even more fun to imagine it happening to a President Sanchez, the first Latino elected president. Well, not fun as in enjoyable, more like fun as in depressing.

  225. 225
    Marc says:

    @Pliny:

    “Opposing the murder of children”. I assume that you mean the existence of war? You’re a pacifist? Fine. But that’s a bullshit rhetorical tool, and you should know it. Obama will be out of Iraq by years end; he’s drawing Afghanistan down; and the predictions of US involvement in Libya didn’t happen either. He’s not a pacifist and never pretended to be. Pretending that there is a pure route is fantasy.

  226. 226
    bayville says:

    @Marc:
    Sorry to intrude.

    I didn’t get the memo on Progressive outreach is only for those who drink the Oborg Juice.

    But it’s an interesting networking theory preached by the Jerry’s Kid faction of Blogressivephere.

    But I’m betting the program is as effective as it was in 2010.
    We shall see, eh?

  227. 227
    wrb says:

    @Ohmmade:

    This is the dumbest advice I’ve ever seen on this blog.

    And that may be the dumbest post.

    Which is sayin’ somethin’.

  228. 228
    Brian R. says:

    I thought the 11th commandment shit is for losers on the GOP who jerkoff over photos of St.Ronnie, not for us educated liberal types.

    That’s right. Let the Republicans stick together and run the country, while all the educated liberals sit in our lovely ivory towers, where we can watch the nation burn.

    I mean, seriously, why should we trouble our beautiful minds with dirty little things like politics?

  229. 229
    Pat says:

    *I also really enjoy everyone saying, “The president can’t do what you want him to do” while simultaneously crying, “If Obama loses IT’S OVER, YOU HAVE FUCKED US ALL.” Either the presidency can’t do shit and doesn’t matter, or is an important position that can move society in different directions – please pick one guys.*

    >…crickets…<

  230. 230
    Marc says:

    @Ohmmade:

    The advice is that things like primary challenges to Obama would be stupid and counterproductive. You may not like seeing the consequences of your deeds spelled out, but that doesn’t change what they are.

    There are plenty of places where you can wallow in hard-left fantasies. If you want them unchallenged, however, you may be more comfortable elsewhere.

  231. 231

    @Ohmmade:

    Nice little clique you’re setting up here.

    Are you fucking kidding? Most of the people you see here supporting ABL on this have been commenting here for years. ABL has been posting here for less than a year.

  232. 232
    El Cid says:

    It’s perfectly alright to have any sort of liberal or left ideology you want and simultaneously recognize that the likely result of running a primary candidate against Obama would likely be much more harmful to the things you support than not doing so.

    Consistent scholars and analysts and critics of the American system of class domination as well as capitalist democracy in general can recognize that this particular type of intervention rarely has even the possibility of doing anything other than empowering the even-more-zealously-class-dominating right.

  233. 233
    Ash Can says:

    Christ it doesn’t matter who the President is anymore.
    __
    That’s why I am voting for anyone but Obama.

    This is either some pretty good snark, or the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever read on this blog.

  234. 234
    Marc says:

    @bayville:

    You’re not a Democrat, and pandering to people like you would cost far more votes than it would gain. I can tell the difference between people who can be convinced to work in a coalition and extremists interested in me me me.

  235. 235
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kMc:

    That should give us pause.

    But that’s just background radiation at this point. That’s like worrying that by buying a house in the suburbs and commuting by car to work you’re poisoning the earth, supporting corporate rapacity, and propping up a socio-political regime of isolation and artificial contentedness. Well, you are, but you still need to get to work. So you buy the corporate car that gets the best mileage, because that’s at least less harmful, and you try not to use it casually, and you re-use grocery bags. You’re not engaging in revolution, but you’re picking away at the edges, and sometimes that’s the best you can manage to do. Same is true for politics.

  236. 236
    mcmullje says:

    @Li:I think you need a good long nap. Or glasses so that you can see what you wrote or hearing aids so that you can hear what you a saying.

    I’m sorry the president didn’t give everything your heart desires, but this is neither utopia or disney world.

  237. 237
    Scott says:

    @Marc: TBogg should really get himself out of that swamp.

    @Ohmmade: Shorter Ohmmade: “DAMN YOU, WILY LADY N-WORD!”

  238. 238

    @Pat:

    “The president can’t do what EVERYTHING you want him to do”

    Get it now?

  239. 239
    Li says:

    Temporarily Max McGee: This is actually my area of expertise, so let me answer that. A backyard gardener, on less than an acre, can provide more than half of their families dietary needs if they can and freeze the bounty in the productive months. Not monoculture grains and beans, of course, but food that is actually nourishing and good for you.

    On the other hand, twenty knowledgable and dedicated people, on a few acres, can feed 10-20,000 people, using combined aquaculture, vermaculture, and hydroponic techniques. Don’t believe me? Try googling Growing Power. If our leaders cared one whit about the human race, they would have thrown a billion dollars at those ideas and the human race would be well fed forever. But they would rather watch poor people starve, or eat crap, than endager the profits of monsters like ADM.

    And, BTW, I am not advocating that we stop voting. But, my advice is that we are spending far too much energy analyzing presidential candidates that are interchangeable and totally bought and paid for, rather than advocating for change on a local level, and fighting the international corporatocracy that is destroying everything good and beautiful with their greed. If we spent half of this wasted energy on those challenges, rather than these pointless national horse races, this problem would be solved.

  240. 240
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Li: God you are so full of shit.

  241. 241
    LTL-FTC says:

    This should be reposted every week for the next 14 months.

  242. 242
    eemom says:

    maybe we should all just migrate to some other thread and leave these purity clowns to their circle-jerk.

    There isn’t going to be any fucking primary. We win, they lose.

  243. 243
  244. 244
    eemom says:

    @Marc:

    I doubt he’s old enough to vote, anyway.

  245. 245
    JD Rhoades says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Perry/Bachmann gets elected, we won’t make it til then.

  246. 246
    Emma says:

    @Li: So what are you doing about it? What environmentalist organizations have you joined? How many politicians have you lobbied? What have you done for the environment lately?

  247. 247
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: LBJ was a fucking pig.

  248. 248
    Li says:

    #241 Did you even read what I wrote? As individuals we can’t feed ourselves like that. Most people have less than an acre, and using conventional plant-it-in-the-ground techniques, at best they will be dependent upon their local CSA to iron out the balance of calories. But a neighborhood, with the right knowledge, could feed an entire town. This is not science fiction, it is science fact. We can do this. You might prefer the cowards path, insisting that anything that can not be done in the ballot box is not worth your effort, but don’t sit there all smug in your belief that anyone who is actually willing to sweat and bleed for the future of mankind is somehow beneath contempt.

  249. 249
    28 Percent says:

    @kMc: LOL. Unfortunately, it’s a metaphorical Bartertown, not a real one with real cage matches. Because if it was, we could get each of those douchebags into the cage with us, until they learn the following:

    1. the corporate, dog-eat-dog hyper-a competitive crap the Wall Street shrunken-testicle crowd likes to fantasize about won’t be enough to make up for the vastly different experience levels between them and the average redneck when it comes to dual-wielding chainsaws, and

    2. the rednecks have a deeper bench.

    Attrition, bitches!

  250. 250
    taylormattd says:

    @Li:

    perhaps next time we should be more careful not to pick a slick-talking, corporatist, crypto-republican as our front runner

    And this is the reason why there is no point to talking with Naderites. They are fucking morons. Dumb as a sack of hammers. Too stupid to breathe.

  251. 251
    Li says:

    Emma, I have been building hoop houses for local farmers, providing them with gratis pathology work, giving money to organizations that help equip them, and spending my meager savings traveling around the country producing videos that profile technologies we can use to solve these problems ourselves. I’ve been gathering all of that knowledge together, and, God willing, I will build the farm of the future with it. In other words, I’ve dedicated my life to saving yours.

    What are you doing?

  252. 252
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Li: You sanctimonious little motherfucker.

  253. 253
    Emma says:

    @Li: You are ten years old, aren’t you? Come on, tell the truth.

  254. 254
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Li: I think this is all commendable, but I still think we need to focus on who controls the federal government, which has unique powers to pool resources and aid those who need help most. I don’t think the agrarian republic scales up very well, and while community agriculture works against corporate hegemony, I’ll be happy to vote for the party that tries harder — if still not nearly hard enough — to assist out-groups and people down on their luck, even if it means abetting businesses and turning alienated labor into tycoons’ profits in the meantime.

  255. 255
    taylormattd says:

    @eemom: Use of the word “Nader” summons all available half-wits, PUMAs, and racists.

  256. 256
    Brian R. says:

    I find if you play “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” while reading Li’s comments, it helps set the mood.

  257. 257
    les says:

    @Li:

    It’s time to start a new party that represents the interests of the majority

    Citation needed. You have yet to demonstrate you represent a majority of Democrats, much less the country. Personally, I find that somewhere between sad and ultimately fatal for my children; but the presumption that the U.S. is secretly peopled by a leftist/progressive majority consistently fails the reality test.

  258. 258
    kMc says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Maybe for you it’s background radiation. It definitely worries me, all the same.

  259. 259
    agrippa says:

    @Li:

    Li

    I am not buying it, plain and simple.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  260. 260
    Poopyman says:

    @Ash Can:

    This is either some pretty good snark, or the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever read on this blog.

    I took it as a heavy-handed trolling.

    Let it lie. On to five hundred!

  261. 261
    taylormattd says:

    @Li: Since you asked . . .

    Very well, where should I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen-year-old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink, he would make outrageous claims, like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. A sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we’d make meat helmets. If I was insolent, I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds. Pretty standard, really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fifteen, a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shaven scrotum. At the age of eighteen, I went off to evil medical school.

  262. 262
    Corey says:

    @eemom: Yay!! Go team!!

  263. 263
    Pliny says:

    @Marc:

    While I am almost completely opposed to war, that’s not what I meant. Barack Obama has personally ordered hundreds of drone strikes that have killed at least a thousand people, the overwhelming majority of whom were completely innocent, and many of whom were children. This issue has nothing to do with Congress, or Republicans, or anyone other than Barack Obama. He is Commander in Chief. He could unilaterally end the drone strikes tomorrow. Instead, he continues to personally authorize the violent death of completely innocent human beings. If pointing this out and having a major problem with it makes me some sort of extreme lunatic to be shunned and ignored, the world is well and truly fucked.

  264. 264

    “Just a few things to keep in mind when reading the likes of David Brooks …” The Columbia Journalism Review offers some context (and corrections) on Brooks’ latest defense of rich people. Worth a read …

  265. 265
    B W Smith says:

    @taylormattd: Thanks, I needed that in this thread!

  266. 266
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Pliny: you’d prefer non-violent death?

  267. 267
    Li says:

    #255 Why do you think that I am saying anything about the political left or the right? The real problems are those things that are outside debate, the things that they agree upon. But I tell you what, I am certain that a majority of the country would like to see the criminals on Wall St. prosecuted. I am certain that the majority of the country is sick and tired of foreign corporations like BP getting away with destroying our territorial waters for money. I am certain that the majority of the country is repulsed by the idea that some millionaire moving numbers around on a spreadsheet for cash can result in some child starving to death thousands of miles away. And I am certain that the people are sick of being robbed by a military security complex that creates more enemies that it destroys. Look at any poll, and you will see that the people are sick and tired of being ruled by greedy criminals. On every one of these topics the people are with me by large majorities. It is not a left-right issue. It is a right-wrong one. Stop looking at the world through the twisted lens of US politics, and it will make a lot more sense.

  268. 268
    Poopyman says:

    @Brian R.:

    I find if you play “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” while reading Li’s comments, it helps set the mood.

    I get that allusion, dahling.

  269. 269
    NR says:

    It’s okay. In 2009 and 2010, I was repeatedly told that nobody can do anything without 60 votes in the Senate. So even if Perry wins, he won’t be able to do anything because he won’t have 60 votes in the Senate. Therefore, we have nothing to worry about.

  270. 270
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kMc: There are infinitely many things to worry about, though. Just by typing on this computer I’m wasting electricity at home and on some server farm somewhere. Just by being in the field of higher education I’m upholding a financing racket and an unjust sorting system. Just by buying toilet paper from Target I’m doing like a dozen politically/socially sinful things. We’re all guilty to some extent of endorsing something malign. Some worries about that are more productive than others. YMMV.

  271. 271

    @Li:

    Casting all politics aside, I must say that I find your comments on growing food locally interesting, at least.

    “Growing power”? I’ll look it up.

  272. 272
    agrippa says:

    Nader? Not a major league political player. He was an excellent consumer advocate. He never built a viable political organization; he did nothing for the Green Party.
    No thank you, Mr. Nader.

    I have no problem with the president. I had no difficulty voting for him in 2008; I will have no difficulty voting for him in 2012.

    The weakness in washington is not, and was not, Obama. The problem was the mediocre 111th Congress and the fatuous 112th Congress.

  273. 273

    @Li:

    On every one of these topics the people are with me by large majorities. It is not a left-right issue. It is a right-wrong one.

    That might be true, but having a majority of the people doesn’t mean jackshit when Wyoming gets as many votes in the Senate as California.

  274. 274
    Emma says:

    @Li: Supporting my parents, who got screwed out of their savings by the first great economic bust. Sending money where I think will do the best good whenever I can. Growing my own veggies. Supporting the local farmers market. Simple things.

    This is the thing, Li. I’m glad you’ve found your life’s work. It sounds like what you’re doing is worthwhile. But nobody’s going to listen to your political opinions. And you know why? Because when you approach people who have spent their lives trying to make a difference and start by telling them they’re stupid and don’t understand the realities of the real world, they shut their ears. If that is not what you intended, that’s what it sounds like.

    You have lectured, and lectured, and lectured as if the rest of us didn’t have any concept of the difficulties facing us. Trust us, we do. And we also know — some of us from observation, some from formal study of history and political science — that there’s never been the sort of movement you’re preaching about in the United States. Nothing consistent, long-term, and able to wield enough clout to change the political environment. We work at it when we can and we take our victories where we can get them. We are not impressed by radical bomb throwers, because we know that at the end of the day, they’re either in jail or mumbling about what might have been, and the rest of us have to pick up the pieces.

    And by the way, those people who you think would follow you into the trenches? They vote for Republicans. In large enough quantities to have taken the House of Representatives.

    And seriously? I’d love to see those films. If I had the money I would help finance them.

  275. 275
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR:

    even if Perry wins, he won’t be able to do anything because he won’t have 60 votes in the Senate.

    He will if enough conservative Democrats flip to his side, as happened under Bush, or if enough conservative Democrats balk at the idea of the reflexive filibuster, as happened regularly under Bush. He won’t have 60 Republicans, but conservative Democrats have a tendency to help out Republican causes and undermine Democratic opposition. See one thread down.

  276. 276
    les says:

    @Li:

    You might be ‘mature’ enough to make that decision, but count me out. It is our responsibility to revolt if we cannot solve this problem otherwise, because our very survival is at stake. It is typical for cowards to think of their cowardice as maturity, but it is not.

    Finally, you admit what you want. And you think a vote for Nader is brave. Unfortunately, it’s just revolting.

  277. 277
    B W Smith says:

    @NR: The very first thing Majority Leader McConnell will do in the Senate is overturn the filibuster rule. So yeah, we have plenty to worry about. I have seen many say that he won’t do that because of tradition. I think they underestimate how badly the Reps desire complete control.

  278. 278
    Bill says:

    Shorter version: “Shut the fuck up and vote for whoever the party tells you to.”

    Please tell me, what is an acceptably low number for me to take my vote elsewhere? 4 out of 10? 3 out of 10? Because from where I’m standing, any candidate that gets below 6 has me looking for someone a hell of a lot closer to 8.

    It’s not about “purity.” I know that I will never get a president who agrees with me on everything. But I’ve never gotten one close to the mythical 80% suggested in this post, and 50% doesn’t cut it for me.

    Dude, if you don’t like something Obama has done—or hasn’t done—then by all means call him on it. He said as much way back while he was still running. Nudge him further the way you’d like him to go.

    And how should I “nudge” our good president? Call to the oval office? A better idea might be to support a challenge and make the presdent debate a liberal. Maybe that drags a few policy positions my way and closer to a percentage I can live with.

    It’s a pipe dream at this point. There is no challenge coming, but the president might be wise to realize that he may need a few votes from us on the left.

  279. 279
    Emma says:

    @taylormattd: Absolute pure win.

  280. 280
    nancydarling says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): @les: I suspect Li lives here in NW Arkansas, totally off the grid, composting toilet, blah, blah, blah. The problem with him (and many of his ideas are good) is that no one listens to him except like-minded back-to-the-earthers. People do need to change the way they live and consume, but if guys like him are all their is to lead us out of the wilderness, it’ll be longer than 40 years.

    There is a middle ground but guys like him never seek it—too wrapped up in their own righteousness to be an agent of change.

  281. 281
    A Mom Anon says:

    @Linda Featheringill: When I was a kid,my grandparents’ neighborhood co-operatively grew probably 70 percent of their food. The only things they didn’t grow was dairy and cereals. But,it took alot of working together. It means you know your neighbors and trust them. For that to work in suburbia,you gotta 1)get people to look at each other,2)get people to understand that they have to work at it,get dirty and sweat a little. You’d be surprised the number of people who think such work is beneath them.

    My son’s high school just shut down their horticulture/sustainable gardening program. The once to die for greenhouse is now a storage room and the gardens I helped build are filled with weeds. Why? Kids actually told the teacher of these classes that this was work for mexicans.Girls would come to class in heels with freshly manicured nails and simply refuse to garden. The kids thought it would be an easy A. No more money was alloted for the courses and the teacher was transferred to another school to teach math. This is the attitude in the suburbs that has to be overcome for this kind of stuff to work.

  282. 282
    Mack Lyons says:

    @seriously: No, it’s about you being the densest sonofabitch ever to access an Internet connection.

  283. 283
    Li says:

    I would love to show them to you. There are not many doing what I have done, so you can find them, if you try. But I separate my bomb-throwing online persona (as some of you have put it) from the one that works more patiently at the local level, and I wouldn’t want to connect them too tightly. After all, you we have free speech in this country, so long as you are content with not having a job. Even universities don’t like to hire people who put down the left-right dynamic as a foolish distraction. Don’t think I didn’t get here with some difficulty. It’s been a hard conclusion to come to, because organizing and walking door to door for candidates made me feel like I was doing something useful, even though on the issues that matter I wasn’t. I am being intentionally confrontational in order throw bombs at yet another thread on some minor horse race issue. We are wasting energy in this direction, people. These debates are not the ones that we need to be having, and if telling you that frankly causes you to shut your ears, then perhaps at least your subconscious is learning something in the process. Eventually, you will overcome your dissonance and start pulling at right angles, rather than arm wrestling a giant.

    And then, we will win.

  284. 284
    brantl says:

    @Li: Sorry, dipshit, pay attention to the congress around which he has to work. Do you know what a “blue dog” is? HE DOESN’T HAVE THE VOTES. PERIOD.

  285. 285
    Emma says:

    @Li: These debates are not the ones that we need to be having, and if telling you that frankly causes you to shut your ears, then perhaps at least your subconscious is learning something in the process. Sigh. You.Do.Not.Learn.

  286. 286
    Elie says:

    @kMc:

    I guess frankly, I don’t think of life in those operatic, dramatic terms — like some fight between good and evil.

    In my belief system, neither EVIL or GOOD are embodied in singular entities but exist in all of us, all of our institutions, etc. We make choices about how to feed each but most of the time, many things are more complex than can be attributed cleanly to one of the other category.

    For example, (and I hope this never happens) but if I accidentally kill or injure someone, am I evil? If things I do in good faith have negative results for someone or others, am I evil? If practices we adopt for managing our environment or health, end up hurting or having some bad side effect, was adopting those practices before we knew, evil?

    If you are charged with protecting your family in an extreme condition, do you take the chance of hurting someone who is attacking them, or do you let your family be attacked? Is this EVIL?

    Your oversimplification of reality is hugely problematic. We generally do not live in such extreme constructs of reality. We make choices and some of those are less than perfect, but most of us try to be decent humans — though none of us can say they haven’t made some mistakes or hurt others.

    Have you lived a flawless life? Have you done things that you are not proud of or may have hurt others, but made the best decision you could weighing all the options you had?

  287. 287
    Li says:

    Les: Nader? What gave you that idea? He’s a twit.

    Oh, I see, your brand of denial makes up facts when reason fails you. So sorry, must make your co-workers lives miserable, and yours too.

  288. 288
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @nancydarling: I think it’s all a bunch of hot air.

  289. 289
    Pliny says:

    @B W Smith:

    He won’t need to. He’ll just have every media outlet repeating the words “up or down vote” 24/7 until a “Gang of #” can be assembled to come up with a compromise that will be completely ignored whenever it suits him.

  290. 290
    les says:

    @Li:

    One:

    If you think that the only way that real change can happen short term is with super powers, then I suggest you go tell that to the people in Tahrir Square, in Pearl Square, in the blood stained streets of Syria and Yemen.

    Two:

    Do you want real ways of changing things now? Disinvest from corporate america. Buy your food locally, bank locally, use as little energy as possible. Patronize only local businesses. Elect people who are not sold out, when available. If not, sit it out.

    I think you have (among others) an order of magnitude problem. One of those courses might generate the level of change you claim is necessary; one likely not. You want the rest of us to be bloody rebels, and then announce that you’re a hippy. In either role, you’re not representing any majority of anything. Enjoy sitting in the corner, accomplishing nothing.

  291. 291
    Pliny says:

    @brantl:

    I know that half the Blue Dogs from the 111th no longer have their jobs, so maybe pandering to them isn’t the best strategy? Also, what did George Bush do when he DIDN’T HAVE THE VOTES, pack up his shit and go home? No, he got people like Senator Barack Obama to vote to give telcoms retroactive immunity after they helped spy on American citizens.

  292. 292
    B W Smith says:

    @Pliny: Alas, you are probably right. Also, as FlipYrWig pointed out earlier, there will be plenty of conservadems to play ball.

  293. 293
    Catsy says:

    Shorter version: “Shut the fuck up and vote for whoever the party tells you to.”

    If that’s what you really think was said, you have not been paying attention.

    Please tell me, what is an acceptably low number for me to take my vote elsewhere?

    You’re asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking yourself is: “Of my available candidates, which one is the overall best?” Or if you prefer: “Which one is the least bad?”

    Whether you like it or not, you have two alternatives to choose between in 2012: the Democrat and the Republican, whoever either ends up being. Nobody else is going to be elected president. That is reality.

    It doesn’t matter whether Barack Obama’s decisions are pleasing to you 5 out of 10 times, 1 out of 10 times, or 1 out of 100 times. A nonzero number is still larger than zero, and zero is the number of times the Republican’s decisions will be to your liking.

    1>0. This is math so simple that even the stupidest person alive should be able to wrap their heads around it.

  294. 294
    Corner Stone says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    “Nice little clique you’re setting up here.”
    __
    Are you fucking kidding? Most of the people you see here supporting ABL on this have been commenting here for years. ABL has been posting here for less than a year.

    I should be surprised at the sheer inanity of your rebuttal, but I am not.

  295. 295
    gogol's wife says:

    @Pat:

    There was a very cogent answer to this stupid complaint about 100 comments ago. Go look for it.

  296. 296

    @Pliny:

    I know that half the Blue Dogs from the 111th no longer have their jobs, so maybe pandering to them isn’t the best strategy?

    And who, in the end, took their places?

  297. 297
    Elie says:

    I have no idea why folks are still debating Li. He cannot understand your point of view beyond the narcissism of his own ideas/ideals. Period. He “throws bombs” by his admission, because that feels good — not because it will help him convince you of anything… he has no desire to convince you — just to talk his ideas and values — and he will do that tirelessly, never reciprocating or valueing YOUR ideas, thoughts or opinions. Those are not important and he receives no pleasure or good feelings from the community experience of getting something difficult done. He will not acknowledge any successes from the administration or Democrats — all leadership is “BAD”. He does not want to find common ground with you. He wants you to listen — to HIM. That’s it.

    Frankly I would rather eat fried chicken while working a crossword puzzle than to engage him or some of the others like him — who are equally easy to pick out. But some just have to pick those scabs and squeeze those damned zits… just can’t stop yourselves…

  298. 298
    bayville says:

    @Ash Can:
    I thought Congress was the kingmaker in the country nowadays?
    At least that’s been the Oborg meme for three years now. Geez. I get dizzy trying to folo your team’s’ (il)logic.

  299. 299
    trollhattan says:

    @taylormattd:

    Do you happen to have Vilma’s email addy?

  300. 300
    les says:

    @Pat:
    False dichotomy, idjit.

  301. 301

    @Corner Stone:

    And, what, you haven’t been part of a clique on the other side of the debate pre-dating ABL’s arrival? Fuck, man, you’re the king of that clique.

    ETA: Flame on. I’m off to work.

  302. 302
    aisce says:

    aw, i missed out. this thread was begging for somebody to repeatedly post comments to the effect of president obama being the most liberal president this country has ever seen.

    which is fun because it happens to (1) be completely true, (2) drive firebaggers up the wall and get them talking about hamp and bradley manning, and (3) make obots flip schizophrenically back and forth between enthusiastic agreement and wary self-policing to avoid getting called on the inevitable religious imagery they use in reference to the man.

    oh well, next time.

  303. 303
    Bill says:

    You’re asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking yourself is: “Of my available candidates, which one is the overall best?” Or if you prefer: “Which one is the least bad?”

    Maybe some common ground. This is exactly what I asked myself during the last presdiential election. And I voted third party.

    What you’re missing is that the difference between 1 and 0 is negligible to me, and not worth my vote. (I am NOT saying Obama is a 1. I’m responding to the implication that it’s as simple as 1>0.)

    That being said, I will vote for the lesser of two major party evils if I have to. But I have to be a hell of a lot closer to election day to evaluate the evils, and the chances of the greater evil winning, before I make that decision.

    Those of us out on the left aren’t stupid. We are just tired of being ignored.

  304. 304
    Woodrowfan says:

    Hey! I hear that “Rage Against the Machine” has a new album out! I hear that their website has a hidden page that allows you to chat with the band, live!

    OK, that should keep Li, Pliny, Bayville and the other purity clowns busy for awhile.

  305. 305
    les says:

    @Li:

    On the other hand, twenty knowledgable and dedicated people, on a few acres, can feed 10-20,000 people, using combined aquaculture, vermaculture, and hydroponic techniques.

    Either this is purest bullshit, or you haven’t in all your years of selfless dedication been able to recruit twenty people. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of communities of 10-20,0000 people throughout the Midwest; if you could feed any of them, not only would you actually be solving real problems, you’d be richer than Buffet while saving them huge amounts. Or is this just more “doesn’t actually work in the real world” crap. ‘Course, I never bought the loaves and fishes bullshit either.

  306. 306
    hildebrand says:

    Not sure if everyone has seen this (I admit – I have not read every post in this thread), but thought it might be useful – as it comes from Russ Feingold:

    “I strongly disagree with Ralph Nader. As I’ve said many times before, I believe that re-electing President Obama is an absolute imperative for our economy, our judicial system, for progressives and for our country,” said former Sen. Russ Feingold, who announced recently that he was not running for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat. The Wisconsin Democrat added the following: President Obama took office in a time of historic challenge for the country. He passed the Recovery Act to bring our economy back from the brink, implemented historic health insurance reform to make health care more affordable and accessible, repealed the discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and rejected the conventional wisdom in Washington to offer a life-saving loan to the auto industry, saving 1.4 million jobs.
    Now, facing Republican candidates that are bought-and-sold by corporate money, and who want to give more tax breaks to the wealthiest and attack the rights of working Americans, the President is fighting to create jobs and provide economic security for middle class families. 2012 will be a close and competitive election, and in an environment after the lawless Citizens United decision, where corporate special interests will be out there fighting for Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, progressives must unite to ensure that the President is reelected.

  307. 307
    different church-lady says:

    @Pliny: I’m smart enough not to take bait the third time it’s offered, I’ll give me that.

  308. 308
    Elie says:

    @aisce:

    another smart comment by the aisce…

    right on! very funny (truly)

  309. 309
    different church-lady says:

    @Tonybrown74: I find it hysterical that the ad YouTube’s robot Mad Men chose for me to see linked to that video was for Christian Dating.

  310. 310
    Woodrowfan says:

    and yes, TBogg really should leave that insane asylum….

  311. 311
    trollhattan says:

    @les:

    Said “few acres” has highrise farm structure on it and said “twenty knowledgable and dedicated people” run crews of modified Roombas and monkey butlers farming said highrise.

    Also, too, live chickens for everybody!

    See? That was easy peasy.

  312. 312
    Miracle Max says:

    soonergrunt — I spoke of a primary run as an educational campaign, not because I think it would have a chance in hell of winning. In fact I said this twice. Of course you can disagree. Pretending I meant something else is . . . not productive.

    Linda — I’m not trying to be heard. I’d like progressive ideas to be heard. In the context of my comment, what matters is not electability but one’s ability to be heard.

    Something Prof West is pretty good at, Ms Gogol. Dodd may not have been the greatest idea.

  313. 313
    Woodrowfan says:

    soonergrunt—I spoke of a primary run as an educational campaign, not because I think it would have a chance in hell of winning. In fact I said this twice. Of course you can disagree. Pretending I meant something else is . . . not productive.

    McGovern did that in what, 1984? I thought it worked well. But I think it works best when it’s an open race and not against an incumbent.

  314. 314
    Woodrowfan says:

    on the plus side, 300+ comments on an ABL thread and no one has accused her of racism yet! baby steps people, baby steps

  315. 315
    different church-lady says:

    @Li:

    …freeze the bounty in the productive months.

    WHAT’S THE CARBON FOOTPRINT ON THE FREEZER?!? HUH?

    Two can play this game, you know.

  316. 316
    Svensker says:

    @trollhattan:

    Do you happen to have Vilma’s email addy?

    You can write to him c/o the N.O. Saints.

  317. 317
    kc says:

    Thanks for the long-winded advice. Now here’s my advice for all y’all: When someone expresses criticism of an administration policy, don’t immediately start calling that person a ratfucking emoprog firebagging grifter.

  318. 318
    different church-lady says:

    @Bill:

    Please tell me, what is an acceptably low number for me to take my vote elsewhere? 4 out of 10? 3 out of 10?

    When it hits zero or enters negative numbers.

    And I mean actual negative numbers, not rhetorical negative numbers.

    Or perhaps when the other guy is actually going to give you more AND has a realistic shot of winning.

    Or perhaps whenever the fuck you want to, as long as you don’t do it thinking you’re teaching the other guy a lesson. Because you aren’t.

  319. 319
    Catsy says:

    @Bill:

    Maybe some common ground. This is exactly what I asked myself during the last presdiential election. And I voted third party.

    Then you’re an idiot and you wasted your vote. Period.

    It is structurally impossible, at this point, for a third-party candidate to win the presidency. That sucks. But it is the world that we live in, and throwing away your franchise in a fit of pique will not change that.

    Your ballot does not have a memo field like your checkbook where you can write in why you voted the way you do. You are not sending a message of any kind by voting third party in the general. You are pissing in the wind.

    What you’re missing is that the difference between 1 and 0 is negligible to me, and not worth my vote.

    If you truly believe that the difference between Barack Obama and any given GOP presidential candidate is negligible, then you have simply not been paying enough attention to American politics have an informed opinion of any value.

    (I am NOT saying Obama is a 1. I’m responding to the implication that it’s as simple as 1>0.)

    But it really is that simple. In terms of their willingness to support progressive policies, Obama is a nonzero number, and the Republican candidate is a guaranteed zero.

    I don’t care how small that nonzero number is in the world you inhabit, it is still nonzero. My son could grasp that mathematical concept by the time he was six.

    That being said, I will vote for the lesser of two major party evils if I have to. But I have to be a hell of a lot closer to election day to evaluate the evils, and the chances of the greater evil winning, before I make that decision.

    Bullshit. That’s sure as hell not what you did last election, according to your own words–and that was as clear a choice as you could imagine, to anyone on the left who cares about outcome more than purity.

    Those of us out on the left aren’t stupid. We are just tired of being ignored.

    So your solution is to throw your vote away on a third party rather than vote for Obama/Biden over McCain/Palin?

    I don’t have to call you stupid. You’re outing your astonishing stupidity just fine on your own. You are exhibit A in how the left cuts off its nose to spite its face.

    The time to take this stand is in the primary, when you are actually presented with a choice of which Democrat to nominate. Once we hit the general, your choices amount to the Democrat or the Republican. That is the reality of how our two-party system is constructed.

  320. 320
    different church-lady says:

    @kc: Agreed. But sadly I can’t speak for the others.

  321. 321
    trollhattan says:

    @Svensker:

    Wow, I didn’t know the Saints had any Zoroastrians! Nevertheless, their Task 1: cleaning my keyboard and monitor.

  322. 322
    Pliny says:

    @kc:

    But hasn’t anyone told you that any criticism means THE REPUBLICANS WILL WIN AND PROBABLY DO THE SAME BAD THING YOU JUST BROUGHT UP?

  323. 323
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @B W Smith:

    The very first thing Majority Leader McConnell will do in the Senate is overturn the filibuster rule. So yeah, we have plenty to worry about. I have seen many say that he won’t do that because of tradition. I think they underestimate how badly the Reps desire complete control.

    So please tell me why Harry Reid didn’t do this very fucking thing three years ago? Other than that he is so respectful of tradition, that he honors it more than progressive/liberal values and what is good for the country, of course.

  324. 324
    Legalize says:

    @Woodrowfan:
    Wait a minute, there. Rage had some good records.

  325. 325
    les says:

    @trollhattan:
    Hey, even at that, if it worked it would work. Funding would be a snap; let’s see…Dept. of Ag. says average annual food budget for family of four is $8,500 (2008). 20,000 divided by 4, 5,000 times average, let’s say we save them 50%…annual cash flow of about $2.1 million. $3MM, if you only save everyone 25%. Shouldn’t that do it? Get out of the corner and save the world, Li!

  326. 326
    uptown says:

    Nader is a self serving idiot; who killed gas saving, small car production in this country for over a decade. Just so he could make a name for himself as the safety czar. Yep, rear drive cars are so unsafe that the Germans have been making them for how many years now (Porsche, VW)?

  327. 327
    brantl says:

    @Daveboy: A lesson in civics for you, dipshit:
    1.a President does not have the ability to pass bills unilaterally after he’s elected, that’s a dictator,
    2. He does get to suibmit Supreme Court nominations, and he can veto bills that don’t have 2/3 of the House and Senate.

    Didn’t get Gitmo closed? Blame the House and Senate, they voted against the funding.

    Didn’t get a better health care law? Blame the Blew (not a misspelling) Dogs and the Republicans, they wouldn’t vote for it.

    Most of all, get your head out of your ass.

  328. 328
    different church-lady says:

    @Bill:

    What you’re missing is that the difference between 1 and 0 is negligible to me, and not worth my vote.

    In a binary system the difference between 1 and zero is ABSOLUTE.

    And politically we live in a binary system. I don’t like it either, but I’m at least willing to acknowledge the reality of it.

  329. 329

    So when someone beats you, don’t leave. Stay with them, because your next husband might beat you worse.

    Boneheads.

  330. 330
    Marc says:

    @kc:

    Sure. for symmetry, of course, don’t take any disagreement with that criticism as being The Man Trying to Keep The Peasants In The Veal Pen.

  331. 331
    B W Smith says:

    @Kola Noscopy: I suppose you’d do better to ask Senator Reid that question. I have no idea other than he didn’t have enough Democratic votes to go along with the rules change. OR perhaps he’s not a progressive?

  332. 332
    Ash Can says:

    So please tell me why Harry Reid didn’t do this very fucking thing three years ago?

    Fuckin’ double-edged swords, how do they work?

  333. 333
    Van says:

    I wonder how much it would cost the Koch brothers to pay a few hundred ratfuckers to go to all the liberal blogs and pretend to be progressives and talk about how bad Obama is?

  334. 334
    different church-lady says:

    @Christopher Wing: Apparently you can’t figure out the difference between someone who beats you and someone who doesn’t take you dancing.

  335. 335
    Catsy says:

    @Christopher Wing:

    So when someone beats you, don’t leave. Stay with them, because your next husband might beat you worse.

    If there has been a more fatuous and specious analogy posted in this thread, it must have been lost to the spam filter.

  336. 336
    different church-lady says:

    @Van:

    I wonder how much it would cost the Koch brothers to pay a few hundred ratfuckers to go to all the liberal blogs and pretend to be progressives and talk about how bad Obama is?

    Not a dime — they’d volunteer.

  337. 337
    NR says:

    @B W Smith: Sorry, but you’re wrong. All throughout 2009 and 2010, we were told that nothing could get done because of the magical power of the filibuster, which could not ever be overcome. So obviously you’re wrong. McConnell can’t just get rid of the filibuster. Nothing can beat the filibuster. We were told this over and over again for two years, so it must be true. Sorry.

  338. 338
    NR says:

    @Catsy: So you’re saying that if your choices in the general election were Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann, you’d vote for Perry? And you’d berate anyone who suggested voting for a third-party candidate too, I assume.

    People like you are the reason that our politics is as shitty as it is.

  339. 339
    different church-lady says:

    @NR: Of course I wouldn’t do that.

    Instead I’d vote for someone who nobody’s ever heard of and is pretty much guaranteed to get no more than a fraction of a percent of the vote while pompously sitting at my keyboard telling people who voted for the slightly less batshit insane candidate that they’re the reason everything is fucked up.

    (And yes, I realize you did not address the question to me.)

  340. 340
    B W Smith says:

    @NR: I have no intention of getting in another pissing match with you. I have agreed with Pliny above that I was probably wrong, but not for the reasons you state. I am wrong because the dynamics change with republicans. They won’t need a rules change. They have the press and conservadems.

  341. 341
    NR says:

    @Van: If I were working for the Koch brothers, I’d be all over the blogs telling Obama to keep doing exactly what he’s been doing for the last year or so.

  342. 342
    les says:

    @NR:

    So you’re saying that if your choices in the general election were Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann, you’d vote for Perry? And you’d berate anyone who suggested voting for a third-party candidate too, I assume.

    People like you are the reason that our politics is as shitty as it is.

    Wow. Just, wow. No wonder you’re down on voting; you undoubtedly can’t figure out how.

  343. 343
    NR says:

    @different church-lady: So let’s just be clear here–there is absolutely no major-party candidate so bad that you wouldn’t vote for them, so long as they were slightly less bad than the other candidate.

    I want us to be clear–is this an accurate summation of your position?

  344. 344
    gogol's wife says:

    @Miracle Max:

    Professor West is a blowhard.

  345. 345
    piratedan says:

    @Bill: well until “progressives” stop worshiping at the cult of Nader and actually recruit people like Feingold, Sanders and Franken to their banners, then guess what, you are being ignored and worse, not taken seriously.

  346. 346
    agrippa says:

    When Obama came into office and the 111th Congress started, there was a laundry list of ‘must do now, if not sooner’.
    Some were done well.
    Some were done so so.
    Some were not done at all.
    The 111th Congress is responsible for that. Congress actually passes laws. Not the president.
    What has the 112th Congress done?

    Connect the dots.

  347. 347
    soonergrunt says:

    @Miracle Max: And what, pray, is educational about watching some damn fool flush hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars down a toilet?

  348. 348
    gogol's wife says:

    @NR:

    I’ll answer that. Let’s look not at hypotheticals but at the race before us. OBAMA IS NOT SLIGHTLY LESS BAD THAN PERRY OR ROMNEY. HE IS INFINITELY BETTER.

    I don’t usually use all caps but the bad faith argumentation on this thread is bringing it out of me.

  349. 349
    piratedan says:

    @Kola Noscopy: because three years ago it would have required Reid to have been clairvoyant to know that the R’s would throw down the gauntlet and go scorched earth. Up until that time, everyone had played nice (more or less) for about 125 years.

  350. 350
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .

    Every progressive who thinks a primary would be a good idea

    It’s not just wrong, it’s oh so wrong. And that’s a quote.
    .
    .

  351. 351
    Surly Duff says:

    I’ve seen this similar argument – “Primarying Obama would be politicial suicide and plain dumb” – in other places. While I agree that running a primary opponent with substantial support in the Democrtic party would be dumb, I have yet to see such a candidate even entertain the notion of starting a campaign for 2012. Any viable candidate is waiting for 2016. All this arguing over primarying Obama is the equivalent of tilting at windmills. It is not going to happen.

  352. 352
    Catsy says:

    @NR:

    So you’re saying that if your choices in the general election were Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann, you’d vote for Perry?

    I must have missed the election where one of them was the Democratic nominee.

    People like you are the reason that our politics is as shitty as it is.

    You got a little straw stuck in your teeth, there.

  353. 353
    Bill says:

    @Catsy:

    I don’t have to call you stupid. You’re outing your astonishing stupidity just fine on your own. You are exhibit A in how the left cuts off its nose to spite its face.

    Your rant is very cute, and completely misses what I said. I don’t think Obama is a “1.” From where I stand he’s probably more like a “5.” In a perfect world I don’t vote for candidates that agree with me half of the time.

    I didn’t vote for him last time for that reason, but voting to try to move the political discourse to the left – however little – is not the same as throwing away my vote.

    See, there’s this thing called nuance. It allows me to evaluate the candidates on both sides and see if I feel threatened enough to use the old “lesser of two evils” approach. Honestly, when it was just old man Arizona and Obama, I thought it was a close call. When he picked crazy ass Alaskan as his running mate I knew I had to vote lesser of two evils if needed.

    But they have these tools now called “polls.” Perhaps you’ve heard of them. As we got closer to election day, these magical “polls” were telling me there was no way Obama was going to lose my state. The Alaska threat was quashed and I was able to vote for what I saw as real change.

    You see, this isn’t as simple as “VOTE OBAMA OR WE ALL DIE!” It’s possible to evaluate candidates and elections on multiple levels at different times.

    I will engage in the same kind of analysis this election cycle. If it’s Perry and close in my state, you can bet Obama will get my vote. Romney – I’ll have to take a closer look etc…

    Again, really cute rant. Calling me stupid was a great opener.

  354. 354
    soonergrunt says:

    @NR: Well, it’s good of you to get that out in the open because now the Koch brothers won’t waste their money hiring a someone so fucking moronic and instead will hire some shithead to go into lefty/Dem blogs and demoralize everybody by convincing them that Obama isn’t worthy of support.
    The line to pick up your check is over there, right behind Scott Walker.

  355. 355
    NR says:

    @gogol’s wife: I’m not talking about Obama. I’m talking in general. Is it your position that one should always vote for the major-party candidate that is slightly less bad, no matter what the specific character and positions of the candidates are?

  356. 356
    some guy says:

    my favorite part of this screed, originally directed at me, was that at no time, on the original thread (or elsehwere) did I argue for (or show any support for) a primary challenge to Obama. But that didn’t get in the way of the BJ Center Right Two Minute Hate Club from ranting away.

    brava to Angry Black CorporateLawyer for frontpaging it today, I feel so honored that the Fight Club’s bad reading skills and Straw Man Fu gets highlighted.

  357. 357
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    Fortunately, balloonbaggers are unhypocritically saving all the rocks in their pockets for progressives.
    .
    .

  358. 358
    NR says:

    @soonergrunt: Wow. You just called everyone who supports what Obama’s been doing for the past year moronic. That’s awfully insulting of you.

  359. 359
    Bill says:

    @different church-lady:

    “And politically we live in a binary system. I don’t like it either, but I’m at least willing to acknowledge the reality of it.”

    I acknowledge it, I just don’t think it’s as simple as “always vote for the candidate with a D after her name.”

  360. 360
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    You know, I’m not a USian. I’m up north of the border. Our political system is a parliamentary democracy. One thing that’s kind of nice about it is that it makes those kinds of choices much easier to see. I’m in full agreement with the criticisms of Obama, esp. the skynet stuff they’re doing in Af-Pak these days. The US elites are suicidally arrogant, I imagine because of inbreeding. All that said, when you’ve got two choices (and the reality of US politics is that you’re going to have two choices), voting for the lesser of two evils is a duty.

    To me, all the people talking about how folks shouldn’t be voting for Obama because of x, y, and z are really engaging in voter suppression work. It’s enough to make me wonder why they’re doing it… what is the motivation for attempting to suppress votes via discouragement?

    As for people who complain about not being willing to vote for the lesser of two evils… grow the fuck up. What’s the alternative? As has been said several times in this thread… hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two presidential evils, and GO JOIN A FUCKING PARTY AND GET TO WORK ON IT. Hell, start your own if you want… but don’t be surprised when you don’t get much done. I think it’s a lot more likely that US progressives will get somewhere by taking over the machinery of the Democratic party. However, to do this you need to join the party and get a lot of like minded people to do the same. You don’t have the money… so the only way to get stuff done is to give labour.

    You know, in my riding (both at the federal and provincial levels) my MP and MPP know who I am. Not only that, so do most of the candidates of the other parties by the time election day rolls around. They may not like me, but they know very well who I am. Here where I live, there’s a lot of progressives who are doing great work at the municipal level to help increase my city’s resilience… and not just by working at City Hall. This is the stuff that needs doing, and it’s all about talking and teaching. I can’t do very much to help Toronto that way, but I can do it here… so I do.

    I think hard times are coming to us in North America, not least because of the suicidal loons who are running things at the tops of our various hierarchies of power. If you want to change that, you have to start at the wide base of the pyramid, not at the top. Li is absolutely right about one thing… we need to get people to withdraw their support for these structures. They will destroy our civilization.

  361. 361
    Corner Stone says:

    @Surly Duff:

    I have yet to see such a candidate even entertain the notion of starting a campaign for 2012. Any viable candidate is waiting for 2016. All this arguing over primarying Obama is the equivalent of tilting at windmills. It is not going to happen.

    Some people stopped patiently explaining that here at BJ a good 6+ months ago.
    Doesn’t matter, it gets the het up.

  362. 362
    soonergrunt says:

    @NR: No, just you.

  363. 363
    NR says:

    @soonergrunt: Oh my god. Are you really so stupid that you don’t realize what the words you used actually mean?

    That’s hilarious.

  364. 364
    gogol's wife says:

    @NR:

    I don’t make a priori decisions about whom to vote for in the absence of actual candidates. When there are actual candidates I look at their records and what they propose to do, and then make my decision. If by some chance Perry were running against Bachmann, no, I would not vote. Luckily that is not the case. The Republican crazy will be running against the best president of my lifetime. The choice is not difficult at all.

  365. 365
    Catsy says:

    @NR:

    So let’s just be clear here—there is absolutely no major-party candidate so bad that you wouldn’t vote for them, so long as they were slightly less bad than the other candidate.

    As opposed to A) voting for the slightly worse candidate or B) doing nothing and leaving the choice between bad and worse up to chance?

    I mean, why is this even a question? Since you insist on arguing with inane straw man hypotheticals, yes: in the alternate universe you seem to inhabit, if the choice came down to voting for Joe Arpaio or The Ghost of Adolf Hitler, you bet your ass I’d hold my nose and vote for Joe motherfucking Arpaio–who, while being bigoted, corrupt, evil and opposed to nearly everything I stand for, is at least not in favor of genocide and world domination.

    I really can’t grok just how stupid or nihilistic you’d have to be in order to say to yourself, “gee, that Adolf Hitler guy really fucked up the world the first time around and murdered millions of people, but Joe Arpaio stole millions of dollars in taxpayer money and wants to arrest or deport all brown people–I think I’ll stay home on election day and leave it up to chance which one gets elected!”

    Except I’ll never actually have to make that kind of decision, because I live in the real world–the world in which someone with the politics of Michelle Bachmann or Rick Perry has no chance whatsoever of ever being nominated as a Democrat, a world in which a Democratic ticket composed of the very worst pair of Democrats with any chance of getting nominated is still better than the very best Republican that has a nonzero chance of making it through a GOP primary determined by insane teabaggers who crucify anyone who admits they’re willing to shake a Democrat’s hand.

  366. 366
    piratedan says:

    @Pat: here ya go Pat……

    He can’t do what you want him to do….. which is get legislation passed that would include possible laundry list items like a Public Option for healthcare, a jobs program and rebuilding a crumbling national infrastructure. Maybe a side of raising revenues on those that have been subsisting on corporate welfare and promoting more clean/green energy initiatives and addressing some of the climate change concerns. naturally, he needs the help and votes of those in both the house and the senate to make that happen….

    do those votes currently exist considering the political makeup of those august bodies…No they don’t. Perhaps if this was the first six months of 2009… maybe, maybe if Franken doesn’t get delayed, maybe if Kennedy and Byrd don’t die… then maybe some of this could have happened, but even then you had Mssrs Nelson of Nebrasker, Liebermann of Connecticut and Landrieu and Lincoln and the rest of the blue dog brigade…. so good luck with that bully pulpit ….

    as for him losing, if you want to continue to see the judicial system and the government administration populated by Bush drones and a plethora of national “I’m sorry ma’am, but we’ll be decided what goes on in your uterus” decisions taking place, then yes, OMFG we need to get him re-elected.

  367. 367
    ABL says:

    my favorite part of this screed, originally directed at me, was that at no time, on the original thread (or elsehwere) did I argue for (or show any support for) a primary challenge to Obama. But that didn’t get in the way of the BJ Center Right Two Minute Hate Club from ranting away.

    ah, another person who has trouble with reading comprehension.

    perhaps the comment was not directed at you in particular? could that be it?

    you might have been able to glean that from jimperson’s very next sentence: “Don’t go all over Fox and screech that he’s a sellout and as bad as Bush was.”

    why aren’t you proclaiming that you’ve never been on fox? this is your gotcha moment, buddy! enjoy it! go the distance!

    i’m guessing you were a sort of foil that prompted the comment. yet here you are screeching and proclaiming your JEANIUS like you’ve just split the atom, all the while providing no response to the substance of the comment.

    funny, that.

  368. 368
    ABL says:

    @Pliny: oh, you’re one of those new fancy trolls. Troll 2.0. The new wave of troll who is going to tell everyone if they only would NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA, the republicans would be better, honest to gosh they would, and probably the Tea Party would disappear, also too.

    way to avoid the substance of the comment. step up yer game, kid.

  369. 369
    Bill says:

    I think it’s kind of funny that some Obama supporters feel threatened by the those of us who want to see him called on the carpet for not being progressive enough. Don’t worry, he will still be the corporate centrist he ran and governed as. He will probably win again.

    But please don’t make the mistake of thinking we owe him our votes. The only real power average voters have is the ability to withhold.

  370. 370
    Catsy says:

    @Bill:

    I didn’t vote for him last time for that reason, but voting to try to move the political discourse to the left – however little – is not the same as throwing away my vote.

    No, that’s precisely what it is if you think a third-party vote is doing anything of the sort.

    See, there’s this thing called nuance.

    Yeah, here’s the thing about nuance, Sparky: it ceases to have all meaning the moment you cast your vote. Like I said, your ballot does not have a “memo” field where you can fill in your reasons for voting. Your vote is processed and tabulated and anonymized, and nobody who matters will ever know or care why you cast it.

    You’re not sending a message. You’re not “moving the discourse”. You’re casting an anonymous vote, and if you’re casting that vote for an option which is never actually going to win, you might as well have flushed your ballot down the toilet. Voting for any third party candidate, in the winner-take-all two-party system we actually have, has about as much effect on the election as voting for Bugs Bunny–and is about as intelligent.

  371. 371
    cintibud says:

    @taylormattd: I knew if I came back here I’d find something that would make me roll on the floor!

  372. 372
    NR says:

    @Catsy: Okay. So if a Republican who wanted to lower the age of consent to six years old were running against a Democrat who only wanted to lower it to seven years old, you would vote for the Democrat. Understood.

    But can you at least accept that there are people out there for whom that choice is not good enough?

    And can you at least accept that there are people out there who draw the line in a different place than you do?

  373. 373
    bayville says:

    Soooo in attempting to summarize this post and the accompanying comments (and without my Oborg Decoder Ring) I’ve concluded that we must all go out and knock on doors, work real, real hard for Democratic candidates. Even if we don’t really like ’em or agree with ’em. If they have a ‘D’ next to they’re name, they’re the good guyz.

    Sure, this means we’ll be Voting for evil, but it’ll be sugar-free evil which aint’ quite as bad as the real stuff.
    This next point is key, we must convert those fence sitters out there to give President Obama another term.

    We’ll do this – not by yelling or screamin’ – but by telling them how powerless Obama is because of them cwazzzy Teabaggers in Congress. As as Civics teacher brantl states @ 327 “Blame the Blew Dogs”. (Ed. note: Yeah, I know this totally contradicts the first point but again, my Decoder ring is Out-of-Order).
    Sure, Obama is currently dropping bombs on thousands of civilians overseas via executive fiat, but them is Peace Bombs.
    But if that don’t work, then we’ll tell them to “Fuck off”, “grow-up” and STFU. Write ’em them off as Racists.
    You can also curse them, brand them as Firebaggers, Teabaggers, PUMAs and/or Naderites.
    Oh Nader. Remember that name.

    Nader.
    Remember BJers, should never pass an opportunity to spit on that name. Nader.

    He’s an egoist, self-centered monster. Nader. YUCK!
    He’s accomplished a lot but so what. Because of him, we gots Bush.
    BTW, God Bless the Corvair.
    Do this even as agrippa @ 272 astutely observed: “Nader? Not a major league political player”.

    If we all do this, and ignore and ridicule the purity trolls, the douches, the Firebaggers, the Racists – we will accomplish what is most important in this world.
    That is to re-elect President Obama to a second term.

  374. 374
    bemused says:

    What’s the difference between left purists and rightwing purists other than rightwingers are more likely to get out and vote for the not-so-pure Republicans because Democrats are spawns of Satan. Left purists are not sufficiently terrified enough after 8 years of Bush?

  375. 375
    Bruce S says:

    This is generally just what I consider common sense as a Democrat and have for decades, but the implication that Hubert Humphrey shouldn’t have been challenged by RFK or Gene McCarthy in ’68 is where this breaks down as “iron logic.”

    Also, the hysterics about this “primary challenge” are way overblown. The money quote from the piece above is “this is what happens when you run a serious primary…” This isn’t a serious primary, even in it’s own terms. It’s not even couched in terms of unseating Obama and replacing him with a different candidate. If Obama could handle Hillary (who was arguably running as the “third term of the Clinton Presidency” – and therefore could only be weakened by a challenger, if I really want to follow this argument into the realm of absolutes) he can handle a couple of stand-in issues guys who nobody has ever heard of.

    I have enough respect for Obama’s political skills to suggest it’s more likely he could use this sorry little spitball from the “left” to his advantage than that it would hurt him. If Ralph Nader energizes anyone in the Democratic base, it’s folks who hate him for NOT staying within the Dem primaries in 2000, which is where he belonged if he wanted to “send a message” and have a platform. And brickbats from Cornel West aren’t exactly going to swing “centrists” or “moderates,” except perhaps to perceive Obama correctly as a more moderate liberal. As for the state of the economy, it won’t be a secret and Obama is going to have to deal with bad numbers based on reality and his record, not as something conjured from “the left” by West and Nader. Going into full-on hysterics over this “challenge” is almost as clueless as the effort itself.

  376. 376
    Catsy says:

    @NR:

    Okay. So if a Republican who wanted to lower the age of consent to six years old were running against a Democrat who only wanted to lower it to seven years old, you would vote for the Democrat. Understood.

    Are you capable of making an argument that doesn’t involve inane, specious, counterfactual straw man hypotheticals? Because you have yet to describe a set of choices that bears even the slightest resemblance to the ones we have, or the ones we are likely to ever have.

    I played along in order to demonstrate the logical error you’ve been committing, but how about we try–I don’t know–talking about the actual, measurable, nontrivial differences between Barack Obama and every single Republican presidential candidate on offer?

    Because that’s a conversation I’ll have. But it doesn’t seem to be a conversation you want to have. I wonder why that is?

    Start dealing with the real world or GTFO.

  377. 377
    soonergrunt says:

    @NR: You know, if you get any intellectually slower, you’ll start going backwards. You should try to re-read what I said. And since it will probably escape you a second time, I’ll clarify:
    The Koch brothers aren’t stupid enough to give money to somebody who thinks that praising Obama on lefty blogs will work. So your little idea, with it’s sideways swipe at the President’s supporters is only more transparent in its stupidity than it is in its attempted misdirection.
    I know I’m using big words here, but don’t worry, because you can read and re-read it as many times as you need to get it.
    Rather, the Koch brothers are more likely to pay jackasses such as yourself who go into lefty/Dem blogs and down on the President and his supporters with your bullshit purity trolling. You are more likely to be a Kochsucking plant than anyone who disagrees with you. Just like Nader knowingly, willingly whored himself to the right wing, selling his dumbass paste-eating stupid supporters in 2000, 2004, 2008, and apparently again in 2012.

  378. 378
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Pat: False choice. No reason to respond to it.

  379. 379
    aisce says:

    @ cintibud

    yeah, that austin powers sure is a funny movie…

  380. 380
    ABL says:

    Do you want real ways of changing things now? Disinvest from corporate america. Buy your food locally, bank locally, use as little energy as possible. Patronize only local businesses. Elect people who are not sold out, when available. If not, sit it out. Participating in rigged elections only validates them. And then, FIGHT! The people camped out on Wall St. have more chance of effecting real change short term than an infinite amount of elections choosing between the left and right hand of the devil.

    you’re a frosh at oberlin, aren’t you?

    sweet jebus, this is the most juvenile crap i’ve ever read.

  381. 381
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @bemused:

    Left purists are not sufficiently terrified enough after 8 years of Bush and a continuation of his foreign/surveillance/security/police state/economic policies by a purported Democrat?
    .
    .

  382. 382
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR:

    So let’s just be clear here—there is absolutely no major-party candidate so bad that you wouldn’t vote for them, so long as they were slightly less bad than the other candidate.

    I’ll take that bait. Yes. Unless we’re talking about some kind of crazy alternative-universe stuff where the “Democratic” candidate wants to exterminate all gays or something, there is absolutely no modern Democratic candidate so bad I wouldn’t vote for them, so long as he or she was slightly less bad than the other candidate. I would gladly have voted for Alvin Greene over Jim DeMint. Greene seemed dim and affectless and peculiar. Still better than DeMint. There used to be situations, like Lieberman vs. Weicker, where the Democrat was to the right of the Republican. _Those_ are the harder call. But we don’t have those anymore.

  383. 383
    piratedan says:

    @bayville: you know what…. if Ralph Nader REALLY wants to make a difference. Then build a goddamn political party and run it. Build a grass roots organization in all 50 states, develop a platform and a set of ideas and run candidates that believe in those ideas and that platform. He has a national identity, then USE it for something other than spitballing from the sidelines bitching about corporate money in politics, which is our own damn fault because that asshat Bush loaded the SCOTUS with a bunch of corporatist lackeys and we’ll overlook just how he got there to make that happen.

  384. 384
    Bill says:

    @Catsy:

    I’m starting to see a certain amount of irony in you calling other people stupid. Did you read what I wrote? Do you understand the analysis and process I described?

    Perhaps what’s lost on you is the fact that if enough people cast their votes for third party candidates, the discourse will move in the direction of third parties. That has to start somewhere.

  385. 385
    ABL says:

    @bayville: why has nader had 15 plus years to build a third party and why don’t we have one?

    this is a serious question. why should anybody place their trust in a man who has wanted to build a third party for decades and has failed to do so, despite having access to the most intellectual and progressive minds? is it a lack of resources? what is it?

    where’s the third party?

  386. 386
    Bill says:

    @NR:

    Okay. So if a Republican who wanted to lower the age of consent to six years old were running against a Democrat who only wanted to lower it to seven years old, you would vote for the Democrat. Understood.

    The better analogy may be: So if a republican who wanted to continue two foreign wars and start a third ran against a Democrat who wanted to continue three foreign wars and start a third, you’d vote for the Democrat.

  387. 387
    John N says:

    Is it ever the job of Democratic politicians to win over this group of voters, so that they don’t want to primary the president? I mean, if primary challenges to incumbent presidents are so harmful that they are certain to lead to that incumbent losing his election, then it would be smart of that politician to try and avoid them, wouldn’t it? Or are we just going on the assumption that these left voters can never be won over, because they are intellectually dishonest?

    The left is what it is – all the complaining about it in the world will not change it. Obama and the Dems must either win them over by doing the things they want done, or decide they aren’t integral to his/their re-election strategy and pursue a different course. That’s it. But in the end, it isn’t fair to blame the voters for a politician’s failure to win an election.

  388. 388
    Ash Can says:

    @Bill:

    But please don’t make the mistake of thinking we owe him our votes.

    We don’t owe him our votes. We owe ourselves, and everyone else, our votes. Because it’s those votes that, taken in aggregate, make the difference between having an ideologically impure centrist and having a radical sociopath in office.

    The only real power average voters have is the ability to withhold.

    Because politicians in this country are put in office by magical election fairies who come during the night when everyone’s sleeping, and whoever they touch with their sparkly wands wakes up the following morning with a brand new government job under their pillow.

    Fuckin’ democracy, how does it work?

  389. 389
    Pliny says:

    @ABL:

    I’m pretty sure I directly addressed a question you asked, which was “If Obama is a Republican why did the Republicans oppose this list of things?” For someone who jumps straight to ad-hominem “lack of reading comprehension” attacks, it’s kind of funny that you either didn’t read or didn’t comprehend my comment.

  390. 390
    Cat Lady says:

    Or are we just going on the assumption that these left voters can never be won over, because they are intellectually dishonest infantile

    Yes.

  391. 391
    NR says:

    @soonergrunt:

    The Koch brothers aren’t stupid enough to give money to somebody who thinks that praising Obama on lefty blogs will work.

    Let’s review what you actually said:

    Well, it’s good of you to get that out in the open because now the Koch brothers won’t waste their money hiring a someone so fucking moronic

    This is in reference to my comment about how if I worked for the Koch brothers, I’d be telling Obama to keep doing what he’s been doing for the past year. You replied that that was moronic, and therefore insulted everyone who actually does believe that.

    Again, it’s hilarious that you’re using words when you don’t understand what they actually mean. Most people stop doing that when they’re about six years old or so, but for some reason, you’ve kept at it.

  392. 392
    Bruce S says:

    #385 – the thing that’s most telling about Nader isn’t that he’s failed – like every other ideologically-inclined activist on the right or the left – to build a relevant 3rd party. That generic failure is embedded in the structures of the US political system and our history. What’s telling about Nader is that he doesn’t even have a weak 3rd party organization to represent his issues perenially, like the Libertarians actually do.

    He never committed his candidacies to strengthening the Green Party or to digging in organizationally with a consistent strategy – even if it was delusional – for the long haul. Now this latest improvisational venture is within the Democratic Party that he has reviled as hopeless for decades.

    Nader is driven by his ego and his impulses. It’s not that I don’t think he cares about issues as he perceives them, but he seems mired in resentment and doesn’t even have a decent crank theory of purist, issue-driven politics that he’s willing to stick with and work for. Looking at his trajectory from 2000 til now, if I were a true-believing Green I’d be just as sick of him as Democrats are.

  393. 393
    bayville says:

    @ABL:
    Until the late 1990s, Nader was a solid, Progressive Democrat – he endorsed mostly Dems, all were Progressives, and a few third-party types (Bernie Sanders the most notable).
    In 2000, the Greens received 2.2 percent of the Presidential Vote. Not bad for a third-party (actually).

    As to Why Nader and the Greens had a parting seven years ago, I seriously do not know. But I do know Most statewide Green parties have been neutered in the past 5 or 6 years, (with the possible exception of Cynthia McKinney down there in Georgia).

    But c’mon ABL, 10 years, 15 years isn’t a long time in the organizing of a movement. Hell, look at how long the women’s suffrage movement took to see the fruits of its efforts here in the States?

    You have to start sometime, right?

    But I always considered Nader’s organizing strength to be issue-oriented and his groups issue-focused.
    Frankly, until 2000 I felt Nader’s political instincts were a little naive.

  394. 394
    soonergrunt says:

    @Catsy:

    Are you [NR] capable of making an argument that doesn’t involve inane, specious, counterfactual straw man hypotheticals?

    No. He/she is not. SATSQ.

  395. 395
    Ash Can says:

    @Bruce S: I think there’s a lot to what you say here. I’m probably guilty of getting a little too riled up over the primary aspect, per se, myself. I think that Nader, and what he’s doing, strike a particular nerve in many of us because of what happened last time he pulled this shit — it wasn’t so much the primary as what it led to. As someone else said above, if he had confined his efforts to the primary and not run as a third-party candidate in a too-close-for-comfort race, we’d be patting him on the head and calling him Pat Paulsen right now. But he’s demonstrated that he won’t let damaging the country stand in the way of him feeding his ego, so the knowledge that he’s willing to do it again, with potentially even more disastrous results, is not comforting.

  396. 396
    NR says:

    @Catsy:

    Because you have yet to describe a set of choices that bears even the slightest resemblance to the ones we have, or the ones we are likely to ever have.

    Actually, if we continue following your advice, we will end up with choices that are, if not exactly that bad, at least close. Because you are saying that there is absolutely nothing the Democrats could to do lose your vote, because the Republicans will always be at least marginally worse than they are. And so the Democrats have absolutely no incentive to ever get any better.

    Why should the Democrats pass the Employee Free Choice Act? What is going to happen if they don’t? Well, if you have your way, nothing.

    Why should the Democrats stop drone bombings of children? What is going to happen if they don’t? Once again, if you have your way, nothing.

    Why should the Democrats listen to a single thing you say? You are going to vote for them no matter what they do.

  397. 397
    different church-lady says:

    Since gogol’s wife has already provided a perfectly adequate answer to the hypothetical question, I’ll additionally note something that might be more to the point: in a hypothetical matchup between Bachmann and Perry, the third party candidate still doesn’t win.

    @Bill:

    I acknowledge it, I just don’t think it’s as simple as “always vote for the candidate with a D after her name.”

    Where we can agree is that nothing is ever simple. And my rule of thumb is when someone tells you something is simple they’re trying to pull one over on you.

    The only real power average voters have is the ability to withhold.

    But that’s really no power at all.

    @Catsy:

    …I’d hold my nose and vote for Joe motherfucking Arpaio—who, while being bigoted, corrupt, evil and opposed to nearly everything I stand for, is at least not in favor of genocide and world domination

    yet.

  398. 398
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @bayville: If you really want to build a third party, you don’t start at the presidential level. You run for school board, city council, and things like that. You develop a pool of people who are good at running elections and a pool of candidates who have an election or two under their belts. Then you run those people for state office, senate or assembly. And so on.

    Also, I tend to think issue activists make terrible candidates and campaigners. Even at the the most grassroots levels, there is always more than one issue to be addressed and, in my experience, issue activists can have trouble taking their eyes off the ball the have been watching for years in order to deal with other things.

  399. 399
    Pliny says:

    @John N:

    You must be confused. According to ABL and Friends, it is the job of a Democratic politician to not be a Republican politician. That’s it!

    Ok, ok, every once in a while you have to show that you’re different, but good news! Apparently one out of ten votes is plenty to prove your worth! As a bonus, votes on terrible things like the PATRIOT Act and the comically bloated military budget (which both parties almost unanimously agree on), those don’t count against your 1/10 ratio.

  400. 400
    Bruce S says:

    “Frankly, until 2000 I felt Nader’s political instincts were a little naive.”

    This goes right up there with, “Frankly, until they developed the Edsel, I always thought Ford’s cars were poorly designed.”

  401. 401
    soonergrunt says:

    @NR: Are you really venal enough to try the “you didn’t say what you actually said but instead what I wish you had said that would prove my point if you had actually said it” attack?
    As I said, the line to collect your Koch Brothers paycheck forms over there, behind Scott Walker.

  402. 402
    NR says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Fine. That’s your choice. But you need to accept that not everyone is going to see things the same way that you do. “The other guys are worse” is simply not going to be enough for some people. And if you want to make the argument that Obama in specific is enough better than Perry in specific to warrant a vote for Obama despite his flaws, then make that argument. Don’t go around berating people for even thinking about a third-party candidate (not that you specifically are doing this, but lots of people here are).

  403. 403
    different church-lady says:

    @NR: Why should the Democrats listen to a single thing you say? You are going to vote for them no matter what they do.

    Inadequate Sample Size for $600 Alex: I, for one, have crossed over on the extremely rare occasions that the D was unpalatable.

    I also toyed with Nader in 2000. Man, glad I came to my senses on that one.

  404. 404
    NR says:

    @soonergrunt: No, you said exactly what I quoted. What’s hilarious is that you don’t understand it.

  405. 405
    Catsy says:

    @Bill:

    Did you read what I wrote? Do you understand the analysis and process I described?

    Oh, I understand it just fine. The problem is that you’re conflating the decision-making process with the mechanics of voting for and electing a president in American politics. Nuance is essential when deciding which candidate to prefer. It is nonexistent in the act of casting and tabulating votes.

    The only irony I see here is being lectured about nuance by someone who couldn’t identify enough differences between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin to be able to decide which was better for the country.

    Perhaps what’s lost on you is the fact that if enough people cast their votes for third party candidates, the discourse will move in the direction of third parties.

    No, it won’t. Not ever. It is a structural impossibility baked into the way our system works.

    If you want to make third parties viable, you need to first fight for a fundamental reshaping our electoral system itself–for changes like IRV, reform of the electoral college, campaign finance reform and public funding of third-party candidates, elimination of laws designed to favor the two major parties, and countless other things which will actually make third parties viable in this country. You need to work to build a functional third party by electing people from that party to state and local offices, establishing a base of power and influence and a farm team from which experienced candidates can be recruited for national office.

    Unless that happens, third parties will now and forever be nothing but an also-ran at the national level.

    And even with those structural reforms, you will still have to contend with the left-right ideological polarization of the country. The very reason it is called “polarization” is because it is result of voters coalescing around imaginary ideological poles–of which there are two, with a continuum between them. And in this country, the left and the right have split the country very nearly down the middle, in terms of eligible voters.

    The result of this left-right polarization is that you end up with two parties: one broadly representing the interests of the left, and one broadly representing the interests of the right. The moment you split off a third party aimed at better representing one end of the spectrum or another, you divide the vote that supports that end of the spectrum, which accomplishes nothing except handing a numerical advantage to the ideological pole which is not divided.

    This is really very simple math. There is no nuance to it. The numbers are what they are.

    Perhaps an exercise will help you visualize this.

    Say 100 people are trying to decide on dinner. 50 of them want pizza. 50 of them want hamburgers. None of them really agree on what toppings they want, but they at least agree on that much.

    The hamburger faction is willing to vote for hamburgers, reasoning that even if they don’t get the toppings they want, they’re still getting hamburgers and not pizza, which they can’t stand.

    The pizza faction, on the other hand, is divided. Some of them don’t see why the only choices should be “pizza” and “hamburger”, with no negotiation over toppings. They argue–quite correctly–that, say, pepperoni pizza is completely different from Hawaiian. The only thing they agree on is that they really hate hamburgers. But they’re not willing to compromise on toppings, preferring instead to put forward a more narrowly-defined third option: pepperoni and cheese.

    The final vote then comes out to: 50 in favor of hamburgers, 45 in favor of pizza, and 5 in favor of pepperoni and cheese pizza.

    Guess what? They’re all eating hamburgers, whether they like it or not.

    It may be a simplistic analogy, but that really is the reality of our winner-take-all two-party system.

    Don’t like it? Change the system.

    Until you do, your third party vote is a wasted vote at best.

  406. 406
    taylormattd says:

    @cintibud: All credit goes to Mike Meyers. :)

  407. 407
    NR says:

    @different church-lady:

    in a hypothetical matchup between Bachmann and Perry, the third party candidate still doesn’t win.

    And the point is that winning isn’t everything. Or rather, winning in the short term isn’t everything.

  408. 408
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @piratedan:

    because three years ago it would have required Reid to have been clairvoyant to know that the R’s would throw down the gauntlet and go scorched earth. Up until that time, everyone had played nice (more or less) for about 125 years.

    Horseshit. Hmmmm…he didn’t catch a clue during the Bush years? During the Clinton impeachment when the Repubs were playing nice? After 2008 elections he didn’t catch on after…six months? One year? Eighteen months, two years, two and a half? Three? How many Friedman units does it take to convince you that something about the way the Dems bend over backwards to be weak milquetoast spineless wimps when they are in power just doesn’t fucking smell right?

    Is there nothing you won’t twist yourself into pretzels to defend on behalf of establishment dems? They are not to be trusted.

  409. 409
    different church-lady says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If you really want to build a third party, you don’t start at the presidential level.

    Or, like I said on the other thread…

  410. 410
    soonergrunt says:

    @NR: You better start shoring up the walls, because if you dig any deeper, that hole is gonna collapse on you. Not that you’d be missed.

  411. 411
    Li says:

    Ooh, this is fun. I’ve made a lot of you angry, which is good; anger is often the first sign of free thought.

    All in a line, people.

    290: I might not be in a majority when it comes to solutions, though I dare say that I have never suggested we become bloody rebels, unless you believe those people sitting out on Wall St. have blood on their hands. But when it comes to the problems, and the recognition of the source of them, I am completely confident that I am in the majority, and further, that the two political parties are in total agreement that the path of corporate control, greed and destruction is the only way forward.

    305: You can just say it’s bullshit, or you can google ‘Growing Power’ like I asked you to. But, just saying bullshit is easier, as is trusting that voting one way or another is going to solve these problems. You can keep taking the easy path, and I’ll keep researching, verifying, and truth telling.

    315: Smaller than the carbon footprint of the plane that brings you your veggies. Two might be able to play this game, but that doesn’t mean you play it well. Oh, btw, the carbon footprint thing is another divisive bullshit issue. They were going to be giving carbon credits out like candy to the oil companies and big polluters, under even the best of plans. And, don’t forget the preference for nuclear over clean power that doesn’t kill people and irradiate the land for thousands of years! More government bailouts for mega-corporations, whee!

    My first suggestion to everyone is to get angry, get real riled up. Get angry about the Gulf of Mexico. Get angry about bailing out banks while they foreclose upon people who got sold liar loans. Get angry about the fact that the President can tell Geithner to break up the banks, and he can just ignore him, because the banks he represents are really in charge. Get angry that people are starving to death in a world of plenty. Get angry that the middle class is being destroyed, and that slave labor is being used by our corporate masters to undermine the value of our work. Get angry that useful technologies are being suppressed or ignored, while we are sold useless junk.

    If you are angry about things that actually matter, then you won’t be as vulnerable to getting angry over distracting bullshit issues that are not fundamental to our plight.

  412. 412
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NR: Right now, we have the system we have. Is there a reason that one can’t vote for the lesser-of-two-evils/better-of-the-two candidate now while, at the same time, working att eh grassroots level to bring in new and better (in your view) candidates and promote the issues you believe are important?

  413. 413
    different church-lady says:

    @NR:

    And the point is that winning isn’t everything.

    How much policy does the loser get to craft?

  414. 414
    different church-lady says:

    @Li:

    Ooh, this is fun. I’ve made a lot of you angry, which is good; anger is often the first sign of free thought.

    Way to make me receptive to your offerings there, Skippy.

    My first suggestion to everyone is to get angry, get real riled up.

    OK. Is there a step two to this process or is that it?

  415. 415
    Catsy says:

    @NR:

    Actually, if we continue following your advice, we will end up with choices that are, if not exactly that bad, at least close. Because you are saying that there is absolutely nothing the Democrats could to do lose your vote, because the Republicans will always be at least marginally worse than they are. And so the Democrats have absolutely no incentive to ever get any better.

    We have these things called primaries. I encourage you to read up about them. Because that, there, is your opportunity to send a meaningful message about what direction you want the party to take.

    Once we hit the general, the only message you’re sending by not voting for the better candidate is that you don’t want them to win. It says nothing about why, or in what direction they could move if they wanted your vote. One would think that decades of the media misinterpreting a Democrat’s disapproval numbers as approval for their Republican opponent’s alternative policies would disabuse you of that idea.

  416. 416
    different church-lady says:

    @Catsy:

    We have these things called primaries.

    Yeah. Except that that’s the very thing we’re talking about here, ain’t it?

  417. 417
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @ABL:

    sweet jebus, this is the most juvenile crap i’ve ever read.

    Wrong. The most juvenile crap you’ve ever read is your average FP Emobot post.

  418. 418
    Catsy says:

    @different church-lady: No, that’s not the discussion I’ve been having with NR and Bill. Otherwise why would we be discussing the merits of choosing between a Democrat and a Republican, as opposed to voting for a third party?

    In the Democratic primary, absolutely: vote your conscience. I’ve never said otherwise.

  419. 419
    Bruce S says:

    #395 – Ashcan

    Which is why I noted that Nader tends to “energize” contempt for Nader among Dems more than anything else at this point…

    Obama has real problems his campaign needs to neutralize and overcome in 2012. This really isn’t one of them. Also, folks who don’t get common sense on this by now aren’t going to be persuaded. There’s a rich environment of potential Democratic voters out there. It’s not among people who are attracted to Ralph Nader or Cornel West. Frankly, I’m more worried by Tavis Smiley’s attacks on Obama as a demoralizing influence among Democrats than either of these guys, because he isn’t totally obscure or just a fixture among the politically-obsessed. But the way to deal with these guys isn’t by arguing with true-believers or trying to target them as some major danger on the 2012 landscape, but by presenting a good case for the President’s re-election at the grass-roots level where there are lots of folks who might or might not vote based more on stuff like keeping their registration current or having someone encourage them face-to-face. If Obama loses, it’s not going to work to blame it on Ralph Nader or Cornel West. I can guarantee you that the reasons will be closer to home within the party and the campaign. I don’t think it’s at all likely, but neither am I complacent – for reasons having nothing to do with these left critics.

  420. 420
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @different church-lady: Partially. Some of the folks here are now suggesting that Perry would not be that different from Obama.

    On the subject of primaries: If there is an open primary, I think it is a great opportunity for a candidate to get issues to be addressed even if that candidate does not have a chance of winning. Edwards changed the dynamic of the conversation 2008. I don’t think that primarying an incumbent serves the same function. Rather, by its very nature, it creates the implication that you believe the incumbent should be replaced. If you think that, fine, we disagree, but that is another story. If, however, you want to get a message out, this is not the way to do it.

  421. 421
    NR says:

    @Catsy:

    We have these things called primaries.

    Primaries don’t work, because the party machine always backs the establishment candidate. Case in point: Arkansas 2010. Obama and the Democratic establishment backed Blanche Lincoln, even though Bill Halter had a better chance to win the general election. And she was able to eke out a narrow victory, only to go on to get crushed in the general.

    Primaries don’t work.

  422. 422
    NR says:

    @different church-lady: How much policy do you get to craft when the guy you voted for doesn’t listen to a single thing you say?

  423. 423
    different church-lady says:

    So if a republican who wanted to continue two foreign wars and start a third ran against a Democrat who wanted to continue three foreign wars and start a third, you’d vote for the Democrat.

    I’m still amazed by the number of people who seem to think Obama started the Libyan Civil War.

  424. 424
    Catsy says:

    @NR: I’m trying to wrap my head around the mindset of someone who thinks that they can’t influence the direction of the party or effect change by voting in the party’s own primary elections, but they can by voting against that party in the general election. What the barking fuck? What kind of sense does that make?

  425. 425
    different church-lady says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Some of the folks here are now suggesting that Perry would not be that different from Obama.

    I don’t think any of the Socrates-Wanna-Bes were genuinely asserting that. But it’s early yet.

  426. 426
    ABL says:

    @Pliny: fair enough. so if i change the syntax of my original comment to read: “if obama is just like bush, then why did he advance this list of policies” would you have a cogent response?

  427. 427
    Shade Tail says:

    @Pat:

    You twit. Are you aware of an institution called “Congress”? Every republican there, and a fairly large number of democrats, have been viciously obstructing Obama’s agenda for his entire administration. Has this fact conveniently slipped your mind? And do you really not understand that those same obstructionists would flip like a pancake the instant a republican entered the White House?

  428. 428
    ABL says:

    @Li: you give yourself too much credit, friend. most people are mocking you, not expressing anger.

    if you weren’t so self-important, you might understand that.

  429. 429
    ABL says:

    @Kola Noscopy: no. i’ll stick with my original thought, if you don’t mind. i don’t need you telling me what i think.

  430. 430
    ABL says:

    @bayville: @bayville:

    As to Why Nader and the Greens had a parting seven years ago, I seriously do not know. But I do know Most statewide Green parties have been neutered in the past 5 or 6 years, (with the possible exception of Cynthia McKinney down there in Georgia).

    then what has he done in the last 7 years? it seems to me, he hasn’t done much. and he has done nothing (that i know of) to build the foundation of a viable third party.

    why expect liberals to sign up for a movement the foundation for which has not been built? why spend so much time mocking those who view nader’s actions as coming from a less than noble place?

    sure, women’s suffrage took a while, but people were steadily working and making progress throughout. as far as i can tell, nader is MIA except in election years. i mean, you yourself don’t know what happened with him and the greens and you seem to be a great champion of his!

    so again, what is he doing to build a movement? it’s fine if you don’t know, and yes, you gotta start somewhere; but if you don’t know, your crowing on this thread seems misplaced.

  431. 431
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @AkaDad: “If I can’t get 10, then in 2012, I’m staying home and listening to 25 or 6 to 4.”

    I prefer one at 10, 2 and 4. It keeps me regular.

    ETA: Fixed time!

  432. 432
    piratedan says:

    @Kola Noscopy: horseshit yourself….. Filibuster used to delay legislation, off the charts, more than twice as many times than any other Congressional session EVER. 20% of administrative nominees for the judiciary are STILL blocked in the Senate three years after Obama took office. C’mon man, even Maddow acknowledges the extremes that the R’s used to block legislation in the Senate was unprecedented in our nation’s history.

    As for changing the Senate rules, Reid had no reason to suspect that the Filibuster rules would be abused until they were actually abused…. and if you’re gonna tell me that he should have known because of the Clinton Impeachment then you have one funny ass way of connecting the dots. Explain to me how, because someone actually caught Clinton, cheating on his wife, with an intern, in the Oval Office would automagically imply that Senate R’s would filibuster everything on the Obama agenda. After the abuse of said rules, which remain in place during the duration of that legislative session, Reid couldn’t modify them until after this last election and in case you hadn’t noticed, a few seats changed hands. Plus, there wasn’t a supermajority in place in the Senate for longer than six fucking weeks…. Franken was seated after July, Kennedy died in late August and was hardly there at all those last few months.

    As for Establishment Dems, how do you tell them apart from Blue Dogs and Progressives how? Is there an Establishment Dem caucus? Do they wear pledge pins or have a secret handshake or are they all sporting a nifty, yet elegant tattoo?

  433. 433
    Woodrowfan says:

    I’m still amazed by the number of people who seem to think Obama started the Libyan Civil War.

    check out the Tbogg thread. Some clown is suggesting that if Gore had won in 2000, then Mossad would have had Liebermann assassinate him so Joementum would be President.

  434. 434
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @eemom:

    I’m almost tempted to go check it out…lol!

    Almost.

  435. 435
    bayville says:

    @ABL:
    You’e talking about politics – as R’s v. D’s; Conservatives v. Liberals.

    Frankly I don’t care about that stuff anymore. I bet on football games not political races.

    It’s issues (i.e. employment, benefits for workers, health care, etc.) that matter. Nobody in the past 50 years has done more to organize like minded people to fight for these important issues than Ralph Nader. And until the past 15 years he accomplished reforms in areas that we take for granted today.

    But the reason he’s been ostracized in polite company is because his value to owners of this country has been devalued. It’s not his fault. It’s the system. It’s poisened. The system needs to be destroyed.
    You feel it can be done from inside “that system”. I believe that is naive. Or ridiculous.

  436. 436
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR:

    Primaries don’t work, because the party machine always backs the establishment candidate.

    Wait, what? No, that’s bullshit, I’m sorry. If you want to elect an anti-establishment candidate, you have to beat the establishment candidate in the process. Sure, it’s hard. That’s too bad. Run against her as a tool of the corrupt interests your principled candidacy will challenge head-on. Make your case directly to the public, the whole shebang. If you can’t, you have a problem. If you can’t persuade Democratic voters to back the insurgent candidate over the establishment candidate, _while_ making an electability argument to boot, then it’s back to the fucking drawing board.

    Both Jon Tester and Jim Webb were the candidates less favored by the leadership of their state parties. Then they won. Of course, then they turned out to be not particularly liberal, because there’s a difference between insurgent and liberal, on one axis, and between populist and liberal, on another, but the point is they pulled it off.

    And on the earlier subject about voting for candidates who hold objectionable positions on issues, I know I’ve done it, and probably you have too. I’ve voted for pro-life Democrats and, especially in Philadelphia, openly corrupt Democrats. But, despite these strikes against them, _on balance_, they were better than the alternative.

    When I lived in Pennsylvania, the one time I refused to vote for the Democrat it was for Bob Casey Jr. in a statewide office, because I dislike the Casey family’s anti-abortion hardline stance. He eventually because a senator — running against Rick Santorum — and he’s far from being the worst. Any political strategy that involves progressives refusing to back Bob Casey Jr. because of reproductive rights, coal, or anything else has a huge problem, because the alternative might be Santorum, who’s not just bad on that issue, but across the board on every other one too.

  437. 437
    Fr33d0m says:

    Well its about time someone kicked of their hippie-kickers and made a positive argument. Now if we can learn the lesson and move on.

    Name calling & hippie punching – Bad and unhelpful–shows you have no argument worth airing.

    Making positive argument without name calling or hippie punching – Good and helpful–may actually change ones perspective.

  438. 438
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Li:

    Well then get to work building your party.

    Good luck! You’re going to need it.

    @Tonybrown74: “If you were part of a religion, you would belong to the Brothers and Sisters of Perpetual Victimhood.”

    And their parochial school would be named Our Lady of Perpetual Weeping.

  439. 439
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The death penalty has always been one of those issues for me. It makes a difference to me and, in a primary, I will frequently have it be a deciding factor between to otherwise similar candidates.

  440. 440
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Daveboy: “Bitching at a politician while simultaneously promising to vote for him/her no matter what is a great way to be ignored by that politician about everything, forever.”

    So withholding your vote and allowing them to lose is a great way to get them to listen to you? Ok, once they lose and you have their ear, what can they do for you now that they no longer hold office?

    Beg?

  441. 441

    Wow. I can’t believe the shitstorm this has stirred up.

    Well, yes. I can.

    Anyway, it’s kind of amazing to see so many people here willfully misunderstanding what I wrote. I half feel like I should try to lay it all out again in a way that they would understand, but I don’t think there is such a way.

    I will say this, though, since this subject has popped up again and again in this thread, but almost always tangentially:

    Running a reliably liberal in a primary challenge to, say, Ben Nelson would be fruitless at best (the candidate loses the primary), or destructive at worst (the candidate wins the primary but loses the genereal election). Ben Nelson, odious as most of us here think he is, is the best we can do in Nebraska. Either Ben Nelson or a Democrat like him will hold that seat or a Republican will.

    Now, Maryland, let’s say, is another thing. If some Democrat like Nelson held the seat in Maryland that’s coming up next year, then I would say by all means primary him. Maryland will send a reliable Democrat to the Senate, and has for since 1982. If someone like Nelson slipped into one of the Maryland seats, it would be kind of a freak, and that senator would be in pretty bad shape 6 years later.

    I guess ABL could write about this better than I can, but I will point out that the most reliably Democratic voters for the last, what, 40 or 50 years have been African Americans. They are also among Obama’s most reliable supporters. Now you might think that, since they’re generally among the most liberal of American voters, they would find a soulless conservative faking it as a Democrat would turn them off. Yet, somehow, they still stand solidly behind him.

    Why is that? Is it because they’re all racists? Is it that they’re all just too dumb to know any better and are jazzed that a black dude is in charge so they dont care what he does? Is it that they’re so dumb they blindly follow the “poverty pimps” (as conservatives charmingly like to call the Democratic Party), even though it’s against their own interests?

    Or maybe it’s something else. I can’t say I know this for sure, but my guess is that African Americans, better than almost any of the rest of us, understand what it means to be in something for the long haul. Did they dump all over Martin Luther King, because he wasn’t charging into Congress, shooting all the segregationists? Did they call him a sellout for trying to work with generally sympathetic but far more moderate whites to do the long, hard work of ending segregation?

    Long, hard work. That’s really the hangup here, isn’t it? Too many liberals don’t want to do the work. They don’t want to wait. That isn’t how the world works. George Bush and his Republican Congresses had 6 years to fuck things up. They didn’t trash the country as badly as they did overnight. Sometimes it seems like it was a whirlwind, but the shit they wrought took 6 years.

    If it took 6 years to trash the place, you can damned sure count on it taking a good while longer than 6 years to clean it up. There is so much work to do. I’d love it if, just this once, the president had a magic wand to wave and undo the tax cuts and the wars and the economic and environmental devestation and the Supreme Court justices and the incompetence and everything else that Bush and the Republican Congress did. I’d love that. But it won’t happen.

    There is no Harry Potter who can come in and save us all. Frodo isn’t going to do our work for us. Heroes like that are fun to read about and fun to watch in movies, but the heroes in the world we live in don’t save the world. They do long, hard, often unsung work chipping away at the edges of injustice and poverty and violence. Once in a long while a truly exceptional one rises, somebody like King or Ghandi, but most go to their graves unknown to the world.

    And here’s another thing about the real heroes: They make deals. Sometimes they make deals that, to somebody on the outside, might look like selling out. Somebody running an orphanage in Honduras or somewhere sometimes has to pay off the police or the local officeholders. Maybe that shocks your tender sensibilities. But when the choice is getting the children the food they need or taking a big, bold, principled stand against corruption and going on CNN to tell everybody what a big, bold, principled hero you are, well, I can guess which one a lot of you people would do. But then, you’d never be bothered to do that kind of drudge work to begin with: it’s just too small, not ambitious enough, not far reaching enough. Why dick around trying to save a few street kids when you can do something truly meaningful, like showing the Democrats that they can’t take us for granted any longer, damn it!

    Now maybe that’s unfair. I know it’s harsh. But I don’t give a shit any longer. What’s wrong with some of you people? You seriously want to see a revolution here? I don’t. Revolutions are messy and people die, and more often than not, they don’t end well. I wonder if you have some romantic belief that it’s 1776 all over again or something. And, yeah, that one turned out well. But how about Russia in 1917? Or France in 1789? How about China in 1949? True, some end fairly quickly without much bloodshed, but look hard at those three I listed above. Look hard and ask yourself whether it’s worth wishing for a real revolution here.

    I’d rather work a little at a time. I said above, it is hard. It is dull. It does take a long, long time. But right now, when we are creeoing ahead, even if slowly, is it worth upending things on the off chance that things will be better once the smoke blows away? Three steps forward and two back is maddening. I think most of us see eye to eye on where we want to go, and most of us would much rather get there faster than we’re going now. But like it or not, this is how you progress in a big, sprawling, unwieldy, republic where a big minority doesn’t want what you want. Maybe they’re wrong and working against their own interests. I think they are. But the answer, as I see it, is to try to show them where they’re wrong, and get them to come around. It means working to get liberals on the school boards. On the town and county councils. In the state legislatures.

    None of that is big, bold or dramatic. It isn’t heroic. But it works. It’s slow but it works. That’s what we have to do. And keep in mind what happens to a lot of the heroes we read about or see in movies: often they fail. A hero can come to a tragic end, too. And sometimes they bring about the very ruin they seek to stave off, through their own stubbornness or pride or impatience. Big-screen heroism won’t get us what we want. Slow, patient, unheralded hard work will do that. Sometimes we’ll lose. But there will be times when we get something for our trouble, and the more hard work we’ve done to lay the groundwork, the likelier our work will hold up. Heroic work can be ephemeral, too.

    I’ve written far more than I set out to, and most likely, far more than anybody will want to read. And I’m done with this argument. You yahoos will do what you want to do, and nothing I can say will sway you. I guess I just felt like I should at least speak my mind. Do what you want, do what you think you need to. We will, too.

  442. 442
    Fulcanelli says:

    Damn, this thread’s still perking along nicely…

    Yup, the lefty purity trollz sure are pure. Staring into spring at Donacon in Thespia will do that, so I hear.

    I developed my first ulcer and shat blood when St. Reagan was coronated and 30+ years later I’m still ticked off…

    …only now at Obama for choosing the sons of Grima Wormtongue as advisors and cabinet members and the Dems for not putting up as much of a fight as I’d like.

    But I supported Obama before and I definitely will again because I see tangible progress, even if it’s only in the gradual slowing down of the decline of civilization as I know it and FSM willing we’ll beat these teabagging gooper pricks with their own stick yet.

    Next up…

    Another 400+ comment barnburner as Andrew Sullivan hyperventilates about the immorality of abortion and a woman’s right to decide what goes on with her lady parts…

  443. 443
    ABL says:

    @bayville: how do you expect to advance any of your goals — employment, benefits for workers, health care, — through destroying the system?

    one advances goals through the political process. at this point, i’m not even sure what you or ralph nader (as explained by you) stand for.

    it sounds like you’re advocating anarchy.

  444. 444
    harlana says:

    oh good grief Charlie Brown

  445. 445
    different church-lady says:

    @Too Many Jimpersons (formerly Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.):

    Anyway, it’s kind of amazing to see so many people here willfully misunderstanding what I wrote.

    It is? Really? I thought that was exactly what one should have expected.

  446. 446
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Both he and you should STOP TALKING ABOUT THESE PEOPLE AT ALL. Seriously, you picked about the worst commenter to parrot.

    I mean, are y’all still fighting about 2000? You really want that to get revisited over and over? Chat about it on blogs until the bigger media get hold of it?

    Okay, but I’m trying to get Democrats elected and you are helping about as much as Ralph Nader in exactly the same way.

  447. 447
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Wrong Numbers: “If Obama goes down, maybe the next dem president realizes he can’t ignore his base. If Obama wins despite ignoring his base, politics shift ever rightward.”

    So you are fine with Obama losing so the Republicans can take over, all in the hope that the next Democratic candidate will heed your ‘message’ and cater to your needs in order to win?

    You people like to ask us ‘How’s that hopey-changey stuff working out for you?’ and this is your plan? Pathetic.

    It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    Remember that if you want people to take you seriously. Well, sane people anyway.

  448. 448
    harlana says:

    @ABL: it is a question of choosing order over chaos. at this time in history, the republican party represents chaos for this country. perhaps it has always been so. however many grievances, and there are quite a few, i may have with my own party, the teapartification of the republican party (one of the most grotesque and shameful American spectacles i have witnessed and endured) and the relative silence of their more “serious” counterparts (all other republicans), leaves a reasonable person no other choice. do we then go and break the tenuous threads holding the country together now?

  449. 449
    eemom says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    you need to calm down, dude. Idle discussion on blog threads is not gonna make or break us next year. To put it mildly.

  450. 450
    jaleh says:

    For the first time in my like I donated to Obama’s election (I’m 59) and I will continue giving. He will go down as one of the best Presidents this country has ever had.

    But Americans are not the smartest bunch when it comes to elections, for crying out loud, they voted for Bush, TWICE!

    Daily Mirror 2005:

    “How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?”

    And for trolls out there: My husband and I are at the top 1% of income earners and never had anything to do with government or received any $ from the government.

  451. 451
    Powdermonkey says:

    Damn-Fucking-Straight!

    Perfect, don’t change a word. Send it to every paper in the country. Send it to everyone you know.

  452. 452
    ABL says:

    @eemom: seriously. especially considering Nader was on Last Word tonight (and, incidentally, LOD posed a question to Nader from Comrade Kevin aka @TalkieToaster2!)

  453. 453
    eemom says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    check out the Tbogg thread. Some clown is suggesting that if Gore had won in 2000, then Mossad would have had Liebermann assassinate him so Joementum would be President.

    yes, I noticed that lovely little morsel too. IMHO it kind of crossed the line where “anti-Semitism” is not just a meaningless buzzword used to silence critics of Israel. Just a tad.

    But that’s not something that ever would raise an eyebrow over at Lake Batshit. Unlike, say, a word of ridicule directed at St. Ralph — which has gained TBogg more comments than any of the hundreds of brilliant posts he’s written since he sold out to that whore.

  454. 454
    eemom says:

    @ABL:

    I missed the Nader part, but I must say I was totally impressed with O’Donnell last night, the way he seemed positively giddy with glee over Obama’s speech. Makes me feel like he’s actually, you know, ONE of us and just a loudmouthed megalomaniac like Tweety or Olbermann.

  455. 455
  456. 456
    Pliny says:

    @ABL:

    Because Obama is just like Bush in several very significant areas and in other very significant areas he is not like Bush at all. While I know we both support and agree with him regarding many of the latter, they do not excuse the former.

  457. 457
    Ruckus says:

    @Too Many Jimpersons (formerly Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.):

    ABL said it best both the first time and now – THIS, THIS, THIS.

    Nothing really good happens overnight. Wine, a great relationship, turning around a ship the size of our political theater, whatever. Time is the steadiest ingredient. Hard work is almost always next. When I was a mental health counselor people would come in and want to change something about themselves in one or two sessions. My questions would always be – how long did it take you to get where you are? How easy was it to go there? How long do you think it will take to get to where you want to be? And, How hard do you think it might be to get there?

  458. 458
  459. 459
    virag says:

    @eemom:

    establishment dems are no brighter than the average teabagger.

  460. 460
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Brian R.:

    I was thinking more like Государственный гимн СССР as the mood setter.

  461. 461
  462. 462
    LTMidnight says:

    @NR:

    And the point is that winning isn’t everything. Or rather, winning in the short term isn’t everything.

    And this right here is why moonbats don’t get taken seriously. You can’t spell “progressive” without “progress”. And you can’t progress if you don’t WIN.

    FDR was able to figure this out, which is why he made nice with the Tammany Democrats (who at the time was as corrupt as today’s republicans) in order to become governor of new York and ultimately President. Only after he WON could he then perform the New Deal.

    It also helps that he had 75 Democratic Senators and 322 Democratic House Members.

  463. 463
    LTMidnight says:

    @ABL: Something tells me many of these “anarchists” will be the first to run in the other direction if revolution actually does pop off.

  464. 464
    B W Smith says:

    @ABL: As I read through these comments today, anarchy is exactly the word I kept thinking. The constant roar of ‘we can’t work within the system’, ‘primaries don’t work’ and whatever that was that Li was espousing convinced me that these people are anarchists or just too lazy to put in the hours and days needed to reach their goals. I know this is an instant gratification society but does anyone believe that such change can happen instantly?

  465. 465
    Catsy says:

    @Pliny:

    Because Obama is just like Bush in several very significant areas and in other very significant areas he is not like Bush at all. While I know we both support and agree with him regarding many of the latter, they do not excuse the former.

    Let’s assume, arguendo, that this is correct. I think it borders on bullshit, because for all of his serious failings (and there are many!), there is not a single area of policy in which Obama is “just like Bush”–but I’ll accept it for the sake of argument.

    This still must be weighed in contrast with the entire GOP presidential field, who–where they are not “just like Bush”–are in fact significantly, horrifyingly worse.

  466. 466
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Li: “Ooh, this is fun. I’ve made a lot of you angry, which is good; anger is often the first sign of free thought.”

    Oops! You lost me with that line because it made me lol my ass off! Now you have to anger me all over again so I can do some of that thinking you say that anger at you generates in others.

    Get to work you laughably cute little radical scamp.

  467. 467
    KS in MA says:

    @A Mom Anon: In fact, I’d say that is exactly the GOP’s strategy: to make everyone get so fed up that they won’t vote.

    Or think, either.

    Seems to be a bit too effective for comfort.

  468. 468
    gwangung says:

    @B W Smith:

    As I read through these comments today, anarchy is exactly the word I kept thinking. The constant roar of ‘we can’t work within the system’, ‘primaries don’t work’ and whatever that was that Li was espousing convinced me that these people are anarchists or just too lazy to put in the hours and days needed to reach their goals

    I’ve met anarchists. Went to school with them.

    These are not anarchists.

  469. 469
    Cain says:

    @taylormattd:

    Very well, where should I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen-year-old French prostitute named Chloe with ….

    More of this please. :)

  470. 470
    Yutsano says:

    @taylormattd: Channeling your inner Sarah Proud and Tall are we? She’ll be quite flattered.

  471. 471
    Wrong Numbers says:

    @ Odie Hugh Manatee

    Romney probably wouldn’t be that different from Obama in practice. The difference (as I wrote and you ignored) is that the dems, instead of trying to suppress dissent as ABL is doing would be fighting tooth and nail against the abuses they routinely support when a dem’s responsible. Liberals would actually go nuts when he tried to imprison Bradley Manning indefinitely in solitary without charges, assassinate American citizens without due process, immunize torturers, extend the Bush tax cuts, cut Medicare, etc.

    I’m not going to buy the fear you people are selling. Obama inherited a pile of shit and is still FDR and Abraham Lincoln compared to Bush. But that’s the only light he looks good in. He’s a mediocre president at best, and he’s sold out a lot of core progressive values without a major payoff. He’s been a disappointment, and it should be acknowledged. What you want to do with that’s up to you. I doubt I’m voting this election because I don’t fear the scary Repub bogeyman. I hate those assholes, but I’m not sure Romney would do a worse job than Obama who’s acted like a pussy since he took office.

  472. 472
    Wildebeest says:

    ABL needs to get a job at the Whitehouse, lecturing liberals on how to challenge up appropriately. I hear they are hiring and she’s perfect for it.

  473. 473
    Surly Duff says:

    @Too Many Jimpersons (formerly Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.):
    Your overall point about incremental improvements over time is appropriate, but you go a little overboard in the comments.However, my criticisms of your second post are beside my point. After 471 comments, there are still arguments over the efficacy of a primary challenge fathered by Ralph fucking Nader and Cornell fucking West, as if those two have any sort of influence or cache among the vast majority of Dem voters.

    So, again, considering that no viable Dem. opposition candidates to the President have started campaigning or raising money for a primary run (unless you seriously consider Randall Terry a viable alternative), and that Ralph Nader or any blog commenters here are unlikely to find someone who can provide any challenge to the President in a primary, what is the purpose of this post again?

  474. 474
    Paul in KY says:

    @taylormattd: Your childhood was a bit more avant garde than mine ;-)

  475. 475
    niknik says:

    @Li: Good Christ you are a moron.

  476. 476
    Marc says:

    @Surly Duff:

    The fact that it provoked so much disagreement suggests otherwise. It’s a message that a lot of online leftists apparently need to hear, no matter how obvious it may seem to the rest of us.

  477. 477
    Pliny says:

    @Catsy:

    I had a list ready but I thought it cluttered up my comment too much. Here are a few ways Obama is just like Bush:

    indefinite detention, including many people the government knows to be completely innocent
    exotic application of state secrets privilege (to protect torturers)
    fealty to Israel
    refusal to even investigate all but a tiny fraction of Wall Street crimes, let alone prosecute
    drone strikes (actually worse than Bush)

    I can keep going if you want. And you’re right, most of the current Republican field is more like Bush, or worse. But if we keep devoting our energy to the least terrible candidate, holding our noses and telling ourselves “at least this one isn’t quite as awful as the other guy,” how can we ever change the horrific things that vast majorities of us oppose but continue no matter which party is in power?

  478. 478

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