Digging His Political Grave With His Big Stupid Mouth

Brian Schweitzer apparently thinks that pooping on Obama is the way to be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016:

Schweitzer is rubbing his chin, looking up at the ceiling, searching – unsuccessfully – for just the right words. The question was simple enough: Is there a single thing President Obama has done that you consider a positive achievement?
Finally, he spoke.
“My mother, God rest her soul, told me ‘Brian, if you can’t think of something nice to say about something change the subject,’” he said.
But he couldn’t help himself, slamming Obama’s record on civil liberties (the NSA revelations were “un-effing-believable”), his competency (“They just haven’t been very good at running things”), and above all, Obamacare (“It will collapse on its own weight”).

If Brian were running to replace Max Baucus in Montana, which is what he should have done instead of indulging in a long-shot Presidential run, this might be a good way to get elected. In a national campaign–where Democrats overwhelmingly like Obama, Obamacare is going to be at least a modest success, and where Obama’s generally competent 8 years is going to make Bush’s look like the clusterfuck it was–this strategy is death. The only office he’ll win by farting bullshit like this out of his ignorant piehole is President of Fire Dog Lake.

(via Ed Kilgore)

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196 replies
  1. 1
    Cervantes says:

    If Brian were running to replace Max Baucus in Montana, which is what he should have done instead of indulging in a long-shot Presidential run, this might be a good way to get elected.

    I agree on both counts.

  2. 2
    Bob says:

    Shit for brains.

  3. 3
    Paul W. says:

    Let me be the first to say that Schweitzer can go fuck himself. And this coming for a guy who thought he was an up and comer in the next generation of Dem national candidates.

    “They just haven’t been very good at running things”…. Yeah, it’s not like we now have a new consumer protections bureau, a DoJ that refused to enforce DOMA and which has now rejected it, finally new judges on the DC appellate court, etc etc.

    The reasons none of this has come easily surely has to do with Obama right? Not the fact that GOP obstruction prevented the nomination of new judges, or leadership for consumer protections, or the House trying to force the DoJ to enforce DOMA (not to mention Obamacare has not actually been up and “running” until just this month).

    What a tool.

  4. 4

    I spotted him as a phony about 7-8 years ago right after the first time I saw that string tie and his BS common man persona.

  5. 5

    He is not running for President, he is running to be the next Evan Byah.

  6. 6
    Marc says:

    If Brian were running to replace Max Baucus in Montana, which is what he should have done instead of indulging in a long-shot Presidential run

    Amen. We need that seat a lot more than we need your inevitable fifth-place finish in New Hampshire, asshole.

  7. 7
    aimai says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Too late. To be Evan Bayh you have to have a famous father, name recognition, and be a fucking Senator.

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: somebody speculated, I believe in the original article, that he thinks he can get HRC’s Veep pick. ‘Cause nothing will help solidify the Obama base for Hillary like picking a pro-gun, anti-environmental white guy who talks about Obama with visceral and ostentatious contempt!

    Also in that Kilgore post, David Sirota is an advisor or at least a hanger-on of the Schweitzer operation

  9. 9
    scav says:

    This early in, I almost wonder if being a candidate isn’t more of a career in itself — he doesn’t want the actual position (which is work), he’s positioning himself for contributions to fund his lifestyle until the inevitable loss, at which point one regears and continue the process. Headline-chasing and cheap click conrarianism might be cash-magnets for otherwise Repuke dollars looking to escape the brand: he’s just vogueing from the other side of the aisle.

  10. 10
    dubo says:

    Any dem, even the most firebagging or blue dog dem, who can’t immediately respond to that question with “repealing DADT” shouldn’t be elected dogcatcher

  11. 11
    slippytoad says:

    This early in, I almost wonder if being a candidate isn’t more of a career in itself — he doesn’t want the actual position (which is work), he’s positioning himself for contributions to fund his lifestyle until the inevitable loss

    This alarmingly explains why so many ass-clown right-wingers make what are obviously idiotic, and impossible runs at POTUS. I think really they all know that there’s never going to be another Republican Presznit, not after the suck-ass performance of the last three of them (OK, the last four of them really), and they’re just there for the lucre.

    Maybe someone should explain to schwietzer that on the left we actually have expectations of our candidates.

  12. 12
    Patrick says:

    slamming Obama’s record on civil liberties (the NSA revelations were “un-effing-believable”), his competency (“They just haven’t been very good at running things”), and above all, Obamacare (“It will collapse on its own weight”).

    He caught bin Laden, he saved GM, he got health care reform for people below retirement age which no other national Democrat has been able to, etc etc. There would no way in hell I would ever vote for Mr Schweitzer, whether it is primary or even general. And Hillary better not select him as VP.

  13. 13
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Although there are a number of legitimate criticisms of the Obama administration, Schweitzer managed to cleanly miss every one of them.

  14. 14
    kindness says:

    I remember when Schweitzer was considered a good guy. That was when he was first running for governor though.

    Who on his staff is telling him this is a good strategy? Did he hire Mark Penn?

  15. 15
    balconesfault says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: If he’s looking to be HRC’s VP, it would help if he weren’t out there saying that she can’t be trusted on foreign policy still because of her Iraq AUMF vote.

    That dog played in 2008. Now that she has her foreign policy cred locked in with a highly competent job as Sec State, it just comes off as stupid bluster.

  16. 16
    aimai says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: This.

    At any event the correct position for a Democrat considering a race to replace a charismatic, popular, two term, first ever AA president (and his adorable family) in the White House is “Democrats are great and we should continue to be given the keys to the White House because Republicans suck at governing.” What is the point of criticizing the team you are offering to replace. Republican voters won’t vote for you anyway because you are a Democrat, and Democrats don’t want to be lectured on your idea that they suffer buyer’s remorse for twice electing Obama. Its just not a sensible marketing ploy, whichever kind of voter you are marketing yourself to.

  17. 17
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @slippytoad: I think really they all know that there’s never going to be another Republican Presznit,

    I don’t know. Even as pessimistic as I am, I can’t imagine Ted Cruz has a chance in hell, but the only explanation of his conduct is that he thinks he does. Everything about the Christie scandals suggests to me people who think they were destined to follow the Big Man to the White House. People are talking about David Samson as one of the biggest fish in the NJ pond, no way would he involve himself in such trifling matters, etc. I think he saw himself as the next Karl Rove or Mark Hanna and got carried away. Even Li’l Ricky Santorum seems to think he’s got a shot, and why not, he was arguably one dumb remark about Kennedy from taking the nomination away from Romney.

  18. 18

    I think it’s a dumb strategery. An embarrassed conservative friend pointed out to me yesterday that of course I think it’s dumb because I’m not the target audience. He postulated that the strategy was to peel off disaffected conservatives/new “independents” who have a visceral dislike for Obama but feel that there is no chance of a moderate GOPer.

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Oh, yes, parroting the teahadi line of worst.president.ever is going to win Democratic hearts and minds in the Democratic primaries.

    Please proceed, Governor.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    That “visceral dislike” couldn’t possibly have the slightest thing to do with nearness, now could it?

    Nah. That can’t be it!

  21. 21
    Patrick says:

    @aimai:

    Republican voters won’t vote for you anyway because you are a Democrat, and Democrats don’t want to be lectured on your idea that they suffer buyer’s remorse for twice electing Obama. Its just not a sensible marketing ploy, whichever kind of voter you are marketing yourself to.

    Amen. This reminds me of the Iraq war vote in October 2002 to authorize the war. A stunning number of Democrats voted to authorize the war because they were running for re-election. A huge number of them still got defeated.

    Republicans are going to vote for the Republican candidate no matter what. You might be able to get a few independents. However, what they don’t seem to realize is that there is also a cost to turning off Democrats. Rather than voting for a Democrat that wants to pretend they are a Republican (like Schweitzer), I personally would just stay home. Why is this so difficult for Democratic politicians to understand?

  22. 22
    West of the Rockies says:

    I don’t think I have even heard of this guy before… Sounds like a self-serving knucklehead.

  23. 23
    Shortstop says:

    @Marc: You think he’ll come in that high?

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @kindness:

    Did he hire Mark Penn?

    What, did someone at Microsoft grow a brain while I wasn’t looking and fire his ass, making him available?

  25. 25
    Mudge says:

    Charlie Pierce brought up a point that is important about Schweitzer. He espouses single payer health care, which cannot happen but is popular, yet he favors the Keystone pipeline, which could very well happen and is decried by many liberals. He does not favor gun control (bad that it doesn’t happen) yet favors limiting the NSA (good luck with that). He’s essentially a pie in the sky Democrat with real implication Republican positions.

  26. 26

    @Villago Delenda Est: Heh. Life in “post-racial” ‘Murica.

  27. 27
    Highway Rob says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: (& balconesfault as well) Maybe he doesn’t want to be Clinton’s veep pick. Maybe he wants to be Rand Paul’s veep pick.

  28. 28
    Shortstop says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: We will definitely have another Republican president. Very unfortunately for the republic, we’ll have many of them. Just not in ’16.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I don’t think Little Rih would have fared any better than Newt in the face of an Rmoney cash avalanche similar to the one that crushed, then shredded, the Newt SC boomlet.

  30. 30
    Rob in CT says:

    Dickish. He could simply have said O’s had his ups and downs. He could have thrown in a shot or two (NSA, website) and also some praise, and thus appealed to “independents” (the few who will both actually vote and are actually persuadable) without coming off like a total jerk to Dems.

  31. 31
    JustRuss says:

    I’m not Obama’s biggest fan, but I could easily name a dozen positive things he’s done. “Vote for me because I hate Obama” is a great strategy if you’re running for the Teabagger nomination, but that’s about it. He doesn’t seem like an idiot, so it must be he’s not serious. He wants a career as a Third Way Democrat, no responsibilities, but lots of face time on Sunday as the “liberal” counterweight to John McCain & Friends, and maybe a seat on the next version of the Catfood Commission. Screw him.

  32. 32
    C.V. Danes says:

    I would not underestimate the resonance that at least some of this message will have with the general population. Specifically, the NSA allegations, babying of the finance industry, drone attacks, Gitmo still open for business, the jobs situation, and others don’t particularly sit well with many people.

    Not saying I agree with the placement of blame, or that any other president would have fared better in the current climate. Just saying that this will all be used against him, and some of it will stick.

  33. 33
    Flukebucket says:

    @West of the Rockies: Same here and I thought I was kind of up to date on politics. Then I clicked the link and saw the bullshit cowboy string tie thing and realized the was from Montana (Population 110) and wondered why or how anybody would give him the time of fucking day.

  34. 34
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Marc:

    Amen. We need that seat a lot more than we need your inevitable fifth-place finish in New Hampshire, asshole.

    Fifth in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire — but first on the internet!

    I don’t have the time — I’m proctoring mid-terms — but if anyone wants to pop over to Daily Kos and start a poll on whether the actual ordering of the ticket should be Schweitzer/Paul or Paul/Schweitzer, I won’t stop you.

    A fine bromance, my friend this is
    A fine bromance without kisses…

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: IIRC at one point Newton Leroy and Li’l Ricky were gonna form a super alliance to take down Romney, but neither one would agree to be number two. Pointless gossip, but funny.

  36. 36
    piratedan says:

    well it’s good to see him go right ahead and get all of this crap outta the way in the primaries and watch it crash and burn in preparation for the same assault from the R’s (only with more pith commercials taking statements out of context if not lying outright) in the general. I have no issue with Western populism per se but this smacks of reading your own press clippings and not having a clue that it doesn’t play outside of Billings, much less Butte.

  37. 37
    hoodie says:

    Never have been impressed with this guy, e.g., he gave a shitty speech at the 2012 DNC. His appeal is limited to firebaggers with a weakness for bolo ties and elk hunters who like to smoke dope. He was able to win in Montana, but Montana is representative of Montana. He’ll disappear soon enough.

  38. 38
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Rob in CT: Yeah. Not ready for prime time candidate. Most polls show that people don’t like the current direction, but what exactly is Schweitzer going to change in that direction? He could outline that and give people a reason to vote for him. But he is a fool if he thinks that message is going to get out there if he slams Obama. “Major Dem Slams Obama” is what the national press are going to run with. Every. Single. Time.

  39. 39
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    ‘Cause nothing will help solidify the Obama base for Hillary like picking a pro-gun, anti-environmental white guy who talks about Obama with visceral and ostentatious contempt!

    Well if she’s still got Mark Penn calling the shots …

  40. 40
    hildebrand says:

    Why would you throw the Obama coalition of voters overboard? Obama crushed McCain and Romney – why reinvent the wheel. This center-left coalition of voters works quite well. Heck, if that coalition existed in a few more states, we could actually get stuff done without needing to pull teeth on a constant basis. Democratic candidates should be studying Obama’s playbook, not shredding it.

  41. 41
    Shortstop says:

    @Highway Rob: I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that he’s angling to get on the GOP ticket, especially when there’s no chance in hell he’ll get the Dem nomination. These people are stupid enough to think women would vote for Sarah Palin, non-Cuban Latinos would vote for Marco Rubio, and black people would vote for Alan Keyes and Herman Cain. No doubt they think having a nominal Democrat in the ticket’s VP spot is key to beating Hillary after losing twice in a row with “moderate” candidates. I wonder if our winger friends have been planting that seed with Schweitzer.

  42. 42
    Shortstop says:

    @Davis X. Machina: bummer that you’re so busy. I wanted to ask you some stuff about Acadia.

  43. 43
    Princess says:

    Because shitting on Clinton worked so well for Al Gore.

  44. 44
    mattH says:

    Two things, first, no one who’s elected in the Democratic Party primaries will be against the ACA, nobody. It’s the first real expansion of government by the party in 40 years and abandoning it means the party would mean abandoning government as an agent of change and improvement. Second, anyone who is that clueless about the nature of the Republican party’s behavior over the last 6 years should never even be put in an appointed position of power in our government. Idiot.

  45. 45
    Suffern ACE says:

    The appeal of a candidate like Schweitzer is that he’s supposed to be the “Washington Outsider” which should make him appear “pure” to the masses running against that washington insider Hillary. He should also be exempt from the press corps picking on his wardrobe and complaining how unnaturally he eats in Iowa in cowboy boots. He would be a shoo in if only washington pundits had votes.

  46. 46
    Cacti says:

    Schweitzer wants to try and simultaneously run to the left and right of Obama. Wants single payer AND the keystone pipeline. Now which of the two do you think will actually happen if he managed to win?

    Nice dog whistles too. The only nice thing he could think of about the POTUS was him being the first black President. I’m sure it will carry him a long way with the minority voters that put Obama in office twice.

  47. 47
    Hal says:

    @C.V. Danes: I will never understand the Gitmo criticism. President Obama has said close it down multiple times and Congress keeps saying no. Why do people hold him personally responsible?

  48. 48
    gelfling545 says:

    I had no idea how attractive being a candidate was to people who can’t get Honest work. Perhaps some of those who have recently lost their unemployment benefits might take it up. This man will get to the White House only by buying a ticket for the tour (when they start up again). Even IF everything he was saying about the current administration were true, he’d only be providing a reason to vote Republican.

  49. 49
    Cacti says:

    @Princess:

    Because shitting on Clinton worked so well for Al Gore.

    The POTUS has an 84% approval rating from self-described liberal democrats.

    Yeah, run away from that and after the remaining 16%.

  50. 50
    Suffern ACE says:

    @mattH: Actually, I might consider voting against someone who had another healthcare plan at this point that amounted to any more than a few tweaks to improve it. I’m starting to get worn out by healthcare reform promises.

  51. 51

    Speaking of idiots. Why is PBS giving cranks like Chris Martenson air time? I had never heard of this guy before and I could stomach less than 5 minutes of his interview.

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    @Hal: Because blah man in the White House. Because he’s the top guy. Because it’s easier to understand if they blame him than “both sides do it” Congress. Because Hillary Would Have Been Better. Etc.

  53. 53
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mudge:

    yet he favors the Keystone pipeline

    Which is merely a means for the Awl Bidness to externalize the risks of the thing in an effort to sell Alberta tar sands to China and India. It’s got jack shit to do with North American energy independence.

    Taking a very real risk of fucking up the Ogalla aquifer is a pretty good example of how “conservative” does not mean what “conservatives” think it means (h/t Inigo Montoya.)

  54. 54
    Cervantes says:

    @Hal: Because he promised!

    It’s stupid but there it is.

  55. 55
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @JustRuss:

    Anyone who’s still using that “name me one accomplishment of Barack Obama” bullshit is either too dishonest or too fucking stupid to engage with.

  56. 56
    aimai says:

    @C.V. Danes: Really? No one cares about the NSA stuff. It would be pretty to think so but, no.

    ETA: On the right “caring” about the NSA is just because the government is currently seen as illegitimate, therefore everything that would be permissible for a legitimate/white/republican government will be challenged. But the NSA shit specifically has no more reality to them than their accusations that Obama puts his feet up on the oval office desk. Expect them to stop caring about the NSA and the banksters five seconds after they get back into power.

  57. 57
    Cacti says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Which is merely a means for the Awl Bidness to externalize the risks of the thing in an effort to sell Alberta tar sands to China and India. It’s got jack shit to do with North American energy independence.

    My counter proposal for Canada wanting us to let them build a transnational pipeline across the U.S., is for them to allow us to build an interstate highway between Anchorage and Seattle.

  58. 58
    Chyron HR says:

    The creatures outside looked from Tea Partier to True Progressive and back again, but already it was impossible to say which was which.

  59. 59
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I am so tired of this “Washington outsider” crap. If one does actually get elected, the same people who were talking about how we needed an ‘outsider” start lambasting him for “rookie mistakes”.

  60. 60
    Belafon says:

    What I see is the “If only Obama would compromise” routine. I’m sure it’s worked for Schweitzer at his level, but Obama has had to deal with the Republicans that are crazy and those that are racist (not mutually exclusive, obviously).

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    He postulated that the strategy was to peel off disaffected conservatives/new “independents” who have a visceral dislike for Obama but feel that there is no chance of a moderate GOPer.

    I think your friend may be on to something but, if so, that means that Schweitzer is pursuing the proven losing strategy of trying to get more white votes. Obama’s most recent election and the elections in Virginia have (IMO, of course) shown that, frankly, white voters aren’t really needed as long as you can turn out everyone else. So if Schweitzer gets a few more white voters to vote for him but sacrifices the minority vote to get those white voters, he’s toast.

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    Well, they’re Villagers. The ultimate in “Washington Insiders.” They lurves them some Bushes, but they hates them some Clintons and Obamas.

  63. 63
    Elizabelle says:

    I was disappointed with Schweitzer. What was he thinking?

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti:

    Hell, if the Canadians are SERIOUS about this pipeline shit, let them build it across the Rockies to Vancouver. Or across Saskatchewan and Manitoba to Hudson Bay.

    Oh, wait, BC will tell Alberta to do something anatomically impossible. Never mind.

  65. 65
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai:

    No one cares about the NSA stuff. It would be pretty to think so but, no.

    How do you figure this?

  66. 66
    Belafon says:

    @Flukebucket: His big claim to fame is branding “VETO” on some bad bills from the Republican legislature.

  67. 67
    Cacti says:

    @Cervantes:

    How do you figure this?

    I think it would be more fair to say that it’s mostly people who spend a lot of time on political blogs who care about the NSA stuff.

  68. 68
    aimai says:

    @Cervantes: I figure this because its true. I’m sure lots of blog commenters and internet savvy people care but I am really sure that the vast majority of US citizens and the smaller number of voters have no idea what the fuss is about. Really. Most of what passes for the outrage du jour online or even on Fox News is a concern of a tiny minority of people. In reality politics itself is the concern of a tiny fraction of people in this country.

  69. 69
    Marc says:

    @Shortstop: I figure Hillary chases out everybody but Martin O’Malley, Pat Paulsen, and Dick Gregory.

  70. 70
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Hal:

    Why do people hold him personally responsible?

    Because he’s the Pres. Comes with the job.

  71. 71
    Kerry Reid says:

    Well, in fairness, Schweitzer showed his mettle by winning election in a state that feeds at the federal trough, and with a massive population of slightly over 1 million people. That’s some accomplishment!

  72. 72

    @Mnemosyne: Good point Mnem. We sort of discussed that and agreed to disagree (he’s pimped 3rd way and other centrist crap in the past) about the nature (and extent) of the mythical centrist majority. We also disagreed about whether a conservative (no matter how embarrassed they claim they are) would vote D.

  73. 73
    Patrick says:

    @aimai:

    But the NSA shit specifically has no more reality to them than their accusations that Obama puts his feet up on the oval office desk. Expect them to stop caring about the NSA and the banksters five seconds after they get back into power.

    Exactly. Just like the deficit. The Republicans didn’t care what they spent under Bush, borrow and spend, borrow and spend. They didn’t care. As soon as we got a black guy in the White House, America would apparently come to an end if the deficit wasn’t dealt with immediately. And the entire deficit was the black guy’s fault according to FoxNews/tea party. Just boggles the mind…

  74. 74
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Belafon: What I see is the “If only Obama would compromise” routine. I’m sure it’s worked for Schweitzer at his level,

    I don’t know if it’s even that. If you read his critiques of the ACA, it’s that it didn’t go far enough, he self-IDs as a Michael Moore Democrat, except for the anti-Green stuff.

    “I’m a little bit like Michael Moore,” Schweitzer told msnbc. “I suppose I’m a Democrat and I ought to roll over like a fat dog and get scratched by the pharmaceutical and insurance companies because, gee, we have to apologize for so-called Obamacare. I’m not going to apologize a damn bit.”

    I think he lives in an ego-fueled bubble, helped along by people like Sirota and, I gather until recently, Markos Moulitsas. And I have a nagging feeling there just might be a bit of racial discomfort there

    “People say to me: ‘Brian, you lived in the Middle East, you understand the Middle East,’” he told msnbc. “It’s confusing to most people, you know? The uniforms that they wear, some have got towels some don’t, some hang down, some are white, some are Shia, Sunni, Wahhabi, what are all these things, how are the Kuwaitis related to the Saudis, blah blah blah.”

    Towels and blah blah blah. The man speaks fluent Arabic, but talks about towels? Something there ain’t right.

  75. 75
    boatboy_srq says:

    You know what’s “un-effing-believable,” Mr. Schweitzer? Watching a Democrat trying to run on Republican talking points.

  76. 76
    C.V. Danes says:

    @aimai:

    Expect them to stop caring about the NSA and the banksters five seconds after they get back into power

    Oh, I agree. But this is not about what they will say/do after they get back into power. This is about what they will say/do to get back into power.

  77. 77
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @piratedan: Yup. If all you’ve ever campaigned to were older white rural voters, then all you know how to campaign to is older white and rural. Throw in a couple trips to FDL and Dkos and an AMA to Reddit and maybe you start thinking you can do this nationally…

  78. 78
    NonyNony says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    Watching a Democrat trying to run on Republican talking points.

    In 2013 no less! You’d think that people could freaking learn!

    But maybe he thinks that there’s no way that a white, male Democrat from Montana can win the presidency without them. It would be an indication of his short-sightedness to think that way, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least…

  79. 79
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Belafon: I think it’s deeper than that. Is it just me, or does anyone else hear Schweitzer saying something like “Democrats would be back on top if only we hadn’t elected a Blah President”?

  80. 80
    Patrick says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    If you read his critiques of the ACA, it’s that it didn’t go far enough, he self-IDs as a Michael Moore Democrat, except for the anti-Green stuff.

    Didn’t go far enough? Do they have single-payer in Montana? If not, why? I’m assuming Schweitzer understands that, just like in Montana, there are two parties in DC and there has to be compromise to get stuff done. He can criticize ACA all he wants. But it comes across a tad hypocritical if there is no single-payer in MT.

  81. 81
    rea says:

    Well, you can run as the guy to the right of Obama, or you can run as the guy to the left of Obama, but this guy seems to want to do both.

  82. 82
    Fair Economist says:

    Clearly Schweitzer has given up on becoming president. Nothing says “politically doomed” better than a Democrat viciously attacking the most popular Democratic president in the last 50 years. And that was vicious. Even W did some good things – sulfur regs on diesel trucks and sticking up for Muslims after 9/11.

  83. 83
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Hal: I don’t blame Obama for that. But it is a problem that exists and I will have a difficult time voting for candidates who run on ignoring problems like that.

  84. 84
    Belafon says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Valid observations, but his criticism seems to me that he thinks Obama can’t get Republicans to work with him. Schweitzer was able to for Montana, so it’s obviously the fault of Obama.

    I should have used “work with” rather than “compromise”, but for the national press, and Republicans, “work with” means “compromise” means “give into Republican demands.”

  85. 85
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai:

    I figure this because its true.

    Really? Have you looked at any polling on the subject?

  86. 86
    Belafon says:

    @boatboy_srq: It’s either that, or Schweitzer is totally ignoring how Republicans have constantly fallen back on that (“But he’s black!”). And neither is going to bond him with the most reliable voting block on the Democratic party.

  87. 87
    Chyron HR says:

    @Cervantes:

    Have you looked at the polling on the terrible no-good website that didn’t work right for a month? Because I think if you compare the two you might be unpleasantly surprised by which issue the average American really cared about.

  88. 88
    Alex S. says:

    @aimai:

    I think a couple of idealistic young voters were turned off by the NSA affair. I think that was the reason Obama’s approval rating approached the 40% mark. And dropping below 40% (for Democrats as well as Republicans) is only possible if the own team starts abandoning the president (as it happened when Bush Jr’s social security privatization plan failed).

  89. 89
    PaulW says:

    He’s looking like taking the Lieberman approach – disapproval of the popular guy your campaign is replacing – as though that would appeal to disgruntled Democrats, when in fact the Democratic base are more disgruntled at obstructionist Republicans refusing to help the poor and unemployed.

    A SMART Democratic campaign for 2016 (WHICH IS STILL TWO YEARS AWAY) would be to pursue a GOOD JOBS AT GOOD WAGES platform. Straight up. Should get you 70 percent of the voters right out the gate.

  90. 90
    RareSanity says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    An embarrassed conservative friend pointed out to me yesterday that of course I think it’s dumb because I’m not the target audience. He postulated that the strategy was to peel off disaffected conservatives/new “independents” who have a visceral dislike for Obama but feel that there is no chance of a moderate GOPer.

    Then unfortunately your friend doesn’t understand how the electoral process works.

    There’s no way in hell that Schweitzer can win the Democratic nomination with a strategy intended to win over disaffected conservatives and independents.

    Good luck with that strategy.

  91. 91
    Paul in KY says:

    The only wat I will vote for him now is if he’s the Democratic nominee. Will not be voting for him in any primary.

  92. 92
    raven says:

    @RareSanity: Daytime Sanity!

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    “I’m a little bit like Michael Moore,” Schweitzer told msnbc

    The same Michael Moore whose poorly phrased critique of ACA was seized on by Noisemax for one of their headlines?

  94. 94
    Anoniminous says:

    @aimai:

    US corporations care about the NSA revelations. They are losing billions in business as firms in the EU, Brazil, China … to name only a few … cancel projects and reject bids from US based companies. A recent (Bloomberg, IIRC) estimate is the loss will approach $180 billion over the next four years.

  95. 95
    catclub says:

    @Patrick: That was my response.

  96. 96

    @RareSanity: Agreed. This is a guy in college that had a “Clinton and Gore, Gone in Four” bumpersticker. So he’s used to ignoring the fact that he’s frequently wrong.

  97. 97
    aimai says:

    @Chyron HR: This. The American people as a whole like their issues spoon fed to them and even then they barely know what is going on. The crowd that is most concerned about Benghazi have no idea where it is (this just came out in a poll) or what iti s, they just have a vague discomfort when it is mentioned. Ditto for the NSA stuff–in reality (that is, people who know what it even stands for or the issue involved) the NSA is a total niche concern, mostly of white male libertarians on the right and left of the spectrum. This is totally not even a controversial point. Everybody is not a white male guy on the internet who is concerned with government spying.
    .

  98. 98
    NonyNony says:

    @rea:

    Well, you can run as the guy to the right of Obama, or you can run as the guy to the left of Obama, but this guy seems to want to do both.

    It suggests that he wants to win the “internet primary” instead of the real primary.

    A victory in the internet primary is meaningless, but maybe it leads to speaking gigs down the road?

  99. 99
    aimai says:

    @Anoniminous: Yes, but corporations aren’t voters. Get back to me when they spend as much money convincing voters to vote on the NSA issue as they spend on lobbyists dealing directly with government actors.

    Please don’t confuse my very simple and obvious point (voters don’t care about the NSA issue) with an assertion that I don’t care or that its not, theoretically, an important issue. But the original assertion by CV Danes was that the NSA was a significant issue in the election in terms of what average voters care about/vote on/can be appealed to on. I don’t see any evidence of that. Talk to ten people on the street about what they consider a legitimate issue for voting–a real political or cultural issue that they vote on? NSA spying will be well down on the list, if it even makes it onto the list.

  100. 100
    Gene108 says:

    @Patrick:

    There is still a very real problem in many parts of this country, where a Demovratic politician must run away from national Democratic figures like Pelosi and Obama, because the people get info from Fox, Rush etc.

    It was kind of bad in the 80’s, but became terrible as the right-wing media went out of its way to vilify Clinton and the after effects are still with us.

    Fix the problem of national Dems getting vilified and you will see fewer Dems talk like Sweitzer.

  101. 101
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Flukebucket: I’m glad I’m not alone, Fluke! I’d love to visit Montana some day… It does seem to be just a bit politically schizophrenic though from my very outside perspective. Swathes of blood red and pools of deep blue and all….

  102. 102
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @aimai: Ditto for the NSA stuff–in reality (that is, people who know what it even stands for or the issue involved) the NSA is a total niche concern, mostly of white male libertarians on the right and left of the spectrum.

    I think that’s largely right, there’s a lot of confusion about what actually went happened, or is happening. I don’t like it myself, I think the legislature needs to do its damn job and look into what the rules are and how they need to be changed, and how they’re being enforced, or not. But there’s a certain libertarian romance about being outraged about the NSA that has a lot of appeal, especially I suspect to younger people, and I think that’s reflected in the polls

  103. 103
    Paul in KY says:

    @boatboy_srq: Sorta sickening, IMO.

  104. 104
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Also in that Kilgore post, David Sirota is an advisor or at least a hanger-on of the Schweitzer operation

    Holy crap, whoever didn’t show him the door committed political malpractice. That explains a lot. Sirota can probably do for Schweitzer what Matt Stoller did for Grayson’s 2010 campaign.

  105. 105
    catclub says:

    @Mnemosyne: If the point is to peel off those voters who would never vote for the GOP again, in order to keep them from voting for the Democrat as well. It makes sense. Which might be Schweitzers plan.

  106. 106
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yes, that Michael Moore.

  107. 107
    Zifnab25 says:

    Paging The New Republic. Paging The New Republic. “Even the liberal Brian Schweitzer says…” on line one.

  108. 108

    Shweitzer’s speech at the last Dem convention was a big snooze. All he wants is a spot on the Sunday TV shows as Democrat who bashes other Democrats move over Harold Ford, your competition is here.

  109. 109
    SFAW says:

    President of Fire Dog Lake.

    Is that position available? If so, I’m declaring my candidacy.

    Because, FSM know, I still have two or three brain cells left, and they’re startin’ to piss me off. Gotta find a way to get rid of ’em, and running that place might do the trick.

  110. 110
    Cervantes says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Have you looked at the polling on the terrible no-good website that didn’t work right for a month? Because I think if you compare the two you might be unpleasantly surprised by which issue the average American really cared about.

    “Unpleasantly surprised”? I doubt it and so do you — but my question isn’t about how people rank their concerns. My question is about the following statement:

    No one cares about the NSA stuff. It would be pretty to think so but, no.

    It’s difficult to measure how much people really care about anything simply by asking them — but the most recent polling I’ve seen (The Economist, January 11-13) includes data such as these: (a) 54% think the NSA should be further constrained while 15% think its powers should be expanded; only 12% favor the status quo; (b) 23% think “collecting and analyzing Americans’ phone records is justified as a way to combat terrorism” while 62% think it is an “unnecessary intrusion into Americans’ lives”; (c) 60% disapprove of the NSA’s domestic telephone metadata collection while 33% approve; (d) 58% think the NSA is lying about the scope and nature of its domestic metadata collection; (e) and opinion on Snowden is just about evenly split.

    Incidentally, I agree with aimai that some of the concerns about the NSA expressed (by “the Right”) would magically evaporate if a Republican were to occupy the White House; just as I suspect there would be more outrage on “the Left” if a Republican were in the White House today.

  111. 111
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @PaulW: Only with someone more adept than Dukakis.

  112. 112
    KG says:

    @RareSanity: one of those states where independents can vote in primaries is New Hampshire… it’s one of the reasons that McCain won in 2000 and in 2008.

    Personally, I think this is an early attempt to distinguish himself from Obama. There’s two basic ways you run in a primary to follow a termed out politician. Either you run to be a continuation of the previous administration (this is what GHW Bush did in 1988), or you run as distinct from the incumbent (this is what McCain essentially did in 2008). The first one is much easier when you were part of the administration (VP, SoS, etc). The second one is easier when you weren’t. Schweitzer’s tune will change if/when he decides to actually run and he’ll run a bit more within the Democratic mainstream.

    That said, reading the article, it looks like he has some reason to be unhappy with the Obama administration when it comes to ACA related issues (like the WH rejecting a plan to make Montana’s Medicaid system single payer for all or being able to use Medicaid pricing for drugs). So there may be some real and honest disagreements between the two that underlie these comments.

    Still, my guess is “super early potential candidate saying something to get his name in the discussion by distinguishing himself from the termed out incumbent.”

  113. 113
    eric says:

    “I think, all things considered, President Obama has been a success. Granted, I would focus more on reigning in the NSA and making sure Americans’ civil liberties are not infringed (yes, including their Second Amendment rights). But, I think we should follow the President’s lead and press for legislation to help Americans with more and better jobs, protecting our beautiful natural resources from spoiling, while not handicapping industry…..”

    It is not that effing hard to criticize without criticizing. Piss poor political instincts.

  114. 114
    Cacti says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Shweitzer’s speech at the last Dem convention was a big snooze. All he wants is a spot on the Sunday TV shows as Democrat who bashes other Democrats move over Harold Ford, your competition is here.

    After seeing that a black man who was unapologetic urbanite from Chicago, could get elected by large margins, I doubt that the urban minority population is going to swoon over a cowboy boot-wearin’ white feller from Big Sky country.

  115. 115
    SFAW says:

    @aimai:

    The crowd that is most concerned about Benghazi have no idea where it is

    Right next to Fort Lee, ain’t it? Although I hear it’s worse than Fort Lee.

  116. 116
    EconWatcher says:

    I dunno, President Gore seemed to make political gold by distancing himself from his Democratic predecessor……

  117. 117
    Zifnab25 says:

    @KG:

    or you run as distinct from the incumbent (this is what McCain essentially did in 2008).

    Wait, which McCain campaign were you watching? The “Bomb Bomb Iran” / “More tax cuts will fix everything” messaging did not sound like a departure from any Bush doctrine I’m familiar with.

  118. 118
    KG says:

    @RareSanity: New Hampshire has open primaries. Typically, after Iowa and New Hampshire there’s only three or four candidates left, whoever won those states (or was the perceived winner by beating expectations), are frontrunners. If he thinks this will get him a win in New Hampshire, it’s worth it. Also depends on what the order will be after those two.

  119. 119
    jonas says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Taking a very real risk of fucking up the Ogalla aquifer is a pretty good example of how “conservative” does not mean what “conservatives” think it means (h/t Inigo Montoya.)

    Yeah, but if there’s some spill or environmental disaster or they f-up the Oglala, the oil and pipeline company executives responsible can just wait it out in their house in Sun Valley and no worries. Like with that spill in West Virginia last week — do you think the owners of the company involved were personally inconvenienced in the slightest by it, other than by the petty annoyance of having to do pr damage control over the weekend rather than hit the links? Dealing with negative externalities is for little people.

  120. 120
    Cacti says:

    @Zifnab25:

    Wait, which McCain campaign were you watching? The “Bomb Bomb Iran” / “More tax cuts will fix everything” messaging did not sound like a departure from any Bush doctrine I’m familiar with.

    McCain’s entire selling point was “I’m a straight-talkin’ maverick”. Meanwhile, his voting record showed him onboard with Bush 90 percent of the time.

  121. 121
    Cervantes says:

    @Anoniminous:

    US corporations care about the NSA revelations. They are losing billions in business as firms in the EU, Brazil, China … to name only a few … cancel projects and reject bids from US based companies. A recent (Bloomberg, IIRC) estimate is the loss will approach $180 billion over the next four years.

    IBM and Cisco alone have already lost about 2 billion dollars in sales, just in Asia, and just in the last 6 months. This is not a prediction.

  122. 122
    ericblair says:

    @Anoniminous:

    They are losing billions in business as firms in the EU, Brazil, China … to name only a few … cancel projects and reject bids from US based companies. A recent (Bloomberg, IIRC) estimate is the loss will approach $180 billion over the next four years.

    I think the estimate I saw was about $35 billion, which is still pretty significant. China and Brazil aren’t exactly hotbeds of civil liberty protection, so this is a pretext to bring traffic within their countries so they can spy with impunity on it.

    The EU has essentially been giving the US an exemption out of the Data Privacy Directive for years. If this forces the US into an EU-type system, that’s a good thing in my opinion: the EU DPD pretty clearly defines who is responsible for data, how it’s to be used, stored, and retained, and so on in a unified framework, instead of the US ad hoc patchwork. EU governments can certainly get at private data, but the processes and restrictions are far better defined IMO.

  123. 123
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @EconWatcher: Whatever mistakes Gore made in that regard, I can see two differences between that situation and this: I don’t recall Gore ever making so ostentatious a public show of his anger at Clinton– and Schweitzer is hamming it up for the reporter like a fifteen year old in a school play–, and Gore actually had something to be angry about.

    Okay, “The Kiss” was pretty bad. But still less direct.

  124. 124
    Mnemosyne says:

    @catclub:

    If the point is to peel off those voters who would never vote for the GOP again, in order to keep them from voting for the Democrat as well. It makes sense. Which might be Schweitzers plan.

    But if that’s the plan, you have to figure out a way to do it without alienating your current base, which is minority voters. If you gain (let’s say) 1 million white votes but lose 1.5 million minority votes, you’ve just lost the election.

    That’s why this strategy is so piss-poor — it seems aimed squarely at disgruntled white voters at the expense of minority voters. He may be assuming that minority voters will vote anyway because where else are they gonna go, but that’s a gamble.

  125. 125
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai:

    But the original assertion […] was that the NSA was a significant issue in the election in terms of what average voters care about/vote on/can be appealed to on. I don’t see any evidence of that.

    OK, now I see what you’re getting at. Thanks for clarifying (or repeating, as the case may be).

  126. 126
    Anoniminous says:

    @aimai:

    We’re on the same page here. I didn’t make that clear in my comment – my bad. I’m of the opinion the NSA stuff is a NothingBurger for most voters as evidence by support for the NSA’s snoopery is hovering around 50%.

    My point was narrow: corporations don’t need to convince voters. They need to convince Senators and Representatives. If the said politicians can then jump in front of cameras and claim to be “protecting the Right to Privacy” of voters, then all the better for them. The emerging Big Data market is up for grabs and for US corporations have any hope of grabbing a major hunk the NSA has got to (appear, at least) to have been reined in.

    I’ll merely note, this whole thing is occurring during a time when security breaches of US based software are almost a weekly media event. If foreign companies cannot trust US software to be secure from hackers – criminals or otherwise – it puts a big question mark against the entire US software industry.

  127. 127
    feebog says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    If all you’ve ever campaigned to were older white rural voters, then all you know how to campaign to is older white and rural. Throw in a couple trips to FDL and Dkos and an AMA to Reddit and maybe you start thinking you can do this nationally…

    This. Schweitzer was a big fish in a very small pond. He is now part of a bait ball in a very large ocean. The growing demos in the Democratic party are minorities and young urbanites. Montana has an insignificant minority population and Helena is about as urban as it gets. Schweitzer is out of his league and his comments have probably established a ceiling he won’t break through.

  128. 128
    Cacti says:

    Bottom line.

    Obama showed Democratic candidates what coalition will win them the White House in the early 21st century.

    The response? Run away! Run away!

    Schweitzer has no chance to make it out of a Dem primary.

    I fear that Hillary Clinton’s stuck in 1992 political instincts will find a way to much things up too.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ericblair:

    Quite a few companies with international customers (and by that I mean individual consumers, not other large companies) are already following the EU standards. I just had to take my annual compliance training here at the Giant Evil Corporation, and part of the computer security class is learning the EU standards.

  130. 130
    Cacti says:

    @feebog:

    Schweitzer was a big fish in a very small pond. He is now part of a bait ball in a very large ocean. The growing demos in the Democratic party are minorities and young urbanites. Montana has an insignificant minority population and Helena is about as urban as it gets. Schweitzer is out of his league and his comments have probably established a ceiling he won’t break through.

    Yup.

    Schweitzer’s gearing up to run for President of the United States of Montana.

  131. 131
    aimai says:

    @Cervantes: But that doesn’t measure how voters actually rank this on their list of things that government should do something about–or that voters will vote on. I get that you are upset that I used the global phrase “no one” but I meant “voters.” And I stand by that. One of the biggest surprises in my life when I began really getting involved in politics was discovering that even the things which I thought were obvious political issues were simply not even on the radar for most voters I talked to door to door. They don’t even define them as issues, in the first place. That includes women’s rights, health care, climate change, poverty–you name it. Most people have one or two pet issues–and it might be entirely local like “would like more parks for kids” and the rest of it? They leave it up to god and the politicians who they consider equally unaccountable. It takes tremendous money and effort to move something as experience distant as “government spying” from the realm of “shit some guy asked me about in a poll” to “shit I actually care enougha bout to vote on.” And when you toss one issue like NSA spying into the cauldron of an actual electoral cycle? It dissapears still further. Many voters are, essentially, single interest or single party voters–that is they are going to vote on one basic issue or for the same party no matter what. Everything else is just window dressing. So, again, I doubt very much that even the people who say they are concerned and would like the government to do something will switch party affiliation in order to punish one party for its association with the NSA or vote against their own party over the issue when so much else is at stake. I just don’t see many voters fitting into that category.

  132. 132
    eric says:

    @Cacti: United States of the Village it truly sounds like. McCain cant live forever and be the Sunday favorite

  133. 133
    jl says:

    I read about his interview yesterday and thought it was sad and disappointing performance from Schweitzer . Maybe the guy is getting a little old in the old noggin’?

    I think the ACA as the killer app for the 2016 elections is a fools errand.

    Did he squak much about the Patriot Act mess and civil liberties while Bush was in office, and the Bush and Cheney crew were creating the godawful mess, or did this become a Thing with him only now that he thinks he’s decided to run. That is a genuine question I am curious about. Because I think that is the only potentially good point he made in the interview, and am wondering whether he has been good on this issue all along or is being opportunistic

    HRC needs some good competition for 2016, not second rate BS like what Schweitzer is pumping out. He”ll go nowhere with this stuff.

    If HRC needs a second banana to beat in the primaries, Biden will do a much better job, and if someone beats her Biden would be a better candidate,which IMHO aint saying much for Schweitzer.

    His little whistle stop dog and pony show will be forgotten long before better primary candidate emerge to challenge HRC, I think.

  134. 134
    aimai says:

    @Cacti: Bait Ball is just perfect.

  135. 135
    Cervantes says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Support for the NSA’s snoopery is hovering around 50%.

    Really? Did you look at The Economist’s recent poll (cited above)?

  136. 136
    Zifnab25 says:

    @Cacti: You’re confusing his 2000 campaign with his 2008 campaign. In 2000 he was a Maverick. In 2008 he was “That guy that used to be a Maverick”. McCain sold out to Bush when he got on board with The Surge in 2006. After that decision, he doomed himself to the Bush’s Third Term label, recognized the fact, and happily endorsed Bush policies to win the GOP nomination.

    Maverick John McCain got his ass handed to him by George Bush and spent the next four years trying to exact petty revenge (McCain-Feingold, the vote against the Bush Tax Cuts, and a few others). By 2006, he was over it and was ready to play ball again.

  137. 137
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai: As I said above, your clarification was helpful, thanks.

    As for the rest: the statement I asked about did not mention people switching party affiliations because of the NSA’s activities, or voting against their own party — I have no comment on these notions.

  138. 138
    Trumandem says:

    Seriously? He couldn’t name one achievement? How about the lowest of the fruit on that tree? He found and eliminated Osama Bin Laden when Bush could care less about him. What a complete jack ass. He wouldn’t get my vote under any circumstance for anything.

  139. 139
    Anoniminous says:

    @Cervantes:

    And that’s just two companies. Billion here. Billion there. Pretty soon you’re talking real money! :-)

    @ericblair:

    IIRC, the $180 figure was guesstimated on direct cancellations and indirect future, e.g., on-going support and maintainence fees. I think the $35 billion is only for direct cancellation/lost business. (But I may be wrong.)

    I agree with you about the EU regulations although friends there are telling me those may be watered-down over the next couple of years.

  140. 140
    jl says:

    Schweitzer maybe should steal this approach. Would be more interesting and entertaining.

    Actress Touts CA Gubernatorial Candidate: ‘He Has Big Ones…And He Is Angry’ (VIDEO)

    “He has big ones…and he is angry…” Alonso interjects in Spanish, which is subtitled in the video.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....lfare-guns

  141. 141

    OT: Related to another idiot. Because it has been bothering since I saw the Martenson interview on PBS, I wrote up a blog post about it.

  142. 142
    jl says:

    @Trumandem: As I said, a sad performance. As a commenter above said, he is in way over his head. Both HRC and even Smokin’ Joe will do tactical distancing from Obama much better, and in a way that will not put people to sleep.

  143. 143
    nastybrutishntall says:

    Well he’s got Anne’s vote now! One down, a hundred million plus more to go.

  144. 144
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Sounds like he wants to impress Republicans, which is what you do in Montana. Mistaking Montana (or Texas or etc) for the entire country is a common if localized syndrome.

    Personally, whether President Obama is seen as a “success” or not is one of the least interesting or important issues I can think of since he’s not running for anything again. You could say that it matters for what happens in 2014 elections, or even 2016, but I doubt it matters much. Not the actual policies, but whether people decide that “he failed” or “he succeeded” in some scorekeeping sense, that’s not going to tip the scales anywhere else much. Sorry for the mixed metaphor, I’m practicing for the next write like Tom Friedman contest.

  145. 145
    ericblair says:

    @Anoniminous:

    I agree with you about the EU regulations although friends there are telling me those may be watered-down over the next couple of years.

    My understanding is that they’re preparing to enact the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which make some changes to the Data Protection Authority rules that takes some control away from the individual countries, but I’m not an expert in it.

  146. 146
    jl says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Thanks for the post with the chart in the link. PBS, and particularly NPR has been whoring itself out, er, I mean, giving preferential treatment, I mean giving responsible balance to big corporate and debt hawk economics BS for years.

    And when they try to do honest economic analysis their own selves, they are awesomely incoherent and incompetent.

    Seriously, you get better real balance, analysis and debate on some business channels. I see people like Stiglitz, Krugman, James Galbraith and Shiller on business channels more than on PBS and especially NPR. The need for big corporate underwriting has corrupted the public stations I think.

  147. 147
    cintibud says:

    @Chyron HR: I saw what you did there, Nice.

  148. 148
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cacti: I’d vote for Obama a third time, but I believe in giving a working man a day off.

    I bet anything he will be working hard for Dem candidates and campaigns when he is out of office. I also look forward to the kind of activism he will engage in.

    Imo, presidential term limits, like all term limits, sound populist but actually exist to benefit the 1%. They can always buy the new fresh meat but it takes a lot of time and effort for popular (people’s) candidates to break through to the highest levels of gov’t and build power. Just in time to be term limited out and replaced with another blow-dried servant of the rich.

    Funny story, Mexico instituted term limits in its representative body to try to reduce corruption and it turned into corruption on steroids. With no hope to gain power, the reps spent two years feathering their nests in every way imaginable. Rinse, repeat.

  149. 149
    Anoniminous says:

    @Cervantes:

    Just did. (Here’s the data.)

    H’mmmm. OK. New information.

    What I see – without digging into the background data – is support for the National Security State in the high 40 low 50 percentile while support for the actual actions of the National Security State, such as telephone tapping, dropping to ~40%. My Take Away is Americans want the supposedly security of the National Security State but they do not want their own lives to come under the microscope.

    I concede that is (a) cynical and (b) superficial.

  150. 150
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: NPR news hour the other night was mainlining big money propaganda. It’s underwritten by BNSF and I don’t think Buffet’s as conservative (at least on economic matters) as their programming. I “caught” some of the radio simulcast, like you catch an ill wind. Ugh.

  151. 151
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @aimai: Boom. Nailed it.

  152. 152
    Jeremy says:

    @KG: But I still don’t understand the complaint because the ACA allows states to experiment and create different plans like single payer if they choose. (ie. Vermont)

  153. 153
    Anoniminous says:

    @ericblair:

    Friends o’er the pond are up in arms over the trade treaty being negotiated between the US and EU. I am told (note emphasis! :-) it downgrades current EU law to the US patchwork.

  154. 154
    Big R says:

    @Paul in KY: I will not only not vote for him in MY state’s primary, I will also not vote for him in ANY OTHER state’s primary!

  155. 155
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Fair Economist:

    sticking up for Muslims after 9/11

    If only he’d stuck up for Muslims in 2010, but that might have hurt his party’s electoral chances.

    “Patriot” Bush was a GOPer first, American second. I should have lost all respect for him during Katrina, but it was 2010 that did it for me.

  156. 156
    jl says:

    My sense of Schweitzer’s approach is that he is watching old Will Rogers clips. Except Schweitzer is not funny, not witty, has little to say, can’t do cowboy tricks, and is really sadly out of shape compared to Rogers. And he needs to think about updating the material beside diluting it with warm spit.

  157. 157
    Alex S. says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Cynical, but still true. People want freedom AND security. They also want the security of the welfare state but also the freedom from having to pay for it.

  158. 158

    @jl: On one panel they had Glenn Hubbard and Eakin argue with each other. These days P stands for propaganda it seems.

  159. 159
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Shortstop: These people are stupid enough to think women would vote for Sarah Palin, non-Cuban Latinos would vote for Marco Rubio, and black people would vote for Alan Keyes and Herman Cain.

    This.
    They are also so racist that they think the aforesaid women, n-C Latinos and blahs are so shallow that they won’t look past the affinity with their particular ethnic/minority/gender status. BUT I’D BE THE RACIST IF I POINTED THIS OUT, let us never forget.

  160. 160
    Cervantes says:

    @cintibud: Yes, where’s commenter ericblair when you need him?

  161. 161
    catclub says:

    @Cervantes: “This is not a prediction”

    It also has nothing to do with VOTERS’ priorities. Jobs and jobs and the economy, and jobs. Which is what aimai was pointing out to you.

  162. 162
    Betty Cracker says:

    @aimai: My own canvassing taught me that what you say about voters and the issues is true. On the other hand, the people who do the canvassing, participate in caucuses, hold fundraisers and vote in every single primary are more dialed in to issues than the average voter, so maybe that’s who Schweitzer was trying to impress with talk about the NSA and single payer?

    Either way, slamming Obama, whom almost all Democrats genuinely like, is a stupid strategy. I’m disappointed in Schweitzer after reading that. I don’t know much about him, but from what little I’d heard before, he sounded like an interesting possible candidate. Now he sounds bush league.

    I’m not one of the folks who thinks Democrats no longer need to appeal to white people or those in rural areas and rely exclusively on the Obama coalition for Democratic fortunes in the future. Obama is a uniquely gifted politician who came along at a pivotal time, and we won’t see anyone else like him in our lifetimes.

  163. 163
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Gene108:

    There is still a very real problem in many parts of this country, where a Demovratic politician must run away from national Democratic figures like Pelosi and Obama, because the people get info from Fox, Rush etc.

    What Dem is going to run away from Pelosi and Obama post ACA and succeed at that? The few blue dogs in red districts who would have done that have been wiped out by the last GOP wave.

    Dems are winning in Dem districts by talking about raising minimum wage. I predict state by state Medicaid expansion will be huge in 2014. (Not that I’m going out on a limb making such a prediction.) Even some GOP pols have been running pro-Medicaid expansion.

    Pelosi and Reid are winners and Americans love winners. And Obama is very popular with primary voters.

    Remember: Dems depend on boots on the ground GOTV efforts which take months to carry out (voter reg, voter contacts, voting week contacts) and enthusiastic volunteers to win elections. GOP depends on money. Alienate the Dem volunteers and you are fucked.

  164. 164
    Cervantes says:

    @catclub: Sorry, your comment makes no sense to me. Elaborate if you wish.

  165. 165
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @SFAW: Ah, FDL. I was just explaining to a reluctant Democrat last night (he used to vote Republican, but then the GOP went all apeshit racist on his boy, Obama–he supports ACA, too) that Pelosi is a hero to Democrats now because of the way she shepherded ACA through when the Democratic base was engaged in full circular firing squad mode. He was confused and I explained to him how Jane Hamsher hooked up with Grover Norquist calling on Congress to “kill the bill” for being insufficiently socialist. I told him that the Dem Congressional caucus only looks united, and that’s because Pelosi is an effective leader. In reality they are quite fractious. And it just underlines what a terrible leader Boehner was. We agreed Boehner seems to be a deeply unhappy man. I opined that I had no idea why Boehner wants to stay speaker but supposed it was cussedness, and not really in a good way.

  166. 166
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’m not one of the folks who thinks Democrats no longer need to appeal to white people or those in rural areas and rely exclusively on the Obama coalition for Democratic fortunes in the future.

    I didn’t mean to imply that future Democrats can ignore white voters altogether, but IMO they can no longer pursue specific white voters (rural, exurban, steady Republican voters) at the expense of the rest of the coalition. A Democrat bashing Obama or Obamacare is going to turn off more current coalition members than he will manage to attract from the targeted white voter group.

    A majority of whites voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, but he still lost by a large margin. Pissing off the coalition to court white votes is not going to be a workable strategy for Democrats going forward.

  167. 167
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cacti:

    After seeing that a black man who was unapologetic urbanite from Chicago, could get elected by large margins, I doubt that the urban minority population is going to swoon over a cowboy boot-wearin’ white feller from Big Sky country.

    QFT by this unapologetic urbanite. Hey, but the Midwestern touch was nice.

    Can we have a hiatus on white males for a while here? I mean, they had a pretty long turn, give some other people a chance here. Unless they can show that they “get” it, like Bill deBlasio. (I am not referring to his family, I refer to how he communicated and what he campaigned on.)

  168. 168
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cacti: McCain was Amtrak’s enemy #1 for years. Amtrak ridership has risen steadily since the 1990s while capacity has gone down, thanks to Congress’ pursuit of shiny objects rather than funding boring shit like replacing sleeper cars destroyed in accidents. Amtrak finally got funds to fix those cars during the stimulus thanks to Obama and OHJB.

    Just another old man shouting at clouds.

  169. 169
    rikyrah says:

    @Cacti:

    Bottom line.

    Obama showed Democratic candidates what coalition will win them the White House in the early 21st century.

    The response? Run away! Run away!

    President Barack Obama won election and RE-ELECTION as President

    WITHOUT needing ONE FUCKING SOUTHERN STATE.

    He created an electoral map where, while it was nice that the President won the Southern States that he did, he would still be President without them.

    He figured out a roadmap that told the South to electorally to go fuck itself.

    That the Black man did that makes me smile everytime I think about it.

  170. 170
    rikyrah says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    A majority of whites voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, but he still lost by a large margin. Pissing off the coalition to court white votes is not going to be a workable strategy for Democrats going forward.

    60% of White folks voted for Willard

    and it DIDN’T EVEN MATTER.

    He got stomped – electorally and popular vote wise.

  171. 171
    Paul in KY says:

    @EconWatcher: Ha, ha, ha!!

  172. 172
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @ericblair: EU strikes me on privacy as being a bit like the US on guns–so extremist in one direction that they actually abet criminal behavior. At the same time, the US needs stronger privacy laws particularly with regards to the private sector, which is pretty much allowed to rage rampant (and enable criminal behavior and subcriminal harassment).

    A lot of the EU’s “stricter” rules on software and food strike me as trade restrictions through the back door as they’re directed straight at the US. Of course, the US being “exceptional” just runs around twisting the arms of weaker countries while totally ignoring the problems they’re having shilling their crap to other G8 nations (beef, corn, Microsoft operating systems).

    Our head in the sand is fucking us royally and I promise you 90% of Americans do not understand this shit at all. I have yet to meet the “they took er jerbs” WATB who understands that other countries have INDUSTRIAL POLICIES THAT KEEP THEM COMPETITIVE and the US has its finger up its ass. They also don’t get (although farmers do — 2% of population so massive voting bloc there, not) that corn exports keep us afloat year after year and maybe we shouldn’t be doing anything TO FUCK THAT UP.

  173. 173
    Another Holocene Human says:

    The GOPers that ranted a few years back about how denying American exceptionalism was unpatriotic are exhibit one for the notion that TeaPartyStan is a political death cult.

  174. 174
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Okay, “The Kiss” was pretty bad. But still less direct.

    It was overcompensation. I figured it was less directed at Clinton and more at the notion that he was too robotic and not human enough (like chillax beer stool buddy Bush). It took a few years but we did find out what it was overcompensation for.

  175. 175
    jl says:

    Thing that upsets me is that Schweitzer is very good and progressive on some issues, like health care. But with this folksy clown act, I don’t see how he is going to make much impact, other than a novelty act talking head. If his folksy aw shucks ego is as inflated as it seems to be, he’ll be eager to perform, even if overall his performance hurts some of his professed causes he believes in.

  176. 176

    @schrodinger’s cat: Andrew Cuomo is running for that. I thought you’d be smart enough to see how fitting that is. How both are disgraces to the names their fathers built.

  177. 177
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He may be assuming that minority voters will vote anyway because where else are they gonna go, but that’s a gamble.

    And he would be dead wrong. Voter participation numbers don’t lie.

    Watching him get ground into fine bits in the primaries will be fun.

  178. 178
    Paul in KY says:

    @Big R: That’s how mad I am!

  179. 179

    @Phil Perspective: Good point. I had forgotten about Cuomo, I don’t get shouty cable and since I don’t live in NY any more, he has been off my radar.

  180. 180
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Jeremy: Building things is hard. Flinging poo is easy.

  181. 181
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Pissing off the coalition to court white votes is not going to be a workable strategy for Democrats going forward.

    Agreed. I’m not sure that was Schweitzer’s aim, but it will be the result if he stays on that path.

  182. 182
    socraticsilence says:

    As someone who was involved with SchweitZer as potential Senate candidate at a pretty high level– he’s a bully who didn’t run for a reason and is as well liked within party circles as Cruz is within GOP circles– i.e. utterly beloved by activists but hated by insiders because he’s self-involved and not a team player.

    Perhaps the most revealing thing is that Schweitzer is a guy with an MS who is fluent in Arabic and lived in the Middle East for a good portion of his working life (as a hydrologist) and yet his national persona is a rancher– seriously this a guy who has more actual foreign policy experience than almost any prospective 2016 candidate outside of Hillary or Biden and yet people view him as homespun bumpkin. I will say this though he does have a Bill Clinton like command of the room– there’s a reason otherwise jaded politico’s are taken in by the guy.

  183. 183
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @aimai: Amen. Which makes me think that Schweitzer isn’t really planning to run for President. Perhaps he wants a Fox News stint or a radio show. There is no way that this is a winning strategy.

  184. 184
    slippytoad says:

    @Shortstop:

    I do not believe that is actually possible. The demographic death-spiral the GOP is in seems to be unstoppable.

    I don’t mean to intend that there will be an unending dominance of Democratic presidents. Just that the current Republican Party seems to be hell-bent on self destruction.

    I’ve mentioned this on and off for the last decade or so, since Bush, that I think what is really happening is that the realignment of our politics will put the Democratic party as the “conservative” party, and some other party that has yet to emerge as the “liberal” party. The GOP have become the “extreme right” party at a time when all of their most important issues are . . . . so petty and banal they have no chance of helping the GOP.

  185. 185
    cokane says:

    if he had stuck to slamming the nsa stuff, that could work for him, especially to try to outflank Clinton from the left (or some of it). But fíng a, you cannot win a dem primary saying those things about Obamacare.

  186. 186
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Zifnab25:

    By 2006, he was over it and was ready to play ball again.

    His ambition basically took over and told his integrity to take a hike.

    McCain COULD have been a shining light on the issue of “enhanced interrogation techniques”, seeing as he had personal experience with that sort of thing, but his ambition told his conscience to shut the fuck up, play nice with the deserting coward and the Dark Lord, and get that nomination.

    He is forever damned by that decision on his part.

    Fuck him.

  187. 187
    El Caganer says:

    So this guy is running for President of Montana?

  188. 188
    Keith G says:

    This Picture showing Barak Obama’s face as he listens to Brian Schweitzer is classic. Obama has this dude’s number.

    If Schweitzer wants the Democratic nomination for either national office, he now sure as hell ain’t gonna get it.

    Fucktard.

  189. 189
    Marc says:

    @SFAW:

    President of Fire Dog Lake.

    Is that position available? If so, I’m declaring my candidacy.

    Because, FSM know, I still have two or three brain cells left,

    So what I’m hearing is, you’re overqualified.

  190. 190
    Tripod says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    He’s deep in the pockets of the airlines.

  191. 191
    Tripod says:

    Sirota?? Ugh. I really don’t get these all Democrats are equal, white male Democrats are more equal than others revanchists. Go be a fucking Republican already. There is no voter base to tap in a Democratic primary. The time when the party still had “never voting for the Party of Lincoln” yellow dogs is looong gone.

  192. 192
    jamick6000 says:

    Is there a single thing President Obama has done that you consider a positive achievement?

    not really unless you think being forced to buy crappy insurance with high deductibles is positive

  193. 193
    mclaren says:

    So “pooping on Obama” is your code phrase for “offering genuinely progressive alternatives to Obama’s implementation of Bush’s third and fourth term”?

    Now that you’ve redefined the English language, we can do so as well. You’re pooping on democracy by criticizing Brian Schweitzer. See? Once we redefine the meaning of words, any idiot can spew non-stop nonsense and claim it’s deep wisdom.

    Par for the course on the Balloon Juice forum…

  194. 194
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    A Democrat bashing Obama or Obamacare is going to turn off more current coalition members corporate toadies and apologists for Wall Street financial crime lords and profiteers from endless unwinnable foreign wars than he will manage to attract from the targeted white voter group.

    There. Fixed that for ya.

  195. 195
    mclaren says:

    @jamick6000:

    Is there a single thing President Obama has done that you consider a positive achievement?

    Is an outageously loaded question.

    Every president has done one thing (usually many things) that any reasonable person would consider a positive achievement.

    For example: the worst president of my lifetime, Ronald “the senile sociopath” Reagan did something that was very definitely a positive achievement when he pulled the troops out of Lebanon after the 1983 marine corps barracks bombing.

    That doesn’t make the co-star of Bedtime For Bonzo even remotely a good president, though.

    Likewise, LBJ did a whole bunch of wonderful things — he was instrumental in passing the Civil Rights Act, his Great Society anti-poverty hugely reduced poverty…the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, all that is dwarfed by the colossal damaged LBJ inflicted on America with his insane insistence on escalating the doomed and counterproductive Vietnam War.

    Even the Drunk-Driving C Student did a few things that qualify as “positive achivement.” His 2003 medicare reform was a net positive. The “housing first” effort to reduce homelessness actually seems to have worked, and helped homeless people. (I don’t know what went wrong there. The usual incompetent sadism of the Bush maladministration appears to have temporarily suspended during the “housing first” police rollout. Can’t explain it.)
    The Bush maladministration actually did something useful and helpful when it put the PEPFAR international anti-AIDs policy in place.

    That doesn’t change the fact that the reign of error of George W. Bush remains one of the very worst presidencies in the history of this country.

    So let’s stop slinging around bullshit begging-the-question scams like “can you think of one positive achievement” that the Obama administration pulled off. The plain fact of the matter is that Obama was given an historical opportunity to engineer genuine change at an historically critical juncture, and he pissed it all away.

    Obama refused to prosecute or jail the Wall Street Crime lords — in order to guarantee himself enough cash to win his re-election campaign. A craven and cowardly decision, one which cost America dearly.

    Obama refused to end the phony War On Terror, which he could have with an executive order. Once again, history will judge his savagely for that catastrophic error as this nation spirals downward into a Stasi-style police state.

    Obama refused to end the endless unwinnable foreign wars. That puts him up there with LBJ as failed presidents.

  196. 196
    Plantsmantx says:

    He’s the perfect candidate for Cooter Saunders, or whatever that guy’s name is.

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