Starting to look like Ted Kennedy’s seat is up in the air, and may very well go to a Republican. Be nice if someone in the liberal blogosphere would notice and efforts would be made to provide some support, whether it be volunteering or matching the Brown moneybombs. Likewise, it would seem to some that some concern should be shown about the fact that the New York race is shaping up to be a fight between a moderate Democrat and a very conservative DINO. Shoring up the left flank there might also be a worthy endeavor.

On the other hand, I do understand that the high crimes and misdemeanors of Rahm and Gruber are probably bigger priorities and more important uses of progressive energy. Good thing progressive icon Chuck Grassley is riding to the rescue. No doubt Grover Norquist has some thoughts on these issues, as well.

But don’t worry- once Democrats are in the minority, then we’ll see the change we were promised.

How Obama Has Let You Down Today

Things I’ve learned in the last 48 hours from progressive blogs and Obama supporters:

Janet Napolitano should resign.

The Kaiser Foundation is needlessly shilling for Obama.

Despite what public watchdog groups state, Obama is just like Bush regarding lobbyists.

Peter Orzag getting married is proof the Obama team is nothing but beltway insiders.

Obama is playing 11 dimensional chess with his appointments to appeal to the base only to stab them in the back a year later.

Obama has let us down by failing to wave his magic wand and make Republicans and Ben Nelson confirm his appointees.

Obama is, literally, Judas.

I’m sure I’ve missed some other things, so make sure you too tell us how Obama has failed you today. Also, if any of you try to refute what I have said here or try to state something positive, you are an Obot incapable of critical thinking and unable to see the real truth.

More Obama fail

This is disappointing, obviously:

Obama has wielded the power of the White House to craft an executive order that limited lobbyist hires in his administration, push federal agencies to share more of their data with the public and begin releasing visitor records for the executive complex on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


“The greatest surprise is just how extensively these revolving door restrictions apply,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. “Obama has ushered in the first-ever policy addressing ‘reverse’ revolving door abuses: screening potential nominees to the federal government and managing conflicts of interest among appointees so as to prevent special interests from ‘capturing’ the agencies that regulate them.”


Unlike past administrations, Obama’s White House has been unusually attentive to ethics and transparency and to the reform advocates who lobby for them. They were consulted during the transition and often talk with White House officials to this day.

Just words!

At Home

Made it home in one piece, and am now watching a couple of Jack Russell Terriers run around with a Bull Mastiff while Lily sits on various laps observing.

Was just wondering how the Progressive jihad was going- have we advanced to suicide bombings and delinking yet? Is Bernie Sanders still a corporate whore? Have No Quarter and Hillary is 44 weighed in yet? Any more push polling and fund-raising?

What if we just make it easier to punch hippies?

I’m not a big fan of the concept of Overton windows. It’s too much like framing, Burkean gradualism, and Niebuhrian realism for me, which is to say that it’s generally either a fancy phrase for commonsense bargaining techniques or a justification for dishonest exaggeration. That said, since punching hippies is such an important part of our political process, wouldn’t it be beneficial to make it easier for Democrats to punch hippies? Booman points out that Lieberman opposed the Medicare buy-in because he thought that hippies favored it (Lieberman even invented a fictitious example of hippie support for it). Lieberman does this because he’s an asshole. But it’s quite possible that Ben Nelson is re-elected in a far-right state in part because the people of Nebraska enjoy watching him punch hippies. It’s even possible that northeastern Republicans like Linc Chafee would still be in office if the Republican party allowed them to punch rednecks or neocons or whatever kind of righties northeasterners like to see punched.

What if teh left had screamed bloody murder, called Obama a sell-out, threatened to form a Freedom Dog Lake alliance with teabaggers, etc. much earlier in the process, like maybe as soon as it became clear the bill wouldn’t put us on a single-payer system? Would that have made it so that the public option or Medicare buy-in was enough of a hippie punch to win the support of principled centrists?

This brings me to my second question, which also involves something that I normally hate, counterfactual historicism. According to the Official Village Narrative, one of Clinton’s most important political triumphs was his Sister Souljah moment. But that was a pretty difficult hippie punch, it involved finding some obscure rapper, going through her public statements for something controversial, and then condemning it. Nowadays, the Obama people can just turn on the tv or get on the internets and find some prime hippie targets faster than you can say Dylan Ratigan. Would the fundamental dynamic of the Clinton years have been different if FDL and the like had been around in the ’90s? Would Clinton have signed DOMA and welfare reform if he could have achieved the same thing politically by saying something mean about Howard Dean? (Probably this is taking it way too far, but I think things would have been different.) Yes, I realize this is a bit like one of those old SNL bits, “What If Elinor Roosevelt Could Fly?” or “What If Napoleon Had B-1 Bombers At Waterloo?”