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View Diary: Damn It. BooMan Rules. Know Your Enemies Indeed. (ACTION Diary) (331 comments)

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  •  I have yet to see your bunch (8+ / 0-)

    explain how these kinds of diaries do anything to win people over to your side.  Y'all talk about "purity trolls;" but, your version involves insulting and berating and name-calling of anybody who doesn't toe the Obama party line, or who dares to criticize Obama.

    If your goal is red meat for your troops, fine, I guess your comment, and the diary which precipitated it, will do.  But, if your goal is to bring people into your fold and/or inspire people to donate to, vote for, and volunteer for Obama, I'm not sure this facilitates that goal.

    •  They aren't acting or thinking rationally (9+ / 0-)

      My guess is that they are experiencing EXTREME cognitive dissonance. They put so much of themselves into supporting Obama, specifically, that they can no longer disentangle their sense of self from their support of Obama. However, the contradictions between who they believed they were supporting, and the man they actually got, are growing so strong that most of their minds are simply paralyzed by their need to keep certain facts suppressed. They literally can not think straight, and they don't really know what they are doing or why. They just know they are angry. Not with Obama (no. never. must suppress any thoughts like that. must redirect anger onto a less dangerous target.) but with anyone who mentions those uncomfortable truths that they themselves know, but are keeping bottled up below conscious thought.

      •  That may be for some, like my older brother. (4+ / 0-)

        He became so personally invested and wrapped up that he stopped talking to me for two months when I criticized Obama's appointment of Geithner and Summers.  This, after we had phone banked and canvassed and hosted house parties together for Obama.

        We eventually had to agree not to discuss politics at all in order to recover our friendship.  Which is just ridiculous.

        •  How many progressives... (0+ / 0-)

          have to ignore the fact that beloved family members watch and believe Fox News. It is a choice for many I suspect -  family or pushing/hearing a point of view.

          "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis D. Brandeis

          by VA6thDem on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 01:31:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  OK, that's constructive criticism. (7+ / 0-)

        And it's also true.  In 2008 there were so many people around here saying Obama was the Savior, it was nauseating to me, and I was supporting him from the get-go.  But it was clear from what he said in interviews that he would govern from the center.  Which meant we would not get everything or even most of what we were hoping for.  

        But all these swooning savior-followers got their sense of self entangled with their false expectations about the guy, that when he didn't live up to them, they went crash! inside and turned against him viciously.  

        Mindfulness meditation is the vaccine and treatment for most of this kind of stuff.  Just sit still for 10 minutes every day and note the stuff that goes through your attention, labeling it according to its form rather than content, e.g. "thoughts, emotions, memories, imagination, anticipation," etc.   Most important is to know how to recognize emotions and name them for what they are.  

        •  I would agree with this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Imhotepsings
          But all these swooning savior-followers got their sense of self entangled with their false expectations about the guy, that when he didn't live up to them, they went crash! inside and turned against him viciously.  

          But that's not who the commenter was talking about..  He's talking about anger but I see alot of anger in what he says.

          But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

          by glynis on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:51:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, that is what I was talking about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, drnononono

            I go into detail in another post here, but yeah that is half of what I was talking about. People who really put some effort into supporting Obama's election campaign are now completely polarized. They either love him or they hate him. And they are going to be pretty nutso about it, either way.

            Am I angry? Yeah, a little. About as angry as I was at Clinton. But just as with Obama, I saw Clinton for what he was from the get go. A center right politician, someone who would have been very at home in the republican party of forty or fifty years ago. I did no work for Obama, I supported Hillary (not perfect, but with her, I was 100% certain of what I would be getting. Obama was, and still is in some ways, a cipher to me.) so I don't feel personally let down.

            •  I don't feel personally let down either (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              I neither love him nor hate him.  I tend to look at the overall environment he's operating in and see the constraints he has to navigate.  

              He's got a tremendous amount of pressure trying to keep this economy afloat and slowing down the Republican crazy train.  I think that's all he can do right now. Who knows if any other Democrat could do better?  It is what it is right now and we need to work with it and get back the House.  

              Wallowing in disillusionment or anger isn't productive or frankly good for one's own emotional well being.  

              I agree with Kevin Drum

              Conservatives have just flat out won this debate in recent decades, and until that changes we’re not going to be able to make much progress.

              This is why I blame the broad liberal community for our failures, not just President Obama. My biggest beef with Obama is the same one I had three years ago, namely that he’s never really even tried to move public opinion in a specifically progressive direction. But that hardly even matters unless all the rest of us have laid the groundwork. And we haven’t. Wonks, hacks, activists, all of us. We just haven’t persuaded the public to support our vision of government. Until we do, the tea party tendency will always be more powerful than we are.

              We have to stop expecting Obama to change the narrative by himself.  And we should be counter-messaging in the aftermath of this bill instead of falling into despair again that it isn't good and Obama sux.

              Republicans are crowing about how they got what they wanted.  Well the "wonks, hacks, activists, all of us" should be counter-messaging that this is what they want then the economic slide and unemployment we are despairing about belongs to them.

              BTW, I appreciate this respectful exchange.

              But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

              by glynis on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 12:15:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, but we HAVEconvinced them (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek, drnononono

                Just look at the poll numbers on, for instance the debt ceiling issue.  People wanted the government to raise taxes. Hell, a majority of republican voters wanted it. People do not want social security or medicare to even be up for debate. Citizens of this country were on the same page as us, and yet, somehow, even with overwhelming public support and control of the executive and half the legislative branches, we could not get what we wanted.

                It IS NOT the fault of progressive voters. We are not to blame here. People already agree with us, but that does not matter, even to elected members of our own party. They do what they want to do, they live in an echo chamber divorced from reality and make decisions based on what their good friends, the corporate lobbyists, tell them.

                Besides, is it too much to ask that leaders actually lead? Real leaders lead, they do not tell their followers to do it.

                Basically, we have three plausible narratives to choose from:

                One, Republicans are evil supervillains who always get their way because they are three steps ahead of us at all times

                Two, Democrats are hopelessly incompetent at getting what they want.

                OR

                Three: The majority of both Democrats and Republicans work for the corporations in a good cop/bad cop tag team, to defeat the will of the voters and enact the will of their corporate masters.

                Looks like you support the Republicans as evil supervillains storyline. Me, I'm leaning towards the third one.

                •  I'm more of a combination (0+ / 0-)

                  of one and two.  And in that "Democrats" bucket I put more than just those who are elected.

                  But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

                  by glynis on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 01:28:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, you know what they say: (0+ / 0-)

                    "Never ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained by idiocy."

                    So, what exactly has changed from the days when we could get what we wanted? Think of all the, ah, progress that progressives have made., all the things that we wanted, and they vehemently did not, that we got. The eight hour day. Child labor laws. The weekend. Medicare. Social Security. Environmental protection laws. Desegregation and equal rights. Women's sufferage. Food safety laws. The list goes on. We used to be able to achieve things.

                    So your theory about why we can no longer achieve things seems to be, the republicans got smarter and we got stupider? Okay, sorry, but we are reaching the point where it really can't be explained by idiocy. I'm going with malice. We, the people, have been sold out. That, to me, is the simpler explanation by far. Occam's razor says that when we don't know which among a number of equally probable explanations is correct, we guess the simplest one, as (barring other factors which we don't know) the simplest explanation has the least number of parts that could possibly be wrong, and thus is the most likely.

                    "We got sold out" is pretty simple, and it has plenty of historical precedent. "We got stupider while they got smarter"is pretty complicated and requires a number of quite dexterous leaps of faith. I'm going with "We got sold out."

                    •  my view (0+ / 0-)

                      people got complacent.  They take it all for granted.  We thought we didn't have to continue to fight to keep the things we had because who in their right mind would want to go backward?  Well to our horror we find that the people who do want to go backward have been plotting and planning for years and just chipping away biding their time while we just lived off the fruits of the labor of those before us.

                      And there's some really evil folks who don't care who they squash as long as they've got theirs.  Those of us on the left just don't have that level of malice and don't want to believe that others do because that's like surrendering to the dark side.  So we keep appealing to their better angels.  Because good always triumphs over evil, right?  (Actually, I think it does in the long term but it takes extraordinary persistence in the short term.)

                      Being incompetent doesn't mean you're stupid.  It can also be from laziness.  Not willing to put in all the hard work that went into getting those things in the first place.  We are a society that wants everything now because everything changes so rapidly.

                      Being lazy is pretty simple too.  And it's really easy.  It allows you to shift what needs to be done onto someone else because you don't know what to do and don't do the work to find out (or you just do the bare minimum).  And it also allows you to shift the blame onto others when you don't get what you wanted.  

                      How easy is it to sign an online petition rather than go door to door and educate the people while you're getting their signature?  Which is more effective?  Which will have a more long lasting effect?  Which is more work?  

                      I'm not saying not to sign that petition but if that's all you're doing then you're taking the easy route and deluding yourself into thinking you've accomplished something important.  

                      Of course all of this is rank generalization on my part.  

                      But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

                      by glynis on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 02:32:25 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  We got complacent (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        drnononono

                        Okay, that's a good theory, one which also has historical precedent. But as Saul Alinsky said, the boss is the best organizer. He is, always, intent on taking away that which makes us complacent and comfortable. And, being what he is, he will always go too far, he will always try to put that last straw on the camel's back. And then comes the uprising.  But uprisings are dangerous, chaotic times, during which the wrong sorts of people often rise to the top. Look at the Soviet Union.

                        However, this does not really explain why we got complacent and our counterparts in, say, Europe did not. They still have an active and powerful left. How are we different?

                        •  well I think we are in chaotic times (0+ / 0-)

                          I've always said that if there's one thing you can count on with Republicans is that they will overreach.

                          And we are seeing mini uprisings in places like WI and MI.  I think the debt ceiling negotiation awakened more people to the evilness in the GOP.  Even the MSM and other  Republican hacks have been calling them out.

                          I don't know enough about European culture to say why we got complacent and they didn't.  That would make for a very good study.

                          But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

                          by glynis on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 03:03:05 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  That's not true. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                drnononono

                Progressive positions, especially on the economy, consistently poll well.

                So, it's not that we haven't convinced "people."  It's that we haven't convinced "Kevin Drum's friends."

                The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

                by Punditus Maximus on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 02:38:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  progressive positions polling well (0+ / 0-)

                  isn't translating into votes for Democrats.  So obviously there is still a disconnect.

                  But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

                  by glynis on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 03:13:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's because dems have shifted to the right. (0+ / 0-)

                    And someone who acts like a repub (austerity, deficits, shared sacrifice) vs. an actual repub = actual repub wins.

                    The Dems are a messaging nightmare.  They try to appeal to both sides (corporate vs public) instead of stating concrete prog positions that the public will eat up.

                    If this continues into 2012, Obama will probably win (the public does like him, he's "Presidential"), but the House and Senate could see more repubs.

                    Pay very careful attention to Dems "campaigning".  If you end up voting for the "lesser of two evils", expect even more slippage to the right.

                    "With great power, comes great responsibility" -Ben Parker

                    by splintersawry on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 03:55:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  That's because the voters are not the true (0+ / 0-)

                    constituency of the Democratic Party.  Oh, occasionally there will be some flowery words, maybe a sternly worded letter or two; but, the Democrats know where their bread is buttered.  And they rely on the awful specter of more crazy Republicans being elected to motivate their base to vote--just like the Republicans rely on the specter of more tax-and-spend liberals to motivate their base to vote.  In reality the vast majority of the elected Members of Congress from both parties serve their corporate masters.  The rest is, as they say, mere kabuki, or sound and fury signifying nothing.

                    That--and not some failure on the part of the activist left--is why majority support for progressive policies does not translate into legislation:  the corporate masters would turn off the spigot of cash.

                    Just ask Alan Grayson.

                  •  That's true. (0+ / 0-)

                    Now, where could that disconnect be...

                    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

                    by Punditus Maximus on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 11:34:05 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  The truth is (8+ / 0-)

          Obama is neither the Savior, nor the Anti-christ that some of his detractors around here seem  to think. He's not the main problem, the Republicans are.

          •  This. Exactly this. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, elmo

            Republicans are the problem. Well, okay, really, corporate money in politics is the real problem, but money doesn't have an ugly hate filled racist face like republicans do.

            •  YES and YES. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elmo, marina

              Republicans are the problem, Republicans are trying to push us into theocratic neofeudalism with serfdom as an added "feature."  

              And all the huge sums of money sloshing around are enabling it and saturating the public with propaganda to the point where other narratives can hardly find a way to break through.

              The major task ahead of us is how to break through the propaganda fog.  

              Urban riots and mass violence would do the trick, but not productively.

              We need new tactics that take advantage of new technologies and are suitable for these times.   So far nobody has hit the major breakthrough that'll do it.  This is what we need to brainstorm on:  what are the new tactics needed to break through the fog and reach people where they are.

              When we hit the right thing, it'll take off and spread so fast it will surprise even us.  

        •  Top comment of this diary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          Thanks for the reminder.

          “ Obama plays a dangerous game. The chessboard has taken on unforseen dimensions. ”

          by ozsea1 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 11:50:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Your republican talking points are showing again. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Imhotepsings, virginislandsguy
        •  So are yours (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          drnononono, Rick Aucoin

          You are obviously an agent provocateur sent to Daily Kos to sow discord and mistrust, and turn progressives against each other. I know all about COINTELPRO and how the CIA did this to activists in the sixties, my step-mom was targeted. You go into groups and start shit, insult everyone and call people's loyalty into question. Divide the community and get them to fight each other, and you will not need to fight them yourself.

          Now, if you think that assessment is unfair, maybe you could also reassess your own strategy.

      •  I see none of this (4+ / 0-)
        They put so much of themselves into supporting Obama, specifically, that they can no longer disentangle their sense of self from their support of Obama

        in this diary. I just see a pretty levelheaded description of what we're up against. On the other hand, I have seen many comments and diaries here that advance the thesis that Obama is the problem, the enemy, and that everything would be pretty much hunky dory if he were just out of the way.

        Of the two approaches, I find the latter one to be the fanciful one.

        •  We all see what we want to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          drnononono

          Obviously, I see the opposite. Pro obama diaries are over the top, insulting, and generally fact-free. Diaries critical of Obama are filled with pertinent facts and reasoned discussion. Funny old world, where two people can look at the same thing and see the opposite of that the other sees, hmm?

    •  what's with the selective criticism? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sunbro, Imhotepsings, princss6

      I've read plenty of diaries critical of Obama that does to those not agreeing with them exactly what you are criticizing here.

      But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

      by glynis on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:02:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suspect those diaries aren't converting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ozsea1

        anybody, either.  I'm not an apologist for those, but it doesn't make ones like this any more effective at persuading the unpersuaded.

        Again, maybe that's not the goal.

        •  the diary didn't do that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Imhotepsings

          there are going to be comments like that crop up because of the bitterness that has developed.  Best thing to do is ignore and not generalize it beyond the comments.

          But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

          by glynis on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:16:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is that the smell of false equivalency? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drnononono

            You guys simply do not miss a trick from the republican playbook, do you? "Don't pay any attention when you see us acting like jerks, you can't generalize from the majority of childish comments you see. But hey! Did you see the way that jerk was insulting us? The fact that that one guy was arguably a little mean just goes to show that all Obama critics are vicious animals." Yeah, not buying it.

            •  what guys? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sunbro, Imhotepsings, Lying eyes

              I speak for myself.  And I didn't use any name calling either.  That seems to be a staple of yours.  I did exactly what I said.  I ignored those comments.  Didn't recc'd them.  I generally ignore them in the other diaries too unless they are directed specifically to me.  Then I might push back, might not.  I might use the same terms directed at me and aim them right back with my reply or might not.  

              And I'll kindly ask you not to put your words in my mouth because there is no honest way to imply I said anything about Obama critics being "vicious animals".

              But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

              by glynis on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:37:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The guys who support Obama (0+ / 0-)

                I'm new here, so maybe I'm not seeing everything yet. But it sure seems like one side in the debate is a little more vehement and, dare I say it, personal in their communications. And it doesn't help, it drives people away. What helps are diaries like the ones TIMT puts out that outline all the good things Obama has done. I will never jump into one of those saying, "No way, Obama sucks!"

                Now, some of us are already taking those things into account and still do not feel that Obama has done right by us, but I'm sure there are just as many who read those diaries and go, "Hmm, yeah, I'd forgotten about that. Maybe he isn't such a bad guy."

                But all this crap accusing anyone who criticizes Obama of being a republican operative, or a racist or whatnot? Yeah, that is doing the opposite of what you think it is doing.

                I think that people who really put in a lot of effort supporting Obama will have a hard time being neutral about him. They are either going to keep loving him even more, or switch to hating him completely. Me, I never liked the guy. Too hawkish, too pro corporation, too Austrian economics school. I voted for him, and I will vote for him again, but my initial impression of him is really no different than it is now. I am not surprised by any of his actions, what I see is pretty much what I expected to see. I feel the same way about Obama as I did about Clinton. He is not a progressive, he governs like a center-right politician.

                •  I'm not new here (0+ / 0-)
                  But it sure seems like one side in the debate is a little more vehement and, dare I say it, personal in their communications.

                  I read and comment in both sides and both sides have some of this.  And there are people that will jump into diaries supportive just to say "Obama sux" just as there are people who jump into the diaries critical to say "progressives sux".

                  I have been called a "republican operative" and I doubt you'd say I'm critical of Obama. The name calling on both sides has gotten out of hand.  So too has the HR abuse.  And I'm sorry to say I have seen the racist garbage some spew and they have been defended so there is a sensitivity about it.  I also don't think it's helpful to minimize that sensitivity by saying the person raising it is racist.  That's what the right has done to immunize themselves from their racist commentary.  

                  There are operatives that have been outed and banned from here. One just recently.  So, it isn't surprising that sometimes based on a commenters history of comments that people begin to wonder.  But you're right, it can get out of hand.

                  But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

                  by glynis on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 12:57:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  COINTELPRO (0+ / 0-)

                    Look up the tactics they used to destroy the left in the sixties. One tactic was to get the members of targeted groups to start thinking everyone was an infiltrator. Nothing drives people away faster than that kind of toxic environment. There really were infiltrators, and they would do things like sleep around to get everyone jealous and fighting about sex. But sometimes they would just be very strident and aggressive in defending the groups ideals. Against everyone. Everyone else was an infiltrator, not pure enough, a bad guy seeking to bring the group down. And it was really the guys doing the warning who were there to bring the group down.

                    Out of hand? It's out of the goddamn stratosphere. This place is going to implode unless some people find some better ways of dealing with their own emotions.

                    And the best way to do that is to build community. Make this the god damn SAFE SPACE it should be. You know what? We can't trust politicians. Not even our own. But maybe we can learn to trust each other. And if we do that, if we build real community, then the energy we unleash in the individuals that make up that community will be unstoppable.

                    We need to stop looking to others to get us what we want, and instead, empower each other to do so.

                  •  A difference is that most of the criticism (0+ / 0-)

                    of Obama--even that involving name-calling and comparisons to Republicans and "getting personal"--involve criticism of Obama, a public figure and elected official.  The name-calling criticism directed at progressives, leftists, and critics of the President is often personally directed toward the individual diarists and commenters.

                    If I criticize or even insult the President, I'm not, by that act alone, insulting or criticizing you.  It is this mistaken transference that causes much of the angst and bitterness among the support-Obama group.

                    •  I don't take it personally (0+ / 0-)

                      when Obama is criticized when I object to the name calling that goes with it.  And from the comments I read neither do they.  What we are objecting to is the lack of basic common decency that all people, public figures or not, deserve.

                      One can make their criticisms of the president and others known without some of the vile language that accompanies it that is directed at the persons.

                      And please do not pretend that personal name calling criticism isn't directed at the support-obama group.

                      But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

                      by glynis on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 04:27:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  bull poopies on a platter. (5+ / 0-)

      Surrender turtles are people who promote despair and defeatism, NOTV (Neg Out The Vote) and other don't-vote memes, advocate for third parties, and have nothing constructive to say.  

      FYI, I have a few pages of ferocious criticism of the administration, but it goes along with specific proposals and it doesn't spread emotional plague-viruses.  That's called constructive criticism, as opposed to smearing poo on the walls and calling it art.  

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