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View Diary: A Better Defense of Obama (317 comments)

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  •  There are two different approaches we can take (102+ / 0-)

    One, as described in this diary, is to recognize that President Obama is working hard to change difficult problems, and choose to support him in his efforts.

    The other is to recognize that President Obama is operating in a deeply corrupt governmental system in Washington, in which real change is usually compromised away in favor of more giveaways to political patrons.  This approach chooses to exert countervailing pressure on President Obama from the left to keep him moving in the correct direction.

    Both approaches have merit, and both have their places.  It isn't a question of one being right and one wrong, but rather recognizing that a balance needs to be maintained in the progressive community, and that that balance will shift from issue to issue and time to time.

    The diarist can usefully remember that Obama also told us to keep up the pressure on him, because he can't do everything himself.  Criticism from the left on compromises with Republicans and corporate interests is supporting the president in his goals, too.

    "I would say to you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!" Bzzzt! Sorry Barry, thanks for playing.

    by Dallasdoc on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:16:52 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Dallasdoc & I support campaign finance reform (22+ / 0-)

      Public funding of races for Senate and congress is still needed despite the revolution in internet fund raising at the presidential level. Look where Baucus gets the lion's share of his campaign funds - out of state.

      If we could do for the senate and congress what we did for the presidential campaign - make small internet donors king - we would have a chance of changing the system because the senators and congress reps would owe us first instead of the big corporations. But that hasn't happened yet.

      Campaign finance reform for senate and congress is a key to getting our country back.

      look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:28:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not going to come out of Washington easily (25+ / 0-)

        Neither Obama nor Congress is going to grasp that nettle without a lot of serious grassroots agitation.  Nobody in Washington wants that system to change, really, even though most Congresscritters hate how much time they have to spend fundraising.

        Interestingly, this is one of the best areas for reaching common ground with conservatives.  Everybody outside the Beltway recognizes on some level how corrupted our governmental system has become.  Public campaign financing could be an issue on which we could persuade conservatives to join us to put pressure on politicians together.  They won't react well at first, of course, since it's government spending, but since they haven't been inoculated against the idea by a propaganda campaign I find them very persuadable when the issue is discussed.

        "I would say to you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!" Bzzzt! Sorry Barry, thanks for playing.

        by Dallasdoc on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:31:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I want to know 'Persistence at WHAT?' (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rb608, shaharazade, fernan47

        If what Obama means is persistence at achieving 'post-partisanship', i.e., getting John Kyl and Jim DeMint to come over and toast S'mores with him, then no amount of persistence will work.  Not even resigning from his office would work.  If what he means is persistence at achieving the stuff we thought he was promising us, then he needs to get over his apparent desire to be National Camp Counselor instead of President and leader of the Democratic Party.

        Personally, I'm getting fed up with taking heat for being 'partisan' when all we're doing is standing up for what Obama said he wanted during the campaign, while he and our Democratic 'leaders' in the Senate are on their knees, giving away the public option, and card check, and meaningful oversight of the bandits on Wall Street so that that rabid bunch of skunks in the GOP will maybe, please, pretty please, come play with us.

        •  I think you've missed the diarist's point. (5+ / 0-)

          Completely. If it had been made aloud to you, it would have gone in one ear and come out the other without stopping in between.

          Obama wants you to agitate. Actually, he wants to whole country to agitate. Too many people vote for president, then go home and do not involve themselves politically for another four years. It's the messiah complex of leadership in this country - vote a candidate into the presidency, then wait while they magically solve the country's problems. And then complain when, inevitably, they don't. The creed of American self-reliance has shifted over the years from genuine pioneer spirit to mere lip-service from more recent and complacent generations.

          Why do only 25% of the electorate typically vote in this country? Because 75% don't care enough to bestir themselves on voting day (which doesn't stop 99% of the electorate from complaining when things don't go well). Out of that 25% that actually vote, an even smaller sliver of the population stay actually active and politically engaged year-round.

          Nevermind what Obama does. Nevermind what Rahm says. Do you know where the pressure is coming for them? From those that are constantly engaged in Washington. The lobbyists, who get paid to be engaged. The GOP, who endemically must be engaged. The corporate money men, who are engaged to guard their investments. When Obama pushes back on these "engaged" citizens, what do we on the Left do? Complain that the good still isn't perfect? Attack the Blue Dogs rather than the corporatocracy?

          Politics is the art of compromise. If you don't want those compromises to occur, you'd better have an overwhelming majority of the population on your side. Your message had better hit Washington loud and clear, drowning out the opposition. Fighting and backbiting and looking for intra-party betrayals here on DKos achieves none of that.

          Why aren't we looking at a single-payer plan right now? We've been out-shouted and out-hustled. Why did Obama cut deals with PhARMA, hospitals and the AMA? Because he needs to get this done, and progressives don't have the organization or pull in Washington to get it done they way we'd like to see it.

          Before we blame Obama for giving away the farm, we should first blame ourselves for not having the political organization to make this stuff happen the way we'd like to see it go down. The responsibility lies with us to drown out the dissenting interests and get the American people, by the millions, loud and active and engaged in our progressive agenda. And we just ain't there yet, folks.

          ---

          •  well (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dallasdoc, rb608

            i agree with this

            Why aren't we looking at a single-payer plan right now? We've been out-shouted and out-hustled. Why did Obama cut deals with PhARMA, hospitals and the AMA? Because he needs to get this done, and progressives don't have the organization or pull in Washington to get it done they way we'd like to see it.

            but i don't agree it is our fault.

            we just fought a big battle to get him reelected.

            we needed real leadership from him and OFA as to what to do next and we did not get it.

            obama muddied his own waters and made it impossible to get traction on a clear goal.

            that is not our fault.  and plenty of people here said a flat out 'no' to fighting for single payer.  

            and i am even now being dismissed in another diary while trying to point this out.

            so the real battle here seems to be between people like me who are making a simple critique and being told to shut up instead of getting a discussion out of it.

            We must practice `pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.' Antonio Gramsci

            by fernan47 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:28:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Discussing is necessary. (0+ / 0-)

              Casting blame is often counter-constructive, however, and that's really what I'm talking about.

              we needed real leadership from him and OFA as to what to do next and we did not get it.

              obama muddied his own waters and made it impossible to get traction on a clear goal.

              See that's where I disagree. Looking to Obama and the OFA as a grassroots organizing tool, despite their pretensions to appear as exactly that, is a mistake. The OFA is Obama's reelection organization, full stop. What progressives need is a better political and communications framework outside of any particular candidate or cause. If Obama can lead us to victory on this or that, that's great. But frankly, elect a guy without a lot of strings to pull in Washington and this what I expect too see, no matter ow smart he is: comprises and concessions. It's the trade-off for putting in a promising rookie rather than a seasoned veteran - and yes, I know that sounds like a catch-22. But it's also reality.

              that is not our fault.  and plenty of people here said a flat out 'no' to fighting for single payer.

              If it's just a contest to see how pure any individual person's intentions are, then I'm sure all of us are angels and none of our goals will ever get accomplished.

              I'd just like to see a bit of a paradigm shift hereabouts, a little more in line with Henry Ford's famous maxim, "Never complain, never explain." And the first person who responds to this by pointing out that Ford was racist Nazi sympathizer will have made my point about our lack of focus vividly.

              ---

              •  i agree (0+ / 0-)

                once again with part of what you said

                The OFA is Obama's reelection organization, full stop. What progressives need is a better political and communications framework outside of any particular candidate or cause. If Obama can lead us to victory on this or that, that's great. But frankly, elect a guy without a lot of strings to pull in Washington and this what I expect too see, no matter ow smart he is: comprises and concessions. It's the trade-off for putting in a promising rookie rather than a seasoned veteran - and yes, I know that sounds like a catch-22. But it's also reality.

                but ofa didn't need to be just that.  it could have been much, much more.

                at this point it is more a model of what can be done than a functioning organization for change.  they have refused to share their database which is a huge mistake.

                We must practice `pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.' Antonio Gramsci

                by fernan47 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:41:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  bestest ever comment on the whole bang shoot (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dzog

            fantastic.  10,000 recs.  Just do it and don't blame anyone else if it doesn't get done.

      •  here's some reading for you (0+ / 0-)

        I did an analysis of the current scheme in Congress to funnel taxpayer dollars into politicians campaign coffers, you can find it here:

        Fairly Flawed: Analysis of the 2009 Fair Elections Now Act

        I'm not expecting you to agree with my general conclusions, but I do hope you'll at least check out section 5, which fairly conclusively shows how this program will be helpful to exactly 3 types of candidates:

        1. Incumbents
        1. Celebrities able to get media coverage
        1. Those with strong backing by well-organized interest groups

        Basically, because of the way the program is structured, it is extremely difficult for anyone who isn't one of the above to qualify for the program. So, Baucus has no problem getting taxpayer dollars. You, on the other hand (and here I'm assuming you aren't a Montana celebrity or officeholder), get to scramble around the state trying to collect an average of $35 from 2,500 people in a 5 month period. Maybe some interest groups help, or maybe they say "Baucus is our guy."

        But this isn't a program that's going to allow a lot of "average Americans" to challenge guys like Buacus.

        Sean Parnel
        President
        Center for Competitive Politics
        http://www.campaignfreedom.org

    •  Constructive criticism is always okay. (18+ / 0-)

      What makes criticism "constructive"?

      Balance with other types of support/interaction.
      Trust.
      Appreciation for the difficulties the other person sees/perceives.
      Flexibility.

      It's not "astroturf," it's an orally transmitted form of spongiform encephalopathy.

      by chicago jeff on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:34:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not mutually exclusive (9+ / 0-)

      Putting pressure on is a form of support (which may be what you're saying).  I took the diarist's point very much to heart.  It is more than a "come on folks, real change doesn't happen overnight" rubric.  I think we do forget quickly what a difference there is between 8 years of the Vacation President and the Undisclosed Location VP, and this Obama guy, who seems to roll out the next course-changing proposal before the news cycle has finished digesting the last.

      By all means we need to keep the pressure and focus on the progressive agenda (however we see it).

      •  We should remember the previous president too (27+ / 0-)

        Bill Clinton came into office talking as a regular-guy populist, but almost before he entered the Oval Office he was shanghaied by Bob Rubin and Alan Greenspan into walking the Wall Street line.  He compromised frequently with conservatives and vitiated much of his original intentions by doing so.

        Now Barack Obama has come into office at the end of the modern conservative movement, not its height.  But we should be wary of how easily and how extensively he compromises with corporatist interests against the people.  Sometimes, as with Big Pharma, a tactical compromise may be defensible.  Other times, as with the wholesale giveaways to Goldman Sachs and Wall Street, that's a harder case to make.

        Real change isn't going to happen without constant progressive pressure.  Obama himself has made that clear.  Who's going to apply that pressure, if not people like us?

        "I would say to you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!" Bzzzt! Sorry Barry, thanks for playing.

        by Dallasdoc on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:39:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Makes sense to me. (13+ / 0-)

          I appreciate your comment, this is the type of conversation that drew me here. I think we should be constantly re-evaluating our approach and our interaction. The goal is effective pressure.

        •  The path of least resistance /The big compromises (8+ / 0-)

          One of my biggest criticisms of Pres. Obama is that I'm not seeing the kind of persistence that the diarist is talking about.  I would be the first to agree that change doesn't happen overnight, that it takes work and persistence.  But instead of persistence, I am seeing our president taking the path of least resistance, which is the opposite of what he claimed he would do.

          First, with the banks, every concession was made to give them money, to create new Fed programs to help them clean up their bad assets, build up their capital reserves and free them up to extend credit to businesses in a desperate economy.  It was a banker's dream.  The government even went as far as to hide information from the people about the condition/health of said banks.

          These institutions crashed the global economy and the possibility that they may have taken this country down with them is still real.  They were "too big to fail" and they were poorly regulated.  And they are still "too big to fail" and poorly regulated, nearly a year after the crash.  There has been little or no accountability or penalty, in fact, they were richly rewarded.  Some of fundamental problems and practices still remain.  

          Credit card companies are robbing people blind and foreclosures continue at a steady pace.

          This isn't persistence.  This is taking the path of least resistance by forcing the weakest among us to continue to suffer and even to pay the price of the because it is easier than real change.  A conscious effort is made by our leadership to get whatever they can get with the least trouble and then to try to convince the public that they did something wonderful.  The only persistence I'm seeing is a persistence in marketing.  If the people don't fall for one type of spin, they try another.  And the status quo train just keeps chugging along in the background.

          We are seeing the same thing unfold with health care reform.  Instead of taking on the powers that be in the industry, deals have been in the works for months, possibly years now, behind the scenes, in secret.  Instead of risking a fight with these powers, concessions were immediately made, at the expense of the least among us.  This is exactly the opposite of what Obama said he would do.

          The same thing is unfolding in the arena of court battles about state secrets, et al.  Instead of throwing out the Bush legal strategies, they picked them up and ran with them, in some cases, going a step further away from the Constitution than even the Bush/Cheney administration did.  That is not persistence.  It's a path of least resistance, or something even worse.

          •  Sadly yes (6+ / 0-)

            The question is - is Obama part of the Washington and Wall St machine, or is he an outsider trying to change it?

            Progressives are making a lot of excuses on his behalf. But his actions suggest that in fact he's a standard issue corpo-crat who will give Main St the bare minimum it needs to stay off life support, but whose main practical interest is maintaining Wall St and Washington in the manner to which they've become accustomed.

            There is no evidence - apart from campaign promises - that Obama is making Main St the priority it should be.

            There's some discretionary stimulus spending, but it adds up to scraps compared to the literally unbelievable sums thrown at Wall St with minimal accountability.

            "Be kind" - is that a religion?

            by ThatBritGuy on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 08:32:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Pressure, yes...but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NLinStPaul, I love OCD

      I don't think he meant just us here at DK and other similar sites. I think meant "us", the American people. I think he meant for us here to go out and get those others to support what we do and then collectively pressure him. Just us here is not enough.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." ~ Mencken

      by royce on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:41:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A third consideration: (43+ / 0-)

      With the vehement hatred stoked by Rush/Glenn/Drudge et al. and the failure of the Republican party to speak against these tactics, we have a very different dynamic that is ignored by progressives.  We continue to act as if there isn't this level of danger and we hold Obama "accountable" with our criticism.  If we truly had passed some racial threshold, if we truly didn't have an alarmingly dumb portion of the populace, we would have the luxury of holding Obama accountable to a progressive standard.  

      We tacitly feed the wingnuts by not standing by our president as a real alternative to conservative rule.  We just look like we're just as unhappy with him, and we feed their statistics.  

      I'm not saying our president right or wrong with blind fealty.  But every time we write him off as a corporate stooge or withhold our support because the timetable isn't to our liking, we help the bad guys.  

      We can preface every criticism with an acknowledgment of the enormity of the tasks facing him, or his boldness to tackle health care and a crumbling economy that is the direct result of conservative rule over the last 30 years.  And then give our reasons why a more progressive approach, legislation, etc. would help the country.  Then we are showing that we believe in our president, and we take wind out of the conservative sails.  

      •  Amen (9+ / 0-)

        "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

        by zizi on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:51:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Extremely well said n/t (8+ / 0-)

        "If Obama walked on water, Bolton would say he can't swim"--Hillary, elucidating on GOP haterism

        by GN1927 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 07:02:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ditto, Ditto... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, GN1927, rb608, BonnieSchlitz

          We are just helping the Wingnuts and extremists with our loud criticism.  

          One persons constructive criticism is another persons validation that he is just as bad as a Republican, so why bother to care.  

          My son voted for a Dem for the first time in years.  He keeps commenting on how those radical liberals are sooo unhappy with Obama.  But my son says he is pretty pleased that Obama is trying to govern from the center.  

          My husband,life long Independent, thinks our extremists are just as bad as the other sides extremists, and the fact that the progressives are "unhappy" with Obama just proves it.  He is quite happy with Obama so far.  

          Just saying.  Not agreeing with them completely, especially the part about how the extremists on both sides are equal, but pointing out that there is a country out there that has a different perception that what we read at DK.  And the votes of a lot of them went for Obama.  Just saying.    

          •  He needs ROOM... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JWC, askew, GN1927, rb608, fernan47

            I said this in another diary, but it doesn't hurt to say it again: we need to be shouting from the rooftops for SINGLE PAYER TO BE PUT BACK ON THE TABLE! This "public option" is WAY too reasonable what with it being based on free market principles and all! We have a role to play in the media narrative, that of the 'angry left', and we're not doing our jobs. We need to confront the mobs by calling for REAL gov'mint controlled health care. Obama needs ROOM to move to the public option dammit.

      •  But we don't have to (10+ / 0-)

        The progressive movement as a whole needs to maintain balance, but we individuals don't need to ritualistically preface every criticism with a statement of support.  Balance is vital but the appearance of balance in every statement is unnecessary and cumbersome.

        Let people rant when they feel angry or betrayed.  It's their right.  Those who lose balance altogether need to be reeled back in, but we need a long leash if we are to have the discussions that help us reach agreement.

        "I would say to you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!" Bzzzt! Sorry Barry, thanks for playing.

        by Dallasdoc on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 07:07:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wish i could recc this comment a billion times. (14+ / 0-)

        In addition to not appreciating the difficulties  you described, people act like all of the social services that have come from progressive were written and enacted into law have not being changing over time to become what they are now. They make references to these success stories without understanding the context in which they happened and how much was done over the year to improve them.

        The legislative process is not like a science class. Things are not always clear-cut and straightforward. The key to ultimately getting a perfect bill is to keep working at it and not give up if perfection is not achieved the first time around. A classic example is our constitution. Imagine if you will if the founding fathers had walked away because some of them felt the constitution was not perfect enough for them. Look how many amendments and all that we've made to it already. I'm sure there's more to come.

        open your mind or someone else will open it for you, but be careful you don't open it too much for you brain to fall out.

        by carlos the jackal on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 07:16:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Word! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927, shenderson

        Very well said.  I saw one of the stooges in the health care bus come out to warm up the crowd.  His rap went something like Obama has death warrants, Pol pot Hitler mao etc had death warrants, what will they call our death warrants and the crowd (which wasnt small) went nuts.  In this environment the very fact that we have diaries rec listing on the regular that in essence call Obama a corporatist stooge at the same time the right is calling him a Nazi is disgusting.

        Today we are all Iranian!

        by Adept2u on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 08:02:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  well this is exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc

        the conundrum for me.

        i don't want to speak out against him in any way, but i am being forced to.

        he can only do so much, but really, from my perspective, he has barely thrown us a bone.

        and time is running out for him to reclaim my passionate support for him.

        i sent him a pretty clear email today.

        i sense a bad split coming right now, before our very eyes.

        We must practice `pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.' Antonio Gramsci

        by fernan47 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:34:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I sure hope, then... (5+ / 0-)

      ... That Obama chewed Rahm a new asshole for his Chief of Staff telling us to F*** off because this is precisely what those ads that Emmanuel was bitching about were doing:

      The diarist can usefully remember that Obama also told us to keep up the pressure on him, because he can't do everything himself.

      This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

      by Snud on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:46:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The better question (for me) is ... (13+ / 0-)

        ... what promises did the White House get from the Blue Dogs in exchange for that political cover?  If the White House got Senate Blue Dogs' promise to vote for cloture on whatever health care bill reaches the Senate floor, for example, I'm willing to put up with Rahm Emanuel's "fucking stupid" comment.

        •  exactly... (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, KayCeSF, rweba, Snud, NCrissieB, shenderson

          we're not privy to what's behind those 'inside skirmishes',  which seems to be a huge thorn in the sides of some users here. Being an activist does not automatically give one access to inner-circle, particularly when that 'activity' is all about yelling louder and not necessarily about yelling smarter.

          "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

          by Sybil Liberty on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 07:27:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good point but I would also ask (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NCrissieB

          What can he realistically get from just Big Pharma? The loss of price negotiations - which, as I understand it, is what was bargained away - for their promise not to leverage their considerable resources against us like the health insurance industry has.

          Of course I wasn't there and I'm not privy to what happened; however, if I assume "we" did get something out of the bargain, in addition (like blue dog votes) why was Rahm's little tirade necessary? I just don't think it was.

          This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

          by Snud on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:17:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can only suggest... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NCrissieB

            that by pitting BIGPHARMA against the far more evil (in my view) insurance industry he gains ground. For now.

            For one thing, some of the larger HMO's (like Kaiser, the one I have) already rely on generic prescription drugs in their formulary, altho they will make exceptions at the physician's discretion in some cases, and they already stock their pharmacies as if they were operating a 'BIGLOTS' store. It does keep the costs down, so in my view, the junk insurance for-profit industry is the more evil by far. For the most part they provide nothing but grief.

            Also, on one of the other threads, someone said that a non negotiation pact, if included, can be repealed by congress at a later date in separate legislation.

            I hope.

            "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

            by Sybil Liberty on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:02:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Conflating different events. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, Dallasdoc, Sybil Liberty

            Rahm Emanuel's comment about the "fucking stupid" ads had nothing to do with Big Pharma; both stories broke on the same day, but I don't think Emanuel's comment had anything to do with the Big Pharma deal.  It was about the progressive ads running against Blue Dogs in the Senate and House.

            And frankly, I don't think Emanuel was at all upset by those ads.  Those ads sent Senate and House Blue Dogs scurrying to the White House for a favor.  Emanuel's comment was an implicit Obama endorsement, essentially: "The president thinks you're still good Democrats."  So they got the favor they asked for, but I'd be shocked if they got that free of charge.  And I'd be shocked if Rahm Emanuel or President Obama were really upset about anything that sends Blue Dogs running to the White House for favors.

            As for the Big Pharma deal, that's a case of Occam's Switchblade: "One should not unnecessarily multiply enemies."  Whatever effort Big Pharma gives the White House for health care reform is essentially doubled; otherwise that same effort would be going against health care reform.

    •  Diversity of Jobs & Politics, NOT just different (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, rb608, Nulwee

      religions and skin colors and ethnicities.

      the diversity myth in dem politics - sidetrack.

      when I worked at microsoft from '97 to '03, I couldn't count all the times I heard someone blather on about the diversity - bullshit. sure, the people there were from all over the world and all over north america, and every ivy league! BUT, they were fundementally the same kind of people when it came to their values! they just had different home cooked food and different skin colors and different religions.

      end sidetrack -

      The Democratic Party suffers from the leafy neighborhood monopoly - that is where most of our money comes from, that is where those who can afford to be active come from - the nice affluent leafy neighborhoods where life is NOT too unfair or too arbritary ... funny what having re$ource$ will do.

      I think this diarist's recommendations are niave and childish - however, keep banging away! They're leafy neighborhood 'strategies'.

      MY problem is when it comes to devoting resources the ONLY way we devote resources is to do what I consider these childish approaches - how come we don't fund some figurative head knocking?

      We should be attacking that fucking sell out Rahm for being a fucking sell out.

      When you attack in war you have different people doing different jobs (infantry - machine guns, infantry - rifles, artillery - long range ...) and you have people executing different tactics.

      In the Dem party, the leafy neighborhood people instist upon these tried and true LOSER childish ass tactics and strategy and message... and,

      anyone notice whose who the elections AND THE POLICIES of the last 30 years?

      Politics is NOT grown up Sesame Street, big people Barney, adult Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.

      rmm.

      Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

      by seabos84 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:59:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your Comment Fascinates. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rb608, shaharazade, seabos84

        But I'm wondering, what sort of recommendations do you have?

        Last night, I wrote a diary advocating we all call Senator Reid and tell him to strip Baucus of his chairmanship on the Finance Committee. That diary went nowhere faster than any of my diaries this summer.

        These clowns claim to admire him [Cronkite] but do not wish to emulate him - GUGA

        by Nulwee on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:45:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wish I knew, but, I already have a 40++++ hr. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nulwee

          wk. job, so, it isn't my job to do it. ;)

          I figure it IS my job to get rid of people who can't do it, so I try to do get rid of the incompetent and the sold out.

          I've had some diaries with suggestions which are complete dud diaries - I think our body politic has been sooooooooooo beaten for soooooooooo long that people automatically gravitate to ONE more version of mondale-dukakis-clinto-gore-kerry wishy-washism, cuz, maybe this time we'll work at just a little change and it will work, instead of working for a little change and getting our asses completely kicked.

          good luck ;)

          rmm.

          Brownshirts for Brownshirts ?  
          by seabos84 [Subscribe] [Edit Diary]
          Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 01:19:09 PM PDT
          Here is my idea to deal with the astro - turf protestors

          Freedom is Fair Working Rules for EVERYONE  
          by seabos84 [Subscribe] [Edit Diary]
          Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 06:46:58 AM PDT
          My work rules for working hours need to apply to all the globe's working people.  From what I've seen in the last 3 decades of my 49 years, unless you have enough interest income and or dividend income to live on, you're a worker.

          Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

          by seabos84 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:52:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I do have my 'hit the big lottery' idea, $$$ to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rb608, Nulwee

          protect my family - their housing, their employment, their legal troubles from the ken starrs, the retirement, their health care - I need this money SAFE, not with bernie.

          AND then...

          I would start a messaging / consulting INDEPENDENT outfit.

          there are about 60,000 communications majors graduating a year, and I don't know how many marketing people.

          POTENTIAL employees would have 3? 5? news cycles to get out HARD HITTING EFFECTIVE MEMORABLE message against some fascist anti-gay initiative, or 1 of the gazillion endless fake moral majority types running for school board, city hall, judge, congress...

          IF the potential employee didn't make our message work in 3 news cycles, they'd be fucking fired.

          eventually I'd find people who could crucify the lies of the right - and then we'd start winning.

          after a few wins in a few election cycles, people would be kissing our asses to hire us.

          I'd tell the leafy neighborhood people to put up, shut up, and get the fuck outta the way ---- or keep picking your kerrys and your dudkakises cuz their 'electable' mush will win ... ?????????????????????????????????????

          NOT MY TIME.

          I have a dream ... win lottery win!

          rmm.

          Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

          by seabos84 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:12:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  neither of your options involve (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, NLinStPaul, shenderson, I love OCD

      giving up and walking away, which is what many commenters on Daily Kos seem to have been advocating lately...

    •  This ranks right up there (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, Dallasdoc

      as a top comment of all time for me!

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by NLinStPaul on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 07:37:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Third Approach Necessary, Too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, muckrakers

      There are issue on which Obama is simply wrong. Not incapable of getting done what he wants. Not willing to compromise in ways that progressives aren't. But wrong.  Here's a short, and incomplete, list:

      The War on (Certain Classes of People Who Use Certain) Drugs
      Trade
      The War on Afghanistan
      Single Payer
      The bloated defense budget
      Executive power and government secrecy

      Of course your list may differ. But the point is that there are issue on which some or all progressives will simply disagree with the president. And I think we need to be willing to press him on such issues, too.

      President Obama is not a progressive and never was.  He was also the dramatically lesser evil last year and will be again in 2012.  We have an interest in the Obama administration not crashing and burning. But progressives need to have a flexible relationship to the Obama presidency. We should loudly support him when he does the right thing, and loudly oppose him when he doesn't.

      And in the long run we should work to make sure that progressives have better presidential choices than we did in 2008.

      Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House. - Bob Herbert

      by GreenSooner on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 08:22:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Obama's Not Progressive, Who Is? (0+ / 0-)

        do you want to hold Teddy Roosevelt to that list and claim he's more progressive than Obama? How about FDR? (It was under FDR that the modern "war on drugs' truly began.)

        We should work to make sure progressives have better choices than we did in 2008? You do realize that a majority of this site believes Hillary and Edwards were good choices, despite the fact that neither merited much reason to trust them? That's a losing battle. People are quick to believe a good story.

        These clowns claim to admire him [Cronkite] but do not wish to emulate him - GUGA

        by Nulwee on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:47:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wrong question (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, shaharazade

          Comparison with past presidents really is neither here nor there (since we're talking about today's politics) but I'd say that--on the domestic front at least--FDR, LBJ, and arguably Truman were more progressive, though hardly perfect (and nobody is asking for perfection here).

          But that wasn't the point I was making. I was placing Obama in American politics today. Who's progressive? Bernie Sanders, Barbara Lee, Russ Feingold, Dennis Kucinich, the Progressive Caucus.

          You do realize that a majority of this site believes Hillary and Edwards were good choices, despite the fact that neither merited much reason to trust them? That's a losing battle. People are quick to believe a good story.

          I'm not sure what your point is here.  Is it that neither Hillary Clinton nor John Edwards were, in fact, good choices?  How does that disprove that we need good choices. And the fact that people take a flexible attitude toward what they'd be willing to trust (which I agree they do) is both a feature and a bug. It's allowed us to elect a slew of presidents far more conservative than the country at large. And, if progressives play our cards right, it can also let us elect a president more progressive than the country as a whole.

          Voters support candidates for a wide variety of reasons. I want a candidate with whom I agree ideologically and on policy. The trick is to find such a person who also appeals to other people for other reasons.  Conservatives figured this out long ago. It's high time for progressives to do so, too.

          Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House. - Bob Herbert

          by GreenSooner on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:54:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My point is very simple (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GreenSooner

            people who refuse to learn from their mistakes risk repeating them. If Democrats are still convinced of Hillary Clinton and Edwards' heroism (with the caveat that did stupid things here and there) good luck getting rational and objective and apply your lessons to future candidates and situations.

            For all the endless cynicism I'm seeing right now, I supported Obama from the get-go, and I'm not really surprised by anything. I'm surprised, I guess, by the extent of the mythology that Obama controls everything in Washington. I suspect such people know nothing about politics.

            In order to elect a president more progressive than the country at whole, you need to organize a coup in the Democratic party. My diary, last night, was about that. If you politically decapitate Reid, Baucus, DiFi, J-Rock and help hammer in the nails in Lieberman's coffin, that's a start. The Democratic Party helps decide the White House, and also uses up valuable resources. Obama was almost a fluke in modern history. Kerry won only 4 years prior due to his institutional support behind the scene.

            These clowns claim to admire him [Cronkite] but do not wish to emulate him - GUGA

            by Nulwee on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:08:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oddly, I Think We May Agree (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dallasdoc, Nulwee

              ....about a lot of things.

              This...

              In order to elect a president more progressive than the country at whole, you need to organize a coup in the Democratic party. My diary, last night, was about that. If you politically decapitate Reid, Baucus, DiFi, J-Rock and help hammer in the nails in Lieberman's coffin, that's a start. The Democratic Party helps decide the White House, and also uses up valuable resources. Obama was almost a fluke in modern history. Kerry won only 4 years prior due to his institutional support behind the scene.

              ...seems right on the mark to me, pretty much from start to finish.  I'm guessing, however, that you'd see trying to organize such a coup as a waste of time. I don't.  I think progressives in the Democratic Party today are roughly where conservatives were in the GOP in the late 1950s.  Progressives need to find their Goldwater and Reagan, as it were....or the party is condemned to the "New Democratic" me-too-ism that characterizes it today just as Ike's me-too-ey "Modern Republicanism" ruled the GOP then.

              FWIW, I also agree about the extraordinary flukiness of Obama's victory.  As late as December 2007, Hillary Clinton had all the hallmarks of a shoe-in nominee (and she would have won the nomination for the very reasons Kerry did in 2004).  Two notes (each of which probably bear further unpacking) about this, however: first, it's possible that Obama was not so much a fluke as a harbinger of changes in the way the Democratic Party selects its nominee; second, the policy differences between Obama and Clinton were negligible.  Whether this latter fact underwrote Obama's victory or not is an interesting question whose answer is not at all obvious, I think.

              Finally a clarification: neither Hillary Clinton, nor even John Edwards, is the sort of candidate I have in mind when I say we need to find our progressive Goldwater (or Reagan).  Clinton is no more progressive than Obama. Edwards--even putting aside the potential impact of his personal problems on his candidacy-- deserves lots of credit for putting issues of class front and center, but had a track record in the Senate that did not entirely inspire confidence.

              Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House. - Bob Herbert

              by GreenSooner on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:36:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Do Both (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc

      We can support Obama's work where he's working for what we want.

      Where he's not, or working against it, we can exert pressure on him from the "Left". Or, more specifically, support those (probably on the "Left") who are working for what we want, even when that's working against what Obama wants.

      That is "post-partisanship". And indeed the biggest victory there would be to disenfranchise the parties. Without disempowering the people, or our representatives.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 08:33:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a very helpful point of view... (0+ / 0-)

      many thanks, dallasdoc.

    •  I choose both approaches (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc
      I do not see that they are mutaually exclusive.
      •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soccergrandmom

        That is the point of my comment.  Both approaches are useful, and the balance of effort between them will shift as circumstances and issues do.  To concentrate on one or the other exclusively will inevitably be an error, and will make us less effective than we could be.

        "I would say to you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!" Bzzzt! Sorry Barry, thanks for playing.

        by Dallasdoc on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:00:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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