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I know this isn't going to be popular here (although it won't be the most unpopular of my diaries), but Charlie Cook is essentially correct with his September 12 analysis of the political situation in the Democratic party.

The party is divided into three camps, purists, who want a move to the left (including basically this site), Obama loyalists, who think his problems are mostly due to the economy and just want any bill passed, and the moderate to conservative Democrats, who are angry at "the expansion of government" since last year's bailouts and for that reason are skeptical of further government programs like public option.

This is a Democratic site, and as far as I know it isn't troll behavior or beyond the rules of this site to propose the moderate Democratic position. So I'm going to say it: the people Cook calls the 'skeptics' are right, the Obama loyalists are partly right, and the purists are not right at all.

First of all let me preface this by saying that I am a supporter of single payer, and failing that, a public option. I believe it is the best policy. But I think that progressives here are not reading the political situation correctly.

People like Max Baucus and others aren't just opposing public option because of insurance companies, although that is part of it. They're also getting a lot of pushback from their constituents. Baucus represents a McCain state and so does Ben Nelson and Kent Conrad. Most House Blue Dogs represent McCain districts. Mike Ross, leader of the House Blue Dogs, represents Arkansas, where despite 55% support of public option in polls, Ross was undoubtedly besieged by hundreds if not thousands of town hall protestors, calls, and emails of quantity considerably larger than the number progressives have been able to muster. Prior to the August recess he said he was supporting the House bill, but when he came back he backed off his support. It wasn't the insurance companies that changed their mind during this time. It was greater knowledge Ross received from his district during the recess.

The truth is, the chances for public option were always slim and fragile. Once the conservative protests of August became known, the chances of public option died. A public option could still be passed through the reconciliation process. But it does not appear that this will be the choice taken. It would be an abuse of the reconciliation process, which was not meant to be an instrument of reform. It was meant to be a process for ensuring that the federal government did not end up like California and was able to pass a budget every year on time.

This is reality. I thought we were a reality based community? The reality is that the deep recession has made Americans more fearful about what we can afford. The Paulson TARP plan and the auto bailouts and the Federal Reserve's lending facilities pushed beyond the tolerance of what the public wanted in terms of government intervention in the economy. Most people see public option as just more "government intervention in the economy."

They see no difference between thigns like TARP, the auto bailouts, and the Fed's facilities, and public option. To them, they are all one and the same: big government.

The progressive mistake was that we have never understood this and therefore we didn't frame the debate in the right way. The first step needed to be to establish a new frame that sharply differentiated the government programs we want from the government programs associated with the unpopular bailouts.

This was also the Obama administration's mistake. I have been reading the comment section of Marketwatch.com and other websites since last year, and I know the mood out there. If the Obama administration had had political intelligence, they also would have known the mood. They would have anticipated the town halls. It's a failure of political intelligence on their part, which resulted in failed framing, which resulted in failed policy. We are the same.

A fundamental dynamic is emerging in the Obama Presidency, and progressives must respond to it to be successful. To quote Charlie Cook:

My own hunch is that the Skeptics are right that the Democrats' problems are bigger than the recession: Purple America is reacting to the growth of government with emotions ranging from dubiousness to outright hostility. So, the rebound for which almost everyone is praying won't necessarily fix the Democrats' problems.

To my way of thinking, many of the unprecedented actions that the Bush administration took in its last four months and that Obama took in his first few months as president were necessary to prevent a worldwide economic collapse. But that view is not widely shared and, thus, is of no solace to those alarmed by what they see as an ineffectual federal government expanding far beyond its competence.

I have been arguing here for months that the Obama administration should take a more populist tack and that progressives should take some of the attention we've given to public option and try to influence our lawmakers on the topic of financial and regulatory reform. And reframing the economic dialogue. The health care debate does not exist in isolation, and treating it like it does is like trying to fight a little doll being held up by a giant and ignoring the giant. No wonder we are losing.

Originally posted to randomfacts on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 01:54 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

    by randomfacts on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 01:54:55 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, but I tend to agree with (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Churchill, Larsstephens, scarysota63

      those who say that on core, key issues like healthcare, the Progressive Caucus is worse than useless if it doesn't flex its muscle.  I think the failure of the CPC to fold like wet cardboard on this has caused the White House to come out stronger on the public option, and has drawn the Blue Dogs to a tie.  The Blue Dogs are influential because they are in the middle, sure, but also because they seem to stand their ground more.  I know I don't know much, but it just seems to me that there has been a shift back to the public option in the last week or so, and I think that's in no small part due to the unity of the Progressives.

      We will get a bill if the Democrats find their spine, and I think it's been found in the CPC.

      "[Lars is] a nobody junior nothing with a low ranking Government paycheck." -- Timaeus

      by LarsThorwald on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:12:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is not the House, (0+ / 0-)

        it's the Senate. Truth be told I'm not sure exactly how decisive the debate and all the townhalls have been, but I do sense that things could have gone a lot better for progressives than they did go on that front.

        It just seems that we have been rather unsuccessful in convincing the critical members of the Senate to support a public option and this has probably been because of the way the debate has gone.

      •  "Spine" Is Irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

        Things happen in Congress because of power.  Power comes from: 1) targeted public support, not just mushy polls saying X% favor a public option when nobody really knows what that means, but real targeted support like the NRA has; 2) money; 3) organizational clout.  I see 3 as the key, and organizational clout on the left largely comes from unions.  That's where Obama has been working ever since Labor Day.  He needs some clout to push marginal Dems move to the left to get them to accept some kind of public option (even most of the Blue Dogs rely heavily on labor support to win in purple districts), but he also needs some clout on the left to legitimize a compromise (i.e., a public option that is less "robust" than some would like) when the time comes.  If Trumka blesses the final product, nobody on the left is going to dare call it a sellout (except maybe Kucinich or Nader, who are just assholes).

      •  The PC is keeping us from getting a bad bill (0+ / 0-)

        I don't want a political victory that makes the policy worse. I'm not a purist for wanting the bill to make things better. There are worse things than doing nothing.

    •  So actual work and the truth are impotent. (0+ / 0-)

      I will not accept this purist bullshit, and COOK and his "analysis" is a snapshot devoid of actual work and organization of a politician and their supporters. We might as well say that Obama was certain to lose or that Obama did no work or messaging or had no truth.

  •  sorry but the votes are there. (7+ / 0-)

    better luck next time.

    Republicans===the party of the 1% rich people in America. Or in other words..The Party of NO!

    by jalapeno on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 01:57:04 PM PDT

  •  health care is IN THE MOMENT (0+ / 0-)

    IT IS RIGHT NOW.

    When Obama wins on it, in three months from now, all the rest will be there to fix.

    •  But health care does not (0+ / 0-)

      exist in isolation. That is the problem. The outcomes in health care are being determined by things (bailouts, economy) that nominally have nothing to do with health care, but which in reality are behind all of the extra passion and anger at the cost of the bill and at the public option. Would conservatives still oppose both at all costs anyway? Sure they would. Would the numbers, the passion, and the skepticism on their side be as great or decisive without a framing that hurts progressive Democrats? No they wouldn't. It really is an 11-dimensional chess game and trying to fight 1 dimension at a time loses you.

      •  The outcomes of those other things (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        randomfacts

        ...will rely heavily on the outcome of the health care reform effort.

        If that effort screws over those who worked hard to get Obama and a D majority elected, they--we--won't work hard anymore.  My own political contributions and efforts will go to primary challengers.

        I like your username, by the way.

        The Shrub Has Been Uprooted. Time to plant anew.

        by Randomfactor on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:17:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  the progressive position would be (14+ / 0-)

    single payer health care.
    the middle of the road option is the public option.

    if you can't have accountability, you can't have health care reform.

    cut and dried.

    Republicans===the party of the 1% rich people in America. Or in other words..The Party of NO!

    by jalapeno on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 01:58:30 PM PDT

  •  i'm with you (0+ / 0-)

    the purists are short sighted in this regard

  •  I agree somewhat (4+ / 0-)

    We can't blow everything we have on health care. We still need to get to climate change and financial reform. Those are just as important as health care.

    •  Financial reform is even more DOA (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Randomfactor, abarrenfuture

      than HCR, but that is an argument for another day.

    •  I got bad news (4+ / 0-)

      We blew everything on Healthcare Reform.

      That personally makes me kind of angry. For me Climate Change, Green Industry, and Financial Industry reform were way bigger issues than healthcare reform ever was. But somehow along the way a small part of the Obama Campaign (healthcare reform) became this giant blood and air-sucking tumor that consumed everything in its wake.

      Now I just hope healthcare reform is worth it. I kind of don't think it will be.

      And, in 2025 -- when we are evacuating our coastlines, and China is rolling out Electric Cars by the millions and moving into nanotechnology while we dick around with whatever American Industry dicks around with -- I don't think anyone is going to give a crap that they have a public option to by into, or not.

      "You Don't Do More With Less. You Do Less with Less. That's Why it's called Less." David Simon

      by Larry Madill on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:11:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem isn't lack of support (6+ / 0-)

    for the public option. The problem is a lack of effort on the part of Capitol Hill Democrats to make the public option happen.

    As for government spending, Obama nailed it last week when he talked about the cost of the Iraq war and Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy.

    "You can never guarantee victory, but you can guarantee defeat."--Hall of Fame baseball writer Leonard Koppett.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:00:12 PM PDT

    •  Also, if we can.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dixie Liberal

      ....force them into line on the public option, getting the Democrats to do the right thing on other major issues will be easier. We need to scare them, not let them take us for granted. Letting them take us for granted is what happened in the 1990s and we lost a decade and a half of progress because of that.

    •  actually... (0+ / 0-)

      The support/opposition ratio pretty much does determine the rate of change, or the size of the increment that is politically possible.

      Elected Democrats can't seem to get anything at all done with a 55/40 split, which is incompetent and idiotic of them.  (Look at the capitulation aka Baucus bill: "hey, we capitulate! Your 40% get to dictate everything to us 55%!")  Under almost all circumstances 55/40 means that the concrete first steps of a 3 or 4 part process get implemented.

      The diarist also thinks that the present state of hysteria and energy among the Right against "government" is sustainable and permanent.  It isn't.  It's bleeding out if you read the polls around things like Obama's speech.  2-3 more of the same simple, clear, public, nonnegotiable assertions of the problem and its solution and they won't have real resistance left.  The diarist respects this hysteria- and I don't know why.  Maybe it's a kind of Stockholm Syndrome going around.

  •  Tipped (0+ / 0-)

    but I disagree with you and Charlie.  Baucus and Conrad and Nelson should spend five minutes explaining to their contituents whyt he poublic option is critical, and how a strong public option would be designed lower health insurance premiums for everyone.  Instead they fall over themselves vying to be the biggest recipient of money from the health insurance industry.

  •  you really think MarketWatch.com (10+ / 0-)

    comments on Obama are representative?  They've mostly sounded like teabaggers.

    When will we ever learn that PROFIT cannot be a part of the equation when endangering people's lives adds to a company's bottom line?--Earicicle

    by billlaurelMD on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:03:23 PM PDT

    •  Merketwatch (0+ / 0-)

      is owned by Rupert Murdoch

      Die energie der Welt ist constant; die Entropie der welt strebt einem Maximum zu. - Rudolf Clausius, 1865

      by xgy2 on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:05:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes, i do (0+ / 0-)

      because it's not just marketwatch. It's Yahoo. It's the ny times. It's daily kos. There are certain similarities (although there are other differences) in all the sites' commenting clientele, and if you connect the dots you can see that most people out there are not in sync with the Obama administration. There is not a single site out there where people are in sync with him at all. I can't believe that the Obama administration would not be affected in its communication style if it took more time and effort to discover the mood of the country.

      •  there are teabaggers on DKos? (2+ / 0-)

        WTF?

        When will we ever learn that PROFIT cannot be a part of the equation when endangering people's lives adds to a company's bottom line?--Earicicle

        by billlaurelMD on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:16:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I completely disagree (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patricia Bruner, Larsstephens, xgy2

        Marketwatch.com just like CNBC cater to a certain minority segment of our population that is extremely right-wing. I would totally ignore whatever comments you saw on marketwatch.com. They are not representative of anything.

        As far as the NYT goes, I again disagree. The comments I have seen there tend to be supportive of Obama although some are frustrated that he is not more partisan, that he does not seem to fight hard enough for Democratic goals.

      •  Got it backwards (0+ / 0-)

        you can see that most people out there are not in sync with the Obama administration.

        The Obama administration is not in sync with the majority who want a public option.

        This is the rare chance to win by doing the RIGHT thing.  And it may be slipping away.

        The Shrub Has Been Uprooted. Time to plant anew.

        by Randomfactor on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:21:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Obama (0+ / 0-)

          administration is not in sync with the majority on any of these sites, but only on daily kos and a few other progressive blogs is public option the issue. On every site, it's government corruption, looting and bailouts.

          Part of what I'm saying is if the Obama administration did more to address the latter, it might have had a better environment on the former. Does anyone in the Obama administration read this site? Do they have any political intelligence operation at all?

      •  Then why are Obama's approval ratings (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pattym922, Dixie Liberal

        still above 50%? I dont necessarily disagree with some parts of your diary, but I dont think you can look at message boards on any site, and say that is representative of the country, whether the comments are pro or anti Obama.

        •  Because, (0+ / 0-)

          he is the President and people fundamentally want to have some hope that the President is doing a good job. Also,I think Loyalists have a much higher threshold to switch to disapprove. They may tell a pollster they approve as a show of support even if they're really worried. I wouldn't take too much comfort in those top line numbers.

          His approval ratings on his handling of health care or the economy have not been consistently above 50. I do think he started to do a little better this month than he was doing before.

  •  I'm a Loyalist but (0+ / 0-)

    By know means do I "just want any bill passed". I want the best bill that is possible. I have faith Obama is trying to do that and that he will succeed. I don't think there are many Skeptics which is good because the way Cook describes it seems like those people have given up whatever and I just can't accept that way of thinking.

  •  Stop being a wuss (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jalapeno, LarsThorwald, appledown, xgy2

    The Blue Dogs aren't going to kill health care reform.

  •  There Is Some Sense In This Diary, (4+ / 0-)

    But not enough.  I am at a complete loss to understand your last paragraph.  Nor can I understand your rejection of reconciliation as a viable process.  Ultimately, the failure of this diary is that it accords far too much power and influence to this website.  Posters on this website are not "the left" - at least not the meaningful left.  The most important component of the American left remains the unions, and Obama has very wisely courted them.  I suspect that this diarist is so confident that "we are losing" because at some level, that is what he or she wants.

    •  Cook (0+ / 0-)

      seems to think that progressive activists and bloggers are an important part of the party, and he mentions us while not mentioning unions. Also, I've seen AP and other mainstream websites cover the progressive demand for public option, but I don't know what the unions want. It's true that Obama courts the unions heavily and that speaks to their importance, and that they have probably the best organizational power. But when I mean the left I don't just mean this website- I mean all the progressive organizations out there fighting for public option. And that goes well beyond one site. This site is just indicative-- quintessential.

      I still think reconciliation might be possible. But from what I'm reading, it looks like it will only be a very last resort, and in my diary I was trying to parse out the reasons why that might be so. In my last paragraph, I was suggesting some things I think Obama needs to do to take some of the heat off himself where he's most being hurt by it, and therefore have more goodwill to spend on things like public option.

      •  The AFL/CIO and Change (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, randomfacts

        as well as several pretty large houses like the Carpenters and Sheet Metal workers, have already stated publicly that they will get HCR with a strong public option and no tax on benefits and the EFCA or they sit on their hands and with hold money in 2010. They'll work with their friends but not with a bunch of punks with their hands out and no intention of voting their way.

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:42:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Totally disagree with your Broderism. (6+ / 0-)

    You're regurgitating Broder-style 'conventional beltway wisdom', that those DFH's in the liberal wing of the Democratic party are dragging it down to ruin. If only sensible 'third way', DLC-style centrists were in charge, then golly we'd have a big Kumbaya moment with Blue Dogs and appreciative Republicans, healthcare would pass by a landslide and everything would sprout rainbows & skittles.

    You're delusional about this. Certainly health care reform should have been pitched a hell of a lot more aggressively by Obama. Absolutely, this legislation should never, ever have been left in the hands of a corporate tool like Baucus; that was pure stupidity. But there is very strong support for reform, including a public option, among most voters. It's not big government Americans are enraged about; it's corrupt big government enriching the already rich while screwing over the working class to pay for it. And if BaucusCare passes, that's just what we'll get.  

    Working class Americans are terrified of their economic future, with good reason. If a health reform bill would promptly and significantly reduce their out of pocket costs by providing a real low-overhead public option and price leverage, we'd see Democratic landslides for the next forty years.

    If instead we get Baucus's blow-job to the insurance industry—gruesomely expensive mandated insurance with high co-pays, no competition, punitive taxes—then the 2010 election will be a massacre for Democrats. They will be permanently identified with a hated new mandate offering no perceptible benefit to families being driven into bankruptcy by the Bush/Cheney depression.

  •  Well one man does not a camp make... (4+ / 0-)

    Sorry Charlie, can't pigeonhole me.

    I'm an avowed lefty (purist), who is concerned about government expansion (not mutually exclusive)--but I damn well want a public option and wouldn't be too hard pressed to support a single payer system.

    Call me naive, but I don't think it would be difficult at all to get the party to coalesce around those principles. Why wouldn't the "loyalists" support it?

    That's two out of the three "camps" and if a Dem is sooo conservative he/she'd oppose the public option, I'd say they're not going to support much of anything on the agenda anyway, so I don't mind pissing them off.

  •  Bullshit! (8+ / 0-)

    You lost me right here:

    Once the conservative protests of August became known, the chances of public option died.

    You might think that just because a very, very small minority of lunatics go screaming idiocy and falsehoods that it changes something, but you would be wrong! The public option is very popular with the citizens of this country and even has support from republicans.

    If you think that minority mob rule is now what determines policy in this country, you are sadly mistaken. If the Dems try to push a bill through that does not include a public option, wait until you see the screaming done by the majority of Americans!

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    by reflectionsv37 on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:13:28 PM PDT

  •  Tipped you but you're so wrong. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reflectionsv37

    And it's too late in the day to start any point by point disagreements. So the tip was just for being brave enough to question the mantra. Fortunately, the mantra is more right than Baucus & Conrad.

  •  Are you saying that Blue Dogs can't understand (6+ / 0-)

    mathematics?  55% in Arkansas.  Over 75% nationwide.

    The public option is the will of the people.  To say it's not about the insurance companies is absurd.

    Songs at da web site! I was average long before it was popular.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:19:10 PM PDT

  •  Re: abuse of process (6+ / 0-)

    Where were you when Republicans used this tactic... repeatedly?

    Sorry, you hit all the right notes and yet...

    And this bit about "when the protests became known?"

    You mean when the threatening disruptions of public assemblies began?

    You mean when bullies attempted to take over the national conversation?

    You mean that "became known"?

    Here's news for you - Bullies get nothing. I would prefer no bill at all than this ridiculous Baucus giveaway.

    Nothing.

    And rewarding Republicans for terror tactics is unacceptable.

    I saw reconcile it, and dare them to oppose it by illegal means.

    They want as street fight?

    I saw pass OUR kind of bill, and let them take their best shot.

    Because last I checked, the Teabaggers don't have an air force.

    •  hmm edit on last three lines... (3+ / 0-)

      They want a street fight?

      I say pass OUR kind of bill, and let them take their best shot.

      Because last I checked, the Teabaggers don't have an air force.

    •  "would be an abuse of the reconciliation proces" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cskendrick

      Whoever writes that should be wearing clown shoes and a big red nose.

      Also, what evidence does Cook actually have of this:

      ...actions ... that Obama took in his first few months as president were necessary to prevent a worldwide economic collapse. But that view is not widely shared and, thus, is of no solace to those alarmed by what they see as an ineffectual federal government expanding far beyond its competence.  

      when faced with this:

      represents Arkansas, where despite 55% support of public option in polls

      Above all, comments on random websites are not the best gauge of public opinion.

  •  Jan 2011: Speaker of the House John Boehner (1+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    emilysdad
    Hidden by:
    Prince Nekhlyudov, randomfacts

    RFK...to be remembered as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

    by Churchill on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:23:35 PM PDT

  •  I live in Blue Dog country (0+ / 0-)

    Namely, MD 01.  I will write Mr. Kratovil, again, stating my support for a public option. But I am realist enough to know that his support is unlikely as it would hand his Republican opponent in the next election a cudgel to beat him with.  And I'd a lot rather have Kratovil than any of his likely opponents, so it's never going to be a litmus test for me.  I expect both MD Senators will support the PO.

  •  I want everyone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prince Nekhlyudov, randomfacts

    to buy and read a copy of John Maynard Keynes's "The End of Laissez Faire". Its out in paperback and available on Amazon bound with "The Economic Consequences of the Peace". We have to educate both ourselves and the rabid market economists who have our detinies in their thoroughly incompetent hands. At the moment the economy is stalled. If the government does not run a deficit, then we will have a great depression as there will be no money in circulation. When the depression (or the current recession) is over, the deficit will begin to whither away and die as economic activity in the country as a whole starts up again. Balanced budgets in national finance recess the economy every time. It never doesn't work like that. The Chicago school is stupid and greedy and their advice alway boils down to "Give me the money." Please stop answering their prayers.  

    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

    by johnmorris on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 02:51:05 PM PDT

  •  This website isn't on the left (0+ / 0-)

    There's plenty of bile here for people who actually are.

  •  If we give ground on this.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    randomfacts

    ....then the Democrats are going to give ground on all the major issues that come after. This is key.

  •  Cook's "hunch" is wrong. It is the economy and (0+ / 0-)

    specifically unemployment that has people scared. Also they are scared by a government that doesn't seem to be working. Passing HCR will address the second, and a sense that the economy has bottomed and is rebounding will address the first. They care about "big government" in the abstract but love most programs, especially the biggest, Social Security, Medicare, and the Military.

    It is 12 months before people begin really focussing on the 2010 elections. If you looked at the US in 1983, there was not a chance Reagan would have been reelected.

  •  Funny how you changed the name.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....of the group you're in.

    Cook called it the "skeptics," not the "moderates and conservatives."

    In fact, I would venture to say that many "loyalists" are moderates---as you might have noticed, they get a lot of grief from the progressives on this site.

    Seems disingenuous the way you redefined it.

    "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."

    by Bush Bites on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 03:47:14 PM PDT

    •  Just because (0+ / 0-)

      I changed the name, it doesn't mean it was disingenuous. My link to the original source was highly visible.

      I didn't think Cook's name, "skeptics" was very good. Skeptical of what? From Cook's description, clearly the answer is 'skeptical of Obama, skeptical of progressive purists, and skeptical of big government.' These would be the "lean Dems" who voted for Obama but don't necessarily go straight ticket.

      Clearly, these people are the moderates and conservatives. But we're skeptical of them too, as is clearly shown in the comments of my diary. So 'skeptic' isn't really a good term. It's more like a euphenism.

    •  Also, I outright said (0+ / 0-)

      that Cook calls them skeptics. So it's pretty outrageous to accuse me of being disingenuous when I am explicitly out in the open on the first page.

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