Skip to main content

I had a discussion with a tree-hugging hippy progressive last night at a dinner party. It was a rare chance to talk to an Obama-hating liberal face-to-face.

Amazingly, the experience was almost indistinguishable from talking to a Beck-loving libertarian. They start out by saying things they don't actually mean - in this case, stuff like "Obama is indistinguishable from Bush," and "The Democrats are just as corporatist as the Republicans."

Edit: Apparently I failed to make my point with absolute clarity. If it helps, Troubadour has graciously allowed me to repost his concise summary:

There is a difference between citizen leadership - advocating for the right course of action well before it's popular - and angrily demanding that public officials ignore everyone but you and just impose your will by fiat.  

These are people who don't get the concept of representative government - they think the job of representatives is to represent them personally, like a private attorney, rather than the general views of their constituents.

Troubadour

Of course there is a grain of truth to these claims (indeed, there are grains of truth in half the stuff Beck says). But the accidental gleam of a reflected truth is not enough to qualify a statement as reasonable. Obama is following Bush policy on some things (heck, on a lot of things, such as farm policy); but by that logic, he's following Stalin's policy on some things (Stalin collected taxes and reviewed military parades!). And of course the Democratic party is riddled with corporate corruption. It could hardly fail to be - the entire institution lives and breathes it. But being unable to tell the difference between Barney Frank and Dick Cheney is just... bizarre.

When she complained about how compromising Obama was, even with the intractable Repugnatins, I pointed out his long game strategy: of course he knew that the Republicans were going to block everything he did. He always knew that. But the public didn't know it.

I explained to her that one of her own step-sons had not caught on to the Republican strategy until the Bunning affair. He had actually called me to complain that Obama was not being bipartisan enough, because this Bunning guy was on to something. Bunning was standing up for the new PAYGO law! That was a great idea! Why wasn't Obama helping this guy stand up for the PAYGO law?

I had to explain, if Bunning thought PAYGO was such a great idea, why did he vote against it a few weeks earlier?

That was when he got it - the Repugs had become the party of No. And, not coincidentally, that's when the rest of the nation finally seemed to get it, and that's when Obama came out swinging.

I explained this strategy of Obama's, including the brilliant and daring move of not pulling the trigger after the Shelby affair, betting on the Repugs digging even deeper and offering a juicier target, and she agreed: Obama was a great strategist.

So what, really, was the basis of her complaint? What was it she wanted? Why was she complaining about the president of a democracy being compromising and making sure everyone's views were represented? Exasperated, I finally said, "So what you wanted was a dictator, like Bush, except on your side."

And she said, "Yes!"

And I said, "But then, how would that be any better than Bush?"

And she said... "Because we're right!"

Now, at the beginning, I said almost indistinguishable. The difference is this: at a dinner party of liberals and progressives, people laugh when you assert you're just right. And everybody laughed. And she got it; she understood that there was something fundamentally wrong with her position. That's what made it different from arguing with a Beckian: with progressives, apparently, you can still get to a point where they realize they aren't making sense anymore.

Fundamentally, the problem this progressive had, was that her only real opposition to the Bush regime was that it didn't advance her goals. She wasn't objecting to the methods or the process, to the law-breaking or stiff-arming or ignoring public opinion; she was only interested in getting her policies in place, regardless of what other people thought or wanted. She was as convinced of the infallible rightness of her policies as Bush was of his. She thought we should have let the banks fail, because the fallout wouldn't have been that bad: when I asked her, "But what if you were wrong?" her only response was "I'm not wrong." She was unwilling to even examine the possibility that bank collapse could have led to a worse situation than the one we are in now. She was unwilling to pretend, even for a moment, that she might be wrong.

I don't know if the progressive you're dealing with has this problem, but I suspect it may be wide-spread. The good news, however, is that it is curable (or at least treatable); by uncovering and exposing the true source of irritation, it can be lessened. I hope that repeated treatments (combined with the "new" Obama) will effect at least a functional cure before election day.

Originally posted to Yahzi on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:18 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Opinions are like assholes.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes

    Fortunately facts have a liberal bias.

  •  Obama is a moderate progressive himself (8+ / 0-)

    so I'd say the vast majority of Progressives support him. Of course, there will always be a loud minority who think Obama is the same as Bush. I have a special phrase for them : Idiotic Naderites.

    I don't mind not being immortal. 'Cos it ain't all that as far as I can tell. I don't mind not going to heaven, As long as they've got cigarettes

    by kev9100 on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:28:47 AM PDT

    •  Two disagreements... (9+ / 0-)

      Obama is a realistic progressive.  

      He doesn't pick fights that he can't win and he understands that progress is almost always made one step at a time.

      And not "Idiotic Naderites", but "non-realistic" and "over-emotional".

      That "hopey-changey thing"? Takes a Magic Hawaiian to pull it off...

      by BobTrips on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:35:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        samddobermann, QES

        If you're politically aware and you can't see the difference between your average Democrat and Republican, you're an idiot. Harsh, but true.

        I don't mind not being immortal. 'Cos it ain't all that as far as I can tell. I don't mind not going to heaven, As long as they've got cigarettes

        by kev9100 on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:40:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo. A realist. For a change. (5+ / 0-)

        Between birthers, deathers and mouth-breathers, the gop has got 'teh crazy' and 'teh stoopid' covered.

        by amk for obama on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:43:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'll Disagree Harder. He's a Conservative (15+ / 0-)

        The Democratic Party is a conservative party by any rational standards. Of course they're compassionate conservatives, and so is Obama. They both do strive to serve the people with government.

        But just because the Republican party is sociopathic conservative, it doesn't mean the opposition party is not also conservative.

        The health reform we just passed is based on a practice so rightwing it's outlawed in the rest of the developed world and beyond for its immorality and inefficiency. There are any number of other major policies of the Democrats in economics, trade, militarism and regulation that are obviously conservative.

        This has nothing to do with hating anyone or pet ideologies. It has to do with which interests benefit or are harmed most and least by policies.

        The Democratic Party does have strong progressives, and also pragmatic progressives. But that's not the whole tally. There are plenty of conservatives in it who have no intention that any policies should be first steps along a journey to a more progressive economy or society.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:02:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Conservative, eh? (7+ / 0-)

          And Republicans are convinced he is a socialist.

          There certainly is extreme, unfounded hyperbole on both sides of the aisle.

        •  it's a shame that you don't understand (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BobTrips, amk for obama, QES

          what the Heath Care Reform bill is all about and you insist on your ideological stance re financing  A little pragmatic realism and a greater understanding of the systems around the world would help. Maybe not.

          "You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - Rabbi Tarfon

          by samddobermann on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 05:28:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And I'll very stongly disagree with you... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          amk for obama, QES

          A conservative, as I understand it, is someone who resists change and wishes to maintain the status quo.

          A progressive is someone who wants to move society forward, to right wrongs, and to solve problems.

          To call Obama conservative makes absolutely no sense.  It's simply an asinine assertion.

          To imply that nothing has improved, that nothing has changed since Obama took office either suggests that you are unaware of recent history that you are an extremely dishonest person.

          That "hopey-changey thing"? Takes a Magic Hawaiian to pull it off...

          by BobTrips on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 06:15:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, I campaigned for and voted for Obama; (11+ / 0-)

      voted for Gore in 2000, and Kerry in 2004.  Never voted for Nader.  Nor do I think that President Obama is the same as Bush.  But, I do find it disturbing that a surprising number of Bush executive branch policies have continued--or expanded--under the President I campaigned and voted for.  And it would be hypocritical in the extreme to loudly denounce these policies when pursued under Bush, while applauding them (or staying silent) under President Obama.  

      As an example, ask yourself--honestly--whether you would have supported an executive order authorizing the assassination of an American citizen living abroad, if such order had been issued under President George W. Bush.  

      •  When I was doing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        samddobermann

        a semester abroad in Mexico, one of my (American) professors said that no Mexican president got out of office without someone's blood on his hand, and he was referring to assassination.

        I was 25 then.  Now, I'm 54.  When I first heard that, I was naive and shocked and appalled.  Now, I'm pretty resigned to the fact that that little, unpleasant fact is true, not just of Mexican presidents, but most likely, heads of state of most countries.

        The only difference between then and now, is that we have 24/7 news so we know about it, instead of being able to conveniently ignore that reality.

        Do I wish that were not so?  Of course.  I strongly suspect most heads of state wish it were not so as well.

        •  I may only be a spring chicken at 43, (0+ / 0-)

          but I was still capable of being naive enough to think that President Obama was capable of avoiding the assassination gig, especially when it came to American citizens.  I don't think President Jimmy Carter actually has that blood on his hands.

    •  True, the vast majority of Progressives support (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nippersdad, thethinveil, teloPariah

      "him." It is some of the policies that the vast majority of progressives don't support. Glad you recognize the difference.

      Meteor Blades seems to do an outstanding job of community moderation despite the abject failure to be perfect.

      by catilinus on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:43:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And, yet, Nader was right (4+ / 0-)

      when he said fifteen years ago that corporate cooption of the political Parties was a real problem. Which makes those who agree with him idiots.

      Thanks for your contribution, such as it is.

      A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

      by nippersdad on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:47:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Problem is (6+ / 0-)

    She wasn't objecting to the methods or the process, to the law-breaking...

    Even now, little is being done about the law-breaking.

    Corporate Democrats are the velvet glove on the Republican iron fist.

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:29:39 AM PDT

  •  wow. this diary should be a required reading (12+ / 0-)

    for all posting here (and elsewhere). you have hit the nail on the head... it isn't about democracy for many - it is about the surety of their ideas and imposing them on others.

    that is a serious problem for EITHER side - republican tea baggers OR progressives!

    thank you for writing this.  i hope people can view this diary as a mirror for their own ideology!

    "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." ~Mahatma Gandhi

    by edrie on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:33:35 AM PDT

  •  I don't think it has anything to do with (5+ / 0-)

    labels like liberal, progressive or conservative.  I find that the satisfaction of my discussions with others has much more to do with the person's ability to think and reason rather than any political ideology.  The ability to do critical thinking is why I believe our educational system in this country is so important to our future.

    That said, the percentage of intelligent, well reasoning people that identify as Republican has been shrinking quite rapidly over the last several years.  They still identify as conservative but reject the Republican label as it has aligned itself more with anti-science and beliefs based upon religion rather than fact.

    I also want to point out that there are many non-thinkers on the "left" as well who take positions solely based on what they perceive to be the "group-think" without really understanding the issue.

    •  I think it's more that they have one simple (0+ / 0-)

      preferred solution to complex problems and the more you try to talk about any other aspect of the problem or about any of the obstacles or resulting problems to their one preferred "solution."

      That's it, then they add in all the other "failures" and things on their wish lists that have not yet been accomplished and start calling names and applying labels.

      There is a difference between criticizing a policy  and calling someone a "corporatist" or liar who has done nothing since getting in office.  The ones who hurtfully say he doesn't care about us; he never did, then basically smear Obama based on a truncated description of what they think is happening. Then the Greek chorus of daily kosers lamenting our President begins. Never heard them complaining of the lack of progress under Bush.  

      "You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - Rabbi Tarfon

      by samddobermann on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 08:07:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  excellent article. (0+ / 0-)

    Often times I hear progressives talk in that dictatorial manor and they forget what the Progressive era was about:

    "Keep the corruption from politics was a main Progressive goal, with many Progressives trying to expose and undercut political machines and bosses. They attempted to exclude illiterates, African-Americans, and others from voting, and to reduce immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe through devices such as a literacy test."

    •  Why don't you go and try to revive the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shahryar, nippersdad, thethinveil

      Republican right wing progressive party from Red State then? Thanks for the one hundred and fifty year old current events update. You're post contains conservative analysis, nothing left-wing to be seen. Oh I got it, I'm an entitled white supremacist now because I want my rights. Sheesh.

      "But then, liberals always were a little fond of mind control, assuming of course that it was put to good use." -DKos troll

      by teloPariah on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:07:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll take back my HR (10+ / 0-)

    when you edit some of the hyperbole from this dairy. My vote for the Dems counted every bit as much as much as yours, an idea I'm sure you haven't thought of. THis diary is intentionally inflammatory, since nobody in the party is really this stupid, are they?

    "But then, liberals always were a little fond of mind control, assuming of course that it was put to good use." -DKos troll

    by teloPariah on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:58:58 AM PDT

  •  What am I missing? (8+ / 0-)

    I wear glasses for nearsightedness, and I (as usual) am not wearing them right now.  It would appear I need to have a specific sort of correction to understand the outrage over this diary.

    Are there no 'progressives' who 'hate' President Obama?  Is there no subset among them who are unreasonable?  

    Someone please explain the outrage over this diary, and particularly a HR to the tip jar?

  •  DFH bashing deliberately inflammatory diary? (9+ / 0-)

    Well, it hardly makes you unique, but I'd have to suggest anyone who reccs or tips you must enjoy the pie wars and those who merely want to cause more infighting amongst Dems to the party's overall disadvantage.

    I look forward to your next kerosene-soaked diary, to see if the hyperbole and dissension sowing equals this particular masterpiece.

    I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. - Oliver Cromwell

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:24:13 PM PDT

    •  Hmm (0+ / 0-)

      Comment recommended by both HRaters

      I'd have to suggest anyone who reccs or tips you must enjoy the pie wars and those who merely want to cause more infighting amongst Dems to the party's overall disadvantage.

      •  thanks for your concern. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slatsg, Turkana, nippersdad, thethinveil

        reading is fundamental, apparently.

        "But then, liberals always were a little fond of mind control, assuming of course that it was put to good use." -DKos troll

        by teloPariah on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:35:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I was referring to the diary, not MY comment. (8+ / 0-)

        would have joined them in HR'ing this inflammatory piece of crap, but that only gives cover for cowards to uprate it claiming they're only doing so in order to offset HR's.  I'd rather it sat out on its own without HR's, so folks could see exactly who felt crap like this was worth tipping, without pretending that they were only doing so 'in order to offset HR's'.

        I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. - Oliver Cromwell

        by Ezekial 23 20 on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:35:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  heh (5+ / 0-)

          fair point.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:36:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Fair enough n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shahryar, nippersdad

          "But then, liberals always were a little fond of mind control, assuming of course that it was put to good use." -DKos troll

          by teloPariah on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:40:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, sure (0+ / 0-)

          So defending your opinion is a cowardly action but HR without a comment is an act of valor. The internet is full of heroes I guess.

        •  So under what category should I file your (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CatM

          'cowards' ? Retaliatory name calling, perhaps ?

          Between birthers, deathers and mouth-breathers, the gop has got 'teh crazy' and 'teh stoopid' covered.

          by amk for obama on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:54:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I tipped it (5+ / 0-)

          Not because I agree with it 100% but because I think it makes good points--some of which I have said previously.

          I do believe that one of the problems with some people on the left who have become bitterly opposed to Obama is their failure to accept that the president does not make the laws and thus is not wholly responsible for what is done or not done by Congress. The only way for Obama to meet the demands of some that I would consider extremely to the left of the political spectrum would be for Obama to become a dictator.

          While I am very far to the left, and many things I would like to see have not been implemented and some things I would not like to see have been implemented, I also recognize that it would be politically dangerous for the country's stability to start making millions of executive orders (which are not permanent fixes) accommodating all the requests of people like me that many Americans (in some cases, the majority) oppose.

          And how do we pick and choose what things are right and what things are wrong? For example, I fervently want an end to the death penalty. I don't see a lot of debate about it here; I guess it's not a hot topic. But I also know most Americans do not even agree with abolishing the death penalty. It's something that Obama could never get Congress to pass. Should I blame him for that? Should he be a dictator and pass it any way?

          So, again, I think the diarist makes some points that are worth considering, and one should not always assume that the only reason to recommend a diary is to express 100% agreement with it.

          Sometimes I recommend diaries because, at the very least, I think they are worth thinking about.

          I just wanted to explain that, unequivocally, my rec was not to counter an HR.

          As far as stoking controversy, my foster mother used to have a saying on the wall, "Never answer an angry word with an angry word; it's the second that makes the quarrel."

          Translation: The diary only becomes a "pie fight" if people come in to throw pies.

          Supporting a Pragmatic Approach to Progressive Policies

          by CatM on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 01:52:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Reason I recc'ed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CatM, Ezekial 23 20

      Was largely the middle of his(her?) anecdote about the conversation. It illustrated the need for a comment I was making so often for awhile that it should have been my sig-line: "I didn't think I was electing my own unitary executive".

      Legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 02:01:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I see this diary as a pre-emptive slap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes

    at more Naderism: the tin-foil wing of the progressives should get a fucking grip.

  •  By what logic do you move from "she" to "they"? (5+ / 0-)

    One statement in your anecdote does resonate:

    But the accidental gleam of a reflected truth is not enough to qualify a statement as reasonable.  

  •  Once again, criticism of the President (6+ / 0-)

    does NOT equate to hatred of the President--even when the criticism is aggressive.  I am mightily disappointed in President Obama on a number of issues, and I criticize him when he acts counter to, say, his positions articulated on the campaign trail; but, I don't hate the man.  I actually think he is an extraordinarily smart and decent man whose policy positions and strategies have gone tragically astray.

    •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      samddobermann, Catte Nappe, QES

      Criticism of the president does not equal hatred of the president. At the same time, there are people on the left that I have seen express pretty vitriolic hatred of the president, though these are generally comments here or on another unnamed site  and are not in diaries that make the rec list.

      I think that it would be short-sighted to imagine that it is impossible that anyone on the left could hate the president. While one cannot automatically assume words like "asshole" directed toward the president are hate as opposed to, say criticism, one cannot automatically assume that they are not.

      I do not imagine the diarist was talking about everyone who criticizes the president and was rather referring specifically to people whose opposition to the president seems personal and vitriolic. At least, that was my interpretation of the diary.

      Supporting a Pragmatic Approach to Progressive Policies

      by CatM on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 01:57:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Blecch. Criticizing Obama = Hating Obama (10+ / 0-)

    is patently false equivalence any fair-minded person easily sees through. And this:

    I don't know if the progressive you're dealing with has this problem, but I suspect it may be wide-spread. The good news, however, is that it is curable (or at least treatable); by uncovering and exposing the true source of irritation, it can be lessened. I hope that repeated treatments (combined with the "new" Obama) I will effect at least a functional cure before election day.

    is truly turgid stuff. Best of luck to you as you crusade to bestow your special brand of enlightenment on others.

    When an old man dies, a library burns down. --African proverb

    by Wom Bat on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:41:47 PM PDT

  •  So you expected a tree hugging hippie (8+ / 0-)

    to be thrilled at the opening of the Tongass National Forest? Drill baby drill?

    I have to wonder whose head is up their ass when I read stuff like this.

    A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

    by nippersdad on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:43:13 PM PDT

  •  The problem that I see is that many just (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, samddobermann, isabelle hayes

    had unrealistic expectations about Obama and demanded the politically impossible.

  •  two hours later, diarist still absent (4+ / 0-)

    isn't it traditional that the diarist will discuss what he's written?

    I'd say this particular diary was written for no other reason than to stir **** up. Post it, see what ensues, with glee.

    •  Sorry! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      QES

      I didn't actually expect anyone to read it...

      It's my first diary. For example, I don't even understand the comments on the HR stuff.

      But I'll try to respond to some of the comments where I can.

  •  Latecomer to politics, eh? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, nippersdad, thethinveil, mojada

    When she complained about how compromising Obama was, even with the intractable Repugnatins, I pointed out his long game strategy: of course he knew that the Republicans were going to block everything he did. He always knew that. But the public didn't know it.

    Everybody's been saying this since he was elected. Where have you been? If you had a clue, you would have known that this was blatantly untrue.

    Perfect convergence of the "nobody knew" excuse with the ever-popular "11th dimensional chess" strategy.

    But "treehugging progressives" are easily led. It was good enough to pretend you convinced her in this tale, and that is all that mattered.

    If wanting the country to succeed is wrong, I don't want to be right.

    by Angela Quattrano on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 01:36:28 PM PDT

    •  Something I forgot to mention (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      QES

      She also rejected the 11 dimensional chess strategy, complaining that compromise was "in Obama's blood."

      First, as if that's a bad thing? Second, look at what he did back in Chicago and you'll see he is capable of bare-knuckles when he thinks it is appropriate.

      Third, during the same conversation she also complained that he was a smooth talker and had lied/misled the progressive base from the beginning. Which, you know, sort of argues for the 11 dimensional chess strategy.

      For the record, I think Obama was hopeful that he could peel off some reasonable Republicans, surprised at just how unreasonable they got, and aware that regardless of the truth he had to appear as bipartisan until the electorate caught on. That's not 11 dimensional chess: that's Politics 101.

  •  A diary by a Dog named Blue... (6+ / 0-)

    ...which perfectly illustrates how counterfeit "Dems" work to gain acceptance for the right-wing Republican agenda.

    She wasn't objecting to the methods or the process, to the law-breaking or stiff-arming or ignoring public opinion

    That phrase describes every Blue Dog I know.

    To them, it wasn't about being anti-war. It was about being anti-Bush.
    They were against the war, until Obama wasn't.
    They were against Big Oil, until Obama wasn't.
    They were against corporate welfare, until Obama wasn't.
    They were against warrantless wiretapping, until Obama wasn't.
    They were for restoring habeas corpus, until Obama wasn't.
    They favored closing Guantanamo, until Obama wasn't.
    They were against the Patriot Act, until Obama wasn't.
    They were for prosecuting American war criminals and torturers, until Obama wasn't.
    They were against Pentagon pork, until Obama wasn't.
    They were against forgetting all about climate change, until Obama wasn't.
    They were against the presidential power to order the assassination of American citizens, until Obama wasn't.
    They were for EFCA, until Obama wasn't.
    They were for single payer or a public option, until Obama wasn't.
    They were for drug reimportation, until Obama wasn't.
    They were in favor banning landmines, until Obama wasn't.
    They supported equal rights for the GLBT community, until Obama didn't.

    A steady diet of lies has caused the DINO's to develop one asskicking case of cognitive malnutrition. But go ahead, keep suckin 'em down. Just don't even consider asking the DFH's to show up at crunch time.

    We may be high, we may be hated, but we've had it.

    Illegal Alien: Term used by the descendents of foreign colonizers to refer to the descendents of indigenous people

    by mojada on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 01:54:21 PM PDT

    •  That is quite the damning list. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thethinveil

      A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

      by nippersdad on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 02:00:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think this is a misperception (6+ / 0-)

      At least as it applies to some.

      You can support Obama and still:

      1. Be for a single payer healthcare system
      1. Be for drug reimborporation
      1. Be in favor of banning landmines
      1. Be in favor of equal rights for the GLBT community
      1. Be opposed to the Patriot Act
      1. Be in favor of closing Guantanana and restoring habeas corpus
      1. Be in favor of prosecuting American criminals

      Etc. Etc.

      First, Obama has been eliminating some Pentagon pork. That being said:

      1. I am also in favor of regulating Wall Street
      1. I am in favor of protecting people from being dropped from insurance or denied insurance for being sick
      1. I favor stem cell research
      1. I favor reductions in nuclear weapons
      1. I oppose torture
      1. I oppose rendition
      1. I support Supreme Court Justices that are not in the Scalia/Roberts/Alito/Thomas model
      1. I support scaling down the Iraq War
      1. I support engaging in talks with hostile nations without preconditions
      1. I support expanding funding for education and tax credits for college
      1. I support government efforts to encourage adoption of green technologies
      1. I support funding United Nations' efforts at helping people in poor countries engage in good family planning (UNFPA)
      1. I support greater preparation for natural disasters
      1. I support efforts to reduce carbon emissions

      While there are many things Obama has done that I oppose and many things I'd like him to do, I also do not fool myself that (1) his opponent would have been any better; (2) that everything he does is necessarily what he would like to do; and (3) that anyone who supports all the things I support would ever manage to get nominated, let alone elected.

      Supporting a Pragmatic Approach to Progressive Policies

      by CatM on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 02:04:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amen! Especially (3) ;-p nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CatM, QES
      •  I just wish he had not just spoken but acted (0+ / 0-)

        against these:

        1. I oppose torture
        1. I oppose rendition

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

        I urge you to read this and ask yourself, has torture really stopped? Or has it just been relocated, again?

        Also consider Panetta's own statements regarding rendition at his confirmation hearing:

        However, rendition has some legitimate uses, Panetta told Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo. The former congressman and White House chief of staff said he retained the option of temporarily holding especially valuable prisoners at secret sites overseas.

        Feinstein and Bond both expressed confidence Thursday that Panetta would be well served by his decision to retain a cadre of seasoned intelligence professionals to advise him in his new job, including the CIA's current deputy director, Steven Kappes.

        http://www.usatoday.com/...

        You can read more about the "leadership" of Steve Kappeshere.

        Of course, Steve Kappes has now quietly "retired," (with full pension and benefits, of course). I can only hope they're changing course. And I do hope and pray for that each day.

        We can't bury our heads in the sand based on some nice-sounding rhetoric.

        "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama

        by Battle4Seattle on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 04:52:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not about burying one's head in the sand (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          samddobermann, QES

          or even about giving up fighting for what one thinks is right. But I do not regret my vote at all. Based on all the things McCain has said, along with Palin, I am fairly certain at this point we would have spread our hostilities in the Middle East to include Iran.

          If Bush taught me anything, it was that sometimes the lesser of two evils is a lot less evil.

          Supporting a Pragmatic Approach to Progressive Policies

          by CatM on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 06:46:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CatM, samddobermann, QES

        While there are many things Obama has done that I oppose and many things I'd like him to do, I also do not fool myself that (1) his opponent would have been any better; (2) that everything he does is necessarily what he would like to do; and (3) that anyone who supports all the things I support would ever manage to get nominated, let alone elected.

        In case it wasn't clear, that is exactly what I was trying to say.

    •  We may be high, we may be hated, but we've had it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CatM, samddobermann, QES

      And so you're going to... what? What, exactly, are your options?

      Look, I'm for all those things you listed. And I am disappointed that Obama hasn't acted on them, or isn't going to. The difference is, I don't assert that Obama's failure to enact a policy stems entirely from his lack of will to do so.

      You have interpreted Obama's compromises as personal choices. I have interpreted them as limitations imposed by reality. One of us is factually correct. Which one do you suppose it is?

      Again, you are betraying the implicit assumption that if Obama wanted to, he could do anything. This is not how the Presidency works or should work (Bush's example to the contrary).

      •  If it were only that simple (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marja E

        My options are many: Not showing up to vote for anyone, voting third party, even to work actively to decrease turnout for Obama and pro-war centrist Dems in Congress, among others.

        Fist of all, Obama could order an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. His West Point speech told us why he will never do so. It confirmed his belief that American exceptionalism immunizes the US from ever being held accountable for war crimes.

        I know that Bush claimed the right to order the assassination of US citizens is an Executive right, but even he didn't speak publicly about it. I figured this "right" would get slam-dunked into the trashcan of history when Obama won.
        But no.

        Instead, Obama sends Dennis Blair to Congress to make the case for him.

        So there we have it. This is what we support when we support Barack Obama. It doesn't matter what we think about Palin, Gingrich, Limbaugh, Beck or the 'baggers.

        When we support Obama, when we make excuses for him, when we whine about the "mess" he inherited, when we run ideological interference for his latest corporate capitulation, when we look the other way and anxiously attempt another mealy-mouthed justification for the deliberate, systematic, and methodical murder of the latest Afghan farmer whose number finally came up, we are supporting someone who reserves the right to do the same thing to all of us.

        Nobel Prize? Beyond satire.
         
        This is the final and total rejection of every single principle of justice and human rights trumpeted by leftists, liberals, progressives, social anarchists, centrist Dems, and decent human beings of every political persuasion since the invention of the wheel.

        In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee February 3, 2010, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told representatives that American citizens can be assassinated by the US government when they are oveseas.

        Blair said the comments were intended to "reassure" Americans that there was a "set of defined policy and legal procedures" in place and that such assassinations are always carried out by the book.

        Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R – MI) inquired about the procedures involved, asking what the legal framework was under which Americans could be killed by the intelligence community.

        Blair insisted that under no circumstances would Americans be assassinated overseas for criticizing the government, adding "we don’t target people for free speech." Rather they are subject to assassination when the government decides they are a threat and when they "get specific permission." Exactly who was giving that permission was unclear.

        The question has been increasingly important as the Obama Administration attempts to help the Yemeni government assassinate Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric who is not accused of any crimes by the US government. The administration maintains that secret evidence exists linking Awlaki to terrorism.

        There seems to be a chilling lack of oversight in the procedure behind these killings, however, Blair’s assurances against politically motivated assassinations aside. The US has killed Americans in overseas attacks before, but only as "collateral damage." It has never admitted to explicitly assassinating an American citizen before, though it seems that the policy is in place and such killings are only a matter of time.

        Illegal Alien: Term used by the descendents of foreign colonizers to refer to the descendents of indigenous people

        by mojada on Sun Apr 18, 2010 at 09:50:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Authoritarianism is a disease (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samddobermann, QES

    that afflicts the entire political spectrum, although it finds a cozier home on the right for obvious philosophical reasons.  We shouldn't delude ourselves that everyone who appears to be concerned for the poor and minority rights is necessarily liberal - some are just narcissists (e.g., Ralph Nader) who happen to be sentimental or have a messiah complex, and it's those types on the left who neither understand nor particularly care for liberal ideas like freedom or democracy.  

    They're not very prominent or very powerful in the United States, but they do compromise the effectiveness of the progressive movement.  You are correct that some can be reasoned with, but others are as intractable as any teabagger.

    "Consequences shmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." --Daffy Duck, Republican Hero

    by Troubadour on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 04:07:26 PM PDT

    •  This was my point (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      samddobermann, Troubadour, pvlb, QES

      I was trying to highlight authoriatarianism, and how progressives can suffer from it just as much as reactionaries.

      Any time you think the President should do what you want, and the rest of the country be damned, you're wrong. It doesn't even matter what we're talking about, you're just wrong.

      There are people who have the job of telling the country to shut up and take it. Like SCOTUS. Just not the President. He has to work within the system, and frankly, he's done pretty dang good given what he had to work with.

      What ticks me off is all of these people who simultaneously complain about how pervasive and evil Faux News is and yet don't cut Obama any slack for it. They want the Rightards to be powerful and numerous and yet totally ignored.

      I think it's because during the Bush years the progressives (and liberals and sane people) were so blatantly ignored, so now they're like, "Why can't Obama do to them what was done to us?" And I'm like, "Just LISTEN TO YOURSELF!"

      •  Totally agree. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        samddobermann, pvlb, QES

        There is a difference between citizen leadership - advocating for the right course of action well before it's popular - and angrily demanding that public officials ignore everyone but you and just impose your will by fiat.  

        These are people who don't get the concept of representative government - they think the job of representatives is to represent them personally, like a private attorney, rather than the general views of their constituents.

        "Consequences shmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." --Daffy Duck, Republican Hero

        by Troubadour on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 05:02:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe I should cut and paste your comment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          QES

          into the body of my diary.

          It said what I was trying to say more eloquently. And I bet it would get a lot less flack. :D

          (Not for nothing did you earn your moniker, eh?)

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site