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McClatchy's David Lightman has an interesting post about Netroots Nation and the current state of the liberal blogosphere. He begins by pointing to the contribution of the Netroots to the electoral success of 2008, but then turns to the frustration many are feeling, as the Democrats fail to enact a more liberal agenda. There is supposed to be a question as to the Netroots' approach going forward.

"We get better results when we advocate for what we believe in. I don't think everyone in Washington gets that," said Arshad Hasan, the executive director of Vermont-based Democracy for America, founded by former Gov. Howard Dean, the Democrat whose unsuccessful 2004 White House bid often is seen as the first major Internet-driven presidential campaign.

And then Lightman falls into the false framing that it's a question of idealism or pragmatism, that super-majorities are necessary, for enacting a party's agenda. This thinking always begs the question of how Bush and Reagan succeeded in enacting the bulk of their agendas with nothing close to super-majorities. It also glosses over the question of how a party sells its agenda to the public, and how an administration sells its agenda to Congress. Any student of history knows that some leaders have been more successful than others-- and not because they had more partisan or idealistic legislatures. Pragmatism is in the eye of the beholder.

Lightman finds the usual compromised quotes from supposed centrists, and DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen rightfully pays homage to the party's diversity. But Darcy Burner gets more to the point, when she points to Democrats' excessive ties to corporate America at the expense of the public good. And Rep. Raul Grijalva accurately identifies the strategic mistake that was made in trying to woo supposed moderate Republicans, when it always was clear that Republicans only were interested in scuttling the Democrats' agendaand destroying the Obama presidency. He also pointedly criticizes those who worry about the deficit during an economic crisis that always demanded larger stimulus.

"That's fool's gold," said Grijalva, referring to money saved by not passing those bills. "By not investing in job creation and state support, the economy's going to get worse."

While the Democratic moderates and liberals clashed — and Republicans stood solid in opposition — some 2.5 million jobless workers have lost extended unemployment benefits.

Lightman closes by quoting Netroots Nation Executive Director Raven Brooks:

What people in the netroots want is bold action to solve the problems

The Netroots should be about pushing the Democratic Party to the left. It should be about agitating for real change. When incrementalism occasionally is necessary, there should be no backing off, as if an incremental step is acceptable. The next step is at least as important as the previous one. And we never should accept incrementalism when there is no time for it. But more than anything, it is the job of the Netroots to push for bold action. The internet provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to speak truth to power, to challenge both the traditional media and entrenched political and economic structures, and to make of the American experiment a truly democratic ideal. If we in the Netroots accept less than the ideal, there will be no one left on the left to define the ideal.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 04:30 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But there's also a difference... (7+ / 0-)

    ...because constructive and destructive criticism.  Many, particularly on this site, cannot see that difference.

    Then a pie fight breaks out, no one wins, and Dems lose their majority because we were too busy screaming at each other on the internet to go out and knock on doors, makes phone calls, and change minds.

    •  There Hasn't Been a Major Election Since Obama (6+ / 0-)

      took office. There's been no opportunity skip the GOTV yet.

      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 Jul 24, 2010 at 04:36:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, but no thanks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, shaharazade, Balto

      for what appears to just another thoughtless lecture.  You have no idea how people are dealing with these issues in day to day life.  All you're reading is a damned blog and then making assumptions about what "many" are doing.

    •  The pie fights occur because (5+ / 0-)

      there are a bunch of self-appointed criticism police who've taken it upon themselves to rule on what is "constructive" criticism and hide rate to hell and back so called "destructive" criticism. Endless threads attempt to resolve what opinions are OK to express and what aren't. It's boring. It's absurd. It's counterproductive to genuine debate and stifles the opportunity for real education.

      But, as much as I'd like to see the pie fights cease, I think your suggestion that

      Dems lose their majority because we were too busy screaming at each other on the internet to go out and knock on doors, makes phone calls, and change minds.

      is patently absurd.

      I spend a couple hours a day on DKos becoming better informed. The debates about policy (when they're allowed to take place) give me new perspectives and ammunition to use when knocking on doors, making those phone calls, endeavoring to change minds.

      The dismissive "you can blog or you can do something REAL" attitude is nonsense.

      The electoral fates of our members of Congress are in their own hands. They can listen to those of us who are speaking on behalf of the American people, or they can listen to their corporate benefactors. The choices they make, the actions they take, will determine whether the base is receptive to our entreaties to vote Democratic.

      I wish to hell they'd stop making our job so hard.

      Pop quiz - Q: How did the incrementalist kick his heroin habit? A: By shooting up three times a day instead of four.

      by WisePiper on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:16:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am always amused by how you seem to think (0+ / 0-)

        you can speak for 'the base'

      •  Yawn. (0+ / 0-)

        First, I don't abuse hide-ratings.  I'm not sure if that was intended to be an accusation, but if so, making baseless, kneejerk accusations would be a good example of not being constructive.

        Second, I never said blogging and grassroots activism were mutually exclusive.  Merely pointing out that online whine-fests don't tend to motivate anyone into doing the kind of GOTV work that is going to be vital to doing well in the mid-terms.

        Third, I thought the electoral fate of our members of Congress were in the hands of the American people.  And winning the hearts and minds of them is a job for both members of Congress, and us.

        Forth, I wasn't aware that you were promoted to speak on behalf of the American people.  You certainly don't speak for me, as I can speak for myself just fine.

        ...I'm glad if you do go knock on doors and make phone calls and engage in political debate with people.  I hope that you learn to do so in a more constructive and positive way than you comment, though.  Otherwise I fear you'll more likely motivate people to stay home on election day than you will get them to the polls.

    •  less sniping and FRAMING (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat, rainmanjr, bloomin

      everyone loves Lakoff so much around here  -- so who is really listening??

      yes the "left" should keep pushing for bigger change but learn to count some movement as success and not an an all or nothing venture...

      case in point -- the PO...It was pretty clear always that there were not enough Senate votes for the PO..But the mantra became PO or Die and failure to get became for many -- not only a faulre of HCR as a whole that many are still crying about -- but in fact a FAILURE of the NetRoots to  effectively impact legislation..

      Or take the Halter/Lincoln debacle.. I really wish Halter would have won -- but he didn't.. Of course the Cliton machine was gonna kick in for Blanche at the end of the day...In retrospect, if AR was gonna go repub -- is this the best use of Netroot time and $$$ -- challeging blue dogs in red/purple states??? This was presented as a major netroots challenge to the establishment and throwing down the glove and all - and yes the netroots lost again...So what are we all left with?? SOme pyrchiic schadenfreude vitory when Blacnhe loses in Novemeber???

      There are more examples to be sure but these 2 events cost the netrrots a ton of political capital with nothing to show for it..

      These all or nothing throwdowns do the Netrrots no good -- in fact they lead the Beltway and the MSM to consder the so-called netroots as irrelevant on matters of policy and good only for $$$ and some degree of mobilization..

      The netrrots needs a new narratove -- we need to create a margin for declaring SOME SORT OF VICTORY EACH AND EVERY TIME

      Be smarter

      Do Nuance

      Real players never show their whole hand

      "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

      by soothsayer99 on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:47:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very true.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soothsayer99

        This is how I felt about the PO and about Blanche Lincoln. I thought we should have taken the Snowe trigger, and passed health care. I was shocked by the PO no deal bill mentality. If we had passed the Snowe trigger, we'd have been done sooner and could have gone on to unemployment.  

        I also agree on Blance Lincoln.

        "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" - Dorothy Day

        by joedemocrat on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 07:04:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Should Be "Pulling the Dems Away From the Right" (10+ / 0-)

    Because Democratic leadership is pretty conservative on many issues where serious money is involved. Maybe all of them.

    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 Jul 24, 2010 at 04:35:18 PM PDT

  •  But, but, LEAVE OBAMA ALLOOOOONE! nt (11+ / 0-)

    They must have a war room at the White House. I think they've got a sissy room too. - Ed Schultz, NN10

    by itswhatson on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 04:36:19 PM PDT

    •  Cannot leave Preznit alone. More dead in (7+ / 0-)

      Afghanistan:

      2 US soldiers missing in Afghanistan; 5 killed by bombs

      Los Angeles Times - ‎24 minutes ago‎
      The Taliban says it is holding two Westerners, but the details surrounding the disappearances are unclear. A search is underway. By Laura King, Los Angeles Times KABUL, Afghanistan -- By any measure, Saturday was a very bad day in Afghanistan for

      Kill, kill, kill.

      •  afghanistan prolly the one place i disagree with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        prez on.  waste of effing money.

        "Our 'neoconservatives' are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell" - Edward Abbey

        by stormserge on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:03:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Waste of tens of thousands of lives (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          badger, k9disc, divineorder, FogCityJohn

          too. But that's not a budget item.

          Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

          by Jim P on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:32:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  He's doing exactly what he said he'd do. (0+ / 0-)

          Obama said, during his campaign, that he'd try to accomplish something in Afghanistan by bolstering troops, training police and building infrastructure.  That's what he's trying to do but we are acting like it's a big surprise.  Yes, it might fail.  But, if we don't try, then we're just leaving a failed mess anyway.  It will cost us in future terrorism if we do fail.

          "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

          by rainmanjr on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 07:02:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  and this BS helps?? How exactly?? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat, divineorder

      "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

      by soothsayer99 on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 04:56:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking Truth To Power Is Always Good n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  if (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joedemocrat

          you think this has anything to do with either truth or power well then -- i have nothing more to say to you

          "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

          by soothsayer99 on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:03:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ironic you quote Eugene Debs (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bloomin

               I dreamed I stood upon a hill, and, lo!
               The godly multitudes walked to and fro
               Beneath, in Sabbath garments fitly clad,
               With pious mien, appropriately sad,
               While all the church bells made a solemn din --
               A fire-alarm to those who lived in sin.
               Then saw I gazing thoughtfully below,
               With tranquil face, upon that holy show
               A tall, spare figure in a robe of white,
               Whose eyes diffused a melancholy light.
               "God keep you, strange," I exclaimed.  "You are
               No doubt (your habit shows it) from afar;
               And yet I entertain the hope that you,
               Like these good people, are a Christian too."
               He raised his eyes and with a look so stern
               It made me with a thousand blushes burn
               Replied -- his manner with disdain was spiced:
               "What!  I a Christian?  No, indeed!  I'm Christ." - The Devil's Dictionary

            Best,  Terry

      •  what bs? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bloomin

        The bs that says this is change but so sorry we can't really give you anything but what the corporatists from both parties are beholden to dole out and call 'reform' or change? Saying so does not make it so and if you look at what the present administration list's as it's roster of accomplishment it boogles the mind how they can say that this then is what you voted for. No we didn't. You can say Obama was always centrist what whatever the fuck that means, but he wasn't he preached the bottom up the audacity of meeting the 'fierce urgency of now'. Now we get Van Jones watered down Titanic bs, and sorry about your misconceptions we have no change to offer cause we like the wealth creation and terrorists are gonna kill your granny. So forget about the reality and accept what we offer (nothing but rhetoric and lies) or else Palin and the other scariest lunatics we empower will win and you will be to blame. how fucked is this?  

        •  Supporters of the President don't need to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joedemocrat, rainmanjr

          be attacked and ridiculed here on a daily --hey no hourly -- basis

          that's the BS i am talking about and you know it

          Sorry you are so unhappy but hey not everybody is --not here on DK and certainly not in the "real world"

          Hate to break it to you but you ain't THE BASE babe

          "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

          by soothsayer99 on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:55:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oh yeah (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bloomin

            you are not either, no one is. We are legion, and everybody is happy nowadays, right?. Look at the polls not the polls that selectively say Obama is a cool dude, he is. He's likable enough. I like Obama but that does not cut it when you see what we the people are being dealt. How will this play out in real life not political bs that says so sorry we cannot stop the corporations that own our country and this is moderate so believe the change even if your lying eyes and the actual facts tell you this is not true.

            Ridiculed? I don't ridicule what is going on, I am deeply troubled by this bamboozle from the Democrats, which is aided and abetted by the Republicans. I do not ridicule my country or the worlds situation. You may deny what is going on but that is insane as nature alone belies what are wealth creation and 'competition' offers up as reality.  

            I love my country, I love our sacred documents the ones we were founded on. I do however have a healthy disregard for politics that tell me this is what you get and if you don't accept it you'll get the loonies you just spent 10years working to stop. So why are we in the same place as when the bushies were in charge? Why are the people and the policies the same? Obama's rhetoric and speeches do not match the on the ground reality. The wars, the oil nightmare, the insurances scam that owns health care nothing is changed it's bs. Financial reform is a sick joke the same sick joke as HCR. Where is a sane energy policy or some real financial  reform?  

            Oh right, the filibuster the one that never stopped the Republican's. Blame me I 'm a hater, yeah right 2,300 $ and 3 months + tenyears working to end this shit and you say I'm not the BASE. Fuck that I am the base and you are going to have to deal with that and my brethern on and off line. I'm from the democratic end of the party, you lose me you lose.

            The base is not who Obama decides it is it's the people who vote so good luck at the polls with your lame excuses and this sorry response to the right. Fear that's all the Dems are offering. Fear the right, they have weapons of mass destruction and mushroom clouds. How does this message play after all we went through with the bushies? but hey don't look back cause we are still playing the same hand.

            •  here's the base (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shaharazade, joedemocrat

              "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

              by soothsayer99 on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 07:30:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  These demographics (0+ / 0-)

                are not the anti-thesis of dkos. Dkos seems to me to be part of the coalition that got Obama elected, we are represented in these numbers. I'm part of these numbers, and so were the people I worked with on the Obama campaign. So are the people I canvased, registered and helped get to the polls. No doubt about it we are the base. My kids voted for him, my neighbors voted for him but they are not at all happy with what is happening with the Democratic majority they voted in. The campaign brought this coalition together but will it hold? Not if the Democrat's continue with this bait and switch. Fear didn't get these voters to the polls, they voted for change and bottom up. The rhetoric alone won't bring them back as We can do it! and we did, has to match the policy and agenda. I hear from the Democrats I know from left to moderate what's up with Obama.    

    •  You misunderstand why people are fighting on this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citizen k, soothsayer99

      subject.
      While progressives misunderstand the way legislation is done and what the job of who is, and they clearly do not understand what holding people accountable is about.
      Holding accountable is not trashing your own side and giving zero support, and stabbing in the back rather then having someone's back.
      It's about substantive disagreement and not childish taunts.  It's about you getting off your ass and working to help make sure the legislation is not watered down - like in the senate.

      you guys fail on your end because you just bitch and don't do anything.

      also, it's about Harry Reid not standing up to the republicans and being a spineless fool therefore leaving Obama without the senate to pass his legislastion and weakening it.

      •  We understand all too well the way legislation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger, k9disc

        is done, and it starts with getting bought off by corporations, which you guys want to pretend isn't a factor and isn't happening.

        And childish taunts!??!! Childish taunts?!!!

        Who the fuck is out there with "pony, ideologue, backstabber, traitor, purity, hysterical" and ad hominem on top of ad hominem, plus all that other bullshit we see piled on in every fucking diary that dares criticize anything or anyone in this Administration? The fools who think they can browbeat people into not seeing what's in front of their eyes is who.

        You guys are helping the fail because you think shutting up and getting on your knees to lick the crumbs up they throw you is "pragmatism." It isn't, it's Stockholm Syndrome. Sign up with the adults and realize that pressuring the politicians, not making excuses for them, is the way Change happens in the real world.

        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:43:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Today's lecture on blogging and criticism (0+ / 0-)

        It's about substantive disagreement and not childish taunts.

        In case we do not yet understand what differentiates "substantive disagreement" from "childish taunts," we are given examples of the noble standard we should aim to emulate:

        First, establish the us vs. them. And remember that the "them" is "progressives."

        While progressives misunderstand the way legislation is done and what the job of who is, and they clearly do not understand what holding people accountable is about.

        Make sure to clarify that the person you are talking to is also a "them":

        you guys fail on your end

        Make sure that the "substantive disagreement" is substantive..

        It's about you getting off your ass

        you just bitch and don't do anything

        Finally, once the substantive disagreement with the other poster(s) is established, give an example of how a disagreement with an elected official should be phrased.

        What you don't want to do:

        stabbing in the back rather then having someone's back.

        How it should be done:

        it's about Harry Reid not standing up to the republicans and being a spineless fool

  •  Mistakes were made. (9+ / 0-)

    We should keep pushing.

    Reform the Filibuster.

    Overturn Citizen's United

    Fair Elections Act

    Lobbying Reform Act.

    Let's do it!

  •  Lightman is inherently suspicious of the Left (8+ / 0-)

    Back in 2006 when he still worked for the Hartford Courant we used to blog incessantly about his glowing and sycophantic reporting for Joe Lieberman. And that made a lot of sense for him, as Lieberman was his meal ticket for nearly two decades before that into Beltway establishment-hood. After Lieberman ceased to be relevant (not chosen to be McCain's VP pick) Lightman left for the greener pastures of McClatchy.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 04:37:47 PM PDT

  •  While I agree,... (6+ / 0-)

    The Netroots should be about pushing the Democratic Party to the left.

    ...I suspect there are currently many at this site who would not.  I hope your take is the one that will prevail, but I fear the Netroots has not yet defined itself and may not end up being that much different from all the other roots out there.

    •  I'm all for pushing it (0+ / 0-)

      I'm just not for all the extreme criticism and hatred being thrown around.  We have had many successes and should be trumpeting those while, also, pushing for making those successes better.

      "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

      by rainmanjr on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 07:18:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Read Cheshire Cat's diary... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, divineorder

    Which tells a parable of the Titanic, it covers the whole situation perfectly.

  •  quick pimping of my diary (3+ / 0-)

    Are you going to vote for Democrats this Nov?

    so far over 500 votes and 88% say yes

  •  So Obama critics on DKOS are right. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom

    And Obama's failure judged against Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush successes is a judgement of Obama's ability.

    "We get better results when we advocate for what we believe in. I don't think everyone in Washington gets that,"

    No one "got it" less than Obama who never advocated for what he said he believed in, public option being a singular but by no means the only example.

  •  Look around (9+ / 0-)

    Those few trying to do just this:

    The Netroots should be about pushing the Democratic Party to the left. It should be about agitating for real change. When incrementalism occasionally is necessary, there should be no backing off, as if an incremental step is acceptable.

    are at present being subjected to a campaign of marginalization second only in this century to that which prevailed from the summer of 2002 through spring of 2003, when the great test of "pragmatism vs. purism" was supporting the Iraq War.  By definition, support for the Iraq War was nec essary to claim the mantle of "Pragmatist", and those who opposed the Iraq War remain by and large marginalized to this day as evil extreme naive ignorant smug purists.

    Because if they didn't vote for a lizard, the wrong lizard might get in. ~ Ford Prefect

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 04:49:22 PM PDT

  •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tapu dali

    The internet provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to speak truth to power, to challenge both the traditional media and entrenched political and economic structures, and to make of the American experiment a truly democratic ideal.

    The internet is full of crazies writing lies and distortions.  Who's to know what is true or real?  What the internet does do is allow people to vent their anger and frustration--to form tea parties.  We, the left, tried to take over the Dem party.  To me the net has done more harm than good.  Media such as the NY Times are no longer accepted as a superior source than Fox by many Americans--and the NY Times is atrophying along with other reliable print media.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 04:51:58 PM PDT

  •  great post, thank you (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, shpilk, moosely2006, FogCityJohn

    This paragraph--at least the sentiments expressed therein--should be repeated on websites around the left blogosphere.

    It's distressing to see bloggers who define themselves as progressives or liberals cheer whatever this administration accomplishes as a progressive victory. I don't know that I'd call any of the victories progressive. Some are baby steps in the right direction--and they are to be applauded, but only as baby steps in the right direction, not as great, progressive victories. Health care reform that essentially delivers what the GOP wanted in the 90s is not progressive, not unless the Gingrich revolution was a progressive one in rabid conservative wolf's clothing.

    We cannot lose the meaning of the word progressive. We cannot begin to call "progressive" bills that ultimately favor corporate profits over people.

    The country continues to slide dangerously farther right because the Democrats have to kiss corporate ass to be elected, and because the Democrats continue to try to woo conservatives.

    We have to advocate for progressive solutions: economic and social justice, regulations that protect us and workers and the environment, a strong safety net, quality and affordable healthcare and education for all, living wages for hard work, etc.  

    We cannot advocate for politicians, not unless an election is upon us and we have to push for the best we can get. The rest of the time, we need to advocate for progressive solutions and we need to point out the distance between those solutions and the actual policies proposed.

    Anyway, I'm just rambling. You said it all much better. What I really mean to say is thank you. :)

    •  uh, the election is upon us. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tapu dali, soothsayer99

      "Bigger change will come with bigger Democratic majorities. Diminishing Democratic accomplishments is a losing strategy." sja May Peace Prevail

      by revgerry on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:02:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let me ask you this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citizen k

      Where were you going to get the votes for any of what you are angry at Obama for not delivering right now? Where are you going to get it in a Congress that, even though the Democrats control it, is probably more moderate and maybe even slightly conservative?

      •  you're right, this country is center-right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, FogCityJohn

        So I guess we should stop advocating for progressive policies. And we should just be thankful for the increasingly center-right Democratic party.

        Is that what we mean by "pragmatic progressives"? It's not pragmatic to expect Democrats to push for progressive policies.  Therefore the pragmatic thing is to say you're for progressive policies but never, ever complain when the Democrats don't deliver. Pragmatic progressives are the ones who know progressive policies are unrealistic in this country. Is that about right?

        •  Where were/are you going to find the (0+ / 0-)

          votes? That's the question you and the others have never answered. How is/was Obama expected to get any of what you wanted implemented when the votes aren't/haven't been there from the outset?

          •  you make votes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shpilk, k9disc

            You educate the country. You teach people the wisdom of your proposal, how it benefits you more than your opponent's does, and you cause public opinion to shift to your side in the debate.

            Or you can conduct polls, measure the status quo and do what you can within it--and without offending major donors.

            The Democratic party has largely favored the second option.

            The rightwing propaganda machine has operated successfully since Nixon's Southern Strategy began to be implemented. Then the Moral Majority joined in. Then Reagan sealed the deal and, remarkably, turned working people against unions. When the unions lost membership and power, that was a death-blow to any sort of real economic justice in the Democratic party. Corporate money became even more dear. The party shifted right.

            Both parties seek to please corporations, but the corporate community still gives more dough to the GOP. After all, these are the people who apologize to BP, deny global warming, want to do away with corporate taxes and taxes affecting poor rich folks. They're upfront about their corporate whoredom. The Dems have to still look like they care about the working people.

            The problem is the GOP has both the working people (guns, taxes, etc.) and the corporations. You'd think the Dems would try to be a genuine populist party, but they don't seem to have the guts to go out on the limb. They're just trying to be the sane person's GOP.

            I guess it's easier. After all, like you say, the votes aren't lying around for them. It's easier to be GOP-lite and try to pick up some disgruntled conservatives.

            After all, this is a center-right nation. Pragmatic progressives concede this--sort of like the USDA and the White House conceded that right wing media controls the message this past week.

            It does. We're a center-right nation. So pragmatic progressives know better than to expect much. What they do instead is call anything that looks like progress "progressive." So a health care reform bill that the GOP wanted passed in the 90s is now "progressive"--in a pragmatic way.

        •  This country is not center right. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cassandraX

          Don't fall for that bullshit.

          Get any right winger one to one with someone in distress, and only the worst of the bunch will refuse to help out someone standing right in front of them.

          This country has swallowed lie after lie from corporate media which has a vested interest in creating an atmosphere where fascism can flourish.

          One of the biggest lies is Reagan's:
          'The nine most terrifying words in the English language are' - "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

          Total bullshit. We're supposed to trust Wal-Mart, Blackwater, BAE and BP, instead of the government?

          Please don't even fall for that canard.

      •  Asking the wrong person (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, k9disc, TiaRachel

        Where were you going to get the votes for any of what you are angry at Obama for not delivering right now?

        I think it's the job of the president and the Democratic leadership to get the votes.  That's what they were elected to do.

        Maladie d'Amour, Où l'on meurt d'Aimer, Seul et sans Amour, Sid'abandonné

        by FogCityJohn on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:56:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, they were elected to support the lobbyists (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FogCityJohn

          and corporations, and make nice with anyone who stands in the way of progress.

          But yeah .. they should be standing behind their agenda, rather than pandering to the wealthy.

          •  Well . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shpilk

            All snark aside, I think they were elected to enact their agenda.  I don't think the voters wanted anyone coddling corporations and lobbyists.  

            Of course, I take your point that what our elected officials actually are doing right now is often another matter entirely.

            Maladie d'Amour, Où l'on meurt d'Aimer, Seul et sans Amour, Sid'abandonné

            by FogCityJohn on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 07:41:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Again (0+ / 0-)

          Where are/were they going to find the votes to get what you wanted when some of it was DOA and a nonstarter with members of Congress? Honestly I ask this because some of you think it is so easy.

          •  Oh, I dunno . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cassandraX

            how about within the Democratic caucus?  We could probably start there.  After all, our party does have big majorities in both houses of Congress.  Obama's shown he can put the screws to legislators when he needs to.  He got a bunch of progressives to support war funding, didn't he?

            And the filibuster excuse is a charade.  A majority of the Senate can abolish the filibuster at any time.  It's just a matter of having the will to do so.  (Trust me, if they get the Senate back, it won't take the Republicans twenty minutes to get it done.)  

            No one is saying it's easy.  We're saying it's possible.

            Maladie d'Amour, Où l'on meurt d'Aimer, Seul et sans Amour, Sid'abandonné

            by FogCityJohn on Sun Jul 25, 2010 at 12:12:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Keep in mind with fillubuster reform (0+ / 0-)

              that you might not like when the GOP has the Senate and then eliminates it. Be careful with what you wish for, the old expression goes; you might just get it. And when the GOP eventually takes over the Senate, you'll definitely not like it when the filibuster isn't there.

              •  So . . . (0+ / 0-)

                you're saying we should allow the Republicans to block everything now, and then all just sit around and fret when they have the majority and end the filibuster?  

                Maladie d'Amour, Où l'on meurt d'Aimer, Seul et sans Amour, Sid'abandonné

                by FogCityJohn on Sun Jul 25, 2010 at 06:28:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Problem is that "push" has a different meaning (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    revgerry, tapu dali, soothsayer99

    than "yell about". If you want the administration to move left, you need to organize public pressure on the obstacles to more left wing policies. That means you have to correctly identify targets, articulate alternatives in ways that will appeal to large numbers of people, and be disciplined and persistent despite media distractions.

    I don't see any evidence that netroots nation can do any of that.

  •  Indeed. (5+ / 0-)

    It seems like to many folks who should be pushing our elected leaders have gone to complete defensive mode instead; that they are more interested in running cover for the failures of our leaders rather than pushing them to successful solutions.

    Pragmatic solutions lead to successful politics.  Putting so-called "pragmatic politics" first is truly putting the cart in front of the horse.

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 04:56:33 PM PDT

    •  You got that right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JRandomPoster

      Too many people "running cover for failures of our leaders."

    •  I liked Meteor-Blades suggestions (5+ / 0-)

      for energizing GOTV

      snip....Congress this year means coming up with a vision for putting Americans back to work and hammering away on that vision from now until election day.

      The White House could help with this. A good first step would be to put Alan Simpson's deficit-busting "catfood" commission on a six-month hiatus. Send Simpson home until January at least. A second would be to nominate and fight for the appointment of Elizabeth Warren to the consumer protection board that was her idea in the first place. A third would be to announce a plan to keep employed the half million (or more) public workers who face layoffs because of revenue shortfalls in the states. And, finally, to announce a modern version of the CCC and WPA, with direct hiring by the government.

      The latter, of course, would be shouted down. It would surely elicit cries of national socialism from, ironically, the fascist Glenn Beck and his toadies across the land on hate radio. And, indeed, such a proposal has almost no chance of getting through Congress as currently constituted, although it might have in February 2009. But its likely defeat is no reason not to propose it. Indeed, the White House and congressional Democrats should make it the economic centerpiece of the 2010 campaign.

      The 30 million or so unemployed and underemployed Americans, and the millions more who fear they could themselves be added to these ranks, would get a positive message, and one that could boost the level of voter intensity which has so far been as tepid as the recovery. Such a proposal, combined with talking up the real accomplishments of the administration, could make for a helluva lot better message than: things would be worse if Republicans were in charge. Not just a better message, of course, but something tangibly better than what we've so far seen.

      We should push for these, imho.

      Disclosure: I have two brothers older than the President who are out of work.

  •  I never know how to respond to this (4+ / 0-)

    ongoing argument, because both sides are right, IMO, and if we could stop throwing pies back and forth, we may be able o do something for American families, who after all, are who we are fighting on behalf of.

    Harry Reid reminded us that indeed he only had 60 Dem votes for a few weeks...remember how long it took to seat Al Franken, and then Ted Kennedy got sick and died, and was replaced by an R.  

    He described the agonizing process of even trying to get a bill to the floor and the abuse of the fillibuster...

    We need to keep the values we hold dear and the legislation we want before everyone's eyes, but perhaps we could be a little slower on the trigger when we impute motives????

    "Bigger change will come with bigger Democratic majorities. Diminishing Democratic accomplishments is a losing strategy." sja May Peace Prevail

    by revgerry on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 04:59:27 PM PDT

  •  Some of us know that it is possible... (4+ / 0-)

    to push for more and better without tearing Obama into bits.

    Hell - some of us even care.

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:03:02 PM PDT

  •  Bush and Reagan got their agenda's through b/c (5+ / 0-)

    they had sympathetic Dems -- ie, moderate/conservative senators (like our Landrieu, Nelson, Conrad et al)
    who crossed the aisle and voted with the GOP.

    Well...flash-forward and what do we have? Conservative Dems who vote that way and a GOP who votes in lockstep against anything Obama wants done.

    So this isn't about Obama. It's about the conservative Dems and GOP's lack of moderates willing to vote that way.

    Reagan and W didn't get their shit done because they were "stronger" or "tougher" than Obama. They got their shit done because of conservative Dems...period.

    •  the gop solidarity against obama is stunning (4+ / 0-)

      "Our 'neoconservatives' are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell" - Edward Abbey

      by stormserge on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:04:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OTOH, it may well be about Obama, (2+ / 0-)

      but we won't know for sure until we fix the Senate and reform the filibuster, will we?

    •  Obama enables them at every turn. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc

      Ben and Blanche are rewarded for their treachery, Whiny Joe is 'admonished' and yet still has power and influence.

      It's disgusting.

      Did LBJ act this way, when he had to deal with his own Party about the Civil Rights legislation or Voting Rights Act? Did FDR act this way when his own Party blocked him time and again to get stuff done to get relief to Americans suffering during the depression?

      No. They kicked ass, and took names. They suffered defeats, they struggled. They took risks, they had skin in the game.

      This administration seeks out the path of least resistance over and over again, and calls it a day. And we end up with shitty half baked BS as a result. Over and over and over.

      VooDoo Reagonmics bullshit needs to be repealed. Ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich is a joke, compared to what really needs to be done to the tax structure. I cannot imagine this administration even attempting to deal with it. As it is, I'll wager they end keeping part of the wealthy's tax cuts in place.

  •  are you kidding me?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizen k, moosely2006

    are we forgetting about the fact that republican presidents had all the weight of a small focused minority of people who have all the money and power in the country and a simple agenda: get more power to get more money.

    the democrats aren't cutting taxes or deregulating.  that's the easy shit that republicans do.  easy.  simple.

    the democrats have to solve the problems of a country of over 300 million people

    it's not even fair to compare the two

    success to republicans is more power and money for the rich

    success to democrats is a list so fucking long it would take me a fucking week to write

    •  Where's the fight, other than from (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc

      people like Bernie and Al Franken and Grayson?

      Where's the push back?

      It ain't coming from the WH or Rahm Emanuel. It sure the hell ain't coming from Harry Reid, Timmy Kaine, Chuckles Schumer, Steny Hoyer.

      Nancy Pelosi at least is making a little bit of noise, to her credit. She's about the only one who is.

  •  Well (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizen k, moosely2006, rainmanjr

    I do agree about Obama being too obsessed with "bipartisanship". I think he tried to work with the GOP too much, long after it became clear they were not interested in working with him on anything. With healthcare I think Obama should have been more aggressive before they finally went via reconciliation.

    However, I also reject the argument that incrementalism is 100% bad either. Before Reagan could implement his agenda, Nixon was president in the aftermath of LBJ's terms. Nixon enacted policies that were more liberal than conservative, but he did move the country to the right. I am sure that there were conservatives who were disappointed in him.

    What I reject is people demanding the politically impossible and then acting like they got nothing when an inevitable compromise happens. Something is better than nothing. And the key is to build momentum to create a message to make what is currently politically impossible more realistic in the short to medium term.

  •  the administration's great weakness has been (6+ / 0-)

    this:

    ...how a party sells its agenda to the public, and how an administration sells its agenda to Congress.

    I'm not sure if the administration lacks a core agenda and therefore has nothing to sell, or if it's agenda is simply to pass whatever Congress and polls allow them to pass without taking too many hits.

    Whatever, this administration's messaging is fuzzy.

    If Obama has an agenda, he needs to decide what is not negotiable in pursuit of it and he needs to let us know. I think that many people would still be enthusiastic supporters if he had gone down fighting for a public option, no telecomm immunity, etc..

    Sometimes, the very best leaders lose because they're willing to put a fight for something they believe in so strongly that they don't care about the odds....And sometimes when they fight hard enough, they change those odds and move public opinion.

    I think we had all hoped that Obama would be a public opinion shaper. Instead, he's running a carefully-controlled, poll-driven, don't-rock-the-boat presidency. He's getting legislation through, absolutely. But the legislation either doesn't seem to have clear and dramatic benefits for the average working person or the White House is failing to communicate them.

    Even if they don't believe in much other than getting re-elected, this administration needs to improve its communications.

    •  cassandraX (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies

      In a nutshell, you've summed it up precisely.

      •  thank you (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, Major Tom, TiaRachel, FogCityJohn

        I was braced for a thumpin'.

        Some folks around here go apoplectic when you question this administration.

        For them, I'd add that I will be very happy if this administration starts communicating what it believes in, what is not negotiable. And I think that Obama's communication skill would allow him to shape public opinion, once he starts speaking from his core principles.
        I really don't think he's done that, not since the campaign trail when his core principle was "electing me will be a wonderful thing." People believed that, for a number of reasons. And it was. Election night was wonderful. But now he has to govern from the same conviction. That seems to be missing too often. If it's there, then it needs to be communicated more clearly to the public.

        •  It'll Get Worse - Bet On It. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc, cassandraX

          Imagine the already deteriorating progressive mood when Elizabeth Warren is not even nominated, the tax cuts for the filthy rich are extended, and the Cat Food Commission's recommendations to cut Social Security benefits are approved.  

    •  A public opinion shaper (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel, cassandraX

      and a leader.  We all realize the challenges he faces, but I haven't seen the leadership or the fight I hoped for and pretty much expected, even thought I didn't have stars in my eyes.

    •  He has yet to stand for an issue and draw a line (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc, TiaRachel, cassandraX

      in the sand.

      Not one.

      It reveals weakness, and turns off the base, as well as independents. Independents like to see people stand for what they believe in, and make it work. Nothing in the progressive agenda is 'far out' or 'communist', but Obama and his team fear us like we are the 3rd rail.

      It's so obvious, you could light all of Broadway with it.

  •  All the Progressive bloggers added together: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    Doesn't equal one Corp. lobbyist from K street with a bag full of the $$ green stuff. The only Green most Dimocrats pols in DC care about is the Green back. The rest is nothing more then campaign talk discarded as soon as they get to the Village. We saw first hand last week who they listen to in DC. When a criminal bottom feeder and character assassin like Breitbart can get the Obama admin. to do it's bidding without even a review or thought it's obvious whose opinions and ideas they're focused on and it's NOT any of ours NO matter what they say to you folks at Netroots. To be blunt Pelosi, and the rest of them are full of shit. We need to replace these people with Reps. that don't talk with a forked tongue. Were being treated with utter contempt by our own so called Reps. It's BS, but it will go on and on if we keep taking these assholes at their word. They have none.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:09:20 PM PDT

  •  radical flank (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies

    obama and the dems need a radical flank, but sadly both netroots and labor have too little power and are too unorganized.  
    for example, say the dems pass on elizabeth warren and obama fails to make a recess appointment.  what are we going to do about it?  argue in blogs about how much of a sell out obama is or is not?  weigh that against what wall street will do if she is appointed and you begin to see our problem.
    for all the talk about narratives and ideology, we seem to forget that politics is, at its core, about power.  the corporations have it - we don't.

  •  krugman has joined us evil obots on health care (0+ / 0-)

    Health reform, for all the complexities of its details, was a pretty clear issue; there was almost a theorem-theorem-lemma feel to figuring out what had to be done, leading you to something like the actual reform we got. Yes, there should have been a public option. But the basic structure of the issue was clear.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/...

    After I darted him with the microchip, I knew it was a matter of time.

  •  while it is true the dems. should push left (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizen k, moosely2006

    it's also the problem for many as they seem to think this means trashing our own side.  Not supporting it.
    they also misunderstand the fundamental way that congress is the one who legsilates and not the exc. branch.
    Yes, Reagan and Bush did get things thru but, it was done with the democrats in congress working with them.
    In Obama's case, that is not true.  He has a hard time keeping the conservative dems in line.  And a weak kneed harry Reid who simply will not make the Reps filibuster.
    Until Reid does his job, there is little the pres or anyone can do to force thru more muscular legislation.
    Just listen to the house dems about this.

    •  reid shares a lot of blame but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Tom, moosely2006

      he was elected majority leaders by the dems in the senate.  i get the feeling it's all a big shell game.  people like me in blue states vote for liberal democrats and those liberals vote for progressive legislation - but they just can't get it passed.  
      it used to be, well there's a republican majority, then it was well there's still a republican president - now with a democratic majority we are still hearing excuses.

      •  it's not a shell game. It's the fact that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moosely2006

        we have a spineless majority leader who ends up letting good legislation die and get watered down.
        And instead letting Obama get the blame for it by progressives who do not understand the legislative process.
        If you have a fool and weakling for the most important job to get strong leg. in Reid, there is little that can be done by Pelosi or Obama

        •  Isn't It Ironic? (0+ / 0-)

          Harry Reid tells us that the President has not been tough enough with the opposition. Yet the Obamas campaign for Harry big time, like they did for Blanche Lincoln. What's next? Future White House campaign support for Nelson of Nebraska and Baucus of Montana, over their progressive alternatives?

          Boy, I wish I could see the actual script these politicians are reading from. I just want to get an idea whether the story line is either comedic or tragic - or a combination of the two.

  •  Ya know what? (5+ / 0-)

    When it's all said and done. I think the good is the enemy of the perfect.

    Settle a little, sure.

    Settle a lot. No.

    That's called selling out to corporate interests.

    And corporations definitely do not have American interests at heart.

    Let's shoot for the perfect - and let the others go on the defense.

    Let THEM settle.

    Until we have an unfettered media, every battle we fight will be in the dark, uphill and against a head wind.

    by moosely2006 on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:11:51 PM PDT

  •  What's Necessary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, k9disc, moosely2006

    What's necessary is for progressives to put their resources (time, money and votes) behind progressive candidates. Obama is not a progressive candidate. Until he becomes one, there is an opening for a real progressive candidate for President.

    Progressives need to support Obama when he moves forward with real progressive initiatives and not support him when he doesn't. I'm neither for nor against Obama. He isn't the end of the road, just a step along the way. To the degree he moves things forward, we should support him. To the degree he's a roadblock, as he was with the public option and as he seems to be on accountability for national officials that undermine democracy, we should oppose him.

    This won't fit the MSM framing of idealistic vs. pragmatist, but it is the only kind of pragmatism that matters. If Obama wants our resources, he needs to support progressive initiatives when they are right for the country. In the main, he has thought of us as a constituency instead of a resource. We are much more valuable as a resource, the group of people that have the right answers for the nation's major problems. Until he gets that, he'll continue to wander in circles. That's not just a disaster for progressives, it's a disaster for the Obama Administration and the country.

    •  In 2016 (0+ / 0-)

      Alan Grayson for President.

      Talk about a fighter.

      Until we have an unfettered media, every battle we fight will be in the dark, uphill and against a head wind.

      by moosely2006 on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:28:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no way in hell he could win (0+ / 0-)

        and there's plenty of other fighters out there who could win and should run in 2016

        i like his fellow florida congress woman debbie wasserman schultz

        we need a woman for president in 2016

        and no more rich white guys even if they are liberals

  •  bold actions from Dems? WTF? still waiting zzzzzz (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom

    80 % of success is just showing up

    by Churchill on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:18:41 PM PDT

  •  I think this is false (4+ / 0-)

    This thinking always begs the question of how Bush and Reagan succeeded in enacting the bulk of their agendas with nothing close to super-majorities.

    Bush and Reagan wanted to roll back all the great society programs, and for the most part failed.

    Democrats want to greatly expand great society programs, and have been somewhat successful.

    Obama has been successful at getting the things he said he would get on the campaign trail (more successful than I thought he would be, frankly)

    Bush and Reagan were also successful at getting the stuff they said they would get (Less Bush on social security and immigration)

    In your analysis you are comparing apples and oranges.  That is, we are comparing the dreams of progressives with the campaign promises of conservatives.  If we want to be fair, we need to compare campaign promises of each, or the dreams of the activists of each party.

    In those terms, Obama has been very successful, in comparison to Bush and Reagan.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 05:18:58 PM PDT

  •  Bold action to solve problems - where is that ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, soothsayer99

    Where are the calls on the left for "bold action to solve problems"?

    I see a lot of inside baseball and odd fixation on policy details. I don't see an anti-war movement or a democratic economy movement.

  •  Lightman did a decent summary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moosely2006

    Let other people push for moderation. Our job is to push for change we can believe in. Where did I hear that?

  •  Expecting that from this adiminstration (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc

    and Congress is nearly a lost cause.

    Sure. Let's push to get local candidates in there, but they are still going to be stymied by the leadership.

    I don't see bold action happening on the economy or on energy anytime in the future from this administration or Congress.

  •  How Bush did it (0+ / 0-)

    "This thinking always begs the question of how Bush and Reagan succeeded in enacting the bulk of their agendas with nothing close to super-majorities"

    This one is simple. Bush enacted the bulk of his agenda with nothing close to a super-majority because he had a compliant Democratic minority. President Obama and the 110th Congress do not have a compliant minority.  Bush also used a lot of gimmicks, tricks and executive shortcuts to move his agenda through. But this probably isn't something we want to emulate. For example, Bush got through his tax cuts by using "reconciliation". This allowed him to pass a tax cut that couldn't possibly have reached 60 votes. But because he used the "reconciliation" gimmick instead of passing the bill the normal way, the tax cuts expire at the end of this year, and the Democrats can reverse them without having to lift a finger. Meanwhile many of Bush's other policy advances were performed by something like executive order, meaning they could be or have already been erased by executive order. Bush, in short, did a pretty poor job of enacting his agenda. When Obama and the 110th Congress have enacted their agenda, on the other hand, they have done so through durable legislative action, in ways that will be difficult for Michelle Bachmann to repeal should she become Speaker of the House next January. The Democrats have needed supermajorities to do what they have done because they did it right.

    In fact, if you strip away the flurry of bad legislation directly linked to 9/11 (which can't possibly be reproduced), the Democrats have arguably done better at enacting their agenda since Jan 2007 than Bush did at enacting his agenda over eight years. Even leaving aside the stimulus, they passed health care reform that had been sought after for 30 years, they passed reform of the financial system, and they've got a DADT repeal as good as passed. These things were hard. At least one of them was supposed to have been impossible. The netroots seems deadset on not recognizing something difficult or worthwhile happened here, insisting that what we've seen is the results of the Democrats exerting zero effort and that if the dems had only exerted effort and shown backbone we could have gotten a big bag full of other candy. I don't see this. If passing large social legislation is sooo easy if you just stand up and boldly show backbone, then why couldn't Bush pass social security reform or make any of the federal level progress he sought against gay marriage?

    Should we demand more? YES! But it's not enough to just WANT more. I want to know HOW WE'RE GOING TO GET more. What is it you want the dems to do? "Bold action". What? That's not a plan, that is a slogan. The one thing you specifically say in this post is something about larger stimulus. Okay, sounds great. I want that. How are we going to get it?

    I don't think it's enough to just say you're moving the Dems to the left. I want to see how and where you're moving the Dems to the left. I want to know what the successes of the Netroots program has been. I can! see what the successes of the Democrats' incrementalist approach has been over the last two years-- HCR, "FinReg", DADT repeal, at least enough stimulus to stave off total economic collapse so far. None of these things went as far or as quickly as I'd like, but they moved the country to the left and they will make it easier to take those next steps I wanted. On the other hand I can't see what the successes of the netroots approach have been over this same period. The times I've seen the Democrats taking "bold", backboney screw-the-conservatives unilateral action these last two years like the Netroots wants (Obama tries to shut down Guantanamo by executive order, Harry Reid tries to force a public option into the HCR bill) it backfired and got us the opposite of what we wanted. I spent a good six years unified with the netroots against the mainstream dems in the call for more, bolder, faster, but what am I supposed to do if the mainstream dems' plans keep working and the netroots' plans just keep running into walls? I don't think we should stop asking for more, but at some point it starts to seem like the incrementalists-- who also espouse bold, progressive ideals, they just have a different plan how to get us there-- have a better idea how to get us more than the bloggers do.

    Prove me wrong. Show me WHAT bold action we're supposed to be taking. Tell me how to get there from here. Tell me what you are going to build instead of how you want to tear the Democrats down.

  •  We don't need the GOP for this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trevzb, shpilk

    it always was clear that Republicans only were interested in scuttling the Democrats' agendaand destroying the Obama presidency.

    We're doing a fine job on our own.

    "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

    by rainmanjr on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 06:17:51 PM PDT

    •  This administration coddles and protects (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats {e.g. Ben, Blanche, Whiny Joe, Bart} who throw roadblock after roadblock in the way of change, and never hesitates to takes a crap on the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, every chance it gets.

      As constant as the North Star.

      •  You miss my point, shpilk. (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that we shouldn't be supportive of Ben, Blanche, Whiny and Bart (I don't care if we lose their seats since they're already no help) but this constant drone of anger thrown at Obama is going to cost us The WH.  Eventually, Indys start believing the hysterical cries of "we're not getting enough" and will vote for the other side.

        "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

        by rainmanjr on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 06:51:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  How Bush and Reagan did it??? (0+ / 0-)

    You answer your own question with Burner's remark: too many Democrats are corporate whores!   This is no mystery ... the GOP votes in lockstep and with a handful of Democrats joining them to fight progress, none is made.  We MUST end the filibuster because there will ALWAYS be Democratic whores. Always and forever, until there is public funding of elections.  In other words: always and forever.

    Andrew Mellon & GOP: 'In a Depression, assets return to their rightful owners'

    by Tuffie on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 06:31:28 PM PDT

  •  Reagan and GW Bush had a huge advantage: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trevzb
    Their "agenda", such as it was, boiled down to crack cocaine for legislators: keep spending money, but slash tax rates.

    I mean, seriously; what legislator could turn down a deal like that? It was as easy as clubbing baby seals.

    That's why you saw normally sensible Democrats tripping over each other to vote for both Reagan's and Bush/Cheney's tax cuts for millionaires. These lying weasels promised a free lunch. Of course, they delivered economic apocalypse for America's working class, but that's a separate question, isn't it?

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