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It finally comes down to this.

We should be thankful. After all the compromises, the centrism, the hippie-punching, the retention of Alan Simpson, the mixed messaging on DADT, and the systematic throwing of progressives under most every wheel of the bus imaginable, at least on this we have a line in the sand: President Obama will not actively work to impose a continued tax cut for those making over $250,000 a year.

It is excellent news, but it feels far less like triumph than a sense of relief for those who since the days of Howard Dean have challenged the beltway consensus among "serious journalists" that progressivism was the enemy of electoral victory: a sense that finally, just maybe, President Obama and many Democrats are coming to realize that there is nothing more to gain from this type of concession.

On this issue, it seems like a no-brainer: A majority of the public supports letting the tax cuts for the wealthy expire, and its extremely unlikely that any significant portion of the 36 percent who for some reason oppose this policy was inclined to vote for Democrats anyway. And even if there were some small segment of the electorate out there that were inclined to vote for Democrats but might now choose not to because of Obama's refusal to extend these budget-busting cuts, it would almost certainly be overwhelmed by the number of people who would be that much more likely to vote for Democrats out of a prevailing frustration with their own economic situation, as well as a desire for vengeance against the masters of the economic universe that are mostly responsible for creating this situation in the first place.

But while we can applaud a decision that is not only good policy, but seems to be even better politics, it behooves us to ask one question: would this same decision have been made if this were September 2009, as opposed to September 2010? Or did it take hitting absolute rock bottom from an electoral perspective for the political honchos in the administration and the party to decide that they had nothing to lose by going for broke?

The Democrats will end up taking losses in the upcoming midterms, especially in the House. This was always to be expected from a structural point of view, given the fact that the president's party historically loses midterm seats, and given the overwhelming Democratic advantage that had resulted from many years of conservative malfeasance combined with the wave inspired by the Obama electorate. The end result was a narrow and eagerly awaited two-year legislative window with which to bring as much reform to the country as possible before those majorities were weakened somewhat in the midterms to follow.

Those factors were anticipated. What was unanticipated--at least by some--was the conspiracy-minded zealous insanity of the conservative base, as well as the utter unwillingness of Republican politicians to compromise in any way for the good of the country. The Democratic response--outside of an utter sense of disbelief at just how radical the right had become--was to try to protect its most vulnerable members against accusations of being too far left by avoiding a push for transformational policies that would have provided a tangible sense of accomplishment and motivation for the Democratic base. If the goal was indeed to convince the conservative-leaning voters in swing districts that the Democrats were not in fact socialist Muslim Marxist fascist Stalinist homosexual terrorist sympathizers, it didn't work. The conservative base was just as motivated, while the Democratic base felt that they had absolutely nothing to vote for. The end result? A massive enthusiasm gap, and the largest generic Congressional ballot difference in the history of the Gallup Poll.

Now, there's nothing left to lose. It's impossible to say whether things would have been this bad if Democrats had gotten a public option, or secured stronger financial sector reform, or pushed much harder for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell--but one thing is for sure: things simply couldn't have been any worse than they are right now.

For the remainder of the election season, it will be incumbent on President Obama and the Democrats in Congress to advance as many progressive, base-motivating policies as possible, such as a firm line on tax cuts for the wealthy and the nomination of Elizabeth Warren. There's nothing left to lose, after all. And if it stems the tide and staunches the bleeding, it will be incumbent upon the "professional left" to push the narrative that maybe, just maybe, that's the foot we should have started off on.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Should we thank you for continuing the assault on (24+ / 1-)

    Dems and further depressing the enthusiasm gap?

  •  Things Republicans Hate (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Laurence Lewis

    some of you have probably already seen this... but it's pretty humorous:

    www.thethingsrepublicanshate.com

  •  Elizabeth Warren (15+ / 0-)

    A no-brainer if he wants to motivate his base and show that the Repubs only care about big business.

    Keep your eyes on the prize.

    by Better Days on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:06:24 AM PDT

    •  I love this new frame... (10+ / 0-)

      Liz Warren is a no-brainer, so if she is appointed Obama gets no credit because it was just a no-brainer.  

      I guess folks are realizing it just might happen and need to spin out of giving any credit.  

      •  He would have gotten a lot of credit had (17+ / 0-)

        he nominated advisors who were not intimately involved with creation of the economic downturn in the first place. His not nominating EW for this long will only make her eventual hiring look like he was forced to do it. If she is muzzled like Romer, ironically no Progressive herself, it will lead to even more cynicism.

        This administration, ironically, needs some people who know something about Democratic politics.

        "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

        by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:32:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It could have been just as likely (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          expatjourno, TLS66, ETF, shenderson, moonpal

          If he were to nominate people who have little practical experience with the inner workings of how Wallstreet works, they could have been taken advantage of by people who already know the structure of the system.  

          This wouldn't have angered the same group of people, but it seems reasonable to at least entertain the possibility that as much negative could have been done through naivete as through insider tainting.  

          It's fair to make this argument, because it's a possibility, but also if supposition about things that didn't happen is our means of making sound decisions, then anything is fair game.

          "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

          by otto on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:40:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree. Look at the economists who got (4+ / 0-)

            it right! William K. Black was as likely to know the ins and outs of Wall Street as a Geithner and far less likely to want to bail them out. Roubini et al would have to know how things work or they would not have had such good predictions when such as Bernanke were still bullish on the economy.

            I just don't buy that argument.

            "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

            by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:05:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You don't have to buy it (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              expatjourno, ETF

              The conventional wisdom that you are sharing is based on an assumption that all other things would have remained equal.

              For instance, it relies on the idea that they would have made the correct policy suggestions, and that he policy suggestions would have been implemented.  Not only that, but it relies on the idea that congress would have taken up the those policy suggestions and enacted them in precisely the way they were intended.  

              It's supposition.

              However, the point you actually made wasn't that things would have worked out.  The point you  made was that people would have been happier.  

              The point I made in response was that one group of people may have been happier, but it may have angered a second group.  

              This is all just tea leaf reading.  

              I am forever willing to admit that my preferred political engagement could come with drawbacks.  I realize that we are supposed to be dead certain that our opinions are correct, but that doesn't work for me.  

              "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

              by otto on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:20:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  All we can do at this point is suppose! (3+ / 0-)

                The policy prescriptions of those who got it right were ignored from day one. Even when it became clear that they were right in their analyses, the Administration continued to double down on failed policy.

                When Roubini was suggesting allowing the banks to go into receivership and support the smaller banks which had not been a part of the failed system by underwriting them, it now seems common sense. At the time he was making these suggestions we were looking at a total meltdown, now we are talking about cutting social security in an effort to underwrite the bailouts of eight banks. Doubling down has not worked well, it may be time to change the paradigm.

                The point I made in response was that one group of people may have been happier, but it may have angered a second group.  

                In this situation you may anger Wall Street, but then wasn't it Wall Street that caused the problem in the first place? Justice requires that if one is going to anger someone, it should be the guilty party's, right?

                "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

                by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:29:25 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, not Wall Street (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  expatjourno

                  I'm talking about voters.  

                  Your concern was that voters on this side of the aisle would have been happier if someone else had been appointed.  My point was that it's like trying to put a water bed in a frame that's too small.  As soon as you poke in one end, another end will pop out.  

                  Still, the idea that we can base our political feelings on things that might have happened in a different scenario is a little bit far out for my line of thinking.  I can deal with what's here and now. I can't make assumptions about the an alternate scenario might have impacted the aggregate feelings of a massive block of voters (The US voting populace) who are both picky and uninformed at the same time.  

                  "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

                  by otto on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:34:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The electorate may be picky and uninformed (7+ / 0-)

                    but I suggest, and have been suggesting, that actions which clearly serve their interests are far more likely to achieve their votes. Allowing a populist vacuum to form has only worked to the interests of Republicans thus far. They would have nothing to run on had they been faced with an Administration that had at least tried to impose some strict regulation upon Wall Street...or the insurance companies who have made insurance so very unaffordable. Ineffective waffling enthuses no one save for those in opposition.

                    It may not work, but politics is perception. The perception that this Administration has routinely served the interests of the most hated companies in this country and gotten virtually nothing for it is why the mid-terms look the way they do.

                    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

                    by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:43:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Allowing a populist vaccuum to form (0+ / 0-)

                      Democrats are in the majority.

                      How likely were you to believe Republican appeals to populist rhetoric when they were in the majority? Never, right?

                      It seems hard to imagine running on a populist, anti-establishment sort of platform when in the majority.

                      "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

                      by otto on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 01:05:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I never listen to Republicans. (0+ / 0-)

                        The high value that Democratic leadership puts on listening to them is the reason that we have a populist vacuum that the TeaPartiers can take advantage of. Democrats were given majorities to effect change; more of the same just squanders the political capital that they had to change the establishment.

                        "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

                        by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 02:25:39 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  I have to rec both of you for such an... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sidnora, Orange County Liberal

                    ...interesting discussion. But nippersdad is right, of course.

                    ;-)

                    Barack Obama: Ignores his legal obligation to prosecute people who tortured prisoners to death. Good at photo ops, though.

                    by expatjourno on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:50:13 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  lol..You just discovered the Overton Window in (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TLS66, elmo, ETF, zapus, moonpal

        how not to give Obama any credit.

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

        by carlos the jackal on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:49:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No credit? Where's the new frame? (8+ / 0-)

        I have said that if and when Obama nominates Warren I will praise him on dKos here and elsewhere. Because he will deserve it.

        The fact is that most progressive critics of this administration are perfectly willing to praise Obama when he does the right thing.

        The fact that the Warren appointment is a political no-brainer doesn't make it any less praiseworthy.  And nothing Better Days says suggests he wouldn't praise it.

        Why do self-appointed defenders of this administration keep having to invent straw opponents of this administration who have an almost theological loathing of Obama?  Is it because they have little or no actual arguments against the actual, fact-based critics of the Obama administration who are actually to be found on dKos?

        "I trust that you will continue to let me and other Democrats know when you believe we are screwing up." - Barack Obama

        by GreenSooner on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:17:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for this: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MixedContent

          Why do self-appointed defenders of this administration keep having to invent straw opponents of this administration who have an almost theological loathing of Obama?

          I have no answer, of course. But speaking as someone who likes the president but doesn't think he's perfect, I've had the startling experience of being treated as though I were just the type of straw opponent you describe.

          I try my best to be a god citizen of the reality-based community, and for today that means believing Nate Silver, whether I like his numbers or not.

          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

          by sidnora on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 11:02:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Because... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MixedContent

          Why do self-appointed defenders of this administration keep having to invent straw opponents of this administration who have an almost theological loathing of Obama?

          ...they have an almost theological admiration of Obama.  It really does feel like that subsect of Obama supporters ultimately expect some form of worship of Obama from everyone, and criticism of Obama violates that tenent.

      •  No, I think we'll be hoping it's a sign... (3+ / 0-)

        ...of things to come. You know, like change we can believe in.

        If Obama appoints Warren, I'll give him full credit for doing the right thing. If he lets Warren just twist slowly in the breeze, like Dawn Johnsen, though...

        But that day, that problem. It would be a great appointment.

        Barack Obama: Ignores his legal obligation to prosecute people who tortured prisoners to death. Good at photo ops, though.

        by expatjourno on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:58:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My diary on Warren (4+ / 0-)

      I wrote a review of her book so that people could have a little more information about her, because I really think that a lot of the information people have about her is limited to heresay from blogs.  
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      The amazing thing was that in response to my diary, one person actually made this claim:

      But Warren is a supply-sider, a neoliberal, and takes a Germany-style economic view, that if you do everything right and add the right kinds of welfare and support, the free market can do the rest.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      I didn't even bother responding.  

      "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

      by otto on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:28:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Immigration reform whether it moves very much (5+ / 0-)

    or not would be a pretty good motivator.

    Solidarity Now. Join the Union...Washington D.C. 10-02-10. {Dems: Tax cuts for the middle class. Repubs: Tax cuts for millionaires.}

    by reddbierd on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:07:35 AM PDT

  •  Things at their worst now? OK. (0+ / 0-)

    What counts is the trend lines from now to 11/2. The campaign has just begun.

    "If you are going to tell people the truth, be funny or they will kill you." Billy Wilder 1906 - 2002

    by LeftOfYou on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:07:49 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Dante. (12+ / 0-)

    Bullseye.

    Education is too big to fail. Truth is too big to fail. Justice is too big to fail. Peace is too big to fail.

    by Burned on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:07:50 AM PDT

    •  I was thinking of some other kind of bull... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina

      excrement! That's it!

      Let us count the dKos generalist "common wisdom" comments:

      compromises -- You're right, we should NEVER compromise. Hi GW!

      hippie punching -- RAAAAAAHM!!!!

      the retention of Alan Simpson -- on a barely meaningful, perennial commission.

      the systematic throwing of progressives under most every wheel of the bus --
        centrist and moderate leaning Dems could say the very same thing; and it's unproveable, so let's say it!

  •  The President in Making the Right Choice (13+ / 0-)

    and I will still manage to do some hand wringing and whining. My lord, there is no good news/bad news here. Only bad news

  •  I can see why there is anger (22+ / 0-)

    But this

    We should be thankful. After all the compromises, the centrism, the hippie-punching, the retention of Alan Simpson, the mixed messaging on DADT, and the systematic throwing of progressives under most every wheel of the bus imaginable, at least on this we have a line in the sand: President Obama will not actively work to impose a continued tax cut for those making over $250,000 a year.

    Really does diminish the genuine accomplishments that have occurred over the last 2 years.  2 excellent supreme court nominees, a real drawdown in Iraq, Lily Ledbetter, and numerous others.

    I know what framing is, and I know what false framing is.  This paragraph falls more into the latter than the former.

    Sure, go ahead and criticize.  There is much to criticize.  But pretending nothing good has happened in the last two years is dishonest.

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

    by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:08:05 AM PDT

    •  He's not pretending nothing good has happened. (27+ / 0-)

      He's saying, truthfully, that the Democrats and this administration pissed away the only opportunity in a generation - or more - to do something great.  There is a difference.  And incrementalism is a lousy strategy that results in weak policy.

      "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

      by IndieGuy on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:11:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please (13+ / 0-)

        quote the passage where he says what you just did.  I didn't see it.  I only saw "Rock Bottom."  

        Me, I put rock Bottom somewhere around 2004--when Bush won his second term.

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

        by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:15:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sidnora, BMarshall, Tzimisce

          quote the passage where it says this article is about the last 230 years of American history.  Warren G. Harding may also have been rock bottom, but we're not talking about him either.

          This post is about the first two years of the Obama administration.

          "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

          by IndieGuy on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:17:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Glad you didn't bother to (0+ / 0-)

            to answer my question before moving on to the second half of my comment.  Its like--almost--a successful redirect.

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

            by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:21:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't be silly. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BMarshall, Tzimisce

              I answered the only question of substance.  You failed to point out the part where he says nothing good has happened - he simply pointed out some of the bad.  I'll see your hyperbole and raise you one snark point.

              "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

              by IndieGuy on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:24:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You fail to understand the problem with proving (3+ / 0-)

                a negative.

                You failed to point out the part where he says nothing good has happened

                Thus, my evidence is the whole diary.  You made a claim that Atkins said something about good and great.  I asked you to quote it.  You didn't.  Now, either back up your claims or admit they aren't there.

                You can also admit that you don't think Obama has done anything worthwhile in the last two years.  Any of those would work.  But you made a factual claim in your first comment, NOW BACK IT UP.  Until then, I'm done here.

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

                by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:28:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  and (0+ / 0-)

              you know all about those, don't you?

              Its like--almost--a successful redirect.

              An emptier vessel I could not fathom...

              If Health Insurance Reform can wait until 2015, then so can any changes to Social Security.

              by o the umanity on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:58:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I believe (0+ / 0-)

          Dante was referring to rock bottom for Democratic electoral prospects this fall. Nate's numbers (in the second link) make a pretty strong case for that.

          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

          by sidnora on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 11:07:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nates numbers say things are gonna suck (0+ / 0-)

            but they do not say this is as bad as it can be, or that we have hit bottom.  That is my point, and folks really need to start imagining what truly bad looks like, and recognizing that Obama ain't that.

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

            by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 12:08:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How much worse than losing the House? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              morris1030, o the umanity

              Well, yeah, we could lose the Senate too, if we try hard enough. How bad would you like it to be before we start trying to turn it around?

              And again, it's willful misinterpretation to contend that Dante meant that Obama is "rock bottom". He's obviously referring to the midterms.

              The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

              by sidnora on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 12:12:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We are not at rock bottom (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sidnora

                even for the midterms.  We could lose the senate, you said it yourself.

                The reason things are not worse is because of the good things Obama did, and the reason we are not in a better position is because of the bad things.

                I am all for trying to turn it around.  But you do not do that by ignoring the accomplishments of Obama, or ignoring his failures.

                And you most certainly do not achieve it by making hyperbolic statement that are factually wrong.

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

                by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 12:21:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Your pollyannaish view of the potential of the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blutodog, ETF, flhiii88

        US Senate is pretty impressively divorced from any facts.

    •  Really, these things havent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geomoo

      Been par for the course during the last two years?

    •  Voters don't see or care about all that (7+ / 0-)

      The disappointments have outweighed the accomplishments in their eyes, and that's largely because the former have been, well, disappointing. Not to discount the latter, but voters just aren't seeing them when the economy continues to be so weak.

      The problem isn't that Obama & Dems haven't accomplished enough (although they clearly haven't), but rather that they haven't TRIED hard enough--or so it looks--on the issues that voters care most about, especially the economy.

      "Look how many jobs we saved!" doesn't really cut it when voters feel, with some justification, that many more could have been saved by now, had Dems been bolder.

      "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

      by kovie on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:20:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citizen k, Curt Matlock

        So why is Atkins legitimizing that perspective, rather than presenting a more balanced account of the pluses and minuses.  Its not just that he doesn't mention them--the first paragraph denies they have occurred.

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

        by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:23:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because his diary wasn't aimed at swing voters (8+ / 0-)

          and thus didn't need to include all that. It was aimed at progressives trying to figure out how to salvage things at the 11th hour. Anyone who claims to be a progressive Dem (as opposed to a non-Dem actual far-lefty) who's been following politics for the past few years knows that there have been accomplishments, some fantastic. But they also know that there have been failures, some glaring, and they realize that they're the ones that voters are fixating on (along with non-failures that have been effectively sold as failures by the RWNM). And they realize--or should realize, IMO--that the best if not only way to get voters to see the accomplishments is by reversing the failures, even if, at this point, before the election, it'll mostly be rhetorical.

          I.e. stop bashing the left and progressivism and kissing up to the right and regressive policy, and start being (or at least sounding like) a fighting progressive, which is the ONLY way for Dems to win in the long run. Let the other side fight for the rich. We're the peoples' party, and the sooner we act like it, the sooner we stay in power.

          "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

          by kovie on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:31:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure how this (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TLS66, Curt Matlock

            but one thing is for sure: things simply couldn't have been any worse than they are right now.

            will help progressives in any way, shape, or form.  Its wrong, its completely wrong--and frankly shows a distinct lack of imagination.  Things would be worse if it weren't for the accomplishments that were made.

            This is the negativism that loses elections, and it is false.

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

            by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:35:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  from an ELECTORAL perspective (8+ / 0-)

              you know that's what I'm referring to, and any other interpretation is dishonest.

              oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

              Twitter: @DanteAtkins

              by Dante Atkins on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:37:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No (0+ / 0-)

                I really don't know what you are referring to.  I really don't.  Are you suggesting that where we are right now is the worst possible outcome?  That we couldn't possibly lose more seats than we are gonna lose now?

                I think that is factually wrong.  And I think that it brings an air of pessimism that is beyond the reality of the situation.

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

                by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:39:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  pretty much, yes (8+ / 0-)

                  when you're talking about the possibility for House losses that are unprecedented since FDR, then yes, that's exactly what I mean.

                  oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

                  Twitter: @DanteAtkins

                  by Dante Atkins on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:40:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Things are bad (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TLS66

                    But we could lose the senate too.  Or the republicans could get 62 seats.  That would be worse.  Far, far worse.  My point is that your hyperbole is both wrong and destructive.  

                    Part of the reason why these things won't happen is because of the good things Obama did.  

                    Yes, note the failures, but at least nod to the successes while doing it.  Otherwise, all you are doing is helping the Nader voters yet again hand things over to the republicans.

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

                    by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:44:54 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Nonsense. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      TJ, Willa Rogers

                      You seem determined to misinterpret the clear meaning of his words and your line about Nader voters is toxic.

                      They call him Machete...

                      by dclawyer06 on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:08:35 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Uh (0+ / 0-)

                        even Dante said my interpretation of his words were "pretty much" right.  You may not like what I wrote, but it is a genuine disagreement.

                        As for the Nader voters, they were toxic.  They gave us Bush.

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

                        by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:21:50 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You blame the upcoming losses on.. (5+ / 0-)

                          diaries like this which you find insufficiently cheerful.

                          This is the negativism that loses elections, and it is false.

                          That's nonsense, the reason the democrats are about to get hammered, beyond the reasons we all agree on, and which Dante described(economy, natural retrenchment after too wildly successful electoral cycles), are the pro-corporatist policies of the democrats.

                          These pro-corporatist policies, often passed under the guise of bipartisanship, have left many people disillusioned and angry.

                          That's why this election is going to be so painful.
                          It's not grumpy bloggers, it's bad policies.

                          They call him Machete...

                          by dclawyer06 on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:38:10 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Go ahead (0+ / 0-)

                            and make me full throated cheerleader.  Doesn't change what I wrote in my first comment at the top of the thread.

                            Sure, go ahead and criticize.  There is much to criticize.  But pretending nothing good has happened in the last two years is dishonest.

                            Ever considered the possibility that the election losses will be the result of both "These pro-corporatist policies, often passed under the guise of bipartisanship" and the unrealistic expectations about what could actually be accomplished by some on the left?

                            Anyone who thinks it can't get worse has no imagination.

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

                            by Empty Vessel on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:46:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The return of (0+ / 0-)

                            "some on the left"!

                            All I can say is, I know a lot of good Democrats who are pretty disappointed (though I hope I'll be able to get them to the polls anyway) that would be quite surprised to see themselves characterized as "some on the left".

                            My SIL is a pretty far walk from Cenk. But you don't know her.

                            The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                            by sidnora on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 11:16:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Bravo!! (0+ / 0-)

                            Try unemployment that's really in the high double digits for a starter. Telling people you saved some public sector jobs just pisses off the public of whom most are watching their private sector jobs vanish overseas or through lay offs. Then all the rest of it. The Corporatist policies sold to the public as reform has fooled no one but the people who want to be fooled by them. Add it all up and it doesn't come out being CHANGE or HOPE by anyones definition.

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

                            by Blutodog on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 03:02:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Thy were toxic, yes, but (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          TJ, dclawyer06

                          they did not give us Bush. That's a gross oversimplification. I could as easily say "Sandra Day O'Connor gave us Bush" and it would be just as valid.

                          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                          by sidnora on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 11:13:39 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Obama = FDR? (0+ / 0-)

                    but I thought Obama = Bush

                •  In theory, of course things could be worse (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  opinionated, Willa Rogers

                  We could, I suppose, have been on the brink of having neo-Nazis take over after a Weimar-like meltdown due to complete Dem idiocy and cowardice. We didn't get that, thankfully. But realistically, I don't see how much worse Dems could have handled the politics of the moment in terms of the realistic spectrum of policy choices and political strategy. They were obviously going to pass SOME sort of stimulus bill and financial bailout/regulation, as would have McCain & Repubs had they won on '08. And, in fact, they ended up passing versions of these that the latter would likely have passed as well, meaning weak, insufficient and excessively pro-corporate. Which is why they're in so much electoral peril, as voters figure that they'd rather vote for a real Repub than a Repub Lite. Triangulation has failed, yet again, on a policy and politics level.

                  Splitting the difference to appease the right DOES NOT WORK.

                  "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

                  by kovie on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:00:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I could have been a lot worse. (8+ / 0-)

    Dems could have dug their heels in on the stimulus and got nothing.  They could have dug their heels in during the HCR debate and got nothing.  And while they were digging their heels in then, all the other off-the-radar progressive bills that they passes would have been pushed aside as floor time was swallowed up by the big debate of the day.  

    When you need 60 votes, it means Ben Nelson is King.  It means Lieberscum is King...

    To get as much done IN SPITE of the blanket obstructionism of the GOP and having to work with the Corporatist scumbag Dems should be the story.

    •  No, you were as bad as it gets (joke) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jonze

      I think you mean It.

    •  When you need 60 votes, and you HAVE (9+ / 0-)

      60 votes, and that's still not enough, it means your leadership sucks.

      When you're in a position to change the rules so that the minority can't block majority legislation by a totally make-believe filibuster, and you fail to do so - refuse to do so - it means you're weak.

      "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

      by IndieGuy on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:20:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you think Nelson gives a damn about Obama? (10+ / 0-)

        He lives in ruby red Nebraska.  Lieberscum actively campaigned for McCain/Palin, he was going to be SOS.  He's still holding a grudge against progressives for having the audacity to primary him. You can be sure he still has a grudge against Obama for having the nerve to defeat McCain.  

        •  That's kinda my point, actually. (9+ / 0-)

          Knowing all that, the leadership let Lieberman keep his Chairmanship, and they kept the 60-vote "majority" rule in place.  And when pressed to fix the filibuster rule, their only response is to change the subject.  Weak.

          "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

          by IndieGuy on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:35:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obama can't change the filibuster. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            flhiii88

            Centrists love the filibuster, on both sides, because it gives them all the power.  

            Dems would need 50 votes from new Senate, assuming their down to 53 seats, I think it's pretty obvious that Nelson, Lieberman, Pryor, Conrad, Baucus, Webb, Warner, McCaskill  would all not vote for it and you can be damn sure no minority party senator would either.

            If you kicked out Lieberman, you would have never had his vote for anything.  Meaning that HCR bill would have needed Snowe.  The stimulus that needed two Republicans would have needed three etc.  

            •  I never said Obama could change the filibuster. (3+ / 0-)

              I am saying the Dem leadership in the Senate can change it, but that they're too weak to do so.

              Here's a hypothetical for you:  Let's pretend the Republicans end up with 51 votes in the Senate this November.  What are the odds they'll stick with the 60-vote limit the Dems think is just dandy?

              To your point about 50 vs. 60 votes:  Which threshold is easier to meet?  Are you saying that since there are difficulties in meeting 50, we should stay at 60?

              Here's another hypothetical for you:  Let's pretend the Dems changed the rules to something more reasonable.  Let's also pretend they went very aggressively for a Progressive agenda.  In spite of the 35% or so of Americans who are congenitally stupid (i.e., Fox News viewers), the vast majority of the public supports Progressive ideals.  If those ideals are explained properly, and from the right people.  That's where the President's strongest weapon, the Bully Pulpit, comes into play.

              If that second hypothetical had been put into play early in 2009, I'd suggest we wouldn't be having this argument now.

              "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

              by IndieGuy on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:58:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If the vast majority supported progressive ideals (0+ / 0-)

                then the politics wouldn't be where it is today.  And if you believe it's just the messaging that is what dooms the progressive agenda, why not work on that messaging rather than attacking? Why is the GOP's messaging so much better?  Because they have safe harbor at Fox and the 11th commandment.  They have talk radio constantly harping on how good Republican ideas are and how bad Dem ideas are.

                One doesn't need hypotheticals - GOP had 51 seats with Bush and the Dems did essentially filibuster.  That was why the Gang of 14 formed.  Dems also gave 60 votes, and Reid and leadership didn't force 60 votes a lot of the time because they knew they'd get it with nine Dems voting that way, so why force the 60 votes and show disunity and maybe gin up a primary challenge from the left.

                •  That's not true (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  opinionated, wsexson

                  People believe in progressive ideals, as long as they're not described as such.

                  Surveys have shown, for instance, that all of the various things the stimulus money has been spent on are things that are supported by a majority of Americans, and they support spending money on them too.

                  But say the word "stimulus" or "Democrat" or the words "government spending" or, God help you, the words "liberal" or "progressive" or "Democratic base" and people react against you.  Why?  Propaganda.

                  It is unbelievably naive to say that who gets elected has a direct and uncomplicated relationship to what policies the people like.

                  Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:40:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You can only change the filibuster rule (0+ / 0-)

                at the beginning of a session, remember?

            •  And by the way.... (0+ / 0-)

              I like your "10.2.10" sig line.  We'll be there.

              "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

              by IndieGuy on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:00:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  We had three. (0+ / 0-)

              And I'll take Specter over Joe-mentum any day.

              Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:37:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  "they kept the 60-vote "majority" rule in place." (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moonpal, flhiii88

            WRONG again. To change the filibuster rule in the midst of a Senatorial term, u need 2/3 or 67 votes. Try getting Leiberman and Nelson on board for that or any conservadem Senator for that matter. U would STILL need 7 or 8 GOP senators..LOL

          •  You answered this better than I did (0+ / 0-)

            and with less exclamation points

            Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:36:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yet you ask for blind allegiance (6+ / 0-)

          and no criticism from people here at dkos who consider themselves progressive democrats and yet Ben Nelson and the Blanche Lincolns of the party well, they don't have to have that same allegiance to the party.

          Why isn't Obama and the Democratic Leadership forcing those minority members to ally with the majority in their party for once... or at least strip them of their chairmanships or something, some stripping of power or punishment....oh no  can't have that, instead we get him campaigning for Blanche Lincoln and giving them what they want.

          "Children are our most valuable natural resource." -- Herbert Hoover

          by emal on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:57:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They do not have the same allegiance (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emal

            Wasn't it Leona Helmsley who said "Taxes are for the little people?"

            Well, party loyalty is for the little people too.
            Nobody's going to Joementum or Blanche Lincoln or Ben Nelson and telling them to get in line and show some loyalty to the Democratic party.

            Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:41:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Then why didn't we take that goddamned asshole's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          opinionated

          gavel away!!!

          Obama saved his ass when Democrats in Congress wanted him stripped of his committee chair.  When Obama did that, a lot of progressives were outraged.  I thought O. did that as a strategic move in order that when he needed Lieberman for something, Lieberman would be there.  

          Well, what has Obama gotten from Lieberman?  a 60-vote majority for a while?  But what good was that when you can't get anything you want passed?

          Unless you get really cynical and assume that what Obama got back from Lieberman was making sure the public option was impossible.

          Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:36:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  We "have" the votes of Lieberman and Nelson? (3+ / 0-)

        Amazing.
        It's all so simple when you don't worry about how things really work.

        •  Then all that silly angst over Scott Brown was,,, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          o the umanity, nippersdad

          ...what?  Show-boating?  The Dems went into a total panic over that election, as though the world were coming to an end.  "Oh, my GOD!" they moaned.  "Now we've got to give everything to the Republicans!  We're doooommmmeeedddd!"

          It's all so simple when you pretend to understand how things work.

          "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

          by IndieGuy on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:33:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It made a hard task harder (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TLS66, flhiii88

            There's no difficulty in understanding unless you don't want to.

            But the 60 votes depended, even before Brown, on people like Bayh, Lieberman, Nelson, Landrieu.

            It's the reality no matter how much media influenced fantasy you want to have.

            •  And who, pray tell, is responsible (10+ / 0-)

              for encouraging Republicans Blue Dogs like Landrieu and Bayh into the fold such that they can hold everyone else hostage? DLC politics has become a self fulfilling prophecy. The "we can't govern because of obstructionists we ourselves brought into the Party" line doesn't work well when people are paying attention.

              "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

              by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:48:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  the people of LA and AR (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                flhiii88

                don't seem to be in a hurry to elect progressives. Take it up with them, not me.

                •  And take it up with Harry Reid about why (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  o the umanity, nippersdad

                  he won't even consider changing the filibuster rule.

                  Then let the people of LA and AR vote for whatever Neanderthal they want.

                  "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

                  by IndieGuy on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:06:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  That sounds like an admission. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  o the umanity

                  If what you want are the regressive electorates of LA and AR to determine the policy of the Democratic Party, why bother with the left at all? Why even try to gain their votes much less browbeat them out of them?

                  Let AR and LA vote for who they choose, but if their selections cannot be bothered to support the Party platform then it seems counterproductive to allow them to call themselves Democrats.

                  "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

                  by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:18:15 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Right. (3+ / 0-)

                You know, the really interesting thing is that the Progressive Caucus has more people in it than the Blue Dogs, and yet the Blue Dogs have far more power.  Why?  Because the Progressive Caucus is a bunch of good soldiers, and the Blue Dogs are more than willing to kill any bill the leadership sends down, with no party loyalty whatsoever.  Therefore they get taken seriously.

                If, for instance, Bernie Sanders, John Kerry, Al Franken, Russ Feingold, etc., did the same thing that Nelson, Landrieu, Bayh and Lieberman do, they would get some respect.  

                And, citizenK, you speak of the people of AR and LA.  I don't see why the people of VT, MA and MN are any less important.  Isn't that what the Senate is for, to make sure each state has a say?

                Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:46:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You're not paying attention. (4+ / 0-)

              Either that, or you're trying to pretend like the Dems were helpless victims in all this.

              My point begins with what you seem to be arguing:  The likes of Nelson, Lincoln, Lieberman, et. al., are the reason the 60-vote "majority" concept is unworkable.  The difference, though, is that you seem to be saying the Dems were correct to just surrender.  "Don't have 60 votes?  Well, that's it then.  We're done here."  I'm saying surrender is a stupid idea, and anybody advocating surrender is, well....

              The Dem leadership has had it in their power to change the rules.  They have failed to do so.  That is not some "media influenced fantasy."  That is reality.

              "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

              by IndieGuy on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:48:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You begin with an error by pretending "dems" are (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                virginislandsguy, mallyroyal

                a single entity, rather than being a fractious coalition. If you stop thinking of them as an unpleasant store manager who won't put what you want on sale, and think of them as a coalition of people who disagree on some fundamental issues, you might begin to understand.

                One of the fundamental methodological errors of the unhappy "progressives" is failing to understand that the majority of voters are not on board. You have to organize and market your ideas, not just stamp your feet in displeasure.

              •  Heh (0+ / 0-)

                he's pretending, all right...

                 You're not paying attention. Either that, or you're trying to pretend

                If Health Insurance Reform can wait until 2015, then so can any changes to Social Security.

                by o the umanity on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:09:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Or complicit. Or trapped. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nippersdad, Lady Libertine, IndieGuy

        One of the three.

        Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:45:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Geez (0+ / 0-)

        Can we pls stop with the 60 vote nonsense? Apart from Leiberman and Nelson, you are forgetting Lincoln, Landrieu and Bayh.

        Kennedy and Byrd were practically AWOL due to illness, Teddy passed in Aug 2009, now factor in that Al Franken was sworn in on July 2009. Can you please tell me when for any significant lenght of time we had 60 votes in the Senate?

        •  Many Democrats are not really Democrats (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nippersdad

          They will make sure that the Democratic party doesn't get it's platform passed.

          That's the simple truth, if you look at it without blinders of blanket party loyalty on.

          Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:48:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  When did we have 60 (0+ / 0-)

        Democrats in the Senate?!

    •  Since when are those who are seen to be fighting (0+ / 0-)

      for what we need seen as losers? We haven't seen it in such a long time that you may be forgiven for not knowing how that works, but it only tends to make the bright lines brighter and increase support for the Party that engages in it.

      When you need 60 votes, it means Ben Nelson is King.  It means Lieberscum is King...
      To get as much done IN SPITE of the blanket obstructionism of the GOP and having to work with the Corporatist scumbag Dems should be the story.

      It would ultimately have the effect of delegitimizing such as the GOP and Lieberman or Ben Nelson that sucking up to them clearly does not.

      "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

      by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:44:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hillary fought hard for HCR 16 years ago... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joedemocrat, flhiii88

        Imagine what improvements Obama could have made now with his mandate if Hillary had compromised back then.  

        •  I remember that debate well. (0+ / 0-)

          The problem that HC had was that she completely took Congress out of the loop and, thereby, gave them political capital to run against her plan. Her biggest problem was that she underestimated the blowback of not allowing the good old boy club into the secret circle of her task force. Obama, on the other hand, appears to have made the opposite mistake of allowing an almost entirely coopted Congress to call all of the shots...or at least to give that impression.

          Hillary Clinton was not a popular figure then, she was not an elected politician and she took the issue into the halls of academe and tried to make it an up or down vote. Her efforts, therefore, were doomed from the start. She had a totally tin ear.

          You could just as easily say that Obama would have had a leg up had Kennedy not stalled Nixon's health care initiatives. You can only work with what you have, and Obama did not do that and will suffer electorally for not having been seen as pushing that which he ran on.

          "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

          by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:14:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  _Stanches_ the bleeding. (9+ / 0-)

    Other than that, you hit the nail on the head.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:09:42 AM PDT

  •  Time to Call the DLC What It Really Is (20+ / 0-)

    All Democrats should finally acknowledge that DLC really means Democratic Losers Council.  We've been down this road twice now.  Only an insane person could argue that trying to play nice with the folks inhabiting Crazytown have gotten the nation or even the Democratic Party any closer to success.  Any and all politicians associated with the DLC need to be thrown overboard unless they actively confess seeing the error of their ways.  Their insights and policies are counter-productive for 99% of the nation's population.  If they want to acknowledge that they are concerned only with the interest of the uber-rich, plutocrats, and kleptocrats who occupy that 1% niche so the voters can decide if they really want them, fine.  Otherwise, they're bred-to-the-bone liars like Republicans and need to be expunged.

    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

    by PrahaPartizan on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:10:24 AM PDT

    •  The Democratic party has been operating (7+ / 0-)

      for 20 years under the assumption that being "liberal" equals electoral failure.

      Unfortunately, with a MSM partly conservative and partly cowed, people like Norquist and Rove can make "liberal" mean anything they want.  From my work on the Hill last year, seems energy efficiency is now too liberal for "centrist" Democrats to push it.

      Especially since anything that costs the government money can be called "liberal" (apparently nobody notices that right-wing Republicans just ran up a trillion-dollar deficit).

      As long as the Democrats run scared from that label, the power will be in the hands of the Republicans--unless of course we manage to buy the MSM back or make it irrelevant.

      Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:50:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When you're convinced that all votes... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PrahaPartizan, wsexson

      ... or opinion are "activated" or "moved" by effective media buys, then you get the DLC. The rise of the DLC happened to coincide with the blossoming of full time political consultants.

      Recall that the DLC was disproportionately a regional reaction to the Reagan Revolution: it was mostly Southern Moderate Democrats that began the organization, and they couldn't depend on the existing mostly urban machines or the mostly Northern and Midwestern Labor base. They had to create their own "support system," and it was simply short-sighted convenience that drove them to media consultants who asserted they could "move" targeted voters with almost exclusively clever media buys. Such a strategy depends heavily on bringing in truckloads of cash, and thus the very Corporate overtones of the DLC. It is no wonder that they are comfortable with siding with Corporate interests: they've been "contracting" voters independent of traditional Democratic base organizations on a short term basis from their inception.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Egalitare on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:53:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is sad, my level of distrust for this. (12+ / 0-)

    Because of all that has gone on before, I can't help wondering whether this is a sop, a crumb, an attempt to say, "See, we aren't just lackies of the corporations."  I mean, here it is coming on election time, the time of year when politicians are forced to convince enough people that their way of courting corporate millions is better than the other party's way.  This  is the time when the remnant of the democratic process rears its head and one person gets one vote, no matter how much money he controls.

    We can only hope that the lesson of Howard Dean will be remembered.  I fear I am far more cynical than that, a fact that gives me neither pride nor pleasure.

    Don't believe everything you think.

    by geomoo on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:10:30 AM PDT

  •  like the terms, the enthusiasm gap is fictive (5+ / 0-)

    If the goal was indeed to convince the conservative-leaning voters in swing districts that the Democrats were not in fact socialist Muslim Marxist fascist Stalinist homosexual terrorist sympathizers, it didn't work.

    GOTV is the bottom line...

    "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni)

    by annieli on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:10:52 AM PDT

  •  Bob Scheiffer wouldn't say "rich" (9+ / 0-)
    I think the word "rich" has been banned by corporate media when discussing tax policy.  Thsi country is a fucking joke.  We need a god damn left wing party!
  •  How telling and sad that a law which will expire (21+ / 0-)

    is considered a victory for progressives.

    The Power of The Obama Photobomb Compels YOU! Resistance Is Futile.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:12:18 AM PDT

    •  Your sig. is hilarious. (0+ / 0-)

      Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:51:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Telling and sad... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat

      ...that electoral boycott and splitting, and other treasonous anti-democratic "strategies" to suppress likely Democratic voter turnout over the past 30 years, allowed the right to seize and hold the power, just barely, such that Bush was able to ram through such a "law" (albeit somewhat constrained, at least, by a Democratic imposed time frame for reconsideration).

      How telling and sad that some people just don't seem to get it, that we are now on the brink of completely turning the tables, but all they can see is the past, with no clue about the present, or the future.

      What's really futile is trying to argue with EITHER right or left wing ideologues, BOTH of whom seem beyond reason, totally ensconced in their own narrow, subjective, opportunist "analysis", pulled out of their ass, every time their knee jerks, which is constantly.

      "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

      by Radical def on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 11:24:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How do you think we are near turning the tables? (0+ / 0-)

        The polls are terrible - they show we could lose one or both chambers..people can debate why.

        I am sincerely interested in your thoughts here..

        I do think the public has had it with trickle down economics. Also, I believe the Democratic Party is getting better. The party became socially liberal  and economic center after the 1984 election and that gave us NAFTA, deregulation, welfare reform the stuff Clinton did that I opposed. But the DLC seems to have lost power even though it is slow..

        But something dramatic has to happen to bring down the CHamber of Commerce and corporate crowd.

        I also think the future of the Democratic Party is in economic populism - fair trade, green jobs, and health care and related things...

        So if you say we are near turning the tables, you could be right if one takes a long term view past this one election.

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

        by joedemocrat on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 01:53:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Clearly, it'll take more than one election cycle (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joedemocrat

          Indeed, it may take generations, to really get over the past 30 years' legacy.

          Many right wing operatives are deeply embedded, throughout the entire government apparatus, and it will take time to weed them out by attrition, or as we catch them in blatant defiance of regulations and law, trying to sabotage the system any way they can.

          But I think a lot can be accomplished, meanwhile.

          I think it's a serious error to put too much credence in monopoly corporate fascist commercial mass media memes and "polls".

          Remember, they predicted that Obama didn't have a chance in '08, lol.

          In fact, DESPITE some 40 years of full-on 24/7 propaganda blitz on every channel, ratcheted up to hysterical proportions for the elections, the masses stepped up and elected Obama and larger Democratic Majorities.

          MSM is pervasive, and does have substantial influence on too many people for comfort, heh, but the bottom line is that they FAILED to prevent us from seizing the power in '08.

          When I say we're "on the brink of turning the tables" I'm referring to the upcoming interim elections, and 2012.

          The balance of power is hanging by a thread in Congress right now, with a mad scramble for just a few votes, on any given matter of substance.

          Just a few more progressives, and a few less Blue Dogs and Republicans will turn the tables in this regard, such that it will be the right who is forced to scramble for votes, running up against a monolithic progressive/moderate coalition wall, and then the right will be the ones bashing their brains out, looking like such inept fools, heh.

          I would not be at all surprised if we see an unprecedented, historic interim election turnout, contrary to all "conventional wisdom" and pundit predictions, for the explicit purpose of resolutely purging and suppressing the right from all levers of power, to the greatest extent possible...to punish the pigs for everything they have done to this country, and to the whole world.

          This may be wishful thinking, on my part, heh...but I'd rather think in those terms, and work hard for that, rather than shuffle around all dejected and demoralized by the gloom and doom being projected so relentlessly by the media, and even here on dkos.

          It seems to me, from everyone I know and meet, that most people in this country do know what time it is, and that the Republicans are dead meat, politically...

          DESPITE some fairly substantial numbers of idiotic fools who do remain enthralled by their jive.

          And reports I've been seeing here on dkos, from the precinct workers going door to door, seems to confirm this analysis.

          The more hysterical and draconian the rhetoric on the right gets, the more emboldened I become, recognizing that they themselves realize they are totally losing their grip on the hearts and minds of America, and that is why they are now screaming bloody murder, calling for political assassination, mass murder and civil war.

          This polarization is a good thing.

          It means we are winning, big time, and we should start acting like it, instead of wringing our hands, and sniveling in angst over how stubborn and mean the pigs are acting, and how difficult it is to get anything accomplished, as long as they retain the slightest vestige of power.

          Seize the Time!

          Seize the Power!

          All Out for 2010 and 2012!

          Bring the Better Democrats!

          Death to Fascism!

          Photobucket

          "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

          by Radical def on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 06:04:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great, let's throw center-right corporatist (5+ / 0-)
    neoliberal appeasers under the bus now.

    Actually, that's a WONDERFUL idea! Let the GOP have them.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:13:35 AM PDT

  •  Obama's upcoming SS cuts will be rock bottom. (17+ / 0-)
    This is just soft muddy bottom.  Obama is drilling for bedrock and his planned cuts to Social Security to pay for the Reagan/Bush tax cuts will be rock bottom.

    Reagan and Bush at least claimed they'd pay Social Security back. Obama simply cuts Social Security. THAT is rock bottom, at least for a Democratic, liberal, progressive reform pro-American president.

    As far as Obama's incomprehensible position on the Bush tax cuts ("President Obama will not actively work to impose a continued tax cut for those making over $250,000 a year."...what does that mean?).

    Politically stupid, fiscally stupid, the Obama trade mark.

    Politically stupid because Obama should be on a bully pulpit rant that GOP can't keep its promises. GOP promised to end tax cut but SEE, they can't do it. And they can't do it because their infinite tax cut policy failed to produce growth to pay for it and increased the debt by $3T.  He should put it on GOP to DO WHAT THEY CLAIMED. If the tax cuts worked, then kill them as promised. If they tax cuts didn't work, then kill them for not working.  Obama misses the boat and goes for the muddy equivocation and gains nothing politically.

    Fiscally stupid as US has lowest tax rates of advanced nations, lowest US tax rates in 50 years and an unsustainable deficit and debt of 100% of GDP from those failed GOP tax cuts and deregulation policies.

    A teachable moment for honest leadership to fix US problems.  Obama fails on all three counts.

    •  Where is the report? I must have missed it. (11+ / 0-)

      Or did you get a double secret leak of the final report?

    •  Same problem (5+ / 0-)

      ("President Obama will not actively work to impose a continued tax cut for those making over $250,000 a year."...what does that mean?).

      I had the same problem.  After reading it several times, I am still not sure exactly what it means.  

    •  Boy... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alkatt, virginislandsguy, Radical def
      If Obama doesn't cut SS you're going to look like a real reactionary moron, huh?

      Now you can go back to secretly praying Obama DOES cut SS so as to support your narrative....

      "We don't differentiate between them and us. It's just us." --- President Obama September 10th 2010

      by Darnell From LA on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:50:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think the word reactionary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Willa Rogers

        means what you think it means. If Obama does cut SS, that would make HIM a reactionary. The word means a return to regressive social policies, not reacting to them.

        "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

        by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:54:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Uh... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          virginislandsguy

          I'm not sure what you're even trying to say.

          If you and the previous commenter want to lather yourselves up over things Obama hasn't even done yet, be my guest.

          It's like saying "just wait until Obama strangles a hobo! Then you'll see!"

          "We don't differentiate between them and us. It's just us." --- President Obama September 10th 2010

          by Darnell From LA on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:19:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hmmmm (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not sure what you're even trying to say.

            Maybe you would have better luck if you looked the word up. Reacting to a policy is not the same as being a reactionary.

            "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

            by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:22:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Good post ShirleyG..I have tried to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, ShirleyG

      be the good Democrat but I feel betrayed.

      Betrayed by a party that compromises way too much on some very important issues (which is an understatement to say the least).

      Ending pollution and the extinction of species.
      Climate change.
      Health care.
      Jobs.

      What did I get after 10 years of working my ass off for Democrats? They trash Howard Dean and give Alan Simpson a pass are my examples of what is wrong with the Democratic party.

      The banks still own us, and health care costs still rise.

      If I saw a fighter, and a team attacking the sick GOP bastards I would be in, all in.

      What do I see, confusion, triangulation. What have progressives received in two years?

      We have the right to ask for something, and no Elizabeth Warren is not enough.

      President Obama won't even make recess apppointments for goodness sakes. Oh the few, to "warn" the rethugs if they don't stop obstructing he will make more. Weak stuff.

      I enjoyed your post, I think it is accurate.

      I don't believe anyone in D.C. will solve this country's problems. It will take a struggle, equivalent to the 1960,s civil rights movement.

      Dogs, water hoses, civil disobedieance. Washington D.C. ain't getting it done and I am tired of waiting for them to see the light.

      The tea party will probably set it off, and we will win but it will take some tough times to make the rich and powerful nervous.

      I am sick of it all.

      Thanks for the good post.

      It is our money they want. Let's stop giving it to them.

      by Mean Mr Mustard on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:45:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  unanticipated? (13+ / 0-)

    What was unanticipated--at least by some--was the conspiracy-minded zealous insanity of the conservative base, as well as the utter unwillingness of Republican politicians to compromise in any way for the good of the country.

    I have to seriously wonder about anybody who didn't anticipate both of these developments.  

    What I didn't anticipate was the extent to which Democrats were incapable of functioning as a majority party, even with massive advantages in both chambers of Congress and the Presidency.

    "Pathetic" doesn't begin to cover it.  

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.

    by RickD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:14:40 AM PDT

    •  I admit I did not expect the failure of netroots (6+ / 0-)

      to even try to escape MSM agenda setting or to push the discussion on to issues of substance rather than the made-for-TV crap that we get from cable.

    •  I hate to say it, but I didn't see (0+ / 0-)

      the absolute complete obstructionism of the Republicans in Congress coming.  I thought at least some of them gave a damn about the country, and were just scared of the Bush-Cheney-Rove faction.

      Well, I guess 3 of them cared about the country.  And you saw what happened to one of those.  He's now out of politics.

      Don't know why the Repubs haven't managed to get rid of the Maine ladies yet. Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy with either of them, but they at least had enough concern for the country to vote for the stimulus.

      Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:59:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This diary is from the 7th. (6+ / 0-)

    What is the point of using it to punch Obama in the face today?  If this is how you plan to GOTV, your strategy is lacking.  

    •  From Laurence Lewis on the FP today (8+ / 0-)

      In the past months, an absurd theme has crept into the political dialogue. To some observers, frustration has come to be confused with despair. To some, the acknowledgment of disappointment has come to be interpreted as necessarily undermining motivation. But to those that care about the issues, frustration and disappointment with the politics never should lead to despair or an undermining of motivation.

      Your comment

      What is the point of using it to punch Obama in the face today?  If this is how you plan to GOTV, your strategy is lacking.

      is exactly what that's about.

      Making legitimate complaints about Obama isn't "punching him in the face".

      Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:31:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excuse me. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        carlos the jackal, Radical def, zapus

        This is actually something good that Obama did.  A campaign promise kept.  Instead it is used to diminish him.  That's fine.  I don't really give a shit anymore.  I just don't think it's a great way to GOTV.  I'm going to vote.  I'm going to phonebank.  I'm going to give money when I can.  I really don't give a shit if reallycoolchik124 at DK hates Obama or not.  I'm done.

  •  Yeah (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nippersdad, DavidHeart

    Would really have been nice right about now if last year Obama had not stood between the bankers and the pitchforks, but had let a few be tarred and feathered.

    •  Yes It Would Have Been Wonderful To Have A (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jmrichardson, moonpal

      collapsed economy by not helping banks so that they would go down the tubes.  How many more people would have lost their homes and lost their jobs.  Jobs were saved and homes were saved, and businesses were saved.  I am convinced the bailout was the right thing to do.  Anyone who doesn't think so should go back in time to the banks going down the tubes.  The problem is not that the bailout did not work, but that the big banks did not pay the american people back by giving small businesses loans, and helping with mortgages.  That is why President Obama should make it clear that big banks who get into the mess again are on their own.  

      •  TARP is not at issue (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TJ, BMarshall, poligirl, nippersdad

        the stimulus isn't even at issue, except for the fact that we needed more of it.

        oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

        Twitter: @DanteAtkins

        by Dante Atkins on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:40:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Setting aside if the economy was truly at risk (0+ / 0-)

        if Obama had simply let the FDIC do its job and some TBTF fail, I wasn't talking about that.  The bankster bonuses was my point.

      •  It is unproven that allowing the (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TJ, opinionated, wsexson, Willa Rogers

        law to take its' course and put the big eight banks into receivership would have had the effect of causing the economy to tank. Over a hundred fifty banks have been taken into receivership over the past two years and the only ones that could have saved us are those that are "too big to fail'?

        Give those same two or three trillion dollars to Main Street banks in good condition and I think the scenario would have been quite a bit different, both economically and electorally.

        "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

        by nippersdad on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:59:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You want to know the left was unable (8+ / 0-)

    to get as much as it wanted? Read this post from December 2009. So many people waste time and energy expressing feelings of anger, betrayal, and disappointment that they never focus on the real problem that progressives have: messaging.

    Maybe you might have gotten more out of healthcare reform had perhaps the pro-reform side not ceded the airways to the right-wing groups who ran ads as early as January and February of 2009 warning against "government-run healthcare". Maybe other bills would have turned out better had there been some message--any message--out there.

    When healthcare reform was the major issue the right-wing groups were running ads scaring key Democrats. Where were the pro-reform ads showing cases of working-class people who couldn't get coverage or lost their coverage? Where were the ads about insurance company abuses? They weren't there.

    The other problem is that, as much as some of you don't realize, America doesn't embrace progressive positions to the extent that you think. That doesn't mean they don't support progressive positions, but that there has to be some sort of persuasion effort to change the culture.

    The right wing knew that back in the 1970s when future Justice Powell authored his famous Powell memo. That's why they aggressively undertook efforts to persuade Americans on their issues.

    The bottom line is that until progressives learn how to get out their ideas, lobby effectively, and shape the message, they are likely to be disappointed and "betrayed" over and over again on whatever issue is important at the moment.

  •  for DECADES, polls have shown the public (6+ / 0-)

    willing to accept taxes on THEMSELVES and (of course) the rich to pay for things the country needs. But there are two cross-cutting, critically important issues that go with this. First is that the Democratic establishment BUYS INTO the neoliberal mantra about taxes--false though it has been proven to be. That's because Dems ARE PART OF the establishment; voters do not have a well-heeled, credible progressive alternative to them. They flout the will of the electorate and backers ROUTINELY on taxes.

    The second is that while voters back taxes in theory, they often vote them down. It's easy to exploit their selfishness with campaigns in single-issue campaigns that appeal to same. So--lamentable as the Dems may be w. regard to taxes--a Dem position FOR taxes often proves political trouble. At this (macro) level, in these conditions, however, this one's a no-brainer.

    What we really need is a long, patient campaign to demonstrate to voters that taxes are the bedrock of DEMOCRACY in the kind of system we have; and how unequal they are. I'd start with placards on subways and buses, myself.    

    Let's let the pols do the selling out, you and I keep fighting for what's right.

    by Matthew Detroit on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:19:32 AM PDT

  •  Exercise caution with interesting new narratives! (3+ / 0-)

    This is an interesting new narrative.  I hadn't seen it tried out, yet.  

    It's an interesting way to frame the message.  He is only going to act this way because he is being forced to act this way as a result of the negative circumstances.

    That paints a picture of someone who is either dishonest or not progressive.  

    I don't think that was the author's intent here, but it sort of has to be part of the equation if the idea is that he's only doing this because he has to.  

    I assume that the furtherance of this idea would be to say that the circumstances are as a result of his own lack of pushing progressive policies, but I wouldn't attribute that to the writer, because I'm just riffing on that.  

    "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

    by otto on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:21:53 AM PDT

    •  lol...Yeah, Thanks a Lot...but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat

      While it's somewhat of a relief, to see a slight degree of backing off from the passive aggressive absolutist idealist cynical defeatism and demoralization so often promulgated here, the seemingly reluctant tone of this and the previous front page Diary seem...contradictory.

      It's almost like kos finally put out the word, to lighten up a tad bit, but they are having a very difficult time managing it, heh.  Kind of like indiemcopants diary the other day, asserting that despite supposed absolute betrayal, we should still vote anyway, just to thwart Republican gerrymandering.

      So, now, rather than insinuating that things are so absolutely fucked that nobody is going to vote, the line has become more like, "everything is absolutely fucked, but we should vote anyway".

      OK, I have to admit that's better....but it's kind of like the canard about "no difference" between Democrats and Republicans...yeah, there's a difference, but that "difference" is just not substantial enough.

      Why not just give up the relentless drumbeat of despair for a change, and project a little hope?

      The only thing that's absolutely fucked is Republican and Blue Dog rhetoric, and the extent to which so many "progressives" are buying into the monopoly corporate fascist commercial mass media meme, projected 24/7 on all channels, that a supposed "enthusiasm gap" spells absolute doom for Democrats.

      We don't really "need" a desperate appeal for people to "vote anyway", so much as we need to really snap to what's happening in this country,

      This is a showdown, between the right and the left, and the more hysterical and draconian the rhetoric on the right gets, the clearer it becomes that they are losing their ass, in terms of hearts and minds, and likely votes.

      We are winning, big time, for all the "failures" of the last two years, which anyone with a brain can see are due soley to traitorous Blue Dog and Republican obstructionism and sabotage.

      What is it about that, that so many "progressives" just don't seem to get?  

      Too many of these people used to be freakin' Republicans, or Libertarians, and their despair mongering is too suspect to take seriously.

      Too goddamn many of them are freakin' Chamber of Commerce sock puppets, posturing and posing as "loyal Democrats" who "just can't stand it anymore", asserting that we should just give up any hope whatsoever, for any real change whatsoever.

      And too goddamn many are freakin' self-defined "lefties", who think voting is just for kids, while adults should instead be stomping their feet in petulant angst, screaming and crying, to get their own way.  

      After all, that has worked sooo well, for the past 30 years...

      Too many of these people are the same people who's electoral boycott and vote splitting lines have consistently handed elections to Republicans for 30 years, by deliberately helping to suppress likely Democratic voter turnout...which is the ONLY way the right has prevailed, these many years.

      All you have to do is go out and walk the precincts, and you will see for yourself that the vast majority of people in this country are NOT stupid morons like the tea baggers.  

      Everyone knows what time it is, and we are going to kick some right wing ass, in November.   The right is going down, and we are NOT going back.  The electorate is poised to deliver the coup detat to the right, to very substantially purge and suppress their jive ass, democratically, electorally this November, and again in 2012.

      Go figure.  

      THAT's why the right is so totally, absolutely freaking out, calling for political assassination, mass murder and civil war.  

      THAT's why pig media is ranting incessantly about how the Democrats are so totally absolutely fucked, because "nobody is going to vote" except the right, who are the "majority" in this "center/right nation".  

      THEY LIE about EVERYTHING!

      It's time for the left to stop lending credence to the right wing line, and to snap to the fact that we are NOT the marginalized opposition any more, but that we have WON the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress.

      It's time to drop the negativity, and to emphasize the positive, that for the first time in 30 years, we are finally moving forward, and that the only thing standing in our way is a last ditch effort by remnant Blue Dogs and Republicans to sabotage and reverse that motion.

      Rally and mobilize the electorate to stomp their jive asses, once and for all, and quit the fucking sniveling and whining.

      Seize the Time!

      Seize the Power!

      Death to Fascism!

      "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

      by Radical def on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:23:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I asked you about this upthread.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radical def

        for the first time in 30 years, we are finally moving forward, and that the only thing standing in our way is a last ditch effort by remnant Blue Dogs and Republicans to sabotage and reverse that motion.

        The short term looks terrible, but you could be right looking further ahead..I think the public
        is done with trickle down.

        One problem is the fundraising and lobbyists - I've been thinking this may be keeping the Democratic Party from moving further left..They need to say hell with the corporate donors..

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

        by joedemocrat on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 02:10:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed, these are among first steps... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joedemocrat

          that we need to take, along with some serious media reform, toward material ability to implement a more viable democracy.

          These items should be near the top of the agenda, as soon as we have sufficient progressive plurality in Congress to ram them through...without being stalled, watered down and gutted, like they would be now, with the present remnant Blue Dog and Republican plurality.

          "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

          by Radical def on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 04:48:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's what's ahead in my view.. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bythesea, Radical def

            Unless the polls change dramatically and quickly, the GOP will pick up a lot of seats...

            If they do, I personally believe the public will get disgusted with them pretty fast. The public is  aggravated about unemployment; they do not really support Republican trickle down economics..

            Then the political winds will swing back..And that's when we will have a golden opportunity to take down the corporate power structure..We've had 30 years of trickle down. it can go on only so long.

            The problem is the misery Republicans will inflict in the meantime to people. I agree with your view on people who talk about sitting out or going 3rd party. that is nuts..

            Do you think I am right or no???

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

            by joedemocrat on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 05:37:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think it's possible... (9+ / 0-)

              ...that we may lose a few seats, just barely, and that this will only heighten the contradictions, for everyone to see, going into 2012.

              But I also think it's also very possible that enough people already "get it", and that the final death blow to the right will come this November.

              One thing you can count on for sure is that the commercial mass media will lie their ass off, seven ways from Sunday, to try to keep that from happening, but as I say in other comments, that didn't work last time, and I don't think it's going to work this time, even with the double-down on corporate propaganda that we can expect from the SCOTUS decision.

              "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

              by Radical def on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 06:22:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  If any democrat (7+ / 0-)
    thought otherwise--What was unanticipated--at least by some--was the conspiracy-minded zealous insanity of the conservative base, as well as the utter unwillingness of Republican politicians to compromise in any way for the good of the country, then maybe s/he shouldn't be in politics.

    I'm past thinking that any dems in power are that naive. Their continuous efforts to appease the repubs, despite the lack of results, have to be for a reason that I simply don't know.  I do know that these dems aren't serving their supporters.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:23:22 AM PDT

  •  Republicans talk about Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated

    as if he were a dog, but Obama treats the progressives as if they were mongrels.  He ignores them when he can and kicks them when he needs to make nice points with those same republicans who talk about him as if he were a dog.

    Hippie punching, indeed, while the country continues its downward spiral into the hell the conservatives have been creating for generations.

    Yay Obama, I guess.

  •  Please put Lawrence Lewis's post back at the top (4+ / 0-)

    I would have thought by now we would have gotten over the "Obama's only acting progressive because we've whined enough."  

    I wonder who our Ted Kennedy will be in two years?

    Before you can accomplish something, you must expect it of yourself.

    by anonevent on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:25:01 AM PDT

  •  I Am A Liberal Democrat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated

    but I also want democrats to keep congress, and I think that the best way to do this is to have a vote on the middle class tax cuts before November and in fact when congress returns.  I don't want to keep the tax cuts for the rich, but voting for middle class tax cuts before November will show that democrats care for the middle class and the unemployed.

  •  would Obama's position be different (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain
    if this was 2009?

    Maybe so, and thats what elections are all about

    thats why it is so important to make your voices heard, to GOTV, to show that what we are demanding is supported by the rest of the country

    if Obama is not doing what you want then keeping the House should be more important then every

    vote and take 10 people with you  

       

    The greatest trick the devil every pulled was convincing half of America the GOP gives a damn about them

    by blingbling65 on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:29:04 AM PDT

  •  i guess the FP is like the wreck list nowadays. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    otto, TLS66, Curt Matlock, moonpal

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

    by carlos the jackal on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:30:18 AM PDT

  •  Wrong - the Democrats need independents the most (0+ / 0-)

    "For the remainder of the election season, it will be incumbent on President Obama and the Democrats in Congress to advance as many progressive, base-motivating policies as possible,..."
    ------------------

    If the base can't stand by the Democrats, they can only blame themselves.  It was the independent voter, tired of Bush on wars and the economy, who drove the Democrats into power. What Obama should have been concerned with from the beginning was ending Bush.  What he needs to be concerned with now is ending Bush.

    Being at rock bottom and not knowing how to surface is the Democrat's problem. He has to dance with the ones who brought him and grip them out of the GOP's arms.

    •  Wow. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated

      Thank you for articulating the talking points that have kept progressives disempowered for twenty years.

      I guess the only way to demonstrate the power and value of liberals and progressives to the Democratic party is to stop working and donating.

      Neither Obama nor any other Democrat could make it without the thousands of hours of unpaid labor put in by the base--and the hundreds of thousands of dollars of small- and mid-level donations donated by the base.

      Independents and swing voters don't generally provide the volunteer labor or the dollars.  The base does that, which is why the Democratic party keeps coming back to the base and trying to scare them into giving more hours and more dollars despite never getting what they want.

      Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:07:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Finally. Thank goodness. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BMarshall, On The Bus, CParis, Pam Bennett

    Raising taxes on the rich and selfish is something long overdue. The fact that not raising them is a budget buster is just icing on the cake. Even if taxing the rich had no budge effect, it is still something that must be done to give hope to us as progressives.
    We have fought so long for things that are really important to this country, things like comprehensive immigration reform to bring 20 million people out of the shadows and into the system, be it the voting booth or the safety net. For things like repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell and DOMA that is at the root of who we are as a people powered progressive group. For things like cap-and-trade that will create millions of green jobs for people like me who have decided to devote my career to fighting for green jobs as a community activist and part-time green poet.
    People like me and my fellow Kossacks have fought so hard for the things that are important, LGBT rights, comprehensive immigration reform, green jobs, EFCA and extending unemployment benefits, only to be let down. We need something to lift our spirits, and there is no better way to life our spirits than to fairly and adequately tax the rich and selfish.
    We need to tax the rich to achieve a country we all aspire to; a diverse country with comprehensive immigration reform, that celebrates the LGBT community with full constitutional rights, for good paying green jobs with full rights to be members of a union while in that green job and extended unemployment benefits and a robust health care plan that keeps this economy moving. Please raise taxes on the rich and selfish so we can achieve our people powered dreams or at least feel like someone finally cares about our struggle!

  •  Obviously things could have been much much (6+ / 0-)

    worse then they are now. For example the President could have failed to pass any health care reform by insisting on a version for which he could not get the votes. Also we could have had another Great depression, not 'just' a recession (small comfort to those who are out of a job, of course). And so on.

  •  Someone please explain to me again (4+ / 0-)
    how during the post world war II era in the US, when marginal income tax rates for the very wealthy were 70, 80, or 90%, the economy grew, grew, grew, and how those are the years that all conservatives pine for in their nostalgic moments, and yet ... we are arguing to the death over the difference between something like 30 or 32 percent?
  •  Hogwash (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated

    outside of an utter sense of disbelief at just how radical the right had become

    I watched Star Wars 3 the other night for the first time and when Padme uttered the line "demcoracy ends with applause" I could have cried. The Democrats knew full well what the Republican party was made of with the Iraq war authorization. Over and over and over we heard that Tenant was the reason for so many poor decision made by dems but in reality it was the dems who allowed the public to be misled. And the massive correction for this has yet to materialize.

    As far as taxes goes I say tax the shit out of American corporations which are already subsidized out their ears. And if they don't lioke it thet can move to Dubai for all I give a shit. It's a no-brainer, but here it is being presented as a last ditch effort to save the dems. How did we get here?

  •  for god's sake, guys (4+ / 0-)

    could we stop this stupid fight about whether or not the Obama administration is wonderful and start figuring out how to get what we want out of it?

    Screw the boys! I want to stay with my new family and their feelgood candy!

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:43:39 AM PDT

  •  Unless I'm mistaken (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal

    It's not as simple as "letting the tax cuts for the rich expire."

    In order to remove those tax cuts, we must allow the entire bill to lapse.  That will also cause tax cuts to the middle class to expire.

    So it's not enough to either just let it expire, or not.

    Congress must also vote to pass a new bill that keeps the middle class tax cuts in place, and the cancel the cuts for the rich.

    That requires votes.

    So just because Obama has promised to do nothing (big effing surprise there,) doesn't mean we're going to end up saving the middle class.  Someone who makes, for example, 50K a year will see a tax increase of just under a thousand dollars a year unless a new bill is written to prevent it.

    .

    Write In: Alan Grayson

    by Detroit Mark on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:47:19 AM PDT

  •  Going for broke? (7+ / 0-)
    Great post, but I find it a sign of the times that people consider ending tax cuts for Paris Hilton "going for broke".  That should be a given for Democrats, something that isn't even discussed.  It isn't "going for broke".

    "Going for broke" is raising taxes on rich people to 50%.

    "Going for broke" is ending the ridiculous idea that capital gains are not regular income and are taxed at 15%.

    "Going for broke" is ending tax incentives for oil companies.

    Well... you get the idea.  The Overton Window has been moved so far right in this country that even the progressive liberals have forgotten what real change looks like.

  •  He could try something crazy-making (5+ / 0-)

    Obama could recess appoint ALL the nominees languishing in the Senate. Doing the bold thing would make us laugh to see the Republicans howl. We could celebrate Obama's boldness while the pundits chewed on it for a week. haha.

    What makes me sad, Van Jones? Watching our charismatic young president talk like an old man.

    "How come you've got so many women?" Russian generals to Rose Gottemoeller negotiating the new nuclear treaty.

    by mrobinson on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:48:40 AM PDT

  •  Wrong. What Was Expected and Promised Was 2 Years (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, opinionated, Dante Atkins, BMarshall

    for making gradual starts on policies that could be improved in the future. Those of us who pointed out that the 1st 2 years are the only ones for major change were shushed by the adults at the table.

    So now that the 2 years of promising starts are over, now the story becomes what we had said it was all along, that whatever we get the 1st 2 years is most of what we can expect?

    BTW it was those serious adults who were the only ones that didn't anticipate the media and the Republicans. We loonies at the kids' table had that right too.

    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 Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:52:42 AM PDT

    •  True dat (0+ / 0-)

      I have a hard time believing that, given the watered-down results, everything couldn't have been done in the first year.  With some results to point to right about now.

    •  "This was always to be expected" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Willa Rogers

      This nonsense about

      *This was always to be expected* from a structural point of view, given the fact that the president's party historically loses midterm seats, and given the overwhelming Democratic advantage that had resulted from many years of conservative malfeasance combined with the wave inspired by the Obama electorate.

      is a bunch of apologist BS wrapped up in a newly discovered interest in progressive issues and interest in the welfare of the middle class instead of the politics of personality.  When you go back and read what this same person was writing two years ago, and what he's likely to be writing two years from now, it's laughable (if it wasn't so sad).

      No credibility.  At all.

      Disclosure: I'm working as an unpaid citizen journalist covering the Sestak campaign/ PA Sen. race for Huffington Post's "Eyes and Ears 2010" project

      by joanneleon on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:52:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Howard Dean lost. (0+ / 0-)

    Just sayin'

    The last time we broke a president, we ended up with Reagan.

    by Bush Bites on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:53:36 AM PDT

  •  Shorter Dante Atkins... (7+ / 0-)

    "Never let the fact Obama did something good stand in your way of doing your Obama slammin' duty! We all know and agree that Obama ISN'T a progressive, so let's hope he continues to lie to us to make us happy!"

    I'm sorry, was Cenk not available to diary today or something?

    FAIL.

    "We don't differentiate between them and us. It's just us." --- President Obama September 10th 2010

    by Darnell From LA on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:53:59 AM PDT

    •  Okay? (0+ / 0-)

      This is ridiculous.  Why bitch and moan and ponder whether this would be done if it were 2009?  

      That's stupid to me.

      You're issuing a challenge to their sanity by saying that their interpretation of reality is flat wrong. ---Killjoy 7/24/10

      by smoothnmellow on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:59:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't get it either... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radical def

        At this point some of the noise has gotten so very silly. It won't surprise me if some progressives actually get angry at Obama if he names Liz Warren.

        You know, "he's pandering! Damn him!"

        Crazy. But just watch.

        "We don't differentiate between them and us. It's just us." --- President Obama September 10th 2010

        by Darnell From LA on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:22:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Word to the wise... (0+ / 0-)

    Stop complaining.

    Be happy.

    Move on to other issues.

    You're issuing a challenge to their sanity by saying that their interpretation of reality is flat wrong. ---Killjoy 7/24/10

    by smoothnmellow on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:56:52 AM PDT

  •  I put my Alan Simpson reservations (0+ / 0-)
    on hold and went in to phone for my local Democratic congressional candidate. Now this rendition court decision really has me questioning
    going back. It seem to me I would be lending approval for rendition and torture.

    D-Kos is the only political entity anywhwere trying to change things without an agenda or platform. Moving things in the "reasonable" direction doesn't cut it.

    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:57:43 AM PDT

  •  Chipping away against our economic enemies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, BMarshall, Dirtandiron

    US Chamber of Commerce has too much power and influence, but here is a promising item:

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    With a war chest rivaling that of the Republican Party itself, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce  has emerged in the last year as perhaps the Obama administration’s most-well-financed rival on signature policy debates like health care and financial regulation.

    Critics on the left have long complained about the chamber’s outsize influence. But now they are taking on the business association directly, charging in a complaint filed Friday with the Internal Revenue Service  that it violated tax codes by laundering millions of dollars meant for charitable work from a group with ties to the insurance giant A.I.G.

    The complaint was brought by a group called U.S. Chamber Watch, which was created four months ago — with the strong financial backing of labor unions — to scrutinize the Chamber of Commerce’s growing influence and provide a counterbalance.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    I'm bookmarking the US Chamber Watch website. GREAT Talking Points, Charts, Graphs, and Illustrations:
    http://www.fixtheuschamber.org/

    Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

    by LNK on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 08:58:30 AM PDT

    •  LNK This is good news (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      Someone should do a diary....... hint.....hint

      Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

      by BMarshall on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:47:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Chamber of Commerce (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      If we had some Democrats focused on the Chamber of Commerce, and trying to shed some light on the fact that they really don't represent the best interests of small business, this would make a difference, IMHO.

      The Chamber of Commerce is constantly wrapping themselves in the mantle of small business, when the interests they really represent are the interests of the multi-national corps.

      The interests of small business are much more in line with the interests of the middle class as a whole.

      It's about time that someone took away this veil from them.  And really, businesses that are truly small businesses would be better off if they formed their own rival organization, or empowered one of the ones that already exists.

      Disclosure: I'm working as an unpaid citizen journalist covering the Sestak campaign/ PA Sen. race for Huffington Post's "Eyes and Ears 2010" project

      by joanneleon on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:00:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What makes anyone think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, wsexson

    that they won't cave and restore the tax cuts for the wealthy along with those for the middle class? Orszag was quite casual about that possibility (yeah, I know he's not in the administration any longer yadda yadda yadda). It's important to retain those middle class tax rates, so they might have to "hold their nose" (while smiling in the bathroom mirror, as my wife puts it) and compromise. Frankly I'd be absolutely shocked if they managed to do what they say they're going to do.

  •  It's not whether the democrats had gotten a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, ruscle

    public option, or ended torture, or any other God damned thing. It's that they never even tried. They never fought the good fight they promised us. In a word...betrayal.

    •  Not Trying and NOT EDUCATING (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blutodog, opinionated

      I was excited to see Obama elected because he has a way of illuminating a problem, saying the difficult things in ways that you can't argue with -- and teaching.    Look at his speech on Race for a perfect example of his ability.  

      Our country was/is facing so many problems -- many of them are due to lack of understanding on the part of the people.  

      But you are right -- for the most part, Obama never tried.    Instead of saying that unequivocally that Gays are humans and deserve all the rights, responsibilities and opportunities that everyone else enjoys -- he said he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman.    

      Instead of teaching us that Social Security is basically sound and just needs some tweaking -- he lets others proclaim their message over and over.  And then he appoints the Cat Food Commission to "study" the problem.   Like no one has ever looked at it before and we can't possible know what to do.    Giving the "sky is falling" crowd even more traction.  

      His speech last week was good... but now, at the midterms, it falls under the category of "politicking", not teaching.    People view it as such -- and rightly so.  Because it just a political speech designed to win support for his party.  

      Obama lost the opportunity of a lifetime.    

      •  Gutless (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ruscle

        Unfortunately, he turned out to be Hoover not FDR. He's been very good @ pleasing his Corp. pals and doesn't seem to think the rest of us get it. The Dems. are going to get bitch slapped big time this Nov. it's to bad it's only going to benefit the reactionaries.

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

        by Blutodog on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 03:09:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dairy Pimping (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fl1972

    Sorry for pimping my own work, but I just finished a diary on extending the Bush Tax Cuts which gets into the legislative details of how this might unfold in the coming weeks.  So if anyone is interested in the political sausage making process of this issue you can go here.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:01:41 AM PDT

  •  Some talk about 'bold action' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fl1972

    but, I find most of those doing the talking are the same ones that seem to have little grasp on the functions of government and what is able to be accomplished in an atmosphere of the 24-7 media that ignores facts to gin up ratings, a republican party flirting with anarchy and 20 percent of democrats who whine about everything and have little to contribute in the form of doing anything positive or real.
    it is very easy to sit at the computer and whine about how Rahm hurt your feelings or how evil Obama is because he cannot do everything himself with zero help from his own party including the whiney corps.
    If you want 'bold action' then get off your backside and help the man.  
    He said repeatedly that change cannot occur alone and he cannot do what is needed by himself.  He repeated told you he would need help.  That help did not come.  What he got was a bunch of lazy people who find it fun to bitch but, do little to help the party fight the republicans.
    the republicans have people organizing and making noise for change and backing their side up.
    We abandon our own and do more destruction of our own side and vilify ours worse then the repubs do.
    We sit on our hands and do not lift a finger and then whine 'where is this bold action?'

  •  It couldn't be worse? (0+ / 0-)

    2002.

    "Help us fill the hole, help us fill the hole Anderson"-Louise Gohmert (R)

    by sancerre2001 on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:07:52 AM PDT

  •  Ask yourself, why was this 'unanticipated'? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, emal, opinionated, Eryk

    What was unanticipated--at least by some--was the conspiracy-minded zealous insanity of the conservative base, as well as the utter unwillingness of Republican politicians to compromise in any way for the good of the country.

    Why would have anyone with even a shred of political acumen have not anticipated the insanity?  If there is a reason why I get so wound up about this crap, this is it.  You can not seriously tell me that the life long political operatives in the Obama administration didn't know this from day one.  I'm a political rube compared to these people, and I knew it.

    That's why so many of us were screaming from the mountaintops, "FUCK BIPARTISANSHIP".  It was always, and was always going to be, a one way street.

    "When reality is your enemy, insanity is your refuge." -- blue aardvark

    by Richard Cranium on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:09:48 AM PDT

    •  I think its that they did not anticipate the (0+ / 0-)

      full on 'sit on their hands and bitch' by the so called progressives since before the swearing in.
      I recall how they began in a group to howl and bitch before it was xmas!
      I think they anticipated that the left actually bothered to really listen to what was being said over and over and over and yet, they did what they alway do.  Sit at home and abandon their own, bitch and woe is me-isms and as always, refuse to have their side's back.
      They expect hurculean feats while they bitch that it is not good enough.  They do not want to have to exert the least effort in backing their side up.  
      The progressives give ammo to the rightwing, and proceed to try out vilifying their side to the point of outdoing the opposition in it.

      •  Thank You! (0+ / 0-)

        "...I recall how they began in a group to howl and bitch before it was xmas!..."

        Thank you for reminding everyone that the Administration started dumping on the progressive wing of the party before it was even sworn in.  Lots of folks will have forgotten that.  They'll forget about when guys like Geithner and Summers were appointed, thinking it happened only after the inauguration.  No, no, no.  It all started way back in November 2008.  So, thanks for confirming that the hippie-punching wasn't in response to anything the hippies did but is an inherent policy of the current West Wing of the White House.  Being ordered to clap louder doesn't elicit the type of response they want.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 03:48:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What these last few front page posts are saying (0+ / 0-)

    is that we have given up "Crashing the Gates" i.e. influencing the activities of the elected officials; and that we are going to continue to fall for the same old left-right divisions over "social issues" that murder real change in the womb.

    In other words, activists are no longer talking to real people, they are trying to keep other activists in the "party fold".

    Fuck it all.

    For the elite there are no material problems, only PR problems. Time for a new elite.

    by Paul Goodman on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:11:06 AM PDT

    •  Paul, I disagree 100% (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, Jahiz

      What I'm explicitly trying to say is that the Administration started off using compromise partly as a political strategy to head off midterm losses, and in case ensured more midterm losses in the process. Hence, progressive policy is also good politics from now on.

      I'm especially trying to influence the activities of elected officials.

      oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

      Twitter: @DanteAtkins

      by Dante Atkins on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:13:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amen ! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, Pam Bennett

    Dante,

    Right on, thanks for this post.  Obama pissed away a huge wave of momentum by not acting boldly in the early going, and he can't blame the Republicans or the media or the hippies or anyone else.  When you turn the economy over to Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, and offer a major Cabinet post to a nitwit like Judd Gregg, and get us deeper into Afghanistan, and fill the Catfood Commission with Social Security hawks, and nominate an Attorney General whose position on national security issues is every bad as Bush/Cheney, then it's no surprise that your base is going to be sorely disappointed.

    Regulate banks, not bedrooms

    by Eagleye on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:13:05 AM PDT

  •  And the fan club claps louder as if that ........ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, Tzimisce

    ...... motivated anyone to vote.  Other than the fan club, that is.    

    If Obama hadn't started acting and sounding like Candidate Obama, the Democrats really would be dead in the water.  

    There's nothing that motivates a politician more than the knowledge if they don't make their constituents happy, their replacement will.  

    Damfino: "Reality has an anti-Obama bias."

    by ThAnswr on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:13:18 AM PDT

    •  guess what...I proudly clap loud and will continu (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alkatt

      doing so.  Because I do not abandon my own side.  I know how the right stays strong and keeps power - by standing by their own side.
      I am not a quitter and bitcher.  I am not some immature child who thinks just wishing something is so it will happen while expending zero energy in helping to make it so.
      You want change - then get off your ass and do something to help out!
      Quit being a lazy whiner

      •  Take your ........ (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PrahaPartizan, opinionated

        You want change - then get off your ass and do something to help out!
        Quit being a lazy whiner

        And shove 'em where the sun doesn't shine.  

        Tens of thousands of people worked for the Democratic victories in 2006/2008  only to be sucker punched by the DLC sellouts in the White House.  

        Stop pretending otherwise and stop pretending the centrist policies worked.  They most certainly did not.  Obama wasted nearly 2 years and he's still got a helluva lot catching up to do.

        Damfino: "Reality has an anti-Obama bias."

        by ThAnswr on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:24:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And the self-absorbed self-righteous club whines (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TLS66

      as if that gets anybody motivated to vote.  Oh, wait, it's not what you want.  You want Republicans in a position to enact their horrible, million-times-worse policies to "show the Democrats."

      The Obama/Biden Inaugural -- the exact moment when the world went from gray to colorful.

      by alkatt on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:25:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please make it stop (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blutodog, RuralLiberal

        Enablers like you damn near tanked the Obama presidency and was taking the Democratic party with it.  

        Enablers like you were wrong just the way the Bushies were wrong.  

        We, the liberals who actually held this administration's feet to the fire, were right.  That's why President Obama is sounding like Candidate Obama.  That's the only way to victory.  

        Your namby-pamby baby step incrementalism did nothing to motive the electorate.  And the poll numbers prove it.  

        So, feel free to blow smoke but not in this direction.  

        Damfino: "Reality has an anti-Obama bias."

        by ThAnswr on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:32:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I thought this was spot on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blutodog, opinionated

    So of course there are people clutching their pearls telling others that 1) locating the problem of enthusiasm and 2) developing a strategy different from what the White House and Congress are using, is "part of the problem."

    Frankly I just ignore those comments as they serve the GOP more than Progressives and Progressive issues in that they utterly fail to be self critical and attempt to do better.  

    We all know that snappy one-liners and shit-eating sayings like "enemy of the good is the perfect," and "wave a magic wand," and something about ponies do a lot to shore up flagging support.

    We all went to heaven in a little rowboat, and there was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt. --Radiohead

    by Tzimisce on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:13:31 AM PDT

  •  Gee, fight for good people to have a chance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, Tzimisce

    what took them so fucking long?

    Will this last or is it due to Nov. 2 looming?

    I swear to the invisible cloud being I cannot get my head around anything anymore.

    Cut wages, deny health care, steal pensions ship jobs overseas, that is all GOOD.

    WTF?

    Oh, and don't upset the Republicans they might not want to work with us, and may even call us names.

    I am laughing to keep from crying.

    It is our money they want. Let's stop giving it to them.

    by Mean Mr Mustard on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:15:17 AM PDT

  •  Inevitably rock bottom is where (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, opinionated, Tzimisce

    Democratic establishment necessarily wakes up to the logical conclusion that progressivism and its policies are the only rock they should lean on.
    There is nothing to lose, it is the rock bottom. Let the rubber hit the road, in Obama's words, at long last.

    "A time is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will trigger a revolution." -- Cézanne

    by toilpress on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:16:28 AM PDT

  •  It's like pulling teeth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blutodog, opinionated, Tzimisce

    I'm sorry, but it's almost as bad as we had it with Bush. We have to come to terms with the fact that Obama will not forcefully back progressive change, so we rise up and extol his fierce audacity for allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire.

    I know what was in my heart when I sacrificed and canvassed for Change, and I never expected to automatically agree with his decisions after he took office. I'm positive that I didn't sign on under "professional left," nor did I expect the likes of Alan Fucking Simpson to be called out from under his rock for ANY reason.

    Maybe if we hope and hope and hope and hope he'll go out on a limb and appoint Elizabeth Warren.

    I'm sick of this shit.

    "Life is short, but long enough to get what's coming to you." --John Alton

    by Palafox on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:17:08 AM PDT

    •  There's nothing Obama can do to make you happy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      exploring

      This isn't sarcasm or snark, but there is nothing Obama can do to make you happy. Due to the political landscape of an intentionally polarized nation, the only successful way to govern is from the center, which in turn pleases no one. While there is something to be said for going down in flames on your principles, I personally would rather take the incremental change Obama actually promised than nothing at all.

      •  No. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        opinionated, Palafox

        The nation is polarized, yes but who's behind it? If you examine the political landscape inner workings, it is the corporatist America that pays for centrism to win over progressivism.
        Shall we capitulate to the status quo? It is what you are basically saying.
        Every time you support centrism as a Democrat, you support the status quo and nothing changes, as it always wins over change.
        You are deluding yourself that centrists vie for incremental change -- please provide evidence that this is the case, because I have seen none.

        "A time is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will trigger a revolution." -- Cézanne

        by toilpress on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:32:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You and me both Bro! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Palafox

      "I'm sick of this shit."

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

      by Blutodog on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 03:11:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I thought we were tied on the general ballot? (0+ / 0-)

    The end result? A massive enthusiasm gap, and the largest generic Congressional ballot difference in the history of the Gallup Poll.

    I thought we were tied?

    Oh, I give up on this site.

  •  The irony of the self-styled pragmatists (5+ / 0-)

    is that they were the ones ignoring reality.  They were warned again and again to not push the corporatist, DLC-inspired agenda.  That it was both bad policy and bad politics.

    The self-styled pragmatists ignored this reality under banal delusions of "sausage-making" and "don't let perfect..."  They were warned swing and independent voters would reject these corporatist policies.  They ignored it.  They were warned many leftist activists and many of the Dem base would be depressed from these coporatist policies.  They ignored it.

    The pragmatism the moment called for was to actually play hardball and push to the far left.  Stake out ground on the far left and move the debate.  Let the coporatist Dems and Republicans become the enemy of reforming the banks and insurance companies that are ripping everybody off.  Instead, the President and the entire Dem majority became the protector of the very things that were screwing everybody over.

    And they were warned not to do this.  And in their delusions of self-proclaimed pragmatism they ignored it.  And it proceeded to do exactly what those who supported a more aggressively leftist agenda said it would do:  Destroy the Dem majority by turning away swing voters and depressing much of the base.

    The DLC-"pragmatism" is a delusion.  It simply advances a conservative-inspired corporatism.  And it drives away swing and independent voters.  This happened in the 90's and led to Newt's Contract On America, and it's happening today and may lead to Boehner's Big Orange Tea-Party Circus.

    Until the Democrats are willing to kick the DLC corporatists out and define the party as unabashedly leftist, they will continue to suffer this same fate.  If you rationally observe the Democrats over the past 20 years, this is the only truly pragmatic position to take.

    We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. -FDR

    by gila on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:18:30 AM PDT

    •  What it allowed was the GOP (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, toilpress

      to capture all the anti-establishment outrage and bottle it in the form of the Tea Party which to this day I don't understand what they want.  People were angry and wanted concrete actions or at least a whole hell of a lot of fighting, and they got timid back room deal making and half a loaf style politics.  Meanwhile organizations of the left were captured by the administration and are only now deciding to speak up.  The piling, on I think, is that dam breaking.

      We all went to heaven in a little rowboat, and there was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt. --Radiohead

      by Tzimisce on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:22:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I, too, wish for a far left dictatorship. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TLS66, snout

      Until the Democrats are willing to kick the DLC corporatists out and define the party as unabashedly leftist, they will continue to suffer this same fate.  If you rationally observe the Democrats over the past 20 years, this is the only truly pragmatic position to take.

      It would certainly solve all these problems of having to get elected.

      •  I don't follow (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        opinionated, Tzimisce

        where the dictatorship you're talking about comes from?

        Please explain.

        We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. -FDR

        by gila on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:42:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it is a snark- (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radical def

          I recced it first, but then realized it is a snark. S/he means that what we most likely vie for is a 'socialist' dictatorship, I presume, instead of democracy (elections).
          How ironic that for the past 20 years GOP sly dictatorship brought us such a sad end of the republic.

          "A time is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will trigger a revolution." -- Cézanne

          by toilpress on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:54:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  lol...how about a "dictatorship" of democracy? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joedemocrat, toilpress

            ...instead of the present very real dictatorship of monopoly corporate fascism?

            Of course, the right will scream bloody murder, and call real democracy an oppressive, dictatorial "politically correct" fascist commie plot, to rob them of their "god-given right" to be racist, sexist, eco-raping, murderous monopoly corporate pigs and imperialist warmongering profiteers...

            The right will never surrender to the popular democratic will voluntarily.

            The right must be purged and suppressed, democratically, electorally, legislatively and judicially, BECAUSE they are politically incorrect.

            Call it what you will, heh...

            Death to Fascism!

            "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

            by Radical def on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:53:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Complete agreement- (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, wsexson, Tzimisce

      thank you.
      Pragmatism is simply centrism, let's call it by its other filthy name.
      Centrism as the middle of the road solution, is simply half baked, unworkable, a lie and delusion, all in one.

      "A time is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will trigger a revolution." -- Cézanne

      by toilpress on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:24:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's disturbing to me that the nomination of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    toilpress

    Warren is still in question.  Why do I feel that maybe we got some assent to letting the tax cut run out for the rich to placate those who will be disappointed by Obama nominating someone else besides Warren.  Maybe because we've been there before.  How'd you like that bone?

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:18:50 AM PDT

  •  The single most stupid line ever posted on DKOS (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TLS66, snout, missliberties

    one thing is for sure: things simply couldn't have been any worse than they are right now.

    This is really mind boggling. How about: stimulus fails and unemployment is 25%? Does that possibility mean anything to you?

    How about: the kill-the-bill fake progressives succeed in destroying HCR and we get 6 months of headlines about the hapless Obama administrations weak and ineffective operation?

    How about the fake progressives and their allies in the Republican caucus kill financial reform?

    How about we lose on student loan reform?

    How about the Auto companies are let collapse and there is no UAW, just 3 million additional unemployed people in the Midwest, North, and California?

    Weak.

    •  I think if you followed the link (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, toilpress

      you would see that "things could not get any worse" is not in reference to say the country being worse off nor the what-if's of a McCain presidency but of this coming election's outlook.  Which is the result of the timid mealymouthed weak performance of I guess your "true progressives."  Those of us who cared more about issues and not personality wanted a little more than what was received are obviously not Progressives and are something else altogether.

      President Obama and the Democrats cannot fail, they can only be failed.

      We all went to heaven in a little rowboat, and there was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt. --Radiohead

      by Tzimisce on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:27:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  from an ELECTORAL standpoint (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, Tzimisce, toilpress

      a lot of people are misconstruing that line. Maybe I should have been more clear about it.

      oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

      Twitter: @DanteAtkins

      by Dante Atkins on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:28:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's how I took it (0+ / 0-)

        If you think a big failure on HCR would have had a positive or neutral effect on Democratic prospects or a failure on stimulus with a 25% unemployment rate would have been a record to run on, I can't imagine what you are basing it on.

        I know: We fought hard on saving the auto companies and lost, but trust us we tried.

        There's the ticket!

      •  Even from an electoral standpoint (0+ / 0-)

        We are likely heading to divided government.  Whomever holds majorities in the house and senate will not have large majorities.  This is largely a function of us losing some of the gains we made in purple districts and states because of a bad economy.   In other words - easily explainable.  It has little to do with pleasing or not pleasing the so-called activist base.

        Things could be a LOT worse.  Don't kid yourself.

    •  Unemployment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blutodog

      REAL unemployment is already somewhere around 20%, if you count everyone affected.

  •  The Party of No (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, toilpress

    I largely agree with this post.  But I have one big disagreement.

    Dante Atkins writes:

    What was unanticipated--at least by some--was the conspiracy-minded zealous insanity of the conservative base, as well as the utter unwillingness of Republican politicians to compromise in any way for the good of the country.

    Who didn't anticipate this?  

    In fact, everyone saw this behavior from Day One, as a look back in the dKos archives will suggest.

    What was unanticipated was that it would work politically for the Republicans.

    Everyone here had a rollicking good time making fun of the "Party of No." Remember the GOPosaur logo that showed up here?  

    Let's not pretend that we were surprised by the Republicans' strategy. What surprised us was its success. And its that success that we need to reevaluate and take a measure of as we go forward.  We saw what they were doing. But we failed to respond effectively to it.  And since it worked, we can expect them to do it again.

    So what will we do different...besides (hopefully) not laughing at it and assuming that the GOP was just shooting themselves in the foot?

    "I trust that you will continue to let me and other Democrats know when you believe we are screwing up." - Barack Obama

    by GreenSooner on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:22:15 AM PDT

  •  I think I'm gonna hurl. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, Tzimisce, Lady Libertine

    President Obama will not actively work to impose a continued tax cut

    Talk about hitting rock bottom.  That's what we have to point to as an example of Obama doing the right thing?  God, that's so pathetic.  Especially when you compare it to the "state secrets" toxic sludge used to excuse taking away a day in court for victims of torture.

    Yes, I'm still going to vote.  I don't need enthusiasm to vote, all I need to do is look at the vicious loonies.  But, damn, I wish it weren't merely an onerous duty.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:23:01 AM PDT

  •  when progressives do something more then just (0+ / 0-)

    feeling sorry for themselves and actually do something to help make that change possible, I will continue to find them unrealistic and childish.
    Yes, I support this Administration because I know that bold change is not possible with the help of your supporters.
    the progressives are lazy and immature because they do nothing but, help the opposition and destroy our side and weaken it.
    they give strength to the republicans.
    They hand them the keys.
    And they do more to weaken our side then any opposition ever could.
    the repubs would not resurge and be so strong and the media backing them up if you did not help them out and destroy your own side.
    In my book you are traitors.

    •  Who do those pols in Washington serve? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadB0y

      If it was themselves or the maybe just the Party -- then you might be correct to slam people as traitors.  This is a Republic though and they represent their districts, comprised of voters, who in 06 and 08 gave them large majorities and a mandate to do something.  I do not serve the Democratic party nor it's leaders, they are supposed to serve me and the people of the United States.

      We all went to heaven in a little rowboat, and there was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt. --Radiohead

      by Tzimisce on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:33:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Traitors? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pam Bennett

      Take this hyperbolic load of SHIT, and place it back where it came from...

      Back to unenthusiastic voting. At least it was fun for one cycle...

      by Beelzebud on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 11:11:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My take on the enthusiasm gap. (0+ / 0-)
    It has little to do with Democrat vs. progressive.
    The enthusiam gap has been there from the begining of the Obama presidency, before anyone could get dissappointed. Obama attracted alot of people who normally don't vote. These people simply don't have much enthusiasm to vote in mid-terms. Progressives pushing the party leftward are not the problem.

    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:24:32 AM PDT

  •  Lines. (0+ / 0-)

    We should be thankful. After all the compromises, the centrism, the hippie-punching, the retention of Alan Simpson, the mixed messaging on DADT, and the systematic throwing of progressives under most every wheel of the bus imaginable, at least on this we have a line in the sand: President Obama will not actively work to impose a continued tax cut for those making over $250,000 a year.

    Haha, first of all it's amazing how when people get thrown one ACTUAL bone they feel much more free to be honest about all fake bones we've been thrown.

    That said, it's not a line in the sand at all. He just won't push for it. I don't think he's ever said he wouldn't sign an extension into law. If that's a line in the sand, man, standards have degraded.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:25:09 AM PDT

  •  why is this statement cause for rejoicing? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tzimisce

    "President Obama will not actively work to impose a continued tax cut for those making over $250,000 a year."

    He still hasn't come down with a veto threat.  The only way we get through what we want is through reconciliation.

    The GOP will block any bill that doesn't extend the cuts - the Dems will have to either fold or let all the tax cuts expire.  They'll blink.  We'll lose.

  •  "systematic throwing of progressives under (0+ / 0-)

    under most every wheel of the bus imaginable"

    I always stop reading diaries that start with such over-the-top nonsense. How can anyone take seriously the rest of the diary?

  •  It's still the f'ing economy stupid! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djMikulec, Tzimisce

    If we had a WPA/CCC then you might see less of a enthusiasm gap.
    Also, shouldn't we include the obstructionists in our own party? Or are Lincoln, Blah, Baucus Republicans now?

    New improved bipartisanship! Now comes in a convenient suppository!!! -unbozo

    by Unbozo on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:42:20 AM PDT

  •  Since when (5+ / 0-)

    did this

    A majority of the public supports letting the tax cuts for the wealthy expire, and its extremely unlikely that any significant portion of the 36 percent who for some reason oppose this policy was inclined to vote for Democrats anyway.

    make any difference to this President, this administration, or the movers and shakers in the Democratic party?

    An overwhelming majority of people supported a Medicare-based public option or some type of public plan.  An overwhelming majority of people wanted Wall Street to be reined in and held accountable for crashing the global markets and wrecking our economy.

    Did that make a difference in the results that we got?  No.  This administration bent over backwards and slithered through the halls of Congress to make sure that neither of those things would happen.  They used the tremendous amount of power that they have to work against the people, not for them, on both of these huge issues.

    And after hearing Democrats screaming from the rooftops for how many years? about the Bush tax cuts, now we're supposed to be happy that the President says he won't extend the tax cut for the wealthiest few percent?  Ha.  And just wait, because we haven't gone through the negotiation process yet.  And we all know how well this party has done with negotiations for the last two years, when they were holding all the cards.  I will lay money on the table right now and bet you that we'll lose something in this deal, and it will most likely be related to capital gains or inheritance tax.  As usual, this administration is throwing out something to distract while working in the back rooms, undermining the middle class once again.

    And hell, none of this is likely to happen before the elections anyway, so President Obama will go out there and say anything, just like he has done before. And after the elections are over, they'll just continue with business as usual, until the next election, when they'll have to pretend they give a shit about your best interests again.

    Disclosure: I'm working as an unpaid citizen journalist covering the Sestak campaign/ PA Sen. race for Huffington Post's "Eyes and Ears 2010" project

    by joanneleon on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:43:21 AM PDT

    •  Slithered?..Jeez (0+ / 0-)

      Mind reading again & an awful choice of words.
      Words often adopted by non-Democrats..Jeez

      This administration bent over backwards and slithered through the halls of Congress to make sure that neither of those things would happen.

      So now President Obama is a liar and a pretender?

      President Obama will go out there and say anything, just like he has done before.

      Predictions of failure is rarely effective for motivation

      And after the elections are over, they'll just continue with business as usual, until the next election, when they'll have to pretend they give a shit about your best interests again.

      Don't see how this insulting attitude and derogatory language will help matters. It goes beyond frustration. It's just insulting
      We need better control of our messaging and ourselves than this imo

      I don't want your country back..I want my country forward - Bill Maher

      by Eric Nelson on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 11:31:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What is really insulting (0+ / 0-)

        is the way that this administration and parts of this Congress have treated the people of this country and the voters who put so much trust in them.

        Mind reading again & an awful choice of words.
        Words often adopted by non-Democrats..Jeez

        I've been a Democrat and have voted for them for decades, so that weak argument doesn't mean a thing.  Mind reading?  I've got two years worth of evidence, so I have no idea what kind of mind reading you're talking about.

        So now President Obama is a liar and a pretender?

        Please provide some evidence of how, on the large issues, he has proven to be a man of his word.

        Predictions of failure is rarely effective for motivation

        This was not a prediction of failure, it was a prediction of how politicians behave.  Are you refuting the fact that they tend to tell people what they want to hear, and trend populist, right before elections and that they don't change course after they are elected?  If so, please provide some evidence of this too.

        The choice of the word "slithered" is apt, for a group of politicians and their staff members who sneak around, telling us one thing, and doing another, talking a good game, and making deals in back rooms.  If you have any doubt that this is what has happened, I don't think you've really been paying attention.  For one stark example, you might want to read Matt Taibbi's account of what happened with the Wall Street reform bill:

        Wall Street's Big Win

        And that's just one example, though admittedly, one of the big ones.

        Disclosure: I'm working as an unpaid citizen journalist covering the Sestak campaign/ PA Sen. race for Huffington Post's "Eyes and Ears 2010" project

        by joanneleon on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 12:09:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for the link. Taibbi is very good (0+ / 0-)

          Are you refuting the fact that they tend to tell people what they want to hear, and trend populist, right before elections and that they don't change course after they are elected?

          Answer: No.
          Most Politicaians at least successful ones know that their speech must be geared to each audience. It is not a good thing. Most audiences are very low  info. and are used to Tee Vee commercials telling them what to buy, think, like, who is awesome , who is evil...it's  almost idolatry.

          I agree with most every point Matt and you made.

          Our government is, has been, and will always be corrupt to some extent.

          President Obama and many good Democrats are operating within a fouled system. I and most progressive Democrats get that.

          I agree, just repeating how f**cked the Republicans are and therefore not the  choice voters should make, is not a complete strategy. The Gop are trying to make it a referendum on the President& his policies alone. So the choice is but 1/2 the strategy.

          Your strategy is to present strong progressive legislation that will inspire and fire up the Democratic base. [at least I believe you are of this mind]
          Let me shout now I AGREE yet..

          1/2 of strategy is timing. Slamming Democrats and our current administration less than 2 months before a crucial perhaps historic midterm election and in the process feeding the normally inept teabag twits their one liners is bad medicine.

          Unless... you are of the mind (and sometimes I am myself) to let the worst happen just to bring everything to a head - Won't work. Corporations feed on anarchy, it's when they clean up and reorganize the structure to fit their needs even more so.
          Let's focus on keeping both the house and Senate, then drop the hammer.

          P.S. You are a front pager and rightly so. Me, I swing a hammer for a living so getting the point across is a hit & miss deal. Using tools  unaccustomed to - like writing. Yet:
          I hope that suggesting not diparaging the President and his policies at this particular moment in time came across.

          I don't want your country back..I want my country forward - Bill Maher

          by Eric Nelson on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 05:11:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  If Obama wants to have two terms (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadB0y

    He needs to stop pre-capitulating to people who don't negotiate in good faith with him.   Stop making compromises before the debates even begin.  

    Back to unenthusiastic voting. At least it was fun for one cycle...

    by Beelzebud on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:43:58 AM PDT

  •  Bread and Circus for the base (0+ / 0-)

    while convincing the independents to come along is a tight rope to walk.  

    Where there is no vision, there is no hope. George Washington Carver

    by Amayupta yo on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:45:59 AM PDT

  •  Enthusasim Gap (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tzimisce, melpomene1

    So because I am pissed off that nothing of any real substance has been accomplished that somehow its my fault if turnout is depressed..  lol I have to laugh at the party bots they are same ones defending the blue dogs and watering down our progressive ideas before the negotiations have even started and now they want to blame their failure on us, it completely pathetic. I will vote in nov for the dems but will not be happy about it.

    there is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over -6.88/-4.31

    by DeadB0y on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:53:33 AM PDT

    •  Don't do it! (0+ / 0-)

      Please don't reward these pricks! The Dems. need to lose badly maybe even historically badly or they'll never take any of us seriously ever. There has to be a price paid for the two yrs. of disrespect and treachery these bastards have dealt us.  

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

      by Blutodog on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 02:53:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hasn't Obama always said that he opposed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    continuing tax cuts for the wealthy? I thought he always wanted tax cuts for the middle and lower class, but I don't remember him ever being for tax cuts for the wealthy.

    I usually find your diaries to be rational and factual, Dante, but I'm puzzled by this one.

    I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. ~Jimmy Dean

    by ParkRanger on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 09:54:08 AM PDT

  •  Agreed. But I give up on Obama and GLBT issues (5+ / 0-)

    I'm ranting here. So, ignore this or criticize this or whatever.

    I'm done with Barack Obama on our civil rights. It's plainly obvious that President Obama and this White House doesn't give a shit about GLBT Americans.

    Look at DADT repeal. Jesus Christ, when 80% of all Americans support DADT repeal, when even the architect of this "compromise" in 1993, Colin Powell, is in favor of repeal, and we STILL see this spineless, wishy-washy "support of repeal" from this White House, the handwriting is on the wall. I absolutely expect the DoJ to appeal the ruling from this past Thursday. Because, well, they "have" to appeal challenges to laws on the books. Even when they are ruled unconstitutional, I guess.

    It isn't just Obama. It's the Congressional Democrats. Friday, I called Speaker Pelosi's office and emailed to DEMAND that ENDA is brought up for a vote this term. Fat lot of good it will do. A strong push from this White House would help, but of course this will never happen.

    Part of me thinks that this President, this White House, the Congressional Democrats and the Democratic Party is ashamed of one of their most loyal constituencies, the gay community. That when there is actual pressure from our community, we get in response...words, words, words and more words. Gosh, the White House issued a Pride Proclamation in June! Wow, a White House Cocktail Party for the A-Listers! Golly! A gay man was appointed Deputy Assistant to the Assistant Deputy for Whatever! Meaningless, empty gestures. Symbolism at its finest. Disdain as an art form.

    Maybe things are at rock bottom and perhaps the only way to go for this President is to actually be more progressive and begin to respect its base. But I'm under no illusion anymore whatsoever that that attention, that respect extends to GLBT Democrats and Americans.

    •  Oh yeah...Death is sooo much better... (0+ / 0-)

      ...at the hands of the Republicans, who would prefer to revoke all civil rights and exterminate everyone but the right.

      Get real.

      It's not over yet.

      All we need is a few more progressives, and a few less Blue Dogs and Republicans in Congress, and we will be able to really surge forward on this, and all of the OTHER urgent issues that confront us.

      Giving up is treason.

      "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

      by Radical def on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:43:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You Are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musing85, Beelzebud

        Giving up is treason.

        You are nuts! You Obama attack dogs are now over the cliff.  A few of us were trying to keep putting up with your threats about being HR'd and the idiotic attacks about not not being supportive of the greatest prez since sliced bread and the constant how stupid we are for not supporting anything and everything his administration spouted out.  

        And now, trying to call those of us who were tossed off the bus before the inauguration traitors because we are pointing out the lack of support.

        Bull Shit!

        Pam Bennett -6.95 -7.50

        by Pam Bennett on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 03:05:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What's real bullshit... (0+ / 0-)

          ...is thinking that it's somehow OK to come on a blog that's all about electing more better Democrats, and to insist instead on talking only about boycotting the elections, or splitting the vote...

          ...Just because you didn't get everything you wanted, immediately, in the face of a remnant right wing majority of Blue Dogs and Republicans in the Congress (despite Democratic "Majorities")...

          What's real bullshit, it to evade the fact that allowing the right to regain any power whatsoever is tantamount to treason..and a death sentence for gays, as well as for millions of other people of all kinds, all over the world.

          And it's also bullshit to call people homophobic, say, just because they may not necessarily agree that gay rights is the ONLY, or the absolutely most important ultimate freaking issue in the whole world.

          (Important, yes...and subordinate to none...but, just saying)

          And I might add, it's also total bullshit to think or to imply that Democrats aren't going to deliver on legislating and enforcing full gay civil and human rights, the minute we have sufficient progressive plurality in Congress to force it through, against everything the right will certainly bring to try to block it, water it down and sabotage it.

          I don't know which of these might apply to you, personally, in terms of the HRs you refer to, but if the shoe fits, you can wear it, or else cast it aside, and get some better kicks...

          "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

          by Radical def on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 05:16:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Boehner rolled by Obama---now lets win in Nov (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Obama rolls Boehner---Cleveland speech worked---so now lets rally and win big in November ---prove the MSM are the jerks we know them to be.

    House G.O.P. Leader Signals He’s Open to Obama Tax Cut
    By DAVID HERSZENHORN
    Published: September 12, 2010
    o

    WASHINGTON — The House Republican leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, said on Sunday that he was prepared to vote in favor of legislation that would let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for the wealthiest Americans if Democrats insisted on continuing the lower rates only for families earning less than $250,000 a year.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/us/politics/13cong.html?_r=1

  •  If you stand back and think about it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joedemocrat

    this is actually a pretty good Democratic comments thread.
    We thrash it all around, look at from every conceivable direction, agree and disagree, all politely, pretty much.
    Democrats who know how things should be. It sounds pretty good to me. Of course, I'm kind of simplistic. I already know I'm gonna vote Democratic, and since I'm putting everything I've got into just trying to keep my head above water, there's not much more I can do then that.
    But I sure do appreciate that we want what we voted for, which is better Democrats and more progressive policies. When I'm voting, that'll be the reason why.

  •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, it had to hit rock-bottom.

    Not because the President needed to know the Republicans were intransigent, but because the rest of the country needed to know it.

    Pundits routinely decry the ignorance of the public, complaining that the public has only the most tenuous grasp of the facts; and then proceed to decry politicians who act as if that claim were true.

  •  Good points pushing for Progressive agenda. Rock (0+ / 0-)

    Bottom is a careful and cautionary perspective and if it promotes a harder drive for good policies, then use it.
    Then there is this from   seanwright's Diary:

    Even  Nate Silver's model was forecasting 2.2% national victory for John McCain as late as September 13, 2008.

    Nat Silver and 538 polling from 2008..just sayin things could also be better than predicted by some.
    I pointed this out not to ease up on progressive goals, but just to blunt some dire feelings and possible voter apathy by some Democratic voters who my throw up their hands and say "f**k-it we're goning to lose anyway" - and not GOTV which would have the worst result of all.  

    I don't want your country back..I want my country forward - Bill Maher

    by Eric Nelson on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:32:53 AM PDT

  •  Steve Earle said it best (0+ / 0-)

    "Goodbye is all we got left to say."

    Enjoy autumn all.

  •  OH...boy. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

    by scurrvydog on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:50:12 AM PDT

  •  The right went insane BECAUSE of the compromises (0+ / 0-)

    The right has been going insane JUST AS PLANNED, and it is Obama's "bipartisan" concessions that are making them go insane. He's given them nothing to get angry about, but they are just ANGRY people in general, so they make shit up and get angry about nothing, and everyone with any sense-- even those who aren't following politics-- can see that's what's going on.

    Obama's strategy has been, and still is, to be moderate and reasonable and "bipartisan" and make concessions, and let his opponents dig in, become more and more unreasonable, attack him viciously, and become more and more obviously insane. Works every time. This is how you defeat violent extremism-- by being moderate, calm, and magnanimous.

    This is Civil Rights 101. Dr. King marches with dignity and calm, and the racists attack him with firehoses and dogs and beatings. Reasonable, decent people all over the country-- indeed all over the world-- recoil in horror.

    And so here we are today. The electorate recoils in horror at Rand Paul, Sharrrrrron Angle, O'Donnell, and the other handful of teabagging terrorist lunatics that seem to have taken over a rapidly shrinking Repug party.

    Meanwhile, the Democrats under Obama are quite obviously the responsible adults, standing up for democracy, decency, and smart, capable, inclusive governance. I'm pretty happy with that.

    •  you haven't accounted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CTPatriot, PhilJD

      in your scenario for the massive losses we're about to take.

      oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

      Twitter: @DanteAtkins

      by Dante Atkins on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 12:21:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  On the contrary, I think s/he's made (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon, Pam Bennett, PhilJD

        a very good point. Perhaps if the president hadn't spent so much of his time these past 18 months quixotically tilting at the windmills of a mythical "bipartisanship," he might have managed to accomplish a little more of his agenda. Or at the very least he wouldn't have his base going "Meh" at him because he didn't seem to care about the principles he'd put front-and-center in his campaign.

        •  You actually missed my whole point (0+ / 0-)

          It's not quixotic. It's smart. It's rope-a-dope. He's isolating the radicals. He's giving them nothing to hit, but they're swinging away anyway. He's letting them burn themselves out taking wild swipes at insane things (birth certificates, teh soshalism, death panels, teabagging, guns at rallies, race, ground zero non-mosques, etc.). They look like unhinged maniacs, because they are. And more and more people back away from them slowly (and carefully, because they're dangerous lunatics).

          He's being the adult. They're being the morans. They become more obviously morans the more he does this. Voters won't vote for them.

          Perfect example is the teabagging candidates who will LOSE to Democrats in November, in seats we almost certainly would have lost otherwise. More of that, please.

          •  And in order to make that point, he needed (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joanneleon, CTPatriot

            to compromise with them at every turn? Why? He could simply have sat back and worked on enacting his agenda while they went and plastered themselves on Faux Noise--except that if he'd done that, we'd be in a far better position than we are now, and he wouldn't be looking at this huge enthusiasm gap that everybody's knickers are in a twist over. Obama could walk down Pennsylvania Avenue with a copy of the Republican Party's 2008 platform and ask Congress to pass it without changes, and the Republicans would still have done exactly what they did. So why not make that same trip with the Democratic Party's platform, instead?

            •  Um, he DID work on enacting his agenda (0+ / 0-)

              The Repugs blocked it at every step, being the extremists they are. They watered it down so much that it basically was a Cato Insitute agenda from 1994 that he got passed. Still took a lot of work, and he got some of it passed anyway. Now the lunatics have nothing to piss on. They're pissing on CONSERVATIVE policies-- i.e. Romneycare-- and that just pushes them that much farther into being unserious maniacs.

              People who follow politcs are already noticing this, because the teabagging lunatics are quite obviously nuts, and we will beat them.

          •  It's the economy (0+ / 0-)

            and when people are hurting they look for a punching bag.  This time around it's the Dems who are going to get punched.  

            Also, the hate factor goes up in bad economic times.  It gets easier to tag others as the ones causing your situation (immigrants, muslims, minorities).

            I think you are underestimating the political unawareness and hatred in the general population big time!

            There is a malaise among us but there is a growing tide of uninformed, hate-filled, frustrated, ready to kick the bums out people in this country.

            Rope-a-dope is not phasing these people.  I'm afraid we are witnessing a tsunami of pissed off ignorance.  

            Wag more - Bark less. Born OK the first time.

            by Road Dog on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 11:19:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not growing (0+ / 0-)

              The teabaggers are the screaming, violent relic of a shrinking party. The more violent they get, the more they shrink. That's the plan. Has been working very well so far.

              This is how you defeat violent extremism. Whether it is Islamic, Christian, racist, or batshit-insane Ayn Randian, you just stay reasonable and calm and willing to compromise, and let the lunatics go farther and farther off the deep end.

              It has worked for Gandhi, Dr. King, and now Obama. Let the ugly ones show their ugliness. Let them display it proudly, and draw a stark contrast between them and all the rest of us decent folk.

  •  "...the foot we should have started off on." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    borregopass

    But what we're stuck with is the foot we have landed on. Now that Obama and the democratic party have moved the democratic meme so far to the right that we are given only the choice between the right and the right lite, where does the democratic left that got these bastards elected go? We have been accused of leaving the party when, in fact, the party left us. The democrats are farther to the right today than the republicans were under Nixon.

  •  Thankful for what? (0+ / 0-)

    It's all too little and too late for the base. We're NOT coming out. I don't know anybody that has any faith in the Dems. or Obama anymore. You can't batter your own yr. after yr. and then throw a few crumbs at them and expect them to jump and down for joy. Not going to happen. We all know the Dems. are just not that into us and ONLY want us around to keep them in power  every election. Fuck em if they can't take a joke.

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

    by Blutodog on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 02:48:01 PM PDT

  •  Could we retire the term, "hippie-punching? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Rock Bottom at long last (0+ / 0-)

    Splendid diary!!!! thank you!!!

    My mission over the last few weeks has been to remind the unhappy Dems that in '08, we had only two choices: Obama/Biden or McCain/Palin. I recommend closing your eyes for just a few minutes and reflecting if McCain/Palin had won. For me, thinking about the possibility is like a technicolor horror show! Seriously, try it - close your eyes and imagine - you'll feel a whole lot better, believe me! I'm no pollyanna but when people talk about the lesser of the evils, this is my very first vision - and for me, Obama is not only the lesser of the evils, but a damned good president! As a mother, the only regret I have is that the  mother and grandparents who raised him did not have the pleasure of seeing how he turned out!!!! Single white mom, biracial, black child - sheesh!!!! It's an inspiration!

    And no, I am no pollyanna!!!!!

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