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I don't have time to write great blog posts like this one from Rabbi Michael Lerner on the HuffPost. Even if I did, I doubt I could've even come close to nailing it like the good rabbi does.

Some choice pieces below the fold.  But, really, just go to the link and read the whole damn thing. I just wanted to bring some attention to his post here.

Pow!

Sure, they said, Obama had led peace and justice-oriented liberal and progressive movement people to believe he would end rather than escalate middle east wars, punish rather than ignore those who had lied us into the Iraq war and those who had ordered or carried out torture, end discrimination against gays in the military and elsewhere, secure rather than undermine domestic civil liberties and human rights, fight for rather than duck serious changes in immigration and in environmental protection, and insist on at least a public option in health care and lowered prices for pharmaceuticals. But, hey -- those people who paid attention to these details were only a small minority, and they would rally around Obama no matter what, giving him no incentive to listen to them. After all, Obama was just being "realistic" about the limitations of his power.

Bam!

I wondered why George Bush, who came into office without any electoral mandate, managed to fight for and demand his Right-wing program, while Obama seemed unable to even articulate a coherent worldview and kept falling back onto the formulations and assumptions of the Reagan/Bush years about the wisdom of the marketplace and the need to fight an endless war against terror. Spineless to his core, Obama seemed unable to fight for anything -- his style was to concede before a battle, except if it was a battle to put down his own progressive and liberal base.

Nails it!

The big mistake we made in 2007 and 2008 was to have a candidate before we had a movement and platform to which we could hold the candidate. Repeating the errors of the previous decades, many of us fell into the "identity politics" trap -- we wanted Obama or Clinton not because they articulated a clear and detailed progressive agenda, but because of their race or gender.

The good rabbi goes on to talk about that new platform -- The Caring Society -- Caring for Each Other, Caring for the Planet. With a new "bottom line" for America featuring a long list of sensible policies and actions, which you should just go read.

Congrats, Rabbi Lerner. We either do what you say or go make the Greens a viable party in this country.

Originally posted to greenasteroid on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:12 PM PST.

Poll

If progressives don't fight back in 2012, we are:

3%3 votes
10%8 votes
6%5 votes
2%2 votes
6%5 votes
14%11 votes
3%3 votes
9%7 votes
29%23 votes
12%10 votes

| 77 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    When Obama ever stands up for something, I'll stand up for him.

    by bogmanoc on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:12:53 PM PST

  •  When he was asked he (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psilocynic

    said we should primary Obama with Russ Feingold.  Identity politics?

  •  "Unable to even articulate a coherent worldview" (11+ / 0-)

    Not taking any sides on the "let's primary Obama" topic, what has worried me from the get go is this:

    [Obama] seems "unable to even articulate a coherent worldview" I mean one of his own not one fabricated by the GOP.

    That is a huge problem, at the intellectual level.

  •  We should primary Blue Dogs (6+ / 0-)

    but not Obama. Obama is too popular with Democrats, and a primary would hurt more than help.

    People panic too much on this site.

    by thematt523 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:19:19 PM PST

  •  lol. the so called "progressives" (5+ / 0-)

    can't even unite behind the most effective progressive President in a few decades.  how are you going to do anything more than give the white house to an insane GOP in 2012?

    dream on.

    Obama 2012: Because even if you're pissed at him, try to imagine the alternatives

    by TobyRocksSoHard on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:22:43 PM PST

    •  Are those talking points fresh? (n/t) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      banjolele, dance you monster
      •  I'm not a fan boy, but the GOP (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden

        is so insane that Obama "looks good" in comparison. He needs better advisors, better chief of staff, better strategists, and to drop his anti left and self pitying attitudes.

        I simply can't bear another 4-12 years of GOP destruction, this admin, while disappointing, is far better than the alternative.

        So I wouldn't call those talking points but a different view from yours perhaps.

        The Great Recession is a happy happy joy joy time to drop your obsolete skills and train for new ones.

        by doinaheckuvanutjob on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:56:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't worry (3+ / 0-)

      Obama's sealing that up for them on his own.

      When Obama ever stands up for something, I'll stand up for him.

      by bogmanoc on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:27:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ok, 'conservative" registered Republican (3+ / 0-)

      chiming in here so take it FWIW.

      Primarying Obama is one of the worst ideas I've heard.  I actually want some of the problems our country is facing to be solved and "my" party is of no use due to it's break with reality.  But just because the Republicans went crazy doesn't mean that the Democrats need to do the same and utterly fracture your party.

      For the sake of our country I wish this community would stop this non-sense about primarying Obama because this "conservative" registered Republican cannot bear the thought of "my" leadership resuming power again.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:05:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama can't win in 2012. (0+ / 0-)

        I realize that to a conservative Republican, he may seem like he can, but he can't.  He's broken too many promises and been too incompetent on the economy.

        A primary challenge is our only chance of keeping "your" leadership out of the Presidency, and that's where those of us advocating it are coming from.

        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

        by neroden on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 08:20:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Your leadership IS in power (0+ / 0-)

         Obama's essentially continuing the (ruinious) Reagan/Bush economic policies, with a few extra crumbs thrown at us.

         They didn't work under Bush, and they won't work any better under Obama.

         Expect Obama to meet Bush's fate. With no popular war to prop him up, he'll meet it four years earlier.

        "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

        by Buzzer on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 08:35:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're talking to a very tiny minority (0+ / 0-)

        and they feel disempowered and betrayed, and so your observation falls on deaf ears. But their caterwauling is not demonstrative of the vast majority of Democrats, though there might be a majority of Dems feeling a fair amount of disappointment. A primary challenger is unlikely to happen, if it does it won't be anyone prominent and they'll be lucky to get more than 2% of the vote in a primary.

        The Great Recession is a happy happy joy joy time to drop your obsolete skills and train for new ones.

        by doinaheckuvanutjob on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 09:14:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Beg to differ (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doinaheckuvanutjob

          'But their caterwauling is not demonstrative of the vast majority of Democrats...'

          As Kos has said, the progressive community is the canary in the coal mine of mainstream Democratic support.

          After two more years of this crap, the enthusiasm gap will look like the Grand Canyon.

          When Obama ever stands up for something, I'll stand up for him.

          by bogmanoc on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 11:30:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  the most effective progressive President ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      I am interested to know what you consider progessive about Obama?

      Not what he says, but what actions of his that are so progressive?

      Sure, they said, Obama had led peace and justice-oriented liberal and progressive movement people to believe he would end rather than escalate middle east wars, punish rather than ignore those who had lied us into the Iraq war and those who had ordered or carried out torture, end discrimination against gays in the military and elsewhere, secure rather than undermine domestic civil liberties and human rights, fight for rather than duck serious changes in immigration and in environmental protection, and insist on at least a public option in health care and lowered prices for pharmaceuticals.

      But, hey -- those people who paid attention to these details were only a small minority, and they would rally around Obama no matter what, giving him no incentive to listen to them.

      Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

      by allenjo on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:10:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can imagine (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo

        Obama reading this post and comments, thinking, "I've got the lefties enraged.  I must be going right down the middle like I planned."

        Better to be RIGHT about the issues than straight down the mythical middle, Barack.

        When Obama ever stands up for something, I'll stand up for him.

        by bogmanoc on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 11:33:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Progressive? He's old school republican. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      Life is less stressful when you realize that Obama is a Republican in "D" clothing.

      by The Dead Man on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 06:20:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Boy... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doinaheckuvanutjob, bogmanoc

    For someone who actually lived through and was a part of the SDS split and the self-annihilation of one progressive movement, he's awfully ready to toss the match himself this time.

    I guess the most delicious part... the most thick irony to be found...

    Bill Ayers probably agrees with him now.

    I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

    by zonk on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:22:47 PM PST

  •  Uh, what? (7+ / 0-)

    The big mistake we made in 2007 and 2008 was to have a candidate before we had a movement and platform to which we could hold the candidate. Repeating the errors of the previous decades, many of us fell into the "identity politics" trap -- we wanted Obama or Clinton not because they articulated a clear and detailed progressive agenda, but because of their race or gender.

    What a bunch of fucking bullshit. No, I won't go read the whole thing.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:23:09 PM PST

  •  We don't get to manufacture a candidate... (5+ / 0-)

    There's no app for that yet.  All we get is to choose among damaged, faulty, fallible and defective human beings.

    And then if they take this impossible job, by of course implying that they are a superman.  Then we castigate for not being such a super hero.

    And their response, (with my mother's Jewish accent) Vot do you think, I'm Superman?"

    Take that, Rabbi!

  •  If you don't have time to write a diary, don't n/ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bruised toes
  •  Why Primary Obama? (0+ / 0-)

    Let's run a liberal third party candidate against him in the general election.  Let's see if that will make him take us seriously.  He certainly won't while he can take our (eventual, general election) vote for granted.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:24:20 PM PST

    •  Two words: Republicans win. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TLS66

      And who will this third party run?

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:40:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Republican Win. Fine (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buzzer, The Dead Man

        If we are going to follow Republican policies, we might as well have a Republican president to pin the blame on.

        As it stands, ignorant Americans are thinking that all this Republican stuff Obama is signing on to (from rendition and taxes cuts for the very rich) are DEMOCRATIC ideas.  

        And where is the blame going to land in 2012?  

        I'm geeing ti will land at the feet of Obama and every other politician with a D after his or her name.  

        •  It's people like you (0+ / 0-)

          who stayed home when Humphrey was our nominee and, as a result, gave us Nixon, who gave us Rehnquist, (and therefore  Scalia when Rehnquist became CJ) and who voted for Nader when Gore was our nominee and therefore gave us Bush, and thus Roberts when Rehnquist died and Alito when O'Connor left.  You guys never seem to understand that the damage the GOP can do can last decades with their court picks.

          "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

          by TLS66 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 06:04:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So how's Obama doing with court appointments? (0+ / 0-)

             Doesn't sound like he's in much of a rush to fill them, is he?

            "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

            by Buzzer on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 08:39:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Every president has a backlog (0+ / 0-)

              of appointments.  No president gets most vacancies filled in his first two years. There will always be holdups; always a Senator placing a hold. Also, I find Sotomayor and Kagan a damn sight better than Roberts and Alito, and certainly better than whomever McCain would have appointed.  You'd really risk a Republican President appointing a young buck of 30 to replace Ruth Ginsburg?  And there's NO guarantee that the 30 year old buck will retire during a Democratic administration decades hence.

              "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

              by TLS66 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 09:15:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's people like you (0+ / 0-)

            who start their posts with "It's people like you"

            who make people like me, roll their eyes and tune out.

            As for your claim that I stayed home when Humphrey blah blah blah -- Bull shit!   I was there.   At least I think I was there.   I was a zygote at the time, so my memory is a little fuzzy.  But I was politically aware at a very early age.  

            Meanwhile, your post only indicates to me that you are unaware that rebranding of crappy Right-wing ideas as being Democratic ideas is underway.   And blaming me for it isn't changing a damn thing.  All it demonstrates is you are angry... and you have your head in the sand.  

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

          As it stands, ignorant Americans are thinking that all this Republican stuff Obama is signing on to (from rendition and taxes cuts for the very rich) are DEMOCRATIC ideas.  

           The absolute worst thing about the Obama presidency is that his conservative approaches to problem-solving (WHICH DON'T WORK) are being branded and packaged as liberal solutions (which haven't been tried since LBJ).

           For this alone, he deserves worse than being primaried.

          "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

          by Buzzer on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 08:39:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  They're doing pretty good as is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, bogmanoc, ruscle

        I'm not much of a fan of Rav Lerner, but given that Obama would rather play "Let's Make A Deal" than govern as a Democrat, isn't the role of Democratic Nominee In 2012 at least open for grabs?  Hell, it's open for grabs in 2010.

        You can't govern if you can't tell the country where you are taking it. The plot of Obama's presidency has been harder to follow than "Inception." -- F. Rich

        by mbayrob on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 07:15:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Two more words...Ralph Nader! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jeff in nyc, NoFortunateSon

      I bet if you recruit him, he'll run.  He hates President Obama enough to want to challenge him. Go for it!

      •  Two More Words: Ted Kennedy 1980 n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  Caused by Carter's failure, & Clinton's failure. (0+ / 0-)

          In reverse order.

          You don't seriously think Carter would have won without Ted Kennedy's challenge, do you?

          And Gore actually DID win the most votes.  And I've talked to Nader voters: they were not voting for Gore no matter what, they were voting against Clinton.  If Nader hadn't run, they would have stayed home or even voted for Bush.

          Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

          by neroden on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 08:21:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  And he isn't even Jewish (0+ / 0-)

        I think he's of Lebanese descent.

        Why anybody would think that Rabbi Lerner would recommend Feingold because of his ethnicity is beyond me.  Feingold certainly has never made his Jewish background an important piece of his public persona.  You might as well support Obama because he's of British royal descent (and he is -- Edward III was an ancestor on his mother's side) or because his dad was Kenyan.

        You can't govern if you can't tell the country where you are taking it. The plot of Obama's presidency has been harder to follow than "Inception." -- F. Rich

        by mbayrob on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 07:19:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If you were a Republican (0+ / 0-)

      shill sent here to encourage community support for a third-party run from the left, you couldn't have said it any better. IMO you are either a troll, or might as well be one making such a suggestion.

      I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

      by doc2 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:25:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  An insurgent "party switch" movement would (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      be more effective.

      It would rightly embarrass him and be enough of an eye grabber for the media to oogle.

      Life is less stressful when you realize that Obama is a Republican in "D" clothing.

      by The Dead Man on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 06:16:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kaledidescope, read about Duverger's law. (0+ / 0-)

      That's why primaries are better than third party runs.  Pure math.  End of story,

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 08:22:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We should primary the blue dogs that have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, CrissieP

    somehow managed to sneak in to progressive districts and states.

    Spending ten million on primarying Blanche Lincoln was, for example, imo a very bad tactical decision.

    There were some Dem senatorial candidates in the general in Illinois and Pennsylvania that sure could have used 5 million each.  And it probably would have given us at least 1 more decent Dem Senator.

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

    by Lawrence on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:24:44 PM PST

    •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ruff Limblog, Willa Rogers

      Spending ten million on primarying Blanche Lincoln was, for example, imo a very bad tactical decision.

      It was a great tactical decision.  The crappy tactical decision was made by the President and Bill Clinton, who then worked to nullify that money by getting Blanche through her primary so she could definitively lose in the general.

      I don't know that Halter would have won the general, but the writing was on the wall for Blanche even before the primary, so supporting her simply made sure the seat was lost to Republicans.

      •  The other (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence

        guy would have lost too. Neither one was going to win but you could make the argument that it might have been better to lose with the other candidate.

        It's the policy stupid

        by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:00:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, I stand by my original statement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CrissieP

        There was no way in hell that a Democrat was going to win that Senate seat this year(with the exception of possibly Mike Beebe).

        I think some here on the netroots really have little idea what southern states are like.

        It's alot smarter to primary blue dogs in areas where progressives actually stand a good chance.

        "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

        by Lawrence on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:16:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lerner is a very good person... (5+ / 0-)

    ...but he has a long track record of political ineffectiveness.

    We need a serious consideration of strategies going forward.  

    We need new ways of building strength and effectively moving the political debate.

    Were there a plausible primary candidate who could actually win, I'd be all in favor of taking on Obama.

    There isn't, however.  And all such an effort would do would be to waste time, money, and political capital in a way that would demoralize many and make us look even weaker than we are.

    We need to be bold, but we need to be more creative and effective.

    Tell your Congressperson and Senators: Vote NO on the Obama-McConnell-Boehner Tax Giveaways!

    by GreenSooner on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:25:06 PM PST

    •  A primary isn't going to happen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenSooner, RaulVB

      but we need to find a way to knoch this Whitehouse off balance a bit - leave them not sure if they are going to get our support, door knocking, phonebanking and donating or not.

      It's all about leverage. If we do that successfully once it will put future candidates and office holders on notice that we are not to be taken for granted.

      Sanctimonious, Self Satisfied, Liberal and Proud.

      by stevej on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:27:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden

        Play hard to get?  That's your answer?

        When Obama ever stands up for something, I'll stand up for him.

        by bogmanoc on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:31:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, mightymouse

        So long as Obama is President (which, much as I hate to say it, will hopefully be until 2017), one of our main focuses needs to be on coming up with leverage against him.

        Right now we have none.  The Democratic Party is utterly toothless, as the last week of behavior from the House caucus shows.  We lack serious independent organizations that can pressure him.  Trumka will predicatably say the right thing, but it's been a forty since organized labor has had any real muscle when dealing with a Democratic president.

        So Job 1 is coming up with new strategies.  And to get there we need to own a very important reality: the strategy of "Electing More and Better Democrats" has failed. And it's failed in a particular way: it achieved its electoral goals, but it simply did not have the political impact that advocates claimed it would. What it got was about a dozen votes in the Senate today.  That's not a very impressive achievement.

        But there's a second task, too. And that's finding someone who can seriously challenge for the nomination and the presidency from the left in 2016.  Our lack of a plausible primary candidate for 2012 should be a major wakeup call for progressives. We need to identify some candidates and start building political infrastructure for six years from now.

        Tell your Congressperson and Senators: Vote NO on the Obama-McConnell-Boehner Tax Giveaways!

        by GreenSooner on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:37:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wait two years (0+ / 0-)

      With a Republican Congress (oh, the Senate.  yeah, right)smelling blood in the water and Obama killing his own base, he'll be rife for primarying.  Especially because I think this tax cut is going to make us dive into longer term economic problems.

      When Obama ever stands up for something, I'll stand up for him.

      by bogmanoc on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:31:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slatsg

        You still need a candidate. And that candidate needs a war chest.

        I know there are those with fantasies about Gene McCarthy in '68.*

        Well, the modern primary system is very different from the system in '68 (when the eventual winner, Hubert Humphrey, didn't even formally enter any primaries).  The campaign starts earlier, and it's much more expensive.

        For a serious challenger to emerge, he or she would need to emerge NOW and have more or at least as much money as Obama a year from now.

        So anger that emerges in December 2011, while it can certainly hurt Obama in Novemer 2012, isn't going to get anyone else nominated from the Democratic Party.

        __________________________

        * Also: McCarthy was only effective in driving LBJ from the race because RFK was waiting in the wings.  There may indeed be some Gene McCarthy's in the Senate today: relatively obscure Democrats who could garner surprising national support. But we have no RFKs, that is figures on the left (if you want to call RFK's rather odd politics "left") with huge name recognition and extremely positive public feelings about them.

        Tell your Congressperson and Senators: Vote NO on the Obama-McConnell-Boehner Tax Giveaways!

        by GreenSooner on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:42:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Lerner is a bigot (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Escamillo

      He exposed his agenda on the Last Word (Lawrence O'Donnell) when he suggested that Obama and Hillary were essentially affirmative action candidates, and Obama nows needs to be primaried by a Jewish male.

      Yet he projected his own internalized issues with "identity politics" on the supporters of the current President and SOS.

      •  That's a sad, sad comment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, ohmyheck

        I have my own problems with R. Lerner, but the idea the guy has a racist bone in his body is just slander, pure and simple.

        So yours was a sad comment.  And if you keep up with it, you're pretty sad yourself.

        You can't govern if you can't tell the country where you are taking it. The plot of Obama's presidency has been harder to follow than "Inception." -- F. Rich

        by mbayrob on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 07:22:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If there is one thing (5+ / 0-)

    that I hope we take from this sorry excuse for a presidency it is that the policies should always trump the personalities.

    The US electoral system is, unfortunately,  personality driven so we are up against it but it doesn't stop us only supporting candidates conditionally i.e. while they are working towards progressive principles or at least not taking a hard right turn to be more realistic.

    As soon as we support a candidate unconditionally we are in effect taking ourselves out of the democratic process.

    Sanctimonious, Self Satisfied, Liberal and Proud.

    by stevej on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:25:06 PM PST

  •  We do need to make the Democrats (4+ / 0-)

    as afraid of, and responsive to the progressives as the GOP is of the Tea Party. What is their magic formula? Why does every rep  from John McCain to Scott Brown bow down to them, over and over?

    Now passing 1,000 Choi Units into the Obama administration.

    by Scott Wooledge on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:28:40 PM PST

  •  We are so being played by the GOP (4+ / 0-)

    Seriously: Obama has his faults, but he is way more progressive, in terms of what he's been able to do, at least, than Kennedy, Carter or Clinton, and maybe he could be up there with Johnson if he stays in office and gets a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House for two years sometime between now and 2016.

    He hasn't gotten into any giant scandals or done anything exceptionally stupid. His aides haven't gotten into any serious scandals, and you could argue that Obama has some of the problems he has because they're so loyal they leak way too little. Maybe he'd be better off with more aides who'd rat on him to WikiLeaks and give people an idea of how he really thinks.

    He's signed a giant health reform bill, a giant banking bill, a giant child food bill, and a bunch of other bills that have been dwarfed just because he's been signing so many other big bills.

    His cabinet secretaries are doing things like creating GLBT health programs.

    I can believe that Obama is doing all sorts of operational things wrong. I can believe that he's arrogant and needs to listen more to good advice (although maybe he should be listening more to triangulators, not to us).

    But he has mostly just been an amazingly, quietly effective president in terrible times.

    I'm just stunned by all the rage directed him, and I just don't believe it's the result of anything he's done. My base assumption is that at least half of it, even here, is driven by paid GOP social media communications people who are deftly herding us into circular firing squads, because they want to divide and conquer us in 2012.

    This is just like a Star Trek episode where the energy being bad guys have gotten the good folks to shoot at one another instead of at the bad guys.

    If not, why is it that I look here and at op-eds written by alleged Democrats and it seems as if they were written by Karl Rove, just because Obama got this or that provision in a giant bill wrong?

    People seem to be applying obscure litmus test after obscure litmus test just to make sure that Obama fails the litmus tests. Either he has to be pure and get whupped by the Republicans, or he has to be impure and get whupped by both the Republicans and us.

    We are collectively a bunch of disloyal creeps. We put Obama in the White House, and when he needs us, when he's going to head to head with the real goons, we shaft him.

    When are we going to Han Solo up and realize that Obama is our guy, that he is up against giant, high-budget forces of evil that can make us hate our own mothers and think our own fathers are penguins, and stand with him?

    I love Bernie Sanders, for example. I loved his filibuster. Given that this tax bill was going to pass anyway, I think it was great that he had the freedom of conscience to vote against the bill.

    I'd even like to see Bernie Sanders or Dennis Kucinich be a semi-serious symbolic primary candidate against Obama.

    But how can we seriously be talking about primarying Obama, weakening Obama, kneecapping Obama, at a time when he needs every ounce of strength he has to keep Boehner from sucking us into the depths of hell? No, Obama probably won't get anything progressive accomplished in the next two years, no matter how much we support him. What supporting Obama means is we keep progressive ideas in the mix, and that we keep Boehner from permanently dragging Obama and us to the bottom of the muck lake and tying an anchor to our necks.

    •  So... (0+ / 0-)

      the Tea Partiers can be mad as hell at the Republican leadership but we've got to meekly accept our fate?

      Like Bernie, too.  All for a Sanders run for the presidency.

      When Obama ever stands up for something, I'll stand up for him.

      by bogmanoc on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:50:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're simply wrong analytically.... (0+ / 0-)

      Obama has been rather good at hiding from public view the frankly-evil things he's been doing (assassination orders!), but even the well-publicized ones are bad enough.  He really has been Bush's third term.

      Of course he's up against giant, high-budget, forces of evil.  And he's cooperating with them in the "spirit of bipartisanship".

      "Useful idiot" was what revolutionaries used to call folks like him.

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 08:25:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  delete this diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, lightshine, NoFortunateSon

    and make it a comment in an open thread.  

    We have nowhere else to go... this is all we have. (Margaret Mead)

    by bruised toes on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:37:03 PM PST

  •  Do whatever you want. I don't really want to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CrissieP, NoFortunateSon

    do anything for next election....I'll probably donate to Obama's reelection, but no congressional campaigns.

    I'm certainly not going to hang out with you guys...in politics, nobody likes losers. Knock yourself out, though. I'll just tend my own garden, as I suspect a lot of the voters who turned out in 2008 will. As you all are always saying: there's no difference between Obama and Hitler and Xenu and so on...so why bother? Obama is the candidate in 2012 and your impotent rage will only dissuade participation. (But you'll be right, damnit!!! and that's what matters, no???)

    I'll vote for Obama again, but I'm not going to know who the downticket people are and I'll probably end up voting for a end-times loony Theocrat, which I apparently already did last month--even while I was paying attention. (I'm white and gay and would also liked to have seen some of the things y'all are mad about turn out differently...I felt like I need to say I'm white, for some reason.)

    Also, too: nobody but assholes that hang around stupid blogs all day even knows what "to primary" means, and I suspect they wouldn't be all that impressed if they found out.

    Pareto Principle: 20% of the people do 80% of the work.

    by jeff in nyc on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:38:39 PM PST

  •  Good point about Bush (0+ / 0-)

    He wasn't even elected and managed to get his way on taxes.

    I'm from the sanctimonious wing of the Democratic party.

    by Paleo on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 04:57:41 PM PST

    •  I think (0+ / 0-)

      that's what makes people so frustrated. Bush didn't even get a mandate but got a lot done.

      It's the policy stupid

      by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:01:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Got what done? (0+ / 0-)

        A tax bill through reconciliation. Started two wars.

        Now pretend 9/11 never happened. He got 5 years out of 9/11, like LBJ got out of JFK.

        Name another major legislative accomplishment on par with Barack Obama's that George Bush achieved. Or Bill Clinton. Or George H.W. Bush. We have to start going to the way back machine to find such significant legislative accomplishments.

        •  You're kidding right? (0+ / 0-)

          Obama basically did an ineffective stimulus and spent 15 months on a lousy health care bill. W got NCLB, tax cuts a war tort reform and all kinds of crap passed. I didnt say it was good i just said he got it done. He did Medicare drug program too.

          Clinton passed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act in '93 that was bigger than anything Obama passed with regards to the economy and he didn't even have 60 senators when that happened. He didn't care about chasing around the GOP to get their vote like Obama did. Obama's obsession with the GOP just borders on silliness.

          It's the policy stupid

          by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:32:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Primarying Obama is unrealistic... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    the problem isn't Obama, its the whole corrupt system.  Obama is just another employee, kissing his employers butt.

    If an actual progressive got elected he would be destroyed within 4 months.

    We need to push the demo party to the left from the inside, and on the outside have big angry protest demonstrations in every major city.

    We need to scare the shit out of the assholes that run this country (like in France) and take over the Democratic Party.

    That is just the first step, but, if we don't want plutocracy, than nothing else will work.

    "There is no JUSTICE, there's JUST US." Terry Pratchett

    by rubine on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:03:49 PM PST

  •  Why is a bigot cited on this blog? (4+ / 0-)

    Rabbi Lerner had the nerve On Lawrence O'Donnell's Last Word, to suggest that both Barack OBama and Hillary Clinton were affirmative action candidates, being selected as Democratic frontrunners in 2008 due to "identity politics" of being the first "African-American" and "first female" candidate.

    Then he turns around in the same breath and suggests that President should be primaried by  none other than a Jewish male (Russ Feingold), an individual who has publicly stated that he is NOT going to run a primary in 2012. And Mr. Lerner wants to talk about "identity politics?"

    •  He's not a Rabbi, and he is very controversial (4+ / 0-)

      He was also a devout PUMA.

      He's hiding his PUMA credentials by claiming people voted for Hillary because she was a woman.

      He has taken many controversial stances, and has a rich history of hating Barack Obama back to the primaries.

      •  He's not? (0+ / 0-)

        Yes he is a Rabbi.

        I'm from the sanctimonious wing of the Democratic party.

        by Paleo on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:24:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's like Dr. Dre calling himself a doctor (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Escamillo

          Lerner never graduated from rabbinical college. He has no formal rabbinical training. He simply assumed the title.

          •  Tell that to the congregants at (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden

            Beyt Tikkun Synagogue.

            He did not graduate from a seminary, but he was ordained by a beth din.

            I'm from the sanctimonious wing of the Democratic party.

            by Paleo on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:40:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That doesn't seem a little fishy to you? (0+ / 0-)

              Or his claims that Obama is too centrist despite having campaigned for the more centrist Hillary Clinton in the primary?

              •  Do you know anything about Judaism? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden

                Actually, it's a completely traditional way to become a rabbi.  See my comment above.

                I have a couple of friends who were granted smichah in exactly this way.  It's more common in the orthodox Jewish community than in the US, but if you know halacha at the needed level and are of good character, a Jewish religious court can and often does confirm someone as a rabbi (i.e, a master of Jewish law).

                I'm not a fan of R. Lerner -- I think he's an ass -- but do not doubt the man is a rabbi.

                You can't govern if you can't tell the country where you are taking it. The plot of Obama's presidency has been harder to follow than "Inception." -- F. Rich

                by mbayrob on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 07:41:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  It's possible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Escamillo

        that he was trying to cover his arse by throwing the Hillary Clinton/Gender issue out there.

        The point is, he wanted to paint Obama under the brush of "affirmative action" which is not only false, but pretty disgusting for a supposedly progressive liberal to state on national TV.

  •  who is this rabbi? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Escamillo, ursoklevar

    and why should we give a fuck what he says?

    RIP Pike Miners We will never forget

    by GlowNZ on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:26:27 PM PST

  •  The threat of a third party challenge is better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lisastar

    The white house has no fear of a primary challenge.  But they're scared to death of a third party challenge.  Just the threat of one would do far more than a primary challenge in making think long and hard about further triangulation.  And a threat doesn't mean necessarily carrying it out.

    I'm from the sanctimonious wing of the Democratic party.

    by Paleo on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 05:27:49 PM PST

  •  Not even Howard Dean (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lightshine

    is interested in primarying Obama. People who are honest about the differences between Democrats and Republicans are not even considering primarying the president, because they know the alternative is unthinkable.

    The folks who keep singing the "primary Obama" song are folks who would now prefer to have Republican president than Barack Obama. They are exposing themselves. It's not about policy, it's about the person. Many of these "primary Obama" folks would be quite content with a Jeb Bush or a Michael Bloomberg, or even a John Thune...

    •  As I've said before (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CrissieP, Socratic Method

      the vast majority of the "primary Obama" ish will fade once the Tea Party Congress freakshow gets into full swing.

      Really. Everyone is soooooooo underselling how batshit they will be. Just say the phrase "They'll be dumber and more spiteful than Gingrich" out loud a few times then let the amazement sink in.

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 06:39:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are completely wrong. (0+ / 0-)

        Have you read Krugman's description of the Republicans in The Great Unraveling (from 2004 or so) -- and more importantly, have you read his description of elite reaction?

        We're getting to the point where people are actually noticing that the elite reaction is not functional.  We know damn well what the Tea Party Congress will do.  Unfortunately, we also know now that Obama will go along with all of it in the spirit of "bipartisanship".  (He's welcome to stop ANY TIME and regain our support.)

        So people who are coming from the analytical position I am coming from -- and I think that's at least half of the people ready to primary Obama -- are not going to change their minds just because Obama gives even more away to even crazier Republicans.  Because there's no logic to that.

        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

        by neroden on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 08:28:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Greens are not a realistic option. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CrissieP

    If you think they are, try them.  Then come back and tell us about it.  I'm  willing to stand corrected.

  •  This is what I don't get... (0+ / 0-)

    Rabbi Lerner campaigned for Hillary. She was the more establishment candidate, centrist, etc. Why does he now feel Obama is being too centrist? Certainly Hillary Clinton would not have been the progressive champion he wanted. So why all this hate toward Obama?

    P.S.: The primary Obama diaries are getting real old real fast. They all stink like three-day-old dead fish and are intellectually void.

    Maybe if we use our words more the rest of the world will play nice and the only boom-boom will be in our pants--ralph wiggam

    by Socratic Method on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 08:21:23 PM PST

    •  Lotta people (0+ / 0-)

      didn't like the "Obama is screwing up his presidency" posts either until very recently.

      This is just the reaction of a sincere, lifelong progressive to the policies of a Democratic president I had high hopes for.

      When Obama ever stands up for something, I'll stand up for him.

      by bogmanoc on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 11:59:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree that she was a more (0+ / 0-)

      centrist, establishment candidate. They were really not that far apart.

      Intelligence is not something you should avoid - Camper Van Beethoven

      by AaronInSanDiego on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 02:03:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  err, sorry for my late reply (0+ / 0-)

      just realized the date on this diary. That happens to me sometimes when I get to a diary from the hidden comments.

      Intelligence is not something you should avoid - Camper Van Beethoven

      by AaronInSanDiego on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 02:05:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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