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A very recent front page entry has a disgusting picture of a person abasing himself before another. From context it is rather clear who is meant to be in the respective positions.

                               Sigh....

I really do not know what is so hard to understand about that it is not a good idea to demolish those people who are the closest to your side from the available array of influential people. Closest is of course a relative term, in absolute terms it may be a considerable difference but that is irrelevant here. If you cannot appreciate that you need to read further.

A front pager is at it again, together with so many other ill-guided souls on this website. I really do not know what is so hard to understand about that it is not a good idea to demolish those people who are the closest to your side from the available array of influential people.

The purist (left kind of purist) person says: I want x and y, and if I do not get it I will demonize Obama and the Democrats. I do not care about what the other players do and can do (Republicans, teahadists, Koch brothers, Murdoch etc) because they are so vile I do not want to listen to them. And I do not expect anything from them, so why should I criticize them.

The pragmatist (left kind of pragmatist) says: I want x and y. Now who is the closest to this view from the available array of influential people ? [closest is relative, in absolute terms it may be a considerable difference but that is irrelevant here. If you cannot appreciate that you presumably belong to the category above]. Oh, it is President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid! So I will go and support them. It is called a tactical coalition. Usually works better than wishful thinking.

So much for the direct evaluation of positions. Now, if we want to go meta (in the original definition, not this site's) then I guess a screeching purist fraction helps Reid to make the point that he cannot go any further with concessions, before he looses the support of the Democratic base (gliding smoothly over the fact that the majority fraction here, which likes pontificating, never was a base in any meaningful sense of the term).

Now taking meta one level further we might see that the Rebublican strategists actually appreciate the dems loosing their base over these additional concessions Reid is currently figuring out how to minimize them. So Republicans have no incentive to behave reasonable and stop their outrageous negotiation/blackmail attempts.

So in the final analysis a united house stands, a divided house falls. If the Republicans would see they cannot play/manipulate the (purist) left so easily or not at all, it will be unrewarded behavior for them, so the rational ones among them (the players, not the played) will reduce that behavior - win/win for us. The only thing needed would be for the purists among us to direct their outrage strictly at the policies which might get slipped into Reids bill, not at the Dems who do that to cut a deal, not because they like those policies (this is obvious since the changes discussed now have not been in the bill before).

So those of us liking the feel of red hot outrage running through their veins, this need not to be toned down, just re-focused explicitly on the policy options thrown around, and not invested in character assassinations such as weak, traitor, no balls, stupid, naive, incompetent, childish, etc. You know the list. The main players closest to our side (Obama, Reid, Pelosi) have not gotten to their positions by having any of these character traits.

          United we stand, divided we fall.

It really is as simple as that.

Poll

What is the best outcome of negotiations

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82%34 votes
9%4 votes
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| 41 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting diary. (21+ / 0-)

    Why wont the left just go along with things they oppose?

    I guessing, but i think its because their beliefs aren't "tactical" but moral.

    •  last time I witnessed (13+ / 0-)

      the left going after things they opposed we got Richard Nixon. The "left" shoud bash Republicans and stop beating up on the Prez. Keep gaining traction with this meme and we end up with President Romney.

      "This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door at this country's founding" - President Barack Obama

      by AAMOM on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:27:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When your tactics (6+ / 0-)

      wind up actually supporting the immoral position, it might be time to re-think.

      •  Sort of the Booker T. Washington argument. (5+ / 0-)

        He used to make this exact same point almost verbatim in his debates with W.E.B. DuBois.

        •  Could you elaborate about the arguments? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Onomastic

          I am not familiar with that debate.

          He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

          by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:43:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In the late 1800s (7+ / 0-)

            there was a big debate within the black population about how to deal with Jim Crow and second class citizenship.

            Booker T. 's position, which laid out in a famous speech called the Atlanta Compromise, was that blacks should accept second class citizenship, and strictly focus on improving their economic position within the confines of Jim Crow. He was soundly praised for this by the White population of the south. Basically his message was that blacks should stay out of politics.

            W.E.B. DuBois opposed this position vigorously, for he felt that nothing Booker T. could accomplish would have any permanence without the full civil rights that full and equal citizenship offered. he advocated using every legal means to achieve full enfranchisement in a gradual process.

            During the civil rights movement, especially in the early days, there was plenty of debate as to which approach to take. Eventually, however, especially thanks to people like A. Phillip Randolph, who advocated a position even to the left of that of DuBoid, advocating an approach of direct confrontation and demand for full citizenship became the preferred method of choice. Some even went further, advocating violence, but this was rejected.

            So I'd place the "pragmatic" position about where Booker T. is. Id place the "liberal" position about where W.E.B. DuBois was. But people like Randloph were full on 100% radical leftists.

            The radicals won that battle, by the way.

            •  Thanks for the insightful information. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cedwyn

              So, yes, winning the battle usually proves you have been right:-)

              Along these lines, how many battles have the purists on the left won in the last decades? The pragmatist-in-chief has won many battles, among them repeal of DADT, which would not have won by purist approach in my analysis. AHA also comes to mind.

              He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

              by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:14:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  so they won the rhetorical/tactical battle (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sophie Amrain, Onomastic

              and then what did that get them?  it took another 65+ years after that debate for full citizenship to be granted.

              one of the key elements of power is that no one is omnipotent; not understanding the limits of one's power is a recipe for disaster.

              we'll never know if washington's idea of quietly coping and amassing what they could in terms of economic security, i.e., money and its attendant power, might have produced a different outcome, or brought change sooner.  because, as you say, the radicals won that debate.

              and for all the "radical" fire, it was still 65+ years in the coming (a full 100 if you reckon back to the civil war).  so tell me again why obama is a failure for not reversing decades of crap policy immediately?

              W.E.B. DuBois opposed this position vigorously, for he felt that nothing Booker T. could accomplish would have any permanence without the full civil rights that full and equal citizenship offered.

              and yet, here we are talking about washington, who never did get to vote, eh?

              peace

              My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

              by Cedwyn on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:54:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for this perspective. I was not (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cedwyn, Onomastic, kj in missouri

                aware of the time frame. And thanks for visiting my diary:-)

                He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

                by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:27:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Alright. (5+ / 0-)

                Nobody is expecting instant change. I don't know why you keep raising that straw man argument that nobody is making. I suppose thats where you all get the "pony and rainbow" stuff. You keep ascribing things that arent being asked for.

                The point, however, is that what you don't want to do is actively support going in the wrong direction. If we all know that cutting spending in the middle of a recession is the wrong thing to do for the middle class and the poor, why then would we support it? Instead, we should be advocating what will make things better, even if we ultimately lose that battle. We still keep making it. So thats why you see so many diaries against our leaders advocating doing things that will cause us harm. Not because we expect to have Norway or Sweden here by 2012, but because this is taking us in the wrong direction from EVENTUALLY getting to Norway or Sweden.

                •  3 years versus 65+ (4+ / 0-)

                  come on, man.  you know full well that the disappointment with obama started before he was even inaugurated.  he was routinely excoriated for not fighting more/harder/whatever on every and any topic.  take the example of DADT; he didn't make it his first priority, for which some people excoriated him.  but hey, look...it got done.

                  lather, rinse, repeat, etc.

                  The point, however, is that what you don't want to do is actively support going in the wrong direction.

                  precisely why refusing to GOTV for congress in 2010 was patently counterproductive, self-indulgent, and hypocritical.

                  If we all know that cutting spending in the middle of a recession is the wrong thing to do for the middle class and the poor, why then would we support it?

                  none of the entitlement cuts proposed would take effect immediately.  if we all agree that a lot of defense spending is pork and we all agree that the defense budget could use a healthy trim, should that also not be cut in a recession? does that not impact jobs somewhere?

                  Instead, we should be advocating what will make things better, even if we ultimately lose that battle.

                  and advocating to not support democrats makes things better how?  

                  the bottom line:  electoral politics is about holding the line and not letting things get worse.  but the real fight -- and where victory lies -- is with the american people.  that's how we make progress -- one person, one community at a time.  change the people and the leaders can't help but follow.  

                  the biggest problems we have aren't with any one pol, dem or otherwise.  the most immediate and daunting barriers to our goals are the bullshit narrative to which our Potemkin Press is in thrall and crap like citizens united.

                  we need publicly financed elections and IRV and we need it now.

                  because until we solve the fundamental problem of the broken two-party system, not supporting dems amounts to sacrificing everything on the altar of ideology.

                  peace

                  My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

                  by Cedwyn on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 08:29:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  By the way, on this stupifying comment: (4+ / 0-)
                we'll never know if washington's idea of quietly coping and amassing what they could in terms of economic security, i.e., money and its attendant power, might have produced a different outcome, or brought change sooner.  because, as you say, the radicals won that debate.

                Um, what we know is that "separate but equal" was bullshit and brought no progress at all. Booker T. was just fucking completely wrong. In any society, you can't keep shit you own without basic rights under the law. What's to keep any white man from just stealing your inventory if you can't get any justice in a court of law?

                W.E.B. DuBois was absolutely correct that this idea of Booker T would work was just bullshit. It was tried and it failed.

                •  but you said the radicals won (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Whimsical, Sophie Amrain

                  so for how long was washington's approach attempted?  by whom or what was it deemed ineffective?  is 65+ years an acceptable definition of "effective"?  

                  My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

                  by Cedwyn on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 08:11:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They kept fighting for it is the point. (3+ / 0-)

                    The "separate but equal" philosophy of Booker T. was the modus operandi for a great many of those 65 years. The radicals never compromised with this. They kept fighting for it. I took a while, of course. Even they expected it would. I expect it will. My point is that we should fight for the future we believe in instead of compromising with what we know is taking us in the wrong direction.

                    Trust, even up to the days of MLK, there were plenty of people in the black community asking him to "just be reasonable." He rejected this in his famous Birmingham letter.

      •  When your tactics do get you less than you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernBelleNC49, Whimsical

        could have gotten with another tactics, then you have to reconsider.

        supporting the immoral position

        may have different meanings. If you mean making the success of the immoral position more likely then I agree. If you mean saying something other than scathingly refute immoral positions I disagree. It can be helpful to agree to some immoral position to block another more immoral position.

        As aamom says above,

        last time I witnessed the left going after things they opposed we got Richard Nixon.

        Ethics is about evaluating what is good or bad.

        Tactics is about getting the best you can get considering the circumstances. The best you can get is equivalent with the least bad you can get, because it is a relative term.

        He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

        by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:52:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tactics and getting the best you can get. (6+ / 0-)

          One reason so many of us are mad and fed up with the whole thing is that we predicted all of this (I know I did in several posts) last December when Obama renewed the Bush tax cuts.  His TACTICS, at that time, of giving the Republicans something they desperately wanted, something he had campaigned against doing, had the effect of 1) rewarding hostage-taking (the 50-week unemployed), and increasing the deficit prior to the coming budget negotiations and debt ceiling increase.  We predicted that the Republicans would use the deficit as an excuse to CUT MEDICARE (I didn't know they would try to cut SS too, good Lord).  And tada...

          That's what bad tactics get you.  

          The funny thing is, those of us that were having kittens about the whole thing were criticized last December for not supporting Obama in his decision.  So these chastising diaries like this about how we should support Obama whenever he tries to do something stupid and destructive fall on deaf ears.  We've heard this before, and we keep seeing history repeat.

          The bad tactics aren't coming from posters on blogs.  The bad tactics came from the Whitehouse.  Sorry.

    •  I don't think its moral. Not when they are (6+ / 0-)

      willing to ignore progress and enable the sociopaths that have taken control of the GOP.

      •  I agree. One has to look at the outcome (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Had Enough Right Wing BS, Cedwyn

        of one's actions and compare to other possible outcomes to decide on the right course of action. Morals are for deciding what is right, but tactics are required to get you there (or at least closer:-)

        He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

        by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:55:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As far as tactics go I like to think of models for (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sophie Amrain, Cedwyn, Onomastic

          leadership like the Kouzes-Posner Model: "Leaders establish principles concerning the way people should be treated and the way goals should be pursued."

          I also like the admonition that the end does not justify the means but the means determines the end.

          Last but not least I could go spiritual and say that I believe the only thing that can overcome evil is good and I think what has taken over the minds and hearts of the GOP is definitely springing from evil.

    •  Sigh. As I explained the left could make good (6+ / 0-)

      use of their pent-up outrage by strictly attacking the policies that might get slipped and have been slipped already in Reids bill. Any attack on the people negotiating on (or somewhat closer to) our side is counterproductive.

      You do not understand the difference between ethics and tactics. Ethics is what makes you prefer certain policies to start with. Tactics is about how to reach these goals - which may well be one step forward, half step back, or even one step forwar, one step back at times. And which of these options it is depends on the full picture which includes all your opponents do and can do.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:40:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So tell me, if you would, (13+ / 0-)

        I'm not attacking you...I just don't understand how folks like you think:

        Is there anything, and I mean anything, a Democrat could propose that you would oppose?

        I mean if there is an issue where Democrat supports a position advocated by Republicans, is there any issue at all that would make you say "I can't support a Democrat who supports that!" ?

        •  Hi bbb, thanks for keeping it civil:-) (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PLGwannaB, Onomastic, kj in missouri

          My support of Democrat positions is always tactical, because I am not a Democrat myself (more of the socialist bend, and I mean not the US definition of the word:-)

          So in principle what you ask could certainly happen. In practice I would like to point out that the term

          Democrat supports a position advocated by Republicans

          should only be used for positions the Dems themselves prefer on the merit, not for positions taken because they they feel these positions are necessary to pass something in the house or senate. If you say: 'well I bent over backwards toaccomodate you guys because I need your votes' that is not 'supporting that position'.

          The problem is, of course, that there is no way of knowing for us what exactly can be gotten thru, and what needs to be given away in order to get a deal. And it is impossible to judge that from the outside, which is where both of us are.

          I just am astonished by so many bloggers who pontificate about what is possible in terms of a deal without any possibility of knowing whether they might be correct.

          He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

          by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:06:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Alright. (7+ / 0-)

            See here's the thing:

            should only be used for positions the Dems themselves prefer on the merit, not for positions taken because they they feel these positions are necessary to pass something in the house or senate.

            See, thats where we disagree. Because i my world, what you vote for, what you sign your name to, is what you agree with. I don't sign my name to things which with I actively oppose. Call it a Marine's stubbornness, but some folks call it integrity.

            That's essentially the crux of the matter. You see, i don't do that. I don't adopt the position of my opponent just to get "something." I'd rather lose and come back again another day.

            There are times where you win more by losing than you do by quitting.

            •  Thanks for clarifying your position. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Whimsical

              But I would argue (without any military experience to back me up:-) that even for a military it is the same thing as for a politician. Any general who knowingly sends troups to die somewhere because he needs that outcome to win the war - is he supporting the death of those troups?

              He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

              by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:26:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You'd be mistaken. (3+ / 0-)

                A general never sends in troops to die, but to accomplish the mission. It is the enemy who kills his troops. He doesn't do that for the enemy as a means to an end.

                What your position would be is to go ahead and shoot some of his own troops since some of them are going to get killed fighting the enemy.

                "Look guys. The enemy is going to shoot at you and kill you. But since i want to minimize the number of deaths, I'm just going to shoot half the number I expect they would kill. That's saving lives. What do you want? All of us to get killed fighting the enemy? Not practical."

                •  Word. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ginger1

                  Obama would do well to understand that while democracy depends on intelligent compromise, it also depends on the ill-tempered gripers and groaners out in the street. -- Ta-Nehisi Coates

                  by Colorado is the Shiznit on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:46:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You must know that sometimes the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Cedwyn

                  general knows that the mission will end in severe casualties. So the Spartans held the thermopyles and lost all their lives but achieved an objective (to stop the advance of the Persians onto Athens). Would you say that their commander supported their death?

                  I apologize for the analogy, because in this case probably the general died with the troops, this being the ancient style of warfare, but I do not know more recent examples off heart.

                  He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

                  by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:20:03 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree with this. (5+ / 0-)
            The problem is, of course, that there is no way of knowing for us what exactly can be gotten thru, and what needs to be given away in order to get a deal.

            That kind of trust in the omniscience of the Whitehouse is a recipe for disaster.  You can't just blindly support anything they do on the assumption that they have good reasons that they haven't told you about.  

            You should also be ready to consider the possibility that Obama isn't even trying to pursue the same ends as us at all, and that it's not just a matter of tactical compromises on his part, but a values difference.  He may not place the same value on maintaining the integrity of SS and Medicare that 75 years of Democrats before him have.

            •  No points for veracity here, I am afraid. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PLGwannaB, Whimsical

              I said:

              The problem is, of course, that there is no way of knowing for us what exactly can be gotten thru, and what needs to be given away in order to get a deal.

              You heard:
              That kind of trust in the omniscience of the Whitehouse

              That is not what I said. I said that you and others like you, and me, and others like me, have no way of knowing. Your conclusion does not follow from that statement, which, I am happy to see, you did not deny.

              Because the future is not pre-determined, from all we know, it follows that the Whitehouse and the other players also do not have omniscience. I am saying solely that the Whitehouse has a better insight in what is possible than us outsiders. Do you deny that?

              He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

              by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:31:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And I said that they might not (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Colorado is the Shiznit

                have the same values as us, which invalidates the premise.  If the Obama administration wantw the opposite of what we do, then all the better insight in the world doesn't help us.  Your blind trust in their wisdom and strategy depends on your faith in the ultimate goodness of their intentions, which I no longer believe.  That's a huge, fundamental difference between you and me that makes this conversation difficult.

                •  Talking points alert! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kj in missouri
                  blind trust in their wisdom and strategy

                  I said and exhibited no such thing.

                  If you do not know what Obama stands for, read his numerous speeches and evaluate his actions. It is rather obvious that he is an advocate for the middle and working class, socially somewhat liberal, who wishes to redistribute wealth downwards again to some extent (AHA being one example, his goal of stopping Bush taxcuts for rich, but extending for poor and middle class being another).

                  He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

                  by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:23:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  This Diarist Won't Say So... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HCKAD

          ... but the answer to your last question, bbb, is "No."  There does not appear to be any issue at all that would make these condescending pragmatists say "I can't support a Democrat who supports that!"  If I'm wrong, I hope that the diarist will identify at least one such issue, but I won't hold my breath.

          No matter how outrageous the right-wing demands get, the appeasement just keeps going, and going, and going... but it's the "purists" on the left who get labeled as "f*cking ret@rded."

          This is simply not the change I voted for, and the pragmatists can't sprinkle enough sugar on the sh!t sandwiches President Obama is serving at his Compromise Banquets to make me eat them.  Someone needs to throw away Barack's Reaganomics Cookbook.

      •  Ethics and Tactics (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sophie Amrain

        sounds like the pith of an interesting diary.  
        please consider.

        "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

        by kj in missouri on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 03:34:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, ok (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sophie Amrain, Cedwyn

      That's the mirror image of anti-abortion zealots who oppose contraceptive pills on the slim chance its use might prevent a fertilized egg from implanting.

      Fortunately, most people don't approach this diverse live with such an "all or nothing" attitude, even people who generally oppose abortion.

    •  It was oh so "moral" to help give (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VickiL

      the Tea Party a central role in deciding our future.

      •  What is this supposed to mean? The tea party (0+ / 0-)

        got elected, which means they could convince enough people to vote for them (our fail) and we could not convince enough people to vote for the Dems (our fail again).

        If the whole blogosphere instead of bloviating would have shut up and supported the Dems it might have helped some. Maybe it would not have been enough in the face of adverse circumstances, but this path had not been tried, so we will never know, whether the blogosphere is so inconsequential as it exculpatorily claimed, shortly after the child fell in the well.

        He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

        by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:20:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What does it take for somebody (10+ / 0-)

    who is "closer to your side" to be recognized as not close enough to side with anymore?  How deep does the betrayal of principle have to be before you say, "This person is no longer one of the good guys?"  

    To feel and say what you do about being pragmatic and choosing the closer-side-guy, you have to be a lot more comfortable with the current situation than me.  I'd rather not throw my blind support behind such a politician for fear of what else he might do.

    It's the role of the people to hold their politicians to account.  We are supposed to bitch and complain and throw them out of office when they do wrong.  Failure to do so is not pragmatic -- it's complicity before the fact.

    •  That sort of is my question too.. (11+ / 0-)

      I mean, under this sort of thinking, a Democrat could propose just about anything as long as it was slightly less worse than what a Republican wants.

      Its like if the GOP proposed restoring slavery, and some dems came out and said 'indentured servitude isnt as bad' these folks would say those of us standing up for full freedom were being impractical. we should adopt the smarter tactic of endorsing indentured servitude as a means to prevent full on slavery.

      •  Yeah. It seems unfair to judge (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Williston Barrett, HCKAD, esquimaux

        all of the "pragmatists" and the whole "pragmatist" argument based on the poor representations made for it by some of its less eloquent Dailykos supporters.  But reading diaries like this makes me feel like I'm wasting my time. When people become so entrenched into a certain position that they continue to argue it even though, under other circumstances, they would realize it makes no sense.

        I actually WOULD love somebody to say something that would pep me up and make me feel great about Obama again and what he's doing, something that would actually put it in a light that wouldn't seem like just more fraud.  I don't come here to rag on him.  I still have my Hope T-shirt in the closet.  I just doubt I'll ever have good reason to wear it again.

      •  It depends on what is possible at the time. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cedwyn

        Did Lincoln not initially have restrictions on abolishing slavery (only in the states who lost the civil war)?  From behind the changes look monumentous and principled. While they are occurring they generally look much smaller and unimpressive. Compare the civil rights struggle and the introduction of SS, among others.

        He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

        by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:42:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those events would be the opposite of your (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HCKAD, SpecialKinFlag, esquimaux

          approach. In each one of the things you cited, the activists pushed for the absolute maximum in every case. What they didn't do was adopt the positions of their opponents in an effort to get "something."

          •  You may want to check again what I wrote. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Onomastic, Whimsical
            So those of us liking the feel of red hot outrage running through their veins, this need not to be toned down, just re-focused explicitly on the policy options thrown around, and not invested in character assassinations such as weak, traitor, no balls, stupid, naive, incompetent, childish, etc. You know the list. The main players closest to our side (Obama, Reid, Pelosi) have not gotten to their positions by having any of these character traits.

            I explicitly do not recommend to not demand the maximum. I ask to refrain from character assassination. And I do ask that because it is harmful for the common cause.

            He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

            by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:28:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The Emancipation Proclamation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sophie Amrain, Cedwyn

          freed no slaves in reality, because it didn't apply to the slave holding states that had not joined the Confederacy. It applied only to territory where the Union had no power to enforce it (except as its armies advanced, slaves ran away to follow the path of the army).

      •  And doesn't "slightly less worse" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Colorado is the Shiznit, HCKAD, Dumbo

        seem like negative conditioning?

        By negative conditioning I mean punishing to get compliance. It's how we train dogs. The collar goes on and the dog learns he gets yanked, so he pays attention and stays close and avoids tension on the leash.

        It's all about control in my book. And it's working.

        The Ryan plan comes out and it's shocking. It gets defeated roundly and then up pops Obama, [being sensible as the diarist put it, I disagree] with a slightly less worse plan and blammo.

        I'm not responding to the negative reinforcement. My personality doesn't work that way. I can reason.

    •  You are locked in, sorry to see that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Whimsical

      You say:

      What does it take for somebody who is "closer to your side" to be recognized as not close enough to side with anymore?

      You comment exemplifies the problem I tried to describe for the purist side.

                        Tactics is not ethics.

      You should side with the person who will do less damage to you than the other person. What is so difficult about this concept? It should be obvious from sheer self-preservation.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:37:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When both "sides" are OK with us ending up dead... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, Dumbo

        ...it really doesn't matter whether one side wants to kill us slowly and painfully, while the other side has reluctantly concluded that it has become necessary to kill us quickly and painlessly.  I'm not going to support either side of that argument, and I really wish you would stop urging me to.  

        •  Even in your hypothetical situation (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Whimsical

          there would be a difference, because you would have a chance during your slow death to do something to reverse the situation, which you would not have in the other case.

          But the whole thing is hypothetical. Remember how the Republicans were rather disappointed last December to realize they by far did not get as much as they expected.

          Obama has already succeeded in undermining all Republican talking points. That is a considerable victory for our side.

          He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

          by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:49:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're missing my point. Unintentionally, I hope. (0+ / 0-)

            Obviously I'd have a better chance of survival under a slow, painful attack.  But you seem to be arguing that I should actually SUPPORT the "slow-death option," and I'm just never going to do that.  

            I'm going to fight against my own extermination, and THAT FIGHT - against both of the "death options" - is what self-preservation is all about.  

            In other words, if the Obama administration announces that it plans to kill me, please stop telling me that the real reason I'm going to end up dead is because I am not sufficiently supportive of the slow death option.  

            •  You are missing my point. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Whimsical
              you seem to be arguing that I should actually SUPPORT the "slow-death option,"

              No you shouldn't. As I said, your example is entirely hypothetical.

              In the real world I said: disagree all you feel necessary about the politics the dems may feel necessary to accept to get a deal. Stop the character assassination (not sure whether that would apply to you, but it does to enough of the purists).

              In other words, if the Obama administration announces that it plans to kill me

              Way over the top. The Obamam admin do their damn best to keep this country in working order. It is not their fault that this is so difficult. Just putting the thought out in your hypothetical example is helping and abetting the enemy (which would be the Republicans and their plans).

              He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

              by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:38:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Also, you use talking points. Never a good idea. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Whimsical
      blind support

      Show me, where in my diary I have said anything that could remotely be considered blind support.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:39:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, that's true (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sophie Amrain, Cedwyn, Whimsical

      On the right, many Republicans won't even consider a candidate who believes in global warming, or is willing to accept the idea that it's ok for gay people to marry in states where this has been made legal. They know they're right in their own minds, and they won't accept any diversity of opinion on these issues.

      We have people like that on the left, also. They will not accept the idea of raising the age for Social Security even a single year a generation down the road, or requiring even billionaires to pay a little bit for their Medicare. They think politicians who are even willing to consider such things to be wholly untrustworthy and unredeemable no matter what else they do or believe, just as those on the right reject politicians who depart from their sacred dogma.

    •  It's Not Blind (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Whimsical, Sophie Amrain
      I'd rather not throw my blind support behind such a politician for fear of what else he might do.

      It's not blind, it's "eyes wide open" considering the big picture along with all angles.  

  •  Well, let me spell out your problem for you, (12+ / 0-)

    in a nutshell:

    You need the outraged left's support in 2012, in order for Barack Obama to win again.

    Therefore, you are in no position of power to tell us how to feel, think, etc. That simply does not, and will not, win elections.

    So go ahead and bitch about how the "professional left" is not adequately in love with Obama enough. But it's simply not going to help you and your cause, in the end.

    In fact, you probably should knock that shit off right about now. Better yet, let OFA know that this kind of crap is not condusive to winning, unless they mean Charlie Sheen's version of "winning".

    Ugh.

    •  Last December, (5+ / 0-)

      when Obama renewed the Bush tax cuts, one of the staunch Obama defenders had the gall to post a diary gloating, "You're irrelevant now!"  As if that was a good thing, us being irrelevant.

    •  Serious overuse of talking points here. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pacific city, kefauver, Whimsical

      Let us see how many errors (she says benevolently) we can find in this sentence:

      bitch about how the "professional left" is not adequately in love with Obama

      One, it is inaccurate to tell me that I am bitching. I engage in analysis here, not in emotions. Sorry to tell you, but if I do not want a fist fight, you will not draw me into one:-)

      Second, I studiously avoided the term 'professional left', because I understand it is insulting to those so designated.

      Third, I was talking about tactics how to achieve aims, not about love. So I can not have reproached anybody for lack of love.

      I.e. epic fail for accuracy and veracity of your sentence.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:54:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It seems like you are insulted and it's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Colorado is the Shiznit, Ginger1

        personal. I am able to divorce the concepts of Obama the person and Obama the policy maker as President.

        I think dumbo, shiznit and BBB can too.

        What are your aims?

      •  Being that I have never been (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WheninRome, Ginger1, esquimaux

        in a physical fight in my entire life (except with my younger sister, which could arguably be labeled "Me Slapping the Shit Out of My Younger Sister, Who Inevitably Thinks She is Tougher Than She is and Picks a Fight With Me Every Time I'm Home in Wisconsin"), I agree with you there.

        I have to tell you that those on the "professional left" team don't necessarily deem this phrase as a denigration. Moreso, we're inclined to pick that shit phrase up and wear it with pride, as we already understand that the POTUS does not only dislike us, but lectures us constantly.

        It's kind of old and stuff, but Barack Obama impugns us with more malicious thought than he does Republicans. And that's, when you really think about it, very, very telling.

        He hates our asses and, yet, he welcomes into the fold John Boehner and Eric Cantor.

        Huh.

        Anyway, I believe that your love of Barack Obama is unconditional and, as such, not necessarily conscious. Therefore, I don't blame you for this diary, nor do I believe that your "love" for this man entirely conscious.

        But I do think that the USA is in a sad state of affairs when we become a nation of Men, not Laws.

        Blech.

        Obama would do well to understand that while democracy depends on intelligent compromise, it also depends on the ill-tempered gripers and groaners out in the street. -- Ta-Nehisi Coates

        by Colorado is the Shiznit on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:07:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, many of them don't think they do. (2+ / 0-)

      Now the question becomes, are we merely going to repeat 2000 because they want to leave the lefties out in the cold for 4 years on all economic issues.

    •  It isn't really a question (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, Sophie Amrain, kefauver, Whimsical

      of anyone telling you how to feel or think, or for any of us to try to get you to help our cause in the end.

      I would suggest to you, though, that you should be thinking about how you are going to help your cause both in the short and the long term by not supporting Obama in 2012.

      •  See, this is what I don't get (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux

        from you people:

        I would suggest to you, though, that you should be thinking about how you are going to help your cause both in the short and the long term by not supporting Obama in 2012.

        I've certainly made the entire Dkos community aware that I may (or may not) vote for Obama in 2012, but I certainly wouldn't actively not support him. That's just silly, elmso.

        Quite honestly, I don't think I could convince people either way. Once we've progressed to late summer 2012 (approximately one year from now), I think people have pretty much made up their minds about the presidential elections.

        As such, I have no "cause" to turn to. I would never, ever vote for a Republican, nor would I support one, so that's a bust.

        Seriously. I just don't get why you guys have to go there. So stupid, so very stupid.

        And, like I said earlier, totally hurting your cause, not mine (because I don't have a fucking cause!).

        Obama would do well to understand that while democracy depends on intelligent compromise, it also depends on the ill-tempered gripers and groaners out in the street. -- Ta-Nehisi Coates

        by Colorado is the Shiznit on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:26:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sigh (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kefauver, Whimsical, Sophie Amrain

          For every one of "you people," and by that I mean someone who is or has voted for a Democrat previously but who doesn't vote in 2012, that means a net gain of 1 for the Republican candidate. But of course you know this.

          When you write that you don't have a cause, I don't think you really mean that. If it was true, you wouldn't be so upset about these things that Obama has done or (mostly) that you fear he might do.

          The point is that not voting gets you far closer to those things you claim to abhor than voting for Obama.

        •  You need to understand that it is about effects, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kefauver, Whimsical

          not about intentions. I do not doubt your ethics not your intentions.

          I would never, ever vote for a Republican, nor would I support one,

          You always need to consider whether your actions/words in effect help the Republican side.

          He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

          by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:43:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Didn't Live Thru the Civil Rights Era Did You? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Williston Barrett

    "Cities burning" doesn't ring a bell?

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

    by Gooserock on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:37:23 AM PDT

    •  Usually the oppressed masses have less (0+ / 0-)

      good weapons than the authorities. I think that MLK was very sucessful, and not by preaching violence.

      I am not a pacifist, but advocating violence to the party who will get hurt by it most, does not seem responsible behavior.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:01:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is not 'winning less'. The problem is (6+ / 0-)

    'losing'.

    One group sees 'a win' in 'something good + far more bad'.
    The other group sees it as 'a loss'.

    If people felt they were 'winning less', you'd be able to persuade them to agree with you.

    Oh, and your poll is a push poll, of course.

    •  You seem to be one of the people, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      africa, Whimsical, kefauver

      whom I direct my diary at. Good to see that you read it. Now if you would understand the points, that would be even better:-)

      Let us make a hypothetical. You stand in front of a robber. He says: Money or life. You say: I refuse these choices, as both are losses.

      Point being, you have to work and make choices in the environment you have. Currently we have a rabid and emboldened rightwing, no use in closing your eye and pretend they are not there.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 06:36:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm pretty sure he understands it completely (2+ / 0-)

        obviously better than you do.

      •  Obviously, I would attack the robber. nt (0+ / 0-)
        •  Let us assume that (0+ / 0-)

          the robber has the gun and a safe distance and you are not in a Bollywood movie.

          He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

          by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:44:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let us assume that real life is never binary. (0+ / 0-)

            There are always more than just 2 options, and especially so in politics.  In the latest debt fight alone, we've heard of more than a half dozen different options being offered up and fought over in the last week or so.

            But if he's 'far enough away' not to attack, he's far enough away to run from, especially in a either a city environment or wooded area.

            Or are we also going to assume we're standing in a flat, desolate wasteland with no cover, such as I've never actually been in in real life?

            •  In the thought experiments you try to make it (0+ / 0-)

              binary to make the choice clear. Like the scientists do: reduce the variables.

              So, what do you do presented with two sh!tty choices, one worse then the other and no way to get away? Do you let yourself be robbed or do you let yourself be killed?

              He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

              by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:03:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Sophie , I'm curious... (0+ / 0-)

        are you a US citizen? If you are not, perhaps that is why you are not fully grasping how sacred SS/medicare/medicaid  are to Dems. They are what makes our party different than the republican party - without them and without the philosophy that we will protect the poor and disenfranchised, we are not the Democratic Party. The voters voted for Obama in 2008, and for the dems in the house and the senate, because they wanted Dems to govern. Instead, we've had bipartisanship from day one. If you want to win in 2012, you have to give the voters a clear definition of who the party is and what it stands for...and what is the plan to get out of this mess. Clearly Geithner's plan isn't working, so I hope there is a plan B.

        •  Agree partially. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Whimsical
          without the philosophy that we will protect the poor and disenfranchised, we are not the Democratic Party.

          That is central and you can not give it up as a Dem (although, in the interest of historical accuracy it did not use to be central long time ago).

          But you should avoid a knee-jerk reaction to somebody talking about e.g. SS. Saying that entry age may have to be adjusted if the population lives longer is not a sacrilege. Saying that SS is basically sound and just needs a little adjustments is not a horrible position. Etc.

          Finally, unluckily for me I spend enough time on US blogs and other sources to have a reasonably good grasp of the forces and emotions involved.

          He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

          by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:57:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  entry age (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            schumann

            the people who are counting on SS and medicare the most are working jobs that are not easy to do as one ages. Construction workers, nurses, letter carriers...

            So where are you from?

          •  Ah.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            schumann

            But you should avoid a knee-jerk reaction to somebody talking about e.g. SS. Saying that entry age may have to be adjusted if the population lives longer is not a sacrilege.

            As you like to say, talking point alert, and it is a rightwing one to boot...

            Cost shifting in the example you used does not mean savings....

            Also, how would you like to be the 66 year-old thrown to the mercy of the health insurance market?

  •  Here's a Toles cartoon response to this (0+ / 0-)
  •  Any of you "pragmatists" every wake up in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpecialKinFlag, schumann

    morning and ask yourself why there is a Democratic President, a putative liberal, on TV spouting GOP talking points about the economy? Endorsing austerity, Medicare, Social Security and trillions of dollars in other cuts during a recession? Escalating and starting MORE foreign wars?

    Look in the mirror. It's not me that gave him the cover to do this. Just because the right wing is marching rightwards off a cliff does not mean leftists have to follow them while chasing votes. Take a stand for fuck's sake. When "liberals" like Obama cede the argument to conservatives it does more harm towards the case for liberal governing than any conservative could ever hope to do.

    •  More talking points (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Whimsical, kefauver
      Take a stand for fuck's sake

      You should know that you play into Rebublican memes 'the Dems are weak, unprincipled pussies' with your statements.

      You could also know that they are not grounded in fact.
      But whether or not you know that, this diary is not about defending the President or the Dems.

      This diary is about imploring you and others like you to direct your anger at and only at the policies which you hate, and stop to spread the character assassination of the Obama admin, and the Dem leaders in congress.

      So those of us liking the feel of red hot outrage running through their veins, this need not to be toned down, just re-focused explicitly on the policy options thrown around, and not invested in character assassinations such as weak, traitor, no balls, stupid, naive, incompetent, childish, etc. You know the list. The main players closest to our side (Obama, Reid, Pelosi) have not gotten to their positions by having any of these character traits.

      The diary also is about imploring you to consider the effect of your words and not so much how good it feels to utter them.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 07:51:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain, kefauver, Whimsical

    The diary yesterday also speaks the truth about this place.  They will run the reasonable positive Dems away so all that will be left are the priviledged once-republicans-turned-progressive-turned-teapublican.

  •  Must read: Get Over It: This Is Who Obama Is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain
    From his community organizing days to the Illinois State Senate, Barack Obama has always put pragmatic deal-making above ideology, even when it angered allies

    Get Over It: This Is Who Obama Is

    H/T to BWD.

    Count me as one of those allies who is frequently angered. Almost as often, am then impressed by how adroitly he has managed the opposition. This is why he gets the big bucks, and I sit in Mom's basement in my jammies.

    Joe

    Dear Ayn Rand fans: Please, would each of you just go all John Galt, immediately? Thank you.

    by CitizenJoe on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 08:27:30 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and recced for truth. (4+ / 0-)

    The right has played the left into using a strategy that has driven both the party and the country right for the past 30+ years.

    And the left shows know signs of waking from their willfull blindness and changing the strategy to get what they want.

    When the left stops trying to get the game to be played by the rules they THINK it should be played by and starts playing the game by the rules it actually IS played by, they'll start winning. Not before.

    Sadly, it seems far more likely they'll cling to their failed, failing, and always will fail strategy and we'll get more rightward movement.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 08:32:33 AM PDT

  •  fascinating, Sophie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain

    enjoyed your comments as much as the diary.  thank you.

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 03:05:32 PM PDT

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