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In some ways we are no better than Republicans. In the short period of time between re-election and now, we have already started down the same path we have traveled before.  The path of Obama may not give me everything I want, in the way I want it, so therefore I will pollute the waters until either I get what I want, or nobody gets what they want.

Is that an over statement on my part?  maybe? maybe not.  Only time will tell. As a community we HAVE traveled that path before.  The path to 2010.  We, as a community,  have to realize something now, and it may be a tough realization for some people. The president will disappoint you in some ways.  Not because he is evil or nefarious, not because he has a secret agenda, but for one simple reason. It is literally impossible for him not to.  This community is not some single purpose, like minded entity, with clarity of purpose and singular desire.  We all to some extent have disparate agendas.  

The President is not the perfect progressive rubber stamp.  He never has been and he didnt run as one. The perfect progressive rubber stamp couldn't get elected, and would never be able to accomplish very much as President.  We elected our President to represent us.  To use his best judgement to decide how much he can accomplish, what fashion he accomplish it in, and within what time frame.

In my opinion, we are already seeing the disillusionment of some, based on nothing more than rumor and conjecture. Its been reported this or reported that, and I am already pissed off and ready to call the President a turn coat.  It's silly and counter productive and to some extent hypocritical.  Look at all the diaries of the "GOP civil war" type.  Tell me you cant see the see the seeds of the same type of atmosphere brewing here already.  Understand this, you will be disappointed in some ways. Like every other facet of our lives, you will not got everything you want, and there will be things you vehemently disagree with.  There will be many more that will a massive improvement over what we would have had with a President Romney. By many many standard deviations.

I am NOT saying that we, as a community cant voice disagreement and that we cant have difference of opinions.  I am NOT saying we cant or shouldnt try to hold those people's feet that we have elected to the collective fire.  We can, and we should.  I suppose that what I am arguing for is a matter of perspective. Perspective in terms of what could have been, what is, and what will be.  That perhaps that sense of perspective will allow us to not repeat some (2010) of our more serious and escapable mistakes.


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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't think you are taking the right lessons... (8+ / 0-)

    ...from 2010.  I'll leave it at that. For now.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:29:40 PM PST

  •  I think its more like people are trying to get a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    jump ahead on the rumors. You know, preemptively striking before the bad calls become policy.

    "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

    by jazzence on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:30:17 PM PST

  •  I'm afraid you misunderstand (5+ / 0-)

    Electing President Obama was but one part of advancing a progressive agenda.  By no means is anyone under the illusion that he is a progressive or a liberal (I think?  Some people maybe still think this), but that doesn't mean he is not someone that progressives can work with effectively.  

    As you note, now is the time to put phase II into effect by making sure to complain loudly, and ideally preemptively, about more centrist or rightist actions the administration may take or may be tempted to take.

    Yes, we travelled this path before, but many counseled "keeping our powder dry" or "standing with the President" etc.  Now, however, Obama has no more elections to win, which means that the real pressure and force needs to be unleashed.  So, yes, expect some loud complaining, followed and accompanied by vigorous activism on those issues.

    Yes, we'll see the prospect of an Keystone XL approval coming, since the President has not shown a clear direction that we should trust on this issue, and we will a) complain and b) apply pressure.  Yes, we'll see the prospect of a continued rightard tilt on civil liberties, so you will see a) complaining and b) activism.  Yes, we should expect to see that social security and medicare cuts floated as mysterious trial ballons, so you will see a) complaining that we have to fight those fights even with a Democratic administration and b) action taken to shoot those trial ballons to ribbons without mercy.

    The fight is engaged.  The only way to win is to make sure our President hears us roar.

    This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

    by Mindful Nature on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:36:18 PM PST

  •  we didn't make mistakes in 2010 (5+ / 0-)

    we were right.

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

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:38:00 PM PST

    •  We lost the house. Something has been wrong. (5+ / 0-)

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

      by Sophie Amrain on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:53:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What? We were right about what? n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, Quicklund

      "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

      by rubyr on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:53:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  we were right (5+ / 0-)

        that the stimulus was too small and would peter out just in time to make 2010 a bad year. we were right that touting it as a great success and pretending that it was enough was willful blindness, when the right approach would have been to blame the republicans for its being too small, and asking for a larger democratic majority, so we could get a larger one. we were right that starting to talk about deficits was political suicide.

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

        by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:06:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Dude, this place was a total waste in 2010. (6+ / 0-)

      With Kos away, it was allowed to turn into mayhem with some now banned "popular" diarists riling up "outrage" often based on total b.s. speculation and innuendo.

      Meanwhile the Republicans snuck into all kinds of state governments, gerrymandered the crap out of those states, and gave themselves a permanent majority in the house for probably the rest of the decade, unless there is a huge Dem wave election.

      That this happened was not just the Administration's fault, but also our fault.

      Always blaming everything on others is rarely a sign of reality-based analysis, and there is plenty of that type of "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" type of thinking amongst progressives.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:53:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it was not at all our fault (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10, Lawrence, stevej, Kevskos, dennis1958

        i agree that site dynamics got ugly, but the mass of voters weren't reading daily kos, they were looking at their unemployment benefits, their mortgages, and their bank accounts.

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

        by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:08:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not saying that it was all our fault. (4+ / 0-)

          It was, in a sense, a perfect storm of an election against Dems.

          Bad site dynamics on sites like DailyKos did, however, prevent us from fighting back properly.  I saw hardly any calls here to try and protect Dems on the state level in states like Penn., Wisconsin, Ohio, etc.

          Citizens United was upon us and we should have been doing everything in our power to prevent its ill effects instead of allowing some very bad apples to set us against each other.

          We desperately need to do better in 2014 because Citizens United probably ain't going away until we get a better Supreme Court.

          For example, I would like to see focus on critical state/governors races here on DKos in 2014.... they're going to need our help to combat Citizens United.

          And we, in general, need to come to the realization that the Citizens United gerrymandered reality that we now face requires us to move closer together and become a more unified force.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:40:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  i certainly don't want to revisit (0+ / 0-)

            the ugliness of 2010, particularly given that i was a popular target for some truly nasty personal attacks. but many of us did fight hard, and the front page had plenty about the key races.

            the bottom line is that to prevent another 2010 we need our elected officials to fight back harder against the republicans now and next year. they didn't in 2009 and 2010. and we need the demographic groups who sat out 2010 to be as motivated in an off year as in a presidential year. i do think a lot of people are unaware of who stayed home in 2010- it wasn't liberals.

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

            by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:12:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I was insulted then and I'm insulted now... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dennis1958 any attempt to make me co-equally responsible with the President for failure to confront Republicanism.

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:41:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  we didnt make mistakes? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, Quicklund

      how did being right work out for us?  conservatives still think they are right about this election.   we got our asses kicked.  

    •  keep telling yourself that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lexnliv, ParkRanger

      Every Democrat, from the top on down, helped blow 2010.

      What I think people are concerned about is a replay of the vitriol that emerged on our side during the health care debate, for instance. Because at the end of the day, those on the left who argued to kill the bill or that it did no good were dead wrong.

      Another way of thinking about it is a lesson in intra-party politics. There's a difference between having a disagreement with someone "in the family" and someone on the outside. There are a lot of stupid liberals who think that the way you work with the other components of the Democratic coalition is with the same vitriol and hyperbole we reserve for the right. It's a quick way to losing credibility and influence, especially if a particular bloc thinks it has more power than it does.

      So it's a matter of balance, which I'm sure you understand. And I think most people do, too. I don't think any of us really want to enter another midterm election with a few people on our side saying "Don't contribute, don't volunteer, don't vote." Because sometimes what's at stake isn't about right and wrong. Sometimes it's about our electoral infrastructure, and ceding redistricting to the Republicans, as we did in 2010, was an incredibly stupid mistake on our part. When something like that is at stake, it's paramount that we all understand it and try to set aside our differences, because that's the kind of structural loss that enabled Republicans to write voters suppression laws, elect people like Pat Toomey, and engage in the various other nonsense that's made peoples lives more difficult at the state and local level.

  •  probably doesn't matter (3+ / 0-)

    the Tea Party still controls the GOP so there will be no deal.

    There's no reason we have to concede anything. It won't get us anywhere but the opposite of where we need to go.

    I Support Puerto Rican Statehood

    by InsultComicDog on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:40:55 PM PST

    •  Ryan voted against Simpson-Bowles (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, Quicklund, InsultComicDog

      And likely will again.

      Divided governement leads to policy stasis, for the most part.

      In the last two years I thought Simpson-Bowles had zero chance of becoming law, I now move that up to 1 or 2 percent.

      Neither the right third or left third of the house and senate will vote for it.

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

      by Empty Vessel on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:53:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is a concerted effort to brand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen, dennis1958

    those who want SS and medicare be left intact as being unreasonable and extreme.

    Same thing that happened in 2011 debt fight.

    Fighting for not cutting medicare and SS might be the only thing that keeps it from happening.

    Saying that we're panicking lunatics is part of the concerted effort to undermine.

  •  Good diary, but as you can see, a valiant but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lexnliv, notrouble, ParkRanger

    unsuccessful attempt. Some people are always right, no matter how many battles they lose. Al Giordano had the type pegged down right:

    I don't believe in activism.

    I think activism, as it is generally practiced in the United States, is more often than not a cop out and an excuse by some to avoid doing the heavy lifting of organizing.

    What is the difference, you might ask, between activism and organizing?

    To me, it's this:

    Activism is the practice of preaching to the choir, rallying the already converted, and trying to convince other "activists" to do your work for you (say, call your Congressman, or write your Senator for or against a piece of legislation). Activists like to make declaratory "statements," hold "meetings," invite other activists (usually fairly hegemonic of the same socio-economic demographics as them), engage in group "process," make "decisions," veto (or attempt to do so) others from taking initiative outside of the groupthink that too often happens in activist projects, declare "party lines," enforce them, and claim that one is part of a "movement" even when there is no evidence that one really is.

    Activism seeks media attention through protests and other means, errantly thinking it will draw others to its cause by doing so. This dominant tendency in "activism" becomes a circular, self-reinforcing, self-marginalizing, chest-thumping, bureaucratic and anally-retentive activity and a big waste of time with little impact on the issues or policies it seeks to change or defend.

    Organizing is something completely different: It is based on attainable and quantifiable goals (be they small, as in, "put a stop sign in the neighborhood," or be they large, as occurred last year: elect an underdog as president of the United States). Here's a simple yardstick by which to measure: If it doesn't involve knocking on doors, making phone calls or otherwise proactively communicating with people demographically different than you, it's not organizing. If it doesn't involve face-to-face building of relationships, teams, chains of command, and, day-by-day, clear goals to measure its progress and effectiveness, it's not organizing. If it happens only on the Internet, that's not organizing either.

    Clearly, both tendencies involve some similar activities. An organizer may call everybody in the neighborhood (or go door to door) to get something done, whereas an activist will call those he knows already agree to recruit them to make some kind of statement that he believes - usually futilely -  is toward getting something done. And once an organizer or group of organizers has built an effective organization or base, some of the tools of activists (i.e. "call your Congressman") can then be deployed effectively. But that shouldn't cause activists to think that if they do that absent a locally based organizing campaign that it somehow rises to the level of organizing or is the same thing - or even on the same side of the barricades.

    What's happening now is that, with the ringing in of 2009, the Community Organizing Renaissance is so clearly established that many dogmatic activists are in a kind of panic and some are even lashing out at the organizers (including the Community Organizer in Chief) to lecture us that we must do things their way. Some even go so far as to condescend to us, imply that we're Kool Aid drinkers, blind fanatics, or lockstep brownshirts, because we are calmer and more optimistic - although not less busy - than they are at this point in history. To which I can only say: Fuck them.

    On some level, they must notice, if even unconsciously, that the organizers won, in 2008, so many of the battles that the activists paid lip service to for 30 years but had failed to achieve: constructing a multi-racial and multi-generational progressive movement in the United States, attracting millions of generally apolitical or apathetic people - regular folks that had rejected and shunned the activists and their ways for so many years - to take part in it, organizing neighborhoods and towns down to the precinct level, and changing American history in the process.

    The current manifestation of this tension is, for activists, as always, the current "big conflict" in the media. Today it's the Stimulus Bill. Tomorrow it will be something else. Activists generally take the queues from the mass media and its conflicts-du-jour. Some seem to have grown addicted, in a way, to the adrenaline rush of the daily poutrage: the tantrum as aerobic exercise. They then go through the same routines over and over again: Insist that "this is the most important thing," that everybody else must recognize that and drop everything else to protest with them, and often with a recommendation for "action." Today it's to call members of Congress over a hodgepodge of concerns regarding the Stimulus Bill: Throw out the tax cuts! Keep this or that worthy program in it! Don't compromise not one inch with Republicans!

    I just yawn.

    The piece is from February 2009, as relevant now as then. And Al Giordano is somebody, who had real success in organizing. Might be good to listen to him.

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

    by Sophie Amrain on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:02:21 PM PST

    •  The reality is that the effective (0+ / 0-)

      organizing that Giordano celebrated didn't happen in 2010. The answers to why that was depends on your location as much as your political orientation.

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:25:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's not getting unelected now... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...he needs political pressure from the left and there's no downside to it. Stop trying to protect the president from criticism, now that the election's over he doesn't need protecting. Progressive voices will make his policy and presidency stronger, not weaker.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:11:39 PM PST

    •  If you read my diary, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hardart, notrouble, ParkRanger

      I didnt say we shouldnt criticize the President, and I didnt say we shouldnt try to apply pressure.  What I did say was that we should have perspective and reasonable expectations.   HOwever, what tends to happen, is that in the act of criticizing, we tend to burn the house down and get an all or nothing approach, much like the republicans.  WE are not that different in that regard, dont kid yourself.  What many people commenting in this very diary are inherently saying, is much the same thing.  The politics may be different, but the strict adherence to a policy viewpoint and a our way or the highway, is no different than the teabaggers.  flame away.

  •  I think we need to trust President Obama more (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    notrouble, Wildthumb, ParkRanger

    He hasn't been perfect and he hasn't done everything we want, but he's constrained by some hard political realities (Teabagger House, filibustering, major fiscal constraints, the problem of having to govern the ENTIRE United States--including the portions populated by hysterical RWNJs).  He is also, hopefully, taking the long view on some of this stuff and making sure to set the table for a subsequent democratic administration--you know, the opposite of what the slash-and-burn teabaggers did when they got in.  

    President Obama has shown us that he can handle these bagger idiots and I don't think he's going to be anywhere near as willing to get his hand bit like he did in in the first half of his first term.  I think we should push him (and Congressional Dems) to get the results we want, but we also need to have some patience and give him the benefit of the doubt when it looks like we're not getting what we hoped for in all cases.  

    I have a feeling that president gig is REALLY HARD.  Especially for a democrat who actually cares about responsible governance.  

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I am NOT saying that we, as a community cant voice disagreement and that we cant have difference of opinions.  I am NOT saying we cant or shouldnt try to hold those people's feet that we have elected to the collective fire.
    Yes you are.
  •  The election is over, we voted for him, he won. (0+ / 0-)

    The was no other choice. My vote was not a rubber stamp and  I won't cheerlead policies that I don't support.

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