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"Barack Obama: World's Worst Negotiator" - - From "Open Left"

Woody--Tokin Librul's picture
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by: Glenn Hurowitz

On Tuesday, Barack Obama announced his support for President Bush's bid to expand the North American Free Trade Agreement to Peru.

Yup - Obama is once again helping pass one of President Bush's top priorities - even as Bush blocks the entire Democratic agenda and daily rains rhetorical abuse down on Democratic heads. Is this how Obama is going to negotiate in the White House?

Somebody please, again, tell me how Obama (or any of the gutless, feckless, useless, unprincipled, glad-handing 'pols' in the Dumbocrap party) is 'different' from the criminals now running shit? Oh, yeah: the guys running shit today are mebbe not "gutless, feckless,(or) useless." But they don't have to lie, or pretend, to advance their agenda, and the Dumbocraps do.

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Submitted by lambert on

Well, I kinda do know but not here. Clear your cache and cookies if it concerns you.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

Submitted by lambert on

The "no difference" riff is rhetorically easy, analytically lazy, and emotionally self-indulgent ("no sorrow is like unto mine") thus reproducing in the blogosphere, for free, the sort of work that Our Betters in the famously free press are well paid to do. The value-add -- unless sharing one's feelings can be said to be a value-add -- is nil. Showing, once again, that "the left" has no head for business...

It's simply not true, it keeps getting repeated, and I'm tired of fighting it.

I say this as, if not the inventor, certainly a very early adopter of "gutless, feckless Beltway Dems." And I'm sure that it would be possible to cherry pick from my body of work and find me running the same riff--I'm not immune to doing the easy thing, or laziness. And I'm not saying "Never attack Democrats"--Shystee was way ahead of me on this, and I think that expressing outrage in August helped us improve FISA.

I am saying that "no difference" is simply not true (whether phrased as a rhetorical question, or not).

"Some difference" does not equal "no difference." "Very little difference" does not equal "no difference." "They haven't done nearly enough" doesn't mean "no difference." Even "same objectives, but different methods" does not equal "no difference." Even "evil, as opposed to insane and evil" does not equal "no difference."

And besides being untrue, it's not even effective. When you get into that mindset, what do you do? "Pessimism of the intelligence, optimism of the will." The "no difference" riff is corrosive and destructive because it provides no strategic or even tactical insight for the intelligence, and induces a sense of helplessness in the will.

So, please, can we give it a rest? Yes, I'm very happy to hear that Obama is carrying water for the corporations on NAFTA. It's good data. Unfortunately, the "no difference" riff drowns out the value of it. As usual.

Amd while we're at it, can we please give "DumboCraps" a rest? It's wrecking the Corrente brand. This blog has work to do, and one of our items of work has been to sharpen invective for the good guys to use. We try things out, and if they are analytically insightful, and fun to use, we try to propagate them. "Clusterfuck" has been one such edged weapon, but there are others, here and, back in the day, at Atrios. With DumboCrap, I don't mind the use of "crap" (obviously), but I do mind the use of the word "dumb." It simply reproduces the Incompetence Dodge, and applies it to the Democrats. I don't buy that dodge for either party. So, absent analytical power, "DumboCraps" is all and only about sharing not very interesting or uniquely personal feelings about the Democrats, and I don't give two shits about such feelings. Yes, we say Fuck--for a reason.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

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Submitted by hobson on

Good for you Lambert. I have been having this discussion with someone else on this blog for a while now.

This part made me think of Naomi Klein telling us to arm ourselves:

When you get into that mindset, what do you do? “Pessimism of the intelligence, optimism of the will.” The “no difference” riff is corrosive and destructive because it provides no strategic or even tactical insight for the intelligence, and induces a sense of helplessness in the will.

And about how killing, smashing and intimidating dissent is integral to much or the modern world.

The right is also in a win/win situation here because even when they screw up, it becomes another proof of how government is the problem not the answer to any problems. Anything that turns people against government and discourages them from participating in politics works for them.

I can be as down on the Dems as anyone but right now I don't see an alternative. It's like John Stewart interviewing Chris Matthews the other day. Matthews asked Stewart what he was afraid of in Mathews' book and Stewart replied, "Fascism?"

Submitted by lambert on

Nice to have some sort of response on the hypothetical.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

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