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What Obama Really Meant

vastleft's picture

[Welcome, Sideshow readers, Taylor Marsh readers, and TalkLeft readers!]

America's fastest-growing quiz sensation is "What Obama Really Meant."

Here's how W.O.R.M. is played...

  • There are three teams — and a special player called "The Unifier"
  • The teams are the Progressives, the Obama Fan Base, and the Grand Old Party
  • The goal for the Progressives is "Progress," meaning that players who start the game with less money someday have a chance to have more
  • The goal for the Obama Fan Base is "Unity," meaning that the Progressives have to stop their partisan bickering with the Grand Old Party, and everyone gets ponies
  • The goal for the Grand Old Party is to take all of the money that other players started the game with. And everything they'll ever earn. And that their children will earn.
  • The goal for The Unifier is to be "Teh Awesome." And he is, he is!
  • In each round, The Unifier says something that's shockingly disempowering to the Progressives
  • A skilled Unifier knows to hide the shockingly disempowering moment in the middle of an otherwise perfectly accceptable, or even admirable speech
  • If a Progressive spots the shockingly disempowering comment — and dares to face the onslaught from the OFB — s/he presses the Challenge Buzzer and explains the problems with the statement
  • The OFB besieges the Progressives. Every verbal tool is allowable, except logic.
  • According to the mainstream media, the game always ends in defeat for the Progressives. The losers must wait four years or more for Progress, during which the GOP cackles maniacally.
  • As a consolation prize, The Uniter offers Progressives "hope," which is practically as good as Progress, isn't it?
  • At an undetermined date, the ponies arrive!

Here's an example of game play...

1. The Unifier kicks things off with a statement, such as:

Children are the future! Cotton candy is fun! Liberal heathens must stop hassling the GOP. Everyone's getting a pony!

2. The Progressives either concede the game immediately, or a team member presses the Challenge Buzzer and says something like:

"But the GOP and Religious Right are destroying our country!"

3. The Obama Fan Base encircles the Progressives and shouts rebuttals, such as:

  • He said "Children are the future!" Isn't that the greatest thing you ever heard?
  • When he said "liberal heathens," he meant, um, something really good. Definitely. And the way he said it was inspirational!
  • Why must you hate Obama!? Why do you love Hillary so much!? If Hillary is nominated, we won't vote, you Unity destroyer!
  • Don't you know that a black man can't be elected unless he throws progressives under the bus?
  • You dirty hippies had your turn, and you ruined everything. Now it's our turn, and God as my witness, the mellow will never be harshed again!
  • Ponies, dude. Ponies! Get with the program!
0
No votes yet

Comments

Submitted by lambert on

Don't you want everybody to have a Pony?

Don't you understand that the only way to win as a progressive is to run from the right, and that after the election everything's going to be different, we promise?

What's wrong with you?

UPDATE Maybe number the points, instead of bulleting them, and then add internal links. Then, instead of spending tedious time answering the OFB, we can simply refer to the relevant move in this game.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

hypnot's picture
Submitted by hypnot on

So that's how the game is played!

Skipping along to the end: "At an undetermined date, the ponies arrive!"

Suppose I'm one of the folks whose vote, job, safety net, and rights were bargained away during the preceding turns. We're getting hungry and We're not feeling too well, but we're trying to stay calm and suppress our crankiness. We've still got hope.

When we finally do get that pony, what's the best recipe? We'll be ravenous, so we should plan ahead.

Anna Granfors's picture
Submitted by Anna Granfors on

...Edwards would step to the mic and say something like this.

we need some truth, big paradigm-smashing truth, soon.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

God already told Obama to lead the Change Charge, like Moses stickin' it to the Egyptians. And you can't petition the Lord with prayer, y'know.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"Pony Food," "Soylent Rainbow," and "To Serve Ponies," since this is an animal-friendly blog. But we're also a house of foodies, so mmmmmm, ponies!!!

intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

I thought another valid move, in addition to "In each round, The Unifier says something that’s shockingly disempowering to the Progressives"

Is to make vague promises to forward a progressive cause or show up for a vote or "support" someone trying to do some real progressive work. Then the Unifier draws the chance card, which says, "called away to Oprah show". Or "do an interview on rightwing radio with mentions to St. Ronnie".

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i was just speaking with someone about the lack of wit in our discourse, thank you for restoring my faith, VL.

space's picture
Submitted by space on

The difference between Edwards' supporters and Obama's and Hillary's is that Edwards' supporters like him despine the boneheaded things he has said and done, but don't try to rationalize them.

Edwards' Iraq vote was boneheaded. I accept that he has learned a lot since then and would not make the same mistake again. But I don't pretend that it wasn't boneheaded.

Not to long ago, Edwards made some comment about having Republicans in his administration. Look, if you are going to reach out to voters across the aisle, do it by appealing to their values, not their party affiliation. Boneheaded.

But Hillary and Obama supporters contort themselves into knots rationalizing behavior or statements that, in many cases, would have them in apoplectic fits if made by Reid or even Pelosi.

Submitted by antiphone (not verified) on

With Edwards it takes a lot of faith because there’s just no way to rationalize this.

Submitted by lambert on

VL, I read that last statement differently from you.

Space says:

But Hillary and Obama supporters contort themselves into knots rationalizing...

That doesn't sound like the Oborg to me, unlike Antiphone, who yet again wastes time and fails to engage by throwing a link out there without explaining why it's important. A theologian would call that cheap grace, I think.

Here's how I think about Edward's bio. "Boneheaded" is a little bit static for me.

MLK said: "The arc of history bends toward justice." As a consequence, that arc is going to do its bending in the trajectories of individual lives. (Where else?)

So, if I look at Edwards, I see a smart, talented guy who arrived in the Village and bought into a good deal of their crap. And over time--the arc--he has been divesting himself of Village crap. He gets the problem. And I know he cares about justice, because as a lawyer, that's what he achieved. (Cue right wing "trial lawyer" or even "tort reform" talking point from OFB.)

And when I look at Obama, I see a smart, talented guy who started out well with the community organizing stuff, and today is leveraging right wing talking points and sucking up to CBN and trying to win a nomination with a constant stream of Sister Souljah moments against progressives. I don't think that's boneheaded, but it does suggest a certain, shall I say, malleability about the direction he'd take the country.

So, which biography do I prefer? The one that starts out boneheaded and bends toward justice, or the one that starts out promising and bends toward the right when push comes to shove?

Simple, really.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

I was going to work this into my sig for awhile, but I'm not sure it's necessary any more. This is a distillation of material supplied over at Big Orange:

* OFB PROPHLACTIC Yes, I am paid by the Hillary campaign. Yes, I hope to get a job in Hillary's administration. Yes, I am a shill. Yes, I am a hack. Yes, I am a liar. Yes, I am a racist. Yes, I am a purist. Yes, I am a troll. Yes, I am ignorant. Yes, I hate Obama. Yes, I ignore all facts that don't square with my [lying|racist|purist|shilling|hackish|trollish] preconceptions of Obama. Yes, my reading comprehension is poor. Yes, I have a hidden agenda: I hope that the Democrats lose, and to that end I support [not Obama]. Yes, I could be older than you. Yes, I think all young people are stupid. Did I mention I'm a shill and a hack? Good. Anything else?

Just sayin.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

When push came to shove was when he was in the Senate and when he was running for VP and what he did went far beyond a Sister Souljah moment. But the point is relatively moot. To deny this past a certain point and to shelter in a dream of Edwards as a refuge from the impending choice is escapism. If Obama’s weak point is inexperience, Edwards has none to point to but that which he now disavows.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I misread the comment and have deleted mine.

Thx, Lb.

Anna Granfors's picture
Submitted by Anna Granfors on

so what are you guys thinking about Feingold saying Edwards supporters have been "taken in"...?

http://tpmelectioncentral.com/2008/01/fe...

as much as I've respected Feingold, this is a little troubling to me...

Submitted by lambert on

1. What Feingold's talking about it boneheaded Village crap that Edwards bought into when he was in the Senate.

2. Not sure what AC is talking about above in the VP race. Edwards was Kerry's subordinate, and last I checked, the flak Edward's caught was for keeping up Two America's longer than Kerry wanted it done. Also, Edwards wanted to fight after 2004, and Kerry caved.

None of the candidates are perfect and all of them have gotten things wrong. (Obama's making a huge mistake now by letting FISA go past when he could change the game totally in his favor by doing what is also the right thing, i.e. filibuster.) But to me, Edwards has been moving in the right direction long enough and consistently enough, and at enough personal cost, to make his trajectory convincing.

Ditto Obama, it's just that the arc is away from justice, not toward it.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

Edwards will (rightly so) fight when his election is stolen.

Clinton will probably say nothing as her people will be knee deep in the chicanery.

Obama will have a Kerry moment of Unity when his election irregularities give him butt hurt. He too will slink off in the middle of the night like Kerry.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

That's a great budding meme.

That's exactly what we're seeing in Edwards -- he's moving toward the light AND heat of the progressive sunshine, while Obama is telling us to go crawl back into the stinkin' hole the GOP and MSM have made up for us.

Obama starts from this vibe of sunny optimism, but he tells the good guys they're no better than the bad, and the bad guys that the coast is clear.

Submitted by Joseph (not verified) on

Get over yourselves. Obama is progressive. If you looked past the surface for a moment and looked at his record to see the kinds of things he's committed to, you might figure that out. You sound like a bunch of self-indulgent university students who talk a lot about how the world needs to change but don't have the courage to step out to change it. Good luck.

Submitted by JFJ (not verified) on

What exactly is Obama committed to? He was a neighborhood organizer for roughly five minutes before running for Congress. He was in the state legislature for roughly five minutes before running for the Senate. He was in the Senate for roughly five minutes before running for President.

Obama is committed to Obama. Get the stardust out of your eyes and wake up. This guy is every bit as phony as Mitt Romney.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Thank you for commenting, Joseph. Your comment is important to us. Please do not hesitate to comment again. --CorrenteBot

shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

Has he ever used that word referring to himself?

I'm just wondering. I would think it would freak out the Republicans he's reaching out to, but maybe he has.

Can any OFB trolls find a quote for us hat0rz?

And I mean an actual quote with a link to the source, not the OFB's W.O.R.M. interpretation. That would be much more persuasive.

Thanks!

Submitted by Joseph (not verified) on

Edwards is progressive?! You mean the guy who's platform is the opposite of his voting record? The guy who voted for the China free trade agreement? The guy who voted for the war? Then changed his mind when the war didn't work out so well? The guy who creates the mythical monster of "the evil corporation' to win your votes the same way Bush and Cheney created "the terrorists" to win your votes? Are you people fools? Or maybe you are just 14 years old?

There's one truly progressive candidate in this race, more progressive than any candidate in a long time that's had a realistic shot at winning. But I guess his platform just isn't dramatic enough for you kids. Maybe he should stop talking about unglamorous things like making the government more transparent, empowering the poor and disenfranchised to have a voice in their government, making individual legislators accountable for their spending, making sure that all children have equal access to education, and making sure that civil rights and liberties and due process are strictly enforced. Instead he should create a silly mythical monster to fight like Edwards has done.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

But one of them is consistently reframing today's political realities in precisely the same disempowering (to us) way the GOP and right-leaning mainstream media do. And his name is "Obama."

If you think corporatism is a silly mythical monster, Obama is not a bad choice for you. But I think you may be happier still with Romney or McCain. If I'm wrong about that, more's the pity.

shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

And stop repeating your assertion that Obama is progressive. Your assertion counts for squat even when you repeat it.

Thanks.

Submitted by Joseph (not verified) on

CorrenteBot:

Thanks for that response. It instantly humanized this internet communication and made me regret the somewhat overzealous way I stated both my above comments.

All I want to really say is, look long and hard into Obama's record and you'll see he is sincerely committed to and has fought for very progressive ideas and causes. Making government transparent is the way to end the influence of corporations over our legislators. The approach is progressive and pragmatic at the same time. If progressives miss this opportunity, don't expect it to come again for a very very long time.

As for Edwards, I doubt his sincerity based on his record not matching his words. The Iraq war is a key example. If I could see that it was a sham from the moment Bush started talking about it, why couldn't he? I think he's just changing his tune with the times. And even if it was an honest mistake on his part and he's truly come around, if his judgement was so horrendously wrong on such an important issue, what reason do I have to think that he'll have better judgement the next time around? I just don't.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Such as... "the discomfort of some progressives with any hint of religion has often prevented us from effectively addressing issues in moral terms."

So, he kind of is saying that he is a progressive. Just not one of the bad, heathen kind that has weak morality skillz.

shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

In that quote he's not saying he is a progressive, but that "some progressives" (other, bad, people) have prevented "us" (Obama and members of a group that is not specified) from effectively blah blah...

I would like Joseph to show us a quote with a link where Obama says unambigously that he is a Progressive.

And, Joseph, I'm not going to look long and hard into Obama's anything. If you're supporting him and you want to persuade me it's YOUR job to bring quotes and examples to me.

Otherwise you sound just like all the other Obamabots that have come through here: big on enthusiasm and short on specifics.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... the "some progressives" / "us" construction.

But I'm willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt that he does, indeed, think he's the one, good progressive Democrat in a sea of bickering, divisive Satanists that no one wants to vote for and who have never accomplished anything. Can't a guy have a little faith?

shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

OK, I found a quote all on my own where Obama says he's a "progressive Democrat".

It could be that reason for the antipathy to the Obama campaign on this blog (besides the logical and substantiated reasons documented in numerous posts) is due to the super-annoying nature of OFB trolls.

Submitted by Joseph (not verified) on

Look, Obama is fully committed to empowering the disenfranchised, protecting the civil rights in a broad sense, and making government transparent. He is committed to eliminating systemic unfairness to create a more truly fair society.

He got his political start almost 2 decades ago by organizing drives for voters in poor communities in Chicago. A major legislative accomplishment of Obama in illinois was to require police to videotape all interrogations. He got this passed against the initial resistance by the Republicans, many democrats (they didn't want to appear soft on crime), and the Police department itself.

He's strongly committed to government spending transparency, wanting to pass reforms so that anyone can see which legislators are giving away money, and to who. He has already played a big part in passing what almost everyone agrees to be landmark ethics reform in both Illinois and at the federal level (even though Clinton mocks it). But importantly, he doesn't feel those reforms go far enough.

He is 100% pro-choice and has received outstanding ratings from Planned Parenthood and other choice groups.

He is 100% for the separation of church and state.

One of the things he speaks most passionately about is the need to improve education for children, especially children in the poorest communities.

In the midst of the drumbeat to war, he stood up and said this is a dumb war and we shouldn't do it and it'll turn into a mess if we do. If anyone can remember back to that time, the mood of the country was such that those who spoke against the war were almost labeled a traitor. He didn't have to stand up and say that because he was only a state senator. But he risked his career and said it and attended anti-war rallies.

He's the only candidate I know of who seems to sincerely understand the potential of technology and the internet to make government more democratic and our leaders more accountable. Lawrence Lessig, who has devoted himself to fight restrictive copyright legislation and more recently to fight for more open government, gives this wholehearted endorsement of Obama:
http://www.lessig.org/blog/2007/11/4bara...

I could go on but this is getting to long. There's plenty of information out there. I think if you take the time to look through Obama's past, I think you'll see that not only does his story ad up, but that he's sincere. Maybe those things I've mentioned aren't progressive by the standards of some people, but they look good to me.

shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

I see no quotes and no links to sources where Obama says he's progressive.

You are just repeating your opinions as to what Obama stands for, which is totally unpersuasive to me. Classic W.O.R.M.

Engaging you in conversation has been a huge waste of my time so I'm going to do what is recommended with all trolls: I'm not going to feed you.

Submitted by Joseph (not verified) on

shystee, you're right, I guess it is my job. I'm afraid if I post much more it'll start to look like spamming, but I'll just ad one last thing. This is the link to Obama's blueprint for change. It's a long document broken into issues and gives a pretty good idea of where Obama officially stands on things:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/

I think I've given a decent answer above plus the link in this post. Also, if you know or like Lawrence Lessig, I also highly suggest you read his endorsement (also linked to in above comment). Hopefully I've answered the accusation that I'm just another OFB, as you seem to call us. Also, just want to say that after reading all the posts on this blog, the discussion seems to be a very sincere one. It's a very refreshing change from other discussion boards. If I see a correntewire story on digg, I'll definitely digg it up! Thanks!

Submitted by Joseph (not verified) on

shystee: I seriously was not trying to troll. I don't understand why you want a link to Obama "saying" he's progressive. Why does it matter what he calls himself? Isn't what he's done more important? All I've been trying to say is that his record SHOWS that he's committed to a progressive agenda (by my standards anyway). To be honest, I'm not sure if I've ever read somewhere where he calls himself progressive.

Submitted by lambert on

1. It's important that Obama use the word "progressive" because self-identification is important. For example, when Krugman (yes, I know the name is a hate trigger for some) identifies as a "liberal," that shows he's courageous in the face of relentless right wing demonization of the the word.

2. It continues to amaze me how many OFB regard the Obama campaign site as in any way important or authoritative, and not just his: any campaign site. In a year, all the web pages and the white papers and the yadda yadda yadda will be forgotten, disappeared, and as if they had never been. What people will remember is the talking points and the rhetoric (like "read my lips, no new taxes," or "it's the economy, stupid") because that's what the candidates are running on. They stay relentlessly on message for a reason. That's why Obama's consistent use of right wing dogwhistles, and the even more consistent use of right wing frames by the more bot-like members of the OFB, is of great concern to many of us here. What it tells me is that Obama will run and govern from the center right, despite or even perhaps because of the vacuous Unity rhetoric onto which people project whatever they want. So, the web site is almost completely irrelevant. It's like believing something because you found it on the Internet.

I should say, by the way, that Obama can change my view by an act of courage -- like filibustering FISA -- or even by sending some progressive dog whistles, but that my views are continuing to harden as he conforms more and more to the model above, at least in my mind.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by amberglow (not verified) on

economic/stimuluswise on this too?

The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080211/fr...

"... Barack Obama's proposal is tepid by comparison, short on aggressive government involvement and infused with conservative rhetoric about fiscal responsibility. As he has done on domestic issues like healthcare, job creation and energy policy, Obama is staking out a position to the right of not only populist Edwards but Clinton as well. ..."

Submitted by amberglow (not verified) on

"... Obama is absolutely wrong in his fundamental political analysis. The problem in America today is not a polarized political system in which Democrats and liberals are as equally to blame as Republicans and conservatives. The problem is a political system that's dominated by this sort of brain-dead political narrative. And the longer that Obama promulgates such brain-dead political narratives, the more he squanders his enormous potential.
..." -- http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?dia...

Submitted by output (not verified) on

while simultaneously managing to say nothing at all. Just like his speeches, which I'm frankly afraid to listen to lest I fall under his spell. To say nothing of that Orewellian campaign logo . . .

Submitted by amberglow (not verified) on

truly truly brilliant (as usual) from rudepundit-- http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2008/01/o...
-- Of Democratic Candidates and Gay Lovers (nsfw textwise)

"... So it was, speaking of obvious, that the winner of last night's Democratic debate was John Edwards, the odd average man out. While Obama and Clinton went at each other in an entertaining slap fight, there was Edwards, calmly speaking for the vast majority of Americans, even if that majority won't ever get to hear him. The only candidate to mention New Orleans during a Martin Luther King Day debate hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus, Edwards articulated again and again the vision of economic justice and empowerment that eluded his rivals. And he had to fuckin' beg for air time while the other two squabbled over who hates Republicans more. ..."

This is the giant tragedy of 08--that the one candidate who most closely articulates what the majority of Americans really want is the most shut out and ignored, and that the most progressive candidate still in the running is actually the white Southern guy, and not the famous "firsts".

DCBlogger--that's disgusting--they didn't even read your message before sending out what they presumed you wanted to talk about. ugh.

Submitted by markg8 (not verified) on

NAFTA? Welfare reform? Dont Ask, Don’t Tell? The Communications Decency Act? Easing media ownership laws? Defense of Marriage Act?

This is some of the legislation Bill Clinton signed into law, mostly in an effort to save his presidency after the disastrous failure of Hillary's healthcare reform bill lost congress to the Republicans.

Obama is right, Clinton didn't shift the American debate to progressive values. The Clintons just triangulated their way through the decade backward doing their best to ameliorate the worst aspects of Republican legislation.

In the end the man who told us "if we worked hard and played by the rules" broke the rules, got caught and allowed the Republicans to stifle any gains he could have made for us. We lost congress and he couldn't even help Al Gore become his successor. Mark Penn Hillary's union busting pollster said yesterday that Bill Clinton "changed the trajectory of American politics". That trajectory gave us George W. Bush as president.

If we nominate Hillary and she gets elected you can expect more of the same small bore efforts. These two won't build the huge mandate we need for the great changes that have to be made. There will be no coattails. They won't change the debate. They're not even trying.

As for Edwards I think Feingold did a pretty good take down of him. Edwards is running against virtually every vote he made in the senate. Is he sincere now? Yeah, probably a lot more sincere than we was then. But it's not his biography, his campaign speech reads like Feingold's record and Obama has actually fought those fights from the ground up his entire adult life.

Edwards has spent more on TV ads in SC than Hillary and Obama combined according to Chuck Todd MSNBC's
political analyst. With that kind of spending and his native son status he'd better do well in SC today or it's all over for him.

Submitted by dykester (not verified) on

None of the final 3 (sorry you had to go, Dennis) speaks in favor of civil rights for queers. Until one or more stands up for civil rights for ALL of us, they're not progressive enough for me.

Yeah, they all talk a good game in general, but each of them leaves out communities of people who have been overlooked and forgotten in this country. And ALL of them shy away from queers (except for Elizabeth E. and Al G. --- but they aren't running, are they?)

I'm not sayin' I won't vote for one of them if I have to (and I suppose I will have to in November, barring some miracle that would give us a true progressive). I'm just sayin' that none of them is willing to take on queer civil rights. All of them are trying to align themselves with the the movers and shakers of the civil rights movement. We queers were out in the streets then, too, (no, you didn't see us as queers then because we were also being lynched and beaten and murdered (actually, we STILL are in some states in this union)) and we've been out in the streets for every progressive cause in the many years before and after (okay, the log cabin republicans don't venture out into the streets except to hail a cab, but they're republicans, not progressives). But these so-called progressive candidates hide in their houses when it's time to support civil rights for queers. Thanks for nothing. Call me when we have a REAL progressive in the race.

Please, candidate fanatics, don't castigate me with your zealotry on behalf of your candidate. I challenge you to find queers (okay, use that milktoast term "gay") on your candidates' campaign sites. You won't; I've looked. Here's the extent to which the candidates addressed our rights in their campaigns:
1. Hillary is "pro" civil union, but not to the point of giving us the 1400+ benefits accorded to straight people when they get married.
2. Barack has to make decisions based on his religion's teachings, which makes it okay for him to hire a homophobic preacher to headline a campaign event and denounce us from the stage.
3. Edwards gets squeamish every time the issue is raised, but Elizabeth says she's working on him.

Wow. True progressives?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

This is markg8's post, which I had to edit because it contained "bad" HTML that messed up the thread.

Excerpt from Obama's speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church (MLK's church)
Sunday, January 20th, 2008
Atlanta, Georgia

"For most of this country’s history, we in the African-American community have been at the receiving end of man’s inhumanity to man. And all of us understand intimately the insidious role that race still sometimes plays – on the job, in the schools, in our health care system, and in our criminal justice system.

And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King’s vision of a beloved community.
We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them.

The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.
Every day, our politics fuels and exploits this kind of division across all races and regions; across gender and party. It is played out on television. It is sensationalized by the media. And last week, it even crept into the campaign for President, with charges and counter-charges that served to obscure the issues instead of illuminating the critical choices we face as a nation."

Submitted by anonymous coward (not verified) on

dykester, you're right, but at least one of them is bending over for homophobic pastors and "exgays" every chance he gets--and is running as a "Christian Candidate" too. That's more than enough reason to check him off the list.

Edwards is definitely persuadable--he's said so, and he hasn't used his religion to justify his lack, unlike Obama, who specifically has.

Clinton is weak, and didn't lift a finger for us in NY at all--esp during the court fight about marriage.

I have one more for you, vastleft: A False Brand of Hope: Obama's Chicago Approach -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-...

"...Take something as horrendous as slavery, sprinkle in the words and deeds of great Americans like Dr. King, Abraham Lincoln and JFK and who can argue with that? Most people in their right mind would agree the abolition of slavery, the enactment of civil rights legislation and uniting the country around a common cause are inspiring events in U.S. history.

But because we agree with Dr. King, Abraham Lincoln and JFK is not reason enough to elect Barack Obama. This fact should remain entirely separate from what Obama says he will do for this country if elected. ..."

Submitted by Dykester (not verified) on

Yeah, I read that speech, too, but when pushed to give us the same civil rights straight people have, he says he has to follow his church's teachings, and his church would choose to stone us if it were allowed.

Easy to use us for an oratory moment, but where's the action that follows? He could have dropped Donnie from his campaign event, but he consciously refused to do so. That's what he does. Doesn't match what he says.

Bush talks a good game, too, but doesn't make it true.

Submitted by Dykester (not verified) on

I lurk here regularly but have never written before. I read and loved your post on this when you made it.

Thanks for keeping your voice strong.
peace

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

As I said in the Kos thread...

Saying a good thing sometimes doesn't mean you didn't say a very bad thing.

Allow me to illustrate:
* Kittens
* Mother-Fucker
* Hot Cocoa
* Babies

Did saying the other three things mean I didn't just say "Mother-Fucker"?

Submitted by markg8 (not verified) on

Do you have a quote where Obama said "he has to follow his church’s teachings" as president on homosexuality? Sorry but I've learned I can't take anything at face value at this site. I'm assuming the "his church would choose to stone us if it were allowed" line is hyperbole.

As for action I'd say making this comment in a big speech at MLK's church is a start. You can't change the law until you change enough hearts to change the law. Anybody think Hillary or John is better at changing hearts and minds than Obama? None of them have enough political capital as candidates to make gay rights an issue these days. It's a sad fact but a fact nonetheless.

Submitted by markg8 (not verified) on

..specific instances where Obama called you or anyone else a liberal heathen or a motherfucker. Seriously VL what exactly do you find so objectional about him or his record? His record, on legislation in Illinois and the US Senate along with his work before he went into politics, which ought to tell you a hell of a lot, is much more progressive than Edwards or Clinton. Those are facts.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"Sorry but I’ve learned I can’t take anything at face value at this site."

"Obama called you or anyone else a liberal heathen or a motherfucker."

I didn't realize that was possible for the OFB to lose at W.O.R.M., but as the kids say these days, you "just lost the game."

Submitted by markg8 (not verified) on

Not sure what a record review of "Toys in the Attic" has to do with this discussion. Is there specific post downthread I'm supposed to read?

Submitted by Voodoo Chile (not verified) on

Forget about the word "Progressive," what about the word "Democrat?" Obama rarely, if ever, even mentions the word "Democrat." Not even in his television commercials. What a way to build the Democratic brand for future generations!

Submitted by markg8 (not verified) on

you're the self selected judge, jury, referee and executioner. LOL what else is new?

Submitted by Voodoo Chile (not verified) on

And while I'm on the subject, I don't even much like the word "Progressive." Why, you ask? Because liberals have been brow-beaten into using that word for themselves now that "liberal" has been made a dirty word. That's why Barney Frank is a fucking rock star to me - because he proudly uses the word "liberal" in almost every sentence.

So there you have it, I'd much prefer if "liberal" was brought back from the dead.

phat's picture
Submitted by phat on

I think progressive and liberal aren't the same thing. I consider myself a progressive liberal, actually.

Isn't that what Krugman's new book is about?

I haven't read it yet.

phat

Submitted by Dykester (not verified) on

He's also said it a few other times, but I'm not doing your research for you.

And, actually, the stoning comment wasn't hyperbole. His church teaches weekly from and follows the Old Testament teachings, which does, in fact, preach stoning for queers (besides other folks). The New Testament doesn't say ANYTHING about queers (except possibly Paul, who's also known for being sexist, and racist, too).

Alleged "christians" who ignore New Testatment teachings ("love one another"; "let he who is without sin cast the first stone") and preach from and teach the Old Testament endorse treating queers as less than. They aren't truly christians in my view, rather are christianists, who want to return to the old times we never had, when rich white men were compassionately in charge and the rest of us did their bidding.

Last, making a comment in church is still just talk, not action. When he announces today that he will support queer rights AND introduces a bill in the Senate to secure our rights, THEN he'll have some action to support his words. (Oh, wait, he hasn't even shown up in the Senate recently to support Chris Dodd in the fight against the FISA extensions) Until then, his words just smell like "compassionate conservatism" to me.

Last, you CAN change the law short of changing people's hearts and minds. Here in California, our state Supreme Court stood up against the racists in 1947 and held that the miscegenation laws were unconstitutional, even though mixed racial marriages made most people in the state at that time feel "icky". The US Supreme Court did the same in Brown v Board of Education, even though most people in the country were opposed to breaking down racial barriers. Just because someone makes us feel "icky" doesn't mean it's okay to deny them their civil rights. Obama says he stands for equal rights and justice for all. But did he hail the Massachusetts's Supreme Court decision to allow their queers to marry? Did he ask the Illinois state legislature to pass a law protecting his queer constituents? Did he even bemoan the fact that his queer constituents don't have the right to marry? Don't spend too much time researching that; he didn't.

I get you like him and support him. But progressive? Supportive of queers? He ain't!

Submitted by Elliot Lake (not verified) on

Thank you VastLeft!! I have been puzzling over how my once quite liberal brother has embraced Obama over Edwards, and having heard him this last weekend gabbling over bipartisanship, unity, attracting Republicans to the ticket, and saying how he likes David Broder, McCain and Huckabee-------I've decided Obama is really a Republican, a sort of Manchurian candidate, who appeals to ex-progressives who are now too wealthy to want to associate with the rabble, but want to look themselves in the mirror so they will vote for Obama and call themselves enlightened. All without actually looking at how he has voted (or declined to vote). I'm tired of Obama's 'pie in the sky by and by' thing. Hoping for miraculous change is not the same thing as actually doing something to bring it about.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

shystee or Krugman can tell you more, but "liberal" is getting a bad name from the left.

I, for one, like the idea of reclaiming the "L" word.

Submitted by Dykester (not verified) on

every so often doesn't detract from the good things said most of the time. We can't be perfect. We just have to try every day to treat each other the way we'd like to be treated ourselves. And that doesn't mean giving you a pony because I'd like a pony (though I'm eagerly awaiting the time when we ALL get ponies!). It means giving you what you need and giving me what I need so we can both live as happy, healthy members of our communities.

I don't have to like or agree with everything you say to ask you to keep speaking. You challenge us to think; that's good enough in my book.

BTW: what is FTW? please excuse my ignorance.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I think if every day someone called me a motherfucker and also told me a lot of nice things I would mind that he was calling me a motherfucker. But de gustibus...

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

but when pushed to give us the same civil rights straight people have, he says he has to follow his church’s teachings, and his church would choose to stone us if it were allowed.

Obama is UCC we don't stone people.

I don't think much of Barak Obama, but I won't let anyone slime my church.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Just on a small sample (like this good guy), so when I hear "UCC," my hackles don't go up like they would about some other sects.

I wonder how this stuff plays with your average UCC member?

Would they generally be inclined to claim that Jesus called them to, say, become President of the United States?

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

Registered Users can put their sigs to all kinds of creative purposes.

And yeah, Mark, if you had scrolled down a few posts you would have seen what I'm up to with that.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled program...

...for the rest of us

Don't no don't now try to get yourself elected
If you do you had better cut your hair

Submitted by Joe in SF (not verified) on

On a tangent, UCC is about the most liberal Christian denomination there is. I've heard them referred to as Unitarians Considering Christ.

(Comment meant to clarify UCC not justify BHO.)

Submitted by Dykester (not verified) on

I apologize. I did NOT mean to cast aspersions against UCC. It is a fine denomination, possibly the most liberal around. The ones I know practice their beliefs in tangible, community-healing and enhancing ways. I apologize to all for that intemperate comment.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Probably Aerosmith's most flawless, and the little-heard "You See Me Crying" is a real beaut.

I'm still kinda partial to (the now-virtual) side two of "Rocks," which... well, rocks -- though "Toys" is more-than-arguably the more-impressive work.

I, too, missed the context for where we got onto that, but to undigress a second, I'll note that it was a relief when Steven Tyler got off the Bush bandwagon in '04....

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... Obama is tricking Republicans and moderates, and he'll govern as a True Progressive.

This is the "Phonebooth Theory," and it's the gateway drug to hallucinogenic crystal-rainbow-sparkly pony fantasies.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Quoted by a gay supporter from The Audacity of Hope:

"No matter how much Christians who oppose homosexuality may claim that they hate the sin but love the sinner, such a judgment inflicts pain on good people -- people who are made in the image of God, and who are often truer to Christ's message than those who condemn them...it is my obligation, not only as an elected official in a pluralistic society but also as a Christian, to remain open to the possibility that my unwillingness to support gay marriage is misguided...I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God; that Jesus' call to love one another might demand a different conclusion; and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history."

This is quintessential Obama. He talks around both sides of an issue in a way that lets the listener project their own wants and desires onto what is a perfect reflective mirror.

He’s opposed to gay marriage because it’s against the teachings of his God, while at the same time he’s OK with gay co-habitation and civil unions and granting equality under the law – just not marriage. Except that he might be wrong about that and maybe his position is really the fault of society having infected his brain and maybe Jesus really doesn’t care. But not to worry, he’s a Christian and sooner or later Jesus will make it clear and then we’ll all do what Jesus wants, because that’s the way these questions should be decided rather than that divisive, musty old Constitution; meanwhile its “I hear your gayness.”

Obama is deliberately trying to be Chauncey Gardener; there’s no there there when people listen to him, just the heart’s own desires.

As long as we’re on Jesus and gaydom, what ever could there be in the Bible to suggest that Jesus had an orientation? Here’s a 30-something man who has never had a serious relationship with a woman other than his mother preaching a gospel of love and kindness and benevolence and acceptance, who roams around the countryside for 3+ years in the company of a dozen or more other men one of whom is repeatedly identified as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”; John 13:21-28, John 18:12-18, John 19:25-27, John 20:1-10 and John 21:2-24. As far as I’m concerned he passes the duck test; my gaydar is pinging even at a distance of 2,000 years.

Submitted by amberglow (not verified) on

This is quintessential Obama. He talks around both sides of an issue in a way that lets the listener project their own wants and desires onto what is a perfect reflective mirror.

He’s opposed to gay marriage because it’s against the teachings of his God, while at the same time he’s OK with gay co-habitation and civil unions and granting equality under the law – just not marriage. Except that he might be wrong about that and maybe his position is really the fault of society having infected his brain and maybe Jesus really doesn’t care. But not to worry, he’s a Christian and sooner or later Jesus will make it clear and then we’ll all do what Jesus wants, because that’s the way these questions should be decided rather than that divisive, musty old Constitution; meanwhile its “I hear your gayness.”

Exactly!

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

and even in the Shi'ite Baptist and other evangelofascist churches that have sprung up like weeds nurtured on the hopes and dreams of the "prosperity gospel" in this benighted nation since Reagan's elevation to Sainthood, those lines about "the disciple whom Jesus loved" are linked to one of the accounts of the crucifixion in which that same disciple is identified as Jesus' mother's other son (John). Nowhere in my reading can I find him outright called Jesus' brother, though.

Now, granted, all I know about the Bible is based on reading KJV, NKJV and NIV translations, but this is what was preached as recently as Christmas 2006 in my hearing.

If you read the Gospels as you would read any other biography, though, it's pretty clear that this itinerant preacher who owned no more than the clothes on his back and appeared to want no more than to influence people to act out of love and treat one another with kindness and commonsense tolerance -- a stance which would no doubt get him killed even more quickly today than in his first journey through earthly realms, and the riots leading to his death would likely be incited by modern evangelofascist "leaders" who are neck-deep in filthy lucre and filthier misogynistic, homophobic, often-racist politics -- was if anything a man on a mission, perhaps cognizant of the limited number of days alloted a life as uncommon as the one he led. A man like that wouldn't surprise me by being both foresighted and tenderhearted enough to refuse to leave a widow or children behind.

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0


We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

1 John 4:18

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Don’t want to get cross-threaded here with regards to the Obamathon so I’ll be brief, and not with any believers so let me preface this by saying that even though I am not one I have no argument with the philosophical principles of the Gospels; miraculous and supernatural claims aside, I would be perfectly content in a world where the red-letter text held sway.

The identity of “the disciple whom Jesus loved” – and the nature of that love – are mysteries. While a tradition has emerged that John was the disciple referred to at the crucifixion in John 19:26-27, no name is actually given: “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”

From Mark 6:3 we know the names of Jesus’ brothers: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon?” The name John is not among them.

There are plenty of theories about that well-loved disciple, some even convincing. And while Jesus’ sexuality is also uncertain in spite of tradition, it is in my view immaterial to the value of the message. When vastleft has worked his way through the rest of the OT, his place will be as good a spot as any to mull these things over.

Submitted by anonymous coward (not verified) on

from Left Coaster: http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/0...

Sen. Obama's Politics of "Calculation" (fake economic roundtable, photo op slur at Hillary when he does it too, and nasty thing about a disabled girl becoming a "distraction")

Submitted by ken (not verified) on

Gland to see the racists have all got together.

Talk Left, and Taylor Marsh are the biggest liars on the Web.

We look forward to you burning crosses on the White House lawn when Obama is President.

Submitted by FlipYrWhig (not verified) on

I'm sorry I've missed out on this place for so long. I'm throwing open the window and taking a deep, deep breath o' fresh Corrente air.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Don't you think Avedon is feeling left out?

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

on this thread. heh, unibama.
I’ve decided Obama is really a Republican, a sort of Manchurian candidate, who appeals to ex-progressives who are now too wealthy to want to associate with the rabble, but want to look themselves in the mirror so they will vote for Obama and call themselves enlightened. All without actually looking at how he has voted (or declined to vote).

dood, i totally understand how you feel. that's a rabbit hole i am perpetually pulling myself away from, the whole notion that he's really a republican plant of some kind. /twilight zone music/ still, "walks like, sounds like.." i'm waiting for him to say something akin to "now watch this drive."

phat's picture
Submitted by phat on

That Ken post is just beyond astounding!

Yikes.

That's a club I don't think I can join.

phat

Submitted by Mr.Murder (not verified) on

All I want to really say is, look long and hard into Obama’s record and you’ll see he is sincerely committed to and has fought for very progressive ideas and causes. Making government transparent is the way to end the influence of corporations over our legislators. The approach is progressive and pragmatic at the same time. If progressives miss this opportunity, don’t expect it to come again for a very very long time.

Obama's excuse for not releasing records pertinent to his days in office is that he's a poor note taker. That's really transparent.

His solution to "not taking PAC money" was to have people on PACs bundle the money for him instead and make registered lobbyists into state and national campaign directors.

Exelon is a pestering nuclear waste leaking sore in drainage water on Obama's supposed record against corporations.

"OBAMA: No, of course not. Look, I am a Democrat. I am a progressive Democrat. What I've always argued, and will continue to argue wherever I go, is that if we want to not just win an election, but actually deliver for the American people, give them health care, give them better educational opportunity, give them good jobs at good wages and decent retirements, then we're going to have a working majority. We can't just eek out a victory like we did -- or lose barely, like we did in 2000 and 2004. We've got to broaden the base and bring new people in the process, and that's what I'm going to try to do."

So, being progressive means catering to right wing politics to expand the base? You are aware Dems have a two to one advantage on Reps in registration and simply need to get the base motivated in voting. You realize courting the right lost races in 2000 and 2004.

You realize "different kind of politics" is an oxymoron too. It's some mythical unicorn pony that does not exist.

The police Dep't filming was for liability concerns, we've had no review of the extent to which it has been applied consistently either. To act like the PD opposed it is horse hockey, that was on its best day a case of posturing.

Standing for civil rights in a broad sense is a coded term, means you won't enforce specific claims or instances. That's Nixon's ghost wheezing over your verbiage you hear whistling in the background.

He has already played a big part in passing what almost everyone agrees to be landmark ethics reform in both Illinois and at the federal level (even though Clinton mocks it). But importantly, he doesn’t feel those reforms go far enough.

Did he say that when he made it? You mean the ethics like having nuclear polluters undergo voluntary compliance? That's quite ambitious of him to go the R way for the policy implementation. You consider passing legislation that is self admittedly inadequate to be a sign of progress? That's challenging Sen. Reid, if ever it happened.

"He is 100% for the separation of church and state."

Must be why Obama's fabled "community organizer" days were as a key cog in a religious initiative group.

One of the things he speaks most passionately about is the need to improve education for children, especially children in the poorest communities.

He offers an example of legislation the he steered through Illinois legislature or the United States Senate? Got hype?

In the midst of the drumbeat to war, he stood up and said this is a dumb war and we shouldn’t do it and it’ll turn into a mess if we do. If anyone can remember back to that time, the mood of the country was such that those who spoke against the war were almost labeled a traitor. He didn’t have to stand up and say that because he was only a state senator. But he risked his career and said it and attended anti-war rallies.

He didn't say it was specifically a dumb war. He said he'd oppose a dumb war, then in 2004 said his policy would match that of Bush. He's voted every appropriations for the war since taking the Senate seat, apparently one could assume by his standards, we have fought a smart war for him to have funded it since he is opposed to dumb wars.

He also pulled his anti war comments after the "mission accomplished" stunt and put them back up after public opinion had soured. Sounds like an example of moral convenience.

Again, how many times has he chaired the European subcommittee of foreign affairs, as we have NATO in Afghanistan? You think that will carry over in the race vs. McCain?