If you have "no place to go," come here!

So, how many times did Obama reinforce the brand by mentioning the word "Democrat" in the debate?

See the transcript. The answer:

Zero times.

Just like last time.

NOTE Too bad about that FDR thing. Maybe that will come after January.

No votes yet


leah's picture
Submitted by leah on

...except maybe you and your posse here at Corrente.

Have you even bothered to check out the transcripts of previous debates, say, ones involving Al Gore, or John Kerry, or even Bill Clinton?

I checked out the second debate between Gore and Bush; not once did Al Gore mention the Democratic Party by name, and the focus was entirely on what Al Gore's policies would be. I have a fairly good memory of Bill Clinton's debates in 1992, and I would be surprised if you found any mentions of the Democratic Party.

The reason is fairly easy to understand; who in the audience doesn't know that Clinton/Gore/Kerry/Obama were/are running as the Democratic nominee for President? There is no need to mention the glaringly obvious. Notice all the red and blue demarcations surrounding these events.

In fact, I think one could say that Obama is running away from the Democratic Party less than Bill Clinton in 1992 felt he needed to run away from the Democratic past, especially it's liberal past. That was occasionally painful to watch. On the other hand, Clinton ran a progressive/liberal campaign by challenging the fundamentals of the previous 12 years, especially the economic theories of the Reagan/Bush years.

But many progressives have held Clinton's 1992 campaign against him, dismissing it as the product of the DLC's desire to scrub liberalism from Democratic politics. I've always thought those who make those arguments have allowed themselves to be used by the SCLM's hostility to both Clintons.

What has become a reflexive hostility here at Corrente to Barack Obama, and anyone who isn't willing to join the posse, I find equally as self-indulgent and besides the point of a advancing liberal-progressive movement both inside and outside of the Democratic Party.

Check out BTD's post-debate post on the same subject of HOLC. He doesn't seem to be unduly disappointed. And as to McCain appearing to endorse some notion of an HOLC, wanna bet what will happen in January and February of next year if McCain is still a Senator, and Obama comes up with a Roosevelt-like economic package? But I agree with BTD; for now, welcome McCain aboard. On the other hand, the bailout gives the Treasury Sec the right to buy up mortgages to keep citizens in their homes right now. Why didn't McCain ask that Paulson start doing it right now? Minor quibble, I agree. On the other hand, there are also reasons why it's understandable Obama is remaining somewhat vague rather than presenting the kind of detailed economic package that Clinton did during the 92 campaign.

Do I have to remind anyone here that FDR didn't run on the FDR programs that he pursued once he became President? He ran on balancing the fucking budget. Of course what he was actually running on was...yes, that's right, hope and change. He avoided specifics because the economic times were unprecedented, and FDR had no idea what he would be facing when he took office. Strikes me that the situation today is much more like the one in 1932 than the one in 1992.

Really, Lambert, these snarky gotcha posts are beneath you. Or so I would have thought.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

I'd say there's a huge problem there. I don't think he's a Democrat. I think he's a bought and paid for Republican. The big difference between Clinton and Obama is that Clinton had all those years as governor where his values were clear. Obama, however, has virtually nothing to his name other than those two years of furious legislating that Emil Jones pushed him into. Take away the legislation that Jones shoved his way, and you do not have any particular reason to believe he's a Democrat.

Submitted by lambert on

Since the economy tanked, Obama's been doing a lot better.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

and praised him repeatedly. Obama has not mentioned Clinton, who is more popular than Reagan, in either.

The entire world hates the Republican party and they''ve managed to get both candidates in the race. I've been wrong about Rove - he is a genius.

illusionofjoy's picture
Submitted by illusionofjoy on

When Obama mentioned the budget surplus Bush got when he entered the White House, I was waiting for him to amend the statement with, " a result of the policies of President Bill Clinton." No such luck.

Submitted by lambert on

The issue is not that "nobody thinks Obama's not a Democrat." It's not about people's views of Obama; it's about Obama's actions. The issue is whether Obama is reinforcing the Democratic brand. That's why the headline reads the way it does.

I get the campaign literature constantly, and that doesn't reinforce the Democratic brand. Here's the splash screen on the website, which doesn't even mention the Democratic Party. Here's the main page of the web site, which doesn't mention the Democratic Party. From all that material combined, I get the message that Obama doesn't want to reinforce the Democratic brand -- which makes sense, when you think about it, because it's not easy to do the bipartisan shtick and and reinforce the branding of one party at the same time. Not mentioning the party in (two, now) debates reinforces that impression for me. Hardly a gotcha. YMMV, obviously.

On HOLC, I don't know what "unduly disappointed" might mean (but I'm glad that BTD is, like some others, doing the work of pushing good policy forcefully. However, if you were to look carefully at what Obama is saying, I doubt that you would be as sanguine as you seem to be (and after FISA, I can't imagine why anyone would be sanguine about Obama).

On FDR, yes, I'm aware of the history.

Some are taking action now to push Obama in FDR's direction.

Others would prefer simply to wait for Obama to do the right thing -- based, I suppose, on faith?

Why wait? If I didn't hold his feet to the fire now... Now that would be beneath me. I don't plan to betray either my values or my interests or those of people like me, thank you very much.

You know, there's only one way to get me to shut the fuck up on any of this, and that's for Obama to do the right thing. May I humbly suggest that you invest your energies in that direction?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by lambert on

See here.

All the more reason to hold his feet to the fire immediately, so far as I'm concerned.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

It's that based on actions Democrats have taken recently (certainly including Obama), I don't think I'm a Democrat.

But if I were, I'd consider Obama's debate performance and campaign in the context of this recommended diary over at Cheetopia: We're Losing This Election. "We", as in Prop 8 in CA and the governor's race in WA State (and you can probably extrapolate to other races in other places), not "We" as in Obama and me. In other words, "we" as a party, not the royal "we" running for President.

I have no doubt Clinton, Gore and Kerry failed to mention Democrats in their debates or maybe in their entire campaigns, but the reasons are twofold: one is that the Dems at the top of the ticket have run as if the Presidential race is the only one that matters, and no one moreso than Obama - gays in CA and Dems in WA would beg to differ. Obama has hundreds of millions of dollars, what appears to be approaching a double digit lead in the polls, and a vast organization. Under those circumstances he might stoop to offer the little people some help, but he hasn't and probably won't.

The other reason is that the Democratic message and Democratic performance in Congress over the last 25 years has been so atrocious that no one in their right mind wants to be associated with it. But no one wants to concretely define how Democrats will improve in the future either, beyond vague platitudes like "change" and "hope", or Obama's oxymoronic intiatives like partial universal health care or clean coal, or peace through increasing troops in Afghanistan and incursions into Pakistan.

So maybe Lambert's somewhat wrong. So what?

Submitted by lambert on

If I were a Democrat, I'd be voting for him, albeit tepidly.

The FISA abomintion convinced me I wasn't (though I could change my mind at the local level).

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

His averaged lead is 5.1 - not even to the level of party ID advantage that the Dems have. He's still losing more Dems than McCain is losing Republicans. He is not a popular candidate - problably the least popular Dem since Carter ran for re-election. And the fact that an unrpecedented fiscal crisis has driven his poll numbers up even five points isn't good news.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Is it because he personally wants to, or have some down ticket folks requested he not? It's a fair question.

jjmtacoma's picture
Submitted by jjmtacoma on

when you are drowning, it isn't a good time to be picky about who throws the life preserver.

*** At least not where WA Governor is concerned, I think.