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

Some people think it's all good


There's nothing shadowy about this - it's an extension of what the Obama campaign has been doing since he entered the race. He's building a new Democratic infrastructure, regimenting it under his brand, and enlisting new technologies and more sophisticated voter contacting techniques to turn it from a normal GOTV effort into a lasting movement.

No, nothing shadowy at all. "Regimenting" a "Democratic" infrastructure under Obama's brand... What could go wrong?

I'm with Avedon: "that sinking feeling just won't stop sinking." It's like the whole country is turning into a giant caucus, isn't it?

But then what would I know? I'm a racist.

NOTE: The first thing to go is always the language, isn't it? Always.

No votes yet


darrow's picture
Submitted by darrow on

Paradox at Left Coaster wrote a piece yesterday similar to what you're seeing in the kool-aid crowd, "What kind of party?" - pissing me off royally. (As if I wasn't already). Here's his delusional ending, and it's a beauty:

No self-identified, registered Democrat is staying home this year, no matter what happens, the Independents are all breaking Democrat and we have awesome internet activism machines, Jesus what a rout it’s going to be.

I read thru the comments for a voice of sanity and found a beautiful reply by SeaMBA. S/he made so many great points that I just have to repost the whole thing here. It is fantastic. (The emphasis is mine)

"Warning: Long post.

I have been a registered, voting Democrat for 22 years, as long as I have been able to vote. I have identified as a Democrat for 33 years, as long as I have been politically aware. I'll let you do the math. I haven't missed a general election yet. I have made it to most of the off cycle (local votes on local issues not held in November) votes. I am probably what you would call the creative class. I am college educated (Environmental Studies). I have lived on an organic farm. I have a graduate degree (Business). I live in blue Seattle. I am pro-choice. In the 1970's, as a child, I recognized the need to switch away from an oil economy.

And I am somewhat offended and disheartened by Paradox's naive statement that

"No self-identified, registered Democrat is staying home this year, no matter what happens, the Independents are all breaking Democrat and we have awesome internet activism machines, Jesus what a rout it’s going to be."

Given that at least this self-identified, registered Democrat is definitely, seriously considering not voting for Obama if he is the nominee I think that Paradox needs to take a deep breath and take a long hard look at reality. As a matter of fact I would need to be convinced that Obama is the right person to be President, not that McCain is the wrong person.

I'll tell you why.

Until a few weeks ago I had a Kerry/Edwards sign in my window to show my disgust with Bush. I didn't start out this election cycle with a preferred candidate (other than not wanting Kucinich because I knew he couldn't win in November as core Democratic his ideas might be).

But my candidate of choice started to emerge back in January. I don't remember the exact dates of all the events, but here is a list of the various things that began to turn me against Obama (no, not for Clinton). Obama saying that he would get Clinton's supporters but she wouldn't get his. Michelle Obama's unwillingness to state unequivocally that she would support Clinton if she was the nominee. The online communities slamming of a hardworking and committed Democratic candidate that drove me from sites like Huffington Post and Talking Point Memos.'s endorsement of a candidate during the primaries. (Particularly when Clinton voted to defend MoveOn and Obama didn't -- something that just confounded me.)

Driven from my normal sources for news that was not likely to get much play in the MSM, I started reading new blogs, like The Left Coaster. Here I discovered eRiposte and read about the differences between Clinton and Obama (articles that seemed to me to be the best researched and documented around). I noticed that the MSM was giving Obama a pass and buying into what is now called Clinton Derangement Syndrome (I will admit, that I was at first worried about Clinton's "negatives"). The heavy hitters in the Blog-o-sphere where saying the same thing as the MSM. That was a big red flag. I blame the MSM for much of the current mess we are in. And I blame current DNC leadership, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for a serious lack of spine in not forcing the Republicans to actually filibuster and veto and letting the MSM paint Democrats as "do nothing" and ineffectual, rather than showing Republicans to be obstructionist.

Then came the disenfranchisement of Michigan and Florida. More DNC lack of understanding of how to win. No vision.

Throughout all this I started learning more about Clinton. I knew she was a fighter based on all that she had to put up with from the Right Wing Noise Machine. And the more I learned the more I became impressed by her knowledge of policy; her understanding of politics; her grace and poise under pressure. I saw her give well thought out answers under attack in debates. I saw her display humor. I came to actually like her.

I also came to know more about Obama. I learned about his "present" votes. I have heard that he was essentially handed bills that others had worked on in the Illinois Senate (I had no idea that the job was only 55 days a year). I learned that he aided and abetted a slum lord. I learned he didn't see much difference between Bush's position on Iraq and his own when he could do something about Iraq, despite having been against the Iraq war when he was in no position to do anything. I have seen him speak without a teleprompter and off the cuff. I learned that he didn't hold any hearings on NATO despite NATOs crucial role in Afghanistan. His excuse, too busy campaigning for President. I heard him offer a universal health care package that leaves 15 million people still uninsured and is unworkable. I just heard him say that he has been to 57 states and still has two more to go. I have learned that this man can't handle pressure.

So here I am faced with a choice. Vote for a strong, smart leader or vote for a charismatic unknown. The Democratic party needs leadership. It needs a fighter.

We need a fighter because the Republicans, while on the ropes are still fighters. They still have the MSM in their pocket. They still have access to huge amounts of money.

Obama offers the Republicans a perfect opportunity to frame him. Clinton has been raked over the fire. Obama has nowhere to go but down, Clinton nowhere to go but up.

Back to my feelings about the heavy hitters in the blog-o-sphere and the DNC, because it is at the core of why Obama will have to campaign for my vote harder than McCain or Clinton as a write in.

If the people who claim (legitimately or not) the thought leadership of the Democratic party aren't willing to give all Democratic candidates a chance to make their case; aren't willing to take chances (like rearranging the primary season to better reflect America and real voting patterns); aren't willing to challenge the mainstream media; are able to connect with the base of the party; well then, I think that the Democratic party needs to loose again because they obviously haven't learned what it takes to win and to lead(I never thought we needed to loose before, we just didn't have a fighter in the ring for the past two election cycles). Here is my biggest fear -- Obama wins, and turns out to be another Carter and I have seen nothing to convince me otherwise (although I think Carter had better ideas than Obama) and the Democratic party is trounced for the next 20 years. If McCain wins, I think that Americans will not be able to simply blame Bush, but will see that Republican policies, no matter who is in office, are simply wrong. I would trade 4 more years of bad policy for 4 years of okay policy followed by 20 years of bad policy.

Please convince me I am wrong. But don't give me reasons why Obama is better than McCain. Give me reasons why Obama is truly "the change we have been waiting for" compared to Clinton. Show me what he has done that shows me what he will do. Don't simply point me to Obama's website. Point me to third parties that compare Obama's record to Clinton's in the way that eRiposte did. Then address his electability in realistic terms. Use past voting patterns in the electoral college. Address how he will fight back against 527's.

I don't want hope, I want facts that lead me to believe. More of the same from Obama supporters will only harden my view that he is the wrong person. Help this self-identified, committed Democrat believe in the Democratic party and Paradox's hoped for rout.

Sorry for the long post. I love America and I think that Democratic values really do represent what America was intended to be. I am just frustrated by thinking like Paradox's because when I hear that stuff I know we are going to lose again. Something we, and the world, can't afford."
Posted by SeaMBA at May 10, 2008 10:48 AM

(Edited referenced column at the beginning)

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

That's where all of us counter-revolutionaries will be going for "reeducation."

The Richard B. Cheney Memorial Waterboard Park.

" . . . we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender . . ."- Winston Churchill

Submitted by lambert on

DDay writes that, gosh, it's from the top down.... Can somebody give me an example of where we build a similar system, outside the Party structure, for a candidate who isn't even nominated yet, or elected, with top down control?

And people think there's nothing really at stake?

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

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

How many of you are old enough to remember the "Future Shock" vs "The Greening of America" debate.

Toffler, of course, turned out to be far more "right" than Reich.

What kills me about the Obama Personality Cult is that it actually believes that it can sweep away all opposition -- as if existing Democratic Party power bases will give way to the Obama Tsunami.

I mean, it kills me that these people think they invented the voter registration drive....

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

What kills me about the Obama Personality ____ is that it actually believes that it can sweep away all opposition

And, of course, there's the question about how we should feel about them actually believing they should do that.

After all, Al Gore and John Kerry lost by such huge margins, and we got our butts kicked in the 2006 midterms, so clearly the party needs to be destroyed in order to save it, right?

joze46's picture
Submitted by joze46 on

The Republicans rant about Obama's new program because the Republicans can now just stuff the ballot box.

This whole thing is going to be loaded with corruption folks.

The Obama buddies are the those Obamacan's doing just what they always do confuse the hell out of everything.

Hey, any Republican can raise their hand say they are an Independant and vote for Obama. Talk about Liebermann and Zell miller creating their own Party you think this is for the Democrats.

Thats about as funny as Hillary on the same ticket as Mccain. Have you heard hate radio suggesting Hillary and McCain on the same Republican ticket. If anything since Liebermann is Obama's Senator mentor it looks likely with those cross over obamacan's, Barack is likely to turn Republican if he lost the nomination. Then run for the mayor chicago LOL.

Submitted by jawbone on

A few days ago, I had this thought that Obama may be the Blair of Democrats. Someone who seems to embody what we want, but has another agenda, or personal goal, entirely. Then, with power, moves more and more to authoritarianism.

I have no proof -- it was just one of those OMG thoughts that stuck.

Be pleased to be shown I'm wrong.

Note that Blair seems to have done a job on the Labor Party, which came in third in recent elections.

Submitted by lambert on

I was thinking the same thing. Boller's (Stower's) "squishy fix" sounded very Blair-ite.

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

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

sounds to me like a revival meetin' just came to town. the tent's set up. every night people flock to listen to the preacher's hypnotic rhythms. hundreds walk down the aisle to jesus. they go home feelin' good, talk to their neighbors about it the next day. spread the word.

the rapture usually lasts a couple of weeks after the last tent peg has been pulled. then its back to human nature as it always has been, and church as usual.

hey, we been thru all this before. many times.

this is just an good old-fashioned politico-religious revival meeting, an up-to-date american camp meeting with lots of praying, lots of "visions", lots of verbal mumbo-jumbo.

it's our historic "american suckers for a political nirvana" movement, 2008 variant.

folks, elmer gantry just drove into town. get ready to pray and pay.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

One of the comments says "heil" and another notices the whiff of "authoritarianism." The language used by DDay, Rich and Alter is reminiscent of similar statements made about Stalin, Hitler and Saddam. Here you have a politician who successfully alienated large sections of the Democratic coalition, is going to lose in a landslide and at the same time way too many people see him as second to Jesus only (even the Jews).

Short of waterboarding, I am not going to vote for the worst and most dangerous candidate the Democrats had in memory. And he cannot even stand his ground in a debate! Even scarier.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

They at least waited until they won before they started walking on two legs. These folks are dancing on two legs before Obama has secured the number of delegates needed to win.

The bloggers and Obama supporters have been working in concert with the MSM to trash a caring, liberal woman, participating in the same sleaze they were criticizing a year ago. They participated in voter intimidation (caucuses), suppression (WV and the continual haka), disenfranchisement, and most likely fraud (caucuses, Texas and).

Winning isn't everything for me. Principles matter. I don't want to change one corrupt and abusive regime for another. This "with us or against us" mentality is dangerous, period.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

My main problem with the Obama movement is how comfortable some parts of it are continuing the Republican class war on working class Americans.* At its core, IMO, this is what will destroy this country. Without a strong middle class, there isn't anyone to fight for other ideals.

So the scariest part of all of this for me is that what this movement is talking about replacing is a lot of traditionally democratic constituencies that have served to try to anchor the party in the economic policies aimed at middle class, working class, and poor America. Even with these constituencies, the party has drifted far into corporatism.

Between all the shouting about how Obama was right to deride working-class Americans with bitter-cling and the incredible overreaction to the gas tax and the outright hostility to the idea that anyone should be mandated to buy health insurance to get to UHC, it's quite clear that a large part of Obama's movement is outright hostile to working class Americans and would be only too happy to push them out of the democratic family.

That is not only bad for the party, it's bad for America.

* While it's true that African American working class and poor voters have been supporting Obama, I do not expect Obama to do anything more for them as a policy matter than he will do for any other working class or poor American. They will get nothing more than the joy of seeing one of their own take the oath of office (admittedly not a small thing) in exchange for all of their support.

SunnyLC's picture
Submitted by SunnyLC on

My Local NM SDSteadfast for Clinton, Udall Silent; Breakdown on NM Count

I woke up to some good news today as the paper reported that my local superdelegate, Mary Gail Gwaltney, is sticking with Clinton for as long as the latter stays in the race.

She is also quoted as saying that Clinton has the “stamina and the will” needed as a leader.

I’m so glad Gwaltney mentioned these qualities, because Obama, while he might have the will, doesn’t look particularly strong when it comes to stamina. As long as things are going his way, he’s bright as a penny, but it’s horror show time if he has to confront serious questions or has to debate. He also mispeaks about where lakes are and the number of states in the union, which doesn’t give me much confidence in his ability to actually do the job of President. But, of course, he will have advisers, just like Bush has had advisers…

MORE including the updated breakdown of the superdelegates…Hillary only 4.5 behind with the hysteria about she should quit never-ending…

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

Out of the Obama campaign comes the message that Obama is building "a new Democratic infrastructure." It isn't DDay's invention, nor is it Ambinder's. It propaganda from the precious one's campaign. It is supposed to replace the party's organization and it also attempts to displace the veteran progressive smaller organizations.

Before I start to show the megalomania behind it, let state flatly, it's a pipe dream and Hollywood cut outs.

- As supposedly designed, it clearly intends to marginalize the Democratic party. Wait a minute, so why is this guy going to be the party's standard bearer? Isn't he suppose to run as a 3rd party candidate?

- Obama actually trails badly behind Hillary in Democratic votes. The young are not members of the party, many independent voted for Obama and so are many Republicans. So this alleged infrastructure is less that 1/2 of the Democratic party's one.

- DDay and others just don't pay attention to the words used. Infrastructure is not a pair of shoes; it take huge resources and a long time to create a country wide network capable of operating and performing tasks successfully. What Obama has, at best, is money and enough dedicated Obama-drugees that will run around. Doing more is way above Obama's capability level.

- Is it clear to the DDays, that what they describe is a Coupe D'etat? I am sure that Pelosi, Dean and Reid don't understand what is going on and how contemptuous Obama is of them.

Submitted by lambert on

Or is it a coup, as you say, koshembos?

Or is it both? That's not impossible.

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

kangeroo's picture
Submitted by kangeroo on

roughly speaking:
hillary = snowball
obama = napoleon

swell, i'm so thrilled.

kangeroo's picture
Submitted by kangeroo on

mr. jones = george w. bush

squealer = axelrod
pigs = kos, avarosis, willis, sullivan, yglesias, et al.
dogs = OFB
sheep = dean, pelosi, reid, kerry, mcgovern, et al.
pigeons (& dogs) = media, press

muriel = HRC's base
boxer, clover = HRC supporters resigning themselves to obama
wild animals (rabbits, rats) = estranged edwards supporters & independents
mollie = other, apathetic voters

benjamin = corrente, no quarter, anglachel, taylor marsh, et al.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

But I guess making this all about Hillary and Obama is Kewl.

I thought it was pretty obvious that I'm referring to the supposed "movement" and not any one individual. The "movement" wanted to overthrow the system, but instead they assimilated and were willing and eager participants. The "movement" wanted decentralized power, but are paving the way for a unitary executive. What is this "movement" really about? They were for one thing a year ago, not so much this year.

kangeroo's picture
Submitted by kangeroo on

i thought we were in agreement. perhaps my message was poorly executed (wouldn't be the first time).

i don't think this is all about hillary and obama. in fact, for me, it stopped being about them quite some time ago; it's the broader warning signs here that trouble me, the "movement" included--which isn't so different from that in animal farm (which i just happened to finish reading recently, so its lessons are fresh in my mind).

among those red flags for me are what the OFB and media have been doing throughout this primary season: rewriting history, changing rules along the way, imposing double standards, scrubbing inconvenient facts, astroturfing, intimidating and suppressing dissent, etc.

i apologize if i communicated my intent and perspective badly.

kangeroo's picture
Submitted by kangeroo on

(which i'd thought was a hillary-friendly place) to respond to jerome armstrong's latest post--only to find myself shouted down by an overwhelming, massive swarm of OFB. even jerome was being insulted left and right with abandon; there was no respite to be found anywhere over there for people like me. needless to say, this shit is scary.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

What bugs me about all this is that while Obama might be able to take over the Democratic party temporarily, it will mean a "permanent" majority for the GOP.

the Obama "movement" will alienate for a decade or two large swaths of "swing" constituencies, so all the GOP has to do is watch the Obama presidency implode in its own hubris, and pick up the pieces.

The Obama movement will be discredited within the Democratic, and the old powers will be placed back in charge of what is left of the party -- which won't be much of anything.

Personally, I'm hoping for a Clinton lead third party at this point. If she could attract someone like Julian Bond or Bill Gray to take the VP nomination, I think she could actually win.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

The "movement" is predicated on stomping the Clintons and their influence. Which may get the "movement" types control of the party, but it won't get them the White House.

If Bill and Hillary have been thoroughly discredited, how can you use them in the general? I mean, they're certainly going to go out there and do the work, but it's kind of a weird thing to accuse them of such awful things and then turn around and let them campaign for you.

I've long suspected that this election is really about whether the Clintons stay in charge of the party structure or someone else takes over. I think one reason that things weren't so vitriolic when Edwards was in was that he hadn't clearly signaled that he was ready to just clear the Clinton people out. I don't know if Obama actively sent that message, but then he's been the blank screen onto which people project their hopes, regardless of what he actually says.

And now we have a whole bunch of bloggers going all triumphalist on us; Bowers in one breath crows that "We nominated the black guy!" and in the next, cuts African-Americans off at the knees by asserting his vision of the creative-class-led party, in which African-Americans, not known for shopping at Whole Foods and drinking PBR, do not have a place, particularly because it's the end of identity politics, and the end of identity politics means the end of throwing a bone to anyone. Paradox at The Left Coaster acknowledges that there's no way to predict what's in store for January, but We Won! That's Exciting! Join Us! And Tristero and D-Day are just kind of freaky, actually, with the worship of Bowers' vision of a centralized, cult-of-personality, Chicago-machine kind of party.

Which is not to say that this is what Obama's actually been saying will happen; but it does make you wonder why that's the message that these people are picking up.

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

or replacing the entire Democratic infrastructure.

They would absolutely go postal at the thought of Hillary Clinton controlling fundraising, GOTV, voter registration, messaging and every other source of power in the party.

They don't want her to even have any influence, meaning they want anyone even semi-loyal to Hillary to be purged.

Why they feel that way I can't figure out.

" . . . we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender . . ."- Winston Churchill

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

Darrow, in the midst of his long post:
I didn’t start out this election cycle with a preferred candidate (other than not wanting Kucinich because I knew he couldn’t win in November as core Democratic his ideas might be).

And there's the whole damned problem right there in a nutshell. If we concede from the beginning that the candidate who best represents core Democratic ideas can't win, then why the hell are we here wasting bandwidth?

Until we progressives grow enough balls to support candidates who genuinely support progressive ideals, regardless of their "electability", we will always wind up with the Barack Obamas.

How would this have played out? Had the progressive blogosphere lined up behind Kucinich from the beginning, he wouldn't have won, but he would have kept Obama and Clinton from going into the convention with a majority. While Democratic Party leadership would have wailed about the end of the world, a Draft Gore movement might have come together. It's highly possible that the convention would have lined up behind Gore in the name of party unity, and the Democrats would have wound up with the nominee everybody wanted all along.

href="">...for the rest of us

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

But I think part of the problem we are seeing with the blogosphere in this election, is thinking we can do things that we can't.

I really don't feel our best place lies in backing specific candidates. My sole reason for advocating for Clinton comes from the plain and simple fact, is that it seems not enough are advocating for her in this polarized atmosphere.

The jubilation of the Boiz, is a direct result from the feeling that they are responsible for Obama's "victory" in the primary. But the blogs didn't do that. The media narrative(which we didn't challenge), and Obama's strategy(as flawed for the GE as it might be), are what led him to "victory".

The blogs better strengths are in challenging the MSM, which will continue to set the standards for "electibility", and in advocating for progressive policies, skills that we hone online then spread to the general populace through family, friends, and co-workers, creating conditions on the ground where an Edwards or Kucinich is possible, instead of an Obama or Clinton.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

Submitted by lambert on

... You're saying that the media critique is our strength, but the A listers who went for Obama destroyed it. So, maybe there's a bigger problem here than recreating it.

I want to CONSTRUCT not DEconstruct.

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

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

our media critique, and put forward new media. Just as the current MSM has no business picking electoral candidates, neither should we.

And CONSTRUCT progressive policies as well, and pushing the people we know in RL, to accept them. This will CONSTRUCT an electorate, where electing better candidates, is possible.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

Submitted by lambert on

The media critique is necessary but not enough.

I remember two years ago when my garden was attacked by mildew, and bang, in a day half of it had wilted. And the rot set it in the blogosphere's media critique that fast.

So, there's a structural issue that needs to be addressed, so that doesn't happen again. I'm not sure what it would be.

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

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Who should pick that candidates?

Um, how about the voters? In which, we, on the blogs, are a minority. That's why we work better on the ground, through the people we know in real life. We critique the media, and provide our own. We generate memes to push progressive policy. That allows conditions to be set for the candidates we prefer to be elected.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

The media critique rotted, because stupidly, we had a horse in the race. As long as the media narrative benefited the candidate that the majority of the blogs preferred, the media was not going to be challenged. I think this will be more a lesson learned of experience.

Local elections are one thing, but nationally we are just too diffuse to be effective. And we should advocate for a better primary process(Hey, there's something we could get those process obsessed folks working on, instead of advocating candidates).

Eventually, an election is over. Our work is never ending, which is why we shouldn't focus too much on the transitory.

Well, gents, I'm off to bed.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

Submitted by cg.eye on

How can a blogger oppose Kos (and by extension, the A-list bloggers who side with Kos) this virulently, and yet back Obama? Or, more precisely, blame Clinton for the race-based campaigning he saw, yet ignore the race-based campaigning done by Obama?

Yes, it's just one person's opinion, but Holland was so dead set against Kos being a blog leader that he took his theories to MSOC's joint, My Left Wing, and she asked him to be less immoderate (which, remembering her style, is a trip). Holland, AFAIK, never wrote a post explaining at least his 'enemy of my enemy is my friend' reasoning, which would have helped.

Did an inadvertent Rovian inoculation take place -- which got the worst rumors about Kos out there, but have it said by unwitting third parties so far in advance that "more reasonable people" could tear it down, in time for Kos to lead the charge for an Obama nomination?

I guess I'm putting this out here because I'm trying to see an overwhelming process clearly. Criticizing a candidate's policies, either explicitly stated or by proxy, is not the same as vague character defamation. But when we have so little to go on, as we do with Obama's actual accomplishments or stated policy goals, getting a handle on what he'd actually do in office is as elusive as tracing a bunch of people in a country that have similar family names, without access to birth certificates or other public records.

Discerning trust in meatspace is already daunting; discerning it online is exhausting.

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

The first step to solving a problem (after realizing one exists) is figuring out what is wrong. Let's focus on identifying the problem before evaluating solutions.

So what is the problem with the media critque? Is it internal or external? Or both?

If it's internal, I see a couple possiblities, based on what I see in this campaign.

Obviously it isn't a hardware issue, it's a PEBKAC error.

One possibility is simple greed. This would be the true if the former leaders of the new media sold out for personal gain.

This appears at least partly true. Some of the Big Bloggers seem to be trying to establish fiefdoms in order to advance and/or enrich themselves.

The other possiblity seems more noble, but is nonetheless more dangerous. Many in the blogosphere seem so taken with a particular candidate that they have become irrational. Numerous examples of this abound.

Any other possibilities? (This should be a discussion, not a lecture. Participation is encouraged.)

" . . . we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender . . ."- Winston Churchill

kangeroo's picture
Submitted by kangeroo on

"So, there’s a structural issue that needs to be addressed, so that doesn’t happen again. I’m not sure what it would be."

and aeryl, somehow this doesn't make me feel any better: "I think this will be more a lesson learned of experience." how do you stop people from having a horse in the race?

personally i think this problem will keep repeating itself, only manifesting itself in different ways; it's clear now that the biggest obama blogs are just as susceptible to bias, megalomania, and corruption as the MSM. there needs to be some kind of system of checks and balances for all media, both MSM & blogosphere.

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

Not saying that the media critique isn't important, just that it's not going to win many elections. Elections are decided by people who couldn't give a damn about the media, let alone what our opinion of it is. The "all media sucks" attitude that a sizable number of Americans have tends to blunt the effectiveness of the critique.

I needed to be a little more specific earlier. The voters will decide who wins, of course. (But hell, we're voters too!) But what we're going to have to do, if we are going to be effective in electoral politics at all, is start providing candidates. This is where unions, community organizations and other progressive groups I've been familiar with have always fallen short. We do a good job of raising awareness of the issues, but we've always been willing to settle for what the Democratic Party hierarchy gives us at election time. I see a lot of potential in the blogosphere for identifying progressive candidates and encouraging progressives to run.

The question is then, is that the wisest use of our resources? I've noted my belief that the American political system at its core is unreformable, thus the best idea might be to not squander precious resources on elections (except to keep sociopaths out of office) and instead use them to build our visibility in our local communities.

That rambled a bit; it may have sounded a little contradictory. But I see American progressives at a crossroads. We can't keep doing what we're doing; it's time to either up the ante or leave the game.

...for the rest of us

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on


i have been puzzled by the sudden conversion of a number of prominent weblog stars to obama.

one day josh marshall says "i can not tolerate hillary clinton's actions in this campaig any more.... (or something similar)"

and INSTANTLY, talking points memo becomes a 100% obama media - marshall's weblog thereafter best being described as an obama propaganda arm, compete with headlines relentlessly contemptuous of clinton and favorable to obama. not to mention placing greg sargent in solitary confinement.

steve soto at the left coaster did the same thing some time later. one day he writes that clinton has done something, unspecified, that he simply cannot tolerate, and within days, the left coaster posting contingent is "discovering" ways to talk about other things than supporting clinton.

recently kevin drum, just prior to a fund-raising drive, says something along the lines of, "clinton did something(s) that i think are inexcusable and therefore ...."

the funny thing is, none of these guys wrote a bill of particulars specifying what it was that clinton had done to lead them to their conversion to obama.

kos i don't know about.

in general, i have long suspected that there is more than just "clinton's behavior" behind these decisions. i suspect there are either a network of social connections favoring obama, a pay off, or a threat, possibly related to advertising.

i haven't a shred of evidence to support this.

i am relying primarily on the thought that it seems unusual to have these sort of "instantaneous" conversions, unexplained in detail, repeated among media zacs that have, over the last two months, suddenly become obma-tending-zacs.

kangeroo's picture
Submitted by kangeroo on

progressive candidates like kucinich if the corrupt media is always going to push them off the stage.

directly or indirectly, virtually everything the electorate (including ourselves) is allowed to see or know is ultimately filtered through the media and its portrayal thereof. there's no getting around it; no matter how many people distrust it, the media in this country is staggeringly powerful.

carville wrote about this years ago, noting that even he had utterly (and naively) underestimated the power of the media. i know now that he's right; i've been reminded of it every time this season that i've been startled to find my own friends parroting olbermann's or russert's talking points back to me.

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

Wolcott made a blog post about the then almost daily conversion essays showing up in comment sections. It was a long detailed explanation (often from someone I had never seen or heard of before) explaining how they had formerly been pro-Hillary or neutral but now she did X and they realzed they could never support her.

Strangely, those essays virtually stopped appearing after Wolcott mentioned them. Just like people fainting in the front row of Obama rallies seemed to stop when No Quarter showed videos of incidents of fainting happening repeatedly, with Obama calling attention to it each time.

What was really weird was the alleged action or statement by Hillary was often extremely minor, ambiguous, or false.

Then there are the superdelegate endorsements. They trickle in almost every day, and always occur following any good news for Hillary. My theory is they've been in the bag for a while, and Obama is just announcing them a few at a time to make it appear he's got a constant stream of new supporters.

It's all media manipulation.

" . . . we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender . . ."- Winston Churchill

kangeroo's picture
Submitted by kangeroo on

people want to be on the winning bandwagon, especially in presidential politics. i think soto in particular got worried that obama was pulling ahead of hillary, so he jumped ship. (heh, and the day he did, i wrote him something like: "i'm glad we're not in the army because i'd never want to fight alongside you.")

and i think marshall's just so deep in his own excrement now that he has no choice but to self-justify and rationalize. my guess is that unless he's bought into his own spin (which is also plausible), he's treading water, staking his reputation on the hope that obama will pull off a win.

with the bigger guys like kos, aravosis, and marshall, there's definitely some megalomania here, and sort of a desperate need for self-justification, it seems. and then there's the mob psychology aspect, as kathy pointed out over at TL. i also think there's possibly some guilt/shame thing going on here as well, as i tried to articulate a little differently here.

of course, none of this stuff precludes payoffs and the like; i just don't have any basis for suspecting the latter in particular.