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You know, I'm getting tired of being called "cynical"

[Welcome, One Good Move readers!]

Obama:

"[OBAMA] They know in their gut that we can do better than we're doing," he said. But "they are afraid, they've been taught to be cynical. They're doubtful it can be done. I'm here to say tonight to all those who harbor those doubts: We need you. We need you to help us through."

I don't especially like being called "cynical." Nor do I especially like being called passive ("been taught").* And I don't like my choice for the Democratic nominee being characterized as the result of passive cynicism.

And I really don't like the idea that the "us" is Obama supporters, rather than (say) all Democrats or the American people. It's one thing for the OFB to do that, or vociferous foul-mouthed bloggers like me. It's quite another thing for the candidate to do it. Eh?

It's not "cynical" to point out that Obama butchered his health care plan, and demogogued the issue by imitating the Harry * Louise ad that put the boot into universal health care the first time.

And it's not "cynical" to be concerned about Obama's dogwhistles to the right on Social Security.

For me, it's about policy differences; it's about Obama's combination of arena-style oratory and right wing talking points; and it's risks I don't want to take.

Why is that so hard to understand?

NOTE * If I am cynical--as opposed to, say, realistic--it's the product of long study of our political economy as presently constituted. I haven't "been taught."

NOTE If I had the heart, I'd go back to the threads on what used to be Daily Kos and excavate examples of the "cynicism" talking point by the bushel, but life's too short and I have things to do.

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vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... American imperialism, Civil Rights, Women's Rights, Gay Rights, the Constitution, the Fairness Doctrine, and economic justice.

Give it up, man. Nobody likes a hater.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

...than the idea promoted by the Obama campaign that the Clinton's were "dog-whistling" the race issue?

...or than the idea promoted by the Obama campaign that Hillary would be "too divisive" to win?

...or than the idea promoted by the Obama campaign that Hillary's stunning win in a "swing" state primary in New Jersey is less important to the nomination than Obama's caucus win in Deep Red Nebraska (if you add the delegates won in NE and NJ, Obama has one more delegate than Hillary).

...or than suggesting that super-delegates should embrace Obama if he wins more states than Hillary?

I'm getting tired of this being used as a slogan for politicians. I don't trust my local car salesman, my landlord, my doctor or my lawyer enough to sign something without reading the fine print. Why are the Obama people so inclined to do so?

At least with Hillary, that's all she talks about: the details, the fine print. Not the luscious exterior and the decked out stereo with 8 track player.

Submitted by BDB (not verified) on

They are going to pressure all of the super delegates to back him or else they are going to threaten to split the party. I wish I were kidding.

You can see it starting already, suddenly some new rule that Super Delegates have to support the leader in pledged delegates.* Now, obviously, that was never the point behind Super Delegates because if it were, you wouldn't need them, the pledged delegate vote would be sufficient. And it totally ignores that pledged delegates may not accurately reflect the popular vote winner or include two of the largest states, Michigan or Florida.

Basically, they are going to try to argue that Michigan and Florida can't be seated because rules are rules and Hillary Clinton would be stealing the election by seating delegations from two of the larger and more important states in the general election. And, at the same time they are demanding that Clinton follow the rules as set out in the beginning of the process, they are going to add a NEW RULE that says that Super Delegates must vote to give the nomination to whoever leads among pledged delegates. And, following Donna Brazile's example, if they don't get their way on this, then the election is illegitimate and they are taking their ball and going home. Screw the Democratic Party.

And that's really Obama's biggest asset, he's shown much less concern about splitting the party than I think Clinton has (most recently Michelle Obama's pronouncement that she'd have to think about whether she could support Clinton in the GE). For all the talk of how ruthless she is, I think her biggest obstacle in getting the nomination in a tight race will be her lack of willingness to split the party. Something I don't think Obama wants to do, but I have less confidence that it's something he won't do.

The best thing to have happen is for Clinton to have enough of a pledged delegate lead to enable her to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates and take the nomination outright. Or for Obama to have such a large pledged delegate lead that it won't matter. If it falls into the gray area, I expect Obama will hold the party hostage to become the nominee, while of course claiming it's the Clintons who will do anything to win and are trying to steal the election.

Hey, I guess I am cynical!

*Note, I'm not thrilled about Super Delegates, but I'm also not thrilled about a process that awards pledged delegates in such an ass backwards way that you need a Ph.D. in math to figure it out and that often results in the under weighting of some votes. How proud Obama must've been to announce his Nevada delegate win since it came because white, rural votes are weighted more heavily than urban votes, which have a larger number of hispanic and African American voters. And I recently read that Obama is expected to do better in delegates in Texas than he might otherwise do because the Texas delegates have been weighted to favor whites and African American districts at the expense of latin@ voters. Nicely done Texas Democrats!

I am also not thrilled with a process that is so caucus heavy, favoring upper income, activist Democrats over average voters - a system designed to suppress participation. So the entire process is the opposite of what anyone who cares about voter participation and voter preference would design. And for anyone on either side to try to find moral high ground as the one and only true voice of the voter amidst such a fucked up system would be ridiculous.

Moreover, I don't think the argument that Super Delegates must vote for the pledged delegate leader is necessarily the best or fairest way to get to a nominee. This isn't a general election, this is democrats picking a candidate. One way to look at Super Delegates is as a way to weight the system in favor of more democratic states. The more Democratic Congressmen and Senators a state has, the more Super Delegates. So another way to look at the system is that in an extremely close race, representatives of the more heavily democratic and swing states get to decide the winner instead of representatives from bright red states. Or to put it in more "democratic terms" - Super Delegates could still be democratic and representative if they voted for the winner in their district or state and not the overall leader. So most Super Delegates from California would go with Clinton, while most from Illinois would go with Obama. This would have the effect of letting the party nominate the candidate who does well in New York, California, Ohio rather than the one who wins in Idaho, Alaska and Utah because the former states are bluer, bigger, and will have more Super Delegates. This doesn't strike me as crazy or unfair.

Although you can already see Obama trying to have it both ways on this method, too. His campaign has apparently lobbied super delegates in states and districts where he's won to support him since their constituents did, but at the same time he indicated today that he didn't agree that those super delegates who endorsed him but represent states/districts he lost should change to Clinton.

Submitted by corinne (not verified) on

It's merely a means to an end for him.

Why he's not running as a Republican, I don't know. But when you have a candidate talking about his appeal to Republicans and Independents, two state operations (NV and FL) sending out "Be a Democrat for a Day" flyers to encourage people to vote for Obama, and the pissy whining when things don't go his way, there's nothing that tells me he will strengthen the Democratic Party brand.

Submitted by rootless (not verified) on

It’s not “cynical” to point out that Obama butchered his health care plan, and demogogued the issue by imitating the Harry * Louise ad that put the boot into universal health care the first time.

Not cynical. Just wrong. Unless you want to throw for example Robert Kuttner into your list of Obama-droids.
http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?arti...


And it’s not “cynical” to be concerned about Obama’s dogwhistles to the right on Social Security.

Not cynical, just ignorant. If you read the transcript of the Edwards/Hillary/Obama debate in South Carolina, you can see Edwards lambasting Hillary for not following the same approach to Social Security as him and Obama.
So unless you want to label Edwards as also "dog whistling" the right for his terribly right wing proposal to raise the cap on FICA taxes ....


For me, it’s about policy differences; it’s about Obama’s combination of arena-style oratory and right wing talking points; and it’s risks I don’t want to take.

Why is that so hard to understand?

What's hard to understand is how when George Lakoff sees Obama's rhetoric as progressive and Hillary's as right wing triangulating, someone can insist that the opposite is non-debatably evident.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-lak...
I can see how you could disagree with Lakoff, but it seems like his expression of the opposite point of view would make it evident that smart people of good will might not share your opinion.

Submitted by Linda (not verified) on

First off I was an Edwards supporter. It still hurts that he won't be the nominee. I haven't gone to Daily Kos or American Blog for a while now and I deleted Huff Post from my favorites. The air has been sucked out of any real discussion of issues. The Obama fan blasts have just had me send more money to Clinton. Her showing in CA, MA, NJ, etc. says so much. Please - I want a wonk now. She ain't perfect but she will get work done. And as cynical as I am I actually know this. It may not be what I would always want but government will move forward again. I just read about 60 pages of Obama's "Hope" book. There ain't nothing there! Just air. Really everyone I know that was an Edwards supporter is going to Clinton. As for the endorsements Obama is getting - so what? They say things like "he is the future' blah, blah. No one says I'm choosing him because he will X, Y, Z. He has never said X, Y, Z. He might piss someone off if he actually took a stand. I want more that words.

Submitted by BDB (not verified) on

A train wreck is right. Take a look at this CNN article - http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/07/d...

I think Nancy Pelosi sounds perfectly reasonable. She defends the party system calmly and there's no reason to panic over super delegates or anything else. But then look at Donna Brazile's comment - railing against Super Delegates and threatening to quit the party if they decide it.

Then there's the memo that Obama's campaign "inadvertently" sent out that projected him to be ahead in pledged delegates in June. I think it was to raise pressure on Super Delegates to support him to avoid a nominating contest and start up this pledged delegate crap. I don't think there was anything inadvertent about it. He's trying to paint himself as the inevitable nominee after a bruising fight to try to get Democrats to want to avoid the bruising fight and get behind him. And because I think that despite his state victories on Super Tuesday, that map had to scare him about the party deciding to back Clinton instead. Hmmm, let me see, which is more important in November, New Jersey or Idaho? Utah or California? Tennessee, where Dems might have a slight chance, or Georgia?

And before anyone else says it, CYNICAL! But that's just how I roll.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

From BDB above:

"I think Nancy Pelosi sounds perfectly reasonable."

Which could mean, depending on one's point of view, several things, including how entirely hysterically bizarre this process has become, because if Nancy is the reasonable one....

(Personal preference disclosure, I like Pelosi and I find her to be reasonable most of the time, but for the rest of you this must be really scary.)

Submitted by lambert on

Check it out. All Klein had to do was read Kos. Nice try on the blameshifting, though. Congratulations yourself.

[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

his policies are weak and incremental and to the right of even Hillary in some cases.

It's the height of cynicism to talk big but believe and plan to implement only small.

He's been insulting the entire base for ages now--i think he'll be escalating that now that McCain is the definite GOP pick.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

that can mean only one thing... he's now a fullblown McCainiac.

Klein threw Hillary under the bus right before the NH primaries (really exaggerated extolling of Obama's leadership qualities for making a few phone calls to Kenya at Condi's request) -- and savaged Hillary for a couple of weeks after that (after, apparently, being given the cold shoulder by the Clinton campaign.)

*******
re: the superdelegates -- everyone over at Swampland (except for Scherer) was all agog over all the endorsements Obama was racking up. But oddly enough, when the issue of "superdelegates" came up, all of the sudden Karen Tumulty is writing that all of these officeholders and party officials are "hacks"

One of the great ironies of this week's primaries, which brought a level of democracy to the Democratic nominating process unlike anything we have ever seen before, is that the result may have been to put the choice into the hands of party hacks.

Tumulty is so in the bag for Obama its pretty disgusting. I mean, caucuses in deep red states being mobbed by Obama cultists can be described as "a level of democracy to the Democratic nominating process unlike anything we have ever seen before" -- but Karen Tumulty lacks any talent for irony.

Submitted by rootless (not verified) on

I'm not blaming you guys, I'm congratulating you on having the MSM's brightest lights pick it up.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... blow by blow dissection of the Lakoff piece, but simply put, it reads to me like in wide-eyed affection for Obama, he's repudiated his own work on the importance of framing.

Obama has become for him some kind of trans-framing love pony; Hillary's triangulation is dark and disastrous, while Obama's is moral/ethical/political angel nectar.

Submitted by rootless (not verified) on

So your argument boils down to
Obama's rhetoric is dangerously right wing
and
the explicit support for Obama by such left wing stalwarts as Barbara Lee and Jesse Jr. etc. is due to - what? Greed for advancement? Stupidity? Obama's skills as a con man?
and
the explicit support for Obama's rhetoric by the acknowledged expert on framing and political rhetoric is because he has repudiated his own work

To me, such an argument would need a very detailed and solid presentation that I have not seen. I see the same things all these people do. Their agreement increase my confidence in my analysis. I'm open to contrary analysis, but what I've seen are very tendentious readings and over-the-top rhetoric about Obama wanting to put Reagan's face on Mt. Rushmore etc.

Submitted by rootless (not verified) on

Essentially you are saying
1. An extremely popular Democratic candidate is running against basic democratic values.
2. All the Obama supporters have been conned
3. The progressive endorsers from Barbara Lee to Ted to Jesse Jr. have endorsed an empty suit or worse.
4. The most widely recognized democratic expert on rhetoric has "repudiated his own work"
5. And you can see this easily, but somehow the rest of us are blind to it.

Seems unlikely on the face of it no? You'd need a very well documented and closely reasoned argument to make the case - and, frankly, I have not seen such an argument. I've seen solid arguments in favor of Hillary's candidacy. But what I see on this site is a lot of overblown rhetoric about Reagan on Mt. Rushmore etc. etc.

Submitted by lambert on

O-h-k-a-a-a-a-y....

[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 Davidson (not verified) on

What’s hard to understand is how when George Lakoff sees Obama’s rhetoric as progressive and Hillary’s as right wing triangulating, someone can insist that the opposite is non-debatably evident.

How is Obama's rhetoric more progressive--rather than right wing--than Clinton's on domestic policies?! This is not a matter of mere opinion, but reality. Citing George Lakoff doesn't change the reality.

My God. It's exactly as I feared. This is not a progressive movement, but an Obama movement where progressivism is defined as whatever Obama says it is.

Submitted by cay (not verified) on

They are going to pressure all of the super delegates to back him or else they are going to threaten to split the party. I wish I were kidding.

I think BDB's pretty much got it right here. Too late to do much about the process (caucuses, weighting, super delegates) now, but in a close race this is practically shoving victory into the jaws of defeat.

The implied insults (cynical, stuck in the past, etc.) to long time and rank and file Dems from the Obama camp are getting a little too much to bear. While I've long been cynical enough to recognize that a certain amount of taking votes for granted goes on in politics, rubbing people's noses in it is a newer development.

I'm still voting Dem, but I may have to lie back and think of America to do it.

(First time poster, though the Mighty Corrente Building's been helping to keep me sane for a few weeks now.)

Submitted by lambert on

... was always "or else," wasn't it?

Chicago style. All the way.

[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

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

according to a selection of blogs; the one that I found least disgusting is here.

Note: these people worship the ground W walks on.

More here, with references to Reagan.

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

Submitted by lambert on

Thank you for commenting, rootless. Your comment is very important to us. Please do not hesitate to comment again.

[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 Linda (not verified) on

I am so glad you all are here. I was afraid that the blogosphere had gone totally lemming. We need to change the WH next November. I'm afraid a lot of people are into a beauty contest or high school or something. People are dying right this minute because of the horrible polices practiced for the last 7 years. We have to remember this. If issues can't be discussed without someone screaming ---ism or name calling being raised we will lose everything. And I mean everything. The country can't take another 4 to 8 years of R rule. It just can't. This isn't a game of who is more popular. This is for the life of this country. I will vote for the D next December. But, I want to be proud when I do it. And the Obama fan base isn't making anyone proud at the moment. This just is truth.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I'm giving you an opinion on the Lakoff piece. I haven't found the time to do a detailed breakdown of it, and I may not.

I think it's farcical that, in the face of Obama's beyond-accomodationist framing that Lakoff or anyone else would claim he was anything but an abject failure at it, unless it was measured merely by the pacifying effects of glossing over all important content -- including the frames through which policy and parties are to be interpreted.

Some of us here have made extensive cases about what Obama is doing on framing, rhetoric, and policy, and on the cultishness of some of his followers. You can accept those arguments, debate them, etc. But I don't owe you whatever essay you request.

Submitted by Linda (not verified) on

I will vote next November not December as I absently said in my post.

Submitted by anonymous coward (not verified) on

I think it’s farcical that, in the face of Obama’s beyond-accomodationist framing that Lakoff or anyone else would claim he was anything but an abject failure at it, unless it was measured merely by the pacifying effects of glossing over all important content — including the frames through which policy and parties are to be interpreted.

It is obviously "beyond-accomdationist" to you, but not to me, to Barbara Lee, to Lakoff, or Edwards deputy campaign manager Congressman Obey. So we all have to be dupes or crazy or making the same mistake.

I look at the essay above which contains the standard silly argument about Social Security and the assertion the Krugman's disagreement with a plan he concedes to be good (and that Kuttner and others prefer) proves Obama's health plan to be unforgivable and don't see a there there.

If Obama truly is a con-man, I'd prefer to learn that sooner than later. So you don't owe me anything - an argument or even a link, but I'm just pointing out why I find your arguments uncompelling.

Submitted by rootless (not verified) on

What I think is that you are misreading and then attributing bad motives. For example in the one link

At least in the latter, Obama doesn’t mind being a partisan. He reads directly from the GOP hymnal, scolding progressives for being amoral heathens and ratifying the neo math that says religion = values = Republicans:

Well, that would be bad. But I never heard anything like that. What is quoted for support says something completely different - and something that makes you understand why Lakoff is so happy with Obama's rhetoric.

“I think it’s important particularly for those of us in the Democratic party to not cede values and faith to any one party.”

“For progressives, I think we should recognize the role that values and culture play in addressing some of our most urgent social problems… I think progressives would do well to take this to heart….”

“…the discomfort of some progressives with any hint of religion has often prevented us from effectively addressing issues in moral terms.”

Is there anything in this that has not been said extensively by progressives? We should not cede values and faith to the Republicans? Does that imply "religion = values"? I don't see it. Many of us have been complaining for years that the colorless "competency" argument of DLC democrats was a bureaucratic argument and that the moral value of e.g. taking care of the poor or the earth
should be emphasized. We also complained that "faith" had become identified with "wacko winger". This is all straight out of Lakoff's books. In fact, you can hear a very similar theme in Hillary Clinton's sermon at the Rick Warren Winger Central Church. And I've heard Bill Clinton rock the house at AME church services.

Compare RFK and Gene McCarthy with Kerry and Gephart to get a sense of what Obama is getting at.

Even the remark about "discomfort" seems spot on. The winger success in branding "religion" as what a bunch of misogynistic theocons speak has been accepted by many progressives - a dangerous framing. From Lloyd Garrison to MLK to Cornell West, many of our best progressives frame their arguments in religious language. You can even find religious language in Paine's Common sense.

So my thesis is that you are not seeing winger themes in Obama because you see what we are too blinded to see, but that you are instead accepting winger framing and equating religion and religious language with winger politics.

Anyways, I don't mean to annoy, so I'll leave on that note - at least for a while. Thanks

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Yes, Obama's got a lot of nice endorsements.

But that doesn't change what my lyin' eyes and ears are telling me.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

When someone suggests that progressives currently "cede values," do not currently "recognize the role that values and culture play in addressing some of our most urgent social problems," and that our hangups about religion have "prevented us from effectively addressing issues in moral terms," I don't consider him a friend to progressives.

But that's just me.

Anyway, it's always fun to play the quiz sensation that's sweeping the nation.

Submitted by lambert on

Just to bring this thread back on track, je repete:

“[OBAMA] They know in their gut that we can do better than we’re doing,” he said. But “they are afraid, they’ve been taught to be cynical. They’re doubtful it can be done. I’m here to say tonight to all those who harbor those doubts: We need you. We need you to help us through.”

That is, according to Obama, people who don't support him are passive and cynical. I don't know whether Lakoff would find that genius framing, or not, but I'm not sure that matters very much.

Interestingly, our current designated OFB -- Illinois resident markg8 apparently having exhausted himself, or been assigned elsewhere -- doesn't disagree with that Obama called me -- I am part of the "they" who have been "taught" -- passive and cynical; he merely calls me wrong and ignorant.

Common sense would seem to dictate that you don't insult those whose support you would like to gain by calling them "cynical," "wrong," and "ignorant."

The conclusion I draw is that neither Obama nor his representatives on this blog wish to gain my support; in other words, that they have written me off. They aren't asking for my vote because they don't want it.

Which does tend to reinforce my view that Obama intends to govern, as he is running, from the center right.

[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 rootless (not verified) on

The Democrats' failure was a failure to put forth our moral vision, celebrate our values and principles, and shout them out loud.

At the very least they will see progressives as having deeply held, traditional American principles. This would be a huge step forward from the present state, in which conservatives are seen as having a monopoly on "values" and progressives are framed as the party of "if it feels good, do it," with no higher principles.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20041206/la...

Submitted by lambert on

Google hits? Volume? What?

[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

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"I don’t mean to annoy, so I’ll leave on that note - at least for a while" that I'm not familiar with?

Submitted by tdraicer (not verified) on

The real issue is this: I don't know any Hillary voter who has said they won't support Obama if he is the nominee. I know lots of Obama voters who have said they won't support Hillary. That is, in essence, extortion-vote for Obama or else-not democratic (or Democratic) politics.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"... if you have any concerns about Obama, you want us to lose, because MR. SUBTEXT Hillary is a non-starter and I probably won't vote for her, nor would any sane person."

Submitted by lambert on

Maybe I should install a timer in the sidebar?

We could make bets!

[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

kelley b's picture
Submitted by kelley b on

My finding is that people who aren't cynical, especially the ones that are intentionally, studiously credulous, tend to be gullible.

In other words, stupid.

By the way, I think Hillary's worse than the Prime Unit of the Oborg, and no, I have not been assimilated.

But let's not go there. People, the constant bickering should come to a close soon. Say, this summer sometime.

Even so, I think perhaps it would be good for us to subdue our acrimony (good grief, this makes me sick, I'm starting to sound like bringiton. Not that there's anything wrong with that).

Democrats will be facing McCain this fall. Likely Huckabee will be part of his machine, if not the Vice President. Yes, the two men most likely to pour napalm on the fire in the Middle East, and South America too. And their neocon and theocon supporters.

One of them might toss red, white, and blue nukes. The other definitely wants to bring back the Dark Ages, rewrite the Constitution, and establish Dominionist sharia law. His nukes will doubtless have little prayers engraved on them. Both of them will likely attempt to steal this $election, because, you know, the ends justify the means.

Hillary or Obama. Certs is a candy mint or a breath mint. I'll vote for either, just to get the Soros faction of the Carlyle Group back into the driver's seat. Not that there's anything good about that. It's just not as bad as total destruction.

Let's consider spending more bandwidth bringing down the people who will do the most damage to the Constitution, the world, and everything that lives in it.

Remember that over 80% of Obama supporters say they would support a Clinton ticket and vice-versa. Possibly the best way to reach the other 20% is to make them realize that things, bad as they are today, will get much worse with a Republican in the White House.

If there isn't an overwhelming majority voting Democratic this fall, and the Republicans steal it again, I think it possible the changes in a McCain-Huckabee administration will make everyone long for the relatively sane days of Cheneyburton oligarchy.

Just sayin'.

No Hell below us
Above us, only sky

Submitted by Mr.Murder (not verified) on

“For progressives, I think we should recognize the role that values and culture play in causing some of our most urgent social problems… I think progressives would do well to take this to heart….”

Finished your transcript.

Submitted by sane unaffilate... (not verified) on

Frankly I don't know what is worse. The radical right or the radical left. What I do know is both are wack jobs and it really is scary how much control these people have on the rest of us sane rational thinking people. Frankly we care what works and could not care less if it is a right or left idea. So Rush Limbaugh is unhappy that the Republicans are putting up a candidate who actually listens to all voices of this country, and is not fawning over his right wing nutjob base. And now I see these scary comments from left wing nut jobs. You have a great candidate for president. One that can beat McCain, but you want to stick with a loser in Hilary Clinton?? The fact that people are not outraged by rich people overriding the votes of the masses, just shows you that for all the holier then thou attitude the democrats espouse that they are just as corrupt as the republicans. Obama is trouncing Clinton and is still losing, because all the rich powerful people back Clinton. I thought this was supposed to be the party of the working class???? We will find out this year. Might bet is Hilary and the superdelegates steal the election from the voters. Stay tuned! And if you as Democrats allow this to happen, you deserve to lose this year's election.

Submitted by lambert on

Sane unaffiliated voter:

1. Hillary supporters are the radical left? Feh. Sure, Obama's running to the center right, but if you think both candidates aren't centrists, you've been listening to the Oxycontin kid too much.

2. McCain listens to all voices? And you call us demented?

3. What makes Hillary a loser? The fact that she won New York state as a Senator by huge margins, and, more importantly, won upstate NY, which is by no means liberal? The fact that she won NY, CA, and MA in this primary?

4. In what sense if Obama "trouncing" Hillary, since they're both neck and neck in the total popular vote and in delegates? (Is it the state totals the OFB keep citing, where Obama runs up the score in states we'll never win, like Utah?)

5. As far as the party of the working class -- Those voters are going for Hillary. Perhaps vacuous rhetoric has less appeal to them than someone who has plans to bring about the changes we really need?

6. As far as the superdelegates: Wouldn't the time to have raised that problem have been before the election? To me, it just looks like Obama tries to delegitimize Hillary whenever she wins. Nice, from the Unity candidate.

[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 sane unaffiliat... (not verified) on

Lambert, thank you for making my argument for me. Hilary is a divisive candidate. Unaffiliated voters will not vote for her. Your references are laughable by the way. If you took a poll of people and asked what states were the most liberal, the three you mentioned would finish first, second, and third. NY, CA, and MA??? Thank you for showing how out of touch the far left is with reality. As far as the trouncing, I was referring to yesterday where Obama laid the smack down in Washington, Lousiana, and Nebraska. If you don't consider those routes, then it is pointless to argue with you on that front. As for McCain did you ever ask yourself why the right wing nuts hate him so much??? That idiot Coulter said she would campaign for Hilary over McCain. Sounds like he is listening to the people not affiliated with just his party, just based on that, would you not say??? Well I already know your answer. He is a republican so he is therefore evil. That is the rational of the far left. As an independent thinking person not wrapped around party idealogy, I am hopeful of a Obama/McCain battle for the presidency. They represent a majority of the country. Not states that shut out voters like New York to only people registered as democrats. That voting would have been much different in upstate New York without that stupid rule.

Submitted by RJ (not verified) on

I fear that people may be right in saying that there are people who will vote for Obama and not vote for Clinton. I have no doubt that there are people who are voting for Obama who don't care if we end the war in Iraq anytime in the next 100 years, don't care if every American has quality affordable health care, don't care if the influence of religion over our politics continues to be excessive and harmful, don't care if a woman's right to choose is protected from right wing judicial assault, don't care if our economy continues to be dragged down in order to preserve tax cuts for the rich. Many votes for Obama are not informed votes on the substance of the issues. It is a sorry statement on the status of progressive values in America that we cannot beat a Republican after 8 years of Bush-Cheney without pandering for the votes of those who would be ignorant enough to swing the election to the right wing if we don't give them their precious little idol to worship and to get worked up into a frenzy about.

We may very well win this election if Obama is our nominee, but we will have zero mandate. We will have won by accomadating the right at their weakest moment, by letting them back into the game when we should be going for the kill. They will claim victory because they stopped the worst possible evil- a Hillary win; and also the far right wing of the Republican party will be able to reassert their dominance by showing that McCain, or anyone else for that matter, can't win without being in their pocket. They were on life support, but an Obama victory will give them new life. A President Obama will be in no position to pursue a progressive agenda because Republicans will hesistant to go against the far right of their own party which will once again be in the driver's seat after helping to facilitate McCain's defeat.

An Obama victory would amount to us beating a divided and weak Republican party by moving to the center and promising to unite with the right leaning middle. We get no mandate (I guess Obama is the anti-mandate candidate in more than just health care) and the far right lives to fight another day. Granted all this is far better than a Republican victory, but it is nothing to get excited about. True progressives will need to make damn clear that there vote is against the Republicans, not for Obama if he is the nominee.

Progressives will never be able to realize true victory until we hand the other side a crushing and humilitaing defeat. One from which they can claim no victory. The only way to do that in 2008 would be to elect Hillary Clinton. It seems we may not be able to do that, and if that is the case we are in pretty sorry shape. George W Bush could win in 2004, but Hillary Clinton can't win in 2008? If that is the case, conservatives still hold the ultimate upper hand in our politics. Understanding that, we better all damn well make sure our nominee wins, no matter who it is. We also need to understand, however, that an Obama victory isn't much of a victory at all. The best that can be said for it is it beats losing, but that is actually saying quite a bit in the end.

Submitted by sane unaffiliat... (not verified) on

Some more unity talk from the far left. Good stuff. I guess if you prefer Obama and McCain to Hilary you are ignorant. Maybe some people just prefer ethical candidates who are honest. Nah, it must be that we are ignorant if we don't agree across the board with a progressive agenda. Your right, electing Obama says nothing. Lay off the drugs. I do have to thank you for the post rj, because that truly was hilarious. Word is out that if McCain loses the Republicans are going to have Skeletor run in 2012.

Submitted by Davidson (not verified) on

That is my greatest fear as well: Obama will pave the path for a conservative resurgence. Wasn't it Krugman who said Obama was the anti-change candidate?

I'm not quite as certain that Hillary Clinton would crush the GOP, but at least her presidency would provide a stronger roadblock in preventing the right from co-opting so-called progressives into their mindset on domestic policies: health care, economic stimulus, and Social Security. Just last night, Obama again repeated the lie that his health care plan is universal and that in spite of running against UHC using right-wing myths, he will pass UHC by the end of his first term--with no mandate.

@sane unaffiliated voter
Maybe some people just prefer ethical candidates who are honest.

You're rather hilarious yourself.
http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/0...
http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/0...
http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/0...
http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/0...
http://www.alternet.org/module/printvers...
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02...

Submitted by RJ (not verified) on

Sane voter-
You are correct in your assertion that I believe that if you would vote for Obama over McCain, and McCain over Hillary, that you are ignorant. You can obviously not be voting on issues. If you vote on personality, or oratory skills, or on who you would rather have a beer with than yes I think you are ignorant. If you believe that Obama and McCain are ethical candidates who are honest than you have very selective attention.(Can we say Rezko and Keating?)

I would say your posts are hilarious, but ignorance of the sort you possess isn't funny. It is just sad. I am thrilled Obama can con fools like you into voting for him because I can't stand the thought of another Republican administration. I will be estatic if Obama actually winds up governing in a manner that is as liberal as he claims to be when pandering to people like me, rather than as moderate as he portrays himself when pandering to people like you. I am not sure he would which is why I am hesistant to support him. Bush claimed you could fool some of the people all of the time, and those were the only ones he was concerned with. Looks like you are proof Obama is appealing to the same base. Here's to hoping if he wins that it is you he is fooling. I will vote for him, but at least no matter what I won't be fooled by him. They say fools seldom differ which is why I am starting to believe he very well may win just like Bush did.

where4art's picture
Submitted by where4art on

My sentiments exactly.

This part: I will vote for him, but at least no matter what I won’t be fooled by him made me think of a friend, a long-time Hillary supporter, who's getting discouraged about Hillary's chances to win the nomination. "I'm just not ready to drink the Kool-Aid," he says. I'm having a hard time getting him to see that he doesn't need to be assimilated into the Oborg to vote for Obama in the General!

Submitted by sane unaffiliated (not verified) on

If you keep saying that Obama is more right then Hilary then would it not be logical to vote for Obama over McCain and McCain over Hilary??? You cannot have your cake and eat it too. I know this is hard for your preprogrammed mind, which downloaded the far left agenda into your brain, but most americans do not believe in everything on that far left agenda and everything on the far right agenda. We can agree with republicans on some issues and democrats on other issues. Frankly I am not interested in having to follow and idealogy. I would like our political leaders to come together and fine solutions to the many problems the country and us as americans face going into the future. I tend to have a liberterian streak and believe in fiscal responsibility. Future generations money is being spent. I am not much of a tax and spend guy, but I will say I will take a tax and spend guy, over a borrow and spend President, which is why Bush has been such a disastrous president, as the dollar is crashing because of his reckless fiscal policies. McCain offers more discipline as he has always fought against pork barrel spending, while Obama I also believe will not allow record deficits to accumulate. So yes to a certain extent Hilary won't get my vote even though on a policy side she is not that far apart is because Obama can bring people together and is a good man. She is divisive and will always priortize ambition over what is right. Don't forget NAFTA! That has dramatically hurt the working class of this country. Clinton brought that to fruition.

Submitted by RJ (not verified) on

Sane voter-
There are HUGE issues at stake in this election and on these issues the parties have HUGE differences. On other issues they are all much more centrist than the extremes of their parties, but it ultimately needs to be the differences between the candidates on the issues of most importance that should decide the election; not vacuous talk about who will bring people together. Politics is about resolving our differences. As long as there are serious differences, there will be serious divison. And as long as we live in a free and diverse country those differences will exist. When President Obama begins withdrawing our troops from Iraq do you believe conservatives will join in the celebration and praise the lord for America being brought together? When President Obama appoints a pro choice justice to replace John Paul Stevens or Ruth Bader Ginsberg do you think that is going to bring the country together? When he repeals the Bush tax cuts do you think the right is going to come out and throw him a parade? When he tries to force the insurance companies to insure everyone, or parents to buy health insurance for their children who don't have it, do you think this will lead to a new era of good feeling? If he does all of these things the unity he touts and fools like you believe will follow, will be destroyed. If he doesn't, then progressives are going to turn on him the way they turned on Bill Clinton. There will be no unity in an Obama presidency. It will be better than another Republican administration, but because it will be built on this false hope of unity I fear it will be constrained in its ability to achieve those changes that it has promised to attract many voters.

Just because Obama is to the right of Clinton does not make him closer to McCain than Clinton. If you care about issues you wouldn't see Obama and McCain as being close at all. If you basically don't want to vote for Hillary Clinton because you have been preprogrammed to believe she is evil then I guess you could hold that belief. But don't try to rationalize your ignorance and hatefulness by appealing to ludicrous fantasies of unity.

All of the candidates left in this race will work accross the aisle when they feel it is possible, but there are certain issues where it is not possible because the differences are just too deep. Those are the pressing issues of the day and no President will be able to ignore them, and quite frankly I don't think anyone on any side is voting for someone so that they will ignore those issues. As such America is faced with a clear choice as to what direction it wants to go in, and I for one find it disturbing that anyone would attempt to distract us from that choice with talk of personalities and vacuous rhetoric. You may not care if we are in Iraq for 100 more days or 100 more years, or if everyone has health care or not, or what direction the Supreme Court goes in, but I hope most Americans do. I hope they care about that than the nonsense and empty talk about change and unity being used to distract us from those differences. I was hoping Democrats didn't have to play that game to win, but as I have said already I will take it over losing. But don't expect me to be happy about it.

Obama doesn't seem to get it ... Clinton does. She is the only one of the two looking ahead to the general election, and thank goodness she is! Clearly from his comments, Obama has demonstrated that he's not ready for prime time. He might make a good president in 2016, but not in 2008.

We need Clinton, and she can win in November!

BAC

.....place is after the fetid swamp dKos has become. Even OpenLeft has begun the slide towards 'assimilation'.

Keep up the fight. The Oborg are not going to win this. The voters are, I submit, rather disinclined to vote for some sucka who's main schtick is:

'Trust me....'

Nah, I'll take a pass on Mr. Lieberman's mentoree. I think most of the country will also.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I'm of the opinion that "Mr. Lieberman in blackface" does not elevate the debate. But that's just me.

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

Progressives May Have Already Lost this Election

Actually, I think it's kinda hard to lose an election that you were never in to begin with...

...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 lambert on

Though of course that policy could change at any point due to the whim of the Fellows.

That said, "in blackface" doesn't work for me on any number of levels (including remembering how FDL got pilloried for a similar image) so I'm going to give you the chance to revise and extend your remarks before it's decided that you're making the blog look bad.

Why not try the more neutral "the guy Joe Lieberman mentored"?

UPDATE Hearing no objection, I personally revised and extended A. Citizen's remarks.

[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 RJ (not verified) on

dr sardonicus-
I might agree with you in the sense that I don't think we were ever going to win the war in this election. I was at least hoping we would win the battle however. Obama being President is not losing, but I am not sure it counts as winning. We could have put the other side on the endangered species list, but instead we are going to let them off the hook. The far right knows they are going to lose in all likelyhood, so they have split the party over McCain so they can claim that the loss was a result of the Republicans not being conservative enough. Whatever progressive policies Obama is able to pass will just become fuel for their push back to the right. They are already planting the seeds of disunity and Obama has given them the ammunition to fuel the fire by allowing them the opportunity to paint him as abandoning his calls for unity once he tries to govern progressively. A Hillary presidency sends the message that America has put the conservatives on notice. It would be a resounding rejection of their ability to shape and control our politics. An Obama presidenct sends the message that we have accepted their terms for shaping the debate. The Assault on Reason will be complete having been taken up on the left not just the right. That may give us the advantage in the here and now with our rock star and his cult following, but it stacks the deck in their favor in the long term. I believe a progressive agenda and the ideas on which it is based is what can transform America, not the charisma of one man. Progressive ideals seem to need Barack Obama more than Barack Obama needs progressive ideals. If that is the case we better just accept it and make the pact, but I hope it isn't the case. I am sure going to fight like hell to try and make it so it isn't the case, but I hold no illusions. I will leave that bad habit to the Obama supporters

Submitted by RJ (not verified) on

Vastleft-
You are proably lost because you don't seem to grasp the undeniable truth that all of our problems will be solved if we simply embraced unity and opened our hearts to the idea of bringing people together. Hillary Clinton is divisive and therefore must be stopped at all costs. 100 years in Iraq and 15 million people with no health insurance would be a small price to pay to prevent such a thing. Swing voters cannot be expected to reject the Republicans on the basis that the last eight years have been a disaster and that the Republican's ideas are harmful to America. How could we achieve unity if we did that?

Submitted by RJ (not verified) on

I have no doubt we are getting taken for a ride vastleft, so there has to be at least some chance it will be on a pony.

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

I can't argue with you on the analysis, RJ, but I'm just pointing out that with the arguable exception of Kucinich, there were no progressives running for President to begin with. The right may have invented the term "compassionate conservatism", but it's Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who are the embodiment of the idea. Although in their minds they are as probably committed to progressive ideals as much as FDR was, both seem to believe that they can inspire a massive wave of volunteerism and private charity to sustain the welfare state. To her credit, Hillary can see a role where government fills in the gaps, but Obama truly believes that it's possible to have an activist society without an activist government; he seems to be saying that there's no need to raise taxes if everybody just believes! That's why his fans love him.

No, we now have the party of compassionate conservatism (D) and the party of predatory capitalism (R). The former is far preferable to the latter, but neither will be adequate for standing up to the coming hard economic times.

...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 Davidson (not verified) on

Obama truly believes that it’s possible to have an activist society without an activist government

Great comment. Reminds me of Naomi Klein's critique of Bono-type activism which is fundamentally safe since it does not require a radical change of government but legitimizes it and also such "activism" is profoundly individual rather than focused on the government.

http://www.naomiklein.org/reviews/bono-i...
The Bono-ization of protest particularly in the UK has reduced discussion to a much safer terrain...It was the stadium rock model of protest -- there's celebrities and there's spectators waving their bracelets. It's less dangerous and less powerful (than grass roots street demonstrations.)

Submitted by Merlin5x5 (not verified) on

Let's do some elementary math.

1945 is the beginning of the baby boomers.
65 is the average retirement age.

The 2008 Election, if won by the democrats, will produce at best, a health program in 2010.

2010, as the Universal Health Care system starts, the Baby boomers leave the financing to the much smaller After boomer generation.

Besides the ALREADY PLANNED tripling of the social security deductions from paychecks, the After Boomer generation will now have to finance an incredibly expensive baby boomer benefit program.

Whatever they believe in, or who they believe in, the After Boomer generation cannot afford to turn over more than 60% of their paycheck. And, that's what UHC will cost.

Good luck to them.

Submitted by lambert on

Nice to see those links on the numbers budget numbers.

It's precisely because those links aren't there that I assume that this is the position of Obama's base on these matters--which they are generally too tactful to speak.

1. No universal health care

2. Drastic change to Social Security

Good to know.

No cutting and pasting of position papers, please. In a year, those won't mean anything. What does count is the oratory and the talking points, just as now.

[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 xan (not verified) on

Futurama had it right all along, and here we thought they were just being funny.

Suicide booths conveniently located on every other streetcorner for us Old People to make use of when we find we are in danger of becoming a burden to you younger folks!

Ninny. You really think saying "heath care for old people [disregarding the fact that Medicare already covers expenses for retired people whether you slander them as "Boomers" or not] will be too expensive so let's just not do it!" is gonna fly? Will you think this when it is your parent being told to go find an ice floe and STFU about the right to get treatment for illness?

How about if it's your child, a group which makes up a very large proportion of, not just the completely uninsured but the even larger group of the underinsured? Most importantly of all I bet large money that you will not see the social benefits of letting yourself die after writhing in agony on a streetcorner for weeks or months because YOU don't have healthcare due to a job loss or other financial reversal.

Lovely notion of society you got there, pal. You should go to work for a Big Pharma outfit, developing a nice pleasant suicide pill. One with the speed of cyanide but minus the unpleasant side effects.

You can sell it first to the Prison-Industrial Complex to get around the trouble they're having with that "cruel and unusual punishment" thing and the current modes of execution, then expand the market with a nice ad campaign as those dirty stinking Boomers move into the target demographic you so lovingly describe.

Lambert, you need never refer to yourself as a cynic again. You got nothin' on Friend Merlin here in this department.

Submitted by lambert on

There's a woman I know in my town who needs to keep her store open 12 hours a day (only 8 on Sundays).

She can't afford health care.

Because she stands all day, she's got circulation problems.

Which sometimes make her feet bleed, right there into her shoes as she stands at the register.

Of course, she couldn't close the store and go to the Maine caucuses... Even though she's the one who needs universal health care the most.

QED, on so many levels.

[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 anonymous coward (not verified) on

I can't help but think although the demographics definitely were in Clinton's favor that many working class voters were shut out of the caucuses. Does anyone know if there's a class breakdown of caucus voters not only for ME but all states? I would love to compare that to GE voter demographics in those particular states.

My 'blackface' comment is very much in the American political tradition. It's in the tradition of George W. Bush appointing Colin 'My Lai' Powell to Sec of State. Its' in the tradition of Mr. Decider appointing the even less qualified Condi Rice to National Security Adviser where she proceeded to give the World Trade Center a look-out block.

My comment is in no way racist. It makes a satirical stab at what all are now so enthralled with....

ID politics.

Surprising indeed to find such a protective attitude towards someone who is using his race to gain political power, perfectly okay, by constructing an artificial false persona, the 'blackface', to conceal the Liebercrat that hides beneath, not so okay with me or you if your commentary here is to be believed.

Your site....

Do what you want but at my site we censor no one for any reason other than actionable threats.

Satire, or accurate political commentary, isn't considered such.

Last I looked.

Funny I've been hanging around here, mostly at CD's, and was looking forward to doing so more.

Guess I'll give up that idea.

Note:You might study up on 'blackface' in the theater and politics and the role it played in re-construction. You'd surely recognize some of the models and techniques that Obama has been using to such good effect on the ignorant.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... do so on occasion, yes.

Some terms and imagery are needlessly incendiary. Few have the toxic implications of "blackface."

Are you not aware of that?

Or do you feel that your use of it was uniquely valuable, and well worth making the blog look bad and giving the false and corrosive impression that the we think nothing of gratuitously offending people about race.