I’m still in editing mode on a project, but just had to share this post that my friend and fellow blogger Angry Black Lady wrote about a piece by Tim Wise, one of the leading experts on racism in the country. It takes on those on the left flirting with Ron Paul and is a must read for liberals. Go check out ABL’s post and really, go read Tim Wise’s entire piece, it is long but well worth it. Here is ABL’s lead in to an excerpt that gets to the heart of the post.
But people are starting to get it. The Greenwald sweater of polemical deceit is unraveling, and I like it. I like it because I find his sort of polemical discourse and rhetorical bomb-throwing to be a reckless distraction from the serious problems that confront us.
I especially like this, from Tim Wise — “Of Broken Clocks, Presidential Candidates, and the Confusion of Certain White Liberals.” It’s a thing of beauty. You should read the whole thing, but I’m going to excerpt what I see as the most salient bit:
I want those of you who are seriously singing Paul’s praises, while calling yourself progressive or left to ask what it signifies — not about Ron Paul, but about you — that you can look the rest of us in the eye, your political colleagues and allies, and say, in effect, “Well, he might be a little racist, but…
How do you think that sounds to black people, without whom no remotely progressive candidate stands a chance of winning shit in this country at a national level? How does it sound to them — a group that has been more loyal to progressive and left politics than any group in this country — when you praise a man who opposes probably the single most important piece of legislation ever passed in this country, and whose position on the right of businesses to discriminate, places him on the side of the segregated lunchcounter owners? And how do you think they take it that you praise this man, or possibly even support him for president, all so as to teach the black guy currently in the office a lesson for failing to live up to your expectations?
How do you think it sounds to them, right now, this week, as we prepare to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, that you claim to be progressive, and yet you are praising or even encouraging support for a man who voted against that holiday, who opposes almost every aspect of King’s public policy agenda, and the crowning achievements of the movement he helped lead?
My guess is that you don’t think about this at all. Because you don’t have to. One guess as to why not.
It’s the same reason you don’t have to think about how it sounds to most women — and damned near all progressive women — when you praise Paul openly despite his views on reproductive freedom, and even sexual harassment, which Paul has said should not even be an issue for the courts. He thinks women who are harassed on the job should just quit. In other words, “Yeah, he might be a little bit sexist, but…”
It’s the same reason you don’t have to really sweat the fact that he would love to cut important social programs for poor people. And you don’t have to worry about how it sounds to them that you would claim to be progressive, while encouraging support for a guy who would pull what minimal safety net still exists from under them, and leave it to private charities to fill the gap. And we all know why you don’t have to worry about it. Because you aren’t them. You aren’t the ones who would be affected. You’ll never be them. I doubt you even know anyone like that. People who are that poor don’t follow you on Twitter.
And please, Glenn Greenwald, spare me the tired shtick about how Paul “raises important issues” that no one on the left is raising, and so even though you’re not endorsing him, it is still helpful to a progressive narrative that his voice be heard. Bullshit. The stronger Paul gets the stronger Paul gets, period. And the stronger Paul gets, the stronger libertarianism gets, and thus, the Libertarian Party as a potential third party: not the Greens, mind you, but the Libertarians. And the stronger Paul gets, the stronger become those voices who worship the free market as though it were an invisible fairy godparent, capable of dispensing all good things to all comers — people like Paul Ryan, for instance, or Scott Walker. In a nation where the dominant narrative has long been anti-tax, anti-regulation, poor-people-bashing and God-bless-capitalism, it would be precisely those aspects of Paul’s ideological grab bag that would become more prominent. And if you don’t know that, you are a fool of such Herculean proportions as to suggest that Salon might wish to consider administering some kind of political-movement-related-cognitive skills test for its columnists, and the setting of a minimum cutoff score, below which you would, for this one stroke of asininity alone, most assuredly fall.
I mean, seriously, if “raising important issues” is all it takes to get some kind words from liberal authors, bloggers and activists, and maybe even votes from some progressives, just so as to “shake things up,” then why not support David Duke? With the exception of his views on the drug war, David shares every single view of Paul’s that can be considered progressive or left in orientation. Every single one. So where do you draw the line? Must one have actually donned a Klan hood and lit a cross before his handful of liberal stands prove to be insufficient? Must one actually, as Duke has been known to do, light candles on a birthday cake for Hitler on April 20, before it no longer proves adequate to want to limit the overzealous reach of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms? Exactly when does one become too much of an evil fuck even for you? Inquiring minds seriously want to know.
And here is another chunk from ABL’s post which is a preface to a book authored by Glenn Greenwald that I’ve been wanting to write about since I was turned onto it. It made me say out loud, “Whaaaaaaaaa?”…
During the lead-up to the invasion, I was concerned that the hell-bent focus on invading Iraq was being driven by agendas and strategic objectives that had nothing to do with terrorism or the 9/11 attacks. The overt rationale for the invasion was exceedingly weak, particularly given that it would lead to an open-ended, incalculably costly, and intensely risky preemptive war. Around the same time, it was revealed that an invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein had been high on the agenda of various senior administration officials long before September 11. Despite these doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence, I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president’s performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.
And this is the guy going around calling anyone who supports President Obama “baby-killers”. People call this guy smart?
There have been many lies circulated about President Obama over the last 3 years, but the one that seems to have poisoned the water from the beginning is the lie that President Obama struck a deal to keep the public option out of the final health care bill. It has formed the basis of the “caved” meme that people on the left, most of whom never supported Obama as a candidate, have used to feed their irrational hatred for our president.
The lie has taken on epic proportions as it’s morphed over the years. Recently, I’ve had liberal friends throw it in my face when I’ve shown my support for our very accomplished president. The lying has to stop!
The birth of the “public option” lie
The original source from which the lie was created, is an article that David Kirkpatrick wrote in the New York Times about the active role that President Obama was taking in crafting the health care law. There were two mentions of the “public option” in the entire article, one was in reference to what the Democrats in the house were pushing and the other contradicts the lie completely. Rep. Henry Waxman was quoted in the article.
“The president has said he wants a public option to keep everybody honest. He hasn’t said he wants a co-op as a public option.”
You really can’t get any more clear than that, can you? In the article that is the source for the public option lie, there is a quote from a respected member of the House saying that the president wants a public option. And to be fair to the author, he never even implies that the public option was part of the deal.
The New York Times article also discusses how the White House was more hands-on with the Senate Finance Committee than with other congressional committees. What is implicit in this analysis is that the White House understood that, as with every piece of legislation the administration supported, it was the Senate that posed the biggest impediment to achieving comprehensive health care reform.
There was another quote from earlier in the article that many used as the basis for the lie. It is an explanation of the deal that caps the costs for hospitals.
Hospital industry lobbyists, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of alienating the White House, say they negotiated their $155 billion in concessions with Mr. Baucus and the administration in tandem. House staff members were present, including for at least one White House meeting, but their role was peripheral, the lobbyists said.
Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private sector rates — or controlled by the secretary of health and human services.
There is nothing in those two paragraphs that says anything about a deal on the public option, it is talking very specifically about costs to hospitals and reimbursement rates for patients on Medicare. The sentence “would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private rates…” is poorly worded and could easily be misinterpreted, especially by people searching for a reason to hate the President.
If you read David Kirkpatrick’s words carefully, you see that the deal was on reimbursement rates and how they wouldn’t be the 80% that Medicare generally pays, which was a sore spot for hospitals.
Here is another example of that same idea, worded slightly better, but with selective placement of quotation marks. Tom Daschle wasn’t happy with the authors characterization of his words and corrected it in an update.
Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.
Once again, if you were to stop reading after the words “health plan”, you wouldn’t have gotten the entire meaning of the sentence. Experience tells me that the Obama-haters aren’t interested in the truth, only that which fits with their preconceived memes.
Tom Daschle sent a note to the author clarifying his comments and making it very clear that there was no deal on the public option.
“In describing some of the challenges to passage of the public option in the health reform bill, I did not mean to suggest in any way that the President was not committed to it. The President fought for the public option just as he did for affordable health care for all Americans. The public option was dropped only when it was no longer viable in Congress, not as a result of any deal cut by the White House. While I was disappointed that the public option was not included in the final legislation, the Affordable Care Act remains a tremendous achievement for the President and the nation.” (emphasis mine)
My game plan recently has been to watch Chris Hayes’ new show until 9am, then I switch over to Meet the Press, followed by This Week and then I top it off with Howie Kurtz’s show Reliable Sources. Sometimes I catch Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on the repeat, depending on when the Detroit Lions are playing.
This last Sunday, Meet the Press had the following lineup.
Former Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM), 2008 Presidential Candidate – Great guy, thankfully there was a Democrat somewhere to be found on Sunday!
Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), Former RNC Chairman – Who considering his history on race, probably shouldn’t be elevated to talking head status on a major network.
Alex Castellanos, Republican Strategist – Who was responsible for the racist ad for Jesse Helms called “Hands”.
Kim Strassel, Editorial Board Member, Wall Street Journal – Strassel has a long history of wingnuttery.
Chris Matthews, Host, MSNBC’s “Hardball” – What can you say about Chris, he’s like the crazy uncle who goes in and out of reality.
Maggie Haberman, Senior Political Writer, POLITICO – Who came to Politico via Rupert Murdoch, a great fit for her.
At 10 o’clock, I switched over to This Week with Christine Amanpour and was treated to this lineup.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio – Ringmaster of the Republican circus.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. – President Bush’s greatest enabler, or at least one of them.
And then the following panel, which couldn’t have been any better for Republicans had it been on Fox News.
George Will – I like to refer to him as “Hair Wedge George”, defender of all things conservative, facts are malleable to him.
Arianna Huffington – The Newt Gingrich protegé who has made a lot of money from liberal anger during the Bush years, but has never strayed from her Republican roots.
Matthew Dowd – He was the chief strategist for President Bush’s 2004 campaign. You can imagine how he leans, right?
Those are the two broadcast network shows that I watch on Sunday mornings and as a political junky, I’ve always loved to watch the back and forth between representatives or surrogates from each party. For decades, all the Sunday morning shows had an unwritten rule (so it seemed) to balance out the show with representatives from both sides of the political aisle – sometimes even giving third party candidates like John Anderson and Ross Perot time. I absolutely loved it, it was like a ping pong match, back and forth, sometimes one side got a slam in, sometimes the other. I always scored it in my head, which party got the best of the other from week to week. Good times!
Michael Moore is often dead on with his critiques of Republicans and many times with Democrats as well, but just like with his films, he often makes the facts fit whatever narrative he is trying to push.
Like many others in the “firebagger brigade”, since the election of President Obama, he spends most of his time criticizing Democrats. Personally, I’m sick of his whiny “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” shtick and based on the actions he takes every election cycle, he doesn’t seem very concerned about electing liberals to office. If he were, he would be more careful about what comes out of his pie hole. In fact, I see his shtick as very harmful to liberal politicians.
There was a clip flying around the internet the other day in which Michael Moore imparts his wisdom to us on politics and tells us why the 2010 elections favored the Republicans. For those of you who are aware of reality, it’s maddening to watch. It is a perfect example of the type of hyperbole that Moore employs and how he will say whatever he needs to — in order to push his narrative and thus his brand. Roll tape:
For those of you who can’t watch clips online, here is my rush transcript of his idiotic, uninformed rant.
The following post is new to this blog, but is from a while back. Well worth reading, you will see.
While the exceedingly cool members of this nation were celebrating some success, the cable news media was at it again. Let’s review for a moment and be thrilled about the events that took place, leading to the exhilarating events of last night, Roy McDonald broke with his party, when he told reporters June 15, 2011 this: “F**k it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing.” And with that, the line of demarcation was absolutely shattered. Then other members defected, and with a stroke of a pen Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law. Marriage equality now exists in NY State. His speech was stirring. I predict he will run for the Presidency in 2016, and he can win, if we don’t let the very powerful media destroy Democrats one more time. They certainly are attempting to
So, what happened to Rachel Maddow last night? Did she decide to take classes at Beck U, the propaganda arm of the Center for Shock Jockery? Umm humm, I am pretty sure she did make a stop by there to pick up pamphlets, because that BS meme she wants to push, “The President is against what happened today” (last night) is an outright lie. She too has crossed the line, one where she balanced on a thin line separating her from the other cable news shock jocks, and some decently researched stories. What the hell just happened? Did her rating reflect that the more Outrageous the story she can push about the President, the more viewers she gets? I would like to know, it seems to be a relevant question, is there a correlation between a shocking bumper sticker slogan that says, “The President is against what happened today”, what? Come again? That is your astute analysis even though it is demonstrably wrong if we just take the DADT issue and the decision by the Justice Dept. not to defend DOMA on any grounds. Geez, what trite, ridiculous drivel. I thought of Maddow as one of the least offensive cable tv shock jocks, sometimes she even does some in-depth news-like stories. She joins a list of people at MSNBC who take their shock-jockery seriously, first and foremost, one Chris Matthews, who is outraged on a daily basis, his new obsession is Michelle “wandering eye” Bachmann, “my hero! she is going to go all the way, he exclaimed excitedly to Bill Maher on Real Time June 17, 2011. What is that exactly, it feels like a dude who calls himself a journalist, is trying But the Matthews effect covers a large area at MSNBC, like its Fox nemesis, outrage is the one and only agenda. Keep this in mind, when I get to Ralph Nader and the Media.
When the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United ruling January 21, 2010 that cleared the way for corporations to spend unlimited amounts of cash in political campaigns with very little transparency, it even prompted the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to mention it in his State of the Union address. It elicited the childish, “nuh uh” look and utterance from Justice Alito — that instead of sparking a debate about the decision, made the media pontificate about whether it was appropriate for the President to mention the ruling and whether Alito’s response was appropriate. To me it signaled that the President really does care about the influence money has in our politics.
Now I know the haters on the left and right will trot out the old, President Obama has gotten a lot of money from big business meme, but when you look at what they base it on, it’s people who work for big business who are giving to President Obama. And yes, some of the leaders of business as well. And in their criticism lies an assumption that everyone who works for a big business is conservative and/or Republican. And that those employees, being all conservative, must be giving to President or candidate Obama because he is conservative too or that they are buying influence with him. They opine that anyone with money must be conservative and therefore if they give to a Democrat, then Democrats must be just like Republicans. It’s quite a twisted line of reasoning when you break it down. It’s just one example of the simplistic logic that permeates our media and punditry.
I had a real world example in my family. My step father was a successful lawyer and businessman, yet he donated to and voted for Democrats all his life. He also was a philanthropist and gave a lot of his money to many different causes and was modest in how he spent money. I go back to a recent post where I derided the concept of generalizing, where it is so much easier for people to just lump everyone together and attack that lump, instead of deal with real people with varying opinions. The same holds true for those who want to vilify everyone who works on Wall Street or for an evil corporation.
I remember all those many months ago when President Obama made clear that he was going to pull our military out of Iraq by the end of 2011 and how it was met with skepticism and pretty much dismissed by those in the Professional Left, who see everything through a filter that turns President Obama into another one of the Bush children.
Here are just some of the headlines from those supposedly über progressive blogs that have spent the last 3 years trashing on the most liberal president in a generation.
From Salon.com – Justin Elliott on September 12, 2011
Obama poised to break Iraq pullout promise
This one was from May 11, 2011 from Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel
Iraq Withdrawal Date For U.S. Troops May Be Pushed Back Beyond 2011
There are many more where those came from. It’s been interesting to watch as these same people who were heaping blame and skepticism on President Obama’s promise to get all the troops out of Iraq are now failing to give him any credit for it. Glenn Greenwald and others are doing all sorts of contortions in order to avoid admitting that President Obama has kept another of his promises and has ended the Iraq War, which should send the likes of Greenwald into the streets in celebration. Instead, they are, in a round about way, praising President Bush for setting the initial timetable, which everyone met with skepticism as just a temporary measure that would be changed later on. That is why the Republicans are freaking out so much about it, they never intended on leaving Iraq at the end of 2011. Robert Parry spells it out in this piece called “Why the Left Won’t Accept Success”…(emphasis mine)
Melissa Harris-Perry wrote a very thoughtful piece exploring the reasons why President Obama, with his many successes in the face of great opposition, is struggling in the polls with white liberals. It is something I’ve been frustrated with since before the President was sworn in — when people on the left began attacking him about his appointments to various cabinet positions.
At first, I didn’t want to believe that race was a large part of that equation and chalked a lot of it up to “bitterness” left over from the contentious primary fight with Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and the others. But as his presidency progressed and more evidence continued to pile up, I, as a white liberal, began to see that the source of a lot of that disrespect and vitriol clearly was coming from an elitist and superior attitude, much of it rooted in race.
If you haven’t been following the story, I recommend you read Joy Reid’s piece at The Reid Report. She gives some background on the reaction to some on the left to Harris-Perry’s powerful post.
My first instinct whenever I come across something that is clearly over-the-top rhetoric is to attempt to find out the source of that vitriol. Strong opinions don’t usually materialize out of thin air, they come from somewhere and I like to find out where. Using the Google machine, I decided to go back and read some previous writing by Gene Lyons as it relates to race and particularly, President Obama. What I found was quite shocking, in my opinion. You decide for yourself.
On matters of race, I’ve learned as a white, 49 year old male to listen and defer to those who have a closer connection to the effects of racism. What the hell do I know about suffering from racism, other than what I can learn from those who have suffered through it. It’s impossible for me to completely understand what it is like without having experienced it. I’ve accepted that fact and when a person of color speaks about it, I listen and try to internalize it.
One person that I listen to very intently is Melissa Harris-Perry, a very wise and thoughtful person who always makes sense to me whenever I hear her speak or read her words.
When I read something from one of the usual suspects that makes no acknowledgment of either the Republicans lockstep opposition or the accomplishments of President Obama considering that opposition, I know that they have other motivations.
When I hear Michael Moore on damn near any show he can get on, say that President Obama hasn’t done anything, I have to wonder if it’s because he is just ignorant and hasn’t paid attention for the last 2 & 3/4 years or if he is just blatantly lying for his own gain. There has to be a reason why he wants to push false memes and help Republicans get back in control of the White House.
What’s most annoying and indicative of his lack of perspective and basic common sense, is the same old same old arguments and talking points and the inevitable comparison with FDR.
Obama could have done this. Obama could have done that. He’s caved on everything financial. He gives in to the Republicans. In the words of another well-known liberal scribe, !Yada yada yada yada.”
I want to SCREAM.
Let’s address FDR and the fabled Hundred Days. FDR was working in a time when the Republican party consisted of most of your scions of financial and industrial behemoths in the US. Really, Roosevelt should have been part of that set-up, but he was the exception to the rule. Apart from those guys dotted about the place, the rest of the country was B-L-U-E.
In the Senate alone, which then had 96 members, the Democrats had a majority of 71. And it’s true what Gov Granholme kept shouting. From the very beginning, the President simply didn’t have the votes. In fact, there was only a period of about four months – from the time Al Franken was belatedly sworn in as Senator until Ted Kennedy’s death in August 2009 – that the Democrats had the fabled 60-vote majority, and two of those votes were Independents who caucused with the Democrats, and one of those Democrats was Joe Lieberman.
Do you understand that? Does Bill?
In the beginning, with the stimulus, there were 57 Democrats (Franken awaiting confirmation) and two Independents, lacking one vote from the magic sixty. But both Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd were ill. That made 55 Democrats and 2 Independents. To pass the stimulus, 3 Republican votes were needed, which was why the stimulus amount was reduced – in order to entice Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter to cross the aisle.
Even afterward, with all the healthcare debate, as well as the Republicans, the President was fighting the Blue Dog likes of Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, Kent Conrad, Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln.
Do you understand that? Does Bill?
As for the fact that the President “caved” on extending the Bush tax cuts, Bill needs to cop this truth: At the end of July 2010, before the August recess, the President summoned Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to the White House to tell them he wanted Congress to vote on repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in September before Congress adjourned for the Midterm hustings. He felt that this would be a good campaign point. Reid and Pelosi refused.
That’s right. They refused. Reid was in a tight race, you recall, with Sharron Angle, and didn’t want to anger wealthy fence-sitters in Nevada. If that weren’t enough, Reid enlisted Russ Feingold – yes, Heavenly Father Progressively Pure Saint Russ Feingold – to plead his case. Feingold, reportedly, lobbied the President to leave off voting on the repeal of the tax cuts until after the Midterms, during the Lame Duck session.
That worked so well, didn’t it? If you recall, the Republicans, high on scoring a major victory in the House and reducing their minority in the Senate, wrote a letter telling the President that they would refuse to consider any legislation during Lame Duck until the tax cuts were done and dusted – meaning extended.
The ensuing negotiations, with the Republicans simply refusing to budge, were anything but a cave on the President’s part. Even ueber Rightwing sage and intellectual, Charles Krauthammer, despairingly admitted that. In fact, he called Obama’s “caving”, the Swindle of the Year, and berated the Republican party for allowing it.
I give credit to few Republicans, but Krauthammer’s a real intellectual, and he’s certainly smarter than Bill Maher for recognising that.
Not to mention a slew of legislation in that compromise, which helped the poor, about whom Bill Maher says he cares so much, Congress also managed to repeal DADT and pass the First Responders Health bill and the START treaty. Besides, the tax cuts were only extended for two years – until 2012 – making them fodder for the campaign cannon next year, if not sooner.
As far as the debt ceiling crisis is concerned, maybe Bill should realise that voting on raising the debt ceiling was part of the Lame Duck proposals too – getting that out of the way in the last days of a Democratic Congress – but Harry Reid pooh-pooed that idea, wanting to bring the vote to a head when it was due to be heard, originally in March 2011. That way, he reckoned, the Republican House could own part of the responsibility.
And how well did that work out?
I remember all of that, but isn’t it amazing how many have forgotten?
Liberals have derided conservative voters who vote against their own self interests for decades. The perfect example of this self-defeatism is middle and low income people voting for Republicans — who want to shift the nations wealth from poor and working folks to the wealthy in this country. They have been convinced by the very effective brainwashing that began in the Reagan supply-side era, when we were all told that it would trickle down to us, or rather on us.
Many of these very same liberals who deride that group on the right, are doing it themselves. In 2011, the best example of this can be seen in the efforts by Cornel West, Tavis Smiley and Ralph Nader. Eric L. Wattree helps us understand the stupidity of the self-defeatist left, who in my opinion, don’t give a shit about the people they claim to represent. (emphasis mine)
Obama has caused me tremendous frustration on several issues, but simple common sense dictates that my being frustrated is far preferable to allowing the GOP to come into power and turn the United States into a nation of corporate feudalism. That’s a level of common sense that Ralph Nader, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West seems to be lacking. Tavis seems to be keeping a low profile in this effort, by the way, but somehow I still visualize West sitting on his knee with Tavis’ hand in his back.
Isn’t it curious how all of their criticism is directed at Obama while, this point, it has become abundantly clear that the GOP has turned into a group of radical lunatics with absolutely no sense of limits, or any respect for the United States Constitution?
Anyone – and I do mean ANYONE – who would do that is either stupid, insane, think they’ll benefit from a GOP victory in some way, or are so blinded by an oversized ego that they’ve lost all connection with reality. It is clear to most thinking people that President Obama, flaws and all, is our best defense against turning the nation over to a GOP who want’s to drag us back into the Middle Ages. If that wasn’t the case, Nader and West wouldn’t have to mount a talent search. Thus, it’s one thing to have individual principles, but placing the entire nation in jeopardy to indulge those principles suggests an egomania that, at the very least, borders on psychosis.
Again, this is not the first time that Nader and West have engaged in this failed strategy. West supported Nader in his self-serving and childishly petulant campaign during the 2000 election that led to the appointment of George W. Bush. So while West is running around claiming to be so outraged over the economy and lack of jobs for the poor and middle class in this country, he’s partially responsible for it.
Elections have consequences and this country can’t afford the consequences of another Republican presidency.
There was so much going on this week and so much emotion with the fight to save Troy Davis from being killed, I know I missed a lot of great articles that I’m just getting caught up on. As always, please add your links in the comments and let’s talk about shit!
- I just came across this post minutes ago called EMO-lution, or Quiting Before You’re Ahead which features a comment from @vcthree on a post at Angry Black Lady Chronicles. It’s an absolute must read and share as is the original post that inspired it here at ABLC.
- In my research for the Cornel and Tavis post from earlier in the week, I stumbled upon Eric L. Wattree’s blog and spent a lot of time getting caught up on his writings. I highly recommend you go and read all of these posts that are generally on West and Smiley, you will see why:
1. ”Tavis Smiley and Cornel West: The Reign of Fools is Over”;
2. ”Does the West/Obama Controversy Constitute Blacks Airing Dirty Laundry?”;
3. ”Is the Attack on Prof. Melissa Harris-Perry’s Article Criticizing Prof. Cornel West Due to Male Academic Cronyism?”;
4. ”How Do Politicians Get People to Vote Against Their Own Interest?”;
5. ”Tavis/West: We Know We’re Hurting, Now Tell Us the Truth About Why”;
6. ”The Tavis/West Poverty Pimp Tour“;
7. ”Dr. Cornel West and Intellectual Rice Cake”;
8. Is the GOP Manipulating Black Intellectuals to destroy the First Black President?”
- This op-ed by Bill Keller, former Executive Editor of the New York Times on President Obama is very good, I don’t agree with all of it, but I still highly recommend it.
- One of my blogging heroes, Steve Benen, has a podcast that he does with Bill Simmon every Sunday from 4 – 6 pm live, with chat. But of course you can download and stream them anytime from the website. It’s a combination of brilliant Benen politics and nerdy Sci-Fi talk.
- One of my favorite reads this week was from one of the best bloggers around, Eclectablog and it annihilates the Professional Left’s trying to claim credit for President Obama’s fight for the American Jobs Act.
- James Carville spouted off a bunch of criticism of the Obama administration and offered his outsider opinions, which he is entitled to. But it also means Scott Bateman might also take your words and make a cool animation out of it which pokes holes in your crazy ideas. Here is Scott’s website.
- Joy Reid wrote a very good piece that highlights Glenn Greenwald’s 3rd party dreaming and his other not-so-liberal ideas.
- And just ICYMI, my transcription of the Bob and Chez podcast “Stop Whining” is an absolute must read for those interested in understanding what is really happening in the firebagger left.
- The one and only @Shoq took a break from Twitter and penned an awesome piece on the Professional Left ” pushing their latest vanity meme”. Read it!
- If you are wondering what you can do to help keep Troy Davis’s memory alive, go to the Innocence Project and donate something. And if you only read one more article about Troy Davis, make it this one from Emily Hauser who worked her ass off to try and save Troy who was put to death on her birthday, of all days.
- Deaniac83 at The People’s View wrote an incredible post that explores the nuances of President Obama’s political and governing strategy that I think is dead on. It also helps to expose why others may not be able to grasp it, nuance and double reverse psychology eludes some people.
And lastly, I’ll leave you with this quote from Elizabeth Warren, who I hope gets a lot of face time on cable news networks in the next couple of years and beyond.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
I decided to go back in time with the help of Google and find out if he ever REALLY supported Barack Obama and exactly when it was that Dr. West and his sidekick, Tavis Smiley, began their assault on our first black president.
I typed into the search bar the words “Cornel West Supports Obama” and then proceeded to weed through hundreds of hits about Cornel’s criticism of President Obama, page after page after page of links to stories about “black mascots” and “oligarchs and plutocrats” and “fear of free black men”. There were articles by conservatives and liberals, all using Cornel West to justify their own hatred and dislike for our President.
I came across one transcript from an interview he did with Amy Goodman about 2 weeks after the election where Dr. West very cautiously applauds the election of President Obama, but you can already begin to see the formulation of his strategy to undermine him.
I looked at hundreds of results from my Google search and that one transcript was about the extent of the “support” I found for President Obama. I challenge any defenders of West to provide more, besides people saying he supported the president.
If you haven’t gone to iTunes and subscribed to the Bubble Genius Bob and Chez Show podcast, you are missing out on the best political analysis around and a lot of great laughs. You can find them at their respective blogs, Bob Cesca’s Aweseome Blog! Go! and Deus Ex Malcontent where they consistently tell it like it is.
I personally look forward to the show like a little kid looks forward to candy.
A few weeks ago, they did a show called “Stop Whining”, which I highly recommend you listen to, after you subscribe to them on iTunes. But in case you prefer reading or are at work and can’t really listen, I took the time to transcribe a large portion of that show for your reading pleasure. I think it exposes the true motivations and agenda of those who have become known as the “Professional Left” or the name I prefer, “Firebaggers”.
As with anyone, I don’t agree with everything they say, but damn near everything in this portion of the show. The one thing I disagree on is the characterization of the blog post by Deaniac83 from The People’s View that was the impetus for a lot of the discussion. Deaniac83′s post about the debt ceiling deal, as I saw it, was about how that deal wasn’t as bad as it was being portrayed by many on the left. I didn’t perceive it as approving of the deal, but rather that the President made the best of a bad situation. Contrary to John Boehner’s characterization that he got 98% of what he wanted, when you look at the deal from a wider perspective, President Obama “ate his lunch”. They quickly move away from that subject and on to an incredibly insightful analysis of the “firebaggers” — who seem intent on helping the Republicans take down our Democratic President Barack Obama. Enjoy and share widely!
Bob Cesca (B)- I don’t watch Morning Joe anymore, but I can guarantee you that they were talking about this, concern trolling about it on Morning Joe over the last couple of days, because they love to do that. Oh look, the president’s losing his base…when, we’ve talked about here, it’s not really the base. The liberal blogosphere is not the base of the Democratic Party, certainly not the Obama campaign. And it never has been…we’ve always been fickle, we were divided during the primaries in 2008. A lot of people were very hesitant to jump onboard, once President Obama became the nominee. But regardless, here’s the story. Backing up on this..”The Obama administrations point person”…this if from the Huffinton Post, “The Obama campaign’s point person in New Mexico recently sent an email to supporters defending the President’s position on the debt deal and bashing the Nobel prize winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and the quote
Chez Pazienza (C)- interject for a moment, the vital, vital outpost of New Mexico
B- That’s exactly right, ah…columnist Paul Krugman..
C – Defending the frontier
B- Right, the quote unquote “firebagger lefty blogosphere”, On the evening of August 1st. dunt, dunt, duh duh…cue the dubious music for this. “On the evening of Aug. 1, just after Congress passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling, Obama for America (OFA) New Mexico State Director Ray Sandoval sent an email to supporters with the subject line, “Please take 5 minutes to read this, Please.” He used the magic word twice. “”I know many of you have raised frustrations, but please, I implore you, please take 5 minutes and read the article below. It does a great job of explaining the Debt Ceiling deal,” Sandoval wrote in bold text.” Now, that was all he wrote and then it proceeded to include this blog post from a blog called The People’s View and the blog post went on to, ah, criticize Paul Krugman as being a political rookie, it used the word firebagger, you know, which is sort of the colloquialism combining Firedoglake and teabaggers, which I use that a lot, It’s, I think it’s appropriate.
C – It is actually.
B – He even used the ah…
C- I try really hard, actually, not to do too much of the adjusting names because I’ve always thought that it’s kind of childish when you do like the, you know, the Rethuglicans….(crosstalk)….but firebagger admittedly works and of course I can’t let myself off the hook for calling them teabaggers so uh..
B – Well you have to…
C – That’s a joke that makes it’s own gravy
I’m not a huge fan of Glenn Greenwald. There are many reasons why I dislike the man and his writings, but the main ones are his dishonesty and hyperbolic rhetoric. I only read him when I’m tipped off to something particularly crazy.
I’ll be honest and say that when he was assaulting the Bush administration, I was cheering him on. But even then, I noticed that Greenwald played loose with the facts and exaggerated things beyond recognition (Warning, right-wing link). So even though it was aimed at Bush, it still left a bad taste in my mouth. Lying and misleading is a Republican thing, but of course, anyone who knows about Greenwald, knows that he is a libertarian (civil, LOL) and doesn’t vote.
I was searching Google one day and came across an article in The Nation titled “A Response to Glenn Greenwald“, written by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine. Of course, I had to click on it. In recent years, Greenwald has become an example of how — with the growth of the internet — people have been given platforms who don’t deserve it and don’t have enough integrity to wield such power. Glenn Greenwald has shown time and time again that he is vicious in his attacks on people and uses every sleazy rhetorical technique known to humans to push his narrative. He is completely anti-Obama, anti-government and anti-Democratic Party. He used to be anti-Republican Party during the Bush years and that is when he established some false credibility with the left.
I did a study of his posts on Salon.com for a period of just over a month. What I found was — out of 43 posts, 38 of them were anti-Obama and the remaining 5 were about something non political. There were zero posts that attacked Republicans. ZERO! I guess the GOP hasn’t done anything recently that has upset Glenn.
If you want to experience the full impact of Glenn Greenwald’s hyperbole and over-the-top rhetoric, I suggest you read things in the order that I did. None of the articles are extremely long, with the exception of Glenn’s and his many updates, so it shouldn’t take that long. But you can certainly just keep reading here, too.
I first read the response to Glenn Greenwald from Mark Ames and Yasha Levine, the subjects of Glenn’s scorn. I then went and read the original piece they had written that upset Greenwald so much. And finally, I read Greenwald’s wild-eyed screed, laying into the two people who wrote the offending piece
The level of disrespect being shown towards President Obama is unprecedented and has to stop. It comes in both blatant and subtle ways and there are many reasons for it. Anyone who is honest with themselves knows that a lot of it stems from the color of his skin. Not all of it, for sure, but a whole hell of a lot of it. We all remember the signs from the Tea Party asking for their country back…back from what, you motherfuckers, the man won a clear victory in a democratic election with a wide electoral margin. President Obama IS the leader or OUR country, all of us, even you racist assholes…whether you like it or not.
One of the latest examples of this disrespect was covered very well by Joy Reid at The Reid Report. I’ll let her explain it…
Republicans derive a benefit from their base by disrespecting the president.
The GOP base wants its leadership to not just oppose Barack Obama, but to go out of its way to obstruct, block, and if at all possible, show open contempt and disrespect for him. Republicans understand that their base will punish them for any hint of respectful, or worse, accommodating behavior toward Obama, and that they will be rewarded by their base for elevating the level of negative attention they give the president.
Today’s Republicans, who have been overrun by a hardcore tea party faction in addition to the resurgent religious right, have made the calculation that there is literally no bottom — and no level of disrespect so great that they will pay a price with white independents.
Case in point: before House Speaker Boehner took the unprecedented step of publicly brushing back the president’s request to address a joint session of Congress next Wednesday, he was being egged on to do just that by none other than Rush Limbaugh. That Boehner decided to puff out his chest on this one is telling.
Of course, that is just one example of the clear disrespect shown towards our President. And the Republicans are playing it out to the full extent, with some legislators openly saying they won’t attend the jobs speech and don’t even want to hear what the President has to say. The adult equivalent of holding your hands over your ears and saying, na na na na, I cant’ hear you! I hope all those people without jobs are paying attention to the “Party of No New Jobs”.
But if that isn’t enough, apparently the hater of everyone, Matt Taibbi, doesn’t want to hear it either. The more I read about Taibbi, the more I realize that he just says whatever the hell comes to his hateful mind. I found this piece where Taibbi predicted a McCain presidency…showing his willingness to just say stupid shit with no basis in reality. But I digress.