How To Deal With Dysfunction On The Left!

The left wing in this country has been fickle and dysfunctional when it comes to electoral politics for a long time. I remember Ted Kennedy throwing a monkey wrench into the reelection of President Jimmy Carter after challenging him in the primaries. That is just one example of how our party often sabotages itself, another would be the Gore/Bush race of 2000 when the refrain from many on the left was that there was no difference between the two. We all know how well that turned out for us liberals and the country. Elections matter, damn it.

Today, we are experiencing the same type of crap, but we also have opportunists like Jane Hamsher, Adam Green and Glenn Greenwald making money off that fickleness and idealism from some on the left.

Tien at The People’s View has another great post that helps to explain some of the different types of “non-supporters” of President Obama and how to deal with each type.

In brief the Narcissist suffers from a pathological need for attention; hypersensitivity to insults and criticism; an over-inflated sense of self-importance; unrealistic expectations and a preoccupation with success and power.


Their belief system is composed entirely of being against whatever “The President” believes in.

  • Prospect for convincing them to support the current President: Non-existent.
  • Strategy for coping with their behavior: Never make it personal. Always focus on what they do, not what they say or who they are.

The best way to undermine Narcissists is to ignore them and deprive them of the attention they crave. However, I’ve come to realize that very few people are actually capable of employing the tactic of responding in this fashion. The Narcissist counts on people ‘reacting’ to everything they say, and most people, particularly online, oblige them. That gives the Narcissist unearned power, but there it is. Trying to change their minds is an exercise in futility.

Does that remind you of anyone? Since joining Twitter back in late April, I’ve observed Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher in the Twitter world, where people’s thoughts are often a stream of consciousness, unedited and hard to put back in the bottle once let loose. These attention seekers send out Tweets that are clearly meant to inflame opponents and get them to either read their over-the-top rhetoric or engage with them online. I certainly fell for it initially, but soon realized that they were playing me and trying to get the attention that they seek. The more I gave them that attention, whether negative or not, the more they loved it. I’ve known for a long time that they would do anything for clicks on their blogs, since the traffic that helped to pay their bills dropped so dramatically after the 2008 election. That is why I never link to their websites. They don’t really care if the clicks they get are from supporters or opponents. But being new to Twitter back in the spring, it took me a little while to realize they were goading me into engaging with them for the same reasons. I’ve talked before about how they built their blog empires based on anger, mostly towards President Bush but also just anger in general. Republicans did it with the Tea Party anger and people like Jane Hamsher and Adam Green have filled that niche on the left. They have just shifted that anger towards President Obama.

Next up on Tien’s hit parade is the Anarchist.

Anarchists and Narcissists have a symbiotic relationship. They both thrive on opposition and many of the Narcissist’s followers hail from the ranks the modern American Anarchists. The very nature of anarchy pretty much makes defining them impossible because there are almost as many variations of anarchy belief systems as there are people who subscribe to them. In general they fall into a few sub-groups who can be generalized as wanting to either seriously limit government or do away with government entirely. Anti-capitalism (anti-corporatist) seems to be more appealing to the Left; where profit motivated privatization characterizes the Right.


Their opposition to our President, any President really, stems from the perception that the American government exists to protect corporations and to that end readily override the will of the people. If President Obama isn’t seen as actively working to disrupt corporations, then he is complicit in all that corporations do. He then is dismissed as being a corporatist and deserving of their lack of support.

  • Prospect for convincing them to support the current President: Online: None. In the Real World: Marginal.
  • Strategy for coping with their behavior: Engaging the Anarchist online can only result in defensive posturing. /snip/ Even still, the amount of energy required to move someone who is hard-core anti-government into the supporter camp isn’t a wise investment. That energy can be better spent with swing voters. A time-saving tip: find out if the anti-government individual you’re trying to engage is even registered to vote. If not, move on.

Do you remember the reaction from some on the left before President Obama was even sworn in when he appointed Tim Geithner and Larry Summers to the administration? At the time, I thought to myself that it wouldn’t even matter who was appointed, anyone with the experience or expertise to do that job would have been put in the same box as Geithner and Summers, it wouldn’t have made any difference unless it was maybe the purely academic Paul Krugman.

This group of people exist to throw rocks and undermine whatever party is in control. Glenn Greenwald very clearly falls into this category. I did a study of his posts for just over a month and found that of 43 posts at Salon, 38 of them were anti-Obama administration, 5 were on non-political issues and ZERO were anti-Republican. Glenn Greenwald is not a liberal and in times of candor, he admits it. But he will take money from outraged liberals every day of the week.

The next category of non-supporter is the Elitist. More from Tien…

At the core of an elitist’s mindset is ego. Self-described intellectuals for the most part who believe their evaluation of politics is superior to that of others around them. Elitists tend to concern themselves more with policy than electoral politics. I’m not as willing as some to write these people off because in more cases than a few, people who behave in an elitist fashion are often engaged in actual policy making. More than once I’ve seen, in the real world any way, that at times they are right. Their presentation lacks grace and can be characterized as condescending, which is off-putting to most people who don’t hail from their ranks. Unfortunately these people and people who pretend to be their peers frequently devolve into antagonistic adolescents once their fingers come into contact with a keyboard and a connection to the Internet.


  • Prospect for convincing them to support the current President: Online: Remote but not impossible; In the Real World: Achievable.
  • Strategy for coping with their behavior: Basically the only effective way to engage an Elitist is to swallow your own ego and ‘become’ their student. This can’t be done in one encounter. Online an Elitist has a reputation to protect, so any challenge to their authority will be smacked down with malice. However the person who is willing to swallow any antipathy they might feel toward the Elitist’s arrogance can gain a foothold into their thought process by asking innocent questions.

Joan Walsh of Salon and Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation fall squarely into this category, in my humble opinion. When President Obama was first elected, there were stories about how the White House wasn’t inviting some of these folks to the parties, didn’t give them tickets to the inauguration, weren’t returning their phone calls or attending their events during the campaign…even though he was kind of busy trying to win a Presidential election. You can hear their elitism when they deride the President for his political prowess, talk down to him and say how he is a terrible politician…because you know, he’s not listening to them. I frequently like to type or say, well as soon as you are elected the leader of the free world, then you come talk to me about who’s a good politician. Until then, kindly STFU. I’m not sure Tien would approve of that.

The final category of non-supporter according to Tien is the Reactionary.

These are the foot soldiers in the realm of Presidential opposition. Their opposition is a little softer than their rhetoric suggests because they have something entirely different at stake when they spout anti-Obama talking points. While the Narcissist has their entire personhood (and often livelihood) at stake, the Reactionary has at risk their place in the ‘society’ that is created for them by the actors higher up the food chain. It is the Narcissist, the Anarchist and the Elitist who create the blogs and generate the talking points upon which the Reactionary depends to help them fit in.


Within the world of politics Reactionaries are not results-oriented people. They are dependent upon their source for their fix that helps reinforce their constructed belief system. This is as true with the Left as it is with the Right. The biggest perceived danger to a Reactionary is someone who actually knows more about politics than they do.

  • Prospect for convincing them to support the current President: Online: Remote but not impossible; In the Real World: Achievable.
  • Strategy for coping with their behavior: Learn the talking points that they subscribe to. Generally if the action is sure to be politically disastrous to the President, then it is something that has been promoted by the ‘pundit’ class that Reactionaries use for reference. When you hear or read these talking points being repeated in conversation or online, then you know that you’re dealing with a Reactionary. Do not challenge their beliefs in public.

These are the people who fill comment sections and engage in Twitter battles in defense of the people they follow. Like Tien says, they spout the talking points generated by the other categories of non-supporters. Tien goes on to give this advice for dealing with them, “(G)uiding the conversation to more results oriented context helps give everyone, even the Reactionary, a chance to hear a different viewpoint in a non-combative environment.”

Tien ends with some great advice that I know I’m trying to internalize and adopt…

The true key to helping people soften their attitude regarding the President is respect. There is precious little of it online, but we are in a position to change that, and we have no better role model than the very President we support.


If we won’t disregard the feelings of a total stranger in real life, why do we do it online? Why are we willing to create the impression that people who support the President don’t listen, are rude, mean, treat people poorly, etc.?

When I go out in public with my Obama 2012 shirt on, I make a point to be extra friendly to people. My mother taught me very well to be polite and nice to people anyway, but I go the extra mile when I’m representing the President and the Democratic Party. I know it is very subtle, but I think it is important since so many people learn by modeling. And Tien is so right when she points out that people don’t always adopt the same rules of behavior online as they do in person. The anonymity of being online gives license to many people to behave in ways they would never do face to face. We can all learn from Tien in this regard.

Please share Tien’s great piece with your friends and family, there are so many great lessons for all of us to learn and internalize. And if you don’t have The People’s View bookmarked on your toolbar or the home page of your browser, you need to do that right now.

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

56 thoughts on “How To Deal With Dysfunction On The Left!

  1. That really was a great post by Tein. I read it and just read yours now. Thanks EL. I have a mind set that you treat people as you would like to be treated. I brought my sons up the same way, respectful of everybody. I have a very political family and we aren’t all Democrats or Liberals. So I try to be mindful until they get too whacked out. :) I will put this on FB, because I think most people don’t go on the blogs and read, so I help them along.

  2. The world would be a far better place if we all treated each other the way we wished to be treated. It would be great if a person like me could come to a blog like this one and be treated with respect. I have always been respectful towards the host of this blog and the others who have left comments on this blog. You can not find a single post of mine on this blog in which that is not the case. However, I often get treated like dirt and get called names. I was even called a “fucking racist” at one point for having an alternative view.

    I don’t often post here because when I do it is received with closed minds and usually a personal attack. I couldn’t let this post slip past; the hypocrisy was too thick to let pass.

  3. Like I said in the post, CH, I’m trying to internalize what Tien says and practice it. It isn’t necessarily easy to do. I don’t think that comment sections on blogs are indicative of the real world, though. It seems to be a place where people vent and say things that they wouldn’t in a face to face. In my commenting over the years on various blogs, I attempted to take the high ground, but don’t always succeed. And if you were being honest, CH, you would admit that you crossed the line from time to time too. Sometimes things like racism exist within attitudes and not on someone’s sleeve. I also think that people who post comments on blogs should anticipate some of that stuff and take it with a grain of salt.

  4. Show me one example of where I have crossed that line. You won’t find it because it has never happened here. I’m judged here not by what I have posted but rather by opinions formed before this blog even existed. There is a word for that but things are what they are.

  5. Maybe I’m confusing you with someone else who goes by Chicken Hammer. Do you consider yourself on the left? What do you call yourself politically when people ask you?

  6. Blacks, understandably, don’t want to admit that one of their own, who finally made it to a management position in the rarified air of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., wouldn’t have even made a decent domestic

    Nope, nothin’ to see here folks. Racist overtones – pshaw.

  7. Well I have to say much of this post has opened my eyes some what. I am disapointed with Obama’s poll numbers but not surprised and at the same tolken this really doesn’t indicate anything. Much of what I’ve seen on the right is the same old same old, nothing new and just the usual. On the professional left it seems an unwillingness to bend which makes them criticize Obama as they are almost unbendable as the tea party. They don’t want the president to make any compromises or reach out as it seems to be an act of weakness in their eyes, they couldn’t be further from the truth in my opinion.

    At the same time I’ve realized that its easy to give into despair at the thought of progressive policies being compromised like they have been due to the reactionary beliefs that have thus far only pushed people away from their proposed policies. People need to wake up and realize that before any real progressive policies can be made we need a congress and senate that are open about the ideas. Whats more people need to stop being so quick to criticize when its not exactly what we want.

  8. I’m confident you would have posted links to the over the line comments if they existed EL.

    I identify myself as a classical liberal when people ask. Why do you ask?

  9. I love that cartoon….I remember how much my fellow college students bashed Clinton in the 90’s for not being leftie enough…I think quite a few of them voted for Nader later. It wasn’t until the Bush years came that they all realized how much they missed Bill :)

  10. I have never posted here before but it came up on my twitter feed. Does anyone else think that this is a lot of energy to spend on a relatively small number of potential voters? Especially since the chance of convincing 3 of the 4 categories is said to be “remote to non-existent” If they feed on attention, why not ignore them? Tweeting about them seems especially counter productive to me. The last category of “reactionary” seems like the only one worth investing any time on. I recently had an interaction online with a very nice person who has been posting alarmist talking point stuff for quite a while now, although I know she started out supporting the President. She posted a comment that people were sending her horrible news all the time. I took the opportunity to send her something positive about what the administration had done and she was very happy to see it. I told her there were many trolls and she agreed. We had a short discussion and I asked if she would like me to send her more information since I truly do believe that the good things are often ignored or not reported. She said she would be glad to get it. Online it is very hard to know which of your “friends” is really on the same team. I agree with the assessment on the final category although I wouldn’t call them all “reactionary”. There are some genuine people out there who we should seek out and rescue from the trolls. I see the things that some people post on this person’s page and the comments are 50/50 pro/disappointed in the President. The “Pros” (including myself in this) need all the help and positive reinforcement they can get. The polite and nice part is absolutely crucial. Sorry for the long post esp. since I was never here before.

  11. Excellent. I’ve expressed my own dismay about the far-left, comparing them to the far-right in all but ideology. The crude/vulgar/racist demonizing of Obama, the epithets, the distortion of facts – especially when it comes to history -, the vicious personal attacks leveled at people who don’t agree with them, and the political naivety, etc., all come from the same script.

    Bad manners are bad manners, whether at a party, at work or on the Internet.

  12. You are welcome to write as much as you want, whenever you want. I agree that ignoring them is the best option and I try my hardest not to engage them online. The only thing that really bothers me about the 3 categories that are “remote to non-existent” is that some of them are the loudest voices in the media. I personally would like to see them have less of a voice in the media and by exposing them for who and what they are, maybe the people who book guest on MSNBC in particular will stop having them on to represent “the left” when most of them are libertarian or anarchist posing as representatives of the left. It makes us all look bad.

  13. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
    Theodore Roosevelt


  14. This typology with suggested tactics for dealing with each one is interesting but it seems to assume that honest ethical differences over political principles are nothing more than symptoms of some personality type, presumably aberrant. (No mention is made of the personality type of the person setting out the schema.)

    Is politics simply about presumably aberrant personality types, as set out by a personality type not specified? Has it no substance?

    Are “narcissist” Glenn Greenwald’s items and arguments over civil liberties abuses in Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations dismissed because of his personality type as identified here? I hope not.

  15. The problem with the left is that we have too many people categorizing us and nobody is putting the blame where it belongs: on the incompetence of Obama. For my money this guy may as well be George Bush. Of course the left won’t say this aloud because then they will have no one to turn to in 2012, but David Axelrod and Obama have basically said that if the left doesn’t like them, then they will hate the Republicans even more. That’s their best answer to YOU. Aren’t you tired of being used by the Democrats? I think it’s time to put our money on a third party. A lot of people are afraid of that because they are afraid of wasting their vote, but our system was designed to handle more than two parties (read the Constitution). It’s just a matter of joining up with people who are true liberals such as Democratic Socialists and getting all of us together. The Democratic Party would collapse. Bottom line: This is a call to all true liberals to not be fooled again by fake liberals in the Democratic Party. Good luck.

  16. That’s a great quote, but no where in my post do I say anything like “there must be no criticism” or anything else in your quote. The post is for people on the left and how to deal with the different people within our party, or on our side of the political spectrum because we both know that there is a huge difference between Democrats and Republicans and we have an election coming, in case you weren’t aware. I want more Democrats and the President reelected.

  17. “but it seems to assume”…really, seems and assume in the same sentence makes me want to read further. :) Tien isn’t saying that the personality type causes the political principles, that’s just silly. If you really read that in the piece, I suggest you re-read it without whatever prejudices you bring to it. Tien and I are talking about how you talk to these people and try to convince them and change their minds, educate them, inform them…without offending them or causing defensiveness. That’s kind of what politics is all about, convincing people to vote for the person you want them to vote for.

    On Glenn Greenwald, if he actually EVER criticized Republicans, I might have more respect for him. But he has spent the last 3 years doing nothing but attacking Democrats, I can’t believe he agrees with everything the Republicans have done in the last 3 years, but maybe he does. He supported the Citizen’s United supreme court decision. He’s taken money from the CATO Institute, and has attacked other people for much less of a “guilt by association” connection than his CATA Institute relationship. If he were truly concerned with the issues he raises money off, you would think that Republicans would be his target at least once in a while.

  18. What a bunch of horseshit. Did you just wake up from a several decade nap or something. The president has solid support in the Democratic Party and considering the state of the economy, handed to him by Bush and sabotaged by Republicans ever since, his approval rating is quite good at this point. Both Clinton and Reagan were much worse off under similar economic circumstances. Just be saying that shit, doesn’t make it so. I know if helps you to maintain your mindset and self brainwashing, but it isn’t true.

    The Democratic Party has certainly shifted to the middle over the years, Ronald Reagan began the process over 30 years ago. The Republicans did a masterful job of changing the narrative in this country at the grass roots level and swinging the majority of our country to the middle. The Democratic Party has just adapted, unfortunately, to that swing to the middle. Whether you want to admit it or not, the majority of the American people are pretty moderate, they aren’t on either extreme of the political spectrum. So to expect any politician to stake out a position on either extreme and then get elected in a national race is “head in the sand” thinking. It’s pretty hard to govern unless you get elected.

    I don’t think Democrats need the luck, I think anyone who thinks that a third party can magically appear without doing the hard work of getting the public to go along with you by changing attitudes at ground level, well, you need the luck.

  19. If this matters to you I am sure you will find ample criticism of the Bush administration on civil liberties during that period. Greenwald’s critical stance did not begin three years ago.

    I certainly agree that politics is in part about persuasion but I’m not sure I can carry that to the point of persuading them when I know that the candidate, when in office, has not pursued the values the person I’m persuading upholds.

    “That’s kind of what politics is about…” could be taken as condescending, not just to me but, to the notion of its also including principles and substance.

  20. Well then let’s take it further, what candidate DOES pursue the values that you have? Please, name names. And will they ever be elected and actually get a chance to pursue those values. I’m pragmatic and honest with myself, the two party system is pretty strong and not in fear of collapsing anytime soon. I don’t like the conservadems in my party, in fact I very much dislike them, but I also know that if they weren’t in those seats, a Republican would be. That’s reality. And I know for a lot of people, pragmatism and living in reality is not their thing. They would rather throw rocks at both parties and bitch and whine and often not vote at all, yet they continue to bitch and whine instead of working to change things. As a proud Democrat, I fill out party surveys, I write letters, I attend rally’s, I talk to party leaders in my community. And I know my party isn’t perfect, but there is a huge difference between the two and if you and others don’t see that, then I don’t know what I can say to convince you. Have a nice day.

  21. In 2008 I could have answered your question, “Well then let’s take it further, what candidate DOES pursue the values that you have? Please, name names. And will they ever be elected and actually get a chance to pursue those values.” with Barack Obama’s name, saying he would be elected (and working to persuade others to vote for him) and would have a chance to pursue those values, trimming some around the edges but with a clear trajectory in the direction I think best for my country. I feel uncomfortable persuading anyone now although I’m sure I’ll end up voting for him for the reason you suggest, the Republicans would be worse.

    I don’t dispute that there is a difference between the parties and I choose to be a Democrat. I question, in the wake of the president’s first term conduct on the issues that are important to me, whether or not I should try to persuade any personality type to support him.

    I am not an absolutist on my issues but there are examples of President Obama not only changing the trajectory on them from his campaign comments but going beyond the Bush administration in the opposite direction. How does one simply overlook that reversal without saying, in effect, even if he follows the apparent policies of the other party, I will support him and urge others to do so? Something about that just doesn’t sound right to me.

  22. So what’s the different between the “narcissist Left” and the whining posted here?

    We’re dems. For pete’s sake – our very nature is to fight among ourselves.

    If you’re really into group harmony and marching in lockstep to the drumbeat of authority, perhaps there’s another major political party where you’d be more comfortable.

  23. I agree totally, and would add that when they fail to acknowledge his accomplishments, even if they aren’t exactly as they would have written them, it is also being dishonest. I think I’m about to do another accomplishments post to get the recent ones in the public eye.

  24. No horseshit pal. We just aren’t the same type of liberal. I am not a Democrat. I subscribed to a blog called “Extreme Liberal”, not one called “Extremely Partisan Clintonian Democrat”. You are not anything close to a liberal. Anybody who’s happy with the Dems right now is sleeping or is a moderate conservative. You said it yourself. This country’s politics has been systematically shifted to the right for the past thirty years. True liberals know this and have not been happy with politics for years. I guess I was just fooled by the title of the blog and your handle. Good luck licking up the crumbs that the Dems feed you for your vote as they continue to sell out the New Deal to the insane Republicants.

  25. Since commenting in item 8, above, I’ve tried to clarify for myself why I am angry and reluctant to encourage others to support Obama and I am “trying this on for size” as it looks like it may fit: He suggested in his campaign positions which, when the situation called for him to take a strong stand (at least as the initial point in a negotiation with the opposition over it), he did not do so. In fact, he often behaved like a school teacher who tells Johnny that “yes, it is fun to put Julie’s hair in the inkwell but Julie doesn’t like it so we must talk about it in class and see what is best to do,” i.e. he is essentially non-judgmental and doesn’t seem to even try to assert vigorously Julie’s right to have Johnny leave her hair alone.

    I thought, mistakenly, that he would be a spokesman and pole from which negotiations were conducted with the opposition, ultimately arriving at some “best compromise available.” Instead, he has chosen – all too frequently for my taste – to say how much he shares the objectives of the other side and he frequently speaks of going beyond their stated objectives to something more boldly in line with their views. Pardon me, but this conduct by a person who is supposed to represent a particular perspective – and led us to believe in his campaign that he did support one – at odds with that of the other party, seems outright bizarre. When coupled with the agreements he has made and, in the case of my special issues, civil liberties intrusions, he has embraced and increased, I am uncertain about who he is, what he thinks, and what he will do in a second term.

    Although this would not be the first time, I really don’t like having to support someone for president because I suspect the opposition candidate would be worse. But, best I can remember, and I am getting old, I have not previously been so uncertain about what the president really believed and was willing to “stand up for” as I am in Obama’s case.

    I am not looking for “center-right” solutions because that is where the country has been pulled; I am looking for someone to pull it back toward the center and, ideally, the left. I accept that he will have to compromise but I want him to compromise from positions he gave me reason to believe he supported when he got my vote the first time.

    I don’t see him pulling leftward so much as peace-making with people who don’t want peace, they want their views to prevail and they will work to make that happen.

  26. Yes, any Democrat who actually wants to WIN an election sounds most EXTREME to me. My vote will go for Nader or Kucinich if they end up on some ballot somewhere.

  27. Exactly. How can support Obama when he continually sells us down the road and his only reply is if you don’t like him, then you’ll be in tears if it’s a Republican? Obama is good at speeches but bad at governing. I may be in tears if the Repubs win, but I don’t care much. Do you want Bush light or Bush heavy? It’s all Bush in the end.

  28. wrong its not all ‘Bush’ in the end. You’re using the argument that its all the same in the end so basically don’t vote which basically helps a REAL person like Bush or way worse to win. This is an irrational way of thinking that goes way back with progressive self defeatism. Your ideal is if your exact desires aren’t meant to just stay home and then you guys cry and bitch about people like Scott Walker or Michelle Bachman and pathetically make claims that it should have been the democrat to win but he/she didn’t because you assholes stayed home and moped for not getting what you wanted.

    You represent everything wrong with liberals as they don’t get what they want they simply stay home or vote for the other guy to teach them a lesson, all the while wondering why such a minority of people identify themselves conservative vs progressive when so many actually have progressive ideals. Maybe its cause you guys never sell yourselves and instead of doing so turn people against you.

    Oh btw Obama is not even close to Bush. AKA Don’t Ask Don’t Tell getting repealed, Bush would have vetoed that even a Bush lite wouldn’t have gone for that at all. So think again jackass.

  29. I don’t represent liberals. I am liberal. Your type of liberal compromises with the neo-fascists in the Republican party, selling out and quietly grumbling the whole way. If you had a brain, you’d realize that I did not say that Bush and Obama are close. I am saying the results are the same.

    Wrong? Let’s check the evidence. Bush didn’t change social security or medicare or put them on the table for negotiation. Obama did. Bush started an illegal war in Iraq and probably Afghanistan; Obama continued both and started an illegal war in Libya. Bush opened Guantanamo and dark sites around the world; Obama continues them. Bush initiated the PATRIOT act. Obama continues to renew them. Bush allowed the criminals in his administration to get away with murder and corruption at a probably unprecedented level. Obama basically pardoned them and continues to protect them. Obama promised me the health care that members of Congress get. Instead (someday) we get the health care that insurance companies provide. If we can’t afford that, the government will help us. At least Bush didn’t get the government involved with that. Obama promised me the end of the Bush tax cuts while they continue to this day, three years into the guy’s term. Obama whines for tax increases for the rich, but the rich continue to enjoy the best tax situation in 60 years. Obama promised us jobs and economy in the alternative energy sector. Today he is considering whether or not allow the Trans-Canadian pipeline down the middle of my country. Was the BP oil spill Obama’s Katrina? Maybe. My list goes on, but even an idiot like yourself cannot deny that Bush couldn’t have done a much worse job. The Bush Light title sticks Bozo. I actually know you’re not stupid. You’re more dangerous. You’re a center right drone who thinks he’s liberal and you are ready to accept Obama’s nonsense because you’re afraid of the Republicans. Now is not the time for fearing the Republicans. Now is the time for boldness and hard work for real change. Good luck to you, you’re going to need it.

  30. Okay you want Obama to raise taxes without congress… Could you please explain how he can do this without being impeached or is it just that you don’t know anything about our government.

    As for Libya we’re offering aid and Obama is acting within the war powers act so sorry its not illegal. BTW I think after reading this article: oh and this: that Kucinich and the rest of the republicans that support impeaching Obama over this decision should be impeached and tried for war crimes themselves for aiding and abetting this evil, disgusting dictator.

  31. Well Jeff, is that the best you got with all of the charges I made?

    Obama can’t raise taxes now. He squandered his mandate and refused to lead when the country was ready and the Repubs were on the ropes. We needed Roosevelt and we got (dare I say) Jimmy Carter, a really great guy actually, but not the best President.

    According to International Law, an unprovoked attack is an illegal war. Obama and the NATO forces that America is a part of are committing acts of war without being attacked. This is not new for America. This is just more of the same old sh!t. Illegal by standards of International Law that we supposedly uphold and represent as treaty signatories. Oh and you are going to tell me that bombs = aid? Now who sounds like a Republican?

    I never said I am in favor of impeaching Obama. He’s committed no worse crimes than his last 11 predecessors. There were only one and a half impeachments in the lot. America has lost its way and it’s going to take a lot more than an impeachment or two to put it back on the right path. I think it’s going to take an enlightened public with the courage to return to our progressive values such as they were in the first 35 years of the post-WWII period.

    I guess I should let you know that Constitutionally speaking, at the federal level, Article II of the United States Constitution (Section 4) states that “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeaching, while the United States Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments. The removal of impeached officials is automatic upon conviction in the Senate. In Nixon v. United States (1993), the Supreme Court determined that the federal judiciary cannot review such proceedings.

    So most of the people you are in favor of impeaching would not qualify, or is that something you don’t know about government?

    Nice try and good luck. Keep educating yourself.

  32. why is it that people like you reduce yourselves to 100 year old quotes whenever you hear something you disagree with? Is it because you guys can’t come up with anything original or something?

  33. I tell you this much if Rick Perry or Bachman become president don’t complain, don’t cry. People like you were the reason that Bush got in. You didn’t get everything you wanted, so you turned on them and voted the opposite like you will doubtless do in this election. I can just tell you will probably campaign for Perry or Romney, or either vote third party which is basically throwing your vote away. Yet your the very people that cry and railed against Bush but at the same time try to claim that Bush and Gore wouldn’t have been any different. Kinda like Micheal Moore who backed Nader in 2000 and then turned and complained that Gore didn’t fight enough when Bush won.

    Obama and THE UN, NATO, France, hell even muslim communities along with rebels are going for Gadafi, that isn’t an illegal war stupid. Another thing we’re mostly providing aid via using drones. Your living in the 1900’s in a past that doesn’t even really exist because your taught that history should, your calling me a republican when you don’t realize that the world is more complex and not everyone who is democrat is peace loving, not everyone whose a republican is a war monger either. I can also tell that your an isolationist, your exactly the type of person in world war 2 to “say back off lets not get involved.”

  34. The only selling down the road that has been going on has been from the Professional Left who started criticizing him before he was fucking sworn in. And mandates are fucking fantasies, especially in this day and age. Did the GOP give him a mandate? NO. Did the Professional Left give him a mandate? Fuck no, in fact, they took away what little momentum he had by nitpicking his cabinet picks. Did the media give him a mandate, Fuck NO again. Tell us where and when this mandate actually existed besides in your revisionist history mind. And in the midst of a near depression, President Obama had no choice but to deal with Ben Nelson, Mary Landriu and even Olympia Snowe and Susan Colins in order to get past the lock-step Republicans. Do you whiners ever acknowledge any of that, Fuck NO again.

    And you aren’t a fucking liberal, no way. Anyone who can type this “Do you want Bush light or Bush heavy? It’s all Bush in the end.” is out of their fucking mind, sorry, but you need to have your head examined. I suspect you are a Republican troll paid to go on liberal blogs and foment dissension and spread your bullshit. Do they pay you pretty well?

  35. I have lived under 13 presidents born in Roosevelt’s second administration. There has NEVER been a president who pleased me 100%. Not all of MY wishes were addressed. But then I am ONE person, not a nation. As far as 35 years of “progresssive” values that allegedly ran our nation until 1980? An undeclared war in Korea…called a “police action”, a war in Vietnam….all under Democratic presidents? How progressive! My education in the 1940’s and 50’s was not progressive. Texts and many teachers railed against socialism and we kids went home to search for “commies” under our beds. Our Congress inserted “under God” in the pledge to the flag to show those atheist “commies” that ‘mericans were on God’s side and therefore God must be on ours. Nobody addressed the injustices in the GLBT communities where Americans were jailed, attacked, not allowed to gather in public places. Racist Jim Crow laws existed until the mid-60’s and it took Republican votes led by Sen. Irv Dirksen and Rep. Charles Halleck to give LBJ a majority to pass his civil/voting rights agenda. In the Senate, the “Party of Lincoln” voted 82% vs Democrats voting 69% and in the House, 80% GOP to 63% Democratic. So it was Republicans who were “progressives” supporting Lyndon Johnson.

    Truman let lose the nuclear bombs that killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians. Although HST integrated the armed forces, he also attempted to take over the nation’s railroads and steel mills when workers were going to strike. But his vetos of Taft-Hartley (always over-rided by Congress) was a progressive, pro-labor stance.

    John F. Kennedy, as a US Senator voted against President Eisenhower’s Civil Rights legislation in 1957 and once in office, put civil rights on a back burner. It was LBJ who actually acted upon legislation to end the Jim Crow abuses. JFK initially opposed the Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “March on Washington” only coming to support it at the last moment in order to help get the black vote in 1964. Attorney General Robert Kennedy even gave his support for the FBI to wiretap Martin Luther King, Jr. whom J. Edgar Hoover believed might be a communist.

    I could on and on with examples of “progressives” who didn’t always push forth progressive ideals, but these are examples of Presidents during my lifetime whose decisions I didn’t agree with. But then I don’t believe there are PERFECT men. The first Democrat I actively worked for (after defecting from the GOP that had been hijacked by racists) was Sen. George McGovern. He was a real “progressive” idealist who only got only the votes of ONE state….Massachusetts, proving that the USA is not a liberal nation. No wonder a Dennis Kucinich or a Ralph Nader only get one-digit percentages of the vote. We are moving right in politics and religion and any progressive wishing to WIN must be flexible, willing to compromise. Mostly a better job of educating/communicating what liberalism means needs to be addressed. We have had many popular socialist institutions in place for over a century that many Americans don’t realize are “socialist”.

  36. I loved the South Park show that showed the SMUG Gerald Broflovski moving his family to liberal San Francisco in his new PRIUS. Creators Parker and Stone contend that limousine liberals replaced “smog” with “smug”!

    These “liberals” were so in love with themselves, they even enjoyed smelling their own farts:

    I was reminded of the Nader folks I used to argue with online back when I was a regular poster at Alternet. They bragged about voting for their savior, Ralph Nader, touting “voting their conscience” which actually placed George W. Bush into power in 2001, beginning the downward slide of our nation that Obama now has to contend turning around.

  37. Miami Herald African-American columnist, Leonard Pitts, Jr., supports Rep. Maxine Waters outburst telling the Tea Party….”to go to Hell”! For those who are condemning Waters for “uncivility” he reminds us of the extremely uncivil teabaggers at “town halls” last year, their rock-throwing at windows of Congress members’ offices. Pitts does have some criticism for Democrats and President Obama….

    Democrats have been their usual hapless, communicatively challenged selves, the congressional equivalent of the kid in school who walks around all day with “Kick Me” taped to his back, then wonders why people keep kicking him.

    The need for a viable third party has seldom been more apparent. What is lost here, though, is not simply points for a given party but, rather, our very ability to compromise, which is, after all, the soul of politics. Nor, obviously, will Waters’ intemperate remark do anything to bring that ability back.

    But it does acknowledge a reality President Obama refuses to accept: Compromise requires a partner. When the other party’s bottom line is that you fail, when that is the opponent’s prime directive, the most important item on their agenda, then you lack both that partner and any basis for negotiation.

    People like to see some “spine” and for sure candidates like Rick Perry will attempt to show they are “manly men”. Even Mitt Romney might buy himself some spine. The REICH will try to focus on leadership as much as they do the economy trying to make voters forget the Republicans have done nothing to create JOBS.

  38. Wouldn’t Jimmy Carter be a progressive? I watched a documentary (he was before my time) and found that he seemed to have a very progressive personality and wanted to bring a lot of things that people wanted but he ran into a huge wall that he couldn’t get out of. It seemed that his views were stagnant and he couldn’t make crucial decisions that made him appear weak to the American public. Finally Progressives turned on him and voted for Reagan because of how Carter was turning against many of his progressive principles or this at least seemed to be how others viewed him.

    Also I’ve looked at certain facts and history about this time period and found that Carter was a much better president then many gave him credit for being. Far from the worse president, he actually did a lot of good things that were often overlooked by conservatives and progressives. Such as drawing a sort of truce between Israel and Egypt. I think in the end Carter was way better and Reagan was way worse than what people believe.

  39. Never a big fan of libertarian South Park. A lot of them are funny but the messages that they throw around can be teeth grinding and false yet the animators seem to like to act that they know everything, especially about global warming where they believe its just some political stand point which it isn’t.

  40. Parker and Stone claim to be apolitical and neither is religious (Stone’s mother is Jewish but he is not observant). They deal in satire skewering those with more extreme views, both left and right. We all know vegans, environmentalists, animal lovers, religious persons who go over the line, so to speak.

    They have certainly mocked conservative groups and people on their show, but they tend to skewer liberals more often. Why? “Ripping on Republicans is not that fun for us only because everyone else does it,” Matt explained. “It’s so much more fun for us to rip on liberals only because nobody else does it, and not because we think liberals are worse than Republicans but, just because…”

    “’s like fresh snow. I mean how’re you gonna rip on Sarah Palin in a new way?” Trey pointed out.

  41. Problem is Grant that I’m not buying it. Global warming is not some political thought or up to debate. Its real and these guys really don’t seem to get it which makes them as far as I’m concerned part of the problem.

  42. Grant,

    You’re right. I guess I meant progressive in terms of the New Deal and Great Society reforms. I meant that society had more progressive tendencies. Unions were strong. Civil rights were on the rise. People believed in equality more. The middle class was growing and continued to do so until 1975. I am not saying life was perfect and rosy. I just feel that the country was socially on the right track.

    In international affairs I have to agree that the US has been headed elsewhere due to America’s response the Soviet Union. From that we saw the rise of secrecy and the military industrial complex which has continued to exert its influence so that today the ex-vice president can almost openly feed defense contracts to the company he used be a member of the boards of the directors. Imagine that happening pre-Reagan. The country would have been up in arms, if the newspapers had caught wind of it.



  43. Grant,

    Are you happy receiving the crumbs that the Democrats throw your way now?

    Maybe if more people voted their conscience, we wouldn’t have to choose between hamburger A and hamburger B each election season. Personally I am not happy with the results. We chose John Kerry because he was “electable”. He couldn’t even win. I am just tired of timid, limp Democrats who seem unable to know what they stand for or how to implicit their agendas once they get into office. Equally I am tired of Republicans who can. They have been the ones to throw the country off the track. Maybe if people voted their conscience, the Democrats would stop trying to win by strategy and would choose to send someone who has the courage and ability to make real change. In the meantime we continue in this era to head into decline.

  44. Whine whine whine. You’re the one who’s not the liberal. You’re just a partisan Democrat. It’s different. As a liberal I have a belief system that is independent of party. Everything you say and do says that you’re just a partisan Democrat. That’s why you cannot see that Obama has been ineffective. That’s why your argument are always rooted in party. The Democrats have traditionally been the only party for liberals to turn to. However thanks to the Dems continually ignoring liberal causes (lip service does not count), I am fed up. Your best and most revealing remark is that you accuse me of being some sort of GOP agent. You obviously have no idea of anything beyond party. My suggestion is that you find out what a true liberal is before trying to pick up the mantel. Currently it’s beyond your abilities. I can tell from your remarks that you are quite young and I want to be kinder to you, but your insistence on name-calling, party baiting, and unkind attitude makes me lose all sympathy for your ignorance.



  45. I wrote a piece about polls and I’ll state it again. Polling nowadays has steadily become less reliable than it used to be, not to mention less scientific. For example in a recent election Harry Reid should have lost against Sharon Angle and yet did not. The 2008 election should have been a lot closer, yet it wasn’t. Basically in a nut shell I refuse to trust polls, especially those by yahoo a deciding more republican leaning site.

  46. All right I give up. Talking to some of you guys reminds me of talking to those people who continue to insist that Obama is not a citizen. No matter how much evidence you come up with, no matter how solid your arguments, they continue to believe what they want to believe.

    Well take heart. If a Democrat wins next time, it will be Obama and you can continue to enjoy it as he sells out the last vestiges of the progressive era. He’ll be crying and complaining about it the whole time, but it’ll do no good against the dirty tricks of the Repub side as they continue to pervert our democracy by continuing to serve the interests of the corporations over the interests of the actual citizens of this country. I hope I am wrong, but, as they say, if you do the same thing over and over expecting a different result, that is one definition of insanity. To me that is the dysfunction of the left.

  47. So by NOT voting, you SMUG “progressive” ideologues can enjoy President Rick Perry and then like a “Monday morning quarterback” brag, “I told you so”. Remember fascism in Germany of the 1930’s was actually a small group like our present day teabaggers, but their ideology grew like a cancer. I hope you are as happy in 2020 with the kind of government we could have here.

  48. Just watched you interview with goldie taylor about jayz and beyonce. Focus on the positive in african americans and those thought as negative with follow. what a man thinketh he is. Stop neutering the black race. We are all good if we are represented as good. Focus on our positives. My husband, son, his friends are all accomplish and successful men and father we live in Richton park, Il. Bless the black man. Let us speak. Stop silencing us. We have things to say. Why is all the comments closed. you might learn something if you listen. All my husband listens to is msnbc night and day. He drives me crazy. Run some articles how educated and positive that black man is so he can lift his head up and another thing where are all the romantic movies for the black women. Where is our brad pitt? I love romantic movies. But there are none with black men. I love the brideges of Madison County the Notebook. But some black men in romantic movies. Black woman are starving for educated,, professional, eloquent, distinquished black men.

  49. So you’re just saying give up, right? My choice is Bush or Bush light. I would rather vote for a real candidate that reflects my true opinions. I would rather work hard and get others on board so that we can some real change going, which is why I keep the dialog going. I say vote third party. If the Dems don’t win this time, maybe next time they’ll listen to their progressive base and act with conviction. However with the dysfunction I spoke about above, I don’t have high hopes and so the fascists you mention will win either way I vote the way you want me to.

    I am sorry you don’t like what you perceive as “SMUG”, but you shouldn’t shoot the messenger of truth, you should take that truth and do something with it to create a real change, don’t you think?

    Good luck with Obama or Perry. Either way you’re screwed.

  50. Good luck with your THIRD PARTY which in our history have never been successful (and with the Electoral College will never be) . Ross Perot did the best with 19% of the vote. However, he took enough votes away from George H.W. Bush to allow Bill Clinton to slide into power with only 43% of the vote. Anyone who voted for Perot actually voted for Clinton. So be “smug” with your Third Party candidate whoever he/she may be. None have announced so far, except maybe the perennial Lyndon LaRouche. And then the “Rent is too damn high” party might field a candidate. All of those REAL “progressives” (in their minds) who voted for Ralph Nader actually gave our nation 8 years of Bush/Cheney, but I imagine all sleep well, snug and smug in their little beds.

    Why are progressives demanding Obama “walk on water”… sitting back and letting him carry most of the load? Where are the progressives in Congress speaking out loudly now that Wiener and Grayson are gone? What happened to the progressive leadership of Pelosi and Reid? The Democratic politicians are as afraid of the REICH teabaggers as are the disappearing GOP “moderates”. Too much hope was pinned onto Obama to do everything. Hope and change has to come from the American people too. When wealthy Republicans buy up 90% of all radio, run Fox and Trinity TV, the American voter gets bombast around the clock with hate and lies about progressives and President Obama. Why aren’t Buffet and Soros buying up any radio station that is for sale? Maybe because they aren’t big profit centers? The majority of the nation’s writers in Hollywood and in the media are liberals yet we can’t seem to get a message across. Is this Obama’s fault?

  51. Well Grant,

    If you don’t know the answer to any of those questions you asked me, experience tells me that you won’t believe what I tell you. Let’s just say that there are answers to all of those questions and I bet you know that.

    As for your comment on Nader. I thought like you at the time in 2000, but let’s put the blame where it really was. The Supreme Court stole that election and you know it.

    Obviously if you I say, “white”, you’ll say “black”. Whatever. If you really want to debate instead of just be contrarian to everything I say, let’s talk.

    In the meantime I know that this site is not about being progressive or liberal. It’s really an extremely partisan Democratic blog. And I find it funny that you call out my progressive beliefs with arguments completely based on party.

    Either you believe in government helping others in time of need and providing certain services or you don’t (I do). Either you believe in unions or you don’t (I do). Either you believe in Social Security or you don’t (I do). Either you believe the government should be doing all it can to reign in Big Insurance’s hold on our healthcare system or you don’t (I do). Either you believe the government is becoming a corporatocracy or you don’t (I do). Either you believe that we spend too much on defense or you don’t (I do). Either you believe the government is shredding our Constitutional and Civil Rights or you don’t (I do). Either you believe that government and religion should stay mutually exclusive or you don’t (I do). Either you believe in a woman’s right to choose or you don’t (I do). Either you believe in equal rights for LGBT or you don’t (I do). The list goes on, but you get the point. My positions are liberal and progressive. You never say what you believe. You just argue party party party and how much you hate and fear the Repubs. The Democrats have been either ineffective or completely ignoring liberal issues. I don’t need them to walk on water. How about just showing up to the gunfight with a gun (instead of boxing gloves) and fighting for our side once in a while instead of letting the Republicans blow them to Kingdom Come? Are the Dems just incompetent or really working with the other team? Either way the result has been the same. I am fed up and (as polls are indicating) I know most real liberals are as well.


  52. If you have read my comments online, Quimby, for the past 10 years (half of them at AlterNet) you would know what I believe. I am a PRAGMATIC progressive who likes winning. You just trot onto this site thinking you know us all (BTW Jim “Extreme Liberal” is no young whippersnapper as you assumed the other day as he is a grandfather).

    I also say “I do” to your litany of progressive positions and I am sure President Obama would also. But show me a Republican candidate who would answer “I do” to most or any of them! The REALITY of our world is that this is a partisan nation and I am glad to call myself a Democrat after being raised in an active Republican family where family members served 28 years in county and state political offices. Thankfully, they are mostly moderates with several admitting voting for Obama. But I have seen some of the younger family being taken in by the Tea Party. Both of my Hoosier parents were Union members and I grew up with good Union healthcare. I chose to be a Democrat in the late 60’s when the Party of Lincoln actively recruited racist Democrats to come on over and join Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” to turn the Old South from blue to red. It hasn’t been easy living now for nearly a half century with my decision to change voter registration when most of my family, friends, classmates, fraternity brothers are mostly Republican. In a squabble in 2000 over the recount (which BTW if not for Nader’s voters wouldn’t’ have been close enough for such a recount battle avoiding the Supremes), I had to eat my Thanksgiving turkey alone in a restaurant as I wasn’t invited to any family dinners. I had been arguing with them for Al Gore to be declared a winner (more so than Gore argued in the end I fear). I recently had a frat brother “unfriend” me on Facebook probably due to my sharing some feelings there and not hitting the “like” button on his right-wing remarks. He knew me as a fellow YAF buddy in college and didn’t know I had changed parties as we hadn’t had contact since 1962 until recently. Today on Facebook, I “hid” this posting by a cousin:

    I am upset that Obama hasn’t done everything yet that he promised. As a gay man in an 11 year relationship, I wanted Obama to focus on GLBT problems in his second term, knowing that the right would use such as a wedge issue in his second campaign to help defeat him. But Rachel Maddow, Dan Choi and some others couldn’t see it that way and probably have turned away gay voters from Obama next year with their very public bashings. So maybe we will get a Rick Perry who hates gays. I have waited for years and seen vast improvement in gay rights since coming out in 1965. Waiting a couple more years doesn’t bother me as what happens in the law has had no effect on my relationship with my partner.

    I have been upset that Obama hasn’t been the fighter we progressives wanted him to be, that he too often either avoids a fight or like in this latest “speech date” fiasco seems to have walked away. First of all WHO had the bright idea of scheduling the speech for the same night as the Republican debate, only to back down? James Carville said that even though he supports Barack Obama, he would tuned into the debate instead. You can always read about Obama’s “plan” in the paper the next day or online. Most Americans won’t be watching either anyway and some Survivor or X Factor fans would be pissed their network shows were pre-empted. Now its on Thursday night and maybe over before the kick-off of the Saints-Packers game. Fox Sports wouldn’t pre-empt it anyway.

    I wonder how much race enters into Obama’s mind? Would he be bolder if he didn’t fear labels like “angry black man” or “uppity” etc. being applied to him? I was a straight A student during most of my school years, yet my C student brother became a multi-millionaire, much more successful in the world of business than I. Childhood friends have commented that they thought it would be the other way around. I do know that being gay, I probably wasn’t as aggressive as I might have been if instead I were straight, married with children, etc. I was fired by two different corporations in my 7 years working in California just as soon as a co-worker (after my job) outed me to other employees and my bosses. Such experiences tend to make one somewhat gun shy and maybe easier to back down. Most everyone (maybe not Cheney) wants to be liked but you can’t please everyone but Obama needs to please a majority of voters again.

  53. All right brother,

    I see we agree on a lot and so I don’t feel as suspicious. Sometimes I think that the people on this site are just out to pick a fight. The level of hostility for a single opposing viewpoint out of many that we agree on can lead to a firestorm.

    I want to thank you for telling me your story and I wish you the best.


  54. I’ve been a little busy and have missed a lot of the comments. So Quimby doesn’t think I’m a liberal or progressive, but a partisan Democrat. Why would the 3 be mutually exclusive? I ams what I ams, a proud Democrat, a proud liberal (I never abandoned the term liberal for the wimpy progressive label), I’m a socialist in ideology, if you care to know. I think we should take care of every one of our people, sick, poor, disabled, mentally ill…everyone. I’m in a union and I strongly support unions. If a society is truly advanced, it would find a way to take care of all of it’s people.

    I also know in my young almost 50 years on the planet, that there are consequences to elections. Sending a signal with your vote or thinking that you will teach them a lesson if you vote the Dems down, is fucking crazy. The signal it sends, which is perpetuated by the ignorant motherfucking media, is that Democrats lost and Republicans won! It doesn’t make Democrats want to be more liberal, it makes them want to be more like fucking Republicans, because the whole fucking stupid population believes the propaganda that the most watched cable network and the most listened to radio network pump out ever goddamn fucking day. So yes, I want Democrats to win every fucking election they have a candidate in. If the idiots in a district nominate a stupid conservadem, I’m still going to vote for that Democrat because, I know that ELECTIONS MATTER.

    And Quimby, that whole black and white rant you did, either/or thing….yeah, everything is that simple. Yep, sure! Uh huh!

    Now, I have some work to do. Peace,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s