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
B – It lends a little specificity, yeah, I …but I’m right there with you on Rethuglicans…it’s so bad, cuz I spent a lot of time criticizing the Republicans for saying the Democrat Party, which is the same sort of thing, they come up with Rethuglicans as if that’s the best we can do.
C – Again, it’s like…it’s fucking 10 year olds yelling at each other on a playground
B – Yeah, ah, what it comes down to here is, once again I think, there’s such thin skin on the left, every time someone even remotely associated with the Obama campaign, again, this guy is the New Mexico state director. It’s not like, you know, Bill Dailey is saying this from the resolute desk in the oval office to a bunch of reporters. This is a low level guy…
C – David Plouffe didn’t make a joke about like, you know, fucking Jane Hamsher from behind.
B – Hahahaha…no, definitely not, and you know, it’s ah. Everyone flips their shit, this happens every time. Every time someone remotely associated with the White House or the Obama campaign or what have you, says something critical, you know, I guess, what was last time..Robert Gibbs said something about the Professional Left, when in fact he was. Speaking…Robert Gibbs was talking about the cable news people, the professional left, he wasn’t talking about bloggers. But of course, you know, we like to play the victim as often as possible.
C – Wasn’t Hamsher’s reaction something, I’m almost positive I didn’t, I skimmed over it today, didn’t it included the word narcissism or narcissist, didn’t it?
B – Well , yeah, I um looking at part of the response here, and this part of the Huffington post piece, oh yeah, yeah, it does…Jane Hamsher responded, “if this is the brilliant political strategy on the part of OFA”…it’s not, it’s one guy from New Mexico sending out an email…”someone is going to have to explain it to me” she says. “I know the goal is to attract the much prized independent for 2012…
C – Right, someone is going to have to come and grovel before Jane Hamsher.
B – Jane cont. “but who do they think is keeping Obama’s poll numbers afloat”…it’s President Obama, by the way, “what exactly does OFA think they stand to gain by ridiculing Krugman as a political rookie, a hysterical fanatic and ideologue” that’s what they are referring to Krugman and I disagree with that.
C – I disagree with it too, I don’t agree with everything Krugman says, but obviously he’s a very bright guy and I tend to…I know when he’s kind of going off, I don’t want to say going off the rails. I mean, I can tell when he’s angry, let’s put it that way. And when that is sort of influencing the stuff that he writes.
B – Yeah, I mean I don’t agree with everything he, Krugman has to say, but when it comes to economics, it’s very difficult to disagree with a Nobel Prize winner.
C – No, yeah, yeah, yeah…he’s brilliant I very rarely disagree with him. I don’t think I’m really in a position to one way of the other.
B – Well you know what else I also disagree with the content of this email that Sandoval sent around, or this blog post because it was all about defending the debt deal, the debt ceiling deal. I totally disagree with that deal, I think it was a terrible, terrible deal.
C – I agree completely but I mean hearing Hamsher bring up the word narcissist is hysterical for several reasons, the first of which is her narcissism is the worst kept secret in liberal activist politics. Hamsher calling somebody a narcissist is like Gerard Depardieu criticizing someone for having impulse control issues. It’s just, it’s bullshit. Everyone knows that she…nobody loves Jane Hamsher more than Jane Hamsher loves herself and she can do all the complaining she wants about this, she is loving every second of the fact that somebody in the Obama administration singled out her organization and slapped a pejorative term on them and brought them up in what she’s calling an official memo, whatever. She’s loving every single fucking second of it, because nobody loves the spotlight more than Jane Hamsher and that’s why she’s always been full of shit..
B- Well it benefits Jane Hamsher and this is exactly what she’s doing with her response, she’s trying to make it seem like…
C – She is the old Al Franken bit, I’m sure you’re wondering how this is going to affect me, Jane Hamsher.
B- But what she wants to do is paint it as if the entire Obama For America campaign is ganging up on her and Krugman and all of the far left, at least the left blogosphere. And it’s not the case, but in order to play the victim correctly, she can’t say, Oh well it’s Ray Sandoval ganging up on me, no, it’s all of OFA. I mean talk about delusions of grandeur. Like the entire campaign…
C – That’s exactly what it is..
B- Yeah, so he sent it out as a member of that organization but it doesn’t matter, he clearly wasn’t speaking for all of OFA. It’s his own opinion, that’s obvious. Be intellectually honest about this, but when your playing the victim, intellectual honesty doesn’t come into play at all and that’s exactly what she’s doing here. When she said…
C – But she’s not playing the victim because she’s…playing is the operative word, not victim. She’s not playing the victim because she’s genuinely hurt or upset or any of it, she’s playing the victim because it brings her more attention. And I’m not saying that at some point Hamsher wasn’t one hundred percent pure in her convictions and that she isn’t still somewhat, but these days…once again, worst kept secret, everybody knows that it’s all about Jane.
B – Yep
C- She loves every single second of the attention.
B – Well and I would go so far as to say that it was a calculation. When the president was elected and inaugurated, there was a, you know, lot of buzz going around that what do we do, who do we criticize now, how does the left blogosphere survive having a Democrat in the White House. What do we do? And I think there was a calculation.
C – You become Glenn Greenwald.
B – You become Glenn Greenwald, but if you actually track the statistics, traffic actually really very seriously dropped at the end of 2008 beginning of 2009, I mean there was a massive drop off in traffic, everyone was suffering from lower traffic. Uh, the Huffington Post was suffering from lower traffic. There was a lot of concern that this was going to continue. How do you attain continued readership, how do you grow? Well the best thing that worked for them and for all of us during the Bush years was that sort of the vocal opposition to what was happening in the White House.
C – It’s the reason why Fox grew even larger, became even more of an empire than when Bush was in office once Obama took office. Being the opposition is always a good position to be in when it comes to either ratings or page hits.
B – Now, I don’t have any evidence or memos or secret emails that went around saying hey, you know what, let’s all gang up on the president and make him look like the second coming of George W. Bush for the sake of traffic and ratings. I don’t know that for sure.
C – I doubt very seriously that there are any, it was probably just, he didn’t give us the great progressive Utopia that we had demanded and we got what we wanted and now nobody is paying attention to us and so, you know, what the hell do we do now? And it’s just every little thing and it’s they pen these…you know like when you are Glenn Greenwald, he scrawls out these long didactic pieces that overflow with “asbergery” in detail but when you break them down they’re him basically just playing a condescending diva. He’s a smart guy, but when you are a smart guy who is funneling every drop of your indignation into like 3 or 4 subjects – Obama sucks, Bradley Manning’s a hero, uh, the US not wanting to see state secrets splashed all over the place by that asshole Assange shows what a corrupt place it is, all of it proves that in the end for all that sorta bluster that Greenwald goes on about intellectual honesty, he’s really just being a contrarian idealogue.
B – That’s right. Yeah.
C- And he’s not even consistent, and that’s the thing that pisses me off. I mean it’s and I don’t mean to go off on Greenwald here, but he bitches up a storm about how the US is this Orwelian evil…uh, and he does it while living most of his, spending most of his time in another country by the way. I don’t know, it’s frustrating to read after a while because you realize that he is a very sharp guy and yet he focuses on just a couple of subjects and it’s always drawing these…ehhh…really, it seems to be meant to poke anybody who thinks, you know, Obama is not the second coming. But there are things that he’s done that he’s done very well and the constant sort of beating him up over every little fucking thing is not accomplishing anything. But that’s not the way guys like Greenwald look at it. I mean, I think he believes what he believes but I know that he also likes the attention quite a bit…you know, another Hamsher.
B- I think there was an effort to maintain a certain level of hipster cred, I mean they needed to…they spent a lot of time during the bush years saying well you know our job is to oppose authority so once they get into a position where there’s kind of a friendlier face in that position of authority, they kind of had to make a calculation well we’ve gotta continue to oppose this person. It’s the cart leading the horse, you don’t oppose authority just for the sake of opposing authority. But on top of that there were a lot of self-fulfilling prophecies going on there; where there was during the campaign. Let’s not candy coat what the progressive blogosphere was doing during the campaign. As I said before, not everyone was behind the Obama campaign. It was split, there was a lot of people who were for John Edwards, there were a lot of people who were for Hillary Clinton, there was considerable number of people, sadly enough, who were for Dennis Kucinich. And so when president Obama won the nomination and he ended up, I think shortly after he got the nomination he ended up voting in favor of extending the warrantless wiretapping, I think that was like in June of 2008. So then it was like, oh holy hell, well here we go, wolf in sheep’s…
C – That was the automatic fuck you…in there eyes.
B – People start waving their fists, here’s an opportunity, we’re going to come out against this guy and then we’re going to do everything possible if he’s elected to vindicate our opposition…so we’re going to be a thorn in his side during the campaign and make all these predictions and then make sure that those predictions come true by spinning them in the right way after he’s elected. And that’s exactly what happened because I can’t see it any other way, I know what the record is. It’s no secret, you can look and see the achievements of the Obama administration. You can look and see the accomplishments of the Democratic congress…such that it was up until 2010. But it’s all there in black and white, the math doesn’t lie. And so the only way to oppose that is to ignore lots and lots of things. To be intellectually dishonest about the presidency.
C – Right, well once again, a guy like Greenwald has his sort of, like I said, his 3 or 4 subjects that he writes about, his pet subjects and he is consistent when referring to them but contradictory when referring to other cases that are actually quite a bit like them. You know, if it’s not something that he thinks is important, then it’s really kind of not important and you know, what drives home the diva point for me was it earlier this year, I think. The whole cloak and dagger horseshit about how Bank of America and it’s security firm HBGary or something like that were gonna…some memo got leaked about how they were, intimating, and really intimating that something had to be done about the “Greenwald problem” and Salon bent over backwards. They’re like, we take threats against one of our own very, very seriously. And of course Greenwald penned this very, very long piece with 18 updates tacked on the end of it because something, some new Eureka fucking moment struck him after he had already finished. And I read through it and once again, smart guy but the level of sorta narcissism that says, what I’m saying is so important, me a writer for Salon fucking dot com is so important that Bank of America has ah, the people who run Bank of America and there tech security firm have had a star chamber meeting where they’ve decided, you know, that Greenwald guy needs to be liquidated. Fucking come on!
B – Ha ha ha ha. Yeah, yeah!
C – It’s diva behavior
B – Let’s face it, and to a certain extent we’re all a little bit like this, there is a level of careerism here – everyone wants to make a name for themselves, everyone wants to step out and create the next big meme or create the next big argument as a means of furthering their career. You know what, ultimately there is nothing wrong with that but you should be able to do it in an intellectually honest way. You should be consistent and you should see reality in its most objective sense.
C- One week later and Peloponnesian prostitutes has not caught on and I’m very angry about that. It was not for a fucking lack of trying on my part.
B – But instead what you get is, what we’re seeing right now is just a lot of whining. You know, I wrote this on the blog and it bears repeating. One thing we do, one thing we keep complaining about is how the Democrats never show any spine, the president never gets up there and shows any spine, well, goddamn it, show some spine people. Jane Hamsher, show a little spine. If you disagree with what Sandoval included in an email, god forbid…and didn’t write himself, that someone else wrote. Again, another means of being intellectually honest – is actually seeing the news for the news. Just disagree with it on substance, but stop making it all about you. It’s not about you, Jane.
C – Once again, that’s the thing…it’s not. Spine never enters into it. It’s not about defending the point of view that she’s got that she feels is being attacked. It’s about milking it. It’s about turning it into something larger than it is. So that like you said, there’s careerism involved. Which part of me can’t blame her for, I mean fuck, good for her. She’s definitely made a name for herself out of this. I mean, who the hell knew who Jane Hamsher was before all this nonsense. Before the Firedoglake people went completely batshit.
B – It was the Firedoglake people who popularized, kind of the worse than Bush meme about the president. You know, and Glenn Geenwald helped a little bit, they’re sort of at the core. But I think there’s a broader discussion to be had around this, which is that…what worries me the most, and again, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, I think the Democratic Party, I think the left as well is entitled to be a big tent area where we have discussion and we disagree with each other because let’s face it, if you’re…you know a side that is focused on being intellectually honest, or we try to be, and we try to, you know, look at objective reality, empirical reality – then there’s going to be different points of view. But I think that with Jane and with the others, it gets lost in a lot of crying, just a lot of whining…they call it “hippie punching”…
C- Oh, I am a huge fan of the term “hippie punching” because when I wrote the piece for Huffington a while back where I kind of took Nicole Sandler, radio host…for those who don’t know, to task for getting arrested at the Alan West event down in south Florida, and I didn’t, not that her shouting questions at West was a bad thing or certainly that Alan West who’s a freakin psychopath doesn’t deserver to be shouted down. My point was that once the cop tells you what to do, you basically shut the hell up and do what he says unless you plan on being arrested, unless you are practicing civil disobedience. And if you are practicing civil disobedience, then great, get yourself arrested and shut up and don’t complain about it, but she didn’t. And so anyway, I wrote this piece…not knocking her, but just sort of criticizing her strategy, cuz I don’t think anything…once again, unless you are you are setting out to be civilly disobedient, I don’t think that anything good comes of making a scene of being arrested in front of a congressman. Yeah, but Brad called and said I wanted –Brad from the Bradblog — defended her and said that I was engaging in hippie punching, which I just fucking loved. Cuz I really, like Michelle Bachmann missed out on the Reagan era, I really missed out on the days that I could seriously punch a hippie in the mouth and I always wanted to.
B- Ha, ha, ha, ha…yeah, that’s right…I’ve talked about hippies a lot and…my issue with hippies is that they tend to be sellouts, they tend to do it for just so long and then they turn into middle managers and CEO’s. That’s what the hippies from the 60’s did, by and large. But what I, speaking of history, what I was leading up to was I lived through in a very active political sense, the election of 2000 and saw what happened with the left and how we utterly fell apart around the issue of Bill Clinton and Al Gore and how we sort of wrote off Al Gore and George Bush as being the same guy. I mean there were just so many liberals who were saying to themselves, you know, they’re basically the same person. There was this meme coming around where the party, Michael Moore was involved, to say both parties are the same, what’s the use of having these two parties…they’re identical…
C- Bill Maher used to call them Bore and Gush, I remember that very specifically.
B – Yeah, that’s exactly right and there was such a disillusionment that was struck up around that election and I think a lot of that had to do with Al Gore losing that election. And there was a complacency and a, I don’t know, an ambivalence about electing Al Gore that if it hadn’t been there, history…and I’m talking about a major chunk of history, would have been vastly different. And so what irritates me is when this comes up again and again and again and it’s happening now…rather than seeing the forest for the trees, we’re getting lost in the weeds. If I can use a series of foliage remarks?
C- Ha ha ha…Very nice, all you have to do is throw in something about, I don’t know, something completely unrelated like space or something like that and you’d hit the Thomas Friedman mixed metaphor trifecta.
B- Ha ha…Yeah, Thomas Friedman is famous for his mixed metaphors. And my concern is that we’re just going to repeat 2000 again, because we’re looking for that perfect candidate and if he’s not perfect, well then we just throw up our hands and go, well, he hates us so I’m not going to vote for him. I’m staying home.
C- And everybody’s got their own idea about what the perfect candidate is. You and I, we’ve talked about this…this is an ongoing thing on this podcast and I know on each of our respective blogs. You know, yeah, it’s liberal America, progressives, uh, independents sometimes go with the wind…but if you’re a little bit left of center, then yeah, it’s the…problem is you’re overly analytical, you want what you want, you’re focused on the individual, which I think is hugely important. I’m a gigantic fan of that but at the same time, being focused on the individual means that you don’t know how to mobilize behind one guy and do it for, for lack of a better term, I’m sorry but the greater good. And there is a political reality that needs to be considered when you decide, I’m going to back this guy or I’m not going to back this guy. You know, that’s fine, you want to hold out for the perfect person, the perfect guy who gives you every single thing that you want, that’s well and good. And you’re not going to vote otherwise, fucking fantastic, but the problem is, you do that and the country will change drastically and you’re not teaching anyone a lesson except yourself. You’re crossing your arms, your cutting off you nose to spite your face and you’re holding your breath like a fucking child until you get exactly what you want.
B- In the weeds and the trees. Ha ha ha..
C– Ha ha ha.
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Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles