Good morning, afternoon, evening, wherever you may be. Some days I wake up and there is so much good stuff in the New Left Blogosphere, I can’t contain myself. This morning was one of those mornings. Check out these great stories by the best of the best.
You absolutely have to go read this post at Angry Black Lady Chronicles, or scroll down if you are already there (cross-posting is fun). It’s called “Confessions of an Obamabot” and was written by Leisa.
You should also look at the Lawrence O’Donnell clip at Angry Black Lady Chronicles, when Lawrence is on, he’s on like Donkey Kong!
Joy at The Reid Report takes on Adam Green and the grifting of his mindless followers, the lies he uses to convince people to give him money are astounding. All liberals need to distance themselves from that con man and spread the word about his opportunism.
Eric Cantor is as dumb as a box of rocks, no offense to boxes of rocks everywhere! The People’s View tears up Eric Cantors latest stupidity. My favorite Eric Cantor blunder, and possibly the biggest blunder of all time in the House, was when he tried to pass a bill that would make another failed bill, the law of the land. DOH!
Smartypants has a great post about one of my heroes who died way too young, Molly Ivins. I had the chance to see her speak in person around the same time as Smartypants, she was amazing. Go read this post that brings back some of Molly’s wisdom from the past.
If you missed the President’s press conference, The Only Adult In The Room has the only adult in the room telling it like it is.
In that press conference, our very effective President reminded us all why he is President and everyone else isn’t. Steve Benen covers it like only he can do.
It’s time to take ACTION people, the forces aligned against President Obama are formidable, and they have a lot of money. I plan to give the maximum amount of $2500 to Obama 2012 this cycle to make sure our country doesn’t fall into Republican hands again, do whatever you can to help, The People’s View has the story.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
I listen to the podcast of Real Time with Bill Maher and I have to give him credit for inviting some good guests from time to time, but unfortunately he also gives platforms to people like Andrew Breitbart and Ann Coulter to spread their hateful messages. In Episode 218, available at iTunes, the first 20 minutes or so was pretty good, because it seems like every false meme that Bill spewed was shot down pretty quickly by his guests. He was unusually wrong that night.
He repeated a line that is vintage Bill Maher, catchy, clever, but completely wrong. Here it is…
It would be kind of a tragedy if we got to the end of four years of Democratic rule without having really tried any Democratic policies. – Bill Maher
I’m sure that line appealed to the “where’s my pony” crowd, but for people who are paying attention to more than just the negative spin coming from the loudest voices in the libertarian wing, it is obviously complete horseshit. I’m not referring to Hamsher, Greenwald, Adam Green, Huffington, Moulitsas or the rest of those folks as the left anymore. Anyone who helps Republicans get elected and damages the Democratic Party in our two-party system, doesn’t deserve to hang with us on the left.
Let me help Bill Maher with some reality. First, is it “Democratic Rule” when Republican’s have forced a super-majority of 60 votes on every bill that comes into the Senate chamber? Is it “Democratic Rule” when every single fucking bill that comes before the congress has an ultimatum attached to it by any number of Senators, each of whom can filibuster without even having to drag their lazy asses to the Senate floor? And of course, since 2010, when many who are listed above were either openly telling Democrats to stay home or implying it, Republicans have had control of the House of Representatives, which in case Bill didn’t know, actually writes the bills and appropriates the money. Is that “Democratic Rule” Maher?
He then goes on to say “without having really tried any Democratic policies”, which is the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard. He dismisses the Affordable Care Act because it didn’t include the public options or a single payer system, neither of which would have any chance of getting even enough Democratic support. The ACA was the most liberal, “Democratic” legislation to pass since Civil Rights in the 60’s. If that isn’t trying Democratic policies for your ass, I don’t know what is.
Click Read More for the rest of the post!
The People’s View has a great post up about “The Base” of the Democratic Party and it ain’t that place that is on fire, has a dog and lives on a lake.
The People’s View also has a new post from Tien about the split on the left. It speaks to the disaffected Obama supporters and how to bring them back into the fold. I don’t think it applies to the people trying to inflame that group. I was going to do an entire post about that, so please go read it instead.
Allan at Angry Black Lady Chronicles lays out why Republican game playing with the debt ceiling is the height of hypocrisy, I know, say it ain’t so…Republican’s being hypocritical.
I hope the President goes all 14th amendment on the Republican’s who are trying to destroy our economy for their political gains. Check this out and follow some of the links, I knew the president had a way to protect us from those un-American asshole Republican’s.
The Only Adult In The Room has this take on Mark Halperin’s comment and subsequent suspension from MSNBC and it’s a good one. And it led to the next link below.
Tom Joyner, who I respect a lot because he was awesome enough to do a piece on my documentary last summer, which crashed our website because of traffic, a good problem to have. We had to triple our bandwidth to accommodate. :) A big thanks to Roland Martin as well, it was his segment. Joyner has this great piece that uses Halperin as a jumping off point to Tavis and Cornel. Go read it!
Smartypants has a great summary of the week in debt ceiling fun and how the Democrats have a few tools in their box.
Joy Reid at The Reid Report has a great piece on the DSK developments. Rich guys get to rape and assault women, didn’t you know that?
REPOSTED IN FULL FROM PCTC (Please Cut The Crap) – written by Milt Shook
When all is said and done, if you want to know why the politics in what should be a liberal country such as the United States has been dominated for 30 years by people who should be situated on the fringe, if you’re on the far left, look in the mirror. If not, look at the far left.
A quick perusal of the leftist “blogosphere” shows people who like to spout facts and figures, and who obsess over everything that happens, as if they’re doing play-by-play for a baseball game. But they seem to neither know nor care about the average person, and they definitely lack understanding of basic politics. It’s amazing how little they know, yet they act like experts, despite the fact that the only people who actually buy their bullshit are like-minded people who are gullible.
Yes, folks; a lot of the far left is JUST LIKE the far right in that way.
Most actual liberals are very cool, and not very dumb, politically speaking. The liberal side of the aisle encompasses a wide array of different types of people, with different types of experiences. The denizens of the far left are almost all white, they’re almost never poor and they have college educations. They have very little contact with any of the people they claim to be advocating for, yet to listen to them, they know more about being poor or being a minority than the poor and minorities do.
The liberal side of the political debate has been sitting on the sidelines for the better part of 40 years, primarily because a very noisy segment of our ideology is ruining it for the rest of us. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m sick of it. It’s time we taught basic politics to the far left.
Consider this is politics 101, folks.
Lesson #1: We live in a democratic republic, in which the person who gets the most votes wins and gets to make policy.
I know that sounds a little too basic, but let’s face it; for a bunch of political “experts,” many on the far left seems to be constantly shocked and surprised when assholes get elected and do pretty much what they said they would do. Every government in this country runs by majority rule; he or she who gets the majority of votes gets to make the rules. If you want the government to enact laws, regulations and policies that help working people, the poor and downtrodden, or if you want a universal health care plan that covers everyone 100%, you absolutely have to see to it that the person elected in each race is one who is oriented to listen to what the people want, and do as much as they can. Of course, there is a second part to that equation:
Lesson #2: In order to get a progressive government, you need a progressive populace.
Again, this should have been part of the Civics curriculum in everyone’s fourth grade class. Majority rules, so if you want progressive laws passed, you need a progressive majority. That means changing the hearts and minds of the people out there. That doesn’t mean screaming at them and telling them what they should believe and writing them off as “stupid” when they don’t think exactly the way you do. It means listening to them, then framing the issues in such a way that makes them want to be on our side. “Climate change” is an abstract concept to most people, and the fact that it is does not make everyone who thinks of it that way “stupid.” And the fact that they take an abstract view of “climate change” doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like to drive a vehicle that is safe for them and their children and gets 200 miles per gallon, or one that doesn’t use gas at all. Most people would willingly switch their electricity provider to a clean energy company, as long as it didn’t mean the cost would double. On other issues, even if they’re against abortion in principle, most folks aren’t in favor of the government forcing a woman to stay pregnant against her will. And let’s clear up one thing; most swing voters don’t care about anyone’s stance on most individual issues.
It’s this simple, folks. If you want the politics in this country to move left, you have to move the electorate left. Which leads us to:
Lesson #3: Until there are at least 218 progressive districts in this country, ousting “Blue Dogs” is not a source of pride; it’s just plain stupid.
Many on the far left seem to be enormously immature, in that they want their political change to happen immediately. they’re like the rich kids who “only” got a Mercedes for graduation, when they wanted the Jaguar. Real people have to earn their reward, folks; no one gets anything without tons of blood and sweat.
After more than 30 years of neocon-driven politics, why would anyone be surprised that there are a large number of conservative-leaning districts out there? Yet, a large number of far-left “progressives” were actually crowing at the “silver lining” in the 2010 election results; that about half of all “Blue Dog” Democrats lost. Yes, that’s right; they were HAPPY. Nancy Pelosi was replaced by an orange Boner, the committee chairs all went from being progressive Democrats to being right wing Republicans. We went from having a House of Representatives that passed hundreds of relatively progressive bills to one that has repeatedly tried to kill Medicare and damage Social Security.
And do you know WHY this happened? In part, it’s because about 25 “Blue Dogs,” almost all of whom voted with Democrats at least 80% of the time, were replaced by right wing Republicans and teabaggers.
Does that sound like “progress” to you? Really? If you do, then you must be one of those geniuses who thinks both major parties are the same. And that leads to:
Lesson #4: No matter how many times you tell yourself this, there is NO SIMILARITY between the two political parties at this point in time.
Many on the far left love to quote Harry Truman, who once said, “Given a choice between a Democrat who acts like a Republican or a Republican, the people will always choose the Republican.”
Gosh, that’s catchy. The problem is, he said it nearly 65 years ago, and the Republican party has changed a lot since then. Back then, the two parties saw each other as “the loyal opposition.” Nowadays, the current incarnation of the Republican Party sees Democrats as “the enemy.” They have declared war on the poor, and will do everything they can to help the rich get richer. the current GOP happily puts party politics ahead of country, which is something most Republicans in Truman’s day rarely did.
if you can’t see a difference between how Republicans and Democrats run things right now, then sit down and shut up, because you’re not paying attention. if you can even imagine Democrats proposing gutting Medicare, trying to kill unions, repealing health insurance reform, and cutting programs for the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich, then you belong under a doctor’s care. If you can imagine Republicans restoring regulations on Wall Street financial activities, demanding that executives limit their pay as long as they were under obligation to the federal government for bailout money, or even demanding that Wall Street even pay back the funds, then have the doctor up your meds.
The two parties couldn’t be more stark in their differences these days, and the constant attempts by many on the far left to characterize them as the same are absolutely killing us, politically speaking. Swing voters HATE teabaggers as much as the rest of us. They can’t stand right wing Republican policies, for the most part. They don’t care that much about tax cuts. They like most social programs, although they’d like to see more done to combat waste, fraud and abuse. And frankly, they do care about the environment and ending wars, even if they do so more in the abstract. In other words, they’re our natural friends, politically speaking. So, the more the far left screams at the top of their lungs that “both parties are the same,” the more they poison that well, and allow the far right to keep winning elections. Which brings us to:
Lesson #5: Politics is a game of strategy, but some strategies simply don’t work, like “fighting.”
It’s important to get the right people elected, but it’s just as important to get the wrong people out of government. While governing affects the average person’s life in profound ways, politics itself is a game, and requires a very distinct, and very long-term strategy.
A lot of left wingers think political strategy is really complicated, and involves something really elaborate, but it’s really not. In fact, if it’s too complicated, it’s destined for failure. Personally, I think some lefties like to think of it as complicated because they think it makes them seem smarter. They would be mistaken. If you’re running a campaign, politics is complicated. If you’re not doing that, then my advice for you is to relax. The issues many far lefties consider to be important issues are only a minor consideration to the majority of voters who will decide any election. The vast majority of swing voters are struggling to get by every day, and they want to know the people in charge won’t make things worse; that’s pretty much it. Therefore, the number one strategy of any political endeavor begins with the classic “KISS,” or “Keep It Simple Stupid.”
And while you’re at it, stop itching for a “fight.”
I know many far lefties LOVE the idea of a “fight,” but the fact of the matter is, most “fighting,” at least as the left wing envisions it, is really bad strategy. Much of the far left thinks the definition of a politician “fighting for them” means shouting, grandstanding and making pointed speeches and calling the opposition “poopy-heads.”
The problem is, that’s not how real politicians “fight” in a democracy. The purpose of electing politicians is to pass laws designed to make our lives better. That means writing a bill, then getting a majority to vote for that bill. Now, seriously; how far do you think they’d get in doing that if they were running around making fools of themselves by grandstanding and making the opposition party look bad? You may imagine that most voters sit around staring at C-SPAN all day, waiting for something great to cheer about, but trust me on this; YOU lefties are the only one doing that.
There are a number of ways to “fight” in politics, and most Democratic politicians do exactly that on a daily basis, especially President Obama. This guy is a master at outmaneuvering the opposition. For example, the far left screams bloody murder every time Obama reaches out to the Republicans. This is because they are so obsessed with everything he does, but can’t see the result. The political center – again, those who actually decide elections – HATE infighting in the government. They want to see politicians working toward solutions. When he does that, what those voters see is someone who is trying to do the right thing, and an opposition that wants to bite his hand off for doing so. He’s actually courting voters to his side by doing that. he’s not “kowtowing” or “caving,” he’s actually working for the progressive cause.
I’m sick of hearing the words “bully pulpit” used as an example of how the President could “fight” for the people. That phrase is even older than the irrelevant Truman quote. It was coined by Teddy Roosevelt more than a century ago, and if you haven’t noticed, our political discourse is dominated, in part, by the far right wing, who use bribery and intimidation against those in their own party to keep them in line. We need to develop strategies to keep them from doing that.
Watch President Obama’s RESULTS, not his methods. As long as he’s not sacrificing animals or children in the process, there’s no reason to examine the details of every step of the methods he uses to get results; look at the results themselves. The far left is nearly psychotic in its obsession with every single detail of everything Obama does, and it’s getting a little tiresome.
For example, if you want to know why we lost the “public option” (and a few other, more important features that lefties barely notice), look in the mirror. Because of the nature of his opposition, Obama actually kept the “public option” alive longer by NOT advocating for it. For Chrissakes, folks; he single-handedly revived health care reform, after the far left had declared it dead and buried.
Overall, his strategy on health care was nothing short of perfect, which is why it passed for the first time ever. I know a large portion of the left was devoted to the notion of a “public option,” but reality is, if the Republicans had Obama on record as saying “The public option is a must” for a health insurance reform bill in the current climate, the GOP would have gathered the troops together and used that statement to launch a billion-dollar campaign against Obama’s attempt to force “socialized medicine” down our throats. It would have made it even more difficult to pass than it was, and it might have killed any sort of reform for at least another 10-15 years.
Another example is the consternation over Obama’s refusal to come out absolutely in favor of “gay marriage” last week. If you don’t see him as “sly,” you don’t really know all that much about politics. He HAS declared repeatedly his belief that gay couples should have the same rights as everyone else; he’s just not going to go on record but that wasn’t enough for many on the far left. But let me tell you what would happen if the current president of the United States would come out in favor of gay marriage. You know the split that’s happening between the nuts and the extreme nuts in the Republican Party? Kiss that goodbye. That would crystallize the opposition, and they would have a common theme to run against in the next election.
And here’s the important thing to remember about all of this. The president has no say with regard to marriage. Marriages are state devices, not federal. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if he is in favor of it or not, one way or the other. While some of you have a fantasy that the president says something and tens of millions of people will suddenly throw their hands up and say, “Oh YES! He’s right! I have to give up everything I have ever been taught by my religion and accept gays as equals!” But in the real world we live in, presidents don’t have that influence. Bush said the Iraq war was a war for freedom; did his statement to that effect make it so? if things Bush said didn’t move the populace, even when his job approval was 80%, why would you imagine Obama’s would be?
President Obama realizes that he has to pick and choose his battles, and that HOW he fights the battles matters. He’s getting more stuff done than anyone in the last 40 years or more, and the far left in this country is sitting around with their thumbs up their asses, waiting for someone else to “lead them” to where they need to go. Which is how we get to:
Lesson #6: “We are the ones we have been waiting for” is not just a cute slogan; it’s how the system works, and how we win at politics.
If you’re waiting for a savior to come along and bring the left out of the desert into the political system, then you’re part of the problem.
The fact of the matter is, politicians do not lead us, WE lead THEM. I understand why people on the right don’t get that, because they’re politically brain-dead. But a lot of far lefties seem to miss out on that concept, too.
They’re called “representatives” for a reason. THEY stand in for US, not the other way around. it’s OUR job to tell them what we want and give them the tools to do that. It’s not THEIR job to read our minds. And our number one job is to get a majority people behind our efforts; it’s not the politician’s job. Political success involves a couple of steps, and both of them are OUR responsibility as voters. First, we have to honor the democratic process and try to make sure the choice of candidate most likely to result in the policies we want. That doesn’t mean we always have a clear progressive choice; in fact, it rarely means that. But there is often one candidate who will absolutely NOT vote for our side EVER, and we absolutely must promote the best candidate to the best of our ability. Then, once the best of the two candidates is elected, we then SUPPORT them. Yes, I said SUPPORT! For some unknown reason, many on the far left seem to think the constant complaining about politicians constitutes “holding them accountable,” but if you’re on the job and your boss was complaining about every little thing you did, without even evaluating the results, would you dismiss it was your boss “holding you accountable,” or would it just irritate the crap out of you?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Now you know why politicians don’t take the far left seriously at all. They’re constantly whining, they don’t vote reliably, and their support is based on what politicians say, not what they do. Politicians are looking for support, not a constant shrill whine. Which brings us to:
Lesson #7: The far left’s concept of “principle” is downright bizarre and often detrimental to progressive politics.
This will be a short one.
It’s really simple; it’s been 32 years, and the neocons are still in office, and still dismantling the mechanisms we built back in the first quarter-century after the war. Despite the fact that we know how to fix the economy, because we did it before, the wingnuts are still pushing the same tired crap they’ve been pushing for 30 years. And they get away with it because a large portion of the left side of the political debate likes to SAY they have principle, but they really don’t. The fact of the matter is, supporting someone who says everything you want to here, when that person has neither the intention nor the ability to actually get into office and do what he or she is saying makes you gullible, not principled.
If you want to claim to be a principled progressive, then you will do anything to move us in the direction of achieving social justice. That doesn’t mean backing Dennis Kucinich, who apparently has to move to Washington to continue in Congress because of redistricting, and who has less than a snowball’s chance in hell of ever sitting in the Oval Office. It means doing whatever you can to see to it that as many politicians as possible are amenable to working toward making this country better, and then working to make sure they have the support they need to do that. if you have actual principles, stop screaming at the politicians, and start educating (without screaming) their constituents. If you’re not doing everything you can to make sure progressive policies are put in place, you’re not principled. Which brings us to:
Lesson #8: The overall meme if the debate is far more important than playing micro-politics.
Imagine you’re about the leave work, and you’re wondering whether or not you should take your umbrella. So you ask a co-worker if they think it might rain. Which answer are you likely to consider most helpful?
“According to the weather service, it’s not supposed to rain until Friday.”
“I don’t know, but I do know the air is dirtier now than it was 20 years ago, the sun is much harsher than it used to be, and the world will probably become uninhabitable in 10 years.”
The first one is how the left SHOULD answer. Unfortunately, the answers to political questions coming from our side usually sound like the second answer. Many on the far left tend to be news junkies, which is a stupid idea in and of itself. You don’t become smarter by watching nothing but news all of the time. But worse, they seem to think everyone else is, or should be, a news junkie as well. So they neither answer political questions nor give political answers that actually matter to people.
The average voter doesn’t have time to sit and watch news all day, because he or she is working for a living. They are struggling to get by. They don’t sit and watch every single bloody thing the government does, because they trust the government to do what it needs to do. You aren’t smarter because you don’t trust the government, and you watch and analyze every move they make. If you were smarter, you would know that the majority of the voters who matter only pay attention to the overall meme in any election. they responded by voting for Barack Obama because of his positive message and his promise to reverse the incompetence of the Bush years. And they stayed away from the polls in droves in 2010, because the overall message of that election was “Democrats suck.” They don’t vote for the right wing, for the most part, because they see them as dipshits. But when both sides are screaming “Democrats suck!” what message do you imagine these folks take away from the “debate,” such as it is?
Let me put this another way. If you’re sitting in the park at lunch, and two people are screaming at the top of their lungs, which one do you listen to? If you’re honest, then you know you put on your iPod really loud and drown them out. If you don’t have an iPod, then you look for another place to sit. You don’t listen to either of them.
On the other hand, if one guy is screaming something at the top of his lungs, and someone else comes up and sits on the bench next to you and starts speaking to you pleasantly, you might actually converse with that person, won’t you? You may even turn off the iPod and listen to what he or she has to say. And depending on the person speaking, you may actually learn something.
That’s how politics works, folks. When both sides are screaming at each other, no one who matters is actually listening. The far right will always scream, because they’re incredibly stupid, and because they don’t understand how politics works, either. Their side has a simple-minded affinity for red meat over substance; they love the negative. They love anything that makes “the left” look bad. They have no desire to convince you they’re right, and you will never convince them you’re right. Therefore, when you and a right winger are screaming at each other, the people who matter are walking away from you, or drowning you out.
How many elections do we have to lose before we get this. The far left was negative about Carter in 1980, and we got Reagan. The far left was negative about Dukakis in 1988, we got Bush 41. We were positive about Clinton in 1992, he won. The far left bashed Gore mercilessly in 2000 and refused to get behind Kerry in 2004, leaving us with a double dose of the worst president in history. In 2008, the left finally seemed to shed its stupidity and got behind a moderate, and we elected Obama overwhelmingly. Since then, it’s been quite clear that many on the far left voted for “the black guy,” and attributed a level of far left politics to President Obama that was never actually apparent during the campaign. Because of these fantasy expectations, they’ve branded him as a “disappointment,” and that played a major part in depressed turnout that led to a right wing win. Again.
That leads to”:
Lesson #9: The people who are elected will (almost) always represent the political center.
It has always been the case, and it will always be the case, that the majority of voters anywhere will choose someone they perceive as between the extremes. The only exception to that rule comes when one side of the political spectrum trashes mercilessly the candidate to whom they are closest, ideologically speaking. We saw this exception in both 2000 and 2004, when the far left sabotaged the campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry, and essentially handed the elections to Bush. (And please, don’t talk to me about Bush stealing the two elections, because they shouldn’t have been that close in the first place.)
But most of the time, the person elected will represent the political center, especially when it comes to president. FDR didn’t run or govern as a political liberal at all. In fact, with the exception of reforming banking and instituting a few jobs programs, he took a relatively conservative approach to getting out of the Depression. Even he admitted that later, when the massive deficit spending to pay for World War II finally brought us into recovery mode and sent unemployment down below 10% for the first time in more than a dozen years. Lincoln didn’t run for election promising to make the Emancipation Proclamation and amend the Constitution to be anti-slavery. Likewise, Kennedy didn’t run on promising the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts would pass. As is always the case, moderates are forced by circumstances to become progressives.
That’s why the constant demeaning of the “Blue Dogs” last year was without a doubt the most politically tone-deaf thing the far left has championed in many, many years. I’m still working on a post on this, but suffice it to say, if you’re one of those politically idiotic fools who praised the loss of about half of all Blue Dogs in 2010, then you are part of the problem. All of the Blue Dogs who lost last year voted with Democrats most of the time – the lowest percentage I found was 67%, and only two of them voted with Democrats less than 8o% of the time – and they were ALL replaced by Republicans who will NEVER vote with the Democrats. EVER.
In what way is that “progressive”?
I would also point out that even the most progressive politicians in our history lack ideological purity. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. FDR refused to even consider civil rights or abolishing Jim Crow. Even Dennis Kucinich was anti-choice for many years, based on his Catholicism. If not for Ted Kennedy’s ego, we probably would have had the beginnings of universal health care before 1980, instead of 30 years later because he killed a bill in order to get a leg up on Carter in the 1980 election.
The main complaint most left wingers have about Democrats has to do with their relative “impurity.” For some reason, they have gotten it into their little brains that all Democrats should represent the progressive side of things, and that any variation whatsoever is unacceptable. That’s a fantasy, folks. No one is always “left” or always “right” on every single issue, unless he or she is incapable of thought. Expecting everyone to adhere to your standard of what a “true progressive” should be is unrealistic and frankly, politically suicidal.
Those are my lessons for today. I will add more lessons as I think of them. And I will think of them.
I started writing a post this morning and realized that my head wasn’t really in it. This is the time of the year that I volunteer for a local festival, Muskegon Summer Celebration, and for the most part, it is my vacation every year. I started out as a committee member 14 years ago and soon became the director for the Arts and Crafts Fair and then a few years ago, the site director for the entire festival. I’ve since cut back to being a committee member again, helping out where I started, at the Art Fair. It is an awesome festival that has fallen on hard times in recent years because of the struggling economy in Michigan, but this year several local organizations stepped up to help put it on again. Over 1500 volunteers help put on this festival and it brings people into our city from all over the state.
I’ve decided that I’m going to take a bit of a break from blogging for the next week, I won’t completely stop, but I will more than likely just share links to stories that I’ve read that I think you may enjoy. I can’t stop reading about politics, I’m a junkie, but I am going to take a break from writing so much about it for the next week. If something comes up and I can’t help myself, you may see a rant or two from me. I’ve tried to recruit a couple people to be guest bloggers, but haven’t had any luck with it, they know who they are. :) So since I am the lone writer, I have to give myself some downtime.
My mood of late has been bouncing around when it comes to politics. With MSNBC seeming to go full anti-Obama, trying to appeal to Fox New viewers apparently, I am a bit down about that. I have stopped watching them completely at this point and have used some of that extra time to write the sponsors of Rachel Maddow’s show, Lawrence O’Donnell’s show and MSNBC executives directly. It would be nice if there was fair treatment of our President from at least the one network that claims to be left leaning (the nighttime opinion shows) and I wish they would at least attempt to balance out their reporting and opinions. Instead, we’ve been subjected to a lot of one-sided bashing from a group of faux left bloggers and pundits. I tweeted this yesterday that sums up how I currently feel about MSNBC…
Morning Joe creates the meme, news shows promote it, opinion shows bash him. Fuck em!
As far as my mood about the election in 2012, I am still very optimistic and have confidence that by November 6, 2012, Democrats will have the momentum and will sweep out a lot of Republicans and could very well take back the House of Representatives. There will be a backlash to the craziness that has been happening since the village idiots have gained power. I’m very anxious for the Obama campaign to get in gear and start fighting back against the many attacks from the GOP, the media, the “professional critics” and every other selfish, click grubbing asshat who thinks our democracy is a fucking game and people’s lives are the dice. It’s going to take a lot of work to counter all that bullshit, but I learned in 2007-2008 not to underestimate the abilities of the Davids, Plouffe and Axelrod or the abilities of our most awesome president. I’m storing up links and quotes from the asshats to throw back in their petty, selfish little faces in a year and a half.
But really, we all need to get involved and help. I’ve donated money already to President Obama and will give a lot more in the next year and a half. I consider it an investment on the future. I’m also tossing around many ideas in my head on how to counter the organized effort by some who claim to be on the left against our President. They are so small minded, it really shouldn’t be hard to take them out, if it is done before they get too much traction. I’m afraid a lot of my fellow bloggers aren’t willing to go too far out of their way to help, though. But I’m determined to do my part, regardless of whether they help or not.
I’m not abandoning the blog by any means, so please keep coming back. And if any of you awesome readers want to take a stab at writing a post or two, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am willing to edit for you, if need be.
I’m all for young people getting involved in politics, but the downside to it is the utter lack of historical perspective and understanding of the way our government functions. I remember being that way when I was younger, but I learned quickly because of my very wise mother and my intense curiosity. Even brilliant people like Rachel Maddow fall into that rut and then have trouble getting themselves out of it. She is the one who has elevated the latest MSNBC “Balloon Boy” Lt. Daniel Choi to a position where he gets to spout his half truths, hyperbole and ignorance for the world to see. I was going to write about Choi, but instead I will steer you to others who have covered what I think about it very well. Here, here and here.
Instead, I want to rant about the broader issue of who gets to be the pundits on our televisions and in our major publications. A while back, Ezra Klein, one of the young guns in the media, 27 years old as I type, penned a very snarky response to a Ben Bernanke speech with an arrogance that made me wonder how someone of those tender years felt he had the authority to talk down to Mr. Bernanke. Ezra is certainly very smart and a great writer, but that doesn’t necessarily make him qualified to speak on all issues. I tweeted this when Klein penned this post “What Bernanke Should Have Said”…
Ezra Klein BA in political science, 27 yrs old. Bernanke, BA-econ Harvard, Ph.D-econ MIT, 57 yrs old. Chairmen of Fed, I pick Ben
That tweet pretty much sums up how I feel about that one. Don’t get my wrong, I like Ezra and think he did great work during the health care debate. He is very smart when it comes to politics and unlike a lot of the younger pundits, he has a much greater understanding of the politics of Washington. He was a pol-sci major after all. But no matter how bright he is, I don’t know how much time he has really spent on economics policy. I tend to think Ben Bernanke has a bit more experience and moves in the top circles of economic thinkers.
Even Rachel Maddow exhibits a certain immaturity and she is 38 years old. I’ve said it many times on this blog that Rachel is a national treasure and reports about things that no one else is or will. But that doesn’t mean she is always right or understands the ways of Washington. When you think back about what administrations she has lived through as an adult and it makes more sense. When she was 20 years old, Bill Clinton was president and it was the beginning of the downward spiral of our dysfunctional government, with impeachment hearings, investigations and extreme partisan game playing. Remember Newt Gingrich? So when Rachel Maddow took issue with how President Obama approached the repeal of DADT and kept predicting over and over that it wouldn’t happen, basically calling President Obama a liar, it caused her to have to apologize and admit she was wrong when President Obama signed it. But really, after a year and a half of pounding on the President with Rachel leading the charge, the damage was already done and of course those people who used the issue the most to beat up on our Democratic president couldn’t even give him credit for it. Here is a reminder of one of Rachel’s mea culpas after passage of DADT. Rachel starts at about 1 minute…
To me, this event is a perfect example of how President Obama did what had to be done, politically, to get a permanent repeal of DADT – not an executive order that could be reversed by the next Republican president. I’m pasting a portion of her comments below, in case you can’t watch videos at work and because they spell it out rather well. But remember, this is after having beat up on the president on this issue for a long time, the damage was done at this point.
I think that politically, though, the thing to not lose touch of, to not lose touch with here, this is the President’s victory. The President took a lot of criticism, a lot of abuse, a lot of skepticism from his otherwise most loyal supporters on this. But this is an issue on which the President did not waver. He continually insisted that this was possible. That it would get done.
It, in fact, was not possible for the President to do this through Executive action. This is something that had to happen legislatively if it was really going to happen in a definitive way.
The President did not waver. He DID work on the Senate to get this to happen. He insisted that this was possible against a lot of people, including me, saying it was not possible.
This is a difficult promise kept. It’s not just a promise that was kept. It was one that was hard to keep, that cost a lot of political capital and a lot of work and this is the President’s victory today and his base will reward him for it.
So even thought Rachel was able to see clearly in hindsight, her political immaturity led her to join in on the beating of President Obama and fed into the skepticism. She ended up being about the only critic to give the president credit. The “professional critics” like Hamsher and the gang took credit for it themselves, after all their bullshit. I think it was at that point that I became enraged at that self-serving, money and click grubbing group of asshats.
Now having read all that or watched the Youtube clip, does it surprise anyone that Rachel has turned on the president again and joined with that same chorus of critics with respect to gay marriage. Last week, New York passed and the governor signed a law allowing gay marriage (wooo hooo) and in the process of celebrating and pontificating, Rachel has shown once again that although brilliant, she often goes over the edge. In the midst of celebrating, she couldn’t help but inject this into the mix, which of course is what all the professional Obama critics and MSM picked up on and used to bludgeon the President with this weekend. So, the man who has done more for gay rights than all previous presidents combined, gets attacked on a day of celebration. What in the fuck is wrong with that picture. She couldn’t find one Republican to attack, but instead turns her focus on the President. This is what she said that became the big story.
“President Obama is against what just happened.”
She basically handed the professional critics exactly what they needed to continue their assault on President Obama. And the worse part is she fucking got it wrong again. Mischaracterizing what President Obama said in her very myopic way. Ugh. From a post by TimT at The People’s View entitled “A Great Day for NY LGBTQ Community But Rachel Maddow Is A Effing Liar“…
On a day where we should be embracing and celebrating this decision, for Rachel to make this issue about the President is dumbfounding but what was surprising is that I never knew she is just a FUCKING LIAR!
I would have supported and would continued to support a civil union that provides benefits that are available for a legally sanctioned marriage and then as I said it is up to religious denominations to make a determination as to whether they want to recognize that as marriage or not.
Question: On the ground of civil marriage, can you see to our community where that comes across as sounding like separate but equal?
Obama: When my parents got married in 1960-61, it would have been illegal for them to be married in a number of States in the south. So obviously, this is something I understand intimately and something I care about but i would also say this that if I was advising the civil rights movement back in 1961 about its approach to civil rights, I would have probably said, it is less important that we focus on anti-miscegenation law than focus on voting rights law, a non-discrimination employment law and all the legal rights that are confirmed by the State.
Now, it is not for me to suggest that you should not be troubled by this issues. I understand that and I am sympathetic to it. But, my job as President is going to be to make sure that the legal rights that has consequences on a day to day basis for loving same sex couples are all across the country, those rights are recognized and enforced by my White House and Justice Department.
Something I haven’t heard anyone else say, and I may have just missed it, is that giving the LGBT community the right to marry wouldn’t change much for them when it comes to day to day life. What President Obama has done will have a direct effect on their day to day lives and that is why so many in the LGBT community support President Obama, although they don’t have a cable network to get their support out like Rachel Maddow, Lt. Dan Choi and all the others who want the world to think that President Obama is somehow the enemy. Nothing like being ungrateful. The Human Rights Campaign, a leading LGBT rights group, does get it. (emphasis mine)
On LGBT issues, President Obama’s signature achievement has been passage of the law to repeal the odious “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that cost our nation thousands of patriotic Americans willing to put their lives on the line. The president stood up before the country in his State of the Union address and promised he would work with Congress to end DADT. And he delivered. Behind the scenes and in public, he worked with advocates to put together all of the pieces — not the least of which was getting senior military leadership to be repeal’s biggest champions.
It was also President Obama who signed the first federal law explicitly protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people — the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. And when the president read the story of Janice Langbehn, who along with her children was shut out of the emergency room as her partner lay dying of a brain aneurysm, he put his administration into action. Mandating that every hospital receiving Medicaid or Medicare funds adopt new visitation policies, the president’s directive means that nearly every hospital in the country is a significant step closer to treating our families as equals.
So yea, let’s beat up on the guy who has done more for your community than all other presidents combined. What a great fucking idea.
I personally have stopped watching all MSNBC shows for now. The turn that the “Comcastic” cable network has taken in the last year is atrocious, from promoting Donald Trump’s racist brand to employing the likes of Cenk Uygur, Dylan Ratigan and countless pundits such as Jane Hamsher, Adam Green and David Sirota, all political neophytes with chips on their shoulders against our Democratic president. Anyone who says MSNBC is a left leaning cable network is blowing smoke up your ass, and we all know how painful that can be.
UPDATE: From John Cole at Balloon Juice. A very specific example of the political immaturity of a few of the loudest voices in our media. Go over to Balloon Juice to see the writing he is referring to from the immature fainting couch folks. Go John! (emphasis mine)
Who writes this nonsense? Seriously?
Cuomo and the NY politicians were very carefully advancing the issue in a delicate manner, allowing this to be a vote of conscience for the Senators, free from the usual heightened levels of partisan rancor. Things were proceeding nicely, everything pointed to a win for gay rights the next night, and Obama didn’t need to do anything to “lead.” In fact, if Obama had gone up there and delivered what these clowns wanted, and gave a rousing speech claiming he had changed his mind, it would have done nothing but blown up the current negotiations. How many Republicans who were supporting the vote would have backed away, simply because Republicans could not give Obama a “win.” The vote of conscience would be gone, and it would become a partisan battle and the vote would probably have failed.
I swear, it is almost like these idiots don’t understand politics, don’t understand risk and reward, and do not understand strategic thinking. The vote was going to pass- why would Obama do anything to insert himself into the issue and possibly blow things up? Hell, I was worried that just him appearing at the fundraiser would blow things up.
It’s almost like they just want to cheer and feel good about themselves rather than have good legislation pass.
As usual, I’m posting links to stories that caught my eye over the last week that you may have missed.
I came across this one this morning at The Washington Monthly about the Huffington Post helping a lobbyist for big business spread his word.
And this is a MUST READ for anyone coming to this blog. Karoli lays out why President Obama deserves our support and takes on the people who like to call us Obots or Obamabots or whatever other childish name the adolescents on the internet like to use. Go READ NOW!
A congressmen from my great state of Michigan, Rep. Sander Levin, penned this opinion piece about why Republicans don’t give a shit about the jobless.
Republicans continue to sabotage the economy for their political gains. They want control again really bad and will go to great lengths. All the more reason why we need everyone helping to fight against them and elect Democrats.
Eclectablog has a lot of great stories about the assault on democracy in Michigan, go over there and get caught up. This is serious business, folks.
And contrary to all the crappy reporting going on, we are not at war with Libya and President Obama isn’t doing anything different than any other president. But of course, that doesn’t stop people from lying and exaggerating.
From our awesome commenter grantinhouston, a story about a lawsuit against the Emergency Manager law in Michigan.
And last but not least, you gotta love @vdaze for penning this new Urban Dictionary definition. “Gone Hamsher”
As many of you might have noticed, I haven’t been helping the firebagger organizers of Netroots Nation 2011 spread their anti-Obama bullshit. They purposely try to goad us real liberals into writing about them, they will take attention whether positive or negative. I’m sure you’ve read the many slanted stories from the compliant media about how NN11 has turned on the President. It’s funny how reality is so much different than what Jane Hamsher and John Aravosis would want you to believe. From Roll Call…
MINNEAPOLIS — Despite their grousing about the administration during the Netroots Nation conference, liberal activists and bloggers are relatively happy with President Barack Obama’s performance.
A straw poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research showed that 80 percent either approve or strongly approve of the president more than a year before voters head to the polls to decide whether he deserves a second term. The results broke down to 27 percent strongly approving of Obama and 53 percent approving “somewhat.” Thirteen percent said they “somewhat disapprove,” and 7 percent strongly disapprove of the president.
And I have to point out that the organizers of the conference are almost all anti-Obama in one way or another. Whether it’s about the wars the President was handed or the financial mess or the fact that Republicans are actually in our government and have the power to force the administration to compromise, these naive, petty folks are more concerned about their own egos than helping pass progressive legislation. Those approval numbers are even more impressive when you consider that this is supposed to be a disgruntled crowd. The President’s approval among Democrats nationwide goes into the high 80’s.
So I’m encouraged that the attendees of Netroots Nation 2011 support the President and progressive causes. I’ve thought for a long time that the haters like Hamsher, Greenwald and Aravosis do not represent a very large segment of the electorate. If you can stand to read the comments at their blogs, you’ll see a majority of Republican trolls, who seem to be their main readership these days. Is it any wonder they continue their trashing, they have to feed their right-wing readers. In case you were wondering what blogs tell it like it is, check out my “Blogs I love” to the right, those folks rock.
Regardless of what the noise machines of Fox News, MSNBC and to some extent, CNN are saying, President Obama and the Democratic Party are sitting pretty for the 2012 election. The reason why I am smiling is because the American people, with the exception of the extremes on either end, are very perceptive. Sure, the pundits will try to be dramatic and say things so they get asked back on those cable networks…controversy sells, bold pronouncements sell (see Howard Dean) and polls, with all their flawed methodologies, give lazy reporters easy stories. So in the next year and a half, the talking heads on cable TV and broadcast networks will try to make the race close, it’s just best for them, but when push comes to shove and we get to November 6, 2012, President Obama and the Democratic Party are going to win big.
People will say, but what about the unemployment rate, what about the lack of jobs? And those are valid questions. Whereas the media wants to blame all of the country’s problems on POTUS, whether he inherited them or whether they were actually caused by an obstinate Republican Party that has blocked all attempts at fixing it…well the American people, after the campaigns and many speeches, debates, etc. will know the truth. The President has fought hard against a unified front of Republicans intent on thwarting him at every turn and the idiots in the faux-left intent on proving that they were right in opposing Obama all along. Despite those forces arrayed against him, the President has accomplished more than any president since FDR. Go here for the many accomplishments and remember, he was up against a GOP that won’t work with him on anything, except maybe the extension of the tax cuts for the rich, a deal with the devil that the President had to make to get more stimulus, an unemployment extension and keep the economy growing. It was another one of those “Republicans holding the country hostage” situations and I’m sorry folks, you have to compromise in our democracy. There is no way around it. If you haven’t read Milt Shook’s piece at PCTC (Please Cut The Crap), you need to. You should bookmark his site too, he has a lot of great insights into how to win elections.
I’m sure my post will provoke the “Obama Derangement Syndrome” folks on both the left and the right to blow a microchip, but that’s fine, maybe it will jar lose whatever it is that is causing their derangement. It always amazes me how the media created narrative that constantly tries to paint President Obama as incompetent or unqualified (racism is part of it) is so far from what the general public really feels. IF he were incompetent and unqualified, would he have a personal approval rating of 75%, according to a recent CNN poll? Regular readers know how I feel about polls in general, I have a master’s degree in communications research so I’ve studied it a bit. I won’t go there in this post except to say that polls can be useful to gauge general attitudes, but horse race polls between fictional, possible candidates so far out from an election are just an exercise in futility. They get predictive when you get close to an election, and of course Nate Silver is “The Man” when it comes to that. But the number that says 75% of people like President Obama personally, says to me that people are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and to listen to him when he speaks. It’s why whenever he gives a major speech or makes an appearance throughout America, he is very well received and people believe him. That is a very powerful sentiment to have going into an election. As long as he tells it like it is, explains the situation and presents what he has tried to do and will try to do, with no help from the GOP, he will swing that blame and anger back to where it belongs.
So I recommend to all you fellow liberals and supporters of President Obama to not get upset when the forces arrayed against him tell us that they are making headway, that’s part of their strategy…to use the bandwagon effect, everyone get on board. Ignore them, keep smiling, keep telling them about the President’s many accomplishments and the Republicans very obvious hatred of middle and working class folks, seniors, students, children, minorities and anyone who doesn’t fit within their Ayn Randian world, where market forces will make everything just peachy. Stay positive, encourage your like minded friends to help, get involved and fight back against the tide that has shown its ugly face in Republican governors like Scott Walker, John Kasich, Chris Christie, and the “Ricks” Scott, Perry and Snyder. Since the VAST majority of the voters in America don’t pay attention AT ALL to those bloviators, their impact is only felt within a small range. It’s like a big choir preaching to each other, while the rest of America goes on with their lives.
But we can’t get complacent, they are some sneaky bastards who will lie, cheat and steal to get the power that benefits their rich friends. We can’t rest on our laurels, we must put up the good fight and build on the momentum that has started in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Florida. The consequences of elections matter and if we really care about people, we have to fight with all our might.
The People’s View, one of my new favorite blogs, introduced a new blogger this weekend with a phenomenal post that explains the motivations behind many of the Obama-haters on the left who seem intent on undermining our democratic president and party. I highly recommend you go read the entire post. I’m pasting a couple of paragraphs I really liked, but go read the whole thing. It sheds a lot of light on this problem and gives great advice on how we as a party and individuals should deal with it. I learned a few things that I will attempt to apply on this blog. From Tien at The People’s View…
To satisfy a need on my part to understand the underlying psychology of people who claim they represent the Progressive Left but who have a singular focus of berating our Democratic President, I embarked on a small research project to learn why this happens.
It turns out the answer is fairly simple. The cause of this phenomenon is narcissism. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) has quite an array of symptoms and behaviors that easily match those demonstrated by a host of pundits, professional demonstrators and keyboard warriors all claiming to represent the ‘base’ of the liberal population in this country.
Given a list of symptoms from any one source, the dominant symptom is a pathological need for attention that far surpasses that of ordinary people. Secondary symptoms include extreme envy of others or belief that others envy them; inability to recognize boundaries or experience empathy; hypersensitivity to insults and criticism; an over-inflated sense of self-importance; unrealistic expectations and a preoccupation with success and power.
I feel I must issue a warning about this clip, it can cause convulsions, vomiting and extreme rage. This gang of people that MSNBC has decided to give a platform to for their 3rd party challenge to President Obama and their attempt to return us to Republican rule, are absolutely disgusting. They are money-grubbing carnival barkers whose real goal seems to be to destroying the Democratic Party so they can make lots of money from the anger, once the Republicans take back over. At 2:15 in the clip, Cenk asks a question about Vice President Biden hinting that he may run in 2016, and Jane Hamsher responds first by calling him “the great compromiser”, see yesterday’s post and then Jane goes on to spew populist lies, sounding very much like a teabagger. Following Jane’s anti-democratic rant, David Sirota shows us how stupid and politically naive he is, simply astounding. I’ll get to that after the clip.
Here is my quick transcript of David Sirota’s completely naive and stupid comments regarding Joe Biden and his potential run in 2016. (Bad grammar is his, not mine)
I think it won’t be a situation like Al Gore in 2000 where he is sort of the presumptive nominee. I think there is a lot of up and coming democrats and I think that Joe Biden hasn’t really made it necessarily a name for himself outside of the Obama administration which I think will be probably pretty necessary for a democratic candidate in 2016.
When I heard that live, after having just vomited into my trash can from Jane’s comments, I laughed out loud. Joe Biden has been a leader in the Democratic Party for a long freakin time. Here is a little history lesson for David Sirota that shows how monumentally stupid that last comment was, thanks to Google and Wikipedia.
1 – When Joe Biden was elected into the Senate at age 30, he was the 6th youngest Senator ever to be elected. From Wikipedia, “In 1974, freshman Senator Biden was named one of the 200 Faces for the Future by Time magazine.” David Sirota was born a year later in 1975.
2 – Biden was a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which he chaired from 1987 until 1995 and on which he served as ranking minority member from 1981 until 1987. While chairman, Biden presided over the two most contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings in history, those for Robert Bork in 1987 and Clarence Thomas in 1991. Ah, yea, David Sirota, no name recognition other than with Obama? I remember watching those hearings, David Sirota was 6 years old and 12 years at those times.
3 – He later spearheaded the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the Biden Crime Law, and the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which contains a broad array of measures to combat domestic violence and provides billions of dollars in federal funds to address gender-based crimes.
4 – Biden was also a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In 1997, he became the ranking minority member and chaired the committee from June 2001 through 2003. When Democrats re-took control of the Senate following the 2006 elections, Biden again assumed the top spot on the committee in 2007. So yea, chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations committee and ranking member, nothing to see here, right Sirota?
5 – He’s also run for president twice, in 1988 and again in 2008. And he had made enough of a name for himself to be chosen as the Vice Presidential nominee who went on to help Barack Obama win the presidency with more votes than any team in history.
Are you really that fucking stupid, David Sirota? And why on earth would anyone bring you on their news show as a pundit, when you say such stupid things and obviously are making it up as you go along. The stupid just keeps marching on.
“Compromise” is one of the foundations of democrazy (that was originally a typo, but I like it). Somehow, since the election of President Obama, the word is being redefined by some on both sides of the isle, with the help of the media who just follow along like lemmings. It’s a word that is often said with disdain, as if the mere act of compromising is somehow wrong. This is a very disturbing trend because it basically increases polarization, hatred and gives people a reason to throw up their hands in disgust. It is part of the scorched earth strategy being employed by like I said, both the right and some on the left.
I can almost understand the right’s obsession with not compromising, it’s politics man. But for those on the left who claim to be progressive and care about changing things for the better, it flies in the face of reason to oppose it on principle. The Republican’s don’t want to compromise because they perceive any bills passed and signed by President Obama as a win. And we can’t have that now. And we all know that from day one of President Obama’s first term, they have tried to thwart any success for the White House, even if it means screwing citizens or exposing their hypocrisy. And because of the very successful brainwashing of their base by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right-wing noise machine, it really won’t have much impact on those voters. We can only hope that it does have an impact on moderates, who are the folks that swing elections one way or the other.
The people on the left wing who have spit on the word compromise and staked out unrealistic positions, their reasons are a bit more complicated and in my opinion, just plain stupid. I expect stupid from Republicans, but in the last 2.5 years, many on the left have shown how stupid they are too. They may have been that way all along, but were hiding it well.
In the 8 years of President Bush’s term, a cottage industry sprung up that was fueled by anger, hatred and indignation towards the Bush Administration and the many rights and liberties that were taken from us or trampled on. Blogs became all the rage during this time and the idea of the internet as a way to organize and mobilize people around a cause became very real. But a lot of it was rooted in and fueled by anger towards Bush. I joined in the craze and loved seeing the Bush Administration challenged and attacked. Good times! But the transition from the anger based foundation to where we are now, after President Obama took office, didn’t go very well for these people. A lot of that anger just shifted towards the new administration, the path of least resistance, I suppose.
Many of the “progressive” bloggers that came to prominence during the Bush years, who clearly played to the anger towards Bush and gang, were actually Republicans turned angry. In their disgust towards Bush, they built a following of people who didn’t necessarily agree with them very much, besides hating Bush. Here is a brief list of some of those folks.
Arianna Huffington, worked for Newt Gingrich and is the former wife to Republican candidate Michael Huffington. We all know how she has cashed in and is turning back towards her true party, the GOP.
John Aravosis, former staffer to Sen. Ted (bridge to nowhere) Stevens.
Cenk Uygur, who has apparently admitted that he “used to be” a Republican on his show, he sure keeps attempting to play to the left but his roots help explain his attacks on the President.
Dylan Ratigan has landed a couple of different time slots on MSNBC and is trying to play to the left, although he clearly has a hard time of it. He built his brand on the back of populist rhetoric.
And I would add Glenn Greenwald to the mix too, although he claims to be an independent. He supports Gary Johnson, a Republican, as a third party candidate. He still gets trotted out as a left-leaning blogger or as a representative of the left blogosphere, when he clearly is not. Many volumes have been written about that man and his tactics.
The other group of bloggers and pundits that are fighting against the President and don’t seem to understand the nature of compromise are rooted on the liberal end of the spectrum. It is sad to see this group let their entrenched principles and ideals influence their perceptions of the progress that has been made with President Obama at the helm. They can’t even give the President credit when it is due. My short list of these folks include Michael Moore, Adam Green, Bill Maher, David Sirota, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Markos Moulitsas, Jane Hamsher and Keith Olbermann. We expect the right to have crazy notions about our President and suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome, but it isn’t just a right-wing disease. From The Hand That Feeds You…
The thing is, these folks aren’t the real threat. That’s what unnerves me, lately. What really bothers me, and I mean really gets my goat, are the basically forward thinking, well educated and Progressive Americans who also wallow in self-indulgent and conspiratorial whining. It is smug. It serves no purpose but to excuse inaction and it is more dangerous.
This is about the other “Obama Derangement Syndrome.” It is high time we address it.
Barack Obama’s Presidency had barely begun when some on the Left started selling us the “betrayal meme.” In March of 2009, Dave Lindorff famously excoriated the new President in a piece called “The Obama Betrayal.” He was apoplectic over capitulation to Republicans regarding the ‘Employee Free Choice Act.’ He makes no mention of the fact that Progressives did not flood the congress and the White House with calls supporting the President’s fight. He omits the huge and organized campaign enlisting our citizen-opponents which went a long way towards torpedoing the legislation. Why should we on the Left have been expected to do anything? Wasn’t Obama supposed to single-handedly crush our foes?
After all, we elected him.
To me, these people are extremely deluded. They’ve built a false narrative within their own minds and in the process have abandoned any pretense that people matter in the equation. Their ideals, reinforced with denial, lies, exaggerations and populist outrage, have overcome their common sense, if they had any to begin with. Whenever I get into a Twitter fight with any of them, I usually shut them up pretty quickly when I ask questions like “how does that help real people” or I start giving them real examples of how it affects people, like those with pre-existing conditions who can now get health insurance, like my niece. They seem to live in a world of generalities, ideals and have created their own echo chamber to reinforce it.
I also think that many of these so-called progressive bloggers, who seem to be fighting progress, have fallen victim to the “right wing paid troll program” where the GOP and their supporters pay people to comment on progressive blogs, either posing as liberals dissatisfied with the President or simply attacking liberal ideas with right-wing talking points. It’s a copy and paste operation that I think has overtaken many of the comment sections of these blogs. I think a lot of these bloggers are naive and think that there is a lot more dissatisfaction with the President and the Democratic Party than there actually is. And they drive out people who disagree with the anti-Obama memes. I know very well about that, having been banned by Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Crooks and Liars, Firedoglake and Americablog. And it wasn’t for being abusive at all, unless calling them “whiners” is somehow abusive or giving a different opinion than the consensus (group think) in the room.
The most often heard refrain from these folks is that President Obama gives up too much in the beginning of negotiations. They claim he gives in before the negotiations even begin. But these pundits who say this have no idea what the behind the scenes vote counting is or what preconditions may have been talked about in advance. But a lot of their criticism is because they think the President should start where they would, way to the left, whether it pollutes negotiations or gives the right-wing the fuel they need to either walk away, or try to paint the left as extreme. And of course, most of these people did absolutely nothing to help the president. More from The Hand That Feeds You…(emphasis mine)
Throughout Obama’s first two years, we the people who did elect him largely sat on our hands expecting to be saved. Perhaps we had become so inured to the imperial nature of the Presidency within the Bush years that we forgot that there are other requirements of citizenship between ballots. As we continued to do nothing and the opposition used slick, manipulative marketing to energize hundreds of thousand of idiots, the Washington Post asked “Is Obama Betraying The Left?” The New Statesman published “Obama: The Betrayal?” It goes on and on and on.
The “betrayal meme” is picking up steam again. This is frankly getting out of hand. Most recently, Cornel West, a great man whom I adore, has had a full blown freak-out. Chris Hedges is loving every minute of it. It’s nifty copy. It’s also representative of a dangerous and elitist abdication of citizen responsibility. It’s becoming the bread and butter of the establishment Left to accuse President Obama of essentially not rescuing us while we wait like little children.
The President has had to attempt to stand his ground in a position of weakness the base helped create. When the rabble on the right was out-calling our Representatives at a ratio of four or five to one to oppose the AFA, where were we? When Tea Partiers were being duped by their masters into showing up by the busload, where were our counter-protests? By the way, much as I do love Colbert and Stewart, they can suck it on that count. Like Bill Maher said at the time, rallies should really “be about something.”
This liberal group of pundits often make grandiose claims that President Obama is abandoning his base and losing support from them, yet every single poll that breaks it down, shows solid support for the President. The small amount who are unsatisfied are more than likely people who have not fared well in the economy and have only heard the media’s filtered version of who is to blame for it. Some are extreme pacifists who expected a Democratic president to just pull our troops out of every conflict that Bush handed to President Obama, immediately. People like Glenn Greenwald, David Sirota, Jane Hamsher and others try hard to further that perception as some sort of betrayal, even though candidate Obama made clear what he was going to do when he took office. I read recently, I wish I could find it, one of those folks basically say that nothing has changed in Iraq, the President isn’t getting us out of there. Except the facts are much different. Unfortunately, the following is from the Huffington Post on August 10, 2010…
In Massachusetts, where the president was on vacation, White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan called the drawdown in U.S. troops a “truly remarkable achievement.” He noted that the milestone had been reached a week ahead of schedule and represented a drop of 94,000 troops on Obama’s watch.
You can imagine my disbelief upon reading the characterization that nothing has changed in Iraq. Combat operations were declared over on August 31, 2010 and the last combat troops drove out of Iraq and into Kuwait. Now a lot of people just denied that it was true, poo pooed it and said we will never leave Iraq. And you can’t play with my ball, either. I’m taking it home. So nah! The reality is that President Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do and ahead of schedule. That has to piss of the people most intent on making sure our president doesn’t get credit for a damn thing.
As a Democrat and supporter of President Obama, it pisses me off that so many people who claim to be progressive or liberal have decided that attacking and weakening our Democratic President is somehow going to help their cause. It is the stupidest fucking reasoning I’ve ever seen in politics. On what fucking planet does weakening your party’s leader somehow help the party? Considering the lock-step discipline of the Senate Republicans and their unprecedented use of the filibuster, it was clear that the President was going to have to compromise. The other alternative was to let the Republicans win and basically defund the entire government. I’m often reminded of what Jane Hamsher’s friend Grover Norquist said which spells out the GOP philosophy of government, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”
The election of President Barack Obama was monumental in so many ways. That’s pretty obvious, I know. Lately, I’ve been trying to understand some people’s extreme hatred for a man with this face.
I mean really, I do not understand how – even if they don’t agree with the mans policies – they can’t see that he is a nice person. Well, it turns out that people really do think he is a nice person, contrary to the many warped memes that get trotted out on television or the vitriol coming from some in the Professional Left – the usual suspects. A recent poll by Politico did the radical thing and asked a poll question that actually attempted to get at that. From Politico with this headline Barack Obama’s Personal Approval Rating Hits 72% In Battleground States…
If you want to know why Barack Obama is looking good for reelection despite the our nation’s economic struggles, the new Politico/GWU poll has your answer. 72% of voters in battleground states approve of Obama as a person.
I’ve seen similar results on similar questions and it shows that a very large percentage see him as he actually is, a very genuine, intelligent, nice man. I’m a little freaked out by the “approve of him as a person”, as opposed to what? And really, it does leave 28% who either don’t approve of him as a person or don’t know. I can only imagine how that group breaks out. Certainly the “racists” make up a large percentage of that, from the right and the left. And I would assume some are just hard core Republicans who would spit on any damn liberal. Kind of how I feel about Republicans. :) And then there are, for lack of a better term, “The Naderites”, who don’t like anyone, they all suck, Democrats and Republicans. I’m sure there are others, but those are what come to my mind.
And I am encouraged that 72% of the American people are smart enough to be able to tell that he is a good person. I occasionally have up this Kurt Vonnegut quote “The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart.” I have to remind myself when reading these polls that they do include some people who are absolutely clueless, the ones that can’t name who the president is or who was buried in Grant’s tomb. They more than likely won’t vote, but I’m afraid they get included in the results of these “years out” polls.
I’m actually encouraged by that 72% number because with that many people who are capable of rational thought, all the Obama campaign has to do is point people to this website, or this one, or how about this great Youtube clip. It will be easy to get 51% of those people to realize that this genuinely nice man in the picture and on the TV really does care. He really is trying to move the country forward for all people. Share those links with all your friends, put them in emails, help spread the truth. I have a feeling a lot of people who consider themselves well informed aren’t aware of all that has been done in the last two and a half years. Here are a few of my favorites.
Authorized the US auto industry rescue plan and two GMAC rescue packages (2009)
Authorized a $789 billion economic stimulus plan (2009) * Note: 1/3 in tax cuts for working-class families; 1/3 to states for infrastructure projects; 1/3 to states to prevent the layoff of police officers, teachers, etc. at risk of losing their jobs because of state budget shortfalls
Credit card companies are prohibited from raising rates without advance notification or arbitrarily if customers are paying bills on time (2010)
Authorized the “Cash for Clunkers” program that stimulated auto sales and removed old, inefficient, polluting cars from the road (2009)
Signed the Affordable Care Act. The historic healthcare reform bill – $940 billion over 10 years (2010)
Instituted enforcements for equal pay for women (Lilly Ledbetter Bill) (2009)
Appointed Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina, to the Supreme Court (2009)
Signed the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation that includes acts of violence against gays under the list of federal hate crimes (2009)
Signed the Tribal Law and Order Act which does this. “Tribes will now have the right–and the resources–to investigate and prosecute rapes perpetrated by non-Natives on tribal lands.
That’s only a tiny sliver of great things or progress, that has been made in the last two and a half years. I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again, President Obama is the best president we’ve ever had. He has set a new standard for presidents.
I’ve been learning about Ayn Rand lately, not reading her books, but learning about her. I remember as a teenager friends telling me I should read the Fountainhead and for some reason I was never that interested in it based on what I heard about it. The more I learn, the more it makes me laugh that some on the Right are embracing her ideas so vigorously. Amy Sullivan at Swampland has this interesting piece about this phenomenon.
I came across this a while ago at Blacks4Barack, it has 244 accomplishments of President Barack Obama in categories.
I never understand why Republicans think that crying in the media about being picked on helps them somehow. They look like children.
Booman has a great post about minority voter suppression and how Republicans hate those groups, the hate part was mine!
Jim Wright over at Stonekettle Station has a nice piece about old Newt Gingrich’s entry into the GOP horse race, giddyup!
Sometimes you just gotta love Stephen Colbert, he’s forming his own “Colbert Super PAC”. TPM has the full story with video, pretty cool stunt Stephen.
I”ve been a supporter of the Democratic Party since I was 10 years old, stuffing envelopes and handing out leaflets for George McGovern in his run against President Richard Nixon. In all that time, I’ve grown up and matured as a Democrat and learned that although everyone in the party doesn’t necessarily agree, the greater good that comes from electing Democrats is unmistakable. There ARE consequences to elections. I’m writing this post because I firmly believe that some people who claim to represent the base of the Democratic Party and claim to speak for us – are parasites, feeding on our party for their own selfish gains and in bitter retaliation for Barack Obama kicking their asses in the primary and going on to win the presidency. This post is going to focus on revealing Jane Hamsher, her tactics and how they are undermining the left. It is an expose’, to try to understand why she has focused her efforts so squarely on damaging our Democratic president and how we should deal with it as a party.
Jane Hamsher Comes To Prominence With A Just Cause, Electing A Liberal – She Just Screws It Up Really Bad!
I first noticed Jane during the Ned Lamont primary versus Joe Lieberman and I was definitely rooting for Ned, not knowing that Lieberman would run as an independent. I have no idea what Joe Lieberman’s problem is, he is one of the strangest politicians I’ve ever seen. Back then, I actually bookmarked Jane’s website, signed a petition and got on her email list. But very quickly, I started to see how she plays the game. The photo she put up on a Huffington Post column had a picture of President Clinton with Joe Lieberman, “photoshopped” with blackface, it was taken down very soon after it went up. She was trying to make a statement about Lieberman’s appeal to African Americans. This was just the first example of her vitriol. Here are some reactions to that event.
From Dan Balz at The Washington Post…(emphasis mine in all below)
Arianna Huffington, the founder of HuffingtonPost.com, said that no one from the Web site has asked for the photo to be removed. “We did not ask her, nor would we have asked her,” she said. “It was a satirical point she made in the picture, and there was nothing in the text that was racist, and there is nothing about Jane that is racist.”
Yea, well, Arianna…I’ve spilled a lot of digital ink on her as well. Some more reaction to Jane’s “blackface” problem…
Then it was Ned’s turn. “I don’t know anything about the blogs,” he said according to Dan Balz in the Washington Post. “I’m not responsible for those. I have no comment on them.”
Lamont, who thus far remains the “not Lieberman” choice, is also missing a chance to be senatorial. His spokeswoman denounced Hamsher. Why didn’t he? The campaign asked Hamsher to take down the image from her post; she did, and then offered the non-apology preferred by loutish boyfriends—I’m sorry if I made you upset. Lamont should have gone further to show some spine.
Here is Jane’s response, at least the first two paragraphs. I don’t EVER link to Hamsher, that’s what she wants.
I sincerely apologize to anyone who was genuinely offended by the choice of images accompanying my blog post today on the Huffington Post. It’s also important to note that I do not, nor have I ever worked for Ned Lamont’s campaign. However, at their request, I removed the image earlier today.
Unfortunately, Senator Lieberman’s campaign has used this in attempt to hurt Ned and score political points, mustering their own faux indignation in attempt to further distract from the issues important to the voters of Connecticut.
You’re kidding Jane, a political candidate trying to “hurt’ his opponent and score political points, say it ain’t so Jane? To me that sentence speaks volumes about Jane’s intelligence and political naiveté. Just amazing. And her lack of political acumen shows up in a lot of her writings. I wonder if she’s ever watched C-SPAN for 5 minutes?
BagNews in the Notes section did a great expose on this event too.
What follows is a snippet of Hamsher’s apology (or, “non-apology,” according to Dickerson) for the photo-illustration (also featuring a link to a Connecticut site documenting a racial flier allegedly circulated by the Lieberman campaign). What makes the response particularly BAG-worthy, however, is the question Hamsher poses about the relevance of her choice of images. She writes:
“For weeks, Senator Lieberman has attempted to woo African Americans by pretending to be someone he clearly is not. Meanwhile, his campaign has liberally distributed race-baiting fliers that have the “paid for by” Joe’s campaign disclaimer at the bottom, lying to the press about their intended recipients.
But for some reason, more questions have been asked about me, a blogger. With so much at stake this election, is the choice of images used by a mere supporter really newsworthy?“
First off, Jane needs to step a little closer to the plate. This “mere supporter” just happens to attract about 450,000 page views a week. Also, excuse me for being technical, but the phrase “choice of image” is not that forthcoming, either. As I understand it, Hamsher didn’t just choose this illustration — she conceived it.
More important, however, is the question of whether a blog image is newsworthy. Interesting question coming from a site that leads nearly each post with an image, a great many of which constitute strong parody, or almost stand-alone op-ed.
Jane As The Self Appointed Leader For Progressives and Feminists!
Next I want to take a look at Jane and the idea that she represents progressives and feminists. This next link is to a diary at Daily Kos by Deoliver47, it’s a very good read. She is very wise and her views are through the eyes of someone new to Jane Hamsher’s world, which also makes it interesting. Although Jane seems to think the world revolves around her and that she has some sort of right to represent “progressives”, Deoliver47 didn’t even know who the hell she was…and we were almost done with the health care debate at that point. I only wish I didn’t know who she was then, I may be on a smaller dose of high blood pressure medication.
From Deoliver47 (go read the whole thing, it is wonderful)
It has come to my attention, that somehow a filmmaker and blogger named Jane Hamsher, who seems to be the new leader (appointed by whom I don’t know) of a portion of “left progressives” has proposed a new political alliance with Teabaggers.
Curious I went over to HuffPo, to read what this woman had to say, barely able to imagine that anyone in their right mind who calls themselves a “leftist” or a “progressive” or a “feminist” would countenance an un-holy alliance with a rabble of racists, reactionaries and anti-abortionists.
Since I know nothing about her at all…and had no idea that she was my “new leader” and “spokesperson” for leftists and feminists I did what we all do and headed over to wiki to find out some more about her political credentials to lead a movement from the left.
Hmmm. Nada. Zilch. No organizing experience, no electoral experience (that’s okay, though cause my leadership in the past like Mrs Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm and Martin didn’t have any electoral experience either).
The google is good. I found her critique of Carolyn Kennedy, a woman I admire for her quiet work here in NY vis a vis inner city education.
She said of Caroline:
It seems Caroline Kennedy has decided she’d rather have a US Senate seat than a pony for Christmas[…] Really? She’s “making calls this morning to alert political figures to her interest?” I guess it was either that or get her nails done.
Nice, real sisterly solidarity.
Deoliver47 goes on to show some images that the Tea Party were circulating during the campaign and says this, “Now before y’all get in a snit. Miz Jane didn’t carry these signs. She just wants us to form a coalition, to primary Barack Obama with the people who did.” and a little while later, she follows it with this “You are not my leader Miz Jane. In my book you are not a feminist. My Feminism allows for no alliances with racists.”
Along those lines, BlatantLiberal at DKos posted this about Jane Hamsher’s unholy alliance with the enemies of progressive ideas.
There is a fundamental flaw in FDL’s argument that is not pointed out enough. Coalitions with political opponents can be desirable when the end goals are the same (ex. lefty groups and libertarians making common cause for marijuana legalization). If they are not, they don’t make any sense.
Ostensibly Ms. Hamsher wants a better health-care bill (I actually doubt this, but let’s assume it’s true for arguments sake). Grover fucking Norquist doesn’t want a better health-care bill. He doesn’t want any bill. He wants to dismantle the entirety of the US social safety net, repeal the New Deal, and (his words) “drown the government in the bathtub”.
The stupidity of this alliance is astounding. How is weakening the President and trying to kill his legislative agenda going to help get “progressive” legislation passed?
The final sentence of that quote says it all, really, “How is weakening the President and trying to kill his legislative agenda going to help get ‘progressive’ legislation passed?” That’s the part that bothers me the most about the Professional Left and makes me skeptical of their real motives. In regards to the health care debate, if they can’t understand anything about the environment the President was operating in with so many on the left and right demanding things and drawing lines in the sand and threatening filibusters throughout the process – then they surely can’t comprehend that the President kicked some ass and passed national health care. He got coverage for children with pre-existing conditions, for people with children in college, for seniors who were trapped in the donut hole of Part D and for people who will get treatment for the first time in their lives at community health clinics. And that isn’t all, there was a lot more good that came out of that historical piece of legislation. The status quo apparently looked better to Hamsher and her selfish minions and that is disgusting, absolutely disgusting that someone who calls herself a progressive, let alone a leader of the progressive movement, can be so unconcerned about real people. Clicks man, clicks. $$$$
Some Hillary Supporters Completely Lost Their Minds And Revealed Their Deep Seated Hatred, But Jane Got Lots Of Clicks!
In my research for this article, I came across an incident I wasn’t aware of that happened during the 2008 campaign. Since I am and was a political junky, reading everything I can, it’s curious that I missed this one. Well, I guess it isn’t that curious, I was very busy that year and I won’t cry a river about it here.
I came across the clip below at Ebogjonson.com of an angry Hillary Clinton supporter and “Ebog’s” commentary on the event that happened during the 2008 campaign. It was at the height of the tension between the Clinton camp and the Obama camp. I’ve been saying that the people on the “Professional Left” were some of the bitter Hillary supporters and the same vitriol they displayed during the campaign never went away, they just shelved if for a few minutes. Literally, a few minutes. At Ebogjonson.com, he sheds some light on Jane Hamsher in a post called “A Special Kind of Stupid”…
I’m late to this party, but, I had to make sure the ebogblog’s search results included this bit from my dear friend Jane “Blackface Joe” Hamsher. As many of you know, I’m no fan of Hamsher’s. To me she and her acolytes represent a revanchist strain of the Democratic party that was popular before the Age of Obama, where faux-muscular white Democrats / netroots types tried to prove their fitness for taking on the right by making a big show of reclaiming the Democratic party from the troubling grip of special interests, coloreds, political correctness and identity politics.
The first :52 seconds of the clip are the remarks that are important to the discussion below.
More from Ebogjonson.com…
Anyhoo, this is the Hamsher quote that caught my admittedly biased, anti-Jane eye. Writing of the video she took of Harriet Christian, the racist Clinton supporter who called Barack Obama “an inadequate black male,” Hamsher says in the Huffington Post:
The clip became a YouTube phenomenon; by the time I got home over 200,000 people had seen it. It’s now been viewed by over a million people. It appeared on CNN, Fox News and the Daily Show. Within 24 hours, 10 of the top 20 political videos on YouTube were people’s responses to it.
The comments section (which now stands at nearly 19,000, one of the most commented upon political videos on YouTube of all time) was filled with people arguing fiercely about the contest. Some calling Christian a racist who showed the true face of the Clinton campaign, others calling her a truth teller who speaks for them. She turned into a Rorschach test for a Democratic party divided. She was raw, but we were all raw.
I want to point out how important getting internet traffic is to Janey. For her to actually go into such great detail on how many views and comments her Youtube clip got is so revealing. A woman goes on a rant and says this about our future president, “The best nominee that’s possible and the Democrats are throwing the election away. For what? An inadequate black male!?” And what do we get from Jane, she basically tells us how fucking proud she is about how many people watched the clip and commented on it. That speaks many volumes to me, how about you?
I don’t want to keep pasting from Ebogjonson.com, you really have to just click over and read it. It’s very good. He goes after the “Rorschach test” line and breaks down the rant from the Hillary supporter above. Go, now, then come back. Or go later, free will, gotta love it.
It’s The Clicks And The Money, Stupid!
Even before the President took office in January, the “Professional Left” who made lots of cash on their blogs and with their PACs during the Bush years, turned their focus from Bush to Obama in no time flat. They took every rumor, lie and prediction of what the President was “going” to do as the gospel and rather than waiting to see what he actually would do, say with health care, they proceeded to set up a straw man, knock it down, set up another straw man and knock that down too. I think the Professional Left was responsible in large part for how the health bill turned out, by pounding on the president so hard, they weakened him, gave the media fodder for their meme and diminished the President’s negotiating strength. It was very clear to me that they were more concerned with crying and whining and attacking the president than they were helping poor people get health care. They had to try to prove to themselves and everyone else that the Democratic voters made the wrong decision when we nominated Barack Obama. They refused to give him credit, to listen to anything he said during the general election and proceeded to chip away at him from the left for their own petty and selfish needs. And when Robert Gibbs pushed back, after taking hit after hit after hit, they all ran to jump in front of the bullet. They all wanted to be the Professional Left, clicks man, clicks.
One incident that shows the Professional Left’s ability to twist things to fit their narrative is the incident where Rahm Emmanuel offended them by attacking an idea, but they successfully turned it around as an attack on them personally. Very much a Republican like tactics in my opinion. From The Wall Street Journal…
Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, [progressive activists] say, is the prime obstacle to the changes they thought Mr. Obama’s election would bring.
The friction was laid bare in August when Mr. Emanuel showed up at a weekly strategy session featuring liberal groups and White House aides. Some attendees said they were planning to air ads attacking conservative Democrats who were balking at Mr. Obama’s health-care overhaul.
“F—ing retarded,” Mr. Emanuel scolded the group, according to several participants. He warned them not to alienate lawmakers whose votes would be needed on health care and other top legislative items.
And the one and only Booman responds to the idea that Rahm was calling them retarded.
Rahm Emanuel didn’t say that progressives were retarded. He said that the decision to target Blue Dog Democrats with campaign ads was retarded. And his reasoning was that it would not convince them to support stronger health care reform, but alienate them and make it harder to pass anything at all. You can disagree with Emanuel’s assessment without walking around with wounded feelings for the rest of your life.
Although I’ve seen how ham-handed Rahm can be, as a Democrat who watched wimpy politicians for years not standing up to bullshit, not fighting hard for our ideas and being so respectful and cautious while Republicans pull out all the stops was just a little frustrating. Rahm wasn’t like that and I rooted for him, even though he wasn’t opposed to running moderate or conservative Democrats in conservative districts…what a concept? We would be in much deeper shit in both the last two years of the Bush administration and the first two of President Obama’s if Rahm hadn’t done that. I’ve read some people who think Jane’s hatred for the Obama administration was because of her dislike of Rahm. If she didn’t love her clicks so much, I might put some links up where she twists and turns Rahm’s comment as a personal attack against her and her minions. Once again, jumping in front of those bullets, even if the bullets are aimed at a concept.
Leftover links That You Should Check Out If You Need More Examples
There are some very fishy things going on with her PACs, which Karoli writes about.
Don’t forget about Jane’ cozying up to the Tea Party folks and bonding with them.
Who can forget Jane Hamsher’s attack on Hadassah Lieberman the international spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer charity.
Shoq at Shoq Value has a great post about Jane Hamsher and her PAC for Bradley Manning’s defense, a second one…that she gets paid to administer…and isn’t really needed…and if I’m not mistaken, our “friend” Glenn Greenwald is in on that too.
Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right, takes Jane’s Firedoglake to task for their misleading polling, another very revealing item about Jane’s character.
My Final Thoughts On Why This Is Important To Winning On November 6, 2012
There is a lot more out there about Jane Hamsher’s journey to this point and the wreckage she has left along the way for the Democratic Party and the liberal movement in general. I take comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one who sees through her charade, her money making scheme, her pent up irrational hatred for our first black president and the vitriol with which she displays her anger and hatred. I actually have a lot more I could add to this post including her experience producing “Natural Born Killers”, that nice family movie that glorified violence so much, Quentin Tarantino wanted his name pulled from it. Some of the sources for that stuff aren’t very reliable so I didn’t go there, I stuck to her politics.
As I was proofing this piece today, I realized what that feeling in the pit of my stomach is like, when I listen to or read Jane Hamsher’s writing. It is like being on a team in sports where you have that one player on your team, who seems to be doing more to help the opposite team. The one who looks like they purposely fumbled the ball or are so incompetent that they couldn’t help themselves. In my mind, I wish I could put Jane Hamsher in the incompetent camp, but based on the persistence of her vitriol and her utter lack of self-awareness, I am finding it hard to do that. She can’t find any time to attack Republicans these days.
The definition of the word Insidious is (last two entries apply here) “2. stealthily treacherous or deceitful: an insidious enemy. 3. operating or proceeding in an inconspicuous or seemingly harmless way but actually with grave effect: an insidious disease.” What Jane Hamsher and her buddies Glenn Greenwald and Cenk Uygur are doing to the Democratic Party is insidious. They are deceitful and operating from within the “progressive” movement in a seemingly harmless way, but in reality they are attempting to bring the party to it’s knees. Glenn Greenwald all but admits that in some recent articles I’ve read about that man, the subject of my next expose’, coming to a blog near you – as soon as I get it all together.
As we head into the next battle with the Republicans, who are more right-wing than ever before, do we need a parasite like Jane Hamsher undermining us as a party as she plays to the Tea Party and other populist dimwits? Do we need a person who can’t give any credit where it is due, for fear that she might look like an Obot or admit that President Obama represents the left very well, considering the political circumstances we are in. Do we need someone who calls people that support our Democratic president – Obama-lovers or Obots or any number of other clever words. With friends like her, who needs enemies. We need to confront these people right away before they begin to chip away at the momentum our party is experiencing in light of what is happening in several states across the country. We need a team that is all in, willing to fight hard against the right and willing to cover our backs when the going gets tough. Hamsher’s group has none of that and they either need to stand up for progress or go find some other money making scheme.
And progress is what it is all about, in my mind. These people like Jane Hamsher have thwarted progress for the last two years while trading on the idea that they are actually for it. They’ve usurped our Party by claiming to be leaders within it, while they have been slowly eating it from the inside out. It’s time to remove the parasite and win in 2012.