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Sunday: The Freeper Infestation

A couple of years ago, Bob Altemeyer of the Univerity of Manitoba wrote an online book based on his 40 years of psychological research into the mind of authoritarians.  He didn’t think the book had any commercial value so he offered it for free  on his website under the title, The Authoritarians.  John Dean cited Altemeyer’s work in his book Conservatives Without Conscience.  I highly recommend both books but if you have to start somewhere, try Altemeyer’s book.  It’s based on a lot of research but it is written in a highly accessible conversational style and is chock full of fascinating details about what makes these people tick.

I only bring this up because Obama’s position on the FISA debate has brought out something deeply disturbing in his followers.  Obama says he will support the House compromise but not necessarily Telecomm immunity.  (I have my own thoughts about this but I’ll get to that in a minute.)  Glenn Greenwald has a scathing post about Obama’s capitulation but what Glenn says about Obama’s followers is even more severe.  From Greenwald’s Obama’s Support for the FISA Compromise, Glenn has this to say:

The excuse that Obama’s support for this bill is politically shrewd is — even if accurate — neither a defense of what he did nor a reason to refrain from loudly criticizing him for it. Actually, it’s the opposite. It’s precisely because Obama is calculating that he can — without real consequence — trample upon the political values of those who believe in the Constitution and the rule of law that it’s necessary to do what one can to change that calculus. Telling Obama that you’ll cheer for him no matter what he does, that you’ll vest in him Blind Faith that anything he does is done with the purest of motives, ensures that he will continue to ignore you and your political interests.

Beyond that, this attitude that we should uncritically support Obama in everything he does and refrain from criticizing him is unhealthy in the extreme. No political leader merits uncritical devotion — neither when they are running for office nor when they occupy it — and there are few things more dangerous than announcing that you so deeply believe in the Core Goodness of a political leader, or that we face such extreme political crises that you trust and support whatever your Leader does, even when you don’t understand it or think that it’s wrong. That’s precisely the warped authoritarian mindset that defined the Bush Movement and led to the insanity of the post-9/11 Era, and that uncritical reverence is no more attractive or healthy when it’s shifted to a new Leader.

The excuse that we must sit by quietly and allow him to do these things with no opposition so that he can win is itself a corrupted and self-destructive mentality. That mindset has no end. Once he’s elected, it will transform into: “It’s vital that Obama keeps his majority in Congress so you have to keep quiet until after the 2010 midterms,” after which it will be: “It’s vital that Obama is re-elected so you have to keep quiet until after 2012,” at which point the process will repeat itself from the first step. Quite plainly, those are excuses to justify mindless devotion, not genuine political strategies.

I recommend the whole piece.  Greenwald is brilliant when it comes to constitutional issues.  But what I think he touches on here is what some of us witnessed in the very early manifestation of Obama mania for brutal suppression of dissent and unquestioning loyalty towards the Obama personality that is reminiscent of the early Bush years.  And I think the reason we are seeing this is because some of the Freepers and Little Green Football fanatics moved to the Democratic party.  Whether this was due to some Rovian design or whether it was the inevitable migration of an evolving demographic is unclear to me.  I picture these new Democrats as the same type of people who ran Enron like they did in the documentary, The Smartest Guys in the Room.  They seem to share many of the same characteristics.  They are like salesmen with testosterone poisoning, ultracompetitive and not particularly wedded to one political philosophy or another.  The party power structures exist to them as a means to acquiring what they want, whether it is deregulated markets or wealth or unfettered liberty.

Some Obama followers, not all, are the double high kind of authoritarians that Altemeyer talks about.  They are both vulnerable to authoritarian indoctrination while at the same time, perfectly capable of manipulating the system and individuals for their own personal gain.  This is who has taken over the Democratic party.  For those of you who still believe that is OK to straddle the fence and be both supportive of the party but object to the way that Obama has managed to comandeer the party mechanisms for his own advantage, I would strongly caution you that this is not the case.  If you do not now take a stand and push back with all your might, you will not have a party that will represent you in the future.  Obama and his handlers are not benevolent despots.  And this is not an insurmountable situation.  You have the power, now, and in the worst case scenario, at election time, to make a difference.  As Edmund Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

PUMAs can not do nothing.

Now, I don’t know about you but I have my own criteria as to what would have been the correct response to the FISA debacle.  If I were King of the Forest, I would make sure that our constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties were protected.  The proposed bill would have to be structured in such a way that new surveillance techniques would not infringe upon them.  As for telecom immunity, I’m a more practical individual.  There is a lot of room here for negotiation.  The power is in the hands of Congress to compel the telecomms to compromise on more market competition.  If we punish the telecomms with class action lawsuits, the only people who will benefit will be the lawyers.  The average customer will not likely see a big payoff.  What are you going to get?  A check for a $100 or a credit for your next month’s phone bill?  You, I and the fencepost know this is the all too typical result.  BUT, what if you could force the telecomms to allow ala carte programming on your cable system or infrastructure improvements or mandatory guidelines for better customer service?  What if you could forbid big telecomms from bidding on newly available radio spectra or force them to open their networks to your favorite cellphone?  Wouldn’t this be better than decimating them and sending potentially thousands of their workers to the unemployment lines?  And so what if some of them *did* take a hit?  Wouldn’t their workers benefit from the increased competition as well by having more new start up companies to work for?

Just sayin’

(If you want to know what Hillary has to say about FISA, here are her last statements I could find on the subject from back in February, 2008.  In summary, she co-sponsored Dodd’s bill and says she will support a filibuster if the bill that comes before her infringes on a citizen’s right to privacy and civil liberties.  This, more than preventing retroactive telecomm immunity, is the correct stance.)

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130 Responses

  1. amen to that. A benevolent despot is still a despot. And I don’t think he’s all that benevolent. River daughter, was this(below) clever wordplay, freudian slip, or just a plain old typo? LOL

    democraphic

  2. A bit off topic sorry – but apparently Precious owes $304,000.00 on his campaign. The numbers for him and Hillary (22 million – 12 to herself)
    are posted here

    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/obama-30400000-in-debt/

  3. gary: I edit in real time. I fixed the typo, tho’ I was sorely tempted to leave it in.

    edge: I think the PUMAs are having an effect. I don’t like the fact that it takes starving them for money because it means that if things are corrected, it may be too late to save the election. But the DNC should know that the spigots will open again if they back off and allow for a fair and transparent convention where Hillary will get her chance to make her pitch to the superdelegates. We should remember that she has about $25 million in her GE fund, not that it does her any good now.

  4. If an attorney who lectured on Constitutional law does not understand the modern applications of the Fourth amendment to the Constitution, then he should not be qualified to take the oath of office which requires that he protect and defend that same Constitution. I think we need a President who does not regard that document as just another quaintly antique piece of paper.

  5. For those of you who still believe that is OK to straddle the fence and be both supportive of the party but object to the way that Obama has managed to comandeer the party mechanisms for his own advantage, I would strongly caution you that this is not the case. If you do not now take a stand and push back with all your might, you will not have a party that will represent you in the future. Obama and his handlers are not benevolent despots.

    (nodding emphatically)
    There is a difference between PUMA and the traditional “Anybody But…” movements late in other primary seasons. Nothing but voter suppression, fraud and the misrepresentation of Obama’s background could put us where we are now.

    And this is why the “get over it” language is totally meaningless to PUMAs — except to prove how totally impossible it is. We CAN’T allow ourselves to “get over it” Resentment, bitterness, sorrow — those are the least of the issues driving the PUMA movement.

  6. Oh, I totally agree with this. One, I’ve come to realize Obama does admire Reagan. That was not just politics. He honors the authoritarian style and seems to think this style will benefit our Party. It will not. It will destroy the Democrats who are by definition a bottom up Party.

    Two, exactly right. It’s not the immunity. Actually, my problem with the bill is it basically ratifies the process.

  7. This whole FISA thing has me steamed, Mostly the Obamabots response to it. Talk about DENIAL and I am not talking about that river in Egypt. After Obama loses the convention-or failing that the GE in November, we are going to have to come up witha whole new twelve step program for these folks.

    Creator,
    grant me the serentity to change the Obamians
    I can,
    Forget about the lost Obamian souls I cannot,
    and please give me the wisdom to know the
    difference.

    Sadly, many may need years of psycho-therapy before they can return to a productive life….They must realixze that they will be forever addicted to Obama and the only way to stay sober from Obamaism is to never partake of it again.

    See him in the newspaper throw it out-
    get a mailer from Obama for America dont open it-
    See Obama on TV turn it off-
    once you read or see Obama again you again be on the road to be hoodwinkville and bamboozletown…

    We will make millions in treatment fees which we will donate to charities that cure cancer and AIDS and defeat world hunger…

    Just a thought

    Fuzzybeargville

  8. The Super Idiots are already bought and paid for.

    I think they should have to give us a line item detail report as to why they have chosen to support Obama over Senator Clinton.

    That they get to set back and cause this chaos and injustice is criminal. That the fix was in from early on according to Russert, Andrea….. should be investigated as they continued to solicit funds from us that there was an opportunity for Senator Clinton to win. They did not, and I call Fraud.

  9. Two comments:

    1. If anyone knows any of the donors slated for the joint appearance by HRC and BO…it would be great if they all nodded and went along, then wrote out checks for $0.00. BO should be happy–he wants the checks, and he’ll get them.

    2. Queen of the Forest, Queen of the Forest.

  10. P.S. – I don’t think we should make fun of Britney – she is a young, sick girl. I just hope she gets well.

  11. 2. Queen of the Forest, Queen of the Forest.

    Heh, ea – you beat me to it!

  12. Thank you for this post, Riverdaughter. I’ve long thought that Obamabots have the authoritarian mindset John Dean describes in Conservatives Without Conscience. I never thought we’d be seeing this in so-called progressives.

  13. fuzzy-

    I have never partaken of the obamanica cool-aid, I guess instead of a teettotaler i’m a obatotaler…

    ea–good idea, but I’m not sending any checks with $0.00 on it. That 0 dollars would become $100.00 in a heartbeat…

  14. Am I correct in thinking that Glenn Greenwald has been supporting Obama throughout the primary? I’ve avoided most writers just because it’s annoying to read one after another praising Obama.

    Anyway… this is precisely the problem with Obama. We do NOT know him. He does NOT have enough of a record for us to judge. Hillary, on the other hand, we know well. We trust her because we understand her. We’ve seen her track record over the years. Her actions and her votes, compiled over a long period, show consistency. We don’t need pretty words from her because she can stand on her record and her experience.

    I am still flabbergasted at how many Democrats have been fooled by the Obama charm offensive. It’s SO like Bush, it’s amazing. If Greenwald is coming to his senses, good, but why so late?

  15. The attitude or energy that emanates from and pushes the Obama movement forward is not about folks believing in his core goodness. It is a belief, a hope that because of the colour of his skin he is going to do what they would do if they were in his shoes. They believe he is going to put America and White America, in particular, in their place. All non-Blacks who don’t go along with THAT show will be put in the back of the bus (or under it), with the White Folks.

    http://countusout.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/leader-love-lorn-loonies/

  16. Stillife

    Its the Elitist “my way is better than your way syndrome” of course republican authoritarianism is worse than ours….republicans are shoving god guns and bitterness down our throat…

    We democratic authoritarians are all about peace love and picking mushrooms-we understand that not everyone thinks this way so those who”cant get over it” or “won’t get into line” or “get with the program” have to be forced its for their own good we do this…

    Besides we Obomains know the truth-

    war is peace

    freedom is slavery

    Ignorance is strength

    Fuzzybeargville

  17. Thanks for this RD.

    The blind devotion of the Obots is very frightening, especially coupled with the now seeming zero-tolerance for dissent.

    We are certainly heading to a very scary place. We must push back against this. I understand those who say they cannot vote for McCain, but at some point this goes deeper than policy and personal ideology. This is about America and saving the Democratic Party. They have to know that we will not allow these kinds of actions. You are absolutely right. If we don’t push back now, we will have sanctioned the before forever. You teach people how to treat you, and the DNC needs a new lesson.

  18. “See him in the newspaper throw it out-
    get a mailer from Obama for America dont open it-
    See Obama on TV turn it off-”

    Fuzzy, I have been doing this since Obama’s last debate with Hillary, otherwise all of my hair stands on end, which frightens little children, and emotionally delicate adults.

  19. Carol: I am not making fun of Britney. This clip is from around 2003 when she was just another typical post adolescent entertainer. Unfortunately, her statement was one that many other perfectly normal people were uttering as well. This is the very definition of the “banality of evil”.

  20. Great post, RD. The potential continued assault on the Constitution is frightening. The complicity of the DNC and all the other sheep who want my vote is another reason I won’t be voting down-ticket Dem.

    PUMA

  21. I am sure george orwell is rolling over in his grave…

    fuzzybeargville

    No koolaid for me at all -I will have my cosmos and white russians….

    please let pat and all the K griffin fans know that he show iis on bravo new episodes thursday’s 10pm/9pm central

  22. I’ll read the rest soon, but I had to stop and say no, no, no to this:

    “And I think the reason we are seeing this is because some of the Freepers and Little Green Football fanatics moved to the Democratic party.”

    Sorry, RD, but I don’t believe that for a second. Authoritarians can be found EVERYwhere, and have been present in the democratic party for a long time. Markos is an authoritarian. Bradley supporters in 2000, as well as some Nader voters. They all supported change by force, and were bitter when they lost. Bob Casey Sr. was also an authoritarian who fought Bill Clinton tooth and nail for the heart of the Democratic Party, and thank goodness Clinton won. Casey ran away screaming that god would help him defeat Clinton in1996, but fortunately god saw fit to remove that nemesis from this earth before he could challenge again.

    It may be true that some Republicans have been attracted to Democrats as a result of the Bush administration, but they are not the authoritarians. They are leaving because of their opposition to authoritarianism. It’s the authoritarians already in our own midst that are trying to take over this party.

    The whole point of Altemeyers book was that authoritarians infest every facet of life, and arguments like liberals good/ conservatives bad just serve to mask that truth. I know it’s hard to let go of beliefs held for years about good guys and bad guys, but we have got to get beyond emotional team spirit, and take a look at the bigger picture.

    Okay, back to reading the rest.

  23. I remember a social experiment – The Wave – in the 70s – it inspired a book, a TV show.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083316/

    A group of people (randomly – blue eyed or brown-eyed) were constantly being told that they were superior while
    the others were inferior. Fascist type behavior followed really fast.
    The Bobots getting Sinclair arrested

    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/liberal-bloggers-get-their-first-arrest-sinclair/

    the constant abuse of the dissenters on internet sites encouraged by the campaign

    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/get-off-my-internet/

    are all symptoms of this. The media contributed to it by providing the frame “B0 – noble Mesiah – Hillary & supporters – lying racists that should just go away” themes were played out intensely for over 6 months now.
    No wonder the weak succumbed…

  24. annabellep, Markos is a former Republican who wrote a scathing editorial in the 90’s about Bill Clinton for wanting to let gays openly serve.

    Bill Bradley, sure. Bob Casey Sr., you bet. The difference? They didn’t win. This guy is the so-called standard bearer of the Party, and this authoritarianism will destroy the Party in the long term, just as it did the Republicans.

  25. good for you KarolinaNYC,

    You seem to be one of those extremely intelligent citizens that will never ever need a 12 step program to get over the wonder that is Senator Obama. I bet you saw through him well before that PA debeate…

    Fuzzybeargville

  26. Oh yeah, this I can get behind. Awesome, in fact.

    “Some Obama followers, not all, are the double high kind of authoritarians that Altemeyer talks about. They are both vulnerable to authoritarian indoctrination while at the same time, perfectly capable of manipulating the system and individuals for their own personal gain. This is who has taken over the Democratic party. For those of you who still believe that is OK to straddle the fence and be both supportive of the party but object to the way that Obama has managed to comandeer the party mechanisms for his own advantage, I would strongly caution you that this is not the case. If you do not now take a stand and push back with all your might, you will not have a party that will represent you in the future. Obama and his handlers are not benevolent despots. And this is not an insurmountable situation. You have the power, now, and in the worst case scenario, at election time, to make a difference. ”

    Leverage, baby. There is no turning to the Democratic party this year. If you do, you give away your leverage. People who truly support defeating this faction have to come to some resolution on either voting for McCain and the occasional Republican, or voting straight third party.

  27. Or abstaining, of course. Sorry.

  28. annabelle, that is what I was saying in my post above about elitist syndrome-you seid it much more elagantly

    fuzzybeargville

  29. masslib,

    I wasn’t arguing against the fact that authoritarians are the faction seeking to gain control of the party. I’ve been saying that for some now. My argument is that it’s not just Republicans infiltrating. There has been a recognizable authoritarian faction active in the Democratic party for years.

    And yes, I do know about Markos. More than I’d like to, but one must know one’s enemies. Heh.

  30. Annebellep: Au Contraire. Altemeyer’s research showed that authroitarianism on the left end of the political spectrum is relatively rare. Lefties do not typically display authoritarian tendencies. Some of their leaders might but that seems even to be self limiting.
    No, I’m pretty convinced we’re seeing an infestation from the right by libertarians, such as Markos, and moderate Republicans, such as Huffington. They came to us because they were put off by the right wing religious extremists but they brought with them the same tendency to follow and exploit when it is beneficial to them.
    Go back and read the sections on the world games. Non-authoritarians favor cooperation, alliances and mutualism while the higher scoring authoritarians favor conquest and empire. What we have here is an influx of authoritarians but not of religious extremists.

  31. Thanks fuzzy! Can I call you fuzzy? :)

  32. Right, RD, but not all liberals, and certainly not all Democrats are left.

  33. RD, that’s a different way of saying it than LGFers are infiltrating. I’ll have to give that some thought.

  34. I’ve read Altemeyer and Dean, and the Oborg may well be the leftist authoritarians they talk about but had no examples of (authoritarianism being a mostly right-wing phenomena)

    One “defense” the OFB keep mentioning is Hillary’s position on FISA. As RD mentioned, she hasn’t made a public statement on this latest version.

    But if Hillary votes for this bill, she will be wrong just like the others. We must remember that we adhere to principles, and only support canddates when do the same.

  35. -democracy dies when people make a champion of the one who is the instrument of its distruction-

    fuzzybeargville

  36. You know, maybe we are having a discussion without identifying the distinction between conservative power players and rank and file republicans.

  37. annabelle you can call me fuzzy all my friends here do…

    fuzzybeargville

  38. RD – I know the video is old. I know you didn’t make the video, and I get your point. I just think she has had a life time of being the victim of the misogyny that exists today, and I hate that she is used in this video as being ignorant.

    I think she and Hillary have a lot in common – extremely hard working, talented women that have been and continued to be used.

    Let’s have a video of the media and congressional super idiots that have chugged the kool-aid. They should be informed and know better.

  39. annabellep: I didn’t say we didn’t have some but Altemeyer shows that we are people who are much more likely to do what is right than what is convenient. Even our leaders have to have a certain amount of narcissism and desire for power or they would be ineffective. But depending on how they use that power and how well they understand their base is the an indication of how well they will succeed as leaders. I don’t think that anyone would argue that FDR, for example, had a degree of authoritarianism in him. Look at how he tried to pack the courts. But he was stopped and had to go about getting his agenda passed by more constitutional means, and it worked.
    Double high authoritarians like Cheney wouldn’t let constitutionality get in his way. He follows no rules.

  40. Having read John Dean’s book a year or two back I came away with the distinct feeling that a majority of people prefer to live under “authoritarianism”. You do not have to think for yourself, someone is there doing it for you. This society is lazy. Technology has delivered us from manual labor so why not turnoff the brain matter to go along with it.

    Listening to the inane comments uttered by Britney Spears, as uneducated and uninformed as she is, is no different then the pleadings and apologies we receive from the Obamabots. There is little political reasoning going on behind their obsession because facts or doubts don’t matter. It is the “glamour” of having the first black dude in the WH, the latest fad to satisfy our roaming cravings for something new and different.

    It took us awhile to realize the maneuvering going on backstage with the DNC. One can only surmise what lies in store should this guy capture the win.
    Like Bush, this man has all the capabilities attached to authoritarianism. “Don’t do as I do, do as I say”. The simple fact that he manipulated the nomination should raise questions in the mind of the electorate but as we have discovered so far, it is unimportant overall.

  41. RD…thanks for the post connecting the dots. It takes focus to see the obvious and I too often let anger cloud my “seeing” what is right in front of me. That said, my strategy (thanks to a lot of blogs I now boycott) in the past 2-3 years has been to contribute to progressive dems only, not to the national party. Now I am starting to wonder what persisting with that strategy will yield if the Obama putsch succeeds.

  42. Donna’s on telling us the race card is going to continue to be played against BO. He’s the only one I see playing the race card.

    I thought she quit the party??????

  43. RD interesting-

    What you are saying that the great leftist Like Stalin Mao Ho chi min and Kim Jung Il were not really leftist at all but put on the garb of leftism to carry out their own authoritarian programs and cults of personality….

    I find it a compelling argument

    and also funny that those guys above were just right wingers in Drag….

    fuzzybeargville

  44. Carol: I prefer not to get sidetracked by whether or not the clip is unfair to Ms. Spears given her recent life circumstances. The clip is a prime example of the attitude that many Americans suffered back during the aftermath of 9/11 and the run-up to the Iraq war.
    Unfortunately, I know of no other clip that illustrates that attitude better than Britney’s.
    She’s older and hopefully wiser now.
    That’s all I have to say on the matter. More discourse on it is distracting, IMHO, though others might want to take it offline if they feel otherwise,

  45. I have been amazed that most of the people that I know personally who are now Obamaniacs were so aware of the authoritarian Reagan style and the Bush2 phenomenon in 2000 and beyond. They were the ones who would argue against the Iraq war as did I, and would tell people to go back and read the constitution when told that saying this was anti-American.

    During the primaries, when I tried to tell those who were long-time dear friends, that they are being fooled in the same way that we witnessed people being blinded during Reagan and Bush2, they became instantly defensive and in denial.

    It was quite disturbing, as everyone here knows.

  46. Authoritarianism is a mind-set, not in ideology

  47. Right wingers in drag…hilarious. Hehehe.

  48. I always thought the phrase “post-partisan” was funny. Obama claims that mantel himself, but wouldn’t a post-partisan politician be an authoritarian? if there are no parties, just a leader, isn’t that a dictatorship?

  49. Let us hope that Sen Obama does not join the club of right wingers in drag…to that I can only say -Justsaynodeal

    Fuzzybeargville

  50. In order for authoritarianism to work there must also be compliance from the courts and the press along with a public who has been taught to “fear”. We have seen a partial validation of this already.

  51. garychapelhill, on June 22nd, 2008 at 11:21 am Said:
    I always thought the phrase “post-partisan” was funny. Obama claims that mantel himself, but wouldn’t a post-partisan politician be an authoritarian? if there are no parties, just a leader, isn’t that a dictatorship?

    Yes, Gary. I’ve thought that myself. Scary.

  52. Fuzzy, I actually quit my NYTimes subscription, telling then that I might restart it after the election—depending on who wins. Told them I was very angry about their aparent politics, pro-sexist-narcissistic-Obama and against Hilary.

  53. I hate to break it to you guys, but he’s already a right winger in drag. There’s a list of reasons why, which I enumerated in my post, Morning Thoughts, at my blog this morning. Just click on my name to read it.

  54. although Obama would be quite humorous in a big bee-lilly southern girl go to church on sunday hat and floral print dress with white belt and pumps on….I think that would bring down the convention if he made his speach in that kind of outfit…to prove he is not a sexist…

    fuzzybeargville

  55. I think we are realizing now that the D Party is not about the people and someone like Obama has just used the party for the gathering of power. He doesn’t have a soul or an ideology. His supporters are not interested in issues they are interested in power. They’ve had a love/hate relationship with the current administration and so want to emulate him. Obama doesn’t give a rat’s ass about health care or getting the troops out of Iraq. He sees Iraq only as an issue he can exploit. When he settled in the south side of Chicago he realized that he had to be in certain places on certain issues in order to succeed. And like my local paper said today, he is just a lousy politician who will do what is expedient to gain power. This is nothing more than a cult of personality. His supporters hated Hillary so much because she actually thought through the issues and they knew she wouldn’t be pressured to change her views. They see with him power for power’s sake and a man without a soul who they can rely upon to do whatever it takes to gain that power.

  56. I hope that Hillary does the right thing on FISA, but if she doesn’t I’m pretty sure most of us will not give her a pass as the OFB did for obama. I guess that’s why we are NOT the authoritarian wing of the party..

  57. Pat:

    Don’t confuse an authoritarian political system with authoritarians themselves.

    They can talk in favor of individual freedom while oppressing it. They can claim to be democrats (small “d”) while supporting facisism.

    There are always authoritarians in our midst, they become a problem when they gain power.

  58. Wonderful, wonderful post RD! I read John Dean’s book a while ago, and I felt it was an invaluable window into the souls (and lack thereof) of the 24%wingnuts.Know thine enemy indeed!

    I had dinner last night with a bunch of Obama supporters. They were doing exactly what Glenn said – “Well, he just has to win in November. I mean, who are you going to vote for, McCain?” Some were still rabidly enthusiastic about Obama and his candidacy.

    One woman was a former Hillaryite. I asked what happened, and she said Tuzla, “white working class people” and the RFK reference turned her off to Hillary. I just nodded my head, thinking, “What the FUCK is wrong with you? Do you understand that those are minor gaffes? Do you understand that Obama has flipflopped on every issue he mentioned during the primary? Isn’t that more important to you?”

    I agree that it’s an authoritarian mindset. Although these people are liberals, they are all followers of an Obama blogger and tend to believe whatever he tells them. So, there is a third level of follower mentality: those who worship the blogger’s opinions more than their own. In my opinion, this is neither a liberal nor a conservative phenomenon, but one that deserves more research, now that it has become so prevalent.

  59. Haha, fuzzy! You can create something similar to that at the following site (sadly, no skirts):

    http://www.justdressupgames.com/games/dress_up_barack_obama/

  60. Karolina smart of you the Gainesville Sun (it shines for Alachua County)sub was canceled too same reason…

    Anabelle I never doubted it about the big “O”….hitler campaigned in restoring government to the people and change and hope for hegemeny of the german people.

    fuzzybeargville

  61. We shouldn’t think of the Obama movement as a single individual.

    He is the figurehead, but he isn’t the most powerful person in the movement, at least not yet.

    He’s backed by people with power and money who are hoping to use him. His campaign is run by Axelrod, who is a Rove wannabe.

    It’s like G-dub all over again. Does anyone really think he’s the person who’s been running our government? That’s like thinking Ronald McDonald is the CEO of Mickey D’s.

  62. Lord Acton said it best -though it is often missquoted -for your consideration I will put the quote down here as it was originally stated:

    Power “tends” to corrupt,
    Absolute power corrupts Absolutly

    This denotes that sometomes power is necessary like in FDR’s time fightinging the deppression or winning WWII.

    Fuzzybeargville

  63. Pat dont know if you saw this but K Griffin new episodes now appear @ 10pm Thursdays 9pm central

    Fuzzybeargville

  64. I believe it is coming from within and from the outside. From within we have the whole Chcago Daley machine which is a very authoritarian vehicle. Also coming form Chicago is William Ayers and his very radical left authoritarian politics at work on the school system there. Steve Diamond has some interesting work on that and the Authoritarian left over at http://rezkowatch.blogspot.com.
    I have my own experience with some of these Democrats when recently I did a foolish thing and email my coworkers to have a discussion of the RBC meeting after work. All of the people were self-described Democrats except for one independent. Three of them told me how they admired Obama’s way of winning underhandedly, because they were sick of losing to the Republicans, and thought that the Democrats needed someone who could play dirty too. When I pressed them about honoring voters and the Democratic process all they could talk about were the rules. They could not see the irony of their position.
    These people are mostly all phds, very smart people, but they exhibit these tendencies to accept authoritarian rule.
    I do believe the rise of authoritarianism in the Democratic party is coming from the outside with disaffected Republicans and Independents also though. I don’t have a lot of evidence except the usual suspects, Markos, and Huffington, but for me it is the style of debate online. It doesn’t feel like I am debating a Democrat. It feels like I’m debating a Republican. The straw man arguments remind me of college in the early 90s arguing with Republicans. My experience debating Democrtas has always been that each one may actually be too fair to the other’s position, at least there was usually respect for the other even if we couldn’t see eye-to-eye. Now, however, it feels like Republicans to me. If you don’t agree with them you are a racist or you want to kill people in Iraq. Making everything into a black and white argument has also been a tool of fascists, but how can a liberal avoid dismissing an issue that is really black and white?
    We are headed into troubling times.

  65. I always thought the phrase “post-partisan” was funny. Obama claims that mantel himself, but wouldn’t a post-partisan politician be an authoritarian? if there are no parties, just a leader, isn’t that a dictatorship?

    I’ve worried about that myself – I don’t want Unity, it does sound like a dictatorship to me (& has certainly seemed that way in the attitudes of some of his followers). I had dinner w/friends last night, some of whom are strong Obama supporters & some of whom just want a Dem back in the White House.. it was aggravating because Obama’s no liberal and voted for Cheney’s energy bill, is now declaring himself a free market/free trader after he got done attacking Hillary over NAFTA during the primaries.. it’s like criticisms of Obama just didn’t matter.

  66. What an excellent essay. I had not really even thought of that before (though I should have). There is no ideological check upon Obama’s power. Most of his minions either don’t care what he does because all they want to win and destroy the other side, like some kind of computer game; or because they think they can make money in his administration. The rest of it is irrelevant to them. We are now moving into a post-issues age; and how frightening is that?

    I see no ideological core to Obama; and his supporters mostly reflect that. The few people who actually care about these things, and who supported him because they didn’t like the Clintons, or they thought they were getting some true progressive candidate, are going to be utterly disillusioned. By then, of course, it will be far too late.

  67. This morning I clicked on left coaster first, and the top article showed a picture of a befuddled, saddened paradox in front of his just arrived Obama sign. He rationalized putting it up.

    SO, refreshing to click over to RiverDaughter!

    At least some of O’s supporters are having doubts – and it’s a long time until the convention and general. And how are some of them going to react to his push for the evangelical vote? Obama’s as trapped as McCain – try to go center or try to keep the base?

  68. Carol, I think Donna and Obama pushing the race card is going to come back to bite them. At some point it just gets tiresome. We know there are racists just like we know there are misogynists, but enough is enough.

  69. So true

    “I always thought the phrase “post-partisan” was funny. Obama claims that mantel himself, but wouldn’t a post-partisan politician be an authoritarian? if there are no parties, just a leader, isn’t that a dictatorship?”

  70. Don’t know what to make of this, and I know the Confluence doesn’t do Larry Sinclair in this oddest of election cycles in my lifetime.

    Larry Sinclair press conference online:

    http://www.larrysinclair.org/press.html

  71. Poor Paradox, he really would be happier as a PUMA.

    Why does he feel obligated to support a candidate who doesn’t support his values?

  72. It’s like G-dub all over again. Does anyone really think he’s the person who’s been running our government? That’s like thinking Ronald McDonald is the CEO of Mickey D’s.

    lol that is one of the best lines….and sooo true!!

  73. For some of us who go back a little further, you could also cite the 50’s as another grab at authoritarianism. The McCarthy era for instance. Weeding out so called subversives, which sounded reasobable on its face, but which led to witch hunts over a 5 year period. Freedom of speech and thought were at stake during this time.

    Each generation faces something similar as the 60’s allowed spying on its citizens for the sake of destroying those who opposed the Vietman war.

    The 80’s under Reagan brought us Irangate and the opening strangulation of the constitution.

    The 90’s brought out the Repub slime machine in an effort to overturn the election by using any means possible to unseat and destroy Clinton.

    Bush/Cheney summarized the collective fears of the 9/11 attacks and branded that authoritarianism with a brand name: fear.

    Fear and hatred go hand in hand with authoritarianism. We look to someone to make it better. The bandaid solution to all of our troubles. Tough times are coming. Watch out.

  74. michael: I caught Kathy Griffin the other night. As usual, very funny.

  75. myiq2xu–i think it is fear. That’s what Obama is selling, and they’re buying it. Those of us who really do believe in FDR’s iconic phrase that we really do have nothing to fear but fear itself will never vote for somebody just because he tells us the other candidate is the bogeyman. I don’t know who paradox is, but like so many other democrats, he is in sore need of a spine.

  76. Great post RD, but very disturbing.

    Aren’t the Obama worshippers behaving exactly the way Bush supporters did? They are ready to accept and find excuses for anything he does.

    This is the most important passage of this fantastic post:

    If you do not now take a stand and push back with all your might, you will not have a party that will represent you in the future. Obama and his handlers are not benevolent despots. And this is not an insurmountable situation. You have the power, now, and in the worst case scenario, at election time, to make a difference. As Edmund Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

  77. One of the key points about authoritarians is they define themselves in opposition to “the other.”

    For conservatives “the other” is “liberals.” For the Oborgs it is “Hillary.”

    Many of us have noticed that Obamanation seems lost and purposeless without Hillary to hate. They stalk us through the internet just to launch attacks.

  78. gary:

    They sure harp on SCOTUS appointments, don’t they?

    Reminds me of “If you vote for the Democrats, the terrorists win”

  79. This is what you see in the unabashed support from the Obamabots. They are desperately seeking a “savior”. From what they write, they firmly believe that this no nothing is going to save the world, restore our luster, solve the energy problems, bring gasoline prices down, and on and on and on.
    They cannot even offer a reason why or on what evidence this man provides that enforces this certainty.

    Hillary suffered because she was a Clinton, a woman, a pragmatist, and what they felt was a throwback to the 90’s. They bought into the “dynasty” theme, they blamed her for things she had no control over, they hated her for reasons even they could not articulate.

    Instead, they preferred an untried candidate who was sold as this Messianic figure who could save them. We may see the ridiculousness of this but they truly are of the belief that it is going to happen.

    They may be consumed with false idealism and blind adherence but a little touch of cynicism may provide a bit of balance. After all, you don’t buy the couch without testing its comfort first.

  80. Wow! I never realized that Glenn Greenwald was such a racist.

  81. Pat Johnson – Did you see that I wrote a new play for you about FISA? You would have the starring role as Nancy Pelosi. :-)

    gary – I heartily agree that “post-partisan” sounds like “dictator.” We have parties because we disagree on fundamental issues. Dissent is patriotic; that’s what these Obamans seem to forget.

    Obama’s Unity rhetoric has shown from the beginning that he will not be the Fighting Dem we need in the White House. Worse, he wants to Unify with Republicans and not Democrats.

    What I would like, instead of post-partisan, is NON-partisan. I saw polling a while ago that a majority of Americans agree with the FDR Democratic platform – they want a social safety net that includes governmental support for the less fortunate. A candidate that ran on that platform would be the very essence of a non-partisan candidate. And that is why Republicans, Independents and Democrats loved Hillary so much by the end of the primary season, IMHO.

  82. I know just how you felt at that dinner last night, and I commend you for having the self-disciple, patience and wisdom to not express your feelings. I do not usually fair so well, even though I know that argument is futile, as fanatics can make up “facts” much faster than I can remember them.

    @madamab

    “they are all followers of an Obama blogger and tend to believe whatever he tells them.”

    I think that this is often a phenomenon of “laziness” and low self-esteem. It takes unbending devotion to truth, self and humanity to follow the difficult, lifelong path of educating oneself to get a view of the “big picture.”

    Many, many people are too burdened to be able to do it. Some people are just too lazy to do it. When they get interested to get into political opinions, they either know/fear that they are unaware of a universe of information, or don’t care that they are unaware of a universe of information. Instead of taking on the overwhelming project starting to educate self, discern truth from fraud, etc., its instant to hitch a wagon to a train that’s already going…..and probably knows a whole, damn lot.

    Fuzzy

    “hitler campaigned in restoring government to the people and change and hope for hegemony of the german people.”

    This really hits home for me as my father was a student in Germany at this time and saw through the rap to the fascism. I was raised with his accent on discernment of the truth. And btw, grandparents left Russian “communism” which was just a name masking totalitarianism and fascism (where the dictatorStalin-ruled government was the big-business). This stuff goes back into my genetic and cultural history.

    myiq2xu

    “We shouldn’t think of the Obama movement as a single individual.

    He is the figurehead, but he isn’t the most powerful person in the movement, at least not yet.

    He’s backed by people with power and money who are hoping to use him. His campaign is run by Axelrod, who is a Rove wannabe.

    It’s like G-dub all over again. Does anyone really think he’s the person who’s been running our government? That’s like thinking Ronald McDonald is the CEO of Mickey D’s.”

    This is exactly the way I see it. After swallowing the bitter pill of truth in your post, the following Ronald McDonald example made me smile like a spoon of chocolate pudding.

  83. They are both vulnerable to authoritarian indoctrination while at the same time, perfectly capable of manipulating the system and individuals for their own personal gain.

    You just described one of the most virulent, crazed Obamabots I know — an ex-fundie-turned-lesbian who is all of these things as well as acting out a ranging tantrum against her mother.

    I also confess to being rather amused at this PUMA thing when I recall saying the same thing a few months ago and getting labelled a nutbar. Funny that.

  84. Last week was rough for the OFB.

    The Presumptuous One flip-flopped on campaign finance and NAFTA, then endorsed the FISA sell-out.

    Then to top it off, he made himself look silly with his make-believe “Seal of Obama.”

    The worst part was they couldn’t blame any of it on Hillary (although they tried anyway)

    At the rate He is going, even if Obama won in a landslide next November He won’t have a mandate (unless it’s a man date with Larry Sinclair)

  85. Okay, what did I say to trigger the spam moderator?

  86. I could understand the enthusiasm of the OFB if Obama was proposing radical change like another New Deal, but his proposals are vague or imitations of other candidates.

    His “change” mantra is just some vague promises to improve the process, without any substantive policy to go with it.

  87. madamab: I’m in! This role is one I have been waiting to play all my life. And I have a pair of silk lounging pajamas I have been dying to wear.

    Actually, you are right on target. Pelosi has managed to consolidate the power. No different from and Repub who went before her. The thought of these people remaining in power is frightening. God knows how they will be able to manipulate Mr. No Nothing going forward.

    Thanks!

  88. @Pat Johnson: Hee hee hee! Glad you liked it.

    Actually, you are right on target. Pelosi has managed to consolidate the power. No different from and Repub who went before her. The thought of these people remaining in power is frightening. God knows how they will be able to manipulate Mr. No Nothing going forward.

    I know – this is what scares the h@ll out of me. Obama refuses to take a strong stand on anything. He strikes me as the ultimate puppet figurehead – just like Bush.

    In fact, to me, Obama is running on Dubya’s platform from 2000. He is the epitome of the “compassionate conservative,” isn’t he? And now he is floating Lugar and Hagel as possible VP picks. I just know he is going to pick a Republican in the ultimate “f-you” to his hypnotized followers. Yet many of them will continue to follow him over the ideological cliff.

  89. We need to take care that we become more vigilant about the “enemy from within” than any other threat we face. A strong nation can withstand the force, a weakened nation not so much.

  90. Gary,

    Hope you don’t mind:

    I floated your brilliant and succinct summary in front of the cheetos 5 minutes ago, no troll rating yet…I think they are waking from the dream…

    http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2008/6/21/44652/2407/427#c427

  91. add the h

  92. The issue would be different if we were talking about indemnification rather than immunity.

    Immunity not only lets the telcos off the hook, it closes the door to using civil suits to find out what our government has been up to re: domestic spying.

    Indemnification means the government picks up the tab on the lawsuits if they are successful, which might be appropriate if they were acting in quasi-good faith when they broke the law.

  93. mada, i too am amazed by the responses i get from people re change in support for HRC or no support ever. i recently was told that HRC was a liar due to sniper reference. thus, no support for her.

    as to the RFK comment — wow, how context was gutted from that one. i have no respect for people who do not look at the context but make major decisions on the misinformation. also, you’d think it would occur to some of these critics that possibly HRC often thinks of RFK given that she sits in the senate seat he once held. BO’s camp sure fueled that distortion. yea, this is the game change we’re looking for….

    instead people should be outraged by BO’s choice to punt campaign finance reform to the graveyard…a hugely important civil rights issue for state and local races, too, but they’ll never bite on that…can’t be reduced to a nice tidy soundbite.

    this is ugly stuff…

    i don’t know why this comes to mind, but I once had a self-proclaimed crusty conservative (a jessie helms strategist in NC) say to me….”if you give people the truth….they’ll kill you…you need to funnel your message in terms they want to hear.”

  94. I quit reading Glenzilla a while back when it became obvious he was in the kool-aid tank for The Precious.

    Looks like he finally came to his senses.

  95. I read many comments over at the orange menace regarding Obama and FISA. The Obama supporters conceded FISA was a terrible move on Obama’s part. Yet, they seemed to believe that once he’s in office the great Obama will fix it because the O supporters are going to “hold his feet to the fire.”

    If Obama is not worried about losing their support now before the election, why would he ever care after he was in office!?

    Obama supporters who care about the 4th amendment, welcome to under the bus. As the Great O likes to say: “get over it.”

  96. Most of our marriages were based on being told what we want to hear. Heads in the clouds, bluebirds singing, not a cloud in the sky, everything coming up roses! Sound familiar?

    Should have listened to my mother.

  97. Context wasn’t “gutted” from the RFK comment, it was entirely replaced.

  98. Obamanation has set a very low standard for The Presumptuous One.

    All he has to do to keep their support is be “better than McCain.”

    I guess that means 99 years in Iraq is okay.

  99. Power loves a vacuum. IMO, those four words summarizes what we are seeing this season. It’s what you see when the likes of Kos and Ariannnnah, have magically and mystically seen the light on the road to Damascus, err, Denver. Their efforts on the right went for naught and there’s nothing more frustrating for the kid who is always waving his/her hand than not to be called upon.

    Let’s be honest, BZero’s head would explode should an original thought creep its way inside, but he has tapped into the vacuum. Since there’s nothing original, what is he offering? He’s offering an entree to a world where those who have been waving their hands will finally be called upon. Hillary, because she is a Clinton, didn’t offer that — nope, not someone who offered moderate, middle of the road solutions that would have provided solutions palatable to a vast majority of Americans.

    The D hegemony, I dare not call them leaders, see BZero as their best bet for a foundering at the trough of power. It’s easier to write on a blank chalkboard than one with remnants of solutions that have worked before.

  100. Cult, or clique? Cults usually have some body of dogma (mutable though it may be at the behest of the Leader).

    Cliques are just about “us” … which is as specific a direction as Obama’s “movement” ever presents.

    “We are the people we’ve been waiting for” … and you’re not, neener, neener, neener.

  101. It’s not that the freepers have moved to the Democratic Party, RiverDaughter. It’s that there are authoritarians on both the right and the left. The authoritarianism of the last eight years has constellated, or evoked, or activated ( choose whatever word you wish) the authoriatarianism on the left.

    Psychology is psychology regardless of ideology. These left wing authoritarians folowers are simply the Freepers spouting neoliberalism instead of neoconservatism. It would not have been acceptable discourse ten or twenty years ago. But Bush and Kristol and Rumsfeld and Rove changed all that.

    And Nobama is simply pandering to the LAFs’ psychological weaknesses.

    As a centerist and older American, I want to say I am WEARY TO THE BONE of ideologues. I want a sober, sane, rational, experienced CIC who can handle the job. That is Hillary, that is Mccain. I refuse to vote for an authoritarion leader of any stripe.

  102. If it’s a clique rather than a cult, then the “Great Seal of Obama” was the real body-blow last week.

    Cliques depend on being “kewl” and that make-believe presidential seal was definitely unkewl.

    It’s a laughingstock throughout the blogosphere.

  103. Non-authoritarians favor cooperation, alliances and mutualism while the higher scoring authoritarians favor conquest and empire. and One of the key points about authoritarians is they define themselves in opposition to “the other.”

    these have been my experiences with the kossacks from when i first tried posting there (around 2003). there were many interesting diaries there but, for the most part, the ppl leaving comments seemed mostly to be interested in bullying other ppl, regurgitating the same lines ad nauseum, and having the best snarks. it seemed like a site with much promise – and worthwhile because of some of the diaries – but the discussion there almost always seemed to be dominated by zombies and bullies who killed most substance and any nuance. it seemed like they thought they were always fighting good vs evil and they didn’t want any pesky facts getting in the way of their talking points. they also seemed to have a tendency to dismiss female candidates and (like moveon.org) focus on women pols who did things they disapproved of while ignoring men who did the same things.

    i was not surprised at all that many of them supported Obama blindly and embraced Clinton derangement syndrome and ran Clinton supporters off the site. most of them always struck me as mindless bully boys. some of them were Republicans who moved to the Dems but many of them had always been Dems. many so-called liberals and progressives are authoritarian at heart. progressives who want to reach out to others who may disagree with them – not to win them over but to work together and to try to understand, if not agree with, each other – are rarely authoritarian. progressives who believe they – and only ppl who are like them – are good and others are evil are pretty much like Bush’s supporters with a different view of what’s good and what’s evil.

  104. That the fix was in from early on according to Russert, Andrea….. should be investigated as they continued to solicit funds from us that there was an opportunity for Senator Clinton to win.

    Carol, do you have a link for that? I’ve long suspected that this was fixed right from the start, but have not been able to come up with many actual links to prove it. I would really love this ammunition to continue throwing in the SD’s faces from now until August.

  105. CD:

    I don’t think the race was fixed from the start in terms of Obama winning, I think for much of the Dem leadership it was fixed in the sense they were determined that the winner would be “Anybody But Clinton”

    When Edwards faded early, they shifted their support to Obama.

  106. You can call it a clique or a cult but what it is , is a group of people who share the same set of psychological operating principles.

  107. garychapelhill, on June 22nd, 2008 at 10:46 am Said:
    “fuzzy-
    [...]
    ea–good idea, but I’m not sending any checks with $0.00 on it. That 0 dollars would become $100.00 in a heartbeat…”

    gary – you think they would have the courage to alter the checks? I don’t know they would want that fraud on their hands, especially if the written amount was “Zero – Zilch – Nadda – Nothing”. However, I wouldn’t want them having access to my checking account number.

    A second thought would be to hand over an envelope full of the PUMA bucks that were being sent to the DNC and Obama campaign a few days ago. Or, just monopoly money.

  108. Don’t forget about the kids:

    http://ladyboomernyc.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/obamakids-not-just-for-grownups-anymore/

    Obama says that kids have a voice in this election, and he wants them to bring their parents to the polls to vote for him. It reminds me of Hitler Youth and smells like indoctrination.

  109. I keep going back to the convention and its date and place. Why was it Denver, CO? This is the state Obama campaign has bragged they can turn blue. Had you heard of any other candidate making that claim? Also, how did they arrive at the date? It is the anniverssary of MLK’s “I have a Dream” speech. When was this decision made?

  110. lady boomer, I know what you mean.. I was on youtube and put in did a search on Obama supporters. there are ‘TONS of videos of “Obama babies”. People getting their kids to spout propaganda. its really disturbing. I then tried to search for “clinton babies” and only found 1 video, and that was just of a baby wearing a hillary shirt, the child didn’t talk. I was going to post about it, but its just too sick

  111. The articles and bloggers at thruthout.org illustrated to me the amazing power of the koolaid. They went from the left to the trance early on.

  112. I still recommend reading “The True Believer” , an oldie but goodie …

  113. Michael Moore I still can’t understand either.

  114. gary — ooooo, this is great! (sic) I’m going to “select” some good ones and add as links to my post.

  115. I am with Mawm on the convention date. Much to coincidental for my taste.

  116. There seem to have been a lot of “coincidences.” I read on another blog not long ago – wish I could remember which – that Howard Dean basically handed over his online/grassroots organization to Obama at the start of this whole thing to give him a head start. If that isn’t a fix, I don’t know what is. Shouldn’t the DNC chairman be totally unbiased and uncommitted? Then it seems that it was actually party leaders like Kennedy who pushed Obama to run this time around, rather than waiting. Why would they do that to someone who has only been in the senate for about 5 minutes over a group of people who actually have experience and understand how government works? That wasn’t just unfair to Clinton, but also to Dodd, Edwards, Biden, Kucinich, and Richardson. Personally, I think Obama had a lot of help right from the beginning and would love to be able to definitively prove it. Because it just doesn’t add up to me that all the party leadership would really prefer someone with his lack of qualifications as the top dog. So if anyone knows what the Russert/Andrea Mitchell reference is about, please post it.

  117. CD – I heard Russert and Andrea and the rest of the gang were there talking about it I believe right after she had her speech on June 7. They were discussing that she never had a chance after the run of the caucus’ and that is why they continued to say it was over because “it was over, she wasn’t going to be able to catch him with the pledged delegates.”

  118. Also, if you look at the program for the event that the “whitey” tape was supposedly from, Dean, Obama, and several others attached to all of this were all together at the event.

  119. CognitiveDissonance — Not sure about the Russert/Mitchell reference, but I wrote an article about the Dean/DFA/DNC connection earlier this week, and am working on a follow-up piece. I was flabbergasted to say the least, but others who commented, including riverdaughter, had been DFA volunteers. Many now feel that they were duped as cogs in Dean’s scheme, The fix was in/their choice was made, it seems, last year or in January 2008. Dean built the DFA, engaged grass roots Dems eager for change who filled out the Party all the way to state conventions, where they (s)elected him DNC Chairman. Hubris is thy name.

    http://ladyboomernyc.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/oops-didnt-realize-i-was-so-late-deans-dfa/

  120. You are going to have to see tape on June 7 on to find it. I think Todd, Matthews, KO were all there also.

    They enjoy talking about having all of the inside information. Well, this time it bites.

  121. I still recommend reading “The True Believer” , an oldie but goodie …

    TTB nails the current situation. Also Jung’s “Essays on Contemporary Events”

  122. The first thing that clued me into the cult-like nature of his followers was their complete unwillingness to find any fault with him, or to tolerate anyone else doing so.

    I complete agree with Greenwald: NO politician should be worshiped. They’re all megalomaniacs. They’re all skilled salesmen. They lie if they can get away with it. They are subject to extreme pressure to compromise principle and to become corrupt. They rarely do the courageous thing if they think it will cost them their jobs. They’re human beings.

    They need to be called out sometimes, challenged, pushed. It’s our job as citizens to question them, not adore them.

    I can’t recall another politician in my voting life of 36 years whose supporters refused to find the least fault with him or her. It’s abnormal, it’s cultish and it’s scary.

  123. edge: LOL!!! Or what? What exactly did they get for putting out?

  124. Thank YOU, RiverDaughter…I’ve been trumpeting that online book by Dr. Bob for months…

    Yes, Virginia…there really are Authoritarians among us…even in the Democratic Party.

  125. The difference between Obama and Clitnon.

    Obama..the government is broken..let me fix the government and all of your problems will magically disappear.

    Clinton…the country is a mess and we need to come together and work to fix it.

    Clinton views work and shared responsibility as the answer to our problems. Obama..let me “fix it” and don’t worry your little heads. Of course I have no clue exactly what the “fixing” would be, just that we don’t have to do anything for it to happen.

    Moveon.org has a petition on their website regarding Obama’s flip flop on FISA .I e-mailed them and said your candidate won..get over it ..and get in line.I also gave them a good dose of “we tried to tell you” and their responsibility in the mess we are now in.

  126. CD – I went to MSNBC and the transcripts of the actual shows with Matthews are there. However, I could not find the transcripts of the shows for Saturday June 7. You might be able to get them. It might be on the June 3 night, but I don’t think so.

  127. [...] Sunday: The Freeper Infestation (by riverdaughter at The Confluence) There is a lot of room here for negotiation.  The power is in the hands of Congress to compel the telecomms to compromise on more market competition.  If we punish the telecomms with class action lawsuits, the only people who will benefit will be the lawyers… BUT, what if you could force the telecomms to allow ala carte programming on your cable system or infrastructure improvements or mandatory guidelines for better customer service?  What if you could forbid big telecomms from bidding on newly available radio spectra or force them to open their networks to your favorite cellphone?  Wouldn’t this be better than decimating them and sending potentially thousands of their workers to the unemployment lines?  And so what if some of them *did* take a hit?  Wouldn’t their workers benefit from the increased competition as well by having more new start up companies to work for? Just sayin’ [...]

  128. “As a centerist and older American, I want to say I am WEARY TO THE BONE of ideologues”

    Obama isn’t an ideologue, kos isn’t an ideologue. They’re just party line hacks. They’re concerned with power, not ideology. And rd is right, they’re not leftists. They’re basically Republicans who are last in line for perks over their own side, so they come over to ours. All they care about is winning at any cost.

    As to the OFB who aren’t just quasi Republican hacks, I don’t know what their deal is. I think some of them got so invested in Hillary/Clinton hate that they couldn’t back down when they realized that whatever her flaws, she’s more progressive and better in every way than the only other candidate, so they had to ignore his actual record and pretend that he’s this glorious candidate he’s not. Others can’t bring themselves to support a woman, so once again they have to pretend he’s this absolutely amazing statesman and excuse all the lack of principle, incompetence, and hackery. They’ve basically acted so cult like that it would take a tremendous amount of character to admit at his late date that it was all based on a completely inexplicable delusion, so they have to ride it to the end, weaseling and justifying and making excuses the whole way.

    Now it’s ‘well, sure this is a core defining issue of principle for me, but, but…..Mccain is in favor of it, too!’

  129. For those who wish to stay together in a long term commitment to the ideals and rinciples that Hillary Clinton has spent a lifetime promoting, http://Together4Us.com offers access for activists, funders, students, policy-makers and ordinary people to come together in support of each other and their goals for America. Please come to our website and join, use the code below to put our linked logo on your website and distribute our message and this code to all your network. Spread the word. We will be happy to put up a reciprocal link, your own co-branded web page on our site, or your own blog.

    Thanks so much,
    Gretchen Glasscock,
    Together4Us

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