All Very Predictable

Today, Atrios wrote:

I imagine I’ll write a version of this post a million times, but the people in charge are failures. If, in January 2009, I given a rough outline of what would happen in policy, the economy, and the financial system over the next 3.5 years, people would have thought I was crazy. No one would have believed that the people in charge would tolerate such sustained high unemployment. And yet they have. It is indeed a choice. They can make things better but they have chosen not to.

And on December 20, 2008, I wrote:

Face it, Obots.  Obama is the biggest triangulator we have ever had.  We know this because he has already won the election but he acts like he’s scared of his own shadow.  He has plenty of backup in Congress and an angry constituency that is ready to tar and feather any Republican that gets in his way.  What is stopping him from promising to rescind “don’t ask, don’t tell”, the Conscience Rule and Gitmo?  What is stopping him from loudly demanding that the Treasury account for every penny right this minute?  What is stopping him from getting ahead of the game on HOLC?  He’s not in office yet but there is no downside to adjusting his rhetoric so that he can ask and demand anything he wants.  He ran like Genghis Khan but if he wants to be a real Messaiah now, there is nothing Hillary or Bush or Rove or the outgoing Republicans can do about it.  He is *not* operating in the same environment as Bill Clinton.  In fact, everything has changed.  Everything but Obama’s approach to politics.

HE seems to be stuck in the triangulating past.

Why is that Glenn?  I’ll tell you why.  It’s because Obama has been bought and paid for.  And not by you.

It wasn’t that hard to figure out.  Everyone was hoping he would do the right thing.  But the writing was on the wall early in the primary season and it only got clearer as the year went on.  It was the way the campaign operated, who was giving him money, the propaganda and screaming at Hillary Clinton to get out of the race after she had racked up big wins on SuperTuesday and then Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, the misogynism directed at Hillary and Palin, the telecomm immunity bill after the RBC hearing forced Clinton to suspend her campaign.  If you weren’t smitten with Obama, it was a lot easier to read.  I suspect that women and working people (low and middle class alike) were a lot more literate with that kind of stuff.

I keep circling back to the primaries not because I am *trying* to be annoying but because it was all right there, staring us all in the face.  Everything you needed to know about Barack Obama and who he was really going to represent was right there. He wasn’t even hiding it all that well.  It’s just that if you were already infatuated with the guy, nothing he said or did was going to make you abandon him.  The dude was a nasty piece of work, his whole campaign was scripted and he reeked of corporate ladder climber.

The damage the primaries had on the political system is incalculable.  The primary votes were compromised and redistributed, the convention was rigged and now, we are stuck (I’d replace him but that’s just me) with a candidate who is not the Democrat he ran as.  The party has a huge wedge driven between its major constituencies.  The whole damn caucus doesn’t operate like it’s a Democratic caucus. How will we ever be able to piece all of this back together and make the nomination procedure trustworthy again? You can bet the Republicans are going to use this as a model for future electoral skullduggery.  All this sacrifice for the self-actualization of one man who hadn’t earned all of the support he was getting.  Was it worth it?

Of course, there was nothing to stop Obama if he’d wanted to be the biggest M&^*(F^()ing liberal this country has seen since FDR.  But right off the election, he was already lowering expectations because he never had any intention of being the reformer the left wanted or that the country desperately needed.

And, yes, Atrios, people thought I was crazy.  Being prematurely correct is a surefire way to get yourself banned from all the A list blogrolls so, you know, I’m not surprised that the left blogosphere is having a Condi Rice “no one could have imagined” moment.  The truth hurts and no one wanted to hear it in 2008.  I’m only relieved to see the people I respected the most finally coming to terms with it.

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51 Responses

  1. So, when does Koss, Atrios and the rest of the Kewl-kidz apologize to Hillary, Bill and the rest of us who supported her?

    I know, don’t hold yer breath.

    • I don’t know what’s going on with them and the Clintons. Well, in Kos’s case, he’s a businessman, so he’s going to try to maximize his profits. But the others? I’m beginning to develop a hypothesis:
      The reason why the left hates Clinton so much is because of his fall from grace with Monica. It was embarrassing. Oh sure, I’ve heard all about NAFTA and welfare reform. But I actually was on board with welfare reform as Clinton had planned it and I think most liberals would be too if they only saw the endpoint had it not been screwed with by the Republicans. NAFTA? I dunno. I think even Krugman was in favor of that and if there ever was going to be a trade agreement that we could sorta support, NAFTA would have to be it if for no other reason than the geography and reduction in bureaucracy made it favorable.
      You could certainly get pissed at Clinton for the changes to the financial system, although, had Gore been elected, I doubt that the regulatory system would have been compromised.
      No, I think it was Monica that did it. They’re ashamed that a blow job lead to impeachment and angered that Bill was so reckless when it was clear that the Republicans were after him.
      But it’s very hard for them to admit that the Monica incident bothers them. It’s all about sex and lefties are supposed to be laissez faire in the bedroom. Nevertheless, if Clinton hadn’t done it, maybe Gore would be president, or so they might be thinking. And since they can’t blame him for a blow job, they blame him for everything else.
      It makes sense in a twisted way. Why is it we are still beating up on the Clintons 12 years later when the country prospered under them?
      Are really saying that Clinton was more Republican than Obama is?? Because that makes no damn sense.
      So, I’m back to the blow job theory. Jeez, get over it and grow up guys. Kennedy screwed women in the White House pool. It’s nobody’s business and the Republicans were wrong to bring it up.

      • I agree that Monica continues to be a problem for WJC (and to some degree, Hillary). But I also think that the DNC never wanted him in the first place. I got active in 1992 and I remember that he was the “odd-man out” when it came to becoming the Democrat candidate. He was from Arkansas. He was Bubba. He was that guy from Hope. But he was more closely aligned with the common people and he won. And they were stuck with him – and probably never expected him to win.

        I think the DNC and those “folks” were thrilled by Monica.

        • You have a good point there. With Clinton, we have a replay of the politics of the early 60s where the cool classy northeastern liberals looked down their noses at people like LBJ. I think Anglachel did a thorough analysis of the Bubbas and the snobby elites. It was brilliant.
          It’s also very strange that Clinton was considered such an outlier. The guy went to Georgetown, Yale and Oxford. You don’t get there from where he started without a lot of hard work and talent. But it was probably his touch with the average joe that turned their stomachs. Clinton liked to practice politics, which frequently means wheeling and dealing and getting your hands dirty and confrontation and sweet talking. Clinton was a double threat: cerebral and gregarious. You’d think the party would eat that up.
          I guess not.
          Just look at who were first people to embrace Obama. Ted Kennedy, Maria shriver, Caroline Kennedy. They’re American aristocrats. Hillary was just a hard working woman from a nobody middle class family who was married to a bubba.
          Then there was the Chris Matthews crap where he refused to give her any credit for any of her accomplishments. He attributed it all to being a cuckholded woman who people felt sorry for. He jus ignored everything that came out of her mouth and her agility with policy. How would Matthews feel if we were told that his wife Katjleen wasn’t a good journalist and only got her job because of Matthews? He’d be outraged.

          • Really you may not like this but in Matthews case, same for Dowd and Russert it’s a case of Irish hating English. Oh and Irish Catholics never did cotton to the GLBT community. Probably form getting that special sacrament from their parish priest.

            I think you hit the nail when you said everybody in the Democratic party hated the Clintons … except the voters.

      • I haven’t surrendered on NAFTA, I have merely retreated. If I ever get those job impact numbers for America and those illegal immigration impact numbers for Mexico from before and after NAFTA,
        then I will formally tender my surrender on the actual social-economic impact of NAFTA if the numbers are against me. If the numbers are with me, I will charge Mount NAFTA all over again. But until I get those numbers, I remain in retreat on NAFTA.

        And by now I suspect the mass-jobicidal results of Most Favored Nation status for China are beyond dispute.

        • China is a big potential market. There are billions of potential consumers there.

          But our jobs didn’t have to go to China. I’m more likely to blame the 401K system than a trade deal. It’s all about giving the shareholders the biggest ROI and when there are so many shareholders to satisfy these days, China is the place to go.

          It’s going to backfire. The cascade of events that will lead to a collapse of the industries that have relocated there is already underway. Outsourcing to China was the last desperate attempt to save themselves. It’s not going to work.

          • I feel confident that it was MFN for China which first gave the Outsourcing Class the confidence to know that they could relocate to China to use China as an export platform to export to here. Prior to MFN for China, Congress only renewed provisional trade privileges between America and China on a year-to-year basis contingent on Congress’s approval of China’s human rights record and ranking. Now of course Congress renewed these provisional trade privileges every year but the lack of multiyear surety left the Outsourcing Classes feeling a certain lack of con-fidence. And the smell of all those dead bodies at Tien An Men square was starting to get bad. MFN for China took the “requirement to recertify” off the table once and for all.

            I hope you are correct that China’s mercantilist aggression model (and all its fellow-traveler outsourcer-investers’ investments) will implode. I just hope that the American economy isn’t itself a black smoking hole by the time that happens. If the worst happens, I have already picked out an abandoned house-slab out in the woods in back of my “housette” to dig a hole under and go live in har har har.

            I suspect China’s partial retrenchment will happen under the twin impacts of natural resource depletion and Global Warming Climate Dechaos Decay.

          • I think you’re putting way too much emphasis on MFN status and too little on the internet. But just because it is possible to communicate more easily doesn’t mean that the business environment in China or India is set up to run as smoothly as it does over here. Our businesses actually benefit from regulation.

        • I think NAFTA was probably negligible in terms of its effects. As a symbolic piece of legislation mainly…the real outsoucing occurred to China and that’s going to stop. The vast labor pool available in China the past 20 years is drying up due to the one-child policy. The Chinese are going to demand better wages and the guarntee of overseas markets won’t be there.

          • Well, as I said above, some one of these years I may very well go look those numbers up. If I do, I will either formally surrender on this particular point or I will charge Mount NAFTA all over again, depending on what the numbers are.

  2. I can add this: my misgivings about Hillary primarily stemmed from her support for the Iraq invasion as Senator. She supported the resolution to use force there…maybe she was trying to get Saddam to show his hand, but anyone paying attention could see that Bush/Cheney were angling for a war. We needed someone to stop it, not enable it.

    Bill Clinton’s support of Gramm-Leach-Biley was another problem. I’ve come to understand later that she wasn’t thrilled with this legislation, but in 2008 it wasn’t clear. I struggled distinguishing her economic positions from those of her husband. Derivatives were kept in the dark and the firewall between investment and commercial banking was razed. This was equivalent to laying the dynamite so GWB and his deregulatory zealots could light the fuses.

    Anyway, none of that excuses the con man who currently occupies the WH. The folks on this site were better at seeing through his bullshit, and now we’re economically stuck. I now believe she would be a much better candidate to get us out of the morass. She has more courage then he does, more experience, more intelligence and better judgement.

    • I understand your reaction to Hillary’s IWR vote. I didn’t like it either but I understand why she did it and in a twisted way, it would have been irresponsible to NOT vote for it because rejection by the senate was just the opportunity that Cheney was looking for. It would have been a horrible precedent if the executive branch thought it could cut the senate out of war resolutions.

      But, Greg, Greg, Greg, why were so many people willing to condemn Hillary for her vote and yet give Edwards a pass? There was a level of manipulation in the 2008 primary against Hillary that I’ve never seen before. The bitch just wouldn’t die or get off the stage when she was ordered to. I don’t think the Democrats have spent enough time examining their consciences or thinking “yeah, why DID we do those things in 2008?”. And that concerns me. Because if you can’t figure out why you behaved in a manner that was the left wing version of a fox news viewer, it could happen again.
      I’d love for us to discuss it in a non-judgemental way but no one wants to talk about the 2008 primary. So I’m forced to be obnoxious and repetitive. I’ll still be talking about it 20 years from now until someone agrees to engage in useful dialog about it.
      We have to sort this out because the Democrats were played by obama’s campaign and probably with the help of master Republican manipulators and operators who switched sides for one election cycle. Their fingerprints are all over it.

      • That’s a fair question: why blame Hillary and not Edwards. I will just speculate that many people unconsciously thought that Edwards was not a serious candidate in the way that HRClinton was . . . and he never would be. So his vote didn’t matter to people so much. But would that even extend to people who actively supported Edwards to his bitter end?

        • I don’t know about that. The Edwards fans that I remember speaking with certainly thought he was serious.
          The bottom line is that the DNC was never going to let Hillary be the nominee, no matter how many states she won. So, the propaganda was heavy against her and the party even tapped into that barely contained misogynism that lurks beneath the surface of Americana.
          Congratulations! The genie is out of the bottle. Pretty frisking stupid if you ask me but then, I suspect that Obama isn’t really into helping women. He’s got a soft spot for helping the guys through the recession though.

          • What was the DNC afraid of? Did they buy into the MSM propaganda that HRC was too divisive and too “shrill” and too whatever to win the election? Did they fear for their victory?

            Or is it that they secretly suspected she WOULD win and they secretly feared that she would be less good for Wall Street than Obama would be? Were the DNC and Obama working for the same people? I could certainly believe that about Nancy Pelosi, what with her 3 million shares of AT&T stock and all.

        • Regarding the IWR, my recollection is that HRC placed a great deal of trust in Colin Powell and was swayed by his UN testimony. Also, the fact that she was Senator from NY, home to Ground Zero, made it virtually impossible for her to vote against the IWR.

          • Um, I don’t think she was persuaded by Powell. From what I recall of her speech (and it’s got to be on the web somewhere), she said going to war with Iraq should be a last resort and only after the weapons inspectors had actually found something.
            Come on, sleepless, if you and I could see through the lies that Powell said at the UN, surely the Clintons could. There wasn’t any solid evidence of WMDs but there was a lot of hysteria stoking fearmongering.
            From what I recall of what she said afterwards, she had gotten some advice from Bill about it from a presidential POV. But there might have been other factors. For one thing, Cheney was determined to go to war anyway no matter what the senate decided. So, denying the WH a yes vote would have set a bad precedent for future consultation with the Senate. IIRC correctly, the IWR had a list of conditions that needed to be met before we pulled the trigger. The Bushies ignored them anyway.
            The other thing we might want to consider is that she voted yes to give other Democrats cover to say no. Because she was the senator from NY, it was understandable for her to vote yes.
            So, as bad as it was and as much as I hated it, I understood that this was part of one high stakes political game that the Bushies were using to undermine the senate. Either way they voted, the senate was screwed. But if the Bushies messed up, it would have given senators good reason to demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt the next time a president wanted to go to war and voters good reason to demand that the WH ask for the senate’s advise and consent as laid out in the Constitution. So, in one way, it was a vote to protect future votes from executive privilege run amuck.

          • Here is the text of her IWR speech. IMHO, she does NOT appear to believe the reports because over and over again, she calls for the weapons inspectors to be allowed to do their job. That’s what she voted for. If she really believed the intelligence reports, she wouldn’t keep repeating this. And implicit in this vote is that if the weapons inspectors found anything and if Iraq proved to be a genuine threat to the region, that the Bushies go back to the UN and get its support before launching a unilateral attack on Iraq.
            She also says that being in the White House influenced her vote. She doesn’t go into much detail but it is implied that the option to act has to be in the bill because if you inspect and find something, you need to be able to do something about it be it sanctions or an international coalition. But we have to remember that we already had sanctions against Iraq and it was the LEFT that was screaming and jumping up and down that the sanctions were destroying the lives of the children of Iraq through reduced food rations and medical care. I distinctly remember features on the evening news specifically about sanctions against the Iraqis. In fact, I can still see the picture of a father and his very young daughter on a carousel somewhere in Iraq and it was this kid’s face that left a lasting impression on me about the sanctions. But I am a very skeptical person and the whole story left me very confused about a great many things, especially when I remembered how the public was manipulated to go to war in Kuwait when a tearful Kuwaiti teenager testified before congress that babies were removed from their incubators when Iraq invaded Kuwait. The number of babies in incubators seemed improbable for a country the size of Kuwait in one hospital. One got the impression that the vast majority of babies in Kuwait were born 3 months premature and desperately ill and that just didn’t seem likely to me.
            Nevertheless, the lefties might have undermined their own argument against going to war in Iraq by getting crazy over the sanctions. In retrospect, this might have been a very clever piece of Bushie propaganda. Yep, get the lefties all pissed off about sanctions and make it easier to undermine their argument for caution.
            Throughout the speech, there is an appeal to caution, sanctions, inspections, and coalitions before any action to go to war. It is very well reasoned. She was put in a tough spot and you can clearly see the logic she applied to get to the point where she could vote for it. I suspect it was tougher for her than it was for many who voted for or against. Many senators went with the dogma of their parties. But she thought it out.
            I urge the Hillary Haters to go read the speech in its entirety. She wasn’t anywhere near the war hawk as they make her out to be. Hey, maybe we should find John Edwards’ and John Kerry’s speeches on it and compare. Wouldn’t that be fun??

          • That’s funny. I can’t find the full text of Edwards IWR speech (yet) but I found some interesting stuff in this post from freerepublic, of all places: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1180576/posts
            Very interesting. It seems that where Hillary wasn’t convinced of the WMDs and wanted continued inspections, Edwards was totally convinced of the threat because the CIA briefed him when he was on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Yep, he bought it all, hook, line and sinker. Either that or he just wanted to be popular.
            Probably both.

          • And here is Kerry’s floor speech on the IWR. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1240102/posts It’s about 4 times longer than Hillary’s, long, rambling, the argument incoherent and it is clear that he was much more of a sucker for the intelligence. Compared to Hillary, Kerry was much more agitated to go to war. He was all for it, in fact. Just as soon as we got the inspectors out of the way…
            I can’t believe I voted for this man in 2004. His state of the union addresses would have been excruciating.

    • I am later to this blog than most. I didn’t see through it until his inaugural speech with that line about “look forward, not back”. Wait . . what? I thought I was voting for hyperpartisan vengeance and systematic dismantlement of the Republican “family of crime families”.
      That was clearly projection on my part. And when he began conspiring with Baucus to short-circuit the drive to Single Payer or at the very least Free Choice Medicare Buy-In for All Who Wanted . . . my bitterness deepened fast. Also his seeking bipartisan consensu with the Republicans got very disgusting very fast. And his appointing all the BillClinton Advisers. Wait . . . what!? Weren’t these the people that Hillary Clinton was going to appoint?

      Turns out that HClinton had apparently not included the BillClinton economic advisers in her campaign as a hint of not including them in her Administration. Was the MSM quiet about that? Is that why I didn’t hear about that?

      • If I’m not mistaken, Krugman was aware of the advisors. I’m not sure he was 100% onboard with Hillary’s advisors but he expressed more approval for them than Obama’s. He really didn’t like Obama’s.

  3. Yes, RD there was a double standard. Edwards wasn’t scrutinized for his vote the same way. I suspect she knew she was going to run for President and didn’t want an anti-war stance to hurt her. Think of how nuts that is. A politician has to vote for an invasion, in violation of international law just to look ” tough ” on foreign policy. We need a politician to say, ” this is WRONG. It’s wrong and I won’t do it. ” and live with the consequences.

    I read your post written in 2008, ” we were PUMAs once. ” Your point about the misapportionment of delegates in Michigan was excellent. The Democratic leadership blatantly disenfranchised Clinton delegates. And no one in the party seems to want to revisit that. It does suggest something sinister was afoot.

    You know, your take on the GOP assisting Obama is very interesting. I hadn’t thought of that, but the evidence would be worth investigating. I always thought McCain was offered as a sacraficial lamb in that election. Active help to the Obama campaign would make sense. With Wall Street providing the funding, the plan would be to sell Obama as a liberal, then let him serve his sponsors once in office.

    • The chicanery with the primary votes started before the Michigan fiasco. It started shortly after super Tuesday. Thats when the caterwauling began that Clinton couldn’t win because the math was against her. And the reason why the math was against her was because it was the intention of the DNC to withhold Florida and Michigan from her win columns making it look like she was always behind when she was actually ahead. The party was never going to disenfranchise Florida and Michigan. It was all kabuki. The idea was to manipulate the delegate count using Florida and Michigan and that way disenfranchise every other state she won because she would never have the critical mass to pull decisively ahead. This was all very clear in February 2008. I’m on my iPhone or I’d find the post I wrote about it back then.
      Btw, Greg, why do you seem so reasonable? It’s making me nervous. ;-)

      • If I seem reasonable, RD it’s because I fear for the state of the country right now. That’s not hyperbole. We are at a very dangerous point in the country’s history and we need to examine how we got here. ANd that means asking ourselves tough questions. Unpleasant questions. That’s why I came here. You’re willing to do that. You can’t do that on places Daily Kos, not anymore.

        The evidence for complicity of the elites in the Democratic Party in this current situation is too compelling to ignore and the treatment of Hillary Clinton is part of that story. Even the way TARP was passed despite it being voted down twice is chilling.

        I’ll read your post in full on the Michigan/Florida delegates. I have a hunch it’ll be an eye-opener.

        • Greg, here is the link to the post on the significance of MI and FL to the rest of the states that voted for Clinton. I wrote it on Feb 13, 2008.

          http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/fix-the-michigan-and-florida-double-standard/

          Up until mid January, I would have been willing to vote for Obama if he had become the nominee. I didn’t like his fanbase and his campaign wasn’t frosting my crockies but, hey, I voted for John Kerry didn’t I? And even though I was a clintonista, I wasn’t going to let that stand in my way if the primaries were on the up and up. But I was confident that she was going to win because she was head and shoulders the best prepared candidate and preparation is very a meaningful and desirable characteristic for a public servant.
          Anyway, by mid february, I knew the fix was in and they were going to try to shoehorn Obama in using Florida and Michigan. After that, my respect for him dropped because he was more than willing to go along with the appearance of disenfranchising two states and not giving them an opportunity to revote. Proposing a revote or simply acknowledging Hillary’s wins would have made him a more attractive candidate for me. But he didn’t and that’s when I realized he was in on it and was ruthless enough to screw every voter who voted for Hillary. This was in FEBRUARY. it wasn’t hard to put together their strategy that early in the game.
          The Hillary got her act together and refused to eat her poison mushrooms. She kept winning, dammit. So they had to cheat at the RBC hearing. That’s how desperate they were and how close she came to beating him.

          It was all about critical mass. That’s what the Obots meant when they were screaming about “the math”. They practically broadcast their scheme and very few people picked up on it. And it matters a great deal. If not for that missing mass of voters, we wouldn’t be looking at eight straight years of economic disaster and decline in living standards. I take that back. We might be looking forward to it even under Hillary. But we don’t have the data in that experiment. We DO have the data on the Obama experiment and we know what we can expect going forward to 2016.

          The bankers got their way. And Obama is their made man.

          • Fascinating. This series of events indicates that the plan was to shoehorn Barack Obama as the nominee. I think, RD, while there may have been some misogyny and some anti-Clinton sentiment at play, the main reason this happened was that Wall Street wanted Barack Obama as the Democratic candidiate. And misogyny and Wall Street are not mutually exclusive. If your even remotely familiar with the culture there, it takes a pretty tough and insanely competent gal to survive that jungle.

            I suspect Hillary Clinton was a little too independent-minded for the banker criminals. She was actually talking about resetting mortgages to market and forcing those turds to take losses, thereby exposing their insolvency. So they identified BHO as the empty suit that he was into which they could pour their neo-liberal sludge. The investment paid off handsomely for them.

            Maybe Hillary would not have been much different, but the Party denied that choice to the voters. The scary thing is how the Democratic Party was willing to obliterate due process to half its voting base in response to Wall Street demands.

          • I agree.
            I think, no, I KNOW, that some of the bankers were worried about an upcoming crash in 2007. I heard it from a colleague of mine who had friends on Wall Street. She told me they were worried that electing a Republican would guarantee a depression and they didn’t want that. So, one of the other Democratic candidates was definitely on their radar.
            But I think you are right about Hillary. She was a bit too rehab for them and what they really wanted was an enabler.
            The misogyny and accusations of racism were just convenient weapons. Effective and brutal. What was particularly interesting to me was watching all of the boots freaking out because she wouldn’t get off the stage and was costing the party money every day she stayed in the race. It was almost as if it didn’t matter how many big Democratic states she won (and she won almost all of them), those guys weren’t going to count them or their voters. And after all, she had a lot of women voters and the guys in charge just expected us to get in line, like cattle, no matter who the nominee was. Like we were cows that didn’t realize we’d been screwed. Well, they’re just women. Who is going to champion their rights to suffrage? No one. They made us look like troublemakers who wanted to rain on Obama’s parade, not like legitimate voters who were alarmed by the juggernaut that was taking over the party and fundamentally changing it.
            Well, that’s my theory and I’m stickin’ with it.
            It is now up to the rest of the party to decide whether they want to continue on this path for four more years. They have the power to change this. Neither candidate is going to be good for us or democracy or the party. Why not cut him loose and start over? Hit the reset button. I think it would invigorate the party and give voters something to get excited about.

  4. Actually all you needed to do to know what Obama was was to pay attention to his keynote address in 2004-all the “the Left is as much to blame as the Right” nonsense was right there.

    • The last thing the MOTU want is for a politician to start sounding like FDR and welcoming the bankers’ hate.

  5. The signs were there in April 2007 when Obama reported $25 million in campaign donations for the first 3 months of the year.

    That’s when Wall street bankers jumpstarted his campaign.

  6. In addition to Edwards, John Kerry also voted for war in Iraq yet you didn’t ear Dem voters screaming about that when he ran.

  7. The Bots were “in love” and not responsible for their behavior. They ditched friends and familly who so much as questioned him and the reason this blog even exists is because the trolls forced intelligent contributors like RD out rather than even permit her point of view. The entire Democratic Party has become just like those blogs, from the County Committees up. The majority built over the Bush years was wiped out the election following the rumped convention. Republican Women won Governorships and judicial seats. Then, last year, state houses across the country saw the most stunning losses for Democrats since the Thirties. Yet Nancy Pelosi retained her grip on the leadership position and due to her bullying was able to “write the death warrants” of those few remaining Dems who had managed to get re-elected in 2010. Progressives practiced the same “drumming” to shout down any decent participants attempting to talk reason to keep Senior Senators who, even though they “played ball” with the White House, were trashed for their age and moderate voting records. This was a clear case of out-of-control males, driven by testosterone to mug their wise elders and show the bitches their dicks.

  8. While I think Hillary’s IWR vote was dumb politics let’s just remember, almost every blogger who supported Obama, also supported the Invasion.

    Some of the bloggers who supported:

    1] The Invasion of Iraq.

    Ezra Klein
    Josh Marshall
    Juan Cole
    Kevin Drum
    Matt Yglesias
    Andrew Sullivan
    Jon Alter [special mention]

    2] The Candidacy of Obama

    Ezra Klein
    Josh Marshall
    Juan Cole
    Kevin Drum
    Matt Yglesias
    Andrew Sullivan
    Jon Alter [special mention]

    • You don’t get to be a very serious person if you stick to foolish consistencies, like going to Iraq to start an unnecessary and expensive war is a bad idea or hiring a complete novice of a corporate schmoozer is a bad idea when the banks need to be reined in.

      • Yes, it does appear that the formula for success is:

        [useful idiot] + [adequate writing/speaking skill] + [willingness to look like a total suck-up] = success

        • Anglachel used to say that it was a behavior typical of male graduate students. It must have to do with social hierarchy and dominance. You need to pay your dues and take it before you’re considered one of the club members. I have frequently seen the same kind of counterintuitive passivity in science PhDs. They’re like lemmings. They’re not allowed to think for themselves. There were times when I regretted not going to grad school because unless you have an advanced degree, people tend not to give you credit for your work. But at other times, I was glad I hadn’t because at least I was still able to question conventional wisdom, something that seems to be beaten out of you in grad school.

    • Hillary’s war vote definitely worked against her in 2008. Obama was fortunate in that he didn’t have to make that vote, he wasn’t in the Senate. He deftly used the Iraq debacle to his political advantage. That scored with those of us who thought the war was an outrageous misappropriation of American power, not to mention a crime. The writers here do a good job of pointing out the hypocrisy of the so-called left punditry who supported the war then turned against it, acting as if they never supported it in the first place.

      We’ll never know how Barack Obama would have voted if he was put on the spot. Based on what’s happening in the Middle East right now, he doesn’t seem averse to using force.

      Where we ex-Obots missed the boat was failing to see him for the fraud that he was. Hillary’s war vote obscured the very real flaws of her opponent. His behavior in the primary is a key piece of evidence of that, and his gracious acceptance of Wall Street money should have been a major red flag. We missed it.

      It’s time to change the lineup.

      • I believe that Obama would have voted for it. That’s how I feel about him now. But back in 2008, I didn’t know this. In fact, it was a missing data point. There was no basis of comparison. I think that might be why he was recruited. There was no paper trail. So, to use this as a basis of excluding Clinton was unfair. But the operatives were very keen to play up her “hawkishness”. Do you remember that stupid Lieberman sense of the senate vote on Iran? Every senator had to vote on whether we should turn Iran into a glass parking lot at some point if it used terrorism in some major way. I can’t remember all of the details but it was one of those common sense things. Um, no, we don’t like countries that use terrorism to attack other states and if Iran does it, we should take appropriate action. No biggie, it was just a a sense of the senate, not an actionable vote.
        And guess who was conveeeeeeniently absent for that vote? That’s right, Obama was stuck in Illinois or new Hampshire or someplace and couldn’t fly out because the pilot had a hangnail or something.
        It didn’t matter. The blogs exploded about this crap. Hillary was made to look like Atilla the Hun crossed with the Japanese imperial army raping Nanking. It was totally over the top and smelled like manufactured outrage.
        Then he was absent from the move on/petraeus vote. Remember that? And she took move ons side and they hated her for it. The final outrage for me is the telecomm immunity bill she voted against and he voted FOR after she suspended the campaign.
        Then, I knew. If he’d been in the Senate during the IWR debacle, he would have made some impassioned speech against it and then voted for it. As the senator from Illinois, he was pretty much off the hook either way but I believe he would have voted for it.

        • That’s his m.o. Give a speech, then do just the opposite. His entire campaign was filled with promises and positions that he later reneged on. He condemns the excesses of Wall Street in a speech, then whips for TARP during the meltdown. I doubt TARP would have passed had he not advocated for it. The telecom immunity bill is another good example. He pledged to close Guantanamo, but it remains open. He said we should engage in dialogue with Iran, but now we stand on the brink of a hot war with that country. The list goes on and on. He has no respect for his base of support. None. He thinks we’re a bunch of idiots with the attention span of children. He’s arrogant and he thinks we have no place else to go with our vote.

          Given this pattern of behavior, it would be reasonable to predict his IWR vote. He’s taken cynicism to another level.

          You’ve taught me a lot about the shenanigans in the primary . It’s apparent that he had A LOT of help in securing the nomination. Not only Wall Street help, but he made have recieved help from the GOP.

        • I wasn’t aware of move on’s reaction Hillary’s the Petraeus vote. Was that when W named Petraeus as commander in Iraq?

          How could move on denounce Hillary for taking their side?

          • I don’t know that they ever outright denounced her but she was the one who stuck by them and their attitude was like, “and that affects us how? “.
            Let’s just say that the left underappreciated every time she stuck her neck out for them or did the right thing.
            When she voted against the telecomm immunity bill, I remember the obot fan base writing that she only did it to make Obama look bad in comparison. That was absurd because she gave a rather well reasoned explanation of her vote before she cast it. But that was the narrative: if Hillary did something they actually liked, she did it to make Obama look bad. They didn’t want to like her even if she was on their side.
            The move on ad thingy was about move on making an ad calling petraeus “general betray us”. The right wingers had a fit and put an amendment in a house bill to condemn move on for personal attacks on their hero. Hillary voted agains the amendment. Then Barbara boxer introduced an anti hypocrisy amendment condemning ALL personal attacks and specifically used the swiftboat veterans for truth ads against john kerry as an example. Hillary voted for that.
            Neither Obama or Biden voted on either amendment.
            Like I said, she stuck her neck out for move on when the entire nation was coming down on it for this stupid ad. And who did they support and endorse? The guy who didn’t take their side in this vote, was conveniently absent for the Iran sense of the senate vote, rode to the nomination based on a vote he never had to do (but in retrospect, would probably have voted for anyway) and voted for that ugly telecomm immunity bill when courage was no longer necessary.
            Looking back, it’s hard to believe the Democrats turned her down and treated her so badly. And it’s kind of funny, when you’re a woman and you really want to achieve something, you purposely become oblivious to the way the world treats you. All the discouraging messages you get telling you to shut up or go away or you are a failure, you have to turn down the volume in all that stuff and just carry on.
            But lately, I’ve been looking back at all the stuff that people have said or done that I just ignored at the time and let me tell you, people can be brutal. It’s like woah, if I had paid attention, that would have hurt to the bone because they really meant what they were saying.
            I imagine that Hillary has had or will have that experience some day. You suddenly realize how mean, heartless and callous people can be. So, when I think about how move on didn’t immediately see that she was the true blue Democrat and he wasn’t, I think of it as a kind of hatred. There’s nothing she could have done to win their support except get the hell out of Obama’s way. BTW, here’s a perfect example of the mental state many Obama fans were in during the primary season. This is John aravosis of americablog on Hillary the horrible human being. Does that sound sane to you? Aravosis was NOT an outlier.
            As a result, I find it very difficult to be around move on anymore. A couple months ago, occupy Princeton organized a meetup and I signed up for it online. Then I got a message from the organizers telling the details and location, etc, and the organizers had decided to use move on’s organizing tools with their help. Well, that did it for me. The last thing I wanted was to go to an occupy meeting and find out that it was a glorified house party for move on to recruit people for Obama’s campaign, and you know, that might have been completely wrong and unfair to occupy and move on but the impression it gsve me from the 2008 campaign season is very hard to shake. It definitely damaged their credibility to me. Same with DFA. I went to DFA training at once point. Met Jim dean at a phone banking party and talked to him for awhile. I was committed to the party at that point. Do you see where I’m going with this? There is a deep sense of betrayal going on here and I believe it is justified, the democrats turned their backs on Hillary and us. That’s why it feels like hatred. It was deliberate and senseless all at once.

  9. There seem to have been parallel forces at work. First was Wall Street’s interest in Obama. That’s clear and directly verifiable by the funding he accepted from them early in the campaign and throughout the campaign. Money doesn’t buy everything, but it buys a lot, including the necessary infrastructure to out-organize Hillary in the caucus states and a formidable PR operation. He had a first rate marketing team and not only did they sell him, they dis-sold her. Wall Street had motivation to thrust him forward because he was malleable and now we know Obama is owned by Wall Street based on his behavior in office. Quid pro quo, they support his candidacy, he returns the favor by providing preferential treatment while president. I get power politics.

    The concurrent action, which I’m not so clear on- is why the party elites turned so aggressively against her. Now, if she was just playing spoiler to his candidacy, the criticisms of her would be warranted. But the way the delegate counts were manipulated ( Mi and FLA ) and the other examples of chicanery suggests the DNC and the party leadership acquiesced, if not conspired to withhold the nomination from her. It’s not as if she wasn’t winning primaries, she kept winning primaries, even while the party was trying to get her out of the race. Was there a causal link between donor preference for Obama and the behavior of the party elites? Or was it Clinton derangement syndrome, where a bunch of otherwise intelligent people for whatever reason, developed a herd mentality in opposing her?

    If Aravosis is representative of what the party hierarchy was thinking, it’s pretty shameful. Based on her behavior, she is very loyal and has served Obama dutifully at State. And the fact she hasn’t jumped into the race despite Obama’s manifest inadequacies says a lot about her loyalty.

    • Not only did she keep on winning, she *did* win. Without the gift of Michigan’s delegates, Obama couldn’t have gotten the nomination. It was closer than the width of a gnat’s wing. As little as 17 elected delegates by one count. The party should have a rule about mandatory multiple votes and debates at the convention when it’s that close. The superdelegates were bought off.
      Was he better organized? I don’t know about that. I did some work at the Trenton office before the NJ primary and overheard a staffer on the phone who was getting calls from all over the state. Obama was throwing obscene gobs of money around and the Clinton campaign couldn’t match it. She still won handily by 10 points.
      As for the caucuses, why don’t you ask Katiebird how that went in Kansas? All over the country, caucus sites were suddenly filled to capacity by people the regulars had never seen before. They were pushy, aggressive, they locked people out, took sign in sheets. It was pretty outrageous.
      I also worked in the Harrisburg office in Pennsylvania where my mom lives. He didn’t have a chance in Pennsylvania. For all of his notorious crack campaign operation, he didn’t stand a chance with regular Democrats. They all told me they didn’t think he was ready and they wish he had sat it out for 8 years. And they REALLY didn’t like the allegation that they didn’t like him because they were racists.
      I think the famed campaign was a legend in their own minds. They won a lot of the caucus states but we later found out that a disproportionate number of delegates were given to them in the first place. The population densities and representations were all out of whack. A voter in Utah had a bigger say in who won than multiple voters in NJ. It was very suspicious. Plus, in states where there was a caucus and a primary, he lost the primaries. The primaries are much more democratic in that it’s a secret ballot, no one can harass you to change your vote or lock you out and it takes very little time to vote so that more people can do it. Caucuses are usually attended by the hard core candidate supporters. And if one candidate’s supporters consists of the elderly, women with small children and working people while the other candidate’s constituency is mainly a group of testosterone stoked guys, a caucus is going to favor the guys.
      And in the end, the RBC still had to reapportion the delegates so that Obama would come out on top, going so far as to take 4 legitimately elected delegates from Clinton. To me, that doesn’t say “brilliant campaign!”. That says that in spite of all of the money he was throwing around, he was so weak he needed to be carried across the threshhold. But legends die hard.
      What he had was money and a fanatical fanbase that would do anything for him. He was saved by the banking fiasco. Up until that point, he wasn’t blowing McCain out of the water at the polls.
      So, to sum it all up: Clinton actually won the primaries, there was nothing wrong with her campaign organization because she actually won the primaries. She won nearly every densely populated Democratic state in the US, which in normal primary years would have given her the win, no question about it. But her wins in FL and MI were withheld from her, not by the voters but by members of her own party. What resulted was that the party wrote off CA, NY, NJ, MA, OH, FL, MI, PA, TX, etc, etc. Can you imagine that happening to any other candidate? That you won all these huge Democratic states but lost the nomination by 17 votes because your opponent strong armed voters in sparsely populated rural states and despite the closeness of the elected delegate count between them, no one says a peep about it at the rigged convention? We haven’t even discussed the convention yet. I went to Denver to protest. The stories we got from the delegates will curl your hair. In short, the Obama campaign’s “brilliant” strategy consisted of “winning” in the caucuses with aggressive techniques that were so unusual and unethical that multiple complaints were filed. The rest of his strategy consisted of buying the superdelegates. He did this with the collusion of the DNC, which told superdelegates that campaign money would be withheld from their state races if they didn’t switch. We have complaints from the delegates who were in the know at the convention about this. Superdelegates were risking congressional races in their states if they didn’t switch. All of the rest, Clinton won. She won voters, who are the most important thing anyway. And THEY were the ones who the DNC cut loose.
      You’ll notice that during this dialogue I have not mentioned Obama’s r@ce. That’s because it wasn’t important. What happened in the primary system had nothing to do with it. And we here have no reason to care about his r@ce either. We judge people by their actions not their melanocyte count, which is ridiculous. We truly are post r@cial at this site. Obama’s campaign played with some Orwellian logic throughout the campaign season, asserting that it was post r@cial and then bludgeoning any troublemakers as r@cists.
      I don’t know about you but I will NEVER vote for Barack Obama. I was so angry at the way the DNC treated 18000000 of us that I left the party. Yup, wrote my county BOE and asked them to remove me from the Democrat rolls. If a party has to go to these lengths to make sure that one candidate gets the nomination over another and does it because of money, what else will it be willing to do for money? Well, we’ve seen the answer to that question in the last 4 years. Obama came in with majorities in both houses and accomplished virtually nothing that will help Americans except those people with pre-existing conditions who couldn’t get health insurance before. Other than that, I get the distinct impression that they were told not to do anything that would piss off the bankers.
      Nothing good comes of a bad seed, Greg.

      • The question is: have those 18 million people remained in the voting side of electoral politics and will they all vote their vengeance in 2012?
        Or have they checked out of the electoral process altogether?

        If they are all prepared to vote their vengeance in 2012, are they forming a political pressure group movement to tell their friendly neighborhood Democrats all about it?

      • As I wrote a few days ago, I refuse to vote for him again. Even if it means we get Mitt Romney. For me, it involves issues of honesty and performance. I don’t like being lied to and treated as if I’m some sort of rube, but when he needs money and participation he sends me e-mails, and letters encouraging me to get involved. I had it when he sent me an e-mail on his visit to with George Clooney. That told me he thinks I’m shallow and stupid that I would base my vote the company he keeps. His economic policies are grinding the middle class into dust, yet he portrays himself as the great hope of America. ANd what’s really frustrating is THAT THE LEFT GOES ALONG WITH IT!!!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM??? I supported a primary challenge to him months ago, but no one in the party got the message. If you read sites like Daily Kos, you’d think Mitt Romney is the antichrist. That’s what happens when your own candidate is a dud and can’t run on anything other than a speech, a wink and a nod. You have to trash your opponent.

        Your description of the events of 2008 is most helpful. Thank you. It seems that while he may not have done anything illegal, his caucus tactics were unethical. If you ask me, the caucus activities smack of GOP tactics. They withheld from Hillary Clinton the delegates in MI and FLA in order to deny her the critical mass she needed to secure the nomination. This could not have been done without the support of the DNC and the party leadership who, for whatever motivations, chose to withhold the nomination from Hillary Clinton. So here we are. Do you think the party elders would be willing to replace him with her, given the way they treated her in 2008? I think the public would embrace her but not so sure about the elites.

        • I think the pols whose careers depend on Obama will be reluctant to force him out. But let’s not forget that up until the last weeks of the 2008 primary, Hillary had a lot of loyalty among the super delegates who were coerced to support Obama. Some of those people may not particularly care for their election prospects. Bill Clinton has gone out of his way to campaign for primary opponents who are running against Obama super delegates. And his candidates are winning. Some representatives have practically begged him to come to endorse him. But he’s very choosy and he acts like a man on a mission, settling some scores, take names and doing favors. You can make of that what you want but I don’t think Hillary will be running in 2016. The Clinton’s are smart politicians. They know that 2008 was her best shot and if she’d won, she’d be campaigning for reelection right now. But in 2016, the voting cohort will have shifted and unless something changes, the current malaise will be set in stone and expectations will be lowered and harder to overcome. I think she will have missed her opportunity in 2016.
          Could there be a movement within the party to replace Obama with c
          Inton? I’ll eat my blog if it turns out that no one in the party has thought of it and had secret pow-wows to talk about it. as we’ve seen, even the Obama white house is receptive to the idea of replacing candidates after they have wom their primaries. It happened in NJ with Corzine when Codey was recruited to replace him. It didn’t happen but then corzine lost so, they knew which way the wind was blowing.
          If I were the party, I’d grow some cojones and try it.
          In my old profession, computational chemistry, molecules and proteins exist on an energy landscape. They twist and turn and vibrate along their bonds. Molecules are stable when they are in a low energy state. There are many low energy states on the landscape but sometimes, proteins get stuck in a low energy state that is not the most stable form but it can’t get out of it. It’s stuck in a conformation (a state of bond and atom distances and angles) that is called a low energy state. But it’s not the global minimum where it might function the best. Such a thing happens to b-amyloid, the protein that causes Alzheimer’s disease. Because of amino acid mutations, the protein misfolds into the wrong conformation. To fix misfolded proteins, they need to be unfolded. When we model them, we push the bonds into a higher energy state. We give the system a kick of heat. That causes the protein to start moving and then the system is allowed to anneal, that is lose its energy slowly and then the modeler is able to sample the low energy conformations along the energy landscape and find the low energy states and possibles the global minimum. so what is the purpose of this extended metaphor? I see the party as stuck in a misfolded state in low energy minimum that it can’t get out of. It needs energy to be added to its system. This will cause a lot of motion and activity and what looks like chaos. But if we are careful to not add too much, we can anneal the party to a more functional low energy state.
          If it doesn’t do it to itself, then the energy in the society at large will build up to a point where the chaos and activity will be a lot more difficult to control.
          If the American people finally figure out what effect the LIBOR manipulations had on the policies that the Obama administration pushed, and that he and Geithner made deals with banks ad hoc instead of aggressively writing and enforcing new regulations, and that the reason why we were all sacrificed is because the bankers had their man in the white house, if they put that all together and realize that the grand bargain is being driven by the actions of these bankers to get theirs at your expense, well, it won’t be pleasant. And the suburbs are full of formerly middle class, educated, technologically savvy people who are now struggling to pay their bills and not wreck their kids lives. So, you know, I’d consider replacing Obama and sending the party up in energy. Right now, both parties are stuck in a rut, the financiers are ruling industries and no one is thinking about average Americans. We need a candidate whose slogan is “you aren’t invisible to me”.

          • Trying to control complex systems like a society is impossible over a long period of time. Even basic experiments go wrong because you can’t account for the behavior of all the variables. The Obama administration’s economic policy can be summarized thusly: recapitalize the banks. Other priorities rescinded. Now, this policy vector has had tremendous cost on the larger society. High unemployment, inadequate employment, stagnant to declining incomes, high debts that don’t get written down, but really can’t be paid, reduced social spending so the banks can be paid their interest. The banks literally cannibalize the economic system that supports it. The economic data support the thesis of a bifurcated recovery where the financial elites resume income capture and the living standards of the population erode. I love your chemistry analogy, it’s as if the protein molecules are tangled and can’t disentangle without an exogenous event.

            People have to realize the health of the financial sector is a direct cost to them. The public pays for the superbonuses the top bankers receive. I see the Occupy movements as the first salvo in that battle. The elites saw it too, which is why they were so quick to break up the encampments. The longer reforms are delayed, the more explosive the result eventually. It’s why I am so concerned.

          • What was Howard Dean’s role in all of this? I read somewhere he had something of a feud with the Clintons.

    • Also her professionalism. She will not support a “Hillary in Obama out” movement regarding the DemPrez ticket in any way . . . overtly OR covertly. The only way she would go in is if a decontamination movement so powerful that it could wash out Obama all by itself were to wash Obama out all by itself and create a vacuum at the top of the ticket that the “Nobama no way” movement would ONLY accept Hillary to fill.

      And even then she may decide the condition of the country and the government is beyond salvaging from a Presidential standpoint . . . and she may move beyond politics the way Gore has done.

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