What’s a “Liberal” Again?


President Obama is considered a “liberal” Democrat in denial by the Village. If you ask Obama about his “shellacking” (can I take the time to point out how lame that word is and how sick I am of hearing it?) two weeks ago he will say that it was a messaging problem. While he was toiling away with legislation trying to help us ingrates he just didn’t have the time to go out and say how all of it was going to benefit our ungrateful behinds so we punished him at the voting booth for not chatting with us enough.
Continue reading

Monday Morning: He’s Baa-aaccccckkkk

Keith Olbermann has returned from exile at MSNBC:

Liberal groups had taken on Olbermann’s suspension as a cause. An online petition calling for his reinstatement, run by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, had exceeded 300,000 signatures Sunday, and Michael Moore had tweeted his support. The committee’s Adam Green said Griffin was repeatedly e-mailed updates on the petition drives.

“Progressives proved that when one of our own are targeted, we will have their backs,” he said.

That’s right. Why fight for REAL Health Care Reform or hold some kind of rally for the unemployed when you can fight to get a screaming moron back on the air?

Oh well. Moving on! Representative Eric Cantor refuses to take another Government shut down or a default on the National Debt off the table.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday this morning, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the #2 Republican in the House, threatened to take the nation’s economy hostage if President Obama does not comply with House GOPers’ as yet undefined demands. When asked if he would take a government shutdown on forcing the United States to default on its debt off the table, Cantor responded that it would somehow be President Obama’s fault if House Republicans press this agenda:

QUESTION: Are you willing to say right now we’re not going to let the country go into default, and we won’t allow a government shutdown?

CANTOR:  Chris, look at this now.  The chief executive, the president, is as responsible as any in terms of running this government. The president has a responsibility, as much or more so than Congress, to make sure that we are continuing to function in a way that the people want.

Wow. Do these imbeciles ever learn? Never mind the fact that the public sector is almost the only place where people actually have jobs now, Obama is ALL READY saying he will compromise on extending the Bush Tax cuts. I wouldn’t worry, folks. No way is Bam going to have the cojones to let it come to a showdown between him and the House GOP. He might actually have to stand on his principles if that happens, and he has none. Even if it’s true that the GOP won’t accept compromise now, he will cave.

Cantor elaborates on The Hill about what message electing Nancy as House Minority Leader would send to Americans:

“I mean, the voters outright rejected the agenda that she’s been about. And here they’re going to put her back in charge,” Cantor, in line to become the House majority leader in the next Congress, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I mean this is the woman who really, I think, puts ideology first, and there have been no results for the American people,” he said. “And that seems the direction they want to take again. It just doesn’t make sense.”

She hardly puts her ideology first. This is a gal who claims to be pro choice and then passed HCR on our uteruses to please her backers in the Insurance Industry. Maybe if she had stuck to her scary socialist ideology more women would have showed up at the polls when she and Harry needed them.

And the  party doesn’t stop there. At least not the Tea party. The GOP also promises to “roll back” HCR.

Republicans, who will control the House starting in January but will remain in the minority in the Senate, acknowledge that they do not have the votes for their ultimate goal of repealing the health law, the most polarizing of Mr. Obama’s signature initiatives.

But they said they hoped to use the power of the purse to challenge main elements of the law, forcing Democrats — especially those in the Senate who will be up for re-election in 2012 — into a series of votes to defend it.

How’s that “New Coalition” working out for ya?

Elena Kagan and Laura Bush: When Pigs Really Fly

Kudos to the President for nominating another lady to the supreme court. Well done. But something’s not right here. What is it…? Oh, yeah.

I’m really, really glad Obama chose a woman. I really, really wish she were more liberal. I suspect she’ll be okay on Roe and other “social issues,” but her attitude to executive power is alarming.

Also, rumors abound that Kagan is gay. Let’s just pretend for a second that we care….

Glad that’s over.

As for social issues, the President has really given us a treat! He picked someone that is kind of pro-choice! OMG! But wait…

As a White House adviser in 1997, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan urged then-President Bill Clinton to support a ban on late-term abortions, a political compromise that put the administration at odds with abortion rights groups.

Documents reviewed Monday by The Associated Press show Kagan encouraging Clinton to support a bill that would have banned all abortions of viable fetuses except when the physical health of the mother was at risk. The documents from Clinton’s presidential library are among the first to surface in which Kagan weighs in the thorny issue of abortion.

The abortion proposal was a compromise by Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle. Clinton supported it, but the proposal failed and Clinton vetoed a stricter Republican ban.

In a May 13, 1997, memo from the White House domestic policy office, Kagan and her boss, Bruce Reed, told Clinton that abortion rights groups opposed Daschle’s compromise. But they urged the president to support it, saying he otherwise risked seeing a Republican-led Congress override his veto on the stricter bill.

Oh. But still! Since Kagan is probably a lezbo, she must support gay marriage, right? Wrong.

The meme has taken hold that Kagan is a stealth candidate who has avoided taking positions on important constitutional or other issues throughout her career.

But on one issue of critical importance to the left — the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Kagan has staked out a very clear and unequivocal position: There is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

In the course of her nomination for Solicitor General, Kagan filled out questionnaires on a variety of issues. While she bobbed and weaved on many issues, with standard invocations of the need to follow precedent and enforce presumptively valid statutes, on the issue of same-sex marriage Kagan was unequivocal.

Kagan is a winner in other ways, too:

“Like Harriet Miers, she doesn’t have a record to tell us how she would adjudicate from the bench. They led a rebellion against the executive branch and the same thing should happen here.”

“I object to appointment somebody that has no track record. Corporate power is a big one because of the Citizens United decision, and also Miranda. There are a lot of things where it would be helpful to be able to examine past writings.”

“If I was in the Senate, I would vote no, because like Harriet Miers she doesn’t have the judicial experience.”

“Accepting Kagan just because people like Obama is wrong. That’s appropriate for American Idol, not the Supreme Court. Nobody knows what she stands for but him. It’s just a cult of personality with Obama. This is the Supreme Court.”

There is something fundamentally wrong about this. Everyone is used to Obama constantly rejecting his base. They are like devoted mistresses who constantly tell themselves that their boyfriends will leave their wives–he is just making a compromise right now; it’s a secret game of eleven dimensional chest and during the election time he will come crawling back. But really, why do liberals have to compromise in the first place?

The selection of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be the nation’s 112th justice extends a quarter-century pattern in which Republican presidents generally install strong conservatives on the Supreme Court while Democratic presidents pick candidates who often disappoint their liberal base.

[...]

Along the way, conservatives have largely succeeded in framing the debate, putting liberals on the defensive. Sonia Sotomayor echoed conservatives in her Supreme Court confirmation hearings last year by rejecting the idea of a “living” Constitution that evolves, and even President Obama recently said the court had gone too far in the past. While conservatives have played a powerful role in influencing Republican nominations, liberals have not been as potent in Democratic selections.

Well, I don’t know. Maybe the blogger boyz just need a reality check. For one thing, Obama is just not that into them.

For another, the notion that Obama is a “Democratic President” is laughable anyway. Democratic Presidents don’t pass Heritage Foundation Health Insurance Reforms and then claim it as the biggest victory of their Presidency. Just sayin.’

The Democratic Party is obviously in trouble, and that is no secret. But they can’t be any worse than Republicans, right? NOTHING is worse than a Republican. I mean, Elena Kagan might not be perfect on social issues, but at least she’s more liberal that Laura Bush!

On her media tour for her memoir, Spoken from the Heart, Laura Bush stopped by Larry King Live, where she opened up for the first time about her advocacy for marriage equality, as well as her belief that Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision regarding a woman’s right to an abortion, should be upheld.

The Democrats are going to run on “results” in November??

Bart Stupak, poster boy for the "party of results"

I know, I know.  It took me awhile to stop giggling too.  They can’t possibly be serious.  But that’s what PoliticalTicker is claiming.   Swallow your coffee before you read it:

Washington (CNN) – When voters head to the polls in November, the Democratic National Committee would like them to remember Democrats with one word: results.

On Wednesday at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, chairman Tim Kaine revealed his party’s new message and strategy months ahead of the midterm elections. Kaine talked about the efforts with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King in an interview that aired on John King, USA.

Kaine told King that Democrats hope to convince voters they are the party of results. Part of their new strategy will involve pushing that message, helping local candidates, and convincing many of the new voters – that voted for President Barack Obama in the last election – to support Democrats in the midterms.

The DNC chairman said that while the economy still needs improvements, it’s moved from recession to recovery.

Kaine said, “I think the improvement will be noticed by our voters and we’ll be able to make the case to them, do you want to keep climbing or do you want to hand the keys back to the guys who put us into the ditch?”

Yeah, I’m sure that’s what they will be thinking as they head out the door today with their complimentary cardboard box for their stuff and their three month severance packages.

Actually, that’s not what I’ve been witnessing here in the heart of middle class suburbia.  What is happening is that the Republicans in NJ are stirring up an anti-tax rebellion and directing it against hapless teachers.  Why should THEY be getting decent bennies and a steady paycheck when the people footing the bill with their ridiculous property taxes are seeing their industries disappearing and their own lives on the brink of disaster?

Tim Kaine and the Democrats are utterly clueless.  They have no idea what is really going on out here.  Results?  What results?

Was the stimulus package big enough to stave off these drastic cuts in our school districts?

Did Democrats end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Did the Democrats fight hard for the entrepreneurs and small businesses to get the capital they need to start new ventures so people would have jobs?

Did the Democrats soak the rich bankers within an inch of their lives so that they would learn a valuable lesson and the financial catastrophe they brought upon us wouldn’t happen again?

Did Democrats put together an adequate bailout and mortgage restructuring package for strapped homeowners so they wouldn’t throw in the towel and walk away from their obligations?  Did they make it easier for mortgage owners to keep money flowing to the banks to keep them solvent?

Did the Democrats impose some emergency regulations so that bankers would stop gambling away our futures?

Have the Democrat done ANYTHING so far to make sure that no one touches Social Security and that we get our Trust Fund money back from the thieves who took it?

Did the Democrats give us actual health care reform that’s truly universal, affordable, with competition?

Did the Democrats protect womens’ rights and autonomy of her own body?

Did the Democrats fix gender paycheck inequalities for real or did they simply pass a law with no teeth?

Did the Democrats try to protect American workers’ jobs?

I haven’t seen any results.  I’ve seen them turn their backs on their own voters in 2008 in order to elect their lightbringer, an easy win for them.  All they had to do was change the roolz in the middle of the game and cudgel frantic American voters with false accusations of racism to guilt them into voting for one of the most unprepared but nakedly ambitious presidents since George W. Bush.  But it wasn’t enough to make him president.  No, the world had to give him a Nobel prize as well.  What’s next?  A MacArthur genius grant for curing cancer?  Where does he find the time??  The awards must be piling up on his little display etegere, like a bunch of 3rd place martial arts trophies.  Everyone who participates gets a prize for trying.

And the whining.  I can’t stand it.  We are now supposed to believe that a minority party, the Republicans, are responsible for all that has gone wrong.  They stand in the way.  They say no to everything.  Even when Democrats had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, the Republicans were responsible.  How can that be??  I am trying hard to wrap my head around this concept.  Here’s what I’ve got: 1.) Democrats had a filibuster proof majority in the senate.  2.)Republicans got what they wanted anyway.  3.) Soooo, maybe the problem is actually *in* the Democratic party.   Three names come to mind immediately: Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson and Bart Stupak.  You can throw Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu in there as well but at least they can be leaned on.  Who leaned on Nelson, Lieberman and Stupak?  Those three swaggered all over Congress and Stupak in particular got whatever the hell he wanted.  It was Bart Stupak vs the majority of voters in the USA and Bart won.  BART won.  The Democrats allowed Bart and Obama to screw millions of women out of their personal autonomy and Democrats have the nerve to blame Republicans?

I don’t think Democrats understand the impact of their cowardice.  Women are not a special interest.  Workers have to work to pay taxes.  The financial investment industry is out of control and wrecking havoc around the world.  Our current wars are pointless wastes of lives and money.  Sick children should never have to pass through a gauntlet to get affordable health care.  And we need teachers, even the mean ones who can’t be bothered to address the needs of the gifted.  If they do a good job with the other 98% of the students in their classes, we will have gotten more than our money’s worth.

You want to know what I want to see in the results category?  I want to see real passion on the Floor.  I want to see yelling and screaming.  I want to see the progressives and liberals eat some red meat and throw a fit until the Bart Stupaks in their own party back down.  I want to see eggs thrown and smoke bombs and bloody noses.  I want to see incivility.  I want to see so much fighting in Congress by Democratic representatives on behalf of Americans not in the bonus class that the editorial page of the New York Times faints before it can reach the smelling salts.  I don’t want two Republican parties.  I want to see Democrats actually ACT like Democrats. 

Shove your “party of results” meme until you have some results.  I own my vote.  I don’t give it away for social promotion purposes.  You can’t scare me with the Republican boogie man anymore.  I voted for downticket Dems in 2008 but they haven’t pulled their weight.  If Republicans win this fall, Democrats have themselves to blame and no one else.  It was their responsibility to get things done and they blew it.  They coasted.   This fall, I’m not voting for either party.  I’m voting for a party to be designated later.

And stop calling me for money.

Banquo’s Ghosts


I’ve always been a loner.  Growing up I was not one of the kewl kidz but it never bothered me because I never felt the need to be part of any group.  I prefer jobs that let me work independently without co-workers getting in my way or bosses looking over my shoulder.  I live alone, but I’m not lonely.

Maybe that’s why peer pressure has never had much effect on me.  I’m always behind on fashions and the latest pop trends.  I usually discover the fashion changes when I go to buy something and the clerk informs me that “they don’t make those anymore.”

It’s not that I’m afraid to try new things.  But if I try it and I don’t like it then I don’t keep doing/wearing/eating whatever it is, even if everyone else believes (or claims to believe) that it’s the greatest/coolest/most wonderful thing ever.  I make up my own mind and I trust my own judgment.

But even though I’m a loner and don’t need anyone’s approval to validate my existence I was never treated like an outcast before (or if I was I didn’t notice.)

Ironically, I now find myself art of a group – of pariahs.  If you’re reading this there’s a pretty good chance you’re in that group with me. If you’re not in our group then you’re probably a deranged blogstalker who needs to get a life.

You can divide lefty bloggers into three main groups – the ones who supported Obama enthusiastically and uncritically, the ones who would have preferred someone else but went ahead and voted for him anyway and those of us that saw through him and refused to support him just because he had a “D” after his name.

Among the many weird phenomena that swept Left Blogistan beginning in 2007 was the Obama supporters’ rabid intolerance for differing/dissenting views.  Not that long ago nonconformity was considered a highly-prized virtue by liberals and progressives and freedom of speech was a holy principle that the Flying Spaghetti Monster gave to Founding Fathers.

Suddenly everyone on the left side of the blogosphere was expected to conform and stop exercising independent thought – as if we were right-wing authoritarian followers.

To question the One-derfulness of Obama was heresy, and supporting Hillary Clinton was blasphemy.  The cult-like behavior of the Obots was never more evident than in the way they persecuted anyone who dared to disagree with them. At many blogs moderation was non-existent or one-sided.  Anyone who refused to support Teh Precious had two choices: STFU or GTFO.  So we left, and they tried to follow us so they could keep harassing us.

We had committed a mortal sin – we rejected the divinity and most awesome gloriousity of Barack Obama, made worse by the fact that we were very vocal about it.  But the worst part is that we were liberal Democrats, which made us apostates to the true believers.

They told us we weren’t wanted in “their” party.  They said we were old, ugly and stupid and no one wanted us.  Then after all that they went ballistic when we announced after the RBC meeting that we didn’t give a fuck about party unity and we were not going to vote for Obama no matter how many of Hillary’s delegates they gave him.  For that we got called traitors.

Continue reading

Remember When We Believed In a Place Called Hope?

Remember when Donna Brazile told us all that the Democratic Party was forming a New Coalition that was “…more urban, as well as suburban…” and that the party didn’t need gays, Hispanics, blue collar voters (more commonly known as Jacksonians) and us bitter, clingy feminists anymore? Donna was either flying high that night, or she was serious. We can safely assume she was serious, particularly after she wrote this gem in response to an innocent young voter’s (ie: me) inquiries about seating the delegates in Florida and Michigan.

As of today, I am not going to respond to any more anti American, Anti Democratic emails. Have a nice day.
I am sorry because you are sincere, but the Hillary forces are uncivil, repugnant and vile. When you come up for air and would like to email a person who cares about America and not just a personality, I will respond.
Thanks for your time and your interest.
Donna

This afternoon, in between being uncivil, repungant and vile and also hating America (and also toting a gun and being raycist), I came across this article on FB, which explains why the conventional wisdom about Obama’s current joke of a Presidency is, as usual, wrong:

The conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama’s decline in the polls represents a new, unexpected turn against him. But an examination of the results of the recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts suggests that what we might really be seeing is a return to the skepticism that significant portions of the electorate have showed about Obama from the beginning of his national career.

For six months during the 2008 primaries, Obama and Hillary Clinton crisscrossed the country wooing voters. Obama consistently failed to win over important parts of the Democratic base, even after it became clear that he was going to be his party’s nominee.

On February 5—Super Tuesday— Obama did poorly in both New Jersey and Massachusetts, losing to Clinton by 10 and 15 points, respectively. The exit polls were in line with Obama’s performance throughout the primary race: He did very well with blacks, wealthy voters, highly educated voters, and very young voters. He did poorly with working-class whites and older voters. In New Jersey, Obama was +20 among voters under the age of 29, but about -26 among voters over 50. In Massachusetts, he ran even with young voters, and -31 among those over 65. As for education, Obama was -41 among voters with only a high school degree, but ran even, or just ahead, among voters possessing postgraduate degrees. And then there was gender and race. In New Jersey, Obama was -19 among white men; in Massachusetts he was +1.

[...]

The question, then, is how these various coalition groups—the white ethnic enclaves, the Jacksonians, the suburban and industrial town voters—have reacted to Democrats since Obama took office. And the answer is: Without enthusiasm.

(Note: only cool young people like me and Regency voted for Hillary, but you all ready know that.) There’s usually no point in Nostalgia. But remember when the Democratic party was the party of the “Big Tent?” Remember when it was supposed to represent the interests of those who were “invisible,” as our Shero used to say? Remember the party that could overcome the labels and name calling defined by the Village and the Right Wing Noise Machine in service of things like Health Care for children, job creation, the environment and tax cuts for the Middle Class? I’m having a hard time, because it’s been a long time since the Big Dawg was President, and I was only an (adorable) little tot back then, but I digress.

The point is, the Democratic Party we once loved and belonged to bit the dust on May 31st at the RBC meeting, but we all know that. Its just that its only now, too late, that the rest of the world is realizing we were right all along about our beloved leader and the “New Coalition.” It is extremely enjoyable to relish in Donna and the rest of the DNC’s Karma, and it is at times satisfying to watch President Obama crash and burn, not because we wanted that to happen–Obama’s failure isn’t just dragging down his poll numbers, its also dragging down this country and all of the unemployed people who are struggling to make ends meet while Wall Street Bankers point and laugh at them from on high atop of their giant mounds of bailout money–but because it is only small consolation after having our vaginas compared to grilled cheese sandwiches (well, my vagina wasn’t compared to a grilled cheese sandwich, but I was still mad about the reference in general) and being basically kicked out of the party a lot of us remained loyal to our entire lives, despite it being such a hot mess.

However, vindictiveness gets us nowhere. The PUMA brand appears to have been usurped by disturbed lunatics such as the Hillbuzz boys, who now spend their days photoshopping pictures of Senator Claire McCaskill in pajamas and campaigning for conservatives like Sarah Palin, Scott Brown and Michelle Bachmann, and the Teabaggers Tea party is a front for the Right Wing.

Many have suggested forming a third party, but as Joseph Cannon explained third parties have been shown to be unsuccessful and their candidates are spoilers. Like it or not, we have a two party system and its going to stay that way. So what do we do?

The right wing nutsos — the Friedmanites, the libertarians — did not say: “We’re not getting what we want from the Republicans, so let’s form a new party.”

Actually, I tell a lie. Before the great takeover occurred, and during the days of Nixon, some right-wing ultras did go down the third party route. A Libertarian party was formed, and the American Independent Party did well in the ’68 and ’72 elections, under George Wallace and John Schmitz.

George is the one who made that remark about there not being a dime’s worth of difference between the two major parties. John is the one who said “If you’re out of Schmitz, you’re out of gear. And if someone doesn’t get that kid get to shut up, I’ll do it myself.”

Apologies for that digression. (If you weren’t alive at that time, you may be confused by the references.)

The reactionary element within this country achieved much greater success when it decided to take over the Republican party. They have now commandeered it to such a degree that John Schmitz’ son Joseph has a comfy place in it. (Joseph used to help run Blackwater and he was the DOD IG under W.) The fanatics not only took over the party, they also commandeered the national debate. They set the limits of permissible thought.

It’s time to take the party back from the “New Coalition.” Its time we gave Donna a fork and made her eat her words. Its time real liberals–and by real I don’t mean fauxgressives of the former Neocon variety such as Arianna and Morkos– I mean real liberals, took the party back from so called “Blue Dogs” and Howard Dean and his crappy “Fifty State Strategy.” Its time we got our party back. Because deep down, we know it still always belonged to us. One needs only to take one look at the flailing Obots on the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos to see that. I miss our “Big Tent.” Lets call it up and tell it to please come home.

I remember being a little kid and knowing I was a Democrat, because I thought that no matter what, I would never feel invisible if there was a “D” after my name. That was what I loved about the Democratic Party. Now so many Americans feel more invisible than ever. Even Wanda Sykes.

I miss my Clinton panties too.

Clinton isn’t out there preaching that only certain types of love are acceptable. He isn’t bemoaning what is wrong with our nation, but constantly emphasizing what is right with it. Clinton is not a gloom and doom kind of guy waiting for an imaginary apocalypse to free us from this evil world. Clinton prefers to see the good in people rather than the worst. The President is an almost idealized concept of an optimist who believes that as long as we are here, we might as well try to make it the best world that we can.

Most of us appreciate that. Because in the end, we, too, would like to believe that we are people who-though we are often flawed and all too human- struggle each day to make the world a little better than how we found it.

Clinton just seems more like one of us. He actually has facial expressions. He plays the sax. He eats at fast food restaurants and struggles with weight gain as a result. He gets all red in the face as he jogs around the block. He even makes bad choices when it comes to picking out which tie to wear for the cameras.

I don’t think anyone would call him a saint. And that is the number one reason that the Republicans hate him so very much. He isn’t a saint at all. Neither are we.

As Andy points out in the song, “He made too many enemies… Of the people who would keep us on our knees..”

And all the while that the Christian Coalition driven lemmings in our government have been harping on the fact that only a saint can run this country effectively, Bill Clinton has been proving them wrong.

And the Righteous Republicans really, really hate that.

Do you still believe in a place called hope? I think I do.

How did these dumb asses beat Hillary?*

Conan Obama


WaPo:

The president stacked his administration with Capitol Hill veterans to help get the job done. Vice President Biden had served in the Senate since 1972. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had been a rising star in the House. Senior advisers Pete Rouse and Jim Messina, budget director Peter Orszag and legislative affairs director Phil Schiliro had close ties to key lawmakers.

[...]

But Republican votes never materialized — at least not in meaningful form that the White House had in mind. The first hint of GOP obstruction had emerged in January, when Obama made an early trip to Capitol Hill to urge support for his stimulus bill.

[...]

The bill received zero Republican votes in the House. Eight months later, by the time bipartisan health-care talks collapsed in September, the GOP outreach effort was effectively dead.

Democrats blamed the breakdown on Republican determination to undermine Obama. “If there’s a political strategy not to cooperate, there’s not a whole lot that you can do about it,” said White House senior adviser David Axelrod.

Gee Dave, what was your first clue?  When the Republicans pantsed Obama and stole his lunch money?

Seriously, where have these geniuses been the past couple of decades? Republicans not cooperating with Democrats? Whodathunkit?  Next thing you know those GOPers will be trying to undo an election by impeaching a Democratic POTUS for lying about a blow-job.

Here’s what the Dim-o-crats should have done, starting in January 2007 when they took control of Congress:


Try to enact a liberal agenda by introducing simple, popular bills and dare the Republicans to try to block them. If the GOPers succeed at obstructing the bills, use it against them in the next election. If the bills pass, take all the credit.

I know that sounds really complex to low-information types and counter-intuitive to the creative class, but it’s crazy enough it could have worked.



*(They didn’t – he was picked by the DNC)

The “screaming woman” who confronted Jane Hamsher on C-Span wasn’t actually screaming

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake

I admit I have been warming up to Jane Hamsher a bit in the past couple of weeks because of her strong fight against the abortion language in the health care bill. But apparently I got fooled again. We’ve all read and discussed Jane’s post, “Shaking Off the Hangover of the Primary Wars.” Riverdaughter did a spectacular verbal takedown of Jane’s rationalizing yesterday.

The post itself is troubling enough, but Jane’s comments about Hillary Clinton and her supporters in the thread clearly demonstrate that she (Jane) is not yet ready to take responsibility for actions she took or did not take during the divisive primary fights of 2008.

Many of us were able to see through Obama early in the primary process–after doing our own research on his character and his political experience (or lack thereof). But Jane claims that her site remained neutral throughout the primaries because there were no significant policy differences among the top three candidates, Obama, Clinton, and Edwards.

It’s true that FDL did not publicly endorse a candidate, but the posts and comment sections certainly favored Obama. It’s possible Jane couldn’t control the Axelrod astroturfers and just threw up her hands, as Digby did. But she allowed her comment sections to be infested with abusive language toward Clinton and anyone who defended her. And she banned commenters who complained about the bullying.

Jane writes:

Sophisticated campaigns marketed the candidates as personalities and people became attached to them and felt like they knew them. Everyone who opposed them was the “enemy,” rhetoric was amped up and overheated, identity politics were exploited by both sides as strategic campaign elements and suddenly the blogosphere was a giant pie fight.

We made the decision to stay true to our charter and didn’t take sides, pledging to support the candidate that emerged with the nomination. We believed that once the election was over and we could get back to discussing issues again and evaluating politicians on both sides of the aisle with the same yardstick, we’d be back in our element.

She assumes that everyone who followed the primary battles focused on candidates as personalities rather than looking closely at their characters, policy goals, and personal accomplishments. She could not be more wrong. Most of us didn’t support Hillary Clinton for her personality. I actually began the primaries as an “anyone but Hillary” voter. But her performances in the debates convinced me she was the best candidate. It wasn’t about her personality or about her husband, and it wasn’t about her gender–although I admit I would have liked to see a woman President in my lifetime. I supported Clinton because she showed herself to be smart, knowledgeable, and most of all issue-oriented.

Obama, on the other hand, was all about Obama. He never was specific about issues, he never demonstrated any commitment to Democratic ideology. He admired Ronald Reagan, for heaven’s sake! He cozied up to fundamentalist preachers their anti-abortion, homophobic followers. Most damning of all, it became obvious from his many comments about and to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin that Obama was a misogynist through and through.

I knew Hillary was more conservative than I am, and I knew I probably wouldn’t be happy with her Iraq and Afghanistan policies. But I was even more concerned about domestic issues. All I wanted was a Democrat in the White House who would fight for universal health care and would protect what is left of our social safety net. Instead, thanks to people like Jane and Markos, we ended up with a Republican pretending to be a Democrat–who, if anything is as bad or worse than George W. Bush.

In the discussion thread attached to her post, linked above, Jane posted this comment:

“I had a woman call up and scream at me when I was on CSPAN the other day for all the horrible things Markos and I had done to Hillary Clinton during the primaries, telling me that I had destroyed the Democratic party.

“And I’m like, seriously? I know some people you should meet, you guys would have an interesting fight.”

Many thanks to Gweema for posting the link to Jane Hamsher’s appearance on C-Span’s Washington Journal on November 26, 2009. I watched the whole thing, and right now I’m practically shaking with anger (want to call me a “screamer,” Jane?).

The women caller on C-Span did no screaming. She did not even raise her voice. Instead, she listed her credentials to confront Jane Hamsher and then did so very articulately. Jane responded with condescending lies and half-truths. I decided to transcribe that portion of the interview so we can dissect it here. The relevant section begins at about 25:50.

Elizabeth from Tennessee, calling on the Democratic line, wishes Jane and the interviewer a happy Thanksgiving and says she appreciates their working on the holiday weekend. Here is Elizabeth’s question:

To Jane Hamsher, I have been a lifelong Democrat, I was very involved in the health care battles of the 90’s. I was involved in actual implementing of town hall meetings back then in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois; so I don’t take a back seat to you.

But in the area of February of 2008, I discontinued reading your blog and also the dailykos blog altogether because of your extreme hatred and villification of another Democratic candidate, and that was Senator Hillary Clinton. [Jane Hamsher rolls her eyes at this point]

I don’t know how much you are aware [of]…how much damage you did and how much damage Markos did–

Hamsher interrupts the caller: “Are you sure you’re talking about our blog? We had Hillary Clinton on [patronizing laughter] …

Elizabeth says: I’m talking about your blog, ma’m, and you should know it. If anyone wants to know they should go read…from that time. [interviewer breaks in and asks when this was, but Elizabeth goes on with her points.]

“You mentioned today that Obama was an anti-war candidate. He was no such thing. In fact, throughout the campaign, he continued to say that Afghanistan was a good war…. “

[Jane Hamsher breaks in to agree with Elizabeth on this point.]

Elizabeth says: “You really caused a lot of people to leave the Democratic party during the 2008 campaign. And I’m telling you now, I’m sorry that you’re sick, I’m sorry that you’ve had three bouts with the cancer, but I’m gonna say this. You are going to be shown exactly what damage you caused our party last primary season, and I will never forgive you for that.”

Elizabeth was a bit harsh at times, but she maintained a level tone of voice and did. not. scream. In fact I’d have to say that Jane’s characterization of Elizabeth’s presentation as “screaming” verges on sexism. Perhaps Jane has some unconscious issues in that department.

Here is Jane’s response [highlighting is mine]:

I know that there was a certain class of women who decided that they would start supporting John McCain over what they thought was bad treatment of Hillary Clinton. In fact…I took a video at the Rules Committee meeting, a woman, Harriet Christian who said that…she was not going to support a party who would have an inept black man as a candidate, and that became a…rallying point for some people.

We didn’t take a position…in the primaries. We said that we would support whoever was the winner and in fact had Senator Clinton as a guest on the blog, so I think we represented all viewpoints. I think there were people their who were Hillary Clinton partisans; I think that there were people there who were Barack Obama partisans, and I think that each side…collectively saw the other side as the issue. But I don’t think we were unfair to Senator Clinton, and I don’t believe that the people who left the party to vote for John McCain, who was very much an anti-choice candidate, a pro-war candidate, reflect the same values that I have anyway, or reflect the values of Senator Clinton.

There is so much wrong with Jane’s response that I don’t know where to begin. You do need to watch the video–her facial expressions while listening to the caller and responding to her are unbelievably patronizing and condescending. It is evident from her use of the words “class of women” that Hamsher sees herself as superior to these working class (?), pathetic women (though we’re not all women by any means) who mistakenly think that Hillary Clinton was treated unfairly. In addition she twists Harriet Christian’s words in order to imply that Harriet is a racist.

And what the f&ck is it these people don’t understand about protest votes anyway?

I honestly think that Jane’s rationalizing is an unconscious defense mechanism. Now that she has seen what Obama really is–a DINO, a conservative hack, maybe just barely qualifying as a Rockefeller-style Republican–she has to go back and try to cover up her own behavior during the primaries. But Jane has a very very long way to go before she understands the damage that she and the other A-list bloggers caused. I sincerely doubt that she will ever take responsibility for her actions–or lack of actions. For one thing, Jane was at the Rules Committee meeting and apparently she had absolutely no problem with Obama being given delegates belonging to to Clinton or with Obama getting delegates from a state he didn’t compete in!

Obviously Riverdaughter demolished Jane’s rationalizing yesterday afternoon, so I don’t have to do it. I’ll just post these three paragraphs from RD’s righteous rant here:

People like me are pretty steamed at you and your buddies. You took away our choice. We didn’t get a fair primary season. We didn’t even get a floor fight. There was no unity, Jane. It was all an illusion. Your guy was forced on many, many Democratic voters because YOU decided that Obama was best for us. And many people swallowed that because they were convinced that Republicans were worse. So they voted for a Democrat and they got a Republican anyway.

Jane, how many times do we have to tell you that it wasn’t about Hillary after May 31, 2008? It was about choice. Remember Choice, Jane? The right to self-determination? The ability to choose your own destiny? If someone else took that choice away from you, you’d be on their doorstep with a bullhorn and wouldn’t let up. But because it was YOUR guy who won, it was OK? What about the choice of the rest of us, Jane? What about CA, NJ, NY, MA, OH, PA, TX, IN, NH, WV, TN, FL, MI and so on and so on? Those big, Democratic states did not vote for Barack Obama in the primaries, Jane. They deserved to cast their votes for the candidate they *did* vote for. I was one of those voters, Jane and I am not letting the Democratic party off the hook for its outrageous behavior towards me and the others. With a primary this close and disputed, the nullification of my vote was unforgivable.

That is why the primary of 2008 isn’t going to go away and why you are going to continue to get angry callers who blame you and your friends for the state of the country under Obama. You took our choice away. Your incredibly high handed and self righteous decision to support Obama and shut down the rest of the party for the supposed good of that party has lead us to this point.

Don’t come crying to me with any more of your action e-mails, petitions, and fund-raising drives, Jane. I figured it out. You think I’m in “a certain class of women” who are beneath your contempt. You won’t get another chance from me, Jane. You’re just not seeing reality clearly yet, and I’m not sure you ever will.

Zombie lies and the lying liars that tell them


I ran across this pile of shit over at Cinie’s place:

I remember the moment when the last vestiges of the admiration I had once felt for Bill and Hillary Clinton vanished.

By May 2008, Barack Obama had opened up an all-but-insurmountable lead over Hillary in the contest for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. The former first lady was asked why, therefore, she was prolonging the battle, risking significant damage to the party in the process.

“We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California,” she replied.

To raise the spectre of political murder in any campaign would have been startling. To do so against Obama – whose status as the first serious African-American candidate for the White House had obliged him to have secret service protection from a conspicuously early stage – was disgusting.

Hillary’s comment was even more incendiary because it came towards the end of a campaign in which the family that had dominated Democratic politics for most of the previous two decades had shown little reluctance to play the race card.

I don’t know who Niall Stanage is but he’s dumber than a drunken Blogstalker.  First of all, Hillary won the popular vote and only trailed in the pledged delegate race by 17 delegates AFTER the Rules & Bylaws Committee decision on May 31, 2008 AND with 908 “uncommitted” pledged delegates and all the superdelegates still not counted.

Secondly, the RFK Fauxrage has already been thoroughly debunked. Hillary was not “raising the spectre” of anything, against Obama or anyone else. The whole incident is a prime example of the pro-Obama lunacy that ran amok in Left Blogistan during the 2008 election.

Last of all, the only people “playing the race card” during the election (and repeatedly ever since) were Obama and his supporters.

So I would like to invite Mr. Stanage to kindly fuck off.



(zombie graphic courtesy of Joseph Cannon)

In defense of Jane Hamsher, Democratic party loyalist

Who could have predicted?

Jane Hamsher has taken a lot of heat lately from the likes of Booman, whoever the hell he is (we never read him).  Apparently, he wrote a post directed at the disillusioned party faithful who are now disappointed in President Barack Obama and the Democratic majorities in Congress.  We know he must be talking about Jane and other bloggers like BTD because he sure as heck isn’t talking about us.  We were hep to that step and we didn’t dig it a long, long time ago.  We’ve been calling ourselves Democrats in Exile since about May 31, 2008.  Do we regret the fact that we no longer have a party to call home?  Heck no.  We know all about free milk and a cow.

But this is a painful lesson for people like Jane Hamsher, who has now been told by Booman that if she doesn’t stop voicing her discontent at the bill of goods that Obama failed to deliver, she isn’t a real Democrat.  I beg to differ.  Jane has indeed defended her party credentials quite admirably in a post today.  I advise everyone to go and read it in its entirety as well as the comments.  It seems some of the commenters are still confused about who supported Hillary, PUMA, both, either and why.  I’ll try to clarify that at the end.

It’s not my intention to dump on Jane Hamsher.  She really does mean well.  I will always admire her for what she did in CT for Ned Lamont.  It must feel like a real sucker punch to be sold out by her own party on the issue of reproductive rights too.  I remember that Jane feels very strongly about that issue.  FDL was also doggedly persistent on Plamegate and I sat riveted to my monitor throughout the duration of Scooter Libby’s trial.  Jane was barely out of major surgery when that happened.  But it was the quality of the journalism, not just Jane’s incredible resilience, that merited an award for FDL.

But something went terribly wrong in 2008.  Jane, the party loyalist, took the path most traveled and lost her way.  She documents some of the atrocities in her post today.  Most of it consists of pitiful excuses for why Jane stayed neutral during the worst of the primary abuses.  I’m sure she would like for the primary of 2008 to die an ignominious but quiet death somewhere so we can all let bygones be bygones and get on with it.  It’s not going away, Jane.

Some of Jane’s commenters and perhaps Jane herself think the problem with us “bitter” holdouts is the fact that Hillary lost.  When they notice us, if they notice us at all, they think it is all about Hillary.  But a couple of days before Hillary dropped out, I had a conversation with Peter Daou on the phone.  I was enraged by what the DNC had done and not just because of Hillary.  Of course I was angry with how they had betrayed her but I was more angry at how they had betrayed US, the voters.  I told him that it wasn’t about Hillary anymore.  It was about the Democratic party primary voters.

Let me address some of Jane’s excuses for doing nothing during the primary war of 2008.  Jane says that during primaries, it’s all about personalities.  Maybe.  But I have certainly never seen anything quite like the massacre I witnessed on DailyKos or the emnity between the campaigns that was generated by Obama’s people.  It was like the primary was taken over by the smartest guys in the room from Enron.  That was my first clue that something wasn’t cool about Obama.  His followers seemed too “ends justified the means”.  The campaign was very weak about reining them in, which eventually lead to the “Sarah Palin is a cunt” T-shirts. But the aggression didn’t stay on the blogs.  Nope.  It made its way to TV and print.  It was evident at every televised debate.  It got ugly when the accusations of racism were thrown at the Clintons.  I thought it couldn’t get lower than that.  That’s when Obama lost me for good, Jane.

But your site stayed neutral.

Then there is the issue of their voting records.  Yes, they were very similar.  So, I can’t understand why Hillary got branded as a “corporatist” and Obama didn’t.  On what basis was that label applied, Jane?  But it was even more illogical than that.  If there voting records were virtually identical, why in God’s name would you choose to go with a guy who had virtually no face time in the Senate and ZERO experience in the Executive branch? Then there was the whole Lieberman Resolution on Iran which Hillary was forced to vote for, because no one with an ounce of common sense would vote against what amounted to an opinion poll on whether Iran should be punished if they used terrorism.  But Obama was conveeeeniently absent that day.  Huh.   But wait, there’s more.  Remember the MoveOn Petraeus Ad motion that Obama voted present on?  How about all of the Illinois Senate votes on reproductive rights and abortion that Obama voted present on?  Or how about the fact that he rode to the WH on a speech he gave on the Iraq War Resolution but never had to vote on?  It was a missing data point.

But Jane’s site stayed neutral.

Then there were the caucuses that were overrun by bussed in Obama people and the caucuses in Texas where the fraud was documented and reported on at length by the likes of Pacific John, who witnessed it.  There was the RBC hearing of August 2007 where Florida and Michigan were punished.  Two whole states’ voters disenfranchised for no fault of their own simply because the politicians involved had a dispute over timing.

But Jane’s site stayed neutral.

Then there was the RBC hearing of May 31, 2008.  We keep coming back to this but Jane doesn’t get it yet.  The issue was not simply Florida and Michigan, Jane.  The issue was CA, NJ, NY, OH, PA, MA and all of the other big and little primary states where voters did not vote for Barack Obama, sometimes by more than 10 points.  We covered that hearing, Jane.  We had boots on the ground too.  We saw Amy Siskind giving an impassioned speech about what it meant to her to be disenfranchised simply because she voted for Hillary Clinton and didn’t like being called a sweetie.  And then we watched when Donna Brazile had the nerve to call Hillary Clinton a cheater simply because she wanted to keep four of her delegates and leave the rest of the uncommitted delegates at that status.  Clinton’s position, as communicated by her representatives, was extraordinarily fair.  Instead, that same committee gave Michigan’s votes to a man who wasn’t even on the ballot and by doing so, wiped out every other Clinton voter in every other state.  They knew this is what they were doing.  They threw the game to Obama, in front of all of us.

But Jane’s site stayed neutral.

Then we went PUMA, which simply meant that we were going to withhold our votes from the Democratic party because we could not reward this outrageous, undemocratic and fraudulent behavior.  Since the convention hadn’t taken place and Hillary hadn’t officially withdrawn her name from the race, we felt there was time for the party and the party faithful to come to its senses.  We hoped that the party loyalists would put principles before party.  We thought they would be alarmed by the amount of money pouring into Obama’s campaign.  Where was it all coming from?  What did the money people see in a less than one term senator who had almost no legislative experience?  Then there was the FISA vote.  We were glad to see Jane as a signatory on a sternly worded letter in The Nation.  But when we got to Denver to protest the shameful way the party was treating Hillary Clinton and her voters, where was Jane?  I swear, Jane, if you had woken up and smelled the coffee and joined us, I would have followed you to the ends of the earth.  What did a full time working person with a new blog and a ferocious out-of-the-blue insurgency know about organizing and making a scene?  I could have used a Jane Hamsher.  If Jane Hamsher had stood up and demanded a real roll call vote for Hillary Clinton, if Jane Hamsher and her followers had insisted upon fairness and against delegate intimidation, Jane would have little to complain about today.  Jane could have said, “Well, at least I tried.  At least I did *something* to keep the party together.  At least I stood up for principle instead of letting a tidal wave of accusations and incrimination destroy the good intentions of the people who voted for Clinton.  At least I could say I stood up for the working class instead of the bonus class who controls us now.”

But Jane can’t say any of those things because Jane’s site flipped from neutral to pro-Obama as soon as the Convention was over.

This in spite of FISA and primary voting improprieties and Obama meeting with evangelicals and promising them God knows what.  In spite of the overt misogynism of the media that Obama never decried or the fact that the candidate barely called himself a Democrat or that he lobbied for the first TARP bailout bill- before the election- Jane was happy to climb aboard the Obama bandwagon and buy into the scare tactics on abortion to whip the rest of us into line.  We were all supposed to come together in unity and support Jane’s Democratic presidential candidate.

And now Jane doesn’t like her guy or the Congress he rode in to town with. Who could have predicted that he’d turn out to be a corporate loving, weak president with an equally craven Congress behind him?   The nation was in such dire straits last year that only a skilled and experienced politician with a quiver full of well developed policies ready for action could have *maybe* put the country and its financial sector straight.  We got Obama and his billion dollar campaign backers instead.  And BTD is still citing the DLC as the reason why he couldn’t get behind Clinton.  Oh, please.  When Bill Clinton was president, the center was where the left is now.  To centrists back then, the Left was a bunch of tree hugging, Birkenstock wearing, Alfie Kohn loving, Noam Chomsky pacifying vegans.  We’re not the new Centrists, the Lieberman types.  We former Clintonistas, Democrats in Exile, last year’s PUMAs are FDR style liberals.  You would think that Jane and us would have a lot in common.  But Jane has some weird mental image in her mind about who we are and who we support.  We are not Palin people.  We’re not birthers.  We’re not tea partiers.  And we sure as hell aren’t racists.

We are Democrats who were set free from the party or set ourselves free to go our own separate ways.  We put principle before party.  That’s all.  We saw what the Obama campaign and the DNC was willing to do in order to get him elected and suspected that big, corporate money had a lot to do with it.  It was the neo-feudalists flexxing their muscle and we wanted no part of it.  So, yeah, we are not Democrats anymore.  For us, the primaries told us everything we needed to know about Obama.

But one thing you can’t say about Jane is that she is not a Democrat or loyal to the party.  She is the most loyal of them all and she is facing an uphill struggle.

My condolences, Jane.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 437 other followers