D’OH! A Round up of left blogosphere posts

The liberal blogosphere is hitting its stride today.  No, I’m not talking about the “A-List” bloggers.  They shot their wads in 2008.  No one goes there anymore.

Here’s a round up of some posts worth reading and one that deserves a dope slap:

1.) Anglachel’s back!  And she’s got some great posts from sunny California where Governor Moonbeam is taking on Meg “the Whore” Whitman.  Some juicy nuggets from Unforced Errors include:

Given that Hillary wiped the floor with The Precious in California in the primary back then and given the high proportion of female Democratic office holders, party functionaries and voters in California, you’d think Gov. Moonbeam would have the sense God gave geese and be very certain not to allow a breath of anything in or around his campaign that would hint of sexism or misogyny. That he and his staffers do not “get it” is the political problem. There is also the strategic problem that they have shut down attention to Whitman’s Arianna Huffington-esque “nanny problem”that was keeping her on the defensive.

It also follows on the heels of Jerry making an ass of himself by attacking Bill Clinton after a series of clever ads by Whitman, with Moonbeam offering rude and crude comments about the Lewinsky mess. Big Dog had to come in and save Jerry’s ass as well as showing the fool how an expert handles these things. Bill just smiled and thanked Whitman for bringing him back to the attention of the California electorate – with special thanks for bringing such a young and good looking version of himself back – and exclaimed about how popular he was and how much people were talking about him now, which forced a comparison between the peace and prosperity of his administration and the Republican mess that followed. He made the target of his attack the Republican record, not Jerry Brown’s petulance over a decades old loss.

Further, the use of the term whore (sorry, I won’t call it “the w-word”) wasn’t an outburst in the midst of a heated debate, but calmly put forth as a deliberate strategic move. How anyone could think that publicly calling a female opponent a whore could be a winning or advantageous strategy boggles the imagination.

Wow!  Jerry Brown dissed the Big Dawg after all he’s done for him?!  I guess no good deed goes unpunished.  Stunning.  Go read it and the other posts she’s written lately.  They are a things of beauty.  (Er, but skip her posts on gadgets.  Them she doesn’t do so well.)

2.) Ian Welsh has a call to arms for the left in  Repudiating Liberalism or Obama.  You can’t serve two masters and as Peter Daou wrote yesterday, “If you stand up for your principles, you may lose the election but keep your principles; if you ditch your principles, you’ll lose both”.  Like us, Ian saw the writing on the wall early and tried to persuade the blogosphere to get tough with Obama.  Like us, he was martyred for it (though I think we’re still feeling the effects of the flaying while Ian is being rehabilitated.  Go figure…):

If Obama was seen as liberal, and his policies then failed, liberalism would be discredited.  It must be made clear, starting as soon as possible, that he was not a liberal and that liberals and progressives repudiated him.  A few people doing it in 2010, mostly half-heartedly, when he had already been seen to fail, simply looks like rats deserting a sinking ship, as it did when conservatives in 2007 started saying Bush wasn’t actually a conservative.

I lost that argument.  Frankly, opinion leaders aren’t willing to take those risks.  They saw that Obama was popular with the base, that everyone was still in “hope without reason” mode, and even when they agreed (and some did) that his policies were a failure, that he’d betray unions, that he was going to be a disaster on civil rights, they wouldn’t do it. “The audience isn’t there yet.”

The art of opinion leadership had become “see where the mob is going, get out in front and pretend you lead them there.”

So be it.

What is done is done.  What needs to be done is this.  The liberal wing of the Democratic party must be SEEN to take out Obama.  There must be a primary challenge.  If there is not, liberalism will be discredited for at least a decade, time America cannot afford, since liberal solutions work and conservative solutions,  whether pushed by right wing Dems or Republicans, don’t.

Are you a liberal first, or a Democrat?  You can’t be both

Basically, Obama is taking down liberalism. He crippled the left in 2008 with the help of “male graduate student syndrome” (courtesy Anglachel) and the “sports illustrated swimsuit models with PhDs in architecture”, self proclaimed “creative class”, perpetually clueless idiots who rejected Hillary Clinton because they wanted a woman but not THAT woman.  You get the point.  Those guys are still out there.  They still run the party and they are still clueless.  Ian, even if they got a clue and turned on Obama, it’s kind of too late for them.  They’ve lost any credibility they once had.  By the way, Will Bunch will be accusing you of racism any second now.

We need a new left and so far, we’re having trouble getting our act together.  Still, the post is a good one and every word is true.  The left needs to distance itself from the horse it rode in on.

And here’s the Dope Slap

3.) BTD is featuring Kevin Drum and Matt Yglesias in a post titled Making Excuses: HAMP vs. HOLC. By the way, why aren’t there any women writing for money in prestigious journals?  I almost expect to hear “It is written!” in a Monty Pythonesque falsetto.  But I digress.

Kevin and Matt make the lame ass argument that poor widdle Obama couldn’t have done more than the destructive and useless HAMP program because regular Americans didn’t want to see their neighbors get a break.  BTD answers:

Interesting how the bank bailouts went through and bank friendly policies have been followed by the Obama Administration despite their unpopularity but homeowner friendly policies were just too tough politically no? FTR, I support and supported TARP, but not the no strings TARP that was executed by the Obama Administration (in my view the saved banks should have been required to own up to their losses, engage in mortgage modifications and generally loosen credit. Just as this was no time for fiscal restraint, it was no time to tighten credit.)

In the end, what was the best political move for the Obama Administration in the first hundred days? The answer seems obvious to me – enact and execute policies that would do the most to lift the economy. That simply didn’t happen. The best example is the egregiously bad HAMP policy. The problem with HAMP was similar to that the entire Obama Administration policy towards the banks has- a dependence on the banks themselves. HAMP did not and will not work because in order for it to work, the banks must take a hit voluntarily. They will never do that.

There was no political reason, none whatsoever, that instead of HAMP, the Obama Administration did not instead create a new HOLC. The Obama Administration, guided by the bumbling incompetent Tim Geithner, chose to coddle the banks instead.

Drum and Yglesias’ excuse making for this failure is utter nonsense.

Yes, BTD, the excuses are twaddle.  But what excuse do you have for rejecting Hillary, except that she wasn’t the Media Darling?  Take a look at this interview she did with Maria Baritoromo during the primary season.  (and take note of how Baritoromo is short, snippy and impatient with Clinton.  Hillary deserved more respect than this but this is a stunning reminder of what she and we put up with):

Hillary and Obama were not the same.  They didn’t have the same policy goals.  We could see it.  BTD needs a dope slap to see it too.  Oh, but he’ll make some cynical, jaded remark about how all politicians are the same and they’ll all let you down in the end.  Know what?  I would have gladly taken that risk with Clinton.  She was prescient.  Obama acted like he didn’t have a care in the world and he governs that way.

As Ian says, bring on Obama’s primary challenger.  Preferably someone who is willing to stick to principle, come hell or high water.

So, sports fans, what have you found in your trip around the web?

The Obama Delusion and Health Care Reform

Obama Transition

The Obama Delusion: The belief that although President Obama is a liberal and has liberal values and goals, he cleverly pretends not to be a liberal in order to to fool Republicans into supporting his agenda.

{{Sigh…}} Where to begin? While perusing Memeorandum this morning, I noticed Booman’s post from yesterday about “11-dimensional chess.” Frankly, the less said about Booman’s post, the better. It’s just embarrassingly silly and illogical. Besides, Big Tent Democrat, who coined the term “11-dimensional chess,” has already handily disposed of Booman’s arguments, such as they are.

Booman’s post was prompted by one at the Cheeto in which the author, Maimonides, makes the claim that Obama, along with his trusty enforcer Rahm Emanuel, are actually using not 11-dimensional chess, but “Sun Tzu’s the strategy of “formlessness,” outlined in this quote:

“Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”

Here is what Maimonides thinks Obama and his capo are up to:

For several months now I’ve been pushing the idea that President Obama is engaged in the Sun Tsu strategy of “formlessness.” This strategy is not the much-derided “11-D Chess” that so many choose to dismiss. This is the very simple and time-tested strategy of not taking a position that is easily defined by your opponents, of not giving them anything to attack. By doing so, one forces one’s opponents to take positions, giving you the advantage of adaptability and information, which they now lack.

Maimonides also claims to have some vital inside information, but, sadly, he/she cannot reveal the sources of that information.

You may not see reports of what Rahm Emanuel says to your Congressperson. You may not hear rumors of it. But it is going on all the time; what did you think he spent his time doing, checking in on Dkos diaries? Rahm is putting pressure where he is told to, floating trial balloons as directed, keeping all options on the table, and most of all keeping Obama’s strategy of formlessness alive. Until he’s directed otherwise.

Which brings us to now. Rumor in DC* is that Rahm has gotten exactly what he wanted: a “Big mess,” as Rahm reportedly described it. Formlessness has payed off. There are virtually no Congressional players left whose opinions we do not know, and every option has been talked to death. And now the Administration, rather than having its policies debated to death, has the ability to sweep in and choose among the options presented.

*Here I open myself to claims that I’m using unsourced “insider knowledge”, which is true, I am. You can take it or leave it, but I would hope that you would be open to the possibility that those of us working in the trenches may hear things that you do not.

Okay? See, Maimonides has inside sources, because he/she “works in the trenches.” But we just have to take that and the “rumors” Maimonides has heard on faith–just like we have to take on faith that Obama wants health care for all at a reasonable price.

Here’s the thing. In a sense I agree with Maimonides that Rahm and Barack have gotten exactly what they wanted–a “big mess.” And for all I know, Obama and Emanuel may both have read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and may be using it as a guide for their political strategy. But whether the “mess” is the result of a deliberate strategy or just one big clusterf*ck is irrelevant to the President’s actual goals for health care “reform.” Continue reading

Monday: Praiseworthy Posts

Once again, there’s a time crunch this morning so this will be brief.  I found some pretty good posts around the web that I submit for your approval.  See if you agree.

  • We’re going to hear a lot about The Bloggers on the Bus, Eric Boehlert’s new book that will be released in a couple of weeks.   I am reading an advanced copy.  Eric covers the 2008 campaign and blog battle in detail and makes specific note of the misogynism of some of our former favorite blogs.  (We get mentioned in the book as part of the pro-Clinton contingent) BTD at Talkleft talked about the pervasive sexism of the 2008 in this post yesterday.  BTW, there are comments in the thread that mention The Confluence as a “quasi-racist” blog with “retroactive, resentful feminists”.  I honestly do not know what they are talking about.  The person who made this comment obviously doesn’t read us.  We don’t approve of racism at all and delete racist comments all of the time.  As for retroactive and resentful feminists, they left.
  • Natasha Chart at OpenLeft has an excellent post about political realism titled Congress Does Exactly What It Wants To.  Here’s an excerpt:

I got into an argument (you are shocked, I know) with some international relations folks over the term “realism.”

They insisted that it should be understood to mean a non-ideological position, where the world is taken as it really is. You advance your cause at all costs, screw them before they screw you, always mistrust, always press advantage.

Someone named, I believe, Omar Khoury was quoted to me. He said that, “Realists tend to treat political power as separate from, and predominant over, morality, ideology and other social and economic aspects of life.”

Isn’t that special. But that’s realism.

Anything else, anything besides the pursuit of power above all else and for its own sake is “idealism.”

By international relations standards, the default human view, the unsignified signifier, the wellspring of ideas that is itself above and separate from ideology, is a view that can only be described as a blueprint for being a completely irredeemable bastard.

This is what the Serious People of our political elite call being realistic.

I guess this partially explains the email I got from Jon Corzine’s reelection campaign that crowed about being recognized by ultimate realist, Jack Welch.  Disgusting.  But there aren’t any decent primary challengers and I can’t bear to vote for a Republican for governor.  Corzine’s going to have to renew his lease on Drumthwackit without my help this year.

Go read the rest of Natasha’s post.

  • Basement Angel at Corrente has written Defining Bigotry that explains how the Obama campaign and the media used bigotry as a weapon against Clinton and her supporters.  Here’s an excerpt:

Bigots offer up an exchange for their followers in order to justify pandering to their darker impulses. For the racists, they offered up the notion of patriotism and cultural fidelity. It’s okay to hate black people, or who ever, because they are polluting what we have achieved and you’re standing up for the best of what we are. The exchange for Obama supporters was pretty much identical – they justified the misogynist rhetoric and actions by portraying Clinton’s campaign as an attack on liberal values. Thus, in defiance of her voting record and professional accomplishments, she became a corporatist, a conservative, a Republican in Democratic clothing, or, for those objecting to dynasty, a royalist who believed that she was “entitled” to the office – all utterly at odds with liberal values, So you could engage in rhetoric as offensive as Claytie Williams’ rhetoric against Ann Richards, and still see yourself as liberal because you were supporting the history making candidate. Advancing African American progress justified the misogyny. The netroots took the bait. Without that exchange though, there was no singularly strong reason to vote for Obama, the dramatically less experienced candidate running for office in a most perilous time, over the candidate with a lifetime of relevant (if somewhat non-traditonal) experience and a resume of progressive accomplishment a mile long. What the netroots had to do – and what they did – was obliterate their awareness of Clinton’s accomplishments because Obama, save for his gift of winning elections, has so few accomplishments to his name. Justifying misogyny was the only way for him to win. And that is what he did.

And for the record, I don’t believe Clinton used race baiting against Obama.  It would have been political suicide for her to do that.  In fact, there was only one person who stood to benefit from race baiting in the campaign and that was Obama.  That’s why his campaign and friends were constantly falsely accusing the Clintons of doing it.

Yes, Virginia, he really would do such a thing.  After all, Obama is a realist.

Obama’s Vice-Presidential Double Bind

How will Barack Obama handle the delicate issues surrounding his choice of candidate to share the ticket with (if he becomes the nominee). He is is a very difficult spot, and it’s likely he won’t want to make a decision soon. However, he may be forced to do so. So many Democrats are calling for a “unity ticket” and the longer he waits the more speculation there will be about whether he will ask Hillary Clinton to share the ticket with him. Continue reading

The Map to Denver: It’s the Map, Not the Math

Prolog

Yesterday I had the honor of talking with Senator Hillary Clinton on a conference call of Hillary Bloggers. The invitation alone was an incredible honor but, I also got “my hand up” in time for me to ask a question. Taylor Marsh recorded the entire conversation and posted a link on her site. Someone at TalkLeft suggested that listening to this recording should be required for every Hillary supporter. After listening you will come away from the conversation uplifted by the fact that Hillary Clinton is in this race to win, that she has no intention of quiting before the convention and that she is totally and deeply committed to seeing that the Florida and Michigan Delegations are seated with full voting rights.

WWTSBQ? — not this summer.

It’s the Map, not the Math

The meat of the conversation is that Hillary sees a clear path to the nomination. She said that the campaign had “acknowledgment” that Hillary is ahead in the popular vote. And (she said) she expects to be ahead on the popular vote after the last primary on June 3rd.

In addition to that since our big win in West Virginia, she has won states totaling 300 electoral votes while Barack has won states with 217 electoral votes. AND she has far fewer deep red states in her list.

The Map includes Florida and Michigan

Again and again the conversation came back to the Florida and Michigan issue. She said that it was not only ironic but actually inexplicable that the Democratic Party would have a deeper commitment to rules than Democracy.

And it’s clear this issue resonates with Hillary Bloggers. Both Armando (Big Tent Democrat) and Allegre asked about it in their questions.  Armando has been openly worried about this issue for nearly a year; hearing him express that concern directly to The Candidate was one of the highlights of the conversation.  But Allegre nearly brought the house down when she told Hillary that she’ll be bringing her children to the May 31st DNC Rules meeting.  Allegre’s deep personal commitment is felt by all of us it wonderful to hear as she gave Hillary a direct illustration of how and why she is in this campaign.

Please, visit Taylor Marsh and listen for yourself.  I know that you’ll find yourself energized and empowered — and convinced that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic Presidential Nomination.

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