About Kos and Netroots Nation

Please fade away

I’m embellishing a comment I made in the last thread and moving it up to the front page.

This is not specifically about Netroots Nation and Markos Moulitsos, the founder of DailyKos, and why he won’t go to Arizona next year.  However, I went to the first two YearlyKos events so I can comment on this whether they like it or not.  The first YearlyKos in Las Vegas was amazing.  The second was just weird in ways I can’t even describe.  The “vibe” was off and I started to feel coerced in a way that was not dissimilar to the kind of emotional manipulation you might find in a fundy evangelical tent revival meeting.  It was deeply unsettling.  So, maybe I knew after YearlyKos2 that I didn’t really belong anymore.

But now I hear that Kos is onboard with getting behind Hillary and telling his droogs to fall in line.  I don’t know because I don’t go to DailyKos and haven’t for going on 6 years now.  But I did read his self-righteous little screed about why he wouldn’t be attending Netroots Nation in 2015 and here’s my take on it:

For the presidential campaigns of 2016, Kos should STFU. Seriously, it was Kos that forced us (Clintonistas posting at DailyKos) out of our tribe and then lead the social psychology storm troopers to quell stifle smother kill dissent on the left.  If I recall correctly, he referred to us as a “shrieking band of paranoid holdouts”, or something to that effect. (Katiebird may remember the lovely term of endearment better than I can) Let’s examine Kos’s moral authority to make pronouncements about 2016.

Did Kos support Florida and Michigan voters in 2008? Um, no.

Was Kos a Hispanic leader defending the rights of primary voters who were locked out of Texas caucus sites? Um, no.

Did he defend the little old ladies who were silenced in Kansas? How about the primary votes in NJ that were handed over to Obama at the convention without so much as a “by your leave” by that paragon of virtue, Jon Corzine? Did he question the precedent the Democrats were setting when the most successful female candidate in the history of American politics was humiliated by being denied a legitimate role call vote at the convention?

No, No and, most emphatically, No.

His behavior was egregious and extraordinarily un-democratic in 2008 but no one challenged him. Well, WE did but then his flying monkeys accused us of racism.

So, I’m sure that Kos now flatters himself as a man of principle by refraining from entering Arizona. But he sold those principles to the highest bidder in 2008 giving us a president who I am convinced will go down in history as the Nero of our republic. In the process, he helped to invalidate the primary system, promoted the ends justifying the means, and allowed misogynism of the most vile and opportunistic kind to flourish on his blog.

So, fuck Kos with a 2″ diameter test tube brush.

He’s done enough damage. The best thing for Democrats to do is to get the hell out of the way and let people have choices in 2016.  A legitimate primary where real issues are discussed in detail by women who are familiar with policy, and can extrapolate policy outcomes, would be a very good thing. The party’s obsession with trying  to decide what is the best for us (and I am being generous with my words here) backfired stupendously in 2008.  It needs to back off now.

Just stop tinkering with the election process. Most Democratic voters know who is going to work for them. They don’t need to be corralled like sheep.

Update: So, I went over to the Big Orange Satan to see what they’re up to and it’s worse than I thought.  They are playing with dangerous things.

Update2: Maybe it doesn’t matter whether Kos attends Netroots Nation.  But we should never forget the atmosphere that he created in 2008 or dismiss the idea that it can’t happen again.  It can if we aren’t vigilant.  IMHO, Democrats should start with a fresh slate in 2016 (not necessarily fresh candidates) and evaluate candidates more dispassionately than they did in 2008. (yes, I know I’m dreaming)  As far as I can see, we did not learn our lessons and safeguards are not in place in the primary system or online to prevent a repeat.

Remember the Ladies?

So, now that the left is having another litte orgasm over suspension of deportation of DREAMers, let’s reflect a bit on what all of this means.

First it was the LGBT community that threatened to withhold money and that choked some (ultimately meaningless) words from Barack Obama about same sex marriage.  Don’t get me wrong, he should have said this back in 2008 when he was a candidate because it was the right thing to do, instead of winking to his more evangelical constituents that he opposed it.  But it doesn’t really matter because the outcome is zero sum.  There’s a brief blip of feeling really good about the guy until you realize that he has no intention of doing anything about it.  It will be up to the states to discriminate or not and he’s cool with that.

Then came the hispanic community demanding compassion for the families he’s breaking up and bright students whose lives he is ruining with the disastrous and aggressive deportations.  Those students in many cases had no choice in the matter when they came to live here as children.  For all intents and purposes, they’re American except that they weren’t born here.  If I were king, I’d have found a way to naturalize them by now.  That would be the Christian thing to do.  All Obama has done is kinda sorta said they won’t be deported but there are no guarantees.

We are hearing more and more stories that one of the reasons he has been so ineffective at getting legislation through is that he doesn’t like the political process where you have to go around and ask people to do things for you or you have to hold things over their head and threaten them.  Obama just doesn’t like face to face interactions.  It’s not his thing.  Maybe he should have stuck to writing autobiographies and dispensed with the detestable politicking.  It’s never too late to reconsider…

So, who’s left? Ahhh, yes, we haven’t heard from the women yet.

WHY haven’t we heard from the women??  Have they not sought an audience with the Lightbringer?  If they have, did they get one? Why haven’t we read about that? With the latest outrage in Michigan, where female legislators are forbidden from even saying the word VAGINA, one can only imagine that Obama must be determined to stride the halls of the White House to meet with representatives of women’s groups to assure them that This. Will. Not. Stand!  And yet… {{crickets}}

You know, women are not really a special interest group.  We’re more than half of the population.  We’re getting attacked in a way that will affect our ability to work effectively and that will impact our economic situation.  And what affects the economic situation of more than half of the country should be something that is pretty high in Obama’s priority list.  But the strange silence of women and the even stranger silence of Obama on women, is downright spooky.

I’ve noticed that the National Organization for Women is having their annual convention in Baltimore on June 29- July 1.  They will be discussing the War on Women, which suggests to me that they have already bought into the Democratic framework and have decided to hide behind Barack Obama’s skinny legs for protection against those meany Republicans.

This is pathetic.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so disgusted in my life.

Unlike the LGBT and hispanic community, women outrank ALL of the supplicant groups.  They shouldn’t be grumbling that Obama gave them a half an hour of his time and acted like a pissy little prince.  They should make HIM come to THEM.  The frostiness should be coming from their side until he gets down on his knees and kisses their asses.

Reclusive Leftist wrote a post four years ago called Archimedes Lever about the power of women to shape elections.  They can demand just about anything they want and get it but they almost never do.  Like Dorothy, they have no idea that their ruby slippers are capable of transporting them home.  They have always had this power.

This is not as hard as you think, ladies.  All you have to do is demand representation and justice for your sex- now.  Not in a couple of months, not next year, and not with some ineffectual mouthing of words with indefinite content that have no power behind them.

Sure, there will be a bunch of Democrats and pundits who will ask whether it is wise to ask for so much in this bad economy.  Guess what, YOU are the economy and if you don’t get what you want, you should pick up your ball and go home.  There is no point in playing with people who do not see you as their equals and who do not think they have to work for your vote.  Sure it will be tough to fight every single battle all over again.  It looks like we’re going to have to do that anyway, apparently without any help from Democrats.  It’s been done before and the elderly conservative obstacles who fanatically vote for Republicans over abortion won’t be around much longer.  The Republican’s electoral chances are waning and they know it.  That’s why they stepped it up this year.  But we’ve always known the evil in the Republican party.  It’s in the Democratic party where the evil needs to be ferreted out and exposed to sunlight.

Don’t underestimate your power.  Rahm Emannuel, Steny Hoyer and all of the other bastards in the Democratic party can’t match it.  They can be all macho and tell you no and you can tell them to go fuck themselves in November. It will make them weak in the knees. If they’re not going to do anything for you, the Republicans have won anyway and as I’ve said, the Republicans are on their way out.  You can figure out how to use your votes more constructively.

Use your lever and see what happens.  The Democrats are in a tight spot. Let me spell it out for you: The Democrats entire electoral strategy, and that which they are pinning their hopes this year, depends on women staying on their side. In fact, you might almost say that all of the new laws enacted against women this year play right into their hands.  At this point, they have no reason to try to curtail any of them.  All they have to do is nothing and they will look good in comparison.  But if you ever decide that’s not good enough for you, they’re going to start shitting their pants.  You can get anything and anyone you want this year.  Now is the time to ask for everything.

Let this be the summer that they will Remember the Ladies.

MAY 7, 1776
ABIGAIL ADAMS TO JOHN ADAMS

        “I cannot say that I think you are very generous to the ladies; for, whilst you are proclaiming peace and good-will to men, emancipating all nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over wives.

        “But you must remember that arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken; and, notwithstanding all your wise laws and maxims, we have it in our power, not only to free ourselves, but to subdue our masters, and without violence, throw both your natural and legal authority at our feet.”

President is “Pissy”, film at eleven

The Washington Post has an article about how Democratic activists have found Obama to be an unsympathetic, whining, “Well, what do you want ME to do about it?” useless, all-about-him president when they go to him with problems.

To say this portrait of the president is unflattering would be an understatement.  I hate to blame the victims but you should have seen this coming for all of the reasons we have tried to point out in the past four years.  Still, some of the examples of interactions with Obama have been downright pitiless. Take this exchange that Obama has had with immigration activists who have been alarmed by the step-up of deportations under Obama:

Bhargava, 43, an Indian American who came to the United States as a child, had spent much of 2008 registering minority voters. The rise of a fellow community organizer, a black man, delivered to office on the shoulders of a new ethnic coalition, “hit me on so many levels,” Bhargava would later recall.

So it was an uncomfortable moment when Bhargava looked in Obama’s eyes and told him that he was presiding over a “moral catastrophe” in immigrant communities. He asked Obama to use executive powers to stop many deportations, said it was time to “lean in” on revamping the country’s immigration system and listed a number of Republican senators he should lobby.

The president grew visibly frustrated as each successive advocate spoke. He said that the advocates, too, should be pressing Republican lawmakers, that he sympathized with their concerns but that he did not have the legal authority to stop deportations.

Tensions mounted when Obama argued that his administration’s policy was to focus on deporting criminals and others deemed to be security threats.

“No, Mr. President, that’s not what’s happening,” interjected Angelica Salas, the head of the Los Angeles-based Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. She was seated directly across the table from Obama and leaned toward him as she spoke, her hands trembling and her voice rising. “You’re deporting heads of households, mothers and fathers.” She said that “young people are sitting in detention centers when they should be sitting in the best universities in the country,” according to meeting participants.

Obama looked taken aback by the direct confrontation from Salas and then turned to aides seated against the wall, according to several participants. The aides affirmed that, yes, criminals were the priority.

Turning back to Salas, Obama asked: “What do you want me to do, not enforce the law?” He explained that he could not just ignore laws he didn’t like.

The president spoke sternly. Several participants described him as defensive. One person said that, at times, Obama was “pissy.”

How about working to *change* the law so that it didn’t rip families apart, impoverish children and turn them into vulnerable international orphans? Just a suggestion.

The funny thing is that this article highlights his interactions with immigration and gay rights activists.  It says nothing about women’s groups, which makes me wonder if they were even able to get a meeting or were so discouraged that they didn’t even try.  Isn’t it weird how in this year on the “War on Women” that womens’ advocacy groups are so invisible?  I’m telling you, it’s downright creepy.

There is a danger for the party to look like it’s tied too closely with special interest groups but working people, who the White House blew off earlier this week, and women, who it has always blown off, are NOT special interest groups.  The debacle in Wisconsin is particularly striking.  The White House, in fear of looking like it was sitting next to the dweebs at the loser lunch table, left labor to twist in the wind.  The worst thing that Obama did with respect to Wisconsin wasn’t that he avoided the state.  It was that he made no attempt to argue in any speech to the state or the nation about how important it was to the future of the country, economy and all working people that labor was respected, protected and championed.  There is a very good argument to be made there and Obama did not make it. Bill Clinton, who went to Wisconsin, had to do this.  The 99% need to remember this because the differences between how the two presidents stand up for labor couldn’t be more illuminating.

But that doesn’t mean that the president isn’t passionate about things:

The Barack Obama who spars with liberals in private seems far different from the man most Americans have come to know for his even-keeled, cerebral presence. He drops the formalities of his position and the familiar rhetoric of his speeches, revealing a president willing to speak personally and candidly to his allies, and also one who can be thin-skinned, irritable, even sarcastic and hectoring if his motives or tactics are questioned. He talks about his own ethnicity, his immigrant roots, his political high wire as a black president with a Muslim middle name — and then seems surprised when advocates who took deep inspiration from his election nevertheless question his commitment to their causes.

Awwww, the poor man.  It’s really hard to be half African America son of an immigrant with a funny middle name who is the most powerful person of the free world. He gets picked on. These activists, it’s all about them.  They have no idea how hard it is to be Obama.  First he campaigns as the first post-racial, post-partisan president and then people put unrealistic expectations on him to actually live up to his soaring, aspirational campaign rhetoric.

I think the people spoke in 2008.  They were willing to give Obama a chance to rise above his humble means, his prep school background and Harvard pedigree, and lead and they were willing to do this because he ran as the Democrat and once upon a time, that meant something.  Now, it seems like he didn’t really mean any of what he said.  Either that or he’s not really all that into you, activists, and he’s falling back on being the aggrieved party to get you to back off.  And if that doesn’t work, he’ll just be mean and pissy, reverting back to his “Can I just eat my waffles?!?” personality that was conveniently overlooked in 2008 by the very same groups he captured.

This is not a new Obama, it’s the same guy.  But the smoke has cleared now.  He got away with sidelining the activists in 2008 and now in 2012, they’re frustrated.  Well, no one held him accountable before the 2008 election or asked him to show them his policies.  He didn’t need policies back then because anyone who questioned Obama’s readiness, commitment or preparation was automatically bludgeoned with the “racists!” sledgehammer. They were all supposed to “Hang on a second, sweetie.” while he schmoozed them.

Of course, it isn’t too late to hold him accountable before he gets the nomination in September.  He’s not the only game in town and there are real politicians out there with actual policy plans that would make suitable substitutes.  The question is, do the various factions of the Democratic party have the courage to demand satisfaction?

You can’t complain later if he blows you off next year if you do nothing this year.  And you can’t complain if he gets booted out of office because the general public is disgusted with the excuses while their lives are being ruined.

No one is forcing him to take four more years of abuse and name calling. If he really doesn’t want to deal with those people, ie his base, he can always join the speech circuit, or become the new CEO of Pfizer and hasten its demise. There are options. He shouldn’t worry about disappointing us if he decides not to stick it out and yields the spot to a better Democrat. We’ll understand.

The infamous “sweetie” clip looks completely different to the party activists this year, doesn’t it?

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