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      The louder they scream, the more likely they are to be guilty of the same things they’re accusing: Leslie Rutledge, the Republican candidate for Attorney General in Arkansas, has been discovered to have been registered to vote in multiple states in addition to Arkansas, and even voted by absentee ballot in Arkansas’ general election in […]
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      The calls are coming in. Assuming they are correct, I think this vote is a mistake, and I note that having been given a clean vote to leave and a chance to live their own values, but having given in to fear; for me, at least, Scottish complaints about privatization of the NHS and other [...]
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One step ahead makes you a leader…

…two steps ahead makes you a martyr.

So, in recent appearances at Virtually Speaking on BlogTalkRadio, Ian Welsh and Stirling Newberry, not to mention Stuart Zechman, all seem to be on board with the concept of rejecting the current batch of Democrats in order to reclaim the left.  They now believe you won’t get the Democrats’ attention if you complain bitterly about their antics but vote for them anyway.  It’s nice to see they have finally come around after three years.  They are now *exactly* where we were in June 2008.

Check it out here.  Someone must be reading it because that post is one of our top hits even three years later.

Of course, this will not stop the Ian, Sterling and Stuart types from running away from us screaming like we have cooties.  That’s because both parties did a number on the word PUMA, which stood for “Party Unity My Ass”.  Party unity my ass is pretty much the attitude I’m picking up from Ian, Stuart and Sterling now.  Correct me if I’m wrong guys.  When you say, “Oh, no, we’re not like you at all”, please show me where we now differ.  It would behoove them to pay attention to the faction they are writing off. Maybe they could even read the post to see how close we really are.  Or they could read all of the posts from 2008 and see how we evolved from loyal Democrats just watching the primaries starting in January to disenfranchised voters in May 2008. (I can almost see them squirming in their chairs)

We were once Democrats.  No one represents us now.  I think the proper term for us is “unaffiliated Liberals”.  We are not Tea Party people.  Nope.  Not even close.  We never signed onto the birther fiasco.  We didn’t like the way the left was demonizing Sarah Palin because it was sexist, boorish behavior that wasn’t going to change anyone’s mind.  It’s a pointless distraction and she plays her role as a shiny object to lefty magpies very well.  Nevertheless, we don’t support her or her politics.

If there was a new independent labor movement, we would be likely to join it, right there beside Ian, Stuart and Sterling.  I don’t think it will spell the end of the Democrats.  If a labor movement could seat a significant number of candidates in 2012, it could start pulling the Democratic party to the left again since presumably, those seats are going to come out of the Democratic Party’s ass.  It’s worth a shot.  But if the Democrats fail, there’s going to be a power vacuum and someone will step in to fill it.

Consider us the vanguard martyrs.  No, no, don’t thank us for taking the gratuitous hit from our own party.  We wouldn’t be in this mess if you had paid attention three years ago.

Monday: what Ian says

We’re starting to see convergence in some of the left blogosphere about what will happen next year if Obama is the Democratic party’s nominee and it ain’t pretty. Ian Welsh lays it out:

Obama is not turning things around, what he is doing is negotiating with Republicans how fast the decline will be, and how much and how fast it is necessary to fuck ordinary Americans in order to keep the rich rich. If Obama wins another term, he will continue to negotiate the decline, then, odds are very high, a Republican will get in, and slam his foot on the accelerator of collapse.

This is why Obama must lose in 2012. I would prefer that he lose to a Democrat in a primary, then that Democrat wins, but he must lose regardless. If he loses to a Republican, then 2016 you get a chance to put someone in charge who might do the right things (or even just some of them.)

No, those odds aren’t good. They suck. Every part of them sucks. And even if you get a Dem in 2016, you’ll probably choose the right most candidate, just like you did last time, and he’ll go back to negotiating with Republicans over what parts of the corpse of America’s middle class they should dine on next. “No, no, eat one kidney first, they only need one to survive, so that’s not too cruel.”

But it is still your best chance. Otherwise you’re looking at full, Russian-style collapse. What comes out the other end, I don’t know, but you really won’t enjoy getting there.

And yes, if a Republican gets in in 2012, that’ll be awful. Just awful. But it’s not like a Republican is never going to be president ever again. That’s not on the agenda, that’s not possible. It will happen, and he will substantially cater to the Teabaggers. He will trash your country. That’s baked into the cake now, all you can choose is how soon it happens, and work to replace him with someone who might do the right thing.

Damn, if only some lefties had the courage to speak up in 2008 we might not be in this mess right now. I know there were doubters but they were too timid to say what they were really thinking. Why? Because they were afraid of being called racists and exiled to the Oort belt?

For you doubters in the left blogosphere who had Obama’s number but were too chickenshit to say anything, let me reassure you that there is and was a perfectly good reason for rejecting Obama. He messed around with the primary vote in 2008. No, don’t you roll your eyes at me. The primary vote of 2008 was the canary in the coal mine for everything that followed and should have been your leading indicator of all that would follow.

When it comes right down to it, your citizenship, your most valuable possession as a resident of this country, depends on your ability to exercise your right to vote. Self-determination, the kind of government you want, what kind of characteristics you choose in a leader to fit the demands of a fragile economy or time of war, that all hinges on whether you, along with your fellow citizens have the power to elect your representatives. The Egyptians learned that the hard way over the past 30 years. So have many countries around the world. When you lose your right to vote, when the vote is rigged in one person’s favor, when all other candidates need not apply, when political factions are suppressed, you end up with a country where brutality rules, where people are poor unless they are well connected and where the young grow up without hope.

That is where we are headed, lefties. If you accept the preconception that Obama will get the nomination and you do not choose to object – right now- then you take one step closer to living in a country where your vote means nothing to the people in charge. It already means very little. That’s because the primary vote was very clearly manipulated in 2008 and the Democratic activist base said nothing. The base was so enamored of John Edwards first and Barack Obama second, its dark, latent sexist tendencies provoked by political psychologists, that it did exactly what those manipulators expected. It went with the businessman’s candidate. The rest of us were screwed. And it did not protest when the 18 million of us who voted for the other candidate were cut out of the loop.

That was your fatal mistake, lefties. You should have insisted on fairness, a floor fight, an opportunity for each candidate to make his or her case before the convention delegates. That would have lead to unity. Instead, the party decided to suppress, in *our* eyes, the votes of Half of its members and humiliate a party loyalist who deserved it’s respect and admiration. In the end, the party’s slogan for 2008 could have been “unity is division”. You lost your ability to persuade the powers that be when you allowed half of the party to be jettisoned and their right to self determination trashed without raising a peep in protest.

So, now those powers are looking at what is left of the party and see a bunch of disunited factions, unable to solidify a credible response to their plans. And what are those plans? As far as I can tell, the Obama campaign will data mine the various socio-economic cohorts and craft a narrowly defined message for each one. There is no vision. There are only votes. They will pick them off little by little. The result will worse the second time. The business and financial sector elite with become entrenched and enjoy all the blessings of aristocracy. There will be no significant cohort to stand in their way to draw a line in the sand.

That is, if you do nothing but wring your hands in frustration.

What needs to be done is to not cooperate. Now. If you wait for the narrative to be fixed, it will be too late. Now is the time to reconcile with the 18 million and to tell Obama’s backers that you’re not going along with it. Do it now, while you still have the power to affect the outcome. Just say, “No”.

My objection to Obama has never been based on his race. As a scientist, I believe that the concept of race has no biological basis, even though it does in a socio-economic and historical sense. But Obama was not born a disadvantaged child no matter how unusual his childhood. His ties to the disadvantaged African American experience is tangential at best.

Nor do I think there’s any validity to the birther claims that he wasn’t born here. Bill Clinton said during the primary that Obama met the constitutional tests for becoming president and if you don’t think the Clintons didn’t look into it, well, you don’t know the Clintons. As far as his birth certificate goes, I think he withholds the official documentation just to make the birthers look unhinged- which they do. If you’re one of the birthers and you don’t mind that you look batshit crazy and ineffectual, go right ahead and keep tilting at this windmill. You will never dislodge Obama going this route and you are diluting your real strength by not returning to your Democratic roots.

And I don’t begrudge the guy rest and relaxation or trips to Broadway with his wife or any other down time the president of the United States is privileged to enjoy. Being president is aging particularly if you don’t do it well. If you are trying to please your patrons and run a country without any political coalitions of your own because you didn’t put in the time to actually learn the ropes of government through hard work and legislative activity, then it must be a very tiring experience and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

But a politician that seeks to invalidate my vote and smother my voice *is* my worst enemy. That person has no respect for the only right of a citizen that actually counts. Countless Americans without property or who were property or who were women struggled for years and in some cases centuries, to get that precious right and in the blink of a rules committee hearing, it was trampled, unceremoniously and almost gleefully by the same party activists who vowed to never act like authoritarian bad guys who ran the country for eight, long years. It doesn’t matter if that person has a D after his name.

The left has yet to learn who its enemies are. I have said before that nothing good comes of a bad seed. The 2008 primary was a very bad beginning and everything that Obama has done or failed to do and has impacted the lives of ordinary Americans has flowed from that series of very unfortunate events. It’s time to face that truth.

It really is that serious.

Monday: The Awakening is Very Rude

I lived with my grandmother for some short stretches of time when I was a kid.  I had a tiny little bedroom tucked under the eaves with a window that overlooked the woods adjacent to the house.  Every night, my gran would turn down my bed and send me comfortably off to sleep.  And then, some eight hours later, there would be a sharp THWAPP!, the shade on that window would fly up and flap, flap, flap and my gran, definitely a morning person, would sing in a loud voice:

“Lazy Mary, will you get up, will you get up, will you get up
Lazy Mary, will you get up, so early in the Morn-ning!”

Irritating?  You betcha.  But very effective.

Last night’s Virtually Speaking featured two bloggers who sounded like they got the Lazy Mary treatment.  After a week of outrages, the left blogosphere is waking up to the very real scenario that they picked the worng guy.  Very wrong.  Marcy Wheeler (aka emptywheel) and Stuart Zechman are finally outraged.  They have reached the stage of outrage and righteous indignation that we felt in 2008 when Obama and the DNC decided that votes for Hillary Clinton from the big states did not count (or if you were living in MI or FL, counted for half a person).  Doesn’t feel so good, does it guys?  And he doesn’t have to listen to you.  Nope.

What’s more disturbing is the number of somewhat reasonable bloggers who started to doubt Obama some time ago who are railing against Hillary now.  It’s like bombing Iraq for something Al Qaeda in Afghanistan did.  Some have even suggested that Hillary is some nefarious anti free speech authoritarian Josephine Stalin, chasing down Julian Assange, disconnecting Wikileaks from the Tubez and personally ending the free internet as we know it.  They overlook the fact that the long awaited State Department cables were released and circulated for days before any action was taken by Amazon to stop hosting Wikileaks.  They forget that Hillary has handled this crisis in a cool, level headed fashion with steely resolve and that this may have a stabilizing effect on diplomacy.  But what really seems to be incensing them is that the rest of the world isn’t incensed with that brazen hussy.  Give it a rest guys.  And I do mean guys.  Your pathology is showing.

What it it about Hillary that drives guys straight into crazyland anyway?  Do they secretly regret not voting for her now that she’s shown herself to be the real deal and Obama’s, um, not?  Now they must punish her for being who we always said she was?  Does she make them feel impotent that they can’t validate all of the crazy ass shit they threw at her?  That’s she’s not that bad, seems to know what she’s doing and that the cables haven’t uncovered any smoking guns against her, or at least nothing the general public isn’t perfectly willing to live with?

It’s not our problem if they made a monumentally huge mistake in 2008. They’re the ones who chose to overlook the fact that the party, with Obama’s blessing, trashed the fair reflection of 18,000,000 Democratic primary voters.  Yep, denied them a voice, stole their votes, stole whole states of delegates at the convention and these blogger activists raised nary a peep.  It’s a little ironic now to be accusing Hillary Clinton of authoritarianism after the fraudulent sham primary elections of 2008 where the rest of us were shut out of the democratic process and were told to surrender our votes to the Lightbringer.  You didn’t really think that you were exceptions to the rule and that Obama was going to give you a seat at the table and treat your concerns seriously after you just stabbed half of your party in the back for him?  Did you?

But the constant harping on Hillary, blaming her for everything they don’t like about the Obama administration is starting to verge on self parody.  Get over it, guys.  If you wanted less of a unified executive, less torture and no wars, you shouldn’t have voted for a man who was too greedy for power to wait his turn and too inexperienced a politician to deliver those things for you.  And in case you aren’t aware, acting on the things you care about is not Secretary of State’s job.  She doesn’t get to make those decisions.  Hillary Clinton is not the president.  Remember?  You had a hand in that.  Therefore, you can’t hang the albatrosses of this administration’s failures around her neck.  Obama is the guy who is perpetuating wars and torture.  Obama is screwing over the unemployed.  Obama is the guy who appointed the catfood commission.  Obama is the guy who is negotiating to give away whatever is left in the safe to the uber wealthy.  Obama is the guy who appointed the FCC regulators overseeing the Comcast dispute with Level Three.  Obama is the guy who is blowing you off.

Hillary is only the secretary of state who is diligently doing her job, which is limited to diplomacy.

I think we know how the next couple of days will go.  The Marcys and the Stuarts will continue to fume indignantly about how Obama betrayed them but the CDS trolls will infiltrate their blog comment threads and the trigger words will come out, “NAFTA”, “Welfare Reform”, “triangulation”, will be repeated ad nauseum to the vulnerable to get them back in line.  Nothing is scarier than the prospect of having another Clinton in the White House.  Let’s not even go there.

Well, if that’s what they want.  I guess they’re stuck with Obama then, because the other proposed candidates for primarying Obama are non-starters. They are still living in crazytown if they think that they can appoint the next candidate to run for president and that the other uncouth, dirty working class side of the party is just going to go along with it.  The rest of the party doesn’t much care for their way of getting presidents.  Denying people a real choice is a sure fired way to reduce the size of your party.

So, they can continue to knock themselves unconscious bashing themselves on Hillary Clinton’s image, a lot of pointless sound and fury, signifying nothing.  If they want to complain about Obama and make an impact, beating up on his secretary of state whipping boy is about as ineffective a strategy as they’re going to get.  Direct your ire at the man in charge or continue to be rudely awakened.

For the record, here’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on internet freedom, about as close as she’s going to get to influencing domestic policy on the issue:

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?

You say “Hillary Diehard” like it’s a bad thing

Ok, I am going to take the contrary opinion to Sandress’ last post about Hillary.

First, let me establish where I’m coming from.  My concern is for the economy and the direction America is heading in general.  Now that we’ve let a complete and utter, self absorbed novice set us back TWO additional years on top of the EIGHT disastrous years that preceeded him, this country is in pretty bad shape.  We are clinging to what is left of the New Deal with the fingernail of our left hand pinky.  When social security is compromised, by a Democratic president, no less, we will go straight back to the conditions we had during the Great Depression.

Second, the person who takes on the job in 2012, assuming he/she has any interest in fixing things,  will have an even greater task ahead than when it was merely incredibly broken in 2008.  (By the way, Ian Welsh had a very interesting perspective on Obama and what kind of president he really is in the latest edition of Virtually Speaking that aired on Sunday.  Highly recommended.)

So, I am not looking for a feminist savior.  I am not looking for a symbol to rescue me.  All I want, for heaven’s sakes, is someone who actually knows what they’re doing and cares about what happens to those 310 million people in this country who we call citizens who work hard everyday and play by the rules.

It doesn’t have to be Hillary.  It could be a player to be named later.  Can anyone think of a person other than Hillary who could actually, you know, do the job?  I mean, someone we actually have confidence in, who might not be everything you want but who would be fair, who has enough experience (finally) to run things and knows where all the mechanisms of government are and isn’t afraid to use them?

Oh, sure, the knives would come out.  In fact, I would expect them to get longer and meaner.  The more threatening the individual to the dominant paradigm, the sharper the daggers.  And it would be a thankless job.  It’s going to be much harder to put the country back together now than it would have been in 2008.  And if the Congress goes back to Republican hands, it will be that much tougher still.  No wonder Bill Clinton is stumping for Democrats as hard as he can.  But Democrats really need to step up their game and save themselves.

In the meantime, Hillary is our Secretary of State and she’s a very good one.  A dentist’s ad is not going to persuade her to resign.  It’s going to probably take a lot of soul searching and a ton of cash to get her to run.  But she’s the frontrunner, regardless of a dentist’s ad and whether or not she decides to run.  That is something we have to come to terms with.  She is the biggest threat on Obama’s horizon whether she likes it or not.

The Obot banshees can shriek from now until 2011, nothing is going to change that.  And we can count on her old Republican nemesis (what’s the plural of nemesis?) to step up their game as well.  I can’t imagine it could get worse than 2008.

We’ll still be here.  We don’t back down from a fight.  So, go ahead and call me a Hillary Diehard.  I can take it.

Bring it on.

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