The Democratic Party’s two halves: Is Detente Possible?

Ok, here’s my attempt.  Be gentle.  It’s my first time.

From Stirling Newberry’s blog post “The Truth, an Open Letter on why this American and This Left are Doomed” at Corrente:

A country is doomed when its opposition is so corrupt that it cannot be trusted to oppose. Let me name some names.

Let’s start with Jane Hamsher. She’s been called out to run for office by some of her zombies. But let me tell you some, though by no means more than an tiny fraction, of truth about Jane Hamsher. She’s sold the left out over and over again. Back in the early days of the Obama administration, many of her own writers wanted to oppose Obama, sensing, or in some cases have positive knowledge, that Obama was a marketing campaign wrapped around a messiah complex. She stopped it. Got people taken out.

Then she went into opposition, to collect the donation stream that keeps her afloat. Suddenly, in the abstract, unattached to anything, she looked like she was principled. But that lasts only as long as her interest does. Given a chance to have the mandate taken out of the health care bill, her young and stupid hatchet man Jon Walker is on the case, doing what is good for Jane and himself. Instead of taking the moment to say “single payor, nothing more, nothing less,” which would be the principled thing to do, she goes for getting the mandate with universal issue. Let me connect the dots for you. It is no secret that Jane Hamsher is a cancer survivor. She needs universal issue, out of all the things in the bill. Jon Walker is young, he would benefit by not paying the mandate. So does Jane, because FDL could not afford to pay the mandate, and making her own people eat the penalty would be one hypocrisy too far out of her legion of hypocrisies.

Will it stop the mainstream media from treating Jane and “chickenshit” Digby and their buddies like they are spokespersons for the left blogosphere?  No, probably not.  But at this point, anyone who is still bopping over to FDL with the idea that they’re going to get opinion reflecting what is good for the country, is probably chasing rainbows.  Stirling says Jane knew after the administration took office.  I contend that she knew when Obama was just a candidate for the nomination.  Digby admits to having serious doubts but didn’t want to piss off her commenters, some of whom, no doubt, were Obama operatives who inflicted themselves on many blogs at the time, including ours.

If you have a megaphone of any size and you do not exercise it to tell the truth to your readers, you’re no better than Fox.  To this day, Jane’s frontpagers continue to wale on the Clintons, reflexively, without a second thought as to whether a Hillary Clinton administration would be better for working class Americans than what we got.  If it even slowed down the rapidly accelerating descent of the middle class that we got with Obama, it would have been worth it.  But Jane and Digby and Markos did what was profitable than what was right.

How does that make them different than Hannity and Colmes?

We’ve tried detente.  They don’t want to join with us and push back.  They’d rather cling to their excuses for their crazy advocacy of Obama that lead to the ripping apart of the party and the destruction of their own political force.  They want to justify their tepid support of Obama using reasoning that made absolutely no sense at the time given the information at their disposal, let alone in retrospect.  And they want to continue to differentiate themselves from us by calling us names and racists as if whistling past the graveyard is going to somehow protect them from the taint of their working class status.

Whatever.  Just don’t come looking for support from us.  I used to think an apology wasn’t necessary.  But I’ve changed my mind about that.  They have insulted me in every possible manner.  Their actions have resulted in the worst recession in the past 70 years and one that is going to be longer and tougher than it had to be because Obama is president.

They owe all of us a big apology.

Silly Hillary Diehards growing in number

My aunts were at this rally. Truly impressive.

Ron4Hills found this ridiculous article in the LATimes.  Red Flag for a Sinking Obama: Americans now prefer Hillary Clinton:

It is, of course, a really silly thing to even think about, given the clout of the Chicago Machine boys currently occupying the White House.

But, just say, the Real Great Talker continues his spiraling descent in the polls over the next 12-18 months; already the Democrat is barely tied with Any Republican in opinion polls looking toward 2012.

Even worse, a majority of Americans have already decided they don’t want Obama to have a second term.

And a new CNN/Opinion Research Poll has just revealed that even today Americans like that other Democrat more and dislike that other Democrat less than they do the incumbent Democratic president.

That other Democrat is, of course, Hillary Clinton, who fought and scratched her way mightily but unsuccessfully through those bitter, belligerent Democratic primaries and caucuses of 2008. The former first lady and current secretary of State professes no intra-mural interest in challenging her White House boss, as she must as long as she’s an administration team member.

The published CNN article focused on an Obama matchup with Sarah Palin. But within the data were Favorable/Unfavorable ratings for numerous prominent politicians of both parties. Here are the surprising new poll numbers for Clinton:

61% now think favorably of the former senator and only 35% unfavorably, both numbers improved from the 56% and 40% she had during the Democratic National Convention in late August of 2008.

By comparison, in the same CNN poll, 57% of Americans now think favorably of Obama, down from 78% just before his inauguration; and 41% now think unfavorably of him, more than twice his unfavorable rating of early 2009.

Clinton’s numbers also beat all other both Democrats and Republicans in the new poll.

Ha-ha-ha!  (Or should I say “Bwah-hah-hahhh!”?)  We all know, as we have been told over and over and over again, that Obama is wildly popular.  He is the most-ut.  Really, it doesn’t get any better than B+ Barry.  And now that he’s passed The Heritage Foundation’s proposals for Health Care Reform, he’s an A, baby, all the way.  Any minute now, the Washington Post or the New York Times is bound to run another profile piece on Hillary, telling us losers how well she is adjusting to licking Obama’s boots, or reminding us how poorly she ran her campaign, a convenient CW fiction that doesn’t square with reality.   Or even that she runs the State department remarkably well and her employees like her but this is somehow indicative of some deep seated flaw in her character.

Meanwhile, we bitter losers have suffered through nearly two years of Obama’s droogs trampling all over us with their hobnalied victory boots, calling us Hillary Diehards.  They say that like it’s a *bad* thing.   I don’t know about the rest of you Conflucians but I continue to be amazed at how tenderly we have been treated by the rest of the party who still need our votes but don’t know it yet.   Forgive?  Maybe.  Forget?  Never.

Actually, while I have always believed that Hillary Clinton would make a much better president than Obama, that was never the issue I had with the Democratic party in 2008 to the present.  The problem was and continues to be that the party disenfranchised more than half of its members, took their votes for granted and held a gun to their heads in November 2008.  I don’t negotiate with terrorists.  The party won’t get my vote again until it purges itself of the marauders who took it over in 2008.  Nope.  Don’t even go there.  And stop calling me for money.

But seriously, Hillary Clinton would have a steep uphill climb to get the nomination for president.  Let’s not kid ourselves.  I think she’d have zillions of volunteers ready to step up and help her do it and a built in constituency of voters now under the bus.  But it’s not going to happen until Democratic acitivists get their heads out of their asses and realize what a mistake it has been to completely write off one of the most accomplished and principled politicians of their lifetimes.  They need to stop listening to the party operatives that have them convinced that Hillary is some uber agent of the DLC.  They need to see her as an ally, not their enemy.  And they need to drop the fucking sexist attitude.  It’s getting old and frankly, we holdouts are sick and tired of it.

Bonus points to the Conflucian who gets this reference

So, go ahead Democrats and lose your shirts this November.  Take a good look at those polls the morning after (because we know you will be in denial until then).  Look past the Tea Party, many of whom will be onboard the moment Hillary decides to run.  We’re still out here, the Democrats in Exile, the FDR liberals, the so-called Hillary diehards who just want a decent, functioning government that works for the vast majority of citizens not in the bonus class.

We don’t want Obama.  He wasn’t ready.  We want someone ready to lead on day one.  We want someone very much like Hillary.

Think about it.  Because being out of power for a generation really sucks.

PS. I never took the Hillary for president bumpersticker off my car and I never will.

Afghanistan: Is It Worth It?

THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNSThe Public Debate has been revolving intensely around Health Care lately, so we haven’t had much of a chance to discuss the War in Afghanistan.

Last night, I read an impassioned article by Tom Engelhardt, discussing the costs, escalation, public opinion, fraudulent elections, private contractors, ect. I would strongly recommend it to anyone, because it goes by numbers and facts. Here are just a few of them.

EscalationNumber of additional troops General McChrystal is expected to recommend that President Obama send to Afghanistan in the coming months: 21,000 to 45,000, according to the McClatchy Newspapers; 10,000 to 15,000 (“described as a high-risk option”), 25,000 (“a medium-risk option”), 45,000 (“a low-risk option”), according to the New York Times; fewer than 10,000, according to the Associated Press.

Number of support troops Defense Department officials are planning to replace with “trigger-pullers” (combat troops) in the coming months, effectively an escalation in place: 6,000-14,000. (“The changes will not offset the potential need for additional troops in the future, but could reduce the size of any request… officials said.”)

Number of additional NATO forces General McChrystal will reportedly ask for: 20,000.

Optimal number of additional Afghan National Army (ANA) troops to be trained by 2012, according to reports on General McChrystal’s draft plan: 162,000. (According to Naval Postgraduate School professor Thomas H. Johnson and retired Foreign Service officer M. Chris Mason,”[T]he U.S. military touts 91,000 ANA soldiers as ‘trained and equipped,’ knowing full well that barely 39,000 are still in the ranks and present for duty.”)

Public Opinion

Percentage of Americans opposed to the war in Afghanistan: 57%, according to the latest CNN poll, an 11% rise since April. Only 42% now support the war.

Percentage of Republicans who support the war: 70%, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Percentage of Americans who approve of President’s Obama’s handling of the war: 48%, according to the latest CBS poll, a drop of 8 points since April. (Support for increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan is now at just 25%, down 14% from April.)

Percentage of British who feel their forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan: 59%.

Percentage of Germans opposed to that country’s 4,000 troop commitment to Afghanistan: More than 70%.

The Presidential Election

Estimated cost of staging the 2009 Afghan presidential election: $500 million.

Number of complaints of voting irregularities: More than 2,500 and still climbing, 691 of them described as “serious charges.”

Number of members of the “Independent Election Commission” not appointed by Afghan President (and presidential candidate) Hamid Karzai: 0.

Cost of blank voting-registration cards in Ghazni Province in May 2009: $200 for 200 blank registration cards.

Cost of such a card purchased by “an undercover Afghan journalist working for the BBC” this fall: $8.

Number of voter registration cards (not including fakes) reportedly distributed countrywide: 17 million or almost twice the estimated number of eligible voters.

Number of ballots cast at the Hajji Janat Gul High School polling place, half an hour from the center of Kabul: 600.

Number of votes recorded for Karzai at that polling station: 996. (Number of votes for other candidates: 5.)

Number of ballots marked for Karzai and shipped to Kabul from 45 polling sites in Shorabak District in Southern Afghanistan that were shut down by local officials connected to Karzai before voting could begin: 23,900.

Number of fake polling sites set up by backers of Karzai where no one voted but hundreds of thousands of votes were recorded: as many as 800, according to the New York Times. (Another 800 actual polling sites were taken over by Karzai supporters “to fraudulently report tens of thousands of additional ballots for Mr. Karzai.”)

Number of ballots in Karzai’s home province, Kandahar, where an estimated 25,000 Afghans actually voted, submitted to be counted: approximately 350,000.

It is becoming apparent, and has been apparent for some time now, that there is likely no military solution to Afghanistan’s problems, problems that we largely created, I might add.

Here may be the single strangest fact of our American world: that at least three administrations – Ronald Reagan’s, George W. Bush’s, and now Barack Obama’s – drew the U.S. “defense” perimeter at the Hindu Kush; that is, in the rugged, mountainous lands of Afghanistan. Put another way, while Americans argue feverishly and angrily over what kind of money, if any, to put into health care, or decaying infrastructure, or other key places of need, until recently just about no one in the mainstream raised a peep about the fact that, for nearly eight years (not to say much of the last three decades), we’ve been pouring billions of dollars, American military know-how, and American lives into a black hole in Afghanistan that is, at least in significant part, of our own creation.Imagine for a moment, as you read this post, what might have happened if Americans had decided to sink the same sort of money – $228 billion and rising fast – the same “civilian surges,” the same planning, thought, and effort (but not the same staggering ineffectiveness) into reclaiming New Orleans or Detroit, or into planning an American future here at home. Imagine, for a moment, when you read about the multi-millions going into further construction at Bagram Air Base, or to the mercenary company that provides “Lord of the Flies” hire-a-gun guards for American diplomats in massive super-embassies, or about the half-a-billion dollars sunk into a corrupt and fraudulent Afghan election, what a similar investment in our own country might have meant.

Ask yourself: Wouldn’t the U.S. have been safer and more secure if all the money, effort, and planning had gone towards “nation-building” in America? Or do you really think we’re safer now, with an official unemployment rate of 9.7%, an underemployment rate of 16.8%, and a record 25.5% teen unemployment rate, with soaring health-care costs, with vast infrastructural weaknesses and failures, and in debt up to our eyeballs, while tens of thousands of troops and massive infusions of cash are mustered ostensibly to fight a terrorist outfit that may number in the low hundreds or at most thousands, that, by all accounts, isn’t now even based in Afghanistan, and that has shown itself perfectly capable of settling into broken states like Somalia or well functioning cities like Hamburg.

The MSM has, to no one’s surprise, been paying little attention to this, and would instead like to bloviate endlessly about things no one cares about, like Michelle Obama’s shorts.

In a perfect world, Congress would be putting more pressure on the President. They would be demanding a timetable for withdrawal, since a majority of Americans are now opposed to how he is handling the War.

Americans who voted for Obama expected better. He ran his entire Campaign on an obscure speech he gave in 2002 as a State Senator from Illinois, where he allegedly said

Good afternoon. Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don’t oppose all wars.

[...]

What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

Well, I’d wager that this is a dumb war, wouldn’t you?

Obots threw this speech in our faces, citing it as proof of his superior foreign policy judgment.

Too bad for them, huh?

Cross posted at Age of Aquarius

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Laid Back Thursday

I’m taking the evening off to watch some TV and just veg a bit.  But I found this hillarious video over at Cannonfire that I couldn’t pass up:

Yes, Obamaphiles, this is really the way the world sees you.  It was that bad.  Time for rehab.

This is an open thread.  What’s on your mind?

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