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Who is this Drew Weston guy?

And has he been reading all of our stuff in the past year? In his post, Leadership Obama Style, he writes some pretty familiar themes:

What’s costing the president are three things: a laissez faire style of leadership that appears weak and removed to everyday Americans, a failure to articulate and defend any coherent ideological position on virtually anything, and a widespread perception that he cares more about special interests like bank, credit card, oil and coal, and health and pharmaceutical companies than he does about the people they are shafting.

Like most Americans I talk to, when I see the president on television, I now change the channel the same way I did with Bush. With Bush, I couldn’t stand his speeches because I knew he meant what he said. I knew he was going to follow through with one ignorant, dangerous, or misguided policy after another. With Obama, I can’t stand them because I realize he doesn’t mean what he says — or if he does, he just doesn’t have the fire in his belly to follow through. He can’t seem to muster the passion to fight for any of what he believes in, whatever that is. He’d make a great queen — his ceremonial addresses are magnificent — but he prefers to fly Air Force One at 60,000 feet and “stay above the fray.”

The problem with the president’s strategic team is that they don’t understand the difference between compromising on policy and compromising on core values. When it comes to policies, listen all you want to the Stones: “You can’t always get what you want” (although it would be nice if the administration tried sometime). But on issues of principle — like allowing regressive abortion amendments to be tacked onto a health care reform bill — get some stones. Make your case to the American people, make it evocatively, and draw the line in the sand. That’s how you earn people’s respect. That’s the only thing that will bring Independents back.

And that’s where the problem of message comes in. This White House has no coherent message on anything.

And capping off all of these aspects of the president’s leadership style is his preference for the lowest common denominator. That means you don’t really have to fight, you don’t have to take anybody on, you don’t take any risks. You just find what the public is so upset about that even the Republicans would stipulate to it if forced to (e.g., that excluding people from health care because they have “pre-existing conditions” is something we can’t continue to tolerate) and build it into whatever plan the special interests can hammer out around it.

Unfortunately, what Democrats just can’t seem to understand is that the politics of the lowest common denominator is always a losing politics. It sends a meta-message that you’re weak — nothing more, nothing less — and that’s the cross the Democrats have had to bear since they “lost China” 60 years ago. And in fact, it is weak.

and then there’s this:

I don’t honestly know what this president believes. But I believe if he doesn’t figure it out soon, start enunciating it, and start fighting for it, he’s not only going to give American families hungry for security a series of half-loaves where they could have had full ones, but he’s going to set back the Democratic Party and the progressive movement by decades, because the average American is coming to believe that what they’re seeing right now is “liberalism,” and they don’t like what they see. I don’t, either.

What’s they’re seeing is weakness, waffling, and wandering through the wilderness without an ideological compass.

This is all stuff we’ve been saying since January 2008.  Obama is a weak president who is crippled by his inexperience, no earned political coalitions and a political philosophy lacking in core Democratic principles.  It was all right there for everyone to see.  Everyone, that is, who wasn’t blinded by his branding team.

I’ve never heard of Drew Weston before but he’s special enough to get a post on HuffPo.  He’s just two years too late.

PS. I find it interesting that Jane Hamsher is ready to entertain the idea of partnering with the Tea Partiers.  Jane seems to have skipped over the people who could help her most (that would be us), and went straight to the right side of the political divide.  Very odd that she would choose to ignore the people who agree with her on almost every issue but were ostracized by the netroots last year because we rooted for the girl during the last election cycle.  Maybe the taint of the false accusations of racism still hang around us like a nasty fart.   You’d think she’d be able to see through that by now.  We’re off limits but somehow the Tea Partiers smell like a breath of fresh air?

Jane needs to step back and think about that before she tries to entice the Glenn Beck fans.  There are a lot of us and we’re much easier to reason with.

174 Responses

  1. Re “Obama is a weak president who is crippled by his inexperience”:

    I don’t think he’s crippled by his inexperience. To paraphrase myiq: His inexperience is a feature, not a bug. The Dems were looking for the weakest front man they could find, someone who could plausibly mouth all the correct sound bites during the campaign, renege on his promises later, and, magically, have the netroots feeling sorry for him for kicking them in the teeth. It would almost be humorous if it weren’t so tragic for our country.

    Doesn’t matter whether you’re talking health care, financial regulations, civil liberties, the plan was always the same–take all the power and money you can and screw the average voter. Anyone who objects? Smear them. Remember what happened to PUMAs? We were r*cists. What did Axelrod say about Howard Dean when Dean said “kill the bill”? Axelrod: “Howard Dean is irrelevant.” The script is so obvious that, as you say, why did it take someone like Drew Weston so long?

    The problem remains that people like Drew Weston and Jane Hamsher still think that there are some Dems who can actually be influenced by the voters. Until we can figure out how to regulate the regulators/legislators, nothing is going to change for the better.

    • I think you’re right. His problem seems to be more that he doesn’t engage, doesn’t care, and has other priorities. It’s hard to envision even a tremendous amount of experience suddenly turning him into someone who cares about public service.

  2. I went to the Tea Party in Plano, Texas. There were over 5000 people that showed up at 11 am in the morning. If the traffic had not been so bad, I image there would have been a lot more. There were Democrats, Republicans, Independents and ex-Obama supporters.

    I personally took and proudly displayed my Hillary for President sign. People were more than gracious, and I had conversations with many people who said their wish she had won even though they voted either Obama or McCain.

    As far as Glenn Beck, you might want to listen to his show. He believes in the Constitution and had he not been doing a lot of research on Obama and his team of thugs, we would not know anything about a great deal of the thugs in the administration. He was also all over Bush for his atrocities. Maybe you don’t like his style and delivery, but I haven’t heard one incorrect word out of his mouth that he didn’t immediately respond to with correct information had he misspoke.

    Judging things by their substance instead of their label gives a more accurate depiction of character.

    I will being signing off with “my meme”


    • I tried watching Glenn Beck once. I had to turn it off because I could hear my brain cells dying.

      • I couldn’t take the yelling and the crying and the abuse he gives the callers. I will just continue to have regular old fashion tea and hope that HR 676 gains momentum.

      • Mine still seem to be intact. I live through Obama’s multiple speeches per day – not intentionally – only if I dose off with the TV on and wake up in the nightmare.

        CAROL HAKA 👿

        • it is amazing that Obama turns me off as much as Bush did.
          I find his “greatest speeches evah” to be nothing except blah blah blah

      • As far as Glenn Beck, you might want to listen to his show. He believes in the Constitution

        bwahahahahahahha…when did the Constitution become a small green 3″X5 1/2″ document with the face of a president in the center?

        Oh wait…

    • Carol, Glenn Beck has no credibility at this blog. None. Whatsoever.
      I suspect that you like many tea partiers are a lot more conservative than we are. You remind me of my mom. She actually likes New Deal programs but for some reason the Becks and OReillys of this world have her convinced that they are sticking up for the little guy.
      They’re not. They’re even bigger corporate shills than Obama but they wrap their rhetoric in Mad Men era family values.
      That’s not where we are at The Confluence. Mist of us were children during the 60s and 70s and our worldview is much more multicultural, egalitarian and not very conservative. We grew up, especially women, with privileges that my mom’s generation never had. We just see things differently than Beck and we’re not into picking on the next group down in the pecking order. Our focus is up in the food chain not down.

      • If I remember correctly you started out with Kos and voted for Palin.

        And, your Mother must be really young if I remind you of her.

        Good Luck with the “progressive” food chain.

        CAROL HAKA 👿

        • Careful, that door packs a wallop

          • We’re getting some strange visitors lately. There’s somebody in the spam filter whining that Cannonfire is Hustler magazine.

        • Carol, I registered a protest vote for McCain/Palin. I was under no illusions that they shared my values.

        • And if I remember correctly, you left this blog in a huff saying that you would never return. What happened?

          • I haven’t seen her on any lefty blogs, so I’m guessing she made a right turn and headed for Wingnuttia.

          • I don’t mind if Carol sticks around. I just want her to be informed about who we are and what we stand for so she knows what she’s dealing with.

          • I don’t mind if she sticks around either.

            But I hope she realizes I have an obsessive-compulsive need to mock and jeer Glenn Beck and his fans.

            I haven’t been able to indulge in my hobby since the last batch of Beckheads left in a big huff.

      • I refuse to watch him and I refuse to post any of his videos. I remember who and what Glenn Beck really is and I do not forgive him–nor do I fall for his tripe and phony emotions. His sincerity quotient is in the negative range. I wouldn’t spit on the guy if he were on fire. Even when I only hear his name, I can envision that pig doing his “It cries” segment on Hillary. Screw him.

        • Beck, Limbaugh, Olbermann, et all are not reporters or even pundits. They are performers and entertainers.

          They get their material from news reports on politics and current events, but providing complete and accurate information is not their goal.

          Their target audiences are people who already share the same world-view, and their purpose is reinforcing that view.

        • As for Beck’s on-air persona, it’s as genuine as Stephen Colbert or Larry the Cable Guy.

        • ROFLOL! But how do you really feel?

    • You’re talking about the same Glenn Beck that’s got his groupies all riled up about the “Islamization of America” and the Commie-Commies? He’s stuck somewhere back in the 13th century on the first and in the 1950’s on the second.

      Lots of failures of truth there, and no sign of a correction.

  3. I signed Janes petition but I won’t be donating any money until I know for certain that the behavior that happened last cycle won’t be occuring again.

    • That’s my attitude too.

    • me too on the petition and not giving. I doubt we’ll ever be able to be sure that the behavior won’t return. She harshed on single-payer advocates (and banned a bunch) just for pointing out that PO FAIL. The tactics haven’t changed even now.

      • They are ripping her to shreds on DK. That place is a zoo. McJoan has a post up about problems with the health care bill, and I couldn’t find one serious comment on it.

        Plus the Obots and former Obots are having a war. Apparently Meteor Blades banned the use of the term “Obamabot.” How low he has sunk!

  4. “I don’t think he’s crippled by his inexperience. To paraphrase myiq: His inexperience is a feature, not a bug. ”

    I’ll third that. 😉 Granted that Obama doesn’t have enough real-life experience to manage a Dairy Queen, I think attributing the consequences of his election to “inexperience” is missing the point. As myiq has pointed out so many times, failure was the plan all along. Obama’s candidacy was intended from day one to gut the Left (or what passes for the Left in America these days).

    • My view of O is that he shows up where he’s told to -this is a job for him, very tactical – no idea what a strategic thought or even idiological thought would be.

      Give him an assignment and he does it – tell him what to say and he says it, he is truly a puppet.

      • I can’t believe I’m saying this, but remember how everyone called Bush “incurious?” I think Obama is even more “incurious” than Bush. Obama simply doesn’t care about anything that isn’t about him. He could not possibly be more of a classic narcissistic personality.

    • LOL! I can see why huffi would be gagga over him:

      Political Consulting
      Candidate Trainig
      Nonverbal Coaching
      TV Commercials
      Turning your values and linfe story into a vision for the future

      What we do:
      On the Creative side
      Turning ideas into Emotions

      On the Quantitative Side:
      Online testing of Consumer “Gut Reactions”

      Drew Westen, Ph.D. is a clinical, personality, and political psychologist, and Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University.  
      He has formerly taught at the University of Michigan, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University.

      BB maybe you know him?

  5. About Drew Weston… he wrote a book called “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation” and he hgave a workshop based on his book at Yearly Kos 2… which my husband and I attended – it was execellent!

    Drew started out a big koolaid drinker… after Obama gave his famous/infamous speech on r@ce a therapist I know sent me a link to an article Drew wrote that simply gushed about how wonderful Obama was in that speech. Drew, like many former supporters, has come a LONG way.

    • I don’t know- maybe we are just the new test market.

    • How is it that an expert on the subject doesn’t even realize when he’s getting manipulated? It kinda makes me question his expertise.
      I’m beginning to think that the best defense against Obot type manipulation is to have grown up in a fundy household. There’s no better vaccination. You can see the love bombing and emotional abuse from a mile away.

      • You nailed it. His stock just went way down I guess.

      • “How is it that an expert on the subject doesn’t even realize when he’s getting manipulated?”

        Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

        • Most magicians, hypnotists, and other illusionists will tell you that very intelligent, educated people are much easier to work and illusion on.

          • Typo – an illusion, not and illusion.

          • It’s the arrogance factor that does them in every time.

          • Lol! I think I’ve been insulted.

          • Naw. It’s really the difference between those who THINK they’re smart and those that REALLY are. Weston is the former, you are the latter.

          • Nah, no insult at all, RD. 🙂 Just a recognition that contrary to claim, being intelligent and smart and educated does not give one immunity from manipulation.

            I’ve see guffawing, disbelieving comments from time to time (not here) that “The idea that all these very smart and educated people were snowed is simply unbelievable, because after all, they are SMART.”

            Nope. Smart is not a magic talisman against manipulation. Quite the contrary, at times, because the parts of the brain that deal with abstract thinking can also be a powerful self-reinforcing deceiver under the right circumstances. (And I say that as a smart cookie with pretty impressive IQ scores myself.)

        • Well in my “non-expert” opinion, these guys don’t realize that they are basing their “expert” opinion on the subtext of sexism that forms the script they read from.

      • Love bombing!!! First chuckle I’ve had in weeks!!

      • RD, your words are truer than you think. I and many others noticed early on that those who either grew up in that kind of household, or at least were surrounded by it because of where/in what societal class they grew up, saw through Obama immediately.

        I grew up in the Bible Belt, and had seen my share of preachers, and had seen my share of blind religious zealots, some in my own family. I even attended a fundie church for awhile in my late teens and early twenties.

        Most of us who were exposed to that sort of thing in life got the heebie jeebies at the hysterical fainting adulation of the Obama campaign. Those feelings are powerful. That sense of belonging, of having a shared utopian vision is palpable. No one in my life ever made me feel as welcomed and embraced and belonging as that fundie church did as a young woman – too bad that the bad far outweighed that emotional pull, and I wised up quick.

        What the progressive Left had in 2007 and 2008 was a good old-fashioned TENT REVIVAL, and they all got transported by the Holy Obama Spirit and began speaking in tongues and feelings euphoric tingles, just like the religious ecstatics. The only difference is that it was done with secular trappings and cue words that resonated with their particular background and culture.. But the emotional dynamics and manipulation were scarily similar.

        • Well, I didn’t grow up in a fundy family, but I do remember the Reverend Ike–not to mention Flip Wilson’s Reverend Ike parodies about “The Church of What’s Happening Now”. Lot of similarities.

        • What the progressive Left had in 2007 and 2008 was a good old-fashioned TENT REVIVAL, and they all got transported by the Holy Obama Spirit and began speaking in tongues and feelings euphoric tingles, just like the religious ecstatics. The only difference is that it was done with secular trappings and cue words that resonated with their particular background and culture.. But the emotional dynamics and manipulation were scarily similar.

          I didn’t grow up in a fundie household, but I’ve always been turned off by this kind of stuff and saw this very pattern with Obama–it gave me the creeps.

        • That’s exactly right — I grew up in the South and spent my share of time in Baptist churches and a few born again suburban churches in California — that mass psychology fix is very very powerful. During the primaries, Jonathan Raban wrote an article in the London Review of Books stating that one of the “wonderful effects” the O campaign had for progressives was that it allowed them to experience the fellowship and solidarity found in African-American churches. I thought at the time: well, isn’t that special, that these young white boys who scream “racist” at us now never bothered to have the real experience. Perhaps if they’d lived less racially-segregated lives the church experience would have been old hat and they’d have needed less rapture in their politics.

        • I thought of Obots more as Red Guards than fundies, but same phenomenon I guess. In any case the collective delusion skeezed me out.

        • I grew up in pretty much of the opposite of a fundy household. I just have a powerful BS detector. There is as much BS on the left as there is on the right. You just have to be willing to see it. I saw it in regards to Obama back in 2004. I detected BS from Edwards when he on his first senate race too.

      • heh. Try growing up Catholic and going to Catholic school in a godforsaken small town in the coal regions. It ain’t easy surviving 8 years at Our Lady of Perpetual Guilt.

      • What is he an expert on? His field seems to have to do with emotion. I’ll take a look at his book when I finish my grades. Personally I don’t think much of “experts” period. I’m glad to read their stuff and see what they have to say, but I’m not deciding my vote based on any “expert.”

        • BB, I see what you’re saying. It’s pretty suspicious when an “expert” portrays themselves as one; one’s work supercedes any accolades. But then again, we are dealing with Obots here.

        • I actually like his article in Huffpo. Did I miss something negative about it?

          The main reason I didn’t support Obama is because had had no ideology or core beliefs and values. I can’t trust someone like that.

          The more people who are out in the media saying that, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

          • No, his post seems pretty levelheaded to me. The problem is that he’s a recovering O-fan. I just wonder how he got snowed in the first place. Seems to me that he should have seen it coming.
            Or he’s just a sexist pig who could never entertain the idea I
            of a competent, intelligent and experienced woman for president.
            One or the other.

          • I like what he says in this article too. I think his so-called “expert view” has actually been released now that he has been wakened up to some internal common sense by the acts of Obama. It’s really hard for me to understand, how an expert in ‘political psychology’ could be snowed by an obvious political player. But then again … as RD has pointed out, there were many reasons this could have happened.

            I never thought I’d be so grateful for growing up around and being subjected to fundie whackos!

            BB– Sometimes when I’m reading/typing at the end of the day, I’m a bit tired, and realize not saying exactly what I intend.

      • Growing up fundie, I totally agree RD. There is nothing like being preached every week (or in my case 3x week) while dealing with hypocrisy on a massive scale that wakes you up fast to even the scent of someone trying to “play” you. But let’s not forget that Obama not only had the crazy Rev. Wright followers, and the rapturous Obots, he had the New Agers spinning it for him as well. Their constant remarks that Obama “vibrated at a higher energetic level” was codespeak for being the incarnation of one of the higher ups of the James Redfield (“The Celestine Prophecy”) type.

        People we’re being manipulated into believing Obama was the messiah on every level — the fundies, the Black Liberationists, the New Agers, the Muslims, etc. They had NO problem with the portrayals of the reincarnation of Jesus, Mohammed, and any other prophet from all time. Even the Egyptians tried to say that he looked like one of the gods in the hieroglyphs. It really was an amazing sight to behold.

        • Actually, he’s a dead ringer for the Pharaoh Akhenaten, whose fanatic religious cult almost destroyed Egypt.
          They’d have done better to be scared as hell of him.

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew exactly what was going on, but didn’t care. Anything is ok in the service of The One. I have a number of obot (former) friends who were in love with him because his product marketing was so great.

      • I grew up an obedient daughter of fierce Mormons. Forty years ago, after a long, bloody war between faith and my satanically logical mind, faith lost. Anyone who’s ever been through such a struggle knows flim-flam a mile away. As you said, River Daughter, they’re innoculated.

    • Read Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: Science and Practice, that outlines the six persuasion techniques we are all psychologically wired to respond to (the Obama campaign employed every one). These are: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity — the same ploys used on TV daily to get people to buy stuff they don’t want or need. Lots of interesting examples and studies cited. Because they cause people to react subconsciously, they can be hard for even experts to resist. Awareness is the best weapon.


    • I stand corrected. I never really paid that much attention when all the fuss happened about his book. The prog blogs all had posts about it. This was well before Obama and 2008.

  6. I don’t honestly know what this president believes.

    I doubt that he does either.

  7. Why did Jane skip over us?

    • Look deep into your feminist soul SOD, you know the answer.

    • She gave Lambert the boot for persistently advocating single payer in the same post where she announced she had decided to become a single-payer adovcate.

      • Thanks for the heads up, cuz I always chit chat about Single Payer (HR 676) being the best and how we need a Public Option to bring costs down.

      • I had heard that. Still I think the petition is worth signing if it gives Congress pause on passing the crap they are selling as reform.

    • Unless we want to remain eternally caught up in angst, don’t you think that we need all the partners who want to come to the table?

    • Someone should tell them that an apology is good for the soul – and it mends fences.

    • the reason … too many apologies would need to go around

      I believe that they keep overlooking the PUMAs because they would have to admit that not only they were wrong about Obama, but that there were others of the Liberal persuasion who were dead right! Once they did this, it would open a whole new can of worms about other things they could be wrong about — I’m thinking the sexism, the playing of the historical meme of Black men’s rights vs. women’s, and that WHOLE racist meme that is still being thrown around, and used by them as recently as last week. Then they might have to apologize to the poor people in the hood too.

    • ITA. They behaved badly and it’s always hard to apologize in that situation. And to add to that baggage, when they acknowledge that we were right, that we saw Obama for what he is and not because we are raycists, then they’ll need to look into their own hearts concerning raycism and sexism. And that will be an even more difficult confrontation.

      • Frankly, it seems counterproductive to not acknowledge mistakes. Doing so is how we learn and ensure they aren’t repeated.

      • The problem is that not all of the smart people are on the same side. On some level, their “follow us because we’re smarter than you!” makes sense But we can’t follow everyone who’s smarter when they’re leading off in different directions. I mean in my case, that’s close to 7 billion people right there. This is when “hey, we’ve established that you’re smart–therefore, you should be able to offer some good, rational reasons as to why your candidate is better, and why it makes more sense to follow you versus the other group of smartypants” comes into play. And that’s where it all began to tragically unravel for them….

        • Sorry, that wasn’t supposed to nest there. Actually it was supposed to be a text so it wasn’t supposed to nest anywhere, but–yeah. Sorry, long day. 🙂

    • Unfortunately, the way it works is the more mature and clear-eyed party always has the heavier duty in reconciliation. We really need to stop saying I told you so even though it feels sooooooo good. From Mother Theresa straight to you. LOL!

  8. Heads up, Naral has a statement about their “outrage” and the abortion language in the bill. Be sure to write them a letter letting them know what you think about their wonderful endorsement of Obama over Hillary.


    and definitely be sure to leave some comments on their blog…


    • IMO, organizations like NARAL and NOW began as useful enterprises. Nowadays, however, they exist only to perpetuate themselves, and they still manage to successfully convince some people that *this time* they will not allow themselves to be rolled. Right…..

    • Maybe we ought to love bomb them! You can’t smack a dog on the nose when it runs away and decides to come back home. It will just make them leave again sooner. You can however, give it “pets” and tie it up.

    • Aren’t they the ones who said, “We have no choice but to oppose this bill,” or was that PP? They start off sounding weak and apologetic and not to be taken seriously.

    • I stopped taking NARAL seriously when Nancy Keenan became president. How can a person who believes that Abortion is a “Mortal Sin” be president of a pro-choice organization?

      • lol. someone called naral “a handmaid to the democratic party” on their blog. lol. fess up, who did it.

    • NARAL is smokig some good weed.

      “This situation is a reminder that, despite our significant pro-choice gains in the last two election cycles, anti-choice lawmakers still outnumber our allies. Until those numbers change, women’s reproductive health will continue to be a bargaining chip.

      Um, no, the numbers of those giving lip service to choice do not need to change. What needs to change is that those that ARE pro choice need to grow a fucking pair of ovaries and FIGHT. As in stand up and say I WILL NOT VOTE FOR THIS PIECE OF CRAP. It ain’t about the numbers, it’s about the commitment. ANY ONE of those “pro-choice” senators could kill this bill deader than a doornail if they so chose. All we need is ONE. So STFU about “we need more numbers”, because that is a bald-faced LIE. ONE senator could kill this bill if those provisions aren’t taken out. ONE.

      We call on members of America’s pro-choice majority to channel their anger into action. Join us in working to re-elect those members of Congress who stood with women and defeat anti-choice politicians.”

      Translation: We’re going to be coming to you for more donations to help elect some more mealy-mouthed cowards who won’t do Jack Shit to protect women. Open those pocketbooks, ladies!

      I have a better plan than trying to unseat the anti-choicers (because their Red districts are going to elect pro-choicers anyway). How about we unseat all the cowards who say they are pro-choice but hem and haw and cave and throw us under the bus for “the good of the party” and “larger concerns” every fucking time? How about them apples, NARAL? How about you teach the Democrats that you betray women at your peril, and if you do we are coming after you with a vengeance?

      No? No??? Didn’t think so. Then kiss my ass.

    • I already did – 👿

    • NARAL has been dead to me since they endorsed Lieberman in the 2006 Dem primary. Until they get pro-choice leadership, they’ll never get another dime out of me. It’s crazy that the woman in charge of NARAL is “personally anti-abortion.”

  9. Looks like Hillary may be getting a few million more cracks added to that glass ceiling.

  10. It is times like these that I really wish I were apolitical—just did not care one way or another what the DC crowd, pundits, bloggers and bs were doing or saying about the politics of our time.
    My husband is the most apolitical character I have ever met. While I am grinding my gears over the latest 0 failure, he has spent the entire day happily in his garage building a toilet paper holder from a bicycle frame fork and head set. He just brought it in to show me how it swivels and the toilet paper fits perfectly. He can hardly wait to finish painting the base of it and putting it into service in his bathroom.

    • My husband is the most apolitical character I have ever met. While I am grinding my gears over the latest 0 failure, he has spent the entire day happily in his garage building a toilet paper holder from a bicycle frame fork and head set. He just brought it in to show me how it swivels and the toilet paper fits perfectly. He can hardly wait to finish painting the base of it and putting it into service in his bathroom.

      Oh Jangles. You have no idea how that made me smile.

  11. I don’t honestly know what this president believes. But I believe if he doesn’t figure it out soon, start enunciating it, and start fighting for it…
    Then he is an idiot or as Obama said: “…..you haven’t been listening”

    Obama’s position and politics are very clear…”It’s all about him…” A President who gives a speech committing >100,000 US troops to war and has more than 44 “I, Me, My, etc” in the speech, is very clear in his priorities.

  12. So Jane is suggesting she might share some of the same populist concerns with Palin supporters on the right, but no way no how with Hillary Democrats. I guess that might make sense if you’re a coastal fauxgressive who believes any Hillary supporting liberal must be a rural or flyover state racist. That’s the message that got Obots through the primaries, and that’s how the history books have been written in their minds. Out of sight, out of mind. Going forward, fauxgressive bloggers on their own will not have the same electoral impact they had last year. People will rightly second guess their judgement. Hillary may be in the Cabinet, but she is not part of Axelrod’s New Democratic Party. And the future is not with Pelosi or Reid. Jane and her friends need to ponder their alliances. The Obama movement is over.

    • From past performance, I think Jane is reaching for the tea party folks for some of the same reason she jumped at Obama. The tea party has some organization and is putting fund raising in place for the 2010 and 2012 elections.

      Plus they really do owe Hillary supporters a huge apology which we won’t get. Or am I being too cynical?

      • I think Jane is sincere, and I don’t think its about money. Sometimes people have blind spots. Sometimes even good people can’t handle looking at their own behavior or their own biases. I don’t think Jane is deliberately excluding us so much as she just wants to shove it all under the rug and move on – and I don’t think that’s an entirely conscious decision.

        It’s a lot easier to “reach out” to some stranger that has been a theoretical enemy than it is to deal with the fact that you betrayed and treated your own sister like a dog. That’s much messier, emotionally. Jane won’t reach out to us precisely because we are family and she knows it.

        • Well, that’s a possibility, of course. However, I think there might be a couple of other issues in play here:

          1) The majority of posters at FDL still spew all the right-wing talking points about Hillary, so I think Jane may be doing a Digby here.

          2) Jane may actually *believe* all the right-wing talking points about Hillary. Jane passionately hates the DLC, and there’s no denying that Hillary was once an active member.

          3) I’ve never noticed that FDL is particularly interested in equal rights for women. In fact I think Jane has consciously avoided any women’s issues, other than breast cancer, because I think she wanted to be considered “just another one of the blogger boyz”. So on the one issue where Hillary has never backed down–women’s rights–Jane doesn’t want to be involved. As long as she can position breast cancer as a health issue, rather than as a woman’s health issue, she thinks she’s avoiding the underlying discrimination issues.

          Bottom line, I don’t think she’ll ever reach out to people like us.

          • I think you’re spot on about Jane & FDL, GL. It’s only been in the last few months that I could bring myself to check in again at FDL on occasion.

            Originally I began following them during the runup to the Libby trial. Kept with them through the Lamont campaign. Bailed on them when the CDS stench became overwhelming. Since Marcy Wheeler did most of the Libby work, I changed my bookmark over to her blog to replace FDL and she still does some good stuff.

        • It’s certainly not all about money but wasn’t Jane the person who complained about the lack of financial support after the elections? I remember someone did that.

        • Exactly, WMCB, we’re the older, wiser, more wrinkled big sisters. The onus is on us to forgive and forget. As long as we continue with the I-told-you-so’s, Little Sister will dig her heels in. We won’t get nor should we expect an Official Declaration of Apology. You learn if you’ve raised children, you need to give them some space to save face.

  13. So how long will it take for Jane to get what she wants out of the administration and suddenly decide the bill is okay….just like Dean did.

  14. Come on, they’re not going to reach out to us. We remind them of how badly they got rolled. The hated PUMAs were proved right. They can’t take the cognitive dissonance, so they’ll pretend we don’t exist. Such arrogant, gullible fools they are.

    • Even if they did, we’ve seen how they turn on a dime and get really ugly. The trust factor is lacking. In the blogosphere that’s one thing. But many, many people IRL were horrified by watching Failbots in Action too. I don’t know willing they’re going to be to give their time or money or name to some of the people they’re leery of being associated with.

    • I also think there’s a bit of embarassment because they are starting to realize what fools they were.

      • And, they were totally committed, head over heels in lurv fools. You can’t really play off a kool-aid addiction.

    • The biggest problem with the A-listers is they weren’t as smart and sophisticated as they thought they were.

      They thought they were going to be major players in the Obama administration but nobody in DC cares what they think. or listens to their advice.

      What their “access” turned out to be was some conference calls and emails, but the information flows out, not in.

      IOW – They are an outlet for White House talking points.

    • Most of the younger people at DK didn’t care at all about heath care. They think they are immortal and won’t need it. They care a lot more about legalizing marijuana.

  15. Apparently Harry Reid is not the only senator in trouble.
    Rasmussen: Dorgan trailing in ND re-election bid by 22 points

    Incumbent Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan may have a serious problem on his hands if Republicans recruit Governor John Hoeven to run for the U.S. Senate in North Dakota next year.

    The first Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 telephone survey of likely voters in North Dakota finds the popular Republican governor leading Dorgan by 22 points – 58% to 36%. Just six percent (6%) are undecided in that senatorial contest.

    Kick them all out on their ass!

  16. About Jane, I still go to FDL occassionally and come away flabbergasted each time by the attacks from comments when I mention my continuing support for Hillary over Obama. Especially if there is a specific example to make my point. I don’t blame Jane but the readers there have their heads up their asses sometime. They can be viscious. Hopefully, she can make inroads with them by bypassing any mention of us. Baby steps with those people. They first have to admit they made a mistake, Ponder that for a while, then analyze how it happened. They’ll look back to us after 20 or 30 of these steps but the first is to admit they were wrong. It amazes me how ignored The Confluence is on other’s blog rolls.

    • And yet we still get thousands of hits each day. Go figure.

      • Oh, they read us, because they know damn well that we’re some of the most politically savvy and perspicacious people around. They just don’t want to admit it.

  17. The moment I think Markos may be redeeming himself, such as with his Meet the Press appearance yesterday, he turns around and does something like his Countdown appearance a few minutes ago. He’s now pushing the Axelrod talking point about how Obama is going to push to allow drug reimportation again. You know, only after undercutting it how many times?

    He obviously got a phone call. And the check’s in the mail.

  18. As RD said yesterday – we’re all scr@wed but their either just plain stupid or dilusional.

    I had lunch with some colleagues today – one ofthem from England – he said “I really can’t believe what you Americans keep doing to yourselves. Everyone should have the right to good health care – but they’ve just built a bomb that will explode the system completely.”

    • We had the same experience having dinner with a Polish friend, has lived under communism and then all over Europe after the USSR fell. He’s a doctor, and has worked under various systems, and was all in favor of reform.

      He just shakes his head and says “This is INSANE. They couldn’t have come up with a worse plan if they’d tried.”

    • He’s been banging on this theme since the weekend.

      @JoeNBC: Why do “free market” Republicans and “progressive” Democrats allow Big Insurance to keep their anti-trust exemption? That’s price fixing!

      • I have been harping on this for ages as well. It’s bad enough that insurance companies are exempt from anti-trust laws, but what makes it even worse is that doctors are BOUND by anti-trust laws.

        Thus a group of doctors cannot get together and say “Hey, we are sick of Aetna cornering the market and forcing whatever sort of fee schedule and coverage they want onto us and our patients. Let’s all refuse to contract with Aetna or accept their insurance until they mend their ways.”

        If docs did that in any sort of organized fashion, they would immediately be slapped with so many anti-trust lawsuits funded by Big Insurance that their heads would spin.

        You have a situation where one party is completely free to price fix all they want, and the counterparty cannot legally bargain or organize as a unit to stop it.

  19. Well I’m happy about this. Should clear the way for Hillary’s protege Kirsten Gillibrand to keep her Senate seat next year.


  20. I heard about Drew Westen when he published his book on emotion in politics, and corresponded with him a bit back then.

    When I saw that the Obama campaign was sponsoring religious style conversions, I sent him a link to the story and told him I thought they might have taken his ideas a bit too far. The next thing I heard was that he had started advising the Obama campaign, but I don’t know if they ever took any of his advice.

    He’s been writing HuffPo columns for just over a year. You might want to check out a few of them.

    Carolyn Kay

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