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Netroots Nation learns about “Free Milk and a Cow” the hard way


It appears that Netroots Nation is dissatisfied with Obama:

The message to those in the room for “What to Do When the President is Just Not that Into You,” a Netroots Nation panel, was be more demanding, don’t take no for an answer and compromises aren’t good enough.

Lt. Dan Choi, who was discharged from the military for running afoul of its anti-gay Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, provided a visual when an Organizing for America volunteer stood up and asked him to support Obama in 2012. The man said he did not support gay marriage — “civil unions?” he offered weakly — and Choi promptly ripped up an Organizing for America flyer he had been given and threw it back in the man’s face.

The four panelists — Choi, immigration reform supporter Felipe Matos, America Blog writer John Aravosis and Fire Dog Lake Founder Jane Hamsher — said they are planning to hold the White House’s collective feet to the fire for its decisions on civil rights, whether it would hurt Obama’s reelection chances or not.

Yes!  Ok, you’re 3 years too late.  Some of you knew that he wasn’t the Azor Ahai and Prince who was Promised back in 2008.  Remember the sad little letter that Jane Hamsher and friends published in The Nation back in the summer of 2008 when they pleaded with Obama to take the left seriously?  And how did that work out?

What’s really funny is that it wasn’t too long ago when Jane Hamsher was characterizing us bitter holdouts as “a certain kind of woman” and now she *are* one.  I’m willing to forgive, Jane, and I certainly don’t want to single anyone out, but it’s time you guys acknowledged that we’re not the trailer trash knuckle draggers you thought we were.  We’re just a whole lot quicker on the uptake.

But it seems like the newly minted bitter knitters don’t quite understand how to implement the strategy:

“I would probably vote for the president in the end, but I’d also do everything that I can to shame him,” said Aravosis, who writes about gay rights issues. “But I don’t think they realize how damaging that is.”

{{cue the Streisand}}

Oh, my man I love him so, he’ll never know

All my life is just despair, but I don’t care

When he takes me in his arms, the world is bright, alright

What’s the difference if I say, I’ll go away

When I know I’ll come back on my knees someday

For whatever my man is, I am his forever more!

No, John, that is not how you do it.  If you signal 16 months out that you are going to give Obama your vote no matter what he does, then he doesn’t have to do anything for you.  Oh, sure, I understand you’re scared.  We’re all scared shitless about Republicans getting the upper hand.  But if their policies are going to get implemented anyway under Obama, you can’t lose by opposing him.  Strenuously.

There are a couple of ways to do this:

1.) Direct your political contributions to an escrow account to be given to a politician that wants to run next year, either as a primary candidate to Obama or as a third party candidate.   Do the same with incumbent Congressional Democrats who keep drifting right.

2.) Find that third party candidate or primary opponent.  If you can’t find one, promise to vote as a bloc for the Green Party or Socialist or America’s Renewal (I made that one up).  You have to gird your loins and tell the Democratic Party that they are finished if they don’t start toeing the line. Then, you have to do it or they will never take you seriously.  This is how Republicans do it.  You will never get your mojo back until you learn to say “No!” and mean it.

3.) You’re not going to like this last one, John, but here goes: Start talking up Hillary Clinton.  Yep, there’s no one Obama fears as much as Hillary.  She’s the only legitimate candidate who could challenge him in a primary and then scoop up all the working class people the Democrats left on the table last time.  I have no idea if she would run but a Hillary threat is your best bet.  Not only would she get Democrats’ attention, the Republicans will start to worry too.  Plus, you owe us for being such an egregious misogynist twit in 2008 when she was hands down the most ready to lead.  (Wow, that was really embarrassing.)  Her candidacy would be equally historic. And I never say never.

You guys are going to have to get over the number the anti-Hillary people did to your heads in 2008.  She is a politician, one of the best we have, who really knows her stuff and isn’t afraid to take on her enemies (Ooo, she told him.  Still gives me chills).  Being a political person is not a bad thing- when you are trying to elect a politician to work for you.  That’s where you guys made your mistake in 2008.  You wanted a political virgin.  And you got one.  Not only was he inexperienced, he sold his maidenhood to a bunch of bankers.

They used places like DailyKos and FireDogLake as big focus groups to figure out what makes lefties tick and then they used those things against you in 2008 so you would turn to the person they picked for you.  Obama never did run on Democratic principles.  His whole shtick was to run as an aspirational candidate.  He was whatever you wanted him to be, like Belle de Jour.  And you guys ate it up and doomed the rest of us.

I warned you in 2007 at YearlyKos2.0.  I told you that the appeal to the emotion and the response to it would be dangerous to us and that it was very important focus on what we value and not how someone makes us feel.  You are very slow learners but you are finally where we were in 2008.  Better late than never.

Welcome to the light.  Now, don’t fuck it up.


THIS is the song you want to sing to Obama:

26 Responses

  1. In honor of Bloom’s Day, a lot of yes’s to this post.

    I knew pretty much in 2007 that Obama was way too much to the right for me, but it was late in 2007. Then, the more I learned about his political background, the more I realized he was not all that into the Democratic Party. But he was into his next big gig.

    BTW, at least Aravosis and gays got at one thing done for them by Obama et al — It happened, iirc, after several gay groups said they would withhold their donations if Obama didn’t do something about DADT…. Money works wonders with the Obama et al’s. Too bad so many of us under the bus don’t have very much….

    • But the DADT thingy was just a popularity stunt. From what I recall, that didn’t stop the military from pursuing cases it should have dropped.
      Obama is really good at making you think he’s done something that he hasn’t actually done. Like the Conscience Rule. Remember that? Still in place, from what I understand. And the party made a big deal about the Lilly Ledbetter act and equated it with pay equity but it’s not anything of the sort. Ledbetter just extends the time for women to file suits. You still have to get the salary information and, if you’re asking, you immediately label yourself as a troublemaker. The Congress did nothing to advance the Paycheck Fairness Bill and Obama hasn’t been pushing for it.
      As with all of his claims of success, each one has to be examined very carefully. Are they as successful as he claims they are or does he just have a really good advertising department?

      • Excellent post!! And yes, even the good things this administration has done is only slightly good.


  2. But at least Kalli Joy Gray, associate editor at Daily Kos, is a feminist, whereas you, RD, are a fauxminist.

  3. Maidenhood?


    From the Nutroots convention:

    Pfeiffer later continued, “The president’s position on gay marriage — and I will say it — is that he has been against it, but he said the country has been evolving on this, and he is evolving on it.”

    Pfeiffer added Obama has been evolving on the marriage because he “has friends, staffers who are in committed gay partnerships who are great people, great partners, great friends, great parents their children — and he is evolving on that.”

    Additionally, Pfeiffer said he couldn’t say “when that evolution will continue,” but added there are “people in this room have pushed him on this, and he believes should continue to push him on it.”

    If everyone pushes Obama really, really hard he might come out in favor of gay marriage in 2017

    • I don’t get it. Why should you have to be pushed to act in favor of fairness, equality and justice?
      Shouldn’t that be a given?
      I know, I know, my standards are too high.
      Where you been, myiq?

      • You’ll let anyone in this place.

      • The four panelists — Choi, immigration reform supporter Felipe Matos, America Blog writer John Aravosis and Fire Dog Lake Founder Jane Hamsher

        With the exception of Choi, the rest can kiss my a..!

        I, along with many many others, have long memories!

    • Since we are no longer in linear time, historical time, evolutionary thinking is no longer valid. As DeLillo says in his essay In the Ruins of the Future progress is not possible as now events just irrupt, one after the other after the other after the other. A cause and effect analysis is not possible now. The effects happen and precession searches for causes after the fact.

      Obama is in simulated time. I think Diane Rubenstein’s Lacanian way of seeing Bush I as a hysteric who caves in and embraces the opposition before the discussion has started, as pointed out to Aravosis, aplies to Obama. I haven’t read her on Obama but I am sure it is finger lickin good.

  4. This is the song they should be singing to Obama:

  5. For the last decade, the big scare has been “oh ho! Don’t vote for a liberal. Look what happened with Ralph Nader.” I’m surprised Nader didn’t get assualted in the street when he ran again in 2004.

    There’s this stupid thing Tweety says about Democrats falling in love and Republicans falling in line. If that’s the case, it must be easier to fall out of line than fall out of love. The McCain campaign did a good job of hiding Sarah Palin enough to to keep conservatives from wanting to vote for the ticket while failing to draw a disticntion between himself anf Obama to get people to vote against Obama.

  6. If you signal 16 months out that you are going to give Obama your vote no matter what he does, then he doesn’t have to do anything for you….

    Exactly what is so hard about that for them ?

  7. “The four panelists — Choi, immigration reform supporter Felipe Matos, America Blog writer John Aravosis and Fire Dog Lake Founder Jane Hamsher — said they are planning to hold the White House’s collective feet to the fire for its decisions on civil rights, whether it would hurt Obama’s reelection chances or not.”

    That’s almost as funny as Bill Maher’s dramatic reading of the Weiner sextexts.

    • Sounds like a great way to be thrown under the bus. Aren’t they already under the bus?

      “Hey, obama, under here – could you pretty please do something for us? We might not knock on as many doors if you don’t… Oh, it doesn’t fit your eleven dimentional chess? Ok, we know you are WAY smarter than us, we’ll knock on the doors, but really could you do something…No? Oh, ok. Sorry to bother you during your golf game”

    • They are not going to hold his feet to the fire. They will speak harshly to him and then pout.


  8. Kid Pareen (formerly of Gawker):

    That was the most egregious example of communications directorese from Pfeiffer, but it did have competition. Angry Mouse (or, OK, Kaili Joy Gray) repeatedly questioned him on what the White House is doing about unemployment, and Pfeiffer was rather unwilling to admit that the answer is “nothing.”

    “You can expect the president to continue to propose additional initiatives,” Pfeiffer said, referring to the nothing that has been proposed and the nothing that will be proposed. (They are apparently not even clear on the fact that the president can make recess appointments to the Fed. Do they want to be reelected?)

    Pfeiffer didn’t really have to submit to this. The White House desperately wants liberal dollars but I can’t imagine they’re particularly worried about liberal votes. Democrats are never scared of their base, because liberals are terrified of Republicans:

    “We can either work together and finish that work that we started in 2008 or we can be relegated back to the sidelines and see what a Republican president … does to this country,” he said at the event, which was streamed online.

    He’s right! A Republican president will most likely do what the last three Republican presidents have done: Starve the government of revenue, allow industries to capture regulators, launch pointless and bloody foreign misadventures, and threaten to gut the welfare state. I mean, all of those things might be happening now, with a Democrat, but they would happen so much worse with Mitt Romney, probably! So vote Obama again!

    ZOMG! The Republicans are worse!!!1!

  9. Obama is a symptom, the problem is the caucuses. O-thugs over ran the caucuses giving him the appearance of front runner for the 2008 democratic party presidential nomination.

    When the party lives up to its name by eliminating caucuses and counting every vote in the primary I’ll be back.

    • Yes, I agree with you 100%. If you want to have a government that is responsive to the voters, you have to respect and honor a fair and democratic voting process. Otherwise, it’s just an expensive, pro forma exercise that will result in soviet style apathy and cynicism.
      Obama didn’t win the primaries so much as he eliminated voters who didn’t vote for him. That’s no way to achieve unity and it was a massive bad omen that progressives should have been paying attention to.

    • The Texas thuggery, uh, caucus, is when I relegated O’Precious to the excrement missive from whence he has not, er, erupted.

  10. not holding my breath 🙂

  11. The majority of the Netroots folks will certainly end up supporting Obama in 2012.

    What will you do?


    I, too, blog from the Paris of Appalachia.

  12. The last time a little slice of the progressive electorate bolted on the Democrats George Bush won the White House and the progressives who didn’t bolt hanged all the others in effigy.

    What were you writing about Ralph and his supporters in early 2001, friends?

    Or even early 2005?

    And what does that say about what you will do in 2012?

    • I voted for al gore in 2000. I was incredibly upset when he threw in the towel.
      In 2004, I tried to volunteer for kerry’s campaign in NJ. But guess what? He didn’t have a campaign presence here because NJ is supposed to be a blue state. But I voted for him anyway and watched the returns with Jon Stewart on election night. I think Jon and I were in the same page. The next morning, Atrios told us to find our bloggy goodness somewhere else. So, I did. I turned on al Franken at Air America.
      Yes, Nader voters screwed up in 2000. But that was when there was still a difference between the parties. Besides, I never really liked Nader. He’s got his own special interests and they can be just as bad as corporations.
      I went to both of the first 2 yearlykos events. Campaigned for Ned Lamont in Connecticut and canvassed and phone banked for Linda Stender in NJ-07. 2008 was the last straw for me and the Democratic party. They seem to take great joy in disappointing liberals these days.
      And yes, progressives massively screwed up when they turned on Hillary Clinton. I started off as an Edwards supporter in 2007. One live performance of Edwards’ was all I needed to decide he was the biggest huckster on the Democratic circuit. Hillary was the real deal whether you want to believe it or not. It’s not too late to get her for 2012. Otherwise, I’m voting for someone to the left of Obama. That’s what I did in NJ in the 2009 governors race. Yes, corzine lost and Christie won. I voted for the independent who was the best guy on the ballot. When Demicrats lose enough of these challenges, they’ll get a clue.
      As for it getting worse under a Republican, well, maybe that’s what it will take to wake up socially conservative voters and get rid of the Republicans once and for all.

      • Damn you, autocomplete. That’s Democrats, not Demicrats, even if it’s more descriptive.

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