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Friday: Messaging

Forget Michelle Bachmann. Get these two guys.

The left blogosphere continues to spin its wheels.  It’s everyone else’s fault for the mess we’re in.

Digby has yet another post about Michelle Bachmann.  Can I just ask what the point of this exercise is?  Who is the target of this particular post?  None of the Clintonistas turned Tea Partiers are going to read it but if they do manage to pick up on it, it’s only going to make them love her more.  Are WE, the Democrats in Exile, the targets?  Please.  We know that Michelle Bachmann is a Republican nutcase.  We don’t need Digby to point this out.  We’d only vote for her to put a woman in office.  No, it doesn’t matter if she’s conservative just like it didn’t matter that Obama was one when he was elected to be the first African American president.  Oh, I’m only kidding (sort of).  I’m sure I can find a third party candidate to vote or write in Hillary.  For sure Obama is not getting my vote.  But would I really vote for Bachmann?  Hmmm, if a woman ever got to the top of the ticket in any major party, it would be very hard not to vote for her.  Even Digby might do it.  Ok, she wouldn’t but I could see her struggling with it in the voting booth.

In any case, going after the personal or mocking her intelligence is not scoring points with us.  We would much rather that people like Digby focus on her policies.  But let’s put logic aside, because that’s all that matters here.  Voting for Obama in the 2008 primary was about as illogical as voting for Bachmann now.  Yes, I mean that.  Dems who voted for Obama back in 2008 knew even less about him than we know about Bachmann today.  I take that back.  We knew that Obama admired Reagan.  But other than that, what legislative accomplishments did Obama have?  What was his record in the community at large?  Bachmann is a foster parent and has juggled a boatload of kids at one time while running for office, working as a tax attorney and suffering from migraines (Get rid of some of your committments, Michelle, like, oh, I don’t know, running for office?  Just sayin’.)  When it comes to sheer energy, committment and sticking to her principles, as whacked out crazy as they are, Michelle Bachmann whups Obama’s ass.

I predicted a couple of weeks ago that Bachmann would keep creeping up in the polls.  And you want to know why, Digby?  It’s because women hate people like us, the snooty, smartass lefty liberals who gave them Obama in place of the person they wanted to vote for.  Yes, I am including me among the smartass liberal set.  Regular women identify with that whole “I am a mother first” thingy, even if she spends most of her time politicking.  They’re sick to death of people like us shoving men in suits in their faces and then having those men screw their economic livelihoods behind their backs.  You can mock their lack of education (to your peril, IMHO) but they know how to balance their checkbooks, Digby, and they don’t like what they see.  No, they most certainly do not.  You can’t tell them there’s a recovery going on when they’re taking in all of their laid off grown up children.  They’re plotting revenge.  You don’t want to encourage them.

They know that Bachmann is out there.  They know she’s a Republican.  And they also know that the best way to stick it to the Democrats who screwed them over is to keep pumping her up.

So, why are we dumping on Michelle Bachmann?  Aren’t there looney, religiously conservative Republican men we can pick on?  Why, yes!  Yes, there are.  What about Mitt Romney and his Bakelite hair?  What about Huntsman?  Doesn’t anyone besides me think it’s weird that two of the right wing’s political aspirants are Mormans and that Glenn Beck, Tea Partier master of ceremonies, is also a Morman?  And what do we know about Mormans?  They tithe pretty heavily to their churches and have their own social welfare system for their members.  They are the ultimate libertarians.  But no, we are focussing with laser like intensity on Bachmann.  That suggests a couple of things to me.  One is that the Democrats know they have a problem with women voters and two, the Democrats have a problem with women in general.

But why does Digby have a problem with women?  Who is running the show at Hullabaloo?

Amanda Marcotte ponders whether Obama is benevolent but ineffective or an evil Republican in disguise.  I thought we settled this question last week sometime.  Obama is an anti- New Deal Democrat at the precise moment in time when the country needs a FDR.  He never admired his mother’s brand of idealistic humanism and striving to right the wrongs of the world.  He thinks that’s a naive waste of time and that people should stop trying so hard to address inequality and learn to be content with the measley bits that life hands out to them.  Trying to do otherwise is setting yourself up for disappointment.

This philosophy goes against everything Americans have believed in since the day the nation was founded.  Americans believe in progress and evolution, sometimes in big whopping chunks, not puny, ineffective increments.  Obama may have spent a little too much time in Indonesia or the golf course.

Of course the primary problem is that the country elects too many Republicans.  That goes without saying.  But you have to wonder why Democrats, AND OBAMA, made so little effort to control the message when they had the chance.  Where was the fight over the “fairness doctrine”?  Why do we have to drag them kicking and screaming to endorse net neutrality?  Why the hell do they put up with so much passivity on NPR?  And why did they squander so much political capital in the first two years of Obama’s term on mindless, boring coverage of Obama’s every bowel movement day after day with the endless TV spots at lunchtime?  Pretty soon, his bully pulpit faded into background noise.  Who’s bright idea was that?

As much as the Republicans are to blame for everything bad that has happened to this country in the past 40 years, you have to wonder why it is that Obama cooperates with them so flawlessly.  Why is it that deals on spending cuts and social security are carried out in closed door sessions where people like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are not invited?  Better yet, why are WE not invited?  Are we just supposed to accept what comes out of those doors, those mighty deals deliberated by our elders and written down in stone that we must obey now and for all time?  Where are the floor fights?  How come all of this is happening in the middle of the summer when Americans are on vacation and are oblivious to all of this wheeling and dealing in DC that will substantially change their future standard of living?  Oh, yeah, I forgot that this is how Democrats have operated since the primary and convention of 2008.  Agreements are made in secret and then a big spectacle is arranged to demonstrate that we’re all unified.  That’s bullshit, Amanda.

At some point, you have to demand that Obama and the Democrats stop acting like the Republicans we despise.  If they won’t do that, then they might as well join one big party and sing Kumbaya.

As for Clinton, it’s nice to see that Amanda acknowledges what the rest of us have known for a long time.  The Big Dawg did a phenomenal job holding the Republicans off under circumstances that were much tougher politically and personally than Obama encountered when he first took office.  At least Clinton knew where to draw the line and make the Republicans crazy.   That’s why they went after him so hard on personal issues.  They wanted to impeach him because he was getting in their way.  I haven’t seen the same over the top nuttiness directed at Obama.  What is Obama’s excuse for refusing to step up?  So some Republicans can’t distinguish between communists and fascists.  BFD.  We know he’s neither.  But other than that, Amanda?  Where are the piles of legal bills, the testimonies and depositions, the ritual humiliation of his wife, the constant distractions and media mania?  It’s not there because Obama decided early on to cooperate with the lunatics instead of fighting them.  It’s much easier to not put oneself forward instead of living with disappointment.

That’s what we signed up for with Obama.  It’s neither evil or naive.  It’s merely self-serving and passive and insensitive to the massive suffering he is letting the corrupt system impose on present and future American livelihoods.  This is what the left signed onto when they forced Obama on the rest of us.  I can’t imagine a worse choice for president in 2008 and we will be paying for it for generations to come.  He doesn’t have to be a Republican to be worse than Bush.

But the question I have for Amanda and the other lefties trying to figure out what Obama is is why they are just now asking this question.  Why did it take 4 years to realize that we know almost nothing about him?  I still submit that the signs were all there in January/February of 2008.  Everything you needed to know about Obama was right there.  His passivity about calling himself a Democrat, his courting of the religious right, the race baiting, the way he blew off the voters of two major states that disadvantaged him in the polls, his supporters caucus activities that he overlooked, his nod towards misogyny, the obscene gobs of cash he was getting from Wall Street that he used to buy superdelegates, his “walking around money” in NJ.  It was all right there.  The fact that he’s president now when we needed a more muscular Democrat is not the fault of Republicans, it’s OUR fault.

But there is something Democrats can do if they’re not cowardly chickenshits.  They can force him out.  No one is “entitled” to a second term.

Update:  Paul Krugman tells us what ails us with respect to Obama in Conceder in Chief and confesses that his frustration with Obama’s 11 Dimensional negotiating skills consists of “suppressed rage and panic” (an excellent description of my feelings as well, Paul).  Then he goes on to say:

It’s very hard to avoid the impression that three things are going on:

1. Obama really just isn’t that into Democratic priorities. He really doesn’t much care about preserving Medicare for all seniors, keeping Social Security intact, and so on.

2. What he is into is his vision of himself as a figure who can transcend the partisan divide. He imagines that he can be the one who brings about a big transformation that settles disputes for decades to come — and has been unwilling to drop that vision no matter how many times the GOP shows itself utterly uninterested in anything except gaining the upper hand.

3. As a result, he can’t or won’t see what’s obvious to everyone else: that any Grand Bargain will last precisely as long as Democrats control the Senate and the White House, and will be torn up in favor of privatization and big tax cuts for the wealthy as soon as the GOP has the chance.

I hope I’m wrong about all this. But when has Obama given progressives any reason to believe they can trust him?

If Amanda is serious about taking on Republicans, she and we would be better off attacking their messaging system, specifically Fox News, News Corp and Rupert Murdoch.  Shutting News Corp down in the US would go a long way towards recovery.  Today, The Guardian reports that James Murdoch’s testimony before Parliament the other day was less than honest and forthcoming and that the US is preparing subpoenas for the Murdochs.  Two former news editors of the now defunct News of the World are spilling the beans about payments that Murdoch approved to victims of some of the hacking.  In short, the payments were too large compared with similar payments to other recipients, suggesting a more serious infraction at the News of the World had occured and that James Murdoch had to have known the true extent and details of the hacking.

If we weren’t so caught up with this debt ceiling problem, we’d be better off holding hearings of our own and accusing News Corp of being the malevolent blight on the republic that it is.   Go after Murdoch, Amanda, and save the world.

Finally, there’s this from The Onion: Congress Continues to Debate Whether or Not Nation Should be Economically Ruined.

19 Responses

  1. […] : Voting for Obama in the 2008 primary was about as illogical as voting for Bachmann now.  Dem Senator: There’s a basic lack of trust for the […]

  2. Are there any women invited to these Gangs? As you say,

    They’re sick to death of people like us shoving men in suits in their faces and then having those men screw their economic livelihoods behind their backs. You can mock their lack of education (to your peril, IMHO) but they know how to balance their checkbooks, Digby, and they don’t like what they see. No, they most certainly do not. You can’t tell them there’s a recovery going on when they’re taking in all of their laid off grown up children. They’re plotting revenge. You don’t want to encourage them.

    Those guys in The Gang are fooling themselves …. voters can’t afford their shenanigans anymore.

    I keep saying that it’s Not a GAME — and it’s not. When you’re not wealthy you notice where your money goes. I have friends who are hanging on by their finger tips waiting to get Social Security and Medicare.

    Democrats aren’t going to vote for Democrats that take those programs away.

    (whispering …. jobs — where did all the jobs go?)

    • Yes, it is not a game. A lot of people are in danger of losing their unemployment checks if the debt ceiling is not raised. I am one of them. While I can ride it out with severance and savings, I feel very concerned for some of my colleagues who have been out since last year. They’re smart, educated, professionals who are now living on a pittance to make ends meet and these assholes are jerking them around to prove what exactly? That they can put so much stress on families that they’ll crack under pressure and give up all of their rights to the money they’ve paid for decades?
      I wouldn’t f^&* around with us if I were Obama and the Republicans.

  3. Digby, Amanda, Krugman: Still shallow enders, still enabling. Why not just say you can’t vote for the guy?

    • I think Krugman has already decided not to but he might be reined in by some contract with the NYTimes from coming right out and saying it.
      Digby is a hopeless case. I think her site is being used to carry the party’s water and she’s starting to sound like Jeralyn.
      I have no idea what’s going on in Amanda’s head. For someone who is supposed to be a feminist icon of the left blogosphere, she seems to be struggling with something that should have been a no-brainer years ago.

      • Great post!

        Basicly you are saying these folks want to have media careers. That means you jack boot to Obama Inc and or pretend you don’t understand what he’s up to as he trashes a 100 years of porgress… to or you clap if you believe he’ll show his true self! …. blah blah blah etc.

        One is not having a career or be considerecd “serious” other wise. Paul was never allowed to say Bush was lying either. I believe in 2008 he got to sat Bush ” may have fibbed ” about something years earlier he pretened not to see when it was happening .

        The most reporting we get today generally is in the form of history, which is treated as everyone knows this” old news” that’s just too boring to go into much …which of course was never reported when it was happening

        It’s not just the big people either. If a lowly liberal blog wants ads, they had better scare the children and shake that scary Bacmann grove thing …that’s why she’s been created, and why they are supported …to make it seem there is a diffreance between the parties…but there isn’t of course. A Bachmann cartoon would not be needed if there were

        And please, no one hold up Amy Goodman’s , ” Obama Now” program as an exsample of truth telling…not when it comes to Du Barry .

        As much as the Republicans are to blame for everything bad that has happened to this country in the past 40 years, you have to wonder why it is that Obama cooperates with them so flawlessly.

        because he is one…but you knew that .

  4. Even if Fox News was shut down by the government, wouldn’t another conservative news network spring up to replace it? Their ratings prove that there is a market for that viewpoint. Why not also target MSNBC whose parent company, GE was shilling for Obama during the primary and general? Talk about corruption. Immelt then was appointed Obama’s jobs commissioner while GE paid no taxes and was outsourcing jobs. GE still owns a sizeable chunk of NBC.

    Fox News was even-handed with Hillary and even she said they were fairer to her than the other news networks.

    • Shutting down Fox would be a huge blow to the right. MSNBC is too small to fill in the void that Fox would leave. I don’t know what would happen to the other networks but i imagine it would look a bit like a teeter totter with one end suddenly missing a wooly mammoth. Getting rid of it should stop the slide of the rest of the players.
      Fox did not go easy on Hillary. No one did. It only looked easier on her because she beat the pants off of O’Reilly. George Stephanopolous was a total jerk to her. But so what? What difference did it make to the people who voted for her? She wasn’t afraid to battle dragons and she won a lot of battles. Some politicians were graced with teflon from the very beginning, like Reagan. He could do no wrong. And some have a very thin coating, like Obama, who couldn’t withstand the media if it decided to turn on him (any minute now that Cenk and Olbermann have gone to other places). But Hillary has developed a tough coating of teflon calluses. The media can’t touch her anymore. They can throw anything they want at her but it will backfire.
      If I were the Democrats and I was really as mad as the NYTimes makes it sound, I would be actively recruiting her right about now. They can’t win the next election without taking some risks. She’d be the one I’d go to.

      • I remember someone – at the time a Puma, I’m sure – describing how she passed George Stephanopolous at the Convention in Denver and asked him how it felt to have stabbed Hillary Clinton in the back. Of course he brusher her – too! – off.

        And not only do I agree that the media can’t touch HRC anymore and “can throw anything they want at her but it will backfire”, it also seems that they are not even trying anymore.

        Remember how, after being appointed SoS, she for the most part was missing in news report, even as she traveled the world and worked her butt off, and was only mentioned when the media could make a ridiculous big deal out of perceived gaffes as f.ex. her gift to the Russian Foreign Minister, the “set back the clock” devise, with a somewhat botched translation? Or other minor/ miniscule gaffes.

      • the acrimony toward “republicans” instantly forces working people to dismiss the left. Good, actually working business people are oblivious to the political label once an election is decided and we get back to working and reworking the ECONOMY. Fox found its journalistic footing after “seeing themselves” in MSNBC. Suddenly the “typos” and the Bush Worship looked exactly like the pass Obama got and when the Whitehouse tried to freeze Fox out of the pool, the integrity of their colleagues blew them out of the water and planted them squarely in a lead-the-4th Estate-back-to-Constitutional Responsibility-track. O’Reilley agonizes on camera when others point a finger at “blame Bush” Obama. One sees strong women delivering up legitimate feminist views as news all day and night on that network. If Murdock goes “Uh, Oh, Spaghettios!” the Fair & Balanced News Outfit will transcend because, unlike the Dems, THEY’VE ACQUIRED LEGITIMATE POLITICAL WEIGHT by performing the actual journalistic nuts and bolts of getting the WORD on the air. The “left” blog never took a hamburger-slinging, second. exhausting stint that didn’t even buy them gas to get to work – Macy’s until 7:pm all holidays, all weekends, no life job to generate cash flow that kept the lights on, afforded them health insurance, milk-the-employee-discount to clothe the “back-to-schoolers” alternative, and “Voila!” discovered that the “rich” republicans they bitch about had been doing that very thing FOR YEARS and that’s what makes them CONSERVATIVES who cherish their faith and hold a “special” place in their homes for guns. The newly unemployed left whined about the economic downturn instead of getting into the street level “recovery” we “low information” survival level existers did. I lost my job WHILE OBAMA WAS DELIVERING HIS INAUGURAL ADDRESS and took an idiot’s lesson job FILING nursing home pharmacy records with my Poli Sci Degree. It’s not what you look at that’s important; IT’S WHAT YOU SEE. The rest of the country is delighted to know that the political elite are so into squabbling and bickering for the blog audience that nobody notices they’re actually righting their row boats and building a kick-ass underground economy that freely moves mountains locally without the need for the Utah based techno-financiers, perv “travelers” and sister-wife welfare system gamers hiding in red states instead of inner cities. That shit work feminazis complain about is the purifying, substantializing, contemplative neccessity that connects one to reality and opens the EYES: the left is just a cheap, free love version of the right. EARTH TO RIVERDAUGHTER: do you not hear the “moving the goal posts” Boehner- Obama whine as YOUR OWN WISDOM, LEADERSHIP universally NAILING THE MOTHERF^@$R accurate take on the left from 2008? We know this route. The difference between 2012 and 2008 is that we ALL know this route. We KNOW who the dems we thought we trusted (cough; Claire McCaskil) turned our legitimacy as Women shouldering our share of the work of governing into mobster politicians (Nancy Pelosi) and upwardly ambitious wanna-be’s (Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) and via our suffering, frustration and three years of grinding the ax have turned the tables, sharpened the saw and girded ourselves for battle. Trust Yourself. No Guy is capable of leading this charge. They think -and lead-, after all, with the same appendage. There’s just no room in the rowboat for the prick. Put the Titanic behind you. The hand in the clouds is extending the gun TO YOU. “Take over, Bows’n,” hold the gun on any would-be mutineer and get us all to that rock over there – the one that “seems” suspended but is canteleveraged by the All Aboard American Way. The Cowboy riding the stick-horse in the Kentucky Derby (says Huckabee) is “beneath the situation” and a dead man walking. In the spirit of Barak Obama, it’s time to see who has the upper hand in this battle and get on the side that’s about to take over.

  5. The problem I have voting for a woman like Bachmann – because she’s a woman – is she’d be such a horrible example. BHO got into office because he’s black – and look how that turned out.

    I plan to vote green or socialist. My state is rock-solid red unfortunately. I’d like to see a huge surge in third-party votes to grab the Dems attention in 2012.

    • In case it wasn’t clear, I was only kidding. I can’t see myself voting for Bachmann. She represents everything I have held firm against ever since I was three years old. The last thing I want is for the country to be run by a glazed, evangelical Christian who puts her faith in God, not the rule of man. It would be a recipe for disaster.
      OTOH, if she had to serve with a Democratic, left of center, Congress, well, it would serve her right, and we’d have broken that glass ceiling once and for all.

      • Compared to Obama, Bachmann doesn’t look that bad.

        Compared to Hillary, OTOH, Bachmann look like Renfield

        But if we’re gonna have a batshit crazy GOPer in the White House for the next few years, it might as well be a woman.

    • Both Obama and Bachmann have been created in part to make it harder for blacks and woman to run for high office in the future …this work is done by one in the WH and the other as a nominee.

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