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      I was born in 1968, the year Wallerstein calls one of “world revolution”. It was a revolution that both failed and succeeded: women and minorities got more rights, often a lot more, but the end result was an oligarchy, where most people were equal in their lack of power, and where every year saw ordinary people becoming poorer, no matter what the official st […]
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Naomi Klein warned progressives in 2008

But did they listen?  Nooooo.

What she is saying sounds an awful lot like what Conflucians were trying to warn.  If you don’t hold him accountable *before* the election, you won’t get anything from him afterwards.

Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

Anyway, it looks like progressives are about to make the same mistake again.  Can they be taught?  It’s not looking good.

Some of the things Klein said that should have triggered alarm bells is that Obama had no plan for getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan.  He was not an anti-war president.  As Jane Caro said politicians should underpromise and overdeliver.  And if progressives had been paying attention, they would have realized that Obama was promising nothing. The other thing she says is that as soon as Hillary bowed out, Obama put Jason Furman on his economics team.  Furman was not a friend to organized labor.  But note the timing.  Obama waits until progressives have put out for him and when there’s no way to get back the person they just blew off.  Then he brings in the guy that Wall Street liked.  He did something of the same thing on the telecomm immunity bill.  Hillary voted against it for principled reasons.  Obama voted for it- because Hillary had bowed out.

Klein was also wrong about some things.  She was wrong to hold one woman accountable for the Iraq War and let that one vote color her opinion about the character and vision of that candidate.  Progressives were completely deaf to everything that Hillary said that was not in reference to the war.  And no, she wasn’t held accountable by the voters for her IWR vote.  She was dumped because the money coming from Obama’s camp was too good to pass up.  Progressives’ deafness to everything *but* the war allowed something even more dangerous to creep in.  The Wall Street boys knew the financial collapse was coming and they set up the election so they would be in charge when the shock hit.  Klein came to Zuccotti park to talk at the Occupy movement’s birthplace.  And she was inspiring and absolutely correct about everything including the urgency.  But she undermined her own Shock Doctrine theory when she focused all of her attention on the war to the exclusion of the economy.  When the economy crashed and income inequality became even more obvious and suffering and unemployment started to take a toll on the American psyche, it took all focus away from the war.  Therefore, verily I say unto you anti-war activists, if you want to get out of illegal, abominable wars, you must exercise vigilance about your economy.

It wasn’t just the PUMAs who were trying to get progressives’ attention.  Klein happens to be incredibly good at predicting the fallout of the political decisions we make.  But “when your heart’s on fire, you must realize, smoke gets in your eyes”.  Progressives were infatuated with Obama and ignored all of the warning signs.

Four years later, the guy ignores them, abuses them, pushes them around and tells them they’re nothing without him.  And what to progressives do?  They go back to him because they think they have no other choice.  They will not stand up for themselves.

We’ve seen this plot before.  It will not end well.

48 Responses

  1. The problem was that too many people listened to the other Naomi (Wolf) instead of Ms. Klein!

    You know, the same Ms. Wolf who instructed then presidential candidate Al Gore to behave more like an “alpha male” and who has been tingling all over since Mr. Obama became President?

    • I updated the post. Klein, like many other progressives, held Hillary Clinton, and ONLY Hillary Clinton as responsible for the Iraq War. But it has always been “the economy, stupid”.
      Betcha Klein had second thoughts after the telecomm immunity bill a couple weeks later.

      • Isn’t that the truth. Once Obama voted to give retro-active immunity to the telecomms it should have been clear to all his little supporters that he was nothing more than a flim flam man!
        Hillary was labled as a triagulator and Obama got props for being some imaginary 11th Dimensional Chess master (HA!)

  2. When the economy crashed and income inequality became even more obvious and suffering and unemployment started to take a toll on the American psyche, it took all focus away from the war. Therefore, verily I say unto you anti-war activists, if you want to get out of illegal, abominable wars, you must exercise vigilance about your economy

    Absolutely. A social conscience is a luxury in hard times.
    When there’s no food on the table and the wolf is at the door, the golden rule grows wings and flies out the window.

  3. Of course Clinton’s vote for the war resolution hurt her with the voters as it hurt Edwards. Whether that’s “fair” or not is an entirely different question, a matter of opinion. It’s certainly fair for Obama to tout his opposition whether you like it or not.

    • Obama wasn’t in the Senate when that vote was taken.

    • So, please enlighten me, as I seem to have forgotten: How did Obama vote on that same resolution?

    • Would these be the sooper sekrit voters, you know, the legions of small donors who donated tirelessly to Obama but mysteriously were found to have “other priorities” on election day? Since her victories were associated with high turnout and the ability of citizens to actually cast votes (you know, those pesky unrepresentative, undemocratic primaries) while Obama made history by being the only candidate in American history to stage a successful grassroots “movement” based on low turnout and the inability of citizens to cast votes, we can only wonder at how much harder she would have kicked his ass if she hadn’t been so hurt among “the voters.” It did of course hurt her with John Kerry and other members of the Senate who also voted for the resolution, and since their votes are the only ones that mattered in the final accounting, you may actually have a backhanded point.

  4. Obama just pretended to be opposed to the war. He allowed others to attribute opposition to the war for him. He also allowed people to attribute hawk like attitudes, also. He is a flim flam man, an empty suit, a clown. I will never vote for him.

    • Pretended? So you’re a mindreader, eh? I could more easily argue that Hillary’s war vote was cold political calculation so she couldn’t be tagged a Surrendercrat should she decide to run in ’04.

      • Obama never voted so nobody knows what he might or might not have done. He was absent on the issue but made a big deal about a speech some years later

        At the moment he sounds like he is trying to re-sell or repackage some goodies for lefties, like some states not following ‘no child left behind’ or payroll tax cuts for two months that ultimately weaken social security .

        • The speech where Obama said he was not anti-war, just against dumb unnecessary ones is well documented by the local Chicago media in 2002 despite detractors here and elsewhere pretending it’s a myth. As he had an eye on the 04 US Senate race, it was not risk-free either.

          • I have no interest in arguing Obama’s 200x what-ifs. He wasn’t subjected to the pressures of making the decision in a Senate vote. And that’s a fact.

            The other fact is that the Iraq resolution (Ours or the UN, who cares?) called for Weapons inspectors validating WMDs. Instead the Inspectors found nothing, were kicked out of the country and we went in on a lie.

            Who voted and how was meaning less…. Bush was determined on an invasion and that’s what we got.

            I’m just praying that we’re not facing the same situation with Iran today.

          • Yes. And according to the President, an unimpeachable source of honesty and integrity, he began to believe he was wrong as early as 2003 (read his book). Now, looking at his record, which is a profile in courage and catalogue of achievement, I don’t think there’s a single doubt that had he been there, freshmen Senator Obama would not only have actually gone to work that day, he would have proudly cast his vote, given the most fiery anti-war speech in the annals of human history, and spurred the craven others on to act with the kind of bravery and fighting spirit for which he has noted (call John Robets and ask, or remember how he suspended his campaign and rose to fulfill his duties in October 2008). However, by July 2004 he was declating “There’s not that much difference between George Bush’s position and mine at this point.” Which proves that not only does Obama’s sheer principle make Dennis Kucinich look like a warmonger, he could never even conceive of engaging in cold political calculation to avoid being tagged a Surrendercrat in ’04 or ’08.

            I don’t know what’s more inspiring, the sheer beauty of Obama’s integrity and principle, or the utter brilliance of his supporters. He didn’t mean it! He couldn’t! When you quote Jay-Z and are immortalized by Shepard Fairey, then your words and acts are belied by the beauty of your soul. Stop quibbling with stupid little facts, brush the dirt off your shoulder and the shit off your shoe and join the revolution!

          • @Dbbcutus of Oborg:

            Resistance is fertile. We will not be assimilated. 😈

          • So tired of so much mileage about 1 speech Obama gave years before he ever sat in the Senate and actually had to vote on anything related to Iraq. What heightens the fatigue is the ample documentation of the facts that Bush reached an agreement with Maliki to withdraw from Iraq at the end of 2011 but that Obama and Panetta spent a large part of last year busily lobbying him to allow US forces to remain, only to be turned down. So, no, not impressed with the 1 speech or with the assertion that somehow it evidenced courage because he “had an eye” on a Senate race. Actually, this ridiculous belief in the transformative significance of one speech illustrates the point RD is making about progressives and Obama, their willingness to settle for pretty words in lieu of tangible action and concrete commitments.

          • Wrong

            That little anti war speech was “supposedly” given at an anti war rally at the U. Of Chicago. It was never mentioned nor recorded. It only was noted after Obama started vocalizing his opposition to war and only then was this supposed speech retroactively recorded. There is not one actual live audio or video of this speech at the time that Obama claimed to have made it.

            Obama only takes a stand on an issue after someone else has stuck their neck out. Hence the reason for his 300+ present votes in the Illinois state legislature. Wow, a real profiles in courage moment there!

          • The speech where Obama said he was not anti-war, just against dumb unnecessary ones is well documented by …

            But Dilbot is too busy to post links to those media stories. Is Kos missing an idiot?

          • Imagine if Jesse Jackson had not declined (he was the first choice) to give an anti-war speech near the U. of Chicago, then where would O be today? Heck, I’m anti-war. Anyone who is pro-war is, well, a war monger at least.?

            Also imagine if Hillary, the Senator from N.Y. (Ground Zero) had voted against checking for weapons of mass destruction. She would have been figuratively assassinated.

          • What cretin people forget about the AUMF vote was valid only if Saddam didn’t comply with the U N resolutions regarding inspections. Saddam was in compliance when Bush invaded.

      • Did you hold John Kerry accountable? Did you hold John Edwards accountable? Don’t give me any bullshit about progressives holding Edwards accountable for the IWR vote he cast. Progressives would have crawled over broken glass to vote for him if he hadn’t screwed himself into a corner and was in danger of bringing down the whole election.
        No, progressives decided to hang the entire blame of the war on Hillary Clinton. She was only 1 of 99 senators who voted for the resolution but hers was the ONLY one that counted. Indeed, George Bush would have called the whole thing off if Hillary wasn’t onboard.
        Nevermind that Cheney advised Bush to not even bother to go to the senate and ask for permission. Just go over their heads, says Dick. The only thing that would have been worse than voting on the IWR would have been for Bush to set a precedent of blowing off the senate in order to go to war.
        But it’s all HER fault, the senator from New York, whose major city was hit by terrorists in the most horrific attack on American soil and whose citizens were still rattled.
        At least own up to your sexism. When you allow every male candidate who voted for the IWR to skate free of responsibility but you hold her to a much higher standard AND you let the party rejigger the primaries to suit their predetermined outcome without a peep in defense of voters, it looks a hell of a lot like sexism to me.
        And the economy never recovered. Because Obama was a noob with no real talent for politics while the person who could have dug us out was jetting around the world gaining respect from other countries’ leaders but not ours.

        • 21 Democratic Senators voted against the IWR, including Boxer, Murray, Mikulski, and Stabenow. Clinton and Feinstein voted for. And Mr. Clinton was president when Rubin and Summers 86ed Brooksley Born on including financial derivatives under the CFTA. And I’m outahere.

          • Don’t let the door hit you on your markos on the way out.

          • But you are only holding one person, Clinton, responsible for this vote and letting Kerry, Edwards and all the others who voted for it off the hook. At least have some consistency.

            As for Brooksley Born, Bill Clinton has already said he was wrong about Larry Summers. He took some bad advice from Rubin and Summers. Knowing what Clinton knew and what Obama surely knew about Rubins, Summers and Geithner, why the hell did Obama let them take over his economic policy?? There’s no excuse. He knew what they were.

      • have you ever listened to Sec. Clinton’s statement to the Senate explaining that vote? If not, just excuse yourself from this discussion.

  5. I’ve been reading your relentless criticism of Obama and incessant defense of Mrs. Clinton for a long time now. Usually I just skim it to see if you have anything new or interesting to offer.

    But let me finally ask you, given the headline about ‘warning progressives’; is it your opinion that Secretary Clinton would be more progressive than Obama?

    • Hillary is certainly more progressive on Domestic/Economic issues.

    • Yes, Hillary is more progressive. She is not an empty suit. She has values. She may not be perfect, but I would defer to her judgement most times. Obama, is a known tool of Big Pharma, Big Money And Big Fools. He will change any position for his re election.

      • Having worked for big pharma, I can say that there is very good reason to believe that Obama was their guy. They never feared Obama, much to their own detriment. The pharma industry needed someone who had a more comprehensive understanding of drug policy. Instead, they opted for the easy way out and bought Obama.
        Everyone was a loser in that deal.

    • One thing I know for sure – after weathering Whitewater, impeachment, and the insane War on Clinton in the 90’s, she would not have fallen prey to the post-partisan delusion that pre-compromising with Republicans and giving them 90% of what they wanted upfront was the route to success.

    • You look a little angry there pal. Your anti-Hillary venom is palpable. Did your insurance drop your ED prescription!?

    • Yes, from the data I have on her voting record, the people she had advising her and the fact that at least her husband learned from his mistakes (what’s Obama’s excuse?), I am absolutely convinced that she would have been more progressive. BTW, did you see the graph that shows where our recent presidents were on the left right spectrum? Obama scores significantly to the right of Clinton who is about as liberal as JFK.
      People who keep raking the Clintons over the coals are not paying attention to what they actually stood for. It was Bill Clinton who appointed the last two liberals to the Supreme Court. It was Bill Clinton who wanted Lani Guinier for Attorney General. And despite the way lefties ring their hands over welfare reform, I appreciate the fact that he valued work over a lousy stipend that kept people and their families in poverty for generations. Did he make mistakes? Yeah. Some were unavoidable. When you are forced to deal with Republicans as fanatical as the group Gingrich brought in, you’re going to end up with some mean spirited crappy legislation. He tried to take the sting out of the Republicans version of Welfare Reform.
      Was he wrong about Robert Rubin and Larry Summers? Yes, and he even admits it. He was wrong. But the destruction of the economy was accelerated under Bush when he stripped regulators of their agency.
      BTW, did you notice that Hillary didn’t invite Summers and Rubin to her team? Did you know that shortly after the financial collapse she was frantically running from morning show to morning show advocating for another Depression Era style mortgage modification program?
      Yes, she was the one you should have put your money on. She was never going to be a liberal’s dream candidate. But she knew her policy shit and she was the candidate that voters could admire after all of the crap she put up with in the primary. She was about as left as you were going to get in this country at this time.
      One final thing to consider: the financial wizards *knew* the end was near in 2007. And who did they put their money on? Well, it wasn’t Hillary. They knew that she and her husband had their number. They opted for a candidate whose ambition was much greater than his experience and who was pliable enough to do what he was told.
      It’s all clear now, isn’t it? We told Obama voters all about this in 2008 but they would not listen. They totally blew it.

    • Dailkos site down, Stefan?

    • Yes, Hillary Clinton in much more progressive than Obama, as his current record on war, police power and everything else has now proven. Furthermore, she wouldn’t be caving to the Catholic Bishops at every turn in their efforts to strip women of their most basic civil rights. And by the way we are over half of the people in this country!! So f*ck off!!!

  6. Boy, they’re really coming out of the woodwork, now, aren’t they?
    Let’s brace ourselves.

    • It’s fun to bat ’em around now and then but, when they start outnumbering logic then we’ll start hitting them with the hammers. I was around when we were deleting trolls as fast as we could hit the buttons. We can do it again if we must.

      I think today’s visitors are actually human. The real rats are the robo-trolls.

      • Well, at least they were human before they were assimilated into the Oborg Collective. 😛

      • Oh but we are robotrolls, Katie, and under the orders of Soros, Axelrod, and Messina we’re comin’ to getcha!

        • I seriously doubt that you have any real connections to anyone in any position of power!

          Your attempts at humor and slights are really sad more than anything. See, we were all made in 2008. We didn’t vote for Obama then and we won’t be voting for him now. The thing is that we non Obama voters were marginalized last time around. This time around we have taken ourselves out of the game rather than being cast out. With Obama’s hold on the independent vote dwindling and former core members of the party base informed they were no longer needed (See: Donna ) to win elections you guys are batting a 1000 going into fall 2012.

          Were you recently hired by Obama’s superPAC? You know, the thing he was against before he was for it?

          • We were mad

          • This life-long Dem until the 2008 swindle (and who is now “Decline to State”) is writing in Hillary Clinton for President. If it invalidates my entire ballot, so be it.

          • Writing in Hillary under Democrat candidates might give your vote to Obama. Write her in under Independent.

        • You’re dealing with a different set of voters. We are independent LIBERALS, who were once Democrats until 2008. We don’t give a shit about who Soros gives his money to. He’s not our boogieman.
          Please try to pay attention. Go back through our archives from the very beginning in January 2008. You will be surprised.
          We’re not who you thought we were. But we are the ones that no one was expecting. We are Democrats in Exile.

        • I think a big part of the problem with Obama supporters is a lack of reading comprehension skills. I very clearly said that I thought you were human. The robo-trolls show up every now and then but, I don’t think you’re one.

          You can’t use that excuse.

        • Thought you were outta here?

  7. Just a note on welfare reform under Clinton. Has George H. W. been in the White House the back lash for the black riots in LA would have been to end federal support altoghter.

    • I don’t get the liberal attitude about Welfare Reform. You can call it whatever the hell you like but it’s a good idea to get people into jobs and off welfare. There are carrots and sticks to get people to do this. Clinton wanted to offer people carrots with health insurance, rental vouchers, training and childcare to help ease the transition. The Republicans just wanted to kick people off welfare and not worry about what happened later. I think Clinton was right. Welfare is demoralizing. Liberals should hate welfare and love work, which has many rewards. But they are weirdly twisted into knots over this and come off on the wrong side of the issue. Sure, people need money when they’re out of work. We call it unemployment. And people should continue getting it or a New Deal style job until the economy recovers. Welfare should be saved for people who really can’t hack it in the job market no matter what. Like new mothers who end up with no support through no fault of their own. But Welfare should never, ever be the final solution for anyone. It’s a dead end. Work should be encouraged for everyone who doesn’t have a kid under the age of 6 months.

  8. I hope this thread is still open for comments tomorrow because I need to take some time to do some thinking before I might have anything valuable to say.

    For now, I just have a question for Dbb and Stefan Malagodi: how long have you know about this blog and how/where/when did you first learn of its existence? ( I have only known about it for about 6 months or so which makes me one of the very newest people here.) Can you retrace all your steps . . . blog by blog by blog . . . by which you first found your way here?

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