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Thursday: What we’re up against because the “Creative Class” just *had* to have its way

Oh, how bittersweet to know what’s coming but unable to knock any sense at all into the children who got us into this mess.

I noticed yesterday that they seemed unusually quiet.  Well, except for the gits at the Big Cheeto who seem determined to blame all of this on the hicks in the sticks.

No, don’t blame it on an increase in the number of indies going Republican.  The problem is a good chunk of your own team didn’t bother to show up.  It’s that “party unity” thing you bludgeoned us with.  Remember when Nancy Pelosi brought down the gavel like she was late for a plane and the band struck up, “People all over the world, join hands, get on a LOVE train, LOVE train”.   That song is ruined for me. The party was being 1 part sincere and 45 parts mean spirited and contemptuous, rubbing salt in the wounds of everybody in Denver who was sent there to represent a middle class/working class constituency that was desperately looking for a return to peace and prosperity.  Instead, they were railroaded and stuffed in the closet while a small bunch of fanatics took over the party.

Based on the comments I saw on various blogs yesterday, the “creative class” intelligentsia still do. not. get. it.  They now seem receptive to the idea that Obama should be primaried, preferably from the left.  But they keep trying to ignore the only legitimate person in the room who has a shot of doing it.  Desperately, they grasp at names like Elizabeth Warren, who has never run for public office, and Russ Feingold, who just got tossed out of one for, I suspect, being a bit too much of a man of mystery.  Even Anglachel who was a Clintonista backs off from entertaining the possibility: Continue reading

Still not getting it


Paul Krugman:

Aha. I almost forgot to mention this, but one of the surprises of last night is that Harry Reid, supposedly a completely hopeless case, is still Senator.

How did that happen? Reid did something Democrats almost never do: instead of apologizing for his party, he ran against a person with a habit of making crazy statements by hitting hard, again and again, with ads calling her a crazy person. It was very rude and uncivil. And it worked.

Good thing for Dirty Harry his opponent was crazy. If Angle had been your garden-variety wingnut he’d be looking for work as a lobbyist right now.

Here’s a better strategery:

1. Accomplish something worthwhile for the country

2. Run on it.

My plan works no matter who your opponent is.

Just a thought.



DT’s Voting Strategy

Background

I won’t forget 2000, 2004, or 2008. Our democracy was tarnished, torn, and battered on those election years. Perhaps we never had the democracy I always thought we had, but I know we don’t have it now. And that cynical, cruel, destructive action from the political machine has nearly destroyed this country.

Of course what made 2008 much worse for us was it was our party. They tore at the very fabric of society and left a large scar we still see today. It wasn’t enough that they cheated in many of the caucuses, hardly democracy anyway. No, they could even stop at that to steal the election. They went the extra mile, rubbing salt in the wounds, by stealing a whole states worth of primary votes, and then when that wasn’t enough for the heartless greedy soulless appetites, they didn’t even have a roll call and count the votes. Clearly for fear that the real winner might somehow still win. On that day we learned they were the same corrupt corporatist machine as the Republicans. No damn difference. They make different noises, and they throw in a few bones, but on the big issues, they’re the same.

Many in the Democratic party where abused, called old, called women (to them an insult by itself), called Republicans anyway, and called racist. They told anyone in the Democratic party, that if they didn’t like what they did at the convention, they could leave. They weren’t wanted, or needed. The New Democratic party had a new coalition now. They were made up of, funny enough, Republicans, mostly moderate, independents, and young people of no particular political persuasion or philosophy because to them it was all about personality and a messiah. They were made up of a solid group of African Americans some of whom were uncomfortable with how things happened, but understandably wanted an African American president more than anything. And on top of this new coalition were the party elites. You know the ones. The ones that never really liked that working class people were in their party. Never were really comfortable with, you know, little people. And funny enough, mostly white upperclass “progressives” that aren’t comfortable with people of color either, but this new choice gave them what they thought was a get out of bigot jail free card. But make no mistake, the party elite don’t particularly like the members of the new coalition any more than they liked the old group.

So from this, we got a New Democratic president and a supermajority in both houses of congress. Almost unprecedented power not seen in quite a while. With that power and by the winning margins, they had a large mandate to be and do anything different that Bush. They could have easily wiped out injustice in our laws towards women and LBGT and minorities. They could have reformed health care, bringing in at a minimum a public option. They could have made great strides economically with FDR style work stimulus programs. They could have performed a miracle not seen since FDR himself. But what did we get? We got none of that. We got the most cynical health care bill that does the opposite of what it should. It forces people to buy private insurance with massive loopholes allowing no caps and still the ability of the insurance company to effectively kick you out of your plan when you get sick. It puts more power and money in the hands of insurance companies. It is in a word, criminal. And we’ve seen us move backwards in women’s rights. And for DADT, we see the courts pushing forward and this very president pushing us backwards. And that’s nothing compared to the continuation of spying on Americans, wars, and now hit lists of American citizens.

Lessons Learned

The bottom line, the last four years of this same group running congress and the last two years of our president, has been as bad as the other party. Make no mistake, it makes me very sad to say that. My former party has unabashedly become puppets to the corporatists, and they don’t even hide it any more. They make it clear with their actions and sadly even often with their words, that they don’t care about Americans or American. Same as the other party. These two parties are both bad for America. And the saddest thing I’ve noticed, I think this new found power of this New Democratic party makes them even more susceptible to doing the bidding of the oligarchy because they so desperately want to hold on to the power normally granted to the other party.

And so, I resigned from my party of more years than I care to remember. That party does not represent me. Sadly for me there isn’t a major party that represents me. So I am independent. I’m proud to be a liberal independent.

Strategy Basics

Now that I’ve set the stage for you, met me say a bit about my voting strategy. Firstly, party affiliation is irrelevant to me. Those are clearly nothing more than tribes or gangs or country clubs. They mean nothing. As we have sadly learned. As far as I can tell, you can’t tell an individuals values from the party or lack of party to which they belong. You can make some guesses that a Democrat might be more to the left on many issues than a Republican. But you could easily be wrong. So I discount that.

So what’s left. Like with picking a presidential candidate during the primaries, you look at their experience, their record, you watch and listen, and you analyze. You look at who their supporters are, who they associate with, and who their backers are. Some of those are hard to find. But you dig anyway. Sometimes you meet them or see them at rallies. You try not to be taken in by celebrity or charisma or outward looks and charm. That’s not what you’re hiring them for. You do your homework. No one is going to be the same as you on all issues. And sadly I think the longer a politician is in office, the less likely they’ll have integrity and any semblance of what’s best for their constituents. It very quickly becomes about holding power and doing what the powerful want. So how long someone has been in office is a major factor, no matter how much you may think you like them.

Candidate Choices

First there are zillions of candidates and other choices on ballots. So there can be a lot of work. I do look at some organizations material showing their choices and why. We’ve all learned to be wary of such organizations because they have their own agendas. They’re not in it for you, they’re in it for themselves. So verify.

If you’re lucky, you have some choices. If there are more than two party candidates, you may even have some very good choices. Green or other liberal parties often have good choices. Sometimes independents are great. And on occasion the New Democratic party candidate might be great. Sestak comes to mind.

And as mentioned above, how long they’ve been in office is a major factor for me. Perhaps there could be a formula for this that takes away points for every year they’re in office. And then maybe points for matching issues, and independence of funding, etc., etc. We’ll leave that for another post.

Alas, what happens when there isn’t a good choice. What do you do? You can either vote for the lesser of two evils, write in Elvis, or something else.

Other Factors – The Protest Vote

Finally, there is indeed another dimension to this. The something else mentioned above. If you don’t have a great candidate, which sadly is often, there is the protest vote. This can be either to punish or mess up the tribe you’re more likely to be aligned with politically, say Democrats, or it can be to just generally fuck with the two main parties and keep them changing and scrambling. That is, throw wrenches in the works to slow them down.

Why would you consider doing this? After all, the other party is at least 2% more evil. Wouldn’t that help them? Yes, yes it would. And yes, they are a bit more evil. I’m a liberal, and to me, that’s still true despite what we’ve seen happen to the Democratic party. But that’s not the point. Let me put that another way, THAT’S NOT THE POINT! Here’s the point. And we’ve made this point a million times at this blog and still people don’t quite get it. If you will vote for the Democrat over the Republican every time, no matter what, because they are indeed ever so slightly better than the other guy, then why on earth would that party ever, ever, ever listen to you and your wishes and needs? I mean EVER. If they have your vote no matter what, you don’t have any value to them. That’s worth a simpler rephrasing to make sure it sinks in. YOU HAVE NO VALUE IF THEY CAN COUNT ON YOUR VOTE!!!

I think I made that clear. So if you don’t like what your slightly less evil party is doing or your slightly less evil candidate is doing or is about, don’t vote for them. Don’t vote for the lesser evil of the candidates. just don’t vote for them. Don’t do it. Don’t reward that party for putting up crap candidates.

So what choices do you have with your protest. You can actually vote for the other major party. That one is a tough one. Well, not so tough if that candidate is actually relatively moderate. And even on occasion actually more liberal than the one in your party (or closest equivalent). But usually that’s a really tough thing to do. You have to be brave and hold your nose. Now that I think about it, it’s just like how my old party has made me vote for them for years. Come to think of it, they’ve trained me quite well to do that. Not so hard perhaps.

But if that’s too much, another choice is to not vote for either candidate, none of the above if available, or to write in a nonsense candidate. Or, even though mentioned above as a reasonable option, some may consider voting for third party candidates to be in this protest camp. I like that last approach because it’s a twofer. You’re actually voting for someone pretty good, and your protest and and affecting the Democratic party.

My Vote

So what am I going to do. I won’t bore you with all the smaller local candidates like dog catcher or referendums like should we ban coffee houses from using pink whipped cream. OK, I made that one up. But I do have a congressional race to vote for that’s of interest. FYI: Here’s the League of Women Voters sheet on my district ballot (warning, link is to PDF). I get a lovely choice of candidates for congress. (Yes, that’s a snark.) First is the Democrat Tom Perriello who, as you can see from the sheet, is a founder of a number of faith-based organizations. Yes, not just one, but a number. And as you might have guessed, he’s anti-abortion. Worse still, he was an eagle scout. {{Shudder}} So basically a Republican-lite. Then we have Robert Hurt, the real Republican. He really sucks. And third, we have an independent candidate Jeffrey Clark, who is, you guessed it, another Republican. Though at least he was in the Army and did some real work. And I have to admit, I like the part on immigration where he wants to send business men to jail for hiring illegal immigrants. Kind of going against the grain of corporate interests there.

So who am I going to vote for? Well, first the polls seem to be fluctuating between Hurt winning by 5 points to Hurt winning by 10 points. Basically Hurt’s just been running against Obama/Pelosi. And of course as you’d expect from the New Democratic party, Perriello’s been lying about the health care bill (hey, at least he’s trying to defend it I guess), and slinging mud. I can’t vote for Perriello I’ve decided. He’s part of the new coalition that is moving the Democratic party further to the right. But I don’t think I can vote for Hurt. Since it probably doesn’t matter, I’m currently leaning towards Clark just for the protest (of the third party variety). That is, it’s not a good third party candidate where I get a twofer and feel doubly good, but it’s just a protest vote, plan and simple.

November 2nd, The Big Picture

Since others have mentioned their general thoughts on the rest of the elections, I thought I’d do the same. I can’t pretend otherwise, I want this New Democratic party to be dismantled. The new coalition is already falling apart given the poll numbers. The new voters just voting for a personality or messiah are either disillusioned or bored. That’s the thing about new voters, you get what you pay for. And as you’d expect, the Republican’s that joined are back to being Republicans. And it turns out the independents they pulled in are also either disillusioned or bored. None of them seem to be in the coalition any more. And sadly for the Democratic party, they threw out a big part of their base in 2008. So I want them to fall apart. Not because I want Republicans to run the country and destroy it. And sadly that’s possible. But because I don’t want this New Democratic party to destroy the country first. And make no mistake, Obama and Pelosi and Reid will continue down the path of being worse than Bush on a number of fronts and go further by cutting social security and medicare, and education is next after that. I want them out.

So I will not feel bad for them when they lose the House, which I think they will. And I won’t feel bad as they lose some in the senate. I will be very happy to see Reid go. And yes, that means a really scary person would get that seat. I certainly am not for her nor would I vote for her, but I wouldn’t vote for Reid either because he’s only less evil. He has been an utter disaster. He needs to go. And as for Pelosi, what can I say in print after her part in the 2008 primaries. Well, let’s just say I’ll be very happy to see her lose her position and will be happy to see her retire. I’m sure she’ll have fun working for some health insurance lobbyist like may of the other Democrats that leave office.

For predictions, I’m thinking the Republicans will win around 50 seats in the house and about 5 seats in the Senate. Funny enough, that’s been my prediction since the beginning of the mid term season and it hasn’t changed much. We’ll see very soon.

There you have it. My ramblings went a bit long, but that’s my current approach to voting. What’s yours?

Extreme Makeover – Democratic Party Edition

No more clowning around

 


We all know that the leadership of the Democratic party is rotten to the core. They are corrupt and don’t represent the people that elected them. Obama could not have stolen the nomination without their help.

Trying to reform the party by sending a few new faces to Washington every few years is like throwing a few good apples in a barrel full old moldy ones. We gotta get rid of all the bad apples first.

If your house was riddled with termites and dry rot, you wouldn’t just slap a new coat of paint over everything and pretend it was okay, would you? No, you would tear out and replace all the diseased and damaged wood first.

Unfortunately the theory of “primary them” doesn’t work so well in practice. Just ask Senator Ned Lamont. My blue-dog congressman (Dennis Cardoza) got into office by primarying his predecessor, Gary Condit, but Gary had a little problem with a dead girl at the time. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen very often.

Because of the enormous advantages of incumbency, absent a scandal successful primary challengers generally have to be independently wealthy and/or famous. I’d prefer somebody more like me.

But what we’re talking about right now is a post-primary challenge to a corrupt incumbent. In this situation the challengers aren’t Democrats. If you really want to get rid of that corrupt Democratic incumbent, what are you gonna do?

Voting for them while thinking “Better luck next time” sure isn’t the way to do it. If you keep reelecting them they’re never gonna learn.

You can vote for a no-hoper third party candidate or “none of the above” (NOTA) and hope the incumbent loses. Now I’m all for building up a viable third party but if you’re gonna do that you need to go all-in a lot sooner than two weeks before the election.

Voting NOTA may make you feel pure and innocent but until they make NOTA an option on the ballot you’re just throwing away your vote. That’s all well and good when the race in your district or state isn’t going to be close.

But what if the race you’re voting on is too close to call and is between a batshit insane Tea Party Republican like Sharron Angle and a corrupt and ossified DINOcrat like Dirty Harry Reid? One of them is gonna win and a handful of votes may very well decide which one it is.

Either way the state of Nevada is gonna lose. But if you lived in Nevada, what would you do?

It’s your vote and you alone have to decide what to do with it. But one option you should consider is “Vote ’em out.” Vote against the incumbent by voting for the leading challenger, regardless of party affiliation.

This is an option even if you believe “The Republicans are worse” because no pain, no gain. Vote out the corrupt incumbent Democrats this time and start working on finding new candidates who will represent our interests next time.

Keep doing it over and over until we get rid of all the rot and corruption.

Blow it up, burn it down, level it off and start fresh.

Just think about it.




Breaking up is hard to do


Elon James White at Salon:

Defending Obama and the Democrats is hard.

Not because I don’t think they’ve done some good in the past two years, because I do. It’s hard because I find myself constantly defending them, even when I’m not ecstatic about what’s happening. Don’t let my overly public defense of the Democrats fool you; I’m annoyed, tired and frustrated like a lot of people. Yet I don’t suffer from this enthusiasm gap that’s become all the rage to discuss. My enthusiasm is as strong as it has ever been because my choice is to either be frustrated with the Dems but know that a lot of good will come out of it or let the crazy people win. My issues with the Republicans and the Tea Party aren’t simply “a difference in opinion”; I’m overly enthusiastically against what they represent. I was really happy about Obama but my enthusiasm is on overdrive when it comes to stopping the Republicans.

But this doesn’t mean I’m drinking the liberal Kool-Aid.

I’ve mocked the Democrats on numerous occasions in the past two years when I believed they were really screwing up. Their P.R. skills are lacking even when they’re doing the right thing. The party’s various concessions to the bat-shit crazy contingent in order to push policies through has made my stomach hurt quite a few times, but even with all of that, I still have all the enthusiasm in the world. I am a hundred percent on whatever side that isn’t the one who keeps spouting off about “Real America.”

These days in Left Blogistan there are basically three different groups.

The first group are snorting Kool-aid powder straight from the package. These are the people who say that Obama is doing a stupendous job and has made historic achievements during his first two years in office. Obviously they’re either lying or delusional and I’m not sure which is worse.

This group has been steadily decreasing in size since Obama’s inauguration.

The second group are the ones that acknowledge that Obama has been a major disappointment but continue to support him anyway. This group includes those people who are recovering from Kool-aid as well as those who only experimented with it or used it socially. But there are also a number of people in this group who never drank the Obama juice but nonetheless voted for him and continue to support him and the Democratic party, primarily on the theory that “the Republicans are worse!”

We’ll talk more about these guys in a minute.

The last group are the people that Markos Moulitsas referred to as a “paranoid band of shrieking hold-outs.” They used to be Democrats but now they’re independent liberals. I’m one of them, as are Riverdaughter and the rest of the writers here at The Confluence. If you have big tire tracks across your back then you’re probably one too.

We weren’t fooled by the slick con job that the Malefactors of Great Wealth paid David Axelrod hundreds of millions of dollars to put over on the gullible. We refused to be bullied into either going along with the fraud or keeping silent.

We were prematurely correct about Obama, so of course we are hated and despised.

Now let’s go back and talk about that second group.

To hear them tell it, Obama and the Democrats in Congress are well-intentioned and share our values and goals, but they are cowardly, weak and spineless as well as politically inept. They don’t want to accept that Obama and the Democrats aren’t weak, they’re corrupt.

In other words, these people are in denial.

I’m gonna pick on Susie Madrak a little because she provided the perfect analogy.

Top Obama adviser David Axelrod got an earful of the liberal blogosphere’s anger at the White House moments ago, when a blogger on a conference call directly called out Axelrod over White House criticism of the left, accusing the administration of “hippie punching.”

“We’re the girl you’ll take under the bleachers but you won’t be seen with in the light of day,” the blogger, Susan Madrak of Crooks and Liars, pointedly told Axelrod on the call, which was organzied for liberal bloggers and progressive media.

Let’s expand on Susie’s analogy a little bit. Obama is the guy who already has a girlfriend (Wall Street, et al.) and doesn’t take the “under the bleachers” girl on dates or buy her gifts, he just uses her for booty calls. If he makes any promises he doesn’t keep them and when they do hook up he doesn’t even bother to provide “mutual satisfaction.”

That sounds like a pretty good description of Obama’s relationship with the netroots to me. The question is why the hell anyone would anyone want to be the girl in a relationship like that?

Susie:

As much as I despise the weak-kneed, corporate ass-kissing Democrats, I hate the Republicans even more for bullying their way into the front of the economic policy debate and forcing bad policies that just don’t work.

They don’t care. They’re Republicans, they don’t have to!

So the girl in Susie’s analogy tells the guy she doesn’t like the way he’s treating her but he doesn’t change and she keeps meeting him under the bleachers for those booty calls anyway because she *knows* that deep down he really loves her and one of these days he’ll realize it.

If this girl was your friend, what advice would you give her?

Unless and until liberals and progressives are willing to say “Enough is enough!” they are gonna keep getting screwed. As long as they keep supporting Obama and the Democrats because “the Republicans are worse!” they are sending the message that all the Donkeys have to do is be the lesser of two evils.

If the Democrats won’t give you what you want you need to find someone who will.




Bipartisan BOHICA



Every time you hear how “the Republicans are worse” you should think about this story from Moneynews:


A bill that homeowners advocates warn will make it more difficult to challenge improper foreclosure attempts by big mortgage processors is awaiting President Barack Obama’s signature after it quietly zoomed through the Senate last week.

The bill, passed without public debate in a way that even surprised its main sponsor, Republican Representative Robert Aderholt, requires courts to accept as valid document notarizations made out of state, making it harder to challenge the authenticity of foreclosure and other legal documents.

The timing raised eyebrows, coming during a rising furor over improper affidavits and other filings in foreclosure actions by large mortgage processors such as GMAC, JPMorgan and Bank of America.

Questions about improper notarizations have figured prominently in challenges to the validity of these court documents, and led to widespread halts of foreclosure proceedings.

The legislation could protect bank and mortgage processors from liability for false or improperly prepared documents.

The White House said it is reviewing the legislation.

“It is troubling to me and curious that it passed so quietly,” Thomas Cox, a Maine lawyer representing homeowners contesting foreclosures, told Reuters in an interview.

A deposition made public by Cox was what first called attention to improper affidavits by GMAC.

Since then, GMAC, JPMorgan and others have halted foreclosure actions in many states after acknowledging that they had filed large numbers of affidavits in which their employees falsely attested that they had personally reviewed records cited to justify the foreclosures.

Cox said the new obligation for courts to recognize notarizations of documents filed by big, out-of-state companies, would make it more difficult and costly to challenge the validity of the documents.

[…]

“Constituents” Pressed For Passage

After languishing for months in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the bill passed the Senate with lightning speed and with hardly any public awareness of the bill’s existence on Sept.27, the day before the Senate recessed for midterm election campaign.

The bill’s approval involved invocation of a special procedure.

Democratic Senator Robert Casey, shepherding last-minute legislation on behalf of the Senate leadership, had the bill taken away from the Senate Judiciary committee, which hadn’t acted on it.

The full Senate then immediately passed the bill without debate, by unanimous consent. The House had passed the bill in April.

The House actually had passed identical bills twice before, but both times they died when the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to act.

Some House and Senate staffers said the Senate committee had let the bills languish because of concerns that they would interfere with individual state’s rights to regulate notarizations.

Senate staffers familiar with the judiciary committee’s actions said the latest one passed by the House seemed destined for the same fate.

But shortly before the Senate’s recess, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy pressed to have the bill rushed through the special procedure, after Leahy “constituents” called him and pressed for passage.

The staffers said they didn’t know who these constituents were or if anyone representing the mortgage industry or other interests had pressed for the bill to go through.

These staffers said that, in an unusual display of bipartisanship, Senator Jeff Sessions, the committee’s senior Republican, also helped to engineer the Senate’s unanimous consent for the bill.

Neither Leahy’s nor Session’s offices responded to requests for comment Wednesday. (emphasis added)


Hey Mr. Leahy! In the immortal words of Richard B. “Dick” Cheney:



“Go fuck yourself!”


To which I add “And the donkey party you rode in on!



_____________________________________________
UPDATE:

(From WCMB in the comments)

They are obfuscating because the problem isn’t the foreclosures themselves. The problem is all the mortgage-backed securities that spun off of those original notes – all the “side bets” that leveraged the original mortgage up to many multiples of the first note. Those are sitting on the big banks’ and hedge funds’ fake balance sheets of “assets” like big ole stinking turds.

The law required due diligence, and that non-performing loans did not get bundled into those “assets”. And the banks all winked and nodded and proceeded to pile garbage by the truckload into those “baskets” of derivatives, not bothering with the paper trail that was legally required. They were making money hand over fist on this Ponzi scheme, and figured they would never get caught because the housing bubble would never pop.

It’s not the foreclosures that will blow the whole thing sky high, it’s the side bets. Hillary knew this, which is why she wanted to actually unwind the MBS market, identify the toxic assets, and put them in a federal “bank”, a separate “pile” to isolate them from the rest of the system. Isolate them FIRST, leaving the banks healthy, then make decisions as to solutions for the toxic pile.

Our corporate govt is going to write a law, give a waiver, whatever they have to do to make sure that all that shaky leverage the banks took on is never exposed. Because if the banks are forced to take their real losses, many of them implode immediately.

The 700 billion bailout did NOTHING to clean up their balance sheets. Not one goddamn thing. They are as insolvent in reality as they were when this shit started, no matter what their fictional balance sheets say.

Making them eat their losses in a structured, organized way, with some help from the treasury so that the whole system didn’t go down, would have been a difficult time for the economy. It would have sucked for the country. But we would have come out of it with clean accurate balance sheets and a solid foundation to rebuild.

Instead, we spent 700 billion papering over the theft, only to wind up now right back where we started, with the rot still lurking there underneath, threatening at any moment to go kaboom once again.


Is this WTF week?


Sombody said I seem angry lately. You think so? I wonder what gave them that impression.

Greg Sargent is buns up and kneeling:

What if the Dem base’s lack of enthusiasm is rooted in the fact that Dems aren’t even aware of how much Congress has accomplished in the last two years?

A new poll from Pew and National Journal contains a really striking finding: Only one third of Democrats think this Congress has achieved more than other recent Congresses. Meanwhile, 60 percent of Dems think it has accomplished the same or less.

[…]

Yet despite passing an enormous stimulus that many credit with rescuing us from disaster, passing health reform after a half century of failure, rescuing the auto industry, and successfully completing the biggest overhaul of Wall Street regulations since the Great Depresssion, only one third of Democrats think this Congress has achieved more than other recent ones.

Maybe this speaks to an enormous Dem failure to communicate their successes. Or maybe it’s another sign of how bloated expectations were amid the euphoria of Obama’s win. Or perhaps the sense of just how monumental our problems are — and the fact that Dems secured such large Congressional majorities — led rank and file Dems to expect truly historic, paradigm shifting levels of leadership.

Or maybe it’s because 60 percent of rank and file Democrats DON’T DRINK KOOL-AID!

(But that’s probably because they’re bitter, clingy racists, right Greg?)

Steve Benen assumes the position:

I don’t expect the public to have an extensive knowledge of federal policymaking history, but I at least hoped Americans would realize the scope of recent accomplishments. We are, after all, talking about a two-year span in which Congress passed and the president signed the Affordable Care Act, the Recovery Act, Wall Street reform, student loan reform, Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, new regulation of the credit card industry, new regulation of the tobacco industry, a national service bill, expanded stem-cell research, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the most sweeping land-protection act in 15 years, etc. Policymakers might yet add to this list in the lame-duck session.


Uh, Steve? Didja ever consider that maybe we DO KNOW what Obama and the DINOcrats have been up to, but WE’RE NOT FUCKING HAPPY about it?

Here’s Glenzilla with an example of what I’m talking about:

As I’ve noted before, the column of mine which produced the greatest level of hate mail and anger in the last year — both in terms of intensity and quantity — was this one from August, 2009, when I compiled the evidence strongly suggesting that the White House, despite Obama’s multiple statements to the contrary, had secretly bargained away the public option with corporate interests early in the negotiation process and therefore did not intend to push for its inclusion in the final bill. That produced so much anger because it contradicted the central Democratic orthodoxy at the time that Obama — as he claimed in public — was trying as hard as he could to have a public option in the health care bill, but . . . gosh darn it, he was unfortunately stymied by his inability to get 60 votes for it, despite his best efforts (the fact that the health care bill ultimately passed via reconciliation, whereby the public option would have needed only 50 votes, was a separate issue).


Gee, What’s not to love about that, Steve?

But wait, there’s more! Jonathon Chait at the New Republic:

Depressed Democrats Losing Touch With Reality

Every time a Democratic leader tells the base to stop whining and wake up to the fact that this is the most successful period of liberal governance in more than four decades, liberals just get more petulant.


Jeebus! Whose side are these fuckwads on, anyway?

Serenity now! SERENITY NOW!

Senorita! Mas cerveza y tequila aqui, por favor!


Hey Paul! They’re USING YOU!


Paul Rosenberg needs to take off the Kool-aid goggles:

And a very significant part of Obama’s campaign was that he fueled–in a very non-specific, non-cashable way–the sense that all of that had changed, and that we could all now expect more of each other as well as ourselves, and that we could rely on that expectation in order to do amazing things. That is what we hungered for, and it is a very large part of what went into Obama winning.

We saw a very dramatic demonstration of the long-term problem we face during the post-2000 election struggle in Florida. The GOP went all-out in hegemonic warfare mode. The Democrats, OTOH, told their base to stand down. Jesse Jackson lead just one rally–which locals had asked him to lead to bring them visibility–and the Gore campaigned told him to put a lid on it.

A continent away, in Los Angeles, I attended and reported on a rally with thousands of grassroots activists at the Westside LA Federal Building within days of the election, and a lively topic of conversation there was, “Where are the unions?” Because everyone knew that the unions could readily up the numbers by an order of magnitude. But after what happened with Jackson, folks had little doubt that the same orders had gone out the unions as well. It “wouldn’t look good” to have the sorts of people who vote Democratic out on the streets demanding that their votes be fairly counted. White Republicans staffers in suits, threatening to “shut it down” when the votes were being counted, now that’s the sort of demonstration that America could love! At least, that’s what the Democratic Party’s logic amounted to, boiled down it’s self-defeating basics.

So no. What we’ve experienced with Obama is not anything new. Not at all. But it is severely disappointing, since Obama himself came to victory largely by harnessing the rage that had developed in the Democratic base in part as a result of such past timidity.

Yet, even during the campaign, Obama had asked outside groups–including groups directly representing the base–to voluntarily silence themselves, just as Jackson had been silenced in Florida in 2000, while black votes were suppressed and an election was stolen.

So let us hope that the “One Nation” rally is a real, permanent turning point, a turning back to the grassroots, a turning back to the people whose lives this is really all about in the first place. Because that is what’s been missing on the left for low these many decades.

Turning point, shmurning point.

Doesn’t it seem that unless the base is saying exactly what benefits the Democratic party establishment they say STFU!? Gee, could it be that the Democrats want to control their base? Whose party is it anyway?

All the lefty activist groups have been neutered and vertically integrated into One Nation Under Obama. That’s because the Democrats think their grassroots is a lawn.

And what do you do with a lawn?

You walk all over it, let your dogs crap on it and when the blades get too tall you cut them down.

Hey, but at least it’s not astroturf!


BTW – add OpenLeft to the list of places in Left Blogistan that have banned the Petulant Clown.

The truth hurts, I guess.


Women Are to Blame For Hillary’s Loss. What Else is New?

As if we want to be reminded of the 2008 election, Rebecca Traister has just written a book expressing her desire for a “Sarah Palin of the Left” and letting us in on the fact that Hillary Clinton’s run for the Presidency was historic, she was the first woman to win a presidential primary, and she won more primary votes than any other presidential candidate in history, man or woman. OMG, no way! The book is called Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women.

According to Jezebel, this is the book we’ve been waiting for.

Rebecca Traister: As often happened at lunches about Hillary, within moments there was a furious conflagration about how young women didn’t know anything about feminism. I found that the election offered a sort of match that lit what was already pretty dry tinder. It wasn’t so much that Hillary made different generations of women angry at each other. It’s that Hillary gave them the excuse to have the fight they’d been spoiling to have for a very long time.

Cat Fight! Whooooop! Let’s watch the ladies get crazy!

Traisier goes on to spout the usual propoganda about Hillary’s bad campaign, Mark Penn, Raycists, Obama was more inspiring and blah blah blah, and then finally gets to the root of the problem as to why Hillary and her supporters were such epic losers.

You could go back and hear the same conversations around the foundation of the feminist and lefty blogosphere and hear young women saying, ‘Well, the women of the traditional feminist organizations aren’t listening to us, so we’re moving into our own realms.” Some of the older women — I’m using older women and young women very broadly, I don’t meant to be talking in derisive generalizations — you could hear them say, “These young women don’t take their rights seriously, they blog all day, they’re not activists.”

So in the end, Hillary lost because of a giant cat fight between third wavers, who are bratty and didn’t want to listen to their mommies and old second wave crustaceans who just wanted to call their daughters unappreciative of the rights they got for them.

Wow. I was under the impression that Hillary lost because delegates were stolen from her and the party refused to have a fair nominating process because they wanted a race baiting empty suit that would allow them to keep lining their pockets with cash from the pharmaceutical and financial industries. But apparently it’s much more complex than that. Actually, it has much more to do with my relationship with my mother.

I should use this opportunity to tell you something about my mom. She had me when she was thirty three. Hillary was the same age when she had Chelsea. I love my mother to death. I’m crazy about her and she’s crazy about me, but I was only partly raised by her. She has bipolar depression and severe anxiety and when I was six and she and my father had been divorced for a couple of years, she had a nervous breakdown and checked into the loony bin. My brothers and sister and I were almost put into foster care, but instead we went to live with my father and step mother (Foster care would have preferable), and from then on, we only saw her periodically on visitation.

I suppose I could be categorized as having very bad “mommy issues.” That has nothing to do with anything, but since we’ve all ready delved so deep into trashy Freudian psychobabble, I can say with absolute certainty that Traister is talking out of her ass. I find myself seeking out the approval and affection of older women more because of my complicated relationship with my mom.

Traister is simplistic and conformist in her musings, and while she is quick to put blame on young women, she has high praise for young men.

At the time, I wrote about what I perceived as a complicated misogynist vibe coming from some of the young male Obama devotees in the last stages of the primary cycle. I think one of the reasons that I was so struck by it — and this is not to give some pass to all younger men — is that there is such a marked generational change among men. There’s more of an awareness of gender, they’re often raised by feminist moms and working moms. Men who are [at least] used to the idea of equally splitting domestic duties; they’re active fathers.

I had actually come to expect much more from young men. We’re very lucky to live with a new generation of men, and I think our kids will be luckier still. But this was an instance in which some old attitudes seemed to bubble up among younger men.

See? The next generation of kids will be so lucky to be raised by Obots.

Dig it: What if young women who supported Obama weren’t trying to thumb their nose at their mothers? What if they were seeking the approval of their fathers? When I was small I would sometimes pretend to dislike Hillary and other assertive women. I thought my dad might give me a hug if I pretended to agree with him about stuff.

But no, we women “asked for it.” Traister blames women for blaming other women for what happened to the Secretary of State. She falls into the timeless “divide and conquer” trap that the Patriarchy sets up for us. Instead of uniting over our common interest: equality, feminists and more specifically mothers and daughters are pitted against one another over things like choice and porn and made to believe that we are our own worst enemy. I am constantly lurking on threads, on Clinton friendly threads no less, that have plenty to say about the lack of authenticity of “young feminists.”

And really, what is that? Plenty of young women supported Hillary and plenty of older women supported Obama. I’m twenty years old. I like doing my hair and getting my nails done and tanning, and I’m a feminist because I believe in equality. I am not a “third wave” feminist. I’m a feminist. I’m not a “fun feminist.” I’m a feminist. I’m not a white feminist. I’m a feminist. I’m not a pro choice feminist, I’m a feminist. I’m not a liberal feminist. I’m a feminist. I’m not a feminist Democrat. Honestly, I’m just a fricking feminist. That’s my only MO.

Every woman, old or young, is a feminist deep down, even if she doesn’t know it, because she is a human being. Feminism is about humanity. “Humanist” is a more appropriate term, but feminist is the one we have. Let’s stop putting labels on women. Let’s stop questioning each other’s choices. Let’s stop being so cruel to one another, and instead start working together.

And let’s not read Rebecca Traister’s new book.

Elena Kagan and Laura Bush: When Pigs Really Fly

Kudos to the President for nominating another lady to the supreme court. Well done. But something’s not right here. What is it…? Oh, yeah.

I’m really, really glad Obama chose a woman. I really, really wish she were more liberal. I suspect she’ll be okay on Roe and other “social issues,” but her attitude to executive power is alarming.

Also, rumors abound that Kagan is gay. Let’s just pretend for a second that we care….

Glad that’s over.

As for social issues, the President has really given us a treat! He picked someone that is kind of pro-choice! OMG! But wait…

As a White House adviser in 1997, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan urged then-President Bill Clinton to support a ban on late-term abortions, a political compromise that put the administration at odds with abortion rights groups.

Documents reviewed Monday by The Associated Press show Kagan encouraging Clinton to support a bill that would have banned all abortions of viable fetuses except when the physical health of the mother was at risk. The documents from Clinton’s presidential library are among the first to surface in which Kagan weighs in the thorny issue of abortion.

The abortion proposal was a compromise by Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle. Clinton supported it, but the proposal failed and Clinton vetoed a stricter Republican ban.

In a May 13, 1997, memo from the White House domestic policy office, Kagan and her boss, Bruce Reed, told Clinton that abortion rights groups opposed Daschle’s compromise. But they urged the president to support it, saying he otherwise risked seeing a Republican-led Congress override his veto on the stricter bill.

Oh. But still! Since Kagan is probably a lezbo, she must support gay marriage, right? Wrong.

The meme has taken hold that Kagan is a stealth candidate who has avoided taking positions on important constitutional or other issues throughout her career.

But on one issue of critical importance to the left — the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Kagan has staked out a very clear and unequivocal position: There is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

In the course of her nomination for Solicitor General, Kagan filled out questionnaires on a variety of issues. While she bobbed and weaved on many issues, with standard invocations of the need to follow precedent and enforce presumptively valid statutes, on the issue of same-sex marriage Kagan was unequivocal.

Kagan is a winner in other ways, too:

“Like Harriet Miers, she doesn’t have a record to tell us how she would adjudicate from the bench. They led a rebellion against the executive branch and the same thing should happen here.”

“I object to appointment somebody that has no track record. Corporate power is a big one because of the Citizens United decision, and also Miranda. There are a lot of things where it would be helpful to be able to examine past writings.”

“If I was in the Senate, I would vote no, because like Harriet Miers she doesn’t have the judicial experience.”

“Accepting Kagan just because people like Obama is wrong. That’s appropriate for American Idol, not the Supreme Court. Nobody knows what she stands for but him. It’s just a cult of personality with Obama. This is the Supreme Court.”

There is something fundamentally wrong about this. Everyone is used to Obama constantly rejecting his base. They are like devoted mistresses who constantly tell themselves that their boyfriends will leave their wives–he is just making a compromise right now; it’s a secret game of eleven dimensional chest and during the election time he will come crawling back. But really, why do liberals have to compromise in the first place?

The selection of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be the nation’s 112th justice extends a quarter-century pattern in which Republican presidents generally install strong conservatives on the Supreme Court while Democratic presidents pick candidates who often disappoint their liberal base.

[…]

Along the way, conservatives have largely succeeded in framing the debate, putting liberals on the defensive. Sonia Sotomayor echoed conservatives in her Supreme Court confirmation hearings last year by rejecting the idea of a “living” Constitution that evolves, and even President Obama recently said the court had gone too far in the past. While conservatives have played a powerful role in influencing Republican nominations, liberals have not been as potent in Democratic selections.

Well, I don’t know. Maybe the blogger boyz just need a reality check. For one thing, Obama is just not that into them.

For another, the notion that Obama is a “Democratic President” is laughable anyway. Democratic Presidents don’t pass Heritage Foundation Health Insurance Reforms and then claim it as the biggest victory of their Presidency. Just sayin.’

The Democratic Party is obviously in trouble, and that is no secret. But they can’t be any worse than Republicans, right? NOTHING is worse than a Republican. I mean, Elena Kagan might not be perfect on social issues, but at least she’s more liberal that Laura Bush!

On her media tour for her memoir, Spoken from the Heart, Laura Bush stopped by Larry King Live, where she opened up for the first time about her advocacy for marriage equality, as well as her belief that Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision regarding a woman’s right to an abortion, should be upheld.