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    • Democratic Congress Members Want What Republicans Want
      So, here we have it: On Hugh Hewitt’s show, McConnell says it’s “highly unlikely” he’d allow Biden to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in 2024 if he’s majority leader. He also doesn’t commit to allowing a vote on a nominee if a seat opened up in *2023*. “Well, we’d have to wait and see what happens.” This is the new normal. Republicans get all of their Supreme C […]
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Koolaid Detox Open Thread

Here’s something I thought I’d never see on the rec list at the Cheeto:

Barack Obama, the base appears to have lost faith in you, by icebergslim

And for President Nelson’s statement and his willingness to vote for the GROUND BREAKING legislation, OFA is giving its members scripts and are calling Nebraskans to thank them for Ben Nelson’s vote. Isn’t that just amazing? Calling an obstructionist and thanking him? Have the White House taken its smart bills lately? Oh, let us not forget President Nelson’s kickback or what he gets for his state for his vote.

Anyway, all this makes you wonder how this bill got to this form. It is easy for me to state, lack of leadership from the man at the top, Barack Obama.

We watched all year, especially this summer, Mr. Obama’s aloofness, non-chalant, hands off approach to this bill. We watched Mr. Obama continue to give time extensions to the Baucus Bill. In reality, this is the bill he always wanted. Why? Because this bill caters to all the deals he has made before the bill was even crafted, especially to the pharmaceutical companies.

The ultimate mean and nasty bully who shilled for Obama day and night all through 2008 and well into 2009 has finally awakened to reality. Too late to make a difference, but still she is awake. She is also an insider, basically confirming what we have all thought and what myiq wrote about so eloquently earlier tonight.

And this from a conservative, Mickey Edwards, at the Atlantic: Obama and the Republicans

Edwards attemps to make the case that, while Obama really isn’t a conservative, his positions are much closer to traditional Republican philosophy than those of George W. Bush. I don’t totally buy his arguments, but this still shows that people are both sides of the political spectrum are beginning to see Obama for who he really is. He hasn’t even been President for a year yet, and he’s no longer really fooling anyone. His approval ratings are below 50%. Congress is about to pass a horrendous bill that is nothing more than a giveaway to insurance and pharmaceutical companies. To top it off, the bill contains an amendment that will effectively make abortion unavailable in many states.

Does the Democratic Party even have a future? Was destroying the Democratic Party part of the plan too?

This is an open thread.

UPDATE: Jane Hamsher proposes a political alliance between progressives and the tea partiers.

Left/Right Populist Outrage Will Defeat Senate Health Care Bill

There is an enormous, rising tide of populism that crosses party lines in objection to the Senate bill. We opposed the bank bailouts, the AIG bonuses, the lack of transparency about the Federal Reserve, “bailout” Ben Bernanke, and the way the Democrats have used their power to sell the country’s resources to secure their own personal advantage, just as the libertarians have. In fact, we’ve worked together with them to oppose these things. What we agree on: both parties are working against the interests of the public, the only difference is in the messaging.

The last two paragraphs of Hamsher’s piece are stunning.

Rahm Emanuel has convinced himself that Ron Brownstein is a “liberal” and dismisses all of this as “the progressive backlash against the progressive backlash.” He’s betting that any inadequacies will be forgotten come November 2010 if the Dems can claim a “w” by passing any crap bill and slapping “health care” on it. And that if Congress just spends the next year naming post offices, any objections that Americans might have to paying 8% of their incomes to private corporations who will use the IRS as their collection agency will just disappear.

It’s scary to think that people this obscenely stupid are running the country. All the while, the painfully obvious left/right transpartisan consensus that is coalescing against DC insiders of both parties appears to be taking everyone by surprise.

Jane is mad as hell. I hope she’s right.

The sh&t is really hitting the fan at the progblogs!

This has been building for a long time, and it seems like we’ve finally reached a tipping point. The prog blogs are in an uproar! Of course Glenn Greenwald has seen Obama for what he is for awhile now, but today he’s really letting it all hang out. Just watch this appearance on MSNBC (h/t Jane Hamsher at FDL):

From Greenwald’s latest post: White House as helpless victim on healthcare

From the start, assuaging the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries was a central preoccupation of the White House — hence the deal negotiated in strict secrecy with Pharma to ban bulk price negotiations and drug reimportation, a blatant violation of both Obama’s campaign positions on those issues and his promise to conduct all negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN). Indeed, Democrats led the way yesterday in killing drug re-importation, which they endlessly claimed to support back when they couldn’t pass it. The administration wants not only to prevent industry money from funding an anti-health-care-reform campaign, but also wants to ensure that the Democratic Party — rather than the GOP — will continue to be the prime recipient of industry largesse.

But where will they get the votes to stay in office?

Then Greenwald quotes Russ Feingold from The Hill:

“This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth,” said Feingold. “I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect.”

Ah…the Schadenfreude… We tried so hard to warn them…

Back to Greenwald:

Yet numerous Obama defenders — such as Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein and Steve Benen — have been insisting that there is just nothing the White House could have done and all of this shows that our political system is tragically “ungovernable.” After all, Congress is a separate branch of government, Obama doesn’t have a vote, and 60 votes are needed to do anything. How is it his fault if centrist Senators won’t support what he wants to do?

Is there something wrong with me? I’ve gotten to the point where I’m actually laughing about this ghastly mess. I know it’s tragic, but it has gotten so bad that it’s like a horror movie that is so bad, you can’t help laughing at the gore splattering all over the place.

Here is a sampling of the writings of other outraged and disillusioned former Obots.

Jane Hamsher: Robert Gibbs Says Howard Dean is Irrational for Opposing LieberCare (Yes, she has been awake for awhile now too, but why was she banning everyone who questioned Obama back when we could have done something about it?)

From the Big Cheeto:

Even McJoan is finally upset

The White House Lashes Out At Howard Dean

Get this–the commenters are talking about electing Howard Dean in 2012, “after all, if Nixon could make a comeback….”

Barack Obama, Inc., by Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks

At Open Left, Adam Bink The Dangers of Deal Making (Isn’t he the guy who virtually led the Obamabot attack at the Cheeto last year?)

At TPM: Poll: Loss Of Public Option Causes Big Increase In Opposition To Health Care Bill

Josh writes:

A NBC/WSJ poll is coming out tonight that shows a substantial spike in opposition to the Health Care bill. And the internals show the movement is mainly from liberals disappointed in the the decision to drop the Public Option.

How it must have hurt him to write those words!

And at Huffpo, the president and publisher of Harpers Magazine writes: More and More, Obama Seems a Faux Liberal

Ya think?

I knew this day would come, but I never expected it to come in Obama’s first year! Feel free to add your own Schaedenfreude links in the comments. {still can’t stop laughing}

The Obama Delusion and Health Care Reform

Obama Transition

The Obama Delusion: The belief that although President Obama is a liberal and has liberal values and goals, he cleverly pretends not to be a liberal in order to to fool Republicans into supporting his agenda.

{{Sigh…}} Where to begin? While perusing Memeorandum this morning, I noticed Booman’s post from yesterday about “11-dimensional chess.” Frankly, the less said about Booman’s post, the better. It’s just embarrassingly silly and illogical. Besides, Big Tent Democrat, who coined the term “11-dimensional chess,” has already handily disposed of Booman’s arguments, such as they are.

Booman’s post was prompted by one at the Cheeto in which the author, Maimonides, makes the claim that Obama, along with his trusty enforcer Rahm Emanuel, are actually using not 11-dimensional chess, but “Sun Tzu’s the strategy of “formlessness,” outlined in this quote:

“Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”

Here is what Maimonides thinks Obama and his capo are up to:

For several months now I’ve been pushing the idea that President Obama is engaged in the Sun Tsu strategy of “formlessness.” This strategy is not the much-derided “11-D Chess” that so many choose to dismiss. This is the very simple and time-tested strategy of not taking a position that is easily defined by your opponents, of not giving them anything to attack. By doing so, one forces one’s opponents to take positions, giving you the advantage of adaptability and information, which they now lack.

Maimonides also claims to have some vital inside information, but, sadly, he/she cannot reveal the sources of that information.

You may not see reports of what Rahm Emanuel says to your Congressperson. You may not hear rumors of it. But it is going on all the time; what did you think he spent his time doing, checking in on Dkos diaries? Rahm is putting pressure where he is told to, floating trial balloons as directed, keeping all options on the table, and most of all keeping Obama’s strategy of formlessness alive. Until he’s directed otherwise.

Which brings us to now. Rumor in DC* is that Rahm has gotten exactly what he wanted: a “Big mess,” as Rahm reportedly described it. Formlessness has payed off. There are virtually no Congressional players left whose opinions we do not know, and every option has been talked to death. And now the Administration, rather than having its policies debated to death, has the ability to sweep in and choose among the options presented.

*Here I open myself to claims that I’m using unsourced “insider knowledge”, which is true, I am. You can take it or leave it, but I would hope that you would be open to the possibility that those of us working in the trenches may hear things that you do not.

Okay? See, Maimonides has inside sources, because he/she “works in the trenches.” But we just have to take that and the “rumors” Maimonides has heard on faith–just like we have to take on faith that Obama wants health care for all at a reasonable price.

Here’s the thing. In a sense I agree with Maimonides that Rahm and Barack have gotten exactly what they wanted–a “big mess.” And for all I know, Obama and Emanuel may both have read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and may be using it as a guide for their political strategy. But whether the “mess” is the result of a deliberate strategy or just one big clusterf*ck is irrelevant to the President’s actual goals for health care “reform.” Continue reading

Summer Rerun: How to break the DailyKos addiction


This post was originally published on Feb. 19, 2008.

So, you say you want to leave. They’ve insulted and troll rated you for the last time and, by golly, you’ve had enough. You’ve given them the best blogging years of your life. You don’t have to put up with this crap. Do they think you don’t have choices?

The question actually is, do YOU think you have choices? The answer is yes. But you’ve got to get out from this addiction first. You know that DailyKos isn’t good for you but you’re afraid of the big bad blogosphere out there. DailyKos says, “You’re *no one* without me, baby.” You worry, can you be heard? Will your carefully crafted and beautifully written diaries find an audience or will you be cast off into the oblivion of the world wide ether, untethered from the safety of the Big Orange Satan?

Well, here I am, one month and nearly 16,000 hits later. I’ve made lots of friends and people drop by looking for the odd collaboration. It’s quite a lot of fun actually.

But you’ve got to get this monkey off your back first. The thing about this addiction is that the reason you are hooked is because of the interactivity. You can get instant feedback. It’s like a rat hooked to one of those feed bars that deliver a hit of cocaine every couple of minutes. And if that’s your cup of joe, by all means stay, even if they are abusing you. You will become a DailyKos whore, always looking for that next rec, but we will try to avert our eyes.

But if you reached that bottom and there’s no place to go but up, here is my advice for breaking the habit: Get yourself banned.

Now I know and you know that you are not a troll and you have no intention of insulting anyone but banning is the only way. I tried self-discipline, I tried a GBCW diary, I tried vacations. Nothing worked so well as being put on temporary exile. Trust me, this will work. And your friends will find you. In fact, you might want to include your new blogging place in your last diary as a forwarding address. Your account will probably still be there (mine still is so far) and you can still raid your old stuff if you need it. But you will be dead to them otherwise. And that’s OK.

So, how to do it: You don’t have to be inflammatory to be inflammatory. Simply post a diary that wouldn’t have caused a blink last year but will drive the Obamaphiles to extremes. For example, I recommend the following topic for a diary:

Are Obamaphiles using Scientology recruitment strategies?

Draw some correlation between the two (there’s *got* to be one) and then stand back and watch the amazing swarm descend upon you. It will be a sight to behold and in about 30 minutes, it will be over. Quicker than methadone.

Oh, sure, you’ll be tempted to go back and see your friends but without the ability to post or recommend, it gets to be pretty pointless after a few weeks. In the meantime, you’ll be free to explore the rest of the blogosphere, which seems to be populated by a lot of very fine bloggers in the Reality Based Community. And you’ll be happy to know that the DailyKos demographics will be getting pushed even more into the ultraviolet end of the spectra. What credibility it had when you were still there will be one Kossack short. Sort of like “one sandwich short of a picnic”, if you catch my drift.

So, if you want to leave, just do it. We’ll be here on the other side.

Update: Katiebird alluded to this in the comments, if they won’t delete your account maybe you can just ask them to suspend your priveleges. It amounts to the same thing as banning but it’s a lot less upsetting to the Obamaphiles.

Oh, what the heck, go out with a bang and really nail the bastards!

BTW: after you’re banned, just send Markos a quick thank you note for all the fun you had. I really *did* have fun, but it was time to move on. Anyway, you might like to go back someday if they ever regain their sanity and it really was a good site at one time.

Good Luck!

Update:  Here’s an interesting article that is relevent to the DailyKos addction.  It’s from The Human Nature Review and is called, Sex, Drugs and Cults: An evolutionary psychology perspective on why and how cult memes get a drug-like hold on people and what might be done to mitigate the effects.

I can’t vouch for the level of peer review in this journal but the author makes a lot of good points that bear striking similarty to the DailyKos Action-Attendion-Reward cycle.

Also, the book Snapping by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman has been recommended to us.  Both of these authors testified before Congress in the wake of the Jonestown massacre and won the Leo J. Ryan Prize named in honor of the Congressman who was killed at the time of the mass suicide in Guyana.

Interesting Note:  The assisant to Leo Ryan, Jackie Speier, was severely wounded by gunshot on the airstrip at the same time Ryan was fatally shot.  She was rescued the next day, recovered fully and continued her career in politics, recently winning a special election to take Tom Lantos’ House seat when he died of esophogeal cancer earlier this year.  You would think she knows a thing or two about dangerous cults.  First thing she did as a representative was deliver a stinging speech against the Iraq War.  She was also a strong Hillary Clinton supporter.  Go Jackie.

I come not to bury DailyKos, but to praise it…

Kinda not what you expected, eh?

Here’s the thing: I LOVE DailyKos, or what it used to be anyway. I totally believe in the whole concept of “Crashing the Gate”. The site was a godsend to many of us leading up to and after the 2004 election. That’s where we found each other and promised to watch each other’s backs. We commiserated. We schemed. We wrote brilliant commentary. Some of Hunter’s old posts are the most breathtaking pieces of cantankerous, pithy snark I’ve ever read. Georgia10 was just a baby studying for her bar exam when she came up with Fitzmas and the hillariously funny Fitzmas carols that followed. And there was Markos, cheering us on, telling us to ignore what the media threw at us because we were challenging them to become better journalists. We challenged the narratives they constructed against our candidates. We made David Brooks snipe at us in frustration. We gave readers options.

And DailyKos gave hundreds of thousands of us a voice.

Therefore, the powers that be determined, DailyKos must go.

It struck me sometime in 2006 that the media and the Republican Wurlitzer operatives were going to have to take DailyKos down and other nascent blogs out if there was any hope of controlling the narrative in 2008. There was too much “Netroots Nation”, hanging together instead of hanging separately, too much of the “alternative version of the story” about DailyKos. But how to do it without being obvious? Well, attacking the strength has worked so well before so go after it’s cherished independent voices. Make it more homgenous in the hopes of driving a wedge through the heart of it. And it’s like one big focus group. Find out what motivates its most passionate voices and bait them. Ahhh, and they claim to not be single issue voters but they sure don’t like anything to do with the war (well, who does?), so couple a new war resolution with that Benedict Arnold of the Democratic party, Joe Lieberman, and watch them flay themselves and the strongest candidate they have running in the fall election.

Finally, don’t forget group dynamics. The thing that drove everyone to DailyKos in the first place was the relief at finding a tribe to belong to. So, destroy tribal loyalty. Turn the tribe on itself with trollstorms and divisive rhetoric. Exile the most committed to the group in favor of those most committed to a personality. Humiliate and shun the people calling for reconciliation and who still have the nerve to support the a candidate not sanctioned by the tribe. Make it uncool. Make them “not one of us”.

It worked brilliantly. The perception managers took themselves out to dinner recently to celebrate the demise of DailyKos.

Friends, Democrats, Kossacks, they did this not because DailyKos was a failed experiment or a refuge of fanatics. No, they did this because DailyKos was a phenomenal success. Now, everyone has a blog and takes comments and invites contributors and the voices in the public forum have multiplied many, many fold because DailyKos showed us how it is done. Newpapers and cable TV and radio are struggling to find their audience while their audience, sensing something worng with the presentation of “facts” have sought the truth online, with first person accounts and international sources and a new generation of blog based pundits who reinterpret what’s really going on.

And we owe much of that to Markos and the thousands of dedicated online activists who got off their asses in 2006 to put more Democrats in office. We may not have gotten Bush/Cheney impeached, but it is no exaggeration to say that we saved the Republic. (And BTW, Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake deserves the credit for seeing the Achilles heel that was Joe Lieberman in the CT senate race.  When history is written, let the laurels go to Jane for almost single handedly changing the Iraq War narrative that swung the 2006 elections.)  We saved it from even greater excesses of the Bushies. We saved it from even more Constitutional violations. We alerted people to what was really going on by turning over voter after voter who were tuned into the actual zeitgeist. One persuaded voter and many persuadable friends, person by person, American to American who spoke loudly and clearly in November 2006 and said “Enough! I want my country back” Friends, that is powerful. That is awesome.

Yes, some of us lament that it wasn’t enough and nothing has been done and Congress has capitulated one too many times and all we have is a stalemate. Friends, if all we have is a stalemate, that is a victory. We have stopped the Bushies from doing their worst. We’ve prevented the Senate from going Nuclear. We’ve kept another Sam Alito off the Supreme Court. Does anyone think in their wildest dreams that if another Supreme Court justice retired right now that Bush would be able to appoint anyone before the November election? Nah gah happen. I dare him to try.

So, while it pains me to see DailyKos ripped apart by so-called friends internally, I am ever hopeful that Markos and the other brilliant frontpagers (except for KagroX) will rally and overcome their psychogenic fugue soon. They need to get a grip and examine the internal forces that are ripping DKos to shreds. They need to examine their consciences and discover where their animus towards one candidate is coming from. Really figure it out. They need to do it soon because time is running out and the division that began at DailyKos months ago is now spreading throughout the Democratic elecorate as the forces that seek to undermine us stir up old prejudices and only one candidate benefits from them, leaving millions and millions of women exiled from their own tribe. If that candidate is going to win, let him do so on the strength of who he is, not at the expense of what he is not.

Get it together, Kos. Don’t let the Villagers demoralize you. Go back to the beginning and bring us together again. Don’t make me write another one of these damn posts. Good luck.

An Unholy Alliance

Tom Watson writes a deliciously snarky piece about the meeting of the minds of Bill Kristol and DailyKos. {{shudder}}

I hate to see it come to this but I think he is on to something. That is not to say that everyone at DailyKos is being assimilated. There are still quite a few loyal Kossacks and lurkers who are valiantly holding out for the rest of the site to return to sanity.

Actually, Tom brings up a point I have been wondering about for some time now: What is it about Clinton that drives otherwise perfectly rational people absolutely crazy? (Kristol is excluded from this because he started out nuts) Why is it SO important to crush The House of Clinton?

In some respects, the last few months of anti-Clinton frenzy is reminiscent of the lead up to the Iraq War. Those who are virulently anti-Hillary act as though they’ve seen some secret intelligence document that spells out how dangerous and Un-American she is. But all I ever see are doctored satellite photographs of some trailers used for agricultural research.

PLEASE Mr. Kristol,. Frank Rich, Peggy Noonan, tell us what you know. If there is a deep dark awful secret about Hillary, like there’s medical proof that she’s really a paranoid evangelical with the IQ of a table lamp who has megalomania and messianic delusions of grandeur, it is your sacred duty for the sake of our great nation to tell us without delay so we don’t elect someone who’s going to lead us into a pointless, endless, expensive, destructive war or violate our civil liberties or torture people or ruin the economy or a city. I mean surely, SURELY these brave pundits would have told us if we were ever in danger of electing someone that nuts, a person capable of destroying the middle class. Surely they will warn us that we are making a big mistake by nominating a neophyte whom they will take great joy in levelling with the brutality of their poison pens.

I’m sure that Kos has his reasons for loathing Clinton. It probably has nothing to do with the fact that he doesn’t like her campaign people because, hey, who doesn’t loathe campaign people? David Axelrod makes my skin crawl and Joe Trippi makes me want to take a bath. If it were just a matter of Clinton people not trying out new campaign techniques, I’m sure Kos would have been happy to make suggestions to Hillary. No, it’s got to be something even worse than the House of Bush that has him thinking like Kristol that the worst thing in the world would be Hillary 44.

If only they would tell us I could stop being so skeptical. Maybe there’s something wrong with me. I just couldn’t swallow the Iraq War stories and I just can’t swallow this one either. Oh, woe is me, cursed to be always out of step with my peers.

And always right in retrospect.

“So when at times the mob is swayed…”

star.jpgSome of you might remember my sig line at DailyKos:

“Choose something like a star to stay your mind on, and be staid”

It’s from the poem by Robert Frost, Choose Something Like a Star. I might be completely wrong in my interpretation but I think the poem is about finding the essence of a thing and adhering to the principle based on that essence. Sometimes, it’s difficult to understand a thing that uses language that we do not understand or speaks no language at all. But the fundamental truth of something is always present and if we can find it, we hold it close to ourselves and cannot be torn from it by the tides of public opinion.

This is a difficult time, my fellow Kossacks. We see our community being torn apart. This is no coincidence. The best way to diminish our power is to divide us from within. But even though we are apart right now and at odds with each other, we must not forget the thing that brought us together in the first place: our love of our country and the institutions that made it great. In each of us, there burns an anger towards the ones who carelessly destroy it and a passion for making it right. The genuine Obamaphile is no different, even if some of the viciousness is spurred on by entities unlike us.

But we *will* be together again when the primary wars are over. We will have to work very hard to turn the tide in our favor. None of us should think this will be an easy fight no matter who wins the nomination. And we will have to all pull together.

So, while DailyKos suffers a crisis and the mob seems to be “swayed to carry praise or blame too far, we may choose something like a star to stay our minds on and be staid.”

This blog is just a resting place, an oasis for refreshment, renewal and regrouping. We *will* be together again before long. We will not let them divide us. “We will all hang together or we will surely hang separately”.

To BiPM and William f Harrison

Whatever is happening in the lefty blogosphere this year is NOT normal politics. It isn’t just rough and tumble primary season. In any normal year, a candidate with Obama’s lack of experience and fuzzy politics of hope wouldn’t stand a chance against a candidate like Clinton. There has been a deliberate concerted effort to drown out non-Obama voices on the net. It’s not an accident that some of our favorite bloggers have turned off their comments. The viciousness of the attacks is pretty breathtaking. I don’t blame William f Harrison for calling it quits on DKos. And I can similarly understand BiPM’s point of view. (Don’t worry, Bill, my contribution is on a monthly installment plan and I would gladly do it again to keep you posting full time. You are worth every penny) But I have to tell you Bill, that I *have* stopped lurking at DailyKos like I used to since I was booted. One of the reasons is because I’m *here* now and even though it’s tough to come up with new material everyday, I make myself do it anyway and it takes time. On the other hand, I don’t have to compete with a bunch of rabid Obamaphiles or the Republican operatives that pose as them. (Yes, I really think they are out there and anyone who thinks they wouldn’t try to manipulate the zeitgeist via the blogs is more of a fool than I am a conspiracy theorist. It’s one of the things *I* would do if I were Rove.)

I could never compete with the Great Orange Satan but that doesn’t mean that I have to STFU simply because the Obamaphiles have closed me down on DKos. William f Harrison also has places to go. We’re like water. We seek the path of least resistance. We’re out here. We’re not lurking like we used to and we’re putting our efforts into pulling the party together from the outside.

Keep doing what you’re doing BiPM and we’ll keep doing what we have to do. We’ll meet again in the fall whether in the netroots in general or on DailyKos. Because, gawd knows, the evil ones are already planning our funeral and we’re not dead yet.

Hunter’s lament falls on my deaf ears

Falling in love againI used to have a crush on Hunter. He has a gift for cantankerous snark. His latest diary, Lonely, Lonely Primary Season, is full of little gems like this:

This is all highly disappointing to me, because I have been — to use a popular term — Left Behind. Somehow, without ever being aware of the instant in which it happened, I find that everyone else on the planet has been lifted up to a higher plane of being, a place where the same politicians that have disappointed us time and time again are suddenly the Second Coming of True Leadership. The same politicians that have for the most part sat on their extraordinarily talented asses, when it comes to giving voice to defending the rule of law or planning for our own soldiers to come home, are now revealed as Perfection made human and come to Earth. How I long to be a part of that transformation! To not be left sitting in the empty streets of unforgivable neutrality!

Oh, Lord, let me find my true love, an earthbound angel worth my undying, obsessive, all-too-willingly gullible devotion! An individual without provable flaw, an individual so clearly more inspirational, more trustworthy, and more compassionate over all others that I can — nay, must — make them my own! A candidate I can have true passion over, can woo, can obsess over to my friends until they find me so insufferable that they stop inviting me places — a lover I can fantasize over, obsess over, can chronicle the every flittering act of, secretly building inside myself towards that fateful day when I eventually become jaded and bitter and resentful over those same quirks and foibles! A candidate whose marginal policy differences are worth the destruction of any friendship, and whose reparsed record can support any foolhardy action! That sort of love, the sort of love that makes the world go round and never, ever ends in sorrow of any kind!

It used to be music to my ears. Hunter is taking to task all of the beserkers who have raped and pillaged DailyKos in the past several months in pursuit of silencing all of the voices not praising their candidate. And let’s be clear about this, because the truth is rarely “fair and balanced”, the majority of the bad actors are supporters of Barack Obama. Oh, sure, there were a few Edwardians to join the fray and Clintonistas have been known to get a rowdy at times. But Clinton supporters on DailyKos are very underrepresented.

So, why does this diary of Hunter’s sound like so much adolescent angst to me these days? Well, I’m here because the system set up by the DailyKos admins allowed the rabble rousers to troll rate my considerable mojo into oblivion all because I compared Obama’s supporters to a bunch of movement Jihadis. There was no better word for them. They are on a mission to convert or put the non-conversos to the sword. I’m sure that many of the Obamaphiles didn’t even bother to read my diary before they hurled their missiles. I have been accused of being a racist in the most nasty terms imaginable. But in the process of rating me out of existence, they proved everything I wrote about them.

Now, I happen to think Obama would make a fine president, assuming he gets a crash course in presidentin’ after he’s elected. I am roughly Obama’s age and grew up in a time when, except for a brief period of time in South Carolina, I didn’t know what segregation was. I am like my children’s generation in that the fact that Obama is African-American is of no importance to me. i see an intelligent, accomplished man and I will gladly work my ass off for him if he is my candidate.

Neither is it of any importance to me that he might have spent time in a Muslim country. If he *were* Muslim, it would not be an issue to me. I could just as easily vote for a Muslim-American as an atheist or a Mormon or Jew or Druid. (I draw the line at fundamentalist evangelicals, or any fundamentalist sect actually). And the reason that religion does not phase me is because most candidates take their citizenship responsibilities very seriously and recognize that as Thomas Jefferson said: “… it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

But what has religion to do with this post? Nothing, except that this is the excuse that many Obama supporters used to drive me off DailyKos. Somehow, it is OK for them to hypocritically condemn me for using the word jihad to describe their behavior, perpetuating the idea Muslims are personas non grata while calling me racist in the next breath. Here in NJ, we have a rather diverse population and we are aware of Muslims at work, school, shopping and recreational activities but I will not start to separate them from their citizenship based on their hijabs.

But never mind. So, I am out and the friendly and congenial Clinton Cocktail Hour, which was created to help heal the wounds of this bitter and divisive primary season has been forced to close it’s doors and seek opportunities elsewhere.

And Hunter moans, “Woe is me” because he’s left to swim in a sea of irrational exuberance with the inmates who have taken over the asylum. He can’t make up his mind to support these perfect candidates, while the little band of Clinton supporters, who have all along acknowledged the imperfections of their choice, huddle together and try to ward off the increasingly hostile crazies.

What to say, Hunter? There is no candidate who is going to sweep you off your feet and whisper sweet nothings in your ear. The perfect is the enemy of the good here and frankly, your undisguised antipathy towards Clinton never made a whole lot of sense to me. If you know something about them that hasn’t been investigated yet that would really turn us off of our food, by all means, tell us. In the past year, I went through all of the reasoning steps that you are apparently still wrestling with, came to a decision, based on the serious nature of the times we are living in and the mess that is going to be left behind, and picked my candidate. Personally, I don’t care which of the three you pick, but for gawd’s sakes, grow up already.

In the meantime, *I’m* the one in this lonely outpost. I roughly have the same status on DailyKos as Rush Limbaugh. But the people who continue to write the most trite drivel for Obama and the most vicious invective against Clinton are free to come and go as they please there. I won’t say I don’t miss the place but right now, it’s a disaster area. This was a result of partisan passivity towards some of your own tribe. It won’t clean itself without help. And until you and Kos and the other admins welcome us back or at least punish the worst offenders among those who are left, DailyKos may continue to become marginalized and out of step with the rest of the country, gradually losing any influence it once hoped to wield.

If you think it’s lonely now, you ain’t seen nothing yet.