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      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 1, 2021 by Tony Wikrent Strategic Political Economy U.S. Population Growth, an Economic Driver, Grinds to a Halt [Wall Street Journal, via Naked Capitalism 7-26-2021] America’s weak population growth, already held back by a decadelong fertility slump, is dropping closer to zero because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In h […]
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Jane’s amazing powers of prophecy

I was directed to Jane Hamsher’s comment thread by Wonk the Vote who spotted this clairvoyant Monday morning quarterbacking from Jane Hamsher:
In response to okanogen @ 107

The idea that Hillary would’ve done anything different about health care or anything else is pretty phantasmagorical I believe, but since we don’t know for sure people are free to make their own assumptions.

It was assumed that Rahm would be key in the administration regardless of who won, and the “strike a deal with PhRMA” logic was generated by veterans of the Clinton White House in response to their 1994 health care experience. It’s at the heart of Bill Clinton’s “let’s find a few things we can agree on and pass that, and not worry about this divisive stuff” exhortations in the past few months.

“Shanking off the hangover of the primary” cuts both ways, and I don’t think one side is going to find that any easier than the other.

Ok, let me see if I can pick out the flaw in this comment for Jane.  We will never know for sure what Hillary would or wouldn’t have done because she was never given the chance to demonstrate this to us.  However, using the evidence we had on hand at the time, *Obama’s* behavior was entirely predictable.  In fact, we predicted it.  Over and over again before the election.  Yesterday, Stateofdisbelief suggested that we collect our predictions for an Epiphany Day post, so look for it on or around January 6 where we will present the collected predictions from the 2008 primary and immediate aftermath of the election where we laid it all out about just what kind of president Obama was going to be.
But Jane’s problem goes deeper than just a lack of prophetic power.  She really doesn’t get why people are still mad about the primaries.  Take this comment, for example:
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 5

I had a woman call up and scream at me when I was on CSPAN the other day for all the horrible things Markos and I had done to Hillary Clinton during the primaries, telling me that I had destroyed the Democratic party.

And I’m like, seriously? I know some people you should meet, you guys would have an interesting fight.

Jane, I will tell you why this woman and some of the rest of us are so angry.  It’s because YOU and Markos and Booman and your naive friends who thought you knew what would happen if Hillary was elected decided not to protest all of the slimy machinations of the DNC during primary season.  You heard Donna Brazile divide us into the New Coalition and the Old Coalition and didn’t call her on it.  You listened to the misogyny but didn’t do enough to stop it.  You accepted the results of some pretty rigged committee hearings and some of you cheered for the winning side.  You watched as delegates from Clinton states were forced to vote for a candidate they didn’t represent and you looked the other way.

That last thing just floors me about you, Jane. You went along with the idea that a woman who was a mere 17 delegates behind her opponent, and 17 seriously questionable delegates at that, wasn’t entitled to a genuine roll call and floor vote at the convention. The old Jane Hamsher would have never tolerated such a violation of fair reflection. But the new Obama supporting Jane Hamsher was perfectly OK with it.

And you did this because Obama was your guy.  You wanted him.  And because you wanted him so badly without really listening closely at what he was dogwhistling to the other side, you substituted YOUR judgement for OURS. You supported Obama because you felt you knew what was best for the rest of us.  We waited eight long years to get rid of George Bush and desperately wanted someone we felt was competent to run the country and you and your friends joined in the effort to nullify our votes.  Now, as a result of the decision that you made for the rest of us, we are stuck with Obama.  We got bankers holding on to our money, a health care reform bill that locks us into the insurance industry’s monopoly power, endless war, skyrocketing unemployment and people losing their houses with minimal government interference.  Instead of Clinton III, we got Bush III.  Tell me, Jane, which one would have been worse?

People like me are pretty steamed at you and your buddies.  You took away our choice.  We didn’t get a fair primary season.  We didn’t even get a floor fight.  There was no unity, Jane.  It was all an illusion.  Your guy was forced on many, many Democratic voters because YOU decided that Obama was best for us.  And many people swallowed that because they were convinced that Republicans were worse.  So they voted for a Democrat and they got a Republican anyway.

Jane, how many times do we have to tell you that it wasn’t about Hillary after May 31, 2008?  It was about choice.  Remember Choice, Jane?  The right to self-determination?  The ability to choose your own destiny?  If someone else took that choice away from you, you’d be on their doorstep with a bullhorn and wouldn’t let up.  But because it was YOUR guy who won, it was OK?  What about the choice of the rest of us, Jane? What about CA, NJ, NY, MA, OH, PA, TX, IN, NH, WV, TN, FL, MI and so on and so on? Those big, Democratic states did not vote for Barack Obama in the primaries, Jane. They deserved to cast their votes for the candidate they *did* vote for. I was one of those voters, Jane and I am not letting the Democratic party off the hook for its outrageous behavior towards me and the others. With a primary this close and disputed, the nullification of my vote was unforgivable.

That is why the primary of 2008 isn’t going to go away and why you are going to continue to get angry callers who blame you and your friends for the state of the country under Obama.  You took our choice away.  Your incredibly high handed and self-righteous decision to support Obama and shut down the rest of the party for the supposed good of that party has lead us to this point.

Your predictions about Hillary are irrelevant.

Addendum: This is how a true blue Democrat handles the issue of Choice, Jane.

It’s worth watching the whole thing because Chris Smith really lays out the anti-reproductive services/anti-abortion argument in all its glory and she still makes mincemeat of him without even raising her voice.

Where was Barack Obama when Bart Stupak proposed his amendment? Why wasn’t he all up in Ben Nelson’s face fighting for those young Obot women who voted for him out of fear that Sarah Palin was going to take away their right to abortion? Barack Obama is no Hillary Clinton who can stare down the most obnoxious Congressional anti-abortion foes around. He doesn’t hold a candle to her and her convictions.

Don’t you feel stupid now, Jane? So much for Jane Hamsher, Issues Maven.

Sunday: Guns and Roses

A couple of days ago, Joseph Cannon responded to this “make nice” sentiment from someone at Democratic Underground who wanted to put the bloody primary battle behind him:

Sure the Primaries were brutal around here and I’m told I was lucky to have joined after the 2004 election. I know I’m still nursing bruises from this one.

Maybe it’s the “hippie at heart” in me but, peace, guys and gals. Can we put the flowers in the barrels of our rifles for awhile and agree to disagree on how our new President is doing without becoming generic internet assholes to each other?

Joseph Cannon wants an apology.  With all due respect to Joe, an apology is pretty pointless if the offenders don’t know what to be sorry about.

So, to any of you DU lurkers who are out there, let me tell you what the problem is.  The primary *IS* the problem.  It isn’t merely that our gal lost, though from what we can tell, she really didn’t. No, the problem is you didn’t see what really happened.  Now, that the glamour has rubbed off of Obama and he is revealed to be just another human being and shmoozer extraordinaire, you are upset that he isn’t listening to you and responding to your perfectly acceptable demands for ending the war and holding the finance industry accountable.  Now, you are looking around for allies hoping that we can all get along to *do* something and hold Congress and Obama accountable.

But the end of the primary was conducted in such a way as to make your input unnecessary, even irrelevant.  This is what you agreed to when you did not stand up at the RBC hearing and demand fairness.  Your cheering of Obama or even silence in the matter gave the party permission to ignore you in the future.  THEY knew that Hillary was the true winner and that Obama ran a lousy campaign.  That’s why they gave him 59 unpledged delegates from Michigan plus 4 of his opponents.  They did it so he could beat her.  He couldn’t have done it otherwise.  He didn’t have sufficient votes and FL and MI were going to have to count no matter how you do the math.  So, they rigged the vote.

Now, you may say that we keep coming back to this like we are bitter deadenders and why don’t we get over it.  To be honest, it wasn’t about Hillary after May 31.  Oh, we still wanted her and we hadn’t finished exhausting our options.  We had an obligation to see it through to the very end so we could give everyone time to come to their senses and realize what they were about to do.  And we were faithful to her and ourselves as long as we could be.

But the question is not why we don’t get over it but why you guys still haven’t got a clue.  The party, for whatever reason, wanted Obama in the worst way.  The big money was lavishing him with scads and scads of cold hard cash.  The party wanted to win at all costs.  So, they chose the candidate and created “UNITY” by throwing out all of the votes that did not conform to that choice.  All Hillary voters were gone; all other voters were unified.  It was so easy to do because they flattered you and played on your emotional weaknesses.  Once you let them get away with rigging things, there was no further reason for them to pay attention to you.  You missed your accountability moment.  You, the voter, are now superfluous.  They can rig things anyway they like now, take as much lobbying money they want, break as many promises as they like and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.  You showed them that they would not be held accountable for cheating.

As far as I can tell, the roses in the guns aren’t going to help us.  We who were scorned, called racists and Republicans and generally treated like stupid old trailer trash have been vindicated.  He is everything we said he was.  We stayed true to ourselves and our values.  You guys have to examine your conscience and figure out if the Obamagasm frenzy was worth it.  The party is now divided against itself.  How conveeeeenient.  Going forward, the elements of the left will try to come together in fits and starts but it will be a cold, hard slog.  Some of us will never trust each other again.  Others will only remain viable if they take money from Obama’s extended financial network and they’ll never raise their voices when they need to.  The only way to reconstitute the left that remains scorched and burning after Obama’s triumphant march through it, is for those of you who zealously supported him to go back to that day in May and realize what that momentous day portended.

No apologies needed.

Here’s a little something to help you remember.  This is Harold Ickes, advisor to Hillary Clinton.  He is the son of Harold Ickes Sr., one of the engineers of FDR’s New Deal.  Let that sink in for a moment while you contemplate the current financial crisis.  May 31, 2008 was chock full of symbolism. Women vs African Americans, rich vs. poor, The New Deal vs everyone for themselves, Michigan, auto workers, unions, fair reflection.  It’s all there.  Forget Hillary for a moment and feel the shame.


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Saturday: While We Wait…

The New York Times is still reporting that Hillary is going to take the job of SOS although there is no official word from her office. Unlike Tweety Matthews, I’m not reading anything nefarious in the tea leaves regarding the delay of this announcement. Powerful people can set their own terms to some extent and she is probably working out the details that balance what is right for her with what is right for the country. It is as appropriate for Hillary to do this as it would be for any man. You don’t accept a job offer if you’re not going to advance your career and the best time to get what you want is at the beginning. She’s not being stubborn, capricious or exercising her feminine prerogative. She is acting on her best behalf, but with considerably more credibility on foreign policy than Tom Daschle who has suddenly discovered his passion for healthcare reform after decades of work on intelligence matters.

So we wait.

In the meantime, here are some other items that might sthwike your fancy:

  • John West of 300 Delegates wrote a moving piece about what he witnessed in Denver as he was trying to accumulate those delegate signatures.  In Fair Reflection’s Absence, John writes:

    NOT ONE PERSON who voted for Hillary during the primaries/caucuses in American Samoa, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont and Delaware had their vote reflected in the roll call tally by the delegates they elected for this sole purpose. The pledged delegates for Hillary in these states unanimously changed their votes from Hillary to Obama believing they did the voters right by supporting unity and following Hillary’s lead. Was this a fair reflection of the sentiments of the voters when they cast their ballots for Hillary during their primary/caucus?

    To this day, I can’t think back to that moment in Denver without intense anger when my governor took MY vote and the votes of millions of New Jerseyans who voted overwhelmingly for Clinton and gave them *unanimously* to Obama.  If he thinks my white hot anger over that is going to fade over time, he’s sorely mistaken.  Obama and his droogs thought of only one thing during the primaries: winning the nomination away from Hillary.  Obama is not about changing anything.  He is about maintaining the status quo for the Villagers.  That is what Jon Corzine rewarded with our votes.  Honestly, I have never seen a governor behave so disrespectfully towards his voters in the years I have lived here.  Even Christie Todd Whitman was better than this.  But Corzine is a Goldman Sachs guy so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised as to where is interests were, ie, not with his state’s residents.  Well, I intend to bring this arrogant smack to our face up every time Obama screws our state over in the next 4 years.  And for us, that’s going to start happening pretty soon because many of us work for the financial industry that is shedding jobs like crazy these days.  When the townships start hurting for money that is funded almost exclusively by property taxes on those houses of unemployed MBAs, I’m going to be right there, reminding our Governor that he handed our votes to a guy who took off for Berlin during the summer instead of planninn to do something about the financial market that showed signs of an imminent collapse.  If you want to blame the severity of the upcoming recession on someone, look no further than Jon Corzine.

  • Heidi Li recently attended an event at Baruch College in October called Politics, Pundits and Polls: Election 2008.  I haven’t viewed this video of the event yet but it should be interesting.  Check it out.
  • The New Work Times writes about how difficult it is for consumers to analyze costs versus benefits in this new economic landscape in Failing Home Economics.  The lady with the cauliflower dilemma has her own blog called EconoWhiner with helpful hints, plus tea and sympathy, for surviving the recession.