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.
 That would be the headline, you know.

 If -- hopefully, when -- the Administration and Capitol Hill Democrats spend as much time, effort, energy and attention looking to see how they can work for the agenda ratified by a landslide vote in November 2008 as they do looking over their shoulders fretting about what Cantor cackles, McConnell mumbles or Fox fabricates.

 Obama's actually not doing too poorly in the polls and Hill Democrats seem to remain marginally ahead of Republicans in most generic polling.  But this is not due to any of their collective pandering to the GOP and its core, i.e., the T'Partiers.  It's not for throwing a more ambitious Stimulous Package, the Public Option and a comprehensive Energy Bill (to name but a few) under the proverbial bus.  No, what popularity the Administration and Democrats enjoy are based on those times when they've stood up to the GOP, coupled with general Republican loathsomeness.
.

     
      Democratic National Convention, August 2008. Remember these days?

.
  So what would happen if, over the next few months, whenever the Administration or Senate or House Democrats (in fairness, most House Dems and a precious few Senate Dems have stood up for Americans and consistently pushed-back against GOP chicanery, lies and bad faith) felt the itch to appease and accommodate the very people who seem to work 24/7 to tear them down, they resisted that temptation and told the GOP to bugger-off?

  I'll tell you what would happen:

    1.  The Democratic Base would treat 'em like rock stars and flood the polling places come November (as least compared to the generally anemic turnout predicted).

    2.  Independents would be impressed.  For the 309,225,107,985,330,548th time:  they admire Spine.

    3.  Republicans, T'Partyniks and Fox's cast of clowns would say mean things about them.
.

     
.

  Again, and without a doubt, the nutters and racists and birthers and Foxanoids, et mal would still yell and scream and froth away.  But Progressives and Democrats who've become despondent or disgusted with the weenyness (real or perceived) of this Administration (except when it comes to attacking the agenda of "fucking retarded" liberals -- not my words, the words of President Obama's right-hand man about those who worked so hard to get Obama into office) will be quite happy to rally back round the President.

  It's quite simple actually.  Whether or not the brain trust in the White House and in the Senate's and House's respective Democratic Cloak Rooms  will "get" it, or ever will, remains to be seen.
.
   

.
   
.

 Note:  all pics mine.  I would love to see this kind of excitement again.  but it doesn't come spontaneously:  people have to have a reason to be, to feel, energized.
.

Originally posted to BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:22 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (268+ / 0-)
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    "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

    by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:22:35 AM PDT

    •  It is curious that the so called real Progressive (65+ / 0-)

      doesn't understand that if Dennis Kucinich and other so called "real progressives" were in power we would never get anything done. Because his mantra of no compromise coupled with the Republican mantra of obstructionism would leave this country in a state of utter useless stagnation. Actually, if you think about it, a none compromising "real Progressive" would never have been elected, because they haven't a clue on how to build coalitions.

      •  If Obama and the Dems in Congress... (9+ / 0-)

        stood their ground on this... your diary just might come true!

        House pressured to pass stripped-down war measure

        WASHINGTON – After a take-it-or-leave-it vote by the Senate, House Democrats face little choice but to drop more than $20 billion in domestic spending from a must-pass bill funding President Barack Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan.

        The Senate rejected the House measure, passed earlier this month, by a 46-51 vote that fell short of a majority, much less the 60 votes required to defeat a filibuster.

        Instead, the Senate Thursday stripped out the $20 billion in House add-ons and returned to the House an almost $60 billion measure passed by a bipartisan vote in May. The Senate measure is limited chiefly at war funding, foreign aid, medical care for Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange, and replenishing almost empty disaster aid accounts.

        Eleven Senate Democrats and Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut voted against the House version of the bill. Not a single Republican supported it.

        The moves repel a long-shot bid by House Democrats earlier this month to resurrect their faltering jobs agenda with $10 billion in grants to school districts to avoid teacher layoffs, $5 billion for Pell Grants to low-income college students, $1 billion for a summer jobs program and $700 million to improve security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

        The House bill fell to a 46-51 tally that was short of a simple majority, much less the 60 votes required to defeat a filibuster. The Senate is instead insisting on its almost $60 billion version of the measure, passed on a bipartisan vote in May.

        more...

        http://news.yahoo.com/...

        •  Focusing on this now is (15+ / 0-)

          not the best way to guarantee and long term progressive movement.

          We have to set priorities to keep the house and keep the Senate in the hands of Democrats.

          Otherwise the chances for your precious progressive agenda will be dead, when we hand the House gavel to John Boehner.

          •  Don't kid yourself... it all about jobs! (26+ / 0-)

            We have to set priorities to keep the house and keep the Senate in the hands of Democrats.

            If the dems keep putting up jobs bills and the repubs keep voting them down it will be a millstone around their neck in the midterm elections.

            They have voted against unemployment benefits.

            They have voted against financial reforms.

            and if the dems stand their ground on jobs bills and keep submitting them... regardless of whether they pass or not... the dems will be cast on the role of trying to help people.

            •  Yes Yes and Yes (16+ / 0-)

              All this stupid fucking infighting is a waste of time and energy.

              We have legislation that is critical to support. And I do mean critical.

              Most states have already added the federal aid (that has not passed due to GOP obstruction) to their budgets.

              Without this aid that will go for medicare, cops, firefighters, and teachers, Republicans on social security who sit on their asses and watch Fox News will get care.

              The GOP will then scream that Obamacare is failing.

              Cutting the stimulus to aid medicare that was just blocked is the first salvo in the GOP's blaming of Obama care for destroying AMerica.

              We can not let these lies stand.

              We must get federal aid to the states.

            •  Agreed,,, I disagree with the diary in one (4+ / 0-)

              respect.  I think indies do apprecaite spine, but most indies are casual generally disinterested voters.  The vote based on the "the way things are".  So pushing a progressive agenda more forcefully will definitely energize "the base" which should help in mid-terms, but, I don’t think it brings indies around.  A better economy will bring indies around.  I would rather that Democrats fight publicly for a good climate/energy bill rather than having a meek man from Nevada hold a press conference and say we give up before there was a fight.  But, that fight would only serve to energize us, I don’t think it brings around independents.   Independants are the ones when polled about energy policy Q1) do you support renewable energy policies A1) Yes.  Q2) Do you support renewable energy policies if it means minor changes in life style and higher cost of gasoline A2) No.  So energize the base but don’t think that will also bring independents along.  

              •  we do have one secret weapon. (7+ / 0-)

                Some call it the GOP.

                I call them ignorant, greedy, self-serving, war-supporting, responsibility shirking, pseudo-christian assholes.

                whatever the White House does is important, especially foregoing the bad political advice of Messina, Rahm, and other gop apologists and bootlickers. But our most powerful weapon remains the GOP itself, take Sharron whatsmy Angle. Ayn Rand Paul. John of Orange.

                What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                by agnostic on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:43:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Whoever is on the offensive almost always wins... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Flint, condorcet, elwior

                  The first rule for Democratic success this November is the immutable iron law of politics: if you're on the defense you're losing. Who ever is on the offensive almost always wins elections.

                  TAX THE RICH! They have money! I'm a Democrat. That's why!

                  by ezdidit on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:59:06 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Jan Schakowsky just reintroduced... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dallasdoc, vigilant meerkat, ezdidit

                    The Public Option in the House.

                    Does it have a chance of winning in the House... hell yes because they already did pass it.

                    Will it pass in the Senate... not a snowballs chance in hell.

                    So why do it?

                    On MSNBC she said:

                    1. Two can play the deficit reduction game.

                    She said that she is on the President's deficit reduction board and the CBO says that it will reduce the deficit by 68 Billion dollars. So two can indeed play that game.

                    2. The Insurance Industry has proven that they can't be trusted!

                    She pointed out that the insurance industry has proven it can't be trusted by jacking up everyone's premium rates so outrageously.

                    Right now the insurance industry has buried itself with mainstream America because of those rate hikes.

                    3. It reminds people of the real difference between the two parties... especially the base.

                    Its no secret that the PO was immensely popular with the American people. Polls showed 67% to 70% approval ratings for it.

                    The House is the most vulnerable to take over by the GOP simply because of the number of seats in play.

                    This is a clear reminder... "the dems are on your side and it also will reduce the deficit!"

              •  Indies care about jobs, so does everyone else (8+ / 0-)

                Any incumbent party is going to be staring down a gun barrel w/ U3/U6 figures like the ones we've seen this year and like the ones we'll keep seeing through election day.  I'm not usually one to quote Carville, but "It's the economy, stupid" works for me here.

                The Stim was too small, and there hasn't been a followup.  Even worse, we were, IIRC, told that U3 would never exceed 8% w/ the Stim.  Add in the unpopularity of the bank bailout...

                Everything else pales by comparison.

                Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

                by RFK Lives on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:15:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for mentioning climate Bill.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Abra Crabcakeya

                I'm just sick over this. We don't have the votes so we give up, end of story. I'm so disappointed,words cannot even express. How do you not pass climate bill in the midst of the worst environmental disaster in history? I don't know who else I can blame for this but the Democrats.

                Spill Baby Spill~Stop Offshore Drilling!

                by Wild Starchild on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 10:28:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  but the weapons of mass distraction (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              expatjourno, Abra Crabcakeya

              are cutting into our ability to make things happen in terms of creating jobs

              I'm again looking for that signature line that says it all. Any ideas?

              by alpolitics on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:52:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And these blatant (9+ / 0-)

              examples of obstruction must be hammered mercilessly home to the public in our political advertising this fall. Over and over and over again, until anyone with a television that's not locked on Fox can recite the list verbatim at any time they happen to be talking to someone about voting.

              Nobody in their right mind would vote Republican in the fall, and outside the FoxBots and Teabaggers, I doubt anybody will. The problem is going to be with discouraged Dems, we absolutely must demonstrate that there are more sane people than insane ones in this country. November will give us the answer.

              Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

              by Joieau on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:02:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That is the absolute truth... (5+ / 0-)

                Over and over and over again, until anyone with a television that's not locked on Fox can recite the list verbatim at any time they happen to be talking to someone about voting.

                At this point it is all about message control and media manipulation. By manipulation I mean that they have not been giving the President and the Dems in congress due note on all of these efforts, nor have they been giving Obama credit for loans to industry that will create jobs (an example the 465 million dollar loan to Tesla motors to expand its manufacturing... the first new American car company in decades).

                The Bushies were tremendously effective at media manipulation by selecting spokespersons from Congress, select governors, and pundits... giving them their talking points and booking them on the talk show circuit.

                You couldn't turn on a single channel without hearing the same message over and over again until you were about to puke, but it was effective and got their "narrative" out to the public.

                We need a coordinated effort of similar proportion to turn the midterms into a rout of Republicans.

                President Obama is on message now and we need others to pick up the mantra... "Dems stand for helping people and the rethugs stand for helping the corporations... You choose America"

              •  I'll flat out predict that the Dems (3+ / 0-)

                will retain control of both the House and Senate in November.

                The farther the Republicans sink into racism and anti-government hysteria, the better the Dems' chances are.

                They will get another shot at governing according to the Democratic Party platform, if they realize that the filibuster can't be allowed to undermine everything.

                When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                by PhilJD on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 10:02:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  well, yes about jobs BUT (0+ / 0-)

              if the jobs aren't happening, the voters are going to want to put in changes. The unemployed MIGHT remember that the Repubs shot 'em down - but on the other hand, they may not.

              I want to see real jobs, for real people...& fast.

              •  That is why we have to help them remember... (3+ / 0-)

                The unemployed MIGHT remember that the Repubs shot 'em down - but on the other hand, they may not.

                The unemployed will remember the unemployment checks... America votes its wallet.

                We need good message control to remind them that jobs stimulus bills are being obstructed by the GOP!

                Obama knows this is his FDR/Truman moment and he has even invoked Truman in a speech last week.

                Everything is in "framing the narrative"... as an example the Bush Tax cuts. They need to be reminded that Bush's tax cuts only produced 3 million jobs in 8 years.

                They need to be reminded of the facts and the focus needs to change to what the Rethugs are offering and they have launched their... "Miss Bush Yet" campaign and the answer is NO!

            •  Obama Declares War on Unemployment (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ezdidit, elwior

              That should be the headline and talking point every hour of every day.  

              Requests Emergency War Funds from Congress for War on Unemployment.

              Either you're with us or against us.

              It's easy to be a destroyer.

              by poliwrangler on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:41:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  NO NO NO! ! ! ! ! Please, no. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Khun David, Imhotepsings

                No more "war on drugs," "war on illiteracy," "war on energy."

                No More Wars. No More Tsars. Czars. Whatever.

                frame it differently, call it something else, but anything else would be better than "War."

                What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                by agnostic on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:45:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  People don't care about job bills (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3goldens

              They care about actual jobs, they care about corporations investing and creating jobs.

              You keep putting up job bills but the unemployment rate remains stagnant and the votes FOR those bills will become the millstone around the neck.

            •  You're right, but it's too late. (0+ / 0-)

              Obama has handed the government back to the right wing. If they take the House in Novemnber, they'll impeach him. Even if they don't, they are guaranteed to pick up enough senate seats to make it impossible to stop their filibusters.

              The Obama administration is over. RIP.

          •  Republican appeasement is not the path to (19+ / 0-)

            long term progressive movement, it's a path to long-term right-ward leaning agendas.

            Hell, the public would be much happier if the took on the issues against the vested interests for the people and the planet AND failed than they would be with this muddied, inscrutable approach that always aims at 1/8th measures and settles for 1/64ths, often seeming as half-hearted attempt and sometimes as a veiled effort to pretend to fight for the public while handing more moneybags to the wealthy.

            When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

            by Words In Action on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:01:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is not appeasement (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GN1927, elwior, cheforacle, Imhotepsings

              This has nothing to do with Republicans.

              This has to do with passing a stimulus aid package to the states that has been blocked by the GOP, that will HURT ALL AMERICANS.

              STate budgets shortfalls will kill teachers, firefighters, and cops.

              Plus all the old folks that sit home on SS and watch Fox News all day will lose their long term care, their home health care that keeps them out of nursing homes. Fox is already blaming this on OBAMA care.

              This has absolutely nothing to do with appeasement, it has to do with Americans and what their future will look like.

              Pick a fight and win. We need stimulus to the states to pass this year.

              •  Agreed, pick a fight AND WIN. (5+ / 0-)

                Instead, we keep watching "Democrats" in the Senate permit Republicans to win.  Because apparently the Tradition Of The Filibuster is more important to some Democratic Senators than anything.

                Pelosi's House and Obama are doing great work, mind you.

                -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:56:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nothing that can be done about that until a new (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  3goldens, Imhotepsings

                  session starts. Rules get set at the beginning of a session, and unless there is a super-majority to change them, they're set until the next congress. And don't kid yourself: the threat of the filibuster is what kept the Bush administration to the minimum standards of decency that it adhered to for eight years. So yes, I agree that because of the way Republicans have chosen to play this, it will probably be necessary to tinker with the filbuster--perhaps preventing its use except under special circumstances--but it can be dangerous to eliminate it completely, because Republicans will assuredly vote in lock-step on any legislation they wish, if they take majority control.

                  •  Uh, no. (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Flint, elwior, Calamity Jean, PhilJD

                    (1) The Bush administration did not keep to minimum standards of decency for 8 years.  They instead violated the law routinely and tortured and kidnapped innocent people.
                    (2) The threat of the filibuster meant nothing to them.
                    (3) They got every damn thing they cared about until Democrats retook the majority.  Every damn thing.  Crooked Supreme Court Justices and all.

                    Minority rule in the legislature (prop 13's '2/3 rule') is killing California, and minority rule in the Senate is killing the US too.

                    The filibuster was invented by accident when the 'previous question' motion was removed because it was "never needed" because everyone in the Senate was so nice.  The filibuster is named after an old word for "piracy".  The most effective uses of the filibuster were for stopping anti-lynching legislation and preventing Civil Rights legislation from passing.  Need I go on?

                    Supermajority rules are bad because they create gridlock, and our system has enough points of gridlock (veto power, bicameral legislature).  

                    The fact is, if Republicans can honestly win 2/3 of both houses of Congress, or majorities in both Houses and the Presidency, then they deserve the right to drive this country into the ditch.  I don't think they can do it.  Heck, Bush didn't even win the Presidency honestly the first time.

                    -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                    by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:58:24 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I absolutely guarantee you... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    3goldens

                    that if the GOP ever does regain control of the Senate, their first order of business will be to eliminate or at least weaken the filibuster. No way will they allow the Dems to stymie their every initiative.

                    The old rules, the whole "comity of the Senate" bullshit, are toast. The Dems will retain control of the Senate in November. If they're serious about governing, they have absolutely no choice but to change the rules themselves at the start of the session, while there still is time to, maybe, get the country back on track.

                    The filibuster, as it's now abused, has made meaningful legislation close to impossible.

                    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                    by PhilJD on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:51:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, actually, it is. It's appeasement. -nt- (4+ / 0-)

                "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

                by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:42:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you have 58 votes to get a (0+ / 0-)

                  $1 trillion dollar stimulus and the only way you can get 60 votes (the necessary amt) is to pass a $780 billion stimulus it is not appeasement, it is a compromise in order to make some progress.  I doubt the teachers, cops and firemen who kept their jobs after the stimulus consider it appeasement.

              •  You talk in circles. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Calamity Jean

                You say it has nothing to do with republicans, yet you also say it has to do with passing legislation.

                We're entering the heart of the mid-term elections. This is the time to show the American people how the republicans are impeding a stimulus plan for the states.

                It has everything to do with the republicans if you can show people how harmful they're acting and get some of them voted out of the Senate while maintaining a majority in the house.

                This is a time to demonstrate to people that the Democrats need a larger majority to help the country out of its economic malaise. To demonstrate how the republicans are hampering them.

                The Democrats need a message like: "Give us the Senate, and we'll give you a strong economy."

                This is like one of those decisive times in a war when you must press the battle and go for the annihilation of the enemy, rather then take overly cautious steps allowing them time to regroup.

            •  Bipartisanship was a big part of Obama's platform (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              missliberties

              A big part of his appeal. Not to progressives, not to Kossacks, but to the electorate at large.

            •  WIA - absolutely agree. The Republican/corpor (0+ / 0-)
              - atist Daddy Warbuckslying , thieving scumbag from hell worldview does not play by rules , does not have any ethical grounding , does not have compunctions against geabbing , stealing ,seizing , killing. You really cannot defeat them by coloring only between the lines.They are everywhere , spreading grease on brakes and sand in engine oil.

          •  To keep the Senate, we must end the filibuster. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            divineorder, Trotskyrepublican

            Otherwise, well, Democrats don't control the Senate and we never will.

            Repeat after me:  The Senate could switch to majority rule tomorrow, if a majority of the Senate was willing to do so.  This is fact.  Nobody outside the Senate is allowed to question the Senate's actions in changing its own rules; it can therefore change them by a simple majority.

            -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

            by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:54:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What filibuster? The Democrats have never forced (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BenGoshi, Flint, agnostic

              the Republicans to filibuster anything!  They have folded up like a cheap suitcase over the "threat" of a filibuster on every occasion.  Message to the Democrats.  Show the American people what a filibuster looks like.  Show them what the raw naked face of Republican obstructionism looks like in action.  Make the Republicans actually stand there on CSpan reading telephone books as they block an important piece of legislation.  Democrats are folding over the threat of the filibuster because they do not have the spine and commitment to actually stand up to Republican threats.  Let the American people actually see what an obstructionist filibuster looks like and I think that the Republicans will end up looking about as good as Newt Gingrich did when he shut down the government.

              And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

              by MrJersey on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:33:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Obama has squandered his mandate. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BenGoshi, blueoasis

            It is the current policy of appeasement and surrender that have put the House and Senate in such a precarious position.

            Dump Obama: So immoral and unethical that he ignores his legal obligation to prosecute people who tortured prisoners to death. Good at photo ops, though.

            by expatjourno on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:18:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  A Movement vs. an Election (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            condorcet, PhilJD

            I totally agree.

            Progressives in the last century won elections, lost elections.  When their allies were in power, they pushed for as much as they could.  When their allies were out of power, they worked in other ways to get things done.

            We could take a note from the playbook of our opponents.

            Look what the anti-abortion crowd has done in the years since Roe v. Wade became a reality.  The court has not overturned Roe v. Wade.  Republicans in Congress and Republican Presidents have only been able to chip away at a woman's right to choose around the edges, slowly, slowly, slowly.  

            They did not lose their base because of how slowly things have gone.

            Yet how much harder it is these days for a poor woman to get an abortion?  How many states no longer offer this right?  

            It really is, in the end, up to us.

            Vote Democratic in November, but work every day for what you believe in.

          •  The progressive agenda IS dead. Obama killed it. (0+ / 0-)

            Obama's political incompetence has guaranteed Republican gains in the Senate in November substantial enough to allow them to filibuster every bill he proposes. His administration ends on election night 2010.

            •  That is the most short-sighted statement (0+ / 0-)

              I've heard.  You could not be ignoring history more.  He's gotten more legislation passed as any Prez since LBJ.  It takes years for people to appreciate these new laws.

              •  Did you read my post? (0+ / 0-)

                Obama's done after November. Dems will need at least 5 or 6 Republicans after November to break a filibuster, instead of one or two now. That will never happen, not once.

                Will the Dems have a majority in the House? Maybe, but it won't matter much because anything they do manage to pass with a seriously diminished majority has no chance of getting past Republican filibusters.

                "Gotten more legislation passed..." This is hyperbole anyway, but it's not very hot legislation, especially considering the crisis we're in. Where's the jobs program, the green energy industry development, educational funding and reform, climate change, etc.

                Obama got a few health care reforms, a non-functional foreclosure prvention program, and financial sector reform. Hardly the stuff of legend, and really rather pathetic given the extended economic and employment crisis we're facing. Besides, like I said, he's done passing bills. After November, nothing gets through unless Tea Partiers like it. Get it?

      •  You're missing the point. (28+ / 0-)

        The current administration -- not some magical hypothetical one -- has a chance to hold onto the coalition of interests that brought it to office, if it stops throwing one element after another under the bus while it cozies up to Republicans, RW media, Wall Street, etc.  The Right will never pledge its troth to Democrats, never ever.  The coalition of liberals, leftists, and moderates still might step together again if this administration decides to cozy up to us, not the Right.

      •  Exactly, Tom Daschle and Dennis Hastert (6+ / 0-)

        got nothing done...

        I remember that...

        Oh wait..

        Read.Review.Respond.

        Suppose you have a two-party system.

        One of these parties enjoys/enforces total party discipline, the other, not: members of the latter party side with their own, or cross the aisle, on individual issues/votes, as conscience or self-interest dictate. Let’s call the completely disciplined party the Partisan Party. The completely undisciplined, the Bipartisan Party (to reflect its principled commitment to always keeping the door open to the higher value of bipartisanship!)

        Over time, both parties will push positive proposals/ legislation. Quite obviously, the Bipartisan Party will be at a tactical disadvantage, due to its lax discipline. Less obviously, it will have an ongoing optics problem. All the proposals of the Partisan Party will be bipartisan. That is, a few members of the other party will, predictably, peel off and cross the aisle to stands with the Partisans. None of the proposals of the Bipartisan Party, on the other hand, will ever be bipartisan. No Partisan will ever support a Bipartisan measure. In fact, all proposals of the Bipartisan party will face bipartisan opposition – as a few Bipartisans trudge across the aisle (there are always a few!) to stand with the Partisans. Result: the Partisan party, thanks to its unremitting opposition to bipartisanship, will be able to present itself as the party of bipartisanship, and be able to critique the Bipartisan Party, with considerable force and conviction, as the hypocritically hyperpartisan party of pure partisanship.

        Conclusion: two measures of partisanship/bipartisanship that you might think make good heuristic sense – 1) being able to get bipartisan support for your proposals; 2) being opposed to those who can’t get any bipartisan support for their proposals – in fact aren’t good heuristics.

        "Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists" - President Obama, March 31

        by justmy2 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:45:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  your idiotic arguments - you got something (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cslewis, zedaker

        done that isn't going to be undone by a future raygun-bush in 3 minutes or 3 months -

        I do NOT define that as a significant accomplishment, I define that as a nickel and dime accomplishment.

        The things barack et al have "accomplished" which won't be quickly wiped away are the corporate welfare projects to the AHIPs & Pharmas.

        Oh yeah, you basically imply the dirty fucking hippy fantasy - the only way to be a progressive is to demand that the defense department be outlawed and all its current employees be forced to only spend money on organic tofu

        (hey ... doen't Monsanto have a lock on the soybean seed market ... ???)

        and in reality there are about 1356 DFH's who think that way, they're scattered from Seattle to Brooklyn, and they're in charge of 3438 splinter groups feuding with each other.

        You can stop looking under your bed for them, before you go to sleep.

        without the compromising SELL OUTS of dud-kakis & kerry & clinton & gore we wouldn't have been elected and we wouldn't have had ... AHIP care!

        ha ha ha.

        Good Luck inspiring people on AHIP care - of course, it will be the DFH's fault that people are fed up and discouraged, NOT the f'king sell outs fault!

        rmm.

        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:29:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is curious... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, Terra Mystica

        that you replied to the tip jar with an unrelated attack on Dennis.

        Curious, that is, until you consider the commonly-practiced method of diary hijacking...

        More and Better Democrats

        by SJerseyIndy on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:38:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is nothing wrong (0+ / 0-)

          I told this to Bobswern when he posted an unrelated comment to someone's tipjar yesterday. I said that there is nothing wrong with replying to the tip jar, nothing.  

          MB has said there is nothing wrong with replying to the tipjar.

          I also told Bobswern that I wondered what his reaction would be if someone posted a full diary as a comment beneath the tip jar, especially since it was off topic.

          So there's nothing wrong with replying to the tip jar, as long as you're on topic.  I disagree with the commenter's apparent need to disparage people, but it's on topic, so it's an okay place to make a comment in the diary.  

          I would suggest that if people don't like off top threads, then they not take the bait that is put out there for them.

          It's really easy to see when someone wants an argument.  All you have to do is not reply to it.  It's not as if a challenge to a comment like that will do anything other than rehash an old argument that's been made thousands of times.

          I always wanted to be in one of your fuckin' plays.

          by otto on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:13:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There might be nothing wrong with it. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          otto, blueoasis

          However, that certainly doesn't change the fact that an irrelevant reply to a tip jar is the commonly-practiced method of diary hijacking.

          And the comment is entirely irrelevant.

          Because Ben never once goes on about "real Progressives" or "Dennis should be POTUS".

          That line of argument didn't exist until the hijacker presented it.

          Curious, indeed.

          More and Better Democrats

          by SJerseyIndy on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:21:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's relevant (0+ / 0-)

            I don't like the tone of the comment, but it is most certainly relevant to the issue at hand.  

            It is about what Democratic lawmakers do, and it's about who would do it correctly, and it's about the outcome of doing it correctly.  

            I always wanted to be in one of your fuckin' plays.

            by otto on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:23:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        What is this mantra of no compromise?  He makes those no votes in the house knowing that the legislation is going to pass anyway. When healthcare was close he voted for it. Also you don't need congress to clean up the executive branch

        •  No Mantra of "No Compromise." (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          .
           I invite you, no, challenge you, to please point out where in my Diary I said, "No compromise."  Yeh, that's what I thought.

           No, what a Leader does is invite the other side to the table to present their arguments, opinions, and as long as those are presented in good faith, the Leader should take them into consideration.  Sort of like what he did with that day-long Health Care thing with the Republicans back in, what, February?  Only he did that about 10 months later than he should have.  Oh, well.

           Anyway, as long as the other side engages in good faith discussion, even debate, over this or that issue or matter, things can go forward.  But when one side is not engaging in good faith discussion, even opposition, then I'm afraid the gloves must come off.

           The GOP made a decision from the get-go, from (I'm sure) before President-Elect Obama ever took office, that it would oppose him at every turn and in every way.  That's bad faith.  

           The only way to deal with people who are dealing with you in bad faith is to (1) call 'em on it, publicly, (2) give 'em an opportunity to mend their ways, then, (3) ignore or steamroll 'em if they refuse to get with the program.

           Ironically, it seems that variations on tactics (2) and (3) are what the GOP's been (trying, sometimes very successfully, other times with moderate success) doing to the Obama Administration and Capitol Hill Democrats.

          .

          "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

          by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:00:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  that is why we didn't support Deniis Kucinich (0+ / 0-)

        because he would not get anything done.  That is why we supported Obama because we believed in his analysis adn his willingness to take on reform. Instead we have heard excuses about how mean people in Washington are how we need 60 votes to get anything down how hard it is etc.  The Preisdent told us it would be hard.  There has been a whine from Washingotn ever since the election when the Republicans and reactionaries failed to join in a big kumbaya moment.  What the f**k were Democrats expecting?  In electing Obama we were hoping for a progressive from the Daddy part of the party, not the Mommy part.  Well .....

      •  Calling part of your base (5+ / 0-)

        "fucking retarded", now that's how you build coalitions! And you seem to spreading Rahm's message.

        "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

        by hoplite9 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:14:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We WOULD finally know, though, what's under Area (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Abra Crabcakeya, cheforacle

        51.

      •  Hilarious (0+ / 0-)

        if Dennis Kucinich and other so called "real progressives"

        Kucinich is a doctrinaire liberal, not remotely a Progressive, so-called or otherwise.

        Might as well call the commenting wingerooni sympathizer a progressive.  The term is so degraded by those fearing the liberal label that they treat it as a pejorative, a libel, rather than a compliment.  Even the poster is as afraid of the term as a Victorian was of a table leg.

        Molly Ivins was a progressive, Alan Grayson is a progressive.  There have never been many but they won occasionally against staggering odds at times as Huey Long did when he beat FDR bloody trying to make draconian cuts in veterans pensions.

        Liberals won against the odds too.  Our country is one rather happy result that reactionaries calling themselves conservatives would like to repeal.  

        Is the poster one with the wingeroonis perhaps?

        Best,  Terry

      •  "Real Progressives" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        Personally, I don't like to see my President kissing Republican ass. And how do you build coalitions with the dogmatic idiots running the GOP?

      •  I love how... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        ...the Coalition of the Weak Knees always shows up to beat on Kucinich.  Not that I voted for the guy, but hell, if Obama showed more Kucinich-ness (or even Grayson-ness) we'd be a hell of a lot better off.

    •  Excellent jumping off point for a wide (11+ / 0-)

      ranging discussion - excellent diary.

      I went to add the 'Recommended' Tag, but I see it's already there.

      heh heh :)

    •  we voted for change (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi, Words In Action

      I hope they are finally getting it.

    •  Politics IS a fight... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, Oh Mary Oh

      Unfortunately, Republicans have become 'Repukes' for using mindless bigots at FOX & AM talk radio as their proxy spokespersons for racism, fearful divisiveness, hate and persecution. And FOX has been too successful in ramping up & fomenting real violence. SPECIFIC ACTS CAN NOW BE TRACED DIRECTLY TO THE BROADCASTS OF THESE DESPICABLE MEDIA. This is the RNC mouthpiece!

      But the RNC has it wrong: Their own voters - however few actual proud, registered Republicans remain - are not that stupid. Even the 'baggers see Bachmann co-opting their ragtag coalition of alienated & disaffected trying to bring them into her House Tea Party Circus "Receptacle." (Even Bachmann couldn't overcome her arrogance in using that pejorative term, as in 'trash receptacle'.)

      As this keeps up - and Repukes try to bring their coalition together - they will actually alienate more likely respectable Republican voters. It's all they can do now. They cannot avoid the epithet: REPUBLICANS ARE DUMB RACISTS, HATERS AND EXTREMISTS, UNFIT TO GOVERN. THEY ARE SPINELESS BULLIES!

      I can see even bigger Democratic electoral victories than in '06 and '08 as the Republican coalition completely fractures. Republicans have no creed, no ethic and no moral conviction. And it's far too late for the losers in '06 and '08 to reestablish a plan for '10.

      Their plan is simply, "No, you can't!" at ever higher and higher decibels. And there is still too much need for positive corrective action.

      TAX THE RICH! They have money! I'm a Democrat. That's why!

      by ezdidit on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:47:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Weenies complain and complain (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin, KayCeSF, Pris from LA, Fogiv

      Meanwhile those who make nice with the devil, Grover Norquist, will pay the consequences.

      Who is behind the scenes feeding off democratic  frustration adding fuel to the fires? Trust me, it is not the friends of democrats.

      Right now this minute instead of wasting time on these self defeating arguments within the party......

      We, all of us, should be screaming at the top of our lungs, that to gain back power in Washington, the GOP psy ops operation, has decided that a short term stimulus to aid the states should be nixed. That's right. So the old Republican sitting on his ass on social security, will vote yet again against his own best interests.

      Why?  Because freaking democrats can't make the case that the time for spending is NOW! That the GOP argument against spending us pure bullshit.

       Without the federal aid to the states we will all suffer. Lack of funding will cause a severe crises in education, and health care budgets. This stimulus passed in both bodies of Congress.

      Who is behind this effort to defund medicaid and education with federal stimulus? Grover Norquist. You want to sleep with the devil?
      I don't.

      Instead of giving progressives a liberal purity test, how about fighting for this stimulus in Congress that helps real people, right now this minute!

      Drawing the contrast between the GOP who doesn't give a damn about the middle class, and Democrats who are trying to improve our economy is what we should be focusing on.

      This obsession with liberal purity is going to kill the best hope that progressives have in generations, if we don't get our shit together, by handing the house back to the GOP.

      Come on people wake up.

    •  Absolutely Effin' Right. Nut Meet Shell. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi

      That's the whole enchilada. Anything else is a red herring.

      (Sorry for the mixed metaphor, sort of...)

      When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

      by Words In Action on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:52:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama approval amongst liberal democrats (11+ / 0-)

      According to Gallup:
      When he took office: 90%
      This week: 87%

      This is obviously a sign he's clearly lost the base.

    •  It's more than Obama not standing up (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi, blueoasis, Willa Rogers

      to Fox and the right wing.

      It's that many believe that he has been co-opted by the same interests.  It is his actions more than his words that are disappointing.

      The level of disillusionment with the President is significant.  I hear the same message repeatedly from friends who were foot soldiers in his campaign: "He's not the guy we thought he was.  He's all too eager to help big banks and big corporations but not do anything for working people and small businesses."

      Exhibit A: the stimulus.  That money was allocated and divvied up entirely with the control of the Executive Branch. No GOP votes necessary once DOE, Education, USDA et al got their hands on it.

      And where is it going?  First, I have no qualms whatsoever about money going to states to keep teachers, police officers, firefighters etc. employed.

      It's the block grant money and the competitive grant money that frosts me.  Block grant money for states and cities winds up going to the politically connected, typically in exchange for short-term jobs and thus votes.  No requirement that a sustainable business model (e.g., for energy retrofits) be established.  Once it's spent, those jobs fall off a cliff.

      And competitive grant money is going to universities and large corporations.  My favorite example is a recent DOE grant that went mostly to GE, United Technologies, Johnson Controls, etc. to "fund" stuff these companies were working on anyway.  Millions in taxpayer dollars going to multi-billion companies to pay them to do what they already do.

      In the meantime, small businesses and entrepreneurs--the engine of recovery in every past recession--got crumbs.  And banks still aren't lending to them, having used TARP money to improve their balance sheets and make acquisitions.

      You want the polls to surge?  Fix that problem.  Focus on the millions of small businesses and entrepreneurs that can pull us out of this mess once they get a little TLC.  

    •  Rahm DID NOT call liberals retards (0+ / 0-)

      You said

      (except when it comes to attacking the agenda of "fucking retarded" liberals -- not my words, the words of President Obama's right-hand man about those who worked so hard to get Obama into office

      The article you link to says quite clearly that he called the strategy fucking retarded.  Not the people.

      According to a report Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal, Emanuel told a liberal strategy group in August that a plan to run advertisements against conservative Democrats who were "balking at Mr. Obama's health-care overhaul" was grossly unwise.

      "F—ing retarded," Mr. Emanuel scolded the group, according to participants cited by the paper.

      "He warned them not to alienate lawmakers whose votes would be needed on health care and other top legislative items," the reporter said.

      There is a big, big difference between the two.  Rahm my not be my favorite for many reasons.  His tough bull-dog demeanor and politically incorrect potty mouth is not one of them.

      As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

      by nyseer on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 11:22:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, I'm not sure sure about this: (35+ / 0-)

    Independents would be impressed.  For the 309,225,107,985,330,548th time:  they admire Spine.

    Most Independents, by definition, are the very antithesis of spine. Bereft of any concrete political ideals, they very often hold their fingers up to the political wind and sway like weeping willows.

    In the end, the Democratic Party has to balance the progressive agenda with SOME measure of pragmatism. It's what smart leaders do - and we've got one of the smartest ever to run this country on our side right now.

    •  He's smart...... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc

      I just think he lacks from time to time on his leadership abilities.

      Just MHO.

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:30:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on your definiton of leadership.. (16+ / 0-)

        I like this one:

        "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood"

        — Theodore Roosevelt

        Our president and leaders in congress are fighting for us. We may not always like everything they pass and sign, but they're in the arena and they have all been bloodied by these past 18 months.

        You have to respect that.

        •  Well This Is What I See Happening (8+ / 0-)

          and I am not the first person to say any of this. Financial Reform, Stimulus Plan, Health Care reform .... they all get "watered down" to try to get just a few votes. All the time the policies and Obama are attacked 24/7 as being a socialist. Then they don't perform as well as we'd like .... and guess what Obama's poll numbers go down.

          "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

          by webranding on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:41:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Uuuhhh, consider that .... (13+ / 0-)

            without

            they all get "watered down" to try to get just a few votes

            they would not have enough votes to pass.  Then you would get NOTHING.  I have never been able to understand how people who claim to be "progressive" have never learned that 0 < 1.

            Indeed, they are not progressive at all.  They are Utopians who reject any progress.  All or nothing is NOT a progressive agenda.  Something better than what we have IS a progressive agenda.

            •  Sometimes nothing is better.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pengiep, blueoasis

              than anything.

              The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

              by ctexrep on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:26:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If people are helped.... (12+ / 0-)

                And a hell of a lot of people have been and will be helped by the legislation passed...

                Then something is indeed better than nothing.  MUCH better.

                "An uprising of the reasonable is our only chance." - Keith Olbermann

                by Diogenes2008 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:42:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's bullshit (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Christin, KayCeSF, OIL GUY, Fogiv

                Right now we have a chance to set a progressive agenda for decades to come.

                Or we can whine and cry and hand the election to the GOP by attacking our own and look forward to decades GOP rule. or as I like to say pure  hell.

                •  The problem with giving Government too much power (0+ / 0-)

                  is that the party or people who you want to Govern, won't alway be there.

                  The Repugs will never kill healthcare - they'll just mold it to fit their agenda.

                  I stand by my statement - I'm still looking for the legislation that's helping all these people.

                  The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

                  by ctexrep on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:04:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That is not correct (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Christin

                    The Republicans are already killing medicare.

                    They just blocked federal aid to the states that would infuse cash to medicaid, cops and teachers.

                    The GOP just blocked spending to medicaid so they can make the claim that Obama care is not working.

                    This federal stimulus bill was already factored into state budgets since it passed in both bodies of Congress.

                    The push to kill this comes from Grover Norquist, who wants to defund Obama care by blocking all care to medicaid patients.

                    The Republicans are already killing health care. Get it.

                    INstead of fighting amongst each other we should be fighting like hell to get this bill passed, and screaming that the GOP wants to kill grandma.

                    •  The GOP didn't do anything (4+ / 0-)

                      they can't....if the Democrats want something done, they can and should get it done.

                      Please don't keep scapegoating the Repugs when we gave the Democrats the executive and rock solid majorities in both houses of the legislative branch.

                      Your blaming the repugs is falling on my deaf ears.

                      If the Democrats truly want to lead - then do it.  You keep forgetting that Americans entrusted the Democrats.

                      Any Democrat that yells the the Repugs are killing Grandma are doing so with blood on their hands as far as I'm concerned.

                      My suggestion to COngressional Dems is, we gave you the power to lead - now lead - or that power will be taken away.

                      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

                      by ctexrep on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:22:34 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  NO no and NO (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Christin

                        You can complain all you want about what if this or that.

                        Right now we have a fight we can win. If you don't want to help win it then how does that help the middle class.

                        YOu can play the blame game all day long, and it won't help elect more democrats.

                        The self defeatist attitude is not helping. But I am sure the GOP loves your for it.

                        •  I'm up for the fight (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Dallasdoc, neroden, joedennis

                          but what do I get if we "win".

                          I need to get a better definition "we" and "win".

                          The last election "we" "won" but for some reason it seems as though we lost.....

                          The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

                          by ctexrep on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:19:40 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  30 yrs of incremental conserative change disagree (0+ / 0-)

                I don't think that we got to where we are by an abrupt change in policy that lead to 30 years of conservative failing.  We arrived here through thirty years of slow pounding on the government by conservative think tanks and their allies.  

                It will take that time to get it back.

                However, we have a lot of the infrastructure in development.  

                I always wanted to be in one of your fuckin' plays.

                by otto on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:22:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  While this is true, some things must be 'big' (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dallasdoc, blueoasis

                  such as the removal of the crippling 60-vote rule in the Senate. There's no way to "incrementally" remove that; every attempt to do so has just made it worse.

                  -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                  by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:42:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's a specific rule change (0+ / 0-)

                    It is not at all what I was talking about.

                    It's true, and most people support it here, but I don't see that as being anything other than one issue in the overall arc of change.  

                    I always wanted to be in one of your fuckin' plays.

                    by otto on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 10:06:10 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  How Do We Know They Wouldn't Have Passed? (11+ / 0-)

              I thought Obama was supposed to be the best communicator in several generations. I thought Rahm was a SOB that would knee cap people that crossed the administration. Not seeing either of those things.

              Plus we often water these bills down in conference before they even come up for a vote. I mean we had the votes to get something out of conference (and still do) and 60 votes until just a few months ago.

              IMHO you are grabbing at straws and making excuses. I am sorry I refuse to do that.

              "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

              by webranding on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:29:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think you know how to count. (6+ / 0-)

                The following is a false statement:

                we had ... 60 votes until just a few months ago

                58 Democrats plus 2 Independents, one unreliable, minus Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Kent Conrad, and a few others who can't be counted on, does not add up to 60.

                •  They Were In Our Caucus Where They Not? (9+ / 0-)

                  Many folks, including myself have been saying this since the start of the Obama administration. If you give into Nelson, Lincoln, Conrad, or Landrieu (just to name several) from the start (which we did) they know they can make you do it again and again. Plus are really paying no political price.

                  To a large extent they are even benefiting from basically holding the administration hostage to their whims. Why, cause they learned from the start they could do this. If I am in a relationship where I know this is how it works, well I am going to work you for everything I can get.

                  And there is what we have happening.

                  "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

                  by webranding on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:41:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What can you do to them? (0+ / 0-)

                    Piss them off so they switch sides and we don't even get to control what makes it to the floor? Or maybe break a few arms and hope it doesn't get out to the media? Come on...what do they care? Ben Nelson would win as a Republican in his state and he knows it, as do all the southern Dems.

                    •  Seriously, we have 51 votes *without* them. (0+ / 0-)

                      Threaten to end the filibuster and stop their piracy.  ("Filibuster" is an old word for "pirate".)

                      Now, you have to set up the right political environment in order to get 51 votes to end the filibuster.  The Republicans are doing just fine at creating that environment.

                      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                      by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:45:00 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  No previous Admin/Cong faced Fillibuster: (5+ / 0-)

                    The fillibuster used to be a huge weapon used only as a desperate effort to thwart the majority and whomever used it faced serious backlash because it was so unseemly.  It was always there, but certainly not ALWAYS used by the minority.

                    Bush passed some of his tax cuts 51-49, though the Senate was split, there was NEVER talk that the Republicans would need 60 votes just to get legislation passed.  Now, this Republican minority has made the 60 vote minimum the NORM.  In a fair environment they would allow votes to come out for a fair up down vote, just as the Dems did in the Bush years.  But, the Repugs have no agenda other than power and are willing to go to any length, fillibuster anything that they do not sponsor - just because.

                    W. Bush would have been one hell of a lot less dangerous had the Dems done to him what the Republicans are doing now.

                    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" Coach John Wooden RIP

                    by 4CasandChlo on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:01:17 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  so why didn't we? (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Dallasdoc, neroden, Terra Mystica

                      I hear way too many excuses coming from the Dems.

                      Too bad we didn't have a Tea Party (so to speak) for progressives.

                      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

                      by ctexrep on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:08:17 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Again... (0+ / 0-)

                        What could the administration have done to force these aforementioned senators to vote for their agenda? These senators only answer to the constituents that elect them. (and the corporate handlers that sponsor them, of course) Until American voters get wise and replace them with representation that fights for their actual interests, true progress and the 60 needed votes that are chained ti its ankle, are not in the conversation.

                        We're gonna rise from these ashes like a bird aflame...

                        by August West on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:19:50 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We don't need 60 votes, we need 51. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          blueoasis, ctexrep

                          That's where the administration could have started.  The bully pulpit is powerful at changing opinions -- even the opinions of Senators.

                          But no, the blame falls almost entirely on Harry Reid and his caucus for being willing to go along with the Republican obstructionism.  And make no mistake, except for those such as Tom Harkin who are fighting to end the 60-vote rule, the caucus has collaborated with the Republicans.

                          Litmus test for Senators: will you get rid of the filibuster?  That's all there is to it.

                          Remember, the Republican Senators PLUS the Blue Dogs represent less than 39% of the US population.  The Republican Senators alone represent around 34%.  There is no way they should be able to block legislation.

                          -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                          by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:12:12 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  theoretically, you make a lot of sense (0+ / 0-)

                            Please elucidate on your plan to get rid of the filibuster. For until that occurs, the number remains 60, and my point stands. As does the bar that Obama must limbo.

                            We're gonna rise from these ashes like a bird aflame...

                            by August West on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:47:16 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Responded to different comment (0+ / 0-)

                            with description of what my plan would be if I were Harry Reid.

                            And I agree that there is nothing Obama can do without support from Reid (and additional Senators).

                            -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                            by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:49:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Because Establishment Dems are in *DENIAL* (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Dallasdoc, blueoasis

                        about the nature of the radical, revolutionary, reactionary threat they face.

                        Krugman explains it all in the intro to The Great Unravelling.  The Republicans don't give a damn about our institutions, from the Senate rules to the Constitution to democracy itself, and are happy to destroy them all.

                        The Establishment Democrats are simply and plainly in denial about this, and keep believing that the Republicans are just acting tactically and that they actually respect the traditions of the Senate.  The traditions which the Establishment respects.

                        They haven't realized that that's hopelessly deluded.  That Republicans are playing hardball to destroy the nation, and that they have to respond accordingly.

                        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                        by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:09:35 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  They made it THEIR norm, and we agreed. (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Dallasdoc, neroden, tarheelblue, blueoasis

                      There was zero fight against it.  We just acquiesced to the R framing as usual.  And by we, I include this administration.

                      The acquiescence was so quick and complete that it's hard to remember when it wasn't always thus (60 votes required to pass anything).  It does seem so normal now.

                      The next question is whether the seeming acquiescence wasn't part of some triangulation strategy.  We'll likely never know.

                      "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

                      by Terra Mystica on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:57:47 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  What power does Obama have over the Republicans? (0+ / 0-)

                Honestly, he is not a dictator or a King. He can only do so much, especially when many of these Republicans are so far right that they can't agree to anything Obama says without somehow violating their principles, which in turn, loses them donations from corporations and votes from crazy people. And there isn't much left in the Republican party besides crazy people.

                You are confusing agendas. Obama has an agenda to make sure the government keeps functioning. The Republicans want to shut it down. No amount of reasoning is going to change that. I agree with Ben and wish Obama would stand up and talk more about the obstructionism and I do see him doing a bit more now. But I do NOT blame him for the Republicans and their agendas. I wish things were so black and white...so simple that a call from the president would make a difference. But realistically that ain't gonna happen.

                •  One example: He supports using reconciliation (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dallasdoc, neroden, blueoasis

                  to break the back of their obstructionism - as Bush did.  He then, or concurrently, beats them over the head with their (and like minded Dems like Lieberman and Nelson) efforts to harm the Main Street.  

                  He shows them that their mindless obstruction tactics don't work and have a price.  Now exactly the opposite is true, and ingrained as SOP.

                  Just a thought.

                  "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

                  by Terra Mystica on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:03:46 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  and what do you think (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Christin, Catte Nappe, pengiep

            will happen to these reforms if we keep attacking the President as weak?

            Do you really think a GOP house will fund any of these programs?

            The whole reason the GOP is not funding federal aid to medicaid is to say fuck you Obama. You passed health care and we aren't going to fund it.

            GOP to old sick people who sit on their couch and watch Fox News. We don't want to pay for your care. As long as you watch Fox News and vote against your own best interests we will be happy to let you die on your couch.

          •  On the matter of poll numbers . . . (5+ / 0-)

            It strikes me that they are somewhat deceptive in that you only get an approve/disapprove choice.  There have been a few exceptions where the questions were asked in such a way that you could see that the "disapprove" cohort was made up of those who felt Obama was doing too much and others (as exemplified in this diary) who felt he was doing too little.

          •  so clearly the answer (0+ / 0-)

            is demand more and get nothing right?

            Because we can fed and cloth people on thoughts and fairy farts right?

        •  That's a pretty good TR quote (23+ / 0-)

          ... but I prefer this one:

          To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

          •  I prefer the WHOLE quote. (13+ / 0-)

            "The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."  - "Theodore Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star", 149 May 7, 1918

            "An uprising of the reasonable is our only chance." - Keith Olbermann

            by Diogenes2008 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:44:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That is just idiotic (0+ / 0-)

            Go ahead and slam the PResident all day long. It will do the progressive cause a whole lot of good when we hand the gavel over to John Boehner.

            Think about whether or not constant negative criticism of the PResident furthers the chances for a progressive agenda.

            We can hold the PResident accountable constructively. But do we really have to make a deal with the devil, as in aide Grover Norquist in electing republicans.

            The focus should NOT be whether or not we criticize Obama.

            The focus should be getting a stimulus passed in Congress so that next years thousands of teachers aren't laid off. Does criticizing Obama help get that stimulus passed?

            •  and what happened to the first stimulus? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dallasdoc, neroden, Terra Mystica

              You should know by now that Politicians from both parties love to talk about helping the "small people" - but when it comes to do it - the banks, business and lawyers are first in line.....we get the scraps.

              There is no way the the Democrats will pass another round of stimulus. Doing so would ensure their defeat in November - and thie primary goal is to get re-elected.

              The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

              by ctexrep on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:14:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I wouldn't be so sure (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Christin

                After the November elections, the could get something passed. Even the GOP will not want to face the nightmare of cutting so many jobs.

                I am saying the time to make the argument is now. NoW!

                The contrast generally between the GOP priorities and the priorities of most DEms is stark.

                Blocking this bill means literally that it is the Republicans that are trying to kill grandma. Just to screw Obama politically. It is quite sickening. ANd no matter how unhappy you are with Obama's cred,  I think it is important to pick a battle that we can win on.

                We win if we make this contrast. And it isn't just a democratic win it is a win for our country.

                •  You're absolutely right. (0+ / 0-)

                  And I don't see how we do this unless we tell the US Senate "We are sick of this filibuster nonsense.  It is time to go back to majority rule in the Senate -- the country needs it."

                  -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                  by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:17:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  You're just being idiotic. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dallasdoc, blueoasis, joedennis

              The President was digging his own political grave through capitulation to Republicans.  Though Reid is helping.

              Advice to do the right-and-popular thing does help.

              Does criticizing Obama help get that stimulus passed?

              Newsflash: YES, IT DOES.

              Criticism of Reid is even better, though.

              If Obama (or better, Reid) manages to get the message that we NEED the stimulus, and that the insane 60-vote rules of the Senate are not worth losing the stimulus over, then that will help pass the stimulus.

              This is tough love here.  They keep doing the wrong thing -- namely prioritizing 'Beltway values' like the filibuster over getting stuff done -- and they need to be harshly criticised for it.  It is the only way to get them to do the right and popular thing.

              -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

              by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:16:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I like this one..... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, northanger, Terra Mystica

          Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men -- the other 999 follow women.

          Groucho Marx

          Michelle Obama 2012

          The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

          by ctexrep on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:31:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think they had armchairs and TV's then (0+ / 0-)

          If they had, I think Roosevelt would have had a better name for viewers who make the assumption that their ideas are always correct in politics.  

          I always wanted to be in one of your fuckin' plays.

          by otto on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:18:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  He lacks a media (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        August West

        presence. Surrogates to speak out for his agenda.

        God knows why this is so, but we should speak up for Obama and Democrats who at least try to stand up for the middle class.

      •  Go read up on Gandhi and MLK, they termed (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KayCeSF, neroden, northanger, OIL GUY

        weak.

        The 1st to break the British empire canard, was Gandhi with his quietness. he got the job done.

        MLK, was made fun of, who did the FBI feared most, MKL.  Today, that steadfast quietness is greeted with admiration.

        Talking and trying to work with bullies, those on the right, the blue dogs, the media, and the far left, is not a walk in the park.

        President Obama, drives all mentioned above to the nut house, for they all time and time again have collectively and independently underestimated him.

        The guy has only lost one election, his congressional try back in 1996 or so.

        But judgemental, want my addition fix mentality continue to deliberately mischaracterize this president to fit their already preconceived ideas.

        I support the president. His critics are like water washing his solid rock personality. Afterwards, the rock is untouched and hard as ever.  It has been a bumpy ride.  Rock Steady President Obama is just that.

        I am focusing on what comes next, November, in my district, Michelle Bachmann has got to go.

    •  Which independents are those? (40+ / 0-)

      The former Republicans, disgusted with their party, who decided to give Obama a chance?  The people so disgusted with the corruption of both parties that they don't want to be associated with either one?  The folks who don't care much about politics who just notice somebody willing to fight and get something done for them?

      You paint with a broad brush, but I don't think you really know your subject.  "Pragmatism" usually boils down to kowtowing to corporatist demands.  That's not what independents are looking for, and if Democrats stopped doing that they'd probably find more independent support.  Nobody much likes the oligarchy running the country, aside from people who are already Republicans.

    •  Well, I'm not so "worried" about this, or not. (11+ / 0-)

      .
       I think it would amount to "bonus points" for the President and Democrats.  And, certainly, there are many different kinds of so-called and self-styled "Independents."  

       I can tell you one thing, though (that, of course, I'm sure you already know):  none of 'em admire weenyness.

      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:37:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aisling, bwintx, Jake Williams, APA Guy

      Most Independents, by definition, are the very antithesis of spine. Bereft of any concrete political ideals, they very often hold their fingers up to the political wind and sway like weeping willows.

      Refreshing to see that someone else holds that opinion. I would add prima-dona to the list. They are often proud of their inability to see that good policy comes from a sound political philosophy and not from a random bunch of election promises.

      I honestly have more time for declared and thoughtful Republicans than I do for independents.

      The Teabaggers are the GOP base

      by stevej on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:38:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (11+ / 0-)

        People often admire virtues that they are aware they themselves lack.  

        Admitting my faults, I'm a compulsive eater, I can't lose weight without a strict exercise and diet program, so I admire people who can lose weight even though I know intellectually that many people have metabolism advantages I don't have.  I'm also somewhat disorganized, so I admire people who can arrange a complicated schedule and stick with it.

        Independants lack political spine, so they admire people who have conviction and follow through on it effectively.  There's probably a psychological term for this, I'm just speaking from what I've seen of human nature.

        •  Whoa. THIS warrants a Diary. (8+ / 0-)

          .
           Hell, it warrants a dissertation!

           

          "Independants lack political spine, so they admire people who have conviction and follow through on it effectively.  There's probably a psychological term for this, I'm just speaking from what I've seen of human nature."

          .

           I'm speechless (which is no problem, as I'm typing this) at the Simplicity of Truth there.

           Well said.

           Comment of the Week.  And just think, it happened in a comment thread in a diary of mine.  Cool.
          .

          "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

          by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:00:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The idea is free to a good home (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BenGoshi, Terra Mystica

            I don't know if I have the writing chops to do it justice, so anyone who wants to expand on the concept is free to swipe it and take off.

          •  Speechless doesn't say it for me. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BenGoshi, Dallasdoc, hlsmlane

            Astounded. Befuddled. Disbelief.
            The Independents I know (several, not hundreds) are disgusted.  If you believe Independents are spineless, you don't know the ones I know.  They are angry at both parties, I don't know what they are gonna do in November.

            •  I think the *type* of spineless indy... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis

              .
               . . . referred to above are those who, 5 days before Election Day 2008, were still "undecided" about Obama or McCain.

               Of course, I'm sure there are about as many "types" as their are self-described "independents."

              .

              "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

              by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:26:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  sure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dallasdoc

            That's how you win over independents - by calling them spineless.

            What some people using that mis-characterization don't seem to get is that often independents are issue-driven ie. they decide who to vote for based on which candidate is willing to go to the mat for their issues. That's why they aren't strict partisans.

            And they certainly have other characteristics that do not fall under the category of being "spineless" as well. That over-simplification may be satisfying to partisans who refuse to understand the real motivations of independent voters but it does absolutely nothing to win them over.

            "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

            by catnip on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:08:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, just making an observation. (0+ / 0-)

              .
               Moreover, I'm thinking that not too many (5?  20? a few dozen?  I'd flatter myself by saying a couple hundred) Independents are going to come onto Daily Kos today, read the diary, read down into the Comment Thread, see these couple of comments, then get in a huff and never vote Democratic again.

               Think we've lost 3 votes?  17?

               Whoa.  I guess I better "dial it back," then.

              .

              "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

              by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:29:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  not the point (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dallasdoc, blueoasis

                If you are discussing strategies to get independent voters to show up for Dems on the ballot, starting that discussion with a false premise gets you absolutely nowhere. If you want them to vote for Dems, you have to take a realistic look at why they choose to vote they way they do.

                "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                by catnip on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:36:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  In my experience, it's the truth... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aisling

        I have heard it from their own mouths. That a few on this site equate reporting accurate sentiments as "lack of knowledge" speaks volumes about their own misconceptions and insecurities, not reality.

        By the way, your comment regarding a preference for thoughtful Republicans is spot-on. In 2008, I convinced far more disgruntled Republicans to vote for our progressive presidential candidate than Independents.

        The truth was, Independents I spoke to couldn't tell me why they liked one candidate or another. They couldn't speak intelligently on issues. They had NO compass whatsoever. Again, this is MY experience, and while it may differ from another's, it's reported directly from the source.

        •  Were these (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, hlsmlane, Terra Mystica

          "I vote for the candidate, not the party" independents.

          or

          "I don't know or don't want to tell" independents.

          One disconnect here has to do with geography.  In some Congressional Districts, "independents" means independents to the left of Democrats.  In some Congressional Districts, "independents" means folks who think the current Republicans are too liberal.  In others it means "folks who don't want to say because their neighbors are so divided over politics and they don't like conflict".  No doubt there are many other types of independents.

          In my area, the "independents" who voted for Obama were mostly moderate Republicans who were ashamed of what the Republican Party had done at its convention and in naming Sarah Palin as its vice-presidential candidate.  Although there are a couple dozen "left-of-Democrats" independents who voted for Obama.  For both of them "not McCain/Palin" seemed to be the theme.  But the Democrats, they were voting for Obama and Biden -- on both policy and style.

          50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

          by TarheelDem on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:14:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Texan Independents are not spineless, imho. (4+ / 0-)

            The ones I know are middle-aged, like me, they have been around the block a few times.
            They feel like they gave Obama a chance and they got snookered.  Now I can't say whether Obama did it or Congress did it - my Independent friends are mad at them all, and from what they have disclosed, are voting for non-incumbents.

            They aren't supporting Governor Big Hair.

            They aren't Teabaggers.  They are just p. o.ed, and I don't blame them.

    •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bwintx

      Most of the time, the Independents are very unfairly called morons because they're unable to pick a political side - when the facts were, there was very little for them to choose between the two parties and they used to go for what they thought of as the lesser of the two evils.

      But we're past that time. This is clear-cut time, and I'm sorry, but if anybody is Independent at a time like this, he/she is either a teabagger (Republican in denial), or a complete brain-dead moron... which actually the exact same thing, if you think about it.

      •  Sorry, you are incorrect. (7+ / 0-)

        Come to NH, where a huge slice of ex-Republicans have been created out their disgust for the sleaziness and extremism of their party.

        They can't quite pull the trigger and hook up with Democrats, and many are NOT Tea Bag idiots.

        They are independents, and many of them voted in the Democratic wave here in this State.

        •  So... (0+ / 0-)

          ...incorrect about ALL of them being teabaggers, but still correct about them being ex-Republicans? I can live with that.

          Tell me, have any of them told you why they would ever consider voting Republican? Why they used to be Republicans and not Democrats? Actually, I can understand why not Democrats... but why Republican? I mean I can understand why one would not want to bash one's head on a brick wall... but why hit it with hammer instead?

    •  Hahahahaha.. (7+ / 0-)

      thanks for my morning chuckle..

      Most Independents, by definition, are the very antithesis of spine. Bereft of any concrete political ideals, they very often hold their fingers up to the political wind and sway like weeping willows.

      You haven't a clue what makes someone "independent".  But then I guess you would rather have a party tell you what your "ideals" are rather than think for yourself.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:41:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree. (12+ / 0-)

      Most independents have become that way because of the level of disgust they have for politics and politicians.

      They [almost regardless of political stripe] want to see less politics, and more governance, even if that means for right/libertarian swine that there be less governing as part of governance.

      But there's a vast untapped pool of disaffected people on the left, and reasonable thinking people in the middle who if motivated could change everything.

      The corporate media conflates the extreme right winger elements of the independent portion, the Tea Bag idiot, the Birchers, the Ron/Rand Paul goons - all of those combined,  nothing compared to the rest of the independents from the actual center and from the left.

      •  Wow..that's a really articulate... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk

        disagreement sans the useless attack. It doesn't jive with my experience, but it could very well be true in another person's experience. You make some great points.

        Good form.

        •  I think that your personal experience may (9+ / 0-)

          be true to you, but I'm not basing my interpretation just on personal experience in NH.

          I'm basing mine on election results.

          The radical shift in NH politics happened in part because Republicans were finally caught red handed doing something truly reprehensible [PhoneGate in 2002]. I did see huge signs in my heavily Republican town on lawns in 2004 that said 'Republicans for Kerry'. NH went from being a near total Red State to a Blue one, in two election cycles.

          Sure, one can look at demographic and say this change was part of it, but I think really underneath it was disgust with Republicans and the Republican Party that truly did it.  

          That disgust is still there.

          I don't know what level of saturation Fox and AM hate talk radio has in your area, but I suspect it's strong, really strong and skews your 'sample'.

          That being said, NH is home to really extreme right wingers, and they do make the news on a regular basis.
          The electoral numbers show their bluster is mostly just that. Bluster.

          I don't think NH is unique from the rest of the country.
          I feel that Ben Goshi is correct: the meme that independents are mostly right wingers and Bircher Baggers is a false one, hyped by Cable Nooz and AM talk radio.

          Democrats could easily change the dynamic by taking strong clear and bold action.

          Independents would flock to their side.

      •  Most "independents" aren't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Newsie8200, cardinal, Fogiv

        They're partisans who vote with the party they "lean" towards almost as often as self-described partisans. They just fancy themselves as free agents who think for themselves and don't let anyone else tell them what to do. And then they go vote a straight party ballot.

        (Over at FARK, we call the Republican version of this "FARK Independents" - rugged individualists who aren't a member of any party... but always argue and vote for Republicans. Also where the "Both sides are bad so vote Republican" meme comes from.)

        The actual number of "independents" in this country is quite small - 10% seems to be the number studies have coalesced around.

      •  Great comment. The disaffected voter pool (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, blueoasis

        is where the battle should be.  The 30% of people who don't vote (30M people) because the system has failed them could be brought back, if they saw something that suggested the system might just maybe fight for their interests.  That they might feel just slightly less abandoned/written off.

        As you say, most are probably on the left generically, or right-leaners that have class interests that a progressive agenda would/could address.  It boggles how increasingly narrow our politics is being defined, but it seems that is how money politics works.  The fewer the number of voters and the narrower their interests, the more powerful money influences become.  

        Again, great comment!

        "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

        by Terra Mystica on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:33:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't confuse Independents with the (9+ / 0-)

      "Swing Voter" or with "Moderates".

      Remember, all members of third parties are "Independents".  There's nothing lacking there in terms of concrete political ideals, for good or ill.

      Most of the rest are disaffected Democrats or Republicans who feel betrayed by their parties and are generally apathetic.  These folks aren't wishy-washy, they're discouraged.  

      Impress them, and they'll show up (see also: 2008).

      We need to stop going halfway around the world to wage war on people who don't even change out of their jammies to fight us.

      by JesseCW on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:06:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  APA is defining people who don't know if they (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        should piss or brush their teeth as "independents" -

        they are a subset of independents, and they'll vote at the last minute according to the latest hate lie from fox, from what a smart fried said, from what a dumb friend said, from something they implied from a billboard ...

        why bother even worrying about these adrift souls?

        who wins them is random.

        rmm.

        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:40:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Independents often have clear convictions (6+ / 0-)

      Do you have data for this because it does not resonate with me:

      Most Independents, by definition, are the very antithesis of spine. Bereft of any concrete political ideals, they very often hold their fingers up to the political wind and sway like weeping willows.

      I know many Independents who have clear, consistent convictions that don't fit neatly into one party. I also know many who have a more coherent set of convictions than what our parties practice - not preach but do.

      Also, smart leaders are not restricted to balancing beliefs with pragmatism as if pragmatism refines one convictions.

      Beliefs are the path and pragmatism is the gait. Politics is one arena for getting results and, to work nicely with others and get results, one needs to pragmatically plan and engage with the power of one's own beliefs and ideals informing the choices of each step taken.    

      •  I know quite a few independents who are just (6+ / 0-)

        tired of all the politics, too.

        They just want to see movement. This is the 'silent majority' in the middle, and Democrats are doing a fair to poor job at pulling them - they live in fear of the right wing.

        •  Me too. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, Terra Mystica, miss SPED

          I think this portion is growing again and tends to add from whichever party is in power (i.e., the party not delivering). When votes matter only on election day and every other day it's money that talks then naturally people will drift from the broken process.

          Being invested in politics is a great sacrifice since 99% of one's life, which does demand our investment, is not usually directly influenced by the actuality of politics - at least since getting rid of the draft.    

    •  that's not always true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, chicagobleu

      I think most independents just don't like to be told what to think by any party. they ,may be socially libeeral and fiscally conservative, or hawkish in foreign policy and liberal in fiscal policy, but don't like to be told what to think on everything.

      I think a majority independents would lean democratic if only democrats would show more spine. they tend to agree with us on many issues and could appreciate the variety of thought within our party. The lock step discipline required to be a Republican these days would turn off anyone who thinks of himself as "independent", But the one thing I hear from them is a consistent ; "At least they stand for something" (Even if it's wrong more often than right)

      "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

      by atlliberal on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:24:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You feel... (0+ / 0-)

        ...a party tells you what to think?

        I think what you're taking about in your 2'nd graph is coherence, strategic direction, and yes, I agree with that, it seems easier to work with mediocre coherence than forward moving chaos. The the extremity of Bush, however, challenges that general rule.

    •  most independents who vote for democrats (6+ / 0-)

      or can be reasonably persuaded to do so, are voters who agree with the democatic platform but don't consider themselves "on the team" and are utterly unmoved by partisan appeals. they tend to be liberal but cynical about democrats delivering on the stuff they campaign on.

      the way to win that subset of indies is to do one of two things:

      1. pass what you campaigned on. if you can just do this, it works out great. but if you can't because of numbers or fillibusters or whatever, then comes plan B:
      1. stand up for what you believe in, don't take any crap, and at least force the GOP to block things proudly in public, so that said left-leaning indies know who is to blame for said policies not getting passed into law.

      clinton figured #2 out in 1996 with the federal budget shutdown. i have been waiting in vain for democrats to try it a second time ever since, and have been moderately heartened with the unemployment extension congressional theatre. best hopes for dems doing more of this unti the election, and then junking that damn fillibuster next session so they can Get Things Done, ie. solution #1 for winning left-leaning independents.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:30:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The old dukakis kerry gore clinton "pragmatism" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, joanneleon

      really really put roadblocks in the way of the MIC ripping us off for 30 years, AHIP-Pharma welfare, NAFTA & off shore jobs ...

      too bad there aren't more parties to work with, cuz, working with people like you is a fucking waste of time and money -

      unless enabling sell outs is defined as an "accomplishment"

      rmm.

      Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

      by seabos84 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:34:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mmm. independents like the APPEARANCE of spine. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, Terra Mystica, elwior

      This is not inconsistent with what you said.  Independents may themselves be spineless and still like to vote for people who appear principled.  ("My Senator can be principled so I don't have to be!")  ;-)

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:28:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are about 100 days to the midterms (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skeptical Bastard, revprez

    Most of which congress is not in session. What concrete examples do you propose that could be accomplished in that time?

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:29:30 AM PDT

    •  Well, it appears Energy Leg is now... (5+ / 0-)

      .
       . . . off the table.  Thanks, Harry.

       Right now most of the hay's in the barn when it comes to passing this or that piece of legislation.

       However, as an example, a major media firestorm could, and should, be created by Capitol Hill Dems and the Admin about the dozens (hundreds?) of appointees being held up in the Senate by the know-nothing, do-nothing, screw-everyone Republicans.  Not only would it put pressure on these shitheads to stop blocking appointments (and maybe a few more would get through), but would also highlight the difference between obstructionist Republicans who just want to "play politics" and Democrats who's lives are dedicated to doing the people's business -- part of which is getting open seats on the Federal benches filled, getting undersecretaries of agencies on the job, etc.

       That's just one example.
       .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:10:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  how about DO YOUR F'KING JOB as a concrete (0+ / 0-)

      example?

      remember that Democratic platform that is floating around every year?

      By the way - most of all of us ALREADY have jobs to do - how about the pathetic sell out fucks who are calling themselves "leaders" NOT be pathetic sell out fucks hiding behind dlc-dukakis-gore-keryy-clinton phony pragmatism ...

      or is that too complex?

      rmm.

      Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

      by seabos84 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:43:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Criticism here of the administration (24+ / 0-)

    ... is, in my experience, aimed at making it more successful, not at making it lose in November.  The administration and Congressional Democrats have shown themselves perfectly capable of losing in November all on their own, thanks to fecklessness and a habit of needless compromise with the Devil.  What we critics want is a party that stands up for its principles, does what it campaigned on doing, and shows that it knows how to kick those who did their best to destroy our economy to the curb.

    When I'm accused of ignoring all the good the Democrats have done since January 2009, I ask what they might have done with better leadership.  We had a historic opportunity at that time to move the country in a radically different direction, and you'd think a president who admires Ronald Reagan for seizing a similar moment would have understood the need to get as much done as possible.  Instead we got endless prattle about bipartisanship, caving to corporatists in our midst, and acquiescence to stall tactics that squandered the better part of a year.  It was not change I can believe in.

    I want a president and a party willing to fight for the 98% of us who aren't already represented by the other party; who want to save the planet; who don't think bribing the powers that be is the way to effect change.  Is that too much to ask?

    •  I read a comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fou, Diogenes2008, soothsayer99

      the other day on how so called 'progressives' who are fighting against this administration, with calls to NOT vote in November because of the 'weak Dems and Obama's 'disaapointment"

      in 2013 just may be sitting around after the Nov Presidencial election asking "Just how did we get  President Mitt Romeny"?

      It was a plea to rethink things.

      But then we see these old 'what if's' coming again with absolutley no credibility " what if we had a stronger Dems in office"?

      Just what IF?

      Reminds me of that very old SNL skit from the 70's or 80's on those 'what if's"

      What IF Elenaor Roosevelt had WINGS during WW2?

      Ya think Ghandi and Martin Luther King ever gave up and called on people to just 'sit it out' because they were 'disappointed'.

      Oh, beleive me ther were other groups who wanted to 'sit it out' because they thought the non violent 'leadership' was 'weak and disappoitning.

      But their way had been attempted before and brought nothing to fruition, and that was the WEAKNESS of their poitions, they appraoched through great WEAKNESS the contant wanting to 'fight back'.

      The real strength was in non violence, in standing up and taking it then acting back with love and compassion, understanding and just marching forward, taking it some more, the beatings without 'fighting back--that is STRENGTH.

      I know this is falling upon deaf ears here, but that's OK perhaps someone will take what I'm saying seriously--perhaps not.

      Have a very good, peaceful, day.

      Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

      by Wary on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:45:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It doesn't come from us, it comes from the (8+ / 0-)

        .
         . . . the President and Democratic leaders.  The country and the votes will follow when they lead.

        .

        "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

        by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:48:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As always, pick the extreme example (17+ / 0-)

        ... and paint all critics with that.  The vast majority of us who criticize the president and the party fully intend to vote for Democrats this fall.  Criticism does not equal abandonment.  And demanding better of our president and our party is not wishing for President Palin.  In fact, it's aimed at trying to prevent precisely that outcome.  It's not critics who have caused disappointment and falling poll numbers, it's the president and the party leaders themselves, for not showing better leadership.

        We want them to succeed, and feel that the best way to encourage them is a good swift kick in the pants.  We want them to do better, whereas others are satisfied with what they've got.

        •  Obama *asked* his supporters to . . . (17+ / 0-)

          .
          . . . hold his feet to the fire.  When we, his supporters do, another group of (supposed) supporters (who really aren't doing him any favors) go ballistic.  

          Well, welcome to politics and all that, I suppose.  

          Gad.

          .

          "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

          by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:56:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think "feet to fire" meant "demonize me". (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sviscusi, northanger, fou, Theston
            •  and some here think "demonize" means "criticize" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dallasdoc, joanneleon

              And around and around we go.

              I was accused of demonizing Obama because I supported Hillary Clinton instead. During the primaries, I would point to the polling differences between the two and argue that Hillary had a better chance against McCain, that winning Democratic delegates was not a good predictor of winning the popular vote in a general election, that the notion that Obama would unite the country and not be polarizing was fantasy. And throughout my criticisms and concerns, I repeatedly asserted that I would vote for the winner, either Obama or Hillary, but I preferred Hillary. All of this made me as evil as Hillary Clinton in some eyes.

              Obama beat McCain, so I was wrong--and I'm glad. I voted for Obama, as I said I would, and as I encouraged other Hillary supporters to do. And yet a couple of totally unhinged Obama-supporting, former friends accused me of being an Obama-hating PUMA simply because I questioned his electability and challenged the emerging myth that he was going to unite Republicans and Democrats and lead us all like RFK Jr. to a progressive promised land.

              To question Obama at all was to be a PUMA in their eyes. And you still see that crap here, albeit in a dwindling group.

        •  It's like a defeatism contest, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc

          which is exactly why more dynamic leadership is the only logical step.

          and I wait for them to interrupt my drinking from this broken cup

          by le sequoit on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:22:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I am not sure... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mallyroyal

          There a lot of examples...

          The person who was angry because people were happy that Obama said he would not extend the tax cuts because it was a passive stand. So its fine to criticize but not to cheer when something good happens?

          And the folks who call anyone who defends their point of view..if it includes something good about Obama or the administration, some insulting name..there are many out there.

          Or the people who have given up and want us all to wallow in misery with them rather than be constructive.

          Yes, many people here are critical in order to make things better, although honestly posting on a blog isn't going to make things better. And I think sometimes people lose sight of the fact that we only have a fraction of the information that those in these positions have. I don't have a problem with criticism that actually is explained, even if its naive or personal. I do have a problem with childish angry criticism that is meant to injure and scar the other people in the conversation. And that happens a lot here. One must be thick skinned..they say. But why can't we be more considerate of each other and think before we type?

        •  That sounds great. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northanger, Fogiv, mallyroyal

          I just don't understand why administration critics can't do the same of Republicans, or understand that the Democrats are facing unprecedented obstruction in Congress.  I don't understand why people can't recognize that the frustrating compromises this administration has made have, in almost every case, been brought about by this obstruction.  I don't understand, given this obstruction, why people are constantly disappointed in Obama and not just rip-shit pissed at Republicans.  If Obama had decided to make these compromises in the absence of this obstruction, then I would understand why people are disappointed.  But I don't otherwise.  To me, effectively holding Obama responsible for Republican obstruction is like blaming King for holding up traffic on the bridge between Selma and Montgomery.

          Also, Obama faces a unique set of challenges being the first black President.  It's frankly frustrating to see people constantly ask him for a reason to be motivated.  He didn't ask anybody for a reason to try to fix this country for the better.  He just stood up and did it, despite the death threats and the bother.  If that's not inspiring, I don't know what is.  Sometimes I feel as if people here would have called Jackie Robinson weak because he didn't yell at all the racists in the stands or call the team owner a 'corporatist' who was only interested in exploiting him for money.

          I'm not kind of person who asks the President to be my hero and speak out against racism and intolerance for me.  I'm the kind of person who thinks it's my job to do that, no matter who's President.

          Oba-MA bumaye! Oba-MA bumaye!

          by fou on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:18:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  heh, love this! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fou

            To me, effectively holding Obama responsible for Republican obstruction is like blaming King for holding up traffic on the bridge between Selma and Montgomery.

            I'm so steaing this.

            "When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon." -Thomas Paine

            by Fogiv on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:29:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  so many straw men n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dallasdoc

            "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

            by catnip on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:43:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  a kossack (wish I could remember who) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fou

            told me yesterday or the day before that the death threats mean hardly anything at all because of the secret service.

            no thats not snark, and wasn't put to me as snark.

            President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

            by mallyroyal on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 10:00:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, broad and inaccurate brush, much? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, blueoasis

        I read a comment the other day on how so called 'progressives' who are fighting against this administration, with calls to NOT vote in November because of the 'weak Dems and Obama's 'disaapointment"

        You read a... comment.  From some pseudonymous poster... not even a diary about it... much less a rec list diary or a front pager... just some comment.  And that defines your view of people who are disappointed with the leadership of this White House?  Of this Party?

        Wow.

        :: Not so hopeful now ::

        by Rick Aucoin on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:29:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  well-put... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc

      The Democratic Party ought to do an educational series exposing the extremism that threatens to overwhelm our nation in group and individual violence.

      It's too important a subject to let stand.

      TAX THE RICH! They have money! I'm a Democrat. That's why!

      by ezdidit on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 10:03:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  US politics (10+ / 0-)

    is pretty sinple on the macro scale. Write off the 25% +-2% that is  teabagger,US love it or leave it, pre enlightenment, batshit crazy who would never vote Democrat in a zillion years - then play like hell for the other 75% by being determined, strong and rational and reasonable.

    How to be determined, strong and rational? run headfirst, full bore straight at the 25% batshit crazy.

    It is so simple it makes my head hurt.

    The Teabaggers are the GOP base

    by stevej on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:33:46 AM PDT

    •  It's not that simple (20+ / 0-)

      Democrats are stuck trying to appease the same moneyed interests Republicans work for.  They court corporatists into their fold for the sake of building a bigger majority, and fail to give voters a choice of a non-corporatist alternative.  That's Rahm Emanuel's philosophy, and it's why so many of us were dismayed when Obama named him COS.

      If we had a party which knew what it stood for, it would be simple.  Sadly, we don't, and that complicates things.

      •  Here's your problem: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wary, fou

        For Democrats to win elections, they typically have to win at least 55-60% of the "moderate" vote. Realistically, that doesn't happen when party leaders swing wildly to the left on public policy solutions.

        It's very easy as an unaccountable blogger to whine constantly about "standing for something". It's not always about "standing for something" when you're running the country. Sometimes, it's about compromise to improve things one step at a time.

      •  and in doing so, lose the Independents (9+ / 0-)

        that put them there the last election.

        I actually believed Obama, fool that I am, that the way of doing business in Washington would change.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:47:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I knew that that was a pipedream, at best. (11+ / 0-)

          .
           There was no crime in your embracing it.  It shows your good nature.  

           But I know the Republican/Nutter mindset.  They were never going to deal in Good Faith with Barack Obama.  Never.

          .

          "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

          by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:54:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it's not so much bipartisanship (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dallasdoc, Terra Mystica, miss SPED

            that I am referring to.. although that's part of it..

            It's the outside influences.. transparency..  Obama has really disappointed me in those areas.

            "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

            by Skeptical Bastard on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:11:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have a question for you... (3+ / 0-)

              (as one who shares your viewpoint) - when Obama said it, did you believe him?  When he metaphorically struck down lobbyists and heralded a new era of transparency, did you think he told the truth?

              If you believed the candidate, I can understand why you are disappointed.  And if you didn't believe the candidate, I can really understand why you are disappointed.

              •  I truly thought he would try.. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dallasdoc, blueoasis, miss SPED

                But, I have yet to see any movement toward reform in that direction at all.  

                And even worse, his administration seems to have taken over Bush practices with a vengeance..  the article by the Washington Post this week (of course ignored here at dKos) regarding the politicization of Homeland Security in regards to FOIA requests struck me as particularly egregious given the way he campaigned.

                AP IMPACT: A political filter for info requests

                "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

                by Skeptical Bastard on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:43:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  oh yes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dallasdoc

                  the continuation of Bush policies now (that had DKers screaming, then) is mindboggling to me. Torture. Wiretapping. Justice and Interior, the whole balls of wax. Whistleblowers and FOIA.  Ew.

                  I knew that the President was relentlessly ambitious, some even said ruthless. I just never realized how rhetorical he is/was, and how he uses/d rhetoric to frame political expediency.

                  I agree with you.  To use the words 'transparent' and 'aggressive' to describe this Administration, as his Secretaries and PR people often do, it just motivates me to change the channel.

                  •  yup (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dallasdoc, miss SPED

                    And the people who are truly going to effect change in the Dem establishment (as much as you can considering you keep having your power stripped away from you) are those who look at what's happened realistically - not those who cosign absolutely everything this administration does thus enabling it to continue down its path of self-destruction to the detriment of the populace in general.

                    When the status quo is untenable, "pragmaticism" (ie. caution plus mediocrity) is not a winning strategy.

                    "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                    by catnip on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:54:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Therein lies the biggest lesson (3+ / 0-)

          for us. When an entire city is run on the basis of self preservation it is very hard for outsiders to come in and effect real change.

          We talk about the status quo a lot but I wonder if we realize just how much the powers align to stop anything different from happening.

          There are the various players of which politicians are only a small subset.There are also 1,000s of media, lobbyists, other corporate interests, everything defense related, staffers, etc.

          Now, reduce this to the personal, as it is the personal that drives politics, and the vast majority of these people are perfectly happy with where they are in life and don't want large scale change as that would make them and their mortgages and their kids college fees very insecure. Ultimately Washington is a big country club made up of many smaller country clubs.

          We talk about the status quo a lot but sometimes it is good to take a deeper look.

          I still think that this presidency could still be a great one but for that to happen the Democrats would have to declare open war on the batshit crazy 25% ers. It is high risk and it would be scary but there is a way through that would change not only the capitol but this country in a real way.

          The Teabaggers are the GOP base

          by stevej on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:08:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  No argument there (5+ / 0-)

        I was firmly neutral about Rahm. I think that much of what is accredited to him is actually the Washington effect. Any political capital evolves to smooth the rough edges off those that go to work there, in any capacity. By rough edges I mean things like strong political philosophies.

        I think that the Obama group, Obama Rahm, Axelrod and Gibbs really did plan on doing all of the things that they campaigned on. I think they underestimated the power that lies in entrenchment, of a town full of people who have spent decades building and defending their own little empires.

        In the end, the line of least resistance must look very appealing.

        As far as the monied interests go, I suspect that a full frontal attack on the teabagger wing may meet less resistance than many think. Money likes stability and our bagger friends certainly do not represent stability. Couple this with the fact that  there is a pretty solid body of GOPpers who do not like what is happening but cannot take the political hit of being publicly anti RWNJ.

        On balance I think that steamrollering the far right could be a move that pleases everyone apart from the 25% batshit crazies.

        The Teabaggers are the GOP base

        by stevej on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:51:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, chumley, webranding

          I think there's a huge upside to taking the 25% fringe head on and not a whole lot of downside.

          I mean they already hate everything about Dems and attack the President at every turn, so who cares if you pissed them off more? Not like you had a chance in hell of getting their votes anyway.

          And frankly I don't think it's possible to piss them off more than they already are anyway, so why not try it and see if you can make some headway with the other 75% of the voting population?

          "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

          by MichiganGirl on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:13:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Remember when they mildly called out Fox? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, mallyroyal

            And every other news channel lept to poor ol' Sister-Station-Fox's defense?

            There's a lot of downside in attacking the wingnuts and their Organ, Fox.

            The Village will go to war with the WH to defend Fox.  And since The Village controls the airwaves and the framing of all discourse that means they are more powerful en masse than the White House is.

            :: Not so hopeful now ::

            by Rick Aucoin on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:34:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's not 'the town' it's the whole country that (5+ / 0-)

          is beholden to corporations. I really never knew who much until the death gusher happened in the gulf. Witness who is in charge in the southern gulf and you see an example of who runs the show in the country as well.

          Now there is a definite split in the Democratic party between left and right. I've never seen so many insults aimed at the left on this site as I have this year. Wow! How are you going to fight the corporate grip on the country with all this in fighting.

          It's very depressing.

          This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

          by Agathena on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:16:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BenGoshi, miss SPED

          I thought they planned on most everything the second term.  Iraq, Afghanistan, and HIR was going to carry the first.  They obviously weren't counting on a crashed economy, and don't appear to be flexible enough to change plans.  The fact that Rahm appears to be 99% political and 1% policy probably has something to do with it.

      •  You virtually confimed stevej's statement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BenGoshi

        The solution is very simple.  Convincing folks to pursue the solution is the challenge.

        I have seen this throughout my 30+ years in I.T., moreso these days than ever as the pace is accelerating.

        It is incredibly easy to introduce new technology, but mind-numbingly frustrating effecting the cultural change necessary to embrace and exploit it.

        Horse and water anyone? :)

      •  I forget (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, miss SPED

        both the exact wording and who said it, but if you can't take their money and do what's right anyway, you don't deserve to be in office.

  •  Last Night On Rachel Maddow's Show (13+ / 0-)

    she got into a back-and-forth with Jonathan Alter. That Obama shouldn't go after Fox Noise and those that attack him 24/7.

    Rachel thought they should. Alter said no, the DNC and other organizations needs to take the lead on this, not Obama.

    Saw something similar on Hardball yesterday with all these polls that highlighted more of the public, back to the early 90s are self describe conservatives.

    Funny thing, if you ask actual liberal policies positions instead of if folks are liberal, conservative, or moderate, well those polls more then flipped in the other direction.

    It just makes no sense to me .....

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by webranding on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:34:00 AM PDT

    •  Alter's point was well taken----DNC needs to be (15+ / 0-)

      leading the fight; not Obama.  

      And, so where is Kaine???    

      Nowhere!!!

      We see fucking Micheal Steele every day---good and bad; but we see him.

      Kaine---not so much.

      He's got to get off his ass; and get out there, with others and fight this shit from Fox,etc.

    •  If Obama goes after Fox he's "whining" ... (6+ / 0-)

      what is needed is for the Democratic base to go after Fox.

      That is what the Republicans do.  Their leadership doesn't go after Keith or Rachel, they leave that to their base which attacks like a pack of wild dogs.

      If the progressive left really wants to be seen as effective, they could shut Fox down over the crap they throw.

      If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. - Barack Obama

      by LiberalCanuck on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:40:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Beleive me many of us (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LiberalCanuck, mallyroyal

        in the Democratic 'base' have consistently gone after Fox and continue to do so--HOWEVER when another segment of the 'Dem BASE" ALSO goes after the President and the Dems well then it severly cuts into the attacks we make on FOX since so many are using the very same frames as the Fox people do.

        I live in KY a RED STATE and I swear sometimes when I come to daily Kos I must check to make sure I'm NOT still on the KY message board fighting the righties--same frames, same attacks only the righties began using those attacks last year--it's really sad.

        Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

        by Wary on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:14:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He needs to ignore them, and make them whine (5+ / 0-)

        no calling on them at press conferences, no doing interviews with them, no sending staffers to talk to them.

        They need to be treated like the televised tabloid they are.

        Let them cry about it.  It just marginalizes them further.

        We need to stop going halfway around the world to wage war on people who don't even change out of their jammies to fight us.

        by JesseCW on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:14:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I don't think this is an "either/or" thing. (10+ / 0-)

      .
       Obama certainly can, and should, treat Fox and its allies (Limbaugh, et creepy) with contempt, but not necessarily getting all bent out of shape, just laughing and saying they're idiots and liars and he doesn't have time to focus on such tripe, that he's got The Peoples' Business to focus on.  And, at the same time, the DNC and its allies rips Fox apart and dismantles every lie, day in and day out.

       I think that such would be a good strategy and proper "division of labor."

      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:42:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agreed w Alter on what he said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northanger

      You know, it's very interesting being on twitter.

      While the, for lack of a better name, while the 'left' idolizes Rachel, Keith, Ed -- it's totally different amongst the rank and file of the Dem base.

      For instance the last 2 nights Racheal spent WANTING the WH to attack and go after the right wing--and the left cheered her on.

      BUT the rank and file Democrats, the BROAD spectrum of the base, were sad of the lost opportunity for her and Keith to NOT speak of the President's and the Democrats accomplishments!

      And the biggest schockr last night was on Net roots Nation #NN10 on twitter during Ed Schultz 'speech'. While the 'left' cheered him on, especially when he said that the President had a 'war room and by not attacking the right then he must also have a 'sissy room" BUT that attack from Ed had  more and more tweets were calling Ed the GLENN BECK of the 'left' calling for his to shut up.

      Since i have been following most of them for a year now, I know those who called him Glenn Beck are the grassroots Dems in their cities and states.

      Oh BTW the entire crowd LOVED Marcos! They thought he was the funniest one of all last night.

      Marcos was pretty cool in his own words saying "while I can't get 'excited' about the currnet Dems I LOOK FORWARD to taking out the TEA BAGGERS" now that type of comment went far and was repeated strongly even from the rank and file grass roots dems. Nothing offensive against the Dems and yet a STRONG CALL to action!

      Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

      by Wary on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:05:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Alter is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Diogenes2008, miss SPED, mallyroyal

        right. He did criticize the White House for their''totally ham-handed '' handling of the Sherrod affair, but he correctly pointed out that for the President to be a Faux-News watchdog/attack dog would just give them what they want...a fight in the mud that no one comes out clean. Who has more to lose in that? Not Fox.

        And as Alter correctly pointed out, Van Jones was screwed the minute it came out that he signed on to the 9/11 truthers petition. You cannot have someone in your administration that concluded that the US govt was involved in 9/11, I don't care how baseless the rest of the attacks on him were by Beck. For Obama to go to the mat protecting him would have been a disaster.

        As a former amatuer boxer,I have found that usually when your opponent starts lunging wildly throwing crazy punches,the best thing to do is let them destroy themselves...do not respond in kind. Be strategic, and take advantage of their out of balance positioning.

        I know everyone is impatient with the President and democrats and concerned about the fall elections,but timing is everything and I believe this President has shown that he has a pretty good sense of timing in terms of elections.

        If the economy was humming, Obama would have been more aggressive. Unfortunately, it is not,and I doubt another 200 billion in that stim package would have solved this thing yet.

        Maybe they should propose another jobs bill and have it get shot down by the GOPers for political purposes...do voters want more clarification on where the parties stand that a failed jobs bill would provide,or would they punish the failure to pass such a bill?

        •  Remember Gannon/Guckert ? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TJ, BenGoshi, seabos84

          That's all you need to know.

        •  nah (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          that was some bullshit on Alter's part. and it illustrates the problem with the 'centrist' mindset quite nicely. a whole life of work, and he's forced to withdraw from consideration for an important job because he once signed a piece of paper saying that the 9/11 commission didn't obtain / release all relevant facts. it wasn't even a 'truther' petition, it was just questioning of the committee's findings, as I recall.

          he could have been easily defended and those accusing him made to look silly. but only if you're not ashamed of yourself, your ideas, your beliefs, etc in the first place. if you can't defend your own beliefs, you can't defend those who generally share them with you. one signature on a petition somewhere, and they cave. pathetic.

    •  If they polled progressive vs conservative (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi, webranding, MichiganGirl

      instead of liberal vs conservative, it would remove the bias incurred from the 40+ year campaign to turn liberal into a dirty word.

      My expectation is this new poll would push progressive into the 35%+ range, perhaps even 40%.  

      Besides, progressive is the more accurate comparison as it is more the opposite of conservative.

      •  Recent poll on "progressive" few call (0+ / 0-)

        themselves that, over a majority does even know what it stands for see Gallup poll:

        ONLY 12% desribe themselves as PROGRESSIVE--31%   reject it, and 54% don't even know what it stands for.

        much more data at this link:

        Gallup poll, july 12, on political ideology

        So in no way does the progressive label even rival that of the 40% that call themselves 'conservative'

        Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

        by Wary on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:32:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's because "liberal" has been made a dirty word (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chumley, Wary, blueoasis

      over the past several generations.

      My grandma says in her day to say someone was a gay person was a compliment to a person no matter their sexual/political/religious/whatever leanings, because it meant that they were a happy, and pleasant person to be around.

      Now several generations later the word has an entirely different meaning.

      Time moves on and popular vocabulary changes.

      "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

      by MichiganGirl on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:19:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bait and switch headline... (4+ / 0-)

    but I approve.  

    There's no reason that democrats can't act like progressives to get progressive votes.  Is there really any validity to the argument that they'd lose more votes than gain by going left?  I mean, I think most democrats think that they have to claim the votes that could be claimed by republicans before they do so, but if they lose the progressives in the process would it really be worth it?

    •  I apologize. Really. I didn't mean to do that. (9+ / 0-)

      .
       And, you know, it is true.

       Anyway, mea culpa.

       And your point sort of cuts to the heart of it, doesn't it?  Take care of those who helped you along the way first, because if you don't they might not be there the next time you need 'em.  Here I'm not even talking about Obama or Democratic politicians -- I'm talking about human nature in general.  People get tired of being used, they get tired of ingrates.  I'm not saying that that's what Obama is, I'm saying that the perception can, indeed, filter into the mindset of those who did the long slog back in '07 and '08 if they feel, if they believe, they efforts have too many times gone unappreciated.

      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:52:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is all of it, in terms of electoral victory. (14+ / 0-)

    "Independents would be impressed.  For the 309,225,107,985,330,548th time:  they admire Spine."

    Any fool can see it.

    So the lack of action means that this Congress and this administration have made an active choice to embrace something else, and that's called corporatism.

    Partisanship is dead. The lines between Democrats and Republicans, even though it seems like they are starkly drawn, are becoming more blurred. The defense of wealth and power is apparent in every 'deal' struck, every 'compromise' made.

    The coddling of 'centrists' by this administration and Congress, when the country cries out for meaningful change and action is the final proof in the pudding.

    •  Not sure if it corporatism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, BenGoshi

      or line of least resistancism. Probably one and the same.

      The Teabaggers are the GOP base

      by stevej on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:56:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  corporatism.? totally off here since most of (0+ / 0-)

      Country, by recent polls call him a SOCIALIST  

      Poll: 55% Of Likely Voters Think Obama's A Socialist

      Recent pollon how the RIGHT wins messaging

      So, the 'progressive' message is that, oh, really Obama's a CORPORATIST, yet the 'Conservatives' have successfully painted him a SOCIALIST

      hate to say it but who's listening to which ideological message?

      Either way this puts any name calling by both the right and the left into what I call the NEXUS--both name calling each from their own ideological underpinnings, in either case all that matters is the President Obama is bing ATTACKD by BOTH the 'right AND the 'left'--damn, and that's the current media meme isn't it?

      I can't say it's wrong any longer, yes, it's true President Obama is being attacked by BOTH the RIGHT and the LEFT so where does he go now?

      CENTER--damn I hate to have to say that.

      Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

      by Wary on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:49:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They Lost A Little Bit Of Me (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      seabos84, Terra Mystica, ZAP210, miss SPED
      when they came out with both barrels to support...Blanche Lincoln?  Lieberman?  There is absolutely no excuse for that.
      •  Chipping away at progressive enthusiasm? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, miss SPED

        I tell myself these are anomalies, but that's just the denial I need to stay involved in the democratic process. Just keep voting, ZAP.

        In more reflective moments its clear that Dems are every bit as dirty as Republicans, their votes are equally for sale and the same wealthy buyers are ponying up for both sides. No matter how much we contribute to campaign coffers, we can't compete with an inside line on the best performing stock portfolios in the world.

        Did you see Bennet and Udall changing their votes from "no" to "yes" after it became clear that Bernie's usury cap was not going to pass? We keep electing folks with %80, %90, %95 progressive voting records, and every progressive element in every piece of legislation keeps getting shot down. Who are we trying to kid?

        Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell - Edward Abbey

        by ZAP210 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:09:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Spot on Ben (13+ / 0-)

    This is what we're been saying here for months.

    Stand up for your values!

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:55:45 AM PDT

  •  Showing Some Spine Is Key IMHO (7+ / 0-)

    I should have written up a Diary about this. I knew as soon as some on the right said, "hey we are sorry about that Sherrod thing" they'd quickly pivot and keep going down the same path of attacking her and Obama.

    And that is just what they are doing. They never give up or back down for a second. Tony Blankley was on the Ed Show yesterday pulling other quotes from the video to highlight it is a racial issue.

    Now they are talking up the $1B+ award for the USDA discriminating against minorities.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by webranding on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 05:58:16 AM PDT

  •  Another one? (6+ / 0-)

    I was hoping that these sort of diaries would start fading away a bit.  

    Have you seen the polling breakdown of how many Americans self-identify as "liberal" compared to "conservative?'  

    It ain't pretty out there.  If we want our agenda to do better, we need to do a better job of changing the minds of the voters, not the legislators.  The rest will follow if we can succeed in changing the trajectory of the country.

    I was at a union negotiating session and brought up the fact that we are about the only country in the industrialized world that does not guarantee paid vacations, sick time, and child leave.  And the business rep FOR THE UNION said "But don't all those other countries have higher unemployment and lower wages than we do."

    Bang head against wall, rinse, repeat.   If you can't convince the unions that the country should have better worker benefits guaranteed by law, then good luck with the rest of the country.  We need a better grass roots effort, we need to be consistent over decades (think of the push for recycling as a good example), and THEN when we succeed in raising popular support we can bitch and moan that if only the Dems had a better plan, we'd take the country by storm.

    For now, we've got to accept that the country is not as liberal as we'd like to believe.  The public option polled well because people weren't asked how to pay for it.  People want something for nothing, as a general rule, when it comes to politics.

    •  What? The Public Option saved money. (13+ / 0-)

      What would have made sense would have been asking people how to spend the savings.

      We need to stop going halfway around the world to wage war on people who don't even change out of their jammies to fight us.

      by JesseCW on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:16:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It saves the country money (0+ / 0-)

        That does not mean it saves each individual money.  

        Big difference.  It needs to be paid for, and paying for those who can't afford the monthly fees (and those who have expensive chronic conditions) means getting the money from someone else.   That means taxes.

        I'm all in favor of it.  Mention taxes on anyone but the super-rich, though, and the public gets all squirmy.  

        •  It would save individuals money as well. (6+ / 0-)

          It would give them better coverage at a better price than the crap we're now going to be mandated to purchase.

          No matter if we're talking about saving the Government or the individual money, the Public Option is cheaper than the mandated private insurance we're going to have.

          We need to stop going halfway around the world to wage war on people who don't even change out of their jammies to fight us.

          by JesseCW on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:16:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As someone who has good private insurance (0+ / 0-)

            heavily subsidized by my company, I beg to differ.  I, personally, would most likely not save money under a public option, at least not for a very long time until the savings (or long term reduction in price increases) works its way through the system.

            My union has regularly given up other benefits in exchange for keeping good insurance, and there are many millions just like me.  

            The Public Option has turned into some rainbows-and-kittens, if-you-say-something-bad-about-it-you-are-a-rightwing-tool, untouchable fantasy.  It is none of those things.  I have a chronic medical condition, I routinely discuss health care access with people from other countries.   I know of several people in the UK who are still unable to get medication that I've been taking for 7 years, not because it does not work but because it's too expensive and their health care won't pay for it for this disease.  

            Not all concerns about the public option or single-payer come from greed.  

            I support the public option personally, but it would not likely save me, personally, any money, nor would it give me better care than my excellent work-provided policy.  What it would do is give me more options if I lost my job, and for that reason as well as the "benefit-to-society" reasons, I support it even though it would not save me money.

            But again, you have done nothing to dispute my point that it polled well because there was no corresponding question about ways to pay for it.  It saves society money by giving access to those who are currently uninsured, but most accounting figures I saw showed that giving access marginally raises short-term costs for those who already have insurance.

            •  Since your Union would be free to buy (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis, Terra Mystica

              into it, and because it would help to drive down drug prices, you'd still benefit.

              I've afraid that you just don't seem to understand what the public option is.

              You're going to be paying, through taxes, for subsidies to insurance companies for covering people who can't afford their own premiums.  That part passed.

              The Public Option would give the people getting those subsidies a chance to take them to a cheaper not-for-profit government run option.

              That didn't pass.

              You're confusing "The Public Option" with the whole mandatory insurance/subsidy system.

              We need to stop going halfway around the world to wage war on people who don't even change out of their jammies to fight us.

              by JesseCW on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:12:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  It's all about the messaging (4+ / 0-)

      I know that more of the country self-identifies as conservative than liberal but my understanding is (although I'm too lazy to look up a source atm - need more coffee) that those same people when presented actual policy choices usually agree with the left more than the right.

      We've just gotten our asses handed to us on so many issues because we don't have the focus and the persistence of the right wing noise machine.  They've drummed "liberal = bad" into our heads for so long that the word is toxic even if the policies are actually pretty mainstream.

      As much as I hate the doughy little toad, we need our own Frank Luntz or someone like that, and we need our politicians to stay together and on message, and we need our surrogates to drum that message into the national consciousness the same way the Right does.

      Even this administration, supposedly filled with political geniuses, has failed at it pretty miserably.  For a short time there they really hammered the "party of no" meme and the Repubs were reeling.  That's the spine we need - when the Dems stand up to the Repubs, together, on message, and on the attack - the Repubs scramble for cover.  Imagine if for the last 18 months every time the Republicans opposed/filibustered/bitched about ANYTHING they were met with the "party of no" chorus.  They'd be in a hole so deep they couldn't see out of it.

      But we just can't seem to stay focused on it...

      "My arrival was somewhat like the coming of the strange most evil angel in the home of the snow-white fleece..." -Kerouac, On the Road

      by mostevilangel on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:19:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        There has to be something to message. Many seem to forget that.

        The Teabaggers are the GOP base

        by stevej on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:23:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I still think (0+ / 0-)

        that Luntz alone would not impact the populace without right wing talk radio. Right wing talk radio,as pointed out by Kos, reaches tens of millions every single day. They call them ditto-heads for a reason..they hear the same nasty messages every day,and become lobotomized.

        I have not answer on how the left can construct such a talking points machine,as it just seems that for some reason,lefty radio does not attract big audiences. I think it clear that demographics are the main culprit. I was just in Kansas for a wedding last weekend(12 hour drive from chicago and hotter than hades),and I did the AM radio buzz around just to test the waters in downstate Illinois,missouri and kansas...and in Iowa coming back...vast wasteland would be an understatement in terms of right wing propaganda on that radio.

        It is like Prada back in the Soviet Union...they own the airwaves...and when the ''folks'' hear it year after year, they believe it..sadly.

      •  You make some valid points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mebby

        Sadly, I disagree that it's all about the messaging.  The reason I say "sadly" is because changing messaging is easier than changing minds (and I think that's why so many of us try to grab that ring whenever it circles past us on the carousel).

        The union movement didn't rise because of messaging; it rose because people understood that companies were literally killing people in the work place and not doing squat about it.  It rose because people could see the "mansion on the hill" that the mine owner, or factor owner, or even shop-keeper, lived in while they worked their butts off for said owner and lived in rat-infested squalor.

        The rich got smart.  They didn't just change their message, they changed their whole approach.  Now we all earn a piece of that company and its profits, thanks to 401k's.  Do you want a nice retirement?  Well then you better hope this company does well.  You want a raise?  More time off?  Well, the company can't afford it.  If it does give you those things, it won't compete and the share prices will fall.  

        You can borrow your way to owning that mansion on the hill.  You too can be a "business-owner", thanks to your ability to borrow your way into it (chances are that you will be out of business in a couple years, but pssst, that's a big secret).  

        That's not just good message control.  What that is is using sleight-of-hand to give people the illusion that the system is helping everyone, and if we tinker with it by giving more to workers, the whole thing will collapse.  It was absolute genius to make EVERYONE in the middle class a corporate shareholder.  As it was genius to lower the price of manufactured goods so even the poorest can afford things like tv's and used cars, while the real standard of living has remained stagnant.

        We need to get in there, at the bottom, and start doing the job the media has intentionally not done.  Most people did not know that everywhere else in the world has maternity leave, til I told them.  Most people don't believe me when I tell them the entire EU gets 4 weeks paid vacation, the day they walk into a new job.  Most people don't understand that we work more hours than the rest of the industrialized world.  And I see literally no broad-scale organized effort to share this information with the country.  

        Put it in human terms.  Keep voting and lobbying, sure, but make the movement INDEPENDENT from any political party, the way the environmental movement has done, and AFTER you gain the momentum of popular opinion, then push the party for all you are worth to adopt the goals as part of its platform.  

        We've got it the wrong way around.  We try to push the legislators towards stuff without raising public demand.   Look at all the really great movements in history:  the public demanded the change, on a large scale.

        •  No, that approach is 150 years old (0+ / 0-)

          at least.  Read Horatio Alger for 19th century attempts to sell the "everyone can be just as rich as we are if you just work within the system" scam.

          -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

          by neroden on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:37:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I hear you Driver 8 (7+ / 0-)

      and I agree that we are dealing with a conservative
      country.  Since 1980 a real assault was made on the
      liberals in many venues.  Business (own your own
      business and you can get rich) or (unions are bad, bad
      and bad), religion (God shows his favor on you by
      showering you with money--and that parking place that
      showed up out of nowhere--just send us a little money
      and you will be BLESSED), media (that liberal media)
      that got shrunk down to a few corporate media outlets,
      infomercials (or pyramid schemes) that show how rich
      you can be and not worry about money anymore, lotteries
      and casinos that will instantly make you one of the
      rich.  And let's not forget the economic "bubbles" that
      looked so attractive at the time, from the IT to the
      housing fiasco.  The conservatives rule the roost;
      whether politics or economics or religion I don't see
      the slightest progressive movement in this country.  
      This country has been had and I don't see any sign that
      it is going to change.  Incremental steps to just
      "right of center" isn't going to cut it.

  •  A Good Trend, Let's Keep it Going! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, stevej, Dallasdoc

    Independents must have looked over the proverbial republican bathroom stall at the shit and stench, and have recoiled with their noses held.

    If the Dems can find something akin to a proto-spine between now and November, standing up to the rethugs, and not chasing every Bratbart or Faux News invented or heavily edited video clip, then the Dems will not only win in November, but win big.

    Or, as the TundraTart put it, "Rethugs will be "refudiated," youbetcha."

    "If God dropped acid, would he see people?"—Steven Wright

    by skeezixwolfnagle on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:06:44 AM PDT

  •  Can someone please let me know--- (9+ / 0-)

    and I'm not trying to be cute here or be a smartass or anything...but if President Obama did do what some of us Progressives wanted him to do, we would have passed nothing.

    1.) Add more stimulus less tax cuts to Stimulus Bill, f*ck it...ALL STIMULUS/NO TAX CUTS. What would happen?
    No Republican votes. Republicans masquerading as Democrats would not have voted for it...No Stimulus Bill.

    2.) Add a Public Option to HCR, f*ck it...MAKE IT SINGLE PAYER. Moderate Dems would not have voted for it...No Health Care Reform.

    3.) Financial Reform added more regulation....f*ck it...Financial Reform added more regulation, revoke the 1975 law that prevents municipal bond issuers from facing the kind of regulation and added the Volker Rule.What would happen? Nor repub or dem votes...No Financial Regulation Reform.

    This is not President Obama's fault---he is working with what he has.

    Now instead of complaining, can we do something productive?

    Although a republican government is slow to move, yet when once in motion, its momentum becomes irresistible. Thomas Jefferson

    by YoungChicagoDemocrat on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:08:35 AM PDT

    •  So Republicans With Far Less Of A Majority (8+ / 0-)

      can pass tax cuts, two wars, No Child Left Behind, Prescription Drug Benefit, TARP, and how many others things. But something we are just powerless?

      "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

      by webranding on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:12:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Takes a lot of Power, a lot of Energy, to ... (5+ / 0-)

        .
         . . . wring one's hands 24/7, worry that Hannity or Cantor or McConnell might say something mean about you.

         Whoa!  A brainstorm!  If we could just tap the energy Capitol Hill Dems put into wringing their hands!  Energy problem solved!  

         Heh, and if we disposed of the excess sweat at Yukka Mountain it's name would take on a whole new, and entirely appropriate, meaning.

        .

        "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

        by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:18:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The fact that democrats cooperate when in the (8+ / 0-)

        minority doesn't mean that republicans do.  In fact, they set records for filibusters.

        Your argument is a non sequitur.

        Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

        by lockewasright on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:18:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let Me See If I Got This Right (4+ / 0-)

          The fact that democrats cooperate when in the minority doesn't mean that republicans do.

          True statement. So we reward them by watering down our bills and upsetting the base of the party. That seems like a winning strategy.

          "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

          by webranding on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:22:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, let's pass nothng instead. (6+ / 0-)

            That'll show 'em!

            That seems like a monumentally stupid strategy.

            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

            by lockewasright on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:24:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, because the leadership (0+ / 0-)

              would have gone on television proclaiming that the GOP refuse to allow health care to pass, along with all the publicly popular components.

              Instead, our leadership slowly cut off one popular component at a time, dragging out the process, allowing teabaggers to teabag, further eroding overall support. When the vote finally came, there was no GOP support anyway.

              The bill would have been better if our leadership held their ground and passed exactly what the public wanted from the start.

              The same is true of every other legislation.

              •  The extension of UI benefits and all of the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Escamillo

                publicity that it got had zero impact on GOP votes... none.  Months and months of very public debate on health care during which the GOP made damn sure that everyone knew they were voting 100% lockstep against it even as the president publicly said that he favored a public option had zero impact on GOP votes. You are simply mistaken.

                Additionally, the diary statement that this president and the dems have not worked on the people's agenda is also flat out false.  It is hyperbole at the least. They did pass a healthcare bill and a sweeping one at that.  They did pass FinReg of historical proportions.  They did pass a stimulus bill.  Just because the bills weren't exaclty as the diarist, or you, or I wanted doesn't mean that they didn't pass or don't count.  

                The weather here today is not how I would prefer.  Do I get to claim that 7/23/2010 never happened?  No, I don't because that would be false.  All the folks who refuse to acknowledge that there have been very significant accomplishments are managing is to do Chairman Steele's job for him.

                Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                by lockewasright on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:54:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You've clearly decided to find a way to dislike (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Escamillo

                this president before examining the facts and have thereby revised history to fit your innaccurate narrative.

                Those changes to the bill were to get either a few republicans or to get Blanche Lincoln, or Ben Nelson, of Max Baucus, or Joe Liebermann.  

                Politics is the art of the possible, not the art of insisting on jamesia's dream bill that can't overcome a filibuster.

                We need more and better democrats, not GOP back in the white house and in charge of the legislature due to a false narrative like the one in this diary.

                Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                by lockewasright on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:59:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  No, that's not right (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kathy S, mallyroyal

            It's not a matter of rewarding them. It's a matter of getting the best legislation passed that is possible through this Congress.

            Historically, democrats and republicans have always, to some extent, cooperated as a loyal opposition when in the minority for precisely the reason that to function as a country, the choice of the people has to be respected. This is the first time we've seen an the unprecedented obstruction of a kamikaze minority. I don't think anyone really knows how to deal with it.

          •  no (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chumley, Kathy S

            you reward those Americans the legislation helps by getting something passed as opposed to nothing.  you're treating it merely as a game btw dems and repubs when it's life-changing (for some people) legislation under discussion.

            President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

            by mallyroyal on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:54:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Do you (7+ / 0-)

        really think that passing a tax cut that put more money in everybodys pocket is as tough as passing healthcare reform that has languished for 80 years?

        Or the prescription drug bill that was on the credit card but sounded like a benefit to old folks?

        Or a war to go after the people that attacked NYC and Washington on 9/11?

        This is the age old problem..the repugs do not address real problems,they do giveaways or revenge when an emotional country wants to lash out.

        Then the adults,the dems,try to actually address long term problems like climate change,or healthcare for the poor,and they get hammered cus those are not sexy or easy or fun.

        Do you think the President could get a tax cut passed? He did,with the stim bill. The spending part of the bill is what was tough.

        Repugs do easy shit legislatively,which allows them to sway a few bluedogs. Dems tackle tough issues that allow GOPers to sway those same bluedogs against their party. Conundrum.

      •  yea bc its so difficult to pass tax cuts. (0+ / 0-)

        who done'st want a tax cut? and its so difficult to get a country to commit to war after the most horrific terrorist attack on us soil?

      •  Please read up on HOW they passed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        meatwad420, Escamillo

        all of those things, first tax cuts UNPAID for--

        Every child left behind UNPAID for passed onto states unfunded mandate

        medicare plan B UNPAID for

        Two wars UNPAID FOR

        Do you want Dems to be LIKE Republicans?Yeah we have stimulus to stimulate economy

        Health care will decrease defict,

        Oh, never mind, it's the umteenth time this has been gone over, and few listen--time for me to go SIMMING have a GREAT day folks!

        Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

        by Wary on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:01:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Talk about "false equivalence". (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aexia, hlsmlane, Phthalo, Theston, Mebby

        You equate the difficulty of what Repubs tried to pass with that of which Dems tried to pass?

        First: Tax cuts and wars of revenge are easy compared to health care, financial reform, energy.  When W/Repubs did try to tackle hard, transformational things - privatizing Social Security, immigration reform) - W/Repubs failed.  And those are the only two transformational things W even attempted.

        Second: The Dems do not filibuster as a matter of course.  If they did, then no, those things you mentioned wouldn't have passed.

        Third: A substantial number of Dems supported multiple items on your list of "Republican" bills.  TARP?  More Dems voted for it than Repubs.  No Child Left Behind?  Ted Kennedy himself worked on that, was the guy that shepherded it through the Senate, and was one of the chief co-sponsors.  It passed the Senate 91-8!  It passed the House 384-45!

        If you want to make a comparison, make a truthful one.  The one you're pushing is just "true progressive" propaganda, and discredits your entire argument.  And the diarist BenGoshi's rec'ing of your post discredits the entire diary, as it demonstrates he's not arguing in good faith.  Maybe he'll reconsider and take back his rec of your intellectually dishonest sophistry.

    •  No. Leaders lead. (10+ / 0-)

      .
       Your moniker sort of says it all.  That's not an slight, not an insult, just an observation.

       And I'm not just talking about President Obama, I'm talking about Reid, too.

       And it's not just a matter of "passing legislation," it's about the tone, the impression, the feel, the Zeitgeist of the Admin which, until very, very, very recently, appeared much more concerned with appeasing Republicans than in standing behind the people who put the President into office in the first place.

       I mean, perhaps you haven't seen the news this week and this little flap over a USDA employee . . .
      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:14:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  aaaargh. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cslewis, BenGoshi

      Now instead of complaining, can we do something productive?

      Fuck off - I mean that sincerely. Long before you stumbled upon this place many of us enjoyed debating and discussing topics and exchanging ideas. Ideas are what lie at the root of politics, without them it is about power and nothing else.

      There is a BWD diary on the rec list I'm sure - you will be much happier there now please run along.

      The Teabaggers are the GOP base

      by stevej on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:20:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You don't know that. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi, chumley, WisePiper

      Democrats could have held the Repugs out to ridicule, and forced the Maine Twins, Voinovich, Gregg, StaplePutz and others to finally cross over.

      All McConnell had to do was hold the line. Reid's inability to hold his own caucus together and weak challenge to the Pugs lead to these failures.

  •  agreed, thanks for the diary. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, BenGoshi, stevej
  •  Great diary! (10+ / 0-)

    Governing fairly, governing well is its own reward.

    You can be nice, friendly and caring, but if most Americans are suffering from a down economy, it won't matter.  Results matter to voters.

    There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

    by Betty Pinson on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:24:15 AM PDT

  •  Everytime a Republican opens his/her mouth (7+ / 0-)
    Amplify!!  Harry Reid hasn't done anything great he's just let Sharon Angle drive herself into a ditch.  Most of these Republicans running have to open their mouths and let the craziness roll out to appease their teabaggers.  Amplify this craziness.
    •  Hear! Hear! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terra Mystica, icebergslim

      .
       We ought to buy airtime for Angle and Bachmann.

      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:35:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This goes with what Rachel said last night (5+ / 0-)

      The way the campaign was able to keep focus and attack the stupid stuff into submission- birthers, etc., needs to be done again.

      The entire country, for instance, needs to know about Bachmann's idea to turn Congress into nothing more than a subpoena machine and an investigation crew to make sure Muslim toilet paper isn't being used in Federal office bathrooms.

      Do people want to see investigations like the one Ken Starr did...but this time, even bigger, and more expensive?  

      ======

      "Sick Around the World"

      http://pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

      Watch it, send it along to all you know.

      by oxfdblue on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:39:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  THIS should be a diary. Well, I know that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ridemybike

        .
         . . . various Bachmann Crazy has been diaried and Front Paged, but it can hardly be done too much.  If done enough (and that's the cool thing about this site), there's a chance a little bit of it could get some (more) Media Heather coverage.

        .

        "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

        by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:45:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There's a lot of merit in this, and it's one (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chumley, mightymouse, oxfdblue, PhilJD

      reason that Democrats look better than the Pugs.

      Angle, Bachmann, Palin, Orly Taitz, Louie Gohmert, Rand Paul .. people like this suck the air out of the room, but the effect is asymmetrical: it impacts the Repugs more. These lunatics need to be brought forward as the true representatives of what the Republican Party stands for.

      Insanity.
      Stupidity.
      Shallow minded racism and outright delusional garbage.

      Sort a shame, thinking that as ineffectual as Democrats have been, they still look good compared to these raving loons. As Ben points out, it would be incredible if Democrats actually stood for something, ANYTHING .. and held their ground.

  •  Everyone reads this diary to mean "If MY issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, rainmanjr

    had been pushed like crazy, because MY issue is SO POPULAR".  

    But if you were to actually start listing specific issues, you'd find that there's hardly agreement on which are so popular...and then there would be decisions made, and someone would felt thrown under the bus, etc...just like now.

    Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

    by Inland on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:36:46 AM PDT

    •  No. (11+ / 0-)

      .
       I'm not talking about a particular issue.  I'm talking about whether the Administration and Capitol Hill Dems will stand up the to GOP.

       Over the past 18 months they sometimes have (sort of) and many times have not.  

       It's my opinion that standing up to the GOP (and, in fact, telling them to go pee up a rope) has virtually no negative consequences for President Obama and the Democrats.

       You, on the other hand, go ballistic or get all angrified every time someone suggests there's a better way.  Frankly, I don't know why you bother blogging:  if everything's just ducky, why aren't you checking out, I don't know, ESPN.com or doing video games or reading a book or re-arranging your sock drawer?  

       C'est la politique, I suppose.

      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:43:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then you're not talking about ANYTHING. (0+ / 0-)

        It's even vaguer: "standing up".  It's just calling for attitude.  Unless you start talking specifices, and suddenly, you're in the range I was speaking of.

        Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

        by Inland on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:40:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Field of straw men. (0+ / 0-)

      If you knew what or whom you are arguing against, your comment might actually be interesting.

      When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

      by Words In Action on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:12:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm semi-rooting for a stock market crash (0+ / 0-)

    That seems to be the only thing that will get the attention of our elites, both Democratic and Republican.  

    •  Heh .. yeah .. it will put even more people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, Rustbelt Dem, alexa100

      out of work. The first thing the rich fuckers cut back on are the easiest things to cut when the economy drops.

      Jobs.

      This isn't Japan, where companies and employees make a mutual bond based upon mutual respect, this is America when employees live BOHICA, because most employers treat employees like sub-human animals.

      •  That's why it's semi (0+ / 0-)

        OTOH, we're going to end up in the same place the way we're going. And I'm a big proponent of "If I'm going down, I'm taking a few of you with me" to focus their attention.

        It's obvious that our overlords are perfectly comfortable with 10%+ unemployment.  Wall Street is the entire economy to them.

  •  Last night on RM Jonathan Alter made (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou, Diogenes2008, jeun28, Oh Mary Oh

    some very excellent points, the best of which is that the DNC needs to take the lead in fighting more of these battles so that the president can focus on, you know, being a president.

    Rachel's conversation with Alter starts at the 8:30 mark. I tried to embed the video but couldn't.

    I'd also like to draw attention to this comment in BWD's diary from last night.

    It's a bit more complicated by missliberties

    The President has set aside 1 billion dollars to repay (black) farmers who were discriminated against by the Ag Dept. Congress has to vote to release the money. The right will view this as the dreaded reparations. All this subject needs is a match to create a way worse firestorm than what we have now. Sherrod received 13 million from having her farm bulldozed due to discrimination from bankers.

    It seems like every thing this President has to deal with is like walking through a minefield. And I sure he is outraged but also aware that Breitbart is really going after repayment for black farmers who were wrongfully discriminated against and lost their farms and trying to make the issue that black people shouldn't be paid for losing thier farms by a black president.

    I was not aware of this. I was busy at CROI 2010 at the time and as much as I tried to stay politically up to date, I somehow missed this.

    It seems maybe a lot of other Kossacks missed it as well, otherwise maybe they'd be a little slower to offer harsh criticism if they better understood the incredible complexity of the situation.

    Progressive principles won't be worth jack if we let the GOP "take their country back".

    by JTinDC on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:46:59 AM PDT

    •  DNC? What's that? (4+ / 0-)

      Oh, the organization that stands behind Ben Nelson, Evan Bayh, and Blanche Lincoln and Bart Stupak while taking a crap on every member of the House CPC and CBC?

      That one?

      The one that used to be lead by Howard Dean, but now is lead by .. oh wait let me look it up, who is heading the DNC now? oh yeah .. that guy Tim Kaine.

      I couldn't pick Tim Kaine's face out of a crowd if you paid me. But Michael Steele's? Come on now. He's bring the chicken the potato salad.

      •  Whatever (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ravenwind, OhioNatureMom

        You don't think it should be the DNC? Fine, let it fall to someone else, but as Alter pointed out, for Obama to have to be the one to fight about this bullshit in addition to running a country is not a good strategy. Can you offer an alternate to the DNC? Or is it just easier and more fun to poo poo without offering any meaningful suggestions?

        Progressive principles won't be worth jack if we let the GOP "take their country back".

        by JTinDC on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:16:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Barack Obama (0+ / 0-)

          needs to learn how to fight as a BLACK PRESIDENT and his team need to figure it out.  Since, the right wingers want to use BLACK everytime, then learn how to turn the tables ON THEM.  Everytime FOX NEWS brings up some race bullshit they turn into cowards, every single time.  They need to make these nuts irrelevant, swing and take shots, without getting hurt.  After the Sherrod incident, many don't have any faith that this President can fight.  The Barack Obama we knew on the campaign trail is not the one in that Oval Office.  And all of this comes to leadership and this is where he is taking the hardest hits in the polls over.  Get rid of Emmanuel, Axelrod, Messina and that ilk.  Look where they have driven us to?  It is almost August and these poll numbers are horrific.  And no one is EXCITED about the Democrats right now.  That is a major problem.

    •  The DNC has made itself irrelevant (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      seabos84, PhilJD

      by pursuing the DLC Republican-strategy and the administration is risking the same.

      When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

      by Words In Action on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:17:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Its not an issues to the progressives (0+ / 0-)

      There is a disconnect between what they feel is essential and what people especially people of color care about. Alot of people of color who vote for democratic block are not impressed by the left at all. This illusion that they speak for all is just weird.. look at the comment after you, that is the mentality of the progressive there... And it has not changed since the 1960's

    •  LOL!!! The DNC??? (0+ / 0-)

      Look at the leadership there?  That answers many questions why this organization has turned INEFFECTIVE since Howard Dean left.

  •  Would have been a good diary but for the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christin, fou, JTinDC

    unwanted dem bashing. You got the facts right but got the framing wrong.

    So, only a tip, not a rec. :)

    BP - Proving Oil and Water do mix.
    A Presidency Among the Vuvuzelas.
    palin's ability to sound like a vuvuzela while twittering is remarkable.

    by amk for obama on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:53:10 AM PDT

  •  We will probably lose the Congress (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cslewis, BenGoshi

    and reelecting Obama is no guarantee. I wonder why....because this administration is too left leaning? Ya right.

    The reality is closer to the fact, that this administration has gone rightward in every occassion, dropped the ball more often than naught, watered anything & everything down, and continues to cowtow to the right-wing media.

    But ya, Dems are losing ground because they are "socialists"....my ass.

    I did campaign on the public option, and I'm proud of it! Corporat Democrats will not get my vote, hence I will not vote.

    by Jazzenterprises on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:53:45 AM PDT

  •  I can't see that level of energy coming back (3+ / 0-)

    People seem too frustrated and worn out.  I know I've mostly given up on Politics as anything other than a spectator sport.  I'd be surprised if many other young potential activists don't feel the same way.

    This country does not have the luxury to entertain idiocy as if it is reasonable. --Digby

    by Thought Crime on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 06:54:31 AM PDT

    •  Maybe we'd be smart to take a page from the GOP (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi, cheforacle

      playbook and create a new reality by focused and relentless messaging of our own. It works for the GOP and there's no good reason it can't work for us.

      Progressive principles won't be worth jack if we let the GOP "take their country back".

      by JTinDC on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:07:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, many of us here, on D Kos, have been... (6+ / 0-)

        .
         . . . saying pretty much this thing since the summer of 2004, since the Kerry campaign and the Swiftboat thing!

         You've got a lot of kindred spirits here.  And many who are, of course, appalled that you'd say such a thing.  Yeh, well, whatever.

        .

        "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

        by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:11:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If not 2000, when (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BenGoshi, JTinDC

          the SCOTUS stole the election right under the nose of the entire friggin' world, and it stuck.

          That was my moment.

          When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

          by Words In Action on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:23:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Appalled at using a GOP tactic? (0+ / 0-)

          There's a big difference. When the GOP uses the "create your own reality" tactic, it always, always, always involves outright lies.

          If Dems were to use this tactic, they could do so honestly. We have made some significant headway and we do have good reason to get out and encourage others to get out to the polls this November instead of incessantly sniping about not having made enough headway. We need to raise spirits, not lower them.

          Yeah, we all want more more more from the administration and congress. Well what if we don't get more? If we're smart, we suck it up, celebrate what we can, make our case to independents and whoever else is persuadable, and fight like hell to save our majorities.

          For me, it's like this: I used to believe in God and looked for God to intervene. Now I'm an atheist and I realize there will be no divine intervention so it's up to me and my fellow mortals.

          I've never for a second seen Obama as anything other than a flawed and fully mortal man who like me is genuinely interested in making a difference for good in this world. We've all got our limitations and Obama certainly has his share. (Ironic that those who accuse others of thinking Obama is a god seem to have more god-like expectation of the guy than do those they they accuse.)

          If Obama and the Dem leadership can't come through in the way we want them to then like it or not, it falls to us mere mortals to do whatever it takes to win in November. Some seem ready to give up and that's fine. But I'd appreciate it if they'd stop actively working against those of us that are still fighting to win.

          And while some Kossacks utterly reject the "vote for Dems for fear of what GOP victories would mean" arguement, reject it at your own peril. It may not sit well with a lot of progressives, although I still don't fully understand why not, but it's a perfectly valid arguement to make to independents and moderates without whose votes we cannot win.  

          The GOP create mythical monsters to get people to vote for them. We need to make sure folks know the very real monster they should fear is the GOP.

          Progressive principles won't be worth jack if we let the GOP "take their country back".

          by JTinDC on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:13:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The message is already there. (7+ / 0-)

        Simple sounds bites.

        Tax the rich.
        Stop poisoning ourselves and our planet.
        Reestablish rule of law and accountability.
        Restore fairness to the marketplace.  

        "We" get it.
        Democrats serving in government apparently DON'T.

        •  Exactly. Stick to those messages, act (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          miss SPED, PhilJD, JTinDC

          like they believe and believe them with passion, pursue related results with single-minded, even ruthless, intelligence and determination. Then, IF we do have to settle for a half-measure somewhere, we will still stand behind them, being able to believe that they fought the good fight, are on our side, and won't rest until they get the job done...

          When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

          by Words In Action on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:28:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But when you campaign on 505 promises (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Words In Action

            people hold you to your word.
            People can rightfully say, 'He only broke 19,' or 'He kept 120,' or "He kept 20% of his promises," and they would all be right. He promised a lot and fulfilled a little, in one third of his term.

            There is legitimate question whether the President has even accomplished the four goals shpilk put forth.

  •  I can feel the tears coming on... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, icebergslim

    ...remembering that special night.  What we need is something like the 9/12 movement, but for election night.  People can't just "know" the truth, they need to "feel" the truth.

    •  That was an incredible night. There in Denver. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chumley, SJerseyIndy, Words In Action

      .
       You know I just walked around on the stadium floor, with Barack Obama's words echoing all about me, looking into the faces of the people who were looking at him.  I didn't watch much of his speech.  Some, certainly, but most of the time I was gazing at the faces and into the eyes of thousands and thousands of my fellow Americans who were watching him.  

       Pretty damn special.

       And, of course, one of the points is that if you're going to get someone's hopes up, then, by damn, you better walk the walk.  Many times President Obama has.  I'm afraid that too often he hasn't.  But you know, I believe in, well, Change.  I also believe the President's getting rather weary worrying so much about what Republicans think.

      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:06:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  no (0+ / 0-)

      Naomi Klein:

      Klein: One of the things in this-you know, a large part what I write about in No Logo is the absorption of these political movements into the world of marketing. And, you know, the first time I saw the "Yes, We Can" video that was produced by Will.i.am, my first thought was, you know, "Wow. A politician has finally produced an ad as good as Nike that plays on our, sort of, faded memories of a more idealistic era, but, yet, doesn't quite say anything." We think we hear the message we want to hear, but if you really parse it, the promises aren't there, it's really the emotions.

      And, you know, I think that that explains in some sense the paralysis in progressive movements in the United States where we think, Obama stands for something because we-our emotions were activated on these issues, but we don't really have much to hold him to because, in fact, if you look at what he said during the campaign, like any good super brand, like any good marketer, he made sure not to promise too much, so that he couldn't be held to it.

      Feelings are not what is needed. Not when they just make people political consumers of the latest popular product.

      "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

      by catnip on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 10:21:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most of that 'brain trust' ..? (4+ / 0-)

    "Whether or not the brain trust in the White House and in the Senate's and House's respective Democratic Cloak Rooms  will "get" it, or ever will, remains to be seen."

    .. they get it.

    They know exactly what game they're playing.
    And they are not going to change.

    Unless we force them to change.

    •  "Unless we force them to change." (5+ / 0-)

      .

       You and I see eye to eye on this.  Good point.  

       Of course there are still hand-wringers among us who are all tied up in knots, brows all furrowed and bottom lips quivering, distraught over our "bashing" the President (and Congress).  And, of course, simply not getting that we're more on President Obama's side than they are.  

       Ironic, that.

      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:09:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Get used to it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        The more the Dems' popularity declines (if it does), the more strident the demands for support will get. And the more scapegoating. It's the American way, after all.

      •  how about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cheforacle

        we keep fighting to get enough progressive-minded votes (60) instead of looking for a scapegoat to explain why we need to water down legislation to get it passed?

        We're gonna rise from these ashes like a bird aflame...

        by August West on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:34:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ROTFL. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mallyroyal

        Oh yes - we are the ones who are wringing our hands.
        This is too funny.
        You project all your angst, worry, oh noez we are doomed, oh NO!!! it all sucks.
        onto us.
        Meanwhile, we are told me are also drinking kooaid.
        I 'm not worried.
        I'm feeling pretty good, give the President high marks, and am satisfied.
        You guys write diaries on a blog how horrible it all is.
        And we're unhappy.
        Go figure! :-)

        "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

        by Christin on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:01:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  are you kidding me? (0+ / 0-)

        and you can take the quotes from around the word bashing.  it's bashing I have a problem with, not to speak for anyone else.

        those so positive he's some fraud who's ruining the country (a segment of kossacks), those who beleive he's some coward that never stands for what he believes in (a segment of kossacks that overlaps with the first group), those who believe he's some slave beholden only to corporate interests (a portion of kossacks that overlaps with both groups)

        it's THOSE PEOPLE, who never fail to inject one of those memes into any conversation that's ostensibly about policy, I have a problem with.  and I have a problem with the people who pretend every comment they make falls outside one of the above complaints when thats not the case, and further, they rec every comment they see that promotes any of those memes.

        it's part of why I don't believe an "nyceve" (just to use a popular screnname) only has policy disputes when she recs up every nasty thing a commenter says about the pres. personally, or about those of us who mostly support the policies and accomplishments of the last year and a half.

        President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

        by mallyroyal on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:53:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wait. I thought we were dooooooomed. (5+ / 0-)

    This is not a book (Atlas Shrugged) to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown, with great force. - Dorothy Parker

    by edwardssl on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:09:52 AM PDT

  •  Time to wake up! (0+ / 0-)

    I think the dems were in a slumber. They thought these were like old times!

    Well dear Leaders... it is not. You have screwed our country, not to speak of Iraq and Afganistan, that is an issue for another day. When people stop worrying where they are going to get the moneys to pay their rents and car loans.

    Time to wake up people! We are sick and tired and won't take it anymore. Let's hope the revolution will not be a fascist one. The teabaggers be damned!

    Please use teabaggers instead of tea party... they do not like it!

  •  My thoughts (5+ / 0-)

    I think the Democratic party and progressives generally need to focus more on educating the public about basics (as some here on Daily Kos have done and schools have failed to do).  The common thread that I see among those who consistently oppose progressive proposals is that they don't know even the most basic facts that any voter should know - what the Constitution actually says; why the labor movement came into being;  the real numbers associated with social security, etc.  

    It would require a lot of effort, certainly, but until that road block of voters have facts instead of right wing fantasies in their heads, trying to win their support at the polls is pretty futile.

    Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

    by Deep Harm on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:14:40 AM PDT

    •  Amen! (0+ / 0-)

      We are always bad coming up with the soundbite. Repubs are great at it-"death tax", "death panels", etc. come to mind immediately. It doesn't matter that 90% of Americans will never pay the federal estate tax. It doesn't matter that there were no death panels in the health care bill. Lots of low information people (most people) think they are both true.

    •  You've nailed it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Harm, miss SPED

      I just posted a response to a comment someone left me last night, that closes with this:

      The frustration for me is in how we get the information out there to John and Joan Voter about what the more progressive policies would mean for them personally. Because I think there would be an appetite for some of it, if they just knew what it meant. But there's the uphill media battle and the unwillingness to think deeper than a sound bite. When people do bother to watch TV news (and embarassingly few do) they aren't given much to chew on about big issues like health care, or climate change. By the time Lindsey Lohan has been covered, and whatever the current tempest in a tea-pot over political personalities, and the latest diet trend or health scare - there is just enough time for a snippet about this or that vote, a quote from Cornyn, another from Franks, and that's it. And that is what the well informed people who bother to watch the news get.

      "I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction." Rep Joe Barton

      by Catte Nappe on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:19:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, cheforacle, miss SPED

        Establishing the connection that allow communication to take place is the biggest hurdle.  Obviously, Daily Kos is not going to reach those voters because they are not inclined to visit dailykos.com in the first place.

        But, I so think it can be done using current technology if there is a will to do it and creative minds are employed to develop solutions.

        Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

        by Deep Harm on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:03:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed, back atcha (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          miss SPED

          What DKos can (and sometimes does) do is help with the heavy lifting of data,factual analysis, etc. Then we have to take that message to conversations in the break room at work, in LTE's, to our own blogs or Facebook posts, etc.

          "I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction." Rep Joe Barton

          by Catte Nappe on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:16:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The problem Dems have is that our policies (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe

          cannot easily be reduced to bumper sticker size like the GOP which stands for strong defense, tax cuts and smaller gov't.  We have to explain our policies.

          When I was a junior in high school, I won student body president because I gave our more bubble gum to the 7th and 8th graders ( I went to a prep school that was 7-12).  Well tax cuts are like bubble gum.  Citizens want tax cuts the way 7th graders wanted free candy.  Democrats have to have courage to stand up and explain why tax increases for the wealthy are necessary, why spending in certain areas is necessary and why HCR and financial reform and a carbon tax can help them and actually (with regard to the last item) create jobs.

  •  Yeah, that's all it would take. (6+ / 0-)

    A couple of F**k You's directed at the Republicans and the magic of the 2008 campaign will rebloom all over the land.

    Meanwhile, back at the White House, the president continues cleaning up the backwash from the broken-sewer-pipe that was the Bush administration.

    But I'm sure once it's all cleaned up, the dim bulbs who recommended this diary will be first to claim they were doing the most mopping.

    "♪♪ It's a-gonna happen...someday ♪♪ You're gonna see things...my way!" Buddy Holly

    by Giles Goat Boy on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:16:46 AM PDT

  •  This diary is excellent! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christin, phrogge prince, Theston

    If daily kos wants to become a progressive fan fic blog.

    Grappling with reality is a difficult slog, so I wouldn't blame you.

    Progressivism, like conservatism, cannot fail. It can only be failed.

    by tomjones on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:17:38 AM PDT

  •  good fucking grief (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christin, northanger, ravenwind, fou, jstipich

    since you think you are so smart you should go run for president.

    And then see what all your rhetoric gets you. It's all well and good for you to arm chair blog about what has been 'thrown under the bus'.

    The second and third guessing by people who refuse to act and would rather bitch is just absurd.

    •  What's even funnier (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin, northanger, mallyroyal

      are those that would ridicule supporters of the President for having "stars in their eyes", and then turn around and pine for the days when they had stars in their eyes.  Jesus, and they call us worshippers?

      Oba-MA bumaye! Oba-MA bumaye!

      by fou on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:33:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And it continues unabated. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      heart of a quince

      You should really take the time to listen to your own advice.

      Snide and such? You got it goin' on...

      More and Better Democrats

      by SJerseyIndy on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:41:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, when folks here criticized Bush... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cordobes

      We weren't running for President then either.
      Was that criticism also absurd?
      Second guessing?
      Etc.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:43:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you provide specific points (0+ / 0-)

        and then we will talk but I am not going to buy into your extreme oversimplification.

        •  Sorry, that's not how discourse works... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chumley, cordobes

          You made general points equating criticism with second or third guessing and challenging critics to run for President. Nary a specific in your comment.

          I responded with equally general questions. That's eminently fair.

          For the record, while there certainly are things I'd love to be in life, (a ground-breaking theoretical physicist, a rabble-rousing labor leader, or an all star pitcher come to mind,) you couldn't pay me enough to be a politician.

          When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

          by PhilJD on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:00:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  once again you show you don't have a clue how (0+ / 0-)

            discourse works.

            You made a claim and asked what I thought, I responded that your claim was to generic and too simplistic.

            Just because I made general points doesn't mean you can just randomly spout  things off. And it certainly doesn't mean you can take something like a presidency and distill it down into good or bad.

            Bush largely was a failure and largely I dislike everything he did but there are small things I think he did right (probably by accident). Just as well I want a strong energy bill and wanted a stronger reform bills that hardly makes Obama a failure.

            Which is what you seem to want to say.

            •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

              He's just saying that Presidents can (and, IMO, shall) be criticized by everybody, even by those who don't want to run for the seat - obviously the massive majority of the population. So, your refutation - you think he could do better? Why don't you try it, hum?! - is completely lame and a non sequitur.

              Accusing him of wanting to say Obama is a failure is a strawman argument and a pretty pathetic one at that.

              •  no it's not (0+ / 0-)

                lame especially when people act like they have all the answers and yet refuse to but their money where their mouths are.

                And I never said run for president I said run. There's plenty of good that could be done even at the state level. If even half of the 'critics' acted instead of sat we'd have the beginings of a fearsome grass roots rebuilding.

                Instead all we have is hot air.

    •  To All - this person's my own, personal... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevej

      .
       D Kos dairy/comment-stalker.

       Somewhat freaky and I'm not flattered.  Been going on about a year now, more or less.  

       Believe me, had this diary said Obama and the Dems are doing everything perfectly, this same creepy person would've come here and spouted basically the same angry tripe.

       I won't respond to their stuff any more than this.
      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:06:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  huh? (0+ / 0-)
        1. Your diary is on the rec list, can't miss
        1. when really is the last time I posted in a diary of yours? Truthfully I don't know cause I  don't even know what you last diary was
        1. when was the last time I commented to you? Again not entirely sure but it's been at least a week

        I am just dumb founded that you choose to make such an obviously false claim about me. You do realize that (supposedly) making false claims of stalking will get you into much trouble?

        Either back that up or apologize. And while I suppose it's a useless gesture I probably should report this.

  •  I'll be out reg. new voters this weekend (5+ / 0-)

    You have to work for change.

    "No one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." Maria Robinson

    by skindig55 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:43:15 AM PDT

  •  This administration has become (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal, icebergslim

    as jumpy and nervous as a tweaker in a house of mirrors.

    And it ain't impressing anybody.

  •  Obama crashing in latest polls. (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, cordobes, Jromeo
    Hidden by:
    Iberian

    CNN/Opinion Research -3
    Gallup          Tie
    Rasmussen Reports       -11
    Quinnipiac -4
    FOX News -5

    At this point, with 18 months of steady failure and outright attacks by Obama on the Democratic and independent base that elected him, there is nothing Democrats can do to change the dynamic of looming defeat of the 2010 election.

    Individual Democrats might pull out minor miracles if their opponents are really bad (Reid, Giannoulias) or they are really good (Sestak) but overall Obama is taking Democrats down in 2010.

    Congressional Democrats didn't help themselves by hiding behind GOP minority but had Obama at least proposed and fought for the public, it would have helped.

  •  Here's to Spines! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, stevej, kefauver

    "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

    by Dixiedemocrat on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:46:04 AM PDT

  •  I teach trade skills to union apprentices (7+ / 0-)

    In 2008 they were fired up and hopeful.

    In 2009 they were ours to lose.

    In 2010 they are still unemployed and they are still being deployed. (they have a rate of military service several times the national average-they believe in America and they back it up with their lives).

    If we need their votes this fall we should stop insulting them soon.

  •  Great Diary, Ben. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, stevej, chumley, Hannibal, PhilJD

    Very fair-handed criticism without dipping into hyperbole. I agree with a lot of it.

    Kudos!

    I never expected Obama to become Hugo Chavez once inaugurated. I live in the real world.

    by kefauver on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 07:52:23 AM PDT

    •  Thanks. I tried. - nt - (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:00:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And you undermine yourself (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maxomai, kefauver

        when you try to bolster your argument with this kind of stuff

        except when it comes to attacking the agenda of "fucking retarded" liberals

        The link you embed then gives the total context:

        Emanuel told a liberal strategy group in August that a plan to run advertisements against conservative Democrats . . . was f—ing retarded."  

        Emanuel is a hard-ass, and uses hard words more often than he should.  But he DID NOT say "you liberals are fucking retarded."  He said that about what they planned to DO.  

        I disagree with him, but I also know the difference between someone saying to me "Gee, that was stupid" and "Damn, you're stupid."  The first I can agree to--I did something stupid.  The second I'll never agree with.

        There is a difference, and liberals continuing to whine a year plus later that "Rahm called me a fucking retard" does not put on a shine on whatever point liberals are trying to make.    

  •  I Am Happy With President Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jaleh, cheforacle, debaterdanny

    He stood up for the unemployed.  President Obama is not god.  He can't make even democrats do everything he would want them to do.  Everyone was mad at President Obama for standing up for the professor in Cambridge, but are still mad at him when he didn't stand up for the USDA lady.  He can't win because he isn't god.  If President Obama was god he probably still would not win approval from everyone because not everyone believes in god.  

  •  60...60...60....60...9.5%...60...60...60...9.5%.. (0+ / 0-)

    60
    60
    60
    60
    60
    9.5%
    60
    60
    9.5%
    60
    60
    60
    9.5%
    60
    60
    60
    60
    9.5%

    Get it?

  •  How can you be excited being called a... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, 3goldens, neroden

    fucking retard?

    Does the White House think folks will just forget that?

    You have to give folks something to run to the polls for and after this abysmal legislation that has been watered down repeatedly, we have a lot of work to do to get folks to the polls.

    And it would not hurt this WH to grow a pair...

    •  I don't care. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver, amk for obama, mallyroyal

      I know Rahm's wrong and what happened in Arkansas proved that.  Sure, Blanche Lincoln won the run-off.  But we mobilized the base in Arkansas, inspired people to get involved, and gave Democrats a choice.

      I don't care what Rahm says.  He's a Democrat, he's one of us, and I'm one of us too.

      He might have rich friends and a lot of job responsibilities, but he's no more important than anyone else.  He gets one vote.  I get one vote.

      That's America.

      Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

      by Benintn on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:08:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think that the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, kefauver, mallyroyal

      retard deal should be laid to rest now. Rahm was certainly wrong but that thing must have run its statute of limitations by now.

      Personally I am indifferent to Rahm, I don't think that he is evil on other hand he is certainly more about politics than he is policy.

      The Teabaggers are the GOP base

      by stevej on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:30:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the 'grow a pair' thing (3+ / 0-)

      is on par with calling a woman 'hysterical' when you don't agree with her.  seriously offensive.

      on par with "fucking retard". :|

      President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

      by mallyroyal on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:41:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you care at all? I could care less. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver, nyseer, amk for obama

      I care about making progress for our country.  The rest is pablum.  I don't expect politicians to kiss my ass.  I expect them to address problems.

    •  Rahm did not call you a retard (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver

      He called a strategy fucking retarded.

      According to a report Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal, Emanuel told a liberal strategy group in August that a plan to run advertisements against conservative Democrats who were "balking at Mr. Obama's health-care overhaul" was grossly unwise.

      "F—ing retarded," Mr. Emanuel scolded the group, according to participants cited by the paper.

      "He warned them not to alienate lawmakers whose votes would be needed on health care and other top legislative items," the reporter said.

      There is a difference.

      What really blows me away how fucking sensitive everyone claims to be because Rahm likes to drop the F-bomb with the same regularity many of us do.

      The heavens to betsy crowd is on the other side of the aisle...

      As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

      by nyseer on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 11:09:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not a matter of "sensitivity." Good God, for (0+ / 0-)

        .
         . . . that check out the squeals of the fawners and Obama-is-god types.

         No, the problem with what Rahm said is that it reflects his overall disdain for the very people who put his boss into the Oval Office and him into a White House job.  What an insufferable prick.  Not you, him.

        .

        "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

        by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 03:57:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I guess they are everywhere (0+ / 0-)

          Because I would say that 2 of the most prominent diarist/ critics of Obama here are in perpetual sensitivity and miss manners mode..

          What Rahm said fed the perception of his his overall disdain for liberals.  I'm not convinced that is what it really is.  People are democrats for a reason and share certain core values.  They just have different ways of getting things done.

          If Rahm is anything like his television brother Ari, it's like yeah, he's a prick, but he was put there because he can get things done.  And everyone now knows that Obamas legislative victories in the first 18 months have risen to historic levels.  This without a 9/11 to scare the shit out of everyone and jump on board.  Precisely the opposite in fact...

          As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

          by nyseer on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 04:59:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  There is the left on DKos and the real (0+ / 0-)

    base make sure you always know that. To real base neither side is impressive and I am not talking about the republicans. A lot are not impressed with the left either, the real base, not the DKos progressive, the one who actually constantly vote democratic.

    So in your analysis don't assume every democrat actually view the progressive blocks viewpoint as the true one. Not getting that from alot folk

  •  super photos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi

    and that you as an individual could capture that feeling. It was real.

    the future begins

    by zozie on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:43:57 AM PDT

    •  Thanks. That means a lot to me. (0+ / 0-)

      .

       And, truth be told, I only "captured" the merest fraction of the real emotion there.  You understand.

       But, anyway, thank you.  

      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:09:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most worthwhile diary I've read in a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, stevej

    long time. Good job, Ben.

  •  Isn't it beautiful? (0+ / 0-)

    We all know what it looks like.

    We don't need to wait for Obama or Rahm or Tim Kaine or anyone else.

    As Barack told us, we are the ones we've been waiting for.  We are the change we seek.

    Stop looking to elected officials and start looking inside - that's my advice.

    Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

    by Benintn on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:56:43 AM PDT

  •  What’s helping Democrats in the polls is (5+ / 0-)

    the political establishment screen-play. It’s no accident that insane teabaggers are getting a 100 times more MSM coverage than any of the anti-war protest during the Bush years. If the establishment can use an astroturf cast of insane teabaggers to scare Democrats into voting in support of lawmakers who didn’t raise a voice about letting Bush/Cheney off the hook for torture, indefinite detention, denial of Habeas Corpus, warrantless wiretapping etc., the usurpers, war-criminals, financial sector thieves etc. will be in the clear and pretty much off the hook (and we’ll deserve that outcome). The republican party wouldn’t use the MSM (which republican contributors sponsor and control) to commit political suicide without a reason. What’s helping Democrats is the bipartisan establishment’s made-for-TV World Wrestling Federation-style political saga and teabaggers will get more evil as we go along (pushing for cutting off all UI benefits, calling the unemployed "lazy" etc.). I wouldn’t be surprised to see them start wearing masks and using evil sounding nick-names.

  •  Obama popularity surge(fantasy) (0+ / 0-)

    The POTUS, Mr. Obama, has abandoned his base. He is on the wrong side. The Sherrod debacle demonstrates this. I hope she(Ms. Sherrod) sues the fucking ASS off Brightbeart, FOX, anybody that furthered this shameful underhanded...lie. While I'm at it, for God's sake get Glenn Beck off the air. Somehow. He is so purposely obtuse and biased. Why is it not actionable that FOX purports to dispense NEWS, but in reality SPEWS far right propaganda 24/7? Alan Grayson, Nancy Pelosi, Sherrod Brown are on the right side. I'm not voting for anyone if they do not promise, and mean it, to cut DOD and CIA budgets at least in half. Somebody run against Obama in the 2012 primary. Change? Looks like SOS, with some cosmetic bills passed. And having Wall St insiders running your Administration is plain stupid. Grayson, Brown, Pelosi, Barney Frank-any one can do better, and are on the right side. Republicans want to crush and keep everyone enslaved, working to make the rich richer, and to add to the bloated DOD/CIA budgets. God what we could do with that money. Wonderful things.

  •  Encourage yourself (4+ / 0-)

    Because GUARANTEED the TPartiers, et al are as fired up as they can be.

    If you sit around and wait for some "magic" thing to fire you up, we may ALL just be out in the cold!

    Our perceived intra-party strugles and negative perceptions of this administations BY DEMOCRATS Real or imagine, truth or not, IMHO, are having a negative, depressing impact on our chances in November 2010 and 2010.

    Look, this whole notion that "This is what democrats do, we fight but we'll come together when its time" is just ludicrous. What about the affect of the fights on the rest of the masses? Those less engaged lurkers of Dkos?

    There's a scripture in the bible that talks about "encouraging yourself". Can democrats just find ONE thing that encourages them about this administration and focus on that?

    Please?!

    ...come join me on my blog: www.righteous-politics.blogspot.com

    by angeleyes on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 10:22:01 AM PDT

  •  Be the Change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amk for obama

    There is no more important struggle for American democracy than ensuring a diverse, independent and free media. - Bill Moyers

    by StepLeftStepForward on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 10:42:28 AM PDT

  •  Thank you BenGoshi. Great job on your civil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi

    approach in responding to distractions.

    Allowing media, or conservative critics a free pass, instead of showing some spine by responding with a reasoned rebuttal, along with reinforcing progressive/liberal values, has been a thorn in my side since the 2000 election cycle.  

    I'm late to the party because I took the time to read, and consider all the comments.

    •  I try, and I'm not always as civil as I'd like. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foucaultspendulum

      .
       I don't suffer fools, fawners or freaks (the latter being the Right Wing) well.  

       But when I can just stand back and write a few words, well, I try to put some things into perspective.  Maybe better, probably worse, than some.

       Thanks again.

      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 03:53:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Landslide victory? Lead in generic polls? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver, amk for obama, OldDragon

    Are you living in a parallel universe where things are different than the one I live in?  53-45% does not qualify as a landslide, in my opinion.  I think a candidate who gets 60% of the vote can call himself a landslide winner, such as President Johnson in 1964.

    And, as many of us observed at the time, President Obama---who I believe to be the best president we have had since the aforesaid President Johnson, or even President Kennedy---was the beneficiary of the presidency of George W. Bush.

    53-45 was good enough.  We got the President we needed.

    It was hardly a landslide and there is no more George W. Bush.  We are not even allowed to talk about him, though, fortunately, not everyone has receivedthat message.

    Still, and I am not sure what they mean given how early it is, and how generic they are, I wonder where you are seeing generic polling that show

    Hill Democrats seem to remain marginally ahead of Republicans in most generic polling

    You blame the President for the failure of Republicans.  You blame the President because he is not the sovereign who can do as he pleases, Congress be damned. You blame the President for the false equivalency reported by the news media which fails to observe that anything the President proposes the Republicans oppose.

    It is not spine or fiery speeches that we need.  What we need is for more Democrats to be elected and fewer Democrats to be defeated.  We need Democrats who are real ones, too  Not Ben Nelsons or Mary Landreius.

    That requires that we stop the usual handwringing and internal soul searching that makes us beat up on any President who is unable to accomplish everything we think should be done.

    Look, instead, at what has been accomplished in about a year and a half.  Could it have been better? Of course.  The stimulus was way too small and the health care enacted not the reform we need but that is not because of the President or the Chief of Staff.  It is because of the makeup of the country and a news media which enjoys cat fights more than accomplishment.

    I lived through President Carter, as gross a disappointment as ever was elected as a Democrat.  I lived through President Clinton, a decent moderate Republican who claimed to be a Democrat and who allowed these bleepholes to get strong enough to be able to steal the elections from Vice President Gore and Senator Kerry.

    I do not want to empower these people any more.  I want to see this community rally behind our President and get him a Congress that will at least consider what he proposes on the merits, and not just try to prevent him from getting legislation he proposes enacted into law.

    Important whining and Red Sox stuff at http://edsbarth.blogspot.com/

    by Barth on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 10:55:49 AM PDT

  •  "Don't take politics personally!" - I've heard (0+ / 0-)

    it said many more times"It's not personal , it's just business". Both , when I'm reading about or am myself being told such bullshit when confronting someonw whom i've caught lying to me , stealing or attempting to steal from me. Shit - now paying higher premiums for Medicare and supplemental Rx coverage than I did for employer assisted coverge before totally and permanently disabled.Bib buck for this "govennment giveaway , entitlement program". I got mail yesterday from capitalist thug "privatized" Medicare thieves - my Rxes will be partly paid for each year for about 7 months. I take that extremely goddam personally. I take the financially strapped county government , unable to resurface more than 15% of the roads needing it last year extremely personally when one that hasn't gotten that attention in 10 years  is the one  my very , very modest home is on. I take politics - anyone voting for Republicans ,shitty dinos , independents who finally get off the fence and vote for fascism very personally indeed. BenGoshi , i feel energized - I just need as you suggest a direction that isn't a total waste to focus that energy in. Haven't got that much left .  

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