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Recently, what with all the Snowden/NSA mishegas, some of my friends have run with their prejudices to climb on the ZOMG! Spooks! Everywhere! bandwagon, and have accordingly become furious with me for failing to join them (the logic for which I posted previously).

Among the characterizations cast by some of these critics has been the suggestion that the reason I do not agree with them is because (they say) I am a “centrist” (or, sometimes, a "liberal"), while they style themselves “progressives”.

O RLY?

Well, let's take a look.

I support marriage equality and absolute civil equality for women and racial, sexual, ethnic and religious minorities; absolute abortion rights for women and birth control rights for everyone; guaranteed publicly funded universal health care; a 90% top taxation rate; the Buffett rule; a carbon tax; enforceable and stringent international climate protection rules; reassertion of Glass-Steagel; a hard cap on total corporate executive compensation at 50x the income of the lowest-paid employee; a cap on inheritance at $10 million per beneficiary; affirmative action; withdrawal from GATT and the WTO; predication of foreign aid on recipients' meeting stringent human rights standards (and no free pass to Israel in this regard); an end to the death penalty; a livable minimum wage; rigorous consumer, workers’ rights, environmental and workplace safety regulations; immigration reform; sharp reductions in military spending (and reallocation of those funds to programs to improve the infrastructure, opportunities and quality of life of the American people); a guaranteed post-secondary education for every American who completes high school or an equivalent and wants one; universal voter registration; a paid holiday for every American on election days; overturning Citizens United; solely public funding and time limits (say, 3 months) to all political campaigns; elimination of the definition of corporations as “persons” under the law; an end to all subsidies and tax breaks to nonrenewable energy industries and agribusiness except family farms occupied and worked by the owners; re-application of the Fairness Doctrine in all televised and radio media, broadcast or not; a ban on private ownership of any firearm less than 3’ long, able to hold more than 6 rounds at a time or able to shoot more than one round in a firing; mandatory, scientifically correct sex education for all students, whether their parents want them to have it or not; legalization and taxation of marijuana; an end to the “pledge of allegiance”; a transaction tax on financial transactions such as security sales; an end to supermajority legislative requirements of all kinds and at every level; elimination of tax deductions on contributions to religious organizations; and removal of all references to “God” from US money and US elected legislatures at every level: period, full stop.

If that’s a centrist, I guess Eugene Debs and Abbie Hoffman were, too.

So okay, the characterization doesn’t hold water (duh!) But thinking about it, I got onto the larger question: what is a “progressive”, really? Is it a just a checklist of policy positions, or is it something more?

I'd say that politics isn't a thought problem. It's not about taking a pledge, joining a club or talking like the rest of the cool kids.

It's about results.

It's about what happens in the real world.

And that means that the only meaningful definition of a progressive is “one who acts to advance societal movement in the direction of fairness, justice, the common good, environmental stewardship, a robust, informed democracy, ensuring that all citizens are safe from privation and have opportunities to improve themselves, peaceful resolution of differences when possible, working, efficient, up-to-date and well-maintained public facilities and services, and personal liberty up to--but not beyond--the point at which it infringes on those of others or the common good.”

There are two moving parts in this definition. It requires not only a set of values, but also behavior in a manner intended to cause policy and society to move in the direction of those values. And here is where a deep chasm opens between me and the friends who want to characterize me as “not progressive”.

I see little evidence that these friends expend much consideration of what policies are workable, politically feasible or even actually put into place. Their politics aren’t about doing anything: they’re about taking a position. More than anything, they are about how they wish to understand themselves and to be seen as opinion holders. The politics they articulate are about their view of themselves—their chosen identities—rather than about actual intent to accomplish social change.

Unless it completely implements the ideal they claim to support, the folks I'm describing will castigate policy movement in a positive direction as weak tea, and trash those who achieved such movement as having “sold out”...up to and including accusing such policy makers of being in the pockets of the very interests the new policy reins in.

In the eyes of people who think like this, a step forward doesn’t count. Only the ideal on the wish list counts. So the significant step forward of the Affordable Care Act is, in their eyes, a “sell-out to the insurance industry” because “Obama is a corporatist puppet”—which provides them the double pleasure of  staking out a position of moral superiority to the product of the dirty, dirty world by contrasting it with the bright shiny ideas in their heads, and of casting themselves as having “higher standards” which have been disappointed by the failure of those who are in the trenches and doing the work.

Indeed, few of the folks I’m talking about have ever invested much time or energy in engaging the legislative process or participating in electoral campaigns. Adamant as they may be in their opinions they also, by and large, dismiss our public institutions and the systems we have for pursuing political change as irretrievably corrupt. To the degree they have advocated for policies, it has generally been from the sidelines in ineffectual but personally satisfying symbolic gestures like protest marches.

Their opinions are rooted firmly in convictions about “how things should be” but generally uninformed about how they are. And as such, their concept of the nature of American politics is an oversimplified cartoon in which Big Interests Own Politicians (of both major parties, because They’re All The Same) and Buy Elections, resulting in Orwellian Institutions which want to Exploit And Control Us All.

In this, they have a lot in common with the Tea Party, actually.

As someone who has actually been in that world and done stuff in the political sphere, I have a different view.

I’m here to suggest that if what you do undermines progress, you aren’t a progressive.

Trashing the character, competence or motivations or those who got you half a political loaf when you wanted a whole one isn’t progressive.

Setting the bar of acceptability at a pie-in-the-sky level and then erupting in outrage when you don’t get it isn’t progressive.

Starting with an assumption that public officials and institutions are corrupt, ill-intentioned or incompetent and seizing on every opportunity—however flimsy, however improbable—to confirm it in your mind and the minds of others is not progressive.

“Standing for principles” in a manner which makes it impossible for those principles to gain traction in the political sphere is not progressive.

Dismissing a policy maker as a walking dungheap because he hasn't done exactly as you would like on every issue is not progressive.

The only thing such behavior does is to make progress less likely to occur. It saps voter enthusiasm on the left and undermines the openness of moderates and swing voters to seeing progressive positions as reasonable and viable.

I can also tell you that such backseat driving tempts those who do the heavy lifting which actually results in progress to chuck it all and get a job in the private sector. Policy work is hard. You may think being in Congress or a state legislature is all cocktail parties and being showered with lobbyist gifts, but it isn’t that at all, and particularly not for progressives, who don’t generally align with interests loaded with money.

We’re fighting against the odds anyway. When a policy maker who is pouring out the productive years of her life in the name of the greater good starts having to dig friendly fire out of her back, it’s not a surprise that she might want to quit and let her critics try to do better.

Unsatisfiable self-righteous outrage doesn’t do a damned thing for our country or the world. It is a self-indulgence, and one we can ill afford.

It is the antithesis of progressive. It sabotages progress.

Progressives don’t need to agree with everything an official or an advocate—or a blogger—does or says to forbear from impugning his character. They can express their desire for different policies than those under consideration without framing those working on these policies as betrayers, cowards, traitors, incompetents or criminals.

Progressives don’t have an all-or-nothing approach to politics. They understand that improvement happens one step at a time: you work for a gain, nail it down, celebrate, thank your allies and gear up for another one. That’s how history works.

Progressives don’t leap to endorse thinly-sourced conspiracy theories just because they confirm their prejudices.

You can choose to do those things, if you get some kind of satisfaction out of it, but I’ll tell you this: by no stretch of the imagination is it progressive.

Progressives help to create progress. They don’t impede it, belittle it, or undermine its exponents.

A left-wing concern troll is not a progressive.

Ralph Nader (at least, the version we’ve seen in the past 20 years) is not a progressive.

Dennis Kucinich is not a progressive.

Jane Hamsher, Cenk Uygur and Glenn Greenwald are not progressives.

They are something else. Whatever it is, it is not progressive.

Reposted from Green Dragon

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Comment Preferences

  •  This ain't no party. It ain't no disco. (17+ / 0-)

    Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

    by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:18:38 PM PDT

  •  The best way forward (7+ / 0-)

    Is to call out those that are a detriment to progressive values.  To do that, we start at the top.  And the top IS our current, duplicitous, opaque administration.

  •  The Results Since the Beatles Broke Up Have (9+ / 0-)

    been invariably regress, led by both parties, other than on a few cultural questions upon which no important money or power turns.

    What Democratic conservatives have purged from our thinking is what the rightwing revolution is built on: working the whole election cycle. Knowing that there are periods when pragmatism rules, in order to hold ground or maybe gain a hair, but also recognizing there are other periods when, to achieve longterm progress, ideology must rule because the moderates who are the focus of "pragmatism" DON'T TURN OUT.

    You may recall that we lost an election in proportions that were historic for both parties, the last time [4 yrs ago] we had an election when moderates don't turn out.

    But that's because Democratic conservatives are conservatives, they support Reaganism and won't tolerate any credible challenge to it.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:35:41 PM PDT

    •  No--it's because enfranchisement is a function (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deathtongue, WB Reeves, skohayes

      of two things: class and organizing.

      Upper class people turn out because it is expected of them and because they have the luxury of time to do so.

      Others have to be organized, and if their short list of wishes (like, a working economy) hasn't been delivered, they don't show. Whether or not it has anything to do with those currently in power.

      2010 was not a repudiation of "Democratic conservatism". It was a demonstration of what low voter education does. If people refuse to think beyond the short term and the economy has been sabotaged, they will dump incumbents, or not show up. It has nothing to do with policy.

      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

      by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:39:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suppose. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy

        If the voters had been educated enough to stay motivated for the Democrats -- despite the fact that Obama and the Democratic Congress didn't do enough to provide a job recovery in terms the employment-population ratio would recognize -- then 2010 would have been a success.

        "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

        by Cassiodorus on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:55:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tell you what. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alain2112, bobtmn

          You go back to the size of the stimulus proposed by the administration in 2009, and compare it to what managed to get through Congress.

          Then come back and tell me that the problem was Democrats.

          Good luck with that.

          I know you really get off on that castigate-them-all crack pipe, but that's exactly what I'm talking about here.

          Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

          by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:57:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I always thought -- (3+ / 0-)

            the reasoning on this one took a few grains of salt to put down.  From Time Magazine:

            http://www.time.com/...

            Lawrence Summers, director of the White House's National Economic Council, said last week that the stimulus bill was on track. This past weekend, the President rejected calls for a second stimulus package, saying the current stimulus needs more time to work, since only a small fraction of the money has been spent. From the beginning, the Administration has said that much of the boost to the economy from the stimulus plan would not come until the second half of this year. Administration officials have also insisted that it's unfair to judge the effectiveness of the stimulus by projections they made back in January since the recession has turned out to be worse than what most economists predicted even just six months ago.
            So if "the recession turned out to be worse than what most economists predicted," why reject calls for a second stimulus?

            "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

            by Cassiodorus on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 09:42:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The crack pipe reference (0+ / 0-)

            deserves a hide rate.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:53:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, the $828b bill that passed the House ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            priceman, Cassiodorus

            ... was also over four years into a $1,000b/yr recessionary gap and was also insufficient.

            Are you seriously arguing that the difference between the $820b House proposal, the $827b Senate proposal and the final $787b (scored) bill that passed conference exonerates the White House for listening to those who failed to call the vulnerability to the collapse of the housing bubble and who were continuing to fail to call the severity of the collapse and ignoring those who called the vulnerability to the housing bubble in advance and who successfully called the severity of the resulting collapse in effective demand?

            Indeed, $787b was just the scoring ... the end result was over $800b in fact because the recession was deeper than failed Treasury/CBO modeling of the recession was capable of picking up.

            To be in line with the level of the Australian or Chinese stimulus efforts on GDP per capita basis, it would have had to be closer to a $1,500b stimulus over four years.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:15:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In what imaginary world was a bigger bill going to (0+ / 0-)

              pass? And how is it possibly the fault of people who were advocating for stimulus at all, when they were pitted against people who wanted none?

              That position makes no sense.

              Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

              by Dracowyrm on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:45:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was addressing your claim ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... that the President cannot be blamed for the bill being passed being inadequate because the bill that was passed was not the administration proposal.

                There never was an administration proposal for an adequate response.

                The original Stimulus II proposal differed in detail from the final package, but the White House proposal, the closely aligned House bill, the alternative Senate bill and the final reconciled legislation were all clearly inadequate.

                And its not as if "we couldn't have know" ~ they were labeled as inadequate at the time by many of those who had previously warned that we were heading toward a financial crisis.

                While there's no telling what would have happened had the President proposed an adequate Stimulus II, nor what would have happened if he had not spent much of the first term engaged in "West Wing" neoliberal fantasy economics in which the deficit was an actual economic problem as opposed to a challenge due to people's confusion about how the economy works ...
                ... we do, on the other hand, know for sure is that his proposal was in fact inadequate and that further on in the course of the current depression did in fact argue as if the fictional benefits to moving toward a balanced budget were real world benefits.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:48:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  A bit confused. (5+ / 0-)

        What are we educating voters about if not policy?

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 09:03:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  About who is responsible for policy. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deathtongue

          And what the alternatives are.

          Americans tend to have a very primitive, childish understanding of politics--that's not an accident, but it helps corporate power to persist in a disproportionate manner.

          "Be angry and blame somebody" is the most juvenile of politics. We need to educate voters about thinking in more complex terms than that, or they will never be beyond "throwing out the bastards" when times are bad, even if "the bastards" had nothing to do with it.

          Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

          by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 09:07:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I do not share your low opinion of (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassiodorus, Angryallen, YucatanMan

            the electorate.Guess I tend to run into a lot of bright (even if politically disengaged) grown-up Americans? With varied levels of interest and sophistication re:politics. People I meet respond to different arguments,to be sure. Nearly everyone listens best when treated with respect and authenticity.

            "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

            by tardis10 on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 09:32:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The problem is complexity (4+ / 0-)

            Republicans figured out a long time ago that the more complex an issue becomes, the less likely voters will pay any attention to it. So they do things like abuse the fillibuster and then blame the Democrats for not getting anything done, because they know that very few people will have the time to figure out what's really going on. We need to be better at putting the blame squarely on them for their historic obstruction and dishonesty.

            Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

            by Deathtongue on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:33:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It always amuses me -- (9+ / 0-)

    to see these stout defenses of "I am a progressive," probably because (for the good reasons outlined in this diary) I'm not a progressive.

    I think the main reason I don't think of myself as a "progressive" is that I don't believe we're progressing toward anything.  Generally speaking you've got this "austerity" thing going in Washington DC that would appear to be the main issue these days -- that and civil liberties in light of NSA spying and the TPP and the fragility of the capitalist system as a whole.  The future doesn't look like any glowing outcome of progressive struggle to me.  If you want a picture of what the future does look like to me, please check out this diary.

    I suppose in one sense the ACA counts as ritual progress -- when they march into the doctor's office more sick people will be able to tell the secretary they've got insurance, and that's progress.  A lot of embarrassment will be avoided.  Four main problems though:

    1) It doesn't really control costs -- the whole "medical loss ratio" thing can be faked, and so I'm reading words of glowing praise such as "the prices aren't as bad as we thought they were."  It still leaves public health in the hands of for-profit institutions.

    2) The subsidies come in the form of tax credits -- so while we're shelling out gobs of money from meager paychecks to subsidize the insurance industry, we're waiting for the tax credits to kick in.

    3) The ACA encourages insurance on the cheap -- "bronze" policies, which don't really cover you all the way.  Thus there will still be plenty of medical bankruptcy.

    4) Subsidizing the insurance industry, while not doing anything to facilitate single payer, isn't really "progress" in terms of "progress" toward single payer.

    Just to be clear, I don't really have any beef at all with progressive principles -- though I suppose these claims of being one of "those who do the heavy lifting which actually results in progress" should be buttressed with demonstrations of actual progress.

    "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

    by Cassiodorus on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:49:09 PM PDT

    •  Completely non sequitur reply. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alain2112

      The question isn't whether you "think" progress is occurring. It's whether or not you elect to act in a manner that supports that happening.

      And the kind of bitching and moaning you do here about the ACA makes it clear that you don't. You'd rather bask in your theoretical righteousness.

      If only everyone saw things as you do. What a terrible loss for us all.

      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

      by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:54:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Addressing my actual points (6+ / 0-)

        might persuade me.  Bitching and moaning about what you perceive as my "bitching and moaning" appears to me (and others) as a diversion, and quite contrary to your claims of being an organizer.

        "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

        by Cassiodorus on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 09:06:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alain2112, Deathtongue, sewaneepat, bobtmn

          Millions of Americans insured who weren't previously?

          Check.

          Medical expenditure requirements which both limit cost increases and lead to rebates for insurers who attempt to gouge?

          Check.

          Guaranteed package of basic services including preventative and birth control care?

          Check.

          No rejection for previous conditions, or cancellation for sickness?

          Check.

          That's progress. Millions of Americans benefit.

          I'm sorry you didn't get your Christmas list, which included screwing interests you don't like. But the bottom line is that things got better. If you feel the need to tear that down, you're not about making things better for the American people. You're not a progressive.

          Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

          by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 09:10:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Employees' hours reduced to less-than-full-time (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Angryallen, Horace Boothroyd III

            because their employers don't want to pay for their health insurance?

            Check.

            We'll see about the rest of this.  Oh, and it's such a grievous insult to tell me I'm not a progressive.

            "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

            by Cassiodorus on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 09:18:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  News flash: world is not black and white. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alain2112, nosleep4u, skohayes, sewaneepat

              The ACA means that many, many people are not going to be cast into bankruptcy because of illness. Yes, sociopathic business is going to do what it does. But on balance, it is irrefutable that there is benefit to the American people as a result of this bill. If you refuse to acknowledge this, you're a great example of exactly what I'm talking about in the diary.

              Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

              by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 09:25:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Do you think the ACA is worse than nothing at all? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dracowyrm, sewaneepat

              Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

              by Deathtongue on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:38:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, it will probably do some good for someone (0+ / 0-)

                in 2014.  But we have to experience 2014 first, and not grandstand on the good we think it will do before it has happened.

                "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

                by Cassiodorus on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:42:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  WHAT? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Deathtongue, bobtmn

                  Since when is not throwing shit at people who have delivered for us "grandstanding"?

                  Cassiodorus, you are an excellent example of exactly what I am talking about. Whatever you thought was the right outcome for the health care reform debate, what was POSSIBLE was what ended up emerging, in the ACA.

                  It was progress. It was the amount of progress that was possible at that time.

                  Do you support progress, Cassiodorus?

                  Or are you more invested in congratulating yourself for how much better a job you would have done if you ruled the world?

                  Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

                  by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:45:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What I don't support is YOU. (4+ / 0-)

                    I might have been persuaded by some of your arguments, had they not been so leavened by insults and other such reasons you give yourself to deny me the civility you would grant your momma.

                    I really think your attitude puts the lie to your claim to be an organizer.  Is this what you really do?  Do you go door to door in your neighborhood and tell people "Hi, I'm Dracowyrm, and if you don't like progress as personified by Obama and the ACA, then you're just another self-important Naderite who needs to STFU and get with the program"?  Is that your pitch to the world?  And do you tell the other organizers you know "Hi I organize more than you, so STFU"?

                    There are still plenty of reasons left around for why the insurance companies might turn the ACA into just another ripoff.  Since it's not 2014 yet, and the major provisions of the law haven't yet taken effect, I still don't know if these reasons will come to fruition, with the resultant screw-ups, or if the companies will play nice with us and grant us what little the law says they will grant us.  I'm certainly open to the idea that the law might be navigated to my own personal benefit, since I have to live with it like everyone else, but everything I know about insurance companies tells me they won't play nice.

                    I'm not buying any of your excuses for why the government couldn't have done any better.  Obama cut a deal with the insurers, the pharmaceuticals, and the hospitals in advance of this thing.  He didn't have to do that.

                    We might be having a civil conversation about this.  I blame you for the real-life outcome that we're not.

                    "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

                    by Cassiodorus on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:59:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Of COURSE you blame me! Yawn. Have a good night. (0+ / 0-)

                      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

                      by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 11:00:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  What do you think was politically possible that (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Dracowyrm, bobtmn

                      Obama didn't get? What specific policies do you think that he left on the table?

                      Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

                      by Deathtongue on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 11:04:54 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The public option, for one. (nmi) (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Deathtongue, priceman

                        "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

                        by Cassiodorus on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 11:09:42 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm not sure there were the votes for that (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Dracowyrm, stevenaxelrod

                          I really wanted me some public option too. But not passing one now, doesn't mean there can't be one in the future. I think it's actually possible that once people see all the good things this law does, that the public will be ready to embrace Democratic ideas for improvements. Whether they get on the table is up to us.

                          Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

                          by Deathtongue on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 11:16:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  It is a mathematical fact that there were not. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Deathtongue

                            Given GOP insistence on a filibuster, all 60 were required, and Baucus, Conrad, Lincoln, Nelson (NE) and Lieberman were adamant that they would never vote for single payer.

                            Single payer was DOA. Anyone arguing that the ACA was a failure because it wasn't single payer is either 1) Ignorant of the facts or 2) more invested in fault-finding than policy.

                            Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

                            by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 11:29:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You forgot some variables in your "math" (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Nada Lemming, LaEscapee

                            (a)=reconciliation only requires 51 votes and the public option was scored by the CBO and budget related.

                            (b)=There was a deal with the for profit hospital lobby before there was a vote sealing the away any possibility of one. That's why Durbin wouldn't let a PO amendment come up during reconciliation and courageously hid behind Nancy Pelosi who already passed one.

                            So since this has been debunked and you forgot multiple variables in your equation, you certainly don't need to be lecturing anyone on math.

                            "Given the willful denial, among a host of kossacks, of the basic proposition that 2+2=4, I find the diarist's tone to be remarkably restrained." ~ Wisepiper

                            by priceman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 12:32:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wrong. Reid was never going to allow the ACA by (0+ / 0-)

                            reconciliation, and his caucus would have split sharply if he had tried, scuttling the bill.

                            Also, what you characterize as a "deal" wasn't: it was engagement with the elements of the private sector which had legitimate interest in the bill. Your theory that this was somehow evidence that "the fix was in" doesn't square very well with the full-court-press hundreds of millions of dollars effort on behalf of medical providers and insurers to kill the bill entirely. If there was a "deal" to their benefit, why would they do that?

                            When doing math, it helps to include all the variables.

                            Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

                            by Dracowyrm on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:24:53 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

                            PRESIDENT SIGNS SIDECAR RECONCILIATION FIXERBILL

                            I guess the caucus split, except you are talking lots of BS.

                            The insurance lobby opposed the bill at the last second, because the wanted even more and didn't like the MLR but that doesn't mean they won't benefit hugely. Big Pharma was the biggest winners as this administration worked to kill Byron Dorgan's amendment with bog pharma which it did.

                            Now that you just embarrassed yourself, time to stop talking about math or variables or what you think was awesome HCR.

                            "Given the willful denial, among a host of kossacks, of the basic proposition that 2+2=4, I find the diarist's tone to be remarkably restrained." ~ Wisepiper

                            by priceman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:51:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  The point you still ignore is that it was progress (0+ / 0-)

                      It was an improvement--a major one--over the laissez-faire disaster we had going previously. And the indicators are showing us that its impacts are generally beneficial--increased in costs and premiums are flattening, more people are covered, etc.

                      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

                      by Dracowyrm on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:50:29 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, and for the record, THIRTY MILLION AMERICANS (0+ / 0-)

                  have already benefited from the ACA. That's 10% of the population.

                  But hey--in the Imaginary World, that's nothing, right?

                  Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

                  by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:46:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I don't understand what you mean (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dracowyrm

                  What is " grandstand on the good we think it will do before it has happened." mean? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I really don't understand what this means.

                  Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

                  by Deathtongue on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 11:00:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I know the person I live with losing hours (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Deathtongue

                As to provide profits to the corporation will negatively affect her life. Especially since she has medical expenses, as do most humans.

                •  That is unfortunate. I'm sorry to hear that. (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm not naive enough to think that the law won't negatively affect a lot of people. The question is, is it worse than nothing? I would contend that the status quo just wasn't sustainable and in the big picture the ACA is a good thing. Would you agree?

                  Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

                  by Deathtongue on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 11:50:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not seeing it yet (0+ / 0-)

                    But I've almost exclusively only had either no health insurance or part of the state administered Medicaid. So I'm very familiar with how in actuality state level decision making is being used to punish the poor on Medicaid. For instance the only available treatment for my unstable joints is physical therapy. The state I live in will not pay for physical therapy. So I'm destined to increased pain and injury because some wingnut thinks my getting that care is a luxury. Never mind I can barely eat or drink when my neck goes out.

                    •  I just emerged from 3 years w/o coverage & little (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Horace Boothroyd III

                      $ myself, relying on state programs when both myself and my wife had significant medical issues. So I know very well what you're talking about.

                      That said, a lot of people in that very position have already benefited from the ACA (most of them children and young adults, thus far). It's progress.

                      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

                      by Dracowyrm on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:27:12 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not seeing in how they worded (0+ / 0-)

          Their support of presumed values as written by someone well read in the politics of those movements listed.

          My two cents.

    •  Excellent diary: (3+ / 0-)
      Capitalist, corporate rule (rule by governments beholden to corporate capitalists) is advertised as the pleasurable alternative to being shot by the cops ...
      Ain't that the truth...

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:58:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So...if you're not a progressive, why (0+ / 0-)

      do you bother? Are you ONLY here to feel smarter and more righteous than your fellow citizens?

      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

      by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:58:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice Houle Hoop you got here. Great job! nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, Cassiodorus, tardis10, BradyB

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:53:37 PM PDT

  •  It's been a while since I've read some good... (8+ / 0-)

    ..Kucinich bashing.

    It used to be quite popular on the web, but I thought that it had kinda' gone out of style for some reason or other.

    I guess it's back.

    Stop the NRA and the NSA
    Repeal the Patriot Act and the 2nd Amendment

    by dream weaver on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 09:16:58 PM PDT

  •  Great diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dracowyrm

    It seems no one gets credit for moving things in the right direction anymore.

    I saw this movie play out in the last few years of the Clinton admin. I heard about how he "sold out" and was "the best republican president we ever had". It seemed that people just retreated to their pet issues and concluded that "there was no difference" between the two parties. I'd be willing to bet most of those people would just about do anything to get ol' Bill back after the first few years of G' dub.

    The strange thing is that both facets of the left need each other. I'm not obtuse enough to think that the OWS types, and other Idealists don't move the ball forward. Sometimes it is best to stand on principle and work outside the system. I wish that more of them would accept that sometimes it's best to be calm, take the long view, and work within the system to get things moving in the right direction.

    Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

    by Deathtongue on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:26:11 PM PDT

    •  Word. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deathtongue

      nt

      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

      by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:30:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That said, Clinton had far less of a moral compass (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deathtongue

      than does Obama.

      His seizure of Republican hot-button issues (tax cuts, free trade agreements, welfare "reform" that screwed millions of the poorest Americans) in order to get a second term was not only ugly, but unnecessary. He didn't have to go as far as he did in pandering to the Gingrich crowd, but he wanted a second term more than he cared about policy outcomes.

      I do not see Obama as sharing this characteristic. But he's a problem solver, not an ideologue, and that will never go down well with those who are the latter.

      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

      by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:40:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, but that's pretty par for the course when it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dracowyrm

        comes to politicians. I think a lot of people don't understand that politicians will say and do what they have to to get and stay elected. I think a lot of people thought that Obama would end the surveillance regime when he became president, but what they don't understand is that although it would be the right thing to do, it was the wrong thing politically.

        If a terrorist attack were to have occurred on his watch his admin would have been in serious trouble, thus he's going to do anything within his power to stop that from happening. Presidents use the power they're given if it will help them stay in and use their power. They are loath to give that power up. That's just what they do.

        The challenge for us is to make our philosophy popular, and to make opposing it politically toxic. That takes a lot of long hard boring work.

        Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

        by Deathtongue on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:55:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, there is that, and also that he knows things (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deathtongue

          that we don't. He is provided information about security threats that we don't have.

          If we refuse to have any trust for people we put in his position, there's little point in being involved in politics.

          Assuming that the only reason these programs have continued is because of greed for power on Obama's part is simply not substantiated by facts. It is a faith-based conclusion.

          Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

          by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:59:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't really think it's greed for power (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dracowyrm

            More like just self preservation. All presidents are under attack all the time, thus any power they have to neutralize that will get used. I don't think that Obama even particularly wants this power, but he knows if he has it and doesn't use it, it just opens up an avenue of attack for his opponents. It's about protecting his agenda and keeping himself in a position to move forward on the things he really cares about.

            Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

            by Deathtongue on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 11:11:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with this. I just think there is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Deathtongue

              also a legitimate purpose to it. It isn't ALL politics with this crew. It was far more so with Clinton, and nothing but politics with the Bush junta.

              Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

              by Dracowyrm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 11:26:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah I'm with you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dracowyrm

                I think both Clinton and Obama cared deeply about HCR. I think Bill actually cared about a lot of things, even if he was overzealous in his triangulation. In the end all presidents are pragmatists. They have to be.

                Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

                by Deathtongue on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 11:44:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I thought this was an interesting, if provocative, (0+ / 0-)

    diary. Then I got to the list at the end. It's kinda odd to start out complaining about left wing puritans denouncing you as non progressive over differences of opinion, only to end up with a string of denunciations of your own.

    That keeps me from tipping or reccing. I'm not prepared to endorse proscription lists, regardless of their source.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:14:11 AM PDT

    •  Fair enough, but the differences aren't really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WB Reeves

      over opinions. They're over behaviors.

      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

      by Dracowyrm on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:48:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For the most part I'd agree (0+ / 0-)

        but I suspect that the behaviors are actually reflective of  fundamental differences of opinion about where we are, where we are going and how to get there. At least for some on both sides.

        I won't speculate as to the character of those differences, since it would be pointless as long as such folks refuse to articulate them openly. IMO, some folks on both sides have chosen to obscure the actual substance of their disagreement behind a cloud of side shows, personalities and invective.

        Your diary made me think of the following passage by Bertolt Brecht:

        You out there.
        Who are you?
        Sink down in the slime.
        Embrace the butcher.
        But change the world.
        It needs it!

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 05:11:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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