When The Cult Attacks

The Cult is riled up. The funny thing is the Cult, as usual, never actually addresses what is written and then makes stuff up. Indeed, this is the Cult's modus operandi:

I am not going to go through the TalkLeft archives and dig up where BTD gravely intones that Obama can not win the white vote, can not win the Jewish vote, can not win the Hispanic vote, and on and on. I will not dig up all the stupid god damned advice he gave to the Obama campaign(which they, thank GOD, ignored). I will not look up the umpteen posts where the leftís own pompous village idiot warned that Obama could not win without Hillary on the ticket. I will not dig up the polling data that he consistently misread and always curiously interpreted as showing a need for Hillary on the ticket.

The Cult will not because it can not. No such posts exist. I remind my dear readers and the Cult of two words that I used - "shoo-in." Before most. Those who actually can read and actually read my posts know precisely what I wrote. Indeed, what I wrote about John Brennan, a name not mentioned in The Cult's manic response. But do remember this from the Cult: [More...]

Yes, I voted for Bush twice, but I proudly state I am not as stupid as BTD. Period.

That, is a matter of opinion. BTW, what the Cult engenders - a complete disconnect from reality:

Also, iirc, [BTD]'s pretty damn sexist - it's been a long time, but one of the things that ticked a lot of us off at him at dKos was his fierce defense of Larry Summers against all the quotes demonstrating not only the man's gender-essentialism but also various hoary ethno-religious bigotries: such as Summers' arguing that some groups are just better suited for some professions, as Jews make the best bankers, blacks the best basketball players, etc.

See when you are in a Cult, and you have identified the "enemy" - then there is no truth, only stories to be told against the "enemy." Unlike the Cult, I will provide you some links to my actual writings on Lawrence Summers when he was President of Harvard:

Summers 1

Summers 2

Yes, I was called a moron then too (among the people calling me a moron then was Bush lover Andrew "Bell Curve" "Fifth Column" Sullivan, now an Obama Bot, and the now winner of the Hero of the Cult Award, one John Cole), but for criticizing Summers and for being "politically correct." Here is what John Cole wrote about it:

Larry Summers is in trouble for attempting to lead a provocative discussion on the role of women in the hard sciences. . . . Summers is in trouble because he is being lynched by the same collection of rabble and leftist radicals who he has refused to worship.

He pissed them off with Cornel West, the chief icon for lazy intellectual posturing in the Ivy League. He revisited the ROTC issue. He refused to bow to the Islamists and anti-Semites who wanted to divest in Israel. He took on grade inflation. He, in short, is under attack by a coaltion of those brought up in the brain-washed and brain-dead tradition of 1960ís radicalism, and I hope he crushes them like a bug.

Now, I defy the Cult to actually quote what I wrote. I can quote him. And I just did. Will he do the same?

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Another way to look at this. . . (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 07:57:28 AM EST
    is that someone who voted twice for Bush is actually rather unlikely to see any kind of problem with a status quo Administration.  So maybe it's not so much "don't snipe at things that  haven't happened yet" and more "hey, He's pretty center-right after all!"

    On the other hand, I think JC is at least in part correct -- it doesn't appear that the demographic argument proved out that well, does it?

    I think it proved out exactly (1.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:00:54 AM EST
    myself. Depending on what you expected.

    BTW, when the Cult Attacks, from John Cole's community:

    Also, iirc, he's pretty damn sexist - it's been a long time, but one of the things that ticked a lot of us off at him at dKos was his fierce defense of Larry Summers against all the quotes demonstrating not only the man's gender-essentialism but also various hoary ethno-religious bigotries: such as Summers' arguing that some groups are just better suited for some professions, as Jews make the best bankers, blacks the best basketball players, etc.

    The realities that the Cult will create are similar to John Cole's realities.

    In a word, they are too far gone to even deal with the truth.


    WHAT? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:09:06 AM EST
    I'm trying to parse that quote in any way that makes it sound like anything exact the exact opposite of the actual truth -- that if you stopped short of calling for Larry Summers to be castrated, disemboweled, and fed his own intestines over his Harvard statement.

    Really.  I thought you were going to demand that summer be renamed "late spring" or "the season that cannot be named".

    Wow.  John Cole -- recent Republican, two time Bush voter, fellow traveler for many years with Karl Rove -- complaining (completely falsely, it seems) about sexism and "ethno-religous bigotries".

    Maybe it makes more sense if you read it upside down?


    That was a Cole commenter (1.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:11:16 AM EST
    As you will see, it is the Obama Cult form DKos, Elise and the like.

    This is what being in a cult will do to you.


    I stand corrected. . . (none / 0) (#18)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:14:54 AM EST
    it is the commenter who is living in an alternate reality.  Cole is just wrong.

    wait wait (none / 0) (#15)
    by Salo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:14:08 AM EST
    it's hoary ethno-sexual bigotry...

    Getting back to reality (none / 0) (#24)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:57:18 AM EST
    You've gotten at, what seems to me, the real beef with Larry Summers:  He's a Clintonian on the economy.  I would have thought Summners statements at Harvard were rather sexist, and they may have been, or they may have been aimed at provoking thought and discussion about gender differences. When I don't know, I look for more information. In Summers case, additional information is that he has supported hiring of lots of women in top positions. More gray.  I know Repubs and cultists of other political persuasions prefer black and white -- good/bad, with us/against us, but I prefer the complexity and challenge of analyzing and dealing with gray.

    On demographics. . . (none / 0) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:11:00 AM EST
    if your theory had held, I would have expected Obama to have trouble increasing Kerry's performance among the demographic groups you specified and most particularly Hispanics.  It appears he did quite well among all Democratic demos including those that he lost heavily to Clinton.

    Not my dempgrahic theories (3.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:14:35 AM EST
    Someone else's.

    HE did not win working class whites.

    He would have easily won Florida and Ohio, not narrowly won as he did.

    you see, for those able to read and not members of Cults, they would have understood that having Clinton as his running mate would have given McCain not even an avenue to pursue.

    Of course, I thought Obama shoo in - but no need to take chances was my view. Clinton would have locked up Florida and Ohio for Obama. That he did not need her is great, but irrelevant to my point.

    But understanding this requires actually reading comprehension, mental capabilities and a lack of hatred of all things Clinton. The Cult is missing all of that.


    What ifs? (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by mikemi on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:16:13 AM EST
    Count me as one who thinks that Obama would have had a closer election had not John McCain set himself on fire by selecting Sarah Palin and "suspending his campaign" to work on the economy. In Michigan had McCain selected Mitt as his running mate... Michigan is in play. The experience argument comes to the fore without Palin and the race is on. I suspect Obama would have still won but it would have been much more difficult. With HRC as the VP pick it was a walk. Some people have such a hate on for the Clintons it clouds their vision. I have followed the BTD posts for months and I can only say that WINNING THE ELECTION was always the goal promoted. No worship of the candidate and I hope no worship of our new President.

    Were you paying any attention? (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by kenosharick on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:12:35 AM EST
    The election was tied and mccain/palin were even slightly ahead until they were wiped out by the economic meltdown. palin had little to do with the final outcome- she rallied the base while angering many on the left (and some in the middle), her pick was probably a wash. The truth is, without the meltdown we would have had a real nailbiter.

    Actually, if the meltdown happened (none / 0) (#120)
    by BarnBabe on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:39:27 AM EST
    in January, 2008, there might have been a different President right now. If the meltdown occurred in January 2009, this election would have been a lot closer IMO. I believe if the meltdown had not occurred, then BTD was right on the money on everything. Once again, it was the economy.

    that's what I said- (none / 0) (#200)
    by kenosharick on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 03:56:52 PM EST
    the economy, not palin.

    Not a shoo in till the (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:37:12 AM EST
    economic collapse.  

    Instead we have a living embarrassment (none / 0) (#20)
    by Salo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:18:42 AM EST
    in VP Biden of course.  A politician who's commitment to UHC is waffer thin who can only survive as a credible voice if the media choose to ignore his big mouth...he's possibly even hostile to UHC policy actually--given the things he stated in debate.  And a VP with theories about Iraq that are actually destructive.

    And, there would have been (none / 0) (#23)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:52:30 AM EST
    no anxiety over whether or not we'd take PA.

    I was never anxious about PA (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:03:54 AM EST
    Is a Visionary Minimalist politician a status quo (none / 0) (#111)
    by jawbone on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:34:02 AM EST

    Cass Sunstein wrote an article about Obama, calling him a "Visionary Minimalist." Savor that image, change-seekers.

    Amberglow at Corrente posted about this.

    "... Some public officials are minimalists. They do not like to reject the fundamental commitments of their fellow citizens. On environmental questions, sex equality, national security and economic policy, they try to bracket our deepest disagreements. They seek to obtain a consensus on what to do -- not on why to do it.

    Minimalists favor their approach because they think, as a pragmatic matter, it is most likely to work. They also insist that their approach, putting fundamental differences to one side, shows respect to their fellow citizens.


    Above all, these visionaries seek to alter the nation's self-conception. In changing policy on the economy, or on national defense, they are entirely comfortable with asserting that their vision is the superior one and that alternative visions should be rejected. When they succeed, they transform how the nation understands itself.

    Our greatest presidents -- including Washington, Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- have been visionaries. In recent American history, President Ronald Reagan stands as the leading visionary.

    Obama is something new in American politics -- and not just for the obvious reasons. He is a visionary minimalist. This is a key both to his extraordinary campaign and to his unique promise. It even helps explain his conception of public service.


    Obama shows unfailing respect for those with competing views. In designing policies -- on climate change, tax reform, energy conservation, foreign policy -- he attempts to produce solutions that will accommodate, rather than repudiate, the defining commitments of his fellow citizens. Even on the most divisive issues of separation of church and state, Obama favors approaches that will attract support from all sides. ... (My emphasis. Link for entire article at link above.)"

    Whoa! Good luck with that approach, President-Elect!

    And the comment about Reagan reinforces that not all change is good, even "visionary" change. Reagan's "vision" lead to the stagnation of real wages for middle class Americans, to the drastic weakening of labor unions (uh, oh: Obama did call unions "special interests."). Witness all the changes BushCo has wrought. Like them apples? Well, change can be good and it can be bad. Which is why it's important to understand the kind of change a pol wants to achieve. Sunstein seems to say Obama will bring about change by...accommodating all sides?

    Cass Sunstein is a close adviser to Obama and possibly really does know how he thinks, how he plans to act as president. He writes this piece as if he does know this. I find his take highly disturbing--and it's right out of the MCM call for Obama to be a good little president and not listen to those DFH's with those silly and dangerous (can they be both, yes, I suppose so) liberal ideas. There's no money! Must keep fighting the War on Terra! What dangerous executive powers? And, above all, Mr. President-Elect, make no waves which might swamp the uber-wealthy boats or those of their hirelings!

    In my comment on Amberglow's post, I asked what FDR would have accomplished as a "make no waves" president. As a "status quo" president. Or if he tried to accommodate all views, including those of the banksters of his time. Oh, my.

    We don't know how Obama will govern, but we will soon begin to know full well.


    Bad Fiction (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by bjorn on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:10:36 AM EST
    has ballon juice always been peddling fiction like this?  I have never read their site before.  Speechless.  

    John Cole is an Obamacon. . . (none / 0) (#13)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:12:51 AM EST
    a conservative who finally had his fill of Bush Republicanism and went over to Obama.  I can't remember whether it was this year, or last.

    After the 2006 election returns. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Salo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:21:12 AM EST
     There was a flood of Republican who can do electoral arithmetic abandoning him after that debacle.

    Oh and the other big lol line: (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Faust on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:12:59 AM EST
    He won't dig those quotes up because:

    "He's short on patience, and a compasionate person at heart."

    F*king pricelss. Both impatient AND compasionate. Kinda like Bush.

    My take was more like (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:25:10 AM EST
    Are Joe Klein and John Cole the same person?

    After all, when Glenn Greenwald took Joe Klein to task for his inaccuracies (l__s) regarding the FISA legislation, Klein had plenty of excuses - too hard, not enough time, blah blah blah.

    Bob Somerby really loathes pundits who prefer their own unsupported opinions and narratives to actual facts and reality.  I'm with him.  "I could look up this stuff, but gosh! that would take actual work so just take my word that it's true."  just translates to "I'm a lazy, opinionated slob who doesn't want to look up inconvenient facts that might ruin my narrative.".


    He's a really nice guy! (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:35:36 AM EST
    How do we know?  He told us so!

    Don't argue with cults (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by koshembos on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:14:31 AM EST
    It's a waste of time to argue with cults; they don't hear, see or feel. Obama is the next president. We wish him great success not personal but nationally. He already back paddles on several issue. That's not a major crime by itself; most leaders have to back paddle. Support of torture is not a run of the mill backing; it's a major moral and ethical retreat.

    Not being a big fan of his, Obama still deserves a chance to do good work. let's hope he does.

    yeah, I'd counsel ignoring him (none / 0) (#151)
    by sarany on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:25:19 AM EST
    I've visited his site twice and wouldn't have otherwise.

    He feels like an Ann Coulter wannabe to me, trying to attract anger addicts.


    Who are you referring to? (none / 0) (#194)
    by cymro on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:44:32 PM EST
    Not being a big fan of his, Obama still deserves a chance ...

    Who is it that Obama is not a fan of?


    Concern trolls (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:00:29 AM EST
    I find it is virtually impossible to criticize anything on the blogs any more, unless you are expressing the majority view, because you will have to slog through an endless roster of drive-bys accusing you of "concern trolling."  Such accusations are generally shorthand for "I prefer that you not criticize at all."

    I would appreciate a definition of (none / 0) (#191)
    by DFLer on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:06:46 PM EST
    "concern trolling"



    John Cole is a perfect example (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:11:14 AM EST
    (in miniature, mentally and otherwise) of the phenomenon of the true-believer who sheds his first canons, only to take up the next, opposite ones with equal fervor. Hitchens comes to mind, of course.
    Josh Marshall is a milquetoast example, too.

    It is his compassion (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by lilburro on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:20:04 AM EST
    that prevents him from research!

    What really surprises me is that people seem not to realize that Obama is making important decisions right now.  He's not going to come in on Day One with a blank slate and allow us to follow the whole process as he picks cabinet members and directors etc.  How is this not a crucial time to be paying attention and drawing lines that we think Obama should not cross?  I assume John Cole believes Obama has his head in the White House rose bushes and will stay there until January 20th.  

    But no, we should wait til he "does something."  If you gave two sh*ts about who he chose for VP, you should care about who and how he is choosing now.  He IS "doing something."

    I don't care what John Cole thinks really, not with the whole Psycho Ex-Girlfriend thing behind him, but god, he is annoying.

    Brennan, welcome to being a media darling!  The Left loves you.  Why?  Because you love Obama!  

    You can convince a rightist (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Maryb2004 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:23:24 AM EST
    to leave the right and support a Dem but you can't necessarily get them to leave their mindset behind.  The highest and best use of blogging is to inform and criticize.    

    On the other hand - have you ever admitted you were wrong about Axelrod? :)

    David Axelrod must be canned by Obama

    I have (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:28:51 AM EST
    And quite prominently.

    Then again, Axelrod was helped immensely by the stupid Edwards campaign decision to be the attack dog for Obama against Clinton before Iowa.

    BTW, as for whether Obama followed my advice on the GE, I think he did.


    Yep (none / 0) (#49)
    by Maryb2004 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:41:55 AM EST
    he ran as a Democrat in the GE.

    Why are you here? (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by RollaMO on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:44:21 AM EST
    Why are you here? (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:52:34 AM EST
    Yeah, why am I here? (none / 0) (#64)
    by RollaMO on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:01:16 AM EST
    Glutton for punishment?  Actually just wanted to see if you were still biting at Obama's ankles and pissing on his supporters.  

    I consider it my civic duty (none / 0) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:09:14 AM EST
    to bite at his ankles about things I care about and to insult his cult who try to shut up anyone who questions Obama.

    Keep the faith, (1.00 / 1) (#82)
    by RollaMO on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:14:43 AM EST
    Repubs need all the help they can get right now.

    Heh (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:32:18 AM EST
    And people wonder why I call it a Cult.

    People don't wonder why (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by mantis on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:53:56 AM EST
    we know it's because you're an insufferable boor who can't handle take how wrong he's been throughout this campaign, so the only option is to call all of those who were correct a "cult".  We are not a cult.  We will readily criticize Obama (and have) when there is reason to do so.

    Some of us Cole readers, most of whom are lifelong liberals/democrats, just think it's more than a little stupid to go off on the president-elect for some speculation you read in the Wall Street Journal.  Very little has been formally announced yet, but since the media is largely in a vacuum they are filling the pages with whatever rumors they can find.  Jumping off the cliff less than one week after the election based on said rumors is ridiculous.  You act like it's a foregone conclusion that Obama will authorize torture and we must attack him relentlessly now, but you have so little reason to believe that you look like every foolish rumor-monger on the right (Obama's gonna take your guns!  Obama's gonna nationalize all industry!  Obama's gonna...).  We wish you could be better than them, but in truth you are their equivalent.

    Anyway, no one wants you the SYFP and never criticize Obama.  Hell, Cole criticized him just yesterday morning, but the difference is the criticism was based on a stance that Obama has publicly made (the auto-industry bailout), not bits of speculation in the WSJ.  Make your criticisms about something real, and if all you want to do is push a cause or policy position, then do that, but don't frame it as a repudiation of something Obama hasn't done and hasn't said he will do.


    Attack of the BJ trolls... (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by Thanin on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:00:52 PM EST
    Anyone else bored of these people yet?  Although I admit mocking them can make for interesting horror/porn titles.

    some of me was a life long liberal (5.00 / 2) (#202)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 04:49:57 PM EST
    who has been attacked by Cole for many years, before his "conversion."

    all that is forgotten if one does not genuflect at the altar of Obama.

    that is why I call you cultists.

    Cole has more credibility as a DEMOCRAT with you than I do. Despite our respective records. That is effed up.


    Gotta hand it to you, (none / 0) (#117)
    by RollaMO on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:38:21 AM EST
    Looking over the past few posts, these do generate the most comments.  You're on to something.

    There you go (none / 0) (#84)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:18:45 AM EST
    "Don't dissent, because dissent undermines the administration."

    You have become what you once hated.  There is nothing wrong with pushing a politician in the direction of the policies you favor.  It's how we get a better country.


    Is that a metaphysical question? (none / 0) (#69)
    by Maryb2004 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:05:54 AM EST
    Same reason I'm anywhere. :)

    42 (none / 0) (#76)
    by Salo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:09:38 AM EST
    and to be observed by Mice.

    Yes he did (none / 0) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:53:15 AM EST
    I, like many others, advised that he do so. NOt sure that John Cole did. but Cole was for whatever Obama did and clearly he will be going forward.

    Since it seems (none / 0) (#74)
    by Maryb2004 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:08:24 AM EST
    that Obama pays not one iota of attention to the netroots or any other part of the blogosphere, it seems that his GE strategy and your advice just happened to coincide.  Not, of course, that you said he listened to you.

    I agree (none / 0) (#105)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:31:37 AM EST
    I do not believe Obama "ignored" me or "listened" to me. I wrote what I thought and was happy to see his GE approach.

    No true Scotsman... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Exeter on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:25:04 AM EST
    or in this case, No TRUE Obama supporter, would question Obama the way you have... therefore, you are not a TRUE Obama supporter. His allegations are false, but the fact you even have to respond to overarching charge that you are not a REAL Obama supporter / Democrat is absurd... and cultish.

    I won't speak to John Cole's commentary (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:29:17 AM EST
    but when you continually call people that disagree with you "cultists" you are being explicitly condescending and dismissive.  

    If you continually ridicule those that disagree with you, then you shouldn't be surprised when they attack you.

    Yesterday's speculation on Brennan was all bluster and no storm.  You, and others, made a bunch of assumptions based on a nearly fact free rumor article in the WSJ.

    Is it conjecture that Brennan is (none / 0) (#41)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:30:40 AM EST
    head of Obama's transition team on intelligence matters??

    Nope. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by lilburro on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:34:38 AM EST
    Here's some more non-conjecture:

    Jane Mayer: New Yorker.

    Among the few C.I.A. officials who knew the details of the detention and interrogation program, there was a tense debate about where to draw the line in terms of treatment. John Brennan, Tenet's former chief of staff, said, "It all comes down to individual moral barometers." Waterboarding, in particular, troubled many officials, from both a moral and a legal perspective. Until 2002, when Bush Administration lawyers asserted that waterboarding was a permissible interrogation technique for "enemy combatants," it was classified as a form of torture, and treated as a serious criminal offense. American soldiers were court-martialled for waterboarding captives as recently as the Vietnam War.

    I think it is fair to ask questions of Brennan.  Just as we asked/ask questions of Obama's intellectual associates in general.  Who are his economic advisors?  We cared about that.  Who are his close judicial associates?  Sunstein.  We care about that.


    Leave Barack Alone!! (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:36:19 AM EST
    As Barack might say (none / 0) (#51)
    by lilburro on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:43:55 AM EST
    "it's not about me, it's about you."

    People seem to think that your criticism of Barack constitutes labelling him a failure.  It's all a personal attack on Barack for them.  Which your posts are not.  IMO.

    Maybe you ought to post about the "hair pulling doctrine" (as Faust called it) for those who don't get it.  

    Do people really think they are just keeping their gunpowder dry here?  That Obama isn't doing anything?


    I am attacking them (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:52:14 AM EST
    not Obama. for being cultists.

    I am not at all worried about their invective. hell, Cole was calling me a moron when he was voting for Bush twice.


    Then you don't know (none / 0) (#67)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:04:34 AM EST
    what the word cult means.  

    You use the word as a cheap pejorative to ridicule others.  If it was just John Cole that would be one thing.  But you apply to everyone.  

    All the while using yourself as a paragon of virtue and consistency.


    I do not apply it to everyone (none / 0) (#73)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:07:55 AM EST
    I apply it to those who will not stand for any questioning of Obama period.

    You often come close to being a Cultist. Occasionally you are reasonable. Not often though.


    it has (none / 0) (#78)
    by Salo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:10:41 AM EST
    turned into a religion. it ceased to be cult after the primary season.

    I don't believe (none / 0) (#98)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:28:45 AM EST
    in reading tea leaves to determine intent.

    If Barack Obama appoints John Brennan or even seriously floats his name out there, then we should have that discussion.  

    FTR, I do think that Brennan will have a significant role in the Obama administration and I don't think it is terrible issue.  He is a spook.  They are generally not the sort of people that embrace civil rights.  


    What is the difference (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:47:16 AM EST
    between "reading tea leaves" and "serious floating"?

    I think we need to nail down our definitions so we can identify the precise 5-minute interval when it is permissible to criticize the possibility of a nomination.  I recall, after Katrina, how swiftly we moved from "too soon to play the blame game" (a line John Cole used frequently, as I recall) to "no need to revisit stuff that's in the past."


    I propose the following. . . (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:54:10 AM EST
    henceforth be known as the Cole Principle:

    It's too soon to criticize something that will soon be in the past.

    Well (none / 0) (#145)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:16:13 AM EST
    Obama has said that he won't be appointing any cabinet positions until December.  

    Absurd (none / 0) (#104)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:30:39 AM EST
    you rread tea leaves when it suits you.

    BTW, this was a story with sources. That you do not know the sources does not make it the Drudge Report.

    your sanctimony is beginning to gall me.


    Questioning Bill Clinton seems (none / 0) (#125)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:44:39 AM EST
    to engender a similar response here.  Not that Clinton supporters are cultish, but the responses to criticism of him are often put-downs instead of reasonable discussion of the issues.  For instance, has anyone ever given a good explanation for Bill apparently trying to set up a free trade deal with the Columbian thugs, I mean government, last spring while Hillary was courting blue collar and middle class Americans whose communities have been devastated by NAFTA?

    I'm confused (none / 0) (#137)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:05:48 AM EST
    Bill's politican wife had the temerity not to crawl away in shame when she disagreed with him on his position on free trade?  How dare she have opinions of her own.  That b**!

    And how (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:15:32 AM EST
    is this response a reasonable response to his/her comment?  

    I have been accused of hating both Clintons countless times on this site.  Even tepid criticisms of the Clintons here was considered trolling and instigating a flame war.


    Kudos to Hillary, but was it lip service? (none / 0) (#152)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:28:38 AM EST
    As a voter, I considered the potential effect of empowering Bill Clinton by electing Hillary to the White House.  If Hillary is saying we need to change (not repeal) our free trade agreements to support American workers, while Bill is apparently arranging yet another free trade agreement (but this time with miserable thugs running the show in Columbia), then I have a hard time believing that a Hillary administration will actually implement policy that I agree with.  

    BTW, the policy I'd like to see our new Congress create would artificially support U.S. workers, products and companies by deliberately penalizing any companies that produce merchandise in countries that allow sweatshops, hire children, pollute the world worse than what is allowed in our country, and/or have governments that allow or perpetrate human rights abuses.  If we can create labor and environmental law that works in our country, we can certainly use our great wealth to demand or at least encourage other countries to do the same.  


    Role of advisors (none / 0) (#158)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:42:48 AM EST
    Any President has advisors with whom they disagree. You think Hillary would be less able to go her own way because she's married to the guy? I disagree.

    In what sense was Pres. Clinton "arranging" a free trade pact with Columbia? He was advocating for it, but you make it sound like someone sent him out there to negotiate it.


    As Senator Clinton said, (none / 0) (#189)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:51:41 PM EST
    actions speak louder than words.

    Better yet, a statement from Columbia's ambassador to the U.S.:  "Hillary Clinton's chief campaign strategist met with Colombia's ambassador to the U.S. on Monday to discuss a bilateral free-trade agreement, a pact the presidential candidate opposes."

    From ABC news: "According to Justice Department filings, Colombia agreed last year to pay (Mark Penn's) Burson-Marsteller $300,000 to help `educate members of the U.S. Congress and other audiences' about the trade deal..."  Two days after the Columbian ambassador met with Penn last spring, Columbia's President Uribe sharply criticized Obama's opposition to a trade deal with them, but he didn't even mention Hillary Clinton's anti-free trade deal position, which supposedly was the same as Obama's due to her concerns about the killing of trade unionists in Columbia.  Mark Penn and Bill weren't the only Hillary advisors pushing this unethical trade deal.  The Glover Park Group (which Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson was with) signed a $40K/month contract with the Colombian govt. in Apr 2007 to promote the very agreement that Clinton railed against on the presidential campaign trail.  What about the $800,000 they gave to Bill Clinton?  What about the huge Saudi donations to the Clinton foundation?

    Is it such a stretch to think that Bill Clinton & others were arranging a future trade deal between Columbia and the next Clinton administration?  

    Similar questions of ethics, morality and intent arise with Bill Clinton's last minute presidential pardons that resulted in the release of terrorists and coincidently bought Hillary huge Hispanic support for her NY Senate run.

    It's a question of trust.  I may be wrong, but I think the electorate has a much better chance of creating fundamental change in American politics with Obama and with the Yes We Can movement that has arisen from his candidacy.  


    I'm all for a "fundamental change (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 03:02:47 PM EST
    in American politics".

    Wake me when it happens.  Between politics as usual and the enabling media, I don't expect a fundamental change unless we see a majority of incumbents lose their seats in any given election.  They aren't called The Establishment for nothing.


    Sure (none / 0) (#193)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:40:17 PM EST
    I'm sure Penn and others were selling themselves partly on the basis that they were close to Clinton. That's different from the Senator sending them to Columbia and then lying on the campaign trail about her position. I don't think the latter is what happened, but I can see how others might draw that conclusion. It sounds like Sen. Obama and Goolsby and Canada -- so why you put more trust in him than her is beyond me, but trust is a funny thing.

    I fail to see what Bill Clinton's pardons have to do with Sen. Clinton's presidential run. Sorry, I just don't see the connection. Similarly, if the Saudis gave a bunch of money to Bill's foundation to fight AIDs, I think that's awesome. I think I'll go fill up my tank so they can give more.

    A fundamental change in American politics? I think that's pony-talk.


    The last minute presidential pardons (none / 0) (#197)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:33:38 PM EST
    of Hispanics were advantageous to Hillary's NY Senate run, where she got overwhelming Hispanic support thanks to the Hispanic leaders who requested those pardons of convicted terrorists from Bill Clinton.  Our country has detrimental experiences with Bill that she might never overcome, especially the loss of trust associated with his sexual indiscretions and his subsequent lying.  Sleeping around is one thing, but cheating on your wife, sex with a subordinate in the Oval Office, and then not being man enough to say it's no one else's business?  

    Bill's weaknesses gave us eight years of Republican Rule.  Republicans gave us a collapsing economy as we fight a $5000/minute war Iraq that props up oil prices so billionaires can get richer.  I expect more from our Dem leaders.  He proved the Republicans correct (in their eyes) when they falsely claimed they are the moral majority.  Like Edwards stupidly cheating on his cancer-stricken wife, putting our entire party at risk, our entire country for that matter, given how easily Republicans win when our guys pull this kind of juvenile, unethical stuff..  Just because we're Democrats doesn't mean we don't expect our leaders to be faithful in their relationships, or at least honest.  Don't they realize their lies and actions impact our party and undermine progressive policies we've spent years trying to promote and implement?

    I don't think we'll ever know if Barack Obama is a truly ethical person, or Hillary either for that matter.  But Hillary's career is tainted by Bill Clinton's actions, and what went on during the primaries simply reinforced that assessment by many voters.  Hopefully, her historic presidential run and the respect she engendered with so many Democrats in the primary race will help her overcome the distrust of the Clintons.  

    Obama, on the other hand, has the potential to be one of our nation's greatest leaders if he rises to the expectations that good Americans have of him.  He certainly has a problematic past and has made mistakes, but he's not defined by an ex-president spouse the way Hillary often is.  More importantly, he's inspired people in ways that no other candidate has in our lifetimes.  That's what's really going to generate the change.  See, it's still about us more than him.  


    non sequitur (none / 0) (#65)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:02:11 AM EST
    Brennan is on the transition team.

    The quote in the article regarding the Obama following Bush's policies did not come from Brennan.  It came from someone non involved with the Obama team.



    Did you miss this section of the WSJ? (none / 0) (#79)
    by lilburro on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:11:10 AM EST
    The intelligence-transition team is led by former National Counterterrorism Center chief John Brennan and former CIA intelligence-analysis director Jami Miscik, say officials close to the matter. Mr. Brennan is viewed as a potential candidate for a top intelligence post. Ms. Miscik left amid a slew of departures from the CIA under then-Director Porter Goss.

    Or do you think Brennan has no interest in climbing the career ladder?  People don't just do favors for politicans for nothing.


    That was not the problem with the diary (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:30:33 AM EST
    The diary insinuated that Brennan was suggesting that Obama would not veer far from Bush on intelligence matters but there was no evidence whatsoever to support that.   The only thing Brennan was quoted as saying was that the Obama administration will have much greater oversight of these matters.

    The greater point (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by lilburro on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:48:25 AM EST
    was Brennan's involvement, period.  And the approach the transition team is floating into the media.

    WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama is unlikely to radically overhaul controversial Bush administration intelligence policies, advisers say, an approach that is almost certain to create tension within the Democratic Party.

    Try this. . . (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:52:45 AM EST
    (not that I want to speak for BTD)

    The appointment of Tenet's former deputy, John Brennan, given the opinions that he holds, suggests that Obama's break from existing intelligence policy will not be as substantive as he stated during the campaign.

    Even if you disagree with that opinion, do you object to someone holding it?


    Not at all (none / 0) (#143)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:13:46 AM EST
    That is a reasonable position.  

    But do you really think that professional spooks are not going to get hired in the Obama Administration?

    Let me just say I know quite a bit about John Brennan.  I am friends of a family member of his.  I have never met him but I have followed his career a bit more than I would normally.  He is a career intelligence/natsec guy.  

    I do think that BTD is overly harsh in his criticism of Brennan.  Let me quote something from an interview he gave to frontline a while back..

    One of the things that [the administration does] right away is get lots of legal justifications lined up, from the Bybee memo [the so-called "torture memo"] to everything -- would there have been very much difference between what Tenet believed the CIA should do in terms of renditions and all of it? And what we can assume the vice president and the president and others would want the CIA to do? Was Tenet especially more careful, more cautious than they were sounding like they were?

    I think George had two concerns. One is to make sure that there was that legal justification, as well as protection for CIA officers who are going to be engaged in some of these things, so that they would not be then prosecuted or held liable for actions that were being directed by the administration. So we want to make sure the findings and other things were done probably with the appropriate Department of Justice review.

    But at the same time, there is a question about how aggressive you want to be against terrorism in terms of, what does it mean to take the gloves off? There was a real debate within the agency, including today, about what are the minimum standards that you want to stoop to and beyond where you're not going to go, because we don't want to stoop to using the same types of standards that terrorists use. We are in this business, whether it be intelligence or the government, to protect freedom, democracy and liberty, not to violate that.

    When it comes to individuals who are determined to destroy our nation, though, we have to make sure that we take every possible measure. It's a tough ethical question, and it's a question that really needs to be aired more publicly. The issue of the reported domestic spying -- these are very healthy debates that need to take place. They can't be stifled, because I think that we as a country and a society have to determine what is it we want to do, whether it be eavesdropping, whether it be taking actions against individuals who are either known or suspected to be terrorists. What length do we want to go to? What measures do we want to use? What tactics do we want to use?

    Hopefully, that "dark side" is not going to be something that's going to forever tarnish the image of the United States abroad and that we're going to look back on this time and regret some of the things that we did, because it is not in keeping with our values. ...

    Sometimes there are actions that we are forced to take, but there need to be boundaries beyond which we are going to recognize that we're not going to go because we still are Americans, and we are supposed to be representing something to people in this country and overseas. So the dark side has its limits.

    Food for thought.

    If we want to argue about John Brennan, that's fine.  If we are going to argue about Obama's alleged toeing of Bush policies, I believe that is mostly baseless.


    There you go. (none / 0) (#147)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:18:15 AM EST
    A substantive response to BTD's concern.  Not a picture of him sticking his head up his tuchus.

    Do you see the difference between your response and Cole's?


    To be clear (none / 0) (#155)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:38:34 AM EST
    I wasn't defending John Cole.  

    I don't have much interest in inter-blog flame wars.  


    This post is all about. . . (none / 0) (#157)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:41:05 AM EST
    inter-blog flame wars (have to drive the traffic somehow).

    I am indeed being dismissive (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:31:34 AM EST
    And I stand by my dismissals.

    the difference between me and the Cultists is I address what they write. They do not address what I write.

    BTW, what do you say to Cole calling me a moron? I do not care but since you are so concerned about condescension and dismissiveness I thought you might want to comment on that.


    I don't like (none / 0) (#61)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:59:03 AM EST
    name calling.  It serves no purpose.  

    Yet (none / 0) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:05:57 AM EST
    I bet you don't tell John Cole that.
    Look, this round of fighting was not started by me. It was started by the Cult.

    I expressed my concerns about John Brennan.

    I stand by them.

    you got anything to say about THAT? Cuz John Cole and the cult do not.


    As a matter of fact (none / 0) (#94)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:24:19 AM EST
    I did have quite a bit to say and I said it in that diary entry.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:29:14 AM EST
    Good for you.

    This post is about the Cult and the SYFP movement.

    you have plenty of criticism for me but you seem frightened to say anything to Cole at Balloon Juice.

    BTW, I am just tweakoing you- I have lived with dopes like Cole attacking me for 5 years. Back then, they were defending Bush and Larry Summers.

    now it is John Brennnan.


    If you (none / 0) (#146)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:17:51 AM EST
    wish to attack John Cole that is your choice.  Just as John Cole is free to attack you.  As I said initially I have no comment on that.

    My criticism of you is your constant use of the cult meme.  


    As for the WSJ article (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:32:42 AM EST
    You wantr to pretend it came from thin air and does not matter.

    That is on you. John Brennnan is who he is and you will not address that apparently. I call that par for the ObamaBot course.


    What I want (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:01:08 AM EST
    is something that is sourced a little deeper than "advisors are saying that Obama will do..." and then a reference to an advisor with no quotes that come close to backing up the claim.

    You seem to think that calling me an "Obamabot" somehow enhances your argument.  Perhaps you get a giggle out of people that agree with you but for a lot of people it makes you seem petty.


    Well eff me (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:04:51 AM EST
    I quote a story, I told you about John Brennan's background and we know what Obama did on the FISA vote.

    Maybe Obama will submit to a sworn deposition for me but I doubt it.



    Mike in DC (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:30:09 AM EST
    who comments here writes -

    "mike in dc

    Of course, now Armando is calling you out at TL, John, saying that because you didn't specifically cite instances from his 3000 diaries post-Obama-announcement, that you must be full of it. Presumably, if anyone actually bothers to cite, Armando will counter with something like "well, obviously you don't understand what I was saying..."

    He is pretty insufferable."

    I say bother to cite and then let's talk. I plead guilty to being insufferable. But that does not make me wrong.

    Heh. (none / 0) (#53)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:46:00 AM EST
    I plead guilty to being insufferable. But that does not make me wrong.

    For your guilty plea on one charge of insufferability, I hereby sentence you to life time confinement in the blogosphere.

    Mike's other point (that you reply "you're obviously to stupid to understand what I'm saying" instead of actually engaging even fair-minded and intelligent respondents) is, in my opinion, a fair cop.


    Some people are too stupid to understand (none / 0) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:50:43 AM EST
    that is a fact.

    Heh indeed! (none / 0) (#102)
    by Mike Pridmore on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:30:19 AM EST
    Although I have occasionally felt that you copped out by saying people misunderstood what you originally said, this wouldn't be one of those times.  Markos himself has recently talked about holding Obama's feet to the fire but I don't see him or others of that blog circle doing this yet.  I'm not sure it is productive to call them cultists but I and a lot of other people share your sentiment.  

    On the other hand, it appears that Eric Massa has won his congressional race this time.  In the future I would like to get him to occasionally agree to interviews with you or Jeralyn addressing the realities of DC.


    Markos' actual position. . . (5.00 / 7) (#108)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:33:02 AM EST
    appears to be that we should keep Obama in line by holding Bill Clinton's feet to the fire.

    Heh (none / 0) (#113)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:35:06 AM EST
    Heh!! (none / 0) (#115)
    by Mike Pridmore on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:36:57 AM EST
    That one made me laugh out loud.  Thanks for that.

    I wouldlove to interview Massa (none / 0) (#112)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:34:51 AM EST
    He was one of our 5 featured Congressional races.

    He still has some (none / 0) (#119)
    by Mike Pridmore on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:39:08 AM EST
    outstanding absentee ballots to count but it looks very likely he will emerge as the clear winner within a week or so.  I will talk to him about it once that happens.  He is already scheduled to go to DC for freshman orientation.

    A Balloon Juicer responds (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by oxpecker on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:43:38 AM EST
    And I stand by my dismissals.

    the difference between me and the Cultists is I address what they write. They do not address what I write.

    I will respond. I'm a regular over at BJ under the handle Comrade Stuck. I was an Edwards supporter and after that the supporter of whoever would win the dem primary. The vast majority of folks at BJ didn't start out as Obama supporters, but became so when it was clear he had won the primary, which was well before the last contests. So your Cult crap is just bogus. It is true that we defend Obama from silly attacks coming from both the right and the left. We also argue vigorously over Obama's choices for staff and son on. What we don't do is half ass smarmy support from party purist and sore losers in the dem caucus. This would be you BTD.

    My bet is how long will it take you to ban me for daring to answer your challenge to talk back at what you write.

    BTD can be a buzzkill... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Thanin on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:06:37 AM EST
    but its important to keep them honest.  And if Obama is going to be wishy-washy on torture, thats something that needs to be stopped in the theoretical before it becomes the actual.

    If that comes to pass on the torture question (none / 0) (#81)
    by oxpecker on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:14:36 AM EST
    I will be right with you in condemning Obama.  It hasn't happened yet and I seriously doubt it will, but if it does he will catch hell from me, and might I say every other Balloon JUicer.

    Bush probably only... (none / 0) (#87)
    by Salo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:21:40 AM EST
    ... codified torture to CYA the interrogators and managers, rather than actually bring it about in practice. Obama probably won't do much to change what the CIA and other clandestine organizations have been documented to practice in semi-secret for many years. we have not got into rendition policy either.  The iraqis will happily do the deed for us.

    This is pretty damn awful (4.00 / 4) (#54)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:49:13 AM EST
    Is this really all you got?

    You write "We also argue vigorously over Obama's choices for staff and so on."

    Excuse effing me., that is what I was doing and John Cole decided to attack me for it. That is a Cult my friend. When you can not even see what is before your face. did you criticze cole for that? Sheesh.

    and the rest of your "response?"

    "What we don't do is half ass smarmy support from party purist and sore losers in the dem caucus. This would be you BTD."

    Now that is pure cult. "half ass smarmy support?" See, I do not support Obama. I support policies I want enacted. And if you cared to look, (oh I know you folks just think calling me a liar is peachy) I supported Obama because he was the best xchoice for the overall Democratic Party. Why, you could look it the eff up if you were so inclined. but being in a Cult means never having to deal with actual facts.

    "My bet is how long will it take you to ban me for daring to answer your challenge to talk back at what you write."

    I am not going to ban you but when you actually bring a challenge, let me know. What you wrote is stupider than Cole's post.


    Not surprised at your response. (1.00 / 1) (#77)
    by oxpecker on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:10:32 AM EST
    Cole responded to you accusing Obama supporters of being a cult. A parroted accusation BTW, from the likes of any number of wingnuts. And you respond that his response proves it's a cult, or something like that. That is circular reasoning without substance that means nothing other than weak self assurance for your own wreckless accusations.

    As for supporting Obama, who BTW was the only dem candidate in opposition to the only repub candidate, which is how our POTUS  elections go. It is a giant clown act and always has been, for both sides. You only have TWO choices and nitpicking your candidate serves no purpose until the election is over. Even if said candidate deserves it. It's called team play.

    And after the election when you've won, but the PE hasn't taken office yet, then criticism can begin on a variety of ACTIONS Obama takes, and much intra squad debate is OK. But making projections into the future for things Obama hasn't done yet is just silly and not productive.

    Anyway that's my take on the way things should go.And again, the CULT charges you make are without foundation, other than it's what the oppostion party likes to hear coming from other democrats. Circular Firing Squad and all.


    Heh (5.00 / 4) (#83)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:16:36 AM EST
    These rules for when it becomes permissible to criticize are all well and good.  You can't criticize Obama until he wins the election because he's the only candidate we have.  You can't criticize him after the election until he actually does something you disagree with.  What you left out is the rule which says that once he's already done something, what's done is done and there's no point in crying about it.

    BTD is of the belief that the best time to impact policies is BEFORE they are enacted.  You apparently disagree.  I don't really follow your logic, but I'd suggest that hours spent debating meta issues like whether it's the right time to be criticizing are wasted hours.


    There's the formulation. (5.00 / 5) (#93)
    by Salo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:24:09 AM EST
    STFU he's all we have
    STFU he hasn't done it yet
    STFU what's done is done

    What does that remind me of?


    Don't necessarily disagree. (none / 0) (#89)
    by oxpecker on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:22:26 AM EST
    If Obama states specifically that he is going to do something I don't like, then I say so. Over at BJ, I have been opposed to bailing out financial markets, at least with the Bush plan. And I am similarly against bailing out the auto industry. Many at BJ are, and it  is why we snarkily have assigned Comrade to our handles. But trying to divine what Obama will do when he has not clearly stated his intent is wasted effort and destructive IMHO.

    Oh you;ll wait for SEPCIFIC statements (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:23:17 AM EST
    Well then that will work. NOT.

    You can dream up (1.00 / 1) (#100)
    by oxpecker on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:29:30 AM EST
    all kinds of bad things Obama might do if you let your imagination run wild. Kind of Like the wingnut Broun on his Nazi Godwins Law silliness. But don't you think some real evidence be provided being jumping to conclusions. Being a lawyer, I'd think you would want that

    This PARTICULAR thing. . . (none / 0) (#106)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:32:01 AM EST
    the appointment of Brennan to help shape Obama's intelligence team.  Do you agree or disagree with it?  And if you agree (or have no opinion), do you believe that someone else could in good faith disagree with it?

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#110)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:33:57 AM EST
    Is it a fact that John Brennan is heading intelligence matters for the Obama Transition Tteam? Does that fact mean anything to you?

    Great minds think alike (none / 0) (#175)
    by RollaMO on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:10:11 PM EST
    In the words of Sean Hannity, "Do we wait until he makes a mistake?"



    Tenet's deputy. . . (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:26:45 AM EST
    as head of Obama's transition intelligence team.

    Agree or disagree?


    This is total BS (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:22:05 AM EST
    Do you understand how effective pressure works?  You don't wait until someone has taken an action to let them know what action you would like them to take. I'm not willing to put my faith in a politican to do the right thing. Fingers in the wind, every one of them, so my advice is to blow.

    Action. . . (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:23:42 AM EST
    then criticism can begin on a variety of ACTIONS Obama takes

    BTD is criticizing Obama's action of appointing to head his intelligence transition team Tenet's former underling and someone with opinions that appear to be at odds with promises Obama made during the campaign.


    See? (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:26:41 AM EST
    Here is John Cole depicting me as having my head up my ass -  Link

    I did not write about his post until then. So your sensitivity is touching but rather hypocritical.


    I could care less what you call Cole (none / 0) (#116)
    by oxpecker on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:37:06 AM EST
    I've called him a few unsavory things myself and likely will in the future, without fear of getting banned BTW. My argument is with you and the cult charge.

    your argument is with yourself then (none / 0) (#122)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:41:25 AM EST
    I defined what I think the cult is - if you fit the definition, then that is your problem. I was talking about Cole, not you.

    As for calling me whatever you want, I would be all for it - but this is not my blog so I do not get to fire back at you.

    If you actually know anything about me, you should know that I can spew invective with the best of them.


    No moron (none / 0) (#90)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:22:29 AM EST
    I used moron because soncve John Cole is your herpo and he used it I figured it was ok with you, John Cole attacked ME for criticizing John Brennan.

    Get your effing chronology straight.

    I responded to Cole's attack on me for criticizing Brennan by calling him The Cult. Because frankly you have to be in a Cult not to object to Brennan imo.

    the bottom line is Ballon jouice and its commenters are utterly fact challenged. But Cole was a two time Bush supporter and therefore it is in his DNa. what's your excuse?


    Your shark jumpiing is impressive (none / 0) (#114)
    by oxpecker on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:35:43 AM EST
    and I am not going to return the favor of name calling. I said you attacked Cole as having a cult and that is the only reason I'm here to answer that charge. Whether Cole rightly or wrongly attacked you
    for something to start it is irrelevant to my response. And the following quote illustrates my case.

    I responded to Cole's attack on me for criticizing Brennan by calling him The Cult. Because frankly you have to be in a Cult not to object to Brennan imo.

    You two guys get in a scrape and you label all BJ's a cult. That's just absurd in the extreme.


    He did not say. . . (none / 0) (#121)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:39:39 AM EST
    that John Cole has a cult.  He said that John Cole is in a cult -- the cult of not mentioning any aspect of the Obama transition that might reflect negatively on Obama.

    You are here only to answer the accusation of cultism, but you absolutely refuse to address the core issue of that accusation -- that Cole was wrong (and, to put it in BTD's language, cultish) to object to BTD's negative comments on Brennan's appointment as Obama's transition go-to
    intelligence guy.

    You cannot discuss the issue of Cole's slam of BTD without first stating whether you believe BTD's original objection was within the bounds of permissible discourse.


    Here;s my question Larry (none / 0) (#124)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:43:23 AM EST
    How long will you beat your head against the wall with this guy?

    Some folks are just too stupid to get it.


    Five times. (none / 0) (#126)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:45:46 AM EST
    Being able to cite five different links to where I asked for the commenter's judgment on the underlying issue will, I think, demonstrate that they don't actually care about the underlying issue.

    When you're down (none / 0) (#140)
    by oxpecker on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:10:56 AM EST
    to parsing the meaning of is, then you obviously have lost the argument.

    Heh (none / 0) (#150)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:24:37 AM EST
    you know your comment makes no sense right?

    there was no parsing.

    I called John Cole a cultist. No is in that.

    I did not even mention Balloon Juice's readership, which I fond merely stupid. It is not clear if their stupdity is a result of being in a cult or just because they are stupid.

    Cole on the other hand has shown signs of considerable intelligence. I blame the Cult for his writings regarding criticisms of Obama.


    Unless your name is John Cole (none / 0) (#123)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:42:24 AM EST
    I do not know what you are about.

    Okay. . (none / 0) (#66)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:03:53 AM EST
    We also argue vigorously over Obama's choices for staff and son on.

    The floor is yours, Comrade Stuck.  Please feel free to argue vigorously.  Brennan, Nunn.  We await.


    Nope (none / 0) (#86)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:19:59 AM EST
    I want it at Balloon Juice.

    Your wish is my command (none / 0) (#138)
    by oxpecker on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:08:49 AM EST
    Come on over to Balloon Juice BTD, and bring your friends. It's an open forum and unlike here, just about every invective known to man can be and is used with frequency. I will say that Obama is moving to close GITMO and can Bushes phony tribunals and try these people in a proper court of law. Don't you think that's positive? And Obama has stated many times he opposes torture of any kind, and has voted that way in the senate. Maybe if he self set himself on fire in front of the justice department you might be satisfied. But that obviously is not going to happen. And Brennan is an adviser only at this point, among many other advisers. If Obama appoints any of the obvious culprits from the Bush Crime Syndicate, then I will be with you. But till then keep them pearls tight for clutching, and a fainting couch nearby.

    Not interested (none / 0) (#149)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:22:19 AM EST
    Frankly, I find the readership pretty stupid. (When Cole is not writing about Obama, he is actually lucid and sometimes insightful.)

    I do not mind invective. Stupid invective is not very interesting to me.

    BTW, I know that they feel the same way about me. It is a happy thing. We avoid each other.


    invective (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by sarany on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:41:48 PM EST
    actually I have a problem with invective. I think it attracts anger addicts, that the resulting tone tends to put off women, etc.

    it turns into a testosterone fest, a boys club.  If you're gonna do that, you may as well be honest about what it is and hang out a "no girls" sign and have your fun.  But don't tell yourself it's a spirited discussion amongst Democrats, because you're excluding half of us.


    I was kinda hoping (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:55:39 AM EST
    for the return of the reality-based community.
    With the exception of BTD, no luck so far. ;)

    What's so sad about this . . . (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by puckthecat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:33:26 AM EST
    . . . is that there's a legitimate discussion to be had about Brennan.  But you're such a bad writer that you obscure your point beyond recognition.  Then when people don't follow your terribly articulated argument, rather than actually try to write something that makes sense, you attack people who don't instinctively follow every unstated leap and twist in your reasoning.

    My suggestion:  Get some writing instruction.  If you state your premises and assumptions clearly, you will become a much more effective advocate.

    Fine word, "legitimate" (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by lambert on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:59:14 AM EST
    puckthecat's comment is of a rare and surpassing excellence, since:

    1. It can be pasted into a thread on any topic and always seem relevant (appropriate for piece rates, though it would not have been, perhaps, for the salaried employee);

    2. It sneaks in the idea that the commenter is the arbiter of what is "legitimate."

    Well done, sir, or madam, depending!

    Heh (none / 0) (#131)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:54:39 AM EST
    At least you did not call me a moron.

    I think I did a good job getting attention on the subject myself.


    You didn't (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by puckthecat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:09:55 AM EST
    But see, looking at your comments this is apparently what you wanted to say:

    John Brennan is a longtime adviser to Barack Obama [cite].  This is concerning because Brennan's views on torture are not progressive [cite].  Now we get a new hint that Brennan and people like him may be well represented in an Obama White House:

    [quote WSJ article]

    The article doesn't name most of its sources, but I am pretty confident that Brennan is behind the whole thing.

    Brennan's closeness to Obama--and his potential role in an Obama administration--should be unacceptable to anyone who cares about civil liberties.

    I think that post would have had a good chance at starting a substantive discussion.  Instead, you quoted a nearly meaningless section of the WSJ article and offered no analysis.

    That's bad, lazy writing.  You failed to convey your point.


    Hmmm (none / 0) (#148)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:19:54 AM EST
    Well,I disagree. I think I conveyed my point quite well.

    You are missing the point of this post I admit, but I think that is on you.

    The Cult will not hear a word that remotely questions Obama and his team.

    Your advice is not well taken by me. I think it is wrongheaded.

    I believe a discussion of Brennan will take place now among non-Cultists. Stirring up the Cult helped in that.


    Why (none / 0) (#159)
    by puckthecat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:44:41 AM EST
    The Cult will not hear a word that remotely questions Obama and his team.

    Really?  I recall a fair amount of criticism regarding a potential Larry Summers appointment.  There was some pushback to the criticism as well, but as far as I could tell the discussion was fairly substantive on both sides.

    You have pretty much ensured that any discussion of Brennan will be far less productive than that.

    I believe a discussion of Brennan will take place now among non-Cultists. Stirring up the Cult helped in that.

    As far as I can tell, what you're saying here is this:  You intentionally wrote a bad post in order to provoke criticism, because being criticized by Obama supporters motivates your readers.

    If that's the case, then congratulations, your post was a great success.

    Your advice is not well taken by me.

    Why am I not surprised?


    Did you now? (none / 0) (#168)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:55:27 AM EST
    John Cole discussed it? Really? got a link?

    "The Cult" (none / 0) (#171)
    by puckthecat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:02:44 PM EST
    Is your definition of "the Cult" limited to John Cole?  That seems to be a pretty small cult.

    Who do you deifne as the Cult? (none / 0) (#184)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:28:26 PM EST
    I am truly interested.

    BTW (none / 0) (#169)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:56:23 AM EST
    Your game is not well played nor particularly interesting but hey, I am moron, what do I know?

    I know (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by puckthecat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:04:31 PM EST
    Effective communication is so boring compared to having big stupid arguments.

    Actually having the argument (none / 0) (#201)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 04:44:57 PM EST
    sometimes requires different techniques than those you propose.

    Interestingly, John cole understands that.

    BTw, did you go deconstruct his post or was it perfectly clear to you?


    Oh look... (none / 0) (#153)
    by marian evans on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:30:59 AM EST
    editing 101 as a put-down - that's novel.

    OK everyone, be afraid, be very afraid, there are pedants watching your every move.

    Beware those misplaced gerunds and dangling participles, those inelegantly expressed observations and maladroit hyperbole, these may draw the ire of the new civilian army of the "infinitely more rhetorically able".

    Tsk, tsk, it will be writers' boot camp for all those naughty, unregenerate bloggers...so, polish those phrases, articulate those alliterations, accentuate the...sorry, sorry, wrong song!


    "Editing 101" comment unfair (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by lessthanpleased on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:15:41 PM EST
    I think the editing 101 rebuttal is unfair to the person who took the time to work out his problem with the OP. I agree to a certain extent: someone pointing out spelling errors and dangling participles as an attack on the content of a writer's argument is BS - and an informal logical fallacy - but the poster above was decidedly not doing that.

    I've worked as a newspaper editor, including for an opinion section. And, to be honest, I had some of the same problems with BTD's post that the person above did: I don't think the structure of the post showed off the substantial critique of Brennan that was being launched, or really worked to that point's advantage.

    But, at the same time, such a post wouldn't further the traffic-driving ends of a Balloon Juice/Talk Left (BTD) intra-Web WAR~!, so I understand why the choice was made to structure the piece as such.

    To me, though, mocking the guy who brings up fair points about the structure of the OP as if he were saying "You spell poorly, ergo you think poorly" is monumentally unfair. I had to re-read the piece to actually catch what the specific charge was because of the piece's structure.

    I'm sure BTD would say that the above suggests that the problem wasn't with his writing but with the attention I was paying to his writing (and look forward to reading his response, should he respond!), and to a certain extent he'd be right. But opinion writing, whether it's for blogs or newspapers, has to be written such that people who are doing more than one thing at once can understand the point of what you're doing.

    Generally, the strength of Talk Left as a Web site is that it writes short blurbs or short stories that are a breeze to read when I catch a few free minutes at work (or when I slack off) - much like how I read a newspaper. But the structure of this piece isn't as easy to read as the rest of the Web site because of the way the piece communicates its content. Personally, I think attacking people who criticize the piece's structure is unhelpful and does a disservice to the writer; the criticisms are right, but that doesn't make BTD structural choices wrong.

    And, as someone who believes in media accountability, I would think BTD should sometimes have to explain why he made the choices as a writer that he did in his posts: if we're going to hold Joe Klein's feet to the fire for his nonsense, we have to be just as vigilant and self-critical of ourselves as we are of the MSM.

    Writing isn't a win/lose sort of thing. There's more than one way to write: and sometimes the way we choose to write is fair ground to discuss.

    I was going to conclude this overlong comment by saying that I think I would have preferred the OP to have been structured differently than the red meat for an unhelpful flame war it ended up being, but I've decided against it. Had it been structured differently, I wouldn't have posted in the comments and engaged in the post as much as I did. So even if it's taken up more of my sneaking around time at work than I'd hoped it would, it was still time well-spent (if not written in what I think is BTD's best style).


    You make some good points... (none / 0) (#133)
    by Thanin on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:00:07 AM EST
    about john cole.  I agree.

    Another point on the ... (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:50:34 AM EST
    cultists argument.  They say:  Wait until he's inagurated.

    Well, some of the worst problems we dealt with during the Bush years were due to decisions he made before taking office.


    To name just one.


    I guess I just don't understand your point (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by s5 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:09:18 PM EST
    From what I can tell, you're arguing against things Obama hasn't done, and you're condemning his supporters for not being as cool and detached as you are. Maybe there's some important commentary buried in there, but I don't see it, nor do I see how it's doing anything to help bring progressive change to the country.

    Care to explain how this debate matters?

    Sure... (none / 0) (#177)
    by OldCity on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:18:03 PM EST
    First...this from the man, himself.

    One of the interesting things about being in public life is there are constantly these pressures being placed on you from different sides. To be effective, you have to be able to listen to a variety of points of view, synthesize viewpoints. You also have to know when to be just a strong advocate, and push back against certain people or views that you think aren't right or don't serve your constituents.

    And so, the biggest challenge, I think, is always maintaining your moral compass.

    It's pretty clear to me, and has always been, that Obama is going to solicit input from a variety of positions before committing to  a judgement.  That's a reasonable way to go about things.  I believe that, agree or disagree with a position, that it helps to understand not just the position, but the motivation, the reasoning of the position's supporters.  

    You want to know how people think, what colors their views.  The idea that changing one's mind is some sort of weakness, or illustrates a lack of dedication is ridiculous to me.  I want someone that will make an informed decision, but who will also change course if the results of that decision aren't favorable.  

    So, I'm not being cool or detached.  I'm being respectful of the guy's process.  The assumption that he's suddnely gonna jump the moral shark, all evidence to the contrary, is pretty appalling.    


    Popcorn Time (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Trickster on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:25:21 PM EST
    In one corner we have


    a talented writer
    unfamiliar with logic
    uninterested in the facts

    In the other corner we have


    a clear writer, though less colorful than Cole
    deeply grounded in facts and logic

    What's the over-under on what round Armando scores the KO?

    Less Colorful? (none / 0) (#195)
    by CST on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:49:26 PM EST
    What blog have you been reading :)

    Insufferable Indeed (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by robrecht on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:43:35 PM EST
    I read Cole's post and all the comments.  Jeesh, what a waste of time.  No one there seemed to know any of BTD's positions correctly.  What a waste of bandwidth.  I am glad that BTD freely admits that he's insufferable 'though.

    I always find it interesting (5.00 / 2) (#198)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:59:17 PM EST
    that bloggers seem to value BTD's opinion.  Otherwise, why would they devote entire posts to him?

    chutzpah (3.00 / 2) (#3)
    by noholib on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:02:35 AM EST
    Dear BTD and Jeralyn,
    You should be proud of yourselves and the community and discourse you fostered here throughout the primary and election campaigns. I don't really know what this Cole fellow is, but in my humble opinion, it takes colossal chutzpah (nerve) to have voted TWICE for Bush and then to absolve oneself of stupidity.  No, stupidity should adhere to that person forever like a scarlet letter. Anyone who voted for Bush - and twice moreover! - bears a grave responsibility for the grave mess in which this country now finds itself.
    I still prefer long-term Democratic liberals to former Republicans who became Obama-groupies.  I so hope that President-elect Obama will take bold action to help achieve long-neglected liberal goals  and undo the destructive conservative policies, discourse and imagination that has been Reagan's very tenacious legacy.
    Again, thank you for a civilized, intelligent blog these many past months.

    stopping the practice of... (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Salo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:12:05 AM EST
    ...torturing enemies will probably not be among those changes. Stopping insufferable GOP converts from torturing long term Democrats with such missives can't even be stopped.

    Heh (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:15:16 AM EST
    That is a great one.

    Perhaps a hold on the insults would be n order (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:05:41 AM EST
    But like Andrew Sullivan before him, his sins are washed away.

    In fact, perhaps easing up on "The Cult" (none / 0) (#141)
    by Melchizedek on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:10:58 AM EST
    insult would help a constructive discussion about how to push Obama best (which Al Giordano and other decidedly realistic figures have long started thinking about).

    Nahh, let's just keep the PUMA!-Cultist! circle jerk going until 2012.

    Early in Clinton's first term, Reich tried to get him to pass a minimum wage increase. Clinton replied, "You've got to make me do it." In other words, it wasn't about Clinton's personal preference-- it was about whose side was better organized for the fight. Reich didn't have the numbers, and he backed down. THAT'S what a lot of us Obama supporters realize-- Obama's not some angel to whom everything is to be entrusted. We've got to make him do it.


    The Onion has been great this cycle (3.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:00:37 AM EST
    Their descriptions are priceless:
    "army of extremely energetic, insufferably annoying, mindless pawns"

    BTD, you were correct and level (1.00 / 1) (#161)
    by pluege on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:45:39 AM EST
    about almost everything and certainly have analysis capability an Obama cultist could never comprehend. But you do err grievously in responding to their inanity - there is no possible outcome worth having from doing so. There is only wasted time.

    Let them rant, its how they prop-up their imaginary world, which they could NEVER have the wherewithal to understand is imaginary.  

    the converted are always over zealous (none / 0) (#5)
    by Katherine Graham Cracker on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:06:10 AM EST
    Cole is like all the other Shrubians -- trying to make up for the mistakes they made ...in his case twice.

    Not to be conspiracy minded... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Salo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:09:25 AM EST
    ...but is this stuff about intelligence gathering methods hitting some exposed nerve in the campaign?

    What a weird over-reaction from the Obama fan-base.

    I'm just going to suppose torture has been used since the start of the CIA and before by the military in various conflicts and that this war is no different.

    Frome there i'll assume that Obama's professional intel people will continue the practice and liberal squeamishness is neither here nor there

    Wow (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:33:32 AM EST
    He really had to make $h*t up. Unreal.

    That's what you get for (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:03:39 AM EST
    making people actually think about things.  I remember BTD's posts about Summers on Kos. They made me do some serious thought instead of jumping to the conclusions I was being fed elsewhere.

    As for the posts here about this race, Cole's charges are so easily disproved it is laughable. Sure is easy to misquote someone and then say they turned out wrong.

    How anyone who voted for bush TWICE thinks they can mock anyone elses critical thinkin...well, it is unfathomable.

    Did anyone ever have a beer (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:32:25 AM EST
    with Bush?  Was that much true at least - "seems like a nice guy to have a beer with".

    When it comes to Bush, I'd love to find out whose predictions panned out.  Mine went something like "I think he's an idiot, but at least he's got experienced people around him.  How much damage could he do in four years?".

    Invading two countries plus a host of other domestic and international fiascos didn't occur to me.  (I blame Clinton for making it look easy.)


    Who knew he could underperform (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:02:33 AM EST
    my already minimal expectations?

    I didn't like him from the minute I saw him in 1999, but even I can forgive someone voting for him in 2000. But in 2004, when nearly all of the evidence was in? No.


    Been gone a while (none / 0) (#31)
    by RollaMO on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:11:43 AM EST
    Came back to look around after being gone a while.  I see you're still at it.

    I've been at it since (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:22:59 AM EST

    And will be "at it" till I stop blogging.


    What is the "it"... (none / 0) (#101)
    by marian evans on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:29:58 AM EST
    that "it" is (as in "you're still at it")?

    If "it" is independent thought, then hallelujah brothers and sisters, may BTD manage to keep "at it".

    And if "it" bothers you, Rolla, my old fruit, then maybe "it" isn't for you.

    If I may re"it"erate, more power to BTD and his perpetual motion pressuring politicians machine!


    What are the cultists (none / 0) (#59)
    by dk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:53:41 AM EST
    going to say about Sam Nunn?  I supposed since he stood up to Bill Clinton, he's one of the good guys?

    Well, I will (none / 0) (#95)
    by oxpecker on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:25:02 AM EST
    if you can provide solid evidence that Obama is planning on allowing torture to continue.

    how about we procure (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:38:55 AM EST
    solid evidence that he will end torture instead?

    a firm statement from the Obama camp would be welcome right now.


    I agree (none / 0) (#176)
    by sarany on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:11:43 PM EST
    I was in the camp (not cult) of "give him a chance," but I've come around.  He gave on FISA.  He needs to know we are watching, we care about issues, his staffing choices, his judgement, and his willingness to stand up against torture, for health care, for regulation, and to choose people appropriate to those stances.

    (And, sigh, I'd like him to stand up for gay marriage and rights, but I fear it's to the back of the bus for gays.)

    But anyway, taking a 2-1/2 month rest and then waking up to a bunch of done deals is a recipe for MAJOR missed opportunity.


    which is to push Obama to do the right thing, and let him know when he isn't doing it.

    Tried to Read the Linked Article... (none / 0) (#136)
    by santarita on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:04:55 AM EST
    but couldn't get passed the term "pseudo-PUMA".  My guess is that he was trying to say that TL was a site overtly Democratic but covertly really a PUMA site.  But by using the term "pseudo" he actually said just the opposite.  When pundits can't be bothered to use words correctly, I run for the door (so to speak).

    You should read the whole thing... (none / 0) (#142)
    by Thanin on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:13:16 AM EST
    to get the depth of ignorance these attacks are.  The regulars here know the truth.

    Life Is Too Short... (none / 0) (#154)
    by santarita on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:36:55 AM EST
    to read poorly-written invectives.  I read a little more of the article and it didn't seem to be much more than an attack on a competing blogger.  

    I won't use the term "cultists" to describe sycophants.  I won't use the term "cultists" to describe people who suggest blindly following an authority figure.  Does that make the accusations more palatable to Mr. Cole?

    The whole subject of who is going to be in Obama's Cabinet is a bit of a guilty pleasure parlor game right now.  To the extent that anyone in a decision-making position is reading the blogs, it's useful to point out defects and advantages of each.  And even if no one in such a position is paying attention, the parlor game is useful for gauging the progressive bona fides of an Obama Administration.    


    The lies of progressive liars (none / 0) (#156)
    by lit3bolt on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:40:13 AM EST
    The Cult will not because it can not. No such posts exist.




    Here ya go, BTD!

    Time to close comments and erase dissenting posts?

    Link 3 - 3/26/08 (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:53:41 AM EST

    Remember when Obama famously declared that he could get Clinton's voters but she could not get his? Time to rethink that proposition. The Gallup Poll has Obama losing 28% of Clinton supporters against McCain (19% of Obama supporters defect to McCain if Clinton is the nominee.)

    Too many in the Obama campaign, Obama supporters and Obama supporting blogs believe that their demonization of Hillary Clinton has had no ill effects on Barack Obama's image among the half of the Democratic Party that supports Hillary Clinton. They are wrong. At this point, without the active and sincere support by Hillary Clinton of his potential Presidential run against John McCain, Obama has no chance in November. And vice versa of course.

    We Democrats will need unity in November. I believe a Unity Ticket is the only way to achieve this.

    Emphasis supplied here. Hillary Clinton did not support Obama? News to me. I still believe the surest bet to winning was an Obama/Clinton ticket. that there was another way of winning is undeniable and I said Obama wa s shoo in. I said the surest bet was Obama/Clinton. I still feel that way.

    Is that all you got? Really? sheesh.


    Actually not (none / 0) (#160)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:45:06 AM EST
    You now become a poster child for the Cult.

    Your first link - I wrote

    HuffPo e-mailed me my friend Al Giordano's post that lauds Charles Blow's absurd piece that discusses the fact that white folks like Obama but ignores the fact that, as of now, they will not vote for him in large numbers in key swing states.

    Blow's column is incomprehensible yet smear filled. Giordano enjoys the smears but ignores the problems:

    Obama's favorable and negative ratings among whites have paired at five point increases. . . . [H]e's more popular today among white voters than he ever was prior to February.

    Obama is more popular with whites now says Giordano. Which begs the question - then why does he get less white votes now than he did in February? Obama is poised to lose the white vote in North Carolina and Indiana by 3-2 at least. He lost the white vote by 2-1 in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. He loses white working class voters to McCain while Clinton wins them. He now runs worse than ever in head to heads with McCain while Clinton runs better than she ever has.

    I do not doubt that Obama is better liked, but I am not at all sure anymore that he is likely to get more VOTES. And votes are what count in politics.

    Which part do you have a problem with? Obama got 42% of the white vote in the GE. He lost the white vote big in the Indiana and NC primaries. Are facts that diffocult for the Cult to swallow.

    I'll address link 2 in a new comment.


    Btw (none / 0) (#162)
    by lit3bolt on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:47:38 AM EST
    Yeah, this is what bored dems do.

    I think everyone needs to lay off the snark.  People are snarking for snark's sake and not doing anything constructive.  Keep shining a light on Obama's activities, BTD, but if someone disagrees with you, don't toss out the C word left and right.

    Cole also needs to relax, but he has a point in that Obama hasn't done anything definite.  So wait and see is not out of the question.


    Cole attacked me (none / 0) (#164)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:49:42 AM EST
    with a Cult like SYFP post.

    Take the crap to Cole. and I am responding to your so called evidence that cole is right.


    Easy enough for you to say (none / 0) (#178)
    by Trickster on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:21:53 PM EST
    AFTER your own snark got deconstructed. . . .

    Link 2 I wrote (none / 0) (#163)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:48:32 AM EST

    Todd Beeton reporting on an Obama event in Nevada:

    [I]mmigration, as you might expect, is going to be a big issue in Nevada, as it was not in NH. . . . There were two distinct schools of thought represented in the audience, a nativist demo and an immigrant demo and Barack threaded the needle quite ably when he said he supports a path to citizenship but that it's not fair to give them special priv[i]leges, the undocumented population must pay a fine and "must learn English!" That last one got a huge reaction. . . .

    (Emphasis supplied.) Perhaps it becomes less surprising to learn, as Taylor Marsh reports, Latinos are firmly behind Hillary:

    There is not only "no exodus," but Clinton Hispanic support is mushrooming. Leaders in that community are actively engaged for Clinton here and today had to mean a lot to all of them. Hispanic leaders that the community respect showed up, including local politicians.

    One of the reasons I have tepidly supported Obama was because he was not playing to the nativist crowd. It seems that, again, I may have been mistaken.

    And? Are you denying Hillary won Hispanics by 2-1 over Obama in the primaries? Again, are facts so hard for the Cult?

    Are you the best they have? I hope not.


    The idea (none / 0) (#170)
    by OldCity on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:00:14 PM EST
    that Obama shouldn't consult with a variety of people with different views in order to make an informed decision is disturbing.

    I'm encourage that he's getting advice from multiple viewpoints.  If he makes decisions that I oppose after hearing from all of those parties, of course I'll b!tch.  But at this point, I don't think it's intellectually honest to ask the man to get input from like minded sources with no opposing views presented.  

    So, there's some validity to those arguments, IMO, that argue that it's premature to crush the guy before he's made a decision you can disagree with.  

    the idea that he should appoint (none / 0) (#182)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:27:08 PM EST
    people to run the intelligence agencies who believes in illegal wiretapping and torture is damned disturbing.

    see sure, above (none / 0) (#186)
    by OldCity on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:31:11 PM EST
    This is exactly what I'm talking about... (none / 0) (#174)
    by LogopolisMike on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:09:43 PM EST
    when I say that shorthand like "the Cult" may seem harmless but is really quite demeaning and insulting more than it is useful and productive. I busted my ass for Obama in Indiana in the GE, just like I would have busted my ass for H. Clinton -- which honestly would have felt more like what I did for Kerry in 2004 -- which was really hard since I was in Iowa, NH, and Missouri for Dean before that.  Maybe I should just admit to being a Democratic Zombie but I like to think of myself as an Independent with no other choice.   Despite that, I was thrilled by Tuesday's results and think real change is really going to happen.  But despite all that "brainwashed" talk and the effort I put in -- which was more than lots but lots less than others -- I never felt like an Obama-bot and still don't.  However, when I come here and see nasty swipes at folks that could be described as "pretty close to me", I really have to wonder if I have a thick enough skin to hang out in a playground where my opinion might be in the minority every once and a while.  I understand that petty disagreements and trite semantics disagreements exploding into WW3 are what makes the blogosphere go round, but I still feel like my intelligence and yours deserves better than this.  

    Sorry - I just had to get that off my chest, and I don't know if I had a relevant  point.  I guess I'm just asking everyone to, before they post/comment, ask yourself if the response to what you are about to say could honestly get the following back as a response:

    1) grow up and/or
    2) look in the mirror.

    and if you really want that to happen.


    PS I actually found the Onion thing HIGH-larious when I saw it, but in the context of this debate, it's just snippy.  Leave the Mean Girls act to Lindsay Lohan and company.

    For the record... (none / 0) (#180)
    by mike in dc on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:25:51 PM EST
    ...Cole has responded to this.

    And I repsonded to Cole (none / 0) (#185)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:29:16 PM EST
    Oh and you in this thread.

    Check it out.


    IMHO it matters because (none / 0) (#181)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:27:00 PM EST
    shutting down dissent is equal to blind following
    (like a cult)
    and I, for one, don't want to make until Obama makes all his decisions and then comes out and says "You may not agree with me."
    Sound familiar?

    don't want to wait (none / 0) (#183)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:27:56 PM EST
    darn it.

    Yes, Bill the Orge, and Obama's the Savior. Right (none / 0) (#203)
    by Blue Jean on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 07:44:05 PM EST
    Our country has detrimental experiences with Bill that she might never overcome, especially the loss of trust associated with his sexual indiscretions and his subsequent lying.

    America has endured a lot worse than a President lying about sex, and come through it with flying colors; odd but true.  Funny how you think Obama's movement is much bigger than him, but Clinton's movement boils down to one silly episode in eight years of an administration.

    Was it stupid of him to succumb to Lewinsky's seduction?  Yes.  Was it even stupider to give in to her blackmail? Yes.  Should he have told the truth? Yes.  Is it a scar that (gasp!) America can never overcome?  No.

    If anything, the GOP's hysterical overreaction helped the Democrats in the 2006 midterms.  It might even have helped Al Gore get the 500, 000 extra votes to beat Shrub, if LePore's butterfly ballot mess hadn't happened.  I know a Manichean mind would like to make Bill the evil Eve who cast the Dems into the wilderness, and Obama the Savior who will redeem us all, but I'm afraid reality's more complicated than that.

    Let me know when your pony arrives.  But don't hold your breath.

    Why must you denigrate (none / 0) (#204)
    by Iris on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:03:22 PM EST
    Obama's supporters by referring to them as a cult?  And why dredge up the Obama fan base slur?  Nothing good is served by stirring this up again.

    Eeesh (none / 0) (#205)
    by DancingOpossum on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:42:40 AM EST
    He is not referring to all Obama's supporters as cultish. He is referring to certain inviduals who display cultish behavior in their responses to any criticism of Obama. Do you not see any similarities with the Bush die-hards, who refused to hear a negative word about Dubya while war and chaos reigned, banks collapsed, jobs went into free-fall, and Katrina drowned all around him?

    Think about the fact that in the wake of the most disastrous presidential administration in U.S. history there are STILL some 20 to 30 percent of the population who give him a positive approval rating. Clearly these people are so wedded to their image of Bush that nothing--no reality--can tarnish it, and so unwilling to listen to any criticism of him that they shout down the critic. That same thinking informs some (most? many? I have no idea--certainly a majority of those on the intartubz) Obama supporters. They shout down and shut out any criticism and prefer to shoot the messenger. It is not reality-based (just as approval of Bush is not reality-based), it is faith-based. And that makes it cult-like.

    And add to that, Bush never fostered or encouraged the kind of messianic expectations in his followers/supporters that Obama did. For a brief moment at the beginning of his first term, yes, but his messianic impulses were all about his direct connection to God; they weren't about his supporters worshipping him as a god-figure. With Obama, the frequent exhortations to "trust him" and "wait and see" are eerily equivalent to religious faith. That too is cultish.