Yes, The DLC 'Supports' Obama

By Big Tent Democrat

NOTE- The DLC does not support either candidate officially. My post was not intended to state that, but to discuss why many DLC-type figure do support Obama. Sorry for any confusion.

There is something both sad and hilarious about Kagro X's outrage that that the DLC and Lieber-types like Dan Gerstein are on the Obama bandwagon:

Please, God, don't let Harold Ford clamber onto the back of this [Obama] bandwagon now. . . . Allowing them suckerfish themselves onto what Obama's managed to build for himself would be an unimaginable tragedy. Allowing them to do it while they're also endorsing Republicans for Congress is a recipe for disaster.

UPDATE: Lord help us, it's a trend:

2 . Friday February 15, 2008

. . . Bill Bennett discussed the political landscape with Democratic strategist and Obama supporter Dan Gerstein . . .

This is sad and hilarious because not for one moment can Kagro imagine WHY the DLC and Dan Gerstein might support Barack Obama. He can not imagine that Obama's Unity Schtick is precisely what the DLC and Joe Lieberman have been preaching for decades and that the progressive blogs were supposed to be fighting AGAINST.

Excuse me, but has anyone in the progressive blogs actually been paying attention to what Obama has been saying? Probably not, too busy slamming Hillary Clinton.

NOTE - comments are now closed in this thread.

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    Sen Obama (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:17:31 AM EST
    supporters have been very precise on who are the

    Posted this one earlier...

    The irony here is that the "Unity" message only works if there is a perceived "Divide". The current "Divide" is

    The Clintons
    Dems and Repubs in Washington
    Clinton Supporters
    Dem base

    Perceived "UNITER"

    Sen Obama
    Obama supporters

    Lieber-types, I would think, would be on the UNITER's list. Maybe this is shifting.

    Obama wins (none / 0) (#6)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:19:49 AM EST
    both among independents and the most liberal wing of the party (part of his "donut" coalition). He loses against the moderates within the party

    Actually that has flattened (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:23:27 AM EST
    He does most poorly with demographics that are not ideologically based now.

    Chris Bowers wrote about this the other day.

    That donut disappeared.


    Really? (none / 0) (#27)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:33:50 AM EST
    Do you have a link? Must have missed that post...

    Not off the top of my head (none / 0) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:37:06 AM EST

    mmm... (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by Kathy on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:13:55 PM EST

    This thread points to a greater problem, which is that the democratic party is on the cusp of changing so much that the core dems might very well bolt.  


    I think what you're describing (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:19:39 AM EST
    is that cognitive dissonance of the netroots.

    DLCers are Republicans now. (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Teresa on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:21:24 AM EST
    Intuitively, you are saying to yourself, "How can we expand our party by kicking people out."  Sometimes logic is counterintuitive.  It's very simple.  These DLC types represent 1-2% of the American people.  That's 3-6 million individuals and yes their votes count.  But if we kick these 3-6 milllion people out and show the American people that we will not tolerate bad Democrats who sell out the middle class to special interests, we'll gain 40 million new voters.

    I read that last night on diary over there. They want to kick these people out and gain 40 million Independents. Yay!

    By the way Kagro, Obama campaigned very effectively for Harold Ford.

    Yes he did (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:24:59 AM EST
    They are kindred spirits.

    They both disdained (5.00 / 8) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:25:52 AM EST
    Daily Kos too. It seems to me that bandwagon jumping here can also be thrown at daily kos regarding the Obama campaign, if you want to get nasty about it.t

    Yup, that's what's happened (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:27:43 AM EST
    and it's pretty icky to watch.

    I remember (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by MichaelGale on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:06:43 PM EST
    but why the fierce determination to get Obama elected when both he and Ford affirmatively discounted DK progressives.  I also remember Ford doing a segment for TPM Cafe where he was soundly dismissed.

    Is it about Hillary hatred or about women or just sensationalism.


    "Icky?" Jeralyn, this is too, too (none / 0) (#155)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:49:23 PM EST

    Yep, and they need to compare Ford vs (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Teresa on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:28:50 AM EST
    Cooper. I'll take Ford anyday. Had he represented a blue state like Obama does, they'd be very similar. They preach exactly the same unity message.

    Except that when Ford (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:31:11 AM EST
    did his "I love Jesus" campaigning , he was criticized on Daily Kos.

    Obama was excoriated on DKos (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:37:32 AM EST
    in a diary there, before he was anointed by Markos.

    That was me (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:38:56 AM EST
    I excoriated him.

    Before he was anoited and (none / 0) (#92)
    by BarnBabe on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:05:23 PM EST
    then discarded after he lost and became head of the DLC. And that is what is scary about mob rule. No one looks at what the candidate is actually saying or not saying. They just start shouting and stoning the other person.

    Marcos said when he was getting ready to cast his absentee ballot why he was going to choose Obama. It was a process of elimination. He could not go for Edwards only because he was taking Federal funds. He liked Hillary personally but could not go for her because of the group she represented. He decided to go for Obama although he had reservations about him. He said that after listening to Obama speak, he was always left wondering if he had said anything. That there was no substance to the speech. People forget he was the one to say that. So even he is favoring the person he thinks can win which is exactly why he anoited Ford.


    Harold Ford is terrible (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:22:11 PM EST
    Sorry, he is.

    I agree once again (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by BarnBabe on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:04:24 PM EST
    When he was running, I was like everyone else. We go with the candidate that we think has a chance of winning. I was appalled at any racial slurs against him. But when I would listen to him being interviewed or giving a speech, I was wondering if he was the right candidate. I knew he had the best chance of winning but I did not see him as a very strong Senator. I really was surprised to see him elected to the head of the DLC.

    Kos had no love for Edwards (none / 0) (#116)
    by Josey on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:21:21 PM EST
    even BEFORE he accepted public financing.

    That explains everything. (none / 0) (#158)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:50:06 PM EST
    Ford just said on TeeVee (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:35:40 AM EST
    That Chris Shays was the best representative in Congress. It's one thing to be a moderate in a moderate state. It's another to attack the party and actively undermine it, as Ford has a history of doing.

    Yes indeed (5.00 / 6) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:38:34 AM EST
    It is bad to criticize the Dem Party. I HATE it when Dem candidates make the "pox on both houses" argument and decry "partisanship" as if both parites are equally at fault.

    Now can you think of a Presidential candidate that has done that? Hmmm?


    Yes (none / 0) (#55)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:43:21 AM EST
    because Obama has a history of saying that the Democrats are also at fault...oh wait he hasn't ever said that actually.

    He's said consistently that people want to move in a progressive direction and that only by unifying the population will we be able to overcome Republican interests in Washington.

    Believe it or not, but he's never said it's the Democrats fault (except maybe to call out the sell-out Dems, which I have no problem with).


    There must be two Obamas running. The (5.00 / 4) (#59)
    by Teresa on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:45:40 AM EST
    one you heard, I like much better than the one I hear.

    You must be joking (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:51:59 AM EST
    Seriously you must be joking.

    I have written constantly about his saying JUST THAT.

    Excuse me but you suffer from blind love.


    No, BTD is right (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Virginian on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:58:42 AM EST
    below is a "pox on both the houses" snippet w/ link and that was a quick search, his rhetoric very much lets the Republicans off the hook with the "everyone" is at fault logic

    In effect, this seems to lift some of the blame for the war from the Bush administration and place it on the backs of Democrats, an unlikely tack in a Democratic primary. "There are those who offer up easy answers. They will assert that Iraq is George Bush's war, it's all his fault. Or that Iraq was botched by the arrogance and incompetence of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney," Obama said in Coralville. "The hard truth is that the war in Iraq is not about a catalogue of many mistakes -- it is about one big mistake. The war in Iraq should never have been fought."

    Obama offered a similar argument two days later at a Boys and Girls Club in Waterloo, saying that the country was "failed by a president who didn't tell the whole truth" but that it was "also failed" by the rest of the D.C. establishment. But the crowd broke into such loud applause after his charge against Bush that his broader criticism of the Washington system sounded like an afterthought. Similarly, those moments on the trail when he allows himself to take clear shots at Bush -- on issues such as torture, military contractors and education funding -- tend to win him his loudest cheers.

    I hate it about the Iraq War vote (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by BarnBabe on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:19:29 PM EST
    Kennedy, who was in the Senate when voting for the Iraq War, could say that Hillary, Kerry, and Edwards should be forever spanked because they voted Yes based on the doctored information that was presented to them.94 Senators voted for the possibility of going for war as a united strength. I suspect that if Obama was sitting in that chamber that day, he would have voted on the war based upon that same information. I even might have. So when he says he was against it and was not even in the Senate at the time, I just feel like yelling at him that he didn't get to vote because he was not there and didn't know the facts that they had been given. It is not a fair argument and he gets a pass on this all the time. I can say this because I saw him take a vote only after Hillary voted. Why wouldn't he be the first one up there? He is waiting. He seems like a future leader, but right now I think he is still a follower. He makes his vote different only when he knows it does not matter.

    To me it is similar to people (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:53:24 PM EST
    criticizing a jury verdict when they weren't on the jury, didn't hear the evidence, etc.

    So... (none / 0) (#169)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:57:15 PM EST
    why did a majority of Dems in the House vote against the war, and also almost all of the Dems in the Senate that actually read the intelligence completely?

    It didn't take a rocket scientist to see that the case for war was using cooked intelligence. Even I knew that back then. Clinton took probably an opportunistic political stance to the right on the most important issue in Bush's administration. And she refuses to apologize for it.


    He's right (none / 0) (#167)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:55:21 PM EST
    the Democrats really screwed up by not opposing the Iraq War. He's calling out the moderate Dems that gave Bush a free pass. I am totally fine with this kind of criticism.

    It's criticism from the right against Dems by Dems that I have an issue with. I have not seen Obama do this in any concerted way.


    Now that I'm no longer a Dem (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:57:01 AM EST
    but an Independent, cool -- Obama will be reaching out to me, at last.  I await the awakening, praise Jesus.

    Just look into his eyes (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by BernieO on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:19:57 PM EST
    and you will be saved

    You realize that (4.66 / 3) (#159)
    by riddlerandy on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:50:21 PM EST
    you are starting to sound like the left's version of Hannity and Limbaugh

    Progressives RIP (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by koshembos on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:24:08 AM EST
    has anyone in the progressive blogs actually been paying attention to what Obama has been saying?

    Of course, you provide the answer yourself. I don't believe the Democrats had ever been seen a hate based movement. What this may imply that the progressive movement is the casualty. The Nation and Kos, Josh and others have forfeited their standing as spokepersons for a movement that is suddenly rudderless. It might take a generation and self examination to dig ourselves out of the mindless hate pit.

    This is a mighty and sad change.

    Hate based? (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Jgarza on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:35:18 AM EST
    I don't believe the Democrats had ever been seen a hate based movement.

    jeez, if this isn't the most ridiculous statements i have ever heard.   I just went to an Obama rally last night(it was huge i got to shake his hand).  There is rarely even mention of Hillary Clinton.  Contrast that to her rallies as of late, you have surrogates insulting Obama supporters, she asks rhetorical questions about Obama to which her crowd yells NO!!!

    The idea that there is anything hate based about Obamas support is silly.


    You have been going to Clinton rallies too? (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:42:01 AM EST
    Very open minded of you.

    I hope, hope, hope (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:59:54 AM EST
    he got to shake her hand!

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:03:47 PM EST
    Hate based - I hope! (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:59:11 AM EST
    Well, history may paint a different picture.

    The ferocious attack on Sen Clinton from the media and blogs paint a differnt picture than the messainic display at the rallies.

    Sen Obama has the advantage of letting the subordinates do the dirty work ... and they can get away with more sexism and mistatemants under current atmosphere.

    I would hope that these normal citizens who have a basically good being.... are acting out due to intense dislike (hate). I can't believe that the name calling and sexist remark that have been thrown at me for being a Hillary supporter are due to the "Love".


    On the blogs there is hate (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by BarnBabe on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:32:16 PM EST
    Some diaries are so offensive and the comments worse. The problem is that so much is not based upon actual facts but on one candidate is God and the other one is SheDevil or Satan. Yes, there is hate. As bad as the Right Wingnuts saying that if you didn't vote for GW, you are going to Hades. Well, we went there. So much for that theory.

    Well, actually, (none / 0) (#148)
    by Boston Boomer on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:44:42 PM EST
    the Democratic Party in the South used to be pretty hate-based before LBJ signed the Civil Rights bill.

    It is hilarious. Over at Dailykos a week (5.00 / 7) (#23)
    by tigercourse on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:32:03 AM EST
    or two ago, the big man himself was saying that his dream ticket would be Obama/Sebelius or Obama/Richardson and I had a big old laugh. Many of their favorite political figures are straight up DLC or just moderates who were never asked to the party. Mark Warner will probably be their favored candidate in 2012 if Obama loses the general.

    Barack Obama is almost a perfect personification of the DLC ideal. He's their Howard Roarke.

    Mark Warner has been a favorite over there (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:33:27 AM EST
    for ages.

    I know, it simply makes no sense. (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by tigercourse on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:40:58 AM EST
    Hey now (none / 0) (#85)
    by Virginian on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:02:36 PM EST
    Mark Warners was a good governor, but more importantly, he single handedly reversed VAs "RED" to a trending "BLUE" by using his popularity, and by strengthening the economy (which created jobs that brought in emigrants from other states that vote blue)

    Like Jerome (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:39:42 AM EST
    Markos wanted Mark Warner to run for President.

    He might still get his wish. If we don't win (none / 0) (#56)
    by tigercourse on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:44:19 AM EST
    this election, I think the party will flock to the Southern moderate white guy. President Warner, Vice President Bill Ritter. That's my prediction.

    Mark Warner (none / 0) (#42)
    by Nasarius on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:39:42 AM EST
    Ah yes, I remember Kos's brief love affair with Mark Warner, when only a governor could possibly win the Presidency. Obama may have been a turning point for some progressive blogs, but I think a lot of very diverse people have coalesced under the anti-Bush banner, and many of them weren't particularly liberal to begin with.

    Jim Webb is a good example (none / 0) (#90)
    by Virginian on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:04:29 PM EST
    When Rahm Emmanuel (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by ivs814 on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:39:38 AM EST
    told Bill to ratchet down the "racist" comments, you had a sense that the rats were jumping off the ship they were only too delighted to sink.  Kos, TPM and company have become what they professed to despise. They are now in bed with the likes of Andrew Sullivan and will come to wonder how they woke up with whores after an intoxicated love-fester of monumental proportions.

    Good post. (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by my opinion on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:40:17 AM EST
    I believe many of the pro-Obama bloggers are aware of this. Doesn't say much for their integrity.

    My two cents worth (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:41:44 AM EST
    Obama's Campaign staff is riddled with advisors who worked for Clinton during the 1990's and belong to some fairly to very conservative think groups and institutions.  Obama like Clinton appears to be a centrist in my opinion.  

    It's a matter of degrees (none / 0) (#61)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:46:02 AM EST
    Clinton and Obama are both moderate in a larger sense (they'd probably be conservatives in Europe); but Obama's advisers, in general, skew toward the more progressive end than do Clinton's supporters.

    Not on economic policy (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:49:13 AM EST
    That is flat out false.

    No, you're incorrect (none / 0) (#74)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:54:33 AM EST
    see here and here

    They are about the same.


    So now they are about the same (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:02:43 PM EST
    Before Obama's were more progressive. Make up your mind.

    I said in general (none / 0) (#152)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:47:07 PM EST
    Let's look at their foreign policy and telecom advisers shall we?

    I do not know about telecom advisors (none / 0) (#175)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    but I am very skeptical of the claim on foreign policy advisors.

    Wes Clark supports Hillary.


    Sure, let's compare (none / 0) (#187)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:09:24 PM EST
    links here here and here


    And especially Richard Holbrooke, who is going to be probably the next secretary of state under a Clinton government. It's very important to remember that Richard Holbrooke, when he was assistant secretary of state for East Asia, he was propping up Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator of the Philippines when he was alive, and also dictator Suharto in Indonesia in terms of repression of East Timor. Richard Holbrooke is kind of a hawk, actually. He says that Iran is a threat, and Ahmadinejad is Hitler, which would easily put him in the neocon column for that matter. Basically, most of the Clinton advisers were pro-war on Iraq, while Obama's advisers, most of them were against.

     They have also included some of the more enlightened and creative members of the Democratic Party establishment, such as Joseph Cirincione and Lawrence Korb of the Center for American Progress, and former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke. His team also includes the noted human rights scholar and international law advocate Samantha Power - author of a recent New Yorker article on U.S. manipulation of the UN in post-invasion Iraq - and other liberal academics.

    The well-publicized contrast between Hillary Clinton's early backing of the Bush administration's war effort and Barack Obama's early opposition, has to a degree been replicated in the less visible network of foreign policy advisers that each candidate has cultivated -- the early war opponents by Obama, and the one-time hawks by Clinton.

    The differing histories of the candidates on Iraq, reinforced by the parallel commitments of their advisers, suggests - but does not guarantee - that Clinton and Obama would, if elected, adopt substantially dissimilar approaches to international relations and to national security threats. If the past and the advisers are a guide, then Clinton would be expected to adopt a tougher line, and would be likely to threaten, and perhaps use, force more readily than Obama.

    His health care plan (none / 0) (#119)
    by BernieO on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:23:58 PM EST
    clearly is to the right of hers. And he lied about it in the ad that says his plan covers more people than hers does.

    Not on health policy either. n/t (none / 0) (#121)
    by standingup on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:25:19 PM EST
    I think the healthcare issue alone (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Virginian on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:07:32 PM EST
    disproves this statement...

    Obama's plan is a "poison pill" plan, so he can say "there I tried" or if he wants it to pass, it can EASILY be watered to down to keep "all sides"

    Thats not a slam on Obama though, just a policy difference, and a political calculation (probably a smart one at that)


    Here is a couple of names to keep in mind (none / 0) (#126)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:27:05 PM EST
    they are economic advisors to Obama

    David Cutler: Harvard economist who believes
    that high health costs are good for the economy

    Jeffrey Liebman: another Harvard economist and
    former Clinton adviser who favors privatizing social security

    Research them and see what you find.


    I've been lurking on this blog for a while... (5.00 / 5) (#67)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:50:35 AM EST
    ...but this thread inspired me to register so that I could comment. This is exactly what I've been telling my husband since the beginning of this campaign. Not that he's a Hillary basher, but he has bought the unity promise hook, line, and sinker. And when I've pointed out to him that it will mean compromising with the Liebermans and Gersteins of this world, he keeps insisting that Obama doesn't really "like" those people.

    It doesn't mean compromising for Obama (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Virginian on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:08:32 PM EST
    Obama IS a Lieberman/Gerstein...it means compromising for the rest of us...

    My feelings exactly. nt (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:16:15 PM EST
    Right. The one thing Obama clearly says is that he (none / 0) (#151)
    by derridog on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:45:36 PM EST
    for unity. He doesn't mean with the Democrats, obviously, but he DOES mean with the Republicans. Take the man at his word! BTD is completely right about the irony here.

    Lieberman (none / 0) (#123)
    by BernieO on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:25:57 PM EST
    was Obama's mentor in the Senate.

    His political style (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:48:04 PM EST
    is right out of the DLC playbook.

    Ahhhhh (none / 0) (#168)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:57:13 PM EST
    So you accept that Obama is a DLC candidate.



    What do you accept then? (none / 0) (#183)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:05:29 PM EST
    That Obama is running a Centrist Unity style campaign?

    That is right out of the DLC playbook.


    Yup (none / 0) (#184)
    by Daryl24 on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:05:43 PM EST
    Because if Obama ran like his record would indictate, his numbers would be in Kucinich territory. He's doing a great job (right now) of making sure his liberalism doesn't show.  

    He'll have some mandate (none / 0) (#186)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:07:33 PM EST
    for progressive change then if he is elected.

    IT is hilarious the defenses being raised for him.

    In essence, your defense is that Obama is hiding his true views from the American People in order to get elected.



    No actually I wasn't defending him (none / 0) (#205)
    by Daryl24 on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:31:52 PM EST
    It was just an observation in agreement with your DLC playbook comment.  

    Oh my. Lewis Carroll lives. (none / 0) (#219)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 02:15:57 PM EST
    Thank you, BTD (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by annabelly on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:14:01 PM EST
    for saying this:

    "He can not imagine that Obama's Unity Schtick is precisely what the DLC and Joe Lieberman have been preaching for decades and that the progressive blogs were supposed to be fighting AGAINST."

    Because that is the truth of the matter. You nailed it right there.

    Just have to say (5.00 / 1) (#216)
    by MichaelGale on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 02:08:10 PM EST
    this is the most interesting thread.


    The Non-story (5.00 / 1) (#222)
    by pluege on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 02:34:54 PM EST
    everyone except Obama's blinded followers know that Obama is an establishment insider, more so than even HRC. Its perfectly natural and expected that for the DLC and Lieber-types to support Obama.

    But it's a different wing (none / 0) (#224)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 04:18:58 PM EST
    of the Establishment. NOT the wing of the DLC and Lieber-types. Very few are blind enough to think he's any kind of an outsider.

    So why (3.66 / 3) (#2)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:16:57 AM EST
    is Clinton's campaign run by the biggest DLC players of the last 20 years? The people you pick as your: 1) adviser 2) spokesperson 3) fundraising chair say absolutely nothing about the values you are likely to espouse as president?

    By way of contrast, Axelrod is a student of Saul Alinsky's community organizing philosophy, and has specialized in putting real progressives in office. Same with David Plouffe.

    You mean Mark Penn of course (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:20:28 AM EST
    I am not sure if he is tied to the DLC, but philosophically his politica; theory is very much DLC.

    The funny thing is so is David Axelrod's. They are peas in a pod. That is the funniest thing of all.

    But I look at what is being said by the candidates, not who is running the campaign and clearly you KNOW you can not deny my point on WHAT OBAMA HAS SAID, especially as compared to what Clinton has said.

    Your resort to straw makes my point.

    More significant than Mark Penn or David Axelrod is Jim Cooper. Look him up.


    I'm not sure the Jim Cooper (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:30:29 AM EST
    really reflects all that well on the Clintons either.

    Regardless, I'm a big fan of the theory that policy positions announced on the campaign trail are less indicative of the kind of president someone will be, as opposed to the kind of people they surround themselves with.

    Look at Bush - Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the whole crew was a massive tell about his foreign policy strategy, despite what he said on the campaign trail.

    And in that regard, while Obama's advisers aren't the perfect grouping of people I'd pick, they are light-years better than Clinton's team.

     On June 15, 1993, Cooper met with Clinton to discuss their differences. Clinton was "ice cold" at the meeting, Cooper recalls. "It was the coldest reception of my life. I was excoriated."

    Cooper told her that she was getting pulled too far to the left. He warned that her plan would never get through Congress. Clinton's response, Cooper now says, was: "We'll crush you. You'll wish you never mentioned this to me."

    In the weeks and months following that meeting, the Clinton administration reached out to Cooper. As David Broder and Haynes Johnson wrote in "The System," their history of the health care reform effort, President Bill Clinton invited Cooper to go jogging and play golf. Others in the Clinton White House thought Cooper was right on the merits, and privately let him know.



    I think he reflects incredibly well on Hillary (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:35:21 AM EST
    Jim Cooper is someone I would want to have against me, not with me.

    He will fight progressive change tooth and nail. If he is on my side then he must think I am not for progressive change.

    BTW, you know Hillary Clinton was an Alinsky disciple? Not that that means anything to me. I here Alinsky bandied about all the time but no one ever explains to me what Alinsky accomplished.

    I do always like one thing Alinsky said - politicians do what they do and activists MUST do what activists do. The "activists" in the progressive base have stopped being activists.


    I can think of a book (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:38:28 AM EST
    "From Activists to Shills: How the Netroots Learned to Stop Worrying and 'Embrace the Change'."

    Sounds like a real page turner. (none / 0) (#128)
    by Boston Boomer on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:28:30 PM EST
    Are you going to write it?

    Ugh (none / 0) (#137)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:33:53 PM EST
    I don't think I care enough anymore.

    Hillary and Alinsky (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:11:55 PM EST
    When she did her thesis on Alinsky, she interviewed him and he liked her so much he offered her a job.  She had in the meantime wanted to go to law school.  

    Alinsky wrote books but really was the force behind the community development activism of the 70's and 80's.  The up shot really of what he did is that most of the affordable housing development and economic development has shifted from being privatized and or owned by local governments, through Housing Authorities, to being developed owned and managed by community based non profit corporations.  The non profits started with resisting urban renewal efforts or other "blight removal" government financed for the private benefit.  

    I guess not to sound obsessive, this is where I had my falling out with Obama.  In his answers to the Sun Times about the failure of Rezko's projects, he answered that affordable housing fails because of "neighborhood demographics" "crime" and socioeconomic conditions.  Now, for him to claim the banner of Alinsky after saying this is frankly incredibly offensive to Alinsky and everyone who has worked to create affordable housing in Low income communities.  

    This is why I do not believe any part of the Obama narrative.  


    Alinsky quote (none / 0) (#109)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:18:19 PM EST
    Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.
    Saul Alinsky

    I want to see how the change without friction will take place.  Alinsky organizing is very confrontational.  Basically, it was the non socialist/commie left of the 60's and 70's.  


    No she isn't (none / 0) (#46)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:40:17 AM EST
    She wrote her senior thesis at Dartmouth saying how wrong that philosophy is.

    Alinsky in a nutshell:

    "There's another reason for working inside the system. Dostoevsky said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system, among not only the middle class but the 40 per cent of American families - more than seventy million people - whose income range from $5,000 to $10,000 a year [in 1971]. They cannot be dismissed by labeling them blue collar or hard hat. They will not continue to be relatively passive and slightly challenging. If we fail to communicate with them, if we don't encourage them to form alliances with us, they will move to the right. Maybe they will anyway, but let's not let it happen by default.."

    Alinsky is often credited with laying the foundation for the grassroots political organizing that dominated the 1960s.[3] Later in his life he encouraged stockholders in public corporations to lend their votes to "proxies", who would vote at annual stockholders meetings in favor of social justice. While his grassroots style took hold in American activism, his call to stock holders to share their power with disenfranchised working poor only began to take hold in U.S. progressive circles in the 1990s, when shareholder actions were organized against American corporations.



    No that is incorrect (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:45:11 AM EST
    She did NOT excoriate Saul Alinsky. Just as is the wont of Obama sycophants, any critical word about a hero is unacceptable. It was apositive piece on Alinsky.

    BTW, I know some of you like to think of Clinton as a Republican, and Dartmouth fits the bill better, but I believe she attended Wellesley. but perhaps she took a semester at Dartmouth.


    You can read it for yourself (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:50:57 AM EST
    The Boston Globe's assessment: found the thesis nuanced, and said that "While [Rodham] defends Alinsky, she is also dispassionate, disappointed, and amused by his divisive methods and dogmatic ideology."

    Not exactly a major supporter of him. She called him "the great seducer of young minds".

    her thesis in full


    Nuanced (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:55:01 AM EST
    That is a synonym now for excoriation?

    You are too funny.

    What is not nuanced is the view you have of Obama.


    Wow (none / 0) (#118)
    by spit on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:23:52 PM EST
    that's not what I get from reading it at all. She's critical of Alinsky in some places, and spends a good deal of time on what the "modern" (1969) context might mean for some of Alinsky's earlier work, but overall the piece is full of respect for him.

    I've not read the whole thing yet, but your quote seems way off to me.


    Obama supporters (1.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:36:30 PM EST
    don't do nuance.

    Apparently not (none / 0) (#162)
    by spit on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:52:30 PM EST
    because even what I've read is really very positive toward him, though certainly nuanced in that it looks at potential limitations or problems in his form of movement building for effecting radical change (which is what one would expect in a solid thesis).

    It's actually a pretty impressive paper so far, IMO. I'm sorry I hadn't read through it sooner.


    I like to think (none / 0) (#193)
    by hvs on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:17:40 PM EST
    my support of Obama is well-reasoned as well as principled; as is my opposition to Hillary Clinton.

    do you understand (none / 0) (#134)
    by Kathy on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:32:07 PM EST
    that this is editorializing, and that you are quoting an OPINION someone has of the original piece rather than the original piece?

    "she is also dispassionate, disappointed, and amused by his divisive methods and dogmatic ideology."

    Speaking of senior theses, Michelle (none / 0) (#82)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:00:40 PM EST
    Obama's now has been "released" and made available.  have you read it?  Interesting topic -- disappointment with what W.E.B. DuBois called the "talented tenth," other African American alumni of her Ivy League alma mater but who became less radical.

    Mark Penn = David Axelrod? Not. (none / 0) (#196)
    by AdrianLesher on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:20:40 PM EST
    As The Nation notes, "[c]olleagues point out that he's uncommonly idealistic for someone in his line of work" Does that sound like Mark Penn? No.

    Instead, Axelrod seems to have been drawn to Obama early on because he inspired him:

    Fifteen years ago, David Axelrod was a political consultant based in Chicago, where Barack Obama, fresh from Harvard Law School and largely unknown, was coordinating a voter registration drive. One day Axelrod got a call from a friend.

    "She said, 'I just met the most extraordinary person,' " he recounted. " 'I think he may be the president of the United States one day.' And I thought, 'That's kind of a grandiose thing to say.' "

    The men met and became friendly. When Axelrod heard in 2002 that Obama was considering a Senate run, he thought, "What a difference he could make."

    Notably, Axelrod is named by Ed Rollins as someone who knows how to fight back against Republicans:

    In his 1996 memoir "Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms," Ed Rollins, the Republican strategist, put Axelrod at the head of a list of "Guys I Never Want to See Lobbing Grenades at Me Again."

    It is also good news that , as Wired magazine notes, he is one of the most effective users of "new tech strategies" in getting out the vote. This compares favorably with the Clinton campaign's hamhanded use of new technology (we do want to win, don't we?).

    Penn, on the other hand, is clearly a corporatist and a person who would like to push the Democratic party to the right.  His DLC connections attest to this as do his corporate clients with Penn and Schoen (McDonalds, British Petroleum, Microsoft), Metlife, etc). and at Burson Marsteller (whose clients appear to include a large part of the corporate universe).

    Penn's vast corporate contacts, of course, raise vast conflict of interest questions that would embarass even John Mccain, as noted in this Nation article entitled "Spinning Hillary Centrist."

    Additionally, of course, it is Penn who has long sought to curry favor with more conservative voters. As noted by fellow-hack David Brooks:

    In a series of D.L.C. memos with titles like "The Decisive Center," Penn has preached that while Republicans can win by appealing only to conservatives, Democrats must appeal to centrists as well as liberals. In his new book, "Microtrends," he casts a caustic eye on the elites and mega-donors of both parties who are out of touch with average voter concerns.

    David Axelrod actually seems to have progressive instincts. The same cannot be said for corporate hack Mark Penn.


    Ahhh THE NATION says so (none / 0) (#201)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:22:45 PM EST
    then it must be so. Are you freaking serious?

    BTD (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Kathy on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:26:17 PM EST
    you are forgetting your own rules.  When Obama supporters and paid advisors have these links, it's because he's a unifier and has brought them to his vision.  When Clinton supporters and paid advisors have these links, it is because she is evil...the same type of evil on display when she tried to get ratings on violent video games.

    Do you think (3.66 / 3) (#5)
    by standingup on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:19:44 AM EST
    they, all the progressive blogs that have been so pro-Obama, honestly did not see the DLC connection with Obama?  I have assumed that it was simply their hatred for Hillary that allowed them to appear so hypocritical when it came to Obama and the DLC.  

    What DLC connection? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:21:26 AM EST
    Obama fought to have his name taken off the DLC website and has worked hard to try and keep them away from him.

    Clinton, on the other hand, practically has the DLC central committee on retainer for her campaign.


    The rhetorical connection (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:24:17 AM EST
    The Third Way connection.

    Think Bill Clinton circa 1992 and think Obama circa 2008. Very similar.

    That is the connection.


    We are back to this (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jgarza on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:30:25 AM EST
    rhetorical connection

    That just a silly statement. It is clear the DLC is not a relevant organization in the Dem party, so they are jumping on the guy who they perceive as the winner, to try and argue that they are.


    Silly to you (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:32:29 AM EST
    not to me.

    The only way you could believe this (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:32:38 AM EST
    would be if you were completely unfamiliar with the rhetoric of the DLC over the past 8 years.

    The past 8 years? (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jgarza on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:38:23 AM EST
    You mean the time that Hillary has been involved with them.

    I really don't see how acknowledging you republicans support to get legislation passed is DLC, it is reality.


    Obama was involved with them too (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:42:55 AM EST
    Dirty little secret that.

    Yes (none / 0) (#57)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:44:33 AM EST
    So involved that he demanded that they take his name off their website and has not had anyone that has any DLC connection in his top leadership positions.

    Unlike, say, another presidential candidate.


    And but he was involved before that (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:54:04 AM EST
    Of course after that he requested it be removed because well, the DLC was out of favor.

    But he WAS involved with the DLC prior to that. That is a fact.


    Not to mention the Lieberman connection (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Virginian on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:10:42 PM EST
    BTW is there some unspoken rule about mentioning this?

    Links? Data? (none / 0) (#149)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:44:44 PM EST
    I want to see it.

    The DLC site (none / 0) (#160)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:50:21 PM EST
    covered the imbroglio at the time.

    I am sure you could find it if you wanted to.


    I've seen a lot of smoke about this (none / 0) (#176)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:00:25 PM EST
    but never any fire. Lots of people "say" he's been part of the DLC but I've never seen any actual evidence.

    I doubt you ever will see it (none / 0) (#180)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:03:22 PM EST
    And not because it does not exist.

    Being a member (a fact) (none / 0) (#190)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:14:11 PM EST
    and being accused by people on blogs of running a DLC style campaign (an opinion, and unrelated to what you are claiming) are two wildly different things.

    Involved with (none / 0) (#199)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:21:26 PM EST
    does not make a member.

    I never said he was a member.


    Whatever (none / 0) (#41)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:39:41 AM EST
    Almost a Xerox of the Clinton '92 plan. (none / 0) (#89)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:04:04 PM EST
    Except Bill Clinton ... (none / 0) (#147)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:43:26 PM EST
    was much more humble.  He never said things like "I give a good speech" or "I inspire millions."

    I recently read an article (none / 0) (#179)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:02:55 PM EST
    reporting him saying, "People say I give a pretty good speech."  Funny, huh.

    Yup. Do I know you, Robot? (none / 0) (#223)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 02:36:21 PM EST
    Fought (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by standingup on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:07:55 PM EST
    to have it taken off?  Can you provide anything to support that claim?  I can provide you with accounts that he initially did not object to being included on their website and only requested his name be removed after being called out on the association in 2003.  

    Well, Kagro's defense (none / 0) (#1)
    by brainwave on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:15:19 AM EST
    in hos own words:

    Please, God, don't let Harold Ford clamber onto the back of this bandwagon now. Obama has tried keeping the DLC at arm's length since he got to DC, even having to fight them to get his name off their web site. The DLC is an organization specializing in grabbing credit it isn't due. Allowing them suckerfish themselves onto what Obama's managed to build for himself would be an unimaginable tragedy.

    And he's right - Obama has never been a DLCer. That doesn't mean the DLC doesn't look at the centrist and consensus-building bits of Obama's message and sees a vehicle they think they can use.  

    To say that Obama has NEVER been in the DLC (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:22:17 AM EST
    is actually not true nor important. He made sure to disassociate himself from them when its name became mud.

    So your defense of Kagro is not compelling. Nor particularly relevant to my post. Read mine again. Why would the DLC and Gerstein support Obama?


    It seems a bit of a stretch, frankly, (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by brainwave on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:34:12 AM EST
    to blame somebody who has been dissociating himself from the DLC for the latter's attempt to hitch themselves to his bandwagon and than hold up Hillary Clinton of all people, who was the frigging key note speaker at the DLC's annual convention as recently as 2006, as the very model of a progressive.

    You still do not get it (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:36:32 AM EST
    Is there NOTHING that Obama says that would be attractive to the DLC and Gerstein?

    Like Kagro, you ignore the elephant in the room.


    No I don't (none / 0) (#44)
    by brainwave on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:39:58 AM EST
    Did you read the last sentence of my first comment?

    That doesn't mean the DLC doesn't look at the centrist and consensus-building bits of Obama's message and sees a vehicle they think they can use.

    Oh well (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:46:44 AM EST
    Quite the concession there. Excuse me, can you think of a reason why the DLC should NOT embrace Obama?

    As opposed to say, Edwards?


    Wow, I'm sumped (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by brainwave on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:07:12 PM EST
    His opposition to the Iraq war couldn't possibly qualify, could it? Let alone his renouncing the influence of lobbyists in DC politics - surely that can't be a problem for the DLC, can it now? And him freezing out Faux News and running a campaign based on small donors - let's be real here, isn't that just what the DLC is all about? Yeah, I can see it clearly now - Obama is just their man. Clinton, on the other hand, who has been active in the DLC for twenty years, is obviously really a progressive mole trying to destroy the DLC from within. Yep, it all makes sense now.

    Not really (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:25:36 PM EST
    At this point, no Democrat supports the Iraq War.

    The DLC is very much anti-lobby. Their position on it is Obama's position. they led the charge on Abramoff.

    Obama is very much their man in RHETORIC and unity schtick.

    You simply do not know what you are talking about about the DLC. The problem with the DLC is NOT policy, it is political style.


    You're quite right, I don't get it (none / 0) (#156)
    by brainwave on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:49:39 PM EST
    The DLC is very much anti-lobby.

    Holy crap! Black is white, up is down, and we most assuredly always have been at war with Oceania.

    Dude, I'm sorry, but you're not getting through here. I really quite literally have no idea what on earth you could possibly mean by that statement. The DLC isn't just not against the influence of lobbyists in politics - the influence of lobbyists and corporate money in politics is at least 70% of the very raison d'etre of the DLC.


    Well make it up if you like (none / 0) (#161)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:52:28 PM EST
    But if you look at what the DLC ACTUALLY said in its position papers on the issue, you would realize you are just full of crap.

    But it is better to live in a fantasy world. Enjoy it.


    Pretend the DLC did not say this (none / 0) (#166)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:54:56 PM EST
    Washington, like Las Vegas, has never been entirely on the level. But today, an unfortunate series of events -- the polarization of American politics, the explosive growth of the lobbying industry, and the prolonged reign of one-party government -- has combined to give private interests their strongest grip on the nation's capital since the Gilded Age. Without sweeping changes in the way Washington works, the interests of ordinary people don't stand a chance.

    Neither party has clean hands, but the party that runs the nation's capital deserves most of the blame for its corruption. Republicans have cynically and deliberately aligned themselves with private interests. They have coerced firms to hire Republican lobbyists, and made businesses agree to support all the president's budget-busting tax cuts if they ever want to see another tax break. George W. Bush pledged to restore integrity to government, but his party has done more to restore payola instead.

    In part because Bush never kept his promise to "change the tone in Washington," the changes his company town needs are now much more profound. In 2008, Americans should demand a president who will put Washington in line with America's values.

    From the outset, it's important to understand that most of Washington is not Jack Abramoff, the infamous lobbyist who charged clients $82 million for his close connections with DeLay and other GOP leaders. Most members of Congress and their staffs are incorruptible. Most lobbyists aren't trying to corrupt them. Most organizations aren't running what my colleague Marshall Wittmann calls "a Global PGA Tournament" for members of Congress, the way Abramoff did.

    Thanks to Abramoff, a few politicians may have found the rough at St. Andrews. But most endure the kind of travel the Democratic Leadership Council offers, to such exotic locations as Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; or Philadelphia. (Second prize: two DLC National Conversations in Philadelphia.)

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, most politicians' votes are not for sale. Only one congressman in 10 faces a competitive race, and raising money is ridiculously easy for the incumbent, whether he votes like DeLay or like Vermont's socialist representative, Bernie Sanders. In my experience, most members of Congress are Eagle-Scout earnest, and most nonprofits in Washington are, too.

    For the DLC's sake, I wish it were possible to revive the vital center in American politics by luring elected officials to endless wonkfests in stuffy hotel ballrooms from Phoenix to New Orleans, but most politicians prefer to make up their own minds, even when we throw in a free bottle of Excedrin.

    DeLay and Abramoff notwithstanding, the real problem with Washington today isn't that the players are corrupt. It's that the rules of the road weren't designed to withstand one-party rule.

    The bipartisanship of Howard Baker, a lifelong Republican whose hard questions helped bring down the Nixon administration, has given way to a partisan era of people who spout the party line first, and ask questions later. Trust is low, and the stakes are high -- with a $2 trillion tax code up for grabs and a burgeoning influence industry competing for advantage.

    What's a democracy to do? Here are 10 sweeping reforms for draining the swamp. These ideas have one virtue in common: Washington won't like them, and America will.

    1. Don't let the revolving door hit you on the way out. As if controlling all three branches of government weren't enough, Republicans have created another one with equal power: K Street. In today's Washington, the Fourth Estate is no longer the press; it's the lobbyists. The Founders imagined that three branches would provide checks and balances. The new fourth branch is more efficient: It just provides checks.

    For more than a decade, DeLay has marshaled the K Street Project to muscle lobbying firms, trade associations, and companies into hiring only Republicans and not Democrats. Republicans didn't launch the K Street Project out of greed or partisan animosity. They had a more devious goal: to corner the lobbyist market. DeLay understood what a central and permanent role the lobbying community plays in the Washington scene: writing campaign checks; providing technical expertise; and offering every player in the cyclical business of politics a profession to fall back on.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with lobbying. In a representative democracy, companies, groups, and individuals have the right to hire someone to represent their interests. All lobbyists maintain that they provide a service by helping government make informed decisions, and sometimes this is actually true.

    But let's face it: The rules lobbyists live by were written before the Gold Rush. According to the Center for Public Integrity, lobbying expenditures have doubled in the past six years, to a breathtaking $5.4 billion during the last Congress. That's twice what candidates spent running for federal office.

    Abramoff, DeLay's favorite lobbyist, is the poster child for why the old rules don't work in the new moneyed era. Abramoff stands charged with both wielding excessive influence and fraudulently overstating it. The parable is one any conservative economist or preacher could have written: The wages of sin may be death, but you can't beat the year-end bonus.

    In Washington's jaundiced view, Abramoff's real sin isn't peddling influence; it's price gouging. The tribes, the oversight committees, and the national press might have looked the other way if he hadn't pocketed $82 million for his services. Abramoff committed the ultimate breach of ethics and etiquette: demanding eight figures in a seven-figure town.

    Democrats need their own K Street Project -- not to get more Democrats hired as lobbyists, but to reform the political system so that Washington lives by a clear set of rules that protect the public interest.

    The place to start is by closing the revolving door. According to the Center for Public Integrity, more than 240 former members of Congress and agency heads are active lobbyists -- double the number of a decade ago. So are more than 2,000 former senior government officials. DeLay has sent more than half a dozen top staffers to lucrative careers on K Street, including Michael Scanlon, who became Abramoff's partner.

    Look at the list of former members and cabinet heads who have moved downtown since the last election: Tom Daschle, Don Nickles, Jennifer Dunn, John Ashcroft. Former Sen. Bob Dole made headlines when he switched firms for a reported $1 million salary, then enticed Daschle to join him.

    No one can begrudge Dole and Daschle, two of the classiest men in their respective parties, the chance to earn a good living after decades of public service. But you know something's awry when the K Street Caucus of members-turned-lobbyists rivals the size of either party's caucus in the House of Representatives.

    The greatest danger of the lobbying boom may be its "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" impact on those who haven't yet left government. Rep. Billy Tauzin took a $2 million-a-year job as the pharmaceutical industry's top lobbyist just months after writing the Medicare prescription drug bill. Tom Scully, Bush's point man on that bill, and several Hill staffers from both parties also left to lobby on the issue.

    We may never stop the revolving door completely, but we can slow it down. Today, the only restriction on former congressmen and former administration officials is a one-year "cooling off " period during which they can advise clients on legislative strategy but can't lobby face to face. In practice, the rule is more about warming up than cooling down, giving ex-officials time to find clients and get used to life after government.

    To stop the revolving door, we need a real cooling-off period of at least four years for members of Congress, their senior staff, and senior administration officials. Private interests would still be able to hire former officials for their political and policy expertise. But for four years -- two congressional cycles, one presidential term -- those who've served couldn't lean on those they hired or others with whom they served.

    Lobbying has its place, but it shouldn't be a jobs program. In 1993, House Speaker Tom Foley warned President Clinton not to pursue campaign finance and lobbying reform: "Members will think you're out to take away their current livelihoods and their future livelihoods in one fell swoop." The irony is painful, and instructive: Failing to embrace reform before the 1994 election was one reason Foley and a record number of his colleagues found themselves looking for that next job when it was over.

    2. Check your conflicts at the door. One of the biggest loopholes in our current ethics laws is what might be called the Cheney rule: Conflicts of interests are forbidden for one year after you leave government, but when you enter government service, you can bring in all the conflicts of interest you like. The law assumes that the revolving door goes one way -- out. But Vice President Dick Cheney, who headed the administration's energy task force just months after stepping down as CEO of an energy company, showed how you can bring them in. He is the latest proof that conflicts can be the work of a lifetime.

    Presidents often tap a top lobbyist to be the top lobbyist for the agendas of their administrations. But Bush went further, and put one in charge of his White House: Andrew Card, who was a $600,000-a-year lobbyist for the automobile industry. When a senior administration official leaves to become a lobbyist, he can't lobby the government for a year on issues that crossed his desk. But when a lobbyist becomes a senior administration official, he can cajole his government colleagues on the same issues he was paid to represent on K Street -- to the benefit of interests eager to repay him when he returns from his foray into government.

    If protecting the public trust is our first concern, revolving door rules should be even tougher on the way in than on the way out. The next president should issue an executive order prohibiting appointees from working on matters that affect companies and industries they used to represent.

    1. Require lobby disclosure in real time. Under current law, lobbyists only have to disclose who they're working for once every six months -- and they don't have to reveal anything about which elected or appointed officials they talked to, or what they talked about. If disclosure is going to do any good, it should happen in real time, not six months later. Twice a month, lobbyists should disclose on the Internet the names of members of Congress, administration appointees, and staff they meet with, and what specific legislative or regulatory matters they discuss. This is what John Kerry and John Edwards proposed in the 2004 campaign. If we require members of Congress to disclose every dollar they receive in campaign contributions, it's not too much to ask lobbyists to disclose their clients' requests for favors from members. This is especially true in light of revelations that DeLay's chief whip in the House, Roy Blunt (RMo.), uses K Street lobbyists as part of the Republican whip operation to round up votes for their shared agenda.

    2. Take the quid out of quid pro quo. Former Rep. Nick Smith (RMich.) claimed that during the Medicare debate, the Republican leadership offered to raise $100,000 for his son's congressional campaign if Smith voted their way. It should be a federal crime for any interest to do what Smith accused the GOP leadership of doing: offering to raise or threatening to withhold campaign contributions in exchange for a member's vote.

    3. Break the fund-raising circuit. Campaign money doesn't affect member voting as much as one might think. Even so, the money chase has a less direct, but still pernicious effect, by enshrining a Beltway culture far removed from heartland values.

    Members of Congress and lobbyists spend much of their waking lives on the Washington fund-raising circuit -- and most of them hate it. A system of public campaign financing -- along with a cap on consultant fees -- would spare members even the appearance of conflicts of interest, and let lobbyists walk away from a never-ending ante that nobody wins. My colleague Paul Weinstein of the Progressive Policy Institute has proposed a perfect way to pay for it: a $2,000 annual fee for lobbyists, consultants, and government contractors.

    6. Create a real Ethics Committee. Republicans are running Congress like the Soviet politburo, continually changing the rules to protect the guilty. In November, they tried to drop a longstanding requirement that indicted party leaders resign their posts. In January, the leadership restored that rule, but diluted the Ethics Committee's other powers -- only to restore them under pressure three months later.

    The bipartisan bitterness of these chronic partisan wrangles, from Jim Wright to Newt Gingrich to DeLay, suggests a stronger cure is needed. The institution ought to establish an independent ethics committee, made up of retired members, retired federal judges, and ordinary citizens. In the end, Congress has to police itself. But a truly independent, bipartisan committee of outsiders would have its own policing power: the power to shame.

    7. Make Congress put responsibility before personal gain. As DeLay's defenders point out, some of the charges against him involve practices that are commonplace and perfectly legal. For example, many members hire their children to help run their campaigns. Yet, just because this practice may be widespread doesn't mean it should be legal. Most states have strong anti-nepotism laws. A federal judge can go to jail for five years for appointing her great-grandson as a trustee in a case before her. The issue is not whether politicians' children are qualified to run political campaigns; it's whether public officials should be able to use their public position for personal benefit. Why should a member of Congress be able to pay his daughter a campaign salary that would raise eyebrows if she were the congressman's administrative assistant?

    There's another easy way for Congress to prove it understands that public responsibility comes before personal gain. Members of Congress should stop giving themselves cost-of-living increases until the federal government stops running a deficit and spending the Social Security trust fund. Responsibility begins at the top.

    8. Reform begins at home. Retiring from Congress or the presidency is a better deal than getting Social Security. Members receive an inflation-adjusted defined benefit based on how long they served. Like other federal employees, they can put up to $14,000 a year into the Thrift Savings Plan, a third of which is matched by the government. Former presidents receive an annual pension of $180,000 -- even though they can earn that much for a single speech.

    As Congress and the president set out to reform Social Security, they should put their own house in order. Any changes in Social Security should also apply to congressional and executive branch pensions. Ordinary citizens who save for retirement should qualify for the same match as members of Congress. Congressional and presidential pensions should be means-tested for retirees who earn more than they did in office.

    9. End corporate welfare. The Washington swamp feeds off one source above all others: loopholes in the tax code. Take away the font of special privilege, and the culture around it will be hard-pressed to survive. Paul Weinstein has proposed a tax reform plan designed to reverse Washington's priorities, by closing corporate loopholes and rewarding middle-class work and savings instead.

    Consider this classic Washington irony: There's even a loophole for time spent writing loopholes. Legal expenses are tax-deductible; lobbying costs are not -- all the more reason to hire that K Street hybrid, the lawyer-lobbyist. By underreporting lobbying expenditures and billing their hours as legal work instead, firms can save clients money -- or charge them more.

    10. Bring back democracy. One last missing factor is vital for us to succeed in draining the swamp: competition. Ten years ago, Republicans swept into office on a promise of congressional, ethical, and lobbying reform. Now they couldn't care less about living up to the Contract with America, even though Americans have it in writing.

    Why? Because as Ed Kilgore points out, for most of them -- and their Democratic counterparts -- the fix is in: The House member always wins. Across the country, congressional redistricting has become an engine of polarization, partisanship, and incumbency. At a time when the electorate is almost evenly divided, only one in eight congressional races ends up closer than 10 points. Members are far more likely to leave Congress to become lobbyists than to be defeated.

    In some states, like Texas, ruthless gerrymandering has been used for partisan gain. In other states, like California, the two parties have conspired to protect every incumbent from a competitive race.

    Monopolies are as harmful in politics as in the marketplace. Competition keeps incumbents honest. When politicians don't have to answer to the public, too often they learn to serve other masters.

    It's time to end the incumbent protection racket. Democrats should follow the lead of Betty Castor, a 2004 Senate candidate in Florida, and fight for state constitutional amendments that require competition to be a major factor in redistricting.

    It's sad and ironic that democracy is making such great strides in the Middle East at the same time it's taking such a beating in the Mid-Atlantic. As these latest scandals have shown, our nation's capital has its share of purple fingers -- usually from grubbing for a bigger piece of the public pie.

    But it's not too late for this sorry chapter to have a happy ending. Some of the greatest strides in the history of the progressive movement -- at the turn of the century and in the 1930s -- were fueled by popular outrage at private intrigue on the public square.

    If we have the courage to embrace reform, even when it hurts, we'll do more than prosecute these scandals. We'll drain the swamp that breeds them.

    Bruce Reed is president of the Democratic Leadership Council.

    Live in your fantasy world.


    Well, do you have any analysis to offer? (none / 0) (#210)
    by brainwave on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:52:12 PM EST
    So you link to a document that predictably literally says There's nothing wrong with lobbyists, the problem is merely that right now all the lobbyists talk to Republicans instead of to us and the mean Republicans are unfairly pressing their advantage with the lobbyists, denying us Democrats a slice of the pie. How is this not simply an attempt at blunting the criticism of the influence of lobbyists and trying to divert it away from the DLC? Do you have a story as to why contrary to everybody's perception the most important policy position of the DLC, aside from triangulation, is not that the Democratic Party needs to become better at whoring itself out to corporate interests?

    And please lay off the insults right now. You've already succeeded in making this conversation far more contentious than was ever called for. I know perfectly well where you come from - I've been there. I used to think the same thing of Obama - that he's really just going by the 1990s Clintonista play book. Well, I've changed my opinion, and the crucial difference for me is precisely one of style - it's precisely style that separates Obama from the Clintons and the DLC types. Obama is leading a grassroots insurrection - he's continuing in Dean's footsteps - and he's owning up to it. That's his style, and it's very much not the style of the DLC. And yes, Obama continues to reach out to Independents and Republicans - as did Howard Dean during his campaign. And Dean is a centrist and was at some point in the mid 1990s a poster boy for the DLC. But I imagine in your view Dean is still a DLCer, just as Obama is to you. Because obviously the label DLCer is completely meaningless to you.


    Well (none / 0) (#225)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 04:32:48 PM EST
    You choose to read what you want.

    But you have no reason to expect me to respect it when you ignore what I put before you as you just did.

    Spare me the whine about contentiousness in the future.


    Small donors aren't the whole story (none / 0) (#217)
    by esmense on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 02:08:14 PM EST
    Obama's early backers in the party were the trio of 2004 losers; Kerry, Gephart and Daschle (the man most responsible for the Democrats' loss of the Senate). They turned over their organizations and lined him up with their big donors. Early in 2007, before his web fund-raising was up and running, he already had more money on hand than any primary candidate in history and had raised more money from Wall Street than either Hillary Clinton or Guiliani.  

    DLC supporting Obama (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by themomcat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:40:15 AM EST
    Maybe they want to take advantage of his wave of popularity? Wouldn't it be an advantage for some of the DLC candidates to ride in his wake?

    Of course (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:45:59 AM EST
    But it is easy for them to support him as he is embracing the rhetoric they have championed for decades.

    So remind me ... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Demi Moaned on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:25:51 AM EST
    why you prefer Obama over Clinton? You're my primary source for reasoned criticism of the Obama campaign. Your criticisms all seem to indicate that an Obama Presidency will be a big disappointment for committed progressive.

    HE will likely be a disappointment (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:27:26 AM EST
    but he can win, win more easily, learn from his mistakes and not fight the battles Clinton will necessarily have to fight to even get to first base on the issues.

    I have explained this many times over.

    I believe Obama beloieves in progressive values. I believe he is wrong on how to achieve them politically. But so too was Bill Clinton in 1992.


    A question (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Marvin42 on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:48:14 AM EST
    Are you in any way concerned by Sen Obamas mixing of religion into his campaign? And some of the political campaign literature about bringing faith into the White House?

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:51:02 AM EST
    But not in the way you probably are. I have written about it.

    As always I point to my source post from July 2006, "What Obama Needs To Learn." It is the top hit in gooogle for that title.


    Russ Feingold (none / 0) (#39)
    by RollaMO on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:39:17 AM EST
    OK, I'll try BTD.  Is Russ Feingold a progressive?  Is he hoodwinked?  I would like an assessment of his vote for Obama by someone here.  I do not agree with BTD's and Jeralyn's choice for our nominee, but at least they could address his vote for Obama, given that he is almost revered on this site.

    I am not at all sure what you mean (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:41:03 AM EST
    Russ Feingold tepidly supported Obama by voting for him, but not endorsing him.

    Now, where have I seen a similar attitude? Hmm, does someone at THIS BLOG have the same view? Who could that be?


    heh (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:42:47 AM EST
    RollaMO (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by RollaMO on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:59:45 AM EST
    I would think that even someone who tepidly supports him on this site would make mention of the fact that a prominent progressive figure followed closely by this site just announced he voted for Obama.  

    Why? (none / 0) (#87)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:03:15 PM EST
    Do you think it is important? Why is it important?

    Because (none / 0) (#99)
    by RollaMO on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:08:37 PM EST
    Is Feingold part of the DLC?  You think their affinity for Obama is important, but not Feingold's.

    BTW (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:20:50 PM EST
    What do you think of Jim Cooper?

    How about Ben Nelson? (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:21:09 PM EST
    What about Claire McCaskill? (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by standingup on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:32:17 PM EST
    Surely you are familiar with her record.  

    No (none / 0) (#113)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:20:24 PM EST
    Is Charlie Rangel? I repeat, what is your point?

    My point is (none / 0) (#129)
    by RollaMO on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:29:15 PM EST
    this vote was obviously hard to take by most of the writers and readers of TLC, and so it was ignored.  

    TLC (none / 0) (#132)
    by RollaMO on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:31:27 PM EST
    Sincerest apologies, I meant TL.

    Why would it be hard? (none / 0) (#138)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:34:10 PM EST
    I would have done the EXACT same thing. Heck, it makes me think even better of myself.

    Russ Feingold is viewing this almost exactly as I am.


    Yes, why would it be hard to mention it? (none / 0) (#172)
    by RollaMO on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:58:15 PM EST
    I would think it worthy of a mention, that's all.

    You can mention it on your blog (none / 0) (#178)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:02:00 PM EST
    I did not think it worthy of a post.

    And not because it is hard to say that Russ Feingold's view of the candidates is almost exactly mine. IT would be EASY for me to say that.


    OK, I get it. See ya. (none / 0) (#191)
    by RollaMO on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:14:39 PM EST
    tepid (none / 0) (#93)
    by Nasarius on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:05:34 PM EST
    Feingold explains his vote:
    Feingold is still blunt about his differences on particular issues -- such as trade policy -- with both of the remaining Democratic candidates.


    "I really do think that, at the gut level, this is a chance to do something special," Feingold said of the Obama campaign and the potential of an Obama presidency, which he said has "enormous historical opportunities for America and for our relationship with the world."
    Take this, add the lack of endorsement, and he seems rather like a very tactful and more optimistic BTD.

    As long as we're selectively quoting: (none / 0) (#102)
    by RollaMO on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:10:51 PM EST
    "But he spoke at great length about having worked with Obama on ethics legislation in the Senate, and hailed the Illinois senator's ability to judge people and hold firm against pressure from interest groups and party insiders."

    Here in Wisconsin, Russ is speaking (none / 0) (#108)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:16:24 PM EST
    more to both sides, saying that he has "high regard" for Clinton and that "'It was a very difficult choice because they're both good. . . . They have different strengths, but in the end, I just decided he seemed like a very interesting candidate who would be very exciting. . . .'

    "Feingold told the Journal Sentinel that he recognized Clinton had more experience than Obama and that he preferred Clinton's health care plan."

    My junior senator, of course, also is interesting and exciting -- much more so than my senior senator.  Both, wisely, have not made an endorsement yet -- nor have most of Wisconsin's superdelegates.  As I get to vote on most of them again at the polls, I certainly will be watching how they vote -- at the convention.


    Supporter (none / 0) (#100)
    by magster on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:08:50 PM EST
    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    I agree (5.00 / 4) (#110)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:18:37 PM EST
    we have different definitions. Yours is more akin to worshipper.

    Highly inclined to do what? (none / 0) (#177)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:00:34 PM EST
    Yes, REFUSING to endorse Obama while saying very nice things about Clinton strikes me as tepid.

    I've only discussed Obama w Russ (none / 0) (#103)
    by Ben Masel on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:11:10 PM EST
    in context of Drug policy, specifically repealing mandatory minimum sentences.

    Obama, disappointing, Clinton, never expected her to be an ally.


    Similarly, PATRIOT Act (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Ben Masel on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:15:16 PM EST
    No expectation Clinton would back him on the fight over specifics in renewal. Obama's vote for the final package must have been a letdown.

    And don't forget this (none / 0) (#54)
    by AdrianLesher on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:43:11 AM EST
    Where Hillary was under criticism for siding with a "a DLC-sponsored initiative aimed at developing a more positive policy agenda for the party"

    And that Hillary Clinton is listed on the DLC's website as the "Chair of the DLC's 'American Dream Initiative'"

    Um (none / 0) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:48:46 AM EST
    Your point is not clear and your links do not work.

    The point is...plus link correction (none / 0) (#72)
    by AdrianLesher on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:53:45 AM EST
    The Wapo link where Hillary was being criticized for cuddling with the DLC is here.

    The point is that Hillary's (and of course Bill's) support of and support by the DLC have been going on forever. Obama has refused their support.

    It's not surprising that now that Obama's winning that the DLC people want to jump on HIS bandwagon.


    You think? (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:01:57 PM EST
    Now why would Obama refuse their support when he is seeking REPUBLICAN support?

    So are you saying (none / 0) (#91)
    by AdrianLesher on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:05:04 PM EST
    that in a general election Hillary would only want the votes of registered democrats? Smart strategy. No wonder she's doing so well.

    Of course not (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:06:33 PM EST
    I am wondering why you believe OBAMA will reufse DLC support.

    Penn Writing on The DLC Within The Psst 4 Months (none / 0) (#65)
    by AdrianLesher on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:49:03 AM EST
    And here's a late-2006 "executive summary" on DLC site co-written by.....Mark Penn.

    Again (none / 0) (#71)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:52:45 AM EST
    your point is what?

    That Clinton (none / 0) (#76)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:55:02 AM EST
    has surrounded herself with the top-shelf DLC talent?

    Mark Penn (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:01:10 PM EST
    was a Democratic strategist before he was DLC. And to call him top shelf is ridiculous. HE sucks.

    HE was a Clintonista with no principles, DLC or otherwise.

    But of course the point is to avoid discussing OBAMA.


    So... (none / 0) (#163)
    by andrewwm on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:52:33 PM EST
    which of Obama's top advisers (not random people that have been associated with his campaign) do you have an issue with? I'm curious.

    The economic advisors (none / 0) (#174)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:58:34 PM EST
    and the health care advisors are reputed to be rather conservative.

    I actually do not have a problem with his advisors. I was just correcting your statement.


    USe hyperlinks (none / 0) (#125)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:26:38 PM EST
    I have to delete your comment.

    Copy it and repost it if you like.

    I will be deleting it in 5 minutes.

    Sorry. (none / 0) (#131)
    by Boston Boomer on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:31:14 PM EST
    Is that the symbols at the top of the message box?  That was my first comment.

    Your link (none / 0) (#141)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:39:08 PM EST
    USe the linking function and put the word link as your displayed words.

    Like this  - BostonBoomer's link.


    A link for making links (none / 0) (#144)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:41:03 PM EST

    You have to do it "by hand".  

    Here's a site that gives a quick tutorial on how to create one:



    Shouldn't we credit DK for (none / 0) (#195)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:20:15 PM EST
    having better link mechanism than here?

    I haven't posted at DK in ages but (none / 0) (#207)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:45:22 PM EST
    I don't recall them having a link button at the top of the comment box. I used to do the open bracket URL link-name close bracket there (which works here too).

     ] = close bracket
    [ = open bracket


    DK's loss. (none / 0) (#209)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:50:51 PM EST
    But DK makes it easier to post a link.  The box is below the proposed comment, paste in the info and below, but the magic word to be highlighted, then click on "add."

    Thank you. (none / 0) (#213)
    by Boston Boomer on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 02:00:00 PM EST
    I appreciate your help.

    lest we be unpure (none / 0) (#127)
    by bab23 on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:28:19 PM EST
    I'm not sure I understand the conception of a politics that refuses to "compromise" or "work with" or "reach across the aisle to" ANYONE involved in governance. Even if it were possible for a "pure" progressive (or "pure" conservative) candidate to be elected president, there's more to being a leader (particularly when your constituents include EVERYONE) than drawing lines in the sand. I thought that was the point of pluralist representative democracy.

    Progressive activists will promote progressive policies and approaches; conservative activists will promote their agenda; libertarians theirs; etc. Together (by definition) our representatives will set policy, enact laws, and enforce them. Who makes an effective representative for the issues important to you depends not only on their relative position on those issues, but on the wherewithal of the candidate in translating them into policies and laws through any number of means (via persuasion, consolidation of popular support, negotiation, and--less prettily--arm-twisting, bribery, extortion, what-have-you).

    Political parties seem to be hybrids in this universe, as they have a foot in both the activist and the governance camps. Ultimately, however, they have arisen and been perpetuated out of the forces that seek to consolidate power, so it should surprise no one planted in the activist camp that the conciliators play such a large role. Bear in mind that "curing" this infection may be worse than the disease itself, rendering worthy voices altogether silent.

    If only this were true (none / 0) (#133)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:31:32 PM EST
    of progressive blogs:

    Progressive activists will promote progressive policies and approaches

    That may be a valid argument (none / 0) (#204)
    by annabelly on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:28:11 PM EST
    when it comes to governance, but what is happening right now is criminal, the second criminal Republican  administration in less than 40 years, and there are lessons that MUST be learned here, or we will repeat this mistake again. That means the governance of exposure, which cannot happen when compromising or negotiating with criminals. In this case, you cure the infection to allow a space for those worthy voices, which are largely criminally silenced as of now. Seriously, please consider this.

    Kos et al Progressive? Not in my book (none / 0) (#130)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:29:17 PM EST

    DLC is not the issue, it's the Libertarian tinge that gets on my nerves with the Netroots and the Obama faction.  Not very progressive in my book.  
    It's no secret that I look to the Mountain West for the future of the Democratic Party, people like Brian Schweitzer and Jon Tester. But I also look to candidates like Jim Webb in Virginia and Paul Hackett in Ohio.
    And what is the common thread amongst these candidates?

    They are all Libertarian Democrats.

    Ack, the "L" word! But hear me out.


    what do you expect (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Kathy on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:40:43 PM EST
    from people who were republicans up until a handful of years ago?

    Their party went to he*l in a handbasket, so they jumped ship and are now trying to do the same thing to ours.


    If he considers Brian Schweitzer (a (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by tigercourse on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:43:22 PM EST
    guy who has said he might support Romney over a Democratic candidate in a general election) the future of the democratic party, we're in more trouble then I thought. Webb is a moderate, Schweitzer is a moderate (and not loyal to the party), Tester is a moderate and Hackett was to the right of Brown. That's a bleak future.

    Well, consider that kos (none / 0) (#197)
    by annabelly on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:21:22 PM EST
    Used to be a Republican. (true story) For all his anti-Lieberman talk, I think it's interesting  that he now supports Lieberman-lite. One has to wonder.

    Characterizig the Liberal (none / 0) (#208)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:45:27 PM EST
    Of course, this also means that government isn't always the solution to the nation's problems

    This is slamming the Democratic party with the right wing characterization.  He should start his own party.  


    I know that Hillary isn't Bill (none / 0) (#139)
    by seand on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:35:50 PM EST
    But wasn't Bill the poster child for the DLC, and indeed largely responsible for the power it wielded in the 90's? Has Hillary spoken out against the DLC? Has she, as Obama has, made an effort to distance herself from them?  So far as I can see, the only real link between Obama and the DLC is the fact that some DLCers now support him. But surely it wouldn't be at all difficult to find a list of pro-Clinton DLC types- starting with the arch New Dem himself, James Carville.

    As for Obama campaigning for Ford, Clinton surely did so as well: that was an important seat- indeed, had we won it, our senate majority wouldn't hand on the thin thread of Joe Lieberman's 'promise' to caucus for the democrats.

    To me this looks like another pro-Hillary 'gotcha': that is, an issue on which Obama isn't as great as he might be; but on which it's not even disputed that Hillary is as bad or worse.  

    Yes he was (none / 0) (#142)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:40:33 PM EST
    Now Obama could be the poster child.

    Bill Clinton 1992 is to the DLC what Barack Obama 2008 is.


    I don't see it (none / 0) (#192)
    by seand on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:14:59 PM EST
    Bill embraced his role as DLC poster-boy. Do we have any evidence, at all, that Obama will do likewise?

    Remember that the DLC is the socially and economically conservative, and hawkish wing of the Democratic Party. I don't see Obama embracing that strain of DLC-thinking at all. And to my mind, if he does go so far as to embrace little conciliatory rhetoric, while remaining consistently progressive with respect to policy, he'll have co-opted, rather than have been co-opted by, the DLC.


    Nonsequitor (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:19:26 PM EST
    Does it matter if he embraces the role if he still plays it?

    You are missing the point.


    This seems to miss the point completely... (none / 0) (#170)
    by kinglet on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:57:37 PM EST
    I think the point is not that Obama is like Clinton so let's tally and measure, but that people need to get a damned grip and start seeing Obama for what he is and not what they dream he is. It's helpful to look at the candidates individually, without comparing or looking for the comparison.

    Sure (none / 0) (#198)
    by seand on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:21:23 PM EST
    That's fine by me- of course it's worth asking whether our candidates are good candidates. But to my mind, the first question isn't 'is Obama perfect' but rather 'is Obama better than Hillary and McCain'; and we can answer that first question, I think, by making comparisons.

    And yet Clinton still has a higher (none / 0) (#154)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 12:48:57 PM EST
    popular vote.  As for my Senator Feingold, please respect that he has not made an endorsement.

    And as for waiting to decide the details -- see, I and apparently most of the voters so far are not so faith-based with our ballots and want a candidate who already has the details in hand and tells us what they will be.  

    There is a difference between (none / 0) (#182)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:04:53 PM EST
    voting in a polling booth and voting at the convention.  That's why an official endorsement matters -- because this is the nomination stage.  If you don't understand that, I'm not going to hijack this thread for you to explain how the party works.

    And as we're talking about a member of Congress . . . this is exactly one of my major concerns about the Obama surge, as I can see in my state's primary that it may not have the coattail effect that we need to win Congress, not just the nomination, not just the White House.  I fear we will be back to where we were in 1994 -- or worse, without a second term.


    The difference is not "opinion" (none / 0) (#220)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 02:20:02 PM EST
    between an official endorsement and the lack of one.  You really are just chattering, so buh-bye.

    I think that a few weeks after Obama (none / 0) (#188)
    by MarkL on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:10:00 PM EST
    clinches the nomination, his most ardent left  and Progressive supporters will have lost all enthusiasm for you.
    Not just because they'll see what we already know, but also: do you really think Obama will run more LEFT after being nominated? Hell no. He's gone as far left as ever, already.
    Expect him to talk more about solutions involving businesses and free enterprise, playing up his openness to charter schools, vouchers---even SS privatization.
    Expect him to come out strongly against "socialized medicine".

    Note (none / 0) (#202)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 01:23:38 PM EST
    Comments are now closed in this thread.

    If he's an Obama supporter (none / 0) (#218)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 02:09:30 PM EST
    he sounds like a mighty (ahem) tepid one, and more on the basis of believing that because of her high negatives Hillary will not be able to win the GE than because he likes anything about Obama. Gerstein this week:

    "She can't win by affirmatively making the case for herself. Her vote ceiling has been reached, or she's close to it," said Dan Gerstein, a Democratic political consultant who supports Obama. "The best thing she can do is either discredit Obama or raise doubts about him.

    "I hate to say it, but in certain respects, it's using the Bush strategy against Kerry against Obama and raising doubts about his willingness to use force to keep the country safe," he said.

    "The Obama people and the pacifists will scream `scare tactics.' But for a lot of people, that's not scare tactics -- they care about national security and the commander in chief responsibility," Gerstein said.

    Yeah, right, where have I heard that kind of enthusiastic support before?

    Maybe The Politico and Townhall recognize what a smear it is to be supported by dangerstein and that's why they're gleefully putting the epithet "Obama supporter" on him?

    Interestingly, Gerstein's critique of Obama is a strangely familiar one in these parts - it's that he's insufficiently branding his agenda as a Democratic one while he has a chance to get a mandate with this huge Indy wave of supporters ready and waiting to be drawn into the party.

    Except I think he's wrong. I hear unabashed Dem branding from both HIllary and Obama, increasing as the campaign goes on. How can anyone not have heard it in the latest debate?

    And dang, I guess I'm just in the wrong time zone to get into discussions here now that the interesting ones tend to close within a couple of hours, but here's my two cents worth anyway.

    Excuse me (none / 0) (#226)
    by Mystic55 on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 06:05:27 PM EST
    But the Clintons are founding MEMBERS of the DLC.  Furthermore, there is a significant chunk of the Democratic base that is with Obama, which is getting larger all the time.  In fact, the only people who really aren't with Obama are people who don't know what he stands for or who stand to lose power by the angry people that they haven't really been representing for years.