Fighting Dems For Obama? Uh, No

By Big Tent Democrat

The normally astute Mark Schmitt writes something incredibly absurd:

With the elected officials who are superdelegates now split evenly between Obama and Clinton, it seems that there are now two congressional parties, defined not by ideology but by attitude: On one side, older liberals like Ted Kennedy joined with those elected more recently who have the combativeness necessary in the Bush years; on the other side, a middle-generation elected and brought up under the assumptions of the '80s and '90, very roughly speaking.

(Emphasis supplied.) Say what? Ben Nelson? Tom Daschle? Kent Conrad? Claire McCaskill? This is one of the silliest statements I have read in a season of silly statements. Yes, the post partisan Obama Unity Schtick has been VERY appealing to the Fighting Dems. What a freaking joke.

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    one of the things that amuses me (5.00 / 8) (#1)
    by Turkana on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:31:37 PM EST
    is that many of the same people who spent this winter vociferously arguing that obama is some transformational figure spent last winter arguing against impeachment. because impeachment was scary. if these people saw true change, they'd quake in their booties.

    Oh jeez, let's not reopen impeachment (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:56:53 PM EST
    let's just make fun of the idea that Tom Daschle and Bob Casey are fighting Democrats.

    heh (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Turkana on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:35:44 PM EST
    well, i also like to make fun of the idea that a safe centrist democrat is transformational.

    um (none / 0) (#28)
    by Turkana on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:33:26 PM EST
    i'm talking about online supporters. your stream-of-consciousness is rather interesting.

    The combativeness (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by rooge04 on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:31:39 PM EST
    necessary for the Bush years?? Like "Impeachment is off the table" Peloisi?

    Here's an example: (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:39:00 PM EST

    Durbin sponsors an amendment to bill on housing crisis which would permit bankruptcy judges to adjust the terms of primary residence mortgage.  Bankruptcy judges already have discretion to do so re second homes and investment properties.  Durbin withdrew the amendment and Reid lavishly praised him for doing so.  


    How do so many smart guys get things (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:33:18 PM EST
    exactly backwards? Obama is the very definition of a milquetoast Democrat.

    And isn't (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by rooge04 on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:34:31 PM EST
    Tom Daschle like, no longer in the Senate? LOL. Must have been that fighting spirit of his.

    The power of propaganda (none / 0) (#26)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:27:18 PM EST
    when targeting 'believer people' along with the young and reckless.

    You've got to be kidding (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by scorbs on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:36:59 PM EST
    Ted Kennedy and John Kerry and Tom Daschle are post-partisan, part of those who know how to battle Bush?  Or let's talk about how well Dems like Pelosi Or McCaskill have "battled Bush."  In fact, most of Obama's supporters seem out of the 80's, 90s.  Brother.

    Particularly bizarre since Bush (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:43:52 PM EST
    will be gone.  

    Or are they planning on keeping him around so they can finally engage him in these mythical battles?


    Has Ted Kennedy said anything lately? (none / 0) (#38)
    by felizarte on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 03:53:09 PM EST
    He seems to be awfully quiet.  I wonder if he is beginning to hedge.

    I guess he meant (5.00 / 7) (#7)
    by Daryl24 on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:42:58 PM EST
    when it comes to fighting other dems whose last name begins with Clinton.

    Exactly! (4.00 / 4) (#8)
    by lilburro on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:43:49 PM EST
    The "Stop fighting us!" Dems.

    Clinton Supporters (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by BDB on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:45:30 PM EST
    She has her share of weak ones, Bayh comes to mind.  But she also has John Murtha, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters.

    I suspect that the SDs are not breaking down along these lines, but it's kind of a fun game to play.

    And for those who missed it the first time, here's Barney Frank's piece on why those darned 1990s fights were important.

    Bayh (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by nell on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:54:24 PM EST
    is I think a secret fighting liberal. But if he became a fighting dem, he would never win re-election in his red, red state of Indiana!

    Sorry that is wishful thinking on (none / 0) (#34)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:45:26 PM EST
    your part.  Bayh is pretty conservative and I think extremely dull.  I hope she does not select him as the VP if she gets the nod.

    Bye, bye if it's Bayh. (none / 0) (#35)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 03:05:52 PM EST
    He is beyond dull...soporific, I'd say.

    I like to think of him as (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 04:41:13 PM EST
    Evan Beige...

    And I will not be happy if he makes it to a VP "short list."


    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:55:52 PM EST
    Her supporters in the military (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:56:14 PM EST
    Are even more compelling.

    I'll amend (none / 0) (#27)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:31:11 PM EST
    Her support from military leadership.

    Did ya mean fighting Dems like these people? (none / 0) (#37)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 03:35:49 PM EST
    ·General Wesley Clark
    ·General John M. Shalikashvili
    ·General Henry Hugh Shelton
    ·General Johnnie E. Wilson
    ·Admiral William Owens
    ·Lt. Gen. Joe Ballard
     Lt. Gen. Robert Gard
    ·Lt. Gen. Claudia J. Kennedy
    ·Lt. Gen. Donald L. Kerrick
    ·Lt. Gen. Frederick E. Vollrath
    ·Vice Admiral Joseph A. Sestak
    ·Major General Roger R. Blunt
    ·Major General George A. Buskirk, Jr.
    ·Major General Edward L. Correa, Jr.
    ·Major General Paul D. Eaton
    ·Major General Paul D. Monroe, Jr.
    ·Major General Antonio M. Taguba
    ·Rear Admiral Connie Mariano
    ·Rear Admiral Alan M. Steinman
    ·Rear Admiral David Stone
    ·Brigadier General Michael Dunn
    ·Brigadier General Belisario Flores
    ·Brigadier General Evelyn "Pat" Foote
    ·Brigadier General Keith H. Kerr
    ·Brigadier General Virgil A. Richard
    ·Brigadier General Preston Taylor
    ·Brigadier General John M. Watkins, Jr.
    ·Brigadier General Jack Yeager

    I'm damned glad to see Hugh Shelon (none / 0) (#57)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 08:18:38 PM EST
    on that list. I served under him for many years. He's a no nonsense s.o.b. He is as tough as nails, and he carries a lot of influence in former- and retired- ranks.

    I was already supporting HRC, but she's damned stronger on national defense and a sane foreign policy, with no punches pulled (lord, pulling punches-- hugh Shelton? HAH!) if he gets to advise again.

    Also, not as wedded to big defense projects as others... and retired long enough for SecDef.


    Barney says (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:00:19 PM EST
    As a Democratic Member of the U.S. House of Representatives today, I close by noting that there does appear to me to be a strong contradiction between two of the criticisms we sometimes receive. One is the approach taken by Senator Obama, which I have just tried to describe, which expresses distaste for too much fighting and too much anger, with too little effort to govern in a way that bridges differences. But contrary to that, I often hear that we Democrats in the Congress have not fought hard enough, that we have not stood up enough for what we believe in, and have been too prone to conciliate. I personally do not think that either criticism is justified, but I know as a fact that they cannot both be true.

    In the nicest possible way, he just said the whole thing stinks of hypocrisy.


    It's one of my favorite pieces on this campaign (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:09:42 PM EST
    not written by BTD.

    THough I should say (none / 0) (#23)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:10:41 PM EST
    that that part of the column is one I sympathize with least. I have no problem criticizing the docility of the 90s.

    I agree with Barney (none / 0) (#32)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:43:34 PM EST
    On that one.

    The Post Partisan Wing of the Party... (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Petey on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:48:54 PM EST
    "The normally astute Mark Schmitt writes something incredibly absurd ... Yes, the post partisan Obama Unity Schtick has been VERY appealing to the Fighting Dems. What a freaking joke."

    Worth noting that Mark Schmitt gained fame in Dem circles because of his work with Bill Bradley, who was the high priest of the "post partisan unity schtick" before Obama became the high priest of the "post partisan unity schtick".

    Schmitt, Bradley, and Obama have all made their careers on being afraid to stand with the Democratic coalition on policy issues.

    Obama is just recycling Bradley's campaign (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 01:57:53 PM EST
    with a superior cult of personality.

    But without the hoops skills.. (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:00:20 PM EST
    I bet Bradley can bowl decently.

    Fighting Dems started this fight (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by BarnBabe on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:00:00 PM EST
    We had a candidate. They encouraged another candidate. They are fighting against the wrong people. They are fighting their base rather than the Repugs. And even their own state did not support them. And now they want us to send hugs and love for their candidate. Not happening. It has become the Crips and the Bloods.

    This should have been so easy. Get behind ONE candidate and spends months supporting her. They could have even gotten BHO on her ticket. This should have been an easy GE just based upon changing who is in the White House. Yes, there will be change. Maybe. I remember people saying in 1999 that it was Al Gore's Presidency to lose. It should not have been close. Prosperity and intelligence and experience. But no, the public wanted to have a beer with George and while they were inebriated he pulled an entire war right past them.

    Crips/Bloods... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:37:08 PM EST
    Sigh...I loved West Side Story.  The musical.

    I hate this.  Anti-Clinton/anti-Hillary propaganda has morphed into class warfare.

    In my Democratic Party.

    I'm not going to forget or forgive this.


    Sharks and Jets (none / 0) (#39)
    by magisterludi on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 04:05:03 PM EST
    Those were the gangs in WSS. I think the the Jets were the "bad" (killed Tony) gang. The Sharks were the Puerto Ricans, Maria's brother's gang.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.


    Let's hear it (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by stillife on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:06:23 PM EST
    for the fighting Dems!

    You're doing a heckuva job, Ted, Tom, Claire, Nancy, et al.

    I feel like I've walked through the looking glass.  Or maybe it's 1984 - victory through surrender!

    This is just another smear on the Clinton legacy.  Promote Obama by denigrating the Clinton Presidency.

    Why don't they just admit (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:19:07 PM EST
    they are all united in their rabid HATRED of the Clintons.  The Clintons didn't help Kerry win.  Therefore, Kerry and those who like him are going to do their darndest to make sure the Clintons lose...even if that means nominating someone who can't win a general.

    Maybe Clinton didn't do as much (none / 0) (#42)
    by gish720 on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 04:35:19 PM EST
    as Kerry wanted him to, but I remember Clinton giving a speech on the stump for Kerry when Bill had JUST been released from the hospital after his heart surgery, looking frail and white and then the first thing Kerry did after he came out for Obama was call Bill Clinton a liar. It seemed like conduct unbecoming to me.  I also happen to know Hillary stumped for Obama when he ran for the senate from Illinois.  Still, I don't care if Kerry is for Obama, but the liar charge just seemed a tad underhanded to me.

    Wonder if Bob Woodward (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:40:47 PM EST
    is researching his next book from the sidelines or from the inside?  Anybody know?

    Working title..."Blinded By the Left."

    Another pithy unifying comment (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by xspowr on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 05:25:14 PM EST
    More sophisticated Obama supporters like Cornel West actually lamented Obama's absence in Memphis, and didn't feel the need to take a cheap shot at HRC in raising the issue:

    On Obama Not Going to Memphis

    Martin Luther King Jr.'s deep commitment to unarmed truth and unconditional love can in no way be subject to strategies for access to political power. Hence, I have a very deep disagreement with my dear brother, Barack Obama -- in this case, commitment to truth is in tension with the quest for power.

    See? It's actually possible to disagree with Obama and still support him, and to do so without resorting to nasty implications about the character of HRC. Take this as a learning opportunity.

    I adore Cornel West (none / 0) (#54)
    by kayla on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 07:25:03 PM EST
    I believe he is a tepid Obama supporter, though.  He once said that he wasn't impressed with any of the candidates and that it was a shame that this is supposed to be America's best and brightest because there's got to be better talent out there.

    Dr. West isn't afraid to (none / 0) (#59)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 08:30:32 PM EST
    go out of the Democratic Party, either... he supported Nader in 2000. He is a thinker, and speaks his mind.

    I don't agree with everything he says, but i listen to him.


    Howard Dean. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Mary Mary on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 03:25:38 PM EST
    We had a fighting Dem. He ran in 2004 and dropped out after Wisconsin. We didn't want him. After all, he wasn't electable.

    Now he's been working to build a bigger, stronger Dem party and I read boatloads of crap about him here because he tried to make the primaries more representative so they'd yield a stronger general election candidate. Does no one consider the very powerful factions in this party he must maneuver around from a position of very little authority?

    As to the larger question. I've give up impeachment in a heartbeat if only the Dems in Congress stood up for principle, heck not even Dem party principles but AMERICAN principles.

    And it's not over by a long shot. Some of you here noted Kerry's comment about health care mandates being dead on arrival in the Senate.

    The only reason I came back to the party is to vote in this primary. Come May, I'll be back to my Independent status. I see little in today's Dem party to support. The higher the stakes, the quicker they fold, IMO.

    Last, while I'm ranting. The primaries are just another way for the power players to maintain control. Why do you think the system is so convoluted? It's to dilute the power of the voter, plain and simple. The system is unwieldy, needlessly complicated, and has been shown to be unworkable in a close race. Yet we'll keep it, won't we? That's why all the talk about caucuses vs. primaries and seating MI and FL seems, at times, to be equivalent to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. YMMV, of course.

    I am SOOO glad we didn't get Dean as (none / 0) (#41)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 04:19:36 PM EST
    President. I say that as someone who was a big fan in the past. Now? He's an utter catastrophe as DNC chairmen. He has done enough harm; as President? Who knows.

    Kindly (none / 0) (#44)
    by Mary Mary on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 04:55:21 PM EST
    explain exactly how Dean has been a disaster as DNC chair. Wouldja?

    Because from where I'm sitting, I see revitalized Dem orgs in every state. I see an effort to change the primary system so that the voters don't automatically line up behind an early winner in unrepresentative states. I see increased fundraising from regular party members, not just fat cats. I see a guy who goes on television and tweaks the Rs as much as he can.

    Oh, and the makeup of Congress? I seem to think it, uh, changed in 2006.

    And that's small potatoes compared to what he would have tried (note I say tried, because I'm sure he would have had to fight fellow Dems as well as Repubs to get his priorities passed) as president.


    His fundraising is poor, but obviously the (none / 0) (#46)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 05:06:47 PM EST
    overriding problem now is his complete abdication of leadership over the primary cycle in the last year.
    The Democratic Presidential candidate is probably going to lose in November---badly---and I put a lot of the blame on Dean.

    x (none / 0) (#50)
    by Mary Mary on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 05:36:21 PM EST
    I wouldn't call his fundraising poor. He's doing OK.

    Since he became chairman after the 2004 election, Mr. Dean has begun what he called the 50-state strategy, opening offices and hiring staff members in every state, even ones that are traditional Republican strongholds. He has also invested in a huge voter database -- one that is designed to rival the Republican Party's sophisticated voter file -- that he hopes will pay off this year and allow Democratic candidates to find likely voters and make specific pitches to them.

    How the costly 50-state strategy -- and the cash shortfall that it has created -- play out over the coming election will be a referendum on the tenure of Mr. Dean, who has had a prickly relationship with many of the party's top officials. Under Mr. Dean's tenure, D.N.C. fund-raising has steadily climbed, along with its expenses. So far, Mr. Dean has spent $170 million since the last presidential election to turn his vision for the party into a reality, with nearly $60 million of that raised in the last year alone.

    And blame a possible loss on Dean? Simply ignoring the success in 2006? You're not making much sense. More from the article:

    To that end, the D.N.C. hired 180 local organizers and opened offices in 50 states. It set up training classes for organizers. It poured money into statehouse races, with the idea that state legislatures are the key to Congressional redistricting. To close the gap with tech-savvy Republicans, it spent $10 million to develop "VoteBuilder," a databank with the names of every registered voter in the United States.

    Attributing 06 to Dean is akin (none / 0) (#58)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 08:26:53 PM EST
    to attributing successes in 76 to whomever was the  chair then. This isn't a binary-variable equation. I ws and am concerned by the LACK of success in '06, not the results we gained with the conditions we saw.

    x (none / 0) (#61)
    by Mary Mary on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 08:45:33 PM EST
    If the Dems had lost ground in '06, who do you think would have been blamed?

    with the conditions we saw

    Yeah, I could kinda understand the '00 results, but absolutely could not fathom the '04 results. '06 at least represented movement in the right direction, but I agree that the Dems should have done better.


    Mary Mary, I am not trying to pin our (none / 0) (#63)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 08:55:20 PM EST
    modest gains (or lack of success, i guess I should say) on Dean, but I do wonder why, in a year that was called a 'perfect storm,' based on Iraq, we didn't win more.

    Who is to blame for that? Dems did see significant gains across the states, but the senate and house were more than disappointing, especially given the leadership issues in both ( or perhaps I should say my disagreement with what the ladership has done in both, to be honest).


    I think (none / 0) (#64)
    by Mary Mary on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 09:06:20 PM EST
    we are in agreement here. Good results but not as good as we had hoped or that are needed.

    Increased fundraising? (none / 0) (#48)
    by RalphB on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 05:24:37 PM EST
    the DNC is the only organization not raising more money than it's counterpart.  The RNC has kicked his butt in fundraising.

    Change the primary system?  To put SC and NV closer to NH and IA, while totally screwing up the situation on MI and FL?  If that's his idea then he should resign now.  I was under the impression he had gone along to get along with the 100% delegate strips, instead of the previous 50% level in the rules.  Even so, he has shown zero leadership in resolving the disenfranchisement issue and that could cost the democrats the election in November.

    He's been a real lucky charm.


    x (none / 0) (#51)
    by Mary Mary on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 05:42:15 PM EST
    Yes, put SC and NV up front to add some variety to the early contests and give a nod to the unions and African-Americans who are loyal Dem voting blocs. I applauded that move, didn't you?

    It's not his fault that MI and FL moved their primaries up and actually IIRC he prevented other states from doing the same.

    I just don't know what you think he is supposed to do about the MI/FL situation. What does he have the power to do?  


    He had the responsibility to lead (none / 0) (#52)
    by RalphB on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 06:04:21 PM EST
    on the disenfranchisement of MI and FL, but didn't do it or was ass backward.  All that was necessary was to stick with the punishment already in the rules and do a 50% delegate atrip.  The GOP did that, and also stripped 50% from NH when it moved it's primary up, but then again they seem to want to win elections.  But no, the DNC went with the nuclear option and stripped MI and FL of all their delegates.  They let NH completely off the hook for doing the same thing.  That was shortsighted and stupid in that it may cause a loss in November.

    At this point, I don't know what he should do but he is doing nothing.  That's real leadership?  BS.


    He had the responsibility to lead (none / 0) (#60)
    by Mary Mary on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 08:41:18 PM EST
    and he has. He had his priorities and others in the party had theirs. He's been very effective, IMO, within the scope of his authority. However, with all the talk of this and that committee it should be obvious that Dean does not rule by fiat.

    You yourself state "the DNC went with the nuclear option." You know it wasn't Dean and only Dean.

    You admit you don't know what he should do but still sit back and take shots at him. It would be more fair to criticize him if there was a clear, effective action he alone could take but did not.


    he could have pushed for revotes in MI (none / 0) (#65)
    by RalphB on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 09:48:50 PM EST
    and FL for starters, instead of copping out with that "candidates must agree" mush.  primaries are a party function and the candidates didn't have a say in the original votes.  letting Obama's people kill revotes was disgusting.

    oh, that voter file you credited Dean with, well I don't know how to break it to you but it got it's beginning with Terry.  the project got handed to the politician formerly known as "people powered Howard".


    An example of a fighting Dem (none / 0) (#40)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 04:16:30 PM EST
    Hillary in Memphis  Wonder where Obama was?  

    You were saying something yesterday (none / 0) (#47)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 05:07:44 PM EST
    about having serious discussions?
    I guess yesterday's V08 was kidnapped, just like Josh Marshall. It must be going around.

    In 2006 we elected many people with little or (none / 0) (#53)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 07:14:03 PM EST
    no progressive/liberal credentials just because we wanted to have a democratic congress.  I wonder if that is what we may end up doing in 2008.

    Agreed. (none / 0) (#55)
    by fiver5 on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 07:41:25 PM EST
    The Republican's taking us to war under false pretenses while orchestrating a shameless transfer of wealth upward to the uber-wealthy is bad enough - but no real surprise. After all, that's what Republicans do.  

    The abject capitulation of the Democrats, on the other hand, especially after they were in the majority, is far worse.  Reid was no big surprise, but watching Pelosi turn into a tool was really tough to take.


    Clinton talks; Obama balks (none / 0) (#56)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 08:10:34 PM EST
    Another example of a fighting Dem. Obama refuses to talk to gay press.  

    Fighting? You bet! For a spot on his coat tails. (none / 0) (#62)
    by dwmorris on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 08:54:19 PM EST
    I think maybe the thing that's driving super delegates to Obama is their unmitigated lust to tap into his grass roots network, particularly his fund raising and voter registration juggernaut.  It defies credibility that seasoned politicians are buying into this swill about hope, change, and post partisan politics that he serves up daily to the masses.