How A Candidate-Based "Movement" Can Be Harmful

Chris Bowers notices:

While the Daily Kos diary in question is specifically arguing that the [Bush Dog Jim] Cooper plan was great (although that is implied), it does take as its main point that health care reform failed in 1993-1994 because Democrats, specifically Hillary Clinton, weren't nice enough to conservatives. If only Hillary Clinton had been nicer to conservatives, then we could have had great health care plans like Jim Cooper's. Hell, Jim Cooper himself says so. And look, David Brooks agrees, so it much be right. . . . MORE

This is a very disturbing argument. The moment when dislike of Hillary Clinton is combined with calls for Democrats to compromise in the manner of Jim Cooper, and it is all justified by citing David Brooks, is a moment when I really fear for the internal logic of some Barack Obama support. It is the moment when I fear we all become practioners of High Broderism: mean, left-wing Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, are holding up reasonable compromises on Social Security, Iraq, FISA, torture, bankruptcy protection, global warming, etc. It is an argument I heard for years from the national media, long before the primary campaign began. To now be hearing it in the top recommended dairy at Daily Kos bothers me quite a bit.

(Emphasis supplied.) Now he notices? BTW, my take on Jim Cooper and health care more than 3 months ago. It's too late now. The Netroots gave in to Obama's triangulation long ago. That is what happens when the candidate is more important than the issues.

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    This (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:26:28 PM EST
    is why I have to wonder if it's really that important that we win in Nov. with Obama. Right now he's a longshot against McCain but he also gives voters no reason to vote FOR him.

    I remember you, BTD, talking about Reagans 1980 campaign. And you were right about that. I'm old enough to remember that Reagan was about issues. The whole movement was about issues. What's the point of having a movement about Obama? I don't see one.

    I don't remember (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by rnibs on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:47:38 PM EST
    the BTD entry that you're referring to, but it's absolutely spot on.  That's why I'm having real problems being asked to support a person rather than someone clearly stating their stances on issues.

    Thanks.  I'll have a better way of explaining it to people now.


    BTD (none / 0) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:02:09 PM EST
    used to post at MYDD. He did a diary there on it.

    totally agree (5.00 / 9) (#18)
    by aquarian on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:55:29 PM EST
    In my view, great leaders in history who effectuate wholesale change understand that the movement is not about them.  Great leaders fight for principles -- abolish slavery (Lincoln), voting rights (sufragettes), equality (Doctor King), peaceful opposition (Ghandi), to name but a few.  Great leaders are the catalysts that drive the movement of change.  When the candidate is the living embodiment of change and hope, and no one identifies an evil to be fought, the movement is now the candidate.  With Senator Obama, I am still trying to understand what the movement is all about.

    You actually nailed it (5.00 / 10) (#26)
    by IzikLA on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:16:39 PM EST
    The movement IS only about the candidate here.  All the Change and Progress slogans we are seeing is only about Obama as the Change that we need to Believe in.  It's intrinsically about everything that HE is as a person (black/white, Kansas/Africa, anti-Washington/Senator, American/Crazy Name, etc.).  It's not actually about anything other than getting him in the White House.  I think this is why I have never fundamentally understood the movement and I still can't get a single one of his supporters to explain it to me in any way that I can thoughtfully or logically grasp.  

    Unfortunately, in my opinion, this is what Ferraro was trying to say, but not doing a very eloquent job of stating it, and as stated it undercuts the argument and does not allow any further discussion.

    I don't really have any problem with Obama (other than his campaign tactics against Hillary Clinton), I just fail to see why we would nominate him when Hillary is probably the best candidate Democrats have had since her husband and better than any before that since JFK, IMHO.


    The movement is about symbolism.... (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:30:18 PM EST
    ...he is a symbol. If he wins in November I guess we'll get the answer to a question that no one was asking...Can a symbol govern?

    The Branding Of obama And So Many Ate (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:42:52 PM EST
    it up.  They will be sorely disappointed; and already we are seeing signs of buyer's remorse from some of the electorate.  CAUTION:  Think Jim
    Jones....he was the cat's meow and you know how it worked out down the road...obama is in the position to take his people down too.

    Cult of Personality (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by angie on Mon May 12, 2008 at 05:00:10 PM EST
    that's what us "old" folks used to call a cult promoting adulation of a living leader. Now, I guess the kidz are calling it a "movement."

    no (none / 0) (#45)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:00:08 PM EST
    Bush couldn't, could he? (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by madamab on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:04:38 PM EST
    The hero-worshiping of Bush was not on our side, but on the right-wingers' side, so I think we tend to forget it. But he was also sold as a myth and a story, and we've seen how bad that is for America.

    I think our country is more than ready for substance, but the howling of the media noise machine won't seem to let any through.

    Luckily for us, the voters still have a voice. If HRC can pull off a popular vote win by the time all the votes are counted, we still have a shot at the White House this year.


    dang it, i hope you are right. (none / 0) (#55)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:06:06 PM EST
    that little black cloud over my head has been raining lately.

    Got MLK? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Ellie on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:56:17 PM EST
    He's a massive ego in a logo being propelled forward by various hands up his @ss.

    His speeches are soundbytes from visionaries and better leaders. It drives me crazy when empty headed twits like Sarah Jessica Parker say she's voting for him because her kid pestered for her to vote for him.

    Yes, the Obama "brand" is targeting and unleashing pester-power of tots. Imagine a new generation of Dems for life who demand nothing more than a diaper change.

    No wonder Donna "Neutral" Brazile is beside herself.


    And don't forget (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:00:41 PM EST
    He'll give his nomination speech on the exact 25th anniversary day of the MLK "I Have a Dream" speech.  It's almost as if the DNC was planning on nominating the MLK incarnate all along.

    Sorry, that's the cynic in me, but I really do believe the Democrats planned for Obama and let nobody else get in the way.


    pester power (none / 0) (#62)
    by isaac on Mon May 12, 2008 at 05:13:29 PM EST
    that is freakin hilarious, what a crack up, thanks

    Great leaders also stir the pot. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by AX10 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:28:52 PM EST
    They define a purpose and rally the people to work for that cause.  Obama's only cause is his candidacy.

    Gandhi was for independence and democracy for India.
    King was for equal rights for all.
    Obama is for his own candidacy.

    It should be obvious which one does not fit in.


    C'mon, he stands for (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by mg7505 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 08:47:31 PM EST
    so many rock solid principles. The Freedom to vote against Hillary, who'd have us all enslaved with her (gasp!) UNIVERSAL healthcare plan. The Freedom to not fully fund, or even understand, science by continuing to ignore the NIH and NASA -- who else will stand up to the scientific elite?

    On a more serious note, I do love the Obamabots who claim he "stood by his principles" in his opposition to the Iraq War. As if that speech was enough to define a candidate of integrity and principles.


    I'm embarassed (none / 0) (#59)
    by aquarian on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:30:39 PM EST
    to say I actually knew the correct spelling and still managed to get it wrong.

    dh, dh, dh, dh, ......


    yeah (none / 0) (#52)
    by Salo on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:03:40 PM EST
    It probably doesn't make that much difference in the long term.

    Yet it's good that the Dems will be able to blunt the veto.

    Obama would have to sign the stuff the Senate approves


    Gosh (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:26:31 PM EST
    when Matt gets it he really gets it.

    BTW, one case where Clinton improved on the status quo by taking the "best compromise he could get" was on the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.  Gosh, how is that one viewed in the netroots?

    In the real world, Jim Cooper's health care plan was simply not on the table in 1993.  The Republicans were bound and determined to block all efforts at reform, no matter how reasonable.  But even if that plan had been on the table, and Bill and Hillary had taken it, I'd wager anything that it would simply be another item on the netroots' list of Clinton betrayals.  "Why did they take the worthless Cooper plan?  They should have fought for something better, even if it got people upset!"

    Jim cooper is a heath insurance shilll (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:28:14 PM EST
    Oops (none / 0) (#9)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:37:35 PM EST
    was it Chris, and not Matt?  I think you must have edited and made my comment look stupid.  Although the point pertains to both of them.

    I was wrong (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:43:11 PM EST
    and corrected it. Sorry.

    Not that I'm defending him (none / 0) (#39)
    by Eleanor A on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:41:30 PM EST
    but Nashville is huge in the health care industry.  See also:  Frist, Bill

    (And even with all this, try getting a policy for a reasonable price in Tennessee...don't get us all started on TennCare...)


    Great point (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jfung79 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:59:51 PM EST
    That's an excellent point.  People who are determined to bash Hillary will do it for compromising too much and not enough, for being too partisan and too bipartisan, but just don't ever give her credit.  

    exactly! (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Josey on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:22:37 PM EST
    Hillary-hate is more important to Obamabots than anything.

    It is why they can't stop themselves (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Edgar08 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:33:00 PM EST
    Even after Obama wins.

    Post Was By Chris Bowers And Not Matt Stroller n/t (none / 0) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:37:23 PM EST
    The Jim Cooper as righteous (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:30:51 PM EST
    victim theme was playing strong on DK months ago.  I never saw one Obama-supporting commenter there who would give Hillary Clinton even an iota of credit for working hard on health care early in Bill Clinton's presidency.  

    You knwo something is wrong (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:31:37 PM EST
    when the execrable Jim Cooper is the hero of the story.

    Sigh (none / 0) (#38)
    by Eleanor A on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:38:43 PM EST
    Worst part is, the Republicans around here are so, so, so much worse that he looks reasonable by comparison.

    We really gotta get more people into Nashville and Memphis, so we can elect better folks in those two cities.  I'm even starting to get a little bit of hope for Knoxville, despite poster-boy-for-psycho-Republicans Stacey Campfield.


    Don't worry too much... (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by OrangeFur on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:33:36 PM EST
    The netroots aren't really motivated by a desire to compromise with Republicans (though Obama seems to be). They're really motivated by a dislike/hatred of Hillary Clinton.

    If she were to come out in favor of Cooper's plan tomorrow, we'd quickly start hearing that strong insurance regulation, a new public plan based on Medicare, and individual mandates with subsidies are the way to go.

    Yes. Kerry says her (better) plan is (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Joan in VA on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:55:17 PM EST
    a "non-starter"" and everybody goes "ok" because he's an Obama supporter.

    Kerry also told us to vote for Obama (none / 0) (#32)
    by Josey on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:31:15 PM EST
    because he's a Black man.



    Trent Lott publicly admitted he torpedoed health (5.00 / 9) (#7)
    by magnetics on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:36:20 PM EST
    care simply so the Dems couldn't claim credit for achieving it.

    It's Bologna to claim we might have had it, if only HRC had been nicer to the right wing in Congress.  They certainly were nice to her.  

    You can't play in the post-partisan sand box if you're the sole participant, and I see no evidence that the Rethugs are anxious to join up.

    Does anyone remember (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:56:29 PM EST
    who controlled Congress when the Clinton plan was put forward?

    Yeah, I thought so.


    Your point being? Of course I remember (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by magnetics on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:37:20 PM EST
    but that didn't stop the Trent Lott.  Did the Dems have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate?  I seem to remember they did not.

    In any case, in Will Rogers' immortal words, "I belong to no organized party; I'm a Democrat."  And with the lobbying effort cranked up (remember Harry and Louise, or have you only seen the recent replays?) a cloture vote would have been very tricky to achieve.  It was all over in '94 in any case, when the Congress switched hands.  Well do I remember.


    Democrats were running scared at (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:53:52 PM EST
    that point.  The GOP said "boo" and they freaked out.  That's how they lost that election too.

    and it hasn't changed. (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:02:30 PM EST
    it seems the only people the dems play rough with are the core democrats and hillary. we had a name for folks like that in school.

    exactly (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:09:39 PM EST
    dems blaming Clinton for stalling healthcare need to look in a mirror.

    Of course, another dem half-heartedly pushing through an even weaker healthcare plan will set us back yet another sixteen years.


    Actually, the Dems (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by andgarden on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:01:21 PM EST
    were in charge. No difference wrt the senate, of course.

    Oh the Republicans want to get into (5.00 / 6) (#20)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:58:21 PM EST
    the sandbox.  They are aching to get in.  Don't expect them to play by the same rules though.  The minute any Dem looks away, they're gonna cream 'em with their shovel upside the head and then throw sand in their eyes.

    Reaching across the aisle (5.00 / 9) (#27)
    by joanneleon on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:16:40 PM EST
    in times like this only results in getting a few fingers bitten off.  But still, they go back for more.  

    The fable about the boy who picked up the snake always comes to mind with this party.  

    There was a time when the netroots used to realize this.  


    1993-94 (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by p lukasiak on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:39:19 PM EST
    the failure of the first Clinton health care initiative had nothing to do with its rejection by conservatives.

    Rather, it was the fact that no one in Congress "owned" the plan -- and no one was willing to expend political capital to get it passed.


    But to your larger point of the once progressive blogosphere suddenly embracing people and ideas that were anathema to them a year ago...

    this is always to be expected --- for instance, everyone here was praising Rahm for criticizing Teddy Kennedy very recently -- and Rahm is [well, a word I cant use on this blog].

    But I think we're looking at more than just the average "s/he agrees with me on this, so I won't notice that her/his opinions are consistently worthless at best" phenomenon.  Rather, we are seeing the wholesale capitulation of intellectual integrity.

    We did see this in quite recent memory.  Right after 9-11.  Everyone, Democrats and Republicans, appears to have lost any critical thinking skills they possessed for a period of time in the wake of 9-11....and the mindset that came out of 9-11 is responsible for most of the A list bloggers supporting the invasion.

    Ironically, Dkos got big because people were finally beginning to wake up from their 9-11 fog, and nobody was saying what they were thinking....

    Health care failed in '93 because (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Exeter on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:10:43 PM EST
    it was ravaged by the insurance lobby AND the Democratic Congress treated the Clintons like outsiders and didn't want to play ball. For the latter point, I blame both the Clintons and the Dem congress.

    Plenty of blame to go around... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Dawn Davenport on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:48:33 PM EST
    ...as this exhaustive timeline by PBS shows.

    I'm alternately saddened and enraged by the Obama campaign and its surrogates taking such a weak approach to healthcare reform. For the last two decades I've watched legislators beholden by the insurance industry flick off the desperate cries of Americans who need and want true reform.

    An unprecedented 2/3 of all Americans have said they'd gladly pay more taxes toward universal health coverage--but only one candidate offers anything close to universal coverage, and she includes an option to purchase the same plans at the same prices as members of Congress.

    Framed correctly--"Why should Congress get healthcare that their own employers (we the people) can't afford and don't have access to?"--this would be a no-brainer for any leading candidate. But thanks to Obama's and Cooper's mindset, I know that I'm better off waiting another decade and a half till I qualify for Medicare rather than waiting for the Democratic Party to see the light.

    25,000 Americans die each year because they lack access to healthcare or can't afford prescription drugs. Around 1,000 Americans have died each year during the war in Iraq. While I am vehemently against the war, I don't understand why more emphasis on healthcare reform isn't coming from the left.


    I praised for his words (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:44:52 PM EST
    because I agreed with them.

    I will rip him if he deserves it.

    I do not at all agree with your comment as it pertains to my post.


    Speaking of Broder (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by Fabian on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:42:16 PM EST
    There was a rec list diary agreeing with Broder!

    Now, IMO, Broder is the kind of smarmy concerned conservative who is always offering "advice" to the Democrats - the kind of advice that any discerning Democrat should run away from as fast as they can.  

    Did ya'll see that video of Bill at an (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Joan in VA on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:47:06 PM EST
    event Sat. get heckled about healthcare? It was on CNN if you want to look it up. It was teh awesome! Why didn't you do it when you promised when running for prez? Bob Dole stabbed him in the back, says Bill.

    Have you seen this? (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by joanneleon on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:19:24 PM EST
    Whoa! (none / 0) (#42)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:51:30 PM EST
    I really don't want to know.

    Still fighting (5.00 / 7) (#22)
    by cmugirl on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:02:31 PM EST
    This is slightly OT, so I understand if it gets deleted, but who says Obama can only attract the young?  Maybe this supporter actually cares about health care...


    OMG... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by madamab on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:32:44 PM EST
    that is absolutely adorable. Sorry if I'm rec'ing an OT, but I love it!

    I just remembered what I had (none / 0) (#46)
    by Fabian on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:00:22 PM EST
    when I was eleven.

    It wouldn't have come up to $440 even allowing for inflation.  I don't remember anything about presidential elections when I was eleven either.

    It doesn't change my reaction though.  I AM impressed.  There is hope for the future.


    Cooper is full of shinola... (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Exeter on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:05:42 PM EST
    As soon as I read the stuff about Hillary creating a war room in the white house with a sole intent of destroying Cooper politically and personally, I knew that the guy was a nut of the Hillary-murdered-Vince-Foster ilk. The guy should be in a padded room.

    Yeah, he's really, REALLY (none / 0) (#36)
    by Eleanor A on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:34:07 PM EST
    screwing himself if he hopes to run for statewide office anytime soon.  I had heard he was strongly considering a run for Governor in 2010, but lately the word is former state House Majority Rep. Kim McMillan will likely jump in (and will enjoy the support of current popular Dem governor Phil Bredesen), so he must think that's off the table.

    Cooper's the representative of fabulously blue Nashville, which usually votes Dem by a higher proportion than even Memphis (tho we have fewer voters)....he might get away with the Hillary-bashing here in town, since his constituents won't call him on it, but a.) he shouldn't forget Hillary won TN by 14 points, and b.) there is no way in hell Rep. Lincoln Davis is going to endorse Obama.  Neither will any other Dem Rep in Tennessee, save Steve Cohen...and after Cohen's similarly insane commentary this week, I have to wonder whether they've been drinking out of the same trough.

    I don't blame Cooper for holding grudges, I guess, but he's just making himself look out of touch with mainstream Tennessee.  What on earth does he hope to gain?  The campaign's other co-chair, Bob Tuke, is the Dem nominee for Senate against Lamar Alexander, against whom he'll gain maybe 30% of the vote...Is he trying to make Tuke's vote more like 20%?

    I live just outside Cooper's district, or I'd be writing him a looong letter in addition to this screed.  I would imagine the folks over at Tennessee Guerrilla Women are doing just that right now.  


    Personality (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Stellaaa on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:10:19 PM EST
    The entire administration will be focused on "preserving the personality", that is how you get totalitarian tendencies.  Idolatry needs to be defended, democracy does not accommodate idolatry.  

    They seem to have forgotten (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by madamab on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:30:02 PM EST
    that the President of the United States is actually expected to, you know, do stuff.

    They are too excited that he fits their "Creative Class" brand and drinks the same beer they do.


    Fuzzy memories . . . however . . . (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by wurman on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:32:58 PM EST
    . . . immediately after the election, President-elect Clinton & his wife went to Jackson Hole WY.

    As part of their "working" vacation, they held meetings with poobahs in the healthcare sector, such as hospital admins., insurance execs., health educators, etc.  There was said to be a deal & some make-nice, kissy-face photo-ops under an outdoor pavilion with the Grand Tetons as a backdrop.  Kewl.

    The American Medical Assoc. went immediately to work, ginned up a $1 million fund, distributed the getus to appropriate representatives & senators & killed the project--in committee.

    Pres. Clinton's comment in WV, you betcha' mister, Sen. Dole blew it up for a few thousand campaign dollars.

    I have no patience (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:02:28 PM EST
    for this sudden opening of the eyes.

    However, it proves to me that the cardinal driving force was getting rid of Hillary, and now that they've done it, they can actually look at their own candidates and supporters and maybe see some of what we were seeing.

    Too late.

    Candidate-based campaigning (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by chrisvee on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:36:28 PM EST
    In the primary, hasn't Obama basically been running his campaign against Clinton the same way that Bush ran against Gore?  He's run a personality-based campaign organized around a central theme (e.g. transformation) against a wonky policy-based campaign and has focused most of his criticism around character issues (e.g. untrustworthy, compromised by lobbyists, unlikeable, etc.).

    I'd like to make it clear that I'm not comparing Obama to Bush in terms of character or policies; I'm only comparing campaign strategies.  But because the campaign is more about believing in Obama's power to be transformative than around any single set of policy goals, it's left some people nervous about what's to come especially when coupled with the 'bipartisan unity' message.  We heard that message a lot from Bush, too and it never meant anything good for Dems.  

    Again, I don't expect Obama to govern the way Bush governed.  But once we start viewing everything through the lens of personality, it starts making me nervous.  There are no policy differences, only  people's personalities getting in the way...

    It's tough (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Fabian on Mon May 12, 2008 at 05:14:25 PM EST
    not to do the comparison.  What makes it truly difficult is that Obama refuses to make Issues the centerpiece of his campaign.  So if you aren't sold on the Personality and Biographical Narrative, then there's precious little else to embrace.

    (Leading to the "Me too!" and "Look at his website." memes.)


    his campaign (none / 0) (#67)
    by Salo on Mon May 12, 2008 at 06:10:57 PM EST
    is organized around an exorcism.

    Open Left part of the problem (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by pluege on Mon May 12, 2008 at 06:03:32 PM EST
    Open Left with bowers and stoller has been one of the problematic left blogs that went insane over Obama. If they are smart as everyone used to think they are they will soon deeply regret the damage and disservice to the cause of progressivism they have inflicted with their Obama boosterism and their Clinton hating.

    But, being that they were stupid, shallow, and hypocritical enough to instigate the damage in the first place, I wouldn't hold my breadth waiting for bowers and stoller to be rational, thoughtful human beings any time soon.  

    bravo, BTD. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by kangeroo on Mon May 12, 2008 at 07:40:00 PM EST
    i hadn't read your post previously on the health care issue, but i heartily agree.  hillary's right here--except that this time, given the mood of the electorate, this is a fight that dems definitely can and should win.  yet obama and his spineless enablers in congress are already selling us out on the issue.

    please don't slap my hand, btd! (none / 0) (#57)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:11:37 PM EST
    but with all the current topics and posters coming on in droves, i keep getting this picture in my mind of a big fire sale and people literally pushing their way in to purchase or in reality make a statement. it makes me smile.

    on a serious note i think with all the spin on tv people are desperate for relevant and worthwhile discussion. that is the importance of talk left. i think talk left will continue to be a very important site. it sounds like we need to pony up for donations.

    i cant get on the record (none / 0) (#64)
    by isaac on Mon May 12, 2008 at 05:52:31 PM EST
    enough pointing out this guy is a messianic fraud, a disaster for the party, and will probably be a drag on our hold of congress.  he's so bad i'm beginning to wonder if he's not a plant

    not far off (none / 0) (#66)
    by pluege on Mon May 12, 2008 at 06:08:28 PM EST
    he's so bad I'm beginning to wonder if he's not a plant

    there is a reason why Obama has been a "media darling" ...and it has nothing to do with corporate media liking him or thinking he's good for the country.


    as the great economist, john maynard keynes (none / 0) (#68)
    by cpinva on Mon May 12, 2008 at 06:46:10 PM EST
    once noted: "in the long run, we'll all be dead."

    It probably doesn't make that much difference in the long term.

    the primary reason sen. clinton's efforts on health care reform failed 15 years ago had nothing to do with not "making nice with conservatives", and everything to do with riling up the health insurance industry against it. who do you think paid for those infamous "harry & louise" commercials? hint: it wasn't republicans in congress.

    history gets conveniently disappeared, where the obama campaign is concerned.

    as i noted in a post on another thread, no, sen. obama can't do better. whether it's intellectual laziness, or he just doesn't care is irrelevant. the fact is, during his entire public career, he's displayed an amazing capacity for doing nothing much other than self-promotion.

    that's fine if you're madonna (except you do have to cut a record every so often), not so much as the president.

    i just can't envision him as a harry truman style "the buck stops here" chief executive.

    This kind of thing (none / 0) (#71)
    by mg7505 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 08:53:58 PM EST
    brings up the main question -- will Obama seem as attractive a candidate when there's no more Hillary to hate? As this race goes on, he's stood for less and less. I'm curious what will happen when we start examining his record independently of Clinton's. Thus far it's been "Obama did this, but Clinton did THAT." Soon it'll just be "Obama did this...vote McCain."