Pols Are Pols

Atrios writes:

I'm quite happy for people to criticize Obama for failing to be whatever they want him to be, I'm just rather tired of the "I know you think/thought X but you are/were wrong!!!" construction. It'll be no shock to most of us if Obama is less than all we want him to be in many ways. Let's just hope he's more than we expect him to be in others.

(Emphasis supplied.) Personally, I think Obama will be what I expect him to be on policy - which makes me happy - as I think I agree with Obama on almost every issue. Most of my critique was about his political style - the post-partisan Unity Schtick. And frankly, Obama has completely abandoned it now. So I am largely satisfied. But he is a pol, and they do what they do. Today Glenn Greenwald wrote:

There is a disturbing tendency on all sides to view Obama through a reductive Manichean lens -- either he's the embodiment of pure transformative Good who is going magically to cleanse our polity the minute he takes office, or he's nothing other than a mindless, passive tool of the establishment whose pretty rhetoric masks a barren ambition for power and who is no better than McCain. Neither of those caricatures is remotely accurate, and a John McCain presidency would be an unmitigated disaster on every level.

But it's critical to keep in mind that Obama is a politician and, like all people, is plagued by significant imperfections. . . . Uncritical devotion to political leaders, including him, is destructive. Obama needs pressure, criticism, checks, and real scrutiny just like anyone else in power in order to keep him accountable, responsive, and faithful to the principles he claims are the ones driving him.

(Emphasis supplied.) Precisely. Glenn's post reminds me of something I wrote last December:

As citizens and activists, our allegiances have to be to the issues we believe in. I am a partisan Democrat it is true. But the reason I am is because I know who we can pressure to do the right thing some of the times. Republicans aren't them. But that does not mean we accept the failings of our Democrats. There is nothing more important that we can do, as citizens, activists or bloggers than fight to pressure DEMOCRATS to do the right thing on OUR issues.

And this is true in every context I think. Be it pressing the Speaker or the Senate majority leader, or the new hope running for President. There is nothing more important we can do. Nothing. It's more important BY FAR than "fighting" for your favorite pol because your favorite pol will ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS, disappoint you.

In the middle of primary fights, citizens, activists and bloggers like to think their guy or woman is different. They are going to change the way politics works. They are going to not disappoint. In short, they are not going to be pols. That is, in a word, idiotic.

Yes, they are all pols. And they do what they do. Do not fight for pols. Fight for the issues you care about. That often means fighting for a pol of course. But remember, you are fighting for the issues. Not the pols.

This view has been my North Star in terms of my blogging, and it will remain so. I am done with cheerleading (except for Wes Clark). I am glad to see Glenn gets it and I wish Duncan Black would understand the point instead of creating straw men to knock down.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    So how is he going to fund UHC? (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by MarkL on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:02:00 PM EST
    His tax plan does not contain funds for it, according to Krugman?
    Do you agree with tossing plans for UHC? That surprises me.

    His never supported UHC (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by dianem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:19:45 PM EST
    His plan was never designed to provide UHC, it was designed to have a plan that was different enough from Clinton's and Edwards that he could argue that it was better, but UHC can never work without the "U", and Obama actively and ruthlessly campaigned against requiring everybody to participate. Funding is irrelevant. Obama's plan will fund the same way our current system funds itself - because it isn't dramatically different. We (or our employers) pay for private insurance. Simple, ineffective, and easily passed.

    Will people stop spreading the misconception (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by jtaylorr on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:36:41 PM EST
    that Hillary and Edwards had plans for UHC?
    Their plans were for universal coverage, which is MUCH different.
    The only candidate who had a plan for UHC was Kucinich. If you still want to support UHC, call or email your congressperson and tell them to support H.R. 676

    Wikipedia Definition of Universal health care (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Dan the Man on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:54:00 PM EST
    is "Universal health care is health care coverage which is extended to all citizens".  Since, by your admission, "Hillary and Edwards had plans for" "universal coverage", by definition, Hillary and Edwards had plans for universal health care.

    Edwards' plan was actually a lot (none / 0) (#69)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:56:04 PM EST
    different because his offered competition to the for-profit insurance concerns in the form of a government insurance program modeled on Medicare that was supposed to be open to all.  The government plan - if priced appropriately - was meant to eventually shut down the for-profit industry in its current iteration as a de facto monopoly.  That is a lot different than either Obama or Clinton.  It is also part of the reason why Edwards was dispatched from the race so early by the corporate media- even before he stopped running - they just stopped telling anyone he was running.

    Yep it's a misconception (none / 0) (#96)
    by blogtopus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:01:46 PM EST
    but it's also splitting hairs. With coverage comes care, if one desires it, without coverage comes no care, most often. Ergo, Coverage = Care.

    What's with the outrage? Do you honestly think any pol is going to support that HR 676? It's a beautiful thing, but it wasn't on the table for ANY candidate, much less Obama, so it is practically nonexistent when it comes to this discussion.

    Focus that anger somewhere else instead of on people here who aren't splitting hairs.


    I am not someone (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:06:53 PM EST
    who has a position on UHC and mandates.

    Krugman of course thinks it is the most important thing there is and he rightly fights for the issue that he strongly believes in.

    I commend him for it.


    It's not a question of mandates. (none / 0) (#9)
    by MarkL on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:08:18 PM EST
    Any plan will require money---Obama's more money per capita than Hillary's. Where is the money coming from? A "hope" chest?

    I do not know (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:09:10 PM EST
    I admit ignorance on the health care issue.

    From nowhere (none / 0) (#112)
    by denise on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:34:59 PM EST
    because it's not going to happen. He doesn't have the commitment to make it happen.

    Many people seem unable to realize that (5.00 / 8) (#2)
    by tigercourse on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:02:55 PM EST
    it is largely impossible to make a politician "accountable, responsive, and faithful" to voters once you've actually voted for them.

    Yes, (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:07:42 PM EST
    as I said in so many words below.

    Yes and cheerleading them only for (none / 0) (#75)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:01:33 PM EST
    showing up and little else only makes the whole situation worse when they are elected.

    Yup, the only leverage we have is our vote (none / 0) (#106)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:15:08 PM EST
    Really, he's abandoned the unity shtick? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:03:31 PM EST
    I suppose, but have you seen his new ad? It's triangulation squared.  I'm fine with that if it works, but I think the same people who criticized Bill Clinton for campaigning on school uniforms in 1996 have some crow to eat.

    Why aren't you holding Obama to Obama standards (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by Ellie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:41:21 PM EST
    He's not running against Sen Clinton AKA The Clintons, remember?

    He's not running against the Clinton administraton, remember?

    There was a two-term Bush admin, whose strongest supporters Obama's pandering to for inexplicable reasons, all while dismissing loyal Dems left and right.

    His whole ride into power was based on his own vision of politics and his promise of change.

    This tiresome refrain of neener neener, he's just like The Clintons gets more ridiculous by the day.



    Have not seen it (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:15:53 PM EST
    Have a link?

    Yup (none / 0) (#24)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:17:09 PM EST
    Just saw it (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:18:55 PM EST
    Do not see what you are objecting to unless you do not like him touting "welfare to work" and "tax cuts for middle class families."

    I found it pretty good actually. but then I am a Centrist.


    I don't object to any of the policy (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:20:56 PM EST
    But would you describe that ad as the work of a "fighting Democrat?"

    I guess the unity shtick isn't explicitly in that ad, but I haven't seen any evidence that he's abandoned it. Time will tell.


    It's an introductory GE bio ad (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:28:01 PM EST
    Hillary's would have been very similar imo.

    the contrast will come later.


    Hope so (none / 0) (#45)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:30:55 PM EST
    He's got the money to get his message out. That gives me some comfort.

    Regina Thomas is head and shoulders (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Jim J on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:05:23 PM EST
    above John Barrow in so many ways, and so much more popular in both the black and white community here.

    Obama supporting Barrow just shows how clueless, and yes, elitist Obama is. Anyone with any real contacts down here would tell you Regina is the real deal--an actual hard-working Democrat of the people whose politics are sound.

    Clearly as far as Obama is concerned, money talks. And that's all Barrow has ever been about: money and payoffs from corporate contributors.

    I think Barrow is the candidate who can win (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:08:09 PM EST
    the district. I think Obama could have and should have stayed out of it but my own view is that it is better for Dems if Barrow wins that particular primary.

    Barrow is the incumbent (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jim J on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:37:50 PM EST
    so of course he can win the district.

    It's 40 percent African American, so Thomas will have an even better chance of holding it in the future against a GOP challenge.

    The question is who can best represent it as a Democrat.


    No (none / 0) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:39:26 PM EST
    Thomas will lose imo.

    Barrow won by 2,000 votes in 2006.

    Thomas can not get the white vote at the level Barrow can.


    If Barrow wins, (none / 0) (#70)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:56:17 PM EST
    he will "owe" Obama.....

    Uh huh. (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:05:45 PM EST
    Obama needs pressure, criticism, checks, and real scrutiny just like anyone else in power in order to keep him accountable, responsive, and faithful to the principles he claims are the ones driving him.

    We have just had eight years of a president and vice-president who have done pretty much whatever they wanted with little opposition from either party.

    This does not make me optimitic, as the dems seem hell-bent on continuing in this vein.

    What does Obama stand for anyway?

    The "unity schtick" was IMO never, (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:09:47 PM EST
    at any point, anything more than a play for votes.  Worked, too.

    Now, as he makes the (politically expedient) shift to being harshly partisan against McCain, it is indeed up to us to hold his feet to the fire.  That includes both Obama voters and Clinton voters.  Unifying the party isn't going to mean just blindly lining up behind Obama; it's going to mean acknowledging that he won and pulling together to a) help him win and b) make him do what we want him to.

    The ONLY mechanism left to constrain (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by MarkL on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:15:36 PM EST
    Obama's options is the platform chosen at Denver, and as I understand it, Obama's people are striving to keep even that as pro-forma as possible.
    A vigorous debate at the convention is the only thing left for us. Does the DNC favor it?
    I higly doubt it.
    Obama will leave the convention with no strings attached, esp. on UHC.

    I think you're underestimating (5.00 / 0) (#34)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:23:52 PM EST
    the impact of organized grassroots dissatisfaction toward his campaign, especially given where his fundraising advantage comes from (high volume, low-ish dollar amounts).  I think we can have good success threatening to shut off the spigot this summer.  If we get our s--- together.

    Do you see any sign at all of this (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by MarkL on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:25:57 PM EST
    occurring? Speaking of which,  remember that Obama's campaign is trying to get people NOT to donate to groups such as you mention.
    Like any politician, Obama wants as much freedom of action as possible. Why the voters and delegates want to hand this to him is beyond me---he's done nothing to deserve such trust.

    No, I don't, but that doesn't mean (5.00 / 0) (#49)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:35:02 PM EST
    it can't or won't happen.  It'd help a lot, IMO, if we quit re-fighting the primary wars.

    Oh, come on (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Democratic Cat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:38:42 PM EST
    If the grassroots doesn't hold Sen. Obama accountable -- before the election -- please don't blame it on their being pre-occupied with refighting the primary wars. If Obama's supporters have problems with what he is saying, they should voice their concerns, not blame their reluctance to do so on some sort of protective instinct against the Clinton supporters.

    asdf (none / 0) (#63)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:47:48 PM EST
    Look, I think the blindly devoted Obama people are going to stay that way, and that's fine.  That's GE foot soldiers, and we need them.  Not all of Obama's supporters are like that, though.  He's taking a lot of heat over at dKos right now, for example, over FISA.

    I think if we add the weight of Clinton's supporters to that, without devolving into squabbling over who did what to whom in the primaries.  If we do, then we can present a fairly unified activist base against Obama's "pols being pols" tendencies.

    Or, we can hunker down in our corners and glare at each other until November.


    Didn't mean to paint too broad a brush (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Democratic Cat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:00:12 PM EST
    I know people have good reasons for supporting Sen. Obama, and many care more about the issues than the personality behind them.

    But it really sticks in my craw that I'm being asked to support someone who I will then have to fight to actually get him to stay on the left side of center AND who I'm not convinced knows enough about the government to govern effectively.


    Understandable. (none / 0) (#77)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:05:27 PM EST
    It would stick in my craw, too.  But IMO that's what being a lefty activist always is.

    Well, yes, I guess that's true :-) (none / 0) (#79)
    by Democratic Cat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:10:15 PM EST
    He doesn't need the small donors anymore (none / 0) (#47)
    by Democratic Cat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:33:29 PM EST
    He's got Hillary's mailing list. And enough of the small donors are very invested in him and they'll give anyway.

    Sorry, (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:15:56 PM EST
    I'm not going to lie for the guy, or pretend that he wasn't lying and/or deceiving when he was.

    I'm not going to undermine basic principles of democracy for him. I'm not going to help him race-bait. I'm not going to tolerate him showing disrespect to voters who don't support him. I'm not going to help him pretend that he wasn't involved in malignant acceptance of sexism. I'm not going to jump in with support for the vicious smears he and/or his campaign will launch.

    Because, for me, more important than being a "good Democrat" is being something resembling a good person.


    You've got ODS to the point (none / 0) (#39)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:26:21 PM EST
    where, quite frankly, you're making yourself irrelevant.

    You can't influence a politician by doing nothing but hating them.  You have to at least pretend to like and support them, or at least be open to them.  Otherwise what's their incentive to care what you say?


    Club Obama tossed millions out of Brand Dem (5.00 / 0) (#73)
    by Ellie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:01:08 PM EST
    it's going to mean acknowledging that he won and pulling together to a) help him win and b) make him do what we want him to.

    Bang that tambourine all you want. I'm clearly not alone in waiting to see who the official Dem nominee is and take careful note of the delegates/ supers and their roles downticket.

    Obama's huge throng of new Dem voters who have replaced Discarded Dems are what the DNC and Dems have virtually guaranteed will win the White House in a landslide.

    His weakness or failures in the general are neither the problem nor the fault of Discarded Dems, who Obama personally needs to win over now.

    I assume he'll get on that once he's done pandering to hard right wing interest and trying to peel Republican votes from McCain.


    "Who the official Dem nominee is"? (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:10:16 PM EST
    Is there any real doubt?

    Obama will be the nominee.


    If you actually want to accomplish anything (none / 0) (#85)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:21:42 PM EST
    you're going to have to re-engage -- do some sort of organizing and get after Obama directly to act the way you want him to.  Sitting off to one side and pretending there's a chance he won't be the nominee means you're not trying to get anything done.

    If that's how you feel, go right ahead.  But that's not activism, because it's not an activity.


    It's Obama's job to re-engage voters he discarded (5.00 / 0) (#87)
    by Ellie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:31:29 PM EST
    ... huge swaths of them, with the blessing of Dem leadership in Congress, the DNC and other Dem retreads like Daschle and Brazile.

    All along the Dem CW has been that Obama had new voters that easily replaced the ones that Club Obama tossed.

    It's his and their job to persuade and re-engagethe longtime loyal Dem supporters deemed unnecessary, not ours to get in line.

    I'm all ears for what he has to say on that after he's done instructing the brand new Dumpling Dems and catering to the hard right.


    Nope. (none / 0) (#88)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:33:34 PM EST
    Politics works bottom up.  And I'm not talking about "getting in line", I'm talking about doing something more constructive than just refusing to acknowledge him as the nominee.  But I guess I'm dealing with terminal ODS here.

    I actually am doing something constructive (none / 0) (#92)
    by Ellie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:49:18 PM EST
    ... I'm supporting the Constitution and issues I believe in, something neither presumptive GE candidate is showing in leadership, nor Congress is doing.

    That's the shortest route between A and B that I can see.

    Until after the convention, I'll be open to what Obama does to show strong, unequivocal leadership on an important issue.

    Speeches? Long walks to consider and ponder deep sh!t? Working his famvals patriotism to attract McCain voters?

    Afterwards, I'll still be looking at what the shortest route is between A and B.


    Wrong (none / 0) (#95)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:01:32 PM EST
    Plenty of folks are doing stuff.  I'm prohibited from talking about it at TL (which I think is absolutely fair).

    There's a lot of organization going on, just not the 'shut-up-and-get-in-line' type you'd like to see.

    As far as I'm concerned, Obama lost the election when he turned away from the base.  If he wins anyway, well more power to him, but I'm no more motivated to support him now than if it were the day after the GE and he lost.  What you are forgetting about grassroots organization is that it requires common grassroots sentiment to motivate it.  It cannot be commanded, dictated, or badgered into existence.

    Also, the relationship is not as simple as you think.  It has to be a dynamic relationship between bottom and top.  If the top wants the advantages of grassroots organization, then it has to lift at least a finger to help, not just send another request for $ and make some vague-y promises that no, really, truly, I swear, I'll care about you're interests after I get elected.


    You're misreading me pretty badly (none / 0) (#100)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:20:20 PM EST
    if you think "shut up and get in line" is my message here.

    I want to see a unified message coming out of the base, is all.  We've split into Obama supporters and Clinton supporters doing our own thing, and IMO it's not as productive as it could be.

    I just know that those Obama supporters, like myself, who want to shift into "now let's keep/move Obama left" mode don't have a ton of help internally.  We could use the Clinton folks.  That's my definition of unity, and it doesn't have anything to do with just applauding everything Obama says.


    Re my last post, for example: (none / 0) (#101)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:30:51 PM EST
    Obama's HC plan sucks.  But good luck trying to rally a significant number of Obama supporters to act on it.  His silence of FISA sucks.  That's actually been a hot topic today on the Obama-centric blogs, but only because the FP-ers are leading on it.  His drift right on nat. security looks like it's going to suck; we'll see.

    Some of Obama's primary supporters acknowledge and want to push back against these things, but many have stars in their eyes and want to just hammer away at McCain (which is plenty useful, in its own way).  I assume that almost every one of Clinton's primary supporters, however, would be more than happy to help us yell at Obama about this stuff.  Maybe you guys are doing that on your own; I don't know.  But I do know that we're most powerful if we speak on it with one voice.


    ClubO forgets Constitution, Issues ARE 'roots up (none / 0) (#108)
    by Ellie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:29:39 PM EST
    Blinkered support of Obama based on shifting promises and wait-and-see's are top-down.

    I'd be more supportive if he didn't so insultingly pander to the hard right that so many of the Discarded Dems that he finds so offensive have fought so very long.

    And I'd sure be interested in throwing in with the real, free range, Liberal diaspora, so I hope you have an email address or URL in your user info.

    Like you, I respect TL's forum as a Democratic blog and respect Jeralyn and BTD as stellar Dems that keep doubters like me engaged and believing that the party's timbers, beams and foundations are still strong enough to rebuild around.


    I never thought it was anything but that (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:11:50 PM EST
    I was condemning it as a vote gathering tactic.

    I have believed that the era of 1990s Bill Clinton Style Third Way politics was long past and this is an era for sharp contrast politics.


    If only that was true! (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:01:13 PM EST
    I agree. The political climate this election cycle was ripe for sharp contrasts. Every poll I've seen for 3 yrs has screamed that. Somewhere along the way, Democrat's have decided they would rather play safe.

    Which it is, in a campaign against (none / 0) (#31)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:20:35 PM EST
    Republicans.  And that's what Obama's been running of late, to his credit.

    In the primary, he had to take the route available to him.  Some stuff was IMO legit (going left of her on foreign policy and process) and some wasn't (decrying partisanship and trying to make her the poster child for it).  But I always thought he'd have to come back to partisanship to win.


    Now is the era of Sharp contrast Politics? (none / 0) (#115)
    by bridget on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:42:33 PM EST
    That is news to me.

    If this is the era of Sharp Contrast Politics the 90s Bill Clinton Style was (name it third way if you  want - in any case it is better than part left and part right politics, stirred) so Ueber Sharp in contrast to GOP politics ... I  wish I had a proper name for it.

    At least in the 90s the Big Dems were still Dems. Most of them. Now they align themselves with the Republicans. When Kennedy went all out for GOP loving Obama I knew I had seen it all.  


    Have you read (none / 0) (#102)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 04:07:03 PM EST
    "The Audacity of Hope"?  At least the first 100 pages, which I'll admit is as far as I got, is Unity Schtick. I guess he was just writing that to get votes, in your opinion, but I think he meant it.

    Of course he meant it (none / 0) (#116)
    by bridget on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:50:07 PM EST
    one doesn't have to read his books to know that. He made plenty of unity schtick comments during the debates and in interviews. He knew exactly what he was doing when he pandered to the GOP and over and over "disappeared" eight years of Clinton. It was not just to annoy Hillary. It was a twofer, actually. Well, since he also pleased the Clinton haters big time in so doing it could also be called a threefer.

    Now they tell us... (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by OrangeFur on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:10:29 PM EST
    If we're not supposed to be supporting him to establish a New Politics Of All That Is Good, why are we supporting him? His long record of accomplishment in the Senate? His firm stands on NAFTA, gay rights, and universal health care?

    Opting out of public financing is as brazen a broken promise as you'll ever see in a campaign. Most candidates at least wait until they're elected to break promises.

    You should support him now because (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:12:55 PM EST
    he is the best candidate for President still running.

    I respect your point of view... (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by OrangeFur on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:17:55 PM EST
    ... but at the very best, that only makes me a very tepid supporter.

    Another part of me thinks that holding the Democratic elite accountable for their behavior this season is important too. I'll figure it out more as the election comes closer.


    thats all fine (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:11:34 PM EST
    but I am sure I am not the only one here who remembers all the things we have been called for the last few months.
    we have been told, repeatedly, that we were not needed to win this election. my response then and now is, great!  that just great.  you go ahead on and win this election without us.  
    personally I intend to call him on every waffle and every flip and every flop.  every day I see more and more similarity to McCain.  NOT more differences.  by election time I dont believe there will be a dimes worth of difference in the two candidates and if anything I might feel safer with a mixed government.  the idea of president O with pliant gutless congress is more than a little scary to me.
    and the NoObama movement is not ebbing.  it is growing.  all you have to do is surf.  every day there is a new anti Obama democratic website.
    oh, and good luck with the crow eating thing.

    The people saying we didn't need (none / 0) (#19)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:13:21 PM EST
    the other half of the party were idiots, speaking only for their idiotic selves.  There are lots of idiots on the internet.  Don't get all bent out of shape on their account.

    Except those saying it were part of the DNC, (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:25:22 PM EST
    major players in Obama's campaign, and current Democratic politicians. We now have a NEW Democratic party so we have been told and I am not really a valued part of their base.

    We all have limits (5.00 / 14) (#18)
    by dianem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:13:07 PM EST
    Lines in the sand. "If you don't cross this line, I'll vote for you". I assumed that I was so partisan that nobody could draw a line that would cause me to leave the Democratic Party, to register as an independent, to not vote for a Democrat. I was wrong. I can't explain it, but it's a combination of McCain and Obama. I don't hate McCain. I don't think he believes a lot of waht he is saying. I think he is pandering to the right (a belief shared by many right wingers). I also don't beleive what Obama is saying. I think he is pandering to ... the middle? the left? the right? black voters? white voters? Jewish voters? (it depends on what day of the week it is).

    I found a line the day I heard Jesse Jackson Jr. decry Clinton for not crying about Katrina victims. I have never heard such blatant race baiting and sexism in one statement. If Obama had fired him, I would be voting for Obama. But he didn't. He didn't even criticize him, or at least not publicly. I interpret that as support for the idea that Clinton 1) cried to get votes and 2) doesn't care about black people. How can I vote for somebody who says that as a campaign technique? If this were an isolated incident in an otherwise aboveboard camapaign, I might have been willing to overlook it, but it wasn't. It was part of a strategy to gain sympathy votes for Obama by tarring him as the victim of a race-baiting, ruthless opposition. It was sleazy. It was, literally, Rovian. I won't vote for a candidate who is willing to turn the Democratic Party into Republican-left. I hate the techniques of the right. I hate what they've done to the nation. I hate that they've been willing to divide us to win, the same way that Obama/Axelrod were willing to divide us to win the primary.

    Okay, I'm an idealist. I think you'll find an idealist at the heart of most cynics. I cover up the hurt with snark, but I feel betrayed by a party I trusted. Kerry and Gore weren't perfect, but they were honest people who ran honest campaings. I guess I'd rather lose honestly than win by becoming just like our enemies.  

    Yes! (5.00 / 7) (#20)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:15:36 PM EST
    Kerry and Gore weren't perfect, but they were honest people who ran honest campaings. I guess I'd rather lose honestly than win by becoming just like our enemies.  

    And I don't fall for those who say, "Trust me."


    Indeed! (5.00 / 10) (#33)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:22:26 PM EST
    I am not a sore loser who is upset because my "ideal" candidate has not won. I have voted Democratic in every Presidential election, despite the fact that my choice was almost never on the ballot (Bill Clinton being the exception in 1992 and 1996).

    I had no idea the Democratic Party could present me with such an unpalatable choice: a so-called Democrat who wants to throw out the middle class from the Big Tent, and won his nomination through blatant manipulation and collusion with the DNC; or an economically clueless Republican who wants to bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.

    As it is now, Obama would have to work really, really hard to earn my vote. He would have to show leadership and take strong stances on issues that are important to me.

    I used to take for granted that those things came along with a "D" affiliation.

    No longer.


    That "sore loser" (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:43:03 PM EST
    garbage thrown around by the Obama supporters is beyond disgusting. I started out as supporting NO ONE and had no emotional attachment to a candidate. Obama and his campaign made me dislike him intensely. The race baiting was beyond the pale.

    Exactly right (5.00 / 9) (#48)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:34:13 PM EST
    You know, it's interesting to compare the sorts of attacks that Hillary and Obama launched against each other.

    What was regarded as the single most "unforgivable" attack Hillary's campaign launched against Obama? That given Obama's level of inexperience, he wasn't up to being Commander in Chief, whereas she and McCain were.

    Now, how vicious is that attack, in truth? What is the remedy for Obama's lack of experience on foreign policy matters? Why, more experience -- which he would naturally come by through some further years in the Senate. In short, it was an entirely correctable, and completely temporary "defect". There was no inherent, character defect employed.

    But what did the Obama campaign say that Hillary was guilty of? Utter dishonesty for one. Encouraging and/or exploiting racism, for another. And, grotesquely, wishing for Obama's assassination for still another.

    What kind of Democrat has ever said such things about another Democrat in a Presidential race? I'm not sure I know of a Republican Presidential candidate who has ever attacked a Democratic candidate so viciously. I mean, a campaign essentially accusing the competitor of wishing for the candidate's assassination? There's just nothing like that in history, I'm sure.

    This campaign certainly does reinforce that in Obama we are seeing a politician quite out of the ordinary. It's just that that's turning out not to be really what you'd call a good thing.


    He would not be out of the ordinary (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by MarkL on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:38:15 PM EST
    if he were a Republican.
    Obviously his advisers think that a vague message combined with ruthlessly dishonest campaigning is the way to win modern elections. Maybe they are right. It's not SO different from the past.

    I don't agree (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:42:02 PM EST
    I think even Republicans, when they run for the Presidency, don't have their campaigns accuse their opponents of something as deeply malevolent as wishing for their assassination.

    Really, that accusation alone is without parallel in Presidential political history, certainly going well back into the 20th century.

    That the Obama campaign did so after he instructed his supporters to be "nice" to Hillary supporters only heightens how repulsive are the morals of the campaign for which Obama is responsible.


    the line (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by christinep on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:52:39 PM EST
    Reply to & concurrence with Dianem: I have been on vacation out of the country since the end of May until the other day. During that time on tour in Eastern Europe, I fell into a number of conversations with others on the tour. An interesting consistency seems to be the lack of trust with Obama and his positions as well as with the style of the campaign.  Granted that the people with whom I spoke were Hillary supporters primarily, but the skepticism was obvious. As for me, I am having a hard time. Ironically, it was the same statement about Katrina by J Jackson Jr that amounted to the same Rubicon for me. For now, the sidelines seem most hospitable. What an unusual feeling for an activist Democrat...because, mostly, I'm surprising myself.

    I suspect you'll find more Clinton supporters... (none / 0) (#105)
    by dianem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:34:01 PM EST
    ...in Europe. Europe didn't seem to be poisoned with CDS, and they get better news out there. Less biased, more facts. I've spoken with well-informed progressives who truly believe that Clinton was asked if Obama was a Muslim and responsed "Not as far as I know". I couldn't understand this until I read Media Matters summary of how the media covered that issue. And the media did no better on the Bill Clinton South Carolina comment, Ferraro, or Hillary's MLK/Johnson. There was never an attempt to analyze or explain. They went straight into "Bill Clinton makes racist statement" mode.

    Just to keept this a bit relevant... it's going to be interesting to see if this continues with McCain, or if the media has tired of the "X is a racist" angle and will start to focus on other issues.


    Well put and well summarized (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 04:47:20 PM EST
    This is how I feel.  Until this campaign I had no idea I even had a line.  Not in a million years would I have ever thought I wouldn't vote or wouldn't vote Democrat in an election.  It took my own team turning against my interests, smirked while doing so, and only when they realized 'oops! I guess we do need the base', thought to make nice.

    It's not about having a snit because my candidate didn't win.  

    It's not even about Clinton.  Had Clinton not been in the race, the only thing that would have changed would be that I might not have seen the power grab by the 'new coalition' or the extent to which my own party would be willing to race-bait and gender-bait against its own d*mn side.

    I'm not even bitter anymore.  I'm heartbroken.  You have no idea how many years I've waited for the day that the tide would turn and we'd be able to get rid of the Republican's meant-spiritied, diminishing effect on this country.  I thought it was finally here, only to find out nope, it just switched sides.

    All those nasty, arrogant people at Dkos et al, they're not new.  I've met them all before.   They're the Reagan Revolutionaries.  They're the ones I went to college and law school with, the smirking, nasty, mean, snickering ones who mocked those not able to defend themselves, triumphant and gloating in their victory, clutching their good fortune as entitlement while pulling out the rug from everyone else and laughing about it the same time.  They turned the country who'd been challenged by JFK to be greater than it was, to try harder and be better and turned it into a culture of narcissism.

    And Obama's their standard bearer, now.  I don't actually put him in the same category -- I think he's well meaning but not experienced enough to have control over his creation.  But every day's walk-back makes me less inclined to consider him at all, nevermind giving $ or support.

    But I found my line.


    McCain is an empty vessel (none / 0) (#76)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:03:31 PM EST
    that would be filled by those on the Right.  His advisers are neocons and supply-siders....

    His flip-flop on oil drilling is the most recent example.....Gone is the Maverick.....

    He admits he does not know much about the economy, and his confusion of the Shia and Sunni show where he is on foreign policy.

    At one time, I thought he would be a centrist, but he is not himself any longer and is toeing the conservative line....He will not have the ability to resist the Right in his own party.


    He's been a maverick longer than... (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by dianem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:48:30 PM EST
    ...he's been a hard right-winger. The right wingers don't believe he is sincere. I don't either. I think he's pandering so that he can win the Presidency. The problem is that I don't particularly agree with his pre-pander values, either. On the other hand, I feel a lot more comfortable with his level of experience. We are in the middle of a lot of crises, and I think he is better qualified to sort out what can and can't be done. Obama might have values that are more agreeable to me, but he lacks the experience and knowledge to be able to sort out what the results of his advisor's actions would be, and he has made a number of questionable judgments about people in the past. He trusts blindly, based on criteria other than sound judgement.

    Basically, there are no good choices here. I may change my mind about Obama if he proves me wrong on at least one critical point. Right now, the bar is set at choosing Clinton as VP. I don't think he'll do it. If I'm wrong, then that will show me that my judgment of Obama may be wrong, and I will reassess.


    As to Hillary as VP, (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:18:43 PM EST
    I was astonished what I saw on MSNBC yesterday.  They were running footage of the Russert memorial service at the Kennendy Center.  They left the camera on the scene of Hillary and Bill outside the Center near their limo.  You could see Terry McAuliffe there too.  The Clintons were chatting with various people, including Luke Russert who had come up to thank the Clintons for coming to the service.....But in that group, was none other than Solis-Doyle!  I could not tell if the Clintons were blowing her off or not.

    But, then you could see Bill standing outside his limo with the car door open, chatting away.  Solis-Doyle then marched up to him and sternly pointed to the interior of the limo, and Bill dutifully stopped talking and got in.  Compliant, childlike.

    Solis Doyle then walked back to the black SUVs (Secert Service, no doubt) in the Clinton cavalcade.  Go figure.

    Being the chief of staff for the VP does not necessarily mean managing the campaign in terms of developing strategy. It could be the job of making sure the trains run on time.  Solis Doyle sure was acting like she was the taskmaster in that group, or so it appeared to me.


    This is all well and good but (5.00 / 16) (#28)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:19:09 PM EST
    Let's face it. Progressives, by and large, completely abdicated their responsibility as progressives to hold his feet to the fire on issues when it would have counted because they were too busy fawning all over him and reveling in CDS. It's too late now. Just look at the triangulation now. The die has been cast.

    What Galled Me (5.00 / 5) (#72)
    by The Maven on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:00:31 PM EST
    about the so-called progressives, especially in the blogosphere but elsewhere as well, was that for the past five months or so, any attempts to extract accountability from Obama and/or hold his feet to the fire were seen as unforgivable attacks designed solely to harm him as a candidate and to destroy the Democratic Party.

    The time to push candidates hard is when they're still contending for votes.  Now that we've moved into the general election phase of the campaign, the votes of "hard-core" Democrats are clearly no longer a major concern, and so I expect that we will be seeing plenty of examples of exactly the sort of things that Clinton was pounded mercilessly over.  It's distressing (yet amusing) to observe how so many of Obama's backers have done a 180° in applauding the shift from transcending leader to typical pol who'll say whatever is needed to get elected.  If they'd acknowledged the latter all along, I could at least have respected their honesty, but now it just comes across as hypocritical.


    great (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:26:10 PM EST
    leave him alone!!!!!!!! + primary over = we always knew he was imperfect.

    I suppose one had the choice of supporting a candidate who was the same on the issues but without the ghastly unity schtick but it's too late for that now!

    Pols are pols is my new mantra now.  It has so many applications!!!

    I wish I could understand why it (5.00 / 13) (#43)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:30:13 PM EST
    always comes back to us having the chutzpah to want the people who represent us to do their jobs when what we should be doing is allowing them the freedom to be themselves because, of course, they just can't help what they are.

    I am feeling more and more like the frog in the tale of the scorpion and the frog - anyone else?

    BTD might be the only one who has held to the view that pols are pols and we trust them at our peril, but I don't remember all these other bloggers cautioning their communities and readers to go easy on the idol worship - they fed it.

    They waxed poetic and swooned with great regularity, hearts pitter-pattering with joy at the opportunity to elect someone who was going to fundamentally change Washington.

    We always knew that wasn't going to happen, but no one listened.  So many of us came to be Clinton supporters after dealing with what we knew to be her flaws and challenges and inconsistencies that I like to think our eyes were open a little more than many of the Obama worshippers, but it didn't matter.

    Are all these Deep Thoughts from people like Atrios and Greenwald just an attempt to stem what could be a rising tide of people feeling extraordinarily played in this primary?  

    I agree that issues are what matter, but if the people we elect are our means to getting those issues addressed, there has to be accountability beyond waiting until the next election to vote an under-performer out.

    I'm tired of us taking the blame for the failures of people who want us to carry them across the river and end up stinging us before we reach the other side.

    I was the only one (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:32:37 PM EST
    I really believe that is so.

    BTD, I think you were too.... (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:15:01 PM EST
    The fauxgressive blogosphere crucified Clinton for being "just another politician" and is now doing a 180, and saying that there is nothing wrong with that--even praising it.

    Greenwald et al are asking "well what did you expect?"... WE expected no less that what we are seeing now from Obama -- or from the big boiz of the fauxgressive blogosphere.

    BTD has been the only intellectually honest Obama supporter around, IMHO.  Heck, IMHO, I'd be happy if the DNC replaced Obama with BTD as the nominee --- (and Jeralyn could be VP, if she can stand Patty Solis Doyle! ;)  )


    BTD, just like everyone else (5.00 / 5) (#44)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:30:41 PM EST
    you're determining what you "think" Obama will be about.  Because he hasn't been firm on any policy, just like everyone else, you can envision his policies to be what you want them to be.

    It's a very "hopey" kind of thing.

    For instance, people wanted him to be about NAFTA renegotiation, so he was about NAFTA renegotiation.  But oops, he wasn't about that.

    There is no way for you, I, or anyone else to know what Obama is about.  He makes sure of that.

    And that is why he isn't to be trusted.

    Please clarify: (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:35:48 PM EST
    Personally, I think Obama will be what I expect him to be on policy - which makes me happy - as I think I agree with Obama on almost every issue.
     [Emphasis added.}  

    Thank you.

    Pro-choice (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:38:10 PM EST
    Pro-rollback of the Bush tax cuts.

    Get us out of Iraq war (not necessarily removing all troops from I raq which is bad policy anyway).


    Pro-free trade.



    just curious... (5.00 / 0) (#86)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:23:19 PM EST
    if you thought that Clinton would not be any of those things -- or you preferred Obama for other reasons.

    In terms of those issues, I don't see much daylight between McCain and Obama, primarily because circumstances are going to proscribe their options -- Obama won't fight for better policy, and Blue Dogs will reign supreme in the House and Senate.  And McCain will have to compromise with the Democrats in the house and sesnte.  

    Its like adding 2 plus 3 as opposed to adding 1 plus 4.  You're gonna get 5 regardless...


    You must have showed up here (none / 0) (#104)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 04:58:23 PM EST
    after the media darling/electablity posts.

    So he's going to raise taxes, eh? (none / 0) (#57)
    by MarkL on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:39:15 PM EST
    Except for the payroll tax increase, has he proposed any other tax increases, or specifically said which Bush tax cuts he will get rid of?

    He has stated specifically (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:42:26 PM EST
    he will repeal the Bush tax cuts for incomes over 250,000 and that he will repeal Bush's elimination of the estate tax.

    It's ok if you're not HRC n/t (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by rilkefan on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:36:55 PM EST

    Perfection! (5.00 / 0) (#64)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:50:47 PM EST

    This is a trap of his own making IMO. (5.00 / 4) (#65)
    by rise hillary rise on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:52:03 PM EST
    Obama (or Axelrod) started this with the messianic, cult-of-personality tactics that they fomented. What they managed to create was the image of Obama as a blank slate that could be seen to embody whatever hope and dreams one wanted to see. Promoting "change" and "belief" over facts and issues was the hallmark of his primary campaign, and the most ardent acolytes are still showing the effects of drinking that Kool-aid. But there is no way that he can deliver on the lofty rhetoric and statements he made during the primary.
    I suspect that there are going to be a lot of very angry Obama voters by September 2009, much like Bush was in 2001, if you recall.

    What crystalized (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:53:53 PM EST
    who Obama is was his statements on Iran. Within 2 days he had said that Iran was a threat and then he said it wasn't. I've never seen such arrogance or cluelessness from a candidate in my entire adult life. Obama tells everyone what they want to hear. If he's talking before Palestinians he says one thing, when in front of Jewish voters he says another. It's why I don't trust him to fight for any of our issues.

    And yes, I completely agree about the statements regarding issues. But don't count on Obama to do it. He's already thrown huge chunks of the party under the bus.

    When I was at Atrios site (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:11:58 PM EST
    Today and I read his comment, the first thing that went through my mind is CYA. After months of the steady drum beat, I think some in the progressive community have come to the realization that Obama is now (and always was) a politician.

    If Obama = Clinton why the nonstop Clinton-bashing (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by Ellie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:21:33 PM EST
    Here's the Oboiz and Ogurlz conundrum: if they believed Obama was a regular politician from the start, no different from the usual, why the blogswarms and CDS dedicated to trashing Sen Clinton AKA the Clintons?

    I mean, if hers was the standard of politics they believed all along was the one Obama was meeting, why bash the more experienced, more qualified, and more serious player for taking on DC and not only surviving, but winning on her own terms?

    The "excuse" they used for a historically unprecedented onslaught of bigotry towards Sen Clinton's historical run for President was that their new BFF Obama, the idealistic shining light, was being blocked from his premature, entitled, unmerited, unearned catapult into greater power.

    Anyone? Obamann? Cheetopians?

    And OMFG, what a steaming sack of disingenuous Oboiz hooey:

    It'll be no shock to most of us if Obama is less than all we want him to be in many ways.

    A crystal ball that works only backwards. Yeah, I want one of those babies.

    Why the one & not the other (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by christinep on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:06:04 PM EST
    Well...perhaps, some felt that it would be easier to control a neophyte (in the White House sense) than it would be to control the Clintons. Look at the motivations and "hopes."

    Atrios is off the wall... (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by pluege on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:21:37 PM EST
    on this one as he has been on pretty much everything Obama (although he had the good sense to mostly keep quiet about it until the last month).

    Here he criticizes Obama critics accusing them of the "I know you think/thought X but you are/were wrong!!!" construct, which is accurate in many instances, but it is by far not limited to the domain of Obama critics/HRC supporters. The real purveyors of the "you don't know what your talking about" mindset was far and away the Obama supporters who used copious amounts of the wingnut tactic of shouting down all views different than their own, thereby proving themselves neither progressive or rational.

    True enough, non-Obama supporters will be "I told you so-ing" from now until November, but most likely it will be with good reason, notwithstanding Atrios' feeble attempt to preempt it.

    Why read Atrios any longer? (5.00 / 6) (#90)
    by Oje on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:41:12 PM EST
    Atrios cashed in his political currency during the primary (in which he repeatedly suggested about Clinton supporters what he now whines about in defense of Obama supporters).

    Atrios and the other blogger boyz earned their readers when they opposed the MSM and Republican memes against Democratics and, in particular, the Clintons. After he and the other blogger boyz chose to leverage the MSM and divisive Republican tactics against Hillary Clinton, they ceased to be part of the progressive blogger community. As Anglachel writes, they have children to feed now, their careers are as important to them as the media people they profess to critique (and, all the while, they fail to realize that they spend more time critiquing Clinton and progressive Democrats for not supporting Obama than anything else now - And it is amusing how they attempt to recreate their faux feminist creds with culturally myopic discussions of symbolic equality apropos of freshman college boys.) They have become the Howie Kurtz wing of the left blogosphere media and political criticism.

    I replaced Atrios with Paul Krugman's blog. The quality of the posts and the commentary by Krugman is far better. Highly recommended regardless of what you think of Obama (Krugman defends and critcizes him in the same spirit as BTD).

    Pols are pols (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by deebee on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:32:18 PM EST
    This country spent a couple of small countries GNP on this primary and all we get are Pols are Pols..
    I don't get it.
    Do you think that all those kids who are part of the OBama movement ... you know the ones that the DNC can't wait to get in the party... know that Pols are pols??  ...  Maybe someone should tell them.  

    Well if pols are pols..  I would like an experienced one

    I don't like that (none / 0) (#113)
    by MichaelGale on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:53:08 PM EST
    ....pols are pols.  I don't want to give up thinking that maybe, just maybe, we can really find a person who is authentic.

    I read TChris' Defending Liberty at Guantanamo, about the military lawyers defending detainees and liberty against all odds. Ethics and honor...nice.

    So at least today, some of my idealism survives and
    I can dismiss 'Pols are pols'.


    Well Said (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:09:49 PM EST
    I imagine that the rest of the party will soon catch up with your radical idea that style is secondary, to say the least, to policy.

    What policy? (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:12:12 PM EST
    Or should I go to his website?



    I Guess That (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:19:38 PM EST
    You could care less about that kind of stuff, when it is soooo much more fun to live in a land of make believe where Hillary has policies but Obama has none.

    But style and branding is what many like to define themselves by, I am sure that it must be comforting to some, it is not my thing, especially when it comes to Pols and how they market themselves.  Too transparent for me.


    I certainly knew (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:28:50 PM EST
    where she stood on the issues, because she was quite specific when she spoke about them.

    He was more nebulous, when he wasn't mirroring hers.

    He had neither her background nor her experience, so tis wasn't a surprise.  That you think it will somehow make him an effective president, should he be elected, is your opinion only.

    The country will bear the brunt of it, one way or another.


    DIfferent Styles (none / 0) (#97)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:02:07 PM EST
    Same policies.

    This is what makes Clinton supporters so mad (5.00 / 13) (#26)
    by Democratic Cat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:18:43 PM EST
    Some of us, anyway. Many Clinton supporters do believe policy is more important and voted for the candidate who, we felt, had an unbelievably broad and deep grasp of policy. Now we are stuck with a candidate who was nominated on the promise of hope and change and whose campaign was explicitly not about policy. And now we're supposed to feel good about that? You cannot imagine how mad I am at voters who responded to the rhetoric and are now looking at Obama and either excusing his "rightward drift" or are surprised by it.

    The "genius" of Obama's approach to policy is that everyone thinks Obama agrees with them. I'm not encouraged by what that portends for the future.


    If You Care To Look (none / 0) (#35)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:23:56 PM EST
    The policies of Obama and Hillary are nearly identical. Mainstream dem values, policies and voting records barely vary. Personally I like Hillary's style waaaaay more than Obama's but I never saw much of a difference on anything else.  

    I'm not talking about their websites (5.00 / 6) (#41)
    by Democratic Cat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:28:18 PM EST
    And what advisors have written up for them.  I'm talking about what they know from years of working in policy, thinking about it, living it.

    I can read a physics book and understand it. It doesn't make me a physicist. Hillary's a physicist; she understands policy and how it all works together. Obama may be a smart guy, but all he's doing, IMO, is reading the book. Personally, I think there's a big difference. I think she could have gotten stuff done. Him, not so much.


    Not Their Websites (none / 0) (#66)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:52:30 PM EST
    I have not had the stomach to bother navigating those, save for when someone linked to something. The vote smart site is a good resource as are the various policy speeches that they have made. AIPAC, Woodrow Wilson policy center, and lots of googling give a dispassionate view of where they stand and what to expect.

    They are remarkably similar, imo. And the experience thing goes both ways. The only liability with a relatively smaller record, is that Obama could act in unexpected ways. I think that is little chance of that. The plus is that he is less bogged down with a long history of favors and debts.

    As far as the claim that he is not qualified and his life experience is too small for him to be a good president, there is little historical evidence that his life experience is any more of a liability than any of the past presidents.


    I think he will have trouble (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Democratic Cat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:06:50 PM EST
    working the levers of government. He could have the exact same policies and all the good intentions in the world and yet not be effective. If he is elected he will have a nice honeymoon period, which will help.

    We will have to agree to disagree about the value, or lack thereof, of experience.


    The difference between Clinton and Obama... (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:35:36 PM EST
    is that while both of them present their policy positions as if they were reading from the same Power Point presentations..

    Obama had to learn the power point presentation because he he really had no knowledge of the policy to begin with.

    Clinton had to learn the power point presentation because she so fully understood the policies and their raionales that she has to force herself to not wind up going "into the weeds" on each and every issue.

    When I listen to Clinton, there is no question that she knows more than I do -- that not only can she respond to every question -- but she can do so in depth.  When I listen to Obama, I get no sense that he really understands what he's talking about -- that the minute you try to get into a detailed discussion of his policies, he will change the subject to 'the big picture', and when you point out that the details are inconsistent with the 'big picture' he goes into 'anti-snippet' mode....and starts talking about "changing the process'...


    Geez (none / 0) (#93)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:51:47 PM EST
    I have to say that I used to enjoy reading your comments over at emptywheel, and will most likely enjoy them again, but you seem to have lost much of your reason during this campaign, imo, in the name of defeating Obama.

    Obama had to learn the power point presentation because he he really had no knowledge of the policy to begin with.

    This comment is about as looney as some of the extreme ones that came out of the Obama freaks. You can't possibly believe this, can you?  If so you must have been kidnapped along with the real JMM.


    p lukasiak (none / 0) (#118)
    by LatinoVoter on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 02:26:43 AM EST
    I signed in just to "5" you because you just put to words something that I could only "feel" before with that comment.

    It reminds me of the hope&change express going off the rails the other day while he was talking about healthcare.



    Gitmo is okay? (none / 0) (#107)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:18:48 PM EST
    Shhhhhhh, quiet so we can shove through FISA....this isn't still "UNITY" with repubs?  Obama hasn't abandoned anything other than his base!

    Concensus on NewsHour is that Obama killed public (none / 0) (#110)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:02:03 PM EST
    finance for presidential elections and that, while it needed tweaking or fixing, now there will not be a new campaign finance law until there is a big scandal.

    Anyone think revised public financing law will get passed anytime soon? And, does Obama's action mean no candidates will use public financing in the future?

    Woman from Politico noted that the Repubs have much more money on hand than the DNC.

    I do love how Obama says that what he's doing in a big brave thing to do!!!

    Just words. To be followed by WORMs.

    Kruman Links To A Good Site (none / 0) (#111)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:52:59 PM EST
    For comparing the candidates based on roll call votes.

    McCain is the eighth most conservative member of the current Senate. That's right: he's been voting on the right wing of the Republican party.

    But has he just moved right to curry favor with the GOP base? No: he was the second most conservative member of the previous Senate.


    From the site:

    Senator Obama is at most marginally more liberal than Senator Clinton but the difference is negligible. The two are essentially identical ideologically based upon our DW-NOMINATE scores estimated from all roll call votes cast in Congresses 1 - 110 (through the 1st Session of the 110th, 2007).


    The two are by no means the most liberal Democrats in Congress. There are a total of 286 Democrats in the 110th House and Senate (counting replacements). There are 88 members to Obama's left -- 8 Senators and 80 Representatives. The 8 Senators are Feingold (D-WI), Whitehouse (D-RI), Sanders (I-VT), Boxer (D-CA), Kennedy (D-MA), Brown (D-OH), Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Levin (D-MI). Between Obama and Clinton are 8 members -- one Senator, Akaka (D-HI) -- and 7 Represenatives. To Clinton's right there are 188 Democrats -- 40 Senators and 148 Representatives.


    Hey BTD... (none / 0) (#114)
    by AlladinsLamp on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:10:58 PM EST
    You're full of it.

    Obama will never become that what you hope for.

    He never has been.

    He's got the H.W. "vision thing" I'll grant.

    But what does his policy look like?

    FISA? Free Trade or Fair Trade? Opt out of public financing but complain abut lobbyist influence? Social Security? On and on.


    Methinks the Post Partisan Unity Schick (none / 0) (#117)
    by kaleidescope on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:50:39 AM EST
    Is just a line to try to put the Villagers' at ease about a scarry black man.  Sounds a little like Broder, doesn't it?  Since the Villagers have a veto on who gets considered to be a serious contender for the presidency, trying to sound like them is a smart move, no?