Feet Of Clay

Politico writes:

Barack Obama has crafted an image as an unconventional candidate, a change agent and a post-partisan politician who represents a dramatic break from the status quo. But since securing the Democratic presidential nomination, when confronted with a series of thorny issues the Illinois senator has pursued a conspicuously conventional path, one that falls far short of his soaring rhetoric. Faced with tough choices on fronts ranging from public financing and town hall meetings to warrantless surveillance and the Second Amendment, Obama passed up opportunities to take bold stands and make striking departures from customary politics. Instead, he has followed a familiar tack, straddling controversial issues and choosing politically advantageous routes that will ensure his campaign a cash edge and minimize damaging blowback on several highly sensitive issues.

Pols are pols and do what they do. That's why as citizens and activists we must act for issues, not pols:

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.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Ironically - and I never would have (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:58:42 AM EST
    guessed this would happen - as the primary wore on, I really began to see Clinton as the much more agile and adaptable candidate.  

    More irony - when Obama was losing the Appalachian region someone dared to suggest that he do some "changing" and the number of responses insisting that he not change a thing were mind blowing.  The change candidate who shalt not change.  Very strange.  But everything has been upside down this year...

    Yep. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:24:05 AM EST
    They attacked her for some of the very things for which they now praise Obama, except she was honest upfront.

    The better candidate is not the presumptive nominee.


    I don't think she would have turned (5.00 / 5) (#27)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:29:54 AM EST
    out anywhere near as well had she not had to fight Obama though.  She started out trying to skate by which I found very arrogant and irritating at the time.  What the primary showed me about her was that when she had a tough challenge, she wasn't afraid to roll up her sleeves and work it.  Seeing that changed my perception of her and certainly increased my respect for her.  Obama, on the other hand, seemed to hide out when the going got tough.  I've been thinking that he is pretty lead footed for a while now and honestly that is a charge that could hurt him in the general - a president needs to be agile and good at adapting to changing condidtions.  McCain has an edge there which I am surprised Axelrod doesn't see.

    In retrospect... (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:37:02 AM EST
    ....what she was doing was innoculating herself against the gotchas that would have resulted from pandering to the left.

    So she ran a campaign that justified all her passed behaviour on IWR etc to clear the media hurdle; instead of simply panderuing to what turned out to be Stalinists and Trotskites, Bevanites, CND, code pink, ANSWER etc...


    Yes. (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:45:50 AM EST
    Obama, on the other hand, seemed to hide out when the going got tough.

    My respect for him diminished further because of this.


    New Politics (5.00 / 3) (#124)
    by Grace on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:32:03 PM EST
    Rule #43:  Once nominated, behave as mouse-like as possible.  

    Rule #44 (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by mg7505 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:14:56 PM EST
    If someone calls you on your cr*p, have The New York Times come to your defense.

    The last paragraph (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by Grace on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:12:58 PM EST
    in your link:

    Mr. Obama is an introspective candidate, and perhaps the best analyst of his own political style. "I serve as a blank screen," he wrote in "The Audacity of Hope," "on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.

    Yep!  He doesn't need to really stand for anything as long as he can be a "Blank Screen."  


    {bangs head on wall} n/t (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:17:30 PM EST
    "Adaptability" (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:27:25 PM EST
    I second your comments about "adaptability."  It isn't just showing that you can change, but change appropriately in the direction of personal and political growth.  This morning--while reading the Denver Post editorial on the Supreme Court 2nd Amendment decision--it dawned on me that any questions arising about the Chicago and San Franciso gun control measures could prove to be a test of that adaptability for Senator Obama.  Watching Mayor Daley on the news last night express his anger over the SCt decision, I wondered how similar to the old DC ban the Chicago measure is...and, now, I wonder what Obama will respond when he is inevitably asked about the hometown measure.

    AND (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by tek on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:17:32 AM EST
    she has the better issues and the better grip on issues and policy.  But, by all means, let's get out and vote for another elitist, "don't care about society in general just give me millions" president.

    Some things change . (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by makana44 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:04:20 PM EST
    Some things don't.

    The better candidate is not the presumptive nominee.

    No. But the candidate with the most money is.

    He wasn't the most likely to win the GE. He didn't win the popular vote. He wasn't the most competent. But he did have the most money.

    Money talks, and nobody walks...certainly not Dean, Pelosi, Hoyer, Reid, and the rest of the spineless Dems. Who are spineless except when it comes to defending their monied interests. Virtually every vote comes down to money (lobbying is the best job you can get...other than being a legislator).

    Forget about public service (i.e. Hillary's apparent motivation; Hillary - who spent millions of her own money, whose campaign ended up in debt). It always comes down to MONEY.


    It's ironic how Obama's "Change" speech (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by MarkL on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:00:34 PM EST
    has changed almost not at all in the last year.

    And so it makes everything acceptable (5.00 / 0) (#114)
    by zfran on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:11:03 PM EST
    if it's an upside down year? Not to me.

    I'm not sure where you got the impression (5.00 / 0) (#165)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:09:12 PM EST
    that I think it is "acceptable" because it is an upside down year.

    I was just saying that very few things seem to make sense this year.  It is just another thing on the list of "never would have thunk it"...  

    The young rock star changey guy changes the least and the older establishment candidate turns out to be the most adapatable...

    I'm starting to think that when you think something is "x" - you have to immediately make it "y" if you're going to even have a remote chance of being able to predict how things will turn out lately.


    Key word: (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by lilburro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:59:26 AM EST
    an image

    and of course Obama has no incentive to keep his promises.  Fortunately he has his own TV network.

    If McCain wasn't so busy kissing conservative butt, he might find an opening in this disintegration of Obama's image.  

    Pols are pols. (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by sweetthings on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:09:00 AM EST
    And what politicians do during the GE is swing to the center. That's how they get elected.

    McCain would LOVE to be doing to same thing. Unfortunately for him, while there's lots of talk about a split in the Democrat party, the reality is that the Republicans are far, far more divided about their nominee than we are about ours. So McCain has no choice but to keep kissing conservative butt.

    Bad for him. Good for Obama.


    Obama, like many Dems have before him, (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:21:37 AM EST
    is misjudging where the center is imo.

    And misjudging what a realistic coalition of supporters might be comprised of were he to put together a win.  He is not going to win Wyoming or Utah for instance.  It just isn't going to happen.  So there really is no reason to play to the fears of the majorities in those states.


    A provocative point -- thanks (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:55:37 AM EST
    as I think you have summarized a major problem at the core of his campaign and the cost to his party.

    Not mine, anymore, so I appreciate such insights on how to watch the Dems implode, as I think they may do.  Maybe not yet, maybe not this year . . . but it's another deja vu moment that brings back what happened to other side because of the 1972 campaign.  Two elections later, it required a major realignment in that party to begin to rectify the corruption at the core of that party.


    Imo, Obama is not misjudging (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by zfran on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:13:33 PM EST
    where the center is, he chooses to ignore anything that will stand in his way of what he wants. Again, imo, that is not a leader. He is courting, right now, the more conservative indys and could care less about the rest of us. Always has cared less....

    Pols are Pols (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by talex on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:37:47 AM EST
    and they who are who you have to get through in order to fight for the issues that are important to us. So in that respect Armando is wrong. He says"

    "Do not fight for pols. Fight for the issues you care about."

    Well sorry but it is the pols who vote. It is the President who can set the tone for policies. So we HAVE TO FIGHT the pols. That is a no brainer.

    Fighting pols is what the netroots does. It is what activists have always done. It is the way it has to be done. Nothing is accomplished in our government without fighting and going through pols. Any other way to frame it is disingenuous.

    In this case Obama is the pol we must hold to account in our own individual ways. Those who refuse to hold him to account are fighting for nothing - or better put - just not fighting.

    Over and over all around the net I read people saying we must vote for Obama. But not a one - including here - tells us good reasons for voting for him. Not one ISSUE. Not one reason he will be good in the long term for the Party.

    Instead all we get is he is a "D". Really? Not much of a "D" in my book.

    I'm waiting for the front page bloggers to step up and call Obama out like glen Greenwald has. It is not enough to quote Greenwald. It is time for people to quit cowering and FIND THEIR OWN VOICE.



    Kudos (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by tek on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:20:29 AM EST
    for a great post.  I never realized until you just said it that it's true, you don't hear his people fighting for his issues or positions.  They just say we have to vote for him because "McCain is worse!"

    Engage (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:32:25 AM EST
    I've tried on a few site (including here) to encourage his supporters to highlight the positive aspects of his agenda rather than using the Karl Rove strategy of fear. If the best thing you can say about your candidate is "He's better than McCain", you've lost me.

    We didn't need Obama this cycle (4.85 / 7) (#110)
    by davnee on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:01:38 PM EST
    That's what frustrates me.  We didn't need to run a perfectly packaged empty suit to win.  If ever there was a time to run an unabashedly progressive candidate this was it.  No that doesn't mean run some hyper-lefty.  But run someone who was not only in touch with the center, but also willing to take a stand for important progressive issues.  There was room to be proud of progressive ideals again.  There was room to say health care was a moral imperative.  There was room to be unembarrassed about supporting civil liberties and civil rights.  There was room to reinvent our approach as a free society confronting terrorism.

    Once you take away his shiny, there is nothing positive to vote on.  You are just voting against the Republicans.  Maybe that's good enough.  But it sure ain't inspiring.  And what does it get you once you are done celebrating over the fact that a Dem is back in the White House and Bush is gone?  What's Obama going to do for us on the second day he holds office?


    Going to do for us on the second day? (none / 0) (#207)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 06:20:32 AM EST
    Have lots of people asking "Are you better off than two days ago?"



    Strategic ClubO mistake: We We We? is I, I, I !!! (4.75 / 4) (#130)
    by Ellie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:46:06 PM EST
    The oPods on the ground have been trained to keep under 2 mins their "personal stories" of How I Came To Obama.

    It's evangelical terminology that stresses the promise of ambient feelgood Hopey Changey fuzz over issues.

    This is what they'll hit their targets with in the hopes of scoring "converts", rather than answer questions about issues (hence Obama's slipperiness in favor of being everything and nothing on any matter.)

    Volunteers in training are actually discouraged from talking issues to potential "converts".

    Notice how quickly the local astro-trolls go from hello to instant hostility when faced with a piece of irrefutable on the record evidence, or told to do the unthinkable and hold off on the Turfing Points Memo spiel of the day until s/he's read the link being discussed.


    Ellie....obama is still not off the hook (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:03:42 PM EST
    regarding certain issues...he honestly does think he is invincible.



    Boxers or brief, he should get ready ... (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Ellie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:15:43 PM EST
    ... cause this stuff's going to bite him on the @ss hard and no amount of Ovangelical Outreach will counteract it.

    GE or an in-office witch hunt ... pick it, it'll come down.

    (I'm working on a Madame DaFarge Bitter Knitting guide in the meantime during my lazy summer of not giving a sh!t.)


    One of the only good things (5.00 / 0) (#194)
    by samanthasmom on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 05:00:14 PM EST
    about this whole primary process is that I actually learned to knit. It's a great stress reliever. 8^)

    Ellie....may I send you my address so I (3.25 / 4) (#179)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:10:08 PM EST
    can get a copy?  I am sure it will be a best seller, what with 18 million copies being sold...

    I find it fascinating that this (5.00 / 0) (#193)
    by zfran on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:55:20 PM EST
    article exists. Way back then, I questioned why Obama felt it necessary to have someone taking notes at the trial every day. I never got answers, but I thought it was curious then. This kinda gives some answers.

    opod/creative class this (none / 0) (#195)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 05:22:09 PM EST
    just use the creative part of your brain and visualize it.

    Atempting to convert one of Our Lady's vestal torch bearers would be like trying to get Mullah Omar to go to Bonaroo. The Hell-hath-no-fury endless bitter snit is just too deliciously cathartic to be relinquished.

    Not that you ever bait anyone in the direction of hostility, mind you: "we" are too diverse, inclusive and enlightened in a approach to ever do that.


    Ride with that 'tude; I doubt voters will like it (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by Ellie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 08:04:49 PM EST
    Good luck in all your endeavors -- Donna Brazile, Club O, Rahm, DNC leadership all explicitly tossed me to the curb.

    They're on the record of saying voters like me have been replaced so my conscience is clear.

    This election's all on you now and you can't blame any of the discarded parties come what may.


    i don't agree sorry to say. (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:54:45 PM EST
    the repubs aren't that split and they'll come home to mccain. historically they always do. whereas the split in the dems is worrisom and i don't see a solution.

    He DId Shift (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:14:58 AM EST
    McCain would LOVE to be doing to same thing.

    He was 2nd most right wing senator in the 109th congress and now is 8th most right winger.



    And the year before that.... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by dianem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:25:39 AM EST
    ...he was the 46th most conservative right-wingers in the U.S. Senate.

    No (none / 0) (#89)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:28:49 AM EST
    If you are going by my link McCain was the fourth most right wing member in the 108th congress. You have read the list backwards.

    I was referring to the 107th Congress (5.00 / 0) (#134)
    by dianem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:54:13 PM EST
    Using your link. If I'm interpreting the data correctly, then McCain is just 4 to the right of Liberman. They don't seem to provide similar lists for the 106th Congress, although there is a commentary on how McCain and Liberman shifted between 2000 and 2002, and McCain is said to have shifted significantly to the left.

    I will repeat - I'm not promoting McCain or trying to suggest that he is Progressive. He isn't, and there are good reasons to vote Democratic if you do not object to Obama enough not to.


    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:16:38 PM EST
    From your comment it appeared that you were referring to the 108th congress. In the 107 and 106 McCain clearly moved to closer to the center presumably because he was running for the GOP nomination against Bush.

    But as you say, and I agree McCain is a conservative and reflects core GOP values. He is miles to the right of Obama, Hillary and most democrats.


    "Democrat" party? (none / 0) (#204)
    by sallywally on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 12:03:10 AM EST
    Isn't that a strictly Republican usage?

    "Democrat" party? (none / 0) (#205)
    by sallywally on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 12:15:35 AM EST
    Isn't that a strictly Republican usage?

    I'm a little bemused by some people (5.00 / 8) (#4)
    by tigercourse on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:06:03 AM EST
    who seem to be claiming that Obama has moved to the right since winning the primary. He's been moving to the right since the day he started his campaign. My first real exposure to the guy was when he gave secularists a little knoch YEARS AGO now. Obama has always been this way, and he hasn't really hidden it (if he's tried to, he failed badly). Various writers and bloggers (not you BTD) who are all of a sudden picking up on this amuse me. Pay better attention people.

    What gets me about his... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:28:43 AM EST
    ...religiosity, is that he belonged to a militantly and overtly politicized church.

    Yep, it was his religiosity even before (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:57:42 AM EST
    the primaries began that sent me to his church's site, which started to turn me off -- and sent me in search of other info which only worried me more.

    What (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by tek on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:22:41 AM EST
    bothers me about his religiosity is the fact that he has given MILLIONS of our tax dollars to people like his minister and congregation and it's so sad that liberals apparently can't read or they'd have known before the primaries ever started that Barack Obama intends to EXPAND the Faith Based Initiative and give BILLIONS of our tax dollars to ear-marked Christian churches.  But McCain is worse.

    You Got That Right (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:28:51 AM EST
    Obama has been running to the right the entire primary. Now the only question is how much further right will he run during the GE and  what other Democratic values will he be willing to sacrifice.

    The Obama that people wish they had is an illusion that they themselves created and perpetuated.  


    As a practical matter now (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:06:37 AM EST
    do we press Obama on the issues by diminishing his cash edge and getting the press to harrass him about his feet of clay, even if it ends up hurting him in November?  

    For people like me that have not been emotionally attached to him the answer is yes. If I thought the press would really turn on him enough to make him lose, I might change my mind, since obviously to me McCain is worse on all the issues I care about.

    Unfortunately, our passion about the issues must be channeled through imperfect candidates. I've never been a big fan of runaway ballot initiatives, but sometimes it would be nice to have some at a federal level.

    Yes we do (5.00 / 6) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:27:22 AM EST
    If I had any sway, I would urge a donation moratorium until he did the right thing on FISA and the Constitution.

    But I hold no sway.

    See, he know s most of us will vote for him. What he does not know is if many will DONATE and WORK for him.

    Leverage STILL exists.


    Oh (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by tek on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:24:18 AM EST
    I hope this occurs and then Americans will finally see that his money isn't really coming from small donors.  What's that he said about corporate donations and lobbyists?

    He said something like, (5.00 / 4) (#97)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:39:30 AM EST
    "I'd like to meet Hillary's top fundraisers and have them get some of that corporate/lobbyist money for me" and then he asked her to introduce him...and she did.

    Yes, but didn't he deny her his (none / 0) (#203)
    by sallywally on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:58:25 PM EST
    fundraising list when it came to helping bring down her campaign debt?

    What a generous guy!


    I honestly don't see (none / 0) (#49)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:49:03 AM EST
    very much of a difference.  Isn't withholding financial support handicapping a candidate's chances of winning?  If it's imperative that Obama beats McCain (and I'm personally not sure it is), how does denying him funds not cause him the same trouble as refusing to vote for him?

    Does Obama Need More $$$? (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by santarita on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:08:34 AM EST
    He already has a sizable war chest.  Obviously he wants more $$$.  And he wants to be the Fundraiser-In-Chief for other candidates (which was a big reason for the support from the superdelegates).

    Denying him further financial support might send him a message.  Maybe denying financial support to the various organizations that endorsed him would also send a message.

    Of course, who knows if the message is heard?


    It is a game of chicken (5.00 / 0) (#71)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:10:25 AM EST
    I'm for witholding time and money until he gets the message and convinces us he is where we want him to be on the issues.

    Then we'll see who blinks first. Obama is counting on us to cave in the face of a McCain win.

    Also, if Obama squeaks out a narrow victory in what should have been a landslide, he will know from the polls and his own fundraising records who stayed home.  How that will influence his governing is anyone's guess at this point.


    Judging from the way he's (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:06:25 PM EST
    reacted to barely squeaking by in the primaries, I can't see that it would influence him in the slightest, no more than it did the Bush creature.

    And FWIW, I don't think anybody was ever going to win the presidence on a landslide this year.


    I disagree with your statement, BTD. (none / 0) (#120)
    by zfran on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:19:25 PM EST
    There obviously is no leverage, otherwise, he would have some convictions on how he's changed positions. He doesn't care and all those, imo, who think that at least the dems will be better than the repubs. should look again. He has mislead, flipped (w/o explanation), vilified and ripped apart..what will he do as potus!!

    "Yes.... (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:10:25 AM EST
    ...we can't".

    "Pols being pols" not acceptable imo (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Exeter on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:11:26 AM EST
    The problem with Obama is that he doesn't walk the talk. He likes to talk like Paul Wellstone or Russ Feingold, (indeed, his entire presidential campaign was based on this type of rhetoric) but when it comes to voting or doing anthing, he doesn't do the walk.

    Paul Wellstone would have had obama (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:15:46 AM EST
    for lunch....

    Liberals Fight! Fauxgressives pose over cocktails (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by Ellie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:56:01 PM EST
    ... Absolut and Koolaid keeps the Creative Class comfortably numb and gives the spanking new Dumpling Dems a potent new potable better than what they had on prom night.

    Hey, whatever puts a gauze cover over the dismal reality -- and their own roaring hypocrisy -- they persist in ignoring.

    I'm not endorsing or enabling anymore chickensh!t Dems that work behind the scenes to give the crushing GOP machine the cover of "bi"partisanship.

    I'd rather have a vocal Dem minority that creatively uses procedure and any measure than the clowns we have now.

    Since when is the Constitution a radical and dangerously Liberal document? It's the center, but fauxgressives pretend that can't be uttered or it's doom. :: sigh ::

    So freakin' what if McCain gets in? He can be useful and by hook or by crook made to unlock all the criminal crap BushCo has attempted to classify down the memory hole, "safe" from FOIA.

    Win or lose, the fortunes of the Dems are all on Club O now and they can keep the responsibility or blame too. Let's see them even TRY to blame the Discarded Dems and huge swaths of voters they shoved to the curb.

    I'm Indy, I'm peaceful, I'm out of that losing game.


    This (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by nellre on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:13:01 AM EST
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    (and the others too of course)

    What I care about has diverged from the Democratic party, it seems.

    I don't know (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:41:48 AM EST
    if some of you remember this, but Feingold was interviewed about FISA a few months ago, and he brought up a daughter that was studying abroad.  He said that they could talk to each other on their cellphones, and the government could listen to the conversation without their knowledge and without any warrant to do so.

    It's on YouTube somewhere.  Someone should find it and show it again.


    Some of us do business from (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:28:58 PM EST
    our homes and deal overseas with other companies/individuals. I receive emails from blackberries etc. Most of us don't sep our business 'equipment' from our personal.

    Do I need to have the Telecoms and Gov sign the same confidentiality agreements I do now?!  ;)


    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:41:53 PM EST
    They can listen in and because he's a senator i'd hazerd a guess that they do listen.

    Exactly. (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:51:18 AM EST
    He has been and always will be (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by samsguy18 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:13:16 AM EST
    An Opportunist.

    I.e., a Chicago pol. (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:05:21 AM EST
    Same difference, as they say in Chitown, where the acceptance of corruption has been a basic of life there for more than a century and a half.  So they don't even see the possibility of politics done any other way -- and neither does Obama, I think.  Add to that, that everything in Chicago is politics, including choice of church, and it explains just about every other issue that has come up about him in this campaign.

    But that does not mean that being consumed by politics to the extent that it exist in Chicago is the same as being a consummate politician, as we have seen.  Wait 'til the GOP gets to work, and we will see how he handles it.  (And I think that BO's need to continue to humiliate Clinton with the unity in Unity, NH, etc., could signal the GOP that she is out of the way sooner than they thought, which could bring on their 527's soon -- another example of how his hubris gets in the way of winning as easily as he ought to be able to do this year.)


    Straddling the fence... (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by kredwyn on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:16:39 AM EST
    After looking at his voting record in the Senate, I have to say that he's always been a fairly conventional pol...and fence straddling is not new to him.

    The image that he's tried to create as somehow "unconventional" is just that...an image.

    I would find this much more convincing (5.00 / 8) (#17)
    by Valhalla on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:18:42 AM EST
    if there were a lot of evidence that issue-activism worked on the political process at any time in the past decade or so.

    Pols may be pols, but some are better than others.  Some are more responsive than others to their constituencies.  Aside from ballot initiatives, it's very difficult to be a successful issue-activist without interacting at some point with the pols who are pols.

    Without leverage over these pols who are pols, either in money or votes (occasionally public embarrassment works), issue activism is terribly limited.

    I've known pols are pols for a very long time.  Which is why I check a politician's record to see if it backs up what they say before I vote for them or give them money.  Which is why them having some experience is important, so you can judge what they're likely to do in the future by how they've acted in the past.

    All in all, I don't find 'pols are pols' to be very meaningful at this point in the presidential campaign.  I don't see any candidates who are going to work on the issues I care about.  I already know this year my vote has no meaning, and the party I ususally support is more interested in mocking my potential support (cornflakes anyone) than garnering.  So I'll keep my vote to myself this year, and send my money to the causes which are working on the issues I do care about.

    I joined NOW (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by dianem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:32:29 AM EST
    ... and plan on giving the money I would have spent on the Presidential election to Charlie Brown (not a hard core progressive - but has very good values and stands a decent chance at taking a right-wing seat), Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU. There are a lot of worthwhile causes out there that need support. I think that any dollars I contribute to helping a teenage girl get birth control are a more worthwhile contribution than an obscure hope that we will somehow manage to get the SC back on track with choice. The Dems have failed to stand up on the Choice issue so far, and I don't see why I should expect them to do so now.

    And I will focus on a state supreme court race (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:11:27 AM EST
    coming in my state that, after a series of elections of conservatives in the dirtiest judicial campaigns yet seen, will be crucial in protecting the rights you note and many more here.  

    Watch the campaign for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson in Wisconsin -- there is no one on the bench more committed to our rights, there are few who had to fight harder than she has done against the tide for decades here.  If she is forced off the bench, too, it may be time for many of us here to move even farther north -- to Canada.  

    With the climate changes here, the winters can't be worse.  And the political climate is better.


    any money i would have given this year... (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:34:28 AM EST
    is going to go to CA for defending marriage equality.  Nothing goes to Obama or the DNC from me.

    That's a good idea (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:35:52 PM EST
    I'm moving back there next spring. I've been checking out the area I'll be living to see what's up there regarding current climate and the upcoming elections to see if I can help there. I'll add this to my list :)

    OT but excuse for a moment of baseball prayer ... (none / 0) (#164)
    by Ellie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:09:08 PM EST
    ... as a faith-based accommodation.

    If the Padres are still in it the Fall, a trip to the game's on me and I'll have my chain-smoking transcendental poetry-writing Friar in tow. (Good Lord willing, I'm on the hook to take him to see "his" team if they ever make it to The Dance provided he wear his "work" clothes!)

    Great to have around for egregious trash talk as he can instantly forgive my spew provided it's pro-Pad.


    I hate to be the one to break the (5.00 / 1) (#206)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 12:19:20 AM EST
    bad news, but the Padres aren't going anywhere but home this fall.  And I'm a Padres fan.

    OMG (none / 0) (#171)
    by Valhalla on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:16:22 PM EST
    CJ Shirley Abrahamson swore me into the bar in WI.  I was very lucky because of various circumstances I was sworn in by her personally instead of as part of the usual cattle call swearing in.  I am looking at my picture of it right now.

    Do you have her campaign info handy?  (I can google it up of course).  I don't live in WI anymore, and haven't been keeping up.  She was always great, though.


    Not a flip-flopper, rather a Tilt-a-Whirl (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by RalphB on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:23:23 AM EST
    From the NH Union Leader.

    Hold Tight, Obama's coming

    An excerpt...

       NEW HAMPSHIRE RESIDENTS, grab something sturdy today. Barack Obama is coming and his ability to switch positions on major issues is dizzying. It wouldn't matter, except Obama wants to become President. If that happens, hold on for dear life.

    Click on the editorial cartoon too. (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:32:06 AM EST
    Oh, wow. (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:54:53 AM EST
    I liked the Editorial link where the (5.00 / 0) (#133)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:52:26 PM EST
    Unity has invited Obama return with McCain for a townhall meeting :)

    Hillary was received with such warmth in Unity today.


    HAH! Good toon -- loved the hands n/t (none / 0) (#140)
    by Ellie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    I think (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:29:31 AM EST
    that there's a key problem I see people missing. It's the fact that the things that Obama has said during the primary and then did a one eighty on once he garnered the nomination are all on tape. Already, McCain is running with the campaign finance flip flop. Obama has, with the last two weeks, given the GOP a boatload of material to paint him as a shifty, untrustworthy pol.

    Just because Timmeh didn't make an issue of them.. (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:32:50 AM EST
    ...or Brokaw, or even hannity so far, doesn't mean that mccain isn't having them edited down as adverts.

    The press have been really slack with Gotchas, and Obama's gotten sloppier and sloppier with his reversals and u-turns.


    Yup (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by vicndabx on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:54:43 AM EST
    I have a bunch of family members who supported him based solely on the fact that he purported to be different.  I haven't talked to them in a while (they're ex-in-laws) but I can only imagine their disappointment.  They've supported Nader in the past - so that tells you their mindset.  How many others were taken in and will now be disappointed and cause another 2000 election nail-biter that we ultimately lose?

    Aye! What if he'd stood up and said: (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by RonK Seattle on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:02:53 PM EST
    "I'm a standard-issue pol ... only not very experienced ... with a relatively shallow and spotty grasp of the issues ... but I'm going to tell you that my opponent -- whose positions are a little more progressive than mine -- represents the status quo, just like Bush, and she's going to try to tell you otherwise, and you're going to hate her for it."

    Does Obama get a pass on FISA also? (5.00 / 6) (#35)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:33:28 AM EST
    After all, he is an elected U.S. Senator.  Shouldn't his constituents deserve his respecting their input?

    I'm from Illinois (5.00 / 9) (#48)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:49:03 AM EST
    After his decision to fold on FISA I wrote him and asked him why he thought I should vote for him or any other politician that ignored their oath of office to uphold the Constitution. He rarely responds so I won't hold my breath, but I think it's a very legimate question.

    One other point (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:12:35 AM EST
    on this issue that drives me up a wall is Where are the journalists. Instead of the mindless drivel that has developed in this campaign. Why not ask these politicians the real questions. Obama will not answer me, but he and the rest of them shouldn't be allowed to ignore it with the media.

    So work the Issues. (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Ben Masel on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:39:53 AM EST
    There's 83 Senators besides Obama who voted for Cloture on the FISA bill, but I havent seen  you call for pressure on them.

    Most will be home, making the 4th of July Parades and Picnics. Print out a copyh of the Bill, track them down, ask if they've read it, and present 'em with a copy.

    Stop whinig, get to work.

    That's a good point (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:45:43 AM EST
    I will do such a post later today.

    I do believe however that working the leader of the Party would be the most effective approach.


    Not mutually exclusive. (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Ben Masel on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:04:01 AM EST
    if I were closer to New Hampshire, I'd be picketing outside the "Unity' rally, respectfully. Probably end up arrested, but with a paycheck down the road.

    It was my understanding (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by americanincanada on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:41:18 AM EST
    that Obama didn't vote. He was not there.

    You are correct (5.00 / 0) (#121)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:20:08 PM EST
    His spokesSenators were mixed in the voting (Kerry Nay and McCacskill Yea, to name two).  I don't think Obama has said how he would have voted.  

    Yup. (none / 0) (#148)
    by Ben Masel on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:33:34 PM EST
    My sentence was poorly constructed, but not wrong.
    5 absent. Obama, Clinton, McCain, Kennedy, Byrd. The last 2 medical.

    Bridge Game? (none / 0) (#151)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:42:43 PM EST
    Wonder who was the 4th. Lieberman?

    Why do you always find it (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:43:27 AM EST
    necessary to be personally insulting?

    If Pols are Pols then (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by vicndabx on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:50:55 AM EST
    it shouldn't matter what party they belong to.  I should be able to vote for a moderate republican if there's evidence to suggest they can be influenced to support my position (not saying that I do/will.)  If all that matters is whether a pol can be influenced to vote on way or another based on how much money they can gain/lose or how many votes they can gain/lose, then IMO we all lose.  To me being a politician is about more than money & votes, it's about being a leader.  Leaders take a position and stick to it, unless, legitimate facts change their mind, not the way the wind is blowing politically.  The reason republicans have been so successful at moving the nation in the wrong direction - they stick to their principles.

    Well, no.... (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:06:14 PM EST
    it depends on the office up for election.

    If it's a policy-making office, having the majority (2 of 3 commissioners, 4 of 7 city councilors, etc.) makes a huge difference in setting the agenda, crafting the budget, initiating the legislation...then party vote makes the difference.

    PUD commissioner?  Treasurer?  Sheriff?  Split ticket may be just fine...depending on the character of the candidate...and the candidate's opponent.


    I would agree if..... (5.00 / 0) (#132)
    by vicndabx on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:48:49 PM EST
    it could be assured that those in the "party" will vote the party line.  The problem it seems, is that line has suddenly become kinda crooked.  Indeed some can't even find the line.

    You cannot be assured (5.00 / 0) (#141)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:14:07 PM EST
    of that...or of anything.  Remember "Trust, but verify?!?"

    You're simply playing the odds.  With luck, we win with Democrats more often than we lose with Democrats.  There is a good long history to verify that fact.

    Keep in mind...the individual pol DOES matter, for people are individuals.  Even as pols, some are leaders and some are wannabes...some are legit and some are not...some are corrupt or corruptible and some are not.

    And some are smart.  And some are not.

    Our job is to pay attention...act on principle and for issues...support good pols and ditch bad ones.


    no arguments there (none / 0) (#184)
    by vicndabx on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:29:01 PM EST
    It was always obvious to me (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:55:46 AM EST
    that obama would be no better than Clinton as far as issue activism is concerned and so i focussed on a different set criteria.

    Quite the opposite for me, Edgar. (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:21:35 PM EST
    It was always obvious to ME that Hillary would be far better re 'issue activism' for the issues I care about most...and it is now undeniable that I was right about that re sexism and misogyny, not to mention UNIVERSAL healthcare.

    It's really basic:  women could trust Hillary to fight for women's and children's issues...worldwide.  Barack Obama?  Doubt it...there is no evidence to rely on.  And that is a huge issue for many of us.


    I think you are right (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:57:44 PM EST
    my comment applies mostly to the context of this FISA dustup.

    I think it would be great if she signed on or led a filibuster, but I never believed she would.  That kind of issue activism, I think I have a very realistic opinion of clinton.

    But yes, on those issues you just talked about I think she did reach further to the left (if people like it referred to as such) than obama.


    She can't lead a filibuster (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:10:00 PM EST
    on FISA or on anything else that would put her on the opposite side of Obama until this election is over.  Just can't be done.  She would be vilified and blamed endlessly if he then lost.  And if she is on the ticket in the end, she has to take a back seat on issues for the time being.  That's the role....see the Unity clambake earlier today?

    She outshone him.  I won't say more...here...


    The issues candidate(s) got served (5.00 / 6) (#63)
    by davnee on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:00:03 AM EST
    Clinton, Edwards etc. got run out of the race by the flavor of the month.  They are pols and so pandering and tacking to the middle to win would have surely been their mo as well for the GE.  But those candidates had a set of orienting progressive issues that would have grounded them.  Clinton wouldn't abandon UHC.  Edwards would still be challenging poverty.  In other words, they had a core progressive agenda that they would have been true to even if they also bargained and fudged and triangulated along the way, as all pols must do to succeed.  

    But Obama was never about issues.  He was only about process. And it turns out the process stuff was entirely a con.  In the end, Obama is just about Obama.  There are no issues he stands for.  There is no progressive agenda.  There is nothing at the core of his candidacy but him, therefore everything and anything policy-wise can be bargained away in the name of his own success.

    BTD, you say we must act for issues and not for pols.  I agree.  But that turns to farce when you are stuck with a 100% personality candidate.  There are no issues that can be leveraged against Obama.  But he's the chosen one.  The left wanted him.  The fauxgressives wanted him.  The carefree youth wanted him.  African-Americans wanted him.  Heck, BTD you wanted him.  Well you realize now that the marriage is loveless. But there isn't much you can do about that when divorce is off the table.  And divorce went off the table the moment Clinton was strong-armed out of the race.

    When did I ever shower Obama with love? (none / 0) (#82)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:22:51 AM EST
    Tough Love Aplenty (5.00 / 0) (#92)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:30:33 AM EST
    Gushing in fact.

    shower him with love or not... (5.00 / 4) (#98)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:40:52 AM EST
    by supporting him and hoping he wins, you encourage future dem candidates and party leaders to do the same as they have done this cycle because it will be a proven winning strategy..

    Well you didn't marry out of love. That's true. (5.00 / 4) (#103)
    by davnee on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:46:54 AM EST
    You went for the marriage of convenience to the media darling.  So I guess that saves you from the bitterness of disappointment.  But at the end of the day, you still committed willingly to a politician who is not moored to any progressive issues.  That puts you in a pickle as an issues guy.

    I would add or Political Party's to that we never (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Salt on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:13:50 AM EST
    should for list..

    By Margaret Talev | McClatchy Newspapers and believe  it is a bit early for buyers remorse to be showing up.

    Please (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by tek on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:15:12 AM EST
    explain how Obama was the issues candidate and Hillary was not.  We must act for issues?  So interesting that we are now hearing that Obama is just another politician who will do anything but during the primaries Hillary was the monster who "would do anything, say anything, to get elected."  The hypocrisy among Democrats is astounding.  I guess bloggers and journalists will also do anything to get what they want.  

    NOW hearing? (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:22:07 AM EST

    BTd's been (5.00 / 0) (#197)
    by kredwyn on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 05:53:06 PM EST
    saying that Obama's just another pol for quite some time.

    However, there've been any number of bloggers who haven't figured that part out.


    And WHO isnt just (none / 0) (#198)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 05:55:49 PM EST
    another pol?

    Wait, dont tell me..


    well... (none / 0) (#200)
    by kredwyn on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:09:46 PM EST
    actually...to quote BTD:

    "pols are pols"


    He took no real stands on issues (none / 0) (#202)
    by sallywally on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:32:20 PM EST
    but Clinton did. She made a point of detailing everything and stating that she wanted to be held accountable if elected.

    He made generalized comments and let himself be seen however the voters wanted him to be...a Rorschach candidate.

    Now some are shocked that he isn't the liberal they thought he was, but he never said he was a liberal and his policies were not as liberal as Clinton's.

    And by some estimates more dependable than the National Journal's, he was quite a bit less liberal in the Senate than she was, according to his votes.

    Issues candidate, indeed!


    Issues not pols... (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:26:27 AM EST
    So what do we do if our pol - in this case Obama - is not representing our issues?

    I have suggested withholding endorsements until he does take us into consideration.

    Right now, he is taking us for granted, and I don't like it.

    ah, the big dilemma (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:18:53 PM EST
    that's the 64k question, and is all too common for progressives. The dem candidate is almost always better than the repub candidate. But they're a zillion miles from where you'd like them to be.

    So what's a pushy progressive to do. One is to try a long term corrective action by not voting for them. Some people vote for third party candidates (that are better on issues) as a way to send a message.

    Another is to vote for them but make a lot of noise and push them on issues. One way is to communicate and to only reward with donations when they do the right thing.

    Another is to just make noise in more public forums like this.

    Who knows what works best. But if just voting for them anyway gives us Pelosi, Reid, and now Obama and others, perhaps that's not the best approach. I don't have any answers. And McCain will be horrible.


    Devil's advocate... (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:13:50 PM EST
    Ending the war in Iraq:

    McCain has already proven how "tough" he is. He's got terrorism, the war, etc. in his pocket.

    Obama is trying to show how tough he is.

    So, which of the two is the more dangerous?

    Who might actually be able to say "We've won. G'bye".

    Maybe McCain.


    Go to his website? (5.00 / 3) (#95)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:34:06 AM EST
    I've read all about Obama's deeds.

    I'm not impressed.

    He hoodwinked and bamboolzed (5.00 / 4) (#111)
    by Saul on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:02:25 PM EST
    the voters.  There wasn't anything we did not know about Hilary. What you saw was what you got.  However, that was not true with Obama.  He was deceptive in his ways.  So his deception of who he really was is how he got the nomination.  How many Obama supporters knowing what they know now would vote for Obama again today?

    yes yes yes! (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:13:27 PM EST
    You hit it BTD. Act on issues, push on our issues, and push the candidates, no matter who they may be, on these issues. And don't assume just because their dems, they're for your issue, and don't assume just because their repubs, that they can't be persuaded. Push push push, hold them accountable, and push some more. Hmm, new label for us: pushy progressives. :-)

    oops: their => they're... I hate when I do that (none / 0) (#117)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:14:15 PM EST
    my 2 cts. (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by thereyougo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:47:32 PM EST
    Politico: "Faced with tough choices on fronts ranging from public financing and town hall meetings to warrantless surveillance and the Second Amendment, Obama passed up opportunities to take bold stands and make striking departures from customary politics. Instead, he has followed a familiar tack, straddling controversial issues and choosing politically advantageous routes that b/will ensure his campaign a cash edge/b and minimize damaging blowback on several highly sensitive issues."

    So, the people are left with no choice because Obama's positions shifts, cravenly saying its just politics. Almost feel ashamed he claims to be a Democrat, because its not the reason I am one. He appears not to know how to play the game.

    When Hillary Clinton did the same thing she has gotten the heat,and has paid the price and moved on knowing the game calls for some veracity, but Obama doesn't.                    

    Unfortunately for him, he doesn't have her skirt to hide behind longer, to say "me too" ,so the people are NOW getting a closer look at what he says. So in essence he admits he says anything to get their checks,and votes, and then its supposed to be OK because he admits it. How big of him. Oh the arrogance.

    Admittedly we the people shouldn't/don;t get all we want from the politicians and its not supposed to be that way, but at least we know who the criminals behind the Republicans are,and are  supposedly not the Democrats, but now I'm not so sure.

    The new politics from the change and the Constitutional professor candidate is troubling.

    Yes. It's troubling. (5.00 / 0) (#187)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:01:58 PM EST
    But we do have choices.  Still.

    My choice so far is to "just say no."

    And remember...he's not the nominee yet.  The convention is in August.  The END of August.  Two months is a lifetime in politics.


    At the current (5.00 / 0) (#191)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:21:29 PM EST
    flip flop rate, he'll have chronic vertigo or whiplash.

    Yes! (none / 0) (#201)
    by sallywally on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:27:11 PM EST
    This is so important. He is not the nominee yet.

    Someone else could end up in that position if he does not stop tacking to the right.

    I'll vote for him if I must, but I won't do it happily. And he is not yet the nominee.

    He could hardly wait to announce himself as the nominee, even setting up to do so a couple of times before the last time when he finally did it, and he was routed by Clinton each time - even the last.

    He has been functioning as the nominee ever since it seemed he had the delegates, maybe even before that, apparently restructuring the party, moving the DNC to Chicago, etc. (What's wrong with the party, anyway???)

    This is truly arrogant, and perhaps I shouldn't say it but I'd love to see his arrogance come up against the wall of the voters he seems to be thoroughly taking for granted since Clinton suspended her campaign. I hope she hangs onto those delegates!


    If that is so, then... (4.87 / 8) (#41)
    by bmc on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:41:45 AM EST
    Progressives must stop defending the indefensible from Barack Obama.

    It is every bit as hypocritical as the 7-years of defense of G.W.Bush by the GOP for his indefensible violations of the Constitution, the laws of this country, and the trust of the people. Take a look at the current state of the GOP; this is a direct result of the lack of core principles on the part of Bush supporters.

    To defend Obama's indefensible political calculations--which are, truth be told, all for the benefit of OBAMA--is nothing less than CULT of PERSONALITY.

    Progressives undermine their own principles, values, and ideals every time they defend Barack Obama's calculating, cynical positions on issues.

    That is what Olbermann has done; and that is what progressives in the blogosphere have been doing: Pandering to the Cult of Barack.

    It's pathetic to watch.

    With ultimate respect and credit to the few truly honest bloggers around the blogosphere these days, like Greenwald, and Big Tent Democrat--who never wavers, as far as I can tell, from his core principles. I may disagree with BTD on his support for Obama, but on all other issues, I'm persuaded that BTD's integrity is rock solid.

    As with every Presidential nominee (4.40 / 5) (#9)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:12:28 AM EST
    that the Democrats have offered up since McGovern Obama is standing staunchly in the middle now that he is the nominee.  

    Clearly this is a tactical decision that the Party leaders feel is the appropriate strategy because they keep doing it.

    It is disappointing to me not because I think that he should have taken public financing or because I think he should be fighting FISA.  It is disappointing to me because I don't believe that the Democrats need to run to the middle this year.  This is our 1980.  This is the time for the Democrats to be pushing our agenda forward.  Civil rights, health care, sane foreign policy based on an inclusive discussion with the rest of the world.  

    I hope that once Obama is the official nominee and we get into the heart of the general election race, he will push forward with Democratic principles.  I hope that his campaign is simply not willing to swing at one in the dirt this early.  

    To be clear none of this deals with what I believe are Obama's actual views.  After following him for the last few years I am very confident that he is a true Progressive at heart, even if his political instincts push him to the middle.  

    IMO, Obama needs to allow his beliefs to supercede is political caution at some point.  It doesn't need to be now but he needs to have a plan to do that.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:32:54 AM EST
    with this. I think that it's a mistake by the party in general. Obama has to shift to the middle more than the other candidates would have, almost to the point of being conservative I believe, simply because he is perceived to be from the left wing on the party.

    Although qute a few people know (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:38:24 AM EST
    he was only pandering when he faked left during eh primary.

    Good To Know (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:48:44 AM EST
    That he was faking. That will help him in the GE. Thanks to you, now we know that Rev Wright, Ayers and Rashid Khalid, were all fictions invented to make right winger Obama appeal more to the lefties.

    I don't know (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:52:31 AM EST
    why some lefties embraced him.  He never had enough of a history to label him one way or another.

    For Whatever Reason (2.00 / 1) (#146)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:27:49 PM EST
    You have chosen to ignore Obama's history. Judging from your comments here the depth of your research on Obama has been to repeat Hillary talking points, and not current ones, but ones when she was in the ring with Obama.

    Not that his long past history matters so much, because Obama is running on where he is today, which is to the right of where he has been in his past, imo.


    Baloney. (5.00 / 3) (#174)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:43:34 PM EST
    It's a short story, not an epic, and I'm a fast reader.

    Sorry, bub.  I don't know where he stands for sure on issues that matter to me.  The last few days have not done anything to contradict that statement.


    Pie....you need to check back constantly (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:07:11 PM EST
    to see how obama's stances change from minute to minute...what is true at 10 a.m. might have totally changed by 12 p.m. .... gotta work fast :)

    More Obama Tilt-a-Whirl (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by RalphB on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:26:29 PM EST
    This time on guns ...

    Political Punch

    "In November you mentioned that the DC handgun law was constitutional," Layne said. "Now you're embracing the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision striking down that law--

    "That's not what I said," Obama interrupted, per ABC News' Jennifer Duck.

    "Your aide said that," Layne clarified.

    "I don't know what my aide said but I've been very consistent, I teach constitutional law," Obama said.

    It's that lousy aide's fault again  :-)


    Wright isn't left wing (none / 0) (#192)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:45:09 PM EST
    he's a crackpot.

    why do we assume (5.00 / 5) (#52)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:51:19 AM EST
    obama has such beliefs to begin with?

    Becuase (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:55:43 AM EST
    I have followed him for the past couple of years and given his actions over his career it would be hard to believe that he is anything but a Liberal.

    I know that some people like to push the Obama is a crypto-Republican meme, but simply isn't supported by his past actions.


    but its not about (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:01:22 AM EST
    having a record.  Its about being transformational.

    Records don't count anymore.


    Except that he "ran to the middle" (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:54:07 AM EST
    from the beginning of the primaries.

    That was my initial original concern about Obama, even before he began the tactics that turned me irrevocably against him.  He wasn't running explicitly and outspokenly on liberal issues or values.

    Exactly as you say, this was the year we had a real chance to achieve a substantial and incontrovertible public mandate for the liberal/progressive approach, and Obama ducked that chance from the very start. (And I don't wnat to hear about his web site, I'm talking about the way he publicly campaigned.)


    Edwards was the most liberal and most electable (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Dan the Man on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:08:36 AM EST
    It's pretty strange to claim that one has to run to the center to be more electable contra Edwards.

    But It's Different For Obama (2.00 / 1) (#44)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:44:51 AM EST
     It is disappointing to me because I don't believe that the Democrats need to run to the middle this year.

    Because Obama has shifted from the left, and is a black guy with an arabic derived middle name ( no one ever mentions Ehud Barak for some strange reason), I think he does have to over do it a bit, iow move to the center more than others would have to.

    Hillary would have had less of an onus regarding a shift to the center, imo. Her war vote, and refusal to talk to terrorists give her bona fides, and she does not have any lefty foreign policy ghosts in her closet.


    This is true (5.00 / 0) (#65)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:02:37 AM EST
    I understand he needs to get his image set properly.  The Republicans are just dying to break out "He's a pinko Commie!" smear.  It is the Plan A attack plan for the Republicans.

    But I also think he needs to get people excited for the more popular Progressive policy planks.  IMO, that means he should be pushing Health Care and the War.  

    He needs to run to the Right on national security.  I understand that completely.  That was why I wasn't terribly bothered by the whole FISA thing.  IMO, that was a pitch in the dirt that was a lose-lose for Obama.  IMO, I believe the reason that the House put this bill forward now is to make it non-issue in the fall.  I wouldn't be surprised to see them dump some other bill this month that are losers for the Democrats.


    Isn't It Sad... (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by santarita on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:26:10 AM EST
    to think that someone as obviously intelligent as Obama can't find a way to maintain both national security and constitutional rights?

    The Repubs are going to paint Obama as the weaker candidate on national security not because of his stance on FISA (although that will be a make-weight part of the argument) but because of his lack of relevant experience especially in comparison to MCCain.  He's lost that battle already and his stand on FISA isn't going to help him.  He can run to the right all he wants to on national security but it is a loser issue for him and he's better off trying to make national security a lesser issue to economic security,


    I have no idea (none / 0) (#88)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:28:00 AM EST
    how you think his stance on the FISA bill will make him look weak on national security.

    Assuming that he had... (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by santarita on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:07:52 PM EST
    taken the Feingold or Dodd stance on FISA, the Repubs would have used that stance to enhance their argument that he is weak on national security.  I assume that his position on FISA, specifically retroactive immunity for telecoms, was a defensive political move - i.e. to defend himself against the Repub claims that he is weak on national security.

    He needn't have bothered.  He cannot overcome his lack of relevant experience in comparison to McCain by taking McCain-ish stands on issues like  retroactive immunity.  


    Well that is a different argument (3.00 / 0) (#122)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:20:46 PM EST
    than the one I inferred you were making.

    Some people will find the experience argument compelling.  Some people will find McCain's experience a detriment.  

    Obama won't argue that he has as much as experience as McCain.  He will argue that McCain's experience has ruined his judgment.


    A Loser Argument in the GE... (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by santarita on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:47:47 PM EST
    in my opinion, of course.  It was useful to argue judgment vs experience when he was campaigning for votes from the anti-Iraq War wing of the Democratic Party.  I don't think he gets the same bang for the buck in the general election.  Obama needs to come up with strategies for achieving national security that are demonstrably different and better than McCain's strategies in order to overcome the lack of relevant experience argument.   I recognize, however, that this is voicing only what I would like to see in order for me to be able to overcome my concern with Obama's lack of relevant experience.  The rest of the electorate may be satisfied with the judgment vs experience canard.

    I think the race/ethnicity (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by lilburro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:18:57 AM EST
    factor, in terms of the necessity of shifting policy to the center, is exaggerated.  

    Obama could've explained why he was rejecting FISA.  He could've defined the center there.  His primary campaign was built to innoculate him against racial distrust in many ways.  The way he is moving to the center now is incongruous IMO with what we know about him and his policies.  It makes little sense.  What McCain will hammer him on isn't FISA, it's Cuba.  Capitulating on FISA will not help him defend his foreign policy views down the line.

    I think he's overdoing the move to the center because he's ahead and when he is ahead he just seems slightly less comfortable.  He seems to be trying to cover all the bases early, but he is doing it haphazardly IMO.  


    An excellent comment (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:25:57 AM EST
    And yet my personal fanboy/girl (none / 0) (#25)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:29:04 AM EST
    chose to low rate it just as she/he low rates just about every comment of mine she/he sees.

    Ratings do not matter here (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:30:48 AM EST
    Ignore them.

    Good point (none / 0) (#36)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:35:36 AM EST
    I just hid comments.  Why even bother looking at them?

    Heh (none / 0) (#91)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:30:21 AM EST
    I meant to say I hid ratings.  It would be kinda silly to hide comments, wouldn't it?

    I wondered about that (none / 0) (#118)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:14:51 PM EST
    Seemed a little extreme ;-)

    how does one hide them? (none / 0) (#156)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:01:08 PM EST
    Between the post... (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:05:37 PM EST
    ...and the first comment--set "rate?" to hide.

    thanks very much! (none / 0) (#163)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:06:26 PM EST
    all ya'll have a nice weekend!

    If someone does not agree with you, it is (5.00 / 4) (#57)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:55:36 AM EST
    permissible to disagree.  One of the premises on this site is that everyone can express their opinions, such as they are.  I happen to not agree that obama is a true progressive.  And, I am sure there are more than a few on here that feel that same way.  

    The rating system (none / 0) (#61)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:57:02 AM EST
    isn't designed to indicate support or disagreement.

    It is designed to point out well written posts and highlight noxious posts that violate the spirit and rules of TL.  


    Not true, but you hold on to that....I am not (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:02:52 AM EST
    here to fight with you, but will let ANYONE know when I disagree with them, if that is okay with you.  To come on here an act like you don't downrate, is not honest.  Let's just leave it that you and I will probably never agree and we will both have to live with it.

    You Are Mistaken (2.00 / 0) (#76)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:17:18 AM EST
    You should not give out "1"s based on whether you agree or disagree with the viewpoint expressed.

    When it comes to my attention that someone is troll-rating all comments expressing a particular view or by a particular poster who has not violated the site rules, I undo all their ratings.



    I must say (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:24:52 AM EST
    That a ratings system is ridiculous unless it is used for community moderation.

    If it was my call, I would scrap it here.


    he won't (none / 0) (#28)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:30:31 AM EST
    It'll be boiler plate and he'll simply attack with a series of distortions and play on language that makes you think he's going to stand up for left wing legislation.

    Is no one (none / 0) (#129)
    by americanincanada on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:41:03 PM EST
    watching the Unity event?

    And ruin my nice relaxed mood? Naw! (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:59:10 PM EST
    I'm watching.... (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:59:57 PM EST
    every word...every move...every look...

    Watched it while I ate my lunch. (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:18:12 PM EST
    Mistake?  Well...all in all, it wasn't a bad thing.  I heard no booing, which was good.  Hillary gave a great speech, even if I had to clench my jaw when she started talking about us needing Barack in the WH.

    He lauded her - and Bill Clinton; amazing that he's finally remembered who the president was for those 8 years.  It was so buddy-buddy that I half-expected him to announce then and there that she would be his VP.  For a moment, I could actually see it, but then reality set in and I realized that it was probably a momentary hallucination, lol.

    I guess the good news is that I still have my lunch, and I didn't need any Tums.


    I was thinking the same thing.... (none / 0) (#147)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:32:01 PM EST
    ...after this performance, how can he possibly not offer her the vice presidency?  What other Democrat could stand in that spotlight and help him actually win?  I cannot think of one...and certainly not one who got half the votes of the Democrats who took part in the primaries and caucuses.  

    She might not accept but I think he would be a fool not to meld this moment into a campaign.

    His veep choice will tell us all we need to know about his judgment and leadership abilities...and his confidence in his own place in this opera.

    If the UNITY show was his test, Hillary passed with flying colors.  In fact, she outshone him.


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by americanincanada on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:43:07 PM EST
    I actually thought he was going to say it at one point.

    She did outshine him badly. She is a much warmer, humble and 'real' speaker than he is. She connects with people in a way I am not sure he is able to.

    If all that unity talk from him and talk of join ing 'me and Hillary' is true then he must put her on the ticket. All else is just talk. I predict that if he doesn't he will suffer mightily in the polls.

    I loved the "Hillary Rocks" comment from the crowd and the chants of "Yes, she can!" and "Obama, Obama" changing to "Hillary, Hillary!"


    I haven't seen it yet, but (5.00 / 0) (#157)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:02:28 PM EST
    if she outshone him, that tells you she's not going to be the VP.

    It depends.... (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:13:22 PM EST
    how the campaign spins it...

    and whether or not he can handle it.

    If he's afraid of her and/or of Bill (and he probably should be) then he can't put her on the ticket.  And some of us will know why....


    My favorite (5.00 / 0) (#173)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:27:36 PM EST
    was when she finished her speech, Obama went to the mic and the crowd chanted "Thank you, Hillary".

    The gathering was by ticket only, and they were bussed in so they could control completely the signs that were there = maybe they even handed out the signs at the school.


    Hmmm. (none / 0) (#149)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:34:29 PM EST
    It was so buddy-buddy that I half-expected him to announce then and there that she would be his VP.

    Even with thwe sound off, I thought the two of them looked very good together; the pics on MSNBC's website were also very complimentary, almost as if they were setting the stage for that very thing.


    I'd like to see it.  No, I'd love it, actually.


    "The Clinton Economy" (none / 0) (#180)
    by pluege on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:13:20 PM EST
    If Obama doesn't run on returning to it he is nuts. I was continually surprised that HRC didn't do more of it.

    I am. (none / 0) (#136)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:57:36 PM EST
    But I'm at work, and there's no sound on this computer.  Highlights?

    i don't think obama will nominate hillary. (none / 0) (#158)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:02:41 PM EST
    i won't get into all the reasons. there are many.

    I doubt it too... (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:15:50 PM EST
    but I really wonder if he can win without her.

    You Are, of Course, Right (none / 0) (#175)
    by kaleidescope on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:50:59 PM EST
    But the more pressing question is "how"?

    pols don't lead - they follow!!!! (none / 0) (#178)
    by pluege on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:09:56 PM EST
    triangulation rules!!!!

    What is Leadership? (5.00 / 0) (#189)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:07:51 PM EST
    As a young woman, I was fortunate to have read "Profiles in Courage" by John Kennedy. The classic question, of course, involves when is following actually leading and when is the more traditional approach to leadership required. "Leadership" and the many books written about what it means, implies, promises is a seminal question (or should be) in any campaign.