Is This What It Means To Be An Obama "Progressive?"

I am an Obama supporter. Who could not be when McCain is the other choice? But pols are pols and do what they do. That's why I rip them all when they do the wrong thing, by my lights. For example, as Obama did on FISA Capitulation. But a new breed of Democrat and "progressive" is emerging. Glenn's Greenwald's interview with Mort Halperin allows us to coin a new phrase - a Halperin "Progressive." What is a "Halperin" progressive? One who decides what the right position is for progressives based on what Barack Obama does. Glenn writes:

[T]here was only one meaningful change that occurred between Halperin's June 9 opposition [to FISA Capitulation] and his July 8 support [for FISA Capitualtion]: namely, it was in that interim -- on June 20 -- that Barack Obama announced that he would support the FISA bill . . .

There are many "progressive" blogs and Obama supporters who are Halperin "progressives." I am not one of them.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    BTD...wise choice. A progressive is all (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:09:48 PM EST
    about leading, not waiting to see what samples the best and then pretending you were leading the pack all along.  This is what obama does imo.

    As in (none / 0) (#39)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:37:24 PM EST
    morphing into McCain over Georgia? That kind of leading?

    Yeah....you could say that :) (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:16:24 PM EST
    He's a hell of a guy. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:19:13 PM EST
    I'm not sure if we need McCain at all now... ;-)

    yep...a legend in his own mind!! (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:42:37 PM EST
    Just watch all those redstaters (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:49:02 PM EST
    fall all over themselves up to vote for him...

    Obama;s first (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by RalphB on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:05:52 PM EST
    statement should have been "What he said." while holding up a picture of McCain.  Would have saved a couple of days of flopping around.

    Pretty sad situation... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:22:25 PM EST
    Worse than Pelosi's betrayal on the first Iraq funding bill after the midterms, and all the democratic Bush enabling since, imo.

    Oceania has always been at war with ... n/t (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by rilkefan on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:15:30 PM EST

    Aha (5.00 / 11) (#3)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:15:57 PM EST
    Turkana caught this earlier.  I was wondering if you would blog about it.  Back in early January I wrote this:

    I commented a few days ago, prior to the election, that I was having more and more trouble recognizing some of the Obama supporters as my fellow travelers in the progressive movement (or, at least, what I had thought was the progressive movement).  The way they see unions, not as a core component of the progressive agenda and an essential part of lifting up the working class and reducing economic inequality in this country, but rather as a "special interest" where "corrupt union bosses" act contrary to the interests of their members.  The way they see the netroots, not as an important part of the progressive infrastructure that disseminates information and arguments among the Democratic base as a countervailing force to talk radio on the right, but rather as a bunch of irrelevant purity trolls who would hopefully be marginalized through an Obama victory.  The way they take a basic, Krugman-style argument about reducing the economic inequality that has overtaken this country since the time of Reagan, and deride it as "an argument for socialism."

    I don't really know what Obama himself believes about any of these issues, but when someone is supported by a bunch of people who are becoming less and less recognizable to me as progressives with each passing day, it makes me worry.

    I don't think these people are being dishonest at all when they seek to redefine "progressivism" from how I understand the term.  Rather, it increasingly seems to me that they simply understand "progressive" to mean whatever Barack Obama happens to be for.  If Obama makes a disdainful comment about unions, well then, unions are no longer an essential part of the progressive movement, they're just a special interest.  Ultimately you arrive in a place where progressivism is not about Paul Krugman's economic arguments, it's not about the netroots agenda, it's simply about "bringing people together" and restructuring "our participatory form of government," as the above comments suggest.  It's almost as if the rest of us had no idea what progressivism meant before Obama came along.

    A related question is how many of Obama's most passionate advocates, particularly certain folks who wrote one sycophantic diary after another, were simply job-seekers.

    I read (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:42:14 PM EST
    some of your comment before.

    A related question is how many of Obama's most passionate advocates, particularly certain folks who wrote one sycophantic diary after another, were simply job-seekers.

    I wrote to some friends months ago that the liberal bloggers were either vying for access or had been promised access with their over-the-top posts and the comments that were allowed during the primaries.

    Politics is such a "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine", it made no sense otherwise.

    I think we'll see what happens in November.


    Well (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:51:11 PM EST
    I try very hard not to be too tinfoilish.  And I'm not fond of the people who are always like "I don't like your opinion, so you must be a paid troll for the other side!!!"  For the most part people don't have a sinister motive behind their opinions.

    But there's something about this election that was just basic reality.  The Clintons were in the White House for 8 years, they have a lot of friends, and a lot of those friends were going to come along for the ride if Hillary got elected.  So if you're an outsider who's hoping to take an upward path, it just makes sense for you to hitch your wagon to Obama, because if he wins it's a clean slate and there's a lot more jobs available.  We shouldn't be naive about the fact that job-seeking can sometimes be a motivation.


    And some of those jobs are cabinet posts! (none / 0) (#35)
    by hairspray on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:02:08 PM EST
    Yes (5.00 / 5) (#38)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:15:41 PM EST
    I myself am hoping to be named Secretary of Snark.

    It seems to me that his supporters (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by rjarnold on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:02:56 PM EST
    have also distorted the concept of "change." I've seen many of his supporters say that Obama and McCaskill and Kaine represent real change while Hillary is the opposite of change. And this is ridiculous since they agree on most of the issues and Obama was the one to vote yes on the FISA bill. I guess this goes along with their new views on being progressive.  

    I think they mean a change (5.00 / 0) (#51)
    by ChrisO on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:16:44 PM EST
    from all of those woman Presidents.

    I remember when (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by Nadai on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:17:25 PM EST
    we had contempt for rightwingers who based their political views on whatever George Bush said.  Those were the days.

    I would call it an 'Olbermann' progressive... (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by rjarnold on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:17:31 PM EST
    since he was the first one to do this with the FISA capitulation.

    Ah, time for another "West Wing" quote (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by cmugirl on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:24:43 PM EST
    Joey Lucas - standing in the Oval Office talking about leadership - talking about the French radical who said "There go my people. I should find out where they're going so I can lead them."

    Obama is not a leader and he's certainly not progressive.  I see quotes like above and think it really is like "1984".  You have hit the nail on the head - nothing is progressive unless Obama declares it so.


    I think regressive or repressive would be (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:26:32 PM EST
    more appropo...

    That's why you have readers who respect (5.00 / 9) (#7)
    by Joelarama on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:26:22 PM EST
    you even when we disagree with you.  The list of true, non Olbermann/Halperin blogs is short, and it includes few of the "big" blogs I used to read.

    Of course this condition is caused by the (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by athyrio on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:26:52 PM EST
    consumption of too much Kool-Aide.....:-D .....However, this condition wears off fairly fast after an election is held and reality sets in.....

    I'm not so sure. (none / 0) (#54)
    by prittfumes on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:39:27 PM EST
    It's been almost eight years and the most severely infected Bushies show no signs of recovery.

    But, but, but... (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by OrangeFur on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:29:09 PM EST
    Obama's only saying those things now and voting that way to get elected. Once he's elected he'll go back on everything he's saying now and do the real progressive things. You'll see!

    Yeah, that's not particularly honest (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by SoCalLiberal on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:45:54 PM EST
    That's why I won't vote for McCain.  He doesn't like the religious right, he's probably in favor of abortion rights, and probably is better on gay rights than we would know.  But he won't campaign that way and he'll have to do without my vote.

    While I'm at this point voting for neither McCain nor Obama, I could still change my mind (if things get out of control in either direction).


    NO, NO, McCain isn't in favor of abortion rights! (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:02:00 PM EST
    He is down to the core anti-abortion and his long voting record testifies to it.

    Please read "Life Sentence," an excellent article by Sarah Blustein in TNR

    ....During his political career, McCain has participated in 130 reproductive health-related votes on Capitol Hill; of these, he voted with the anti-abortion camp in 125. McCain has consistently backed rights for the unborn, voting to cover fetuses under the State Children's Health Insurance Program and supporting the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which allowed a "child in utero" to be recognized as a legal victim of a crime. He has voted in favor of the global gag rule, which prevents U.S. funds from going to international family-planning clinics that use their own money to perform abortions, offer information about abortion, or take a pro-choice stand. And he has voted to appoint half a dozen anti-abortion judges to the federal bench, as well as Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. During the Bork hearings, McCain attacked the Court's creation of a right to privacy in Roe v. Wade: "Whether one is pro-or anti-abortion," McCain said in an October 1987 hearing, "it is difficult to argue that the Court's opinion is not constitutionally suspect."

    Some of these votes were, politically speaking, no-brainers for anyone vaguely in the pro-life camp. But McCain also joined efforts supported only by the radical wing of his party. He voted, for instance, with only one-fifth of the Senate to remove family-planning grants from a 1988 spending bill and with only 18 senators that same year against allowing Medicaid to pay for abortions in cases of rape or incest...."

    We absolutely have to stamp out the idea that McCain is a moderate on reproductive rights.  


    If Wes Clark is the VP I will be tempted to (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by hairspray on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:04:50 PM EST
    vote for Obama, or of course Hillary.  I can dream!

    I hope your right (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:53:02 PM EST
    I think his pick of the VP will give us a better indication of who the real Obama is.

    I think you missed the snark, (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by tree on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:56:35 PM EST
    my friend.

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#21)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:07:33 PM EST
    But sadly I've heard that song from a lot of my Obama friends!

    Yep, that's why it was a perfect (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by tree on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:04:11 PM EST
    snark. I've heard that same refrain too many times myself.

    I believe it is about who he wants you to (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:45:10 PM EST
    think he is...he has not stayed true to much.

    This is the heart of my problem with the Democrats (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by kempis on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:49:31 PM EST
    If Obama is the choice of the party leaders (and he was--which is how he became the nominee), precisely what it is it that this party stands for now?

    The Obama candidacy is not about policies and principles beyond window-dressing. It's about personality. If Obama says it, it's good. This is disturbingly like the dwindling Bushbots' in the GOP, people who think of themselves as conservatives when in fact their adulation of Bush has led them into a different ideology altogether: neoconservatism.

    I intend to vote for Obama because I can't support McCain, and I don't know that it's in me NOT to vote in any major election. But I will cast that vote with serious trepidation because I do not know what this candidate and this party stand for these days.

    The disturbing thing to me is that those who seem most excited about Obama's candidacy could care less about policies. All they care about is Obama. It's truly a personality cult. Hell, even Reagan had a few clear principles and some firm policy stands. He stood for things. (I know because I fervently opposed those things.) Obama stands for winning--and nothing else.

    But here's the deal: I don't think he can win that way. I'm one of the few people in the country who think that unless he can clearly state what he intends to do, what he intends to fight for, what principles are bedrock to him, he will not win in November.

    What's become 100% obvious to me (5.00 / 6) (#15)
    by frankly0 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:53:59 PM EST
    is that the vast majority of "progressive" bloggers, and the equally great majority of their commenters, are simply incapable of authentic independent thought.

    I mostly believed this even before they slavishly followed every Obama flip flop and deviation from progressive values. Even when I was mostly agreeing with them, I could pretty well see that they were doing little more than piling on to a position that someone else had articulated for them.

    What it took Obama to prove to me, though, was just how far they would take this mindlessly dependent tack.

    They are, one and all, lost souls waiting for instructions from the Mothership.

    I never really thought I had much in common with them. After Obama, I know I don't.

    I'm heading to Denver with a huge (5.00 / 10) (#19)
    by Ben Masel on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:02:38 PM EST

    If I don't turn up by Monday, can someone please file a Habeas motion in Nebraska?

    One point of Greenwald's (5.00 / 7) (#22)
    by frankly0 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:13:20 PM EST
    interview is just how absurdly fast Halperin flip flopped on the FISA bill (which Halperin basically declared he didn't want to have to talk about, and, with breathtaking chutzpah, implied it was rude and unfair for Greenwald to question him regarding).

    Really, this is one of the things that I have found astonishing about what Obama has done since he won the nomination and which his supporters enable, even admire: absolutely major flip flops that take place not over many months or years, but over as little as a few days.

    How does a politician get away with that? How does a supporter in a position of responsibility like Halperin, who must base his own credibility on some reputation for reliability and firmness on policy, get away with it?

    I've seen flip flops before, certainly. But never so many, never so fast, and never with so little apparent consequence.

    You're a basketball progressive, Tent (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by Dadler on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:32:03 PM EST
    Move he ball around, hit your free throws, play solid defense.  Consistency.  If only politics had such a clear-cut path to success.  I'm amazed how many Obamaphiles don't seem concerned that he has already let McCain take the low-road to the upper hand.  Every time he even mentions McCain he should be hyphenating St. John's name to McCain-Bush.  Senator McCain-Bush says this, Senator McCain-Bush says that.  Then run an add with a wedding cake showing Dubya and the Saint as groom and groom.  Alright, maybe not, but cake sounds good right now.  

    Obama is trying to redefine ... (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:54:20 PM EST
    progressivism as "right of center policies with some rhetorically progressive filigrees."

    It's a political version of three card monte.  

    But, like that old con game, it only fools the naive.

    Unfortunately, in that naive category are a heck of a lot of bloggers.

    The electoral result of Obamaism (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by BrianJ on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:58:10 PM EST
    Is visible at www.electoral-vote.com.

    Obama has a 289-249 lead in the electoral college, which looks good until you notice the 327-211 lead Kerry held on this day four years ago.  Or the steady retreat from the 140+ EV lead Obama held in late June.

    People want a real change from Bushism.  The Democrats didn't give it to them in 2004, and they're not giving it to them today.

    Not entirely fair about '04 (none / 0) (#61)
    by Landulph on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 10:01:49 AM EST
    In all fairness, '04 took place in very different circumstances--pre-Katrina, and a largely pro-Bush media, together with the last vestiges of Shrub's post-9/11 deification ceremonies. Still, your larger point is well-taken: Obama's gonna need a larger cushion than 40 EVs or 2-4 pts in the polls to survive the sewer-barrage Rove's acolytes in the 527s have prepared for him after the conventions. I'm not terribly optimistic.

    I have come to think of the term (5.00 / 11) (#34)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:00:37 PM EST
    "Obama progressive" as being the newest oxymoron.

    As I said earlier today, he doesn't lead, he travels with the herd, waiting and watching until he sees where it's going, then runs to the front and pretends ("my position has always been...") he was there the whole time.

    I can't believe so many people cannot see this.

    Obama has figured out (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by ChrisO on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:20:06 PM EST
    how to win the votes of Republicans. Just adopt their policies. Today Jim Leach, tomorrow Newt Gingrich.

    What I think has happened is this: (4.80 / 5) (#17)
    by Grace on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:58:28 PM EST
    Many of the Obama supporters now were Republicans who supported George Bush before and disliked Bill Clinton.  They did not get what they wanted out of the Neocons, even though they supported them, so they became "New Progressive Democrats."

    Unfortunately, these "New Progressive Democrats" come with an agenda that looks a lot like the pre-2000 Republican agenda:  Low taxes, no unions, etc.  

    Since Obama doesn't really have an agenda of his own, he has readily adapted theirs.  

    Anyone agree?  

    Sounds right to me (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by RalphB on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:42:32 PM EST
    For sure, Arianna was a big Reagan and later Newt supporter.  Kos was a Reaganite.  Examples abound.

    You took the words right out of (none / 0) (#55)
    by prittfumes on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:45:11 PM EST
    my keyboard.

    The only issue there is.... (none / 0) (#62)
    by Romberry on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 10:38:04 AM EST
    The only potential issue I see with that theory is that people who identify as Republicans who are supposed to be this massive hidden group, the Obamacans as it were, don't much seem to exist...at least not at this point in time.

    If you are saying that the Obamacans are "former Republicans become Democrats", I'm not sure without some evidence of a sizable switch of party registration that I can buy that either.

    There certainly has been a lot of people registering Dem and voting in Dem primaries this year -- which is something that Obama's campaign tried to say was credited only to them as though the other major candidate nor huge dissatisfaction with GW Bush exist -- but I don't know what the evidence might be that those new Dem registrations and primary voters were Republicans who switched.

    One thing is for sure and that is that the Obama unity shtick is based on the end of partisanship and making nice...with the party that has been trying to stomp progressives out for the last three decades. I'm not too thrilled with that shtick myself. It gets us things like Obama's vote on FISA...and his change of heart post-primary on NAFTA...and a group of advisers that are pro-privatization on Social Security.


    As Obama has always said: (3.50 / 2) (#28)
    by Ennis on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:47:23 PM EST
    ....he won't fit a mold.  He's basically a progressive, but he's also practical and pragmatic.  Running for President necessarily means the latter traits will dominate during an election.

    That's understandable, and fine with me.

    Heh (5.00 / 14) (#30)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:51:55 PM EST
    In other words, he said nothing.  Gotcha.

    In other words (2.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Ennis on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 03:37:09 AM EST
    You wouldn't hear it.

    Uh huh. (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by lentinel on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:38:10 PM EST
    We are being led to accept on faith that Barack is saying and doing all these regressive things - but after he's elected he'll be OK.

    There's this wonderful bridge in Brooklyn - and I can get it for you cheap.


    The difference between faith or belief and (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Valhalla on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:41:24 PM EST
    evidence (or data) is perfectly articulated in your remark.

    In fact, it's pretty much the definition of Halpernism that BTD is talking about:  Obama said it, so it must be true.

    No need to look at the man behind the curtain.  Nope, no reason at all.


    Pragmatism is not faith (3.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Ennis on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 03:36:03 AM EST
    The first order of business is to get the best candidate elected.  That's not McCain.

    so what you're saying is that (none / 0) (#58)
    by kimsaw on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 08:42:23 AM EST
    its okay to pull a bait and switch move on the electorate. Say one thing now to get elected and when you've reached your goal, you can govern any old way you chose because you are now the master of the free world?

    Just like Bush and Cheney! (none / 0) (#59)
    by jawbone on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 09:01:16 AM EST
    And, now famous words, that's worked out so well???

    No (none / 0) (#66)
    by Ennis on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 02:29:51 PM EST
    What I'm saying is that Obama never told us he would govern from inside a narrow ideological box.  He promises to approach issues with an open mind and reach practical, pragmatic compromises.  Sometimes we will disagree with him, and that's acceptable.

    He ran as a DEMOCRAT (none / 0) (#67)
    by kimsaw on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 03:23:06 PM EST
    or should I say pretended to be one.  So practical, pragmatic compromise is the central theme of DNC platform. Screw policy, fight for nothing, as it's only about the win. Throw principles under the bus with Grandma. What and who will he stand up for? We know how often he backs down. He'll show grand respect for the opposition party by his willingness to compromise yet he and the DNC offer that Clinton and her supporters are not necessary to THEIR new coalition. Thank you Donna Brazile.  

    If the FISA flip flop is the standard for compromise, so much for change and hail to the status quo!  

    Obama is a leader in an empty box.


    Compromise and pragmatism (none / 0) (#68)
    by Ennis on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 05:16:34 PM EST
    are certainly part of the Democratic party now that Obama is the head of it.  He made it very clear from the start, and that's why he won - on "change."  

    But some purists can't handle change.  Too bad.


    He won on "change" ? (none / 0) (#69)
    by kimsaw on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 08:19:31 PM EST
    Please tell me exactly what "change" means  and when did he bring it. Change is just a word unless there is action to prove otherwise. What has he lead on? How many times did he vote present or chose not to vote because of political consequences, or hit the wrong button when voting? How often did he stand up to hate speech in his own church or nod his head in agreement? How can he ignore the conditions of his constituents on the Southside and then make land deals with their slumlord? When is a lobbyist not a lobbyist, when their spouse gives the cash? How many times does a candidate get to clarify what they really mean, after all words matter?  I could go on but I'm really getting tired of this.

    The funny part is I'm not a purist or a Democrat. I'm the Independent Obama's courting. You know, the ones in the center, the leaner either way. I  will vote my conscience, one of those educated, affluent ones, you know the kind that aren't bitter.  I'm not beholding to either party , but I do know bamboozling when I see it.

    Leading is the ability to stand up in the face of opposition as well as agreeing to compromise as a last resort and that compromise should get you as close to your original goal as possible. Adherence to core values are essential to integrity, in other words we don't throw Grandmas under the bus. I don't think  Obama or the Democrats have proven they understand that. They think win at all cost is better than losing with your principles in tact. Everything they railed against Republicans for is now part of their game plan. They are not changing the political world, they are enmeshed in it. They are choosing to play the old game, and just labeling it new.  

    In the end our compromise will be that on this issue we'll agree to disagree.


    I agree that McCain is not an alternative (none / 0) (#63)
    by Romberry on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 10:45:01 AM EST
    Unfortunately, while McCain is not an acceptable choice for me, my conscience will not allow me to vote for Obama. He also is not acceptable.

    This year for the first time in my adult life, I either will not cast a ballot for president or I will vote 3rd party in protest.

    I will be voting for Democrats down ballot and I will be hoping beyond hope that the coming strongly Democratic congress (at lest strongly Dem based on party affiliation) grows a spine and begins to act like Dems again.


    In other words (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Nadai on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:16:03 PM EST
    see comment #10 and delete the snark.

    Maybe some links to sites (none / 0) (#31)
    by vicndabx on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:52:09 PM EST
    that explain info on the "true," i.e. commonly accepted prior to 2007 meaning of the word, or other sources of historical perspective to educate the masses would help?

     -i don't profess to know any, just asking....

    Well, I'm mostly going by memories (5.00 / 6) (#42)
    by Valhalla on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:55:51 PM EST
    Some of which stretch way back to when 'liberal' was not a dirty word.

    I think it has a lot to do with operating from principle.  I agree with BTD when he writes about looking to issues instead of personalities, but issues evolve out of principles.

    And I can no longer identify any principles underlying this 'new' coalition party.  Any Dem is better than a Republican isn't a principle.  Nor is winning at any cost.

    I think the Democrats correctly realized something had to change from how they ran races in 2000 and 2004.  But they choose accommodation over leadership.  If the method you're using to win isn't working, then change the method, not the underlying reasons for trying to win in the first place.  Leadership (and this is what I think Clinton does so well) is moving in the direction you'd like the country to go.  Yes, you have to accept setbacks and the occasional reversal, but the direction stays the same.  It's a d*mn hard thing to do.  But the Democratic Leadership seems to have decided on 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' mindset.


    And that's why I read you (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 10:00:49 AM EST
    And spend my time participating in the environment your writings create.

    Many years ago (none / 0) (#64)
    by Bluesage on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 10:57:44 AM EST
    I was faced with a delimma on who to vote for in the mayor's race in my town.  I knew them both and knew them both to be corrupt and interested more in themselves and the position than the job or the people.  The Democrat had been mayor a long time and I had been very active in a protest against widening a main street with historical homes, one of which I owned.  He really disliked me and his face would turn beet red every time he saw me.  The other guy was the Republican and husband of a woman I had known a long time and he really wanted my support.  After the street widening went through I went and asked the Democrat to cut the street beside my home on thru to aleviate the traffic and he told me that it would not happen as long as he was alive.  I went and talked to the Republican and asked if he would do it if I supported him with a 8' x 8' sign in my yard.  He said yes, he won and I got my street.  I sometimes worry that I could go to hell for that.  It's the only time in my life I've voted for a Republican but it may not be the last.  I will vote a straight Democratic ticket all the way down but I will not vote for Obama.  I do not trust him and I do not like what he, the DNC and his supporters have done to the Clinton's or our Party.  If we have large gains in the Congress and we hold their feet to the fire we could probably handle McCrazy for four years and rebuild our party with Obama sent back to the dustbin of the Senate.

    A return to the senate? (none / 0) (#65)
    by KeysDan on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 11:47:13 AM EST
    If this president thing does not work out, continued service in the U.S. Senate somehow does not fit him.  More likely something more lucrative. Hopefully, just a point of idle conversation.