Broderism Triumphant?

It is easy to dismiss David Broder because he so often writes foolish things. For example, in today's column, he describes Ted Stevens, whose indictment alleges that he was doing political and legislative favors in exchange for expensive contracting work on his properties, as part of:

the rear guard of a generation of senators who see it as their principal responsibility to help their chronically needy citizens obtain the federal largess that can spell the difference between subsistence and a decent living.

(Emphasis supplied.) Um, Stevens was just labelled by the Department of Justice as a two bit grafter. Foolish, Broder, foolish. But what about Broder's claim that he will "win again" in the 2008 election, that High Broderism will be triumphant? That claim requires some examination. More . . .

Broder writes:

As significant as the numerical potential [of democratic gains] is the changing character of the new senators who may arrive in this election. They could be welcome news for either a President Obama or a President McCain, because the likeliest winners mainly are centrists who have been tested in real-world politics and have little tolerance for ideological extremes.

Two of the top five Democratic prospects are people who have been governors of conservative states. [NH Senator John] Sununu is in a rematch with former New Hampshire governor Jeanne Shaheen, who dealt with a Republican legislature throughout her tenure in Concord and -- to the disappointment of some Democrats -- managed to avoid a new broad-based tax to finance the schools.

The other former governor is Mark Warner of Virginia, favored to succeed retiring Sen. John Warner (no relation). Mark Warner, a millionaire businessman, also shared his capital with a Republican legislature and learned in his four years a wealth of practical wisdom about negotiating compromises.

Broder goes on to describe Mark Udall (Colorado), Tom Udall (New Mexico) and Mark Begich (Alaska) as adherents to High Broderism:

These five are likely recruits for the growing band of senators who -- under McCain's leadership -- saved the Senate from blowing up over the issue of judicial filibusters. If McCain and Obama are serious about moving beyond partisan gridlock, these folks might help.

According to Broder, there is, and should be, a Broderist strain to the 2008 election, Obama and McCain are going to pursue Beltway "post partisanship," a larger Democratic Senate majority will also pursue High Broderism.

As Broder sees it, the Wise Old Men of Washington, people like himself, Sam Nunn and Tom Daschle, reasonable post partisans, will go back to steering the ship of state no matter who wins in November.

Broderism triumphant? I can honestly say at this point, the evidence supports Broder. I hope he is wrong but the evidence is that he is not.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Broder is a totall @$$@*)(*)_)_ (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:01:44 AM EST
    I cannot describe how much disdain I have for this man and his LIES and SPIN.  He is the definition of elitist.  He is just happy a "Clinton" isn't in the race for anything.  His snotty attitude toward the Clintons which came off to me as "how dare that white trash from Arkansas think he is allowed to be in the WH".....with the added "how dare a WOMAN think she has the right to do anything but wait on men" has rubbed me wrong for years.  
    He reminded me (as does Matthews and much of the pundit class) of the people in the neighboring areas from where I grew up.  I was raised in a steel town that was in the center of a wealthy republican county in PA.  We were literally on the other side of the river from the Main Line of Philadelphia.  For those of you unfamiliar, the main line is the area of OLD MONEY and OLD MANSIONS.   To this day some of their "servants' quarters homes still stand and they are million dollar stone homes that were considered shacks in comparison to the mansions.

    When I was a teen and we used to go to "mixers" at some of the all boys prep schools (because our  school sent us in buses as they deemed these wealthy young men as "safe"... boy were they wrong).  And they were the young Broders, the young Matthews, the young snotty frat types who looked at girls as subserviant and mocked girls with intellect.  

    Nothing Broder says in my book is worth even reading.  He is a misogynistic jerk who longs for the good old days when white males ruled it all.

    Sounds fascinating (none / 0) (#42)
    by SoCalLiberal on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    But let me ask, why would those boys want to have a mixer with you guys?  Weren't you deemed too low class for them?

    I agree with you on the fratboy types who look down on women.  It still makes me sick to think about.  


    Good question (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:24:28 PM EST
    It was the adults who pushed it....some of the prep schools were catholic and our church paid for most of us to attend the local catholic school.  I am guessing the priests worked it out for the all boys prep schools (many catholic) to invite us.  I think they (the church authorities) were looking to get us girls barefoot and pregnant with little catholics as soon as possible.  And public schools did not have the gravitas with parents as the church did.  When our school decided on us going to an event, our parents, their parents complied. I suspect the all boys' schools were just happy to have girls of any kind.

    As well when I went to college my state school was just a few miles from an ALL MEN's private college where most of the boys were from rich families...quite a few Texans as I recalled.
    They often called our dorms for parties.  Most of us were intrigued when we were freshman but it was the 60s and it did not take for many of us to be turned off by the rich frat boys and furniture, apartment trashing parties.  We knew what they wanted from us....sex and hot times....and that's all.  Most of them had rich girl friends elsewhere at private women's colleges.  


    Definition of "post partisanship" ( (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:39:59 AM EST
    aka High Broderism): Democrats after a few scenes of compromise kabuki theater, vote for and promote Republican agendas.

    I think Broder has won (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:44:21 AM EST
    I think Obama is Broderism personified, at least in the way he presents himself.  Some still have the hope that he is secretly a lot more partisan and leftist than he appears, but i don't buy it.

    McCain is Broder's product too, for that matter.

    OT, but my head just exploded.  David Gergen jsut pronounced on This Week that the McCain "The One" ad about Obama is code word for 'uppity'.

    More upbeat article (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:54:56 AM EST
    I can tell you're going to be (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:03:22 AM EST
    really popular around here.

    Ha. (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:05:29 AM EST
    It is easy to dismiss David Broder (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Edger on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:06:11 AM EST
    because he so often writes foolish things but then you'd also have to dismiss as foolish all of his loyal readers. WAPO doesn't keep him because nobody reads and belives him, after all...

    Ummm... never mind. ;-)

    This is actually in response (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by sj on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:12:57 PM EST
    to your question about 200 comments which I couldn't respond to as comments had been closed.

    I'm not entirely sure about the problem, but, as I understand it, more than that starts to overload the server.  Maybe someone more in the know can be more specific.


    Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Edger on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:54:34 PM EST
    Well, whether you want to call it (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:37:01 AM EST
    "Broderist" or not, what Obama and McCain seem to be doing is making a thin, gray gruel out of issues that ought to be much more stark and well-defined.  Even as one is accusing the other of some terrible position, he is nuancing his own position to make it less attackable, and the object of his attack is likely to come out with a new position that he swears is always the one he held, and so close to his opponent's as to be nearly indistinguishable.

    Maybe in some circles that is considered smart politics, but in my circle it is considered failure to establish and hold principles worth going to the mat over.

    That we could end up with more people like this in the Congress is sad and depressing; we need strength and resolve in the Congress and in the WH, not spineless capitulation disguised as "post-partisanship."

    Ugh, ick and gack.

    Obama has only shown broderism (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by pluege on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:43:44 AM EST
    unless his election strategy is to hide his secret progressivism until after he wins (and I do not think that is the case), Obama wants to be as much an insider as any of the worst of the entrench corrupt democrats and republicans sucking the public dry to feed their corporate boardroom masters. Washington insiderism, i.e., broderism are the signals he's been sending all election. Obamafans are the biggest fools/suckers on Earth.

    Yes. The evidence (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:12:08 PM EST
    is strong and supports Broder.

    This is news?  The minute we saw that Obama was the Dem establishment candidate, that his Sunday morning reps are Kerry and Daschle (puh-LEEZE) it became clear that preogressive Dem ideals are for speechifying and taking in the confused and hapless (tho hopeful)...not for governing.

    The FISA vote said it all.  I don't know how anyone can see it any other way, much less deny it.

    BTW...I do agree with Broder re
    "a generation of senators who see it as their principal responsibility to help their chronically needy citizens obtain the federal largess that can spell the difference between subsistence and a decent living."

    And not only senators but reps, too...it's the whole point of earmarks and it's not going away.

    Just a question (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Chisoxy on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:56:29 PM EST
    Is there any acceptable criticism of him that you wont label Rupublican/GOP/Rovian talking points?

    Is it not possible for two groups of people to point out the same thing because, surprisingly, it is that obvious to them.

    For example Obama has now takne some positions that are essentially in line with McCain. So why are you not calling him the GOP candidate? A little intellectual honesty, or at least consistency, would be appreciated.

    Did you not read Chisoxy's statement? (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by jeffhas on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:08:00 PM EST
    There are no labels in Chisoxy's comment.

    As was said: Obama has changed positions on some issues and is in line with McCain (FISA, Drilling, etc)

    Why do you not refer to him as GOP?... you're quite quick at labeling others here.

    Hard to disagree (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:06:34 AM EST
    No raging populist--let alone fighting Democrat--is Mark Warner.

    Senate Majority Leader, Head Mourner (none / 0) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:59:06 AM EST
    When Ted Stevens' indictment was announced, I noted with chagrin, that among "first responders" to this scandal was Harry Reid.  The Democratic majority leader spoke in sympathetic and funereal tones about how sad it was for Stevens and the senate.  Not much about the criminal charges or breach of public trust. Just a sad message that a club member is going down.  Moreover, there was no parallel comment from the Republican minority leader, Mitch McConnell.  It is no wonder that some either think Stevens is a Democrat who was caught, or that the lot of them are crooks. However, we can be sure that Broder was proud of our self-appointed head mourner.

    And Then There's His Stylistic Opposite (none / 0) (#16)
    by The Maven on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:27:55 AM EST
    who pays not the slightest bit of attention to encouraging centrism in all things, but views the traditional Beltway Boys' Club as the natural order of things, our dear friend Maureen Dowd.  Once again today, her column is essentially unreadable -- I could only make it through the first few paragraphs before I could sense blood vessels about to burst.  For MoDo, issues are completely irrelevant in politics; it's entirely about personalities and who likes whom.  A middle school newspaper gossip column would be as insightful, though would probably be lacking in Dowd's attempts at Dorothy Parker-style stiletto quips.

    At least with Broder, even if he may be largely right about this particular item, we can feel assured that his type of commentator is very close to extinction, whereas in a theoretically post-partisan world, we could see MoDo becoming godparent to countless imitator.  The original is bad enough; pale copies could be unbearable.  TMZ Politics, anyone?

    I tried to read MoDo (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:08:24 PM EST
    but my concerns for my blood pressure stopped me soon into it.  That woman is the worst thing that every happened to female journalists.  Her hatred of all things Clinton keeps her firmly in the millionaire Irish Catholic Boy's Club Auxillary.  She is indeed everything many of aspired to not be...scathing and nasty to other women whom one perceives as a threat to her "power."  Maureen is the classic "the boys like me because I never threaten them" and therefore I am the #female....the one that makes them happy because she never demands to be their equal happily following the dictates of her paternalistic upbringing.

    Hillary and Hillary supporters scare MoDo.  We are "uppity" and do not know OUR place.  Any male, regardless of race, ethnicity, education or lack thereof, work ethic or lack thereof, is better than any female....that's MoDo. She is the ultimate misogynist protecting her place with a vengeance.

    Of course she was equally nasty to men who did not fill her "macho" view of what men should be.  Bush vs Gore, her disgust with Al was evident.  Was it the macho factor?  the hatred for anyone associated with the Clintons factor?  Or both? I believe the last.  

    Weird! In order to praise Obama she must trash women.  And then in order to "support" McCain she must feminize Obama.  Why this woman has a following among any progressives is a puzzle.


    Dowd "feminized" Obama (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:49:45 PM EST
    and "masculinized" Clinton throughout the primaries. Here is an example. Dowd's unfair characterization of Obama was unfortunately never noticed during the primaries by HRC supporters in their zeal to browbeat Obama's campaign and his supporters to submission. But facts are facts...  

    Oh, wow. (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by pie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:53:15 PM EST
    Just wow.

    Was that snark?


    If the mice give me problems (none / 0) (#52)
    by Fabian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:24:06 PM EST
    I'll just print that column out, shred it and mix it with peanut butter.  Pure poison.

    Well, you're totally wrong (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:27:01 PM EST
    Dowd's attempted feminization of Obama was discussed and commented on here, many times.  I never read her, so I would not have known about it at all if it were not for the TL discussions.

    I think it's funny that it's Obama and the DNC who are telling Clinton supporters to 'get over it', when they clearly can't let go of their myriad imagined and manufactured Clinton offenses.

    Pivot to the GE already.


    Heh. (none / 0) (#68)
    by pie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:43:42 PM EST
    I wasn't talking about MoDo's column.  Amazing how selective some people's memory is.

    modo is so yesterday in my view. (none / 0) (#35)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:43:29 PM EST
    hatred for the clintons is out but the kool kids just don't know it yet.

    Um.....wow. (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:40:14 PM EST
    However (none / 0) (#25)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:04:39 PM EST
    there is a comment allowed. I think this is the first time I have seen that word connected to a Dowd column.

    WE are allowed to actually comment on the Special's writing.


    I Had Not Noticed (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by The Maven on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:25:05 PM EST
    most likely because I'd seen the column in the dead tree edition, so I didn't even click through when I went to provide a link.  I've skimmed a number of the 400+ comments so far, and it seems that there are more than a few folks who would agree with our sentiments.  Perhaps the NYT management will encourage her to go off and write a couple more books when it comes time for contract renewal.  "Are Men Necessary" needs to have a couple of poison-pen sequels, even if they wind up in the discount bin, right?

    Where was Broder when republicans were (none / 0) (#23)
    by pluege on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:55:01 AM EST
    raping and pillaging the country with their extremism? He didn't have too much to say about that, only to disparage any of the very few democrats that didn't role over immediately to the wise fatherly wisdominess of republican fascism. broder is one of the many true traitors to the Constitution, the rule of law, and American ideals.

    broder is likely right that Obama and most of the incoming democrats are just more corporate lapdogs only too anxious to continue the republican tradition of stealing from the America people to enrich their corporate cronies, but it doesn't change the fact that broder is among the worst of the worst - a true anti-American.

    Sounds Familiar (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:30:08 PM EST
    Obama will be seen as the interloper who stole the election from its rightful owner by fooling the nation into thinking he was something he wasn't. "He's a chameleon, a changeling, he's not quite right." Whether he wins big or by a hair, he'll still be an illegitimate president who must be stopped from doing anything until they can restore the White House to its proper occupants --- the Republicans. It will be the basis of their rationale for total obstructionism and ongoing character assassination.


    And I haven't ever gone over to right wing sites, or read Broder. This kind of bi-partisanship effort seems destructive to me.

    Right (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by Steve M on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:06:01 PM EST
    They did it to Clinton and they will do it to Obama.  The GOP doesn't care if the media fawns over him and proclaims it the dawn of a new Camelot.  They're not just going to roll over, they will spare no expense trying to delegitimize him.

    This is one of the reasons why people like BTD and myself are so relentless in arguing that message matters.  It takes courage to run forthrightly on your beliefs, but if you win, the mandate is very real.  If you run to the center out of political expedience, you may get elected, but you don't get a popular mandate just because something was on your website.


    The brilliance behind the... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by EL seattle on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:27:17 PM EST
    ..."Contract with America" was that it was a clear written fixed message.  It lead to momentum for the republicans in 1994, and although the republicans used and abused and corrupted much of their "contract", I think that as a tool, it was a lot more effective for them than a "Website with America - Updated Frequently!" would have been.  There's something about that word "contract" that sounds so confident, and so permanent and binding.

    Beliefs? (none / 0) (#84)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:06:40 PM EST
    I never heard BTD argue about Obama running on beliefs, or any Pol for that matter.

    Must have of missed it.


    Sigh (none / 0) (#87)
    by Steve M on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:20:41 PM EST
    No, he didn't, nor does that have anything to do with my point.

    The people who believe Obama is a genuine liberal should be encouraging him to run on a liberal message, to use his rhetorical talents to persuade people that liberal policies are the natural outcome of our shared values.

    They should not be encouraging him to run and hide from those positions in order to get elected, because you don't get a mandate for issues that you don't run on.  He's not going to be a dictator with absolute power, he's going to need support from Congress and the public to get anything of significance done.  So there's no point in hiding his light under a bushel until after the election.

    Whether Obama really is a liberal deep down inside is totally irrelevant.  Liberals should want him to run as a liberal.


    Apart From Your Apparent Ennui (none / 0) (#95)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:41:46 PM EST
    I am glad that you cleared that up with what you (and BTD) really meant. Sounds much better.

    I don't buy this entirely (none / 0) (#61)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:35:09 PM EST
    because it is politics...and politics is a dirty, power hungry, self serving, no holes barred game.

    It is not about either or any parties.  It is just a character assassinating process that is used as a goal to win.

    It's disgusting and maybe, liberating at the same time.....like watching a movie with a plot but has too much gratuitous violence where you just can't stop watching.

    Is it fair or right?  I don't know. I do know that every person who steps into that circle expects this to happen and may the best man or woman win.

    What is kind of satisfying, if you reframe it, is that everyone gets to play.


    Oh...and Broder (none / 0) (#64)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:39:09 PM EST
    loves this game more than anyone. I bet he would absolutely have a mental breakdown if we did have a real 'bipartisan' government.

    Come on.  No one really wants that...be honest.


    Digby's drowned herself (none / 0) (#67)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:42:01 PM EST
    In a vat of kool-aid.

    Obama may or may not win an eletion, close or not, I don't know.  But I can't say if it will be stolen.

    What I can say is Obama has already fooled people into thinking he was against FISA.  He will continue to fool people into thinking he's something he's not.

    He is a chameleon.

    He is a changling.

    And he's not quite right.

    And he's not a legitimate nominee in my view.

    These are all things that remain apparent to me with or without the accusation that I'm helping republicans.

    I don't even think republicans are that verbose though.

    I think Digby is trying to push the "You're with with Obama or you are with the Republicans" thing we've seen reach full maturity over the last few weeks.  


    Digby is pouring her theory of (none / 0) (#70)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:48:11 PM EST
    American politics, which is heavily dependent on consideration  of the post Civil War divide, into the inappropriate vessel of Obama---IMO.

    what we also know for sure is (none / 0) (#85)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:14:13 PM EST
    obama supporters agree with Rove and the GOP that if you voted for the AUMF then you wanted a war.

    so a lot of people really need to start thinking things through before they spew their inane hypocrisies about who's doing the GOP's work for them.


    She refuses to consider how Obama (none / 0) (#71)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:48:36 PM EST
    has changed the equations she works with.

    We can't have the media turning against (none / 0) (#56)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:26:52 PM EST
    Obama.  It was important to nominate Obama because the media is on his side.

    Yes.  Broderism is triumphant.

    Lemme ask you (none / 0) (#76)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:54:37 PM EST
    Do you think Dems are responsible for the war?

    I admit, I'm having a hard time... (none / 0) (#86)
    by EL seattle on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:15:50 PM EST
    ...reconciling some of Digby's recent posts with Somerby's post from Friday.  Maybe it's a binary vs. analog thing.

    Another free market ideologue---which (none / 0) (#96)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:22:26 PM EST
    of our two choices are you referring to?

    If you are seriously arguing (none / 0) (#99)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:05:51 PM EST
    Obama is a free market ideologue in the mold of Bush and Phil Gramm, you have disqualified yourself from further discussion of this issue. And yes I am aware of Goolsby.

    Um, you don't get to disqualify (none / 0) (#103)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:49:07 PM EST
    me, nor do you get to qualify the original statement.
    Obama is much, much closer to a free market ideologue than any Democratic candidate in memory.

    I didn't disqualify you (none / 0) (#104)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 09:39:44 PM EST
    you did that all by yourself, if you are arguing Obama is a free market idealogue in the mold of Bush or Gramm.

    Free market idealogues don't run on creating a $10 billion Foreclosure Prevention Fund; or extending and expanding unemployment insurance;they definitely don't run on establishing a "Advanced Manufacturing Fund to identify and invest in the most compelling advanced manufacturing strategies to name just a few things.

    You may or may not agree with any of those ideas. You may thing they are wrong, trite, hackneyed and plain undoable. But they are not they ideas of a free market idealogue.