How To Make Ideological Shifts Happen

At Open Left, Chris Bowers and David Sirota argue that (1) there has been an ideological shift in the nation; and (2)GOP mythmaking must be demolished. Fine. But how to do it? What is missing from most analysis on the Dem side (and part of this is due to the inability to understand the important shift Bill Clinton achieved - to wit, proving that Democrats can govern) is the importance of results when governing. Take this TPM e-mailer:

. . . Unfortunately for Jindal (and the country), Republicans used that same argument for decades . . . Simply put, his party has been the one controlling our government for a long, long time. The problem isn't government, it's Republican government - and everyone knows it.

Marshall's e-mailer completely writes Bill Clinton out of the history books. More . . .

What most amazes me in these debates is how some Democrats will not point to the Clinton example of governance as the proof of what Dems can and do do when in power. they also seem to be oblivious to the fact that the results of President Obama's policies will be the new measuring stick for Democrats. It's fun to make fun of Jindal and Republicans, but if anyone thinks that 4 years from now, people will be deciding who to vote forth based on Republican blather, they are sadly mistaken. Election are referendums on the party in power. That's the Dems now. The jolly past time of excoriating the GOP may be fun, but it is no longer a strong political tool.

Speaking for me only

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    Hmmmm. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:15:45 AM EST
    I think I disagree. I think we need to remind people how we got into this mess, since it's the ideological principle (over practicality) that will keep us from fixing this mess.

    Things like "moral hazard" and " your own bootstraps"" keep us in bad financial times.

    This is why Obama's speech kept referring to the last 10 years. It's not most of what he talked about, but it's an important part. And it's important to address the GOP points.

    to the extent (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:20:31 AM EST
    necessary to build political support for CURRENT policy intitiatives (i.e - Obama's "deficit we inherited" line last night), it is useless.

    The next elections will be decided on what Dems do.


    I disagree with sentence #1 (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:30:46 AM EST
    and agree with sentence #2.

    I think the way to successful Democratic policy execution is by selling it, and one part of selling it is to directly address the concerns of the GOP (which is easy to do by bringing up specific examples of their failures).

    The GOP are whining about how the stimulus package is taxing our grandchildren....they need to be called on the carpet for saying such things. And the basis for doing so is the past. Both their failings, and the sucess of Democratic policies in historical economic times.

    I am not saying it should be most of the PR, but I think it needs to be a part of it. (Too much gives the GOP credit for more power than they have, also not good)



    OTHERWISE (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:32:11 AM EST
    it is useless is what I meant to say.

    OK, well (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:40:30 AM EST
    that makes my response rather useless. LOL!

    True, but (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:44:03 AM EST
    I think Dems. also have to be relentless in trashing and ridiculing Republican ideas.  The Dems always get in trouble because when Dem things don't go quite as right as people think they should, people start listening to the Republicans.  Dems. always let the Republicans up off the mat, but the Republicans never do.

    If the economy comes roaring back next year, maybe that wouldn't be necessary.  But results are rarely so dramatic and clear-cut, and the Republicans know how to take advantage of that.  Expectations for the Dems (Obama) are sky-high right now, and the odds that those expectations are going to be entirely fulfilled are slim.  That poses a significant danger if the Republican alternative is seen as even remotely viable.

    The Dems for decades now have relied on the obvious superiority of their ideas and the good results of those ideas to carry the day and refrained from pounding home the idiocy and falsity of the Republican approach.

    I would suggest that is one of the key reasons that Bush got close enough in 2000 to steal the election, despite the superb economic record of the Clinton administration.


    When Obama denigrates things that come out of Wash (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by jawbone on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:23:43 AM EST
    -ington, he seldom differentiates between the governance under Clinton (when FEMA, for example, worked very well) and that under Republican presidents and Congresses. He doesn't clarify who he means.

    His little joke about the Obama Stimulus Bill, that if was messy, or some other derisive term, because it came out of Washington -- yuck, wink, snigger -- really bothered me. It was such a Republican thing to say.  Where does he expect legislation on a national level to come from? What government does he think he's the chief executive of?

    And he's going to need those Dems he's denigrating that way.

    When he said last night that he would  propose new regulations for the financial markets to replace "outmoded and overworn" regulations, I said, whoa, there, Mr. Prez! We have many good and workable regulations on the books, but under BushCo they were simply ignored, people were put in charge who didn't believe government ought to regulate the magic hand of the market--or even, say in food safety, the production of food.

    The first step is to actually follow and enforce the existing regulations, while evaluating what needs to be changed.

    There are so many examples of what Repubs did NOT do that lead to tragedies that it is alarming that Obama will not name names. Of course, he says he will call out mayors, other local and state officials, if they don't spend the stimulus monies "wisely." He will name their names, but he seldom names Republicans' names who got us into much of the mess we're in.

    It's either his idea of reaching across the aisle or he doesn't want to be associated too closely with that Democratic Party. Or...what?

    Clinton fervently believed it was absolutely (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by jawbone on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:27:01 AM EST
    necessary to demonstrate to the public that Democrats could govern effectively and competently, that that was required to make substantial changes, for the better he felt, in our society.

    Obama will be judged on what he does, not just what he says. But the Democratic Party will also be judged on what he does and does not get done and how well or not he does it.


    The DOW is currently down almost 150 pts (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:43:12 AM EST
    this morning. So, did his speech instill the confidence necessary?

    I wish the people who contributed to that $640M plus war chest that got him elected would match those contributions into the stock market right now.


    We have got to stop (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by cotton candy on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:51:40 AM EST
    living day to day by whether the stock market is up or down especially during these times.

    Whether or not the stock market is up or down is not going to make me feel "confident" when I don't have a job or healthcare.


    Yes. (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by lobary on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:05:31 PM EST
    Joseph Stiglitz brilliantly made the same point last night on CNN and in doing so exposed the foolishness of plutonian wingnut Stephen Moore. The topic of discussion was the stimulus bill and the bank bailouts. At the end of the segment Moore tried to counter Stiglitz by pointing at the stock market's drop and Stiglitz, in a hilarious WTF moment for a Nobel laureate, told him "well, we could give the banks everything they wanted tomorrow and the stock market would go up. So what?"



    You are right, (none / 0) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:51:38 PM EST
    we should not ordinarily hang on daily  stock market ups and downs but for the fact that the downs are outdistancing the ups and  the market, in this environment, is among critical economic indices. Moreover, there is a connection, of course,  between the status of the markets, jobs and health care.  Assuming the goal of President Obama's address to the nation, and in the presence of the other branches of government, was to engender confidence in him and his programs, I would give him a solid 'A' (reserving an option for serious downgrade if that social security comment was anything other than a meaningless sop).  However, further steps toward dealing with the banking problem were left unaddressed, perhaps because they are still in flux, and the markets need some certainty about now.

    You're mean Gadget.... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:59:38 AM EST
    why would you wish for people to give 640 million to crooked degenerate gambling welfare queens?...:)

    It would be like giving me your life savings while I was sitting at a roulette table...aka financial suicide in the long run.  Actually worse, it would be like giving me your life savings to play roulette and letting me keep a percentage, win or lose.


    The value of stocks are tied to (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:10:47 PM EST
    employment, but you knew that.

    So they say... (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:28:01 PM EST
    I don't know it though.  All I know for sure is my current employment is tied to my ability to sling plumbing supplies efficiently, and any future employment will be tied to my ability to sell myself and perhaps my ability to beat drug tests.

    But if it is about jobs...why not ask the Obama contributors to open businesses and hire direct...why give the gamblers the action?  why pay the vig?

    There was a world before the NY Stock Exchange, can we imagine one without it?


    once the stock market became the new pension fund, life changed. I'm pretty sure that the people who are still somewhat in hope of recovering some of what disappeared from their 401Ks. Like you, I never fell for that scam.

    My reference, however, to the market drop today had nothing to do with the market value. It had to do with the immediate display of confidence Obama's speech did or didn't inspire. Poll numbers don't do a thing for the financial well-being of the people.


    He will be judged on what he does (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:44:18 AM EST
    I agree.  But once, just once, I want Pres. Obama to seem proud of being a Democrat, to seem proud of (and excited about) being President, to seem proud of what Washington can do to make ordinary peoples' lives a little bit better.

    I don't like the snarky asides about Washington, adopting the GOP notion that what comes out of Washington is messy and bad. Let the GOP make that argument; let Pres. Obama and the Democrats prove (again, as under Clinton) that it isn't true. Elect Democrats, get good governance.


    Yes, you put what I wanted to say more succinctly. (none / 0) (#60)
    by jawbone on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:38:57 PM EST
    Obama does not look as if he's enjoying the job much, altho' at the Fiscal Summit, taking questions from the invitees, he did seem more comfortable and enjoying himself.

    Bill Clinton, except for the Monica period, never looked as if he did not love every minute of his job as president.

    As a Dem and a citizen, drat that that Monica thing ever happened. Or, at least, became known. Alas.


    Sadly, the CDS, in part, (4.00 / 3) (#11)
    by dk on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:30:39 AM EST
    comes from the top.  I suppose the pols are pols argument is that Obama felt he had to do this to win the primary, and for all I know that's the only reason he did it (what do I know, I can't read his mind).  But, the danger all along with that narrative is that it will do long term damage to the Democratic party.  

    And I don't know if Obama fans are going to give up the narrative so long as Obama himself carries it forward.  I will have respect for the ones that do, though.


    yes, Obama definitely dislikes the Clintons (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:51:21 AM EST
    except for Hillary, apparently. LOL.

    Not sure I follow this logic. (3.50 / 2) (#26)
    by dk on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:01:48 PM EST
    How does appointing Hillary as SoS have anything to do with his bashing of the last successful Democratic presidential administration (unless, of course, you think that Hillary is merely an extension of her husband).

    You are the one who brought up CDS (none / 0) (#36)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:19:09 PM EST
    which is a term specific to the primary

    If you think CDS is a term (none / 0) (#40)
    by dk on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:35:51 PM EST
    specific to the primary, you have a short memory indeed.  And if you look upthread I was responding to a comment about Obama's tone bashing all govt., including the govt. of the 90s.

    In that case (none / 0) (#41)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:46:18 PM EST
    you incorrectly used the term

    Nope. (none / 0) (#44)
    by dk on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:55:50 PM EST
    Yep. (none / 0) (#47)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 02:13:49 PM EST
    So True.... (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Campionrules on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:23:46 AM EST
    I don't know what's going on, but it must be the pure giddyness of having a democratic president in the white house. Any undergrad polisci student will tell you what BTD is saying here. Elections are referendums on the governing party. This is the bottom line for a two party system and we are democrats should hold this close. Republicans are not going to 'die off' or renounce satan or hole up in their mountain compound. Remember the republicans crowing about their permanent majority.......pff.
    To paraphrase somebody - If we do not heed the mistakes of history we will repeat them.

    I don't know (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:31:27 AM EST
    if there's been a complete ideological shift in this country.  It's a pendulum and after the disaster of the Bush years, when even some Republicans were glad to see the bum go, it still doesn't mean that they are going to embrace liberal ideas. Add to that, how many millions of Republicans didn't actually vote this year because they knew they were going to get walloped and they didn't like McCain, plus the many voters that voted for Obama the person, and not necessarily the Democratic Party, and it's hard to tell.  Most people in this country are actually middle of the road, tilting left or right, depending on the issue.  Obama successfully tapped into the malaise and disgust folks were feeling about Bush and was able to win.  I don't think you can call it a "shift" at least until 2012 and then we see what happens.

    It seems to me (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by lilburro on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:54:49 AM EST
    that there are probably a lot of people that would agree at various times that government is too big, too irresponsible, etc.  But it seems that a much smaller group would say "I hate social security."  When you campaign on SS as part of a horrible big government monster, then people are more willing to entertain changing it.  Esp if that big government appears to be failing.  

    Of course, the key to using Bill Clinton is that when he was Pres., the government was NOT failing.  We had Medicare & SS and we also had a surplus.  Unfortunately due to the prosperity of the time, people were encouraged to hack away at SS - why shouldn't I invest that money for my retirement?  Fortunately we can say now that investing that money is not a good idea.  We do indeed need a lockbox.  Funny how with Social Security things have to be just right - too much prosperity and people want to invest that money in the market, too little prosperity and people think we can't afford SS.

    You can't just look at polls and say, "people like our ideas."  That is true, but one reason they like them is that they remember that they WORK.

    I worry about the future reality right now (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:59:04 AM EST
    in a big way.  In 2011 we will not be experiencing what anyone who gets hit hard will interpret as an economic healing and a brighter future up ahead.  It is going to be years of struggle in the forefront of everyone's mind.  With a little reframing the Republicans are right back in business.  Without HOLC and relief for we small people all the way around it is just going to be years of fighting the downward spiral and then HOLC will forced on us I guess......by then a couple of Republicans will probably be pushing for HOLC.....pushing their ways right back into the debate and into governing power.  Obama's bipartisan mushiness will purchase this.

    promising polls (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:59:19 AM EST
    February 24, 2009Omero: (Obama's) Policies Before BipartisanshipBy Margie Omero

    Today's NYT/CBS poll has made news by suggesting bipartisanship may take a back seat to policies.  At least, if those policies are those of President Obama.  A majority (56%) want to see Obama work on "the policies he promised he would during the campaign."  Fewer said he should work in a bipartisan way with Congressional Republicans.

    By contrast, Republicans are strongly urged to work in a bipartisan way with President Obama.  Eight in ten (79%) say they should work with their Democratic colleagues and the President.  Only 17% felt they should "stick to Republican policies."

    I'm not surprised (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:18:37 PM EST
    in the wake of this "crisis" but when this crisis graduates to a new standard of living for most people, I think you'll be able to talk some smack to the masses about how a Republican could have made some things better and I think some people are going to believe it because they want to.

    Is that possible? (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:21:51 PM EST
    Fewer than 56% said Obama should work in a bi-partisan way with Republicans, but 79% think Republicans should work with Obama and the Democrats.

    So, Republicans should bend over backward to work with Dems, but Dems should put their fingers in their ears and say "We can't hear you!" and push through Dem policies?


    It is possible (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:33:53 PM EST
    if "bipartisan" means "doing what the other guy wants." This poll says to me that people want Democratic policies enacted and they don't want the GOP to block them.  Alrighty, full steam ahead.

    yes. That's how I read it. (none / 0) (#37)
    by coigue on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:20:34 PM EST
    A shift? No. A break? Yes. (5.00 / 0) (#25)
    by SeeEmDee on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:59:41 AM EST
    An ideological shift would be evident if a great many people in this country started making noises about class warfare, rather than acting as weak-tea apologists for the massive income re-distribution ceded to the wealthiest 1% that has taken place these past 28 years. When that kind of wording begins to be used more frequently, then you'll have evidence of an ideological shift.

    Otherwise, all we have is a break, a fracturing of the already loose coalition that makes up the majority of American society. The 'fault line' was always there, it just took 8 horrible years to bring that fracturing to the surface, and it remains to be seen if the society can survive it.

    Even tho' Obama has almost all (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by hairspray on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:11:41 PM EST
    of the good gov/t guys from Clinton days, he still seems to entertain the "one of the guys " mentality of there is something wrong with the Democrats.  I agree he should point out that there was good governance during the nineties (even if he can't mention Bil's name) and keep reminding people of those days and the potential for that to happen again. Too much ego I guess.  He is so stuck on bi-partisanship that he can't allow the other side is completely devoid of ...anything. They have no skills at leadership, no ideas and no heart.  Gawd I wish WJC were our leader now.  We would have a lion heart instead of a wuss.

    Most bloggers are just ... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:54:19 PM EST
    MSM wannabes and, thus, have much of the same failings.  They do little or no reporting, they talk too much to each other, and they believe their own blather.    

    Most individuals aren't strongly ideological.  They base their political decisions mainly on a "what have you done for me lately" approach.

    So there isn't an ideological shift as such, there are just conditions where one party's policies have failed, so the public is willing to take a chance on the other party.

    End. Of. Story.

    More than this: (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by Pacific John on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 02:06:08 PM EST
    Election are referendums on the party in power.

    ... elections reflect non-ideological shifts from economic and other conditions that are beyond the control of political leadership. Just because swing voters slosh one way or the other does not mean the country has changed its mind about Social Security or school vouchers.

    And even when elections are statements on leadership, say Bush's foreign policy incompetence, that does not mean the voters would embrace Amy Goodwin in the next national security emergency.

    All of this misses the point right under the pundit's noses, that neither party is as populist as the schlubs in Middle America would like. The Netroots empowered itself, but if we were to invent genuine people powered politics to drive through obvious social programs like universal health care and free college, people who punch time clocks would have as much influence as Bowers and Sirota.

    Gee... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by lambert on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 07:31:36 PM EST
    I wonder if this:

    if we were to invent genuine people powered politics to drive through obvious social programs like universal health care and free college, people who punch time clocks would have as much influence as Bowers and Sirota.

    could have anything to do with this:

    Marshall's e-mailer completely writes Bill Clinton out of the history books.


    We need to take this opportunity (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 02:33:27 PM EST
    to delineate parallels between Clinton's success and Obama's plans.  BUT we also need to be honest about what didn't work in the Clinton and years.  Middle class Republicans & blue dog Dems believe right wing distortions because we do not admit our own failings.  For example, progressives want to help the downtrodden, but some policies raise the poor into the middle class, while other policies create intergenerational welfare.  (I'd make college free but limit Section 8 housing to one year.)  Another example is our Party's cowardly desertion of gay rights.  Clinton was blindsided and compromised on DADT, then completely caved with DOMA.  But Obama could establish federal marriage equality and reaffirm our side as the civil rights party, while minimizing at least one GOP bashing tool in 2010.  

    Most importantly, we need to take apart the GOPs dishonest tactics, from their false claims of supporting veterans to their use of foreign policy to make war profiteers and the super rich wealthier.  Then we need to deliver these concepts to the part of the electorate that runs from liberal idiocy right into the arms of the GOP.  That might mean giving up some of our cherished socialist and/or welfare-based policies, because there's no greater failure than seeing people work hard their whole lives in jobs or business while their taxes are used to pay for housing and medical insurance for people who deliberately choose not to work and have baby after baby on the public's dime.  We'll never convince people to support our progressive policies while that dynamic is so prevalent.

    There aren't many opportunities in a country's existence to effect major sociopolitical change, and this economic crisis is one of them.  If we play our cards right, we could come out of this as a country that truly helps the populace without getting bogged and undermined down by the cheaters.

    We can't just "take apart" ... (none / 0) (#57)
    by lambert on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 07:34:19 PM EST
    ... GOP tactics, we need to swear off them ourselves.

    That was the lesson of the primaries for me. Some haven't learned it; "any stick to beat a dog" leads right to Rovian-ism, just in "our" own party.


    people vote for blather all of the time (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:21:59 AM EST

    Not for dem blather ever (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:24:00 AM EST
    depends on how you define blather, I think (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:26:19 AM EST
    Examples? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:30:01 AM EST
    Save the economy by creating green jobs (none / 0) (#39)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:27:26 PM EST
    seems like it to me.

    "Yes we can!" (none / 0) (#46)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 02:09:54 PM EST
    Financial collapse (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 02:54:07 PM EST

    Yes We Can didn't win the election.


    Not the general ... (none / 0) (#55)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 05:16:20 PM EST
    but I bet it won some primaries.

    Edit (none / 0) (#7)
    by Campionrules on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:25:47 AM EST
    apparently I can't put together a coherent sentence.....fourth line should read: we as democrats should hold this close

    Need to keep your own party on board (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:24:06 PM EST
    Once members of his own party start splintering off and not being so much "in love", that might be bad for future elections.

    Case in point - Robert Byrd is not completely happy with Obama:

    Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the longest-serving Democratic senator, is criticizing President Obama's appointment of White House "czars" to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch.

    In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, Byrd complained about Obama's decision to create White House offices on health reform, urban affairs policy, and energy and climate change. Byrd said such positions "can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances. At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials."

    While it's rare for Byrd to criticize a president in his own party, Byrd is a stern constitutional scholar who has always stood up for the legislative branch in its role in checking the power of the White House. Byrd no longer holds the powerful Appropriations chairmanship, so his criticism does not carry as much weight these days. Byrd repeatedly clashed with the Bush administration over executive power, and it appears that he's not limiting his criticism to Republican administrations.

    Byrd also wants Obama to limit claims of executive privilege while also ensuring that the White House czars don't have authority over Cabinet officers confirmed by the Senate.

    "As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, and to virtually anyone but the president," Byrd wrote. "They rarely testify before congressional committees, and often shield the information and decision-making process behind the assertion of executive privilege. In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability."

    Byrd is not a "case in point" (none / 0) (#49)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 02:52:44 PM EST
    of Dem. Party splintering.  He's always gone his own way, as the article you quote says, on issues he sees as constitutional.  IOW, he's always been a little bit "maverick-y" on some stuff.  Nothing new here.

    As someone who is a constitutional scholar (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 03:18:44 PM EST
    I guess I'll look more closely at Byrd's opinions on these types of things than Obama's.  Maybe not being around the Senate much has clouded Obama's judgment about what he can and can't do.

    After FISA? (none / 0) (#58)
    by lambert on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 07:52:03 PM EST
    I hardly think so.

    I very much agree with (none / 0) (#52)
    by DXP on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 03:14:43 PM EST
    Sen. Byrd here.  I don't think either major political party owns or is exclusively owned by the "neo"s. Bush and his neo-conservative administration was not very representative of the traditional republican party, and so far Obama is showing signs (ie FISA) of also consolidating power in the executive branch. "Neo" is only about getting and keeping power.

    Byrd is right on this. (none / 0) (#53)
    by dk on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 03:18:36 PM EST
    We don't need any more of an imperial presidency than we already have, no matter who occupies the White House.

    Hegemonic Ideological Discourses, Yada, Yada (none / 0) (#42)
    by michael098762001 on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:53:37 PM EST
       To read too many blogs on the Left you'd think that as I would have said in my collegiate Marxist days carrying around Gramsci that "hegemonic bourgeois ideological discourses, " had been overthrown last November and that social democratic/democratic socialist policies (by stealth, not as if your average voter for Obama had been morphed into a radical anti-corporate populist ready to nationalize Citbank) now have the active support of the populace. I still read In These Times, a democratic socialist monthly where Sirota is a contributor but, just as during Reagan when the GOP thought the masses had been converted into Friedmanite/Hayekian ideologues (instead of just rejecting Carter's incompetance, high inflation/stagflation, sky high interest rates, Iranian debacle, etc.), methinks left-liberals are also somewhat delusional to assumer that a shift to the "progressive" Left has been happening. a few doors have been opened in D.C. for leftish policy wonks. Once the White House sees there isn't much of mass movement ala what the Communists and Socialists in the 30's generated on the streets to back up FDR, they will be more apparent as the , "corporate liberal/centrists, " they always were.

    Agree entirely (none / 0) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 02:57:08 PM EST
    There was a chance for that ideological shift, but Obama didn't campaign that way, which is what led some of us here to be so opposed to him during the primaries and so skeptical since then.

    OTOH, if Obama's policies do rapidly pull us out of this near-depression (which I'm dubious about, frankly) and he and the Dems frame it correctly (which I'm also dubious about), it could end up destroying the right as a national force for a generation.

    IOW, there's still a chance to turn some ideological corners here.


    Well I Don't Know (none / 0) (#59)
    by kaleidescope on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:59:30 PM EST
    NAFTA, WTO, Welfare Reform, the Effective Death Penalty Act, Habeas Reform, Gutting the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depletion at the request of Florida tomato farmers -- all that seems like a Republican form of government to me.

    How To Make Ideological Shifts Happen? (none / 0) (#61)
    by contractor on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:49:22 PM EST
    Go find Bill Clinton. He know more about it. I don't entirely agree to your article. It's a none based arguments. Well, I can see your with Democrats but for the sake of people of America, would you tell your Democrat sponsor to put Scott Murphy in Jail or keep him in box because the GOP is taking at this newly picked Democratic candidate Scott Murphy in the 20th Congressional race, saying he owes $21,550 in back taxes and penalties in 1997 and 1998 for a company he owned, Small World Software, Inc. This liberal candidate is obsessed of taking public money.

    Scott Murphy for Congress Tax Liens