Digby's 'Is that All There Is?'

I took it easy on myself in my Is That All There Is? post yesterday. Digby, recounting essentially the same story, is a little harder on herself:

I feel ridiculous for having written that. Not because it was a fairly correct analysis of the dynamic. Anyone could have seen that. What's embarrassing is the fact that I seemed so sure that the Democrats would change it. What a foolish miscalculation that was. Less than four years later, the "empty vessel of establishment bipartisan wishful thinking" is president. And my empty vessel of partisan wishful thinking -- the Democratic party --- is running for the hills.

The reality is Digby and I were more than a little hopey changey. Perhaps for different reasons than other folks, but just as naive in our own way. In related news, the 11 Dimensional Chess Brigade is back in full force. Good luck with that folks.

Speaking for me only

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    Anyone who voted--or considered voting-- (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:58:48 PM EST
    was "hopey changey" to some degree. Most of us who intend to vote in the future still are. The only reason to be hard on yourself is if you think you could have made things better by acting differently. There are some plausible arguments for that, but no guarantees--just counterfactuals.

    For liberals, a perpetual feeling of disappointment seems hard to avoid.

    Nope, I cast my vote in despair (5.00 / 11) (#9)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:31:48 PM EST
    as I saw no hope for change.  No naivete here.  Maybe others just didn't find the time, grueling as it was, to actually watch, rewind, and watch again the hours and hours of Dem committee meetings on C-Span and then research and analyze and try to fully understand what the rules committee did.  

    That was cause for despair for the fools taking the helm of the ship of state, even before the later debacle of the convention sans roll call drowned all hope that there would be any integrity or guts.

    But cast my ballot I did -- but with a write-in -- because vote, I must.


    As far as I am concerned, writing-in is (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:48:02 PM EST
    equivalent to not voting.

    As for the nomination process, that seems to me mostly perpendicular to the discussion.


    Sorry, WRONG. (5.00 / 8) (#27)
    by ghost2 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:00:09 PM EST
    The nomination process and the campaign tactics were the KEY to Obama's character and the type of person he was.  I don't have time/space to go through all the little parts of it.

    My nagging question was this: why is this person backed by so many powerful interests, who continuously try to say he is brilliant, even though I never see evidence of this brilliance? Why is he backed by establishment? Why would they back a novice?

    Option 1: he was the greatest ever!
    Option 2: It was an election favoring the democratic candidate.  Hillary had a history of independent thinking, passionate advocacy, and is very tough.  The interests were afraid of what she may do.  


    I am familiar with the litany (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:02:26 PM EST
    But even if I accept it all as true, that doesn't require me to have concluded that he would be an unsuccessful President.

    Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by ZtoA on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 07:53:35 PM EST
    you think he is "unsuccessful" but he might consider success as something very different than you do. He might be very happy with his presidency. That is one reason that his motives during the primaries was important. What IS his idea of successful leadership? That was something to consider during the primaries.

    Many people are still very happy with his presidency. People making lots of money (those few) and the religious left. The religious left will never leave him like the religious right stayed loyal to Bush. Its actually a powerful demographic.


    Perhaps not, but if FISA didn't... (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:13:59 PM EST
    ... TARP should have.

    (This being orthogonal to the question of who to vote for!)


    You're right (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:46:27 PM EST
    But there's a whole 'nother part of "the litany" that was based on precisely the fact that he had no chance of having a successful presidency, despite his delusions that he could.

    For the record, I don't regret my vote (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:46:17 AM EST
    I made the calculation that Justice Stevens couldn't wait 8 more years, let alone 4. That alone was enough for me.

    well (none / 0) (#138)
    by sas on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 03:29:44 PM EST
    you can sure conclude that thus far, now, can't you?

    you (none / 0) (#139)
    by sas on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 03:30:41 PM EST
    can certainly conclude that now

    To be clear, lack of integrity (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:30:20 PM EST
    is central to the discussion, as I see it.  You might, with your training, at least see lack of legality in proceedings that violate a charter as problematic, at the least.

    As for general election day (that is, not primaries), I also see the reality that the popular vote does not elect a president; the Electoral College does.  That you see that day as offering the same choices in all states and territories is -- well, come to think of it, I thought that your training was in poli sci and now in law.  So I have no idea, really, why you want to see it so simplistically, when the complexity is significant.


    Are you saying that if (none / 0) (#55)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:40:52 PM EST
    you had the tie breaking vote in Wisconsin you would have voted for Obama instead of doing a write-in?

    Yes, I probably would have had to (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:56:28 PM EST
    hold my nose and consider the alternative.  Not the one on top of the ticket as much as all else about that other party.

    Being the closest state in the previous election, one of the closest swing states in several elections, was quite a different experience.  But I also could support Kerry with fewer qualms and had even fewer with Gore -- and I still had faith in the good faith of the party then, the party that had done so much work on its processes to be inclusive of women and minorities.   And I worked hard to donate to Dems and to get out the vote from many, many Dems in my state in past years, too.

    No more.  Not with what I saw at the national level, and with even less integrity at the state level.   Well, the next gubernatorial election here has a good guy running, but it's the lack of integrity in the state party that has him running instead of staying where I need him more.

    So no more . . . except if I really, really have to do so, and holding my nose while doing so.


    What is clear to me also is that the party (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:55:11 PM EST
    leaders are going to do what they must to get their desired result regardless of the primary system that is in place to make people think they are the ones really making the decisions.  The party leadership is willing to bend or break their own rules to get their desired result - whether it be via the rules committee or manipulation of super-delegates, and whether or not they decide to allow a complete sham floor vote on the convention floor. That's why I could not get as worked up about the floor vote as some. It was already over. I would say that people who had some hope of a different outcome by that point were a lot more naive than me.

    Anyway, I agree, I will not give them any  more money, work for them, etc. I'll vote against the Republican rather than for the Dem, and if I ever live someplace I can afford to send  a message with my vote, I see nothing wrong with voting 3rd party or write-in.  


    Just curious cuz that is something I had (none / 0) (#59)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:47:05 PM EST
    to consider in Florida, due to the recent recount history. Regardless of my feelings, I was not going to be one of the people that let McCain win in a close call.  When forced to really make that choice, it changed my perspective a little bit.

    It's not training, it's basic political sense (none / 0) (#63)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:55:12 PM EST
    for me. I remember too well the 2000 election. Integrity is a factor, but I base my voting decisions on policy.  

    Then you really, really ought to realize (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:57:50 PM EST
    what the Electoral College election means.  You just don't want to see what it's like somewhere else.  Fine, your call, but it's really not bliss.

    The same logic could lead you to conclude (none / 0) (#68)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:03:56 PM EST
    that it makes no more sense for any individual to vote than to play the lottery. I believe that some economists have, actually. Polls are also not iron-clad.

    Did you vote in the 2000 election? (5.00 / 6) (#70)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:10:38 PM EST
    Did you spend weeks understanding that, essentially, your vote meant nothing, thanks to the Electoral College, and the Supreme Court?

    For many of us, that was not an academic exercise, and whether one voted on policy or party, it was a time when we realized our voices were not heard.

    That's not a particularly pleasant experience, and I feel like it marked the beginning of this attitude that we, the voters, really did not - do not - count, which is why, 10 years later, we are all feeling like no one is listening to us.


    Yep, it was quite an education (5.00 / 6) (#78)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:27:45 PM EST
    for a lot of voters old enough then to understand.  I see a lot of those too young to vote then who will need a re-education, sadly, at some point.

    As you say, not an academic exercise.


    I was not of voting age in 2000 (none / 0) (#74)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:14:58 PM EST
    But if I had been, I would have voted.

    I think you have fundamentally misunderstood what I wrote. which is too bad.


    Trying again: Would you bother to vote (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:50:30 PM EST
    in a banana republic?

    Those of us in parts of this republic that went bananas, bonkers, zonked out on the kool-aid, knew that another drop of the stuff didn't need to douse another ballot to be dropped in the ballot box.  So instead of a margin of a bazillion and one, it was a margin of bazillion.  Blah blah -- the margin needed to be only one, the way that the Electoral College works, y'know.

    And again, I DID vote.  

    I do not stay home on voting day.

    I exercise my right to vote -- even if in protest.


    Voting is Voting, despite your magic (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by seabos84 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:13:18 PM EST
    spreadsheet moving these 600 nadar votes to gore or those 2000 whoever votes to whatever.

    I'm constantly amused at how the magic spreadsheets do NOT show what would happen if a candidate didn't suck, or wasn't a sell out, or ... fought for the bottom few hundred million of us.



    Nope, wrong on both counts. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:01:29 PM EST
    But I can understand that your training would differ in ability to see it as I do, from my training.

    oh well (none / 0) (#143)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 05:49:16 PM EST
    too bad you aren't king and can't control what people do in the voting booth.

    The debacle of the convention... (5.00 / 4) (#105)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:25:12 PM EST
    ... didn't drown all hope. The caucus fraud did.

    I agree with this (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:59:18 PM EST
    Anyone who goes to the polls and votes for someone on a ballot does so with hope.   It doesn't have to be a lot of hope, but why show up to vote if you completely despair?  Sometimes there is less hope, sometimes more.  

    You can not EXPECT someone to do anything but still hope that you're wrong.  I've even hoped that the person won't be as bad as I expect them to be.  There is a difference between hope and expectations.  


    I had more expectations I think (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:01:54 PM EST
    Even I... (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:27:46 PM EST
    ... can't believe how awful it turned out to be.

    Can you imagine, I made some life choices based on the idea that the Dems wouldn't totally f*ck up health care. Wasn't a determining factor, but it was there. And... They totally f*cked it up.


    and who (none / 0) (#140)
    by sas on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 03:33:36 PM EST
    was in a leadership position, but chose not to lead, re hcr?

    Ya can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and a sow's ear is what wh have


    I had some expectations, some of which (none / 0) (#37)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:04:36 PM EST
    are being ever so slowly dribbled out.

    I hoped that there wouldn't be so many disappointments.


    Yeah. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:18:24 PM EST
    I try to only have reasonable expectations but then still find myself disappointed.  But, being from Missouri it happens all the time.  I keep thinking I'll get used to it.  

    My expectations, I'm sorry to say (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:49:46 PM EST
    are being entirely fulfilled.  I had that very faint hope that maybe I was wrong and my expectations would be (happily) dashed.

    I said before the election (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:32:03 PM EST
    that the best think about him was that he wasn't McCain.  That he was the Democratic candidate is what got him my vote, I didn't want a Republican win.  No ilusions, no expectations, but now that he is our President I sure hope he will at least works towar diggin us out of the hole the Republicans dug us in.  I may not agree with all he has done but then, I think the whole Democratic's party unwillingness to fight is what is stopping us, he is just one of those members.

    He (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:36:12 PM EST
    is not just one of those members.  He is the LEADER of those members.  He's the guy manning the sinking ship.

    I'm not sure that (none / 0) (#62)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:54:41 PM EST
    meme that the President is the leader of the party, is as true in the Democratic party as it is in the Republican party.  The Democratic party is a bigger tent under which many ideologies sit.  Best example is the the so called Blue Dog Democrats...

    But he IS fighting! (none / 0) (#121)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:50:49 PM EST
    He's fighting for stuff you and I think it's bad and wrong and harmful.  Not to mention stupid.

    I do not vote for people who call me racist (none / 0) (#142)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 05:47:29 PM EST
    or who think "typical white women" say things that make them cringe. ( I wonder if it would be okay for me to say "obama is a typical black man, sometimes he says things that make me cringe"?  Do you think a lot of liberals would have gone to the polls and elected me?..ha)
    So no I was not the least hopey or changy during the 2008 election.  I voted for democrats up and down the ticket but for the first time in my life I did not vote for a democrat for president. I viewed the content of Obama's character, his sleazy campaign, his sleazy Chicago buddies and the non existent content of his experience and I just could not vote for him.
    No, I felt no hope at all during that election.

    It was hard to watch (5.00 / 16) (#2)
    by goldberry on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:09:27 PM EST
    Just like a friend, right to the end
    we tried to warn you somehow.

    The party was not united in 2008. Obama "won" by eliminating anyone who wasn't for him. That's how we bitter holdouts knew he was bad news.
    Nothing good ever comes from a bad seed. Not even if they are media darlings.
    Don't be too hard on yourself.  Optimism is a good trait even when it is bestowed on the wrong person.  

    I predict (none / 0) (#12)
    by ghost2 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:44:59 PM EST
    that not only this is the closest to an apology you are ever going to get, but that this will be the only one.  The other bloggers (Digby, Jane, WKJM, Drum, ... and those that I can't even bring myself to name) will NEVER admit that they were wrong, and that the tactics of the BO campaign during the primary should have told them volumes.  That they were taken by an empty suit.  That experience has its merits, among which is providing voters with an idea about what a politician is all about.

    What was even more predictable (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:49:32 PM EST
    was that some people would use this post as an opportunity to get back on the cross of spring 2008.

    Well yes (5.00 / 8) (#25)
    by Jackson Hunter on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:58:38 PM EST
    of course.  The man cheated Democratic voters, sorry if our acknowledgement of the theft bothers you.  What you don't get, is that a wide swath of people don't like to be cheated and, oh, I don't know, freaking resent it.  And they will never forget.



    Indeed (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:50:19 PM EST
    The original sin of not agreeing (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:55:31 PM EST
    with RonK and Riverdaughter means that you're a hopeless rube. It has always been thus.

    I was going to spare you the litany ... (5.00 / 5) (#101)
    by RonK Seattle on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:01:14 PM EST
    ... but since you bring my name into it with this unbidden backwards-day cheap shot, I'll just grant you a deferral.

    Not litany #1, establishing that Obama "would have been" a failure (or as I called, "disaster") ... but litany #2, establishing that Obama's was not merely unfit, but that his unfitness was obvious (as it will be to you when enough scales have fallen from your young eyes.

    Time will come when you are ready to recognize that you were a hopeless rube - but all your repentances born of evolving wisdom may not buy a second chance in your lifetime.

    As to Spring 2008, the damage to progressive coalitions is profound and persistent. It will show up on the scoreboard in November, and in many Novembers to come.


    Thank you (5.00 / 5) (#102)
    by goldberry on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:12:30 PM EST
    Yes, it was obvious. I'm just shocked that we're still outliers. It feels worng. What does that mean?  Is it a psychological thing? Group dynamics?  Cognitive dissonance?  Black/white thinking?  
    It's like everything we despised and renounced about Republicans was replicated in Democrats.  They had our number and played it like a two bit fiddle. And we still have people like BTD taking the bait, thinking this is about defectors going to McCain when it's really all about how the Democrats purged themselves of their base and lost as they were winning.
    Why don't they get it?

    What percentage of Democrats (none / 0) (#135)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:52:17 AM EST
    do you think you represent? The whole 'base'? I think Democrats that voted for McCain because of the nomination process are indeed outliers, statistically speaking. Nothing wrong with being an outlier, or ahead of your time. But I doubt you will find a large percentage of people who, however disgusted they are with the way things have gone,  wish they had voted for McCain.

    That's hardly the question, is it, ruffian? (5.00 / 3) (#137)
    by RonK Seattle on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 11:54:39 AM EST
    So here you are "taking the bait, thinking this is about defectors going to McCain".

    Many things combine to determine electoral outcomes. Months and years before voters (including "base" voters) mark their ballots.

    Among these are the year-in, year-out thankless commitments of party regulars - the deep root system that feeds seasonal eruptions of infectious enthusiasm.

    Among these are candidate recruitments. Many a won race is lost by filing time.

    Among these are networks of the scarce faceless regulars who are both willing and useful in jacking up bandwagons and putting wheels on 'em.

    Among these are grassroots partisans prepared to speak up with conviction when political topics arise in everyday conversation.

    What do you see from where you sit? In my neon-blue neighborhood, participation in routine party events is down ... reliable regulars have been run out and replaced with no-nothing no-shows ... networks are broken, and veteran warhorses are giving up the game ... conviction and enthusiasm are deflated in ways that are not easily restored by mere changes circumstance ... and most the true believers who brought us here will live out their long lives with jaundiced views of political commitment - and by extension, of government solutions. Many will become doctrinaire conservatives.

    American politics reelected Bush, it nominated Obama, the progressive coalition is gutshot, a Senate majority with no filibuster is within President Palin's plausible reach ... and you think this is about McCain protest votes?


    Nice to see you, RonK. (none / 0) (#129)
    by ghost2 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:17:35 AM EST
    I still don't agree with them (none / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:01:30 PM EST
    Oh, yes you do (5.00 / 6) (#40)
    by goldberry on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:13:27 PM EST
    You're just afraid you'll get cooties by sitting too close to us.
    But really, BTD, where is that going to get you?  Divided we fall and all that.
    We're only poison to those who love the status quo. Are you going to let the image they created of us stop you from uniting the left?  How much more time do you want to waste?  I mean, really, how is it that your epiphany is better than ours because it came late in the game?  
    Is it just that you can't admit that we were smarter than you, old bitter knitters that we are?  Or are you still looking for evidence of racism?  You'll never find it.
    All you are doing is postponing the inevitable. You're one of us now.
    Join or Die  

    Well (none / 0) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:21:46 PM EST
    I certainly do not agree with the idea that Obama was the same as McCain which is what I recall your position was.

    Yup, to take just one example (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:34:29 PM EST
    I don't have to agree with everything Eric Holder does to be glad he is in that office rather than Mukasey or Gonzales or whoever McCain would have picked.

    The executive branch is a lot more than just the guy at the top.


    Huh? (5.00 / 7) (#67)
    by goldberry on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:59:10 PM EST
    No, I knew exactly what McCain was. At least he was a known commodity. It was Obama that was a cypher to me. It seems to me that if you're going to run as a Democrat, you might bloody well act like you approve of what your party stands for.
    No, for most of 2008, my attitude was 'friends don't let friends vote Republican'. I had no illusions about Palin either although I didn't think she was as dumb as the media made her out. Nobody gets to be the governor of an energy rich state without family connections or some substantial political gifts. I cautioned people not to underestimate her.
    As a site, The Confluence did not endorse anyone. Some individual posters did and that was ok. They wrote about their reasoning at the time and none of them were deceived.
    As for myself, I withdrew my support from Just Say No Deal when they decided to align themselves formally with McCain. I discouraged them from doing that or working for him.
    In the end, I didn't know how I was going to vote until literally the very last second. I decided I couldn't reward the Democrats for disenfranchising 18 million votes and I cast my vote for McCain. Then I went to my car and I cried.
    The fact is you couldn't pin Obama down on his party affiliation or political philosophy. That was a really bad sign. Then there was skullduggery with the primaries. By supertuesday, I figured out they were planning to game the system with MI and FL and knew my vote was toast unless we could rally the troops.
    I'm not a closet Republican. Never have been. I've been very honest about my thoughts and motivations. Mine was a protest vote. My eyes were wide open. I wanted to make absolutely sure that my vote did not end up in the hands of the Democratic party that put me on an ice floe before I reached the age of seniority.
    But now that you mention it, if you were going to end up with Republican lite policies anyway, then maybe Obama was more like McCain than YOU gave him credit for.

    Not sure how this changes my point (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 07:51:08 PM EST
    You thought it did not matter if McCain or Obama won, or rather, as I read you now, you would have preferred McCain.

    That's nuts to me.


    How is it that a smart guy like you (5.00 / 3) (#98)
    by goldberry on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:27:42 PM EST
    Doesn't understand the concept of a protest vote?
    At the time I made my decision, I didn't think it would matter which one took office. I didn't think they would govern the same. Only that one was going to be a Republican and the other had proven himself to be a ruthless campaigner who was willing to discard many American votes. I thought that Obama ran for himself only and that he would be incredibly weak as a Democratic president because he lacked experience and didn't really run on core Denicratic principles. The party might have solidified in opposition to McCain. With Obama, there's no push back.
    I think I made the right decision in not rewarding the Democrats with a landslide. As time goes on, the party is losing power because of what it did. That has nothing to 'di with McCain.  

    McCain wouldn't have destroyed the (5.00 / 3) (#118)
    by cawaltz on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:29:25 PM EST
    Democratic brand. The guy you elected is destroying the word liberal without even enacting liberal policy.

    Frankly, I still stand by my position that at least with McCain, when he screwed up, he'd have finished off Bush started with conservative philosophy.

    With Obama you have someone who seems to want the conservative party's blessing so bad that he's willing to blow off the base.

    Furthermore,it's amazing how something like Obamacare looks an awful lot like McCainCare(in regards to stuff like the excise he opposed during the GE.)

    If it makes you feel any better though there isn't a day that goes by I don't wish Obama would prove me wrong for supporting the other side.


    I'll tell you what's nuts (5.00 / 4) (#127)
    by goldberry on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:16:41 AM EST
    What's nuts is that a guy who voted for Obama because he was the "media darling" can sit there and lecture someone who supported an FDR style Democrat.  I backed the real Democrat, Hillary Clinton, who by the end of the primary system had made the media irrelevant.  With Hillary, you wouldn't have had to be concerned with the Villagers going after her because they had done as much damage as they could and it wasn't working anymore.  
    You have completely lost the plot, BTD.  You should be very cautious of the people you hang out with, the ones who tell you that those of us who voted for McCain out of protest secretly agree with his policies.  Those of us who protest voted wanted to make absolutely sure that the Democratic party didn't convert our write in votes for Hillary into votes for the Democratic candidate.  We wanted to make sure the party was not rewarded.  
    You didn't hold the party accountable.  At. All.  
    They screwed with the rules and nullified our votes and you barely raised your voice.  And the party took your teensy peeps of concern as acquiesence (sp).  As long as you didn't stick up for those of us who voted for the other guy, as long as you were OK with throwing our votes out, you gave them carte blanche to ignore you going forward.  
    And now you have the balls to lecture us because we weren't going to let them cross that line without a fight?  Well, it is your blog and you can do what you want.  But if you keep putting us at arm's length because of what we protested, the bad guys win.  You haven't done a single thing to correct the injustice that happened in 2008, or give the working class recognition or helped to solidify enough critical mass to push back at the bastards. All you've done is conveeeniently acted like we protest voters don't count.  
    I'm beginning to think you serve Obama's interests at this point.  

    The biggest sexism was in (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by observed on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:21:28 AM EST
    taking away the floor vote from Hillary.
    What a glass ceiling.

    MLK's letter from Birmingham Jail (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by ghost2 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:27:18 AM EST
    People may think that I have been too hard on BTD, who after all, tepidly called out some sexism during the campaign.  This is the perfect chance to quote this passage which simply takes my breath away any time I read it:

    I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    And BTW, that's the way a truely gifted leader speaks and leads.  Granted, there is only one MLK in a century.


    Sorry, I just don't buy it (none / 0) (#82)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:40:03 PM EST
    If you really think Obama is as much like Bush as McCain would have been, then there is nothing I can say to change your mind and I'm not going to waste my time.

    As it is, what Obama has turned out (5.00 / 9) (#85)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 07:01:39 PM EST
    to be, on policy after policy, is a continuation of the Bush presidency; kind of a bonus for Republicans, who get to publicly make noise about that leftist/socialist in the WH, while silently cheering Obama's penchant for giving in to all their demands and moving ever rightward.

    I could never have voted for McCain/Palin, but I couldn't bring myself to vote for an empty suit with a less-than-liberal track record and little interest in the real work that comes after one wins an election.

    It was the first time, in any presidential election, that I have not voted the top of the ticket; living in a solidly blue state like Maryland, I had the luxury of exercising my conscience, which I did.

    While it felt good to draw the line, finally, on being presented with less-than-acceptable candidates, there is little consolation in the realization that one of them was elected.


    It's the ratchet effect (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:38:45 PM EST
    See here. Obama consolidated Bush's authoritarian gains, and after Obama guts Social Security and Medicare with "entitlement reform," and leaves us with permanent unemployment at 10% (official), the Dems will pass the ball to the Republicans, who will deal with any of the resulting unrest, and dismantle as much as possible before we get sucked into voting Democrat again.

    So, I'm sure that voting for Obama vs. McCain meant something, but damned if I know what. Maybe, in retrospect, Obama's illegitimate (caucus-fraud based) nominatio will be seen to be a good thing, if it fractures the Dems once and for all. Both legacy parties deserve to die, but in our two party system, one of them had to go first. Might as well be the Dems.  

    I'm not a fan of worse is better, since too many lives are at stake. The direction of the ratchet would remain the same, in either case. I'm coming down on the idea of voting out every incumbent for the next few election cycles, no matter which of the two legacy parties they're in. (Except possibly Full Court Press people.)


    Thanks Lambert. (none / 0) (#132)
    by ghost2 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:32:20 AM EST
    and funny, I have been thinking exactly the same thing (in fact, I just posted on it in this thread).  It's the only thing that send a message.  

    McCain would have built the nuclear (5.00 / 5) (#86)
    by kidneystones on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 07:39:01 PM EST
    plants that Obama is now taking credit for promising to build. McCain would have fought Republicans harder for the middle and would definitely have been willing to listen to any political ally who could advance his agenda.

    McCain wouldn't be asking Americans to fight a war that Obama plans on losing sometime in another news cycle or simply dumping on the next person to run the 'ungovernable' United states.

    With Obama America got a chance to reboot and dump the image of Bush. That would have happened no matter who won the presidency.

    Doesn't make much difference, because if we're writing fantasy history, I'd have had folks like you ripping those who accused us of being racists instead of hiding under the bed.

    The terror the accusation of 'racism' still provokes is right out of Pavlov.

    You're not saying the Obama is 'uppity' are you?

    That's what passed for sharp thinking from Digby, Josh, Matt, Benen, Booman, Markos, Barb, Susan, etc etc etc.

    And now the term 'racist' has become code for 'I don't give a fig what kinds of names you call me'.

    See Scott Brown and Palin. The argument that America is un-governable has to be the worst possible explanation I've ever heard advanced by a party in control of the Wh, House, and Senate.

    The test is too difficult. Nobody can get things in America.

    Bush did. The sooner Dems stop the naval-gazing and start acting like the governing party the better.

    I don't care about how good or bad you feel about 'believing' or not believing in Obama or McCain.

    That's the past. The next elections are about the future, and if the present is any indication, voters have no reason right now to return a single Dem to Washington.

    Take a bow, 2010 Dems! You're legacy will live on long after you've run for the hills.


    obama (none / 0) (#141)
    by sas on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 03:39:17 PM EST
    the same as mccain was NEVER the position

    Me either (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:03:33 PM EST
    There are still no options outside of the Democratic party, even if it stinks.

    Honestly, (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by ghost2 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:19:50 PM EST
    this has nothing to do with HRC/BO/Primary..., but I think perhaps the best solutions for American people is to have a bunch of protest/change elections.  Throw out the representatives until the message is delivered.  It wouldn't surprise me if both 2010 and 2012 end up being revolt elections.

    If you enable the democratic party in its current state, it will only get worse.


    Well then we are screwed (5.00 / 4) (#107)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:29:42 PM EST
    Because if a majority of the people feel that way, then the Dems have no motivation to respond to the needs and wants of the people.

    You are wrong - we DO have more than 2 choices - unfortunately, most people don't actually THINK about things like this.  People who get in the mindset of "I have nowhere else to go" are intellectually lazy.


    They have no motivation now (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:40:44 PM EST
    Why do you imagine that either legacy party is responsive to the electorate?

    I agree with you (none / 0) (#123)
    by sj on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 12:34:43 AM EST
    But this has left me with no options.  

    I have three years to figure out what I'm going to do.  If the election was right now I would have to abstain.  I will not ever again vote against my own interests.  Because I, too, base my voting decisions on policy.

    In a nutshell I am pro-worker, pro-equality, pro-choice, pro-taxes to support social safety net and infrastructure.  In other words, I'm screwed.

    The lesser of two evils still leaves me with evil.


    I seem to recall (none / 0) (#41)
    by ghost2 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:14:17 PM EST
    that Republicans also called Democrats losers for not getting over the 2000 election and the Supreme Court decision in Gore v. Bush.

    It's called situational ethics.


    If all the "I told you sos" about Bush (none / 0) (#69)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:07:38 PM EST
    were somehow related back to the court case, this comparison would make sense. The Supreme Court gets its blame, but so do the idiots who loudly proclaimed that there was no difference between Bush and Gore.

    Hmmm, I could swear I heard (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:11:03 PM EST
    there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between them on policies I care about.
    Guess my memory is acting funny.

    As Somerby says (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by ghost2 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:30:10 PM EST
    These are fans, cheering for their teams.

    It's Ok if Democrats disregard the votes, not OK if Republicans do it.

    Switch the words Democrats/Republicans and the above sentence will fit nicely in any right-wing conversation.  


    Yeah, from Ralph Nader (none / 0) (#75)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:17:01 PM EST
    That's my point.

    yeah yeah yeah (none / 0) (#144)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 08:20:11 PM EST
    I never forgot nor forgave 2000 and the theft of the election by bush and his skanky crew.  I just never thought I would experience the same thing while being insulted and called a racist and a bitter old woman, BY MY OWN PARTY.
    Sorry, but James Baker has nothing on the folks in the white house now.
    You don't steal office to do good things.  The ends never justify the means and cheaters never profit.

    An apology? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:50:03 PM EST
    Who in the hell do I owe an apology too? Are you nuts?

    For excusing misogeny (none / 0) (#38)
    by ghost2 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:12:01 PM EST
    from the media as long as it benefitted your guy.

    If the reverse was true; if the media used overt racism to benefit their man or woman in the race, will you still gloss it over by saying, "pols will be pols", and "S/he is the media darling".  I will be ashamed of myself if I did.


    I think you are 180 degrees off (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:20:46 PM EST
    I could be mistaken, but I think BTD was about the ONLY Obama blogger who took a completely principled stand against said misogyny.

    Pfft (5.00 / 6) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:20:54 PM EST
    Total bullspit.

    BTD did not excuse misogyny (5.00 / 6) (#80)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:31:46 PM EST
    by any means.  

    He just didn't make it as high a priority as victory -- after the Bush/Cheney assaults on all of our rights, not solely women's rights -- at all costs.  And he just didn't see it as sign as worrisome and indicative of worse, as some of us did.  That's the way I see it, perhaps not the way he sees it.  But I would be the first, as he knows, to give him h*ll if he had excused misogyny.  This was, for a while (and then it weirded for a while here, too), one of the few places to discuss it.


    Yes, I think Josh Marshall would (none / 0) (#81)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:32:50 PM EST
    agree with you.

    no (none / 0) (#145)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 08:22:30 PM EST
    he just refused to see it.  On the other hand he was not one of the people seeing racism where it did not exist.  So I appreciate that.

    BTD NEVER, NEVER (none / 0) (#122)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:59:51 PM EST
    excused misogeny.  Are you nuts?

    He made a calculation, which turned out to be 100 percent right, by the way, that the media tingles for Obama would give him an edge over the Republican nominee, whoever it was going to be.  Whether that edge really made enough difference that only Obama could have defeated McCain is unknowable.

    I didn't agree with BTD's choice, or his reasons for it, but it was an honest assessment.


    I never expected an apology (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by goldberry on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:56:29 PM EST
    All I ever hoped for was enlightenment. It came about a year too late. It will be really hard to turn it around because the tea partiers got a headstart. But I'm hopeful that the left can pull itself together, humble itself before average Americans and pull left - HARD.

    I get a chuckle out of the Tea Party (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ghost2 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:16:32 PM EST
    Leave it to Democrats to mess up the biggest majority any party has had in decades, and leave it to Republicans to use their own screw ups to start a movement and nail the democrats.  

    Only in America.


    Ah yes, "ruthless conciliatory rhetoric" (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:18:01 PM EST
    The 11 Dimensional Chess Brigade's next post: Obama eviscerates GOP with conciliatory rhetoric

    Can hardly wait.

    "The Obama Method" (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by nycstray on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:26:52 PM EST

    Maybe he'll use sarcasm! (none / 0) (#110)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:46:37 PM EST
    Monty Python:

    Interviewer: Doug?

    Vercotti: Doug. (takes a drink) I was terrified of him. Everyone was terrified of Doug. I've seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug. Even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug.

    Interviewer: What did he do?

    Vercotti: He used sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and satire.


    At least you leavened the (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oldpro on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:19:58 PM EST
    medicine with Peggy Lee at her best (though sadly cut off before the song was over.)

    Any Democrat was going to face hell (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by esmense on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:33:59 PM EST
    An unprecedented hell that no one could expect to emerge from with their popularity intact, but one hoped that, despite that, they might leave office having improved things a bit. So no matter who you voted for in the primary, you were voted on and for hope.

    My criteria for a primary candidate was who did I think would best endure (take a licking and keep on ticking) the inevitable barrage of unholy attacks. I didn't presume that, once in office, any of the candidates, if they actually tried to do the hard stuff that needed to be done, was less likely be attacked in the media, or that any would be more likely to work well with the Republicans.

    At this point, I'm disappointed in Obama not for failing, but for not really trying. He's not willing to wade into the fight and get his carefully cultivated image, his media approval, his reputation as someone who works well with others, a little mussed up.

    Agreed, but the great (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by mg7505 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:47:34 PM EST
    irony is that the image, popularity and media status HAVE been lost. Perhaps he was going to lose those anyway, given how this country treats Dems, but I'd argue he hastened the defeat, and eliminated any chance of redemption, with his complete lack of effort. This is not clever calculation - it is called incompetence, and the Dems have it down to a science.

    You don't bat zero for the season... (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:51:36 PM EST
    ... without a plan.

    This is not incompetence. It's what Dems do.

    Obama's going to be rich when he leaves office in 2013. And so what about the peasants?


    Then (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by ghost2 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:48:27 PM EST
    you are a really bad judge of character.  You "hoped" that you made the right choice, by guessing on someone who was a very gifted politician, but hadn't done anything positive with it (except for himself).  

    Unfortunately, what is happening now is what I expected and hoped to be wrong about it.  


    Obama wasn't my choice in the primary (none / 0) (#56)
    by esmense on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:41:19 PM EST
    Frankly, his career had benefitted from a lot of luck and he'd always enjoyed media approval that I thought was unlikely to last once he was in office and dealing honestly with the hard issues.

    Once he got the nomination I hoped that the needed qualities were there -- and that they would become apparent when needed.

    So far, that hope has been disappointed.


    Republicans know how to handle (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:43:47 PM EST
    an empty suit. Democrats could use some lessons on that and many other parts of politics 101.

    I do not think he is gifted (none / 0) (#146)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 08:29:14 PM EST
    I see no evidence that he was gifted in 2007/08.  What I saw what an emperor with not cloths and the media, including bloggers and his party making it seem as if he were gifted.  On the other hand, Hillary who supposedly ran a terrible campaign got the majority of votes.  She repeatedly made him look silly in debates.  She completely outclasses him but the media continued to lie about it.  
    She got the Gore treatment and he got the dubya treatment.  I kind of expected it, just not that it would not be obvious to my friends and family and smart people on the blogs.

    I know I'm a broken record, but (5.00 / 9) (#11)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:44:35 PM EST
    it wasn't Obama's message which made me skeptical. After all, I expect politicians to have some shtick to collect votes---just like BTD does. Hillary certainly had developed quite an effective one herself, by the end of the primary campaign.
    What bothered me was that people were saying Obama was incredibly brilliant, and I saw nothing of the sort. Only, MAYBE, was he smart on foreign policy, but who can tell, really? Foreign policy is full of fakers.
    In any other area? Less than unimpressive.
    He showed no mastery of policy.. well, except on his website.
    And sorry, being a lecturer does NOT show brilliance. He had no publication record in law. A truly brilliant legal mind would have been driven to write something down!

    His speeches? Sure, he had an effective delivery, which counts for something, but the message??
    Can anyone here honestly tell me what the message of the greatest evah speech on race was?
    To be brutally blunt, I think the white elite was just orgasmic at seeing a sophisticated looking black politician----i.e. a guy like them---admitting that some blacks are a bit tipped in the head about white people.
    My take on the greatest evah speech on race?

    1. Pretty much everyone is a little bit racist, so why are you bothering me?
    2. Rev. Wright had it rough, so why are you bothering ME about his racism?
    3. My grandmother is racist too---and if that doesn't make you shut up, I'm going to moon you (ok, not the last part)

    The speech was a big "STFU". He must have used some good rhetoric, because it worked. The message stank, though. Using his grandmother that way was extremely offensive, perhaps worse than anything he did to Hillary.

    Obama was someone who sounded like an intellectual---but wasn't.
    That's how he got the elite vote. He got the dumber vote with the hopey-changey stuff.

    I visited a friend during the primaries. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:01:25 PM EST
    This man is  a retired French Professor with a very distinguished career of letters behind him.  
    Funny thing, he turned down a job at U Chicago 40 years ago because he was settled in and liking his current job.
    Anyway, the Obama was on the telly one night giving a speech on foreign policy.
    At one point, Obama said something like "We're going to talk to other countries instead of bombing them" and my friend just was completely gaga. He couldn't praise Obama's intelligence enough. But I listened, and I heard banalities and flat prose. Oh well. I guess I was wrong.

    The fact that so many well-educated and (5.00 / 7) (#87)
    by bridget on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 07:45:37 PM EST
    life experienced adults who witnessed political history for more than forty years considered Obama so very intelligent and talented despite the fact that nobody knew what he stood for - period.  That is still the one thing I will never understand.

    They just refused to be concerned with his lack of experience. They watched  him hem and haw during the debates and interviews and they just didn't get it. Eagerly they followed The One.

    And this includes all those women I used to respect and expected to support the female candidate. Scholars like Ehrenreich, Klein, etc. Young and Old. They all behaved like teens who went gaga over their fav rock star.

    I often think of Maya Angelou who continued to support Hillary Clinton, although the pressure to jump over to Obama must have been tough for her as well.

    So all I can say is: Thanks goodness for Noam Chomsky et al.

    P.S. Did anyone see Bill Maher's show on HBO last Saturday? He is not a scholar but mainstream media and his Obamalove was downright embarrassing. Yes, he went completely gaga over Obama. I couldn't find a better word than that.


    It was race. (none / 0) (#128)
    by observed on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:54:52 AM EST
    People who experienced the civil rights movement, either as observers or participants, were so excited that the country had come so far that a black politician could seriously be considered for President that they lost their minds out of joy.

    that is what happens when (none / 0) (#148)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 06:30:23 AM EST
    all your ideas have to be peer reviewed.  People stop thinking for themselves.

    his grandmother (none / 0) (#147)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 06:25:46 AM EST
    "my grandmother is a typical white woman.  Sometimes she says things that make me cringe".

    Wow... nice to know what you think a typical white woman is....

    No, his speech on race was defensive and self serving and there was nothing there that was new.


    There is a difference between hope and expectation (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:45:42 PM EST
    I never give up hope, but I keep my expectations realistic. As far as my decision about whether voting was worth it, I was very much influenced by the person who's judgement I most trusted in the primaries. If I trusted her to be president, why should I feel bad about trusting her judgement on the Obama v McCain decision? Even in hindsight, that is a no-brainer.

    For things to improve, I remain convinced that we need both a smarter media and a smarter populace. I am keeping my expectations low.

    Smarter would be nice, (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by mg7505 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:53:28 PM EST
    but the reality is that we're still largely the same country and media that elected and RE-elected W. If that isn't enough, consider that while half of America has been laid off, Maureen Dowd still has a job.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:01:11 PM EST
    more examples:

    • The reflexive global warming jokes about the snow storms

    • Liz and Dick Cheney having a voice in the discussion

    • Ask any man on the street if Bush administration officials should be indicted and you will get a negative response

    I would like national leadership and media that hits on issues like this constantly and leads people away from ignorance. No one is providing it.

    And (none / 0) (#32)
    by ghost2 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:01:52 PM EST
    The media elected Obama. So far, they are 3 for 3.

    The country DIDN'T elect Bush in 2000 (none / 0) (#117)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:19:04 PM EST
    and probably not in 2004, either.

    Just saying.

    Jeb Bush (FL felon's list) and Fat Tony Scalia (Bush v Gore) selected Bush in 2000.

    And OH 2004 looked very, very iffy.

    Now, maybe we were culpable for not thinking the country would right itself, for not seeing that the rules had really changed.


    media is smart, (none / 0) (#133)
    by ghost2 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:38:01 AM EST
    but doesn't have your interests in mind.

    Nah, most reporters are very stupid (none / 0) (#134)
    by observed on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:41:12 AM EST
    They can't understand a topic of any complexity, but what's worse is that modern journalists don't even use their journalistic training when writing stories. There's no effort to find facts or be even-handed. In fact, "even-handed" has become Orwellian in its application, meaning exactly the opposite; it means that the right wing, non-science, counterfactual view is given 90% of the attention, all the time.

    welcome (back) to the margins, BTD. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:56:13 PM EST
    I meant to compliment you on yesterday's piece. I thought it was the finest prose I've seen from you in four or five years, maybe longer.

    So... what can we do now? I'm torn between moving to warm climates where Spanish is spoken and/or getting set for another 10-20 years in the wilderness. I don't have too much hope for significant change. And no, I'm not trying to be snarky. I don't know what to expect. Are we supposed to take the crumbs or less that are offered?

    We don't get listened to, we get blamed, marginalized, ignored.
    I;d like a reason to feel like it's worth it, to tell you the truth. After 35 years or more of fighting the good fight, I'm tired.

    Yeh, well, with 49 states with snow (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:03:10 PM EST
    I'm considering polishing my French.  I love Canada.

    Only 49 states with snow, huh? (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by prittfumes on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:16:28 AM EST
    C'mon, Cream, show a little gratitude that it didn't snow in all 57 states.

    ha (none / 0) (#149)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 04:40:25 PM EST
    all 57 states would have been rough.

    I've had the same thought this week. (none / 0) (#93)
    by lucky leftie on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 07:58:20 PM EST
    My favorite scenic drive ever is the Sea to Sky Highway, from Vancouver to Whistler.  Magnificent.  I know a Canadian national who assures me I would fit in nicely up there.  I take it as a compliment.  

    Haven't been to western Canada (none / 0) (#104)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:13:57 PM EST
    much, other than a fast trip over Puget Sound, but I need to do so.  I also need to head due north (around a Great Lake) to get to Thunder Bay and other ancient First Nation and then French fur trading sites about which I have read so much.  This summer, I will at last get to the very ancient site of Sault Ste. Marie, both American and Canadian sides, where the French came into what would be this country and created the marvelous Metis culture even before those bedraggled Pilgrims landed at some rock on the eastern coasts.

    I have been to Quebec, to Montreal, and could live there and love it.  Even when it's cold there, it's a dry cold and not the damp cold down here.  And ohhhhhh, the food.  And friendly people (but French helps).  And national health care!


    I am still blinking away the (5.00 / 6) (#39)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:12:06 PM EST
    intense Kool-Aid fumes from the little of that dkos diary I could read...my eyes are still a little burn-y.

    I felt like I was reading the outline for a new infomercial, complete with the "but, wait!" part.  Except whatever this is they keep trying to sell is costing a whole lot more than three easy payments of "only" $19.95 a month, and gee whiz, we've had it for 13 months already and - no results!  

    Everyone wants to hope, so there's no shame in having had some where Obama was concerned.  The change part?  People allowed their hope to cloud their judgment on that one.  Big time.

    How anyone could have thought that Obama was going to change anything is simply beyond my ability to understand; even Digby could see it, based on that old post she resurrected.  How sad that it's taken this long to come to grips with the truth.  Too bad she didn't ask how it would be possible for an empty vessel to change anything.

    Now what, Digby?  What do you DO now?

    Technically it was a smart campaign. (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:36:17 PM EST
    The "Go look at the website" trick worked really well, probably because more volunteers could be trained to say that than to explain anything.
    The caucus votes were won with good organization and ruthlessness.
    Obama didn't have to do much to win the GE---the primary was 90% of it, and his team served him well.

    How smart could it have been that (5.00 / 4) (#60)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:48:52 PM EST
    so many of the people who bought it now feel extraordinarly stupid?  I could be wrong, but most people have a hard time with being suckered.

    "Go look at the website" should never have been a substitute for "go look at the record;" the willingness of so many to be distracted by that is one reason we are where we are.

    To call Obama's caucus strategy "ruthless" is to avoid calling it what it really was - and we know what it really was.

    Anyone who cared to look at Obama's past electoral strategy should have known that he was willing to do anything to win - and should have been looking a lot more carefully at that "ruthless" strategy.

    Am I angry that too many in the media and in the blogosphere were complicit in the distraction?  Yes, of course I am.

    Is there any excuse for the media and the blogosphere to continue to report as if the emperor was outfitted in the most amazing clothing ever?

    Uh, no.

    What I want to know now is, what happens now that they have figured out just how badly they were bamboozled?


    It was smart for Obama, which (none / 0) (#61)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:50:35 PM EST
    is all I meant by my comment.

    Yes, because all Obama cared about (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:12:25 PM EST
    was winning.

    He's not a leader, and he shows little interest in governance, which is proving to be very bad for us little people.


    Ruthlessness was not the problem; (5.00 / 4) (#89)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 07:49:31 PM EST
    it was not understanding that you can't demonize large parts of your own base.
    Obama divided while he conquered. Very bad politics.
    Hillary could have beaten Obama, or made him unelectable, if she had said certain [true] things about Obama's readiness more bluntly; but she knew better.

    If Obama "demonized" parts of his own (none / 0) (#97)
    by bridget on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:52:19 PM EST
    base he did so to endear himself to the Independents and Repubs. And why should he worry, after all the glorification he experienced he knew he would get the vote of the Dems.

    Hillary could have beaten Obama BUT her campaign aids let her down. In a big way. It wasn't her business to take on the nasty media who called her all kind of names, etc. Her campaign managers and supporters should have made Obama unelectable by speaking out more bluntly. But they wimped out. Every time they showed their faces on TV. Why?

    Hillary's campaign managers and aids worried too much about their own future $$$$ .... after all the village people stick together.

    The Clinton war room was not doing the job. I am sure Bill Clinton knew that all but he had to let her run her own campaign. Too bad she didn't listen to him.


    The racist smears worked well, too (5.00 / 5) (#113)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:58:16 PM EST
    So did caucus fraud.

    So did the illegitimate process at the Rules and Bylaws Committee.


    The 2008 nomination was as legit ... (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by RonK Seattle on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:08:45 PM EST
    ... as Florida 2000.

    Should we forget either one, and still call ourselves Democrats (or for that matter, democrats)?


    Simple answers to simple questions (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:11:13 PM EST
    No. And no.

    the primaries (none / 0) (#150)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 04:46:28 PM EST
    were won with ballot stuffing, out of state caucus participants and bullying old people... and outright delegate fraud on the part of the DNC.
    TX, FL and MI alone, had they been honestly awarded, would have made Hillary the overwhelming winner.
    I am NOT willing to say it is okay to pull that sh*t just because "it's politics".

    Use'em and lose'em: sidelining the OFA army (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Ellie on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:37:40 PM EST
    ... because they're not immediately useful (or handily "controlled" by obRahma, as last week's news dumpage put it). It's only clearer to anyone who didn't see that coming that Team Obama always wanted to work the backrooms while presenting a different face to the public.

    The Where are they now? schlockumentary moment came and went during the Mass. debacle.

    Maybe the glass ceiling for women, doubling as a glass floor for '10 elections, is informing the decisions for the flurry of Dem announcements NOT to seek re-election. (Don't know, don't care, no dog in this fight etc. etc. I'm going to enjoy the eye candy and breathless analyses of FLOTUS's latest helmet.)

    Regardless of their respective contributions to the farce, who wants to be stained with the failure of a supermajority to deliver the meekest reform? If it was always going to be about Obama, hell, let him have it.


    To bad Digby wasn't advocating single payer (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:54:27 PM EST
    Not only did she fall for a crap candidate and get nothing, she pushed a crap policy and got nothing.

    Used to be, back in the day, one thing that the blogs could do was educate their readership. Digby, alas, failed miserably at that.


    I'm disappointed in Obama's (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Teresa on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:38:03 PM EST
    leadership but if I had to vote today between Obama and McCain, no doubt I'd choose Obama again. I'm not getting what I want from him but I sure as heck don't want what McCain could have given us. And I was just as mad as you guys at what happened during the primaries but nothing could make me vote for McCain or even waste my already wasted red state vote on someone else.

    I'm equally as mad at the Senate as I am Obama. Even if he twisted arms, the same old blue dog Democrats would still not do what we want.

    Well, Obama handed the ball off (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:42:34 PM EST
    to Baucus, probably more than once (HCR and employment for the rich tax cutters stuff).
    Then there was all this courting of Snowe.
    I wonder what Rahm thought of that?
    Now that I know Rahm was opposed to tackling HCR this year, I'm wondering what other brilliant shots POTUS has called.

    I agree it was a huge mistake (none / 0) (#76)
    by Teresa on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:18:29 PM EST
    to hand it off to Baucus and the courting of Snowe was ridiculous. The Senate could still have enough backbone to fight for HCR even if Obama didn't.

    Which makes me think Obama's (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:25:58 PM EST
    ineptness is much more of an issue than who is in his inner circle.

    the problem is this; Obama is pursuing the same (5.00 / 10) (#83)
    by esmense on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:45:49 PM EST
    corporate/conservative policies of his predecessor for the most part. On the most important issues, the rhetoric is different but the policies are essentially the same policies McCain would have pursued -- and will most likely have the same bad consequences. But, because he is a Democrat and, prehaps even more so, an African American, his failures will be labeled as progressive or liberal failures.

    On the other hand, if McCain was President, following in Bush's footsteps, there would be no doubt that conservative ideology had failed us.

    Since I believe that without a change of direction, this country is headed toward much worse economic suffering (and economic division) than we have already experienced as a result of 30 years of conservative policy, I also believe we can't afford to have the best alternative to those policies -- progressive/liberal alternatives -- discredited falsely (without really being tried).

    I don't want to sound melodramatic here, but history tells us that when a society perceives that liberal values have failed, it creates an opportunity for fascism.

    McCain's failures would have been seen as they honestly would have been -- conservative failures. Obama's failures will be seen as liberal failures even though they are not. And that will destroy hope.


    Very thoughtful comment. (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by ZtoA on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:09:13 PM EST
    "Obama's failures will be seen as liberal failures even though they are not. And that will destroy hope."

    The US is ruled by oppositions and Obama's attempts to change that fundamental is not working and in fact is having a negative impact. The presidency is not a coolness popularity contest and agreement on policies will not happen because of the agreeable charm of one person. Neither can he shame opponents into agreeing with him. The primaries were an exercise in dems shaming other dems. It was pretty amazing. But, even tho shaming worked against other dems it will not work against repubs and is backfiring. Shaming was one more tactic in the primaries that was a strong indication of the kind of leader he would be. It was easy for those either witnessing or even participating in the shaming to shrug it off, but those who were actively shamed will probably not forget it.

    I'm NO fan of Palin or the teapartiers, but the Obama campaign really spend time and effort on shaming rural white working class. So what did they expect? This demographic gets the internet too and the level of name calling and basically, again, 'shaming' in order to dismiss or control the demographic will have some long term results. Why was that so hard to see? Some dems tried to point it out and became targets themselves.


    Was GWB's presidency a failure? (none / 0) (#124)
    by FreakyBeaky on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:01:27 AM EST
    Not in terms of forcing through what he wanted, and the failure came late - you might say too late.

    I think it is an error to assume that a McCain administration would have been a failure.  War with Iran and/or one terrorist attack might have made it a disastrous success.  

    I think we are at a greater risk than most people think of ending up with, shall we say, a different form of government thanks to failure to respond to economic crisis - but I can't agree that a McCain victory would have hurt less than Obama.  I think another Republican administration would have broken the country.  


    I have no doubt that it would have (5.00 / 3) (#136)
    by esmense on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 10:11:08 AM EST
    "broken the country." But it would have been clear who to blame.

    McCain's policies, like Bush, Bush and Reagan, would have been designed to aid the financial community at the expense of everyone else. To sum up Republican policy for the last 30 years; let them eat debt.

    But the bubble and debt cover for those policies is played out. We're left with the reality of what they've created; an economy that no longer has the ability to create decent jobs for a majority of of our people, the collapse of middle class asset wealth, the division of our society into an tiny (1%), extremely wealthy elite that enjoys over 40% of the nation's wealth with the bottom 80% possessing only 7% of the wealth (the rest is shared by a professional and "creative" class that basically serves the needs of the top 1% -- much like the affluent tradesman who once served "the crown.")

    By refusing to reverse direction and condemn the players, policies and ideology that got us here Obama is perpetuating this disastrous course and associating himself with the interest of the people who profit from it. He will be condemned as the one who "broke the country" because the means of hiding its brokeness are no longer available, and because he refused to change direction and talk truthfully about who and why it is broken.

    Meanwhile, with their game played out, the Right is becoming even more extreme.

    Yet, they are the only alternative to what people rightly perceive as liberal weakness in the face of this catastrophe.

    If that doesn't frighten you, it certainly should.

    If Obama is seen as a failure, I fear there is much worse than McCain to come.


    Fooled again... (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by pcpablo on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:56:45 PM EST
    it wasn't 11 dimensional chess all along!

    the reality of it is, (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by cpinva on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:14:22 PM EST
    anyone (and i mean anyone!) who actually bought into that whole primary/general campaign BS was an idiot.

    i voted for him in the general, as the obviously lesser of two evils:

    the first clearly batsh*t crazy, with an equally nutzoid ignoramous running mate: the second an ill-prepared but ambitious nice guy, with a kind of experienced running mate. the second might just not start another war.

    such were my choices. if i thought it would have made a difference, i'd have written in hillary. sadly, pres. obama's past (much like gw's) foretold his present.

    The Art Party (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:29:25 PM EST
    That is what we need.  Or a Democratic Party that adopts the rhetorical style of, say, Louis Black (LINK).  When was the last time you saw a popular right-wing comedian/satirist?  You don't see them, because they don't really exist.  Status quo mindsets don't gravitate toward the satirically funny, unless your idea of satirical is that quickly canceled Fox mess that would feature Michelle Malkin attempting to be intentionally humorous.

    We have our clear intellectual advantages, in other words, which are crossover in nature poltically, and yet all we can manage to muster is the delusion and almost sublime absuridty of "Obama's Method of Concilliatory Rhetoric" or whatever the phuck it is.  Listen, if suddenly the Big O turns full throttle against the right and starts hitting them with, at the least, some real rhetorical uppercuts, the kind he knows will elicit an angry reaction, then I will sit naked in a tree covered in birdseed.

    Obama's bipartisan shtick was (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by lucky leftie on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 07:46:58 PM EST
    always troubling, imo.  Anyone who lived through Clinton's tenure knew that the GOP would never work with him.  I believed he was either a naif or a phony; in either case, not what I wanted for a president.  

    His praise of St. Reagan also set off my alarm bells, as I don't see that jacka$$'s  "transformational" presidency as a positive.  But I voted for Obama in the general, and even began to feel excited about it.  I guess that make me a naif, too.    

    As disappointing as the dems have been, I have to hand it to the GOP-they are completely indifferent to the sufferings of the voters yet they are winning the message war.  I wish the democratic party was half as audacious as they are. Why are the democrats so reluctant to play hard ball?  

    Democrats are pussies. (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 07:52:34 PM EST
    Republicans like Delay, Abramoff and others were willing to commit crimes, not solely or only for personal advancement, but to help the Republican Party. They call Democrats traitors and worse,
    but Obama and most of the Dems can hardly even speak a mealy-mouthed insult.
    Obama has brought a teletubbie to the fight at Megiddo.

    You linked to a Cedwyn crew (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:28:42 PM EST
    11 dimensional chess diary....BLEH!  I thought things would be so different too.  I thought we would have been pulled back from the brink of social fabric destruction...but nope.  We watch Iran hoping for an awakening from within Islam and completely miss that we are in the same boat now.  I wonder if anyone is rooting for us?

    Ruthless Supplicants (none / 0) (#5)
    by Salo on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:21:46 PM EST
    Hard Core Obsequeous Cap Doffers.

    Come to think of it.... (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:29:42 PM EST
    If Mitch McConnell was me, and Obama had great big golden retriever eyes like my dog...it just might work!!!

    Salo (none / 0) (#151)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 05:10:27 PM EST
    I used to think you are a pain in the asp with your (wasn't it?) Edwards campaigning.  Maybe I remember wrong, but I seem to remember wondering why you could not see what a sleaze bag phony he was.  But I apologize, I don't think I have disagreed with anything you have written here over the last few months.  

    Was Carter a plant? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Salo on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:29:59 PM EST
    Why is this question buzzing around my brain right now? Monetarism, cerebral analysis, gifted intellect...

    LOL (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jackson Hunter on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:49:46 PM EST
    Their full force isn't what it used to be, the Obama Personality Cult is falling apart rapidly as people with brains in their heads are recognizing the bullspit Obama has chosen to represent.  They are losin influence and I don't think the front pagers are going to back them up as in the past.  Perhaps Kos can be salvaged.  I hope it can.

    Just last night I asked the cult how they like Kos working with Slink's group.  Specifically, "How does it taste?"

    (For the uninitiated to Daily Kos politics, the Obama Personality Cult is the "Pass the Damn Senate Bill" crowd while Slinkerwink and her crew are the "Fix it and Pass It" people.  I think the Cult people only want a win for Obama, they don't really care about Health Reform or they wouldn't support the crummy Senate Bill.  The Cult hates Jane Hamsher and FDL because they wouldn't yield to their Messiah, and Slink had worked for Jane.  Maybe Jane and Kos will work together and make the Cult explode.)

    Mean, but at least I didn't call them racists.  LOL


    ruthlessly conciliatory.... (none / 0) (#44)
    by kempis on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:18:32 PM EST
    Well, we've gone from the moronic Bush presidency to the oxymoronic Obama one--with about the same results.

    It's like Bush got drunk, wrecked the ship of state, puked all over the Oval Office, and Obama is too "viciously polite" to call attention to any of it by attempting to clean it up. Ha! That'll show the GOP!

    Meanwhile, the ruthlessly ruthless GOP seems to be succeeding in demonizing the ruthlessly conciliatory Obama and the Democrats.

    I think I prefer my ruthless straight-up.

    Obama is plenty ruthless (none / 0) (#152)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 05:14:20 PM EST
    ask all his opponents in IL who had their personal divorce information aired in public and those of us who got labeled racist......