We've had enough of ... triangulation and poll-driven politics. "That's not what we need right now." - Barack Obama, October 2007

NYTimes Editorial:

For years, the debate over offshore drilling for gas and oil has been a war of sound bites between the “drill now, drill everywhere” crowd that dominated the Bush administration and the Republican campaign in 2008, and members of the environmental community who would leave the country’s outer continental shelf untouched.

[President Obama's] new strategy — the result of more than a year of work by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar — also confronts an essential political reality: the Senate will insist on offshore drilling as part of a broader bill, expected after Easter, addressing climate change and other energy-related problems. Mr. Obama is trying to anticipate and shape that discussion by identifying areas that he thinks can responsibly be opened for exploration while quarantining others.

(Emphasis supplied.) Only a blind devotee can deny this is triangulation. Whether it is a good idea or not, it is obviously triangulation.

Speaking for me only

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    I suggest just unplugging from politics. (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Salo on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 08:33:46 AM EST
    It's essentially a scripted drama from here on in.

    Not an option (none / 0) (#35)
    by pluege on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 09:03:37 PM EST
    it would only get worse

    One more thing... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Salo on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 08:35:47 AM EST
    ... If further oil extraction is going to ahead it clearly indicates that noone in the higher reaches of the executive thinks clmate change is affected by human activity. I'm including O here btw.

    Actually what I believe it means (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by cawaltz on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 08:49:23 AM EST
    is money outranks the concept that we might be despoiling something for the next generation. These people know that humans impact CO2, they just don't care. The oil companies desire to profit and people's desire for cheap oil takes precedence over the ecological impact that drilling will have.

    They've already sold roads, ports and other pieces of infrastructure, now they're going for America's coastlines.


    Corporatists (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by waldenpond on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 09:16:47 AM EST
    Sure they believe in it.  They just don't care.  We have virtually one party... corporatists.  Greed is great.  It's the American Way.

    So who are the 10 Democratic Senators who insist (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Dan the Man on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 08:51:42 AM EST
    on drilling? This assumes the 41 Republicans Senators will all insist on drilling also even though this probably isn't true.  For example Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins appear to be not too fond of it.  Looks like Obama no longer considers the mighty bipartisan President Snowe important any more.  Heh.

    It will be very difficult to (none / 0) (#21)
    by MKS on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:15:14 PM EST
    get an energy bill....

    Democrats and liberals generally are winning the overall argument on the environment.  Many Republicans are good on the environment.....Defeating a bad bill today may set back the timetable for an overall bill....but time favors the environmentalists--at least politically....


    Reality.. (none / 0) (#24)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:28:16 PM EST
    which you can only live in denial of for so long..also favors the environmentalists.

    True, but some things are (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:43:39 PM EST
    permanent and irreversible, like extinction, and ecosystem "tipping points".

    Now is not a time to go in the wrong direction, nor to pretend that something like more offshore drilling is part of the solution.


    Well two of them are Webb and Warner (none / 0) (#30)
    by cawaltz on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 01:01:18 PM EST
    I hear they were "applauding" this move in the Roanoke Times.

    Just FYI. (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 09:16:58 AM EST
    Even if traingulation is necessary, (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 09:55:56 AM EST
    why give away offshore drilling without any concessions? The president must be willing to give up a lot more drilling sites if this is the starting point of the negotiations.

    Only question is how much more (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 11:53:48 AM EST
    will he give away.

    Graham called the White House plan a "good first step" but added, "there is more that must be done to make this proposal meaningful and the game-changer we all want it to become."

    "Among the areas we still need to address - encouraging states to allow exploration by sharing a portion of the revenue raised from oil and gas drilling, opening even more areas of the Eastern Gulf to exploration, the inclusion of viable drilling sites in the Atlantic and Pacific, and expanding the list of areas we inventory for possible reservoirs of oil and gas," Graham said. link

    Bcz Obama does his best negotiating with himself - (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jawbone on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 02:43:10 PM EST
    He knows it makes it easier for the Repubs to pull the final solution rightward and he doesn't look as if he's caved...bcz he caved within himself first, see? That means it's his win, not theirs...or something.

    I do not pretend to understand this man or his way of thinking.

    But I love this comment from a David Dayen post over at FDL:

    2)  DanR March 31st, 2010 at 11:11 am

    The President knows we cannot drill our way to energy independence

    Reminds me of Kevin Baker's observation that Barack Obama, again and again-whether it's about war, terrorism, healthcare or the environment-tells us that the current system is broken and then proceeds to tell us that the system must be maintained.

    Clearly, because this is not about ... (none / 0) (#23)
    by BruceMcF on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:26:06 PM EST
    ... triangulation, this is about trying to slow down the immediate Republican cash flow by being Rockefeller Republicans, while trying to blame the bad policy that results on the Taft Republicans.

    Agree, it is all about corporate cash (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:36:22 PM EST
    Taking us back to Obama's (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:39:32 PM EST
    calling out SCOTUS over the
    Citizens United

    To use BTD's polite framing (none / 0) (#32)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 01:43:06 PM EST
    A pol is a pol.

    IF some tactic worked to reverse (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by seabos84 on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 10:23:32 AM EST
    Raygun-ism, AND worked significantly by turning the Raygun lies into toxic lies in the public mind, instead of the lies continuing to infect policy

    I'd say 'sign me up!'.

    I see nothing to debate over having effective framing - look at what it did for the raygun-cheney regime. We're never gonna get good policies IF we can't sell them in a way that pols are terrified of going against us. (see health insurance hand outs, march 2010)  

    the big zeee-r-0 gives the righty thieves what they want at the beginning in policy, AND he uses a new variant of right wing whomping DFH framing --

    how many ways can one spell 'sell out'?

    how many graduate degrees does one need to get it through one's over credentialed politically clueless head that they've been ... SOLD OUT!

    I remember Anne Richards debating the coked out frat boy in 199x,
    "you can put lipstick on a pig and call it monique, but, it is still a pig"

    When it comes to triangulation and the big Zeee-r-0, we the people are getting the shaft.



    The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 10:54:05 AM EST
    (Thanks, Aristotle.)

    This is what concerns me too. Each one of these deals that concedes it incorporates 'good ideas from republicans', when taken in the aggregate, create an erroneous and dangerous overarching philosophy that Republican ideas are good. And they're not.

    Republican ideas on health care (including relying completely on free markets), on the environment (including the bogus claims that we offshore drilling is part of new energy strategies) should not be validated. Instead, they should be exposed as what they are and removed from the discourse.


    Not just that Republican ideas are good (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by cawaltz on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 11:52:49 AM EST
    but they are mainstream and in contrast those of us that do not believe them are somehow the radical loony nutballs that the Republicans have accused us as being for not embracing them.

    I'm gonna say it again, Thanks New Democrats.


    We knew during the general election ... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by BruceMcF on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:34:47 PM EST
    ... that the choice was between which enemy we would rather see in the White House. That had already been clear as far back as the primary race settling down to a fight between Tweedle Hedge and Tweedle Fund.

    Obama is no sell-out ... he never was a progressive, he never promised any policies that were one whit more progressive than they needed to be to win in a Democratic primary campaign, and he swung to the center-right as soon as the general election campaign started.

    Its only the occasional rhetorical flourish combined with the preceding and offered hard right wing alternative that ever made him look "progressive by contrast".

    Just as we can expect the White House to support whatever transnational corporate wealth agreement he can get away with, since he was always the most anti-fair-trade of the main contenders in the primary, since he was always the most pro-Big-Coal in the primary, we can expect him to go for the dirtiest energy policy he thinks he can get away with.

    Hyperventilating about what has been obvious since late 2007 won't do much good ... the question is what to do about it.


    I wasn't 1 of the 10s of 1000s of (none / 0) (#34)
    by seabos84 on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 02:59:29 PM EST
    swooners, and apparently you weren't either - HOWEVER, Tens of Thousands did NOT stand in the heat and the rain and the cold to get policies which benefit the few by screwing the many.

    He's chosen to guarantee that his family will have tens of millions in speaking fees to live off of for years after he's left the casa blanca.. He could have looked at those tens of thousands and ... grokked his own (lying) speeches, and he could have gambled on REALLY changing things for the better of all instead of the few - AND - he probably would have still guaranteed his family's future prosperity. Oh well, he didn't, cuz, he chose to continue selling out.

    When interpreting scientific processes to reach a conclusion, hopefully we're able to definitely say that so much gasoline / coal / sun in = so much power out, given engine A, B, C ...

    When interpreting social / political processes, IF you want to say I'm wrong and you're right - go ahead!! We disagree. yawn.

    If you need to pretend that your political argument is all reality and all rational and all right, and mine ain't - as if this is some scientific debate - go for it.

    It seems that we both, loosely, agree that we aren't gonna see much "progressive" outta the Big Zee-R-0.

    What to do? Start by STOP giving money, or time, or both, to sell outs. period.



    That's not doing something. (none / 0) (#36)
    by BruceMcF on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 09:24:53 PM EST
    What to do about it. Being like the majority of the electorate and not giving money to these people will on its own be as effective in stopping these people ... as the majority of the electorate not giving to either wing of the Corporate party has been for the past forty years.

    We've had two years since the Democratic nomination was winnowed down to Tweedle Hedge and Tweedle Fund, to work out action strategies. We are early in the second year of a six year period to build up an ability to impact city and town halls, state legislatures and Congress before trying to upset the apple cart in a Presidential primary year.

    What have we come up with for this coming electoral cycle?


    I'm scratching my head a bit. (none / 0) (#37)
    by seabos84 on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 11:46:17 PM EST
    digby is making recommendations on act blue.

    I gave to tester and to webb and to the guy who just flamed out in new york ... massa - and to grayson...

    I've enjoyed digby for several years - she doesn't strike as a wannabee insider king maker which has happened to many gate crashers ...

    I'm feeling even LESS trusting, and, that is difficult for me.

    sorry to be so random, but, out here in seattle a bunch of people are scratching their heads, cuz, the drumbeat is already starting from the party to -  support patty murray or else!!!

    and I'm done with her, but, who can I / do I trust? ;)

    I think it will be an interesting summer - will the tweaked off coalesce around 3? 13? REAL non sell outs, AND, put a real scare in the sell outs and the chickens ... or will the tweaked off go in 400 different directions?  

    I think the AHIP welfare act will help the tepid go along get along-ers who showed up for Kerry in October --- the tepid don't show up in August to build for a bigger august.



    Triangulation plus "Golden Mean Fallacy" (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:15:06 PM EST
    That NYT editorial instructs us that the Obama plan to expand oil and gas exploration will satisfy neither extreme (i.e., "drill now, drill everywhere crowd" or members of the environmental community who would leave the continental shelf untouched.") Equal "crowds" and  equal arguments of merit, earning the NYT accolade that "President Obama struck a sensible middle ground." A better middle ground is presented in the same NYT edition, Business Day, John Broder and Clfford Krauss, entitled: 'Risk is clear in drilling, payoff isn't,' with a concluding statement by one of the environmentalist crowd, "it leaves the president with a delicious irony: in order to garner support for a bill that is intended to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the administration is willing to expand the very substance that causes those emissions in the first place." Pandering for votes, he continues, that rely on polluting fuel of the past is not the kind of change many of us expected."  What an extremist.

    Yes, here's the best quote from the NRDC: (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:20:12 PM EST
    "We need comprehensive solutions for America's clean energy future -- and more offshore drilling in our oceans does not fit in that picture. Offshore drilling carries significant environmental risks without truly increasing our energy independence. There are many areas that are just too sensitive for offshore drilling, which threatens our oceans, sea life and coastal communities; including economic interests in these areas. America has better solutions than to drill in our pristine waters -- which needs more research and investigation -- and we should be pursuing these options.

    Pre-negotiation Capitulation (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by pluege on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 01:16:26 PM EST
    This is all part and parcel of the obama setup giving the corportists what they want before he starts negotiating with them. Then when he pretends to negotiate with them and their republican lackeys throw their oh-so-predictable hissy-fits, obama can throw them a few more bones to demonstrate his bi-partisan mojo that everyone except obamafans and broder are sick to death of.

    This is really quite the disgusting charade that obama has created as a guise for actual governing.

    Funny this is Obama would be the first (none / 0) (#3)
    by masslib on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 08:39:43 AM EST
    person to rationalize what he is doing as being not triangulation.  He really is still very hard up to prove how un-Clinton he is.  Maybe he's a blind devotee though.

    Difference between (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 10:29:13 AM EST
    triangulation and doing what you believe.  Obama isn't triangulating away from anything he believes in, seems to me, he's doing what he thinks, as the World's Greatest Pragmatist, is the wise and sensible thing to do.

    Exactly (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 10:37:06 AM EST
    Normally, one would see this a triangulating, but this is actually Obama's starting point. He will move farther right on the issue before he's done.

    I think the point is not on substance but (none / 0) (#16)
    by masslib on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 10:49:50 AM EST
    rather as a rhetorical tool.

    True, but (none / 0) (#29)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:56:10 PM EST
    then we're really starting to get away from the whole (Dick Morris, btw) idea of actual triangulation.  There's triangulation, and then there's plain old copping out, as we used to say in the '60s.

    "Funny this is" (none / 0) (#4)
    by masslib on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 08:48:08 AM EST
    LOL, I sound like Yoda.  Meant funny THING is.

    earlier Booman (none / 0) (#10)
    by lilburro on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 09:23:29 AM EST
    on triangulation:

    Traingulation isn't a strategy of saying things that make unions unhappy, it is a strategy of doing things that make unions unhappy. Advocates of 'framing' don't want a Democratic president to ever adopt a way of talking about issues that reinforces the opponent's view. Obama doesn't use this strategy. Rather, he makes rhetorical concessions and then does what he wants to do. It's rhetorical triangulation, not actual triangulation. If he starts losing policy battles then we might grow concerned about this tendency to concede framing around issues to his opponents. But so long as he is winning policy battles, we should relax.[emphasis miine]

    By that definition he has no doubt moved into "real" triangulation territory.