Obama, Dawn Johnsen, Stevens' Replacement And The End of The Obama Rorschach Test?

clammyc demands a liberal nominee to replace Justice Stevens on the SCOTUS from a centrist President. It is a welcome demand, but fanciful in the extreme. President Obama is not a liberal. As the Dawn Johnsen situation amply proves, President Obama is not, never was and never will be a liberal champion. Paul Rosenberg celebrates the end of the self deception:

The word "myth" has two distinct, but related meanings. One is "a compelling interpretive framework", the other is "a lie." Many myths are both, to varying degrees. The myth of Obama as Rorschach test is one of them. [. . .] In "The death of Dawn Johnsen's nomination," Glenn Greenwald writes:

virtually everything that Dawn Johnsen said about executive power, secrecy, the rule of law and accountability for past crimes made her an excellent fit for what Candidate Obama said he would do, but an awful fit for what President Obama has done.

and thus, finally, one can hope, the myth of Obama as Rorschach test can be set aside. It had a certain credibility once, but by now it simply comes down to the fact that Obama blurs and distorts his image as needed, just like every other politician does.

This is delusion from Rosenberg. The myth of Obama as progressive hero will never end for most Democrats and unfortunately, for too many self proclaimed progressive activists. Rosenberg, who never believed Obama to be a liberal champion, now thinks everyone else will see what he sees. The delusion now comes from him. More . . .

I expect that President Obama will nominate Elena Kagan to fill the vacancy left by Justice Stevens' retirement. I plan on supporting this nomination. Mainly because I think Kagan's view of the Court, the Constitution and the law is attuned to my own.

But I am not much of a progressive. Progressives are right to push for someone more unabashedly liberal than Kagan. For someone whose views are more in tune with their own than Kagan's are. But I hope they have no illusions about all the liberal virtues many progressive activists will now find in Kagan. The Rorschach Test has not ended at all. Indeed, it will intensify now. Rosenberg has it exactly backwards.

Speaking for me only

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    O is laffing his way to a $ 20 mil book contract (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Salo on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 10:33:22 PM EST
    Good for him.

    The End of the Obma Rorschach Test (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by john horse on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 07:39:54 AM EST
    re: The End of The Obama Rorschach Test

    Yes, I agree that many progressives looked at Obama and saw what they wanted to see.  Reminds me of the old story about the politician who would try to show that he was a man of the people by breaking out his fiddle and playing for them left handed.  But when he was in the homes of the wealthy and powerful he'd play that fiddle right handed.  The withdrawal of Dawn Johnsen's nomination is only the latest in a long string of disappointments by President Obama.  It is becoming increasingly evident who is calling the tune and who is being played.

    Elizabeth Warren should take note of this incident (none / 0) (#24)
    by szielinski on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 09:06:34 AM EST
    ...if Obama were to ask her to head the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

    I wonder what slogan Obama will use in 2012. Change you can believe in? I think not!


    2012 slogan: Belief you can change in (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 09:20:41 AM EST
    . . . a Chicago minute.

    Elizabeth Warren (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 12:41:33 PM EST
    should be on the list for a Supreme Court seat, although at the high end of the prime age range (59, I think).  Totally qualified.

    59 the high end of the prime age range? (none / 0) (#43)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 02:04:13 PM EST
    That's sad. 59 is just right, and it doesn't give the potential of a 35-40 year seat.

    Sad, indeed (none / 0) (#78)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 08:31:50 PM EST
    but true.

    BTD, it is interesting (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by JamesTX on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 09:01:29 AM EST
    to see you write that you are not much a progressive. I had always thought you were. I suppose that had something to do with the fact that you were in the inner circle of a set of bloggers who most people identified with the new progressive movement. Now that progressives are losing again, at least as the pundits tell us, I am curious as to who is winning. If you aren't a progressive, do you have way of categorizing yourself?

    He's not a "centrist", a word that (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:24:31 PM EST
    has utterly lost meaning, much like "progressive".  He's an opportunist.  I honestly have no idea what Obama's core principles are.  It's entirely how I perceive Mitt Romney.    

    Core Principals? (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:31:48 PM EST
    The core principals of every politician are irrelevant. It is not part of the job description. Obama, like every successful pol before him, panders to his constituency. In this case a rather large swath of divergent wants and needs, aka 51% of the US voters. Pretty centrist, imo..  in fact he defines the center by definition, otherwise he would be out of a job.

    But everyone should be selfish and demand that Obama and their reps, do what he or she wants.

    Guess you would rather just complain that he is not listening to you.. lol

    And by core principals, I suppose you mean, agree with you.


    Nope. Not what I mean. (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:36:46 PM EST
    I think Bush had a set of core principles.  Not ones I agreed with, but his principles nonetheless.  I just don't have any clue at all what Obama's principles are.  I really don't.  

    Still Irrelevant (none / 0) (#52)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:40:01 PM EST
    Bush pandered to his voters, despite whatever personal core values he had. For instance, he pandered to the religious nuts because they delivered votes, IMO he was/is not remotely christian or religious. From what I understand he never went to church.

    Pandering to some voters on (none / 0) (#53)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:46:48 PM EST
    some issues doesn't mean he lacked principles, however deplorable they were.  

    Indeed, you are quite wrong (none / 0) (#92)
    by masslib on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:26:27 AM EST
    about Bush's religiosity.  There's no reason to say it was disingenuous because he didn't regularly go to church.  He became a born again to help him quit drinking.  He quite clearly did think his personal relationship with God informed his policies. There are countless reports that even in private he relied on that relationship, however objectionable to the rest of us, to navigate his course.  The protestant tradition is that one need not go to church to have a relationship with God, hence the break from Catholicism, and the PERSONAL relationship with God.  Church is great for fellowship and to keep your moral compass pointing in the right direction but not at all necessary to have a relationship with Christ.  Learn you history, friend.

    Lol (none / 0) (#93)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:44:55 AM EST
    He became a born again to help him quit drinking.
    Guess that did not work out... lol

    And you read this where? Or is it that you know Bush? Friend of a friend?


    And he adopted his texas twang because it helped him stop smoking?

    Great core values..  Reagan too, no doubt.

    I saw that movie too. wept through the whole thing.


    You are saying foolish things... (none / 0) (#97)
    by masslib on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 12:50:03 PM EST
    Everyone knows that's when Bush became a born again.  It's not a secret.  I don't agree with his core principles.  Understand?  I think he's wrong.  I think he's a hypocrite.  But it doesn't mean I can't see what his core principles are.  

    Like Mitt Romney, with Obama, I just don't see any sort of core.  Please, tell me, what are his core principles.  Arguing no one in politics has core principles is bizarre, and not grounded in fact or reason.  


    But, you see, in order for it to be okay (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 01:08:02 PM EST
    for Obama to be empty of principles, one has to make the same claim about ALL politicians, and that's what's going on here.

    Most bizarre Obama defense I have (none / 0) (#100)
    by masslib on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 01:09:29 PM EST
    come across yet.  Truly strange.  But, thanks, I think your read is right.

    Defense? (none / 0) (#102)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 01:18:28 PM EST
    Hardly, I am stating a fact.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#101)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 01:17:39 PM EST
    You are making things up. I have been clear. I never said Politicians were devoid of core principals, just that those core principals have nothing to do with the job description.

    That should be obvious to all but a cultist.


    This is such an utterly ridiculous (none / 0) (#103)
    by masslib on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 01:44:49 PM EST
    claim to make.  Of course leaders are supposed to lead from their principles.  Do you really think it was all just pandering for FDR, or TR, or even Reagan or Clinton for that matter?  Do you honestly believe none of these figures had a set of principles that informed their policies?  One could argue that Obama's principles had something to do with process and that Washington just doesn't work very well with leadership that adheres to principles of process over policy.  I wouldn't make that argument, but that would be at least an argument to make.  To say no one has principles, leaders don't rely on their principles at all, is bizarre and either ignorant or dishonest.  

    Jello Goal Posts (none / 0) (#105)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 02:27:50 PM EST
    Core pricipals now principals, like not ever murdering someone, or not lying to ones friends..  or helping little old ladies across the street?

    You seem to be conflating the ever adjusting policies and compromises based on political winds, getting things done, pandering, triangulating etc with morals or character, or ??

    The ever shifting sands of what core values mean.

    I would say that Obama reflects the ever adjusting core values of the Democratic party. His own core values who knows, but I am sure he has them, as irrelevant as they are to the job.


    I don't think you really understand (none / 0) (#108)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 03:38:03 PM EST
    the meaning of the word "core."

    If women's reproductive freedom is a core value for someone, he not only doesn't willingly compromise it, he also does not remain silent when others do.

    I could say the same things about a number of other issues: privacy rights, indefinite detention and rendition, the environment and so on.

    What is at someone's core shapes the policies he or she advocates for; when one day the message is one thing, and the next it's something else, and those messges are in direct conflict - and both are said with the same level of conviction, or come with an excuse for the 180 - that indicates to me a lack of core belief.

    Now, it is possible to have core beliefs that are in conflict with the law, and be forced to put them aside in order to uphold those laws - but it doesn't mean one cannot work to make changes  that would bring those laws closer to one's beliefs.

    But there's a big difference between that situation, and one in which policy seems to have no anchor, no center - and that is what people are seeing with Obama.

    If you see Obama as emblematic of the ever-adjusting core values of the Democratic party, that might be one reason there is such growing dissatisfaction with the party - some things just aren't "adjustable."  

    I am more inclined to see the party as adjusting to Obama's inability to define, identify and support what used to be its core values in the mistaken belief that "winning" is the only thing that matters, and principle is not just adjustable, but expendable.


    BS (none / 0) (#109)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 04:17:56 PM EST
    If women's reproductive freedom is a core value for someone, he not only doesn't willingly compromise it, he also does not remain silent when others do.

    Core value? Again you are confusing policy with core values. An activist may have core values which can influence a politician to include that as policy. There are enough Democratic Party voters for choice to be mainstream Democratic party policy, Ben Nelson is not mainstream on this, yet a Democrat whose policy choices are determined by the core values of his constituents.

    Sorry, I did not see Obama deviate from his stated policy that a woman has a right to choose. That is policy, and may be a core value of yours, but it is nonetheless a policy for mainstream democrats.

    But hey, many see Obama as a communist, because it serves their purposes, and many here see him as more conservative than BUshCo, , because it suits their purposes.

    But the core value argument is nonsense, imo. It is a vague term used as a cudgel, and personal attack, just like empty suit, or communist.

    The EO, was windowdressing in order to get the healthcare bill passed, so that some conservatives could save face with their constituencies. I do not see how the EO contradicts Obama's pro choice policy. I do see is as insulting, but not a deviation.

    The EO simply states that the HCR will abide by legislation already in place. Once the congress overturns the legislation,


    Not part of the job description, eh? (none / 0) (#104)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 01:56:12 PM EST
    So what, pray tell, guides the person who holds the highest office in the land to fulfill the obligations imposed by the oath of office?

    Are you seriously suggesting that it's just politics and poll numbers?  That winning isn't everything, it's the only thing - ideology be damned?

    How, then, would you identify Obama's core principles (at least spell it right, would you?), based on his actions to date?  How do you suppose he defines "democracy," and what stock does he place in the principles in the Constitution and Bill of Rights - he is, after all, charged with preserving, protecting and defending them.

    What does he believe, and what does he believe in?  What is non-negotiable for him?  Does political expediency always trunp principle?  Where is his bright line?  How does he justify his say-one-thing-do-something-else schtick?  If core principles have nothing to do with the job description, then why spend so much time convincing people that his principles are our principles and that's why we needed to elect him?  If you have to trot them out to GET the job, I think we should expect someone to use them to DO the job.

    I don't know what you do for a living, or what your background and experience are, but I don't believe it is possible for someone to so compartmentalize their principles - as you have stated Obama does - without at some point being deemed a sociopath.

    You can lol and try to sell bridges and fling Hillary's name and call people cultists until the cows come home, but it might be a better use of your time to develop an actual argument in support of your opinions; so far, near as I can tell, ya got nothin'.


    No (none / 0) (#106)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 02:37:51 PM EST
    Are you seriously suggesting that it's just politics and poll numbers?

    No, charisma has a lot to do with it, and being in line with policy of ones party..

    A politician needs to constantly adjust policy based on who he or she is speaking to, but if he or she strays too much the people that supported him or her will not vote for them again.

    Kind of like the way free market works.

    What the haters here seem to confuse are policy decisions, and personal character.

    Attacking the person (no core values) is much easier than criticizing the policy decisions you dislike. But then it is hard to change the empty suit assault, as it  had become a reflex against the angry b*tch characterization of the one who was loved here and lost.

    You know... the one who had true core values...


    Yeah (none / 0) (#98)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 01:04:06 PM EST
    And everyone knows that Bush was a texan cowboy, a regular guy that loved to clear brush... lol...

    Again about that bridge...


    Look at what he's trying to do on nukes (none / 0) (#110)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:18:22 PM EST
    This is one of the big core issues he had in the Senate (and before that).

    Core principles are not irrelevant, (5.00 / 5) (#64)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:30:47 PM EST
    in my opinion, but you seem to be saying they aren't what drive a president's policies, or determine what issues he will choose to advance, support or turn back, so it doesn't matter if he has them or what they are.

    You're saying that the president is a cipher, or perhaps, just a blank screen upon which people project their own desires.  Oh, wait - that's what Obama said about himself, so maybe, in his case, it's true.  You kind of walked right into that one, squeaky!

    The reason people fail to be able to find Obama's core principles is because he doesn't seem to have any one position that is inviolable - he is always willing to jettison a position he held last week if it is politically expedient for him to do so.  Now, if other presidents had followed that path, we'd never have invaded Iraq, or we would have pulled out a long time ago.  We'd have real health reform, not this mess we have now.  We'd have raised taxes on the rich, held the financial gurus accountable, started hearings on the actions of the Bush administration, and so on - because these were things the American people supported, in large numbers.

    Now, maybe I missed something, but I don't remember Bush constantly playing both ends against the middle, or saying one thing one day, and something 180 degrees different a couple of days later.  If Bush had handled Iraq the way Obama handled health reform, no one would have known from one day to the next what the heck he was for or against or what he wanted or didn't want.  Can you imagine him jerking his so-called constituency around like that, the way Obama jerked people around?

    Now, I agree with you that Obama does pander to his constituency, but I would amend that to read "his corporate constituency."

    Call me old-fashioned or out-of-date, but I want my president to believe in something other than his own specialness, have more respect for the human constituency than the corporate one, and see the Constitution as something a lot bigger than a speed-bump.


    Oh, by the way, I NEVER (none / 0) (#51)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:39:23 PM EST
    complain that Obama is not listening to me.  I had no expectation that he would.  Why my opinion is so objectionable to you, I really have no idea.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#54)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:52:32 PM EST
    Well that makes you just the same as those who never complain because they love Obama... no?

    And I am disputing your notion about core values and politicians.

    I believe that Pro Pols put their core values outside of the workplace, as they should.


    What are you talking about? (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:58:01 PM EST
    Your argument is Obama has no principles but no President ever had any principles?  Is that it?  Because that's pretty dumb.  

    No (none / 0) (#58)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:03:55 PM EST
    But you can read, no? You are the one saying that Obama has no core principals, I am only pointing out that core principals are not part of his job description.

    And yes, I do believe that he has core principals, and believe that he puts his personal values to use in his private life, not his job as POTUS.


    Oh my lord... (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:08:02 PM EST
    Ok.  Well, hey, you are right.  It's not technically part of the job description.  But frankly, I do like core principles in a leader. I like to know where they stand, what they stand for and what they believe in.

    Double standard? (5.00 / 4) (#79)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 12:10:46 AM EST
    And core values are intensely personal to an individual. In order to know Hillary's core values you would have to know her quite well, on a intimate personal level. Otherwise you are just making sh*t up based on who you want her to be.

    And yes, I do believe that he has core principals, and believe that he puts his personal values to use in his private life, not his job as POTUS.

    If you believe he segments his values and only utilizes them in his personal life, you much know him quite well, on an intimate personal level.

    It's nice that you believe you have the right to believe, but no one else does. Are you a politician? You've been very careful to never disclose what you think of the policies being enacted under this administration, so no one really knows when you are going to start playing "Twister" with their thoughts and words.

    Although, of late, your participation has been so much more interesting.


    Absurd (none / 0) (#80)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 01:33:20 AM EST
    But nice twist.

    A pol is a pol is a truism.

    I do not have to know Obama or Hillary, McBush or any of them to know that their day job is pandering despite whatever personal core values they have.


    Oh, and I don't think Obama's (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:30:51 PM EST
    progressive supporters really care whether or not he is progressive.  For them, just the act of electing him was historically progressive.  I think they, like Obama, don't have many core principles, so why should they accept the premise that he isn't progressive? He's progressive enough for them.  

    Yeah (none / 0) (#48)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:33:06 PM EST
    Same can be said for Obama's detractors, no? Seems to be the case here for many.  

    Um, which detractors? (none / 0) (#50)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:38:03 PM EST
    Your ad hominem means nothing to me.

    Ad Hominem? (none / 0) (#55)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:56:14 PM EST
    Are you sure you know what that word means, because there has been no Ad Hominem from me.

    And by detractors I specifically mean those who voted for Hillary and promised that they would not vote for Obama.


    Well, I assumed you were directing your (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:03:19 PM EST
    argument toward me rather than my point about so-called progressives and their seemingly endlessly flexible principles.  

    I NEVER promised not to vote for anyone.  Why can't you argue against my point?  Tell me, what are the core principles of Obama and his supporters?  My argument is they have none, so when BTD says they will continue to be delusional in regards to Obama, I say it's not delusion.  It's flexible principles.  What exactly is your counter point?  


    I Disagree With Your Point (none / 0) (#59)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:05:15 PM EST
    Not sure how else to say it.

    You believe that a Politician should be guided by his or her core principals, I believe that they are not part of the job description.


    Core Principals? (none / 0) (#61)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:11:01 PM EST
    let me guess...  just a stretch here, but I will take a chance on this:

    For you Hillary Clinton has core principals and would have led the country based on her core principals?

    Sound right?


    I agree with MassLib (5.00 / 4) (#62)
    by otherlisa on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:26:24 PM EST
    Sure, politicians are opportunists pretty much by definition. But I have the same evaluation of Obama -- there's just very little "there" there, other than a supreme flexibility that overrides policy considerations much of the time. I don't see him as someone committed to policy in general.

    Regarding Hillary, since you brought her up, I think she had a more coherent domestic platform laid out, one that stayed pretty consistent throughout the campaign, and the combination of greater thoughtfulness/coherence led me to believe that I'd have a better chance at predicting what she would actually do and what she would fight for.  Would it have been the great progressive Presidency of my dreams? Doubtful. Would she have, say, prematurely caved on off-shore oil drilling? Also doubtful.

    I think these are both honest evaluations.

    I voted for Obama without a lot of hope invested in his candidacy or presidency. Even with that, some of what he's done has been a soul-crusher for me. Because I voted, you know, for the polar bears as much as anything.


    I Am Confused (none / 0) (#65)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:33:53 PM EST
    Do you think that Hillary would have led with the set of her core values?

    And if so does that mean that she would have had a commitment to her campaign promises?

    And if she did not deliver on her campaign promises, which I understand as your meaning of commitment to policy, would she also have no core values?

    I saw zero difference in policy between Hillary and Obama, both represented the center of the Democratic party, imo.

    Maybe you are confusing style with core values? I certainly could identify with Hillary's style much more than Obama's, but I never believed that either would carry out an across the board progressive/liberal agenda.


    Um, well, yeah I do think her principles (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:41:02 PM EST
    would have informed her policies, that's probably the biggest reason I supported her.  I knew what her principles were.  I didn't say anything at all about campaign promises.  And, while I disagree with your assessment of "zero difference in policy" that too has nothing to do with my point.  Just tell me what are Obama's principles?  What does he stand for?  What would he fight for?

    Fooled (none / 0) (#72)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 05:11:24 PM EST
    You remind me of the woman who, in tears, went up to the poet who just did a reading of a poem about his recently deceased brother. The woman, sobbing, said 'I too had a brother who passed away and can feel your pain'.

    The poet answered back, 'I have no brother, I am a poet, what I read was a poem, not an obituary.'

    The woman shocked and angered cursed the poet for being a fraud.

    You imagine that you have a personal relationship with Hillary, and know her core values... Well I have a bridge to sell you.


    No one here has confessed to (5.00 / 7) (#74)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 05:26:07 PM EST
    imagining any kind of relationship with Hillary, personal or otherwise; if there is any imagining going on, it's in your own head - big surprise.

    The primaries are over, Hillary is not president, the job she currently has is not one she conducts on the basis of her own beliefs, we don't agree that she and Obama were the Bobbsey Twins on policy, it's pointless to discuss what someone would have done.

    Just get over the Hillary obsession - we all see it for what is is: a giant Obama deflector.

    I wish there had been some way to bet money on how long it would take you to bring her into the discussion...all so you could steer it in the direction you wanted it to go.


    Huh? (none / 0) (#76)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 05:35:35 PM EST
    A giant Obama deflector? WTF are you talking about. Obama is just as crappy as Hillary was. No deflection needed.

    And when people start calling out Obama and his cultists for having no core values, when they themselves acted as besotted  for Hillary, I think that it is apt to ask how would they feel about Hillary's core values.

    And core values are intensely personal to an individual. In order to know Hillary's core values you would have to know her quite well, on a intimate personal level. Otherwise you are just making sh*t up based on who you want her to be.


    Obama & Hillary? (5.00 / 4) (#81)
    by norris morris on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 02:40:13 AM EST
    Trying to dodge qustions about Obama's core values by bringing Hillary into the discussion is high school debate technique.

    Obama kept shreiking about Change..Change we could believe in,,,,,turn DC and drive those lobbyists out, blah,blah

    Obama left many millions of us with the not too subtle impression that he was a progressive on many if not all issues, and the change he promised would be transformational. Really.

    Now you blame the voters for believing in him and voting for him on his word?

    Nice try.

    Obama has no core values. He's a politician. And an opportunist who will cave each and every time he has to when it is politically expedient for him.

    He has done so repeatedly and can be expected to continue in this style of governing. From the opportunistic half assed middle and right middle.

    Like a little bit pregnant.

    Hillary Clinton has nothing whatever to do with my evaluation of Obama's performance as Pres.


    Not Dodging Anything (none / 0) (#89)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:00:08 AM EST
    But anyone who believed any Pol based on their campaign promised is a fool....

    Bought any bridges lately?


    So, why did you vote for Obama? (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 12:23:51 PM EST
    Was it what he said, was it his resume and record?  Was it that you believed he was going to change the way things were done?  Was it anything he said?  

    Or was your vote less a vote for Obama and more a vote against McCain/Palin?  Now, why would that be?  Something they said?  Something they did?  What they said they wanted to do?  

    You would have us believe that we might as well stop all the nonsense about policy and platform and just have a beauty contest; we can even keep the little segment on ending world hunger and bringing peace to the planet and all that other feel-good stuff, just because it will help us pretend that it will matter who wins.  Instead of bathing suits, we can do business suits, with sub-categories for casual dress, formal wear, commander-in-chief and native costumes of the world.  The talent competition will be a blast, don't you think?  The world will be amazed to know that this candidate can whistle Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, and that one can do a double-back handspring, and this one over here can bounce a golf ball on a club for 10 minutes without dropping it!

    I'm sure this will guarantee us an exceptionally media-friendly president, with no fears of ideology getting in the way.

    Hey, maybe that's why you voted for Obama!



    Same As Ever (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 12:43:01 PM EST
    Save for the time I voted for Nader. I believe that the Democrats are waaaay better than the Republicans in governing. The platform is miles closer than anything the McBush team could come up with.

    Same with every election I ever voted in. I chose the candidate that was closer to my ideals than not.

    In the primary I voted Hillary only because I thought she had a better chance than Obama for POTUS, and I liked her style waaay more than Obama's. But I  had no delusions about either of them.

    Hope that answered your question, and for the rest of your babble, it sounds pretty incoherent.


    You know (none / 0) (#111)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:29:51 PM EST
    I'm getting a bit sick of your mindless carping- let's get real here Obama could have installed single payer, withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan and abolished Nuclear Weapons from the face of the earth- and the primary thing you'd talk about is how Gay Marriage isn't protected by a constitutional amendment- you're a hater plain and simple. If you look at what Obama's done objectively its pretty freaking amazing- let's take Healthcare, everybody's big on hating it right now- its too socialist, where's the Public Option, etc.- and nobody seems to realize that quite frankly this is the single biggest piece of progressive legislation since the Great Society, and the first time Democrats have seriously, moved to expand the role of the state in more than four decades (I know, I know BTD's claim that Clinton's 1993 budget was more progressive for essentially doing to the tax code-at great political cost-- what Obama's going to by simply letting the Bush Tax Cuts sunset next year), within the next 6 months Obama will have 2 Supreme court justices, have begun withdrawl from Iraq, have put through healthcare reform, started the process of repealing DADT, and ratified the single most ambitious Arms Control agreement in a quarter century, not bad for a man a quarter of the way through his time in office.

    To clarify (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by otherlisa on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:49:06 PM EST
    I also never expected Hillary or Obama to carry out "an across the board progressive/liberal agenda." I did find that Hillary's platform was more consistent, better thought out, and on the domestic side, somewhat more progressive. Obama's changed a great deal from the beginning of the primaries, and it never was as well-developed or specific IMO.

    To me, this indicated a greater commitment to specific policies to bring about specific goals, on Hillary's part. And yes, I would tend to associate that commitment with core values.

    I don't want to overstate this. And I also agree with you, I was more comfortable with Hillary's style as well as her substance. I like that it's easier to associate what she says with what she actually does -- and the lack of that with Obama is one of the things that really alarms me about him (FISA comes strongly to mind).


    Hillary As Chief (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by norris morris on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 02:44:02 AM EST
    leaves me with the impression based on her words and past performance....that she'd be less willing to cave on the important issues BEFORE she put up a strong and strategic fight.

    Lol (none / 0) (#90)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:01:30 AM EST
    Nice impression.. bet it made you feel just like an obot did..

    Well (none / 0) (#73)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 05:18:59 PM EST
    I imagine that the Obama lovers felt the same way about Obama. And I guarantee you that had Hillary won the primaries she too would have shifted more to the direction of the political winds.

    The only way to get an idea of where a politician stands is from their record. Granted Hillary had more votes logged than Obama, but their patterns were almost identical, despite the rhetoric that they pumped out and the respective styles they developed in order to appeal to voters.


    For me, George Bush had core principles (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:28:21 PM EST
    that shaped his policy decisions, even if I disagreed with them.  I said Obama is like Romney for me in this regard.  I can not see what exactly he believes in or stands for.  I'm so sorry that offends you.  Why don't you just tell me what you think his core principles are and how they have shaped his policies?  

    Offend? (none / 0) (#66)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:38:30 PM EST
    Hardly, I just think that you are making up self serving facts.

    Bush is not a religious person, yet he acted like a religious person while he was in politics, in order to pander to the religious right.

    Bush was never a man of the people, aka cowboy laborer. He is an upper class Connecticut WASP. His accent and demeanor was for show, did you buy that as core values? If so, you probably thought Hillary was an entirely different candidate from Obama because of her style, which you seem to be conflating with core values.  

    Bush was a pol just like all the others.


    It has nothing to do with style. (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by masslib on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:47:50 PM EST
    Or Bush's phony accent.  I do think we know what Bush's principles were, where he would draw the line, and what he would and did fight for, even if we think he was terribly ignorant and wrong headed.  

    And I agree with this too NT (none / 0) (#70)
    by otherlisa on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 04:49:58 PM EST
    Bush's principles? (none / 0) (#83)
    by norris morris on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 02:51:44 AM EST
    I disagreed on almost everything Bush,
    but he certainly did have core principles and
    stated them often.

    God sent him to us. He listened to and was guided by God.
    He wanted to, and did give Tax breaks to the wealthy. This was their time, he said.

    It goes on, but Bush acted on his beliefs even when they were unpopular with most voters.

    I am not praising Bush for this, but he believed in conservative issues on abortion,taxes,and conservative foreign policy positions acted on by Condi and Bolton, etc.

    He was a consistent right wing conservative, and loyal to those beliefs.


    Exactly. (none / 0) (#86)
    by masslib on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 07:59:46 AM EST
    Nonsense (none / 0) (#91)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:13:28 AM EST
    Bush was a politician, he would lie cheat and steal, like the best of them in order to win his political battles. To assume that is core values is foolish. Many suckers bought it though. The fake crying and all..

    But obviously you fell for the sincerity cr*p. Did you also send money to Tammy Fae and Jim Baker and Father Ritter? lol


    I believe (none / 0) (#75)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 05:27:27 PM EST
    that Obama has core principles.  However his principles aren't shared with those of the Democratic base, and thus he has to hide them.

    Look at his policies -- pro-corporatist, pro-his-own-eleection -- those are his principles.  Anti-choice.  He signed the anti-choice EO.  Etc.

    And we have no idea what Hillary's principles really are, but I firmly believe that choice rights wouldn't have been on the bargaining table.  It would have been political suicide for her to have signed those away.

    For Obama?  He has his progressive yes-people who, as you've said, are the ones who have no principles.  Whatever Obama decides is to be defended.


    Choice Rights (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by norris morris on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 03:00:22 AM EST
    Would never have been the giveaway political goody if Hillary were President.

    Throwing women under the bus was convenient politics, and easy. Women were in a weak position, therefore betraying them was the
    most politically convenient thing to do. No one put up a fight against the step backwards taken by Team Obama against women's rights.

    This is something men know very well and have discriminated against women on every issue when it suits them politically,financially, legally, or personally.


    I disagree. I really don't think Obama (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by masslib on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 07:58:28 AM EST
    has fixed principles.  Disagree on Hillary as well.  I'd say she has demonstrated clearly that her belief in womens rights is one of her core principles, health care as a human right, a core principle, etc..  I do think we know what her core principles are.

    His "detractors" include FAR more ... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 08:24:57 AM EST
    ... than that very limited subset you use as a definition, particularly after he's broken so many of his campaign promises.

    See (5.00 / 5) (#88)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:20:42 AM EST
    It's a formula.

    1. In response to disagreeing with an Obama policy, it is suggested that the commenter hates him and is still upset over the primaries because he/ she was a Hillary supporter and can't get over it.

    2. If that ridiculous claim is not responded to, it is made on several other comments along with the ever- sarcastic "LOL".

    3). When the claim is finally responded to, we are told that person making the wild claim always supported Hillary, even though there was absolutely no difference between she and Obama, and then you are called a cultist and berated for living in the past.

    Rinse. Repeat.


    True (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 03:24:07 PM EST
    ... and it's the constant repetition that makes it so stale .... just a tired, old mantra.  Yet somehow (presumably) it makes her feel better.

    It's particularly funny when they try to walk back a ridiculous premise by trying to redefine an attack on a broad group (i.e. "Obama's detractors") to focus on a much smaller group (i.e. Hillary supporters who said they wouldn't vote for Obama).  O'Reilly frequently does that when he makes a ridiculous comment about "Progressives", then later tries to claim he really meant just the "fringe left", as defined by him, of course.

    Oh, well .....

    .... everyone has their hobbies.


    The election of Obama, by itself, (none / 0) (#77)
    by observed on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 06:48:41 PM EST
    WAS a huge progressive achievement.
    I'm convinced that the attraction Obama had for older Democrats was that the mere fact of a serious African American candidate was huge, in and of itself.
    I'm not quite old enough to remember the Civil Rights Act or the actions which led up to it, but we really have come a long way, and that is something to celebrate.

    Now, naming a progressive achievement besides Obama's election .. I'm working on that one.


    So you don't think Kagan sd. what (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:11:57 PM EST
    she sd. during judiciary committee hrgs. with her fingers crossed behind her back?

    She said nothing I disagree with (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:27:50 PM EST
    as of today - I think 'health' crap (none / 0) (#3)
    by seabos84 on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:30:03 PM EST
    set the lines in the sand for how people are viewing the big-zee-r-0.

    lots of people actually ask me what I think - the bbq baseball bar friends, the teachers I work with - and I'm sure they do so for a combination of a few reasons -

    they know I watch this stuff way more than they do, and,

    they know a lot of what I say is off the deep end, but, sometimes I make sense.

    there have been lots and lots and lots of conversations / ramblings since the AHIP welfare act of 2010 was signed, and people seem to be in their camps.

    It is my guy feeling, today, that he'll need something BIG to change that for people sick of rahm, bernanke, drill baby drill ... and the rest of his bipartisan garbage schtick.

    Unless the big zeee-r-0 appoints a brennan or william o douglas or earl warren, OR ... something I've given up 'hope' on him doing

    I'm done voting for sell outs.


    Would we know (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by christinep on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 09:59:52 PM EST
    if the appointment would resemble Brennan or Douglas or Warren? I sincerely doubt it. It takes years for the good ones to develop...and, maybe longer for the student to realize what we have?

    I think people will object far less (none / 0) (#4)
    by observed on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 07:49:02 PM EST
    to a non-liberal SCOTUS nominee than they did with the health care debacle.
    Obama's pretty safe here. On the other hand, I doubt he would pay a big price with his potential voters if he chose a liberal.

    With respect to Kagan, (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 08:16:41 PM EST
    it's hard to imagine a nominee who could check off more boxes for me and be confirmed. Rather like Sotomayor, really.

    On some issues you aren't (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 08:03:07 AM EST
    exactly a flaming liberal :)

    Have any of you figured out why (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 09:18:29 PM EST
    Pres. Obama nominated Dawn Johnsen?

    11th Dimensional Chess (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Dan the Man on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 09:25:43 PM EST
    Is that the same as bait and switch? (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 09:44:33 PM EST
    Do ninjas bait and switch? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Dan the Man on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 09:52:11 PM EST
    It means that he is playing his own game (none / 0) (#15)
    by Salo on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 10:35:02 PM EST
    More or less. He's a lucky so and so.

    Because she epitomized distraction.... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by apolitik on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 10:04:06 PM EST
    ...for a segment of the left that needed at the onset of his Presidency a person with which to focus on so while the government became 90s DLC redux. Now that he's established as a President, why would he need to nominate more Dawn Johnsons?

    Established as one with a 47-48 approval/disapprov (none / 0) (#16)
    by Dan the Man on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 11:06:51 PM EST
    al rating as of today.  More 11th dimensional chess on Obama's part?

    47-48 approval/disapproval for the Gallup Poll (none / 0) (#17)
    by Dan the Man on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 11:07:48 PM EST
    She was dangled in front of the (5.00 / 10) (#13)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 10:28:20 PM EST
    liberals as "proof" that he meant what he said during the campaign, that he was being truthful when he repudiated Bush's actions and policies on a host of issues.

    He could put her name into nomination, and while the Judiciary Committee was busy haggling over her, Obama could go about continuing the Bush policies and take some of them a step further; she was the ultimate shiny object (well, "ultimate" if one was really just that stupid) he could dangle every time anyone questioned his decisions - but the beauty part was that because she was just a name in nomination, he never had to subject his policies to Dawn Johnsen's judgment.

    As Glenn says, in his post:

    If you were Barack Obama and were pursuing the policies that he ended up pursuing, would you want Dawn Johnsen in charge of the office which determines the scope of your legal authority as President?

    This has been so obvious for so long that there simply is no other way to look at it.


    I think he believed what he said at first (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Demi Moaned on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 08:36:54 AM EST
    ... and that his views on these subjects changed after he took office, during which time the Johnsen nomination became increasingly inconvenient.

    I can't believe that at the time of the nomination he had no intention of her ever being confirmed.


    I think there may be SOME truth to this (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 08:46:45 AM EST
    I do find it hard to believe though that he had no idea that with what he had to deal with, he wasn't going to seek some not so liberally embraced and celebrated powers.  I think he thought he could influence her to go his way where danger lurked. Perhaps after seeing the whole picture and after getting a full assessment of Afghanistan and the terrorist networks (which he did not have when he took office because the Bush administration avoided knowing certain things that would later have to be reported and make their Iraq War look even more deadly and more insane to the nation and the rest of the world than it already was) he then decided he had no interested in arguing finer points with her.

    A generous view. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by oculus on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 09:40:39 AM EST
    Time usually tells that I am given to (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 01:16:35 PM EST
    certain weaknesses :)  Is this one of those times?  I dunno

    I think you are doing an "experience (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 01:19:47 PM EST
    matters" assessment.

    I find this just so hard to believe. (5.00 / 6) (#29)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 10:35:46 AM EST
    I think his views were always more in line with Bush/Cheney, but he wasn't going to be elected campaigning to continue those policies; his FISA vote, which came after he had pretty much sewn up the nomination, should have been a huge clue that Obama was not going to be changing a whole lot in that arena.

    If his views changed, he could have nominated someone else.  If his views changed, he could have gotten her to withdraw her name.  He could have withdrawn it himself.

    So, why nominate someone whose stated positions were in conflict with what he knew to be his own?  Because it kept the liberals happy and it didn't tie his hands or bind him to her views for as long as her nomination lingered in the Senate.

    It was lip service, and not very well-disguised lip service, at that.

    Obama fights for the things that matter to him, and fades into the background, remaining silent, when he's too cowardly to own his own opinions.  It's why he never said "boo" on Stupak/Pitts/Nelson, because he's not really pro-choice at all.  He didn't object or speak out about renewal of provisions of the Patriot Act.  He didn't object to his DOJ aupporting the Bush administration's position on state secrets.  He argued against release of the torture photos, and decreed that we would not be seeking accountability for illegal acts.

    No, this was not a case of "changing views," this was a case of thinking he could pacify the liberals while he merrily went about doing all the things he never really objected to in the first place.

    So, why did he re-nominate her?  Because he could safely do so knowing she would never get the vote, and probably after her telling him that if she didn't get the vote within a certain period of time, she would withdraw.

    The meme laundry is busy hanging this on the Republicans, but this is a Democratic, Obama-led failure that has been obvious since her nomination came out of committee over a year ago and just laid there.

    Too bad it's a failure Obama is happy with; stay tuned to see who does get the job - that will tell you all you need to know.


    More bones, less flesh would be (none / 0) (#30)
    by observed on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 10:58:47 AM EST
    nice. I feel like I've read the same comment 100 times a week for the last few months.
    I get it. I  don't like Obama, but how about sticking to evidence-based comments?
    What is  the evidence that Obama didn't intend for Johnsen to be confirmed, at least originally?
    I don't see it.

    Where is the evidence that he did? (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 01:13:24 PM EST
    Actually intend for Johnsen to be confirmed, that is.  Just the fact of the nomination itself?  I imagine there were any number of candidates, many of whom would perhaps have been more immediately confirmable, so what was it about Johnsen that got her the nod?

    And if nominating someone is an indication of intention, if Obama was looking to pick a fight, to come out foursquare against the Bush policies that were vetted out of the Bush OLC, then why not actually fight for her?  Why hang back, hands upraised as if saying, "She's yours now, Senate, no takebacks!"

    And, really - at this stage, with him having done nothing to lobby for her confirmation, no recess appointment which was clearly an option, how much meaning can one divine just from a nomination and re-nomination?

    Where were the pow-wows with and kow-tows to Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins?  Where was the leveraging of the support of Richard Lugar?  Shoot, it took Sestak challenging Specter over it to get Specter on board - Obama couldn't have done that?  Come on.

    You want me to prove a negative - that he never intended for her to get confirmation - but you have nothing, really, other than the nomination itself to prove that he did.

    I think Obama's lack of action, lack of fight, lack of real interest speak more than the nomination; there's simply no way to say, "but he really, really wanted her - damn those Republicans again," because this isn't on the Republicans and he didn't really, really want her for anything other than what she represented - too bad we saw through that at least a year ago.


    I think his lack of action after a certain (none / 0) (#39)
    by observed on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 01:23:02 PM EST
    point shows that he became indifferent to having her confirmed. It's a stretch to say he nominated her with no intent of having her confirmed, from the beginning.
    As I understand it, Obama has already appointed a couple of liberal judges.

    Perhaps he was afraid that fighting for her (none / 0) (#42)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 02:00:02 PM EST
    before HIR was done would have prevented the Rs from voting for HIR :) He didn't want to aggravate and risk the success of bi-partisanship.

    His FISA vote always creeped me out (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 01:24:27 PM EST
    But his policies where the military is concerned are the farthest thing from Bush/Cheney as I can imagine.....therefore I just can't compare him to them at all.  The Bush/Cheney answer to Marja would have been another Fallujah however many times we had to flatten the place.  Obama knows what he's up against and if current reporting is correct seems to have a better grasp of NOT clearing what we aren't going to hold than some of the highest military leadership does at given times.  People can say that Marja is a mess but I'm not one of those.  Obama ALWAYS knew Marja was a very extensive long term commitment and he's making it and his military and his state department is making it.  If Obama was no better than Bush/Cheney, he would have told McChrystal we were going with the Biden plan and Marja would have been one big unvideoed airstrike from hell.

    I wasn't talking about the military (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 01:51:15 PM EST
    strategy, Tracy, and while I understand why that is your focus, and that you have more information at hand than the rest of us, and a better ability to speak to it, I don't think I want some very important constitutional issues to have to be the trade-off for good military strategy.

    Do I need to mention Bagram?  

    There's no reason why we can't have good military decisions AND protection of human and civil rights, and accountability for the actions of others and adherence to the rule of law, is there?


    I Agree, Sort Of (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 11:14:43 AM EST
    Apart from Johnsen being a severe critic of BushCo DOJ, she was labeled a pro choice activist. When push came to shove, Obama decided that his political capitol was not worth expending on fighting for Johnsen.

    Even though Obama appears to enjoy executive power and shows little signs of reigning in the excesses of BushCo, I doubt that his decision to not fight for Johnsen was because he was afraid she would make his life difficult.

    He is a centrist like any Democrat who had a chance at POTUS.

    It was foolish for anyone left of center to fall in love with any of the Democratic candidates. That is not to say that the choices were far better than McSame and whoever else the GOP served up.


    Greg Craig. (none / 0) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 02:07:18 PM EST
    Per Wiki: (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 10:00:09 PM EST
    On June 17, 1999, President Clinton nominated Kagan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to replace James L. Buckley, who had taken senior status in 1996. The Senate Judiciary Committee's Republican chairman Orrin Hatch scheduled no hearing, effectively ending her nomination.

    Obama and Bill Clinton (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 08:04:47 AM EST
    have soooooo much in common but don't tell Booman :)

    Here's another thought. Kagan (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 09:42:30 AM EST
    lost her first case in front of SCOTUS--Citizens United.  Was this 11th dimensional chess also?

    A huge clammer by Democratic activists (none / 0) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 09:51:16 AM EST
    and voters against nominating Kagan because she is too conservative would greatly enhance her chance for nomination. It would give Obama the opportunity to use his favorite framing of "The people on the and the people on the right."

    Without strong opposition, Obama may well decide just to take the path of least resistance and nominate Garland, the candidate Republicans are pushing.

    Busting Progressive Myths (none / 0) (#32)
    by pluege on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 11:19:19 AM EST
    The principal myths that obama has exposed are that:

     1) unlike everyone else, progressives approach politics from a purity of mission perspective - utterly destroyed by obama

     2) progressives are monolithic - should have been obvious, but obama correctly sized up that he could dump on progressives as much as he wants because ultimately they'll just fight among themselves

    What obama has so painfully demonstrated is that many, many self-styled progressives are no different from their insane counterparts on the right - that they both view politics not as means of implementing policies founded in a set of principles and ideology, but that many progressives also view politics is sport, a 'my team versus that other team' mentality.

    Thus the extreme cravenness of the obama administration on just about everything: torture, indefinite detention, endless occupations, civil rights, health care reform and on and on gets completely white washed by many so-called progressives even though its anathema to what they propound. They rationalize their blind unwavering boosterism as practicality, but its not - its my team is better than that other team nonsense.

    sounds like politics as usual, as practiced (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by observed on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 11:48:53 AM EST
    by those with no personal stake in the outcomes.
    Unions are good at bargaining for a reason.

    Why conflate progressive and liberal? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Realleft on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 12:23:28 PM EST
    Do you see them as the same thing?

    they are conflated (none / 0) (#71)
    by pluege on Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 05:01:38 PM EST
    adopting the "progressive" moniker is the "liberal" response to republicans, conservatives, and the corporate media completely trashing the notion of liberalism for 30 years, to the point where the term "liberal" exists in America only as a derogatory term. Even most "liberals' won't use the term.

    It is the ultimate irony that in America, the professed followers of humanity's ultimate liberal: Jesus, have turned the very essence of his teaching to garbage, all the while professing to be his true followers.


    Kagan's personal life is (none / 0) (#94)
    by fairleft on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 12:19:38 PM EST
    the only dangerous 'issue' for her. Approval for an all-powerful imperial presidency, as many have noted, actually weighs in her favor and progressives only help her by making that a major point of contention.

    Oh my gawd what a country, what a media, we have become.