What Makes Lindsey Graham Tick?

mistermix at Balloon Juice takes issue with Atrios using the Lucy and the Football line regarding Lindsay Graham and the Obama Administration. Atrios is a snark machine so I think this is less of a question of whether Obama is being Charlie Brown than whether the Obama approach to political bargaining is the most effective one. mistermix writes:

[The Obama Administration] know[s] full well that they’re playing Charlie Brown to the Lucy du jour. Atrios is certainly smart enough to realize this. I’d like to hear his alternative to kissing Lindsey Graham’s a**, because I have no clue what other, better strategy is waiting in the wings.

I do not know if it would work, but it seems to me that a more confrontational approach may in fact be more effective. As booman writes:

It seems to me like the Democrats are finally starting to take the advice they've been getting from the left since Obama took office. No more interminable negotiating with the Party of Hell No. No more preemptive compromising. Starting to get tough on holds and filibusters and setting aside time to get some confirmations through. Which is all good, because they will never get financial, immigration, and climate reforms, a new Supreme Court nominee, the budget, and appropriations done unless they fly through their agenda. As it is, there aren't enough legislative days on the calendar to do all that and still get over five dozen outstanding nominees confirmed.

Relatedly, booman writes:

[Obama] hasn't adjusted. And I think he needs to. Trust in government is at an all-time low at a time when Obama is trying to get government to do really big things. He's needs to incorporate messaging that suits 2010, not 2008. I think the answer is more of a populist touch.

I agree. Will it work legislatively? Probably not. But a conciliatory approach has no chance whatsoever. Moreover, there is an election in November. Time to think about that as well.

Speaking for me only

< Does Making Fun Of Tom Friedman Still Matter? | Freedom Of Speech >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    That post by mistermix -- (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by david mizner on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 08:26:00 AM EST
    on which you're far too gentle -- says so much about the neo-progressives. Oh, what in the world could we do other than kiss Lindsay's Graham's ass?

    How 'bout putting together good populist progressive bills -- you know, ones that actually have a chance of succeeding -- and using the world's biggest bully pulpit and "grassroots" organization to mobilize support (support that would be available if the bills were actually good), daring Republicans to filibuster, all the while portraying them as corporate tools?

    That way, good bills either pass, or the GOP blocks good bills.

    Any bill that gets GOP support (the climate change bill a primary example) isn't good enough. Graham did the Dems and the country a favor by killing this gift to the oil companies.

    A thousand times yes (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 11:05:20 AM EST
    This whole strategy (if I can call it that) of trying to find one GOP dance partner is a proven loser. One is no good alone, and he/she can't bring more on board without the popular support you describe anyway. Why go through a middle man?

    Bring on the filibusters, blocking votes, whatever. Just make sure that what they are blocking is worth our side standing up for.


    It's such a shock, isn't it? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 09:40:16 AM EST
    That the climate bill would be just as republican-lite as the health bill was? I retained some hope up until what happened with health care 'reform' - but it is all so predictable now.

    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Yes2Truth on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 10:06:44 AM EST

    But don't tell that to those folks who

    claim to be centrist (conservative, but certainly
    not rightwing) Democrats.


    No shock at all. (4.25 / 4) (#14)
    by dkmich on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 04:48:31 PM EST
    And prepare for more of the same.  By the time these corporatists are done with the immigration bill, we'll be lucky if we aren't deported or working for a daily wage.  

    Obama is a "new" Democrat, aka, moderate Republican.  His "change candidate" campaign was a sales gimmick.  Now that he's President, he's daddy Bush with shades of W. and Bill thrown in.  

    Nothing is going to change.  


    Both parties are pretty much owned (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 11:09:01 AM EST
    by corporate interests. Obama and the Dems can try to paint the republicans as the ones who support big business, but that argument falls flat after the bankster bailouts, continuation of war profiteering with no-bid contracts, and the passage of the "Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enhancement Act." Besides, the Repubs are effectively painting Dems as the big business promoters, and it's working as well as their claim to fiscal conservatism. Anyone paying attention realizes that they're all bought out.

    The real question is, what should progressives/liberals/lefties do? The midterms and the next presidential election are likely to be repeats of the Massachusetts senate race with Republican wins across the country. When the right is mad, they vote, but when the left is disaffected, we tend to sit out the vote. Given the likelihood that we'll lose a bunch of seats in Congress in the midterm elections, perhaps this is an opportunity to make a clear statement. No more war without end, no faux healthcare reform with its mandate to pay the people who wrote the bill, no more tax-funded bailouts for the superrich, and no deals for "environmental reform" that turn out to be corporate welfare for polluters. But especially, we don't need a president who lies about the public option when he may have made secret deals to nix it months before the bill passed.

    We can't vote for the opposition, but if lots of people are going to just not vote, we can publically announce that we're doing so deliberately and encourage others to do the same. Perhaps firing the current members of Congress and giving the Repubs another round will give us a better chance of getting a Democratic president and Congress in 2012 that actually act on our behalf. Otherwise, how are we any different than the stereotypical winger who votes against his own interests?

    A "statement"? (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by christinep on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 01:01:23 PM EST
    As one of those sometimes "centrists" (tho usually self-identified as "old fashioned Democratic liberal), may I may a pragmatic point? At an earlier point in my life, I was a great proponent of the kind of "statement" you suggest. The problem: Most people don't see or hear the "statement" of the losing party or person. The losing party tends to lose a few more rounds until we unite the disparate elements that comprised the earlier wins from years before. My dad used to tell me that the "statement" was a say "to cut off your nose to spite your face." Using another cliche to address the likelihood of then getting it all together--after the doldrums of loss--by 2012, how about "When pigs fly?" More seriously, what about exploring a few (or several) common areas that hold the various Democratic-voting groups together. Build from that.

    A better statement perhaps would be (none / 0) (#15)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 06:17:15 PM EST
    to vote Green, which would be counted. And, from your comments, it sounds like your values are more in line with the greens...

    Trust in government? (none / 0) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 10:32:31 AM EST
    Lessons on how to make bad legislation even worse. By the time the legislation goes into effect in 2014, will the subsidies be reduced and will we still be seeing more people without health care?

    When President Obama's Debt Commission holds its first meeting Tuesday at 10 a.m. they will consider nothing too sacred to be examined for cuts -- even the new health care reform law, the leaders said. link

    Trust in government is such a misleading (none / 0) (#9)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 12:00:10 PM EST
    metric- it always crashes when a Dem takes the White House because liberals are less trusting of government than Conservatives- with a Republican in office conservatives trust Government like a child trusts his/her parents, with a Democrat in the west wing liberals are still skeptical.

    The reverse is true (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 12:01:33 PM EST
    It was highest when Clinton was President in the last 20 years.

    No that's not correct (none / 0) (#16)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 03:14:05 PM EST
    Its counterintuitive certainly but trust in government was lower when Clinton was president than it was during the Bush years:





    Dems would have to be more (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 02:18:15 PM EST
    skeptical of a Dem pres than a Republican one for that to be true, by sheer math alone, given virtually a 50-50 nation.

    Do I dare hit the 'post' button on this one?


    What Digby Said (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 04:19:29 PM EST
    regarding Lindsey. A thorough trip down memory lane through his history of perfidy.

    Be confrontational on climate bill (none / 0) (#17)
    by diogenes on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 06:31:43 PM EST
    Go ahead.  The majority of the people hate the idea of an expensive, job-killing climate bill which would not be linked to any binding action by China or India.  If Obama is confrontational and kills off bipartisan support then the Dems can reap all the blame, as they will on health care (where suddenly we are hearing that it will cost more than advertised).

    Thanks for link, but Q (none / 0) (#18)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 08:00:43 PM EST
    I'm no Constitutional scholar, but for those who are, could the Sup Ct uphold the following provision described at the link against a challenge and keep a straight face?

    -The provision that removes the EPA's authority to regulate CO2 omissions under Clear Air Act and overall the authority of the states to set more rigorous emissions standards than federal authorities?  

    Where is John Calhoun when you need him?