Not "An Arm Of The Democratic Party"

The White House decided to crow about Blanche Lincoln's primary win last night (will they be willing to take the blame when she gets crushed in November?) and take a shot at Labor. The AFL-CIO's response needs to be seared into every activists' brain:

"Labor isn't an arm of the Democratic Party," Vale said. "It exists to support working families. And that's what we said tonight, and that's what we're gong to keep saying."

Fight for the policies, not the pols.

Speaking for me only

< Election Night Thread | Where Does Blanche Lincoln Go From Here? >
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    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:25:23 AM EST
    And they should because according to Politico yesterday, "Pols turn on Labor Unions"

    Spurred by state budget crunches and an angry public mood, Republican and some Democratic leaders are focusing with increasing intensity on public workers and the unions that represent them, casting them as overpaid obstacles to good government and demanding cuts in their often-generous benefits.

    Unlike past battles over the high cost of labor, this time pitched battles over wages and pensions are being waged from Sacramento to Springfield to New York City and the conflict is marked by its bipartisan tone, with public employee unions emerging as an intransigent public enemy number one in cities and state capitals across the country.

    They're the whipping boys for a new generation of governors who, thanks to a tanking economy and an assist from editorial boards, feel freer than ever to make political targets out of what was once a protected liberal class of teachers, cops, and other public servants.

    Republicans around the nation have cheered New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose shouting match over budget cuts with an outraged teacher--"You don't have to" teach, he told her without sympathy--became a YouTube sensation on the right last week.

    And even Democrats, like the nominee for governor in New York, Andrew Cuomo, have echoed the attacks on unions.

    It's really sad (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:47:32 AM EST
    the unions have become so powerless in this country. People must have forgotten, or never learned about, the reasons for their existence. It seems to me that this country (including its workers, its jobs, its land, its oceans, its citizens' rights, its financial security, and more) is now for sale to the highest bidder. And that is that.

    Yup (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:48:31 AM EST
    Non-union people are under the illusion that their  wages and benefits are safe without the union underpinning of the rest of the labor market. The bottom is falling out and we are all going to topple.

    Look at Michigan (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:57:38 AM EST
    No Senate race this year, but with a large percentage of people in a union or who have someone in their family in a union, and the state's unemployment the highest in the nation, you can guarantee that there will be Republican sitting in the governor's mansion come January.

    I am a union member (none / 0) (#146)
    by mexboy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:18:11 PM EST
    but I have to admit that some unions, like the, California Prisons Guard Union, are abusing the system and they need to be held in check.

    We must not however dismantle or infringe on the rights of the unions that are protecting and advocating for the workers without abuse to the system .

    Jeralyn blogged about them here


    I don't think this is going to work though (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:55:54 AM EST
    None of us can afford to send our kids to college without loans.  Our property tax has gone up, our insurance rates have gone through the roof.  They can attempt to paint middle class all they want as a growing evil but we aren't rolling around like happy pigs in chit.  I have to watch every dollar even more this year than last year.  The pols are the ones who have broken our local government budgets.  They all allowed Bush to slash them to bare bone support from Fed dollars and then they allowed Wall Street to rob them all blind while they were making the investments that our pols told them they needed to make to generate their own wealth.  The politicians are responsible for all this horror, not people who get out of bed every morning, walk out the door, and work their a$$e$ off all day and actually sweat.

    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:10:36 AM EST
    there is going to be a revolt at the grass roots level against both parties and it's going to come out of the middle class. There is a reason for the growing number of independents.

    No revolt forthcoming... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:39:25 AM EST
    if we haven't seen a "pox on both their houses" revolt yet, we never will...the convenient social wedge issues will keep us in the two-party box...hasn't failed yet.

    We shall (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:48:16 AM EST
    see. Things haven't been this bad in recent memory.

    As far as the social wedge issues, well, why would anybody vote Dem strictly based on that after Obama's behavior? And I tell the goopers that why didn't the GOP bring them their social Utopia after controlling all the levers of the government for 6 years? It's because neither of the parties really care about these issues and they have shown it with their actions.


    Sotomayor is a reason (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:37:41 AM EST
    With McCain, you would have had another Roberts.....

    That is a huge difference.....

    On social issues it does make a big difference.....


    We don't (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:46:35 AM EST
    know that yet do we? And yet, another example of spinelessness on the part of the Dems if they couldnt stop another Roberts after having 60 seats in the senate. tell me again why we should keep supporting people who don't show the support back?

    Sure we do (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:03:38 PM EST
    She has consistently voted with the liberal block and her recent dissent on Miranda shows her tough-on-crime background is nothing to fear....

    But it does go against the grain of the anti-Obama cult.


    You were (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:53:32 PM EST
    talking social issues in your previous post not legal issues and I don't see that as a prediction on how she would vote on any other issue.

    A distinction between social and legal (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:23:18 PM EST
    issues?  Oh my.   The social issues that are the fodder of national debate are the domain of the Supreme Court.  Pick any social issue and tell me how the U.S. Supreme Court would NOT be invovled....

    Would it really pain you so much to admit that Obama made a good Supreme Court pick--from the standpoint of a progressive/liberal point of view?  Of course, if one's world view is anti-Obama all the time, if one is a memmber of the anti-Obama cult, then everything he does must of course be wrong and be opposed.

    Wasn't it you who--a year ago--said Obama should resign?  


    You are (2.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:38:21 PM EST
    extapolating a vote on a legal issue into a social issue when actually there is no basis for that. Was it sotomyer or Kagan that held up the Bush era abortion ban?

    Did you predict that Obama was going to be such a sell out to oil companies? I bet you didnt think that two years ago.


    Interesting response (3.50 / 2) (#112)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:49:27 PM EST
    Is the issue whether Obama has made good picks to the Supreme Court?

    Or, is the issue whether Obama is a bad President and we made the wrong choice and he should resign and we should have instead voted for......

    You do recall saying that Obama should resign about a year ago, no?

    Keep your hopes up on Sotomayor.....maybe she will still be a great disappointment......


    Obama has nominated two women to (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 02:48:38 PM EST
    the Court; one was confirmed and in her first term, which means not too many decisions from which to project the tenor of her future rulings, and the other is still getting started in the nomination process, and we know - really - very little about where she stands on the issues and cannot assume anything abased on the positions she has argued for her bosses.

    So, while both women certainly have potential to be more to the left of center than to the right, it really is too soon to make a blanket judgment about either one of them, and I don't think anyone should be excoriated for reserving that judgment.

    I think it's nearly impossible to separate Obama from the nominations and pretend that there are not reasons why this president was moved to nominate these particular individuals - he had his reasons for nominating and appointing all of the people who now form the highest levels of his administration, and I think it's fair to believe that one of those reasons has to do with commonality of ideology, philosophy and agenda, because presidents don't generally surround themselves with people whose views are in opposition to theirs.  People gain entrée into the administration because they are committed to carrying out the president's agenda - so, is it fair to wonder whether nominations to the Court might also be made for similar, even if more "legal," reasons?

    Sonia Sotomayor appears to be a fine nomination, and I'm glad Obama nominated her instead of, say, Cass Sunstein, but I can still only hope that her lifetime appointment gives her the freedom to be herself, and that self is more in the liberal/progressive mode than the alternative.

    Kagan - well, I just don't know.  We're still looking mostly at writings from almost 20 years ago, produced in her official capacity and not as a private citizen, bookended by what she has argued and written in the last year and a half - also in an official capacity, and not as a private citizen.  There's not much in the way of Elena Kagan herself in between those bookends - does she believe in what she advocated for in her professional life?  Or is she just the best and most loyal employee ever, who would write and advocate for whatever she was told to in order to advance her career?  

    We need to know more than what is on her resume, and I hope that by the time the hearings are over we will all be feeling better, and that this time next year, we will be praising her and the president who nominated her.


    No (1.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 02:09:57 PM EST
    I never said it one year ago. I said it earlier this year and Jeralyn responded.

    Look, it's obvious that Obama was not ready to be president. He is not capable of handling the problems that we have in this country today. You can continue to make excuses for him like the GOP did for Bush and see the "progressive agenda" flushed down the toilet for decades by him because it's going to constantly be be associated with an inept Obama or you can choose to do something about it. You obviously have an allegiance to Obama that supercedes any belief in competence or issues.

    As far as the supreme court nominees it will be hindsight is 20/20 on those. In a few years we will see whether they were good picks or not. Hindsight being 20/20 we can now see Obama was a mistake wasn't it?


    Actually, yes and no (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 03:07:23 PM EST
    Yes, I am a strong supporter of Obama.  I admit that.  I admit to having a pro-Obama bias.  I have previously admitted that on this blog--as if it were not already apparent.....

    I ask that those of you who have always detested Obama admit your bias in that regard.  You won't (or haven't.)

    No, I do not "have an allegiance to Obama that supercedes any belief in competence or issues."  I criticized Obama roundly, at length and with vehemence over his announced policy of offshore drilling--at the time he announced it and before the current spill.  I did so here and in support of Turkana at Big Orange....Check it out.....No one here voiced more oppostion to that than I did.

    By admitting one's bias, one can be less in thrall to it.....You guys should come clean....A better discussion would ensue....


    This sounds (none / 0) (#154)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:38:22 PM EST
    eerily familiar to the discussions I used to have with the Bushies. It's you detest him blah, blah, blah. Well, no I don't detest Obama but I don't respect him. He has shown himself unworthy of respect by his actions. I don't respect preemptive compromising wimps which is what Obama is.

    If you will notice I also have not been critical of him on foreign policy whereas I have been on domestic policy. He's been a domestic policy disaster.


    How could "the progressive agenda" (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 03:15:40 PM EST
    be associated with Obama?

    What part of it has he even tried to institute?

    Calling Obama a progressive is like buying into the wingnut talk radio meme that anyone to the left of people like GWB and Palin is a radical leftist fellow traveler.


    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:47:34 PM EST
    is calling himself a progressive and therefore I'm willing to bet that most poeple think that he's a "progressive". Anyway, you're making the same argument that the conservatives made about W. not being a conservative. It doesn't matter what conservatives SAY their values are, it only matters what they do and W's actions are now asscoiated with conservatism for better or worse.

    FYI (1.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:40:59 PM EST
    I supported Sotomeyer as a pick. I said Obama should resign at the beginning of the year because he's proven he's not up to the job and I think everyday the incompetence gets more obvious. Don't you think that or do you think that he's done a great job so far? If you do, you're in the 28% that believes he has handled the BP disaster well.

    What was the percentage (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:55:17 PM EST
    of liberal voters who wanted Obama to resign--and I recall it being a lot longer ago than the beginning of this year....

    You obviously (none / 0) (#117)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 02:12:12 PM EST
    have me confused with someone else. I never quoted any numbers, just my personal opinion that he should resign because of his inability to lead.

    My point being that your view (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 03:14:57 PM EST
    that Obama should resign--voiced some months ago, if not earlier--would have been a minority opinion among liberals if there had been polling on it....

    At the time you wanted Obama to resign, some 80% or more of Liberals supported Obama.  The actual polling supports that.  Of those Liberals who did not, how many would you guess wanted him to resign.  Would it be more than 1%?

    The point being your attempt to marginalize my views because they are not supported by current polling looks more than a little foolish in light of your prior oddball, minority views....

    There is a fancy word regarding the logical fallacy you employ by using polls to attempt to discredit my views, but I thought I'd bring it back to your own views because it might in that instance have more resonance.


    I'm (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:41:05 PM EST
    not attempting to discredit your views. They are your views and they are worth very little in the scheme of things just like mine are. We all have opinions and they are just that no more, no less.

    Upsetting For You? (2.75 / 4) (#97)
    by squeaky on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:06:26 PM EST
    It would appear that you would be unhappy were Sotomayor to consistently vote liberal/progressive on the SC.

    Oh, well some people are bound to be perpetually unhappy.


    Good grief (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:36:14 PM EST
    I've seen lots of people not vote the way they were predicted to vote so I go by what they have actually voted on not on what they "might" do.

    That phenomenon has been (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:53:27 PM EST
    conservatives voting with the liberal block.....

    There is only possibly one counter example of a liberal drifting rightward, or more specifically not drifting leftward with the rest of the court--and that was a long time ago....



    Better to be perpetually (2.75 / 4) (#98)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:09:54 PM EST
    unhappy than wrong about anything..

    Especially when you have a deeply cherished personal vendetta going.


    Because "Team R"... (none / 0) (#53)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:02:29 AM EST
    is so much worse that we must accept whatever crumbs we get outta "Team D".

    Don't tell me you missed that memo GA...it's only been issued and re-issued my whole life.


    No (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:08:36 AM EST
    I've gotten that memo and I used to read it but after Obama no more. Not sure what I would do other than sit home 'cause I certainly would never vote for that egomaniac Ralph Nader.

    Nader... (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:26:26 AM EST
    was selling the best goods in 2000, 2004, 2008.  He's got mines again in 2012 if he's still kickin', ego or no ego.

    I ignored the memo in '04 and went Kerry...I'm ashamed of that vote.  I give myself a pass for Clinton in '96 cuz I was young and gullible.  Never again!


    Nader: that horrible "egomaniac" (2.00 / 1) (#141)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 03:30:23 PM EST
    who had the temerity to say mean things about those two selfless, long suffering, public servants Clinton and Gore (along with tearing the Repubs a new one.)

    Maybe,from now on, we should just write off all third, fourth, fifth partiers as narcissistic spoilers ("how's that workin' out for ya?" etc etc)

    From now on it's: pick from the choices the too big to fail offer up, or shut up.


    Nader is the a$$hole who went on TV (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by shoephone on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:41:39 PM EST
    in 2004 and told America's women that we should just suck it up if reproductive rights are taken away by the SCOTUS. "After all," said your creepy friend, Ralph, "then it will just revert back to the states."

    Like that was supposed to make us all feel better.

    Nader can go suck it up himself. Smart women don't vote for men who will sh*t on their hard-won rights.


    Errata: It was in 2000 (none / 0) (#149)
    by shoephone on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:46:47 PM EST
    on ABC This Week, with George Stephanopolous.

    When I called Nader's Seattle campaign office to ask them about that statement, the guy on the phone screamed at me.

    Nice, huh?


    Are you as intolerant (none / 0) (#150)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:07:56 PM EST
    of the little tap dances for the Right -- that imo, were even more cynical and coldly calculating -- performed by people like Clinton and Gore over the years?

    Im not as up to speed on Nader's reproductive rights statements as I should be, because I just assumed he was as progressive in that arena as he is in others, but I have a feeling that he's rethought and revised that position now -- if that statement was in fact indicative of where he was at that time in 2004.

    I would check what Nader's been saying in the last few years to get up to speed, before you write him off forever.


    If you have info on Nader's change of position (none / 0) (#153)
    by shoephone on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:35:47 PM EST
    on the subject, I'd be happy to hear it. I haven't heard him change his position or retract his earlier statements.

    And yes, I have written him off, for many reasons. When it comes to narcissism, Nader is in a league of his own.

    By the way, I couldn't stand Clinton when he was in office, so please don't try and paint me with that brush. I hold all Democrats accountable for their mistakes and Clinton made his share. But just to be very clear: "Safe, legal and rare" is far more acceptable to me than anything in Nader's position on reprodcutive rights.


    Stop with the history man (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:32:39 AM EST
    I have not one single excuse now for hysterical blindness the next go around.  Yer roasting me on a spit.  I don't regret Clinton though...not much....just a little tiny bit.

    Don't beat yourself up... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:46:14 AM EST
    it's one of those hard truths to come to grips with...that representation is for people who need it the least.

    The more you dig beneath the surface on Clinton, the worse he gets...don't let the charm and likeability fool ya...a loyal friend to Wall St., sworn enemy to potheads. iow, a major-league arsehole:)


    write-in (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by CST on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:32:36 AM EST
    if you stay home they will just assume you don't care - not that you are pissed off.

    Write someone in, or vote down ballot if you don't want to go for a top candidate.

    Not showing up to the ballot box doesn't make a statement - other than "I can't be bothered to vote".


    Hmmmmmm (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:33:52 AM EST
    I have never thought about this vote or not vote debate in this fashion.  I think you may have something here

    In reality (none / 0) (#74)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:44:26 AM EST
    I live in a strong GOP district so my not voting won't really matter much unless there are some candidates to vote for. I'm looking at the gubernatorial race and seeing how that one shakes out whether I vote or not.

    This will probably not go down well... (none / 0) (#145)
    by mexboy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:08:16 PM EST
    ...but I say, if you live in a district where a wimpy non-progressive democrat is safe, vote for the Republican to send a message. And if that Republican is a rabid right winger, even better.

    I just don't see how voting for non-progressive Democrats over and over, expecting a different result is not, well, insanity!

    Both parties have the constituency paralyzed with fear. We must break out of it, even it is is painful. We must think long goals  and in doing so we must sometimes make some tough choices and cast some bitter votes.

    I think of it like a shot of tequila. It burns, but if you chase it with a bit of lime and salt it then becomes tolerable. A half an hour later you get the desired results.

    I've had enough of crumbs.


    For most Republicans it is all about (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:32:37 AM EST
    religion and social issues.....The Tea Partiers don't really object to big government.....just liberal government....

    Scratch the surface of most conservatives and you will get a religious conservative.....The talk of taxes etc really is code for dislike of a government that does not validate their religious beliefs.....Of course, they frame it differently--government being hostile to religion....

    Progressives often tend to engage on the merits of the ideas expressed by conservatives....But that misses the point....


    I don't believe that (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:43:31 AM EST
    And plenty have seen the pox but they are hoping it will quietly go away soon, and it isn't.  Some people were born to make trouble, like me and like you.  Others take more persuading.

    Still too fat and lazy... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:59:08 AM EST
    sad to say it must get much worse before we collectively wise up.

    2012 presidential race will be a good indicator of how much worse it must get...if a 3rd party candidate can't crack 10% after the Obama "change" con has been exposed, the two-party duopoly is safe for a long while.


    Historically, third party candidates don't win (none / 0) (#72)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:35:11 AM EST
    on the Presidential level--they just tip the election to one of the two major parties....

    Historically, Abraham Lincoln... (none / 0) (#157)
    by sj on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:00:21 PM EST
    ... was the first President of the 6-year-old Republican Party.  Just saying.

    Loans (none / 0) (#63)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:56:29 AM EST

    None of us can afford to send our kids to college without loans.

    Cheap credit has driven the cost of higher education up faster than housing or medical.  Those loans are big part of the problem.  

    Addressing the cost explosion in higher education needs to be a priority.  Sadly team zerObama is asleep at the switch.


    I dunno (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by CST on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:13:10 AM EST
    if you can blame it on cheap credit alone.  There was also a significant population boom among college age students.

    And private schools led the pack with price increases.

    As far as Obama goes, he has actually made some significant changes in terms of at least fixing the loan situation.  It was tacked on at the end of the HIR package.  It was probably the best thing to come out of that whole bill.


    The outsourcing... (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:18:01 AM EST
    and disappearance of good wage blue collar work has also led to the demand for a college degree to go ever higher...and with it, the cost.

    yup (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by CST on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:23:59 AM EST
    very few decent jobs you can get without a Bachelor's today.

    Of course, these days, that's no guarantee either.  Some rediculously high percentage of waitstaff has a college degree.  And for a lot of people, those are the lucky ones.  Unemployment is a lot higher among younger people right now.  Sold a bill of goods - and it never delivered.

    I think part of it is really just perception.  There are a lot of people out there who probably didn't need that degree...


    I love you (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:46:47 AM EST
    I can't believe the news this morning on this.  The yammering heads are actually trying to spin this as a big loss for labor.  Labor wants representation, labor doesn't want to "crush" someone unless working Americans have no chance of being represented by them, then they are glad to bring it.  Labor desires to influence, and don't tell me they haven't dealt out a little influence being a large part of primarying Blanche and making her fight like the drowning dog she made of herself.  Since when has any Democratic incumbent been unafraid of labor coming in and fighting them because of their horrible crappy record supporting working Americans?  This was a win for labor.  Democrats are so arrogant and stupid right now they'll probably have to go through this a few more times before Democratic pols decide to provide labor with representation, but labor is glad to do it and working Americans are glad to scrape together our pennies and send them to labor lobbying too.  What do we have to lose these days?  They've taken everything.  They've strangled the middle class almost to death.

    Have (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:09:11 AM EST
    you ever seen anything like this WH? It reminds me of Carter and this is sounding eerily like a repeat.

    I was too young then to be (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:23:55 AM EST
    on that wavelength.  I remember Carter well, he was such a huge focus in my house.  I have seen a lot of similarities between Obama and Carter.  I was too little though to understand how the whole administration worked so I'll have to take your word for it.

    Word (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by kaleidescope on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:13:47 AM EST
    We need to take AIPAC and the NRA as our models, support candidates who advance our cause(s) and work to defeat those that don't.

    We should never, ever, let our money, time or vote be taken for granted.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:27:57 AM EST
    And everybody is always pointing out how powerful AIPAC is, but it is usually spoken of and viewed in a very sour light.  This is why AIPAC has such power though.  It isn't some Zionist conspiracy :)  It is only dedication to their cause and nothing else.

    Where ya been AFL/CIO? (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:27:37 AM EST
    Just now noticing that labor has no party to support?  Seriously?

    They shoulda been doling out union dues on case by case candidate basis a long time ago...Team D hasn't been the party of labor in over 20 years.

    I agree with you. (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:57:26 AM EST
    I would augment BTD's "Fight for policies, not for pols" with "Fight for policies, not for political parties".

    Rebirth time? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:28:45 AM EST
    It takes some people longer. (none / 0) (#147)
    by mexboy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:20:45 PM EST
    Just read this blog.

    Yup (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:28:51 AM EST
    There's a reason the NRA is one of the most respected and feared lobbies. Money is only part of it. The real reason is that the NRA never guarantees a vote to either party--it's true they tend to vote Repug most of the time, but that's no guarantee and they have no difficulty pulling that vote to make a point. You don't have to admire their goals to respect their tactics.

    there is going to be a revolt at the grass roots level against both parties and it's going to come out of the middle class.

    From your lips to God's ears. I keep encountering Democrats who can list every one of Obama's many, many failings and then wind up their recitation with, "But I'm still going to vote for him because, you know, the other guys are sooooo much worse." It's the theme of most "progressive" blogs too.

    f\\ifi Lincoln is crushed (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:46:44 AM EST
    halter would have been crushed worse.  This is Arkansas after all, not VT.

    If anything it was to make a point (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:48:46 AM EST
    A point that those of us who support labor hope that the other Democrats noticed....maybe took notes on.  I'm probably hoping for too much though.

    conventional wisdom BS (none / 0) (#17)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:55:38 AM EST
    Halter did not run a left vs right/center campaign.
    he ran an outsider campaign.  he could have done the same thing against the republican who voted, not for one bail out like Blanche, for TWO bail outs.

    the people on the ground knew he had a better chance against the republican than Lincoln.
    who is toast.


    Do you really think Halter had a chance? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:57:56 AM EST
    I don't pretend to understand the demographic.  I have to leave those things to andgarden.

    ps (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:01:52 AM EST
    just because Lincoln is a republican lite doesnt mean she is not loathed enough to lose.

    her railing against the unions did not make her any democratic friends.  arkansas is a right to work state but that doesnt mean they are so stupid that most people dont understand that the only people in this process really on "our" side is the unions.


    well (none / 0) (#20)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:59:47 AM EST
    my whole family lives there.  I even still "officially" live there, and yes, I totally think he had at least as much of a chance as Lincoln.

    as I said, he had an outsider argument to make which is working pretty well this cycle.


    Hmmm....thanks for the rundown (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:09:44 AM EST
    Every group of people have their own group dynamic, it is helpful to understand a bit more about Arkansas.  Makes sense too in light of the Clinton's Arkansas success.  Makes the loss of Halter a bit harsh, but I feel like labor and everyone who supported him made an honest effort.  In any case I probably won't have to look at Blanche again blue dogging me.  In this light though I'm even more upset that bigdog worked to save her.

    The Big Dog (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:18:03 AM EST
    wants Dems to win. He isn't interested in titling at windmills to make a point and give up a seat. Halter worked in the Clinton administration and yet Clinton still backed Lincoln. That speaks volumes to me.

    He didn't back Lincoln- (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Joan in VA on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:49:52 AM EST
    he campaigned for her as he was asked to by the WH. It wasn't a personal choice-he supports their choice because he feels it's his duty. It's not indicative of who he thinks can win or whatever imo. We really don't know whether he'd have rather not been involved at all or whether he actually preferred one over the other. He's a Party man-not a free agent. Other than his outrageous behavior in backing his own wife, he has never strayed far from the Party line.

    not so much (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:17:37 AM EST
    he was broadcasting as far back as thanksgiving when I was home he was going to campaign for her.

    he may have been asked by the WH, and probably was, but he had not problem at all doing it.


    the "big dog" (none / 0) (#33)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:26:52 AM EST
    lost the friends he had left after the LIEberman thing.  I have talked to many democrats who are done with Bubba.

    as for wisdom and the rest, bull.  its was boys club all the way.  except Blanche happened to be a girl. that is the only point he made.
    he backed a sure loser in november.


    I would add (none / 0) (#36)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:31:21 AM EST
    he was IMO doing the WHs bidding here.  they didnt want to campaign for her because they know she is toast in nov. and expected her to be last night.

    uh oh (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:32:06 AM EST
    I feel the Arkansonian betrayal and anger, and it isn't good.

    definitely (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:41:05 AM EST
    people are pi$$ed.  and blame him almost exclusively.

    of course not everyone.  she got 51%.  
    or course there is the large voting district, a hot bed for Halter, that had to polling places this time and 40 the last time.

    but who is counting.


    sorry (none / 0) (#41)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:41:46 AM EST
    TWO polling places this time and 40 the last time.

    a (none / 0) (#42)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:42:48 AM EST
    Thank you for this information (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:46:28 AM EST
    Capt.  This is important, as well as disturbing.  Please keep us updated on it too.  Was there a scaling back of polling places due to lack of funding or was this surgical?

    it seemed (none / 0) (#48)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:49:18 AM EST
    pretty surgical

    Does Arkansas (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:43:09 AM EST
    Have open primaries?

    except in (none / 0) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:48:59 AM EST
    runnoffs I believe

    And the reason the AFL spokesperson (5.00 / 12) (#21)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:01:41 AM EST
    shot back with "We are not an arm of the Democratic Party," is because, according to the Politico article referenced in the post, a WH spokesperson said they'd
    "flushed $10 million of their members' money down the toilet" in the "pointless exercise" of supporting the failed bid of Bill Halter to unseat Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

    Vale went on to say:

    "If that's their take on this, then they severely misread how the electorate feels and how we're running our political program. When we say we're only going to support elected officials who support our issues," said AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale. "When they say we should have targeted our money among some key house races among Blue Dog Democrats -- that ain't happening."

    Disturbing on a number of levels.  

    For one, the public dressing-down of unions for working to help defeat Lincoln and supporting the other Democrat, and for not assisting in the election of more Blue Dogs should make it obvious that the New Dems and this administration have disdain for and are indifferent to the interests of the working men and women that unions represent, that they believe their own political interests far outweigh the interests of the people.  

    For another, the Rahm Emmanuel plan to stock the Congress with more and more Blue Dogs continues apace.  

    So, where does this leave us liberals and progressives?  Well, considering that the New Dems have not stopped trying to throw us out of our own party because we have refused to submit to the Stepford treatment that would render us compliant and quiet, I'd say we have three tasks: make more noise and refuse to be ignored, work harder to throw their craven a$$e$ out if they continue to ignore us, and, think very seriously about using some of that energy and anger to form, if not a new party, a strong and visible bloc whose votes cannot afford to be dismissed out of hand.

    I want Politico to name this (5.00 / 8) (#23)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:06:42 AM EST
    "senior WH Official", because that is quite a statement.
    "Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members' money down the toilet on a pointless exercise," the official said. "If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November."

    Unions are obviously supposed to target their money in places the WH deems 'key'. Perfect response by Vale.

    Conventional wisdom - what I've (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:13:23 AM EST
    been picking up here and there around the political blogs - is that it was probably Rahm Emmanuel himself.

    Wouldn't surprise mw if that turns out to tbe true.


    that (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by CST on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:28:21 AM EST
    would've been my first guess.

    Sure sounds like something he'd say.

    Isn't he gonna run for governer of IL or something???  I'm ready to send him back to Chicago any day now.


    Rahm always does that double fake out (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:37:17 AM EST
    when things go his way.  Not only did he whip you, but he has a list of why you should have never gone there and it's a three headed junkyard dog.  Cuz he never wants you to go there again, it was hard work damn it and he has different manipulations he wants to dedicate himself to :)  You are a Democrat voter, know your damned place or he will be forced to sick the dog from Harry Potter on you :)

    Heh, my guess is Anne's guess (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:30:17 AM EST
    Seldom do I intellectually fish as deeply and as successfully as Anne.  It must have been him :)

    If Obama wants labor's help this fall (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by magster on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:05:57 AM EST
    Obama should demand this person's resignation by the end of the day.

    Not holding my breath....


    "They look like absolute idiots" (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Joan in VA on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:58:56 AM EST
    he went on to say. Nice. Glad they got the response they got, too.

    Heh, we could make some guesses :) (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:11:26 AM EST
    I have my guess :)

    in any case (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:32:09 AM EST
    it was not a pointless exercise.  the message was sent and received.  this is not a life time appointment.

    Well, I kind of agree with you... (none / 0) (#158)
    by sj on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:06:44 PM EST
    ... the message was sent.  And a message was received.  But I'm not entirely sure they received the right one.  

    My bet is that he/she only exists (none / 0) (#85)
    by Farmboy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:22:03 PM EST
    in Ben Smith's head.

    Entirely possible (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:38:21 PM EST
    That is the problem with Politico and their anonymous sources.

    the big (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:08:51 AM EST
    disappointment of the night was not Lincoln it was the sad and tragic loss of Orly Taitz.   that would have been fun.


    seriously (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:26:00 PM EST
    she would have been the best sec of state since katherine harris of FL

    hmmmm (none / 0) (#29)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:17:50 AM EST
    sigh (none / 0) (#51)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:55:10 AM EST
    there is still the (none / 0) (#90)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:39:45 PM EST
    Brown v Whitman race to come, and Boxer v Fiorina. Good times! Not as bats*t crazy though.

    I guess they didn't learn anything (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by CST on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:10:34 AM EST
    at all from the MA loss.

    Dems that is, not unions.

    Well, I think they crossed (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by dk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:24:20 AM EST
    that bridge by passing the for-profit health insurance support bill.  But I agree with you.

    New Dems to unions: (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:23:17 AM EST
    "See?  Your kind isn't needed here."

    From Gabriel Winant at Salon.com:

    But that's not the real point the senior official was making. What's being said there, instead, is that organized labor is just an adjunct to the Democrats. Unions shouldn't expect to get the party to move on their main issues, and they shouldn't fight about it. The best they can hope for is that Democrats stay in power and keep workers from being screwed too fast or too dramatically.

    Imagine if the president and Bill Clinton had instead thrown in with Halter. I know it's unthinkable for establishment Democrats to do this kind of thing, but just play along: what if they had said that it's important for Democrats to understand that there are consequences for a senator who repeatedly betrays her party and the progressive agenda? It's hard to imagine Lincoln could have pulled it out with Clinton campaigning against her.

    In other words, elite Democrats had a real choice, and they decided to stand with the Chamber of Commerce and treat the unions like the misbehaving hired help. They ran the same campaign that conservative Southern Democrats have been running for the better part of a century to keep labor out of the South, and it worked.


    The direction we're headed in, judging by that White House official, is for Democrats to show the door to working-class voters. For years, Democratic leaders have desperately want theirs to be the party of upper-middle-class suburban professionals. And if Blanche Lincoln loses in November to her Republican challenger, as she probably will, all we'll be able to say is that Democrats got their wish: they wrote off working people, and working people wrote them off too.

    Pretty much says what I've been thinking, including the part about Bill Clinton.  Clinton's support of the likes of Joe Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln is eroding what "progressive" cred he has - or had - and I no longer see him as someone who can help advance anything remotely liberal or marginally progressive; I think he's gone New Dem all the way.  Sad.

    that was donna brazile's point wasn't it (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:37:12 PM EST
    she said the "new Democratic coalition is younger. It is more urban, as well as suburban, and we don't have to just rely on white blue-collar voters and Hispanics."

    astute comment from the same thread:

    p lukasiak on Tue May 06, 2008 at 07:38:01 PM PDT

    the reasons dems lose is that people like Brazile have been saying that white working class voters aren't as important anymore for years.  But white working class voters are what put Bill Clinton over the top -- and put reagan and Bush into office.

    Never let it be said that the Dems (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Joan in VA on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:12:35 AM EST
    will ever pass up an opportunity to thumb their noses at the base. You hate Blue Dogs-we love them. You like the unions-we think they're idiots. You believe in the Party Platform-us not so much. Keep sending us money and we will use it for pols who have failed you over and over again.

    Support policies, not pols, or parties.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:31:25 AM EST
    This is why AIPAC has such power though.

    AIPAC also benefits from a Congress that (for whatever reasons) puts Israeli interests over American interests, and from not having to be governed by any of the laws that other foreign-country interest groups have to obey. No, not a "conspiracy" but it is undeniable that they start with a vastly greater set of advantages than any other interest group.

    Keep sending us money and we will use it for pols who have failed you over and over again.

    Sadly, this view permeates too many "progessive" blogs, not to mention Dems who, as I've noted, still say they will vote for Obama and the other Dems because the GOP is so vewwy vewwy scawy!

    None of us should give a flying patootie what latest insanity the GOP says or does. They are not the ones in power. Paying attention to them is a distraction, and a handy cudgel for those who want to keep us bound to the Democrats.)

    Also, voting third party doesn't limit you to Nader if you don't like him. There is usually a candidate from the Libertarian, Socialist, Green, and Constitution party to choose from. So choose one. I proudly voted Green last year and have nothing to regret for that vote.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:08:47 PM EST
    It is rare to have a President's choice of a nominee rejected....

    The President has tremendous power--especially in the selection of a nominee...

    I would not delude myself into thinking a "moderate" Republican like McCain would not hurt the Supreme Court....

    And, the Republicans will not nominate anyone again in the foreseeable future who will even claim to be moderate.  The Republican litmus test will be Roberts or Alito.  And, no, the Democrats could not even muster 40 votes against them in the past, so we shouldn't expect them to do so in the future....

    To clarify, the Republicans (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:12:18 PM EST
    would not nominate anyone for President who claims to be moderate.  Romney or Palin would be expected to nominate someone like Roberts or Alito....

    So, if you vote for Romeny or tilt the election his way, you get another Roberts on the Court.....


    Perhaps Dems need to push for real Lib (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by Ellie on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:21:23 PM EST
    ... choices (and values) unapologetically, and vet right-wing activists more sternly rather than pulling out that SCOTUS wheeze every election.

    If they're trying to get voters to set their hair on fire now it's got to be for more than making us grateful when we get p!ssed on us later.

    DISCLAIMER: No fight in this dog, ergo no dog in this fight. I'm sitting on my hands in 2010 (mostly work/financial reasons).


    I was talking about the President (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:22:58 PM EST
    With respect to Supreme Court picks, you may be right about the Democrats in the Senate....

    But the Senate Democrats have in the recent past, even when in the minority, prevented drilling in ANWR and privatization of social security.  So, it does make a difference.

    Obviously there was a (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 02:51:59 PM EST
    a huge emotional hangover for a lot of people from the primaries and all the anonymous eejits on the net (some for Obama, many not, imo), who were making particularly vicious "gender specific" attacks on HRC and her supporters for months..

    Imo, 99% of the claims of support for Palin here were coming out of that place of anger and disappointment that existed at that time, before cooler-heads-all-around, once again, started to prevail.

    That was a "7" if I ever (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 02:53:10 PM EST
    read one..

    Something has to be done, (none / 0) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:46:36 AM EST
    there is no room left down here.  The "Sister Souljah" tactics have been so successful, it is  time for some intrapartisanship or a bigger bus.

    Skeevy Rahm solo j$rk 0ff tape leaked on UToob (none / 0) (#49)
    by Ellie on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:49:25 AM EST
    He pleasures himself in the Exec Can as wide-stance Repugs look on.

    Look out, Mad Men, you've got competition.

    They won't vote down (none / 0) (#87)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:35:14 PM EST
    a left of center nominee either. (If only we could find a president to make a left of center nomination)

    Not much, but it is something.

    Sotomayor (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by squeaky on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:37:33 PM EST
    Sotomayor was a left of center nomination, she is a progressive/liberal 100%.

    not knowing her personally (none / 0) (#91)
    by CST on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:44:16 PM EST
    or her friends personally as most here do not - many people will not know 100% if this is true or not at this point.

    I will say, there have been no indications thus far that this is not the case.  And a few reasons to believe that it is.  Mostly based on her background and the fact that her votes to date have been solid.


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by squeaky on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:55:59 PM EST
    Well there is never any way to know how a SC appointee will turn out 100%, but in her life up until she was nominated she had a progressive/liberal pedigree, so to speak.

    There have been occasions where a conservative POTUS nominated a conservative, who turned out to be liberal on the SC.

    She could change, although I really doubt it.


    True, I did overlook Sotomayor (none / 0) (#95)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:01:24 PM EST
    I was thinking more of Kagan.

    Kagan may be more Left than (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:30:39 PM EST
    originally thought.  Her papers recently released from the Clinton Library tend to show that....

    She will be liberal.....Not quite the firebrand of a Karlan or the intellectual powerhouse of a Koh.....but still very, very bright and apparently very liberal.....

    Two liberals--two women liberals, to boot---appointed to the Supreme Court.  I would not turn up my nose at that....


    Sotomayor will be better (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:46:10 PM EST
    than previously thought.  She will be very liberal.   I was very happy when she was first nominated, then was concerned when her pro-prosecutor background became clearer.

    But, now, after a few deicisions, I think she will be (somewhat) to the left of Stevens and Souter.  

    A brilliant pick....Close to a stealth pick.


    not just policies (none / 0) (#151)
    by robotalk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:39:41 PM EST
    but how to do so effectively.  It doesn't matter if your policies are right if you don't have the power to get them done.

    Unions need to reimagine and recreate themselves before they guild themselves out of existence.

    Labor Is Not An Arm (none / 0) (#152)
    by john horse on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:20:34 PM EST
    of the Democratic party nor are progressives an arm of Obama policies.  In times such as these, bad policies matter even more, whether they come from a Democratic politician or a Republican politician.  

    Regarding unions and the Left, I am reminded of that old saying from the late, great Molly Ivins "You gotta dance with them that brung you."