Change You Can Believe In


In private conversations, White House officials are contemptuous of what they see as liberal lamentations unhinged from historical context or contemporary political realities.

(Emphasis supplied.) Heh.

Speaking for me only

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    I don't know if I'm a liberal anymore, but (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by tigercourse on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 12:15:09 PM EST
    I've got a lament for the White House. Why, why didn't any of you even pretend to care about the unemployment situation in America? You passed a half assed bill written by Ben Nelson a year and a half ago and proceeded to ignore the problem from then on, save the occasional "this weak jobs report shows that things are improving!" There were no speeches about the need to pass a bigger and better stimulus, there was no condemnation of Nelson's designed to fail bill. There was never any "I feel your pain" or even a freaking "Message, I care". The White House, the Senate and to a slightly lesser degree the House utterly and totally abdicated their responsibility for the economic health of this country and did it with a shrug.

    Here's a contemporary political reality for you dumb bastards IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID! A president could cure cancer, win 2 wars single handedly and turn water into wine and it wouldn't matter if we had high unemployment and a seemingly aloof leadership on that point.

    Politico? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by waldenpond on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 12:25:15 PM EST
    I don't click on Cheney's mouthpiece so I guess I'll link to Greg Sargent...  [ but this is so divorced from reality that it really shouldn't go unanswered]...[I'm no blog triumphalist, and some of the debate about Weigel was overblown, but the claim about blogospheric indifference to the midterms is just laughably false. ]

    Politico seems to be schizophrenic.... criticizing and blaming at once.  What was odd to see from Politico was the criticism of Weigel coverage... they came across as believing the coverage was trivial.... Politico complaining the coverage of other sites is trivial?  .... uh,
    yeah ok.

    Sargent again....[But please don't make stuff up about them and call it journalism.]

    Some of the "most important" bloggers (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 01:59:49 PM EST
    are writing the most inane stuff right now trying to avoid talking about ANYTHING that chaps people and could cause upset.  The people are already upset though, and they are unemployed and they don't have health coverage or a home either.

    My daughter's house is (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by hairspray on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 03:33:23 PM EST
    underwater, and we find out that the programs that aimed to help people who could be helped simply don't exist.  She is not a deadbeat, but the programs are so poorly implemented and the govt doesn't seem to care about it.  Add that to the poorly written health care bill and finance bill and I feel we aren't doing as well as we could.

    Let's drop the liberal vs conservative framing (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 07:54:02 PM EST
    Calling people or ideas "liberal" has become code for "bad".  Dems -- or those who care about all Americans, should just talk about policies that work to help most Americans and provide real solutions.  Most Americans, for example, will support politicians who actually do something to promote affordable healthcare.  If we continue to allow the Repubs, the mindless media looking for headlines, and whoever else to frame every issue debate and attack every proposal by calling the position or the proponent a liberal, we will never get anywhere.  If we call proposals people friendly, fair to most Americans, solutions to real problems, etc., we might just get voters to listen.  Don't buy into the media trying to frame every discussion so they can make issues about left and right, liberal vs. conservative.  The Repub PR machine has so succeeded since the days of Gingrinch in making "liberal" and "socialism" dirty words, that we need to get beyond labels and speak of underlying realities.  Calling Pres. Obama liberal or anti-liberal doesn't make him one way or the other, but calling him or another politician or a policy liberal, e.g., deflects us all from focus on what's important.

    Did I do that? (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by hairspray on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 08:31:34 PM EST
    No - sorry (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 08:44:20 PM EST
    I didn't mean to imply as much.  Just my rant; I'm kinda sick of the debate, and "our" willingness to be distracted by the distraction.  

    Oh, the government cares (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by lambert on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 08:52:32 PM EST
    They want your daughter to lose her house. McClatchy on the mortgage mod program:

    In the fine print of the form homeowners fill out to apply for Obama's program, which lowers monthly payments for three months while the lender decides whether to provide permanent relief, borrowers must waive important notification rights. ...

    This clause allows banks to reject borrowers without any written notification and move straight to auctioning off their homes without any warning.

    Ah, that's right... (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 12:52:02 PM EST
    ...it's the liberals who are the problem. All five of us.

    It must be added that the "contemporary political realities" include a President who is wholly unimaginative, while at the same time, apparently, being highly contemptuous of those who put him into office and actually expected him to lead.  Obama, it is very apparent, is a follower.

    But the five of you (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 02:01:14 PM EST
    tend to write stuff on the internet that the whole starving country can relate to, so shame on you.

    I guess what they mean is, (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 02:05:19 PM EST
    "conversations that can be leaked to Politico so no one at the WH will actually have to 'fess up to being anti-liberal."

    Or, maybe what they mean is, "damn those f-ing liberals - I just know they're going to mess up my legacy."

    Or both.

    But, golly, it's good to know that "lamenting" the lousy efforts of this administration to get people back to work, or their let-them-eat-cat-food indifference to the unemployed, and all those damn people collecting Social Security and having the temerity to use Medicare and Medicaid, and their active efforts to cut a gaping hole in the safety net, or their unbelievably bad efforts to expand access to and affordability of health care, their catering to and accommodation of every conservative who so much as wrinkles his or her brow, their too-cozy-for-comfort relationships with every major sector of the corporate world, their protection of war criminals and their efforts to keep poking and prying and spying on us, and renditioning and cherry-picking the kind of "justice" the detainees will get, and selling women out whenever it's politically expedient marks me as a liberal.

    A liberal who has no intention of shutting up so Obama can keep deluding himself that the legacy he's so concerned about polishing is nothing more than a big ol' stinky turd.

    Memo to Politico: the news that the WH has contempt for liberals - and for all those aren't members of the elite - is no scoop; some of us have been aware of that for a long, long time.

    I sometimes read you Anne (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 02:14:08 PM EST
    and just say wow.  Stitch by stitch the lamenting created their current reality.

    Nameless White House Officials (none / 0) (#24)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 07:34:51 PM EST
    allegedly blaming the liberals....

    This sounds like Republican framing to me; if not, it feeds right into the faux Repub meme that the liberals 'in power' have caused all the problems.


    Someone pointed out (none / 0) (#3)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 12:31:42 PM EST
    that FDR had real communism as a foil.  And he also had Huey Long for a while.

    Thus, FDR look centrist.

    Now, there isn't much communism out there, and it is certainly no threat.

    And no Huey Long.

    So, if the bloggers are crazed lefties, that is at least something to tug at the Overton Window.

    What the Republicans have going for them is that Palin, the tea partiers and the rest will make any rational sounding GOPer sound quite good.  May not work for Romney.....But Jon Huntsman would be the guy....Always sounds reasonable, intelligent and compassionate....will never make a mistake....and is very, very conservative....

    Republican crazies like Sharron Angle and Rand Paul and Palin have moved the Overton window.....All you have to do to clear a very low bar for Republicans is not drool.

    So, let the bloggers of the left live long and prosper, and take no offense that the adminstration uses them as a foil.  If only someone would make a full-on defense of European Socialism....that would it easier to get more liberal legislation through.

    Except (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 12:43:56 PM EST
    Most people in this country are not "left wing" (nor are most people "right wing").  By and far, most people in this country are in the middle (or, if you prefer, "moderate").  On individual issues, people might lean more left or right, and because of the in-your face 24 hour news media and punditocracy, and access to the Internet, and talk radio, people might identify themselves one way or the other, but if you break it down issue by issue, their views fall mostly in the middle.  Unfortunately, the loud voices that make up most of the noise are from those who want to play "gotcha" against the other side.

    Explains why "independents" swing from election to election.


    I think most people (none / 0) (#7)
    by CST on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 01:05:58 PM EST
    in this country don't like to be labeled as "left wing" or "right wing" but they have no idea what those positions are except for how they are framed in the media.  So if something is framed as a "left-wing" or "right wing" idea people will inherently not like it where-as they would like it more under different framing.  That's why BTD calls himself a "centrist".  Most people just want effective government.  

    I think you can change people's minds on an issue if you give them something that works.  That's why even the tea partiers want you to "keep your government hands off my Medicare" - they may not know how they get it, but they know that it's something they like.


    And most people (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 01:23:06 PM EST
    Don't think about politics all day, every day or read blogs.

    If the Dems have better ideas that will truly help people, then they need to stop the nonsense and convince people.  They need to put up or shut up.  "Not as bad as the other guy" just doesn't cut it anymore.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#12)
    by CST on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 01:43:45 PM EST
    they don't follow it closely, which is why they get their constructions from whatever the media is shouting about the loudest whenever they do decide to pay attention.

    The "centrist" position IMO comes from not wanting or caring enough to pay attention, but wanting to seem "reasonable" in one's views.

    Obviously Dems need to put up, I certainly wasn't disagreeing with that.  My point is, I think if Dems actually "put up" and implemented something effective you would find that more "centrists" suddenly hold that position as well.  The problem becomes convincing people through all the noise out there that will automatically label any Dem position as "far left" - whether or not it actually is.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 02:11:21 PM EST
    But I consider myself a centrist (or moderate, if you will), and I pay lots of attention to what's going on.  I hold liberal views on some things and more conservative (by the true definition, and not the bastardization of the word) thoughts on others.  For the most part, I think right wingers hold insane ideas, but there are points of view expressed from the left that I think are just as dangerous and insane.

    My liberal friends think I'm a Republican and my conservative friends think I'm a socialist.  Yet they love me anyway! :)


    I do think it should be pointed (none / 0) (#21)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 03:10:35 PM EST
    out that FDR did a lot of the same things that Obama does that people criticize him for- selling out blacks on social security and anti-lynching laws in order to get the support of Southern Dems for instance- I mean FDR's admin was basically Wilson part II for African Americans, Japanese-Americans etc. but no one ever mentions him literally ignoring  and/or implicitly supporting lynching in order to get the New Deal through.

    Afraid really to say this . . . (none / 0) (#6)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 01:05:18 PM EST
    but don't you think it is time for more than two parties in this country?

    Personally, I can see a Liberal Party, a Socialist Party, a Conservative Party, and, of course, the Dems and the Reps.  Oh, and you can toss in there independents - whatever that is supposed to mean really!  Perhaps Compromising Party is more apt for those that feel independent. (Independent meaning one who can think for themselves outside party afflications but who are always compromising to one of the two parties.)

    Compromise (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 01:18:34 PM EST
    Is not a bad thing - it's what our country was founded on.  How do you think our constitution was written?  The problem is our legislators don't compromise enough!  They pick a talking point, beat it to death, distort the opposition's talking point, and then refuse to compromise, but instead call names and change the conversation.

    I dunno (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CST on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 01:21:47 PM EST
    there's "compromise" and then there's "Compromise".

    The revolutionary and civil wars were hardly built on compromise.  The 3/5 rule however...

    Sometimes compromise is not such a good thing.  Sometimes taking a stand is the right thing to do.

    It doesn't help anyone if you compromise towards something that is worse for everyone.


    True (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 01:25:18 PM EST
    But when you start from a political perspective and not a core value and then refuse to compromise, people see through it everytime.

    Good point (none / 0) (#20)
    by republicratitarian on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 03:00:08 PM EST
    I personally think that's why it's never a good thing when one party has control of both House's of Congress and the White House. There's not much reason to compromise. The Republicans were crappy when they controlled all three and the Democrats are just as bad, if not worse.

    Well, I think the Repubs were bad then (none / 0) (#23)
    by Joan in VA on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 04:14:44 PM EST
    because they refused to compromise and the Dems let them. The Dems are bad now because all they do is compromise. Bad ideas equal bad legislation and good ideas, watered down to nothing, equal bad legislation. They fail us either way and use political realities or some other bs as an excuse.

    The problem is (none / 0) (#25)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 07:41:05 PM EST
    that politicians no longer seem to have any principled stances or moral compass that they will abide by regardless, i.e., they have no principles to compromise, and seem to let the $ do the talking, regardless of party affiliation.  I think the whole meme of let's play nicer and compromise is an excuse for the Dems not fighting for the things that are important to the majority of Americans -- financial solutions to problems of the average person, reducing the cost of health care for average Americans, safeguarding social security, etc.

    What I am trying to say (none / 0) (#13)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 01:48:28 PM EST
    is that independents are forced to, at times, compromise between the lesser of the two evils, if you will.

    Nothing wrong with compromising to a degree, and that degree should not be extinguishing one's core beliefs.



    Someone ummmmm wrote a book (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 01:55:44 PM EST
    about the birth of this new political voice and reality.  The White House should have put down their copy of the Audacity of Hope and maybe read something that was about everyone and not just them.  I bet "the internet" really pisses Rahm off :)

    So policy failures which are the result of (none / 0) (#30)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 08:50:37 AM EST
    not listening to your liberal supporters will be blamed on liberalism by a President the right wing has portayed, incredibly enough, as some kind of far out liberal.   After 30 years of right wing demonization we liberals had an opportunity to demonstrate real solutions to real problems.  Instead Obama rebuilt GOP credibility (talk about impossible tasks) by continually reaching out and seeking input like the GOP had useful input to provide.  And now Obama & Co. blame liberals for their failures on unemployment, foreclosures, offshore dilling etc.

    I never could have imagined what a disaster for liberal objectives Obama would turn out to be.

    Curious what the collective (none / 0) (#31)
    by BTAL on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 11:56:41 AM EST
    thoughts are here as to what will be the campaign promises offered in 2011?

    "Change" (none / 0) (#32)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 12:23:12 PM EST
    When Obama has a Republican House (and John Boehner as Speaker), he will comain how he can't get anything done, so the voters should give him back a Dem House and 4 mire years to fix things.

    Is possible he could be able to do that (none / 0) (#33)
    by BTAL on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 12:51:53 PM EST
    and keep a straight face?