Obama Mocks Progressives At Conn. DNC Fundraiser

The White House has released the transcript of President Obama's remarks at a Greenwich, CT DNC fundraiser. Among his comments, this one is causing ire among progressives on Twitter today:

....Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get -- to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed -- oh, well, the public option wasn’t there. If you get the financial reform bill passed -- then, well, I don't know about this particularly derivatives rule, I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven’t yet brought about world peace and -- (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are.

Is the White House sending a message in releasing the transcript? What is it? Shouldn't Obama be encouraging progressives to feel included in the Democratic party and get out and vote, rather than belittling their concerns? Or, does he believe they'll come out to vote against Republicans no matter how they're treated by their own, so there's little downside?

Here's Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher's take yesterday on the speech.

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    It's (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:59:46 PM EST
    not the first time Obama has done this but I guess now it's bad because he's talking about them? IIRC, I don't think they were complaining when he mocked the citizens of PA.

    Actually, I read many lefty blogs which thought (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by jawbone on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:48:27 PM EST
    Obama's tendency to belittle the Dem base was reprehensible and self-defeating.

    There may have been true believers who thought it was a way of confirming their superiority to the Old Democrats, as they and Obama were New Democrats.

    Indeed, I believe there were suggestions to create a Tricoteuses Movement.


    nice . . . (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by nycstray on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:06:23 PM EST
    oh, well, the public option wasn't there

    is he really that tone deaf (as the fall health insurance increases are being announced) or {self censoring} . . . ?

    Health care costs up 11 to 13% (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Cream City on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:00:37 PM EST
    on average in my area this year, and health insurance is up more than 20% for many small businesses here -- where Obama will be returning next week.  Stay tuned to see how this great victory flies here, if he talks about it.  But maybe he'll sing a different tune by next week.

    Well, at least he didn't say that we (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Cream City on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:58:11 PM EST
    Progressives are clinging to our guns and Bibles.

    Oh, wait, Midwestern Progressives do so -- such as Russ Feingold, pro-guns, pro-Old Testament, and anti a lot of Obama's programs (at least until the end).  Hmmm, wonder if Obama will be saying the same things about Progressives when he comes to the rally in Madison, Wisconsin, in a week?  Um, no, don't think so.  

    A chameleon with charisma is still just a chameleon.  

    The bitter (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:40:02 PM EST
    clingers was one of the first things that came into my minds. I guess Obama has now gone through the gamut of insulting everybody--women, unions, "low information" voters that he has finally gotten around to insulting the "creative class".

    Arrogance,Stupidity, & Hubris (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by norris morris on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 06:24:59 PM EST
    Obama's need to feel superior to all of us lowly progressives who dare to criticise....mind you we have the NERVE to voice displeasure...are put down by His Majesty in a chuckling contemptuous laughfest at all of us dudes.

     His cadre of political idiots and bubbleheaded political hacks joining him in snickering at all of us who voted for him is kinda beyond belief.

    Watching political suicide isn't pretty. The smugness of this group is amazingly out of step with political reality.  They only hear themselves.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#165)
    by Slado on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:23:11 AM EST
    It is remarkable to see how insulated this group is from reality.

    They just don't think the campaign will ever end.  IN a campaign it is important to say on message even in the face of ups and downs and you are trying to sell a narrative that will carry through on election day.

    The campaign is over for now.  It's time to govern and they just don't seem to get it.  Time and again the just keep pushing their message even if no one wants to hear it or has long since stopped believing it.


    by osage on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:02:10 PM EST
    What does he think he's doing?!  Is he trying to embarrass/shame/humiliate the liberals and progressives who are disappointed in his perpetuation/escalation of Bush's war, spying, secrecy and elitist corporate policies/programs into ENTHUSIASTICALLY supporting him and Democrats?  Is he unaware of the Bush-like clueless arrogance/insensitivity he is displaying by making fun of the very people who got out the vote that got him elected?  Has he become that OUT OF TOUCH?  Does he know how many Americans can't afford to pay their bills let alone contribute to a political campaign?

    Obama being funny. (none / 0) (#138)
    by norris morris on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 06:26:27 PM EST
    Your post is right on.

    HISTORIC HEALTH CARE BILL? (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by osage on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:12:55 PM EST
    Saturday, September 18, 2010
    Aetna gets green light to raise insurance rates 19% in California

    by Chris in Paris on 9/18/2010 02:32:00 PM

    It's good to be da' king. What other industry can manage to raise rates this much during one of the worst economic periods in the last 100 years? Even worse, how could the Democrats fail to get more when everyone who has health insurance is aware of such obnoxious rate increases year after year?
    More than 1 million Californians will see their health insurance premiums rise Oct. 1 now that regulators have wrapped up their review of a plan by Aetna Inc. to raise rates an average of 19% for 65,000 individual policyholders.

    Aetna was cleared Friday by the state Department of Insurance to proceed with its new plan. It was the last of four major insurers to be reviewed by the department, which has OKd double-digit rate increases by Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California and Health Net Inc. in the last month.

    Regulators stepped up their scrutiny of the insurers after Anthem announced plans earlier this year to raise premiums by as much as 39%, triggering a backlash among policyholders, lawmakers and the White House. The insurer canceled the hikes and sought smaller increases that were allowed.

    He said it was "historic" (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 05:28:40 PM EST
    He didn't say it would actually work. Come on, people, let's be reasonable, here.

    Da' King And I (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by norris morris on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 06:28:38 PM EST
    I voted for Da' King.  Can you imagine that he now mocks and insults me in a smarmy childish and unprofessional humourless put down? Heh, heh?

    It ain't funny.


    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by norris morris on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 06:30:04 PM EST
    We've been screwed.

    More of the same (5.00 / 6) (#8)
    by shoephone on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:14:12 PM EST
    from this arrogant, tone-deaf White House. Obama's handler's had him paying lip service to liberalism for the past week, over the tax cuts for the rich. Now, as if on cue, he turns off the charm and shows his true colors again. It's par for the course. It's exactly the way he phucked up on the health care bill. "Why won't those DFH's leave me aloooone?? That public option nonsense was so silly!"

    But this is his version of bipartisanship: Speaking out of both sides of his mouth, satisfying no one.

    Are the members of this administration really dumb enough to think they have a snowball's chance in he[[ of winning over the base by November?

    IS IT POSSIBLE? (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by osage on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:15:22 PM EST
    Is it possible that liberal and progressive bloggers, and those who follow them religiously, have a better sense of what people are thinking and feeling that the POTUS?  Do we have more information at our fingertips than he has at his?

    No biggie. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Lil on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:18:24 PM EST

    No? Why not? Too cynical by now? (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Cream City on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:28:57 PM EST
    It seems biggie to others, so why not from where you sit?

    Actually, I agree (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by daria g on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:27:16 PM EST
    He's just joking around. It seems counterproductive to get outraged over something so minor.  Though it's good for getting blog traffic and writing cable news segments.  We're being "belittled" again, like an offhand joke at a fundraiser matters in the big scheme of things.  I just don't think it matters.

    those are valid (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Left of the Left on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:22:32 PM EST
    criticisms, not something worth belittling. It's his frame of mind, which most people (I'm assuming here) think matters. You know, in the "big scheme of things".

    Interesting, though (5.00 / 6) (#42)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 06:10:29 PM EST
    don't you think, that he so often "jokes around" about what whiny morons the people who voted for him are.

    Btw (none / 0) (#26)
    by daria g on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:28:11 PM EST
    Comments about getting outraged over silly things not directed at the writers of this blog.  The tone here isn't like that, that's why I read it.

    Only Democrats... (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by Dadler on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:45:19 PM EST
    ...take illogical, right-wing style potshots at significant constituencies that they need for electoral success.

    Faux cue, meester prays-i-dent.

    Barack E. Coyote, Super Genius... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by rhbrandon on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:50:28 PM EST
    Not that the GOP is as sharp as Bugs Bunny. The proper cartoon metaphor is that long lost, not yet discovered WB classic starring Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd.

    Faux President (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by norris morris on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 06:37:29 PM EST
    What kind of dude makes nasty smarmy contemptuous put downs of those who voted for him?

    This is beyond showing a lack of character. It shows a tin ear kind of arrogance that is unforgivable in the real world.

    This is high school stuff. I'm amazed at the lack of maturity and obvious need to feel superior no matter what the cost.

    It's faux, faux, faux.


    Obama mocks wimpy liberals (why shouldn't he?) (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by megaugust on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:04:02 PM EST
    "Is the White House sending a message in releasing the transcript? What is it?" His message was directed to the $30k per plate crowd. He was letting them know that he will continue to ignore and demean progressives. How ironic that the event host was named Richard Richman, Obama was literally sucking up to Richie Rich. Freedom Rider

    I'm guessing he had to find some way to (5.00 / 13) (#18)
    by Anne on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:22:12 PM EST
    feel comfortable facing a group of $30,000/plate donors after a week of headlines about his desire to burden these beknighted souls with higher taxes - so what better than to mock the liberals?

    What he did there - and what Gibbs did a couple of weeks ago - is why it is impossible to trust any message from Obama that smacks of good old fashioned liberal, populist, Democratic ideas: he doesn't believe in them, he doesn't support them, and he cannot maintain the charade that he does long enough to actually see any of them enacted or realized.

    That Deficit Commission looms large in a sea of other decidedly non-progressive ideas that Obama has shown he supports; what he said at the fundraiser, I think, seals the deal for the rich to get their beloved tax breaks - and provides more ammunition for Alan "Snidely Whiplash" Simpson and his henchmen to put up recommendations that will break the backs of the old, the sick and the poor.

    Golly, I can hardly wait.

    Another headfake (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:26:02 PM EST
    I suspect that appointment of Elizabeth Warren as the President's "assistant" and "special adviser" to the Treasury Department on the new consumer agency or whatever is another head fake to liberal Dems, and that when all is said and done, the consumer board will have a Blue Dog type official head or be defunded, as Senator Dodd indicated it would be.  If the Pres really wanted Warren in charge of the body when it starts doing work, he could have made an interim appointment that also would have sidestepped the need for Congressional approval.  I, too, would like to be proved wrong, but I don't hold out much hope.  

    FWIW (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 06:13:24 PM EST
    I think we shouldn't assume Warren herself necessarily wants to abandon her pretty cushy and influential spot in academia for very difficult administrative labors.  I'm also pretty sure that if she felt she or the bureau was being slighted or undercut by this appointment, she would have rejected it-- loudly.

    Warren did nothing (none / 0) (#78)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 10:16:10 AM EST
    I'm aware of to indicate that she did not want the position as head of the bureau over the considerable time her name was publicly under consideration.

    Please (none / 0) (#150)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:43:09 PM EST
    be more rational. If, as seems clear, she was in negotations with the Obama admin. about what was to be done about this, she's not quite so stupid as to publicly announce what she would accept and what she wouln't.

    Honesty this stuff doesn't become public unless everything has broken down.


    Obama (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:40:51 PM EST
    just simply hasn't a clue.

    That depends on (5.00 / 13) (#28)
    by Anne on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:39:08 PM EST
    what your interests are, because it seems to me he's doing quite well for the elite, isn't he?  For those who like all the surveillance, who don't trust women to make the right decisions, who have confused real life with episodes of "24" and "Alias," who like the idea of indefinite detention, and war, and all that authoritarian stuff.  Democrats driven by their inner Republican.

    And that's why he had to once again fly the contempt flag: so that the people he really admires - the "savvy" businessmen - won't throw him out of the club he so desperately wants - and believes he deserves - to be a lifetime member of.

    The people who didn't have a clue, were, in my opinion, those who believed the campaign hype that he was going to be some kind of populist champion, someone who was going to take back America from the elites and neocons, someone who was going to make it easier to see what the heck was going on.

    A lot of those people have finally found the answer key, but guess what?  It's too late - this man is the president and we're all just left to deal with the consequences.

    There were tons of clues - they were all over the place; but people chose - they chose - to ignore them.

    Why, I don't know how we can ever repay them for that...


    And (5.00 / 9) (#31)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:49:16 PM EST
    the joke is that they will throw him out of the club anyway.

    Tons of Clues Ignored and Suppressed (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by samsguy18 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:02:33 PM EST
    The Obama persona promoted by the MSM was only a figment of their imagination.

    Figments (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by norris morris on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 06:44:41 PM EST
    Remember Chris Matthews exclamations of 'chills and thrills going down his legs' at the mere thought of Obama?

    No one did their due diligence in the media.
    The Chicago Sun Times had it all, but truth was swept away by foolish hero worship and wishful thinking.  The media trumpeted Obama relentlessly without doing any homework.

    Now we have a boy King who dismisses those without lotsa money.  Forget that some of us voted for him.  


    Once again Anne.... (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by mogal on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:34:04 PM EST
    you have  hit the nail on the head. The clues were more than there. Jane, The Huffington Post, and DKos etc. didn't want to see them and I can't understand why.

    The curious definition of "elite" (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 09:09:22 AM EST
    The President has been wonderful for all the issues I care most deeply about as may have been obvious from my posts -(1)investments in science & engineering R&D (2) empowerment of US manufacturing sector (3) school reforms so that American students can compete better in science and Maths against students from Asia and Europe (4) promoting a friendlier image of the United States to the world.
    Please don't be so arrogant to think that issues important to you and a few other commenters in this site, should be the only issues of importance to all Democrats.

    Torture, FISA, Bankster Loot, WarCrimeImmunity (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Ellie on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 10:01:42 AM EST
    ... obliteration of Habeus Corpus (which formed the bedrock of modern civilization), to name a few.

    These aren't boutique issues from far-out lala-land nor of mere intellectual interest to a select few. These are visceral principles.

    Protecting an image, however, is the core definition of superficiality.  


    Get out of your cocoon more often (none / 0) (#77)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 10:14:36 AM EST
    and spend time travelling other countries. You will find out how much better the current US administration is than other governments with similar problems.
    Most of you who look to liberal democracies in Europe for inspiration to create your fantasies about what it should be, may do well to remember that not many European countries agreed to take the Guantanamo detainees. If you would like to talk economics, bear in mind that most European countries have also started austerity programs. The grass always looks greener from the other side....

    Wow, you're presumptuous and buffoonishly wrong (none / 0) (#80)
    by Ellie on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 10:49:43 AM EST
    ... about advising me to get out of my coccoon. I'm fortunate to have traveled, lived and been educated domestically and abroad.

    Even more fortunately, I've dined at tables humble and fine and your level of ignorant condescension based on ??? -- certainly no discernable personal attributes you've shown here -- has been rare.


    some edjacation you must have received! (none / 0) (#83)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 11:12:39 AM EST
    Let us just leave it at that...

    Well you sure taught me a thing or two! (none / 0) (#84)
    by Ellie on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 11:16:25 AM EST
    I was completely off the mark earlier in thinking you couldn't be more wrong.

    Other positives (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 11:55:58 AM EST
    To add to your list: Schip, the Lilly Ledbetter legislation, stem cell go-ahead (tho, with the SCt weighing in, we have to await new legislation in that area to be introduced by Congresswoman Diane Degette), 2 highly regarded women Supreme Court selections (cf Repubs CJ Roberts and Alito), the largest number of high level women appointees in the federal government in history, and --according to the annual Pew Research Survey--a marked turnaround of a positive nature in foreign policy and how America is viewed (in stark contrast to what went before.) These are significant liberal accomplishments.

    Oh, and to ensure that the Consumer Protection Agency has a de facto leader ASAP, the naming of Elizabeth Warren to shepherd her brainchild.... a quick maneuver to avoid the obstruction efforts of Republicans during a confirmation process in an election season.  Oh #2: Meanwhile minority leader--with eyes on the majority leadership--Boehner talks not just about restricting and constricting the federal government role in everything (save defense), but also renewed the threat to shut the government down.

    There is a difference, guys. A big difference.


    Sometimes I rub my eyes in disbelief (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 12:36:05 PM EST
    when I see that these obvious achievements have to be explained in a left blog. In more recent days I have found that the response to some of the achievements is better among more apolitical people that I come across, who normally vote independent/republican compared to that of most commenters in this blog.

    Oh, the cat's out of the bag now! (none / 0) (#130)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 05:32:38 PM EST
    Apolitical people who normally vote Independent/Republican. "Apolitical," uh huh.

    Yes lambert (none / 0) (#136)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 06:23:17 PM EST
    I make the connection with them by informing them in a low voice that our President is really a Republican mole. The rest is easy. :-) :-)

    Lambert (none / 0) (#148)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:35:48 PM EST
    lets be honest you basically wanted Obama to be a left-wing Bush- to push radical ideas through regardless of constitutionality or political feasibility.

    "significant liberal accomplishments."? (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by nycstray on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 01:28:28 PM EST
    uh, no. expected liberal accomplishments. significant liberal accomplishments would be, say, passing TRUE health CARE reform and opening Medicare for all or at LEAST having a public option . . . . where significant liberal accomplishments could have happened, O has consistently given up the ball to the other side BEFORE negotiations even start.

    By your (none / 0) (#147)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:34:35 PM EST
    standard basically every Democratic President since LBJ has been a failure.

    Yup, drone attacks bring a smile to many people (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by jawbone on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 09:02:13 PM EST
    all over the world.

    Public Option (5.00 / 7) (#21)
    by Mo Rage on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:50:58 PM EST
    The public option, for health care, was key to the entire reform.  According to Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone, the President gave that away first thing in the negotiations.  

    Joking about it here is not funny and doesn't make it a joke, by any means.  We needed it.  We needed that negotiation from the health care industry, corporations and particularly the insurance industry.  It was just like Geo. W. Bush giving away the government's--our--right to negotiate lower costs on prescriptions.  But at least we expected that from W.

    Mo Rage
    the blog

    The public option is a marketing slogan (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 05:34:04 PM EST
    There was never ever any meaningful policy behind it, and the definition and the coverage were constantly changing. The shilling for it was funded, and sucked all the oxygen away from single payer. People like Hamsher have a lot to answer for.

    Did Obama just 'Those People' liberals? Again? (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Ellie on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:05:54 PM EST
    Wow, way to play to a $30,000 a plate crowd.

    I suppose the kitchen staff heard the far less friendly 'Shut up,' he explained version. (orig. Ring Lardner)

    He said (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Madeline on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:18:29 PM EST
    He said
    Democrats, just congenitally...

    "Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get -- to see the glass as half empty." I guess meaning we are born wanting more in re his statement.

    I take it as Democrats as a whole not just progressives and liberals.


    Admitting a glass is only half full (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by NealB on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:25:38 PM EST
    is an odd way to extol virtue.

    The longer it goes on, the clearer it becomes that the Obama administration has low standards and they set a terrible example.

    He's a Star! (5.00 / 5) (#27)
    by NYShooter on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:38:48 PM EST
    Two groups of people behave this way: Stars and Beneficiaries of wealth.

    I've been involved with both most of my life and unless you experience it, you can't understand it fully.

    The difference. (5.00 / 8) (#30)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:45:30 PM EST
    In the film, "A Face In the Crowd", a public figure with a huge following spewed contempt on his adherents not knowing that the microphones were on.

    Obama did it knowing that the microphones were on.

    And yet... (5.00 / 7) (#33)
    by shoephone on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:02:54 PM EST
    He still makes the mistake of thinking he will get the base to comply come election day. Hubris and stupidity rolled into one.

    It's nothing to do with compliance... (none / 0) (#52)
    by NealB on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:51:54 PM EST
    ...it's in spite of him.

    Were he truly a 'Community Organizer' of legend (none / 0) (#65)
    by Ellie on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 12:36:55 AM EST
    ... he'd know that you never ever ever treat your volunteers like indentured servants, or even paid ones, or even WELL paid ones.

    The latest Obama missive surpasses all of the above and makes sport of the fact that the wretches are dissatisfied that the p!ss raining on them from the dais isn't champagne.


    The problem, of course (5.00 / 7) (#32)
    by NYShooter on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:53:41 PM EST
    Is that the people he's mocking are those advocating for real people, people who are suffering real pain.

    No biggie? For real laughs spend an afternoon at your town courthouse steps as they're auctioning off the foreclosed homes of the butt of his jokes.

    jane hamsher and glen greenwald (3.00 / 8) (#39)
    by Politalkix on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:33:59 PM EST
    Do not have a clue about how to advocate for people who need help, they are really out of touch. Arianna huffington got trounced by arnold the last time they contested an election,it tells me that their brand of liberalism has few takers even amongst people they claim to stand for.
    People like Martin Luther King, Mandela and Gandhi were too busy with real work to get outraged over every little remark that their partners and detractors uttered. They had the ability to see the bigger picture and not get consumed through  self importance and bickering. It is also no coincidence that all of them had a very good sense of humor. Advocacy of that kind helps people and wins love and respect, not the hamsher-greenwald-huffington kind.

    Blah blah blah (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by shoephone on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 06:01:54 PM EST
    Are Greenwald and Hamsher planning on running for election? I doubt it. They and Huffington have more reach into lefty activism with their blogging and interviewing than you are aware. Either you are unwilling to acknowledge that, or you are simply ignorant about it.

    And funny, how you keep changing the subject (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by shoephone on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 06:04:33 PM EST
    from Obama's speech to some tantrum you want to throw about Greenwald and Hamsher. Sounds like a personal problem to me.

    Funny thing (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by christinep on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:38:46 PM EST
    and I know that it is important to let go of the memory, but.... To me, while Arianna is interesting and has clearly grown, I remember mostly her equally opinionated Republican days when she fouoght the Republican battle in California for her then-husband, the wealthy Republican Senate candidate.  We all have opinions and we all have baggage.

    The issue isn't "baggage" (5.00 / 8) (#66)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 12:50:56 AM EST
    Yep, they've ALL got it. The question is, whose efforts are actually having an effect on the psyches of lefty activists? Who's getting people motivated to BE activists? Who's raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for lefty candidates and issue campaigns? Hamsher, whether you like her or not, certainly is, on all accounts. And she is extremely articulate and impressive in interviews with the news media. In fact, she makes more sense in front of a microphone and a camera than anyone in the Democratic leadership.

    As for Arianna, I've had my problems with her. But she's more adept at turning past defeats into new accomplishments than almost anyone in the media establishment. And if you think that HuffPo isn't influential, maybe you ought to have a chat with your congressional representative. Because my rep and both my senators have repeatedly posted blogs on her site. They're not stupid -- they know how many eyeballs are checking in over there on a daily basis.

    Clubbiness? Please. Blogs, by nature, create clubiness -- just not the kind you are used to. I'm fully aware you admire the traditional Demo clubs -- the ones that exclude the base of the party, such as the DNC, for instance -- more than the groups that are busy fighting for the things that are IN the Democratic party platform. Meanwhile, a revolution is happening before your eyes, and you refuse to acknowledge it. Just like the denizens of the White House, you play the same old song, whining about us DFH's "not getting it," berating us one minute, and pleading for more compromise the next.

    Johnny-one-notes are going to go down with the rest of the Democratic establishment. You're the ones who don't get it: We've already left the building.


    Your remarks confirm (none / 0) (#87)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 11:38:16 AM EST
    the clubby nature to which I referred. I do understand your anger, and emotions. My position, tho, is different than yours. And--whether my saying it causes some to see their own shades of red, if the Democratic party becomes two clubs (per your discussion of my persuasion in contrast to the group with which your preference lies)we will discover together--whether united or not--that things can get very red with even drearier hued consequences. Historically, that would appear to be where we are all headed, together.

    Oh, there goes the (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by dk on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:12:36 PM EST
    condescension and life lessons again.  I know it may be difficult for you to unserstand, but others have life lessons as well.

    And, I have found that people who deny their own clubbishness while cheering for an administration that is moving the Democratic party to the right in its political agenda are likely going to find that your club will get smaller and smaller.  I just hope that it gets so small that it ultimately starts ignoring those like you and will realize that it might help to focus on the people who have enough votes to keep them relevant.


    Politics did not begin in 2008 (2.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:43:46 PM EST
    and if you did not notice how much the Democratic Party moved to the right in 1990s, it was because you were not paying attention or worse, were part of an exclusive club. Hypocrisy much!

    I've been actively involved in politics (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:41:14 PM EST
    since 1978, but thanks for your "concern." And for the record, I couldn't stand a lot of what Clinton did in the 90's, because he wasn't nearly liberal enough for me. The difference between then and now is that Clinton's triangulation made political sense as a strategy, based on his ability to beat a Republican leadership hellbent on hypocrisy and nuttiness.

    Obama's brand of triangulation isn't a strategy at all -- it's borne of his inexperience and indifference.


    That is your opinion (2.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 05:49:01 PM EST
    Does not make it right. What you write is a pathetic excuse for Clintonism, it really comes across as that. Do we really have to listen to your explanations regarding why he hobnobbed with Dick Morris? It is possible that you liked his personality, so anything that he did made political sense and radiated empathy. His "beating a Republican leadership" involved proving to the American people that he had a more likeable personality than Newt, Armey, Dole, etc. It was not about convincing people that progressive ideas were better.
    Please understand that other people may have differing opinions than yours; your interpretation of "strategy", "indifference" may not be the absolute truth!
    His legislative record can be viewed in this link

    Your response is proof (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 06:00:11 PM EST
    you're completely off your rocker. I won't waste a minute more on your nonsense.

    I hope my comment (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 06:01:00 PM EST
    does not make it sound like it is about Clinton Vs Obama. It is not. I just wanted to convey that different people can have honestly held differing views of strategies, politicians, etc. Our differences can and should be used for constructive engagement, not in creating circular firing squads.

    And... (none / 0) (#58)
    by christinep on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:44:55 PM EST
    while I'm at it (after a nice dinner & some wine) let me add: Darn, I hope we don't try to replicate the clubbiness of the right by forming our own little sorority/fraternity type groupiness around here of what is the "correct" thing to say. Sorry...my unvarnished observation.

    digby on the subject (5.00 / 4) (#86)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 11:35:11 AM EST
    Well, I think at least one thing is clear. Robert Gibbs wasn't freelancing with his similar comments.

    Regardless of whether you agree with Obama's characterization there, I think most people would agree that it's an odd way to fire up the troops. There seems to be some misapprehension on the part of the DC Dems that trying to browbeat people into appreciating you is smart politics. I'm thinking maybe a little a$$ kissing at this point might be a little bit more effective.
    More importantly, it's a complete misreading of what ails the base.
    Susie Madrak hits the nail on the head about what's depressing Democratic turnout:

    [T]hose of us left living on a wing and prayer thanks to your "half full", half-a$$ed economic policies just don't have a sense of humor about our continuing plight. I know it's been a long time since your mom got food stamps, but you might want to give that empathy thing some thought.


    hamsher and greenwald (none / 0) (#48)
    by Politalkix on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:26:38 PM EST
    May or may not run an election in the future but need to keep the outrage alive for blog traffic and career prospects in the television media.

    We need our independent thinking (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jondee on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 06:32:07 PM EST
    and speaking gadflys. The better one's help keep our aspiring Gandhis and Mandelas honest. We've always had them and we always will have them; just as we'll always have our exuberant and embittered cheerleaders..

    Arianna, I've always been slightly mistrustful of though: her turnaround from being Michael's helpmeet and squiring around with that loathsome pond-dweller Newt, was just a tad too rapid to be completely plausible for my blood; unless it was the result of some miraculous qi energy transfer resulting from a Jerry Brown laying-on-of-hands..  


    correct (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Politalkix on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:34:36 PM EST
    I have always loved listening to amy goodman, irrespective of whether I agreed or disagreed with her on the details of every issue. She has been quite critical of Obama on many occasions.However, I do not doubt her honesty. Cannot say the same for hamsher, huffington and greenwald.

    Amy is usually good (none / 0) (#54)
    by brodie on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 08:25:00 PM EST
    though I wish she would lose the fangirl worshipping of Chomsky, a longtime regular who never gets a tough question.  Speaking of hero worship,  she also was an influential on-air cheerleader for Ralf in 2000.  Apart from those two pom-pom examples, she normally is a solid journalist.

    No one's perfect or pure on the lefty/liberal(tarian) blogger/broadcaster front.  They all have a past, and Greenwald has his Citizens United.


    Al Franken (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by brodie on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 08:10:35 PM EST
    claims to have influenced Arianna's political transformation when they were working together on Bill Maher's old network show during the '96 campaign.  Could be something to that.  By 2000, she was no longer a Newtonian Repub but a disgruntled progressive indie looking for a hero, holding a disgruntled lefties "shadow" convention during the Dem convo in LA, and then in the general she (probably) embraced Nadir like a few other Westside/Manhattan trendy progressives.

    I thought she embarrassed herself in getting involved in that freak show of a recall free-for-all.  Her blog, a mixed bag, does have some occasional intereresting writers, and Sam Stein is a good reporter on politics.


    Strange Bedfellows (none / 0) (#97)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 01:03:00 PM EST
    I remember the debates she and Franken would have, sitting in a giant bed like Newhart and Pleshette. Very funny and informative too. I think Al got through to her.

    Here's the nasty side of me (none / 0) (#143)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 07:50:48 PM EST
    Yes, I'll take the position that Franken got through to her by logical debate. The nagging thought tho--and probably because this is born of her obvious and open antipathy toward the Clintons--is that the show preceded the conversion. My reaction to her is strange to me, indeed: She talks a good game...but, show me some more bona fides when the chips are down.

    And she's no prize now, either (none / 0) (#61)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:25:22 PM EST
    It frankly galls me how often the Village People have her on TV to supposedly represent the liberal point of view.

    That's your shot? They're not MLK Mandela + Gandhi (5.00 / 5) (#63)
    by Ellie on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:47:01 PM EST
    ... ?

    People like Martin Luther King, Mandela and Gandhi were too busy with real work to get outraged over every little remark that their partners and detractors uttered.

    I think Glenn and Jane each made a solid, stand-alone case refuting Obama's chortling dismissal of "you know who you are" and, incidentally, your twerpy defense of it.  


    Thanks for the reality check, Politalkix (none / 0) (#56)
    by christinep on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:34:31 PM EST
    and for the reminder about the importance of a good sense of humor. Frankly, I read this as a call to putting differences within the party aside and girding ourselves for the work ahead, etc. People will read into this what they want. If they were angry to begin with, it will be high dudgeon groupthink now. Thanks again. ('Hope we can get past it, as you do.)

    It would be ever so much more (5.00 / 12) (#60)
    by Anne on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:09:52 PM EST
    humorous if Obama were able to joke with his high-roller donors about how Democrats - you know, all of us, across every income and social category? - had managed to triumph over a conservative, Republican agenda for a greater good.

    Instead, we get smug, belittling and derisive commentary from a president who thinks it humorous to denigrate members of his own party - people who are passionate about helping those who so desperately need it - to curry favor with the elite whom he so transparently yearns to be part of.

    I'm not surprised that you see this as a call to put party differences aside, but if that's what he was attempting to do, it might have made more sense to do it directly with those with whom he has differences, don't you think?

    And, I'm not sure I understand how making fun of those one disagrees with is supposed to do anything but sharpen differences and harden positions, and alienate people, something Obama just can't seem to stop himself from doing because he's really just not comfortable being at all progressive for more than a week or so.

    This isn't a "good sense of humor," christine, it's Obama being who he really is: thin-skinned, conservative and lusting after acceptance among the real elite in this country - and he doesn't give a hoot if he has to climb all over the rest of us to get it.


    Baloney (that is as nice as I can say it now, Anne (2.00 / 7) (#62)
    by christinep on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:25:43 PM EST
    When I first saw the comments: (1) I chuckled somewhat and, mostly, (2) I read it to mean that we Democrats need to pull it together by putting these varying differences aside as we head down the stretch in a campaign.

    While it has not been unusual for me to attend political fundraisers in my life, what is also not unusual is the kind of remark that we are discussing. By September, the party leader or the state leader or the local leader will routinely cajole, push, kid, pull the disparate elements of the party in order to focus on the tasks at hand. When a party or organization is going through a rough patch, this approach is the norm. The legendary Will Rogers is oft quoted saying: "I'm not a member of any organized party, I'm a Democrat."

    Again, a few of us in the thread read the remarks to be more broadly-based. Others--for whatever reason--don't. All I can say is that a President is the titular head of the party and he is expected to push & pull to unify the party in the final stages of the campaign. Organizational politics. And I--ever the Democratic party person in the crunch--support the organizational cajoling, push, and kick in the butt. If we truly live in the reality-based political world and understand that "pols do what pols do," then we don't just say it...we do it.

    (P.S. Its ok. Really.)


    Wrong people, wrong kick, wrong butt. Really. (5.00 / 6) (#64)
    by Ellie on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 12:24:50 AM EST
    Organizational politics. And I--ever the Democratic party person in the crunch--support the organizational cajoling, push, and kick in the butt. If we truly live in the reality-based political world and understand that "pols do what pols do," then we don't just say it...we do it.

    Who's this "we", Kemo Sabe? Having read TL for years I'm quite satisfied that the commentariat here don't just squawk the squawk but did years of work -- on many flanks -- to grant the Dems the super majority they squandered during the first year in power.

    I wouldn't rely too much on rallying people around outmoded cuddly Dem stereotypes when you go door-knocking, fund-raising and phone-banking this September.

    The trail-hardened Dem and Liberal hard-asses I know likely wouldn't give self-preciousing dipsh!ts like you more time than it took to call out your somewhat of a chuckle and raise it to a lung-clearing guffaw.


    Let's pull together? (5.00 / 5) (#67)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:16:36 AM EST
    What for?

    I remember in 2008 after Obama picked Biden as his running mate, Jeralyn was appalled and called it a deal breaker. She then reported that after downing a few belts of a particular cocktail, (I don't remember the name), with her friend Anita, she "resolved" her issue.

    That's what Obama and the rest of those folks are counting on.

    That we will, how did you put it... "pull together" to support people who don't give a damn about the things we care about.

    Nuts to them.


    IIRC (none / 0) (#106)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 01:38:43 PM EST
    Biden was picked as VP candidate to help reach out to HRC supporters. Most polls indicated that the activist base of Obama primary voters wanted Sebelius/Warner/Hagel to be the VP candidate.

    "Reality Based People" (5.00 / 6) (#69)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:44:39 AM EST
    might just start noticing that a certain tactic is not producing the desired results. Since Rahm's "f*cking liberal retards", Gibbs' liberals "need to be drug tested", Biden's get in gear and get energized and Obama's current remarks, don't seem to energizing the base, they just might want to try something other than kicking the base.  

    Say what? (5.00 / 4) (#71)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 09:28:26 AM EST
    All I can say is that a President is the titular head of the party and he is expected to push & pull to unify the party in the final stages of the campaign.

    This is the way this guy goes about unifying the party?

    Is he out of his mind?


    You are right, lentinel (none / 0) (#93)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 12:27:45 PM EST
    in that the type of political cajoling is not the kumbaya type of unifying that other aspects of life need. I believe you are aware that both parties--with their own internal cleavages--are issuing the late summer call for unity in their following.

    It is said here all the time that pols will be pols. Let me add that politics will also be politics (complete with the old reminder about it not being beanbag.) IMO, words of shove/push/lets get moving are commonly used to get the team (sport or political) moving together. I'm guessing the word "discipline" would not be received well here, but that is what anything that looks like victory calls for. <And, I'm not running for anything. It is clear that this blog has a group of people who are offended by the comments. I'm not. We differ, and can say so ... I hope.>


    Freedom (none / 0) (#102)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 01:23:10 PM EST
    You need not be offended by his comments. Of course.

    But I am wondering if you consider yourself to be among those whose point of view he so cavalierly dismissed?


    I have always been one to use (none / 0) (#112)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:12:59 PM EST
    the "glass half-full" expression (actually, a major component of the occasional argument with my husband will include my predictable expression about having a choice between the glass half-full or half-empty or choosing to look up or down.) So, President Obama gets my attention right there.
    To answer your perceptive question about where I perceive myself: I have been in both places. My heart is set on some goal--a good goal, IMO of course--but, the one most in a position to help realize that goal has another avenue while stating the same aim. It is something to weigh/balance. In the present Democratic situation, I tend to agree with the President for the most part--just as former President Clinton has listed and expounded on the impressive gotten-things-done accomplishments that many of us have long sought. In the case of financial reform and health insurance reform--while I would have preferred the public option (and had to wrench myself emotionally from it)--the positive steps accomplished clearly tower above any in those areas heretofore...hands down! That glass is half-full (and the stuff which defines compromises as the late Sen. Kennedy observed earlier on.)

    In reconciling certain issues, the hardest time for me has been about our two "wars." In Iraq, he essentially did what he promised to date--and given the hand dealt him on that, the President has done well. The Afghanistan situation is troublesome to me--I watch that and will continue to do so.
    So...I've rambled a bit, but I tried to answer what you asked.  In sum: If there are 10 xs to be done or started, and the person-in-charge hits a score above 50% in less than 2 years, I consider that good. More would be nice, more should be sought. For that reason, cajoling & pushing to move together to accomplish those items in the next 2 years is not at all offensive to me.


    So, you say you tend to agree with the (5.00 / 4) (#119)
    by Anne on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:55:14 PM EST
    president...uh, which time?  The first time he comes out with a postition, or a couple days later when he backs off of it, or a week or so after that when he tells us that he never had the position we all heard him take at the beginning?  Or is it when he mocks people who worked for the best policies instead of being willing to settle for mediocre?

    If you agreed with him during the campaign, have you just moved along with him as he's "evolved?"  You know, from being someone who was opposed to all those Bush policies and now not only embraces them, but has set himself to expanding them?  

    Or someone who was for a so-called public option and then tasked Baucus and others with keeping it off the table?

    It seems the only way you could still be seeing the glass as "half-full" is if you've been swapping it out every week for something smaller and smaller, so that now all you've got is a thimble with a couple drops in it.

    "Hey, It's Better Than Nothing," may work well for you - it's so polite and well-behaved and all - but others of us expect - and feel we deserve - a lot more.

    This president isn't looking to "heal differences" within the party, because you don't do that by publicly mocking the people who worked their a$$es off for you and donated money they probably didn't have much of to help put you in office.

    I think the funniest - and maybe, at the same time, the saddest - thing I keep reading from you is your certainty that if we all just keep doing our best impresssion of a door mat, things will work out just fine.


    Former President Clinton says it quite well (none / 0) (#125)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:51:30 PM EST
    I particularly found Clinton's discussion on the Daily Show this past week quite effective, compelling. Namely, we've come far in less than two years given where we started. (The former President then gave a recap--as we've all seen in lots of places, including on the Democrats' website of the impressive legislation passed in such a short time.) Short answer to your question: I agree with most of the resolutions we have reached over less than half-a-term.

    Life and politicians do evolve. Since you reference "evolve," I would very much like to see progress in the Afghanistan dilemma (since I actively opposed both wars from the start); and, my strong preference is for a shake-up after the election with the Summers/Geithner duo (something not so appealing from the start.)

    On balance, I agree with the overall progress. A good friend & I were moaning about the WH and all us Dems on one particular matter. Since style and substance become so interrelated, better communication from the WH about what has been done and what is on the horizon--simple, direct words--is needed. Very much. When I listened to former President Clinton's remarks the other day and again today on the morning roundup, it became as clear as night & day. Maybe Clinton could give a master class?


    Almost forgot, Anne (none / 0) (#144)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:07:21 PM EST
    I wouldn't add this if I didn't take something from your comments. Its just that...hey, buddy, you don't know anything about me. E.g., I've sued to get my first job, I've represented other women formally in a federal action involving the agency with which I worked, I organized a large scale (for Denver anywary) a multicultural demonstration against the Iraq war ... oh well, this is not to blow my own horn. But, yoiks, to be called a patsy & whatnot when my own career style and personal approach grew from what would make most comments here seem mild...well, I have to laugh at myself. I'll take it as a learning experience for myself.

    In all honesty, it isn't just belief on my part. For me, it is knowing when to consolidate a gain and move to the next level. (I want to move forward; not stand on "principle" and lose for those who have a lot more to lose than myself.) There is little clearer to me than the need to push away Republican control at this point...not because they are labelled Republicans, but because of the immediate hurt they will do to people a lot less fortunate than myself.  And, for some reason I find myself writing to you--in part because you certainly have a leadership quality on this blog and in part because I give as much as I can in furtherance of what is the better national policy approach.  Nowhere near perfect, but better.


    Further to your two comments in (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by Anne on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:37:09 AM EST
    response to mind, let me begin by saying that I don't necessarily regard Bill Clinton as a political sage whose pronouncements are enough to ease my concerns and get me to stop making noise.  And while I appreciate Clinton's perspective as someone who held the presidency for eight years, and who knows how hard it can be to get things done, he fails to appreciate that it isn't that we don't see that there have been accomplishments, it is that we don't feel those accomplishments fit a left of center model, are not so much in keeping with what we believe are Democratic ideals, and building on what has already been done is not likely to look more Democratic as time goes by.

    "Passing" this bill and "passing" that bill does not tell the whole story; this was not a minority Democratic Congress that needed to horse-trade and bargain and signal willingness to reach across the aisle before any shots were ever fired from the other side - this was a majority Democratic Congress, with an allegedly Democratic president, who came out of the 2008 election with a clear message from the electorate.  

    And they didn't listen.

    The people they didn't listen to - and still aren't listening to?  These were the people Obama was making jokes about during that $30,000/plate dinner.  Try to wrap your head around the fact that Obama was joking with people who have enough disposable income to be able to afford to spend on one dinner what many Americans don't make in an entire year.  The people at that dinner don't worry about how to pay the doctor, or about the fine print on the mortgage and credit cards, but the people Obama was joking about do - and will continue to, because what Obama and the Democratic Congress "accomplished" didn't go far enough, wasn't tough enough on industries that helped get things to the crisis level, and is as full of holes as Swiss cheese, thus ensuring that the game of screwing the common folk will continue.

    While the $30,000/plate crowd nods and politely laughs at Obama's "jokes."

    I know you care, Christine, and I don't doubt that you have had your own experiences on the front lines, but you also seem to have the same lack of urgency that Obama has, the same inability to understand that patience is not infinite when people are at the ends of their ropes, staring into the abyss.  I never understood how the Dems could talk about the "crisis" in health care and then write legislation that makes people wait for years for most of it to take effect.

    I'd be thrilled with real progress, but that's not what we've gotten - unless where you want to go is decidedly to the right on almost every issue; otherwise, what we've gotten is wedged between two parties, neither of which seem all that interested in the people who actually go to the polls and vote.  You won't find me voting Republican, for all the logical reasons, but unless the Dems start being Democrats and quit moving the party to the right, I'm probably not voting for them, either.


    The beatings (5.00 / 5) (#100)
    by kmblue on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 01:13:18 PM EST
    will continue until morale improves.

    Only about 43 more days (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 01:23:58 PM EST
    to prove that insulting and beating up on the base is smart politics.

    Oh, please, can the condescension (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by Cream City on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 01:29:57 PM EST
    from commenters as well as from the president please continue, too?  It is such affirmation of my decision to not be a Dem anymore and to go Indy.

    Wait a minute, CC (none / 0) (#109)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 02:31:53 PM EST
    IIUC, you claim to be an issues voter and more "progressive" than me or others whose posts you find "condescending". Let us take a deep breath and move a step back. Having done so, now please explain to me why I should have more motivation than you to (1)see Feingold (and not Johnson)elected (2) Pelosi retain control of the House and (3)Barrett beat Walker for the Governorship. I do not live in Wisconsin and do not really think that I will be affected by whoever wins in each of these elections.
    I also know that you do not think much of the President, so I will not bother to waste my breath asking you to vote for him in 2012. However, I would still like to know why you feel that I should be more motivated than you regarding what happens in Wisconsin.
    This is an honest question. I will look forward to a serious reply.

    Sorry, but (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by Cream City on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 02:39:12 PM EST
    it's funny that you take this so personally, as I was not thinking of you.  But this post of yours does not suggest to me any reason why I would wish to engage in discussion with you.  

    My comment does not suggest that you or anyone is more or less progressive on issues; my comment is about attitude.  As for your not caring whether Feingold gets re-elected, well, that speaks for itself as to whether you are a "progressive."


    Progressive, Smogressive (none / 0) (#118)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:51:09 PM EST
    Attitude, Smatitude, whatever.....
    Cannot see why a Feingold win/loss should matter more to a "progressive" than Pelosi winning/losing control of the House at this time.

    I agree with this to a point (none / 0) (#149)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:37:54 PM EST
    frankly no one think Hamsher is an effective political figure, while Greenwald god love him is essentially a firebrand- he's right but his ideas have the same realisitic chance of passing as Bill Kristol's.

    Why shouldn't he... (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:04:49 PM EST
    ...does he believe they'll come out to vote against Republicans no matter how they're treated by their own, so there's little downside?

    It worked in the election of 2008.

    Campaigning for and praising Lieberman.
    Campaigning with Donnie McClurkin.
    Voting for FISA.
    Naming Biden the vampire as VP.

    And the cherry on top: Rick Warren at the inaugural.

    Not sure how picking Biden fits (none / 0) (#152)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:44:57 PM EST
    the problem was that every single major possible nominee for VP or at least the big 3: Hillary, Dodd, and Biden were all from states directly beholden to the financial industry and thus we're all more or less Wall Street choices. Richardson may have presented an interesting counter option but that's about it.

    At least assuming (none / 0) (#153)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:45:30 PM EST
    Sebilius was a non-starter.

    President Obama has done this (5.00 / 5) (#45)
    by KeysDan on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 06:45:53 PM EST
    before, early in his presidency.  At a fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton, he encountered protesters chanting about ending DADT.  During his speech he noted that he could vaguely hear some protester  saying 'Obama, keep your promise". He said, to audience laughter, that he thought that was fair. I just don't know what promise they were talking about."  It seems that if you disagree with him you are subject to becoming a punch line.

    FDR said (5.00 / 4) (#68)
    by kmblue on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:15:37 AM EST
    "I welcome their hatred."

    Bill Clinton said "I feel your pain."

    Obama says "Clap louder."

    Bill Clinton on Meet the Press the am (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by DFLer on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 11:43:39 AM EST
    addressed some of the same issues (the things this administration has accomplished, how things would be worse without those things etc) in a suggestion of how Democrats can frame things for successful elections this year. But somehow it was constructive and not chiding, empowering and not seemly petulant. That's much better politics, imo.

    To: DFLer (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 12:39:40 PM EST
    Former President Clinton is the best communicator in my lifetime. Yes, I agree with you (and note Ellie & hookfan do too) that his approach to persuasion is excellent.  But, remember, his abilities became enhanced over the years. If you watch some of the clips from the early '90s, you can catch the development.

    In supporting President Obama so effectively, the former President can provide--the now famous words--"a teachable moment." Clinton is about 16 years Obama's senior; he has grown through his own troubles and truly become the master craftsman. What I'd like to see now is that Obama be given a chance--a full time (not an unusual proposition)--to grow. We all need that. Clinton needed it. And, as you so aptly stated DFLer, Obama could grow too. (BTW, while the former President does not display petulance, he can --and has -- groups in his party. See the Sister Souljah moment.)


    You (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 02:21:34 PM EST
    are ignoring Obama's personality problems. He does not have empathy therefore cannot develop to the level you think he might. He has not had enough hard knocks in life apparently to understand or feel empathy. You cannot make him be something he is incapable of apparently BUT he can become better if he would just put froth good policy but he is not experienced enough to do that IMO. A lot of flaws can be over looked by the electorate if you improve the quality of their lives.

    I'm sorry but thats crap (none / 0) (#154)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:46:42 PM EST
    and it needs to be called out as such- "he has no empathy" seriously wtf?

    Are you (none / 0) (#163)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 06:41:29 AM EST
    kidding? He displays absolutely zero empathy. If he has that trait he hides it well.

    You can't (none / 0) (#99)
    by kmblue on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 01:11:30 PM EST
    teach empathy.  In my opinion.  

    It's not a question of (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by robotalk on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 12:17:26 PM EST
    just this coming election.  Obama is causing real damage by his actions.  Sometimes a bad compromise is worse, much worse, than a principled stand that does not necessarily get immediate results.

    I don't think he gets this at all.  Not at all.

    And neither do the Dem. party loyalists (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 01:13:54 PM EST
    Marching in lockstop, no matter the outcomes. It's really mind boggling.

    Mind (none / 0) (#108)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 02:23:08 PM EST
    boggling it is not IMO. Look at what the GOP did under Bush. It seems like it is the same story different main character in this play.

    Nancy Pelosi (none / 0) (#120)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:02:21 PM EST
    About "mindboggling:" After the election, it will be either Boehner or Pelosi as Speaker. The Speaker controls the agenda, as you know, with much more power than the Senate Leader. Yes, yes...I will proudly march lockstep to keep Speaker Pelosi and avoid the other choice.

    Not on Healthcare (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:48:30 PM EST
    I'm sorry but people don't seem to get this- if HCR had gone down this time it wouldn't have been taken up again by Dems until 2025 or so- they would have had a clear object lesson- the party's two most gifted politicians each raised the issue and each was crushed on it- pols learn and that would have been the lesson.

    Ever wonder where we would be if, (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by Anne on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 09:39:11 PM EST
    instead of spending a year on health-whatever reform, the administration had focused on jobs and putting people back to work?

    Or where we would be if the reform that did pass was effective immediately, and not mostly four years away with no guarantee that it doesn't all disappear if the Dems lose Congress?  Imagine the power of passing a program that people get to experience and like, power that would strengthen the Dems' position instead of weaken it.

    I agree that, once undertaken, they had to pass something, but that's a pretty low standard, don't you think?  "Something?"  It showed such a tremendous lack of political courage, postponing most of the implementation well beyond even the next presidential election - can't have the people finding out too soon just how bad a plan it is, can we?  I mean, so what if there are people with real need out there, drowning in rising premiums or rolling the dice that they don't have a major medical situation?  Really just inexusable - as we all stand by and watch insurance companies continue to increase premiums, and see high-risk health plans still out of reach financially for so many who had hoped, finally, for some help.

    And in the middle of terribly weak action on jobs, the watering-down of both health and financial reforms, the travesty that is HAMP, along comes the Deficit Commission, with Deputy Alan Simpson promising us all a High Noon showdown post-election at the behest of Sheriff Obama.

    This is why people don't get "empathy" from Obama, because his sympathies and interests all seem to lie with the movers and shakers, the big-money, high-roller, masters-of-the-universe living the good life...


    I guess Baloney! is a better stepping off point (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Ellie on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 12:57:55 PM EST
    ... followed by all of that oh so somewhat chuckle-ridden politeness wafting out of my monitor. Maybe it really is your bottomless wineglass talking, but mix in a Tic Tac.

    If you want to discuss the nature of our different approaches, Iim glad to oblige.

    Madam, I believe my firm opposition to torture couldn't be more emphatic.

    If you want to stalk off in a huff or yell again, suit yourself. Outside of the club, it says more about you than it does me (and, I presume you know that as well.)

    What are the other options? [/oh please please please let Deeply Enjoying christinep's High-Handed Idiocy be on the list]

    A little question, then, Ellie (1.00 / 1) (#114)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:23:24 PM EST
    In your latest comment, you mention your "firm opposition to torture." I share that opposition. So, which President would deliver what you want in that regard? (And, I know that my question could be called an attempt to divert.... Eventually, all citizens--voting or not--face a choice. Usually, saints aren't part of the electoral field.)

    [face-palm] n/t (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Ellie on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:21:34 PM EST
    Huh? (Sorry--don't understand cutesy code) (none / 0) (#151)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:43:22 PM EST
    Came back (5.00 / 4) (#98)
    by kmblue on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 01:08:03 PM EST
    after a discussion with friends.

    Our conclusion:  Obama lacks empathy.

    I know, stop the presses.  

    And our President is apparently surrounded by advisers who have the same lack.

    Obama comes off as elitist, superior, and smug.
    Ain't no way to get votes, especially mine.

    You know, Christinep, (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by dk on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:18:17 PM EST
    the kind of passive aggressive condescension that marks your posts really do not offer any substantive difference in tone than Ellie's.  The passive aggressive tone is still, at its core, aggressive, and drips with anger.  Again, it really might do you good to look at yourself in the mirror before criticizing others in their tone.

    While I do think the tone was a mistake (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:53:58 PM EST
    its frankly being overplayed by some here especially by some who feel Bill Clinton was a great president- I'm sorry but this is the same thing as what Clinton did to those who were anti-capital punishment and against Welfare Reform, to argue that it shows a "lack of empathy" is ridiculous.

    This (none / 0) (#164)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 06:48:09 AM EST
    particular instance does not show that Obama has a lack of empathy. The obvious lack of empathy has come through tons of times at other instances. This is just one more example of his arrogance and clueless-ness. Obama is for welfare reform and capital punishment so what does that make him then?

    I agree (none / 0) (#168)
    by kmblue on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:30:08 AM EST
    and his lack of empathy, in my opinion, is caused a need to never ever feel it, for fear his edifice (by that I mean the person he's created) will crumble into dust.

    "caused by A need" (none / 0) (#169)
    by kmblue on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:31:01 AM EST
    oh well.  

    The Dems (none / 0) (#3)
    by the capstan on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:09:44 PM EST
    lost me before the last election.  No sign at all that they want--or would get me--back.

    About on the same level as Bush's jokes about WMDs (none / 0) (#14)
    by rhbrandon on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:48:03 PM EST
    Don't see any reason why I should give a flip about anyone but progressives.

    Bush and WMD (5.00 / 7) (#20)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:42:52 PM EST
    About on the same level as Bush's jokes about WMDs

    Obama already stooped to that level when he joked about predator drones to the same moronic audience as his predecessor.


    Well at least he's (none / 0) (#16)
    by dead dancer on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:51:45 PM EST
    finally got some fight in him!

    Now if he would only direct it toward the other side.

    Appreciation for Pres O (none / 0) (#22)
    by Mo Rage on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:54:04 PM EST
    I'm sure the President feels we're not appreciating him and/or giving him enough credit--and I have, I swear, and still do--but the fact is he needed/needs to be tougher.  That's all we're saying.

    Mo Rage
    the blog

    Good natured bantering, no biggie (none / 0) (#29)
    by Politalkix on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:41:51 PM EST
    When he said "you" he was addressing the cadillac liberal Democratic crowd in the room who are no more out of touch than Jane Hamsher and Glen Greenwald.

    The duplicity doesn't bother you? (5.00 / 7) (#55)
    by NealB on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 08:29:47 PM EST
    Given that he's produced so little, unless you believe his hype, you've got to wonder. If he made a point during the same speech about the same-day reports of the 6 million more people that live in poverty now from a few years ago, whether they thought it was funny or not, these remarks about Democrats would be easier for me to take. But he didn't. He hasn't yet. And he won't acknowledge the truth of the level of human misery over which he presides. And he thinks there's something congenitally wrong with me for caring.

    He's a damaged puppy.


    The duplicity of people like you (1.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 10:02:21 AM EST
    bother me more. I find it difficult to believe that the people who claim to care so much would find time to spend on a blog discussing issues like marijuana laws, Paris Hilton, Roman Polanski, etc than just trying to help out the people in need in whatever way one can.
    Most sane people realize that since the economic ditch was not dug in a day, it will also take some time to fill it up. Overly emotional posts will help no one.
    He is doing quite well as a President based on the issues that matter to me most. Certain sound structural foundations are being put in place for the economy to recover, most people will feel the recovery in the not so distant future.

    Excuse Me (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 10:12:47 AM EST
    I may be wrong but it appears that you have found time to spend on this blog.  Strange, considering your opinion of the blog.

    I do not have the habit (none / 0) (#79)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 10:35:46 AM EST
    of pretending to be more pious than I am about wanting to help other people. Also do not have the habit of bad mouthing others who in my opinion do not meet standards that I have set
    for them about helping other people.
    I do like some political/policy discussions in this blog, this is the reason I join some threads here when I get the time.
    I really believe in the adage "You should be the change you want to see in the world". For the things that I care for the most, the effort begins with me.

    Thank you for that display of self-rebuttal (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Ellie on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 10:59:55 AM EST
    ... that's so acute, even within the same sentence(s), it'll be awhile before I lose the visual of Some Yutz walking down the street kicking his own @ss.

    Funny thing about written words (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 11:08:04 AM EST
    Your statement of the duplicity of people on this blog

    I find it difficult to believe that the people who claim to care so much would find time to spend on a blog discussing issues like marijuana laws, Paris Hilton, Roman Polanski, etc than just trying to help out the people in need in whatever way one can.

    came across as you thinking you were far above the participants of this blog. It did sound like you considered yourself more pious than others.

    If you want to be the change you want to see, you might want to email Jeralyn and ask her to devote her blog to subjects that would meet with your approval.


    Muddled thoughts while interpreting adage (1.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 11:51:35 AM EST
    in last paragraph.

    whaaa . . .? (5.00 / 5) (#85)
    by nycstray on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 11:27:28 AM EST
    Also do not have the habit of bad mouthing others who in my opinion do not meet standards that I have set for them about helping other people.

    Great. Shecky the Comic is Prez- (none / 0) (#35)
    by Joan in VA on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:14:45 PM EST
    just what we need. I'll be here for two more years, folks, and don't forget to tip your waitress.

    Well, (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:18:41 PM EST
    if he had a sense of comedic timing and the ability to tell a joke it would be one thing. He doesn't seem to have the ability to laugh at himself and that's one of things you need to be able to do in comedy IMO.

    Well, he was sorta self-deprecating (none / 0) (#59)
    by KeysDan on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:47:01 PM EST
    when he likened his lack of bowling prowess to the Special Olympics.  

    Ick (none / 0) (#72)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 09:31:25 AM EST
    If he actually said that, it is truly sickening.



    Oh, he did. It was awful. (5.00 / 5) (#73)
    by Cream City on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 09:36:40 AM EST
    But of course, he got a bye on it -- with the fanz.

    I get a chuckle too (5.00 / 3) (#159)
    by NYShooter on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 09:28:21 PM EST
    from those whose glass is full,who slip on their designer, ripped-knee jeans and  exhort us to picture the glass as half-full. (can't help picturing Diane from "Cheers)

    And to the plunging (and now the largest in 60 yrs) number of children below the poverty line,

    who don't own a glass?.....


    This is News? (none / 0) (#49)
    by bselznick on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:33:39 PM EST
    Nothing new here, move along...
    If you haven't figured out by now that he's not that into you, the you are truly Deaf, Dumb and Blind.  

    This just goes to show you how crazy the Right is.  Ya, he's a real Socialist.  He must have just leap-frogged over the whole Progressive concept and turned Commie.  What a bunch of loons.

    After considering the (none / 0) (#115)
    by KeysDan on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:35:50 PM EST
    the many thoughtful and concerned comments, the purpose for the president's mocking criticisms of "Democrats" at the CT DNC fundraiser remain puzzling.

    Robert Gibbs with his "professional left" slam was not serving as the canary in the mineshaft for this hazardous tactic (or we would have had a dead bird on our hands), but seems to have been studiously reflecting what is believed and  what is said. Indeed, a Roger Dangerfield mentality seems to exist, where the WH crowd feels that they get no respect for all that they have done owing to the diminished powers of perception and reason of so many.

    At another Democratic fundraiser in Los Angeles, just four months into his term, a similar petulance was exhibited, also evoking laughter from Democrats in attendance.  The president claimed that in just four months he had done more than any president since FDR, and seemed disappointed  that this was not self-evident to all.  

    Now, maybe it is just Mr. Obama's sense of humor which does seem to run to Tosh.O, but it must be more than that. Criticizing Democrats may be seen as moving him away from  being considered a Democrat so as to capture Republicans and Independents, while keeping those Democrats whose noses may be out of joint, but do not like witches either.

    Since the president is not on the ballot in November, maybe he thinks this will help congressional candidates.   Otherwise, it makes no sense to me. He could read from his brag book, explain the difficulties in getting to where he has, present plans for unfinished business, and make sure that Republicans were the peg upon which he hung his ire. The president's strategy, if that is what it is, sure takes a lot of supporters for granted--a big risk when anger is a big tent phenomenon.

    Party consolidation (none / 0) (#122)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:27:23 PM EST
    KeysDan: After all is said & done, it is a consolidation issue, perhaps? Go back to the '60s and see how the rifts in the Democratic Party have played out. The most memorable to me were the Carter v Kennedy split (but then, there was the Anybody But Carter group v Carter in 1976 too) and the split of the war hawks (represented by Humphrey and Henry Jackson) in the late 1960s and 70s.

    Before President Obama was inaugurated, a history professor who lives nearby (teaches The American Presidency) and is one of those former Democrats (a former party official) who became a Reagan Democrat, taunted me with the reminders of the various splits in the party that would be inevitable as soon as power was obtained. Recognizing that happens in both parties--attempts to purge or consolidate--I scoffed about his new-found Republican allies. Yet, some of the old cleavages did surface early in this term. Looking at myself, I can understand why it may be offensive or even seem condescending when attention is drawn to the perils of rifts. The differences that have long been in our party become quite obvious when a Democrat holds the WH--see Carter, Clinton, and now Obama. The clashing approaches to solutions can be productive in an Hegelian sense in an off-year. But, in an election timeframe, yoiks.... IMO, President Obama has little choice but to push & prod Democrats to pull together now and deal with the philosophical/political differences after the elections. And, yes, the WH could use the carrot as well as the stick in "persuading" fellow Democrats about electoral consequences of dis-unity. (A learning curve about style?)


    christinep (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by kmblue on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:35:10 PM EST
    explains it all for you.  

    Obama is actually trying to unify Dems, and that's why he insulted every one of them.

    And why he's done it before.  And why he'll do it again.  Unless his "learning curve" improves.


    Then it's working, right? (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by jbindc on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:09:54 AM EST
    When you throw everyone under the bus - from women, to union members, to rural, religious Dems to the creative class - you ARE unifying the Democratic Party - against you.

    We are talking apples & oranges (none / 0) (#128)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 05:01:34 PM EST
    or maybe pears & cantalopes.

    I think the post to which you refer talks about party organization and unity in a political (not a kumbaya) sense. That is why my discussion speculated about the underlying current so long present in Democratic politics at the national level...the longstanding cleavage in our party. The Republicans definitely have all kinds of fracture points; and, so do we.


    I really wanted BTD to weigh in on this (none / 0) (#121)
    by kmblue on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:16:21 PM EST
    Perhaps Obama  is still a Media Darling because aside from blogs and the Washington Post "post partisan" blog, I've seen nothing about this  Presidential "joshing".

    A sense of humor? (none / 0) (#162)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:50:24 AM EST
    I have seen very little evidence that Obama has a sense of humor.  He defends and looks for blame, but he doesn't ''josh".  

    "your mother wears army boots" (none / 0) (#126)
    by DFLer on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:53:20 PM EST
    - almost an anachronism as far as insults go, heh?

    Ha! Yep. (none / 0) (#127)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:56:03 PM EST
    Why does this surprise anybody? (none / 0) (#132)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 05:44:30 PM EST
    Obama's great project was to rehabilitate the Republican Party. That's the only possibly operational definition of the bipartisanship that he ran on in 2008.

    Well, he succeeded, and that was the "tell" that he's always intended to govern from the center right. 2008 was all about Obama's D faction, with the help of the vociferously pro-Obama "creative class," redefining "the base" so that elders, the poor, and the working class were not a part of it. 2009-2010 was all about the "creative class" running interference for Obama as he put a series of neo-liberal policies in place (HAMP, no card check, making banks even bigger, the HCR debacle, normalizing 10% nominal , 20% real unemployment) that **ed over what used to be the base even more. Now that work is done, and so Obama is throwing the "creative class" under the bus, too. What a shame.

    Are we into conspiracy theory land now? (none / 0) (#145)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 08:12:28 PM EST
    Simple answers to simple questions (none / 0) (#178)
    by lambert on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 02:36:30 PM EST

    Do you have a point?


    Obama aspires to one of the Elite (none / 0) (#161)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:48:36 AM EST
    He wants to be accepted by the big kids.  He wants the elite to recognize his brilliance and his power and to accept him.  He wants to one of them.  Yes, very much like high school, on a grander scale.  And we all get to pay for his emotional neediness and desperation to be accepted by the elites.  He doesn't care about anyone other than that elite club that he so desperately wants to belong to. Pathetic.  For all of us.  

    Geez, people need to be able to take a joke (none / 0) (#170)
    by vicndabx on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:06:42 AM EST
    Seems to me all the comments wailing about how much the president sucks bolster the joke's punchline.

    Imagine the difference if he had (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by Anne on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 11:18:20 AM EST
    spoken to them along these lines:

    There is no question that this - being the president - may be about the most thankless job one could ever have, and I know it's tempting to be offended by or annoyed by those in our own party who criticize me and my administration and the Democrats in Congress for not having done enough.  The easy response is, why can't they be more grateful for what we have managed to do?

    Well, a lot of those people have taken a real beating over the last decade.  They've lost jobs and not been able to find new ones.  They've sunk deeply into debt, some have lost their homes.  Many of them have been financially destroyed by catastrophic medical situations, or gone without care to their detriment because they just couldn't afford it.

    We promised to help them.  You and I, and all those who can afford to pay more for this dinner than a lot of people make in an entire year - we don't worry about these things for ourselves, but we need to worry about them for others because we are actually in a position to do something about the quality of other people's lives.  Many of you know this well, because in addition to being involved in political causes, you are serious donors to charities and organizations whose entire focus is helping those who need it.

    Have we done enough?  That's a question I ask myself every day - it's probably responsible for more than a few gray hairs on this head of mine - and the answer is always the same: no, we haven't.

    So, to those who are tempted to laugh at and dismiss the criticism as coming from people who will never be satisfied, try looking at it this way: the people who seem to never be satisfied are the ones who keep the bar high, who force us not to settle for the easy answer if it's not the best answer.  They speak for those who can't speak for themselves.  And we need to listen, even when it's hard, even when it would be nice to hear an occasional word of thanks.

    I don't think anyone in this room would trade their comfortable lives for those who struggle every day to find work, to make ends meet, to provide for their families and who go to bed worrying how they will manage when they are old; I don't think we have any business complaining about the complaining - it takes too much time and energy from doing more than we have.

    Not that, mind you, he actually feels this way, and not that he really wants to listen to the great unwashed masses, but what a powerful message it would have sent if he had gone this route instead of the one he chose.


    Those lines would've worked (none / 0) (#174)
    by vicndabx on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:11:37 PM EST
    on the group targeted by the punchline?

    I doubt it.  It would've been just "empty words" or some other negative.


    Well, given that it's Obama, and (none / 0) (#176)
    by Anne on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 03:49:28 PM EST
    the only words he seems to be able to produce for the downtrodden are essentially empty, you're probably right that no one would have bought it; I'm putting the the words I would have liked to have heard, into the mouth of the Democratic president it would be nice to have (and no, that's not a wish for Hillary - just a generic desire to have someone who really represents what I thought Dems were supposed to be all about).

    He could have handled it better; he didn't need to take a cheap shot at people who helped get him elected.  They were the words of a man whose humanity is much smaller than his ego, and he said them to make himself feel better.


    That might be more interesting (none / 0) (#172)
    by jbindc on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 11:36:09 AM EST
    If it worked the other way as well.  You certainly can't joke about the Obamas - you're either mean, an ignorant hick, or let's face it - a racist.

    Don't recall too many people around here laughing when George Bush looked under his desk for WMD's -that was a joke too.

    Making fun of most Americans while you're sitting at a $30,000 a plate dinner just screams "Out of Touch".


    Well (none / 0) (#173)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 12:25:03 PM EST
    there is the whole "Obama didn't joke about a mistake that left hundreds of thousands of people dead" but yeah other than that.....

    No (none / 0) (#175)
    by kmblue on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:27:17 PM EST
    he just joked about the unhappy Dems who are suffering due to his inadequacy.

    They're just afraid they might die, due to lack of employment, lack of health insurance, and lack of a President who has a clue.

    I know I am.


    Obama did in the past joke about (none / 0) (#177)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 04:12:04 PM EST
    events that kill people and oft by mistake.

    Everyone agrees that President Obama was funnier than Jay Leno at the White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday night. But this joke is inspiring some backlash:

    "Jonas Brothers are here, they're out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans, but boys, don't get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming. You think I'm joking?"

    "You have to wonder why in the world the president's speech writers would think it was a good idea to throw a joke about predator drones into the president's speech during the White House Correspondent's Dinner, given that an estimated one-third of drone casualties, or between 289 and 378, have been civilians," wrote Adam Serwer at the American Prospect. WaPo