Friday Happy Hour Thread

A little early, but what the hell.

Peruse this argument I make about a primary challenge to President Obama (I'm agin), won't post it here because Jeralyn's not feeling that way I'm thinking.

See jeffinalabama's latest.

Open Thread.

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    a little engineering (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CST on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 03:56:25 PM EST
    Very short fiction by Dadler (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:01:12 PM EST
    Only about three thousand words.  Really an exercise to help get me through part of the book I'm rewriting.  Not easy material, but I think I like it better as a very short story, which could be a problem.  Or not.  As always, I have no clue. (LINK)

    And nice piece, Tent.  I respect it, throw up my hands at it, and also bow down to it.  IOW, I am at a loss as to what to do besides observe from the cheap seats and ponder.

    Will read with (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 05:49:15 PM EST
    more sobriety. Still on beer 1, but it's hitting the sweet spot.

    always does, doesn't it? (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 07:20:00 PM EST
    Reminds me of the Woody Allen joke in Manhattan, when Diane Keaton talks about her therapist having told her that she's having the wrong kind of orgasm. To which Woody replies that he has no idea what she's talking about, that every O he's ever had, even the worst one, was right on the money.

    The worst I ever had was wonderful, (none / 0) (#71)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:58:37 AM EST
    So says DH, always!  

    Shameless diary pimping... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:08:29 PM EST
    Latest edition, "Planning to Live."

    Already some interesting discussion going on, and some SEC football insults as well.

    As to the linkie, BTD, I can't go there with you. The mess this team has created means we need a primary challenge. Just to shake up the "Dream Team, Nightmare Geithner Zombie Version."

    More to discuss on that later, I'm sure.

    Nightmare Geithner (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by caseyOR on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:11:33 PM EST
    That has a nice ring to it, Jeff. Maybe, if we all shamelessly spread it throughout the toobz, it will catch on. It certainly is appropriately descriptive of Timmeh's actions and their resulting economic calamity.

    You military types (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:31:57 PM EST
    Always "planning" to live.

    Remember my rant, er, ah, (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:34:11 PM EST
    'discourse' over contingency plans? ;-)

    reread the definition of insanity (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Bornagaindem on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:26:10 PM EST
     "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome."

    Obama needs a challenger (of any sort) to show the leadership that dems don't support a RINO. The nonsense that if a repug wins we lose is completely wrong.

    The best outcome we can expect is for a credible third candidate to run (not Bloomberg) because they could win but I am not holding my breath.

     Obama MUST be a one term president. I see it as the only way to preserve medicare and social security as we know it. At least if a bat-$hit crazy repug wins the dems in congress will be able to fight any elimination of those programs. They can't do that with a democratic president. The republican'ts have shown us how to do that with the debt ceiling crisis even if we get only only one house.

    One term president (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by klassicheart on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 05:34:18 PM EST
    is more than enough for this loser.  What did he accomplish of any substance and as a result of his personal leadership, after having big majorities in both houses of Congress?  The people who need to "eat their peas" are the Democrats who brought Obama to power as President and as the leader of the Democratic party.  This was a mistake and it needs to be erased as quickly as possible so people can remember what the Democratic party looked like pre-Obama...so a Democrat like Ed Rendell or Andrew Cuomo can replace the image of a disaster like Obama in the minds of the electorate.  

    And anyway, why would any Democrat or independent trust the judgment of someone who pushed Obama as President in the primaries?  It was bad judgment with bad consequences. Especially for the Democratic party.


    hear hear! (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Bornagaindem on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 05:48:50 PM EST
    Primary reform (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:47:09 PM EST
    definitely needs to happen perhaps with winner take all in the state primaries.

    We absolutely do not need caucuses picking another nominee. We need voters. And frankly, I think that we should get rid of caucuses altogether.


    Absolutely agree (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Yman on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 08:08:13 PM EST
    And while I had read there were some good intentions behind the "superdelegates", they also seem to be a rather undemocratic instrument.

    the democratic party is the only one that has (none / 0) (#102)
    by Bornagaindem on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 06:33:40 PM EST
    super-delegates- people who have been office holders or done a lot for the party. It is a corrupt undemocratic practice that overturned the will of democratic voters in the 2008 primaries and they should be eliminated.

    I deplore the caucus system (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:55:17 PM EST
    I understand the argument for it when a state has open primaries -- because that's what we have in WA State -- but the caucuses in 2008 were a circus. It was ridiculously disorganized. And at my precinct caucus, the Obama supporters were aggressively working to change the rules at the last minute, and in, fact, they intimidated my PCO into letting them have a second round of speechifying on behalf of their candidate. Other candidates' supporters did not get to do that (but then, we had no intention of trying to muscle our way around the rules.) I cannot emphasize enough how much hosility that created.

    Caucuses are outmoded and are not democratic, IMO. Not eveyone is able to participate. My neighbor, who works for the USPS, has to work every Saturday and was not able to get the day off or switch with someone else. She missed out on voting. Another friend was in the hospital that weekend from leg surgery. She was not able to participate and missed out on voting. Furthermore, her nurses, who were scheduled to work at the hospital that day, were not able to leave their shifts and participate in the caucus.

    Now that we have all-mail-in paper balloting here, we ought to be able to figure out that the cost of disenfranchisement to people who really want to caucus, but can't, is greater than the few (and I believe it is very few) who will switch allegiances to create trouble just on that day.(By the way, some of those troublemakers are Dems, not Republicans.) Was there more "troublemaking" in past primaries in my precinct than there was on caucus day? Considering what I witnessed, I wouldn't make that claim.

    The WA State League of Women Voters is on record as being totally opposed to the caucus system, precisely because of the disenfranchisement issue.

    I am not the only person I know to have seen the nonsense in WA in 2008. It was an extremely time-consuming and singularly unpleasant experience which I do not wish to repeat. The only thing that could possibly make me change my mind is if a popular third party candidate runs to challenge Obama. Otherwise, I'll skip it, and stick with my intention to write in Bernie Sanders' name in November 2012.


    FYI, not all GOP primaries are WTA. n/t (none / 0) (#77)
    by BTAL on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:48:01 AM EST
    What will assure us that (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:10:03 PM EST
    (i) after 2012 elections there will be enough Dems in Congress to fight anything, at least theoretically, and (ii) even if there are enough Dems in Congress, that they will fight?  Didn't seem them do much from 2006 to 2010.

    I dont see Obama (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Amiss on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 03:29:17 AM EST
    as a Dem President, I see him as a Republican in Dems clothing, which is even worse. He was and is just a pretender.

    As I am not a registered Koshead (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Left of the Left on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:37:58 PM EST
    I'll reply here. I disagree for the simple fact that Obama is no longer an unknown quantity. Is there any doubt that Obama would love to be dealing with a Republican congress? Is there any doubt as to what that result would be? In my opinion a primary challenge may help Obama, and it would most definitely help the Dem party as a whole.

    1- Primary Obama from the left will be the best counter to the ridiculous charge of socialism coming from the right, and throw a bit of water on the teaparty nonsense. The more centrist Obama can be painted the less likely the Republicans will nominate some crazy teapartier.

    2- No matter who wins they will have the support of the base. If '08 has shown anything it is the party can survive a bruising primary.

    3- What the country and the Dem party needs badly right now is for someone to stand for Dem principles. No one in leadership is doing so right now, and the argument has been framed and is being played out completely on Republican turf.

    We need a loud and unmistakable counter to the nonsense coming out of Washington, that will not come so long as Obama is in office, that much is clear now. Unfortunately the damage has been done, and I fail to see there being a lot of deference between President Romney or President Obama with a Republican Congress. At least with Romney our pols can act like democrats again.

    The country is ready to throw the bums out again, and who can blame them. We're better off searching for replacements, than wasting resources trying to keep the bums in.

    Outstanding news! (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:38:16 PM EST
    my copy of "Machete" arrived from Netflix.

    Me and my son will enjoy a night of Robert Rodriguez, Danny Trejo, blood, gore, and explosions!

    that your even giving thought (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by cpinva on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:45:37 PM EST
    to primarying obama says pretty much all that needs be said about his first term. my memory may be bad, but i don't recall this even being an issue for discussion with clinton.

    So sorry, BTD (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by sj on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:49:22 PM EST
    I deeply respect you and your thinking process while vehemently disagreeing with you on this.  But I did enjoy the "I suppose I must be a troll" diary.  

    Not so much all the comments, though.  Best commenters in blogtopia (Y!SCTP!) come right here to TL.

    I really enjoyed (none / 0) (#69)
    by Jane in CA on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:17:05 AM EST
    the "Troll" diary as well. I think I want to back and read more of La Feminista's diaries.

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:52:33 PM EST
    the only solution I see for Obama's problems is for Obama to lose and let the GOP take the rap for their own abysmal policies. I mean if we're going to have tea party policy, at least let them take the blame for it.

    I do agree that the action is in congress where changes can be made. Better congress people is certainly a worthy goal.

    My advise would to just cut Obama loose. He can sink or swim on his own and get people who have no association with him to run for office. And DO NOT let him or his advisors meddle in what's going on on the local level.

    exactly (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Bornagaindem on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 05:05:55 PM EST
    if we are going to have republican policies then lets have the republicans taking the blame and get back to having permission to oppose.

    Another thing (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 05:29:22 PM EST
    I think Obama's loss will probably re-invigorate the "librul blogosphere".  If he continues for another 8 years, with many of the blogs still defending them, people will abandon the blogs in droves.  Some of the bloggers might even have to go back to being Republicans to gain readership.

    Not that I care about the bloggers...and the more I think of it, the more I like the idea....it will be my consolation prize for dealing with another 4 years of having a fake Dem as prez.


    Many liberal thinkers (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:54:15 PM EST
    are obviously restive and in a quandary or we would not be having this discussion.   Being resigned to, or trapped by, the Democratic presidential incumbency is probably what will occur.  

    However, it seems to me that a Democratic primary would be more productive and better suited to the situation we find ourselves in than for support of a third party candidate. Or, even a stay at home vote.

    A primary by a serious progressive candidate would have a better chance at calling attention to wrongheaded policies and modulating Obama's rightward inclinations than a third party progressive candidate for whom Obama would dismiss with contempt  and try his best to "out right" his Republican opposition.  And, split the electorate more likely in favor of the Republican.  

    That would be great (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by sj on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 09:29:18 PM EST
    However, it seems to me that a Democratic primary would be more productive and better suited to the situation we find ourselves in than for support of a third party candidate. Or, even a stay at home vote.

    However it is unlikely in the extreme that O will be primaried.


    "Home" to cast absentee ballot (5.00 / 6) (#40)
    by Towanda on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:06:05 PM EST
    today by the deadline in a Wisconsin recall election, deliberately not changing addresses to be able to do so -- and to help canvass to GOTV.  Did it ever feel good to do what I can do to beat the "Scott Walker Blues," another great new video among hundreds recapturing the past six months here.

    But the level of outside Republican money coming into the state for the recalls feels horrifying, with total expenditures already past $25 million for, after all, the state legislature.  And too much of that money has been spent by Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, and others that are sending out millions of pieces of literature with deliberately incorrect election dates, making untold amounts of deceitful robocalls, etc.

    We can't do much GOTV on a Friday night, so off we go to decide among options from a fish fry to a jazz festival to the State Fair -- but then, boots back on the ground tomorrow, with only a few more days to try to win back the first battleground of the Koch Bros.  

    Despite the incredible efforts of the recallers, though, I'm making no bets on success in a summer election, and especially after the Walker and legislative bills that have legalized voter suppression here in so many ways now.  So sad.

    Update: $40 million! (none / 0) (#81)
    by Towanda on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:29:39 AM EST
    is the estimate reported in media today of total spending in the recall elections -- with less than a fourth of that by the many candidates' campaigns.

    The tv ads are incessant and insanely over the top.


    Thanks for the boots on the Wisconsin ground (none / 0) (#83)
    by christinep on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:32:18 PM EST
    Towanda: What kind of reactions are you & people you know receiving from the canvassed voters...is it energetic, hopeful or blah, ho-hum, disintereste or opposition??? The Wisconsin fight has come a long way...and, as we all know by now, their home-turf & home-grown battle against the national Kochs & company have buoyed those facing similar challenges in Ohio, Michigan, maybe even Indiana.  My real concern, like yours, has been that summertime is almost a harbinger of low turnout in an election.  Maybe the lessons of sitting home in November will spur on Wisconsin Dems, tho.

    Summer did not stop the primaries (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Towanda on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:08:21 PM EST
    a few weeks ago from seeing high turnout, and even though those were "fake primaries" forced by the Repubs' tactic of running "fake Democrats."  So we will hope that holds true again -- but August is much more of a month to go to the state fair or to their cottages or who knows?  We'll see.

    And interest remains intense, evident in polls that showed many weeks ago that more than 99 percent -- that is not a typo! -- of voters know for whom they will vote.  When did you last see a 1 percent category for don't know or don't care?

    The problem now, though, after six months of people flooded by doorbell-ringers and mail fliers and phone calls and now the millions of dollars' worth of ads is to get them to answer the door or the phone.  On the other hand, that could be a good sign that they'll want to run away from home to get to the polls.  


    Luckily (none / 0) (#84)
    by CoralGables on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:00:48 PM EST
    Wisconsin residents are usually home in the summer. If this election was in March they would all be in Florida.

    Not so, actually (none / 0) (#91)
    by Towanda on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:01:14 PM EST
    as they may not have to leave the state, as others do to come where tourism is the number-one industry, but for that reason this is the season when there is so much to do.  So Wisconsinites leave home to head to ethnic festivals, the state fair now, and music festivals galore outdoors.  Or they go up north to their cottages.

    So there has been a big push in ads, canvassing, and more to get people to do absentee ballots -- and to educate them about Walker's very recent changes to those and more voter-suppression tactics that are confusing many Wisconsinites, as intended.


    I meant to add, though (none / 0) (#93)
    by Towanda on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:15:39 PM EST
    that a new factor in the last week, which is causing concern and counter-messages, is more widespread responses of anger at Democrats as the party in power about the economy and jobs.

    Although Wisconsin statewide is a bit lower than the national average in unemployment, the problem is that the very-much-higher jobless areas include many and I think even most of the recall districts with elections this week, of recalled Republicans -- such as the number-one target recall district in metro Milwaukee.

    That may not turn more voters to Republicans, but it may keep some home.  And there are many more homeless as well, and many more who have had to move owing to widespread foreclosures -- and the recent changes in voter laws tripled the number of days required for residency, plus those laws are just now in effect, and voters may not know.  That, of course, was Walker's intent with those laws just now in effect as well as others that are not in effect yet but got a lot of publicity, such as voter ID, which could keep people away.


    Putting Ugly Memories Aside, but ... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by RonK Seattle on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:06:28 PM EST
    ... can Obama win?

    Can he win a 2-way contest with the economy in the shitter, losing a war or two, health insurance costs rising, and large fractions of his base deeply alienated?

    Can an Obama-led ticket hold the Senate or make up ground in the House?

    Does he stand a chance in a 3- 4- or 5-way race, with challengers or protest candidates on one or both sides?

    Do we need a Plan B?

    I might (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by lentinel on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:12:13 PM EST
    remind you that in 2008 Obama won the presidency, and the democrats had control of both houses of congress.

    And where did that get us?


    I dunno (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:22:09 PM EST
    Watch the language. Filters.

    BTD, does that language issue (none / 0) (#49)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:31:20 PM EST
    include quoted text? I might have to ask you or J to send me back my diary, or open it and make asterisks in the quoted Slade text.

    I don't know exactly if quoted material counts in terms of profanity-- any profanity sets off filter problems? If so, could you go to my latest and make those asterisk replacements for some letters?

    apologies in advance if necessary for your troubles or J's troubles.


    There's just something so (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:15:47 PM EST
    victim-of-unrelenting-domestic-abuse about the diary that it really bothers me; relying on a better Congress (they came through so brilliantly so far, didn't they?) is like hoping the abuser's family will somehow come to the rescue.

    I would seriously like to see someone with a real interest in traditional Democratic policy get under Obama's very thin skin and force him to get off the Rodney King "can't we all just get along" shtick, but I'm sure the Obama campaign would paint that person as a foaming-at-the-mouth DFH who represents a greater threat to our world than WMDs...

    That being said, though, I think Obama needs someone standing up to him in a debate who can call him on the BS in front of the American people, because we know the media will be less than useless if they get to do the play-by-play - we will once again be asking each other if we watched or heard the same things the media did.

    But...wanting a primary challenger is no guarantee that the kind of challenger who would throw his or her hat in the ring is the kind of challenger I, at least, have in mind.

    There just has to be something better than, "okay, I give up - here's my vote," otherwise, the race to the bottom goes on, and nothing ever gets better.

    Rodney King (none / 0) (#51)
    by vicndabx on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:58:13 PM EST

    Would you have preferred that I attribute (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 08:51:02 PM EST
    "can't we all just get along?" to someone else?  Because the point of that part of my comment was about Obama's constant need for compromise, about consensus, which is pretty well encapsulated in that question.

    If you are attempting to read some sort of racism in my comment, just say so, but you might want to consider that racism just isn't to be found in the history of my comments.

    Way to focus on the important points, though - score!


    I would've preferred you not go there (none / 0) (#73)
    by vicndabx on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:40:16 AM EST
    at all. It was an jab that was unnecessary to make your point. Were I to say you went all Gloria Steinem during the healthcare debate over gov't funded abortion I'm sure you and other women would be equally offended.

    Why would women be (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by itscookin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:39:38 AM EST
    offended by being compared to Gloria Steinem over the health care debate?

    "A jab?" Sure, but not the one you want (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:59:55 AM EST
    it to be.  Because you see, there's a difference - a pretty big one - between saying I would like him to be primaried to "force him to get off the Rodney King "can't we all just get along" shtick," and "going all Rodney King," which is precisely why I said the former and not the latter.  

    The "jab" was at a president who has spent the last two+ years never being able to really lead on any issue as much as he seems to be pathologically compelled to find "common ground" and "compromise."

    Let me make this a little easier for you: if you used an example of a famous Gloria Steinem quote to describe how someone was handling the abortion aspect of the health care debate, and one had specific relevance to the other, no, I would not be offended.  But "going all Gloria Steinem" doesn't really fit within that frame.



    Whatever Anne (none / 0) (#82)
    by vicndabx on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 11:09:29 AM EST
    I understood perfectly what you were attempting to do, no need for the condescension.  I assure you I'm quite smart and realize you were trying to be cute w/the "can't we all just get along."  Still doesn't change the fact that I found the play on words you used to be offensive considering the context in which Rodney King made those remarks and yes the fact that object of your perjorative is black.

    I bet you wouldn't make that same comment in a room full of black people.


    Why would women be offended (none / 0) (#99)
    by sj on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 02:30:57 AM EST
    by a compliment?  

    I'm for (5.00 / 6) (#56)
    by lentinel on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 08:03:25 PM EST
    a primary challenge to Obama.

    I don't get BTD's reasoning for opposing one.

    Obama will not respond to the kind of begging he has been getting from the left. Things like, I can't believe you just sold us down the river - but don't get me wrong I support you and will vote for you - but gee whiz please be the person that I saw on the cover of GQ.  But I'll vote for you. Don't worry. But please...

    Of course he won't respond.

    While it is true that a challenger doesn't have much of a chance, one has only to remember that Eugene McCarthy came in a close second in New Hampshire and scared the daylights out of LBJ. Gone.

    Another reason for a challenge is the chance to have a point of view aired in public on the national airways. A serious and articulate challenger would make mincemeat of Obama's bromides and sophistry. A debate between Obama and a republican won't yield anything - because essentially they would agree on everything; The Bush tax cuts. Guantanamo. The wars. Terrorism. Travel ban to Cuba. Patriot Act.  Offshore drilling (about to be reactivated big time). Nuclear power. Support (ie: lack thereof) for the Union movement.
    The lot.

    A progressive, thoughtful and articulate challenger would offer a beacon of hope - if for no other reason than that person would be expressing a point of view that would otherwise go unsaid. By anyone.

    And lastly - Obama doesn't deserve another term. It would be gratifying to hear that from a democrat with a conscience and a memory.

    I agree with you (none / 0) (#59)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 08:51:51 PM EST
    that he doesn't deserve another term, but I believe the reasoning against a Primary challenge can best be summed up by the idea that "If you go after the King, you better kill him," (metaphorically speaking, of course) because, if you only wound him you've made a mortal enemy and he would have every incentive to punish you in whatever ways a President punishes errant subjects for the remainder of his term.  

    The truth is that no one's going to (5.00 / 5) (#60)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 09:20:41 PM EST
    have the money to be able to challenge him for any extended period of time, so if we're not able to field a viable challenger, what then?

    Well, if the lefty bloggers who were relentless in their pursuit and challenge of the Bush/Cheney/conservative cabal could take off their Obama-goggles long enough to examine the craptastic policy that's come out of this Democratic administration, and the cooperation that's been provided by the Democratic caucus, they might be able to apply some leftward pressure - or at least stop providing cover for Obama to foist conservative policy on us at will.

    Honestly, go read more Kevin Drum or Steve Benen or Booman, and marvel at the willful blindness; it's mind-boggling and sickening in its obsequiousness.

    Oof, I am really dreading the full-blown campaign season; it's going to be difficult to ignore the craziness inherent in the GOP, but I don't see the point in ignoring what's transpired under the Dems for the last 2+ years, either.  

    That one side is bad doesn't make the other side good, but that's the way it will be framed.


    Where (none / 0) (#86)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:10:11 PM EST
    I'm stuck is - what is a viable challenger?
    And why should we wait for one?

    Can't anybody say anything?
    Can't somebody say something?


    We've (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by lentinel on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 09:38:41 PM EST
    already been punished.
    It is relentless.

    What more could he do?

    And McCarthy did knock off LBJ...

    I would love to hear a democratic candidate challenge Obama on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

    I would love to hear a democratic candidate openly and forcefully oppose the patriot act.

    You get the idea. Only a democratic challenger could give the people a chance to express themselves on these issues.


    This is a bit of a myth (none / 0) (#80)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:28:49 AM EST
    that gets repeated often

    And McCarthy did knock off LBJ...

    but which is probably not true.  Johnson didn't quake in his boots because a backbench unknown senator won enough votes in a small northern state to finish a strong second to the incumbent.  And he knew the delegate-gathering process back then still greatly favored his chances for re-nom if he chose to announce his candidacy and do the necessary work.

    What changed LBJ's thinking was RFK's entry into the race 4 days after the NH primary.  Kennedy was the candidate he feared, not the narrow-appeal aloof senator from MN.  RFK knocked him out (and, imo, LBJ's withdrawal announcement was only a political ruse intended to be temporary, with a planned re-entry just before the convention after the 3 major Ds bloodied each other badly in the primaries).

    Today, only someone like HRC comes close to being an RFK political figure (though she's less liberal and is now officially associated with a disappointing admin), with Sen Bernie Sanders potentially in the McCarthy role (though he's a true liberal and more, unlike the quirky and quietly conservative McC; he also seems firmly intent on running for re-elect only whereas McC seemed eager to toss his hat in).  

    Party- and administration-loyalist Hillary though won't run, period -- barring a further massive economic meltdown, followed by a public call from the CBC, John Lewis, the Rev Al Sharpton, and even Oprah Winfrey for the badly failing Obama to step aside in favor of her.  This scenario is highly unlikely however.

    Hillary and Sanders won't run.  No major black pol or public figure respected in that community has voiced interest in challenging him.  Without that approach to going after Obama, the risk is just too high for a badly split party to result, with AAs staying home in droves in November if they feel (as they inevitably would) that the first black president in history has been unfairly discriminated against by the white establishment of his own party.

    Looks like we're stuck with this guy, and can only hope to motivate him to change course in other ways.


    Saying (none / 0) (#85)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:07:45 PM EST
    that we're stuck with this guy may be true...

    But it also might be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    And no one will try to do anything.


    What changed LBJ's thinking was RFK's entry into the race 4 days after the NH primary.

    What I felt was that McCarthy's showing in New Hampshire is what pushed RFK into the race. He was holding back, imo, but when he saw the turnout for the anti-war candidate, he saw his opportunity and took it.

    So, in that sense, McCarthy was important in changing the political landscape.

    But I would even settle for Nader at this point in time.

    Because we're being dumped upon and taken advantage of and nobody is saying a thing.


    Okay, McCarthy as the (none / 0) (#87)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:41:13 PM EST
    indirect cause of Johnson's withdrawal, yes.  RFK of course was stuck in a no-win situation in the fall of '67 when Al Lowenstein ("Dump Johnson" movement) approached him for the last time about running.  He couldn't, he felt, be the first to do it since it would be seen as a selfish, personal move by Bobby against Lyndon -- their longtime feuding not exactly being a state secret -- and therefore he would be blamed for any bad party splitting, and loss in November, that resulted from his candidacy.  

    So McC's entry and successful showing in NH were the necessary predicates for Bobby's entry, and he felt they partially at least would inoculate him from some of the initial roadblocks.  Of course what he got in return were the charges by the McC forces of being a ruthless opportunist and cowardly spoiler of Gene's chances.

    As for Nader, I wouldn't rule him out, once again, for another run as 3d party spoiler himself, once he sees (as seems likely) that his call for a Dem challenger to Obama goes unmet.

    I can also see in a certain scenario that the GOP side will be split -- say if Gov Perry gets in and is perceived as too far to the Right -- and creates an opening on his left for a self-funded, moderate-small-c conservative type.  

    So, 4 candidates -- like 1948.

    Or 1864 -- the more apt parallel in the Obama vs Perry scenario.


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:47:34 PM EST
    about McCarthy's effect on RFK's entrance into the race.

    And I don't blame the McCarthy folks for feeling that RFK was a ruthless opportunist. But I don't think McCarthy had much of a chance because he was absolutely dreadful on the stump. But I credit McCarthy for doing something. RFK wasn't willing to take the risk.

    Which brings me back to my original thought.

    Saying that we're stuck with Obama may turn out to be correct, but it is also a self-fulfilling prophecy if we don't even try to put alternative points of view before the country. And we need a candidate to be a spokesperson for those points of view.


    I'm all for a candidate going (none / 0) (#96)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:00:26 PM EST
    out there to push forward a more robust liberal pov, but no one seems likely to do so unless O gets crazy and pulls an LBJ or Shrub and decides to fully engage militarily in some far-off heck-hole of a meaningless, irrelevant country -- then we've probably got a viable challenger about to enter.

    But short of that?  I mean, which major Dem pol or liberal public figure wants to be the one to possibly be accused of damaging the first AA president in history such that he's softened up for the taking by the GOP come November?

    Think Bernie Sanders (or some similar major Dem liberal) would want to run that risk?  Even if he just says he's not out so much to win but rather to present the liberal pov?  Not a chance.

    (btw, to wrap on McC and 1968:  Yes, he stepped up, and was far freer than RFK to do so, but forgive me for suspecting -- though I can't prove it of course -- that Gene was acting out of personal pique against Johnson [over the way LBJ had strung him along mischievously for quite a while on his VP pick in 1964] as much as and perhaps more than for any strong feelings about VN.  Certainly McC's post-RFK assassination curious behavior -- basically a disappearing act, and he really despised Bobby -- calls into question how much he was out there primarily to try to change a tragic war policy.  Not sure what to make of that display, including his passive behavior at Chicago wrt rounding up delegates, except to view him all the more skeptically.  Good discussion here, thx.)


    To me, (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:39:28 PM EST
    the race of the incumbent is entirely irrelevant - and should be to anyone with a conscience who would enter the race on the side of civil liberties and peace.

    You say that nobody is likely to challenge Obama unless he were to engage

    militarily in some far-off heck-hole of a meaningless, irrelevant country --

    Hasn't Obama already done so?

    I guess your caveat would be "fully" engage - as opposed to the 5 to 6 billion dollars we spend each week and the utter waste of human life that continues on a daily basis. In my opinion, Iraq and Afghanistan constitute futile and senseless wars in two hell-holes. So that criterion is met - again imo.

    The people of the US voted in 2006 to end the war in Iraq. Everyone agreed that the issue was Iraq, Iraq and Iraq. We got a democratic house and senate - and Pelosi and Reid soon sold us out and succumbed to a "surge" instead of a withdrawal. Then Obama seemed to some (not to me) to be a beacon of hope. Someone who realized the stupidity of the war in Iraq. As I say, I knew that he was anything but that. He campaigned for and praised Lieberman for heavens sake. He, as did H. Clinton, put his ambition and sucking up to the democratic establishment ahead of his concern for the lives of our soldiers in those hellholes.

    In any case - we are engaged in three wars at a horrific cost in terms of money and human life. It addition these wars have served as a rationale for the evisceration of the constitution and our civil liberties.  And it has cost us the loss of our moral standing in the entire world. This is a scourge which should be addressed by a sane democrat.

    I think our lives are at stake and it is not a time to be passive or defeatist. It is sure as hell not a time to be racist and back away from confronting Obama on his wretched Bush-inspired policies.


    The 1968 Democratic primary (none / 0) (#89)
    by christinep on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:09:27 PM EST
    Good analysis about the timing of RFK's entry. And, observant comment about what essentially was McC's whiny vapidity.

    Note: I say this as a person who was charged by McC's org in Indiana with organizing the University in Bloomington for McC...but, as one who gravitated to the compelling reason's for RFK's candidacy when he announced in Indianapolis that spring. 'Cut a first year law school class to go the Naptown & spend the day sitting on the steps waiting for the arrival/announcement. I'm still idealistic about what might have been--pragmatic tho I seem to be these days--and am proud to have cast my first vote for RFK that May.

    Fascinated by your comment above that LBJ entertained the idea possibly of reentering the race in the summer. If so, why didn't he reenter (with some "I'm here to save everyone" argument) after RFK was slain?

    Curious also about your take on Rick Perry, esp as to who his big $$$ supporters et al might be???


    Interesting christine (none / 0) (#90)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 03:55:38 PM EST
    your McC background in college, which I hadn't seen you post about before, and your switch to RFK.  You should reminisce about those days more often here.  I was still in jr high (as it was called back then) but remember much of that politically charged year quite vividly apart from what I've read about it after the fact.  And was lucky enough to see Bobby himself up close at a campaign event in late May in CA (only wish I could have brought with me the sort of small cameras that are so available today -- just had a big, clunky Polaroid that I decided not to take).

    Re LBJ, his getting out with the intent of getting in later was brought up in Schlesinger's bio on RFK (MLK actually believed it was all a political ruse) and, iirc, Dallek's bio of Lyndon (info there about Johnson allies at the convention telling him he wouldn't have enough delegate support).  

    I don't think Johnson would have wanted to announce a re-entry so soon after Bobby's death -- it would have looked like a heartlessly cruel and brutally opportunistic move on his part (given their bitter personal history) not to mention how it might well have stirred up ugly rumors about what role Lyndon himself might have played in RFK's demise (repeating and also reviving the Dallas rumors too).  Timing is everything in politics, and LBJ would have known to wait until the last possible moment -- just before the convention or as it opened -- to announce his dramatic re-entry had that been a viable option.

    Re Gov Perry and his funding, I'd imagine they'd come from the usual TX sources like the oil & gas industry, various big corps including insurance, and fundy Xtian sources.  Someone to watch -- he could beat Romney.  But I like his chances for the nom better than in the general -- he'd be a tad too extremist for most tossup voters.


    Johnson's approval ratings were 38% in'68 (none / 0) (#98)
    by Madeline on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:07:33 PM EST
    It was the Tet offensive that pushed him over the edge.  

    I remember watching his announcement at college.  He was a man defeated.


    the saddest part of Tet 68? (none / 0) (#101)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 07:22:05 PM EST
    The US soundly defeated the Vietcong and the NVA. Pushed them back to the DMZ, the Laos-Cambodia border, and into the shrinking strongholds in the Iron Triangle.

    But it made for bad press, and Walter Cronkite's special commentary, not noted as such, injected the word 'stalemate' into what had been a tremendous tactical and strategic mistake, one of the few, by NVA General Giap.

    Neither the NVA nor the VC could mount major offensive operations, only small raids, until 1971. That's how chewed up they were.


    Woke up and couldn't go back to sleep (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:07:51 AM EST
    So watched Bill Maher, and his skit about the Donner Party is very fun.

    What a great couple (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 03:42:47 PM EST
    that you can negotiate touchy feelings and beliefs form a real life functional working relationship.  I respect you a lot, and I respect you a lot, and usually I tend to respect you a lot....and that other guy......I'm sort of at Phuck him.  I have been here before with people though, and they have been inspired to care....and others have not and paid that price.  That's a bad price to pay.

    Rub it in, rub it in... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 03:57:01 PM EST
    Damn antibiotics, no booze allowed...:(

    Think I'll be up for some Planet of The Apes action tonight though...previews look sick! Love the concept, and of course the Charlton Heston original...the Mark Wahlberg one never happened.

    No booze is a less than ideal (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by caseyOR on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:08:13 PM EST
    requirement when taking antibiotics. Still, it is a small price to pay if the drugs mean your leg does not fall off. You know it will be very hard for you to run on our power-generating treadmill if you are sporting a peg leg. :-)

    I am happy to hear that you are properly medicated and nursing your leg. No heading out for a mad crazy afternoon of killer base/soft ball for you, kdog. Drink iced tea and watch movies.

    On a more serious note, does it seem to you, medically untrained though you are, that the meds are working? Is the leg looking better at all? And, any news on the lab tests, like is it staph or a spider bite or what?


    I won't talk about how (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:10:15 PM EST
    I "feel" right now then.  I had to do something to make it "a better day".

    My husband says that he won't (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:13:03 PM EST
    go with Josh and I to Planet of the Apes though, it makes him hyperventilate because it could really happen and apes are like 10 times physically stronger than we are :)

    That's the part that I left out two days ago about "the career military". I'm cracking myself up.


    Remind him of SGM Dan Daley's (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:16:14 PM EST
    statement during the battle of Belleau Wood, 1918:

    "C'mon you apes! Do you want to live forever?"

    He was awarded his second Medal of Honor after Belleau Wood.


    Oh Jeff (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:26:30 PM EST
    More research?

    I'm supposed to be finding some "uprising" in our American past where soldiers were denied their pensions.  Someone said it was the "Whiskey Rebellion" and that person....that person just watches too much Fox News and doesn't live here in this house and needs to go to a reeducation camp :)


    MT, don't know if this is what (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by caseyOR on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:55:38 PM EST
    you are looking for, but when I read your comment about soldiers denied their pensions, I immediately thought of the Bonus Army.

    The Bonus Army was a march, and encampment, of WW I veterans who descended on Washington, DC in 1924. They were there to demand that they be paid the bonuses that Congress had promised to them.

    Although peaceful and feel-organize, the Bonus Army was an embarrassment to the government. Douglas MacArthur was dispatched to roust the army out of their camps. In what was not his finest hour, MacArthur charged the ragtag Bonus Army members with live ammo and sabers flashing. As you might imagine, the result was deadly and horrifying.


    Yep (none / 0) (#68)
    by Jackson Hunter on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 11:59:16 PM EST
    Old 'Dugout Doug' was also flanked by Eisenhower and Patton, although to be fair I think they were less thrilled about it. But not Douggie boy, oh Hell no, he put on his finest uniform and sicced the tanks on his own veteran bretheren with a real zest and bravado. He then sacked and burned the town they had built. In doing so, Mac exceeded his authority from the President, who didn't want all that done.

    The only positive thing to happen out of that whole nightmare was that it helped to create the GI Bill after WWII, as no one wanted to repeat the whole 'Bonus Army' fight.



    I think this is what (none / 0) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:49:26 AM EST
    he was probably talking about, thank you...

    HEck, just use (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 05:05:24 PM EST
    the Continental Army, 1781, in Philadelphia, veterans were run out of town. Under the Articles of Confederation, I'm not sure who was really the head of the government.

    Then there's the Bonus March in 1932, when Wright Patman, congressman from Ohio, introduced legislation to move forward the payment. The Senate voted 62-18 against the bill.

    Hoover ordered Douglas MacArthur, Chief of Staff, to remove the veterans from Washington DC after policemen killed two veterans. MacArthur exceeded his orders, entered Maryland, and destroyed the Bonus Army's camps. One or two deaths-- a perinatal infant and miscarriage by a veteran's wife. plenty of injuries.

    Also involved: George S. Patton, Jr. and Dwight Eisenhower.

    Interesting quotes from Ike about MacArthur's involvement: "I told that dumb son-of-a-bitch not to go down there," he said later. "I told him it was no place for the Chief of Staff."

    Funny, the two never got along well after that incident.

    In 1936, congress paid some $2 billion to WWi veterans, overriding Roosevelt's veto... the bonuses payment due date was 1944, with the max bonus about $625.

    So under the articles of confederation, then under Hoover, the government didn't pay, Roosevelt tried to delay, but got overridden.


    Interesting how McArthur (none / 0) (#88)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:50:53 PM EST
    could be so brutal, unreasonable and reckless when he was in military command at times (Bonus March, Korea), yet so darn reasonable, sober and smart at times when he wasn't in command of a battlefield situation (political leadership of Japan including writing of their constitution based on ours, advising JFK about staying out militarily from SEAsia).  

    In fact, just in the important area of advising presidents, I'd say he easily was smarter on the merits than the supposedly more sober Ike was when he advised his two successors on matters of war and nat'l security.


    Also the first March on Washington (none / 0) (#94)
    by Towanda on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:27:34 PM EST
    was by "Coxey's Army," some of them Civil War veterans who had been denied bonuses and/or not getting promised payments in the terrible Depression of the 1890s.

    That march through Chicago toward the East was witnessed by a Chicago reporter who was inspired to write a marvelous allegory on the economy  about a quest from the Midwest, on a long road to a country's capital, where characters representing a farmer, an industrial worker, etc., found that their leader was only a facile speaker but lacked substance. . . .

    The reporter, of course, was Frank Baum, who penned The Wizard of Oz.


    We turn into apes (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:17:11 PM EST
    Because of rogue Alzheimer's medicine....



    I won't tell if you cheat... (none / 0) (#24)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:35:15 PM EST
    but while taking that mess I was taking, I didn't even feel like drinking, even a beer.

    That's when my mother decided I was gravely ill.


    No reason to (none / 0) (#5)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:07:31 PM EST
    waste money on a primary challenger.  What we need to hope is that the Republican challenger isn't too bad because he is going to win....

    HAH! (none / 0) (#10)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:11:46 PM EST
    Makes my day, since I'm a scientist... that means I don't actually DO anything, I just pontificate about it, trying to determine the extent of 'doing' in reality, or whether 'doing' is just reified 'not-doing.' (observing from my lofty Ivory Tower, of course).

    ARGH! Reply to CST (none / 0) (#12)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:13:24 PM EST
    I thought. I hate it when that happens.

    heh (none / 0) (#18)
    by CST on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:29:20 PM EST
    and I thought, this explains my stubborn side.

    I'm not here to figure out why it's cold outside, I just want to light a fire cuz it looks cool and will heat the house.


    Wow you even got me to go that site (none / 0) (#14)
    by BTAL on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:16:40 PM EST
    So, the take away is you are assuming the BOHICA position.  Or is the Monty Python - Whack "Yes, please sir can I have another!"  

    Now, if the plan is to create a narrative, say like the "Obama Tax Cuts" one...

    If you need to shower (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:30:09 PM EST
    We'll wait.  Happy Hour isn't over for a couple of hours.  If you want hot chicks to talk to you though, you may need to soak your head :)

    I used protection ;-) (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by BTAL on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:35:11 PM EST
    As for the chicks, Mrs. BTAL would ensure I needed some sort of compress for my head.

    Cavalry Song/ Old Irish Drinking song time" (none / 0) (#39)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 05:57:08 PM EST
    "Garry Owen."

    Let Bacchus' sons be not dismayed
    But join with me, each jovial blade
    Come, drink and sing and lend your aid
    To help me with the chorus:

    Instead of spa, we'll drink brown ale
    And pay the reckoning on the nail;
    No man for debt shall go to jail
    From Garryowen in glory.

    We'll beat the bailiffs out of fun,
    We'll make the mayor and sheriffs run
    We are the boys no man dares dun
    If he regards a whole skin.

    Instead of spa, we'll drink brown ale
    And pay the reckoning on the nail;
    No man for debt shall go to jail
    From Garryowen in glory.

    Our hearts so stout have got no fame
    For soon 'tis known from whence we came
    Where'er we go they fear the name
    Of Garryowen in glory.

    Instead of spa, we'll drink brown ale
    And pay the reckoning on the nail;
    No man for debt shall go to jail
    From Garryowen in glory.

    Was not that (none / 0) (#65)
    by the capstan on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:10:34 PM EST
    Custer's favorite march?

    Yep, and now it's (none / 0) (#72)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:30:40 AM EST
    the 7th Cavalry Regiment march. Don't blame the song on Georgie Custer's poor leadership, please...

    A few more (none / 0) (#45)
    by lentinel on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:21:50 PM EST
    recent examples of Newspeak.

    Wall Street has a few delicate ways of describing disastrous tumble of the market following the latest "deal".

    According to UBS, this represents "de-risking" which has "accelerated".

    Accelerated de-risking.
    Now why didn't I think of that?

    And here I was thinking that people were running for their lives.

    1984's Newspeak (none / 0) (#48)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:23:28 PM EST
    yet again... wow.

    This song needs to be shared: (none / 0) (#46)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 06:22:05 PM EST
    Traffic. "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys"

    I think I'd better go to the store to stock up earlier instead of later ;-)

    Uhhhm (none / 0) (#53)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 07:38:52 PM EST
    I hate when bloggers throw me a left turn and destroy my preconceived notions.

    Where hate means like a lot.

    Didn't see that coming. Obviously agree but I didn't see that coming at all.

    Makes me rethink other assumptions.

    You rethinking ALOT of your assumptions (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by sj on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 09:35:10 PM EST
    would be beneficial, but I won't be holding my breath.

    Stick and stones sj (none / 0) (#67)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 11:36:33 PM EST
    But throw them if it makes you feel better.  Holler at me when you bring it up a notch.

    Until then, hurl whatever makes you feel better about yourself.  If taking meaningless shots does it for you, I am your huckleberry. It's below me to respond in kind.


    That's neither a stick nor a stone (none / 0) (#70)
    by sj on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:31:48 AM EST
    I didn't call you a single name.  I just made an observation.  Another observation is that name-calling is neither "below" you nor beneath you.  Although, it's usually done broad brush style.  



    It just gets better & better (none / 0) (#54)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 07:40:52 PM EST
    S & P just downgraded USA to AA+

    After their disastrous and , to my mind, (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by caseyOR on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 07:48:49 PM EST
    criminal behavior in regards to their rating of mortgage backed securities, I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone pays the least bit of attention to the ratings agencies anymore.

    All the threats of a downgrade, and now the downgrade, strike me as a bit too convenient. A payment, perhaps, to their equally criminal Wall Street masters. The deficit hawks and the budget cutting maniacs must be ecstatic over this development.


    this prez election (none / 0) (#100)
    by kmblue on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 01:48:57 PM EST
    the choice will be similar to "you have to die, want to burn to death or freeze to death?"

    Obama is Mister Freeze.