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Tilting at Windmills

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February 13, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

OBAMA MINDREADING....This is spooky. I was planning to write almost this exact post, but hadn't gotten around to it yet. So today's Obama commentary is outsourced to Ezra Klein.

Like Ezra, I too think Obama has huge potential to move the country in a more liberal direction. So far, though, he hasn't been willing to take the risk of actually trying to do it. I'd really, really like to see him start.

Kevin Drum 3:38 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (135)

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Comments

Jeez, let him get elected first, will ya?

Posted by: Traven on February 13, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'm really at a loss to understand this Drum/Krugman suicidal need to be explicit regarding liberal ideas prior to the election.

If there's one thing we know, the American electorate has ADD and can only assimilate anything in minute amounts.

If FDR had spoken in specifics about everything he wanted to do with the New Deal, the Republicans would have frightened everyone and had them heading for the hills.

The country has been so schooled in hearing "liberal" as a pejorative, there's no way Obama is going to sell them on liberal philosophy in the next seven months.

What he CAN do is get elected, the tough part as John Kerry can attest to, and then show the American people the value of liberalism by making government functional and competent once again.

This need to wear your liberal heart on your sleeve is so self-destructive as to beg reasoning.

Results validate ideology. Period.

Posted by: filmex on February 13, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you are being a bit inconsistent here.

When Edwards dropped out of the race, you credited him with pushing the agenda of all candidates leftward. Presumably, therefore, if Obama actually implemented the policies he has proposed, the accomplishment would constitute a great step forward for liberal causes.

Yet now you're complaining that he hasn't move leftward enough. I think you're applying a double standard.

What will define Obama's presidency is not whether he moves to the left during the campaign, but whether he actually succeeds in implementing the policies he already has proposed. His proposals already are progressive enough that their passage is not clear of doubt. If you don't agree with that, then I think you're living in fantasy land.

Posted by: The Dude on February 13, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton actually moved the country left --but it took him 8 years to do it. It's a slow process and it doesn't happen during an election.

Remember that FDR and LBJ magnitude changes come from popular support to enact them, but it takes time to build that support and skill to get it from where it is today to where it will enact major policy changes that persist for a century or more.

So, to re-iterate the previous comment:

Sheesh, let him get elected first!

Posted by: david in norcal on February 13, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

How dare you attempt to participate in the politics of yesterday. Obama has moved beyond the specifics of the dire Clinton Empire. Obama is soaring to a place called Hope; he will build a bridge to the future. Won't you, too, catch a ride upon his wings of waxy rhetoric?

Posted by: Tuna on February 13, 2008 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Baloney Kevin. Haven't you read or heard his Wisconsin speach? And who showed up to vote against immunity for the telecoms?

Posted by: wonkie on February 13, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry. I meant 'speech".

Posted by: wonkie on February 13, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

I sense that a lot of Democrats smell blood in the water on the GOP side and that now is apparently the perfect time to pass every progressive piece of legislation and essentially ram it down the throats of the other half of this country that tends not to vote for Democrats.

All because George W. Bush is a dipshit.

George W. Bush's dipshitiness isn't enough. There are a lot of people against universal healthcare and a lot of people who think we need to stay in Iraq. It would be a colossal mistake of highest magnitude to do exactly what Bush did which is try to take a Republican majority and force Democrats to accept whatever it was they wanted to put out there. We do not want to make the same mistakes.

I appreciate the fact that Obama is taking a more cautious approach. It shows EXPERIENCE, way beyond what his records and years may indicate.

Ezra Klein and Kevin are just plain wrong from my standpoint. It's an admirable notion, but taking that tact would likely doom us to 4 more years of a Republican Presidency.

Posted by: Quinn on February 13, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

To those of you who are telling us to wait until he gets elected, that's the point. We're just taking it on faith that he's going to use his extraordinary gifts to make these moves, but we don't have much to go on. His record in the Senate is not exactly a brave, progressive platform. There's plenty of caution and timidity and even some selling out to the energy industry and the health care industry.

Ezra's invocation of Bill Clinton seems exactly right. He promised big changes in 1992, and he no sooner got into office than he began moderating. (Only Nixon could go to China; only Clinton could completely dismantle the Great Society.) Clinton didn't move the country to the left; he just kept us from moving any further to the right.

And I imagine exactly the same will happen with Obama. It'll be okay -- obviously way better than the nightmare we currently live in -- but lots of folks are going to wind up being disappointed. I'm sure the same is true of Hillary, but Hillary doesn't really cast herself as the head of a "movement" that's going to recast Washington in a new way of approaching politics.

Posted by: Anna on February 13, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

**

Posted by: mhr on February 13, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Traven says "Jeez, let him get elected first, will ya?"

That is the problem I have with Obama supporters on the net. They seem to imply that Obama is winking at us to say "I'm with you. Vote for me." I haven't seen that wink.

Posted by: DR on February 13, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

I too think Obama has huge potential to move the country in a more liberal direction. ... I'd really, really like to see him start.

—Kevin Drum

Oh yeah, just in time to seem him lose the election, right?

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 13, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Jeez, let him get elected first, will ya?"

I kind of agree with that. I think Obama is smart enough to know that he can't keep talking about change-change-change-change and, if elected, not really deliver on anything substantive as if his mere presence in the White House would be sufficient change.

Obama, right or wrong, has made a calculation that he needs to talk on a high level about change but not box himself in too much when it comes to specifics, or to not go as far as he could. I don't know if his success is partly because or in spite of this approach, but today is the first day I feel he will actually win the nomination.

Let's get there first.

Posted by: David68 on February 13, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

What Kevin has dismissively called “kumbaya” politics is, in fact, a hard-headed strategy of isolating the haters and rendering them impotent. Imagine when Limbaugh tries out “Barack the Magic Negro” again. How much are you seeing of Coulter lately?

Posted by: urban legend on February 13, 2008 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you're beginning to sound like a "concern troll".

Posted by: Justin on February 13, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Drum should probably save this post for the 2012 election.

Posted by: Brojo on February 13, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

urban legend,
Yeah, that explains why Rush Limbaugh has practically endorsed Obama over Hillary.

Posted by: DR on February 13, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

The past is no indication of the future, but in the past two years, just what has he done?

I mean, I know he didn't have much of a platform, just one of the 100 most important people in the country and able to get a press conference at any moment he wished.

And what has his track record been?

Note, I hold Clinton to the same abysmal record. Both of these people are playing us for suckers.

THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING. Anticipate NOTHING from them. DEMAND WHAT YOU WANT and hold their feet to the fire.

I expect Obama to do precisely what he has done in the past two years, which apparently is a) nothing and b) suck up to the R's in the name of bipartisanship.

And speaking of fire, Kevin, have you registered FIREHARRYREID2008.COM yet?

Posted by: jerry on February 13, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

urban legend,

What Kevin has dismissively called “kumbaya” politics is, in fact, a hard-headed strategy of isolating the haters and rendering them impotent. Imagine when Limbaugh tries out “Barack the Magic Negro” again. How much are you seeing of Coulter lately?

Personally I only see Limbaugh and Coulter when they are lampooned on the Daily Show. I'm still a little skeptical that they have been defanged. They might simply be saving up spit.

Posted by: Tripp on February 13, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Justin points out that calling people "concern troll" is completely asinine and is the mark of people with nothing to say, but who need to shut someone else down.

Good on ya Justin!

Posted by: jerry on February 13, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

On one hand there is no difference between Clinton and Obama on policy, on the other hand he isn't going in a liberal direction ..........

Listen. To. Self. More. Often.

Posted by: razor on February 13, 2008 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton actually moved the country left --but it took him 8 years to do it. It's a slow process and it doesn't happen during an election.

You could argue that he didn't actually move the country left at all, but simply prevented it from slipping further rightward. Reagan had so decisively moved the center of the country rightward that Clinton can be viewed as left-ish only relative to that. Yes, he raised tax rates, and yes he saw the appointment of two reliably liberal Supreme Court justices, but consider:

-- The Violent Crime Control & Law Enforcement Act, which saw the expansion of the death penalty;
-- the innocently named Communications Decency Act, which curtailed free speech on the Internet;
-- welfare reform;
-- Don't Ask, Don't Tell;
-- DOMA.

There's lots to like about the former President & his work, but I don't think it's fair to say that he moved the country left in any meaningful way.

Posted by: junebug on February 13, 2008 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Let's go through the litany again. Lincoln, FDR, JFK, and Reagan were all were pilloried at times by their own party for not being specific enough, not being visionary enough, and not throwing enough red meat to the edges of their voting blocks. FDR didn't even use the words "New Deal" until his convention!

It's not just "nudge-nudge, wink wink" but the way people with real agendas are elected in American politics. The only exception might be Theodore Roosevelt.

Posted by: geml on February 13, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

For all of you snarky attack artists on Kevin Drumm, you do realize he endorsed and voted for Obama dont you? No one likes sore winners.

for those of you ranting about the FISA vote, you dont know how the senate works. The bill passed in a landslide and everyone knew it would happen. Voting yesterday against it was an exercise in futility. The next chance to REALLY do something to stop it will be when it comes out of the House Reconciliation committee. If it still has immunity expect a filibuster from Dodd again. Wait and see what she does then. That will be the time it matters. You know, Obama missed tons of votes in the senate too and his reason was always, this particular vote is not important given the senate's procedures. I gave him a pass on that because he is right. His supporters need to learn how the senate works too.

Posted by: Jammer on February 13, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Try after the election.

I'm hoping that his health care proposal ends up being better than it is now. I prefer HRC over him for that reason.

Posted by: Horatio Parker on February 13, 2008 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

I think filmex and Quinn are both on target here.

I too think Obama has huge potential to move the country in a more liberal direction. So far, though, he hasn't been willing to take the risk of trying to do this. I'd really, really like to see him start.

Can you be more specific? In what specific ways would you like to see Obama be more liberal? Then for each of those answers ask whether or not advancing those new positions in a primary or general election would help or hurt his chances to get elected. And while we would all love more detail from both candidates, how much can you reasonably except from any candidate this early in a campaign? How big of a difference in terms of details exists between Clinton and Obama? Normally I expect candidates to slowly spoon-feed not only their full platform but also the details of their plans slowly over the course of a full general election. Is Obama behaving much differently than any of the other primary candidates?

To me, this sounds like just a version of Hillary's continuing theme of criticizing Obama for vague things (all form, no substance; gives speeches, but avoids answering questions, etc.)

We should be wary of vague criticisms like these, especially when they turn on terms like "liberal" that mean different things to different people.

Take a closer work as his community work around Chicago - for many of us, that's far more indicative (and by a wide margin) of true liberal values than anything we're hearing from the Clinton camp.

Posted by: Augustus on February 13, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

junebug - say, do you hear some sort of giant sucking sound?

Posted by: kenga on February 13, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Re the person who said Lincoln was also criticized for not throwing red meat to his base, I would point out that Lincoln did not campaign to be president. In those days, after you were nominated you didnt campaign, you stayed home and your surrogates campaigned. FDR was mighty specific about what he planned to do as president. JFK passed no significant legislation unfortunately, and made few specific promises in his campaign, so that is a wash. Reagan? There is an interesting story. He was always giving slabs of red meat to his people in his speeches, but in practice he really did not walk the walk all that much. Talked a lot about abortion in the campaign, then did nothing about it. Made specific proposals in his campaign, and then really didnt pursue many of them.

I think the point Kevin is making, and its a good one, is that Obama needs to give at least some specifics and not just give grand theme speeches. I note today he has released a $210 billion employment bill. Thats a good start. Ironically, it contains a $60 billion infrastructure component to it. I say ironically, because the last Democrat to make that really good proposal was.......................Bill Clinton. It was part of his initial legislative strategy and it was derailed by the Repubs and, you guessed it, the Dems in Congress. I am sure it was all his fault though, or that of his wife. How the world turns.

Posted by: Jammer on February 13, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Including Reagan in that list of people who were un-specific prior to election is pure poppycock. Reagan was completely specific, and scary to many, about a right-wing agenda (more than he actually implemented, fortunately). His reputation as a crazy right-winger probably kept him from taking a poll lead over the utterly discredited Carter until a week or so before the election.

However, the point is, when he was elected (especially along with so many new Congressmen), it was very difficult to stop the initial wave of his legislation because all he had to do was say The people knew what I stood for and voted for it.

For many of us, this election is the mirror image: this time a GOP president has been completely discredited, and their party will, in the end, lose no matter who the Democrats run against him, the way Reagan finally did in 1980, whatever his drawbacks as candidate. What we feel is, Obama doesn't have to run in wimp-drag: if he has these progressive principles, he can forthrightly proclaim them (majorities of the electorate are even in sympathy with them, for Christ's sake), and thus have a mandate to enact them right upon inauguration.

Instead, we're left with hoping he does this after election...which seems a gamble, and pretty weak tea in a year when the wind is at our backs as not in a generation.

And I say this as someone who voted for Obama, once Edwards was out of the equation.

Posted by: demtom on February 13, 2008 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

FWIW, I am guilty of this myself, but it is pretty laughable for us to be arguing about what Hillary and Obama have done. They are senators. By definition, a senator doesn't do much more than write, debate, and vote. Senators do not implement policy, they propose it - or, in the case of the AUMF, sign off on presidential policy. We had a pretty decent candidate with extensive executive experience but we decided we did not want him. I think trying to figure out what a senator would do as president is only marginally more useful than disembowling a squirrel and reading its entrails. Which is why we rarely elect senators running for president, and thank God that Jeb Bush couldn't realistically run this time.

Posted by: Blue Moon on February 13, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

I am not at all worried about President Obama's liberal instincts or commitment to progressive policies. What I worry about is his willingness to work with the fire-breathing dragons on the right, afraid he will end up fried to a crisp.

But I'm betting that is not going to happen. From all I can see, he is a shrewd operator.

Posted by: PTate in MN on February 13, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

What will Obama do if (when) elected? Start with his web site:
• Ensure Freedom to Unionize: Obama believes that workers should have the freedom to choose whether to join a union without harassment or intimidation from their employers. Obama cosponsored and is strong advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act . . . .
• Fight Attacks on Workers' Right to Organize: Obama has fought the Bush National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) efforts to strip workers of their right to organize. He is a cosponsor of legislation to overturn the NLRB's "Kentucky River" decisions classifying hundreds of thousands of nurses, construction, and professional workers as "supervisors" who are not protected by federal labor laws.
• Protect Striking Workers: Obama . . . . will work to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers . . . . [HUGE, ALMOST RADICAL IN MANY EYES, WILL NEED TO BUILD UP A LOT OF WIND AT HIS BACK FOR THIS ONE]
• Raise the Minimum Wage: Barack Obama will raise the minimum wage, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit . . . .
• Ensure More Accountability in the Subprime Mortgage Industry: Obama has been closely monitoring the subprime mortgage situation for years, and introduced comprehensive legislation over a year ago to fight mortgage fraud and protect consumers against abusive lending practices. . . .
• Mandate Accurate Loan Disclosure: Obama will create a Homeowner Obligation Made Explicit (HOME) score, which will provide potential borrowers with a simplified, standardized borrower metric (similar to APR) for home mortgages. The HOME score will allow individuals to easily compare various mortgage products and understand the full cost of the loan.
• Create Fund to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosures: Obama will create a fund to help people refinance their mortgages . . . .
• Close Bankruptcy Loophole for Mortgage Companies: Obama will work to eliminate the provision that prevents bankruptcy courts from modifying an individual's mortgage payments. Obama believes that the subprime mortgage industry . . . should not be shielded by outdated federal law.
• Create a Credit Card Rating System to Improve Disclosure: Obama will create a credit card rating system, modeled on five-star systems used for other consumer products, to provide consumers an easily identifiable ranking of credit cards, based on the card's features. Credit card companies will be required to display the rating . . . .
• Establish a Credit Card Bill of Rights to Protect Consumers: Obama will create a Credit Card Bill of Rights to protect consumers. The Obama plan will:
• Ban Unilateral Changes
• Apply Interest Rate Increases Only to Future Debt
• Prohibit Interest on Fees
• Prohibit "Universal Defaults"
• Require Prompt and Fair Crediting of Cardholder Payments
• Reform Bankruptcy Laws to Protect Families Facing a Medical Crisis: Obama will create an exemption in bankruptcy law for individuals who can prove they filed for bankruptcy because of medical expenses. This exemption will create a process that forgives the debt and lets the individuals get back on their feet.
• Expand the Family and Medical Leave Act: The FMLA covers only certain employees of employers with 50 or more employees. Obama will expand it to cover businesses with 25 or more employees. He will expand the FMLA to cover more purposes as well, including allowing workers to take leave for elder care needs; allowing parents up to 24 hours of leave each year to participate in their children's academic activities; and expanding FMLA to cover leave for employees to address domestic violence. . . .
• Expand High-Quality Afterschool Opportunities: Obama will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs . . . .
• Expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit: The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit provides too little relief to families that struggle to afford child care expenses. Obama will reform the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit by making it refundable and allowing low-income families to receive up to a 50 percent credit for their child care expenses.
• Protect Against Caregiver Discrimination: Workers with family obligations often are discriminated against in the workplace. Obama will enforce the recently-enacted Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines on caregiver discrimination.

Which direction are these headed in? I wonder how many Americans would say it’s “the wrong direction.” Like the ones on credit card practices? Maybe what, 0.62%?

This is just a sampling, too.

Posted by: urban legend on February 13, 2008 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

As someone who contributed WAY too much money to the Clinton campaign in '92, to the point I was invited to the Inaugural Ball, I can tell you first hand Bill Clinton did anything but move the country to the Left.

His last act in leaving his Governor's post in Arkansas was to execute a mentally ill man, just to show how tough he could be (shades of his wife voting Yes on the Iraq war).

Then in short order, he botched healthcare with his wife holding secret meetings long before Cheney got around to doing it, setting that cause back 20 years.

Then his hamhandednes in being a bull in a china shop set back enlightenment regarding gays in the military by 20 years.

What is clear, Clinton reversed progress on progressive ideas more than he advanced them.

His signature legislation was Welfare Reform, as if we needed a Dem President to pull the safety net out from under single mothers, without either education nor job training to replace it.

Then in her chromosome-driven crusade to find a woman as Attorney General (not the best candidate, the same as Bush did with Gonzo), Hillary (in one of her most infamous tasks) burned through Zoe Baird, Kimba Wood and settled on the Draconian Janet Reno, whose chief legacy is having gassed and burned to death the women and children of Waco, in order to "save the children". Then, as a capper, she returned little Elian to Cuba at the point of a gun, after his mother had drowned bringing him here.

The Clinton White House then slimed and slandered everyone from Gennifer Flowers to Paula Jones to Monica Lewinsky. Lewinsky says they basically sold her to the public as a stalker and a slut, in order to save Bill's libertine skin.

Now we are to believe the world is misogynist in an evil agenda against the divine Hillary. They oughta know a thing or two about misogyny.

The problem with Clintonistas is they are so historically illiterate, have so drunk the KoolAid that Clinton riding the Dot.com bubble was any different than Bush riding the housing bubble, that they refer all to Clinton detestment as irrational.

Take it from someone who was there, and enabled it through his hard-earned dollars. The Clinton bashing may be pathological on the Right. From the Left however, it couldn't be more earned.

It's right that Bill Clinton talk about "fairytales". His administration goes down in history as one of the greatest unfulfilled promises in American history. He squandered the dreams of millions of progressives who believed in him. He ran an administration just as vindictive, just as incompetent as the Busheviks. He knew the wingnuts were after him with torches and pitchforks, yet even at that could not keep his willy in his trousers.

The wonder is so many are still willing to dream, to think "yes, we can", when Bill Clinton was a hard slap across the face of that vision.

Posted by: filmex on February 13, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

It's not liberalism, but it sure is not the same old, same old. Obama has started to use the kind of populist language that doesn't sit well with the Washington establishment.

"It's a Washington where decades of trade deals like NAFTA and China have been signed with plenty of protections for corporations and their profits, but none for our environment or our workers who've seen factories shut their doors and millions of jobs disappear; workers whose right to organize and unionize has been under assault for the last eight years...

Posted by: bellumregio on February 13, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Moon - Inkblot would like you to pass off your disemboweled squirrel once you have finished your reading. And he won't share it with Kevin either.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 13, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'm giving it to Huckabee to fry up. BTW, I think he has officially jumped the shark (unless McCain gets ill before the convention).

Posted by: Blue Blue on February 13, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Let him get elected first. Then we move.

Posted by: POed Lib on February 13, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

After re-reading Ezra's comments I'm even further struck by how vacuous and pointless they are. It reads like a thinly veiled attack by a Clinton partisan who has run out of substantive criticisms of Obama (or perhaps is simply too afraid of shedding the veneer of impartiality to criticize him more directly).

Saying Obama 'hasn't picked more fights' isn't a sincere criticism, it reads like a revealing moment of honesty that Ezra is disappointed Obama's campaign hasn't self-destructed.

Replace Obama's name with Clinton's and see how it reads. Hillary took an even MORE timid approach to healthcare, as she doesn't want to eliminate the insurance company middlemen who are most responsible for cost inflation (I'm sure it's just a coincidence that they've all donated heavily to her campaigns).

Is Hillary making bolder, more liberal statements regarding bringing troops home from Iraq? Nope. Arguably, she seems to equivocate more than Obama does on when we'll bring the troops home.

The big difference is that we can NOT easily imagine Hillary to be more liberal than Obama once she's in office, that we can NOT easily imagine her being more persuasive in leading the charge to make progressive changes or get people involved.

Simply, Hillary is just as lacking in details and substance as Obama, is more like to govern right of Obama (as indeed Bill was arguably right of center), and finally does NOT have Obama's powers to inspire hope.

So unless Ezra is still pining for Kucinich (or at the very lease is MORE critical of Hillary than he is of Obama here on these counts) his criticisms are a crock.

Posted by: Augustus on February 13, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Remember that having a plan does not mean having it implemented.

So - Hillary tried healthcare reform before - and it was soundly rebuffed. Should she win the election, I don't think that result will change. She has a plan, it will be rebuffed.

Obama may actually be able to get real healthcare reform implemented. I don't care if it's his plan or Hillary's plan that actually gets done ... he may actually get it done - rather than just have a plan.

Is that moving things leftward? yes.

Has he spoken about it? yes.

His economic talk - is very centrist - talking about empowering folks and personal responsibility. I think that resonates and I, for one, would not want him to change that.

I agree with previous posters that making an explicit left-ward tilt in a primary will not be good for the general election.

I feel, that Hillary will actually turn the nation to the right. Not because that's her intent - it's clearly not. But because the Hillary derangement syndrome will galvanize the GOP to reclaim congress thus sinking her explicit plans.

Posted by: jackifus on February 13, 2008 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Augustus spoke my mind - better than I was able ...

thx

Posted by: jackifus on February 13, 2008 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent post by filmex (at 5:04 PM).

I think it's easy to forget that just because so many of the Republican attacks against Bill Clinton were manufactured or exaggerated a hundred times out of proportion, does not mean the Clinton administration was clean, yet alone ideal.

Reasonable minds can disagree about how progressive his administration was, but the defense of that administration's genuine faults is troubling. At best it suggests a willful blindness to the corruption and sleaze, at worst it suggests a certain amoral flexibility (ends justify the means, or party loyalty over what is right and good for the country).

Everybody looks better in comparison to the current administration. Clinton supporters need to be careful not to use the lowest bar in American history as the measure of their success.

When you take a sober and honest look at the Clinton administration, there is plenty of good to take with the bad. But it seems almost sad that so many people don't hope for something better.

Posted by: Augustus on February 13, 2008 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

It was a tough choice for me but I voted for Obama in the Massachusetts Primary because I read his website and looked at his voting record and decided he was mostly a pretty liberal Democrat. He seems smart, energetic and eloquent.

And I am tired of the Clintons and all the negative stuff that comes with them . I agree that some of that was earned, but quite a lot of it was and is baloney. Read Lyons and Conason and refresh your revisionist memories. Whomever it was who brought up Gennifer Flowers - come on, this woman was going around to different venues with a list of people connected to the Clintons who had died under suspicious circumstances.

Nevertheless, though the Clinton era was more liberal and we were all a lot better off than we've been for most of the conservative era (the last 30 years), I don't think a majority of Americans want to go back to it. Neither do I.

But for you hardcore Obamanistas ...it's long past time for Obama's "yes we can" speeches to start mentioning a few of things "we can" do instead of relying on people to go to his website to figure it out.

The comparisons to JFK are a little unnerving. We'll never know what might have been, but his actual record in his shortened Presidency was mediocre. And indeed it did take another President to spend the political capital and take the risks to pass Civil Rights and Voting Rights legislation.

So, if Healthcare is the domestic issue equivalent of Civil Rights, then Obama sounding like JFK is not a good sign.

You'll forgive me for wanting him to campaign as if he wanted to win the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, too.

Posted by: Ralph on February 13, 2008 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

if i recall my history, and i may be wrong, fdr campaigned on balancing the budget rather than creating lots of government programs increasing spending. again, i might be wrong, but it was the reality of the moment rather strategic planning that caused fdr to change course.

look, people don't care about liberal or conservative labels as much as they care about leadership or at least the appearance of leadership. obama can lead.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on February 13, 2008 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see he could:

1) Do what he's doing and get elected.

2) Do what you want and loose

Tough choice that, but I'd give #1 the edge by a nose.

Posted by: memyself on February 13, 2008 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

This is what I have been talking about when I say Obama supporters ask people to take on faith that he will deliver what they say he will despite his actual record not showing anything to actually give a reasonable basis to believe in that. If he weren't as charismatic and inspirational a speaker would he be able to get away with this kind of lack of definition/specificity? Not to mention by being as undefined by his own words and platforms he leaves himself wide open to be negatively defined by the GOP, which is a specialty of theirs to begin with. Obama in many ways is running a faith based campaign, faith that he will be progressive/liberal, faith that he can be a competent executive, faith that he can get real legislation through in a bipartisan manner that is at its core more progressive/liberal than not. It is why I have become increasingly harsh about him and why I have become increasingly concerned about seeing more of a cult of personality than a true political movement surrounding his candidacy. For this though we all know how I've been regarded for making these comments, and now that KD is doing so despite having voted for Obama in California he is getting the same sort of dismissive/contemptuous treatment to the point of being called a Clinton shill again.

Obama is not the great hope that he appears to be, he is a typical politician who is clearly incredibly ambitious (since he is running for President while in his first term in national office, indeed started running just after his two year mark at that with only 8 years as a State legislator in a part time job) even more so than most politicians combined with a powerful orator's gift. He is willing to run a negative campaign against HRC and also attacks her through her husband and his time as President while proclaiming he is the new way of doing politics differently. There is a reason I see him increasingly as more of an empty shirt than a substantial candidate and his candidacy as being shallow as I said in the thread devoted to that topic yesterday. Obama is playing it as safe and conservative as he can in his actions in national office and in this candidacy, yet he is supposedly the great agent of change? I just don't understand how so many people can be taken in so easily by all of this, especially after the last 7 years of faith based campaigning and government showing why it cannot be trusted by the GOP and Bushco. Obama is allowing himself to be so undefined because it allows so many to project their hunches/feelings/belief in his true nature that he must hide to win, but as others have already noted by doing so he reduces his ability to actually implement with the power since he didn't campaign on it in the first place.

Yes, I know, I am repeating myself, and of course I am going to be dismissed by many for all this, but that doesn’t change the fact that what I see is what I see. Obama appears to me to be at heart far less than he wants people to believe, and I always worry when politicians speak so loftily yet whose records do not show the actions to support such claims, and his does not.

Posted by: Scotian on February 13, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

This is what I have been talking about when I say Obama supporters ask people to take on faith that he will deliver what they say he will despite his actual record not showing anything to actually give a reasonable basis to believe in that.

Geez, isn't it enough that the National Journal named Obama the MOST LIBERAL SENATOR?

Granted, it's awfully convenient how the top Democratic candidates always seem to be within spitting distance of the 'most liberal' labels... but seriously, how much more liberal can anyone reasonably expect at this point in his career and in the campaign?

He's more liberal than Hillary by his voting record. So Hillary's supporters expect us to accept that Obama is not liberal enough and then to respond by supporting Hillary, even though she is demonstrably LESS liberal than he is.

Maybe if Obama had been named the "most liberal senator of the century" they'd find some other vague criticism to attack him on. Maybe.

Obama appears to me to be at heart far less than he wants people to believe, and I always worry when politicians speak so loftily yet whose records do not show the actions to support such claims, and his does not.

And exactly how is Hillary different? Aside from her being less capable to inspire people or give a good speech...

Posted by: Augustus on February 13, 2008 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know from Adam whether or not Kevin voted for Obama. He made his statement that he was voting for him weeks ago when the Clinton South Carolina debacle was going on. Since then, he's been back and forth, so who knows who he voted for.

Honestly, it's irrelevant.

I have no problem with folks who say they want someone who is going to push hard on a progressive agenda. I understand the point of view, but I think it's wrong. I think everyone senses that this election could be in the bag, and yet everyone is on pins and needles: seeking the best way to win and establish some true changes in this country that undo the damage of the past 8 years. Everyone's got the same goal, but different view points on how to get there.

It's the neanderthals on both sides who are ready to go on a Crusade, either for Clinton or Obama, who are getting irritating and bring out the worst in others.

Posted by: Quinn on February 13, 2008 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Urban Legend: hard-headed strategy of isolating the haters and rendering them impotent

That is the most persuasive reason to elect Obama I've seen to date on this site. Now you're talking.

Posted by: Sharon Dymond on February 13, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Where's he gonna get the money? The conservatives spent all our money and borrowed up to the max.

Posted by: Luther on February 13, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Obama in many ways is running a faith based campaign, faith that he will be progressive/liberal, faith that he can be a competent executive, faith that he can get real legislation through in a bipartisan manner that is at its core more progressive/liberal than not.

Yet more evidence that scotian steadfastly ignores Obama's record in order to confirm his fondly-held convictions.

(since he is running for President while in his first term in national office, indeed started running just after his two year mark at that with only 8 years as a State legislator in a part time job)

The story goes that Democratic party players begged Obama to run for fear the Democrats' suicidal tendencies would manifest themselves in a Hillary Clinton nomination in 2008. Sure, it might have been less "incredibly ambitious" to wait till next time, but it was a freaking emergency.

Posted by: Lucy on February 13, 2008 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Obama gets the nomination, and gets elected. However, it would be naive to expect that he will propose and try to implement a liberal agenda. The most to hope for is that the worst excesses of the last decade and a half are reversed.

Posted by: RS on February 13, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

The most to hope for...

The modesty of despair.

Posted by: Hostile on February 13, 2008 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

I hope he rises above labels the way he has rose above negative campaining, so far...

Posted by: wild eyed fool on February 13, 2008 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

When you take a sober and honest look at the Clinton administration, there is plenty of good to take with the bad. But it seems almost sad that so many people don't hope for something better.

.
.
.


"Hey, we're Eisenhower Republicans here."

Posted by: mattski on February 13, 2008 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

I think we're gonna need Ralph Nader to run to make some people happy.

Posted by: bjd on February 13, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's a mistake to think that Obama won't be a polarizing figure, and that we'll get a change of atmosphere. Expect the GOP to start working to that end immediately if he's chosen as the nominee. I have more evidence that Hillary would be able to stand up to that kind of stuff than I do for Obama, who hasn't had to deal with much negativity.

Posted by: DanM on February 13, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton hasn't had to deal with much negativity in a real campaign where she was the candidate.

She never had to campaign particularly hard (for herself). Her opponents for the New York Senate were never serious competitors whatsoever.

Her husband did deal with serious negativity in 991 and during his presidency. And she certainly was investigated and was hit with negativity during that time.

But she was never the candidate... so she never "overcame" the negativity to win ...

I just don't follow the argument that she had.

Posted by: jackifus on February 13, 2008 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to move our legislative center of gravity further to the left, we need the nominee with the biggest coattails. We need to change the balance in the Senate especially. IMO you are more likely to do that by running a center leaning (at least in rhetoric) presidential candidate. The mandate that will last longer than the first 100days, is that provided by the balance of power in the House and Senate.

Posted by: bigTom on February 13, 2008 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Just to share information: this was covered in a 11/06 article by Ken Silverstein----

"...He managed to win a tremendous majority in his home state of Illinois despite rhetoric, and a legislative record, that marked him as a true progressive. During his first year in the state senate—1997—he helped lead a laudable if quixotic crusade that would have amended the state constitution to define health care as a basic right and would have required the Illinois General Assembly to ensure that all the state’s citizens could get health insurance within five years. He led initiatives to aid the poor, including campaigns that resulted in an earned-income tax credit and the expansion of early-childhood-

education programs. In 2001, reacting to a surge in home foreclosures in Chicago, he helped push for a measure that cracked down on predatory lenders that peddled high-interest, high-fee mortgages to lower-end homebuyers. Obama was

also the driving force behind legislation, passed in 2003, that made Illinois the first state to require law-enforcement agencies to tape interrogations and confessions of murder suspects. Throughout his campaign for the U.S. Senate, Obama called for social justice, promised to “stand up to the powerful drug and insurance lobbies” that block health-care reform, and denounced the war in Iraq and the Bush White House.

Since coming to Washington, Obama has advocated for the poor, most notably in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and has emerged as a champion of clean government. He has fought for restrictions on lobbying, even as most of his fellow Democrats postured on the issue while quietly seeking to gut real reform initiatives. In mid-September, Congress approved a bill he co-authored with Oklahoma’s arch-conservative senator, Tom Coburn, requiring all federal contracts and earmarks to be published in an Internet database, a step that will better allow citizens to track the way the government spends their money..."

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 13, 2008 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

On Obama going liberal early. I think he's playing it about right. Here's the reason: if you believe, as I have come to believe, that the country is run by the very wealthy in whose interest the MSM serves, he's better off treading fairly lightly until he gets into office and has executive power (much increased by the current regime). He is sending out just enough signals to encourage Edwards supporters to back him. I think those signals are true signals. But if he gets too explicit, he will be massacred by the mainstream press as being 'unrealistic' and thus unsuitable to be President. They can sow doubt in the minds of the sheeple as to his capacity to lead.

Better to lay low for the time being.

Posted by: knut wicksell on February 13, 2008 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

As usual, there is a bunch of schizo criticism on Kevin's blog when he makes a simple observation that shouldn't even be controversial.

Posted by: Swan on February 13, 2008 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

I don't even mean that from a pro-Hillary p.o.v.

One could be totally cool with Obama and still say what Kevin said and it wouldn't warrant all the stuff I saw in just the first 6-10 comments on the top of the thread.

Posted by: Swan on February 13, 2008 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

consider wisely always - "a step that will better allow citizens to track the way the government spends their money..."


The federal register has been available online for several years now. Why do we need double legislation? That legislation was a waste of effort and clearly targeted to look hip in the "earmarks are bad era"

Posted by: optical weenie on February 13, 2008 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously - can the "he should start being a liberal now" stuff. 'bout the silliest strategy I've ever heard.

Posted by: orion on February 13, 2008 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

It's the neanderthals on both sides who are ready to go on a Crusade, either for Clinton or Obama, who are getting irritating and bring out the worst in others.

Obamazooids started it. Now you are trying to take the high ground? If put Edwards in place of Obama in that sentence it would make sense. Face it, your boy ain't above politics of the negative sort, he just tries to disguise it.

I hope he rises above labels the way he has rose above negative campaining, so far...

To quote Reagan(since you Obamazooids love him so much) "There you go again..."

Oh, did you know ice is no longer available in the cafeterias at Obamazooid University?

The senior who knew the recipe graduated.

Posted by: elmo on February 13, 2008 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Quinn: George W. Bush's dipshitiness isn't enough. There are a lot of people against universal healthcare..."

By that you mean about 27%. Hmmm. Not sure if that's a reason enough not to do it. Can't reasonably expect to have 100%. That 27% can buy there own insurance

Posted by: Bub on February 13, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Keith Olbermann, your a fucking Obamazooid too...

Posted by: elmo on February 13, 2008 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Optical weenie: I'm just sharing information that Silverstein had written in a Harper's article--
it's not my specific opinion or view.

And--I'm still sharing-- but this rings true: Senator Russ Feingold noted the following:

"Talking about experience and idealism is so much conversation for Wisconsin people. We'd like to hear something about what they're going to do. It's amazing to me that this campaign has gotten as far as it has without getting down to specifics. But Wisconsin voters expect more from the candidates than the slogans.". . .

"I would urge them to be aware of the devastation that has occurred for people in the state over the past twenty years as a result of trade policies that were forced through Congress without any concern for working people in states like Wisconsin."
"There's no doubt in my mind that they should talk about civil liberties. Wisconsin people care about that. For instance, I'd have them step up on these FISA issues."

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 13, 2008 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

There are tons of precedent to prove that, in this country at least, waiting until after the election is the way to do it.

I'm not old enough to remember the Kennedy election, but the news articles and the debates seem to indicate that Kennedy tried to be an even bigger cold warrior than Nixon, and didn't espouse liberal ideas until he got into office.

Americans like liberal ideas when they pay off. Obama can't make them pay off from where he is.

Posted by: Benjamin Jones on February 13, 2008 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

elmo, you're wasting my time. Write something considered or informative, or go away.

Posted by: doug on February 13, 2008 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

7:44 PM- wow, you've got a mouth on you!!

Kevin already wrote he was voting for Obama in CA's primary.

So he can't say he wants Obama to be more of a movement leader?

He can't urge Obama on to soar higher and strive for more?

Isn't there some kind of a bus-trip to give George W. Bush blowjobs you should be joining?

Posted by: Swan on February 13, 2008 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

elmo, you're wasting my time. Write something considered or informative, or go away.

See? There it is. See how fast Obamazooids fold?

You try that on the wingnuts and they will eat your fucking lunch son! Now lets try that again and this time put some fucking balls behind it...slaps doug on the ass

Posted by: elmo on February 13, 2008 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Somehow mobilizing millions of new voters to turn out for a liberal candidate is not moving "the country in a more liberal direction."

I don't know what's going on in Kevin's mind here, but if he wanted another Dukakis he should have voted for Hillary.

Posted by: calling all toasters on February 13, 2008 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

People waiting for Obama to take a firm liberal stand on anything better not hold their breath. How many times does a politician have to equivocate and use you before you get it that he is not about your concerns. Take a look at his record.

His siding with the Republicans exorbitant credit card interest rates, against being able to sue on the CAFA bill!, with the republicans on Schiavo, his siding with the Cheney energy policies, his trash talk on Social Security, his willingness to abandon principle on McClurkin.

All this talk of hope is wacked. Hope is not going to save the environment. Hope is not going to get a better health care or educational system. Hope is not going to pull the economy out of the crapper. Hope is not going to get anyone a job or a decent living.

Scotian is right. Faith based politics is for the gullible.

Posted by: Chrissy on February 13, 2008 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Now all we need is for an obstensible Obama-supporter to accuse Kevin of facilitating a conspiracy of international bankers, then we'll be about at the normalcy-par for the course.

Posted by: Swan on February 13, 2008 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

See? There it is. See how fast Obamazooids fold?

There are plenty of reasons to like or dislike the candidates, and clearly emotions are getting the best of us at times, but we could all stand to tone it down, you and me both. At the very least, the name-calling should stop.

I'm not sure whether you're insulting people out of genuine contempt for your opponents or a perverse attempt to undermine Hillary by posing as one of her crazy supporters, but it's something both sides can all do without.

Posted by: Augustus on February 13, 2008 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, the Ministry of Chrissy is going full-throttle tonight. Don't hold back, baby, just let it out!

Posted by: Lucy on February 13, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

By that you mean about 27%. Hmmm. Not sure if that's a reason enough not to do it. Can't reasonably expect to have 100%. That 27% can buy there own insurance.

100% of the people in hell want ice water.

It's 27% until people start defining what their universal healthcare plan is and how it gets paid for.

Posted by: Quinn on February 13, 2008 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Too late Augustus. I ain't backing down and if you think I'm not a Clinton support then visit my site...

http://blindintexas.blogspot.com/

I've posted plenty of personal info just daring wingnuts to confront me. Now, we've got a flurry of (what I've coined as Obamazooids) fanatic Obama supports acting like wingnuts! Well, if you want to act like a wingnut, then I'm going to treat you like a wingnut. Now you want to change your tone?

Probably too late for me, but you may get some others to fall for that shit...

Posted by: elmo on February 13, 2008 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

I conclude that we really don't know how hard Obama is going to push for a progressive agenda if he gets elected. Presidents do grow and change once in office, so there is some chance that he'd turn out to be a progressive.

But really what are our options? Hillary Clinton? In her favour I'd say she is more likely to get us universal health care.

But she voted to give warmaking powers to Mr. Bush, when it was crystal clear that Mr. Bush was going to invade Iraq.

Obama was'nt in the Senate at that time so we don't know how he'd have voted. I am aware that he did speak out against the war.

So honestly it's a tossup as far as I am concerned and our primaries are in May. Probably it'll be decided by then anyway.

Posted by: ppk on February 13, 2008 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Have you heard about the Obamazooid kamikaze pilot?

He flew 22 missions.

Posted by: elmo on February 13, 2008 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy:

This is the last comment I am addressing to you regardless of what you have to say about my comments from now on. You have repeatedly discredited yourself by attacking me personally and with the last straw of smearing me with the claim that I am calling Obama supporters like Nazis (especially in the mealy-mouthed manner you did it in, claiming the word insinuating is some sort of defence is incredibly offensive) without one shred of quoted examples from me to make that claim upon and then when challenged you apologized and simultaneously claimed I had it coming anyway. You have shown yourself to be quite dishonest in how you deal with me and others, you have played telepath/mind reader in terms of motives and such, so there is no good reason for me to respond to you at all anymore nor to take your comments seriously. Indeed, I now tend to skip over them because you have unlike nepata given me no reason to consider you remotely honest in your approach but in fact have acted exactly like the kind of zealot you claim is such an unfair comment/observation for me and others to be making.

Deal with it; I am done with you not because of who you support but by the dishonest manner by which you have done so.

Posted by: Scotian on February 13, 2008 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Look above to Scotian, doug. That's what I'm looking for...

Posted by: elmo on February 13, 2008 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

'How much are you seeing of Coulter lately?'

Sadly, on cspan this weekend saw Vampira lecturing the kids of Young America. They were eating up every word, laughing at her vicious slanders of everyone to the left of Rudy. THAT was cultism. Those lids would take years of deprogramming to rehabilitate.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O/F in 08! on February 13, 2008 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but for anyone who wants to get beyond Obama's stump speeches, take a look at the Reno Gazette interview. Obama talks seriously and specifically to the editorial board about many issues (New Orleans, the Fed and the housing crisis, infrastructure, education, Iraq, etc., etc.) for about 50 minutes. It wasn't until I heard this video that I wholeheartedly and confidently became an Obama supporter.

Reno Gazette Interview with Obama

Posted by: nepeta on February 13, 2008 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

I saw that shit too, Michael w/ some #'s and other shit behind his name. I made my kids watch, and I am not fucking with you, to see how the Retardicans think as I narrated the"code". They looked on as if they were spellbound at the zoo...

Posted by: elmo on February 13, 2008 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, Elmo. Not knowing what to make of your schizophrenic posts, I decided to check out your blog.

Eureka! I get it! You're an Ellen Jamesian. You have a daughter! WooHoo! Therefore, the most important grail you have set for her is to have a woman in the White House. Apparently, any woman.

A woman who claims to be pro-labor, yet will sit quietly on the Corporate Board of Wal-Mart silently as they bust unions.

A woman who chooses Mark Penn as the head of her campaign. The same Mark Penn both John Edwards and Rolling Stone referred to as Hillary's "Karl Rove".

The same Mark Penn whose firm is notorious for representing firms involved in anti-union activities. Whose firm infamously warned corporate America that "companies cannot be caught unprepared by Organized Labor's coordinated campaigns".

The same Mark Penn whose firm will tell you their client, the mercenary contractors Blackwater, is outraged that all those innocent Iraqi civilians keep collecting Blackwater's bullets...in their bodies.

The same Mark Penn who foisted the term "soccer moms" upon the political landscape, creating yet one more demographic that could be pitted against another for political convenience.

The same Mark Penn whose capable representation of Countrywide Financial, a prime mortgage defaulter that preyed upon low-income borrowers, allowed them to do greater damage than they may have done otherwise.

And when Hillary gave a blustery speech two months ago about the dangers of letting foreign nationals buy our mortgage debt without checking them out, NBC News had it perfectly right when they suggested that if she was so interested, she should just turn around in her chair and ask Mark Penn about it, since his firm represents nearly all the Middle-Eastern countries collecting our debt markers.

You may have a daughter, Elmo, but some of us have sons. And we don't want those sons drafted to fight in Hillary's future wars.

Only Hillary could listen to Joe Lieberman spout, "if economic sanctions don’t stop the Iranians we really have to consider military action to stop them from doing it, perhaps by striking the bases around Tehran", and then vote YES on the Kyl-Lieberman resolution (when the names alone would have been warning enough for any thinking Democrat).

You pretend Hillary will get out of Iraq, when she can't wait to rattle sabers with Iran. Hillary has never found a war she could not support, in an effort to prove her "sword" is just as big as the boys'.

Yes, Hillary is quite the role model for girls everywhere. The same wisdom she displayed in that Iraq vote, she showed when she refused to let the lawyers settle in the Paula Jones case. Her pride resulted in the nation having to endure the unsightly specter of an impeachment vote.

Then she convinced Bill Richardson to lie about the nature of the job that was created for Monica Lewinsky.

Then she agreed to the DNC's proposals regarding caucus voting in Nevada, and the non-seating of the Michigan and Florida delegates...right up until it was no longer politically expedient, then she reneged on all three agreements.

Yes, she's a fine role model for any girl.

As the excellent documentary series, "7-42/Up" proved, give me the child and I will give you the adult. And Hillary's first instincts have always remained just below the surface.

The reason so many non-African Americans took insult that Hillary dared to revise history as to Martin Luther King's contributions to the civil rights movement, as opposed to LBJ's, was that at the time Hillary was a Goldwater Girl whose mentor was voting against the Civil Rights Act.

Meanwhile, while James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were dying in Mississippi advancing civil rights, Hillary was canvassing Chicago neighborhoods looking for Democratic "voter fraud".

Not exactly the sort one looks to for political history lessons on the civil rights era, eh?

If you honestly feel the nation can endure 25 years of continuous, corrosive Bush-Clinton dynastic rule, so that your daughter has a strong role model to look up to, may I suggest you save us all the misery and buy her a bio on Imelda Marcos?

After all, one could give object lessons on the value of a female personna such as Elizabeth Edwards till the cows come home. But in that you have chosen Hillary as your daughter's beacon of light, obviously, discrimination doesn't appear to be part of the mix.

Posted by: filmex on February 13, 2008 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

elmo--

you red-furred wide-eyed snoogums. Did I ever tell you about a plane ride I took, about ten years ago? It was uneventful, save for the exuberant toddler sitting with his mom in the row behind me.

I know, you think this'll be an air travel horror story.

No, I assure you, it was not. All because of you, elmo.

Oh, and it was before 9/11 so mothers could transport bottles of milk and infant formula aboard planes. The flight attendants seemed jollier then too, in that long-ago time.

So, I don't know, was it the toddler, the abundance of formula, the indulgent disposition of the mother, or elmo's sweet cultural domination of a child's world?

I don't know. I do know that during a three-hour flight in the seat directly behind me this lovely toddler babbled "eh-mo" repeatedly --meaning you, my snoogums, you furry red wonder, you impostor--approximately 8,000 times.

Whatever you've done with that child's eh-mo, could you report the crime to the authorities, please.

Posted by: paxr55 on February 13, 2008 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

You forgot "the same Mark Penn who molested the entire Mary Magdalene Catholic School for the Blind girls junior high basketball team". People forget about that one all the time...

What do Obamazooids think Cheerios are?

Donut seeds.

Posted by: elmo on February 13, 2008 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

...you impostor...

Wanna bet?

Posted by: elmo on February 14, 2008 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

Like Ezra, I too think Obama has huge potential to move the country in a more liberal direction. So far, though, he hasn't been willing to take the risk of actually trying to do it. I'd really, really like to see him start.

You're going to be waiting a long time.

Figure it out, dude: he's not "more liberal" that way. We're looking at moderate, conciliatory centrism, like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. When he talks about listening to everyone, getting people to see themselves in each other, and getting away from partisan "foodfights," he means it. Take him at his word instead of projecting what you wish he were onto him.

Posted by: FreakyBeaky on February 14, 2008 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

Did you hear about the Obamazooid who won a gold medal at the Olympics?

He liked it so much that he decided to get it bronzed.

Posted by: elmo on February 14, 2008 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

If anyone would bother to listen to the link I posted at 10:51 then no one would have to 'guess' how liberal Obama will be as Prez. Towards the end of the video he talks about how he would put his agenda into action. He talks about the kind of person he would choose as VP. He talks about his strengths and weaknesses. He understands that it won't be necessarily easy to legislate 'change' (he gives specific examples) and that it of course depends on the political climate, although he foresees more Democrats coming in on his coattails. The one factor that he thinks will make a difference is to have the American people on his side. So far he's doing a pretty good job of that.

My words really don't do justice to the interview. It's like having Obama sitting in your living room, quietly chatting with you and a few friends and answering your questions.

Posted by: nepeta on February 14, 2008 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

It's like having Obama sitting in your living room, quietly chatting with you and a few friends and answering your questions.

Dude, that is sooo last decade's Bill Clinton...

Posted by: elmo on February 14, 2008 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

elmo, what does that mean? fold? wingnutters? honestly i have no idea what you're trying to get across here. Why are you here?

It LOOKS to me like this is just an outlet for you to work something out. Seriously, you aren't making any intelligible posts as far as i can see.

You're wasting our time, that's yours, mine and everybody else here. Sure you can wind some people up, but what kind of victory is that? You're just drawing out the least congnizant worse obama supporters and getting them excited, and in the process you're making yourself into one of the least congnizant hillary supporters. It's nothing to be proud of.

Clinton is a great candidate, do you really think you're supporting her with this tripe? You don't do her justice. Go out and make some calls or learn more on the issues or something. Go donate to her campaign. Don't waste your life with this crap.

Posted by: doug on February 14, 2008 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

Ohh and taking old jokes that could just as well be targetted at women, jews, etc and putting obamazooid (whatever that means) in is totally weak.

Posted by: doug on February 14, 2008 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Good night, filmex. I have to be at work on time tomorrow and Mrs. elmo likes it in the morning. Maybe next time...

Posted by: elmo on February 14, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

You may be the best thing the Obamazooids have going for them, doug...

Posted by: elmo on February 14, 2008 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

blow me!

Posted by: doug on February 14, 2008 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: nepeta on February 14, 2008 at 1:17 AM

The problem with this is you are using a one time ezample to believe this is a deep commitment from him, and I do not trust any politician that does not regularly refer to their basic precepts and intentions in multiple venues to actually mean them. That is one of the clear differences between him and HRC as she does do so on a regular basis in multiple venues while he appears to be far less repetitive in that regard, which is in my experience with politicians of all types shows not a strong commitment to these things but rather a pro forma approach so people have something to point to as a defence while not having it become solidly linked in the general public consciousness and media narratives about their campaigns/candidacies. It is yet another way for a politician to try to eat their cake and have it too, and that is something I never trust in any politician no matter who they are or what their supposed intentions/affiliations may be.

Posted by: Scotian on February 14, 2008 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

I do not trust any politician that does not regularly refer to their basic precepts and intentions in multiple venues to actually mean them.

So if a politician just says something over and over and over and over then you believe they're telling the truth, but if not, you assume they're lying?

If that's just the latest evolution of the "Obama has no substance" meme ("Well, when we said he had no substance we obviously didn't mean he had no substance, what we meant was that he doesn't repeat the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over") then fine. Good luck with that.

Personally I distrust politicians who try to do what you're describing. It makes me think of Bush's "compassionate conservativism" campaign, and of Bush Sr's "read my lips" pledge, and of much of Giuliani's self-puffery, and on and on. Or just look at some of the things the current occupant of the white house says over and over and over. Do you think he really sees his foreign policy in terms of spreading liberty, freedom and democracy in the middle east? Or, in spite of his repeating such things ad nauseum, doesn't it seem more likely that this is just a facade?

The whole purpose of that kind of repetition is, as you put it, to have that meme "solidly linked in the general public consciousness and media narratives". What do you think propaganda is?

Posted by: bobb on February 14, 2008 at 5:19 AM | PERMALINK

Obama will cave to the right. Face it. He always does. That's why people like me wanted Clinton; at least she knows what they are, and what it will take to stop them. Saint Obama, the new generation, doesn't care what they are; he just wants to go along to get along.

Posted by: Lee on February 14, 2008 at 6:37 AM | PERMALINK

One thing we should keep in mind is that the new Dem President is likely to have bigger Congressional majorities to work with. Some of the Senate forecasts have us up by +5 or so. The environment for change will be easier than exists now.

The first order of business must be to invoke the nuclear option on judicial appointments, or at least threaten to, to retaliate for the Republicans doing this under Frist.

Posted by: bob h on February 14, 2008 at 7:31 AM | PERMALINK

scotian: This is the last comment I am addressing to you regardless of what you have to say about my comments from now on.

Right, where have I heard that before. How many times have you said, "I'm done bothering with Lucy." When are you going to follow through, man?

And yes, I know you love nepeta. Yes, he or she is a much kinder and even-handed person than I. Yes, he or she does not make fun of you like I do.

smearing me with the claim that I am calling Obama supporters like Nazis (especially in the mealy-mouthed manner you did it in, claiming the word insinuating is some sort of defence is incredibly offensive)

Hilarious. I'm the one accused of acting like a Nazi, and you're the one crying that you've been "smeared". Break out the violins. I would say that weeks of interminable diatribes on your part characterizing me and other Obama supporters of being lockstep cultists enthralled by a "dangerous" and charismatic leader with a "thin resume" qualifies you for an honorable mention. When presented with counterarguments or evidence to the contrary, you disdain to discuss policy. Or pull rank about what a hot shot political family you're from and what an astute political observer you are. And you accuse me of being intellectually dishonest?

You indeed made a comment that in my mind promoted you from general-purpose Obama basher to an individual in clear violation of Godwin's Law. No, I didn't copy it off, and no, I wasn't willing to wade through your Collected Works to find the offense, hence my apology. Of course you were too churlish to accept it, just like the first time I tried to reconcile with you. Indeed, I had felt badly about my barbs at you because you have not been feeling well. But--you prefer to be outraged.

Finally, I posted my shitlist half in jest. But you, like Mike, appear to be humorless and deaf to irony. A pity, but not my problem.

Go ahead and play the aggrieved party in this tempest in a teapot. Vanity demands it.

Posted by: Lucy on February 14, 2008 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

Obama campaigned for Joe Lieberman - that bastion of liberal thought - again Ned Lamont, a staunch anti-war candidate. What more do you need to know about his liberal credentials?

Posted by: Cayce on February 14, 2008 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

Ned Lamont thinks enough of Obama's liberal credentials to have endorsed Obama for president.

Posted by: Lucy on February 14, 2008 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Lucy,
Lamont was really a one-trick pony: the Iraq war. That's why he endorsed Obama. Unless he was getting the secret winks many other supporters of Obama have been getting.


Posted by: DR on February 14, 2008 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

+5 when over 6 are blue dogs still isn't a good environment.

Posted by: DR on February 14, 2008 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Why I'm Supporting Barack Obama

by Ned Lamont
January 10, 2008

Sen. Obama has the tone and temperament to bring out the best in our people and our nation, and to bring new coalitions together in support of the progressive policies we all want to see enacted. His campaign has already reflected this, not only by bringing hundreds of thousands of new voters of all ages to the polls, but by inspiring so many who are new to politics to become activists as well.
Posted by: Lucy on February 14, 2008 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

+5 when over 6 are blue dogs still isn't a good environment.

Fine, let's see what happens with Wisconsin and Ohio.

With regard to the cult of personality meme it needs to be said, for the millionth time, that most Democrats are not highly partisan like people in the blogosphere. Many Democrats who plan to vote or who have already voted for Obama would be OK with Hillary, too.

Yes, Obama is able to fill arenas with enthusiastic supporters and people who are curious to know more about him. I have attended one of Obama's rallies. There's fanfare, but basically it amounts to thousands upon thousands of people listening attentively to a lengthy stump speech that hits on issues as well as appealing to civic engagement.

As we know, the majority of Americans sympathize with the liberal agenda. One of Obama's main contentions is that if enough people engage in the process from the bottom-up, Congress will be forced to respond. You may be cynical about the likelihood of this happening, but Obama's ability to mobilize the citizenry is pretty fundamental to his goal of moving the country in a progressive direction.

Finally, thoughtful people are going to be wary of being seduced by charisma. Although I signed on to Obama from the start, I weighed every one of the other candidates as well. If Dodd had gotten more traction, I may have switched my allegiance. It's interesting that Edwards supporters bitterly complain about Obama's "thin resume" when Edwards's brief and unremarkable Senate career simply does not square with his populist rhetoric. Richardson proved a lackluster politician who did not inspire confidence that he could win. I thought Hillary would be a disaster in the general. So, I remained committed to Obama, a very talented politician who has worked for progressive causes all his life.

A charismatic politician with energized supporters does not a cult of personality make.

Posted by: Lucy on February 14, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

All I know is, "Obamazoid" sounds like "Freakazoid", from a song I really like.

It only seems that elmo is trying to do as the song instructs: "come on and wind [them] up".

So, I don't know why anyone should care if they were called that.

Posted by: Aaron G. Stock on February 14, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

When one of these Clintonistas tells me why she voted for the Kyl-Lieberman Iran resolution, maybe then I'll listen to how liberal Hillary is.

Now we know why she refused to call her Iraq vote a mistake. She never thought it was.

That's why she had to play the "victim" card yet again. She didn't want war, so she says, she was just twicked by that wascallwy wabbit, George Bush!

Who is going to twick her next???...(insert name here)

As Kate Michelman, former President of NARAL noted in her endorsement of Obama, an apology doesn't mean squat anyway unless you have a different worldview than the one that landed us in the biggest catbox in the Middle East.

One thing is bank...Hillary will never change her worldview, which is why she and Lieberman are two birds of a feather when it comes to their Zionist approach to foreign (gunboat) diplomacy.

Posted by: filmex on February 14, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

I found it interesting that yesterday reporters were receiving a Clinton e-mail attack on Obama in which the message was quoting Kevin Hassett, John McCain's economic advisor.

I guess when your own campaign staff has shown themselves to be the competency equivalent of Bush's FEMA, you'd better start relying on someone else's staff.

Posted by: Fred Hampton on February 14, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: doug on February 14, 2008 at 2:13 AM

It wouldn't hurt to moderate elmo, just for the lanquage.

The pro-Hillary stuff is fine, but to come here and "Obamazoid" up the place does not reflect the usual thoughtful, if heated, commentary that takes place here.

Posted by: Zit on February 14, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK
And I imagine exactly the same will happen with Obama. It'll be okay ....Anna at 4:04 PM
That's the Audacity of Hope: it means whatever you project it to mean. Change? Anything not Bush is change and Bush ran on a promise of change.
.....Take a closer work as his community work around Chicago ....Augustus at 4:38 PM
Except that he does have a legislative record. That record shows his inclinations as a politician. There is the Exelon fiasco , the 130 times he was present, the one time he faced McCain in Obama vs McCain:

... But will Mr. Obama fight? His brief time on the national scene gives little comfort. Consider a February 2006 exchange of letters with Mr. McCain on the subject of ethics reform. The wrathful Mr. McCain accused Mr. Obama of being "disingenuous," to which Mr. Obama meekly replied, "The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you."
Mr. McCain was insultingly dismissive but successful in intimidating his inexperienced colleague. Thus, in his one known face-to-face encounter with Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama failed to stand his ground....

Not exactly a figure of heroic proportions as his use of Harry and Louise type ads mocking universal health care also shows.

....His administration goes down in history as one of the greatest unfulfilled promises in American history.... filmex at 5:04 PM
Despite the lubricious irrationality of your statements, such extravagant claims are not based on any expectation from voters at that time. They were looking for economic betterment and they got it.
Geez, isn't it enough that the National Journal named Obama the MOST LIBERAL SENATOR?....Augustus at 6:15 PM
That is a fake designation by a fake group that did the same for John Kerry on '04. It's is just a tool for rightist attacks. One of the more amusing cries by 'bamamaniacs is that their candidate is morally pure: he theoretically did not support the Iraq war. That has become a strong attack argument. Yet many of those same people making the claim that this is an important fact of their support also voted for John Kerry on '04. They did so without qualms. Of course, Kerry voted for the Iraq war resolution, but that was given a pass then, whereas the opposite position is regarded as sacrosanct in '08. What would the proper term for that be, hypocrisy, dishonesty, phony political purity?
.... Don't hold back, baby, just let it out!Lucy at 8:56 PM
Nice to see that the politics of personal attack is alive and well. Posted by: Mike on February 14, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian,

I think you've not watched the video. The thoughtfulness and seriousness with which Obama expresses not only his goals but the means of accomplishing them can't be disregarded simply because it's not a daily routine. Anyone who wants to see positions on issues can simply go to either Clinton's or Obama's websites to get a clear idea of what those positions are; they're not strikingly different from one another in most cases. I don't find reciting a laundry list of issues, a la Clinton, usually posed as questions "Are you ready for healthcare for all?" to be particularly effective or require great conviction on the part of the candidate. I personally needed to see Obama, since I know him less well than Clinton, sit down and talk for a long time about the issues seriously and in depth. Above and beyond that, the interview showed me a person with deep convictions, integrity, intelligence and judgment, the qualities that finally are most necessary for a president to have. So, no, I don't accept your criticism of the interview as being a fluke of some sort, somehow in conflict with Obama's stump speeches. They go together hand in hand.

Posted by: nepeta on February 14, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK
..It wasn't until I heard this video that I wholeheartedly and confidently became an Obama supporter.....nepeta at 10:51 PM
As has been pointed out previously that interview was with a rightist newspaper whose endorsement Obama sought and received. Hence his praise for Reagan and his affirmation that the Republican party was the party of ideas for the past 15 years, i.e. from the time of the contract with America. As for tediously repeated personal conversion story, that has been shown as just a campaign volunteer tactic

...She urged volunteers to hone their own stories of how they came to Obama – something they could compress into 30 seconds on the phone.
"Work on that, refine that, say it in the mirror," she said. "Get it down."
She told the volunteers that potential voters would no doubt confront them with policy questions. Mack's direction: Don't go there. Refer them to Obama's Web site, which includes enough material to sate any wonk.
The idea behind the personal narratives is to reclaim "values" politics from the Republican Party, said Marshall Ganz, a one-time labor organizer for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers who developed "Camp Obama" training sessions for volunteers.
When people tell their stories of how they made choices and what motivates them, they communicate their values, Ganz said in an interview.
"Values are not just concepts, they're feelings," Ganz said. "That's what dropped out of Democratic politics sometime in the '70s or '80s."...

....Hilarious. I'm the one accused of acting like a Nazi,.... Lucy at 8:11 AM
Actually, no, nor can you quote an example, certainly not an example as fine as this one

Watching Clintonistas in these final days of the 2008 Hillary Fairytale Tour is akin to being in the bunker in Berlin, April 1945, and listening to the cultists speak of the brilliance of their Fuhrer right up until their final minutes..... filmex on February 13, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Posted by: Mike on February 14, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Obamazooid n.

1. a. An organic partisan or organized group that has independent movement within the Obama campaign, especially a motile gamete such as a spermatoloon.
b. An independent animal like partisan produced asexually, as by budding or inspirational speaking.

2. One of the distinct Obama individuals forming a colonial partisan such as a wingnut or chickenhawk.

Obamazooid'al adj.

Posted by: elmo on February 14, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Mike: Actually, no

Actually, yes. And I object to the cynical circulation of a meme designed to belittle and dismiss an opponent.

Note: In fairness, Scotian's statement below concluded a post arguing against an alarmist association of the Obama phenom with Nazism. Also, this was not the comment (which I don't even remember), that finally landed him on my shitlist. However, as I complained above, it is characteristic of scotian's repetitive drone that Obama supporters are mindless participants in a cult of personality.

Note: Since the old Donald from Hawaii reappeared to contribute a few stellar posts on the Rezko affair, Donald is no longer on my shitlist. Aloha!

Note: I am not responsible for filmex. As I said earlier, he merits a Godwin as well. Meanwhile, filmex has been fabulous--gotta love his or her fireworks display of historical facts.

Obviously, nothing is going to change your mind about Dear Leader, Lucy.

Posted by: Pat on February 12, 2008 at 9:30 AM

"... I will refrain from calling Obama supporters jackbooted zombies even though they do support a candidate who doesn't include mandates in his health care plan......"
Lucy at 8:15 AM
This over-the-top statement implies that you would be one of the ultimate exemplars.

Posted by: Mike on February 11, 2008 at 5:09 PM

And what exactly did Mike say, Lucy, that wasn't "true"? He's simply a man of strong opinions, to which he is entitled, as you are to yours.
And judging by your obvious intolerance of any political opinion that doesn't validate your own perceptions -- or misconceptions, as it the case may be -- you sound just like a Bush Republican.
Sieg heil.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 8, 2008 at 11:22 PM

I am concerned that there is a cult of personality surrounding Obama, but I have said that several times before. Indeed, in many ways I would be happier if I saw a real political movement with Obama, those are not inherently as dangerous as the cults of personality such as the one Hitler turned into the Nazi movement.

Posted by: Scotian on February 7, 2008 at 5:00 AM

Obama’s characterization of his quest as a "MOVEMENT" scares me, a bit. I remember my mother (who grew up in Austria when the Hitler phenomenon and the Nazi movement swept over the land) telling me with what spirit of unquestioned adulation she and her friends enthusiastically joined the Hitler youth program and waived and excitedly screamed their approval when Hitler marched into Austria...

Posted by: Erika S on February 7, 2008 at 2:27 AM

Posted by: Lucy on February 14, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

elmo,
I think you're defining yourself more than you are an "Obamazoid", but suit yourself.

Posted by: Aaron G. Stock on February 14, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Just doing my job, Aaron. Stick around long enough and you'll learn that I don't give two shits about what people think of me.

I see Lucy fell for the ol' "scavenger hunt" trick...

Posted by: elmo on February 14, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Just for the record Lucy is stripping context from the quote she uses to argue I have been comparing Obama supporters to Nazis. As anyone who goes back to the thread from which that comment is quoted can see for themselves that I was doing a direct response to Erika S who raised the issue of Hitler and cults of personality versus movements in relation to the fact that a first degree relative of hers was one of those that had first hand exposure to the Hitler cult of personality and the Nazi movement it became and saw with her own eyes where it ended up, leaving Erika S with a fairly vivid and serious phobia of such things. Indeed, the preceding sentences within the closing paragraph that Lucy is citing was: "So while I understand your concern on this I suspect you are overreacting, even if that overreaction is rooted in the horrible lessons of history, especially when it is in your family history that you have such a first hand example of the power of such "movements" led by charismatic leaders in troubled times"

Lucy is taking things out of context so as to impute/infer/"insinuate" more meanings to it than was ever intended by the author, which is why I have said she is a dishonest person and why I won't answer her questions/comments any more. I am only doing this because the topic is a serious one, and I was responding to a specific question from a specific commentator and not making any broader comment about the Obama campaign beyond the same cult of personality versus movement question/concern I have all along. To try and take that and turn it into calling Obama supporters like Nazis is intellectually dishonest, and for her to have done what she did here no less so.

I happen to value my name and honour, which is why I am writing this now. As I said, I invite people to follow the exchange that quote is sliced out of in proper context, and then see whether characterizing it as my trying to "insinuate" Obama supporters are "like Nazis" is a reasonable/fair paraphrase. I clearly do not see it that way. The irony was in that post/comment I was actually making the point that I did not see such a similarity to the Nazi movement in response to Erika S's concern of such, so to see it twisted into this is really quite offensive to be honest with you all.

Posted by: Scotian on February 14, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

"As has been pointed out previously that interview was with a rightist newspaper whose endorsement Obama sought and received."

Mike,

Obama's discussion of the Republican 'party of ideas' stuff (which he never described as 'good' ideas) took up approximately 2 minutes out of the whole 50 minute interview. Obama's argument about the 'party of ideas' was misunderstood by those who didn't watch the video, simple as that. I can assure you that the remaining 48 minutes of the interview were not based on wooing the Republican editorial board either, but were instead liberal responses to the questions asked. I can't debate these issues with people who refuse to watch the video but instead get their talking points from the Clinton campaign. As to whether I'm a 'trained' Obama supporter instructed to describe my 'conversion' moment, I can only say that I am not. In fact, all this semi-conspiracy stuff about conversion moments and cultish supporters is annoyingly stupid, as the primary voters are rather accurately pointing out. How many states has Obama won now? Are all those people voting for him closet cultists?

Posted by: nepeta on February 14, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

scotian,

What about this disclaimer do you not understand?

In fairness, Scotian's statement below concluded a post arguing against an alarmist association of the Obama phenom with Nazism. Also, this was not the comment (which I don't even remember) that finally landed him on my shitlist. However, as I complained above, it is characteristic of scotian's repetitive drone that Obama supporters are mindless participants in a cult of personality.

Again, I acknowledged that you were arguing against an alarmist association of the Obama phenom with Nazism. I included the post date and time so anyone could check for themselves (my guess: nobody cares; reminder: my shitlist was half in jest).

Still, your statement is interesting, since it seems to contradict the rest of your argument, which is that indeed it may be histrionic to compare the Obama movement with the rise of the Third Reich:

Indeed, in many ways I would be happier if I saw a real political movement with Obama, those are not inherently as dangerous as the cults of personality such as the one Hitler turned into the Nazi movement.

Did you not argue with nepeta above that Obama lacks "a real political movement"? Did you not say, "I am concerned that there is a cult of personality surrounding Obama"? Does that not imply that his movement has the potential of being as "dangerous as the cults of personality such as the one Hitler turned into the Nazi movement."

Where is cmdicely when you need him.

I happen to value my name and honour blah blah blah.

You know what? So do I. So do the many people who have been categorically dismissed as robo-fascists because they support Barack Obama.

Do me a favor, scotian, enough crying wolf. Make good on your repeated threat to ignore me. Kevin is so prolific, and I have wasted so much time responding to your grievances that I haven't caught up with ethanol and Canadian health care and whatnot. Very annoying.

Mike: Despite the lubricious irrationality of your statements

lubricious irrationality? Ooh la la!

Posted by: Lucy on February 14, 2008 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK
Obama's discussion of the Republican 'party of ideas' stuff (which he never described as 'good' ideas) took up approximately 2 minutes.... ....all this semi-conspiracy stuff about conversion moments .... is annoyingly stupid, nepeta at 5:16 PM
What is significant is that he didn't describe them as bad ideas, which left the implication that he did not consider them so. If he spend 2 minutes on it, he had ample time do discuss the value of those ideas. The fact that he didn't condemn them is what is significant.

The quotations for the Sacramento Bee prove the importance of talking about the Conversion Moment to the campaign which you have done on numerous occasions. There is no discussion with people like you who endlessly repeat your campaign's talking points, no matter how discredited or ridiculous. Your are simply too intellectually dishonest. If the campaign is not paying you, it would have to be because your efforts are so blatant and shameless, they are an embarrassment.

And I object to the cynical circulation of a meme designed to belittle and dismiss an opponent...... Lucy at 8:15 AM... Lucy at 2:03 PM
Yet that is your standard mode of argument, with a few cuss words thrown in for good measure. Too bad none of your pathetic examples prove your contention or approach the flagrantly crude comment of your comrade filmex. Since I don't recall anyone actually complaining about filmex, I can only say, whine me a river, toots, because your side is far far worse. Posted by: Mike on February 14, 2008 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Mike,

I've just got to ask: what did you have in mind when you wrote "lubricious irrationality"?

Posted by: Lucy on February 14, 2008 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Toots"? Toots?

That made me laugh out loud.

Posted by: Lucy on February 14, 2008 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

So do I. So do the many people who have been categorically dismissed as robo-fascists because they support Barack Obama.

Hear! Hear! (pounding desk in approval)

Posted by: snicker-snack on February 14, 2008 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

"What is significant is that he didn't describe them as bad ideas, which left the implication that he did not consider them so." - Mike

It only left that implication to those who are brain-dead. Do you hate Obama so much that you would need him to qualify his Reagan remarks by criticizing the 'ideas' themselves? Obama is so obviously past your intellectual level that he leaves you in the dust. Is there any similarity to Reagan's policies and Obama's? Can you name one similarity that would lead you to believe Obama was praising Reagan on policy grounds?


"Your are simply too intellectually dishonest."

Look who's calling me intellectually dishonest.
You are not only intellectually dishonest but intellectually vacuous, empty-headed, and really not worth the time spent replying to.

Posted by: nepeta on February 14, 2008 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

robo-fascists? Nobody here thinks any of you are fascists. Please, you're Obamazooids which is way better. And snack, be careful banging your fists, you wouldn't want to break a nail...

Posted by: elmo on February 14, 2008 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, I'll stop before I do damage than good. But I'm not sorry. I didn't fuck with you Obamazooids because I support Hillary, which I do, I did it because I think Obama is going to win. And I wouldn't be down with a fucked up convention any more than the rest of you.

I'll be here fighting when the wingnuts come if Obama wins, and they will, but if I have to become a Obamazooid you purists better be here by my side, or I will go back to school to get smarter and write a fucking book about your asses...and it wont be pretty!

I think I speak for most when I say the adoption of so many wingnut talking points to criticize Hillary is stupid. And that is my beef in this fight, the blind hatred of Hillary.

Does anyone really believe that if Obama gets in office he wont piss his base off every now and then? I've been just as pissed as most when Hillary voted all fucked up, but do you really believe she is a shrill who cares nothing of her country? Do you really believe she is doing this for her own personal pleasure?

That's were the shit hits the fan for me. If Obama wins I will be proud of you guys/gals. But if Hillary wins, will you hate me?


Posted by: elmo on February 14, 2008 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

I know this sounds queer, but Air Supply's "Lost in Love" just came on my iPod. Listen to the words, and think about the situation we are in now, it'll make you laugh your ass off...

I'm a child of the 80's what am I supposed to do?

Posted by: elmo on February 14, 2008 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

Was all that insane enough?

Posted by: elmo on February 15, 2008 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

"If Obama wins I will be proud of you guys/gals. But if Hillary wins, will you hate me?"

Of course we Obama supporters won't hate you, Elmo. I think however it turns out, though, that both sides will probably have more than ample opportunity to say 'I told you so.' So, which would you rather play, defense or offense? Hm, I don't look forward to either position. Maybe we'll all have forgotten the primary battles and all be on the same side by then, stranger things have happened.

Posted by: nepeta on February 15, 2008 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

So, which would you rather play, defense or offense?

It's been my experience that you better be proficient at both, but yeah, you can't win for losing these days...

Posted by: elmo on February 15, 2008 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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