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View Full Version : Civil rights win against Bush and Obama. Bravo!


Wonderment
03-31-2010, 05:12 PM
How far will Eric Holder go to defend (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/31/AR2010033102442.html?hpid=topnews)Bush regime domestic surveillance?

Whatfur
04-02-2010, 09:09 AM
Obama even worse (or better?). (http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2010/04/obama_wiretap_ruling.php)

bjkeefe
04-02-2010, 04:23 PM
... for you to think about (http://openleft.com/diary/18066/the-progressive-internet-space-changed-because-obama-convinced-it-to-change), W.

(via (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/03/31/let-love-rule/))

popcorn_karate
04-02-2010, 05:06 PM
... for you to think about (http://openleft.com/diary/18066/the-progressive-internet-space-changed-because-obama-convinced-it-to-change), W.

(via (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/03/31/let-love-rule/))

and for you to think about, from your Palin thread we have Danile Larison:

"“Yes, Palin may not know anything, and she may not be qualified, but she is one of ours and she makes those people crazy!” It is hardly news to me that mass politics is primarily tribal. We know that the qualifications of a candidate and policies endorsed during a campaign have little or nothing to do with the responses of most voters. What I cannot quite understand is why people who claim to be “conservative intellectuals” act as if this is perfectly fine. "

I think the reason the intellectual left doesn't seem to care much about the fact that Obama is governing as essentially a moderate republican is tribalism, and because he makes the other side froth at the mouth.

bjkeefe
04-02-2010, 05:30 PM
and for you to think about, from your Palin thread we have Danile Larison:

"“Yes, Palin may not know anything, and she may not be qualified, but she is one of ours and she makes those people crazy!” It is hardly news to me that mass politics is primarily tribal. We know that the qualifications of a candidate and policies endorsed during a campaign have little or nothing to do with the responses of most voters. What I cannot quite understand is why people who claim to be “conservative intellectuals” act as if this is perfectly fine. "

I think the reason the intellectual left doesn't seem to care much about the fact that Obama is governing as essentially a moderate republican is tribalism, and because he makes the other side froth at the mouth.

You can fit pretty much anything into your chosen narrative, can't you?

Especially if you're allowed to hypothesize back into existence extinct creatures ("moderate Republicans") and invoke the Underpants Gnomes to make your connections, to wit:

1. Mass politics is tribal
2. ????????
3. The intellectual left is tribal!

To the extent that I can speak as one of the "intellectual left," I would say that what I predicted during that campaign -- that he'd be fairly centrist, consensus-seeking, and certainly not the "radical" the Republicans were threatening he'd be -- has turned out to be about right. Though I'd like more liberal goals pursued more aggressively, this is about as much as I thought, and think, is reasonable to expect, given the realities of America as it now stands. And though I snicker at them for doing it, I do not actually like that no matter what he does or says, a quarter to a third of the country goes instantly into frothing-at-the-mouth hysteria.

You might also ask yourself how many of these foamers who have spent the past two years howling about Obama consider him a "moderate" of any sort, and then consider how you'd like to be governed by the sort of people these people would choose.

popcorn_karate
04-02-2010, 06:42 PM
You can fit pretty much anything into your chosen narrative, can't you?

Especially if you're allowed to hypothesize back into existence extinct creatures ("moderate Republicans") and invoke the Underpants Gnomes to make your connections, to wit:

1. Mass politics is tribal
2. ????????
3. The intellectual left is tribal!

To the extent that I can speak as one of the "intellectual left," I would say that what I predicted during that campaign -- that he'd be fairly centrist, consensus-seeking, and certainly not the "radical" the Republicans were threatening he'd be -- has turned out to be about right. Though I'd like more liberal goals pursued more aggressively, this is about as much as I thought, and think, is reasonable to expect, given the realities of America as it now stands. And though I snicker at them for doing it, I do not actually like that no matter what he does or says, a quarter to a third of the country goes instantly into frothing-at-the-mouth hysteria.

You might also ask yourself how many of these foamers who have spent the past two years howling about Obama consider him a "moderate" of any sort, and then consider how you'd like to be governed by the sort of people these people would choose.

just as Republicans now say they disliked much of what bush did, but they were perfectly happy to let it all go by with a shrug when it was pissing-off dirty hippies, now the left shrugs at the perpetuation of the surveillance state, the dismantling of civil liberties, heritage foundation health care reform, off shore oil drilling etc.

I call it the whiplash effect. each side gets alternating turns at frothing at the mouth, and then shrugging as the same basic course is pursued by both parties, but with completely different stage sets for their show.

that is perhaps just a touch too cynical, I admit. If we get meaningful financial reform (which does not look too likely) I may have to consider dialing down my cynicism. hmmm and the student loan reform in the HCR was definitely good...

ahhh just shut up and let me be hyperbolically cynical, you damn fact-based, overly reasonable SOB!

edit - just in case its not clear: ; )

Wonderment
04-02-2010, 07:23 PM
... for you to think about, W.

I thought about it, and I think it's 100% wrong.

Obama was an impressive candidate who built an impressive coalition. He mobilized people to vote for him and against McCain (and the Bush-Cheney legacy). People loved the Obama personal narrative and despised Bush and what he had done to the country. The rest of Bowers' argument -- the part about winning the hearts and minds of progressives -- is a fable.

It's a huge stretch to suggest Obama "persuaded" progressives to change their views. I, for example, campaigned for him and voted for him, but I certainly was not persuaded by his policy program. He was simply (infinitely) better than McCain/Palin.

The big fallacy in Bowers' argument is the notion that "He [Obama] won the argument among the progressive base." Getting their vote is not winning the argument.

Plus, I don't even get the claim that citizens are complaining that the progressive blogosphere was more critical in the past. Who's complaining? Rather, what I notice is quite predictable -- progressives who are lazy political citizens get very complacent when a Dem. is president. One of the virtues of being among the older people denigrated by Bowers is historical memory. We recall Kennedy, Carter and Clinton. The left pretty much went to sleep under all three.

There's also the Kennedyesque Obama cult that should be factored into assessing the strength of the O-base. A lot of progressives did develop a crush on Obama. But that probably won't last much longer. As it fades citizens will get more clarity about national leadership.

bjkeefe
04-02-2010, 07:41 PM
[...] ahhh just shut up and let me be hyperbolically cynical, you damn fact-based, overly reasonable SOB!

edit - just in case its not clear: ; )

Heh, no, it was clear before (I got to) the edit.

Your overall sense is not without merit, and to no small degree, I share your cynicism about politicians in general. I just think, for whatever reason, that there is more reason than usual to have a little bit of trust in Obama as being the guy he ran on -- someone serious about looking to build consensus to solve long-term problems.

Sadly, this means that he will judge some things that you and I care about as lower priority and/or less achievable, and so will think of them as places where he can offer a trade or does not want to spend the time, energy, and political capital. Or, perhaps in some cases, judges that it's better to move more slowly than we would like.

This is not to say it's not still important to push for what you want. I'd just like to see it put in terms of "We've got something way better than the alternative; now, how can we make it better?" as opposed to "Ah, they're all the same. He's just like Bush." That's all.

bjkeefe
04-02-2010, 07:44 PM
I thought about it, and I think it's 100% wrong.

Okay. Welp, thanks for thinking about, I guess is all I can say.

Apart from what I just said (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=157391#post157391) to p_k, I mean.

Wonderment
04-02-2010, 08:20 PM
I'd just like to see it put in terms of "We've got something way better than the alternative; now, how can we make it better?" as opposed to "Ah, they're all the same. He's just like Bush." That's all.

But who says, "He's just like Bush." To note that there is -- on some major issues -- continuity with the Bush regime is not to say "He's just like Bush." I just got done saying he's infinitely preferable to Bush-Cheney; I've never met anyone who thinks Obama is "just like Bush."

But on some issues there is just going to be major disagreement with Obama. Why smooth that over? Millions of US progressives, for example, are anti-death penalty; Obama is pro-death penalty. Tens of millions are pro same-sex marriage; Obama is opposed. War in Afghanistan? Single payer health care? There are many issues regarding which it's important that progs. remain (fiercely?) independent.

Whatfur
04-02-2010, 09:12 PM
Independantly speaking. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/02/democrats-no-longer-ride-tide-of-support/)

bjkeefe
04-02-2010, 11:12 PM
But who says, "He's just like Bush." To note that there is -- on some major issues -- continuity with the Bush regime is not to say "He's just like Bush."

The difference gets awfully blurry, as for example with the title you chose for this thread.

Also, I am not only speaking of what you, specifically, say -- you sometimes become a stand-in for a certain mindset I encounter elsewhere, where I do not always have the opportunity to respond directly.

I just got done saying he's infinitely preferable to Bush-Cheney; I've never met anyone who thinks Obama is "just like Bush."

Lucky you (http://www.google.com/search?q=obama+just+like+bush).

I grant that you said that he's preferable. I'm just saying that it's less apparent, at a first glance, that you believe that, and much more suggestive that you don't, both in this thread and elsewhere.

But on some issues there is just going to be major disagreement with Obama. Why smooth that over?

In some senses, I'm not saying smooth it over. I'm merely saying think about how you might otherwise register your disagreements.

In other senses, though, I kind of am. Perhaps not exactly smooth it over, but keep in mind that not all goals can be tied for priority one. Again, I'm not just saying you in particular; I tend to react when you put up something like you did to start this thread to what's been building by coming across other lefties who are flipping out over whatever their pet issue or peeve is. In almost all of the cases, it's not that I disagree with the goal, it's just that I get tired of people melting down and not stopping to think what's involved with being the president and having to deal with all issues, not to mention a myriad of different views on these issues, not to mention the reality that a majority of this country does not consider themselves firmly liberal.

Wonderment
04-03-2010, 12:08 AM
I tend to react when you put up something like you did to start this thread to what's been building by coming across other lefties who are flipping out over whatever their pet issue or peeve is. In almost all of the cases, it's not that I disagree with the goal, it's just that I get tired of people melting down and not stopping to think what's involved with being the president and having to deal with all issues, not to mention a myriad of different views on these issues, not to mention the reality that a majority of this country does not consider themselves firmly liberal.

I see your point. Just think, however, how much you'd hate living in a world that lacked a left critique of Obama.

bjkeefe
04-03-2010, 12:17 AM
I see your point. Just think, however, how much you'd hate living in a world that lacked a left critique of Obama.

Yes, I quite agree, and I myself was fairly rabid about the DLC-ism and general rightward drift of the Dems in the 1990s.

I am not saying I don't want critiques, and I can't really articulate what it is I wish for from you, p_k, and others elsewhere. I guess, just ... words matter. How you say things matters. Dial it down a notch. Keep in mind that the other side always has more solidarity than we do. Think about how your words could be used against us and our larger goals. Something like that.

bjkeefe
04-03-2010, 09:59 PM
... to think about, from Betty Cracker this time: "The Great Crazy (http://www.rumproast.com/index.php/site/comments/the_great_crazy/)."

Here's where she's coming from (presented after an intro that recalls the early campaign):

We Obama supporters who are personally to the left of Obama politically (in my case, far to his left) took a lot of heat back then for believing he was the more progressive candidate. We’ve taken even more since he became president.

It's a good essay (http://www.rumproast.com/index.php/site/comments/the_great_crazy/).