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Old 07-23-2010, 07:56 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa家h
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Default Re: On a related note: "Van Jones To Netroots: Quit Beating Up On Obama"

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
So long as we're somewhat on the topic of progressive criticisms of Obama, I'm curious to see what liberals think of this article from WaPo. Do you think Markos is being smart/fair by suggesting what he does here? Two separate questions.

The Markos-related section of that article, for reference:

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos blog and an organizer of the first such annual conference five years ago, said he and his followers are disinclined to help Democratic candidates simply to preserve the party's big majorities.

"There's a lot of Democrats I'll be happy to see go," Moulitsas said in an interview. "I'll celebrate when Blanche Lincoln is out of the Senate. There is a price to be paid for inaction and incompetence. We're not getting much done with 59 [Democratic senators], so if we're down to 54, who cares?"

Moulitsas went on to suggest that a smaller Democratic majority in the House might be better for advancing a more progressive agenda. "If 20 Blue Dogs lost their seats, nobody's going to care," he said. "That's their problem and I'm not going to cry about them. To me, a more cohesive caucus might be a better deal moving forward than one in which the Blue Dogs need to be appeased."
"Smart/fair?" Hard to say yes/no.

If you mean by "fair" are his criticisms fair, I'd say, sure. As much as anybody's, at least. He can make a solid case for his desires not being met, promises he believed in not getting delivered, etc. If you mean by "fair" is it reasonable to expect that all of his desires could have been met, I'd say, no, he's being unreasonable -- unrealistic, even -- in that sense.

I think that it is perfectly legitimate for someone to feel as though pressure from the left has to be kept up in order to keep the Dems from drifting ever rightward. I think it is perfectly legitimate for a liberal to be upset at the antics or lack of action of some of the more conservative and/or business-friendly and/or risk-averse and/or whatever Democrats. I think it is a legitimate point of view to think that a DINO ought to be voted out of office, even if it's only out of irritation and one does not expect to be able to keep that seat by immediately pushing forward a more liberal candidate.

All this, especially the last part, can be seen as taking the long view, thinking strategically, etc. In the general case, I would not have too much of a problem with it, and in fact, I applauded such attitudes when they were on display back in 2004 and 2006.

However, in the specific case of 2010, I think the smarter approach is for everyone on the left and/or nominally a Democrat to stick together, because (1) we are in a bad economic situation, which always hurts the incumbents and majority party, and (2) the Republicans currently in Congress and most likely to get voted into office strike me as about 95% stone fucking crazy. While Markos might be a little bit right about Blanche Lincoln, on one bill, I don't think he's even close to being right with his 59 ... 54 ... who cares? attitude. Because the difference is having to get five more Republicans to sign on to get anything done in the Senate. We already know how hard it is to get one. I guarantee Markos we will get nothing done in the next two years with 54 Dems in the Senate, and then "lack of accomplishments" will be hurled at Obama by the right and the SCLM for all of 2012.

Also, I think, like Jeff, that it's firebagger-level nonsense to say we haven't gotten much done over the past 18 months. I would say to him: Moonbat, please.

So, taken literally, I think he sounds like a bonehead. However, I'm not sure I take him literally. I think there is still some time for Netroots Nation to push the Dems in office for a bit. Note the next sentence after the above:

His bold statement came as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) are scheduled to address the convention Saturday and take questions from the audience.
You generally don't get much respect from the powers that be unless you can threaten them with withholding support, be it financial or otherwise. So, in this sense, I could see Markos's talking of today as negotiating tactics. And the fact that he's got the two most powerful members of Congress coming to visit, in person, ain't exactly chopped liver.

So, as to the question of Smart?, I'll have to reserve judgment until we get nearer Election Day, but I sure won't say "dumb" right now.

Sorry I can't give a meaningful shorter answer than that.

Last edited by bjkeefe; 07-23-2010 at 07:59 PM..
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