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Axelrod to Susie Madrak: "Honey, you know I love you! Now STFU and give me that money!"

Susie's got some access, and she shows how to use it:

Top Obama adviser David Axelrod got an earful of the liberal blogosphere's anger at the White House moments ago, when a blogger on a conference call directly called out Axelrod over White House criticism of the left, accusing the administration of "hippie punching."

"We're the girl you'll take under the bleachers but you won't be seen with in the light of day," the blogger, Susan Madrak of Crooks and Liars, pointedly told Axelrod on the call, which was organized for liberal bloggers and progressive media.

Axelrod answered:

“[AXELROD:] Let me say this. I really believe this is the most consequential time in our lifetime… We are in a struggle, we are in a fight. We don’t have to agree, but we all have to lock arms and move forward here. [Translation: STFU and give us your money] ....

And we get? Seriously, Dave, have you considered playing old-fashioned politics, like I understand they do in Chicago, by giving something to the people you supposedly want on your side?

“[AXELROD:] Saying we shouldn’t be involved in intramural [What? Grade school recess? What's wrong with this guy?] skirmishes, I couldn’t agree more. [Translation: STFU and give us your money] And that goes on both sides… I’m not lecturing you, I’m speaking to everyone involved on our side. There are big things at stake here. The nature of progressive thought is that we go at it, we trade ideas, and that’s as it should be. But we have to come together [Translation: STFU and give us your money]. ... Whatever differences we have pale in comparison to the differences to the folks out there today masquerading as representatives of the American people.” [Translation: Look! Over there! Sarah Palin!]

I like the "big things at stake" riff. "Big things" like what? Like 10% nominal (20% real) unemployment? No. The Ds are normalizing it. Like the Ds trying to steal the Rs "tax cut" clothes? They're not even going to hold a vote. Like the wars? Iraq is still going on, and Afghanistan is getting worse. Like executive lawlessness? Obama ratified and consolidated everything Bush did. Like HCR? A bailout for the insurance companies. Like FinReg? The banksters are bigger than ever, and just as accountable as they were under Bush, which is to say, not at all. Like Social Security? Obama's Cat Food Commission is going to cut it after the election.

Neither party's done jack squat, except for bailing out the top 1% for when they lost the rent money at the track. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

NOTE Booman makes a further contribution to the Annals of Progressive Idiocy with "balanced" comment:

On our side, though, we were far too quick to assign the worst motivations to the administration. We made ourselves their enemy and earned their enmity. ....

Why? Not clapping hard enough? And what do you mean "we," Boo?

It's a two-way failure, as the exchange between Madrak and Axelrod crystallized. I hope people listen to what Axelrod had to say. But I'm also glad that Madrak had the balls to get in Ax's face.

Well, I've been schooled in the "had the balls" locution, because -- and I know this will come as a surprise to career "progressives" like Booman -- more than half the human race doesn't have balls. I believe it was CD who suggested "have the stones," since stones could refer to both balls and -- pay attention, here, Booman, because I'm only going to say this once -- ovaries. And if we need to have that discussion, could we have it in a separate post?

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Submitted by libbyliberal on

Thanks for sharing this. Axelrod ... one of the few who must have known Obama's hollowness. Oprah, too. Cronyism ... sell out the country for your own opportunism and your bud's.

Feeling ashamed of the under bleacher seduction. Not going under again.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

From FDL:

Axelrod tried to make it sound like Madrak was saying she wanted help (I don’t really know what he was intimating here), but Madrak said, “No, I said help us help you. Don’t make our jobs so much harder with these comments.”

Submitted by lambert on

... I would have thought it was the administration's job to help me -- as a citizen -- but that's not happening, is it?

Submitted by lambert on

That is the subtext, and I missed it.

I never did and never have considered it my job to help the Ds do anything. My job is to push for the policies that are right, and figure out Plan B in case the Ds don't help us. Well, Plan A, I guess, at this point, but you know what I mean.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Turns out we've (Is "we" the left? The blogosphere?) "earned" the administration's "enmity." It is well and good that the Obama administration treats "us" as enemies. Nice!


The number one thing the White House should have done differently is to level with people about the constraints they are facing in Congress.

Silly hippie, you might have thought the #1 thing would be actually pursuing left-populist policies, but nope. All they should have done differently is run the campaign on:

* No hope
* No change
* No we can't

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

That if you're looking for something to have your back in a fight, "balls" which are only capable of retreat, aren't it. If you want something with strength that won't back down, you gotta go with the pussy.

Back, OT, though, good on Susie Madrak, Axelrod's a douchehound. Good on the brackets lambert, they are absolutely spot on.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

to the discontented left. Her point is spot on that you don't court constituents by insulting them. Note that by holding the conference call for bloggers, Alexrod assumes that they owe their allegiance to Democrats.

I'd like someone to ask Alexrod why left bloggers, liberals and progressives in general, should support Democrats when the policies pursued by the White House and congress aren't liberal policies. They have to earn the support of bloggers by actions.

Watching a couple recent interviews with Pres. Clinton, he said that Democrats need to make their case - state what they've accomplished and how they differ from Republicans in what they will do. I think the trouble with that idea is that there's not much to say. Social Security? Obama's cat food commission is dismantling that. Health care? Insurance companies have already planned how to skirt around that poorly written bill. Taxes? Democrats are caving to the Republican position on the expiring tax cuts. War? It certainly appears that Obama is doing the same things McCain would have done - he's got the same secretary of defense as the Republicans had so no difference there. Civil rights? Obama is leaving a stain on the reputation of constitutional lawyers everywhere. Environment? Obama left BP in charge of the oil disaster - that's what a Republican would have done, leave it to the private sector. Gay rights? Look, Obama is opposed to same sex marriage and he asked homophobic preachers to speak at his campaign events. Somebody tell me in what way that differs from a bigoted Republican.

I don't think Democrats have a case to make that liberals should support them in the upcoming election.

Submitted by jawbone on

more than a couple appearnces, and, damn he is good. But...he's trying to revive an idea of the party that isn't there anymore, it seems to me. At least not with the leadership. There are still Dems from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, but they are so few and with little power.

Yes, Dems could go out and say we are the party that will protect SocSec for you voters and for coming generations, but they can't. Not without some Repub just quoting DINO Pres. Obama's own words.

The Repubs don't even need to mention the Cat Food Commission, bcz Obama made SocSec "reform" and "problems" an issue back in November of 2007! So they don't even have to open themselves up to what they will do when the Cat Food Commission's recommendations come out. And if someone asks, they will simply say they have no idea what Obama's commission [stacked with deficit hawks and those longing to cut SocSe]c might do.

BTW, Clinton has not looked well to me -- maybe he lost too much weight? Or too fast to be ready for Chelsea's wedding? Or...?

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

are trying to push the Dems to shape up; or maybe they are positioning themselves to lead a Dem house-cleaning & reform, or maybe it's all just my wishful thinking.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

I love translations. I'm reading Tom Geoghegan's superlative memoir and social commentary of his life as a Chicago labor lawyer "Which Side are You On." You get a real good sense about the good, the bad, and the ugly of my home town, Chicago and a glimpse into the nasty narcissistic sociopaths who are now in charge.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

She may have stones (I don't trust anyone with access these days), but the dialogue plays nicely into the Legacy Party Two-Step. Axelrod ties himself together with Susie with his quick tongue so the right (and the media) gets to paint Obama as a "liberal" (or "progressive"--are proggers trying to become liberal bloggers now that they fucked the "progressive) brand?) for being associated with her in some way. This let's Obama paint himself as being "anti-business" and that there is a general tension between Obama and the Wall Street MOTU. And, for good measure, as you point out there is the "look over there" framework thrown in.

Submitted by jawbone on

to the party's roots and principles. But, she also sees what is going so wrong with this administration. She might be a bit like Krugman in that she still feels the establishment can be made to work for everyone. But, more than many other bloggers, she has suffered from this horrible economic situation brought to us by Conservative Repubs, Libertarian Repubs, Trangulating and Corporatist Dems, and Go-Along with the Leadership Dems. (I've probably missed several responsible groups, so feel free to edit/correct this list.)

I really appreciate her savvy, good writing, great pickups from the blogosphere and MCM. Etc.

And she did make it very clear with her metaphor just how disappointed and angry the left is. May it have some good effect, please dog!

She could use some monetary help, if any are able.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

As Ned Flanders once said, "my family and I can't live in *good* intentions." I didn't mean to sound like Susie M has ill intentions, but I do see her as an integral part of the game that has us stuck in our current situation.

Submitted by Hugh on

I nominate "I’m not lecturing you" for political phrase of the week. As in, hey David, I'm not lecturing you but as long as the Obama Administration remains as anti-progressive as it has been to date progressives and independents are not going to be voting for Democrats and will be staying away from the polls in droves. No, David, I am not lecturing you. Just understand that you can take your "most consequential time in our lifetime… We are in a struggle, we are in a fight" and put it in the same trashcan you put our progressive agenda.