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The power of intimidation

vastleft's picture

Jane:

Many people managed to convince themselves that Obama was a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool progressive at some point during the primaries. For no reason as far as I could tell -- his voting record in the Senate was pretty much identical to Hillary Clinton's, and the people he surrounded himself with weren't exactly "outsiders." But in the midst of the pie fights, that hardly seemed worth dwelling on for the pointless vitriolic arguments it would have engendered.

(emphasis added)

I mean, it's not like whether or not Obama was a progressive (or responsive to progressives) really mattered to the people who frequent left-wing blogs, did it? Or that the time to come to grips with that might have been back before, dare I say it, June?

Better that the mellow stayed unharshed, I say!

(via)

UPDATE: Response here to Jane's comment, below.

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goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

...there were several votes that set Clinton and Obama apart and put her to his left *before* the FISA bill. Or maybe it was just rumors of things to come like how he was perfectly OK with John Roberts until someone told him that Democrats weren't cool with it. Or how he didn't think there should be limits on usury. We could have settles his commitment to Islam right then and there. Little stuff like that adds up. Then there was the hard stuff that Clinton had to vote on for four years that Barry would have been conveniently absent for. Like, can't you just see him voting "present" on the IWR? I totally could.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

We could have settles his commitment to Islam right then and there.

that is troll material. Say what you like about Obama, he was raised by his grandparents to be a Christian and is a member of the UCC. Repeating an allegation ad nauseam doesn't make it credible. And the only reason to keep repeating this, other than you don't like Obama, is to smear Moslems, who have enough problems in this country without you adding to it.

Shame on you, I didn't like this when it was done to the Clintons and I don't like anti-Obama smears. Keep it clean.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

My understanding is that he was raised largely without religion (lucky dog) and that he had an epiphany in Rev. Wright's church. Also, I'm not sure whether he currently affiliates with UCC as opposed to some other church (he surely needs to consult with Sally Quinn on that, of course).

Perhaps he had more Christian indoctrination before that, from his grandparents as you say, not that there's anything especially right with that.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

DCB, who tirelessly promotes Universal Healthcare, adding humongous value to Corrente?

You don't have to agree with her about everything. But she ain't no troll. Nor a guy.

Submitted by lambert on

That is all.

Submitted by ohio on

on not capping credit card interest rates versus the traditional position on interest rates for many of the Muslim faith.

Shariah law condemns the taking of interest. Basically, and as I'm remembering though the intertoobes may prove me wrong, usury and interest are raised in the Koran, linked linked to almsgiving, social justice, and not haranguing people who owe you money.

It's a pretty interesting subject and there was a rise in acadmic study on Islamic economic theory pertaining to investment versus interest a few years ago. I lifted this quickly from wikipedia, but I think this is right: concepts from Islamic banking are profit sharing (Mudharabah), safekeeping (Wadiah), joint ventures (Musharakah), cost plus (Murabahah), and leasing (Ijarah). There are some very interesting strategies for getting around the restrictions.

I think goldberry's point was that by refusing to cap the usurious rates on credit cards while in the Senate, Sen. Obama proved he was not Muslim and he did not follow Shariah law.

Agree that this point is, well, pointless, but it isn't trolling.

Submitted by ohio on

I find very cool. Cool enough to consider for the new Bank of Ohio I plan on starting. Gimme gimme gimme my T.A.R.P.

Seriously, if we can develop an informal microlending PB2.0 institution, looking at some of these concepts in depth would be worthwhile.

Submitted by jawbone on

people had learned about his attitude toward usury (no limit on interest rates--which I didn't realize--Goldberry: Have a link for that shocker?), and ,given that Islam proscribes usury, then no one in his or her right mind could have continued accusing Obama of being a Muslim.

Anyway, that's how I read it--that Goldberry was not pushing any trollish or rightwad lie.

Indeed, she was giving the lie to such accusations. (Did I use that phrase correctly??)

As to Obama's religious preferences, I would be very happy to see him assert that his religion is a private matter and will not be flaunted as a political cloak. I am a bit surprised to hear he is not attending church, and hasn't for some months, but that is his choice as well. Personal and private choice. (Altho' the AOL "quiz" found a slight majority concerned about it.)

I'm not sure how that will be preceived by the religions right voters, but he won't need to woo them for a little while.

Anyway, the body is the temple of the lord; so what's wrong with going to the gym on Sunday mornings? Works for me.

St. Paul asked in 1 Corinthians: “Don’t you know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” and “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God?” In 2 Corinthians he comes right out and says it plainly: “We are a temple of the living God; even as God said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’”

The disciple John hints at this when he recounts in his gospel an event when Jesus was in the great temple in Jerusalem and was asked to show the people a sign. “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The people at the temple said, ‘Forty-six years was this temple in building, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he spoke of the temple of his body.”

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

that he objected to the cap because the cap wasn't low enough. I really thought he lost the nomination right there, because it was so startlingly obvious that he was lying through his teeth. He looked like an absolute punk at the moment.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and used it to hurt us gays, and about reproductive rights, and many other policies/positions-- including expanding faith-based funding.

he was never ever private about it--and he is a bigot--and of course, a hypocrite.

Submitted by hipparchia on

my immediate reaction was the same as dcb's, but here it is the next day and i've calmed down, and it still reads like muslim is being used as a slur here, as in 'there may be a lot of things wrong with obama, but at least we know he's not a muslim.'

Submitted by hipparchia on

you east coast libruls are cute, but y'all don't get out much do you?

i don't think it was about proving he's not a muslim. one of the things the democrats wanted to do this election cycle is woo the moderate evangelicals away from the republican party, and obama was doing this, speaking to them in their language, meeting them in the venues where they feel most comfortable. and yes, they all do feel that god calls each and every one of us to follow an assigned path, and that the highest measure of a human being is to answer that calling. to exercise free will and go against god's plan for you is a great evil.

nor does it come across to me as grandstanding. i'm convinced he's genuinely, deeply religious, that this means a lot to him.

not that i approve, or want any of that in my president, i like the separation of church and state, but i'm guessing it'll be a cold day in hell before we get a genuinely, openly atheist president, and i'd settle for a muslim or a buddhist.

probably he did join trinity church to help his career, but i think y'all are probably wrong in the rest of your estimations of obama's religiosity and what means to him.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

They are, after all, the hyper educated "creative" class. At least the online folks. Maybe its time we stop thinking they were fooled. The whole fist in the mouth comment seems to indicate that they are fully aware of Obama's shortcomings as a "progressive".

This is the whole reason I use progressive as a pejorative. I believe they knew what they were doing and what Obama was all about, and it wasn't necessarily about liberalism.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Or was it really just a few who also happen to be very loud?

Certainly part of the Lie Machine of the VRWC was to paint Obama falsely as a raging "Librul"/Socialist/Communist/Revolutionary, and I think many on the Right believe that to be true. In a weird way this propaganda was embraced by some Progressives as proof of Obamas' Progressive cred even as every statement of his refuted Progressive behaviors and argued instead for Centrist policies. What I don't agree with is the notion that ""many" people in the Middle or the Left of the country accepted the Progressive apellation. I think instead that most of the people who voted for him saw him clearly for what he is, someone not as crazy as BushCo but also not someone who will make big changes very quickly - they saw him as a safe alternative to madness.

I live in a very Progressive little corner of America, the San Francisco Bay Area, and don't travel as much as I used to so perhap my perceptions are skewed, but the people I spoke to during the primary and the general largely saw Obama as desirable because he is either (a) unfettered by the baggage of past administrations or (b) a general feeling that Center-Right is better than Radical Reactionary. That he had baggage of his own didn't seem to matter. That a Progressive agenda is unlikely to be embraced by someone Center-Right also didn't matter as nearly as much as the practical desire to end Radical Reactionary rule.

Certainly there was a contingent of emotionally-based Obama Fans here as elsewhere, the Trendies are everywhere and in CA we have more than our share, but most of the Obama supporters I've spoken with came to their position in a practical way, eyes wide open. Perhaps that was a self-selected cohort, always a danger, but I do wonder how much of the current meme constructing is based on reality and how much on a need to backfill the writer's pre-existing prejudices about the electorate.

Another caveat is that we should be very careful to not consider as Progressives loud voices like Sullivan and Hitchens and the Kos community; they are not. They have always been Conservatives, who walked away from the Republican Party only as it became unbearably repulsive in the grip of naked criminality and rank Reactionary authoritarianism. That they for some time characterized Obama as Left-of-Center is an artifact of their position on the Right of the political spectrum, nothing more. That they became comfortable with Obama's position as a Center-Right Conservative is not a shock, it is their natural philosophical position; if they were not all such sexists they would have been comfortable with Hillary's Center-Right position as well.

This election, including the primaries and the general, was an extremely complex event. While it is tempting to try and formulate generalities and force-fit them into boxes with neat lables, I don't think that will be possible to do and retain accuracy. Any useful analysis of why people aligned and voted as they did will have to be long and carefully thought through; analyses that include broad aggregators using words like "many" or "most" - including mine - should be viewed with substantial caution.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

For those who wanted McCain to run against an America-hating Muslim Marxist, he was that.

For the majority of Americans — who wanted Not Bush's Third Term — he was whichever definition of Not Bush that suited them.

Whatever complaint you might have had about Obama, he was somehow orthogonal to it. The intellectual squirming in Glenn's comment threads shows that. The responses I got about the ----ishness that told me "there's no such thing as a "----" showed how far people would go to conceptualize around any objection to Obama.

When they wanted him to be a liberal, he was a liberal. And when he demonstrably wasn't a liberal, they didn't want him to be a liberal, anyway, because we need a pragmatist, because America is a center-right nation, because a black man can't be elected as a liberal, because labels like liberal no longer have meaning, because, because, because, because of the wonderful things he does.

Since I wanted a liberal, and didn't want not-liberal, he disappointed me pretty quick. But lucky me, he's all upside now, while others are either contorting themselves to make everything he does perfect or dealing with disappointment or confusion. Maybe I'm the only one getting a pony! He said this election was about me! I am so happy!!!!

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Perhaps the reason I'm not terribly unsatisfied is that I truly wasn't hoping for much more than the ability to properly pronounce "nuclear" and I have that, in both the President and the VP. Such a relief to the ears and the psyche and, I would argue, a fairly decent general indicator of more good things to come.

In fairness to Obama he did say very publically that he appears as a blank slate, a shiny reflector, to many people who will in turn be disappointed that he does not meet their projected expectations. That is a refreshing sort of self-analysis, certainly a cut above the self-absorbed lack of analysis inherent to both Bush and McCain.

Obama is a bright lad, I'm pretty sure of that, and seems so far to be free of the grip of any radical ideology in any direction. As a stabilizing influence then, he can not but act in ways that are generically Progressive; government policy has been dragged so far to the Right over the last 40 years that he can't do anything but pull Left or he too will be crushed politically. Seems a feeble sort motivation for change, I know, but it will be change and it is in the proper direction.

I expect he won't want to pull far enough or fast enough, but in contrast to your statement that there is little we can do to affect the course of events I think Progressives are in the best position we have been in since Oh Forever, a real opportunity to push Leftward and add to the momentum of change that is inevitable and going our way – however slowly at first.

My glass is half-full, and there is a scent of rain.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

so there's a start if we can just learn to get along :-)

It comes from ourselves, organizing and focusing the coming disappointment and figuring out how to align that with what will actually be some changes for the better. It won't be easy, but it will be possible and that's a huge difference from fighting a rear-guard defensive action as Progressives have been doing for the last 40 years.

Not to be critical of anyone and not to suggest that reasonable objections should be withheld when actions are inappropriate, but the challenge I see immediately ahead will be for Progressives to shift from a long-established mind-set of being Anti- and begin to build arguments based around Pro-. (See DCBlogger's work on UHC as an example; one among many emerging, no disrespect to others.)

If we want leverage we will have to build the lever; no one is going to hand it to us.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Was being pro-Obama. Anything else -- including being tepidly pro-Obama --was unacceptable.

Being pro-Hillary was considered unspeakable. So, to me the paradigm shift that's needed is for progressives to rejoin the reality-based community. Once we get there, we'll talk.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

about the Obama-adulation. It was and is misplaced...

I'm giving him a chance to make good. He's certainly made people draw lines in the sand.

Results. We need results. My mantra will be: "What have you done for me/us lately, Mr. President?"

You wanted the job.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

To people you and I both know are fools? Annoying but as far as being important to me, not so much. I suggest, gently, that they are only as important to you as you wish to empower them.

If you're waiting for fools to find the right path all on their own I'm afraid you'll be disappointed once again. Howsabout, just for grins while you're waiting, we block out some positions that are so appealing and so well-articulated that the fools will be attracted and move to where we want them to go?

Be the change sort of stuff, y'know what I'm saying?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I didn't wish to empower George Bush any more than I wanted to empower Kos. Some people have influence and abuse it or simply don't deserve it, and some people are more insightful and are, relatively, ignored.

Life ain't all meritocracy, and like Howard the Duck, we're trapped in a world we never made.

I suppose one could say that to be a really good blogger, you need to curry favor, but this year it's been made quite clear that currying favor meant bullshitting or biting your tongue when bullshit is served.

Some bloggers who are not fools bit their tongues so hard, I'm not sure they'll ever heal.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

...well, never mind, this is a family blog.

You misunderstand me. Or, I was insufficiently clear. Whatever.

You seem to be angry, upset, frustrated, put off, something negative in emotion about those who were sucked in by the ObamaPhenomena and how rudely they treated you and others who were not similarly overwhelmed with enthusiasm. Entirely understandable; rather how I feel sometimes around here about some of the comments delivered when my opinions don't conform.

What I'm suggesting - and there's nothing Zen about it, we're talking Jung now - is that the degree to which you choose to have those feelings and how much you let your feelings influence your future course of action is entirely under your control. You hold the power over your own feelings; it is a mistake to give it to anyone else.

There are a lot of Progressives who are hurt by what happened in the primaries and have not been consoled by Obama's election. There are also Progressives - a lot more I think before things are much farther along - who are having second thoughts about their estimation of Obama as somehow one of us. So long as we stay angry with each other - and with Obama - we fracture and marginalize ourselves and diminish our effectiveness. Those feelings are ours and are under our control; we need to be the ones to manage them.

To the extent that we can set aside our lesser differences - and this isn't Zen either, it is Alinsky - to find common ground on which to stand together, we empower ourselves. To the extent that we stay focused on our differences, we empower them and harm ourselves.

It is a choice. I invite you to join in making a positive one.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I often am (for example, when most people self-describe as being religious), and more so when group hysteria overtakes my fellow man. I'm funny that way.

I admit that it may not be so rational to expect people to be rational, but there it is.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I recognize it because it is one of my struggles also.

There is nothing easy about reconciling the heights of what we aspire towards and the limitations on what we can achieve. The key is finding some way to manage the duality and oh my yes it is an unending struggle; if I had the answer we could bottle it and both be rich. But I don't; all there is, it seems, is the struggle.

I so hope there is some way to let the wounds heal and find common ground. If we don't, the bastards will just eat us up again and that will be a great pity.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

You keep describing me as "wounded" or some such thing, which is kind of a put-down.

It suggests that what I have to say is clouded by emotion.

I learn from the past and live in the present, my friend (is it safe to use that phrase again?).

I get angry about injustice and insanity, but I keep my wits about me.

My major foible is blind obeisance to the God of honesty. That's not to say that my vision is clearer than others, but my conscience about whether I've bullshitted may be.

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

... during the primary was to portray Clinton supporters as driven by emotion; "you know how they are." The stages of grief trope was a cognate. No doubt, whenever a messenger needs to be shot, this technique will be used. Be impervious; it's purely instrumental and has nothing to do with you personally.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

because what we all need is another round of Shut The Fuck Up and the closing down of another line of discussion because the terminology drags across some personal raw spot you've been nurturing.

I don't give a flying fuck what was used by some other people in another time and place to do whatever the fuck it was you claim they were trying to do. Has nothing at all to do with me, didn't then and doesn't now. Take your high horse and go tilt at some other windmill; you're just in the way here.

Submitted by ohio on

You just wrote regarding VL in a comment upthread, "You seem to be angry, upset, frustrated, put off, something negative in emotion about those who were sucked in by the ObamaPhenomena and how rudely they treated you and others who were not similarly overwhelmed with enthusiasm."

You seem to be defining VL's response as only emotional, which is a way of minimizing his objections to what happened. I don't think you were trying to insult, but you did the very thing lambert describes---defining VL's actions as based only on emotion, when clearly, that's not all that's going on. It's not about how VL feels---it's about what happened and is continuing to happen to those who dare dissent, only this time dissenters are being stomped by the people who claim to share their beliefs. That VL continues to speak up isn't a sign of rage or whatever, but just a man is sticking to his guns.

He's fighting against behavior that is fundamentally dehumanizing, behavior contrary to his beliefs---basically, I think, a belief in our common humanity. A humanity which often sucks and blows at the same time (that's not his belief , that's mine so don't blame him for that).

Sometimes he hits the gong a little hard, but you know what? That's all right. His head---as well his heart---is in the right place.

I am glad to see you back.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

See further comment here.

I didn't use the word "only" nor did I in any way narrow down VL's feelings or intent or constrain his range of expression nor did I say anything at all denigrative or minimizing. What I said about emotion was part of a larger discusssion, not the sole focus. Context is all, and snatching one segment out of a larger dialogue and misconstruing it is both unfair and denegrative in and of itself.

Lambert can take care of himself; if he wants to have back at me, plenty of space to do that. This is about the dozenth little shitbomb I've had dropped on my head for no good reason over the past couple of months and I'm tired of it so I decided to snap back. Deal with it.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

but in mine it is impossible to be a Romantic and avoid being wounded; comes with the territory. Cervantes wrote a novel about it.

Why on Earth would you view being seen as wounded as a put-down? Never ever would have occurred to me. Rather the opposite, at least in warrior culture, where leaving some of your blood on the field is a badge of honor. Don't know why you see it that way, certainly isn't something I had in mind when I spoke of it. To further the point, though, just a little, are you saying that you did not feel wounded by things that were said during the primary? I certainly did.

As to being "clouded" by emotion, who isn't? Happens all the time, standard human operating proceedure, built into the programming, hardwired into the mainframe. That anyone even marginally sentient could have walked away from the primary without an emotional residuum beggars belief, certainly not someone thoughtful and caring and serious - in the dictionary sense of those words, not snark.

As I read the blogs, here and elsewhere, I see that emotional track still being played out in what to me appear to be "negative" ways. Again, completely normal and not in and of itself "bad" or "wrong". But here we are near to six months out from the decision and many people are still focused backwards (see lambert's comment) with what is in my mind an excess of zeal, a directing of energy retrograde that is beginning In. My. Humble. Opinion. to impede forward progress.

It is just an observation, not a condemnation. The primary was emotionally brutal and it will take some time to process especially for those who took the conflict personally. Many people then took the whole thing very personally, in my view excessively so but that is just my view; many hurtful things were said by both sides and much damage was done to formerly close personal and professional relationships. I am wishing that soon a process of reconciliation can get started and the discussion of what Progressives should be doing can be framed in terms of, as you say, the present and also the future, and not so much within constraints encumbered by the past.

And please; you know me by now. There's no personal condemnation of you in my heart and none intended in my words. You wrote something, I responded; it is a discussion, an open airing of points of view, a direct concerned dialogue and a questing towards progress - something I assumed we are both interested in. I'm not trying to attack you, just asking questions and voicing my thoughts. I do not think less of you because we sometimes disagree; I wish you might view me with the same regard.

Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe this sort of discussion isn't possible here. I hope that is not the case.

my friend (is it safe to use that phrase again?)
It is with me. Always has been.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

But lucky me, he's all upside now, while others are either contorting themselves to make everything he does perfect or dealing with disappointment or confusion.

I have had much the same feeling. I cannot help but smile when I read some these posts of dawning understanding that we have elected the American Tony Blair. Obama's hedgefund contributors (who provided his early big money) realized that a black Democrat could achieve what no Republican would dare.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

with a better cabinet. If he's any more wholesome personally is yet to be seen. I'm expecting this to be one of the most corrupt administrations in history. I think Obama is all about the looting, and about nothing but the looting.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

This is the second or third time in my session, today, that I've seen you saying that you broke down or was near that state. If I may be so bold, I'd advice you to pull yourself together, already. All of this talk about him being "worse then Bush" is simply ridiculous. If even the only difference between he and Bush is that he is more thoughtful, that is a whole world of difference. And if that is the case, if we could survive under Curious George, we sure as hell can survive under President Berry. There is not any evidence that even comes close to showing that Obama would be a bigger looter than Bush, and why you should readily lapped that piece of unnecessay hyberbole up is beyond me.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

he's INcurious George.

Curious George was/is a smart, though mischievous, little monkey.

Suzie's picture
Submitted by Suzie on

His grandparents were Baptists, but they later attended a Unitarian church in the Seattle area, when Obama's mother was a teenager. Unitarians were no longer a Christian denomination by then, although you can be Christian and go to a Unitarian Universalist church.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

That his parents (like my own) weren't very religious, at all. Though it may offend some, it's always been my belief that his religious epiphany was more calculated than genuine, and his choice of Trinity was definitely a short-term political calculation. In fact, a lot of politicians statements of belief are more calculated than anything else. There are very few agnostics and almost no aetheist at high-level political office, and this would have counted against him more that his race or anything else for that matter.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

But in the midst of the pie fights, that hardly seemed worth dwelling on for the pointless vitriolic arguments it would have engendered.

Where was Jane during the primary?!

When you think about all those weak arguments for Obama now, it's more apparent than ever that Hillary was the better candidate.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Everyone had to STFU, or STFUed themselves, so now that the facts for the debate are in the public record, you're a bitter dead-ender for saying something like that.

To make matters worse, when you raise a legitimate concern about Obama today, people act like you're screaming "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!" even if you said and meant nothing of the kind.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

that (perhaps due to Obama's recent proclamations/actions), the adulation level has dropped a few notches. You see, people could attribute all kinds of wonderfulness to him as long as he didn't do or say anything that would piss them off, especially the far left posters who were some of his biggest supporters and Hillary's biggest haters.

That's all changed, of course. He'll never be the president they dreamed about. Makes me smile.

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

but, half a shit sandwich, and all.

And what pie said on (some) supporters.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"as long as he didn't do or say anything that would piss them off"

With few exceptions, absolutely nothing he could do would piss them off.

Like this classic comment:

Subject: [SarasotaforObama] Re: Obama vs. the Constitution
To: "Sarasota for Obama"

Date: Saturday, June 21, 2008, 10:23 PM

Listen pall....take your shit somewhere else...no one wants to hear it on this site.....go stand on your soapbox with McCain supporters..nothing you say means anything to me...Obama could murder somebody at this point and I would still vote for him.....in other words...go f*@& yourself!!!

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

oher than his FISA vote, some people heard what they wanted to hear when he spoketh. I suppose there will be a segment who will continue their selective hearing and support him no matter what, maybe even that shortsighted dimwit who wrote that comment above. We need that attitude like we need more bad financial news. It was apparent that Obama was a lightweight the louder they screamed and the nastier they got.

Obama was careful not to be too specific while campaigning, but that was also a good indication of the type of president he would be. I certainly didn't expect anything but what he's doing now. I have to admit that the unity, bi-partisan crap is disappointing - failure to hold the Bush administration accountable won't be very popular. We're not going to "get over it."

Anyway, we shall see. I'd like to think we could push him in a certain direction, but so far, he hasn't shown he'll listen. Guess all we can do is try.

Submitted by ohio on

But what's that thing he said in the first Harry Potter book? It takes guts to stand up to your enemies, but it takes more guts to stand up to your friends?

You know better than anyone how quick our fellow travelers turned. And to belittle this stuff as pie fighting tells me Ms. Hamsher understands neither pie fights, the inherent cruelty of mob behavior, nor the possible danger that may break over us. One politicial party. Cult of personality. Economy under government control. Citizens as spies. Sounds like the ingredients for a totalitarian pie. And that is not the kind of pie I like.

Ms. Hamsher's failure to speak up was cowardly and now trying to justify doing nothing--not even speaking up for basic liberal beliefs---tells me she knows she's behaved in craven fashion. It was easier to STFU and go along and even fun to get in on the namecalling. Bullies are bullies and bullies are cowards. And lazy.

The left is so full of shit I wonder if even moral fiber can unblock it.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Yet, in Jane's defense, there had been Digby's example for all to see. It's easy, on one hand, to say you would have stood up, different on the other hand to be the woman to say something honest, and then stand up to all the horrid misogyny on display when the Obama lovers came to call on your site(and this is even before the threats of the fish in the mail that Lambert found).

Me, I was trained to be a fighter, and never duck one. That was my reaction to facing this woman hating world we live in, but not all women react that way. And I can't blame them.

Submitted by hipparchia on

hillary is only slightly left of obama, and with either one of them we were going to get nice, safe, centrist, third-way, cautious, incremental baby steps pointing vaguely in the direction that can be called left. we were going to get austan goolsbee no matter what.

there's no sane reason for beating one's head against the wall and getting covered in vitriol just to convince people to favor a over b when a = b. people are best left to discover their delusions on their own, rather than to have us save them from themselves.

now, if the pie fight had been between obama and a real lefty, then it would have been worth wading into the breach again and again, taking any number of blows.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

That the two were so close on policy only made the bubble more obviously full of bullshit, and bullshit is toxic, especially when it becomes the coin of the realm among our supposed beacons of truth in the leftysphere and the rare left-leaning parts of the MSM.

The very real opportunity to make the candidates dance to prove their liberal bona fides was squandered, as was the chance to use this campaign-- in a low-tide year for the opposition -- to reclaim the liberal brand, the way Reagan rebuilt the conservative brand.

Hillary, for her part, did move increasingly leftward during the campaign, and it didn't make a damn bit of difference to the Better Bloggers and their meat-world Creative Class analogues.

We got covered in something worse than vitriol: lies and delusions. I guess it's not worth wading into the breach to fend off bullying mass hysteria, misogyny, tearing down of the legacy of the 60s and 90s, false charges of racism, and the wasting of the opportunity to finally tear down the statue of Ronald Reagan. What a trivial, nay non-sane, preoccupation!

Jane Hamsher's picture
Submitted by Jane Hamsher on

Google says there are 2,200 posts on FDL on "Obama" and "FISA" and I think you'll find them plenty critical:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&clien...

We tried to focus on being substantive and let others do the daily descent into name-calling. I understand reading FDL at the time probably wasn't satisfying for those who liked to roll around in pie, but I feel comfortable that we can look back in five years and feel like we were fair.

I think there will be others who won't have that luxury.

inna's picture
Submitted by inna on

comments were taken out of context and misunderstood.

i really feel that he hasn't been treated fairly; it's almost like he's being picked on (almost in the same way that many of us were being picked on in places like dkos and such, where we were in the minority...)

granted, his attempt at psychoanalysis might've been completely unnecessary, but it was only a small fraction of his otherwise insightful, intelligent, interesting, and positive and constructive message.

i also live in San Francisco; and, unlike the absolute majority of people on this site, i voted Green (and am proud of my choice)... still, i have the HIGHEST respect for all of you guys (BIO, Lambert and VastLeft, in alphabetical order) and consider you true progressives, in the best sense of the word. wouldn't it be great to leave the skirmishes behind and actually work together for progressive agenda; after all, there is a LOT we can do.

Submitted by lambert on

.... made the "attempt at psychoanalysis" loom larger qualitatively than it did quantitatively. Many Obama supporters had constructed a narrative where Hillary supporters were so because of infantile emotions, or that anger at process issues in the primary elections and elsewhere was irrational and not driven by a need for justice. Following that came the chanting to "get over it." Those, too, were attempts at psychoanalysis. Check the date on the post: 11/24. Stamp on an open wound, you're going to get a reaction.

I really have to get out of the habit of attributing motives, except to the Village. None of it can be evidenced, even with the best model.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

if I hadn't also been a well-documented Hillary supporter and, therefore, not associated with or responsible for the awful unfounded allegations hurled by some of the more thoughtless Obama supporters.

As to motive, you can always ask me in lieu of accusing. Most of the time I know why I do what I do, and am more than happy to explain.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Wandering back in here after all this time and reading the whole thread. Well done!

Thank you for the kind words, much appreciated. No need to feel badly, least of all for me; I had my full say. Corrente is a square house and much to be cherished, even if the edges are sometimes sharp. These things happen, with the best of intention all around; nothing for it but to brush the dust off and move ahead.

wouldn't it be great to leave the skirmishes behind and actually work together for progressive agenda Well, yes; it would be. Forty-five years now, watching the Left make some marginal advance only to fall out amongst ourselves, again and again, until the deja vu is no longer surprising. Inherent in the process somehow, I suppose, but it does seem there should be some way past it.

Good we're getting all this rain, eh? A bit dreary, but so very needed I can't be anything but grateful.

inna's picture
Submitted by inna on

but seriously, maybe we should consider having regional meetings of the mighty Corrente?? it seems like there are several of us here in the Bay Area; i think it would be just awesome to have a cup of coffee together and talk politics! and, most importantly, to connect with people who are on the same wavelength; it's a rare and precious gift, really. :)

Submitted by hipparchia on

true story: i once drove from here to nyc to have dinner with 13 strangers i met on the internet. when i was planning the trip, my family and friends and coworkers all said are you crazy?! aren't you afraid of meeting up with a mass murderer or something?

it was so much fun i drove to philadelphia the following year for dinner with even more of them. i was counting it up recently, i've now met irl with about 30 people i first met on the interwebz.