did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Guest Post - Longish Read - The Obamanauts

1

Maybe that was Corey Hart?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:10 AM
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The cute one from The Lost Boys?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:16 AM
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3

Don't objectify them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:23 AM
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4

I did see The Lost Boys, but never an episode of The West Wing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:24 AM
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2: Let's not ignore the cuteness of young Kiefer. And honestly most of the cast. (Apparently Santa Cruz horror tourism has changed from "Lost Boys was filmed here" to "Us was filmed here!")

4: Ditto. Sports Night was pretty good, but enough Sorkin for me.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:32 AM
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Robin is a smart guy with some interesting insights who is also remarkably narrow-minded and often unable to sustain a serious argument. Regarding the linked essay, Chait demolishes it here.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:37 AM
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Let's not ignore the cuteness of young Kiefer.

Done!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:37 AM
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8

6 was me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:38 AM
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4:. I didn't see either. It feels like I've missed too much popular culture and so there's no hope of ever understanding anything.

I do know who Corey Robin is though. He posts at Crooked Timber. He just published a book about Clarence Thomas. He seems incredibly prolific to me. There are people who hate him here (I assume they are still here even if they haven't commented in years, because you never really leave Unfogged, right?). -- maybe because he's the kind of lefty that attacks pragmatic liberals a lot - or maybe because they think he's a shoddy intellectual or maybe that he's just an asshole. Now I remember that he once got in a Twitter spat with Chelsea Clinton about Hannah Arendt. It was pretty hilarious


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:49 AM
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Oh great, now I can't remember who Hannah Arendt is. Did she subdivide morality and say that different parts of the country are Florida in disguise? I think that's five different people combined, and I might mean Richard Florida.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:55 AM
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Upon googling, it doesn't look like she even ever had a blog.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:56 AM
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The "banality of evil" would have been a good name for a blog


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 7:00 AM
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Rebecca West should have had a blog.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 7:05 AM
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Rebecca West's Wing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 7:29 AM
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Heh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 7:33 AM
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16

I'm very much on topic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 7:35 AM
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I'm pretty sure the linked specifically means Obama staffers, given how specifically they are discussed via the reviewed books? I don't see its main thesis being about broader segments of society; rather, many of these individuals are still pretty influential (Pod Save America), so they may be worthy of analysis despite their small number.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 8:27 AM
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They are the ones who bent their backs to the oars of the Obama, crossing many seas in search of the Golden Plan.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 8:51 AM
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"Did she subdivide morality and say that different parts of the country are Florida in disguise? I think that's five different people combined"

Stay in your lane, Heebie. Moby does the Voltron jokes, it's in his contract.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 8:57 AM
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Voltron belongs to the people. Except that I recall something about royalty in one of the versions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 9:39 AM
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I'm having trouble figuring out who the Obamanauts are

You might be confusing them with the Octobamanauts, who are a bunch of talking cartoon animals with a narrative arc rooted in ongoing themes of idealism and public service.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 11:44 AM
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22

I think those were the Backyardigans.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 11:47 AM
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22:. No ,they were just a bunch of daydreaming slackers


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 12:03 PM
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I finally managed to read the article (for some reason it wouldn't load on my phone). The part about Valerie Jarret was interesting. Otherwise, he's totally contemptuous of the rest of the Obamanauts. Their books do sound fairly lousy, as those types of books usually are.

He doesn't seem to have any appreciation for how difficult a position Obama was in as the first black president. And, his view of Obama as someone who never had grand ambitions, that sold himself as someone who would do small things, just seems totally wrong to me.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 1:02 PM
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I was a Robin hater, though I completely don't remember why. He was one of the reasons I quit reading CT.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 2:26 PM
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I've liked what I've read of Robin's longer form work but I still haven't read any of his books. I eventually started to actively avoid his blog and twitter postings.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 3:28 PM
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I enjoyed the article when it was published but most of it is like a late era gawker article without as much flair or humor. A lot of contemporary american leftist writing wants to be snarky or ranty and a kind of full of shit and still be taken completely seriously. The Jarrett parts is the best like Peep said. The speechwriters aren't actually representative of the main Obama people.

I don't think he's too harsh on Obama. The vast majority of people posting on Unfogged in 2007-09 were completely clear eyed and realistic about Obama but now, after he showed himself to be if anything worse than we thought, the people who are still here don't want to hear about it.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 4:09 PM
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Well, we like him. Have you seen him in photos with children?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 4:33 PM
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29

I miss Obama so much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 4:53 PM
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I was a Robin hater, though I completely don't remember why. He was one of the reasons I quit reading CT.

I like the fact that Robin posts at CT, but I'm a bit of a skeptic. I remember, during the campaign, his comparison of Trump as a Republican McGovern and then, post election Trump as Carter. The latter of which prompted me to express concern (comment 3), "I worry, reading your Carter comparison that it does more to serve the need for a narrative than it does to illuminate important elements of the Trump administration."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:10 PM
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Trump as Strom Thurmond without the heart.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:35 PM
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32

Honestly, he's Andrew Jackson without the courage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-19 6:39 PM
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33

Folks who haven't watched The Report on Amazon should consider doing so asac. Obama is off-screen all the time, but doesn't come off particularly well.

I'll say, and some might recall, that I agreed at the time to the looking forward approach with regard to people who'd enabled the whole torture thing. My agreement was predicated, more or less, on a couple of conditions which seemed both implicit and absolutely critical: (a) they actually shut down the fucking gulag, and prosecute the people who pulled off the 9/11 attacks in civil courts, come what may; and (b) the people who ordered/enabled/supported the torture program slink away, and are never to be heard lying about its legality or efficacy again.

I also didn't really appreciate the Mitchell and Jessen roles.

I guess I thought Republicans were mostly trash, but expected them to go along with Obama more than they did, and didn't think we'd fall for the failure is success Gingrich line so easily, again.

Oh well, it turns out that the problem with American government is Americans.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 7:30 AM
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34

Yes. If 25% or so of the county is determined to make things worse, they can.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 8:02 AM
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35

Anyway, when I hear "Never Trumpers" saying that the Democrats must move to the right (or the "Never Trumpers" will vote for Trump), all it does is remind me that there are way too many people whose preference order from most preferred to least preferred goes "Highest Marginal Tax Rate = 37%", "Racist Dystopia", "Highest Marginal Tax Rate = 38%".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 8:07 AM
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34 And I don't don't find the Corey Robins of our world helpful in the least. Obama was a disappointment, yes. As we all expected. Know what's worse? People being disappointed, staying home, and letting the Republicans back into power in 2010. They, to paraphrase what some (NW?) said of Corbyn in the British thread, act like Obama is at the right edge, or maybe in the rightward 70th percentile, of the voting population, when it's really more like the 40th. So, their critical insight -- wait, this is a big revelation -- is that he's not in the 10th! Who ever thought he was? No one.

The 2020 election is going to depend on getting suburban white women disgusted by Trump and people of color in Pennsylvania and the upper midwest to turn out in decent numbers. Surely the secret to doing this is insulting Obama and everyone who was stupid enough to support him, then or now.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 9:59 AM
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(You have to draw a direct line from Republicans taking control of the Senate in 2014 to McConnell being able to prevent the confirmation of Judge Garland. Turnout in 2014 senate elections was about 45 million, as opposed to 80 million in 2012. That's apples and oranges, to be sure. But turnout in 2008 -- when the seats up in 2014 were selected -- was 62 million. So 17 million people check out in 2014, and we get McConnell and then Trump.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 10:06 AM
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38

That's what I think also, though I have no knowledge of Robins.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 10:08 AM
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39

Some of that is us. Our centrist Dem was re-elected with 73% of the vote in 2008. He was afraid of losing in 2014 -- I think he'd have had a decent shot, but his role in the ACA was taking hits from all sides -- so he resigned to take an Admin job. In 2014 we went with a genuine progressive and lost 58-40.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 10:15 AM
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40

I wonder how much longer the Republican health care policy can be "Obamacare is evil" without proposing any alternative for anybody under 65? My guess is until the Baby Boomers thin out a bit more, but in 2016, I was more optimistic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 10:46 AM
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41

What I've read about Robin's The Reactionary Mind suggests that it's an astute analysis. Pretty much everything he says about practical politics (including the link in the OP and the two links Nick provided) strikes me as absurd. Robin (and leftists of his ilk) have a fundamental contempt for democracy that they can't even acknowledge, and because they can't acknowledge it, they are unable to talk intelligibly about democratic processes at all -- unable to acknowledge stuff as basic as Bernie's rejection by voters in the Democratic primary and Hillary's victory among voters over Trump.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 11:00 AM
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42

"Robin (and leftists of his ilk) have a fundamental contempt for democracy that they can't even acknowledge"

Electoral democracy , to be exact. And they do sometimes acknowledge it: John McDonnell over here is quite open about "democracy in the streets" vs "ballot box democracy".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 3:32 PM
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43

For places that vote on paper, that could be "democracy in the streets" vs "democracy on the (ballot) sheets."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-30-19 4:27 PM
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44

It's like you people didn't understand that "OBAMA 2008: Be Disappointed By Someone New" was the most clear-eyed political prophecy of our time.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 1-19 10:29 AM
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During the recent Canadian federal election, I found myself feeling very impatient -- indeed, at times even angry -- with the "let's weaken the Liberals, even at the risk of electing Conservatives, because the NDP/Greens are better and purer, and and my conscience dictates something good and pure" crowd. Are you freakin' kidding me? Do the NDP have even a hope in hell of forming a government? And if not, well then why are you supporting the Tories by refusing to support the Liberals?

I was still experiencing trauma from the 2016 American presidential election, of course. But my thing is: my conscience dictates that I do whatever I can to stop crazy cons from being elected to public office.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 12- 1-19 7:44 PM
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At this moment in history, decent people are tasked with forming a majority (or whatever number above a majority that it takes) to expel crazy, awful people from political office. Once you abandon the idea of working in a coalition, you're abandoning any hope of meaningful change through the electoral process.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 1-19 9:22 PM
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41 gets it exactly right. Unless I have strong priors to the contrary, approvingly retweeting Robin is cause for unfollowing.

As does 44, of course.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 3-19 2:30 PM
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