Re: Now That's How You Godwin

1

Have not looked at it, but let's not start that again. Why not accept the win--if it is a win; I'll assume she can come back, and believes she can come back, until she drops out--gracefully?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:40 AM
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It was funnier when it was about the Colts-Chargers game.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:40 AM
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There are like a bijillion of those things:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywWfmRdOmJ0
http://www.faniq.com/video/Hitler-Downfall-of-the-Cowboys-YouTube-4868,4,39/team_recent
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYvZnTFpip0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvQNu7QnQtY&feature=related


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:40 AM
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The only fair way to proceed is to make one that has Obama as Stalin.


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:41 AM
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Oh, sorry, it was about the Cowboys.

Meanwhile, via Sausagely: John McCain wants you to know he's not that old! Just really bad on camera. That video, man -- outside the friendly confines of the press bus and Tim Russert's couch, McCain really doesn't know how to do "likable, competent, and non-doddering", does he?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:42 AM
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There's one about Windows Vista too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExeyrNZwzwQ&feature=related

Dozens of others on Youtube. You're slipping, Ogged. Must be the whirling eyes.

Saw Bill stumping for his wife in West Virginia today. I'm proud of him for standing by his wife in this time of difficulty, just as she stood by him. They really do have a loving, loyal bond. Perhaps part of this inexplicable hostility to Hillary is envy of their marriage.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:47 AM
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I'm not sure why you all think it matters that there are others. What, this guy gets up on stage and tells jokes? That's so played.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:50 AM
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Just to fuck with you all, you should know that I'm the one that sent that link to Ogged.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:51 AM
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Pwned multiply.

5: I guess the point of that McCain video is that he has good genes and will probably survive his Presidency? Hmmm. Can we move onto Obama/McCain now? We need to parse all the Hamas-related mudslinging to parse. And it's only a matter of time before Al Qaeda weighs in with an endorsement, and possibly some campaign rallies. If I were the AQ propaganda minister, I'd hold an Obama rally in the tribal areas on the Pakistan border, with lots of heavily bearded guys holding those Obama '08 signs with the cool logo and firing AK-47s in the air.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:52 AM
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That McCain video is so odd. I get the idea & his mother seems quite spry. But he comes off weird & forced, & the music doesn't help any.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:54 AM
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Perhaps part of this inexplicable hostility to Hillary is envy of their marriage.

Are you serious?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:54 AM
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What, this guy gets up on stage and tells jokes puts a slightly different twist on the exact same joke that dozens of others have used before? Yes, that's so played.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:56 AM
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I guess the point of that McCain video is that he has good genes and will probably survive his Presidency? Hmmm.

Yeah, but he seems uncomfortable, the script is bizarre, and the production values are so, so bad. What, did they have to finish shooting so they could reopen the Quick Stop?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:56 AM
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11: I actually think PGD might be right about that. People seem weirdly and *personally* outraged about that marriage in a bizarre way that makes no sense whatsoever--after all, it's got nothing to do with them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:57 AM
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Are you serious?

Try not to feed the regulars when they troll.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:57 AM
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...even when they tag-troll.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:58 AM
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That McCain video is so odd.... But he comes off weird & forced, & the music doesn't help any.

He's old. Our new Inter-network technologies seems strange and scary to the Unfrozen Caveman Candidate.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 10:58 AM
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Sky Captain Andy Rooney!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:01 AM
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Try not to feed the regulars when they troll.

As if this post itself weren't some kind of weird meta-trolling.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:02 AM
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Perhaps part of this inexplicable hostility to Hillary is envy of their marriage.

Aaaaah hahahahahahahahaha.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:03 AM
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20: not to mention, inexplicable to whom?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:06 AM
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I see that PGD is going to get the attention he so desperately craves no matter what I say.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:07 AM
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22: put up that post about how you're socially conservative to distract us.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:11 AM
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The Huffington Post? Really? That's the source of the final blow???


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:11 AM
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This is the funniest real McCain ad so far. It's a little confusing. Something is on fire in the background! Snitch out your friends!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inNBl6UV1TY&feature=related

FWIW, beyond the obvious troll I do think Bill and Hillary have a good marriage, but the tradeoffs involved are clearly rather different than those in the typical marriage (if there really is such a thing, one could say every couple's tradeoffs are unique). As B says, there does seem to be some weird bitterness toward the way they've managed to make it work.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:12 AM
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Jumping on the "people envy Hillary Clinton for her marriage" leading to a spit-take bandwagon, me, in answer to an e-mail this morning about what Paul Krugman might have meant when he said that many of Sen. Clinton's "grass-roots supporters" "feel that she got a raw deal":

If Obama hadn't run, she would've won. It was well known that she was going to run, he's younger, he could've waited, he stole her opportunity. This sentiment could strike a chord with many older voters. Combine it with certain ideas about Hillary putting up with bad aspects of her marriage mostly because of political advantage and it gets to be more of a raw deal.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:13 AM
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I think the video is shocking and outrageous, not to mention totally counterproductive. Also: very, very funny. Even funnier because of how much I wish my marriage were more like the Clintons'. They should totally write a marriage guide; they could pay off the campaign debt with the advance.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:14 AM
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27: Ari, that marriage guide sounds like it should be published by Maxim. No, Vice.
I'm telling your wife.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:16 AM
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Try not to feed the regulars when they troll.

Are you closing comments on this post?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:17 AM
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how much I wish my marriage were more like the Clintons'.

Following on oudemia, I hope your wife doesn't read the Unfogged comments.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:18 AM
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26: I'm sure this has been covered before, but I think you're completely right here. Especially for older women, the golden boy is a pretty irritating trope (no such cultural positioning exists for young, ambitious women, who are seen as grasping). And Obama really seems to have jumped his position in the queue to many people. As did Hitler, by the way.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:18 AM
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I read McCain's video totally differently. It's a dog-whistle (really, just a plain whistle) to family-values voters. It doesn't hurt that it shows that he won't die but I think its directed at an audience that might not be comfortable with his appropriating "cunt" as a term of endearment.

For this post every insight needs to be expressed in relation to the Third Reich. John McCain has a mommy—and Hitler loves animals!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:19 AM
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And Obama really seems to have jumped his position in the queue to many people.

Only because they don't want to acknowledge that there was a different line for those who didn't vote for the war. Accountability can be mean.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:19 AM
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28: Eek, I didn't mean it that way. I was being sarcastic. Um. (Keeps digging until exhausted and then hits "post.")


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:20 AM
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The Obama Squeezse

Obama is taking over the party and cutting out everyone who isn't in his camp. He believes in post-partisanship (this doesn't contradict having Daschle as your bud, y'know). Money flow is going to come mostly from Obama going forward, unless he loses the election. The independents-folks like MoveOn, ActBlue, the netroots, etc... are being cut out or marginalized, whether they realize it or not (and I know that some don't.) Obama doesn't feel he really needed them (sorry MoveOn), and he isn't planning on giving them any real say or power.

You don't know who this guy really is. Never trust a smile.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:20 AM
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As did Hitler, by the way.

Ja wir können!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:20 AM
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i wish you'll hide the video
everytime i open unfogged there is hitler, very uncomfortable


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:21 AM
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I guess I am a simpleton. I really took the blunt message of the McCain video to be, "I can't be that old -- my mother is still alive!" Everything else was secondary.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:21 AM
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Damn, I must be getting soft. I actually thought the "McCain and his Mom" video was kind of charming, if somewhat offputtingly Lynchian.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:22 AM
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37: he doesn't seem that uncomfortable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:22 AM
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everytime i open unfogged there is hitler, very uncomfortable

I feel the same way every day, read.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:22 AM
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I honestly think that the Clinton's marriage is admirable. They seem genuinely fond of one another, genuinely supportive of one another, and how many marriages do you see where the husband supports the wife's ambitions to the same extent that she does his--even when doing so damages his public reputation?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:23 AM
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There's also the bit about him being "the sweetest, nicest child." Contra the temper thing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:23 AM
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I sent the link to B, without remorse.


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:23 AM
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Aaaaah hahahahahahahahaha.

So defensive, Apo. Your envy is obvious.

And it's obvious to me that Hillary doesn't just "put up" with her marriage to Bill. Are people really so unimaginative that they can't see how other attractive qualities might counterbalance sleeping around on the side? And if anyone has those other qualities, it's Bill. I mean, he's legendary for his charisma, success, and charm!

Hillary is very attractive for a woman her age. There are always mutterings when an attractive woman finds a philandering man irresistible despite it all. Especially those who in the dark hours of the night, realize that they will likely never match Bill Clinton's success in life, or have a woman next to them who wears a pantsuit quite as well as Hillary.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:24 AM
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everytime i open unfogged there is hitler

Hitler is dead, Read, that's just an actor.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:25 AM
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10 gets the McCain video right. That chuckle of his? Weird!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:25 AM
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Hitler is dead, Read, that's just an actor.

...or so the mullahs would have you believe.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:26 AM
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25: I am often sympathetic to PGD's Hillary trolls, and am entirely in agreement with this one. They seem to be quite fond of, and supportive of, each other.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:26 AM
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McCain's mom does totally remind me of my grandmother, though, may she RIP. I'm really rather fond of that particular generation of old ladies.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:26 AM
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It's ok. This Hitler is also an angel who hangs with Columbo.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:27 AM
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or have a woman next to them who wears a pantsuit quite as well as Hillary

Transcendent awesomeness (sorry, Ogged).


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:27 AM
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i meant literally the picture, he will be here like for a week spoiling my mood
well, i'll try to avoid it maybe like decreasing my unfogged sessions, no pressure


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:28 AM
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I'm not sure how exactly to rate the Bill-n-Hillary marriage. But, flaws and all, I'd say it's better than my parent's. And they're still together.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:28 AM
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sorry, Ogged

Oh, it's ok, I'm not going to be trolled into reminding everyone that Hillary Clinton has a HUGE ASS, and that not even Toni Morrison thinks that Bill is actually black, and I don't think he goes for that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:29 AM
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They seem to be quite fond of, and supportive of, each other.

Yes, obviously. And they did (what appears from the outside) an excellent job of raising their daughter in totally crazy circumstances.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:30 AM
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I don't have any problem at all with their marriage. It has nothing whatsoever to do with how I feel about Hillary.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:30 AM
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Are people really so unimaginative that they can't see how other attractive qualities might counterbalance sleeping around on the side?

You're going to have to better the rhetoric if you want to use that justification down the line. Eddie Murphy says the goto, ran-out-of-other-options line is this: "Yeah, I fucked her. But I make love to you." Or, another possibility.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:30 AM
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As a discrete statement PGD's paean to courtly love in the White House is a nice sentiment. Tethered to an analysis of Democratic frustration with her persistent but hopeless campaign, it is really, really weird and much, much more counterproductive than a very, very funny Hitler video for reasons that Betsy Reed outlines in her complaint about establishment feminists' unserious support for HRC. And so I heil! heil! right in PGD's face.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:30 AM
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Honestly, what do any of us know about the Clintons' marriage? There are so many filters present here - their performance for the media, their performance for the Democratic base, reciprocal filtering by both the media and the Democratic base, and so on - it seems pointless to try to evaluate it. We don't have access to the truth about whether they have a deep caring relationship or an utter sham marriage any more than we have the ability to read their souls. What we do know is how they've behaved in office, what policies they've supported, what tactics they've used, etc., and we can judge them as politicians, which should be more than enough. We don't need to know the state of their love life to make an informed judgment about them as voters.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:31 AM
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Hillary is very attractive for a woman her age.

Another troll ! And I agree ! Hillary has always been an attractive woman.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:31 AM
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Hillary Clinton has a HUGE ASS

Don't be racist, Ogged. Plenty of us white guys go for a nice round ass. And judging by Monica and Jennifer Flowers, Bill isn't constrained by the beauty dictates of the fashion-industrial complex.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:32 AM
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Honestly, what do any of us know about the Clintons' marriage?

Well, I know about it. I'm from LR. I don't really know them, but I know a number of people who do/did.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:33 AM
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Informal poll: How many Unfoggeders have jerked off thinking of Hillary?


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:33 AM
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22 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:33 AM
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Man, Goddamn, PGD is really into HRC's pantsuits. Those wonderful jewel tones!


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:34 AM
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64: sexist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:34 AM
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67: I didn't specify men.


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:34 AM
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Hillary has always been an attractive woman.

Always may be putting it a bit strongly. But she's certainly wearing better pants these days.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:35 AM
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Have you noticed, brother PGD, how hard it is to find an official photo of Hillary Clinton that shows her ass? It's like her campaign's second biggest (heh) open secret, next to her lesbianism.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:36 AM
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68: I reject "jerked off" as a valid term for female masturbation. Reject!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:36 AM
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55: I thought you agreed that sexist attacks were uncalled for.

59: Well, yes. My own agreement with PGD was thinking about the older school Clinton hatred, which combines misogyny with very conventional ideas about nuclear marriage, rather than the new school Clinton hatred, which combines misogyny with newer ideas about how feminists "should" be (and blah blah yes of course there are reasons to hate her politics).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:36 AM
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I thought you agreed that sexist attacks were uncalled for.

Yeah, whatever, I'm taking this blog down to the gutter before I leave.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:37 AM
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The marriage I really envy is between Hitler and Eva Braun. Now that's what I call standing behind your spouse.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:38 AM
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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the mouseover text.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:39 AM
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hillary might be like hitler, but at least she doesn't have muslim blood.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:39 AM
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I thought you agreed that sexist attacks were uncalled for.

Troll meets countertroll.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:39 AM
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69: Don't be an ass. She's as attractive as her husband in that picture--much more so--and a lot of her "unattractiveness" has to do only with style and not wearing makeup. B.F.D.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:40 AM
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B.F.D.

Bill fucks dykes?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:40 AM
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She's as attractive as her husband in that picture--much more so

Oh, the soft bigotry of low expectations.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:40 AM
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I did the paisley in that picture.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:41 AM
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79 is true. I used to live in Little Rock. That's how I know.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:41 AM
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B.F.D.

Bitch Filosophy Doctorate.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:41 AM
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69. the white balance is much too warm in that photo. her face wouldn't be so splotchy if it weren't for that. Sames goes for Bill's.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:41 AM
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Don't be an ass.

That's my schtick, sugarcakes. Do you ask dogs not to bark?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:42 AM
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69: God, you're insane. Hillary is totally cute in those photos.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:43 AM
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We've gone to "plus she's ugly!" in less than 100 comments, but no one here is at all misogynist. Mmmhm.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:43 AM
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74: Yeah, Eva Braun -- talk about one of history's great bitches! I don't know how he put up with it.


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:43 AM
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Sames goes for Bill's.

Bill Clinton's face has always been splotchy.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:43 AM
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if you came from Little Rock, you know pretty much everything. Just do what I say; you'll be better off.

I tell that to a lot of people who don't listen. I can tell you categorically that they are worse off for that.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:43 AM
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85: You get a pass.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:44 AM
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We've gone to "plus she's ugly!"

She's not ugly. Defying the laws of gravity, she's gotten better-looking since '92, even.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:45 AM
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Bill fucks dykes?

When Clinton comes back and wins the next three states by 200%, I'm gong to blame you.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:45 AM
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89. dude, everything in that photo is red. Do you live in a special red world such that that looks normal to you?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:45 AM
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I have a short temper today.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:46 AM
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dude, everything in that photo is red. Do you live in a special red world such that that looks normal to you?

I'm assuming that special red world is called "the 1970s."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:46 AM
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B.F.D.

Bill fucks dykes?

I heard through the academic gossip circuit that one of the participants in a Bill Clinton ménage à trois discovered that she really enjoyed the sleeping-with-a-woman part and became a rather prominent lesbian. Forgot her name, though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:46 AM
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Jesus Christ. Matt Stoller at Huffington

I have heard from several sources that the Obama campaign is sending out signals to donors, specifically at last weekend's Democracy Alliance convention, to stop giving to outside groups, including America Votes...

The campaign has also, despite thousands of interviews with a huge number of outlets, refused to have Obama interact on progressive blogs...

From top to bottom, they have destroyed their opponents within the party, stolen out from under them their base, and persuaded a whole set of individuals from blog readers to people in the pews to ignore intermediaries and believe in Barack as a pure vessel of change...

All I'll add is that it's time to think through the consequences of a party where there is a new chief with massive amounts of power. I've been in the wilderness all my political life, as have most of us. The Clintonistas haven't, and they know what it's like to be part of the inside crew. We have a leader, and he's not a partisan and he can now end fractious intraparty fights with a word and/or a nod. His opinion really matters in a way that even Nancy Pelosi's just did not. He has control of the party apparatus, the grassroots, the money, and the messaging environment. He is also, and this is fundamental, someone that millions of people believe in as a moral force. When you disagree with Obama, you are saying to these people 'your favorite band sucks.

Whatever he wants. He will be unstoppable, at least within the Party.

Whatever you think the liberal blogosphere is or represents, understand that Obama doesn't like it. And try to understand what that might mean. Obama is not a democrat.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:47 AM
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Hillary is totally cute in those photos.

She's cute in the stripey pants photo, but honestly, the other one isn't at all flattering. Here's the hot young Hillary.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:47 AM
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everything in that photo is red. Do you live in a special red world such that that looks normal to you?

That's what white people look like if you leave them out in the sun too long.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:48 AM
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97: I've heard this story too . . . from . . . Hitchens?! At Oxford?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:48 AM
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Bill Clinton ménage à trois

oh boy, have there been a lot of those. Most recently Bill, Gavin Newsom, and Ogged's gf.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:49 AM
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He will be unstoppable, at least within the Party.

I think you and I both know the Democratic Party doesn't work that way, Bob. Not even a little bit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:49 AM
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the other one isn't at all flattering

Right, which is what I meant by "style and makeup." There's a difference between an unflattering photo and actually being unattractive.

100: I've been meaning to ask if you started using sunblock regularly.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:50 AM
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Bob, What you don't seem to understand is that the only cure for evil totalitarianism is a decade or so of benign totalitarianism. Obama will oversee the transition to democracy when his work is done.


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:50 AM
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Whatever you think the liberal blogosphere is or represents, understand that Obama doesn't like it. And try to understand what that might mean. Obama is not a democrat.

Clinton, on the other hand, is a longstanding champion of grassroots activism, bottom-up democracy and open government.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:50 AM
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At Oxford?

Yeah. I heard it from an English grad student who knew all the big-name gender and sexuality people, but I think it's fairly well-known in England.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:51 AM
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103, 105, 106: oh, and we were doing so well at ignoring him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:51 AM
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Fact: Hillary looks a lot like my college girlfriend. Sounds a lot like her mom.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:52 AM
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I heard through the academic gossip circuit that one of the participants in a Bill Clinton ménage à trois discovered that she really enjoyed the sleeping-with-a-woman part and became a rather prominent lesbian.

Because Bill Clinton's a feminist!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:52 AM
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You people. If *I* can send a Hitlery video to Ogged as a laugh, one would think that you guys could manage not to reinvent the wheel of pissy anti-Clintonism, but noooo.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:52 AM
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I think you and I both know the Democratic Party doesn't work that way, Bob. Not even a little bit.

I think all Bob knows is that the coalition of Scary Black People and Kids Who Won't Get Off His Lawn are coming to take away his Social Security and blow it all on slavery reparations.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:53 AM
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109: huh, wouldn't have imagined her being your type. Not nearly ephebolicious enough, too J. Crew, too vaguely cornfed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:54 AM
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oh, and we were doing so well at ignoring him.

I figured, why not make this the all-troll thread? Petey, come out, come out wherever you are!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:55 AM
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Well, Sifu, the relationship was a disaster.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:55 AM
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112: and then blow the reparations on loud music and PimpStars! Woo!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:55 AM
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Bob McManus's desired outcomes:

1. Blood on the streets.
2. The status quo.

Anything else would be absolutely, absolutely terrible.

Maybe one day Obama's name will be SYNONYMOUS WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY... maybe one day he will be so powerful that HIS WIFE WILL RUN FOR THE SENATE IN A STATE SHE'S NEVER LIVED IN... and then shortly thereafter SHE WILL RUN FOR PRESIDENT... bwahahaha!


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:55 AM
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That's what white people look like if you leave them out in the sun too long.

if you leave them?? Your people haven't enslaved the white race yet, hairy one.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:56 AM
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109: Is that the same one that supposedly looked like my h.s. picture?

Or is "blond feminazi" just your type?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:56 AM
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Wouldn't it be awesome if Obama resigns his Senate seat and Blagojevich names Michelle as the new Senator? Then she can be First Lady and Senator at the same time! Take that, Hillary!


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:57 AM
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I figured, why not make this the all-troll thread?

That's not a bad idea. I share again with you the suggestion that you read all of mcmanus's comments as if they were written for fun by the VP of a Texas oil company. It makes him a lot more fun to have around.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:57 AM
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Do you ask dogs not to bark?

God, yes. All the fucking time.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:58 AM
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Bob McManus's desired outcomes:

1. Blood on the streets.
2. The status quo.

That's excellent. Best response to McManus was Kieran Healy over at CT: "Back from the ramparts so soon, Bob?"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 11:59 AM
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118: You forget Ogged's own personal history of dating blond, corn-fed girls and trying desperately to teach them their "place."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:00 PM
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The Billary relationship is a relatively healthy relationship, if you think that relationships are a good thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:02 PM
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dating blond, corn-fed girls and trying desperately to teach them their "place."

Precisely, precisely. When that failed, I tried to marry a Jew, in order to fight the Zionist project. Another failure!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:02 PM
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Just read the Stoller piece, folks, and maybe the Agonist piece and the comments. And then maybe Hannah Arendt.

This is how it happens. When the alternatives are all horrible and the people are exhausted, the guy on horseback appears. And the worriers are laughed at.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:03 PM
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Doesn't "corn-fed" refer to cattle?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:04 PM
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Bob, I posted the Stoller and a related Digby piece hours ago.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:05 PM
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And then maybe Hannah Arendt.

Now that is how you Godwin.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:05 PM
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I hope that B won't accuse me of being misogynist, but I have to say that I don't care for bright jewel tones on white women. (African Americans can look gorgeous in them.) if you want something less staid than black and navy warm coppery silks are lovely, but turquoise is not nice outside of a tropical pool.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:05 PM
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And then maybe Hannah Arendt.

Now you're not even trying anymore. At least include a non sequitorial paragraph about a random movie you've seen recently and how it reminds you of the '68 convention, and how there need to be guillotines in the street so we can elect a former WalMart executive.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:06 PM
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Once the other major party in American politics, MoveOn.org, is eliminated, Obama can rule the universe.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:06 PM
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And the worriers are laughed at.

So are the clowns.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:06 PM
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132: clearly, we disagree: fight to the death!

("It's started. Shit!" Bob drops his taco, runs for the bunker.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:07 PM
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Doesn't "corn-fed" refer to cattle?

Cattle and big, ruddy Midwesterners. Used most often, in my experience, to refer to offensive linemen for Big Ten football teams.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:07 PM
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hours ago

Farber!


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:08 PM
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I agree with Bob about the Stoller piece, though less so. It added some confirmation to my worst fears about Obama's kumbayah centrism.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:08 PM
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126: And now you're dating a hippie chick in order to try to make her more socially conservative. Hope springs eternal.

131: Not misogynist, just conventional and kind of east-coasty.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:08 PM
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I hope that B won't accuse me of being misogynist

How about staid?---or satorially restrained?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:09 PM
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Used most often, in my experience, to refer to offensive linemen for Big Ten football teams.

And, I think, Miss America contestants, for some reason.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:09 PM
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Farber!

Labs!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:09 PM
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Acjkjh. "Sartorially."


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:09 PM
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I played football against a guy who eventually played defensive end in the pros. How many people her can say that?

I struck terror in his heart, too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:09 PM
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now you're dating a hippie chick

My chick doesn't like hippies. She says they "smell like goat." We get along great.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:09 PM
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Totalitarianism doesn't have a platform.

Totalitarianism has a leader, a movement, an lower-class identity group for muscle, and upper-middle-class young alienated intellectuals for management.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:09 PM
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144: Wow. How old were you?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:10 PM
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Dude, she's a surfer and she's in a band. Social conservative, she ain't.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:11 PM
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Cornfed and wholesome.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:11 PM
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Man, Goddamn, PGD is really into HRC's pantsuits.

At its best, the pantsuit combines the form-fitting allure of tight jeans and a blouse, a la trashy 70s-style disco queens, with the perfectly classy severity of a string of pearls. I'm surrounded by hot 20-somethings in pantsuits at work, so I've put some thought into the issue.

she really enjoyed the sleeping-with-a-woman part and became a rather prominent lesbian.

I discovered this about myself years ago, but have totally failed to become prominent as a hetrosexual. I still languish in obscurity. There's so much more competition when you're straight.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:12 PM
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A year older than him. Our team lost.

No, I struck no terror in anyone's heart.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:12 PM
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When that failed, I tried to marry a Jew, in order to fight the Zionist project. Another failure!

Not that you asked, of course, but if you read more 19th-century novels you would understand where you went wrong: Never agree to a lengthy engagement. From the moment she says "I will," you have about 6-12 months to get her to say "I do."


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:13 PM
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upper-middle-class young alienated intellectuals for management

So why are you telling the future management to be worried, Bobbers? You, you should be worried.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:13 PM
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132:stras, Obama isn't about global warming, and you know it. Obama is about Obama and Obamism.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:13 PM
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I see John has abandoned the polite fiction of maintaining polite fictions.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:13 PM
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148: come on, you don't know any right-wing surfers? Can't throw a rock without hitting one in some parts of Southern California. I've tried!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:14 PM
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Turqquoise is great. Turquoise suits, not so great.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:14 PM
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she's a surfer

No, she's not. Get some sleep, B.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:14 PM
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I'm definitely conventional and east coasty, but there's a certain style of women's suits that I don't care for, because they don't look to me like they belong in an office setting. They remind me too much of the stuff that Republican housewives wear to the Republican Convention. I saw a lot of young Republican women in Washington wearing stuff that looked much more girly and feminine than what the Democratic women did, and it always made me think that these professsional outfits were just temporary. You worked in DC and then you went on to become a wife and mother. It seems sort of unprofessional to me.

I do cop ti being totally conventional though. I love soft plaids and tweeds.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:14 PM
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John, I didn't see it, because I thought this was the first political thread of the day. I am trying to honour Beck's request.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:15 PM
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I wish the word "obamism" didn't crack me up.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:15 PM
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Now bob's telling people what they know? Bob, nobody's bought the conspiracy. You need at least a little bit of agreement before you get to say "you and I both know".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:15 PM
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Some cornfed people are surprisingly fucked up.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:15 PM
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Given the nature and limits of U.S. politics, Bob has four (hopefully eight!) happy years of saying "I told you so" to look forward to.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:16 PM
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156: Indeed. If there weren't, there would have been no reason to write, say, "Nazi Punks Fuck Off!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:16 PM
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Dammit, I have to swim. If McManus has been guillotined by the time I get back, everyone gets a cookie.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:16 PM
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It added some confirmation to my worst fears about Obama's kumbayah centrism.

Of course Obama's a centrist, but the Stoller piece is silly and puffed-up with the overblown self-importance typical of the netroots. Stoller, Kos and the rest aren't worth their weight in hog dung. The netroots has been one of the most ideologically shallow and simple to co-opt movements in recent history; it's done nothing to move the party in a constructive direction, but has acted at best as source of reluctant hand-wringing and at worst as apologists for the most compromising tendencies of the Democratic Party. If Obama is deciding to cut them out of the process in some way, it hardly makes much of a difference, given that they weren't doing jack shit to begin with.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:17 PM
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158: They're all blurring together. Sorry.

159: Meh, I like feminine suits. Then again, I am a housewife and mother, so.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:17 PM
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I think ogged's view of what "social conservative" means has simply been warped by living in the bay area. It's a natural mistake. Anybody who's not actually a topless MTF transsexual running a pot club from out of the back of their cooperatively owned, grass-fed van can occasionally feel socially conservative living in the SFBA.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:17 PM
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What is this, like, the hour-long series finale episode of Seinfeld, replay the blog in series of short snippets?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:18 PM
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At its best, the pantsuit combines the form-fitting allure of tight jeans

What kind of pantsuit are your colleagues wearing? Office trousers are really not supposed to approach the form-fitting nature (alluring or otherwise) of tight jeans.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:18 PM
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B is sadly unfamiliar with the surfing novels of Kem Nunn.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:18 PM
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I wish the word "obamism" didn't crack me up.

It cracks me up too, but I'm fine with that.

Obamism, obamism, obamism.
OBamism. oBAMism. obaMISM.
obamism


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:18 PM
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"Surfer" is a social type. Most actual surfers are a different social type, "sociopaths". Surfers don't necessarily surf at all; they just have a hang-loose attitude toward life. Surfer chicks are promiscuous and undiscriminating.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:18 PM
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167: Jesus, Stras, where do you stop? The netroots is incredibly important.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:19 PM
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Ogged's goals in dating a bass-playing lifeguard are self-evident:

1). Kill rock'n roll

2). More drownings


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:19 PM
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168: I'd be very happy to wear a lot fo the stuff that Jackie Kennedy wore. Those cuts were really elegant, but I won't wear pink.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:19 PM
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167: indeed. "Obama didn't invite me to even one buffet!"

That's because he doesn't need your little nerd army, coach.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:19 PM
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The surfer I know best personally was a Ron Paul supporter, but I suspect he'll vote for Obama in the general. In any case, I like him very much and I gave him a bottle of wine yesterday.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:19 PM
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Free for bob: "the ObaMSM tendencies in the blogosphere are horrifying."

Run with it!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:20 PM
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When Stras happens to agree with you he becomes momentarily endurable, but all of his opinions are at 11 and once he gets started he can't stop.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:21 PM
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109: Same here, disturbingly enough. Put glasses on Hillary in first picture in comment 69 and I'd assume I had been cheated on even more than I thought. Spooky.

As for the link to Matt Stoller, either there's nothing to it or Obama doesn't mind if donors continue giving to Democracy for America or it hasn't effected* that group yet, but last night, no one from DfA was complaining. Just one piece of anecdata, but still.

* Ben, is there a simple rule about when to use "effect" and when to use "affect"? I can never remember.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:22 PM
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179: Male surfers are also promiscuous and undiscriminating.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:22 PM
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stras, Obama isn't about global warming, and you know it. Obama is about Obama and Obamism.

Is this a response to anything I've said?

No, Obama isn't "about" global warming. His record in the Senate, in fact, is pretty shitty on coal. But he's better than Clinton, who's moved to the right on energy and the environment over the course of the campaign while Obama's moved to the left (where pandering to his coal-rich home state has become less and less valuable).

Bob, you seem to have mistaken me for a whirly-eyed Obamabot, which is funny because I wasn't supporting Obama at all until about halfway through January. I'm supporting Obama only in this capacity: that he's distinctly better than Clinton on a host of important issues, issues that will end up affecting a lot of people's lives. I think fewer people will end up dead under an Obama administration than they would under a Clinton administration. You seem to mistake this for feverish Obama-worship, when all it is is a rejection of your candidate.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:23 PM
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The netroots has been one of the most ideologically shallow and simple to co-opt movements in recent history

The problem with the netroots is that it's democratic. People suck.

Zippy (105) and I are apparently the only ones who look at bob's Obama scenario and say, "If only ..."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:23 PM
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The netroots are too partisan for Obama to be seen embracing directly.

But when he's President he will co-opt them even more fiercely than the Bush administration co-opted the warblogs during its first term. (Surely everybody now realizes Powerline was orchestrated if not written by the White House?)


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:23 PM
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146: Why do you think I'm supporting Obama? I look fucking awesome in a crisp uniform.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:23 PM
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Jesus, Stras, where do you stop? The netroots is incredibly important.

How?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:24 PM
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"affect" and "effect" can both be either nouns or verbs, so there are actually four meanings here.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:24 PM
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I'm with Stoller 100%. I was only at 80% before Stras and Sifu piped up.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:24 PM
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Aw hell, it's to late already.

I will leave with a hint of what probably will be the Enabling Crisis ...Brad Setser

Felix claimed not so long ago that the US was too big to fail. Certainly many emerging markets are doing their best to finance the US through its current troubles, and thus keep up demand for their oil and goods. But a part of me wonders if the rise in inflation in the Gulf and China and the difficulties both are facing trying to sterilize the rapid growth in the foreign assets is an indicator that there is a small risk that the US also might end up being a bit too large for the emerging world to save.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:24 PM
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Shut up, stras. Take your medication. Whyy does it puzzle you that everything becomes personal with you?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:25 PM
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I'm not as down on the netroots as all that, but Stoller definitely overestimates them. All candidates try to centralize control over their campaign; Obama has enough donors & organizing skills, etc. to do it a bit more effectively.

The netroots' main projects have been: (1) raise money to elect democrats (2) kvetch about the media. I suppose candidates' raising their own money does threaten (1) in a way, but I'm not sure what the huge difference is. It's not exactly the civil rights movement being co-opted here. I don't see actual issue based advocacy, actual reporting, etc. being especially threatened.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:25 PM
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Then again, I am a housewife and mother, so.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:25 PM
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71: I've always liked the term "jilling off".


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:25 PM
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The problem with the netroots is that it's democratic.

How so?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:26 PM
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Yeah, the Democratic Presidential candidate certainly can't associate himself with partisan Democrats.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:26 PM
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The netroots is incredibly important.

I agree with that. Stras is just pissed about their "ideological shallowness."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:27 PM
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182: Obama doesn't mind if donors continue giving to Democracy for America or it hasn't effected* that group yet

You wanted "affected" == "had an effect on". "Effected" == "put into effect".


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:28 PM
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If Obama actually thinks of VoteVets as "old Washington politics" he's full of shit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:28 PM
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120: Ideally, Blagojevich would nominate himself, to get him the fuck out of our great state.


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:29 PM
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182: Cyrus, assuming that your question is serious and not just baiting.

You should have used affected there. In general, when you're using it as a verb, you use affected, and when you want a noun, go with effect. (80% of the time you'll be right. effect as a verb means to bring about a particular action. As in, Attlee was able to effect health service reform. Affect can be used as a noun, but this isn't common outside of mental health write ups. "His affect was odd, somewhat incongruous with his stated feeling. There were burts of inappropriate laughter."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:29 PM
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196: Democracies empower people. People suck.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:29 PM
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when all it is is a rejection of your candidate.

I don't, won't, can't have a candidate, stras. I may or not vote in November, but as an anarcho-syndicalist or council communist or whatever the fuck most likely mere misanthrope...I attack power & leadership wherever and whenever they appear.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:29 PM
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I do think that Obama, if things continue on this course, stands to have an immense amount of power compared to recent Democratic presidents. But events, as always, will intrude on inevitabilities. So, who know? Plus, I think he's consolidating as much power as he can for two reasons: 1) This is what candidates do. 2) The alternative is the status quo, in which the Clintons dominate the Democratic Party. In other words, I've adoped an attitude that's half wait and see and half pleased to watch as the Clintons are marginalized.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:30 PM
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204: Except, of course, when it's killing people you'd like to see killed.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:31 PM
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The thing I find most irritating, of all the things listed about Stoller's whole piece, is not paying the organizing fellows.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:31 PM
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attack power & leadership

So you're saying that you WON'T serve on the search committee? You'd only have to review 4 CVs.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:31 PM
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I do think that Obama, if things continue on this course, stands to have an immense amount of power compared to recent Democratic presidents.

Whoa there, cowboy.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:31 PM
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Haven't read the thread, but has McManus shown up to beat the "fascistcult, fascistcult" drum yet? Just guessing.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:31 PM
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187: Sexist. If there are to be uniforms, we need Stella McCartney on board or something. Maybe Gaultier. The allure of a man in uniform is not lost on me -- I dated a middie in college mee-ow to that -- but there needs to found some happenin' middle ground between the dowdy ladysuit and, oh, SeaOrg hotpants.
Come to think of it, my old Girl Scout uniform has more than a little Marc Jacobs to it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:31 PM
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183: I wish. He's a cutie. Unfortunately, he's also recently married and a really sweet guy, and I have *some* principles.

194: I live in fear.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:31 PM
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202
assuming that your question is serious and not just baiting.

Thanks for the replies, everyone. Yes, it was serious. Why would you think it wasn't? I mean, except for the fact that I directed it at Ben... never mind.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:33 PM
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I suppose candidates' raising their own money does threaten (1) in a way, but I'm not sure what the huge difference is.

The Stoller poece says Obama is trying to centralize and coopt all money raising in his hands, including the money for Senatorial and Congressional (Mayors? Councilpersons?) campaigns.

IOW, all political figures completely dependent ond obliged to the Obama.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:33 PM
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the Democratic Presidential candidate certainly can't associate himself with partisan Democrats.

Well, of course he can, but he seems to see it as having no upside. They already love him to bits anyway, what he needs to work on is his support among people who hate partisan Democrats. I'm content that he merely ignores us partisans with a knowing wink, instead of pissing in our faces to win the approval of the aforementioned people who hate us.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:34 PM
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I'm hoping that OBama is hoarding up power for the time when, after his election, he throws out his incremental health care plan and decides instead to smash and nationalise the insurance companies. And hey, while I'm fantasising, he can negotiate a historic treaty with Iran which would then marginalise the radicals and prompt a more democratic election in their upcoming cycle. And he can begin the withdrawal from Iraq and implement cap-n-trade on emissions. He'd better do all of that shit FAST before the 2010 congressional elections, and before the assassins perfect their target practice.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:35 PM
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210: haven't looked outside in the last 10 minutes, but has the sun failed to turn magenta? Just guessing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:35 PM
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211, see 194.

You people *do* realize that the reason moms wear those is because we don't spend any money on our*selves* right? The things we do for you. And you just make fun of us.

But that's okay, as long as you're laughing. I just want you to be happy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:35 PM
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Stoller also loses a lot of credibility points with "The campaign also circulated negative press reports about Women's Voices Women's Vote, implying voter suppression"--I don't know what the motivation for those calls are, but the Obama campaign's concerns were totally legitimate & treating it as nefarious power consolidation is off. The other stuff about "subtly discouraging" is too vague & non-sourced for me to know what to do with.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:35 PM
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I do think that Obama, if things continue on this course, stands to have an immense amount of power compared to recent Democratic presidents.

Disagree a fair bit. Whether he wins or not, he's still going to wake up on Jan 21st as a black guy. His obvious base is about 10% of population (slightly less, IIRC). The Democratic party might be much stronger, and it might be a good coalition for him to work through. But I think his independent power base is not going to be huge. (Which I like.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:36 PM
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The thing I find most irritating, of all the things listed about Stoller's whole piece, is not paying the organizing fellows.

That really annoyed me too, Katherine.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:36 PM
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One reason the netroots are important is that they help small donors who feel the party is not left enough to fund primary challenges to right-wing Democratic members of Congress. That's a mechanism for ideological discipline, highly imperfect but it's something.

214 would mess with that, but I doubt it's possible any more today.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:36 PM
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As a example, the lobbyist "reforms", so that Wall Street and NARAL no longer have any power or influence in Washington.

I happen to believe lobbying is a good thing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:37 PM
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205: He can consolidate as much power as he likes between now and November. Come January, he's going to run full tilt into GOP obstructionism abetted by Democratic party incoherence, and he'll be lucky to advance the ball ten yards in four years -- like any other Democratic president in recent history.

mcmanus' vision that suddenly he's going to be holding big rallies and turning the United States into a totalitarian machine is completely ludicrous.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:37 PM
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I want a Jean-Paul Gaultier uniform.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:37 PM
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Let me try to lay out exactly why I think the netroots is useless. The underlying principle of the netroots is "more and better Democrats." But "better" is, for the most part, largely undefined, not least of all because the netroots developed around people like Markos Moulitsas, a former Reaganite who didn't like Iraq but is at best rather indifferent to a host of other liberal issues (especially gender equality, where he's dismissed feminists as "the women's studies set"). So with a more-or-less single issue in mind, the netroots has focused exclusively on electoral politics, on getting more Democrats elected, and doing this largely through online fundraising. The problem is, there's a carrot but no stick. The netroots has never developed - or bothered to developed - a means to punish Democrats when they invariably renege on various promises. In fact, when Democrats were having their intraparty fight over whether to fund the war last year, Kos and the rest eventually toed the party line on why cutting off funding would be irresponsible, and why Reid et al had to pass a funding bill of some sort, etc., and when Democrats rolled over entirely for the White House they acted as apologists for the party, saying that there just wasn't anything Democrats could do, because after all they had to fund the war.

Now, the message all of this sends to Democratic elites is: these people are an ATM. You can use them for money, fairly reliably, and they'll cough it up. They'll even make blog darlings out of you they did with like Jim Webb and you can still turn around and vote for warrantless wiretapping and telecom immunity. There's no accountability at all, nothing to tie that money to an actual liberal agenda. And this is pretty predictable, because when you have bloggers saying things like "I don't like the fact that Clinton voted for the war and won't even apologize for it, but I'll support her and campaign for her if she gets the nomination," you've given away the store. If the priority of electing a Democrat, any Democrat, is visibly higher than any other priority you might have, you're going to end up as little more than an extension of the party, and you can't substantially change the party once you've become an appendage of it.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:38 PM
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209: If things continue on this course, he'll dominate the Party fundraising apparatus, have a large majority in both houses of congress, have long coattails (or at least be perceived as having long coattails) and so lots of other pols in his pocket, etc. I really don's see how what I said is controversial. Or maybe you just want me not to count my chickens, which is why I said "if things continue on this course" and also noted that events have a way of intruding on inevitabilities.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:38 PM
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he's still going to wake up on Jan 21st as a black guy. His obvious base is about 10% of population

You *are* kidding.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:38 PM
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The thing I find most irritating, of all the things listed about Stoller's whole piece, is not paying the organizing fellows.

Self-sacrifice is the foundation of a movement. Parties pay. Movements inspire and command.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:39 PM
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225: You'll wear mom jeans and *like* it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:39 PM
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Shorter stras: The netroots are nothing without the Democratic party, and the party knows it.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:40 PM
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211: You can have a hot uniform too. Dear god I love women in uniform. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my chin.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:40 PM
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I have trouble taking Matt Stoller seriously when he complains that people aren't stroking the netroots enough, since this is, in my mental image of him, what he's always saying.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:41 PM
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And I haven't read the Stoller piece, but it's way too early to understand Obama's plans for his role in the Democratic party. It's going to be many months, probably years, before we get a full sense of how much he either wants to or can consolidate power.

Dear god I love women in uniform.

You need to visit Israel.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:41 PM
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227 to 224 and 220 as well as 209.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:42 PM
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Posit: the netroots are exactly as useful as the comment threads at blogs other than this one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:42 PM
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223: Bob, what's your estimated date for when Wall Street "no longer [has] any power or influence in Washington"?


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:42 PM
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214: yeah, like all candidates do--Dean did this exact same thing: he sent out an appeal for Leonard Boswell which I responded to & was quite disgruntled about it when Boswell's election wasn't very close & he turned out to suck. Personally, I don't ever donate to a candidate unless (1) I know for a fact s/he's good (2) that particular candidate actually needs the money this election cycle. I assume that not everyone will feel that way ^ Obama's going to become the party's most effective fundraiser for other candidates just like Clinton was, but as far as the "better Democrats" part of the netroots operation, I don't really see the threat from Obama. If the netroots want to be a movement an independent existence from Democratic politicians, they should probably have an agenda other than electing Democratic politicians.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:43 PM
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You *are* kidding.

I'm not sure if that's a joke. In any case, my comment wasn't. (Or wasn't meant to be.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:43 PM
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229: are you joking? The Democratic party doesn't pay crap. This is just a continuation of the lack of paid job opportunities, it's nothing new. The Obama campaign is the best I've seen at encouraging people to volunteer in useful ways without making it prohibitively annoying, but it's still as totally impossible as with every campaign to get your foot in the door for substantive issue work on even a volunteer basis without connections. And paid jobs, forget it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:45 PM
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Come to think of it, my old Girl Scout uniform has more than a little Marc Jacobs to it.

Isn't it more like, Mark Jacobs has more than a little Girl Scout to it?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:45 PM
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But I think his independent power base is not going to be huge.

Because he'll be a black man who got elected president? I'm really not sure that I understand what you're saying here, which seems to fly in the face of your usual structurally rooted arguments about politics. Which arguments, I should add, I almost always think are pretty much right. In other words, I think I'm making a pretty obvious structural argument about the nature of party politics. And you seem to be saying that race will trump all the usual issues that define power in the political sphere. Am I wrong?


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:45 PM
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224:You apparently have no idea what my "vision" is.

The emergencies in North Italy and Weimar were very real, not manufactured.

Presuming that Obama will not have opposition in finance, industry, or the military (More troops!), exactly what countervailing powers will there be? The unions were the most important resistance to Mussolini & Hitler. What unions?

The blogosphere? Not likely, and I think Obama has plans. Probably a strengthening of libel laws.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:46 PM
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224:You apparently have no idea what my "vision" is.

That's okay, nobody does.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:47 PM
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On the other hand, the ATM analogy is a bit bunk. Unlike the big donors who can be privately reassured, you can't say anything to the netroots without saying it publicly, so if they don't like what you're saying publicly, you won't get too much money. This has more to do with Hillary Clinton's defeat than perhaps is evident. And this reality will continue towards empowering politicians who are better, even if it does continue to empower some who are not that great.

It was only this year that I realized that kos will never, ever promote a primary challenge if the challenge would mean losing the seat. This is probably smart, though, because practically every Republican primary challenge in the last few years has been about replacing a broadly popular Republican with one who almost certainly would be unable to win in the general election. What does this teach them? Don't let the base get too powerful or they'll lynch you.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:47 PM
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You apparently have no idea what my "vision" is.

To be fair, neither do you.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:47 PM
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217: God, we should've made this into a drinking game months ago.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:49 PM
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The blogosphere? Not likely, and I think Obama has plans. Probably a strengthening of libel laws.

Okay, this is hilarious. Bob, you just totally invented this out of whole cloth. It's a product of your head, and your head only. The guy is a constitutional law scholar, has been a friend of free speech his whole career, was mentored by Larry Tribe. You're darkly assuming a 180 degree change in his behavior for no coherent reason.

This, sir, is what makes you a crank.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:49 PM
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Probably a strengthening of libel laws.

Hoping this means more from someone who tries to defend bob occasionally: what the fuck, man?


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:50 PM
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237:In my fevre dream, Wall Street may have influence on Obama, but they will have to go thru the movement. There will be no point in talking to Senators or Congresspersons.

If lobbying reform & centralization of power stops significant money from getting to campaigns, save first thru the Party Movement, Congress won't listen to those who can't get them elected.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:50 PM
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Snappy Gaultier uniforms.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:50 PM
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The ATM analogy is definitely bunk. All contributors are in a sense ATMs by definition, because they give money, but the netroots allow small donors on the left to speak back and make choices in a way they never have before. 245 is right on, and Kos is wise to value party power over ideology. First win the majority, then selectively and gradually pull to the left. It already had a noticeable impact on the politics of social security. Managing the Iraq pullout with only the House as a reliable power base is incredibly tricky, and it's not surprising that a blunt instrument like the netroots can't come close to pulling it off.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:51 PM
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Presuming that Obama will not have opposition in finance, industry, or the military (More troops!), exactly what countervailing powers will there be?

No matter what Obama does, he will have opposition from finance and industry, because the GOP would be totally happy with zero taxes on finance and industry and Obama is not completely batfuck insane, bob.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:51 PM
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Obama's First 100 Hours:

1) Turn off the internets.

2) Broadcast Logan's Run on loop to all networks

3) Turn on Soylent Green machines.

4) Curl up for a nap in the skull of an old white man.

Add more here!


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:53 PM
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Actually, 243 is sort of scary when you think about what a young, charismatic, popular politician with some actual fascist ambitions could do if elected President. There's precisely zero evidence that Obama is such a politician, but still. Bob should write a thriller.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:54 PM
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Stras, the thing is, I don't know that there's any single issue where I've seen things properly whipped by anyone*. (The bankruptcy bill -should- have been one of those, but it wasn't.) Even with the competent leadership of Pelosi and the reasonably non-disastrous leadership of Reid, I think it's more that the Democrats as a whole haven't been able to enforce the center-left consensus. FISA is still ticking because Rockefeller is a tool of the Republicans on this issue and Steny Hoyer is just a tool. Who's whipping? The single-issue groups, most notably the HRC and NOW, have been raked over the coals for their support for a bunch of sham Republican moderates. Who's whipping? Webb has been an overall force for good, which is why it's disappointing to see him on the wrong side of FISA, just like Sherrod Brown was on the wrong side of the torture vote.

I think a Clinton loss in this primary, combined with unseating Al Wynn, is a better message than simply withholding money. Nobody is online shaking the tree for Melissa Bean this year, because she's a hack, but at this point she doesn't need it. At some point, you'll see something more like the Club for Growth, where people are willing to fund efforts to unseat incumbents in purple districts and lose in order to enforce party discipline, but that's way, way off in the future. For Heaven's sake, Reid is still making conciliatory clucking noises at Lieberman.

* Social Security is the obvious exception, and I think Josh Marshall in particular did incredible work for someone outside the party apparatus.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:54 PM
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253: You misunderstand. Finance and industry may not like Obama, but they will be powerless to oppose him due to lobbying reforms. The media will be powerless as well due to changes in the libel laws. 2008 could be the last true election in the U.S.A.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:56 PM
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Semi-pwned by mn.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:56 PM
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I think Josh Marshall in particular did incredible work for someone outside the party apparatus

Is there a way of viewing the history of the Social Security shakedown in which Marshall does't figure incredibly prominently -- maybe even as the central figure -- in saving the day?


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:57 PM
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So, Obama is scheming to cut Wall Street out of the lobbying business in order to disenfranchise the average American.

Best paranoid glue-huffing ever. Hell, maybe I should cross the border and join the fascist cult for real. I could one day be Untersturmfuhrer of Wall Street!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:57 PM
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The netroots aren't useless, but it's not a movement independent of the Democratic party. It's an organized faction of somewhat left-of-center Democratic voters. Useful at increasing awareness & accountability, mounting the odd successful primary challenge, etc. It doesn't make sense to talk about someone like Obama sapping the strength of the movement; getting a somewhat better Democrat into the White House is the whole raison d'etre. Of course, it's possible that he's NOT a better Democrat & so forth but it's equally possible that the netroots turns on him in that case.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:57 PM
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You know that this is how Hillary Clinton imagines herself at the convention this summer.

It won't be easy, you'll think it strange
When I try to explain how I feel
That I still need your love after all that I've done.
You won't believe me
All you will see is a girl you once knew
Although she's dressed up to the nines
At sixes and sevens with you.

The subtitles are the funniest part of the Hitler video; Hitler, not so much.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:57 PM
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In my fevre dream, Wall Street may have influence on Obama, but they will have to go thru the movement. There will be no point in talking to Senators or Congresspersons.

Priceless! You are fevered, bob. Are you sure that you don't need some tylenol?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:57 PM
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246:It probably includes $200-300 oil (predicted by Goldman-Sachs last week) and & $10-20 gasoline.

"misery index" of 30+. Trillion dollar deficits. Accelerated war in the ME. Jeez, nobody notice we are at war with Sadr, asked for part of Sadr City be evacuated, Hezbollah has grabbed Beirut?

Everybody's been so worried about imaginary flip-offs and "white workers" that you haven't been reading the news?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:58 PM
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First win the majority, then selectively and gradually pull to the left.

And how, exactly, are the blogs going to pull Congress to the left? By then the focus will be on defending seats - the majority of Senate seats coming up after 2008 are Democratic - and this will be presumably under a Democratic president facing multiple shitstorms left over from the Bush years. All that talk about revolution and gate-crashing is going to very quickly turn into defensive rhetoric about fighting off the right and protecting Democratic gains. Nobody's going to be bothering to put pressure on the dozens of weak and right-leaning Dems, and they're certainly not going to primary them.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 12:58 PM
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I could one day be Untersturmfuhrer of Wall Street!

This country isn't ready for two black fascist leaders, Slack. Walk before you run.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:00 PM
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262: If you don't think Hitler's funny, you don't know comedy.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:00 PM
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Useful at increasing awareness & accountability,

What accountability? Is anyone seriously pushing to get rid of Harry Reid? And by that I don't mean lots of very earnest diaries talking on DailyKos talking about how neat a Chris Dodd leadership would be; I mean is there any evidence to suggest that anyone on the Hill gives a flying fuck about netroots dissatisfaction with the party, that there's any accountability waiting in the wings?

mounting the odd successful primary challenge, etc.

Other than Lieberman, who got primaried?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:02 PM
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264: It probably includes $200-300 oil (predicted by Goldman-Sachs last week) and & $10-20 gasoline.

Mixed with a bunch of incoherent bullshit and increasingly Turner Diaries-style fantasies, of course. Hell, I'll bet Obama's planning to hang the white working class from the lampposts of every major city. Just got this feeling.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:02 PM
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This may be one reason for Obama to consolidate as much power as he can: it's the only way that this thing ends quickly.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:03 PM
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266: You're right. I'll just ask him to give me Australia.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:03 PM
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248

"... You're darkly assuming a 180 degree change in his behavior for no coherent reason."

Power corrupts is a coherent reason.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:05 PM
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reasonably non-disastrous leadership of Reid

Reid's leadership on wiretapping has been pretty fucking disastrous.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:07 PM
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226 could be rewritten into something that made sense, but not in the context of supporting the Obama campaign in its dispute with the netroots. The problem with the Obama campaign is pretty much the same as what Stras sees with the netroots -- an electoral focus and not much substance on the issues. And some of the netroots, not all, are among the few realworld forces trying to tighten up the Democrats on the issues, and if I'm not mistaken, Stoller is one of the people trying to do that.

Treating it as a netroots snit is imbecile. A lot of the people who found a voice for the first time on the internet (one of the good things about the netroots, Stras, not that you care) actually hoped to transform the party, but at the moment we're stuck choosing between a DLC regular and a kumbayah-talking centrist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:07 PM
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265: The netroots (I've been taking this to kos, ActBlue, bluemajority, OpenLeft, etc.) are useless because of things you predict they will do?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:07 PM
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241: Well, yes that is true. But he's not as bad as Erin Fetherston. And neither is my Girl Scout uniform, actually.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:07 PM
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268: the guy that Donna Edwards beat. There was also an unsuccessful attempt in Illinois this cycle.

Also, to some extent: Hillary Clinton was successfully primaried, and John Kerry had a real scare, due to their Iraq votes.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:08 PM
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If you don't think Hitler's funny, you don't know comedy.

Well, I liked him better before he became so popular.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:09 PM
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choosing between a DLC regular and a kumbayah-talking centrist

Uh, hello? That's a DLC regular and a kumbayah-talking fascist.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:09 PM
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Other than Lieberman, who got primaried?

Corporate Dem Al Wynn lost his seat this season to a MoveOn-and-DailyKos-sponsored candidate.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:09 PM
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As an ultraleftist, I resent being forced to mediate a dispute between two other ultraleftists.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:09 PM
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265: The netroots are fighting an uphill battle, but that's not their fault. Snarkout's right in 256. I'll add that Ned Lamont had a very salutary effect on the political dialogue, and he was a netroots project.

Nobody's going to be bothering to put pressure on the dozens of weak and right-leaning Dems, and they're certainly not going to primary them.

If Lamont isn't good enough for you, how about Al Wynn ? Isn't he just the sort of scalp your demanding here?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:10 PM
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Obama: too power-hungry to give the netroots power, too sniveling to fight the Republicans!


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:11 PM
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272: Insofar as power corrupts is a coherent reason, it's a reason for predicting any given bad behavior from any given politician, or any person who has any power over anything. For instance, it would be an equally valid reason to predict that you are currently using your superior mathematical skills (intelligence being a form of power) as part of a long range con scheme on everyone else at unfogged, and possibly the whole world if we aren't careful.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:11 PM
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272: not really, no. If you use that argument we can expect every presidential candidate to do everything they can to eliminate free speech.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:11 PM
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Stras, goddamit, what are the forces that are going to pull the Democrats left if not people in the netroots? Certainly not Obama; all of his messages have been centrist and anti-conflict.

Lots of netroots people are talking about primarying weak Dmeocrats, and as far as I know no one else is. And in my recollection Stoller, whom you're denouncing, is one of them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:13 PM
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Pwned by a nose!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:13 PM
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286: issue groups & the rare blogs doing real journalism.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:14 PM
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287: Don't think I didn't notice; washerdreyer for supreme leader!


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:16 PM
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218 was brilliant, B.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:18 PM
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288: Don't they work through the internet? And if they don't they should be. And if they do fundraising and give to candidates, they'll be more effective. And if they do that, they're netroots.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:18 PM
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It probably includes $200-300 oil (predicted by Goldman-Sachs last week) and & $10-20 gasoline.

Actually, only a $200 superspike was predicted, and that's mostly given credence because it was by the same analyst who called the current $100+ prices back when oil hit $50. But I'm certainly hoping that our electoral actions help prevent another middle eastern war from destroying considerable supply capacity. Hell, Obama's even already got a jump on quelling the Nigerian group that's been disrupting those oil pipelines!

Even if it does happen: oil rising from $10 per barrel to $110 per barrel has only increased gas prices from $1.00 to $3.50. Now, that did include a sizable squeeze on refiner's margins, so a rise to $200 per barrel while keeping margins steady would probably cause a rise in gas prices to $7 a gallon, about tops. By my calculations, that will cause us to descend into the same complete anarchy that has engulfed the UK for decades.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:18 PM
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In other words: "make the Democrats better, then the Democrats will make the country better" strategy is not efficient--you're better off trying to influence public opinion/policy directly than trying to improve the Democratic party, one long shot primary challenge at a time. And if you want to make the media better, you should just turn OFF the cable news networks & cover the important stuff yourself, insofar as this is possible. Better punditry & discussion of how much the other pundits suck is well and good, but they go right on sucking & we're no closer to actual good sources of news.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:19 PM
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As I have said before, it wasn't the "Martin Luther King Movement" it was the Civil Rights Movement, and there were a lot of alternative & dissenting leaders within the movement. Obama has a platform, but it isn't the "Global Warming Movement" or the "Health Care Movement" it is the "Obama Movement."

This comes from the top. Obama in his own mind is "The One" and this is catastrophic.

None of the rest of you will get in his way, and you lawyers won't file habeas when they take me away.
And I don't think, at that point, I will even care.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:20 PM
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292: It'll eventually go a lot higher than that, in all likelihood. When is the tricky part. I agree that although it will cause an awful lot of grumbling and big economic hit, $7/gal is something people can adjust to. Even $10. It'd kick the hell out of GDP.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:21 PM
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The netroots (I've been taking this to kos, ActBlue, bluemajority, OpenLeft, etc.) are useless because of things you predict they will do?

No, because they've been largely useless over the last year and a half, and I see no reason why that would change given their current strategy. Again, they've committed to electing Democrats and keeping Democrats in power above any other priority. That's not how you affect the ideology of a party; that's how you become a de facto extension of one.

People have flipped out at me before for noting this, but NARAL was completely justified in endorsing Lincoln Chafee in 2006 over a potential anti-choice Democratic challenger, even though the netroots went apeshit about it at the time. What NARAL understands - and what the netroots-types don't - is that the Democratic Party isn't naturally pro-choice, or naturally anti-war, or naturally anything. The only policy intrinsic to the Democratic Party is the advancement of the Democratic Party. It's the job of pro-choice groups like NARAL to keep the Democratic Party pro-choice, and the way they do that is through the use of both carrots and sticks. The netroots aren't willing to use sticks - to refuse to endorse a Democrat, or to endorse a primary challenger who might lose in a general election - and this severely limits their ability to push the party in one direction or another. If Harry Reid and Jim Webb thought there were actual consequences from the left for pushing the Protect America Act, they might not have jumped on board so quickly; as it is, the message of the netroots for these types is "Well, it's disappointing that you've endorsed torture and the permanent surveillance state, but whatchagonnado! Have some money anyway."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:21 PM
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"And if they do fundraising and give to candidates, they'll be more effective. And if they do that, they're netroots."

Not really. The NRDC & the ACLU & HRW have websites, but they're not netroots, & candidate fundraising is not their primary means of efficacy if they do it at all. They aren't going to be more effective contributing to Democratic campaigns than using the money to hire an advocate or a researcher.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:22 PM
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stras, I don't want to pile on, but it's hard to avoid the conclusion that your objection is to any movement that might create a majority or have an effect.

How can you possibly object to the fact that the netroots-types prioritize vulnerable right-wing Democrats over invulnerable ones ?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:25 PM
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I think 293 is right. There's obviously a limit to how effective these kinds of groups can be given their relative isolation from corporate media, but I'd still say it's more effective, in that you get solid results even if with a smaller audience.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:26 PM
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Could it be that the netroots are ineffective because they are -- being, after all, internet users -- extremely impatient?


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:26 PM
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294: Obama has a platform, but it isn't the "Global Warming Movement" or the "Health Care Movement" it is the "Obama Movement."

Yeah, almost like it's a Presidential campaign or something, you fucking moron.

you lawyers won't file habeas when they take me away.

In exchange for the kingship of Australia, I've volunteered to be on the team of Black Nationalist Commandoes who rendition you to Antarctica. Only in a whiff of ganja will you sense your fate.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:26 PM
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Obama in his own mind is "The One"

"I was able to get a sense of his soul."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:26 PM
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Hilariously OT:

Correction to This Article Due to an editing error, an article in Thursday's newspaper on West Virginia University misidentified the faculty organization that had approved a resolution of no-confidence in WVU President Michael Garrison.It is the Faculty Senate, not the Faulty Senate.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:27 PM
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Stras is wrong about the unwillingness to use sticks, though. It's just that the stick of a primary challenge is kind of twig-like; it's really hard to beat an incumbent in a primary. It's not possible to threaten 75 crappy incumbents at once, & even if you pick a couple of battles per election cycle it's difficult to win them.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:27 PM
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None of the rest of you will get in his way, and you lawyers won't file habeas when they take me away

First they came for mcmanus, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't mcmanus he was fucking nuts, and I figured it was probably in everyone's best interest.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:27 PM
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295: Oh yeah, I'd agree with you that it will in time. But when I think back over the past few years: the semi-nationalization of Venezuela's oil, the actions of the NPDVF in Nigeria, the invasion and subsequent infrastructure devastation in Iraq, the further isolation of Iran causing them to sell off oil at below-market prices, the dismantling of Yukos... And at the same time, the developing world is going through its biggest GDP increases in history while just hitting the points on the development curve that involves lots of new vehicles and power plants...

It's basically been a perfect storm for spiking oil prices. Sure, they'll grow for a while longer as we search for alternatives, but I doubt it will spike so far so fast again soon.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:29 PM
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And I don't think, at that point, I will even care.

But by then you'll love Obama, Bob.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:30 PM
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but I doubt it will spike so far so fast again soon.

The only problem with this is it's speculative. Nobody actually has very good supply numbers, it seems.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:31 PM
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In exchange for the kingship of Australia, I've volunteered to be on the team of Black Nationalist Commandoes who rendition you to Antarctica.

Holy shit. I signed up for the wrong Obama mailing list.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:32 PM
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>People have flipped out at me before for noting this, but NARAL was completely justified in endorsing Lincoln Chafee in 2006 over a potential anti-choice Democratic challenger, even though the netroots went apeshit about it at the time.

The issue was more that they continued to endorse Chafee even when the pro-choice Sheldon Whitehouse won the nomination. (And really, people twisted arms to keep Langevin out of the race, right?) All you're really saying is that the netroots, however you define them, should be more like a liberal Club for Growth and occasionally act in ways that are against the Democratic Party as a whole; I don't know how much actually resistance there is to this idea, but I just don't think there was much effort devoted to it when we had Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Frist. Maybe this is another reason Dems always lose. Cases like the Wynn/Edwards primary simply aren't going to arise that often -- an obviously corporatist and possibly corrupt Democrat in a cobalt blue district with a credible challenger well to the left of him? It didn't work at all in the much more egregious case of Dan Lipinski in Illinois.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:33 PM
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309: They even send out the afro picks and kung fu suits for free, it's teh awesome.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:34 PM
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"There's obviously a limit to how effective these kinds of groups can be given their relative isolation from corporate media, but I'd still say it's more effective, in that you get solid results even if with a smaller audience"

Nah, they're not isolated. The good researchers feed the good reporters stories. Which the crappy editors then run on p. A-17, but, you know.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:34 PM
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308: True, and I'm a pretty optimistic boy, so my ex recto rationalizations tend to be soft and reassuring as double-thickness quilted downy toilet paper. The kind you're always really happy to see when you're at someone's house, but you'd never use at your own because it clogs pipes like indoor plumbing killed its father and costs three times more for just one roll, plus thinking of all those trees literally being flushed away...


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:36 PM
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OK, we now know what Stras's envisioned progressive force is: NARAL. They forced the democrats to remain progressive by supporting a Republican. Because Democrats aren't naturally pro-choice, just actually pro-choice, and the Republicans are hardly worse.

Gotcha, Stras. Naral: progressive and effective. Kos, Moveon, and the rest: ineffective, unporgressive, and worthless. It's a darn shame that so many people committed themselves to the worthless netroots strategy when the splendidly successful NARAL strategy was sitting there right in front of them


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:36 PM
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How can you possibly object to the fact that the netroots-types prioritize vulnerable right-wing Democrats over invulnerable ones ?

This isn't my objection. My objection is that there aren't all that many vulnerable right-wing Democrats, and the ones that exist aren't the worst right-wingers in the party. At some point if your movement wants to make real change, it has to take actual risks, and that means holding elected officials accountable even when that risks losing a seat in Congress. Hell, I thought that the netroots types should've come out early in this campaign and said they wouldn't vote for Clinton in the general based on her Iraq vote. But that's not going to happen, because the netroots as it exists isn't about opposition to the war, or about civil liberties, or about really anything else - it's about supporting the Democratic Party.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:36 PM
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311: sign me up!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:37 PM
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307:Never. And I live with fucking roof rats. Big Brother can't scare me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:37 PM
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They forced the democrats to remain progressive by supporting a Republican.

This is, in fact, the case. And I know we've had this argument before, and I know you responded by sticking your fingers in your ears and singing loudly, but it's what happened.

Naral: progressive and effective. Kos, Moveon, and the rest: ineffective, unporgressive, and worthless.

That about sums it up, yes.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:38 PM
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Nobody has very good supply numbers

Yergin says $150 soon, and to the best of my knowledge he has never said anything unkind to the Saudis.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:39 PM
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At some point if your movement wants to make real change

It seems possible that the netroots, broadly, don't want the same changes that you do.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:40 PM
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316: I think the position of Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Graustark is still open.

(People keep telling me that's a made-up country, but they're not from the Obama Movement, so what do they know?)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:42 PM
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311: From now on, this is how I will always picture DS.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:42 PM
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The issue was more that they continued to endorse Chafee even when the pro-choice Sheldon Whitehouse won the nomination.

An endorsement is an endorsement. NARAL's endorsement wouldn't be worth much if they pulled it away once they'd given it. And the endorsement, as I've said before, had its effect: Langevin dropped out of the race, because suddenly his anti-abortion stance was an issue. And NARAL had done its job as a pro-choice group. The netroots doesn't understand this, because it's not an issue-based movement. The netroots isn't anti-war or pro-choice or pro-labor or anything else; to the extent that it's any of these things, it's only incidentally, because it's pro-Democrat, and because the Democratic party happens to lean pro-choice, pro-labor, etc. because other issue-based movements have been leaning on it for years. You're never going to seriously affect the party's stances on the issues if your movement isn't actually issue-based.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:43 PM
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It seems possible that the netroots, broadly, don't want the same changes that you do.

This is almost certainly the case, but I'd go farther and say that the netroots doesn't want the same changes that the netroots claims it does. Again, the netroots isn't issue-based; the closest thing it has to a common issue is common opposition to the war, and even then it isn't willing to exert its influence in the name of that issue.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:45 PM
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Can someone else talk to Stras? He actually believes that NARAL supporting Chafee is the model for radical politics. I thought that was a reducio ad absurdum.

And while I still support Obama, as does he, I suspect that his Obama support is based mostly on his personal grudge against the Clintons.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:45 PM
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it's what happened.

But what easily could have happened is that their help could've gotten Chafee elected, which would've put the Senate under the control of the party with the open intention of eliminating abortion rights, Nicaragua-style, instead of the party which has not done anything in decades to indicate hostility to the right to choose (I am speaking here of the party, not of individual members).

I'd call this cutting off your nose to spite your face, but it's really more like cutting off your nose to show that you can be fair to the knife.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:46 PM
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323, you now seem to be denying not just that the netroots have been able to successfully implement their preferences for what kinds of Democrats hold office, but that they have any at all.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:46 PM
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322: Man, Jim Kelly sure looked different in his pre-Buffalo Bills days.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:47 PM
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322: You know that guy is a tennis coach now? Did not see that one coming.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:48 PM
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But that's not going to happen, because the netroots as it exists isn't about opposition to the war, or about civil liberties, or about really anything else - it's about supporting the Democratic Party.

Nonsense. The netroots is about using the Democratic Party as a vehicle to advance their anti-war, pro-civil liberties agenda.

Hillary didn't attract rabid netroots opposition because she knuckled under and publicly called for an end to the war. Her stated position is very little different from Obama's, and their position is only modestly to the right of Edwards', who, by the way, was a netroots favorite.

And against McCain, the netroots is wise to favor a good showing by even a mediocre Democrat. If America picks McCain over Obama, that isn't going to send a useful message to Democratic doves.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:48 PM
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But what easily could have happened is that their help could've gotten Chafee elected

But here in the real world, Chafee didn't get elected, and the opponent who ran against him and won was a pro-choice Democrat instead of an anti-choice Democrat. So what are you complaining about?

Again, it's not NARAL's job to help Democrats get elected. It's NARAL's job to make sure that Democrats stay pro-choice. And the Democratic Party doesn't stay pro-choice by magic. It's stays pro-choice because groups like NARAL pressure it to stay pro-choice in the face of doing stupid things like trying to nominate Jim Langevin.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:50 PM
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I'm really not sure that I understand what you're saying here, which seems to fly in the face of your usual structurally rooted arguments about politics. Which arguments, I should add, I almost always think are pretty much right. In other words, I think I'm making a pretty obvious structural argument about the nature of party politics. And you seem to be saying that race will trump all the usual issues that define power in the political sphere. Am I wrong?

A little. I'm saying that all politicians go through bad times, often as a result of their own mistakes, often not, and at those times, there are core constituencies that will effectively support the politician and/or push back against his opponents. An easy example is Clinton: there are female supporters of Obama who push back against anti-Clintonites. This isn't because (or just because) they like her; it's because shot at her are, at least potentially, shots at them. Obama's relevant group is African-Americans, and that population, especially if weighted by income, doesn't seem like the strongest population in the world.

Put it this way: imagine Obama as a Bush level fuckup. How low do his numbers sink? (I don't expect anything like that to happen to him; I'm just trying to get at some notion of his core strength.)

OTOH, I think Obama will strengthen a lot a Democratic party coalition that I like, and that it's strength, unless strangled early, is sustainable independent of Obama.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:50 PM
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It's stays pro-choice because groups like NARAL pressure it to stay pro-choice in the face of doing stupid things like trying to nominate Jim Langevin.

Also, possibly, because it can read poll numbers.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:51 PM
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Also, possibly, because it can read poll numbers.

Those poll numbers didn't stop them from almost running a social conservative against a social liberal in Rhode Island.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:54 PM
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NARAL helped Packwood stay in office for decades. He was their favorite Senator, and he was shitty on almost every other issue but abortion. And for Stras, that strategy is the effective strategy: single-issue groups cutting deals with the Republicans at the expense of Democrats who agree with them. (Yes, exactly that happened in Oregon). And single-ssue groups refusing to ally themselves with other progressive groups, and instead allying themselves with people who are reactionary on most issues.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:55 PM
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But that's not going to happen, because the netroots as it exists isn't about opposition to the war, or about civil liberties, or about really anything else - it's about supporting the Democratic Party.

Well, the netroots has certainly been about supporting the Democratic Party over the Republican Party, but even moreso I think the netroots has been about reclaiming the Democratic Party for progressives and fighting back against the corporate capture of much of the Party. The party establishment is in place. While it's probably a good idea to support local greens, any attempt to challange for national power outside the two established parties will end in disaster (as we saw in 2000). The only workable alternative is to recapture the Democratic Party from corporate and lobbyist control, which requires a massive grassroots undertaking. The netroots, I think, is part of this. I also think this is the major theme running through the Obama campaign. The problem with progressive positions isn't that a majority of the country doesn't support them. The problem is motivating the country to reengage in government and fight back against monied interests.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:56 PM
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It's just that the stick of a primary challenge is kind of twig-like; it's really hard to beat an incumbent in a primary.

So how many wins do you think the netroots need to make that twig into a stick? Ed Wynn is a big, big scalp (IIRC, Pelosi even did a fundraiser for him). Do you think that the other Dems just shrugged it off? How many entrenched Dems have the ACLU, NARAL, and Sierra Club knocked off?

It's not either/or. But the netroots has existed for no more than 7 years; really more like 4-5. In that time, ex nihilo, they've beaten Dem leadership on SS* and Ed Wynn, beaten Rs with Webb and Patrick Murphy and probably another half dozen marginal Dems** in 2006, plus made a big impact on Trent Lott and Lieberman (who, IIRC, NARAL endorsed). To call that a failure, or a weak movement, and then to project that forward as the most they can accomplish, is, IMO pretty dumb.

Are people who deride the netroots as an ineffectual ATM also under the impression that Wall Street has no impact on policy, but is merely an ATM?

* While JMM is clearly not the same as Kos, his work on SS was netroots-style advocacy, not reportage. Furthermore, he was central but far from single-handed.

** Including, to be clear, "better" Dems that the DNC/DCCC weren't willing to fund


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:57 PM
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But here in the real world, Chafee didn't get elected

No thanks to NARAL...

and the opponent who ran against him and won was a pro-choice Democrat instead of an anti-choice Democrat.

Who was the anti-choice Democrat?


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:58 PM
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307 is great.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 1:58 PM
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Who was the anti-choice Democrat?

Rep. Jim Langevin, from the very Catholic state of Little Rhody. He withdrew from the primary in favor of Sheldon Whitehouse and Matt Brown, who are both pro-choice.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:00 PM
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I'm not at all convinced that Langevin could have beaten Whitehouse or, particularly, Brown, whom I expected to be in a barnburner with Chaffee and who managed to tank himself very thoroughly with some glaring campaign finance violations. Stras, you live there -- were there actually signs that the party apparatus was lining up for him?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:02 PM
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He withdrew from the primary because NARAL endorsed Chafee? How does that work?


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:03 PM
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"Surfer" is a social type. Most actual surfers are a different social type, "sociopaths".

Excellent.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:03 PM
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No thanks to NARAL

NARAL's endorsement didn't matter in the general because Chafee was running against another pro-choice candidate.

Who was the anti-choice Democrat?

Jim Langevin, who was more or less going to be coronated by the state Democratic Party until NARAL's endorsement. It's also far from clear that Langevin would've been able to beat Chafee in a general election. Chafee was and is incredibly popular; he lost with an approval rating over 60%. The one thing Whitehouse really campaigned on - and beat him with - was his GOP affiliation; otherwise their stances were nearly identical. But if Chafee had run against Langevin, the Dems would've lost a lot of pro-choice votes.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:05 PM
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He withdrew from the primary because NARAL endorsed Chafee? How does that work?

Just keep repeating the last line of 318 over and over, mano, and you will come to enlightenment.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:06 PM
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Those poll numbers didn't stop them from almost running a social conservative against a social liberal in Rhode Island.

I'm guessing that's because, at least within the Democratic party, the pro-choice consensus is believed to be obscenely safe. Or, per KF Monkey, more or less the reason we don't need to worry about Obama having Wright-style views on race: even if he did, what the fuck could he do about it?

Maybe they owed NARAL a conference to talk about it, and they didn't offer it. I don't know.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:06 PM
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And single-ssue groups refusing to ally themselves with other progressive groups, and instead allying themselves with people who are reactionary on most issues.

I used to think of this as an error on stras's part, but the unwillingness to be part of a majority seems to be a stras-ian imperative.

stras's point seems to be that Jim Webb should be ostracized if, on one of a half-dozen important issues, he deviates from the stras line. Moreover, it would be a big plus, in stras's world, if liberals voted Webb out in favor of, say, George Allen.

I just don't see it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:08 PM
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Agree with 336 and 337, but doesn't Obama's new machine replace the "netroots" to some degree because he has replicated exponentially their fundraising efforts? Haven't those efforts been crucial to netroots victories?


Posted by: dan | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:08 PM
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He withdrew from the primary because NARAL endorsed Chafee? How does that work?

NARAL endorsed Chafee during the primary in direct response to Langevin's candidacy and the fact that the RI Dem establishment was lined up behind him. This, as I said, made Langevin's abortion stance a big issue in the primary, and in response Langevin dropped out.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:10 PM
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NARAL's endorsement didn't matter in the general because Chafee was running against another pro-choice candidate.

The fuck? They were using their trusted pro-choice voice to tell pro-choice Democrats that it was better to vote for a Republican who would've empowered an anti-choice majority than a Democrat who empowered a pro-choice one.

For that matter, didn't endorsing Chafee rather than Whitehouse make it less likely that the Democrats would nominate a pro-choice candidate?


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:12 PM
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The ACLU's purpose is not to knock off entrenched Dems; it is to get better policy enacted. Obviously, a larger & more liberal Dem majority would help with that, but I do not think it helps more, hour for hour & dollar for dollar, than what the ACLU does.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:12 PM
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I'm guessing that's because, at least within the Democratic party, the pro-choice consensus is believed to be obscenely safe.

In Rhode Island? Um, no.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:13 PM
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I mean, what would've made the most sense is to endorse Whitehouse in the primary, then switch to Chafee in the general if Whitehouse didn't get nominated, wouldn't it?


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:13 PM
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In Rhode Island? Um, no.

I thought we were talking about a federal race.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:14 PM
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The fuck? They were using their trusted pro-choice voice to tell pro-choice Democrats that it was better to vote for a Republican who would've empowered an anti-choice majority than a Democrat who empowered a pro-choice one.

I was living here and reading about the race pretty obsessively, and I can tell you abortion was a non-issue in the general campaign.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:14 PM
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" While JMM is clearly not the same as Kos, his work on SS was netroots-style advocacy, not reportage. Furthermore, he was central but far from single-handed."

It contained a lot of reportage, and it was focused on a single battle for months at a time. Some of the blogs' advocacy on telco. immunity has been similar. In general, though, the netroots learns about some horrible development in Congress & mobilizes when it's far too late to do anything about it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:15 PM
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347 - I'll stick up for Stras here; I think he's more arguing that people feel free to peel off on any issue they want (with the possible exceptions of very narrowly-defined abortion rights laws and, recently, Social Security) without fearing punishment. The Club for Growth recently pried Wayne Gilchrest, a very decent man and the best Republican in the House on environmental issues, out of his possibly at-risk seat in Maryland for showing insufficient fealty on taxes and Iraq.

That said, we saw Donna "Kittens" Edwards win this year, and people funded a Quixotic run at Lipinsky in Illinois. Lieberman is no longer a Democrat. Jackie Spier was gearing up to go after Tom Lantos; I'm not even quite sure what her rationale would have been, other than Lantos's hawkishness. Unseating incumbants is hard, and the netroots as such have only been around for three elections. Maybe they'll become a terrifying juggernaut for conformity the way Club for Growth is now, although I'll note that even there, the CfG went 1-3 in unseating incumbents this cycle. (I wouldn't be shocked if Walter Jones ended up an independent at some point.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:17 PM
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348: Well I think the point is that, even granting that they are reliably Democratic, the netroots aren't beholden to any specific aspect of the DP. Obama's new machine - in the most paranoid/expansive view - eviscerates the semi-independent netroots with a fundraising machine entirely beholden to him.

I don't actually think this is a reasonable fear; the netroots are perfectly capable of opposing Obama's machine if it really becomes threatening (either from a policy or a netroots-sanctity standpoint) and, in the end, Obama is term-limited. Just as WJC found himself on the outside looking in this year, so will Obama find himself receding into history the farther away we get from 2016

Oh, other netroots victories: net neutrality and wiretapping immunity. The latter is not set in stone, but let's be clear: without netroots pressure, immunity would already be law. The votes were close, but a lot of on-the-fence Dems came down on the right side, affected by enormous pressure from the netroots (as well as the ACLU, of course; but I doubt they win it without the 'roots, and vice-versa).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:18 PM
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I mean, what would've made the most sense is to endorse Whitehouse in the primary, then switch to Chafee in the general if Whitehouse didn't get nominated, wouldn't it?

FWIW, there were signs that they were going to do this for Brown.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:18 PM
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Also, I'm not especially insulting the netroots. I wish they were liberal advocates or journalists more than a fundraising mechanism for electing more & somewhat more liberal Dems, but a fundraising mechanism for more & somewhat more liberal Dems is a useful thing. It's just, it doesn't make you the heirs of the civil rights movement; it's a useful party faction more than anything; and it doesn't make much sense to talk about the potential death of the movement when a somewhat more liberal Dem presidential candidate is a little more successful at the fundraising through his own website than MoveOn is.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:19 PM
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I mean, what would've made the most sense is to endorse Whitehouse in the primary, then switch to Chafee in the general if Whitehouse didn't get nominated, wouldn't it?

Langevin was running against Whitehouse and Brown in the primary, both of whom were pro-choice. If there was a three-way race, with the establishment lining up behind Langevin, the pro-choice Dem vote would've been split between Whitehouse and Brown. And of course, having the Democrats nominate an anti-choicer in Rhode Island would be a defeat for abortion rights in and of itself, whether or not NARAL then switched their endorsement to Chafee.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:19 PM
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Well, of course it was a non-issue since the politicians had the same position. But an endorsement is an endorsement, and you're dancing around the fact that NARAL made an endorsement that would've led to a worse outcome for choice if more pro-choice voters had paid it heed. I believe this is what's known as counterproductive.

If there was a three-way race, with the establishment lining up behind Langevin, the pro-choice Dem vote would've been split

Isn't this exactly the sort of situation where an endorsement from a pro-choice organization would have been very useful? Unless, as above, pro-choice voters are actually supposed to ignore NARAL's endorsement.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:21 PM
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And Marshall on social security & Greenwald & firedoglake & some others on telcom. immunity have been great. That's exactly the sort of issue advocacy I find most useful. But most netroots activity is a lot more unfocused than that.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:22 PM
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I don't see any conflict between netroots work and ACLU-type research. To the extent that the netroots is tied to the two-year / four-year election cycle, I prefer and advocate the ACLU model, and verious other models that focus on research, message development, and message delivery (especially between elections). But that's a far different thing than saying that the netwroots are ineffective.

The netroots can be and have been a force to change the Democratic party, because they're a money stream not entirely controlled by the party. The netroots have only been a factor for two elections, and I'm pretty sure that they've learned a few things from their bad experiences with Heath Shuler and several others. And by and large, a bad Democrat is better than a good Republican, any way you look at it.

And Stras's NARAL model is horrible.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:23 PM
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I don't think they're useless; I think that Stoller is just exaggerating both what they do & the extent to which Obama threatens it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:26 PM
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I'll stick up for Stras here; I think he's more arguing that people feel free to peel off on any issue they want (with the possible exceptions of very narrowly-defined abortion rights laws and, recently, Social Security) without fearing punishment.

The insanity of Stras's NARAL model is that as a single-issue organization they allowed Democrats to peel off every single issue except theirs, and favored Republicans who agreed with them over Democrats who agreed with them. So if single-issue groups are a good thing, NARAL was a good thing, but single-issue groups are not a good thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:27 PM
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If you don't think of Stoller as someone engaged in political advocacy but rather as a marketing guy whose product is The Liberal Netroots™, I think you get a much better sense of where his head is at.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:28 PM
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And as I've said, the netroots is one of the few, and possibly only forces within the Democratic Party capable of running a primary challenge, which is something they've actually done. Yet Stras condemns them, apparently for not having done it enough times in the 3 1/2 years they've been in the game.

And the problem with Obama is that he's keeping all the strings in his own hands, and doing what he can to freeze out the independent, ideological Democratic netroots groups. And there's nothing shocking about this, but it's definitely a reason to watch him closely. He has a powerful machine, and we have no idea how he'll use it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:30 PM
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Right -- continuing to make stras's argument (or at least my understanding of it) for him, I think he's asking why the netroots aren't standing in as a multiple-issue organization. I think he's drawn the line in a weird place that isn't actually going to be achieved by any actual politicians except the resurrected Paul Wellstone, but he's asking for someone to put the fear of God into Diane Feinstein and Joe Biden.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:32 PM
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It contained a lot of reportage

Much of which was sent in by readers, accumulating group knowledge in one place. Is this somehow different from how the netroots is supposed to work?

I strongly suspect that whatever disagreement we have on this matter is almost entirely based on our respective desires to partition out credit for the victory. To me, Josh's success on SS is qualitatively different from his success on the USA scandal; the latter required legwork to establish facts and precedents, as well as accumulation of local data, whereas the former consisted almost entirely of known facts (no crisis) and accumulation of local data - who was threatening to sell out. And while JMM was SS Central, Atrios, for example, did a lot of data accumulation as well, and in fact provided a lot of the economic chops to debunk "SS in Crisis" (Dean Baker, of course, is the ultimate hero in all this; he laid the groundwork for resistance to privatization back in the late 90s).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:33 PM
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Before I duck out I'll mention that by putting his campaign funding in the hands of a million small donors, Obama is doing the opposite of freezing out the independent netroots groups. If they turn on him he'll be totally broke for his reelection bid. And Democrats are generally very good at turning on people (Fuck you, Bill).


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:35 PM
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I think that the netroots judged that until the Democrats controlled Congress policing the Democratic Party was counterproductive. (We did have a Republican Congress not too long ago.) They're now moving in the direction of picking off weak Democrats in the primaries. I have no problem with their scheduling. It's possible that in 2009 the Democrats will have enough of a majority that they can afford to strongarm their weak Congressman.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:36 PM
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he's keeping all the strings in his own hands

Well, to be fair, the netroots are filled to the rafters with loose cannons and after the Jeremiah Wright hoedown, I can understand how he might be leery of that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:36 PM
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Single issue groups are absolutely a good thing. Who do you thing got anything done on torture for eight years? Some death penalty lawyers, CCR, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, & the ACLU--throw in a handful of journalists, law professors & pro bono lawyers. Not a big group of people. NARAL's problem is: (1) they get better support & discipline from the Democratic party than almost any group--not that Roe isn't important, but during SUpreme Court battles it's treated as practically the only important thing; (2) given their vastly different treatment by the Dems & GOP they have no business endorsing a pro choice Republican who votes for Bush's nominees over a pro choice Dem who won't; (3) they could have opposed Langevin w/o actually endorsing Chafee against Whitehouse. But Kos' critique of single issue advocacy groups is by and large, stupid & wrong. It would be great if we could all have each other's backs & support all our issues best by supporting the Democratic party, but there's a lot of issues that the Democratic party blows off & has for years, & if you care about those issues it makes more sense to work on them directly rather than working for the Democrats & hope that one successful primary challenge every couple years will make them eventually give a damn.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:37 PM
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Obama seems to be trying to avoid relying on, or even communicating with, independent, issue-oriented netroots groups. Instead he's building his own machine, independent of the Democratic Party but also independent of and not very friendly to internet Democrats.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:38 PM
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Instead he's building his own machine, independent of the Democratic Party but also independent of and not very friendly to internet Democrats.

All the evidence and analysis is from Stoller, right?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:39 PM
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370: I mean reportage in the loose sense of "conveying information not available elsewhere." I don't care whether he makes the calls or he aggregates it from readers & other public sources. Most of the netroots does not do this, at all, no.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:40 PM
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370: I mean reportage in the loose sense of "conveying information not available elsewhere." I don't care whether he makes the calls or he aggregates it from readers & other public sources. Most of the netroots does not do this, at all, no.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:40 PM
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not very friendly to internet Democrats

Hmm, and here I was under the impression that that's where most of his support was coming from. Not very friendly how? Aside from not giving reacharounds to Matt Stoller, that is.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:40 PM
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Instead he's building his own machine, independent of the Democratic Party but also independent of and not very friendly to internet Democrats.

You're so credulous sometimes. Stoller is permanently overwrought, and Obama is not going to be a supine centrist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:40 PM
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Stoller is permanently overwrought

This, yes. I trust Obama more than I trust Stoller.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:42 PM
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Well in Emerson's defense, McManus agrees with him.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:42 PM
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Stoller's piece read to me as a typical "his failure to give me access raises grave doubts about this politician" complaint. All Obama has done is act like a presidential candidate instead of a liberal movement leader, which is what presidential candidates tend to do.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:43 PM
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284 285

People tend to become more authoritarian when they acquire power. This is a force acting on everybody including Obama. This doesn't mean he will succumb to the temptations of power but it is hardly inexplicable if he does.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:43 PM
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Given the present Republican Party, the list of issues that the Democrats are blowing off, but Republicans can vote freely on, has to be a very short one. I'm reminded of McCain's so-called anti-torture principles, which never came to anything real. For as long as the Republicans are going to be in power, you're going to have to work with them, but the issues you can work on are just nibbling around the edges and getting nickel and dime victories while big things go to hell. I'm not aware of a lot of issues that Republicans can be good on that Democrats aren't usually better on.

ACLU will work with the few Republicans who care about certain issues, but they're hardly a non-partisan single-issue group the way NARAL was. They're even used as a standard symbol for the EEVUL DEMOCRATS.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:45 PM
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If your party has 51% of the country behind it, you're going to disagree with them a lot. If you want a party you can agree with all the time, then you can meet with a dozen people in the back room of Revolution Books. And even then you'll probably face a split eventually. Faulting the netroots for not forcing Congress to actually play chicken with Bush over Iraq war funding is dumb.

The netroots is just a shorthand for the way in which liberals have learned to use the net to exert external pressure on the party. And it has demonstrably been able to do that in more than one case. Obama will face a serious push to stay in Iraq if he's elected. You'll be grateful for every mechanism of external pressure you can get then.

Stras often posts in a tone of exasperated realism, but calling the netroots useless garbage because it hasn't ushered in the Stras-ian utopia is pie-in-the-sky idealism about the current possibilities of American politics. Which are pretty bad, but don't blame the netroots for that.

I don't even understand what we're arguing about, really.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:46 PM
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"... Cases like the Wynn/Edwards primary simply aren't going to arise that often ..."

That's because most incumbents aren't morons, they stay in touch with their district and position themselves to make primary challenges unattractive (especially when they are completely safe in the general). The idea is to encourage the incumbents to shift their positions in your direction.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:48 PM
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I don't even understand what we're arguing about, really.

Whether Hillary Clinton was prettier in the 60s than she is now, I think.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:49 PM
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I know it's important that the Republicans not be in power. It can still be true that phone banking or donating to a Democratic candidate to buy a TV ad is whole orders of magnitude less effective on the issues that the Dems have a history of blowing off & being totally untrustworthy on, like torture, surveillance, immigration, criminal justice, etc., than doing direct work on those issues. And that is, in my experience, obviously the case. You're usually pretty outspoken about buying TV ads every couple years instead of institution building being a lousy way to get results, no, Emeson?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:49 PM
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383 has some truth to it, I think it's accurate for the current development of outside groups in the Democratic party. But you'll notice that truly effective ideological police, as one sees in the Republican anti-tax movement (Norquist et. al.) and the fundamentalist judiciary people, really do force politicians to pay fealty to them at the earliest possible opportunity. They don't sentimentalize politicians, they just demand service. As one can see now in what McCain is saying about judges. He doesn't believe that stuff, but he has to kowtow. That's real power. It would be good to develop a liberal version of Norquist, and it probably will take an annoying megalomaniac to do it. Democrats are not very good at following leaders, though.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:52 PM
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And I'm not talking about "endorsing the good Republicans!" as a major strategy here. Kos, in general, disparages single-issue advocacy groups in general. A lot of issue-focused advocacy groups are, as far as I'm concerned, a lot more effective pound for pound than the netroots in the aggregate.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:52 PM
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So 35 was McManus's most successful troll in weeks. Way to go, Bob!


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:53 PM
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It really was. I don't get it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:55 PM
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382:Apparently Shearer & I are approaching a mysterious comity of our own. I knew with persistance I could bring him around.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:56 PM
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You're usually pretty outspoken about buying TV ads every couple years instead of institution building being a lousy way to get results, no, Emeson?

But isn't this just what Stoller and the Openleft crowd are trying to do? Keep the pressure on between elections? I know everybody is annoyed that the FISA push hasn't so far been successful, but there's much more visibility and pressure on that issue and it's a much more close-fought thing than it would have been five years ago.

A world where Obama did have to call someone like Matt Stoller and swear to follow a line on a few issues would be a better one. Annoying as Matt Stoller can occasionally be.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:56 PM
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I think this is residual bitterness from the way the blogs totally botched the MCA. Now it's such a rallying cry; at the time people were cheering on Graham & McCain or not paying attention until it was too late.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:58 PM
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This is becoming crazy-making. My memory is that Stoller has been speaking for some time against Kos's non-ideological partisanship, but Stras is accusing Stoller of being Kos. And seemingly everyone here is treating this as a personal snit of Stoller's, as though he were a girl (!!!), and in my opinion he doesn't deserve that (and neither do girls!).

I've been worried about Obama's "new politics" from the beginning. What will it be? It seems to be an autonomous, self-funded Obama machine with strong message control and uncertain but basically centrist politics. Already just OK, but he also talks about bipartisanship and putting an end to the old Washington politics, which to him apparently means the politics of conflict. (Whereas to me "the old Washington politics" means the centrist politics of accomodation.)

And Stoller's piece added to my suspicions.

Check out Digby. People there aren't as negative about Obama as I am, but they do treat Stoller with the respect he deserves.

Digby


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:59 PM
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This sort of paranoia isn't new for Stoller.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 2:59 PM
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It can still be true that phone banking or donating to a Democratic candidate to buy a TV ad is whole orders of magnitude less effective on the issues that the Dems have a history of blowing off & being totally untrustworthy on, like torture, surveillance, immigration, criminal justice, etc., than doing direct work on those issues.

Except that it's very close to irrelevant as long as Rs control Congress and rule with a "minority of the majority" ethos. None of the single-issue groups were effective in 2004-5 in exposing the desperate corruption on the Rs in Congress, because they needed their non-partisan credibility (even some of the anti-corruption groups felt obliged to play pox-on-both games when the two sides were DeLay et al vs. Jefferson). The netroots hammered on the message that the first most important goal was Speaker Pelosi.

Now 2006 was a good Dem year for a lot of structural reasons. But the point is that NARAL/Sierra Club/Whoever had very little effect on ending the R majorities - it's not their MO, or even really their goal.

Anyway, as I said, it's not either/or. But talk of "orders of magnitude" is just nuts. Neither netroots nor the Sierra Club made the critical difference in 2004, and as a result we have Roberts and Alito for another 3 decades. I see ineffectiveness on both sides.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:00 PM
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400!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:02 PM
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389: One of the things I like about Obama (and MoveOn) is that they emphasize the ground game more and media buys less.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:02 PM
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Also, most of the netroots grudges against Obama aren't issue-based; they're discourse-based: he's not partisan enough, he talks too much about unity, etc. etc. I think this is basically taking your eye off the ball, & from the netroots' decision to make its universe revolve around to talking about how the media & pundits are stupid instead of trying to provide an alternative.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:03 PM
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he also talks about bipartisanship and putting an end to the old Washington politics, which to him apparently means the politics of conflict. (Whereas to me "the old Washington politics" means the centrist politics of accomodation.)

That's strange, to me Obama's "old Washington politics" sounds like a trope that every single new Presidential candidate runs against, it's whatever has prevented us from doing whatever we should have already done (each voter can fill in the blanks). Furthermore, it just seems like common sense that a President will want to appear above the fray, as if he represents all Americans rather than a particular subset of them, and that this image really has nothing to do with his appetite for conflict (surely the power-hungry megalomaniac that Stoller describes has an understanding that the Republicans will try to oppose him).


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:06 PM
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Katherine, I've been trying to figure out WTF Obama means by talking about unity and bipartisanship, and he isn't helping me at all. I get a very bad feeling from that. It's a major part of his message, and it was stressed by the googly-eyed Obama representatives in my county caucus. (Where, as I keep saying, I supported Obama). But I don't know what it means. And not talking to the netroots is a good way to make sure that you don't have to tell anyone what you mean.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:08 PM
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JRoth: actually, the Dems could have filibustered the MCA in the minority; they haven't managed to repeal it in the majority. The advocacy group those issue groups did on torture pushed it back out from the military major prisons into Forward Operating Bases--then from the Forward Operating Bases to the special forces task forces & CIA. It hasn't ended but it's been reduced. And the reason the Dem presidential candidates now support habeas restoration, ending torture, closing GTMO far more openly than Kerry dared to in 2008 is years of advocacy work. Public opinion matters. Press scrutiny matters. And a Democratic majority that can't override vetoes & isn't interested in investigations is less useful than a Democratic minority that filibusters. If you think a contribution to a random Dem candidate does more on those issues than a contribution to CCR or the ACLU or HRW--well, I think you don't know what you're talking about.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:09 PM
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to me Obama's "old Washington politics" sounds like a trope that every single new Presidential candidate runs against

Clinton didn't. Nor has McCain, for that matter.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:10 PM
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403: At this point Obama could easily run against Bush and the completely discredited Republicans, instead of running against the old Washington politics, whatever that is, and talking about unity and bipartisanship.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:10 PM
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John, I think you and the digby blog folks (and lots of other people) are misreading what Obama means by getting past partisanship. You can be non-partisan either in the current Democratic way, by conceding a lot to your opponents, or by saying "I have a great idea, why won't you join me? Is it because you're gay a bad old partisan?" Obama consistently does the latter, and stays on the offensive, even while he seems above the fray.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:11 PM
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405: you're setting up a false dichotomy, Katherine. Part of JRoth's point was that the Democrats were afraid to filibuster because they felt they didn't have popular support. The Democrats have been setting up narrow single-issue research and advocacy groups since the 70s, all through the Republican sweep to power, and the limitations of the strategy are pretty clear by now.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:14 PM
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Katherine, you and I mean different things by single-issue groups. I'm thinking entirely of the single issue groups (especially gay, pro-choice, and environmentalist, but probably including some ethnic-advocacy groups) which think that they can be non-partisan and work both sides of the line. I support groups like the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, etc., but they end up being seen as partisan even though they formally aren't.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:14 PM
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At this point Obama could easily run against Bush and the completely discredited Republicans

Maybe he could say that McCain is running for Bush's third term? That sounds kinda catchy.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:15 PM
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397:Some good commenters over at Digby. I am ommtting the f-word ones, because I don't want to offend.

The past seven years have been a harsh civics lesson in the potential for elective dictatorship in this country. The "unitary executive" theory, put into practice by Cheney, Rove and their Rethuglican minions, and fully enabled by the so-called Republican "moderates" like Collins, Snowe, Shays and even Hagel who have slavishly adhered to the Party line, aided and abetted by Vichy Democrats, has bankrupted the country, fiscally, economically and morally.

So after all that, some of us here actually think it's a good idea to centralize the entire grass root elements of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement in the tightly-controlled apparatus of a single individual? Are we, who have so often and even eloquently decried the trashing of the Constitution by Cheney and his puppet Bush, ready to bypass the Constitution ourselves if the "old structure and ways" (i.e. Congress) impede "necessary changes"?

The Democratic Party has always had coalition-building at its heart, from its very origins with Jefferson and Jackson and particularly in its modern rebirth with FDR, Truman, and yes, Bill Clinton. We're not a "movement" party -- that's the other guys, particularly since they read diversity out of their party (Rockefeller, Bill Scranton, et al.) in 1964. If my alternative is either "join up or be left out", well, I guess I'll be left out. Obama will get my vote, but he'll still have to work to earn my support -- all my contributions from here on out will be going to ActBlue and key Congressional candidates.
HenryFTP | 05.09.08 - 5:42 am | #


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:16 PM
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I'm not really misreading Obama. I am worrying about what he means, because he won't tell me, but I have a bad feeling about it.

One Fat Englishman sees Blair in Obama -- a good vibe, a brilliant politician, a likable guy, but consistently and systematically extremely disappointing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:17 PM
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Bob McManus, the proud defender of procedural liberalism. I love it!


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:17 PM
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You can be non-partisan either in the current Democratic way, by conceding a lot to your opponents, or by saying "I have a great idea, why won't you join me? Is it because you're gay a bad old partisan?" Obama consistently does the latter, and stays on the offensive, even while he seems above the fray.

I agree that Obama seems to be doing the latter and doing it well.

But, then again, maybe I've just drank the Obama kool-aid. I'm sold on him.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:18 PM
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Which is to say that Obama has set up a very effective frame in which "being partisan" means disagreeing with him.

As for consolidating power, assuming he's doing it, that seems like the most natural thing in the world for a new nominee, whose in a good position right now, before he's fucked anything up, to do. More evidence that he knows how to play.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:18 PM
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The hits keep coming

congradulations: B Obama is taking Chicago machine politics national--

progressive my ass.
pamela grim | 05.09.08 - 5:44 am | #

Daschle as Chief-of-Staff? New Politics my ass


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:18 PM
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Well, about 5 people at Human Rights Watch were more effective at moving popular opinion on torture than the whole Democratic caucus in D.C


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:19 PM
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414:Not procedural liberalism.

Nobody has a fucking clue about serious anarchism anymore, do they?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:21 PM
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And a Democratic majority that can't override vetoes & isn't interested in investigations is less useful than a Democratic minority that filibusters.

First, you'll note I didn't talk about MCA. But this is the point, of course. Gee, what has the "less useful" Dem majority done? Raised minimum wage? Yes. Passed better budgets? Yes. Make generally better laws, even if limited by Bush's veto pen? Yes.

But as a single issue advocate, you're willing to overlook all the other issues. Hey, minimum wage workers: Fuck off!

Christ.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:21 PM
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Katherine, I agree with you. I support left single-issue groups but not bipartisan single-issue groups. My previous statement is inoperative, void, null, and disavowed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:21 PM
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I don't think NARAL is widely seen as partisan, but I do prefer the advocacy/research directed groups to the ones doing an entirely inside-lobbying thing. NARAL's pretty damn effective though; they just don't share my priorities. And I would prefer a multi-issue advocacy liberal coalition, but the Democratic party isn't reliably liberal & doesn't reliably give a damn about liberal issues; and the netroots isn't that focused on issue advocacy,


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:22 PM
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Are we, who have so often and even eloquently decried the trashing of the Constitution by Cheney and his puppet Bush, ready to bypass the Constitution ourselves if the "old structure and ways" (i.e. Congress) impede "necessary changes"?

Christ, it's like talking to Scientologists about psychiatry. Stoller: "I'm also told, though I can't confirm, that Obama campaign has also subtly encouraged donors to not fund groups like VoteVets and Progressive Media." Emphasis mine. Going from that to "Obama will bypass teh Constitution!!1!!" is a pretty impressive leap.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:22 PM
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I mean, boiling that quote down, you're left with "Somebody (but I'm not saying who) told me (but I have no evidence) that Obama "subtly encouraged" (whatever that means) etc." That's some mighty shaky scaffolding on which to hang an argument.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:26 PM
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Nobody has a fucking clue about serious anarchism anymore, do they?

Of course people have a clue about serious anarchism. They just don't see the connection between serious anarchism and anything you post.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:27 PM
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It looks like a Democratic landslide unless Bush attacks Iran, in which case I have no idea. Once the Democrats have a solid majority they'll be less at the mercy of the 40+ Blue Dogs. Furthermore, the Blue Dogs might feel a little safer sliding to the left.

There are a fair number of netroots supported Democrats on the Blue Dog list, which gives a bit of support to Stras's point of view.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:27 PM
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Which is to say that Obama has set up a very effective frame in which "being partisan" means disagreeing with him.

Until McCain or another media annointee says otherwise. He doesn't own this field, ogged.

I keep bringing this up, and it seems no one else recalls it: maybe 15 months ago Obama and McCain had a spat (over an ethics bill, I think), and McCain called Obama (more or less) a back-stabbing partisan. Obama had to back down, and got uniformly awful press.

He's already fought McCain on post-partisan grounds, and was soundly defeated. Maybe he's learned and it won't happen again, but a lot of this optimism is based on... oh never mind.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:27 PM
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420 is a total misrepresentation of my position, of course; I have a hard time believing you're even serious. I'm not telling minimum wage workers to fuck off. It's just that the Democrats couldn't actually pass that bill over Bush's veto. And the contribution that my fraction of an ad-buy or hour of phone banking is going to elect a Democratic president & Democratic Congress who will pass a minimium wage bill, is less valuable than doing issue advocacy on another important issue. And you can't tell people to be good soldiers and put their pet issues aside for the sake of the party when the party becomes totally indifferent & useless on their pet issues. I think contributing to the SEIU probably does more for low wage workers than contributing to a Democratic campaign, unless the Democratic candidate in question is in a really close race & extraordinarily effective & devoted on poverty issues.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:28 PM
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Obama destroyed the netroots by not relying on them. He bypassed them and went for a base of support that included only real Americans -- hard-working white men in small towns.

In doing this he not only betrayed Matt Stoller but he also sold out anarchism.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:29 PM
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424: Hell hath no fury like a blogger scorned. Good thing we have paranoiacs ripping apart the presumptive nominee before the primaries are even over; it's proof that the Democratic party is alive and well.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:32 PM
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Katherine, the choices aren't between research and issue advocacy vs. electioneering. We're really talking about the difference between the Democratic Party machine, the Obama machine, and the netroots machine. The only one of these three that can put a leftward pressure on anyone is the third. But Obama seems to have successfully protected himself against that pressure by building his own machine.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:33 PM
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He's already fought McCain on post-partisan grounds, and was soundly defeated

When he was a freshman senator against a media darling. A lot has changed since then.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:35 PM
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He's already fought McCain on post-partisan grounds, and was soundly defeated.

Eh? In the end an ethics bill passed the Senate 90-8 and BOTH Obama and McCain voted nay. Obama didn't get uniformly bad press either.

But one would have to be a whirly-eyed optimist bot to actually think this doesn't bolster the case that Obama believes "post-partisanship" is about selling out to the Republicans. Surely a rational analysis would lead one to...

Oh never fucking mind.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:35 PM
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Vastly increasing participation is of course very effective in local or sometimes issue-politics, but at a national level of tens-of-millons those voices just become lost in the crowd. Obama is not exactly seeking direct referendum politics. He is obviously trying to dilute power to the point none is left but his own.

Similarly, a government that is responsive to the people (usually through Tocquevillian associations) is a good thing, but a politician who believes himself to be the "transcendant embodiment of the will of the people" while simultaneously attempting to strangle those mechanisms of direct popular expression like the netroots and lobbying groups is very very bad news.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:35 PM
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What Stoller accused Obama of was not communicating with the netroots at all, presumably in order to avoid being put on the spot about something.

The incuriosity and optimism about Obama's new politics does seem googly-eyed to me. It bothers me that I don't really have much idea what it is, and when I do try to figure out what it is, one of the possibilities is a very bad one, which bothers me worse.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:38 PM
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426: This is actually an interesting year for the netroots. The House majority is solid, and likely to grow. A filibuster-proof Senate is possible, but unlikely, and probably will depend more on flukey macaca-moments rather than any kind of fundraising or advocacy. So is this the year to start pushing against Blue Dogs? Granted that primary challenges are over, but giving or withholding money can still be done.

More likely, I suspect, will be netroots support for a few long-shot, symbolic candidates (symbolic in the sense that they're either good image Dems, like Patrick Murphy, or winning formerly safe R seats, like MS-1). Then, in 2010, it's time to target a couple Blue Dogs and beat them. We could certainly afford to lose a couple marginal seats (House only, obvs) if the Dems in them are shitheads like the ones opposing benefits for Vets.

I really think that we're* only about 2 more Ed Wynns from having real power with the caucus. The trouble with the single-issue, nonpartisan model is that it can't target Dems who are generally bad, but toe the line on a couple high-profile issues. They can enforce orthodoxy on those issues ("NARAL says to vote against X? Good enough."), but they don't paint a general picture of bad Dems. The netroots have done it, and will only get more effective at doing so (Rs loved to mock Kos before '06 for never winning, but that changed in a hurry). Most House members feel pretty free to vote for all kinds of shitty things, as long as the Leadership winks at them and it won't piss off a major group. But being on ACORN's shit list won't cost anyone her seat - there aren't enough single-issue voters on those issues.

* I shouldn't say "we," but whatever


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:41 PM
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426: This is actually an interesting year for the netroots. The House majority is solid, and likely to grow. A filibuster-proof Senate is possible, but unlikely, and probably will depend more on flukey macaca-moments rather than any kind of fundraising or advocacy. So is this the year to start pushing against Blue Dogs? Granted that primary challenges are over, but giving or withholding money can still be done.

More likely, I suspect, will be netroots support for a few long-shot, symbolic candidates (symbolic in the sense that they're either good image Dems, like Patrick Murphy, or winning formerly safe R seats, like MS-1). Then, in 2010, it's time to target a couple Blue Dogs and beat them. We could certainly afford to lose a couple marginal seats (House only, obvs) if the Dems in them are shitheads like the ones opposing benefits for Vets.

I really think that we're* only about 2 more Ed Wynns from having real power with the caucus. The trouble with the single-issue, nonpartisan model is that it can't target Dems who are generally bad, but toe the line on a couple high-profile issues. They can enforce orthodoxy on those issues ("NARAL says to vote against X? Good enough."), but they don't paint a general picture of bad Dems. The netroots have done it, and will only get more effective at doing so (Rs loved to mock Kos before '06 for never winning, but that changed in a hurry). Most House members feel pretty free to vote for all kinds of shitty things, as long as the Leadership winks at them and it won't piss off a major group. But being on ACORN's shit list won't cost anyone her seat - there aren't enough single-issue voters on those issues.

* I shouldn't say "we," but whatever


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:41 PM
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The incuriosity and optimism about Obama's new politics does seem googly-eyed to me.

Who's incurious? We've got a pretty good idea of what kinds of policies Obama's going to advocate; he's been talking about them for a year and a half. I don't see what's so mystifying about his politics, unless you're conflating "politics" with "campaign rhetoric."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:42 PM
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Of course people have a clue about serious anarchism. They just don't see the connection between serious anarchism and anything you post.

I sort of do see a connection, which is one reason why I like Bob. From the serious anarchist perspective, everything is a giant disaster, and anyone who restores faith in the state is a pied piper leading people over a cliff. Obama would be a more effective pied piper than anyone else around.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:42 PM
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only about 2 more Ed Wynns

Ed Wynn.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:43 PM
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What does he mean by "new politics"? Bipartisanship? That's his selling point. I suspect that it do mean something. What?

His issues positions are generic center-left, about what I'd expect, nothing special, pretty much OK.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:48 PM
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439: oh come on. If liberals were running around like headless chickens and the Republicans were a disciplined political machine (wild wild hypothetical), McManus would be decrying procedural liberalism and moaning about the fall of the Republic. When a Democrat who has his shit together shows up, suddenly it's better for no one at all to be in charge. This isn't anarchism, this is just mindless bitching about whatever's going on.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:48 PM
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Check out Digby.

Oh, gawd. Let me know when she does her ten part series on Clinton's new relationship with Scaife. I'll check back then.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:51 PM
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When he was a freshman senator against a media darling. A lot has changed since then.

Obama was more a media darling then than he is now - did you miss the last month? And McCain is still getting tongue-bathed by the press.

I'm not saying he can't beat the old man, either in post-partisan poker or in the General. But the blithe assumption that he will win it hands-down just isn't supported.

Eh? In the end an ethics bill passed the Senate 90-8 and BOTH Obama and McCain voted nay. Obama didn't get uniformly bad press either.

But one would have to be a whirly-eyed optimist bot to actually think this doesn't bolster the case that Obama believes "post-partisanship" is about selling out to the Republicans. Surely a rational analysis would lead one to...

So the standard now is "didn't get uniformly bad press?" Awesome. Obama looked bad. NPR covered it that way, so did the 3 nets, so did the cable nets. It was widely (but not uniformly!) portrayed as Obama being too big for his britches, and his POV on the dispute (in which he was in the right - I never suggested otherwise) wasn't even aired. I recall one news report that quoted McCain, but not Obama.

That won't happen in the General. And my point wasn't about his Manchurian Republicanism - my point was that post-partisanship isn't favorable ground for Dems right now, and there's no guarantee that Obama can win on that ground. We have a press that will take seriously people like Gingrich and DeLay and Rove accusing Dems of partisanship. We can certainly hope that Obama will be able to reach over the press to voters to win these arguments, but it's just that - hope. He's held up pretty well despite all the nonsense in the last month, so that's good. But we don't know yet, and this blithe certainty just seems dumb to me.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:51 PM
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Yes, I perhaps exaggerate the threats, but these mechanisms of totalitarian control are very well understood by political scientists.

A small-d democrat should try to create, support, and nourish local specialized organizations to co-ordinate with other local specialized organizations toward common goals. The Sierra Club and NAACP have chapters whose first priorities are local. Like Army platoons, people work for their buddies.

The totalitarian seeks to weaken all those other emotional & political bonds in favor of serving the leader. People must always be watching their buddies for disloyalty to the Obama Party.

My instant gut reaction to anyone whose methods involved nationalizing local affiliations would be profound suspicion and distrust.

Breaking apart the Clinton machine? Terrific.
Marginalizing the netroots? Uh-oh.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:53 PM
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But the blithe assumption that he will win it hands-down just isn't supported.

That's not the argument. I was explaining Obama's strategy to John; I didn't say it would be unopposed.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:53 PM
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What does he mean by "new politics"? Bipartisanship? That's his selling point. I suspect that it do mean something.

Why, for gawd's sake? As I recall, Bill Clinton ran against DC in '92, and his campaign sought ways to by bypass it early on (which, some think, resulted in a mess and effectively required him to bring someone like Gergen in). They all want "new politics." The institutions, however, aren't really set up for that.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:54 PM
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439: But Bob isn't really an anarchist, nor has that been Bob's actual criticism of Obama. At any given moment, Bob's criticism of Obama has consisted of one or more of the following:

- he's unelectable because of his weak coalition of blacks and students
- he's gone mad with power because of his unstoppable coalition of blacks and students
- he'll destroy Social Security
- he'll destroy health care
- he'll fail to pass health care, like Hillary Clinton would
- he'll fail to destroy health care, like Hillary Clinton would, leading to an uprising of the people
- he is a secret fascist
- he is a secret centrist
- he is a secret black radical
- he is a secret practitioner of Muslim third-way economics
- he would continue the war, which is bad
- he would stop the war, which is bad

You can try to see the logic connecting all these separate arguments, or you can just consider Bob's comments a sort of extended form of performance art.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:55 PM
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441: by "new politics" he means "politics with Barack Obama in charge." This is campaign fluff designed to maximize his support.

I personally think he has a good political style in that he projects an image of someone who hears and understands different points of view before arriving at his conclusion; it's quite a useful skill for a politician to have. The "new politics" resonates a bit because of his style, plus the fact that he's young and a new face. I imagine he'll use this power for his own benefit, but as I'm personally quite OK with his moderate-center-left politics this isn't freaking me out much so maybe this doesn't really count.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:55 PM
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Oh, gawd. Let me know when she does her ten part series on Clinton's new relationship with Scaife.

What Tim does not understand is that talk of eliminating the payroll tax cap is "reinforcing Republican frames", but painting other Democrats as unfit to be commander in chief and unable to get white votes is...(sound of crickets chirping)


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:56 PM
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The House majority is solid, and likely to grow....So is this the year to start pushing against Blue Dogs? Granted that primary challenges are over, but giving or withholding money can still be done.

The fuck? The problem is not the Blue Dogs, whom I am happy to tolerate as long as the alternative is someone with an R after the name. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin wants to oppose gay rights? That's lamentable, but to starve her of funds or challenge her in the primary would be cutting off your nose to spite your face.

The netroots fire is most productively aimed at the Al Wynn's of the caucus: anchored in safe Dem districts, but ready to betray core principles for personal gain--or out of sincere conviction, for that matter. Donna Edwards' and Ciro Rodriguez's victories put them on notice. I'd like to see Jane Harman and a few others get the fear of God put in them.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:58 PM
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or you can just consider Bob's comments a sort of extended form of performance art.

Bingo.

Now I have to get back to my Toulmin. Return to Reason


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:58 PM
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"What Stoller accused Obama of was not communicating with the netroots at all, presumably in order to avoid being put on the spot about something."

Is this even right, though? He's posted at Kos--though primarily before the campaign. He's done interviews with some bloggers of the more "journalist"y variety. And look at this recent response to a website. I don't think he's been all about netroots outreach; it's a disciplined, centralized campaign fought very much on the ground & by and large he hasn't needed us very much. Those 2002 & 2003 antiwar speeches were all the netroots outreach he needed. But I haven't noticed him being significantly worse than Clinton or McCain; I don't actually know what specific snub Stoller is even talking about. I think what he means is that Obama is not listening to him & I know he's said Obama's blogger outreach is crappy. Well, his policy people don't listen to me either, & it's frustrating as all hell, but I don't see it as anything in the least unusual about a big successful campaign that has all the volunteers it needs & wants them to do get out the vote rather than harassing it about issues. Edwards' campaign didn't even return my emails about policy volunteering; Obama put me on a listserv that doesn't actually do anything. But I don't think I'm being systematically marginalized. I think big campaigns are frustrating & unresponsive.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:00 PM
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Clinton's new politics is not at all a reassuring example, Tim. Nor is Blair's. Where you been?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:01 PM
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restores faith in the state

I guess I still believe that a big part of the problem is people's becoming so disconnected from what gov't does that Fox is default TV news in public places. Having a charismatic president could help that. It's vague, I know.

I hope the centrist stance is a bluff, and that we'll learn that bipartisanship means good prosecutors arguing that a few hours of daylight and access to a clergyman for Addington is plenty humane too. But at this stage, I think the best insight the outside world gets is via advisors' bios, and BHO seems to prefer competence, which is good.

Ed Wynn resigned early to take in more money, so there's an early special election to bring Edwards in sooner. What a schmuck.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:01 PM
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Clinton's new politics is not at all a reassuring example, Tim.

If you are worried about what Obama wants to do, they should be: Bill Clinton's "new politics" failed miserably.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:03 PM
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? Tim, are you OK? ??

Clinton's main goal was free trade, and he got free trade. His goal was to marginalize the Democratic left, and he succeeded. His goal was to be reelected, and he was. He got welfare reform. He achieved more or less all of his Republican bipartisan goals. His "new politics" succeeded pretty well. For him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:09 PM
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you can just consider Bob's comments a sort of extended form of performance art.

The true genius of Bob's art is that he possesses an infallible sense--or perhaps it's a brilliant algorithm--for detecting exactly how frequently he needs to say something remotely sensible (or sympathy-inducing) so that he is always half a step away from being shunned as an irredeemable troll.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:10 PM
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The netroots fire is most productively aimed at the Al Wynn's of the caucus: anchored in safe Dem districts, but ready to betray core principles for personal gain--or out of sincere conviction, for that matter. Donna Edwards' and Ciro Rodriguez's victories put them on notice. I'd like to see Jane Harman and a few others get the fear of God put in them.

Agreed. But those people can only be taken out in primaries - they're bulletproof in the general. That's why they're infuriating.

TBH, I'm probably being irrationally anti-Blue Dog at the moment - the vets benefits bill is really, really a shitty thing to oppose, and I don't really believe that these assholes would lose to Republicans if they didn't screw over war veterans.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:12 PM
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The problem is not the Blue Dogs, whom I am happy to tolerate as long as the alternative is someone with an R after the name. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin wants to oppose gay rights? That's lamentable, but to starve her of funds or challenge her in the primary would be cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Absolutely right. Especially in the House, where the leadership has a huge amount of control over everything. It's pretty rare to have a minority within a party put up really effective opposition.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:14 PM
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Well, most of the crappiest Dems in Congress aren't actually to make most of their crappy votes. Ben Nelson, for instance--why is he so much worse than the Democrats from the Dakotas? Are the states really so politically different? Nelson won by 28 points last time, too. He doesn't have to suck as badly as that. But unfortunately--even in much safer districts--the fact that the district could elect a much better Dem doesn't make it plausible to get the incumbent out & someone goodin.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:23 PM
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Aren't actually forced. And the Blue Dogs are certainly not being forced to vote against veterans benefits because of electoral politics, obviously. A lot of what gets ascribed to cowardice is actually just not giving a damn.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:25 PM
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460: Let's not go overboard. The 40 Blue Dogs are 130% of the difference between the Dems and Rs. They've shown that they have the power to affect things. Given Bush's veto, they're less important now, but would have more impact under Pres. Obama: unless the Dems net a half dozen seats - which they certainly could - they need Blue Dog votes to pass anything. Blue Dogs are in the Leadership, too. They're not irrelevant.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:27 PM
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Nelson is invulnerable because he's so conservative. The Democratic Senators from the Dakotas aren't that bad, and they're vulnerable for that reason.

I live in the Dakota-est district of Minnesota, and we have a Nelson. Collin Peterson is one of the worst Blue Dogs, but the Republicans can't touch him (70% most recently). He could be more liberal and get 55%, but why should he? He's probably sincere.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:29 PM
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458: But if we don't keep pretending to engage Bob, he might stop, and then the drinking game will come to an end.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:31 PM
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so that he is always half a step away from being shunned as an irredeemable troll.

I thought I was already shunned.

Yeah, stras, it is all a joke...or a tragedy.

Rock-solid prediction. Obama does go after Social Security, and fast. After all, the trust fund is where the money is. There will be a partial privatization.

And Atrios and Marshall and Yglesias and Bruce Webb and all the other "heroes" will study it carefully and, after a few tweaks, will jump enthusiastically on board for Obama. Because it's Obama, because they will be utterly marginalized and shunned if they oppose as "not serious" people.

This will be the torture/Iraq for the left, the "great crime" that ties them body & especially soul to Obama.. Once compromised on the core issue of the Democratic Party, they will cave on everything that follows in order to preserve some rationalized sense of self-respect.

But like the left on the Iraq War or torture, they delude themselves if they think they, or their votes, ever mattered at all. Obama couldn't give a fuck what you think. He'll just use you to make his buddies rich.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:36 PM
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Once the Democrats don't need the Blue Dogs, they can start pressuring them more by threatening pork barrel, etc., and probably split them so they can't protect one another with solidarity.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:37 PM
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This thread once had such promise.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:40 PM
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stras, brother, just abandon all hope. It's ok. This corrupt world will be cleansed in fire. So fucking what.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:40 PM
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The incuriosity and optimism about Obama's new politics does seem googly-eyed to me.

This is reasonable, of course, but I'm still pretty optimistic.

How far would GWB have gotten if he'd promised huge deficits, foolish war, torture, spiralling health costs, corruption, massive wealth redistribution etc. (I mean in 2000; granted, in 2004 it was a winning platform).

If you want to be president in this country, you have to avoid being pinned down. It's pretty much a truism that GWB's lack of a public record in 2000 was helpful, not a handicap.

Obama, like any president, will be beholden to the sources of his money and votes - a group I'm pretty happy with - and he is solidly on the record on a range of issues. I think it's appropriate to be concerned, but when your Leftist Dream Candidate is elected president, he's going to do it by acting like Obama.

Which is a roundabout way of saying: ogged is right in 408 and 416.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:45 PM
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This thread once had such promise.

I totally called it in 114.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:54 PM
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Perhaps part of this inexplicable hostility to Hillary is envy of their marriage.

I can get finding their marriage, on balance, to be a good thing, but no way does fuck-an-intern-lie-about-it-get-public-spectacle become enviable.

BG is totally right about bright colors and suits. It's too much material to be all one bright color.

And it is not misogynist to point out that Laura Bush looks like an Easter Egg.

I am a serious anarchist. I do not preview before a post.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:56 PM
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470: Maybe, Charlie Brown. I actually hope you're right.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 4:57 PM
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Rock-solid prediction.

BWAHAHAHAHA


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:08 PM
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bob would totally love Chile. A generation of military dictatorship has left in its wake a generation of completely cynical people, unwilling to see anyone in a position of leadership as wanting anything but to exploit it, and the wide dispersion of this belief among leaders certainly reinforces it. Only a quarter of people under 40 have ever voted. A lot of people consider fighting with cops and stealing from the rich to be an intrinsic good (there is an unofficial but unignorable holiday devoted to young people fighting in the streets); for this reason most other people consider cops torturing commies to be the same. Burning tires block the streets for at least a few nights each year. Procedural liberalism is nowhere to be found, because if you're not screwing someone then it probably means you're just getting screwed yourself. It's paradise, of a sort.

This is not sarcastically mockery, in case it reads that way.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:10 PM
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I totally called it in 114.

You did. I'm so sorry Petey missed out.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:12 PM
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I don't actually ask for a Leftist Dream Candidate at this point. But a partisan Democrat who ran against Bush and the Republicans and didn't play bipartisanship games would be nice. The Republicans have discredited themselves by now. Why make nice?

It seems like that same old cringing Stockholm Syndrome thing that the Democrats have had since about 1984.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:13 PM
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(And Bob should stick to ranting about how Obama will nuke Iran and invade Pakistan. Switch to a stronger brand if it helps. This "raiding Social Security" shit is weak sauce.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:15 PM
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a stronger brand

(of glue, paint, what-ev)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:16 PM
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478:So full of shit. It is why Obama has the coalition he has and why he doesn't want to reach out to boomers and blue-collar workers.

Instant credibility with beltway bandits. This will even strengthen him vis-a-vis Congress, as Congresspersons in shame find reasons not to answer AARP's calls. "Old trolls."

After Clinton's Welfare reform, do blacks have a lot of confidence in SS, or would they rather "invest their own money" I could check that somewhere, along with how the Urban Creatives feel about SS.

Like the tax cuts and Iraq, it's a way of increasing power by using power. It's gonna happen, probably in the first 90 days.

Oh, maybe nothing huge, DeLong's "carve-ins" or Sweden or Peru, but that isn't the point. The point for Obama will be just laying hands on SS, with Repub help, to show Senators who's boss.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:33 PM
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People should note 452 and have some self-respect.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:42 PM
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481:Wanna put money on it ogged?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:51 PM
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You know they're weak, Bob.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:56 PM
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Nobody picked up on my 9. I really do think AQ would be well advised to hold an Obama campaign rally. If I were the leader of Al Qaeda, my biggest goal would be to get the U.S. to invade Iran. The key to doing that would be to frame the Iranians for AQ terrorist attacks in the U.S. If you could pull that off before Bush leaves office, you're golden. But you definitely want McCain in there to keep the madness going.

An endorsement video, with rallying AQ members and Osama giving an impassioned speech in support of "our brother, Obama" would do it. Maybe you could make up a new poster with crossed "Obama" and "Osama", with the "s" and "b" interlocking, and get it on T-shirts all over the Arab world.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:59 PM
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484: Are you sure you're not Howard w-lfs-n or Lani Guenier?


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 6:08 PM
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481: Think of it as a kind of blog-commenting antiphonics.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 6:08 PM
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485: I'm Mark Penn, actually. Just looking for new clients. AQ has been very good at affecting Muslim public opinion, but they need assistance in swaying U.S. elections.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 6:16 PM
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472

"I can get finding their marriage, on balance, to be a good thing, but no way does fuck-an-intern-lie-about-it-get-public-spectacle become enviable."

I am not sure. There was a certain amount of "she should have left him sentiment" which I think may have consisted in part of people who did leave under similar circumstances and felt threatened by the idea that staying might have been the better choice.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 7:02 PM
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484

"... I really do think AQ would be well advised to hold an Obama campaign rally. ..."

Why would AQ want to help McCain?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 7:04 PM
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489: Explained in the next sentence.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 7:06 PM
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Wait, can we go back to that Bill Clinton had a threesome at Oxford with some women's studies professor thing? That seemed to flash by awfully fast and some of us would like to know more . . . .


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 7:30 PM
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490

Oops. So it is.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 8:01 PM
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Why would AQ want to help McCain?

James, you and PGD labor under a similar misapprehension. James, you think that AQ and the Republican party aren't overt allies. PGD understands the alliance, but he thinks it's subtle and hidden, and that he's clever for having noticed it.

Of course al Qaeda wants McCain to be president.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 9:29 PM
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Maybe, Charlie Brown. I actually hope you're right.

I know you do. And if I'm wrong, I won't be shocked.

I don't actually ask for a Leftist Dream Candidate at this point.

You've been very clear on this, and I didn't mean to imply otherwise.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 9:44 PM
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Consider the passage of a health care bill in Congress. There are all sorts of particular obstacles that will come up, I imagine -- particular Congresspeople, lobbying groups, media messages from anti-government Republicans, etc. Yet we seem to spend a lot of time worrying mainly about Obama's "will to win" and whether or not he is a Republican appeaser as if his personality will be the primary determinant of policy outcomes. (Kind of like how some noted web luminaries believe that our steely resolve or lack thereof will dictate outcomes in the Middle East.) Dare I suggest that this is because even political junkies are essentially low-information voters who are not that different from know-nothing blowhards?

Clinton was a New Democrat; Blair was New Labour. These were labels used before they came to power, not just afterwards. They explicitly espoused pro-market policies in opposition to the traditional (and unsuccessful) leftist politics of the past. They got leftist support by seeming to be the best available option, not by posing as Leftist Trojan Horses only to break hearts and betray the cause later.

I don't think Obama's politics are particularly unknown or provide special reasons for paranoia. If you look at his 2004 convention speech, for example, new politics pretty clearly means "let's get over the meaningless wedge issues" rather than "let's enact a right-wing policy agenda." Whether or not this will be successful is one question; it hardly seems sinister to me though.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 05-10-08 4:17 AM
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What worries me is his judgment about which wedge issues are meaningless. He's our best option, and and I think he's got a shot at being a better president than any I remember, but that's where my worries are located.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-10-08 6:38 AM
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491: Well, Hitchens talks about it. But it seems as if the "threesome" bit may have come from a misunderstanding of "shared" here:

When Hitchens says that he and Clinton had shared a girlfriend at Oxford. I was startled. Was this sequential or simultaneous, I ask? "No, no, no, not at the same time or in the same room," says Hitchens, laughing. "And I won't say who she is," he continues. "She wouldn't really mind now. But she managed to survive talking to a lot of hacks in the 1992 US presidential election and they all respected her request for anonymity - she's now a very well-known figure in radical, lesbian, feminist studies in Britain."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-10-08 7:28 AM
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Sorry I'm so incredibly late on this, but that's the best Downfall re-translation I've ever seen.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-10-08 3:41 PM
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497: ugh. I'm sure Hitchens played a role in her conversion to lesbianism.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-10-08 4:07 PM
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and while I'm here: 500!

I'm still pretty worried about Obama's electability. Let's go to 1000.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-10-08 4:09 PM
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Not reading 500 comments, but want to say that the video is even better if you can follow the original German. The subtitles are very well tuned to the script.

Bruno Ganz (playing the former corporal) is such an amazing actor. Saw him do bits of Faust, wowee... Though after Führer and Faust, what's a German-speaking thespian do for his next act?


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 05-11-08 7:59 AM
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Yeah, Downfall was amazing, and it was mostly because of Ganz.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-11-08 12:40 PM
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