I Can’t Believe We’re Losing to These Guys*


I’m well aware of how thoroughly the deck is stacked against progressives, with the Villager mentality, the corporate media, and the institutional roadblocks (filibuster), and so on. But c’mon —McConnell especially doesn’t even bother hiding the fact that he’s a major league asshole…and the best this administration can do is pretend they haven’t done more to reach out?

For the life of me I can’t figure out why the Obama team hasn’t fought fire with fire. For instance, one thing I can think of off hand is that the Republiclown leadership is forever whining about how they want “less government.” Well, give ’em what they want — pull out as many federal government positions from their districts/States as executive authority allows…or at least threaten to (something tells me Mitch would cave pretty quickly if informed that the Federal Depository at Fort Knox was being closed and the gold being moved to…oh, I don’t know, maybe the blast resistant facility in West Virginia or similiar location.)

The only other thing I’m thinking these days is that maybe…this is what the Obama administration wants. In comments here and elsewhere, I’ve been arguing that, if you look at the record, the administration is actually moderate Republican. Of course, the Republiclown party itself has gone totally insane…

Moderate Republican…but still…and I hate to say this, but I think it’s true, still…weak and vacillating, as Raygun once described Jimmy Carter.

Also in comments here and elsewhere, I’ve been noting another frustrating element to this: if the Obama administration doesn’t succeed, it will not be moderate Republicanism that’s blamed, but liberal/progressive/”socialism” that takes it on the chin. Sort of like how Carter, who wasn’t very progressive at all (the original neo-liberal, if you ask me), became the loser face of liberalism.

So it goes.

*Title inspiration

18 thoughts on “I Can’t Believe We’re Losing to These Guys*

  1. Republicans have leaders, who pull no punches. Democrats don’t even have a leader. Obama has proved to be great at reading speeches, and being a President we don’t have to be ashamed to have. But, I haven’t seen any sign at all that he can lead. Pelosi is a leader, but the House isn’t the problem, and she can’t lead the Senate. Reid is…ah…Reid.
    Who is on the horizon as a Democrat who could be a leader as President? My mind is blank.

  2. barack has made it obvious he will do everything he can for america’s richest as long as he can screw over the poorest at the same time.

  3. To say that Obama is proving to be a huge disappointment to many people is an understatement, but I think mostly because people have/had deluded themselves as to what they believe Obama stands for. Taken at face value, Obama has always been center-right, at best. Most people are just waking up to the reality that was always there to see, once you moved beyond the hype.

  4. I think I said this back during the campaign but even Obama’s halting murmuring affected “thoughtful” style of speech reminds me of Dukakis’

  5. As lambert would write: All together now, “Because he’s a conservative!”
    Once Obama is viewed as a conservative and acting on those core beliefs, what he does is no longer confusing. All becomes clear. He’s a Reagan Republican who ran as Dem to gain power.
    And he’s succeeded.

  6. You can’t beat something with nothing. Obama likes to think of himself as Michael Jordan but Jordan won the games on the schedule. When Jordan lost in the playoffs to the Pistons, a team that mauled the shit out of him on every drive to the basket, he developed a turnaround midrange jumpshot that was unstoppable. He learned to trust his teammates with making open shots. Obama’s got nothing so far and outside of Pelosi nobody on his team knows how to play.
    You can be an SOB and still be fair. Obama is a nice guy giving the other guy a better than even shake, being generous in giving up things that his supporters fought for to achieve comity. For his troubles the GOP pisses on his shoes and laughs. He better smarten up and not fucking Harvard smart either.

  7. Besides Obama’s conservative nature, I also think there’s a knee jerk reaction within DLC circles that anything “progressive” must be shot down as a function of inside or insider politics. I think the idea is this will appeal to the so-called independent voters, who, in Villager mythology, are “moderate conservatives.”
    Nope. They’re either lying about being independent, or they really don’t HAVE much of an ideology. They tend to be, ahem, low-information voters, and probably don’t give a rat’s ass about whether something is conservative, liberal, or, in the deranged rhetoric of the wingnut, socialist (as if, i.e., “where was that Moscow gold when we needed it?”) Anyway, they’ll throw their support — and votes — to whatever works.
    But…moderate Republicanism DOESN’T work, at least not in an economic meltdown/shitstorm.
    Which is why, again, it’s hit-your-head-against-the-wall frustration if/when the failure of moderate Republicanism will be chalked up as a failure of liberalism…grrr…

  8. It’s especially frustrating when you see the scope of the help that banks got from the government and the banks go against Obama because people said mean things. Ok, people said mean things. And you got a trillion dollars in cheap money. Get over the mean things.
    Politics isn’t nothing. The Obama administration is uniquely good at not getting credit for the good it does, and getting blame for the things it doesn’t do. LBJ’s stool had more fight in it than David Axelrod.

  9. When I was a member of the Green Party, people used to ask why I just didn’t vote Democrat. The answer I used to give was “because the Greens are not the progressive arm of the Democratic Party.”
    This distinction kind of went away during the Bush years–enemy of my enemy is my friend, etc. But once the Dems came back into power, I think the distinction needed to be made again. The Greens are not the progressive arm of the Democratic Party. They are progressives that got tired of being part of a party that constantly shit all over them except when the party wanted their votes.

  10. Well, I’m still voting Democratic as the lesser of evils even if you need a micrometer caliper to measure the difference…ok, maybe I’m exaggerating…a little…but then again, I’m in Loosiana, where our “choices” run the gamut from, say, Mary Landrieu to Diaper Dave Vitter.
    But it’s not my vote that really matters. Neither do the votes of genuine progressives, i.e., I never thought it was Nader that killed Gore in Florida (what killed Gore wasn’t Nader, and it wasn’t the butterfly ballot — it was the then-almost-unfathomably-cynical-but-now-not-surprising-at-all tactic by the Rethugs to disenfranchise voters by any means necessary. In Florida 2000, that meant falsely tagging some 70,000 mostly black people as felons. But I digress…)
    The votes that matter are the ones who, to be blunt, aren’t very well informed. That said, they understand certain concepts, like strong or weak, effective or not, and while they might well have a visceral reaction to “radical,” or “socialist,” I really don’t think they give a damn or feel like they’ve got time to give a damn about that stuff. They vote based on what they’re told and what’s in or not in their wallets.
    And they’re being told that Obama’s weak, that Mitch McConnell–Mitch McConnell! Christ on a Cracker–is, if not strong, steadfast…and at least some of them are looking at their wallets and seeing more lint than anything else…
    Money walks…

  11. Yup. I think the so-called swing voters tend to vote center-left when things are good, and conservative when things are bad. If Obama had focused on the economy and reducing unemployment, Pelosi would still be speaker of the house.

  12. You know, I was just thinking, and maybe you might want to bubble this up for a more general discussion, but do you think that progressives/liberals are better staying as part of the Democratic Party, or splitting out into something like the Green Party, where the Dems would then have to create a coalition? Seems to me that progressives would have more bargaining power as a separate party, instead of being treated like the bastard children of the Democrats.

  13. I wish it wasn’t the case, but I think the deck is pretty heavily stacked against third parties…yeah, the DLC treats progressives like shit, but I doubt they’d treat a third party any better…look at how they tore into Nader. You know, he might well be a jerk, but he also was at least at one time an effective consumer advocate.
    Which brings up another issue: when do progressives fight it out with each other, and when do we close ranks against the greater enemy?

  14. Well, like I said elsewhere: Democrats–brains but no balls, Republicans–balls but no brains.
    Means the rest of us lose.

  15. Unless my history is wrong (and it might be) both the Dems and Rupubs were alternate/third parties at one time. Although I agree that both have been exceptionally good at making sure there’s no competition.
    It seems that the only time progressives can unite is when they have a Republican to fight against. As much as I hate to say this, maybe the best thing is to have a moderate Republican in the White house. Nixon, after all, did a lot of progressive stuff for a paranoid asshole, and he would be considered moderate, if not downright liberal, by today’s standards.
    The other alternative would be to elect a strong Democrat leader who could unite the party. Know of one?

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