Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Looking over the Atlantic, it's been interesting to watch the reaction by the blogosphere to Obama's inaction on FISA (warrantless wiretapping, telco immunity). The 'patron saint' of Daily Kos, indeed.

Kos was of course right to tout his early analysis on Obama as a real contender for the Presidency, a sign of being more in touch with the party and the US than virtually all pundits. That's a way to get more influence.

But when he tries to be Obama's biggest fanboy he's being stupid. Obama was the better candidate for the blogosphere, but he is not of them and differs in important areas in his analysis of what is wrong with the US and how to fix it.

Kos and the other blogs should retain most of their focus on (primary) challengers, through which they can enlarge their influence and 'crash the gates'.

All of this should have been clear a long time ago.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 12:37:31 PM EST
Kos is really great at picking out candidates who can win.  It's something I greatly admire him for, but the "This site exists to elect Democrats, so stop whining" excuse is lame, frankly.  Obama fucked up badly, and he needs to get an earful on it, as do all senators.  I'll add, too, that instead of whining and bitching, the Kossacks ought to continue hammering Obama and the other senators to kill this next Friday.  The bill needs 60 votes to break a filibuster.  Surely we can muster 40 Democrats, or a bit less and a couple vulnerable Republicans.

Or maybe not.  If the congressional leadership can't step up, I doubt anybody else will.

The one ray of hope in it is that Hoyer apparently forgot to immunize the telecoms from prosecution.  Perhaps Attorney General Edwards will take note of that next year, but I doubt it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 12:53:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
H'mmmm.   Perhaps Hoyer "forgot" on purpose?

That would make for some interesting possibilities down the road.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:21:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AP via Google: Dems, GOP agree to telecom immunity deal (1 day ago)
The issue of legal protection for telecommunications companies that participated in "warrantless wiretapping" has been the single largest sticking point. The Senate passed a bill that immunized them from lawsuits. The House bill was silent on the matter. The White House threatened to veto any bill that did not shield the companies*, which tapped lines at the behest of the president and attorney general -- but without permission from a special court established for this very purpose -- the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

...

The compromise bill would have a federal district court review certifications from the attorney general saying the telecommunications companies received presidential orders telling them wiretaps were needed to detect or prevent a terrorist attack. If the paperwork is in order, the judge would dismiss the lawsuit.

This should be struck down as unconstitutional. If the lawsuits are dismissed, can the decision be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court?


When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:34:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.  And there's probably a better than even chance it gets struck down on Fourth Amendment concerns.  That, of course, doesn't imply we should be gambling on the Court, though.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:39:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They didn't do it on purpose.  All the reports on it I've seen, ever since John Dean noticed it, suggest they simply fucked up and forgot to immunize against criminal charges.

Some Dem leaders are just gutless, others are corrupt.  Pelosi is gutless.  After killing this the first time, she bowed to the Bush Dogs who are afraid they'll lose in November.

Hoyer is not gutless.  Quite the contrary, he's openly corrupt.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:10:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
all that the administration has to do to stop any related suit is to tell the judge that the President OKed whatever action that is being litigated.  At that point the judge throws the suit out of court, and the judge cannot comment on the reasons.  It's quite hopeless in the specifics.  The only way that I can see for a suit to get to an appeal at all is indirectly: find a court that will take up a case that challenges the legislation per se on the basis of 1) separation of powers and 2) 4th amendment.  That's difficult to do, because the court will demand to know how the plaintiff has been injured, but it depends on the court.

Which brings us back to one of the first comments above - primary challenges by progressive candidates against the enabling Democrats.  This is, in fact, happening somewhat broadly.  Even dKos is talking about changing their rubric from 'more and better Dems' to 'better Dems' - or, as some put it, 'more better Dems'.

Glenn Greenwald, firedoglake, ActBlue, and others have started a coalition for exactly this purpose.  First off, they are going after John Barrow in Georgia - Regina Thomas is the challenger.  I'm helping to lead the charge here in Washington by promoting Cheryl Crist over Brian Baird.  Also in WA, if we can get Darcy Burner (a Seattle district) and George Fearing (central state) over their Repug opponents, we will have replaced 4 of the biggest assholes in the House of Reps.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (paulgspencer@gmail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 05:25:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
all that the administration has to do to stop any related suit is to tell the judge that the President OKed whatever action that is being litigated.  At that point the judge throws the suit out of court, and the judge cannot comment on the reasons.

Is there a point in the progress of a suit after which this is not possible? Some of those lawsuits are already in progress, aren't they?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 03:08:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'retroactive immunity'.  Lawsuits in-progress can be stopped.  

paul spencer
by paul spencer (paulgspencer@gmail.com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 11:46:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I gather that they are only immunized from civil actions, not criminal actions.  Perhaps we should let this detail be for a while and let our displeasure be reinterated in full in five or six months.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:41:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just killfiled a response too tedious and embittered even for me.  :-D

(So I'll go for blunt.)

The average Kossack don't know shit about politics and economics.

Of course Obama folded like a little rag doll under pressure.  What else?  He can assume Progressive and Left-Wing Democratic support so he doesn't have to listen.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:18:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is this I'm hearing about Obamacans? Will Obama unify the Corporate Party?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:24:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With this about-to-be-a-vote he already has.

Trebles all round, as Private Eye likes to say.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:55:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico: Bush backer pens pro-Obama book (6/16/08)
The conservative Evangelical biographer of George W. Bush and Tom DeLay has moved on to a new subject: Barack Obama. And his new book, due out this summer, may lend credibility to Senator Obama's bid to win Evangelical Christian voters away from the Republican Party.

The forthcoming volume from Stephen Mansfield, whose sympathetic "The Faith of George W. Bush" spent 15 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 2004, is titled "The Faith of Barack Obama." Its tone ranges from gently critical to gushing, and the author defends Obama-and even his controversial former minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright-from conservative critics, and portrays him as a compelling figure for Christian voters.

"Young Evangelicals are saying, 'Look, I'm pro-life but I'm looking at a guy who's first of all black-and they love that; two, who's a Christian; and three who believes faith should bear on public policy," Mansfield, who described himself as a conservative Republican, said in a telephone interview. "They disagree with him on abortion, but they agree with him on poverty, on the war."



When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:47:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I got the pointer to this from a story about "Obamacans" in ElPais.com today. Apart from the fact that the top 10 google hits for "obamacan" are from February/March so the story is about 4 months late, the journalist thought that DeLay was the biographer of Bush and now Obama. Which means this is probably not even a "foreign correspondent" (the story has no place listed in the byline) but just an internet copy job by a journalist in Madrid.

The quality of El Pais keeps going down and down... If they can be this bad about reporting on US news, can I trust them on anything else?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:59:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there's a media-message being pushed in the States that young Evangelicals are slipping from the Christian Right and towards Obama.  Who is pushing it, and why is unknown.

I tried to get behind the verbage yesterday and all I found was little cries of astonishment by "journalists" (sic) supported by anecdotal evidence.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 03:12:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From my DKos diary:
This is wholly speculative, but if I had to guess who and why is pushing the story that the Religious Right is supporting Obama I would say that the leaders of the Evangelical movement are seeing that the Republican party is imploding and have decided to move their voting bloc into the Democratic Party. Evangelicals are not known for logic or consistency, and moreover the followers are quite gullible. This book, to be published in August and not unlikely to make the NYT bestseller list like its predecessor, might just be the last thing to push the Evangelicals (who already don't like McCain) to vote for Obama.

If this speculation is correct, the progressive netroots should get ready for a raft of Evangelicals running in the Democratic primaries in 2010.



When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 03:51:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It actually originates from a memo written by a Republican strategist predicting Obama could get up to 40% of the Evangelical vote, because younger ones tend to be more concerned with the environment and social justice than with abortion and gay marriage.  There's some evidence for it in the polls currently, as well as in past exit polls.

The logic behind it is weird and complex, but there's a logic to it, nonetheless.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 04:36:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now a BooTrib diary.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 03:13:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I double-dog dare you to post that on Kos!

(It's been a while since I've seen someone crucified in cyperspace.)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 03:22:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now in Orange.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 03:50:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the winner of the Pour le Merite

for Bloging Above and Beyond the Call of Duty is Migeru.

;-)

(The total number of trolling, flaming, and etc., so far, is less than I expected.)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 05:11:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They love it.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 04:03:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having read the comments ...

You have a unique definition of "love."    ;-)


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 04:43:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they don't love the diary, but they love the fact that evangelicals might vote for Obama en masse.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 04:46:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah.  Correction noted.

Oh well.  See my conclusion re: the average Kossack's grasp of politics.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 05:14:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Kos: Lazy Quote Diary: Evangelicals for Obama
Jesus is VERY logical. You just don't know him.

Head-meet-desk session, ready, go...

Then again, they have a bizarre point, of sorts. Religion legitimises narratives, and if the evangelicals are going to veer off from the bigoted side of evangelism and move towards the being kind to the poor end, that has to be an improvement.

As long as they don't try to start teaching Intelligent Design or biblical literalism in schools, it's still progress, of a kind.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 06:43:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So far I haven't seen anyone with a cross and nails.  Personally, I find the concept of a Theistic Deity to be an absurdity, and literalist interpretation of the Bible to be intellectually stultifying.  But most are brought to their church as small children, as the Bible recommends.  If raised in a loving family, their belief is tied into their love of family and their entire process of socialization.  I don't have any problem welcoming those who have concern for the social and ethical teachings of Jesus into a political coalition, especially if they have some inkling of the limitations of literalist fundamentalism.

To the extent that they take their cues from leaders, I would prefer that those leaders be Democrats than that they be Republicans.  I doubt that there will be enough evangelical defectors from the Republican Party for them to change the Democrats position on abortion, for  instance.  And I agree that we should take steps to make the need for abortion less common.  There may be enough defectors, however, to cripple the Republicans for a long time.

I wish that popular enthusiasm for religion in the USA were more like that common in Europe.  Perhaps an established religion in the USA would have helped accomplish that task.  If you have any suggestions as to how that wish could be fulfilled, I  would like to hear them.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 05:15:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't help but rec this comment for the use of "double-dog dare".  I haven't heard that used since I was in elementary school.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 12:11:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
;-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 10:51:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you were a little hard on the Kossacks over Evangelicals.  It wasn't the awful intolerance one of them tried to make it, but I'm also not in favor of rejecting Evangelical support if it's forthcoming.  (If they want to vote for us -- great, vote for us.  If not -- oh well.  Hope for it, but don't bet on it.)  The question isn't whether or not we want Evangelicals, but whether or not we can work with some of them on a few key issues where we happen to agree.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 12:08:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have nothing against individual Evangelicals, but my issue is with the putative Evangelical voting bloc. If the Kossacks can engineer Primary challenges what prevents the Evangelicals from doing the same? If the Democratic party becomes hegemonic it's not so far-fetched that something like that would happen. Is the Democratic party invulnerable to Entryism and is the Moral Majority or however they call themselves these days not capable of it?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 03:18:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Theoretically, they could, but Evangelicals don't simply vote for people who are "born again".  Reagan wasn't "born again".  He was a divorced b-movie actor who got an erection every time someone said "tax cut".  Hell, they voted out Carter in huge numbers for Reagan, and it's hard to imagine a candidate more Evangelicious than Carter (or is he a problem since he's actually read the Bible unlike the Bushes and Falwells of the world?).

I don't think the Dems are vulnerable to a lot of influence from the Religious Right, at least not at this point in time, because those Evangelicals who do vote Dem are not of the hard-right theocrat variety.  Some Evangelicals are simply progressives, even on choice and gay marriage.  If younger ones are starting to skew that way, shouldn't that be a good thing?

Put another way: If having some Evangelicals as part of our party were to jeopardize our stand for women's rights or the rights of same-sex couples, then I'd agree that we don't want them.  But if they come over to vote for us now and then simply because they agree with us on climate change and universal health care -- well, hey, hard to argue with that, isn't it?  It's all a question of whose terms we play on.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 09:03:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, is there an Evangelical Voting Bloc, or not? (googling...)

Newsweek: The Myth of the Evangelical Voting Bloc: Megachurch pastor Rick Warren on the 2008 campaign. (Nov 30, 2007)

NEWSWEEK: How is the evangelical vote shaping up? Who's got it?

Rick Warren: The biggest myth and the biggest misunderstanding about evangelicals is that they are a voting bloc. This article that came out on the cover of The New York Times Magazine saying the evangelical vote was splintering--the guy just didn't get it, they never have been a voting bloc. They tend to vote for people, not down party lines. Evangelicals--what they have in common is not their political views but their commitment to Christ. I don't really believe in Blue and Red States. What I really see is urban values and the-rest-of-the-country values. In the 2004 election, 94 percent of Manhattan went for Kerry. What do I know about Manhattan? You can't afford to live there if you're a family. There's a preponderance of single adults, and single adults tend to be more liberal than people with families. So I don't really believe in a Red and Blue division. America is really purple, a combination of both. People think, "Evangelicals, they're all just one thing"--well, they're not.

In the 2008 race, two guys could have been the evangelical candidate, Sam Brownback or Mike Huckabee, and they divided that vote in half. One drops out, and all of a sudden you have a "surge" for Huckabee.  I think people are reading the whole thing wrong. On top of that, you know what? America loves change. We love change. No party stays in power all the time.

But come on, evangelicals have traditionally voted as a bloc over the past 30 years.

Here's what the bloc is. Evangelicals tend to vote for people who claim to be born again. Every president back to Carter--Bush One didn't make a big deal about it, but he would say that. What do all those guys have in common? Nothing, except that all six of them were, quote, "born again."  It didn't matter whether they were Republican or Democrat. What's interesting to me is how much Democrats have run toward expressing their faith and how much Republicans have run away from expressing their faith this year.



When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 04:43:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rick Warren:  The biggest myth and the biggest misunderstanding about evangelicals is that they are a voting bloc.

Rick Warren:  Here's what the bloc is. Evangelicals tend to vote for people who claim to be born again.

Mark Noll:  "The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind..."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 11:06:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm wondering how many times the dKos voters are going to get screwed before they notice how the game works.

I'm also wondering what happens after that.

But Obama's deluded if he thinks this isn't going to affect his fundraising or core support, or create some cracks in the saintly image he's been working so hard to project.

It may not affect him enough, but there's going to be an effect, and it's not going to be good for him.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:29:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"I'm wondering how many times the dKos voters are going to get screwed before they notice how the game works."

Uh, "lots of times" would be an approximate guess.

There is no question that the Democratic party is better than the Republican party, but there is also no question that they are both corrupt and controlled by industry. There's no reason to expect Obama's term to be significantly different than Clinton's, and Clinton brought us all sort of fun things like the SUV 6000 pound tax exemption (actually he just extended it in a deal with the UAW), the gutting of the welfare system, the usual American sabre rattling in the mid-East, inaction on air and water quality issues, a lousy approach to single payer health, etc., etc.

The weatherman predicts more of the same, if you need weathermen to know which way the wind blows, so to speak...

by asdf on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:41:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What a wasted opportunity.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:43:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are differences. Just as the evangelicals eventually noticed, if only a little, that the corporatists were using them as voting machine fodder while laughing at them, the netroots are loud and connected and semi-organised, and I think there's a very real sense of shock that Obama really might just be another guy in a cheap suit who will promise anything and everything but really just wants their cash.

The problem for Obama is that he has let the mask slip too early. People are going to be watching his speeches and at least some of them are going to be feeling cognitive dissonance when he makes some of his special kiss-it-better promises about something or other.

If dKos stopped being a website where the rabble mouth off and started turning itself into a formal voting and funding bloc, that would give it some real leverage.

Cats can't be herded so that's no likely to happen soon. But unless the 'roots can find themselves a big stick, the pols are going to continue treating them like big fluffy piles of cute who can be placated with a a doggy treat and a bit of stroking when they start getting too yappy.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:51:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The big advantage of the "netroots" is that there are lots of players, so you get get lots of money from them. Example: Obama versus Clinton fundraising...
by asdf on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:00:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The internet is a communication and organizing tool.

It is not an organization.  

Obama and Clinton campaigns were active organizations that used the internet as a communication tool to tap into the money and energy of the netroots.  They played the netroots like a $2 banjo when they needed to and ignored it the rest of the time.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:21:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whoops.  

Sorry asdf.  That unintentionally reads as being directed at you.  I meant to direct the comment to the situation.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:28:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is a $2 banjo? Never heard that saying before...
by asdf on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:53:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you heard of a €1.50 banjo, maybe?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:56:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
€1.50? Are you using out of date exchange rates, or is the extra €0.22 due to VAT?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 03:06:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
American idiom meaning "was easily and successfully manipulated."  


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:58:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ATinNM:
The internet is a communication and organizing tool.

It is not an organization.  

No, but there's no reason - apart from practicality, media pressure and common sense - why interest groups can't be turned into organisations.

What's the alternative?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 03:19:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Communication precedes and is necessary for organization.  Communication can never replace organization.   And certainly the internet can never replace local organizations in the field, factories, workshops, offices, and precincts.

That was my point.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 03:56:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that was my point too. But I disagree about the scope. I think the media are loosely equivalent to the old fields, factories, offices and precincts.

The model used to be that personal contact led naturally to personal solidarity.

That doesn't happen any more, because oppression is mediated and indirect. A gang of thugs won't turn up to beat up the union leader, because the union leader's job will have been outsourced, so the thugs are no longer necessary. Because of that it's much harder for people to make a connection between their personal experience and the bigger picture, and to understand why they might want to work others to do something about it.

The Internet has the potential to fill in that gap for them, and to create virtual meeting points which can kick start personal solidarity. dKos has made a start on this, but it's going to have to be taken much further to create a real push-back.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 06:33:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cats can't be herded so that's no likely to happen soon.

I'd argue that categorizing it as "not likely" is too generous.  There's too much diversity of opinion in the blogosphere for it to act in unison the way (say) the traditional press can with a meme.  It also can't become a voting/funding bloc outside of primaries, because it's not a swing group between the two parties.  What it can do is primary the shitty politicians in an effort to get less-shitty politicians.

This will ultimately prove a good lesson for them, though.  Sitting around dreaming of politicians who are going to do whatever they want is laughably stupid.  They need to figure out how to hold Obama's feet to the fire.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:01:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not a mask. It's reality. An adult has ideals, beliefs, emotions, etc. Some adults become very cynical and checkout of big decisions and are easily swayed here and there. Others stay wide-eyed and easily cheated. I think Obama is the rare breed that keeps his ideals, but can make pragmatic decisions knowing they may violate some of his ideals (locally) but help in the long term. All the while I think he is not cynical or strives not to be. He seems to truly see (or tries to) the best in everything and where things could go without losing sight of reality.

A few weeks ago I wouldn't have written the above, but I was sick at home and decided to read Dreams from My Father. If he could write that right out of law school (and with everything else he had seen and done before law school) and maintain some belief in the future and the possibility for improvement, then I think we can drop the cynicism and take him at his word.

Cynicism is for small minds anyway.

The problem with a lot of the outraged dkos types is they think they are realists while really they are sort of the wild-eyed idealist mixed with heavy cynicism. They expect perfection, consistency and idealism from their politicians (while themselves having these qualities in only small amounts, like most people -- and cynicism in great amounts). All the while, many don't seem to be realistic and able to realize there are trade-offs to be made and that must be made if any goals are to be achieved.

All this is to say -- I'm upset by the FISA bill (American, wrote my rep), but I realize there are bigger, more structural and more cultural issues that cause these things to happen and the "discourse" can't change over night. Anyone who demands this, and then when they don't get it, throw their hands up cynically, isn't being fair or realistic.

And while Obama's position on the bill disappoints me, I realize he is an adult, with his own ideas of what the trade-offs and risks are, and has judged this to be a workable and useful position. He still inspires me that democracy and civil society can work, for all its current flaws. Dragging the campaign down into in-fighting that disrupts the possibility of Obama winning is just as absurd as the Hillary Clinton supporters who said they would vote McCain.

As a side note, this labelling of the "netroots" as if they are a monolithic and ideologically uniform group is a bit silly. There are many different groups and many different reasons and even on dkos there isn't just one. The internet is though a great organizing force for those groups .. and also great for temporary alliances.

by R343L (reverse qw/ten.cinos@l343r/) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 09:31:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to disagree here, and I say that as someone who'll defend Obama quite a bit.  This was bullshit.  Now, as a practical matter, Obama's support or opposition to the bill probably makes no difference, but that's not the point: Someone has to stand up and say, "No, assholes, you're all a bunch of fucking traitors."  That's what leaders do.  They don't send statements out spending three paragraphs bullshitting about this and that, leaving just a line or two to bullshit about fighting immunity.  No, they say, "No, assholes, you're all a bunch of fucking traitors."

He's led on other issues.  He was right on the gas tax, and, despite public support for McCain's position, he's stuck to the right position on the offshore drilling.  (And thank you, Jim Webb, for fucking us on the latter, by the way.  Did anybody not sell us out on something this week?)  Why couldn't he lead on this?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 12:20:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why should it affect him negatively. We've got a two person race, Obama is far, far better than McCain, ergo...

But as I've said many times, I never understood the wild enthusiasm for Obama, at least among well informed liberal non-black voters (if you're a moderate, sure; if you're black the reasons are obvious). I remember going to a super tuesday party at a bar with a bunch of other overeducated liberal news junkies.  Most were very strong Obama supporters, and not on the ground that he's more electable. I got the impression that there was a lot of wishful projection going on. I guess charisma really matters.

On the other hand, by the end of March I was all 'go Obama'. It was clear that he was the nominee, and that meant that I was no longer deciding between a bunch of imperfect Democrats, but between an imperfect Dem and a perfectly awful Republican. I'd have done the same if the Obama and Clinton results were reversed. Though I still wish my candidate had won.

by MarekNYC on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:52:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MarekNYC:

I got the impression that there was a lot of wishful projection going on. I guess charisma really matters.

He's a Democratic preacherman, which is always a big hit role in the US. You can say anything as a preacherman and you'll always have people worshipping the ground you walk on.

We don't have the same thing in Yurp to quite the same extent. Not that we're immune, unfortunately - we had Blair who, entirely coincidentally, turned out to be an evangelical in disguise.

In the UK we like our leaders to be mean and spiteful - like Thatcher, or Anne Robinson, who would surely win a seat if she stood for one.

It gives us a nice warm glow to elect someone who's every bit as angry and vicious as we'd like to be.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The last full blown SOB Dem was LBJ. Not coincidentally a great president on the domestic side. Hell, in spite of Vietnam he still easily takes first in my ranking of US postwar presidents. And he wasn't just an SOB in political style. He was also corrupt, racist, sexist, dishonest, did special interest deals with corporate interests. But overall, in spite of all that, accomplished a great deal of good.
by MarekNYC on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:12:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

racist, sexist

He was a product of his times.  But he genuinely wanted to improve the civil rights situation and improve the lot of the poor, amongst whom he was raised.  He was very persuasive in person, both as Senate Leader and as President.  It is easy to forget how much has changed since those times.

In 1965-66 I felt betrayed by him on Vietnam.  White House tapes have revealed that he went to war so as not to have Barry Goldwater beating the Dems over the head with "Who Lost Vietnam" and "Being Soft on Communism."  The disease of that dynamic is still in full effect in the US body politic.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 04:43:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot of the American left's continuing backfoot stance can be traced back to what might be called the "Goldwater moment". Counting in the '68 assassinations, no doubt.

A line was drawn then in the sand, and the tide hasn't come back to obliterate it yet.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 03:50:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why I say we need a President who knows how to do business with a knife, a la LBJ's famous quote: "The art of politics consists of knowing when to hold a knife to a man's belly and when to stick it in."  We need someone both with principles and with a ruthless determination to do what needs to be done to erase that line in the sand and then some.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 06:35:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens after?  My experience, and US history, suggests they will drift away from political activity into navel-gazing.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:03:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
fundraising, no.  He'll make it up on the contributions of telecom personnel, among others.  Comcast will have everybody down to the mail clerk sending in $99.


paul spencer
by paul spencer (paulgspencer@gmail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 05:29:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The flap over the FISA issues are only the very latest indications on how badly the system itself is broken.  Many people do not want to grasp this concept, blinded by the fact that Obama represents the non-Bush.

Ferchrissake, i know Nancy Pelosi personally, and for decades i've always admired and appreciated her stands. I was thrilled when she became Speaker. I'm appalled at what she's done with it.

Discussing what's broken with politics and the economy in amurka is worthy of a series of well-researched diaries, to which i wish i could contribute.  There's lots of debate about whether, and to what degree, the system itself is broken.

For me, based uponmy life's experience, it's broken beyond repair... which means only trauma can rebuild it.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:16:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Crazy Horse:

I was thrilled when she became Speaker. I'm appalled at what she's done with it.

If you know her personally, how do you explain what happened?

Is Bush running some kind of secret Stalinist state, threatening pols with exposure of their nasty little personal interests and backhanders?

Do the restrooms in Congress have something strange in the water?

A lot of people are baffled. I'm baffled. Is it really true that these fine principled politicians turn into sell-outs as soon as someone waves some cash at them?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 03:23:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She comes from a political family, and i think the roots of power/compromise came out strongly.  Further, as the first woman Speaker, she likely got lost in making sure she looked good for the concept that women could do the job.

Another part of the game is that she represented San Francisco, so she could be very liberal without worry.  But as Speaker, she was responsible to the whole country's demographic, and became what she really was... prudent.

Ultimately, i believe she was always beholden to top-level corporate interests, as shown by the deal she made for the Presidio, where in essence one of the most beautiful and valuable pieces of urban land in the world was "privatized."

I've never had the chance to speak candidly with her since i've moved here, and can't foresee the opportunity.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 04:48:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think one should think beyond the personal dimension. Pelosi et al might act as they act to preserve their power within the party when they know there are defectors within the party who would not go along with a tougher liberal line.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 06:09:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When you have a diary saying Apparently, Even Barack Obama Thinks You're Stupid?


We'll include Barack Obama in the mix of politicians that apparently think all you who were following the FISA debates are as dumb as day-old pill bugs, and it's depressing as hell to have to do so. He may be the Democratic nominee, but he can still write a milquetoast, self-congratulatory justification for choosing the easy way out with the best of them.

You know, I don't mind politicians not agreeing with me much of the time. Or most of the time. And at this point, I'm more than used to various parts of our Constitution being considered strictly optional, and being given away like beads at Mardi Gras.

But it does grate, immeasurably, when they feed us bull and tell us it's candy. I had hoped that, given the length of time it took Obama to come up with a statement, they were going to come up with something substantive. Instead, it appears they were using that time to come up with an assortment of logic-insulting bunk.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 05:27:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hunter is seriously pissed - and why not?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 06:45:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
refers to this episode:

Daily Kos: Barack Obama: Patron Saint of Daily Kos

Our Senate endorsement vote, warts and all, showed that the community was willing to be strategic in their choice of candidates. Nothing wrong with that, and it's a level of practicality that I often encourage.

Old one, but Kos linked to it recently.

The criticism of Obama in the blogosphere looks a bit like scales dropping from the eyes, is what I meant to say. Not that Obama is evil, but he seems not willing to fight on principle on some issues that - rightly - matter deeply to the blogosphere, like civil rights. Of course, some people (Atrios, Greenwald) have always been more sceptical of Obama. I haven't really seen that on the front page of DKos a lot, before this weekend.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 10:34:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series