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Liberal blogger directly confronts David Axelrod, accuses White House of "hippie punching"

Top Obama adviser David Axelrod got an earful of the liberal blogosphere's anger at the White House moments ago, when a blogger on a conference call directly called out Axelrod over White House criticism of the left, accusing the administration of "hippie punching."

"We're the girl you'll take under the bleachers but you won't be seen with in the light of day," the blogger, Susan Madrak of Crooks and Liars, pointedly told Axelrod on the call, which was organzied for liberal bloggers and progressive media.

The call seemed to perfectly capture the tense dynamic that exists between the White House and the online and organized left: Though White House advisers in the past have dumped on the left, anonymously and even on the record, Axelrod repeatedly pleaded with the bloggers on the call for help in pumping up the flagging enthusiasm of rank and file Dems.

"You play a great role in informing people about the stakes of elections," Axelrod told the bloggers. "One of the reasons I was eager to expend time was to enlist you."

But hovering over the call was the obvious disconnect between this plea for help and statements like those of Robert Gibbs, who recently pilloried the "professional left" for being overly critical of the White House.

That tension burst out into the open when Madrak directly asked Axelrod: "Have you ever heard of hippie punching?" That prompted a long silence from Axelrod.

"You want us to help you, the first thing I would suggest is enough of the hippie punching," Madrak added. "We're the girl you'll take under the bleachers but you won't be seen with in the light of day."

Axelrod didn't engage on "hippie punching," but he said he agreed with the blogger. "To the extent that we shouldn't get involved in intramural skirmishing, I couldn't agree more," Axelrod said. "We just can't afford that. There are big things at stake here."

Madrak replied that Axelrod was missing the point -- that the criticism of the left made it tougher for bloggers like herself to motivate the base. "Don't make our jobs harder," she said.

"Right back at'cha. Right back at'cha," Axelrod replied, a bit testily, an apparent reference to blogospheric criticism of the administration.

At any rate, for Axelrod to plead with liberal bloggers for their help turning out the base, only to get accused of "hippie punching," is an iconic moment in Campaign 2010.

By Greg Sargent  | September 23, 2010; 4:06 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections  
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Comments

in 2010. In the Special Election to fill the final 2 years of Hillary Rodham Clinton's term, incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand and former Congressman Republican Joe DioGuardi today finish effectively even, Gillibrand's nominal 1-point lead being within the survey's theoretical margin of sampling error. Gillibrand leads in the 5 boroughs of NYC, trails elsewhere. Men vote Republican, women vote Democrat and, in this contest, cancel each other out. Lower-income voters break significantly Democrat. Middle-income and upper-income voters break slightly Republican.


__________________________________

This survey was done BEFORE Obama's quote came out about being willing to "absorb" a terrorist attack.


I think many in New York find that quote extremely offensive.


The Senate in New York is in play.


_____________________________

Yes, I know you are wondering but I think Joe DioGuardi is the father of the former American Idol Judge - so perhaps you can blame Fox for this too.

m

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"[F]or Axelrod to plead with liberal bloggers for their help turning out the base, only to get accused of "hippie punching," is an inconic moment in Campaign 2010"

Let's see: in response to the question about "hippy punching," Axelrod snaps at the blogger for criticizing the Administration's lack of effort at anything other than attacking liberal bloggers.

Yep; appears he knows what "hippie punching" is, and is happy to join the pile-up when the kid is already on the bottom.

Posted by: klhoughton | September 23, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

When the split occurred between some progressives and mainstream Dems over the HCR bill, a lot of bloggers and pundits alienated a portion of the base. I warned everyone here then, some of you will remember, that Dems may need alienated progressives to help get out the vote in the near future and it wasn't a great strategy. What do you know?

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"Madrak replied that Axelrod was missing the point -- that the criticism of the left made it tougher for bloggers like herself to motivate the base. "Don't make our jobs harder," she said.

"Right back at'cha. Right back at'cha," Axelrod replied, a bit testily, an apparent reference to blogospheric criticism of the administration."

Axelrod, like the rest of Obama's upper echelon, is a complete jack*ss. The DemocraticParty need votes, money, and enthusiasm from Liberals, not the other way around. Incredible stupidity.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I think Axelrod is the guy you won't be seen with in the light of day.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey lmsinca:

I heard you were running for Prez. Count on my vote!

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Typical of the left/They love you til you try to govern. I'm part of it, but I'm not on the grievance train with them.

Posted by: carolerae48 | September 23, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

As American Philosopher Neil Sedaka so brilliantly put it, "breaking up is hard to do."

The question now that Obama gathered perhaps the greatest progressive coalition in American political history is how does he keep it?

It ain't easy. The admin has to placate many different interests. But, they also can't surrender the narrative and their principles to the GOP or its allies in the Democratic Party (I'm looking at you, Nelson and Lincoln).

They have to put the base first instead of drunk dialing us when they're needy.

They also then need to use the good ideas from the liberal base to educate the American electorate.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 23, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

WB, lmsinca,

"Kill the Bill"

The bloggy left is by no means free of sin in this.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

There are a whole lot of people that are NOT on the far right or the far left.

Those of us that are left of center yet not far left can get irritated at folks like Jane Hamsher. They constantly harp on everything Obama does regardless of who is at fault. It grates.

It is like they think that once elected Presidents are granted magic wands and superhuman powers. It doesn't work that way. There are political realities both fringes fail to comprehend.

Both sides do this, but the right seems far more loyal than the left. The right (mostly) waits for their sides President to leave office then they blame everything their guy did on the guy who takes over. The left (mostly) attacks relentlessly regardless of whose side is in charge.

I don't think what Axelrod and Gibbs said was hippy punching. I think they were just really frustrated, and for good reason. If you want to see hippy punching look at the wingnut trolls on the Plum Line comments thread.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely! The White House blew it by pissing on their base for the past two years and then turning to the Republicans for love. Guess what?!! They won't find much love there!

And now that they spurned their own base...

I'm still going to vote for the Dem, but it is only because the whack-jobs are worse. Frankly, I feel as if my choices are far far far right or center right. Neither of which really excite me.

Posted by: Alex3 | September 23, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

O/T Counter-intuitive take from PP:

"Democrats staying home aren't necessarily disappointed with how things have gone so far. The Democrats not voting are more pleased with how Obama's done than the Democrats who are voting. And when you're happy you simply don't have the sense of urgency about going out and voting to make something change. That complacency, more than the Republicans, is Democrats' strongest foe this year."

(via hot air)

http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2010/09/unhappy-democrats-are-more-likely-to.html

Posted by: sbj3 | September 23, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Ethan:

With respect, Bro, you are missing the point. Axelrod's purpose was apparently to smooth things over and create enthusiasm. Axelrod did the opposite. What would it have hurt him to take some cr*p and tell the woman he was sorry for the Hippie Punching? Instead, he did it again. Really. We are talking about individual bloggers versus the President and a national political party. Who should be the "bigger man"? The one who is asking for money and votes or the one being asked? It seems self-evident to me.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The democrats are at war with the center of the country.


At this point, they see Axelrod as part of the center.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"They have to put the base first instead of drunk dialing us when they're needy."

BG, FTW !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ethan, you're right it's a two way street, but some of the anger directed at people who disagreed with the way the bill was compromised was frankly astonishing to me.

My point is not who had the issue correct but that the alienation and anger toward progressives was uncalled for at the time and it has been lurking barely under the surface ever since.

There's a story about Susie Madrak and I think a personal issue with both the bill and the insurance industry I'll try to find as I can't quite remember the particulars. There are thousands of us out here who literally despise the industry and in every meaningful way we're still left with no alternative. I think that is the underlying issue.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Wait ... I see it .... Yes, I do, definitely ... Here it comes --

The Magic Pony!

Turn on your supporters and then wonder why they turn on you. ANd then dig in for good measure. Beyond stupid. The Democratic leadership has a overweening sense of entitlement when it comes to Liberals.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, it isn't "the Democrats" who need the progressive vote, it's our country. Yes, even -- especially -- the low-information folks who are bound and determined to vote against their own interests (again). And I am prepared to keep voting for the most liberal option available, as long as it takes to move us away from the brink of conservative disaster.

Posted by: umprof | September 23, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"Typical of the left/They love you til you try to govern. I'm part of it, but I'm not on the grievance train with them."

Take THAT, d*mn hippies! Now give me your money, your vote and your enthusiasm. ... Hello?

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

All the hippies have been dead since 1967. They were worthless stooges of the left.

Posted by: stinkingtuna | September 23, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"They have to put the base first instead of drunk dialing us when they're needy."

Oh yeah, BG, I forgot to say: Egg-cellent!

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

When Obama was running, he asked -- even demanded -- that his energized progressive base hold his Administration accountable. When progressives try to do that, they get pummeled by Obama's thin-skinned White House staff.

+++++++
"You play a great role in informing people about the stakes of elections," Axelrod told the bloggers. "One of the reasons I was eager to expend time was to enlist you."
+++++++

Translation: "we like your help getting out the vote, but we don't want to hear from you about governing."

Posted by: bearclaw1 | September 23, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Rahm Emanuel is experiencing serious problems in Chicago.


First of all, one must remember in the primary for Congress, Rahm got only 53% of the vote - a Polish woman mounted a strong challenge.


People still remember - Rahm's camp engaged in FALSE CHARGES against the Polish woman - regarding old remarks by someone who endorsed her - a leader of a Polish organization.

Outside of the Polish community, Rahm's Congressional district is heavily white.


So - Rahm is facing a serious uphill challenge with ALL the other ethnic neighborhoods in the city.


The PRACTICAL point is: Rahm is untested in the other ethnic neighborhoods - and has virtually no experience in them - AND Rahm did horribly in the Polish community last time.


Rahm has few allies outside of his old contacts.


If Rahm thinks he is going to go in, and make a bunch of deals to clear the field, it really is not going to work.


The field will be large - it will not be cleared.


If Rahm thinks he can go and make deals for the support of various ethnic groups, the other candidates will still go into those areas and seek votes. Those deals will not ensure Rahm those votes.


Rahm has it great in Washington - many people are wondering why he wants to go back to Chicago.


It does NOT look good for Rahm.


An Alderman, or a representative of the black or hispanic communities would be starting so far ahead of Rahm - it is hard to see this work.


Perhaps Rahm thinks he can raise more money - but that isn't going to work. In a crowded field, a candidate is going to need more than ads.


Rahm is better off staying in Washington - and enjoying life.


Why go to Chicago and risk losing badly?


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"We're the girl you'll take under the bleachers but you won't be seen with in the light of day."

Wow! Perfect! A single sentence that captures the entire debate over the W.H. treatment of Progressives.

Public Option...promised in campaign...no effort during actual HCR. They could have easily brought this up as an amendment to the vote. Now I have to quake in fear at what United is going to do to me next year in the final two years before I reach Medicare and LONG before HCR kicks in for me.

Stupid Wars...thank heavens the Iraquis forced Bush and the kids to provide a date certain for withdrawal. Obama claims the kudos for what the Iraquis FORCED!!! Meanwhile 50,000 troops still remain...it's anybody's guess as to how many CIVILIANS we've sent in to replace the lost troop numbers...and God only knows how much we'll urinate down the rathole to provide Iraqui's with infrastructure while OUR's is crumbling around us..yeah..yeah..yeah..the stimulus was a baby step in the right direction.

Afghanistan...listen to Generals who surprise surprise advise...more troops..more money..does anyone EVER remember a General who DIDN'T ask for more troops and more money? And just like the man who claims he's keeping away the elephants by snapping his fingers endlessly...you don't see any elephants do ya...we can make specious claims that these billions of wasted dollars are for the war on terror. I defy anybody to provide the first link to any information that shows this money achieved ANYTHING in the war on terror commensurate with the vast sums of treasure and more importantly the precious lives we have and continue to waste. Oh but let's go to the bodycount folks. Look at the hundreds, perhaps thousands of SUSPECTED AQ leaders we've killed with those drones...body counts!!!
Can you say Vietnam. Body counts do not win wars!!!!

19 CRIMINAL co-conspirators attacked two buildings in our nation, killing 3,000. Sad...tragic yes...but even more tragic is that we've now wasted way OVER A TRILLION dollars for what? Really?

And through all of this...where is the first piece of red meat for progressives...a hasty appointment of Elizabeth Warren? Yeahhh...we'll give you that ONE.

Listen the R's have disintegrated into a pool of ignorant slime...so yes we'll come out to vote...and I'll personally do so enthusiastically out of FEAR!!! NOT because I'm motivated by what our current Administration has accomplished.

Me,lmsinca,wbgonne,JennofArk...well the beat goes on...do some of you suppose that ALL of us are petulant little children without minds of our own...or perhaps we're best described as "effing retards"...good luck Chicago you're going to need it if you elect the tiny idiot as Mayor!!! Yeah I'm peoed!!!! At least I didn't double space and cap all of this.:-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 23, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

umprof - Bingo!

Actually what I'd really like to see is two SANE political parties, less money in politics, and a press that does its job instead of playing he said/she said.

I'm far less interested in liberal v conservative than I am in pragmatism. If a "conservative" solution is the best solution than use it. If a "liberal" solution works better than use it. These days that mindset makes me a liberal.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"Axelrod did the opposite"

I disagree. She instigated it. Just like FDL instigated "Kill the Bill". Should we kill the bill now? The day all these awesome provisions go into effect? The question clearly caught him off-guard, and frankly I'd be a little pissed too if I were him.

"The one who is asking for money and votes or the one being asked? It seems self-evident to me."

That's a good point. I'm with you there. But at the end of the day, he's in the White House helping run the country, helping juggle the inept Congress, and she's worried about saving face for one of several slices of the Dem electorate. To me, that's insane. Her priorities are all out of whack. Furchrissakes, save face AFTER the election.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

They have to put the base first instead of drunk dialing us


______________________________

Excellent quote


_____________________________


I love it when they pick up, don't you?


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

rukidding:

Fantastic! Classic.

And this was the icing:

"does anyone EVER remember a General who DIDN'T ask for more troops and more money?"

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca "There are thousands of us out here who literally despise the industry and in every meaningful way we're still left with no alternative. I think that is the underlying issue."

Amen sister. Again I literally quake in fear about what United will do next year.
We've already seen what has happened with the "pre existing conditions" A couple of weeks ago of the two million who became eligible less than 4,000 filed because it's TOO FREAKING EXPENSIVE. Ohhh but wait until 2014 when the REST of the bill kicks in. I only need to wait until 2013 but WTF am I supposed to do next year and the year after when the insurance companies make sure they get in their last licks BEFORE the bill kicks in. We've actually created a perverse incentive to raise the rates even more dramatically because fear of the bill.

Produce a Public Option or just give the eff up will ya!!! The private insurers are SMARTER than the Dems...face it!!! You'll NEVER beat the insurers at this game.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 23, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The Senate is the power center, & it is broken, & bloggers could've focused ire there, to teach liberals to stay the course on putting up viable primary challengers & electing progressives in their state every 6 yrs. We have a POTUS from the Senate, hell bent on making nice. I'll look for a Dem Gov to run for POTUS next time! Now let's elect progressive Dem Govs, pls.

After the election, I couldn't get ONE person to join their local Dem Party to influence it. Our election turnouts average 40% - the same as in Afghanistan, where voters were targeted for murder! We have the democracy we deserve.

We can't only tune-in & organize every 4 yrs. Lobbyists work 24/7. Every single progressive should've put laser-focus on Fair Elections Now Act. Take this problem on at the root, peeps! http://act.fixcongressfirst.org/viewall Fight to make this the No. 1 platform issue for all Dems.

Posted by: VCubed | September 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

"My point is not who had the issue correct but that the alienation and anger toward progressives was uncalled for at the time and it has been lurking barely under the surface ever since."

I think it's way way overblown.

The Kill the Bill crowd started all this.

Progressives who feel slighted should be mad at THEM -- the KTB crowd -- NOT the admin which passed historic, albeit centrist, health care reform.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

And I'll say it right now: if there was a public option, if there was a government-run health plan in effect and available to most Americans at reasonable rates, the Democrats would romp in November.

Not that it matters, of course.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Let's all be honest. Sometimes a hippie needs a whack to the shins.

Posted by: jwrites | September 23, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm...seems as if Journolist has seeped beyond the Post and into the White House. Of course, it was probably there all along...

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | September 23, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Axelrod go and drum up support from all those Blue Dog Democrats, Independants and Republicans that this administration catered to at the expense of their base?

Give Susan Collins a call! Or maybe Chuck Grassley! Or Olympia Snowe! Where are all those Blue Dogs?!

All those appeasing, needless capitulations to the conservatives were designed to gain the imaginary Republican support for the watered down, style over substance "reforms" that the Obama administration cynically sold to the nation as real reform.

They spit on their base and now they want their support? Right.

Posted by: toc59 | September 23, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

axelrod and his puppet Obama are the third term of George W Bush.

More War! More Money To Wall Street!
Rising Poverty!
OMG!

Open your eyes!!

Posted by: simonsays1 | September 23, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

O/T (sort of):

"Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu said she will block Jack Lew’s confirmation to lead the White House budget office until the administration lifts or “significantly” modifies the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-23/louisiana-s-landrieu-blocks-lew-confirmation-over-oil-drilling-moratorium.html

Strip her of her leadership posts. Do it today.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"if there was a public option"

Agreed.

But no amount of campaigning by Obama would have gotten us a strong PO. What would have happened is he would have campaigned and lost because the Senate is broken and President Lieberman, etc, would have humiliated the President after just about 1 year of his (presumably) first term.

"Not that it matters, of course."

'course.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

silencedogoodreturns, FINALLY a troll mentions journolist. Jesus, that has got to be the single identifying mark for stupidity. And that's saying something.

Please, please go back to redstate. We will not waste our time on the Stoopid.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 23, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod could never get a girl under the bleachers - so he doesn't know what the blogger was talking about.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Instead of taling about Hippie Punching, the liberal bloggers should just say it directly.

Posted by: maritza1 | September 23, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, does that mean I won't get your vote now? LOL

We've all debated this for a year. You know I didn't necessarily agree with the "Kill the Bill" crowd but by the same token, we managed to alienate a large group of activists who work really hard for change and GOTV. I warned everyone at the time, it was p!ss poor strategy. I hate to tell you also that Jon Walker and David Dayen at FDL have been a whole lot more right than wrong on most of the bill's real consequences for Dems.

The important point now would be to try to win back a few hearts and minds but the Administration doesn't seem too interested in doing that.

Like almost everyone here, I'm still working and voting and supporting policy that I believe has value as well as certain candidates. I think wbgonne is probably right, it's the independents we're losing right now, but why?

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan...Ya know I love ya brother but you are exactly what the "professional left" the far out progressives...perhaps radicals like me wbgonne and lmsinca are talking about...

"worried about saving face'

You are NOT LISTENING TO US!!! We..at least me and I believe the vast majority of others (I'm not going to waste time on individuals or specific blogs..hate fdl and huffpo if you must) like me don't give a rat's arse about anybody's face or reputation...INCLUDING OBAMA'S! This is not about FACE...it's about policy.

HCR has done next to nothing. Again...the pre existing condition part of the bill is currently a big failure...4,000 out of a couple million who are eligible is hardly a success! Gov't response..oh wait the subsidies will kick in...SOMEDAY..when 2014? Meanwhile I've foregone my vacation this year...I've resigned my golf membership....and much of it is due to HEALTH CARE COSTS. And I am HEALTHY. I nor my wife suffer from any pre -existing condition other than our actuarial condition of being in our early 60's. We are sc#wed!! And because of the way HCR was handled the Insurance companies are now actually motivated to sc$ew us worse..while they still can!!!

You can believe in fairy tales if you wish but we've already seen the insurance companies in action. UNTIL there is a P.O. there is NO HCR. That's simply reality. Lay down with the dogs and get up with fleas...and the insurance companies are dogs who know only one thing...PROFIT.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 23, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

These bloggers should have asked for concrete, detailed policy promises from Axelrod before agreeing to do anything to get out the vote.

This administration has, deservedly, no credibility with the liberal base of the Democratic Party.

No more trusting them to do the right thing. You want our support? We want public pronouncements and unequivical promises regarding policy.

If not go and get your Blue Dogs, Independants and moderate Republicans to help you. Good luck.

Posted by: toc59 | September 23, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Democrats discussed [tax cut vote] during a caucus luncheon, leaving a final decision to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

"Harry will make the final decision on this...," Durbin said.

CALL/EMAIL HIM NOW:

http://reid.senate.gov/contact/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I think that Landrieu things is big. Is what she is doing even "legal"? It look like extortion. Never-mind, the intra-party issues and the absolute contempt for the President.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Independents flip back and forth between the parties which is what they do.

Posted by: maritza1 | September 23, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne - There was NEVER the 60 votes in the Senate to get a public option. Do you really think Nelson and Lieberman would have ever voted for a public option?

Even if some miracle occurred and the 60 votes appeared out of nowhere the public option wouldn't have been in place for a couple of years. I don't think it would have made a difference in THIS election.

Now I know what you are thinking; the base would have been excited and willing to donate and work harder if there had been a public option. Well, I'm not so sure. Maybe that is true, but it is totally irrelevant because no matter how bad we wanted it the votes just weren't there.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Well said, umprof.

Time to stop with the petty grievances.The stakes are too high.

Posted by: exco | September 23, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Ethan:

I just sent Reid this message:

Please hold an immediate vote on the Obama Middle Class Tax Cuts.

Hope springs eternal.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod and the others around Obama take the Left for granted, thinking we have no where else to go, and they're right, unless we just stay home on election day. The difference between them and Rove is that guys like Gibbs dumps on the Left in public, whereas guys like Rove and his minions would just cynically laugh behind closed doors about how they suckered the fundamentalists.

Posted by: filmnoia | September 23, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne...."if there was a government-run health plan in effect and available to most Americans at reasonable rates, the Democrats would romp in November."

EXACTLY. This is what Clinton was describing.
And throughout the HCR debate on this blog...I provided link after link after link showing that the MAJORITY of Americans favored a Medicare for all/single payer solution...including a huge number of physicians and providers.

It's now the same thing with the tax cuts.
The Dems have spent the past two years snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

1. HCR Hasn't done squat for me...other than pretty well guarantee a MONSTROUS rise in my premiums for the next two years.

2. Afghanistan/Iraq Hasn't made me one iota safer. I could go around snapping my fingers and keep away the terrorists just as effectively without paying a king's ransom in tribute to the MIC. Scr#w Haliburton and the Cheneys!

3 A fair tax code that stops the dramatic shift in wealth...nope to afraid to address that issue.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 23, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I have been angry at Obama & Co. since Rahm and the CPC conspired, first, to bury single payer without a debate, then gut the public option from the bill, but somehow manage to save their precious mandate. Every insult on my intelligence from them since has only made it worse.

But, that aside, I am beginning to think we need to get out the vote anyway. Not for these arrogant a$$es, but in spite of them.

I think we've made our point loudly enough for them to get the message. Time to do what we do best and rise above, people... JMHO

Posted by: centerista | September 23, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne at 4:51 PM


A public option at reasonable rates.....

Yea, well, if the claims EXCEED the premiums there will be a DEFICIT.

WHO is going to pay for that ?

The people who are already paying for their health care???


AND if you subsidize one set of people buying health insurance, why shouldn't everyone be entitled to the same subsidy?


_____________________________


BUT what about the other insurance companies ?


If you subsidize one set of customers, you begin to put out of business the legitimate companies - because you are making one insurance cheaper than the un-subsidized insurance


___________________________


The other problem is - the insurance companies will seek to NOT insurance the sick - and end up dumping the sick people INTO the public option.


That WILL increase the CLAIMS on the government -

Which the taxpayers will have to pick up


_________________________

There are so many POTENTIAL IMBALANCES in the system, it is tricky - deficits could develop all over the place.


A public option will create an imbalance - it will create a deficit if the sick people are dumped in -


OR if that is stopped, any taxpayer money in will give it an unfair advantage over private firms.


____________________________

I am just outlining WHY a hybrid system has so many pitfalls - and probably will collapse in trillion-dollar deficits.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"At any rate, for Axelrod to plead with liberal bloggers for their help turning out the base, only to get accused of "hippie punching," is an IDIOTIC moment in Campaign 2010."

In case no one else has, fixed the spelling for you.

Posted by: converse | September 23, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Later. Keep the faith.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

You've still got my vote lmsinca. :)

"we managed to alienate a large group of activists who work really hard for change and GOTV"

I just don't get that. Who is "we" and why are the activists alienated? I am an activist. I worked hard to GOTV. I'm not alienated. I think those who ARE alientaed are acting a bit oversensitive and possibly seeking something that was not possible.

"Jon Walker and David Dayen at FDL have been a whole lot more right than wrong on most of the bill's real consequences for Dems"

I can totally see that. Of course they were right. The public supported a Medicare for All buy-in and a strong PO. But it wasn't going to pass the stupid Senate. At some point you have to say, "Oh well, that's reality," and move on to the next thing without taking that failure personally.

"The important point now would be to try to win back a few hearts and minds but the Administration doesn't seem too interested in doing that."

I disagree entirely. I don't think coddling a C&L blogger means they're not winning hearts and minds. I think the Admin is doing all they can given the trainwreck of Congress.

I would have preferred the admin come out against weakling Dems on the tax cuts vote. That would have bolstered Reid.

But other than that, at the current moment, I give the admin props for what they've had to deal with.

"I think wbgonne is probably right, it's the independents we're losing right now, but why? "

THAT IS THE $24,000 QUESTION!!!

Here is the article.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/23/AR2010092300299.html

NO "WHY". I read the whole damn thing. Indies are pissed off at Dems and pissed off at Obama. But idiot Dan Balz didn't bother to ask the most important question. WHY are Indies leaving and joining the obstructionist GOP?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Now I know what you are thinking; the base would have been excited and willing to donate and work harder if there had been a public option. Well, I'm not so sure. Maybe that is true, but it is totally irrelevant because no matter how bad we wanted it the votes just weren't there.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 5:04 PM
=============================

Ethan and nisleib: Rahm and Obama dealt away the public option, secretly, early in the process. They continued to give it lip service afterwards.

So much for transparency.

Ethan, you keep pounding away at FireDogLake. They must be really powerful, eh?

It isn't FDL or any other part of the left that is responsible for the enthusiasm gap. It's 1) high unemployment, 2) high unemployment and 3) high unemployment.

Kicking the dirty effin' hippies might make David Broder and the rest of the Villagers happy, but making those people happy isn't going to do anything for the Democrats in this election. In other words, it's retarded.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 23, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Actually nisleib, the votes were being whipped for the reconciliation vote and we probably had them, but they wouldn't put it in. There was some talk that the House wouldn't have been able to pass it again, but who knows?

Regardless, I think the HCR debate and passage of the bill did almost as much damage as good. There are good aspects to the bill but they will certainly have to revisit the issue soon, ruk is correct, the insurance industry is still doing everything it can to raise rates and work around the new consumer protections.

If they want to fire up the base though they need something more than the other guys suck more.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

This administration has, deservedly, no credibility with the liberal base of the Democratic Party.

No more trusting them to do the right thing. You want our support? We want public pronouncements and unequivical promises regarding policy.


________________________________

toc

The rest of the country feels the same way about Obama's 2008 platform.


for one, Obama promised to fight in Afghanistan, the good war, Obama called it.

Obama is worthless to everyone - he should resign immediately.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, Stockholm Syndrome, I'm afraid. Indies who vote for the GOP to protest against the Dems do so only to hurt themselves. Or they identify with their tormentors, or some damn thing.

The Landrieu thing is as depressing as it is predictable.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 23, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Susan Madrak: "You have to be nice to my ilk so we can continue to call the administration a sell-out!"

Posted by: CaptainMcGlew | September 23, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Uh... what is "hippie punching"?

Posted by: ChristopherMc | September 23, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama has never seemed to realize that when you are in politics, criticism is a one way street. Politicians just don't GET to trash the people who voted for them - unless they don't want to get elected again.

Obama's skin is even thinner than Bush's was. And that is frightening.

Posted by: solsticebelle | September 23, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

If the Independents have left Obama - and the left doesn't like him anymore

Who is left remaining ?

Obama is on extremely shallow ice - the bottom is about to fall out.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, I'm the part of the base that's always fired up. I've lost more battles in 40 years than I've ever won, but I'm one of those glass half-full peeps. And I really don't think anyone wants to be coddled, just respected.

My feelings aren't very easily hurt, but I gotta tell you, a few of the comments from Obama's own lips in the past couple of weeks have stung. Love the guy, but sometimes he forgets when he talks to his big donors at these fundraising dinners that others are also listening and maybe not quite so amused.

Anyway, enough, gotta get back to work.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

This is complete and utter bull!

I'm sorry but the main issue is that the blogosphere is not amplifying the GOOD that has happened under this administration because of the anger they feel about the progressive issues they have in their hearts. The best example: the public option. Rather than SELL the good that got enacted; the aftermath descended into recrimination and anger.

Frankly, the tax fight right now should show the progressives what we have to deal with in Congress. Blue dogs and conservadems hold the votes to pass legislation; they are the pivot point. And in the senate if Collins & Snowe won't deal (and they won't after seeing what happened to Spector) then Ben Nelson is the pivot point and he is more conservative than either of these ladies. So here today we have the WH having pushed a great tax issue, polls well, leadership in favor, and the blue dogs and conservadems kill the idea of even taking a vote.

It was the same damn thing with the public option, the stimulus, and every damn issue.

That any meaningful legislation has passed is a tribute to the legislative skills in the WH, Pelosi,and yes even Reid IMO. It's not gridlock, Washington is broken. Look simply at how many federal appointees have been blocked and positions that have yet to be filled because of holds that have been placed. The judges benches that are empty.

And through all this gridlock; Progressives online have blamed the administration rather than calling out conservative democrats and Republicans. And in doing so, they've sapped the President's political perceived political capital which makes it harder for the kinda force they want to occur to even be possible.

It's a vicious circle jerk and that in a conference call focused on mobilizing voters it comes up again shows a division and poison on the left that is mirrored in the tea party division and Republican divide on the right. And it's going to take the same toll on us that the tea party has in Delaware for Republicans.

Progressives online are IMO the teabaggers of the left. They've got a sane and rational program they want enacted; but the purity and divorce from reality of the fact that a black president will inevitably face a backlash so he needs MORE unconditional progressive support and that in taking such a liberal step the dislocation for conservatives would make them more rabid has set up this anger and let down.

I watched John Stewart say Obama's doing okay compared to what Jesus would have done; seriously. I don't know if it was simple hyperbole but that standard is the standard that was irrationally set. And when he didn't walk on water the disillusionment and anger I've seen on the left has been staggering. Throw in PUMAS waiting and wanting to say I told you so and you've got a lot of what I see in this call.

On the other hand; I actually think DEMS will keep the house and senate if the turnout operation at OFA is as good as it was in '08.

Posted by: Rhoda | September 23, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

ifthethunderdontgetya - I have yet to see proof positive that they did, "dealt away the public option, secretly, early in the process." But let us just assume you are correct and that they did do this. Why did they do it? Because they knew darn well that they didn't have the votes in the Senate to get it through and decided that slaying dragons (passing HCR) is more important than tilting at windmills (Public Option.)

Are you of the opinion that we should have foregone HCR altogether instead of passing a bill without a Public Option? Because I'm not.

Do you now think, after looking back at the Senates actions over the last two years, that a Public Option could have gotten through the Senate? For goodness sake, the GOP filibustered the small business bill that was 100% paid for and was mostly tax cuts.

Frankly, I'm amazed they got HCR done at all. And I've read enough to know that this was a FIRST step, the battle isn't over. Look at Social Security when it was passed, it is better now than it was then. I firmly believe HCR will improve too, but only if the GOP isn't allowed to kill it before it has a chance to be improved upon.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Most of the nation detest hippies and liberals, and you won't be deciding our future fate with your twisted righteousness and logic in governing our rights!

Only by stepping over our arm and dead bodies will you do it!

Posted by: theaz | September 23, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"Ethan, Stockholm Syndrome, I'm afraid. Indies who vote for the GOP to protest against the Dems do so only to hurt themselves. Or they identify with their tormentors, or some damn thing.

The Landrieu thing is as depressing as it is predictable."

Yup.

Yup.

As to why we're losing Indies...

I think lmsinca's right -- "I think the HCR debate and passage of the bill did almost as much damage as good." We are suffering politically as a direct result of the HCR debate. If that's the case, so be it. It had to pass. And it did.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@nisleib.....lmsinca posted...

"Actually nisleib, the votes were being whipped for the reconciliation vote and we probably had them, but they wouldn't put it in."

But that is only the half of it. Obama was so full of hubris that he imagined he could somehow achieve what NOBODY has been able to do since Gingrich and 1994...get bi-partisan cooperation. The R's didn't hide this...one of their leaders telegraphed it quite clearly with his "Obama's Waterloo" email. Chuck Grassley one of the so called "bi-partisan" guys was going around talking about "pulling the plug on Granny"

I would respect the Obama Administration more if they just admitted they scr3wed the pooch on HCR. AGAIN...pubic opinion was behind them if they had hit the ground running...they could have used it against the bluekitty Dems and probably even against a couple of the moderate Dems. They let the "professional right" clean their clocks. They should have forced the votes in the Spring and not even gotten to those infamous town hall "I want my country back"

Hopefully Obama learned a lesson...but geessh when you look at how they handled a public opinion winner on tax cuts for the wealthy...when you look at how they are letting Petraeus run around and already start the lobbying for the next big increase in Afghanistan...it's hard to remain optimistic..it REALLY is!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 23, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I know susie madrak personally. this is AWESOME. GO SUSIE!!

Posted by: brendancalling | September 23, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama's main problem is Obama

So what is the deal?


If Obama would have done what he said he was going to do - there wouldn't be a problem at all.

Obama is the problem.

Obama should resign immediately.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Rhoda - Nicely done! That sums up my feelings (also)too.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Y'all know my position on this.

A number of sites got behind the Kill the Bill crap. It got big news and was reported on extensively on every site I know of. Right, left center blogs, MSM, etc. It got a lot of momentum and there were even numerous posters here that sided with the right on this.

The WH pushed back and were called out for punching hippies and anyone who sided with the WH was called leader followers or some other garbage.

At that point, it seemed any legislation making its way through wasn't enough. It was instantly attacked and often preemptively. Every attempt to push back was deemed hippy punching.

At that point, it seems as though its almost en-vogue to go after the Administration because it's a battle of the little guys against the big bad establishment.

I stand by my previous assessments that many of these folks got their start in being anti establishment. Its how they function and keep their activists engaged. No fault of their own, it's just how they operate.

It just so happens Democrats are the establishment right now.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 23, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Rhoda, spot on.

I found this digging for dirt on Indies. It is absolutely fascinating to me and really filled in the gaps.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacqueline-salit/how-the-independent-movem_b_154589.html

That said, still no word on why HCR scared the beejeezus out of Indie voters who voted en masse for Obama -- who CAMPAIGNED HARD ON HCR!!! ARGHHH!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret...pay close attention.

Nobody reads your posts anymore.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 23, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Mike from Arlington


I forgot to say before - that you meet the definition of a troll and a spammer too.

Sorry !


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 - I'll grant you that they shouldn't have let the bill get bogged down in committee for many many months. But even if they hadn't, imo, there is no way they would have gotten the 60 votes needed.

My recollection is that the Rs decided on their policy of obstruction long before HCR came up for a vote. They never had any intention of voting for it.

And ruk, come on, if you are angry about Obama's "hubris" because he attempted to get bipartisan support for HCR then you must not have been paying that close of attention during the two years of campaigning.

Which takes us nicely to my final point: Obama is who he is. He never pretended to be Dennis Kuchinich. He is center left, like me.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

OK, if nobody cares to give the definition of "hippie-punching," would someone care to provide the etymology?

Nexis shows no usage of the phrase prior to 2010. Why has it taken off? Where has it taken off? Who propelled it?

I'd still take an informed definition, too. (Yes, I know what hippies are, and I know what punching is. But something a little more nuanced and contextual would be appreciated.)

Thanks!

Posted by: ChristopherMc | September 23, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest:

I am still reading your posts (keep up the good work ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

These nit-wits simply don't get it! It's not the left that will stay home, It's the youth vote that Obama has lost. Youth are liberal. Youth are left.

You "moderate" Democrats (let's be realistic, you are really Republicans from the 1980's - abandoned by the Republicans for the far far right) are part of the nit-wit brigade for blaming the mainstream voters who are liberal - very liberal on issues. Voters don't like being called Liberal, but on issues, the clear majority of voters, vote for liberal olutions
...hence Obama's win. Now that Obama has shown himself to be just to the right of Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan, the youth have abandoned him. Duh. Obama is a loser whom I will not vote for again.

However, I will continue to vote Democrat. Too bad the youth are "once burnt, twice shy". Obama is the problem. He needs to finish the term and go home a winner. Otherwise, the nation is the loser.

Posted by: rjmmcelroy | September 23, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans DO NOT like Obama's version of health care


Obama REFUSED to negotiate a real compromise bill -


All Obama said was he would "throw in a few" Republican ideas - into a 2,000 page bill.


That is NOT bipartisanship.

DO YOU REALLY THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BUY OBAMA'S VERSION? I don't think so.

Obama could have sat down with McConnell and McCain - and come up with a compromise bill - AND SHARED THE CREDIT.

Obama didn't do that - and now Obama is where he is. Blame Obama

Blame Obama - not me - not the Republicans


Blame Obama.

Mike from Arlington - I hope you are not reading this - because you said you wouldn't.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Now that Obama has shown himself to be just to the right of Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan, the youth have abandoned him.
------------------------------------
Does this show up in polling? I wasn't aware that Obama is losing youth vote. Now, there might be an enthusiasm drop.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

How do PLers feel about Obama again enlisting religious leaders to carry administration messages about Obamacare to a (soon to be grateful) public?

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/09/obama-asks-faith-based-groups-to-help.html

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

More really fascinating dialog on Indies... the Swing Vote

http://www.independentvoting.org/news/GodDoddandReform.html

http://www.independentvoting.org/news/HealthcareTheFinalAct.html

http://www.independentvoting.org/news/TheIndependentParalysis.html

http://www.independentvoting.org/news/IndependentsOrganized.html

I still don't get -- substantively -- why Indies swung right. Presumably it was b/c of HCR, but what about HCR did it?

There may not even be an answer. It may just be because it was time. Or just because of a natural anti-establishment reflex in the Indie voter's mind.

I'll tell you though, it makes me feel a helluva lot better knowing that the Indie voter's rightward swing has less to do with a grand appreciation of GOP policies/politics and more to do with an anti-establishment sentiment and a sort of natural resistance to change. Really odd stuff, but intriguing nonetheless.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm just gonna come right out and own it. I'm an old (baby boomer), progressive, liberal hippie who's also a registered independent. LOL

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

My church's mission in part is to promote social justice, part of which is access to healthcare. So, we have endorsed for a long time efforts to improve access to healthcare, considered a human right. There have already been many, many meetings to explain the effects of this bill and other local efforts. I'm Catholic, by the way.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

only 2 things need to be said to the left bloggers. Sharon Angle and Christine O'Donnell. If they don t understand the danger these 2 radicals are to our country they will deserve the radical right country they will have helped to create. This is why I call myself a conservative D, b/c I will not enable that kind of self destruction.

99 per cent of Rs voted against $42 billion dollars to help small businesses get bank loans. That vote should show up in every commercial in every district race in the country. My R opponent voted against small businesses assistance.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 23, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/happy_hour_roundup_94.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 23, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

imsinca I truly hope I didn't offend you, but those on the left, not you, who demand political purity make my blood boil. They stay home and they enable Sharon Angle and Christine O'Donnell insanity.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 23, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"I'm an old (baby boomer), progressive, liberal hippie who's also a registered independent. LOL"

D'oh! hahaha

You still have my vote. ;-)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

What does it take? this soundx like the libs in '72 who thot rightness in defense of the left was a virtue, and being wrong in the long run meant no difference!!This is anarchy in defense of participation! Where will the modicum of decisiveness overturn the radicalism of the 10thAmendmet./Scalia opinions for what they constrain (?) to be "liberty"?? Whether it is "SPENDING" "SOCIAL SECURITY" or "BIG GOVERNMENT" the reason--ists of "MY FREEDOM" are battering the "SOCIALISM" which does not and can not exist Because they can't see their forest of ineptitude among the trees of civility. If -- these TEA Partiers/GOP establishment, or Whoever win, or lose, these elections, they will DEMAND A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, because they will hold enough media coverage (irrespective of political 'leverage') to make that "their next order of BUSINESS" -- 'small business' or not. SO --!! Should you be scared???

Posted by: tlamb2 | September 23, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse


Ethan: "I'll tell you though, it makes me feel a helluva lot better knowing that the Indie voter's rightward swing has less to do with a grand appreciation of GOP policies/politics and more to do with an anti-establishment sentiment and a sort of natural resistance to change. Really odd stuff, but intriguing nonetheless."

Isn't the reverse true then, as well?  Maybe there was no "grand appreciation" of Democratic policies/politics, and hence, no mandate.  Maybe it was more a vote against Bush than for Barry.

And I think you have to look at more than just Obamacare.  You've got to include the "Stimulus" and the UAW bailout as well.  All were extremely unpopular and were never the less passed. All the while waiting for the "pivot"'to jobs. Brown's election is MA was the final warning and the "Political Powers" in charge passed Obamacare anyway.  It seems odd to be surprised now, when the polls all showed how unpopular all these things were.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 23, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Why does the left treat the Democrats as if voting for them is doing the politician a favor. They get into politics to help the people. Some for the corporations and some for the regular folks.

But if you can't tell the difference and you think that putting people in the government isn't going to be in your best interest, then by all means vote for someone you think will.

Good grief. You get your feelings hurt because your are free to criticise the administration that is working on your behalf and for your best interest, and they express their frustration at the criticism they are receiving, you threaten to not vote for them again.

By all means don't vote. People like Axelrod and Obama will make lots of money outside of government. They'll still have their life style and be able to live comfortably. But what how will you live?

Posted by: Jalenth | September 23, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

@leichtman,

I agree with you. Nothing in life is perfect, usually we don't get what we want fast enough, and when we do, it's still not quite right. But, we need to keep going, because the alternative is FAR, FAR worse.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh for F***'s SAKE!

I'll tell you what, if Susan Madras or anyone else is willing to swear on a stack of bibles (or a flying bowl of spaghetti or whatever) that they've never called the Obama administration "spineless" or any of the other juvenile names that have become so fashionable on the professional left, then I would be perfectly willing admit that they'd been sorely and wrongly aggrieved, an innocent victim of gratuitous hippie punching -- well except for one teeny thing:

If Mardas ~isn't~ one of the people who've spent the last year out there heaping gratuitous abuse on ~Democrats~, mainly for (unlike liberal bloggers) being forced to operate within the constraints of political reality, she wouldn't actually ~be~ one of people that Robert Gibbs was talking about when he made that remark about the professional left.

So with all due respect, if the shoe fits, wear it proudly. And if not, then no one was in fact talking to you. Either way, the lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Posted by: CalD | September 23, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I fear what rjmmcelroy said about Millennials has a devastating amount of truth to it.

The plural of anecdote is not data, but I've been really caught off guard by the extent to which peers who prefer Dems to GOPers see the party leadership as a joke. It's all variations on a theme : "Democrats are wimps."

It's the Shy Ronnie Effect.

Posted by: michael_conrad | September 23, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe there was no "grand appreciation" of Democratic policies/politics, and hence, no mandate. Maybe it was more a vote against Bush than for Barry."

Read the links I provided. Especially this one:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacqueline-salit/how-the-independent-movem_b_154589.html

Obama galvanized disaffected voters and capitalized on anti-Republican sentiment. The combo gave him 19 million Indie votes.

You might be right, though, that the policies and programs lost them in the end.

NOT because they were socialist or even too far left, or because they preferred the GOP "just say no" attitude, but because they were representative of establishment centrism.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

leichtman1, this is child's play in my political history. I was just trying to be funny, although it's all true. I meant it when I said I'm not easily offended. I agree some on the left have prematurely abandoned the president, I'm not one. But people in the center tend to forget how important activism on the left is for moving away from the rightward lurch our country is always being lead in.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"NOT because they were socialist or even too far left, or because they preferred the GOP "just say no" attitude, but because they were representative of establishment centrism."

Ethan, that's pretty much what I was thinking but decided I better keep my mouth shut for awhile. I hope everyone can come together and vote regardless of their opinion of some of the legislation, it sure doesn't advance anything by staying home.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

However, I will continue to vote Democrat. Too bad the youth are "once burnt, twice shy". Obama is the problem. He needs to finish the term and go home a winner. Otherwise, the nation is the loser.

Posted by: rjmmcelroy | September 23, 2010 5:57 PM
----

Maybe he should take STRF'S advice and simply resign now.

Posted by: Brigade | September 23, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Obama learned a lesson...but geessh when you look at how they handled a public opinion winner on tax cuts for the wealthy...when you look at how they are letting Petraeus run around and already start the lobbying for the next big increase in Afghanistan...it's hard to remain optimistic..it REALLY is!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 23, 2010 5:33 PM
----

You're right about the tax cuts. They threw in a winning hand.

Posted by: Brigade | September 23, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

they caved to DINOs brigade, a really stupid move by Linclon. It never would have gotten passed a R filibuster. Ds saw that as a bad strategy, I disagree. They should have called for 2 votes and that would have handed the R Senators a double loss and might have avoided a R filibuster imho.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 23, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I just stumbled on the story by accident and it's great to see all the left wing bomb throwing loons are still very mucy alive. Too bad, their boy turned out to be a loser. Absorb a terror attack, I wonder how the relatives, friends, and associated that died on 9/11 feel about this.

Posted by: rustynailx | September 23, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

their boy? no moron YOUR POTUS.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 23, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey Leichtman, why don't you answer the question on hippie punching? You left wing nuts practise it like teabagging, don't you? You're the moron, Obama is your boy, you voted for him you idiot.

Posted by: rustynailx | September 23, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod failed because he refused to take the high road. Instead, he again took the tactic of blaming the left.

He's the one who is supposed to be trying to be diplomatic. But the "right back at ya" comment is just so much blame-throwing.

Posted by: rick_desper | September 23, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

STR

Stupid question: do you know the difference between being "willing" to "absorb" a terrorist attack and being "capable" of the same thing?

Followup: which verb did Obama, in fact use?

Final question: why do you think that the United States is not capable of absorbing another terrorist attack? Do you really think the nation is so fragile?

Posted by: rick_desper | September 23, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse


The administration didn't get how
they got elected and they still
don't get how they are going to
get unelected.

K.Rove was brilliant at giving red
meat to conservatives -- 24/7
war, no stem cell research,
abstinence only education,
direct funding of church
charities, etc.

Axelrod, Rahm and Obama
are more interested in making
friends with the GOP and
pleasing adversaries, not
realizing that politics is
war by other means.


Posted by: printthis | September 23, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

calling the POTUS boy is dispicable, end of discussion. Apparently that kind of gutter language is acceptable where you were brought up, but certainly not in a civilized society.
Hippie punching. I have already posted that that left wing blogger doesn't speak for me or anything I stand for, but you are too myopic to understand that.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 23, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Posters ask why the Indies left Obama? They left because they do not like a liar, especially a marxist liar. You lefties on here had better wake up!! If not already, you will be living on the street soon. Obama is not going to support you for long and he is ruining this country so you will have no job and no one to pay you for not working.

Posted by: annnort | September 23, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Rhonda --

"And through all this gridlock; Progressives online have blamed the administration rather than calling out conservative democrats and Republicans. And in doing so, they've sapped the President's political perceived political capital which makes it harder for the kinda force they want to occur to even be possible."

First off this election is likely to solve this problem. Mainly Blue Dogs and New Democrats are going to get beat. But the real problem is that Obama himself has been focused on the center. I think he is probably right to do that, and the left is absolutely right to feel betrayed. Think about how the right felt about HW Bush.

Posted by: jbolden1517 | September 23, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

About a year ago I remember a talking head on TV asking whether trying to reason with the party of NO was a good idea, considering that no matter what Obama did, even if he cheered on GOP bills, the GOP would turn against any bill Obama supported. If you remember this was when the question was whether to just write and pass these bills or try to get GOP input and cooperation. Obama chose the later and never learned.

Well, maybe Obama and the dems are finally learning but the GOP was never going to govern WITH Obama. Instead Obama tried to make nice, give them the benefit of the doubt and offer olive branches, all to be smacked out of his hands by the party of NO.

Now the GOP is running on Obama not getting anything done. I find that astounding. I remember the days of late 2008. I remember watching my daughter's college fund get cut in half in a few short weeks. I remember +500 and -500 days on the stick market, usually one right after another. I remember companies scared to death, and questions on which bank or financial house would fall next. That was just less than 2 years ago. So much progress has been made pulling us out of that hole the republicans worked so hard to put America in. Its sad to see America forgetting just what the democrats did to get us out of that hole and did so with the GOP fighting them all the way. To expect things to be back to normal in 2 years is laughable. Its sickening when I hear the GOP saying Obama has failed. Thank God Obama became president and took over from the idiot son Bush. God knows where America would be today with two years of that administration steering the ship they themselves torpedoed.

No votes from me for the GOP. They are beyond the party of NO. They are the party of Nothing. Just look at that pathetic "Pledge". They had 14 years of power and did nothing in the pledge. Why believe them now? Because Americans are quite stupid and prove themselves so every time the conservative top 1% pay for another bus to bring people to a tea party rally.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 23, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

It's not just on the healthcare bill, people. The Obama Administration has dumped on libs with all the legislation signed into law, by starting out just to the left of center on the issues and then coming up way short in the end. What kind of poor negotiators these Dems and Obama turned out to be. WTF We're angry about how he's basically been a moderate Republican - helping out Wall Street, but not putting strings on everything, making sure that they actually lent the money out to people, as banks got all they needed, quickly, from us taxpayers. He's had his moments during these 2 years where he makes you proud, but Obama has cared more about right-leaning independents and the 3% of conservatives that helped get him elected than all the rest of us.

You see Republicans don't care about us with all of their NO votes on EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING? How un-American can you be to not try to do SOMETHING productive. I wish I got a paycheck and benefits to sit on my butt and say NO to everything.

NOW, they need us to come out and vote. I hate the Tea Party, but I said forget it. I'm not voting. Let the right wing destroy this government like they were doing before Obama. F___k it. They'll blame him for it, anyway, and make up lies like they've been doing since before he was elected and he'll just take it.

My fellow Americans in general are idiots, it appears. Bush elected twice? WTF Let Republicans have the power. They've been ruining the country for the past 30+ years. I'm tired of seeing the Dems try to clean up messes only to give up when they have to put up a fight. Maybe after the collapse of the country and the Chinese take over, these idiots will stop acting like children and get along again. Or maybe they'll each be killed, and us citizens will rise up against the Chinese and eventually start over again with smart people leading.

Either/or.

Posted by: fbutler1 | September 23, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I did the same thing on David Sirota's radio show last week in Denver. I called in and got a chance to ask a question directly of Obama political advisor David Plouffe. I confronted him his on-air comment that appointed Senator Michael Bennet was a great ally to the President, pointing out that less than a month latter, Bennet had sided AGAINST the President on the 2nd stimulus and was leaning in favor of letting Bush tax cuts for the rich expire. I said "with allies like Bennet, we don't need Republicans!" Plouffe was speachless!

Posted by: Krashkopf | September 24, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I am enjoying very much this mud wrestling among progressives, libturds, marxists, and Janet Reno fashionistas who adore Susan Madrak. Now that Gillibrand's seat is in play, it looks like even Paladino might knock that phony status-Cuomo, who even the Village Voice [@http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-08-05/news/how-andrew-cuomo-gave-birth-to-the-crisis-at-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac/] accuses of causing the sub-prime mortgage crisis while he was FanFred's overlord in '99-2001 as Sec'y of HUD.

The Tea Partiers want to fire Obama for cause while the sophomoric ultra-left is pouting and whinging for not getting its own way. Time to make room for the adults, & whisk Susan & Axelrod & Plouffe off the chessboard for timing out.

Posted by: djman1141 | September 24, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Remember the days of the Hippie-lovedrug-radical wing of the Democrats back in YippieSkippieI'maHippie days when Abbey Hoffmann and Jerry Rubin reigned? Looks like Susan Madrak yearns for an anarchist wing of the "progressive" attack on the frontal lobes of the American body politic...! No brains required, just anger and a whole lot of bad acid and worse likker and legal ganja---whatever will keep them from opening their wrists.

Posted by: djman1141 | September 24, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

It is so frustrating to compare the support "Campaign Obama" had generated by uniting the vast majority of Americans on what we considered logical views of war (We're creating the enemy we're fighting)and the necessity for deep, meaningful change of policy (To repeat the same actions and expect different results is the definition of insanity)to bringing jobs back to the USA, (Place a tariff on imported goods so that American workers can compete with low wage countries)and see all of that evaporate once elected to President Obama. Even the health care bill which has never been explained to the people other than we can keep our company policies if we want to. But what we don't know is how much is the new policy going to cost? Can insurance raise rates as high as they want? And what about this Afghanistan war? What about the Patriot Act? What about the White House going after "Leakers?" (Wasn't Obama going to open government to the people?) What about continuing "Rendition?" What about Obama's call for more offshore drilling until the Gulf debacle? What about keeping so many of the Bush advisers, especially in the military who advocate "The Long War"?

To have the White House Press Secretary dump on the Left, rather than answer their questions, does make it hard to keep the enthusiasm. What makes it so hard to take, is the vast majority of people were behind Obama. He could have accomplished whatever he wanted and we would have pushed the opposition into doing it. But instead Obama capitulated and continued much of the Bush administration's policies. Many of the people who made the phone calls, went door to door are those on the left. Now let's see how far he gets without them.

Posted by: thestoryplease | September 24, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Hope she also asked him if he's ever heard of the DFHs as well.

Posted by: daphne5 | September 24, 2010 3:56 AM | Report abuse

"We're the girl you'll take under the bleachers but you won't be seen with in the light of day," the blogger, Susan Madrak of Crooks and Liars, pointedly told Axelrod on the call, which was organzied for liberal bloggers and progressive media.

Why? Look at the Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. "Progressive," "liberal," and leftist policies are UGLY - no matter where, when, or how implemented. We need much less "social justice" and much more real justice.

Posted by: MKS1 | September 24, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

This liberal in-fighting is mildly interesting; but strictly speaking...is not Obama's political problem. Let's face it, the libs are gonna vote for Obama again; conservatives would vote for a ham sandwich before they would pull an Obama lever. Obama has LOST THE INDEPENDENTS!! In 2008, he won them by 18 points; every poll taken now shows him roughly 13 points behind ANY Republican in a possible matchup. That's a huge 30 plus point swing.
Libs are the LEAST of his worries.

Posted by: mitchinam | September 24, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Wall Street Bankers feel vilified just like the Left does. Only difference is the Bankers crashed the economy and got tons of government cash to help out, while the Left slaved salary-free to get Democrats elected and then got told to shut up and clap harder, because the serious people are busy saving Bankers.

With the way Republicans are behaving, you'd have to be a terrible political operation to alienate the Democratic base. And there you have it.

Posted by: Bullsmith1 | September 24, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

People voted for some kind of accountability and got absolutely nothing from the Democrats. Ned Lamont gets attacked, Joe Leiberman campaigns for McCain and gets nothing but praise, support and goodies from the Administration. Torture enablers teach in law school and sit on the Federal Bench, what does Obama do? Go after whistle blowers who let the truth out.

The left's disillusion is for very good cause. Nobody forced Obama to govern as a Republican, cutting deals with private industry but not with those who elected him. The fact that the Republicans have done nothing but obstruct and lie makes it all the more transparent and disappointing to find the Democrats quietly doing the Republican's work for them anyway.

Name a single Bush crime or political excess that has really been corrected. Even stopping torture doesn't count, Bush did it and Obama simply paid a little rhetorical flourish to it. Torture's over the same way the Iraq war is.

Posted by: Bullsmith1 | September 24, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Missing from every single one of these comments is any trace of concern that Congress, on both sides of the aisle, has ignored the Constitutional constraints of government power. "Progressives" have as much cause to be vigilant in upholding the Constitution as do Conservatives. (If you think the American public is still divided into "Republicans" and "Democrats" you have been spending too much time in Farmville.) Have any of you obviously young posters READ it? Apparently not. Otherwise, your criticisms of the President who betrayed you and all of us would include some mention of an appreciation for what built this nation into a place where you are free to sit at your computers all day, bashing away at him as you please. Try that in Venezuela or Cuba (when the power is not out, which it usually is.)

Posted by: VaMom4 | September 24, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

This turn of events should hardly be surprising. Left-leaning candidates court their base during campaigns, then upon actually taking office they quickly realize just how unrealistic the demands of the left wing base are. For instance, why hasn't Obama closed down Guantanamo like he said he would? Could it be because it's still full of murderous fanatics, and no other place is willing to take them off his hands? You can probably even find a left-wing blogger somewhere out there railing against the Obama administration for failing to setup collective farms and reeducation camps too.

I submit that these left-wing bloggers have spent too much time in the echo chamber and their view of what are and what aren't reasonable goals is, well, way out of left field.

Posted by: MissAnthropy | September 24, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Jesus....I see way to many oversized egos here in the comments. The trolls in particular. Clue to you all trolls (you know who you are just as the rest of us do), we're trying help run a country. Yes, there are those on our side who don't want our help and think progressives sticking their noses into the whole governing business is out of line. You know what? That's exactly how bush43 felt about many repubs (he didn't think about democrats at all, during the first 6 years of his term, they didn't matter).

So you end up with progressives complaining that establishment types take them for granted or worse, publically castigate them hoping to get good national press out of it.....Ain't gonna happen. The press is in the tank for Republican leadership and prefers catfights to actual policy discussions. That's the point of yesterday's conference.

And you trolls? You just want to whip up more catfights. Last thing you want is a solid policy discussion 'cause if you had to state you positions you'd look like crap.

Posted by: kindness1 | September 24, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see the progressives finally realize their ideas are the direct byproducts of the hippie movement. Maybe now they will realize why its a bad idea for them to be involved in policy making.

Posted by: TomR4 | September 24, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

It appears that many "progressives" don't get Axelrod's point... he agreed that criticism of the left from the Administration makes the progressive bloggers' job harder, and was pointing out that their virulent criticism of the White House does the same thing.

Maybe progressives just lack the maturity and self-discipline to recognize that politics is the art of the possible, and that discipline and restraint within a large political coalition enlarges the possibilities for their shared agenda.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | September 24, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Some genius asks "For instance, why hasn't Obama closed down Guantanamo like he said he would?"

Assuming the sincerity of the question (which is to say, assuming it is asked out of ignorance, rather than dishonesty), it might help to point out that Guantanamo WOULD be closed, if the Party of No hadn't stood in the way... IF Guantanamo is "filled with murderers" as the questioner suggests (we don't know if it is, since efficient adjudication of these cases has been prevented...again, largely by the Party of No) that is all the more reason to charge, try and convict them of such crimes, toss them in prison permanently, and be done with it. We do this all the time in United States District Courts, with murderers, rapists, child molesters and others who are every bit as bad as any of the prisoners at Guantanamo.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | September 24, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod's all about the win i.e. harold Washington in chicago and himself and not about helping folks. It was a horrible while Harold was mayor and Obama as well. He and Guitner are Obama worse nightmares.
David & company don't stand for things they wimper and blame. I dislike rep. policies but the deems fold fatser than Superman on laundry day. Go after your own BLUE dogs and get a spine!

Posted by: crrobin | September 24, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps a public option, or even single payer, would have had a shot, if President Obama had used his bully pulpit to push for it. But since he didn't even allow single payer to be discussed, many democrats now have no use for their own party.

Good Luck in November Mr. Obama.... NOT.

Posted by: steele505 | September 24, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I too have been disappointed with President Obama and his treatment of those on the left, but the criticism of him coming from the progressive blogs has been constant and often unfair since he first took office. No one seems willing to give him time - always demanding he do everything NOW. It just doesn't work that way. No President has ever come into office facing such huge challenges, or had to contend with the overwhelming hate and vitriol aimed at him by the media every day all day. He is up against huge obstacles and I believe he's a realist who knew his Senate, and knew if he went for the Public Option in HCR he would lose altogether, and his fear of losing overcame him so that he was willing to make whatever deals he could to get it through... don't forget he knows things on the inside we have no clue about and it's a start and certainly better than anything the country has ever had to date. He still has over 2 more years to go and I don't remember any President ever fulfilling every campaign promise - reality sets in, things change, and it just can't always be done - not certainly in this horrendous political climate. Everyone on the right is out to get him and the left yelling at him every day certainly isn't helping. Give him a break, and please vote for the Democrats - you just cannot allow the Republicans to be rewarded for their shameful cruelty and obstruction of everything the President wants.

Posted by: judith1340 | September 24, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I too have been disappointed with President Obama and his treatment of those on the left, but the criticism of him coming from the progressive blogs has been constant and often unfair since he first took office. No one seems willing to give him time - always demanding he do everything NOW. It just doesn't work that way. No President has ever come into office facing such huge challenges, or had to contend with the overwhelming hate and vitriol aimed at him by the media every day all day. He is up against huge obstacles and I believe he's a realist who knew his Senate, and knew if he went for the Public Option in HCR he would lose altogether, and his fear of losing overcame him so that he was willing to make whatever deals he could to get it through... don't forget he knows things on the inside we have no clue about and it's a start and certainly better than anything the country has ever had to date. He still has over 2 more years to go and I don't remember any President ever fulfilling every campaign promise - reality sets in, things change, and it just can't always be done - not certainly in this horrendous political climate. Everyone on the right is out to get him and the left yelling at him every day certainly isn't helping. Give him a break, and please vote for the Democrats - you just cannot allow the Republicans to be rewarded for their shameful cruelty and obstruction of everything the President wants.

Posted by: judith1340 | September 24, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"At some point you have to say, "Oh well, that's reality," and move on to the next thing without taking that failure personally."

But it seems like they aren't doing anything to change reality. They have totally rolled over on the idea they will lose seats when they should have been pushing the idea all along that we need to gain seats in order to put an end to this Rethuglican obstructionist nonsense and support progressive anti-mainstream Dems for office but instead we are told we need to be drug tested which is almost enough to turn me into a Teabagger,

"thinking we have no where else to go"

That's why I will NEVER apologize for voting Green in 2000. No effing way in the depth of Hades would I EVER vote Joe Lieberman for VP. No way were they going to force that one down my throat and I voted for Mondale and Dukakis!

"They stay home and they enable Sharon Angle and Christine O'Donnell insanity"

Maybe we need a dose of that kind of insanity to jolt us back to a rational reality. Like what happened to Germany.

Posted by: lmwilker | September 24, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

What matters is relative importance. For members of the Democratic party representative class such as Axelrod there are things that are much more important than winning elections, such as for example keeping American politics sufficiently right wing. For these people conceding victory to the GOP is less painful than doing anything that liberals want. RIABN stands for Republican in all but name and describes the Democratic Party, or you could say Republican Lite.

Posted by: TheEvilOne | September 24, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

For members of the Democratic party elite such as Axelrod, those unwashed people who vote for them are a nuisance that they would sincerely like to ditch if they could.

If they did not have to pretend to represent the interests of people who are not members of the kleptoplutocratic oligachy they could move the party further to the right and attempt to peel of some of the less insane Republican supporters who don't actually want to stone women for adultery.

Posted by: TheEvilOne | September 24, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Democracy in the US does not function. The reason is that between the people and the government stand the political representative class and the punditocracy and these limit both the options for voters and the acceptable range of political dialog.

Yes, the Republican elite are batshit insane and the Democratic party elite not obviously so but the Democrats are only slightly less right wing in their politics and would like to follow the republicans by shift even further to the right. The only thing preventing further rightward movement is the inconvenient need to pretend to take the interests of those left wing hippy types who vote for them seriously. If only this inconvenient voting base would go away, then the party could chase the Republican party towards the Nirvana of rightwingedness that is the goal of all supporters of Neo Liberal orthodoxy. Nirvana.

Posted by: TheEvilOne | September 24, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I too have been disappointed with President Obama and his treatment of those on the left, but the criticism of him coming from the progressive blogs has been constant and often unfair since he first took office. No one seems willing to give him time - always demanding he do everything NOW. It just doesn't work that way. No President has ever come into office facing such huge challenges, or had to contend with the overwhelming hate and vitriol aimed at him by the media every day all day. He is up against huge obstacles and I believe he's a realist who knew his Senate, and knew if he went for the Public Option in HCR he would lose altogether, and his fear of losing overcame him so that he was willing to make whatever deals he could to get it through... don't forget he knows things on the inside we have no clue about and it's a start and certainly better than anything the country has ever had to date. He still has over 2 more years to go and I don't remember any President ever fulfilling every campaign promise - reality sets in, things change, and it just can't always be done - not certainly in this horrendous political climate. Everyone on the right is out to get him and the left yelling at him every day certainly isn't helping. Give him a break, and please vote for the Democrats - you just cannot allow the Republicans to be rewarded for their shameful cruelty and obstruction of everything the President wants.

Posted by: judith1340 | September 24, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

If they think that pointing out that "the Republicans would be even worse" is enough to bring over people who are so disenchanted with the direction that the nation has been going ever since Dubya and Deadeye came to power, they are sadly mistaken.

Nobody is going to chose Beelzebub over Asmodeus.

Posted by: constantnormal | September 25, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

A very interesting simile, that bit about the "professional left" being like the girl that the White House wants to take under the bleachers, but is afraid to be seen with in daylight.

And the reason is simple. The "professional left" is comprised of marxist labor union bosses and educators, alternative lifestyle enthusiasts, professional takers, liberation theologists, and socialist journalists like the Post's own Harold Meyerson, vice chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.

And ANY politician can recognize political poison like this when they see it.

But the problem is, EVERYONE out there now knows that these two groups are an item!

So why not just fess up, progressives? If your ideas are so good, why not just state them forthrightly, without all the smoke and mirrors?

Posted by: tacheronb | September 26, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

man, i get a thrill. with the hippie hippie punch. i cant stand still, with the hippie hippie punch. its in the bag........the hippie hippie punch! nitey nite, sweet barry.

Posted by: fred1962 | September 27, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

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