Sunday, January 10

Forgive them, Spaghetti Monster?

[Edited because some readers misinterpreted my meaning. - BG]

I am a little tired of those progressives (PUMAs and Kos commenters who never had a blog of their own in particular) who say Obama has betrayed progressivism, but so many of them didn't vote for him actually and many who say they are 'signing up' to oppose him or fight the White House or whatever have never been "in support" of the President on anything anyhow.

John Cole says it better than I could:

I want my reality-based community back. Where did you all go? Or, to paraphrase commenter Cleek ... “Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.” Please come back. I liked working WITH you.

Except that even Cole has to admit that a great many of the comrades who have dissolved into screaming meanies (or more likely, simply disappeared with their abandoned blogs altogether) were not exactly deep intellectual contributors. I've warned about this many times. The Blog world party is a very different place when the "fuck you Bush" bong pipe is no longer lit. Some people weren't at the party for anything else, and have nothing to contribute now.

People who are still mad because their "turn" to run the country got "taken away from them" are eerily similar to those screaming about, well, "wanting their country back."

Who, ever, in the history of the universe, thought politics was fair? LOTS of people.

If we ever take a really good hard look in the mirror, we'll see that we progressives are horribly moralizing and unforgiving "condemn them all to hell" bunch, especially among our own. And we're up against the GOP Christianists who have no problem whatsoever saying "we're not perfect, just forgiven" and as far as our sins go, Jesus paid for that.

Sexual escapades by men are based in patriarchy. Unforgivable in progressive circles, but in conservative circles where God is Male and often White? Not so much. So John Edwards's political career is over whereas Vitter and Ensign are still in the Senate. Vitter is likely to be re-elected. Not perfect but forgiven? Progressives don't do that. Being a Republican/Christian and cheating on your wife is being a bad person and because we're not perfect, is forgiven. Being a Democrat and cheating on your wife is being a bad feminist/humanist/progressive and is not forgivable.

The great secret of progressive politics is, we cut off our limbs in the name of political purity far more often than our opponents.

I don't forgive Democrats who voted against real healthcare reform. But many of them are ready to vote with me on other issues and I'm going to have to support their efforts then. You work with the Democrats you've got, push hard from the Left, and realize that change is a pisser and takes time. The status quo, a dull and easily manipulated electorate, and the beltway insidership of both parties and the corporate media, are the main foe.

Believe me when I tell you, I have tried to live on an island where I am morally right all the time. I never tried The Island of Political Correctness. It may be kind of crowded there, but with all the bridges burned, it's terribly isolated and ineffective.

Incidentally, good luck with your reputation recovery, Elliot Spitzer, you former Hillary delegate leader, you.


  1. BG -


    OK, but more to the point, I don't care (and never did) that John Edwards was/is a cheat.

    I was never an Obama fan boy, and I still am not. Next to Hillary, I thought he was the worst candidate of the lot. I still do. He never stated clearly where he was on many issues, and the ones he did state, well, to put it kindly, he has not taken any action or he has back-tracked. It's not about purity.

    I'm not big on idealogical purity -- I don't think that my candidate ever has to be right on all the issues. I hope that s/he is, but I know that is a pretty narrow list.

    What I do expect of my leaders is to lead. Obama doesn't lead, he's shown no inclination to lead, and he's made no effort to lead. As much as I disliked Bush (who was pretty much wrong on all the issues), I have to admit he took a leadership position on everything. Obama could learn something here.

    I hope that someone from the left challenges Obama in the primary for 2012, someone who actually has a record that we can look at to see where this person stands on the issues.

    Honestly, I don't think at this point I could say that I will support a second Obama term. He needs to earn my vote. (And do not interpret this as that I would vote for the GOP.)



  2. We do what we can. Thanks, Fran.

  3. Take how tired you are of "progressives who say Obama has betrayed progressivism" and multiply it by a thousand and you're still nowhere close to how tired I am of lying ass douchebags who treat their constituents like shit because they know there's nowhere else to go. At least Clinton had enough repect to be obsequious; Obama isn't even pretending. So far, the only campaign promise he hasn't backtracked on is the Afghan troop increase. I'll show you on the doll where Rahm touched me. Right here on my asshole. And what the fuck do abandoned blogs have to do with anything? Jane Hamsher hasn't abandoned her blog. Is she still one of those progressives you're tired of? There are progressives and there are "progressives." The former adhere to principles, and the latter adhere to party loyalty.

  4. Tengrain and Big Daddy you're pushing the President from the Left. That's what we're supposed to do. Obama has to deserve our support, but he is not the only issue. And he's a politician. We could do a lot more to advocate for medicare buy-in as an idea to appeal to the easily susceptible electorate who knows Medicare and TRUSTS that program, for instance. In some respects I'm actually arguing for going around the President, no matter who he is, rather than through him.

    We can't trust politicians to change this country. Period.

    [Also Tengrain you know my history. I was a big Kucinich supporter. If that's not ideologically pure enough for someone, well...]

  5. Sorry BG, if I misread your post.

    Kucinich supporter here, too, and registered Green. The sorriest day of the primaries was when DK dropped out before I had a chance to vote for him in the California Primary. But that always happens out here: the race is already decided before the most populous state has a chance to vote.



  6. What Tengrain said. It looked like you were saying we should just STFU and be loyal when (I think) what you were saying is we were suckas for believing in him in the first place. I never really believed in him, but I didn't think he would be this bad. My prediction is he'll trot out some token progressivism just in time for the 2012 election, at least until Kucinich/Fenigold/Nader (take your pick) drops out.

  7. Obama was never progressive so I don't feel all that betrayed by him. I knew I'd disagree with him on some issues and that is how it's playing out. I still believe he's a good man, ethical and honest, and trying to make good decisions within the ridiculous constraints of an effed-up system. I would have loved to have seen Kucinich in office but that's not going to happen in this country in the foreseeable future. So hell yeah I'll vote for Obama for a second term. The danger of splitting the party & letting in the GOP far outweighs being disappointed on some issues.

    There is a difference, to me anyway, between a good person who made a bad decision and a person who has a long history of lying, sneaking, cheating and abusing power. Clinton is an example of the former, Ensign is an example of the latter. People like Ensign need to kept out of power. Character flaws are not forgivable.

  8. I'm absolutely NOT saying STFU and be loyal to the Dems. I am saying be realistic about how hard change is. I also think certain people no one on this thread lol, need to be a little more forgiving in general of human nature and not burn so many bridges for this one cause. Especially if they are, under the skin, unrepentant PUMAs. They can't slap new paint on their 20- month old bandwagon and expect me to jump on just because I'm disappointed about health care. I think the PUMAs are horrible feminists for not supporting Hillary Clinton's choices for her life, her career, and her politics.

    Yes indeed, BadKitty, I made it clear during the primaries that I had no illusions that Obama was actually conservative. He's also trailblazing in ways I personally cannot understand because I'm white. I don't really have a clue what is changing in America when black men see him running the country, dating his wife, and talking to his eldest daughter about stalagmites versus stalagtites. All while dealing with probably at least one credible death threat a day, if not more. So yeah, he's conservative, and I'm liberal enough that I don't feel threatened by his skin color, but much of America is against him for just that, and I have to fight beside him against that racism no matter how conservative he is.

  9. '...when the "fuck you Bush" bong pipe is no longer lit.'

    Jeez, who let that go out? It's enough to harsh one's post-hope buzz, I tell ya.

    Speaking from an international perspective, as conservative as Obama is (and factually, when push comes to shove what American president isn't conservative?) his election slowed the slide into the Abyss that 8 years of Corporate Cocaine Cowboy diplomacy had lit the afterburner on.
    By all means, stay on Obama and hold him accountable while protecting him from Scaife-like predations and the stealth Quislings of his own party.

    The alternatives are somewhat bleak to contemplate, IMO.


  10. i'm watching and working towards what i want.
    i just can't believe the number of people that expected obama to wave a magic wand and turn everything around as soon as his hand was off of the bible.
    our country is really messed up- reagan and 2 terms of bush cheney saw to that.
    i think kucinich is wonderful but i don't think he would have had any easier a time. i never though obama was a liberal or progressive but i thought he had the best chance.
    i'm ashamed of the democrats in washington that have shown themselves for what they truly are-
    just republicans by a differnt name.

    obama doesn't owe me anything except to try to do the best job that he can.
    yes, i am pissed about some important things, but i don't expect miracles. if he can change our image abroad and restore a little respect and give us some credablity again this first year- i'll watch and wait a bit more.

  11. are wise and thoughtful.

    None of us plebes can really know or understand the kind of pressures that are exerted outside of our circumscribed field of vision.

    Somehow or other those forces have hoodwinked a great many citizens and have managed to blur the meaning of democracy.

    We are experiencing their work here in Canada and have nothing but sympathy for your America.

  12. taylorbad9:52 AM

    Presidents both define and are defined by history. Events and conditions occur and exist around every presidency and how the president moves in those situations determine how they are viewed. My problem with Obama is that he has more than enough material to work with to define his presidency. I don't see it happening. Yes, he has his hands full with some world class problems, but he doesn't seem to be taking over defining the reality we are facing with any kind of vision or leadership.

    It's maddening. I would love it if he were more like either of the Roosevelts. In those cases, the presidents took the helm and essentially said, "this is where I am sailing the ship of state--stop me if you can." That made for better politics because it made the debates clearer and sentiments more focused. Our institutions were tested and strengthened. Obama seems to be still looking for the helm.

  13. I never tried The Island of Political Correctness.

    If you run out of right-wing insults to sling around, I believe "tax-and-spend liberal" is still available.

  14. Absolutely, Taylor Bad, though I would warn against a consolidation of power at the Executive Level. We've already got that with the Patriot Act.

    Pez, you need to read my post again. I'm talking about Kos commenters who never had their own blog, and PUMAs who never supported the President to begin with. I was also talking about MYSELF in that statement, that I did spend a lot of time isolating myself with religion and morality when I was younger. WE need to be more forgiving on the Left, especially of our own, was the point of this exercise. It's turned into a Facebook platform for bill-killers and a poo-slinging match here? I don't think so.

    Obviously I need to be a better writer, since so many people apparently skimmed this, looked at the images, and thought I was being insulting to them specifically. I don't write that kind of blog.

  15. While Obama has been good of some issues like cleantech and net neutrality, he's been terrible on the financial crisis and has given investment banks everything they want. Now he's stonewalling on Geithner.

    There's a populist storm coming. DC seems oblivious to it as do most liberals and progressives. I say, up on in now and try to influence it - because right not, the Right owns it.

  16. I'm with you Polizeros. The electorate can be driven to Medicare for all (even if it's with a buy-in) or we can leave them to the teabaggers. Right now FOX has the upper hand.

  17. "I am a little tired of those progressives (PUMAs and Kos commenters who never had a blog of their own in particular) who say Obama has betrayed progressivism, but so many of them didn't vote for him..."


    -Only supports healthcare "reform" that appeases only the very people that caused this mess in which reform is needed (health insurance industry) with a complete absence of universal, single-payer, or public option.

    -Deploying more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan instead of withdrawing as promised.

    -AGAINST re-instating Glass-Steagal (unacceptable) and no other form of financial regulation (even economists in the WSJ are finally admitting we need to do this)

    -Gun control laws, environmental standards, and laws preventing same-sex discrimination are all lax to non-existent.

    Although he's true and loyal to certain ideologies, progressivism in NOT one of them. This is why Nader never spoils anything, aside from a few minor differences, democratic and republican presidents nowadays will always yield the same results; policies induced and influenced by conservative/right-wing ideologies.

  18. Anonymous9:01 PM


    I suspect that the most shrill critics of our conservative Democratic President are people who voted for Nader in 2000, and then complained about a few thousand votes getting lost when tens of thousands voted for Nader....
    Like Tengrain, I was never an Obama or Hillary fan. They're both basically moderate Republicans. But, of course, there aren't any moderate Republicans anymore...and most elected Dems are more like Obama than Kucinich or Grayson. But, it's a hell of a lot better than it was! And, that boy Grayson is starting to pull things in the right direction...


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