The Professional Left is Killing Us; Example #1

Okay, if you want an illustration as to why the left can’t win an election, this is one major example. This post, from Daily Kos, received more than 1300 comments, so I assume that it was read/seen by a lot of people, although not enough to swing an election. But the complete and utter horseshit contained therein points to an understanding of politics that is so vapid, it’s killing us. And by killing US, I mean the progressive movement.

Now, I’m not picking on “MinistryofTruth” in particular; he/she/it is far too typical. But our side has to win elections, and we can’t do it if the loudest segment of our political side keeps on whining and pissing and moaning, and refusing to understand how to win elections.

The post can be found here. I pulled this, in its entirety, from the site this morning (August 29), and I’m not sure when the update was added. Follow along. As always, my comments are in RED.

Dear Hippy-Punching fanboys, this is BULLSH!T, if you want me to work to re-elect Dems, knock it off

by MinistryOfTruth

I hate to, but let’s start with the title. Really? You think us pragmatic progressives think of you as hippies? Really?

Let me disabuse you of something. We KNOW that most of you people are white, self-absorbed narcissists who probably have no real contact with minorities or the poor. In fact, most of you probably wash your hands every time you shake the hands of the “great unwashed.” You wear polo shirts, shop at the local organic market because you think it makes you healthier to overpay for food. Most of you have college degrees, but don’t seem to understand that no amount of classroom time studying Locke and Hobbes gives you more knowledge about BEING a minority, poor and/or a woman than those actually in that position.

As for the “fanboy” crack, that condescending tone is why our side can’t win elections. If you want to know why neocons have largely run the government for the last 32 years, it’s because of that sort of condescension. 

And that is why most voters hate the left as much as the right. If you want to know why Obama runs from you assholes, it’s because he has to. No one likes you very much, really.

UPDATE:     I want Obama to win. I need Obama to win, but if centrist Democrats keep telling the left to STFU and just vote without addressing their main issues it makes it harder to make them feel "voter entusiasm." That is my main beef. I hate what sold out Republicans have done to America. I want it to stop. My biggest problem is a Democratic party that tells Progressive critics to piss off while the agree with 98% of what Republicans want. I will vote for Obama, make no mistake. Last year I helped raise $30,000 for Democratic candidates. I worked my ass off, and I'm tired of being told to STFU. It's as simple as that. Obama is not my boyfriend, and when I can't criticize an American President because it makes his supporters scared my question is why are Obama's supporters fucking with me and Progressive critics like me instead not Republicans?

Given that the update contains the same bullshit as in the rest of the post, so I’m not sure what the author is updating, exactly.

I know this person likes to be called “MinistryofTruth,” but come on; there isn’t much “truth” in the above. Let me list them:

  • The people complaining about this shit are NOT “centrist Democrats.” I, for example, will put my progressive credentials up against anyone’s. I have been fighting for progressive causes all of my life, and I have found that people like this put up more roadblocks than those on the right side of the aisle.
  • He complains about not being able to criticize Obama on “main issues,” but I never see them complain about “main issues.” The FACT of the matter is, on the main issues most people care about, Obama and the Democrats were stellar, until the far left poisoned the well and helped give Congress back to the right wing.
  • There are few “sold out Republicans” in the Democratic Party, let alone in the progressive movement. We’re pissed off because we keep losing elections. For fuck’s sake, folks; this article was written nearly 10 months after we GAVE AWAY one of the most crucial elections in our history. The only part of the government that can actually make laws was given over to the rightest-wing Republican Party in our history, and all you can see fit to do is whine and cry about Obama?
  • NO ONE is saying you can’t criticize Obama. But politically speaking, you can’t ONLY criticize him. And if you refer to him as a “disappointment,” be prepared for a couple of things to happen, which I will discuss later on.

And let's make something clear here; this person does NOT want Obama to win. 

This in response to snark and to all those who bemoan the "professional left."

I'm fucking sick and tired of being told that if I criticize this President I am a bad person who is undermining him. It pissed me off when Republicans said it when Bush was President and it pissed me off when Democrats say it. I am sick and fucking tired of being told that any criticism of Obama makes someone an equivalent of a Republican. You know how stupid this is? Are you going to go Rahm and me and then expect me to do all the volunteer work necessary to actually re-elect Obama? I want Obama to win, but you make it suck when you hippy punch me and tell me if I don't clap louder tinkerbell will die.

Why is saying Obama=Bush bad but saying Progressives=Karl Rove is acceptable? Especially when you need those die hard progressives to work their asses off, or a "voter enthuisasm gap" will screw us all and end with the Republican you fear the most


You wanna know why we have so few progressives in office? It’s because the majority of voters see progressives/liberals as whiners. Look at the above, and you can see why.

See, the right wing and the left wing have one thing in common. Okay, they have more than one thing in common, but this is the one relevant to this article;

They think free speech only applies to them.

See, he wants the freedom to say whatever he wants about Obama, Democrats and actual progressives like me. But look at what he’s asking for. He wants no criticism of himself. What he’s actually asking for is the right to say whatever he wants, without criticism. He wants the rest of us to STFU about telling him to STFU.

One thing I’ve noticed about narcissistic extremists; they think freedom of speech means the freedom to say what they want without criticism. They view opposing opinions as a violation of their freedom to spout whatever crap they want.

As for his other assertions, let me assure him, the rest of us don’t give a flying fuck if he/she/it volunteers for Obama or not. In fact, let me say it first; given this person’s stupidity about actual politics, we’d prefer them to stay home.

When you say “Obama=Bush,” we object because it's simply a stupid statement. IT IS A LIE. There are ZERO similarities between Obama and Bush, and I mean NONE. Why are these people incapable of considering the possibility that many people may object to such a statement because it’s a LIE? Bush left a huge mess, and Obama’s cleaning it up. His leadership style is far more inclusive than Bush ever dreamed of. Obama admits mistakes, while Bush was preternaturally incapable of doing so. And HERE is a list of Obama’s accomplishments as president, with citations. Feel free to come up with a similar list for Bush; I’ll look forward to seeing it. Until then, when you say “Obama=Bush,” you are either flat out LYING or you’re flat stupid. And we don’t really care which it is, because either is unacceptable. 

And no one says “progressives=Karl Rove.” In fact, people like this are not actually progressive. See, the root word of “progressive” is “progress.” And the only way to make “progress” in our system is by winning elections. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we don’t win elections. We stopped winning elections, except in small pockets, in the early 1970s, primarily because of big mouths like this, who hold their opinion as so much more sacred than everyone else’s that no one can stand liberals. (More on this later on.)

And the FACT is, with phony faux liberals screaming negative crap like “Obama’s the same as Bush” to everyone who will listen — crap that makes them sound more like right wingers than progressives —  it makes the majority of voters not like us. And while I know some faux progressives think voters should vote for us because they agree with “us” on 98% of issues, the fact is, no one wants to vote for an asshole.

Wanna know why Kucinich can never be president? Well, now you do.

And if you are going to tell progressives and people with justifiable complaints about this President to fuck off, don't blame me when we all get screwed.

My problem with centrists is simple, they agree with Republicans more than I do.

But if you want a spineless, gutless party of corporate whores who will sell you out to the highest bidder but are less racist, sexist and homophobically Jesusy and stuff than the scary Republicans of 2011, a party where no one ever complains and we all think happy historic thoughts, then fine, they have a great one they used to call the moderate wing of the Republican party of 1992, but that ain't me hoss.

What does this asshole think? That by insulting people and lying about them, he’s somehow going to get them to STOP criticizing him?

Again, we’re not centrists. Read this blog for a clue. If you can call this a centrist blog, then you’re an extremist, not a progressive.

I would also point out that most of the "complaints" (whines) about Obama coming from this quarter are in no way "justifiable," unless you think you're justified in peddling lies as "facts."

And politics is the art of compromise. It’s not “spineless” or “gutless” to work with the center to get as much of our agenda passed as possible. Always demanding what you want, without even considering what you can get under the circumstances is about the politically stupidest stance anyone can take.

I am an FDR Democrat.

No, the author is not not. He/she/it doesn't know what that means. FDR did not enter office as a flaming liberal. He was a pragmatist. He did a lot of things because he had to; the Depression was nearly four years old, and he had to take desperate measures.

Of course, FDR also had a MUCH larger Democratic majority in Congress than Obama had, and a portion of the Republican Party at the time was actually quite liberal. Here's the truism that a number of these faux progressives don't understand at all; a president can't do anything without Congress. The solution to the impasse in 2009-2010, which led to the blockage of 375 bills was 2-3 fewer Republicans in the Senate. Politically speaking, that should have been our rallying cry. Instead, the "spineless" label stuck, and we now have a right wing Congress that prevents any significant progress at all. 

But FDR wasn't a liberal miracle worker, anyway. The Depression went on for another eight years, until we entered World War II and spending went through the roof. In truth, Obama has been bolder than FDR in many ways. Sure, FDR ushered through the Social Security Act, and several public works programs, but until we entered World War II, he never brought unemployment down to below 12%, let alone 9%.

Also, when FDR was handed a universal health insurance proposal, he rejected it out of hand. And what about civil rights? If he was such a flaming liberal, why didn’t he take steps to end Jim Crow? Why was Brown v. Board of Education still years away? Hell; why did it take TRUMAN to begin desegregating the Armed Forces? Why was abortion illegal during FDR’s entire term? 

In other words, if this guy is an FDR Democrat… naw, it's too easy… 

If you are trying to convince me that there is no place for me in the "Big Tent", that questioning the dear leader is forbidden and that I should keep my head down or things will get worse then you aren't selling me "hope", you're selling me cynicism.

So when Matt Taibbi writes of Obama's cover up of Wall Street's crimes . . . a LEGITIMATE COMPLAINT ( and complaint is saying it very, very lightly for your oh so sensitive ears )

Why? My theory is that the Obama administration is trying to secure its 2012 campaign war chest with this settlement deal. If Barry can make this foreclosure thing go away for the banks, you can bet he’ll win the contributions battle against the Republicans next summer.

Which is good for him, I guess. But it seems to me that it might be time to wonder if is this the most disappointing president we’ve ever had.

Bold text added by the diarist

Again, why do they have to LIE to make a point? And if you’re lying, and someone calls you on your lie, how is that violating your right to “criticize” in any way.

Matt Taibbi’s article is an opinion piece. It is Taibbi’s opinion. That’s all. If you read the facts, they can be taken one of several ways. It is a fact that it would cost billions, if not trillions, of dollars to prosecute everyone involved for mortgage fraud, so a settlement is a desired approach.

To illustrate why an opinion piece should NEVER be paraded as fact, here’s an example directly from Taibbi’s piece:

To give you an indication of how absurdly small a number even $20 billion is relative to the sums of money the banks made unloading worthless crap subprime assets on foreigners, pension funds and other unsuspecting suckers around the world, consider this: in 2008 alone, the state pension fund of Florida, all by itself, lost more than three times that amount ($62 billion) thanks in significant part to investments in these deadly MBS. (Emphasis in original)

This is one of those lines that sounds really good at first, except for the fact that we’re talking about a BUBBLE. By definition, the bubble was pumped up by money that didn’t actually exist. We all saw our 401(k)s grow at a feverish pace for a few years, but it was all FAKE MONEY. Therefore, the $62 billion “lost” by the Florida state pension fund was mostly money that didn’t exist, because the pension fund invested in mortgage-backed securities, that were over-inflated because home prices were over-inflated. The entire economy lost $12 trillion in value; is he suggesting we replace all of that money? Not only that, but it's a settlement; if, as Taibbi suggested, the banks balked at that amount, how much does he think the government would get? They would have to sue, which would cost billions of dollars, take many years to litigate and many more years of appeals. This is $20 billion NOW, to get people into better mortgages NOW. 

See what I did there? I agreed with the facts in the Taibbi article. His conclusions, however, are pure conjecture, and open to interpretation. I also happen to think he's wrong. But that's just my opinion, as the article is his opinion.

If you want to make progress politically (which means winning elections), you have to understand several things. You have to acknowledge that opinions vary, but facts do not. You have to stick to the facts as much as possible. You have to understand that no one is "stupid" simply because they have an opinion different than yours. But most of all, you have to understand that to make progress, you have to attract the most voters to your side, and making extreme declarations about a candidate or politician doesn’t endear you to very many people.

This author’s attitude is the attitude that prevents progressives from winning elections. 

When you bemoan the "Professional Left" you are making the case for MORE CONSERVATIVE POLICIES. Your centrism is pushing the Overton Window to the right, which makes me wonder, if Republicans are so scary to you why do you agree with them that the "Professional Left" is the problem? You couldn't help them frame it better if you held the nail while they swung the hammer.

When I take issue with this President it is because he agrees with Republicans more than I do. On Bush/Cheney's torture program and the prosecution of it's chief architects to  the most recent hostage crisis where Boehner got 98%, there are legitimate arguments against this President's policies and the policy agreements that the Democratic Party has made. If your response to my legitimate policy differences is to tell me to STFU and eat what looks to me like shit sandwich because it is that or nothing, then you don't get to bitch about low polls and voter enthusiasm gaps and shellackings and the like.

Now, with the above, this person just certifies his/her/its stupidity.

The “professional left” is the small-but-loud group on the far left of the political spectrum who think their opinions are so precious that everyone should have them, and anyone who doesn’t must be “stupid.” In this author's case, he thinks anyone who isn't as strident as him is by definition, conservative. This reminds me of those right wingers who think Ron Paul is a liberal because he wants an end to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 

The reason the “professional left” IS the problem is because they are loud and obnoxious, and they portray themselves as representing liberalism and progressivism, which they do not.

The thing that pisses me off most about the “professional left” is its tendency to lie and exaggerate to the point of poisoning the debate. For example, I’m not a centrist. But worse than that, the use of “centrist” as a pejorative also poisons the debate, especially since the vast majority of American voters consider themselves “centrists.” In mean, if this dipshit thinks I’m a “centrist,” and that all of the other ACTUAL progressives and liberals who think he/she/it is an asshole are too far “right” for him, what does he think of actual “centrists”? And if he hates them so much, why would he expect them to vote his way and consider his stances on issues? And if he doesn’t care what they think, why doesn’t he/she/it just build a fucking cabin in Montana and write a manifesto, because actual politics is too much for him/her/it.

And let me assure you, the author has no legitimate policy positions. In this article, he says "Obama=Bush," which seems to imply that his policy positions are not very important to him. I mean, if he can't see a difference between them, he can't have much in the way of priciples. 

So honestly, fuck off with all the "Mean Progressives are going to make Obama lose." bullshit, because it isn't funny and it is not helping. In fact, this hippy punching bullshit is totally counterproductive if you want this hippy to work as hard as he has to in order to re-elect Democrats. In all honesty, if you want to help transform the Democratic party into the moderate Republican party of 1992 minus the racist, sexist, homophobic jesusy stuff than fine, go nuts, but you won't have hippies to blame when you lose to the Republicans who hate you as much as they hate me. FDR said "Make me do it", but I can't if you keep protecting this President from any real criticism, and you sure as hell aren't going to win elections against die hard wingnuts with a bunch of wishy washy undecideds and independents. You need the dirty fucking hippies, you can't survive without us, the Democratic party is a total joke without the Progressive movement, or liberals, or the "professional left" or whatever the hell you want to call us. So knock off this hippy punching blame the left bullshit, especially when you need the left to save your ass from the Republican wingnuts who hate us both.

Yours truly, and with love to all, even the people who like to punch hippies and call themselves Democrats. Being able to forgive is what makes being a hippy so groovy.


The key words in the above are “real criticism.”

I have no problem with “real criticism” of the president. But this guy, and most of the “professional left,” or “emo left” don’t offer any. Instead, they point to a Matt Taibbi (or Jane Hamsher or Glenn Greenwald) opinion piece as if it’s a factual news piece, most of which are based on a false premise, and they exaggerate its importance in the debate.

I told you I’d get to the “Obama’s a disappointment” thing, and it dovetails with this nonsense quite well.

If you find Obama to be a disappointment, all I can say is, I wish I had some fairy dust, so that I could send you back to Neverland.

Barack Obama is not a died-in-the-wool liberal; at least not at this time. If the electorate was more liberal, he would probably take the gloves off and propose some truly radical ideas. If self-described “progressives” did their job and started spreading our message to the masses, instead of trying to show all the other faux progressives how incredibly “smart” they were, we’d be much farther along, politically speaking, and Obama would be much freer to espouse progressive ideas.

But he's a politician; he has to deal with reality. 

If Obama is a disappointment, then your expectations are not based in the real world. Did you really think he would stop the recession from becoming a depression, end two wars without killing hundreds of thousands more people, and restore the courts, cure cancer and AIDS and fly around the world so fast it would return us to 2000, and then change history, so that Al Gore won the election, and not George W. Bush? If so, then you should be disappointed, dammit. But his real name IS Barack Hussein Obama, not Kal El, and his parents are from Earth, not Krypton.

The political consequences of the whole “Obama’s a disappointment” meme are actually quite dire, on many levels, though most who proclaim this meme are too politically stupid to know it.

For one, most voters are not “political junkies” or “news junkies” because they don’t have time to be. They only get a sense of who to vote for based on the overall meme. When they hear one side proclaiming “Obama’s a failure” and the other side proclaiming “Obama’s a disappointment,” they hear the same thing coming from both sides. Again. This does NOT cause them to vote for a right winger, necessarily, but it does make them question the point of voting AT ALL. The ONLY way the Republicans can win is through depressed turnout. That means YOU, when you criticize Obama for something stupid or untrue, or call him a “disappointment,” are actually helping prolong the suffering, by keeping the far right in office long after they should have been swept out.

High turnout, we win. Low turnout, they win.

How many elections do we have to lose before you faux progressives get this?

The other problem with “Obama is a disappointment” is that it gives any Republican candidate in any race (not just for president) ammunition in his main argument, that Obama hasn’t done anything to speak of. It, especially when combined with the "Democrats are spineless" meme, gives credence to the right wing's main talking point, which is, basically, "At least Republicans have principles." 

We have to fight back against this shit, folks. NO ONE should be allowed to lie to defend his position. 

The ONLY way to create a progressive future is to win elections. I know some of you have fantasies about holding a huge demonstration or rally, and forcing the people in charge to bopw to your demands and change every law you want changed, but come on; how long do we have to watch them dismantle everything we built from the Depression on before we figure out, they're not able to do so because they want to; they are able to do so because they keep getting elected. 

And the FAR LEFT is making it possible for this actual minority of people to keep winning elections. And this author exemplifies the political cluelessness that is keeping us from making this country better. 


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  1. Something that you should know. I live in California. It was a lot of black folk that helped put proposition 8 over the top. The President will have to wait until a reelection is secured before his public position on that issue can fully “evolve”.

  2. I don’t do pissing contests.
    You don’t have the slightest idea how the political system in this country works.
    You know President Perry gets into office? In part it’s by people NOT voting for the opponent of his with a chance to win, and that is Barack Obama.
    If you vote for no one, or vote for a third party, because your feelings are hurt, you’re a narcissist and most certainly NOT a progressive. Being a progressive isn’t about having the right stances on issues. It’s about doing whatever is necessary to move the country forward, You obviously put your own positions on issues so high up there that you’re willing to give the RW even more power, as if they haven’t screwed up the country enough.
    That makes you something other than a progressive. It makes you a political coward.

  3. This is a pissing contest which democrats should avoid. Unfortunately, however, our leadership has brought us to this point, and therein lies the blame. Not with you or with MinitryofTruth. I note the list of Obama accomplishments, yet the list of his unilateral failures is just as important, and began as early as less than ten days after taking the oath of office.
    Having said all that, I’m going to vote who I am, and I’m about as lefty an American as we get (FDR was an elite centrist who, faced with extraordinary circumstances, did as little as possible – what was politically demanded by the circumstances – in order to save capitalism). Progressives will turn out for Obama, all the data I’ve seen supports this, but I won’t be one of them and I’ve made my peace with the notion that if America wants to put Rick Perry in the oval office, then it deserves whatever it gets, and I’m NOT the kind of progressive this author thinks I am. I came suited up to play in 2008, but was told by the the man I gave and worked for to get lost.
    So I have. All of us have this decision to make, and I’ve made mine.

  4. That’s exactly right. If you want to see the issue of gay marriage tank really quickly, just try to “shove it down people’s throats.” People are changing their minds because most people are NOT screaming about it.

  5. It takes great tone-deafness not to realize that people prefer to be introduced to new things gently. And they are not wrong to prefer this; caution protects us from unforeseen disasters.

  6. By the way, genius, how does “pro-appeasement left” work, exactly? How is making sure the complaints about Obama are actually true and fair “appeasement”? Who are we “appeasing,” exactly?

  7. This is why we call you emo.
    I didn’t say “emo prog” wasn’t condescending. In fact, I said I was. To the author. I don’t call everyone who disagrees with me “emo prog.” It’s reserved for people who undermine the progressive movement. I’d say “see the difference?” but you obviously don’t have nuance in your arsenal.
    Do you know WHY gay marriage is in favor now? It’s because the president isn’t up on the stump talking about it. For Chrissakes, genius; Proposition 8 was only a little over 2 years ago; maybe you should read some news. I would also point out, if you rely on one or two polls to tell you how people actually feel about something, prog or not, you’re quite “emo.” I suppose you’re absolutely sure Rick Perry will be the GOP nominee next year, huh? Cuz, you know, a poll says he’s at the top of the field.
    And I don’t tell ANYONE to shut up. I correct lies and bullshit. If you think pointing out lies and bullshit is equivalent to “shutting you up,” you reveal more about yourself than you know.

  8. “Fanboy” condescending. “Emo prog” is not. Got it.
    BTW: Public opinion is with gay marriage. You should read more.
    You went to pure speculation over “energizing the bigot” vote. So the assertion that you “prove” everything you say is, how did you describe it? Oh yes, “BS”. By your own “see the difference” metric of not believing an author’s “BS”, I can now by your measure, be as condescending as I like, correct?
    Shutting up now. (As per orders of The Gestapo Faction of the Pro-Appeasement Left)

  9. Wow. Where do I start?
    I admit to being a bit condescending to the author of this piece. But “fanboy” was directed at everyone who supports President Obama, and doesn’t believe the author’s BS. See the difference?
    Disingenuous? Really? That’s funny; I PROVE everything I say. Every single time Obama has done ANYTHING significant, the far left left has jumped on it with both feet and denounced it. He’s constantly being raked over the coals for health care, even though it took 100 years to get there and it’s 1000X better than the status quo. Are you telling me the criticisms of him because he won’t come out full-force for gay marriage are FAIR? Do you know what would happen if he did that? The opposition would have a campaign issue to build a campaign around, and all the bigots would be energized to vote. In other words, once a president comes out for something specific, the opposition crystallizes against it and kills it. Witness the Clinton Health Care plan.
    How about the criticism of the wars. In his campaign, he said he would end Iraq, he did. He said he would surge in Afghanistan, stabilize, train and get out. He’s doing that. (and btw, I say that even though my son’s doing a second tour over there in October. I should be pissed, huh?) And Libya was a noble cause; those people have a shot at determining their own fate for the first time in centuries. Yet, the emo left calls him a warmonger.
    By the way, winning the election at all costs is the only way. If you’re NOT on board with that, give up politics, because you suck at it. You don’t get to make policy unless you WIN. If you have to compromise to win, you compromise, because not winning can’t be an option in a winner-take-all system. Do I wish we had a parliamentary system? Maybe, but even with that system, you still have to form coalitions with people you don’t always agree with, something emo progs like the author of this piece don’t seem capable of.
    As for needing you to win, we need you to shut up with the lies. The professional left is loud as shit; the least it can do it get the facts right, and it’s simply complete and utter horseshit to claim that “Obama=Bush.” Yet, that, and “Democrats are spineless” is the meme that gets out there, depresses turnout, and gives the GOP a chance to win.
    Why is it the loudest people out there, such as yourself, seem to know NOTHING about how politics works. You really don’t get it. Take up knitting.

  10. There was quite a bit more condescending language in this response than anything implied by the term “fanboy”.
    Saying the left is only critical or has never supported Obama’s accomplishments with praise is very disingenuous. I’ve witnessed glowing praise in the past 3yrs among my peers who would also describe themselves as disappointed overall. I seldom see any legitimate critiques from the crowd who tells us we just need to get the appeasers back in office and hope that we won’t see anymore appeasement. That the author here implies “Sure, critique all you want, just don’t be so loud about it,” is frankly, insulting and largely unpersuasive.
    From my vantage point, the thing that vindicates our position on the President taking a more firm position with the opposition, is that every instance and opportunity he has taken to do so, your crowd has cheered him right along with us. As an example: Following this speech, I didn’t hear the “support or else” folks bemoaning the matter that he didn’t show enough pragmatism.
    That is what we’re looking to see. A clear explanation to the American people of exactly what kind of insidious game the GOP is trying to pull. That excites the base. That gets Democrats to the polls. That moves the debate in public opinion. And you were all right there with us in the disaffected crowd cheering that speech.
    To be honest, the loudest “whining” I see lately is coming from the winning-elections-at-all-costs folks who are justifiably scared over Obama following a path of Clinton triangulation and appealing to Independents. If we truly are “extremists” you describe, then you do not need us to win an election for you. Obama’s “pragmatic leadership” that you describe will naturally appeal to the broadest segment of the electorate, correct?

  11. Speaking of the Professional Left working to undermine this President, there’s this story about a former Bush official and a current Democratic congressman, Dennis Kucinich, working against American foreign policy in Libya. (Thanks to TheObamaDiary by way of AJE):
    “Aljazeera: …… on the floor of the intelligence chief’s office (in Libya) lay an envelope addressed to Gaddafi’s son Saif Al-Islam. Inside, I found what appears to be a summary of a conversation between US congressman Denis Kucinich, who publicly opposed US policy on Libya, and an intermediary for the Libyan leader’s son.
    It details a request by the congressman for information he needed to lobby American lawmakers to suspend their support for the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) and to put an end to NATO airstrikes. According to the document, Kucinich wanted evidence of corruption within the NTC and, like his fellow countryman Welch, any possible links within rebel ranks to al-Qaeda.
    The document also lists specific information needed to defend Saif Al-Islam, who is currently on the International Criminal Court’s most wanted list…”
    So while Dennis was doing that to undermine the President, Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice, the former Bush official was undermining policy from another angle:
    “Communication with US officials
    I found what appeared to be the minutes of a meeting between senior Libyan officials – Abubakr Alzleitny and Mohammed Ahmed Ismail – and David Welch, former assistant secretary of state under George W Bush. Welch was the man who brokered the deal to restore diplomatic relations between the US and Libya in 2008….
    During that meeting Welch advised Gaddafi’s team on how to win the propaganda war, suggesting several “confidence-building measures”, according to the documents. The documents appear to indicate that an influential US political personality was advising Gaddafi on how to beat the US and NATO.
    Kucinich’s office claims that nothing in the smuggled papers contradicts his public stance. I recall him calling for this President’s impeachment but I don’t recall him saying that he was working to help Gaddafi to evade justice from the ICC. 

  12. He understands that a lot of the things we as progressives want are politically impossible right now so witholding support because they can’t be done is counterproductive in the extreme.

    This! Any one who has even the slightest knowledge of how government works understands this. There is a Republican-controlled House, and they have made it their current mission to not only deny us what we want, but to roll back as many of our gains as they can. Instead of going after the people trying to do that, they’re still convinced that if only the President would make a speech, they could get everything they wanted.
    Now, as for me, I’ve never gotten my pony, but somehow I suck it up, control my disappointment, and carry on with my support of this President. But I darn well want that pony sometime after 2012!

  13. Magically. How happy were you that Rick Warren spoke at the inauguration? How LONG did it take for the executive order on deportation? I’m still waiting for “fierce advocacy”. Beside, I said I’d vote fro him anyway, didn’t I?
    Frankly, I’m wondering which HRC board member you’re sleeping with.

  14. More than any president in history. Ever. Remember, a change from 1% to 4% is an increase of 300%. Do you honestly think he’s delivered on “fierce advocate”? If so, fine, but you’ve lowered your standards. My policy on voting for whoever is likely to make the most sensible appointments still stands.

  15. There’s a group of LGBT whose “beef” is based a lack of appreciation of what they have gotten: Federal laws regarding hate crimes, federal benefits for their partners and (now) spouses; and repeal of DADT. They’re still griping because he hasn’t done a complete conversion to pounding the podium for federal marriage rights for LGBT’s and magically converting all the Republicans in the House and Senate towards passing the bill. They turn out to have as much political pull as any other of the groups that complain the most. Heck, in New York City they couldn’t even unseat a Democratic state Senator who was against the NY gay marriage law.

  16. Great article! I agree wholeheartedly. I am glad that there are more of us out here on the intertubes.
    I believe people like Ministry of Truth make up that 27% of Dems that don’t want Obama re-elected. Similar to the 27% of Tea Party. Extremes on both ends.

  17. SOME Gay and Lesbian voters have some beefs against Obama. Stop trying to represent all. President Obama has done more positive things for GLBT community than any president in history. Ever!

  18. Love it Milt, good stuff!
    Part of the problem as I see it is that so many people like this either haven’t taken basic civics or just generally don’t understand how the government functions. They seem to think the the executive branch exists in a vacuum and can just dictate whatever they want into reality. The fact remains that, in the real world, the president can steer the conversation where he/she wants it to go but ultimately it’s congress that decides what gets done. That is exactly why compromises keep getting made, if not for that then nothing would happen.
    I’ve read a lot of the comments made on the article in question and this one jumped out at me as well:
    “I know we on the left have very little leverage over Obama as it is. But if we all yell and scream about him, but then say, “Of course I’ll vote for him in the end”…. well, where does that get us? We go from having very little leverage or influence over the man, to having ZERO leverage or influence. We can scream about Obama 24/7 between now and the election, we can call him every name in the book. He does. not. care! All he cares about is what we say we’re going to do on election day.”
    It shit like this that’s the problem. Yes he does only care what we do on election day, why wouldn’t he? But when you say something like “Do this, that, and this or I’m not going to vote for you, ” when those thing are politically impossible, why would he listen or care? He understands that a lot of the things we as progressives want are politically impossible right now so witholding support because they can’t be done is counterproductive in the extreme. What we need to do is to go in with support FIRST and then say these are the things we want done. Then, when it’s done but only 75% of what we wanted, celebrate the win and move on, not just sit around and bitch because of the other 25% we didn’t get.

  19. You apparently didn’t read the first part of the post. You know, where I said this wasn’t about MinistryofTruth, exactly, but that a whole lot of his ideas have infiltrated the liberal mainstream. The issue is, he’s playing to an audience that actually believes that crap, and it’s killing the progressive movement.
    And don’t look now, but YOU fall into the same trap; where you peddle BS as “fact.” you know, when you claim Obama has continued a lot of Bush policies. Look at what you mentioned;
    1. He tried to close Gitmo. Congress, led by a GOP solid bloc, blocked him. Now, it would actually be ILLEGAL to use federal money to move the prisoners.
    2. Obama campaigned on ending Iraq and completing the mission in Afghanistan. Which is what he’s doing. We will be out of Iraq this year, and About 5x as many Afghan security people.have been trained in 2 years as were trained in the previous 7. Plus, al Qaeda’s been all but wiped out, and reports are that their ability to recruit has been severely hampered.
    3. Whether you like it or not, he has no choice but to negotiate with the GOP-controlled House, because, well, the GOP controls the House. What would you like him to do? Should he act like a spoiled child, and demand all kinds of shit they’ll never give him, just to make us happy? He’s had three negotiations with those bozos, and all three times he’s made them run out screaming to make it stop. They have gotten nothing they wouldn’t have gotten anyway. I suppose you agree with MOT, that Boehner ACTUALLY got 98% of what he wanted. Boehner lies about EVERYTHING, but you believe him on that?
    All of those statements reveal a basic misunderstanding of politics that makes it apparent why the left can’t gain any traction in the political arena. When a presidential candidate makes promises, what he’s actually doing is making a laundry list of things he plans to ask CONGRESS for, because he can’t make anything happen by himself. See, the problem in 2009-2010 was too many GOP Senators. The solution was 2-3 fewer of them. Instead, our rhetoric trashed Democrats and Obama and depressed turnout. Low turnout favors the right wing/GOP.
    And make no mistake, my desire is not to appeal to MOT and those like him/her/it. My goal is to demonstrate that they are liars, and the things they say are untrue, and very damaging to the progressive movement. I went after the ideas, which are stupid, clueless and dangerous. Since I don’t know who MOT is, ad hominem is impossible. That you see “ad hominem” in attacks on falsehoods suggests that you need to step back and think a little more. Much of what you believe simply isn’t true, and the progressive movement can’t stand on a shaky foundation. Right wingers can lie, because their ideology is based on self-delusion. Ours is based on reality, and if we’re to make progress, we have to not be like the right wingnuts; we have to tell the truth.
    And even implying that Obama is even remotely like Bush simply is not true, and such an idea is the kind that leads to a President Romney who has to win reelection and a GOP Congress populated by Teabaggers.
    At some point, the progressive movement — at least the far left side of it — needs to grow up, and stop being so enamored with process that they obsess over it, and not even considering the effects of their rhetoric on the electorate.
    TELL THE TRUTH. That’s all I ask. If you have a legit gripe about Obama, fine. But I rarely see any that he hasn’t already acknowledged and corrected.

  20. If Ministry of truth is such a “stupid,” “whiny,” “narcissist,” how is he(and his whiny, annoying leftie friends) able to impact elections so profoundly? I think the answer is, he isn’t. I wish the left had the kind of influence you describe but we don’t, even within our own party. Obama will sink or swim on the strength of his accomplishments. If voters feel that he has advanced policies that have helped them and improved their lives, they’ll vote for him. If they don’t, they’ll vote for someone else or they won’t come out to vote at all, as in 2010. People who aren’t political junkies don’t read dailykos, and aren’t likely to be exposed to the howls of disaffected lefties. The election won’t be decided by how loudly the professional left claps, so start looking for another scapegoat now, just in case. Btw, I’d bet my last dollar that whatever his misgivings, MOT voted in the last election and voted democratic. That’s what the left does.
    I should add that while Obama is NOT exactly like Bush, he has chosen to extend some of the Bush policies most abhored by progressives, policies he claimed to oppose while campaigning. Guantanamo, the wars, certain provisions of the Patriot Act, to name a few. His idea of negotiating with the GOP controlled house is to start out by giving some stuff up before even sitting down, then yielding still more when the real dealmaking starts. He’s been rolled so often that in recent polls, the majority of Americans (even some republicans) have said that he should stand up to them more. Sorry if it offends the pragmatic to hear this.
    He has also done some things that I personally like very much, such as his SCOTUS appointments and saving the auto industry. I hope he wins and I will vote for him but I completely understand the frustartion of other progressives. Btw, if you sincerely want to appeal to MOT and his cohorts, ad hominem attacks are not going to change anyone’s mind. You almost sound like a troll, trying to foster division within our party. Just so you know.

  21. Those self-styled progressives who talk of third parties are hereby invited to go have at it. Except instead of running for Senator or President, they should run for dog catcher. Yes, prove to me that your awesome ideas of governance have real application to being dog-catcher, and maybe I’ll vote for you to be County Commissioner or Mayor. That’s how you build an actual, real, not-imaginary political party, is from the ground up, by proving you can govern. You don’t do it by sniping to the amusement of your fellow cool-kids.
    So man up, third-party progressives! Dog-catchers, the lot of you.

  22. I’m always astounded by the complaints that Obama tries to work with non-liberals. I thought cooperation and compromise, giving everyone a voice and a share of the community, were themselves liberal values. If Obama had done otherwise, that would merely have made him a reverse Bush (and a lying campaigner, like Bush).

  23. So glad the two of you are heterosexual men. Gay and Lesbian voters have some real beefs against Obama, but in 2012 I’m going to hold my nose and vote for him, SOLELY because the next president might have to nominate some Supreme Court justices. Better a Republican with some centrist leanings than the crew to the right of him.

  24. MinistryofTruth has been all over the map for several years. He’s a kid who gets hyped up and screams loudly while trying to turn blogging into a “profession.” Mostly he irritates the people who have worked with him, and he ends up bouncing from place to place. If I had a dime for every time he wrote some blog post stating that “Obama has lost me,” I’d be able to give the Koch brothers a strong run for political spending.

  25. I posted a comment on that thread asking why the author cares so much about the opinions of people he apparently considers to have worthless opinions. I am amazed at the people who get so upset about what someone tells them that they threaten to do themselves harm if the others don’t stop.
    Narcissism is right.

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