"Internet left fringe" Prediction Thread

How many troops will Obama increase the US occupation of Afghanistan by?

I might as well go with what the Republicans want and say 40,000.

Bonus question: Not unrelated, if the 11/2/10 election were held today instead, would Harry Reid lose?

Yes, without a doubt. As typical, the CW says that a competitive primary lessons the Republicans chances, when the opposite is more likely.

But what do I know? I'm just a "left fringe" hobo living in Obamaworld.

Update [2009-10-12 12:13:24 by Jerome Armstrong]:

Jesse Lee and Dan Pfeiffer are both savvy enough to know that anyone of Axelrod/Gibbs/Emanuel/Rouse could call up Hardwood and find out whom exactly made those quotes, and have them fired.

Update [2009-10-12 13:23:10 by Jerome Armstrong]: From the clip above, its obvious that only McGovern is talking sense. Susie Madrak is right on this count: "Afghanistan Strategy on This Week: Find Yourself in Hole, Dig A Bigger One?"

I understand that Obama said he would focus more on Afghanistan while campaigning for the GE (I don't seen to recall much of any mention that he was a hawk about increasing Afghanistan troops in the primary). But he never once said he'd increase troops there by 17,000 then send another 40,000 or so 9 months later when the strategy wasn't working, did he?

MCGOVERN: I would urge them to keep in mind that stabilizing Afghanistan should not mean and does not mean enlarging our military footprint there. I think it would be counterproductive. I also think we're going bankrupt. We have wars in Iraq, in Afghanistan, hundreds of billions of dollars that are all going on to our credit card. Our kids and our grandkids are paying for this. You know, we need to be smarter about where we deploy our -- our resources. And I think enlarging our military footprint in Afghanistan would be a mistake. We need to come up with a strategy that includes an exit strategy because it'll also put pressure on the government of Afghanistan to step up to the plate, which it has not done so far.

Tags: Bush, obama (all tags)




People complained about Biden supporting the war, but he seems to be the main person in the administration arguing against escalating our involvement in Afghanistan now.

I saw that Dianne Feinstein supports more troops there too--no surprise.

by desmoinesdem 2009-10-12 07:45AM | 0 recs
Re: irony

Biden is on the wrong side of the debate , I don't see how Obama doesn't add more troops as recommended by the Generals ....

If Biden had his way we would be talking about a country called Kurdistan ( or is it a country within a country )... Point is I won't look to Biden but to the Generals if I were president .

by lori 2009-10-12 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: irony

Iraq is a fiction. It was created by a British intelligence officer after WW I by combining three Ottoman provinces and then importing the son of a defeated Arabian emir to serve as king.

The Kurds are the second largest ethnic group without a state and they deserve one.

Looking to generals is what gets this country in trouble. Generals just want to justify their existence.

by Charles Lemos 2009-10-12 04:07PM | 0 recs
Re: irony

The reason Kurdistan is not on the table is not because "the Generals" don't want to partition Iraq, or because everyone knows Joe Biden is a blowhard, but because Turkey would go ballistic if we helped give the Kurds a state.

Biden's plan was actually widely misunderstood.  It  was not a "partition" in the sense that we would carve up Iraq the same way the British mushed it together in the first place.  Rather, his idea was that we would encourage the Iraqis to adopt a federal system for themselves, in a way that their new constitution expressly authorizes.  It was a serious idea that was a nonstarter because, by and large, the Sunnis didn't want a federal system with minority protections akin to our own; they were still holding out hope for a return to the strongman style of governance.

by Steve M 2009-10-12 04:26PM | 0 recs
I think it is not Biden plan although he was a

prominent supporter of the Iraq partition plan in Senate. Peter Galbraith (How to get out of Iraq), Leslie Gelb, Ralph Peters, all wrote about the plan before Biden started to support it.

by louisprandtl 2009-10-12 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: I think it is not Biden plan although he was a

Well yeah, which is even more reason why people were silly to deride it as some cockeyed Biden plan.

by Steve M 2009-10-12 08:20PM | 0 recs
I thought it was a good plan. There's no reason

why we still have to stick to borders drawn up the colonial powers dividing up Asian and African countries especially when the ethnic groups within the country are at war at each other.

by louisprandtl 2009-10-13 05:27AM | 0 recs
Kurdistan would be nice

but Turkey won't buy it and Turkey is one of the big ten important allies we have to keep happy at all times.

The same reason there won't be a Kurdistan is the same reason we won't recognize one of the worst genocides in contemporary history...politics.

by DTOzone 2009-10-12 06:28PM | 0 recs
"Internet left fringe"

How many troops will Obama increase the US occupation of Afghanistan by?

Eleventy hundred thousand.  We'll invade Iran and Syria with whatever is left over.  The Boy Scouts probably.

by fogiv 2009-10-12 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe"

Its a pretty obnoxious comment but based as it was from "a source within the White House," I can't help but wonder if somebody asked a janitor or an intern for a quote about bloggers. Still pretty sad.

As to your questions, I would say 40,000 more troops seems likely in Afghanistan.

Harry Reid would probably lose (not that I would miss him.)

And for those of you who are pissed that you are living in "Obamaworld," I would remind everyone that "Clintonia" probably wouldn't be much different and "McCainland" would be much much worse.

by JDF 2009-10-12 08:04AM | 0 recs
true, but Clinton and McCain

didn't run on a steady drumbeat of "I opposed the war."

by desmoinesdem 2009-10-12 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

...a steady drumbeat of "I opposed the war...in Iraq because it was a distraction from the real fight in Afghanistan".

by fogiv 2009-10-12 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

revisionist at best.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

How do you figure?  Is that not what he said, essentially?  He also said he doesn't oppose all wars, just dumb wars.  

We all get that you think this is a dumb war, many of us agree.  I tend to think we should be pulling out as carefully as we can, not ramping up.  If anything is 'revisionist' it's the implication that Obama was (or is) an anti-war peacenik.

by fogiv 2009-10-12 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

Jerome, I can't prove it with links, but I remember you grousing during the primary that Obama was only anti-Iraq war.

by Endymion 2009-10-12 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

I don't recall. I do recall that Obama voted for every single funding request for the Iraq debacle except for when Edwards made him vote against one.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

Off topic, at best.

by Jess81 2009-10-12 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

Obama repeatedly called the war in Afghanistan a war of necessity.

Someone is being revisionist...

by fsm 2009-10-12 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

Yes, and he said, "I'm going to send in 60,000 more troops" too?  I missed that part.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

"As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan," Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, wrote in an Op-Ed article published on Monday in The New York Times. "We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/14/us/pol itics/14campaign.html

He'll probably send 40,000 unnamed sources.

by lojasmo 2009-10-12 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

I don't know exactly how many soldiers are in a combat brigade, but it's less than 5000, right?

Having said that, I don't see how the details of campaign promises are particularly relevant.  If Obama promised to end the war in Afghanistan, I'd be annoyed with him for flip-flopping, but he obviously didn't.  He said he would continue the war, people voted for him knowing that, and now he needs to do whatever military necessity and overall considerations of strategy dictate, whether or not it matches up precisely with what he may have said in a speech a year ago.

One of the things that annoyed me about the Democratic primary was how it devolved into this dumbed-down and insulting bidding war - as in, "I'll get us out of Iraq in 10 months."  "Oh yeah? I'll have us out in NINE months!"  And so on.  What a stupid way to make military decisions.

by Steve M 2009-10-12 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

2500-4200.  Note Obama said "at least two" brigades.

by lojasmo 2009-10-12 11:04AM | 0 recs
He said he'd sent as many troops

as was needed.

by DTOzone 2009-10-12 03:10PM | 0 recs
Jerome, this is pretty shameful

Obama routinely derided the war in Iraq as a distraction from the war in Afghanistan, and always, always indicated that he would try to shift troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to get the job done there. And surprise, years later, President Obama is contemplating exactly what candidate Obama suggested. If anything, Obama has hesitated away from such a firm commitment in light of recent developments. The slightest bit of Internet searching would have revealed this.

From Reuters: In August 2007 at a New Hampshire campaign event, Obama was asked whether he would move U.S. troops from Iraq so they could be used elsewhere. More troops are needed in Afghanistan, Obama said: "We've got to get the job done there, and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there."
This has always been the Administration's policy, and I voted for this policy in 2008.

Do not attempt to conflate anti-Iraq sentiment with the war in Afghanistan.

Also: you're circulating an "unamed" angry source when the Administration has routinely included left wing bloggers?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-12 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, this is pretty shameful
See above, RE:
Yes, and he said, "I'm going to send in 60,000 more troops" too?  I missed that part.
by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 09:13AM | 0 recs
Where are you getting 60,000 from?

I keep refreshing the news pages, but nope, no word yet on a firm decision from the White House. The generals say 40,000.

It's easy to armchair bash. That much has been proven here in this diary.

What do you suggest Obama do with Afghanistan? What would be the consequences to America, the Democrats, and the Afghani people from your decision? Please explain.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-12 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Where are you getting 60,000 from?

I've blogged on it quite a bit.

"What do you suggest Obama do with Afghanistan? What would be the consequences to America, the Democrats, and the Afghani people from your decision? Please explain."

Get the US military out. If you want to do aid, do it through the UN & NATO.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 09:56AM | 0 recs
you do realize

if you send in the UN and NATO, you're going to need soldiers to protect them, don't you?

by DTOzone 2009-10-12 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: you do realize

NATO is what?

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-13 05:24AM | 0 recs
NATO gave up on this

or did you miss that earlier in the year. So if we send in UN aid, American troops are going to have to be the one to protect them.

or we can just run out of there Saigon style and pray it doesn't turn into a terrorist haven again, your choice.

by DTOzone 2009-10-13 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, this is pretty shameful

So you're being deliberately obtuse now?  Stealing Bruh3's tactics is ungentlemanly, sir.

by lojasmo 2009-10-12 11:05AM | 0 recs

"Democrat Obama declared that the failed policy in Iraq -- which he argued was never the central front in the war on terror -- has distracted attention from the growing terrorist threat in Afghanistan and proves the need to withdraw from Iraq. 'If another attack on our homeland comes, it will likely come from the same region where 9/11 was planned," he said in a speech in Washington. "And yet today, we have five times more troops in Iraq than Afghanistan.'"

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/poli ticalintelligence/2008/07/obama_afghanis t.html

by lojasmo 2009-10-12 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem
See above, RE:
Yes, and he said, "I'm going to send in 60,000 more troops" too?  I missed that part.
by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 09:14AM | 0 recs
Where are you getting this 60,000 from?

Please source.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-12 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

He hasn't said that as of this date.  Furthermore, how could Obama predict whether his two additional battalions would be as effective as he'd hoped?

Turns out, perhaps 10,000 wasn't enough.  Do I want further escalation in Afghanistan?  No.  But Bush took his eye off the ball, and allowed Afghanistan to turn into a hole of hell.

by lojasmo 2009-10-12 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

Change Battalions to brigades.

by lojasmo 2009-10-12 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

"Bush took his eye off the ball"

...regurgitation of campaign talking points... Seriously, look at the situation in Afghanistan.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

Did you ever imagine, back when you were an Iraq War apologist, that you'd rediscover your anti-war roots?

by Jess81 2009-10-12 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

I award the point to Jess.

by Steve M 2009-10-12 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

For what, making up stuff?

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-13 05:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

You're the expert on that.

Why don't you ban yourself.

by Jess 81 2009-10-13 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

Actually, I just looked it up, this is the same serial liar that posted here before as bodhi.lawlita.com


by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-13 05:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

If you want to make using a temporary inbox bannable, you should say so.

Besides, that's not why you're banning me, and everyone knows it.

by Jess 81 2009-10-13 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

I hope you are joking about the ban.  You're the one who chose to make this personal with Jess, asking if she imagined she'd end up as an "apologist for war escalation."  Do not dish it out if you can't tolerate a response in kind.

by Steve M 2009-10-13 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

He's not joking about the ban.

I'm not going to pretend I didn't know I was courting it though.

by Jess 81 2009-10-13 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

The number of users this spammper has created number in the dozens.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-13 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

One man's spammer is another man's thoughtful contributor to discussions, I guess.  Either way, not a cool move.

by Steve M 2009-10-13 07:09AM | 0 recs

Jerome got pwned.

by DTOzone 2009-10-12 06:33PM | 0 recs

For making up shit?  Your bar is low.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-13 05:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

comment as smooth as butter.  money!

by fogiv 2009-10-12 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

Money in your book is full of lies?

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-13 05:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

Her statement is no less fair (or true) than yours was.

by fogiv 2009-10-13 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

Bullshit, liar.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-13 05:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Ahem

Way more than 10K, get some facts.

White House: Obama Quietly Authorizes Deploying Support Troops

* "President Obama announced in March that he would be sending 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. But in an unannounced move, the White House has also authorized -- and the Pentagon is deploying -- at least 13,000 troops beyond that number, according to defense officials," the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2009/10/12/AR2009101203142. html) reports. "The additional troops are primarily support forces, including engineers, medical personnel, intelligence experts and military police."

And now he's considering another 40,000.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-13 05:29AM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

Your memory can't possibly be that selective.  He was ridiculed in the REPUBLICAN primary - just to show how far back it goes - by Mitt Romney for "being Jane Fonda[Iraq] one minute and Doctor Strangelove[Afghanistan and Pakistan] the next".  The whole thing about cross-border attacks at hot targets in Pakistan was called naive by both John McCain and Hillary Clinton.  I'm sure if I checked the blog history I can even find a diary by you agreeing with her, since you always did.

He ran on escalating the Afghanistan war, period.

by Jess81 2009-10-12 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

Would you have ever imagined, back when you started pushing for Obama here last spring, that you'd wind up being an apologist for war escalation?  

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

Your comment reminds me of  another Glenn Greenwald article. He was discussing the decision over the torturer photos, about which I have no dog in the race.  I feel the same with the war. However, what I do know is that people can not have it both ways yet they regularly do with President Obama. He has Presidential powers , but he does not. He has a record of accomplishment, but he does not. He should taken at his word, but you should realize that he really means something else. This game goes on and on.

On the torture photos, President Obama supported releasing them, and then he not. Greenwald pointed out of the cheerleaders who defended President Obama when he said yes to releasing the torture photos, and defended President Obama when he said no that there can not be principles involved. What moral standard could be involved in supporting release one day, and then not the next, solely because the President said so?

I still have no idea whether they should release the photo or not, but I was certain that I had seen such flipping and shifting around before regarding the nature of the support for PResident Obama. Basically, it contorts to conform to whereever he is at the moment, and will be flexible enough to set up arguments so that he is not held accountable.

Hell, I remember some recommended diary at Daily Kos specifically quoting President Obama campaign literature because some had claimed President Obama had not made the Public Option central to his campaign promises over health care.  The response was about the same as you see here with every other issue raised - attacks, denial, calling the diarist a liar, etc.

That's the problem with charismatic leadership.

by bruh3 2009-10-12 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

What war am I being an apologist for?

There are plenty enough reasons to oppose the war in Afghanistan, Jerome.  You don't have to invent new ones.

by Jess81 2009-10-12 05:08PM | 0 recs
Re: true, but Clinton and McCain

accurate...at best.

by JDF 2009-10-12 08:51AM | 0 recs
Obama said he opposed the war in Iraq but

he did not oppose the Afghanistan war. He had repeatedly called the Afghan war the Right War during the campaign and after. Those who thought he would hastily arrange for a retreat from Afghanistan are sadly not listening to his speeches.

by louisprandtl 2009-10-12 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe"

Jesse Lee and Dan Pfeiffer are both savvy enough to know that anyone of Axelrod/Gibbs/Emanuel/Rouse could call up Hardwood and find out whom exactly made those quotes, and have them fired.

Really?  So leading reporters generally give up anonymous sources if the boss asks?  I did not know that.

by Steve M 2009-10-12 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe"

Yea, quite customary for that to happen too. All off the record and favors in return down the line too...  you should know better.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe"

How would I know any better?  All I know is that if anonymous sources routinely got outed and fired, no one would be giving anonymous quotes any more.

The Clinton administration (and, for that matter, the Clinton campaign) was routinely undermined by all sorts of anonymous dirt-dishers.  It seemed to be an unending source of frustration for them, something I wouldn't really understand if finding out the identity of the anonymous source were as simple as making a phone call.

by Steve M 2009-10-12 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe"

how did that work out for scooter?

by lojasmo 2009-10-12 11:11AM | 0 recs
Jerome, I don't know where you got this from

but Harwood would risk being fired if he did something like that.

I speak as someone who worked for two newspapers, a magazine and two TV networks.

by DTOzone 2009-10-12 03:14PM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe"

If they say no, what happens to their access,

by bruh3 2009-10-12 09:09AM | 0 recs
Gays at Easter Egg hunt under Bush
Incidentally, has anyone mentioned that gay families were invited to the White House under GWB?  Terrence, over at Republic of T went with his hubby and first son back in April of 2006.  Now, I suppose that there is a technical difference.  The Bush WH didn't go to gay families and invite them.  But when the gay families did get in, they didn't disinvite them either.
It's almost like the WH is in a time warp.
by aravir 2009-10-12 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe" Prediction

Harry Reid could win Ensign's seat, but I doubt he'll be able to keep his own.  Maybe he could retire to focus on his campaign?  

Aravoisis is disingenuously expanding a statement from a virtual tautology('fringe-left bloggers who are gay are fringe-left bloggers' is honestly how I read the statement, once you strip away the snarky Whooley-eske verbiage) into a broad assault('people who are gay are fringe-left bloggers' is John's reading, one I think is derived more from his love of controversy than from NBC's report).  As far as I'm concerned, anyone who doesn't think HRC having the ear of the POTUS is notable progress does need to get out more.

Afghanistan post-election fraud is much harder to predict than it was before.  Without a legitimate national government, it may not be possible for the US to achieve any goals at all, whether those goals are good or bad.  There's also a slowly developing conservative viewpoint that leaving a huge destabilized mess at the intersection of China's, India's, and Russia's spheres would be good planning on our part.  Counterinsurgency is the military analogue of community organizing, and as such Obama will feel compelled to give it a try; but I have confidence that when Afghanistan is as clearly unsalvageable as North Dakota, he'll take our resources out of there.

by Endymion 2009-10-12 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe" Prediction

Its already there.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe" Prediction

The statement is not the first from the White House. To be considered an improper interpretation rather than a pattern, you would have deny the other comments.

by bruh3 2009-10-12 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe" Prediction

I consider John, Jerome, etc.'s pattern of always taking WH/Obama comments in the worst possible light.  But the tone of the comment itself is not surprising to me.  Have you ever worked with progressive activists?  'Herding cats' is not an exaggeration--we're exasperating.  Independence, mistrust of leaders, tendentiousness; these are features, not bugs, and as a movement we benefit from our diversity and pride, but combine them with a healthy dollop of good-old American 'I've got something more important'-ism and it's no wonder Dave Obey or Barney Frank or especially that bastard Emanuel occasionally stomp on us.  

by Endymion 2009-10-12 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe" Prediction

Words mean nothing without action.   The only pattern here is frustration at continued non-action. There's nothing exasperating about saying Do It.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe" Prediction

A nice guy over Daily Kos, a 30 year activist discussed this with me the other day , after I had gone through yet another round of attacks from posters who did not like my criticism of President Obama's leadership on my three issues- healthcare, economics and gay rights.

He said of those attacking me that what they said would not make sense with any other politician he has had to work with in his 30 years of activism. That if people took the same sorts of behaviors coming  from President Obama, and placed them with another politician, would their response be the same? We were discussing the public option. He said that it is his experience that politicians do not just talk about policies they believe in, they go whip for in the bodies in which they are able to create influence. It went on to other points, but all of it adds up to the same thing- take President Obama out of the equation. Look at the set up behaviors over time that you are describing- what do they look like?

By the way, this is why sometimes on here and other places people will say with whatever honesty they are capable of "Why are you pressuring him. Why not pressure Congress?"

Normally, I have taken the statements to be so dishonest that I was left floored. How could anyone seriously not hold the all accountable? Why leave President Obama out of being pressured when I am also pressuring my Senators and House members? The truth is that I am treating President Obama like every other politician. It is not either I pressure one politician or the other with my phone calls and emails. It is that I pressure them all.

Thus, when I see his public statements not match what seems to be going on behind the scene, or that he is not leading as Presidents do on legislation then I am going to treat him just like I do other politicians. That's my standard. The one often cited for why not to do this seems to be premised on him not being a politician.

by bruh3 2009-10-12 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe" Prediction

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who doesn't think HRC having the ear of the POTUS is notable progress does need to get out more.

Exactly.  Where are the arguments from progressives that Congress needs to be pressured to act?  Obama himself confirmed in the HRC speech that legislation to end DADT was introduced in Congress, but apparently, that's the same as total inaction.  It was a speech to the HRC, not a policy meeting. However, it was also a speech to a nationwide audience.

So at this point, instead of throwing rotten fruit at Obama and yelling "just words" while he speaks, people should be calling their state reps and senator to urge action.

But I have to remind myself that flaming the POTUS is a much bigger ego gratification tool and keeps those daily hit counts up.  

by PD1769 2009-10-12 01:25PM | 0 recs

Glenn Greenwald and others note you should not be shocked. He describes the Obama Administration approach:

"... In that regard, the furor over Obama's complete inaction on gay issues vividly illustrates the same elements that shape political controversies in virtually every other area -- from war to civil liberties to health care and beyond:

- Pretty words and inspiring pageantry from the President, accompanied by endless inaction or contradictory policies;

- Hordes of people who believe in their heart of hearts that the administration is led by such a nice, just and likable man that it couldn't possibly be guilty of anything worse than a little benign political calculation (just as the evangelical, Texas-swaggering Bush did for Red State loyalists, the urbane, charming and highly intelligent Obama possesses all the cultural markers of a good and decent person for Blue State loyalists, and thus simply can't be capable of anything malicious or destructive -- there's a reason Bill Maher tried to remind liberals:  "He's your president, not your boyfriend");

- Organizations (exemplified by the truly dreadful HRC) that suck funding out of progressives and serve as liberal validators of administration conduct whose overaching devotion is to the Democratic Party and the administration rather than the causes they claim to promote (fortunately, civil liberties groups are the exception, as they have remained steadfast, unapologetic, independent and principled in harshly criticizing Obama); and,

Deeply personalized scorn directed at those who try to hold Democrats and the Obama administration accountable -- since they're the ones who control all branches of government with huge majorities -- rather than devote all their energies to the cheap and easy partisan task of ridiculing and blaming a marginalized, impotent conservative movement which is a small minority and currently wields no power in Washington.
I have no idea who the person is who said this to Harwood or how influential or obscure s/he might be, but whoever it is, that person is anything but unusual or aberrational.  Quite the opposite."

The only solace you should take is that they appear to be on the incompetent side when it comes to identifying threats. These are the people who could not predict AHIP turning on them.

by bruh3 2009-10-12 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Fringe

lol, you really don't think I'm shocked, right?  Afterall, I was the one that didn't budge from standing 10 feet away from the koolaid the whole time.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Fringe

That's true. Even I was drinking the koolaid in Nov and Dec of last year because I really wanted him to be the stealth progressive rather than the right of center centrist I knew him to be. Nothing like cold reality to wake me up.

by bruh3 2009-10-12 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Fringe

Really?  Because I said all along that Obama is a centrist (just like you claim to be)

by lojasmo 2009-10-12 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Fringe

I claim to be a moderate. I am not  a centrist. Centrism is a DC construct. Others like Kos at Daily Kos discuss the difference. I am not trying to triangulate with the extremists in DC. I am moderate i n that I am not particular ideological. For example, let's take a non controversial issue (I assume is noncontroversial issue for you) like copyright law. The progressive ideologue might say get rid of copyright  law. That's getting rid of the baby with the bathwater to me for ideological reasons. I would say reduce the length of copyrights to address and increase the fair use doctrine. Those two items would address most of the real concerns over copyright law.

Moderates are willing to address problems from a pragmatic rather than ideological angle.

However,  centrists are concerned with triangulating to what they consider to be whatever is the the right.

Meaning, for example, President Obama right now is triangulating to be to the left of the plutocrats on healthcare. These plutocrats are not moderates, and they are not even left of center. They are regressives like AHIP.

The moderate answer is the public option and ending the antitrust exemption for health care because it succintly addresses concentration of markets, cost containment and quality of product by also recognizing that some do what, for whatever reason to keep their existing plans, while not allowing their choice to bankrupt the system. I am also open to otehr models that have proven to work abroad. Note, what I am doing. I am discussing models that have worked rather than those that have no. For example, if they wanted to have a wholly private sector model like other countries that would require price controls- which is not on the table. There are only a few known models that work. The moderate, the true moderate, is concerned with what works. Not what ideologically is left of the table.

The centrist view is to figure out how to placate the insurance oligopolies and the plutocrats with DC. As Kos would probably argue, I am a moderate when looking at the spectrum outside of DC, but in DC, I am a progressive due to the way DC has becomes some captured by money  interests.

by bruh3 2009-10-12 10:02PM | 0 recs
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day

When health car reform passes, then what?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-12 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Even a stopped clock is right twice a day

It better pass, that's what.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 09:57AM | 0 recs
It will.

Or, I'm through with the democrats.

Seriously, I think it will not only pass with 0 republican votes, but there will be a moderately desirably public option as well.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-12 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: It will.

That sounds about what I would guess too.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: It will.

Passing anything has never been the problem on health care. The problem is trying to pass something like Baucuscare off as reform rather than corporate give away. That's the hold up.

by bruh3 2009-10-12 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: It will.

Nothing has ever been passed.  I consider that to be a problem.

by lojasmo 2009-10-13 07:45PM | 0 recs
Was Greenwa on the Cato payroll when he said that?

Oh, whatever will you cry about once all that is to be done comes true? Because Obama's magic wand will never make the world to your liking, you will have an endless reservoir of ready criticism. It must be so easy.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-12 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe"

You all know the idiom, "to have touched a nerve" right?  This whole thread seems to me that we're kinda showing how petty and small we can be over an unattributed source calling us names.

Of course I agree that Obama has not been as progressive as we'd all wished that he'd have been.  I also agree that the White House has lead with a narrative that the blogosphere is not to be taken seriously.

But the reality is that we've been making a real impact on the course of the debate* and we're going to keep pushing this country toward a progressive future regardless of how we're viewed by Obama etc.

So wear those pajamas proudly and don't worry about what the talking heads on the TV call you.

* - If you don't believe that online progressive organizing has made an impact on the course of debate on things like health care, simply recall that as the debate began...

1) Democrats in Congress gave up single-payer right off the bat,

  1. then almost conceded defeat on a public option,
  2. then we stepped in and raised half a million dollars for House Progressives, signed about seventeen different petitions
  3. and now we have Alan Grayson bullying Republicans around on moral and ideological grounds AND we'll probably get the 5%-Medicare-Robust-Public-Option out of the House.  

Jerome's right in that we can't be too self-congratulatory until the final product is reached, but we've certainly made progress -- especially for being a bunch of pajama-wearing know-nothings.

by jlars 2009-10-12 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe"

If we get a robust public option out of the House it is because the House Progressive Caucus swore they'd vote against any bill that didn't include one, and then stood their ground.  I'm not saying online organizing had zero to do with that fact, but you need more evidence than what you've cited here.

Alan Grayson is kind of neither here nor there.  He's actually kind of squishy on the public option from where I sit.  The fact that he figured out you can raise a lot of money by throwing red meat to the base is kind of a sideline to the health care debate.

by Steve M 2009-10-12 10:46AM | 0 recs
I also think we're missing the point

Anonymous source + aggrieved party = worthless controversy.

The LGBT community feels snubbed. There's an anonymous source rubbing salt in that wound. And the next thing you know, there's red meat for the Obama haters.

The Administration knows our power and how to use us effectively. It would be entirely contrary to all previous actions to turn around and snub us now.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-12 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: I also think we're missing the point

 Ask the the White House to authorize the reporter to tell the name of the unnamed source w/o harming the reporters ability to have future access. If the report is a sham, you will know soon enough. This game of saying every unnamed source that happens to paint the White House in a bad light can easily be addressed by making such activity more difficult to do.

by bruh3 2009-10-12 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe"

To address your stealth edit (after obviously being wrong, and calling rational people delusional)

No...candidate obama could not foretell the future.

by lojasmo 2009-10-12 10:56AM | 0 recs
What edit was this?

I missed it.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-12 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: What edit was this?

I don't think the user understands an update from an edit.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe"

What?  You mean the update?  Look, Obama tried, he had a strategy in Afghanistan. Back in March he did it. It failed.

Now, having failed, what is he going to do, fail bigger there?

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 11:15AM | 0 recs
I think it is too early to say that Afghanistan

war objectives put forth by Obama is already a failure. I mean are we expecting to solve decades old problem in Afghanistan in 6 months? I agree with you the strategy to meet those objectives is not yielding results as expected, but thus the need for the strategy review being conducted by Obama.

by louisprandtl 2009-10-12 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: "Internet left fringe"

Yes, I said "edit" and meant "update"

I HOPE he will not fail.  Frankly, I HOPE he withdraws the troops...but that's for him to decide.

Look, Jerome;  If you wanted to make these decisions, you should have run for the office.

And if you REALLY favor withdrawal, you should have backed Ron Paul, or DK, because sure as shooting, we'd be in exactly the same position if Clinton were POTUS.

by lojasmo 2009-10-12 08:25PM | 0 recs


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