What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

Hey! Don't blame me. I'm [just quoting ttp://www.thenation.com/doc/20060424/coc kburn] an article by Alexander Cockburn in the Nation, They Should Have Hissed Barack Obama by Alexander Cockburn:

The war's coming home all right, in the form of people dreadfully wounded in body and spirit. Thousands of tragedies will unwind, often violently, for years to come. But for now, for the most part it's pictures on TV, not tears and terror on the hearth rug. So the Democrats in Congress aren't too worried about pressure from their antiwar constituents.

The awful six-termer Jane Harman faces a primary challenge from Marcy Winograd in Southern California, after a couple of unions defied tradition and endorsed Winograd. Meanwhile, at the other end of the country in Connecticut, Senator Joe Lieberman faced a decidedly cool audience at a big Democratic dinner at the end of March and got bailed out by brother senator Barack Obama from Illinois, who told the crowd to haul out their checkbooks and make sure Lieberman gets returned for another term.

Any friend of Joe Lieberman's is no friend of mine, no friend of the progressive movement and certainly no friend of the anti-war movement. Am I the only one who didn't know that Obama was a Bush lite warmonger?

Here's the paragraph in Alexander Cockburn's article I quote in my title:

What kind of a signal is this? Here is Obama, endlessly hailed as the brightest rising star in the Democratic firmament, delivering (at a closely watched political dinner, with Lieberman's primary opponent, Ned Lamont, sitting in the crowd) a ringing endorsement of his "mentor," Lieberman, Bush's closest Democratic ally on the Iraq War, one of the architects of welfare "reform" and overall pretty much a symbol of everything that's been wrong with the Democratic Party for the past twenty years. What a slimy fellow Obama is, as befits a man symbolizing everything that will continue to be wrong with the Democratic Party for the next twenty years.
Every time I look up he's doing something disgusting, like distancing himself from his fellow senator Dick Durbin for denouncing the torture center at Guantánamo or cheerleading the nuke-Iran crowd.

It's official now. Barak Obama is a warmonger torture freak Lieberman clone.

Tags: Democrats, DNC, obama (all tags)

Comments

65 Comments

Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

Obama isn't a "warmonger torture freak".  He's just a flip-flopping, Kerry-esque, typical politician.

I dont understand why he gets so much praise.  I've been saying for a few months now that he's a Kerry in the making.

by dayspring 2006-04-14 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

You are far too kind dayspring. I haven't heard Kerry defending or campaigning for Joe Lieberman. Kerry is the rock of Gilbralter compared to Obama.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-04-14 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

I noticed this the moment he cleared the primary in the 2004 Senate race.  This was also obvious from the types I met who supported him: desperate types more interested in image and in winning elections than in genuine representation in Washington, DC.  Then Obama endorses Duckworth, endorses the corrupt candidate for Treasurer who has ties with the Greek mofia, and now Obama's office refuses to account for his endorsements through his position as US Senator.  They claim his campaigning is seperate from his office as Senator, which to me is the most specious argument delivered yet by a politician.  But this is the future of the Democratic party, and I am told by ostensible "progressives" that I am not allowed to criticize this bunch.  

I apologize to the voters of Connecticut on my Senator's behalf.

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

Well gosh, if Alexander Cockburn says it, it must be true.

Any honest account of Obama's speech on behalf of Lieberman would never call it a "ringing endorsement."

Perhaps Cockburn paid no attention to Obama's slam against Bush for claiming Iraq is making progress based on the number of cellphones in use, a claim that had first been made by LIEBERMAN.

Not to mention Obama's much-publicized comment on Air America about "Lieberman and the rest of the Republicans."

But yeah, I know, you're either Dennis Kuncinich or you're a Bush lite warmonger torture freak.  I know, I know, I know.

by Steve M 2006-04-14 08:52AM | 0 recs
Nice dodge

Obama is no friend of progressive Democrats. Obama is a DLC/Rahm Emanuel tool, which he demonstrated by actively campaigning and fundraising for Duckworth. Now he is doing the same for Lieberman.

Your false dichotomy about Dennis Kucinich is equally unpersuasive. You know nothing.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-04-14 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

False dichotomy?  You're the one who said making a few nice comments about Lieberman qualifies Obama as a "warmonger torture freak Lieberman clone"!

by Steve M 2006-04-14 09:24AM | 0 recs
Bad Logic

Please return to Remedial Logic For Dummies Class, place the Dunce Cap on your head and sit in the corner for an hour or two.

You constructed a false dichotomy between Dennis Kucinich and Bush. Until you complete your atonement you are no longer allowed to participate in this discussion.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-04-14 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Logic

I see no false dichotomy.  A degree of hyperbole, perhaps, but nothing in comparison to the overblown accusations in this diary.

I see a guy who claims that making a few nice comments about Lieberman qualifies Obama as a "warmonger torture freak Lieberman clone."  That's a person who doesn't understand the concept of a middle ground.  Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists, as a noted statesman might say.

The irony of bringing up a "false dichotomy" after you've said supporting Lieberman makes one a "warmonger torture freak Lieberman clone" is not lost on me, to be sure.

On a separate note, I also question the wisdom of keeping MyDD on my daily reading list when diaries like this one make the recommended list.

by Steve M 2006-04-14 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Logic

Why do people resort to this:

I also question the wisdom of keeping MyDD on my daily reading list when diaries like this one make the recommended list.

Simply because we're not all in some sort of so-called "moderate" lock step? Clearly there's some disagreement amongst the grassroots of the party as to which sort of candidate best represents certain ideals that go beyond merely winning elections, and that's all right. I'm a Democrat, my family votes Democratic, but beyond that, am a progressive populists, and I see the tact that some so-called moderate Dems take as unsatisfactory... To me, what we have, is not merely about moderate vs. progressive; in stead, what we have is insider/establishment vs. outsider/grassroots; and, Obama, as Eskow writes, is decidedly positioning himself as an insider... an establishment Dem.

by bedobe 2006-04-14 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Logic

The point isn't that we need to be in ideological lockstep.  There's plenty of room for discussion and debate concerning Obama, Lieberman, etc.

I just think it says bad things when a diary with the thesis "Barak Obama is a warmonger torture freak Lieberman clone" is considered one of the three most interesting debate starters of the day.  It's not constructive.

by Steve M 2006-04-14 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re/construction

Exactly. The centrists and the party line drones, citing whatever they can, including Crashing the Gate, willy nilly, always berate those of us who desire to enact change from within the caucus.  We are told we have no right to support certain candidates; we are told we are not allowed to write negative comments about centrists who are endorsed by establishment Democrats and imported to districts from without; and we are told that we have no right to an opinion, for those who are overpaid and overfacilitated know more than any observer ever could.  But what is worse, unions and interest groups who fund Democrats are told they do not have any right to criticize certain candidates.  And even ostensible "progressives" write diatribes against some groups, thereby inadvertently liquidating the legacy of the 1960s progressive leaders such as Kennedy and Boxer are endeavouring to preserve.  I personally find it very offensive, especially as Democrats are moving more to the right without providing those of us who will remain on the Left any real representation.  We are told there is nothing better than a centrist Democrat, and we are alienated and berated if we are unable to get excited for the likes of Tammy Duckworth, Steve Filson, Bob Casey, Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, Melissa Bean, etc.  Perhaps if they allowed us to choose our candidates instead of choosing them on our behalf, then we would not be embroiled in this endless debate between true progressives and the spurious "progressives" who are centrists in radical clothing who are mobilizing in the name of crashing the gates in order to purchase more overpriced, "progressive" goods at the new suburban shopping mall.  I am a fan of the urban, small business model myself.  

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Logic

I think it is constructive, its gotten us to talk about extremely important issues facing the party: its representatives, and what the soul/heart of the party stands for.  These are the sort of things that community blogs ought to do, along with developing tactical advice.  

Besides, the issue of Sen Obama will only get hotter and hotter, as he has been clearly anointed by the establishment to be a baton carrier of sorts; accordingly, it is important that the grassroots, those that disagree with the entrenched establishment interests, assert ourselves in that process, before we're railroaded with simply another establishment politician.

by bedobe 2006-04-14 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

You do know that Rahm isn't the head of the DLC?  You do know the difference between the DLC and the DCCC, right?  The difference in missions and functions?  I'm no DLC fan, man, but I certainly know that Rahm ain't the head of it.

And I don't know why anyone pays attention to word one that AC writes in the Nation.

by Josh Orton 2006-04-14 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

Yes, you can be certain that most people  around here know the difference between the two organizations.  Gary was not suggesting that Rahm is the head of both organizations; but, rather, that Obama's rhetoric is that of an establishment Dem, representing the interests of the DLC and of the DCCC (both of them establishment, insider organizations) -- and, yes, I know that Obama does not claim membership in the DLC.

by bedobe 2006-04-14 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

Although the DLC was ready to claim him.  Remember the debacle when they printed his name on their list of members?

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

And remember how Markos got his name taken off the list? That incident makes Obama guilty of what, exactly?

by Scott Shields 2006-04-14 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

The reference to the incident by illinois062006 is not meant to suggest that Obama is guilty of anything; but, rather, as you point out here, illinois062006 was reminding us of the very incident that you post about above.

Now, while there may not be a direct linkage, in terms of membership between Obama and the DLC, as an outside observer, I do interpret Obama's tactical moves as him courting the same establishment audience that the DLC caters to.

by bedobe 2006-04-14 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

Exactly my point.  Thank you.

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

So Markos Moulitsas Zuniga saved Obama from himself.  Obama should have had his name removed from the list, not Markos Moulitsas Zuniga.  I fail to see how this absolves Obama of his complicity with that organization.

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

You're reaching to find some point of disagreement, fine.  Okay, so you disagree with any criticism of Sen Obama, that's your right and point of view.  Likewise, there are some of us that find the Senator's positions worthy of criticism.

by bedobe 2006-04-14 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

I am very critical of Obama, and Obama must explain why the DLC printed his name as a member.  He was obviously sending signals to that organization that he was interested in their policies.  I am supportive of those who are critical of Obama.  Did I write something to the contrary?  I do not loathe Obama; I just find his positions and his statements beyond the pale of what is acceptable in Illinois.  I also resent him and Durbin for endorsing Duckworth.  In fact, I find their interventions in that election unforgivable.

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

Sorry, I misread this post and thought it was written by someone else.  My bad.

by bedobe 2006-04-14 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

Because they are not a membership Org and consistently print names that aren't true. That's why. Think of the number than came off in 2004.

The DLC ISN'T the Democratic Party!

by BigDog 2006-04-14 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

But they still printed the name.  In other words, Obama courted the DLC, and they accepted him.

by illinois062006 2006-04-16 01:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

I'm just getting a little tired of the term "establishment dems." It's used a a catch-all, and the result is that real substantive criticisms of faux-Republicans like Joe Lieberman wind-up diluted by abstract insults to people like Obama and Schumer as "insider" something-somethings.  

I've had my own concerns about Obama, but the demonizing of elected Democrats with really inflated language insults our ability to make distinctions.  Things are not simply "bad" or "good."  

by Josh Orton 2006-04-14 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Nice dodge

Clearly, things are not all "good" nor all "bad."  That's why it is constructive to raise concerns about our elected representatives, so that the "good" and the "bad" can be discerned.  Moreover, because we do in fact have and respect that ability to make distinctions about the candidates beyond merely "good" and "bad," is why some of the concerns raised here (beyond the mere name calling) is constructive.  

by bedobe 2006-04-14 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

Posts like this are nice to read (soft of). They remind me that you don't have to be a right-wing Republican in order to be a paranod crybaby.

by spirowasright 2006-04-14 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

Trying to make any statement at all proves that we are paranod crybabies. How clever.

by blues 2006-04-14 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

Comments like this remind me why Republicans don't have a copyright on being bat shit crazy.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-04-14 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

blues and Gary-

Just what are you guys trying to say?

by spirowasright 2006-04-14 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is
That they have a right to dissent without being vilified. You know, the right that we've been trying to defend since after 9/11.
by bedobe 2006-04-14 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is
OK. You have that right, but apparently all you guys seems to do is dissent. Obama, Kerry, Hillary, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, Dezn, you name the Democratic politician and the moment they do something you don't 100 percent agree with you scream "DINO" and want them ridden out of town on a rail. That's the same kind of crap that drove me nuts about the right wing.
Just how many seconds after Obama was elected did you become disillusioned with him?
I'm an independent, so maybe I don't share your fervor and as both an independent and an ex-Republican, to me there's nothing more annoying than a bunch of impossible to please activitists complining.
by spirowasright 2006-04-14 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

He happens to be MY senator, and I happen to disagree with many of his policy decisions and with his endorsement of very problematic candidates.  As a result, I have the right to dissent as a constituent, and I will continue to do so until I am totally satisfied with those who ostensibly represent ME and MY interests in Washington, DC.  I am not an activist; I am a citizen who has a vote and a few opinions.  ANd I will articulate them as long as it feels right.

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

All right, I know you're generalizing to make a point, fine.  But just as an FYI, am not an "activist," and I hardly ever complain about any Dem candidate; in fact, I don't think I've ever called a Dem a DINO.

Now, the criticism that I've made here is only that it is a bad idea for Dems, any Dem, to run against the grassroots/base of the party (which is what some Dems are doing to position themselves to the right of your former party on certain issue).  To me, this is a legitimate criticism in terms of the strategy, even if tactically it works in the short term.

Now, I don't think you read the particular points I've made here; accordingly, in the interest of fairness, I would ask you to read this post http://www.voxmia.com/195/were-all-sista h-souljah-now.html just so that you and I  have a better understanding of where the other is coming from.

by bedobe 2006-04-14 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

But they have the right to vilify others without printing the text of the speech so we can judge for ourselves...not through the prism of a biased writer.

by BigDog 2006-04-14 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

Do you think that the criticism here stems from a mere speech?

Please give your fellow MyDDers more credit.

Now, it is clearly tiresome to go back and forth, so lemme just note that any criticism arises from an accumulation of events, however small, that, in sum, leave many Democratic party supporters and observers with a bad taste in their mouth, and an empty feeling in their stomachs -- as if they were witnessing just another politician in the same mold what we've seen before.  Which, to many, is specially disconcerting, given how he's been built as the baton carrier of a new, ascendant progressive era within the Democratic party.  I hope that you can understand, even if you disagree with those that don't share your enthusiasm for Sen. Obama.

by bedobe 2006-04-14 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

One of the strongests criticism I've read on Sen Obama was written by RJ Eskow, over at the Huffington Post. Eskow writes:

Barack Obama is widely considered the front-runner for the VP slot should Hillary Clinton capture the nomination in '08. His recent endorsement of right-winger Joe Lieberman in the presence of liberal challenger Ned Lamont was a calculated slap - not only toward the liberal blogosphere, which has warmly endorse Lamont, but toward the great numbers of mainline Democrats who have been alienated by Lieberman's zealous support for the stumbling war effort.

Obama may have been paying Lieberman off for some favors, but he was also sending a message to the Party's insiders that says "I'm one of you." He's been doing that since he voted to confirm Condi Rice. In addition, he was sending a message to the commentariat that he's not "crashing the gate." He was signaling instead that he's an insider politician who - never fear, Mr. Russert et al - will play the game the ways it's always been played.

Eskow's piece, Running Against the Base, also covers Hillary and the trend in some circles to out-republican the republicans. I commented on Eskow's piece here, where I wrote:

The conventional wisdom in DC, in spite of the utter failure of conservatism as a governing force, is that to win national elections Dems must tack to the Right. This is how one can explain Hillary Clinton’s attempt to criminalize flag burning, and Barack Obama’s thumbing his nose at the activist base of the party by endorsing Joe Liberman, while the grassroots rallies around Ned Lamont (Liberman’s challenger in the primaries). And, of course, there was Senator Obama’s post at DailyKos.com where he, more or less, scolded the vocal base and urged that cooler heads and civility must prevail — now, of course, it’s hard to argue against that… I mean, who would prefer the opposite, right?

As RJ Eskow explains, aside from appearing cynical, opportunistic and unprincipled, treating the Dem base as Sistah Souljahs is risky:

There are number of risks for the party here. One is the fact that Presidential elections are decided far more on the basis of character and trust than are other elections. Like most voters, I’m more comfortable with a politician who sincerely disagrees with me about an issue (even a critical one like Iraq) than I am with one who appears calculating and cynical in the pursuit of my vote.

Another concern is having an energized base. The Democratic base may not perceive a "clear and present danger" in ‘08 the way they did in ‘04.

Now, in a fair and rational world one could easily respond to being treated like this by one’s representatives by simply saying, Fine, I’ll just take my vote elsewhere — to another party. Unfortunately, we live in a two-party winner-take-all system; thus, given practical realities, all we’ve got are the Dems — for better or for worse. It is because of this that Matt Stoller’s suggestion, which basically calls for progressives/liberals to assert ourselves in the Dem party, must be taken seriously. As Matt suggests, not now, but progressives/liberals must start to challenge the entrenched establishment/centrist interests during the primaries and, too, we must build a competing infrastructure within the party if progressives are to control the Democratic policy apparatus.

by bedobe 2006-04-14 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

Now, see, this is a very fair critique, both by you and Eskow.

Why can't people see the utility of making these kinds of arguments on the merits, rather than resorting to smearing Obama as a "warmonger torture freak Lieberman clone"?

by Steve M 2006-04-14 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

At times one has to understand that association has its risks, and Obama chose to associate himself with someone who has a very problematic stance on the war.  What I enjoy about the post above is the discussion of Obama's admonition to DailyKos readers.  Not only was it supercilious; it was utterly unfounded, and he even had the audacity to couch his DLC rhetoric of the third way in terms blogger's would find more palatable.  Even worse, many DailyKos readers actually bought it.  

Only two years in national office, and he is already assuming a role of authority, crowning winners and endorsing candidates against the will of the voters.  He should really apologize.

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 10:37AM | 0 recs
"against the will of the voters"

Given that Tammy Duckworth actually won a plurality of the vote in IL-6 and an overwhelming majority of CT voters (Dem or otherwise) have a favorable view of Sen. Lieberman, who, exactly, are you talking about?

by Adam B 2006-04-14 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: "against the will of the voters"
You are mistaking the effect for the cause.  Fundraising on behalf of the candidate and then endorsing her on television, he created the conditions of possibility for her win.  She did not win on her own; she won because of Obama, just as Lieberman will win if Obama insists on determining the outcome of elections.  
This deliberate and repeated attempt to make causes effects and vice versa bespeaks a predilection for disingenuousness and obfuscation, qualities I affiliate with Republicans and not real Democrats.
by illinois062006 2006-04-14 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: "against the will of the voters"

Never going to give up and admit she won are you?

Will you vote for her in the General or stay home?

by BigDog 2006-04-14 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: "against the will of the voters"

Probably not.

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: "against the will of the voters"

Since you don't live in the district.

by Adam B 2006-04-14 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: "against the will of the voters"

I live in Illinois 01, and I will not support Duckworth.  In fact, Illinois politics is somewhat of a bore these days.  Perhaps I will donate to those campaigns in other states I support.

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: "against the will of the voters"

Will you or will you not vote for the Democrat in your district on election day?

by BigDog 2006-04-15 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: "against the will of the voters"

It depends on how I feel.  Bobby Rush has not done anything to offend me, and I have no objections to his voting record.  He also did not intervene in the sixth district, and I have not noticed any statements in support of Duckworth since her purchased victory.  So I most probably will vote for him, for he is a great Democrat.  I will vote for Blagojevich, only because I despise Judy Baar Topinka.  And I will vote for all the other Democrats and interesting independents in the lower ranks of my precinct's ticket.  But will I sned money to any Illinois politicians?  Most probably not.  Will I volunteer for Duckworth or Bean?  Most probably not.  Do I feel motivated by any candidates running in Illinois?  No.  Should I?  No.  And is voting Democrat always the answer?  Most definitely not.  But will I complain?  Yes.  Why?  Because my region lacks authentic representation in Congress, excepting Rush, Gutierrez, Jackson and Davis.  All the others are negligible candidates who desire more of the same.  Obama is a lost cause, and Durbin and Schakowsky lost all credibility when they endorsed Duckworth.

That is my opinion, and no one has provided me with any reasons to modify my position.  Until then, I expect you to respect me and my viewpoints.

by illinois062006 2006-04-16 01:24AM | 0 recs
Re: "against the will of the voters"

And since you have no right to comment on Illinois politics.

by illinois062006 2006-04-16 01:25AM | 0 recs
Re: "against the will of the voters"

Neither of us live in IL-6.  

I've lived in IL-1 and IL-5; more importantly, if only those people "really near the district" could comment on races, blogs would be really boring.

by Adam B 2006-04-16 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

I meant to include a link to Eskow's piece, which can be found here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/r unning-against-the-base-_b_18374.html

by bedobe 2006-04-14 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

I wouldn't call him slimy, but he does suffer from the same disease that effects Lieberman from time to time.  

He may feel that he is being a straight talking, non partisan.   I think he is being to slick by half.

by dpANDREWS 2006-04-14 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

Great: another wait and see Democrat.

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

I haven't trusted Obama since his speech to the Dem National Convention.  He's DLC through and through.  

by eRobin 2006-04-14 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

Just because someone writes it doesn't mean it's correct.

by BigDog 2006-04-14 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

More importantly, this Illinois resident believes Obama is out of touch with Illinois values.

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: What A Slimy Fellow Obama Is

And this is what is really important, for it is my vote that will determine whether or not he will remain in office.

by illinois062006 2006-04-14 11:41AM | 0 recs
Was this the same appearance ...

... in which Obama joked that Joe was an elephant in the room?

I just do not see this diary as productive at all for the progressive movement. I am an Illinois constituent, I support Barack Obama, and I think at what Obama did in the Illinois State Senate proves he is a true progressive. I trust he will push the same agenda (and I believe he is pushing now) when he is a more senior Senator, the Governor of Illinois, or holding a higher office.

Really, the one thing that turns me away from MyDD are these diaries that provide no substance or thought, just a link to some blogger/columnist and a reason to bitch about a loyal popular Democrat. I don't know, maybe I am not "progressive" enough for this crowd. You guys are like a bunch of self-indignant music fans who bad-mouth their favorite band for becoming popular and "selling-out"

by Paranoid Humanoid 2006-04-14 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Was this the same appearance ...

Gary likes creating trouble. It's his hobby. It wasn't meant to be constructive was it, Gary?

You just bored and decided to watch the fight, right?

by BigDog 2006-04-14 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Was this the same appearance ...

Gary is really very, very serious about these issues. The problem of having Democratic officials who are enablers of the neocon agenda is probably the most serious dilemma we face.

by blues 2006-04-14 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Was this the same appearance ...

Really..you had lunch with him recently and enjoyed a laugh over the way he does things? I did.

by BigDog 2006-04-15 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Was this the same appearance ...

That would be difficult up here in Massachusetts. But we do get the New York papers. So I know a lot more about Hillary Clinton than I do about Obama. Just reading the things she's done over the years has been almost as bad as having to read about the wacky Bushanostra. Just about every damn day, she supports something incredibly awful. I wish I had kept a list. It would be insanely long. These upper-crust bubble-people are frightening.

Let me know if you ever have lunch with Alex Jones.

by blues 2006-04-15 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Was this the same appearance ...

If you're interested in going beyond the facile criticism of anyone that dissents, please read the post I made above:

http://mydd.com/comments/2006/4/14/12445 /5518/13#13

Please read RJ Eskow argument, on how some Dems are opting to run against the base, and making us all "Sistah Souljah,":

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/r unning-against-the-base-_b_18374.html

And, for my own take, some of which I've laid out in comments made here, please read my post at:

http://www.voxmia.com/195/were-all-sista h-souljah-now.html

I quote some of what I wrote above.  Believe me, am interested in winning, but am also a strong supporter of growing the gains that American made through FDR's New Deal; but, unfortunately, I feel that the current Democratic establishment is more interested in retreating from the honorable legacy of FDR and what the New Deal meant for America, rather than building on that foundation.  And, yes, to me, it is also about the atmospherics (that is, how our Dem representatives present themselves on the issues), I'd prefer that they stand in support of, as I said, the legacy of the New Deal; rather than vacillate and equivocate in order to court Wall Street/Corporatist interests (yes, this is short hand, and needs to be fleshed out a lot; but I don't have the patience at this time to outline it detail in a comment thread).

by bedobe 2006-04-14 03:40PM | 0 recs
Since it's taken a couple of shots...here's the

Actual Speech from the Convention:

Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Dick Durbin. You make us all proud.

On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, Land of Lincoln, let me express my deepest gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention.

Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let's face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father -- my grandfather -- was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that shone as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before.

While studying here, my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor my grandfather signed up for duty; joined Patton's army, marched across Europe. Back home, my grandmother raised a baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through F.H.A., and later moved west all the way to Hawaii in search of opportunity.

And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter. A common dream, born of two continents.

My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or "blessed," believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. They imagined -- They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren't rich, because in a generous America you don't have to be rich to achieve your potential.

They're both passed away now. And yet, I know that on this night they look down on me with great pride.

They stand here -- And I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dreams live on in my two precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible.

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our Nation -- not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago:

       We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That is the true genius of America, a faith -- a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles; that we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm; that we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door; that we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe; that we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted -- at least most of the time.

This year, in this election we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we're measuring up to the legacy of our forbearers and the promise of future generations.

And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, I say to you tonight: We have more work to do --  more work to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that's moving to Mexico, and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour; more to do for the father that I met who was losing his job and choking back the tears, wondering how he would pay 4500 dollars a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits that he counted on; more to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her, who has the grades, has the drive, has the will, but doesn't have the money to go to college.

Now, don't get me wrong. The people I meet -- in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks -- they don't expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead,  and they want to. Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don't want their tax money wasted, by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon. Go in -- Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach our kids to learn; they know that parents have to teach, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things.

People don't expect -- People don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all.

They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

In this election, we offer that choice. Our Party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. And that man is John Kerry.

John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith, and service because they've defined his life. From his heroic service to Vietnam, to his years as a prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he's devoted himself to this country. Again and again, we've seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available.

His values and his record and affirm what is best in us. John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded; so instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he offers them to companies creating jobs here at home.

John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves.

John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren't held hostage to the profits of oil companies, or the sabotage of foreign oil fields.

John Kerry believes in the Constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties, nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.

And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world war must be an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option.

You know, a while back -- awhile back I met a young man named Shamus in a V.F.W. Hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid -- six two, six three, clear eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he'd joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week. And as I listened to him explain why he'd enlisted, the absolute faith he had in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all that any of us might ever hope for in a child.

But then I asked myself, "Are we serving Shamus as well as he is serving us?"

I thought of the 900 men and women -- sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who won't be returning to their own hometowns. I thought of the families I've met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.

When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

Now -- Now let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued. And they must be defeated. John Kerry knows this. And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure.

John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that it's not enough for just some of us to prosper -- for alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga,  a belief that we're all connected as one people. If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there is a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription drugs, and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief -- It is that fundamental belief: I am my brother's keeper. I am my sister's keeper that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.

E pluribus unum: "Out of many, one."

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us -- the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of "anything goes." Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America -- there's the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an "awesome God" in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we've got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end -- In the end -- In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?

John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope.

I'm not talking about blind optimism here -- the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't think about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.

Hope -- Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!

In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.

I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.

I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us.

America! Tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion that I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do -- if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as President, and John Edwards will be sworn in as Vice President, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you very much everybody. God bless you. Thank you.

by BigDog 2006-04-14 03:40PM | 0 recs
And here's CockBurn's Whole Article

This is filled with overblown rhetoric and personal invective by the author. He is not a journalist held to some code of ethics but a columnist not different that those we hate on the Right. There is nothing objective about this article. Nothing. We don't even know the alleged quotes are true when he slams other congresspeople for things that are simply not true.

This is personal invective, the politics of personal destruction....not journalism. Here's the entire article to enjoy (or not) for yourself.
============== =

IF ONLY THEY'D HISSED BARACK OBAMA

What a contrast between the French demonstrations and the vast and exciting marches here against proposed immigration laws, as against the limp turnouts against the U.S. war on Iraq!

Across a few explosive weeks the first two series of protests have surged up in numbers and political impact. In France earlier this week there were a million on the streets. Just in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, half a million. In Paris, Dominique de Villepin, the author of the hated law loosening curbs on employers' right to fire new hires, is fighting for his political life. In Congress, U.S. senators revised the language of their bill in step with the magnitude and passion of the rallies.

Meanwhile, though two out of three here in the United States disapprove of the war in Iraq, there's no energetic political leadership from above, no irresistible shove from below.

Reason? There's no draft. There's no reason to fear that your number will come up. No draft, hence no burgeoning antiwar movement, moving from strength to strength, terrorizing the politicians. What's the degree of separation between most of us and the 120,000 U.S. military in Iraq? The closest I get to people who have served in Iraq is the parents in Military Families Speak Out I share platforms with. So how do we narrow the degrees of separation? By vets counseling students against enlisting, by inviting Military Families Against the War to speak locally. Remember, the antiwar movement reached its peak last year because Cindy Sheehan connected millions to the war.

The war's coming home all right, in the form of people dreadfully wounded in body and spirit. Thousands of tragedies will unwind, often violently, for years to come. But for now, for the most part, it's pictures on the TV, not tears and terror on the hearthrug. So the Democrats in Congress aren't too worried about pressure from their antiwar constituents. The awful six-termer, Jane Harman, faces a primary challenge from Marcy Winograd in Southern California, after a couple of unions defied orders and endorsed Winograd. Meanwhile, at the other end of the country in Connecticut, Sen. Joe Lieberman faced a decidedly cool audience at a big Democratic dinner at the end of March and got bailed out by his brother senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who told the crowd to haul out their checkbooks and make sure Lieberman gets returned for another term.

What kind of a signal is this? Here is Obama, endlessly hailed as the brightest rising star in the Democratic firmament, delivering (at a closely watched political dinner, where Lieberman's primary opponent is sitting in the crowd) a ringing endorsement to his "mentor," Lieberman, Bush's closest Democratic ally on the war in Iraq, one of the architects of welfare "reform," and pretty much overall a symbol of everything that's been wrong with the Democratic Party for the past 20 years. What a slimy fellow Obama is, as befits a man symbolizing everything that will continue to be wrong with the Democratic Party for the next 20 years. Every time I look up he's doing something disgusting, like reproaching his fellow senator Dick Durbin for denouncing the torture center at Guantanamo or cheerleading the nuke-Iran crowd.

How many degrees of separation do I have from people without green cards, people who just come across the border, people awaiting relatives coming across the borders, the guy behind the bar in an Irish pub, the fellow in the gas station, the woman at the cash register? It's a one-degree world.

Try to pass a bill -- as the House of Representatives is now doing -- that makes a significant chunk of the population co-conspirators in the commission of a felony -- and you're going to get some action, and so they did: half a million in Los Angeles and then the demonstrations and student walkouts that have put maybe 1.5 million on the streets in the past few weeks.

The horrible part of the story is that this is a moment when the antiwar movement should be at full effective stretch. A couple of weeks ago, Tony Swindell, a newspaper editor in north Texas wrote to me as follows: "Begin paying attention to stories from Iraq like the very recent one about U.S. Marines killing a group of civilians near Baghdad. This is the next step in the Iraq war as frustration among our soldiers grow -- especially with multiple tours. I served with the 11th Light Infantry Brigade, American Division, and My Lai was not an isolated incident. We came to be known as the Butcher's Brigade, and we also were the birthplace of the Phoenix Program."

We're running in our next CounterPunch newsletter Swindell's parallel narratives of the United States in Vietnam, and what he sees happening now. "There's a numbness in my guts as I see the same nightmares becoming reality again in Iraq and I wonder what's happened to America's soul. Is this what we want, another generation suckled on the poison of another renegade leadership? Gooks have become ragheads, every adult male is an insurgent eligible for torture, and every Iraqi home filled with men, women and children is a free-fire zone."

There is some sort of slow-motion, semi-mutiny going on in the Democratic Party in bits of the country at the moment, and much of its rather tepid steam comes from the anti-war movement, aghast at the complicity of so much of the Democratic leadership in the war. But set the tempo of this mutiny next to what has been happening in France or on the streets of Los Angeles and, like Swindell, one feels a numbness in one's guts. The peace movement hasn't got fire in its belly. If it had, Obama, the rising star, would have passed up the invitation to go pitch for Lieberman, and two-thirds of the crowd would have hissed him when he did. As things are, they gave the new star a big cheer, instead of treating him the way the folks in Lancashire, England, did Condoleezza Rice. Meanwhile, not one Democrat in Congress will stand up for Cynthia McKinney, victim of racial profiling right in their own hallway.

PS: Even Representive McKinney has apologized for the incident. She apologized and withdrew her charges before this was written. And if this is bullshit what else is bullshit in the same article.

by BigDog 2006-04-14 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: And here's CockBurn's Whole Article

Of course, everybody knows that it was wacky for McKinney to apologize. The Capitol Police (they are not the D.C. police) absolutely are expected to know who all the Senators and Congresspeople are. That is their job.

I would still support McKinney, by the way. But if 10% of the huge wave of bad news about Obama is true, I might have a problem with him.

If you were to add up all the things that various Democrats do in the Federal Government, and weigh them against what the average American would want (regardless of their professed ideology or party affiliation), you would find that the average American is far more liberal than the average Democrat. In my rather well researched estimation.

by blues 2006-04-14 08:16PM | 0 recs

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