To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

There has been a lot of talk in the blogosphere over the last couple of weeks about the movement and its relationship to the 2008 Presidential Primary. It was sparked by the Obama campaign's post, "Obama: What a Movement Looks Like," on two of the biggest and most active lefty political blogs, MyDD and Daily Kos. There are tons of comments, and I have read through most of them. I think this post by Jerome Armstrong sums up some of the worst of the bad thinking that is out there on the blogs with regard to this issue:
No, it's the fake self-proclaimed "movement" that exhausts me of Obama. I say fake, not because "movement for change" and "building a movement" are such vacuous slogans, but because the continual touting of having such a movement in the Obama campaign email slog is a sure-as-heck signal that there really isn' a substantive movement behind the numbers.

There was a response diary and thread posted, but it's clear to me that this is a conversation we need to keep having. Specifically, I want to address the dismissing of Obama's supporters as not "part of the movement," or the assertion that he is certainly not "a movement candidate."

When I think about "the movement" that Jerome refers to in his post, the defining characteristic for me is involvement in grass-roots politics for progressive change. Those of us who came of political age during the Dean campaign loved that experience because, for the first time, we wanted to be more involved directly in politics than we had. We feel we are now part of the movement. The same was true for the folks who got engaged through Jesse Jackson in the '80s.

A movement, on its most basic level, it is about people who are bound together in a desire for change to the status quo.

There were some comments on both of the threads at MyDD and Kos led mostly by Paul Rosenberg, that addressed the issue of defining a movement. Paul argued that movements are about taking a strong stand on issues, citing the Civil Rights, Abolition and Women's movements as examples.

But here's the thing. All of the movements Paul mentioned also involved large numbers of people deciding that the status quo wasn't going to happen any more. And in fact the large numbers of people were critical to the success of those movements.

A movement candidate in 2008 is one who is both saying the status quo isn't going to happen anymore, and has the largest number of people involved. Right now, it's Barack Obama.

As members of the current progressive movement, our job is to organize to make it bigger. Because the bigger we are, the better the chances are of us having real impact, especially in this far-right-dominated political climate we are fighting against. In organizing, the first step to asking things of people is to get them from the point of not caring to the point of being invested.

When 20,000 people come to a rally, that's 20,000 people who are willing to do something -- albeit small -- for politics. When they get there -- to those of you who insist on likening Obama to a music star -- they are not listening to Barack Obama sing '70s soul covers. They are listening to his ideas about politics. It's helping to change their own thinking about politics in way that makes them want to get more involved, and they like it. So much so that they come back to rallies, they bring their friends, they go online and create groups and have meetings and organize in their community.

And you want to know what's politically and strategically significant, for those of us who care about long-term movement-building, about the people who are drawn to Obama?

They are young: The Millennial Generation is as big as the Baby Boomers. They are decidedly more progressive than older generations, and the most diverse. They are the future of this movement.

They are diverse: America is growing more and more diverse, and this part of the electorate is the progressive voting base. We cannot win, in the short-term or the long, without engaging these populations in movement politics. In 2006, Latinos voted Democratic by 69%, and the immigration debate will only increase their Democratic affiliation. African Americans vote Democratic very reliably, at 89%. Asian Americans are an emerging part of the electorate that we need to pay attention to, and Obama does have appeal in that community right now.

Many commenters in these recent discussions are saying things like, you can't be a movement candidate unless you talk directly about netroots issues. Or that it's all about about Obama's personality, and these people who are out there working in politics, many for the first time ever, are simply "fans" or worse, "Coke consumers."

A lot of the arguments from bloggers around staying out of the Obama phenomenon come back to, "he's not really progressive." But let's be real here, and forget for a second trying to parse the word "progressive." Barack Obama is a Democrat who has roots in working on racial justice and social justice and whose broad-brush message is about fundamental change. Oh and bonus, he's an incredible speaker who can literally light a fire in a room. If people want to get involved in politics to support that, how can that possibly be a bad thing? And if something's not bad, I don't understand how anyone could argue those people are or should be separate from any progressive movement-building that is going on. In this context, I don't see how anyone can argue that Obama is not a movement candidate, whether they agree with his campaign's approach or not.

But it's this line of reasoning that kills me the most, from one commenter:

"I just hope that those who are getting involved in politics because of him will grow more mature without growing stale, cynical and calculating... like Obama's advisors seem to be."

You don't have to "just hope" that these people become long-term movement activists. You can actually go out and support them and work alongside them, and make sure that they do.

That's what I'm doing. And I can tell you, it sure feels like building the movement from where I sit.

Tags: Blogosphere, obama, President 2008, progressives (all tags)

Comments

266 Comments

Okay

okay, okay, you are part of a 'movement', how's that? your candidate is a 'movement' candidate, how's that?

LOL. I can't believe Obama campaign is still pushing this dumb theme. It's starting to sound like a joke.

Obama's major weakness or problem is that lots of people start to think him as a buzz candidate with no substance and experience. That's something he needs to address. To emphasize on his 'movement' nature will only further those negative doubt about him.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Okay

we already know this fuckwit is a hillary troll - this individual was quick to proclaim that john edwards campaign is over. I have news for you: no matter how many paid blog trolls the clinton campaign wants to hire, it is not going to help you. No one wants your shitty neocon, calculating, power starved candidate. Once hillary falls in iowa it is over.

by jed 2007-06-24 09:22AM | 0 recs
it speaks sadly

for the Clinton campaign, that not only do they hire full-time astroturfers, but that the astroturfers themselves are so pathetically stupid.

by jforshaw 2007-06-24 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Did you read the post? Just curious.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-23 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

scan the first few lines and the last line. No time to read any long winded 'thesis'. I am a dumb low infoer. LOL.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

That explains it.

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-06-23 08:51PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Very dumb and totally uninformed, and I don't give a DAMN if you troll me, for real...

For that, I am sending them 50.00, for real.

by icebergslim 2007-06-23 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Yeah, I got frustrated with the scurrilous stuff I've been reading here lately and sent $100 today.  Sheesh.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 09:28PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I saw what both of you wrote and wrote out a check for $900.   Then my wife slapped me around and I woke up.  :-)

Good golly, people, you let a little blog site get to you like that?      

by georgep 2007-06-23 10:33PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Well, George, just guessing the MaoAsada is another identity of the CarolineZhang who was blogging here until lately; I don't know what happened to him/her but assume they were banned.  Can't imagine there isn't a link between the two figure skater names, but who knows?

In any case I think if you reviewed the comment and diary histories of either you might agree that he/she has done little to maintain the level of discourse here, quite the contrary.

And if we vent our frustration by opening our purses at least we are doing something proactive in the interests of our candidate.  Why did you troll rate Ice?

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 10:53PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

"Dumb and uninformed" is not cool to use in any event, even if a poster is not to your liking.  Way too agressive.  I am hoping that the agression can be toned down a little in the future.  

I thought the poster CarolineZhang was pretty decent.  I did not see anything ban worthy, at least from what I read.  I don't really think the posters are the same.  Certain grammar issues tip me off.  

by georgep 2007-06-24 12:22AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

That Caroline was not decent and you know it and that poster, whomever it is, is dumb and uninformed to write a message like that.  And most messages that poster writes, supporting the war, bashing in a childish way our former ex-democratic presidents, read her posts unbiasedly.  No, I don't know who the poster is but I believe a troll and would not be surprised on the other side.  Since, the other side is salivating for a Clinton win.

by icebergslim 2007-06-24 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I disagree.  But there should be room to disagree.  You are telling people to leave, get the hell out of here.  Let people have their opinions, even if they don't match yours.   You told me and robliberal to "get the hell out" recently, although we have been around here longer than you.   Why not just make your points and let them speak for themselves, and don't worry what another poster has to say?   The name calling is bringing down discourse, as it conveys anger.  This is just a little blog, after all.  

by georgep 2007-06-24 09:25AM | 0 recs
grammar issues tip you off?

Benevolent advice for your campaign: Fire carolinezhang/ maoasada from the payroll. Her astroturfing is an obvious, incompetent embarrassment. She combines it with statements that are either stupid or very revealing, e.g., "I don't want Democrats to control Congress" in response to the point about Hillary's huge negative coattails.

And before you blow me off again, maybe you can answer that question before you succumb to your "Hah, coming from the ultimate Obamabot? Pathetic!" reflex.

Because a lot of Democrats would be very interested to know your answer.

by jforshaw 2007-06-24 10:47AM | 0 recs
Still waiting, georgep.

by jforshaw 2007-06-24 01:30PM | 0 recs
k thx gg

by jforshaw 2007-06-24 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

George, I sure didn't read everything CZ wrote, but one comment I recall because of its nastiness and immaturity is this one, deriding liberals in the netroots as "hookers."  That is a slap in the face of most everyone participating in this blog, not to mention the blog's owners. Seems to me a commenter like that is just asking to be banned.

I also recall the "Meet Caroline Zhang" diary of CZ's (no longer available here, but it's in google cache) - while certainly not offensive, it was so out of place on this blog as to perhaps have been deserving of at least a warning.  To its credit, this "completely non-political" diary did have one funny part, though I'm not sure it was meant to be funny:  it is the wackiest non sequitur I've ever seen in a MyDD diary:

BTW, Michelle Kwan is not a liberal. Caroline Zhang for Hillary Clinton!!

I remember I just kept reading and re-reading that, trying to figure out what it meant...

by Rob in Vermont 2007-06-24 01:56PM | 0 recs
got that right.

carolinezhang.

by jforshaw 2007-06-24 04:19AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

>>>>When I think about "the movement" that Jerome refers to in his post, the defining characteristic for me is involvement in grass-roots politics for progressive change.

Jennifer - it's wonderful you're seeking to increase grassroots participation through "the movement." But the problem is - Obama is not a Progressive - he's a Centri$t.
You equate Obama with Dean - but Dean wasn't hauling in truckloads of cash from hedge funds and private equity firms and Big Insurance and Big Pharma and didn't have Big PR and marketing firms - guiding him every step of the way - including going out on their own.
Dean relied on grassroots participation and $10 donations - and probably liked
John Edwards' pie recipe for a donation of $6.10. Yummy!

by annefrank 2007-06-24 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I did not equate Obama with Dean. They are obviously very different candidates running very different campaigns. I'm saying that Obama is clearly a candidate who can be used to strengthen the movement, because he is attracting huge numbers of people who are getting excited about politics. If we just dismiss them and write them off as fans who don't know anything about being progressive, then we are wasting an incredible opportunity.

Obama is also relying on grassroots participation and small donations. He had more donations under a $100 than Edwards had in total donations last quarter, so I don't really see the facts backing up your argument.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-24 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement
Agree with all you say. It's just that Obama is not a Progressive.
Check his stats in Open$ecrets. While "promising" health care - he's received over $500K from private health care orgs and the Insurance industry. While "promising" to shape up K Street he's rolling in buckaroo$ from lobbyists, hedge funds, and private equity firms!!
Heck!  even Hillary's DLC has a deceptive "progressive" think tank - but there's nothing progressive about Centri$ts.
People who cast Edwards as a "failure" because he's not raising as much corporate cash as Hillary and Obama - are apparently unaware that he's not relying on funding from the corporations he's smacking down - for us!
by annefrank 2007-06-24 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

According to Open Secrets all his money comes from individual donors.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summar y.asp?id=N00009638&cycle=2008

by Mystylplx 2007-06-24 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement
Holy Moly!!  "Individual contributions" isn't limited to his $5 donors!!!!!  Obama is bundling from employees in big corporations - who can each give $2300.
Sad - that so many Obama supporters are confused about all his corporate contributors - while they sacrifice and send him $20.
by annefrank 2007-06-24 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Anne,

I'm not entirely sure you understand the OpenSecrets website.  It is a very powerful tool if used correctly and can make you sound like an idiot if you don't understand it.

The compile from the FEC reports what industries individuals who donate work for and that is how that chart originates.  Claiming that he is having Corporations bundle checks from their employees sounds slightly absurd unless you happen to have real evidence.

I believe I also saw you make the claim in another post that he had tons of money from Lobbyists.  I believe you are referring to the "Lawyers and Lobbyists" subdivision which is grouped together.  Interestingly enough, his campaign does not take contributions from federally registered lobbyists.

In the future, please make a greater attempt to understand the tools you are using before attempting to make an ill-advised and easily refuted smear against another candidate.

by Obama08 2007-06-24 02:10PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Obama's bundling has been documented in several articles. Obama doesn't seek lobbyists donations - but IS seeking donations from lobbyists families. Also documented in several articles posted here.

by annefrank 2007-06-24 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Obama's "bundling?" If anyone were doing any bundling it would be the corporations, and I've seen no "several articles" to back up your accusation. As for his taking money from lobbyists wives--this is not the 19th century. Honestly, women today have their own minds, their own careers, and sometimes <gasp!> they even have different political opinions from their husbands.

So if you have any evidence then show it. Otherwise please stop making these imaginary accusations.

by Mystylplx 2007-06-25 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I think Clinton, Obama, and Edwards are progressives. If taking corporate and special interest contributions eliminates a person from being a progressive that eliminates even the most progressive members of Congress.

by robliberal 2007-06-24 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement
Apparently, you misunderstood my comment.
There are contributions and there are MASSIVE contributions.
Hillary and Obama are bundling "special interest" contributions - and I'm sticking with the candidate offering a pie recipe for a $6.10 donation.
by annefrank 2007-06-24 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: To Annefrank

Why don't you worry about your own candiate running around here getting$400 dollar haircuts and taking money from hedge funds.John Edwards isn't better then anybody else.I'll take Obama any day.You can stick with loser,John Edwards!!!

by edward 2007-06-24 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/select .asp?Ind=F09
by Jay R 2007-06-24 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Wow!  anyone thinking Hillary is "progressive" needs to see how she's right up there with Republicans in HUGE contributions from ALL the industries. And Obama isn't far behind.

by annefrank 2007-06-24 01:57PM | 0 recs
You misrepresent the facts.

Federal regulations require that all contributors to campaigns provide their employment information. That is how opensecrets.org gets their sector information.  The mere fact that I am in the advertising business and donated to Obama does not mean he is getting huge contributions from the Advertising Industry. He is getting an individual contribution.  

If you want to see the difference between the candidates then you should look closely at what they have you swear to while making your contribution.  Only Barack Obama asks you to confirm that:

1. This contribution is not made from the funds of a political action committee.

2. This contribution is not made from the funds of an individual registered as a federal lobbyist or a foreign agent, or an entity that is a federally registered lobbying firm or foreign agent.

3. The funds I am donating are not being provided to me by another person or entity for the purpose of making this contribution.

Neither Edwards nor Clinton restricts donations from PACs or registered lobbyists.  And it's #3 which is very enlightening.  The other two campaigns make you promise the funds are from your account or controlled by you, but it does not go the extra step of  assuring they weren't funds given to you by someone else for the purpose of donating to the candidate.  This is exactly what happened in the last election with Edwards and he got into some hot water for it.  And this is exactly what some people are worried about when secretaries working at Fortress donate the maximum amount.

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-24 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

So you're okay with the millions that Edwards has received too, right?

He's not getting as much from most sectors as Hillary and Obama, but considering his standing in national polls he's getting a more proportionate amount.  And he's not sending it back, is he?  

Is $15,000 really less odious than $30,000?  Is there some arbitrary threshhold that contributions have to reach from a given sector before you include them in your analysi$?

Pobody's nerfect.

by Jay R 2007-06-24 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Obama is not a centrist, and your use of the "$" in place of an "s" is almost laughable. He is one of the most liberal members of the US Senate, and, actually, his Senate voting record is much more liberal than Clinton's or Edwards'.

As far as the love of money you imply with the "$", he has spent his whole life working for progressive causes (and for little pay). He could have cashed in big time by suing people or becoming a corporate lawyer (he could have walked into a ridiculous job after being president of the Harvard law review). He didn't. He's lived his life in a most admirable way, and conducted himself in office similarly.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-24 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement
Centri$ism is not related to conservatism, moderate, or liberalism.
Money and Power are equal opportunity compromi$ing commodities. Obama has received LOTS of corporati$t donations. Corporatists don't donate to Progressives whose policies conflict with the corporate agenda. That's why Obama Wows! crowds with inspirational speeches - not specific policies that expose the corporations keeping the working poor poor.
by annefrank 2007-06-24 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/select .asp?Ind=F09

You're only kidding yourself about contributions and ideological purity, and using such a basis for declaring a candidate's ideological purity strikes me as incredibly naive.

by Jay R 2007-06-24 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Where have you been the last few days?  Your criticism of Obama is in the dark.

by noquacks 2007-06-24 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Please, obviously you have not done homework on your candidate.  Obama's voting record is almost the same as Clinton.  

by lonnette33 2007-06-24 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Wrong. In the two years they were in the Senate together, Obama's voted much more liberally than Senator Clinton. You're just not right at all on this one. Obama's record in the Senate is far more liberal than Clinton's (or even Edwards').

National Journal Liberal Ratings:

Edwards:

Edwards's 2003 National Journal vote rating -- which gave him a liberal rating of 94.5 percent -- was based on only 40 votes from one session of Congress (due to his presidential campaign, Edwards missed 22 of the 62 Senate votes National Journal examined) and is not representative of his voting record in the Senate over the past five years, during which he has cast more than 1,000 votes. Edwards's average liberal rating for the five years he has served in the Senate (1999-2003) is 75.7 percent -- 20 points lower than his 2003 rating, which Republicans are touting. According to National Journal, in 2002, Edwards received a 63 percent rating; in 2001, he received a 68.2 percent rating; in 2000, he received an 80.8 percent rating; and in 1999, he received a 72.2 percent rating.
Source: Media Matters

So, for Edwards that's:

1999: 72.2%

  1. 80.8%
  2. 68.2%
  3. 63%
  4. 94.5%
Lifetime: 75.7% (excludes 2004, which I can't find on the internet)

Clinton:
2001-2003: 83.9%
2004: unavailable
2005: 80%
2006: 70.2%
Lifetime: 80.38%

Obama:
2005: 83%
2006: 86%.
Lifetime: 84.5%
-----------------------------

Obama vs. Clinton Liberal Rating in the 2 years they've served together (the most relevant for comparison):
Obama: 84.5%
Clinton: 75.1%

Obama's voting record is not the same as Clinton's. Not by a long shot.

In 2006 (the last year for which data is available), there were 9 senators who were more liberal than Barack Obama. By contrast, there were 10 Democrats (11 including Lieberman, who technically hadn't left the party until midway through the year) who were more conservative. Barack Obama had a better liberal rating than Russ Feingold in 2006. This man is a progressive, can we put the doubts to rest? Can we exist replacing s's with $'s in our posts about him, if only to make it easier to read? Thanks.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-24 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I guess you weren't my target audience then. I was shooting for people who are thinking critically about movement politics. OMGZ.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-23 07:16PM | 0 recs
Again, Not A Movement

If Obama had creaed a movement or was caught up in one, you'd see it elsewhere.  You would see it in local and state elections.  You would see it in a sure fire back lash.

None of that is happening.  There is no movement.

by dpANDREWS 2007-06-23 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Again, Not A Movement

Because posters like you don't want a movement.

Movement is change.  We saw movement in 2006.  People were fed up.  I hear it all the time, some people can not wait to get to the polls.  

Yes, posters like you.  I am a 45 yr old woman who is fed up.  This Democratic Party want it to be staus quo and want to tell us how to think, view things and everything else.  As this poster indicated, Dean did just that.  He brought some damn spunk to this party.  It was DEAD, totally.  He made people, believe again, that is was a possiblity of change, but we must get involved in the process.  See, change don't have to be in the streets, is can be hitting a donate button on a website for a cause or your candidate.  It can be going to meetings, many for the very first time in their lives, etc.

Many on this board don't want change.  They want the rattle of poll numbers to make people believe there can be no change.  Change is waivery and scary.  It is going against the known candidate to an unknown candidate.  But it is belief, to the end.

This country would be nothing if we did not see the Civil Rights movement.  That struggle was going on for a long time, but like you said "we didn't see it".  Why?  The Powers That Be did not want us to see it for a very long time.  Many in the north heard stories of lyching of blacks, etc.  But could not believe it until we saw it on television when the police put attack dogs and firehoses on "non-violent people" who were WALKING FOR A CHANGE.

The Democratic Party have to move forward or they are going to loose a lot of foot soliders, who are advocates for change.

Change, you don't want any change.  When you can't even look outside the box for a "possiblility", you will never change.

by icebergslim 2007-06-23 09:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Again, Not A Movement

The change Progressives seek - won't come from candidates up to their eyeballs in donations from "special interests."  That's why there's a stalemate in Congress - and nothing is happening. Follow the money...

by annefrank 2007-06-24 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Again, Not A Movement

You would see it on a bumper sticker.   I drive a lot and I have yet to see any Obama love on the back of a vehicle.   If there were a massive movement, would it not have made it into the most obvious of settings?  

by georgep 2007-06-23 10:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, It's A Movement

Well, you won't see it on the I-4 or I-75 corridors.  At least not yet- give us a little time.  I'll send you an Obama bumper sticker, if you like.  :-)

And if you see an HRC bumper sticker driving between Tampa and Orlando, then I'll eat my keyboard.

BTW, you are pushing Obama for VP.  Isn't this inconsistent with your view that Obama is not ready?  Don't you believe that the number one prerequisite for a VP is that they be able to take over immediately.  Or is it that you just want Obama to help HRC win?  

by mboehm 2007-06-24 03:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, It's A Movement

They want him to help her to win.  He has support and a base.  He has the attributes HRC does not, peopel like him, can attract the individuals she can not, etc.  And if all this is handled wrongly, etc., I can see him saying "thanks but no thanks", I hope nothing comes to that.  And I have not seen any bumper stickers anywhere.  And let's be honest, most folks don't put them on until the final candidates.  In both parties.

by icebergslim 2007-06-24 05:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, It's A Movement

I like Obama.  He is a rising star in the party.  But, even though I acknowledge that there is somewhat of a movement which the Democrats would be smart to mine, he is going about the presidential race wrong, as he does not shore up Democrats first. Of course, the proof will be in the pudding, and if this strategy leads to an actual nomination, I will be proven wrong.  

He is VP material, IMO.  As I believe he is shortchanging with Democrats, we may never know how well he COULD have done in this process, if he had decided on a different strategy of going after Democrats first, then adding others to the mix.  

I have seen a couple of bumper stickers for Hillary on cars driven by women recently, btw.  In a way her appeal amongst women can be considered a movement just the same.  Of course, that is an informal type "survey," but I would imagine that a couple of bumper stickers should show up here and there (especially around USF and UT or HCC campuses) in town to convey an actual strong movement that is sweeping across the nation.  If there is to be a real movement, it is probably in its infancy right now.  

by georgep 2007-06-24 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, It's A Movement
If Obama wanted to increase Democratic voter registrations and involvement in the party - he could have done it without running for Prez.
That's what makes his "movement" less like MLK, Jr. - and more like an Opportunist.
by annefrank 2007-06-24 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, It's A Movement

God, if you don't get your head out of the '60s now you're going to be trapped there forever.

by Jay R 2007-06-24 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: obama needs more peolpe like you

obama needs more peolpe like annefrank because bloggers like you talk about him all day everyday he has got 189 hits on that one blog that is great pub without spending any money thanks for all the help annefrank you have done ,keep up the good work

by edward 2007-06-24 02:22PM | 0 recs
If there was a movement

It would show up in literature.  IN music.  In poetry.  In business and in politics.  It would be denated in schools across the country.  It would be easy to see and to identify and it would be bigger than any one man.

by dpANDREWS 2007-06-24 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: If there was a movement

Is it just me or are people expecting movements to occur overnight?  His presidential campaign has been going on for... Four months and you are saying there should be songs and poetry about it already.  Let alone the fact that there is music about it already, suprisingly enough.  

How about bigger than 10,000 men and women?  Or 100,000?  Donors = 100,000.  (Changing that number after 1 week) People who have actively canvassed = 10,000.  That is much more of a people powered movement than any of the other candidates so far.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-06-24 01:54PM | 0 recs
His campaign calls it a movement

Thats bogus campaign speak ... and Obama is supposed to be different and not engage in such things.

by dpANDREWS 2007-06-24 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Um. His campaign is six months old. Those kinds of impacts are long-term, though I will say that Vote Hope, the independent campaign for Obama that I am working on in California, is also going to support progressive state and local candidates in California in 2008.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-23 07:23PM | 0 recs
Is that The PAC

set up in California to avoid campaign contribution limits?  

$2300 hundred for the real campaign.

What is it, $5000 limit per person for your PAC?  A PAC with one purpose, for Barack Obama to win the primary in California.

Getting a lot of big money contributions. Of course, you won't coordinate with the campaign.  Wink, wink.

New politics? No. More of the same.  Chicago-style politics.

You can buy the illusion of a movement, but it does not fool everyone.  Jerome was completely right.

by littafi 2007-06-23 09:53PM | 0 recs
yeah...

Thanks, we needed some more unhelpful cynicism around here.

Can someone please tell me why a person or group of people starting a PAC is unhealthy for our Democracy?  And now the PAC claims to help other candidates?  What is wrong with that?  Dean started DFA after his candidacy.  Imagine if his supporters would've started something like that before he did.  Would there have been something wrong with that?

by maddogg 2007-06-24 05:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Is that The PAC

You need to read what Barack Obama has said.  Hillary Clinton does take PAC monies, Barack and John Edwards do not.  Read what the statement of the website.  And please, be more informed, because this statement is on both candidates websites.  And the Obama Campaign already said they had nothing to do with this organization.

by icebergslim 2007-06-24 05:43AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

The main thing I think of with movements is collective action to challenge and change the status quo.

I don't really see these challenges with the Obama campaign (at least not anymore than any other campaign that wants to get away from the Bush years). I don't see anything that is threatening to any existing entrenched power structures.

The civil rights movement definitely challenged the status quo. Not just by threatening to overturn Jim Crow laws through legislative action. The Montgomery bus boycott is a good example. People collectively rose together to put economic pressure on the powerful in order to enact change. It took courage and sacrifice. And it definitely threatened the status quo.

I guess you could make a case that Obama's candidacy is threatening to the lobbyist culture in DC. But I don't really see them feeling threatened right now. I don't really see his campaign supporters challenging the status quo. Mind you I don't really see this from any campaign, but then again they're not claiming their part of a larger movement.

by adamterando 2007-06-24 04:28AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Never ceases to amaze me that folks deny the existence of a "movement" which is taking place right before their very eyes by any metric you care to name; campaign funding, grass-roots organisation, web activity, large crowds, increased participation of marginalised groups.  No to mention the message which is as clear as a bell.  The Obama movement has confounded the pundits and placed him in an excellent position to win the Democratic nomination.  Saying it ain't so don't make it ain't so.

If those of you who are denying Senator Obama this populist credibility are waiting for the idealised progressive "movement" that exists only in the imagination of some progressive netroots commentators you will miss the bus.  If you ain't part of the solution you are part of the problem.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

There's no evidence to your claim there's such grassroots 'movement'. A recent AP poll comes to the conclusion that Obama's strength is among higher-earning  & higher-educated elitist liberals. Hillary outpolled him among working class democrats by 4 to 1 or sth(can't recall the exact number).

If there is a movement, it's a 'elitist' movement, definitely not a real grassroots, working class 'movement'. Dean's movement was similar.

I don't know how many people contributed to Obama/Clinton/Edwards' campaigns. But those numbers, which are impressive, are still extremely tiny compared to total voting population.

Talk to me about real 'movement' when a candidate's contributor base reaches at least half a million.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Well, Obama's was over 100k in the first quarter, from memory.  Not to mention the 10k people canvassing for him this month all over the country.  Works for me.  Did you take the trouble to read the diary, after all?  It's worth it.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Here's an article to check out:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/polit ics/chi-070404obama-money,1,1955904.stor y

The key point is this:

"Overall, Obama received contributions from more than 100,000 individuals, his campaign said. Clinton received donations from about 50,000 people, while Edwards took in money from about 37,000 donors."

The number of Obama donors is expected to rise significantly this quarter. I agree with you that large numbers of donors are critical. But as it stands now, 100,000 is a lot closer to half a million than 37,000.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-23 07:44PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

As I said, to have 100,000/50,000/37,000 to contribute is impressive, but these numbers are extremely tiny considering the total voting population. The recent polling data shows although these contributors are among high income, well-educated primary voters. This is certainly not a broad based 'movement'.

Dean's contributor base was on the same scale. 100,000 is absolutely nothing. I still remember Dean's summer coast-to-coast tour. Every stop, a big number flashed across 'Dean for America' blog. People were pumped, and were in the 'movement' utopia. The truth is that movement was just a movement among elitist, high-income, high-educated liberals.

At that time, dailykos/Dean for America tried hard to claim Dean supporters were broad based. All polling data including exit polls showed exactly the opposite.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I think in many ways the Obama campaign is a repeat of the Dean campaign. I would guess that many of the people especially online who supported Dean are now supporting Obama.

I think it has been a mistake to try to frame it as a movement. People can see through that and they also remember how poorlly it turned out for Dean when all of the massive crowds and contributors did not translate into very many votes.

by robliberal 2007-06-23 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Yes, and I really appreciate you looking out for Obama's best interests. Clearly that is your intent in these comments.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-23 08:10PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Don't come on here and negate it is a movement.  When you have NEW PEOPLE who never donated, canvassed, fundraised in their lives!!  What is wrong with you?  These are possible democratic voters, for our party!!  Don't you want them, instead of negating them?  Because if Hillary is the nominee, you surely in hell will need them.  You don't get it, and it is people like you that this party will never go any further.  I hate to type this but it is true.  You negate these people, because that is what you are doing.

by icebergslim 2007-06-23 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

There have been "movement" candidates since the 1960's from Gene McCarthy to Howard Dean. It is not a good theme to use to get to the nomination which is what a lot of people have tried to point out to no avail.

by robliberal 2007-06-23 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Yup, let's all give up.  Let's keep to the cult of personality that has helped the democrats win a grand total of 3 out of the last 10 presidential elections.

by maddogg 2007-06-24 05:48AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

the percentage of people WHO VOTE is tiny compared to the entire voting population, depressingly so. you can't measure a "movement" by that metric.

here's a comparison: would you have called Dean in 03 a movement? because Obama is kicking his ass in the # of people who come out to see him speak and I believe also in # of contributors to his campaign (can someone confirm that?)

the thing about Obamania it seems to me is that it runs counter to the ideal of the progressive movement for which partisanship is paramount. this guy is running against partisanship and seems to be attracting masses of people who a. have never been to a political rally before and b. who have never voted for a Democrat before. regardless of your feelings on Obama or whether this is a movement, those are both good things for voter engagement in general and the Democratic Party specifically.

by Todd Beeton 2007-06-23 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Why is partisanship paramount to a progressive movement (if we define partisanship as loyalty to some political party)? In my opinion, a movement away from partisanship is progressive--in the sense that partisan loyalty often obstructs the pursuit of genuine liberal democratic ideals.

A liberal democracy cannot ignore the fact of reasonable pluralism. More specifically, the liberal project is primarily concerned with how to join together individuals with a plurality of values under a common system of laws that serves their conflicting interests equitably without ignoring their autonomy. Partisanship in almost all instances seems contrary to good government. The putative exception to this would arise where one party is "right" on every issue and, importantly, party members are united in their believe that they're right. Well, needless to say, there is a certain kind of dangerous arrogance behind anyone's insistence that they have infallible ideals and solutions to conflicts of interests. But, unfortunately, the current political climate is one in which problems are solved through a contest of wills rather than a search for consensus and public justification. A movement away from that is--to me, anyhow--a movement worth supporting.

by DPW 2007-06-23 10:32PM | 0 recs
Right Wing Frame


elitist, high-income, high-educated liberals.

That is such a stupid right-wing frame it's troll worthy.
Is there something wrong with being a liberal?
Is there something wrong with being educated?
Is there something wrong with being successful?

Instead of arguing the facts, merits, or issues You are demonizing and alienating groups of people in your own party just to try and get your favorite candidate to win the nomination.  This is exactly what the republicans do in the General.

If it is true that only us elitists are supporting Obama, then 26% of the Democratic party are apparently elitists.  It's 40% if you count Edwards' supporters as elistist as well.  Have fun winning the general election with 40% of your own party alienated.

by maddogg 2007-06-24 05:57AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement
Clinton comes much closer to fitting the definition of a movement candidate than Obama. She is leading in all of the demographic groups that form the Democratic base.
A real movement attracts a broad demographic base not just high income, well educated people. I don't understand why the Obama campaign keeps pushing the movement theme when it is obviously not working.
by robliberal 2007-06-23 07:47PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

What are the Clinton supporters you cite doing, beyond saying they support her in a poll?

I guess you may not have read the post either, but what I am saying is that people's willingness to do something in politics beyond voting is a critical component of movement-building.

Also, I will point out that I did not say Obama was THE movement candidate. I said he was a movement candidate in the 2008 cycle. One who cannot be ignored or dismissed by people who profess to be all about movement-building.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-23 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Clinton does not claim to be a "movement" candidate. Her supporters are raising children, taking care of the elderly, serving in the military, going to school, working in factories, stores, and farms, attending union hall meetings, living their lives, and a million other everyday things.  

If Obama wants to call himself a movement candidate that is his choice there are just no facts to show he is reaching the people who would be a necessary part of a movement such as the working and middle class.

by robliberal 2007-06-23 07:57PM | 0 recs
Here is a fact for you

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2007/02/27/AR2007022701030. html

"The opening stages of the campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination have produced a noticeable shift in sentiment among African American voters, who little more than a month ago heavily supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton but now favor the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama."

I am guessing you don't require evidence that African American people in this country are predominantly working-class.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-23 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Here is a fact for you

You cited an article from February. Polls are showing that Clinton is doing extremely well with African American voters and has the lead in many polls. She will get as large of a share of African American voters as Obama.  

by robliberal 2007-06-23 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Here is a fact for you

they're for obama in SC

by Todd Beeton 2007-06-23 08:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Here is a fact for you

The lead in SC switches back and forth between Clinton and Obama. Edwards is doing poorly though.

by robliberal 2007-06-23 09:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Here is a fact for you

You know that is wrong.  Negate yourself back to your website.

by icebergslim 2007-06-23 09:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Here is a fact for you

That's from February, and it's not just a matter of African Americans.

It's a broader matter of where candidates draw their support from.

A recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll showed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York leading Obama by 33 percent to 21 percent among Democrats and those leaning toward the party, with other candidates dividing the rest. A major source of Clinton's lead was women, who favored her over the fledging Illinois senator by 2-to-1.

But Clinton also held big advantages over Obama among lower-income, less educated Democrats. That included a 4-to-1 edge among people earning less than $25,000 a year and a nearly 3-to-1 margin with people who have not attended college. With the two roughly splitting support from the best-educated, highest-earning Democrats, that spells potential trouble for Obama.

Now much of the reason that Clinton is running high right now is because lower income voters are those most likely to not be paying attention right now.  That doesn't neccesarily mean that once voters start cueing in they are going to switch to Obama.  It's entirely possible that that they will either run to other candidates (Edwards and Dodd seem like two strong contenders for the lower income vote), or that they will focus on what Clinton is saying in thematic terms about the economy instead of Iraq.

I strongly suspect that Inequality and not Iraq will be the keystone of the 2008 campaign. And the real danger I see is that we could have a primary focused on Iraq, that produces a nominee unable to articulate a message on inequality.  Inequality being something distinct from poverty in what I'm talking about.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-06-23 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Here is a fact for you

I somewhat agree with you. Elitist liberals are overestimating the importance of Iraq war. Sure it's important, but let's be bloodily cynical, unless there's a draft, it won't hit the nerves of most voters. Yeah, they may tell pollsters it's the most important issue, but in the end, I guess they're more worried about their gas bills.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Here is a fact for you

You're joking, right?  Whose sons and daughters do you suppose are dying in Iraq?  And for what?  

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 09:33PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

HRC's sole strategy is inevitability for the nomation. That's becoming more and more clear, if nothing else is. She certainly isn't talking policy. She's not talking electability. Her acolytes online aren't either. So what's left? Inevitability. I expect every poll that shows her ahead to be tauted again and again because the strategy is demoralization of her opponents.

This is an insider;s strategy.

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

And a foundation of sand that it may be founded on.

by BruceMcF 2007-06-23 10:31PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

1. She is talking policies.  Much of it is picked up by the mainstream press.

2. If polls show the Democratic voter supporting someone else, there are no polls to tout.  But, since the Democratic voter seems to like Clinton better than the other candidates, almost all the polls look good for her.  It is function of the result, not the other way around.  

3. Clinton is connecting with the average Democratic voter.  The rank-and-file, the lunchpail crowd.   Call them names, if you must, consider them stupid and low-informed, but they have the exact same vote as everybody else, and they are extremely important.    That they are being handed to Clinton because Obama is chasing after a movement is unfathomable to me.   FIRST you get the members of your party on your side, THEN you go after others who may or may not show up on voting day, THEN you court moderate Republicans.   You want to win an election, not build some "movement" that disappears as soon as the election is over, right?  

by georgep 2007-06-23 10:52PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement
No one is calling the working-class crowd names.  Most of Obama's stump speech is designed to appeal to them, his whole career has been dedicated to them.  The whole argument is just that there's a good chance that a lot of them are busy with their everyday lives and have yet to tune into the presidential race, which is not to say that when they do they will all chime in for Obama.
Edwards definitely has a message that will appeal to a lot of people.  I really doubt that people generally have realized how different a candidate Edwards is from 2004 --- it's a far stronger message and a much more progressive one.
And Obama will almost certainly grow more with black voters.
I would be more impressed with the inevitability argument if Clinton was winning by more than ten points.  She happens to be leading in a lot of demographic groups, for the moment, by an average of about ten points.  What does that really prove?  It's early.  The discussion here has illuminated any number of ways this race could change.
(By the way, do you think Obama doesn't realize that he needs to build support among working-class voters?  Did you notice who was selected for his dinner of five?  He knows what he needs to do.  And his new "Women for Obama" organization and his wife's trips around New Hampshire are all signs that he knows he needs to even the odds among women.  A movement starts small.  Let's see if it grows.)
by psericks 2007-06-24 01:45AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Obama is the one bringing in a hell of a lot of new voters.

Clinton is the traditional establishment candidate.

No candidate so far is drawing the crowds Obama is drawing. He recently had 9000 people at a church event in CT.

This is not saying he is going to win, but he is definitely a movement candidate.

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:04PM | 0 recs
same Dean lauguage

Same Dean language. I believed him in first place, but am very sceptical about those 'new voters' claim.

Where were those 'voters' when we needed them desperately in 2004?

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: same Dean lauguage

Obama was not a national candidate in 2004. Clinton was and she was not much of a factor for the democratic party success in 2006.

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:12PM | 0 recs
Re: same Dean lauguage

He was talking about the Dean "movement" people.

And, Clinton was very instrumental in the 2006 election.  You are incorrect with your statement.  

by georgep 2007-06-23 10:55PM | 0 recs
Re: same Dean lauguage

Did Hillary Clinton go to any swing states?  Swing districts?  Did she?  Was she on the stump for Claire McCaskill who was in a tight senate race in Missouri, was she?  Missouri is a swing state.  Was she on the stump in Virginia for Webb or Montana for Tester, very iffy states.  Was she?  She was not.  She campaigned in safe blue states, but those swing states or districts, not a peep.

by icebergslim 2007-06-24 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Paris Hilton could probably draw even larger crowds but that does not mean she would win.

by robliberal 2007-06-23 08:12PM | 0 recs
Large crowds equate to

large crowds, not a movement

by okamichan13 2007-06-24 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I think you are confusing movement candidate with establishment candidate.

Since we are obviously in the realm of opinion and conjecture here I feel free to repeat that I think Hillary is a cardboard prop for the elitist establishment which, having exhausted the usefulness of the conservative movement, seeks a new brand with which to once more swindle the people.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Elitist liberals like you always assume they have the best interest of working class family, and they have the best prescriptions to our problems. Unfortunately, or fortunately, working class voters usually do not buy into those stuff.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:18PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Elitist liberals like me?  If you only knew.  Do you have anything else to say beyond a wildly inaccurate personal attack?  You missed.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Why do you think this is a personal attack? either 'elitist' or 'liberal' is some dirty word. It's just a particular democraghic group.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Well, a miss is just a miss.  What do you care what demographic group I represent, anyway?  I am in a pretty slender minority any way you care to slice it.

And 'elitist' isn't very nice, anyhow; I know, I use it myself when I am frustrated and angry.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 08:39PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

yes, he has the educated/affluent crowd but as Jennifer says, he also has young voters REALLY excited.

by Todd Beeton 2007-06-23 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I highly doubt that he has them excited enough to vote at higher rates than older voters.  

And let's not forget that Obama's surge came in the Spring of 2007.  By the Spring of 2008, it's highly likely that many of the college age voters (let's be honest, this is who you're talking about when you use the phrase "young voters", not the guys and gals going through an apprenticeship program or trying to raise a kid) who have become involved will have moved and not have bothered to re-register to vote.

This will of course make them ineligible even if they do want to vote.  As will new regulations in many states, that will block them even if they did re-register, but haven't changed the address on their license.  And don't get me started on dorm addresses.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-06-23 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement
Your comment seems a little misguided.  Playing down the importance of the youth vote is a dead end.
Young voters might not have the best turn-out but they do have the fastest growing turn-out, and they made a crucial difference in 2004 and 2006.  In 2006, there was "22-percentage-point margin of support given to Democrats by 18-29 year-olds."  And turnout among young people jumped from 36% in 2000 to 47% in 2004. Report on Youth Voters with stats
There are of course barriers to getting young people registered.  And we need same-day registration.  But I think we should admit the fact that a Democratic majority is going to count on them in no small part.
by psericks 2007-06-24 01:59AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

COLLEGE KIDS ARE NOT POLLED!

I know. I worked in the industry. Obama supporters are in a demographic that is rarely, if ever called to participate. Pollsters don't call cell phone owners. They call those who have homes and land line phones. They are less likely to obtain or use cell phone users.

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-06-23 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Gee. Mysterious cell phone voters? Are we repeating Dean story here?

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:54PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I wouldn't know. I didn't support Dean. I was in the Edwards Clan back then.

Any other questions ?

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-06-23 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I am old so I have seen "movements" before. I agree with Jerome, this is not a movement.

by robliberal 2007-06-23 07:44PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Would you care to elaborate as to why? I am very curious to hear the substantive arguments against my post. I really am interested in this conversation, but most of the opposition to it seems to be not very substantive.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-23 07:47PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I responded on some of the other comments of why it is not a movement.

by robliberal 2007-06-23 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I think, some people have their own definition of a movement. They think you have to be doped up on LSD, run around in the streets wearing strange garments, and telling the local police to GFT.

Unless someone is bitten by a dog, gassed, shot or sent to jail, it's not a movement in their eyes.

Obama's Campaign is a movement whether people want to accept that or not. It's not up in your face, but it will be evident on Primary Day and that's all that matters.

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-06-23 08:48PM | 0 recs
What's GFT?

Go F*** Thyself?

Darn, being born in the sixties meant missing the chance to curse the fuzz in Elizabethan English.

by BruceMcF 2007-06-23 10:33PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

No one suggested you aren't entitled to your opinion, of course, but that's all it is.  

Mine is that progressives are resentful that Obama has done this without the blessing of the progressive 'establishment' or by their rules.  Having been exposed here to some of the self-obsessed reasoning used to define 'progressive' tactics and objectives I can't say that I blame him.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

But, if you are taking the "progressive" establishment out of the equation and you take the rank-and-file Democratic voter out of the equation, you end up with a narrowly defined movement.  College kids who may or may not be of voting age, and highly educated, but not "progressive establishment," professionals.  They can produce crowds, and I certainly agree that it is good to get the young voters involved.  They could be future Democratic voters.    But can he form a plurality of voters with that come primary day?   I highly doubt it.  

He is a great voice for the Democratic party, no question.   He would even make an excellent VP candidate (IMO.)   But IMO he miscalculated when he started courting Republicans and Independents well before he had convinced Democrats that he is their candidate.  

by georgep 2007-06-23 11:05PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Sorry, George, I'm not sure I get your point.  I think Obama makes a credible candidate for Democrats, progressive or otherwise and reaches out to a significant part of the electorate who would otherwise not be involved.

And, as far as I understand what you are saying, I think you underestimate the electoral power of young voters, their participation has been increasing steadily with each recent election cycle.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 11:11PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Young voters are amongst the least likely to vote in primaries.  That is a simple fact.

There was a slight uptick of young voters participation in the general election and recent-mid-term election, but they are still way down the participation totem pole, in fact their numbers did not even increase when seen relative to the overall increase in voters showing up in general.  

We will see if there is true engagement for
Obama.  I am skeptical, because the "young voter" thing has been tried before and fell flat.   In 2004 there was this highly touted concert tour in multiple cities within just a few days of each other.  A huge undertaking to get young voters involved and going for Democrats, because Bush was so damn dangerous.   It was a good excuse to party, but did they show up on election day?  Not really.  

I hope I am wrong, but what if it rains on election day?  Who is most likely not to show up?  

As for your first point:    Obama has not connected with a lot of Democrats at this point.  He makes that up partly by better support from Independents, which is why he polls where he does right now.   Obama clearly needs to repair that disconnect.  However, the problem is that many Democrats are very sour with Bush, Cheney and the GOP in general.  If, as you say, Obama is reaching out to Republicans, many Democrats feel cheated because they consider Republicans their enemy (at this point in time.)   So, they are less likely to embrace a candidate who is actively courting "the enemy."

by georgep 2007-06-23 11:58PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Yeah, I get it, that's my point.  The enemy you are referring to, are disorganised and discouraged.  Let's not rally them, let's give them every possible reason to swing our way.  Big time.  Christians and all.

And as for Obama has not connected with a lot of Democrats at this point I would say rather that Obama has not connected with some Democrats yet.  Mostly the ones committed, as you say, to seeing the Republicans as "the enemy."  They are our opponents and we should treat them so, but we are all citizen participants in the same political process.

And thanks for forgiving my bad editing.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-24 12:21AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

>>>>you who are denying Senator Obama this populist credibility

A populist doesn't rely on "special interests" to fund their campaigns.
Look at the special interests flowing into Obama's war chest!
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/sector .asp?id=N00009638&cycle=2008

These are the special interests that John Edwards attacks - and yet some people get caught up in the corporate media money hype - and compare his fundraising to Obama's and Hillary's largesse. Both candidates are also leading in donations from hedge funds, lobbyists, and private equity firms that are buying up corporations like Chrysler and Dunkin Donuts.

by annefrank 2007-06-24 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

No sale.  I am content that Senator Obama's integrity and transparency on contributions is fine, in fact I would suggest you have a look at his recent statements on open government and campaign funding.  Did you know he has issued a challenge to his possible Republican opponent to use public funding in the general?  He applied for an FEC ruling to enable this possibility.  They agreed.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-24 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Sorry, I have to say another thing, responding to these comments.

Is there not one movement we are trying to build? It's not "Dean's movement," or "Obama's movement," or "Edwards' movement."

Candidates are like planets that we can slingshot around to build a movement. The one, broader movement that I thought we were all engaged in to fundamentally change our country.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-23 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Why the need to frame it as a movement, that is a political angle that has never worked well in the past. Why not just say I am a politician and I am running for president like the rest of the field.

by robliberal 2007-06-23 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Call me cynical. I don't trust 'movement' any more. I just want a guy/girl who can fix the mess and get the job done.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

calls you cynical

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-23 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I want a candidate that can end the war and get us out of the mess in Iraq. If we can accomplish that and insure the 45 million without Health Insurance that would be a succesful 4 year term.

We need to change the posionous atmosphere in DC,

wE HAVE A PRESIDENT AT 28% approval, but a congres at 25% APPROVAL. wE ARE HITTING HISTORICAL LOWS.

The people hate the politicians in Washington and that is for both party's.

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:09PM | 0 recs
that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

She has the political will, capacity and skills to get those things done.

I don't need a pie-in-sky candidate to promise us everything that has absolutely zero chance of passing into a law in a divided congress.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

A lot of people end up very disillusioned after they support pie in the sky candidates. That is why I try to be realistic. The first priority for me is to get the GOP out of the White House and have a president who is competent and experienced enough to start trying to fix the mess we are in. The history of civilization over the centuries shows that utopian goals do not come to pass overnight but are a slow and gradual process.  

by robliberal 2007-06-23 08:18PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

Her record and her policies say otherwise. She will just do incremental change at best and the polarization in Washington will continue.

I just cannot see her doing much if elected.

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

With a divided Congress no one will be able to bring about a lot of change initially beyond the powers of the Executive Branch. They can stop further damage and start taking the country in the right direction but they cannot deliver the utopia that so many think will happen with their particular candidates. Clinton is being realistic in her goals, I think others are not.

by robliberal 2007-06-23 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

What exactly is she going to accomplis.

How is she going to change the posonious atmosphere in Washington and not continue the polarization?

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

With a divided country, Washington is going to be 'poisonous' in the foreseeable future no matter who is the president. Democrats promised a different tone in Washington in 2006 election. The tone is still the same since no party has super majority, which means deadlock if you don't compromise.

The key is to get things done even it means compromise sometimes.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:29PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

Nobody is not talking about not compromising but the democrats will be held responsible by the american people if they control the executive and legislative branch of governments and not much happens.

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

What is utopian about this:

I want a candidate that can end the war and get us out of the mess in Iraq. If we can accomplish that and insure the 45 million without Health Insurance that would be a succesful 4 year term.

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

Hillary Clinton will end the war. That's the first thing she wants to do in her first 100 days.

She's setting a realistic goal for healthcare reform by uniting consumers and businesses to reach a concensus.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:33PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

How is she going to end the war in 100 days, Just because she say;so doesn;t make it so. Is she going to withdraw all Us combat forces from Iraq in 100 days?

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

pull combat troops out of dangerous zone, avoid direct involvement in the civil war. Have troops ready in 'safe' zone to strike terrorists when it's necessary.

By doing so, the U.S. military causaulties will decline dramatically, but can still keep terrorists at bay.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

If you strike terroists they will be in Baghdad and you will be involved in the secterian violence.

That is what General Petraus said and I believe him.

Have you ever been in combat? I have and Clinton's policies will not stop american combat or casualities or the war.

I wish she would state clearly the amount of residual forces required and the estimate of casualitie there would be in carrying out such a mission. The pentagon does this type of estimates in carrying out it's mission.

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

Hillary is ruthless since you read an important Iraq article penned by her a couple of months ago.

In my opinion, she's going to use more air power instead of ground troops even if it means more Iraqi causaulties. She stated that American troops may well stay on the sidelines even if there's a genocide-like civil war. She wanted Iraqis to fight it out first.

I just hope many liberals' hearts won't bleed again if that's indeed what she intends to do in order to avoid American causaulties. But I really doubt though, liberals, by nature, have a tender heart, and they will probably ask president Hillary to intervene if a genocide kind of war breaks out in Iraq.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 09:06PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

I can't believe that you are so naive. I can tell that you have never seen combat.

Terroists are mingled among the people. The reason we are having a surge is supposed to be to root them out. You cannot do this by surgical air strikes with out killing a number of civilians and not getting the terroists. They donot operate isolated from the rest of the population and the secterian forces.

The more you do this the more the Iraqui people will hate us.

Save havens change all of the time.We go into an area pacify it , the secterian forces leave and show up in another part of the country.

The only way to end this war is to remove all us combat troops from Iraq. We can have an AMERICAN PRESENCE IN kUWAIT AND OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE AREA, PLUS OUR NAVAL FLEET IN THE PERSIAN GULF.

In the final anlysis this is their country and they are the ones who will have to settle their differences and not us.

This is bad policy to have an american combat force occupying an arab country.

by BDM 2007-06-23 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

If what you say is Hillary's Iraq policy, I hope she makes this loud and clear in the up[coming debate and on every news cast and newspaper in the land.

The democratic party needs a good debate on this war and to the specificity for which you so articulated her policies and position on the Iraq war. Then we can decide which candidate we truly think will bring this tragic war to a conclusion.

by BDM 2007-06-23 09:31PM | 0 recs
You care so little

about death.  

We are going to end the Iraq war before 2009.

Hillary will never be nominated.  You will vote Republican.  Good riddance.

by littafi 2007-06-23 09:59PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

Nobody is going to "end the war" in "100 days."

Grow up.

by horizonr 2007-06-23 09:47PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

We have a democratic congress. If we elect a democratic president and have a democratic congress, the American people will demand that they make changes not incremental ones.

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

How? Every radical bill will not even make out of committe, and don't forget the 2/3 rule to filibuster every important bill.

When you don't have a super majority, there's no way you can implement those 'college for everybody, healthcare for everybody' proposals without significant compromise.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

I only asked her to do a couple of things. I am not an Edwards supporter.

You cannot use the excuse of not having a super majority for not accomplishing everything. Bush accomplished all of his major goals his first term.

His tax cuts, no child left behind and his faith based initiatives. He didnot have a super majority.

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:40PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

Bill Clinton accomplished even more and good legislative achievements.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

Fine, but we are talking about Hillary. Why are her expectations so low?

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:53PM | 0 recs
You skipped by the end of a 4yr term.

Neither the exit of all the troops from Iraq nor the entry of all into Health Care are slated for the first term. Just a more affordable and accessable force in Iraq ... or maybe that's more affordable and accessable Health Care.

by BruceMcF 2007-06-23 10:35PM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

>>>She has the political will, capacity and skills to get those things done.

Your comment makes sense - to those unaware of her HUGE contributions from Corporate America. Oh- she will get things done - but it won't be recognized as anything Progressive.
Does Hillary diary on Progressive sites?  No. Hanging out with the "far left" would conflict with her corporate donors like Big Insurance and Big Pharma who oppose affordable healthcare for ALL Americans.

by annefrank 2007-06-24 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: that's exactly what Hillary intends to do

Maoasada,Hillary doesn't have the political will to get anything done.Where was her great leadership skills when she voted for this horrible war.Where was her great political will last year when she was still against time-tables for the war.When clearly everyone knew this war was a diaster.What you call political will, I call sleazy pandering.

by edward 2007-06-24 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I think the Dean people did have a more cohesive issue-based movement (though I also would characterize the Obama organizing efforts as "movement-based", and I've even been reprimanded by Jerome for my arguments.*

Basically, Jerome feels that Dean was tapping into something deeper than himself (anti-Iraq sentiments and people power, as far as I can tell).:

it was in the sense that there was something bigger than the candidacy of Dean, that the Dean campaign was tapping into.

Again, I agree that it's harder to identify what has compelled thousands of people to form groups and canvass on behalf of Obama when compared with those who did it for Dean (and against the war). I think part of it may very well be Obama's personal traits. But I also think Obama represents, for a lot of people, a kind of post-Bush national healing, a coming together when for so many years since, (at least) Gingrich November and the Impeachment trial, our politics has been all about hate and divisiveness. Maybe some of that is people projecting onto his unique background, but I don't think that's nearly all of it:

What other politician in our country could so thoroughly and powerfully rock the shit out of such diverse crowds as Pastor Rick Warren's Baptist Megachurch, the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal church in Selma, the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and the recent Take Back America conference.

Nobody else brings the country together like he does. What kinds of policies does he key into that represent that and propel his movement? I don't think he has a singular issue. I think his talent lies in taking progressive issues and talking about them in ways that simultaneously broaden their appeal to people who either didn't previously care or didn't previously agree. I think that can become a powerful movement in and of itself.

Like I said, I think Obama the man is a part of it. He's someone who has been working his whole life as an organizer, a civil rights lawyer, and as a representative of the interests of those people he was once helping directly once he became involved in politics (though Edwards often gets the anti-poverty props, I actually think Obama has done more with his life to fight it than Edwards. I do give Edwards big ups for attempting to bring poverty into the spotlight with his speeches and for his work after he left the Senate, even if (not saying I 100% agree with this) it was some sort of a part of his campaign).

I think "the movement" (or whatever you want to call it--honestly, who the fuck really cares?) is growing amongst young people especially because they are the ones who most long for something different. I'm a part of the generation that doesn't remember politics before the "blue dress incident." I've never had a unifying figure, or even someone I could truly believe in. Obama represents hope that the nation can unite behind a progressive agenda and a leader who has spent his entire life using his enormous intellect to do good things for other people (often times with very little benefit--and even much detriment--to himself). That is what the Obama movement/consultant-tested campaign/we few, we happy few, we band of brothers/gypsies, tramps, and thieves represents to me, and I think it is something very powerful.

----
*-I also made the mistake of calling Jerome an Edwards supporter when it was actually Matt who was the Edwards supporter on the front page. Jerome, if you read this, I actually am sorry about that and do apologize.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-23 08:19PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

"I think Obama represents, for a lot of people, a kind of post-Bush national healing, "

Maybe that's Obama's goal, but I believe many of his supporters are strong anti-Bush, anti-GOP partisans(nothing wrong about this), and I certainly don't think those 'movementers' believe in healing or compromising with GOPers.

by maoasada 2007-06-23 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

The healing and compromising with the GOP part of the Obama campaign does turn off a lot of Democrats who want a strong advocate for them.

by robliberal 2007-06-23 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

He is still a strong advocate. He is one of the most liberal members of the US Senate, and has worked all of his life championing progressive causes.

He just doesn't organize his movement in opposition to another person. If anyone has read anything about crowd theory, you may be familiar with Ernesto Laclau. I've had him as a professor at Northwestern, and he's brilliant. One of his theories goes something like this:

All groups that are large enough to be succesful are invariably composed of a coalition of people at odds with one another, and must rally against an evil "other" to succeed in maintaining their movement (in America, see corporate elitists and religious blue collar whites rallying against an amorphous evil "cultural left"). Read On Populist Reason. It's brilliant stuff, but really cynical, and kind of sad, really, if it's true.

I think Barack Obama clearly repudiates Bush. There is no question about that. But he does so by appealing to what America is supposed to be about, and neatly wraps progressive ideas into the framework of what we as Americans should aspire to be.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-23 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

" I think Barack Obama clearly repudiates Bush. There is no question about that. But he does so by appealing to what America is supposed to be about, and neatly wraps progressive ideas into the framework of what we as Americans should aspire to be."

That is the crux of the issue right there.  You are an Obama supporter and you "think" that Obama repudiates Bush.  You have not way of knowing for sure, because he NEVER SAYS SO.  Clinton slams Bush every opportunity she gets.  She is on him "like white on rice," as they say.  

That is a stark contrast.   I believe the rank-and-file Democrats appreciate her fighting for them against Bush, which is why she is so much more popular with them than Obama is.  

That is to the uninitiated so-called low-info Democrat.  

Those of us who are polit-geeks know that Obama even calls Democrats out for being too aggressive with the Republicans, chides us for considering them "the common enemy."    He lost my vote the first time I read how he reprimanded those of us who have disdain for the right-wing.  He is now losing the votes of those who want to see their nominee stand up and fight against Bush, Cheney and the whole sordid pack.  

by georgep 2007-06-23 11:15PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

This is a very important point and goes a long way to explaining the deep resistance of some Democrats to Obama.  Are the battle-lines so deeply entrenched between the Reds and Blues?  

Unfortunately, if I correctly understand Obama's underlying theme, people who believe there can be no reconciliation are unfortunately the one demographic he can't appeal to, at least not without betraying the rest of us who believe his message.  Let the Justice Department deal with Bush, Cheney et al after we get a Democrat elected.  And why not with the biggest majority possible?  Attacking Bush just gets them cowering in the trenches and returning fire.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 11:35PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

It's not about who trashes Bush the most. And even if it was, Obama definitely gets his fair share of Bush attacks in.

Hillary Clinton's strategy is to attack Bush as often as possible to avoid having to talk about distinctions between her and Obama and Edwards, like the fact that Obama and Edwards have plans to get everyone in the nation covered with affordable health care and she doesn't, or the fact that Obama had the good judgment not to support the war and she didn't. If people start to realize these things about Hillary, she starts bleeding support. That's why she has to stay on the attack on Bush, pursue the "we're all really the same" at debates with her opponents, and wait to dish out dirt on Obama and Edwards when the time comes.

It is extremely ridiculous to say Obama never attacks Bush. Of course he does, and does so creatively ("Isn't it time we had a President who knows something about the constitution?"--he taught constitutional law at UChicago, one of the best 5 or so law schools in the entire country). But, unlike Hillary, there's a lot more to his campaign than just that.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-24 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement
Obama is clearly part of the DC insider crowd - sponsoring legislation that benefits the coal indu$try, voting to confirm extremist judicial nominees, and lap dog for Lieberman.
Inspirational speeches are grand - but voters should really look beyond politicians' speeches to understand where their loyalties reside.
by annefrank 2007-06-24 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

What's your stand on coal vs jobs, 'cuz that's what it is.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-24 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

The comment was made that ...our politics has been all about hate and divisiveness.  Nobody said anything about compromising with the GOP, yet.  It's more about taking away part of their base.

Spin it anyway you like maybe it is time to give Civil War Re-enactment a miss.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-23 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Oh, now you are telling us what we think?

Classic!

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-06-23 08:51PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

I am old enough to remember the Kennedy's where their was that feeling of hope and that individually we could make a difference.

Kenndy is remembered for that not the amount of legislation that he passed.

I think of Obama as Jack KENNEDY EDWARDS AS BOBBY and Hillary as LBJ.

by BDM 2007-06-23 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Obama actually has an excellent record as a legislator, perhaps especially in Springfield (expanding earned income tax credit for poor working families and welfare-to-work, expanding early childhood education, passing ethics reform, guaranteeing mammograms for all people, etc.) He's also put forth a lot of good stuff in the US Senate, and he has been putting out a lot of policy with his campaign.

I think a lot of people don't neccessarily choose to ignore it, but just don't know about what a truly talented legislator he is. I don't know if it's ignorance or willful ignorance, but he just doesn't seem to be getting the credit for what he's done (I do think a lot of it has to do with the simple fact that he's only been a Senator for 2 years)

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-23 08:49PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Also, I always find comparisons with past figures problematic. Barack Obama is Barack Obama. John Edwards is John Edwards. The distinctions are numerous:

Edwards and Obama both come from regular backgrounds, whereas the Kennedys were spectacularly wealthy and politically connected. JFK was a war hero, and his only significant job before becoming a Congressman was captaining a "swift boat-like" ship for the Navy in the Phillipines during WWII. Edwards made a lot of his own money as a trial lawyer, often times "fighting for the little guy" against big corporations. Obama never really made a lot of money, but I would argue did a lot more for the little guy than Edwards. Edwards and RFK were both wealthy Senators who talked about poverty (Edwards mostly after he'd left the Senate, when he even did some outside work for over a year on poverty issues). Similarly, LBJ was a master legislator, maybe one of the best of the century, whereas Hillary Clinton doesn't really have a lot to show for her years in the Senate.

Similarly, Fred Thompson is not Ronald Reagan. I hope we can all agree on that one (not that being Ronald Reagan is a good thing, by any means).

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-24 12:34PM | 0 recs
Interesting Note

Anyone catch the New York Times' comparison between the Dean and Obama campaigns today?

Picking Up Where Dean Left Off

I don't think you need a TimesSelect for it, but I could be wrong. If you do and anyone wants excerpts posted, just reply and tell me so.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-23 08:53PM | 0 recs
Obama - Hedge-fund candidate!

Barack Obama, Hedge-fund Candidate
Clay Risen - The New Republic
May 11, 2007

Excerpt - (subscription only)  
http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w070507&a mp;s=risen051107

But, even as Obama plays the people's choice by building his war chest in two- and three-figure increments, he is also relying on a growing cadre of young, eye-poppingly rich hedge-fund and private-equity managers to keep him at the head of the money primary.

During the first quarter he nearly doubled Clinton's take from private-equity firms--$85,350 against $47,900, according to the magazine Private Equity Hub--and, with $479,209, he placed first among candidates from both parties in giving from investment banks, many of which run their own hedge funds and private-equity operations (Rudy Giuliani, the runner-up, got $473,442).

These stars--what New York magazine calls the "baby bundlers"--are helping Obama tap into Wall Street's fabulously rich elite. His most recent catch is the relatively gray-haired Paul Tudor Jones II (he's 53). Head of the $15 billion Tudor Management hedge fund, Jones is holding a 500-guest event for the candidate at his Greenwich, Connecticut, mansion later this month.

The event will mark Obama's entry into the hedge-fund winners' circle: Greenwich, the toniest of New York exurbs, is home to more than 100 hedge funds--and, as one observer told the Financial Times, "The whole of Greenwich is backing Obama.

by annefrank 2007-06-24 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama - Hedge-fund candidate!

Why is this a bad thing? Edwards worked at a hedge fund, and it doesn't seem to be affecting either of their policies. I'm not going to attack another candidate because of hedge fund ties.

Glass houses and rocks, you know?

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-24 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: It's Happening

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you call it.  What matters is what we do to make it happen.

Barack Obama on 6/18 at Take Back America:

"And it reminds us of a simple truth- a truth I learned all those years ago as an organizer in Chicago- a truth you carry by being here today- that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it.

I am confident about my ability to lead this country.  But I also know that I can't do it without you.  This campaign that we're running has to be about your hopes, your dreams, and what you will do.  Because there are few obstacles that can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.

That's how change has always happened- not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up.

And that's exactly how you and I will change this country."

by mboehm 2007-06-23 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: It's Happening

So true, you really get it.

I was out knocking on doors in a town of about 900 people in the middle of Iowa this afternoon, canvassing on behalf of Senator Obama. It takes people volunteering their time to do things like that to make it happen.

I would encourage anyone who supports one of the candidates (especially Obama!) to get to the nearest early state for a weekend sometime and try to get the word out. All the websites have contacts for field offices that would be happy to hook you up with a walk list. Here's Obama's in Iowa and New Hampshire.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-24 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Brother Fletcher

Are you a graduate of Camp Obama?  They have initially sent me to Nevada to try to do something about our thin support among seniors.  I have proposed a specific plan targeting seniors in all four early states and hope to make it to Iowa where 27% (in 2004) of the caucus voting population was over 65.

by mboehm 2007-06-24 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

This whole thing started because Jerome, who clearly is anti-Obama, objected to Obama's camp using the word movement in their literature and website.  The reason for using it is because the campaign seeks to actually motivate people into movement.  What Obama clearly asks of his supporters is to go beyond simply voting, or even contributing money, to actually go the extra step into action at the local level.  It is the height of progressive politics infighting cynicism to try to belittle, in any way, 10,000 people who got off their ass and went into the streets to try to register people and engage them politics.  

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-23 08:46PM | 0 recs
Thank You Jenifer, Thank You Max

for writing what a lot of us have been thinking. There are some in this community that seem to believe a campaign can't possibly be real unless they have already endorsed it. As a casual observer here in New Hampshire it is very clear that the Obama campaign is very much a grassroots campaign, and is very much commited to building a movement and looking long-term. I am getting very frustrated with all of these comments trying to belittle the Obama campaign as being some sort of 'poser' campaign. If these detractors had some hard evidence to back up their comments, that would be one thing. But that would be difficult, because the facts seem to suggest otherwise. Obama's donor list, for example, is huge and his average donation is lower than any other candidate. Obama's campaign has consistently been organizing thousands of events across the country, not just in the early states. Obama's campaign events continue to draw large numbers, even when the candidate himself is not there. Obama is a former canvasser himself. He means business. It seems many are criticising the Obama campaign because he's not going around giving the in-your-face, headline-grabbing speeches that many in this community seem to be craving from the candidates. What he's actually doing is much wiser, much more calculated: gradually, carefully, purposefully building a 50-state campaign from the bottom up. If that's not a movement, I don't know what is.

by Mr Grohl 2007-06-23 09:40PM | 0 recs
This Is All Fine

But it still doesn't come anywhere close to making Obama a movement candidate.  The same sorts of things could have been said about JFK.  (And I'm not dissing JFK, either.)  Being a candidate who inspires hope is nice.  People need hope.  But a movement is about more than hope.  A movement is about issues and ideas.

What he's actually doing is much wiser, much more calculated: gradually, carefully, purposefully building a 50-state campaign from the bottom up. If that's not a movement, I don't know what is.
With all due respect, that's not a movement.  It's called political organizing.  It's a good thing.  But it's not a movement.

(BTW, my parents lived in Nebraska in 1954-55, where they met Ted Sorensen, organizing Democratic "Kennedy clubs."  Kennedy didn't run for president until 6 years later. That was a lot more long-term than Obama has yet had time to prove himself to be.  But it still didn't make Kennedy a "movement candidate.")

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is All Fine
...my parents lived in Nebraska in 1954-55, where they
met Ted Sorensen, organizing Democratic "Kennedy clubs."
Yes, and now Ted Sorenson has endorsed Barack Obama.
by horizonr 2007-06-24 10:54AM | 0 recs
Which Is Totally Irrelevant To The Subject At Hand

As I said, JFK was a charismatic leader. So is Obama.  Neither was a movement candidate.

Saying warm and fuzzy things about Obama does not speak to the question.  And the fact that many Obama supporters continually miss this point is both part of the problem and part of the indication that he is not a movement candidate.

If he were a movement candidate, people would be clear about what that movement is, and how Obama supports it. The more that people fall back on rah! rah! rhetoric, the more they feed into the perception that there's no there there.  I am not offering this as proof of anything.  I am not saying that there is no there there.  I am merely offering it as an indication of why those who aren't already true believers often feel turned off.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant To The Subject At

Historically I do not think many real movements had a need to declare they were movements. To have to "sell" the idea it is a movement makes it very unlikely that it is.

by robliberal 2007-06-24 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant To The Subject At

This is starting to sound silly. Do you think people in the civil rights movement ever referred to the civil rights movement as "the civil rights movement?" I would bet they did.

It really doesn't matter what it's called. It's a campaign that has twice as many donors as any other, and a lot more excitement and volunteers as well. It's bringing people into politics who previously didn't care. And it's fighting for the progressive causes Obama has fought for his entire life. I really don't care about the pissing match over how to categorize it.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-24 01:09PM | 0 recs
Absolutely

The diarist is right. And all this reflexive combativeness over what is or isn't a movement
is utterly self-absorbed -- and it isn't going to take us anywhere.

I hardly think that Obama for America or anyone else thinks that Obama's campaign or
his supporters need to come out with a socio-anthropological white paper defending their
right to use the word "movement."

Let's just elect the president who is best able to move the country, for God's sake.

by horizonr 2007-06-24 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr Rosenberg is stuck on semantics

I would define a movement candidate as a candidate who personally symbolizes an ideal or set of hopes or goals and inspires a group of people to action in support of these ideals. I think Obama fits this definition. For me and a lot of others Obama represents the best aspects of American liberalism: cultural diversity, multi-lateralism, compassionate, activist government, trasparent government, the free exchange of ideas and consensus-building. These are all things associated with the Democratic party in general, but Obama seems to be inspiring people to take action in support of these ideals while other candidates currently are not. I don't think the Obama campaign is belittling the word "movement" simply because it isn't trying to fundamentally alter the socio-political makeup of the country. Obama's no Ghandi, granted. If Mr. Rosenberg is looking for a Ghandi or a Martin Luther King, Jr. to run for president, then what are we arguing about? There are no candidates that fit such a definition of 'movement candidate' currently to choose from.

by Mr Grohl 2007-06-24 03:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

I a lot of people on the blogs' cases, I think it is because he hasn't really worked with the blogs as much as Dean did (hiring Jerome and Markos) or even Edwards (who sometimes posts on DailyKos). That is one of the major things I think that is causing the negativity, and it's too bad. The Obama campaign really should get a better netroots operation. (There's also the leftover anger about the Axelrod-Gephardt affair, which is more than understandable, although I would argue that it doesn't warrant this much animosity against Obama).

I actually have to disagree about the need to have a specific issue to rally around in order to form a movement. Yes, there was a civil rights movement, and womens' rights movement, etc. But I don't think Obama has to necessarily has to co-opt a single movement, like Dean did with the anti-war movement. A movement is about motivating people toward a particular end through mass organization. There are a lot of different reasons why the thousands of people who work on Obama's behalf work for him, and there are even some very specific ones that form major blocks in the movement (ending the Iraq war and installing a President with wisdom in foreign policy matters, getting affordable health care coverage to everyone in the nation, reforming ethics rules in Washington, electing an African American President who has spent his life on civil and voting rights issues, etc.)

Obama's campaign is more like a traditional campaign than Dean's (which I think is good, because the Dean thing didn't work out too well in Iowa), but it doesn't mean it can't still be propelled by a movement of local organizing on his behalf. He isn't a "movement candidate" in that he's tapped into a specific issue movement like Dean, but he's a candidate building quite an impressive movement around himself. He's bringing in new people to politics and energizing the party. Can we agree on those things?

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-24 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

But I don't think Obama has to necessarily has to co-opt a single movement, like Dean did with the anti-war movement.
I don't tink Dean co-opted the anti-war movement, any more than Gene McCarthy or RFK co-opted the anti-war movement in 2008.

A movement is about motivating people toward a particular end through mass organization.
In which case, just about any presidential campaign would qualify, therefore robbing the word of any real meaninig.

There are a lot of different reasons why the thousands of people who work on Obama's behalf work for him, and there are even some very specific ones that form major blocks in the movement (ending the Iraq war and installing a President with wisdom in foreign policy matters, getting affordable health care coverage to everyone in the nation, reforming ethics rules in Washington, electing an African American President who has spent his life on civil and voting rights issues, etc.)
I agree he's charismatic, particularly because his proposals in these areas by and large don't seem particularly distinguished.  The fact that people over-identify with a candidate who's specific proposals are not remarkably differentiated from other candidate's proposals speaks to the presence of charisma as a dominant factor. If issue differences were dramatic across the board, then there would be a stronger case to speak of a movement candidate.

I'm not saying that charisma doesn't more people.  That's precisely what it does.  But moving people is only one sign of a movement.

He isn't a "movement candidate" in that he's tapped into a specific issue movement like Dean, but he's a candidate building quite an impressive movement around himself. He's bringing in new people to politics and energizing the party. Can we agree on those things?
Replace "movement around himself" with "following around himself" and I would agree completely.  And I would reiterate the comparison with JFK.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

By co-opted, I just meant he was able to marshall their support and use it to further his candidacy. He took their energy and put it into his campaign (and now he's trying to do the same with the Democratic Party, which is awesome). I guess co-opt has kind of an evil ring to it, but I didn't mean anything bad by it.

I guess if the word "movement" is too closely tied with "movement candidates" who ride a single issue, I'm willing to start using the word "organization" to avoid furthering the pissing match and detracting from the issues of the campaign or the fact that Obama has a much more liberal record than Edwards or Clinton. Are we cool with that?

Just wondering--would you consider Tom Tancredo a movement candidate? He's trying to take energy from the immigration nativists and use it to fuel his campaign (albeit thusfar unsuccessfully).

Also, what about Reagan and the Conservative Movement? Would you say his was a "movement candidacy"? I would argue he was successful in building a movement based on white conservative anger towards taxes, affirmative action programs, etc.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-24 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

I guess if the word "movement" is too closely tied with "movement candidates" who ride a single issue, I'm willing to start using the word "organization" to avoid furthering the pissing match and detracting from the issues of the campaign or the fact that Obama has a much more liberal record than Edwards or Clinton. Are we cool with that?
But Obama does not have a much more liberal record than Edwards or Clinton.  Yes, once upon a time he was a community organizer.  But I've known community organizers to go in lots of different directions.  You have to judge people every step of the way.

And in the Senate, the only place where we can directly compare their records, the most robust record is the DW-Nominate scale, which compares positions taken on all non-unanimous roll-call votes in the Senate (and almost all of them in the House).  

Here's their respective rankings:

109th Congress:
OBAMA         21
CLINTON       25

108th Congress:
EDWARDS       20
CLINTON       21.5

107th Congress:
CLINTON       22
EDWARDS       38

106th Congress:
EDWARDS       24

Average Rankings:
OBAMA         21
CLINTON       22.83
EDWARDS       27.33

With the exception of Edwards in the 107th Congress, all three are constently in the 20s, right in middle of the Democratic Caucus.  Their average records are all in the 2os, right in the middle of the Democratic Caucus.  The 1.83 positions separating Clinton and Obama is negligable.  Considering that Edwards comes from a solid red state, and Clinton and Obama both come from a solid blue state, the 6.33 positions separating Edwards and Obama is likewise negligable.

The ability of Obama to convince his supporters that (a) he is much more liberal than Clinton or Edwards, and (b) he is some sort of progressive leader is certainly worth noting.  But these claims both clash rather sharply with the record, and this is worth noting as well.

Just wondering--would you consider Tom Tancredo a movement candidate? He's trying to take energy from the immigration nativists and use it to fuel his campaign (albeit thusfar unsuccessfully).

Also, what about Reagan and the Conservative Movement? Would you say his was a "movement candidacy"?

Reagan was a movement candidate. He gained a great deal of his support from conservative activists, both individually and through organizations.  Tancredo so far seems like a wannabee movement candidate for what is mostly a wannabee movement.  There's a lot of GOP anger over immigration, but it doesn't really seem organized into a movement, outside of the extremists.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

I agree that Reagan was a movement candidate, very similar to JFK and RFK in terms of mobilising support and a renewal of party values.

How is it Reagan is a movement candidate, by your lights, and JFK/RFK, especially RFK, are not.  Have you ever seen the photos of some of the hundreds of thousands of people who lined the tracks for RFK's funeral train?  Take a close look at their faces and tell me that wasn't the passing of the leader of a movement of some kind or another; of hearts and minds, if nothing else, and of patriotism and unity.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-24 07:40PM | 0 recs
JFK Was No RFK

Three points:

(1) I never said a word about RFK. In 1968 RFK most definitely was a movement candidate.

(2) Popularity is not the same as being a movment candidate.  JFK was a very charismatic candidate, but that didn't make him a movement candidate.

(3) Reagan didn't represent a renewal of party values.  The GOP had been pro-women's rights and pro-civil rights for generations.  His ascendency reveresed his party's values.  That's the sort of change that marks a movement--a significant reversal, expansion or redefinition of values.  Renewal is typically associated with candidates who are charismatic, but not movement candidates.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-25 06:30AM | 0 recs
Obama is not JFK. Edwards is not RFK.

Clinton is not LBJ (or Bill)

The comparisons are not only not useful, they're not really apt. Barack is Barack. John is John. Hillary is Hillary. Judge them on their own merits.

Similarly, Fred Thompson is not Ronald Reagan.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-25 10:45AM | 0 recs
Nobody Is Anybody Else

But comparisons are instructive, nonetheless.

History doesn't repeat exactly.

But it rhymes.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-25 10:33PM | 0 recs
Re: JFK Was No RFK

OK, I will accept that.  So why isn't Senator Obama comparable with RFK?

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-25 12:35PM | 0 recs
Because He's Not

So why isn't Senator Obama comparable with RFK?

He isn't leading on the war and he isn't leading on poverty.  Neither is a moral crusade for him. They were for RFK.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-25 10:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Because He's Not

Well, I guess this is where we part company, Paul.  On the war he has been an unequivocal opponent and his votes on bills financing the war are strategically correct, it should be ended by de-authorisation or mandated withdrawal and a reversion of war powers back to Congress underlined.  He has consistently hammered the Bush administration on the war, habeas corpus and Gitmo, and made unequivocal statements about his position on all of these things and more.

As for poverty, this man started as a community activist and has gone back to improve his abilities and resume a career which enables exactly this goal.  It is intrinsic in his speeches and his whole organisational strategy that he shares the core values of the Democratic Party and he had the courage to stand up and say "I am my brother's keeper..." and has never resiled from that position.

Furthermore, I think he is stronger on civil liberties and Constitutional freedoms and rights issues than any other candidate.  And we need that.  Desperately.

Works for me.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-25 11:00PM | 0 recs
You Asked About RFK, Remember?

Look, Obama has said a lot of nice things.  But you asked why I said he was no RFK, and I told you.  The problem is that folks today simply have no basis of comparison.  It's not about saying nice things. Or making some good proposals.  It's about electrifying people and leading them to have a real impact on the political system.

He's had very high visibility for some time now, and he's really never put his political capital on the line for any of these things. He has a rationale for that, too: he doesn't want to polarize people, he wants to bring them together.

Fine, he's chosen that as his strategy and rationale.  But you don't get to do that, and then turn around and claim to be a movement leader.  If you've got enough charisma, you may be able to have your cake and eat it, too.  But you don't get ice cream as well.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-26 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: You Asked About RFK, Remember?

As I said we probably agree to disagree on this.  He's really never put his political capital on the line for any of these things....  I take your point that this is the issue but I believe that Senator Obama will deliver when the time comes to make a stand.  In the meantime he does say a lot of nice things and that is encouraging to some and convincing to others.  We shall see.  RFK is my lifelong political hero and I had barely caught a glimpse of someone like him before Obama came along.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-26 03:34PM | 0 recs
He doesn't?

from an above comment of mine:


National Journal Liberal Ratings:

Edwards:

Edwards's 2003 National Journal vote rating -- which gave him a liberal rating of 94.5 percent -- was based on only 40 votes from one session of Congress (due to his presidential campaign, Edwards missed 22 of the 62 Senate votes National Journal examined) and is not representative of his voting record in the Senate over the past five years, during which he has cast more than 1,000 votes. Edwards's average liberal rating for the five years he has served in the Senate (1999-2003) is 75.7 percent -- 20 points lower than his 2003 rating, which Republicans are touting. According to National Journal, in 2002, Edwards received a 63 percent rating; in 2001, he received a 68.2 percent rating; in 2000, he received an 80.8 percent rating; and in 1999, he received a 72.2 percent rating.
Source: Media Matters

So, for Edwards that's:

1999: 72.2%

  1. 80.8%
  2. 68.2%
  3. 63%
  4. 94.5%

Lifetime: 75.7% (excludes 2004, which I can't find on the internet)

Clinton:
2001-2003: 83.9%

  1. unavailable
  2. 80%
  3. 70.2%
Lifetime: 80.38% (same as above: excludes 2004)

Obama:

  1. 83%
  2. 86%.
Lifetime: 84.5%
-----------------------------

Obama vs. Clinton Liberal Rating in the 2 years they've served together (the most relevant for comparison):
Obama: 84.5%
Clinton: 75.1%

Obama's voting record is not the same as Clinton's. Not by a long shot.

Robust vs. Relevant

I know that DW Nominate is the method of choice in Political Science class, but when you take into account the massive number of roll call votes that take place in every (session of) Congress, it gets kind of murky to say that all of the votes provide a clear picture of how well someone is standing up for what most of us on this page would consider the issues that define our liberal values.

The National Journal Ratings drop "votes that reflected regional and special-interest concerns, rather than general ideology." The NJ also "assigned a weight from 1 (lowest) to 3 (highest), based on the degree to which it correlated with other votes in the same issue area. A higher weight means that a vote was more strongly correlated with other votes and was therefore a better test of economic, social, or foreign-policy ideology." The National Journal focused on 83 votes their team of experts considered key, which are more likely to be the "big time" issues that people on our site would be more likely to be affected by and care about.

Also, while Obama only averages out to be 4 rankings ahead of Clinton, once again there are a massive number of roll call votes in each Congress. How many more times did Obama vote our way to earn those four spots? I would say probably a lot.

Disturbing about Edwards is the variation in his pattern of voting, evident in both scales. While I take everything he says today at face value and wouldn't doubt that he'd make a great President (and I initially supported him this time around), the multiple ways he has fashioned himself over the course of his career bugged me enough to take a hard look at other candidates. In doing so, I found in Obama someone with a stronger liberal voting record and a record of working directly on issues that the Edwards candidacy had previously symbolized to me. I also feel that he's being honest in his desire to bring the nation together and reform the way Washington works, and I feel there is a strong desire among the American people (or maybe just myself) for that to happen.

Finally, your average for Edwards is boosted by the 20 he got in the 108th. He missed a lot of votes in 2003 and 2004, not to mention he was also in the middle of refashioning himself to be more palatable to Democratic primary voters. This makes the already questionable exercise of writing off the differences between him and Obama as "negligble" all the more sketchy. Again, how many more times would Obama have had to vote with us to earn such better ratings on the DW-Nominate?

And finally, being a better liberal champion isn't just about roll call voting. It's also about not buying into right-wing frames, the life you've led, the consistency of your record, and your judgment on the most important issues of the day. I feel Obama is more of the total package, even if I sometimes like Edwards' populist rhetoric

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-24 09:17PM | 0 recs
There's Certainly Value In The NJ Rankings

But they can't erase the DW-Nominate ones.  Nor is it really possible to isolate regionally-based votes when you're talking about a Democrat representing a Southern state, though the impact of region can certainly be lessened.

You can try to make a few position's difference into a big deal, but that simply doesn't wash.  The main reason: over time, most politicians tend to bounce around somewhat.  The regions they bounce around in tend to be the same.  And the regions that Clinton, Obama and Edwards inhabit are all the same: the middle of the Democratic party.  They are not consistent liberals like Boxer, Kennedy or Corzine (consistently in the top 10, usually the top 5).  They are not even maverick liberals like Feingold. (#1 in the 107th and 109th, 17.5 in the 108th.)  They are in the middle of the pack, which makes them moderate liberals in the political spectrum as a whole.

In short, Obama is clearly not a conservative, but he's no Paul Wellstone or Barbara Boxer, either.   And people are just fooling themselves if they think he is.

This does not even begin to touch on what I think is arguably most important--realizing the need for a political realignment, and what form it should take.  Edwards's emphasis on poverty and the wealth divide indicates that he gets it.  Obama's triangulating rhetoric indicates that he does not.  Which is why I lean towards Edwards.  I really think a head-to-head confrontation between the two of them could improve them both.  But with Hillary leading in the polls, its unclear if that's going to happen, or if we've already seen the best they're going to offer.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-25 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: There's Certainly Value In The NJ Rankings

He's still the most liberal in the DW-Nominates. Regardless of "bouncing around,"

And I wouldn't say he "triangulates" in the classic sense of the word. His positions are clearly liberal, and any criticism he has of liberals (like being afraid to talk about religion) is very minimal compared to conservatives, and plays into the "unity" theme of his campaign.

He is not selling out any liberal positions in any way. He has clearly spoken out against the Bush Administration and its policies, and has offered a slate of liberal positions and is trying to persuade the country to get behind them. The "triangulation" card is just silly.

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-25 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: There's Certainly Value In The NJ Rankings

He's modestly more liberal than Clinton. And, as noted, he's from a solid blue state, Edwards from a solid red one.  So it's hard to argue that their differences clearly favor Obama.  This is a a long way from the claim that he is dramatically more liberal.

Furthermore, he uses and reinforces rightwing frames in his criticism of liberals.  He does this with some regularity, and it's not just limited to religion.  This is possibly the biggest problem I have with him.  Call me crazy, but I just don't vote for people who attack me.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-25 10:47PM | 0 recs
Re: There's Certainly Value In The NJ Rankings

I've heard this criticism before, would you care to expand on the right-wing frames in question?

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-25 11:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

"In which case, just about any presidential campaign would qualify, therefore robbing the word of any real meaninig."

Paul: This makes it sound like every presidential campaign in recent memory has had a vast field operation in all 50 states. That hasn't been my experience, especially in a Primary.

I think comparisons to JFK are quite tricky when you consider how amazingly different the media and political landscape is now. And I am unfamiliar with the facts surrounding JFK's election to be nominee, though that would be interesting to look up!

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-24 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

Careful.  You truncated the context.  I was responding to this statement:

   A movement is about motivating people toward a particular end through mass organization.

To which I replied:

In which case, just about any presidential campaign would qualify, therefore robbing the word of any real meaninig.
I think we all know that Obama has charisma.  He has buzz.  And he has folks believing he's a whole lot more progressive than he actually is.  Put this all together and he's able to draw folks into volunteering in large numbers.  I never denied that.

But it doesn't answer the fundamental question of what the movement is about, particularly since, for many people, it is at least partially about something that simply isn't true--how much more liberal he is than the other candidates.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

I didn't truncate anything. I understood the context.

Things that are only about charisma and buzz do not get 10,000 volunteers on a Saturday from all diverse backgrounds and walks of life in 50 states in the  June before a primary election to do door-to-door canvassing.

I'm sorry, it's just not possible.

Something else is happening there. Something that is very useful to us, in the progressive movement, because that is the future of our movement. What other people do you think you are going to bring into our movement to make it bigger and stronger if not youth and people of color? Or do you really think that our movement is just fine the size it is now?

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-24 09:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

In case anyone is interested in learning more about the 1960 primary:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._presid ential_election,_1960#Democratic_Party_N omination

It seems like to me the JFK win in the primary -- from the state elections to the crazy convention -- had as much to do with the Kennedy machine as it did charisma.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-24 09:44PM | 0 recs
Was You There, Charlie?

I was a kid of 10 during the primaries, turned 11 just before the general election. I remember what it was like.  There were even kids my age excited by Kennedy and paying attention to politics for the first time.  The parallel to Obama is quite apt, and popped into my head precisely because of my own experience.

And yes, sure Kennedy had a well-oiled machine.  But the charisma factor was the only reason he was in the game in the first place, and a large part of why he had that machine.  People committed to supporting him because they thought he could win--and his charisma was a major reason why.  So you can't really separate things out so neatly.

But you can say, bottom line: no remarkable charisma, no candidate.  Kennedy's positions and his record did nothing to put him in that position.  A dozen or more were as good, who didn't even consider running, and both LBJ and Hubert Humphrey--who did run--were clearly better.

The same thing is true of Obama today.  Without the tremendous buzz around his book, providing a launch opportunity, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.  And that in turn flowed from his charisma.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-25 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

Then if you understood the context, you misrepresented it.  And you're doing it again when you say:

What other people do you think you are going to bring into our movement to make it bigger and stronger if not youth and people of color? Or do you really think that our movement is just fine the size it is now?
Obviously Obama is appealing to people who are important to us.  But so did JFK in 1960.  He attracted youth, and won back the Eisenhower Democrats (the "Reagan Democrats" of his day.)

Things that are only about charisma and buzz do not get 10,000 volunteers on a Saturday from all diverse backgrounds and walks of life in 50 states in the  June before a primary election to do door-to-door canvassing.

I'm sorry, it's just not possible.

This is argument by assertion. It's fine as an expression of faith.  But it doesn't prove a thing.  In fact, that is precisely what charisma does--it moves people by the force of personality.  The degree to which people are moved is a measure of the charisma involved.

What's more, I'm not saying that Obama doesn't speak to a real hunger--which is also motivating people here.  But while speaking to a hunger can be the foundation for a movement, by itself it does not constitute a movement.

I know you can do better, and I'm looking forward to seeing that in another diary.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-25 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

But he uses that Charisma to promote progressive policies, which is something JFK was too timid to do (he didn't hit Civil Rights until right before his death, and even then he wasn't fully committed).

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-25 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Which Is Totally Irrelevant

I agree that he uses his charisma to promote progressive policies.  But how progressive?

I disagree that JFK was too timid to do the same.  He had the same timidity problem as Obama, IMHO.  JFK promoted civil rights, but tried to avoid conflict as much as possible.  Obama overtly tries to do the same.  "Bringing people together," and "creating consensus" are just positive spin for avoiding conflict on issues like poverty, Iraq (and Iran?), and universal health care.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-25 10:39PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

The last political movement we've seen in American history probably took place in the '60s.  The civil rights era.  The political map shifted all over the place in a short number of years.  How many of us really know what a political movement should look like today?  So many things have changed since then, it would be hard to predict, let alone decide, what constitutes as a movement and what doesn't.  

From what I've seen and watched so far in the campaign, if we were to see a movement in 2008, the only candidate currently living up to what I think could turn this campaign and country out as a movement in politics is Obama.  

If you don't believe he is doing things that could move the country as a whole, I'd like to hear what you think constitutes as a modern day movement and how you would achieve that.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-06-23 10:59PM | 0 recs
Civil Rights Movement: Pre-eminent, But Not Alone

There's no doubt that the Civil Rights Movement was the pre-eminent movement of the 1960s, which served to catalyze the rest, but it was hardly alone.  The Womens' Movement, the Anti-War Movement, the Environmental Movement, and the Gay Rights Movement were all major movements that sprung directly or indirectly from the Civil Rights Movement.

Beyond that, however, there have been dozens of movements since then. The Civil Rights Movement, for example, gave birth to a variety of indentity-based movements: the Black Power Movement, the American Indian Movement (as opposed to the organization of the same name, which unified many, but not all elements of the movement), the Chicano/a Movement, and the Disability Rights Movement, as well as the already-mentionaed Gay Rights Movement.

What makes a movement is a cause that supercedes any one individual or group, which commands the allegience of individuals to produce social change.  It's certanly expectable that movements will express themselves differently at different times.  But it's hardly fair to say that we don't know what a political movement would look like today.  There are quite a number of them around to tell us.  While some have changed relatively little over the years, others are progressively evolving.

I think it's fair to say that Dean helped to catalyze a movement that was largely organized online to re-democratize the Democratic Party.  (Reform movements within parties are a special genre that sometimes have dramatic political consequences, and other times merely compensate for organizational failures.) That movement has now created some institutions of its own, while working on transforming existing instutions of the Party.

Obama has deliberately shunned some of those institutions, while drawing support from some of the individuals drawn into the movement Dean helped to catalyze.  Thus, he is drawing on that movement.  He has also reached out to others not previously involved, utilizing a variety of online tools.  All this makes for an interesting and novel campaign, which has the feel of a movement for many of the people involved.  But one can almost say that all good campaigns have the feel of being a movement or a crusade.  The feel and the reality are two different things.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 10:07AM | 0 recs
But Not Alone

So what I'm getting is that movements require smoething that isn't used and giving them power in some way.  How about the "Get people who don't vote to vote movement".  So far the Obama campaign has registered over 10,000 people.  (one event = 10,000 + walk for change included registering people to vote + any unregistered people who attend events for the first time)  Whether they actually go out and vote for him won't be seen until January but we'll see.  Would that constitute as a movement then?  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-06-24 02:04PM | 0 recs
This seems to be the argument

Pro-movement: Obama is a new face in an otherwise cynical and predictable political scene, who is attracting millions of new followers - therefore a movement exists.

Anti-movement: Obama is nothing new, everything always turns out the same way anyway, I don't want to get my hopes up - therefore no movement exists.

All I know is that it doesn't matter what people on blogs say - we already like politics and will vote no matter what. It's about getting the rest of the people who don't follow politics to vote. And I think that's what Obama is doing - I know people who have no interest in politics who are excited about Obama. When I wore my Obama shirt one day, I must have gotten twenty remarks such as "Nice shirt" and "Go Barack."

Therefore, I think a movement - small, but growing - does exist.

by This Machine Kills Fascists 2007-06-23 11:42PM | 0 recs
Wait A Second!

I largely agree with your characterization of the pro-movement argument, and disagree with your characterization of the anti-movement argument.  But I think they have nothing to do with the existence of an actual movement.

I agree that Obama is a new face who is attracting millions of new followers.  I disagree that "Obama is nothing new. everything always turns out the same way anyway."  I am glad that he's attracting new and more people to politics.

But that doesn't make him a movement candidate.  It makes him--like JFK before him--a charismatic candidate.

Part of the way Obama tries to package his charisma is by claiming the mantel of being a movement candidate.  But that's marketing, not reality.  And the marketing of something as a movement is, generally speaking, diametrically opposed to what a movement is all about.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 10:20AM | 0 recs
Interesting

I'd consider that a fair assessment. Makes more sense than the "no way there's a movemnt - there just can't be!" argument.

by This Machine Kills Fascists 2007-06-24 06:19PM | 0 recs
Let Me Respond

Specifically to where my name gets dragged in:

There were some comments on both of the threads at MyDD and Kos led mostly by Paul Rosenberg, that addressed the issue of defining a movement. Paul argued that movements are about taking a strong stand on issues, citing the Civil Rights, Abolition and Women's movements as examples.

But here's the thing. All of the movements Paul mentioned also involved large numbers of people deciding that the status quo wasn't going to happen any more. And in fact the large numbers of people were critical to the success of those movements.

A movement candidate in 2008 is one who is both saying the status quo isn't going to happen anymore, and has the largest number of people involved. Right now, it's Barack Obama.

By this criteria, JFK would have been a "movement candidate" in 1960. But he wasn't.

You seem to be missing what to me is the main point--movements are about something.  Something outside the candidate--not just an attiude, or a feeling, or a vague desire for change.  And this is what's critically missing with Obama.

As I indicated, he's like JFK.  A very charismatic candidate, who attracted a lot of young people to get involved in politics.  And the contrast between his youth and Eisenhower's age was a striking one that gave a lot of people then a similar sense to what a lot of Obama supporters feel today.  All of that was a good thing, don't get me wrong. But it still didn't make Kennedy a movement candidate, and it doesn't make Obama a movement candidate, either.

I want to make one more thing clear.  I do not necessarily think that a movement has to be about what are seen as individual specific issues--as if one could characterize the women's movement that way.

The progressive movement, for example, was not just multi-issue, it was primarily procedurally-oriented, rather than substantively-oriented.  I see this as a weakness, historically, but that is a judgement quite separate from whether it qualifies as a movement.

If Obama were to lay legitimate claim to a movement, it would seem to be this kind of movement.  But the same could have been said of JFK as well.  He wanted to get people involved and connected, just as Obama does.  But that desire alone falls far short of what the Progressive Movement was about, for example.

What would make Obama a movement candidate, for example (this is illustrative, I'm not saying this is what he should do), would be to (A) select a set of reforms that (B) already have some degree of movement associated with them, (C) combine them together into a platform, and (D) articulate a rationale that ties them all together, and as a result (E) significantly strengthen the pre-existing movements, (F) draw them closer together and (G) bring new activists into them.

Even doing this would not ensure that Obama would be a movement candidate.  It also depends how big a part of his campaign this is, and the extent to which this has an impact.  (For example, doubling the size of the constituent movements means a lot more than increasing them by 5%, which can't really be distinguished from natural growth.) But it would be a lot more credible to call him a movement candidate if this had been done.

In contrast, I think it's fairly clear that boring old Al Gore has become a movement figure.  And the contrast is most instructive.  Some people want or think that Gore should or will become a candidate for President.  But it's pretty obvious that being President would mean devoting a lot of attention to things that distract from his movement focus.  And so it's quite credible to believe him when he says, essentially, that he has all but categorically ruled it out.  With Gore, now, the movement to stop global warming is what comes first.  That's what he's about.  What he does to further that movement is what dictates his actions.

Now, what movement can you point to and say the same thing about Obama?  I just don't see it.  And that's why I don't see him as a movement candidate.

Finally, I think that Howard Dean did demonstrate his movement credentials by how he conducted himself after losing the nomination.  He continued the crusade he had begun by taking a position the no one previously had regarded as a locus of transformation, and turned it into one.

Even with all his official responsibilities, Dean's committment to what he is doing in that office continues to make him a movement figure, however much the position requires him to work mostly in the background, and in a decidedly uncharismatic kind of glorified grunt work.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-23 11:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Let Me Respond

I agree with you about Gore and Dean, but as for Obama you ask what movement can you point to and say the same thing about Obama?

Perhaps it's the movement to end the divisive conflict that has paralysed our political process and polarised our own citizens against each other.  That's what the 2004 speech was about.  By now, I think most Americans actually want that to change.  I do.  It's worse than football in Manchester.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-24 12:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Let Me Respond

But I think we haven't had enough conflict aimed at those that are actually harming this nation the most. I don't want to call a truce with the corporate oligarchist power structures that are becoming more and more powerful and are destroying the environment and using China as their personal slave labor camp at the expense of good paying jobs. I don't want to call a truce with the Wal-marts of the world that would rather fire a worker and destroy their life than let them join a union so they can have a decent wage.

by adamterando 2007-06-24 04:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Let Me Respond

I don't either.  And maybe there are plenty of Independents and some Republicans who would agree if we framed the policies without treating them like hostiles.  And anyway, a good flanking manoeuvre is heap's more  effective than a frontal assault.  Let's get the bastards off balance and then push them.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-24 04:12PM | 0 recs
Perot, Maybe, Made A Movement Of This

I was there, and I saw it.  It was chaotic, sometimes incoherent and self-contradictory, and it burned out rather quickly, but it arguably was a movement for a brief while, and the proof of it was that it came into conflict with Perot himself from time to time.  It was not just a vague general wish.  It had enough substance that people fought over what it meant.

But adamterando is right. The conflict you refer to isn't the result of an extreme left and an extreme right.  The extreme right is attacking habeas corpus for God's sake!  Habeas corpus certainly was a leftwing idea--back in 1214.  From 1215 onward, not so much.

Our problem has not been an intransigent left opposed to all this--it's been the lack of such an opposition.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Perot, Maybe, Made A Movement Of This

You make an interesting point about habeas corpus.  I agree it is under unprecedented assault but I don't believe it is because the Republican electorate wants to see it suspended, quite the contrary.  The core values of Republicans, the party of entrepreneurs, property owners and libertarians, is free markets and small government.  Democrats, everyone else, are for fair distribution of wealth and government funded community resources and services.  And both of them are for the rule of law and the Constitution, give or take an amendment or two.  I don't have a problem with that and think that is probably a good balance.

Everything else changes over time, especially social issues, civil rights a case in point.  In the early 20th Century Democratic strongholds in the South were staunchly Segregationist.   The price of the civil rights movement, and it surely was a movement, was the loss of that constituency.  But is 'civil rights' a core Democratic value?  Really?  It is now, but it was a Republican president who emancipated the slaves.

To me the problem is that the Republican Party has been corrupted by a bunch of tyrannical rascals and something must be done.  If the Republicans can't clean their own house then we will have to do it for them and a landslide election defeat for them would be a good start.

Frankly, I think that the political strategy of Bill Clinton was a simple stroke of genius, we haven't won an election of note for three decades, OK, let's move to the centre.  It was like Moses and the Promised Land, and it worked.  And that's why the Hillary supporters are busting a gasket saying "You fools, we did it before and we can do it again the same way, all together on three....  And they have a point.  However I believe that fails to take note of the successful response of the Republicans, move even further to the right and rally the faithful around new standards which have nothing to do with core Republican values; Christianity, moral and social issues, patriotism and, frankly, racism.  And it cost us Congress.  And it gave the neo-conservative, tyrannical clique that is now running the show their opening.  A successful playbook which they could follow while they did their dark work.  And they are ready to do it again if we are, in fact that is the struggle for which they are preparing themselves.

Well, that clique is the enemy, and they have suspended habeas corpus; well let's go to the Republican electorate with that issue, among others, and win some voters back, along with Independents too.  In some ways I am afraid the bitter Red vs Blue relationship has played into the hands of the Republican clique and enabled much of their infamous activity.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-24 03:44PM | 0 recs
Incidentally

"While we're at it," he said, "we're going to close Guantanamo. And we're going to restore habeas corpus. ... We're going to lead by example - by not just word but by deed. That's our vision for the future."

Senator Obama 24 June 2007

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-25 12:53AM | 0 recs
Re: My Country 'tis of Thee

Respectfully, you just do not get Obama (you still have seven months).  The Obama campaign is about more than the candidate.  Read the Obama speeches more closely and talk to his supporters.  The Obama movement is about creating a post baby boomer, left wing version of patriotism that will endure beyond Obama.  This is new- it is generational.  It is about turning the page from decades of Republican framing of a simplistic, flag waving version of patriotism and from the 60's boomer reaction to this framing (and execution).  

And it is this appeal to patriotism that will be the hook for Obama to appeal to groups beyond the young and elites that already support him.  It is the reason that I am confident that he will win. America is ready for this and they are ready for Obama.  

I do admit that we still have to make it happen and that the hurdles that Obama has to overcome to win are enormous.  But in five short months, he has come a long way- don't you think?

by mboehm 2007-06-24 03:04AM | 0 recs
This Is Candidate Infatuation Writ Large, Not A

Movement

And I'm not dissing candidate infatuation, either.  It's very helpful in getting someone elected. There was plenty of it with JFK, to continue my point.  He also served as an icon of generational change.  But that didn't make him a movement candidate, either.

The Obama movement is about creating a post baby boomer, left wing version of patriotism that will endure beyond Obama.  This is new- it is generational.
There has always been such a thing.  Ever hear of a guy named Bruce Springsteen, for example?  You might want to download a song called "Born in the USA."  Reagan tried to appropriate it for himself, but that only works if you don't listen to the lyrics.

You may think that what Obama is articulating is new, but that's only a function of the rightwing's media dominance, suppressing its expression.  (Which reminds me, is Obama leading the charge to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine?   There is a media reform movement out here in the land, and that's one of its causes that would have a dramatic impact.)  And, of course, it's also expressing a generational desire for identity.  But that doesn't make a movement, either.  It can certainly help fuel a movement or two or three--the Boomers took part in at least five major ones: Civil Rights, Womens' Rights, Gay Rights, Anti-War and the Environment--but by itself it's not a movement.

And it is this appeal to patriotism that will be the hook for Obama to appeal to groups beyond the young and elites that already support him.  It is the reason that I am confident that he will win. America is ready for this and they are ready for Obama.  

I do admit that we still have to make it happen and that the hurdles that Obama has to overcome to win are enormous.  But in five short months, he has come a long way- don't you think?

This is just more candidate gushing.  True or not, it's not about a movement, it's about Obama's candidacy.  And it's remarkably similar to how folks felt about Kennedy.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: OK, It's Candidate Infatuation. So?

I plead guilty to candidate infatuation and gushing.  I also will admit that the campaign and his supporters are using the term movement to gin people (and ourselves) up.  But to me, this debate seems to be about semantics.  

The issue is, is the Obama candidacy about more than the candidate himself?  I think the answer is yes.  He is challenging the way Republicans have been able to hijack patriotism (and in remarks yesterday, faith) and trying to realign the way most people think about politics and government (and faith) into a more progressive framework.  United States not red and blue states.  This candidate's resume and talent resonate with me but not as much as his message.  

Look at points (A) through (G) of your original post on this thread.  He has gotten off to one hell of a start on doing these things- especially in relation to the other candidates.  And the way he can have the biggest impact with (A) through (G) is to convince 65 million people to vote for him to be President.  This movement/candidacy is still a work in progress.  Let's talk again in November/December.

   

by mboehm 2007-06-24 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Candidate Infatuation Writ Large, Not

And Bobby too.  That works for me.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-24 03:50PM | 0 recs
I don't think that this is a productive

discussion at all. People will always differ in their opinions of what a movement is. It's a bit like discussing the meaning of "beautiful".

by Populism2008 2007-06-24 12:27AM | 0 recs
I Disagree

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but movements change the world.  Discussing the former may reveal a good deal about the beholder.  Discussing the latter has the potential to educate people about what constitutes a movement.

Just because there may never be perfect agreement doesn't mean that there can't be much better informed and well-reasoned disagreement.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: I Disagree

All language is conventional. A movement is just whatever enough people say it is. There's not any deep fact about movement "out there" in the universe. There's no need to get all worked up about what constitutes a movement.

by DPW 2007-06-24 10:07AM | 0 recs
How Many Legs Does A Dog Have If You Call A Tail A

Leg?

Four.

It doesn't matter what you call it.  It's still a tail.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: How Many Legs Does A Dog Have

You'll have to do better than that. Are you rejecting the claim that language is stipulative? I hope not.

Anyway, the larger point is that the term "movement" is used to describe so many different kinds of activity that its definition must be broader (more general) than the strict one you've been proposing. If pressed to define "a movement," I would say something like an organized effort to promote an objective or end. Anything more exclusive does not do justice to the concept underlying the ordinary use of the term.

by DPW 2007-06-24 11:42AM | 0 recs
An Overbroad Claim Deserves A Tart Retort

You wrote:

All language is conventional. A movement is just whatever enough people say it is.
That is directly parallel to claiming that a tail is a leg if you call it a leg.

It's also parallel to saying that rightwing caricature of liberalism is correct if enough people say it is. Or that creationism is correct if enough people say it is.  It is, at bottom, an Orwellian claim, and I utterly reject it.

Words have meanings.  Those meanings do naturally change over time.  But all change is not equal.  When they change by being deliberately abused, misused or misapplied, then the language--and people's ability to tell the truth--suffers.  We should not abet that process by carelessly misusing words ourselves.

Anyway, the larger point is that the term "movement" is used to describe so many different kinds of activity that its definition must be broader (more general) than the strict one you've been proposing.
If you read my comments you will see that I have said there are a wide variety of movements, and even named some of them.  I don't think I've been particularly strict in my use of the term. Plenty of things qualify as movements in my view. On the other hand, I think the distinction between a charismatic candidate and a movement candidate is significant, important, clear and fairly obvious.

Finally, I cannot stress this enough: this is not an anti-Obama argument.  It's an anti-misrepresentation argument.  (I am still undecided on who to support.) Movement candidates are not always better in my view. Goldwater was a movement candidate, but I much preferred JFK over Goldwater.

I'd like to encourage folks who support Obama to listen carefully to what I'm saying, not as an attack, but as analysis. Maybe what it will mean for them is some kind of work to make their activities more movement-like.  They don't have to abandon supporting Obama if they come to agree with me on this issue.  That's not the point of what I'm trying to do.  I am perfectly comfortable with people supporting whoever they do.  I just want that support to be more thoughtful, more critically aware, more self-directed, more informed.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: An Overbroad Claim Deserves A Tart Retort

Okay, you're all over the place here. First, let me restate, with emphasis, what I originally claimed.

"All language is conventional." I also used the term stipulative. The thing that characterizes convention and stipulation is agreement. I wasn't saying that anyone can use a term anyway they want. I'm saying that so long as the speaker and listener stipulate the meaning of a term, then there is no further analysis needed regarding the meaning of the term in the context of communication between that speaker and listener. I didn't mean to imply anything more than that. And, I don't think my claiim is a controversial assertion.

And, I don't get your creationism example. My claim relates to how we should determine the meaning of words we use (which is a normative claim). Whether creationism is true depends on whether the propositions entailed by creationisms conform to the world as it really is (i.e., an empirical claim). Apples and oranges.

But, this is just a tangential point. More basically, Obama's campaign is a movement in the sense that the campaign is an organized effort to promote both procedural and substantive objectives. The procedural objectives relate to Obama's commitment to cooperation, overlapping consensus, and public justification. There are also substantive objectives such as his health care plan, Iraq exit strategy, etc. But, the procedural part is really what motivates much of Obama's support. It is why I support him. It's not simply because he is charismatic. He represents a set of ideals that I think is distinguishable from the other candidates.

I frankly don't care if Obama's support qualifies as a "movement" according to the kinds of technical definitions I'm reading . I just don't see the practical significance of any of this; it all seems a bit pedantic to me. I am supporting Obama because I think it will lead to a better state of affairs if he becomes president (compared to all available alternatives). That is what matters.

P.S.--I never interpreted you to be anti-Obama.
   

by DPW 2007-06-24 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: I Disagree

I agree with you, Paul, which is why I posted this. And I named you because I thought your comments were among the most reasoned and thoughtful that I read. So I totally respect your opinion on this, I just was offering a different one.

One point that I think I didn't make well, and maybe I need to write another post on this, is that I don't think Obama's campaign is "the movement." As I said before, I think candidates are like planets that we can slingshot around to build a movement. In our recent history, I see Jesse Jackson and Howard Dean as examples - obviously each in their own way. So the fact that Jesse Jackson activists and Howard Dean activists are coming together around Obama is incredibly exciting to me.

I don't think Obama is the movement. I think there is a nascent, multi-issue progressive movement that we are building. I think because it's multi-issue, it's more about principles than it is about single issue platform positions. I think a couple of the key principles are interdependence and participation in democracy. Obama is speaking to both of those very strongly and very eloquently. Thus, I think his appeal is potentially a vehicle for the expanding and strengthening of that broader movement.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-24 10:21AM | 0 recs
That Would Be A GREAT Diary!

One point that I think I didn't make well, and maybe I need to write another post on this, is that I don't think Obama's campaign is "the movement." As I said before, I think candidates are like planets that we can slingshot around to build a movement....

I don't think Obama is the movement. I think there is a nascent, multi-issue progressive movement that we are building. I think because it's multi-issue, it's more about principles than it is about single issue platform positions. I think a couple of the key principles are interdependence and participation in democracy.

I've repeatedly been quite frustrated in trying to engage in substantive dialogue with Obama supporters about broader issues.  I don't think it needs to be this way.  So I would really enjoy a dialogue on these subjects.  I think they are precisely the sort of issues that need to be examined.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-06-24 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement


A movement candidate in 2008 is one who is both saying the status quo isn't going to happen anymore, and has the largest number of people involved. Right now, it's Barack Obama.

And his bold rejection of the status quo seems to be the implicit cliama that we should return to the Clinton years in terms of policy.

by Valatan 2007-06-24 05:27AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Who want to go back?  We need to move forward.

by icebergslim 2007-06-24 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

What does that mean?

I have never heard a single obama supporter say what that means.  Politicians have decried rank partisanship since before any of us have been alive.  They have promised to 'move us forward' since before there was a United States.  In terms of substance and style, Obama and b. clinton seem somewhat similar, hence what I said.

by Valatan 2007-06-26 04:21AM | 0 recs
To think that Obama supporters

are not talking to the campaign about this, even if the author is not, is cynical and a bit naive.

This is effecitvely a second bite at the financial apple, especially for those who are well-off and supporting Obama (and yes there are a lot). Supporters can give 4600 to the campaign and then give whatever the limit is to this for California to help Obama's campaign.

Its a way to get around campaign finance laws, its sneaky shell game politics at its best and this is not what Obama is running on.

You mentioned in your post that you will also be supporting local candidates as well. How so? Can you give specifics? What will the money breakdown be like? 90% for Obama?

Also when you are registering people to vote how hard will you be pusing for them to vote Obama? How will you choose which people to talk to?

Regarding a movement candidate if Obama is one, just saying things need to change isn't enough. He needs to give a clear direction on what will change and where he is taking us. Getting a lot of crowds, money doesn't do that. And what we see so far from Obama doesnt do that.

Universal health care? He said before he would do it. Yet his plan isn't universal. On the environment, he still supports coal to liquid fuel, with a big fat $5 million earmark for it in Illinois right on his website. On the military, he is for preemption as long as its not a "dumb war" but doesnt give any indication on what his criterion will be but promises to protect "America's interests". And also promises another 100,000 troops that somehow we are going to need after the Iraq war has ended.

Is this a movement? It depends on how you define movement. It seems to based on personality and political myth more than anything. Is it a movement for real change in America? Not really because he's not calling for real change.

by okamichan13 2007-06-24 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

At my local Walk for Change day, by far the most popular T-shirt worn by the Obama supporters was the one which has a very tiny Obama 08 logo on the back with the focus of the shirt being the quote on the front:

"In the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it."

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-24 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Obama is leading is movement,period.

<a href="http://photobucket.com&quot; target="_blank"><img src="http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z301/jae26_album/kimobama.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

by JaeHood 2007-06-24 08:47AM | 0 recs
by JaeHood 2007-06-24 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

A movement to what, is my question.  Register Democrats? Elect Obama? In my mind movements are independent causes for which people rally around a leader to accomplish that goal.  If the Obama campaign's a movement, it was built from the top down.

by Junior Bug 2007-06-24 10:31AM | 0 recs
To what?

that really is the question. Generic "change"? It sounds nice but doesn't say much or do much and doesn't creat a real platform for the party or for progressives.

I think the diary has completely missed what Jerome was talking about.

by okamichan13 2007-06-24 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: To what?

It appears to me that they have the leader they want, and are shopping for something to move for.

by Junior Bug 2007-06-24 10:55AM | 0 recs
Movement for what?

Sorry, but are you kidding? A movement has to be a movement for something. Like the Civil Rights Movement, which was for Civil Rights. Or the Labor Movement, which was for worker's rights. What is this movement for? It seems to me like it's a movement for Obama. A movement for "change" won't cut it, because that doesn't mean anything. If you really care about fundamental change, you don't go around saying you're for "fundamental change", you say what it is you are changing and you do it. If you are saying "change" it means you are using a feel-good soundbite to position yourself as the candidate of "change" against an incumbent, as anyone who has worked on a campaign knows. Every challenger candidate does that. Remember Bill Clinton, e.g.? Don't stop thinkin' about tomorrow... did that make him a 'movement candidate for fundamental change'? Look, if people just want a feel-good candidate and want to vote based on who gives a good stump speech, that's their prerogative, but frankly it's the Democratic equivalent of voting for Bush because you'd rather have a beer with him. Talk about issues, talk about substantive leadership on positions that are not already no-brainers following all existing polls, and then you're talking about something. Talk to me about a movement for something concrete and attainable, beyond getting persona X elected, and then you're talking about something. Otherwise just drop the 'movement' BS and say you are voting for Obama because he gives a good speech and you'd like to have a beer with him.

by troubleshooter 2007-06-24 10:54AM | 0 recs
To the diarist

will this group be accepting money from federal lobbyists or checking for them among contributions? I didn't see a statement on this at the website.

by okamichan13 2007-06-24 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: To the diarist

What group?  Are you talking about the Obama campaign? If so, when you donate it requires you to check a box which confirms, among other things, the following:

This contribution is not made from the funds of a political action committee.

This contribution is not made from the treasury of an entity or person who is a federal contractor.

This contribution is not made from the funds of an individual registered as a federal lobbyist or a foreign agent, or an entity that is a federally registered lobbying firm or foreign agent.

The funds I am donating are not being provided to me by another person or entity for the purpose of making this contribution.

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-24 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: To the diarist

The groups which he is referring to is VOTE HOPE!  Which is a PAC whose current rallying cry is having Obama win the California primary.

by Obama08 2007-06-24 02:05PM | 0 recs
Vote Hope

Obama has no control over what they do, but he will not accept money from them since they are a PAC and his campaign, immediately upon hearing of their existence, made a statement asking people interested in donating to Obama to do so directly to the campaign.  

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-24 02:43PM | 0 recs
I am asking the diarist

as was clear in my post since she runs/organizes the California group and made this post.

by okamichan13 2007-06-24 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: I am asking the diarist

Thank you, I had no idea.  Jennifer, I think it is a terrible thing you are doing.  How much clearer could Obama have made it that he is not in support of PAC money?  Whatever good you may want to do can easily be done through his campaign organization.  What you are doing will only be misinterpreted by others to his detriment.

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-24 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: I am asking the diarist

Doug, see again my comment here:

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2007/6/23/2 387/90532/218#218

Please contact me offline if you wish, I'd love to talk with you further.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-24 04:11PM | 0 recs
Your comment avoids the issue

Obama doesn't qualify his disdain of PACs and he certainly wouldnt support one just because its supporting him. That's kind of the essence of the problem.

You cant say its no good for everyone else but okay for me. And he doesn't say that. Don't you think there is a reason the campaign has disassociated itself from you?

by okamichan13 2007-06-25 11:38AM | 0 recs
bad thinking inde

Let me see if I get the gist of this... Obama supporters are part of the progressive movement that emerged online, because many of them supported Dean, and they continue to be involved in politics, now energetically behind Obama... right?

That's great, and it sounds right, but has nothing to do with the post I made, which is addressed to the framing by David Plouffe and Barack Obama emails.

A movement candidate in 2008 is one who is both saying the status quo isn't going to happen anymore, and has the largest number of people involved.
Right, "Movement for Change" and "Building a Movement" and whomever gets the biggest number gets to say they are "the movement" for all marketing purposes.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-06-24 02:40PM | 0 recs
Is all marketing bad?

Jerome, do you think it is a good or a bad thing to get 10,000 people to come out and register people to vote and get them to start thinking about the Primary?

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-24 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Is all marketing bad?

It's fucking awesome. I love it that the Obama campaign is able to do it, and I think it means a lot of people are engaging with progressive politics.

This diary is going in the right direction in looking at the wider progressive movement, but confuses my criticism of the Obama marketing campaign by implying that I think that Obama supporters are not part of the progressive movement-- and that's not the case at all.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-06-24 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Is all marketing bad?

Oh, and to answer your question, "Is all marketing bad?"

I think what really hits me wrong about the Obama Movement marketing, is that it is being voiced in the emails through Plouffe, who's campaign job ensures that his partner Axelrod gets as much media commissions as possible; and Obama's communications director, Gibbs, who's such a piece of shit hack that he was willing to be a spokesperson for that Dean-Osama TV ad in 2003.

The people who are actually doing the volunteer work for the campaign are terrific.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-06-24 03:01PM | 0 recs
So its personal?

I can come on here and act like a dick but in all due respect I think you have a position here which asks for a higher level.  If you would have no problem with the movement handle if it involved 3 different personalities than I think you should lay off the criticism which good people with open hearts and open minds might take as an insult.  I don't know a lot about these various political hacks but from what I've read none of the candidates have a particularly stellar pool to draw from.  We need to keep our eyes open on people like Gibbs, i guess, but at the same time I think we all need to hope there is such a thing as redemption.  I've done things I'm ashamed of. That doesn't mean I want to continue doing them for the rest of my life.  

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-24 03:13PM | 0 recs
Re: So its personal?

Hallelujah, Barack has redeemed Robert Gibbs and blessed his media consultants with their 15% commission return on the movement.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-06-24 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Is all marketing bad?

Well, how do you suggest Obama reconcile the unsavoury reputations or character of his staff with his terrific supporters, if that is indeed the case?  

Or is his campaign indelibly compromised and his supporters misguided?

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-24 05:02PM | 0 recs
The marketing appears to have legal problems

http://www.fec.gov/pdf/nongui.pdf

see section 7 on page 19:

"FEC rules also prohibit a nonconnected committee from using a candidates name in the name of a special project, such as faundraising or advertising project, unless the name clearly shows opposition to the identified candidate"

Keep reading, lots more problems. Despite the diarists assertions, this group appers to be basically an "elect Obama" group. And if so, they contributions need to be counted towards limits on contributions to pres candidates.

see their blog:
http://www.votehope2008.org/blog

and the whole "Beat Iowa" thing: http://www.votehope2008.org/2007/06/14/v ote-hope%e2%80%99s-california-challenge- beat-iowa/

by okamichan13 2007-06-24 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: The marketing appears to have legal problems

Thanks for your concern, okamichan13.

We have a legal team that we have a lot of faith in, and we'd be happy to address any of your concerns directly.

You can reach me at the number listed on the website anytime.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-24 03:42PM | 0 recs
My concerns are above

as I posted. yes, please address them.

by okamichan13 2007-06-25 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: The marketing appears to have legal problems

That is interesting. Jenifer Fernandez Ancona's name is also on the web site of another PAC http://www.powerpac.org

by robliberal 2007-06-24 03:51PM | 0 recs
It is interesting

that one at least appears to move beyond Barack towards issues and possibly other candidates.

The other one appears more to be purely focused on fundraising and getting votes for him, which appeards to be a no-no.

by okamichan13 2007-06-25 11:34AM | 0 recs
No, you're still missing it

There is a progressive movement. It didn't start with the online movement in 03, but those activists, who were inspired by Dean, did energize it in many places around the country, and among certain demographics -- mainly well-educated white folks.

The truth is that the modern, multi-issue progressive movement has its roots in all of the historical movements for progressive change that people here have mentioned -- Civil Rights, women, farmworkers.

Now, new voters and new activists are inspired by Obama. And we, as the broader progressive movement, should be thanking Obama for awakening a whole new crop of people who we can work with to achieve the change we want to achieve in this country.

I honestly do not care if you do not want to support Obama yourself. Your lack of support of Obama the candidate is not my issue. I am saying that your dismissive rhetoric toward him and his supporters, which is echoed throughout this blog and Daily Kos every week, is harmful to the very real efforts of progressive movement-building that are occurring, in every state across this country.  The fact that so many people on these blogs will not acknowledge the power of what's happening on the ground with regard to Obama is what frustrates me.

You can still criticize him and criticize his top staff while not dismissing the reality of what's happening in terms of the sheer numbers of people who are involved in his campaign.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-24 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: No, you're still missing it

So if people do not agree that makes them "harmful" to the progressive movement. I agree with what Jerome said to start with, nothing I have seen makes me think there is any movement.

by robliberal 2007-06-24 03:41PM | 0 recs
You are doing him harm.

I can't think of anything more dismissive of Obama than to create a PAC when he specifically is against that.  There is ample opportunity for you to do what you want to do through his campaign.  

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-24 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: You are doing him harm.

The main thing Obama has commented against around independent campaigns is the negative nature that much of this money has been used for in the past.

With regard to Vote Hope, the really relevant question is, what is the money being used for?

We are running a massive field campaign that involves going out and talking to hundreds of thousands of voters in California. We are using data, and specifically targeting unlikely primary voters and those who are harder to reach by traditional campaigns -- young people and people of color. Our message is positive, and centers around Obama's life experience, his vision on issues like ending poverty and providing universal health care, and the opportunity we have to truly change our country if more of us get more involved in politics.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-06-24 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: You are doing him harm.

That's all fine and good but leave the campaign out of it.  That is his wish.  There is more involved than simply the negativity.  There is also the end around campaign finance laws which is why for the sake of complete transparency he wishes not to get involved with PACs.  His office has already asked people to contribute directly.  And I think this is a discussion which should be held on-line.

by Doug Dilg 2007-06-24 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: No, you're still missing it

You are actually not saying what Obama's camp is saying-- which thinks their campaign is <u>the</u> movement. In fact, much of what you say is the truth; that there is a ongoing progressive movement, which has swelled through online politics this decade, and Obama does have the opportunity to align with it-- but it's not all about his candidacy. It's too bad they don't see it like you do, as that would probably help him alot.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-06-24 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: To Jerome: On Obama and the Movement

Obama does represent a movement - it is more generational than issue-based though.  People, young people, who want to move past Clinton and Bush are supporting Obama based on the tremendous amount of promise he has as a leader.  It moves past a lot of the racial battles our parents fought... young evangelicals are breaking toward him because they want to move past the culture wars destroying their religion... I think it is a movement for civility.

by gb1437a 2007-06-24 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: the black movement

as i said the people is still blogging about obama.  the real factor is it will take more of this to take down hillary i belive in the end she will come begging to him to be vp or he will make gore come out of the shadows i think that he will be on the ticket and will be there in the end because mydd will keep on blogging about him i love it

by edward 2007-06-24 05:46PM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads