The Friends of Blanche Lincoln

Apparently the Friends of Blanche Lincoln include Barack Obama. Bitterly disappointing.

Then again Bill Clinton too has jumped to Blanche's aid.

Tags: Arkansas Senate Race, Senator Blanche Lincoln (all tags)



Obama MUST support incumbent Democrats......

What's funny about this is that I actually am rooting for Halter because he has a slightly (but only slightly) better chance in November than Lincoln.

But Obama MUST support Lincoln, Specter, Bennet, and other incumbent Democrats because that's what an incumbent President is expected to do, OR ELSE IT TEARS THE PARTY APART.

Can you imagine the field day the media would have if there were any hint of less than full-throated Obama support for an incumbent Democrat?  And it would make all incumbent Democratic Senators bitter and angry, since they'd fret they'd be NEXT to be left-hanging.

The only exception is where you have a clearly corrupt incumbent who is thrown under the bus by the party as a whole.

But for Obama NOT to go to the mat for Lincoln after she voted for his agenda (stimulus, health care, now financial regulation) would be viewed, correctly, as a betrayal.

There's a lot of exaggeration on the left about how "bad" Lincoln is, but frankly she's been there as the 60th vote every time she's been needed, and quite often when she's not.  A lot of the hostility toward her comes from swallowing whole a few talking points designed to single her out.

It's Arkansas.  It's a conservative state.  This isn't anything like Lieberman, who is to the right of what any U.S. Senator from Connecticut ever has to be.  Lincoln is as liberal as a federal official from Arkansas can be.

by DCCyclone 2010-05-06 08:57AM | 2 recs
Trust Me Progressives Don't Agree

I had this argument yesterday. A incumbent or his/her campaign comes to you as head of the party and says we'd like you to do an ad supporting. As President and head of the party you don't say screw you, you dissed me on HCR or you're too damn conservative blah blah blah.

Unlike us the President is supposed to be the bigger person.

The President is head of the whole party not just the wing we on the blogs happen to be inhabiting. 

by jsfox 2010-05-06 10:00AM | 2 recs
RE: Obama MUST support incumbent Democrats......

Oh quit making up the rules just to favor Obama not being held responsible for any of his actions. They speak loud and clear without your apologies already.

Lincoln has showed what she is made of by the scum of the earth campaign she has waged.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-05-06 11:56AM | 1 recs
Instances, please:

Where past Presidents campaigned against the incumbant, especially within the democratic party. As noted above, FDR did it (in Iowa) in 1938. So the only person here creating a separate set of rules for Obama is you.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-05-06 12:29PM | 1 recs
Jerome, your political immaturity in this is disappointing......

There are lots of casual activists and political junkies who don't step outside their echo chamber, but I expect more from someone who works professionally in politics as I believe you do.

As jsfox very poignantly explained, the President is the head of the ENTIRE Democratic party, not one or more selected corners of it.  And that carries the responsibility of supporting incumbent elected Democrats for reelection.

I'm not "apologizing" for Obama, on the contrary he's completely responsible for his actions, and his action in this instance is the CORRECT one.  The alternative was to refuse to help, the easily predictable result of which would be to destroy his influence within the Senate Democratic caucus, and hell maybe even with the House Democratic caucus.

I'm sorry you can't step outside the echo chamber.

by DCCyclone 2010-05-06 01:14PM | 0 recs
It's not about him, it's about us.

I'm afraid Jerome has been lost to the Obama Derangement Syndrome. I read CTG at a very important time in my life, and looked up to Markos and Jerome. But those two co-authors now seem to have led very different paths after the Dean campaign.

Many of the more notable critics of Obama at least have intellectual consistency on their side. Take Jane Hamsher, for example. These people oppose President Obama over the disparity between liberal campaign promises and more centrist legislative actions. But Jerome's not one of them.

At the request of a fellow poster here, I was encouraged to do some digging around in primary past. It turns out, Jerome was an ardent supporter of Clinton during the primary. He even got so into the horse race, he twisted himself into all sorts of contortions with delegate counts; counting delegates that weren't there and discounting caucus delegates that were, all the while breathlessly trying to prove that somehow Clinton was the winner.

Fair enough. Some people supported her strongly for her more moderate positions. But you can't then turn around and attack President Obama for being too… Clintonian! For that is exactly what Jerome is doing.

I don't even believe this really has to do with Obama -- I think it more has to do with tweaking his supporters. That's who he seems to have a real grudge against.

As someone else noted, he seems to post the most when there is controversy that generates lots of page traffic and can bring the pumas out of the woodwork, and then he mysteriously disappear when us supporters have good news to crow about.

I really want to believe it has to do with us, and is not simply Obama Derangement Syndrome. Really. So I think it's best to just ignore it. Don't give it the response it doesn't deserve. I try to focus on the many hardworking bloggers here and out there who aren't out there to rile people up they disagree with.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-05-06 06:39PM | 0 recs
RE: It's not about him, it's about us.

Funny, the back and forth Markos and I had about Obama going the extra mile to piss on labor and the netroots was just the same-- that the guy will not stand up to conservative dems.

Were you even here during the primaries?  I didn't even decide to vote for Clinton until the last moment, after Edwards dropped out.

Seriously, go and search out something that backs up your nonsense that I was ardent. That's crap, I supported her as the last standing against the big fake.

My argument was that Obama was not a bit different than Clinton in policy, same thing. Same DLC votes. The only thing Clinton was is partisan. That was the thing I said over and over. Your whole premise is shot-- its pathetic.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-05-06 09:15PM | 0 recs
RE: Jerome, your political immaturity in this is disappointing......

Your spouting party allegiance nonsense to a degree that it almost sounds like religion.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-05-06 09:17PM | 0 recs

Well actually FDR did not always support Democrats.  In Wisconsin for instance he tended to support the more radical Progressives.  Interestingly enough, the Democratic Party still wound being vastly expanded during his presidency, becoming the majority party-a position which came to an end under Bill Clinton.

by demjim 2010-05-06 10:50AM | 0 recs
Such disappointment is not rational

As others have already noted above, Obama must support the incumbent democrat. And that ad was pretty tepid.

There is no political reward for Obama in supporting a primary challenger, and all the risk in the world.

If Obama backs Halter now, and Halter loses but Lincoln wins, you have lost what little control you had over her to begin with. Now Obama has an enemy. Will she go Independent? Will she caucus with the Republicans? Who know? Likewise, Obama must also back who he feels is more likely to win in November. One would have to be very foolish to not realize that it's infinitely better to have a member of the caucus who only votes with you 10% of the time than one who votes against you 100% of the time. Politics is about winning and losing, and if you're not a winner...

If you want to be disappointed with somebody, be disappointed with the Arkansas democratic primary voters. Such a far from ringing endorsement isn't going to persuade them much. Progressives in general seem to be continuously disappointed in the Administration's inability to magically turn the rest of the electorate progressive, as if it's their fault our candidates lose.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-05-06 10:55AM | 1 recs
For such an intelligent man, Obama does some stupid stuff.

Such as rewaring backstabbers like Lincoln and Lieberman.

by TheUnknown285 2010-05-06 11:37AM | 0 recs
And how, exactly, is Lincoln a backstabber?......

Lincoln voted for health care.  She voted for the stimulus.  She hasn't opposed Obama on anything when her vote was needed.  She voted no on reconciliation when her vote was NOT needed, and there's no indication Obama or Senate leadership were bothered by it.

And you know, even regarding Lieberman, I was bothered by his being welcomed back as a prodigal son, but in hindsight it WAS the SMART thing to do, and what I and you and lot of other liberals wanted was WRONG.  Lieberman voted for health care when we HAD to have his vote (yeah he helped kill the public option and expanded Medicare and whatnot, but don't be fooled, he was provided cover for other conservaDems who wanted those things killed), Iraq is long since dead as an issue in American politics, and what irritation Lieberman still causes is on the margins where he can do no real damage.  I still want him defeated in 2012, and he almost certainly will be (finally!) by a Democrat.  But governing is about getting things done, getting things done is about legislating, and legislation is about counting and herding votes, and you do whatever it takes to get the votes you need.  The alternative is to "take a stand" and LOSE BIG.  And voters will punish that, not reward it.

by DCCyclone 2010-05-06 01:07PM | 0 recs
RE: And how, exactly, is Lincoln a backstabber?......

Oh, please.  Lincoln was instrumental in dragging out the healthcare saga and killing the public option, a popular provision.  And now we're left with a far less effective bill with far few popular provisions, after months of ass-dragging that took a toll on Obama's and the party's popularity.  She also joined a Republican filibuster of a pro-labor nomination. 

And Lieberman?  The guy who likewise was instrumental in killing the public option and stalling the entire debate?  The guy who actively supported the other party's nominee even AFTER Senate Democrats turned a blind eye the first time?  The guy saying he's considering running for re-election as an incumbent?  The guy cheering for a Republican majority?  The guy now advocating a draconian measure to strip American terrorist suspects of their citizenship and forcing Democrats into a wedge issue?

Going to bat for people like this and rewarding them with campaign assistance and committee assignments, no matter we they do is in no way, shape, or form pragmatism; it's stupidity.  If they know there will be no consequences, then they'll keep doing the same thing.

by TheUnknown285 2010-05-06 01:44PM | 0 recs
What if Halter wins?

He's behind in the polls, but that has nothing to do with Obama (who is unpopular in Arkansas to begin with). Halter's been behind, since, well, the beginning. That sounds like a problem with Arkansas democrats, not Obama.

Unfortunately, the Senate creates a system where those with the least amount of scruples can bargain for the greatest amount of power.

Punish Lieberman and Lincoln? that's the politically dumbest thing ever. As was noted above. Instead of having someone who votes with you 10% of the time, you have someone who votes against you 100% of the time. The best thing to do is to unseat these people in primaries and hinder them from running in the general election.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-05-06 06:47PM | 0 recs
RE: And how, exactly, is Lincoln a backstabber?......

Are you in anyway connect to the reality of what is going on?  Were you not around when Democrats were swept in VA and NJ in 2009?  What about the MA Sen race, were you asleep?  Have you seen the poll showing the Republican winning a HI seat and Murtha's seat in PA favoring the Republican?  The '10 prospects of holding the House looking weaker everyday?

What do you think Democrats are losing for? Going to the left?

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-05-06 10:33PM | 0 recs
It's a mistake

to put politics before values. I vote my values. If Blanche Lincoln represents the values of the Democratic Party, then those are not my values.

I'm beginning to think outside the tent. I am not sure that the rest of the country is there yet, but I am certainly there. And there means leaving the Democratic party for something more in tune with my values. If we never take this step, then we will always have Blanche Lincolns to contend with. There are progressive voices in Arkansas. A close friend of mine, Barry Kendall, is from Arkansas and he heads a progressive think tank. We can chose to be a political force. Lead and people will follow because I do believe most sincerely that progressive values are American values.

by Charles Lemos 2010-05-06 04:44PM | 1 recs
RE: It's a mistake

no, it has to be "my party, right or wrong!" for most people.

by jeopardy 2010-05-06 08:44PM | 0 recs
RE: It's a mistake

Yea, some of this party allegiance crap reminds me of the stuff I used to read about Republicans in disgust.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-05-06 09:20PM | 1 recs
For all the people

saying "Obama MUST support incumbant Dems",

Didn't he threaten to withold support for the dems on the left if they didn't support the Afghanistan funding and then the same thing at the end of HCR?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I remember reports of that.

by jeopardy 2010-05-06 08:44PM | 2 recs
RE: For all the people

"Barack Obama threatened to withdraw his support for Congressmen up for reelection if they do not support his healthcare bill. A November visit from the president can raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a Democrat seeking reelection"


"Steve Hildebrand -- Obama's Deputy Campaign Manager, who called up rich donors and told them to cut off 527s during the campaign -- is threatening to primary Herseth-Sandlin if she defends a woman's right to choose from Ben Nelson's assault in the Senate"

by jeopardy 2010-05-06 10:34PM | 0 recs
still trying

to find all those posts where NoFortunateSon kept criticising Obama for twisting liberal incumbant arms with threats of non-support during the HCR debate...



by jeopardy 2010-05-08 02:10PM | 0 recs


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