Sawicky: unity focus makes Obama the DLC Candidate

Max Sawicky, who works for the progressive Economic Policy Institute, had this to say about Obama's theme of unity yesterday:

The last thing we need, at a point where the Democrats can establish a decisive margin of political power, is somebody out to unify the country. I fear that Senator Obama is turning into the DLC candidate, in all but name.

Harsh words, but they connect to the biggest thing that bothers me about Obama -- his focus on unifying the country through compromise at a historical moment when Democrats are uniquely positioned to pass massive progressive reforms.  I don't want unity.  I want to crush Republicans so we can pass all the major left-wing reforms that America needs, and that they'll never vote for.  

There are ways in which the "DLC candidate" label isn't apt -- Obama doesn't beat up on his fellow Democrats like Al From does.  The similarity Sawicky finds, though, is that Obama's focus on unity threatens to pull him towards the center, at the time when centrism is the last thing we need.  

Take a look at who will be up for election in the Senate  over the next three elections:

Year     Dem    Rep
2008     12     22
2010     15     19
2012     24     9

With so many more Republicans vulnerable than Democrats in '08 and '10, we have a wonderful opportunity to accumulate a massive Senate majority and pass spectacular left-wing policies.  Even centrists like Stuart Rothenberg have said that a 60-seat, filibuster-proof Senate majority isn't out of reach.  But our Senate majority is likely to get a lot smaller when 2012 comes around, just because of the election schedule.  

The next four years are not the time to make grand deals that unify the country around something that Republicans and the corporations that fund them can accept.  It's time to take advantage of the once-in-a-generation opportunity the Senate calendar gives us, and pass things like universal health care, public financing of campaigns, and  massive global antipoverty spending.

And that gets me back to what Sawicky says: "The market and the private sector, a.k.a. corporations, are the problem, not the solution. They need to be beaten down, or if you prefer bureaucratese, properly regulated." When this happens, it won't look like a great moment of national unity.  Corporations will be fighting tooth and nail against it.  It'll look like a bloody victory for the Democratic party.  

If you want to convince me that Barack Obama is the man for our times, you'll have to convince me that his theme of unity is just a big and wonderful scam -- that he's peddling the sweet words of unity and compromise so that he can get Mitch McConnell's guard down, and then drive the knife into his back.  Because if he's serious about unity, he's not going to be able to bring about the kind of changes that our country requires.  

Tags: Barack Obama, DLC, Max Sawicky, unity (all tags)



Here is how we unify the country ...

The same way we made the Japanese our allies.

We beat the snot out of our political enemies, leave them crying and bleeding, and then offer them two choices .... come along with us, or we'll kick the crap out of you some more.

Or said in a different way.  We solidify our power in '08 while the Republican Party is still a damaged brand, and then reach out to the moderate Republicans who are left, who after seeing their guys get creamed in the last two elections will have a choice,  play along or you're next.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-16 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Here is how we unify the country ...


Can we wear shiny boots?

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 12:13PM | 0 recs
Wear birkenstocks

I could care less.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-16 12:39PM | 0 recs

You need to man up and realize that this is the only way to do because it takes two to do it the bipartisan way and the Republicans are not going to play nice in the sandbox.

Republicans are like rapid dogs.  You can't reform them, you have to put them down.

Someone earlier mentioned Tom Dasachle.  Recall that he thought it best to workl with Bush.  Right out of the gate Daschle put the aside and worked with Bush in a bipartisan way.  We got No Child LEft Behind, we got huge tax cuts, we got a war.  To show Daschle how thankful they were the Republicans targeted him  for defeat and broke with tradition by sending Frist to campaign against him.  

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-16 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously,

"<fill-in-the-blank> are like rapid dogs.  You can't reform them, you have to put them down."

Sorry, but living in Georgia, this is what I hear folks saying about Iraqis, Muslims,... take your pick...  I don't agree with it regardless of which group we're naming the enemy.

I agree that we need to battle, but I think it should be a battle of ideas, not a battle of tribes.  

by kiwing 2007-08-16 02:08PM | 0 recs
Guys like Rove love guys like you.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-17 04:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously,

We also had your candidate vote for that war.

by BDM 2007-08-16 02:42PM | 0 recs
yep, decimating our fellow citizens...

will sure make us feel better!  but at least by exposing your vindictiveness, i have a better idea of why your arguments seem so irrational...

by bored now 2007-08-16 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Here is how we unify the country ...

You sound like a nazi

by BDM 2007-08-16 02:38PM | 0 recs
I am a realist

The Republicans in DC will not be compromising until '09 at the earliest, and only then if they are hung with a major defeat in '08.  If it is still a close balance of power - if they hold the WH, or if the Senate is still razor close - you can bet they will decide to fight were they can, and thwart were they have to, and wait to do battle in future elections to win back their manjority in '10 or '12.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-17 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Here is how we unify the country ...

I like the way you think and I agree.

by DoIT 2007-08-16 05:12PM | 0 recs
I think he's naive, not DLC

To me the DLC people are actively trying to discredit progressives (e.g. writing hostile op-eds for the WSJ). Obama seems to be trying to use neutral language to appeal to independents and Republicans.

It's naive to me, because appeals to the common good are not going to get the progressive agenda through Congress. We will have to fight the Republicans every step of the way.

I am disturbed by some of Obama's rhetoric, but I don't see him as a DLCer like some others.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-16 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

What concerns me is that DLCer Artur Davis is helping to run Obama's southern campaign.  Of all the people in the world to pick . . .

by justinh 2007-08-16 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC


Wouldn't a guy like that have some expretise about what works there?

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC
Well, so do a LOT of other people.  Why choose a New Democrat/DLCer?  It's my running concern about where Obama's real values are.
by justinh 2007-08-16 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

What...those people aren't even in the party anymore?

Look - if the guy has specific expertise regarding the south, why shouldn't he use him?

This guilt by association crap that goes on around here is incredibly stupid.  On this thread alone I've seen people try and tie Obama to Joe Lieberman, the DLC, and The Hamilton Project.

I suppose it is easier than formulating an actual argument...

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

What would the kind of argument you're asking look like?  Having a DLCer (instead of others)run your Southern campaign is harldy guilt by association. Coming to CT and publically endorsing Liberman, and then refusing to campaign for Lamont, is also hardly an example of guilt by assoication.  And again, I'm suggesting that this is a "concern" I have about Obama--I'm not suggesting anything else.  

by justinh 2007-08-16 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC
Obama has always appeared more Centrist than Progressive - fueling his campaign with Obama Girl gimmicks that appeal to corporatists, rather than promoting serious and specific Progressive positions that America needs!
Appearing on national TV 6 months before the election last year, promoting himself, but never mentioning the word Democratic, an upcoming election nor encouraging viewers to vote.
Heck! one of his advisors co-writes op-eds with the founder of the Neocons' PNAC!!
While Hillary seeks to unite the corporatists - Obama's lingo and actions are definitely centri$t.
by annefrank 2007-08-16 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

I think that Obama's been deeply influenced by Robert Rubin and the Hamilton Project, and I honestly think that an Obama presidency would do greater harm than a Clinton presidency precisely because Obama is given a pass on hard questions about his economic policy.

The Hamilton Project is the new DLC (Now with more Rubin!) and Obama is drawing his economic policy from them.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-08-16 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

How about you back that up with some evidence.

Besides the fact that he spoke to them once, you have any link between Obama and these folks to show us?

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC


So how are Bob Rubin and Rubinomics positioned for 2008? All too powerfully, one suspects. The Hamilton Project will continue to turn out centrist policy papers trying to signal boldness with scant resources. Rubin will continue promoting his grand bargain to cap social insurance, raise taxes, offer token benefits, and further liberate global private capital. He will continue to have unparalleled influence with Democrats, and to receive an adoring press.

In presidential politics, Rubin is personally close to Hillary Clinton, but this trader covers his bets. His son, Jamie Rubin, is a major Wall Street fund-raiser for Barack Obama. His former deputy chief of staff, Karen Kornbluh, is Obama's chief domestic policy adviser, and Rubin is also close to Obama's chief of staff, Steve Hildebrand, who used to hold the same position for former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, another Rubin ally.

Note that Daschle has now endorsed Obama, this is the Rubin effect.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-08-16 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

These seem like pretty tenuous connections to establish that he is drawing his economic policy from them.

We could play this game with every candidate's staffers.  These folks change jobs all the time you know.

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

Another major economic advisor hails from the DLC's PPI.  After a while, the coincidences just start to add up.

by Peter from WI 2007-08-16 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

Obama said the progressive champion [Paul Wellstone] was "magnificent." He also gently but dismissively labeled Wellstone as merely a "gadfly," in a tone laced with contempt for the senator who, for instance, almost single-handedly prevented passage of the bankruptcy bill for years over the objections of both parties. This clarified Obama's support for the Hamilton Project, an organization formed by Citigroup chair Robert Rubin and other Wall Street Democrats to fight back against growing populist outrage within the party. And I understood why Beltway publications and think tanks have heaped praise on Obama and want him to run for President. It's because he has shown a rare ability to mix charisma and deference to the establishment. a-goes-to-washington/

by justinh 2007-08-16 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

The "laced with contempt" part was clearly Sirota's opinion.

And how does this statement lead to the ridiculous conclusion you've drawn?

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

What conclusion?

by justinh 2007-08-16 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

How do you go from this:

He also gently but dismissively labeled Wellstone as merely a "gadfly," in a tone laced with contempt for the senator who, for instance, almost single-handedly prevented passage of the bankruptcy bill for years over the objections of both parties.

To this:
This clarified Obama's support for the Hamilton Project.

Calling Wellstone a gadfly in a tone David Sirota didn't like somehow ties Obama to the Hamilton project?

Weak, weak, weak...  

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

Okay, that's clearer.  It's not MY conclusion, it's Sirota's! But that's certainly a legitimate point of discussion that you have.  Looking at the rest of Sirota's article provides some more context, but the article only raises a "concern" about Obama--any conclusion about the candidate is explicilty left open-ended by Sirota.

by justinh 2007-08-16 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

Sirota hates Obama, and never misses an opportunity to attack him, no matter how many strawmen he has to set up.

by JJCPA 2007-08-16 02:11PM | 0 recs
Re: I think he's naive, not DLC

I'm not sure Sirota "hates" Obama.  He's simply skeptical of Obama based on what Obama has (or hasn't) done in the Senate.  (You seem to be suggesting that Sirota dislikes Obama for some mysterious, unknown reason and THEN constructs strawmen to justify this dislike.)  What strawmen does Sirota set up?

by justinh 2007-08-16 02:16PM | 0 recs
Interesting take.

That is not good.  With his feints toward a more hawkish foreign policy, and if you are irght, I may have been mistaken that he is to the left of Clinton, even every so slightly.

Obama and unions, where is he?  Lip sevice? Rubin just tolerates unions -- he won't grow them.

by TomP 2007-08-16 12:35PM | 0 recs
What has Obama stood for?

Obama is very easily influenced. Endorsing Lieberman in the presence of 1700 Dem leaders and activists - and Lamont! Hmm...
Saying one thing and doing another - opposing the war while endorsing a warmonger. Mentor my ass! When you take a stand, you take stand. Instead,  Obama took a seat at the corporatists' table.

Even today - Obama rejected Edwards call to STAND WITH HIM in encouraging all Democrats to reject donations from federal lobbyists and PACs.

Talking the talk is very different from walking the walk. And if Obama can't take these stands now - he surely won't take them when surrounded with more power and moneyed influence in the White House.

by annefrank 2007-08-16 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: What has Obama stood for?

lieberman was assigned to Obama

Obama, for the upteenth time, did not make the Lamont campaign go dark for a couple of weeks after he won the primary.

The only person that is to blame for Lamont's failure is Lamont.

He's the one who went dark while Lieberman re-tooled his campaign and went on the attack.

Lamont lost for himself.  Blaming Obama won't ever change the fact that Lamont lost his own campaign.

by JJCPA 2007-08-16 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: What has Obama stood for?

See Tim Taggaris's diary on Obama here or at Kos.  Noone is suggesting what you claim here.

by justinh 2007-08-16 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: What has Obama stood for?
You missed the point! ----> Obama endorsed Lieberman - and you imply it was because he was assigned to him and felt obligated.
What else is Obama gonna be obligated to do as president when his corporate donors come calling?
by annefrank 2007-08-16 03:44PM | 0 recs
He is not a DLC'er

if anyone fit that tag is Hillary Rodham Clinton, period.  Obama is a pragmatist.  A consensus builder, which appeal to many in this country.  If you want to listen to that warped, dated, DLC shit, you know who the candidate is.

by iamready 2007-08-16 02:27PM | 0 recs
Re: He is not a DLC'er

You're right. Hillary is a DLC Centrist. Obama is a Centrist.

by annefrank 2007-08-16 03:45PM | 0 recs

What's wrong with DLC candidates?

Obama is not DLC candidate anyway, but his 'I am a uniter, not a divider' rhetoric is sort of ridiculous.

by areyouready 2007-08-16 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: dlc

'I am a uniter, not a divider'

You COULD have pointed out that Obama has never said any such thing, and clearly has a different style, approach, and set of values than does the person who originally uttered those words, but that would do great harm to the 'point' you tried to make, wouldn't it?

by mihan 2007-08-16 12:09PM | 0 recs
Read the National Review article

Called "George W. Obama" 7/opinion/main2520036.shtml

Obama says his "difference" is about attitude. He regrets that politics has become "so bitter and partisan," stressing that we must "come together around our common interests and concerns as Americans." During a debate with Al Gore, Bush said the same thing: "I know it will require a different kind of leader to go to Washington to say to both Republicans and Democrats, let's come together."

Whether using the same approach that Rove used for Bush is because Obama believes it or is just using it, I really can't say.  But unity won't happen either.  We need to have a great majority of real Democrats who can at least scare the DINOS instead of having the DLC and DINOs continuing to run the party into the ground.

Great diary , Neil.  Well thought out.

by Feral Cat 2007-08-16 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Read the National Review article

Ironic that you point to a National Review article, then start talking like you're some time of liberal purist about DINOs and the DLC. Seriously, if you think Obama is in bed with that crowd, I feel sorry for you.

by mihan 2007-08-16 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus

The people who have taken so much in the last few years from so many will not give it up without a fight.  Obama's path is one of weakness.   We need real change.

Excellent diary, Neil the Ethical Werewolf. (love your name, by the way -- I was much less creative).

by TomP 2007-08-16 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus

I personally wouldn't say it's a path of weakness.  I don't mean this as a dig at Obama (Lord knows I've made enough of those), but he's shown boldness in defying his own party for the sake of his vision of unity, and I can see him taking strong stands against both sides to preserve that middle ground.  I think he's strong in principle, but I think it's a naive and fatally flawed principle.  Like Sawicky said, this isn't the time to shoot for the middle.  This is a historic opportunity for progressives.  The window's open.

I'm with you, Tom.  I'm ready to fight!

by Junior Bug 2007-08-16 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus
John Edwards continues to make a distinction between Progressive Dems and Centrist Dems.
Centrist Dems are the Dem guests the public most often sees on corporate media TV - joining Repub guests to bash or discredit Progressive Dem ideology.
by annefrank 2007-08-16 03:54PM | 0 recs
Bad analysis

Unity is a good thing.  

It is an invitation to unify in our tent.  It draws an inherent contrast between us and the Republicans - they were partisan a-holes who refused to deliberate seriously with those across the aisle.  We are the party of adults who are capable of getting beyond partisan gamesmanship and doing the serious work of state.

When Obama talks of unity he is not talking about capitulation.  He is talking about ending the era in which your neighbor was considered the enemy and getting back to being Americans - not being shy about advocating for our differences, but not being so "team focused" that we end up putting our party above our country.

I don't see how this is so controversial.  Much of what I read here saddens me.


by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Bad analysis

Lieberman says the exact same things.

by justinh 2007-08-16 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Bad analysis

Netroots playbook, rule #1:

"When one cannot form a coherent argument, invoke Lieberman."

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Bad analysis

What's "incoherent" about the point I'm suggesting?

by justinh 2007-08-16 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Bad analysis

Yelling "Lieberman" isn't a point at all.  

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Bad analysis

Well, I'm not sure I'm "yelling" Lieberman.  You're saying that Obama is a "uniter" based on what he says, and the point I'm making is that Lieberman (and others) invoke the exact same cliches.

by justinh 2007-08-16 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Bad analysis

Liberman is also pro-choice.  Shal I shout down all pro-choice language as Liebermanesque?

Lieberman became an anathema because he supported a bankrupt foreign policy.  That does not render everything he ever said wrong.  

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 12:48PM | 0 recs
Lieberman voted for cloture on Alito

Besides, the point about Lieberman is he does talk about bipartisanship and consensus and yadda yadda while criticizing Dems for "partisanship"

Of course Obama hasnot gone there totally. But he has taken steps in that direction.

You distort the point. Not playing fair.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman voted for cloture on Alito

Seems to me you are the one distorting.

If you want to make a comparison, tell me what steps he has taken and how it invalidates his philosophy.

Seems like a lot of guilt by association to me.

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 01:00PM | 0 recs
Guilt by association?

I am not aware of any association between Obama and Lieberman.

I am not going to play this show me game with you again. At some point don't you have to wonder how so many people have gotten the "wrong" impression about Obama on this?

Unless you think we are all just a bunch of liars, at some point you have to look at what Obama is saying. IT can;t be all our fault can it?

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Guilt by association?

I don't think it has much of anything to do with Obama.  I think a "storyline" such as the one Obama described in his "Tone, Truth" diary has emerged - and it is the lens through which Obama's (and all politicians) words and actions are judged.

I reject that storyline, and have since before Obama mentioned it.

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?

This really isn't the point of what we've been discussing.  Take another look at the thread.

by justinh 2007-08-16 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?


My point it Lieberman is a problem because of his foreign policy ideas.  Not because of "unity."

Until he took sides with the neocons he was a democrat in good standing.  I'll bet you voted for him as VP.

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?

What we HAD been discussing is Obama's language--that he uses the same cliches about unity as other polticians, such as Lieberman.

I don't know what that has to do with:

"Liberman is also pro-choice.  Shal I shout down all pro-choice language as Liebermanesque?
Lieberman became an anathema because he supported a bankrupt foreign policy.  That does not render everything he ever said wrong."

I don't understand what you're saying here.  

by justinh 2007-08-16 01:31PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?

Why bring Lieberman up at all?

You were not simply noting a similarity in rhetoric.  You were making that association for a reason.

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?

I was pointing out that Obama uses the same cliches as a lot of politicians.  (I could have said Perot or McCain.)  Lieberman is a timely example of a politician using this rhetoric, which is essentially meaningless.

by justinh 2007-08-16 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?

Not as meaningless as the comparison.

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?


by justinh 2007-08-16 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?

Really no point to your Lieberman comparison in the first place.

by AdamSmithsHand 2007-08-16 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?

Maybe I can claify things (if you're interested).  I'm not suggesting that Obama and Lieberman are going to be pursuing the same policies (if this is how you've been reading my comments).  I'm only suggesting that there's nothing remotely new about Obama's language, and although he's done some good things, he's also done things which make me very skeptical about his claim of being the "change" candidate (i.e. plenty of polticians say this and it really means nothing other than the fact that the rhetoric works--people respond to it.)

by justinh 2007-08-16 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?

Okay, this makes no sense. You write:

[Obama's] also done things which make me very skeptical about his claim of being the "change" candidate (i.e. plenty of polticians say this and it really means nothing other than the fact that the rhetoric works--people respond to it.)

While you set it up as if you are referring to things Obama has done that make you skeptical about his rhetoric, you instead just cite the conduct of others. That obviously won't do. So, give it another shot. What specifically has Obama done to make you skeptical?

by DPW 2007-08-16 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: huh?

I'm not sure how that "makes no sense" or where I "instead cite the conduct of thers."  Where do I do this?

But what specifically makes me skeptical of Obama?  Here are a few examples, among others:

First, his refusal to campaign for Lamont after publically endorsing Lieberman.  Second, his ducking of Feingold' censure motion on domestic wiretapping.  Third, his "refusal" to take lobbysits money, despite continuing to do so by circumventing "registered" lobbyists.  Fourth, his vote for the class-action bill, his vote against the amendment to the bankrupcy bill.

by justinh 2007-08-17 03:12AM | 0 recs
Re: huh?

I'm one of those who thought Lamont was a terrible candidate, so I don't really have a problem with his failure to support him.

I can't address all the things you mention in detail (and I know to little about the bankruptcy amendment), but I'll note a couple of things. First, the class-action bill was a good bill. Just because some consumer interest groups opposed it doesn't mean it's bad. Most objective lawyers will tell you it is a good bill. Importantly, it doesn't affect any substantive rights, it just institutes procedural reforms that force class-action claims to have their shit together.

The lobbyist thing is a legitimate point. But, you have to balance any cynicism that generates with Obama record of pushing for ethics reform and transparency, as well as the specificity of his proposals for greater transparency.

Thanks for the reply by the way.

by DPW 2007-08-17 03:38PM | 0 recs
Godwin's law

should be extended to include Lieberman Link

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler or Lieberman approaches one.

by JoeCoaster 2007-08-16 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Godwin's law

Much different kind of comparison here, right?  I imagine the Nazi/Hitler comparison is a moral hyperbole, whereas I'm not making a moral or policy judgment about Obama, only that he uses the same canned rhetoric as Lieberman.

by justinh 2007-08-16 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Godwin's law

Hey, check out by BDM on Thu Aug 16, 2007 at 06:38:27 PM EST!

by justinh 2007-08-16 02:41PM | 0 recs
It takes two to tango

He is talking about ending the era in which your neighbor was considered the enemy and getting back to being Americans - not being shy about advocating for our differences, but not being so "team focused" that we end up putting our party above our country.

Look, I'd like to get there too.  But it takes more than just Barack Obama, and more than the entire Democratic Party, to get us there.  What we need is a Republican Party that is willing to join in.  And we're not going to have that.  

No matter what we do, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner will consider us the enemy.  Remember, these are the people who took a Democratic plan for a Department of Homeland Security, loaded it with an anti-union poison pill, and used Max Cleland's vote against the resulting monstrosity to bash him as a fan of Saddam and Osama.  They're not interested in playing the unity game, and I don't think there's anything Obama can do to bring them along on health care or the Iraq War.  

by Neil the Ethical Werewolf 2007-08-16 12:19PM | 0 recs
His politics are the politics

of political weakness -- compromise with Republicans.  We finally have a chance to win and he would give it away.  No thanks.

by TomP 2007-08-16 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: It takes two to tango

"They're not interested in playing the unity game"

So very true. They don't want to work with us. The only chance we have to enact real change is to overwhelmingly elect Democrats everywhere.

by DoIT 2007-08-17 03:47AM | 0 recs
staw man...

"..his focus on unifying the country through compromise..."

This is not Obama's approach. He believes that the country is ready to unify around progressive ideals. But only by a leader who is truly progressive and is capable of showing how those values are in most people's best interest.

by JoeCoaster 2007-08-16 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: staw man...

That may be the way that you hear Obama.  All I hear is compromise and unity as vacuous and vague terms.  If that's what I hear as someone paying close attention, what's the average voter hearing?  The same thing.

And if Obama runs on and wins with a mandate for only vacuous and vague unity and compromise, that's exactly what he'll get - the compromise of selling out progressive values and the unity of having the Beltway crowd led by David Broder salute his every compromising move while trashing anything he does that is progressive.

by Peter from WI 2007-08-16 08:44PM | 0 recs
Re: staw man...

"He believes that the country is ready to unify around progressive ideals."

I believe that Obama believes this. But such a belief is not based in fact, it is based upon hope.

by DoIT 2007-08-17 03:50AM | 0 recs
actually, it's based on experience...

experience in the streets.  i think you have to be isolated in the white house to believe that the country wants the centrist platform that hillary is running on...

by bored now 2007-08-17 04:06AM | 0 recs
Re: actually, it's based on experience...

The streets? I'm sorry but most of America lives in the suburbs now, you won't learn anything on those streets because they don't come out of their houses. If Obama's experience were based on the streets of Chicago then it would not be reflective of the country.

As for Hillary's centrist platform, how exactly is Obama's different? The premise of the Sawicky post is that Obama's platform is identical to Harold Ford's, chairman of the DLC.

by souvarine 2007-08-17 05:57AM | 0 recs
obama has been in the suburbs...

and the rural areas as well as the city.  are you arguing that alinsky's practices are only applicable to chicago or big cities or only cities?  because the things that i've done which are alinsky-esque have worked everywhere (i have very limited city organizing experience).

and i don't know where you've been doing field, but i (and the people i train/work with) don't have trouble getting people to come out of their houses.  the green figure of 25% contact rate is about right.  this has been true even when it's -10 in berlin, new hampshire or 95 in hanover park, illinois.

i don't know harold ford's platform: didn't harold vote to invade iraq, too?  was he for pulling our troops out of iraq, i don't recall?  what was his stance on the environment or health care?

the difference between hillary's platform and obama's isn't in the words, it's in the leadership.  hillary can only continue the two decades of bitter partisanship (which, i admit, a lot of democrats seem to prefer) and tackling of micro-issues.  she will be ok with that.

obama has grander plans.  he understands that in order to defeat al-qaeda and that which al-qaeda represents, the country needs to be united.  he believes that in order to enact health care et al, the country needs to build a consensus.  he argues that in order to stop global warming we need national and global consensus and leadership.  barack will lead, just as he always has.  to me, that's a significant difference.

i don't think i speak for many democrats, though...

by bored now 2007-08-17 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: actually, it's based on experience...

Me in the White House? Now I've heard everything. This is just too funny. Whatcha been smokin?

by DoIT 2007-08-17 07:31AM | 0 recs
i was thinking a more general we...

but i've been in the white house, so i don't need to smoke anything to say that...

by bored now 2007-08-17 09:46AM | 0 recs
Read this and then get back to me...

Instead of trying to divine what Obama thinks, try hearing it directly from him.

Barack Obama wrote a blog post on on September 30th, 2005 called "Tone, Truth, and the Democratic Party" (which he recounts in the Audacity of Hope) on the morning he voted against the confirmation of John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

He was motivated to write, he says, because he found that the vitriol from Democratic activists thrown at Senators Pat Leahy and Russ Feingold for voting to confirm Roberts was misplaced -- and counter-productive to pushing a progressive agenda. And he uses this event to clarify and explain his own views.

It's a great look into how he thinks about these issues. You may still disagree, but you should at least be convinced that he has a consistent philosophy.

I think all here -- supporters and critics alike -- owe it to this forum to take the time to read (or re-read) it.

Here's the link: 102745/165

by Vermonter 2007-08-16 12:43PM | 0 recs
I promoted that diary

I do not think Obama was right on his point nor do I think it is particularly relevant to this discussion.

There Obama was discussing Democratic unity which he was rioght to promote amongst Senators.

What Sawicky is discussing is basically a call for bipartisanship and consensus with Republicans.

Different things.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: I promoted that diary

Here was my response in comments:

Senator Obama (4.00 / 39)
Criticism of the ones we love, constructive criticism, should always be welcome. I thank you for our reasoned argument but I respectfully disagree.

Certainly, aomngst your colleagues, it ismy view that you should not criticize each other. I have always applauded Sen. Ben Nelson's approach on this while strongly criticizing Sen. Lieberman's precisely for that reason.

But since it was my view, and the view of many others, that Sens. Leahy and Feingold made a terrible mistake, I think it is not only right, but incumbent, upon us who feel this way to say so and loudly.

The stakes are monumental. We should not stand silent and let our frieds make mistakes without voicing our views. That is what some of us have done.

I comend your impulse to defend your colleagues. It is what YOU should do. But I believe those of us who disagreed with their actions did what WE were supposed to do too.

Everybody dies alone.

by Armando on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 07:41:11 AM PDT

As you can see, I took Obama to be discussing how activists and Democratic stalwarts should react to mistakes by Democratic representatives.

Yesterday there was a particularly obtuse diary that made it to the top of the dkos recommended list that argued similarly that Democrat activists and stalwarts should not criticize Dem officials when they screw up because, 'that is helping fascism." It was the silly empty headed version of Obama's argument.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 12:54PM | 0 recs
Well, if that's how you took it...

... then I submit you were missing the clear larger point of his diary -- which to me is a comprehensive explanation of Obama's entire political outlook.

And to equate with some ill-considered dopey diary on Daily Kos is nothing but sophistry.

by Vermonter 2007-08-16 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, if that's how you took it...

What ill considered dopey diary are you referring to? That seems a nonsequitor to me.

As for for what it was about, it was specifically about that and you infer it was about more. But it expressly WAS about what i was referring to.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: I promoted that diary

Yes, I'm well aware, Armando, that you promoted that diary.

But I completely disagree that these are two different subjects. Re-read Obama's post. It relates completely to the discussion of the way that Democrats should make their case to the country.

And it directly confronts the notion that Obama is all about "compromise."

by Vermonter 2007-08-16 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: I promoted that diary

I disagree.

I read the diary at the time and many times since then.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 04:56PM | 0 recs
you may have trouble interpreting other people's..

words.  perhaps you read more into it than the author intended.  i know you've done that...

by bored now 2007-08-16 05:05PM | 0 recs
Perhaps you are the one

with the trouble.

But more likely, it is Obama who is the one with the trouble.

I will say this, I do not like you at all. Your faux academic above it all nonsense filled with no insight but convinced of your own genius reminds me too much of my least favorite poster of all time at daily kos.

I know I can not be fair with you so I will avoid exchanging words with you.

Have a good night.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 06:05PM | 0 recs
well, we know you have had problems...

i'm just mentioning the possibility that it extends here, as well.

i care not a wit whether you like me, i'm clueless as to why you would think that is important.  and i don't pretend to be, nor imagine anyone but you would think i am, an academic...

by bored now 2007-08-16 06:12PM | 0 recs
I do not think you are an academic

My reference was to your faux academic style.

It matters that I do not like you because I can not be fair to you. I believe it is rare that you make a good point but I feel it unlikely that I will recognize those moments because I do not like you.

Thus, I think it is best that we not interact. Nothing productive will come of it.

Have a nice night.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 06:20PM | 0 recs
we've already established that you have problems..

with interpretation.  it's interesting that likeability seems to be a factor in that.  but you should do whatever you think is best for you...

by bored now 2007-08-17 04:04AM | 0 recs
My opinion of that diary

and Obama's argument has changed over time. I used to agree with his characterization of the failed fight to stop Alito. I see now that he couldn't have been more wrong.  

by andgarden 2007-08-16 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: My opinion of that diary

That diary was about Roberts, but Roberts was about alito and Obama never ever understood that.

To be frank, Obama has demonstrated some of the worst political judgment I have ever seen.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 06:06PM | 0 recs
I typed &quot;Alito&quot; and meant Roberts

I think the whole thing set us up for Alito. Perhaps that was the point?

by andgarden 2007-08-16 06:14PM | 0 recs
That was MY point

Read my diary Failure, on how we failed to get people to understand that Roberts was about alito.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 06:21PM | 0 recs
I knew

that I was reading something worthwhile in 2005.

We are here, yes? You wrote:

Like I said, I have been humbled. My efforts, our efforts, have been an abject failure on the most important issue of the day - the Supreme Court. I know some disagree with this. But frankly, I think there is not much I can do with those folks. I know there is tactical disagreement. Lord let my critics be right. Please. I hope the Dems fight like hell on the next ones.

But still, the question remains, what influence, what persuasion are we really affecting here? I feel like I have been wanking off here this year.

It seems to me that nothing has changed. We won an election, and Bush still gets exactly what he wants.

by andgarden 2007-08-16 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: I knew

Check out my latest diary.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 07:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Some just dont understand

Senator Obama's call for unity is not about dropping principle to meet the extreme right half way in the mushy center.  It is about building consensus around his progressive vision so that moderate republicans, independents, and democrats all agree things like universal health care coverage, ending the war in iraq, and achieving energy independence are just common sense.

One cannot pass real reform in this country unless there is consensus.  If you want to follow the Bush strategy, engaging in extreme partisanship, thereby alienating at least half the country, you wont get anything done.  A new president can get a few pieces of real reform passed, but it requires strong support from the country.  A strategy that only appeals to the hardcore base only leads to an immediate 50% disapproval rating once the election is over (as Bush had in 2004) and deadlock in government.

Obama is building consensus around progressive policies by talking about change, unity, and optimism.  If we want to set this country in the right direction, we need to sell our message beyond the 50% of the country that leans democratic.

by WellstoneDem 2007-08-16 01:06PM | 0 recs
well, we have accepted the dlc frame...

it seeps through our conscience even as we believe we've rejected it.

what is interesting to me is that these are the words of the conservative movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  they were determined to unite america behind them and their view of the country.  they tried to reach over partisan lines to appeal to people who thought of themselves as democrats.  the difference between conservatives then and democrats who are trapped in dlc minds is that conservatives never dreamed that they would be abandoning their values in trying to unite the country behind them.  in fact, just the opposite.  they talked of moving the center towards their view of america, not moving towards the center.

obama talks in this language, as well.  we've discussed this belief in one moving the center instead of moving to the center.  but our mini-dlc brains reject this approach, largely (apparently) because democrats need revenge.  see, conservatives weren't out to prove that they were right in 1964, they were out to win.  for whatever reason, this is not what we care about.  we care about being right, not about winning.  so we have this fight with the dlc -- having accepted their field of battle (moving to the center).

obama, from what i've heard, rejects this.  he doesn't have the mini-dlc brain inside of him.  instead, he sees a great country divided, divided by the fact that we are in the middle of a great economic, political and social transformation, in the midst of transitioning to a non-bipolar world, and in the middle of a real war with an illusive enemy that requires a unity of purpose and a consensus of the citizenry.

but this does seem to disturb the mini-dlc'er in us.  we want revenge!  we want the right to acknowledge they are wrong!  we need to prove we are right.

thus we engage in a race to the bottom, a race to irrelevancy.  when barack obama talks about unifying this country, we completely miss the fact that he's not talking about mitch mcconnell.  we want revenge -- and we're willing to gamble the presidency to get it...

by bored now 2007-08-16 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Some just dont understand

You really think that republicans will find consensus with progressive issues? I don't know what you are smokin but don't pass me any. That's some bad shit.

by DoIT 2007-08-16 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Some just dont understand

Well, lets just look at one example.  In a poll about healthcare from this Spring:

"The poll found Americans across party lines willing to make some sacrifice to ensure that every American has access to health insurance. Sixty percent, including 62 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans, said they would be willing to pay more in taxes. Half said they would be willing to pay as much as $500 a year more." ml?sec=health&res=9e06e7d71631f931a3 5750c0a9619c8b63

I consider universal access to healthcare to be a progressive issue.  Apparently 1 in 2 Republicans agree with me enough that they would be willing to pay more in taxes.

I don't smoke, but you've lost a few too many brain cells if you think progressive values don't appeal to a large majority of Americans.

by WellstoneDem 2007-08-16 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Some just dont understand

I am quite sure she is referring to the GOP base and its politicians.

What is happening is that events related to the issue have left the GOP labelled as extreme.

There was "no consensus" rhetoric that made these numbers happen. Like Iraq, events overwhelmed the spin.

Obama would now throw away the advantage events have given Dems on the issue. They have been proven right, just like on global warming. Why would Dems be silly enough to throw away the advantage their sound thinking has earned?

Yet Obama would throw away that advanatage. He is a very poor political thinker.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 06:09PM | 0 recs
What are you even talking about?

How is Senator Obama throwing away any advantages?

You and DoIT continually twist Senator Obama's words and actions into caricatures that you can attack.

by WellstoneDem 2007-08-16 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: What are you even talking about?

I haven't twisted anything your guy Obama has said. He is the one with a whole staff of Explainers to make certain the rest of us don't pay any attention to what he actually said but instead pay attention to a legion of Explainers that sort and distort his shit out for us. You talk about a twist. This dude Obama is your Chubby Checker, except without the style, talent and originality.

by DoIT 2007-08-16 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: What are you even talking about?

You make assertions with no evidence/proof/concrete examples to support those assertions.  

Im not an "explainer." I simply refute your ridiculous arguments with actual supporting evidence.

by WellstoneDem 2007-08-16 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: What are you even talking about?

No we disagree with him.

Stoip making disagreemnt twisitng.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-16 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: What are you even talking about?

I think there is a fair amount of twisting with your suggestion that he would "throw away" these political advantages. There's nothing concrete to support that view. Worse, it misrepresents the law-making process. The President's role in legislature is limited (by both constitutional and practical considerations). Obama's obviously not going to veto progressive health-care reform if it comes to his desk just because some republicans don't like it. If the political will already exists--as someone maintains above--then he's not going to "throw away" that advantage to suit republican politicians.

by DPW 2007-08-16 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: What are you even talking about?

That should say "the President's role in the legislative process is limited." Obviously, the president isn't technically part of the legislative branch, he just have veto power.

by DPW 2007-08-16 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: What are you even talking about?

Another example of the legislative primacy obsession.  Executives have a vastly different role in the POLICY-making process and the PROGRAM-delivery process.  And please don't underestimate the importance of executives in the legislative process -- they are very important (if they have a halfway competent staff).

by Peter from WI 2007-08-16 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: What are you even talking about?

I don't disagree with the claim that they have an influential role. But, there is no reason to think Obama would resist the progressive political will to the extent it already exists. The phrase "throw away" seemed to suggest that he wouldn't take advantage of already-existing popularity for progressive policies. Since a democratic majority would presumably be happy to pass something roughly in tune with the popular will, Obama's ability to "throw away" this advantage would require affirmative steps to stop it, such as a veto.

by DPW 2007-08-16 09:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes Obama

Yeah, you sound pretty racist with that comment.

Bush is a WASP and look how well he unified the country....I suggest that you come up with a better argument against supporting Obama that his skin color.

by Sam I Am 2007-08-16 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes Obama

It wasn't a racist comment! A large segment of the country is racist - either overtly or covertly. And no - they're not ALL in the south.

by annefrank 2007-08-16 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes

This diary would be all true, if only it weren't completely wrong.

Obama isn't pushing the DLC mushy middle.

If you pay attention to him, his objective is to make progressive issues American issues, and pull the country to the left.

Not browbeat the other side and get a 50+1 victory like the Republicans.

He wants to get that 60%+ support for his policies.

Not push for the mushy middle.

Not compromise on our values.  

It's confusing after so many years of assholes like Lieberman and From,  but Obama is a different animal.

It's like Lakoff said, he is dropping the "left vs. right" frame, which is a huge loser, and picking up the "American values" frame, and moving the so-called center to the left.

It's about getting a truly popular mandate, not the bush-ian 50%+1.  He doesn't employ language of division, because that will prevent him from getting the mandate he wants by alienating a lot of people.  

We spent 6 years being told we're not patriotic, that if we don't like it, we should just leave.

Obama's coming in to bring everyone aboard, and push the entire country back to the left.

by JJCPA 2007-08-16 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes

Actually Obama is touting the 50+1 strategy like the republicans.

by DoIT 2007-08-16 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes

Really? Please support that with some sort of evidence.  As far as I can tell, you're just making things up.

by WellstoneDem 2007-08-16 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes

Perhaps you will look at the AFL-CIO debate.

by DoIT 2007-08-16 06:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes

Could you be any more vague?

by WellstoneDem 2007-08-16 07:46PM | 0 recs
i've heard him talk about ~60%...

i don't know where you got your figure from...

by bored now 2007-08-16 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes

It is like:


I was against invading Iraq because Saddam had nothing to do with 911 and WMD evidence was thin. The war was incompetently executed.   Now our task is to bring the troops home.


Republicans are incompetent, liars and dumb........Republicans  hate our troops......

Thus Obama--wants to talk about issues and facts  in a non partisan way.

by jasmine 2007-08-16 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes Obama the DLC
Your whole argument falls apart in the second paragraph you wrote:
his focus on unifying the country through compromise

Please point out to me where Obama suggested compromising?  Sure he uses language that appeals to lots of people, but where has he actually compromised on the issues?
by Fran for Dean 2007-08-16 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes Obama

Why wouldn't a Black President, who should he become POTUS did so with a majority of the voters (of all races) support?  You seem to be inferring that he would represent only Black people, so the rest of America wouldn't be interested in what he has to say.  Yeah that's pretty racist.  If you have a different explanation I'd like to hear it.

by Kingstongirl 2007-08-16 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes Obama

Because unity comes not from a victory, but instead by how one gets there.  If Obama's mandate upon an election is for compromise, unity, and centeredness, that's what he'll need to do.

However, there is no compromise with conservatives.  That is part of their whole authoritarian intellectual construct - and their ideology.  And it's how they moved the political center from a once dynamic of leftishness far to the right.  If he wants to exist in the center that is current today, he is certainly not a progressive in the mold I would hope for in a Democrat.  

We need to elect a nominee that is running on a mandate of bold and progressive change.  It's good politics for 2008, and even better politics for the long-term.

by Peter from WI 2007-08-16 08:39PM | 0 recs
no, he wants to rid us of the dlc mindset...

and MOVE THE CENTER not move to the center.  i don't see anything in your comment that barack would disagree with -- and the difference between barack and edwards is that barack understands how to accomplish his goals.  he's been there.  he's changed power structures.  he's fought the hard battles with conservatives and the status quo.

it isn't a courtroom...

by bored now 2007-08-17 03:59AM | 0 recs
Obama is the least DLC of the major candidates

Hillary has been active member in the DLC and the current chair of the DLC's American Dream Initiative, and her husband was a former chair of the DLC. Edwards was also a New Democrat (DLC member) during his time in the Senate. Obama on the other hand has actively denied any involvement in the DLC and he's the only one of the major candidates who opposed the DLC backed invasion of Iraq.

As for his call for unity (not compromise), that's a good thing and it's more or less what all politicians say. His unity message has just gained more traction than that of others and now people are trying to turn it against him.

by End game 2007-08-16 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is the least DLC of the major candidates

You mean her husband that was a two term Democratic President? That guy?

by DoIT 2007-08-16 05:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is the least DLC of the major candidates

Yes, that guy.

Keep the questions coming; this is fun.

by DPW 2007-08-16 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes Obama the DLC Candi

So who are the Edward's supporters second choice? Who are they going to turn to when Edwards stumbles? Clinton? uck.

by aiko 2007-08-16 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes Obama the DLC Candi

So who are the Obama supporters second choice?

Are they going to stumble over to Clinton when their golden boy implodes?


by justathought 2007-08-16 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes Obama the DLC Candi

I'm sure it varies, but I imagine the majority would break for Edwards if he's the only viable non-Hillary contender. He's no golden boy, but he ain't bad either.

by DPW 2007-08-16 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Sawicky: unity focus makes Obama the DLC Candi

I will not support Clinton and I am disappointed when I hear Edward's supporters bash Obama--because I think the implication is that they would rather  see Clinton in the WH than Obama.

by aiko 2007-08-16 10:01PM | 0 recs
No more Mr. Nice Guy

at a historical moment when Democrats are uniquely positioned to pass massive progressive reforms.

Well well put and exactly correct. Screw playing nice with Neocons. Let's elect a slew of Democrats and get something done. Maybe we will get lucky and Justice Roberts will have another episode and be unable to continue and we can change the Supreme Court too. Pardon me for being heartless but I am speaking about the Roberts Court.

by DoIT 2007-08-16 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: No more Mr. Nice Guy

You think Clinton is going to pass massive progressive reforms? Why haven't we heard anything in detail about them? Oh yeah, she needs to build a consensus. Where have I heard that before?

by DPW 2007-08-16 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: No more Mr. Nice Guy

Obama is the consensus building wimp. Evil is as evil does. At least that is what momma always used to say.

by DoIT 2007-08-16 06:46PM | 0 recs
Re: No more Mr. Nice Guy

For once, I'd like to see you put a coherent thought together. How do you go from wimp to evil without any intermediate step? Could we possibly bother you for some kind of evidence or argument in support of your claim that he is a wimp, and an evil one at that?

Also, I have to ask the broader question: in what way do you see your self contributing around here? You just hurl this kind of angry stupidity without the slightest hint of good faith. I'm genuinely curious. It takes a certain amount of energy to post the 100 or so comments to submit every day, and I can't help but wonder how you justify that energy. You're not persuading anyone; you're not adding to the appeal of your candidate (if anything you galvanize support for Obama); you derail actual constructive dialogue; and you have absolutedly no credibiity now were you to actually give serious discussion a try. You just hurl shit. You may get some pleasure out of this, but you ultimately stink like shit when it's all over.  It's an embarrassment. I'm sure your "momma" taught you better than this.

by DPW 2007-08-16 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: No more Mr. Nice Guy

I wouldn't mind seeing you engage the point of the diary. All I see here from you are half-backed theories of executive power.

Everyone engages in a little projection, but do you think you could tone it down a little? It looks absurd when you combine your complaint against DoIT with a whole series of examples of the behavior.

by souvarine 2007-08-16 09:51PM | 0 recs
Re: No more Mr. Nice Guy

In retrospect, I probably should have just ignored this commenter, but I had just read about a dozen stupid, vituperative comments by him/her. The commenter seems wholly uninterested in anything constructive, and I would be amazed to hear that you genuinely believe differently.  If it were one or two instances, I wouldn't say a word. But, given this person's habitual vandalism around here, I felt perfectly justified sharing my hatred for said behavior. Sometimes it's okay to tell someone to go to hell.

I think if you look at my history of comments, you'll see that I am generally polite and willing to engage the substantive issues. I've only ever received one down rating, as far as I know, and that was for doing nothing more than suggesting that plaintiffs' attorneys aren't always in the right.

Of course, whether my arguments are persuasive or not is another matter. I don't know which comments you're referring to (I don't think I offered any theory of executive power on this site), but I'm sorry you found them so insufficient. If you would like me to expand on anything I've written, I don't mind doing so.

As far as the point of the diary, I have gone back and forth with the diarist on related issues before, and my guess is that additional efforts to convince him would be futile. Instead, in this thread I just stepped in occasionally to address sub-issues that arose.

by DPW 2007-08-18 12:06AM | 0 recs

I am going to take issue with what you said.

but I don't think a black president will unify the country at least right now

I do not believe that the race of any American, even a politician, should be seen as a barrier to achieve anything. I do not believe that Obama's race would stop him from achieving anything should he become our nominee and we elect him as President. As much as I jab at him I will stand by his side against anyone that tries to use his race as any type of barrier to achieve anything. And I will do anything I am capable of to rally others to help out. While there are still some Americans that use race to segregate and hate, I am not one of them. And our Constitution prohibits it. It is time that we came together to put an end to the mindset that race determines achievement.

by DoIT 2007-08-17 03:39AM | 0 recs


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