That smarmy asshat?? Frankly I would like to run that entire bunch out of town. Gibbs for being a smarmy fool, the bucktoothed idiot Pflouffe for not knowing what he is up to, and Axelrod for effectively emasculating the Democratic party.
The President based his entire campaign and his first two years on his personality. His followers, at least the die-hard one, had a cultish attitude about them. Well you reap what you sow!! The party goes down in flames to satify the vanity of one man.
It is one thing to have a personality based campaign and quite another to buy into that balderdash. Not only did he start believing in his personality cult, but like all similar minded people he wanted to exert complete control on the message. As a result, as you say, none of third party progressive groups were able to raise significant cash to counter this massive conservative offensive. The WH now complains about the lack of "progressive" support, when the same people basically black-balled anyone from giving these groups money. Thankfully that trend is changing. Soros is giving more money to thrid party groups instead of OFA/DNC. I for one do not even bother opening any OFA emails. It's their fiasco, the WH made it, they own it and now they deserve everything coming to them.
Right now Sestak has some momentum, but the latest Muhlenberg Poll shows him 8 points behind. The only thing going for Sestak is that he can truly portray himself as an outsider. His latest ad talks about himself and his service under Bill Clinton, no mention of the incumbent president.
Why do you even make payments to DNC? So that they can piss a million dollars on Blanche Lincoln? Mike Lux recently wrote that in face of this onslaught by Republican third party groups, the WH is now asking where are the progressive third parties, when in fact it was the WH that froze the cash flow to these groups so that they could centralize and control the message. Anyway some big donors have already switched their contributions to progressive groups and I ask all grass-roots activists to do the same. Contribute to Act Blue, Bold Progressive and Move On. Screw DNC.
Giving Pelosi credit for fighting for HCR, which she desrves every bit of, means acknowledging that the President is basically taking credit without doing any of the heavy lifting (if you consider the "health care summit" to be heavy lifting). If we got a HCR bill that has some progressive measures, it is because of the Speaker and the progressive caucus and no thanks either to this President or his best buddies Max Baucus, Kent Conrad and Chuck Grassley.
You're telling me. Last year Richard Burr, who has one of the worst records in the Senate was for all intents and purposes being written off as another casualty. Right now he is nearly untouchable. Worse, the completely corrupt and amoral nitwit like David Vitter will probably dance his way to re-election. On the other hand, Russ Feingold, Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid (I would love to see him lose if not for Sharon Angle) are clinging on for their lives. Once safe Senate seats like WV, Washington and Illinois are also in play. And if by chance Democrats are able to cling on to the slightest majority, it'll be Joe Lieberman who will emerge as the king-maker.
These things don't happen in a vaccuum. The policies of this President might have been right, but his politics has been horrendous and Democrats all over the country will pay a heavy price for it this November.
Well I frankly did not have that intention. It was a wordplay on the email I got from OFA soliciting $25 for change and hope (the usual pablum) when the president was basically throwing the towel in at the same time.
But if you must, much of the problems that this administration is having is because they and their loyalists are still stuck in the 2008 primaries (read Axelrod's admission). It is no coincidence that words like "hope", "change" and now pragmatism have now come to mean "capitulation", "triangulation" and taking the most politically expedient path towards a token legislative victory. I, like most progressives I know, would have been happy with a severely flawed bill that the President actually fought for, instead of a flawed bill that not just intitutionalizes the current corrupt system but actually enriches it in the name of "hope" and "change", just because the President lacked the intestinal fortitude to take on the Republicans despite early warnings of their intransigence.
The President and his loyalists cannot have it both ways. Either you acknowledge the Republican opposition and get off your high-horse and fight (which he did not) or just own up to your unwillingness to put up a fight and stop complaining of the stubbornness of the opposition. Whatever might be the case, the unwilligness to take on the Republicans has not just painted this administration as weak, but has energized a Republican base at the expense of the progressive base that has forever been despised by the beltway mavens in the WH.
Unfortunately these are the people the WH were listening to until reality struck them. The progressive faithful/Obama loyalists as exemplified by the professional beltway hack Jonathan Alter. The rest of the people like us, who were screaming fire while the party burned are the f*ing retarded, congenitally malcontent, professional left.
Plus the reason the Republican stonewalling worked so well over the past few years was that the Democrats were in charge by very large majorities, so for many people when they still couldn't get things done, it reflected poorly on them.
The tragedy was that despite having historic majorities, they were unwilling to implement it. Do you remember the Bush tax cuts in the middle of a war? Everyone knew it was a bad idea and it was, how did it pass, by simple majority and even today the Democrats are wetting their pants when it comes to overturning them. The WH won't even put up a fight. So what the Republicans' prescription for success, they framed the debate such that once the tax cuts become laws for a few years, when it comes to their renewal, they will frame the debate in the same terms and pass it. Remember the Bush WH's insistence that the newly made Homeland Security department not have any congressional oversight, they achieved that by framing that debate as anyone for oversight was aiding the terrorists. And what has this WH done? Let's see the stimulus, should have been much larger, we knew that then and we know that now. Moreover being a one-time only spending bill the WH insisted it be bipartisan so it reduced the size of the actual stimulus with loads of tax cuts and got 3 cross-over votes and plenty of villification. So a watered down stimulus because our bipartisan president won't sully his image by picking a fight to push the bill that would have really mattered.
Moving along, about HCR, how did it eventually pass because of reconciliation only due to House pressure after months of WH vacillation expecting a bipartisan bill from Chuck Grassley of all people. And what did that do? It ignited the present TP movement, energized their base and depressed the Democratic base that was told to suck it up and swallow the crap being offered.
Fin Reg had to pass. It could have been tougher, but if we got a tough bill it was because opposing the bill would have been toxic for any candidate.
But don't be so sure that Republicans want to govern logically. They want to make this President a lame-duck paving the way for their candidate. If this President thought that by not demonizing the Republicans and putting them on the defensive he would have gained more Republican support then he proved that he is delusional. Because not only did his inability to fight when it mattered was taken as weakness, but he not only energized the Republican base, he lost the middle and he also depressed the progressive base. That's the reality, and those were the squandered opportunities.
Politics is mostly about perception. To you the turning point was the Obama appearance at the Republican caucus, to some it is the "health care summit". But these were largely efforts to salvage a dead bill. To me and to a lot of progressives the passage of the bill was when Pelosi and the Progressive caucus basically drew the line in the sand and forced the Senate to pass the bill by reconciliation if necessary, giving up the high and mighty bipartisanship charade that the President and people like Max Baucus were clinging on to. You will not hear of it because it was not a photo-op and it was not televised.
Now if you think that McConnell, who already has been all over the place about shutting down government, won't do something, you are living in a make-belief world. Right now, as a minority party the Republicans have brought the Senate to a crawl, with secret holds, blanket objections etc. If anything, things will only get worse, because now that they will win the house, and maybe even the Senate, their next goal is to make things so difficult for the President that it makes things viable for the Republcan nominee.
I don't know if you just realized that the President has the "bully pulpit", because I think for the last two years with a historic mandate, the President himself was blissfully unaware that he had what you call the "bully-pulpit". But how many times has he used it? Yes Obama has the bully-pulpit, but these two years he was the one who was reacting to other people, because that is his personality.
Consider this, can you imagine a single Republican Senator or Congressman, in the first two years of the Bush presidency, openly defying Bush (or for that matter Clinton) like Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, or Kent Conrad has done in the Senate and the BlueDogs have done in the House? Their defiance comes from their perception of weakness with the Senate Leadership and the Presidency. They know that nothing will happen to them after they saw the way Lieberman got his committee chairmanship back at the behest of Obama against the wishes of the Senate leadership, even after Lieberman openly campaigned against the President. They know nothing will happen to them when Obama's chief-of-staff went to the Progressive third parties and basically black-balled them into not pressuring these conservadems during the worst months of the HCR bill. Obviously when bad behavior gets by without any consequences, because the White House is unwilling to do so, this is what you get, a fractious party.
As far as your last line, yeah the road is littered with people who underestimated Obama (I am guessing you are still living 2 years ago and not willing to face the new realities of 2010), count the Democratic party in that too. The Democrats thought that they elected a progressive leader, someone who will fight the Republicans and stand up for principle, instead we got a person who always took the most expedient way, who refused to use his "bully-pulpit" to put the Republicans and the conservadems on the spot and in the process squandered a historic mandate, and now the Democratic party is going down in flames. However, if there is one fight that this administration is good at fighting, it is with its own base.