I agree with Krugman’s basic point — nominating Elizabeth Warren is a political no-brainer — but it’s not just about motivating the base. People are sick of the hidden gotchas, usurious fees and general arrogance of retail financial services. Nominating, and fighting for, Warren will put a face and attitude on financial reform that cuts through the free market bullshit rhetoric.
Unfortunately, she probably scares Chuck Schumer and Chris Dodd’s donors as much as she scares Republicans, so I doubt it will happen.
I’m lost here. Isn’t this Obama’s decision to make?
No incumbent is more secure than Chuck Schumer and Dodd isn’t running for reelection this year. So I don’t know if their donors are going to have the same pull that they used to.
Schumer isn’t campaigning for himself. He’s doing it for the Senate majority. I imagine life is a lot nicer when you’ve got 59 Dems to herd rather than 52 Republicans to fight with.
Ah well, neither Dodd nor Schumer need donors in the foreseeable future.
@wilfred: Obama’s decision to appoint; Senate’s decision to confirm.
August J. Pollak
I think progressives actually played this one really well. Assuming the admin isn’t stupid. They’re basically in a bind because if Warren isn’t nominated at this point, the story becomes “why didn’t he nominate her?” And since the admin is, you know, just GREAT at handling measured responses to threats about criticism…
It is something that has creeped me out all the way from the transition period of Obama’s presidency, and continues on. While I think Warren would be an excellent choice, the preoccupation of internet leftists of selecting, in their minds, the only acceptable candidate for various Obama appointments smacks of arrogance and overblown sense of entitlement.
It is like a threat of sorts, you better pick our choice Obama, or we will flame you and hold our breaths till we pass out and it will be all your fault. Just like spoiled children.
I’m sure there are other good people who could do the job, but she is SUCH a good choice I really hope the WH picks her. Krugman is right that it would be an easy win for them on a lot of levels. Progressives would be happy and the average person would too.
I’ve really only seen her on her Daily Show appearances, but she comes across as someone who really cares about the average person and wants to make the country better. Put that face and voice on the financial reform/consumer protection agency and people will be pleased. It’s an easy win.
I know. He should appoint her and let them either confirm or not.
Warren will be nominated to lead the CFPB, it just depends on how much damage will be done to it before she’s officially fully confirmed and the agency transitions from Treasury.
Count me as one who thinks Warren absolutely should be nominated, but I took issue with this part:
Assuming Warren was never an issue, wouldn’t the base have found some other thing to slap themselves in the face with? DADT, Gitmo, no climate bill, etc.?
I don’t know, McMegan has some really good criticisms of Warren’s academic record.
For those of you laughing so hard a little pee came out, thank you and good night, don’t forget to tip you waiter..
If the administration is seriously vetting possible candidates, I think it’s a good thing.
I like Ms. Warren, but I’d like to make sure the Administration dots all it’s i’s an crosses all it t’s on this, so when someone is trotted out to the Senate for confirmation, he or she has the weight of a thorough selection process behind him or her.
The Senate, especially Senate Republicans, will be less likely to try and less successful in trying to dig up “gotcha moments” to derail the nomination.
What would be interesting is if a Republican Senator puts a hold on this nomination, will Democrats tell them to go fuck themselves and move ahead or will the nomination languish in obscurity like so many other Obama would-be appointments held up by Republicans.
Nowhere in your comment did you mention either A) a better candidate, or B) a valid reason why Warren is an unacceptable candidate. Just for the record.
Bill E Pilgrim
@General Stuck: Oh yeah progressive bloggers are just way too powerful in this country.
I mean at this point they can just dictate what gets done.
I wouldn’t mind so much if they didn’t flaunt all the pull they have. It’s one thing to be all-powerful, but swaggering around about it is just too much.
Netroots Nation has a sadz.
The problem is the shadow president from Berkshire-Hathaway and his toupee wearing stooge in the Senate.
Well, if we’re all setting ourselves up to get our fefes hurt if Warren isn’t nominated, let’s at least take a minute to look at the other potential nominees that are supposedly under consideration.
(Scroll down about halfway in the article. If you stop reading at the title, I reserve the right to strangle you.)
@Bill E Pilgrim: I didn’t say they were powerful, I said they were spoiled brats. Big difference.
Reading comp fail. I did say she would be a good pick, but I and you are not presnit and don’t get to make these picks. We can hope for a certain candidate, but not go into poutrage convulsions because we are sure that our choice is the only good one. There are others who could do the job just as well as Warren, that may be easier to confirm.
It is hilarious and it makes my point you hitting me for not coming up with an alternative. Like some horserace where everybody bets on a certain horse and pans all the rest.
Schumer (who has more money than God) and Dodd (who isn’t running for anything anymore) aren’t the problems.
Warren was probably confirmable before Huffington Post opened its mouth, more on that later, but now people like Lieberman and Nelson have found the best way possible to drive a wedge between liberals and the President, oppose Warren. They don’t care about their electoral futures, Lieberman’s improves with the Republicans. That forces the President to use a recess appointment, which he just did with Berwick to much criticism and it’s pretty clear the WH wants someone to be confirmed and get this thing up and running fast. Is Warren the best candidate? Yes of course, but that won’t matter after Fox News shows lying videotapes of her saying bad things about successful people or she’s demonized into being the white Angela Davis.
My major issue with this whole thing is how Huffington Post used dirty tactics to try to force the WH’s hand on Warren, including using an “anonymous source” to claim Geithner opposes Warren, and stayed with that story even after it became clear he doesn’t (saying instead they made him change his mind). They ignored the video of Warren praising Geithner and the President, even going so far as the suggest she did it just to “beg” to get the position. They’ve proven to be no better than Politico. If Warren gets picked and confirmed, they’ll take the credit and will give none to the WH, so why should they bother to do this just to please them? It won’t please them.
Yes. There is nothing more spoiled than demanding Obama uphold campaign promises or appoint department heads that aren’t completely beholden to the corporations they oversee. Nothing is more childish than accountability. :-p
There’s nothing magic about Warren, specifically. But she is the most natural and most trustworthy pick. If the Administration compromises on an alternative candidate, the candidate will be opposed if she isn’t business-friendly enough, just the same as Warren. This isn’t a fight over an individual, it’s a fight over the kind of person endowed with administrative authority.
I’m sorry, did Obama campaign on appointing Elizabeth Warren to head a consumer protection agency?
We’re making it about an individual. You and I both know there are other people just as qualified and just as good as Warren. Is she the best choice? yes. But drawing a line in the sand with her? You’re feeding her to the wolves. That’s childish.
Eh, maybe. Nominating Warren is real easy though. Good candidate, makes the base happy, not much downside to nominating her. I mean it’s not like the Republicans will like anyone that Obama nominates, so why not her?
My point, Krugman’s point, and mistermix’s point is that Warren is extremely knowledgeable and experienced on the governance side, and is extremely popular with the base on the politics side, and it is sad that her candidacy is uncertain at best and unlikely at worst.
You agree that she is extremely qualified, so what the fuck does it matter to you how popular she is with the base? She’s more popular with the base than any other candidate- assuming all other things being equal, this means she’s a “better” candidate than anyone else.
I don’t see a good reason why you would approve of a qualified but unknown candidate instead of a qualified and popular candidate, unless you just hate the people that like her. But that’s not a sufficient reason to pass her over.
Warren makes sense, yet it probably won’t happen. That doesn’t bother you?
Bill E Pilgrim
Well, sort of.
Spoiled brats implies a lot of things that don’t apply to progressive bloggers, one being that anyone in authority actually listens to them. In fact, spoiled brats implies that they wield a considerable amount of power, getting the adults to give in to them all the time (the definition of spoiled).
None of this applies to progressive bloggers, was what I was teasing about.
Something I’ve been wanting to mention: did any of you who continually demonize anyone who criticizes Obama from the left notice that one person who doesn’t agree with you on this position is Barack Obama? He went to the Netroots thing and encouraged criticism from the left, saying “keep holding me accountable” and “speak out” and make your voice heard and all the rest of it.
David Brooks last Friday on the News Hour went on an extended whine about how he just doesn’t get what progressives could possibly be disappointed about, because such a far-left progressive agenda had been passed so far. Which, he added, Democrats will now be punished for, but oh well. They should just figure it was worth it.
When you denounce anyone who complains about the approach that’s been taken so far you actually uphold this view, rather than the contrary.
Progressives need to speak out and let Obama and the rest of the country know where they stand. Obama has said this several times, and he’s right.
And for those about to respond that “Oh no we only reject people who go too far and say they’ll vote for Republicans” my response is: balderdash. There was a front page post here a few days ago listing all of the terrible things progressives have done, mostly summed up by lines like “they’ve turned a series of victories into defeat” and so on. Criticism of the approach the White House has taken is seen as treachery of some kind, often.
Or listen, if you agree with David Brooks, that what’s been passed is actually progressive, then fine. In that case though I might tone down all the David Brooks bashing, since it just looks silly.
On the other hand if you agree that the White House is being conservative in many ways, but progressives need to be quiet and just pretend that this isn’t the case– that’s what I’m rejecting.
And you know what? So is Obama.
I’m going with him on this one.
@Zifnab: And Oh wise one, it is you and your comrades that hold the truth on who is the best candidate, more than Obama who got himself elected POTUS. And the quip about “campaign promises” as to applying to specific individuals is comical
Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle
So why not go with the best choice? You plainly admit that. Who are the people just as qualified? A Goldman Sachs stooge like Michael Barr?
It bothers the hell out of me, but that’s politics. Sometimes the best idea and the best candidate doesn’t win, it sucks, but it is what it is. We, as liberals, hold little power in the country, so we’re stuck, but sometimes we have to realize that our tactics make getting what we want harder.
I’m nominating Jules Winnfield.
I’m not so sure about this. The deciding Republicans; Snowe, Collins, Brown and the deciding Democrats; Nelson, Lincoln, Lieberman will vote for somebody. They probably would’ve voted for Warren. But now they see an electoral advantage if they oppose Warren. The President will have to thrown Warren overboard for someone who is probably just as qualified and just as good, but the left will hate because s/he isn’t Warren
They’ll vote for someone, but only after they disappoint the mean old liberals and drive a wedge between them and the President.
This is politics, the political calculation comes first.
here we go again throwing “the base” around as applying to a bunch of liberals with big mouths bloviating on the internet, with rank and file dems in the countryside who comprise 99 percent of “the base”. And I include myself in “big mouths bloviating on the internets” btw.
She is not the only great candidate, and you nor I have the info available to make the pick, not to mention the overall smarts of Obama.
And I am not criticizing internet progs for wanting Warren, I am criticizing them for going all emo if they don’t get their way.
@Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:
I love it when progs go pre angst about something that hasn’t occurred yet. It will be double delicious if Obama picks her, as I to hope he does.
I actually don’t criticize them for that, but by going all emo, they make it less likely they’re gonna get what they want.
The deciding votes don’t like the “big mouths on the internets” Lieberman hates them, Lincoln hates them, every Republican hates them. They hold the cards, you don’t.
I’d nominate General Stuck. He’s a general, so will be acceptable to our national “security” apparatus and the nomination might keep him from commenting here so much
August J. Pollak
Umm, yeah, I think that’s why everyone here’s annoyed with you. It’s pretty obvious you have some kind of fascination with pre-emptive hippie punching. You’ve written five comments now mocking imagined targets for things they haven’t done yet.
“Projection,” dearie. Look it up, methinks.
@August J. Pollak:
Did I hurt your feelings?
Oh yea, I must be jumping the gun, after about a thousand left wing freakouts over Obama picking the wrong people according to hippies like yourself. I don’t give a shit if people on this thread are annoyed with me, in fact I hope they are, it means I’m doing it right.
And I am in a hippie punching mood, so move in a little closer so as I don’t miss.
joe from Lowell
Just admit it, General Stuck: you hate Elizabeth Warren.
I can tell, because of how you said I think Warren would be an excellent choice.
I’m onto you, pal. I’m doing that thing where I point to my own eyes with two fingers, and then point them at you. You know. That…thing you do with your fingers, that means you’re watching somebody
[email protected]Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:
One of the other top choices used to be a V.P. at Ralph Nader’s Consumers Union. So, you know, if Warren isn’t picked, that means Obama has sold out to teh korpoashuns.
Basically, you’ve decided that Elizabeth Warren, and nobody else, is an acceptable choice, on the grounds that you’ve seen her, and none of the other top choices, on television.
The deciding votes and all the other ones no longer give a shit what morons say on the internets. They recognize it for the sewer it is. End of story.
@Bill E Pilgrim: It’s not that the progressive netroots are standing up for what they want, it’s how they’re doing it.
You got HuffPost making up shit to create outrage. (Geither hates WARREN!) You have widespread ignorance on how government works. If I hear “make them filibuster” one more time, I might literally punch a hippie, and there’s a willful ignorance on how the media hurts Democratic messaging and no real desire to do anything about it. I see so many people complain Obama isn’t fighting, but ignoring when he does. Especially when he does and no media outlet pays attention to it. Cable news networks often cut off his speeches, or don’t show them at all. Reporters like Mark Knoller and Jake Tapper very often reinforce the right wing narrative. When the President starts fighting for something, they quickly accuse him of being partisan and spent endless amounts of time attacking him over the deficit. Add to that a country of selfish morons proud of their ignorance and shameful hatred of people.
It’s not that progressives fight for what they believe in, we all do it, it’s that progressives either are blind to or purposely ignorant to the political reality that we live in a country dominated by right wing frames and that even people who may like progressive policies, vote for right wing ones. They have no desire to fight this, or have admitted that it’s a lost cause, but still want Obama to change the world himself while they sit in the echo chamber and parse his words and actions.
We need media reform. We need government reform. We need campaign finance reform. The DISCLOSE Act will fail in the Senate today, will get every Democratic vote (probably) and no Republicans. Will the media notice? No. Will progressives give Obama credit for fighting for it and Reid credit for forcing a filibuster? My guess is no.
Dude, I think you just meta’d yourself into lala land.
no, they care. They can go back to Independents and say “I oppose what that radical left wing Huffington Post wanted” and they can create problems for the President they don’t particularly like because he made them do hard things like HCR rather than vote for flag burning amendments.
Or out of it.
@Nick: But you’ve said previously that forcing filibusters is a useless exercise. If that’s so, then why should Reid get credit for performing a useless exercise?
In a similar vein, you’re adamant that progressives don’t mean anything in today’s political discourse. Then why get so bent out of shape when they say something? Are your ears that sensitive?
And why should we listen to a guy whose most favorite argument is that liberals can never get their policies enacted because the forces of the universe are against them, so it’s folly to try?
@Nick: I misread your first comment. Yes, in that perverse way, they do care
it is a useless exercise. I’m not gonna give him credit for it, but if you really think this is an effective way of getting a point across, why not give him credit for doing what you wanted?
Ever notice how progressives only get on TV when they criticize the President and not when they want to fight for an issue? They only mean something when they can be used to weaken the President and the party, which in turn does nothing to advance their OWN arguments.
The whole part about how we need to focus on changing the forces of the universe lost on you?
I’ll get right to work on the DeLorean.
I always think of it as performing a wonderful gesture to a lover you’ve insulted time and time again. Whatever happened before can be forgiven if the sentiment is right.
August J. Pollak
…what? Of those Senators, the only one even up for reelection this cycle is Lincoln, who’s toast already. This has no impact on their next races at all.
The downticket issue is more significant, and whoever Obama nominates will likely pass approval (even with a small margin, Kagan-like) because three months out before an election Republicans won’t want to be cast as blocking the head of a a body that protects consumers.
Warren appears to be the best pick Obama can make, which is also a pick that progressives by and large support. And yet the discussion appears to be about how to berate her supporters before we even know if she’s nominated or not. For some odd reason, Warren’s support seems to piss off a handful of people who act as thought they deliberately WANT Warren to not be nominated just so they can tweak invisible bloggers they want to blame for everything.
Warren has plenty of good points about her, but I really think people are underestimating how much of a problem her relative lack of experience in government might cause in that sort of role.
Also, people really ought to be embarrassed about their inclinations to boil complex issues they don’t understand very well down to specific ponies. Especially progressives.
@August J. Pollak:
Dude, that’s everything. Let Hamsher say she hopes it’s sunny outside, and that dude’ll get all dressed up and rain dance for HOURS.
@Bill E Pilgrim:
Good cop – Bad cop – Obot bad cop here.
@August J. Pollak:
this isn’t about their elections
Why not? They’re embracing their “part of no” status. By October, this will no longer be about “blocking the head of a body that protects consumers,” this will be about “blocking the radical liberal Huffington Post Daily Kos woman” This is going to end up being a neverending series of “moderates” on TV and on the opinion page blasting the President for pandering to the left rather than “doing what’s what for America”
Supporters who started this shit by writing lies and conspiracy theories about mean old Geithner hating poor Warren and trying to destroy her, followed by another ultimatum. Supporters aren’t getting attacked because of their support, they’re getting attacked before of their tactics.
LOL More hubris from the internet warrior class. I tweak idiot bloggers because they are idiots, not to blame them for anything other than stinking up BJ threads with superiority about being THE base and self preening over power they don’t have.. And also cause it’s fun.
edit – not to mention claiming progressive as a name to call themselves, when they are anything but that.
joe from Lowell
Not “progressives.” “A handful of internet loudmouths.”
joe from Lowell
I just hope that, if some good, qualified, liberal, strong candidate is chosen instead of Warren, the usual suspects are fair enough to evaluate him honestly and give him his due, instead of declaring war on him, sight-unseen, for no other reason than they’re eager to denounce Obama.
@joe from Lowell:
You forgot to remind everyone to tip the waiter. Why do you hate poor servers?
August J. Pollak
I don’t understand how to discuss this. Really. People here go back and forth between dismissing opinions of progressive activists as insignificant and then saying that their opinions will end up being the focus of Warren’s nomination. You can’t have this both ways.
The CEO of BP is getting a million-dollar severance package. Wall Street is a four letter word in this cycle. There will not be a massive groundswell of support, but any of Obama’s nominees will get Graham, probably Brown, and ultimately whatever the breakdown for Kagan was. The GOP will stamp it’s feet like they have with Kagan but ultimately they will NOT let a news cycle be about how they don’t want Obama to put someone in charge of protecting consumers from fraud and corporate malfeasance.
As far as anything about the HuffPo or DailyKos or whatever… really? The GOP will attack Obama’s nominee as being liberal? I had no idea.
You’re of course free to ignore this legitimate advice, in fact I’m almost sure you will, but I think it might help to reassess who in this thread has done a fantastic job highlighting their superiority issues. Maturity issues, too, for that matter.
But, umm… yeah, that’s a real good defense against the charge this isn’t about you just wanting to feel good about yourself, buddy. Again. Projection. Seriously.
@August J. Pollak:
Sure they can. Just like the Republicans. If they win, it’s because they stood up to the mean ol’ progressives. If they lose, it’s because of the mean ol’ progressives. They can never fail, they can only BE failed because you failed to clap hard enough.
@August J. Pollak:
Cool, now self important prog blogger branches out into dispensing parental like advice. You are right, I will ignore it. I know who I am, an unimportant person scratching my stuff of the internet. Who are you?
@joe from Lowell:
Absolutely goddamn right!!
@August J. Pollak:
progressive activists are partisan lightning rods like the tea party is on the right. Their opinions on matter in so much as they are considered radical and send moderates fleeing, again, like the tea party, and are used by the right (and the middle) to attack someone as partisan. This is part of how Halter lost, because he was the “netroots” candidate, not the “Arkansas” candidate, even though in reality he was both. The second progressive activists touch something, it dies…again, like the tea party. It doesn’t matter what their opinions are on or what their arguments are, it just matters that they have them. They’re relevant, but only because they hurt more than they help.
Republicans aren’t going to oppose Warren for being too anti-Wall Street. They’re going to oppose her because they’ll fame her as a pander to the base, a partisan trick by Obama in an election year. They’ll say there are other qualified candidates but Obama picked Warren because he wanted to start a partisan pie fight and pander to his “base” Moderates hate that. That’s the only message that will come across “Is she the ONLY anti-Wall Street candidate you can find?”
August J. Pollak
The guy actually talking about Elizabeth Warren and not how he enjoys thinking of new schoolyard names for complete strangers on the internet.
Who are, of course, not important, as you’ve made in your four of five comments trying to tell me that ;)
Man, Stuck. It’s not like I actually disagree with you on anything here, but you’re really spoilin’ for a fight this morning, aren’t you?
Of course, it takes about five seconds to find one.
Probably, just sick of all the bullshit is all. Maybe time to go galt for awhile. It is out of my system. For now. I take comfort in the knowledge blogs have little consequence in the big scheme of things. Thankfully.
This analogy ignores the fact that Hamsher will only wish for sun at midnight, yell at the sky for six hours, and then complain it isn’t warming the air fast enough when it finally does rise.
@August J. Pollak:
Oh you big woozy. Don’t take it personal. All in a days work here saving the world from complete and utter destruction is all.
you go in peace:)
@Nick: Hey, Genius Guy?
They will do that with ANY nominee Obama puts up. Just as they did when Wood was passed over for Kagan. Republicans are lying bastards with a megaphone and they will use the same tactics, frames, and messages regardless of the nominee. Trying to find a nominee the Republicans will not try to fuck over is like trying to find an ice cube warm enough for a volcano.
In fact, by arguing against nominating what consensus agrees is the best possible candidate for the position, you’re actively hurting Obama’s agenda. For what? To piss off anonymous bloggers? Good deal.
There’s no shortage of good targets for punching here, but myself I’m not the kind of person who finds catharsis in angry confrontation.
…which means I’m probably on the wrong blog, come to think of it. It’s just so hard to find where the Reality Based Community hangs out on the internet!
You may not believe this, but neither am I in real life. Though sometimes it is unavoidable.
Oh is that why three Republican Senators already came out and stated they’d vote for Kagan and her nomination is in jeopardy?
of course I never said he shouldn’t nominate Warren, I said her nomination will probably fail now if he did, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he didn’t pick her, but you’re going to believe what you want to believe, because to not do so would force you to, you know, face reality and that’s just not going to happen. Delusion is a happy place, I know.
Here’s a hint, stop making this about YOU.
I’m confused. Isn’t the churn over Warren all about sexism?
Hm. Okay, maybe not. Well, maybe the churn over Warren is all about lobbying and whoring the congress out to the moneyed interests?
Do I get to vote on Warren? In that case, I agree that Warren is the natural preferred nominee, owing to her cred in the subject area.
But how to interpret Krugman’s blurb? The base demands respect on this nomination, and without the base being motivated in the midterms, the administration is doomed?
In short, nominate Warren, or fail.
And be called idiots by Krugman.
I missed the tipping point where the pundito-blogocracy achieved “Do what we want or else” status. As much as I respect Krugman’s subject knowledge, if I were the administration, I’d want to call him and tell him to go fuck himself very much.
Pretty much every day.
@Nick: What are the reasons the majority of Republicans oppose her nomination, and what is the difference between those criticisms and any potential criticisms of Wood had she been nominated?
Uhh, Chris Dodd isn’t running. He doesn’t have donors any more.
August J. Pollak
If that’s how you choose to interpret it, sure. And thereing lies the problem; the hefty load of people who want to feel offended by this.
Oooooor, you could read Krugman and mistermix’s points and conclude something a little more positive: that A. Warren is a highly qualified choice, B. that Americans would benefit from her appointment, and C. that likewise, a strong portion of Obama and Democrats’ base would be very happy to see her nominated.
The point is that Warren’s a good choice because of A, B, and C, and there appears to be a focus on throwing tantrums over C instead of reflecting on A and B. Maybe if everyone looked up from cleaning their guns for the circular firing squad they’ve already penciled in for next Wednesday they’d notice that.
The progressive’s skepticism of Obama’s agency head nominations got kick-started by the selection of Geithner and Summers to head key financial/economic posts – both selections were intended to be reassuring to key establishment factions, and look how badly each has turned out. Salazar at Interior is another nomination designed to assure traditional economic consitituencies which has turned out to produce very mixed, often dubious results (including putting a Colorado Senate seat in play that otherwise would have likely stayed safely democratic this cycle). The point is that by making “safer” choices to assuage key conventional constituencies (other than progressives), the yield for the Obama administration has so far been at least as many and as severe substantive and p.r. headaches from the nominees as there would have been with a more progressive (and supposedly problematic/risky) nominee choice, with little to no substantive benefit with the constituencies the nominations were supposed to appease.
If Obama didn’t seem so heavily inclined toward choosing nominees who are too-captive of the interests needing fundamental reform for the sake of unsound political expediency that’s not going to be rewarded as expected anyway, the progressives would be far more deferential to Obama’s choices and more in awe of his 11-dimensional chess skills and less in contempt of such easily foreseeable two-dimensional chess tactical mistakes.
@August J. Pollak:
That’s right, the hefty load of people who react the way most people would react to what amounts to an unsolicited, pushy ultimatum from the peanut gallery … that’s the problem.
Krugman strikes me as acting like a petulant child. Ignored by the objects of his attentions, he just gets pushier.
Typical of the so-called progressive base. Which apparently has no clue how to wage a war with an army of corrupt neanderthals …. with discipline and consistent message when in public. Not with foot stamping.
The rest of the Republicans are irrelevant. I wasn’t talking about them…the only opinions who matter are the 58, 59, and 60 votes. Those are the ones who will oppose whatever the progressive netroots fawn over.
If you think Graham, Collins and Lugar would be supporting Wood, you’re insane.
@cmorenc: I suspect Obama looks at it like I do. So called “progressives” are actually left wing ideologues who are more trouble than they or their numbers are worth. He plays footsie with them because the stoopid shit they blather on blogs sometimes gets picked up by the msm as another phony but interesting meme for Obama fail, or party discord.
I will say it again with gusto, and backed up by polling since Obama’s election, that of all the dems out there, self described “liberal” ones have consistently given Obama his highest marks from the real dem base in the country, the whole country. Better approval marks than self described moderates or conservative dems. Those are the numbers. You can argue against them as is your wont. But I will largely ignore you, and so will Obama giving in to demands from the left that the country as a whole will not support, at least to the degree the left pushes liberal policy
edit- and as far as his econ team, I don’t like them either, but the economy has come back from the near dead. That seems like progress to me, at least for now.
@August J. Pollak:
we all agree with that, but it doesn’t mean he’s a corporatist sellout if he doesn’t pick her.
Mistermix, what constitutes fighting. I still don’t get what this word means to you guys. From what I’ve seen Obama puts them up for nominations, says some nice stuff and then the candidate goes for confirmation. Some get confirmed, some linger, others get recess appointments. What is “fighting?” – some speeches? ’cause I don’t see how that would help. Seems like the more the GOP gets pushed, the more stubborn they get.
@August J. Pollak:
Co-signed. I have yet to see a sufficient argument against Warren, and yet some people seem to enjoy watching the Netroots be denied things they want. They seem to want to make some grand argument against the Netroots’ intelligence or strategy or pragmatism or something.
This is another issue that fits in the category of : things we think other people really really care about (except they don’t).
It is not a strong portion of the base, it is a vocal minority that really wants Elizabeth Warren. The rest have no idea what’s going on and don’t care who is picked. If they hear that she’s a good pick, then fine. If she doesn’t get it, that’s fine too. Very few people are going to stay home over her not being picked.
And if she is picked and she faces some trouble, the complaint will be that Obama isn’t fighting for her. Then once she is confirmed, her nomination, which this vocal minority claims will prove that Obama listens and cares, will be forgotten in 2 seconds. Already I’ve seen commentators at another blog claim that if she is nominated it will just be a bone thrown to liberals to shut them up.
Don’t flame me for my comment. Its the truth. And yes, I would like to see her nominated, but I ain’t gonna catch the vapors if she doesn’t.
I don’t know who’s saying that. Krugman isn’t. Mistermix isn’t. Daily Kos isn’t. Who are you referring to? Links plz.
@Nick: @General Stuck: I’m referring back to agenda items like the public option and troop reductions in Iraq as well, since I’m assuming your “spoiled children” slur wasn’t only about this single nomination of Warren.
@Nick: If he doesn’t pick her, he picks someone else who is a) just as objectionable to the right as Warren or b) a corporate sell-out.
There is no in-between. The conserva-Dems, like Nelson and Lieberman, that are fighting her nomination oppose her because of her agenda. If Obama nominates someone else with the same agenda, that individual will suffer exactly the same amount of opposition (although, I’m sure Nelson and Lieberman can come up with fresh and exciting new excuses).
What you need to ask yourselves is this. What exactly is wrong with Warren that she shouldn’t be picked? If your only response is, “Because Nelson and Lieberman don’t like her”, why do you think that will change with a different nominee? The conservative wing of the Senate doesn’t like this agency. The only nominees they approve will be those beholden to the banking industry first.
This is actually the point, IMO. The Obama Admin has a pretty risk-free opportunity to nominate a qualified and credible person AND may get the upside of having some squeaky wheels shut up, yet they may choose not to do so. I (and Krugman and mistermix and perhaps Daily Kos) do not understand why President Obama would pass this up.
We can argue about what “the base” wants or doesn’t want on a given pick, and you’re right that it probably won’t matter in the long term. But President Obama’s poll numbers among Dems have looked soft to me (~mid 70s, IIRC). Regardless if one believes the base should approve of Obama more, the reality is that they don’t. So why not at least try to boost those numbers with a nominee that is universally approved of anyway? What’s the risk in nominating Warren?
There is a chance at upside with Warren, and there is no (relative) downside with her. Yet the Obama Admin may not pick her. That is sad, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a loudmouth hippie liberal or a Very Serious Moderate that points that out.
Two words: Dawn Johnsen. I don’t think any particular nomination would be such a big deal for progressives if the WH and the Senate leadership didn’t cede veto power to Republicans and conservadems right out of the gate. Fighting for one or two progressive nominees, even if they lose, or, you know, making a recess appointment might send a message both to the opposition and to the base. Not doing so also sends a message.
I’m not saying that every nominee has to be a liberal, but c’mon.
Huffington Post, Markos Moulitsas.
They voted for the bill…did they not? They voted for the bill because it was popular and because they supported it.
They may very much support Warren for this job, but they will oppose her to spite you, because that’s what they do. That’s what politicians do.
Holy shit this is tiresome. Look, let’s just make this simple:
On Warren: She’s an excellent choice to head the agency. No doubt about it. Anyone who says otherwise shouldn’t be taken seriously. But she’s not perfect. She’s got an awful lot of things working in her favor, including being perhaps the most knowledgeable person in the country on the issue, but she’s also got a glaring weakness; her lack of work within government, and particularly her lack of experience heading up anything like that. Which isn’t to say that she wouldn’t be able to do it, of course, and isn’t even to say that she wouldn’t be able to manage the bureaucracy and turf fighting that goes with these jobs, but the possibility that she’d be overmatched by that role shouldn’t be discounted by anyone who wants to see the CFPA succeed either. I’d probably nominate Warren if it were my decision, but I’ll certainly understand if Obama decides to go for someone with more government experience, at least so long as their commitment to consumer protection is solid.
On the internet left: There’s nothing wrong with activism, or even picking out one candidate and lobbying for them to get a nomination, but I will say that I think the netroots gets lost in the character a little bit. Fighting for Warren is fine, but if someone else gets nominated, the netroots needs to evaluate that person on their own merits, not assume that by definition they’re not good enough because they’re Not. Elizabeth. Warren. In this sense, I think they could learn something from conservative activists, who have basically corralled the GOP orthodoxy on judges. They didn’t do that by pushing for specific individuals to specific posts, rather they outlined what they expected a nominee to be, and then went to bat for basically any nominee who fit the bill, with overwhelmingly successful odds. I think you could even make the argument that that strategy put them in a better position to torpedo the Miers nomination.
Sooo…then should we just shut up about Warren, or should we actively campaign against her?
What are you saying the best strategy to get Warren nominated & confirmed is?
When did this lie begin making the rounds? His approval among both Democrats and liberals is in the high 80s, has been. He’s very close to the number he received on Election Day (90%) He doesn’t have a base problem, Democrats in Congress have a base problem.
Senator Nelson/Lieberman/Lincoln/Snow/Brown/Collins, do you think the White House should appoint Elizabeth Warren? She is considered a strong candidate for the position, would you vote for her if she is nominated? You voted for the agency that was her idea, is it wise then that she should run it?
Aaaaaaand you don’t have links. Why am I not surprised?
@cfaller96: I need to show you links? They were all over the place last week.
Obama’s most recent Gallup Presidential polling has “liberal democrats” at 89 fucking percent. Eat shit concern trolls, you’re pissing into the wind here.
Lack of experience is a debatably valid argument (my counterpoint on that is when founding a new agency there is no such thing as experience, but whatever), but I have to wonder how much weight President Obama would give to “lack of experience.” He endured that (again, debatably valid) criticism from almost the first day of his campaign. Maybe he rejects it, maybe he’s found new value in it. Regardless, I’d be very interested to hear his thoughts on experience today, and how they’ve changed/stayed the same over time.
I agree, but unfortunately this works better on paper than in real life. Laying down an orthodoxy is going to receive just as much criticism from the General Stucks of the world as going to bat for a specific nominee. Some people just don’t like progressives, no matter what they do or say. See: Iraq War, run-up to.
And on this area of policy (banking & finance, and perhaps economic policy as well), neither a progressive orthodoxy nor a progressive nominee will receive favorable treatment. There is no “good” or “proper” way to reform these areas. It’s going to be ugly and spiteful regardless.
Here is the original passage that I’m (still) disputing:
When I questioned who was saying that and requested links, you responded with:
…but didn’t provide a link. When I again asked for links, you gave me a(n eventual) link to Simon Johnson who said nothing of the sort of rhetoric you asserted.
I’m just summing up where we’re at right now. If you don’t have links proving your assertion that “Huffington Post, Markos Moulitsas” are claiming President Obama will be “a corporatist sellout” if he doesn’t pick Warren, well, then…you probably shouldn’t have said that to begin with.
I think people are arguing at cross purposes here – each side defending an argument that the other side only sounds like they’re against.
But man, I love these polls. They make an eloquent point. Arguments that Obama is upsetting ‘the base’ are based on the same assumption the Teabaggers use, ‘I must be in the majority’. The base LOVE Obama. Who are the base if not this 89 percent?
As for the general thread, I personally think Warren sounds like a fine choice, and I think Obama is going to ignore all criticism from both sides and nominate whoever he wants. That’s what he’s always done before. And if it’s not Warren some people will whine like two year olds, and other people will merely be disappointed, and some of us will evaluate the new candidate under the belief that he usually has a damn good reason.
Actually, I’ve noticed less and less ‘Obama’s not liberal enough’ complaints over time. Even from our more stringently idealistic people here. A record of accomplishment like this beats its way eventually into any mind not totally closed. I like to think the Other Side has been aggressively recruiting the closed minds lately.
@cfaller96: Are you serious with this? Simon Johnson flat out said if Obama doesn’t pick Warren, he is selling out to corporate interests. Did you even read his piece?
Thanks for the info. You’re looking at Liberal Democrats, in contrast to Moderates or Conservatives. I think we can both agree that Liberal Democrats is probably the base-est of bases. So…is 89% a good score for a Dem president with the absolute rock solid base?
I think so, but I’m trying to confirm that. For the moment, I’ll retract my assertion that President Obama’s numbers with the base are “a little soft.” That doesn’t appear to be true. My bad.
In any case, I still don’t see any (relative) downside to nominating Warren. If she’s just as qualified as everybody else (which Ezra and others have tried to play devil’s advocate on, to no success), and she makes loudmouths on the internet happy, then doesn’t the whole “no brainer” aspect of her nomination still remain?
I hope he picks her, but we don’t really know the internal politics at play, and they always are, and triple this close to an election.
And I reject the notion that equally qualified persons don’t exist, that do not have the potential for winger demagoguery as Warren. While it is true the wingers will demagogue any good choice, it matters the ammo the appointees give them from being outspoken in the past, which I love about Warren, but it is not necessarily a plus when trying to get confirmed for a controversial position. This is Obama’s calculus to make, and as others have stated, not that many folks outside the political bubble really care that much.
First: I take it you’re retracting your assertion that Markos Moulitsas said anything like this.
Second: Yes, I read it. Twice, on the off chance that I missed the “corporatist sellout” rhetoric that you keep claiming is in there somewhere. I still haven’t found it. Here’s the worst of Simon Johnson’s piece, as far as I can tell:
That is extremely harsh, but nowhere in that passage do I see “corporatist sellout.”
Third: perhaps you are thinking Criticism = Overheated Rhetoric. I don’t agree with that, and maybe that’s where we’re miscommunicating. I believe there is room for critique and analysis in most every decision, and it would be silly to dismissively reduce those critiques as baseless “corporatist sellout” accusations.
You originally claimed over-the-top rhetoric was being used by some people to criticize picking someone other than Warren, and IMO you still haven’t provided links backing up that claim.
It might be interesting, but I’m not sure it’s the same thing. No one ever has the experience to be President, other than people who have been President before, so that’s usually a silly argument. And yeah, obviously no one has the experience of working in a new agency, but there are some elements of governmental work that are more or less the same all across the bereaucracy, which Warren doesn’t have experience dealing in and someone else might. I’m not saying by any stretch that this makes her manifestly unqualified or anything, or even that it obviously means someone else will be more qualified, I’m just saying that it’s a valid concern to have with regards to nominating Warren, and more importantly, to remember that, while great, Warren certainly isn’t perfect.
All true. My response: I’m not sure how “controversial” the CFPB truly is to begin with, and I heavily discount any “controversy” a person may have when that person is facing off against Wall Street banks.
Sometimes I feel too many political experts believe the smart bet is to always shut down the arguing because ‘OMG people hate it when politicians get into a food fight.’ Most times that instinct is probably correct. But not always, and IMO banking reform is one of those exceptions- people hate Wall Street, and the extra “ammo” Warren may provide could also be thought of as an opportunity to extend a debate where it becomes clear whose side Republicans are on. The opportunity to loudly and clearly paint your opponents on to the “wrong” side doesn’t come around that often.
Going into the fall, I would gladly take the opportunity to fight with Wall Street. I’d almost want the sole qualification of my nominee to be “hated by Wall Street,” just so I could score some political points. But you’re right, that’s a calculation, and it’s President Obama’s prerogative regardless.
Exactly. Discussions about the politics always assume that a compromise candidate will lead to a quick confirmation, which is always a net positive for the Democrats. The Republicans and the Blue Dogs will hate just about anybody who promises to be effective in protecting financial consumers, so I want to see Obama channel his inner FDR and welcome their hatred. If Warren is blocked in the Senate, the campaign ads write themselves.
If they go for yet another Government Sachs drone or Rubin disciple—and let’s face it, their track record in filling financial jobs tends that way—they’ll probably get a quick confirmation, but it will be bad news for Democrats in November and bad news for consumers long after that.
The administration is making the right noises, but I want to see them do the right thing and fight for their nominee. And no, I’m not going to throw a hissy fit and go out campaigning for the GOP if he doesn’t do what I want. But it would be nice for once to see a financial job go to somebody who might make things better instead of making things get worse more slowly.
No, I just have a job and don’t have the time to research diaries on his site from last week.
but here’s his take;
In this case, “internet leftists” are by no means the only people, or even the main people, who support Warren.
actually, yeah they are.
There is a difference between supporting a nominee and supporting that nominee with the idea they are the only ones who can do the job, and if Obama doesn’t select that nominee, translating that into another episode of Obama hates progressives poutrage. We have seen that movie over and over and it is getting stale and very tiresome. We shall see what happens this time, hopefully the script will change. I doubt he does, not because he hates progs or doesn’t like Warren, but because his calculus of the pol capital this close to an election is not worth the fight, or that Warren has said too many things the wingers can use to rev up their voters.
I hope he does pick her, because I agree it would be a good fight, provided there isn’t something in her background we don’t know about here in the blogosphere, that would be too much to overcome for getting her confirmed.