I guess my question from just a bit ago has already been answered:
FDL has written a lot about Obama’s serial capitulation to those — whether the Republican caucus or people like Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus — who hold legislation hostage.
But this victory, the biggest progressive victory under Obama, is largely due to the fact that a number of men and women chained themselves — took themselves hostages, effectively — to the gates of the White House.
And while I doubt the optics of environmentalists or housing activists chaining themselves to the White House (with their consequent arrest) will be so toxic to the White House, the lesson does seem to be that the only thing Obama (who bills himself a pragmatist and loves to claim he listens to all sides) listens to is hostage-taking.
Look, I like Emptywheel, but if this is the lesson you learned from DADT, you haven’t learned anything at all. Here’s FDL just a FEW days before the DADT repeal was passed:
Blah blah, Joe sucks, blah blah. I’ve written it a hundred times, fill in the blanks with your favorite “I hate Joe Lieberman” story.
But please tell me nobody fell for the DADT flim-flam. Joe Lieberman works for the Department of Defense. They did not want “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repealed. The surest sign of that was when James Amos, Obama’s pick to lead the Marine Corps, said he opposed repealing DADT now. He would never have done that to his Commander in Chief without permission. It was an unmistakeable dog whistle to anyone who knew what they were listening for: the White House did not want this. And, clearly they don’t. Obama has the authority to make it happen if he wants. And you don’t see him waving that Presidential pen around, looking for a signing statement.
And so Lieberman was picked to run the show in the Senate. Know why so many Republicans piped up and said they’d support ending DADT? ‘Cos they knew they’d never have to take a vote. Lieberman put on a fine show, replete with press conferences and breathless announcements, then he and Susan Collins went through a superb theatrical moment as the whole thing melted down in “procedural issues” (cough).
It’s Harry Reid’s specialty.
I wanted to be wrong this time, to think there was a piece of decency in the guy, but it was a pretty sure signal that the whole thing was going to explode when Lieberman was designated to run point. Obama never reached out to Joe Manchin at any time (the one Democratic “no” vote), which one assumes he would have done if they were actually serious about passing it.
Lieberman is no hero, and he’s not going to champion DADT repeal through the Senate. Please don’t kick that football. You’ll be stuck in the trap of the Senate procedural flim-flam until you realize that the Senate Majority Leader has all kinds of tricks at his disposal that he uses to get what he wants, especially if he’s got the votes. He got what he wanted. Lieberman was just the half-time show, there to make sure everyone thought they might actually get something — before he stuck it to the liberals once again.
Since that post, DADT repeal passed, and it has been nothing but back-slapping and high-fiving among the activist set. Yes, pressure is good, but can you at least own up to the fact that Obama was right to take the time to get Mullin and Gates on board, right to take the time to do the study, right to take the time to build a coalition in the Senate, and most of all, right to not kick Joe Lieberman in the teeth after the 2008 election? Yes, like everything else done by this administration, it was a agonizingly slow high-wire act, but they got it done, didn’t they? Again.
Does anyone want me to dig up the archives from these very same activists and find out what they were saying about Obama’s making nice-nice with Joe Lieberman? Hell, I know what I was saying. Yes, he is an insufferable prick, but Lieberman has voted WITH us on almost every single legislation of any importance, whether it be START, HCR, FinReg, and most recently basically being the hero behind the scenes in the Senate regarding DADT. Obama was right. When I toyed with the idea of punishing Lieberman, I was wrong. Lieberman, asshole that he is, has come through when we needed him most.
If all you’ve learned from the repeal of DADT is to take hostages and to chain yourself to a fence, can I also recommend gags?
“Does anyone want me to dig up the archives from these very same activists…”
John, do you REALLY want to get into a situation where people are examining archives of a writer’s past scribblings to determine present credibility?
I find that, lately, I’ve been repeating “the world is what it is and not some other thing” to myself, a lot. In particular, given that “self-righteous asshole” is the default synonym for “US Senator”, Lieberman’s not so bad. I should say, not so bad.
So, maybe, just maybe, START ratification and DADT passage will let Dems know that if they don’t back down pre-emptively, they can pass things that actually matter.
I know we won’t be in control of anything (except the Senate and the WH) the next 2 years, but I hope they learn something from this about what happens when Dems work together and deploy that even in obstructionism. It shows Americans what Dems are (and who the GOP is), even when we lose the little battles.
Or Obama can propose SS cuts and doom the Democrats to permanent minority status, while simultaneously emboldening the GOP to destroy what little safety net we have.
Hard to decide which is the right course of action.
It’s true that FDL post looks monumentally stupid already, but I’m cynical enough to believe that Lieberman is only scheming to ward off another Lamont-style challenge in ’12. I still don’t like him or trust him. But I’m certainly happy to see it all work out the way it has, and all due props to Obama. He not only got the military integration done, but he did it the right way and part of that, yes, was making nice to the turncoat from CT after the ’08 election.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
That’s the longest piece of Hamsher-blather I’ve read in a long time. It fits pretty close to a parody I’d have written myself.
As for Emptywheel… what kind of name recognition does she imagine Dan Choi has in the Senate, much less in the country as a whole?
The majority of commenters make me want to vomit. I really hate those fucking people…almost as bad as the American Taliban. They’re just the American Maoists on an endless purity purge. Assholes.
I am confused, we talking about DADT or a Pride Day parade?
@Tim: I appreciate that every post provides you an opportunity to be the first person to comment and tell me I was wrong about everything from 2001-2005, but the difference is when I look at my archives, I can man up and say “Wow. I was an asshole and stupid and wrong about everything.”
But please, keep on keeping on.
people chain themselves to the WH fence all the damned time. and it never makes an difference at all.
we’re still in Afghanistan. the Community Choice Act failed. etc…
@JPK: OMG- a politician may be weighing his political future when voting. Say it ain’t so!
Look, I’m basically inclined to agree with you here, but this statement is a bit disingenuous. Sure, Lieberman was a yes on HCR, and all that took was stripping out as much “reform” as he possibly could while he dithered around playing pretend president and giving Anthony Weiner purple nurples for being such a libtard nerd. I don’t recall the specifics as well but I seem to recall he was a tough sell on FinReg too. So, yeah, he votes yes once the Democrats get rid of most things that might make a liberal happy. He was on the right side on DADT, but that’s about all he’s got to show for himself.
In fairness to Lieberman, he has always been on the proper side when it came to DADT. Guy still pisses me off on a lot of other shit, but he always got that one right.
It’s like none of these folks ever heard Roosevelt’s line:
The president is not a monarch. “Government of the people, by the people” requires people to actually take responsibility for making things happen.
I don’t know what Lieberman’s motivation was here (maybe his friendship with Lindsey Graham) but I refuse to give him credit for anything. You know what? Susan Collins. I’ll be proud of her.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@JPK: You can’t read another’s mind, but I’m sure Lieberman’s motivation had at least as much to do with his upcoming race as it did with doing the right thing, and I think I’m being extremely generous to that weasel. I don’t live in CT, but anyone who does challenge Holy Joe will have all the support I can afford. Though it will be interesting to see, if McPalin does keep up his grudge against Lieberman, how much Holy Joe rediscovers his liberal convictions, Vindictive Prima Donna vs Vindictive Prima Donna.
I guess I can take the view that at least we’re getting worked into his calculations now, so that’s some improvement. Even heartening.
I totally agree.
Whoa, slow down there.
Lieberman won a tight race in ’06, in part because progressive Senate Democrats like Obama and Kerry and Durbin rallied to his aid. He then kicked Democrats in the teeth in ’08 when he ran off to campaign for McCain. And he kicked them again when he kept pimping our two front Asian Land War. And again when he shat all over the public option in exchange for his 60th vote. And again and again and again, every time his droopy face appeared on TV as the Republican-lite voice of reason.
That he finally came around on a pet personal issue is the most noble achievement of his last 4 years in office. A pristinely beautiful cherry on a steaming cake of shit.
Obama should have kicked him in the teeth back in ’06. Then he could have spent the next 4 years playing as nice as he needed to.
Well, I don’t think Hamsher and Glenzilla are ever going to like Obama, or anyone else who stands a chance of being elected President in the foreseeable future.
Another Lamont-style challenge? Unless Lieberman is completely around the bend, one look at his poll numbers would tell him he couldn’t get elected sacrificial lamb in a CT Democratic primary at this point. I give him credit for just doing the right thing here, and in 2012 I’ll stop howling my ass off at his defeat just long enough to mutter a thank you for that one good deed.
Could Ned Lamont have built the relationships and credibility within the Senate that would have enabled him to do what Lieberman was able to do on DADT? I’m inclined to think not. He might have been better than Lieberman on a whole host of other things, but all a freshman senator brings to the table is his or her own vote. And Lieberman has reminded us that the ability to deliver votes other than your own has value.
This is like the Steelers winning the Super Bowl. No reason to stop hating, but you have to acknowledge and respect the accomplishment.
It’s the biggest problem with those like FDL. They aren’t able to ever admit they were wrong about anything. It’s why they aren’t credible. They will instead do all they can to twist facts to fit their agenda instead of adjusting their agenda to fit the facts. It’s just not worth the time it takes to listen to them. They are wrong more often than right and they brook no criticism of their ideas, their methods or their talking points. They have a lot more in common with the tea party than they will ever have admit.
The basic problem is that if you think getting rid of DADT is a bigger progressive victory than requiring health insurance companies to cover people regardless of pre-existing conditions, you’re a narrow-minded buffoon. One is a matter of personal dignity to tens of thousands of people. The other is a matter of life or death to millions of people.
So to make sure he doesn’t get primaried from the left, he does things that please the left. How is this bad again?
No, they’ve heard it. They just think it means that whenever Obama does something that they approve of, they must have “made him do it.” It’s a way to give themselves credit for all of the carping and monday-morning-quarterbacking and Sturm und Drang they always do. It wasn’t complaining, you see, it was activism, and it was the reason why Good Things happened, and without it, Good Things still wouldn’t have happened.
It’s the blogosphere version of “I meant to do that.”
Lucy always looks like your friend when she’s holding the football for you.
@JPK: Charlie Brown just put it through the uprights.
More like Emptywords.
Sorry, but Jane is a self serving insufferable boob.
Well, I agree with all but the last. Lieberman should look like a octogenarian from the Ozarks, as much teeth-kicking as he’s deserved. For fuck’s sake, you get pissed off at ‘activists’ who don’t give Obama the credit he ‘deserves’, but yet you say we have to stroke a guy who actively campaigned against him?
Cole gave this one the right title!
I’m cynical enough to believe that Lieberman is only scheming to ward off another Lamont-style challenge in ‘12
If this is true, I’m fine with it. We need firebaggers to serve their designated function, and this is it.
I was waiting for someone to bring this up.
You have a valid point and the HCR was a huge breakthrough in the social contract.
Yeah blowing republican and lieberman penis non-stop is totally awesome and fun for everyone!!! We should totally make it an industry with today’s abusive asshole conservatives and grifters.
Sure DADT is repealed, yeah it’s a good thing. Lieberman is still an aged manipulative asshole, republicans are still disgusting. Someone had to get royally fucked over in order to make it happen. Those someone’s have a right to be pissed. Those someones have a right to not trust Dems.
Just like Healthcare, women got royally fucked but it’s okay because we all should be totally awesomely happy happy happy that it got passed. That’s just not the reality of people.
How many times have the rich gotten screwed over in order to allow legislation that would actually help Americans?
The fundamental flaw, in America, with regards to instituting sweeping reforms is the fact the losers are still an active part of the government and / or society.
I mean, in many other forms of government, the losers are put up against the wall and are soon pushing up the daisies. That way the winners can wipe the slate clean and reform things till their hearts content.
As long as we allow losers to have an active role in our society, such as former President James Earl Carter for example or former Presidential candidate Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., we will never be able to enact sweeping reforms.
We are married to incremental change.
Love it or leave it, I guess.
I want to hire all of you! Please. I’ll promise you a salary of 100K and pay you 2K. You seem so very pleased with yourselves that all this “Obama change” has kept 98% of the Bush agenda in place. I’d list it all; but, I know you have your fingers in your ears while you mumble, “na na na, I can’t here you”.
I’m not going very far out on the limb calling you 98% fools. It’s 1984 here at Balloon Juice – still.
PS – why the nasty hatred for Progressives? After reading John and his commentiers, I swear you’d have cut FDR’s throat given the chance.
Short Bus Bully
Best descriptor of FDL evah…
An honest poster might even notice that you were commenting on how wrong you were about Lieberman in this very post, so it’s not as though he’d actually have to spend any time or effort looking for an example of you admitting to previous mistakes. But that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.
The Moar You Know
@tomvox1: Exactly. Name one piece of legislation where Lieberman has been the deciding vote in killing it.
Nobody can, because there aren’t any. He is a Democrat, no matter what he calls himself, and he votes reliably with the Democratic caucus.
But lots of so-called “progressives” want him gone, gone, gone, just because he had the balls to tell the ringmaster of the Great Orange Circus to shove his self-importance right back up his own ass, and then had the temerity to beat Markos’ handpicked puppet like a rented mule in the general.
And then there’s Arlen Specter. Converted, went along 100% with the Democratic program, got purity purged, and now we have Toomey, a guy who is as maniacal as they get, filling Arlen’s old seat. What an improvement.
The American Maoists, and that’s what I’m calling them from now on, are just as stupid and self-righteous as the American Taliban.
“I appreciate that every post provides you an opportunity to be the first person to comment and tell me I was wrong about everything from 2001-2005, but the difference is when I look at my archives, I can man up and say “Wow. I was an asshole and stupid and wrong about everything.””
Such a drama queen. EVERY thread? Every thread, John? Yes, I have been most fortunate the last couple of days to be FIRST in some of your threads; a cherished honor. And that happens because overall, I enjoy your blog.
That does not, however, change the fact that you were an insufferable asshole from the Right from 2001-2005, nor does it change the fact that all too often you appear NOT to have learned anything about being so freaking SURE that you are correct. Your posts, especially of late regarding others on the left who disagree with you, are often insulting, derogatory, arrogant, sneering, etc.
I just continue to question where it is that you get the idea you are in a position to be so amazingly dismissive of those who disagree with you.
Really, did you learn nothing about humility?
Now, I understand that posts with attitude and insults to bolster your sycophants and tear down those who call bullshit is part of the schtick, but really, I just like to serve as a voice of reality, keeping you tethered to the ground, lest the hot air of BJ Kool Kids murmuring their worship send you floating thru the stratosphere and into the fiery arms of a merciless sun.
No, but if you were alive then and was part of that left then, he probably would have wanted to cut yours as he wanted to when the left was ratfucking all of his accomplishments.
For the good of the many, I will share what I’ve learned over the last two years of a Democratically led federal government: There is no logical through line to any of it.
Stop trying to make it make sense; stop trying to predict. Doing so is an exercise in futility. Seriously. It’s either 11-dimensional chess or an absurd demonstration of chaos theory. And none of us will ever know which. Every time you think you have a glimpse into the thinking or the process, you will be proven wrong the next day. So, just act in a way that helps you sleep at night and be pleasantly surprised when something does go your way for whatever reason. This is apparently the best we can do at this juncture, so just freakin go with it.
/New Year’s Resolution
@gene108: A corollary to this tragic reality is that in a legislature, you still have to keep working side by side with the people you just fought on an issue, and may someday require the opponents’ support, so you can’t just go into the chambers with guns blazing and annihilate the people who vote the other way on issues, as satisfying as it might be to Jane Hamsher.
You know, re-reading the quoted section, the whole premise of the FDL piece is inept wordplay on the word “hostage.” If you chain yourself to the gates of the White House, what is the threat you’re daring to carry out? Seems like an analogous “hostage” strategy would be something more like threatening to have everyone gay in the military simultaneously come out, costing the military thousands of people and overwhelming the bureaucracy. Do that and the military suffers. But how is chaining yourself to the WH fence “holding yourself hostage”?
This is getting creepy. It’s like you have your own personal True Progressive, whose first and most important reaction to anything is ‘Okay, but you USED to be an asshole!’ and for whom the actual situation doesn’t matter, only their one cherished little nit. And who thinks it’s somehow important to constantly berate you on this point.
EDIT – Oh, and who blames the victim. If you try and argue with him, you’re a drama queen. Congrats, John, you have a stalker!
Sure, but a lot of people seem to forget that FDR was the kind of leader who did agree with them (‘them’ the liberal etc. activists presumed referred to by this apocryphal quip) and did want to do it, whereas if he had not been so inclined, the amounts of pressure actually placed (make him do it) would not have been sufficient.
@FlipYrWhig: Yeah, it’s a [email protected] attempt to co-opt the admin’s contention that the republicans are holding the nation’s agenda (UI benefits, START, etc. etc.) “hostage.”
Never use a metaphor unless it muddies the water, I always say!
i’m not up on my DEMSSUK talking points. could someone flesh this out for me?
I want to be a 100% fool.
Are you saying that we are pleased by the Obama change because it is 98% Bush agenda or that we are pleased with Obama change and you are saying that it is 98% Bush agenda?
I’ll take the $2k now, please.
@Tim: You do know that the story of the slave who whispered “Sic transit gloria” into Caesar’s ear was probably apocryphal, right?
HATE HATE HATE MIKE HUCKABEE HATE HATE HATE!
NOT REAL MURKAN HATE HATE HATE
@Tim: Really, did you learn nothing about humility?
ROFL. Is there a word for ‘constitutionally lacking self-awareness?’ Insentient?
Lieberman was also on camera laughing throughout McCain’s post-DADT vote hissy fit, so there’s that too.
Patting Lieberman on the back must be what it feels like to root for Ben Roethlisberger every week.
OK, I do admit to a teensy little Fatal Attraction crush on JC, if one can have a crush on a cyber-personae that lives inside my computer. It’s the masochist in me. So indulge me. Does it really cost you anything? sniff.
But at least I, unlike most of you BJ Kool Kids, I ADMIT to it.
And really, I don’t live all THAT far from WV…
The day the firebbager nutters elect a dog catcher anywhere is the day they’ll gain a little credibility. That jane dame particularly comes across as a clueless moron on tevee.
Like quite a lot of the True Progressive crowd, good government never happened. I believe he thinks the anti-abortion language never got stripped out of the ACA.
Incidentally, you and I have fought on this before, cleek, but while I often don’t see eye to eye with you and think you’re too negatively focused I *don’t* lump you in the ‘uninterested in reality or anything but whining’ crowd, so when I bitch about them I don’t mean you.
I would just like to say that I spotted that ridiculous emptywheel post first and mentioned it in the previous thread. I’ve never had a h/t so one would be most appreciated…
actually the comments are even worse – one of them said something like “I can’t believe he had the gall to sign the bill given that he hates gay people and didn’t want this to pass”; another said “he looked much happier signing the tax breaks to billionaires last week”. sigh and sigh
The Real American Democrat
Another victory in the war on progressives!
@Tim: [email protected]!
@The Moar You Know:
Ah, no. They want him gone because he went full
retardwingnut on anything having to do with swarthy non-Judeo-Christians. Well, then there was the “I hate Medicare for all just because libtards like it so nyah nyah, fuck you” bullshit. That didn’t help.
Arlen “converted” because Toomey was about to stomp him in the GOP primary. Arlen wasn’t going to be reelected either way.
Years ago a female relative and friend stood in front of a bulldozer that was going to take down sand dunes on the shores of Lake Michigan. They were successful in stopping the destruction of the waterfront and good on them.
People chaining themselves to the WH gates has been over done, so yesterday, and I don’t think it has much, if any, effectiveness in changing anything. It might even be counter productive. I’m a liberal and the chaining tactic either bores me or turns me off.
And I wonder if today’s progressives would have cut FDR’s throat when he –
Cut Federal Pay by 15% and slashed veterans benefits in his first year in office. How how loudly they would have screamed because the unemployment rate had climbed to almost 25% from 21% his first two years in office while FDR insured the banks and capitalistic system survived.
I love how firebaggers are screaming DADT means there will be more troops sent to their death in the Afghanistan shooting gallery and Republicans are screaming how there will be even fewer troops because all military are homophobes who would rather leave than serve with gay troops.
Harry Reid’s first tweet when DADT was repealed was to Lady GaGa. Credit where it’s due!
Can I just say that turn of phrase is a thing of beauty? I’m going to have to steal that.
HEre’s where I really disagree with them. Had Bush signed DADT repeal I would have thought it a good thing. Obviously I think it’s good that Obama did. Do I care how either one of them feel about it? Fuck no. This is not about your feelings. Why don’t the mp’s get that?
@JPK: Whatever else you can say about Lieberman, he is consistently liberal on civil rights issues. He also sponsored the domestic partners benefits act that covers gay partners of federal employees.
Yes, he’s a petulant asshole who took his defeat in the primary way too seriously. but, hell, listening to Lindsey Graham complain about his exhaustion was especially ludicrous considering Lieberman either walked five miles to the Capitol to vote on DADT on Saturday or spent the night in his office in a sleeping bag.
@Nellcote: Harry Reid also appeared at the signing ceremony wearing a suit made of meat.
@Ronbo: The progressive mantle is now being reclaimed by the real progressive from the shrill shouters.
You all can stop butting in the little love/hate thing Tim and I have had going on for several years.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@MikeJ: Hah! that is just begging for a photo-shop mock up
i love the second comment over there:
he should’ve used the
magical BandAidExecutive Order (instead of permanently fixing the problem) !
@Tim: So, basically what you’re saying is that when John admits he’s wrong about stuff, he’s actually being arrogant?
You might want to read up a bit on FDR before you turn him into a magical Progressive who wanted everything that you want. Putting American citizens in prison camps because of their ethnicity isn’t exactly a progressive value. And, yes, I’d like to think I would have been one of the people who protested FDR doing that, like I hope I would have been one of the people who protested FDR for deliberately leaving most women and African-Americans out of Social Security so he could get the votes of Southern Democrats.
I can’t believe so many of you are getting out of the boat to go read the comments. The part of the original post that Cole excerpted above was all the stupid I can handle for the day.
@The Moar You Know:
I think most of us here pay enough attention to politics to understand that the final vote isn’t the only part of the legislative process, right? Just for starters, that leaves out what gets written into legislation and what never gets introduced at all.
Yes, Lieberman did good work on this one, and he’s a reliable Democratic vote. That doesn’t that he’s just fine and we should pay no attention to his work to water down progressive legislation, his opposition to health reform measures he had previously personally campaigned on, his campaigning for the GOP presidential candidate, his running against the Democratic nominee for senate, his failure to use his committee to investigate any of the multitudinous crimes of the Bush Administration, etc.
This crap is about as bad as anything you’re accusing FDL of, but in the other direction. If “votes Democratic pretty reliably” the criterion that makes opposing a politician completely unreasonable, then any reason for taking an interest in politics is pretty much gone. Just look up the checklist before Election Day and you’re done, right?
They’re just upset that they’ll have less to rage about, i.e., they are rage-a-holics. See, if Obama had just issued an executive order on the day he became
kingpresident, they’d have been sitting at home grooming themselves until the next president came along and rescinded that order. Now that it is actual legislation, it will be much more difficult to overturn and they will have less targets in the future for their vitriol.
next up, Obama promises to fail the True Progressives by going after DOMA.
that should really piss ’em off!
@Mnemosyne: Historical political reputations are like pop music — the kids today think the 70s were great because of Stevie Wonder, and I have to explain to them that those who were actually there had to listen to “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” once an hour.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@cleek: God almighty. I just had to look. I’ve always maintained that the
firebaggers“Real Progressives” should just be laughed at, but those people are too nutty to be funny
Reading that stuff, and Ronbo here, I come back to the idea that these people never gave politics a thought before 2002, and they think the post-9/11 Bush Imperial Presidency isn’t just the way things have always been, it’s the way things oughta be.
I think you need a little broader brush to paint with. Sheesh.
More shrill shouters, please. I don’t even care if they appear stupid sometimes.
In what world would repeal have happenened all by itself, spontaneously, if we had just waited for the grown-ups to get around to it? I’d like to move there.
uh…yeah, that’s it, exactly. You’re so perceptive.
OT, but since this is a legislative thread, what’s the deal with the first responders bill? Are they voting today? And did they really have to strip out the closure of the loopholes for shipping jobs overseas to get a few Republicans on board?
And, if they did, will the Democrats spend the next two years screaming about how the Republican Party cares more about making it cost-effective for companies to ship jobs overseas than it does about taking care of the 9/11 first responders? Never mind, I already know the answer to that one.
Let’s face it, saying he wants to repeal DOMA is just more proof that he’s a bigot and a homophobe who hates gay people. It’s all part of his devious plan!
Great, now the Firebaggers are getting themselves all worked up because the DADT repeal doesn’t cover transgender folks.
Not enough sparkle on that pony, I guess.
Lot of work to get done so to be brief…You were going good leading with this part…
Yep. Definitely credit is due, and a much better end result than solely issuing an EO. Especially liked Gates during this whole process completely outmaneuvering McCain who loves and has a great need to be taken as the very serious person and authority on all things military. Left McCain alone spittling all over himself at the end in tantrums. Too bad Gates has decided to be a short timer, he’s been a very good SecDef.
Then to finish you dropped this little turd…
Bullshit. Haven’t got the time to comment on the scope and size of that brainfart. @Zifnab: has it right too.
You got it, Boss Man. Didn’t know it was mutually dysfunctional love!
The central lesson of understanding politics is this.
@Tsulagi: The fact, like it or not, is that Holy Joe *is* in the Senate for now. If Obama had kicked him in the teeth in ’08, what good would have come from it? Would it be easier or harder to get anything through the Senate?
@Mnemosyne: From what I can tell, in certain, limited quarters of the “left,” who take every victory, even small ones, as proof that the world is about to end, and use days like these as a way to magnify grievances and despair so that they can never for one moment be happy in this life (what Calvanists), on the day DOMA is repealed, there will be a riot burning the White House to the ground.
I’m happier today about gay rights than I have been for quite some time. I would like to appreciate everybody who made this happen, including the activists who chained themsleves to fences. But if people persist on sending me messages that I should be less happy today, I will just ignore them.
Petty inter-blogger fights seem so petty. Since a “win” can’t bring people back together, I can’t wait to see what more losses will do.
Girl, you need to drop that zero and find yourself a hero. You can’t tell a black woman not to interfere in a relationship. It’s, like, genetic, man.
@John Cole: Why would we want to stop? His inability to see anything positive and total lack of self-awareness is fascinating. And especially on-topic in this thread.
Lieberman won a tight race in ‘06, in part because progressive Senate Democrats like Obama and Kerry and Durbin rallied to his aid.
Prime example of ODS. Even easily verified facts elude the Firebagger.
Fact 1: Obama, Kerry and Durbin endorsed Lamont in the general election.
Fact 2: Lieberman won by 10 points: hardly a “tight race”.
Since we’re talking Lieberman and FDL, you might enjoy this flashback to 2008 when Lamont endorsed Obama.
Also, his diary at GOS for additional laughs in the comments.
@Tim: Tim is more pure than you, Cole. Get it? Okay if you don’t get it then he will be back next post. See ya then, impure fool.
The problem with this post is that it is in a bubble. I had to check if even Andrew Sullivan had covered the gate-tying protest. He did, on November 15. Neither the NYT nor the WaPo wrote anything about said protest on that day which could be found under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” topic. And this was after there had been hearings, the military supported it, and so on. It appears that this protest was not part of a large enough media narrative to have “optics” that moved Obama. In a few days, Reid announced intent to bring both DADT and DREAM to the floor. These were both things he had promised, and if he rewarded Latino voters with DREAM gay voters would have been absolutely livid that DADT was not included.
I have to assume that EW is being facetious with the “hostage” wordplay.
(Not posted over there due to NYT schtick by me being well-worn)
(Adam Serwer would disagree with “Emptywords” in general)
@Tim: Umm, I don’t get the impression that John is worried about past writings. When he’s wrong, he admits it, when he’s right, BOY is he right.
@4jkb4ia: The problem with the entire “professional left”* is that they exist in a bubble at all times, and that makes them appear loopy to those of us not in the same bubble. Which is pretty much what John is trying to point out, even if he doesn’t know it.
(* I don’t care for the spirit of that particular term, but I’ve yet to find one that is more concise.)
John Cole, I love you for this post! Have a happy Festivus, or whatever else you want to celebrate.
@The Moar You Know:
Toomey barely won against a candidate of whom my center-right husband had a positive view as being highly qualified in a poisonous environment for Democrats in the whole state with lunatics like O’Donnell and Miller to keep the national attention off how crazy he was. There is no evidence Specter could have done better.
@different church-lady: I guess the thing that kills me about the “conclusion” drawn over there at FDL is that there seems to be a complete lack of understanding that correlation is not causation. As an analogy from my line of work, it would be like doing a root cause analysis after a system outage and determining that it wasn’t the massive power failure in the data center that caused the outage, it was those three really nasty Webmaster feedback emails that arrived two days before.
Hamsher is a self parody.
It is very difficult to take it seriously. Should I?
heh. Also brings back memories of the golden olden days of ’06 when FDL was all Lamont, all the time……culminating in the classic “black-face” photo. Bet that was a happy day at Lamont Campaign HQ.
Indeed, Hamsher is such an asset to “progressive” campaigns, and has been so very successful in her 5 year crusade to bring down Lieberman, that I wouldn’t be surprised if Lieberman puts her on his payroll in ’12.
And she may well need a new gig by then — she is rapidly running out of sharks to jump.
Peak firebagger is a myth.
They love to keep moving those goalposts.
Yep and people just keep ignoring that fact and trotting out crap about his motivations. The entire reason the WH gave for keeping him close in 2008 was his ardent support for DADT repeal.
But of course, the FDL folks don’t think Obama really meant to repeal DADT anyway.
If you see the world in simplistic black/white/right/wrong terms as most at FDL do, you’re simply not mentally equipped to understand Obama’s strategy on this. I’m no genius, but it always seemed pretty obvious to me and I always had faith it would get done.
But as you know, if John wasn’t John, none of us would read here. So all in all, the crusade seems a little pointless.
think lieberman is ok with ‘social’ issues, but an undistilled prick with anything else. the way he almost singlehandedly killed the compromise pre-ACA, the short-lived idea that, in lieu of the public option, medicare could be extended downward to a younger age group -he recognized this for the liberal poison that it was, would have been wildly popular, no downside, and been a slippery slope to universal healthcare.
he was instrumental in killing it, an act that in the long run will harm egregiously far more gay people and everyone else than DODT ever did. so the props he’s getting for this is nice, but if ever there was a case of missing the forest for the trees…
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
I tried to make these points a few days ago but since I live on the left coast and always seem to be late to these threads it probably flew under the radar, so here goes again.
“Obots” and “Firebaggers” are, not surprisingly, trying to outdo one another taking credit for this. They, for instance, are at a loss to explain how Dem leadership actually followed through on a promise, so they pass all the credit to the fence-chainers. You, on the other hand, by giving us schtick such as, “will they just move on to the next grievance and once again Obama will be the worstest homophobe ever, even worse than BUSHCHENEYHITLER combined,” refuse to acknowledge that pressure tactics do indeed play a part in political outcomes. Both activists and the Dem leadership played their parts, but they were relatively small. The single biggest reason that this happened is that there is no natural business constituency against it. The majority of the public support it, the majority of politicians support it, the majority of the military are either for it or ambivalent. Only hard-core social conservatives are against it anymore, and the business community is interested in what those people think only insofar as they can sell them flags, guns, and Bibles.
Circumstances converged to bring about this outcome. Democrats are for it, “moderate” Republicans are for it, the Pentagon bureaucracy is no longer standing in the way, and the shit-fit by the activists, coupled with the November election result and a lame-duck Congress, was the last little impetus needed to convince Dem leadership to at least try to toss a few crumbs to the lefties.
I’m sorry to piss on the BJ-FDL mutual admiration society, but that’s my take.
I can actually be more charitable on this post.
The people who chained themselves to the gate weren’t the hostage takers, but gay voters in general were. This was the only chance Obama might have to do something for gay voters and keep them in his column. And gay voters are an identifiable, cohesive group aware clearly that repealing DADT is in their interest. WHEREAS, the middle class is a very large group. Many things can be done that are vaguely in the interest of “the middle class” or some unions can be split off from others. The middle class doesn’t even necessarily respond to messaging that mentions that term. So it’s an open question how to use threats/hostages on an issue like foreclosures, which EW recognizes, or jobs, or taxes.
@Bruce (formerly Steve S.):
Now wipe yer ass, and flush to toilet like a good firebagger.
Thanks a lot, now I’m going to have that song stuck in my head for the next few hours.
I just want to step in and defend Sestak’s campaign; Specter would not have done any better (and probably done worse), and Sestak lost a narrow race. For comparison’s sake, the governor’s race against an equally-screwball GOP candidate resulted in a lopsided victory. Sestak made a race out of it.
@Bruce (formerly Steve S.):
The “pressure tactic” we’re arguing against is claiming that your allies are homophobes and bigots if they choose a different strategy (legislation vs. EO). Believe it or not, if you abuse people who are trying to help you by claiming they’re just as bad or worse than the people who actively oppose you, you will actually slow your progress down because you’ve just started a bunch of infighting instead of focusing on the common enemy.
But, hey, what do I know. If Dan Choi tweets that Obama is the worst president ever for GLBT rights, that must have been the moment that the president decided to support the repeal and not, say, when he said in January’s State of the Union address that he wanted it repealed.
I’m not demanding full credit for Obama, because he doesn’t deserve it. I just want people to acknowledge that he actually wanted the repeal and wasn’t secretly opposing it behind the scenes by making five-minute phone calls to the WNBA champions, for fuck’s sake.
@Bruce (formerly Steve S.):
The single biggest reason this happened is because the president pushed for it, and had the military do a study on it, and asked the Democratic Congress to repeal it.
Politicians on both sides saw the writing on the wall, but it never would have happened under a McCain presidency.
I question whether either stimulus package would happen under McCain. If the economy double-dips and we get Preznit Palin, I fully expect a Depression to follow as she apes Hoover even more than the current deficit trolls are trying to.
“The “pressure tactic” we’re arguing against is claiming that your allies are homophobes and bigots if they choose a different strategy (legislation vs. EO). Believe it or not, if you abuse people who are trying to help you by claiming they’re just as bad or worse than the people who actively oppose you, you will actually slow your progress down because you’ve just started a bunch of infighting instead of focusing on the common enemy.”
This. The Firebaggers lost me around April 2009, when it was crystal clear (to them) that destroying Goldman Sachs, B of A, and setting up the Third National Bank of America was the only rational, fair and just solution to the financial crisis.
And anyone who had the temerity to suggest otherwise was simply in love with the cool black dude that was president, and was willing to sacrifice every principle they ever held out of their quasi-sexual crushes on the black Jesus.
God, I hate these people. Truly and viscerally. And it has nothing to do with policy.
@Sko Hayes: Agreed with the McCain bit. There is plenty of congrats to go around, and Obama really pushed repeal in the last few months.
@Mnemosyne: You know, I agree in general with your comment, but I wish people would lay off Dan Choi. I don’t always agree with his message (definitely not that tweet), but I can imagine the turmoil he’s gone through since being kicked out of the military.
And, Cole, gag? KINKY!
ETA: Pressure tactics should not include such flagrant name-calling. If you consistently call someone an enemy no matter what he does, there is no reason for him to be an ally.
In my sparklepony dreams, I would love all parties to get their due credit.
Obama, Reid, Lieberman for the tough political work getting anything passed in the diseased political climate, Choi and gay activists for the tireless work keeping our “huh what, I’m sorry I don’t remember anything before last Tuesday” media focused on the issue and preventing it from falling down the memory hole.
It’s a good thing to do what is necessary to pass things.
It’s also a good thing to hold politicians nuts to the fire and make them pass good legislation.
Hell, it’s what Obama was saying repeatedly in most of the speeches in 2009: “Make me pass these things.” Change the political climate, keep it in the public eye, force the media to do their jobs and report the stories they are ignoring and force our short-memoried public to remain emotionally invested.
It is only through such combinations of top-level and bottom-level political energy and effort that we can move through the rotten carcass of the political status-quo and the terrible urge to keep things “normal” and familiar rather than fix grievous wrongs.
And most of all, let us remember that the greatest thanks don’t go to Obama, Reid, and Lieberman, or even Choi, and GetEqual.
But rather to the decades of tireless activist work slowly transforming public attitudes from one where a good majority was happy to see homosexuality as a disease worthy of death to one where the vast majority of people support out gay men and women in the military.
Building that enormous social support took long hours and gave the politicians the gravitas to make their deals and the new generation of activists the energy for the final push for legislation.
And it’s the real battle most “special interest” much abused progressive organizations are fighting because putting all the energy into the short-term scrum of setback and victory is necessary, but far from the whole game.
So yeah, let us give thanks to all who made this possible and hope the various fuckwits who delayed this justice for so long accidentally fall down some stairs.
Sadly some of the “determined progressive base” jumping on good energy are just racist fucknozzles who are looking for a justification to hate Obama.
Shame, because as far as genuine criticism goes, we always need some to keep energy and to provide a push from the leftward direction to try and counteract the massive shove that the right gets from their dominance of the main channels of money and media.
Hah! For some reason I find that really funny.
The guy probably does need some mental health treatment after all of this because a rollercoaster like that isn’t good for anyone. And you know that, coming from a proponent of timely mental health treatment like me, I’m not just dismissing him as crazy. The stress and pressure was much more than anyone could handle on their own.
But Choi really is a good example of the madness that a lot of people got caught up in where they decided that what they’re up against is the WORST EVER!!, anyone who disagreed over tactics was The Enemy, and the only possible way a setback could happen was because of sabotage.
The president was much more gracious to Choi today than I could have been in the same circumstances, I think.
Agreed. BTW I hope you’ll also credit Nancy Pelosi as well who always kept the house in good order. Under her the House was reasonably progressive. She delivered when asked by her President to set his agenda.
@Bruce (formerly Steve S.):
i’d add Ian Welsh’s observation as well, as a possible motivating factor:
Why DADT Repeal Will Pass and Dream Won’t
2010 DECEMBER 18 by Ian Welsh
Gays dropped their votes to Dems significantly from 2008 levels. Hispanics voted for Democrats at about 2008 levels despite horrible policies against them. You only have leverage if you are willing to defect in a high profile fashion.
just an observation, but i find it fascinating that, at least judging from the comment threads lately, this somehow seems to make up for, among other things:
tax cuts for billionaires;
expanding wars into countries with nuclear weapons;
arrogating the right to decide who lives and who dies;
or for that matter, on what looks to be a positive note, the START treaty, which, while not perfect, is at least something in the right direction.
no doubt someone will come along and say “that’s not so” or some such. i would agree with that if the comments here were not uniformly 100% supportive of Obama, or, more accurately, juvenile ad hominem attacks on Obama critics.
IMO i am glad to see an insane policy die an unlamented death. but this seems a pretty minimalist effort, given that no one other than a few lunatics including McCain still thought it was a good idea. when the pre-President Obama who said he would work to repeal DOMA shows up, then maybe we can say there is real progress. and no, doing a few good things does not necessarily make up for doing a lot of bad things. YMMV.
Ah, John, I love your punchlines. And yes, I love how you summed up your argument and admitted you had thought of flaming Leiberman. Sigh. Thanks you for being a Democrat and not a stinking Republican anymore. Our side gets you!
I want to have your puppies. :o)
@SlyFox: Seriously guys. You’d think Obama tackled our manufacturing problem. You’d think he supported ANY part of the ACLU. Sadly, NO. Obama has maintained 98% of the Bush agenda. Cheer and hoot all you want – but, this isn’t a good accomplishment. It’s shameful how far to the right John and the Commenteers have moved.
@Maude: It’s like Obama is driving the wrong way down the highway (the GW Bush agenda) and John and his Commenteers are happy that he has changed lanes. I can here the grumbling, “Well, at least he has changed lanes, aren’t you happy with that? Nothing will make these pesky Progressives happy.”
@jsfox: At least there were large scale solutions under FDR. Next you’ll imagine and post that fact (?) that FDR engineered grand tax cuts for millionaires and mandated that the public pay into a private, for-profit healthcare system called Social Security. The sky is also pretty pink in your world.
PS Establishment of FDIC just doesn’t feel the same as our current bailouts. Is the grass in your world magenta? Stop smoking it!
@amk: Just keep moving to the right. By your standards today, Nixon would be an unelectable Liberal. The EPA, Title IX, revenue sharing, etc…. Keep moving right – as you can see America’s shining star of liberty is rising higher with every step.
@Mnemosyne: No, passing DADT is recognizing an element of equality – let’s thank the House and Senate for that small step. I believe it is one of over 1000 legal disadvantages LGBT fight every day. You may recall that Obama could have led on the issue with non-enforcement. Executive AND Legislative action are not mutually exclusive. He chose to (once again) duck the leadership role.
Anyone who is adamantly against the legal right of two persons of the same sex to contractually marry because, “God is in the mix”, is holding a somewhat bigoted perspective. Banning mixed-race marriage is quite popular among bigots these days, as well. So there you have it, Bigotry can have many heads. Will you, Mnemosyne, help work to eliminate the other 1,000 or so, disadvantages?
Just because the sun has risen each day Obama has been in office, does not mean we should give him credit. Credit should go to the House, Senate and 77% of the American public.