Yesterday, founder of Salon.com, David Talbot announced that, after six years, he would be returning as CEO of the online magazine:
“In these increasingly hard times, Salon is dedicating itself to an American revival. Our editorial mission will become more explicitly and aggressively populist. We will be publishing more investigative pieces, exposing the shadow dance of power. And both Democratic and Republican targets will be fair game, since both parties are increasingly under the control of the same corporate forces.
It’s time to start our own country.1
Today, Gene Lyons led the charge for Salon’s “new populism” by going all in against Professor Melissa Harris-Perry, and by extension, the scores of black people who agree with her [images of the Lyons article are below; links to Professor Harris Perry’s article are here (“Black President, Double Standard: Why White Liberals Are Abandoning Obama“) and here (“The Epistemology of Race Talk“)]:
This just in: Not all the fools are Republicans. Recently, one Melissa Harris-Perry, a Tulane professor who moonlights on MSNBC political talk shows, wrote an article for the Nation titled “Black President, Double Standard: Why White Liberals Are Abandoning Obama.”
See, nobody ever criticized Bill Clinton, another centrist Democrat who faced a hostile Republican congress. Indeed, he was “enthusiastically re-elected” in 1996. Therefore, “[t]he 2012 election is a test of whether Obama will be held to standards never before imposed on an incumbent. If he is, it may be possible to read that result as the triumph of a more subtle form of racism.”
The professor actually wrote that. See, certain academics are prone to an odd fundamentalism of the subject of race. Because President Obama is black, under the stern gaze of professor Harris-Perry, nothing else about him matters. Not killing Osama bin Laden, not 9 percent unemployment, only blackness.
Furthermore, unless you’re black, you can’t possibly understand. Yada, yada, yada. This unfortunate obsession increasingly resembles a photo negative of KKK racial thought. It’s useful for intimidating tenure committees staffed by Ph.D.s trained to find racist symbols in the passing clouds. Otherwise, Harris-Perry’s becoming a left-wing Michele Bachmann, an attractive woman seeking fame and fortune by saying silly things on cable TV.
The sheer political stupidity of turning Obama’s reelection into a racial referendum cannot be overstated. It would be an open confession of weakness. Whatever its shortcomings, this White House is too smart to go there. Harris-Perry will have to fight this lonely battle on her own. Voters can’t be shamed or intimidated into supporting this president or any other. They can only be persuaded.
And with the U.S. economy stagnating, they’re going to need lots of persuading. Which is why the good news is that Obama has actually started talking like a Democrat again. It’s hard to think of a recent political event more effective than the president’s appearance in Rep. John Boehner’s district last week. Over Obama’s shoulder loomed the rust-pocked, visibly decaying superstructure of the I-75 Bridge linking Kentucky and Ohio.
You didn’t need to be a civil engineer to recognize that to cross the Ohio River is to take your life in your hands. (Indeed a crack in a critical load-bearing element forced Indiana’s Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels to close the I-64 Bridge linking Kentucky and Indiana only weeks ago.) Without major repairs, that bridge is fixing to just drop in the river one day.
Speaking in support of his American Jobs Act, Obama pulled no punches. He called out two GOP antagonists by name.
“The bridge behind us happens to connect the state that is home to the speaker of the House, with the home state of the Republican leader in the Senate,” Obama said. “Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell, those are the two most powerful Republicans in government. They can either kill this jobs bill, or they can help pass this jobs bill …
“There is no reason for Republicans in Congress to stand in the way of more construction projects. There is no reason to stand in the way of more jobs. Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge. Help us rebuild America. Help us put construction workers back to work. Pass this bill!”
It was dynamite TV. McConnell clearly didn’t like it. The Kentucky senator grumped that fixing a bridge was one thing; Obama’s jobs bill another. But he also voted with Democrats to avert yet another threatened government shutdown, due to the GOP’s morally incomprehensible demand that disaster relief funds be held hostage to budget cuts elsewhere. If McConnell were a quarterback, you’d say he heard footsteps.
So what’ll it be, America? Help out Vermont dairy farmers, rebuild Joplin, and Tuscaloosa, or top off Scrooge McDuck’s bullion tank? Your call.
Obama also took on the Republicans’ familiar “class warfare” nonsense. “If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class,” he said “I wear that with a badge of honor.”
It’s an understatement to say that this Barack Obama has been missing in action since 2008. Beltway pundits who value drawing room manners were aghast. To the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer, such rhetoric makes Obama “a leveler, a committed social democrat, a staunch believer in the redistributionist state.”
Too bad we can’t make Krauthammer drive that bridge every day.
A recent Gallup poll, however, shows that voters are ready to invest in America, build things, and put people back to work. Support for the elements of Obama’s jobs plan averages better than 2-to-1. Americans favor public works like the I-75 bridge, for example, by 72 to 27 percent. Even 50 percent of Republicans are down with that.
That’s the President Obama Americans voted for, and the only one they’re apt to vote for again.
Shorter Salon.com: Race war, LOL
1 Smacks of the “It’s time to take our country back” Teabagger anthem, dontcha think?
***You can find screenshots of the Salon article and related posts at ABLC by clicking “Next Page”.[cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]
UPDATE: I penned this rant which I did not post here about an hour prior to reading Lyons’ post. Those of you who have written or will write “So anyone who disagrees with Obama is racist” or “ABL thinks all criticism of Obama is racist” really need some better — and fact-based — material. I post this update because someone at ABLC has already (and predictably) made this claim, and I know how this crowd operates. Ta! -ABLxx
Salon article is spot on. Obamas problems with Dems and moderates are simply not about race. It’s the economy, silly!
I read Lyons as not dismissing racism so much as dismissing the white liberal racism for which Harris-Perry has no empirical evidence; she admits as much — the proof, if it exists, will be the 2012 election.
For what it’s worth, the Obamic disaffection I see around me is due more to his negotiating tactics and reluctance to aggressively advocate progressive policy. He now seems to be starting his next campaign, I think you’ll see his base rallying around the flag as the election nears.
Another factor I’ve noticed is that many of Obama’s most enthusiastic supporters in 2008 were relatively new to politics. The frustrations they’ve experienced leaves them more disillusioned than those of us who have seen more and recognize the unprecedented nature of the opposition.
Lyons’ non-highlighted opinions are far more indicative, I think, of white liberal sentiment than Harris-Perry realizes. If they’re not I’ll be moving to Mexico in 2013.
@naye dawg: You didn’t read Harris-Perry’s article, I bet.
When you’re a White Liberal, and your first reaction when someone who is Black talks about “racism among White Liberals” is something along the lines of “HOW DARE YOU”, the article is about you.
I find it hard to disagree with Lyons. I was as disgusted with all the “Bill Clinton broke my heart!” whinging in the 90s as I am with today’s “Obama hasn’t personally delivered my pooooooooonyyyyyyyyyyyyy!”
Huh-that’s kinda fucked up.
Oh, this is gonna end well.
I’ll see your identity politics smear and raise you some hard poll numbers across all demographics, including blacks who voted for Obama in 2008.
Why hasn’t anyone yet called me a racist for criticizing Obama? Still waiting here. C’mon folks, surely the fact that I demand the president of the United States obey the constitution makes me a closet klansman of the worst kind…
@Martin: Especially when we get a shit ton of new names and regulars all together rallying round their privilege like a maypole. Predictable as the tides.
@Martin: Interesting how four of the first five comments are people I’ve never seen before.
Oh, that’s easy-it’s because we all realize that in your case, the main problem is not racism, but the simple fact that you are totally out of your fucking gourd.
Hope that clears thing up for you.
Yeah, I’m bracing myself. This could get real ugly, real fast.
Not like it already hasn’t in other parts of Blogovia, btw.
“[t]he 2012 election is a test of whether Obama will be held to standards never before imposed on an incumbent” is a steaming pile of bull.
The American electorate has imposed an expectation of economic performance upon the presidency that is not very economically savvy but spells trouble for any incumbent facing 9.x% unemployment. Clinton drove white liberals to distraction once in a while but it was mostly symbolism or good policy they didn’t understand (e.g. reforming AFDC), but the Gingrich Congress was an excellent foil, which, along with a stellar economy made 96 easy.
The tea party is a good foil and Obama is a good politician but no doubt Hillary Clinton’s more combative approach with the GOP is looking better in hindsight. That was the key difference, remember? An argument about political strategy and disposition, an argument that Clinton has been proven correct on, much to my chagrin. So yeah, white liberals who were rather taken with the idea of a black President might be feeling buyers remorse. In the harsh light of a GOP nominee’s actual positions and the prospect of unified government under the GOP, people will go home to Obambi :)
Harris Perry is a better than average analyst but stupid liberals have been stupid for a long time and she’s off base here. She would be far from my first choice for calling out Democratic BS, but once you write “It’s useful for intimidating tenure committees staffed by Ph.D.s trained to find racist symbols in the passing clouds” you really have to find a way to print it. Classic, and unfortunately true in general; in their zeal to raise awareness, academics too often pick out marginal cases and combine them with arrogant pedagogy and alienate sympathetic students in the process. Why pick marginal cases? It should be to explore the subtleties of prejudice, but more often it serves the ego of an instructor who gets to show the true believers how much smarter they are than their classmates.
Ironically, the same dynamic happens with Ralph Nader (condescending white liberal with no political clue) and company. People who voted for Nader either 1) didn’t understand the 2 party system and why 5% matching funds will not break it and/or 2) underestimated the damage GWB could do and/or 3) just want a tiny bit of validation for being so right when everyone else is SO WRONG.
The politics of victimization roll on through the night. Yay.
Hey, all he’s saying is that he dislikes pointy-headed intellectuals.
Here’s a better criticism of the Melissa Harris-Perry piece:
This seems suspiciously like a post that is designed to divide Democrats as thoroughly as the two articles mentioned, with much the same result: depressed turnout in November 2012.
Might I suggest ignoring this slapfight and concentrating on how Rick Perry may yet kill us all
I mean, I’m sure Karl Rove is loving this but maybe he’s not the best person to seek to please right now.
This Ron (Ronc99)from Twitter. You ROCK!!! And Gene Lyons can kiss all our asses…
What concerns me is Gene Lyon’s close proximity to Bill Clinton. You know, the old guard (good ole boys) ain’t gonna going away, quietly.
Gene Lyons is so LAST century. Excruciatingly painful, but par for the course, as Joan Walsh reveals herself. Yet again.
You all are building a REAL movement that I will proudly serve. #YesWeCan & #PressOn. #ObamaBiden2012!!!
BTW, I *was* a member of Salon. Seems I lost it in one of my battles with Joan OR I would have posted a response to Gene “FOOL” Lyons!
It’s sad that Gene Lyons, whom I came to respect in the Clinton years, has fallen on the wrong side of this issue. Like most of those who claim to be outraged, he seems to have somewhat misread the H-P piece, and it’s hard to avoid the feeling that he’s done so out of guilt. I think she hit a nerve, and I think the criticism is responding to a discussion of feelings by demanding percentages, which is one way of avoiding the real issues.
The Cory Rubin argument cited at the nakedcapitalism page is an even better example: he demands 5 specific numbers, all of which I think I could supply were it not so late, and will evidently not even address an argument that is based on an assessment of qualitative rather than quantitative responses.
I’m gonna point out that I(!) have not said a single thing against the President or right-wing Democrats since Rick Perry’s first debate and the American Job Acts speech, and if I can do it . . .
. . . well, certainly you can get over how there are left-wingers in this country who are going to be left-wing about things. Those people are gonna need to become your best friends in the next 13 months, and you’re gonna need them too.
Raising charges of racism pretty much always hits a nerve of some kind.
@AA+ Bonds: Just to be clear, who’s post- ABL’s or talbot’s?
Both both both both, thanks for asking, also Harris-Perry’s while we’re talking about it
OK, I’m seriously confused, because the article she provides does none of that.
FWIW, Harris-Perry is one of the most ridiculous of the fundamentalist academics, the Andrea Dworkin of blackism. Fundamentalist academics are only capable of seeing the world through one theoretical framework, whether it be structuralism or Marxism or blackism. (I refuse to call it racism, as the sort of person who sees everything in terms of race is the least helpful person in a discussion about racism.)
To a racist academic, every critic looks like a Klansman.
Good gods, some of you need new material. “But it’s not racism!” gets BORING. Try to engage the reality, not your Cloud Cuckoo Land fantasies about your attitudes.
Look, all Democrats are friends, there are no splits in the Democratic Party, this is all just friendly disagreement between friends =)
I would start sharing your nachos with everyone under the tent right about now . . .
@Marci Kiser: Blackism?
You know who else looks like a Klansman? Fucking Klansmen, and Marci, I bet you look just precious draped in white…
Good fucking God.
Nobody is actually racist against our President except certain Republicans and other far-right-wing naysayers, people who it is very important that we defeat in November.
If by “please” you mean fantasize about running over with a dumptruck…
ETA: I do not care for Mr. Rove.
@Marci Kiser: Salon Premium Subscriber Marci Kiser decides what is and isn’t racist for the rest of us.
I also do not care for Karl Rove, so I am displeased at things that please him, like left-wingers calling each other racists and then other left-wingers saying that their fellow left-wingers who called them racists are not real left-wingers, and so on.
I will go out on a limb here and say that the President would maybe not want the left to be engaging in these activities right now either. Certainly the message coming out of the White House indicates that.
that’s a really dumb thing to say.
you’d never say “by going all in against tom friedman, and by extension, the scores of intellectually lazy people who agree with him…”
“you mess with melissa harris-perry, you mess with all of us.” really? what is the implicit threat there? and all over a pundit spat between a writer for the nation and a writer for salon?
no, it smacks of garden variety anti-capitalism and anti-corporatism, the likes of which has been espoused by the left for a solid century now.
oh, i’m sorry, noticing that we seem to be able to see on the horizon yet another global financial calamity driven by reckless plutocratic greed and hopelessly ineffective governance is totally not cool now that we’re all citizens of obama’s america. he’s got this, or something. with his magic, perhaps. he has magic, right?
also, too, bill clinton never won a majority of the vote in any national election. shrug.
The racial shit aside, the article seems pretty spot on.
Darnell From LA
All I know is that I have heard Obama hammered mercilessly for the following:
— Not doing enough for the poor.
— Not doing enough to repeal DADT.
— Not doing enough to get rid of DOMA.
— Doing TOO much to meet the GOP on the GOP’s turf.
And at the same time, the same folks mercilessly hammering Obama for all of the above just slather praise upon Bill Clinton. “The big dog!” Or as Americablog.com called him in 2007: “A REAL President.”
The same people who hammer Obama while lathering up Bill Clinton NEVER hammer Mr. Clinton for:
— Gutting the federal welfare system in 1996.
— Giving us DADT in the first place.
— Signing DOMA into law.
— Being the archetype for a Dem doing the GOP’s dirty work.
And, for good measure, it was Bill Clinton in 2004 who advised then candidate John Kerry to come out in support of some of the state level anti gay marriage ballot initiatives.
But Bill Clinton is not savaged by any on the left for signing DOMA into law, or gutting welfare. What is the reason for this?
I have never heard the left, en masse, use the same kind of verbiage to attack Clinton like they do, on a regular basis, to attack Obama. One has to wonder why.
@AA+ Bonds: Hee.
I’m not aware of all this criticism of Obama from the left. I think maybe it’s just friendly disagreement that has been overblown by right-wing pundits like Karl Rove.
As far as I can tell the left is concerned with defeating the far-right radicals who want to destroy Social Security and Medicare and keep America’s economy from recovering.
@Darnell From LA:
I don’t think the left is actually split, though. There’s no real split about President Obama on the left or among Democrats at all. That’s a good thing.
@Darnell From LA:
Quite simple really. Obama is an anti-saxite. If he would just play some soulful music on the Arsenio, this would all be water under the bridge and we can have a kumbaya moment.
It’s great that everyone here can have such spirited debate and still realize that the left and the Democratic Party are united against our common foes!
Certainly nobody except a Republican would want to over-emphasize our understandable differences as though they challenged the likely overwhelming defeat of the Republicans in 2012.
Beyond the fact that your post makes not much sense t’all, I’ll re-iterate: I can’t with a straight face consider MPH’s work to be about ‘racism’. Racism is a complex, crummy part of human society.
Blackism, by contrast, is MPH’s balliwick – insisting that the most important, most defining characteristic of every person of color is that they are a person of color, and anyone who disagrees is a bigot. It would behoove you to actually read some of the nonsense she’s produced over the years.
Assuming you’ve recovered from your fainting spell, it might be worth reviewing what exactly you think you’re talking about, because at this juncture no one else has a sodding clue.
@Darnell From LA:
Geez’m crow, you’re right. I can’t believe all the people commenting on progressive blogs back in 1996 didn’t tear that guy a new one!
@Darnell From LA:
If it makes you feel better, I will be happy to “savage” Bill Clinton any day of the week. I still consider him the best Republican President of my lifetime and would tell him so to his face, and my biggest obstacle to supporting Hillary came from the fact that I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing his smug, sanctimonious face every day for another eight years.
Not that my disdain for Clinton in any way excuses President Obama’s constant enabling of the neo-fascist GOP, mind you. For all their many, many flaws, at least Bill and Hillary understood who the enemies were.
@Marci Kiser: Where are you published? What are your credentials, Salon Premium Subscriber Marci Kiser? I’m searching Google and not finding any of your scholarship…
Don’t worry – these debates will run their course before the 2012 elections. It’s much better to focus on what we can do to promote the infrastructure and jobs this country needs right now.
if only there was some sort of group or organization that makes it their business to compile sentiments, or poll people if you will, from a representative sample of society on a variety of political issues. and that that compilation of opinions could be then recorded and saved and compared against other future samples, whereupon empirical judgments could be made.
i wonder what these “polls” would say about the approval of presidents clinton and obama across various ideological and racial subsets? oh well, i guess we’ll never know. it’s was just a crazy pipe dream…
@aisce: Hm. Actually, *I* would say your Friedman example. Lyons went all in against MHP because of what she wrote, i.e. her beliefs on this subject. He disagrees with her, with her statements…so I imagine he would also disagree with those same beliefs/statements from other people, people who agree with MHP.
And yeah, when I rail on about Friedman’s latest CENTRIST CANDIDATE TO SAVE OUR PRECIOUS COUNTRY wankfest, I would rail similarly against the animated turds that agree with him. If you disagree with a belief or a value or a position, you disagree with it no matter who says it, right?
@furioso ateo: srsly, could he not have just opened up with the 7th para? would have been a nice step back, y’know: point taken and let’s move on, we like the American Jobs Act.
What, you mean a subscription that I let lapse four years ago isn’t an accredited degree in your book? Rats!
Honestly, if you have to Google someone to respond to their blog comments, you’ve already admitted you’ve got nothing to say.
Link to the Salon article.
He could’ve left Perry out of it entirely; he mostly used her as a jumping-off point, not as part of his argument as such. A writer named Corey Robin did a much more methodical takedown of Harris-Perry’s argument:
(Crossing my fingers in hope that FYWP doesn’t screw up the blockquoting too badly…)
(FAIL. Of course.)
Here is the important part of the quoted article:
@Marci Kiser: I’m just fascinated by your advanced theory of “blackism” and hungry to learn more. Please continue to comment repeatedly on this thread, it’s highly educational.
@Marci Kiser: If my rather simple comment befuddled you so much, I’d say that says more about your intellect, not mine.
I’ve read a lot of MHP’s work. In fact, I just finished her new book a couple of weeks ago, and I have read her work at The Nation and elsewhere for a long time. The fact that you dismiss the entirety of her work as “nonsense” and that you ascribe beliefs to her that I have never seen her actually articulate tells me that bothering to debate you on this is a waste of my time. You’re coming from a point of view that refuses to even allow for any other points of view, that is based on the idea that there is just no way that someone else’s point of view just might possibly hold more water on certain subjects than your own. That’s a hurdle that can’t be cleared.
And BTW – *if* a person of color does feel that being a POC is his/her most defining characteristic…that maybe possibly just might be due to living in a country that has made it extremely motherfucking clear that, in the eyes of the dominant group, it is not only their most defining but truly their *only* defining characteristic.
@Darnell From LA: Man, Eternal Fucking September hits Balloon-Juice…
You know, all those at the 1999 Seattle WTO protests – Big Dog Parade! Did we love that guy! And NAFTA, GATT, and Gramm-Leach, Fuck Yeah! Good times!
Hell, nobody really voted for Nader. They were just all stoned and couldn’t figure out the fly ballots.
What the fuck is the deal with the disproportionate percentage of former partisan Clinton supporters hating Obama and/or engaging is quasi racist attacks on Obama?
Was my opinion “How Dare You?”
My opinion is simply that Lyons’ contention that Obama’s re-election problems/disaffection of liberal base has more to do with economy and reluctance to take on Republicans aggressively than race. That is spot on.
I don’t care to play the mind-reading game about “White Liberals” and whether they, as a group in total, are racist. Seems like a silly proposition to propose, considering the group is rather amorphous and broad. It’s a dumb article, if the title is any indication, but no I don’t have unlimited time to spend reading such irrelevant nonsense.
A Humble Lurker
I read the MHP piece, and considering all the drama that seemed to have sprung up around it, I expected something much more contentious.
But really, I didn’t read anything in the article I haven’t read on Balloon Juice. All she was saying was that turnout in 2012 could be an indicator of subtle racism, and that she found it confusing that purity peeps seem happy to pound on Obama for his failures (both real and imagined) but not so much Clinton for his roles in DADT, DOMA, Welfare Reform etc.
I voted for Clinton in 1996, but I was extremely unenthusiastic. I think that white liberals were much harder on Clinton and with excellent reason (mostly welfare reform, also three strikes and you’re out and the death penalty).
Polls have internals. Self described liberals rate Obama extremely highly. I think that Harris-Perry’s version of history is innaccurate.
On the other hand, Talbot insists in interpreting a claim of fact (Obama is held to a uniquely high standard) as a proposed political strategy (Obama will gain from complaining about being held to a high standard). This is a very common fallacy. Facts are facts whether or not it is politically useful to mention them. Converting all discussions to discussions of political strategy is Orwellian — it conflates objective truth with the interests of the party.
Note that I am not at all saying that Talbot would have accused Orwell of being an objectively pro-fascist left deviationist.
@Alison: For someone who has read so much by MHP, you seem to have a lot to say about the few sentences I’ve written and nothing to say about what she’s written. Curious, that.
@Allan: It’s really not that complicated. Spend any time in a group of humanities graduate students and you’ll meet that person, the one who read Marx or Foucault or Girard at an impressionable age and now insists on viewing everything through a single framework. Now, this would be all well and good if they were content to confine their ruin to themselves, but as with any fundamentalist credo, it’s not enough that they see everything one way – you have to see everything through that same framework, or you’re a heretic. Each of these frameworks has their own word for heretics: for a Marxist it’s ‘capitalist’, for a Foucaldian it’s ‘positivist’, and for academics like MHP it’s ‘racist’. It’s a cheap and efficient way of systematizing one’s world, but it’s not a terribly productive one.
The problem is that MHP can’t back up any of the charges she makes against the ‘white liberals’ who apparently gave Clinton a pass but badmouth Obama at every turn. I don’t know how to reconcile that kind of revisionist lunacy with the memory of the President who gave us the term ‘Sistah Souljah’ for shitting on your supporters. Like I said, I’d love to peek into the Daily Kos archives from 1996 and prove her wrong, but…
Bill E Pilgrim
@A Humble Lurker:
Yeah. I’d be careful exactly what conclusion I’d draw from that, however.
@Marci Kiser: Tell us more. This is absolutely fascinating.
A Humble Lurker
@Bill E Pilgrim:
Well, what I meant was just like I said: that it wasn’t very contentious. It was basically something I could expect to see written by a sane person who posts here. And not some, you know, huge accusation of racism.
@A Humble Lurker: When you throw a rock into a crowd, you know who you hit by who screams. Lots of white people screaming about that MHP article.
Bill E Pilgrim
@A Humble Lurker: I understood. What I’m saying is that if you read something about how Obama is unfairly criticized by liberal Democrats and it seems to match what people at Balloon Juice often say, that doesn’t tell you much on which to base a conclusion that “it isn’t very contentious”.
I found Melissa Harris-Perry’s articles to be measured and non-accusatory, raising questions worth mulling. For years she has been well-received across the left, the full spectrum of it. For years we’ve seen that her tone is generally calm and scholarly, that she’s not given to finger-pointing, and that she has a scholar’s dislike for ad hominem argument. The way these articles are being spun–as the rantings of some sneering knee-jerk scold–horrifies me. Salon’s writers are tarring her inexcusably. What they say she said bears no relation to what she actually did say. Imo alarm bells should go off when Sirota and Lyons and others attack by restating (easy to twist, that way) instead of quoting. She did not write an article chastising anyone who disagrees with Obama. To say so goes beyond defensiveness. To me it looks like bullying, like driving someone out of the pack so the pack can keep doing what it’s been doing and not have to tolerate even mild questioning. I find that very disturbing.
Suhrawardi sat down next to a man on the side of a road and together they watched as the world went by. Came a man leading a camel. Suhrawardi asked his companion what that made him think of. “Food,” said the man. Surprised, Suhrawardi said: “But you’re not an Arab, you don’t eat camels. How can that make you think of food?” His companion turned to him and said, “Oh, you don’t understand – everything makes me think of food”.
That’s a thousand years old – it fits the current subject and blogdom in general.
I’ve sped past the comments because I don’t see the link to Gene Lyons’s article.
I trust him, because he helped expose the VRWC against the Clintons (yeah, Hillary wasn’t full of shit). If you’re going to expose Lyons as a hack, please do so. Lay the evidence on me.
But you better bring it, because he and Joe Conason were doing real journalism, with citations and shit, keeping us sane, when you were writing in your Trapper Keeper.
If you want to call Gene Lyons a hack, you better bring 40 years worth of shit. And make your way through me first.
This guy been talking to Arianna Huffington? Ms. “its beyond left or right” LOL!
James E. Powell
Who are these ‘white liberals’ of whom Professor Harris-Perry speaks? I am not going to call it racism, but the use of the term without defining it reveals something and whatever it is, I’m against it. Does she really mean to throw blue collar workers, teachers, lawyers, health care workers, doctors, office workers, college professors and everybody else in the same pot because they are white?
And while she claims that Obama is losing the support of white liberals, the evidence she offers is that
There is a very important difference between white liberals and white Americans. Most white Americans vote Republican.
In 2008, Obama won 43 percent of the white vote. If the numbers she cites are correct, that’s the same percentage of the white vote that Clinton got in 1996. That 61% number had to be close to his inauguration; he never had that level of voting support. He wouldn’t get it if unemployment was at 4% and the federal government running a surplus.
I’m inclined to agree with Lyons both in his criticism of her article and his observation that making the campaign about race is a loser. It’s unemployment and the lack of clear and aggressive political messages. Also too, with a handful of exceptions, the congressional Democrats are either worthless or disloyal.
I don’t know shit about racism and am unqualified to measure any accuracy or lack thereof on anyone’s part, so I will keep my mouth shut and better be thought a fool.
However, Gene Lyons co-wrote “The Hunting of the President,” after his book “Fools for Scandal: How the Media Created Whitewater.” When anyone publishes an article saying Clinton was “enthusiastically re-elected” and says that Clinton was not criticized (and I realize that’s Lyons’ paraphrase and not a quote from the Harris-Perry article), it’s gonna set off all kinds of red flags and make him think the author is clueless. Kind of like one of us reading an article that says “After the unmitigated success of the Iraq war to punish those responsible for 9/11…”
Don’t know what it all means. That’s all I have to offer on the subject.
if i were to say that george lucas is a terrible, artless director and shameless panderer, who hasn’t had his hand in producing anything of value since indiana jones & the last crusade, by extension, that would be a condemnation of the millions who somehow enjoyed his prequel trilogy. but i don’t know what i get, or what the practical implications are, by making that extension explicit?
this lyons guy seems to have gone out of his way to hit harris-perry really hard. even more bluntly and ungenerously than what i just said about lucas. he flat out trashes her.
but, so what? the hit job will be internalized by the “scores” of black people who read and support the woman, and then…what? preconceived notions are further confirmed? divisions heightened?
harris-perry warns that attacks on the obama presidency will be received as attacks on all black supporters. abl warns that attacks on random black opinion leaders like harris-perry will be received as attacks on all her black supporters. i’m eager to find out who it’ll be that warns that attacks on abl will be received as attacks on all her black supporters (besides allan, obviously).
personally? i thought harris-perry’s original article was awful. it was parochial, narrow-minded (literally) sophistry. her entire argument is because this country has reelected more obviously mediocre white presidents than barack obama (true), and that black people themselves have reelected presidents who have not been unyielding forces of progress in their lives (also true), that the president simply must be reelected “enthusiastically” (whatever that means) or else it will be taken as a show of racism and a rebuke of black progress.
but isn’t it weird that the president’s approval ratings started to tank only when his post-recession economic record turned positively bushian? let’s face it, it’s bad out there. not getting worse, but not really getting better. no first world leader is due enthusiastic anything from anyone. not right now.
the paradox of president obama is that the disastrous events that had to transpire to set a proper stage for him to safely run and win would also, once he won, box him in and wear him down in office. like i said, it’s bad out there.
Perry’s article is something worth discussing not to be dismissed outright and ridiculed. It is very naive to think that all liberal opposition to Pres. Obama is principled. Even more naive to think that liberals can never be racist. The left is reacting exactly the same way the right wing does when liberals call out their racism.
And to compare Perry to Michelle Bachmann is beyond disgusting.
How the fuck is this an acceptable thing to say about any woman or anyone as serious and as educated as Perry?
So Lyons should never be challenged because in the past he was right about something? hmmm..
James E. Powell
Well, when some one is hit with a rock, what do you expect them to do? Why throw a rock into a crowd?
Her thesis is that white liberal support for Obama is declining because white liberals are applying a set of standards to Obama that is different from that applied to Clinton in 1996 and that the white liberals are doing this because Obama is black. She doesn’t provide any evidence for any of this.
Support for Obama is down across the board for reasons that should not need to be repeated. He’s the president, he’s running for re-election, he’s the one who has to do something about it.
No one of importance
Who the fuck are you? I’ve been reading this site before Barack Obama became the Democratic nominee, and I’ve never seen you here before. Yet you turn up like a cane toad looking for a pond, abusing regular posters and spewing animus about someone very few people here have likely heard of in any detail.
Anyone would think you came here specifically to defend Gene Lyons. Friend, is he? Boss, maybe? Astroturfing paying well, is it?
i really wish you were a spoof troll. holy shit.
at minimum, it should be agreed by all that lyons was a total misogynist.
All of what Darnell from LA is exactly what ABL, Perry and many others are talking about. How is that liberals ARE CURRENTLY heaping more praise upon people who have done much less for or done more harm to their cause than Pres. Obama?
If its not racism then what is it? Something is pathologically wrong with some of you. Seriously.
@ boss bitch
bill clinton was not a great president. he was not able to capitalize on the material and economic circumstances of his presidency to act as the progressive force the country needed at that time. he was a conservative. he was a corporatist. he was a narcissistic, cowardly, self-destructive man, and a foolish liar, regardless of the absurdity and immorality of his republican transgressors. he signed many misguided and harmful laws.
al gore would have made for a better president. barack obama is a better president.
none of them, however, would be enthusiastically reelected in 2012 given the events of 2009-2011. happy?
@boss bitch: Dear Lord, you are stupid. I said nothing of the kind.
I merely asked for a link to the article by Lyons that has caused this kerfuffle.
@aisce: By what measure? I followed Lyons all through the late ’90s, and loved him long time.
@aisce: I’d argue that Clinton was a pretty good president.
How old are you?
Never forget the influence of Saint Reagan. Obama got a raft of shit when he talked about Reagan’s transformative influence.
But I’m the same age as Obama. It was kinda spooky. Unlike him, I escaped into punk rock.
But he’s right. It’s one of those “you had to be there” things, except it sucked and didn’t involve the good shit.
I called them “Reagan Youth.” Usenet didn’t exist then, so no Godwin worries.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Say no more…
Ms. Harris-Perry’s most forceful rebutter is the President himself – and I’m not talking about the CBC episode.
I’m referring to the newly elected President discussing his vision and objectives with Matt Lauer on Day 9 of his Administration. Here’s the segment that’s most germane to this conversation:
So, what does this part of the interview reveal?
It tells us, in no uncertain terms, that Obama was fully aware of the “dysfunction” in Washington from before “Day 1”.
It tells us the he was fully aware of the dire and desperate state of affairs with the nation’s economy, critical institutions *public & private) and the heightened expectations (and anxieties) of an electorate starving for actual change – again on or even before his “Day 1”.
It tells us that even on “Day 1”, Obama knew he was in a race against the calendar to deliver real change because failing that, he knew then there’d be one elementary consequence for failing to meet expectations.
Now, with headline unemployment at 9.2%, U6 labor force utilization at 17.4%, African-American unemployment at 17.6%, home mortgage delinquencies now higher than at the anytime since the bubble’s crash, a radical expansion of war making abroad, no Federal action in the matters of Wall St’s decimation of the national economy, tens of millions of Americans’ retirement funds and unfettered fraud in lending and derivatives issuance, the secret surrender to insurance and investor lobbies to forgo a “public option” as a core restructuring of the nation’s healthcare system and instead embracing a “mandate” based model he himself had called immoral and unfeasible, an unchallenged expansion of the government’s authority to conduct its affairs in secret be it in matters of fraudulent or wasteful administration of policy or in the matter of exercising police-state prerogatives against the citizenry without warrant or trial to include assassination, and many other “short-comings” – complaining that those of us who volunteered, donated hard earned money and urged friends and colleges to vote for Obama find his “outcomes” lacking is to unintentionally reveal deep biases and buffered from reality views yourself.
It is axiomatic truth that Obama knew that jobs was job #1 and that getting the jobs job done would be extremely difficult due to long-institutionalized dysfunction. He knew there’d be consequences otherwise. And yet, with an unprecedented majority in both the House & Senate for almost 2 years, the President chose the path of spontaneous concession when “negotiating” with industry lobbyists and the GOP minority. And he chose to run with the policy guidance of DLC alums whose guesses as to achieving the expected and attainable policy outcomes were demonstrably false, short-sighted and conservative.
And now, living up (or down) to his own “cause & effect” analysis, Obama is on his way to spend $1,000,000,000 in service of returning to the private sector as a lecturer on Presidential politics and Constitutional law.
Nut now, after all he’s said in the 2008 campaign and in the years he’s been President, he expects us to do not as he does but as he expects us to do as unwavering, silent litter-bearers carrying him to re-election. Again, his analysis here is fatally flawed. The “left” will turn-out for Obama at levels that match if not exceed those of 2008. His problem – and ours – is that every other voter who’s not a “liberal/lefty/(battered” hippie” will vote for the other guy – and that is how he will lose. Chasing the “middle” is like making a PB&J from the space between the slices of bread. In short, there’s no there, there. And the more he and Plouffe and Alexrod chase the “middle” the further away from victory he – and we – get.
The final take-away is that Ms. Harris-Perry is falling into line with the rest of the DLC conservaDems. Punch-a-hippie – and feel better about yourself. It’s certainly easier than admitting to errant beliefs and doing the hard work of effecting changes that will secure the political future for Americans who aren’t mindless GOP, dittoheads.
Here’s the link for the above “block” quoted material – a transcript and video of the 2009 interview between the President and Matt Lauer.
Odie Hugh Manatee
@hamletta: “By what measure? I followed Lyons all through the late ‘90s, and loved him long time.”
You loved him long time? Happy ending?!
And another commentor later
If to be taken to heart, comments like the above need to be anchored with data – and the data does exist so make your case.
And remember as you collect your evidence to adjust for the effects of time. Many American presidents are thought of in a more positive light decades after service than during. I recall at the time much dismay voiced over Clinon’s trianglation.
Uhhh, Sirota, Joan Walsh, Aravosis, Hamsher. You know, the usual gang of firebaggers.
But for the tobacco shop proprietor, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
everybody that criticizes the President is not a “firebagger”. Come on, people. Joan Walsh? WOW, your tolerance level is mighty low.
How come no one has stated the obvious that whenever someone lists the accomplishments of PBO (you know, listing the facts) and comparing it to President School Uniforms, that person always gets a “Yeah, but…”
Yeah, but nothing. Who else gets a “Yeah but…” after hearing that list?
For the auto companies, we get a “Yeah but that would have happened under any President.” They forget that GOP Senators wanted to see them burn so the union would die. For DADT’s end, it’s, “Yeah but he should have done it sooner by himself.” Sure thing. Try overturning that act of Congress. Strokes of pens can be overturned in a heartbeat, by the same Congress that was persuaded to do it. Congressmen can be a tad petulant, in case you haven’t noticed.
“Yeah but Gitmo.” That’s the sign of a moron.
David Sirota also had a nice takedown of the the same Perry article using what appears to be FACTS and shit like that.
It is quite possible that black people can be not always right when it come to perceptions of racism and other related matters, no?
@Dr. Squid: Maybe because the examples you type are either not as commonly stated or as unique to this president as you seem to claim?
All I want to know is that if I don’t give a flying fuck about what any of the three (ABL, Lyons or Harris-Perry) wrote, does that make me a racist?
I think it’s beyond time for the oft-maligned “white liberals” to just shut up when it’s insinuated that their criticism of Obama is rooted in racism. There’s just no way to convince anyone who uses this argument that it isn’t true.
I mean, look at the various ways folks have tried to defend themselves from this baseless charge. Corey Robin asks for a tiny shred of proof that “white liberals” are abandoning the president – and he’s called racist for asking for proof. Joan Walsh mentions the fact that some actual black people have voiced the same concerns that many of the stereotypical “white liberals” – now she’s a racist for playing the “I have black friends” card.
It’s a just a conversation that’s totally, completely unproductive. So why bother? Some internet person thinks you’re a racist for criticizing Obama from the left – who cares? Leave it alone.
I don’t like the circular firing squad when its led by a black academic any more than I do when its led by a white one. I don’t get how I can be non racist when I voted for Obama the first time because he was the democratic nominee and suddenly racist when I vote for him the second time when he will be the democratic nominee because I disagreed with him on some politics and some policy issues. Not only is my vote clearly not determined by his race–since I always vote for the democratic nominee–but my disapointment with him is also clearly not determined by his race (or mine) because I was extremely unhappy with Clinton and Carter and other previous Democratic Presidents. For plenty of Democratic voters Democratic Presidents are always a disapointment because they get in and they stop acting like the Democrats they pretended to be on the campaign trail. That’s just the nature of the Presidency. And the nature of voters. It has nothing to do with Racism since its actually a constant feature of a system which until now has been lily white.
MHP is like the first time mother of a tiny infant who never noticed before that people coo and aah over babies but not over their mothers. Or love to tell you how cute the baby is but won’t change the diapers. Its not that this is happening for the first time because its her baby. Its happening because it always happens this way. Because she was simply too childish and self centered to notice what happened with other people’s babies before she got pregnant and had her own. You see it all the fucking time.
I would be more convinced by this if it weren’t for the fact that Obama’s approval rating has fallen among black liberals as well, and in equal measure.
It is quite possible that black people can be not always right when it come to perceptions of racism and other related matters, no?
I think if you were to take the median opinion of black people, in general, as to what is or isn’t racist, that’s a unquestionable barometer.
I think people like ABL, on the other hand, have lost the benefit of the doubt for the times she’s transparently gone to great lengths to call someone racist, for instance, attempting to tag Jane Hamsher as a racist because some diarist on her site bought bus ads in majority-white DC neighborhoods.
Ah yes – I remember when Bill Clinton was so “enthusiastically re-elected” that he couldn’t even secure 50% of the electoral vote during a thriving economy.
And ditto Freddie deBoer –
I would be more convinced by this if it weren’t for the fact that Obama’s approval rating has fallen among black liberals as well, and in equal measure.
No, just closed minded. Lyons is very very good. My only experience with Perry is from the old Countdown show and I always found her illuminating and informative. ABL? Well, I don’t want to be called a racist, but…
@Augie: That would be popular vote, but your point stands.
mad the swine
“All I know is that I have heard Obama hammered mercilessly for the following:
—Not doing enough for the poor.
—Not doing enough to repeal DADT.
—Not doing enough to get rid of DOMA.
—Doing TOO much to meet the GOP on the GOP’s turf.
And at the same time, the same folks mercilessly hammering Obama for all of the above just slather praise upon Bill Clinton. “The big dog!” Or as Americablog.com called him in 2007: “A REAL President.”
The same people who hammer Obama while lathering up Bill Clinton NEVER hammer Mr. Clinton for:
—Gutting the federal welfare system in 1996.
—Giving us DADT in the first place.
—Signing DOMA into law.
—Being the archetype for a Dem doing the GOP’s dirty work.
And, for good measure, it was Bill Clinton in 2004 who advised then candidate John Kerry to come out in support of some of the state level anti gay marriage ballot initiatives.
But Bill Clinton is not savaged by any on the left for signing DOMA into law, or gutting welfare. What is the reason for this?
I have never heard the left, en masse, use the same kind of verbiage to attack Clinton like they do, on a regular basis, to attack Obama. One has to wonder why.”
Because he’s our left-wing Reagan.
Think about it. Reagan raised taxes repeatedly. He saved Social Security. He entered into unprecedented negotiations with Gorbachev in ways that horrified the hard-liners in his administration. That is: Reagan, by modern standards, was a RINO; he has been to the left of every major Republican candidate since 2000. And yet conservatives revere him as a secular saint; they shroud him in the aura of the archetypical Conservative and ignore the inconvenient reality. He’s a symbol, not a politician.
We (liberals) do the same thing with Clinton. He was, in point of fact, a true moderate; triangulating, compromising, reluctant to push genuinely left-wing policies (as you point out above). But we don’t need another Blue Dog Democrat. What we need is a charismatic, powerful, highly recognizable voice for liberal causes. We need a symbol, not a politician. And so we forget what he actually did and only remember what we want him to be.
It’s not about racism. It’s about idealizing the past.
The Sirota link:
Try kinky again damn ipad
I’m going to weigh in here and disagree with Harris-Perry. Why? Because further left you get the more whining you get. This has always been their MO. They expect Democrats to come in and magically fulfill everything on their wish list. They rely too much on protests and not enough on organizing. Build a nationwide progressive movement, and then you’ll have true progressive change. I missed the part where Obama vetoed the great progressive legislation that congress passed.
MHP, in my reading of the two pieces, is not saying that all disappointment with Obama on the part of white liberals is due to unconscious (or conscious, I guess) racial bias. She is speculating that it may be a factor for some white liberals. This speculation can, of course, be proved wrong by an analysis of the results of the 2012 election.
@ mad the swine:
Actually back when Clinton was President the left went after him pretty mercilessly. Just like Obama, they called him a center-rightist, or the best Republican President ever(typical lefty cuts). You have to realize that a lot of people who call themselves liberal or progressive now are the leftist of the 60s and 70s and their ideological offspring. While I agree with them on a lot of things, they are too ideological and have poor political tactics. Instead of rallying around their leaders, like the Republicans, they immediately start attacking them for any perceived deviance from their ‘progressive’ ideology.
@taylormattd: Now that’s something I’d like an answer to. It’s like “no, no, people called MY president the first black president, how dare a real black president show up and take the title!”
It couldn’t be politics, because, honestly, Clinton was so centrist it hurt. NAFTA, the screwup that was the health care reform effort, DOMA, welfare ‘reform’, etc. etc., ad nauseam.
If you don’t think that Obama (OMGZ didn’t call him President Obama, must be the white privilege)has the right to kill anyone, anywhere, anytime with his robot murder drones, you might be a racist.
My only wish is that Obama had killed Troy Davis with a drone attack, I’d love to see ABL try to process that one. She’d probably blame white liberals.
I’m not sure closed minded is the phrase you are looking for, but I have no idea what the correct one would be.
I read what they wrote and understood it.
Afterwards I found I really did not care one bit about anything any of them wrote.
@El Tiburon: David (Obama supportes are like the KKK) Sirota doesn’t do facts. He does radio show self-promotion. And judging from his link, I didn’t see one fact.
@Corey: Hamsher putting Lieberman in blackface showed that she was racist more than any bus ad possibly could.
@Augie: It’s never smart to get talking points from Dick Morris. He was a liar even before he paid someone so he could suck some toe.
@mad the swine: Your recollections of the liberal responses to Clinton’s DLC-conceived neo-rightist policies are as empty as your linked sources in support of your suppositions.
Liberals were at once able to differentiate manufactured crises from shitty policy objectives. The hullabaloo that caused Clinton and dozens of his aides and appointees to spend millions on lawyers to defend against lunatic lasciviousness on the part of Melon-Scaife funded inquisitors. The army of inquisition that laid siege to the Clinton White House was composed of inquisitors from the MSM, “think” tanks, GOP action groups and also included people on the Federal payroll of which Ken Starr was only one – though was unquestionable the most disgusting. Those – as history instructs – were wholly manufactured. Liberals and Democrats in general rallied behind the President and his coterie.
Conversely, the President’s policy moves on welfare reform, DODA, the Balkans, Somalia, Telecom deregulation, Wall St deregulation and more were loudly and angrily opposed by liberals. When Clinton bailed-out on Lani Guenier, liberals pounded their fists. When he reappointed bubbALicious Greenspan to the Fed, we pounded our fists.
Clinton’s “triangulation” was lauded by Villagers and former Stratego players who lacked the balls or fortitude to run for office themselves. Liberals, on the other hand, rendered the same criticisms of Clinton that we’re making about Obama. “Triangulation” is primarily capitulation because its a tactic that succeeds only by validating – then in theory taking – a position your opponent had held to electoral advantage.
How do you think we came to worship – as a nation – tax-cuts as the right, proper and necessary response to any and all scenarios? It took a Village of idiots – right-wing loons and DLC douche-bags – to praise anti-government rhetoric and impugn taxation as theft for 2 1/2 decades. Those of us who are liberals have been arguing, correctly as history is instructing us, that Reaganomics, Clintonomics (a.k.a. Rubinomics), Bush’s slash and burn policy-making and now Obama all took policy positions that rewarded the wealthy, penalized unions and produced diminishing pay-check sums for 75% of Americans with jobs.
For more insight into the vigor and accuracy of liberal critiques of Clinton and now Obama, take a peek at this book on the future of employment in America – first published in 1994. It’s title is “The Jobless Future” which takes an unflinching look at the re-engineering of the American economy through the implementation of regressive policies that are unquestionably of “right-wing/conservative” genesis. And even before Aronwitz’ book, liberals were aggressively lobbying against Reagan/Bush policies (econ, tax, social and legal) when “centrists” such as Howard Baker and company yipped and yapped like puppies when “the Gipper” had them over for dinner with Nancy.
Even now, people no less brilliant than Krugman are and have been arguing “up-hill” against Reagan-esque variants of Austrian laissez faire stupidity – made all the more insulting because Democrats who feign being liberal are as clueless about Keynesianism as are tri-corner hat wearing Tea Party loons. Why? Because they’ve all been steeped in neo-libertarian claptrap.
This isn’t about Sirota, Hamsher or Dick Morris.
I never really like these kinds of ABL posts because in America the following two things can be true at the same time:
1) a non-trivial percentage of “white liberals” can harbor silent or overt racism
2) the *primary* explanation for something happening on “the left” might have very little to do with #1.
With respect to President Obama, this is one of those times.
Your whit privilege is showing. 100% of white liberals are overt vicious racists, even if they’ve never said or done anything racist. They do the white unity.
This is the only explanation for everything on the left.
If you disagree, you are only proving my point.
If unemployment and mortgage foreclosures are dropping in summer 2012, none of this will matter.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
1. Nobody, but nobody, had better be attacking Melissa Harris-Perry.
2. Whites are not abandoning Obama. That is one of those “where can we make up a story about Obama being vulnerable” things the news needs to keep themselves entertained. My mom – who I am still working on – can, in the same sentence, talk about how lazy blacks are and how good Obama has been as president.
3. If racism is this hard for most people who identify themselves as liberal, think about the clueless fucks on the right. We’re always being accused of apologizing for everything; if that we’re true, we wouldn’t have to keep having these conversations with each other.
Whites who think the fact that they don’t have a job or a home is more important than having a black man in the white house are the worst kind of racists.
If unemployment and mortgage foreclosures are dropping in summer 2012, I’ll eat my hat. Gladly.
@lacp: “If”, indeed. At this moment in time, even the most generous, pro-Obama forecasters expect headline unemployment to be at or above 9% and the “U6” under-utilization measure to near or top 18%. Converting the percentages into a population measure, one shivers when realizing that – all things being equal – 30,000,000 or more working age Americans will be un- or under-employed on election day.
Oh yeah, Europe! The teetering edifice that is the European Monetary Union may well need costly – and growth killing – reinvention if it somehow avoids an unnatural death via continental fiscal face-plant. Even if good luck strikes here in the US, any stumbling of the EU economies will negate any real or potential growth sprouts that managed to take root.
As for the state of residential RE distress, rates of mortgage holders in arrears by 90 or more days is now ~25% higher than last year’s peak. Numerous analysts are quietly, yet deeply worried about the state of “hidden” supply – properties that are REO or are being held off-market by underwater owners chomping at the bit to break free from their mortgage turned fiscal black-hole.
I’m curious, are you familiar with the blog Calculated Risk?
@William Hurley: Yes, I’ve been over there occasionally. Apparently from the comments, it’s being perceived that I think unemployment and foreclosures are going to drop. I most certainly don’t think that; if anything, I suspect things are going to be worse by next summer.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Don’t give up, keep flailing! Sooner or later someone will bite.
@William Hurley: I think you are spot on with the point about Europe. Even if Obama were to get his jobs bill through congress, the slow-motion train wreck that is the EU debacle is going to be a huge shitstorm for the foreseeable future.
I agree. Obama’s problem is that he much more like Carter (or has been) than Big Dog, although he is politically closer to Dog. No matter how good he’s been on lots of things, the perception is that he’s not an effective leader.
hit dogs holler, ABL
Professor Harris-Perry, not only with the original post, but the bitchslap of Miss Ann Walsh, hit a lot of dogs.
I think that MHP and abl, are talking around what is their real problem with the left. All through the Clinton presidency at every point where he needed to score a domestic political point, then the AA community got thrown under the bus.
Now you can say that he screwed all liberals, but you would be missing how some of his agenda had their largest impact on this community. Raising taxes on social security, which Clinton did, is hard for me to separate from a cut in social security. We hear from people on the left all the time that Obama put SS on the table, but where is the reflection that this isn’t the actual first time SS has been changed, and the fact that Clinton hurt alot of people trying to make ends meet.
And that’s just one that I think applies to current events. There are many more I could discuss. But I won’t right now because I want to make my real point. No matter how many times Clinton threw them aside AA still gave Clinton support. Clinton won the 96 election by 9million votes. Clinton received 9 million AA votes. Yet to hear some of you talk the most liberal president we’ve had in 60 years is a betrayer, whom if you can stomach it, you may hold your nose and deign to vote for. But you refuse to see where there should be conflict between theses communities, who have a different view on what it means to be loyal. And really it seems to me the views have only changed recently. For all of you talking about what the opposition has done during the two presidencies, give me an example of a major liberal running around saying that Bill Clinton should be primaried in 94,95,96.
I don’t know if Prof. Harris-Perry’s hypothesis is correct or not, but it would be pretty difficult to test it, wouldn’t it? How would we interpret the following outcomes:
1. Economy improves; Obama wins re-election bid
2. Economy improves; Obama loses re-election bid
3. Economy stalls/worsens; Obama wins re-election bid
4. Economy stalls/worsens; Obama loses re-election bid
So, Gene Lyons responded in kind, huh? Well, except that he responded to Harris-Perry personally. This is getting more and more entertaining:).
Tone in DC
@William Hurley: First, just to be clear, I will support, vote, and work for the President’s re-election, both for what he has done and for the terrible mis-administration and supreme court appointments that any Movement Conservative Goverment would impose on the country. But I have to admit that there was a major piece of dishonesty in Melissa Harris-Perry’s article and the defenses of it in that neither MHP or her defenders acknowledge. The key difference between Clinton and Obama at this point in their administrations is that Obama has a 9.1% unemeployment rate and economy that may be sliipping back into recession while Clinton had a unemmployment that had already fallen to 5.6% and wwould fall to 5.4% by November 1996 and an economy that waa entering a boom. Now I think this is mostly Clinton being lucky and Obama being unlucky (in fact, as Dean Baker argues, Clinton and his chief economic advisers, Rubin and Summers, made a series of decisions from 1996 to 2000 on bank deregulation, derivative non-regulation, and non-interference to prick the Internet bubble in 1998-99 that lead pretty directly to the financial catastrophe of 2007-09). But it is a fact. Also a fact is the President’s adoption of the “Tea Party” metaphor that “Government needs, like a family or business, to “tighten its belt in hard times or his unwillingness (until perhaps the last month at least) to abandon the neo-liberal, neo-classical “austerity leads to growth” doctrine and his choice of “new Democrats” champion such as Geitner, Summers, Orag, and Sperling (all white males by the way except for Chrisine Romer how much was she listened to?) to execute his economic policies, that has made a tough situation worst, both economically and politically. White liberals aren’t the problem ABL and MHP. It is the votes, or lack there of, from white, working class, women, (the majority of white working class men voted Republican or for Perot during the Clinton/Gore elections) that are the problem. These women, who despite whatever fair share of tribal, racial resentments they possess and which appears to be hard wired into us a human beings, would overlook President O’s blackness if they felt their economic situation had improved the last four years. But apparently not when things kind of suck. And I think this is what Lyons was trying to get at. I will aslo note that MHP is at least “misrembering” the unhappiness liberals felt about Clinton, an unhappiness that was vented at Al Gore in 2000 in the form of Ralph Nader’s third party candidacy. So I object when MHP writes as follows but she is not giving a real honest comparison:
“…They are comparisons of two centrist Democratic presidents who faced hostile Republican majorities in the second half of their first terms, forcing a number of political compromises. One president is white. The other is black.
In 1996 President Clinton was re-elected with a coalition more robust and a general election result more favorable than his first win. His vote share among women increased from 46 to 53 percent, among blacks from 83 to 84 percent, among independents from 38 to 42 percent, and among whites from 39 to 43 percent.
President Obama has experienced a swift and steep decline in support among white Americans—from 61 percent in 2009 to 33 percent now. I believe much of that decline can be attributed to their disappointment that choosing a black man for president did not prove to be salvific for them or the nation. His record is, at the very least, comparable to that of President Clinton, who was enthusiastically re-elected. The 2012 election is a test of whether Obama will be held to standards never before imposed on an incumbent.”
MHP and ABL, believe me when I say that it is likely that we would be talking about the history of the Bob Dole administration if there had been a 9% unemployment rate for the year preceding the 1996 election.
@lacp: Apologies for misconstruing your points. I’m glad to read that you visit CR. I’m of the opinion that if more of us on the left were regular CR readers, the quality of econ and fiscal discourse on vehicles such as this would be markedly improved – enlightened and enlightening even.
Let’s hope Merkel gets her ass kicked in the up-coming elections. I’m not sufficiently aware of the range of potential outcomes, but any chance to box her in and thereby force her to compromise more toward the German middle or even left may be a key component in a Euro salvation scheme. If, conversely, she’s undamaged at the polls, her innate reactionary tendencies will doom Europe due to tight-fisted German austerity.
@William Hurley: Actually, reading both Dean Baker and Calculated Risk make me a little more optimistic about the near term prospects then the curren headlines. Because both housing and autos are so low (accounting for population growth, new housing atarts, what is meant by residential investment, is in worst shape than it was during the Great Depression. Both Baker and McBride (a/k/a Calculated Risk) basically argue they can’t get any lower, and like interest rates, probably can only go up, and the Spring of 2012 might see a modest recovery from deeply depressed to modestly depressed levels in housing starts. The result could be unemployment falling from 9+% to 8% by the election and the bottom in home prices. Not due to any great policies of the Administration, but just the result of time and decline in the inventory of houses. Of course the Tea Party Congress will be doing every thing it can to keep the economy in recession, so there will be that headwind and the austerity loving ECB/Germans to overcome.
If you want to get at what ABL and MHP are talking about, all you have to do is read about any sizable liberal blog comment sections the past two years, and the baited articles that provide permission to bash Barack Obama with any number of personal, emasculating frames of terminology, that go well beyond any justification for anything to do with anything, other than barfing out long established racial stereotypes of the inadequate black man meme, that has been around forever. That didn’t happen to Clinton, and you know it.
So I would argue, the evidence supports not so much the quantity of liberal critique of the first black president, but the gawd awful, scorched earth, racist quality of it.
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
@El Tiburon: No.
Haven’t read Lyons, but Perry’s piece misses the mark WIDE in the Clinton/Obama comparison simply by ignoring the fact that the whatever discontent exists with Obama among white registered Democrats is against a landscape of terrible unemployment and lingering impacts of the worst financial crisis and recession since the 1930s. Any Democratic President – indeed any incumbent – would be facing at least as much of an uphill struggle for re-election given these conditions. It’s also worth noting, assuming that facts matter, that even given the general sense that Clinton was leading a strong recovery and the economy was on the upswing – which is what drives elections (I don’t have a political science PhD like certain professors, but I do have a clue about politics), he was re-elected in 1996 by a minority of voters, just as he was elected by a minority in 1992. Perot’s protest candidacy took 8% in the popular vote. It’s also worth noting that among “liberals” Bill Clinton took a lot of heat, welfare “reform” being only one of the issues that the “Nation” types persistently lambasted him for. This kind of opinionizing without much in the way of context or comparative data – or in-depth comparative reasoning, for that matter – is not impressive. Didn’t bother to read Lyons, as I said, just the Perry piece – so if this echoes his points, so be it. Also, I’m putting my money and time on Obama’s re-election. He may have some tough odds re the economy, but he’s got a lot of pluses to balance that bad omen out…
Also lame is the weak attempt by ABL to compare Salon to the Tea Party…
ABL needs to quit acting like a jackass – as she admonished me in a particularly lame “rejoinder.”
Any of you firebaggers or ABL haters or even people who measuredly disagree with one or two thing Melissa Harris-Perry has to say, any of you, care to comment on Gene Lyons’ racist “KKK” line?
I supported Obama in the 2008 primaries because I didn’t want a 3rd Clinton administration. What I got was a 3rd Clinton administration.
IMHO, there’s a bunch of disconnects in this discussion.
ABL is right that Lyons takes a condescending and dismissive tone towards Perry. That’s the problem. Lyons could be absolutely right, but there’s not a lot of black pundits and it smacks of racism to be this sarcastic and dismissive of opinions. Focus on that, not Lyons’s exact argument, and it’s pretty easy to see exactly why this is a problem.
The argument Lyons addresses isn’t that strong. Yeah, white people are abandoning Obama (not as much as Perry says, but a significantly). White Democrats aren’t, AFAICT. They’re complaining, a lot like like they did about Clinton.
Just because this isn’t that strong of an argument doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
Just want to add that once I got over Melissa-Harris Perry’s sour notes during the primaries and electoral cycle that Obama couldn’t win – she really was one of those downer voices that didn’t help our work at all, those of us who were serious about getting Obama elected – I’ve been a fan of her commentary and anchoring on MSNBC. I was sort of surprised at how lame this Nation piece was – but then I have to remind myself that she was not particularly insightful or helpful before Obama proved folks like her totally wrong. Just shows the limitations of academics.
General Stuck lecturing folks about blog comments being extreme or casting stereotypes is rich…
Holy fuck. Are we still fighting the Clintons vs. the Obamas feud?
Obama beat Clinton in the primary. Full stop. _Both_ sides need to just get the fuck over it.
It seems odd that sometimes it seem like the Obama supporters have a harder time with this reality than the Clinton supporters. (yes, yes … broad statement … plenty of counterexamples … YMMV)
Bruce S crawling out of his hole to serve up some more of his patented word salad of bullshit, is richer still. Everyone stereotypes, the kind we are talking about here is the racist kind, and the pro left and firebagging quarter is guilty as charged on that count. The record is recorded in many pixels from many sources, just like I said.
Just read Lyons, and his fourth paragraph is total crap. The problem here is that ABL, true to form, manages to mirror Lyon’s crappiness with her own “Shorter Salon.com – Race War LOL.”
I’ve got real shit to do…won’t be back to this thread.
1. The problem some white liberals have with Barack Obama may or may not have anything to do with racism. Motivation aside, the nature of the problem is those white liberals operate under the assumption that what Obama has accomplished in office is the absolute minimum ANY Democrat would have achieved. ANY Democrat would have got the same stimulus. ANY Democrat would have passed the same health care reform. ANY Democrat would have managed to avoid a GOP-led default. And since Obama has only achieved the bare minimum ANY Democrat would, he sucks and needs to be primaried.
Now, while there are certainly legitimate criticisms to be made and things the President could have done differently, most of the major bitching about Obama is largely bullshit. For example, there is no evidence at all that a substantially larger stimulus could have been passed and I’ve never seen anyone even offer a vaguely reasonable argument to the contrary. The fact is that we were more likely to get no stimulus at all than to get one big enough to give Paul Krugman a hard on. Furthermore, there is no evidence that if the President had focused exclusive on jobs in 2009 and 2010, when the economy was slowing improving, that Congress would have ever done anything more on the subject.
2. The idea that liberals were tough on Bill Clinton is ridiculous. The obvious proof is that after Bill Clinton spent most of his political career, not just his Presidency, pissing all over liberals and then got into a scandal completely of his own making, did liberals take advantage of the opportunity to punish him? Did they say “Sorry, Bill. The country will be perfectly fine with Al Gore in charge. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out”? No, it is liberals who went to the mat and beyond for Bill Clinton in a way they’ve never done for Barack Obama. And no, keeping Bill Clinton in office was not necessary to protect the country or the Constitution. It was about nothing more than beating Republicans, a motivation that many liberals don’t find equally compelling when it comes to this President.
The economy is ultimately the source of Obama’s trouble. To pretend there’s nothing else going on is stupid.
Conversely, the President’s policy moves on welfare reform, DODA, the Balkans, Somalia, Telecom deregulation, Wall St deregulation and more were loudly and angrily opposed by liberals.
Right. Not only that, but the sort of liberal who was most likely to complain loudly and angrily is exactly the sort of liberal Harris-Perry is referring to when she writes “white liberals”. By contrast, the sort of black “liberal” who makes up the rank-and-file of Obama’s most rabid defenders were among the least likely to criticize Clinton on those issues and others…even welfare reform. They take to slagging black leftists (“Soul Patrol”)very easily, and there’s a reason for that.
Ah – still just in time to read a typical genius response from General Stuck. “Word salad” ? – it’s called actually having real thoughts based on the real world, context, etc. rather than playing sorry little fanboy on somebody elses blog. You’re useless.
@sherparick: I am in complete agreement with your thesis regarding the glaring blind-spot that plagues many variants Harris-Perry’s “why Obama should be winning/polling better/disabused of criticism/carried regardless arguments. If mood and time allow, I might plow through transcripts of her guest-hosting stints for Maddow, and O’Donnell. I distinctly remember her saying, directly and in couched language, that econ was not her area. Yet, even though she braves an honest assessment of her own strengths and weaknesses on the subject, she seems to not yet divined a practice of exposition that includes “perimeter check” to ensure she’s not mangling what might be an otherwise simple or simply explainable economic causality.
To your point, one made by econ savvy and econ awkward, but sensitized, poli-sci specialists alike is that a 9% headline unemployment rate renders the incumbent President un-re-electable. Whether lucky or not, Obama enjoyed an unprecedented majority in both chambers of Congress for most of the first half of this term. He also came into office via a combative primary and general election campaign process – a process that exposed him to the intimate brutality of both the socio-economic realities he’d be charged with repairing as well as the hostile, disingenuous and racist belligerence of the opposition party. Unless there’s some deep, hidden secret sequestered from the nation’s view, Obama was not subject to a “bait & switch” once he was inaugurated. He got what he ran for – in the office and in the conditions. And he knew it (see my entry above re: Obama’s Day 9 interview w/Matt Lauer).
Obama chose to pursue healthcare reform after pushing through the ARRA – demonized now as “stimulus”. Once ARRA was law, he repeatedly said that addressing healthcare was to address the economy. He was right, but only partially on the fiscal impact but was dead-wrong on the timing. And he was warned, not just from voices outside the Village, but from insiders too. There was a brief period when mouthing Carville’s 1992 campaign mantra was all the rage among the MSM and Villagers. More sober and gifted minds warned that the ARRA was too too small and ill-fitted to the actual problems crippling the economy.
We all know how things played out after that.
Now that we’re right where warnings of gifted but neglected minds foretold we’d arrive without more robust efforts. In getting here, more ground has been lost by more Americans – needlessly. Politically, the historically unheard-of partisan mathematics that the President enjoyed are now but memories – and some want us to forgo even those!
It is unlikely that any actual policy decisions will spur changes in employment, wage growth or economic resurgence strong enough to undo the damage Americans are currently suffering through. Left with only “hard edged” campaigning and happy talk, the President will reprise the role of the doomed Sisyphus as he wastes $1 billion or more dollars trying to push his electoral chances up an economic volcano only to lose his footing on the 30,000,000 million un- and under-employed Americans whose enthusiasm for the man was petrified in the volcanic fires of despair.
Harris-Perry should know this. That she doesn’t, doesn’t speak well of her critical faculties nor her intellectual breadth.
Tone in DC
I remember the first time I read the phrase “Party unity my ass” back in 2008. I was amazed to see, just eight years after Nader’s candidacy and the 2000 election debacle, Democrats so unwilling to stand with the nominee. As others have pointed out, this wasn’t the first time liberals/progressives/DFHs had turned on the presidential nominee (Carter in 1980, LBJ in 1968 etc). What surprised me three years ago was the vitriolic nature of the PUMA opposition.
I don’t expect all non-wingnuts to like everything BHO does. I certainly don’t. But these people seem a bit more aggrieved than the situation calls for. There seem to be more than a few PUMAs around here, lately.
White liberal racism is obvious to anyone who has read these threas, or for that matter, remember its huge spewing eruption during The Time of the PUMA.
@Tone in DC:
Yup, and it is going to get much worse. Trolling, I fear, has become organized, and something of a science with methodology and purpose. And the trolls come in all kinds of different costumes and ill intent, these days.
Catch ya later, tough guy. LOL
Yes, insisting that all the “white liberals” who criticize Obama were/are PUMAs is a standard tactic, too.
So Obama had a forum with Latino leaders on his immigration policy and some Latinos in the audience were not convinced this time around that he would deliver on his promises for immigration. In fact his support among Latinos has dropped. Does that make Latinos racist for not pledging their unconditional support to a black man?
abl, more persuading and less asserting would work well here and in most of your posts.
1)here’s a gene lyons article,
2)quote at length and bold content
4)just like the tea-party!
in a post like this, where you even explicitly state that you know you are going to get a lot of contrary opinions because “you know how this crowd operates,” why wouldn’t you make more of an effort to back up your claims? Either “this crowd” isn’t worth persuading, which makes me wonder why you post here, or you’re not interested in persuading, just provoking.
again, how about something like evidence that this is driven by racial animus, prejudice, or unconscious bias? what about the questions in corey robin’s post relating to disparate changes in white versus black voter sentiment, or differences between liberal approval of clinton versus obama?
all too often, you throw up a post, tell everyone that you won’t be in the comments, participate in the comments only briefly with non-responsive comments, or preemptively point out that any issues anyone has with your post are due to the way “this crowd operates.”
it gets old
@karl: but karl, that fact that your are defending Lyon, disagreeing with ABL makes you are a certified racist. only blind starry eyed adulation of Obama is allowed on this blog. it dont matter if you supported Obama. no criticizing Obama. EVER!
but thats not all, ABL then starts calling people name when she finds herself challenged or unable to come up with a clear counter argument, and then wonders with the rest of the Obama supporters on this blog why a particular commenter isnt banned for questioning her or Obama.
Standard Operating Procedure. no different than that NYPD cop who peppered sprayed protesters or Tea Party members who demand unconditional loyalty or allegiance
@quickly: oh and be ready to get flamed and have your sanity questioned by the OBots on this blog.
@salacious crumb: “no different than that NYPD cop who peppered sprayed protesters or Tea Party members who demand unconditional loyalty or allegiance”
The fact is that liberals who were willing to sacrifice their first born child to protect Bill Clinton from a disaster of his own making can’t be bothered to help Barack Obama deal with disasters he almost entirely inherited.
You know, for all the shit this blog throws at the likes of firedoglake for being gung-ho on the circular firing squad….I damn well see a whole lot of that in posts like this.
Can racism in America be discussed? It better be, it’s an issue that still looms large here in the States.
Can racism be discussed in a manner which doesn’t resort to blaming fellow progressives for racism still being here? That has yet to be determined here @ BJ.
How do posts like this move the issue forward? I suspect ABL wants to open the eyes of people to what others think and do.
But there’s a certain schtick here I feel doesn’t move the issue forward, but instead holds it back. Blame is getting thrown around and in these posts it almost always involves inaction by liberals in upholding what others see as issues of paramount importance and others are at the same time indifferent. You can be a liberal, who acts according to your own values quietly in your daily life. Living by your principles in giving others their due respect without using race, gender, sexual identity as your markers about others. By being essentially Colbert like in not judging things with those issues as determining markers and going on with your life. Is such a person helping the issue? Some would say they aren’t doing enough to further the cause.
But honestly, having said that how can I say that this kind of discussion holds the issue back? Well, I say that because I feel racism isn’t practiced all that much from most liberals and progressives I know. Yea, a Bay Area California liberal has a different world than most the US. But calling out your own for being part of the problem is a huge injustice as the bulk of the problem is really being promoted and maintained in American life by those on the other side of the aisle for all practical purposes. The up front yet unspoken racism you see in Republican & especially Teahaddism out there right now.
Circular firing squads suck. Be they over at FDL or here. I think one is better off attacking a root, a major artery of a problem rather than a tiny capillary. But then again I don’t see though others eyes, I don’t walk in their shoes. I just try to understand and live my life accordingly.
@aisce: well thats how ABL try to play the emotional “do you like black people or you are racist” card..
“scores of black people” agree with Prof Harris Lacewell? did she do any studies on this? no..but its right because she is black, and that gives her authority to speak for rest of black folks in deciding with online commenter she needs to start a witch hunt on
How many external enemies will ABL castigate with hyperbolic posts? How many external enemies will ABL blame for Obama’s failures? The search continues…
@MBunge: Can you cite good data that shows liberals were supporting Clinton during his sexual shenanigans?
they supported him to protect him from the overzealous Republicans but that didnt mean they approved of his conduct..and he was blasted by Frank Rich and other progressives for sidestepping the Constitution and NAFTA and other shit..
Obama hasnt kept his promises on some issues and rightly, has to be questioned…he is everyone’s President, not just black people, and branding well meaning supporters as racist isnt helping his cause either
Rationalization. Breakfast of Chumpians
@sherparick: Again, glad to know you’re visiting Baker too.
Here’s a link pointing to an analysis by CR of the employment situation and postulations as to the number of new jobs needed on a monthly basis to “push” the unemployment rate down to 8%. The series was done in July, so the outputs there are stale.
When that model was posted, I worked out the math to the goal of 7.1% unemployment. I used that as a target figure because no President in the modern era has been reelected when the rate is above 7.2%.
Eye-balling my numbers, correcting for the June, July and August actuals, the math suggests that unless the economy generates 340,000 new jobs a month every month from now until October, the unemployment rate will remain well above the “7.2%” target. If, for some reason, a wave of jobs creation does emerge, the variables underwriting this projection will likely change. The change would come, most likely, from working age Americans who find their enthusiasm refreshed and return to the active labor force thereby driving the participation rate up – and the need for more new jobs to be created to level of the “headline” measure. As it stands today, having just checked BLS, the participation rate is lagging expectations which pushes the unemployment rate down even though the raw numbers of out-of-work Americans is actually on the rise.
Ain’t set theory great!
In the end, I don’t see the economy suddenly generating 350k jobs a month from now until next October – nor do most economists whose head, neck and consciousness are in an agreeable alignment.
Oh, she definitely speaks for me.
-Tyrone from Texas
@kindness: YOU ARE A RACIST!
@Plantsmantx: good for you man.
@mad the swine:
I think there’s something to what you’re saying, because I keep seeing people talk about how Clinton was better than Obama because Clinton “stood up to the Republicans.” Clinton’s actual policies were notably worse than Obama’s, particularly his economic policy, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the people who have on their rose-colored glasses and insist that Clinton was so much more betterer a Democrat than Obama is.
And, yes, I do think that there’s a degree of unconscious racism in a lot of the criticism of Obama for Not Being Bill. If you expected Obama to do X, Y or Z because he’s black, guess what that’s called?
So how do you explain the fact that NAFTA-supporting, bank-deregulating Bill Clinton is now held up as the avatar for championing the underclasses, unlike that bankster-loving Obama?
If people wanted to say, “I’m so disappointed in Obama, he’s a corporatist just like Clinton,” that would make sense to me. I can’t make any sense of the people running around saying, “Clinton totally supported the working class, unlike Obama!” though the “too young to actually follow politics in the 1990s” theory makes the most sense to me.
If you expect the bare fact of Obama being President to achieve X, Y, or Z because he’s black, what is that called?
Let’s see how does this go now on BJ? Right, “Everyone’s
queerracist but me and thee and sometimes I wonder about thee.”
BTW, Brendan Nyhan at Washington Monthly manages to disagree with Ms. Harris-Perry without personally insulting her or insisting that white racism just doesn’t exist. Funny how that works.
The way I see it, as a male white liberal:
1. There really is no question that a significant segment of white liberals, including many in this thread, are exercising white privilege with abandon, and that there are subtle ways in which race has some play in the way people are framing things.
2. BUT, I’m not sure race is the first, second or even third motivator behind most of the criticism and disillusionment. Let’s not forget about the intoxicating combination here: bringing in people new to politics who have unrealistic expectations, his own rhetoric which lead us to believe/expect that he would sweep away all of the Bush-era horrors, initiating major reforms…you know what we saw instead? A series of setbacks, compromises, and half-way measures well below those expectations……..which in the end have nonetheless been mostly victories for progressive reform.
There is a gaping chasm between what we all wanted/expected out of Obama, and what was actually possible, both within the framework of the workings of government and the fact that he appears to be more moderate than most of us thought. And let’s not forget, after 8 years of Bush and 6 years of Gingrich’s house before that, WE WANTED FUCKING REVENGE….and we haven’t really gotten it.
So look, there’s lots of white liberal racist shit that gets said–damn straight. But OVER-emphasizing the problem of white liberal racism is just as destructive as Greenwald’s over-emphasis on the (very real) failings of Obama’s creeping authoritarianism, or Krugman’s over-emphasis on the (very real) failings of Obama’s economic inadequacies. At the end of the day: he’s the President of the USA, meaning however progressive he is or should be, he still occupies a position that is ultimately beholden to interests, legacies, mechanisms and institutions that are entrenched in ways that are antithetical to anything we might identify as contemporary progressivism.
In short: stop the circular firing squad. Let’s all tear each other apart in January 2013 once he’s been re-elected, shall we? And at that time, I’ll be happy to help you press back against all the haters, ABL.
That would be racism, dear. Expecting someone to achieve something based on his/her skin color is racism.
We’re not going to have to have that stupid argument again where someone tries to claim that a positive stereotype isn’t racist, are we?
Nope, no one is immune from having racist thoughts and ideas. The difference is between those who first, care about such things in themselves, and are willing to self examine honestly, and make the needed corrections of a bad thinking process. ie personal growth, and shit like that.
Weirdly, Lyons provided some anecdotal data in support of her thesis in his response that was actually lacking in her thesis.
Weirdly, I do think that’s where a lot of the unconscious racism has come into play — see Bill Maher’s routine about how he expected Obama to be a “gangsta.”
Obama did not go to war against the Republicans. He tried to get shit done. And some people just can’t forgive that.
In Gene Lyon’s article, this
is completely ridiculous and should be shunned. It does not address Perry’s argument and is an ad hominem response. It serves no purpose at all. Argue the point on its merit (or lack thereof) and facts, but, too often these days, instead authors reach for snark or sarcasm to make a point. And in this instance, Lyon’s went too far.
@Mnemosyne: It is true that there are people who hold Clinton as the the champion of working class folks, even now, but they dont form majority of the progressives and were mostly and still are centrist Democrats who could easily vote GOP anyways. and a LOT of them are racists. Joan was a die hard Hillary supporter and forgave Hillary for her Iraq war vote ..and yet she likes to harangue Obama..
But they aren’t the progressives are we talking about here. The progressives we are talking about are people who supported Obama from the moment he announced his presidential ambitions and promised to hold his feet to the fire once he became President. Like Greenwald, Rich and other progressives who are now being branded as racist only because they criticize the President. And the issue progressives have with the Obama are almost the same issues they had with Clinton. But here is another thing..at the time when Clinton was Prez and the economy was doing great, people thought that financial model of fellating bankers was the right way….and so supporting Clinton made sense..we have a learned a lot since then, and that is why progressives like myself were dismayed that Obama hired Geithner and Summers..for one example.
Not you specifically, but in general it is frustrating and tragic how passive people have become about such predictions.
Yes, the “economy won’t generate” that many jobs but our government could. We are in a depression of choice.
This needs to be repeated again and again because people don’t seem to get it: “Unemployed, losing your house, losing your savings, hungry? Republicans and Blue Dogs are doing this to you ON PURPOSE.”
We could invest $3T in stimulus over the next 12 months and have full employment and soaring home values.
@kindness: I certainly hope that socio-cultural pedagogy is not this blog’s raison d’etre. If it is, it’s unrecognizable as such.
However, as a killing field littered with the bodies of marksmen formerly arranged in a circle, then it’s often a bull’s eye.
It seems to me that, on the latter matter first, any value to be found in partisan in-fighting is lost when the “in-fighting” becomes totemic – with combatants more focused on whose updated “little red book” stand-in is more authentic and deserving of genuflection. At that point, threads begin to exude the distinctive aroma of the Camellia sinensis.
As for the former matter, forums that conduce to heightening and deepening awareness of social, economic and political inequities are both welcome and necessary. It has been my experience in left politics that a core organizational/galvanizing principal is that the strength or lack thereof exercised by left politics rests on the recognition and embraced of social, racial, gender, economic, health and other distinctive aspects of all human beings. As a political project, the dynamism arising from this mode of inter-subject engagement provides an energy, vision and language by which those who oppose this project are vanquished.
In bringing these 2 modes together, it’s seductively and unconsciously easy to turn the dynamics of engagement into a more forceful and less or even unproductive exercise. The benefit of holding onto disagreement but letting go ire is that collective attention can be directed toward the planning and practice of defeating the opposition at the ballot box. Failing that, what remains is an existential unease over an unfulfilled desire to achieve not unanimity nor harmony – but sterile, bleached mono-culture.
Speaking for myself, if I was interested in mono-culture, I’d throw myself head-first down a flight of stairs then join the GOP and buy the Ayn Rand books at full price.
Sure there are people who don’t support Obama for policy reasons, but the ones the front-page post is about those who are racists, who make themselves quite visible and have since the PUMA days.
@salacious crumb: “Can you cite good data that shows liberals were supporting Clinton during his sexual shenanigans?”
That question is so dumb I will not answer it for fear of inducing a stroke.
Some ideas are so facially ridiculous that snark is the only appropriate response.
I didn’t ask you about expecting someone to achieve something based on the color of their skin, I asked you about expecting the bare fact of a black man being President to achieve some result, regardless of what he does or doesn’t do. That’s the expectation of Obama’s most rabid supporters, and it’s infinitely more Utopian and pie-in-the-sky than any expectation any “professional leftist” has ever had of him or his Presidency.
Quaker in a Basement
A New York blogger I read occasionally, Prometheus 6, has said that the word “racist” is the equivalent of the N-word for white people. White people just get all itchy and excited whenever any white person, anywhere is called a racist.
Mr. Lyons’ article and this thread lend P6 much credence.
I think he was sitting down.
@salacious crumb: “The progressives we are talking about are people who supported Obama from the moment he announced his presidential ambitions and promised to hold his feet to the fire once he became President. Like Greenwald, Rich and other progressives who are now being branded as racist only because they criticize the President.”
I would submit that one reason those sorts of folks are being called racist is because they don’t just criticze the President for his failures. It’s because they either ignore his successes or actually criticize him for them. I’ve never seen any politician get more shit from his supposed supporters over his policy victories than Barack Obama.
Yes, this exactly.
It never fails to amaze, the rage that both ABL and the President bring out among a certain subset of the left of center. Never. The masks fall and it’s terrible to see, what with all the bad historical analogies, white privilege, male privilege, and hysterical rationalizations.
@William Hurley: Do like Abbey Hoffman advised. If you want to have some garbage book by an idiot you know you don’t want to see a penny of your money, steal the damned book.
He’s more like anti-Saxon. Well, at least halfway anti-Saxon. THAT’S the real problem.
And like someone mentioned earlier, I also notice we get a bunch of new trolls every time ABL puts up a thread like this.
Hmm…I wonder why?
Quaker in a Basement
There it is! Concur.
Now the question Ms. Harris-Perry raises is this: In an imagined parallel world where we have a white Democratic president with Mr. Obama’s record of accomplishment, would we see the same firebagger calls for a primary challenger? Harris-Perry doesn’t even go any further than saying, “Maybe not,” and this prompts Gene Lyons to accuse her of being the black KKK.
Bit of an overreaction, ya think?
I honestly don’t know a single soul who believes this. Not a one. Not even ABL. ;-) Hell, not even my 9-year-old niece who is a big and naive an Obot as they come.
Pardon. I took you to mean that in general you don’t car for Lyons or Perry.
It’s been totally mind blowing for me, how true this is, even on this blog. As when Obama does something that should be lauded by progressives as what they have been clamoring for, and instead, it sparks some of the most vicious Obama bashing of any other times.
This has been astonishing, and it is hard to come up with an explanation other than racism.
The one alternative that I wager explains part of it is a carryover of the bizarrely intense Hillary fanaticism. That doesn’t have to be race based, although some was. A lot was gender based.
But he’ll never be forgiven for beating “our girl”
That would be racism, dear.
Condescension AND missing the sarcasm?
You’re a fucking parody … honey.
Well, I don’t believe that, because it’s one of the more easily observable characteristics of those people. Before some of the online contingent felt the need to start their own blog because they simply couldn’t bear the few mildly critical comments made about Obama at Jack and Jill Politics, one of them actually said that Obama is the last best hope of Black America. I thought that was one of the saddest things I ever read…still do.
Quaker in a Basement
If you haven’t clicked through ABL’s second link to Ms. Harris-Perry’s work, I recommend it. If you haven’t read it, you really don’t have sufficient context to understand the discussion.
@wrb: Agreed, the enthusiasm for the recently witnessed (and hopefully lasting) pivot in rhetoric and tone by the President gives me no comfort. More than the gyrations and abandonments of ambitious politicians pushing toward their goals, it’s the living fact of despair, needless suffering and stress-remaking battles for physical and emotional sustenance that threatens to decapitate my own endurance and my ability to abide being witness to these unnatural afflictions being visited – by design – on others. It’s understandable that short of being handed a key to the treasure room, rhetoric and sternly made statements of intention become the necessary though insufficient nutrients to satisfy the politically, morally and physically hungry.
There are other ways.
It is within the President’s power, via “liberal” application of Executive Orders, to cull the ill-gotten gains of bankers and financiers for national benefit. As has been discussed in Europe, a transaction fee on all fixed asset and equities products would instantly generate tens and tens of billions in new revenues. I’ll not carry on, as I’m over tired and prone to needless attempts at the prosaic.
I’ll close with this observation. In a nation that is at present awash with almost $60 trillion in accumulated privately-held wealth, there’s not reality to propaganda using terms like “broke”, “not enough” and/or “too costly”. We, as a nation and a world, suffer not from a dearth or resources and riches – we suffer from a distribution problem. Distribution is hard, but not as hard as one might think. In the US, a mere 100,000 households control 90% of the $60 trillion in aggregate wealth. The remaining 1,000,000 or so households genuflect to their desire to be “1 in 10” instead of joining together and employing the strength of number to reset many institutionalized inequities.
@geg6: This particular commenter in any blog I venture onto, is always contrarian and one-dimensional in his/her responses.
You are correct, I don’t now any people who feel this way either…
“see Bill Maher’s routine about how he expected Obama to be a ‘gangsta.’ ”
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for providing this example. Maher and-for that matter, Michael Moore-are two left leaning white dudes who get alot of love from white liberals, but I haven’t seen anyone beyond this website, (save T. Coates @ The Atlantic) -Cole posted on Moore recently, recall-challenge them on certain racially-loaded language they’ve used toward the President.
As long as Moore and Maher are only countered by certain small parts of Left Blogistan, I don’t see how white racism toward the president is not a problem on at least some of the white left.
I see you’ve finally left JJP to spew your bullshit elsewhere.
My comment disappeared? Crap. Here goes again
A quick look at historical gallup polls shows that the President’s approval rating at 950 days is actually higher than Clinton’s was at this time among his own party (78% for Obama to 74% for Clinton). The difference in the overall approval ratings lies in the President’s approval rating among Republicans (10% to 19%) and independents (36% to 44%). While it is only one polling service and does not delve into the racial identifiers of each political affiliation, it does raise questions over the assertion that white liberals are leaving Obama.
I agree about the shit the President receives online. But while liberal blogs and active commenters may have questioned the logic of some decisions, and numerous anonymous posters complain and threaten to not vote, the polls don’t really show that the President is receiving less support than Clinton did from within his own party.
“Obama did not go to war against the Republicans. He tried to get shit done. And some people just can’t forgive that.”
The Republicans under Bush spent eight years trying to turn the country into a one-party authoritarian state. I voted for Obama because I thought he would roll it back. He hasn’t. Guantanamo is open, government secrecy is worse than ever, the administration uses the criminal law against perceived enemies, the FBI continues to target law-abiding Muslims with stings and disruptive undercover investigations. The EPA is not permitted to regulate. Oil companies drill where they want. The Bush tax cuts have been extended, probably permanently. The president talks about raising the Medicare eligilbility age when what we need is Medicare for all. And we still torture. Meanwhile, Obama goes around trying to compromise with people who laugh in his face. When it comes to liberals, he’s tough as nails. “Get over it,” he tells us. When it comes to Republicans, he’s a wimp.
I can’t forgive Obama because he hasn’t done what he promised to do. It’s got nothing to do with race. It’s got to do with a failed strategy and incompetent leadership.
You know what, I think the dude over at Gin n’ Tacos has unwittingly won this thread, and gets at something maybe a bit more fundamental.
In other words: Obama has to pander to Boomer expectations of blackness, alienating younger progressives; meanwhile younger progressives still have their own racist shit to deal with and we’re seeing this play out in the way some of them frame their disillusionment.
There is a serious problem with the MHP article,
isn’t a good comparison for one huge reason: U3 in 1996 was 5.1%, today it’s 9.1%. I’m not sure how you could massage the data to take that into account in order to compare support levels.
The bolded elements of the Salon article are ass though. Could have deleted them and just gone with an attack on the basis that there’s a pile of reasons why Obama isn’t as popular as he used to be.
Yikes. Comment 195, mine, has turned into a mess. I did not mean to cross out the fact that Mr. Cole, our fearless leader here, had faced down Michael Moore’s meltdown on “The View.” Credit to John.
And I’m a crappy editor of comments. The rest of comment 195 stands.
@Bloix: Split the difference: not only did he not intend to start shooting, he brought a knife to a gun fight. Parsing from my earlier comment way up above, there’s also a chasm between things we wanted him to accomplish, and things he could have been doing and seemingly refused.
are you getting paid by the word?
Well, as I suggested, I observed the phenomenon from the beginning.:)I also know that many of you are only nominal liberals who would be neither liberal nor Democrat if you were white. Seriously, most of you were-hell, still are- the sort of black Democrat who is most likely to dislike someone like Al Sharpton, and weren’t shy about displaying that dislike before…you know.
Deciding what is racist for the rest of us is ABL’s sole reason for existing. And you’re her anally-embedded familiar.
So…what’s your point?
I agree with this. And have not been one of those citing the relative small number of liberals on the internet who are emo anti Obama, that would have any great impact with their personal votes, or non votes for Obama.
The problem is what collectively goes on in liberal blogs, has a way of migrating into the MSM, especially cable news, that gets taken as broad opinions of dems nationally, rather than just the small numbers of on line libs. And it gives permission for pro left pundits and writers with high perched soap boxes to preach the views of the few, into a false perception of the many, having a serious problem with Obama’s presidenting.
I think this has to be taken seriously, for those reasons, as the lie that it is. As it does affect in a meta way our national pol dialogue, and not representative of reality.
I also think it would be naive to just brush this aside as not having a negative impact for keeping dems in office, Obama or others. And it muddles the success of Obama getting HCR done, when some with megaphones on the left are bitching and moaning about no “PO”, and that goes for a number of other passed laws that are imperfect, but solid progress, that I suspect Clinton would have wished for, but failed to achieve.
@kindness: And a good book stealer I am, well practiced and opportunistic. Thanks torrents.
But, if I were to become a mono-culture drone, I suspect it would be necessary to needlessly pay the maximum price for shitty, ideological in-group mementos. As witness only, I’ve seen how bubble-ensconced righTards respond when reality confounds their adopted (il)logic.
I offer you the example of real estate “investment” training conferences and motivational speakers events. Entry fees are just cheap enough, and once your inside the unrelenting hard sell is applied. Even Bush the Lesser has jumped on this “mainstreamed” version of a grifter’s floating card game.
This is stupid. The economy was buzzing in 1996, in 2011 we’re in the middle of a huge recession. It’s not race–it’s the economy, stupid! (to borrow a phrase) Honestly. Who spends so much time and energy attacking people on their own side? Every actual liberal who is actually paying attention (even the apparent scores of horribly racist ones) will hold their nose and pull the lever for Obama next year, because the alternative is terrifying.
And I guarantee you this circular firing squad behavior won’t net a single damn vote for Obama next year, either. All it does is wear people out on politics (and it’s sure wearing me out on this place). If I were the type to indiscriminately throw around charges of ratfucking, I’d start right here.
@eemom: Yes, I do suffer from too much length and the rewards it brings.
No Fortunate Son
This is a bit of a non-sequitor, and not a comment on the rest of the post, which I am sure has been debated in earnest, but does this asshole at Salon not realize that Charles Kruathammer is wheelchair-bound, and cannot drive?
@eemom: It strikes this reader that, in the midst of the hue and cry from the disaffected commentariat who in their zeal to criticize fail to comprehend the magnitude of the obfuscation proffered by the opposition, we risk a deeper entanglement in the variety of intrigues that envelope and may at times entrap this community like so much flotsam and jetsam. Even were one to assume, grandiosely, or perhaps morosely, that the gravometric pull of dissatisfaction with the perceived shortcomings of the political overclass is so overwhelming as to force us to maintain a steadfast watchfulness against its ever-encroaching strength, this merely reflects the fact that it is incumbent upon us, as the participatory demographic, to cease being the mere effluent of the governmental structure and begin to leverage our collective authority to effect serious and needed reform.
If I may be permitted to tarry further upon this stimulating topic, the assemblage of like-minded collaborators within and around the pitch and yaw of representative politics points to an obvious and potentially quite satisfactory solution to our dilemma. The centripetal forces unleashed by such a movement could only serve to draw the fulcrum of action in our direction, so that we sdhjrm,nfdjsda9oeridfkjvnjdfs
You are SO Timmeh.
C’mon, out with it. You never fibbed to ME before. :(
@No Fortunate Son: Not to mess with my ‘liberal’ pedigree but with your observation in mind, why aren’t there more ‘Can Charles Kruathammer come out and play?’ jokes…..I’ll let you all fill in your own abysmal, unprogressive endings. I’ll think mine to myself only.
If that’s what you thought you were asking, you should probably work on your writing skills. I’m still confused about what you think you meant — are you criticizing people for saying that the mere fact of having a president with a different skin color than the previous ones is an achievement for the US as a society? Because I don’t recall anyone saying that having a black president is a personal achievement for the president.
Strangely enough, I’ve been a white liberal my whole life and yet I can still see that racism underlies a lot of the most vitriolic criticism against the president.
ROFL. You are a GOD, sir.
@No Fortunate Son:
Lots of people in wheelchairs drive depending on what their specific disability is — you just need hand controls. If Krauthammer doesn’t drive, I would assume it’s because he’s an entitled asshole who has a chauffeur, not because he’s incapable.
Meh. Maybe it’s because I was born and bred in the Midwest, but I always hated Clinton’s “I feel your pain” emotional bullshit, and Republican appeals to visceral hatred just make me itchy. I think that blogger has a very effed-up idea of what actual leadership is — it’s more than public posturing and throwing chairs at the refs.
I’ve been a black liberal all my life, and I can see the similarity between the “white liberal” criticism of Obama and the “white liberal” criticism of LBJ. No, I don’t think racism underlies a “lot” of “white liberal” criticism of Obama, and I don’t feel the need to make myself believe that’s the case.
I highly doubt that “white liberals” are critical of Obama, or “abandoning” Obama, because of race or racism. It’s just that blogs and social media, which Clinton didn’t have to face, have created a self-amplifying semi-pro punditocracy — which sometimes crosses over into traditional media outlets. Clinton _did_ get the same kind of treatment from “white liberals” — but there wasn’t a digital ecosystem to disseminate and preserve it, or make minor media stars from it.
And as for the recurring Clinton comparisons these days, that’s not due to racism, that’s due to wishful thinking, nostalgia, and obliviousness. Caustic, confrontational liberals always want their politicians to be caustic and confrontational, but rarely get it, so they seethe and gripe. I _guarantee_ that President Hillary Clinton would be being barraged by pro-Obama dead-enders of the kind that made reading Daily Kos such a chore in the ’07-’08 primaries. Obama would be the one who would have fought, and wouldn’t have caved, and would have brought people together and changed the game, and calls for a primary challenge would be unending.
So I don’t think there’s much of a racial component at all. Instead there’s a lot of the usual frustration from the left that the left has all the good ideas but doesn’t get a lot of success. And because the left doesn’t like the Occam’s-Razor explanation that there aren’t enough lefties to make lefty politics happen, there’s a lot of resorting to theories of psychology, ulterior motives, and hidden agendas: Bill Clinton wants to please everyone, Barack Obama isn’t tough enough, Jimmy Carter is too naive and thinks the best of everyone, Lyndon Johnson is callous, etc.
IMHO, it’s an old story about liberal/left frustration, not an old story about the unresolved legacy of race in America.
@fasteddie9318: Well played.
@No one of importance:
Good lord, No one, fuck off with your BJ territorial tribalism bullshit. This isn’t your or anyone else’s private domain.
I have been reading BJ a lot longer than you, so I hereby announce that your stupid comments are disallowed forthwith!
I see you felt the need to transform my statement from saying that I think a lot of the most vitriolic criticism against the president has racist roots to saying I think “a lot” of the criticism is racist.
Tell me, is any criticism of the president from the left ever racist, or is it always non-racist by definition?
(And if you think that there was no racist element in the criticisms of LBJ, you need to read Nixonland.)
I’ve been reading this shit since back when it was produced via lithograph and delivered by steam car and auto-gyro, so you all can just go fuck yourselves.
Gene Lyons just reduced the primacy of the black experience vis-a-vis anti-black racism to the ideology responsible for over a hundred years of murderous terrorism. It really doesn’t matter what he writes after that. It could be wrong. It could be right. But because he just demonstrated in one sentence that he’s a fucking asshole that couldn’t be more tone deaf unless he scrubbed his ear canals with a drill press, no one in their right mind should take him seriously.
@aisce: you’re on thin ice now, and racist! or you may become manifestly racist if you don’t vote for obama in 2012. because obviously, with the terrible shape the economy was in during clinton’s re-election bid, the harsh and (subtle) racist higher standard may be in play. or, 4-5% unemployment is better than 9% unemployment.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
Good gods, some of you need new material. “But it’s racism! It is!” gets BORING. Try to engage the reality, not your Cloud Cuckoo Land fantasies about your attitudes.
@Kola Noscopy: cliques…can’t beat em, shouldn’t join em…
just trying to suss this out…it IS possible to think that Lyons was/is a hyperbolic dillweed AND still not completely agree with Prof. Harris-Perry’s thesis? or is that racist?
@mpbruss: watch it, you’re going to get called an emo or, er, ah, uh, something, for talk like that!!
Uncle Clarence Thomas
Good one, Sir! Because everyone knows that ABL is the duly elected Spokesperson for All Black People on Earth as well as Supreme Allied Commander of What Is and What Is Not Racist.
And business is booming.
@Bloix: uh-ohhh, now you aren’t being a team player! you must be a racist, emo, firebagger, hate hate hater…for mentioning cogent evidence of issues based dissatisfaction with the President’s performance.
Sure. Harris-Perry, even if you assume her thesis has merit, is using that thesis to arrive at a general conclusion about left resentment of Obama. Racism may be behind some of it, but likely not all of it.
You have to account for, generally, two other things: The President’s missteps in terms of zeroing in on the roots of public consternation (mostly the feeling that there is no accountability for the same financial elite that screwed many of them out of their retirement and job security) and the lingering Cult of Clinton that still pervades much of the Democratic “intelligentsia” (I use that term extremely loosely). Of those three, I think its the third that is actually the most persistent on the blogs and in the dailies/weeklies.
For Lyons, Sirota, Walsh, etc., Bill Clinton was the first President in their lifetime that actually made them feel good about being Democrats. That’s a pretty powerful emotional anchor, and Obama isn’t from that universe. The irony is that it no longer even matters that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton have become some of the President’s most vocal supporters (to their enduring credit) and that a compelling argument can be made that Obama’s embrace of the Clinton universe as a guide for governing has led to those missteps mentioned above.
But none of that matters. Obama came in and trashed the place, and it wasn’t his place.
Brendan Nyhan managed it at Washington Monthly (see my link at #165), so it can’t be that hard, despite the whiners here who insist that there’s no way to disagree with Harris-Perry without calling her “a photo negative of KKK racial thought.”
Uncle Clarence Thomas
Enough that she can change her moniker to FARBL. (Famous and Rich Black Lady.) Grifters gonna grift…
@Sly: Good points. I am pretty dumbfounded by anyone who really entertains that HRC could have/would have been some sort of “liberal champion.” It’s totally irrelevant to the landscape at this point.
The Guantanamo bullshit again?
How many times does this have to be explained? The President wanted to close Guantanamo. Congress voted overwhelmingly AGAINST funding for the closure. What the fuck was he supposed to do?
I’m all for criticism when justified. But this is the bullshit that makes a lot of people wonder about the motives of people’s criticisms.
@Sly: Democratic “intelligentsia” – now THAT is comedy.
Well, whaddaya know? I must have had a skin color change operation when I wasn’t looking. And here I thought I’d been a female white liberal Democrat since 1976. Next, I’ll go to sleep and wake up a man.
A Humble Lurker
I can’t speak for the other commenter, but that was never a contention of mine. I was saying it was MHP’s contention.
Also, I too have noticed that every time the subject on racism on the liberal side of the aisle comes up we get a bunch of new posters popping out of the woodwork to say how not racist they are. What’s up with that?
I know you didn’t write that but since you quoted it, you seem to have the same misunderstanding that all the MHP/ABL haters seem to have in this instance. You seem to think she attributes ALL criticism from the left to racism. MHP VERY EXPLICITLY, in this article and in her follow-up, states that this is not the case. But does it underlie some of it, mixed in with some legitimate criticism? Fuck yeah. Just read this thread or any other one ABL posts. Or read anything ever written about Obama by Sirota. And Gene Lyon, someone I used to like, is dead to me now, just for that shitty KKK line alone.
@geg6: FWIW, I can’t recall having seen Sirota evoking or tapping racism. Sirota for me goes in the box with all the other obvious lifelong wussies who overcompensate with tough talk, thereby projecting their own craving for displays of intimidating strength onto the politicians who are supposed to be on their side.
(Frankly, I suspect the vast majority of people who have ever played the “you have to stand up to a bully” card fit that profile: having been picked on, they are repulsed to see people getting picked on, and blame them for it.)
@Tonybrown74: go the Bush route and sign an executive order moving trials of detainees to criminal courts in the United States – kind of a de facto shutdown for all intents and purposes. Probably would’ve wasted mucho political capital, but once terrorists started getting thrown in supermax prisons, people may have calmed down. Then again, Bush fucked up so royally in the detention and interrogation of some of these cases that exposing that would’ve led to the wholly uncomfortable “looking back” thing. Also too, if it was obviously going to be such a politically untenable thing to accomplish, why was it such a repeated part of the campaign rhetoric?
“Haters” huh? That’s some lameness coming off the top rope.
Also, how does “not completely agree with Prof. Harris-Perry’s thesis” imply that the author of that comment attributes ALL criticism from the left to racism.
Wait, wait, one more thing: “Or is that racist?” is an attempt at a sarcastic rhetorical question.
It looks like everyone here is getting bored of the race trolling, only 250 comments. One Trick Black Lady is kinda running out of steam.
Grifters in the night, exchanging glances
Wond’ring in the night what were the chances
We’d be grifting before the night was through
Grifters in the night
Two grifting people, we were grifters in the night
Up to the moment when we said our first hello little did we know
Grift was just a pageclick away, a warm grifting click away
“Now, I’m gonna cross post some specious shit. Then I’m going to blanket the area with a bunch of ‘I know how you do its’. Then I’m going to retreat to twitter.”
Quaker in a Basement
@151 – quickly:
So, Prof. Harris-Perry proposes “The 2012 election is a test of whether Obama will be held to standards never before imposed on an incumbent. If he is, it may be possible to read that result as the triumph of a more subtle form of racism.”.
This seems like a fairly modest proposal to me. Especially when she spends two-thirds of her article mentioning that there haven’t been signs of overt racism in prior elections she has looked at.
I mean, really. This doesn’t seem all that radical a proposal to me, even though, personally, I think the liberal anger towards Obama is magnified by online blogs magnifying everything 24/7, more than it is by liberal racism. I could be right, I could be wrong. Harris-Perry could be right, she could be wrong. It is certainly a possibility that there is some racism going on though.
And, the virulent reaction to her article would seem to support her position. I mean, nothing in her article calls for this kind of reaction…
Methinks he protests too much. Way, way, way too much. One of the other links quoted up above is more reasoned. It calls for solid proof that there is liberal racism at play. Nothing wrong with asking for proof, is there?
But, she wrote a typical 1500 word thought piece. The kind of thing pundits turn out all the time. They are meant as springboards to discussion, not as definitive proof of a case.
All-in-all, I thought the original piece was a mild attempt at starting a dialogue. If pushed, I would say that, while there may well be some kind of internalized racism going on with some liberals, I don’t think it is a very big factor, but, that, if evidence was provided otherwise, I could be convinced. The incredible over-reaction on the part of some folks might be, strangely enough, that very evidence.
All part of the narrative. What happened in 2010? What may happen in 2012?
Has to have a narrative to drive, facts, data or polls be damned.
And how are you going to move the prisoners without the funds to do it?
What about the locations?
There’s plenty to criticize the President on without resorting to that Zombie Lie. Why you INSIST on it begs the question of motive on your part.
Y’all keep fucking that chicken, but there’s nothing left but feathers and pulp.
I’ll tell you why Clinton is now praised. Now that he’s no longer president, he can just sling bullshit and people believe him. His actions in the past (between 19 and 11 years ago btw) no longer matter.
@Tonybrown74: This is way off topic, but what would happen if we just kicked all the prisoners out into Cuba? All sorts of bad things, I’m sure, but it’d be hella entertaining to see the reaction on the part of the Republicans if the end result was Gitmo still open but nobody being held there.
It’s no coincidence that the stupidest and most vicious posters on this blog are the biggest fans of ABL, who is the stupidest and most vicious blogger on this blog.
They range from the creepy stalkers like Allan and their weak attempts at intimidation through threats of personal investigation (just like ABL has done) to the unhinged personality disorder folks, like General Stuck.
I have a huge problem with this from geg6,
This is a deeply poisonous, deeply wrong, deeply offensive assertion. It seeks inoculation from saying poisonous, wrong and offensive things by casually spraying a crowd with machine gun fire because one person might have jay-walked. And then reacting with RIGHTEOUS indignation when criticized for that.
I’m a huge O-bot. I was a delegate for him in my state’s caucus, I donated money, I made phone calls and I’ll do those things again. I’m not gay and I’m not a female, but I’d consider marrying him and bearing his children if that were a reasonable option. But his record on many things is poor, and certainly worthy of criticizing. While I support the ACA, I understand progressive alarm at the subsidization of private health carriers. His record on civil liberties is awful.
Obama himself is a big believer in this FDR concept: “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”
Pushing from the left is NOT evidence of white liberal racist privilege or whatever BS point you think you are making and it’s BEYOND ASININE to keep saying that, in blog post after blog post.
Not even close to true. There are _legions_ of stupider, more vicious posters who also despise ABL.
Funny, I don’t remember you being a commenter at JJP up until the summer of ’09 or so. Did you use the same handle?
I got yer unhinged right here, tiger. You otherwise sound bitter, and a little spoofy, folks might say.
Wins poutrage of the day award. Congrats!!
The Spy Who Loved Me
She wasn’t a particularly successful lawyer, so no, I could not imagine having her represent me, especially if anything important was on the line.
Moving from firm to firm as an associate usually means only one thing – you’re not very good at what you do and you will never be made a partner. Kind of like someone in academia that moves from school to school as an instructor, never quite making that tenure track.
And right on cue, the usual suspect butthole surfers swarm to wipe up the ass end of an ABL thread. You motherfuckers couldn’t be more obvious, if you tried.
You don’t recognize my homage to ABL?
Otherwise, thanks for demonstrating my point.
That’s one of the striking parallels with the rhetoric of the anti-black right. They say only they hate untrue, unfair complaints of racism, but it turns out that they see pretty much every complaint of racism as untrue and unfair. So, when I typed “a lot”, I meant exactly what you really meant.
You don’t have a point, other than to make a laughable passive/aggressive ass out of yourself. You succeeded wildly on that count. I’ll give you that.
Sorry, but that statement would have to work over-time to rise to the level of ‘fucking absurd.’ You might want to hit cntrl+f and investigate some of the lovely sentiments proffered by Mattminus, Kola Noscopy, Corrner Stone and the like. You’re gonna hurt their feelings with that kind of talk.
And for all that, it’s still probably the most reasonable thing you managed to say in that post.
@Tonybrown74: I’m not sure how you figured I’ve been INSISTENT on that ZOMBIE LIE, but that’s cool.
I guess he did float an executive order anyhow and proceeded to make his case, albeit relatively quietly, once in office:
1,000 humble apologies, oh voice of reason and pragmatism. And thanks for begging the question of what motivates me.
@Tonybrown74: “Keep fucking that chicken” was a cute blooper, thanks for the reminder!
So Uriel, was this part unreasonable?
It could be you just said stupid stuff (proving the first part of that sentence), or it could be that you agreed with that I said in the block section, but decided to take a slam anyway (proving the second part of that sentence).
Therefore, I rule that you, like General Stuck’s comments, prove my observation true.
I noticed that too. It’s the same people who clog up ABL’s threads like hair down a shower drain.
Wash.. Rinse.. Repeat..
We are not talking about “pushing” from the left, we are talking about using scorched earth racist framing to voice dissent. Such as calling the president “wimp” “girly man” and “Pusssy” and other terms of dismissal based on demeaning personal attacks that have a historic racist connotation.
As well as the steady stream of other kinds of bullshit memes coming from the left, that are just plain false, or overblown and impervious to factual challenge. And Probably the biggest tell of all is when Obama, or his administration does something what the left wing screamers wanted all along, they respond by screaming even louder that Obama has failed.
So it is a case of too easily picking up racist framing, ie “inadequate black man” meme, a very short buffer to allow for imperfect progress, and unreal expectations that usually are not even what Obama campaigned on.
I rule, you don’t have a clue
Yeah, because an executive order instantly gets the funds and approves the locatons for the transfer of the detainees …
That was snark, if you missed it.
My gawd! You never wanted a president!
You wanted Shaft!
I’m very confused by a lot of the previous comments, which don’t seem to recognize that it’s possible to have all these things be true at the same time:
1. MHP being, or not being, a fool
2. Lyons being, or not being, a tool
3. BHO being subjected to tons of double standards thanks to our racist history
..etc. The “truth” of #2, for instance, neither confirms nor rules out any of the others. This excerpt sure indicates that Lyons is willing to wildly extrapolate, and until us annoying pointy-headed intellectuals start *actually* terrorizing others, the KKK reference is unbelievable.
My limited past reading of MHP has led me to skip further reading of her words and views. Perhaps I am just jealous of her (presumed) tenured status. Marci Kiser aptly described my experience of grad school, and if ya want more, why not enroll?
“wimp” “girly man” and “Pusssy”
Stuck, you are fucking insane and out of control. As a white, gay man who has heard plenty of the above slurs I can guaranfuckingtee you they have nothing to do with racism. Misogyny yes.
It’s this kind of bullshit all-encompassing talk, accusing everyone and everything of being racist, that reduces the power of that charge. You and ABL endlessly rely on it as a rhetorical device and accusation, to where it’s become a joke at BJ.
You. You and ABL. You and she did that. You took the power out of the word “racist.” Ergo YOU are racist.
RE: Lyons-So what if it’s true.
The pursuit of ultimate victimhood by wealthy upper class academics is identical to that pursued by their political opposites in the conservative movement.
MHP is another pampered academic elite like Obama who fails the country by taking an easy out, and then whinging and lashing out when called to task for lazy thinking and weak performance.
The CBC isn’t happy with the Obama-Chicago machine program-are Maxine Waters and John Clyburn now traitors to the cause?
You ought to do standup. This is beautiful in it’s comic license for absurdity. Guaranfuckigtee. Priceless.
Lassie not come home, Timmy?
And do something about yer shitty handle, jeebus christ, we got some standards around here. Or once did. A little.
now I’m gonna wait for the thread to wind down and the FPer to move on and then jump in being an insulting douchebag.
jesus you’re predictable
Odie Hugh Manatee
Yup, white outrage is something, innit? Maybe it’s something more?
I do detect lots of ‘bitter’, that’s for sure.
@Egilsson: Or it could be, given your statements in this and other threads, that I wrote that part off as you being disengenuous in order to lend some faux credibility to the crap above it. But sure, pretend that is wildly more viscous than calling someone an “anally-embedded familiar” or speculating that ABL was a shitty lawyer based on I-don’t-like-her-blogging.
Or, for instance, telling someone with a brain tumor
No way someone might interpret that as stupid and viscous, right Egilsson?
@lethargytartare: 30 comments later? Way to be sport, way to be.
I have the biggest internets crush on you right now.
Thanks for the link to the part where ABL is crazy and threatens to trace people’s IP who dare to criticize her. That kind of creepy stuff appears to be a shared trait, as you and Allan demonstrate.
Initially I had no clue who ABL was, and was happy to read it. That changed as I read more of her posts. In fact, it was at that point that I realized I was reading someone who was in fact an awful blogger who indulged in wild conspiracy theories and was pretty vicious.
Actually, looks like it was an earlier thread where I realized that. I guess that thread will have just be confirmation.
ABL is a racist. She wrote:
She could have said “by extension, [Lyons went against] the scores of people who agree with her”, but instead she described Lyons as going against “black people”.
It’s racist to declare something is about a racial sub-group when the facts don’t support it.
I don’t know why John has allowed this blog to be filled up with total garbage lately. Perhaps he likes the fighting, because there’s not much else going on.
#243- “The President wanted to close Guantanamo.” Yes, and Congress wouldn’t let him. That sorry excuse again. Look, Congress didn’t set Guantanamo up and Obama didn’t need Congress to close it down. What he needed Congress for was to continue Bush’s lawless “military commission” regime by replicating Gtmo in the US. Congress wouldn’t let him do that, and he wouldn’t close it down unless he could continue depriving the “detainees” (ie prisoners without trial) of their rights to due process. So it’s still open, probably forever.
For the sorry history of Obama and Gtmo, see
This is why John loves this. ABL is Cole’s cash cow, as it were. She gets clicks.
At 5 AM there were 1/2 dozen of ABL follower blogs linking to this post. Now, I don’t have time to count them all.
And look at how many say things like:
Lyons gets maligned and Cole gets page views and we get to witness another fact-lite rant from ABL Industries.
PS- and OF COURSE i’m going to vote for Obama in 2012. Do you think I’m insane? Even a disappointing “moderate” (ie big-money) Democrat beholden to Wall Street and corporate interests is better than a fascistic Republican beholden to insane theocrats and racist xenophobes who will smash the economy into a pile of rubble.
It’s just that I really thought I was voting for something better than warmed-over Clinton.
Cole’s also a huge naif, by his own admission. Apparently, somehow, he had never thought about race in America for 40 years.
So, you don’t even know for sure what you typed on this thread today, versus something you vomited out months ago, without double checking?
Good lord, you’re a precious snowflake.Never change.
Cheer up youze two. Tomorrow brings a new day for ABL to steal your cookies all over again.
@General Stuck: I look forward to her cross posting babbling nonsense, once again.
Grift! Marches on!
@General Stuck: And all this time I thought you were the
“Some times things mean things, unless some times they do not. There is a special saying where people have said that some times things mean things, but word salad. And other times where marklar means that marklar racism. But butt nuggets and struggle and kneepads, marklar and racism. Marklar.”
And yes, that was a “shorter”.
@The Spy Who Loved Me:
My Ninth Circuit published opinion would suggest otherwise. And considering that three of the firm name changes were actually one firm and I worked for the same partner for 7 years, you might want to check your facts before you go off half-cocked impugning my legal reputation.
Just stick to the regular accusations of racist and other fact-free bullshit, will ya?
there we are. now that’s the balloon juice i know.
nice try. it’s the twitter widget that performs this function. you are aware of twitter, arentcha?
again, stick to the script. “ABL is racist.” “ABL thinks all criticism of Obama is racist.”
When you stray, you look like more of an idiot. :)
@Egilsson: hahahaha. are you serious? oh mah GAWL, you need to get a hobby aside from “Obsessing About ABL.”
honestly, i’m flattered, but it’s a tad weird.
As a black woman who mostly lurks here,I’ve got to say that it is really disheartening for me to see how hostile & personally demeaning some of the above commentary has been towards ABL.
I understand that some of the folks who regularly visit this blog really dislike her writing style and are not particularly comfortable reading about racism & gender bias. I totally get it–really I do. But I’m asking you to please consider that there are many other folks (including the blog’s founder) who appreciate ABL’s contribution and want to use this space to honestly debate these issues.
In any case, feel free to continue hating ABL’s posts, but out of respect for your fellow BJ readers, please be aware that attacking her personally, in each & every one of her posts, is beginning to reek of bully boy behavior.
“dislike her writing style and are not particularly comfortable reading about racism & gender bias”
two different things.
Now you are going full on stupid.
This place is like a freak show sometimes.
Here’s me in 2007, trying to support Balloon-Juice.
I like this blog, and I read it regularly; almost daily for about 4 years. I respect MJ’s point, so I will try to avoid commenting on ABL posts… but she’s really terrible and is like a left wing Pam Geller… ok, ok starting now.
Wow. This thread is still going? I just went back and re-read the Nation article, and was surprised to see that a fairly mild piece positing a possible explanation for an election that hasn’t been held yet has generated so much sound and fury. I don’t think I quite agree with Prof. Harris-Perry’s hypothesis, not because I don’t think that there aren’t any delusional white liberals, but because I don’t think there are enough of them to swing the election. And she doesn’t state that her explanation of a future loss is definitive, she just states it is a possibility.
I suppose people can read something else into it (apparently many see it as some sort of preemptive strike against disaffected white liberals). Perhaps that’s implied in something I didn’t read closely enough, but all I saw was a suggestion for how next year’s election results could be interpreted.
And over 300 comments?
Angry Black Lady
@Egilsson: oh hush now. you won’t avoid commenting on my posts and calling me racist. it’s in your hardware. you can’t help it. you’re obsessed with me. it’s ok. i understand. i’m pretty fucking fantastic. even those who hate me are drawn to me. i’m sure you can’t even understand the visceral pull and i bet it vexes you. nonetheless, on my next post, you’ll be there, saying something stupid that you think will be insulting, hoping — praying — that you’ll make the black girl cry.
Good. Can you please shut up about it and stop wasting our time then?
Because most of us on the left are more concerned with stopping the accelerating decline of the country under the Bush-Obama administrations than listening to your recurring evidence-free rants about our supposed racism.