Comments on: Race and Barack Obama’s political opposition History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 01:22:40 +0000 hourly 1 By: paul lukasiak Thu, 24 Sep 2009 23:35:37 +0000 I’m with Ted here. Right wing Democrats in the senate (and house) were deliberately empowered by Obama.

One thing stands out in the hearings — Jay Rockefeller is passionate about health care reform. What a lot of people don’t realize is that Rockefeller chairs the Health Care subcommittee on the Finance Committee. Yet that Health Care subcommittee, and Rockefeller himself, were completely cut out of the “gang of six” negotiations.

Now, how does a Senate sub-committee chairman manage to ignore the subcommittee that is supposed to deal with a particular issue, and hijack the issue for consideration by a small, hand-picked, unrepresentative group of Senators? The ONLY way that happens is if a lot of pressure is applied, and the only place that much pressure can originate from is the White House.

Indeed, when I asked Karen Tumulty months ago why she was doing so much reporting on Baucus’s “gang of six” and ignoring the entire House and the Senate HELP committee, her answer was that the White House was dealing only with the baucus group, and not with the other committees.

Finally, ask yourself why, given the complete failure of the “gang of six” to come up with a bill, that Max Baucus gets to submit his own personal bill to the entire committee for markup? The answer is that the Baucus bill is really the White House bill, and the White House is now finally insisting on “action”….

“go for the win” is a nice slogan, but its also a sign of corruption. “The win” has to be something that advances the appropriate agenda, and not just the political prospect of a politician or party. We “went for the win” and elected Obama and supermajorities in Congress, but that is turning out to be a meaningless victory.

By: ted raicer Thu, 24 Sep 2009 21:22:35 +0000 >This is incorrect. It is the right-wing of the Democratic senatorial caucus that is submarining any chance of genuine health care reform.

This is also incorrect. It is the Obama administration that has destroyed any chance of genuine reform, perhaps because of political incompetence but more probably because Obama never wanted real reform in the first place, but just something symbolic he could run on in 2012 without upsetting the health insurance industry.

By: Historiann Mon, 21 Sep 2009 21:19:37 +0000 Profane–thanks for the numbers. I have heard that many of his sponsors are deserting him, but with 5 or 6 times the audience of his competition, I suppose he can afford to slough off a few. (I just find him so totally stupid and phony!)

Emma, this history of sliming Dem presidents is very important. I remember days after the inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993 seeing all kinds of bumper stickers on cars in East (white) Baltimore that said, “Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him, or HER,” and “He’s not MY president,” and even more to the point, “Impeach Clinton.” These were for the most part white working-class people who had a lot more in common with Bill Clinton in all kinds of ways, and people who probably prospered more under Clinton’s leadership than under the 12 years preceding him under Reagan and Bush I. It was shocking to see how fast and how virulent the opposition to Clinton took shape.

By: Emma Mon, 21 Sep 2009 04:38:49 +0000 “There was hatred against the Clintons during their years, but this is different, in part because the lunatic fringe now passes for accepted discourse.”

When do you think the lunatic fringe became accepted discourse? During the Clinton years. Like the the repeated accuations — aired in mainstream media — that the Clintons murdered Vince Foster? There were no less than FOUR investigations into Foster’s suicide, including the Whitewater investigation by Ken Starr, all of them by government agencies/agents, and all of them paid for by us, the taxpayers. Oh, and to set your mind at ease, every single investigation concluded that he committed suicide. Or how about the one hour prime-time special just for Gennifer Flowers? Which also included accusations of murder, IIRC.

If you’re at all interested, you could read “The Hunting of the President” for the run down. It’s fascinating but not for the weak of heart (or stomach). It’s also interesting because it looks a lot like what was done to Hillary in the primaries.

What’s happening to Obama is exactly what happens to every Dem President. Race plays a part in it because he’s black, just like class played a part in the Clinton presidency because he was poor and white southern. But race and class aren’t what’s motivating the professional political opposition, IMO. Race and class are just tools to mobilize the masses. Tools that Obama and his supporters used very effectively during the primaries against Hillary Clinton. That makes me suspect that Carter isn’t wholly freelancing it.

By: Profane Mon, 21 Sep 2009 03:30:39 +0000 “What I wonder is why Glenn Beck exists at all. How does a guy like that get a TV show and keep it?”

This should explain things:

Any other hanging curveballs for me to hit? 8-)

By: Historiann Mon, 21 Sep 2009 01:17:55 +0000 Good points, CPP. I think you (via Digby) are correct. But, Obama showed the right wing of the Dem senatorial caucus the way, when he made a great show of the “bipartisanship” of the stimulus bill, which he permitted Arlen Spector and Olympia Snowe to write. (Back when Arlen was a Republican, that is–I’m sure he’s deeply chagrined now to realize that he’s got WAY less mojo with Obama now that he’s a fellow Dem!)

Obama insists on pretending like everyone’s playing baseball, despite the fact that while his team is at bat, the other team is driving clown cars around the infield trying to run down the base runners. And the damnable thing is that the clown-car drivers are really great at what they do!

By: Comrade PhysioProf Sun, 20 Sep 2009 15:27:42 +0000

the Republicans are busy submarining any chance of genuine health care reform.

This is incorrect. It is the right-wing of the Democratic senatorial caucus that is submarining any chance of genuine health care reform. All this talk about “bipartisanship” and “compromising” with Republicans is an attempt by the right-wing Dems who have been bought by the health insurance, pharmaceutical, and other corporate health care lobbies to provide a fig-leaf to cover up their own tanking of health care reform in favor of the corporate oligarchy.

The idea is that when they pass a shit bill that fucks over middle-class Americans and shovels cash into the pockets of greedfuck corporate oligarchs, and voters get pissed off, they can try to blame the Republicans by saying that they had no choice but to “compromise” with them. The problem with this is that not a single motherfucking Republican is going to vote for the bill no matter what, and so rational voters should blame the right-wing Dems. However, American voters are fucking stupid, so they might just fall for this anyway.

(BTW, I did not figure this out myself. My opinion about this is based on Digby’s analysis.)

By: myiq2xu Sun, 20 Sep 2009 13:35:11 +0000 What’s the point?

Accusations of racism won’t faze the real racists and will anger non-racist opponents. Polls show most people don’t buy the racism argument anyway.

The only reasons to keep “playing the race card” that make any sense are to rally supporters or to provide an excuse for failure.

By: Historiann Sun, 20 Sep 2009 12:20:45 +0000 lorelynn–interesting! I hadn’t considered the personal grudge between Carter and Clinton in this, but you may have a point. (To be fair: Clinton gave Carter zero role in the 1992 Dem convention–something like a pan of the crowd and a wave, not a speech or podium appearance. Understandably Carter was honked off, but equally understandably Clinton didn’t want to be yoked to Carter when it looked like he had a shot of winning!) And since Carter was the only living Dem President–well, it was just unfortunate all the way around. Clinton preferred people to think he was the son of Kennedy, and to skip the other two Dem presidents between 1963 and 1992.

Rad Readr: Great points. I think the main difference between the disgust levels is that Obama has it coming from the right wing underbelly that you mention–the real fever swamps, but the Clintons got it from that corner PLUS the mainstream media and even from a lot in their own party. (Remember David Broder’s shirty comment that Clinton “came in here and he trashed the place, and it’s not his place?”) I think this may have to do with the fact that people feel a lot easier about expressing class-based loathing than they do about expressing race-based loathing. (At least Democrats do–there’s a lot of unself-reflective class bias in Dem leadership and strategy.) So the opposition to Obama looks more united and more racist–because it is!

What I wonder is why Glenn Beck exists at all. How does a guy like that get a TV show and keep it?

By: lorelynn Sun, 20 Sep 2009 06:08:34 +0000 I hear Carter’s confirmation of the racism as another slap at the Clintons. I heard it as Jimmy finding one more way to say that Bill had it coming to him. Obama’s being attacked because of race means that the attacks on Clinton were rooted in something Bill did.

And yes, I agree that for Carter, race is a pivotal issue. But Clinton is a personal issue that he has never gotten over.

Ego. Ego. Ego.