December
1st 2009
The most progressive president in our lifetime!

Posted under: American history, unhappy endings

buddy

The facts have a well-known Big Dog bias

Big Tent Democrat gives us a l’il history lesson on the 1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, and why in his view that makes Bill Clinton’s first year in office much more impressive than Barack Obama’s.  And, I think I have to agree with BTD on this one.  The OBRA is the biggest reason the Big Dog lost Congress in 1994, which along with the fake scandalmongering by the New York Times and the Office of Independent Council ultimately set the stage for his impeachment.  Say what you will about Clinton–and I know some of you will–he did the thing that no politician in the sixteen years since has had the stones to do:

Raise taxes on the wealthy. 

And how’s that working out for us, now that we’ve abandoned progressive taxation–or in many places like my “sagebrush rebel” state, taxation in just about any form?  Let’s all hold hands and sing “California, here we come,” because we are too stupid and our political leadership too craven to do what needs to be done.  Our infrastructure is crumbling, our schools are desperately underfunded, and once-vital public amenities are classed as “luxuries” now because we won’t pay our fair share and none of our leaders is even bothering to ask, in large part because of what happened to Clinton.  At least that corrupt warmonger Hillary Clinton isn’t President, eh?  She’d probably go on live teevee tonight and tell us that she’s sending 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan!  (And it wouldn’t even be an awesome speech.)

Interesting coincidence:  Chelsea Clinton announced recently her engagement to Marc Mezvinsky, who happens to be the son of former Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D-PA), whose vote put the 1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act over the top by one vote.  (The roll call was 218-216.)  Margolies-Mezvinsky was a one-term congresswoman because of that vote, despite the fact that Bill Clinton campaigned for her re-election in her wealthy suburban district, at Historiann’s alma mater, as a matter of fact.  The Clinton family owes a great deal to Margolies-Mezvinsky–she gave him the vote that ultimately cost her her seat, and then she gave them her son to be Chelsea’s husband and Bill and Hillary’s son-in-law.

42 Comments »

42 Responses to “The most progressive president in our lifetime!”

  1. Roxie on 01 Dec 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    And don’t forget, Historiann, if Hillary Clinton were in the White House, not only would she be sending more troops to Afghanistan, but she would be getting OLD and UGLY before our very eyes in that particularly gross way that women do. Thank dog the republic has been spared that ickiness!

    Congrats to Chelsea on her engagement, and PAWS UP to you for giving praise to the Big Dog.

  2. Historiann on 01 Dec 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Further hillarity by Ezra Klein in “The Age of Diminished Presidential Expectations,” also via TalkLeft (“Celebrating the Abandonment of Transformationalism”):

    The strength of Barack Obama’s young presidency has been its depressing realism about the limits of legislative achievement in the age of the filibuster and unrelenting partisan polarization. Health care might pass — and might is an important word there — because Obama didn’t try to do too much. Big as people think this bill is, it really only affects the insurance situations of 30 or 40 million Americans, most of whom would be otherwise uninsured. Helping 30 or 40 million people is a big step forward, but it is not reform of the health-care system. It is an expansion of it.

    Similarly, Obama isn’t drawing lines in the sand on universality (as Clinton did), or on full auction of carbon permits. Christina Romer told the administration it needed a $1.2 trillion stimulus, and the administration settled on $800 billion because that seemed passable. And it still didn’t get a single Republican vote in the House. We live in an age where we expect, and arguably need, the president to do much more, but where the structural constraints confine him to doing much less. Obama, by aiming squarely for the middle of that Venn diagram, will probably manage to do quite a lot, while still not doing nearly enough. He won’t content himself with noble failures, but we will not see full solutions.

    I just don’t even know where to begin (or end!) with something like that. Clearly, some people will praise Obama’s secret genius no matter what he does, like Klein does here. “Policy failure is proof of Obama’s superior political judgment! This health care reform plan is revolutionary, except it’s not, and so therefore it’s brilliant! War is Peace!”

    I guess Lyndon Johnson didn’t know what the frack he was doing, passing Medicare and Medicaid with a Dem party bitterly divided over Civil Rights and Vietnam! So by Klein’s logic, attempting such an ambitious policy agenda in an age of “filibuster and unrelenting partisan polarization” is proof of his “weakness.”

    A-HAHAHAHahahahaha!!!

  3. Mark on 01 Dec 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    Roxie, That Hillary bashing of yours seems misogynistic to me and gratuitous in any case.

  4. Historiann on 01 Dec 2009 at 4:23 pm #

    Mark, here’s a hint: I think she is being sarcastic!

  5. Professor Zero on 01 Dec 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    Both Carter and LBJ were more progressive than Clinton, as I remember, although both were very problematic; I was never impressed with JFK and was only in second grade when he was killed, anyway; splitting hairs on Clinton vs Obama never seemed very useful to me; organizing for others seems moreso; here’s an essay on Obama I like: http://www.truthout.org/1201093

  6. Emma on 01 Dec 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    Those essays by Ezra Klein et al are the equivalent of the participant medals you get at marathons. “Thanks for showing up, paying your entrance fee, and ‘running’ the race in 7 1/2 hours. We’re so proud of you! Here’s your medal!”

    And Obama is the guy who overhydrates during the race because he’s not going fast enough to actually sweat and he’s prophylactically drinking water every 3 minutes. “Easy does it, big guy! Don’t want to push too hard.”

  7. Historiann on 01 Dec 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    Prof. Zero–thanks for sending that link on. I don’t know why William Rivers Pitt still doesn’t know what to think about Obama–it seems like he’s a liberal who doesn’t want to look to closely lest he experience buyer’s remorse. But, it’s very clear that on the issues he appears to care about (civil liberties, war, etc.) Obama has been a disappointment. (Then again, he told us all through the campaign that it was Iraq that was the problematic war–he was all for escalating Afghanistan. I don’t understand why all of these precious, precious hopey liberals think they were misled on that one.)

    In the end, it doesn’t matter what any of us think or feel about Obama. It matters only if we *do* something about it (write the WH or congress, go on a march, organize, vote or refuse to vote, change your registration, etc.)

  8. Paul S. on 01 Dec 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    A lot of people seem to have had wildly unrealistic expectations of Obama to begin with. He’s basically always been a centrist – that’s why quite a few people who usually vote Republican (including yours truly) were willing to vote for him.

    Also, isn’t taxation still pretty progressive in the sense that the wealthier a person is, the higher the rates paid?

  9. Professor Zero on 01 Dec 2009 at 9:16 pm #

    Paul — yes, I don’t see why people don’t realize O. is a centrist (like both Clintons).

    I am not an Obama-ite but am not disappointed in Obama at all because what he is doing does not differ too greatly from what he promised to do or from his record.

    My practical question on him is: could he try to govern from any further left and stay in office?

    I would like to say: he might as well, since he is already getting as much c*** as he is for being a “socialist” and so on.

    However, I wonder.

  10. Professor Zero on 01 Dec 2009 at 9:46 pm #

    P.S. on changing registration — from what to what?

  11. KoshemBos on 01 Dec 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    I am happy to live in an age sarcasm has to interpreted; thanks.

    Just to stop hopping from one rock to another I want to state my reading of Obama flatly. The Democratic primaries showed that he is a centrist for whom mainly well off middle classers voted. In those primaries, Hillary was the poor and blue color candidate. It doesn’t make her more or less progressive, but it does distinguish her from Obama substantially. Obama, like W, is a novice and not a very courageous one. He always avoided controversial votes. So far, Obama is a huge disappointment. He is enslaved to the financial world, close to big Pharma and totally inactive on unemployment.

    We might as well fly on auto pilot; we probably will get better results.

    LBJ was a liberal giant with huge social achievements. Carter was a nobody and he still is with his continue moralistic, Lieberman like, statements about everything under the sun. Carter is also a racist; he hates Israelis with the vehemence of a Nazi.

    Hope interpretation is needed.

  12. Professor Zero on 02 Dec 2009 at 8:00 am #

    “…It doesn’t make her more or less progressive, but it does distinguish her from Obama substantially.”

    – Good point, interesting

    “Obama, like W, is a novice and not a very courageous one. He always avoided controversial votes.”

    – Good point and interesting comparison

    “[Obama] is enslaved to the financial world, close to big pharma and totally inactive on unemployment.”

    – Wasn’t this foreseeable? It was what I expected, and that is why I am not disappointed. I’d rather have someone more progressive than either Clinton or Obama in office, and I wish Obama were more courageous, but it was quite clear to me where people stood before the election and I’m not even that avid a reader of the news.
    This is why I don’t get the “disappointment.”

    P.S. It was also quite clear to me that W’s reasons for going into Iraq were fabricated, but Nancy Pelosi claims she was “misled.” I don’t understand how people missed that, either. And I don’t understand how people didn’t realize Obama was going into Afghanistan heavily and that he was doing it, felt he had to do it, to prove he could be as bellicose as the U.S. arms industry needs a President to be.

  13. FrauTech on 02 Dec 2009 at 8:22 am #

    Or don’t we all remember supporting Afghanistan? Don’t we all remember thinking that had Al Gore been elected, hopefully he would have done the same in taking down the Taliban? I thought Iraq was the wrong war we all agreed upon, and Bush tidied that up so Obama didn’t even have to set dates for withdrawal. I’m disappointed with Obama for many reasons (don’t ask don’t tell, lack of leadership on healthcare) but Afghanistan is not one of them. Did his douchebag generals hold him hostage on this one? Maybe, but who cares, it’s not any worse than losing real healthcare reform to a legislative minority.

  14. Emma on 02 Dec 2009 at 8:51 am #

    I never believed that any President — be it Obama, Clinton, Kucinich, or McCain — would get us out of Iraq or Afghanistan. Nonetheless, I am disappointed that Obama is going with a surge. Just because Obama is doing what he said he would do doesn’t mean I can’t be disappointed, pissed, disillusioned, or whatever about what he’s doing.

    First, I’m disappointed we’re not withdrawing. Second, I’m disappointed that the surge isn’t going to be big enough to really accomplish anything. I do not understand how anybody believes a war can be fought on a middle road.

    The motto of the U.S. military should be “Too big to stay out of trouble and too small to finish what it starts.” I’d rather not have this war, but if we’re going to do it, let’s do it. Start the draft again, get rid of Blackwater, raise taxes, and get on with winning the damn thing. Because, as it stand right now, I think the military’s Afghanistan mission is defined as stand around and be a target for a year until we (maybe) bring you home.

  15. Paul on 02 Dec 2009 at 10:42 am #

    My practical question on him is: could he try to govern from any further left and stay in office?

    I can only guess, but my guess would be that he could go a little further to the left, but not that much. I think that both Obama and the Democrats in the House and Senate largely owe their great victories in the last couple of elections to the fact that they have appealed more to moderates. If they lose them, they lose their controlling position, just as the Republicans have. If polls can be believed, though (which they often can’t), the Democrats could push health care reform harder than they have and still have the support of the majority of the country.

  16. Vance Maverick on 02 Dec 2009 at 10:48 am #

    Historiann, as a card-carrying hopey liberal, I’ve resented your occasionally-superior skepticism of Obama…so it’s with gritted teeth that I admit that you’re right. I didn’t precisely expect him to pull out expeditiously from Afghanistan, but I did intensely, uh, hope that he would. (I sent Barbara Lee a note of thanks and support after her infamous vote against the original expedition.) So now, I suppose I need to stop thinking of him as my ally or delegate on such matters, and consider rather how to influence him while he’s at the helm.

  17. Rich on 02 Dec 2009 at 11:57 am #

    “So now, I suppose I need to stop thinking of him as my ally or delegate on such matters, and consider rather how to influence him while he’s at the helm.”

    Not that “feet to the fire” nonsense again!

    Next thing we’ll be talking “speaking truth to power,” and all those other meaningless deliberately folksy buzz phrases that took over liberal speech last year.

    You can’t do jack to Obama. Just admit it and get on with your life.

  18. Vance Maverick on 02 Dec 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    Rich, just to be clear — you’re arguing against trying to influence the president?

  19. Emma on 02 Dec 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    If polls can be believed, though (which they often can’t), the Democrats could push health care reform harder than they have and still have the support of the majority of the country.

    That’s the point, isn’t it? What’s “left”, really. If you push policy that has a positive impact on people’s lives most of them won’t care if it’s “left” or “right” policy. IMO, anyway. But the Obama seems married to the post-partisan pablum he ran through the election. That’s ideology, not policy. Pass policy that works, not policy that pushes ideology. Why is that so hard?

  20. Rich on 02 Dec 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    I’m arguing against your fantasy that you can.

    What exactly is your leverage?

    The “feet to the fire” rhetoric isn’t the opposite of Hopium, it’s part and parcel of it and has been since November of last year. So it’s absurd to portray your “turn” as an actual turn, when that framing was largely there from the very beginning: Obama the advocate, is a president — finally — that we the people can influence.

    Acting as if the fact that he’s revealed as warmongering, medieval minded bigot just means you have to take a more active role as a citizen, instead of letting him do the work for you, which your previous post indicated, is risible.

  21. Vance Maverick on 02 Dec 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    Well, obviously it doesn’t “just” mean that, but it does mean that.

  22. Historiann on 02 Dec 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    Whoa! “Warmongering, medieval minded bigot” is a bridge too far. To be clear: I don’t have any illusion (or delusion?) that Clinton would have made a different decision. What I’ve mocked all along are the ridiculous things that people believe about Obama even in the face of what he has declared publicly. (And yes, it probably looks, in Vance’s words, like I’m doing a little superiority dance because I never fell for the hopey-changey. I want to be wrong, I tell ya, I WISH I were wrong!)

    It’s like Vance and Rich are personifying the voices in my own head, as I throttle back and forth between being angry (Vance) and despairing/hopeless (Rich).

    But, in the end, I’m with Vance on this one. Sitting down and crying in our soup doesn’t get stuff done. Of course we don’t have any guarantees that our actions (phone calls, letters, attendance at marches) will make a differece either. But, this isn’t about Obama. Obama will be irrelevant in 6 years (at most) and gone in 7 years (at most). For me anyway, it’s about how I go about the practice of citizenship.

  23. Rich on 02 Dec 2009 at 2:25 pm #

    “Whoa! “Warmongering, medieval minded bigot” is a bridge too far”

    Uh, how? He has said that his political beliefs on the civil rights of his fellow americans are bounded by instructions from his invisible friend; it’s bad from Bush but ok for Obama?

    I’m not hopeless. In fact, I’m — me, me, me! — the one saying that this isn’t about Obama. Find your issues, find your sticking points, organize around them. That doesn’t involve writing simpering emails to Change.org or have anything to do with Obama.

    I don’t have health insurance, so I could be dead in six or seven years; I’m pretty sure I’m fucking angry that Obama would rather spend 78 million a day to try to fuck Bin Laden’s bloated corpse until his asshole falls out just to prove his own masculinity.

    Y’all have fun with your Democratic society though, doing your best to influence the man at the helm!

    Sure, that’s unfair, but you painting me in the corner of crying into my soup isn’t fun either: my point is that no one has ever had LESS leverage over any politician than we do over Obama. Even if he gets voted out in three years, it’ll be because we weren’t ready for how historic he was and he’ll make as many millions in speaking tours talking about that as he would bragging about a second term of taking the path of lease resistance at every juncture.

  24. Vance Maverick on 02 Dec 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    This does have to do with Obama, simply because he now holds that office. Maybe we have little “leverage”, but on the issues where he’s aroused most passion (civil liberties, let’s say, or war), he’s now in the place of greatest responsibility, or potential effect. So some of the civic effort has to be aimed his way.

    (And if you’re organizing, you’re acting as a member of democratic society too.)

  25. Professor Zero on 02 Dec 2009 at 3:20 pm #

    OK, I also thought Obama might be slightly better than he said he’d be and had been, and find he’s a little worse. But really, it’s more useful to think of a President as one does a department chair than as one might a Messiah. You may have supported their election, but it doesn’t mean they embody all of your ideals, and it may mean they support fewer (or more) of them while in this office than they do when they’re just a regular colleague. Still, you have to influence them. I have tried to influence every President from LBJ forward.

    Afghanistan surge, yes, it is indeed depressing, as has been his choice of economic advisors. Healthcare, feasible to push it more, I’m glad to hear that; maybe that’s a place to seriously put pressure. Needing moderates, yes. I’d like to see him going about trying to create more moderates, as opposed to trying to placate conservatives. That last is what I had most hoped he would do rhetorically. I’d hoped he’d repeal the Patriot Act, show a much greater interest in rolling back more of the Bush II innovations. I’d hoped that by being steadfast in these things he’d be able to change the national mentality somewhat. Perhaps Christian talk radio is stronger than even I realize.

    Obama kept talking about Reagan’s ability to change the U.S. mentality; I thought he was going to work to change it out of Bush II-ism at least.

    But I was much more disappointed in Bill Clinton. I was less cynical then, perhaps. But he folded so quickly on so many things and then went on to do so many Republicanesque things, that when Obama is similarly weak I’m not surprised because I’ve already had a President like that.

  26. Emma on 02 Dec 2009 at 3:27 pm #

    Everybody is “more” disappointed in Bill Clinton. It’s a leftist malaise.

    One curse of being a Clinton has been the Clinton in the wings. “Why isn’t Hillary running?” “I can’t wait until Chelsea’s old enough to run for Congress!” The next Clinton is always better then the current Clinton somehow.

  27. Rich on 02 Dec 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    “(And if you’re organizing, you’re acting as a member of democratic society too.)”

    Missed a capital D there, bub! Although I made enough spelling mistakes that I’m not sure anyone could stand on my intent.

  28. Toonces on 02 Dec 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    I don’t understand the disappointment either. The same CDS-infested media that tanked Al Gore, John Dean, and John Kerry, misled us into war with Iraq, didn’t do a damn thing to investigate the (obvious) coming collapse was the same media that wholly backed Obama, even over McCain. I mean, I guess people just thought Fox was the only corporate owned nooz, but even when you tried to point out that MSNBC is owned by GE which has historically been the biggest beneficiary of the spoils of war, people really just didn’t want to hear it. It was so much easier to look down their noses and dismiss real concerns like that as coming from people who were beneath them or just being negative.

    Obama was an aspirational brand and so it was like trying to tell people that they pay a huge markup for designer clothes that are made in the same factories with the same materials as the cheap stuff. They don’t care, it makes them feel superior.

    And it wouldn’t matter so much to me if I, and many other amazing people trying to work towards bringing the left back into the discussion, hadn’t suffered a full year of abuse for simply asking questions about why this guy came from nowhere and had the media so much on his side, or whether he was really anywhere close to being (seeekritly!) on our side. That the smug, sanctimonious, CLASSIST “progressives” who were high on their own hype are now trying to skirt any of the responsibility for being “duped” makes me angry. And it makes me think we’ll fall into the same trap next time and the time after that, etc.

  29. Vance Maverick on 02 Dec 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    I wondered whether you intended that big D, Rich, but it didn’t make sense — who thinks we live in a Democratic society?

    And Toonces, who’s trying to evade responsibility? I’m the nearest disputant here to the figure you’re attacking, so I may be oversensitive. But I’m not offering an explanation for the course of my thinking, let alone a justification — you’re the one explaining me!

  30. Toonces on 02 Dec 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    Vance, it wasn’t about you. It was general* venting that there are so many disappointed people now claiming they were “duped” and putting the responsibility on Obama for “lying” to them. I’ve seen these comments multiplying in the past few months.

    *Though I thought it fit with the post topic.

  31. Emma on 02 Dec 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    there are so many disappointed people now claiming they were “duped” and putting the responsibility on Obama for “lying” to them. I’ve seen these comments multiplying in the past few months.

    To which the opposite response is: what are you so pissed about? He’s just doing what he said he would. The man’s not responsible for you being unreasonably mad at him.

    Either position is nothing more than an excuse for Obama to do just as he pleases as it works to quell any serious populist to Obama’s actions by making it all about Obama the man or the commenter as a rube. The argument becomes about whether Obama is a liar (or not), or about how stupid (or not) the commenter is, not about what it is Obama is doing or not doing.

    It is a relentless cult of personality that Obama rode to the White House and, I believe, hopes will allow him to evade all accountability, both now and in history, for what he’s doing (or not doing).

    In any event, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for people to feel duped because the actions don’t match the image — even if the actions were presaged by statements that didn’t match the image either.

    Yeah, I’d prefer a different President, but I think lots of people believed we were getting a different President exactly because the campaign was meant to convey that image to people whose lives are complex, worrisome, overburdened, and confused. Did voters “fall” for something that wasn’t true? Of course. But the fact is, the campaign was meant to deceive people and it succeeded. (I, personally, think the ways it meant to decieve people, and the means it employed, were particularly horrible, but that’s a different topic.)

    I’m not sure blaming the people who were honestly deceived is great. As opposed to people like Andrew Sullivan who cynically allowed themselves to be “deceived” in deference to their raging misogyny, CDS, or whatever other hatred motivated them. It’s why the reactions to Obama are so difficult to sort out. And why it’s also true that I roll my eyes at the “I’m so disappointed!” wails, too.

  32. Toonces on 02 Dec 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    I said in my first comment I’m angry because I, and many others, were subjected to awful, disgusting, bigoted treatment. I think that’s perfectly reasonable. If all you heard was “I’m mad at Obama!!!” then you’re still not listening.

    I want people to feel bad about and rethink being such assholes, frankly. I want a little reflection. I want them to question why they turned into such rabid fans of this man, especially if they knew next to nothing about him. They were accusing Hillary of trying to kill him, for chrissakes. What happened there?

    I also don’t buy that it was hard for even the busiest of people to discern who the media was in favor of electing, and that should have been a HUGE clue. We all knew how bad it was before the primaries started. Come on, even people who barely knew what was going on knew that the media had backed G.W. and Iraq. There’s a reason The Daily Show became so popular.

  33. Emma on 02 Dec 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    a) I’m not going to respond to accusations of “you’re still not listenting!” Perhaps the fault is not my reading….

    b) Many people were, as I said, “decieved” by Obama in deference to their misogyny and Clinton-hatred. Which is to say: compared to a woman, that woman!, being President any man would have been the best thing since sliced bread. Whether these people were in fact deceived or wilfully deceived or not deceived at all about Obama isn’t really the issue, IMO. I think, as you’ve correctly identified, the issue is the motivation. IMO – “It’s the misogyny, stupid” – to borrow from the Big Dog’s campaign.

    c) How popular is The Daily Show?

    d) And, in fact, The Daily Show is part of the media and the media dynamic that Obama used to market himself. I don’t think the popularity of The Daily Show — which I suspect you’ve vastly overrated — is in opposition to this media, I think it’s part of it.

  34. Emma on 02 Dec 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    Just a quick anecdote: I did a lot of phone banking for HRC. And, on one call, I was speaking to a family of African-American persons. And when I asked the woman on the phone if she was going to vote for HRC, she said “Are you serious?” and then she laughed and I could hear everybody in the room laughing with her. But she then said: “Don’t worry, honey, if your candidate wins we’ll vote for her.” Which, honestly, is more than I ever did for Obama.

    I think there are voters, maybe a large chunk of them, who didn’t believe all the lies being shoveled about HRC. They just wanted this guy because he was their guy. Which I think is fine, meaning that’s as valid a reason as any other in my mind. And if he turns out to not be their guy, I think they’re right to be disappointed about it.

    But I don’t get the feeling that it’s those people who are wailing about their “disappointment”. It’s the people who saw Obama as the Hillary-slayer who are. In order to give cover to their misogyny and CDS they had to turn Obama into the opposite of Hillary, at least rhetorically. And, you know, he’s not. And now their oxen are being gored on things like gay rights, Afghanistan, and so forth. And Hillary survived, she’s not dead after all. What was it all for? they must be wondering. The witch isn’t dead and the wizard really is just a little guy behind the curtain. It’s gotta hurt.

  35. Toonces on 02 Dec 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    Emma, what about this isn’t clear?

    And it wouldn’t matter so much to me if I, and many other amazing people trying to work towards bringing the left back into the discussion, hadn’t suffered a full year of abuse for simply asking questions about why this guy came from nowhere and had the media so much on his side, or whether he was really anywhere close to being (seeekritly!) on our side. That the smug, sanctimonious, CLASSIST “progressives” who were high on their own hype are now trying to skirt any of the responsibility for being “duped” makes me angry. And it makes me think we’ll fall into the same trap next time and the time after that, etc.

    What in that made you think my anger was directed at Obama? To me, it’s very obvious that my anger is directed towards many of his supporters who acted like bullies. I also repeated that this was why I was angry in the next comment. In case it (or anything else) still isn’t clear, however:

    1) As I’ve said, twice now, I’m not angry at Obama but at the people who treated non-believers like crap. Obama was pretty clear about who he was from the time he was praising Reagan and touring with an anti-gay preacher.

    2) People deceived themselves about him and deserve blame/responsibility for that.

    3) Popularity of shows that criticized the MSM nooz prove my point that most people knew the media was crap, regardless of their schedules.Nowhere did I say that The Daily Show was an objective news source. It became popular after Jon Stewart went on Tucker Carlson’s show (whatever it was) and made a huge deal about how bad the media was. The video went viral. People were very excited about this rare occurrence. I think this is evidence that people were frustrated with and distrusting of the MSM long before the 2008 primaries.

    I feel like my main point, that people were horrible bullies over nothing more than a mirage last year and need to take responsibility for that, is being avoided. Maybe that has nothing to do with listening or hearing. Maybe it’s just discomfort with the point itself.

  36. Emma on 02 Dec 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    I wasn’t commenting on your anger or what you feel about Obama. I was commenting on a larger conversation, one that’s being repeated all over the place: “I’m so disappointed in Obama! He lied!” “No, he didn’t lie, you’re stupid for not paying attention.”

    I think your main point is being bolstered by what I’ve written about misogyny motivating certain people who now claim to have been deceieved by Obama.

  37. Emma on 02 Dec 2009 at 6:02 pm #

    And also, I respectfully request that you please don’t address me with that “what about this isn’t clear” meme that’s so prevalent in so many places. IMO, it’s rude, belittling, and not about having a conversation.

  38. Emma on 02 Dec 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    Popularity of shows that criticized the MSM nooz prove my point that most people knew the media was crap, regardless of their schedules.

    Do “most people” watch The Daily Show?

  39. Historiann on 02 Dec 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    Sorry I’ve been checked out of this conversation most of the day. I have to say that I don’t understand the disagreement between Emma and Toonces–it seems like you agree more than you disagree. That is, you’re both frustrated with the “dupidity” (to coin a term) of 2008, and you’re incredulous that people appear to have been so easily duped.

    I think Emma missed or misinterpreted Toonces–I got it that Toonces wasn’t directing bile at Obama, because Obama didn’t do it all by himself. Toonces is not among those who were duped and are now complaining about Obama.

    I agree with Toonces’s point that there was plenty of nasty Dem-on-Dem violence that many of us felt was expressed in sexist (or even misogynistic) terms. It was demoralizing to be called names and have ugly motives assigned to your political preferences. (Just check out some threads on this blog from February through May 2008!)

  40. Professor Zero on 02 Dec 2009 at 8:19 pm #

    I still think the Obama vs HRC argument is hair splitting.

    Right now there’s a surge in Afghanistan and Obama is supporting the renewal of the Patriot Act. I rolled dice and bet there was about a 1% higher chance that he wouldn’t do those things than that she would. I should perhaps have reversed that but it was and is a tough call.

    Now he and HRC are on the same team (and really, they always were). One could look to her current record on, say, Honduras, to see where she is on things.

  41. Professor Zero on 02 Dec 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    And also: I got called racist, misogynist and elitist for being a Kucinich person in the primaries, when that was still an option. His policies were the least racist, misogynist and elitist, however, so go figure.

    I also seem to remember deciding who to vote for in the primary (I only finally decided for real as I was walking to the polls) based on who I guessed had the best chance of beating McCain. It was still only a guess.

    I am guessing now, things have to get bad enough that the surge and civil liberties issues are protested as LBJ was, but I am not sure the historical conditions are the same at all.

    The thing that worries me is that the people who are talking about rising up are the extreme right.

  42. History was made, and You Are There! : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present on 22 Mar 2010 at 5:58 am #

    [...] yesterday was a victory of hope over fear, and compares the passage of health care reform to the 1993 OBRA that passed by one vote.  (He doesn’t remind us that it spelled doom for the Democratic Congress the following [...]