Boo yah babies ! !

Man, I am really all over the place this morning, worse than usual (heh). My apologies.

Goodbye Lady Libertine (the usual me). Hello Sally Panic (the other me).

Oh man… bring it on.

FIrst I’m gonna give you a compilation of links here to point you to a few things that are ringing my bell. If you read nothing else today, go see Greenwald’s piece this morning. Yeegawds. GG references and links further to this other piece by Ed Kilgore, who updated his with this statement:

After discussing this post with several friends, I should be very clear about my motives here. I am not trying to promote an ideological fight within the Democratic Party or the progressive coalition, and don’t want to exaggerate ideological differences, either. But ideology, however muddled, is part of what makes most politically active people tick. And if we don’t talk about it–and about differences in strategic thinking as well, which should be the subject of future discussions–then all we are left with to explain our differences on this issue or that is questions of character. And anyone paying attention must recognize there’s far too much of that going on. “Progressive pragmatists”–the camp with which I most often personally identify, as it happens–often treat “the Left” condescendingly as immature and impractical people who don’t understand how things get done. Meanwhile, people on “the Left” often treat “pragmatists” as either politically gutless or personally corrupt. This is what happens when you don’t take seriously other people’s ideological and strategic underpinnings; whatever you gain in ignoring or minimizing differences in perspective or point of view is lost in mutual respect. Sure, the character attacks on both sides are sometimes accurate, but nobody should assume that in any particular case without further examination of each others’ ideological and strategic views. That examination is long past due.

So Greenwald jumped right in. Nails it.

Whether you call it “a government takeover of the private sector” or a “private sector takeover of government,” it’s the same thing:  a merger of government power and corporate interests which benefits both of the merged entities (the party in power and the corporations) at everyone else’s expense.  Growing anger over that is rooted far more in an insider/outsider dichotomy over who controls Washington than it is in the standard conservative/liberal ideological splits from the 1990s.  It’s true that the people who are angry enough to attend tea parties are being exploited and misled by GOP operatives and right-wing polemicists, but many of their grievences about how Washington is ignoring their interests are valid, and the Democratic Party has no answers for them because it’s dependent upon and supportive of that corporatist model.  That’s why they turn to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh; what could a Democratic Party dependent upon corporate funding and subservient to its interests possibly have to say to populist anger?

Even if one grants the arguments made by proponents of the health care bill about increased coverage, what the bill does is reinforces and bolsters a radically corrupt and flawed insurance model and and an even more corrupt and destructive model of “governing.”  It is a major step forward for the corporatist model, even a new innovation in propping it up.  How one weighs those benefits and costs — both in the health care debate and with regard to many of Obama’s other policies — depends largely upon how devoted one is to undermining and weakening this corporatist framework (as opposed to exploiting it for political gain and some policy aims).  That’s one of the primary underlying divisions Kilgore identifies, and he’s right to call for greater examination and debate over the role it is playing.

There’s at leas two or three more currently that relate here, most importantly here at DD is this one from banger.

I am telling you, people, this is it. Hoist the colors!!

We need to get a handle on a few basic givens. “we”… yeah, who the hell is we, kimosabe? We on the Left, Left of Left, the people who… well, you know who you are. heh. I’m talkin to you. You are not mainstream. You are not movers and shakers, you are not a player. You are nobody and you alone cannot make policy, pass laws, or win jack shit.

What you can do is heave ho pull together and help turn the tide.

And, by the way, Meteor Blades just threw down the gauntlet over at naranja.

Damn Im pissed.

Our only power is in our voice. We have to counter the noise machine that will only and ever continue to uphold TPB. We have to understand that simple truth, and help others who are more “pragmatic” minded that fact. When we say “Kill The Bill” for example, it doesnt mean we want to kill health reform, quite the opposite. Someone else can explain that, you guys get it.

Gah why dont people get it.

Need music.

I’m going to go read MB some more, Ill be back.

MB “punchline”:

Candidate Barack Obama repeatedly said that he would listen to all sides and take ideas from all sides. We left-progressives knew from the start that this didn’t mean everything we wanted would happen, not even a quarter of it. But being listened to after decades in the wilderness under both Republicans and Democrats sounded like progress.

However, repeatedly, on issue after issue, Barack Obama listens to and talks to the right, the center-right, the center, and the center-left. As he should. On rare occasions, even a right winger has a good idea. The left, on the other hand, can’t seem to get his ear. And yet, now that the end game on health coverage reform has arrived and we say, “you know this thing sucks so bad it’s probably not worth voting for in its present form,” it’s not the No-gotiators or Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson or Blanche Lincoln or the insurance companies that get blamed for standing in the way of reform. You know, the people and corporations who still aren’t done gutting this legislation.

Nah. Not them. It’s us. It’s our fault and Howard Dean’s fault and the fault of all the people who swallowed hard and accepted an ever-weaker bill until it became too weak. Our fault.

We get the message.

h/t to cassiodorius who pointed me to this one at FDL The Progressive Power of “No”. Its more about the sausage of this current Issue, but valid and relevant to what Im talking about.

So, what the progressives need to do is to recognize the real power situation, gather their courage, and “stick it to ’em” by just saying no, and insisting first, on HR 676, and only, if necessary later in conference committee, on a very strong, Jacob Hacker-type PO bill. That will be better for the American people, better for the progressives, better for the President, and even better for the blue dogs.

another tune…


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  1. Photobucket

  2. hit the nail on the head as well.  His points were made all the more salient when Chris Matthews derided people on the left who were upset at the HCR bill as “netroots” people that were just “bitching.”

    I’ll see if I can grab the video of that.

  3. … was this one by Jake McIntyre, “An Observation on the Split in the Progressive Blogosphere.”

    He brings up a similarity amongst certain bloggers that I have felt as well:

    Has anyone else noticed that the split in the progressive blogosphere between those who are saying “it’s a good bill in spite of everything” (Kevin Drum, Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, Josh Marshall, to name a few) and those who just can’t bring themselves to support Liebercare (Markos and Digby come to mind, among bloggers who have been at it since 2003*) is eerily similar to the split between those who grudgingly backed the invasion of Iraq and those who fought against the war seven years ago?

    Of course he got ripped in the comments by the apologists, big surprise.

    I’m glad you put up that quote by Kilgore, about folks “respecting” each other’s ideas and ideology — that’s always what the fucking apologists say when they begin to see they have been WRONG and are desperate to share the blame they alone deserve.  Until their utter wrongness has become impossible to hide, they continue their bullshit condescension.

    So kudos to Jake.

    • TMC on December 18, 2009 at 20:49

    one person said they were glad to see folks coming down from the “hopium overdose” had me ROTFL

  4. a seat at the table, while the “pragmatists” own the table, chairs, and occupy all the seats.  The pragmatists pragmatically believe that they can continue to use the bleeding hearts to supply $$$’s and votes every 2 to 4 years as needed, and then tell them to go along to get along the rest of the time.  

    The bleeding hearts may be dreamers and idealists, but they ain’t stupid.  That seems to be a fact that the pragmatists forget when continuing to ignore, marginalize and exclude those who they believe aren’t politically savvy enough to govern or to understand the give and take of politics.  They pragmatically seem to believe that the bleeding hearts will keep supporting them despite having absolutely no voice or political clout whatsoever, because that’s what the pragmatists like to believe that they would do in similar circumstances.  IMHO, they’re wrong, they’ve handled their base with total disregard and disrespect, and they will be totally befuddled when they see the consequences of their arrogance in the next few elections.


  5. I think his article is a good start but doesn’t hit quite close enough, it still gives Obama too much wiggle room, still gives the “liberal” Senators too much wiggle room, and give to much wiggle room to the apologists.

    Those are the people who are holding the grassroots back right now.

    And maybe apologists, isn’t the right word for them, because they seem to be committed to yelling down dissent, that they have no self awareness about their own lack of vision or how what they are doing conflicts with it. Maybe they have no problem with that conflict.    

  6. and another guy Kuttner. Very good. transcript here

    BILL MOYERS: Are you a cynic after all your reporting this year?

    MATT TAIBBI: No, not at all. I mean, I think on the contrary. I think cynicism is accepting all this as, you know, politics, as the way it is. I think we have to not accept what’s going on. And that’s not being cynical. That’s being helpful.

    • banger on December 19, 2009 at 15:13

    It is clear that it is decidedly not pragmatic to be one of those self-styled pragmatists.

    All of us on the progressive left are beginning to understand the importance of political power and that it does not come from GOTV efforts. It comes from being able to reward and punish friends and enemies. It is, in short, a fight. If you aren’t willing to fight then you cannot possibly consider being involved in politics. The wimp Dems will give everything up and call it practical? You have to show your power first then compromise.

    I will go so far as to, frankly, challenge the manhood/womanhood of these pragmatists. They are either cowards or they are directly in the pay of the corporate elite. And, BTW, some of them are. I happen to know the millieu of the Democratic establishment in Washington through social connections. I know how they make their money and I know how much they make and it is a lot of fucking dough from any industry that is hot. I can go on and on. These aren’t “bad” people they are just Washington players and they include MSM personalities and editors. There’s a lot of money thrown around that town where I, sadly, spent most of my life.  

  7. in Washington, D. C. are concerned, our only obligation is to follow their lead, and drop to our knees, ready to do do the bidding of Big Money.

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