The Left are Pussies and the Netroots is Just Internet Addiction

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Let’s begin with an essay by Chris Hedges wherein he shines a spotlight on just how pathetic the liberal left really are.

Ralph Nader Was Right About Barack Obama

By Chris Hedges (Courtesy of Truthdig)

We owe Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney an apology. They were right about Barack Obama. They were right about the corporate state. They had the courage of their convictions and they stood fast despite wholesale defections and ridicule by liberals and progressives.

Obama lies as cravenly, if not as crudely, as George W. Bush. He promised us that the transfer of $12.8 trillion in taxpayer money to Wall Street would open up credit and lending to the average consumer. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), however, admitted last week that banks have reduced lending at the sharpest pace since 1942. As a senator, Obama promised he would filibuster amendments to the FISA Reform Act that retroactively made legal the wiretapping and monitoring of millions of American citizens without warrant; instead he supported passage of the loathsome legislation. He told us he would withdraw American troops from Iraq, close the detention facility at Guantánamo, end torture, restore civil liberties such as habeas corpus and create new jobs. None of this has happened.

Hedges Cont…

He is shoving a health care bill down our throats that would give hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to the private health insurance industry in the form of subsidies, and force millions of uninsured Americans to buy insurers’ defective products. These policies would come with ever-rising co-pays, deductibles and premiums and see most of the seriously ill left bankrupt and unable to afford medical care. Obama did nothing to halt the collapse of the Copenhagen climate conference, after promising meaningful environmental reform, and has left us at the mercy of corporations such as ExxonMobil. He empowers Israel’s brutal apartheid state. He has expanded the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where hundreds of civilians, including entire families, have been slaughtered by sophisticated weapons systems such as the Hellfire missile, which sucks the air out of victims’ lungs. And he is delivering war and death to Yemen, Somalia and perhaps Iran.

The illegal wars and occupations, the largest transference of wealth upward in American history and the egregious assault on civil liberties, all begun under George W. Bush, raise only a flicker of tepid protest from liberals when propagated by the Democrats. Liberals, unlike the right wing, are emotionally disabled. They appear not to feel. The tea-party protesters, the myopic supporters of Sarah Palin, the veterans signing up for Oath Keepers and the myriad of armed patriot groups have swept into their ranks legions of disenfranchised workers, angry libertarians, John Birchers and many who, until now, were never politically active. They articulate a legitimate rage. Yet liberals continue to speak in the bloodless language of issues and policies, and leave emotion and anger to the protofascists. Take a look at the 3,000-word suicide note left by Joe Stack, who flew his Piper Cherokee last month into an IRS office in Austin, Texas, murdering an IRS worker and injuring dozens. He was not alone in his rage.

“Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours?” Stack wrote. “Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political ‘representatives’ (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the ‘terrible health care problem’. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.”

The timidity of the left exposes its cowardice, lack of a moral compass and mounting political impotence. The left stands for nothing. The damage Obama and the Democrats have done is immense. But the damage liberals do the longer they beg Obama and the Democrats for a few scraps is worse. It is time to walk out on the Democrats. It is time to back alternative third-party candidates and grass-roots movements, no matter how marginal such support may be. If we do not take a stand soon we must prepare for the rise of a frightening protofascist movement, one that is already gaining huge ground among the permanently unemployed, a frightened middle class and frustrated low-wage workers. We are, even more than Glenn Beck or tea-party protesters, responsible for the gusts fanning the flames of right-wing revolt because we have failed to articulate a credible alternative.

A shift to the Green Party, McKinney and Nader, along with genuine grass-roots movements, will not be a quick fix. It will require years in the wilderness. We will again be told by the Democrats that the least-worse candidate they select for office is better than the Republican troll trotted out as an alternative. We will be bombarded with slick commercials about hope and change and spoken to in a cloying feel-your-pain language. We will be made afraid. But if we again acquiesce we will be reduced to sad and pathetic footnotes in our accelerating transformation from a democracy to a totalitarian corporate state. Isolation and ridicule-ask Nader or McKinney-is the cost of defying power, speaking truth and building movements. Anger at injustice, as Martin Luther King wrote, is the political expression of love. And it is vital that this anger become our own. We have historical precedents to fall back upon.

“Here in the United States, at the beginning of the twentieth century, before there was a Soviet Union to spoil it, you see, socialism had a good name,” the late historian and activist Howard Zinn said in a lecture a year ago at Binghamton University. “Millions of people in the United States read socialist newspapers. They elected socialist members of Congress and socialist members of state legislatures. You know, there were like fourteen socialist chapters in Oklahoma. Really. I mean, you know, socialism-who stood for socialism? Eugene Debs, Helen Keller, Emma Goldman, Clarence Darrow, Jack London, Upton Sinclair. Yeah, socialism had a good name. It needs to be restored.”

Social change does not come through voting. It is delivered through activism, organizing and mobilization that empower groups to confront the hegemony of the corporate state and the power elite. The longer socialism is identified with the corporatist policies of the Democratic Party, the longer we allow the right wing to tag Obama as a socialist, the more absurd and ineffectual we become. The right-wing mantra of “Obama the socialist,” repeated a few days ago to a room full of Georgia Republicans, by Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. speaker of the House, is discrediting socialism itself. Gingrich, who looks set to run for president, called Obama the “most radical president” the country had seen in decades. “By any standard of government control of the economy, he is a socialist,” Gingrich said. If only the critique were true.

The hypocrisy and ineptitude of the Democrats become, in the eyes of the wider public, the hypocrisy and ineptitude of the liberal class. We can continue to tie our own hands and bind our own feet or we can break free, endure the inevitable opprobrium, and fight back. This means refusing to support the Democrats. It means undertaking the laborious work of building a viable socialist movement. It is the only alternative left to save our embattled open society. We can begin by sending a message to the Green Party, McKinney and Nader. Let them know they are no longer alone.

This is the most accurate critique of the liberal left I have seen in a while.

The only thing I would disagree with is that I don’t think the left needs Nader and McKinney. We need fresh faces or, old faces with a fresh set of balls. I also don’t think, based on what evidence I have seen, that Joe Stack was a “protofascist” or even a right winger.

But I really don’t care about any of that. The main thing I wanted to convey by posting this is my agreement that the liberal left is a bunch of pussies.

And coupled with this acute analysis from Idleworm, utterly impotent ones at that:

We’re happiest with feeble gestures of pseudo-solidarity that require no effort and cost nothing.

That sums up my attitude to most of the so-called political protests/activisim that people engage in today. Here’s a list of meaningless actions that waste so much of our time:

* T-shirts with slogans.

* Car bumper stickers.

* Online petitions.

* Email your congressman/MP/TD, etc.

* “Text us with your views! Have your say!” to your favourite TV show.

* Marches with papier mache effigies.

* Adding taglines to your Facebook/Twitter page.

* Wailing on internet forums/comment pages on newspaper articles.


All ineffectual – a near total waste of time. You invest almost no energy – therefore your results will be proportional. Allowing for entropy, you’ll actually get back a little LESS energy than you invested. Don’t be upset when your ritual email of outrage to your politician produces a ritual form letter. You pretend to be outraged (OUTRAGED, BY GOD!), and they pretend to give a shit. As in the old Soviet Union – “We pretend to work, they pretend to pay us”.

It’s an exquisite system – but don’t kid yourself that you’re “making a difference”. Real systemic change (as opposed to the illusion of change promised by Obama) will require real effort and real sacrifice. It’s unlikely that our cartoon culture is going to volunteer for such an effort.

How many of the people griping about the bank bailouts have taken the next logical step and removed their money from the banks? Some have, for sure, but I imagine it’s a very small minority.

Of course, if enough people did it (as I did, back in 06/7), the entire economic system would collapse. Of course, this doesn’t happen. It’s much easier to bitch and moan – and do nothing.

But we care. We really, really do.

Both of these commentaries really sum up where the liberal and progressive online “movements” are today: Nowhere.

The Netroots died with Howard Dean’s candidacy for president. Now, it’s mostly spam and a bunch of internet addicts arguing endlessly past each other, then clicking refresh to see themselves in the online mirror.

There’s a great scene in Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen where the Baron and his crew get swallowed up in the belly of a fish, wherein they proceed to settle in to a long game of cards and a slow determined death.

This is our Netroots. (Not to be confused with Netroots Nation which is nothing but a showcase for the same elitist, establishmentarian turds who’ve screwed everything up  to recruit new little turds to their ranks. An army of Kos’s and Ezra Kleins to keep the left even more docile than it already is.)

But it’s actually worse than all that. Evidence is starting to show that what we’ve been calling the Netroots is really, for most people, just a common internet addiction. It’s going nowhere. Just a constant stream of hormonal rushes from having your buttons pushed.

I figured out long ago that Kos, being the little sleazebag that he is, has been taking advantage of the addictive nature of the internet to keep his page hit numbers up. That’s why the trusted user status is revoked, not just when you say something a lot of Demofascists find objectionable. It is revoked when you don’t visit enough or just go away for a couple weeks.  

Apparently, trusted user status at Daily Kos has as much to do with quantity as quality. But what it really has to do with is an incentive to keep the addiction alive. (This is called a “hook” in industry jargon.)

Watch the recent Frontline Digital Nation and see if you don’t recognize some patterns.

My point of all this is that this model, the Daily Kos community model we’ve all been attached to isn’t working. It has become a long slow death. A game of cards. A nightly game of bingo.

A big stir will erupt every so often, and then it will die down. Then that process will repeat. But the power of the Netroots community model to inspire, inform, enrage and motivate is coupled with the power to immobilize and lethargize. Instead of being a call to action, it is almost always a call to… keep clicking. (Yes, I know YOU are the exception. You always are.)

The reality is, the power of the Netroots has more to do with neurochemistry than it does with political activism. Just surfing for the next high, endorphin high, anger high, ego high. Maybe it’s the next Cheney outrage or Teabagger outrage. Maybe it’s the next Obama or Rahm Emmanuel outrage. Anything that confirms our world view and sense of rightness. That is the addictive thrill of the political netroots.

This isn’t a movement. It’s a standstill. A sitstill more accurately.

Hedges fails to comprehend, or at least he doesn’t mention it, that the Tea Party movement is not real. It was a deliberate campaign to channel the outrage over the financial coup into anger towards the left.

It was ingenuous and worked like a charm. Instead of rioters in the streets over the banker heist and Washington mafia “bailout”, a well orchestrated campaign actually converted that into a fake movement against “taxes” and “socialism.”

What it was really designed to do was to keep the left from revolting. That and their trojan horse Obama managed to, once again, turn the liberal left into a bunch of whining pussies.

Did you know there were major protests scheduled for the same week that the first Tea Party rally was scheduled. But the left sponsored rally fizzled in the hubbub of the Fox and NBC promoted Tea Party rally.

They caved like the little cowards they are. And they allowed a staged, astroturf event to trump a real grass roots movement.



Skip to comment form

    • dkmich on March 3, 2010 at 14:02

    when they posted here?   I don’t get all of the politics

  1. Unfortunately, ‘the left’ is around 2-4% of the country at best.  It’s ‘the liberals’ that stand for nothing.

    As for the Greens-we’re in a post political party era. Especially so after the latest supreme court travesty, but even before.

    Nothing will change via the American ballot box-it’s entirely fixed.

    I don’t think that means that joining the Greens is a bad thing-at least be with like minded folks, a move away from the idiot-crats is important, and a show of more numbers is good, but it’s neither going to change anything, nor is it the only option.  

    Yes, Socialism is the answer, or one answer. And it automatically incorporates other methods of change beside working inside a fixed political system-such as unions and work related stuff and much more.    

  2. for posting this Tocque. I’ve been thinking along these lines for months now, just haven’t articulated it, as I understand my thoughts are akin to a speck of fly shit on the wall of public opinion.

    Here’s a graphic I put together a couple of months ago that explains my interpretation of the symbiotic relationship between DailyKos and Obama and the Democratic Party. I tend to use the power of graphics to express myself and I was just waiting for the right opportunity to post it. Thanks again for voicing my own thoughts on this.

    • banger on March 3, 2010 at 16:51

    Our national malaise is a cultural rather than political problem. Courage has been bred out of the left as it has been bred out of the whole culture. We are a nation of cowards — we live in fear which is why it is so easy to manipulate us.

    Look at the way the left has treated 9/11! Accepted everything the government/media claimed happened without the need for any evidence! That’s pretty fucking amazing! All because to believe that the government was at least complicit in the 9/11 events would be too hard to bear. That’s sheer cowardice — wanting only to believe what makes you comfortable — that’s why we have no action, no imaginative protests. I have come to the conclusion that it is hopeless and encourage everyone just to give it up. They’ve won! Maybe at that point some of us will wake up and do something.

    As I’ve said before if we are serious about the issues we appear to be serious about then we need to organize communities. Without community there is nothing. The internet just offers us a chance to connect and find people who share our views. Where are the associations? Where are the companies we could create that would give an economic basis for what we believe in? We can’t go anywhere or do anything unless we have some power some means of support. We need food, shelter, clothing and medical care — are we going to band together and see that we can make it happen? We need to have a competing system to the current one — the current one cannot be reformed. The game is over. But we still have the opportunity to build alternative structures. But I’m wasting my fingers typing this aren’t I?  

  3. To me it all rings true, and no I’m not the exception. I am an addict and as impotent in affecting change as everyone else on these sites if not more so.  I rage at the machine and go about my daily life supporting the status quo suckered in like a junky on smack.  Paying my credit cards, watching the idiot box and drooling over the latest and greatest virtually dancing on the graves of the poor and disenfranchised and our dying planet trying to live the American dream at their expense.  

    Sad state of affairs.

    • ANKOSS on March 3, 2010 at 17:41

    The political blogosphere has become an addictive engergy sink that undermines reform rather than advancing it. What is to be done? Here are some possibilities:

    1. Identify dedicated and effective activists and use the net to channel resources ($) to them.

    2. Create an action test for all threads. No posts without proof of direct action being taken to support an initiative.

    3. Start some serious economic boycotts (e.g., FedEx, WalMart) and make honoring the boycott a condition of blog participation.

    Blogging has become a declaration of political impotence. To change that, we need to find a way to promote political action.

  4. … you think a good descriptor of weakness is to use the word “pussy.”

    You wish the left were pussies.  If that were the case we wouldn’t need to have this conversation.

    It was a bunch of pussies that started the French Revolution — women who were refused bread.  They got pissed off.


    As far as Markos, I think his sin is not paying attention to what’s been happening on his own blog.  Would be far easier to deal with if it were intentional on his part.  I don’t think it is, which is, frankly, even more damning.

    Netroots have been given access and it’s made them weak, I agree with that.  Access is important only as a tool, not as an ends.

    It all changed when we got a Democrat in the WH.  The Dem establishment got their pony and now they’re trying to purge anyone who wants more than electoral victory.  That’s what we’re seeing at Daily Kos.

  5. The Green Party is actively running candidates, updating its platform and rebuilding in state after state. Our core values of grassroots democracy, social justice, nonviolence and ecology haven’t changed, nor has our refusal to accept corporate money.

    Get active with the Green Party today and help us build a sustainable alternative to the corporate-sponsored militarist parties.

  6. if I said, “Don’t blame me. I voted 3rd party.”

  7. An unabashed Reaganite posing as a reluctant Progressive.

    Ooh, sorry, too strong?


    I disagree with this though.

    The Netroots died with Howard Dean’s candidacy for president. Now, it’s mostly spam and a bunch of internet addicts arguing endlessly past each other, then clicking refresh to see themselves in the online mirror.

    Many Progressives, long conditioned to think of the Dems as the good guys, are simply having a tough time adjusting to the prospect of opposing a President with a D after his name, and that disconnect is causing a lot of normally outspoken advocates to swallow their whistles.

    This too shall pass, and more quickly than most probably realize.  

    We’re actually very close to a tipping point (if we’re not already there) on an anti-Obama consensus.  The President’s consistent and ongoing record of betrayal is turning off more and more people every day.  Once this avalanche really gets going, many of even the most shallow of the in-crowd wannabes in the Netroots will be reconsidering their social networking statuses.

    The Netroots isn’t dead – just knocked back a few years by our Trojan President’s counter-reformative attempt to co-opt his lowly supporters into the service of his betters.  The good news is Obama and the DLC are the corporatists’ last big line of defense, so once we break down that facade, we can finally start thinking about prospects for real change.

  8. Let’s be honest or start to be — revolutionary action, whether it’s peaceful or otherwise, is dangerous.  And there are few people who are going to put themselves or their friends and children into the line of fire without two things: working up to it, and secondarily coalescence/comradeship.  As a final requirement you have to have money.

    The comradeship we think we see on the blogs is an illusion.  

    It’s romantic to say, cast off your chains, throw your bodies in the gears of the machine so that it grinds to a halt with your bodies and blood in its teeth!

    But, really, who is going to do that with someone on a blog in the safety of his own home idly screeching that, whilst, presumably, scratching irritated private places?

    It’s not a lie, exactly, but the type of coalescence we are led to believe we see on blogs is a fraud.  In that it’s a total illusion.  The only way the “left” is going to gain meaningful momentum is shying away from that illusion as meaning anything having to do with coalescence and starts to combine in the real world.  And to do that takes money.  We romanticize asking people for extreme sacrifice so much that we forget that very few people will actually do it without, you know, having an infrastructure in the real world and working up to it.

    I’m not going to go about tearing down the infrastructure of a broken Washington right now in preference to eating and paying my bills, sorry.  And it’s not because I wouldn’t want to — but the question would start to be, what good would it do if no one is with me and I’m a homeless hobo at the end of it?

    Because we all have to know there is going to be someone outside there with us, and we have to have fuel for sustaining the kinds of public demonstrations we would wish for.

  9. if you define the left as Democratic middle class believers in the A Dream. The chaos of revolution is too trying and would disrupt the carefully constructed framework that they build there lives on. As for the Netroots being an addiction, duh. I’ll say this it beats TV as far as addictions go. I went from being a low tech Ludditte to the net via Dean’s DFA and found dkos. I was all hepped up ‘to take back my country’ cause the Bush coup was not something anyone with a brain or a soul could ignore. I knew the left were pussies and thought that if more of the ‘real’ lefties infused the Democratic party and formed coalitions within the party we could at least undo the right wing coup. I could then get back to lobbing shots at the bourgeoisie, as a proper bougey artist is supposed to.  

    I’m not the exception I keep clicking. I do believe however that it makes it harder to bamboozle as the net allows people to pick their poison, information wise. It also does form communities and coalitions that for some do spawn off line action in and out of the electoral system. Dkos is not going to crash the gates that need crashing, it for the most part like the Democratic machine is throughly corrupted and the faithful like the koolaide offered cause it’s our koolaide, a much better brand of the same reality. It’s a comfort to win against the faux baddies instead of taking to the streets. So much more seemly and respectful.  They grab their mops and clean the bloody floors in the torture rooms cause they are unsightly and bad for the messaging. There is no truth outside the gates of Eden.

    The real world meanwhile is eating itself, and the A Dream is getting harder and harder and more expensive to even ‘believe’ in for the whole populace. The unraveling can be seen online. Volunteering implies that participation is optional the way things are going it may become the only avenue for survival. Meanwhile I will play it as it lays picking the options that my computer spits out and my community off and on line offers, and watch the pols proceed with the dance of destruction.          


  10. that major political change is generational. And in this country, the force for change is not manifested at the ballot box. Change is triggered by sustained cultural confrontation e.g. protests, boycotts etc. With the demise of the labor unions, things are infinitely more difficult. Young/er people must now provide the leadership without the support of “organized” working people and the numb and frightened middle class.

    It has always been about young/er people. They need to emerge. But presently our country is decrepit.  How do our future “revolutionaries” emerge if they’re all weighted down in student loans, and the ones who are not are hooked on American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and an assortment of tabloid worship that turns reality into a propaganda and fantasy show?

    The Oligarchy’s only threat is the young. Keep them under control (and in the military) with a continuous foreign threat, and the elite stay on top. Ghandi would fail in this country, because there is no spiritual foundation. And look what happened to Kennedy and King. They were young/er. And Howard Dean, he just got framed, literally.

    I agree that Obama has destroyed the incipient youth movement that, ironically, he created. He used them and then left them to disintegrate. He truly is the Trojan Horse and the tool of the status quo. But I think it’s too early in this “betrayal” to clearly see how the forces of social reform will reemerge. But I do know that it needs fresh, young blood, and I don’t know how that will come about.

  11. …. cowards.  

    This is a way of communicating.

    The blogosphere now is changing again to where they’re trying to drive voter behavior by shorter and shorter soundbytes, thus we have facebook replacing Myspace and a lot of communications being shared on “twitter” which is like text messaging on a $1500 dollar cell phone with an overwhelming abundance of super short messages.

    Well, of course the MSM is going to push twittering, as far as getting rid of the competition, and distracting people from being able to contemplate something longer than a single sentence, plus the impulsiveness of it, it’s nearly perfect.  

  12. response to this essay.  Actually, I wrote it and then deleted it.

    If I weren’t a child of the ’60’s, I wouldn’t recognize this for what it is: yet another voice saying that s/he is more radical, more revolutionary, more enlightened, more righteous than everybody else.

    To be frank about it, I really don’t want to hear about how what I do and what others are doing isn’t enough to make big changes in our world and how in the view of the writer I and others fail to recognize our fecklessness and lack of worth and our impotence.  I don’t need another ocean of negativity.  I don’t need to be called a wuss.  Or worse, a pussy.

    Put another way, if you have good ideas about making change, lead us by example.  Show us how you’re changing the world, or the US, or your state, or your town, or you neighborhood, or your household, or yourself.  Just show us.  We’re happy to support real change.

    The argument that others just aren’t up to the task sells all of us short.  It kills off any real change by fostering divisiveness.

    • rossl on March 3, 2010 at 22:34

    like Daily Kos and possibly Docudharma (no offense intended) is that it creates a sort of unhealthy competition by having a rating system and recommended diaries and all that.  It’s a good way to get attention, but it also makes it so that people have an incentive to conform to what the website wants and purge people that don’t conform.  Oftentimes, competition produces quality – but it always produces losers.

    And as for action, I think I’m going to the big antiwar protest in DC on March 20th.  Anyone else going to be there?

  13. There are certain common features about blogging I’d like to clarify.

    I figured out long ago that Kos, being the little sleazebag that he is, has been taking advantage of the addictive nature of the internet to keep his page hit numbers up. That’s why the trusted user status is revoked, not just when you say something a lot of Demofascists find objectionable. It is revoked when you don’t visit enough or just go away for a couple weeks.

    Apparently, trusted user status at Daily Kos has as much to do with quantity as quality. But what it really has to do with is an incentive to keep the addiction alive. (This is called a “hook” in industry jargon.)

    Despite my absence I’m still what you might call a resident expert and I’d like to address some questions of fact.

    ‘Trusted Usership’ has always been dependent on activity as well as popularity.  When I stopped posting ratings timed out after 2 weeks.  I don’t imagine that has changed.  TU was able to be maintained indefinitely with just 5 comments and 20 recommendations a day.  I don’t imagine that has changed either.

    Of course this system is designed to encourage activity and to the extent it is possible on a Soapblox platform DocuDharma follows that model.

  14. get to come back to a diary that uses “pussy” in a clearly negative term from some posturing guy/human who doesn’t bother to comment in his own diary.

    Oh. The left so inclusive….  How original… Kos is evil. The mainstream liberals sold us out blah blah.

    Now I remember why I thought taking a break was a good idea.

  15. The question now is “Why bother?”  

  16. The question now is “Why bother?”  

  17. I had the strangest dream followed by the strangest day. The dream threw me and I seriously considered making a DKos GBCW out of it but I don’t do GBCW’s.

    The dream was that I was standing on Eight Ave. and David Letterman walked by. Why David Letterman, I have no clue but I approached him and we walked down the block chatting.

    When we got to the Port Authority, two Kossacks walked out of the depot.  Why it was OPOL and clammyc, I have no clue but I made introductions an the four of us had a conversation by the Ralph Kramden statue. We started with the future of labor, moved to the future of the Democratic Party, then we got to the death of progress.

    David Letterman said “You guys really know what you are talking about. Eddie,why don’t you take a few photos with that camera for my scrap book.” Clammyc said “And he can post them at DailyKos too.” So Letterman said “That’s a political website, isn’t it?” and I come back with “Not really, it’s a religious cult now. The Church of Barack Obama.” He said “So why do guys like you go there?” I answered “I honestly don’t know.” Then I woke up.

    So then I’m thinking that there has got to be better things to do with myself. You know like Orchid diaries. Asking myself “Why bother?”I get a letter asking me to become a site administrator at another website.

    So that sounds cool, I forget all about giving up and I started browsing the internet for political stories to do a sort of celebration diary and came up with the same one as TocqueDeville. I just started writing ion the DKos page. It was a long diary that mads some very different points. Then think that it would be totally ignored there so I decided to give it a shot with some like minded people. I came here and found this, shit already done and several points were too close to mine.    

    Mine was only a slightly different take and was mostly about partisanship over people. The point I was trying to make was that there are better things to do with ones life that blogging for that Church of Obama. With the subplot that if Obamabots could just learn to talk about Obama the way they will be in six to eight years we could have some progress instead of this bullshit they are handing us. The final line was “When you are out of time, will you be proud of your life of political action?

    Anyway so I started rewriting it as  interaction it with TocqueDeville’s. It got too confusing to understand, then “Cool Hand Luke” came on and the whole thing went into the trash.

    The thing is that I just can’t take it seriously anymore. all I seem to do anymore is start diaries. Nobody wants to hear that it is not Dems vs. Republicans but government vs. people so why bother?

    The more I think about it the more I want to just walk away from these sell out assholes and find something more productive to do with my time.  

  18. don’t underestimate your ability to influence others. You already have, many times over, I’m sure. Just keep in mind to what end you are directing that influence.

    (and pshaw on those that are unhappy with your title. It’s visceral and it’s spot on.)

    • Edger on March 4, 2010 at 15:00

    Hedges says near the end of the quote:

    The longer socialism is identified with the corporatist policies of the Democratic Party, the longer we allow the right wing to tag Obama as a socialist, the more absurd and ineffectual we become. The right-wing mantra of “Obama the socialist,” repeated a few days ago to a room full of Georgia Republicans, by Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. speaker of the House, is discrediting socialism itself. Gingrich, who looks set to run for president, called Obama the “most radical president” the country had seen in decades. “By any standard of government control of the economy, he is a socialist,” Gingrich said.

    Obama is not a socialist. He is as far right wing as Bush was and Gingrich knows it.

    Gingrich and the rest of the wingers who call Obama a socialist do it for a simple reason. The want the left to spend energy defending Obama instead of attacking them. It’s a “Hey, look over there” while they pickpocket you strategy.

    Gingrinch is not a conservative. He’s like  troll who is not very good at trolling, is all. Neither was the rights god Reagan a conservative. Nor are the Teabaggers conservative.

    What’s left of their failed and lying ideology is a bunch of looney freaks with crazy ideas like huge free government socialist programs for deadbeats like wall street and the pentagon who can’t survive by producing anything useful for anyone but instead think they should be to live off the sweat and toil of everyone else, and the destruction and the killing of millions of people in the cradle of civilization, while bankrupting America.

    The real conservative center is represented by this site – progressives who want to conserve the environment for the children and the future, wants to ensure prosperity and safety from terror for all, and wants to conserve constitutional ideals like the rule of law. And maybe a few other things you can think of.

  19. Chris Hedges ranks among the few who can go up against Christopher Hitchens without appearing to be lame

    and or completely ignorant.  That is saying something.   That said,  the commentary might easily be lumped with the lot of self hating liberals and progressives or those who simply enjoy critical thinking rather than difficult and laborious and thankless organizing and day to day work of getting things done.

    There may be no difference to purists between men who beat their wives.  But if I were a woman living in a country of arranged marriages and if I were given a choice, I would choose the man who had a reputation for beating his previous wives only once or twice a week rather than daily.  Call me sentimental and impure.  I see a difference.

    We know the Republicans and their allies beat their wives daily (this is an analogy, for those who have not gotten it yet) and the Democrats only once or twice a week.  Progressives will always work to eliminate men beating their wives at all times and in all circumstances.  This is good.  This is generally acknowledged.

    As to those who carp and push the third party alternative,  the answer is Dennis Kuchinich and many more like him already in Congress.  Dennis once told me after a talk at a Green Party affair why he spoke to the Greens.

    In essence it was to provide the presence that once people realize that the system is completely stacked against a third party they will begin to join and take over the Democratic party just like the right wingers took over the Republican party.  From what I can see so far, it shouldn’t be that hard to do.  Our local Progressive Democrats of America and Democracy for America groups already have their sights on local Democratic leaders who are not representing the wishes of the people.  And they are worried.  They should be.

    And, oh, I couldn’t agree more that sitting on one’s ass in front of a computer all day won’t get that job done.

    Democracy can work.  We can make it work.  From the bottom up and precinct by precinct.

  20. The Rabbi Michael Lerner, with whom I agree on many issues, published a response to Hedges’ article on the Tikkun Magazine website.  You can read it for yourself here.  He did post Hedges’ article first, followed by his own lengthy response.  

    Although time does not permit me to read his article in its entirety at present, a quick skim of his response seems to advance the idea that Hedges is mostly correct in his criticisms.  Where Lerner departs from Hedges seems to be more a matter of taking issue with the tone of Hedges’ article rather than its substance.

    Lerner’s article also appears on the Common Dreams website, which can be found here.  

    Again, without sufficient time to read all of the reader comments on either website, a quick sampling on both would suggest that the readers on Common Dreams tend to support Hedges’ view, while the general tendency on the Tikkun site seems to take the form of support for Lerner’s analysis.  I suspect that even though there may be much overlap between the two groups, there are areas of difference, as one might encounter on a Venn diagram.

    Although the topics on the following sample are different, this may provide a visual representation of what I am intending to convey…

    Venn Diagram Pictures, Images and Photos

    While I acknowledge a tendency to lean toward Hedges’ view, I think it is constructive to consider other viewpoints, particularly when coming from someone who isn’t a member of an extreme opposition group, ala the mudfights so commonly promoted (typically between a so-called “Centrist” and a foaming at the mouth reactionary), by Faux Noose.

    What do the rest of you think?

  21. … it adopts a Silicon Cage value system regarding Nader, where what Nader said regarding the Democrats and Republicans both basically representing Corporate interests is true, and so Nader was right.

    Action? Actions don’t matter. The absurd strategy of putting all of the resources available for building the Green party into swinging an election, the result of which you claim does not matter? Well, once you are right in your critique of the existing situation, that’s all that matters.

  22. of the value of the internet, from Hugh at nakedcapitalism:

    Most of our elites simply haven’t gotten used to the realities of the internet. One of the great strengths of the internet, which the blogosphere exploits, is memory. Politicians, government officials, financial titans, and media figures still act as if we all live in a pre-net world. In such a world, few could remember who said what a few days or even a few months ago. The network news was there and gone. Yesterday’s newspaper suffered the fate of yesterday’s newspaper. So even if you did remember, it was hard to prove because the resources were not to hand. The moving bubble of Conventional Wisdom could be factually wrong or take positions diametrically opposed to ones taken in the past and basically get away with it. We the hoi polloi didn’t have the resources to challenge the narrative and those few who did did not have medium to convey the message. The net and the blogosphere have changed all that. We can now not only do our own analyses, individually or in conjunction with the blogging community at sites like this. We can remember together, share knowledge, challenge the Conventional Wisdom, be involved and aware. One of the reasons the MSM is failing is precisely because it remains in denial about how much their audience has changed. We are not the rubes they think we are.

    Now, as to your comment to TomP.

    I have only been at this blogging-thing for two years, which is about the same amount of time I became a political junkie.  In other words, “I know nothing.”

    When I found GOS, I came to learn.  I learned alot about politics, I have learned alot about economics.I have my opinions, but I, and others, want to satiate our need for knowledge.  My needs have evolved the past two years, but I will never not want to see how far down the rabbit hole  goes.

    If TomP writes diaries and makes it to the Rec List, I applaud him for trying to talk back to the moron kool-aid drinkers who will not admit that the guy who is now President is not the guy they thought they voted for.  If people like TomP did not bother to write, they would all have their Happy Place to mutally masterbate themselves with their self-absorbed denial.  So, at least he tries.

    Which is more than I can say about myself.  No diaries from me, ever, thank you very much.

    • jamess on March 4, 2010 at 22:28

    who doesn’t see a vast conspiracy around every corner

    (right wing or otherwise).

    I don’t see mass movements of people,

    taking their marching orders, from the enlightened few

    (or the unenlightened many).

    I grew up in the 60s — and the Protests then were quite over-rated;

    What ended the war — was the TV images of war,

    at the Dinner hours (and the average person asking why?)

    So if you can cancel the images, if you can cancel the journalism —

    you can cancel the citizen courage, you can mute their interest.

    I’m a simple man, and

    What I see, online, with the advent of blogging,

    is citizens recapturing their courage,

    citizens rebuilding journalism and reporting.

    Citizens have been given a new forum,

    and they are using it, to speak their minds,

    to make their case, to paint the images of a better world.

    A quiet revolution is happening —

    that will one day, cause the average person,

    to once again ask WHY?

    And if the Net Owners do not wake up,

    if they do not decide block this new “Opiate Pipeline”,

    then one day a million Manifesto’s of our New World,

    will take hold and flourish. And the MSM will fade away.

    That is what I see, a citizen movement happening

    one person at a time … one post at a time …

    But then again I am but a simple man,

    who doesn’t see a vast conspiracy around every corner …

    When will Humanity make that Leap?

    by jamess — Dec 18, 2009

    nor do I take my marching orders from the enlightened few.

  23. You’ve captured what I’ve been feeling for quite a while now, sadly.

    It’s why I’ve been scarce.

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