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I have two questions and I'm going to try my damnedest to ask them with as much respect as I can. These questions are not for the anti-Obama crowd on Daily Kos because other than a very few who with no shame say we'd be better off with Mitt Romney, I don't think we have an anti-Obama crowd. So the questions are for those here on Daily Kos who are very critical of President Obama for whatever reason -- sequester, banksters-Wallstreet, drones, KXL, anything as long as it is specific, say more specific than TYRANNY or FREEDOMS!

Here's the questions: What do you want to happen? What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?

I know some the answers will be people saying I'm a right-winger or a Republican or a Fox News Watcher. I support a Democratic President. I think you'll find that right-wingers and Republicans and Fox News Watchers generally do not. So I'm going to ignore those sorts of responses. I think you suck too so I don't see it as a fruitful goddamn discussion.

We just had an election and Barack Obama won pretty easily. I might be wrong about this, but I sincerely doubt any of us are going to change Barack Obama. He's a pretty conservative guy. I can't think of a thing he's to the ideological left of... even me, and for a Democrat, I'm pretty conservative. I don't think President Obama is going to change a thing because I don't think he sees any reason to, no matter how much any of us holler. His latest approval rating is 43%. That's down 7% since the sequester came into effect but it is stellar compared with Democrats and especially Republicans in Congress. He believes he is winning and I don't see how anyone can disagree. Now, he's not winning YOU obviously and at least to some degree he's not winning me (I very rarely disagree with Atrios on this stuff to show you where I'm at). But this is a democracy, within the confines of which, certainly this close to having won an election, President Obama is winning. That may in fact be because now that the election is over, a lot of people are no longer interested - they're not paying attention. Still counts as winning.

Your criticisms of President Obama are real, factually based and for the most part reasonable. I steered my last (crap fuck worthless piece of shit) diary in a direction that did not acknowledge that. I'm sorry.

I'm not asking these question farcically. They're not rhetorical questions. I really want to know if I'm missing something.

What do you want to happen? What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?

Here's what I see as possibilities:

1. Impeachment (or election nullification with cause, if you will)

2. That's it. I can't think of anything else. What am I not seeing? Again, serious question.

Me? I support President Obama. You know that. As for my opinions outside a very thin envelope of personal knowledge, I read Josh Marshall, Atrios, Rebecca Schoenkopf and Army Specialist Markos Moulitsas. I know we're supposed to develop opinions independently but fuck that. Too goddamn hard. Every one of these people are smarter than I am, better informed and they're better writers. Where they agree, which is on most everything really, that's my opinion too. They think hard so I don't have to. I'm not saying getting my opinions from other people is morally or ethically correct. Call me intellectually lazy. I'll own that.

So that I don't shock anyone with a half-way worthwhile diary, here I am fishing. The trout got away. Music is by me, Devo Bodine, and my band Circle of Cows (which is just me). Guitar is a tele with Lollar P90s.

---

As always, I'm going to plug this phenomenal forum we inhabit. Skip a latte and DONATE a buck or two to Daily Kos. Your money's worth and much more.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (206+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, ban nock, twigg, Regina in a Sears Kit House, ericlewis0, pat bunny, zerelda, sebastianguy99, Empty Vessel, badscience, CwV, princesspat, dizzydean, remembrance, statsone, Hammerhand, Gemina13, carver, NYWheeler, Alma, annieli, riverlover, greengemini, nzanne, SneakySnu, 88kathy, Mary Mike, missLotus, Krush, Lying eyes, JaxDem, Gooserock, northerntier, spooks51, boomerchick, Puddytat, poco, Quicklund, tapestry, Libby Shaw, Polly Syllabic, cherish0708, Mother Mags, FG, Free Jazz at High Noon, DavidW, ER Doc, pickandshovel, Azazello, envwq, palantir, 2thanks, jayden, nhox42, louisprandtl, Kristin in WA, edrie, Catte Nappe, Sun Tzu, TechBob, Dirtandiron, Emerson, Thinking Fella, viral, fayea, john07801, side pocket, fishboots, hester, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, ricklewsive, stevenwag, skybluewater, llbear, nirbama, DWG, Shockwave, mapamp, NoFortunateSon, Chinton, Egalitare, citizen dan, Justus, karmsy, Shippo1776, cactusgal, OleHippieChick, Sybil Liberty, Gorette, coolbreeze, DeadHead, isabelle hayes, Avila, Lefty Ladig, elziax, PeterHug, Christin, AnnieR, Its any one guess, Paul Ferguson, Ebby, BusyinCA, Sonofasailor, slowbutsure, cotterperson, glorificus, Paulie200, Ice Blue, smileycreek, fou, MRA NY, paxpdx, Pandora, ord avg guy, Quasimodal, The Marti, emmasnacker, Yasuragi, Black Max, 4Freedom, theKgirls, 1BQ, GrumpyOldGeek, emelyn, blueyedace2, JoanMar, Ahianne, luckylizard, certainot, CocoaLove, wader, alain2112, carolanne, oortdust, FriendlyNeighbor, also mom of 5, zooecium, Mentatmark, Anne was here, high uintas, jeanette0605, daddybunny, arizonablue, cv lurking gf, LeftOfYou, peachcreek, allensl, vigilant meerkat, kathny, Bluesee, FarWestGirl, eeff, ccasas, shanesnana, AlwaysDemocrat, TrueBlueMajority, Eric Nelson, WSComn, Quilldriver, WI Deadhead, vcmvo2, GeorgeXVIII, pdx kirk, LinSea, Creosote, jlms qkw, Keninoakland, joedemocrat, Leftcandid, maybeeso in michigan, LillithMc, Texknight, sviscusi, p gorden lippy, Renee, Temmoku, whatever66, Sylar, Mathazar, This old man, doroma, kurt, Angie in WA State, mumtaznepal, not4morewars, pamelabrown, political mutt, Rogneid, sawgrass727, alicia, claude, Freelance Escapologist, figbash, theatre goon, OutCarolineStreet, duhban, Eyesbright, stormicats, WB Reeves, quaoar, kalmoth, J Orygun, TheDuckManCometh, Larsstephens, BlackSheep1, artmanfromcanuckistan
    Hidden by:
    jbou, xynz

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:28:33 PM PST

  •  In painting all critics as anti-Obama (58+ / 0-)
    What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?
    You miss the point that the left has never walked in lockstep like the Republicans because factionalism is intensified then. Look at the Republican/Libertarian/Teabagger mess for example. Their adherence to rigid ideology created that monster of divisiveness.

    I support the President. I do not support all of his policies.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:33:04 PM PST

    •  Please re-read the diary. (38+ / 0-)

      I very purposely DID NOT In painting all critics as anti-Obama.

      I don't think we have an anti-Obama crowd
      That's the trouble with commenting as quickly as you did, I think.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:35:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This diary is trolling. (11+ / 0-)

      It was posted to mock and get a rise.   If you respond to it in earnest, you will waste your time.  

      What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

      by dkmich on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:59:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Having spent some time in comment (25+ / 0-)

      threads I now feel pretty safe in saying we have an "Obama Sux" contingent here that is not at all interested in anything but pointing our how much Obama Sux.  

      There is criticism based in reality, and there's fantasy criticism based in rumor, hearsay and weak punditry.  It's the latter who will likely break away and form a lefty Tea Party.  That's fine, they're a negligible minority and they don't have the power to trash the Democratic Party and create the chaos the Republicans are facing.  

      I don't think anyone supports everything Obama does - having never been President, however, I'm willing to do some research into possible reasons he's doing things I don't approve of.  I'm also, perhaps, old enough to know that there are no simple answers, politics is a slow and cumbersome process, and even John Boehner might have some point worth listening to.  (I'm not convinced, but willing to consider it.)

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:12:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been part of the "Obama Sux" crowd (11+ / 0-)

        from time to time. But it is more "life sux and Obama can't fix it unfortunately" (for me anyway). It is very disheartening to see Americans imprisoned for drug crimes because of mandatory sentencing, but drug cartel money launderers are "too big to fail."

        Is that Obama's fault? A little bit.

        Has he done lots of things right? Probably.

        But when people get pissed off they look for someone to blame, and I think everyone can say that Obama has disappointed us. I'm sorry but his negotiating with Republicans is pretty hard to defend.

        I also think that unrealistic expectations that he would get rid of NCLB, get us single-payer, etc. don't help.

        Since when is the party that embraces all the top tenets of Satan allowed to call the God shots?--wyvern

        by voracious on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:09:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, not everything is Obama's fault, but he is not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt

          a great or even good leader.  In fact, he doesn't lead at all.  

          I do give him credit for his mediation efforts but not for any results.  

          •  I'm going to disagree with this. I'm in the (9+ / 0-)

            crowd that is disappointed in the change we have gotten. But I think his leadership style was explained upfront: make me do it. When GLBT activists answered that call, he moved.

            I think he listened to our Occupy points too. But we need to double down on the activism in this area. I am not happy about that. I am of the opinion he should have come out of the gate fighting. But I think it's mistaken to say he doesn't lead. He inspired a lot of people to step up with his make me do it speech.

            Poverty = politics.

            by Renee on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:03:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I get your point, but I honestly think (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Renee, Onomastic, I love OCD, stormicats

              that Congress is a FAR greater obstacle to progress than Obama. What are your plans to change Congress? And why do so few people who want a more progressive government even contemplate something so obvious? Congressional obstruction is literally the elephant in the room. Get the house back, and you'll see the President move left. Guaranteed.

              •  I hear you and I'm concerned that this is going to (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fou, kurt, sidnora

                sound too harsh. But he had decent amounts of backing in 08. Lots of us feel that was a squandered opportunity. Lots of us feel that it lead to the current congressional makeup.

                I think it is unfair to assume that few of us are contemplating the congressional party balance. We watched Rahm Immanuel DEMONIZE progressives before the midterms.

                Poverty = politics.

                by Renee on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:24:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Okay, I respect the fact that many feel (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Renee, Onomastic, JohnB47

                  disappointed. I get that. But the thing is, angsting in the rear view mirror won't change anything. The important thing is to create new opportunities. Move forward.

                  You can work with the President to move forward. You can apply pressure on him to move forward. I think the question should be what is the optimal mix of those strategies. The question about whether or not he squandered some opportunity, ... I'm sorry but I don't understand the point of that when the possibility for new opportunity exists.

                  •  I can't speak for anyone else. But for me it's not (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fou, FogCityJohn, DeadHead, sidnora

                    that I'm disappointed. (I am disappointed, FWIW.) It's that I have a disquieting suspicion that I'm just jumping through hoops. When I say what I said above, it was to convey to you that I don't trust that if we elect a more progressive congress the change I seek will occur. That doesn't mean I won't push for a more progressive congress anyway. But I don't think "Oh all we have to do is get a more progressive congress!" because I saw what happened with one version of a more progressive congress.

                    I mean, there are ALWAYS possibilities. But some of them aren't very likely, you know?

                    Poverty = politics.

                    by Renee on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:43:02 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Hmmm, interesting. (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Renee, DeadHead, Onomastic, pamelabrown
                      When I say what I said above, it was to convey to you that I don't trust that if we elect a more progressive congress the change I seek will occur.
                      I don't think any change would occur right away, but I also don't think we would have gotten HRC or DADT repeal, for example, with the current Congress. So I think it's safe to say that we've already gotten a better outcome from a marginally more progressive Congress.

                      I think that an evolution to a Congress that many hear would recognize as progressive would take a while. I also think that no matter how fruitless things seem in the short term, we have to keep plugging away. There's no choice really.

                      •  I agree that real change takes awhile. (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        DeadHead, congenitalefty, fou, sidnora

                        And as I said, I'm still working.

                        But I don't believe the change I want will happen without a real movement by working class people to reclaim our power in the system. And I think an important component of that is voicing my dissenting opinions.

                        Poverty = politics.

                        by Renee on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:06:49 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You are absolutely right. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          stormicats, fou

                          Union organizers faced death and brutality first time out.  Do we have the courage to fight that hard?  It's going to be a vicious battle, beyond being fired for organizing.  

                          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                          by I love OCD on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 09:14:03 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  He had wuss support in his first 2 (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  stormicats

                  years.  Gitmo?  Dems helped keep that open.  Equal pay?  Ditto.  Healthcare reform?  Not enough votes for any bill with a strong PO.  the bills were there, not the votes.  

                  Most of what people claim to be angry about never happened.  I'll bet 10 people here know the details of the NDAA he's still blamed for.  Maybe 40 or 50 know that Medicare is stronger, more patient centered, more solvent.  Disrespect for Progressives?  If you lie about his policies and ignore political realities how much respect do you deserve?   Even Rand Paul admitted the President has the right and obligation to use the military for protection inside the country.  Limited to extraordinary situations, exactly as laid out by Holder.  

                  Here's the problem.  Fox News "reports on" Obama exactly the same way some progressives report on Obama which makes me wonder what the agenda really is.  

                  I'm not disappointed.  I look into background, I notice the Republicans are losing their time-tested propaganda memes, I see them out of the shadows, and much of the country aware of their real platform.  It's a first in my lifetime and I credit Obama's "weak" leadership.  It's not about the bully pulpit it's about cornering them and forcing them to fight in the public eye for tax cuts for the rich, entitlement cuts for the poor, small government for the rich, intrusive big government for women, POC, immigrants, the elderly, those who lost everything in the Bush Crash.  That's sophisticated politics in action, and anyone who's read his books or his speeches knows that this is part one of his agenda:  kill the lies, teach people that government can be well-run, effective and efficient in meeting the needs of the people.  

                  How that gets ignored tells me we're small picture people easily led into side issues that aren't really issues.  

                  OBL was on the evil kill list, not Betty White.  He told us exactly what he planned for AQ, right from the start.  If he's spying on citizens it's probably not you and me, it's probably the folks on SPLCs hate groups list, people who forfeited their rights, IMO, as soon as they decided some people don't have the right to live in safety and freedom.

                  Has any diarist who claimed Iraq was forever ever apologized for being wrong?  Has any diary claiming Obama is going to kill off SS offered one instance where he did one thing that hurt the safety net?  Has any diary about drones offered an alternative solution for dealing with terrorism on AQs level?  Has anyone admitted that we were terrorized by 9/11 because we thought terrorism only happened elsewhere?  Have you read about what we did to empower AQ and the Taliban in the 80s?  Do we just say "Ooops, my bad" and walk away from a clusterfuck we created?  I hope not.  I hope we aren't that crass.

                  I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                  by I love OCD on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 09:11:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Hi. You have a lot of intensity in this comment. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    I love OCD

                    I mean, we all feel passionate about politics or we wouldn't be here.

                    I agree that President Obama's leadership style has drawn out some of his opponents into the light of day. I respect him very much.

                    And I also feel that he has made some choices that were not consistent with what he said on the trail. I see it as my responsibility to talk about that. Sometimes that gets characterized as whining or whatever, and that is not something i can control even though I don't think that is what I'm doing.

                    Poverty = politics.

                    by Renee on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 11:51:37 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I agree with you, some of what (0+ / 0-)

                      he said turned out to be not possible once in office, or even maybe not really the best idea.  Campaigning and governing seem to be radically different animals.

                      I have NO problem with criticisms, I have a few of my own, but what happens here is way beyond criticism.  And right now I have about zero tolerance for it, I'm getting nervous about a replay of the 2010 clusterfuck.  We already have our work cut out for us in 2014, Democrats are not really great at turning out for midterms.  It doesn't take much of a drop in those turnout numbers to give the Republicans another wave election, just when we should be able to make some big changes in Tea Party controlled states.

                      Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory isn't all that funny when half the country is being jacked over by nutcase governors and legislators.

                      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                      by I love OCD on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 02:56:36 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I know. It's a scary situation. Scary and sad. (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm working on the theory that if I learn how to talk to people who disagree with me in a gentle way that allows them to feel heard then there might be agreement. I think we need more agreement.

                        When I yell at people or accuse them of wrecking our chances, I'm usually just really worried inside. But I don't think people can tell that and they get defensive.

                        It's hard. But I'm getting better at it. A few times I have found common ground with pretty serious wingnuts. Even if they just think of one progressive as a real person instead of a sinner going to hell, or whatever it is they demonize us as… It gives me hope.

                        Poverty = politics.

                        by Renee on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 03:14:00 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm cranky about DK because I have (0+ / 0-)

                          better luck talking to wingnuts than to True Progressives.  Really truly.  That, right now, pisses me off beyond anything.  I agree that a gentler tone and presentation of facts is the best approach to changing minds.  IRL it works.  On this site?  Facts interfere with the narrative and are greeted with derision.

                          I usually avoid the diaries I know will piss me off, sometimes I find them by accident.  Lately it's half the wreck list.  Most of the Kossaks I respect and love have left for saner sites.  I may be joining them soon.  

                          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                          by I love OCD on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:55:11 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I hear you. It seems to me that the two Kos (0+ / 0-)

                            factions are just screaming at each other. Nobody is going to listen in that sort of scenario.

                            Poverty = politics.

                            by Renee on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:54:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Trust me, my comment history will (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Renee

                            tell you how often I've tried a factual non-threatening approach, because we need unity.  It's pretty discouraging to be ridiculed and vilified under those circumstances.  It's the Internet, it doesn't wound me or break my heart, it does make me wonder if there's a future for Democrats with us following the Republicans off the purity cliff.  

                            Maybe both parties have too much baggage and a reboot is required.  Who knows?

                            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                            by I love OCD on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:54:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  do you have a window in your room? (0+ / 0-)

            Possibly not. The President has led a majority or Americans to the polls twice to be elected 'leader' of the nation. So, perhaps had you a window in your room you might have noticed the remarkable war he and the progressives here and dems from around the country waged against the monied interests and entrenched power protecting media aka Karl Rove, from taking over our government completely.
            Now the jest of the diary was; there are things we can do besides bemoan every personal setback and aid the oligarchy taking over the nation by blaming the President for co-operating, reaching out, finding common ground and looking like the adult in the room. So, goodservice, what is your alternative? If it is to elect better democrats and get better representation, the shrill attacks coming from this site and directed at the President or his administration, do 'us' no good. There are plenty issues to champion. I take issue with those who don't believe or understand that the President is doing an incredible job, against congressional roadblocks, hurdles and an un-appreciative, ill informed electorate. The reason the GOP cleans our clock with less actual support for their ideas is that they stick together, and as long as they do, we have to. But,as this diary and many reactions show, we have trouble in that regard.

        •  Also, I don't think he sux as a person, a family (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, allenjo, ichibon, kurt, voracious

          man, I think he has a great personality and sense of humor.

          Leadership qualities are very lacking.  If he ever fought for something, I think we'd all be more united.  

        •  I don't know that Obama has disappointed me (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OleHippieChick, Onomastic, JohnB47

          But CONGRESS sure as hell has.

        •  I hold Obama accountable for his screw ups (0+ / 0-)

          And own goals against the party.  It isn't that life sux and Oabama is the fall guy, it is that he has on numerous occasions worked to make things work or soft peddled actual proposed solutions.  

          I will say it again, where a politician does crappy things, I am going to point out he has done crappy things.  I see no reason to support crappy policy just because you like the guy.

          It is all about the policies

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 01:02:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So does the GOP (0+ / 0-)

            Except they've created a cottage industry of propaganda to sabotage every position and pathway proposed by POTUS for the purpose of clearing the field for their wealthy patrons.
            The diary asks; what is your alternative? Mitt Romney, Rand Paul? We went through these pie fights before 2010 and it cost us in the redistricting and gerrymandering that followed our imbecilic infighting. Let's not do that again.
            Go ahead and point out the 'crappy things' the President does, but don't forget to try to understand the things he's reacting to and appreciate what he's doing to try to keep the R's from taking what they want. Our arguing among ourselves is a winning strategy; for our enemies.

            •  Straw men (0+ / 0-)

              Like these only help the GOP.  The alternative of course is to prepare the ground to elect progressive politicians by winning the debate.  Providing cover for conservative policies doesn't accomplish that.  

              As for specifics, they've been pointed out as nauseum.  OZone, powder river, drones, "all of the above". Executive secrecy, whistleblower prosecutions, banksters prosecutions, drone strikes, worker salary freezes, you name it.  NONE of these involve congressional action, so that lame excuse doesn't apply, and in every case Obama has chosen the conservative path

              The real division we see here is that liberals don't like conservative policies, while centrists don't mind them.  We have comments here sayin that geothenr and Holder are great guys.  That tells me that the issue is that we have a split between centrists and leftists.  What gets tirese is the arrogant posturing of centrists as if they're the only ones who know anything while espousing naive political positions or throwing up stupid straw men, as you do here

              Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

              by Mindful Nature on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 10:37:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  and to add (0+ / 0-)
              Except they've created a cottage industry of propaganda to sabotage every position and pathway proposed by POTUS for the purpose of clearing the field for their wealthy patrons.
              And a major issue is that the President buys into and amplifies that propaganda.  In many instances, he seems to be rather in agreement with it (for example, the possibility of "energy independence" by more drilling or the notion that Social Security faces an emergency, or that we need austerity style deficit reduction as a top priority)

              Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

              by Mindful Nature on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 10:52:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  There seems to be little recollection that the (9+ / 0-)

        Executive is only one branch of government.

        With the other two branches driving in reverse, it has been an Augean labor to accomplish anything positive for a nation poised on the edge of a fiscal and moral abyss. Our heros, and I include Obama among their tarnished and battered number, have only us to prod them to action.

        The economic climate is balmy for the haves, and laden with storm clouds for the rest. As elections are heavily influenced by the wealth of the haves, their influence on government is very powerful. We can't purchase our way to power, and moral suasion has its limits.

        However, we do have the numbers. So if we want the government to make changes, we can't simply depend upon the limited powers of the presidency to accomplish them. The internecine bickering doesn't accomplish anything. But some actions might. Collectively interacting with members of congress who will listen has possibilities, as does organizing a writing campaign for local media on issues.

        Some of us are willing to take positive actions like these. Those who won't make such efforts really have no place complaining about the presently malfunctioning government.

        We and our fellow Americans voted them into office.

        You can't go back and rewrite your past, but you can use your past to create your future. ~ Ray Lewis

        by 4Freedom on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:27:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I Think You're Mostly Awesome HB3, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ichibon
      You miss the point that the left has never walked in lockstep like the Republicans because factionalism is intensified then.
      The Left is traditionally the most factionalized party ever.

      In fact that is the only remaining distinction, IMO between the parties; if I may stereotype:

      The Right follow party rhetoric lockstep.
      The Left foster a number of zealous causes, independent of the party interest.

      I guess you are just putting a positive spin on an otherwise regrettable trait.

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)
      You miss the point that the left has never walked in lockstep like the Republicans because factionalism is intensified then. Look at the Republican/Libertarian/Teabagger mess for example. Their adherence to rigid ideology created that monster of divisiveness.
      I though Obama was a naive suck up, and that the Tea Party rigidity was a model of strength and chutzpah that Obama should emulate. Mind you, I'm not attributing that sentiment to you. It's just something that I hear a lot of his critics say.
      •  As I mentioned waaay downthread (0+ / 0-)

        a little bit of ideological pressure wouldn't be a bad thing. It sure makes Republican moderates respect (fear) their more conservative fellows.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:23:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  how about a change of policies (87+ / 0-)

    in quite a few areas?  Is not that why many of us criticize him, because of specific policies we view as wrong-header?

    Or perhaps it is some of the choices he has made and continues to make for some key positions (aka John Brennan).

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:38:34 PM PST

  •  Exactly! Thank you. Good to see you, too. (15+ / 0-)

    Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:39:35 PM PST

  •  I want Al Franken and Keith Ellison (49+ / 0-)

    to understand how strongly I oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare.  I want them to understand I am so strongly opposed to Obama's plan that I will hold every Democrat on the ballot accountable if they don't stop the cuts.

    •  Don't forget Amy Klobuchar... (16+ / 0-)

      ... MN's other senator.  Amy is of concern because she gets quite a lot of money from medical facilities and organizations, and she's made reference to "fixing Social Security" in the past, and every time I email her I get the equivalent of a two or three page speech several weeks later (altho the auto-reply tells me they got my email), and she never addresses what I said in my email when I go back to check what I wrote; the letters are all in poli-speak and could mean anything I might choose to read into them because they are so general.  For her last email to me about something I have long since forgotten for writing to her, one of her first two paragraphs alluded to constituents urging her to come to a bipartisan compromise ... to get things done.  I saw "bipartisan compromise," saw red. Ugh.  Uff da!

      Al Franken has done essentially the same thing.  Nice poli-speak emails or letters which let me know their staff person who composes that generalized crap are writing what they think I want to hear.

      My new Dem rep (Nolan) is - so far - at least saying things that sound good.  Election night he specifically made reference to saving SSI & Medicare, told the audience they are 'earned benefits, not 'entitlements' - I damn near fainted from shock!  A politician actually said what those programs ARE since We The People pay for them!

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:29:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course (8+ / 0-)

        Though she will not be on the ballot in 2014 or 2016 so I can't hold her accountable.  I've never trusted Amy since she told the press when she first ran in 2006 that universal healthcare is "unrealistic" and nothing she's done since on health or safety net issues has impressed me.  Very centrist and very risk averse.  

        Nolan understands that people do respond to old fashioned liberal populist appeals like they did with Wellstone.  You don't need to be Little Mary Moderate to win Minnesota elections.  That's what so disappointing about Amy.  She is genuinely likeable and she could do so much more if she chose to lead.

    •  I'm there with you! No more votes for Dems if (0+ / 0-)

      they allow these cuts to go through. It's all find and dandy to have a 'big tent' but at some point you have to tow the line when your elected officials sell themselves out just a little too much. This would be one of those times.

      Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

      by Lucy2009 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 08:13:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am increasingly wondering (50+ / 0-)

    how electing Hillary Clinton will introduce any more progressive policies.

    Sure, if she is the nominee, I will support her, and urge folk to vote for her but it is mainly because the alternative would be unthinkable.

    We will shift this country to a place where electing better democrats is a real possibility nationwide, but it will not be happening soon, except for a few here and there.

    I'll be old when this country becomes a more socially democratic place ... but my kids, and theirs make it worth trying now.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:41:30 PM PST

  •  I like Obama, but I don't like changes to SS or (26+ / 0-)

    Medicare.  I'd rather he keep the status quo on entitlements and let the GOP shut the govt down, making asses of themselves yet again.  

    I hope we can see some movement on guns and immigration.  I hope he sets the stage for more D gains in 2014, so that if our person wins in 2016, s/he can build on the groundwork he has laid.  

    Oh yes, and when Asshats Extraordinaire Scalia and Kennedy retire he can replace them...

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:44:42 PM PST

  •  I'd like to know how do we get policies passed? (27+ / 0-)

    Criticisms and defense is not enough. We need votes in state houses and in Congress. My primary issue with people is that they want something without much thought as to political reality.

    My second issue is with the idea that withholding votes "punishes" politicians. I disagree, it punishes the country. If you want influence and to be taken seriously, you must deliver votes and deliver them consistently. That is the way the Right has done it and I keep waiting on the Left to realize the same.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:46:00 PM PST

    •  This is my quandry. (15+ / 0-)

      I remember back during the Gulf Disaster, I think I criticized Obama more than anyone. His administration handled so much of it wrong on a purely technical basis, as well as public information.

      Didn't change a thing. Nothing from Congress. Nothing of note from the President.

      In the end THEY DID stop the blowout though, and nothing I said or can say now trumps that.

      That's what I'm looking for here. Peoples' expectations.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:58:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The threat of withholding votes is exactly (10+ / 0-)

      why the Tea Party is running the country while folks like me who are represented from city to county to state to White House by nothing but Democrats are getting exactly what we do not want - offers to deal away Social Security and Medicare to make the Tea Party happy, not me happy mind you, the Tea Party.  They aren't making any Grand Bargain with me, only against me.

      •  Wrong, the Tea Party votes and they are feared. (8+ / 0-)

        They vote people out and they vote people in. It would make Republican politicians very happy if the Tea Party didn't vote because they could compromise and not fear a primary where the Tea Party types show up and vote.

        "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

        by sebastianguy99 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:10:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are feared because they will not (9+ / 0-)

          vote if they don't get their way. They are getting their way.

          This is common knowledge, their "give us what we want or goodbye" stance. This is why they get what they want.


          If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

          by Jim P on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:04:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a dream (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sebastianguy99, Yasuragi

            The tea party is only successful because their interests align with the interests of the powerful. Don't believe me, go grab some friends, put some teabags on your ears and go out on the street corner in costume and scream about how the banks aren't Constitutional. The too-big-to-fail banks will melt away by lunch.

            You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

            by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:27:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You've not been following the politics (8+ / 0-)

              have you? Their main complaint is the deficit and the safety-net. Public record. Just go read.

              Especially read the rationale for why Republican officials are taking their intransigent stands. It includes knowing they'll get primaried by the Tea Party if they don't; they'll get no turnout if they win the primary. This is the public record for years now, hard to miss.


              If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

              by Jim P on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:31:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  They vote in the primaries (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2, congenitalefty, kurt

          And that's where the power is.

          If a candidate can't get past the primary, they're not on the ballot to even get a chance to win.

          If we want to vote for other, more progressive dems, then it's up to us to get them on the ballot.

          They can't win if nobody can vote for them.

          And if we're seen as the deciding factor in who wins a primary, then the candidates will pander to US.

      •  Way off (3+ / 0-)

        The teaparty runs the country in your words because their agenda that you recognize as winning is the agenda of the top 1 %.

        You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

        by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:20:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree about the withholding votes part (13+ / 0-)

      I disagree with this:

      If you want influence and to be taken seriously, you must deliver votes and deliver them consistently.
      It's not enough just to deliver votes. If the left wants as much power as the right, we need to do two things, one short-term and one long-term

      1. Short-term: primaries. The right isn't "taken seriously" because they deliver votes; they're taken seriously because they kick out Republicans who are considered insufficiently conservative. Yes, this lost them the Senate in 2010 and 2012; however, it's also one of the major reasons the Republican Party is so conservative. We need to do the same.

      (I would also like to note, apropos to this diary, that primarying conservative Dems will involve criticizing them.)

      2. Long-term: we need to take over the Democratic Party, precinct by precinct, like the Religious Right did to the Republicans a few decades ago. This has already begun, to a certain extent, but it needs to continue.

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:51:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Winners get the most votes, the losers don't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CornSyrupAwareness, Triscula, vcmvo2

        Votes are the currency of elections. Ask Karl Rove about it.

        We can't change anything anywhere without voting and getting more votes than the people we want out.

        Until someone demonstrates to me that a candidate won an election as a result of his supporters not voting, I'm going to stick with the current math.

        "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

        by sebastianguy99 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:22:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Start at the county then state level. (11+ / 0-)

      A: Your personal donation of time and money when done on the local scale is easier to be seen as making a difference by none other than: you! instand (better) gratification.

      B: This primes the pump for bigger offices in elections to come.

      C!!!! Local management is where the rubber meets the road. Assholes in the state capitol or DC? Better home your local officials are competent. Maybe a rising tide helps all boats but stormy times sink all but the best skippers. Get your boat a good skipper.

      And...

    •  They way Republicans did. You stake out (18+ / 0-)

      positions on which you will not budge, and you keep pushing them until you win enough seats to implement them.

      This lunatic mock-sophistication that "we must compromise with whatever our enemies insist upon so we look reasonable to the voters" is a big part of why DC continues its 30-years rightist trend. The immovable object meets the entirely pliable force.

      Geez, just look at the polls. The nation wants overwhelmingly, like 70-80% to leave the safety-net alone (except maybe to expand it); Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs, and then Jobs; and the Aristocracy to pay their fair share. Yet here we are offering up the safety-net; not pushing Jobs as the obvious fix to any fiscal issues about anything; and letting the gamblers and thieves run their casinos without hindrance. Hell, we have the Fed print them up new chips to do the same disastrous shit they've done before.

      Why isn't "Stand For Something Actually Good, Whatever the Difficulty!" the obvious answer to the question you ask?


      If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

      by Jim P on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:03:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't taxes just go up on the wealthy? (4+ / 0-)

        Didn't (gasp!) Republicans just vote to raise taxes on the wealthy? The same Republicans who as recently as a few months ago swore or a debate stage that they would never raise taxes? Ever?

        I'm not buying your view that we're getting rolled or that we're pliable.

        •  Not really, the temporary cuts were allowed (11+ / 0-)

          to expire on the very most wealthy but Democrats caved on the rest so the almost wealthy were allowed to have their tax cuts made permanent.  So Republicans got almost all they wanted which of course was the whole point of the Bush temporary tax cuts.  

        •  But wealthy was redefined upward (14+ / 0-)

          to exclude who was wealthy before and that was quote a line in the sand unquote.

          So, a drop in the bucket. It's gone up a relative pittance. The chained CPI monster keeps getting proposed, and that's going to hurt like hell. Hurt tens of millions of lives; hurt Democratic voters if it goes through. Even the offer will hurt turnout.

          The oil companies still keep getting billions in untaxed subsidies; the bankers still get low rates to charge us all, including the Treasury, much higher rates; the corporations still get subsidized to ship jobs and industries away; the off-shore earnings still get lightly taxed if at all; the gamblers of Wall Street still get taxed a lower rates than minimum wage workers; no tax has been offered on speculative transactions by Wall Street; ...

          As someone put it recently, "people take one small thing and blow it up to huge proportions so as to distract from the fact it's a small thing." paraphrased.

          Maybe you've not noticed the often-rolled part. That might be because you don't look at the pre-self-rolling we often do (see "Stimulus, 2009") or something else, but I assure you this has been a topic oft-remarked in the general population for years. It's pretty hard to miss, but part of the trick of seeing it is you have to first be unbiased about whether it happens a lot or not.


          If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

          by Jim P on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:26:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If they imposed chained CPI at the same (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Justus, Jim P, peregrine kate

            income level where they put the tax cuts, I could go for that.  Since you couldn't afford a tax increase if you were making less than $400K in taxable income, I'll be darned if I know how you can afford a Social Security benefit cut if you have less than that.

          •  And what I see is ... (6+ / 0-)

            Two wars have been wound down. Gays can server openly in the military. Obama was the first President to have run on marriage equality and won. Obama's Democratic predecessor has asked the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA. We have a universal health care law for the first time in this country. The President affirmed the right of women to be paid equally to their male counterparts.

            I could go on an on, but I'll refer you to this diary instead.
            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            I think the trick is to be open to what work we still need to do without despairing that nothing has been done; and also to remember that one can be biased against recognizing progress.

            •  The troop presence has been wound down. (5+ / 0-)

              The Wars have been expanded to many other states, including Pakistan. Just now we have drones, special forces, limited troops, and still maintain 1,000 bases around the world. (Plus, the Iraq wind-down was in place from Bush's agreements already.)

              We still terrorize a large part of the world, and we have a hand in half the world's refugee problems.

              We just sent "marine advisers" to 37 African nations and have re-positioned fleets to sword-rattle off China. Can't really say the Eternal War of National Suicide has been meaningfully abated; nor even rejected in to any degree, let alone in principle.

              And the one significant difference, as you correctly point out, is on some social issues. But on Economy? On Eternal War? Still the same agenda which is set beyond either party.

              Yes, you can now be openly gay, bomb a wedding party or first-responders in Pakistan, and come home to find you've been illegally foreclosed upon. Yes, the right of women to be paid equally is verbally asserted, but there are not enough jobs and the pay keeps going down. So in the main... the Ship of State is Sinking, and there aren't even alarms being sounded.

              The progress in one area (Social Issues) is minimized by the vast deterioration in Economy, Rights, and War.

               


              If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

              by Jim P on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:57:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was with you until here: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                vcmvo2
                We still terrorize a large part of the world, and we have a hand in half the world's refugee problems.
                The US Government is not a terrorist organization. Nor are the US Armed Forces. Nor is the President a terrorist.

                If you believe our government is a terrorist organization, I'm done talking to you.

                •  Ask people in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, (6+ / 0-)

                  Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Iran, etc what they think of the US government. What you or I think they should think hardly matters, does it?

                  Ask the UN's High Commission on Refugees, see their 2011 report, about the world's refugees: http://thinkprogress.org/...

                  If you think refugees don't live in terror, you've not known any.


                  If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

                  by Jim P on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:16:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're saying that we are terrorizing people (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    vcmvo2

                    which strongly implies you believe the US government is a terrorist organization.

                    If you believe that, why don't you renounce your citizenship? Why are you complaining that you don't get enough Social Security from terrorists?

                    This fucking bullshit demagoguery is off the charts.

                    •  I believe that (3+ / 0-)

                      the US government is a terrorist organization. There are many reasons I'm keeping my American citizenship; they outweigh my government's disgusting foreign policy. In addition, I believe I have a better chance of changing said foreign policy if I stay here.

                      As for why I want the terrorists to give me more Social Security...I believe you supporters call it "pragmatism"?

                      Now, given that the US government objectively terrorizes people all around the world, especially but not only in the Middle East, do you have an argument for why it's not a terrorist organization other than outrage?

                      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                      by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 06:14:23 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I would never accept money from terrorists. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        vcmvo2

                        I'm not an hysterical coward. If I believed my government is a terrorist organization, I would renounce my citizenship. Full stop.

                        I'm not the kind of person who calls the President a criminal and then whines that he might touch my Social Security. I'm not the kind of person who calls men and women in uniform terrorists when they defend my right to free speech. I believe there are scores of racist assholes in the Tea Party who are just as selfish, cowardly and opportunistic as your comment implies you might be.

                        •  "Selfish, cowardly, and opportunistic" (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          congenitalefty, kurt, Jim P

                          I was only born on this continent because, centuries ago, people who looked like me massacred its original inhabits.

                          I was provided for by my parents, who had the wealth they did, in part, because of the economic prosperity provided to this country by (a) people who looked like me capturing, enslaving, and killing millions of people for a free labor force; (b) people with no money working for very little, and when they tried to unionize being beaten and killed for their trouble; (c) people still being worked for very little, here and across the world; (d) etc and etc.

                          Throughout my lifetime, I have been supported in innumerable ways by a government which, at the same time it was providing me with roads, bridges, water, police and army protection, a college, and a host of other resources, was oppressing (or helping to oppress) millions if not billions of people around the globe.

                          If I'm a hypocrite, then I'm a hypocrite merely for existing. And I don't really have a problem calling myself that, actually. But even giving up my entire life and retreating into the mountains of Switzerland (or wherever) wouldn't remove the stain; nothing would. So instead, I've decided to use the privileges I was granted by virtue of luck of birth to do what little I can to improve the situation that gave me those very same privileges. Right now, I think that involves staying in America and opposing Social Security cuts. Again, I see that as the "pragmatic" course of action. It is somewhat ironic that you are accusing me of being insufficiently purist.

                          (Also I never called ordinary soldiers terrorists--just the US government. But you also appear to be the kind of person who cannot give a single argument defending the government from accusations of terrorism other than "America: love it or leave it," so whatever.)

                          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                          by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:20:26 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Are people terrorized or not? (0+ / 0-)

                      Play the naif if you want, but if you can read, then read US history.

                      Start with the burning alive of over 100,000 Japanese from aerial bombardments in WWII, read the rationale for those bombardments by the Generals instituting that policy, and then follow US history, and the people and methods we used while training dictator's torture-police in the Philippines, Latin America, South America, Africa, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, etc etc etc etc ... make a stop at "The School of the Americas," take a little side trip into the Panama invasion, ask yourself what "Shock and Awe" is aimed to produce,

                      and then go visit Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Indonesia, Vietnam, Chile, etc etc etc etc etc...

                      Do you just not have the stomach for reality? What the US has wrought world wide is what it is, whatever you or I feel.

                      Are people, to this day, terrorized or not by US policies?

                      I'm not asking who you cheer for, or who you boo, I'm talking about the reality of the lives of tens and hundreds of millions of people and US foreign policy since WWII through today. Here's a list of our bombings, which doesn't include getting local dictators to kill and torture: http://www.maurer.ca/...

                      Go anywhere in the non-white world, and see what people think of us; look at why they feel that way.

                      You can't understand Realpolitik as actually practiced by putting your head in the sand, and raising a cheer from your throat. Nothing strategically, and little tactically, has changed in our foreign policy in almost 70 years. How can anyone not know this?


                      If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

                      by Jim P on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:31:47 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Old tax cuts were allowed to expire. (5+ / 0-)

          They didn't go up if you take the long rearview. They were cut in half, then increased by 10%, is the way I see it.

          One of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans is that the former have the moral imagination to see the moral dimension of financial affairs, while the latter do not. Pragmatists are the exception.

          by Words In Action on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:29:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's our Dem leaders job & they know it (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TealTerror, 3goldens, Nada Lemming, k9disc

      Read my signature.

      One thing you learn in issue advocacy is that politicians wishing to thwart your efforts will throw up phony roadblocks like "where will we find the money" or diversions like "tell us how to get this passed".

      It's BS, they know it.  It's their job to figure out how to get bills passed.  Any time they ask you to do it for them, they're trying to get you off their back, trying to make you feel like its your fault.  

      See my sig.

      It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:10:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  want to happen: republicans change (4+ / 0-)

    But this won't, at least until the net election.  Tea party and republicans in general need to lose more house and senate seats.  Also needs to happen at the state and local level.

    Until then, what is happening now will continue.

    Obama won't be able to do anything unless the democrats control the house in addition to the senate and President's office.

    Fruits of criticism: nothing.

    My opinion based on current events compared to when the Democrats were mostly in charge in the first 2 years.

    "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

    by statsone on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:47:01 PM PST

    •  But you skipped the key step. (13+ / 0-)
      Obama won't be able to do anything unless the democrats control the house in addition to the senate and President's office.
      How do you get control of the House, if you don't get voters coming out for you?

      Do Democrats get voters turning out if they offer up Social Security and Medicare to Republicans, while cutting income/services for the people likely to vote Democratic?

      Do Democrats get voters turning out if they continue to buy the Republican/Banker lie that the deficit is the major problem; that the safety-net is the biggest part of that problem; and that Jobs cannot be stimulated by the government?

      Or do we get votes -- get the House -- by standing up from what is true, what matters to voters, and what actually fixes things?

      And if the Administration doesn't want to do those things which voters want and does do the things voters don't want...

      ... you think the President/Party will wake up one day and say "Gosh, we're doing politics wrong" absent a unified and sustained chorus demanding course correction? But how, then? By Magic, by an announcement by an Angel?


      If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

      by Jim P on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:12:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who controlled both houses and the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      Presidency for a couple of years....well. at least until the 2010 election happened?

  •  At one point, (34+ / 0-)

    Obama said we'd have to hold his feet to the fire. That's what is happening here. Even FDR reacted to popular sentiment, which is why he was both effective and popular. If enough sentiment swings a certain way (XL pipeline, prosecuting bank executives, reinstating habeas corpus), maybe he'll go and fix it.
    We'll see.

    "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

    by northsylvania on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:48:13 PM PST

  •  I disagree re POTUS is a "pretty conservative guy" (21+ / 0-)

    He is very progressive,  IMO, but has decided for tactical reasons to keep that on the down low. Whether that decision is a mistake or not, I have no clue.
    anyhoo, otherwise I love your post, Fishy. Thanks!

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:49:47 PM PST

  •  As someone who would be more (32+ / 0-)

    On your side, I think criticisms CAN help, but not necessarily.  Perhaps the best example of succesful criticism would be the criticism by many on LGBT rights, and the evolution that Obama went through as a result of that justified criticism.

    I think the key in the criticisms is that they be specific, and have a specific, doable, actions that can address them.

    Perhaps the greatest frustration I have are the folks who scream loudly that everything is wrong, but have no idea how to fix it...and fuck you if you expect me to have a plan.  For me, if you don't have a plan to fix the problems you have identified...why would I care what you say. more-so, even if you do,have a plan...expect it to be critiqued.  If it is a pie in the sky, stupid ass plan...just having a plan doesn't make it you immune from criticism.

    Probably the most frustrating thing I see are statements of the obvious presented as insightful analysis.  Everybody here knows that wealth inequality is extreme, damaging, bad, and needs to be fixed.  Telling us that as if we don't already know (and refusing to propose a doable plan to change that) is just fucking annoying.  

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:51:19 PM PST

    •  Now see. This is productive. (18+ / 0-)
      Perhaps the best example of succesful criticism would be the criticism by many on LGBT rights, and the evolution that Obama went through as a result of that justified criticism.
      I did not even think about that. Superb example.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:06:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama didn't "evolve." (13+ / 0-)

        Remember he was in favor of marriage equality in 1996 when running for the Illinois State Senate.

        When he set his sights on an office in Washington, his views changed.

        Last year, when it became bloody obvious he would lose more votes for opposing marriage equality than he would gain from bigots on account of said opposition, his views changed again.

        Sorry, that's not "evolution."

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:11:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And yet we are moving toward marriage (5+ / 0-)

          equality at a rapid pace in the last few years.  True there was no Bewitched nose twitch, Genie head bob, Vulcan mind meld.  But things are moving along against a vocal, organize crew.

          Remember he repealed DADT.

          You don't turn this country on a dime.  

          guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

          by 88kathy on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:17:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  All he did on DADT (6+ / 0-)

            was sign a bill delivered to his desk.

            We are moving toward marriage equality -- no thanks to the White House.  We moved him.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:21:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  As I said in a comment earlier today. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MRA NY, Yasuragi, Ahianne
              Everybody criticizes him. Republicans then take the credit and those Eeyores among us just go on and on and on and on and on. Determined to be unhappy.
              and here
              Criticize him all the way till he accomplishes

              the goal, then claim the credit.  

              This merry go round is the same every time.

              guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

              by 88kathy on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:43:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Credit goes where credit's due. n/t (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Words In Action, cslewis

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:45:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  That's what presidents do (0+ / 0-)

              They sign bills. They don't make them.  Congress has to do that.

              The president can propose something, but if congress doesn't want to do it, it doesn't get done.

        •  Sometimes you're abrasive, corvo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt

          (hint: I am too!)

          but I think you made a good point there. It was very political. He didn't all of a sudden talk to God or anything. That after saying he did. He said he prayed over it. I winced.

          That said, criticism helped convince him it was in his political interest.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:39:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yep. Obama: the one politician who shades prose. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fou, Ahianne

          I agree the personal opinions regarding marriage equality on the part of one Barack H, Obama have probably not changed much over his adulthood. He  has been if favor it it all along. What has changed from time to time I am sure is the way he has maneuvered politically on this issue.

          Quelle horreur.

          •  They all "shade prose" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Words In Action, cslewis, 3goldens

            and some are better at it than others.  (Bill Clinton wasn't half as good as he gave himself credit for, for instance.)

            And yes, that means I don't care for any of the lot of them.  I'll cut them some slack if they put out, but that's it.  And why?  Because I help pay their salary.

            I'm sure you're much happier with what you're getting.  Quelle relief.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:14:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Fix?! (13+ / 0-)

      I'd be happy if they would just stop trying to fix, i.e., "reform", things.  Seems to me they're mostly trying to break the things that worked fine before they fixed them into not working.  

      I didn't need them fixing bank regulations out of existence.  I didn't need them fixing civil liberties out of existence.   I don't want them trying to fix every other country on the planet when they can't afford to fix anything at home.

      And I don't need them fixing Social Security and Medicare by cutting benefits.

    •  Don't assume there are no "plans" (10+ / 0-)

      Too often, critics of our Dem leaders are dismissed with claims they don't have "plans".  When someone posts a link to a web site or offers their view of a solution, take the time to read up on the topic.  Nine times out of ten, there is a solid plan behind the changes (or resistance to changes) that critics are advocating for.  

      Don't confuse solid public policy priorities with political ones.  It's not an advocate's role to help party leaders become politically "comfortable" with an issue.  That's their job.  Don't ask the questions "how will we pass it" or "how will we pay for it" or "how will we handle the media campaign".  That's the politician's job to figure out.  As long as we're out here campaigning for elections, writing letters to the editor and sending emails, that's all we can do.  The rest is up to our Dem leaders.  They made the decision to run for office, so they need to stand up and do their jobs.

      It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:42:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no (7+ / 0-)

        Figuring out how to pass, how to run e media campaign, and how to pay for it are precisely the sorts of things that must be addressed.  Gay rights advocates not only pushed for change, they showed what the legislation would look like specifically, they challenged in the courts, they shifted media perceptions...in short, they worked like motherfuckers on all fronts to get what they wanted.

        So, if you want things done...you might very well try to do the same.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:00:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, I've been to the seminars (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TealTerror, 3goldens, Nada Lemming

          I know these are the usual tricks government officials and politicians use to deflect requests from advocacy groups they want to ignore.

          Actually, I've even been to the seminars these experts give to each other on these avoidance tactics.  

          If you can't get anything at all passed or otherwise enacted, you shouldn't be in office.  After a while, the constant complaints about "the other team is blocking us" start to ring hollow.

          It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

          by Betty Pinson on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:17:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And the success of your strategy is obvious (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ahianne

            Gay rights has made staggering gains in the last 30 years

            Economic inequality is worse than its been for a hundred years at least, and has accelerated in the last 30.

            So who's got the better strategy?  How many more decades of losing will comvince you that your strategy sucks?

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:25:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here's a list of successes (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3goldens, peregrine kate, k9disc

              Well, where do I start?  We've gotten Congress to spend nearly $1 billion per year on research.  We got HIPAA passed.  We got Medicaid coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured breast & cervical cancer patients earning 250% FPL.  We got ACA created and passed, not perfect, but not bad either. We got funding to study the effects of environment on breast cancer.  We got Medicaid & Medicare coverage for participation in clinical trials...

              There's more, but I'll have to go look the rest of them up.  

              How do we do it?  By having a strong, well researched, relevant agenda and using grassroots advocacy to push elected officials to make it happen.  They only get credit if they do something substantive, regardless of party affiliation.

              The key is earning their respect, not compromising and pushing them to get it done.

              They don't have to like us, just respect us.

              It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

              by Betty Pinson on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:46:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  ^^^^This. Great points. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Empty Vessel, Ahianne, kat68, kurt
      On your side, I think criticisms CAN help, but not necessarily.  Perhaps the best example of succesful criticism would be the criticism by many on LGBT rights, and the evolution that Obama went through as a result of that justified criticism.
      I agree with this 1000%. I remember Scott Wooledge's work on marriage equality and DADT during Obama's first term. Scott didn't give Obama an inch on marriage equality. Why would he? The result: Obama moved and those of us in the LGBT community benefitted. I was ecstatic after the election, because this time, us LGBTs could savor the victory just as much if not more than anybody else.
    •  Do the Democrats know that? (0+ / 0-)

      Seems to me if they knew that then they would talk about it a bit, you know?

      I'm sure I'm one of those people who scream that things are all broken. But it's not like I don't offer solutions.

      Raise the cap. Tax the rich. A .1% financial transaction tax. Gut corporate welfare. Put up some friggin' barriers and tariffs. Push for IRV. Kill citizens united...

      How many of those things have you heard even talked about by our elected officials?

      The answer is, and it's a kneejerk answer,"We don't have the votes!" and my response is,"Neither did the Republicans."

      The actual solutions to our problems, as defined by the professional political class and the corporate media, are not "serious". If they're not serious on the TV then they are not serious, period.

      Instead, in the midst of the most out of whack wealth inequality we're being served austerity with a side of catfood for our seniors, the disabled and children who have lost a parent.

      That's a "serious" solution?

      We can and should do better! The first step, like the LGBT community has done is to force a dialogue.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:11:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am a huge supporter and fan of Obama (9+ / 0-)

    but I also do support criticism, where criticism is due, and in that vein, I would say that the goal of criticism of Obama from the left is to influence Obama's actions. And, if Obama's actions cannot be influenced by intelligent informed criticisms with smart recommendations, then Obama is not the man I have long believed he is.

    •  I don't understand statements like this. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy, missLotus, sviscusi
      I am a huge supporter and fan of Obama (0+ / 0-)
      but I also do support criticism, where criticism is due, and in that vein, I would say that the goal of criticism of Obama from the left is to influence Obama's actions.
      Doesn't this go without saying? Why do people feel the need to say this ad nauseum?
      •  Because people keep accusing us (4+ / 0-)

        of being Naderites, "Paultards," etc. etc. etc.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:12:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Did you read the diary? (11+ / 0-)

        The diarist explicitly asked, twice, and in bold letters:

        What do you want to happen?  What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?

        In fact, unless I am mistaken, these two questions were the main point of the diary. I was just answering the diarist's questions. I also qualified my position on Obama, also because of what the diarist wrote:

        "These questions are not for the anti-Obama crowd..."

        I am a strong supporter and fan of Obama. I wanted that to be clear. And I believe a healthy democracy requires healthy criticism. And I do agree with you, that this goes without saying, maybe, except that the diarist raised the question, so I stated what I do believe the Daily Kos community obviously believes.

        •  Fair enough. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fishgrease, sensetolisten

          You're right. Your statement does directly answer the diarist's question, so it makes perfect sense in this context.

          I was reacting to the fact that I've seen this statement so many times before. You'd think that eventually people wouldn't have to say it, but there's so much angst around this Presidency that I don't think I'll hear the end of it before his second term is up.

          •  I get that. But I have zero angst towards him. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fou, kurt

            I hope I did not give a contrary impression. I wanted the diarist to understand my position, this is all. Quite frankly, some of the angst towards the President pisses me off, mainly when people conveniently forget the unprecedented filibuster BS he had to deal with.. as if Obama was some sort of a dictator who could control Congress. He is not and cannot. The separation of powers in our government makes sure of that. And given this obstructionist action in Congress by the Republicans, I think Obama has done an unbelievable job. However, this does not mean that I am intolerant of criticisms of Obama, but if you do criticize, you better damn well make sure that it's not the Republicans in Congress who are not to blame for what you are laying at Obama's feet.

            Now, in case anyone is wondering, even though I did appreciate the sentiment of this diary, I didn't rec this diary because of this statement by the diarist:

            "I know we're supposed to develop opinions independently but fuck that. Too goddamn hard."

            Which I found to be inexcusable laziness. But, to each his or her own... I did not voice my criticism in my original comment, because I really did not want to be antagonistic, and I only voice it now, merely to make a point and explain my position because it seems to have been questioned. And, like the diarist, I am a strong supporter of Obama, but I do not solely base my opinion on other peoples' assessments. I make my own assessments. I do avariciously read other people's opinions, even that of some right wing conservatives, if they seem to have a modicum of intelligence, even if I don't agree with them, merely to see the contrasting viewpoint, but I base my own opinion on my own analysis.

  •  I'm not necessarily anti-Obama, or even (23+ / 0-)

    anti-democratic party, it's some of the policies that have been supported by these two groups that I'm against.  I'll stick with the Democrats until something better comes along as they are better than anything the Republicans have to offer.  Note the word anything - that does not mean everything.

    I do not agree, at all, with how the administration (note, I'm saying administration, not Obama himself, as the office of President now encompasses too much for one person to have absolute control over) is handling the budget and deficit issues.  There is absolutely NO reason to put cuts to Social Security and/or Medicare/Medicaid on the table to satisfy the Republicans.  None what so ever.  Or even food stamps and wic, and many other 'social' programs.  All because the Republican Party refuses to budge on taxes.  Why should the Democrats be the ones to compromise their believes??  The entire deficit issue is a result of the lack of taxes and/or tax enforcement.

    What I'd like to see happen is for the administration put out in no uncertain terms why SS is not the problem and what was done with all the excesses of SS collection from the past 30 years went to and why.  Then not budge on cutting benefits of SS and Medicare/Medicaid - make the Republican party eat the entire thing.  Make 'them' specify, in absolute numbers, where cuts should be made, revenue collected as it is the responsibility of the House of Representatives to write up the budget and they're not doing it and claiming that the administration isn't working with them... like hell the administration hasn't been working with them.... the only thing the administration hasn't done is a whole scale hatchet job to the entire safety net.  The administration has offered up 'concessions' in the safety net, but not specific line item cuts that the House Republicans want him to do and he doesn't need to do...  Let the Congress do, or not do as the case may be, its job and remind the public of the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches...

    •  I happen to agree. (10+ / 0-)
      There is absolutely NO reason to put cuts to Social Security and/or Medicare/Medicaid on the table to satisfy the Republicans.
      And in fact, my four gurus agree (almost completely) as well.

      I always kind of wonder though, if there's something I'm not seeing, that anyone who doesn't have the job of POTUS is seeing.

      Even then, they could tell us.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:09:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think we can see it. (14+ / 0-)

        Simpson Bowles was an Obama construct. Look at the people he has around him. He's in a bubble. He's a deficit hawk. He can't see apparently that the cost of the wars are not going to be borne by the people that profited, rather the 99% will take the hit.

        He clearly doesn't have the discipline to get out of his bubble on this Grand Bargain BS.

        •  I disagree. (4+ / 0-)
          He's in a bubble. He's a deficit hawk.
          Then how do you square this with his statements explicitly affirming a Keynesian approach to solving the economic crisis? When people were howling that Obama was spending too much money at the beginning of his term he said:
          That's the point.
          By which he meant that he was deliberately spending money to stimulate the economy. I think the problem that a lot of people have understanding Obama is that they expect him to be an ideologue when he's not. In other words, he's willing to act in ways that are at odds with what he believes if he thinks the benefits of such actions outweigh the costs.

          Many people who want Obama to be a dyed-in-the-wool ideologue find this frustrating, and often think he's a wolf in sheep's clothing.

          He's not.

          •  I don't want him to be anything (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, congenitalefty, kurt

            of the sort. Keynes went out the window a while back, if he was ever in play, the stimulus was too small and had a lot of tax breaks. Keynes works just fine when Republicans are in hock, but not this time for some reason. I know there's a scorched earth McDoucherson strategery going on, but the "Grand Bargain" is crap. Dismantling the New Deal is not from the center or the left as far as ideologies go.

      •  Why do you support corporate welfare? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishgrease
        There is absolutely NO reason to put cuts to Social Security and/or Medicare/Medicaid on the table to satisfy the Republicans.
        Perhaps not to satisfy Republicans but to make the program cheaper and better?

        If you oppose cuts to Medicare then you are for keeping Medicare from negotiating prescription prices. This means every prescription is paid for at tte price Big Pharma asks, not the going market vale and certainly not at the bulk discount pricing Medicare should be paying.

        Democrats started on the health reform path for the factual reason American prices are too high while delivering care that was sub-par. How we arrived at today's emotional hair-trigger against any sort of "cut" at all, is one of life's great mysteries.

        We should not be afraid of the word cut.

        •  If the cuts proposed are to make drug companies (8+ / 0-)

          negotiate, then I can support it.  Making the drug companies negotiate prices is not something that would satisfy the Republicans anyway.  

          So far, nothing from the administration indicates that the cuts they propose are to make drug companies negotiate prices.  From what I've read, proposals include raising the age to 67, changing how much providers are paid (which I'm reading doesn't include the drug companies, but is the doctors, hospitals, and clinics for outcomes instead of service provided), means testing co-pays and premiums.

          •  If you write your elected officials (0+ / 0-)

            I merely suggest you say you support Cut X and Y, but not A, B, and C. That sort of feedback, I hope, would prove to be more helpful than a simple "don't change anything!" If the DKos community has spent as much effort campaigning against the Pharma negotiation ban as we spend in pie wars, perhaps we'd do a better job shaping the decision-making. But we will never get there is readers stop at the word "cut".

        •  Okay, pretty sure we were talking about (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nchristine, 3goldens, kurt, Quicklund

          cuts to recipients. Chained CPI and the like. Cuts making the process more efficient (ie, corporate welfare), I doubt anyone would argue against that.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:41:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't but was making a point to an open ear (0+ / 0-)

            Sorry to be abrupt, but I (correctly) sensed you would agree with the point that wise cuts can be made to Medicare and that we should indeed support those cuts. There is nothing immoral about saving money where possible.

            The problem here on Dkos is that the majority is calling out for "no cuts to MC/MA!" Which is a 180 degree reversal from the original goal of reducing America's swollen medical bill. "No cuts at all" is a political loser. Let's face that. It's a political loser, and it's not even what we want to do.

            Imagine if all the letters we write urged the elimination of the price negotiation ban instead of urging "no cuts". That's quality productive feedback which offers the elected officials political cover for doing the right thing.

            I'm hoping you are willing to add your voice to those who say "'Cut' is not a four-letter word." People know, like, and respect the Fishgrease username, unlike mine.

  •  What I want to happen, never will (15+ / 0-)

    Not in my lifetime anyway.

    I support President Obama. I volunteered, donated (very small amounts since that's all I had), and voted for him twice.

    What other choice did we have? I sure as hell wasn't going to vote for McCain or that Romney character or for a third party candidate when so much was on the line.

    Obama has done many good things, some of which could have been much better (single payer or Medicare for all) and I do appreciate that. On the other hand, I would have liked to see Cheney/Bush prosecuted for war crimes and Wall Street criminals prosecuted for financial crimes. To paraphrase another war criminal (shudder), we go to "work" with the president we have, not the one we might wish to have.

    I know I'm waaaay to the left of the President, but there doesn't seem to be a damn thing I can do about it.

    •  Powerlessness. (9+ / 0-)

      My diary drips with it.

      But then I read a lot of these comments and get the impression that I'm overly pessimistic.

      Best comments section of any diary I've ever written.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:12:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wonderful comment. (7+ / 0-)
      Obama has done many good things, some of which could have been much better (single payer or Medicare for all) and I do appreciate that. On the other hand, I would have liked to see Cheney/Bush prosecuted for war crimes and Wall Street criminals prosecuted for financial crimes. To paraphrase another war criminal (shudder), we go to "work" with the president we have, not the one we might wish to have.
      I would like to have seen this in theory, but I think that it was completely impractical in his first term. Had Obama not inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, my expectations that he'd follow through on prosecuting Bush, Cheney and Wall St. would have been higher. But I actually think it would have been really irresponsible to divide the country in such dire economic circumstances.
      •  I know it would have been impossible (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueyedace2, fou, kat68

        in his first term. The country was divided enough, and remains so. Might have had a chance to do something in the first two years when he had a Democratic house, but he wanted to "move forward." Obviously, there's no way to do it now. If Obama says the sky is blue, Republicans will insist otherwise.

        My anger about those criminals getting away with murder, literally, is now evolving into an enormous sadness about all the wasted lives and wasted potential.

  •  If you got an audience, persuasion. (39+ / 0-)

    Some of us do and some of us don't. Some of us can inform, and some of us can persuade.

    What can be done is introduce additional angles into the thinking of the people who work under and advise the president. I, for example, know with certainty that there are White House and DNC officials who read this site. I am absolutely without question certain there are plenty of Congressional staff that do. And even more campaign operatives and consultants looking for angles.

    Fact is, we've come a long way from being one of the few voices out there that opposed the war in Iraq. Yet here we are, and that war is over.

    So part of the job of this site, from criticism of the president to support of the president, is to persuade and inform. Sometimes that translates into real political power and sometimes, as in the case of President Obama, it doesn't. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. We have to persuade and inform everyone within reasonable reach.

    And to those who consistently say "nobody listens to Daily Kos" well, you find me any other site that gets as many Democratic members of Congress as we do. You wont, because there are none. And if they are paying attention, you can rest assured staff is. Name someone else who raises as much grassroots money as we do, outside of a presidential campaign. Nobody, and you can rest assured political consultants know it.

    So, so much as it is in our power to do, from both sides of the Obama battle, our duty is to persuade and inform. And if you're lucky, you'll hear back from someone in power or very close to it that you have been heard. And occasionally, successful in persuasion.

  •  stop arguing and sign the petition (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, MRA NY

    Sign the petition at http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/...!

    And check out the We the People Amendment here: http://WeThePeopleAmendment.org/

    tell all your friends and family. change your facebook profile picture to that of MTA and put the links above in the description.

  •  I continue to criticize him, just not here (23+ / 0-)

    Mainly through petition drives, emails and calls now, as a lot of the critical diaries here turn into focal points of hatred, and any value they had as criticism gets lost.

    But I don't necessarily agree that Obama ignores every criticism, and even if he does I will continue to speak out, just as I keep contacting my useless Republican senators here in AZ.

    He also told us to do this, so I am. Maybe he did that because he likes to float trial balloons and offer bad deals so that we make noise and he can show his more conservative pals how much folks don't like their ideas. Even if he is completely intractable I would continue to register my criticism, so that he doesn't get a pass, and so those ideas get heard, and so some better candidates in Congress or the states may know that there's a market for more progressive ideas.

    Obama does what he has to, to represent a whole country. I know my ideas aren't going to come from him, often as not they have to get through him. That's how he likes to govern. He's not the liberal analogue of Dubya. I agree with you on that.

    We demanded a plan to reduce gun violence. Now it's time to demand a vote.

    by tytalus on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:01:51 PM PST

    •  ^^^^^This. 1000x this. (10+ / 0-)
      I continue to criticize him, just not here (1+ / 0-)
      Mainly through petition drives, emails and calls now, as a lot of the critical diaries here turn into focal points of hatred, and any value they had as criticism gets lost.
      I couldn't agree more.

      Do you know why I love Chris Matthews? Because Chris Matthews was just as passionately critical of Republican race baiting as he was of Obama when Obama took a shit on stage during the first debate.

      It's a joy to hear Matthews criticize the President because I know it's not motivated by racial animus and other forms of irrational hatred.

      Many people are frustrated by the fact that the historical significance of Obama's presidency plays a significant role in shaping public discourse around his policies, but it's just a fact that cannot and should not be avoided. It doesn't mean that one should not be vigorously critical of Obama. Hell, he's very critical of himself and he surrounds himself with people who criticize him all the time. However, I think it's incumbent upon those who are sharply critical of this President to be even more sharply critical of those who would hijack their criticism for dubious reasons.

    •  Wins the advice contest^^^^ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fou, blueyedace2

      I fold.

    •  Yes, 100%: Obama understands activism. (0+ / 0-)

      He was practically begging the gay/lesbian activism bloc to keep ratcheting up the pressure -- so that after he won a 2nd term, he could go on record squarely against DOMA and in full favor of same-sex marriage.  

      That said, I am disappointed in Fishgrease's proposed binary: you either support Obama like a good loyalist, or you are a critic who is working to take him down, maybe even impeach him.  Obama would be the first to reject such a bullshit duality.  He wants the progressive voices in America to keep pressing him, moving the dialogue.  Because the other side sure isn't staying quiet for a second, and if they are so loud while progressives stay quiet, guess what the new "middle position" starts to look like?  Obama has known this since before he first spoke at DNC in 2004.  He understands the role of activism.  

      I'm a supporter, generous past donor - and a critic.  Because it's true, President Obama is still a phrase I'm proud to say, yet President Obama is still way too cautious on some key issues when a stronger more principled stand is what's called for.  If not now, when?  

  •  The hard truth for me ..... (19+ / 0-)

    ...is to accept that we live in a country where far (imho) voters do not support President Obama and the values he represents. Like you, I would prefer a more progressive agenda but until Democratic majorities are more solid at every electoral level I have to be patient.

    In "solid blue" Wa. State for example, the narrow Democratic margin in the Senate has allowed two renegade  Dems to side with the R's and set the agenda and control the committees. State Sen Kevin Ranker, Dem......

    What initially felt like a hijacking to me has turned out to be a hijacking after all. Senate Republicans have hijacked the legislative process under a cloak of bipartisanship, in order to block critical legislation supporting women’s rights, social programs, education and the environment. This does not reflect the values of our great state. These policies were thoroughly rejected at the ballot box in November, and will make harmful, polarizing public policy or, worse, stop positive policies from advancing or even seeing the light of day.

    Washingtonians should take note, look beyond the self-congratulatory rhetoric and pay attention to what’s really going on in the state Senate.

    http://crosscut.com/...

    So what do I want of President Obama? I want him to continue to "play the hand he's dealt" and I want all of us to work hard to elect more solid Democratic majorities.

    Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

    by princesspat on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:02:41 PM PST

    •  We've got to start a national movement to end (17+ / 0-)

      gerrymandering.  Getting each state to have nonpartisan commissions drawing the boundaries of districts, like they do in CA, has to b a priority.  The crap that happens in states like PA, where I live, has to stop if we are serious about reestablishing a real majority in the House

      To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

      by dizzydean on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:09:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Princeton Election Consortium...... (5+ / 0-)

        Slaying the gerrymander

        Sam Wang // Feb 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm

        Thank you for these thoughtful points.

        I see what you mean about proportional representation. I agree that it needs to be kept alive. However, I don’t see that as the way to move the needle on representative government in the coming 10 years. So I do not advocate working on the more idealistic solution.

        This is the same reasoning that leads me to encourage people, every chance I get, to contribute and work on races where the probability of a win is between 20 and 80%.

        I'm not statistically literate enough to understand all the stats on Sam Wang's site, but I find the discussion very interesting. It's good to know people like Dr. Wang and his colleagues are addressing this important issue.

        Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

        by princesspat on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:21:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is not a gerrymandered state. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        princesspat, blueyedace2, kurt

        In Washington, we do have a bipartisan redistricting commission, with two Republicans and two Democrats, one of each party from each of the house and senate, and a non-voting chair. The chair never has a vote, so at least three out of four commission members have to agree on any map. This gives us more competitive districts overall, where changes to boundaries are often determined by population needed to be added or subtracted rather than any sort of guaranteeing safe seats. So with the Senate more competitive, it was a narrow thing, and two traitor Democratic senators threw in with the Republicans to get power for their Republican buddies and themdelves. One of the bills stopped recently was a superb bill by my state senator, who is a practicing ER physician, that would have benefitted every single person with diabetes in the state. It had bipartisan cosponsorship, but when the time came to vote it out of committee, all the R cosponsors voted no just to make Nathan seem ineffective. Because there'll be a special election for his seat this year, due to the fact that he was just appointed to fill our former state senator and new Congressman's seat, and that election is for control of the senate with or without these two traitor Democrats.

        Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

        Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

        by Kitsap River on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:32:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed KR....in our state it's petty politics (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueyedace2

          ...to the detriment of all of our well being. The same thing is happening to environmental bills. Sen Kevin Ranker.....

          I am sad to report that yesterday Sen. Doug Ericksen deliberately killed the Ocean Acidification bill – the only bill in Washington State Legislature to do anything about ocean acidification in our marine environment. This bipartisan sponsored bill would have implemented the recommendations of the Ocean Acidification Blue Ribbon Panel – ensuring that we address ocean acidification and protect the thousands of jobs that depend upon a healthy marine environment.

          Worse however, is why he did it… Not because he did not support the bill, but out of spite as he knew it was important to me.

          http://sweeneypolitics.com/...

          Ideology once again trumps common sense and a commitment to wise and professional governance. It's discouraging.

          Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

          by princesspat on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:33:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  What I have wanted (22+ / 0-)

    And still want since Shrub flew off to Tejas

    One, return the excessive powers taken by the Executive office by Cheney and White House lawyers. I want those absolute powers brought back into balance.

    Two, I would like justice to be served to the thieves and pirates who caused the financial collapse to deter ongoing and further piracy. I want the too big to fail banks broken up. I want a renewed wall between investment and commercial banking.

    Three, I want the President to seriously lead this country on issues involving climate change, not just give nice speeches about it.

    Fourth, I want the corruption curtailed in the political process. It has infected everyone and every transaction in DC and undermines the very foundation of good governance.

    Those are the biggies. Lots more sub issues, but these seem to encapsulate the largest problems I think the President has poorly handled.

    I know I have no power as a lone voice to change business as usual in DC. But I will not cease my criticism on this political blog as I witness and document what I feel is a very sad political trajectory in this country.

    The fruits will potentially come when enough people join together and get organizing. It is happening right now on the issue of gun control, for example. I wish we could join forces on some of the other issues I mentioned above, as well.

    “Corruption isn’t just people profiting from betraying the public interest. It’s also people being punished for upholding the public interest.”  ― MS

    by cosmic debris on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:04:59 PM PST

  •  Dude, I don't like your style. (0+ / 0-)

    I may even totally agree with you, but I couldn't get much farther than "I think you suck too...".  You have every right, as far as I'm concerned, to write this way, and no one is forced to read it.  Still, it's just kind of over-the-top and offensive.

  •  What I Want is for the Worst Trial Balloons to Be (27+ / 0-)

    shot down by liberal outrage.

    That's the only leverage we have on the government at this point in the cycle.

    I regard both Obama and the party as conservative, and clearly we can't legislate thanks to our catastrophic voter motivation debacle of 2009-10, so nothing that I want to happen is going to happen other than in some areas of near zero economic or military import like LGBT rights.

    What I want is the least injury to my standard of living that I can get out of my government.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:06:48 PM PST

    •  Can't we one shoot one down with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueyedace2, kurt

      Liberal Reason? Just once? I burned through a lot of Outrage in the Winter of Walker '11.

      Flippancy aside, outrage does not always persuade. It's tiring at times. No Susan Rice?! Burn cop cars. OK, flippancy not aside. I can't help myself. But I am trying to make a serious point despite my obvious shortcomings in that regard.

  •  your last diary was great, don't let the (8+ / 0-)

    idiots get you down

    PBO is the best candidate that could be elected at this point in history given the rise of RW reactionary assholery and in doing so we Democrats made History. More structural change is happening despite certainly my dissatisfaction with the economic policy situation, wimpy appointees and the numerous pragmatic capitulations to the GOP that come with Democratic policy sausage.

    Change will come with achieving an actual working majority Congress in the second term.

    Kvetching in DK makes no sense unless it results in real action like support for Democrats in the 2014 and 2016 elections

    Your criticisms of President Obama are real, factually based and for the most part reasonable. I steered my last (crap fuck worthless piece of shit) diary in a direction that did not acknowledge that. I'm sorry.
    Don't apologize, I'm glad you're back to speak truth to stupidity.

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013

    by annieli on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:10:37 PM PST

  •  Those are important questions (10+ / 0-)

    and I support the President too, but you draw some conclusions about him that I don't know how you reached:

    We just had an election and Barack Obama won pretty easily.
    Obama was behind by significant margins pretty late in the election, faced a news media that wouldn't do its job (or was even actively hostile), and an infinitely lying opponent with bottomless unregulated resources.  A superstorm may have ironically saved this country.
    He's a pretty conservative guy. I can't think of a thing he's to the ideological left of... even me, and for a Democrat, I'm pretty conservative.
    Especially the part where he let gays in the military, supports drastic pro-immigrant reforms, ended the Iraq War, put a time limit on Afghanistan, aided the revolution in Libya despite his predecessor's support for Gaddafi and the howls of Republicans, created a White House petition system, passed hundreds of billions of dollars in Keynesian stimulus, put John Kerry in the Secretary of State's office and a SecDef virulently opposed by warmongers, been the most pro-clean-energy President ever in terms of funding...I could go on, but I really shouldn't have to.  It's not a hard thing to remember this administration's accomplishments.  Barack Obama is a liberal President.  And a Great President.
    I don't think President Obama is going to change a thing because I don't think he sees any reason to, no matter how much any of us holler.
    Why would we want him personally to change?  He's a Great President, and a good man.

    Ask me if I'm afraid. I say, "Of course not. I'm a fool, and fools never die."

    by Troubadour on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:10:46 PM PST

    •  As for his conservatism (11+ / 0-)

      I was referring to a few things:

      - Willingness to use and to continue to use military force.

      - Jealously guards the powers of the Executive (re: drones, prosecution of bankers, etc)

      - Economically, he does tend to be a bit more conservative than, say, your average Daily Kos participant. I think a lot of the trouble here and on other progressive sites stems from that.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:18:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you look at recent political history, it was (20+ / 0-)

        a political death sentence for a Democrat to even hint at making changes to the safety net that would have ANY potential harm to those needing the safety net not 20 years ago.  Now, the President, either the symbolic or actual leader of the Party, not only gets away with suggesting cuts, but actually offering cuts up to the Republicans.  The Democratic Party, as a whole, has moved to the right and it is my opinion that it is currently to the right of where the Republican party was in 1980.  I think that the Democratic party has moved to the right in order to try to be concelatory (sp??)/compromising with the Republicans and the compromises have brought nothing but more movement to the right.  I think we need to take a stand and say no more.

        •  Yes, with small reservations. (8+ / 0-)

          I wonder if we're really seeing what he's offering the Republicans, first.

          Second, he might just be offering those things to paint the Republicans as obstructionist - not that that would take a lot of paint. He can always yank it away. He's done that sort of thing before.

          If he really is planning or offering to weaken any safety net, then damn, I agree with you, that's unacceptable and depressing.

          Nothing's done yet.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:49:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you. (4+ / 0-)
            Second, he might just be offering those things to paint the Republicans as obstructionist - not that that would take a lot of paint. He can always yank it away. He's done that sort of thing before.
            I strongly agree with this, although I would say that Obama's positions re: SS and Medicare (I hate calling them 'entitlements') are motivated by a mix of political strategy and his personal philosophy. I think he believes in COLA adjustments, for example, because he believes they'll extend the solvency of SS. However, he also believes in raising taxes on the wealthy and closing tax loopholes as a means of extending the solvency of both programs. I think he's also keenly aware of the fact that the rejection his offer to reform SS and Medicare further marginalizes the Republican Party.
          •  I'm sorry, well no I'm not, but the administration (7+ / 0-)

            has offered cuts to SS and Medicare to the Republicans.  The Republicans have just been too stupid to take him up on the offers (or more specifically, the Tea Party members of the Republicans).  The offers were made for the 2011 debt limit issue, then the fiscal cliff and again for sequestration.  The administration has made the offers too many times to be trial balloons any longer.

      •  Umm... (7+ / 0-)
        Willingness to use and to continue to use military force.
        That makes him a President, not a conservative.
        Jealously guards the powers of the Executive (re: drones, prosecution of bankers, etc)
        I'm not sure how failing to force the Justice Department to prosecute bankers affirms the power of the Presidency or the Executive branch in general.  But if you know of a President of the 20th century who wasn't partial to the Executive branch, let me know.
        - Economically, he does tend to be a bit more conservative than, say, your average Daily Kos participant.
        We know for a fact he's economically Keynesian.  He just has to deal with the reality of who runs the branch of government with budget authority, as any President does.

        Barack Obama is a liberal President.

        Ask me if I'm afraid. I say, "Of course not. I'm a fool, and fools never die."

        by Troubadour on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:32:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I should have added... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Diogenes2008
        - Willingness to use and to continue to use military force.
        And willingness to NOT use or STOP using military force, regardless of military-industrial and Republican political pressure to the contrary.

        Ask me if I'm afraid. I say, "Of course not. I'm a fool, and fools never die."

        by Troubadour on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:34:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Liberal President, huh? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, 3goldens, kurt, k9disc
      he let gays in the military,
      Coinciding with the opinions of 67% of Americans.
      supports drastic pro-immigrant reforms,
      An 8-year path to residency is indeed nice, but again, 66% of Americans believe the same (and that's a Fox News poll, mind you).
      ended the Iraq War,
      Most of that credit should go to Iraqis.
      put a time limit on Afghanistan,
      A plurality of Americans (47%) would like us to withdraw even sooner.
      aided the revolution in Libya despite his predecessor's support for Gaddafi and the howls of Republicans,
      I wasn't aware aiding rebels against a dictatorship was particularly liberal? (Not saying I disagree with it, just saying that this kind of thing is not unique to liberal foreign policy.)
      created a White House petition system,
      Kind of weaksauce don't you think?
      passed hundreds of billions of dollars in Keynesian stimulus,
      It was half as big as it should've been, half of that was tax cuts, and now he seems hellbent on cutting the deficit.
      put John Kerry in the Secretary of State's office and a SecDef virulently opposed by warmongers,
      John Kerry is not particularly liberal.
      been the most pro-clean-energy President ever in terms of funding
      That's not a particularly high bar.

      I have no idea what Obama personally believes, but as he himself says, in the 80s his policies would be considered those of a moderate Republican.

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:20:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He represents Americans! The fiend! (0+ / 0-)

        Ask me if I'm afraid. I say, "Of course not. I'm a fool, and fools never die."

        by Troubadour on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 01:54:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You just missed the point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BradyB, k9disc

          so gloriously and completely that I'm almost impressed.

          You claimed that policies such as DADT show Obama to be a liberal. My point was that those policies are, in fact, perfectly moderate, or at most center-left, seeing as how huge majorities of Americans support them.

          I am neither surprised nor offended that he takes positions when vast majorities of Americans support them; that's what politicians do, after all. But it doesn't make him a liberal. Things like his consistent focus on deficit reduction, his support for and expansion of the American Empire, record number of deportations, record number of whistleblower prosecutions, etc., outweigh the more center-left things he's done.

          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

          by TealTerror on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 05:38:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I want the President to mean what he says (21+ / 0-)

    If he says he sides with the middle class, then why is he in negotiations for the trans-pacific-partnership?
    If he says we need more jobs, why is he behaving the way he is regarding the "sequester"?
    If he says medicare and social security should not be touched, why is he pushing the chainedCPI?
    Sometimes I feel as though he is engaging in the typical double speak I hear Boehner using, and it makes me crazy.  I feel like there is nothing left I can trust.

  •  I like President Obama (0+ / 0-)

    but it was a really tight race.

    He barely won the popular vote:

    Election Results

    having said that, I believe there is no way in hell Romney could do a better job than President Obama is doing.

    Not in this political climate. Romney and the other Republicans are being hammered by the TeaParty and Grover Norquist.

    Romney is the  quintessential  politician, he pretty much goes with the money.

    are we fascist yet?

    by Krush on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:14:59 PM PST

    •  4 percentage points isn't *that* tight. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc

      No blowout either, but not really a squeaker.

      "Every now & then your brain gifts you with the thought, 'oh, that's right, I don't actually give a **** about this.' Treasure it" -- jbou

      by kenlac on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 06:14:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I want Obama to do differently. (13+ / 0-)

    That's where my criticism comes from. Of course hashing things out here doesn't change anything in Washington but it helps to cut through the fog of newspeak. And when somebody asks me, well, what could Obama have done otherwise about the sequester or the fiscal cliff negotiations I can give them an answer informed by the well-informed people writing on this site. And that is a good thing because it puts the lie to the overarching feelings of helplessness that come from the belief nothing could have been done to change outcomes. If a person believes Obama could have done things differently, it empowers that person to put the heat on him and others who can effect change.

    There is a difference between criticism and complaint. It is preposterous to think that the only fruit of criticism is impeachment.

    Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one. Marx

    by Marihilda on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:16:44 PM PST

  •  Specific criticism... (58+ / 0-)

    ...with specific suggestions for a different approach is our job as progressives, whether the leaders being criticized are insanely right wing, conservative, center-right, center-left, left-center, or whatever.

    When it's our choice in the Oval Office, we have a duty as progressives both to have the president's back when he is unfairly or prejudicially attacked, as the current president has been on a whole range of issues, to hold his feet to the fire on issues that he has said he agrees with us on and to argue he should take another approach on issues where we think he is wrong.

    (I am using "we" and "us" here, but do not claim that all progressives agree on all the issues and should be in lockstep on them.)

    What I don't get are those who say "holding his feet to the fire" is somehow a diss of the president, somehow not our role. Such activism is not new. Civil rights leaders had to push the Kennedys. Unions had to push Roosevelt. Gay activists have had to push Obama. Abolitionists had to push Lincoln. That's how progress is achieved.

    The other part I don't get is the sneering attitude that emerges when someone says the president should use the bully pulpit to convince Americans on important issues. In fact, Obama has done this on issues that matter to him. He's a master of it. Why should we not urge him to use this skill he is so adept at to spur progress?

    But two things really bug me about some critics.

    I think criticisms should be balanced by praise. Obama has moved us forward on a range of issues, done things not just that would not have occurred on any Republican president's watch but on that of other Democrats as well. He has, to give just one example, done more than any president (including Jimmy Carter) to boost alternative energy, promoting (and spending vastly more federal dollars on) research, development and commercialization of renewables than Carter, something the Clinton-Gore administration failed miserably at. He should get ample credit for this, and numerous other matters.

    The second thing is the predilection of some commenters here—a relatively small but annoying number—who cannot seem to stop themselves from popping into every diary on a subject that includes anything Obama might be even peripherally connected to and dropping some contentless and gratuitous poke in the eye for no purpose other than poking. It's irksome, it derails productive conversations and it pisses off people who might otherwise be persuaded by a reasonable critique to join those who are seeking to push Obama in a new direction on a particular issue. Users here who engage in this kind of drive-by diary contamination deserve all the opprobrium they get.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:22:39 PM PST

    •  Thank you. (12+ / 0-)

      Why are these very well articulated points so difficult for so many to understand?

    •  This! (16+ / 0-)
      The second thing is the predilection of some commenters here—a relatively small but annoying number—who cannot seem to stop themselves from popping into every diary on a subject that includes anything Obama might be even peripherally connected to and dropping some contentless and gratuitous poke in the eye for no purpose other than poking.
      Well really everything you said.

      I'm getting overwhelmingly useful answers to my questions. Best comments section on any diary I've ever written, not that my diaries are very conducive toward useful comments sections.

      People are making some outstanding points. They've given me a huge shot of optimism.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:29:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And lefty groups have wrongly pressured before (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fou, joedemocrat, blueyedace2, WB Reeves

      Unions not allowing a deal with Nixon on healthcare. Nader and Kennedy easing the path for Reagan and W. Focusing on an Arkansas Senate seat while the Koch's picked our pocket. It's not that the megaphone is being used, or the feet are being put to the fire. It's how, why and to what end.
      http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/...

      You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

      by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:16:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To be sure, critics aren't always right... (24+ / 0-)

        ...As I said, we don't all agree on what issues deserve to be pushed and, since we are (most of us) progressives, we will never agree on some issues because we just aren't hardwired that way.

        On the other side, some people, again a relatively small number, have been just as obnoxious as the drive-by critics, engaging, for instance, in one of my pet peeves, dropping the Photoshopped Obama with the "Chill the fuck out, I got this" meme into discussions where it was obvious that he didn't.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:29:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah it hasn't been pretty (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fou, joedemocrat, ChurchofBruce

          But when we look back at 2010, do we now wish we had worked harder to elect more and better dems, or held more of their feet to the fire? Was endless discussion about the horrors of the ACA or blue dogs or the corporatism of Obama more important than keeping a gavel in Nancy Pelosi's hand for the upcoming redistricting? It's not even close, and it should have been obvious then that we didn't have the luxury of being critics and moving Obama to our purposes.

          You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

          by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:46:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  First of all (9+ / 0-)

            liberal criticism on blogs such as this played very little, if any, role in the outcome of 2010.

            Second, what's important for redistricting is having control over state governments, not Congress.

            Third, there's always an election around the corner, so if we didn't have the "luxury" of criticism in 2009-2010, when would we have it?

            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

            by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:49:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  =/ (0+ / 0-)

              Your first statement is impossible to prove. Who knows what would have happened if we had organized differently in 2010. As brooklynbadboy properly notes, no website came close to raising the millions that dailykos has in the past.

              2nd. of course and? This site is plenty capable of focusing on state governments, see Scott Walker.

              3rd. How about now? And for the next 9.75 years. Go nuts with the criticisms. Our next Congress elected on different maps than the current starts their session Jan 1, 2023.

              You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

              by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:05:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If my statement is impossible to prove (4+ / 0-)

                then so is yours. However, both polling data and common sense seem to say that the behavior of the Democratic Party itself, the laws they did (and more importantly didn't) pass, the mainstream media, and in particular the economy, had far more of an impact upon the election than liberal bloggers. And this site did, incidentally, raise a lot of money for congressional candidates in 2010.

                2: You seemed to imply by this sentence--

                Was endless discussion about the horrors of the ACA or blue dogs or the corporatism of Obama more important than keeping a gavel in Nancy Pelosi's hand for the upcoming redistricting?
                that Democratic control of Congress was important for redistricting. I was just pointing out that it's not.

                3: Actually I'm pretty sure the next redistricting is 2020 (every ten years, along with the census). It'll likely go better anyway since it's a Presidential election year and turnout will be up.

                "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:11:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The bulk of 2010 money was in Kentucky and Arkanss (0+ / 0-)

                  I agree with many of the factors you say were against us and continue to believe that's why we didn't have the luxury of misusing/underutilizing one of the few tools that we do have.

                  You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

                  by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:19:17 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You have a link for that? (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    3goldens, poligirl, kurt, gooderservice

                    I checked the Orange to Blue 2010 page, and Sestak in PA got by far the most money.

                    My only point is that, even if there had been zero criticism of Democrats here starting from when Obama was elected to December 2010, not much would have changed. I'm not going to hold my criticism for 1/5 of the decade without some strong evidence that it actually substantially hurt us last time.

                    "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                    by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:24:30 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Halter got a little more than Sestak on O2B 2010 (0+ / 0-)

                      128,433 vs 122,993, but there were other actblue Halter dkos pages. Which are gone now.

                      But yeah, I left another Senate candidate off the list. I don't know how to access them, but if you can find them the dKos 2008 page had a ton of House candidates on it, the total 2.5 Million is still up there but not the list of candidates that went with it. The 2010 page has just a few. That wasn't an oversight by management, that was all the population here was interested in. There's more to it than raw dollar totals. When were the funds raised? A lot of people got into the act here with a week and a half to go... that didn't have the effect of the hardcore organizing and early fundraising that went down in 2008.

                      What did you do in 2008, how about 2010?  

                      You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

                      by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:42:06 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Intensity is always going to be lower (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        3goldens, poligirl, gooderservice

                        in off-year elections. It's an unfortunate result of our culture's elevation of the Presidency above Congress. (I would also like to point out that most of the losers were Blue Dogs who many here, for understandable reasons, weren't terribly keen on supporting.)

                        I was not in a position to do much of anything in either 2008 or 2010.

                        "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                        by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:57:28 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  nvm #2 (0+ / 0-)

                I see what you were saying. But that does add to my point, we needed to be winning those state houses and the big House. Being a critic that trashes Dems and threatens to not vote was a luxury

                You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

                by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:11:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  "[I]tshould have been obvious then ... (26+ / 0-)

            ... that we didn't have the luxury of being critics and moving Obama to our purposes."

            A version of this remark was made from the minute the first criticism arose in 2009 right up until the middle of 2012 when all but the most avid progressive critics of the president zipped our lips and worked to ensure his re-election.

            It's too soon to criticize now, we were told in 2009. He's only been in office for less than a year (during which he ordered the double-surge of 68,000 American troops to Afghanistan). It's a bad year to criticize now, it was said in the election year of 2010. It's terrible to criticize in 2011 given the disaster in November 2010, we were told. It will just give the restored Republican majority in the House comfort and ammo against him. And, of course, 2012 was reelection year, so criticism was out of place there as well.

            I believe I have been quite measured in my criticisms and quite sensitive to the timing of them. But, except for narrow windows, the now-is-not-the-right-time-to-criticize theme is malarkey.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:19:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, it was a luxury from day one (0+ / 0-)

              It was a binary choice, we either could have gone the direction of docudharma-fdl or continued on with what Kos laid out in his TOS book, and what this site did successfully in '08, electing more and better Dems as a m.o. Crashing the gates versus critiquing the gates. You guys wanted to allow both in '10 and we all failed together. Time magazine called us out on it, rudderless they said. Truthfully we had two rudders rather than none, but to the same effect.

              You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

              by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:51:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry, but 2013 marks my 50th year... (16+ / 0-)

                ...of political activism and I will never stop critiquing those who lead us, including those I work my butt off for and spend my money to elect. I believe the idea that we will make greater progress by not criticizing than by offering constructive criticism is gravely mistaken.

                (And, yes, I know that much of the criticism that has been directed at Barack Obama has not been constructive.)

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:44:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Poetic but.. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joedemocrat

                  I just don't see how this sort of pressure advocacy is in anyway a serious part of the story of how our politics is crafted. Yeah, it can be used, but of all the things accomplished from 09-10, what parts can be credited to activists speaking out and pressuring pols to do things they otherwise wouldn't?

                  You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

                  by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 06:20:05 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So you're of the view that all the ... (17+ / 0-)

                    ...political changes made over the past couple of centuries happened because politicians liked the ideas that reform groups were promoting and were eager to turn these into reality without any push? Or that somehow our own time is different from those centuries regarding how the matter of advocacy?

                    Many things this advocacy has asked of Obama has not been delivered. But, to offer, two examples of where is starting to be:

                    • the end of DADT came sooner than I believe the administration wanted to deal with it. That is not say that Obama would never have done it, but I believe he was nudged into that position by activists. And I think that nudging and the national conversation activism has produced about such matters has had the additional benefit of seeing the president take stands he would not otherwise have done around marriage equality and DOMA.

                    • I have little doubt that pressure spurred the president to add climate change to his second inaugural and now to have been given a higher priority on his agenda. His record in that arena has been mixed. Some good appointments, some good investments of tax money in green energy, and some bad ones. But he's stepped up the talk now, discussed it more than once, so I'm optimistic that we will see some important action on this front. It would not have happened with pressure.

                    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                    by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:07:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I hope you can make your way around... (4+ / 0-)

                      ...the sloppy proof-reading in my second paragraph.

                      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                      by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:09:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  MB there has been some very good discussion (6+ / 0-)

                      in this thread. And I've learned from it.

                      Obviously, each case of criticism has to be evaluated on its own. In general criticism made me nervous for three reasons.

                      (1)  I'm used to low information voters
                      (2)  I always had winning a high priority because if you lose you can't do anything at all.
                      (3)  I tend to save my fire for Republicans.

                      But I didn't have the historical perspective you did on how activists can persuade a party establishment to take action sooner than they otherwise would.

                      Are there any guidelines we can use to determine when criticism is helping or hurting?  When are people helping quicken progress versus hurting electoral chances?

                      As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

                      by joedemocrat on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:49:25 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I know (0+ / 0-)

                      It happens, but if it doesn't happen often what's the point of making it large part of our focus? Especially when we know that organizing and electing enough Democrats to control Congress and Presidency is what's really brought home our bacon. The story I saw was that for every 100 diaries here about corporatist or weak Democrats, there were 10 activists who decided to give up or do less next time, versus 1 or 2 people in the know that got our reprimand. In 2008 when there was an atmosphere of more and better, I thought those numbers were going in the opposite direction, people couldn't stop coming up with candidates worth supporting and long term plans of red to blue. I dunno.. all I can say is I wish your diary tonight was about S.W. writing a new climate change law instead of just talking about it. That's what I worked for, not to push from the left, to legislate from the best spot we could. I don't feel like less of a liberal for doing it either.

                      You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

                      by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 08:43:58 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You need both (9+ / 0-)

                        We'll never be able to move a Republican congress to do what we want. At the same time, however, just electing a Democratic congress isn't enough. Politicians, as a group, don't do things out of the goodness of their hearts; they do things because they think it'll make them popular or get them money.

                        I feel this may be one of those "fundamental worldview differences" thing. In Fishgrease's previous diary, where I also brought this up, "I Lurked For Years" said:

                        There are a number of people here who truly believe that nearly half of powerful politicians are basically good people with good motives who are just doing their best and are more or less worthy of our trust and support. I fundamentally reject that worldview.
                        That seems to be the worldview you're operating under: Democrats, for the most part, are essentially good people who make mistakes but ultimately are trying to do what's right. And you have to understand that I completely and totally disagree. Some Democrats are like that, but many, perhaps most, are not; they're politicians who are mainly concerned with keeping their donors happy and taking the path of least resistance.

                        Above, joedemocrat says that "I always had winning a high priority." But the Democratic Party succeeding, by itself, is not a win for us. Liberal policy getting passed is a win for us. As I said, you need both the elections and the pressure for that--but the latter is just as important as the former.

                        "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                        by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 09:40:35 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  this is right on: (7+ / 0-)
                          But the Democratic Party succeeding, by itself, is not a win for us. Liberal policy getting passed is a win for us. As I said, you need both the elections and the pressure for that--but the latter is just as important as the former.
                          i've been boots on the ground in all manner of races since 1986, and you do win some and you lose some - and that is a good thing, but the follow through and the pressure necessary to achieve it sometimes, is essential as well...

                          The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

                          by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:03:52 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  If we can get enough Democratic Senators... (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TealTerror, k9disc, KenBee

                        ...publicly talking about this individually, on the floor of the Senate and in their home districts, then that legislation will emerge.

                        I don't know how many more people it take getting arrested before they get the picture. But this is not going away and until they do something, the pressure is going to get stronger and stronger.

                        We (those of us so inclined) are going to harass every shufflebum politician who is standing around right now saying aw-shucks-there-is-so-much-other-stuff-to-do-before-tackling-global-warming.

                        But at the same time I favor giving those few who ARE doing something credit for doing it. So kudos to the Senator from Rhode Island and raspberries to those who won't give 20 minutes of their time to a speech on global warming. If the Senate schedule is too tight, then there's always a podium to be found and reporters to invite in the home district.

                        Whitehouse's pedagogical approach is just one piece of what needs to be happen. There's a 22 member Climate Caucus in the House now. That's a tenth what it needs to be, but those members deserve some kudos, too.

                        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                        by Meteor Blades on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:22:37 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The talking part, or lack thereof is the most (4+ / 0-)

                          disappointing thing to me about our current political situation.

                          There seems to be this zero sum concept to a political 'win', that I find unacceptable:
                          "If it doesn't lead to legislation it's a loss. If we get legislation, it's a win."

                          I'm the guy on the right. I want to know what's in the glass, and if it's piss, it's not a win. If it's piss, I'm not a pessimist for not liking it.

                          Talking about issues that we don't have the votes on and putting them up to be shot down is a vital part of politics. Look at the 1928 platform - during the roaring 20s, no less:
                          http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/...

                          I'm sure that was a failed document, but it laid the rhetorical and emotional foundation for 1932 and the New Deal. We don't have any of that now because we're cobbling together dubious legislation to get a "win" next quarter - it's not at all unlike the pursuit of quarterly profits.

                          Aside:
                          Interesting that it's cool for Democrats and the Administration to float dangerous ideas that Democrats don't believe in to prove that the Republicans are saboteurs (god how I wish they'd use that word!), but it's not OK to float proper ideas that Democrats support to bring the public to our side and to force Republicans to fess up to wanting to sabotage our county.

                          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                          by k9disc on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:55:23 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                triv33, TheMomCat, poligirl, TealTerror

                You know what crashing the gates means.

            •  Criticism is about promoting awareness (0+ / 0-)

              and what we often see on this forum is an attempt to shut down discussion intended to broaden public awareness. Talking to each other allows us to understand each other. There is really no other reason for discussion. Open community discussion is the entire basis of a free society allowed to freely associate. When we are told to shut up, that is basically a call to submit to authority, and to cease being a fully developed individual who is capable and engaged, thinking person. It is an attempt to subjugation, plain and simple.

              Criticism of policy is being a good citizen. It's bad enough that our capitalist representative democracy is basically a system which is designed to allow mostly rich people to govern the rest of us (either by proxy or directly).

              But now, not only must we contend with our elected "representatives" in congress and the executive branch serving mostly the oligarchical interests, we are being asked to either sit still in silence, or offer support.

              This is what happens in party politics: A certain amount of subjugation to authority of the party takes place, and censorship is definitely subjugation to an authoritative body. So who gets to decide what form of speech is allowed? Here it all boils down to the site owner.  And the site owner is, to a large degree, a willing enforcer of party authority and party discipline.

              Hence, a conflict arises from these two premises:

              1) Support for a party taking precedence over speaking truth to power.

              2) Liberal concepts of, well, democracy, which means giving each person a voice.

              Its very hard if not impossible to have this both ways, and thus, there is an unresolvable conflict.

              Which is it going to be: Respect for democracy, or respect for a party? If we go with choice #1, we give up the very purpose of the party.

              I doubt this comment will be understood in terms of its basic logic, but I know where my interests lie. When the principles of a party end up cast aside in favor of the central authority of a party, the party is no longer serving the grass roots interests, but instead is serving the elites at the top.

              Gracias, pero no gracias.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 02:48:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  "critics aren't always right" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fou

          It's more than that, if critics mistakes' led to W and Reagan then we're talking about defining actions. If only Nader and Kennedy had chilled the fuck out..

          You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

          by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:56:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Clarificatory question (6+ / 0-)
      I think criticisms should be balanced by praise.
      I agree in principle. However, how do you think this should work in practice? Surely, not every diary critical of Obama needs to include some praise (just like not every diary that praises Obama needs to include criticism). In what way should this balance be achieved, then?

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:38:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "I think criticisms should be balanced by praise." (8+ / 0-)

      I find that weird. Is there some praise quota we have to fill? And where exactly are we required to make the deposits? Honestly - I do not get that, and I can't see as much more than a new tool to now be weilded by the people who have for years now treated ANY critiism of Obama as made in bad faith.

      I know you offer it for that, but - I cannot see it being used any other way. Obama's done a bunch of good things. And this has to do with secret not-secret wink-wink drone wars all over teh planet how? Or with the contiuing farce that is Obama's Afghanistan campaign? What balance am I required to strike - and for who, this diarist? For someone else?

      Do not get it, MB.

      •  I know you DON'T offer it for that, meant. nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poligirl
      •  I've sort of answered this in response to TT... (15+ / 0-)

        ...but let me make it clearer. I'm am not saying someone should say the drone strikes are bad but hey! Obama got Osama bin Laden. What I am saying is that the all criticism all the time approach is no better than the no criticism is acceptable approach. Obama has done some good things in foreign policy and, in my view, some awful ones, such as the double-surge of troops sent to Afghanistan. Critically focusing all the attention on the latter to the exclusion of the former doesn't advance the essential progressive cause of rejiggering our foreign policy in the direction of more diplomacy and less cudgel.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 08:05:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hear that, but I think it's a bit misplaced. (8+ / 0-)

          So many of us here here are accused of being all criticism all the time. It is a false, and very wrong, very damaging accusation. You placing it here as one of your chief concerns - oy, man. It's striking me as a "both sides do it!' kind of thing. I walked the streets for Obama, knocked on doors, I voted for Obama twice, I talked to and cajoled, argued with, friends and family members to vote for Obama, I've defended him here from dumbass accusations, and I've praised unconditionally his good words and deeds. I'm also very critical of many things too. (Afghan surge? Fuck me. Awful, horrible, just so plain old dumb. I will never get it.)

          The many people who constantly go after any criticism here don't need any more tools at their disposal, I would humbly offer.

        •  we're not just accused of being critics all... (14+ / 0-)

          the time, but being critics along the lines of 'I have a hangnail, blame Obama' which is not anything close to what most of the prominent critics (or at least the ones i support) here do.

          just now, there are folks asserting that priceman's last diary was trollish... how do you pushback against that as a critic, but not one who blames all things on Obama?

          The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

          by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 09:37:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We have for four years been accused of acting (8+ / 0-)

            in bad faith. Over and over again. It is honestly hard to not take personally sometimes. That's my failing in teh equation, but still. Fuck.

            •  So what? (0+ / 0-)

              I mean honestly, who cares? You're talking to people on the internets. People on the internet say a lot of stupid shit, pro and con. Why not just shake it off and say what you have to say?

              I don't understand the preoccupation with what you're called. I don't understand how that advances any progressive principle or cause. Obama has shit dumped on him daily and he deals. Of course he signed up for it too, so I'm not saying he deserves a star for that, but I am saying that, to the extent that he gets stuff done, he's not hindered by some complex about people insulting him. He'd be laughed out of town if he were, and I'd be one of the people laughing.

              If you have something substantive to contribute, people will hear it. In the meantime, concentrate on getting back the House. Obama will move left with expanded majorities.

          •  I don't know if I'd call it trollish (0+ / 0-)

            but suggesting that people can't reasonably disagree with his theories concerning the President's motives and that to do so is a childish denial of reality is very bad tactics, to say the least.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 09:59:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where did price even suggest (5+ / 0-)

              that people couldn't reasonably disagree with his theories?

              You need to go back and read his diary and the comments in his last diary for a better understand what we are discussing.


              "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
              TheStarsHollowGazette.com

              by TheMomCat on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:07:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh I don't think I misunderstood this: (0+ / 0-)
                This is simply not taking the real world seriously. These are merely child like fantasies.
                Satisfied?

                Nothing human is alien to me.

                by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:39:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poligirl, gooderservice, triv33, priceman

                  Where did he say that you couldn't counter that opinion?


                  "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                  TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                  by TheMomCat on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:49:53 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Moving the goal post I see (0+ / 0-)

                    You implied that I made a false accusation and hadn't read the diary. I present a direct quote from the diary that supports what I said and rather than recognizing the fact, you try to change the subject.

                    Evidently you see nothing wrong with such tactics.

                    Nothing human is alien to me.

                    by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:09:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Where did I say you didn't read (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      poligirl, triv33, gooderservice, priceman

                      the diary? I said "You need to go back and read his diary and the comments."  

                      You are just avoiding answering the question because you misunderstood it.

                      Have a god night


                      "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                      TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                      by TheMomCat on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:30:35 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  And you demonstrate zero integrity. N/T (0+ / 0-)

                        Nothing human is alien to me.

                        by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:32:31 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, one would have to know what it is, first, (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          poligirl, TheMomCat, priceman, LaEscapee

                          before making a judgment.

                          •  You obviously don't (0+ / 0-)

                            Here's a hint. You start by not winking at unprincipled behavior simply because it's committed by people on your "side" of the issue while engaging in faux outrage when the same behavior is indulged in by the "other side".

                            There are a lot ways to describe such a double standard but I think hypocrisy fits the bill here.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 11:34:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sounds like you're talking about the people (4+ / 0-)

                            who were against issues and policies when Bush supported them (or didn't) and are now in favor of them when Obama supports them (or doesn't.)

                            You start by not winking at unprincipled behavior simply because it's committed by people on your "side" of the issue while engaging in faux outrage when the same behavior is indulged in by the "other side"
                            Your reply to TheMomCat was disgusting, and against the rules here at this community blog.

                            It was my mistake to reply to you the way I did.  I should have just HRed it and hoped others followed suit.

                            Your comment about TheMomCat was disgraceful and you should apologize immediately.  You would, if you knew anything about her, and obviously don't, and that's your loss.

                          •  What's disgusting (0+ / 0-)

                            is demanding evidence, suggesting that none such exists, implying that someone didn't read the diary before commenting, refusing to recognize the evidence to the contrary when presented, attempting to change the subject and then resorting to personal insult when called on such dishonest behavior.

                            Evidently this behavior disturbs your fine sensibilities not at all.

                            Since I wasn't commenting on TheMomcat as a person but on her specific behavior here, what i don't know about her personal life is irrelevant. I'm sure this could be a singular lapse for her. Which is why I said she was demonstrating a lack of integrity rather asserting that she lacked all integrity as an individual.

                            If you can cite the rule I violated I will, assuming that TheMomCat didn't violate the same rule, gladly apologize.

                            Otherwise go ahead and Hr me. encourage your friends to do likewise. Report me to the admins and we'll see how it all shakes out.    

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 02:17:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  LMAO, "singular lapse." But not really laughing. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, priceman

                            You just don't know what the hell you're talking about.  A pretzel doesn't have as many twists and turns as you've introduced.

                            Have a great night.

                            I don't think you're a nice person based on your comments here.  No point in engaging you any further.

                            PS:  I don't encourage anyone to rec or HR anything.  Obviously that's something you do since you brought up the subject.  

                            And no, I won't be reporting you to Admins.   This was a free for all, so it's not worth their time.

                            But if I see you trashing other people in the future, I will.  

                          •  Evidently your reading skills are on par with your (0+ / 0-)

                            ethical standards.

                            I'm not the one who brought up Hrs, you did that.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 05:51:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There is no rule (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, priceman

                            there is common courtesy. If you have proof to refute post it, you have personal attacks STFU

                            There are no sacred cows.

                            by LaEscapee on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 03:50:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I know this is all convoluted and looks like a (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LaEscapee, TheMomCat, priceman

                            badly formed pretzel.  But the rule is insults.  WB Reeves insulted and name-called TheMomCat, one of the best people I've had the pleasure to come to know.

                            WB Reeves doesn't know what he/she is talking about.

                          •  There's nothing convoluted about it. (0+ / 0-)

                            The description of TheMomCat's actions is both clear and accurate. Your inability to refute any part of it attests to that. Neither did I call her any names. I said her behavior demonstrated zero integrity and that is an accurate characterization of her actions, not name calling.

                            You're entitled to your own opinion. You're not entitled to own facts.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:06:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Another spasm of hypocrisy N/T (0+ / 0-)

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 05:53:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  You posted an opinion (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      TheMomCat, priceman

                      that supports jack, jack

                      Provide evidence other than disagreement like the diarists does and maybe people might take that opinion more seriously.

                      There are no sacred cows.

                      by LaEscapee on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 03:53:49 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  heh (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        LaEscapee

                        and I "moved the goal post." LOL

                        He's the one that said price was "trollish" and completely misstated the what price said. Cognitive dissonance.


                        "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                        TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                        by TheMomCat on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 04:08:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

                          I never said that Price was trollish. The truth is that I said that I wouldn't call his diary trollish.

                          I'll leave it to others to judge whether you are simply confused or  intentionally malicious.

                          BTW, how do you "misstate" a direct quote?

                          Nothing human is alien to me.

                          by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:16:03 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  So you're claiming that the quote means something (0+ / 0-)

                        other than what it says? What would that be? He didn't mean to say that people who disagreed with him were engaged in childish fantasies? Then why did he say they were?

                        My only point was that saying such things about those who disagree with you is bad tactics. I was challenged to provide evidence that he said such things, so I did.

                        It's not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact.  

                        Nothing human is alien to me.

                        by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:02:58 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  kind of like the folks accusing him of CT... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TheMomCat, priceman

                  would that not be the equivalent?

                  so he's not supposed to pushback?

                  and he was calling the thought "fantasies" not calling the people children.

                  that falls under criticize the opinion, not the commenter. no one called the others children fcol.... there is a difference. language does matter.

                  The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

                  by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:22:29 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If he's smart he won't (0+ / 0-)

                    The whole purpose of provocation and insult is to bait the target into replying in kind.

                    Describing the opinions of others as childish fantasy is insulting. Period. No amount of strained rationalization is going to alter that.

                    Besides, you've already invalidated this line of argument by drawing the equivalence to accusations of CT. Unless you think that accusations of CT are merely criticizing the opinion as well.

                    Nothing human is alien to me.

                    by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:30:45 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  and after being accused of having an opinion (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      priceman

                      that is a childish fantasy, did the next few comments result in civil rebuttal? or did the parties walk away?

                      or, as in the CT accusation cases, did the accusers double down and triple down all the way down a diary?

                      The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

                      by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:50:04 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The quote I presented is not from a comment. (0+ / 0-)

                        The assertion was general and in the body of the diary.

                        That doesn't effect it's equivalence to the charge of CT. I agree that they are both equally illegitimate.

                        To address the subtext; he wasn't responding to a direct provocation when he made the assertion. Sorry for any confusion.

                        Nothing human is alien to me.

                        by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:39:12 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  reasonably disagree yes. for instance... (7+ / 0-)

              joedemocrat gave a thoughtful rebuttal to the diary and it was appreciated and there was a bit of a convo about it.

              but honestly, that's not what happens in priceman's diaries, which have much sourcing to back his opinions, most of the time.

              if all rebuttals were substantial on the points of the diary - that's welcome. a lot of us have taken debate in some sort, and debate is something that can be even sporting, for those who thrive on debate. but when you get a bunch of folks coming in and simply calling names, accusing the diarist of CT, or posting stupid non-substantial pictures or worse recipes, like is done in troll diaries, that's not anything close to discourse on the actual points made in and overall substance of the diaries.

              and the folks that come in and routinely lob bombs like that would have the rest of you all (in other diaries) believe that it's the critics like priceman and his supporters like me who want to get you all thrown off the damn blog.

              how in the name of all that is holy do you combat that?

              The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

              by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:12:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  priceman called people who disagreed with him (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WB Reeves

                children.  He did that in his last post in which he complained about people lying about him, or some such nonsense. As if it's about him.

                Of course priceman and others can disagree vigorously with the President. That's not the issue. The issue is whining about being marginalized after calling people who disagree with you children. If you're going to do that, or reward someone who does, then I don't have a lot of sympathy for you when you complain about being called names.

                •  after being called all sorts of names... (5+ / 0-)

                  really fou - what is the threshold for being patient? how much abuse should someone (who is respected) personally put up with before being human?

                  seriously, in the past few days, the critics have been accused, on this site, of trying to drive a popular diarist away from here - a diarist that rarely if ever takes part in pie fights...

                  how patient and how much direct abuse, must priceman and other critics take?

                  waiting for your answer. and preferably with links to examples.

                  The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

                  by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:35:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  How much abuse should people who question (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fou, kat68

                    the critics take? Meteor Blades stated in his comment that this kind of crap goes on on both sides and that certainly matches my experience.

                    I've been repeatedly accused of being part of some organized effort to suppress criticism of the President. I've had my motives impugned, my intelligence and my integrity questioned. It's all par for the course. Four decades of Left activism have taught me to expect as much.

                    Nothing human is alien to me.

                    by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:48:22 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And how much abuse (6+ / 0-)

                      should the critics continue to take? We've been this road before, kos addressed it very clearly

                      Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly. That doesn't mean you can't disagree. It just means you have to be civil and courteous and limit your arguments to substance. [..]

                      Bottom line: If you don't like someone, ignore or argue PURELY on the facts. If you refuse to heed and seek out your foes to shit all over their diaries, I will zap you. You don't need to go after the same people every day to remind them that yes, you still don't like them.


                      "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                      TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                      by TheMomCat on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:56:56 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  what i think would help, but i'm sure the PTB here (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      TheMomCat, Nada Lemming, priceman

                      don't have the time or wherewithal to conduct is i think it would help if each side could back up their claims with links to the abuse they describe in private communications with admin.

                      this would apply to both sides and there would need to be not only the accusation, but the backing with context provided.

                      seriously, most of the actual abusers of loyalists - the ones that go purposefully in to loyalty diaries to outright insult those who are and not even try to debate - i think those folks are along the lines of trolls and not well respected longtime kossacks. i would be somewhat surprised if many of the prominent critics and their regular supporters got dinged for that.

                      The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

                      by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:02:29 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm sorry, but I think that's a complete waste of (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        k9disc

                        time. Contact the admins when someone has done something really wrong, like threatening violence or outing someone, for example. Whining to kos because of insults? Come on.

                        We're all adults. kos has better things to do with his time, and so do all of us.

                        •  well the adults on the loyalist side... (5+ / 0-)

                          are currently trying to make folks think that the prominent critics on this site are trying to run them off.

                          and gawd knows how many times i've seen - even really recently - the accusations that the critics ran BWD off the site.

                          everyone knows that's bullshit.

                          whats going on is a smallish group of loyalists is trying desperately to paint the prominent critics as enemies of the state - as right wingers - as crack pots and CTers - as naive idiots - or any other thing they can accuse a critics of being. and these accusation have replaced the tarnishing of critics as a bunch of latent racists that was so popular a few years ago...  

                          so yeah, fou, i would guess that you never got called some of the things i've been called and by well known kossacks no less. and without any reasonable back up. so it's easy to say for you...

                          The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

                          by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:30:14 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well then write a diary if you feel strongly (0+ / 0-)

                            about it. If it's well reasoned, people will give it a fair hearing. I just think contacting the admins should be reserved for emergency situations that really warrant admin intervention.

                          •  nah. even diaries that are well reasoned... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gooderservice, priceman

                            get attacked nowadays...

                            hell, someone posted a frickin recipe in priceman's diary last night.

                            i think really, it's hopeless. at least for the next few years...

                            The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

                            by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:41:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If you have something to share, then share it. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kat68

                            Don't be deterred by assholes. Ever. Your voice is what matters, so don't withhold your contribution because some idiot has a problem with what you might say.

                            I think you have much to say, and I think it's important that you share it as a long time member of the community. My advice to you (and I know you didn't ask for it, so feel free to disregard it) is to remember that Daily Kos is not the world. So if you're going to write a meta diary about loyalists because you have some stuff you want to get off your chest, try to tie it back to the real world of politics. You have a progressive vision of the world, so when you write, even if it's about this community, remember to keep your eyes on the prize and remind us of how we can be better citizens.

                            Looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

                            Have a great night.

                          •  oh you don't have to tell me... (8+ / 0-)

                            i'm going on 3 decades of activism i most certainly will not shut up.

                            here at Dkos though, yes. i don't like being called racist, a CTer, a troll, a pateroller, a traitor, a right winger, a RedStater, etc, by folks who do not have any interest in actually discussing the substance of whatever's being talked about. but here, that's what happens unless you are around here all the time every day and manage to see the few diaries that actually challenge the status quo and call our leaders in all branches for accountability.

                            nope. this is a site - and gawd knows it's been drilled relentlessly into all of us - that is devoted to electing Democrats, and seemingly regardless of what that Democrat's beliefs are. this is a party site - nothing more, nothing less.

                            so really, as someone who wants to crash the gates and use that to change the world for the better, this site is most definitely not the place for the folks like me to be primarily.

                            The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

                            by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:57:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This would make a great post. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            poligirl

                            Seriously.

                            Three decades of activism is something I'd love to learn more about.

                            Cheers.

                        •  Hey! Agreement! Yes! (0+ / 0-)

                          Nobody likes a tattle tale, and there are more than a few tattle tales here.

                          It always has ignored me. I get hurt here on occasion, and sometimes it's not at all fair, or due to a misunderstanding of what I was saying, but I'm surely not going to tattle.

                          Peace~

                          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                          by k9disc on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:09:06 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Yep, me too. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      WB Reeves, kat68

                      I've been told I'm "not qualified" to discuss politics, that I'm an apologist, idolator, that I suck the President's dick, all kinds of vile shit.

                      So the fuck what? I push back hard and keep rolling; and I don't take anything personally that's said to me by people on the internet. I don't even know these motherfuckers, so why the fuck would I care about anything they said? I'd have to be some weak, egoless imbecile to care about that.

                      •  i would be willing to bet you that you were not (9+ / 0-)

                        called the first or the fourth name you cited by any prominent critic.

                        if you have, please let me know as that shit is not acceptable and i sure as hell wouldn't tip or support it.

                        as for the second and third (apologist and idolator), well, depends on what you're defending and it's the flip side of hater and spouter of RW memes, which there are plenty of examples of. hell - there's even a front pager who referred to a bunch of us critics as paterollers fcol...

                        to your credit fou - i rarely see you in the critic diaries - which is exactly what kos said folks who disagree and don't want to make a merited rebuttal should do with diaries they don't agree with - just don't go there.

                        The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

                        by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:14:21 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yeah, I try not to go there. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          poligirl, kat68

                          By now I know what to expect, so I don't bother. FWIW, I read priceman's piece from the other night. I see what he's getting at, but my problem with him has always been with what I perceive as his absolutism. Mind you, I'm being very careful to say that it's what I perceive, instead of claiming that my perception is reality as many do.

                          I think his criticisms of the administration would be much more effective if he didn't engage in so much selective editorializing of history. I'll give you one example. He made the point that Obama did not respond well to the economic crisis, and that there was a moment of real populist anger at banks and financial institutions that he failed to utilize to his advantage. He then claimed Clinton responded better to crises as a counter example.  I'm sorry, but Clinton was the guy who repealed Glass-Stegal. None of the mess we fell into in 2008 would have happened in Clinton didn't do that. I'm not saying that therefore his counter example is wrong, but when it can be rebutted with another example, it diminshes the credibility of his arguments.

                          History and politics are complex subjects. One can't just cherry-pick examples to suit a particular argument, and then represent those examples as definitive proof of the righteousness of one's position. That's just sophomoric.

                          •  Wrong. That is quite enough (8+ / 0-)

                            A debt ceiling crisis is not the economic crisis of 2008. Most people who properly read that piece know this was precisely what I was referring to compared to the budget control act of 2011 under Obama. It is a political crisis in that example which is the context in which I used it. In fact many of my criticism about the repeal of Glass Steagall and the Clinton administration are that the Obama administration hired many of the same people in the Clinton administration that orchestrated that. One is a self induced political debt default orchestrated by Congressional Republicans using it and one is repealing the Wall between investment and commercial banking.

                            I've sat here and listened to misrepresent everything I said in pretty much every context but this is just too much. What's funny is I describe my grievances which all had to do with the substance I laid out and then proved my case on. It had nothing to do with calling me names, it had to do with mischaracterizing my positions.  And views are not people, but people have child-like views. It doesn't mean they are children but it's possible they can hold a child-like view or two. I then qualified why I thought that and everything else.

                            Those of us that predicted this know this because we actually pay attention to legislative history. That's right; and because we do, we know that sellout deals based on assumptions about what the opposition might let pass in the future or not are nothing to take seriously. Those assumptions are also insulting to the brave gay activists who are mostly responsible for the repeal of DADT, but I heard it's passage after 2010 was somehow linked to the tax cut deal which is another lie; an extra insulting and denigrating one.

                            This is simply not taking the real world seriously. These are merely child like fantasies. Adults actually pay attention to macro economics, data, politics, how that affects the data, as well as what has happened in the Euro-zone and the U.K. We recognize that deficit reduction and austerity are failures. I guess we're funny like that.  

                            And pointing out what adults do when they are being adults in what they do and what they view, is not the same thing as calling people children. It's a ploy to be more adult and take in the context and nuance. Like all my work which some try and fail to misrepresent for their own agenda, nuance matters.

                            I don't have any interest in going into what you erroneously think my views are or what you perceive them to be so save the keystrokes. However, this I will not stand for, and I am off. I recommend everyone read my diary for themselves precisely because I sadly had to make this comment.

                            I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

                            by priceman on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:03:49 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not in any way justifying the names (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    WB Reeves, kat68

                    that he was called.  And of course we're all human. Nevertheless, you can't whine about being called names when you do the same thing. No matter how many names you're called; because when you do that, you're justifying one standard for yourself (not you personally, the royal you) and another for everyone else.

                    That's wrong. Now, perhaps he's retracted the names he's called people in comments or another diary. If he hasn't, he should. His criticism of the President would be better received if he acknowledged that he is human, and that it's not good to call people he disagrees with children. If he did that, then I think that people wouldn't have the impression that he believes he has some corner on the truth, and that the rest of us are unenlightened dolts. But if he maintains a double standard because he gets called names, then it's as if he's saying he reserves the right to say anything he wants because people call him names.  All of us get called names, but most of us don't justify putting down others because of it.

          •  yes, those criticisms are leveled. Hey, I was... (10+ / 0-)

            ...called "shameful" in February 2009 when I criticized the administration's stance on state secrets (which at the time was defending in court the Bush administration's stance in the matter). But I also have seen comments along the lines of "all you Obama cultists aren't really Democrats" as part of an argument. That's been happening for four years, too.

            We are always going to disagree about policy and tactics.  I always try to remember when I am in sharp debate with someone that I am not just speaking to that person but everyone lurker who is reading the thread, mostly people who never write a word here. But they do listen. So I avoid being provoked, try to keep to a high personal standard, listen to and consider with as open a mind as I can those who disagree with me, never ignore evidence even if it conflicts with my point of view, and always remember that my objective is to advance progressive change against all who would block it.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:00:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i try my best to avoid being provoked and (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheMomCat, gooderservice, Little

              pretty much (for the most part) only come here to support my friends' posts, but damn, even when i am only in those, there are folks coming in and accusing us of all manner of things, including making this place like RedState or being right wingers or hating Obama so much we want the GOP to win. as someone who's been left for decades, i can't tell you (well i prob can actually) how insulting that actually is. and gawd forbid any of us reply to those accusations, cuz then we're just "trolls" or worse.

              and i would expect the same criticism if any of us critics (the ones i know agree with and support here) went into a say IVFD diary and called those folks CTers etc....

              i guess i'm just frustrated. if someone differes from my opinion, i expect a rebuttal on the merits of the argument, but so often nowadays, i get the low info version of response - a "i know you are but what am i" level response.

              i wish - dear gawd i wish - for thriving and lively and even vociferous yet respectful debate. i had that elsewhere, but here, rarely.

              sigh...  but i do appreciate the answer....

              The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

              by poligirl on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:27:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not to mention that MB is I think making the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                poligirl

                mistake of calling the critques and attacks of critics equal to the critques and attacks of the White House. They are fundamentally different things.

                And it doesn't begin to address what you've pointed out: That people who in no way, shape, or form say things "all you Obama cultists aren't really Democrats" - ever - are very regularly attacked for mere criticism of the president and his policies.

                MB's got a delicate game to play here, and I appreciate that, but I think this is fair to point out. The people who attack critics are the main problem. Not the critics.

        •  In other words -- (5+ / 0-)

          When you advocate insanity, make it look "balanced."  If you dare to criticize what David Mizner calls the "corporate-imperial state" (and thus also Barack Obama's protection of said state), make sure you mention that Barack Obama has made it "kinder and gentler."

          After all, it's all about Obama.  Real social change?  Not so much.

          "There's nothing heroic about earning profit." -Odo, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

          by Cassiodorus on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 05:13:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  and THIS, MB is why you have earned my respect. (6+ / 0-)

      Salute!

      Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. Those who want to wage the next war in Afghanistan are condemned to lose it.

      by llbear on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:24:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Broken campaign promises (8+ / 0-)

    I am discouraged with Obama selling the elderly down the river on SS, Medicaid and Medicare. What can I do about it? I no longer believe a word that comes out of Obama's mouth. I need to see it to believe it. No more believing this Machiavellian rhetoric. I cancelled my donations to his Organization of Action group. I quit donating to Sherrod Brown of Ohio because of his support of Obama's selling out the elderly and the poor and putting the burden of taxes on the middle class. I'm waiting for the next election cycle to support politicians who support the elderly and middle class. Democratic congress men and women need contested in primary elections by progressives who stand by us.
    Also, letting my frustrations with Obama known is therapeutic.

  •  What is the point of this diary? (15+ / 0-)
    I know we're supposed to develop opinions independently but fuck that. Too goddamn hard. Every one of these people are smarter than I am, better informed and they're better writers.  They think hard so I don't have to.
    Sounds like every Bush supporter.  

    I criticize Obama in order to try to influence his policy.   If you try to set up a straw man, that every critic thinks Romney would have been better, or want impeachment, then there is really nothing to discuss.   You're starting out from a dishonest starting point.  

    I voted for Obama 8 times, (IL Senate elections, US Senate elections, and President)  I'll criticize him on every issue I think he's wrong on.  

    It has nothing to do with Romney, or impeachment.   It has to do with holding his feet to the fire (remember that?).

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:28:53 PM PST

    •  Now see there? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fou, mapamp, vcmvo2

      Bush supporter!

      Bye.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:37:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How else to interpret it? Blind obedience (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        k9disc

        isn't good.

        Was that statement satire?  I'm honestly at a loss to interpret that statement.  Are you actually that lame that just take 'let someone else think for me' attitude seriously?  

        The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

        by Beelzebud on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:59:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You should read that again. (0+ / 0-)

        "Bush Supporter!" was not the point, and the point was solid.

        I read the same thing from that part of your post, but did not take it as the sole message.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:18:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  don't bother. as long as team limbaugh can shout (0+ / 0-)

      over you, you might a well be a bush supporter

       because even legitimate criticism of obama is completely distorted by the fact that the dominating element in media the last 25 yrs is talk radio and has been completely ignored

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:39:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary and comments so far (15+ / 0-)

    I mistook this on first reading for another salvo in the sux/rox wars.

    I have been to the left of the Democratic party my entire voting life, and have lamentably seen the party drift ever rightward during this time. I don't like many of the policies, but I do like the man. I can make no one happy, I suppose. :-)

    The Presidency has become an institution that seems beyond the power of the person sitting in the chair. We've got bigger problems than PBO. The bully pulpit is fine- as long as the bullies (read: the MIC, Wall Street, etc) get what they want. I'm not so sure what a FDR, Truman, or even LBJ could do in at this stage. WDC seems less an exercise in sausage making than it seems an abattoir.

    I have no easy answers. OWS was a great first step, but activism has to be focused, sober, and purposeful. We have to continue. Some of us see change via electoral politics. Others outside of it, and still others, a combination of the two. Let's not work at cross purposes.

    (I'm sounding like a MSNBC ad)

    Tipped and recced.

  •  If he's conservative who's a liberal? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, mapamp, blueyedace2

    I had this discussion yesterday, is Ted Kennedy a liberal? Even though he sponsored the 1971 HMO act or supported the war in Vietnam? Kennedy's life work was the universal healthcare bill Obama made a top priority and turned into law. Why is one called a moderate Republican here and the other is a liberal lion?

    If Obama's a conservative, what President in recent history isn't? And if no one, why do we judge PBO by a bar no President would clear?

    You Hate Cuts 2 Medicare? Do You Love Obamacare? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

    by CornSyrupAwareness on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:30:07 PM PST

    •  None of them (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justus, 3goldens, kurt, k9disc, gooderservice
      If Obama's a conservative, what President in recent history isn't?
      Every President's been conservative since LBJ, and he was very much a mixed bag.
      And if no one, why do we judge PBO by a bar no President would clear?
      Because as long as we expect conservative Presidents, and thus accept them as the status quo, we'll never have the possibility of getting a liberal one.

      Much criticism of President Obama may very well be unfair, in that he couldn't realistically do much better than he's done (though I think this applies more to domestic policy than to foreign policy). But the only way to drag the country's politics to the left is to be vocal about what we dislike, and if that requires being unfair to Barack Obama--well, I'd make that trade-off any day of the week and twice on Sunday, as they say.

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:32:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They have all been corporate since Reagan. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:18:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing (4+ / 0-)
    What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:30:13 PM PST

  •  Issues Advocacy compared to Partisan Politics (27+ / 0-)

    I worked most of my adult life helping recruit Dems to run for public office, then helping them get elected.  I've always been a happy warrior in that respect.

    Later in life, I became aligned with advocating for a health related issue - breast cancer.  I'd always spent my efforts getting Dems elected, without paying a whole lot of attention to what they did once they were in office.  The transition was awkward.  I gradually learned that sometimes, in spite of all the information provided, some of them weren't receptive.  

    When you spend a lot of time researching an issue, gathering data, getting feedback and developing a legislative or regulatory action agenda, it can become frustrating when someone you voted for refuses to budge.  It's especially disheartening when you know their reasoning isn't always the best.

    The two activities, issues advocacy and partisan politics, are difficult to balance. You learn to compromise or adjust your arguments or play the waiting game,  but now and then you have to hold your Dem elected officials accountable.  

    Sometimes, when the issue is critical, stakes are high, the opposition is firm and the compromises lead nowhere, it's unethical and hypocritical to criticize the GOP and not a member of your own party.  

    Dems who are focused on critical issue advocacy often have their backs against the wall these days.  When you look around and see so many people suffering and critical civil rights threatened and leaders in your own party are making things worse, you have to speak out.  When months and years roll by with no improvement...

    It's the place where your social conscience battles your partisan loyalty.  It's not easy, in fact it's very uncomfortable. But when, as a Dem, you have to start criticizing your leaders publicly, its usually because they've gone too far.  Don't mistake it as something casual, its usually the result of many compromises and much soul searching.  

    It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:32:03 PM PST

  •  I see a man in a pinch doing a pretty good job (10+ / 0-)

    Not only did he take over in one of the tougher situations any POTUS has had to face, he's done so with an obstructionist opposition party. Furthermore he has continued to fight for policies aimed at the long-term. He has not given in easily to short-term easy answers.

    All of the above are traits we've seen far too infrequently in our Presidents.

    That does not mean he hasn't made mistakes, but it does mean I reject the compulsion some have to paint the man as some sort of cruel Machivellian who delights in betrayal and the spreading of misery.

    Backseat driving is one thing but realize it's a big bus and a loooong ride. Please don't clog up our only john.

  •  How about not accepting "deficit death" (28+ / 0-)

    as a true issue, when it's a lie; and the lie that Social Security is in trouble (and given it's brought up in response to the budget/deficit conversation, that  SS is a contributor to the deficit. Itself a massive, and Republican, lie.)

    And instead

    instead

    insisting that the Beltway deal with the reality that massive Job Creation is the cure to both deficit and safety-net funding issues, even if they were of great moment.

    And then back that up with how a clamped-down Stimulus of 2009 did in fact improve job creation while it lasted, instead of passively accepting the Republican lie that it didn't.

    How about not pretending the Stock Market rally is a sign of Recovery when it's a sign of special treatment and money given Bankers, all the while ignoring that by actual count more people tumble into poverty, homelessness, joblessness, wage and savings loss, and food insecurity day after day, year after year since the Great Bankers' Depression started?

    Which of these things which would go to stymie Republican agendas (instead of reinforcing them), and would strengthen Democratic turnout in elections (look at all the polls, for years now) can not possibly be done by the President?

    This is just one point. There's a heap where Republican agendas and rhetoric are confirmed, and Democratic ones abandoned. All to make some sort of -- delusional -- bargain with the people who want to cut not only his throat, but ours as well.

    As my new signature says:


    If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

    by Jim P on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:34:28 PM PST

    •  You killed this: (12+ / 0-)
      How about not pretending the Stock Market rally is a sign of Recovery when it's a sign of special treatment and money given Bankers, all the while ignoring that by actual count more people tumble into poverty, homelessness, joblessness, wage and savings loss, and food insecurity day after day, year after year since the Great Bankers' Depression started?
      Something wrong with the system when we can have NYSE historical record highs with this many people unemployed, uninsured and unsafe.

      It's a huge flag.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:34:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, Stieglitz was on Maddow last week (9+ / 0-)

        and he said that the disparity is largely due to low interest rates and higher unemployment. If companies can borrow money at extremely low rates without having to hire people or pay higher wages to be profitable, their profits go up.

        Stieglitz is one of the most able critics of this administration there is, and even he didn't paint some nefarious picture of Obama coddling Wall St.

      •  The focus on Obama and Boehner (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P

        are about distracting us from the system.

        I try to stay away from bashing Obama - I don't trust him to serve the people before the profit. That's pretty much it. But it's not just him, it's the whole goddamn system.

        Everyone save a very select few wind up in my targets when they toe their corporate sponsor's line or serve profit in the hopes that it will benefit the people.

        I actually do my best to not talk about him, but it always goes there because our politics is based on the person in office - by design - it's always the human failure - greed, corruption, lax morals - and never the system.

        I try to stay focused on systemic problems and stay nonpartisan, and that means that I attack Democrats strongly pretty often because of their support of the system or lack of ability/desire to get out of the politics of personality.

        Not at all easy when there are 50 people having a 'discussion'.

        Peace~

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:26:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for the chance to say what I need to. (24+ / 0-)

      The cognitive dissonance that flows like a flood these days is giving me whiplash.  An example:  the President wants to end the sequester by creating a Grand Bargain----a deal that is not necessary.  I want the President to stop "reforming" Social Security via Chained CPI.   If anything, SS should be strengthened via the use of actual data in determining annual adjustments.  The method being using currently is that used for clerical workers.  As far as Medicare costs, I'm in that system right now and I watched both of my parents go through the system until they passed away.  I don't see the immense fraud and waste that those in D.C. talk about.  I do know that the President knows Dr. Donald Berwick, who has worked on improving health care quality while reducing health care costs for years, and who helped the healthcare organization where I worked for 21 years implement a strong health care quality improvement program.  Berwick was nominated to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid but left in 2011 because he couldn't get through a Republican filibuster against him.  Obama should not have let that happen.  Those who have their hands on the processes and the larger system KNOW how to reduce costs.  There is a wealth of data out there and inspiring stories and break-throughs in improving quality of care at lower cost.  The pharmaceutical companies must be required to negotiate drug prices for everyone on Medicare, yet this President won't touch them.  

      If Medicare is so costly, go make the suppliers to that system PROVE that their prices are reasonable and tell us that.  TALK to the physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals who make the system go.  But stop making those who have no voice in the system bear the brunt of the "reforms".  I am aware of healthcare orgs that have been working on improvement of quality and reducing costs since the 1980s.  He needs to link up with knowledgeable people in that arena and Dr. Berwick has loads of such contacts.

      And finally, I want this President to restore the integrity of the judicial system in this country.  Wall Street banksters, who crashed this economy, should have been prosecuted and their banks reduced to manageable size.  It is outrageous that this country is being held hostage by these people.  They have no incentive to stop their illegal actions because they now know they will be bailed out and rescued.  I want the people who have had their homes illegally taken from them (read Neil Barofsky's book if you want the full story on that) to have justice.  I want those who had their pensions reduced because of the Wall Street crash to have justice.  My husband's pension comes through the State of WI Investment Board.  The Core Fund took an $8 BILLION hit in 2008.  The losses to that Fund are, by law, spread over five years.  Over five years, we've lost a total of $537 a MONTH from that pension.  This is our last year of reductions finally!  And if SS is "reformed" so that it is no longer adjusted to the real cost of living, we will lose from that as well.  (Re the Core Fund:  the WI Pension Fund is the ONLY fully-funded public employee pension system in the country; it is the 8th largest; and it is extremely well-run.)

      There are times when I feel that people here are callous towards others who have suffered from the economic implosion as though since it didn't affect them, others are just whining.   I wonder if it's because they live very secure, even wealthy, lives and don't really get how devastating it has been for millions.  I don't hold the President responsible for the GR----we ALL know that it was Bush and his fellow outlaws who made that possible.  But I haven't seen the President show much of any interest in the elderly.  In fact, I don't recall hearing anything except ways he would like to reduce our standard of living.

      I apologize for the length of this.  Thanks for giving me the chance to speak from my heart.

      "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

      by 3goldens on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:39:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's worth reading. (7+ / 0-)

        And why it's the Dem Leadership in toto, not just the President. Why was the filibuster left to function pretty much as it did: that is dysfunctional for decent governance. Why can't we have a responsible person appointed to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid? Because it would displease a party the public doesn't support?

        During LBJ's term "Credibility Gap" became a catchphrase. Now we've got a "Reality Gap."
         


        If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

        by Jim P on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:40:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are so right about the Dem Leadership---- (7+ / 0-)

          or should I say the "lack thereof".  Reid's behavior has infuriated me at times, and Durbin and Schumer are no prizes either.  Pelosi and Hoyer leave me befuddled---I never know what off-the-wall idea they're going to support next.  

          It was your own comment in this diary that gave me the courage to write my own.   Thanks!

          "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

          by 3goldens on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:17:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Soul searching (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        k9disc
        There are times when I feel that people here are callous towards others who have suffered from the economic implosion as though since it didn't affect them, others are just whining.
        A couple of days ago I listened to an NPR piece about the closure of a meat packing plant in Texas (the state where I live).
        In Plainview, Texas, one of the town's main employers has shut down — sending 2,000 people scrambling for work. The meatpacking plant closed because there's a shortage of cattle due to the drought and economy. Now, city leaders and residents wonder about the future.
        http://www.npr.org/...

        It got me thinking about change, and how it comes about, and how it affects people in the micro, if not the macro, level.  

        This plant is apparently immediately impacted due to drought and problems in the region in producing enough cattle for them to process. But then my mind drifted to other possible causes for reducing meat processing - maybe people eating less meat. Maybe people recognizing that the environmental impact of meat consumption should be actively curtailed; maybe people deciding that health is better served by eating much less meat. Those are "good" things, right? Yet they would have a negative impact on those raising and processing and selling meat. We may have more energy efficiency with electric smart meters - but we are putting thousands of meter readers out of work.  There are many more examples. The common metaphor is that the "buggy whip factories" had to adapt to their times. But so many of the "good" things we want to see enacted will lead to job loss and economic suffering to those who have relied on the "bad" thing of the past.

        "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

        by Catte Nappe on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:57:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those multipliers, when GDP is health of nation, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P, 3goldens, Catte Nappe

          are deal breakers for 'pragmatists'.

          GDP is a terrible measure of health of nation.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:29:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If every American has an overnight (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            k9disc, 3goldens

            hospital stay because of a minor accident, and the bill is $1,000, GDP will go up $300M. So what's been produced, but misery and debt?


            If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

            by Jim P on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 11:12:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  That was beautiful (if that's the right word) (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, 3goldens, Eric Nelson

        Thank for you sharing.  

  •  What I want to happen (11+ / 0-)

    will not happen.

    The possible fruits of my criticism: none.

    And?

    As an American, I am allowed to express my disappointment and even rage against a President who promised a lot and delivered little.

    http://otherwise-occupied.tumblr.com/ @OOccupied

    by jvantin1 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:36:09 PM PST

  •  "possible fruits of your criticism?" (8+ / 0-)

    Uhm....changing policy. Changing Obama's policy and changing the Congressional Dem policy.

    How is that possibly hard to understand?

    As you say we are a democracy, allegedly one for, by, and of the people. We are the people, right? So WE are supposed to determine, or at least have a say in, the policies of the politicians who allegedly work for us. Isn't that the way it is supposed to work in a democracy?

    I have a question for you! If we the people don't tell our politicians what we want....how are we supposed to get it?

    In other words what you see as "criticism" I see as the very heart of democracy, the people telling the politicians what to do....instead of the other way around.

    Which do you think is better?

  •  I don't mind criticism of Obama. I do mind (8+ / 0-)

    the omniscience people have in reading his motives.  Don't tell me what Obama believes or thinks, Obama knows the answer to that.

    Keep the criticism in first person, lots of links, and as you said in this diary, tell me what is supposed to happen.

    And if Obama must be criticized, I can really do without the Joe Wilson cry of 'Liar'.

    guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

    by 88kathy on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:37:13 PM PST

  •  During the campaign DailyKos was one (9+ / 0-)

    We can look at the Grand Bargain as a campaign - and be one again -  against it.

    There are so many progressive journalists who go on MSNBC.  When they write articles, we should comment in them, over and over and over, whether it be Howard Fineman, Eugene Robinson, Jonathan Alter, David Corn, etc. They want to hear from us.

    All the blogs on MSNBC - Lawrence O'Donnell, Rachel, Rev. Al and Martin Bashir's pages are full of articles just waiting for their viewer's input.

    Not wanting entitlement cuts should be a campaign. By Obama supporters.

  •  I want him to provide me with a lifetime (14+ / 0-)

    supply of felafel, or at least chick peas and frying oil (sans fish grease) as I can make my own damn felafel, thank you.

    Put less snarkily, I want him to at least TRY to level the playing field, by going after banks and banksters that broke the law and cheated most of us out of vast amounts of money and now continue to game the system and refuse to invest in the real, non-financialized economy so that we can have, you know, decent, decent-paying jobs we're not constantly worried we'll be laid off from.

    For starters.

    Basically, while I know that things change and we can't ever go back to how things were in the past, what with globalization and technology and how the world is now flat and all that, I do want some degree of fairness and justice to be brought back so that, I don't know, the world actually IS flat for those of us who don't weigh a billion dollars and have 13 homes.

    I realize that with congress being run by a bunch of crazy and/or corrupt and/or cowardly dicks (in both houses), there's only so much he can do. But JEEZ, at least TRY to prosecute some of these cheating assholes. Even if it's nearly impossible to convict, the mere act of doing this (where warranted, of course) will sufficiently intimidate the rest into maybe dialing it back a bit, until it's possible to enact tougher regulation.

    Oh, and stop demanding this crazy "Grand Bargain". It makes absolutely no sense outside Tom Friedman and Lloyd Blankfein's febrile imaginations a neoliberal mutual masturbation society retreat. We need to INCREASE benefits and (for now) spending, not decrease them.

    But I'd also like those chick peas, thank you. The uncooked kind, of course, as you can't make good felafel with the canned kind, which always taste funny.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:43:12 PM PST

  •  Answers (18+ / 0-)
    What do you want to happen?
    I'd like for the politics in this country to shift so that people like Obama get considered center-right and people like Elizabeth Warren a moderate. This is not going to happen anytime soon, obviously, if at all.
    What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?
    1. Knowledge of the issues--for example, almost everything I know about social security I learned from people who criticized Obama (and before him, Bush).

    2. Rhetorical strategies, should I ever be engaged in an argument about these issues.

    3. Entertainment; I enjoy arguing, and I enjoy the knowledge that I'm not alone in my views.

    4. Criticism can be a building block to build a popular movement for or against certain policies.

    I certainly don't expect anything anyone here says to influence a politician; at least, not directly (#4 may change the behavior of politicians). But that doesn't mean it's worthless, far from it.

    I feel like I may not be grasping your point. I mean, I could ask you, or any other Obama supporter, the exact same questions. What do you want to happen? What do you foresee as the possible fruits of defending Obama on this blog?

    "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

    by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:46:24 PM PST

    •  You got my point perfectly. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TealTerror, fou, DeadHead, blueyedace2, vcmvo2, kurt

      They were real questions, completely unloaded.

      And you answered extremely well.

      I mean, I could ask you, or any other Obama supporter, the exact same questions.
      Great point. I and some other Obama Supporters have been answering the same questions, where we have answers.

      I do have to say that the best answers have come from folks who are more critical of President Obama. Or at least I understand a heck of a lot more about motivations, which are substantial.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:25:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you go to Rachel's home page (5+ / 0-)

    and ask her to stand against the Grand Bargain nonsense, she'll do it. So won't Rev. Al and Martin Bashir and Lawrence O'Donell.

    Write to them and tell them - as a supporter of President Obama you don't agree with these cuts.

    It's why they have their programs. To push against the inside the beltway BS.

    Even Rev. Al sounds concerned about the Grand Bargain.

  •  Absolutely nothing other than speaking out for (15+ / 0-)

    the record against a government that wages illegal and inhumane wars, a government that works with the ruling elite to spread imperialism, poverty, genocide, and killing across the planet.  
    I speak out against a government that lies to it's own people to further the interests of the banks, Wall Street, corporations, and the agenda of Israel, neocons, and neoliberals capitalists.  The ones that want to take our Social Security, Medicare and other social services to enrich themselves even more.  
    I speak out because I believe electing more and better democrats to try to solve the systemic problems we face is woefully inadequate to stop the injustices.  
    I speak out because that's all I can do against the oligarchy that controls this country and because it is my right as a human being.  
    What do I think will come of it.  Nothing.  Nothing will change the course we're on, the ruling class is too powerfull and there just aren't enough people willing to speak out.  Most are content with casting their votes every two years for corrupt politicians that are controlled by the oligarchs.  
    But it's better than nothing and until they ban me and shut us all up, I'll keep speaking out as a means of protest.  

    "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:54:17 PM PST

    •  Spot on (6+ / 0-)

      Ive praised the president when he's done good things and criticized him when he's done things which in my opinion were wrong. Lately its been more of the latter.

      If it was wrong during the Bush administration, its wrong in the Obama administration.

      Imagine if someone from Red State came to DK during the Bush administration and asked the same question "what will this criticism accomplish?" What would your answer be? I'm betting for many here it would sound a lot like what BigAlinWashSt just wrote about what he opposes. I'm not suggesting that the diarist is a right winger, its clear that this person isn't, or that the president is a clone of Bush. Only that too many policies have carried over from the previous administration.

      What's the answer? The answer I believe is to strongly oppose Obama's seemingly endless rightward shift, and remind Democrats in office that if they follow the president's lead they will follow him out the door when their terms are up.  

      I believe its a good thing for a Democratic rep (or their reps) to visit DK and see that we aren't all marching in lockstep behind the president. That voting for policies the president is promoting that would be considered conservative at almost any other time has its consequences.

      If Democratic politicians didn't consider DK important to some degree they wouldn't keep posting here. That's why I believe its important for them get a clear view about how we feel about the president's policies. They won't get that if we aren't honest about how we feel, pro or con.

  •  I feel we do have a voice but we have to (8+ / 0-)

    spend so much time trying to push past the mess the Bush  Administration left that we can't move forward by more than babysteps.   The President needs to change gears with his advisors IMO because even though he is the President of all of the US..governing from the middle is no longer the middle ..it is right of middle.  

    We have to make our presence known that the country has long rejected Bush and Co for years.   People are tired and broke and feel forgotten.   I am no longer sure just how much power the president can double down on with such obstuctionism so playing nice all the time with the party of no gets people worn down , well at least those of us who support him.  Rejecting the Gitmo and holding banks and war criminals would be a good start to get those numbers up.   They will never rise from the opposition party....only the left can push him to over 55 percent.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:57:32 PM PST

  •  Some how you hit the right button, (11+ / 0-)

    (not that I'm surprised at all) on how to start a conversation at the point where it usually seems to end in pie fight threads.  I agree with MB that the comments that put down civic action and participatory democracy, as if we don't have a stake in it, bother me. Why encourage that kind of thinking?  

    I say letter bomb the White House with your top issue or top three issues.  Actual letters, with actual stamps make an impact.  Do it this week.  I will.  One of the benefits is the response letter.  This is the first President I've written to in my life.  This sounds kind of silly but I feel strongly about this.

    My main concerns will be austerity measures, environmental degradation, and immigration reform; specifically helping same sex couples who want to be with their partners.

    Thank you for your constructive tone with a side helping of p&v!

  •  Focus on the policy, not the person (11+ / 0-)

    Much of the criticism (and ensuing pie fights) are a result of people criticizing Obama, the person. The criticism should be of the policies, and the best criticism should have suggestions about what a better policy would be.

    Separating the person from the policy means not ranting that Obama wants to cut social security, for example. We don't know what he wants, but I strongly suspect he does not want to cut social security benefits. We can scream loudly, all day long, that SS isn't broken, it isn't in danger of going broke, it can be made to work for the long haul by doing X, Y and/or Z...and never once is it necessary to even mention Obama's name.

    We can also dissect the political process and sausage making without Fristian psychoanalysis of the players. Setting aside debates over Obama being weak, or needing to grow one or another body part; and also setting aside admiration for 11th dimensional chess prowess or Jedi jujitsu, we can tackle the political reality. Who are the key players or votes on a particular issue. What are the most effective ways to bring pressure to bear (hint: it doesnt include ranting on a blog).

    "Holding his feet to the fire" and "Making him do it" requires substantial public support for or against a particular action, and sufficient expression of that support to sway the votes of those who will make or influence the desired decision. There are quite a few tools to use in trying to accomplish that. At risk of repeating myself, ranting about Obama (or whoever) on a blog is not one of them. Useful tools include, but are not limited to:
    How to write an effective LTE.
    Facts you can use to support your argument in an LTE.
    Information on who is involved in a particular committee, or is going to have an outsized voice in a particular vote.
    Organizing or participating in things like local rallies, Overpass Light Brigade type actions, etc.

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:17:55 PM PST

    •  I actually agree with you (5+ / 0-)

      But I (like the diarist, hah) have two questions, and I ask them in good faith.

      1) Why do so many people react so strongly when Obama, the person, gets criticized? I don't like it either when people insult him--and definitely none of us know what's inside his head--but a lot of people seem to treat it like they themselves, or their friend, had gotten insulted. [Sometimes the critics do insult the supporters themselves, which I think is legitimately over the line; of course, the reverse happens often as well.]

      2) Doesn't the same principle apply to the Obama supporters who talk about how liberal he is or how much he cares about the American people? Shouldn't the support, too, be for the policies and not the person?

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:24:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll try - just speaking for myself (4+ / 0-)

        1.  I think there is a natural response along the lines of an action leading to an equal and opposite reaction. And if a diary or comment is presented for discussion and it has to do with whether Obama needs a new chiropractor, the responses are going to address that issue (for or against).  

        2. Yes.  And it's why an Obama Rox diary is going to end up swarmed by Obama Sux commenters, and likely get a counterpoint Obama Sux diary in return.

        But, things do seem to devolve from the negative input.  A good, substantive diary about an issue, with action steps, usually doesn't degenerate into comment threads about what a great guy Obama is , or counter diaries going up to talk about what a great guy he is.  There may be counter diaries policy X is short sighted or based on faulty information, and policy Y is the better answer. But at some point the best policy debate can be sent off the rails by someone going negative to the personality. "Yeah, sure, great policy but you know Obama's too wimpy to fight for something like that". How often does a good diary or discussion thread go of the rails from someone saying "That is a policy we can all get behind, and my hero Obama is going to be just the man to make it happen"?

        "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

        by Catte Nappe on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:48:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fair enough (5+ / 0-)

          As for #1, I rarely see diaries (comments are a different matter) where the main point is Obama's possession, or lack thereof, of certain bone structures. Rather, you sometimes see a few (gratuitous, I admit) potshots taken, but the main point is the substantive policy criticism. It appears to me, as a critic, that supporters usually zero-in on the potshots and ignore the substance; that is, they use the potshots as an excuse to ignore the substance.

          How often does a good diary or discussion thread go of the rails from someone saying "That is a policy we can all get behind, and my hero Obama is going to be just the man to make it happen"?
          Well, as you say, an action does sometimes cause an equal and opposite reaction. :p

          More seriously, while a comment such as that might not derail the conversation, what about something like "I trust President Obama more than I trust you" (which I see quite often)?

          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

          by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:01:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I too see such comments (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueyedace2, TealTerror

            I don't know I'd say "often", but they aren't rare either. What would bring such a comment out? I'd think it might be an earlier comment referencing Obama, the person. Something along the lines of "he's doing it wrong". Maybe something suggesting he's caving, or appeasing, or not negotiating strongly, competently or in good faith.   It wouldn't surprise me that some might respond to something like that with a comment suggesting Obama is more knowledgeable or capable or effective than the poster of the original comment.

            On the other hand, if a commenter were to say "I think we could have gotten the votes for single payer health care if a bill had just been presented proposing it"; I can't easily imagine someone responding "well I trust Obama more than you on that". (I can imagine some vigorous debate on why such a bill would never be presented, and never would have gotten the votes, and would have generated a fight to the death from the HealthCareIndustrialComples (HCIC) - but that's a whole different discussion)

            "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

            by Catte Nappe on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:10:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Part of your comment stood out to me (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Little, Catte Nappe, 3goldens, kurt, TheMomCat

              (And I don't mean to pick on you--I very much appreciate the civility you've shown here--but I think it's emblematic of the disconnect between supporters and critics.)

              I'd think it might be an earlier comment referencing Obama, the person. Something along the lines of "he's doing it wrong". Maybe something suggesting he's caving, or appeasing, or not negotiating strongly, competently or in good faith.
              To me, none of those are criticisms of Obama the person. They're criticisms of Obama, the President. A shaky distinction, perhaps, but an important one. I think of insults to Obama as a person being along the lines of calling him a tool of the banks, etc. But Obama's negotiating strategy is a behavior he engages in, it isn't Obama himself, and criticizing it is (IMO) perfectly fine.

              This goes to a larger issue. I often see supporters saying things like "I don't mind the criticism, I mind the insults." Which is fair enough on its own. But I think there are many things that supporters see as 'insults' and critics see as 'legitimate criticism.'

              So if Person A were to say "Obama needs to stop appeasing the Republicans," and Person B were to respond "Obama's smarter and more knowledgeable than you; who are you to tell him how to negotiate?"--to me, that's not what you earlier called an "equal and opposite reaction"; it's gratuitously bringing in the personal aspect when it wasn't there before.

              Also, I could actually very easily imagine someone responding that way in the situation you pose in the second paragraph. Take, for example, this diary, with no insult to be seen, which proceeded to be graced with this comment.

              "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

              by TealTerror on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:54:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  And this is exactly one of the problems I see here (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, TheMomCat, priceman, Nada Lemming
      Separating the person from the policy means not ranting that Obama wants to cut social security, for example. We don't know what he wants, but I strongly suspect he does not want to cut social security benefits. We can scream loudly, all day long, that SS isn't broken, it isn't in danger of going broke, it can be made to work for the long haul by doing X, Y and/or Z...and never once is it necessary to even mention Obama's name.
      If Obama doesn't want to cut SS benefits, why is this posted on the White House website?

      And if you truly want to separate the person from the policy, then why do you say, "I strongly suspect he does not want to cut social security benefits?"

      Spending savings from superlative CPI with protections for vulnerable = $130B

  •  I really am puzzled by these questions (4+ / 0-)

    Are you saying that the only function of grassroots is to elect who ever the party tells you to elect?

    Do you really think grassroots can't influence policy?

    Do you really think it's somehow improper for the grassroots to try to influence policy?

    I have a strong feeling you and I are not on the same page.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:27:06 PM PST

  •  Hi Fish (13+ / 0-)

    #1. I see nothing as possible fruits of my criticism. So I've stopped the criticisms. They accomplish nothing and only make me angry and disappointed.

    But since you asked 2 questions, this is
    #2. What I would like to happen. What I'd like to see in him/see him do

    (small sample off the top of my head).

    (1) Fight for the middle class. Refuse to make any changes to SS and Medicare unless the SS change is to raise that cap on payroll taxes and unless Medicare is expanded to include first those 50 and over and later, the whole population. Those are good changes I'd support.
    (2) Fire Eric Holder - yesterday
    (3) Find an AG that will bring charges against the banksters.
    (4) Fire Stephen Heymann and Carmen Ortiz (RIP Aaron)
    (5) Refuse to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline
    (6) Forbid Drilling for oil in the Arctic
    (7) PUll back on allowing fracking
    (8) Get some liberal economists on his team (advisors, treasury)
    (9) Break up the TBTF banks
    (10) I could go on

    Q: If the Potus believes in so-called liberal policies, why doesn't he fight for them?

    "Say little, do much" (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

    by hester on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:27:27 PM PST

  •  This isn't better than your last diary. (0+ / 0-)

    Enjoy your spotlight, I guess.

  •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, 3goldens, zaka1, Agathena
    What do you want to happen? What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?
    and what do you see as the fruits of unconditional praise?
  •  Enjoyed the music (5+ / 0-)

    Jason Lollar winds some beautiful hot pickups. I have one on my CIJ 51 Precision reissue and it's the best pickup I have ever had on a bass.

  •  What (10+ / 0-)
    What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?
    Main point:  I'm here to make my opinion known. Which, I believe, is the point of a political blog.  

    And if by some chance, my opinion is read by members of the House Progressive Caucus, I hope they get the idea we do get it.  They and their votes are the problem.  

    Same with liberal Democrats in the Senate who post here.  

    Too many times we see them lecturing us on how to move away from what they just voted for.  

    Here's hoping one of the above reads this.  If not, I sure as hell will post my opinion in their blog.  

  •  the 1% won. What are we going to do? (6+ / 0-)

    no more sending more wealth to the 1%

    SS needs to be strengthened

    Americans need to grow up and get engaged in politics and push the politicians

    the recent Feb 17 march on DC for the environment had only 50,000. There should have been 500,000 and another few million around the country.

    There are serious issues facing the country and the response to put Bradley Manning in jail for life for letting the public know what the military industrial complex is doing in our name shows how are we have fallen

    Chris Hedges calls it a Corporate Coup D'etat

    time to hit the streets

    time to change campaign finance laws

    etc.

  •  Something FDR said about make me do it (11+ / 0-)

    Now, Obama is no FDR, never was nor will be.

    It's not YOUR support of Obama that's my concern here, Fish. (Insert appropriate profanities here) It's the haiography, hero-worship, pompom-waving and general hyterics that ANY critique of President Obama brings out here.

    ACTION - Write postcards (letters get held for safety reasons) to your congresscritters, to the President, get involved, run for precinct captain; whatever!

    Give the man the House and keep the Senate in 2014.

    As Teddy Roosevelt said so well and soooo much better than you or I:

    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

    The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

    by ozsea1 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:52:17 PM PST

    •  I've seen that. (5+ / 0-)
      t's the haiography, hero-worship, pompom-waving and general hyterics that ANY critique of President Obama brings out here.
      And I've been guilty of it sometimes.

      I think both sides of the "Obama, good or bad?" question have had some very short fuses, which I can now understand a little better.

      Today was good. Today was very good.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:05:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  With 50 people on a thread, pet issues, hundreds (0+ / 0-)

        of comments bubbling through our brains, it's a recipe for popping off.

        There are many straws that can break the camel's back.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:45:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If you really believe, as you claim, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, kurt, allenjo, k9disc, gooderservice

    that vocal disagreement with the president on [insert any issue] will lead to his impeachment, or that it is intended to lead to his impeachment, then I can see why you would be extremely upset if somebody disagreed with him.

    HE doesn't seem to be as touchy about it as you. Hasn't he actually asked people to be engaged and vocal, repeatedly quoting FDR's famous line -- "Go out and make me do it"  ??

    Disagreement. Don't be so afraid of it. Look at Senator Warren, up there on
    the Hill vocally disagreeing with years (if not decades) of kid-glove treatment of the big banks. Maybe FINALLY something will change.

    And THAT is the reason for criticism and disagreement, Fishgrease. Because then maybe finally something will change.

    •  I've addressed that in other comments (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little, 3goldens, kurt

      which, I cannot expect everyone to have read.

      Yes, listing impeachment as the only option was a lack of imagination on my part.

      I could list 30 now. So you're right.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:07:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Disagreement. Don't be so afraid of it. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc, Horsefeathers

      Why are too many people here so upset by people working for a better government and speaking out about what is wrong - what we need to work on to change?

      so agree, Horsefeathers!

      Disagreement. Don't be so afraid of it.

      Look at Senator Warren, up there on the Hill vocally disagreeing with years (if not decades) of kid-glove treatment of the big banks.

      Maybe FINALLY something will change.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:19:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My god - where's your gray? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Little, Fishgrease, Addison, 3goldens, k9disc

    Impeachment or nothing?   That's a hell of a trip.

    Talk about senseless.

    it is stellar compared with Democrats and especially Republicans in Congress
     
    Yep, better shot than stabbed, stabbed than set on fire.   Ok, life is relative now what?  

    You ask what have I got to gain; I ask what have I got to lose?    The Teapots didn't take over the Cain Mutiny by rolling over.   I'm not about to go into the streets and get  maced or beat, so I guess adding to the squeaky wheel the best I can is the best I got.   If you don't like the way I exercise my democratic rights, tough.  Nobody died and left you in charge.  

    I am short with you because I don't understand why you feel the need to hit back last (perpetrate the tit for tat).  Somebody has to stop first.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:57:04 PM PST

  •  Before local elections (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, MRA NY, TomP, blueyedace2, kurt, k9disc

    I often pick up the Green Party election guide. Often--by no means always--I follow their recommendations in voting for candidates and issues. As a registered, fairly partisan Democrat, why do I do this? I admire the work of this progressive group, filling a seeming void by offering informed progressive opinion and commentary on local races.

    On the other hand, picking up the Green Party voting guide before elections, reminds me of why I'm a Democrat--not a Green. The Green Party, as reflected in this guide, seems to have little stomach for the incrementalist approach that I basically see as the only plausible model for the progressive change in society. For instance, the Greens will "not endorse" a candidate at the drop of a hat, rather than weighing in for the long-term career prospects of somebody whose policy positions they may not entirely agree with.

    I have tried to persuade a Green friend, who regards Obamacare as a "failure," of the importance of merely changing the Beltway rhetoric around HCR, to include the words "universal healthcare." This rhetorical shift, alone, will go down as a big accomplishment in Obama's career. I'd argue, is a first step, a necessary one, towards real HCR. My Green friend will have none of it. Her thinking seems to be all-or-nothing. I understand that in a way, but I'm a big believer in winning by learning to play for the long term. It's what Republicans have always done. It's what our side needs to learn to do, and I think the Democratic Party, for its many and serious flaws, is ahead of other progressive parties here.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:58:32 PM PST

  •  i don't see much use in criticism as long (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, wader, blueyedace2, k9disc

    as the 'left' has no organized challenge to the talk radio monopoly the right uses beat the crap out of every democratic and progressive politician all day long.

    in some instances not only does the 'left' walk right by that screaming lying tag teaming carnival barker on every corner and stump in the country, we join in. sometimes repeating the same shit.

    it's like we're booing our basketball team for loosing without noticing the other team has an extra player.

    as long as the beast weapon the 1% has to steal and kill and burn the planet up gets what is virtually a free speech free ride i don't see any fairness or usefulness in going after obama.

    i can disagree with a lot of what he does but i am under no unicorn-induced illusion that what we're getting is what he wants. sure it's needed but in this situation it just helps the assholes.

    once the 'left' yanks the iPods out of therears long enough to notice much of their activism is undone by a few jerks with big megaphones with college sports logos all over them and some organization takes on right wing radio in a serious way, then we can get some serious reform going and see who our best reps might be and where they need criticism.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 02:59:16 PM PST

    •  I read your comments about this in another diary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, blueyedace2, kurt

      and I don't see how anyone can say you don't have a good point regarding talk radio.

      Air America failed (my opinion) because progressives (Democrats too) don't require the daily support of our ideas from talking heads.

      There's an intelligence gap there as well. You won't find very many intelligent conservatives (not fully an oxymoron) listening to Rush or Hannity or any of the other idiots.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:21:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks. 'smart' cons love the benefits of the (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishgrease, wader, kurt, Eric Nelson

        deregulation and tax breaks they get from republican policies, and the social order and control that eases their fear addled thinking.

        i think there a lot of americans out there who only tune in to RW radio because its the only thing available while driving or working to get the latest politics before going home to fight the family for the remote.  if given an equal choice between liberal and con political talk while commuting, a lot less than 95% would choose the wit and wisdom of limbaugh and hannity.

        if the monopoly starts to fall apart liberal radio will spread. and it will be good.

        that trout looked like a good one. i used to spin for tuna off the rock ledges around sydney australia with 2-3OZ torpedo lures, 11 ft rods, large baitcasting reels with 450 yds of 18lb line and 5-1 gear ratio to interest the speedy fish. 50 pounders were not uncommon, caught a couple. long fights. but always had to watch out for the waves trying to wash us in. once in a while small marlin would be hooked and even caught of the rocks. my friend hooked one and it just took all his line while we watched.

        when i went inland USA i stopped that and went to dog fishing- maybe i'll do a diary.

        bass fishing gear and a terrier type dog is a hoot. try a soft cord loop for a leader and i used to use rubber glove or two bunched up and rubber banded together around the leader. it needs to be heavy enough and streamlined enough to cast but won't hurt the dog's nose or eyes in an accident.

        cast out and try to keep to away. fast retrieve is great. i cast out, he'd run after as fast as possible and just before he got to it i'd twitch it out of the way, he'd go sprawling, and then i'd have to beat him back. fantastic exercise for them. i tried lately with a hundred pounder- she loves it too. it's great when the dog want to play tug of war. one i used to play with would hunch down and back away (inch by inch) while i had the rod bent maximum and could eventually pull it around the fence post and break the line if i didn't cheat and move.

        tried it with some kit/foxes that had a den nearby- they loved it.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:15:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  you are ridiculous and this is nothing. .. (0+ / 0-)

    But a diary meant to stir the shit and for you to sit up on mount pious saying 'I was being sincere'

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:00:20 PM PST

  •  Gay Marriage! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, Crabby Abbey, 3goldens, kurt

    Like most people here who are very critical of President Obama, I would support him over any Republican, no question, but believe some of his policies and actions are very wrong headed.

    You ask what the purpose of our criticisms is?  What do we want to see happen?  We want Obama to realize he is wrong about some things and to change his policies.  One big example of a success in this is gay marraige.  Obama was a vocal opponent of gay marriage when he was elected in 2008, but due to criticism from the base he made a strong turn-around in his rhetoric and policy.

    Will we be able to change his mind of every policy with criticism?  Of course not... but he certainly won't change if we remain silent and fawn over everything he does.

  •  Couldn't you just as well ask (4+ / 0-)

    "Why have a conversation? What do we hope to accomplish?"

  •  Fishgrease, here's the deal: (14+ / 0-)

    We can't fucking put up with this shit ignor these things [thank you Micheal Moore - I've re-oredered them according to what I believe is most important.]:

    2. END ALL THE WARS NOW.
    I know he's got Hagel on the case, and I believe he has finally realized that his army generals are more interested in warfare than peace. Just get the troops all home and working on rebuilding the infrastructure of this country.

    1. DRIVE THE RICH RIGHT OFF THEIR FISCAL CLIFF.
    Rebuilding this country needs to a pay-as-you-go proposition. So, announce that Ronald Reagan had it right about income equality and that we are immediately returning to the tax rates in effect under his administration. And when the fat cats whine, yell louder!

    4. DECLARE A MORATORIUM ON HOME FORECLOSURES AND EVICTIONS
    Make it illegal for any bank or lending institution to provide a loan that requires repayment equal to more than 30% of the borrower's income.

    5. GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS.
    The Brits do it right. Take notes, modify and implement.

    3. END THE DRUG WAR.
    If people want to kill themselves with drugs, let them. Anybody who is a junkie and wants to reform gets intensive treatment and can't be released until the instution says they are cured. That means we need research to find those antidotes for addition.

    6. EXPAND OBAMACARE.
    Single-payer becomes universal, and then close down all medical insurance companies. Expand coverage to include mental health and dental.

    8. REDUCE STUDENT LOAN DEBT.
    Michael Moore says it right: "No 22-year-old should have to enter the real world already in a virtual debtors' prison. This is cruel and no other democracy does this like we do."

    7. RESTORE GLASS-STEAGALL. and 9. FREE BRADLEY MANNING.
    Why bankers who stold billions should not go to jail and Bradley Manning should is something you owe us a book about. Face it. You can't write it without looking like a Cheney. If you care about your legacy, you need to act on both of these issues. Start with a new a real Attorney General - think of someone who is a modest Elliot Spitzer with a conscious.

    10. ASK US TO DO SOMETHING.
    Micheal has this one wrong. You already have. You asked us to believe in you. For the most part we still do. But our job is to make sure you deliver on all of your promises. That's what you asked us to do.

    So, Fishgrease, that's why, when it comes to President Obama, we Democrats have to bitch, whine, yell, and generally be obnoxious. He asked us to.

    Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. Those who want to wage the next war in Afghanistan are condemned to lose it.

    by llbear on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:16:49 PM PST

  •  Your diary reminds me of the saying that the only (7+ / 0-)

    candidate who would match all of my views is myself.  As president of all America, there are two comparisons to be made:

    1.  How does the president compare to my views.
    2.  How does the president compare to the views of the country.

    On 1, you're right, I can't think of anything he's to the left of me on, and I'm a Texas Liberal.

    On 2, though, he's pretty freakin' liberal.  Watching what is happening, he's doing a better job of moving us left than the last Democratic president.  And the country is moving with him.  Now, he has a few enemies, a number of whom don't like his skin color or the fact that his skin color represents an end to the "racial entitlements" most whites feel they are entitled to (and yes, I am white).  As president of the entire United States, a majority of whom do not have logins on this site (hell, not even all of the Democrats have logins on this site), I think he's done a pretty good job.

    Now, all we have to do is make him move even more to my views.  And the best way to do that is to put a Congress in place that will write the laws corresponding to my will.

    "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

    by anonevent on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:25:30 PM PST

  •  I want to see a democratic president (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TealTerror, Fishgrease, bluezen, 3goldens

    act like a real true-blue democrat and call out all this BS.  Call out Wall Street.  Put pressure on Holder to actually make a difference and prosecute the thieves.  Explain to the American public that austerity during a recession is asinine.  Attack the rich elite for doing all they can to widen the income gap.  Push for more tax breaks for companies who keep jobs in the States and penalties for those who offshore jobs.  We need some good American protectionism.  And we need to expose the corporate stranglehold on our media, our economy and our congress.

    I'd love to see him just get up and tell the truth.  If Elizabeth Warren can do it, if Al Franken can do it, why can't this President?  Seriously.  Why not?  

    I voted for him and Romney was a joke.  But I'm disappointed that he is not fighting tooth and nail to protect seniors, the disabled and poor hungry kids.  

  •  That looked like a nice trout! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, Eric Nelson

    Did you let it turn slack and spit the hook? I often do that as considerate sportsman's form of catch and release...more release..less catching.

    "Life is tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid." --John Wayne

    by Sonofasailor on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:36:28 PM PST

  •  Shake things up. (9+ / 0-)

    I have fewer complaints on the social issues side, though we certainly have a ways to go for anyone not white and male.

    On the Class and Climate Wars I am absolutely appalled. Appalled. Not just by the Deniers, Media and Government. (And that, again, goes for both Class and Climate Wars.)

    To me, there are many shades of Denial. And two of those are Complacency and Apathy. Based on people's actions, I see lots of complacency and apathy. Sorry, but electoral politics and representative government as defined in writing letters, making phone calls and signing petitions is not enough. Not by a long shot. They are all necessary, but they are just the price of admission. And this is obvious due to the small impact they have.

    So yeah, I make a lot of my comments that try to expose and get at and agitate around that.

    However, I do also want to say I have worked extremely hard and traveled a lot for both of Obama's campaigns. I did more than most, in part because I have the means. So I hate it when people suggest that the only solution is to work harder next time. Maybe instead they should help us apply broad pressure, sometimes IN PERSON, at rallies and through direct action, whether aimed at the government or specific industries or companies or whatever. If they are too compromised by their ambitions and work to stand up for truly important things -- like the Class and Climate Wars -- then maybe that's a problem they should think about. I mean, spend so much of your life publicly silent (outside of in-groups) on the most important issues of our time, the outcome of which will reverberate for decades, possibly centuries?

    Sorry, campaigning, voting and letters aren't enough. I wish it were, too, but it's not, and there's a lot at stake for a lot of people. If delegating to government representatives is not working and we have problems the size of our Class and Climate Wars, it's not enough to say, "well, I voted."

    Also, I do speak out and praise Obama and/or the administration when they do things I like. The last two occasions I recall were 1) the touring he has done over the past few months to get his message out and rally the troops and 2) the memorandum generated that showed the state-by-state impacts of the sequester.

    The last thing I'll say about why I comment is that I can't not speak up. I'm not going be uninformed or quiet or inactive just so I or other people can be more content. I admit that goes against the philosophy I held most of my life, which was to try to do whatever I could to make people's time here as pleasant as possible, to counter-balance all the forces working against that. Unfortunately, this is a watershed generation. The demands on us are different, because of us. We've had too much contentedness and convenience and we have let the future down in monumental, historical ways. It's time for agitation and discontent and inconvenience while we still can make a difference. To me, not doing so is amoral at best. It's a choice NOT to prevent massive suffering. My actions are based on this conviction.
    On that, I'll end with two quotes from Chris Hedges, who is one of the sages of our time. He will be appreciated much more in the future, because most people are not comfortable with dissent, just as the masses in Germany hated the White Dawn group that schemed to murder Hitler. Dissenters are rarely accepted in their own time. Chris is not angling for a popularity contest. He's working on getting the truth out in order to change the future in whatever way he can. When he dies, people will say he did everything he knew how to do, and they'll be right.

    "Somebody's got to do something. And it's just pathetic that it has to be us." - Jerry Garcia

    This magical thinking, this idea that human and personal progress is somehow inevitable, leads to political passivity. … It has turned whole nations, such as the United States, into self-consuming machines of death.” - Chris Hedges
    Those who fail to exhibit positive attitudes, no matter the external reality, are seen as maladjusted and in need of assistance. Their attitudes need correction. Once we adopt an upbeat vision of reality, positive things will happen. This belief encourages us to flee from reality when reality does not elicit positive feelings. These specialists in "happiness" have formulated something they call the "Law of Attraction." It argues that we attract those things in life, whether it is money, relationships or employment, which we focus on. Suddenly, abused and battered wives or children, the unemployed, the depressed and mentally ill, the illiterate, the lonely, those grieving for lost loved ones, those crushed by poverty, the terminally ill, those fighting with addictions, those suffering from trauma, those trapped in menial and poorly paid jobs, those whose homes are in foreclosure or who are filing for bankruptcy because they cannot pay their medical bills, are to blame for their negativity. The ideology justifies the cruelty of unfettered capitalism, shifting the blame from the power elite to those they oppress. And many of us have internalized this pernicious message, which in times of difficulty leads to personal despair, passivity and disillusionment.”  - Chris Hedges

    One of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans is that the former have the moral imagination to see the moral dimension of financial affairs, while the latter do not. Pragmatists are the exception.

    by Words In Action on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 03:39:47 PM PST

    •  One shade of denial is pure denial (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueyedace2

      Not apathy, not complacency, just pure-d denial.  

      Far too many are still in total denial about climate change - it isn't happening, it's a hoax, scientists are wrong or they lie. Those folks are neither apathetic nor complacent. They are passionatly engaged and firmly convinced of their views.  

      Another significantly sizeable group are also neither apathetic nor complacent. They admit the climate appears to be changing, but there is no human influence causing it nor exacerbating it. It would happen anyway, and there isn't anything we can do to stop or ameliorate it. All we can do is prepare as best we can to deal with the inevitable.
       

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:52:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think WIA meant that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, blueoasis

        complacency and apathy can be ways of denying the importance of these issues, two means of rejecting them and responsibility for them. Something like that.

        “Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers -- and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers." - Chris Hedges

        by Klusterpuck on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:29:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Social Issues vs State/Corporate power (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      largely through economic issues.

      I too find the social moves to be fairly solid, although women seem to be taking the hit pretty hard these days...

      I'm excited about the changes in social policy, not overjoyed, but it's definite progress. But that's a moot point, IMO, if we don't get a handle on State and corporate power.

      Great comment... Love Hedges.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:53:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Apparently, there are folks who don't know (5+ / 0-)

    anything about the meaning of dissent. Go back and study the labor and civil rights movement. some of us out there are organizing on the issues we care about, and I'm assuming you care about as well: the environment, economic justice, civil liberties. If you think Obama has made swell decisions on all of the above issues. Then carry on. If not, then I wonder why you're even having to ask these questions.

  •  "Call me intellectually lazy. I'll own that." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BradyB, Beelzebud

    I just re-read the diary. I think now that you actually meant that last paragraph:

    Me? I support President Obama. You know that. As for my opinions outside a very thin envelope of personal knowledge, I read Josh Marshall, Atrios, Rebecca Schoenkopf and Army Specialist Markos Moulitsas. I know we're supposed to develop opinions independently but fuck that. Too goddamn hard. Every one of these people are smarter than I am, better informed and they're better writers. Where they agree, which is on most everything really, that's my opinion too. They think hard so I don't have to. I'm not saying getting my opinions from other people is morally or ethically correct. Call me intellectually lazy. I'll own that.
    I guess my question is, having written that, why do you write diaries?
    •  Can you do anything besides insult people? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueyedace2, vcmvo2

      Last time I respond to anything you comment.

      You never say anything.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:11:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is an honest question. (0+ / 0-)

        Not all criticism is insult.

        And honestly, after that impeachment remark, you should really take a look in the mrror about "insult."

        •  Same concept. Why do you bother to comment? (0+ / 0-)

          Just as insulting as the other question.
          But you somehow want to say that it's criticism.

          "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

          by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:28:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How is it not a fair question to someone (0+ / 0-)

            who describes himself as "intellectually lazy"? (And who goes a long way to back it up with that bizarre impeachment question?)

            •  I didn't ask if it was fair. I asked why? (0+ / 0-)

              It contributes nothing. It's an ad hominem fallacy. It's being a disk™. And there is no answer that would ever satisfy you other than some sort of an emotional reaction. Which is the essence of trolling. Or reacting to what you perceive as trolling. Insulting someone is not criticizing what they've said no matter how you try to rationalize it.

              "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

              by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 06:31:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No. Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                If someone said, "I never read any bosk about cars" - while writing about cars - it would be entirely fair to ask them why they write about cars. It is completely fair - and that's all the why that or any other question needs.

                And maybe you think to little of Fishgrease.

                •  Strawman and false equivalence nonsense again (0+ / 0-)

                  You asked why he bothered to write a diary.
                  I turned that around and asked why you bothered to comment.

                  You get upset and try to justify your rude behavior by deflecting to claim fairness. And attacking the messenger.

                  But why bother to write a rude comment?

                  When the diarist claims that someone refuses to give thought to a subject and clings to an emotionally charged belief instead, based on your reactions, he hit a nerve.

                  Simple psychological projection.

                  "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

                  by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:06:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But asking me that would only make sense if (0+ / 0-)

                    I had said something about myself equivalent to what the diarist said about himself. And I still want to know why he writes diaries if he thinks he's intellectualy lazy. I'd like an answer for that.

                    And the diarist asked people here on DKos whose "criticisms of President Obama are real, factually based and for the most part reasonable" what they want from those criticisms, because all he can think of is impeachement. That you have translated that very bizarre question as "claims that someone refuses to give thought to a subject and clings to an emotionally charged belief instead" is beyond normal human understanding.

                    •  He says others are intellectually lazy (0+ / 0-)

                      It's not about you, either.

                      "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

                      by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:29:45 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Are you for fucking real? (0+ / 0-)

                        These are the diarist's words, from the diary, write up there above these comments:

                        Me? I support President Obama. You know that. As for my opinions outside a very thin envelope of personal knowledge, I read Josh Marshall, Atrios, Rebecca Schoenkopf and Army Specialist Markos Moulitsas. I know we're supposed to develop opinions independently but fuck that. Too goddamn hard. Every one of these people are smarter than I am, better informed and they're better writers. Where they agree, which is on most everything really, that's my opinion too. They think hard so I don't have to. I'm not saying getting my opinions from other people is morally or ethically correct. Call me intellectually lazy. I'll own that.
                        About others, the exact ones he's addressing, hesays this:
                        Your criticisms of President Obama are real, factually based and for the most part reasonable.
                        •  You really don't see that this part is satire? (0+ / 0-)

                          A little too abstract for your sensibilities? No humor in that?

                          Any time something gets you really, really going, whether you get outraged or angry or it doesn't seem to make any sense to you, you probably missed something. Hell, The Onion is reported as news and people are outraged, too. Way too outraged to bother to verify the facts.

                          He's satirizing himself in the shoes of those he's asking to answer his perfectly sensible questions. He probably didn't expect so many to miss the point entirely. And boy, howdy, did the shit hit the fan.

                          How many of Bob Johnson's satirical diaries did you fall for?

                          I read an entirely different diary that was coherent, logical, and clever.

                          You reacted.

                          "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

                          by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 08:08:51 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I sense humility in there. I do. (0+ / 0-)

                            Then I weigh it against this:

                            Here's what I see as possibilities:

                            1. Impeachment (or election nullification with cause, if you will)

                            2. That's it. I can't think of anything else. What am I not seeing? Again, serious question.

                            And I think, My God, he's serious. And right.
                          •  The only answer he thinks others can offer (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kurt

                            Again, you've removed all context.

                            He asks this:

                            So the questions are for those here on Daily Kos who are very critical of President Obama for whatever reason -- sequester, banksters-Wallstreet, drones, KXL, anything as long as it is specific, say more specific than TYRANNY or FREEDOMS!

                            Here's the questions: What do you want to happen? What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?

                            You, defined as those who are very critical of President Obama for whatever reason, what are the possible fruits of your criticism?

                            Again:

                            What do you want to happen? What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?

                            Here's what I see as possibilities: [that would be the possible answers from you, those who are very critical]

                            1. Impeachment (or election nullification with cause, if you will)

                            2. That's it. I can't think of anything else. What am I not seeing? Again, serious question.

                            Again, what are the possible fruits of your criticism?

                            Your possible answers, not his answer. He's not suggesting impeachment. He's suggesting that your remedy might be impeachment. He is seriously asking what you want. What is your end game?

                            Seriously, you're just not flowing downstream with the writer's words. It really isn't obtuse or complicated.

                            I can't be more clear.

                            Spin away.

                            "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

                            by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 08:42:34 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Gobsmacked. (0+ / 0-)

                            What are the possible fruits of my criticism? Of the criticism of everyone else here who has ever criticised anything regarding Obama, too, since fish is addressing all of us?

                            Instead of answering, let me ask you something: What is 1 + 1?

                            Because that's been fucking mystifying me for decades!

                            Honestly. It's possibly - and I am being completely sincere - the very dumbest fucking question ever asked on DKos. Here's just one of the many answers to it right in this thread. Jesus.

                          •  It's not about YOU (0+ / 0-)

                            Lose the ego.

                            "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

                            by GrumpyOldGeek on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 01:27:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Plenty of shade tree mechanics (0+ / 0-)

                  have never cracked a book about cars. Doesn't mean they don't know what they're talking about. Certainly doesn't invalidate their opinion.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:22:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  For fuck's sake. (0+ / 0-)

                    Are you srerious? I've never read much about cars myself. And I'm a hell of a mechanic. Pretty sure you got my point.

                    Fuck, this place.

                    •  Of course I got your point (0+ / 0-)

                      I just don't think it's valid.

                      Sorry if you find disagreement intolerable.

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:12:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You acted like you didn't get my point. (0+ / 0-)

                        Why are you acting like you simply disagreed?

                        •  "Acted"? (0+ / 0-)

                          I'm not even sure what that means.

                          Let me try to clarify.

                          Whether one has read a book on a subject has no necessary relation to whether or not they have something of value to contribute to a discussion. It follows that book reading is completely extraneous to the question of the diarist's motivation.

                          Now you may agree or disagree but it has nothing to do with acting.

                          Nothing human is alien to me.

                          by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 01:51:58 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You did not get my point. (0+ / 0-)

                            And I find it very odd that you didn't. Let me restate it:

                            If someone wrote diary after diary about cars - and then admited to not knowing the first thing about cars - it would be entirely fair to ask them what the fuck they were doing.

                            Do you disagree with that, which was - plainly - my point?

                          •  Um (0+ / 0-)

                            I may be mistaken but I don't think that is quite what he said.

                            However, what you're talking about is literary device often used in humor writing. Mark Twain used it. Alistair Crowley used it in his notorious defense of Gilles de Rais where he began by claiming to be completely ignorant of the subject.

                            I think you're being overly literal but I could be wrong.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 03:13:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I hear that, but like I said in my (0+ / 0-)

                            comment, I actually think he meant it. When you take the entire diary - and especailly this: "2. That's it. I can't think of anything else. What am I not seeing? Again, serious question" - I think you have to take away that he meant it.

                          •  Not to mention that this: (0+ / 0-)

                            "Me? I support President Obama. You know that. "

                            That backs up the "intellectually lazy" thing, too. Especially in the context of this diary.

          •  Incoherence. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BradyB, Little

            If someone says:

            I know we're supposed to develop opinions independently but fuck that. Too goddamn hard
            ...it's more than fair to ask why they comment, or write diaries for that matter.

            Not least of which because the people he cites all agree that it's sometimes a good thing to criticize the president! So, according to his own rules of opinion-formation, he should CLEARLY be in favor of policy criticism!

            So what's this diary about, fundamentally? He trusts the folks cited to form his opinion for him, but even though they all criticize various policy sets held by the president, he somehow bucks their opinions there!

            It's incoherent. Unless this diary is fundamentally about getting a rise out of people, and then incoherence is a plus.

            it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

            by Addison on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:02:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not a problem of incoherence (0+ / 0-)

              It only seems incoherent if it isn't comprehended correcty.

              It's perfectly coherent and straightforward to me. Read it again - slowly. You got lost somewhere along the way.

              "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

              by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:27:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  It's a good question, regardless of the asker. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Little

        it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

        by Addison on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:26:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

      After that I don't feel I need to read the rest of at least this diary.  

      Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

      by dov12348 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:55:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What do I want to see happen? (4+ / 0-)

    Let's take these few:
    sequester: I want the President to drop the Grand Bargain talk, have the Democratic Senate cue up a bill that merely repeals the sequester, and go argue that one to the public.

    banksters-Wallstreet: Fire Eric Holder and put someone in who will enforce our laws against fraud regardless of how big the corporation is.  The appearance of corruption in not going after the banksters seriously so as to deter them from future fraud is a cancer at the heart of this Presidency.  At some point, someone is going to notice and the results will not be pretty for Democrats.

    drones: There are two issues here--increasing use of drones and the assertion that Article II commander-in-chief powers do not require the President to have someone outside the executive check his work when he determines that an individual is an imminent threat.  On drones proper, the US should not be in the business of spending gobs or R&D Defense money on technologies that lower the cost of warfare.  That increases your capability at the expense of destroying your deterrence.  We have a hard enough time keeping nuclear weapons in the box.  What happens when weaponized drones are inexpensively available to insurgent groups, organized crime, and hardnosed corporations on the global arms market?  Time to think about how to handle the blowback from using drones; defenses against drone swarms.

    targeted killing:  Another case in which Holder should be sacked for the piss-poor white paper he allowed get to Congress.  Find someone to replace Holder who will not repeat John Yoo's arguments for Presidential power.  Start actually using the Senate and House Intelligence committees for real oversight.  Some actual work might cut down on the showboating.  Forget the idea of using targeted killings and go back to the post-Watergate policy of no assasinations.  Start paying attention to why folks might actually hate us--hint: it ain't just for our freedoms.

    KXL - flat out deny the permit and stop dallying around.  Also start putting on the pressure on Harper to stop the environmental rape of First Nation land in Canada.  And drop the all-of-the-above energy strategy.  Focus on rolling out technologies that will lower the greenhouse gases.  And start using the power of the executive to enforce the environmental laws and not let corporations like BP off the hook.

    The Constitutional crisis we need to have has to do with the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

    And there are some other things that the President needs to do.  Pull back on the vindictive prosecution of Bradley Manning.  End the kanagaroo court trials at Guantanamo and either release of bring those folks to trial in the US.  If evidence tainted by torture causes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to have to be released (to use a hyperbolic example) then release him and stop perverting the US Bill of Rights.

    And btw, we could use some post-departure impeachments and convictions for W and Cheney so as to bundle them off to the Hague.  The  President is responsible to the country, not the President's Club.

    That's my opinion.  Hope you had a good day fishing.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:09:30 PM PST

  •  video (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease

    Nice guitar - how about a diary describing your music and tools, like, what is your accompaniment, guitar effects, recorder?

    ps:  are you Trog in the other video?

    ps2: I'm taking a weekend off from politics, but I guess my answer would be that I hope O may be swayed by public opinion - at least just a little bit.

  •  An answer for your question... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Fishgrease, kurt

    I don't get how you point at the approval ratings as evidence that Barack Obama has enough support to do whatever he wants, and then seem to dismiss the idea that criticism (and thus disapproval) could change that.

    What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?
    Despite what you say, I feel like this question is mostly rhetorical, and antagonistic as it's main reason for being, however:

    1. More agreeable terms whenever the "Grand Bargain" finally comes to fruition, if only through an awareness by the White House that sizable numbers of the coalition aren't jazzed about entitlement cuts.

    2. A more sane foreign policy as it relates to the military and use of force generally.

    3. More progressive appointments.

    4. More room for the president to operate in pushing things forward through executive orders on same-sex civil rights, gun control, etc.

    Criticism of the president is often criticism of his enacted policies or his proposed policies. Very rarely is it personal. If people disagree with those policies, why wouldn't they say so on a political site? If we're not advocating policies, we're advocating a person, and why would we do that?

    What do you see as the possible fruits of your support, at this point?

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:24:58 PM PST

    •  After reading a lot of good comments (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Eric Nelson, kurt

      my answer to your question seems, even to me, to be lacking.

      The fruits of my support is that we have a Democrat in the White House and we improve our chances for the next two elections.

      Like I said, I'm reconsidering. That sentence doesn't mean what it did to me before I asked the questions and read some very good answers.

      If Obama agrees to any cuts to recipients of Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, that's the end of my rope. I'll turn critic.

      So these comments (by far most of them) have changed my thinking more than a little. I really did mean them as real questions, not antagonistic, and thankfully that's the way most people have taken them. Not going to try to convince you of that. Don't know how I could.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:02:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know that I trust this diary... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishgrease

        ...I have no antagonism toward you, and I generally really enjoy your comments and diaries. This one, I just distrust the motives of. But your comment makes me feel somewhat better.

        If Obama agrees to any cuts to recipients of Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, that's the end of my rope. I'll turn critic.
        What would be the point of that? You'll have answered your own question then.

        Rejiggering some pronouns from something I wrote in another comment on this thread:

        The people you cite all agree that it's sometimes a good thing to criticize the president! So, according to your own rules of opinion-formation, you should CLEARLY be in favor of policy criticism!

        So what's this diary about, fundamentally? You trust the folks cited to form your opinion for you, but even though they all criticize various policy sets held by the president, you somehow buck their opinions there!

        That seems very odd.

        it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

        by Addison on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:06:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can't ask for trust. (0+ / 0-)

          Certainly can't require it.

          The diary and my comments are what they are. I'm not going to beat them to death.

          Not going to kill me if Addison doesn't trust me.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:12:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Okay. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Little
            Not going to kill me if Addison doesn't trust me.
            Ugh. This is playground-level nonsense again. Wasn't my intention to kill you for lack of trust (in the diary, not you, by the way), or to make my trust the issue (it's not). I was responding to your comment, and giving you the context of my response.

            it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

            by Addison on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:22:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  What was point of criticizing Bush after 2004? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc

    or once Pelosi took impeachment off the table?

    "I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before." Barack Obama

    by quagmiremonkey on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:29:29 PM PST

  •  I am critical of President Obama doing stupid (4+ / 0-)

    things, such as his drone policy.

    I am less critical of his working with the way our entire economy runs and slowly, SLOWLY working towards change while still supporting the system - because we've seen that the house of cards that rewards greedy billionaires and billionaire-wannabees is so sensitive, they'll bring everything down on common people before they ever get touched for the system and problems that they put into effect.

    Obama has always shown a marked inclination to work WITH a system, even poor ones, and see what he can get out of them to positive effect before trashing them and trying something brand new.  It's a patient and sometimes incredibly stupid thing to do, depending on the situation (e.g., his handling of public education reform started with BushCo assumptions and policies, because they were already in place - and, he's doubled-down on stupid directions there).

    Yet, I support his better actions (e.g., healthcare insurance improvement attempts, LGBT equality) and certainly the appearance he mostly provides of intentions to make things better for the 99% over time.  It's just that, his way of doing things requires lots of patience and does still allow for the 99% to feel desperate + squeezed all the while - mostly because he's dealing with absolutely insane jihadists in the House of Representatives, I feel.

    So, I feel this diary is not about DKos members like me: I'm glass-half full and harbour many criticisms with ideas on better directions to take (all of which require time, alas), but am not "anti-Obama".

    Did I read your diary correctly, sir?

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:34:11 PM PST

    •  However you read the diary, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, 3goldens, Eric Nelson, kurt

      your comments are well thought-out and you expressed them well.

      Before today I think I was laying ALL the blame on the insane jihadists in the House of Representatives.

      I've read something of the criticisms of our POTUS that I cannot fault in their motives or logic.

      It has both become more complex and simpler for me. Simpler in that I no longer feel like I have to search for motives, more complex in that I'm starting to agree with a few of the criticisms. Not all, but more than before today.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:08:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  if you can't say something good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease

    don't say anything at all?

  •  God damn! You spilled the beer. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease

    Fuck the trout.

    An honest heart being the first blessing, a knowing head is the second..Jefferson's Letter to Peter Carr

    by JugOPunch on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:08:55 PM PST

  •  This I am sure is covered in this long list... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Fishgrease, zaka1, BlueDragon

    I want:

    Wall st./ Bankers prosecuted
    Bush and group - esp Cheney prosecuted
    Less trying to appease the Republicans
    SS/ medicare off the table unless it is to strengthen these needed programs.
    Health care for all.
    Corporations are not people.
    Less military wasteful spending - no more ermine lined pottie seats etc
    Restrictions on senators and congress people - no free ride - you work for the country or be fired ( yeah I know)
    Get out of Afghanistan
    Cut back on all discretionary aide to other countries that will never pay us back. Humanitarian response is ok.
    Push for energy independence from the Middle East and let them devour themselves.
    Clean up the environment
    Stop polluting our water, air, food
    Stop subsidizing the oil companies

    Dreamer......yeah, I know. :(

  •  Americans have been bitching since 1776 (5+ / 0-)

    It's our most precious God-given, Constitutional and inalienable right.

    •  One big thought I had regarding this diary is ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little, Fishgrease, kurt, ricklewsive

      We have a right to express our political opinions.

      That in itself is a powerful reason for criticizing the President when we feel he is doing stuff that needs criticizing.  We have a right to say what we think.  Period.

      Why do we need to justify it any more than that?

  •  Huh? How about a better Obama Presidency? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, zaka1, kurt, k9disc, Unduna
    What do you want to happen? What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?
    I don't know why YOU criticize people. Speaking for my part, I usually want them to stop doing the sh!t they're doing.
  •  "What do you want to happen?" (12+ / 0-)

    The leader of the Democratic Party to lead, fight for the Democratic Platform.

    For starters, tell The People:  I will veto any bill that includes any benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

    That's just for starters.

    But sadly, and disgustingly, he's promoting just the opposite.

    You asked.

  •  Wow Fishgease, love the vid and the tune! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, GrumpyOldGeek

    I'm sorry that your attempts to make peace with the Ralph Nader Wing of the Democratic party seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

  •  More than anything (7+ / 0-)

    I think people want to be heard.  Since Bush II our voices have been silence, especially since the SCOTUS put Bush II into office and many felt it wrong.  

    I don't think impeachment is an answer mainly because the corruption runs through all three branchs of government.  It is the corruption that needs to come to end and by this I mean all the money exchanging hands in everything from healthcare to faith based intiatives (which the ADL has made a statement against).  All the money from Wall Street to insurance companies, etc.

    There should be stricter limits on what a lobbyists can give a Senator or Congress person or how much of a deal a single lobbyist can make with a single elected offical.  And the people should also have lobbybists not just the corporations .  And corporate hand outs needs to end especially the 83 billion a year that is still going to the banks which is taxpayer money.

    Bills should be small enough for elected officals to read through themselves and make decisions as whether to vote on them or not.  And no pork should be put in a bill just before a vote, it should have its own separate bill.

    Elections need to be given back to the people and Citizens United overturned.  Faith Based Initiatives needs to end.  Giving taxpayer handouts to certain faiths and not others is wrong and it violates the boundary of church and state.  President Obama has continued what Bush began as Faith based Initiatives which has taken away from public social programs where employees were diverse in their faiths.

    Among, other things the President turning his back on whole groups of individuals that worked to get him elected and making deals like we were chips in a poker game has been the last straw.  Including outsourcing jobs that many raised families on and depend on during a recession to rebuild their lives.

    Moreover, for my part, I do not trust someone who is very charismatic, and can't be trusted to tell the truth.  But that could be due to having Holocaust survivors in my family and this lesson was taught from a young age.  This has been the downfall of many nations in history.  The great leader with charisma is sometimes hiding a dark horse.  And for me, I have seen this in real life, and to this day I remain very untrusting of a charismatic leader that is 9/10s lies and empty.  Bush II tried to charismatic, but failed.

    Being disabled is not easy for anyone, especially those of us whom have only ourselves and no other source of income such as a partner, spouse, or retirement.  For many of us Social Security and Medicare are our only sources of income, and for most of us it doesn't even begin to cover living expenses.  So we are already cutting food, trips to the doctor, medicines, heat, and other necessarities.  And as for other things that I find almost even more digusting is Meals on Wheels being cut, poor people getting housing assistance will lose a roof over their heads, and heating assitance is now gone with the sequester.

    All the above and more are the reasons why I can't support someone who might be charismatic and charming, but is doling out dark horse policies.

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:42:57 PM PST

  •  And let me add this: (5+ / 0-)

    the reason why women are losing control over being able to make decisions about their own bodies and why there have been so many insane bills passed in states is because of the Faith Based Initiatives.  Which was started by Bush II and expanded under Obama and they are being funded by all taxpayers.  Moreover this extra money funded to them gives them a political voice over women themselves.  This is why they are getting bills passed that are absolutely horrifying for women and why their birth control choices are also at risk, it is because the Faith Based Intiatives gives power to relgious groups.  But, moreover, it also give these groups more money to get bills written in favor over a public group such as Plan Parenthood.  

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 05:58:50 PM PST

  •  I do not consider (0+ / 0-)

    myself anti-Obama. I like the guy. I also see him as a tragic figure. A guy who wants to be friends with all Americans but is rebuffed at every turn. Imbedded racism is the reason he has such difficulty doing his job. I find this aspect profoundly embarrassing, but not at all surprising. Maybe down the road..a couple of generations or so, we will become less focused on ethnicity, and more so on the problems at hand. Alas, not in my lifetime

  •  Au contraire: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GrumpyOldGeek, vcmvo2, Onomastic, kalmoth
    I don't think we have an anti-Obama crowd.
    We absolutely do. It's not very big, but it does make a hell of a lot of noise. Not everyone who levels even highly pointed and vigorous criticism is part of that crowd. But there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that a handful of people have decided that DKos is a safe place to get their hate on, and that every policy debate, compromise, or failure must be spun into more evidence that Obama is not merely bad, but actually the enemy.

    As for what they want, it's simple: they want attention, primarily, with sides of approval and conflict.

    However, you excluded them from your questions. Putting the aforementioned group aside, I think it's then safe to assume that among the honest critics there are different desires, almost all of them legitimate. For them, your second question is the most important: "What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?"

    Different people are going to have different answers. I'm not going to presume to answer it on their behalf. Instead I'll ask an additional question: what possible change can come from actions that do nothing beyond pissing your potential allies off?

    I ask that question in the hope it will counter the seduction of the honest critics to the behavior of the first group.

    "Every now & then your brain gifts you with the thought, 'oh, that's right, I don't actually give a **** about this.' Treasure it" -- jbou

    by kenlac on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 06:27:02 PM PST

    •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kenlac, Mathazar, kurt

      There is a great deal of difference between allies in policy aims and allies in politician aims.

      I don't want to "piss off" allies in policy aims, where I coincide with them.

      But I am not concerned with propping up individual politicians when they falter. They're all more powerful than me, they'll be fine.

      So if I want X policy it won't (and shouldn't) bother me that those who define themselves based on which politicians they support get mad at my policy criticisms.

      It shuts down actual policy debate to descend to personal allegiances, and artificial divisions related to personal alegiances (i.e. obama sux vs. obama rox) when discussing policy.

      it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

      by Addison on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:16:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good points, but isn't pissing people off (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Onomastic

        a hindrance to persuasion?

        Let's assume the relationship to these potential "allies" is not inherently adversarial. Does it not make sense to approach others who do not agree with your view from the standpoint of persuasion rather than dismissal?

        And if one feel the relationship is inherently adversarial... well I think that's more of a problem of personal emotion than reality.

        I think many of the "bad" behaviors we see around here have to do with feelings of power -- people lash out because the politicians don't "listen" to them. This might make an individual feel better, but frequently doesn't get others who aren't feeling the same anger to join their point of view. And if that anger then gets channeled away from the politician, and towards the others who don't share the anger... I don't know a situation where that approach has ever changed anyone's mind.

        "Every now & then your brain gifts you with the thought, 'oh, that's right, I don't actually give a **** about this.' Treasure it" -- jbou

        by kenlac on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:48:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Make. Him. Do. It. (6+ / 0-)

    Obama has said this several times. Make. Me. Do. It.
    Criticism is to make him do it.
    Make him live up to his rhetoric.
    Make him aware that millions are energized.
    Make him create liberal progressive appointments.
    Make him propose liberal progressive legislation.
    Make him fight harder and resist compromises.
    Make him know we have his back when he does these things.

    Until we speak loudly and with a single voice, he cannot do any of these things. We criticize to make him understand how far he is from the Liberal Progressive priorities he voiced in BOTH CAMPAIGNS. We say these things over and over, and yet, the University of Chicago School of Economics in him takes over like a Borg Person and he channels Milton Friedman.

    That is why we criticize. Not impeachment, not humiliation, not  ammo for Wingers, not to embarrass. To make him do something ELSE with his power. I dont see how you dont get that.  

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 06:28:23 PM PST

    •  Exactly. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zaka1, BlueDragon
      I dont see how you dont get that.

      That was my exact question regarding this diary.  If the diarist actually has to ask these questions, then I don't see how any sort of response can make him get it.

      My response is pretty much:  We want to make the President aware that there are people -- and especially Democrats, and Democratic voters -- who disagree with him;  who have feelings about these things.  

      If we don't speak up, how is he to know that people don't all agree?

  •  Nice guitar work, but the trout got away? that.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, kurt, Onomastic, LillithMc

    ..calls for a C# minor bridge before you land back on the root - E - just for a sad note ♫♪♫ or two. heh

    What to want: Switch Focus back down to earth where a foundation begins - not at the top of the ticket. 2014 is coming and house and senate is where the work is waiting.

    About a "grand bargain" - why negotiate with those who want to prove something they can't prove without our (Dems) help? - that govt. is the problem

    If the chartered incorporations - the legal fictions running too much of this country with tax expenditures written into laws that favor them want a bathtub drownable sized govt. let em try it alone. They'll pay dearly for messing around with SS, medicare, medicaid. Let's not help them do what the smarter of the GOP know they can't get away with alone.

    And this republican obsession with the executive branch (1/3 of our govt.) - and this President in particular in the White house shouldn't be our focus.
    We Dems don't go for lockstep allegiance to a dictator like the GOP/teabag/fundamentlists. So stop fighting a GOP fight. It's top down hierachal BS.

    We should do what we Dems do - build from the foundation up, not from the top down. Fight the fights we deem important. All the rest is useless theatrics that bring us nothing we need imo.

  •  Okay, my concern (and by the way, I do NOT (6+ / 0-)

    consider myself anti-Obama for voicing them) is that the president will, as he has telegraphed, cut social security by supporting the chained CPI, and turn Medicare into a welfare program by means-testing it, or some equally wrongheaded approach.

    What I would like to see happen is the collection of enough revenue to support the programs as they currently exist.  Some of MY ideas for doing that are:

    1.  Eliminate the earnings cap on FICA taxes.  I find it absurd
         that the average Joe pays a substantial amount into the
         program, while multimillionaires - the ones bemoaning    
         the cost of these programs paying a microscopic
         fraction of their incomes to support them.

    2.  Eliminate tax windfalls to oil companies as well as
         companies who profit by throwing American workers
         under the bus that their foreign labor is riding in.

    3.  Collect inheritance taxes on amounts over, say,
         $750,000.

    4.  Close tax loopholes.  But not the ones Republicans have
         in mind, i.e., those that would raise taxes on the middle
         class.   No, close the loopholes that allow the wealthy and
         certain corporations to pay virtually - and in some cases
         literally - NO income taxes, and which allow companies
         like Bain capital to dodge taxes via shell games.

    5.  Once the economy recovers, earmark modest tax rate
         increases - as necessary - to support SS and Medicare.
         Tell the Republicans to pretend we're fighting another
         war and not to worry about it.

    In my view SS and Medicare are the price that those fortunate enough not to need them pay for the privilege of getting filthy rich while most of us simply try to survive.  That's not a punishment.  It is simply the idea that the wealthy in this country who have profited from both the labor of Americans, or by bypassing the labor of Americans, have a responsibility to the country that made their acquisition of wealth possible.

    Of course I am under no illusion that any of this will happen.  If anything the middle class will be further burdened by slowly bleeding it of survival income and healthcare, because "we just can't afford it, "We" being the people who don't need it, and who finance elections, and yes, fix elections with their anti-democratic "redistricting."

    If the Republicans would stop sabotaging the recovery by deliberately adding people to the unemployment rolls, the additional tax revenue resulting from a robust economy would render moot much of this "we can't afford it" hysteria.
    But they won't, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it, especially with Democrats a) supporting reductions to these programs and 2) setting the Democratic party up as the patsy to blame for coming up with the cuts in the first place.

    Our congress makes the Lilliputians and Brobdingnagians  look like absolute geniuses by comparison.

    Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

    by ZedMont on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:10:14 PM PST

    •  Some of the better ideas (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      to control Medicare costs that wouldn't cut benefits or raise costs to users would be to take the "handcuffs" off Medicare's ability to negotiate the costs of drugs, equipment and procedures. That would cut Medicare expenses drastically.

      Unfortunately, I've heard nothing like this from the Obama administration or our Democratic congressional leaders


      "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
      TheStarsHollowGazette.com

      by TheMomCat on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 08:51:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is not a frigging basketball game (9+ / 0-)

    where we're all supposed to cheer because "our side" is winning.

    We're talking statecraft here, the destiny of nations, the fate of billions of human souls. Are global climate change and peak oil real problems or not? As threats to the survival of humanity, civilization, and all life on earth, are they being exaggerated by the left or not?

    If you don't think global climate change and peak oil are real problems, or if you think they're being exaggerated - fine, we disagree and that's the end of the discussion.

    But, if you do think global climate change and peak oil are real problems, or if you don't think they're being exaggerated, then I want to shift the onus to you and have YOU tell us just what in the name of whatever god you pray to, President Obama has done to seriously address those problems?

    I have written a few times before that I view my blogging as a form of insurrection against the hardening corporatist fascism we are sliding into. I criticize Obama and most especially his economic policies because the way people think about economics is the linchpin for solving almost all other problems, but most certainly global climate change and peak oil. Because if you accept the ideas of economic neoliberalism that Obama, all his cabinet and top advisers, and the god damn DNC believe in - that so called "free markets" are best left to themselves as much as possible, because these so called "free markets" provide the best allocation of resources; if you believe, in other words, or even simply fail to question the idea, that the rich, the bond markets, the stock markets, and so on, are better at deciding how society's resources are allocated, than are we the people acting through our government - then, my friend there is no hope, none, nada, zilch, of ever having a serious attempt to solve these problems.

    We're told, now, that we don't have the money to do a lot of things - we can't afford to keep Social Security benefits as they are, we can't afford to provide health care for our elderly, especially at the ends of their lives. BULLSHIT! Plain and simple BULLSHIT. There is plenty of money out there, it's just that the ideas of economic neoliberalism posit that it's "bad" if we were to lay hands on all that money and force it to start doing good, instead of going just for private gain. Moreover, we can create more money. We can create all the money we need to build 100 percent renewable energy by 2025! What's stopping us? Why do we have to borrow a single cent to pay for such a program? The only reason we have to borrow is because the  ideas of economic neoliberalism posit that it's "bad" if government controls the creation and allocation of money and credit, instead of private bankers and financiers.

    Obama is an economic neoliberal through and through, and until I get all the people like you to understand that, and, further, that you and your children are GOING TO DIE long before they have to as a result of you not understanding that, I will continue my acts of insurrection.

    Does that answer your question, my friend?

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:53:16 PM PST

  •  sorry you lost your trout. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease

    nice riff, tho.
    goes good with wicked choc ice cream.
    we've lost my mind.

    There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.--@Hugh * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 08:48:56 PM PST

  •  Great music, vid and diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, kurt

    Im with you 100%

    I can tell you are a honest and honorable person just by telling us the trout got away. Many would tell a fish tale.

    peace

    keith

    "Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here." Marianne Williamson

    by Canadian Green Card Alien on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 08:54:24 PM PST

  •  OK, I'll take the bait as well. It's too late for (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cthulhu, Crabby Abbey, kurt, BlueDragon

    me to go through all the other comments; I need to get up in < 7 hours to get ready for work.

    Most of this is semantic, because we're online & not in a bar talking face to face over a beverage.  We can't see or hear & so we have to invest a shitload of effort in ensuring optimal communication, something we routinely fuck up, you more than most--sorry!  Point is it's hard.

    Semantically, I don't much care for the phrase, "I support Obama."  It has greatest value when Obama is unfairly attacked, as with birtherism, racism, etc.  It has some value when he is speaking directly to an important issue on which he campaigned & won.  But whenver he's to the right of us--for any reason, in any circumstance--I don't support him; I need him to support Us.  Sometimes even Me personally, but mostly our obligation is to do our best to bring him in line with our way of thinking.  

    That is how politics is supposed to be played, & you need only look at how the Right has gotten their agenda done to understand that we need to be getting the same results, even though we cannot resort to the exact same tactics.

    I'll be the first to say that a vote for a 3rd party is a wasted, counterproductive vote.  I did that in 2000 & understand my error.  AND YET, the Green platform is in principle superior to the Democratic Party Platform on every issue where they differ.  It can afford to be, because it isn't relevant; it has no power to compromise away.  The point isn't that we should all become Greens in any way--not under our current voting system, which we should change--but rather that we can't relinquish the nation's conscience to anyone in power via a misguided trust.  We must dictate moral terms to power, whether or not we succeed in so doing.  We must because, with rare exception, no one in power does it.  Even Bernie Sanders is safe in doing so only because he took a risk in a small state.  In a larger state, he'd face a Wall Street-financed primary to get rid of him.  We'll see what happens to Warren.

    Much of the so-called anti-Obama sentiment on the Left has to do with a feeling of great betrayal, & I think we are much to blame for being too hopeful (of course his campaign asked us to Hope, so...) & insufficiently skeptical.  That hope is sort of the same variety that allows someone to vote Kucinich in a primary: the balance is shifted way too far toward the Moral Principles & completely away from Practical Reality.  I read you as being too far shifted toward Practical Reality & needing to re-embrace the importance of having one foot planted in the Moral Principles.  

    We--all of us--have gotta embody both, & resist the urge to persistently always choose the one to sacrifice to the other.  Sometimes one, sometimes the other, but never always the same one, OK?  That imbalance throws us off our shit in a major way.  That's the fundament of the Rox/Sux back & forth that never resolves, because it is always about What Someone Else Thinks rather than Self Assessment First, which is how someone can realize that either "Holy shit, what do I even believe in anymore?" or "I had no idea what was really going on, I better read up."  

    Impeachment?  Not gonna happen (practical).  But the asserted doctrine must be met with putlic outrage & reversed (moral).  

    From ancient Japan, two questions that are really one:
    What is the ultimate Truth?
    How can the ultimate Truth be realized?

    Both, sir.  Both.  The same question.

    Goodnight.

    Sometimes I can't believe it; I'm movin' past the feelin'...

    by Leftcandid on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 09:08:46 PM PST

  •  Fishgrease (10+ / 0-)

    As a frequent critic of Obama, I'm going to try to treat your diary seriously.  You ask me, What Do I Want to Happen?

    (1)  First and foremost, I want the President -- whether Republican or Democrat -- to obey the clear statements contained in the Constitution, particularly the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the Habeas Corpus clause."  

    The Fourth Amendment provides:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    The Fifth Amendment provides:
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation
    The Habeas Corpus Clause provides:
    "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."
    I oppose all suggestions by the President that the powers of his office include the right to spy on U.S. citizens without probable cause, the right to name a U.S. Citizen a terrorist and kill them on U.S. soil without due process of law, or the right to incarcerate a U.S. citizen indefinitely and suspend the writ of habeas corpus.

    2.   I want the President to do what he promised to do with regard to abortion rights and transparency of government

    Obama made promises regarding the protection of abortion and contraceptive rights when he was running for President.   Upon taking office, his press secretary said that those promises were no longer a priority.   Obama also promised transparency in government -- but, to date, he has used the awesome power of federal prosecution not to promote transparency, but rather, to punish those who leak information of wrongdoing.   I'd like Obama to live up to his promises regarding abortion and transparency.

    3.   I want Obama to protect Social Security and other aspects of the social safety net.  

    At a low point during his last campaign, Obama sent Joe Biden out to say that Social Security would be protected.   To date, however, Obama has repeatedly embraced a Grand Bargain which will cut social security benefits over time -- for no good reason.  I want Obama to embrace Social Security, not offer it up on the chopping block.

    4.   I want Obama to adopt a more liberal domestic policy.

    I want Obama to lead on DOMA.   I want him to support gay rights.   I want Obama to introduce legislation supporting unions.  I want Obama to introduce legislation which provides real bailouts to the common people -- not just more to Wall Street banks.  I want Obama to allow for bankruptcy discharge of student loans after 5 years.  I, essentially, want a more progressive framework for solutions than we have now.  

    5.   I want Obama to adopt a different and less militaristic foreign policy which comports with international norms, such as the Geneva convention.

    I believe that incarcerating people at Gismo who are not terrorists and are known not to be terrorists is wrong.  
    I believe that the intervention in Libya was a mistake.   I believe that the continued occupation of Afghanistan is a mistake.  I believe that the continued unequivocal support for Israel when it insists on building settlements in the occupied territories is a mistake.   I believe that the policy of authorizing "signature strikes" with drones is a mistake.  

    I recognize that these are strategic differences that I have with Obama, and I understand the arguments to the contrary.   Nevertheless, this is something I want.

    You then ask me, what do I foresee as possible fruits from my crticism.   There are three:

    First, I believe that my criticisms, joined with others, can actually shape policy.   The President changed his position on gay rights with enough criticism -- why not change on other issues?   Hell, the President (through Holder) fucking clarified that he did not believe that he had the power to execute Americans on American soil without due process -- something which the President had been unwilling to categorically say at the outset.

    So, why not criticize?   What I believe is that enough criticism can cause policy to change; my evidence is that past criticism has caused policy changes.  

    Second, I believe that my criticisms may shape public debate.   Hey, not only do my criticisms of the President have the possibility to move him -- they might, just might, move the needle on public debate.

    Think about 2006.   Everyone in power -- Republican and Democrat -- walked around believing that the Iraq war was something people loved.   Ned Lamont heard enough criticism from Democrats at the grass roots about the war, and so he ran against Joe Lieberman in a Democratic primary.   And he won that primary -- and immediately after, you could feel the political winds changing.   Yes, Lamont lost his Senate bid, and Lieberman became an independent -- but the shakeup was incredible.   It changed the course of the Bush presidency, and it sure as hell changed the course of the 2008 election.   Why'd that happen?   In part, in happened because Ned Lamont read Daily Kos and realized the level of discontent.

    Third, I believe that my criticisms of Obama give me (and others like me) moral credibility   You see, I criticized the Bush administration for ignoring the Constitution -- the Fourth, the Fifth, and the Habeas Corpus Clause.   My belief in the rule of law is not partisan.  Progressives, by applying the same standards to Obama as to Bush, immunize themselves from being mere partisans, and begin to have a better chance of influencing debate.

    Does this answer your questions?

  •  FAIL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey
    What do you want to happen? What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?

    Here's what I see as possibilities:

    1. Impeachment (or election nullification with cause, if you will)

    2. That's it. I can't think of anything else.

    This has to be one of the most asinine pieces of false equivalence that I have ever seen on dKos.....and I've seen heaps of them.

    I really don't give a damn whatever the fuck you thought you were trying to do here. You have very clearly stated that critics of President Obama can only be seeking his impeachment, because you literally can't think of any other outcome. That definitely deserves an HR.

    Everybody who recc'd this diary should be ashamed of themselves, for equating criticism with disloyalty.

    In the Fox News Christian Nation, public schools won't teach sex education and evolution; instead they'll have an NRA sponsored Shots for Tots: Gunz in Schoolz program.

    by xynz on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 09:34:00 PM PST

  •  Forget Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, Onomastic

    We need to focus on 2014 in every state.  Pay attention to judges and local governments.  Support Progressives everywhere.  Do the hard work Republicans have been doing in the weeds for 30 years.  Go at them.  Ignore what DC and Obama say if they are ignoring Progressives and the popular vote.  Most of all keep the popular vote  because it is in danger.  All we bought in the election was time. Obama is not superman either good or bad.  His new cabinet is a repeat of the old with corporations dedicated to pollution and GMO food, the pipeline and more.  Don't let the sociopaths and oligarchs get a free ride.  Primary Dems who are corrupt.  Shout at Obama when he betrays us.  Forget the Republican/Democrat con game.  We know what we need.  Take back the law, integrity and love of country.  Be willing to let those around you know when you are upset about what is happening in this country even if they don't like you for saying and doing it.

  •  If it meant that Bush and Cheney.. (0+ / 0-)

    ...and all the other war criminals had to serve hard time, then I would love to see President Obama answer for his double tap war crimes.

    In the Fox News Christian Nation, public schools won't teach sex education and evolution; instead they'll have an NRA sponsored Shots for Tots: Gunz in Schoolz program.

    by xynz on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 09:49:30 PM PST

  •  Make Him Do It (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, kurt, J Orygun
    very critical of President Obama for whatever reason -- sequester, banksters-Wallstreet, drones, KXL
    Obama needs pressure from the Left and the grassroots to make him do it (as in that FDR story I've grown tired of hearing:  "I agree with you. Now make me do it.")  Certainly, he is getting lots of pressure from the Right and the triangulating "Center" as well as the 1%.  He needs a push from the other side of the Overton Window.

    Repugs want to impeach Obama.  Civil libertarians, law and order progressives, Occupy Wall Streeters, climate change activists want to make Obama uphold the Constitution and do his fking job.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:09:33 PM PST

  •  Congressional Progressives (0+ / 0-)

    Another way to "adjust" Obama is for Congressional Progressives to make it clear, as they have already, they will not vote for the chained CPI for social security or any other adjustments to "entitlements" Obama is wrongly giving away.  They should challenge Ernest Moniz for Department of Energy with his background of supporting fracking and the XL pipeline.  Same for anyone sympathetic to Monsanto.  Obama doesn't get loyalty when he goes against Progressive values.  Jack Lew's background as a friend to Wall Street could trigger some questions.  No free ride in Congress for Obama and his Kabuki.

  •  Respectfully, this is just dumb (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus
    What do you want to happen? What do you foresee as the possible fruits of your criticism?

    Here's what I see as possibilities:

    1. Impeachment (or election nullification with cause, if you will)

    2. That's it. I can't think of anything else. What am I not seeing? Again, serious question.

    Or, 3. progressives won't fall into the trap of believing that drone strikes, not prosecuting torture, and other blatant violations of civil liberties (not to mention international law), are somehow acceptable just because the President is otherwise progressive or is a Democrat. That is, preserving the integrity and sanity of progressive thinking.

    It should be obvious to you that you present a false dichotomy.

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 05:17:05 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for opening up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueDragon, Fishgrease, J Orygun

    a far more reasonable forum for discussion than last time (I was afraid you were "almost serious" about leaving again!)

    With 567 comments ahead of mine, I'm sure you've already gotten this answer, but here's my 2¢:

    Obama has repeatedly urged us to demand the best of him, to hold him to his promises, to hold his feet to the fire. Whatever you want to call it, he asked for it! I want his staff reading the comments we send to whitehouse.gov and the diaries here. He needs to know that a lot of people who worked hard and donated to get him elected twice expect more than we're getting. I'm not saying that we need to make him as terrified of the party's left as Republican officeholders are of teabaggers, but it would be nice to have the feeling that our concerns aren't simply ignored (or even worse, insulted).

    I fully recognize that he will never live up to my standards of what a president should be, but that doesn't mean I should stop asking for it. If we censor our criticisms, we're giving him a free pass to settle for the easiest solution to any problem. I hold to this standard for every elected official I've worked for and/or donated to. The president is no different.

    And I hope that the people who believe that by offering constructive criticism, we're giving the right ammunition to us against him, have figured out by now that it really doesn't matter to them what we say. They manufacture their own ammunition from their paranoid fantasies, with no help needed from us.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:10:11 AM PDT

  •  When I criticize Obama -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, BlueDragon

    I want my intended audience to think that the main topic of my message is the sustainability of world society, or the biodiversity of Earth's ecosystems, or the possibility of changing America's consciousness of its political and economic reality.  The point, then, the "possible fruits of my criticism," is to energize an audience concerned with what is typically called "saving the Earth."  Criticism of Obama, then, is only part of my message, and not in any case the most important part.

    I can't be surprised, then, if audiences who think that criticism of Obama is all about Obama, and only about Obama, don't understand it.  They aren't part of my intended audience.

    "There's nothing heroic about earning profit." -Odo, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:48:39 AM PDT

  •  Honestly ... (9+ / 0-)

    1.  We hope for policy/otherwise shifts.  Take KXL, on which we are not in agreement -- prior to the decision to do protests, this was a 'done deal' that would have been approved almost certainly by late 2011.  Hmmm ... something happened to put sand in the gears.

    2.  President Obama often says 'make it possible for me ...'  This means building public support for stronger/better policy. It also means giving him a 'left flank' to criticize and say 'geez, if you think my ideas are radical, look at what those DFHs are saying ...'  E.g., the critique from the left is an Overton Window to enable defending 'conservative' positions.

    3.  I do have respect for the man's intellect and do believe that he can/will listen to articulate arguments that are substantively supported.  Eventually, does a cacophony of voices break through the barriers to him?

    4.  There is something else -- it is called conscience, etc ... Which is to say that one needs to articulate one's morality/beliefs/etc ...

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:01:38 AM PDT

    •  Veru true. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth
      1.  We hope for policy/otherwise shifts.  Take KXL, on which we are not in agreement -- prior to the decision to do protests, this was a 'done deal' that would have been approved almost certainly by late 2011.  Hmmm ... something happened to put sand in the gears.
      And I support those protests as long as they're truthful. I don't support anything that's not.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 02:18:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your last diary peed on our screens (0+ / 0-)

    it was a huge insult to many of us who lobbied for you to come back.

    You were much better at writing about booming.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:54:57 PM PDT