I didn’t see Lieberman’s 2006 win in quite as pinnacle a light at the time, and it certainly wouldn’t have been, had we followed it up more often, and won.
Yet I certainly peg the crux of lost movement with the rise of Obama’s campaign. It was an awful place to be in with Clinton vs. Obama, in the 2008 primary. My basic impulse (after Edwards –who had the populist message– imploded) was, like many bloggers (not the masses), to go with Clinton because she at least showed signs of being accountable to the netroots movement, unlike Obama. He didn’t need the netroots for his message and candidate-movement, he had places like Politico to push out of, and was basically an identity-politics cult for many new to politics that flooded the blogs.
Armstrong goes on for some length in this general vein, viewing Obama as nothing more than a Wall Street puppet and arguing that Clinton, while not much better, would have at least elevated Armstrong and his ilk to the level of courtiers.
BooMan has an important piece setting Armstrong straight on where the Netroots went wrong.
I just find it bizarre to be lectured by a man who first came to my attention as Mark Warner's agent to the blogosphere. I like Mark Warner and think he is a good man and a decent senator. But I would never confuse him with a progressive. And then Jerome jumped on the Clinton bandwagon, which may have seemed like a solid career move, but it wasn't where most progressives were going. And then he bailed out to work on Gary Johnson's libertarian campaign for president, which was definitely a move out of the DLC camp, but a move that traded agreement on some issues like the Drug War and surveillance for disagreement about just about everything else in the progressive playbook.
I have never thought of Jerome as a progressive, and insofar as he immersed himself in the progressive backlash against Obama's presidency, which was led by Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald, I think he excommunicated himself from about 90% of progressives in this country.
It's telling that he still resents Barack Obama for not coming to him with his hat in his hand.
And that's the real reason behind the emoprog rancor towards Obama: he doesn't need them, because he plays a different game than the Clintons do. Armstrong especially was in it for the money and the prestige, not for the advancement of progressive political goals. Could we have done better than Obama, given our choices were Hillary and John Edwards? I'm going to argue that at the time, no. Clinton certainly knew how to play the game and gave rise to many of the attacks the right still uses against Obama today. And Edwards? We dodged a hail of bullets by not nominating him, his personal foibles would have given us President McCain and Vice President Moose Lady for sure.
But it's the fact that these same people refuse to give Obama credit for the progressive acts he does, or worse, take credit for "forcing" him into those acts. They still believe they run the game, and they will never admit they don't. If they do, the game ends.
And I'm sick and tired of playing games with these fools. I for one am glad the President ignores them. They've earned that.