Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Last Call For The Rise Of The Emoprogs

Jerome Armstrong, one of the founders of old school netroots blog MyDD, argues that progressive blogs have failed:  failed to get the kind of control the tea party has over the GOP, failed to get a much more progressive America, and most importantly, failed to stop the rise of Obama, who Armstrong sees as the mortal foe to progressives.

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.

Rand Paul's War On Science

Sen. Rand Paul, hero of glibertarians everywhere, sure doesn't seem to mind massive new federal regulations when it comes to declaring science the enemy of humanity.

Tea party hero Rand Paul warned scientific advancements could lead to eugenics during a Monday visit at Liberty University, looking to boost the political fortunes of fellow Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for governor.

During a visit to the Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell, Paul looked to energize conservative supporters by warning that genetic tests could identify those who are predisposed to be short, overweight or less intelligent so that they could be eliminated. With one week remaining before Election Day, Cuccinelli is hoping the joint appearance with the U.S. senator from Kentucky will encourage the far-right flank of his party to abandon third-party libertarian spoiler Robert Sarvis.

“In your lifetime, much of your potential - or lack thereof - can be known simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek,” Paul said to a packed sporting arena on Liberty’s campus. “Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?”

The GOP war on science has been going on for some time now, but Rand Paul is jumping on it as his new toy.  "You can't trust those scientists on global climate change or environmental issues or technology or anything, they're trying to kill you and your family!"

His dangerous neo-luddite nonsense is par for the course for the Republican party, and specifically the section of the tea party that rejects science as evil because it contradicts the teachings of a Christian God.  It's not like that particular battle is new in the history of humanity, but to see a sizable chunk of America continue to reject evolution for example in 2013 is depressing.

Of course the real reason for the GOP war on science is the fact that the overwhelming majority of scientists consider themselves liberal.  Keep that in mind when you ask why the Tea party is targeting them.

No More Shutdowns?

Once again, Mitch The Turtle is writing checks his shell can't cash.

Mitch McConnell isn’t going to have another government shutdown on his watch. 
The Kentucky Republican stood up over the weekend and said he wanted to address the “elephant in the room” at a fundraising retreat in Sea Island, Ga. Speaking before roughly 300 K Streeters and big donors, McConnell said Republicans will not come close to defaulting on the nation’s debts or shutting down the government early next year when stop-gap government funding and the debt ceiling are slated to be voted on again. 
His remarks echoed similar comments he made following the shutdown that it was “not conservative policy” and that he always believed “this strategy could not and would not work.” 
“He’s in fighting mode,” said one attendee of McConnell. “He didn’t get into specifics about what they are doing and how they are going to do it, but McConnell and (Texas Sen. John) Cornyn were particularly forceful.” 
The attendee said McConnell “said everything that needed to be said” to help tamp down growing concern among bundlers and donors over how the GOP continues to be paralyzed by anti-establishment members like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). Neither lawmaker attended the event.

Considering McConnell and the GOP leadership did everything they could to encourage and then agree to the shutdown in the first place, why would anyone believe Mitch now?  If you believed it wasn't going to work, then why did you allow it to happen, Mitch?  If you actually had any clout over Ted Cruz or the Tea Party in the House, why didn't you use it to stop the shutdown earlier this month?

The answer is that this is a promise you can't keep, and Kentucky voters like me know it.


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