Follow-up on Obama and Fox News

by: Matt Stoller

Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 19:33

I suppose I should follow up my earlier diary on Obama going on Fox News since it has sparked some discussion.  Eugene at Dailykos wrote the following diary, the gist of which was as follows.

At the core of Obama's political philosophy is the belief that real divisions should not stand in the way of conversation.  He has always believed that it is right and necessary for us to speak to folks on the other side of the aisle, to speak with our enemies. That to do so is a sign of strength, of problem-solving, and that it can be done without having to compromise any of our own values in the process.

That's not really the issue at hand, though of course that is how it's being framed.  It is very difficult to acknowledge that your candidate deals with you in bad faith, and so I understand the emotional inability of Obama's most ardent supporters to realize that is what happened.  I am an Obama supporter, but I don't think he's particularly trustworthy.  The issue at hand is that Obama's campaign simply gave out false information to Greg Sargent to placate bloggers.

Keep in mind that this adviser said this specifically to mollify critics who worried that Obama's decision to appear on Fox would help legitimize the network and hence hurt Dems overall. There's no ambiguity here to speak of: The adviser was telling these critics not to worry, that the reason Obama was going on was to "take Fox on."

And this just didn't happen in any meaningful sense. When Wallace brought up Wright and the flag-pin, for instance, Obama didn't point out that these bogus stories have been pushed relentlessly by Fox or that the network has pushed the Obama-is-a-Muslim lies. Again: Obama was not obliged to take on the network. But either way, the bottom line is that he didn't do it. Partly because of this, the interview -- which was a solid performance by Obama -- was also a victory for Fox.

I think lost in all this nonsense is just how weakened we have become in all this.  When we accept lies from our leaders and openly dismissive knocks from them, it destroys our core argument that Democrats need to have integrity and to stand up for themselves.  No they don't.  We don't stand up for ourselves and we let them lie to us without consequence

Why should they listen to us when we ask them to do something we won't do for ourselves?  There's probably no point in making this argument, but if I reach one person hopefully it will be useful.  When you say that your voice doesn't matter, it doesn't.  When you enable bad behavior, unethical behavior, it continues.  I'm sorry, but the Iraq war happened for this reason.  Silence.  

If you don't like that Obama steps on you, speak out.  Clinton at least has a reason to step on us since many of us have openly called her a Republican.  It's a fight, and we didn't back her.  Instead we back someone that openly lies to us and thinks nothing of it.  Worse still, there are no consequences, only criticism of people who are Obama backers but are frustrated at being lied to.  I remember this situation during the Clark campaign, when I was attacked for speaking out about the campaign's mistakes, until he lost a campaign run with ghoulish incompetence.

It was a mistake for us to endorse Obama, just as it was a mistake for us to do nothing against Clinton after she accused Moveon of intimating her supporters at caucuses.  We should be stuffing ads discussing her Bosnia sniper fire in Indiana.  But we don't believe in standing up for ourselves.

So go ahead, accept the lies.  It seems to be what we want from our leaders, and so I suppose it's what we are going to continue to get.

UPDATE:  Lambert at Correntewire points out that Obama threw Kos himself under the bus.

OBAMA: No, look, I think this is fair. I would point out, though, for example, that when I voted for a tort reform measure that was fiercely opposed by the trial lawyers, I got attacked pretty hard from the left.

During the Roberts -

WALLACE: John Roberts, Supreme Court.

OBAMA: No, look, I think this is fair. I would point out, though, for example, that when I voted for a tort reform measure that was fiercely opposed by the trial lawyers, I got attacked pretty hard from the left.

During the Roberts -

WALLACE: John Roberts, Supreme Court.

OBAMA: John Roberts nomination, although I voted against him, I strongly defended some of my colleagues who had voted for him on the Daily Kos, and was fiercely attacked as somebody who is, you know, caving in to Republicans on these fights.

Matt Stoller :: Follow-up on Obama and Fox News

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Stick with this, Matt. (4.00 / 6)
I voted for Obama. I support Obama. I think he'll be a much, much better president than we've seen in my lifetime ... especially if we force him to be.

If we don't use what little power we--the netleft--have, even that tiny spark will fade away. That's the nature of power.

Lie? (4.00 / 12)
Greg Sargent does not speak for the Obama campaign. You are taking Greg Sargent's description and interpretation of what he was told as factual. The Obama aide did not define what he meant by "taking on Fox". Perhaps he meant "taking on the false issues raised by Fox".

There has been no demonstration of a lie here.

weakened we have become in all this

My goodness, where have you been?! Our blogosphere, which I adore, failed to get a candidate like Senator Feingold to run, and we failed to get a truly progressive candidate this far into the race. We haven't "become weakened". We weren't that strong in the first place.

Lambert at Correntewire points out that Obama threw Kos himself under the bus.

He did not attack Markos or anyone in that statement. He stated that he was fiercely attacked, which is a true statement!

Get a hold of yourself, you're losing touch with reality.

It All Depends On What Your Definition of "Lie" Is (4.00 / 6)
So your defense is that Sargent wasn't lied to.  He was just strategically mislead.

I seem to recall a war somewhere recently, started under false pretenses, but we were told there were no lies involved in that one, either.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
so what would have made you feel all warm inside? (0.00 / 0)
Obama punches Wallace?
Obama launches into an attack on the Murdoch empire?
Obama went on Fox and pushed his agenda and did not do the pathetic "really i'm just as patriotic as you" losing game that so many Democrats have done.

For your information, the dude is running for President. His goal is to win over potential voters, not to make people who are not supporters anyways feel tough.

[ Parent ]
He didn't need to do anything at all! (4.00 / 5)
Or more accurately, he needed to do nothing at all. At least, not on Fox.

That's the real problem here. He probably didn't gain much by going there, but it was a slap in the face to those who worked to shut down the Fox debate to see Fox legitamized while Obama played up his battle scars from his long career of fighting the "far Left."

And in case it isn't obvious, while a lot of people do watch Fox, very very few of its regular viewers are "potential voters" because they have the most intensely Right Wing viewer-ship of any channel.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
you need to get out more (4.00 / 1)
When I canvassed for Obama in conservative republican neighborhoods of Texas, I ran into many Fox news viewers who were Obama supporters - on the minor issues like ending the war, fixing the economy, stopping government corruption. Unlike the brilliant analysts here, they didn't know that the most important issues were whether the staffers of the candidate properly conveyed the tone he intended to take in an interview.

[ Parent ]
on the minor issues like ending the war, fixing the economy, stopping government corruption. (0.00 / 0)
Too bad he has no plans to do any of those things...

oh, i don't blame him.

neither does anybody else.

it's just the same old song-and-dance...

[ Parent ]
Well (0.00 / 0)
it seems as if you're convinced that things will go to shit no matter what, so why do you care so much about his supposed lack of plans? For someone who suggests that inaction is the most realistic course of action, caring or speaking at all seems odd.

[ Parent ]
Well (4.00 / 5)
In five months, when Fox is dedicating round the clock coverage to whatever the next fabricated Madrassa story is, the meek cries of "bias!" and "Republican talking points" will be that much less convincing to those voters who remember Obama chatting it up with Wallace as if Fox was just another network.

Do you think Obama should have done the debate on Fox? Or is there some distinction you are drawing between that and this interview that you would like to flesh out?

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
wallace has already dissented on the Fox line (4.00 / 2)
He totally humiliated the Fox AM crowd by dissenting on their hours of obama-rage. Obama is splitting the opposition - not uniting it as Paul and Matt want him to do.

[ Parent ]
Interesting. (4.00 / 7)
What this tells me is that Obama's doing just fine reaching Fox news viewers, even without appearing on their shows.

Thanks for clearing that up.

[ Parent ]
Bubba on Fox (0.00 / 0)
Yeah, you know, I really enjoyed watching Bubba taking on Wallace on Fox, but to a lot of Americans it just looked like he was out of control.

Obama doesn't do rave outs, and I'm glad.

[ Parent ]
Obama's internet liasion used the Sargent post to reassure the netroots (4.00 / 2)
I would think that means they used Sargent to give the netroots the idea that he intended to confront them.  And if that's not misleading and dealing in bad faith I don't know what is.  

But maybe they think his performance is what pushback is.  No pushback is what Bill Clinton did to Chris Wallace in Sept 2006...that was pushback.

If they had no intention of pushing back they shouldn't have put that out.  Maybe they put that out to quiet the pre interview furor...Or maybe Obama just got cold feet at the time of the interview because confrontation is not something he does.

He needs lessons from Matt.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
That's why we're here (4.00 / 11)
I remember when you and Chris started Open Left. I hardly read MYDD at the time, but when I saw that you were starting a site that was going to take on bad Democrats instead of silly cheer-leading, I immediately registered. I felt like, after the 2006 elections, other people were going through the exact intellectual process I was. It was obvious that we had to shift from the intense pre-2006 desire for a Democratic Majority to a more serious effort to fight the Democrats too, if their majority is going to be worth anything. The Bush Dog campaign and election of Donna Edwards have been fantastic examples of that effort, and I have high hopes for the Blue to Bluer campaign as well.

That's why it has been such a disappointment to see so many uncritical partisans dominate the comment threads here. Not because there is no room for them (we wouldn't win elections without them) but because it has taken the site really far from what I always thought it is supposed to be.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

Step Up More! (4.00 / 4)
I just want to encourage you to be more outspoken, Sam.  That's one sure way to help the situation.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Thanks (4.00 / 1)
I've generally operated under the (obviously flawed) assumption that if I just ignore them they'll go away.

The only problem is, if I get too involved in candidate threads I'll 1) Never get any real work done 2) End up abusing troll-rates and 3) Suffer from numerous stress-related ailments such as high blood pressure. Hm... now that I've written it out like that, it sounds kind of fun.

Though there is still the greatest danger of all... maybe I'll be convinced that Obama really is the One True Progressive!

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
"Twisting... Twisting... Twisting the Night Away" (0.00 / 0)
What could be more fun than that?  

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
My Cassandra predicitions: this was written Jan 7th, 2008 (4.00 / 3)
It has been self evident from at least his 2005 dkos diary that Obama will give liberals and progressives no credit...

I haven't written this yet....but I have thought it all along....If this is the kind of acknowleldgement that Obama gives the progressive Democratic base DURING A PRIMARY...THEN what can we expect from him a general election or in the White house if he makes it there.

I always knew the answer was next to none at all.

I am continaully baffled as to how so many denizens of the progressive blogosphere don't get it and twist themselves into ideological pretzels to make their beliefs fit his talk.

Matt knows when he's been two timed.

And this is a something I wrote to a friend the day it was announced he would go on Fox.

Too many comments here and places like Dkos are a perfect example of what I said would happen to the netroots...lack of accountability for and from Obama to the netroots and the issues it cares about...remember the call to partisanship and the idea of a candidate willing to go to a barfight....all thrown out...

It was one of the reasons that from the very beginning I did not support him because of that attitude as shown in his 2005 Dkos diary.  To me the netroots has always been a conscience, a strategic mover, a countervailing force, hopefully growing to become a power center of its own.  The Obama movement is very much on track to absorb that all for itself.  Too many of his acolytes will never realize she/we are doing his business for him his way and not what we think is important for this country and the party

This is  a perfect example of the netroots abandoning its own issues, its own standards for a person who frankly as far as I can see has no sense of obligation to the netroots...

Ironically it may seem, but it is something I have long said, that if Hillary was the nominee the netroots,  instead of being absorbed could continue in principled and influential opposition and pressure on her insttead of being eaten up by the Obama movement.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
I agree (4.00 / 8)
OpenLeft is truly one of the best political blogs out there.  Most of the posters are well reasoned, critical minded people, and so even when I disagree with them, it is perfectly civil, and to the end of improving the party on the whole.  So even while I think Matt overstates the implications of Obama's appearance on Fox slightly, he's at least 90% right, and while I wish he wasn't right as an Obama supporter, I know I'm in the right place when I know I can criticize the candidate I support.  He fucked this one up, honestly, and we need to figure out what we can do about it.

[ Parent ]
Obama on Fox News and Matt Stoller's hurt feelings (4.00 / 1)
Get a hold of yourself for sure.  You are sounding like a rock groupie who actually believes she knows the rock star and thought she had a direct connection to the powerful.  The Obama camp follows a plan; telling you everything they will do or say or when they will say it is not part of their plan.  Just relax; you weren't lied to!  This is part of his decision to talk to everyone.

Huh? (4.00 / 4)
How exactly do you square that with the campaign saying that Obama would "take on Fox"? It sounds like a lie to me.

Though honestly, I think an argument about whether they lied or promised anything or whatnot is a waste of time. The fact is, getting the candidates to abandon the Fox debate was a huge victory for the netroots. If no Democratic candidate ever went on Fox after that, it would have been a hit at the heart of the Right Wing Noise Machine. Instead, Obama decided to legitamize them while he went and talked about the far left trial lawyers and "the Daily Kos".

I voted for him, and I still would after this, but it was a kick in the face to the activists on the net, and it is really a shame to see people making excuses for him.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
"The Obama camp follows a plan" (4.00 / 2)
Yikes. Is that just "trust us we know what we're doing," or am I missing something? And this from a candidate that has literally never run a competitive general election campaign for anything, dog catcher on up. No, sorry, I'm not going to "relax." Because I'm not sure he knows what he's doing. I think he'll be a fine president and I voted for him, but he really screws up an awful lot. This was a whopper. He gained absolutely no voters and cost some. But the biggest thing it cost him was the ability to go for the FoxNews jugular later on when they try and Swiftboat him. Not to mention reminding all us liberals that he's pro tort reform. That really helps.

[ Parent ]
You guys want a therapist, not a candidate (4.00 / 13)
The job of a candidate for US President is to put together a winning coalition, not to pamper the tender egos or play into the macho fantasies of his/her supporters.

If you are this disappointed by Obama the candidate, you will weep bitterly as Obama the President tacks and weaves just like FDR did and as every politician has to. The question is balance and total direction. What you people have failed to understand is that the problem with Bill Clinton was not that he was expedient, but that his goals were limited to his own personal political success.

Most of us who support Obama are not under the illusion that he is a magical hero or that he is a progressive miracle worker. He's a smart politician trying an potentially game changing tack that may reconstitute a pro-working-american coalition. So we don't weep and gnash our teeth and demand constant reassurance or go into hysterics at every imagined slight.

Grow up, children.

Well (4.00 / 5)
Whether or not you admit it, that is a gamble.

I surely hope you are right, but if you are not, you are right now asking us to give up our singular opportunity to pressure Obama. After the Primary, there will be no real chance in the next 8 years to exact any assurances or guarantees of good behavior. We will all line up behind him, no matter how badly he is doing, and he knows it.

Pretending for a second that he isn't definitely the second coming of FDR, what kind of message does it send for him to throw us under the bus, and then see a horde of supporters rise to his defense? It shows him that he doesn't need to worry about us, that he doesn't need to govern with us in mind, and that he can run a cautious campaign followed by a cautious presidency without any serious consequences from the Left. I just hope you understand that that is the risk we run by accepting every slight as a clever ploy to fool the Right and every bone he throws us as the ultimate indicator of his true feelings.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
After the election and in the down ticket (4.00 / 2)
One of the big advantages of Obama over Clinton is that he has shown strong interest in, and ability to, support the down ticket candidates. Without constant pressure from the people, the local and state officials, and congress, any president will be at best ineffectual.

Slights don't bother me unless they indicate fundamental problems. Obama says that he will disagree with the left from time to time. Hillary says that Move-on and the activists fundamentally disagree with her foreign policy.

[ Parent ]
our singular opportunity to pressure Obama (0.00 / 0)
thats pretty much over at this point. Obama has the nomination unless you want to unleash hell fire.

the next opportunity is after the national. and that's when pressuring him to move left will be effective, and safe for him to positively respond to. You're quite wrong to say that there will be no real chance in the next 8 years.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Eight years? (0.00 / 0)
Once in the WhiteHouse, he'll have two, maybe three years to make headway. Then begins the next campaign.
But, the problems left behind by the Busheviks are utterly intractable. There is literally no "fix" possible. He cannot withdraw from Iraq; the global Real-politik utterly forbids it. He cannot fix the economy without taking on the very people who have majorly funded his campaign. CorpoRat intransigence will sink any efforts to truly address the climate change crisis.
So, he (or Hillary, to, for that matter) is fore-ordained to fail. And to fail spectacularly, in full view and under full scrutiny.
And this will prepare the way for the next "Bush," the next corpoRat, authoritarian, globalist, interventionist militarist.

[ Parent ]
The global realpolitik (0.00 / 0)
what are you talking about?

Support for the war as it is resides almost completely within the current occupants of the White House, and almost no where else.  Changing the occupants will have a major difference.

And yes, I know those average donations of $96 coming from "corpoRats" will ensure that he never does anything about climate change.

[ Parent ]
Spoken like a true optomist. (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Hmm ... (4.00 / 1)
"He's a smart politician trying a potentially game changing tack that may reconstitute a pro-working American coalition."

Don't know where to start with this one ...

So he's "trying" something that "may" produce a winning campaign, huh? Sorry, I'm looking for something perhaps a bit less experimental, given the stakes and all. I think though that you may have hit on why the Obama campaign makes me queasy some times (despite having voted for him). The whole thing comes off like some intellectual experiment in people moving: "wonder if it might work to marry together community organizing tactics and self-help language, slather it with some white guilt, and ... and ... hey yeah! It works! Now let's try something else ..."

That's what we're relying on to win this race?

And sorry, I can't help but wonder, if the idea is to "reconstitute a pro-working American coalition," why is it he can't win the blue collar vote? I think our man is what they used to call an egg-headed intellectual, and frankly he isn't going to come off any different to the general electorate.

[ Parent ]
i wonder why you want to repeat msm points (0.00 / 1)
"Sorry, I'm looking for something perhaps a bit less experimental, given the stakes and all. "

Which is why you support the "let's try for 50% so the Republicans can steal it and, at best, give us weak victory that can't govern" tried and true method?

[ Parent ]
Exactly (4.00 / 2)
I don't think Matt quite grasped the point I was making at dKos (I'm "eugene," author of the post he cited). I'm not at all naive about Obama and my diary was an effort to explain how I make my peace with the fact that he has a completely different view of political dialogue than I do.

In fact I find it pretty obnoxious that Matt wants to see me and folks like me as emotionally unable to grasp what has happened. Back in September 2005 I denounced Obama's criticism of Daily Kos and that moment has always been in my mind during this campaign, especially earlier this year when I was assessing candidates.

I knew full well what I was getting myself into when I cast my lot with Obama. I knew he would do things like this - remember the Reagan comments at the Reno editorial board? - and while I am not exactly pleased by it, as you noted rootless2, it's not a deal-breaker for me because I see the bigger picture.

And that's what gets me about the outrage Matt is trying to stoke. How did we not know Obama would do this? My diary at dKos today was reminding people that this is completely in line with Obama's past history and his basic political attitude. I don't see how this is supposed to be surprising  to us.

[ Parent ]
obama supporter (0.00 / 0)
I'm an Obama supporter as well, but I don't think it's healthy to accept being lied to.  

[ Parent ]
But Matt, he DID NOT lie to you. (0.00 / 0)
Have you seen the original email? It was sent by an anonymous aid. What does "take on FOX" actually mean? It might just mean to go on FOX and face them and take their questions after months of smears. Wallace wasn't very combative so it would have looked odd if Obama started attacking them in that setting.

Have you thought about this being part of the larger picture of combating the "he cannot win working class whites" talking points?

Could it be a preemptive strike against the renewed MSM attention on Rev. Wright? Obama going on FOX providing a calm, reasonable and likable counterpoint to the "angry black man" narrative?

This whole thing probably has nothing to do with the blogosphere or its expectations.

Btw, who is throwing whom under the bus? It is our job, yes our job, at this point of the campaign to have his back. Yes, we can disagree, but this is the time to fight and not a time to tear him down.  

[ Parent ]
First of all, drop the condescension (0.00 / 0)
Second of all, it's our job to criticize candidates from the left, in the context of a broader strategy.  I'm an Obama supporter, in the context of U.S. presidential elections.  And although I don't agree with the statement that it was a "mistake" to endorse Obama, if Hillary Clinton had done this, I can tell you that I would be all over it.

The truth is that it does seem like the campaign, considered collectively, mislead people on this particular, it does seem like it's tacked to the right (which might be part of a much-delayed strategy of trying to run a general election campaign rather than continuing a primary campaign or it might be that he's realizing he's been losing elite support over the past few weeks).  I could be wrong about all of that, but they're legitimate issues.

That's because the entirety of the strength of the Obama campaign is to attempt to establish a different style of discourse in politics to create the space for progressive ideas.  Over the past few weeks, he has been pulled down to the level of older politicians by older politicians like Clinton and McCain that have been through the fights of the 1990s, and, to an extent, that's inevitable.  But is fair to then ask to what extent that's going to happen and whether it's still important to be a part of a campaign that's doing that?  

His job is NOT just to win, but to win as progressively as possible, whatever that is (which EVERY PROGRESSIVE person in the U.S. should have learned from the Bill Clinton era, which resulted in some of the worst laws that we have seen in the past 20 years on welfare, immigration, and a number of other issues).  And we have every right to question whether he's doing that and have some bottomlines that will lead us to decide that we have better things to do with our time.  There are many, many other political activities that people can engage wtih other than supporting a campaign whose time may not have yet come, if in  fact, that's what's going on.  And even if that's the conclusion, it's clear that this campaign has served an enormously useful purpose in American politics specifically by not talking to us in exactly the way that you are.

Some of us like to believe that the game can transcend being defined EXCLUSIVELY by power politics.  And if we're wrong, to reject that game and do something else with our time.

[ Parent ]
I didn't get involved (4.00 / 2)
in this discussion, here or elsewhere, because I was traveling and didn't have Internet access until today, but as a strong but rational Obama supporter, I have to (mostly) agree with Matt here.

I don't think that the Fox News thing is going to hurt him that much, on the blogosphere or anyone else. Perhaps it should, because it was an error.  I was skeptical when I read that his "taking Fox on" would be with a Chris Wallace interview.  That's not the format for taking Fox on - if you want to take on Fox News, you need to be one on one with an antagonist, an O'Reilly or a Hannity, and just get in their face and be ready to come out swinging and put them on the defensive.  Chris Wallace is just a bad or weird Russert - his questions are going to suck, but in a way that you can't beat him up over it, because he's not a crazy partisan.  Conservative, yes, but not a crazy partisan.  He took on McCain, kind of, but that's definitely not the same as taking on Fox.

I'm not really sure what the right action might be in this situation.  I don't think it's a reason to regret the endorsement, or to retract it - the endorsement was not expressed primarily as support for Obama's position on Fox, as much as for other reasons related to the 50 state strategy, taking on McCain, having more foreign policy credibility, etc. All of those reasons still exist.  

Campaigns, and presidencies, will almost always be fundamentally top down, even Obama's.  He will have millions of small donors and individual supporters, but unfortunately there will be bad advice, and bad decisions, that will exist outside of the control of a related movement, of the blogosphere, progressive, etc.  This is unavoidable.  Here are a couple things we might be able to do, just off the top of my head:

- learn as much as we can, and formulate ideas for future responses to disappointments, because they can and will happen.  We have power of some kind, and there are decisions that can be influenced? Where do our greatest strengths lie, and how do we connect them to influencing the kind of poor decisions we saw in this case? It seems to me that one of the reasons politicians get away with pulling this kind of shit is because we haven't constructed a manner of exerting our power in a remedial fashion.  At the risk of getting too meta, I also question if we can - who is "we," anyway? Are we too amorphous, heterogeneous, and disconnected to make a difference on a presidential level? Obviously, every blog operates independently - each is a different body with some coordination to others, not organs of the same body, if that makes any sense.

- try out best to influence individual lower level decision makers through primaries and other tools; by adding more from the Donna Edwards vs. Al Wynn mode, we gradually increase our influence within non-presidential sources of power, both in actuality (literally having a better congressperson) and by appearance (victories earn respect in all sorts of media and whatnot).  This may push the party as a whole in a more progressive direction, and show that there is a will for integrity, and better process and policy.

"I'm sorry, but the Iraq war happened for this reason. Silence. " (4.00 / 2)
I haven't been silent since 1968.
I have lobbied, demonstrated, protested, GOTV'd, contributed, got gassed, bully-ragged and busted, and generally worked my little heinie to the bone.
And what good has it done?
The USofA, my country, has fled into fascism with a fanaticism which I anticipated, but never thought would be so thorough-going.
All the corrupt, safely sold-out candidates keep appearing with their empty promises, their immanent betrayals, and their corpoRat fealties.
And now, finally past my 62nd birthday, and on the dole at last, I've just about had it. McStain's a war criminal and a murderer (what ELSE can you call attacking civilian targets with military aircraft?), Hillary has dynastic pretensions, and Obama's a liar, a coward, a charlatan, and a fake.
Great choices. Thanks, Murka, for nuttin...
If the appearance on Faux News today did nothing else, it should, at long last, have finally put paid to Obama's promise to "change" the political culture.
Now he says he supports Betrayus, and will vote to confirm him as CentComm Commander? Betrayus, the guy whom the departing (under a cloud of animus) Commander, Adm. Fallon called a brown-nosing chickenshit?
Get along, Obama, and go along...

But really (0.00 / 0)
what's your solution? What do we do? Giving up, even after hard work, and saying that nothing is any good, that we cannot do better, will result in just that - a completely and thoroughly shitty situation with no hope of improvement.

[ Parent ]
Yup, that's about the size of it... (0.00 / 0)
The situation, howsoever shitty it is today, will assuredly get worse.

You ask me for solutions? Bwahahahahahaha. Solutions? First, we need to reduce the number of humans by at least half (I'm old, so can look upon this prescription with a certain degree of sanguinity). Parenthood is the epitome of both hubris and selfishness. I am childless, and I take it as a blessing.

Nothing will/can save the polar bears or the tigers, or the whales. Nothing. All our concern and care and energy? Too late... They are doomed, in the 'wild,' at least. As are the Monarch butterflies, whose nesting trees in Mexico are being cut down for fuel and for acreage on which to grow corn for ethanol. And elephants. And rhinoceri. And cheetahs, and pumas, and wolves, and grizzly bears, and sharks, and every and any other living thing that competes with humans at any level for resources.
And that says nothing at all about all the creatures whose evolutionary niches are being destroyed by human-induced climate change...
Shit, we've extincted the local horned toads by killing off as pests all the ants they used to feed upon...

And, realistically, there is nothing one can do. Really.

[ Parent ]
So honestly (4.00 / 2)
why do you even bother posting here? I'm sorry you're so completely disillusioned, but really, if you think there's nothing that can be done, that nothing will ever get better, why bother with anything? At least don't be a buzzkill for everyone else.

[ Parent ]
come on man... (4.00 / 2)
If Konopelli has fought like that since the 60's (s)he has earned the right to be thoroughly disillusioned and this is the right community to share it with.

Matt, I've read and respected your writing since your MyDD days but what exactly do you think is sooo progressive about even a "blue" democrat?  Obama is and always has been a safe candidate for corporate america.  My fear is that his presidency will do to a whole generation what his interview on FOX did to some of this community.

If you want true change my dear brothers and sisters, you're going to have to look a little further than a presidential candidate.  Obama does not equal Messiah.  We need to elect him-Yes, but, our world desperately needs something more radical than the potions he peddles.  

Konopelli, I respect and honor your disillusionment, but I can't join you yet.  Life is too fleeting and we might as well die on charging the gate.

[ Parent ]
Well (4.00 / 1)
I'm sure there were plenty of people in the 60s who had been disillusioned with the lack of progress in their lifetime, and it's good that they just gave up, right? Give me a break.  I don't want to be adversarial, but I cannot respect and honor any "solution" that's based on the premise that we cannot and will not do better, and that we may as well just give up.

[ Parent ]
if there is no hope of improvement through electoral politics at the presidential level (4.00 / 1)
then look outside!!!! This is a long-term problem, it involves organizing and coordination and, yes, conflict, among people operating at a grassroots level with people completely outside the political system (including non Americans), it involves advocacy work, it involves labor organizing (both union and outside the unions), it involves race-based oragnizing, it involves policy research, it involves all kinds of shit that make up a movement or a coalition of movements that can culminate in something truly transformative.  That doesn't happen in four years, it doesn't happen by electing an intelligent and basically decent man as a President in an era that is deeply conservative (the same way that electing Nixon didn't result in a conservative revolution in policy or structure overnight).

Even if you can't abandon a commitment to electoral politics (which is imo an inherently self-limiting strategy), I think that there are other outlets--there are representatives, there are state elections, there are city council elections, there are senate elections, etc.

Obama is not the movement, and the movement is not Obama, and he has our support only as long as he meets our needs.  And that, I think, is how it should be.

[ Parent ]
Not to be offensive but... (0.00 / 0)
to be honest, you CAN'T do much from outside the system to influence politics in most countries.  After people got over the initial shock of protests during Vietnam, street protests/boycotts/etc have proven to be essentially irrelevant.

On the other hand, working inside the system requires compromising some of your ideals, and hoping on balance that you do more to advance your goals than you do to counteract them.  For all the crap the DLC gets, even it has made some decent progress advancing liberal goals. Street protesters in Seattle at the WTO? Bupkiss.  Antiwar protesters in the U.S? Bupkiss, until presidential candidates and politicians started taking up their cause.

Go ahead, convince yourself that every politician is a lying sack of shit, disillusion yourself, and for god's sake, don't vote--"they're all the same anyway".  Meanwhile, I'm going to vote for candidates that I think can make some amount of meaningful progress, even if they don't agree with everything I stand for.  

[ Parent ]
look, I (0.00 / 0)
agree with the ideals of the 60s as much as most liberals today.  I, however, lay a LOT of blame at the boomer liberal activists who, when change and progress didn't move along quite like they hoped--withdrew instead of actually working in the system to help slowly advance the goals they stood for.  

[ Parent ]
Don't be too critical (4.00 / 2)
I don't see how Obama's words were "throwing Kos under the bus".  I think everyone has to be a little less critical and more willing to see that there are different way to interpret things. Let's save our real criticisms for John McCain, who we MUST defeat in November.  The time for promoting progressive values in the Democrats is early on when we're finding candidates to primary bad Democrats, and early in primary races where there are clear differences on issues.   Right now, we'd better face up to the fact that Obama is our candidate whether we like it or not (I like it) and we must focus our energies on defeating McCain.    

lambert at correntewire (4.00 / 1)
has been running a nutsoid vendetta against Obama that has driven several other founders of the blog away and has involved such laughable moments as a claim that the use of the word "cling" by Obama indicated disrespect (eyes roll!). He's about as perspicacious an analyst of this race as Scaife - who wrote an editorial that could easily have run in Correntewire.

[ Parent ]
The time for promoting progressive values in the Democrats is early on (0.00 / 0)
well said!

or after the nominee we are stuck with is elected.

I really don't get the timing of this hubaloo. I mean, the goal still is to win the white house with the least objectionable of the remaining 3, right?

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
I think everyone should agree (0.00 / 0)
That Obama is accurately representing how his post was received at dailykos.  I don't see why anyone would relate that to kos.

That does not mean he should have brought it up.

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

[ Parent ]
or even dailykos as a whole (4.00 / 1)
its really like sometimes we need to take our own advice and discuss things in context. the question to Obama was: how do we know you really want to bring left and right together and that you have some sort of respect for right wing points of view and that you are not just fast talking us and plan to always vote "liberal". Obama's answer is: I'm interested in good ideas that solve the hard problems, from time to time I oppose "liberals", i was once critical of some voices on DailyKos.

He's not saying he hates DailyKos, or that he loves DailyKos, he's using it as a symbol to say, hey I have some bigger perspective and I am independent of these forces, and I'm not trying to hoodwink the right into supporting a left wing agenda.

This is hardly throwing Kos or Dailykos or anyone with k.o.s. in their name under a bus. Its a symbolic gesture to say not everyone is right all the time.

I for one however am ready to throw DailyKos under the bus from time to time because I think the site has lost a lot of its credibility and persuasive power through its "with us or against us" tone, and frankly its slipshod fact checking standards for front page posts. DKos at this point has a religious like atmosphere and its pretty much spelled the death of rational discussion on that site. I think it took some very wrong turns the past year in how it runs the dairies and I do not find the conduct of some of its front page writers to be professional. Its been a disappointment. Gosh I usually bit my tongue about DKos, but holding it up as some holy grail has really just lost its credibility for me.  

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
mole hill successfully now made into a mountain range (3.69 / 13)
so you get all wound up the Obama is going on Fox, where he can try to persuade some conservative voters to vote for him, and in response the campaign says Obama will go after Fox. Then you get upset because Obama did not "take on" Fox how you want, which would be a scorched earth approach, which of course would NOT help with his general goal of winning the freaking white house. So you and Sargent feel lied to? Really?  You thought Obama would go on Fox and start a war? That makes no sense. Does Obama rebutting every single dumb Fox point have any value? He did it pretty well without alienating possible voters or in giving Fox ammunition to label him as an angry black man. So his definition of "take on" did not match your fantasy. Seriously, of things to be upset by this seems like the most trivial I can imagine. (other than say wearing a lapel pin). To boot, he did really well in the interview, which was the whole point and why it was a GOOD idea, despite the fanaticism around the Fox boycott.

I understand holding politicos to account, but this is such a non-issue, such a waste of time, when there are real issues worth really spending time on and really holding politicos to account on: international labor and environmental standards, tax policy, national debt, Iran and Hezbollah and Saudi-freakn-medrasses-citibank-Arabia, civil rights. And you guys want to obsess if Barack took on Fox to your liking? Who cares? I'm so left I can't drive a straight line, and I don't care about this. This psycho Hillary is going to beat the party to a pulp until she ruins everything for everyone and you want to spend all this time harping about an interview on Fox News? We don't all have all day to sit here and fight a candidate on such petty issues and at the same time try to be fighting for that person on the big things that matter.

You know what the absolutism of this issue reminds me of? It reminds me of the absolutism of Gore critics that pragmatic Dem loyalists got so angry at Nadar supporters for. Get over it. Take it up after November.  

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

The point is that (4.00 / 2)
he didn't gain anything.  I mean, I suppose it's possible that he will, but I don't think it's possible.  What's more certain is that his progressive supporters may feel somewhat more alienated, and disaffected.  I don't think anyone is saying that this is a deal breaker, that they'll turn to another candidate.  While I do think some of what Stoller has written is overstated, he's really mostly on point.  I'm still an ardent Obama supporter after all of this, but I do feel he made the wrong decision.  Even when someone else is making a molehill into a mountain, the best solution is to think clearly and take stock, and not get excited.  

[ Parent ]
he didn't? (4.00 / 3)
he got exposure to millions of conservative voters and an hour to rebut, successfully, many of the stupid attacks made on him during the last debate. It looks like a fantastic deal to me for him. But we'll know better in coming weeks as national poll numbers fluctuate. My speculation that he benefited from the appearance is at least as credible as speculation that he received no benefit.

The alternatives for his alienated progressive supporters are psychopants and Ralph Nader. If this is the issue they turn on to support HRC to totally train wreck the Dem party, then they are certainly not the rational wing of the Democratic party.

I would definitely agree it would be a good idea that when someone spots someone else turning a mole hill into a mountain to take some stock and think clearly. Spending a lot of time whipping up anger about some perceived lie on a total non issue would be a good place to start exercising said stock taking. I hope not to see more blog posts and news stories of this matter. I would like to see more stories about what we're really going to do about international labor and environmental standards and if its possible to promote them when you husband is being paid $800,000 to undermine them, and your chief of strategy is backside dealing to prevent them, or if Obama actually has an real ideas about what to do. Here's to taking stock and getting high.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
I used to have a pair of those. (4.00 / 1)
They were hot pink.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
my new nick name for Hillary (4.00 / 1)
she's turned out to be even crazier than i expected.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
I understand your point (4.00 / 1)
I think you just have a lot more faith in a correlation between that exposure, and success in gaining any kind of meaningful support from those voters.

I just also wanted to say that simply because someone feels alienated doesn't mean that they won't support the candidate in question, and I didn't mean to imply as much.  This isn't a deal breaker for anyone, and shouldn't be.  That said, I do think there will be a fair number of people who won't forget this, and it'll be on the list with the McClurkin and McClurkin-esque incidents and whatnot.

Finally, I do think it'll be a non-issue in the days and week to come, especially with Indiana and North Carolina quickly approaching.  Here's to victory.

[ Parent ]
who's McClurkin (0.00 / 0)
i really should probably know that.

but it underscores that outside a few blogs this was never an issue. and unless the far-left is willing to vote for psychopants or Nader than there is no issue. And I still don't get what the issue is. They successfully boycotted not debating on Fox. Good idea. But what, ok Fox is owned by Murdock, so now what no interviews with the Wall Street Journal too? No using MySpace to promote any campaign or issue? And for what? A majority of American's likely not only don't care whether they boycott Fox et al., they don't even know its something that some people care about. So no interviews from any Dem on these media channels. I doubt it would hardly dent their ratings. But here are a bunch of activists spending a whole lot of time blogging about it (self included - so there is plenty of self hate for myself going on to) when we could be doing who knows what to stop the some police somewhere from cracking heads open or stopping telco immunity or whatever. I don't know. Whats going on with the telco thing anyway? nobody is talking about it because they are so obsessed with if the Obama attacked the Fox enough.

Word on Indiana! Here is to sanity prevailing!

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
McClurkin (0.00 / 0)
ex-gay gospel singer that was invited to sing for an Obama event last summer before it was realized he was an ex gay and preaching that stuff.
When that stuff came up, Obama was beaten up hard by the gay blogosphere (americablog) and decided to let him sing but add a gay pastor to the event to show he was reaching out to both sides to try to foster understanding.
McClurkin took advantage of the event to spill out his stupidity after the gay pastor spoke.
It created some hard feelings among the gay community.
But Americablog is a strong Obama supporter now.
They understand that Obama reaches out to people we don't like because you cant convert people from your own church.
From McClurkin to Wright, from Coburn to Ayers.

[ Parent ]
oh yeah (4.00 / 1)
I remember that - those were my Edwards supporting days. thanks for a reminder. that was messy business. yuck, wish he had booted McClurkin to the curb. well, that's one of the reasons i was supporting Edwards at the time. now we're down to two. what can you do.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Millions? .. (0.00 / 0)
try two to three million tops

[ Parent ]
plus (0.00 / 0)
all the residual exposure and conversation. it will be on Fox affiliate news casts. its been all over the blogs. and it was free. and Hillary wasn't there. its a national media event for him.  

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
So if Hillary had done the same ... (4.00 / 1)
you'd be posting the same argument?

Just checking.

[ Parent ]
"done the same"? (0.00 / 0)
You mean appearing on Fox? She already has. She and her surrogates have been praising al Foxeera to the skies. McAuliffe is prominently featured in an in-house commercial. Like I said below, I didn't see today's incident. Did it contain anything as egregious as her "Thank you, Karl!!" moment?  

As I also said below, I think Obama is the better of the two candidates we have left, and will be both a more effective candidate and president than Clinton. He was my third, sometimes fourth, choice in the primaries.  

[ Parent ]
If he gained anything.. (4.00 / 2) will be in the eyes of The Village.  The campaign's goal was likely to go on Fox News, the lion's den of bogus, right-wing US media, to show Obama's "toughness" after it was called into question by our trivial political establishment.  In a sense, what he's saying with this is that he's more concerned about the benefits this will curry in a future Maureen Dowd column than with the outrage it will spark in the blogosphere, without which, he would be a Hillary Clinton campaign surrogate.

He isn't going to win any conservative voters on Fox News, any more than John McCain's "compassion" tour is going to win him any african-american support.  It's all spin for the talking heads to feast on.

I'm an Obama supporter, and at times can be a fierce Obama partisan, but I was deeply disappointed by this decision.  Will I support Obama any less because of it?  No, he's the best choice.  Still, I can't help but be deeply disappointed by stunts like this.

[ Parent ]
A lot of Hillary's supporters now only watch Fox (4.00 / 5)
because they think all the other stations have a pro-Obama bias.  They want talk of flag-pins, Rezco, and wright 23/7 so that's where they go.   Go check out the mydd diaries if you don't believe me.

Hillary has made multiple appearances on Fox and the station has been much harsher on him than on her.  The reason he went on fox seems obvious.  It's the only way to reach that particular segment of the democratic electorate.

Where's the proof? n/t (4.00 / 3)

[ Parent ]
He went on Faux .. (4.00 / 1)
to reach the Hillary supporters? .. you are kidding .. right?

[ Parent ]
There were two of them on FNS right after Obama (0.00 / 0)
Brit Hume and Bill Kristol - neither one could stop themselves from praising Clinton during the post-interview round-table.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
You honestly believe those two (0.00 / 0)
are going to vote for Clinton? They were fucking with you, man.

If you can't see that ... damn.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
No - I think they want Clinton to be the Dem nominee (0.00 / 0)
Because they think she's more vulnerable than Obama

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
What disappoints me is that your post is so obviously just (4.00 / 1)
made up shit, and two people rated it a 4. That's sad.

[ Parent ]
Obama repeated GOP talking points and frames today... (3.43 / 7)
("partial birth abortion" and merit pay for teachers) and I was bothered by it, in the same way I was very bothered by the way his campaign talked about Social Security a few months back.  I haven't trusted him since they went after Paul Krugman.

The sad thing is that if and when he wins the election, Obama will not have a mandate for a progressive agenda.  Time and again, he has gone after GOP and independent votes at the expense of standing up for Democratic principles.

The thing is (4.00 / 1)
Hillary has been much, much worse on reinforcing and helping the Republicans than Obama.  I love Paul Krugman to death, but I cringe when he gets too political, because I do think he's a bit too overstated in his criticisms of Obama.  I don't base my trust on the instincts of anyone but myself, and I simply trust Obama more than I trust Hillary.  I don't believe he's a messianic progressive, but I do believe he is more progressive than she is, and that's all he needs for my support.

[ Parent ]
you 'cringe when he gets too political'? (4.00 / 4)
Maybe Krugman is just standing up for what he believes in. Maybe he refuses to take the mealy-mouthed line of so many of our alleged journalists that there are two sides to every story, even if one side is utterly asinine and duplicitous.

Maybe Krugman, like many people, has interpreted Obama's statements and actions as indicating he has only the most shallow commitment to some of the things we really, really care about. Not all of us are willing to take it on faith that our candidate will do X when he has signaled repeatedly that he will do Y, or nothing at all.

I don't get it - there's an argument on this thread that if and when Obama becomes president, we need to keep his feet to the fire. And Krugman is criticized...for keeping Obama's feet to the fire.

[ Parent ]
maybe he cringes at Krugman's neoliberalism (0.00 / 0)
Krugman is no progressive and is far to the right of Robert Kuttner, for example, who has a more favorable idea of Obama's health proposal than Hillary's.

One thing for sure, Krugman has reinforced the false claim that Hillary is proposing universal health care when she is rather proposing universal purchase of insurance policies - something totally different.

[ Parent ]
Krugman is neoliberal? .. (0.00 / 0)
just because he advocates free trade?

[ Parent ]
maybe not (0.00 / 0)
but he agrees with them on that issue ;)

he's a centrist guy that passes for left because of how horrible our political climate is and because he's seems like he's basically a decent guy.  but he's still an American economist, part of the elite, and a policy wonk, rather than someone who appreciates the strenght of social movements and the role they play in transforming politics over the long run.  

Surely, he should be smart enough to know that the policy differences on health care, particularly in the context of what will happen when any president's proposals go through the congressional ringer, are not really that significant.  So why the virulent opposition to Obama and virulent support for Hillary Clinton (by toned-down respectable Krugman standards of what virulent means).

[ Parent ]
I'm actually more in line (0.00 / 0)
with Krugman on a lot of economic issues than on a lot of political issues (at least as far as the 2008 nomination goes), though I do disagree with him on health insurance (but reasonable people do).  I'm a pretty hardcore capitalist, and I believe free trade and globalization are theoretically positive, but severely abused by malfeasant governments and corporations in practicality (very simply put, of course it's far more complex in reality).

[ Parent ]
I should have been more specific (0.00 / 0)
I just remember a specific piece in which he decried Obama supporters en masse as approaching a "cult of personality," and likened them to Bush administration backers, which I feel stepped way over the line, in terms of an irrelevant and inaccurate generalization, and a ridiculous analogy.  That's not holding anyone's feet to the fire, that's just being stupid, quite frankly.  Even Krugman's not perfect.

[ Parent ]
Imelda Blahnik (4.00 / 2)
What does your handle say about you?

[ Parent ]
Oh my god, talk about making a mountain out of a molehill (3.00 / 4)
So an Obama campaign staffer said Obama would "take Fox on".  Matt interpreted this to mean that Obama would go all psycho on Chris Wallace's ass.  When that didn't happen, Obama became a liar.

What an asinine, juvenile analysis.  It's the quality of analysis you'd find in a Freeper.

I agree with another comment I read.  Matt, GROW UP.

Psycho? .. (4.00 / 2)
I don't think anyone said that ... all we went is for Obama .. or any Democrat to challenge Faux on the framing .. challenge them to be better journalists .. why can't Obama say, "Chris, I really don't appreciate when Faux spreads out right lies and falsehoods.  Would you really like it if people lied about you and your background?"  What is wrong with Obama doing that?

[ Parent ]
Grievance campaigns are not attractive (4.00 / 2)
Do you really think the average Fox viewer is going to respond positively to Obama whining about Fox's coverage of him?  Obama took the high road, and he did a good job. It's who he is. If Obama had gone on Fox and repeated the red-faced finger-wagging performance Bill Clinton gave Chris Wallace, he'd have turned off more people than he'd have persuaded.

Why can't this stupid primary be over already.

[ Parent ]
Gah (0.00 / 0)
He really didn't need to go on it at all. You're right that that would have been a very risky strategy, but the only reason his campaign indicated that he would do something like that was so that people wouldn't get so pissed that he was going on in the first place. And he just didn't need to do that.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
When was the last time you ran a presidential campaign? (4.00 / 1)
None of us knows the internal campaign calculations that led Obama to go on Fox, but there obviously were some.  The campaign concluded that the chance of offending a tiny fraction of the left wing blogging community was outweighed by the chance they could persuade more voters to vote for him.  And you know what?  I'm not going to second-guess Obama's campaign on this point, because it's done a pretty damn good job so far.  They're not perfect -- far from it -- but they're a damn bit savvier than your average blogger.

I still find it hard to believe this whole tempest in a teapot arose out of some anonymous campaign staffer's misinterpreted comment to a blog.

[ Parent ]
Do you really think (4.00 / 1)
the average Fox viewer is going to VOTE for Obama?

Fox did not have Obama on to help him reach voters, they had him on to prop up their sagging image as a legitimate news source that deserves to be taken seriously. Mission accomplished.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
Who gives a crap about Fox (0.00 / 0)
I have no illusions that Fox had devious motives in having Obama on. But so what? If Obama can use Fox to his own advantage, then more power to him! Hillary's certainly learned that lesson already.

[ Parent ]
That's a big if. (0.00 / 0)
What we know for damn sure is Fox just used Obama to their advantage.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
So what? (0.00 / 0)
I find it hard to believe you haven't figured out the problem yet, but it is that by "using" Fox, he still grants it legitimacy. They are a laughable excuse for a "news" channel, but that is an awfully difficult argument to make when they are getting coveted interviews with the Democratic frontrunner.

I'll ask you the same question I asked someone else on this thread: Do you think we were right to shoot down the Fox debate? Should Obama have gone on it?

For those of us who consider ourselves part of a movement that goes beyond Obama, the answer is an obvious "no". Why should anyone look at this differently?

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
right, sagging news source (0.00 / 0)
because Fox News isn't making hundreds of millions in profits and growing at a faster clip than other media superpowers every year.


Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Bill O (0.00 / 0)
has great ratings as well, should he have gone on there?

Do you think we shouldn't have opposed the Fox debate in the first place, since they have such dynamic ratings?

Taking on Right Wing institutions is incredibly important. We did a lot to hurt Fox's reputation, and I think it had a noticeable impact. It was a stupid fucking idea for him to make them look more legit.

They attacked him round the clock on the Madrassa thing, they are the worst mainstream cable network, and we definitely have the power to seriously hurt their reputation. I don't care how many people watch them if the conventional wisdom is that you can't take them seriously. But we can't make that kind of change with our ostensible leaders undermining us.

This is my fucking problem with Obama. He does something that helps the right, and everyone muddies the waters by jumping to his defense. Suddenly it is "Chris Wallace isn't that bad!", "Fox has great ratings!", "He was just reaching out through the news like everyone else!".

It's bullshit. Fox is a disgrace, and Democrats should be freezing them out. He fucked up. Why defend him?

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
And just so we are clear (0.00 / 0)
A whopping 7% of regular Fox viewers voted for John Kerry, compared to 88% for GWB.

I know every vote counts, but we're not talking about a fucking gold mine here or anything. He could have skipped it.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
this has been my point the whole time (0.00 / 0)
why is this so hard for everyone to get a handle on. Clinton had nothing at stake when he attacked Wallace. Obama has everything on the line, he's not going to go on and suddenly trash talk a network that everyone who is a watching presumably likes and identifies with to at least some degree.  

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Greivance? .. (4.00 / 1)
pointing out that Faux News lies is whining?  WTF???

[ Parent ]
I agree with the concerns Matt and Paul both have... (0.00 / 0)
And they're right--particularly about Obama not taking Fox to task when he had the opportunity.  But as Rev. Wright said on "Bill Moyer's Journal," Obama is a politician, and he's going to say what politicians say.  There were only three 2008 presidential candidates that weren't politicians--that I can think of anyway: Kucinich, Gravel, and Huckabee.  Because these guys said what they really wanted to do in office, they were quickly cast aside.  In the case of Huckabee, I'm relieved because the idea of changing the Constitution to align it with the Bible is scary.

It is possible that he planned to take Fox on (0.00 / 0)
  I know this may sound like I am just trying to defend Obama at all cost, but I do think its possible that he planned to take them on but when the moment came it didn't work out.

 On a related note, I found it strange that his people said he had this plan before the interview. It is one thing to go after them when they don't necessarily know its comming (like Clinton did)but its much harder when you actually tell them in advance that its coming

 Maybe the spokesman revealed the plan early and as a result they felt that it was better at that point not to do it

 Its a theory anyway  

We endorsed Obama because he is better than Clinton (3.00 / 4)
And he still is.  I don't think that changes this.  

Right now, Obama is trying to get elected as our nominee and then as our next president.  He has played the game well thus far and will need to continue to do so if he wishes to be the first black president.  

I think we need to clarify the debate a bit.  Stoller is right and has been all along about Obama and what he truly is.  We can debate that further and I think we did for the bulk of 2007.  

Also, Obama benefits in the shortrun from throwing the netroots under the bus from time to time.  In the way the game is currently played, token symbolic gestures such as those matter tremendously to the Village and allow Obama to stay in the game and possibly win it.  

We need to realize that Obama vs. Clinton vs. McCain isn't really our fight.  We need to donate our time and money to the cause, but we are fooling ourselves if we think we are exercising a considerable degree of influence over this election.  
Our focus should continue to be on turning blue districts bluer, challenging incumbents, things like BlogPac's initiative against Assemblyman SIlver.  

I ultimately see Obama as a JFK type figure, especially in relation to the netroots. Just as the civil rights movement had an arms length, often hostile relationship with the President, we must continue to hold Obama's feet to the fire and use what real power we have to get him to adopt the policies we believe are right for the country.  He will be much more open to our ideas than Hillary or McCain.  And that's why we were right to endorse him.  

One point of contention (0.00 / 0)
Also, Obama benefits in the shortrun from throwing the netroots under the bus from time to time.

I don't know if I can agree with you here.  This is why I dropped my support for Clinton in favor of Obama.  And I truly hope Obama doesn't do this.  Right now I don't see any clear sign of him throwing progressive activists under the bus.  There's a difference between disagreeing with a group and criticizing them.

I do, however, think he has to play "the game", and anyone who is any type of minority (like myself), knows this is the only way to advance.  This is certainly how Obama is approaching his campaign: say what's necessary, and do something different (at least I'm hoping) once he's in office.  Do you think Obama would get elected if he said he was going to put forth legislation to allow gay marriage, and he would threaten to cut funding to Israel unless they did something about the apartheid of the Palestinian territories?  Not only would he not get elected, someone would probably try to kill him.

I think we need to dial back the rhetoric here and ask ourselves: do we want someone who says we'll be in Iraq for 100 years, or someone who says she will obliterate Iran if they attack Israel, or someone who says he will meet with our enemies?

[ Parent ]
From what I've learned of history (4.00 / 1)
the only way minorities have ever advanced was by sticking together. Solidarity.

Individuals may advance by selling each other out, but the group as a whole does not.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, but MLK could not get a job at... (0.00 / 0)
Goggle or Bank of America or Merck.  Minorities have to play the game or else they'll be barred entry into key positions.  Obama is not an activist.  He's a politician, and we need to not lose sight of that.  We must hold his feet to the fire, and I hope his campaign is observing this ongoing debate on progressive blogs, but we can't expect a messiah in him or any candidate.

So to respond to you're poin, we as progressive must stick together, but we must not forget the Obama IS a politician.

[ Parent ]
I think you missed the point (4.00 / 3)
of Matt's post.  I think he asked the question:   When and where do we hold on to our integrity based on our core principles of Democracy, equality, honesty and fairness.  When and where do we stand up to draw the line as to what is acceptable and what is not?  Right now, in the race to win, the Obama campaign is sinking just as low as any other politician.  The high road did not work.  Now what?

At least that's what I got out of his post.

[ Parent ]
I understand Matt's point.... (0.00 / 0)
I just disagree about how important the issue is.  We hold on to our integrity by dedicating our time and money to causes we believe in.  I have stopped donating to the Obama campaign and gave my donation instead to BlogPac.  But it doesn't change the fact that I still think Obama is the best option over McCain and HRC.  

[ Parent ]
Matt, (2.00 / 2)
Gabriele Droz, Clarkie here (worked with you and Ellen back in 2003, still a Clarkie, and strongly supporting Hillary).

It's not too late.  I think Clark got it right when he endorsed Hillary.  I arrived at the same choice a couple of weeks before he finally announced he wasn't running last year, so the switch wasn't painful.  

We've GOT to win this one, and she can.

so which one do we not have to win? (0.00 / 0)
which election would actually be willing to include principles along with narrowly construed power politics?  How many more decades of path-dependent conservative fundamentalism do you want to see?

I believe that things are changing in style, discourse, and content of American politics, but in the meantime, a lot of f@#ked up things are going to happen.  And that will be the case regardless of whether Obama, Clinton, or McCain win this election, though to differing degrees.  What won't be the same regardless of who wins is how the presidency interferes, or doesn't, supports, or doesn't with real progressive social movement building, which american electoral politics at the presidential level probably has very little real role in at this point, based on the gutter to which this primary campaign has been  dragged in the last few months (by Clinton...thanks).

[ Parent ]
The Establishment (2.67 / 3)
We've become the establishment which we vowed to expose when the blogesphere was created. Look at the comments. We are just like the media, blindly defending all our candidates' actions, giving reasons not to doubt their political ambitions and that it's now ok not to be progressive as long as Mc Cain is defeated. We used to stand up for universal healthcare but no more. What else of our priorities are we willing to surrender? If we do not exert our pressure now, it will be too late once the nomination is over. Too late for the next 8 years. It's ironic that we are ok with Obama swaying to the right to attract Republicans over, giving up our progressives agenda. What does this make us then? The bitter irony in this is that it is the Clintons who created the progressive movements and now they are being the no1 enemy by them.

Really? No. (4.00 / 2)
The Clintons did not create the progressive moment.  Not even close.

Giving up a progressive agenda? I'm an Obama supporter critical of this decision, but how does a single appearance on Fox News, no matter how misguided, constitute giving up a progressive agenda?

[ Parent ]
MoveOn (0.00 / 0)
was created to defend Bill Clinton from the attacks that followed the Republican takeover of Congress.

Remember they were calling for Congress to censure him for having an affair and "Move On?"

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
well, yes but.... (0.00 / 0)
The Clintons didn't have anything to do with it's creation and they sure didn't have anything to do with the creation of the progressive blogosphere.  

[ Parent ]
You mean (0.00 / 0)
the same group that Hillary Clinton fundamentally disagrees with on foreign policy? Moveon's founding was more about getting back to progressive policy than adamant support of Bill Clinton.  The roots of progressivism are manifold, and even the current iteration of the movement has very little to do with the leadership of Bill Clinton (unless you can count his DLC-ism as a good thing, insofar as prompting a progressive backlash).  The Clintons are about top down triangulation and running small numbers of moderates - party building is anathema to them, as it might risk their power within the party to, god forbid, activists.

[ Parent ]
You know -- (0.00 / 0)
that group she voted not to censure over the bullshit Petraeus psuedo-controversy.

The same vote Obama was too busy to show up for.

If you hated Bill Clinton and the DLC you are going to hate Obama, too, because he will do the exact same things. After all, wasn't the DLC all about "reaching out" to Republicans and forging "bipartisan" solutions? Clinton was this special, charismatic Democrat who was somehow going to make that all work out. We just had to trust him, trust that his heart was in the right place even if he was doing some unsavory things, like "don't ask don't tell."

It was stupid then, it's stupid now.

The only difference between Bill Clinto and Barack Obama, is us, the netroots. We either hold his feet to the fire and keep him honest, or we coddle and enable and make excuses for him.

I know which one I choose.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
Hold his feet to the fire (0.00 / 0)
I completely embrace that as long as it is done without being unnecessarily adversarial.

[ Parent ]
There are many other votes I care more about (0.00 / 0)
Hillary Clinton is a DLC member, and part of their leadership - when they tried to claim credit for Barack Obama, he openly criticized them and asked them to stop doing so.  There's also a difference between reaching out and triangulation.  Obama believes in winning over Republicans to supporting more progressive legislation, not weakening progressive legislation to win the support of Republicans.  Whether or not that's a reasonable or effective approach is one debate; likening Barack Obama's approach to that of the DLC, and of Bill Clinton's approach during his presidency (which I do respect in a lot of ways, as he was dealt a bad hand, though he did make a lot of bad decisions he has to be held responsible for) is another, and I do not believe the two are analogous.

[ Parent ]
one of the core problems in the "left" blogosphere (4.00 / 1)
"The bitter irony in this is that it is the Clintons who created the progressive movements and now they are being the no1 enemy by them."

Even Bill admitted he was governing as a moderate republican. Aside from NAFTA, losing the congress, allowing Louis Freeh to run the FBI, failing to enforce civil rights laws that could have stopped Bush in Florida, dropping Lani Guinier, Peter Edelman, and others, and deregulating the media and banks, Bill did what for the progressive movement?

[ Parent ]
I guess I need (4.00 / 2)
to work on my outrage but I really don't see what the big deal is.

Perfect is the enemy of good.  Obama is not going to pass progressive purity tests.  No legitimate candidate for President will.    

I really don't know what you think Obama should have done.  Accuse Wallace of being a liar?  Bill's interview with Wallace made him look petty because he fought with Wallace who simply let him rant.  

That is what Wallace WANTS.  

The blogosphere can fight wars with Fox.  A Presidential candidate cannot.  

He could have not gone on Fox at all (4.00 / 2)

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
Sure (0.00 / 0)
And I guess he would have avoided hurting the feelings of some activists.

Fox News isn't going anywhere.  And going after them isn't a particularly smart move.  Attacking the media is a lose lose endeavor for politicians.

[ Parent ]
Sigh... (4.00 / 1)
See now, being part of the progressive movement, as far as I'm concerned, is all about attacking Right Wing institutions. Do you read this blog regularly, because that is sort of the major focus... Build our institutions up, tear theirs down.

Shooting down the Fox debate was a HUGE victory for us, and a sign that they were not to be taken seriously, but we were. It noticeably changed the dialog around Fox, and a continued Democratic freeze-out should have been an important part of that.

But maybe you're right; our best and only hope is to have our candidates fellate Chris Matthews, Tim Russert and Bill O'Reilly until the media magically reforms itself.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
This is the world we live in (0.00 / 0)
I guess I just don't agree with the notion that politicians must abide by the principles of the activists.

OpenLeft SHOULD go after Right Wing institutions.  However that doesn't mean that a politician who is running for President should start wars with the media even Fox News.

You CANNOT become President without the media.  

[ Parent ]
They did just fine by not going on the FOX debate (0.00 / 0)
And he could have not done this interview.

7% of regular FOX viewers voted for Kerry. 88% voted for Bush. This is a partisan outlet, he just didn't have to go on it.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
How did Clinton look petty .. (4.00 / 1)
in the interview with Wallace?

[ Parent ]
By engaging (0.00 / 0)
in tit for tat arguments with Wallace on the various criticisms of his administration.

He is a former President.  He doesn't need to defend his legacy.  

[ Parent ]
Somewhat agree with Matt (4.00 / 3)
But I think you are taking it a little too far.
An anonymous source in the Obama campaign lied to Greg Sargent two days before an interview. If the source hadn't said anything, nothing would have changed.

Now I really think Greg Sargent should be going back to that "senior advisor" and asking WTF he meant. But I don't think that because the advisor said this, it's a big FU to the progressive community.  We need our elected officials, on the record, to tell us why they do what they do. We shouldn't base our actions on what we hear from anonymous advisors anyway. In this case, we didn't, we just held our criticisms for 2 days, waiting to find out what actually happened.

I think it was a mistake to go on Fox, but it doesn't change the fact that I think Obama is much better than Clinton on most of the issues where they differ, and I care.

Someone up in the thread said the best time for us to influence the process is early, I agree with that.  

Absolutely (0.00 / 0)
I don't understand why the aide would have "lied" knowing the interview would air two days later. That's silly and how would it have placated anybody ? On the opposite, it actually pissed you off even more.
Plans changed or the aide talked out of his ass. Coz I can imagine a campaign being mendacious - even Obama's - but I can't imagine them being stupid.

[ Parent ]
Yup. (0.00 / 0)
And in 2010 when we still have 140,000 or more troops in Iraq and no progressive legislation and Joe Lieberman still has his seniority and chairmanship, we'll get to vote again.

Hopefully by then some people's eyes will be open.

Your criticism is legit Matt (4.00 / 1)
I'm a staunch Obama supporter and I don't think going on Fox is as much of a disaster as some do, but his campaign did basically lie right to our faces, and I don't think there is any excuse for that.

Matt! (4.00 / 1)
Obama is the one true progressive, the sole heir to FDR's legacy and a lone beacon of integrity shining through the fog of partisan gridlock and cynicism. The fact that he went on Fox indicates to me that it is most likely now a liberal network, nothing else seems plausible.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

nice post, matt (4.00 / 5)
matt, your honesty and willingness to critique your own candidate is what keeps open left a cut above the rest.

i think we have to realize that the internet, blogosphere, youtube, and 24/7 cable "news" has changed the nature of presidential politics...  these candidates are human (thus flawed), but more importantly, they are politicians (fatally flawed)!!!  now, having realized that the constant spotlight and unprecendented scrutiny of these imperfect beings will expose their weaknesses, we have to take a step back and accept that fact.

as a hillary supporter, i have accepted plenty and "sniper-fire-gate" almost sent me over the edge...  but what can we do?  i mean really???  politicians are going to exaggerate and lie, some of it with a purpose, and some of it out of expedience, and some of it out of thoughtlessness or error.

let's just not get so emotionally attached to "our" candidate that we can't see the big picture.  yes, try to keep the pressure on, keep our voices up, and stay involved...  but, willfully blinding ourselves to their imperfections is the worst thing that we can do.

Yes. (0.00 / 0)
Let's go even further and realize that we care only about what politicians do... not about who they are.  

[ Parent ]
Focus on Congress (4.00 / 4)
I looked at all the candidates. By the time it was time to vote in Virginia, I voted for Barack and contributed some cash. I still like him the best -- by far, mostly because of foreign policy.

At the end of the day, I think he's a progressive guy that will mostly be with us. But I don't know that to be true -- none of us do. I find it funny that so many people see a conservative establishment stalking horse in a guy that worked on nuts and bolts policy aimed at reforming the criminal justice system and state political ethics at the state level and has been a reliably liberal vote in the Senate, but, hey, people are free to think what they want.

To the extent the netroots have any power besides being a minor campaign ATM, if we want to see progressive change starting in January '09 it is almost totally dependent on the composition of the Congress. There are some fantastically progressive people running for Senate, the most reactionary body in all of our governmental structures -- Tom Allen, Al Franken, Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Larry LaRocca, Rick Noriega, Scott Kleeb, Andrew Rice, Greg Fisher, and Jim Neal (although his looks to be more of a longshot bid). Kleeb and Fisher have primaries soon, against really bad news Dems that, even if they won (which is unlikely), would be amongst the worst of the worst, barely better than the Republicans that they are replacing (in Nebraska's case, arguably worse than Chuck Hagel, who is at least right on Iraq). That doesn't even include opportunities in Alaska, Kansas, Georgia, and Tennessee to replace execrable trash with pretty solid mainstream Dems.

Leslie Byrne, Judy Feder, Jon Powers, and other potential progressive voices are also in tough primaries coming up soon. Donna looks to be across the line, but we are at an historic opportunity to reshape the House such that we're not dependent upon clowns like Taylor and Barrow and Lampson and Lipinski.

The Presidential race will be. I'll be working in VA to get better Dems elected in VAs 10 and 11, and maybe elsewhere -- and hopefully to also elect Barack to the Presidency and Mark Warner to the Senate this November. But my energy will be reserved for progressive voices.

This is what I'd like to see the netroots do as well. openleft could be at the vanguard of that movement. My $.02.

I dont understand (4.00 / 4)
MAtt, I respect your desire to want to push Obama in a more progressive direction and your right to deplore publicly his going on Fox.
However it seems to me you are WAY overreacting to this.
When the aide said Obama would take on Fox, there could have been a lot of changes since then.
Two obvious ones come to mind. An aide talking out of his ass. Or Obama planning to be agressive but having to tone it down because Wallace actually tried to sound respectful in his questions and responding agressively may have looked as if his nerves were frayed.

What exactly would have been the purpose of "Placating" the blogger with a lie they would have known is a lie if the intereview aired two days later.
It is completely silly to assume it was an intentional lie and I dont understand why you are taking it that way.

Very strange. Understand his role is different than yours and most of us do understand Obama is not God on Earth or even the most progressive candidate we could have found.
But he is a great candidate that is doing what it takes to go back to the White House. We will need to preesure him at times when we disagree with him but getting mad over something so silly will weaken our voice when we will need to speak up on more important things

DailyKos (4.00 / 2)
As someone who has supported Obama from the get-go, I can guarantee you that he was kind when he mentioned DailyKos. The comments he was getting there at the time were HEINOUS.
He is shifting to the center for the GE. How can any of you be surprised ? ALL candidates have to do that to an extent.
And the link actually calls Obama an "asshole". Sorry but that's boundaries that are inacceptable to cross for me, especially on something so very very very dumb

Maybe he just thought this was something he needed to do? (4.00 / 3)
First time commenter here--apologies if that makes what I have to say suspect.  I started reading this blog because I had read comments from Paul Rosenberg at Glenn Greenwald and really liked them.  It's a great blog, and I hope you're not regretting your endorsement of Obama because of his Fox interview today.

I supported Bill Clinton throughout his travails with the VRWC back in the 1990's, and for a long time I thought I'd be supporting Hillary Clinton in the primary.  But then this Obama thing happened and... it was really interesting.  My 48-year-old brother, who had never shown a lick of interest in politics, was suddenly fired up.  My 23-year-old son, the same.  It got my attention; I did some research; I decided to support Obama.  I live in Colorado, and was genuinely impressed with the Obama organization here.  My household got four calls from his campaign before the caucuses--one from a middle-aged lady directed at me; three from young people directed at my son (because only the third reached him).  And they were good calls:  clearly from actual and likeable human beings, that started off reminding us of the caucus date and time and only secondarily got into the candidate.  There were no calls from the Clinton campaign.  (And I'm not thrilled about being told my state shouldn't count because it's a caucus state.  It's not like I had a choice.)

The fact that Obama gave an interview to Fox News hasn't changed my mind.  I don't like or watch Fox News, and I'm very happy that the Dems decided not to participate in their debate.  But honestly--if it had happened, could it possibly have been any worse than that hideous "debate" on ABC?

Bill and Hillary Clinton have been dominating the media discourse since the PA primary.  (The media being saps for conflict and attack.)  How to get some visibility in the face of that?  Obama has problems reaching working-class and elderly white voters.  Who watches Fox News?  I think it's pretty obvious why he decided to do the interview.

And he did a good job.  (I don't watch Fox News, ever, but I watched what was available on the net and read the transcript.)  He may not have won any new voters, but he was credible, thoughtful, articulate.  It seems to me that he took the opportunity to present himself as such to voters who may not ever have had the opportunity to see him as anything but a Wright-loving, America-hating, closet Muslim--whose only exposure to the guy may only be what they've gotten from Rush, or Fox, or viral emails.

I share your progressive goals.  But Dennis Kucinich ain't ever going to be elected president.  Barack Obama might be.  But only if he survives:  1) Hillary's negative onslaught, 2) racist fears about "angry black men", and 3) the Republican trashing he will surely face in the GE.

I say cut the guy a little slack.  He did what he felt he needed to do, and made a pretty decent case for himself to a hostile audience.  Ideals mean nothing if you can't get elected.  Obama isn't going to be the progressive leader we'd all love to see, but if such a person existed, he or she could not be elected in the current political climate.

Baby steps, you know?

Agree. (0.00 / 0)
I don't like or watch Fox News, and I'm very happy that the Dems decided not to participate in their debate.  But honestly--if it had happened, could it possibly have been any worse than that hideous "debate" on ABC?


If you accept the premise that the Corporate Media is all to one degree or another dedicated to extending the  conservative agenda (as I do), you're either talking about boycotting all Corporate Media outlets or choosing your spots. Obama did the latter, which I think was the right strategy.

[ Parent ]
Thank you (4.00 / 1)
I just really think it's a mistake to get all, "Oh noes!  Obama betrayed us!" over this.  The corporate media all suck, and Fox is only marginally worse than (say) ABC.  Would Matt and Paul be clutching their pearls and fainting over Obama giving an interview to ABC?  I doubt it... yet that is the corporate enterprise that has most recently done significant damage to our public discourse.  

Perhaps Matt and Paul should lay out their agenda about who they think it's okay to talk to, and who it's a betrayal to talk to.  And by all means say why.

[ Parent ]
Going on Fox was a mistake. Lying wasn't. (4.00 / 1)
It's about accountability. We spent the last 8 years dealing with a liar. We  know Clinton is and can be one when it suit her to throw us under the bus. Are you okay with Obama being one too? Many of you say - 'get over it, it's a mole hill." if Matt's assertion is right- I don't see how you can say that with any honesty.

[ Parent ]
Accountability? (4.00 / 1)
Accountability to what?  Did Obama promise never to go on Fox News?  I didn't get that memo.  Can you explain to me--because I really don't quite understand it--what there is about this interview you find so objectionable?  I mean, yes, Fox News sucks.  But so do all the other channels.  Which ones would you approve of Obama giving an interview to?  ABC?  You find them to be better, wiser, fairer?  After the PA debate?  Really?

I honestly don't understand the sense of betrayal here.  I mean, yes, I get that you, Paul, and Matt seem to think that if only Obama had refused to do the interview, or if he had been angry and combative when he did it, then somehow the netroots would have "won" something.  But what?

You want another beautiful loser, like Dean?  I don't.  I want to win this election, and I think it's at least arguable that Obama's interview today might help him do that.

[ Parent ]
assuming argumendo you don't (0.00 / 0)
see how he's accountable to the party with regard to undermining its goals when Democrats have been trying to boycott Fox (that's a big assumption) I can only guess you didn't bother to read where I mention if Matt is right about the misleading e-mail sent out by Obama's campaign. The rest of what you wrote isn't particularly relevant.

[ Parent ]
So the problem is the email from the Obama campaign? (0.00 / 0)
I didn't get that email, bruhrabbit.  I also haven't seen the text of it anywhere on the internet, including here.  I'd like to.  I'd like to know who it came from, too.  Otherwise I'm just being asked to take the word of people who got something from an anonymous source, no?

Democrats have been trying to boycott Fox?  Really?  Democrats like... Hillary Clinton's campaign people, you mean?

"Hillary has won all the states we have to win in the general election," Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe told FOX News after the race was called, touting the fact that Clinton won Pennsylvania despite being largely outspent in the state by Obama.

Tell me again about the Democrats boycotting Fox News.  Or is it okay when Terry McAuliffe talks to them?

[ Parent ]
That's one of the problems (0.00 / 0)
the other as I made clear that you are glossing over is that of hurting the Democrats for his own short term gain- whatever that is here and whatever you post justification spin. Anyway, I am tired of this. Good luck.

[ Parent ]
Posts like these is exactly why (4.00 / 1)
Howard Dean lost....a great mind who would have been a great president, who had terrible advisors, and supporters who thought they knew HOW to make it all work....Obama is far from a perfect casndidate, who the heck is, but seeing the progressive bloggers who are supposed to be smart go after this Fox interview that is meaningless in the scheme of things. it utterly PATHETIC!. I think the Obama camp should be given some credit, maybe this will end up being a mistake, or NOT.....SO WHAT....Too bad the so-called progressive bloggers don't go after Bill and Hillary with the same velocity, maybe we would have our nominee already and we could concentrate on that lunatic McBush...what a sorry lot the sphere has turned out to be this primary!

gaiilonfong , how can you say that (0.00 / 0)
People here do not go after Hillary Clinton?

I agree with you about this post as far as Howard Dean and how he would have made a good president. And I agree with his 50 state strategy, look at how excited so many people are that are registering to vote and towards the democratic brand. Excellent work, I say.

And yes Obama supporters have crashed to earth a little bit since PA, but so what. Obama is nice enough. And he can make a good president, as can Hillary. I will vote for whomsoever comes out of the convention, even if it is not Hillary or Obama, whether I like them or not, because what other effing choice do we have, 4 more years of the same?

But neither is a real progressive in the Donna Edwards mold. Neither was FDR. I really thought we needed a fighter like Edwards, but hey, I was in the minority. But either of the MSM chosen corporatist candidates could do some real good if we give them an overwhelming majority in both houses. That is when the chickens really come home to roost.

And although I am kind of pleased to see Matt fall back to earth a little, this is just a storm in a teacup, and besides that, I really like Matt, even when his hair is kind of funny..., on the TV.

[ Parent ]
Geez, Matt... chill!!! (4.00 / 1)
Obama was never a true progressive... His policy and advisers always had a paleo-conservative bend to them... mostly we ignored those facts... partly 'cos paleoconservatism seems progressive next to the neocon agenda we've been living with the past 8 years, but mostly 'cos he pursued a progressive-style 50 state strategy, Dean-like campaign that will have great benefits to the party as a whole...

The Hillary campaign has been complaining that he's been too conservative until the media decide he was a "liberal radical", even though he never was....  I think a lot of us got caught up into the hype...  but, it was never true... and it was that very reason that he fared so well early...

Remember, he's the guy who brought over a lot of Republicans to support his campaign?  How do you think he did that?  By being at least open to Republican concerns without berating them...  We don't like that, but the fact is, it draws more folk to our cause....  Like one person said on this site, "Obama makes people in Red states talk about health care with or without mandates, and they are fighting against mandates, but ARE fighting for health care thanks to him!"

That's the kind of leadership that has made him a winner!


REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

Take it like you want (4.00 / 1)
But Fox carries the Wright speech tonight and praised it. (0.00 / 0)
Has this to say

Why did Barack Obama appear on Fox News Sunday this morning? For the same reason that Hillary Clinton (see video below) is campaigning on a proposal originally introduced by John McCain: a summer holiday from the federal gas tax.

With the exception of Oregon, which is more conservative than is generally acknowledged, the other six remaining states all fall within a relatively narrow band toward the right-center of the political spectrum. And four of those six states (Kentucky and South Dakota are the exceptions) have open primaries.

So have the Democrats begun to pander to the right? It depends on your definition of pander, I suppose. But on balance, it is probably helpful to them to have these right-center states on the docket as we transition gradually into the general election cycle.

It does seem to me, however, that their respective actions are illustrative of the different approaches they might take toward courting the political center in a general election campaign. Obama will have a conversation with a right-of-center news outlet, which asks a series of questions framed from a right-of-center point of view, but will not actually espouse any particularly right-of-center policy proposals. Clinton, on the other hand, will take on a position that taken criticism from both the left-wing and the right-wing establishments, but which probably plays relatively well on the stump.

I think this whole Wright strategy (0.00 / 0)
is coming from Axelrod and that publicity agency he hired to deal with is dangerous, but with what I have seen tonight even coming from Hillary NEOCON central CNN is encouraging...maybe this is a concerted effort...Hey let's see!

Caucus intimidation... (0.00 / 1)
just as it was a mistake for us to do nothing against Clinton after she accused Moveon of intimating her supporters at caucuses.

In my opinion, based on how my caucus went down, I would say that that accusation against Moveon was pretty accurate.  Maybe it was a mistake for me not to have spoken louder in support of Hillary when she had the nerve to say what I was thinking.

THIS IS A LIE (0.00 / 0)
and more propaganda from Hillary Clinton(NeoCon-NY) supporters.....I knew a diary like this would bring out all the Marshites and their propaganda!

[ Parent ]
Please have enough respect... (4.00 / 1) not dismiss everything that you disagree with as Cilnton Propaganda.  It was my disgust at how the caucus went down that caused me to wake up and start participating after several years of trying to tune it all out.  

Really, really, really.  I have been studying and paying attention (except for the several years there) to politics for a long time and I find it rather offensive to be dismissed as a lying propagandist every time I express my opinion.  It's getting really old and it's an unfair, uncivil, destructive practice that needs to stop.  And if it's going on "in reverse" it needs to stop there too.  

I mean seriously, if there were as many "paid Clinton propaganda bloggers" out there as have been accused, it would be reflected in the national employment statistics in the past several quarters!

[ Parent ]
where is your proof (0.00 / 0)
it was Move-on.  you are dissing 3 million people....that is propaganda that was started by Hillary Clinton(NeoCon-NY)    No Sale  your posts are ones that on found on hack sites like Talk Left and Taylor cesspool Marsh

[ Parent ]
NeoCon-NY (0.00 / 0)
what is that about?

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Maybe so (4.00 / 1)
But that's not what I saw at the caucus I attended.  It split 66-16 in favor of Obama, and did so with remarkable cordiality.  I would be interested in details of the intimidation you observed--I have no patience with such behavior.  I find it shocking.

[ Parent ]
agree (0.00 / 0)
My caucus on the rural plains of Colorado was very cordial.  We knew who the real enemy was and it wasn't each other!

Since it wasn't my reality I am always a bit confused about the caucus intimidation stories, I too would like to know details.  

(My best friend caucused for Clinton in Neveda and she didn't have any stories about intimidation either, just disgust with how unorganized it was)

[ Parent ]
Oh, thank you (0.00 / 0)
I don't doubt that intimidation happened--it's just that I didn't see it myself, and I want to know the details.

I'm in southwest Colorado, and we were all neighbors at our caucus.  It was fun.  It was interesting.  I actually loved it.  My son really wanted to be a delegate to the county assembly, and because he made it clear that he wanted to do it, and because he's a pleasant young person, he was chosen to be one of the five.  It was all very friendly, and very democratic.  (Capital-D Democratic as well.)  We voted on everything.  The discussion was that we wanted to send "representative" delegates to the county assembly, and that meant a combination of men, women, minorities and young people.  We were short on minorities, but the Navajo guy got chosen.  My son got chosen as the token young person.

I really object to the Clinton campaign's insistence that caucus states shouldn't matter.  The process we went through felt very democratic to me. Open primaries are bad because they let non-Democrats vote, but caucuses are also bad because only really "interested" Democrats vote?  Isn't there a contradiction there?  

[ Parent ]
When exactly did the Clinton campaign say... (0.00 / 0)
...that the caucus states shouldn't count?  Is this about their assertion that "the big states are really important for Democrats to win?"  Because, I think that's more about the big states (and also true) than it is dismissive of the caucus states.

Personally, I think the caucus process we have here in Colorado is awful.  I think it disenfranchises people right and left and up and down.  And, several years ago when there was a ballot initiative aiming to change Colorado's process from a caucus to a primary I begged and pleaded with people to support it.  Sadly, none of them could be bothered to care because they'd never been to a caucus.  Ironically, some of them were the same people that were upset and confused at how disorganized "Caucus 2008" turned out to be.

[ Parent ]
They did say it (0.00 / 0)
When did the Clinton campaign say caucus states shouldn't count, you ask?  When they asserted--as they have done, repeatedly--that the only thing that "really" mattered was the popular vote, which would entirely disenfranchise those in the caucus states.  (Didn't you get that?  They meant that caucus states don't count, only primary states.)

I'm fairly new to Colorado, having lived most of my adult life in California.  I, too, find the whole caucus procedure more than a little bit... goofy.

Yet I lived in California for 35 years, and never ONCE did my vote matter a damn in a primary election--because our primaries (until this year) were always in June--long after the candidates had been chosen.

I'd like to see Colorado go to a primary voting system, because I think the state is too big now for caucuses to be the right mechanism any more, but I won't agree with you that caucuses are "awful".  Yes, it's true that those who attend tend to be more interested in politics than their neighbors.  But... I can only judge by what I saw with my own eyes.  And what I saw was people who lived near me taking enough interest in an election to give up an evening to the almost unbearable dullness of a caucus.  I really enjoyed talking to the people there.


Your mileage may vary.

[ Parent ]
Yes- absolutely (0.00 / 0)
I completely spaced on saying that below. Any "popular vote" argument really says that caucuses shouldn't count.

[ Parent ]
And any "delegate argument" (0.00 / 0)
especially the "Super delegates should vote the same way their constituents do" argument says that the popular vote shouldn't really matter.  Like I said, it's all how you spin it.  

And, any "electorial college in 2000" argument also discounts the popular vote and we were kinda pissed when that happened but....more spin, more politics.

[ Parent ]
All this "yes absolutely" (0.00 / 0)
Why is that necessary?  You did an excellent job making your case on why you think the Clinton campaign is trying to discount the caucus votes.  All this "yes absolutely, that too, k and r (which I still have no idea what k&r even means)" stuff is just icky and unnecessary.

[ Parent ]
wasn't trying to be rude (0.00 / 0)
sorry about that. The "yes, absolutely" was meant to mean "Doh, this is what I should have said in the post below".

I am not sure what you mean by "k and r"???

[ Parent ]
My milage on caucus night did vary (0.00 / 0)
My caucus was the absolute polar opposite of unbearable dullness.  It was chaotic and crowded and exhausting.

It's not just about those who attend are more interested in politics...which is true...  It's about those who would like to attend but don't have a babysitter or can't hike 4 blocks in from the closest parking place in the ice and snow or have to work in the evening...that's what I call disenfranchising.

Regarding this about the argument for the popular vote, "Didn't you get that?  They meant that caucus states don't count, only primary states." I took that to be exactly what it is...politics.  If you're ahead (which I'm not saying Clinton is) in the popular vote, you say, "Hey!  Lookie here!  We're a head in the popular vote."  If you're a head in pledged delegates you say, "Hey, that's not how the process works, it's delegates that matter."  Spin happens.

I "get things" just fine.  I just see them differently.  The Clinton campaign is in underdog mode and is talking about the popular vote because that's where they're closest to Obama.  They're doing it to win the media spin war (the one all candidates are, unfortunately, forced to engage in) because that's how campaigns work.  It's kind of similar to the way all the states jockey around their primaries and/or caucuses to try to have more influence.  It's not that one state wants to disenfranchise or marginalize the "early states."  They just want to help themselves.

[ Parent ]
Well... chaos and crowding makes for a pretty tedious experience too (0.00 / 0)
"It's not just about those who attend are more interested in politics...which is true...  It's about those who would like to attend but don't have a babysitter or can't hike 4 blocks in from the closest parking place in the ice and snow or have to work in the evening...that's what I call disenfranchising."

I don't argue with this, but...  you still need a babysitter to go vote in a primary, and there's still ice and snow.  Anyway, people brought kids, including some tiny and whiny ones (and dogs as well!) to the caucus I attended.  One kid howled and howled, despite the efforts of many to calm and amuse her.  No one minded, much.  We knew some people couldn't attend if they couldn't bring their kids along.  I'm sorry if it was different where you caucused.  It was fairly chaotic on an administrative level here too, but I take that as a given with something that happens only once every four years.

You say the Clinton campaign is in underdog mode, as indeed it is.  But three months ago Hillary Clinton was the overwhelming favorite, by any metric you care to name.  How did the current situation come about, in your opinion?

[ Parent ]
Clinton camp... (0.00 / 0)
From Ben Smith at Politico....

"A co-chairman of Hillary's Michigan campaign and  has a line that's sure to drive a whole bunch of red state governors up the wall:

"Superdelegates are not second-class delegates," says Joel Ferguson, who will be a superdelegate if Michigan is seated. "The real second-class delegates are the delegates that are picked in red-state caucuses that are never going to vote Democratic."

Hillary Clinton:
Clinton repeated her criticism that the caucus system is undemocratic and caters mostly to party activists.
"There are elected delegates, caucus delegates and superdelegates,"

Now, you may say that they weren't saying that they should lose their delegates, but they are clearly trying to argue that the caucus states shouldn't be factored into the  calculations of who is leading this race.

Now I am not a huge fan of the caucus method of choosing delegates, but thats the system we have for this election. For the next one, I am all on board with switching to primaries only, but for this one, the caucuses we had will have to do.  

[ Parent ]
Sounds like there were some Colorado caucuses that were... (0.00 / 0)
...OK afterall.  Good to hear.  I wish mine had been.  

[ Parent ]
What was "not ok"? (0.00 / 0)
In your caucus?  I really do want to know.

[ Parent ]
I wrote a whole post about it... (0.00 / 0)
It should be right below this one

Down there


[ Parent ]
I'm in Colorado... (0.00 / 0)
...not NeoCon-NY (as accused) and it was actually my caucus experience that made me decide to become active in the Clinton campaign because I was so appalled at the behavior of the people who were calling themselves "Obama Precinct Captains."  There was the hoarding of materials, attempts to move the process along so fast that anyone who wasn't running at 1000 miles an hour would have been knocked silly and a completely combative, "out to fight the enemy" spirit to the whole thing.  

I do think it's important to note that I don't think the people engaging in the intimidating behavior were doing so maliciously.  One of them told me that they had received caucus training from the Obama Campaign (and I'm not positive but I think there was a Moveon training here in CO) and showed me their paperwork.  It was called GOTC (Get Out The Caucus) Training and was entirely focused on how to make sure everyone who wanted to caucus was allowed to do so, how to get affidavits signed if someone wasn't on the voter list, etc., etc.  And, by all means, I wholeheartedly agree that people should be allowed to caucus.  However, the "tone" of materials was in my, somewhat educated on the matter, opinion rather "combative."  It was written as if the person being trained was going to be faced with riot police and armed guards trying to prevent people from caucusing or something.  The point here being that the GOTC training was all about getting to the caucus and nothing about how the caucus actually works.  And those who were given GOTC training expressed frustration that there was no one "in charge" to run the caucus (except, that's the point...the caucus is citizen run and caucus training should involve training about the actual process).  So, you had these mostly well-meaning people who were all set to face down some imaginary "anti-democratic anti-participation Clinton Caucus Forces" and what ended up happening is that the "enemies" these people who'd gotten the GOTC Training had to face were:

1.  People who'd been to any other caucus in the history of...time...and had remembered that there were only 3 other people there. (Not saying that there's anything wrong with good is very good). And they were just generally stunned.
2.  House District Co-Chairs who were "site managers" and had "no horse in the race" and were swamped.
3.  Undecided voters who had no training and were confused.
4.  People who received Caucus Training from the state or local party that was all about the long boring process that the caucus involves and felt offended and wrongly accused and generally confused as to what all "war to caucus" rhetoric was all about.

And, since there was no real "enemy" (nor was there ever going to be a real enemy) those who were expecting to have to fight to caucus ended up steamrolling the process and everyone in their path.  And, I don't fault them for it.  I fault the people who created the training because it was incomplete, cynical and, like I said, combative.

At any rate, I hope this long post makes at least some sense and is not denounced as Clinton Campaign Spin.  I don't work or "spin" for the Clintons...I was honestly appalled at what happened at the caucus all on my own.  

[ Parent ]
Oh noes!! (4.00 / 2)
The centrist candidate I voted for, who made it clear he has differences with many of the liberal activists on blogs, didn't pander to me by attacking Fox!!! Whatever am I going to do?!?!?!

I hope this behavior starts knocking some sense into the echo chamber liberal mindset we often see on openleft/tpm/dailykos/etc.  Most people in the U.S. think that Fox news is biased and sensationalist, but not criminal or worth of a jihad against.  Similarly, most people think Bush made a huge mistake on Iraq and has terrible judgement about domestic policy, but do not think he's a war criminal.  

Sure, you can inflate everything the republicans and the right do into a criminal act, but ultimately you end up alienating many people who are essentially on your side but do not agree with the extreme rhetoric.  You also alienate those on the right who could be convinced by logic but will be inherently offended by what to them sounds like extreme rhetoric.

As far as Greg Sargent's "source" goes, I think it's a joke.  "Inside information" from the Obama camp has been astonishingly rare this season, enough that I doubt it was actually someone who's qualified to comment.  Besides, the damn interview was taped and edited--do you think Fox would let him criticize them on their own network (yes, if he spouted criticisms without much substance, no if the criticisms were actually valid and "hurt")

Matt, grow up! (4.00 / 1)
This is the most childish, immature post I've seen on this site.
Matt, grow up!

I don't fully agree with his post... (4.00 / 1)
but he did make some substantive points,, so you should probably respond with some.

[ Parent ]
Holy Shite! (4.00 / 2)
I went out for ice cream and was feeling fine, until I read Matt's diary.  Now I feel sad, and yes bitter.  So I am going to crawl into bed with my gun and bible, watch some Buffy to escape this madness, and hopefully wake up tomorrow understanding how to bridge the gap between holding Obama accountable and being hopeful about the future.

Matt is right, we need to put our money where our mouths are and start organizing better to make some concrete changes instead of just talking about the Presidential race ad nausem

keep your eye on the prize (4.00 / 1)
November - President Obama

Matt: get a grip man

Stoller provided arguments (4.00 / 1)
therefore, you should respond with arguments.  sometimes, boldface just doesn't cut it.

[ Parent ]
wtf? (4.00 / 1)
ok, wtf is going on here? i usually come here and read the entries but i just had to register so i could comment (abuse) the creature who posted this crap.

why the outrage? by your stupid thinking Obama should not be doing any interviews then.

he should not go to ABC now that they have shown themselves for the right wing fools that they are.

he should not even be seen next to hilary as she has exposed herself for the true republican that she is.

can you PLEASE send a list to the Obama campaign of those he should or should not talk to, so he does not offend you.

in fact maybe you should force your way into his campaign office and demand to be the chief strategist.

while you are in his campaign office, demand he SLAPS hilary the next time he sees her, because she is worse than fox news, and i don't want him to be seen next to her unless he is giving her a slap.

what a bunch of kids.

What happened? (4.00 / 4)
A campaign aide puffed up Greg Sargent's expectations, so now Obama is duplicitous and has to be called on his alleged lies?  That's the kind of hysteria I expect from lambert--but you, Matt?  Come on.

The Correntewire bullshit (4.00 / 3)
Matt, despite being a strong supporter of Obama, I'm undecided about Obama's appearance on Fox and your broader point on the issue. I would just like to say that you hurt your own argument when you start going on an all out attack. I resent having clicked on the link you posted and going to that ridiculous blog.

When did Kos get rid of any users? I have a somewhat different (and fact-based) recollection that they went out with a strike led by one of the most obnoxious Kossacks who felt no restraint in insulting other Kossacks who opposed her point of view.

I am also utterly lost as to how Obama's comment implies throwing Markos under the bus (he didn't even refer to him, but rather to the Daily Kos community)! He correctly gave an example of an occasion where he had taken a stand that was not popular with the liberal base and use the Daily Kos community as the example of the liberal base... As a Kossack, I appreciated the reference.

clicked on the link you posted and going to that ridiculous blog. (0.00 / 0)
When you find yourself linking to Lambert at Correntewire you might as well admit you've left the reservation. What's next, links to Taylor Marsh?
Good grief.

[ Parent ]
I'm reminded of Paul Krugman (4.00 / 1)
Krugman was once universally embraced by liberals as a voice of reason and an expert in economic policy. When he first criticized Obama for his Health Care plan, while a few Obama supporters automatically took a defensive approach, I and many others listend to Krugman and appreciated his arguments. His second and third column criticizing Obama was also read carefully, but a good 10-20 columns later he was regarded by most as a Clinton partisan and completely lost credibility in his criticism of Obama.

It's a vicious cycle and I don't blame Matt, I would just warn him to not get caught up in it. It starts with a simple disagreement and a potentially justified criticism but then you find yourself in confrontational arguments with those who don't agree and before you know it, you throw anything within reaching distance at the object of your criticism.

[ Parent ]
Matt, when you are in a hole quit digging. (4.00 / 2)
Seriously.  These paragraphs are absolutely priceless:

I think lost in all this nonsense is just how weakened we have become in all this.  When we accept lies from our leaders and openly dismissive knocks from them, it destroys our core argument that Democrats need to have integrity and to stand up for themselves.  No they don't.  We don't stand up for ourselves and we let them lie to us without consequence

Why should they listen to us when we ask them to do something we won't do for ourselves?  There's probably no point in making this argument, but if I reach one person hopefully it will be useful.  When you say that your voice doesn't matter, it doesn't.  When you enable bad behavior, unethical behavior, it continues.  I'm sorry, but the Iraq war happened for this reason.  Silence.

So a campaign adviser says "don't worry Obama is going to take it to them", you don't think Obama did, and now you are equating the adviser to one of our "leaders" and the "lie" to one of the lies that got us into Iraq?

Let me pose my own version of your question: Why should anyone take you seriously when you make such hyperbolic arguments?

Get out of your teapot. What you think is a tempest is really just steam.

John McCain doesn't care about Vets.

Matt is a tool (0.00 / 0)
by Matt's thinking when Obama becomes president he should not talk to iran , cuba and north korea as they are evil like fox, but is that not what the liberal community wants, for us to talk to the other side, or it only applies when it is the person you want to talk to.

Matt go take a nap, i think the long campaign is taking a toll on you.

[ Parent ]
I don't exactly know what "tool" means (0.00 / 0)
but if it means he is a surrogate for someone else, i.e. a tool in someone elses hands,  I don't agree. I really can't explain his reaction to this appearance. I didn't think it was a smart political move before it took place, but since he has won twice as many states than any other Democrat, more delegates, and more votes, I was willing to give him and his campaign the benefit of the doubt, figuring his campaign had legitimate vote-getting reasons. Also, he has probably stayed off of Fox longer than any other candidate. You would think this would earn him some slack but from the comments of Matt and others you would think he violated the Geneva Convention.

Everyone was expecting him to get nailed and when even Greg Sargent admitted he did a "solid" job reaching voters he might never have reached, the argument that this was politically stupid more or less evaporated and Matt was left with his the adviser lied argument -- as though the statement was a lie, as though it was consequential, and as though they were horribly misled and changed positions, when in fact the interview was there for all of us to see in less than 24 hours.

The only charitable explanations for all of this I can come up with is 1) Matt doesn't really support Obama or 2) what you said -- the campaign has taken a toll on him.

John McCain doesn't care about Vets.

[ Parent ]
i was abusing him, i do not think he is being used by anyone, i do think he needsto take a nap. (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Puffing up expectations? (4.00 / 4)
I don't know the campaign aide and I don't know what he meant. I can imagine that just allowing an interview might feel like "taking them on." It's easy to imagine that what he meant to say and how Greg heard it might be very, very different.

This sure seems like a whole lot of angst over not much at all. Maybe everyone should turn everything off and take a brief rest cure. Sheeesh.

Bravo, Matt! (0.00 / 0)
I really appreciate OpenLeft holding true to the principles of the blog and not making lame excuses for the actions of the Obama campaign.

It is further proof that many Obama supporters are not blindly caught up in a cult of personality.

Many of the pro-Hillary blogs (e.g. TalkLeft, TheLeftCoaster, and Correntewire) would NEVER hold Hillary's feet to the fire if the shoe were on the other foot (semi-mixed metaphor, there).  When Hillary had her Tusla moment, eriposte made a tortured and embarassing defense of the b.s.

Over at Correntewire, Lambert has become and insufferable asshole.  Anything comment that is less than a full-throated attack on Obama and defense of Hillary is met with apoplectic fits by the inmates regulars.

another "get a grip" vote (4.00 / 1)
I didn't see the FoxNews thing. I support Obama but without illusions. He's center-left, to the left of Clinton but to the right of most of my favorite pols. I think he'll be a good, effective president, but he's going to disappoint us from time to time, and we'll need to hold his feet to the fire and change Congress to get real progressive measures.

That said, if what Lambert quoted was the extent of "throwing Kos under the bus", we seriously need to get a grip here. He said he defended some colleagues who were attacked at D-Kos over Roberts. OMIGOD!! He's a secret Republican! He'll appoint Newt Gingrich to the Supreme Court! We're DOOOOOOMED!! DOOMED I SAY!!!

Maybe it's because I never had any emotional investment in Obama that I'm not shocked. I certainly don't feel "stepped on" by any of the quotes I've read from the interview. And considering so many people want me to be horrified, I assume I've read the worst of it.

SETTLE DOWN (4.00 / 1)
Jesus, are you serious? The very people that Obama can't get to vote for him, blue collar democrats, watch Fox News religiously. The genius of Fox News is that only people on the far left think it is a bastion of right wing talking points. Instead, it cloaks itself in patriotism and says fair and balanced. These voters Obama has trouble with were his audience today.

But also independents and Republicans. For months, Wallace has been mocking Obama for being too scared to come on Fox News. Obama was being defined as weak to these key voter groups, which he will need to win in future primary contests and against McCain in November.

Whether we hate Fox News and find it reprehensible doesn't matter.  What matters is that voters we will need to bring over to our side, or keep from going to McCain, do watch and lend credence to Fox News.

Obama has now made it much more difficult for Fox News to spew its vitriol as now part of its audience will view its attacks as unfair.  It has to temper its coverage, which only helps Obama and hurts McCain.

This needs to be encouraged as it only helps democrats and hurts republicans to expose those who only know a caricature of Obama to the actual man himself. Just as he only ascends in the polls whenever he campaigns, so too will he win over some of Fox's audience. This means a ripple effect that you need to recognize and get used to real quick. Obama should do Limbaugh as well.

What happened today on Fox is that Fox backed down and wouldn't attack Obama to his face. It is only a good thing.

Easy now (0.00 / 0)
As you can see, I'm also in the settle down camp, but this

The genius of Fox News is that only people on the far left think it is a bastion of right wing talking points.

... is going too far in the other direction. I would argue only the far right sees Fox as journalism, the center right sees it as a necessary antidote to CNN, and most of the country knows they're an arm of the RNC. Hell, the network's most popular show is the Simpsons, which mocks the News channel all the time.

[ Parent ]
I doubt highly that the rest of the country agrees with us (0.00 / 0)
Fox is popular for a reason: people from all walks of life watch it and buy into its message.  Rightly or wrongly, Fox has a lock on a lot of voters that are actually democrats.  Only people hip to what Fox is doing in conjunction with the Republican party realize what is going on. I think that is a lot less people than you're willing to admit. Most people, just turn on Fox in the background and think it is fair and balanced because it says it is.

[ Parent ]
7% (0.00 / 0)
7% of FOX viewers voted for Kerry. 88% voted for Bush. I don't call that "all walks of life."

It's a propaganda network, we did a good thing shooting down the debate, Obama shouldn't have gone on it.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
Given the potential fall-out for a Democratic voter (0.00 / 0)
that watches FOX News - I think we might have to start wondering if those statistics are accurate.

Is it possible that some who vote for Democrats don't want to admit that they watch FOX News because they are worried that their fellow Democrats will spit on them? (Figuratively, of course).

I mean - based on the comments I've read here - many folks seem more incensed about Obama going on FOX than they are about Condi Rice OK'ing torture, or John McCain not having any plan to pay for his (well, Bush's) tax cuts.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Obama untrustworthy....? (0.00 / 0)
No need to be a Polyanna about this. Politicians are utilitarians; some more than others.

The last honest politician I remember was Jimmy Carter.... these days he's being called a "terrorist sympathizer" because he's a realist and doesn't tow the NeoCon line on Middle East policy...

Let's not overstereotype (4.00 / 3)
I'm a lifelong idealist. I took pacifism and anti-materialism seriously and was pissed that Jerry Rubin moved into stocks and most of the yippies and hippies and free-thinkers became yuppies.

And I watched Abbie get depressed and and others get depressed and do themselves in. Very few were left in the public sphere: Seeger and Guthrie and a few others,

Ultimately, my choices kept me poor which many took as an invite to treat me like a doormat and diss me. And my views were hardly as extreme as Che. More like Gandhi and MLK and EF Schumacher and Bucky Fuller.

And my point is that idealism is properly tempered with cynicism, which approxiates realism. We move forward, but keep some expectations in perspective.

Matt's right, Team Obama deliberately misled progressives. OTOH, everybody - not just politicians - occasionally lie. Exceptions are incredibly rare.

So go ahead, criticize people when they're caught in a lie. But there's no need to magnify it into blanket statements that 'we should not have endorsed.' If so, then we should endorse no-one? We should write in 'Edwards' or 'Dodd' or whoever?  At least tone it down and say you're considering withdrawing your endorsement if Team Obama starts adopting a strategy of dishonesty. Otherwise, we remain purists with zero influence.

I don't want to be right 100% of the time. I don't expect the netroots, the candidates or anyone to be perfect. Most of my life, my political choices have had to go for baby steps, by default. After every major Republican fuckhead - Nixon, Reagan and now Bush - I've felt "now we can ain for 2 or 3 steps instead of settling for 1. Carter proved to be more progressive than he seemed going in but he got sandbagged by the economy that was at the precipice when he went in. Dukakis had to fight the reality that Republicans and Indies were still smitten by Reagan, and he seemed lifeless by comparison. Kerry had great integrity, but was absolutely dead center.

I still maintain that Hillary's one step forward and Obama's two.Two is way better than I've gotten in my first 55 years.  I prefer to hold my fire at the moment, In fact, I think it wise to grant a post-inauguration honeymoon of 3-4 months to  grant Obama the chance to set a do-able agenda and get a victory or two under his belt, to grant the public some assurance that he's not the radical his opponents warned about.

Kennedy was granted that. Clinton got pushed into frays from Day One that undercut his effectiveness in the long run.

So yeah, Obama's feet need to be held to the fire - to end the war, especially. From Day One. Criticize when it's deserved but let the punishment fit the crime. Sometimes leaders make lame excuses, but sometimes they move cautiously because their instincts say it's the best way forward and sometimes, they're right. Overall, I've seen Obama run the smartest campaign I've seen in many years. Sure he's made errors. And sure, it's tough to feel a trust has been violated.

I think it's smart to make him aware of that. I don't see how it can be effective to the effort to gain progressive goals by repudiating him totally, however. Just make it clear that we expect better than this, and that should suffice

Everybody deserves an occasional mulligan, so long as they know multiple mulligans are completely off the menu. Ultimately the goal is progressive effectiveness, I should think, which means some disappointments. And we were terribly ineffective even when Bill Clinton was King.

Truth is our greatest principle, but absolutism could unravel the opportunity for multiple advances and leave us fairly impotent.

while I understand the general sentiment... (0.00 / 0)
this strikes me as a case of rule-worship.  I, apparently unlike a lot of other folks here, think that you've presented a good case for why Democrats should not legitimatize Fox as "news" by going on the network.  However, to justify the degree of animosity you're showing towards Obama, you would need to present a case for why this should be treated as an inviolable rule rather than a general ideal that Democrats should strive for.  If it's just an ideal, then I think its clear that Obama has done a lot already to discredit Fox in the long term.

And to justify the link to the Lambert post, well I don't think that can be done.  It's pretty funny when the post you use to elicit sympathy for Kos is one that is basically saying, "ha ha Kos, you got screwed!"

The key is (4.00 / 1)
An Obama campaign staffer saying something to a TPM blogger that isn't true = the Iraq disaster is, in no way, over the top.

What I especially appreciate, though, is how if I notice that this argument is in no way over the top I am a blind, emotionally stunted Obama cultist.  That's a neat little trick.  Big ups to your credibility.  Thanks.

Absolutely! (0.00 / 0)
The difference between not taking on Fox in a way that we can all agree qualifies is exactly as bad as lying us into a war.  The fact the quote came before the interview and was really more of a prediction than a promise or inside information only makes the comparison that much more important.  Each of our hurt feelings are about equal to 5 U.S. soldiers and 100 Iraqi's dying.  Only a member of the Obama cult could think any differently.

[ Parent ]
I nominate (3.20 / 5)
this for the most embarrassing, pointless, and beside the point thread in the history of Blogistan.  Congratulations!  

Shorter Stoller (2.00 / 2)
That me and my buds can organize the Best.CircleJerk.Ever faster than Obama can rack up a win in Indiana bodes ill for progressives everywhere.

... but if I reach one person hopefully it will be useful.

If not useful, well, at least it's loads of fun.

Then again, now that my core is spent and I'm feeling a little weak, I'm beginning to wonder if reaching people isn't awfully underrated.  How about another round, or update, or whatever the kids are calling it these days.

Not that it doesn't get complicated emotionally.  I mean, I already don't know how I'd feel if I caught Obama reaching for anyone other than me. |

Buyer's Remorse? (4.00 / 4)
I voted for John Edwards on 2/5 and have no regrets.  MO, he was the most progressive of all, but he stepped away because of the party's position to "allow history to blaze its course".

I choose not to be too critical of Clinton or Obama, but OL readers probably remember that Obama only blogged once at Daily Kos, and his wife has never done so.  

When the question came about at Yearly Kos 2007 in hiring a WH blogger, John Edwards had the definitive answer: "I will, and it will be Elizabeth Edwards".

Who's blogging now? Elizabeth Edwards.

I am a reform minded liberal/democrat (4.00 / 2)
Clinton supporter.  I think the mistake the netroots is making if any is assuming that Obama no matter what he does, is better than Clinton.  There has been such a push to force Obama as the only reasonable choice for progressives that people have come to believe she is all the evil things the sheepish types on the netroots say she is that Obama CAN take the left for granted.
Believe me, there are plenty of us on the left who think she is more progressive, and even capable of growth, new ideas, accepting the input of the "netroots" etc...
Perhaps some people should re-examine their ideas about who she is as well as they are reexamining their ideas about who Obama is.   He is not the candidate yet.  He is not all the things people believed and neither is she.  Fro instance it is possible to be an anti-war activist as I am and to believe that her vote for the AUMF was not for war, indeed it was to stop the march to war and to try to get a world consensus IF bush went to war anyway.

The netroots are only a small part of the democratic party.  Yu'd be surprised how many democrats I talk to on campaigns who have NEVER read a diary at dkos or even heard of the place.
and as far as respect for our netroots community, I think Clinton has shown more than Obama has.  It is respectful to speak to us face to face and say things we do not want to hear.  

AndPS... it is interesting to me that at least on this thread, people keep talking about what's wrong with Bill Clinton.  Just look at the comments.  Hint: he is not running for president and she is not him.  

the assumption (0.00 / 0)
The assumption that Hillary is Bill 2.0 is probably wrong on a lot of levels.

1) She was in that White House.  If there's anyone who's learned from the mistakes that White House made, wouldn't it be her?

2) A lot of stuff that made sense to the Clintons and folks around them back then, both politically and policy-wise, probably doesn't make as much sense to them now.  Because times have changed, circumstances have changed, we live in a different world, and they're smart folks.

3) She's not her husband.  This is the 21st bleepin' century, folks.  I thought we'd moved past the idea that wives are extensions of their husbands.  Seriously, folks.

The whole identical-by-association thing is overplayed.

[ Parent ]
Wrong Assumption (0.00 / 0)
However, Hillary has been running her campaign based on the past, based on the perceived success and popularity of Bill Clinton. She is running her campaign on her husband's coatails. Why do you think he is such a visible part in her campaign? listen to the his stumps! They have never said that they were running based on their learned mistakes of the past-they are running based on their past success in the White House.
For a while there she was trying to lay claim to the actual work Bill Clinton did in the White House! Claiming she was the key player in a number of domestic and international policies until she got caught lying. (Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, FMLA, SCHIP, NAFTA, etc.)
If what you way were the case, her campaign would have a totally different focus on the past. Most of the older population is voting for her because they liked Bill Clinton and believe that by default she is going to run the White House the same as Bill.  
The significant difference in Bill's campaigns and Hillary's campaign is the tone of the campaign. Bill's campaign tone mirrored Obama's tone of home, reform and change. Hillary's tone is based on fear and division.

[ Parent ]
Congratulations (4.00 / 3)
for coming to the conclusion that some of us reached months ago, and why I personally never got on board the Obama bandwagon after my preferred candidate dropped out.

...we back someone that openly lies to us and thinks nothing of it.  Worse still, there are no consequences, only criticism of people who are Obama backers but are frustrated at being lied to.

One candidate "openly lies to us" yet retains your support. What will you tell yourself if that candidate wins the nomination, and runs to the middle or worse on issues you consider important?  What will you tell yourself and others if that candidate wins the White House--with your help--and caves time after time on issues of importance?

All I can do at this point is sit here shaking my head.

WOW! Willing to jump on any bullshit? (4.00 / 1)
Obama DID NOT lie to anybody. An anonymous staffer emailed something to a blogger who interpreted it in a way that confirmed to what HE wanted to hear. When his expectations were not met he calls Obama a liar?! And now ( based on HIS word) Obama IS a liar?!!! This is dishonest, ignorant bullshit.

[ Parent ]
Wow! (0.00 / 0)
I agree, Obama did not lie and it is so unfair to now call him untrustworthy because he dared make the smart decision to try to reach a larger segment of the voter population. How fickle! This is how we end up with a President like Bush! we get ourselves all in a bunch for childish things that end up hurting all of us in the end.  Get over it already! Simply because he did the interview with Fox does not mean you now have to watch Fox or he is saying we need to now love Fox--his interview with Fox has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with getting elected--which is why he is campaigning, is it not?
He hasn't changed his policy positions or his phylosophy for America which is what matters, and what we need to focus on.  

[ Parent ]
the problem (4.00 / 1)
Matt wrote:

I am an Obama supporter, but I don't think he's particularly trustworthy.  The issue at hand is that Obama's campaign simply gave out false information to Greg Sargent to placate bloggers.

When netrootsers adopt candidates, there's a risk of cognitive dissonance and Kool-Aid taking over.  I support candidates, but I rarely do so as a candidate-supporter, I usually do it as an extension of my identity as a netrootsy progressive.  The moment you start referring to yourself as an "X supporter" is the moment you start losing your political identity.  Rather than being "X-supporters", we should be progressives first who happen to have chosen to support candidate X, Y, or Z (for now).

That's what's happened to much of the netroots this cycle.  In buying into Obama, many of us have lost our political identities and have become Obama supporters first, at least in the context of presidential politics.  And that sucks.

Obama made the smart decision to go on Fox (0.00 / 0)
Here is the thing, Barack Obama is running to be President of the United States of America, and whether you like it our not, in the United States of America there is a large segment of the population that is conservative and watch Fox. It matters not if we watch Fox or not (I hate Fox). I think he sent them a loud messge by making them wait for two years before he agreed to their interview, and guess what, he did a great job! He didn't allow them to slam him and he appeared in control the entire interview. Pretending Fox does not exist, or as many have put it, not giving it legitimacy is like a small child covering her eyes and thinking she is now invisible because she can't see us.
Obama needs to reach as many Americans as possible on their turf in order for him to make his case as the best candidate for the Presidency. Going to Fox shows he is the bigger person, and it also shows that he is savvy and has political courage, that they have not scared him off.
It is unfair to now slam him for trying to reach out to a segment of the population that might be more isolated than the rest of us--those who stick with the same channel (Fox) and only get their info from that channel might know little about the real Obama.
I don't see how anyone could take his decision as traitorious or dishonest! C'mon! Obama needs to reach all Americans, and that may mean reaching over to segments of the population we find disgusting--but the bottom line is that they are also voters, they are also American citizens who will have a hand in deciding who our next President will be. Ignoring them is tantamount to throwing in the towel. Expecting Obama to only speak to those "we" approve of is an unfair and childish expectation.  Lets not shoot ourselves in the foot here!

Here is a little reminder of what Liberal means: A person who favors a political philosophy of progress & reform, and the protection of civil liberties.

Give it a break... (0.00 / 0)
It's always been interesting to me, this ongoing fracturing of the American public, when at the top level we say we're united.

As has been said many times, Obama went on Fox to reach out to viewers who know very little about him - the same people who it has been reported think he's a Muslim, think he's a radical, think many things about him because they lack information.

Now, I definitely don't agree with Fox News... I think it's tawdry and ignorant, but that doesn't mean that Obama doesn't have a right to reach out to people. Considering his statements about talking to our adversaries on a world stage - think Iran - and how the left supports talking to the enemy, it's again very strange that people are mad about this.

He is talking to "the enemy".

Which brings about another point. Who cares if they're Republican, or Conservative, or Far-Right? After 9/11 was there a tally of the 3k dead divided by political party? How about Katrina?

Maybe as a "Liberal", we should all start tallying death's or events that way, since there is this inherent stance that anyone who doesn't agree with us politically doesn't matter, isn't American, blah blah blah.

This is the same crap that turns me off about the Republican party. Let's make divisions as much as we can, let's follow this ridiculous two-part system that disassociates me as an individual and turns me into a tag word - Liberal, Far-left, Democrat.

For all of the preening and posturing about the left wanting to heal America, you act pretty f@$king strangely about how to accomplish it.

Quit acting like petulant children that want to take their ball and go home - the man is trying to win an election, not give all of you gratification that he is your mouthpiece.

-A liberal, Democratic voter  

Look in the Mirror and Get Some Courage (0.00 / 0)
Everything you hate about the extreme right is what you have become yourself. It amazes me how some smart people have no wisdom. Obama is awake to the reality that in order to get things done you have to have face to face dialogue with people you disagree with. That takes courage. Maybe you should get some too.

a far right view (0.00 / 0)
As a very conservative white female, I must admit that reading the blogs posted on this website has been an interesting experience.  In many aspects I admire Obama.  I think he is a very intelligent and charismatic.  I admire his unwillingness to play the race card.  I believe that Wright's racist comments have damaged Obama's image and have raised legitimate concerns with voters.  By addressing the FOX viewers, Obama was reaching out to the individuals most concerned by his affiliation with perceived "haters".   As for legitimizing FOX News, FOX is legit.  Our views, although different from yours, are legitimate.  Should our views and beliefs be silenced because they are different from yours?  Should our concerns be shut down because you do not honor them?  That concept seems very Anti-American.  
Do I like Obama?  Yes.  Would I vote for him?  Not for president.  My interpretation of The Constitution leads me to believe the role of the federal government should be limited.  I also have an unrelenting belief that ALL life (even the life of far-left liberals?) has value - and that that life starts at conception.  Do I hate Obama?? No.


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