Obama’s Long Arm/Short Arm Stiff Of The Netroots

When I was first sworn into the bar, I had the good fortune of being mentored by an experienced and wise senior partner. One of the first things that he taught me in dealing with other parties was to be aware of the long arm-short arm syndrome. This is where a person has a long arm for taking, and a short arm for giving.

When it comes to the netroots, Barack Obama has the long arm-short arm syndrome. He has taken much from us in terms of support, voice, momentum, money, footwork and energy. Obama has given little, if anything, in return to the netroots. Unless you count disdain and scorn. And pokes in the eye with a blunt stick.

Let’s go through a bill of particulars, starting with oh, say, today:

Eric Holder: Eric Holder is a horrid choice for Attorney General. Looseheadprop knows this and gave her take earlier. Holder conspired with his friend Scooter Libby to get a pardon for Marc Rich; Obama must have been mighty impressed by that. Or maybe he was more impressed with Holder’s ability to skate his Republican/Bush bigwig friends at Chiquita Brands for their complicity in paying millions of dollars to rightwing death squads in Colombia that murdered union leaders and workers. Uh, and then Chiquita paid off the other side. While they were probably smuggling narcotics for the CIA. Another excellent entry on the resume for Obama I guess. Oh, and Holder was not very popular with the career rank and file at DOJ when he was there; he was seen as very divisive. So we got that going for us. Just what is needed for the rotting carcass at DOJ that Bush/Cheney is leaving.

In short, hey, seriously, if you like the corporate apologist, rich people coddling, torturing approving and covering, illegal wiretapping loving, breakdown in the career ranks bullshit DOJ of the last eight years, you will absolutely love Eric Holder. He will, of course, be nominally better that Mukasey. If that is good enough for you, he is your guy! Thanks Barack!

Joe Lieberman: As y’all might have heard, Rape Gurney Joe Lieberman was ejected from the Democratic Caucus, er stripped of his DHS Chair, …. Oh, hell, Harry Reid kissed the sucker on both cheeks and thanked the back stabbing little prick for being magnanimous.

Now, how exactly did we come to the point to where the guy who bolted the party and actively campaigned side by side, hand in hand, for the better part of two years for the race baiting Republican shame-meister John McCain? Who caused this love to be given to one of the netroots’ most hated men? Uh, that would be good old long arm-short arm Barack Obama.

Obama didn’t just shaft the netroots though, he stuck the shiv in the American people by engineering Lieberman’s retention of his DHS Chairmanship. That man should not be allowed in the same universe as that committee. The American people are entitled to a man that will do the freaking job. A great American city was drowned. People are dead. Tens maybe hundreds of thousands are effectively still homeless. Billions of dollars were wasted. He. Did. Freaking. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Say goodnight New Orleans, and tell Barack Obama thank you!

The FISA Lie: Barack Obama gave his word (likely to cravenly gain credibility with Russ Feingold, Wisconsin Democratic primary voters, and the netroots) that he was against retroactive telcom immunity and would filibuster any attempt to pass it through the Senate. Then, when his nomination was all but assured and the bill came up for a vote, Barack Obama showed his colors and shoved the shiv once again in the raw bloody back of the progressives and netroots. Obama turned on a dime and not only did not filibuster, it was his lead that Pelosi and Reid followed in ramming the craptastic FISA Amendments Act through with retroactive immunity for the Bush/Cheney criminals. Heckuva job Baracky! It is an action that is second nature for Obama; he literally seems to enjoy it. Hard to understand how Obama was not seen as a con man on the spot; mostly the desperate netroots needed a few more blade strokes I guess. Well, we have those now; can we start calling the progressive bashing Obama out for what he is yet?

More Particulars: Here are some more greatest hits from Barack Obama the progressive hater: Campaigning for Barrow in Georgia and against the wonderful progressive candidate, wobbliness on the auto bailout, lack of interest in pursuing torture and war crime offenders in the justice department and throughout the government, appointment of ultimate DLC centrist hack Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff, agreement to offshore drilling and dissing of clean coal technology…..

The list is getting awfully long. Almost as long as Barack Obama’s arm that he used to take our money and efforts to get himself elected. All we have seen is the short arm he has used to punch us in the face and collect street cred with villagers for having done so.

It is sickening. It is so bad that even Pat Buchanan (see video above) is feeling sorry for the progressive netroots and is calling on President-Elect Obama to at least have the mercy to throw a little bone. Looks like it will be a damn small bone.

Heckuva job Barack!

158 replies
    • bmaz says:

      A few of us earlier were trying to come up with an example of anything the leadership, specifically Obama, has done for the progressives/netroots. Um, there was not much found.

    • Kurt says:

      I would say you are incorrect with that statement. McCain lost the election because he was not listening to his base, that is why 20% conservatives voted for Obama, they tend to not forgive past aggressions as Bush 1 found out. Even with Palin on the ticket, conservatives were still sickened by him.

    • TobyWollin says:

      Oh, Oh..I know what the problem is — the Democrats are DEAF!!!(I can say that, I’m wearing a hearing aid in one ear and the other ear is shot so nothing ‘aids’ that) OK…we need to institute a program in ‘lip reading’ for the Democrats. Forget the inter-toobz; we need to learn how to speak so that they can read our lips..OK everyone, after me(now, clearly..no mumbling, get those lips loosened up and moving widely)…F*** YOU. There..that’s better.

  1. randiego says:

    He flat promised to close Guantanamo on 60 Minutes the other night. If he backs out on that, it won’t matter what we think… the wolves will have him

    • bmaz says:

      That is not a progressive deal; that is a deal that everybody in the whole world demands except Bush’s 22% (and Gitmo may not have all of those to be quite honest). Of course he wants to close Gitmo. Even Bush said he wanted to close Gitmo.

      What has he done that has been something to thank the progressive base? Please name it. Why does he goe out of his way to please his enemies and crap on the people that got him elected?

      • randiego says:

        Uh, erm… Civil Rights?

        – Eliminate Sentencing Disparities: Obama and Biden believe the disparity between sentencing crack and powder-based cocaine is wrong and should be completely eliminated.
        – Expand Use of Drug Courts: Obama and Biden will give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior.

        • bmaz says:

          Bunch of gobbledegook. Look at what they do, not what they say. He had some crap like that about retroactive immunity too. Before he affirmatively and personally rammed it through and into law. Eric Holder is a deal breaker for me. Obama has showed some piss poor terrible judgement here. Pitiful, just pitiful.

          • T-Bear says:

            In talking to a Kansas acquaintance, after listening to an interminable list of grievances it was obvious that the person was so overwhelmed by propaganda and lies, I put it to them that their whole world-view was false. It was a total shock for them to be faced with that fact. People are rarely greater than their environments; if those environments are limited or distorted, so are that persons perceptions. That ability to recognize other perspectives is a learned attribute, it does not develop naturally from birth, travel was the traditional antidote to limited horizons at one time.

            Obama’s trajectory suggests being under the influence of his university, notorious for the Chicago School of Economics and the twisted propaganda utilized to sustain their “intellectual” mindsets. This alone should be a worry for any differing point of view, particularly when Leo Strauss’ “techniques” for democratic politics abound. That Obama is somehow able to transcend his environment is not persuasive, and his trajectory does not suggest such transcendence. It really looks like more of the same, and time will confirm or overturn that opinion.

            Unfortunately, the public is provincial in its mindset and its horizons. Education has failed, the information media is useless to the task, seldom is heard a dissenting point of view, maturity stopped at jejune levels, herd mentality prevails in all public arenas, most horizon expanding activities are never considered, excellence is discouraged, and Cassandra should fear for her wellbeing. It is not a culture (stretching the meaning somewhat) that is designed for self-survival en extremis – and they will not.

    • eCAHNomics says:

      Empty promise when Bagram, prison ships, black sites all remain open & available for disappeared persons.

  2. bobschacht says:

    I can’t disagree, but since he won’t even be sworn in for another 60 days, do you think we might be just a tad premature in this judgment?

    Obama has demonstrated a good sense of strategic thinking. I’d bet that he has a 2 year plan (to get through the next Congress), a 4 year plan (to be ready to run for a second term in 2012), and a six year plan (to maintain Congressional support for the remainder of his term).

    Here at FDL, we’ve made the same mistakes as most of Obama’s adversaries: we tend to think in terms of tactics, without a long-range strategy; He tends to think in terms of the whole “game.” Remember, Obama used to be a basketball player. He got to learn there that very few games are won in the first quarter: You’ve got to play the whole game to win. Obama’s thinking about the whole game, I’ll bet.

    In fact, a presidential term is potentially a lot like a basketball game, with 2 year “quarters”.

    Think about it.

    Bob in HI

    • bmaz says:

      I don’t disagree with your premise; but Obama sure is accumulating a crappy team for his long term game so far. What happened to change?

    • jdmckay says:

      He tends to think in terms of the whole “game.”


      Remember, Obama used to be a basketball player.

      Barack Barracuda? (shiver). I think I’m gon’a scream.

    • cbl2 says:

      Obama has demonstrated a good sense of strategic thinking

      Bob, you happened to mention something that touches upon the first thought I had this morning –

      Pres Elect Obama continues to tell us and have surrougates tell us that he listens to everyone, ‘takes opinion and advice from all quadrants’. But so far, the decisions and choices he’s made all appear to have hailed from the same quadrant.

      I want him to make me wrong sometime real soon.

      Mornin’ All

  3. Hmmm says:

    As I said before the election, “That man is going to break our hearts. It’s inevitable.” So now that we see the first manifestations of that prediction begin to materialize, I am unsurprised… but still broken-hearted. I’m still glad he won, and I’m still glad I voted for him. Just oh so far from satisfied.

    Welp, he did say we should let him know loud and clear when we think he fucks up. Where’s the web tool for that?

  4. rosalind says:

    bmaz!!! how the hell is the videotaped interrogation of the 8-year-old murder suspect being broadcast on my local evening news?? how is this legal?

    absolutely appalling.

  5. randiego says:

    Reading through the ‘Agenda’ section of the Change.gov website, I can see more than a few things that I would consider to be quite progressive…

  6. bell says:

    i don’t think bmaz is premature in his judgment of obama to date… sucking up to liarman is the last thing i thought would happen.. obama caved on fisa and we knew that before he got elected… that was probably the main tip off right their as some folks duly noted.. the info out on eric holder sure doesn’t sound inspirational either… bottom bottom line: it is my belief accountability is what folks are looking for and they aren’t getting anything like that with obama.. change we can believe in my ass…. just another cheap political slogan is what it is fast looking like…

    • RevDeb says:

      Chump Change.

      When he caved in on FISA I abandoned him. Not at all regretting not giving him any money or effort. None of this surprises me. That said, this sucks on so many levels. Scarecrow, Christy and others sold me on voting for the guy because of the FDR story and the possibility of making him do the right thing. He’s sent really loud and clear messages to us now that the more we push, the more he will push back.

      So now our job is to push our senators and reps. That’s where I will put my energy. And as for Joe, no way he gets reelected. Ain’t gonna happen.

      • Adie says:

        I would imagine CT Democrats have learned a lot in the last several years. If they forget it all as they step into the voting booth….., I’d be stunned.

  7. jerikoll says:


    talkleft, I think T Chris, said as much about Holder.

    Big Tent agrees with your critique of Obama.

    I guess the new White House is an incremental improvement but not a great deal more.

    I really dislike that Chief of Staff Emmanuel. He, and his ”whole” family (really) will push hard to get action on Iran. His father was fighting and running guns over in Israel before the UN made it country, I think in 48, and has continued activity every since, including sending his three sons over there for summers during their youth.

    I would expect the new White House to be stronger for Israel than Bush was. And that means having a very tough outlook on the MidEast.

  8. plunger says:

    Clearly it was Lieberman who was elected President – as would have been the case regardless of which “party” won. Reid, Pelosi and Lieberman all share a boss in common, AIPAC. Joe is obviously the most powerful man in Israel and/or America (which he clearly perceives to be one and the same).

    You think you’re pissed off now, wait until it is revealed that Chertoff is Homeland Security Chairman for life, under the full protection of Lieberman. This is the most blatant evidence of a protection racket imaginable. If you don’t see these people as agents of foreign influence, it is only because you don’t want to. An Israeli citizen is the head of Homeland Security. Nuff said?

    Can you say RICO?

    • GulfCoastPirate says:

      Here is your winner. As long as the US is stuck in the Middle East at the behest of the Israelis and their US agents in AIPAC you can forget ‘change you can believe in’. If you want real change you need to hope the Chinese, Japanese and oil monarchs stop buying US Treasies to finance the deficit; otherwise, nothing will change.

      Who wants to bet we won’t be out of Iraq in 16 months?

  9. Nequals1 says:

    I think that there has been consistent group bias from almost everyone along the political spectrum in viewing the actions of the primary actors in the named political parties. In reality, the parties have morphed into very different animals from their conventional mission and values. Progressives and independents are the de facto opposition party, and it would behoove them to create a formal organization and party apparatus.

    I wrote about what I believe is the actual parties membership, missions, values, constituencies and leaders. When viewed through this lens, the actions and decisions of the major actors become predictable and consistent.

    Reaction and response to further develop this notion would be welcome.

    • JimWhite says:

      Good to see you again!

      I’ve started wondering if the moment will be coming soon when Obama’s own organization might start to turn against him. Much of the success of his campaign is credited to the “ground game” coming from distributed authority and localized decision-making. The success of this approach in focusing the country’s desire for change was impressive. If we aren’t going to get that change with Obama, I would not be surprised for much of that infrastructure to re-form itself outside his control and devote itself to a two-pronged mission of pressuring Obama toward real change and finding new candidates of change for the next election cycle.

      Perhaps a first goal of such an effort could be to derail the Holder appointment. We have over two months before any confirmation hearings can take place. Carpe diem! (or it will be Crappy Diem!)

      • Mauimom says:

        I’ve started wondering if the moment will be coming soon when Obama’s own organization might start to turn against him.

        Although I was only a very minor “volunteer,” I received a questionnaire yesterday asking me to evaluate the experience & organization, and querying whether I’d re-up for the future. I told them in no uncertain terms that I was so disappointed in Barack’s choices on FISA, Lieberman and a few other matters that I was QUITTING both monetary support and personal involvement.

        As I said, I was a very small fish, but my “evaluation” was smokin’.

        Now I’m going back up to look for that link someone posted so I can “give more feedback.”

  10. ovals49 says:

    Lots of whining going on here. Does anyone here now think we would have been better off with a Palin/McCain administration? Let’s not forget that real change will always likely happen from the bottom up. Complaining is one thing, continuing to press for meaningful change is something else entirely.

    I don’t expect Obama to simply hand us the change(s) we desire, but I do expect that he will be far more responsive to continuing calls for change than any other President we have seen in our lifetime.

    WE have to provide the energy for change, it’s not the other way around.

  11. joejoejoe says:

    Resumes don’t govern. If the laws that pass and executive orders that are made and the foreign policy that is conducted in an Obama administration turn out good then I don’t care if he’s got Torquemada and/or Dick Cheney on his team.

    I think at worst you can chalk up Holder’s problems to the amorality of working at a corporate firm (the Rich thing is Bill Clinton’s fault, full stop). Lieberman is the beneficiary of the very unity message from Obama that Lieberman called naive. That’s just dumb luck (and the dumb Senate culture). FISA was a done deal the moment that Harry Reid picked the Intelligence bill as the controlling bill and not the Judiciary bill. Obama didn’t cover himself in glory by using the almost meaningless certification provision in the final bill as an out but the provision is actually in the bill. Rahm is Rahm. Who do you want as Chief of Staff? Mac McLarty? The universe of people with Rahm’s experience in the White House and Congress who are long time friends of Obama is…Rahm.

    I’m all for accountability but the Obama government hasn’t DONE anything yet. I think Obama deserves the benefit of the doubt on all on his personnel choices. I’m not sure why any political leaders would want to work with people who are plinking them with arrows before they’ve even taken office. Good faith has to have some component of resiliency or it’s not good faith at all. I just think this sentiment’s in this post are too brittle, too black and white. I don’t think there is or will be enough information out there to make ANY judgement on the Obama administration until March ‘09 at the earliest. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a lot of the people who built it were assholes. Let’s wait until the team takes the field and plays before we kill Obama for assembling this roster.

    • MrWhy says:

      I think at worst you can chalk up Holder’s problems to the amorality of working at a corporate firm (the Rich thing is Bill Clinton’s fault, full stop).

      Who proposed Rich for a pardon? Who pushed for a pardon for Rich? Who benefited from a Rich pardon? Who facilitated the Rich pardon? Saying the Rich thing is Clinton’s fault full stop is a little naive.

      • joejoejoe says:

        Jack Quinn and Bill Clinton used Eric Holder’s “neutral leaning towards favorable” comment to hide behind because they are political cut throats. Holder was a DoJ appointee with a lot on his desk. Quinn was former Clinton White House council who went on to be Rich’s attorney and was pushing Holder on the Rich front. You can fault the guy with the government job Holder for not flagging the stinky cheese that is Marc Rich but that looks like the naive view to me. Holder certainly wasn’t the one who initiated the process and the people who did initiate the process have ‘Friends of Bill’ written all over them. The guy who finished the process IS Bill.

        A good way to get bad things done in a bureaucracy is to flood a system with finite resources with work. It reduces the amount of time you can spend on any one issue. Jack Quinn spent a ton of time on the Rich pardon and Eric Holder spent very little. That was by design on Quinn’s part.

        Even the hatchet job report issued by Dan Burton’s committee found that Holder’s involvement with Rich’s lawyers was pure chance — he didn’t even know who Marc Rich was at the time and was speaking about hypothetical issues at a dinner. Jack Quinn was rebuked by a federal judge for lobbying his former employer, the White House. It’s Eric Holder’s fault that he didn’t make it job #1 to dig into a 17 year old case put on his desk at the last minute (by design) from Jack Quinn?

        And I say Bill Clinton is responsible full stop because he’s the only one with the power to pardon somebody. Not Eric Holder, not Jack Quinn. William Jefferson Clinton.

        NYT stories on the Rich pardon here and here.

  12. klynn says:

    Interesting post bmaz.

    Going OT.

    I’ve got a question about posting.

    Is there a problem pasting comments by readers at other sites? I see it happen now and then but was not clear on the protocol.

  13. klynn says:

    Has anyone been reading what Israel has been doing this week to the Gaza strip? It’s not pretty.

    I think it’s message sending by force to Obama.

    Nothing says “peace” like tanks and bulldozers.

  14. GulfCoastPirate says:


    We may not be as ‘great’ as New Orleans but we have a long history ourselves and they aren’t doing jackshit for Galveston either. So it’s not just one great city that has been abandoned it’s two. As of now it looks as though at least 30% of the population will be lost. The low income housing areas aren’t going to be rebuilt and the largest employer on the island (the UT teaching/research hospital) just announced the layoff of 4000 people – a third of the work force. More expected next quarter as the whorns get their chance to move the facility off the island to Austin. Do you think the good senator will hold any hearings?

    • bmaz says:

      GCP – My bad. I tend to use NOLA as shorthand for the whole coast, but you are right.

      No, of course he won’t do anything. This is RG Joe we are talking about here.

  15. JimWhite says:

    One more idea on derailing the Holder nomination. I think we need to hit the phones hard today in Leahy’s office. Leahy was one of the few with the balls to publicly stand against Lieberman, so he’s probably pretty mad today. As Chair of SJC, he will be the one person with the most influence on whether the Holder nomination is approved. Let’s put some pressure on him to go to Obama and get Holder traded for someone with principles. Obama owes Leahy something right now. Right now is the time for Leahy to cash in.

  16. joejoejoe says:

    I don’t mean to be crabby in this post. I just think that everybody has their Bullshit Detector set at 11 after 8 years of Bush and nothing Obama has done deserves having fellow Democrats analyze his every move with a Bullshit Detector set at 11. Turn those suckers down to 8 for awhile.

  17. CasualObserver says:

    Putting your shrill polemic to the side for a moment, I’m wondering when the left (card-carrying member here) is going to put itself in a position where it can no longer be ignored by the Democratic leadership.

  18. JimWhite says:

    Hmmm, Glennzilla is more impressed with Holder than we are here. He brushes off the whole Chiquita thing by equating defending them with defending Guantanamo detainees. I’m struggling to get there. In fact, I’ve already put up an Oxdown diary with the number to call Leahy and ask him to call for a better nominee for AG.

    • bmaz says:

      This is going to sound corny, but my main problem with Holder is that he was viewed as a divisive asshole in the ranks of DOJ when he was there. That is not the kind of personality we need to rebuild the esprit de corps.

      I’ll kind of buy what Glenn says about Chiquita being a client; but not that much of it. There is a hell of a big difference between providing presumed innocent criminal defendants their day in court and helping a dirty filthy terrorist aiding and abetting corrupt to the gills business skate on mass homicidal action against union and reform people in a foreign country.

      And the facts I recall place Holder quite a bit more active in the Rich pardon than several upthread are indicating. In fact, I am not sure it happens without him.

  19. dipper says:

    Why does he goe out of his way to please his enemies and crap on the people that got him elected?

    That is the question we need to ask, Bmaz. And what IS it about Lieberman that all those other Senators keep tolerating his assholeness? I can’t believe it. Joe is still feeling so mistreated about his own reelection.

  20. rapt says:

    OT to bmaz: Just to remind you that Jay Leno has a Bugatti that was owned by Phil Hill, perhaps around the time you worked with him on restorations. I was already designing a car very similar to the Bugatti Type 37A (by coincidence) when I happened upon Leno’s garage site and saw the car. Since then I have studied it as carefully as I could and fixed my design to be more similar; oval radiator, flat windshield, straight louvered bonnet, and the wedge-shaped tail end. It was exhilarating to see that Bugatti had already done what I was trying to do; worked out all the classic details so to speak. I hope to have eventually my own version of this beautiful design.

  21. archiebird says:

    bmaz–maybe this is a divisive tactic? Consider the source. Actually, I almost didn’t vote for Obama because of his FISA vote. I was so ticked off! WE WERE USED! Now there’s the Lieberman thing and the Holder thing. If Obama throws the progressives a bone, he gives more ammo to the neocons with cries of… (fill in your choice of name-calling rhetoric here). Do I want change NOW, you’re damn right. But unfortunately the progressives are gonna have to consider the WHOLE PACKAGE. And, again, unfortunately, we won’t see the beginnings of the whole package until 2010, more in 2012. Then the progressives can WITH HOLD their love. To be sure, we will! The progressives are united, and we will let our thoughts be known at election time. Obama will know our thoughts for sure. He still needs us and he BETTER NOT FORGET IT.

  22. 19genco says:

    Obama never captured my support from his less than optimal health care plan to “Leave some troops in Iraq after withdrawal” to double down on Afghanistan, when we should be out completely yesterday. When he said if his flip flop on FISA was a deal breaker then so be it, I took him up on his offer and gave my 2008 campaign contributions to progressive dems none to Obama, but finally gave in and held my nose when I voted for him instead of a protest vote for a 3rd party. The Rahm for Chief of Staff, Clinton for SofS and Holder for AG smells like tit for tat to WJC and HRC support in the general, although I have not figured out the benefit HRC gets by going from the Senate to State, unless she plans a short stint then resign to run for NY Gov. then use that for another pres. run in 2012 or even 2016. I wrote the other day that at least the Rethugs threw their right wingnuts a few SCt justices, judges, and gay and abortion bashing initiatives. The Dems kick us in the groin and dare us to go someplace else. I am about to take them up on that offer too because I have little hope that Obama is nothing more than Republican lite with a better speach.

    • archiebird says:

      “I am about to take them up on that offer too because I have little hope that Obama is nothing more than Republican lite with a better speech.”

      I’m with you there. Especially after the FISA vote. Then the 60 minutes interview, where he pomises to close GITMO. I’m thinking to myself, “We’re NOT FALLING FOR THAT ONE too!” How’s the saying go Mr. Bush? Fool Me once, fol me twice….?) I would have to say, Obama doesn’t have my complete trust.

  23. WilliamOckham says:

    I have to disagree with this. First, I don’t agree with this “Obama owes us” mentality. The netroots are one tiny part of Obama’s coalition. And it’s not like we speak with one voice or anything.

    Let me address Bmaz’s bill of particulars:

    Holder – I don’t really know enough about this say that Bmaz is wrong. I do know that assuming you know how someone will perform in a new role based on their past performance is dangerous business. Just go look at William O. Douglas’s confirmation hearings to see what I mean. Here’s my real problem with Bmaz’s position. Let’s assume that he’s right. What should we do? Is Holder so bad that we should oppose him no matter what? I don’t see it. The Rich thing was dumb, but Holder has apologized. I absolutely hate the idea of holding a lawyer’s clients against him. I thought everybody was entitled to representation. Maybe Bmaz can explain to me why it’s ok in Holder’s case, but not in others. I’m more concerned about Holder’s rep from his last stint at DOJ, but that seems like weak tea to justify mounting a serious opposition to his nomination. An attack from the netroots is not going to stop Holder’s nomination. Will it help us get better nominees going forward or will it marginalize us? I think the Left attacking the first black nominee for AG (nominated by Obama) would be pointless.

    Lieberman – Bmaz is misreading what happened on this one. Lieberman wasn’t going to lose his chairmanship, no matter what. That’s the way the Senate works. It’s stupid, but that’s the truth. Sure, if Obama had signaled that he wanted Lieberman punished, the vote would have been closer and Lieberman would have paid a nominally higher price, but then what? Obama is a poker player. If he sees that he’s going to lose, he’ll fold. Most of the time, that’s pretty brilliant. In politics, you play for the long haul. And, when the time is right, Obama will make a big bet. Running against Clinton is proof of that. What we need to see now is how he plays that huge pile of chips called the presidency.

    FISA – Bmaz is right on this one. Obama’s poker instincts cost him on this one. He missed a chance to stand on principle, one that really matters.

    The rest of Bmaz’s list – I don’t get the Barrow thing, so let’s let that one stand. The rest of the list are problems with the netroots more than Obama. Objecting to Emanuel is just stupid party purity. Also, I’m not going to get bent out of shape about what Obama might do or might not do. A wise man once said that each day has enough worries by itself. There’s no use borrowing from tomorrow.

    Our job is to create an environment that makes ‘doing the right thing’ the right bet for Obama to make. Sometimes, you have to take a sideways approach. As one example, let’s pressure Obama to ease up on secrecy and declassify information about the detention policy of the Bush administration. I still want to see criminal prosecutions, but first we need information (which Obama can provide by himself). Then, we need investigation by a special prosecutor, which the Republicans might prefer to a ‘partisan’ Congressional investigation.

    • MSSS says:

      I agree!!

      It’s too soon for outrage at every single Obama transition decision. We win some, we lose some – and we have a good shot at change in the overall.

      • Ducktape1 says:

        I agree with MSSS, WilliamOckham, and joejoejoe as well.

        Sorry, but my old outrage meter is burned out, and I don’t think the new one will be online until Obama actually takes office and starts to do things. And frankly, I’m enjoying the respite. My god, I’ve even discovered there are still other things than politics! I had totally forgotten!

        In terms of his personnel selections, I’ve read reasonable arguments on both sides (as well as a few unreasonable ones), and it’s not my decision nor do I have strong feelings based on knowledge of my own. There is no one who has experience who is without some baggage, and this is a new day and they are in new jobs.

        FISA — yes, I was majorly disappointed and I expressed it. I also hope that’s something that DOES change and I’ll do all I can to encourage it. But that happened before the election, and I got past my anger enough that I still donated all the money and time that I could to Obama’s campaign.

        And in terms of Lieberman, nothing would satisfy me more today than seeing him told “actions have consequences, Joe,” and stripped of all of power. In fact, personally, I would have loved to see him leave and join the Republicans, and find out how much they despised him when he was just a low-seniority Republican instead of their pet “Democrat.” If Obama had sent the message that he wanted Lieberman voted out, I feel certain that would have happened.

        But I do understand the power play Obama made with Lieberman, and while it didn’t satisfy my thirst for revenge, it may bring Obama much more in the long run. And since I can’t do anything about it anyway, I’ll watch it play out and see if he really does have Joe’s balls in his pocket.

        Chill for a bit, watch what happens, and let him get sworn in and started on what he’s going to actually do. Then we have almost two years and a lot of work ahead of us to push the Congress and the nation as a whole further in the direction we want it to go.

    • waynec says:

      FISA – Bmaz is right on this one. Obama’s poker instincts cost him on this one. He missed a chance to stand on principle, one that really matters.

      You bet he blew it on this one. Obama had the chance to “stand on principle” because his NO vote would not have made a difference in the outcome of the bill, but would have made a difference in his stated promise to support a fillibuster on this issue.

  24. Badwater says:

    With Obama and the Democrats taking charge, I thought this place would become rather boring. Looking at the comments today, I stand corrected.

  25. eCAHNomics says:

    I got an early personal experience with the short arm. When I went to the Obama booth at Netroots Nation to complain about Obama’s switch on FISA, I was told in very snotty terms: What’s your alternative. Netroots Nation! and she treated me like that. I got the picture back then & almost all evidence since then has confirmed it.

  26. DeanOR says:

    I think we have elected a community organizer to the presidency. He’s never pretended to be “a liberal” or “a progressive”, which is why I was skeptical of him early on. His approach is to build coalitions, and we’re just one component of his coalitions. The organizer approach, however, is essentially leftish. Conservatives look to authority, organizers don’t. So we can identify with a lot that he says, but we’re going to feel stiffed at times, as will others. I do think we will be listened to and have a chance to influence decisions, which is a great improvement. This is my most positive take on Obama, trying to have Hope in the morning.

  27. puravida says:

    I left this comment over at Tbogg’s place:

    “Bags has a fascinating photo and post on Lieberman’s future existence within the democratic party, the conclusion being that Obama pwned Lieberman.


    And commenter thirdeye pushpin points out: “Joe’s seeming slap on the wrist was his dismissal from the committe that will be creating legialation [sic] on global warming.

    In Obama’s administration which committe will get more progressive focus. They removed Joe not from where the action was, but from where it will be.”

    “The Art of War,” indeed. I understand the urge for revenge, retribution, whatever, but I prefer to take the long view and wait for Obama’s administration to actually get sworn in before passing judgement.

    (sits back, waits for flaming)

    • cbl2 says:

      In Obama’s administration which committe will get more progressive focus. They removed Joe not from where the action was, but from where it will be.”

      mebbe, mebbe not – but it is also the one place where the schmuck actually worked halfway decent with Dems and our agenda – jes sayin’

      and no flames for you – but could you not use “revenge” and “retribution” ? – that is DLCspeak – you are a regular here and you know it is all about accountability and competency for us

      • puravida says:

        “it is all about accountability and competency for us”

        Agreed 100%, and despite the raw emotions here, I know that’s what FDL is all about.

  28. PJEvans says:

    I hope the folks who voted to keep Lieberman in his (still unused?) committee chair get thank-you notes from the GOP.

    I want to send them cards saying something like ‘If you can’t stand up to Lieberman, his double-dealing and his non-activity as committee chair, how the f*ck are you going to stand up to real GOoPers?’

  29. ratfood says:

    New Ted Rall cartoon re: Obama’s centrism.

    MSM pundit 1: “Obama won the campaign as a centrist BUT he’ll have to govern from the center.”

    MSM pundit 2: “Obviously.”

      • ratfood says:

        I’ve never seen any evidence that Ted Rall likes anybody. He often seems to capture the essence of a person’s character, though, like John McCain campaigning while wearing the tattered remnants of his POW garb.

  30. Beerfart Liberal says:

    is any of this surprising? I think it sucks as much as the next guy. But are the netroots in any position to do much or anything about it? that’s why these things happened. just what the hell we gonna do about it? We’re working, I think tio be able to do something someday and hopefully soon. But, as Barack used to say duriong the campaign, not this year. Not this time.

  31. Adie says:

    netroots is powerful, how much, tba, variable.

    any elected leader with an ounce of sense will be cautious, knowing that power is now at play in the land.

    reasonable patience makes sense to me.

    I feel we make our best choice and got what we asked for.

    Now go ahead, lobby all you want. But don’t forget the fella supposedly in charge and sitting in the hottest seat in the land, surely will have an independent thought or 2 in his own head. I didn’t vote for a puppet.

  32. MSSS says:

    So if Obama only gets us some of what we want, he’s betrayed the netroots? Puhleez!

    Did you want Obama to use all his political capital on slapping down Joe Lieberman (who got all but 13 of the caucus votes in a secret ballot)? Did you think that if Reed strong-armed every Democratic Senator, then suddenly 30 of them would secretly vote against Joe?

    OK: Joe’s a slime. But if it takes ‘reaching across the aisle’ to pass health care legislation and to get funds for funding a ‘green’ economy, and Joe is one of the slimes who joins the Dems in voting for that – is it worthwhile? I think so. As Churchill is reputed to have said, “It’s better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.”

    So far, I’m with Jonathan Singer at mydd, who suggests that Obama may assume that he’ll “have an easier go in forwarding his legislative agenda in the Senate with Lieberman beholden to him than Lieberman weaker, but mad at him.”

    And Al Giordano who says that “In this process of transition, we’re going to win some and we’re going to lose some. What’s important is that we win or lose like adults, and not let our disappointments or sometimes legitimate anger cloud our strategic thinking for the next battle. This is a series of fights. Those that keep their heads will win more of them.”

    This is too soon to be taking a rectal thermometer to measure the temperature of each and every Obama decision against what’s best for the netroots.

    • eCAHNomics says:

      Obama could have kept out of the Lieberman thing altogether. There was no reason for him to insert himself, so it is appropriate for us to regard that as a direct shove in our faces.

    • Adie says:

      Thank you.

      Even if Obama only maintains the appearance of being semi-gracious to liarman, that reduces the latter’s power in the future when the inevitable dust-up will occur between them.

      Isn’t that at least as viable a theory as all the negative guessing flying around in the basement here.

      We’re not fools.

      Neither is Obama.

      Liarman?? Ibetcha we get to see one of these days, and I’d never put my money on the scum, if only because of his habit of clumsily tripping over his own ego on a regular basis. Openly treating him more than fair initially ain’t a bad strategy entering the door of the next POTUS term. imo

      I have zero credentials, so file my rant as you wish.

    • Raven says:

      And Al Giordano who says that “In this process of transition, we’re going to win some and we’re going to lose some. What’s important is that we win or lose like adults, and not let our disappointments or sometimes legitimate anger cloud our strategic thinking for the next battle. This is a series of fights. Those that keep their heads will win more of them.”

      Good luck around here with that.

    • bmaz says:

      It is not every decision, it is that he has done NOTHING, not one iota; and, in fact, has used the netroots as a Sista Soulja punching bag for his own advancement. I f you find that hunky dory, so be it; pardon me if I do not. sorry if it ruffles all those well place Obama feathers. Too freaking bad.

            • bmaz says:

              Interesting you find a polite reply a sneer, but not the original comment gestating it. Quite frankly, I took and meant both to be harmless banter. Very amazing how much people take liberty to read all kind of malevolence into things that are honest intellectual argument and discussion. But that is the beauty of free and open speech, and a forum that not only encourages it, but demands it.

              It is all good.

            • Adie says:

              Keep trying, Raven. I just checked it out: can you handle a good solid dose of rational thinking and calm discussion? I thought so. At least no one screamed while I was looking around the place.

              I hate it when people jump ahead of facts, scare themselves at what they conjure up, and run screaming into the rest of us about, um, not much.

              I’m gittin’ too old to hate on cue. Makes me stubborn and more understanding of others who have the same reaction. Hate wastes energy we could use elsewhere.

              Take care.

              • bmaz says:

                I hate it when people jump ahead of facts, scare themselves at what they conjure up, and run screaming into the rest of us about, um, not much.

                I am pretty well versed on the facts of Eric Holder thank you very much; and I am neither scaring, screaming, nor conjuring. If you have honest superior knowledge of Holder and his prior stint at DOJ and tendencies for the future stint that is proposed, I would very much like to hear it.

                You rail against puffery while engaging in gross hyperbole.

                • Larue says:

                  Even something as simple and public like wiki don’t paint it as you do:


                  There are two sides, or more in DC, to every story and cas, as I’m sure you know.

                  You, and a few others in here, continue to lobby loudly, and tirelessly about Obama’s poor choices and the people he’s picked for office to support him, once installed on Jan. 20.

                  I’m with a few others who have said, enough already, let’s see how he governs thru ‘09, without impeaching him before then.

                  And let’s not forget who the REALLY bad guys are, and what they’ve done to our nation for 30 or more years.

                  I’d think any of you would be delighted with a swing left, albeit far from YOUR left.

                  Let’s remember who the bad guys are. And let’s support the new good guys.

                  I think there’s ample proof and posit put forth in everything published in the last week or so to show how Obama is building up his staff and angling for a decent starting position come 1/20/09. Cuz, let’s face it, the bad guys continue to wreck the country and the economy every which way they can. It WILL be the worst, or second worst sitch for a new prez to enter in the history of our country.

                  Obama certainly is not the neocon, war mongering, self serving, oil owning and corp bought beast that the GOP became. *G*

                  And in two years, I’d like everyone in this forum to look back at where you stood as of today. *G*


                  • bmaz says:

                    Again, I think my take on what is going on in the criminal justice system is a little better than average, and a hell of a lot better than Wiki’s. I have been plumbing the depths of the justice and criminal justice system well in excess of twenty years. My friends are other attorneys, prosecutors, justice officials and judges, both state and federal; i won’t apologize for, nor back down from, having a strong opinion about what is needed in the administration of the forum where i live and work. Nor should you, or anybody else, be so presumptuous as to tell me I should. But if you think some pablum from freaking Wiki trumps that, well, that is your right and we have provided you with a fantastic forum to exercise that right. State your best case, because i am going to state mine.

  33. Witchywoman says:

    I never thought that Obama was the great progressive that everyone seemed to think he was and I thought there was an awful lot of wish projection going on. (I was a Hillary supporter in the primaries because I felt I knew exactly what I was getting.)

    That said, I think the cries of “the sky is falling” are premature. Someone earlier said Obama is looking at the whole game, not just the first few plays, and I think that’s correct. I don’t like some of his early decisions any more than the rest of you (Lieberman particularly sticks in the craw), but let’s at least let him get inaugurated before we declare him anathema!

    • eCAHNomics says:

      I agree with you that Obama never came across as anything remotely liberal. From what you could tell, like on medical care, he was somewhat to the right of Hillary.

      That said, how many Friedman units should be give Obama?

  34. bgrothus says:

    I have been thinking along the lines that puravida put out above, that perhaps Lieberman is “under my thumb” AFA Obama is concerned. Maybe the “big” committee turns out to be the “small” one, so he is sidelined but can’t see it yet. Maybe they have something in writing that holds Lieberman to certain voting behaviors.

    There seem to be an array of views on Holder. I’ll have to wait to see what he does. So far, what I have heard him say sounds good to me.

  35. Thrasyboulos says:

    Lieberman was Obama’s Sister Souljah moment. It also sent a powerful soothing signal to those that back Joe Lieberman. Remember this when you hear the usual neocon lies coming out of Lieberman’s mouth, and when the subject of Iran/Syria comes up, and the Palestinians in their Gaza concentration camp.

  36. Hugh says:

    I love the excuses that people give for each of Obama’s bad decisions.

    1. It’s too early to judge (He doesn’t have the nomination yet, followed by He hasn’t been elected yet, followed by He hasn’t been inaugurated yet followed by (I’m assuming) it’s only his first term)
    2. He has a cunning plan which we just don’t see
    3. We need to look at the big picture
    4. We need to keep our powder dry
    5. Well at least he’s not as bad as McCain and Palin
    6. We’re overreacting

    Of course all of this overlooks the fact that people elected Obama because they expected real change but every action he has made, every decision he has taken, has epitomized business as usual.

  37. phred says:

    Thanks for the post bmaz. I was stunned to hear about Holder on the radio this morning. Of all the names bandied about, his wasn’t one. I was hoping you would have a post up to fill me in. I’ll go see what LHP and GG say, but as with the entire transition thus far, I am way less than impressed. I think I need to get a new dictionary, because my definition of change clearly isn’t the one Obama has.

  38. Mary says:

    Nice post bmaz. I don’t think Obama owes the netroots – no one ever seems to “owe” the netroots, bc the netroots sells itself for free. It pretty much always lines up on the side of “omg oMg Omg OMG – you HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE to vote for the Democrats who, like Sherrod Brown, embraced torture with the MCA, or like Carl Levin, helped sponsor it with the DTA, or, like Chuck Schumer, helped sell the meme, of course it’s fair to kidnap and torture Muslim children – can’t you hear the tick of the bomb?

    The netroots isn’t a whore, it’s the Democratic Party’s slut. And that’s how it is treated. If it never says no, then things never change. And it never, ever, ever, says no.

    I do agree that it can be easy to get too worked up, too soon, but the thing is that with Obama, it’s been a long time coming. He wants so much to be the popular kid – he’s always shown that side. Whether it was, in 2004, offering up that he and Bush were now on the same page with the Iraq war, or as a lead in to the FISA vote telling Durbin not to whip and caving – even after placating Feingold with “mo prettier” words weeks earlier. Obama brings to mind an episode of a show I watched a long, long, long time ago. I can’t remember what series even. But there was a little girl, raised in a lot of isolation, who had a bird she had rescued and which was always there for her, in all her loneliness and when no one else was. But she ends up being taken into town and tries to integrate with the other children, but she’s the outsider. And then one day, someone is fascinated by her bird and how it always comes to her. Even when it is hit by a rock, it comes to her. And as the girl basks in the attention of the cool kids, she throws rock after rock at her bird and kills it. Then the cool kids walk away too, there’s no longer anything fascinating about her – just a dead bird.

    When Leahy, very recently, said that there will be NO PROSECUTIONS for tortuer by this administration, I believe him.

  39. leftdcin72 says:

    BMaz, you may be a lawyer but your requirement for instant gratification needs to be parked. Eric Holder is a whole lot better first choice for AG than Zoe Baird or Kimba Wood. Obama will pick his fights and they will not be brawls with the likes of Joe Lieberman. What an utter waste of time that would be.

    I think we should sit back and wait 200 days and check Obama out from that vantage point. Oh, aren’t you glad Obama did not campaign personally in Arizona as you personally recommended. Then he would owe you more? Obama does not owe me anything. I just want to be rid of the Bushes and Clintons in the White House and I want Obama to give us good oversignt and progressive legislation and he cannot do that before he gets into office.

    Did Obama lose Arizona by nine points? By your reckoning what did you do for him? Just give the President-elect a chance to be President.

    • hazmaq says:

      We lost Arizona in ‘08 by 9 points, while Dukakis lost in ‘88 by 22 points. And we have a whole new crop of Democrats in Congress, including one who just took over John McCains own ‘ranch’ backyard here in District 1.
      Had Obama campaigned here we could have picked up several more seats.

      Arizona is one of the few very Red states- meaning very white in population with a very tiny African American community. A nine point loss was one to be proud of and will have a severe impact on his re-election bid.

      As a budding law student, I’m with my homeboy BMaz all the way. I’m a true Democrat who sees Obama twisting himself into a poodle and then biting the hands that fed him.

      Had this Constitutional scholar even so much as breathed to his pre-election supporters that he would give the SOS post to Hillary, he would have lost the Presidency by a huge margin. Our foreign policy was the defining breaking point in driving so many Democrats away from Hillary the hard liner.

      Had he said before Super Tuesday, he would give more power to Rahm Emanuel and Joe Lieberman, he never would have been the nominee.

      • bmaz says:

        Crikey, I have discussed the deal with Bruce Merrill and some others in the party here. The consensus is had Obama made an effort here, it would have been a tossup. I can also state that the polls were packed early, but not late. There is usually a late crowd here and an extremely big one one was expected this year. Best guess is that things were going well and a lot of people thought there would be long lines late and they just didn’t turn out; and that was not helped by the lack of attention by the national party. It hurt many critical races here locally; and it hurt Obama’s effort too.

      • leftdcin72 says:

        Hey hazmaq, ok you have decided to proceed down the institutional path to a lawyerdom. Know this, it is a mighty imperfect world out there and we are a whole lot better off with Obama than any of the clowns who have been president for the last 20 years. I would have voted for Obama if he said the Clintons get SOS, Gates stays at Defense and some career Washington lawyer will be AG, Emanuel will be COS and Podesta will head the transition.

        The only other choice I was aware of was more of the Clintons.

        • hazmaq says:

          What makes Obama so susceptible to such harsh criticism from many of us was that he took a nose dive off the Democratic party’s bold new well structured pillars and back into the gelatinous domain of the DLC. The subterranean home of spineless and opposition-less words.

          Clinton was is and always will be a hard-liner. She didn’t pretend to be something she’s not -for the most part. And I respect anyone who stands for something and is prepared to fight for it.
          But my vote was made in oppositon to her, not to enable her

          We trusted Reid and Hoyer with the keys in ‘06 and they screwed up royally. Emanuel had the keys and lost 6 elections.
          When Obama begins employing and empowering those very same offenders and thinks he can stop them from taking the same paths they’ve always taken regardless of who sat in the White House, who’s he going to call?

          He real friends and allies were blocked out.

          • leftdcin72 says:

            Ok but I will accept the Clintons at SOS and Obama as President, not the other way around. Look at it this way of you were in Obama’s position. Who were the first four choices for SOS in no particular order, the Clintons, Richardson, Holbrooke and Kerry. I take the Clintons if I am Obama. HRC is an ineffective Senator to say the least, no loss there. Holbrooke’s ego cannot be controlled. Kerry and Richardson do not add to Obama’s credibility. I trust that Obama can manage the Clintons. I only hope that the Clintons run a better and more organized State Department than their last Presidential campaign. I do disagree with you that the Clintons are dogmatic and have core beliefs. In that sense as long as the Clintons think they are being important they can be managed by Obama, at least that is the hope because the hope is Obama, no pun intended.

  40. FormerFed says:

    BMAZ, I think it is time for you to stop drinking your own kool aid.

    We need to get some people in power who understand how to get things done in DC. That is what Obama is doing.

    Haven’t we had enough of ideologues after eight years of the Bushies??

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There are lots of people who know how to get things done. Holder is not the only Washington mega-law firm partner, not the only superbly talented or politically skilled, administratively competent lawyer who could lead the DOJ. There are others with greater executive experience and competence, who have equal knowledge of the law and the DOJ. What they lack, which Holder brings, is “reassurance”. I think the Villagers have plenty of that already.

      The issue is what does Obama want, and what and how will he get it. I think he will use his resources sparingly. There are too many fronts to defend, too many novel problems to contend with. The tactic he seems to have settled on is to assure his principal rivals that no direct attacks are coming. That seems a miscalculation, a political turning of the other cheek. The response may well be the same as a Roman legionaire’s.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, you’re just getting testy because the cats are about to lose to the Devils again! Heh heh. I made no, and never would, demand for ideologues. I just want better people. Holder does not hold a candle to Janet Napolitano, which is who I think should have gotten the AG nod. You are not saying she is an overt ideologue are you? As compared to freaking Eric Holder? Naw, I cannot believe you mean that. There are a hundred other people that would have been better choices than Holder. The only one I saw mentioned that was worse was Jamie Gorelick, and that is a close call.

      Secondly, I think a lot of people are not aware of it, but the reason these “leaks” are put out is to get public comment and to gauge backlash and reaction. What is being done, by all sides, in this thread was the express intent of the info being made public. Who are we to deny them that?

      • FormerFed says:

        BMAZ, I will grant you that my ‘Cats will have a tough time against your dreaded ‘Devils – in BASKETBALL!! – but I’m not sure the same goes in football. We’ll see.

        I love Janet (and I don’t remember saying anything pro or con about her during this posting period – surely you’re not putting words in my mouth), but I think the best thing for Arizona and the Nation is to leave her here running AZ for two years and then taking out Mac in 2010.

        I have a much better opinion of Holder than you do, and believe he will tackle the swamp in DOJ just as well as anyone could. And I still believe that he knows DC better than Janet or most anyone else. Tell me about that hundred that you refer to you.

        In regards to leaks, I can only say – Duh!!! – surely the posters on this blog understand what leaks are all about.

        Cheers from Tucson.

        • bmaz says:

          He’ll do alright; not as good as many others. I still think Janet is leaving anyway; but the only two left she would leave for are DHS and Education. I think. If she leaves for lesser, or number two somewhere; then you know just how bad she wanted out of here. To my reckoning, she will stay unless something pretty prime. I repeat though as recently as a week ago, I was hearing that she was ready to leave; it was her desire.

          Actually, both teams suck in football this year. Mine was semi-unexpected though. Nevertheless, they do suck. Which ought to make for an interesting game actually. You going to the game down there?

          I think the Cats BB will be okay by end of the year. If ASU stays healthy, they are probably a tad better; but I can easily see the Cats making the tournament.

          • FormerFed says:

            Not sure what Janet’s plans are. The last time I saw her before the election she expressed a real desire for a more workable (e.g. more Democrats) in the legislature to make her job a little easier. Regrettably, we didn’t give her any better bunch to work with, so your info is more recent and probably more accurate than mine. I would still hate to see the state handed over to Jan and her bunch, but a Cabinet job in DC for a couple of years would set Janet up to gain a Senate seat.

            Man, if we make the tournament this year, it will be a miracle. We only made it last year because of feelings for Olsen and I don’t think any of that remains.

        • hazmaq says:

          “…the best thing for Arizona and the Nation is to leave her here running AZ for two years and then taking out Mac in 2010.”
          While I’m not crazy about Napolitano, you’re right!
          She’s the perfect choice to take out McCain – and fairly easily too, I predict.
          Sedona is now powered by women, and Flagstaff is powered by everyone but Republicans. The top half of Az is pretty darn blue.

          Bmaz is right. If it weren’t for the state and national party’s past neglect and reluctance to support more Progressive candidates -because of that old red state fear crap -this District would have gone blue long ago.
          But we’re all awake now. So I’m excited about 2010, because the same groups that gave it to Obama in ‘08, will have some serious cracks and breaches to repair.

          • bmaz says:

            Janet has good numbers already against McCain. Lat I saw, they were dead up without there even being an election, and with him as the national GOP standard bearer. I think she can take him. I would not be shocked if he decides not to run though when it gets down to it and Grant woods takes his place. Janet can beat Grant too (note he was going to run for Governor, and was the presumptive favorite, before she jumped in in 2002.)

            Hey, obviously, I have no quarrel with her staying. I have just been under the impression she wanted to go to DC (and I don’t blame her); and I kind of still am under that impression. I have no personal direct knowledge from her, only from people close to her.

  41. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Obama’s lobbying for Joe Lieberman to keep his committee chairs is worrying. Sure, Joe hasn’t lifted a finger to inquire into Homeland Security’s operating incompetence, its wasting of public funds and invading of the public’s privacy. Joe won’t do that now, except to jam a stick into Obama’s bicycle spokes when he’s racing downhill. So, too, is the fantasy-schmantasy that this support will keep Joe’s nose or his money inside the Democratic tent. Washingtonians probably snicker that it will keep his nether end inside it. My concern is that they like it for reasons we’ll never know about.

    Of more concern is what that support says about Obama. I think it illustrates his principal political tactic: take away the enemy’s battlefield. He will make peace so that his opponents have nothing to hit, no platforms from which to amass and launch campaigns against him. It takes away false issues and avoids too thinly dispersing his own forces. I don’t think that style reflects a lack of courage; just the opposite. As the Canadians already knew, and as our generals in Iraq now know, peacekeeping is dangerous as hell.

    The cost of that style is that it cedes much of the political ground to Obama’s opponents. He may have campaigned on Change You Can Believe In. He’ll govern based on Change He Believes In. Which is not much. He he will carefully pick and choose his ground. Unlike Bush and Cheney, he understands that power has limits and that restraint is sometimes more powerful than overt force.

    Obama is not a Roman senator bemoaning the loss of the Republic. He’s a realist. He’ll work with imperial tools, employ the Visigoths as generals and troops if need be and he has no better choices. Unlike Bush, he accepts that good and evil are linked, that a quixotic attempt to eradicate evil will take good with it, a home truth Iraqi civilians know too well.

    All that would make Obama conservative, with a small “c”, an endangered species since Gingrich, Rove, DeLay and Cheney came to town. His Change will be an absence of Bush’s worst excesses, a good thing, but it will prohibit undoing many of them.

  42. bmaz says:

    First off, thanks for the dedicated concern trolling; what in the world does this have to do with Zoe Baird or Kimba Wood? Nothing, that is what. So you got punked by the Clintons decades ago, get over it; this is a new century and a different world. My gripe with Holder is that the DOJ is in bad shape and needs someone with better skills, and there are such people available and willing to do the job, that it is a shame to be settling for so much less. And we are settling for far less.

    And no, I am not glad that Obama did not come here; what a petty and ignorant statement. But that was your intent now, wasn’t it? It has nothing to do with owing me or owing you; I have no idea in the world where such a non-lucid thought emanates from. Bizarre. And i believe that had Obama seen fit to campaign here it would have been much closer and he may even have won. Of course, you know a lot more than I do though from wherever you are.

    I just want Obama to be the best President he can be; having good people around him would improve those odds.

    • leftdcin72 says:

      Bmaz, what do you know about the Justice Department and how it functions? Holder will do just fine as would any number of persons. And he is a whole lot more qualified for the position than Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood, the Clintons’ first two picks for the position. So at least let me, if not you, give Obama credit for that.

  43. JohnLopresti says:

    Quite a lot of tranition nomination vetting to do, still. Barack Obama has to think about the sequel to exSCSI chair’s legacy in the intell community; link to AGoodman interview of Ratner and some other folks.

    On the Fisa problem, I was referencing some of that while reading LauraR’s rhetorical question in a recent article she penned concerning wiretapping in IT, she asked whether all IT telephones are recorded for posterity, as she mentioned some international conversations introduced at evidence, with one interlocutor being in IT, the other in FR; I was going to write her that, yes, FranceTelecom purchased TelecomItaly in a mismanagement scandal some years ago.

    I am glad Barack Obama is showing a predilection for some spice in nominees, look for the restaurant with the decal in the plateglass window: ‘Cooked without msg’.

    BO says USA dont torcha. And Leahy kibbitzes the remark, that US courts are not going to pursue people who Did torcha.

    On the environment, BO made a video for presentation to governors yesterday, averring it is better to inject coal burning fumes under the earth than to let smokestack emissions continue, and to implement this soon is important. I wonder who will oversee that; the article only stenographs without suggesting precisely Who.

    In May 2005 in his first year of service in the Senate, BO made a pretty urgent speech about watchdogging the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. It adds in retrospect a sense of what portion of the global international product the nation he will serve as leader represents. Got that link from wayback as there seemed to be some access problem with the exSenator’s website, perhaps momentary.

  44. juste says:

    look, if nothing else, get the fuck over this fantasy that Obama OWES the “netroots.” The “netroots” didn’t do shit for Obama — especially HERE. This whiny, mindless knee-jerk shit is nothing new — it’s been going on nonstop since it was him vs. Hillary.

    Unless, in your mind, mumbling “yeah he’s better than McCain” every now and then counts as campaigning. Considering how deluded you are about everything else, I guess I can’t rule that out.

    • bmaz says:

      Nice. Your true stripes emerge. Weren’t you the “calm relaxed” one upthread??

      Chill out. Passionate discussion is a good thing. If you don’t like it, you need not be here.

      Oh, and I think the netroots, starting with the 2004 election, are the main reason Obama is where he is at all. You do not have the history and facts down very well if you believe the statement you promulgated. Where do you think the whole system for all those donations came from? Who do you think 40-50% of those people are? Who do you think built and carried the technical load for the Obama effort?

  45. earlofhuntingdon says:

    bmaz, I can’t figure out whether the concern trolls are Obama’s, having already taken over the computer desks of Karl’s Klackers, whether they are freelancers having fun, or Karl’s Klackers auditioning for their next assignments.

  46. Thrasyboulos says:

    I thought it was hilarious when in the middle of the financial meltdown, Obama held a press conference to castigate Wall Street vs Main Street. And who was standing behind him looking like cats that ate the cream? Why two of the four architects of the very meltdown he was benefitting from: Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin, who, along with Greenspan and Graam put the kibosh on Brooksie Born and ushered in the era of parasitic capitalism.

    Yea, change you can believe it.


    In 1997, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a federal agency that regulates options and futures trading, began exploring derivatives regulation. The commission, then led by a lawyer named Brooksley E. Born, invited comments about how best to oversee certain derivatives.

    Ms. Born was concerned that unfettered, opaque trading could “threaten our regulated markets or, indeed, our economy without any federal agency knowing about it,” she said in Congressional testimony. She called for greater disclosure of trades and reserves to cushion against losses.


    In early 1998, Mr. Rubin’s deputy, Lawrence H. Summers, called Ms. Born and chastised her for taking steps he said would lead to a financial crisis, according to Mr. Greenberger. Mr. Summers said he could not recall the conversation but agreed with Mr. Greenspan and Mr. Rubin that Ms. Born’s proposal was “highly problematic.”

  47. charlottelew says:

    I sent this to Joe Lie-berman,

    No response yet !!!!

    Dear Joe Lieberman,My name is Charlotte, and I am writing to you to express my complete and utter disgust with your actions throughout the general elections. As a (true) democrat I can not believe you even call yourself one of us. Your actions at the RNC, are completely unforgivable and reprehensible. As someone who campaigned day and night for weeks in a battleground state. I often had to defend against your remarks to citizens who believed your pathetic rhetoric. It was a difficult argument, and I was often taken off message just to make people understand that President-Elect Obama was not the person you, John McCain and Sarah Palin painted him out to be. That Sir was by far one of the most difficult challenges that I faced in this election. While I was working to elect Obama, you were systematically undermining my efforts. Mr. Lieberman, I walked door to door, got chased out of yards, spit at, cursed out, had things thrown at me, dogs chase me and people threaten me. All the while I believed that what I was doing was the right thing for this country and for my family. Yet you Sir seemed to feel that I and countless others were on the wrong side.Given the fact that Obama campaigned for you and helped you in your time of great need, one can only wonder why you couldn’t do the same. You were able to keep your coveted Chairmanship, only because your comrades were too afraid or perhaps too sensible to listen to the will of the people. Were it not for the very one you turned your back on, you would have surly received what you deserved. The very thought that you were able to retain a chairmanship in the (Democratic Party) makes me physically ill. Because of what I had to go through campaigning I am completely offended and totally against the vote. However, since the public had no say or vote in this matter then all I can do is to write you myself. You may have won this round and yes perhaps you did get the last laugh. I am sure it gives you great fulfillment to shun and trot over the efforts of hard working people, by campaigning for the other side, then turning around and smugly ask us to look past it and move forward. I am sure it is easy for you to say these things when you have spent no time in the shoes, homes, or presence of those you spurned. Maybe if you could take one moment to talk to the people who were affected by what you did then possibly you would understand how far reaching your words and actions were. In the halls of Washington, you won’t see the disappointed faces, or hear the discouraged voices of the public, that you swore to represent. If you are really interested in moving forward, then why don’t you do this, “Call” me and let’s have a one on one conversation about my concerns. Call me, let’s talk about how “we” can move forward and put the past in the past. Because to be quite honest, Mr. Lieberman at this point in time the only thing I am interested in doing is literally assisting in anyway possible the Democrat that will campaign against you. Oh, and trust me from the many blogs out there I am not alone in my sentiment. But, I am a sensible person I do want this new administration to work very badly because I am truly vested. I want to move past my anger, my frustration and my distrust of you. So, I am willing to talk and listen to anything you have to say. You can contact me anytime via any means. I don’t want some scripted email I want to hear from you, Senator Lieberman. I will be posting this letter on the many blogs and websites with a daily calendar counter for number of days with no response from you. There are many people who would like some answers, not some generic statement written by a staffer. I am a professional writer, ghostwriter and speechwriter myself so I know when words come from a person’s heart and soul. We (I) want to know what you have to say for yourself. You may reach me at the number below anytime of any day. I will make myself available for an in person meeting should you desire. I am ready to listen, I am ready to understand and I want help moving forward. Thank you for your time and attention in this matter. Feel free to post wherever you like

  48. radiofreewill says:

    I’m late to the party here, and it looks like it’s been a rock-em, sock-em thread!

    Back in the day, I lived in a housing co-op that had been the original off-campus home of the school football team, before they got a dorm under the stands of the new football stadium. The provider of the home – a humongous mansion – was Georgia Seagle, and after the football team moved out, she created the trust that made the place a housing co-op for 55 guys (the guys-only clause was in the by-laws.)

    Anyway, by the time I walked in off the street as a sophomore who had escaped dorm life, Georgia Seagle Hall was full of Vietnam Vets, a Vietnamese refugee, two guys from Nigeria, Ramon and two other Latinos, two brothers who were working as managers at a Piggly-Wiggly, black guys, white guys, guys with cars, guys with nothing, and a group of audiophiles.

    Breakfast was cooked to order by Willie Mae, dinner was at 6:30 every night, and if you left her a note the evening before, she’d fix your favorite bagged lunch, too. We liked Willie Mae so much, she was in all of our house pictures, right in the front middle.

    The Chief Justice of the house was the guy who had been there the longest – Butler had been there 7 years when I arrived, which was amazing, because you had to be an enrolled student to live there. If there was a dispute, both sides aired it out in front of him, and then he decided. There were no appeals, but he would declare mis-trials if new evidence were discovered

    The lounge of this house was a small theater with rows of fold-down seats, originally the team’s film room – now it had one television up on a shelf. Channel selection was done by majority vote.

    Not all the rooms in the house were the same size. In fact, there was a great disparity between them – so much so, that the succession of rooms, from small doubles (like the one I shared) to cavernous singles, was closely watched according to seniority. I saw some amazing deals go down on room-jockeying.

    Each evening, I would go hang-out with the audiophiles; we all enjoyed a smoke after dinner. A couple of the audiophiles had been there long enough that their rooms not only contained some of the finest amps, tapes, platters, and speakers ever known, but they also had aquariums, coffee tables, couches for 8, small refrigerators and air conditioners, too.

    We’d fire-up the music and settle-in to solving the world’s problems – problems like ’Were Johnny Winter’s eyes really pink?’ and ’Should the French loss at Dien Bien Phu in ’54 have told us that we were destined to lose in Vietnam, too?’

    We mostly had very spirited discussions on meaningful, emotion-laden topics, just like in bmaz’s thread here, usually over the course of months. People’s positions would morph over time, as a preponderance of information and persuasion moved the discussion along, and on most of the issues we worked our way through to clear understandings: Johnny Winter’s eyes are pink, and we fucked-up in Vietnam by not learning from the French.

    In order to speak-up in opposition to the point being made by somone else, we had only one rule – the Party Rule we called it – if you spoke-up, you had to propose a supportable alternative to the other person’s point. You couldn’t just say, ’That’ll never work!’ or ’Fuck no, they’re not pink!’

    You had to pony-up something tangible if you wanted to object – ’It’s not the same, we were air-mobile and the French were fixed in place,’ or ’Well, his eyes look mighty brown to me on the cover of ’Saints and Sinners.’’ You can move those objections forward in the discussion.

    So, that’s my long-winded way of saying that this Blog, emptywheel, was before housed at TNH, and it has a legacy tradition of spirited debate on meaningful, emotion-laden issues. If you want to object – please go right ahead – but please, put something tangible on the table.

    I’ll do my part – What does ’Give Obama 200 days’ have to do with the point of bmaz’ article? Change We can believe in is Principled Change – There is no honeymoon on that! The passion you are hearing from him, and me, is a Wail that, since the election, Obama has Changed his Tune from Principled to Unprincipled.

    We voted for the Rule of Law! That’s not a ’sometime’ thing – without accountability, the Rule of Law is Meaningless to Justice for All.

    We don’t Torture – except under Bush, and now he gets a Pass. Do you see? Principled to Unprincipled – Torture As Policy is Wrong, no matter what the DTA or MCA may say.

    The AG is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Nation – he or she ought to be held in high-esteem by the Department of Justice – he or she should radiate stirling Honor. Compared to lhp’s and bmaz’ proposed candidates, Holder is an Ambulance Chaser. Principled to Unprincipled.

    Lieberman is a Traitor to the Dems, he should be unceremoniously kicked to the curb – except under Obama, Joe should go unpunished. Do you see? Principled to Unprincipled.

    So, please, take your sentimental, sensitive feelings somewhere else, or try to come up with a better objection than Obama deserves a Principle-free honeymoon.

    That’s not the Change We voted for – in fact, that’s exactly what Bush has had for the last 8 years.

  49. Leen says:

    Short arm indeed. let’s not forget the Rahm (voted for the 2002 war resolution, after Pelosi was booed at an Aipac conference she went back to the hill and with a push from Emmanuel she took out the part where Bush has to check in with Congress before they would strike Iran, and Emmanuel voted for the warmongering Kyl Liebermann amendment).

    Many of us put hundreds of hours in for Barack (and I did so in both Colorado and Ohio). Punch the netroots in the stomach once twice three times. Unless something dramatically changes in the next six months and Barack demonstrates through policy changes that he meant anything that he said. I will not be volunteering for him in 2012 and will actively encourage others to pull out.

    Can we get our money back?

    So it turns out that the endlessly repeated public relations mantra of “Hope and Change” was just that public relations.

    Have we heard Obama use the word “change” once since he has been elected?

    “Chaange” Hooey!

  50. Leen says:

    The next time (which will be soon enough) that Lieberman spits in the faces of the Dems again all we will hear is whining. This is like watching a very serious dysfunctional relationship ans one of the partners was just beaten up and then stands back up and says hit me again. Sick Sick Sick

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