Obama is Right

The part of the left that lives and breathes politics on twitter has pushed candidates to take stands on issues contrary to our best interests. That small subset of hobbyists has an outsized influence as they are posting and reposting all of the outrage de jour. Most candidates, their staff, and the media follow the same or similar twitter posters. What "everyone" thinks becomes an issue a candidate has to comment on and come up with a policy or they get gossiped about because they don't have a policy.

Obama mentioned health care and immigration but he might well of said guns and global warming, the same applies to most issues. Assuming a candidate wins office it's impossible to predict what sort of senate they might have to deal with, but it's a pretty good bet that things will be close enough to evenly divided with either Republicans or Red state dems controlling the agenda. We aren't going to become Denmark via electing a president any more than we became Nazi Germany by electing Trump.

Health care is going to take a long time, and no one has any idea how it will turn out. Splitting hairs about M4A is beyond ridiculous. I voted against single payer in my state, as did most people, the plan sucked. The ACA roll out sucked in my state, both plans were ok for people making 6 digits, for the working poor it wasn't so great. Better than before, but subject to losing one's health insurance with no warning on the whim of a private industry contracted out customer service person paid $12 an hour who didn't even have health insurance themselves didn't impress. I spent scores of hours on hold waiting to see if some piece of paper work or another had arrived snail mail as required. Forced onto Medicaid without choice of private insurance except full price. Nope, many working class people are very leery of health insurance, especially via the govt. Support the idea alright, but it must be approached with care, or it won't be affordable except for upper middle class and beyond, and no, no new taxes at all on the working class.

There is an entire "woke" side of the left that seemingly looks down their noses at the proletariat who works at Walmart and Amazon. There is a special vocabulary that has to be spoken or else one is a racist, sexist, gay bashing, knuckle dragger. And right now that woke fragment is forcing the language of people like Warren to use words like Latinx which is a ridiculous word, or the candidate has to get all dogmatic on some finer point about carbon and never mind the houses in 3 states and frequent flier miles.

I don't mean to bash Warren, wonderful lady, would make a president a thousand times better than Reagan/BushI/BushII/Trump,and probably better than Bubba also. They all do it, and they all have to do it. Gabard has some kind of history with gay people, maybe said they shouldn't get married, I don't know. I'll tell you what, for every issue, if you look at Pew polling, there are Dems, and Independents, often a sizeable minority, who don't agree with the progressive Democratic party position. If we alienate twenty or thirty percent of the people on enough issues, well pretty soon they are staying home, or worse voting for some Trump who is telling them who knows what.

Every day more Americans worry about kitchen table issues, those are our strengths, Sanders, whom I still believe to be the best candidate by a couple miles, hammers those issues home relentlessly. We worry about our kids going to the doctor and not losing the house, we don't care which esoteric policy gets us there. We want our jobs back, even if they are at the chicken processing plant, but they have to come with a paycheck and a pension and Unions have given up on us, they agree to guest workers, they no longer protect American jobs (wife is SEIU thank you very much)

American has become a very capitalist society controlled by a very few wealthy people, but with the acquiescence of a whole huge segment of woke foke who are also doing pretty well for themselves. When the Democratic party starts using the language of that segment, well, a lot of people figure maybe our party isn't in it for us.

End of rant.

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Alligator Ed's picture

I don't mean to bash Warren, wonderful lady, would make a president a thousand times better than Reagan/BushI/BushII/Trump,and probably better than Bubba also.

This sounds like tacit acceptance of Who-Iz-Liz. She is H. Rodent Clinton without the finesse or ability to lie straight out (once her DNAS did the job for her). Liz will do an Obama-like about turn as soon as she gets in office, should that ever happen.

Quibbling about M4A is important because "the Devil is in the details". Other than straight M4A, the wannabe's are promoting M4A-X4. Medicare for all eXcept For.....

Pretty much, the Dems have utterly failed to make the M4A message clear except for Bernie. This is one of his redeeming values.

Get woke, go broke

The outrage culture is steadily losing traction. Latinx my ass. I'm pretty certain that many Hispanic Americans disapprove that appellation. In fact, 98% of Hispanics reject the term "latinx"

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snoopydawg's picture

lecturing us not to hold democrats accountable for their horrible votes. Link goes to DK, but interesting read.

Tone, Truth, and the Democratic Party

There is one way, over the long haul, to guarantee the appointment of judges that are sensitive to issues of social justice, and that is to win the right to appoint them by recapturing the presidency and the Senate. And I don't believe we get there by vilifying good allies, with a lifetime record of battling for progressive causes, over one vote or position. I am convinced that, our mutual frustrations and strongly-held beliefs notwithstanding, the strategy driving much of Democratic advocacy, and the tone of much of our rhetoric, is an impediment to creating a workable progressive majority in this country.
According to the storyline that drives many advocacy groups and Democratic activists - a storyline often reflected in comments on this blog - we are up against a sharply partisan, radically conservative, take-no-prisoners Republican party. They have beaten us twice by energizing their base with red meat rhetoric and single-minded devotion and discipline to their agenda. In order to beat them, it is necessary for Democrats to get some backbone, give as good as they get, brook no compromise, drive out Democrats who are interested in "appeasing" the right wing, and enforce a more clearly progressive agenda. The country, finally knowing what we stand for and seeing a sharp contrast, will rally to our side and thereby usher in a new progressive era.

Or to make the point differently: How can we ask Republican senators to resist pressure from their right wing and vote against flawed appointees like John Bolton, if we engage in similar rhetoric against Democrats who dissent from our own party line? How can we expect Republican moderates who are concerned about the nation's fiscal meltdown to ignore Grover Norquist's threats if we make similar threats to those who buck our party orthodoxy?

I am not drawing a facile equivalence here between progressive advocacy groups and right-wing advocacy groups. The consequences of their ideas are vastly different. Fighting on behalf of the poor and the vulnerable is not the same as fighting for homophobia and Halliburton. But to the degree that we brook no dissent within the Democratic Party, and demand fealty to the one, "true" progressive vision for the country, we risk the very thoughtfulness and openness to new ideas that are required to move this country forward. When we lash out at those who share our fundamental values because they have not met the criteria of every single item on our progressive "checklist," then we are essentially preventing them from thinking in new ways about problems. We are tying them up in a straightjacket and forcing them into a conversation only with the converted.

Let me be clear: I am not arguing that the Democrats should trim their sails and be more "centrist." In fact, I think the whole "centrist" versus "liberal" labels that continue to characterize the debate within the Democratic Party misses the mark. Too often, the "centrist" label seems to mean compromise for compromise sake, whereas on issues like health care, energy, education and tackling poverty, I don't think Democrats have been bold enough. But I do think that being bold involves more than just putting more money into existing programs and will instead require us to admit that some existing programs and policies don't work very well. And further, it will require us to innovate and experiment with whatever ideas hold promise (including market- or faith-based ideas that originate from Republicans).

This was written on 9/30/2005 and boy do I wish I had been paying more attention to what he was saying. But after the 8 horrible years of the Bush administration I probably would have voted for almost anyone who blew smoke my way. And this is just what is going to happen after Trump's reign of terror is over. The comments are interesting too.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

Senator Obama Criticism of the ones we love, constructive criticism, should always be welcome. I thank you for our reasoned argument but I respectfully disagree.
Certainly, aomngst your colleagues, it is my view that you should not criticize each other. I have always applauded Sen. Ben Nelson's approach on this while strongly criticizing Sen. Lieberman's precisely for that reason.

But since it was my view, and the view of many others, that Sens. Leahy and Feingold made a terrible mistake, I think it is not only right, but incumbent, upon us who feel this way to say so and loudly.

The stakes are monumental. We should not stand silent and let our frieds make mistakes without voicing our views. That is what some of us have done.

I comend your impulse to defend your colleagues. It is what YOU should do. But I believe those of us who disagreed with their actions did what WE were supposed to do too.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg perhaps in Neil Barofsky's "Bailout" about the TARP, etc. Warren recounts an instance where she is talking to Larry Summers and he says to her "an insider never goes after another insider" which Liz professes astonishment or some such emotion over. But that little one off statement, IMHO, reveals a lot more than perhaps was intended. To remain an insider one must never go after another insider, and if one does they'll quickly find themselves on the outside. Being on the "outside" doesn't get one any power, ergo, one must always show fealty to the insider position. From what I see she's taken those words to heart and of course Mr Obama got that point as soon as he hit office, if not long before, as your post shows rather nicely.

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Hawkfish's picture

@lizzyh7

Is an essay by C.S.Lewis.

In the passage I have just read from Tolstoy, the young second lieutenant Boris Dubretskoi discovers that there exist in the army two different systems or hierarchies. The one is printed in some little red book and anyone can easily read it up. It also remains constant. A general is always superior to a colonel, and a colonel to a captain. The other is not printed anywhere. Nor is it even a formally organised secret society with officers and rules which you would be told after you had been admitted. You are never formally and explicitly admitted by anyone. You discover gradually, in almost indefinable ways, that it exists and that you are outside it; and then later, perhaps, that you are inside it.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

enhydra lutris's picture

@snoopydawg

When we lash out at those who share our fundamental values because they have not met the criteria of every single item on our progressive "checklist,"

Besides maybe Barbara Lee, Bernie and Wellstone, who shares/shared our fundamental values? Biden? Obama? HRC? Mary Landrieu? Lieberman? Debbie Wasserman Schultz? DiFi?

I'm at a loss here

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

@enhydra lutris

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with being the slipping middle class that is burdened with debt, seeing subsidies and tax cuts go to the oligarchs, and that they have nothing but compassion for the proles you claim they disdain. Those woke folks are pounding the tweets for the 99%.
They have way more allegiance to their fellow 99%ers than to the Democratic party.

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gulfgal98's picture

@on the cusp is the realization of the American public of little control we have over the things that deeply affect our every day lives.

While a significant number of poor people and those of color already knew this fact, the vast majority of people who were firmly in the middle and lower working classes did not understand it until so many of blue collar, living wage jobs were either shipped overseas for cheap labor or were taken over by automation. In the meantime, the government has spent trillions of dollars on wasteful regime change wars while telling the American people that we cannot have the things that nearly every other developed nation provides for its citizens.

As a country, we have been impoverished and our middle and lower classes have been hollowed out while those at the top are doing better than ever. The Occupy movement helped shine a light on that fact and the American people are now becoming woke.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

ggersh's picture

@gulfgal98 We've become the land of the slave, home of the rich

https://wallstreetonparade.com/

As Fed Pumps $3 Trillion into Repo Market, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Practice Borrowing from the Fed’s Discount Window

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trump will be amerika's last president

What if the impeachment of tRumpolini is meant
to destroy the D party, makes sense doesn't it?

elections = tptb excuse for sayin ameriKa is a
democracy

Are you saying that pressing a candidate to state a policy position is "contrary to our best interests?"
To do otherwise is to vote for the unknown, giving the candidate the benefit of the doubt that they know what is best for the little people.
These candidates determine our lives, and how, and if, they are even lived.
Why would I not want to know what they want to do to me?

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Centaurea's picture

I consider this term, as it's popularly used nowadays, to apply to centrist Dems who are socially liberal and doing well financially. They include the pink pussy hat "Resistance" crowd.

As a progressive and a leftist, I don't identify with "woke". In fact, many of the "woke folks" accuse people like me of being Russian trolls and basement-dwelling Bernie Bros.

When the Democratic party starts using the language of that segment, well, a lot of people figure maybe our party isn't in it for us.

If by "your party" you mean the Democratic Party, they haven't been in it for you (and us here at C99) for several decades now.

In general, I'm confused about what you've written, and I think it's because it's not clear about whom you're referring to. I don't think I disagree with everything you've said, but I'm not sure, because I'm not exactly sure how to fit myself into your picture.

As an example, this would seem to be a contradiction in terms:

There is an entire "woke" side of the left that seemingly looks down their noses at the proletariat who works at Walmart and Amazon.

The political term "left" means pro-working class. How can someone who's pro-working class be against the working class?

Bernie is and has always been actively pro-working class. In fact, among his biggest supporters are rank-and-file employees of Walmart and Amazon. I haven't seen too many (well, none, actually) Bernie supporters dumping on the proletariat.

In your opening paragraph, you said this:

The part of the left that lives and breathes politics on twitter has pushed candidates to take stands on issues contrary to our best interests. That small subset of hobbyists has an outsized influence as they are posting and reposting all of the outrage de jour. Most candidates, their staff, and the media follow the same or similar twitter poster

If you could give specific examples of those tweeters, it might help your readers give a better response to your post.

In fact, I believe it might help if you could clarify whom you think Obama was talking about when he made his comments the other day.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea I thought it basically referred to those who have become aware of oligarchy, Captalism, the narrative control by Deep State, such as in the way Caitlin Johnstone uses the term.
I did not associate it at all with the centrists, but I do not follow Twitter, listen to broadcast news, go on FaceBook, so maybe it does mean other types of activists.
I appreciate you wading into the waters of centrist memes.

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Centaurea's picture

@on the cusp

a scary thought ... "wading into the waters of centrist memes." Yikes.

When they first started using that word "woke", I assumed that it just referred to people who were waking up to what's been happening over the past 40 years, as a lot of Bernie supporters have been doing. I like to think that I'm becoming more enlightened, so I thought that's what "woke" meant. That's the sense in which Caity Johnstone uses it.

Then I started noticing what the self-identified "woke" folks were saying and doing.

From what I can tell, the term "woke" originated in the black community during the Civil Rights movement, and in that context it was used recently by Black Lives Matter.

But then it seems to have been co-opted by the "social justice warrior" crowd. While many leftists are concerned with social justice issues, I don't see SJW itself as leftist.

Getting back to the main topic, I just don't think those "woke" folks, the SJWs, are who Obama was aiming his remarks toward.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea The meanings/implications of woke flew right past me.
In recent times, the only person I have read closely who uses that term is Caitlin.
Hard to keep up with co-option.

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Centaurea's picture

@on the cusp

We could have a big discussion on how, by whom, and for what reasons the term "left" has been co-opted and distorted, for instance.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea Especially when self-labeled lefties describe their policies as Reagan-era moderate Republican.
Labels just do not mean what they used to mean. They are the current meaning.

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Centaurea's picture

@on the cusp

always evolve over time. However, in this case, I have to think it's being done by deliberate manipulation, as a means to confuse We the People and get us to act against our own interests.

The neoliberal Dems - people like Nancy Pelosi and Neera Tanden - refer to themselves as "left" and "progressive". Of course, they are pro-oligarchy, pro-Wall Street, pro-MIC, and in the 1980s would have been considered politically center-right.

It's smoke and mirrors. It gets people to keep supporting the Dem establishment because they (the supporters) think the Dem party is still the party of FDR.

And by co-opting the term "left", it effectively marginalizes and shuts out the true left.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea The whole progressive, leftist, socialist, centrist, sjw, thing is just political unicorn chasing, that some magical stew of competing buzzwords in the right portions will win the day. The biggest under current that gets ignored is the average citizens economic well being. The higher the concern, the more likely to be labeled socialist or far left.

I agree about Obamacare, a huge tax on the near middle class to pay for the poor. For me I don't see why they just don't drop the age to 50 for medicare, and after a few years whittle away at the middle to cover more.

You're also right that the country is pretty much 50/50. We suffer from that, but the political and capitalist class seem to love it. It keeps us riled up, not much gets done to benefit us, but the upper %'ers always prosper. That includes our top politicians. Nobody ever went broke by being the president, in congress or on the supreme court.

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Centaurea's picture

@Snode

Did you might mean to reply to someone else's comment, rather than mine?

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea I can neither confirm nor deny I made a mistake. That's classified.

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janis b's picture

@Centaurea

for so clearly articulating what I associate with the current definition of 'woke'.

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mimi's picture

@Centaurea
and completely awoken or is it awaken about that (pardon my french) gawdawful "woke" label.

How about using conventional English words, like Socialists, Capitalists, Liberals and Democrats? Have mercy with the foreigners. I just imagined I had to try to explain to an average German who the "woke people" are. The thought alone caused me to think about suicide.

But then I thought I can't kill myself over a thingy no German would care about to begin with. That thought woke up my sense of getting back to normal and being with both feet in the real world.

I mean, is it correct to assume that a foreigner on this blog and in the United States are members of the 99 percent? I thought so, but now I get my doubts. I feel so 0.001 percent-ish
here right now.

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Centaurea's picture

@mimi
What a great idea. I hope the American psyche can find its way to doing that, real soon.

In the meantime, most of the US population seems to have been asleep at the wheel since the late 1970s. Some are finally rousing themselves, yawning and thinking about breakfast.

Some are still fast asleep.

Some are still fast asleep, but are dreaming that they're awake. I think they might be the most dangerous of them all. Ironically, I think a lot of the "woke" folks are in that category.

Yep, that might be a good definition of "woke". Asleep, but dreaming that they're awake.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

snoopydawg's picture

The part of the left that lives and breathes politics on twitter has pushed candidates to take stands on issues contrary to our best interests.

So you are saying that my wanting affordable health care is contrary to my best interests? I don't understand how anyone can say this. Not when thousands of us are dying every year because of it. As I have stated previously Obama himself once ran on single payer, but renegotiate it by selling us out to the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. During that time I think most democratic voters were also in favor of it. I would sure like to know why people changed their minds and are now saying that it would be bad for the country. This sure doesn't make any sense to me.

Kinda funny how Bernie has been trying to get that passed for years, but just because some people said something on Twitter we should just forget about it. Not sure what you thought when posting this, but it'd be nice if you addressed people's comments.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

janis b's picture

@snoopydawg

by this essay, and would appreciate clarification from the author. There are parts of ban nock's perspective that have invited responses and deserve expanding upon, I think?

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snoopydawg's picture

@janis b

If someone cares enough about what they write I'd think they would like to be part of the discussion. If not then I question what their point was in posting it here and especially after ggherh's excellent essay on this subject.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

you confused "the left" with "woke". In my world someone who is "woke" is a violent, hate filled monster, who claims to support women's and minority rights but only does so to justify their malice. Their belief is that white, heterosexual males are the absolute font of all evil and must be denied all human rights and anyone who disagrees must be shunned, denied employment, and even murdered. (a little over a year ago someone was swatted because of an accusation that he held an unacceptable opinion about comic books) In my world the term "progressive" was coined to differentiate the true left from the evil fundamentalists who co-opted the term "liberal".
That aside you make some important points. Achieving our goals will take much time and effort. We must not alienate people, and even more we must not allow the "woke" to alienate people against us.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

Shahryar's picture

"No we can't"

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lotlizard's picture

who are emancipated enough from the white man’s shackles of so-called “civility” and “respect” and “free speech” that they are not afraid to show the GOP-supporting students who’s in charge now.

https://www.thecollegefix.com/shock-video-aggressive-frenzied-mob-attack...

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