Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

When did Liberals become Whiners?

One wonders why liberals have hard times winning arguments…for me, it can be explained with an exchange I had with someone on OpenLeft today.

In my defense, I was there because I actually was having a good conversation with people on why the House appears to be giving up on a Medicare +5 option

Obama could and should have… (4.00 / 3)

appealed to those millions of small donors and voters who supported his mantra of hope and change to march on Washington in support of the version of reform he was willing to fight for.

It’s not like a minority of the public wants this.

Imagine what that may have done to influence those in Congress.

Instead, he did a few town hall meetings and acted behind the scenes, barely giving the signal or creating the momentum necessary to offset the opposition, some of which he actually partnered with.  I’m sure that send a clear message about his true intentions.

I kindly pointed out that OFA, Obama’s organizational arm, send me, and everyone on their lists, information about a protest being held on September 13th in Washington D.C, five days after the President’s speech to Congress. I decided, seeing as it was a Sunday and I’m unemployed, I’d hop a Greyhound bus at Port Authority and head to DC for the weekend and join in. I tried to get friends to come with me, but as it turns out, September 13th was the first New York Giants game of the season, against the Washington Redskins…priorities you see…and I went alone.

Turnout was pathetic, only a few hundred people…so I asked said commenter why he was not there.


You are right. I was not there. (0.00 / 0)

but a few thousand miles away.

But the March on Washington in 1963 drew 250,000.  Why was it successful?  Where is the community organizing prowess?  Perhaps it was mainly an ability to mobilize the committed in some caucus states in processes where a democratic deficit existed.

When, exactly, has President Obama framed the issue as a human right, one that people from red states, blue states, purple states, etc. should stand up for similar to what they did with civil rights?  Have not heard much of that.

Back as a candidate in October, 2008, according to Forbes:

The way the candidates responded to Tom Brokaw’s question on health care during this evening’s debate says a great deal about their philosophy on government.

Obama says health care should be considered a right, echoing the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.…

Again, have not heard much of that election claim once he was in office.  You fight for human rights if you really believe in them.

Sorry, I see this whole thing as a charade, where Obama just does not want to be seen losing.  Bad for the image.  Bad for his re-election if he cannot claim he got it done, irrespetive of the contents and who actually gets the most benefit.  So he will just go along.  He has not led a fight, in my opinion, to achieve this human right.

Shorter: “Oh, I was too far away to bother heading to Washington, but it’s Obama fault because he didn’t inspire me to trek to Washington since he didn’t say x and y, and he could’ve done that and it would’ve been like 1963.”

Ok, but JFK didn’t call for the march on Washington in 1963, in fact, it happened because JFK wasn’t doing enough to GET Civil Rights through Congress. So why do we need a President to order us to march and they didn’t?

More excuses.

I don’t get your point (0.00 / 0)

You asked what Obama could have done and I answered.

Maybe JFK was ignoring them back then.  It was a different time.  He was not going around the country holding town hall meetings, was he?  However, Obama professes he wants this, does he not?  Yet it seems he will take what he can get.  If you think Obama has done everything he can, fine.  I don’t think he has.  I think he knows he will get something to sign and then say he passed “reform.”

“It’s a different time” is the new easy way out of a losing argument on political history apparently.

So here was my, as of right now, final response;

A cop out (0.00 / 0)

“I wasn’t close enough to Washington to get there”

Find a way or shutup, 300,000 people got to Washington in 1963 when there wasn’t the transporation system we have today…but they got there…there was buses, I was on one, and I met people who came from fucking Oregon. All I hear from you is excuses “Obama didn’t call people to action” Well he did, “Oh, wah, Obama didn’t make a hard enough argument for me to be satisifed enough to get up and do something about fighting for healthcare. He didn’t say these words exactly. I’m just going to sulk” JFK was letting the Civil Rights Act DIE in Congress in 1963, it wasn’t even on his fucking radar and STILL 300,000 people showed up. No one said “oh, wah, I’m not wasting my time going to Washington when President Kennedy isn’t pushing legislation through Congress”


I’m tired of hearing liberal cop outs and excuses. It’s clear to me all you want to do is make excuses and place blame on people. Stop whining, it’s pathetic.

Maybe the reason why Civil Rights groups were more successfull in organizing is that they spent their time fighting and not whining and blaming. What would’ve happened if the likes of Dr. King and John Lewis decided “President Kennedy is not doing enough in my book to get civil rights passes so I’m not even gonna bother going to Washington to pressure our government to do something”

These people are not looking to pass healthcare, they’re just looking for excuses. Pathetic just about sums it up.


  1. Shaun Appleby

    But nothing is quite so black and white.  I sense disapprobation and disappointment among progressives who considered Obama an ’empty suit’ populist during the election, and that is predictable enough, but therein also lies much of the strength of potential grass-roots support for lobbying Congresspeople to support the best of all possible outcomes for the health care reform process we are clearly engaged in.

    It’s a tough call.  I would be much happier if half of the energy used criticising the executive was applied to the legislature, as you point out, but on the other hand it is probably time to mend fences and get on with it.

    We are on the cusp of a turning point, as the recent deliberations in the House and Senate indicate, and ‘hope’ is alive.  Perhaps we need to turn our collective attention elsewhere than mutual criticism.

    Personally the evidence seems conclusive that both Pelosi and Reid are ‘pushing the envelope’ of what is possible in the current climate of media muttering, public opinion and the Congress we have.  On the other hand the detractor’s argument that the Obama administration could come down more firmly in favour of one or another of these public option ‘options’ may have merit.

    I have my own views on this point, mostly relating to bad lessons we have learned from the other party’s culture, on the respective strengths and weaknesses of our respective parties and the importance of a progressive, pioneering legislature to Democrats as opposed to the lockstep ‘rubber stamping’ we are accustomed to in Republican administrations.  And I see this health care issue as a precursor to many other initiatives the Obama administration may undertake in the remainder of this term.

    My view is that if the Democrats can’t empower the legislature to take the lead on these measures there is not much we can ask of the executive to redress the balance.  On the other hand in this particular instance a firmer hand from the executive at a critical moment may be necessary to achieve the ‘best of all possible outcomes.’

    We are taking baby steps here at uniting the enourmous power inherent in the electorate, the netroots and our lower house.  It seems to me it’s time for a spring cleaning and a period of collaborative transition.

  2. Steve M

    the Democrats in general haven’t done enough to frame the issue in terms of human rights and gut-level arguments.  Instead you get all this wonky stuff about cost containment and so forth.

    Still, you’re absolutely right that “Obama hasn’t done enough to inspire me” is a cop out.

  3. When did Liberals Conservatives become Whiners?

    You are talking about people here. There is a lot of diversity of thought in this country, but some traits are universal, or nearly so. Complaining is one of those.

    Everybody complains about something. That may be a slight exaggeration, but not by much. Do you think there are more “tooth-gnashing naysayers” on the left than there are on the right? I don’t. Like I said, we’re talking about people.

    Look at the Right. “OMG!!!!1! Barry is going to talk to schoolkids!!! REVOLT!1!!!!” These people tape teabags to their heads, for pete’s sake. They are offended by Michelle Obama’s arms. They whine about people picking on Sarah Palin.  

    The Right is steeped in victimhood. Don’t forget, these are the people that brought us “THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS!”.

    One final point, you have a habit of bringing up the silliness and angst on the Left. Your main contention seems to be that this is a negative for the Left’s causes. If that is true, how much worse damage is your bringing attention to it causing?

    Yes, we have our share of loonies on the Left. One thing’s for sure. We don’t have a monopoly on them.  

  4. creamer

     If its “God given”, its defined at least in part by “Holy Books” with beliefs that vary by region and interpetation, or wholly defined by man, it would seem in the end we decide what rights are and they change and evolve over time.

     And while I tend to agree with Chris on if health care(access to) is really a right, I do think that if you characterize it as such your message is much clearer.(Somthing I think the GOP has excelled at.)

      I think a big problem/difference with todays culture is the 24 hour news cycle and the need to stay relevant for ratings and advertising. It seems to lead cable news to keep upping the ante, and IMHO leads the blogosphere to become more and more critical of whoever is in power.

     I mean once a cause becomes a business, when does business trump ideas. Does DKOS encourage rude, mean spirited commentary because Markos thinks it furthers political debate or because it increases “hits” and pads his pocket?  

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