Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

A Moose Memo "pony pwogwessives"


This is a comment turned into a diary in response to a comment:

You make a valid point, but I’m a bit bothered by some of these comments. I hope that the “pony pwogwessives” type comments are not too prevalent here


I am going to be as honest as I can here. At 63 and having been involved with Democratic politics and liberal activism either as an observer or participant since the late 60s. I was heavily involved in student activism against the Vietnam War. I was involved in the civil rights movement, worked for a women’s right to choose before Roe v Wade. And had a strong belief in gay rights since my days as a theater major and working in theater in the 60s and 70s. When LGBT’s are your close friends you quickly understand they are people deserving of your respect and the same rights.

I am going to tell you what I believe ( please notice this is my opinion and mine alone I do not presume to speak for all progressives let alone all Moose ).

Progressives, liberal, Democrats whatever label you choose to use, are very good at focussing on a single target when out of the White House. We tend not to be very good when we do gain the White House. The circular firing squads start  popping up right after the inauguration.

At the first sign that the Democratic President, I don’t care who it is, isn’t adhering to some progressive ideal the desertions from his or her camp begin and the verbal fist fights start amongst our own. Now some of this comes from the fact the Democrats really are a big tent party. You cannot invite the Hatfields and McCoys to the party and not expect some punches being thrown. I can live with this and I can understand it. What I do not get is the failure by some to look at the big picture. What I do not understand is the epistemic closure that is just as prevalent on the left as it is on the right.

Now lets talk about Progressives and Obama. First some things to keep in mind

1) The beginning of his election was the 2004 Democratic Convention speech. If you don’t remember it. I strongly suggest you go back and view it. This should have been the first sign to Progressives as to who and what motivated this man and who he was as a person.

If you don’t listen closely he sounds like the Progressive’s Progressive, but if you listen closely  you also hear and realize something else. You would have heard that he was someone who wanted to work with everybody to make this country better. Everybody not just Progressives or even Democrats. This should have been the signal that should he become President he was going to hold out his hand time after time no matter how many time it got slapped away. This should have been the clear signal that he was not a brawler.

2. He did not run as a Progressive. He ran as someone who desperately wanted to bring the American people together. Yes he had and does have progressive ideals, but ideals and workable policy are very different things and sometimes they bisect and sometime they do not.

3. He got nominated for what he represented, a real break from the past,more than any single policy position. Hell the differences between his policy positions and Hillary’s were almost non existent.

4. Then the Crash happened and we saw another side of Obama. While McCain was flapping his arms, suspending his campaign. Obama was staying calm going to Washington and basically running Bush’s meeting at the White House on what should be done. To many Obama became the President then and there. A month and a half before he was even elected and months before he would actual sit in the Oval Office. ( this may also be why so many think Obama signed TARP into law and not Bush )In other words McCain/Palin knew or should have known at that moment the election was over. Obama had won and nothing was going to change this fact. Progressives should have seen that his agreeing to the bail out/TARP as a solution meant that his ideals or ideology were not going to get in the way of saving a country from disaster.

OK as President. The minute he started making his appointments Progressives started going off the rails. Geithner, Summers, Bernanke OH MY. And here is where I part ways with Progressives. We are a capitalistic country. Period end of story get over it. We are a market based economy. Period end of story, get over it.  Obama did exactly what FDR did first. He saved the banks. And in order to save the banks he needed folks in place that understood the financial markets, knew Wall Street and knew how to talk to the Street. Did he make all the right policy choices? No. Then again neither did FDR if you actually go back and look at what FDR did year by year as opposed to  looking at his Presidency as a total. And certainly look at the first two years of it after the Depression was already two years old.

Hate the bankers or love them you cannot escape the fact that our economy requires them. Bust then up you say, make them smaller! They control too much of it! I am hard pressed not to agree with this sentiment, but I agreed with the sentiment not the policy at the time. Had Obama moved to break them up, actively punish them for what they did, most of which was sadly legal, the markets would have gone into complete melt-down. We needed stability not more turmoil. Progressive on the other hand seemed all too willing to say fuck em who cares. A President does not have this luxury.

Now lets talk Obama the leader or “weak” leader as so many on the left now like to claim. Let’s talk about Obama the negotiator or bad negotiator as so many on the left like to claim.

This meme started with the stimulus. It not enough! It’s too small. Where’s the WPA? etc etc etc. This meme was pounded by Krugman and quickly picked up by others. At the same time McConnoll had let it be know to all Republican members of Congress their game plan was going to be simple. NO NO NO NO NO NO to anything and everything. They had one goal and one goal only – one term! And this is when Progressives should have gotten Obama’s back instead of biting it. They should have realized who the real enemy of progressive values were and it wasn’t Obama. They didn’t, the circular firing squads were forming.

Then Healthcare reform. First, came the deal with the drug companies. Hate it if you must, but he took an enemy of reform off the field and got $80 million to help offset the Medicare Part D drug prescription plan thus reducing costs to seniors. Is it as good a negotiating prices? Maybe not, but it was a twofer and having one less entity spending millions fighting Healthcare reform was important.

Then came the Public Option. Obama didn’t fight for it! Really? The PO was was in the very first HCR bill that came out of the House. and it kept coming back. It was quickly realized that not only wouldn’t the Republicans go along with it, but a number of Democrats wouldn’t either. Not to mention good ole Joe Lieberman a necessary vote like it or not. All the bully pulpit pounding was not going to change this fact. So the choice was to say the hell with it because I cannot get everything or move the ball forward with a modified plan. Some Progressives started to actively and loudly say ALL OR NOTHING! KILL THE BILL lead by that Progressive standard bearer and Norquist hugging Jane Hamsher. Short sighted to say the least and down right in the words of RAHMMMMM: f’ing r – d. So
we ended up with the Mandate. Exactly what we would have gotten under Hillary. Call me shocked 🙂

And now let me relate a little story. I work in OFA with someone was an intern to Jean Shaheen during the healthcare fight. She recorded the calls letter and emails from constituents for or against. The activist on the right out worked progressives by a margin of two to one and this was true across The Hill not just Shaheen’s office. We were lucky to get any healthcare reform at all let alone the bill we ended up with. The right outworked the Progressives yet again.

Now were there mistakes made? You betcha. We/Obama allowed the messaging to get away from us. The right latched onto a few simple messages and pounded them. Our response was weak to say the least. Obama maybe shouldn’t have left so much of the writing of Healthcare reform to the Democrats in Congress, especially Blue Dog Dems. Thus making the whole process take too damn long and become too damn messy. This gave the Republicans way too much time to mount their attacks. And I also think the stretched out process allowed the Tea Party to really solidify. So yes, mistakes and big ones were made. Then again did Progressives show up at Town Halls to fight back? No they stood on the sidelines sniping on the blogs and mouth agape at the lies being thrown about as facts.

Now we come to just before the mid-terms and Obama drops the call to kill the Bush tax cuts. And the Progressives go nuclear. And here we have a classic example of Progressives screaming and not working. First House Democrats were absolutely petrified of letting the the tax cuts expire. They just were not going to do it before the mid-terms out of fear of loosing their seats. Progressives could have easily picked up the phones called these guys and said I’ll have your back, I’ll work my ass off to keep in the House. They didn’t. But the right did and in the end they lost and lost big.

Next we no longer had a majority in the Senate. So if Obama was going to keep a big promise before the mid-terms DADT. Get a lot of the unemployed kept on unemployment insurance heading into Christmas and get the START treat ratified a deal had to be cut. Gays in the military were happy, the LGBT community was overjoyed, more than a few unemployed folks could breath a sigh of relief that Christmas wouldn’t be totally miserable. Again Progressives should have gotten the President’s back. He did things things they supposedly believed in. Instead they focused on what he didn’t do. Focusing on the negative as opposed to the positive.

Reality by the mid-terms Obama had accomplished 85% percent of his agenda. Quite a feat for any President let alone a President faced with what Obama faced coming into office and a opposition party that was dead set on getting him thrown for a loss. And yet what did far too many Progressive focus on and scream and moan about? What he didn’t get done or how what he did get done wasn’t a Progressive’s wet dream.

So far do you get why some of might say “pony pwogwessives?” And I have even gotten into the budget battle or the debt ceiling fight where Obama was out numbered and fighting from a weakened defensive position and yet still managed to keep the Republicans from storming and over running the castle. The budget fight turned out to be in Obama’s favor once the numbers were actually run and closely looked at.

And the debt ceiling fight? If Boehner got 85% of what he wanted he wanted very little. The Republicans bought into ifs, and and maybes not actual hard numbers. The debt ceiling was pretty much passed as a clean bill, what Obama wanted in the first place. All the other stuff, the Super Committee, budget in the out years is pretty much meaningless since anything they do can easily be undone by the next Congress. However this will require folks to step away from their keyboards and actually work to get Democrats elected. Will they or will the signs that they have already given up the fight before it is joined hold up?

So in conclusion if I slam Progressives it isn’t for their ideals it is for their willingness not to really fight for those ideals. To depend on a single individual to do all their fighting for them. It is the very bad habit of winning elections and then thinking the job is over. Republicans sure as hell don’t, why do we?

I don’t think I have ever said this here, but  . . . flame away 🙂


  1. But this another awesome impassioned diary, Mr Fox. I’m going to have to have time to digest. You’ve brought all your history and activism to bear and really…. it’s like a wave of wisdom, passion and perspective.

    Thanks for this: I’ll read again and get back to you when others have responded.  

  2. To many Obama became the President then and there. A month and a half before he was even elected and months before he would actual sit in the Oval Office. ( this may also be why so many think Obama signed TARP into law and not Bush )

    I find this to be very true.  By mid-October, I knew he was going to win.  It wasn’t even close.  By 11 pm EST, all major news outlets were conceding the race to him.  That has never happened that I recall.  

    I don’t know what this election will look like but I do hope that whatever you call yourself, all of us, who care about this country, will take the time during the Republican campaign to do some grassroots organizing while they are off in their own bubble.  It is the optimal time to shore up support and to highlight just how wrong they are.  

  3. fogiv

    They say all foxes are slightly allergic to linoleum, but it’s cool to the paw – try it. They say my tail needs to be dry cleaned twice a month, but now it’s fully detachable – see? They say our tree may never grow back, but one day, something will. Yes, these crackles are made of synthetic goose and these giblets come from artificial squab and even these apples look fake – but at least they’ve got stars on them. I guess my point is, we’ll eat tonight, and we’ll eat together. And even in this not particularly flattering light, you are without a doubt the five and a half most wonderful wild animals I’ve ever met in my life. So let’s raise our boxes – to our survival.

    Keep on keepin’ on, Foxy. Well said. I’m shoulder to sholder with you, and together we face the future.

    Your Obt. Svt.,


  4. Moozmuse

    This is the kind of information that would get shouted down in that other place, the kind of diary I probably wouldn’t have bothered to go into in the first place to avoid the flame wars. Clear, concise and excising the bs with a sharp knife. Stellar.  

  5. …to match this diary. In the meantime I’m just going to steal this great response from Fogiv

    So let me expand here, and I’ll clarify my meaning with respect to Our Lady of the Perpetual Pony Pwogwessives.

    I refer here specifically to a readily identifiable subset of the internet left: the keyboard commandos who unflinchingly, and unfailingly position the perfect as the enemy of the good. I ‘discovered’ blogs in ’04, eased into dedicated lurker mode in about ’06, and started writing and commenting in ’07. In that time, I’ve come to despise magical thinking — largely because I used to suffer from that same malady.

    FTR: I place high value on constructive criticism. Key word: constructive. Criticism for it’s own sake, not so much. Criticism that lacks a fundamental understanding of policy, process, and/or possibility is something I have a difficult time tolerating. Criticism that veers wildly into personality or other destructive memes (e.g. Manchurian Candidate CT, corporate shillery, etc.), well…I consider that plain old fuckery — and I will heap scorn upon it. All day long. Some folks are able to don kid gloves, and/or tiptoe around these latter classes of critic — I am not one of them.

  6. trs

    I agree wholeheartedly. If you really listened, you knew he was a center-leaning coalition builder. That’s been his life. I met President Obama and his family in 2004 when he ran for his Senate seat. He did a bus tour through the part of Illinois I was living in at the time, and a friend of mine is the local state rep. He introduced me to the family. He’s never wavered from who he is.

    Do I wish he was more progressive: absolutely. However, I realize that progress comes in small steps. If you reach too far, too soon, you end up going backward. We can’t throw out the good in search of the perfect. If we do, we end up with what the Republicans are offering, and I think we all agree that would be the worst possible thing for this country.

  7. So in conclusion if I slam Progressives it isn’t for their ideals it is for their willingness not to really fight for those ideals. To depend on a single individual to do all their fighting for them. It is the very bad habit of winning elections and then thinking the job is over. Republicans sure as hell don’t, why do we?

  8. sricki

    But just so you know, that unicorn pic you have at the top? I totally had school folders with that exact pic on ’em.

  9. spacemanspiff

    … anything but what they believe themselves to be. I’ll keep making fun of frustrati and pony pwogwessives until they pry the keyboard from my cold hands. Seriously. I am to the left of most liberals on GOS (except for gun control, heh) and I although young I try to walk the walk instead of talking the talk (or blogging the blog). I go out of my way to fill what is empty. The glass isn’t half full or half empty I just have a bigger fucking glass. So yeah. While I understand why it might bother some peeps I don’t give a fuck. Seriously. This is a blog and if you put up your diaries or comments up to prove how big a progressive you are I have the right to mock you till my fingers are bleeding. I’m doing my part to provide help to those who need it most and I don’t need to prove my progressive credentials to anybody. I don’t live in a socialist/lefty society but I create a world around me that is. That’s what I do. I go out and do shit instead and come to blogs to learn and release some tension from real world activities.

    So fuck the frustrati and fuck pony pwogwessives and those who don’t like it can Fail me and see how much I give a fuck.

    Sorry about the curse words and rant but I felt like I had to make my point clear.

    p.s. Don’t Fierce this so these lame ass clowns who lurk (get a life losers) don’t use it against you somewhere else.

    p.s.s. fuck pony pwogwessives

  10. bubbanomics

    (1)  I felt that Obama gave a clear message that he was going to be a negotiator… I associate “change” with the full phrase “change the tone in Washington,” which I feel like I heard a gajillion (=10^(fuck me)) times.  That was the change he was advocating, I thought.  

    (2) Unfortunately for him, he ran into an unchangeable force in congress.  The NO-stradamuses of the GOP, whose vision of the future, as the diarist clearly states, was to make Obama a one-term president.  Individual senators on the D side saw their power become huge as the “filibuster proofers,” and there you go.  Hard to negotiate with two sides at once.

    (3) In spite of that, Obama made two solid SCOTUS appointments (imagine Sarah Palin’s pics… say hello to Justices Hannity and Cavuto), passed several solid pieces of legislation, all while enduring the most out-right disrespect a president has ever had to endure from Congress, much less a huge fraction of the populace.

    (4) Building anything takes way more planning, and way more slow, piece-by-piece work, than destroying something.  Watch a building being built.  Watch a controlled demolition.  Both require some planning, but the executions have totally different time scales and appearances in process.  And if you’ve ever had to deal with a bulding project… you’ve seen a foundation poured and left for weeks… framing carpentry that looks like it was put up by third graders who couldn’t figure out legos… drywall tape showing through spackle and paint…  30% of the budget spent on fixing shit you couldn’t afford to do right the first time… and somehow eventually getting a workable structure in the end.  And then there’s the maintenance.

    Thanks for the essay, jsfox.  u da man.

  11. Cedwyn

    We are a capitalistic country. Period end of story get over it. We are a market based economy. Period end of story, get over it.

    …We needed stability not more turmoil. Progressive on the other hand seemed all too willing to say fuck em who cares.

    obvious truths like these, or that investors don’t like unstable markets, etc., is dismissed as “the confidence fairy.”

    and it’s just like, huh?  if you had money to invest, what would you look for?

  12. lyta

    for perfectly articulating what I’ve thought and attempted to say since 2009 Jan 21.  Seems to me progressives would have learned in 2010 what sitting home in protest and continually sniping at President Obama leaves us with.  Thank you, saving to remind myself there are sane people out there when I forget.

  13. dakinishir

    Thanks for saying it so clearly and so well. Nails down my frustration for those who criticize, criticize, criticize. Like you, I find constructive criticism very useful. But let’s deal with the real world, shall we? Idealism is great for thinking and aspiring, but you gotta be pragmatic when it comes down to it.

    /pragmatic idealist

    you all have a great weekend, I’m going off line and out into the world.

  14. fogiv

    Tomorrow is Constitution Day!

    “The United States Constitution has withstood the test of time for more than two centuries as our Nation’s charter of government and the guarantor of our liberties. Signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, this founding document reflects our core values and enshrines the truths set forth in the Declaration of Independence, that we are each endowed with certain unalienable rights. …

    “To succeed, the democracy established in our Constitution requires the active participation of its citizenry. Each of us has a responsibility to learn about our Constitution …. By fulfilling civic duties, engaging government at the local, State, and Federal level, and volunteering in our communities, individual citizens can better our country and breathe life into the freedoms established in the Constitution.”

    Source: Barack Obama, Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, Constitution Week, 2009, A Proclamation by the President of the United States (Sept. 16, 2009).


  15. Progressive Witness

    You might have guessed that from my moniker.  😀  But hell, I knew going into it that I was to the left of Obama.  I gave him my full-throated support (and still do) with the clear knowledge that he would ultimately disappoint me, and more than once.  And with all that, I’m still really glad that he’s President right now.

    Wasn’t my first time at the rodeo, so I already knew there ain’t no magic ponies at a rodeo.

    But I’m also unconvinced that talk like “pony pwogwessives” is very helpful.  But I’m also a bloody hypocrite, inasmuch as I have, within the last year at GOS, used the phrase “a magical unicorn that farts rainbows.”

    But then I’m a Gemini.  We’re like that.  😀


  16. AaronInSanDiego

    I agree with much of what you say here. It’s important to realize the limitations of what can be achieved in the political system. If people want more radical change, say to a socialist economy, that can’t be achieved in Washington, in my view, at least not yet. There are a lot of steps that need to be taken, both in our culture and in our political system, before we get to such a point. And that’s assuming that the goal is one we all will want to get achieve, which is not the case at this point.

    Regarding the “pony pwogwessives” comment which triggered my initial comment, I think I have a better understanding now about the thinking behind that comment, so thanks to you, fogiv, and others for discussing this.

  17. DTOzone

    that had the crash happened six months earlier, Hillary would have been president, had it happened a year earlier, neither would have been.

  18. had a lot to do with his future success. But I think the most important and best-remembered part of the speech had nothing to do with liberalism, progressivism, or any other ism. It was what he said around 12 minutes into the speech that mattered most.

    Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

    Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.

    There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.

    The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

    We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.

    There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

    We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

  19. mint julep

    maybe because on ‘the other blog’ it’s used as dismissing any critics of the President…just sayin’.

    And yes, I’m a critic and, in my opinion, he caters too much to the right. His speeches are always great and I’m in full agreement, but then…the opposite what he talked about happens. And that is where I have a big problem with him. Also, some of his appointments are absolutely offensive to me and NO, I don’t have to get over it.

    As I said It’s my opinion so I’m going to slip out of this diary/moose musing quietly.

    I still like it here even if y’all don’t agree with me.

  20. American in Chiang Mai

    of analysis.

    I’m not big on calling names. Heck, I don’t even use stupid names to insult the right. “Rethuglicans” even rubs me the wrong way, maybe because I’m the lone black sheep liberal in my family.  I was taught to hate the actions not the person, or something, and somehow name-calling seems to shut down dialogue — maybe not even with the ridiculous person you’re aiming it at, but with others who might have been on the sidelines and otherwise inclined to agree.

    Sorry.  I sound like the 50 year old mom, raised in a very Christian home, but now much more inclined to follow Buddhist practice to the extent I’m able, that I am.  I’m not criticizing others who are different (and I will confess to laughing at a particularly witty line even if it’s mean).

    But if I can agree with you 1000% otherwise.  And particularly on the part about how we absolutely can NOT get outworked by the right again!

  21. sricki

    I have avoided really responding to it all day (though I did use it as an opportunity to talk about unicorns).

    Problem is, I’m really torn. I kind of agree and disagree with both sides. I don’t consider myself a “pony progressive,” but have I lost my temper and freaked out about something Obama did or didn’t do? Yeah sure. And that’s been going on since before he was president. Even after throwing Obama my full support after the primaries, I wrote a pretty scathing diary about his stance on FISA over on MyDD. (I got harassed and called a PUMA for that one, if I remember correctly.)

    Maybe I’m a little prone to shrieking at times. I try to keep a pretty even tone on the blogs these days, but most longtime Moose have seen a poorly-thought-out temper tantrum on my part at some point or another. I know some of you Moose have heard more of my anger with the president during private emails/chats — I don’t tend to publicize it these days.

    Deep down, I’m probably a pony progressive whose feet are kept on the ground by THIS PLACE. If I only hung out on other blogs, I strongly suspect I’d be hollering and complaining all the time. My good friendships with smart, grounded people HERE keep my head on my shoulders. By nature, I get caught up in that sort of “pony progressive” mentality sometimes and get swept away with the prospects of “causes” and “ideals.”

    And I GET it — the desire for everything to be as it “should” be. I GET wanting to prosecute members of the previous administration for torture. I GET being totally pissed about the healthcare reform measures Obama accomplished “not being enough.” I GOT people’s frustration with DADT not being dealt with “OMFG RIGHT NOW!!!” I GET wanting a bigger/better stimulus. I GET wanting Obama to somehow magically destroy the Republicans and never compromise on issues that matter to me despite their majority in the House.

    I don’t rec diaries on other sites that are hateful toward the president — but have rec’d plenty of diaries which were very critical of him and very angry/disillusioned. Because I do understand how those people feel.

    I also GET, when thinking clearly, that those things that they (we) most fervently want aren’t always realistic or practical. I understand that politics is not fantasy land — it’s a battlefield, and you have to forfeit a few battles… or take a lot of casualties… to ultimately accomplish what you need to accomplish. Heh, and on a personal level, I really dig Barack Obama.

    Really, I agree with most everything you’ve said in this diary, jsfox.

    And I too disapprove of the constant bashing of the president by some people on the left. At the same time, it irritates me when some people can’t acknowledge that he’s ever done anything that someone might have a right to be upset about (not sayin’ this is what you personally are sayin’, but it’s a mindset out there too — that anyone who criticizes the president is KNEECAPPING him).

    Basically, extremes on both sides get on my nerves.

    But I agree with both sides, to some extent.

    So admittedly… I kind of hate the phrase “pony progressive.” It’s disdainful… mocking… and yes, I understand that sometimes a bit of sarcastic, sardonic humor gets the point across efficiently. I still tend to think that disdain and mockery are things which should be reserved for trolls. And most “pony progressives” are not, in my mind, the same thing as “purity trolls.” Most of them are just frustrated people who want their country to be a better place. Maybe they’re not going about it in the way I choose, but I understand where they’re coming from even when I don’t think their tactics are entirely productive. But most of them — at their core — are just like other Dems/liberals/progressives: People who want the best for this country and all the people in it. Do I think they sometimes get lost in the drama, hysteria, and intrigue of it all? Sure, it happens — to a lot of people. On both “sides,” people can take it to extremes.

    Ideologically… I can be a bit puritanical and “extreme” at times. And sometimes I do a poor job of “fighting” for those ideals. I’m probably a lot closer to being a PP (heh) than most Moose. Hm, maybe any longtime moose, actually. So I’m grateful to this place — both the blog itself, and my friends here — for keeping my feet on the ground.

    But I still hate liberal/progressive “bashing” as a rule.

    This diary is an excellent analysis though, jsfox. Thank you for posting it.

    Sorry for the length of that ramble…

  22. smileycreek

    [said in the drawling accent of an old family friend which conveys a laconic mixture of astonishment, awe, and amusement tinged with envy.  No emoticon can do the expression justice.] Also I’m posting this before reading any other comments first, so scrape me up off the bottom of the pile when you’re done.

    This memo perfectly captures the conversations I’ve been trying to have ever since Obama showed up on the scene.  It transcends the bot-versus-basher debates with clear-eyed perspective.

    I may ramble.

    I promised everyone I’d worked with in OFA, every friend, every family member, everyone who’d voted for Obama that within 6 months of Obama’s inauguration everyone would be furious with him, with me likely included. (As it turns out I was peeved and irked and miffed and huffed more than a few times, but never really angry.  You don’t want to see me angry.)  Six months? Feh! You laid out the timeline perfectly. So many, and not just progressives, gave up on Obama before he finished swearing the oath of office.  The second time.

    Just this morning I listened to a formerly enthralled supporter talk about her current disappointment with the change that never came about, with the end of the American empire (good riddance I refrained from muttering), and with her notion she might just up and vote for Ron Paul.  A few brief questions showed she knows nothing of Ron Paul’s stance towards women, among other things. I suggested she do a little more research lest she be similarly blindsided by disappointment with how he might behave in office.

    People! Your vote for a President is not a free ticket to a four-year bitch-fest!

    Well, I have this President’s back. He’s mine, I voted for him, and I intend to keep him. I write him and his Democratic allies emails and letters I assume no one reads but I do it anyway and then I call their offices on round two. I’ve campaigned full-on against my tenaciously leech-like teabagging congresscritter Wally Herger (Can I get a go-to-hell, Wally?), and will do every bit as much phone-banking and money-throwing in this election as I did in the last one, which was considerable.  OFA is a time-suck.  No door-knocking, though; you never know which rural home around here hosts the latest shiny new meth lab and their pit bulls are meaner than Darryl Issa.

    Awesome diary/post/memo/history.  It makes me feel like I wasn’t the only one paying attention the last few years, or as if the only other human being I can have this particular conversation with is the ever-patient mrcreek.

    Damn you write fine.

  23. smileycreek

    on the GOS by JanF (called I Still Get Goosebumps) and it did not turn into a food fight.

    The new civility reigned.

    The one chronic dick who limped in and concern-trolled was pointedly ignored and didn’t collect a single Rec, which is as it should be.

    I believe she was inspired by my linking to this diary in J Town.

  24. Chacounne

    I don’t think name-calling is effective, whether calling someone a “pony pwogwessive” or something else. All it does it get the back up of the person who you theoretically want to win over to your point of view and make them defensive.

    Second of all,

    I knew that I would have to push the President on torture and accountability, and I was and am prepared to keep doing that, no matter who is president until I no longer have breath in my body; what I didn’t believe in my wildest nightmares was that the President, this president, would have a totured child prosecuted for war crimes, the first time it has been done since WWII. It was ultimately the President’s decision to prosecute Omar Khar and to charge him with those crimes. Omar has now spent a third of his life in Guantanamo. He has spent almost the last year in solitary confinement. Yes, there are many people who are responsible for Omar being where he is, but among them is certainly the President. The President had the power to do the right thing, and chose not to.

            Standing for justice and accountability,

                          For Dan,


    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter is inflicting it on whom.

  25. Actbriniel

    It amazed me to watch people basically turn on the President before the end of his first month in office.  People clearly projected their own stand onto the President, because if they had truly been listening to him then they would not have been surprised at his reaching across the aisle.

    I think that the reason President Obama has remained popular personally despite the bad news all around in the economy is that people respect his measured responses and his desire to work together with others to what he feels will benefit the country as a whole rather than just to listen to one side.

    Do I agree with everything he has done?  No, but I will defend him and respect him for what he is trying to accomplish in the face of what many would consider insurmountable odds.

    Tipped & Rec’d 🙂

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