Oy, Oy, Oy

David Dayen from Firedog Lake tweeted this the other day, reacting to the president's press conference:

Barack Obama: never angrier than when being denied the chance to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

It's really just self satire anymore. Sad and ridiculous. And no -- the president doesn't generally endorse the idea of cutting Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits. In fact, the president's healthcare reform law many firebaggers wanted to kill actually expanded Medicaid, in particular, to 133 percent of the FPL, allowing hundreds of thousands of Americans to receive affordable healthcare. Why was Dayen's boss opposed to expanding Medicaid?

  • nicole

    It boggles my mind how Firebagger types come to this blog and think they know it all.

    They think we’re stupid rubes or children who simply fail to understand this president, and his purported lack of progressive attributes.

    They insult us, laugh at us, behave in a manner one would expect of an enemy or a right winger, yet, they are quick to jump when we respond in kind.

    No reasonable explanation suits them. I often wonder if they even bother to read comments that attempt to explain our reasoning.

    President Obama will never win their favor because they have no understanding of who he is, nor any patience or understanding for pragmatism, or living to stand and fight another day.

    They evidently refuse to read history. If they would do so, they would know, as we do, that Pres. Obama is a strong progressive who is also a pragmatist. And that sometimes, pragmatism is required to avoid certain disaster.

    Firebaggers are like truculent, spoiled children. Determined to have their way no matter what the cost. Many of them likely voted for Nader in 2000 and 2004, or voted for Nader in 2000 and sat out the election in 2004.

    Most of them see Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hamsher, et al, as progressive heros, this, despite the fact that they are most obviously, purely opportunists.

    Not one of them that I have ever come across, (and I used to waste my time trying to change their minds on HuffPost, until I finally realized it was fruitless. Oh, and by the way, Hamsher used to continually delete my posts on HP, despite the fact that I made an effort to be reasonably respectful) has any interest in any opinion other than their own. {therein lies one of the big reasons for our disdain for you)

    Oh hell. I’m already bored. I’ll stop now with this piece of advice. If you don’t like our POV, go elsewhere. Like to FDL. Unless, of course, you intend simply to act as trolls. Even I don’t do that.

  • MarshallLucky

    “Doesn’t generally endorse the idea…”

    Oh wow, what a rousing defense of the programs that are the heart and soul of the democratic platform. The last great bastions of progressive legislation in this country, and our Democratic President “doesn’t generally endorse the idea” of cutting them.

    Well thank fuck for that.

    • ranger11

      Thank you Mr. Lucky you big, strong muthaphucka!

    • incredulous72

      You better “thank fuck for that.”

      If it wasn’t for this President, the programs that are at the heart of the democratic platform would now be completely gutted by the GOP, so yeah, you should be thankful.

      And if we don’t support this President fully and get more progressive legislators in Congress, we will continue to have these same problems going forward, even if we get the President re-elected. It’s time people start being honest about what the real problems are in this country and stop throwing a tantrum because all of their problems are not magically solved yet by “Santa Obama”. He gave up his legislating duties when he became President. There are three separate and equal bodies within this government; the President is not a dictator and the Democrats in the Senate need to get on the band wagon and start protecting this country just as the President’s agenda wants to do but can’t because of political obstructionists, aka THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!

      And I didn’t say anything about Democrats in the House because when we did hold the majority, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, passed over 400 bills in her House that were about improving the economy and moving this country forward. All of those bills died in Senate limbo.

  • mrbrink

    And furthermore, @Josh Dobbin, let’s just take a look at the gripes from a couple other key policy shifts signed by the president.

    I’m just gonna keep reposting this shit to save time.


    The gripe: “No public option!”

    That’s it. No more thought or inspection required. There’s no “public option” so that means no deal! Boo!

    When in fact, the A.C.A. established the foundation for the inevitable Medicare-for-all with heavy investments directed toward an improved healthcare infrastructure. Record keeping, information sharing, new clinics, delivery, inclusiveness– framework for Medicare for all if you were to follow it through to its ideological conclusion. And not only that, the A.C.A. phases out the Republican model for Medicare– Medicare Advantage– saving billions in automatic payments into a for-profit system and saving Medicare, a liberal staple– from a trajectory of complete for-profit absorption and complete government subsidization. And not only that, it declared healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Ending sadistic practices of rescission and denial on the basis of pre-existing conditions. I’m under-selling this “Big F-ing deal.”

    So are you!

    Same thing as “”pre-existing conditions” is the equivalent of justifying the Iraq War?”

    Clap harder! Dance, too!

    Financial reform, AKA, “Dodd-Frank.”

    The Gripe: The banks are still too big to fail!” Boo!

    That’s true, but if progressives can’t keep the momentum going long enough to keep the Republican party out of power for more than an election cycle, how the hell are we going to break up the banks?

    That didn’t get done this time, but you know what did?

    Derivatives reform and regulation. The bill legislated derivatives– a Wallstreet degenerate gambling operation and a key factor in the collapse of the economy– to be traded openly, transparently, through a clearinghouse. That means, if companies like Goldman Sachs are selling mortgage backed securities to like, say, the California’s public employees’ retirement system “who bought $64.4 million in mortgage-backed securities in 2007″ and who are no doubt being punished by right wing state legislators for Wallstreet’s malfeasance(who were rewarded by the Bush administration and Hank Paulson with a one page application for bailout funds still wet with John Boehner’s tears), they would be able to see if the Derivatives were being manipulated to basically steal from the pension funds, or manipulated to “destroy the country of Greece,” for instance.

    Not only that, but derivatives reform essentially forces commercial banks to break themselves up a bit, while limiting the secrecy of derivative speculation, or naked credit default swaps.

    Leo Gerard points to NPR’s Planet Money for an explanation of naked credit default swaps:

    “it’s like buying insurance on your neighbor’s house. The buyer of that policy has a vested interest in your home burning down. And the more “derivative insurance” speculators buy, the greater the interest in your home’s demise.”

    This includes an 82% increase in funding and the hiring of additional employees at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission who would be regulating market speculation in oil and other manipulated commodities that have led to food and gas prices soaring beyond the dictate of supply and demand.

    But not only that, Financial reform created the Consumer Protection Agency with President Obama nominating Elizabeth Warren as it’s top dog.

    These are all progressive policy advances, currently being undermined by right wing republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate, but these are progressive maneuvers nevertheless, and if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re either ignorant, or goddamn liars.

    And the president using an inside voice in the midst of “you lie!”/”Just like Bush!”screeching lunatics is not “weak.”

    It’s how people, but especially world leaders, are supposed to communicate in civilized society.

    • jjasonham

      On fiyah.

      • nicole

        I love it when mrbrink gets mad. :)

    • Sean Richardson

      “And the president using an inside voice in the midst of “you lie!”/”Just like Bush!”screeching lunatics is not “weak.””

      What about when he uses the inside voice to say, “Okay, here you go” to the Repubs?

  • Billy Delyon

    Its pretty sad whats happened to the firedog lake folks, I used to read there everyday, now I just wait for the link to the next fucked up thing they’ve said about the president…

    • Scopedog

      Talk about the gang that couldn’t shoot straight….

      The same fate seems to have befallen the site Smirking Chimp, too.

  • BarcaWis

    Interestingly, Bernie Sanders voted against closing Guantanamo. But because I have some grasp of political realities, I don’t consider that a reason to dismiss him entirely.

    • BarcaWis

      Uh oh, Bernie’s not totally pure – better primary him asap! /snark

      • Joe VerValin

        If I remember correctly, didn’t Jane threaten to do just that during the healthcare debate?

        • BarcaWis

          Yep, you’re right. It really does give credence to the theory that she’s a GOP operative, when you look at it all. Of course, she’s probably just your usual grifter, riding the manufactured outrage and making some money.

          • incredulous72

            I say she’s both.

  • Josh Dobbin

    Which is to say, when you find yourself saying, “FUCK BERNIE SANDERS!” you really might want to reconsider your givens.

    • mrbrink

      See, that right there. No one said, “”FUCK BERNIE SANDERS!”

      You did, trying to rewrite the very fucking words in this very thread!

      Neat trick.

      That’s how you fool foolish minds.

      • Josh Dobbin

        I wasn’t trying to jedi-mind trick anyone. I was summarizing, in the blog way of saying “shorter [this person’s name].

        I’m sure that you meant “is spewing again” in the most non-“fuck Bernie Sanders” way possible.

        • nicole

          You are here to cause trouble. That’s what you do. It’s what you’ve done here every time you posted.
          Fine. Have your fun. But kindly refrain from putting words in my mouth. If I had meant to say “fuck Bernie Sanders”, I would have said it. I’m not shy, and I don’t post for fun.

          I happen to believe that Bernie Sanders is a good man who clearly is unaware of exactly what the stakes are. Period. He is not an opportunist. Nor is Krugman. They have my respect. That does not mean I agree with them.

          • mrbrink

            “If I had meant to say “fuck Bernie Sanders”, I would have said it. I’m not shy, and I don’t post for fun.”

            Ha ha. Love it.

            I can vouch for that!

          • MarshallLucky

            Bernie Sanders, who has served in the legislative branch for over twenty years and has been a modal of progressive dissent and courage for that entire time, “clearly is unaware of exactly what the stakes are.”

            Give me a fucking break. He understands United States politics better than anyone on this blog ever has or ever will. It’s his life you see, not his fucking hobby.

          • nicole

            He does not see the patent evil emanating from the Right. He does not understand that if we play those games this time, if we primary this president, we will be handing the country to a batshit crazy Republican who will literally turn it in to a third world country.

            It may be due to his age, or to the fact that he lives in a bubble. And, hey, I know a lot about bubbles because I spent much of my life in one, so give me a fucking break.

          • MarshallLucky

            So now Bernie Sanders is out of touch and senile because he doesn’t share your maniacal, pants-shitting terror of the right. Because he’s not willing to throw away all his principles in the name of fear.

            Got it.

          • nicole

            In reply to Mr. Lucky:

            you are as big an idiot, and as unconcerned about progress, as is your friend, Josh.

            gah. You’re a waste of time who doesn’t see or care to see, nuance.

          • ranger11

            They’re all in a bubble. It’s like they never left a college classroom. Everything is echo chambers, for the left and the right.

        • jjasonham

          It’s not summarizing if you inject your meaning into it. That shit wouldn’t work if you were writing a book report, and it doesn’t work in the real world.

        • mike

          I hear ya Josh, and frankly, I don’t think some of the posters here are going to look at anything you say objectively. Their 1st reaction is to attack the messenger and call you a troll. Ashby told someone to ‘eat shit’ (his 1st line) in comments the other day. The writer may indeed have been a troll, who knows? But wasn’t it Bob C. himself who once talked about the ‘sides’ / the ‘team’ and how unproductive it is to engage in that sort of reactionary adversarial discourse? Many of us want the same results, we just differ on how to get there. Your list also could have included Frank Rich, Keith, and again, your point to include Sen. Sanders was telling. Here’s a champion of the middle class for decades, why can’t he disagree with the President without being labeled?

          On to the real question I wanted to pose: what’s Bob’s threshold (or some of the regulars here) for constructive criticism of this President? What’s the button-pushing issue? [ending wars, restoring civil liberties are mine]. When does Bob say, ‘ya know what, “no” that is not acceptable of a Democratic President’, of any President? Public option, Social safety net, pick an issue, and let us know when enough is enough. Thanks,

      • MarshallLucky

        Oh come on, you’re not fooling anyone. It’s no secret that most of the vocal posters on this blog are reflexively hostile to anyone who offers serious criticism of the President, including at one time or another most of the people on Josh’s list.

        • ranger11

          Ooh you scare me with that big gun. Save me progressive hero of the West.

          • MarshallLucky

            What’s wrong ranger, you leave your badge at home?

          • mike

            Isn’t it amazing too, how matter-of-factly the defense mechanism takes the form of, ‘random blogger is right, sitting US Senator doesn’t understand.’ Even presuming the non-believers are all part of the problem, where’s her solution?

          • ranger11

            You took it from me obscure internet “progressive” tough guy.

  • nicole

    Also. Bernie Sanders is spewing again.

    I think one of the reasons the president has been able to move so far to the right is that there is no primary opposition to him and I think it would do this country a good deal of service if people started thinking about candidates out there to begin contrasting what is a progressive agenda as opposed to what Obama is doing.

    • staci

      Well, considering that quote, why won’t Sanders throw his hat in the ring? Jeez, and people blame Obama for not pushing a more progressive agenda. Hell, his own “team” is against him.

    • Josh Dobbin

      So what’s the full enemies list?

      So far I count Bernie Sanders, Paul Krugman, Henry Waxman, Elizabeth Drew, Barney Frank, Howard Dean, Rachel Maddow, Cenk Uygar…

      In the binary “You’re with us or agin’ us” world of the comments here, where there is either sensible pragmatism or FIREBAGGER, who is still in the “good democrats” circle?

      Are good democrats are… like Tim Geithner and Larry Summers?

      I’m genuinely confused.

      • JMAshby

        Stop projecting. There is no “enemy list.”

        And thanks for admitting that pragmatists are sensible.

      • nicole

        Ya know, 87.5% of the people you mentioned were not mentioned by myself.

        Find someone else to play.

        • Josh Dobbin

          Waxman has expressed how he wanted to know if Obama is going to cave, he should tell us now. Krugman has been plainspoken in his disappointment with the half-assed, objectively incompetent ways the president has allowed arguments to be framed and how disappointed he is in almost every respect. Barney Frank has talked about how Obama does not have the stomach to fight for things.

          What I’m saying is that your use of the word “firebagger” (and even stuff like “rethuglican”; I’m no fan of any republican out there, but in the same way that I find it shitty when they say “democrat party” as a RAT in-joke, I think those kind of terms are just unhelpful) is dehumanizing in the way that Dave Neiwart talks about the process of dehumanizing one’s opposition. It is ugly and counterproductive.

          But my larger point is, at what point is JUST CLAP HARDER, YOU DICKS! a failing strategy?

          I’m not a disgruntled Hilary supporter. I’ve got a houseful of Obama 2008 stuff. I’m stickered up the wazoo. I’ve got my KITCHEN CABINET MEMBER ‘fridge sticker. I phone banked and registered voters. I’m really NOT the enemy here. What I am is continually disappointed in a man who ran on being transformative and who has consistently delivered hobbled versions of things that he helped hobble from the outset, just to get them in the DONE pile.

          I don’t know precisely where to go with this disappointment, as the binary choice is between FRIGGIN LUNATICS or a weak, ineffective leader. I guess there is no choice, but it certainly isn’t something I’m happy about. Being smart (which he is) isn’t enough. My president is not someone I’m confident in to actually fight against bad ideas and champion good ones. That health-care reform, which was so long in the coming, got knocked down, after such capital spent, to “pre-existing conditions” is the equivalent of justifying the Iraq War because, hey! They got Saddam.

          Although David Broder is dead, his spirit lives on, as the president seems to be motivated to make his ghost happy, and that makes me immensely sad.

          But you know, you can dismiss all of this as merely “firebag trolling.” And dismiss Henry Waxman, and the New York Review of Books, and Paul Krugman and who ever else, because they’re all just GOP operatives.

          We should all just clap harder.

          • mrbrink

            Those are all character attacks, Josh.

            Unconvincing, whomever utters them, whether caught in moments of frustration or otherwise.

            Clap harder? Fuck, clap a little!

            It’s alright. I give you permission. It’s easy, really.

            I fully recommend it in the shadow of that crude character composite sketch of the president that you clipped and displayed like a serial killer’s magazine collage.

    • mrbrink

      “move so far to the right?”


      We’ve seen the most progressive legislation signed under this president than any in modern history, but If everyone would do exactly what the president has proposed throughout this term, rather than fighting him and mischaracterizing him to an early political grave, we’d be in really great shape as a country– But it wouldn’t be democracy.

      I think too many people have stopped listening to the president’s stated goals and agenda and instead tune to pundits for the excerpted cheat sheet translation.

      Healthcare reform? Financial reform? Don’t Ask Don’t tell? On and on.

      These are liberal policies, at least they used to be, right? signed through unprecedented duress of the filibuster, inherited wars, inherited debt, inflamed religious extremism, -6.8% GDP, Citizen’s United, Joe Lieberman, corporate owned courts, natural and man made disasters, and nearly 60 million shit kickers who voted for Sarah Palin and John McCain to get us through it all… and then voted to elect an emotional lying wreck like John fucking Boehner Speaker of The House of the free world to check this very rational president!

      With so called progressive activists calling for killing the healthcare bill, or calling financial reform “toothless” ad nauseam, or brushing off DADT as blah blah blah no big deal, it’s no wonder it looks like things are moving backwards, or “just like Bush.”

      It’s well lubed and thoroughly medicated outrage porn.

      But it’s difficult to argue with Senator Sanders– To look him straight in the eyes and tell him why statements like this actually depress Democratic party voter turnout while damaging the liberal agenda and which Freakdoglake hipster-frauds feign, and fail, to protect.

      You want progressive results? Check the president’s distinguished signature list.

      You won’t find a better, more productive progressive in America, including Senator Sanders.

      • nicole

        Well said, Brink.

      • Scopedog

        Brink, you nailed it. Spot on, man, spot on.

      • jjasonham

        You’ve said it.

        It was so spot on, in fact, I had to credit you and share it on another site.

      • MarshallLucky

        Well of course it’s hard to look him in the eyes, because he actually understands how ideological politics work in this country.

        He understands that the only incremental political change comes from cohort replacement, not legislation, that all the progressive institutions that we take for granted and that are now being meaninglessly frittered away by the thoroughly-compromised Democratic party were rammed through by savage legislative arm-twisting, naked class warfare and liberal use of the bully pulpit, not by polite negotiation and compromise. Rammed through, I should note, by real leaders who understood that there is no such thing as nonideological or pragmatic politics in America, that every piece of legislation is a a maneuver in the vast ideological battle that has been raging for most if not all of our country’s history. Leaders who, I should also note, were mercilessly harassed and pushed by a left wing that refused to accept half-measures and meaningless party-favor legislation.

        Bernie Sanders knows that pushing for progressive legislation and true change means going to war, engaging in no-holds-barred political combat and very possibly sacrificing your political career. Half-assed measures do nothing. Compromise accomplishes nothing, because we are already on the defensive in every meaningful way. The right has held sway over the national discourse for the last thirty years, and until that changes NOTHING Obama does will matter in the long run, however “progressive” it might seem at face value.

        Changing that conversation takes risk and courage and huge political sacrifice, and a willingness to look the other party in the eye and say “you sir are wrong, your ideas are wrong, and I use every dirty trick I know, every unfair tactic, every ungentlemanly piece of rhetoric to grind you and your party into the dirt. Because I’m fighting for the soul of America.”

        It’s called playing the long game. The Republicans have been playing it masterfully for the last thirty years. That’s why they’re accomplishing all their ideological goals right now while the President and his followers crow about meaningless tactical “victories” that only undermine our position further.

        Jesus Christ, this is all so fucking basic.

        • mrbrink

          “That’s why they’re accomplishing all their ideological goals right now while the President and his followers crow about meaningless tactical “victories” that only undermine our position further.”

          ha ha ha.

          Their only “accomplishments” are happening at the state level and it’s backfiring from Florida to New Jersey to Wisconsin.

          Meanwhile, the president is kicking some ass at the federal level procuring key victories in policy– from culture war to economic justice– for the American people.

          Your eyewitness character composite sketch of the president looks like this:


          “That’s the man who stole my hope and fondled my sensibilities!”

          “Get him!”

          You’re a terrible witness.

          • nicole

            mrbrink, I love you.

          • MarshallLucky

            Wow, the rebuttal equivalent of “you’re a poo poo head.” Why did I expect anything else?

            Here’s a little pearl for you though: if the left’s main strategy is to concede as much ground as possible to the Republicans and then wait for them to slip up, then WE’RE LOSING.

            See, you seem to think that the American people are going to realize the Republicans are all nuts and then choose the Democrats as the default option because of these political crises in the states and in Washington. It doesn’t work like that. The American people, at most, will blame individual politicians (like Walker, etc) and may even recall, but that’s not going to translate to shit on the national level. The average American doesn’t look at the shitstorm in Washington and see mature Obama schooling bad Republicans, he sees a bunch of mealy-mouthed politicians who can’t even manage to keep the country running at a basic level. Meanwhile his company is laying off workers left and right, his union is too weak to protect him, his brother has been out of work and living in his basement for two years and his kid’s college tuition is going through the roof. That guy isn’t going to hate the Republicans, Brink. He’s going to hate the GOVERNMENT.

            Which means that the Republicans were right about government being the problem. Which means they’re winning. That’s the beauty of the system they’ve spent thirty years building – they can literally fuck up seven ways from Sunday and it only reenforces the central premise that strengthens them.

          • incredulous72

            Essentially you’re talking about an uninformed American. There are many of them out there, so your theory regarding President Obama governing “more left” would not work anyway because that uninformed American would still see the same thing, a government not working. Nine times out of ten those same uninformed Americans you speak of are not even going to the polls to vote because they’re so fed up with the government “not working.”

            President Obama is going for those that strive to be more informed, the ones that do pay attention and go to the polls and vote; that would be Independents. Democrats vote and usually vote Democrat no matter what. It is the Independent votes that he is courting because those are the votes that will get him re-elected (especially considering that the “far left” is doing a bang up job of trying to primary him with someone, anyone that would be fool enough to try it).

            If you think President Obama is having a hard time with the republican party now and he’s trying to compromise with them, what kind of hell do you think this country would be in if he went “far left”? Do you really think that would be a better position to negotiate from?

      • Gussie Jives

        I agree with 90% of what you said, but there’s one caveat that I have say to put things in perspective:

        Wall Street reform.

        It hasn’t happened, and it’s the most critical thing to start righting the economy. I understand fully the need for incremental change on social issues, or improvements to the social safety net and I give President Obama credit where credit is due on things like DADT and the Affordable Care Act, he acts like a moderate Republican on the most important issue facing Americans: the economy.

        I’m no reader of FDL, but after watching the President work for two and a half years, I can only conclude that he wants to position himself as Mr. Centrist, bucking his own base on economic issues to look good to “moderates.”

        Sorry to put a dash of cold water on this list of accomplishments, but it’s got to be done to keep things in perspective. The social issues are good, great even. But at the moment, they aren’t the critical ones.

  • nicole

    These people are utterly outrageous and ridiculous. The history books will portray them as they are—fringe dissidents who lied, lied, fucking LIED, every damn time they opened their stupid mouths!!!

    Adding……FUCK YOU, Jane!

  • BlueEye

    Because Jane hasn’t been properly medicated in a long time?

    • incredulous72

      Because Jane’s a GOP operative.

  • gobrooklyn

    Its like we’re watching two different people. How do you make such a ridiculous tweet?