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‘Left, Right & Center’: Looming Doom for the Dems?

Posted on Sep 3, 2010
Left, Right & Center

Is it all over for Obama or can he revive and ride his ’08 caravan of hope through the upcoming midterm election, not to mention his next presidential bid? Does anyone still think invading Iraq wasn’t a mistake, now that our combat troops have “withdrawn”? Guest panelist David Frum fills in for Tony Blankley on this week’s “Left, Right & Center,” where he speaks from the right and gets put on the spot too.  —KA



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By SteveL, September 10, 2010 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

The Democrats are in trouble because the Matt Miller types have compromised this party to death..

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By Nails, September 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Knute, man have you got it right. The truth is that Republicans are no more Conservative than Democrats are Progressive. Neither of these diseased entities, recipients of self-approved public largesse, is worthy of a vote. There are a few exceptuions, of course. Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul (not his misbegotten son) come to mind as men of consistency and conviction. Sane Republicans, vote Libertarian. Democrats, vote Green Party or Unaffiliated candidate. One example of a moderate (a word I generally despise) worth retaining in government, is Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida. Now, after being rudely Teabagged, he will run for office as an Independent. Up until 4 months ago, I assumed he was just another Republican hack. But on hearing his heartfelt and forceful presentation to the Florida State Legislature, I recognize his strength, intelligence and independence. Men like this are hard to come by. Forget Party loyalty. Bootlicking Democrats are no way to govern.

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By godistwaddle, September 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

When there’s single-payer health care, I MIGHT vote for a Dem again.  Until then, let ‘em keep kissing the asses of the repubs.

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By - bill, September 7, 2010 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

“I don’t understand the mentality of voting for a republican simply because the democrats can’t get their shit together.”

Error #1.  The Democrats DO have their shit together:  what’s happening is exactly what they want to happen (save that they haven’t been quite as successful at pawning off their version of what that is as they’d like to be).

When they got health-care ‘reform’ that lacked a public option, any kind of real cost control, and required people to buy into it, it was by choice:  at the end they passed it via reconciliation and required only 50 votes in the Senate to do so - fewer than they claimed they had for the original, at least somewhat progressive proposals that Obama had campaigned on (and then claimed he couldn’t get passed because they required 60 votes in the Senate - but he refused to consider reconciliation back then because he claimed he wanted bi-partisan support, even though it was clear that he’d never get it anyway).  Oh, yeah:  he had already dealt away reimportation of pharmaceuticals to control costs and the public option in back-room deals with industry, so having the Senate around to take the blame was convenient and he refused to make any effort whatsoever to support those proposals - though he had no such reluctance to strong-arm progressives in the House at the end to get the gutted bill passed.

When they failed to pass meaningful curbs on financial institutions it was by choice:  Obama has given the foxes control of the henhouse since taking office, and the result has been exactly what one would expect.

And so on for many other areas.  Establishment Democrats have completely cowed whatever progressive opposition may exist in D.C.:  nominal progressives may still talk the talk, but when the chips are down every single one of them has failed to walk the walk.

“thats alll possible becasue the republicans are in control”

Error #2:  The Republicans haven’t been in control since 2006, when Democrats were given control of both houses of Congress precisely because Americans wanted CHANGE.  But we didn’t get it in 2006, nor even in 2008 after electing yet more Democrats to Congress plus a president who actively campaigned on the platform of “change we can believe in” and “an end to business as usual” - then promptly abandoned those goals after being elected.

The Democrats are very much in control, and we’re seeing exactly what we can expect from that.  Anyone who still sees a “small glimmer of hope” in them is completely delusional.

Apathy and knee-jerk conditioned responses indeed have gotten us where we are today.  The latter may be comforting (it’s always comforting to believe that someone else, like the Democratic party, will eventually pull our chestnuts out of the fire so that we won’t have to buckle down and do it ourselves), but it’s hardly realistic.  The Democrats have shown us what we can expect even if we vote EVERY Republican out of national office:  more of the same.  But if we vote the Democrats out of office, there’s a chance that they’ll either shape up or wither away and leave room for progressive third parties (whom they currently squelch very effectively by scaring progressives and liberals into voting Democratic against those nasty Republicans) to grow to fill the void with REAL progressive representation.

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By UreKismet, September 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

So that is it?  Fools are still going to vote democrat because as bad as they are the rethugs are worse.  That is a dubious proposition since democrat pols have frequently beeen more gung ho on imperialism in Latin America than rethugs, but even if it were true it is still no reason to vote dem.
Put simply as long as enough people keep voting dem so that the party keeps some political power, nothing will change. 
Political party is a misnomer - it implies that there is some large base of people supporting the politicians but that model died decades ago.  The dem party exists solely for the representatives and the paid hacks who provide consultancy work, get public appointments, become judges and commissioners.  Any input from members outside of that steaming dung heap of self interest was cut off long ago.

The only way to get the dems to change is to stop voting democrat.  Right across all tiers of government.  When the party loses elected representatives, who are the vital cog in the self interest machine, all the parasites will jump off like fleas dropping off a dead carcass when there is no blood left to suck.
Then the shell could be revived.  Short term that would work altho it isn’t the best option.  Short of a total boycott people are wasting their time. 
It doesn’t mean vote rethug in other nations when the process has become this corrupted ‘joke’ candidates who expose the bloated fools become the sink for angry voters. 

The dem party is full of hustlers and compromisers who by instinct only want do the bare minimum of meeting the people’s wishes so they can still secure financial support from the institutionalised bribery that they have come to depend on for succour.
Oblamblam’s health reform is a joke - one that is aiding the destruction of health services to most humans inside and outside of amerika.  As long as the corporations have a strong base built from gouging inside amerika it leaves them powerful enough to cream the top of the market, servicing only the elites outside of amerika.  Combine that with the oppressive intellectuial property treaties Clinton bribed, blackmailed, and cajoled foreign pols into signing; and the flow on from Oblam’s weak assed compromise leaves millions of kids dying across the planet each year. Dead for want of cheap to produce but unaffordable to buy pharmaceuticals.

The only way any real change can occur is either by way of revolution- which currently has no chance in such a divided amerika, or by people destroying the imperial duopoly by refusing to support one of the parties.  There are too many rethug nutters that have been brainwashed to believe in commies/islamofacists/little green men to get them to quit so it is up to former dem voters.

Those scared of a rethug takeover haven’t been paying attention.  The rethugs can’t survive without lots of dem pretender pols to blame.  A massive failure by the dem party across the board in amerika may seem like a win to the rethugs at first, but it would destroy the status quo and pull half the support off the corrupt machine.  Pretty soon independants would make genuine traction in ballots.
That has to be the way forward, monolithic political parties are good for politicians but lousy for people.  The corporate ethos has spread individualism as a means of control, yet ironically that individualism has left most people dissatisfied with the one size fits all compromises of a party political process and it is that oppressive inflexible process which corporations most depend upon.  Without party machines, faced with governments made of genuine people committed to ideals rather than careers, corporations lose their ability to dominate.

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By knute, September 7, 2010 at 9:00 am Link to this comment
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Most of the democrats in Congress do appear to be nothing more then republican lite. But I don’t understand the mentality of voting for a republican simply because the democrats can’t get their shit together. The republicans can act in unison, they have shown that, but the act solely to preserve the status quo and do the bidding of industry exclusively. They make no effort to pretend to be anything else but represetitives of corporate interests. You know when you vote republican they will only continue to make matters worse for the vast majority. They will continue to dismantle our country, they will continue to usher in the evaporation of the middle class. It flabbergasting that so many , after what, 18 months or so, have apparently forgotten the incredible mess the republicans brought us last time they were at the helm. But thats alll possible becasue the republicans are in control , thru assholes like R. Murdoch and the Koch brothers of our news media. Atleast with the dem.s there is that small glimmer of hope. It’s not much, but deciding to not vote at all only helps maintain the status quo. But thats assuming we ARE voting now. In my state we all voted by absentee ballot. The state didn’t even bother to mail any ballot info. and the vote results for the primary were published the day following the day the votes were due….without a whimper from the electorate. Apathy works for them just as well, and in large measure is what has gotten us here in the first place.

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By - bill, September 6, 2010 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, mdgr:  while your heart’s clearly in the right place (though it took a bit long to get there:  wasn’t the Democratic acquiescence/support for the decimation of civil liberties that started in 2001 and the illegal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq in 2003 - plus the continuation of both every year since then - sufficient?), casting the problem in terms of control of the nuclear access codes just plays into the “lesser of two evils” Democratic strategies of the past 6 years (and given that GWB had control of them for a full 8 years it’s not clear that Palin would be all that much different anyway).

Otherwise, your analysis is sound.  So why not embrace the courage of your convictions and pledge to oppose the party without qualification until such time as it actually earns your vote?  That’s called ‘strategic voting’ - exactly what those ‘lesser of two evils’ proponents have been exhorting us to do all along, just with a notably different (and potentially far more effective) strategy.

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By godistwaddle, September 6, 2010 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What thoughtful American would mourn the passing of the Democratic party as now comprised?

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By mdgr, September 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

I have just written several elected officials as follows. This import of the message is self-explanatory. It will appear, I think, on many blog sites, as my intent to ride the wave in, as it were. If it rings any bells in readers, you can substitute names and send out copies of this same message in your own name at will.


I am a progressive and have always voted Democrat. After Obama (and many of your betrayals as well), never again.

I am hoping that maybe, just maybe, some of the remaining Democratic elected officials who are also progressives will have the courage and foresight to publicly resign from that party after the debacle in November, subsequently creating a viable third party.

At issue is the potential transfer of nuclear access codes to Sarah Palin or someone very much like her in 2012. By then, the economy will be in tatters, and people will be even more angry. It will be Weimar redux, and Obama’s “audacity of taupe” won’t save us. Nor will a replay of the “lesser of two evils” choice save us.

The question is how to prevent the transfer of the nuclear codes to someone like Ms. Palin, Mr. Beck or Mr. Limbaud, all of whom are in bed with a rising and thoroughly loony constituency. The Democrats cannot prevent that transfer of power. And no other question even comes close to being this important.

You yourself are a DNC/DLC, corporately-owned Democrat, and by 2012, the Democratic Party will be toast. Senator Patty Murray in Washington State, where I live, is also a DNC Democrat.

I cannot vote against you, but in hopes of helping to create a tactical crisis that would help bring forth a truly viable and dynamic progressive/independent party, I will consider the possibility of holding my nose and voting against Senator Murray next November. At the very least, I will not vote for her.

I am open to no more attempts to save the Democratic Party’s soul. It’s time to bring out the garlic and the wooden stake.

“It’s over,” sang Leonard Cohen, “and it ain’t going any further.”

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By sharonsj, September 5, 2010 at 10:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Aside from “Obama is a Marxist Socialist Muslim Kenyan,” posters are not focusing on the problems and facts.

Obama and the Dems were voted in to change Bush’s policies.  Not only is there little change, the Dems spent all their time on health insurance reform.  The bill may have some good things in it (and we’re not even sure when any of the rules actually kick in), but even at 2000 pages, it doesn’t stop the health insurance companies from gouging the public.  And it certainly doesn’t provide health care for all citizens.  During the process, the Dems were ineptly unable to refute Republican lies about the “government takeover of health care.”

The financial reform bill has the same problems.  It’s band aids, not real reform.  They also bailed out some car manufacturers but didn’t stop them from shipping jobs out of the country.  They gave home-buyer tax credits—and then took them away. 

And we’ve had the worst environmental disaster in our history, thanks to BP and a corrupt oversight agency (which, like others, is still run by corporate cronies), and which was then abetted by government secrecy and lies.

The Democrats have turned out to be Republican Lite, and that’s why their base hates them.

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By ejreed, September 5, 2010 at 3:45 am Link to this comment

Pushing a jobs bill in Feb. Romer felt was too small as we recently discovered.
Romer Assesses New Bipartisan Jobs Bill in Senate
The top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Finance Committee unveiled an $85 billion plan Thursday designed to spur job growth in the U.S.

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By skmacksk, September 4, 2010 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Some further thoughts:
I was struck by the glibness, the well rehearsed quality, of David Frum’s comments regarding the war in Iraq, on Left, Right and Center. They were not located in the world, but located in some abstract policy realm, an almost Platonic location, perhaps the intellectual habit of a Straussian, but none the less disturbing. The intellectually abstract world of neoconservative thought are, of course, determinative: but the salient facts and the destructive actuality of war are located in the world, of the actuality of flesh and blood and human suffering; inconveniently for Mr. Frum, an accounting of costs must be made, even if his summation is rhetorically framed as the supremacy of American power. If nothing else Mr. Frum is, predictably, bloodthirsty and bellicose, but as a man, a thinker he must maintain his bourgeois political respectability as a condition of his seeming political ‘rationality’, so he seeks cover in an overarching defense of the, prima facie, rationality of the American hegemon. In Platonic terms Mr. Frum is an unapologetic Thrasymachus.

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By call me roy, September 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

Islam Tax Dollars for Muslims
by Connie Hair / 09/02/2010
The Obama Administration reportedly held a special workshop this week to help leaders of controversial Muslim groups acquire “direct access” to taxpayer funding for their activities.
The event’s main organizer, the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO) has long-established ties to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which fostered many Islamist terror groups. Some of CCMO’s member groups were unindicted co-conspirators in the successfully prosecuted terrorist funding trial against the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). Event organizers said they would dedicate themselves to “cutting through red tape” to provide “direct access” to U.S. taxpayer funding for these terrorist funding-related groups.
An email announcement was sent out August 27 by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group long associated with Muslim Brotherhood and an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF trial. The ISNA email said: “The Workshop: So what exactly is this workshop, you may ask. Leaders from Muslim organizations around the nation, particularly social service organizations, are invited to a workshop with representatives from the DOA, Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Health and Human Services, the White House, Department of Education, the Department of Homeland Security, and more. Twenty-five to thirty Muslim leaders representing 20 Muslim organizations are expected to attend the workshop. “According to a representative of CCMO, this workshop is designed to clarify how Muslim nonprofits, mosques, Islamic centers, and social service organizations can strengthen their communities through more direct access to opportunities provided to social service agencies at the federal level. ‘It will hopefully help cut through some of the red tape and shine light on the many opportunities for funding, government assistance, and resources that we just don’t know about at the local level,’ said Elsanousi.”
The Obama Administration has not disclosed which CCMO groups attended the “direct access” to taxpayer funding workshop. The Department of Agriculture (DOA) referenced in the email as a sponsoring group did not respond to requests for information on the event.
Christine Brim on the website Big Peace has provided in-depth research into the CCMO and member groups. As Brim notes in her piece, the CCMO website has been scrubbed of a great deal of information on its Muslim Brotherhood ties, yet the Wayback Machine offers prior versions of the group’s website (2004-2008) that include more information on the groups ties to Muslim Brotherhood.
One such member list found on the CCMO’s 2007 website reads like a who’s who of Muslim Brotherhood organizations. (Continued)

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By call me roy, September 3, 2010 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Islam Tax Dollars for Muslims (Continued)

Brim compiles background information on several unindicted co-conspirator groups (information from the Investigative Project on Terrorism) listed among the CCMO member organizations and terror-funding linked organizations advertising on the CCMO website:
• The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial, and the source of Friday’s email promoting this CCMO/Department of Agriculture Event.
• The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) , shunned by the FBI, several of its leaders indicted or convicted for terrorism, a possible violator of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, sued for fraud by Muslim, Hispanic and African-American families, named as an unindicted co-conspirator (CAIR fundraiser advertised at the CCMO site) in HLF trial.
• The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), the “think tank” of the Muslim Brotherhood according to The Grand Jihad author and former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy. One of the current and longest-serving officers of CCMO is Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, founder of the educational arm of IIIT, the Fairfax Institute and the director of outreach for the Dar-ul Hijrah “Terror” Mosque.
• The Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), exposed in IPT report for their defense of terrorists and terrorist financers. MPAC advertised here at the CCMO site for an event co-sponsored by Islamic Free Market Institute, the latter described in Paul Sperry’s book Infiltration)
• The Dar al Hijrah Mosque (known as the “Terror Mosque” in Northern Virginia for its links to imprisoned, indicted or wanted terrorists as vividly described by Frank Gaffney), advertised here at the CCMO site.
• The Muslim American Society “Freedom Foundation” (MASFF) run by three-time felon Mahdi Bray (MASFF fundraiser advertised at the CCMO site). The Muslim American Society was originally founded as the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. MAS leader Mahdi Bray was elected on September 7, 2003 to the Executive Committee by over 40 CCMO member organizations.

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By call me roy, September 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

Islam Tax Dollars for Muslims (Continued)

The justice presiding over the HLF trial, U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis, was so concerned about the significance of the ongoing threat to America and that so many unindicted co-conspirators remained to be prosecuted, he ordered the documents submitted as evidence be put on the web site.
When a party is designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in a trial it essentially means that the government could have indicted and prosecuted that party with the same evidence they are using to prosecute the conspirators actually indicted.
The sheer volume of Muslim groups listed as part of the terrorist funding schemes deterred simultaneous prosecutions so they were compiled in an unindicted co-conspirator list.
Two of the groups, ISNA and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), unsuccessfully petitioned to have their names removed from the HLF unindicted co-conspirator list. The prosecution blocked the groups’ removal through a filing in federal court in Dallas stating: “During last year’s trial, numerous exhibits were entered into evidence establishing both ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case,” the prosecutors wrote. “They were intimately connected with the HLF and its assigned task of providing financial support to HAMAS…. That ISNA and NAIT appeared in these documents and share a common history with these defendants is a reflection of the evidence, not any attempt to ‘disparage’ or ‘vilify.’”
Politico’s Josh Gerstein this week reported ISNA and NAIT are again attempting to have their names removed from the HLF list. In a highly controversial move, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has sealed all of the filings and moved the proceedings behind closed doors.
Gee, I guess we all no longer need to wonder whether Barry Hussein is a Christian or a Muslim?

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By skmacksk, September 3, 2010 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

I read Matt Miller’s column in the Washington Post on his support of the Iraq war: he sounded the same notes of bathos and near seriousness,that is his usual approach to almost all issues!
Thank you Bob for so eloquently speaking to the compromised state,of American political institutions,as being the central issue confronting this republic, as the watershed of the the war in Iraq. A moment worth savoring.
David Frum is a more civilized variant of the usual Neo-conservative beast,more intellectually studied, but none the less toxic, in the extreme.

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