07/16/2010 archive

Punting the Pundits

 What Digby said Goldilocks Triangulation

There’s a ton of discussion this morning about this article in which unnamed White House functionaries run to Politico to complain that nobody understands them. I think it pretty much speaks for itself, but there are some points worth discussing.

First of all, the central premise seems to be that liberals should be happy that Obama has “gotten something done” without regard to what that “something” is. But the fact is that professional politicians always rattle off a legislative laundry list while activists care about process, politics and policy — and average voters only care about the results. (The press cares about “the score”, however they decide to define it that day.) A successful president is expected to know how to manage all of that — and browbeating his voters is rarely a winning strategy.

Therefore, his political advisers should know that when the country is still reeling from unemployment and foreclosures after nearly two years, the passage of an inadequate stimulus bill, which unrealistic benchmarks and a giddy victory party ensured would be the only chance they got, the only people who will consider that a “success” would be beltway insiders. They should have realized that a health care bill that nobody in their right minds would have designed from scratch, the worst aspects of which liberals will be asked to defend for years to come, would be met with dampened enthusiasm by those who watched the process devolve from a sense of progressive purpose to an exhausting farce. They are expected to be able to predict that financial reform without accountability for what’s gone before, combined with the administration’s unwillingness to confront the civil liberties abuse of the last administration — indeed expanding on them in some cases — would show a lack of fundamental concern for justice among those who care about such things.


Still, running to Politico to complain about the immature liberals would seem to be even more counterproductive than usual. Indeed, it’s so counterproductive that I have to assume this is a conscious triangulation tactic. After all, if what you are upset about is liberals failing to be properly supportive, it hardly seems wise to take to the Drudge Daily to complain about them, does it? But then even these anonymous whiners can’t be so stupid as to think browbeating a bunch of liberal bloggers has any meaning among anyone but the Village elite so that’s obviously what this is about — creating a Goldilocks meme among the media that says because Obama is criticized by both the immature bloggers and the radical tea party, he must be juuust riiiight. That won’t do the Democrats any good in the short run, but it sounds like a 2012 strategy in the making.  


Golly gee, seems to be a big kerfluffle in DC as institutional Democrats finally start reading some polls and find out that Villain Shifting and Blame the ‘Thugs ain’t gonna fool none of the people none of the time this time.

Folks, you read it here years and months ahead.  ‘I told you so‘ schadenfreude is an unavoidable reaction.

Anyone who claims they care about ‘Electoral Victory’ is a liar.

Now that it’s too fucking late to do anything about bad policy what is going to stave off the inevitable defeat they richly deserve?

How about some firings Barack?

How about Rahm “Fuck You” Emanuel?  What about “Peter Principle” Timmeh and Larry “Always Wrong” Summers?

Do I want to see heads on pikes?

Metaphorically yes.  These people have failed so badly their firing is already inevitable and has been for months which is why they are trying to fluff their crash pads.  Why not before the election while you can get some bounce from it Barack?

We vote for change and we’re going to keep voting until we get it.

Le Tour: Stage 12

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Just over the half way point today, one more day to the Pyrenees.  Cavendish the Manx Maniac has another controversial stage victory which moves him up in the Sprinter’s standings and does nothing at all to change the overall picture.  Head butts are an interesting innovation, but I can understand the steward’s actions and HTC-Columbia is now less the services of Mark Renshaw.

Umm… what makes them controversial is that they’re dangerous.  This is not Roller Derby or Hockey where contact is allowed and encouraged, it’s more like NASCAR where it’s merely expected.

Otherwise there’s nothing to watch.

Yawn.  3 Threes and 2 Twos, one of them at the finish in this 131 mile jaunt between Bourg-de-Péage and Mende.  Neither Contador nor Schleck are predicting any change in their 41 second gap and they seem well positioned to fend off interlopers.

Tomorrow’s stage is even less interesting if that’s possible so if there is a move before the mountains it should be today.

On This Day in History: July 16

On this day in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico.


If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one…

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Bhagavad Gita

J. Robert Oppenheimer

Prime Time

At least at 10 pm the Mets are back and who knows, maybe Carlos Beltran.

Other than that the appalling content drought continues.

The Specialist is a horrible Sylvester Stalone movie, but since they’re all horrible it’s hard to even care.  ESPN has highlights from The Open which is celebrating 150 years at St. Andrews with a surprisingly easy round.  Double Good Eats, Fried Chicken and Edible Oils.  Vantage Point is so riveting FX is running it twice when once would be more than enough.  History at least has The Universe and How the Earth was Made.

I can’t understand why Tyler Perry is famous any more than I can understand why Ghost Hunters made it to 100 episodes.  Better Off Dead?

Futurama has a premier episode @ 10.


Last Jon and Stephen, even in repeats, for a week.  Jon 7/6, Stephen 6/29.  David has Kyra Sedgwick, Bret Michaels, and Jimmy Cliff.  Alton talks about Freezers.  John Houston night on Turner Classics16 Candles, Ferris.