Ron Robinson's Blog

SEPTEMBER 23, 2011 1:46AM

Bob Shrum's "The Democrats' self-defeating crybaby chorus "

Rate: 3 Flag

(This post has the correct link. I deleted the previous post with the error link. Thanks ONL for the heads up!)

The political consultant, Bob Shrum, has offered probably the best analysis of his entire career in this piece. It addresses key issues of political and electoral power and how Democrats, progressives, liberals and the left are once again self-sabotaging. To be honest, I never thought Shrum had it in him. He never really impressed me. But he hit it out of the ballpark here. MUST READ.

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Good to see you, you've been missed. I'll have more to say post-Shrum -- which by the way is far too close to Shrub.
Thanks Tom. Nice to hear that coming from you! Time's been at a premium with my other responsibilities and on OS sometimes I feel like Al Pacino in "Godfather 3" - "Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in." :)
The liberals have become their own worst enemy...their own greatest liability.

It appears they just cannot pull their collective heads out of their collective they will lose in 2012 and lose big time. Actually, the entire world will lose because of their myopia.

Glad a voice like Shrum's is calling attention to that...but my bet is you cannot wake them because they are purposefully comatose.

But...they will have their principles to keep them warm during the American winter they are bringing upon us.
Having now read Shrum's piece, I'll offer a few observations. First of all, there's nothing new in it, and Shrum didn't help matters by resorting to the tired old sports metaphor -- it's the fourth quarter, and Obama is a fourth quarter player.

Shrum wants a sports metaphor -- I'll give him one. First of all, he's guilty of piling-on those of us who continue to support Obama, but question his game plan.

Many of us, millions of us, who voted for Obama have been screaming at him to get his head in the game from the get-go. But instead of kicking off his presidency -- after scoring an impressive victory in 2008 -- and forcing Republicans to start deep within the mire and mud of their own territory, Obama foolishly agreed to let them have the ball on the fifty-yard line.

But that wasn't good enough for the greedy bastards, who despite being in a deep, deep hole created by W and his minions, insisted Obama move back to his own end zone. For reasons that defy explanation, Obama agreed to that, too.

Perhaps it was under the mistaken belief he could reason with the unreasonable and that racists, rascals and reprobates would play by the rules. Yeah, right.

In any case, after the ball was hiked, both sides crashed somewhere near Obama's twenty. Speaking of numbers, Obama should have been watching his six -- oops, that metaphor doesn't belong here.

Obama wasted the first three-quarters of the game trying to compromise with the uncompromising. And now his die-hard supporters expect the rest of us to stand and cheer, now that he's -- apparently -- figured out that wasn't a great game plan? Long ago, he should have dumped Axelrod in favor of Belichik.

Sorry, Shrum, but we don't need cheerleaders -- as far behind as we are, we need somebody who can complete the bomb. Is that O-bomb-a? The evidence so far suggests he's more Tim Tebow than Tom Brady.

Check that at the line of scrimmage -- Obama is more like Gerald Ford -- he's played the game too long without a helmet. He'll get my vote, but not my cheers -- not until he's willing to give progressive policies that old college try -- even if he loses.
Here's what I wrote on ONL's post about Hoover and Obama on Sept 22nd which is relevant here - and I think there's plenty to cheer about regarding Obama and more's on the way and has been on display in spades just the last few days:

Here's a little analogy I've made in the past. When FDR became President, organized labor and the left had become so powerful that there was a legitimate possibility that the U.S. might go Socialist. Yet, because of the structure of the Government (e.g., committee seniority system, any Senator can block legislation etc.) disproportionate Southern power, and racist implementation and administration of Government programs, despite the many progressive FDR initiatives and legislation, Blacks were largely exempted from benefiting while White workers became the middle class.

When JFK was President, unionized labor was 36% of the labor force and they were strongly behind him as was the organized Civil Rights movement. Yet, despite the fact that he was a War Hero, he was unable to fire two of his military Joint Chiefs of Staff because of the power base they had in the Senate and with right-wing political forces in the country. So he supported having the movie, "Seven Days In May" made to help put a spotlight on them (some were even talking of a coup - and this was after he had stared down the Soviets during Cuban missle crisis). This was also only 3 years after Eisenhower gave his "Beware the Military Industrial Complex" speech.

After Kennedy, Johnson still had the 36% unionized labor and Civil Rights movement, and the urban riots etc. all helped put pressure on the administration to force some additional progressive policies etc.

Fast forward 50 years. The right-wing corporate militrary industrial complex is far more powerful than it was then. There is now Fox News and all its people, Limbaugh who himself reaches over 20 million a day, over 1500 rightwing radio stations, all of the bogus corporate funded internet blogs and Koch brother backed Tea Party, a far more organized and politically active "religious network" of thousands of churches, etc. PLUS, before he left office, Bush and Rove gave civil service protection to all of their true believer extremist types in ALL levels of Government so that they couldn't be fired when Obama came into office. That includes the Justice Department and many other places that have oversight responsibilities and from elections to Wall St. AND Repubs have filibustered everything except what they want, including Federal Judges and U.S. Attorneys (who direct the FBI to pursue investigations in their regions) and the Department directors, assistants etc. So the people Bush/Rove put in place are there preventing investigations of what had been done by them and their cronies...

BUT unlike Kennedy and Johnson, unions only make up 6% of labor now, there is NO Civil Rights movement, the President "bully pulpit" is far less influential (e.g. he now only reach 10% population in a national televised broadcast compared to 50% and up in the past when there only 3 networks and no choice). Plus, the right-wing always organizes to SUPPORT their President and politicians from the bottom up including at Town Halls while themselves running for School Board positions at local level and organizing at the State level financed with tons of money, taking over 7 of them and passing legislation making it more difficult to vote for those most likely to vote for Dems,...while the Left focuses only on "issues" (dozens of them) and whether or not the Democrats take the most liberal position possible on them and if not, then they are attacked for not having "backbone." The Left does not organize around electoral politics and power but "issues" and expects elected officials to just "do their job" as if that's how America has ever worked. It's NEVER worked that way. That's why there was a Civil Rights movement, labor movement, etc.

The Left has blinded itself to just how good Obama is and rather than back him they've thrown stones...he's up against forces that are FAR MORE powerful than they were in the past, far more funded, with far more powerful technology and media to penetrate the national consciousness with their constant lies and attacks...yet Obama has NO countervailing force backing him up. Rather just snipe at him.

So he's forced to do what Ali did against Foreman - play "rope-a-dope" and do so in a country where the President is voted in NOT by the popular vote, but by State by State electoral votes...and his speeches only reach a small segment of the population...EVERYTHING is filtered through the media. There is NO direct transmission from Obama's mouth to the public's ears. So unfortunately, the so called "independents" in key States DO hold us all by the throats and they are constantly being barraged by right-wing media messages or what just filters through the "mainstream" media which itself has moved more to the right because of the successful "perception management" techniques deployed by the right-wing at all levels - Check out Robert Parry on this.

Anyway, that's more than enough for now, except for this final quip I leave for all those who doubt, are mad at, have deserted, etc. our President:
On Rachel Maddow's show tonight, she played ALL of the President's words at multiple settings and conclusively demonstrates that the media have portrayed Obama's comments to the CBC (and elsewhere) in a demonstratively false light. Here's clip from Rachel's show tonight:

Also, Regarding keeping his campaign promises, MSNBC's Martin Bashir today, citing the website Politifact, said that according to it Obama has kept most of his promises, and/or has attempted to do so and has been blocked by GOP.
I couldn't agree more. There is something about the left, about progressive idealism, that is utopian or perfection seeking. That was me in my younger days. The left behaves as if they are whiny bitches: the slightest offense and they are heartbroken and pouting, and talking about breaking up.

They don't have the sense of the hard-nosed clear eyed view of reality that is needed for political success. I wonder if this is because so much of the liberal base is very young. Unfortunately political reality is a lot more like a rugby game than a drum-circle, and that won't change as long as there is a well-funded, well-organized, disciplined, reactionary plutocratic dominant right-wing movement in this country.

In 2010 we should have doubled down on 2008, not punished at the polls by withholding votes. The idea that the left needs to grasp is that discipline and unity, showing up as a reliable voting bloc is the way to get power and influence, not by being panicky finicky prima donnas who ignore all the positives and only lock laser-like on the negatives.