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TheEmeraldProject On April - 29 - 2011

Text: Truth; Illustration: B. McCue –

Last week we had an extensive look at Huffington Posts’ headlines concerning President Obama and the Democrats and observed the eroding influence the headlines had on the general public, as well as on several shades of the Left spectrum. Having seen that, it is not hard to tell that Huffingtons’ support for both Democrats and the President drastically waned since 2008, if it ever truly had been there in the first place. About the reasons for this we can only guess – however it looks quite a bit as if the sell-off to a big corporation may very well have been in the offings for a long time and Huffington systematically worked on becoming more “centrist”, “mainstream” or whatever vocabulary is currently fashionable to her, in order to attract the highest bidder with an audience as vast as possible.

Yet another reason may be that nobody is sure as to what political convictions Ms Huffington really has, if any, or if they just randomly shift with the wind. As the late Green Party politician Peter Camejo, with whom she collaborated briefly in 2003 – in a last ditch to save her bid to become governor of California – put it: “My experience with her was that her ego plays a big role in her life, and her commitment to her political principles seems to vary depending on what wind is blowing and whatever might benefit her in the short term”. (Collins, Lauren: The Oracle; The New Yorker, 2008)

Whatever the reasons for her actions are, many regular commenters on Huffington Post expressed on various blogs that they sensed for at least 1.5 – 2 years before the sale to AOL that something quite unhealthy was going on. The quality of the site declined rapidly and I felt compelled continuing to comment simply in order to defy the headlines that drew an utterly false picture of the President. His image at Huffington Post seemed gradually to morph from that of the greatest President ever into that of a spineless, brainless wimp and moron who has only his own interests at heart and worse, whose real, but somehow hidden goal is to strengthen plutocracy. (Though this picture matches much more a certain Greek Trojan horse, in my opinion).

Here some questions crop up: Anyone remembers how in 2008 the Right couldn’t find any ammunition against the President, how annoyed they were about that and how they then started to paint him as the “Other”, the  “Un-American” and the “Un-trustworthy”? Nobody thought that they would be successful with those ridiculous accusations. Yet with the relentless support of the Left, they were. Isn’t it shocking how deeply these memes seeped in and how not only fearful tea-baggers but even completely reasonable people fell prey hook, line and sinker to these powerful suggestions?

So how did this come about? Of course first there was a constant and relentless repeating of these memes from the Right. To their credit goes that they have a very sophisticated propaganda machine. Yet on of top of that, thanks to missing media laws, as we know they have even a “fair and balanced” network dedicated not to the truth, but to repeat their falsehoods unfiltered and unquestioned.

Now as if that was not enough, on the Left Pandora’s box got opened first at the powerful Huffington Post, which at that time was considered to be the strongest progressive voice.

Their constant unbridled, disrespectful and often unfounded criticism from Day 1 of Obama’s presidency opened the door and set the tone to a barrage of criticism of the Left. This constant undermining and second-guessing his every move from almost every side now has the President in some circles as the “Un-trustworthy Other”. Who really needs the Right anymore when the Left is so adept at defeating themselves?

I don’t advocate not to criticize at all, but I do advocate to be careful with the tone and how far to spread the criticism. Moreover I think it’s advisable to check where the weirdest criticism is coming from. For example, is a loudly shrieking Jane Hamsher, who teamed up with the right winger Grover Norquist a reasonable progressive voice? For real? And is a Bill Maher offering any workable ideas or is he just trying to increase his plummeting ratings? What about an Arianna Huffington who changes her political affiliations more often than her Blackberrys and who still gives a platform to Andrew Breitbart, with whom she founded the Huffington Post?

Just to have a look at some of the people Ms H is surrounded with on the main page should give a hint as to how progressive she really is. I assume she cleverly sensed that there is money to be made with something similar to Drudge report for progressives. If there was an intention from the beginning to split the Left in due course of time is hard to tell, but is a possibility that certainly should be considered.

So far we highlighted in this series already several media manipulation methods and we were talking about the repressive moderation, which for example didn’t allow even very mild critique at Ms Huffington, which gives an impression that other discussions too may have been blocked. This too is not all that progressive, it sounds more a bit totalitarian to me. Anyhow, to take up once more the subject of media manipulation, Noam Chomsky’s Top 10 media manipulation strategies do deserve some extended mention here:

“Renowned critic and always MIT linguist Noam Chomsky, one of the classic voices of intellectual dissent in the last decade, has compiled a list of the ten most common and effective strategies resorted to by the agendas “hidden” to establish a manipulation of the population through the media.

HISTORICALLY THE MEDIA HAVE PROVEN HIGHLY EFFICIENT TO MOLD PUBLIC OPINION. Thanks to the media paraphernalia and propaganda, have been created or destroyed social movements, justified wars, tempered financial crisis, spurred on some other ideological currents, and even given the phenomenon of media as producers of reality within the collective psyche.”

1. The strategy of distraction

The primary element of social control is the strategy of distraction which is to divert public attention from important issues and changes determined by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information. (…)

(…) Maintaining public attention diverted away from the real social problems, captivated by matters of no real importance.

2. Create problems, then offer solutions

This method is also called “problem -reaction- solution. “It creates a problem, a “situation” referred to cause some reaction in the audience, so this is the principal of the steps that you want to accept. For example: let it unfold and intensify urban violence, or arrange for bloody attacks in order that the public is the applicant’s security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom. Or: create an economic crisis to accept as a necessary evil retreat of social rights and the dismantling of public services.

3. The gradual strategy

acceptance to an unacceptable degree, just apply it gradually, dropper, for consecutive years. That is how they radically new socioeconomic conditions (neoliberalism ) were imposed during the 1980s and 1990s: the minimal state, privatization, precariousness, flexibility, massive unemployment, wages, and do not guarantee a decent income, so many changes that have brought about a revolution if they had been applied once.

4. The strategy of deferring

Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as “painful and necessary”, gaining public acceptance, at the time for future application. It is easier to accept that a future sacrifice of immediate slaughter. First, because the effort is not used immediately. Then, because the public, masses, is always the tendency to expect naively that “everything will be better tomorrow” and that the sacrifice required may be avoided. This gives the public more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it with resignation when the time comes.

5. Go to the public as a little child

Most of the advertising to the general public uses speech, argument, people and particularly children’s intonation, often close to the weakness, as if the viewer were a little child or a mentally deficient. (…) Why? “If one goes to a person as if she had the age of 12 years or less, then, because of suggestion, she tends with a certain probability that a response or reaction also devoid of a critical sense as a person 12 years or younger (see Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”

6. Use the emotional side more than the reflection

Making use of the emotional aspect is a classic technique for causing a short circuit on rational analysis , and finally to the critical sense of the individual. Furthermore, the use of emotional register to open the door to the unconscious for implantation or grafting ideas, desires, fears and anxieties, compulsions, or induce behaviors …

7. Keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity

Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used to control and enslavement. “The quality of education given to the lower social classes must be the poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance it plans among the lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to attain for the lower classes (See ‘ Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”

8. To encourage the public to be complacent with mediocrity

Promote the public to believe that the fact is fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and uneducated…

9. Self-blame Strengthen

To let individual blame for their misfortune, because of the failure of their intelligence, their abilities, or their efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual autodesvalida and guilt, which creates a depression, one of whose effects is to inhibit its action. And, without action, there is no revolution!

10. Getting to know the individuals better than they know themselves

Thanks to biology, neurobiology and applied psychology, the “system” has enjoyed a sophisticated understanding of human beings, both physically and psychologically. The system has gotten better acquainted with the common man more than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exerts greater control and great power over individuals, greater than that of individuals about themselves.

 

**********

 

Sounds somehow familiar? I think this list speaks pretty much for itself – and I feel that many of those strategies are applied widely by various media outlets – including the Huffington Post.

Therefore it is worth to reconsider time and again where our opinions really come from: are we convinced because of deeply thinking about an issue, or were we merely led to our conviction by allowing the media to flood our brain and senses constantly?

 

38 Responses so far.

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  1. BlueStateMan says:

    Here’s something I submitted to “Free Range Talk” before PLANET POV came to the rescue.

    http://freerangetalk.com/?p=4076

    .

  2. BlueStateMan says:

    Arianna Huffington has ALWAYS been nothing more than a WHORE (the best paid one in the world right now)… a CONSERVATIVE GOLD-DIGGER who married a GAY REPUBLICAN ZILLIONAIRE for his money & tried to BUY a Senate seat in California with him.

    When he LOST, she dropped him like a hot potato and, when she saw a PROFIT in becoming a “liberal”, she “embraced” it until there was more MONEY to be made becoming a vapid shill for the right again.

    Her site is the most CONSTIPATED one on the web… with language restrictions exceeding anything Orwell might have ever imagined.

    A site which had devolved into some sort of infantile entity that seemingly has no problem treating their subscribers with utter contempt.

    Liberal, conservative, Democrat, republican… whatever the political or ideological slant. we are all “equal” in the eyes of a small cadre of petulant, delusionally self-important apparatchiks, dilettantes and sycophants.. ALL of whom whose delusional, misguided feelings of “superiority” can be so patronizing as to think that they actually have the wherewithal to judge how much value the words of the rest of us might have.

    They punish posters for breaking “rules” when the rules aren’t even published.. of using “words” where there is no list of those that might ‘offend’ whoever is making these infantile choices.

    When people have the arbitrary authority to eliminate the thoughts of others, it is not ‘moderation’ (what they like to describe themselves as) in any way, shape, or form… it is CENSORSHIP, plain & simple.

    All too willing to BAN those who DARE to use the LANGUAGE and DARE to confront the RACISTS & BIGOTS with words that might actually RESONATE.. and then allow the RACISTS & BIGOTS to remain so long as their POISON is “civil”.

    The scrubbing of THOUGHTS….

    Arbitrary, capricious, personal.

    The “wordfilter”, tripping the “PC meter”, flagging words that are used verbatim in the very articles that they publish. Commenters unable to even spell the names of the candidates during the primaries ferchrissakes, unable to spell “Tãliban” on a thread about Afghanistan, unable to even use words that can be heard on every elementary school playground in America every day.

    Clarence Darrow once said, “Language is a poor enough means of communication as it is, we ought to use all the words we’ve got. Christ, there are damned few words that everybody understands.”

    Huffington Post used to champion a “free-flow” of ideas.. they still do (at least on paper).. but in reality.. now, it is restricted to language that a prude would barely consider acceptable to an eight-year-old.

    The current system of moderation now tries to actually “direct” the threads.. to sculpt them to represent something other than what they truly are, rather than letting them be what they are meant to be… unfettered, unvarnished and without apology.

    Even Rachel Maddow is castigating what it has become… and it is the deathkknell of what it could have been.

    GOOD.

    This is not what HP started out as…

    .. and it’s a shame.

    • zampano says:

      “This is not what HP started out as…” Too true. Once upon a time it was really refreshing to be able to exchange views even with people of divergent opinions. It all seemed so civil – and so unusual to find such a mix all in one place.
      And now? “The scrubbing of THOUGHTS….arbitrary, capricious, personal” – again I could not agree with you more. Sadly, that seems to be something that the proud owners of “community moderator” badges indulge in with a vengeance (in every sense of the word). I can’t figure out whether this is HP policy or whether it is just a replay of high-school, where power-hungry bullies are elevated to head girl / head boy status and patrol the corridors in search of victims… “apparatchiks, dilettantes and sycophants [with] delusional, misguided feelings of “superiority”.
      Is this what they wanted all along? Or have the foxes taken over the chicken coop?

    • Pepe Lepew says:

      It was John Lydon who once said:

      “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”


    • chazmania says:

      You said exactly what i was experiencing with them.. Thank you.

  3. escribacat says:

    Well done post, Truth. It’s really hard to believe English is not your first language! Those Chomsky points are simple and brilliant and it’s so obvious that these are the methods used to manipulate the voting public.

    As for Miz HufnPuf, I’ve seen strong arguments both ways about her motives. Did she simply pretended to be progressive with the intention of developing influence over progressive thought — and then tossing in cherry bombs to blow the left to bits? Or is she completely apolitical and amoral? At the moment, I tend to believe that she’s simply an opportunist and cynic who actually believes in nothing but herself. She doesn’t give a shit who’s president or what happens to this country as long as she can leverage it somehow.

    The fact is, though, whether intentional or not — she IS a Trojan Horse, she DOES have influence over progressive thought. Or DID anyway. I think the AOL purchase finally caught the attention of people like Maddow and KO and LO. I certainly hope so. I haven’t been paying that close attention lately but is she still showing up on all the talk shows these days? I don’t know if she has ever appeared on LO or RM but I don’t watch every night.

    Frankly, I think the comment threads over there as busy as ever. With such a huge influx of rightwingers (very suddenly after AOL), who knows where it will go. They still have politics on the first page…maybe that will change.

    As for Maher, I read somewhere that Breitbart will be his guest soon.

  4. chazmania says:

    I think this is all a brilliant assessment however it does not address a problem. AH may be exactly all you say and clear evidence is there for the conclusion. My own disillusionment with the president does not come from the HP (i was banned recently from it for being critical of the HP as well) But from the evidence behavior language and end results observed easily by anyone paying attention that Obama is not what he portrayed, is not dedicated to all he promised, and is under the influence of the power system of the corporate barons in Washington and the financial world.. even the Bradly manning incident is clear evidence of this.. the very stance he takes on these issues are my guide and its an insult to every critically thinking individual in the progressive sphere to label them so easily duped by just one celebrity mouthpiece.
    http://wlcentral.org/node/1708

    • whatsthatsound says:

      I agree with you, chaz. My differences with the Obama administration were not manufactured by HP.
      As one reads the speech of Kennedy’s that AD posted, it is not merely sad, it is outright tragic, that our country has not lived up to those words. I have criticized every president, for many of the reasons you state. The U.S. presidency appears to me to be hopelessly entwined with the interests of the status quo who focus on keeping us a consumer-driven, weapons producing, financial shenanigans-endorsing, CEO-deifying (no other country in the world pays CEOs six hundred times the salary of incoming workers), rich coddling, environmentally and human health-indifferent economy.

      I don’t expect Obama to change all that, and this isn’t about me not getting a pony, being a closet racist, Arianna Huffington bullshit swallowing crybaby. I will continue to criticize U.S. presidents until one finally arrives on the scene who announces that he is going to change the dynamic of the office, return it to what it is meant to be. That may never happen, and I’ll just keep bitching.

    • AdLib says:

      I read the story you linked to and it is troubling if the WH goes through with excluding this journalist for doing her job. The article though says they are trying to use it as a pretext. It’s not a good thing that they would try to bar her but the way the article’s written, it isn’t clear that they have done so. One would hope they would think better of doing so.

      As for your legit criticisms of Obama, my feeling is that if one was to only focus on what someone hasn’t done or where their disagreements are with one (and I do have a number of disagreements with Obama), then the conclusion would be as you described.

      However, I would ask that you consider all of the below which would not have happened if McCain was president.

      The following info is from Politifact. Here is just a sampling of specific campaign promises kept by Obama:

      No. 4: Extend child tax credits and marriage-penalty fixes

      No. 33: Establish a credit card bill of rights

      No. 48: Close the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug plan

      No. 51: Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions

      No. 58: Expand eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)

      No. 121: Fully fund the Violence Against Women Act

      No. 126: Begin removing combat brigades from Iraq

      No. 195: Seek verifiable reductions in nuclear stockpiles

      No. 244: Provide affordable, high-quality child care

      No. 269: Increase funding for national parks and forests

      No. 275: Expand Pell grants for low-income students

      No. 293: Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy

      No. 300: Reform mandatory minimum sentences

      No. 359: Rebuild schools in New Orleans

      No. 382: Secure nuclear weapons materials in four years

      No. 395: Strengthen antitrust enforcement

      No. 411: Work to overturn Ledbetter vs. Goodyear

      No. 422: Create new financial regulations

      No. 427: Ban lobbyist gifts to executive employees

      No. 433: Sign a “universal” health care bill

      No. 439: Create 5 million “green” jobs

      No. 495: Double federal spending for research on clean fuels

      No. 507: Extend unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits

      No. 513: Reverse restrictions on stem cell research

      http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/rulings/promise-kept/?page=1

      Presidents should be viewed as an all or nothing proposition. They are responsible for all they accomplish, the good and the bad as a total package.

      Would we have been better off if Obama had not been elected? Erase all the above and add a Great Depression (McCain opposed the Stimulus) and a lot more pro-corporate legislation and policies.

      Opposing or not supporting Obama in 2012 makes it more likely for a President Huckabee or President Romney to reverse much of the above and accelerate corporate dominance.

      As the saying goes, the perfect should not be the enemy of the possible. I agree that Obama has done things and supports things I oppose and vice versa. But the reality is that there is not a choice of the perfect, one can oppose Obama but in favor of whom? There is only one party that benefits from opposing Obama and that is the GOP.

      This is not to say Obama shouldn’t be criticized when he acts in a way we oppose. However, it seems most fair to recognize his entire presidency and consider it as a whole than to focus solely on the policies of his that one opposes.

      • chazmania says:

        I don’t disagree….He has done all these “safe” things.. small steps yes indeed.. Undoing the policy of the Bush era is not easy. I can understand how people would excuse many things he did not do but the Major major issues of the bank bail outs the gitmo closing the ongoing wars as well as him surrounding himself with the same criminals that i watched trash this economy as i was predicting it step by step. His complete absence as a man and president when it comes to any and all behavior of the Israeli government is some of the core baffling issues i find sour me to him even as just a man. personal ethics and how you stand on this earth make a vast impact on how i view a person and what level of respect i afford them. I understand he is embedded in the culture of Washington and i view that culture as predominantly diseased with self serving narcissists doing the bidding of the money men.. The evidence is undeniable. the evidence is in the results. Even if he means well he has to swim in the seas of the political culture that i also view as awash in sociopaths…No i never wanted McCain and i keep hearing this said whenever i am critical of the present political structure. Like I don’t like to eat shit so eat some dirt instead. both can make me sick and provide little nourishment. I further understand that the majority of the people R or D are FULLY indoctrinated into the system and cant see past this acceptance of a system that has been adjusted and skewed to exploit the common man.
        the brilliance of it is it gets you to do it for them by providing an “incentive” Money the all encompassing dollar. the new GOD. the 401k the financial adviser. the fee, the worship of money. The survival instinct is now profoundly tied to it. most people have learned how to game the system to their own advantage (most?) and Obama and his well fed well pampered cult of Washington will remain healthy wealthy and secure wile the rest of us pay and obey… No real change took effect. we still have the same lobbies power brokering us all into hell.
        Yes i am sure your thinking i sound like a tea bagger or some crap but that would be monumental in error. you know what i want… i want the world to stop being party to megalomaniacs that have gamed the system so hard that most people live lives of quite suffering will the “Elites” whether they be D or R live opulently off all our backs..I want people to wake the fuck up and realize if we do not get HONEST and ETHICAL in every way we head for disastere as a species never mind the political fallout of peoples personal careers in Washington..
        yes the assessment above is spot on. but it goes both ways and does not address the real deep seated and profound brain washing of most of the world into the “SYSTEM” and that includes most liberals and progressives.

        • Sabreen60 says:

          Why is it necessary for YOU to question the President’s manhood?

          That closes all communication for me!

        • Khirad says:

          Check out how he polls in Israel.

        • choicelady says:

          None of these is ‘safe’. These steps challenge the corporate power in very fundamental ways. All of this was accomplished in just over TWO years, after forty years of no one stopping the erosion of safeguards that protected us from rapacious capital. Save for some union people and a handful of critics, I saw NO progressive outcry anywhere from 1980 through the Clinton years. It was only under Bush that things started to heat up, but by then the damage was done.

          And you expect it fixed with these last two Congresses, in two years?

          None of what has been done is “safe” and it has taken incredible nerves of steel for President Obama to push BACK -- something Clinton never did -- but I never heard one snark against Clinton over his capitulation to the right.

          If you forgave Clinton for NAFTA, then why do you blame Obama for not being able to unpack it? Clinton was deeply enamoured of free trade as a principle, and Obama is watching every step, has NOT rushed headlong into agreements that can and will harm American working people. He abandoned National Security Memo #68 that dragged us into every hiccup since WW II -- he has NOT done that. He has also gotten combat forces OUT of Iraq, and Panetta’s charge will be to get us out of Afghanistan. And none of Bush’s hyped up permanent presence to command control of the Mid East by the US is coming to pass.

          He never put himself forward as a progressive but as a president who accepted the legitimacy of all citizens. He is utterly pragmatic in terms of what is achievable -- did not waste one breath on single payer for which we (I’m an advocate) could muster only 85 votes. But he’s given Vermont a waiver and they are about to create a STATE single payer plan. CA could be next if we handle this well.

          So I’m not sure what is President Obama’s ‘failure’ when he has been kicked from all sides for doing the most progressive agenda that we’ve seen since LBJ. Unlike LBJ who inherited both Kennedy’s progress and the FDR New Deal legacy, Obama has inherited 1929 and a wimpy Congress.

          Ask yourself one question about anything you care to have pass -- precisely HOW will what you want be achieved? No magical thinking -- where are the votes in Congress? You have an obligation to the rest of us, especially those of us who lobby and are active in fighting for legislation, to TELL us how to get the change you want.

          I will be waiting. Thank you.

          • chazmania says:

            its unfortunate you think my criticism constitutes “magical” thinking as i am further from that kind of thing then any one you may meet on this world.
            My change in support of OB is for many many reasons.
            If i was in his shoes for a day my bones would be bleaching in the desert before your computer cooled off…
            Because i can NOT be bought coerced or paid for by the established money cartels now fully holding the federal government in a head lock..I know i could get NOTHING done that does not serve the interests of the present power establishment.. the fantasy thinking is in this idea that he has any real say whatsoever.. my problem with him is he does not carry the ethics i associate with great men. he placates criminals because they have a certificate and position of power in the system. he surrounds himself with the same culprits and bastards that ruined this country, he comes from this system bread into by his own choice as it serves his own interests his career his “legacy” that i can not even fathom what that would end up looking like if anyone told the god damn truth.
            Love ya but sorry. many defining factors led me to my present stance and not one was based on any magic or fantasy. Some times people have also a sense of a thing an intuition based on subtle things… my BS detector has been highly tuned and trained and when i listen to my true instincts i have never been wrong.. its when i cave to social pressure from people convinced of things that fly in the face of my logic that i get into trouble.

            • choicelady says:

              Sorry to be hard on you, but everything is magical thinking. Gitmo can’t close because of Obama when Congress stabbed him in the back and refused to take the people. What criminals has he placated? We have major investigations ongoing about Wall Street and now oil companies.

              Nothing changes in terms of RIGHTS without legal change through Congress or the courts or both. Using EOs is pointless save as a ‘feel good’ move since it has no enduring force of law. That is, in a democracy, extremely slow. Advice and consent are piss poor substitutes for dictatorship in terms of rapidity of solution. But they ARE the backbone of democracy.

              The hate toward Obama is actually evidence of his unrelenting commitment to change that is NOT in the best interest of the ruling class. He has twice done the obverse of what Clinton did (and sorry -- I should not have said you forgave Clinton; it was more a generic progressive issue than personal one) and shoved the damned GOP into agreements that were vastly better for the American people than for their grasping political desires. I am in awe of what he accomplished in the lame duck and now over the cuts.

              We can’t pretend we live in a progressive society. We don’t. But we DO live in one that is middling with progressive tendencies, and that’s what he’s pursuing. He IS taking back the center, and that has to be done before anyone can move forward with more and bolder plans. He DOES listen to us -- to us collectively -- and we as a people are telling him to be careful. If he ignores that just because WE are not satisfied as progressives, then he is not doing what his largest goal is: trying to bring people back together to find solutions based on fact rather than ideology. All along he told us in the campaign that this was who he is. He never lied. He is doing what he said he would do and how he would do it. After 40 freaking years of our march to the Right, I can realistically ask no more at this stage.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            c-lady, you make good points, but I’m willing to bet the remaining hair on my head that chaz did not “forgive” Clinton for NAFTA. This is where you and I seem to disagree. I heard plenty of people call Clinton a sell-out. I heard people criticize the air bombing war in Bosnia, NAFTA, etc. I think it’s a misconception to portray progressives as “suddenly” deciding to diss the president. What we are seeing, I think are two dynamics that make it more pronounced:

            1.) The Internet has amped up the volume, so criticism has become more deafening since Clinton’s time

            2.) The Dubya administration was seen as so disastrous for this country that when Obama talked about change, people were daring to hope for investigations into the way we were conned into the Iraq War, a clear break from folks like Gates, Geithner, Bernanke, etc.; in short, a house cleaning proportionate to the the legitimate outrage progressives, and MANY Americans felt toward the abuses of the previous eight years.

            Obama’s slow, steady, by the book and with consensus approach may well be the best, even ONLY, approach, but I don’t think people are wrong for feeling a bit short-changed.

            • chazmania says:

              if you bet all your hair on that statement you would be as full headed as a woolly Monmouth.. i was NEVER a Clinton bot.. i was never as enlightened as i am today either…ANd i Loathed the Bush regime.
              But as much as i want to have “hope” as i did in Obama the cold hard facts and truth is he is part of a system i also loath that cant get anything done because of exactly what C lady describes as the American political system.. the REALITY of it is sick diseased and in my estimation mostly sociopathic in nature even if the players are not all clinically they are on a contact high.

      • bito says:

        AdLib, to enhance your comment, one can view all the signed legislation by President Obama at this site:
        http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/signed-legislation

        • chazmania says:

          ok but i was glazing over hard at the administrations appropriations act of who the fuck knows what..
          He is doing his job no doubt….
          cant be easy no doubt….
          Gitmo is a no brainier
          bail outs no brainier it was WRONG
          Major issues of constitutional integrity ignored (lets move on) criminals get fee pass if the are heads of state moving on(ethics problem anyone?)me i get fucked for jay walking…
          I get it he is the system the system is he its all normal to the vast majority of indoctrinated placated mind numbingly brain washed Americans…
          I have no argument in the face of any of this.. i resign myself to the fact i live on a planet of the insane…good night good folks one and all!

          • choicelady says:

            How do you close Gitmo when Congress refuses to permit it? Obama did not bail out anybody -- that was Bush, and it was a done deal.

            How do you prosecute torture when the HUMAN RIGHTS groups (I was on the board of one of the leading national organizations) refuse to do it unless it’s BIPARTISAN because THEY are afraid of their own funders and public image. They actually toned DOWN the requests for Congressional intervention! It’s a shameful little secret about a lot of the progressives in this mess. It led me to resign because accountability MUST be worth more than appearances.

            The White House cannot prosecute anyone, and the AG needs full input, but the human rights community so botched the requests with countervailing demands to different congressional leaders as well as the White House that can’t act, that nothing at all got done. But this cannot and must not be laid at Obama’s feet -- it needs to be laid at our own.

          • bito says:

            chazmania, no offense, but I’m having a difficult time following what you are even saying.

            i was glazing over hard at the administrations appropriations act of who the fuck knows what..

            And:

            Gitmo is a no brainier
            bail outs no brainier it was WRONG

            Can we just start with those and help me understand what you mean? Sorry, I may be slow, but I’m not clear, at all, what you mean by those quoted remarks.

        • AdLib says:

          Very cool, thanks Bito!

    • Caru says:

      If Obama took a progressive stance on business issues, he’s be shot down in both houses before you could say “duck”.

      However, there are certain things that he could force through and my disappointed lies there.

      The Bradley Manning thing is just absurd IMO. If he really is guilty then they’d obviously the evidence have to try and convict him, yet nothing. Methinks they’re waiting to nab Assange.

      As to Obama not being what he portrayed, he’s a politician. You elect a politician, you get a politician.

      • KQuark says:

        That’s so wrong and like most progressives you have not seen what Manning has been indicted for in the first place. It contains charges of him helping the enemy which he “allegedly” did by revealing the names of Afghans that helped NATO.

        I think the fact that progressives put this traitor above any common criminal is the hypocrisy.

      • chazmania says:

        “”As to Obama not being what he portrayed, he’s a politician. You elect a politician, you get a politician.
        UN:F [1.9.8_1114]

        no offense but this thinking really baffles me..
        Ok so ah he’s a serial killer in the neighborhood what do you expect let him be a serial killer that’s what they do but he also keeps a really nice yard….

        Bradly Maning is an EMBARRASSMENT…
        so why is that SO…..????
        Because he revealed the dirty underbelly of Americans wars and dirty laundry embarrasses the president/white house because it was found out in its behavior not because it was despicable behavior but because it was embarrassing..ONLY and this is the indicator of being in agreement with the bad behavior.
        WHY does not anyone see the ethical issues this raises?
        Why does no one face up to the Underbelly of this country’s dirty secrets and what it is truly involved in sanctions and is part of.
        This is what baffles me the most about most people. the denial effect is not just the side the other side suffers from. maybe its Psychological? the best i can conclude is it must be to placate an emotional feeling we still all get from that America the beautiful pledge we all grew up with.. highly suggestive romanticism maybe…Sure wish i could figure it out. Because its NOT getting better out here..

        • Khirad says:

          Actually, the diplomatic cables make us look a lot better than I’d imagined and in fact embarrass other countries even more.

          As to the rest.

          I do daily updates on the middle east.

          Your hyperbole might benefit from some perspective.

        • choicelady says:

          Bradley Manning is being treated as every other high profile person awaiting trial. There is not one shred of proof -- LOTS of allegations -- that he is being mistreated. He is in solitary for his own safety. I have a young friend in a similar position who was kept for months in solitary because he turned state’s evidence. He was THRILLED because it kept him OUT of the general jail and prison population and free of having to watch his back.

          Manning is not being tortured. I have dealt at a national level with trying to end this nation’s use of torture and have two friends who were victims of torture -- Manning is NOT being tortured! The Left should be ashamed to equate Manning’s treatment with that which Bush’s hirelings has inflicted on people around the world. The equation of discomfort and prison conditions with the suffering, mayhem, and death torture has inflicted is beyond disgusting. It discredits those who have truly suffered. I am revolted by the breast beating over Manning and the sheer distinterest in the REAL victims. It’s so freaking narcissistic AMERICAN to shed tears over the WRONG person just because we think he’s cool.

          Bah.

          • KQuark says:

            The fact that is was just such a naked data dump of just about any info Manning could get his hands on is why Manning is not just a whistle blower. If it was an act of conscience he would have filtered what he dumped to include info that he thought was criminal to hide. You just can’t have it both ways. But I don’t expect you’re average Starbucks progressives to discern this major difference.

          • chazmania says:

            first off i never said one thing about him being tortured and i have been skeptical of those claims all along..
            second the article i mentioned talked about the white house response to a reporter and how this reveals a censorship and embarrassment and the secrecy that fly’s in the face of the transparency narrative we all had fed to us in the campaign.
            what blows me away is the obvious lack of concern for the fact that our military purposefully targeted civilian journalists in what seems to me a direct attempt to shut them up and out. Remind you of anything???? But this is all but ignored by this administration. they focus on any one telling the story or showing how we treat people that expose the dark dirty underbelly of the Americans federal government and its behavior..its TRUE behavior..
            the coordinated systemic beat down by the “system” against Wikileaks seems to not trigger any alarms for any one like every one is scared or catatonic to the growing fascism creeping into this whole thing.. it really astounds me that then I am the one accused of fantasy thinking?

            • choicelady says:

              Under whose administration? You need to remember the data dump covers BOTH administrations. The one “smoking gun” about the White House supposedly conspiring with GOP Senators to stop Spain from going after Bush is indeed a smoking gun -- and it shows that these two Senators actied ILLEGALLY in contravention of the Logan Act and without support from the administration. But our progressive base is slavering to show (and HP led the drum beat) that Obama caved -- but the wire shows something far more dangerous, and that’s the work of The Family dealing in illegal pressure on behalf of Bush. Where is the outrage on THAT????? I agree with Khirad -- the wires from this adminsitration were actually pretty solid confirmation that we are dealing with adults in this administration. OK -- the remarks about Berlusconi were probably not judicious, although they WERE accurate! Other than that, what we learned from Wikileaks is that it is day time in America. The dark night of the Bush years is no longer happening. That ought to have made people deeply relieved, but apparently nobody READ that part. We have, as progressives, a habit of sneering contempt for government and everyone in it. It is a lack of discernment and ability to make thoughtful differential analyses that just is dreadfully harmful to accomplishing anything. You have made a number of allegations but not given us either the cases OR evidence, and I NEED to know what you think is wrong and what you think needs to be done and how. We can’t act without that.

  5. lynettema says:

    Keep reminding us. We need a way to fight this. Got any ideas?

  6. Dbos says:

    Plain and simple the republicans are using chumsky for the development of their game plan. Great post; enjoy your work immensely

  7. agrippa says:

    no.

    If you want to rad a real progressive’s work, read Barbara Ehrenreich.
    Head and shoulders above Huffington. Huffington is a cipher.


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