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escribacat On January - 16 - 2010

It’s 10:15 on a Saturday night and I ventured over yonder to make a decidedly unscientific survey on the commenters. I went to two stories (headlines below) and for each one, categorized the comments. I counted two
pages of comments for each story, which came out to 95 and 120 comments. I counted comments, not commenters.

Based on my decidedly unscientific (and fairly brief) survey, I can say without question that the comments being posted were anti-President Obama at a rate of about 3 to 1. The biggest–or most prolific–group was the disgruntled progressive.

My definition of a troll, by the way, is someone whose comments are more obnoxious than contributory. The “innocuous” comment category covers things like “Indeed” and “Fanned.”

Obama Weekly Address Slams Banks For Selfishness: ‘It’s A Sight To See’


Obama/Dem Supporter: 26

Anti-Obama/Leftwing: 44

Anti-Obama/Rightwing: 19

Anti-Obama/Unknown: 11

(Total anti-Obama = 74)

Innocuous comment:20

Obama Personally Mediating Final Health Bill Talks


Obama/Dem Supporter: 22

Anti-Obama/Leftwing: 34

Anti-Obama/Rightwing: 7

Anti-Obama/Unknown: 10

(Total anti-Obama = 51)

Innocuous comment: 17

Categories: News & Politics

98 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. Kalima says:

    Although I agree with the fact that there are progressives who believe only in their own agendas and are trying to disparage the work that President Obama has managed to complete in his one year of office, I still believe that more than half of the people posting as progressives on HP are not what they seem.

    During the primaries there were many posters who claimed that they were for Obama. After the Rev. Wright fiasco, the same posters started to whine and lament in unison,”I was going to vote for Obama but if he’s involved with Wright, I’ll vote for Hillary.” These were progressives, these were free thinking Democrats, I began to shake my head in doubt.

    As the primaries progressed and only Obama and Hillary were remaining, Operation Chaos started to rear it’s ugly head on HP. Posters I knew for a fact to be RW trolls suddenly sprung countless socks and jumped on the Hillary bandwagon. I know because at this time, I was there for many hours each and every day fighting their BS.

    After Obama became the nominee, the huge majority of the so called “progressives” reverted back to their anti-Obama mudslinging and racists posts, they felt as if they had nothing to lose by revealing their identity. I watched this chameleon change on HP for the next few weeks and can’t say it surprised me all that much. AdLib witnessed it at the same time as I and a few of my friends there at the same time did. HP pushed anything negative about Obama, milked it for weeks and it was no longer as subtle as it had been in the past, their tabloid style headlines started to get even crazier. Look at them now, you would think that they were competing with Faux Snooze or Lush [email protected]

    I won’t argue that there are a minority of progressives who expected the President to forget about the rest of the 300 million people who live in your country, they are pathetic if they still don’t understand that he is and must be everyone’s President and their selfish “me” agendas are just a grain of sand on a beach considering the more important dire needs of so many around your nation. Their way of thinking and demanding is not at all democratic in my point of view and to quote a line from a Rolling Stones song for them that we all should learn to understand, “You can’t always get what you want.”

    • KQuark says:

      Well said Kalima.

      It’s how you define progressives too. The purist progressives always love to challenge people like me with litmus tests that question my progressive credentials. The progressives that are most disgruntle are the ones that think any compromises are sell outs and we should just ignore the center. I look at progressives quite literally as people who want and accomplish progress and by that measure there is one one party that wants progress and moves past the status quo.

      The prime example of our differences is in the healthcare debate the purist progressives would rather let progress stop now by killing the bill in hopes that in 15 years or so they can get what they want. To me that’s the same nihilism I see in the GOP. While I don’t think the healthcare bills go far enough for me, they do progress forward past the worst disasters in our system today by vastly improving access, healthcare security and costs for the vast majority of American families.

      • Kalima says:

        I’ve always thought that the President looks much further into the future than most people do. He has two choices, sign the bill as it stands, warts and bumps included and amend it down the road or wait for another window to come along in 15 years and who knows who will be in power then.

        If the numbers stated that up to 44;000 people die every year due to lack of insurance, it would make a total of 660,000 people losing their lives because some elected person cared more about deals and their “nest egg” from offending insurance companies than fighting for the basic rights of the people who elected them to office.

        I would be livid if I knew that people who have no worries about their own insurance plans, would chose to play Russian roulette with my life. Playing “God” at the expense of others, the loss of 660,000 lives sounds a lot like a silent massacre. I believe that denying healthcare to your nation’s people somehow sounds like a declaration of “war” in a sense, so it could be even viewed as a kind of genocide.

  2. Chernynkaya says:

    What a great idea to analyze comments, Escribicat! I never thought of that. I have been keeping a tally of negative vs positive stories about Obama there on HP but just since the first of the year. I haven’t really pared them down, but so far there are roughly 80% negative stories.

    I may be wrong, but my instinct tells me that one of the things that the President did that really turned off a lot of Progressives-- something that he repeatedly campaigned on--is his bipartisanship. It infuriated many (myself included-- I am not that mature!). After years of pent up and impotent rage at the Reptilians, I think it was frustrating to watch as Obama reached out a hand and got it spit on. Instead of being seen as statesman-like and actually mature, he was seen as weak and appeasing by some on the Left. And that was exacerbated during the health care process when Obama made gesture after gesture to the obstructionists on Baucus’ committee. Remember when he thanked Grassley and Grassley then insisted that the bill would “kill grandma?” That was too much for many.

    Somebody on MSNBC commented that Americans will forgive their President for almost anything except weakness. I do NOT think for a second that Obama is weak, but the label stuck, and it has been used by the left about bipartisanship (“caving” became the synonym for negotiating) and the Right, when every single Reptilian repeated the talking point that Obama was on an apology tour, that he bows to foreign leaders.

    I am not saying that this issue (bipartisanship) is the only thing the left is discontented with, but I think it created a meme that has been damaging.

    • KQuark says:

      Personally I think hyper-partisanship is doing more to destroy the functioning of government than anything else, especially with the filibuster rule nothing can get done. I knew the GOP would not become friendly but I am still a bit surprised at their 100% nihilistic approach. I just thought people would be tired of it but obviously both sides love the fight more than bringing the country together. It’s becoming obvious when this country does not have a common enemy we become fine young cannibals.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        I beg to differ KQ. The base of a party is always the most extreme. Don’t you believe that the tea baggers are the base of the Reps? Weren’t the Christian Evangelicals Bush’s base in 2000? Neither of those are vanilla Republicans any more than Obama’s base-- the Left of the democratic Party-- represents the majority of Dems. I think you are mistaking moderate Dems as the mainstay of Obama’s base. (Of course, we might be getting onto semantics here). They may be a part of it, but they are not the one’s who worked tirelessly and fervidly during the campaign, IMO.

        Now, don’t think I agree with their assessment entirely. I am appalled at their immaturity. But I am not so sanguine as to write them off as irrelevant. Also, I have my own issues with some of Obama’s methods and even policies. If we are being realists here, we need to acknowledge that they are important. Look at the 2009 midyears-- no base. We may not agree with them or want them to be game changers but that won’t change the fact that they are. The center votes and they are the mainstay of dem voteres. But the center doesn’t supply the enthusiasm.

        • KQuark says:

          The Democratic Party is not the same as the Republican Party. The base is a collective of special interest groups in the Democratic Party including unions, minorities, many working class people and the progressives you describe are just part of it. The extreme is not the base because a base is consistently behind a party. The progressives you describe decide to go with the Dems once in a while. They left Clinton let Gore dangle when he really won the election and now they are leaving Obama. The moderates in the Democratic Party do most of the work most importantly they win the general elections. When the Dems lose the center like they did for decades and they lose.

          • nellie says:

            I have to agree. I know of many moderate Dems and Independents, even moderate Republicans, who worked very aggressively for Obama during the campaign.

            I think for progressives this was one of the few times that they came out in large numbers for someone who was in one of the two major parties. This was the same group that campaigned for Nader — and they are not really the Democratic base. I agree w KQuark on that point. I think this is a very unconventional group that votes Green or Peace and Freedom — and sits it out a lot. The fact that they are so quick to dismiss this administration confirms that for me.

            I was a Green Party chair — so I know this group and their politics pretty well.

            • KQuark says:

              The nature of the Democratic base is why when elections are about nothing in a way like 2000 Democrats always lose. When I think of base voters I think of people who are loyal to the party. In that way the progressives you are describing have no loyalty to anyone. It’s also what makes progressives progressives in that they don’t trust authority by it’s very nature.

              I appreciate your perspective because mine is different. I’ve more adopted my father’s blue collar perspective and while he’s more conservative than I am he’s still a loyal Democrat.

            • KQuark says:

              The only problem is with every Bernie Sanders you would end up with a David Duke in the South. I think the past European elections shows that multiple parties can lead to more extremes on both ends.

            • nellie says:

              That’s an interesting point. Democrats should always make elections about SOMETHING — because when there is turnout among Dems, Democrats win.

              Of course, my wish is that someday we’ll have instant runoff voting and a lot more candidates like Bernie Sanders who have a real chance at winning.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Wow-- that was weird! I honestly am not so insistent that I replied twice! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    • AdLib says:

      I don’t think his attempt at bipartisanship at the outset of the Stimulus battle was seen as weakness by Dems, I think it was his continued compromises to bring the GOP on board the Stimulus then HCR, after the GOP made clear all they wanted to do was sabotage his presidency, that upset a lot of Dems (including me).

      Once it was clear that bipartisanship would be impossible, it was time for Obama to focus on Progressives and Dems and eschew the GOP.

      IMO, the better approach would have been to shove the GOP aside then use that as leverage, “If you want to help America, you’ll be welcome back into the process. If all you care about is helping yourselves and your party, you can stay at the kiddie’s table for the next 8 years.”

      • escribacat says:

        That seems like the logical thing to do but given the make-up of the Senate, and the fact that the “supermajority” really is not a super majority at all — I think he has to temper his statements and policies. Here we are in a situation where his whole platform could crumble because of one special election in Mass. This is not what I’d call a supermajority or a mandate. He might be able to shove the GOP aside, but what about those half dozen or so Blue Dog dems? It seems to me that all the compromising and so on has been done to appease those guys — not so much the Party of No.

        • nellie says:

          And his belief in civil discourse is genuine. I think he’s not only trying to set an example for the future, but also governing according to his own principles.

          • escribacat says:

            Agreed, Nellie. As much as I enjoyed Grayson’s antics, they still seemed like antics to me. Obama is a statesman and a gentleman — which is what I admire most about him. Even while I detest that Ghastly Grassley, it still impressed me that Obama treated him in a civil way.

    • escribacat says:

      Cher, I think this is an excellent assessment. For all the hatred expressed for George Bush on the part of the far left, a personality like his is actually what they’re looking for.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Yes, E’cat-- oh the irony! But here’s the thing: The Right is reprehensible. I think Obama has realized this by now. I think he was not naive as much as, well, Hopeful. He hadn’t written them off at first, but I think now he pretty much has. I for one, do not want any more bipartisanship unless the Reptilians change their tune. I want them marginalized and seen as the extremists they are. Obama has proven that he was more than willing to work with them; that he wanted to include them.

        Now, he must move on and, to use Rarest’s analogy, get out of the abusive relationship. He has spent political capital on that, but he can now show that he gets it-- the Party of Rush deserves nothing.

        • escribacat says:

          Agreed. I would have given up on those dinosaurs a long time ago. I can’t imagine Obama actually thinks he’ll get any cooperation out of them. My guess is he simply goes through the motions as a matter of policy. I do recall the Grassley incident — and later Obama did call him out on it. He’s no fool. He knows.

    • nellie says:

      Cher, if you want to start posting what you’ve found, there’s a place now where you can add comments:

      ProjectPOV Media Review

      Please let me know if you have ideas for improving the organization of the project! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. boomer1949 says:

    So, after all the excellent responses (mine not included thank you), Who wants to combine them into one polite, but firm, Letter to the Editor of Harper’s? If this isn’t possible, at least a polite, but firm, “you’re an asshole” response to Roger Hodge?

    ***forgot to add I’m willing to sign it either with boomer1949, PlanetPOV or with my real name. I used my real name so many times during the campaign and since, I’m sure I’m on some list somewhere. They just haven’t yet come after me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • escribacat says:

      Good idea, Boomer. Seems like a letter writing campaign is part of Nellie’s plan — or should be! It wouldn’t be too hard to piece together an excellent letter from the posts here, as you said! (Go for it!!)

      • boomer1949 says:


        Thank you, but there are so many here with serious writing and editing experience. We ooze professional, and although I am a capable writer, it’s not my day job.

        Oh, and I’m not saying this just to wiggle out of the task either.

        I’m willing to sign what ever comes to fruition, but would be uncomfortable editing you, nellie, choicelady, AdLib, TRP, KQ…

        This could be a test run for nellie’s final product and give us an idea how many people we’ll piss off.

        • TheRarestPatriot says:

          Very generous to include me in the list of the many talented writers here boomer, but I’m just an armchair social observationist. I’m nowhere near as eloquent or educated as my classmates here at PlanetPOV. I yield my remaining time to those better able to use it…LOL

          • boomer1949 says:

            Oh give me a break…you are much too humble IMHO. Your poetry and everything else you’ve contributed? Your comment to this post alone makes you more than “eloquent” and competent. As far as “educated” goes — sometimes being an “armchair social observationist” is better anyway — means one has common sense and the ability to use it.


            **And for all of our “educated” Planeteers, that comment was not meant offend.**

      • nellie says:

        It is part of the project. I’m working on it now, but I think a letter to Harpers would be great.

        We can refute points one by one.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Nellie-- what you put together and the separate area for our work on the Project are just masterful! Thank you-- this will make it easier to communicate.

          Just so you know, while the Truth Project is a daily thing I do, I am working on a new article, so may be less visible for a couple of days-- unless I am procrastinating and can’t keep away!

          • nellie says:

            No pressure. We don’t have any deadlines. And most of all, this should be fun. Fun with a product we can send out. But mostly, fun.

          • escribacat says:

            Yes, the new project section looks fantastic, Nellie! I need to put some thought into exactly what role to play…I’m not clear on it yet.

    • choicelady says:

      I’m in!

  4. AdLib says:

    Escribacat, thank you for this reality status check!

    Gallup currently shows Obama at a 49% Approval -- 44% Disapproval.

    Those are not great numbers but with unemployment, a struggling economy and a year of non-stop political grinding on the Stimulus then Health Care, one can only imagine what any other president’s ratings would be.

    When one compares those numbers with the sampling you did at SnakeoilPost, it certainly seems to confirm that the site in question is a corrupt and tainted reflection of Dems and Progressives.

    Keeping in mind that Obama beat McCain, 53% -- 46%, the current Approve/Disapprove numbers are not hugely different from where people were last November.

    Yet, at HypePost, the anti-Obama frothing from alleged Dems is all out of proportion.

    This type of anecdotal evidence would be great to add to our ProjectPOV.

    • KQuark says:

      The middle won Obama the election and most of them are still with him. The idea that their is a progressive base is preposterous. There is a Democratic base. The progressive base are a bunch of late drinking whiners that already have healthcare insurance and say dump healthcare because they can wait another 15 years. Issues like healthcare is an academic issue to them. The Democratic base are the hard working uninsured, under insured and the people that really need progress to better their lives.

      ChoiceLady said it best when she said a little while back these whining progressives simply “have no skin in the game”.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        I beg to differ KQ. The base of a party is always the most extreme. Don’t you believe that the tea baggers are the base of the Reps? Weren’t the Christian Evangelicals Bush’s base in 2000? Neither of those are vanilla Republicans any more than Obama’s base-- the Left of the democratic Party-- represents the majority of Dems. I think you are mistaking moderate Dems as the mainstay of Obama’s base. (Of course, we might be getting onto semantics here). They may be a part of it, but they are not the one’s who worked tirelessly and fervidly during the campaign, IMO.

        Now, don’t think I agree with their assessment entirely. I am appalled at their immaturity. But I am not so sanguine as to write them off as irrelevant. Also, I have my own issues with some of Obama’s methods and even policies. If we are being realists here, we need to acknowledge that they are important. Look at the 2009 midyears-- no base. We may not agree with them or want them to be game changers but that won’t change the fact that they are. The center votes and they are the mainstay of dem voters. But the center doesn’t supply the enthusiasm.

    • choicelady says:

      Thank you for finding that, AdLib.

      One of the funny things I got from one of the Left Narcissists was the ranting against Obama for “abandoning progressive values” then pointing out to me that he’d lost a lot of independent support. OK -- and how would going further LEFT help THAT? Another (I think I’ve said this before, sorry) predicted that no one would vote for Dems, and then immediately noted that everyone liked their OWN Dem just fine. Until I get to live in CA and vote in AL, I don’t think this will be a game changer, do you?

      What horrifies me is the lack of knowledge that the leftie pundits and observers seem to have about how government works. In that Harper’s article, he sneers at Obama using signing statements -- which EVERY president has done since at least FDR. That does NOT mean a willingness to flout the laws passed by Congress simply because Bush did it that way! Substance matters. Tell me what he specifically has done wrong or be quiet!

      I give up on these people. I have way too much to do trying to get a decent health care bill and many other items through Congress and the CA state legislature -- which, for those of you who don’t live here, is more dysfunctional than a banana republic. So who has time to whine?

  5. TheRarestPatriot says:

    The masses that rallied behind Obama from the get-go had an agenda of their own. I know this because I am one of them. Before this very able, strong, intellectual came along I was in a very dysfunctional relationship with my previous Administration, but was forced to stay ‘involved’. I was abused…emotionally. My partner had no respect for me or anyone outside their circle of power. This strengthened them and frightened me. Yet I knew this relationship would end. Badly. So, now rides in this Knight of Democracy with powerful ideas and plans to right the wrongs of my last partner. And although he told me precisely what he planned to correct…I heard a laundry list of other issues he was going to address whether he was aware of it or not. I was too busy considering adding more and more to the honey-do list to hear the sensible, attainable goals my new partner had laid out before me. He asked for my help and my patience. I wanted everything…now….and just the way I happened to see it in my…well…emotionally battered mind. What in the world was I doing running into this relationship with all of this baggage believing in miracles instead of sound judgment? ow unfair of me was it to expect, no DEMAND that this new benefactor save me from every ill I could conceive?
    In the end, it was us that transferred our own twisted dreams onto this man, when the entire world looked to him for salvation…he gave us reality and it stings like a paper cut between the fingers of the republic and the Right wing plays us all like a demented, out of tune fiddle…We all wanted and demanded Muhammad Ali mixed with a little Nelson Mandela and were shocked, shocked I tell you to get Denzel Washington with a lot of Cliff Huxtable. And for that, we should all be patient, reasonable in our expectations and thrilled to know the world has gained a beloved statesman and not a sad, pocket cowboy with his posse of mustache-twisters….

    • KQuark says:

      RarestPatriots I always love your eloquent contributions. The distrust of government for most progressives snapped during the Bush administration and if Obama did not get it perfect within their expectations he was going to be distrusted as well.

      People act like Obama never said he was going to reemphasize military efforts in Afghanistan. People act like Obama was not going to follow through with his rhetoric to be president of all Americans instead of just progressives. The fact is progressives really wanted a progressive hyper partisan who was the mirror image of Bush. President Obama was never the divisive radical that Bush was and now the mirror has broken.

    • LABC63 says:

      Man, that was beautiful…your comment covered all of my frustrations with comments from so-called progressives who seem to want revenge and not leadership. Look, I am all for Cheney’s pacemaker batteries to run out, but I am not interested in Obama acting like some third world dictator and lining him up with some others to shoot them in the mouth. I just want to give this man a chance to pull us out of the morass we have been in for 8 years and move us forward. And I am old enough to know that this sort of work takes time.

      Muhammed Ali, huh? I always thought that they wanted Huey Newton with a splash of Malcolm X.

      • choicelady says:

        Huey? Went to university with Huey -- well, his bodyguard who appears to have been the one deserving the degree since he attended class in loco something-or-other for the missing Huey. Did not want Huey, did not want Cliff Huxtable (too apolitical for me).

        No -- I wanted someone progressive, and I GOT that. Progressive is respectful of differences. Progressive is realistic. Progressive is careful, thoughtful, humane, wise. Progressive is having the right goals and policies AND watching how it all has to work out so that other people aren’t stomped on.

        I very much appreciate the sentiment, LABC that if Cheney’s pacemaker batteries conk out, so be it, but taking him out and shooting him is NOT progressive! Congress has a role in investigating the previous administration if they so choose. Don’t know what’s up, but they aren’t pursuing that save for Sheldon Whitehouse’s CIA inquiry. I want accountability, and a presidential Commission of Inquiry will NOT accomplish that, so let’s move the burden back on Congress. They need to hold the previous administration’s role in torture and constitutional violations up for both investigation AND penalty. If they won’t -- how is that on Obama?

        Progressive is restoring the democratic PROCESS in Washington, NOT becoming a leftwing imperial president that makes us feel good with vengance.

      • nellie says:

        LOL — Huew and Malcolm. That’s what I thought, too, LABC…

        • TheRarestPatriot says:

          Oddly, I just finished watching my series of Berkley in the 60s and took special interest in Huey and the BP movement. Although I was shocked to see the movement actually bringing weapons inside the Nation’s Capital, I was stunned that there wasn’t far more bloodshed within the Panthers. It seemed like it was open season for everyone then. Even the Hell’s Angels stuck their dirty little noses into the mix. What a powder keg of an era. I was born the day MLK was shot and amidst all of the chaos and confusion of the 60s and early 70s. I wonder now if the people of today could even fathom taking to the streets as those brave, sometimes misdirected youth did back then? I think it’s been bred out of us all. When we all should be marching TO Washington D.C., to end this Capitalistic global behemoth, we simply march off to WalMart for more High Fructose Corn Syrup goodness….

    • nellie says:

      What a great post TRP.

      I think we got better than Denzel and Cliff Huxtable. I think we got something completely new and different. We got a nerd. An intellectual, principled, boring, methodical guy. Just the kind of guy you want for a stable relationship.

      Personally, I love it. It takes getting used to after Mr. Cowboy. But we’ll get a lot done by the time he leaves office.

    • escribacat says:

      Well said TRP. I think the joking references to the “messiah” hold a lot of truth to them. There were a lot of folks suffering from PTSD after eight years of Bush and they thought Obama would bring us nirvana. When he didn’t, overwhelming disappointment.

  6. choicelady says:

    Thank you escribacat! I was beginning to think I had lost perspective. This month’s Harper’s Magazine has an unfettered LW slam against the President, “The Mendacity of Hope” by Roger Hodge. His article rests on major assertions for which he offers no evidence. He claims we are still doing “soft” torture but cites no evidence. He criticizes the “failure” to close Gitmo and the use of military commissions among many other factors.

    He also says Obama promised “to end the war in Iraq, close Guantanmo, restore the constitution, heal our wounds, wash our feet.” It is precisely this sort of lying hyperbole that allows the left to wash their hands of a president. There is NO recognition of how carefully Obama is submitting these very difficult issues to the courts and Congress. Hodge’s claims of continued warrantless spying et al. have not come to my attention, and this IS an arena in which I work a great deal. The courts, with the DOJ simply submitting the Bush arguments, have struck DOWN a great deal of the Bush Doctrine on these matters. I want evidence that we are doing what Hodges claims or whether he’s predictating this on such “evidence” as the yet-to-be revised Army Field Manual Appendix. Having leftover policies still in writing does not mean we’re USING those policies, and I see little outcry from human rights groups pointing fingers to actual soft or hard torture under this administration.

    I recall just after the election that the American public said they’d give Obama time to sort out the grave mess he’d been handed not just by Bush but the legacy of predecessors since WW II. I think we gave him five minutes. Hodges says those of us who respect what Obama is working to do are fools, delusional, that we are just freaky in our “justifications” of his work.

    Well this IS a Democracy, and like it or not, even Sarah has rights. As loony as the right can be, they are part of the mix, and correcting the deficiences of the past 60 years of US imperialism is NOT going to be done overnight because they will slow the process. Sure Obama could issues massive and sweeping executive orders -- which would not last, and which could very well destroy the fragile stability we now have.

    The American public IS to blame for electing buffoons and failing to pay attention to major issues until something blows up in their faces. Obama honors the complexities of democracy and diversity of who we are as a nation, while the snarky progressives appear to want nothing less than for Obama to dynamite everything, and damn the consequences. We just want to feel good by sticking it to the Right even if that trods on their rights AND is guaranteed, as KQ well notes, to alienate the vast majority of Americans.

    I do not celebrate the snarky progressives who, as we’ve discussed before, have no skin in the game. They tend to have health care, incomes, homes, food, and disposable income. They yield nothing and do nothing except point fingers at the president who never promised the things the castigage him for not delivering. I remember most of them who are my age -- they are the ones who sat out both Vietnam AND pacifism, finding deferments and ways not to have to do anything but carp. Don’t think they’re all that age, but the American tendency to whine rather than work for real change is beginning to get on my nerves.

    One ally gave me a great button that I want to share: “Don’t whine. Organize!”

    Oh that the lefties would begin to do that!

    Thanks Escribacat for actually outing both the trolls and the whiners (even if some are really trolls). They are making me absolutely fed up. I don’t have time to critique the Prez -- I’m too busy trying to make change come true.

    • KQuark says:

      It’s ridiculous in many ways because things like torture have ended. Closing Gitmo what is Obama supposed to do if Congress does not allocate the money. In fact when the closings were not going well he got rid of those responsible and reemphasized the closing of Gitmo. They now have a prison in the US for them. I also want to know when Bush was trying Gitmo detainees like Obama is going to do. Not to even mention the investigations into torture that Holder is doing. The denial is all on the side of these so called progressives that will not recognize progress because it’s not enough for them.

    • escribacat says:

      Well said, choicelady. I particularly appreciate this sentence: “There is NO recognition of how carefully Obama is submitting these very difficult issues to the courts and Congress.”

      You are describing a patient, rational process designed to create lasting change by working within the system. That’s how it must be done in a democracy. If you want to destroy our democracy and start a dictatorship, then you should come right out and say it.

    • nellie says:

      Thanks, choicelady, for pointing out the Harper’s article. The author apparently is not keeping up with the actions of this administration, because the president is actually following through on his campaign promises — at an impressive rate for the first year in office.

      Your post is very helpful in crystalizing some of the ideas for ProjectPOV. I’m working on organizing the project this weekend. I’m really glad you posted this comment about harpers.

      e’cat, I agree w KQuark and Kalima — the comment section of HP is very toxic and not very representative of the progressive community, — much less of democrats. I’ve noticed that some television programs are reading from comment sections now, and this is VERY poor journalism. Something I’d like to see stopped — since many comments are paid and are merely repeated talking points from the Heritage Foundation.

      It’s more important to make sure our journalists are giving us the information we need to make decisions. They are really falling down in that effort during this administration — as the Harper’s article demonstrates.

    • boomer1949 says:


      More like thirty seconds. Even worse, I think many wanted him to have all of it sorted out before he even took the oath of office. We’ll never know how well he was briefed or if they just pretended to do so.

      • choicelady says:

        boomer -- I stand corrected. You’re right. It was 30 seconds.

        • boomer1949 says:


          I hope you realize I wasn’t being critical — just my usual sarcastic self. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • choicelady says:

            Of course, boomer! I just think you happen to be correct! Thirty seconds. Tops.

            My organization is very much on the side of LGBTQ rights including marriage equality. We take a LOT of heat for that! When Obama invited Rick Warren to the inaugural, you’d have thought he was selling babies in the town square. We thought it was a good outreach, not worth getting one’s knickers in a twist over. That was the end of the 30 seconds.

            I respect that he respects other people’s right to be different. I agree that this was perceived as “weak” -- how stupid! The crisis of legitimacy in government requires someone to acknowledge that everyone has rights, even if you HATE those people!

            He has now given the Rethugs a chance, they have failed to rise to the occasion, and he’s no longer bothering with them. I think that’s brilliant. But oh noooooo -- that was insufficient for the phony progressives. He was supposed to be Bush with a leftie view. That’s not what I wanted, and I am relieved at what he’s done because they, not we, brought about their own downfall. If phony progressives can’t see that, they are childishly immature. (Not that I’m attacking them or anything… hah!)

            • boomer1949 says:

              You’re absolutely correct.

              In my view, I compare the offering of bipartisanship as 1) a game of chess, 2) intentional because he knew they wouldn’t play, and 3) now he can do whatever the Hell he wants, including telling them to F-off.

            • choicelady says:

              Works for me.

  7. Kalima says:

    You know something escribacat, in my experience on Huff June 07 to April 09, many of the posters claiming to be progressives, especially during the primaries, turned out to be RW trolls, paid trolls. You just can’t believe people over there unless they have been there quite some time and seem constant in their views. I don’t believe for a second that there is suddenly a new breed of progressives spouting hate and anti- Obama crapola day in and day out.

    During the primaries there were also RW trolls claiming they were Hillary supporters, they would say anything during that time to make sure that a black man never set foot in the WH.

    Please don’t be fooled, they are being payed for every negative comment that stays up, sooner or later they show their real colours and slip up, then the next batch takes over
    Huffy just love their troll gibberish, makes lots of money for the Queen Bee to stuff her mattress with so she can smell it and fall asleep at night inhaling her spoils.

    • choicelady says:

      Much as I wish I could support the contention that the RW is boring from within the left -- that progressive criticism of Obama is really RW paid people -- I get it all the time from allies, even friends. Mostly it’s from people I do not know well, but even within my progressive world of public policy, there are LW anti-Obama people who take this position because they wanted everything fixed immediately. AND they did not want to have to work to make that happen. They are mostly white people of privilege with progressive sentiments, but they are people who win nothing, lose nothing no matter what. They are in love with Arianna and with the sound of their own voices.

      I find it very telling that the collapse of support for the health care bill came NOT from the right but the left when the public option was omitted in the Senate. And these people who supported it -- I being in the lead but not stuck on myself -- will NOT vote for Dems if the public option is omitted. Another acquaintance refuses to vote because Obama has not brought peace to the middle east. They will all just sit it out, “too good” to vote for anything but perfection -- by their own lights.

      That may very well be what happens Tuesday in MA, leaving the field to the RW. I am SO ANGRY at what passes for progressives today. I’m old enough to remember when that meant you went out and WORKED for what you wanted and supported the officials who were closest to you. Since when do we give up because a president -- an amazing and outstanding president -- is not perfect?????

      I am sick of this. Time for progressives to GROW UP and join the adults on The Planet.

      • KQuark says:

        Absolutely and well said. So called progressives that sit on their hands and let Republicans get in office out of spite are condoning going backwards. Radical progressives have become as reactionary and hateful in many ways similar to the right wing extremes. The worse things the progressives get caught in with is the same group think the right wing gets caught in as well.

      • nellie says:

        I agree, CL. I have a friend who I am constantly talking down because her expectations are so unrealistic. It’s a little puzzling to me that people can have such disproportionate expectations for this president. Under Bush, I was grateful if I woke up and we didn’t have another war or disaster or constitutional crisis on our hands.

        • choicelady says:

          KQ and nellie -- I suppose this is not new. Years back when I was a teaching assistant, I had students who were ‘too good to vote’ for either Carter or Reagan. And that arrogance and sniffy dismissal got us Reagan.

          For various reasons (I think I understand but you all don’t need my history lesson) we’ve reverted to a professional victim status. I cannot tell you how many people act as if their privilged lives were somehow trampled by someone simply disagreeing with them. So, as victims, they can continue to be “too good to…” fill in the blank.

          False and unrealistic expectations are killing us. False and unrealistic dichotomies of good and evil are killing us. False and unrealistic self-centered absolutes are killing us.

          I am really, REALLY afraid that despite the gains we will make under Obama and this Congress, that there are enough spoiled children in the left who will just sit out 2010 and hurt us as a nation.


          • nellie says:

            It’s going to be critical to target the progressive community with a lot of sensible persuasion from now until November. I don’t know who’s going to do it, but somebody better!

            We’ll see what happens in MA. That’s going to be a good indication of where we are.

            • Tiger99 says:

              Personally I believe what is currently happening in MA is a good indication of where we are, win or lose…

      • LABC63 says:

        Bravo!! It is so funny reading the self-righteous comments from HP “progressives” who haven’t the slightest idea of what it is like to truly have nothing. The ones who have no problem dismantling something just because it isn”t perfect. The ones who play ingenues and cannot understand why, despite this political environment, Obama cannot ram through a health bill on his own, ignore the constitution and make his own laws.

      • escribacat says:

        Agreed. The people I have been battling are not RW posers — they are disgruntled lefties who wanted — and still want — a revolution. They don’t want to charge a fee to the bankers or even do some trust busting — they want to eliminate the bankers. They want to dismantle the capitalist system and the democratic process. I am not a big fan of big corporations, I don’t trust them and I see them as endlessly greedy at the expense of everyone else. However, I believe they need to be reined in through valid democratic methods. The people I am talking about are extremist leftwing pitchforkers — kind of like the folks you saw chopping aristocratic heads off during the French revolution.

  8. KQuark says:

    You must also remember that Huffy still, especially it’s posters still represent just a tiny slice of the real world. I know progressives get mad when I say this but our numbers are small in this country about 20% or 1 in 5. The vast majority of the country think President Obama is too liberal or just right.

    In general, would you say that President Obama’s views and proposed programs for the country are too liberal, not liberal enough, or just about right for the country?

    Not liberal enough 10%
    Just about right 42%
    Too liberal 46%


    • escribacat says:

      Yes, I remember this post. I think it’s pretty funny that those extreme lefties are demanding extreme leftie policies in a nation with those percentages. They’d do well in a dictatorship in my opinion, but not in this democracy. The spite they express for anyone who doesn’t share their radical views is just as toxic and full of hate as the rightwing trolls in my mind. I’ve had two disturbing fights with two of them in recent weeks.

      I just had dinner with my republican brother and his wife — a good reminder of that fact. They don’t like Obama but their attitude toward him was fairly congenial — much more so than the rabid hatred the disappointed libs on HP express. Maybe it was just for my sake but they didn’t talk like they wanted to burn him at the stake like some of the extreme lefties that I’ve tangled with lately.

      • msbadger says:

        I agree completely, escribacat! It really upsets me. These self-appointed monitors of the Left, if they are even half as numerous as the polls above seem to show, really PISS me off. They need to grow up. Thanks for a great post, to someone I fanned long ago on HP.

      • KQuark says:

        We need to move this country in theory and in practice to center left. Pulling too much from the extreme left will only break the bonds between the left leaning moderates and progressives. Republicans have already done that with their party and we should learn from it not repeat their mistakes.

        • LABC63 says:

          Absolutely!! We have a text-book example of how a party can get so lost and yet, on HuffPost, there are those ready to do it on the far left. That horrid Jane Hamersham (sp) ready to lie down (rhetorically) with that wingnut on the right to make some point about how the extremes are in sync. Seriously, that is progressive thought? How much right wing dick you are willing to suck to show Obama how mad you are? Really?

          (pardon my french…)

  9. KQuark says:

    Interesting analysis. That’s about right the stories on Huffy including the columnists are about 3 to 1 against President Obama. Aryanna is the chicken in charge of spewing the rotten eggs so I conclude the chicken comes first. The lemmings all just gobbling up the spoiled eggs.

    You must always realize Huffy was never been an advocacy site like other progressive sites. Huffy was first built to be anti-Bush. Then it was anti-Hillary and now it’s anti-Obama. Being advocates for progressive causes simply does not sell as well enough.

    Most of the people who still support the president are long gone.

    • escribacat says:

      KQ, I began posting at Huffy one year ago. At the time, I actually was under the impression that it was an advocacy site. It took me some months before I began seeing a pattern of abuse, to use a cliche. I think it was the incessant Geithner bashing without any real evidence or clear reason — except that he knew people on Wall Street (duh, the Treasury Secretary BETTER know people on Wall Street). It began to feel more to me like the kind of immature radical views I had as a young kid when I didn’t bother thinking anything through. Just pure contrarianism and looking for something to moan about.

      • boomer1949 says:

        I was there from May 2007 to December 2009.

        I really began having issues with the negativity during the campaign. Unlike Kalima, it took another ten months (blogger naivete, I guess) and having HITO’s back one evening in December before I saw “God’s Light.” We exchanged e-mails, she invited me here, and the rest is history.

        I must admit, I do go there to read posts, but not to comment. I was briefly on the main yesterday and noticed a column of links with “Watch Arianna on…” or “Listen to Arianna on…” AH opines more than Carter has pills; I’m amazed she is considered a credible “go to” source for much of the MSM. I have this image of Cleopatra swirling in my head, and she just won’t go away!!

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Boomer-- now that’s funny! OMG! As an aside-- the acting in that is unintentionally hilarious. Why did anyone ever think Burton could act? He reminds me of Jon Lovitz as the Master Thespian on SNL!

          • escribacat says:

            Cher — you are right that this movie is ridiculous. I cringed, trying to watch that clip. BUT!! Richard Burton was fantastic in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Where Eagles Dare.

            Night of the Iguana is one of my favorite movies. The difference is that it had a brilliant screenplay whereas this Anthony and Cleopatra was just garbage.

            • boomer1949 says:


              I was going for the “Queenie on a Throne” analogy.

              AH been referred to as “The Queen Bee,” I’ve called her “The Mother Ship,” and Khirad just referred to her as “The Mirror Queen,” from Snow White.

              Regardless of her real name or her nickname, she has written a terrible screenplay, and her acting is

              Oh, and her opinions suck!

          • Khirad says:

            I thought both of them were pretty ridiculous, but figured it might be generational. I was totally unconvinced.

            Me? I think of AH as the Mirror Queen, from Snow White.

          • boomer1949 says:


            Thanks. I was concerned no one would get a ๐Ÿ˜† out of it.

            Unintentionally for the audience, but I’ll bet the two of them were having a blast. You know, those Hollywood Stars and their secret ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ messages…

      • KQuark says:

        I should have said anti-McCain as well. It definitely got worse after the election. Because there was no pretense to advocate for anything. But they never made progressive advocacy front and center. I know I just agreed with their anti-Republican sentiment but that’s still not advocacy. When the whole obsession with the banks thing which is still out of proportion to other progressive sites started then I knew they did not really care about healthcare, the environment, education and other progressive causes as much as payback.

  10. Khirad says:

    We should coordinate visits and compare notes. Might be interesting. I don’t know if I could restrain myself to just observing though… In any case, I’ve been back over yonder less and less, and the more reminders like this, the less compunction I feel to reason with the madness.

    • escribacat says:

      I’d like to do a more thorough survey. I may be mistaken but I think HP is considered the premiere progressive site in the country, and it simply isn’t. It’s a queer mishmash of extreme leftists/contrarians and chortling rightwingers who are enjoying the fracturing of the progressives. Mostly it just feel like a vicious pissing match now. I was attacked yesterday by a leftie extremist that I’ve tangled with before. I was so angry after what she said to me that I had to leave and somehow expunge my violent fantasy of wringing her neck! I had posted something in favor of passing the health care bill and this old bitch accused me of being as low as a Jewish collaborator in a concentration camp (a capo). I was incredibly offended. I don’t often get that angry, but this old hag is really good at spewing hatred. It was bad.

      • LABC63 says:

        Aren’t they the worst? I hate those self -righteous c’s who use that terminology as a way to answer any reasoned opinions that go counter to their united front of “Oh, fanned…you are so right…Obama is awful…if I didn’t have to move my fat” I got health care already” ass I would so go out in the street and scream at government….”

        I find it hard to stay out of those pissing contests, but I am trying now thanks to this site!

        • escribacat says:

          LABC, I shouldn’t have let it get to me but I got sucked into it like an idiot. I was still mad when I woke up the next morning! It’s like getting mad at a robot. There was no way to cope, except making this blog post has helped a lot!

          • LABC63 says:

            E…you are only human -- there are people out there who derive their whole self worth in goading others. I have been there too…

          • Khirad says:

            I’ve never woken up mad, but some of them have seriously disturbed me and threatened a good night’s sleep. Like, do you really believe the crap you’re spewing? or are you just trying to get under my skin? Believe it or not, I’d prefer the latter. It’s more frightening that that level of crazy exists, and is, as always, certain in their beliefs.

      • PepeLepew says:

        Wow, you usually stay out of the HP wars unlike the rest of us fools … ๐Ÿ˜†

        • escribacat says:

          I know — but something about this particular monster….I’ve mentioned her to you before. My nemesis.

          • Khirad says:

            I don’t know if it’s the same as one of my lesser nemeses. And by that I mean they’re more annoying than they actually challenge me -- a few, once in a while, help hone my skills (though I’d never admit it to them). Had she gone on a completely wild, unrelated tangent about Palestinians it would have been the same -- but that whole collaborator thing threw me off.

          • msbadger says:

            Okay, NOW you have piqued my curiosity more than I can stand… Sigh…..

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