What Lieberman’s Victory Means to FDR Dems

Glenn Greenwald takes a shot at one of Rob’s and my personal bugaboos – the cry from Obama and the DLC/BD Caucus of conservative Dems that there’s been too much hyperpartisanship in Washington. Glenn wants to know “What partisanship?”

Where is the evidence of the supposed partisan wrangling that we hear so much about?  Just examine the question dispassionately.  Look at every major Bush initiative, every controversial signature Bush policy over the last eight years, and one finds virtually nothing but massive bipartisan support for them — the Patriot Act (original enactment and its renewal); the invasion of Afghanistan; the attack on, and ongoing occupation of, Iraq; the Military Commissions Act (authorizing enhanced interrogation techniques, abolishing habeas corpus, and immunizing war criminals); expansions of warrantless eavesdropping and telecom immunity; declaring part of Iran’s government to be “terrorists”; our one-sided policy toward Israel; the $700 billion bailout; The No Child Left Behind Act, “bankruptcy reform,” and on and on. 

Most of those were all enacted with virtually unanimous GOP support and substantial, sometimes overwhelming, Democratic support:  the very definition of “bipartisanship.”  That’s just a fact.


As The Washington Post‘s Dan Froomkin observed at the end of last year:  “Historians looking back on the Bush presidency may well wonder if Congress actually existed.”  How much more harmonious — “bipartisan” — can the two parties get?

He’s right, of course, and regular readers will know how worried we’ve been around here about BO’s naive insistence on what he calls “bipartisanship”, which almost always turns out to mean “doing what the the GOP/DLC/BD Conservative Cabal wants done because they refuse to compromise.” There has been hyperpartisanship, alright, but not on a Pub-Dem split. It’s been coming almost exclusively from the Right along a Conservative-Liberal split – the conservatives in both parties scream about how ANYBODY who doesn’t go along is hyperpartisan. Mention a liberal policy like SCHIP or note how the Medicare Advantage program is little more than a give-away to Big Pharma and suddenly you’re a hysterical partisan who refuses to face reality and compromise [translation: surrender].

It’s a very dangerous game and as we’ve pointed out time and again it is nothing less than a way for repudiated conservative doctrinaires to stay in power and continue to serve their corporate masters at our expense. Though I could cite example after example – and have – you need look no further than Obama’s insistence that the DLC/BD leadership in the Senate return Holy Joe Lieberman to his chairmanship. The vote, as Glenn points out, wasn’t even close: 42-13.

This is very bad news for those who still harbor hopes that BO will turn out to be less conservative than his record thus far and it all but destroys any legitimate reason for FDR Democrats to support the Congressional Dems, or Obama for that matter.

I am not a Democrat anymore. As soon as possible I’m switching my party registration to Independent. If party loyalty means absofuckinglutely nothing to the leadership of the Democratic party, then it means absofuckinglutely nothing to me.

It’s not a party anymore, it’s a competition to see who the oligarchy will use as their preferred tool for transferring wealth to the wealthy.

I despair of Obama fixing any of this, but I will put my hope in him, not the party

Fuck the Democratic party leadership. Fuck them to hell and back. The Left should now be at war with the Democratic party and if that sounds like a joke, it won’t be come 2010.

So it would seem that TMiss is now where I’ve been for months. I begged him and everyone else to make their demands clear and strong before the election to make certain BO knew what he was being elected to do and who his supporters were, but no. That would be “disloyal”. I warned that loyalty wasn’t of interest to the DLC/BD-ruled Dems, that their response – and it was quite naked and open – was “we don’t have to listen to you because you’ve got nowhere else to go”.

Now it’s too late. Now we’ll have to attack every single conservative move Obama tries to make. We can’t give him any leeway because he’s listening to people who say we don’t count. That means we have to do what I’ve been saying all along we’d have to be prepared to do: defeat BD Democrats at the polls. There is no other way short of a third party or having FDR Democrats split off from the Blue Dogs and form a splinter party, which would be preferable but is extremely unlikely as things stand now. (If the Lieberman vote had been close, we might have had a chance to convince the FDR Dems -who are numerousn – to take a hike and go it on their own; that it wasn’t tells us exactly what we’re now dealing with.)

Nobody wanted to talk about it before the election. OK, wanna talk about it now? Or are you waiting for some further sign from Gawd or Harry Reid that the current crop of conservatives running the party are a lost cause? Are you ready to consider dumping Dems at the polls? Including BO in ’12 if he doesn’t get the message? Because that’s what it’s going to take.


To Mark’s credit it seems that’s what he’s now prepared for.

Fuck the Democratic party leadership. Fuck them to hell and back. The Left should now be at war with the Democratic party and if that sounds like a joke, it won’t be come 2010.


Quarter should be given only to those senators who denounce this vote TODAY. Tomorrow is too late, it was a secret vote and I only trust those who demonstrate their anger with it in real time.

This is not me being radical, something I’m quite prone to. This is me being a rank and file Democrat being turned out of my own party. For this there can be no forgiveness because today the Harry Reid led Democrats showed that there is no party, only a confluence of special interests and establishment financiers. 

Crush all incumbents in 2010 and 2012. Purge the party of those who represent money, not people.

(emphasis added)

indeed. Dump the BD Dems, and if that means dumping the party itself – and it probably does – DUMP EM. There’s no other way to prevent an only slightly saner govt than Bush’s from arranging to keep the corporations in power for decades more with every awful result for our society, citizenry, economy, and even our democracy that that implies. A plutocracy run by conservative Democrats instead of Republicans is still a plutocracy, not a democracy, not even a republic. If the that beast eats you alive used to be your make it OK to eat you alive? Does it make him less dangerous?

Of course not, and only somebody in deep denial would think so. Are you?

7 responses to “What Lieberman’s Victory Means to FDR Dems

  1. Pingback: Punkd again (and again) « The Mississippifarian

  2. I’m going to write more about this, but I am a strong believer in honeymoons. Once you’ve got a nominee, you work to elect them, and once they’re elected you cut them some slack (since we have zero input anyway) and then judge them by what they do.

    Yes, it gags me to see Obama picking moderates, but I also know moderates can more effectively ramrod a progressive agenda since they’re better positioned to understand and lobby the right.

    Let’s give Obama a report card next April, but until then I’m content to let him assemble his team.

    The Senate Democratic caucus, however, is a known problem, and if you want someone to criticize, I’d focus on them.

  3. I should also say that I expect Obama to be in charge. So far he seems to be making his picks based on his legislative agenda, and that’s a very good thing.

    We’re getting universal healthcare next year, and while that’s not single payer, I’m sure the insurance industry will throw such a monstrous fit that by year’s end we’ll wonder how we got whatever we do get.

    Our real agenda will, for the most part, have to wait on Obama’s successor, but for right now I’d be happy to see Gitmo shut down, troops start coming home, and some sort of universal healthcare coverage.

  4. You know the problems I have with this. I won’t go over them again, but I will say that expecting Obama to fight his own party – which he would have to do – strikes me as a trifle naive on your part.

    The Senate – otherwise known in my blogging as the DLC/BD/GOP Alliance or, lately, the Conservative Democrat Alliance, has come in for a good deal of criticism and will continue to do so. But if BO doesn’t do something – soon – to establish his leadership (dumping Lieberman was the obvious first test and he flunked), he’s asking to be criticized by the base he’s ignoring.

    As for your agenda, it’s perfectly reasonable. I predict that if he doesn’t show them who’s boss within weeks of the Inauguration, they’ll walk all over him and none – repeat NONE – of it will happen. No form of health care unacceptable to the insurance companies will pass unless the corporations back it which isn’t impossible. They’ve reached the point where they’re aching to have somebody else pay for it. If Gitmo shuts down, it will take months or even years and even then there will probably be leftovers. Troops will dribble home but the bases will be kept open and used as an excuse to maintain a fairly heavy troop level.

    In short, there will be no more than the minimum the Conservative Alliance and its corporate sponsors will accept and that won’t be much more than the appearence of a change in direction – a PR stunt to lessen tensions and to give him something to brag on during the ’12 campaign – wile in fact nothing much changes. If there is more than the standard Alliance “it doesn’t have to as long as it looks like it does”, I’ll give Obama all the credit he deserves and eat a lot of what I’ve said.

    I needn’t tell you I don’t expect to have to do that.

  5. One last thing: honest to gawd, man, you’re setting yourself up for another bettrayal like the Lieberman thing. Obama isn’t who you think he is. His whole political history is marked by a move from the Left to the Moderate Right. He’s better than the best Republican but after all, that’s not saying very much.

    And FWIW, I hope for all our sakes you’re right and I’m wrong.

  6. He’s a product of a bad system, but reform minded.

    But yeah, it wouldn’t be the first time a Democrat has ripped my heart out and pissed on it.

  7. if Obama truly believed that ‘we are all one people’ why would he not be insisting on a single payer universal health care system.

    Health care is probably the only avenue where Americans could be thrown into the same group by political action… and yet we see him perfectly comfortable with continuing to slice and dice the American public by age, location, and income .. even when these artificial constructs are causing the deaths of untold numbers of Americans prematurely ….

    And, increasingly, Americans seem to be divided into the following groups: workers no longer able to produce (disabled and elderly subject to political extermination thru Medicare Advantage), workers who produce too little to matter (the poor), potential future workers (SCHIP), and ‘good workers’ (and for some reason this group includes politicians and CEO’s).

    Seems to me that if the Dems want to put his words into action, they must put us all into the same health care plan. If we can walk into a clinic and ONLY be seen as another American, then Obama’s words would have true meaning and expression.

    I’m with Mick on this one. I see nothing to suggest Obama intends to walk the walk he has talked …..

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