‘liberal sorcery’

Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic): I want to double (or triple) down on these posts by Yglesias ….  As Matt rightly notes, this obsession with the president’s want of liberalism really needs to confront the hard facts of Senators and congressmen who say things like this:

“Terrible,” Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) told POLITICO when asked about the president’s ideas for how to pay for the $450 billion price tag. “We shouldn’t increase taxes on ordinary income. … There are other ways to get there.”

“That offset is not going to fly, and he should know that,” said Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu from the energy-producing Louisiana, referring to Obama’s elimination of oil and gas subsidies. “Maybe it’s just for his election, which I hope isn’t the case.”…

Matt: … Webb and Landrieu … what strikes me about their remarks is that they’re being mean. Webb isn’t respectfully disagreeing with the administration’s proposed offsets, he’s calling them “terrible”. Landrieu is calling the sincerity of the president’s motives into question. For me, it’s difficult to imagine parallel behavior on the other side……

Coates: ….. it’s healthy, legitimate, essential and fair to ask, “What would make more progressive legislation possible?” That line of thinking has to confront the kind of statements and action by Democratic Senators who evidently feel little or no pressure from their progressive base.

…. I think liberals are much more comfortable attacking whoever seems to hold the most power ….. it’s comforting to believe in a narrative of liberal “betrayal,” to argue that the game is rigged in such a way that the Hippie-punchers always win.

It’s also pretty cynical.

Full post here

Thank you ‘africa’


You can contact Landrieu here and Webb here – you’ll also get their office phone numbers at the list at What Is Working


Jonathan Cohn (TNR): If you’ve read this blog lately, you’ve read a lot of criticism of Republicans for talking economic nonsense, placing their political fortunes ahead of the country’s good, or some combination of the two. But sometimes Democrats, particularly conservative Democrats, do the same things. And now is one of those times.

Mary Landrieu and Jim Webb – I’m looking at you.

…. Landrieu represents Louisiana, a very conservative state, and plans to seek reelection – so there’s some political logic to her position. Webb is another story: He’s retiring. The feeling seems to be genuine. And, as Brian Beutler reports, plenty of other conservative Democrats seem to have similar feelings.

For what it’s worth, the substantive case for this point of view is exceptionally weak. Most mainstream economists would say what Doug Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, and Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, have been saying: Deficit spending now, to boost the economy, combined with deficit reduction later, to make federal budgets sustainable, is pretty much the ideal policy.

But put that aside. Go back and read those quotes closely: Can you imagine Republicans speaking out against their leadership, on such a top priority, in such brazen terms?

…. Fellow liberals criticize to flay President Obama for avoiding fights – and, sometimes, they are right. But they also underestimate the obstacles Obama faces because of the divided Democratic caucus.

It’s not just that conservative Democrats wield an effective veto in Congress; it’s that they are constantly, almost compulsively, disagreeing with the president and undermining the party’s message discipline……

Full article here

An update from Cohn here: Democratic sources in and around Capitol Hill say the press reports overstate the disunity.

27 Responses to “‘liberal sorcery’”

  1. 1 Ladyhawke
    September 15, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pens a letter:



    Tomorrow, Speaker Boehner will attempt again to defend the GOP’s indefensible record before the Economic Club of Washington: 253 days in the majority and no jobs agenda.

    “…Boehner will take a skeptical view of short-term fixes and gimmicks that are labeled ‘job creation’ by politicians, but which actually impede economic growth.”

    Hmmm. Sounds familiar, huh?


  2. September 15, 2011 at 11:07 am

    when I heard that Mary L. from La had her disagreements with AJA. I was shocked, cause I’m pretty sure that when PBO was doing the Joint Session, I surely saw her continuously standing and cheering every time PBO talked about it. That woman and her cohorts are beyond ridiculous.

    • September 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

      She supports boners bill because she wants drill baby drill!

      • 4 Mel
        September 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

        Yes drill baby drill Mary landrieu is been paid and bought by the Oil industry., but she does not speak for the majority
        of us. She is propetctiong the Oil companies in case anybody has notice we had been screw at th PUM gas has not come
        down yet I.am sure the PL are very happy with Mary L.

  3. 5 Ladyhawke
    September 15, 2011 at 11:08 am

    There’s more from Nancy…..



    For House Republicans – who have been in the majority for 253 days and have yet to offer a jobs agenda – today’s CNN poll and Bloomberg poll make clear that doing nothing on jobs is not an option:


  4. September 15, 2011 at 11:08 am

    And webb is pandering to the cushy little k street job he will have when he gets out of congress after 2012!
    Yes, he is retiring, and when somebody announces they retire 3 years before their term ends, they are basically saying I am for sale!
    Webb is still pissed about not being picked for VEEP!
    How do I know all of this, it happened to Evan bayh! You all remember him?

  5. 8 Ladyhawke
    September 15, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Affordable Care Act Working for Young People

    The report showed that the percentage of young adults with insurance increased from 70.7% in 2009 to 72.8% in 2010. That translates into 500,000 more young people with insurance. We expect even more will gain coverage in 2011 when the policy is fully phased in.


  6. 9 Sue in Minnesota
    September 15, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I know others have mentioned it, and I keep bringing it up…but we really need to be in the streets…..DC needs to have us in their faces.

    Sharpton’s National Action Network has a rally the 15th of Oct/ the dedictation to the MLK Memorial is the 16th of Oct…..this I assume is rescheduled from the August interruption created by Irene. I am going to see if I can gather more information, to those that listen to the Good Reverand’s radio broadcast , is this being heavily propmoted? Curious. I am ready to get on a plane to DC….

    • 10 hgerhard
      September 15, 2011 at 11:22 am

      Sue, I agree with you. We need to have rallies everywhere. Politiicians don’t respond to anything but massive public outcry,
      I tried to tweet this morning, but apparently Twitter is over capacity. My tweet: Message to Congress: PASS THE BILL – Create jobs for the people or the people will take yours.

    • September 15, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      Sadly I don’t think street protests gain anything any more. Look at all the huge enormous anti-war demonstrations, here and around the world. And what came from that? Nothing. And even though we appreciate Rev. Al’s efforts, I don’t think he gets wide-spread respect from the public at large, and it would not be ideal or lead to any significant change to use that event.

  7. 12 Bill
    September 15, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Senator Kay Hagan of NC was quoted in the NYTimes today saying she did not know if she could support the jobs bill. She was carried into office by President Obama. Her office number is 202-224-6342. If you really want to bug the aide answering the phone ask if Hagan is trying to channel Virginia Foxx.

  8. 16 Fred
    September 15, 2011 at 11:22 am

    these people are horrible and I’d love to see them gone

  9. 17 Sue in Minnesota
    September 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Ok indulge me I am Wild. I am Free. I am Coyote. 😯 I found my energy that for some reason escaped me yesterday…and today I am ready to rumble!

    Called Leaders Reid, Peolosi, Hoyer, Clyburn, Wasserman-Schultz, and Isreal’s DC offices today. Same request, get behind the President’s Job ACT, get in front of the American people and promote it, and especially and primarily stop the dissent. Criticism of the plan must be supported with alternative plans of action. All staff members were very helpful and cordial. Steny Hoyer’s staff suggested this is very typical posturing by the reps aimed at the constituents in their districts, and added that when the time comes to vote they will be on board. I said the American people
    may not recognize it as Kabuki theater, and with the MSM doing grave disservice to the message of the Democrats, they should consider a different approach. I said Americans need to be reassured that their immediate and urgent needs are being addressed with seriousness and purpose. It’s time to leave the posturing behind and get real. I also told every staff member donations to Democratic campaign funds will depend on what they do now, and they can take that to the bank. Sadly, I think, all my calls went through very easily with minimal waiting.

    I e-mailed my three Franken, Klobuchar and Ericksen. I also e-mailed Mary Landreiu and although carfeul with my use of language heavily criticized her for her alligience to big oil. I let my hair done with Senator Franken….I brought up specifically Landreiu, who I referred to as essentially a dip stick dripping in oil and collusionary with the oil industry, an industry already the richest and most profitable in recorded history. They need tax advantages for what? I also asked him to deliver a personal message to Tom Coburn, to put the f##king bible down, and step out of the way of FEMA, FAA funding bills, Administrative and judicial appointments, and start walking the “Christian walk” instead of barking his bark! In every communication I emphasized our support for the President, his plan, and his approach to a new and constructive way of solving our problems. I feel as is if Franken gets this, at least I hope he understands the need for these frustrations to be articulated and acted upon.

    Any one in particular you feel deserves extra attention?

    • 18 Sue in Minnesota
      September 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm


    • September 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      BWA HA HA HA That’s my Minnesota SISTA, SUE! Great works, Sue. I called Amy, Al, and Ericksen too. I’ve chatted face to face with both Amy and Franken. Franken’s short and packed with power, very personable, and does not mince words. I love him. Franken he sooo get this.

      • 20 Sue in Minnesota
        September 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm

        Ericksen is a waste, I’ve been nagging him since he was seated. I am hoping to get to nag him to his face.

        I respect both Amy and Al, but I felt like Al would be ok with my less guarded message and my colorful speech. 🙂

        Girl…is your Birthday being good to you? Sending your joy and good wishes!

  10. 22 W.R. German
    September 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    The following is my response to Senator Jim Webb;: Senator, your remarks about President Obama’s American Jobs Act are not only disloyal, they are mean-spirited and flat out dishonest. I’ve watched you accomplish very little as a Senator, and in comparison with Mr. Obama, he outperforms you in every respect.

    You have been an enormous disappointment and continue to be that.

    • 23 utaustinliberal
      September 15, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      Spot on. They keep playing political games and now is most especially not the time for games. People need and want jobs. People are living from paycheck to paycheck. People are not corporations who are swimming in olympic sized pools of cash. People don’t have the luxury of waiting 14 months for the next election before measures are undertaken to address their problems. People are desperate and when they see President Obama day in and day out constantly pushing a do nothing Congress and said do nothing congress doesn’t respond appropriately; they’ll make their voices, feelings, thoughts, and disgust heard at the ballot box and democrats may suffer.

    • 24 Pat Okerlund
      September 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      Senator Webb is unfortunately my Senator. He’s been the disappointment, not President Obama. We’ve had to fight with him on almost every issue, especially environmental. He’s all for gutting the EPA and letting Congress set the limits. I’ll get on this right away.

  11. September 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    they are traitorous clowns.

  12. 27 #1 Obama fan
    September 15, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks for the Sen Webb link..just sent him a little note is states as follows :“Terrible,” Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) told POLITICO when asked about the president’s ideas for how to pay for the $450 billion price tag. “We shouldn’t increase taxes on ordinary income. There are other ways to get there.” Sen. Webb, I implore you to get behind President Obama on the jobs bill. I have never seen more Democrats totally opposed to any president.I definetly will give credit to the Teaparty/Republicans they DO NOT go against their leadership. This continues to be a issue for the Democrats..but be warned now if President Obama does not win another term you all have no one to blame but yourselves. Clearly you have not understood the mission of President Obama, to help all people regardless of their socio-economic background. I will only be donating to the Obama re-election campaign. My question to you Sen Webb, “are you in?” I do believe President Obama will win another term in 2012 because he is truly for the people. So I respectfully ask you to stand with President Obama to help him make America better for all of her citizens. Otherwise the Democrat party will cease to be relevant and be known as the party that won a Presidency, but refused to do the heavy lifting with their nominee and support him.

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