Insanity on Obama, Fox, Clinton and Markos

River Daughter’s take on Markos’s response to the Obama Fox Debacle is very confusing:

I mean, just because Obama went on Fox and didn’t slay the dragon:

3.) It exposed his campaign as a bunch of liars. The Obama campaign’s press show promised people that Obama would “take on” Fox News. Of course, none of that happened. That would’ve electrified “the left”, and we know that Obama doesn’t want to do anything that might make him look like a “captive” to it…

But “rise above politics”? His refusal to acknowledge the political reality may very well be his greatest weakness. I hope it’s all an act. I can take cynical political rhetoric. I expect it. And it’s not like Clinton is offering anything different in that department. But if Obama actually believes it, then the Republicans will chew him up and spit him out. And either way, his campaign — never good at setting expectations — shouldn’t have promised something that Obama is apparently incapable of delivering.

And Markos doesn’t mind that Obama is severing his ties to the left who have been his meal ticket:

It gave Fox a propaganda victory, allowing it to crow that:

[Obama] very much wants to get away from any sense that he’s a creature or a captive of the left.

Who does Obama think is volunteering and contributing to his campaign? Fox-watching Republicans? Sure, candidates always pivot after their primaries and run to the “center”, but Republicans don’t generally piss on their base as they make that transition. Our side makes a ritual out of it. That’s not how long-term movements are built.

Obama’s living closer to his stated politics.  He’s primarily a centrist.  He’s dropping the audacity of hope for the perceived practicality of fear.  Fox barked, and Obama caved.  Markos’s response was sharp and dead on.  Here is what I don’t get:

Markos, Markos, Markos, we emailed, we posted, we *pleaded* with you to exercise some control, to crack down on the abuses, to provide some balance, to not burn your bridges. You said it was all in good fun. We warned you that there were undesirable elements infiltrating the site, young hooligan males and possibly Republican moles. You laughed at us. We tried to fight back, to get others to see reason, to laugh at the absurdity of it all, You disowned us.

I’m sorry to say this, but you had it coming.

What the hell?  No, neither Markos nor the Daily Kos community had it coming.  They supported the best of the two remaining Democratic candidates.  We are in a fight to undo the severe damage the Bush administration has caused this nation, and are desperately trying to find a candidate who was least complicit in the poisonous laws and rhetoric leaked out from Bush and Cheney Inc.  Barack Obama made a shitty mistake by agreeing to go on Fox, and another by not standing up and fighting.

We ought to have two champions fighting for Democratic values.  Instead we’ve learned that Obama may be just as weak as Clinton, and frankly the thought of another ineffective Democrat leading us to defeat against John “Bush’s LapDog”  McCain rightly is a cause for anger.

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7 Responses

  1. Hi Dan,
    I think I can help you understand my post a little better. My concern was for the online activist community that Markos worked so hard to put together. I was part of that for several years, a recommended diarist on many occasions. But where some people were bedazzled by Obama, I an many of my fellow Kossacks were not. We were skeptics. We were also concerned that the site was being highjacked by users who did not have its best interest at heart. We watched in dismay as a group of hostiles took over the site and removed nearly every trace of critical analysis from it. When we tried to get people to slow down and not become hostage to cheering for one candidate without thinking, we were forced off the site. I described it as a jihad and that’s what it was. Obama supporters, some of them I am convinced are either campaign or Republican operatives, systematically purged the site of any non-Obama supporters. It was either convert or leave. I myself was trollstormed until my privileges were suspended. That’s what lead me to form The Confluence.
    To those Kossacks and others who joined me there, there was never any question that Obama was a weak candidate. The problem is that Obama does not want to be identified with any particular political philosophy because he doesn’t have one of his own. He does not politic from any grounding principle. Those of us who realized this about him early knew that the cheerleaders at DailyKos were going to have to find out this truth the hard way. We tried to warn Kos to not burn his bridges and protect his brand but he was too caught up in the frenzy to listen to us. This is the price he pays for becoming a monolithic voice in support of a single candidate. No one on that site allowed themselves to be challenged.
    We at The Confluence are not under any illusions about our candidate. We know her weaknesses and negatives. But we also know that she has developed a strong political philosophy over many years of work and experience. That is what makes her the stronger candidate. I think that people are starting to realize this. You can disagree with that philosophy and that is legitimate. But the fact that she actually has one makes her very attractive and less likely to feel the need to pander. She says, this is what I stand for, join me. He says, when in Rome.
    And this is what makes what happened at DKos so tragic. It no longer has the credibility to make its case and advocate for *anyone*. But Markos can’t say we didn’t try to warn him,

  2. Hey riverdaughter,

    Skepticism of Obama is well placed (and should be quite healthily in place for all candidates).

    DailyKos has, to be sure, made some incredibly bad decisions, and kicking you folks out was one of the worst.

    I do not think Obama is a weak candidate. Not entirely. No more than Hillary is entirely a stooge of Bush, a triangulator or Leiberman Democrat. There is more to both candidates. Obama’s weakness is that he isn’t taking a stand where he should be on Fox News. That’s a problem. For some perspective though, Hillary is about the do the same, and worse, do it on O’Reilly’s program.

    Obama does have a political philosophy. You may think his political philosophy is bland or disagreeable, but denying it exists is a bit much.

    Hillary Clinton is a queen of pandering. She didn’t say “this is what I stand for” on Iraq, nor Iran. Perhaps she has stood for some of the Bush supporting votes she’s cast in the past, and those were not acts meant to pander to a right wing demographic that would never vote for her in the first place. But by that very same token, perhaps Obama appearing on Fox News was meant to elevate the debate and fight back against a perceived constant thorn in his side.

    But now I understand your post. If they feel betrayed, it serves them right for blindly following Obama. And on that point, we agree.

    Whoever wins this mess of a primary, I’m getting firmly behind the Democrat come the general. Too much is at stake to lose to a man like McCain gaining office.

  3. What was so bad with the fox news interview? I have heard in multiple liberal places, that he didnt take them on enough, what was he supposed to do punch chris wallace in the face? just like the right wanted him to do to his preacher in the middle of church, when he says god damn america. Cant please everybody I guess.

  4. Yes! Punching him in the face == instant Presidential material.

    But “can’t please everybody” should have been his motto. What did he gain by going on Fox?

  5. What did he lose? Are liberals going to not vote or vote for mccain because he went on fox news, and handled himself well, and didnt stoop to their level?

  6. As for what he gained hopefully people saw he wasnt the caricature they portrayed him to be. Although anybody who still watches fox news seriously, is a complete moron, so I dunno. But I dont think it is a big deal.

  7. hmmmm. words to consider.
    He won’t lose votes, certainly. Good point.
    What he is doing is strengthening his own candidacy at the potential cost of strengthening Fox. That is what I object to.

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