How right have we been? On the left hand column of this website we post several article series. Both series have been right on target. The first “Obama Is The Third Bush Term” was mocked when first published but every day more articles confirm what we wrote last year.
When we wrote the Guantanamo section of our Obama Is The Third Bush Term there was more mockery from the Hopium addled. Again, on a daily basis, our initial analysis is proven correct.
The Obama administration is moving toward reviving the military commission system for prosecuting Guantánamo detainees, which was a target of critics during the Bush administration, including Mr. Obama himself. [snip]
Continuing the military commissions in any form would probably prompt sharp criticism from human rights groups as well as some of Mr. Obama’s political allies because the troubled system became an emblem of the effort to use Guantánamo to avoid the American legal system. [snip]
When President Obama suspended Guantánamo cases after his inauguration on Jan. 20, many participants said the military commission system appeared dead.
But in recent days a variety of officials involved in the deliberations say that after administration lawyers examined many of the cases, the mood shifted toward using military commissions to prosecute some detainees, perhaps including those charged with coordinating the Sept. 11 attacks.
“The more they look at it,” said one official, “the more commissions don’t look as bad as they did on Jan. 20.”
Obama can’t be trusted.
Still, during the presidential campaign Mr. Obama criticized the commissions, saying that “by any measure our system of trying detainees has been an enormous failure,” and declaring that as president he would “reject the Military Commissions Act.”
Today, the Dimocrat run House of Representatives spoke to the issue of Guantanamo.
Unveiling the House version of war spending bill, House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D., Wisc.) didn’t include the funds, complaining that the administration has not yet developed a clear plan to wind down operations at Guantanamo and relocate the detainees, either abroad or in the U.S.
“When they have a plan, they’re welcome to come back and talk to us,” Mr. Obey said.
Mr. Obama has issued an executive order ordering the facility be shut down in one year. The administration still has some authority to shift dollars around the budget to help begin the process. But Mr. Obey suggested a “concrete plan” will be needed before lawmakers approve any direct funding to shutter the facility.
The U.S. Senate will have its say soon on war funding and Guantanamo. Don’t expect much from newly minted Dimocrat Arlen Specter. Our initial reaction to Specter’s defection appears to be on target as well. Dimocrats will have their 60 vote majority but our challenge to actually get things done won’t be met. Re-election comes first and there is the Supermajority Paradox.
For all the breathless speculation that Arlen Specter’s defection has changed everything in the Senate, yesterday’s Democratic leadership loss on mortgage “cramdown” actually suggested the opposite is happening — and leadership’s hand is actually becoming weaker.
There’s an emerging Supermajority Paradox: The closer Dems get to a veto-proof majority, the greater their difficulty in wielding their 59 to 60 votes to upset the status quo.
Dimocrats, like the Republicans, before them have to pay the piper but that does not explain why the people’s business is secondary.
Thus the paradox. As Democrats approach the magic number of 60, each member of their caucus becomes more valuable, more powerful and more apt to buck leadership in the name of self-interest — and the preservation of the Supermajority.
* * * * *
The second series in our left hand column is The Shame Of The Democratic Left. In that series we discuss “The misogyny, sexism and gay-bashing by Democrats that occurred in the 2008 election cycle….” In that series we discuss Dimocratic Party chair Howard Dean and his “good German” excuse for not stopping the sexism and misogyny during the Democratic primary process.
Now, one of the websites we have written about before, one of the websites which shamed itself by trashing “Sarah Palin about her daughter’s behavior and her mother-in-law’s behavior, held a perverse “lottery” to determine when Palin would withdraw, chose Obama because he was the “media darling”, and acually dared to declare Obama will be one of our greatest presidents – comparable to FDR.” is discussing a book about bloggers about to be published Eric Boehlert’s “Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press”.
In Chapter 9, there is a discussion of misogyny. The website which itself acted shamelessly has a discussion on what is in Chapter 9.
The most startling quote on the subject in the book comes from Chris Bowers during the 2008 Presidential primary – “[Was sexism] somehow pervasive throughout the entire blogosphere? I certainly have not seen that.” [snip]
But how about Susie Madrak – “It’s disgusting and repellant. It’s a real sustained problem that’s out of control. I think there are a lot of Democratic women that are very very angry with the Netroots right now.”
How about Digby – “When people assumed I was a man they reacted to me in a certain way. the minute it became known I was a middle aged woman, — Oh God the worst of possibilities! — people reacted to it differently. I’m not an idiot. I can tell.”
How about Melissa McEwan? Boehlert describes her reaction:
McEwan became increasingly unnerved by what she saw of the sexist coverage of Clinton, and how the progressive blogosphere, having embraced Obama, let so much of it pass without comment. . . . Worse was the fact that over time, she couldn’t shake the feeling that portions of the netroots were actually pushing the sexist stuff.
How about Jane Hamsher’s rationalization for this behavior? “I think there might be a lack of sensitivity to sexist coverage. . . . I think that if you are a man you just do not see it that fast.” What does it mean if you do not see it at all Jane?
The most ironic reaction Boehlert recounts comes from Booman (with whom I was quite friendly at one time), who, according to Boehlert, admitted that
[H]e was so “pissed off” [at Clinton] . . . that he lowered his outrage threshold in terms of defending Clinton against sexist broadsides.”
How do you lower your threshold below zero, Booman?
What makes Booman’s confession ironic is how he first built up his site – by taking advantage of the original “pie fight” – the battle over Daily Kos’ (I was a front page poster at Daily Kos at the time) running of an ad for a new Gilligan’s Island television program that featured a pie fight between the new Ginger and Maryanne. When Markos made the blatantly sexist remark about the “sanctimonious women’s studies set” (a remark roundly and rightly blasted by many, including Daily Kos front pagers like myself and Meteor Blades. Markos later apologized for the remark), Booman made a big show of trashing Markos for it and offering his site as a welcoming haven for feminists. Booman had his own history of rather sexist comments so his newly found awareness of the importance of fighting sexism was quite, um, convenient.
Of all the episodes of the 2008 primary wars, to my mind, the pervavsive acceptance, even encouragement, of sexism and misogyny remains the most shameful and the one that must be remembered. Progressives abandoned one of the most basic tents of progressivism – all due to their love of one politician and their loathing of another politician. It should never have happened. And it is a wound that has not been addressed forthrightly.
That website has plenty to answer for too as we have noted repeatedly.
We’ll watch to see how honest Eric Boehlert himself addresses the issue of sexism and misogyny.