"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

May 11, 2010

Going After Kagan

Without endorsing the glib-prog love for the Supreme Court, I can write with a giant smile on my face, "Uygur nails it."  Obama wants lefties to go after Kagan. Attacking Kagan from the left, they give Obama cache with his centrist chappies:

"Obama (and Rahm Emanuel) are going to love it if progressives attack Kagan. They will brandish that as a signal that they are soooo centrist. They will crow to their Washington reporter friends that they are being attacked from the left and brag about how much credibility that gives them. And when they win this nomination (non)fight, they will declare victory again, as if they accomplished some major objective. No one loves beating up progressives and winning easy battles in DC more than this administration."


Anonymous said...

I disagree.

In order for Cenk Uygur to be correct, most Americans would identify as "centrists" and that's simply not true.

If Obama had run as a centrist in every way --which he did not, despite people suggesting he did-- then Uygur would have a point.

But Obama didn't run as a centrist. He began as "anti-war" which is not centrist; he stumped for single-payer health care which is not centrist; he used buzz-phrases and catch-words that signal "progressive" to a lot of hearers, readers, watchers.

The battle with such supporters ("progressives") always has been to get them to watch what Obama DOES rather than what he SAYS. What Obama has said, that's been Pwog Heaven.

What he has done, that's been Goldwater Republican. Or Bush Republican. Or Cheney Republican. Depends on the issue.

Jack Crow said...

Fair enough, regarding Candidate Obama. I think, though, that Cenk is referring to "centrist" policy makers in DC - those who now surround Obama the President.

I could be wrong, though.

JM said...

Young Turk here has a good point here. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how Uygur's point about "policy makers" is different from what I said in my first comment.

Can you explain what you mean, Jack?

BDBlue said...

I think the most effective attack is to tie her to Goldman Sachs and Larry Summers. Some things all Americans can hate!

Jack Crow said...

I don't think that Cenk is referring to segments of the American populace, when he addresses Obama's method. Obama doesn't care about the population, and I think even a pwog like Cenk knows this. In fact, he spent two years celebrating the guy, on the way to Nov 08, and a year and a half growing more and more disillusioned with him.

Obama's not appealing to a "centrist" segment of the general electorate. He's appealing to "centrist" power players in the commentariat, the bureaucracy, the news media and DC.

That way, when he's attacked from the left and right, he's able to go to these institutional players and whine, "See, I'm a centrist, moderate pragmatist and all the lefties and righties hating on me proves it."

Anonymous said...

Who are these "centrist power players" and why would they ever be inclined to not suck up to The Obamessiah, regardless of his deeds vs words conflicts?

Uygur's theory misunderstands how DC works, in my view.

Probably because Uygur misunderstands how DC works.

Misunderstanding how DC works seems a common theme among Donklebot bloggers though. So I can't be too surprised by Cenk's bad aim.

Jack Crow said...


I think it's about the narrative. Excepting a species of honest, brutal Republican, whomever is in power prefers to requalify himself as the political center.

That's why "centrism" is a null word. It really just means "party holding the levers, right now."

Obama's repeated argument has been, "loonies to the left of me, zealots to the right." It's his way of casting a narrative over imperial aggression, more attacks on civil liberties, et cetera.

Anonymous said...

To be more explicit:

Think-tanking, political consulting, blogging, opinion journalism... these things all depend on sycophancy. And they divide neatly along partisan lines, just like Federal Power's theatre of partisan Super Bowl importance.

Uygur imagines that "centrist power players" need to be appeased?

He's got it backward.

The "power players" do not have power apart from their sycophancy. The "power players" do not push Obama in this direction or that.

The whole schmeer is like a pack of rats being driven by the Pied Piper of finance capitalism. The Repub vs Dem charade is the method of keeping The People (citizenry) distracted from how finance capitalism actually affects them, how it limits their freedom, how it cramps their options for that always-desired "upward mobility" in the American Caste System.

Uygur's argument seems to be as fraudulent as that of Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, who pretends to his Kossacks that Uncle Sam is always waiting to hear what The Kos thinks, and then Sammy jumps to Kos's tune.

It's a cleverly deceptive way to sell one's self as an indispensable blogger, but it bears no relation to how things actually work.

Jack Crow said...

I guess we have a slight difference of opinion, on this one, Charles.

I think that the sycophants do have a degree of influence which far exceeds their actual numbers, when it comes to shaping public perception.

I don't for a moment believe that there's a mass of voters who make up a "political center," that's for sure.

But I think that the folks who report the news (fuck, I spent half the morning burning my brain out with MSNBC, just for kicks) do definitely shape how the limited facts the do report get packaged.

Anonymous said...

Jack, you're not disagreeing with me. You're pointing at something different with each post.

Either you're engaged in a game of 3-card Monte here, or you're just missing my point. I don't know which it is.

Maybe if I ask again, you'll answer.

Exactly what is Uygur saying that's accurate, Jack?

Jack Crow said...

Thanks for the funny, Charles. Honestly.

No cup game here. I think we're just not seeing this from the same perspective.

I don't think Uygur is discussing "centrists" in the population. I think he's talking about those people in the Beltway, NYC, etc who form policy, report on it, and shape public opinion.

I think you're saying that they're just sycophants who depend on power, therefore don't have any, and whose opinions have no effect.

I think they're sycophants who do have a degree of power, because they mediate and interpret how the public sees what facts they're allowed to see.

Anonymous said...

I think you're saying that they're just sycophants who depend on power, therefore don't have any, and whose opinions have no effect.

3-card Monte it is.

Nothing like hyperbole to win points by distorting your opponent's statements!

Can you explain how Uygur is correct? Or can you only play a short-con?

Anonymous said...

What I mean is this:

"Obama wants lefties to go after Kagan."

How does this benefit anyone?

Uygur says it benefits someone, and you say Uygur's correct.

Who is it helping?

And how is it helping them?

Jack Crow said...


I'm really not playing at games of any sort, here. Especially not a shell game.

Who does it benefit for Obama to look like he's halfway between screaming morons to the right and purist zealots to the left?


The relationship to power is not one way, Charles.

He either speaks to the commentariat, the bureaucrats, the lords of the press, and the policy makers as one of them, on their terms, or they turn their considerable noise machines against him.

I certainly agree with you that the relationship is sycophantic.

But the power is not lodged all in the Presidency. He needs the fourth estate and the bureaucracy, or he's fuck all on the way to losing his own power.

Ask Algore...

Jack Crow said...

...ask Madame Clinton...

Anonymous said...

Jesus fucking christ dude.

You're making no sense.

Maybe that's the point here, eh?

"Ask Hillary"?

"Ask Algore"?

WTF does that mean?

Oh I get it.


Sorry, you need to use well-tied flies on a 22 hook. Best break out the magnifying glass and steady hand before you try again. This is Letort Spring Creek territory, not dipshit channel cat water.

Jack Crow said...

Really don't understand the animosity, Charles.

I'm not typing in riddles and ciphers.

The fourth estate and the bureaucracy have a parasitic relationship with the Presidency.

They depend upon it, but they can also damage it.

Presidents make public statemetns and public policy with that in mind.