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  • Lance Mannion
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« Old Sneep | Main | The sexy undead and other literary notes »


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Well, Lance, if you agree with us (I'm including myself in the Sneeps, even if I'm not interested in preaching at Dem-hopefuls), then why be irritated when we point out the obvious?

It's not raining on the parade. That was what my communist friends intended to do the night of the election (they wanted to distribute anti-war flyers at Jack London Square - in Oakland, which has a big black population). I talked them out of that because yeah, we needed to be able to celebrate for a little while, before being confronted again with reality.

But if we go on being hopeful, giving Dems time, giving them the benefit of the doubt, being nice, we're basically ceding ground. That's what we always do. Yeah, our elected leaders might not do much we like, but hey! I'm sure in their heart of hearts, they really agree with us about all these issues central to our lives.

Not good enough, you know. Some outrage is in order. And yeah, even despair, because it's almost hopeless to try and engage our leadership - we're way too far to the left to be relevant in this country's politics.

The parade is over. Obama panders. He's been elected with a huge mandate and he's still pandering.

When was the last time you caught a Republican pandering to the progressive left? It's maddening.

The truth is, there's a more fundamental divergence of views here, between you and us Sneeps. You are a Democrat who still remembers a hopeful America that was progressing, more good than bad, basically a sound place. And there's something to be said for that view - this has been a great country in many ways, and through sheer inertia, will be a decent place to live for fortunate people like us for another decade or two. I am someone who doesn't believe this is basically a sound country, based on sound principles. I used to, and I don't any more. This is why I don't share your hope.

Not because I'm so bitter, I don't want to see others being happy. If people want to hope for better things on the way down, that's probably for the best - not much can be gained by being pessimistic. But the hopefulness does look to people like me very much like fooling oneself.


I should've said "even if I'm not generally interested in preaching at Dem-hopefuls." Because I obviously just preached at you.




I'm not sure I'd classify you as an Old Sneep. The difference between an Old Sneep and a critic of Obama like Avedon or Wev is that the critic wants Obama to be better than he is and an Old Sneep wants me to feel bad for voting for the guy or being glad that he won or, to generalize it, because Sneeps don't just want people to feel bad about their political choices, a critic says as you're heading out to the park for a picnic, Looks like rain, better take an umbrella, and a Sneep waits for you to come home wet and says, I told you so, even if he didn't. And then if you tell him that you're not wet because it rained, you're wet because you fell in the lake, he tells you that he knew that was going to happen too.


That makes sense.

Sherry Chandler

Thanks for the shout out, Lance. I, in turn, learned about Elizabeth Alexander from the Wom-Ponies:

Do I think a poet at the inauguration balances out a right-wing preacher? Well, truth to tell, I'd rather see Reverend Wright on the podium. And/or Patricia Smith, whose Katrina poems in Blood Dazzler make my hair stand on end. (Though I'll admit I'm not familiar with Alexander's work.)

Interesting the direction Obama's faith has moved in over the last year.

I am in wait-and-see mode but so far Obama's words and his actions don't seem to match up real well.


Everyone should read Digby on the Warren selection.

Obama is happy with the choice of Warren, who was picked from a shortlist compiled by Obama and Biden.

Jon Favreau wasn't fired either.

None of this is surprising. Which is why I'm not freshly disillusioned - I voted for Obama with my eyes wide open, expecting this sort of thing to happen. Over and over.

But imagine the missed opportunity to have a liberal female minister do the invocation, after an election season in which women were pilloried and in a world in which America pretends to be the leader of women's rights while fighting deceptive wars in patriarchal Islamic countries. But why do any healing in this direction? Why bother to reach across the aisle to women?

Dems don't push our agenda. It's sad.


It's been fascinating today, reading comments on this selection at liberal blogs. At least half of them are people like John Cole at Balloon Juice snidely telling gay people to calm down and STFU. He actually had a post just to complain about the amount of people using the clichè, "a slap in the face". How petty, and fuck that guy.

So, Lance, it's your privilege to "withold judgement", but I'm not feeling as generous. As mentioned above, gay people are still supposed to be kicked around and told we're lucky it's not the Republicans kicking us. As for "reaching across the aisle", bipartisanship as some sort of self-evident virtue- this is just appeasing the unappeasable. It's never enough for right-wing Christian evangelicals. Give an inch, they'll point out you're admitting wrongness and demand ten miles.

Sincerely, honestly disappointed. But even on liberal blogs, we're shouted at to shut up, we're radical leftist shrills who are presumptuous, or dreamers with unrealistic notions- like perhaps am antigay jillionaire God-botherer wouldn't get pride of place. But we get a MARCHING BAND! One of seventy.

I no longer feel invested in Obama's doing well as President, I'm numb to caring, he's lost my good will because he wants to make friends with people who think I'm worse than a murderer because i'm gay. Petty of me? This choice of Warren was utterly gratuitous, completely his choice, the symbolism unmistakeable.

Ken Houghton
no longer feel invested in Obama's doing well as President, I'm numb to caring, he's lost my good will because he wants to make friends with people who think I'm worse than a murderer because i'm gay. Petty of me? This choice of Warren was utterly gratuitous, completely his choice, the symbolism unmistakeable.
Welcome to Philadelphia, MS, in 1980.

(Btw, Echindne's link has been updated to note that it was, indeed, ObamaNation's pick.)


so if i gather the critics of Obama having warren there say O, could have found a good progressive to show how open he was to all people. Ummm if he really wants to have people that represent all Americans around him then who the flock was he going to get to throw a bone to wingers. I see why people are pissed about this and i would just as soon as have no prayers at all. but who should have gotten? he choose a winger to show that he is open to all people. this is exactly who he said he was, he wants to get past the old culture wars and be the president for everybody.

Uncle Merlin

I hope you are right greginak. I wouldn't want to wake up to another "standard" politician in charge. The country and now the world are in real trouble and need real change not fake change.

I would also hate to wake up to be shunted into a train car and hauled off to Delaware & NJ to work in the chemical plants as the far "christian" "right" would like to do us!

( Tipping my hat to people who live there: Yes there are beautiful places in Delaware and NJ but once we were tattooed and ensconced in the chemical factories we wouldn't be allowed anywhere near them!)


Pass out a few lemons just before the invocation and this outrage will be taken care of.


Personally, I'm enjoying the guilty pleasure of watching Obombers fall all over themselves to attack this hatemonger after they fell all over themselves to defend another hatemonger, Jeremiah Wright...

Uncle Merlin

Very different view point over here from a family:

I can't quite tell where the author stands, he makes it clear where his aunt stands (with Warren yet mad at him for accepting!!) and he makes it clear where his cousin stands ( out Lesbian).

Lori Jablonski

The one sure way to convince religiously conservative voters to come join the Democratic party would be to actually put forward policies that indeed would be in their economic interest. Don't wait, move on universal health care day one. Watch what happens to the Republican party if health care for all actually becomes a reality under President Obama. And while you're at it, how about a mortgage write-down/refinance program that might really work at keeping people in their homes? Of course, this would require Obama to take on those financial wizards who still refuse to accept loan modifications because they don't want to eat the losses. Real programs. That's it. Stop the complex analysis. Giving Warren the stage is politics at its most basic: pandering pure and simple. It is cheap, and unnecessary. More than anything it reveals much about Obama's insecurities as he prepares to take the helm. The fact that it is being done by driving a stake through his base is quite worrisome. That it's happening in the wake of Prop 8 is particularly hurtful. And more of this without measurable progress will greatly harm his presidency.


>But one of the ways Obama reminds me of Franklin Roosevelt is that he appears to be as coolly calculating a politician as FDR was.

At this point the only valid comparison tro FDR, the greatest President of the 20th Century is...there isn't any.

> I've never believed that all that talk of bi-partisanship and post-partisanship was anything other than a ploy to convince disenchanted Republicans and Independents that it's safe to vote Democratic.

And that is where you engged in exactly the self-delusion Obama wanted you to. In fact, Obama is not a center-left politician (like Hillary); he is center-Right pol like Lieberman. He admires RWR much more than FDR, and I predict he will go down as the biggest mistake Democrats have made since FDR.

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