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Which Side are You On?

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Here’s the Dropkick Murphys’ version of Florence Reese’s Which Side are You On?

It was posted on Union TV
but I found it in this post at at Open Left. In this post, Paul Rosenberg discusses Glenn Greenwald’s response to the Blanche Lincoln victory over Bill Halter in last Tuesday’s Arkansas primary runoff. As Greenwald puts it:

The run-off between Democratic Senate incumbent Blanche Lincoln and challenger Bill Halter, which culminated on Tuesday night in Lincoln’s narrow victory, brightly illuminates what the Democratic Party establishment is…. Obama loyalists constantly point to the Blanche Lincolns of the world to justify why the Party scorns the values of their voters: Obama can’t do anything about these bad Democratic Senators; it’s not his fault if he doesn’t have the votes, they insist.

Lincoln’s 12-year record in the Senate is so awful that she has severely alienated virtually every important Democratic constituency group — other than the large corporate interests that fund and control the Party….

So what did the Democratic Party establishment do when a Senator who allegedly impedes their agenda faced a primary challenger who would be more supportive of that agenda? They engaged in full-scale efforts to support Blanche Lincoln….

Ordinarily, when Party leaders support horrible incumbents in primaries, they use the “electability” excuse…. That excuse is clearly unavailable here. As Public Policy Polling explained yesterday, Lincoln has virtually no chance of winning in November against GOP challenger John Boozman….

What happened in this race also gives the lie to the insufferable excuse we’ve been hearing for the last 18 months from countless Obama defenders: namely, if the Senate doesn’t have 60 votes to pass good legislation, it’s not Obama’s fault because he has no leverage over these conservative Senators. It was always obvious what an absurd joke that claim was; the very idea of The Impotent, Helpless President, presiding over a vast government and party apparatus, was laughable. But now, in light of Arkansas, nobody should ever be willing to utter that again with a straight face. Back when Lincoln was threatening to filibuster health care if it included a public option, the White House could obviously have said to her: if you don’t support a public option, not only will we not support your re-election bid, but we’ll support a primary challenger against you. Obama’s support for Lincoln did not merely help; it was arguably decisive….

Rosenberg pretty much concurs with Greenwald’s argument, while acknowledging differing opinions from some commentators who are more quick to excuse the institutional corporatism in the Democratic Party, pundits such as Mori Dinauer at Tapped. Rosenberg also links to Ezra Klein who argues that Obama gives in on issues like the public option and off shore drilling because he the Presidency isn’t as powerful as it used to be.

Rosenberg concludes:
Of course no president gets everything they want. There are things beyond their power that prevent that. But what they do get is dependent on two things within their power: Their priorities, and their willingness to fight for those priorities. And the situation with Blanche Lincoln is deeply illustrative of both, regardless of whether Obama could have prevailed.

The question, ultimately, is not whether Obama could have won. He himself said many times that change is hard. We all know that. The question, rather, is whether he would struggle. And, of course, the ultimate question: Which side is he on?

I have asked myself the same question and the painful answer I keep coming up with is “Not the side of liberals, labor and working people, progressives, peace activists, civil libertarians or environmentalists.” On the other hand, he always seems to be able to do something for the corporations.
On nearly every issue of national consequence that has been on the table since January 20, 20009, Obama has gone out of his way to distance himself from those constituencies that worked like hell to elect him. How many Sister Soulja moments does one President need anyway?

Primary Predictions for 6.8.10

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I promised to make some primary predictions for tomorrow’s contests. I will not discuss all 12 states in which there is vote counting tomorrow because I’m too darn lazy to do enough research. More importantly, I don’t care about every primary election.

Some, however are so delicious they offer an irresistible invitation to make some smart ass remark.

Take the Nevada Republican primary to see who gets to be on the ballot in November against Harry Reid.

I (and many others) have had some fun with good ol’ Sue Lowden, the notorious Chicken Lady. The ridicule has, I’m afraid, taken its toll. and Sharron Angle (who wants to phase out Social Security) will get the nod.

Lucky Harry.

In California, two rich ladies, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, will win the Republican nominations for Governor and Senator respectively. They are both self financing amateur politicians, which corporate media conventional wisdom thinks that the voters want. But amateurs in any endeavor make mistakes and they are both up against seasoned campaigners. They are both behind their Democratic opponents in the latest polling.

If I were Senator Boxer, I would devote some of my advertising budget to reminding voters how many employees lost their jobs when Fiorina ran HP. I would not be so bold as to offer advice to the venerable Jerry Brown.

Also in California, the smart money is apparently on Jane Harman to prevail against Marcy Winograd. I hope the smart money is wrong.

In Arkansas, stick a fork in Blanche Lincoln (you know you want to) because she is done like dinner. Bill Halter will win the Democratic senatorial nomination. Unless the Arkansas Dem establishment cheats him out of it. Not likely btw.

The other primary news of which has invaded my peripheral vision, is for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in South Carolina. I predict that a crazy person will be nominated (pretty short odds on that one).

Seriously, Ed Kilgore at 538 has Palin endorsed Nikki Haley ahead of Andre Bauer in the polls and likely to win, but if no one gets 50% there will be a run off.
I suspect that Haley will fall short of an outright win because a percentage of Republican voters will have doubts about Haley because of rumors of her infidelity. I don’t offer sympathy to very many Republicans, but such whisper campaigns are despicable.

PA, AR, KY Senate Primary Predictions

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Not that I know anything from the inside, but it looks to me like the following will occur tomorrow:

In the Arkansas Democratic Senate Primary, Lincoln and Halter will be condemned to a runoff because Lincoln will fall short of 50%. Ding dong, the witch is wounded.

In Kentucky, Rand Paul will win going away for the Senate Republican nomination. In the Democratic primary, I have Conway over Mongiardo by a half a whisker.

In the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, Sestak will shut Specter up for good. Couldn’t happen to a nicer weasel.

I would predict more results but the crystal ball grows cloudy, I spilled coffee on the Tarot deck and I’m not as young as I used to be, dang it.