What Obama Delivered & Why He Has to Go

Volumes have been written already about what Obama promised as a candidate and what he actually delivered as president. The cases are often myriad and confusing because there are so many broken promises and the multiple effects of his disastrous policies are too numerous to sum up in an “elevator speech” that is both concise and convincing. That is part of the reason Mitt Romney is still running close with Obama; he has not wanted to use the central issue of character to articulate a broad, simple argument for why Obama must go.

There are likely reasons for that, including that Romney is a decent man who wants to win on his own merits. But the greater reason, I think, is that he doesn’t know how to articulate this argument in terms a liberal-leaning electorate can understand. That’s because he is not actually liberal.

Matt Stoller has no such barriers to his communication of the central issue this election: Obama’s character. Because he has been inside the machine of evolving Democratic politics, he has a clearer understanding of just why Obama is so offensive to both traditional and actual progressive Democrats. I use the modifier “actual” in relation to progressives because we are well aware of how the hagiography that Obama has deliberately provoked among that group has corrupted them and distorted their worldview.

In an article published Saturday at Salon, of all places, Stoller makes the case for why Democrats, progressive Democrats in particular, should not vote for Obama, not even in swing states. Rather than basing it on the civil liberties angle so many of the more intellectually consistent progressives have used, he makes his case on Obama having delivered the antithesis of the kind of fundamentally transformed policies he promised as a candidate.

The civil liberties/antiwar case was made eloquently a few weeks ago by libertarian Conor Friedersdorf, who wrote a well-cited blog post on why he could not, in good conscience, vote for Obama. While his arguments have tremendous merit, there is an equally powerful case against Obama on the grounds of economic and social equity. That case needs to be made.


So why oppose Obama? Simply, it is the shape of the society Obama is crafting that I oppose, and I intend to hold him responsible, such as I can, for his actions in creating it.


The above is a chart of corporate profits against the main store of savings for most Americans who have savings — home equity. Notice that after the crisis, after the Obama inflection point, corporate profits recovered dramatically and surpassed previous highs, whereas home equity levels have remained static. That $5-7 trillion of lost savings did not come back, whereas financial assets and corporate profits did. Also notice that this is unprecedented in postwar history. Home equity levels and corporate profits have simply never diverged in this way; what was good for GM had always, until recently, been good, if not for America, for the balance sheet of homeowners. Obama’s policies severed this link, completely.

This split represents more than money. It represents a new kind of politics, one where Obama, and yes, he did this, officially enshrined rights for the elite in our constitutional order and removed rights from everyone else (see “The Housing Crash and the End of American Citizenship” in the Fordham Urban Law Journal for a more complete discussion of the problem). The bailouts and the associated Federal Reserve actions were not primarily shifts of funds to bankers; they were a guarantee that property rights for a certain class of creditors were immune from challenge or market forces. The foreclosure crisis, with its rampant criminality, predatory lending, and document forgeries, represents the flip side.


The policy continuity with Bush is a stark contrast to what Obama offered as a candidate.


While life has never been fair, the chart above shows that, since World War II, this level of official legal, political and economic inequity for the broad mass of the public is new (though obviously for subgroups, like African-Americans, it was not new). It is as if America’s traditional racial segregationist tendencies have been reorganized, and the tools and tactics of that system have been repurposed for a multicultural elite colonizing a multicultural population.


This is the shape of the system Obama has designed. It is intentional, it is the modern American order, and it has a certain equilibrium, the kind we identify in Middle Eastern resource extraction based economies.

This argument, it seems to me, is true. While we have spent much time and had much fun mocking the idiocy of Occupy Wall Street, who, let me be clear, deserved righteously that mockery, the core of their argument is true, if not the math. I have been making this same argument for a couple of years, in far less offensive terms and without the stupidity of horizontal movement dynamics.

The nature of a free market is that, from time to time, the balance of powers that it is designed to promote becomes imbalanced. Almost always this happens via the mechanism of regulatory capture and business-governmental incest. These two entities are supposed to have a sibling relationship, not a marital one. When they become bedfellows, as happened at the height of the industrial age, and as has happened in the last few decades, the result is disaster and calamity for the middle and/or lower class citizens.

But therein lies the strength of our republican democracy. It has always given the broad middle the greater say via the mechanism of voting. After the capture of government at the hands of monied industrialists in the late 1800s and early 1900s and the folly of this relationship revealed itself in the Great Depression, we, the people, were able to yank the entire nation back from that dangerous precipice by electing Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Roosevelt understood the fundamental dangers of the time, and though he didn’t often do it in democratic terms, he was determined to make the oligarchy of that time understand that they destroyed the lower classes at their own peril. What made him unique was that he was of the rich, but not for them. Yet he was not against them, either. He understood the rising tide lifted all boats, and that the roiling imbalance of the turbulent financial sea threatened a tsunami that would drown us all. He restored the balance. His greatest folly was expecting that future generations of Democrats and  Republicans would pay back what had to be borrowed to restore that balance.

We are at that precipice again, and it is not Obama’s fault solely that we find ourselves here. He is the symptom, not the disease. But if that symptom is left untreated, that disease will seat itself in our body politic more firmly, and will be that much more costly and difficult to defeat. Stoller is no fan of Mitt Romney, and because he is still blinded by his own partisanship and still believes so much of what he hears in the media about him–but not, notably, Obama–he can’t see that Romney offers America something similar to what FDR offered us.

But Romney, like FDR, is a rich man who understands the underpinnings and mechanisms of that world, and how it is the middle class and working class that provides the solid foundation for the success that few achieve. That ability to succeed wildly, though it is limited, ultimately has the power to raise the standards of living for the many, creating cycles of prosperity throughout the system. It is the promise of the marriage of democracy and capitalism, and it has been born out when balanced for more than 230 years. Romney, in contrast with FDR, believes that the free market–were it actually to be free, and were it forced to pay the consequences for its own bad choices–can restore that balance. Roosevelt believed that only government could do that, and perhaps in his time he was right.

We live in a different time, a time when we are saddled with the realities of what Roosevelt himself, I believe unintentionally, wrought. The government is no longer in any position to help, and we must rely on different approaches to solve our generations’ unique problems. We can’t sustain the imbalance of debt any more than we can sustain the imbalance of prosperity. Just as those generations did, we will have to bail ourselves out and restore our own balance. Because we are Americans, we can and will do this. We have always believed in the promise of manifesting our own destinies; it is the very reason we continue to hopefully cast our votes. Thus, not only should Democrats not vote for Obama, especially in swing states, they should eschew that third party temptation and cast their equalizing vote for Mitt Romney. Nothing less than the life of the country as we know it is at stake.

About Woke Lola

Bitch, please.
This entry was posted in 2012 Elections, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney. Bookmark the permalink.

87 Responses to What Obama Delivered & Why He Has to Go

  1. This is one of your best!
    I shared the Salon link and this one on FB.
    We have been saying it for five years- Obama is NOT a Democrat. AT ALL.
    Balance, in all things, balance.
    And it does seem to me that Romney understands balance. And the fundamental fact that if there is no working class- there is no chance for the spectacular success stories. A non working ever poorer subsistence enslaved class produces nothing and can not contribute to a thriving vibrant economy.

    • Thanks, PMM. I’ve been thinking for a while now That Romney could be the FDR of the right. I think the leadership of the Democratic Party knows it too, and that’s why they’re so spooked. If he’s as effective, it could lead to similar ascendancy for the right. It’s quite telling that those leaders in the DP would be worried about their won future, instead of the future of the country.

    • votermom says:

      This is one of your best!


  2. ditto to ProudMilitaryMom—–but you are always a fascinating read!!

  3. wmcb says:

    Excellent piece, Lola. The folly of the OWS types is that they think mere govt redistribution after the fact, i.e. “eat the rich”, will solve the problem. It won’t. We need the great large capitalists and investors – they are a big part of the engine of the economy. The wildly successful, or the hope of becoming so, are the key to innovation, breakthroughs, and growth.

    Romney seems to look at things sensibly. Not “tear the bad rich guys down and punish their hoarding”, but “what are we doing wrong, structurally, that is encouraging malinvestment and fearful protection of assets.”

    I’ve been screaming from the rooftops for years that the rallying cry is NOT “Kill the nasty coporations!” It is “We need separation of Corp and State!” And that includes special favors, govt “investment” in select industries, too big to fail status, using regulations to favor some and punish others, and much more.

  4. Lulu says:

    Thanks Lola. This is good stuff and perfect for a Sunday morning read.

  5. leslie says:

    First a BIG THANK YOU! for everyone’s b’day wishes yesterday for my little granddaughter. She is cuter (in every way) than any child on earth !!!

    The party was great – except for the nephew who literally overwhelmed me with arguments against Romney (he is voting for Gary Johnson). He even brought up the dog on the car roof argument! It was just like my “vacation” 2 weeks ago in VT with my obot sister and her husband.
    I finally just said that I respect his choice to vote for Johnson and I hope he could respect my vote for the only person I believe can beat Obama. I then turned to my daughter and said “I’m voting for Romney tomorrow morning.”

    The polls open in a few minutes and I’m leaving after I have breakfast.

  6. DeniseVB says:

    Obama is just not that into us or his job. All he’s got for his campaign is beating up a successful and decent man to hang on to his base (they LOVED the “bullsh*tter” word in that Obama’s a bad ass sort of way). Otherwise, he’s got nothing. But we knew that in 2008 😉

  7. leslie says:

    Lola ~
    I commented above before I read your post; I didn’t want to forget to thank everyone from yesterday.
    I agree with everyone above – truly this is one of your best. And it says so well what I’ve tried to articulate to anyone who wants to listen. But when they are attacking and arguing and talking non-stop (ala Condi Rice) I just get headaches and hope I can get away before I throw up.

    I used the FDR example yesterday – just before the “dog on the car roof” argument presented itself. I just couldn’t take it any more. Maybe it’s my age, but I don’t feel like sparring with people any more. There is a sense that if I don’t agree with them, they flood me with words and I simply have to focus on my breathing until I interrupt them or they shut up.
    If I had FB, I’d post this and your links. SInce I don’t, I’m sending the links in email form to family and friends who will either read them or not. I can’t control what others do w/what I send them.

    I’ve just had b’fast and I’m off to vote shortly.

    BTW: someone brought up that the Chgo Tribune will endorse TehOnce today. I said I didn’t care. And I don’t. If BHO is re-elected, and the Trib didn’t endorse him, there will be hell to pay – especially since he “is from Chicago”. If Romney wins this election, the Trib will grovel and be generally supportive as they have a long-standing reputation as a conservative paper. I don’t think that person would even have stayed around long enough to hear my reasoning, much less to think about it.


    • elliesmom says:

      What I have been having small successes with is not trying to convince my Obot friends and family to vote for Romney, but rather to examine why they have so immersed themselves in the Obama cult they excuse him for things they would be out in streets protesting if a Republican was doing it. Whether it’s using “tribal” or “assimilation into the borg” language, asking them why things are divided into “evil” and “good” depending on the source instead of the action. I haven’t convinced any of them to vote for Romney yet, but more than a few have decided to either vote for Jill Stein or stay home. It’s a baby step. If Romney is elected and does a good job, it will be easier to convince them to re-elect them.

  8. yttik says:

    If you’re a bleeding heart, which is kind of why I was a liberal, than there’s no way you can support Obama. All I have to do is look around at people and see how they are suffering from Obama’s policies, whether it’s people who have lost their job or people trying to pay for 4 dollar gas and groceries that have doubled. There are people who have lost all the equity in their homes, equity that they planned to use for their retirement. There are people who were retired who have had to go back to work because family has moved in with them. There are foreclosures and people forced to move away seeking work. There are people on medicare, medicaid, Tricare, struggling to pay for new increased costs and less services. There are over 200,000 people in my state alone who have lost their state subsidized insurance. There is a line at the food bank every week, half a mile long. There are people barely able to hang onto their small business, basically working for free because they don’t know what else to do. There are small shops that ran thriving businesses for 20 years that have now shut down.

    And of course, along with all the stress and lack of hope for the future, comes more suicides, domestic violence, divorce, kids with no focus on the future getting into trouble. It’s just an Obamanation.

    • jjmtacoma says:

      yttik – that is me too. I am also a bleeding heart. To me, Obama had the chance to set things right but chose to fund the banks in a way that let them get even bigger and continue business as usual rather than create a bailout that benefitted the middle class by breaking up the too big banks and helping off-set the losses in equity to homeowners.

      I was never upside down in my mortgage because I’ve lived her for a long time but I wouldn’t have been the least bit resentful if other people’s loans had been cashed down by the government to fit the new value. That would have prevented many of the foreclosures and probably stopped the equity free-fall.

      I remember hearing a bunch of noise in the heat of the crisis that people who were losing their houses were just stupid and deserved to be on the street. You know that kind of messaging had to be manufactured somewhere. Kind of like the welfare queens of the 80’s.

      • gxm17 says:

        Me three. I proudly identify as a bleeding heart. Vile progs use similar “stupid people deserve to be out on the street” language about the working poor who can not afford health insurance, calling them “moochers” and “leeches.” I find it horrifying to hear this language come from the so-called left. Great comparison! It, too, reminds me of the “greed is good/hate the poor” mindset of the of go-go 80s Reaganites.

        • jjmtacoma says:

          Yes, and I personally believe it was a Whitehouse campaign meme to allow the bailouts to go to the rich and screw the rest. They used the OFA to make it *seem* to be part of the popular wisdom on the left.

      • t says:

        It’s the same kind of argument the vile progs use for “health care reform”. It will keep those deadbeats from using the ER as primary care, cuz WE’RE paying for that with our healthcare dollars! LOL, but what they don’t get is that even with the “affordable” care act, the same group of people won’t be able to afford health insurance and will use the ER….But I hold that most people who use the ER for primary care either pay the bill or the bill is covered by charity…it does not raise health insurance costs as significantly as other things like covering everyday items that should NOT be part of health INSURANCE. Health insurance should be for financial disaster, not for things we need to do everyday.

        But I digress. My point is I remember when the whole idea of health care reform was to HELP people who have to use the ER as primary care….now the same proponents of “reform” think it’s about punishing them and calling them names.

  9. DandyTiger says:

    Another great part of the sited article (emphasis mine):

    In fact, during the transition itself, Bush’s Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson offered a deal to Barney Frank, to force banks to write down mortgages and stem foreclosures if Barney would speed up the release of TARP money. Paulson demanded, as a condition of the deal, that Obama sign off on it. Barney said fine, but to his surprise, the incoming president vetoed the deal. Yup, you heard that right — the Bush administration was willing to write down mortgages in response to Democratic pressure, but it was Obama who said no, we want a foreclosure crisis. And with Neil Barofsky’s book ”Bailout,” we see why. Tim Geithner said, in private meetings, that the foreclosure mitigation programs were not meant to mitigate foreclosures, but to spread out pain for the banks, the famous “foam the runway” comment. This central lie is key to the entire Obama economic strategy. It is not that Obama was stymied by Congress, or was up against a system, or faced a massive crisis, which led to the shape of the economy we see today. Rather, Obama had a handshake deal to help the middle class offered to him by Paulson, and Obama said no. He was not constrained by anything but his own policy instincts. And the reflation of corporate profits and financial assets and death of the middle class were the predictable results.

  10. Simofish says:

    As usual – LOLA rocks the house ! Thank you.

    I usually read all the blogs at night and all the comments. Didn’t get through all of them last night. Long day yesterday. So off I go to do that now.

  11. DandyTiger says:

    And then this part:

    Barack Obama is the president who hired as his lead economic advisor Larry Summers, a man famous for arguing that women are genetically predisposed to being bad at math. Unsurprisingly, Anita Dunn, a White House adviser, later called the Obama White House a “hostile work environment” for women, in large part because of the boys club of Rahm Emanuel and Larry Summers. Obama is the president who insisted that women under 17 shouldn’t have access to Plan B birth control, overruling scientists at the FDA, because of his position ”as a father of two daughters.” Girls, he said, shouldn’t be able to buy these drugs next to “bubble gum and batteries.” Aside from the obvious sexism, he left out the possibility that young women who need Plan B had been raped by their fathers, which anyone who works in the field knows happens all too often. In his healthcare bill, Obama made sure that government funds, including tax credits and Medicaid that are the key to expanding healthcare access to the poor, will be subject to the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits their use for abortion. It’s not clear what will happen with healthcare exchanges, or how much coverage there will be for abortion services in the future.

    • t says:

      And when Anita called Obama out on this, he pretended that he had no idea it was happening. The buck stopped…at Larry Summer’s desk on that issue….always blame someone else.

  12. Simofish says:

    BTW – a friend sent me this….funny.

  13. tommy says:

    Obama has never been a traditional liberal. For lack of a better term, he is what I’d call a neo-progressive. Remember what the neocons did to the traditionally conservative party? In addition to what you’ve written in your excellent write-up, another reason why Obama should lose is because he is a festering wound on the democratic party. If given a second term, he would be deemed as a successful 2 term democratic president. All future democrats would try to study his ways, techniques, policy positions (which includes all the negatives) and would try to emulate his style of campaigning and governing. For a traditional liberal, that would be a disaster of epic propotions. Its better that he loses now, and be remembered as a failed, disgraced one term president. His influence on the democratic party would then be nil. Why should you vote for Romney? Thats simple. He is a moderate republican, not the usual extreme , cowboyish, shoot now, ask questions later garden-variety type of republican. As a liberal, whatever damage Romney as a repub would do would be extremely limited. But for the future of the democratic party, we have to get BHO out of office. Thats my two cents.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Agree. If Obama wins, his approach, his politics, and his campaign techniques would be set in stone as the future of the Democratic party. If he loses, it, hopefully, will force the Democratic party to do some soul searching and allow them to find their way again.

    • I agree. If he loses, his ideas and approaches will be deemed another losing strategy and that is imperative.

    • t says:

      I actually would call him a neocon. He pretends the progressive approach, but his true policies are neocon.

  14. driguana says:

    It is amazing how with just a litlle bit of diligent research and an open mind, you can see pretty quickly the sham and fraud that is Obama. It is astounding to me how any intelligent and conscious person could actually vote for him. My liberal friends, diminishing as they are, call me crazy. What a strange and deceptive time when everything seems to be the opposite of what it really is….good is bad, up is down, forward is backward….love is hate.

  15. SHV says:

    “Obama has never been a traditional liberal. For lack of a better term, he is what I’d call a neo-progressive.
    To even think that Obama has a social/political philosophy gives him way too much credit, IMO.

    The genius of the 2008 campaign was to get an “Obama” to run in a Dem can’t loose election; have him be the stooge for tens of trillions of dollars of crony capitalism giveaways and then label him as a “socialist”.

    • driguana says:

      That continues to be a really good and relevant point…..but why they chose Obama over Hillary still continues to be an obfuscated mystery…..the first half-black president compared to the first full female president….clearly, in retrospect, and as you point out, she would have won as well.

      • Erica says:

        They didn’t want her because she wasn’t controllable like Obama. They new she had a moral compass and was woman enough to use it.

  16. SHV says:

    “chose Obama over Hillary still continues to be an obfuscated mystery”
    The Dem leadership believed their own bullshit; majorities forever, unlimited campaign and “K” street cash. The “anyone but Hillary” deals were cut way before Obama was selected. No way in hell that “health” industry or the financial “bidness” wanted Hillary.

  17. myiq2xu says:

    Excellent post.

    Four years ago I was running around with my hair on fire (it still hasn’t grown back) trying to warn people of the very things that Stoller cites as reasons to not vote for Obama.

  18. tommy says:

    To the polls. Todays rassies has R up by 3. R-50 O-47. Whats more encouraging is the latest Minnesota poll that has O up only by 3 (within MOE). There, its O-47 R-44 (not a rassie poll).

  19. lyn5 says:

    Take a bow. This is a great post. The election shouldn’t even be this close. Why would anyone want the status quo?!

  20. piper says:

    Another great thread Lola,
    I’m sick and tired of the ‘dog story’ that so many dems want to believe so they don’t have to examine obama and what he has wrought on this great country. They are too ashamed that they fell for a scam artist and don’t want to admit that they were taken. As for Romney and his dog, I will give him a pass – we’ve all made mistakes and as long as we learn from them that’s what counts. Many years we flew from MN to MI with our puppy who was denied seating in the cabin although he was small ended up in the baggage compartment. When we picked him up he was thoroughly wet and shook for several hours due to trauma of being in baggage comp. for over an hour. All trips since that time have been by car.

    • tommy says:

      Piper, all you have to do is ask your Obot friends this question : Do you want to vote for the dude who gave his dog a ride on the roof of his car, or for the dude who ate one?

  21. piper says:

    OT – You have to admit there was cheating in this world series. My home team, the Detroit Tigers, were hampered by obama’s proclamation that they would win. All of his picks have ended in losses.
    So I’m going on a cold bike ride to soothe my disappointment. It’s too early to hit the bottle. Waaaaahhhh – wish I knew how to do those emoticons on a Mac.

  22. myiq2xu says:

    My head feels like a big squishy tomato this morning.

    I’m going back to bed.

  23. Ohio newspaper group poll shows Romney and Obama tied—last poll a month ago showed Obama 5 points up. I have lived here a long time and whoever has the momentum at this point in time wins. I have been so giddy at the prospect of Obama losing——


    • DandyTiger says:

      I think Romney’s got the vote in OH at this point too. But don’t underestimate both Obama’s ground game and the cheating and other underhanded things in place. I think Obama thought this would be the battleground state for the election and so put everything in place to make sure he won, by hook or by crook. So it will be nasty.

      The funny thing now though is that I don’t think Romney needs OH to win. I don’t think the Obama campaign thought that was ever possible. Oopsie. But still, it would be great to see a bit sweep including OH.

  24. DM says:

    Tnx Lola. I don’t visit Salon since 2008. Stoller speaks for me.

  25. kanaughty says:


    a funny link, linking ghwb’s last minute agenda printed in a booklet and trust speech to ob’s now doing the same two things. so this reeks of desperation…

    • cj says:

      First, bravo Lola, fantastic post!

      Second…that’s incredible kanaughty! The political geniuses are following GHWB’s path to reelection lol ! Although, I tend to agree with someone who said on twitter that however this election plays out, Obama is going to go out either like Carter or Nixon.

  26. Lola—–you know that my biggest thing is getting more women elected. Period. I was shocked and thrilled to read Stoller actually embrace our argument about what women’s issues really are. I consider that a huge step forward. “Women’s issues” have been locked into the abortion box way too long much to the detriment of women’s progress toward the top. What do you know!!!! I guess our argument that you and I and others have been making for the past 4 years is getting to be more and more common.

    i have always believed that we need to keep talking about women’s drive to the top even if it feels like no one is listening. It is like a stone thrown into the water creating a ripple effect. You never know where those ripples will end up.

  27. DeniseVB says:

    And so it begins, designers prefer Michelle over Ann and some gripe when Ann wears one of their designs.


    • piper says:

      That’s a joke – most of meachelle’s outfits look like rejected home ec. projects – ill-fitting, too short, too tight and truly ugly prints/patterns.

    • isn’t that just the pettiest thing around?

      • cj says:

        Yes it is petty.

        It’s pathetic to see a group of supposedly mature, professional women acting out like a clique of bullies in a 6th grade lunch room.

        They’d be wise to take a warning from Madonna…people are getting fed up with the crap coming out of celebrities.

        “Madonna drew boos and triggered a walkout by several concertgoers after she touted President Obama on her “MDNA Tour” in New Orleans.

        The Material Girl asked during Saturday night’s performance: “Who’s registered to vote?” She added: “I don’t care who you vote for as long as you vote for Obama.” Drawing boos in touting Obama over Republican Mitt Romney, Madonna followed: “Seriously, I don’t care who you vote for … Do not take this privilege for granted. Go vote.”


      • Erica says:

        Yep, too bad for them!

  28. t says:

    I’ll save this and share with my Obot friends if Obama loses. It might be comforting, LOL.

  29. votermom says:

    Madonna booed & many walk out in NOLA concert when she tells them to vote for Obama.

  30. votermom says:

    For some reason I can’t see the comments on Stoller’s articl ein Salon – what is the general reaction of those lefty readers?

  31. votermom says:

    Love Greta …

  32. myiq2xu says:

    My head only feels like a medium-sized squishy tomato now.

    But why the hell are the Pittsburgh Steelers dressed like bumblebees?

  33. dailypuma says:

    Barack Obama’s “parallel foreclosure” policy I believe is his impeachable moment.

  34. Erica says:

    Lola, thanks for pointing out the Stoller article. I rarely go to Salon because I think most of the writers are full of themselves. I sent that to a concerned Obama supporter, who’s been shocked, shocked I tell you, to hear from my daughter that I am “leaning Romney.” She sent me the New Yorker’s endorsement of Obama, calling it “long, thoughtful, and eloquent.” I sent her Stoller, saying it gives some idea why a long-term Dem might be appalled by Obama’s policies. Now we get to see if the conversation goes both ways.

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