The Bad Judgment and Worse Optics of the Far-Left

It appears as if the Greenwald/Sirota Far-Left has anointed Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) as its candidate for U.S. Senate — in opposition to Cory Booker. Here’s Holt’s first ad:

I don’t hate Holt, but he’s polling at around eight percent to Booker’s 52 percent and the far-left is lining up with a guaranteed loser, Holt, against a not-as-far-left-but-still-damn-good candidate — a bona fide hero — who has a serious shot at winning. Not only that but Booker would be the only elected African American member of the U.S. Senate, and, perhaps, the second African American president.

Smart move, lefties.

I still consider myself quite liberal in terms of values and policy positions, but I don’t know these people any more.

This entry was posted in Cory Booker and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
  • BillAndersoot

    From the same brilliant strategic thinkers that gave us John Boozman and Pat Toomey. The left has its own Erick Ericksons.

    • Jeff Cramer

      Except those people that Erick Erickson likes usually end up being the nominee. There’s no way Holt will be the nominee. He only has 8 % to Booker’s 52%.

  • chris ellis

    Backing Holt in the primary seems to be perfectly fine to nake sure to check the eventual nominee. Then vote Booker in the fall and make sure to keep pressure on to stay progressive on economic matters. The issue would be the same those that backed Hilary and then went for McCain for unkown reasons instead of their party’s actual nominee.

    • JozefAL

      Well, if you had any ACTUAL evidence of your final sentence, instead of that crap you pulled from your backside, you might have a point beyond the one on the top of your head.

  • Draxiar

    Rest assured if he should get elected and is unable to fulfill one, just one, of his promises he’ll be demonized by Glenn and The Screaming Mimies.

    • FlipYrWhig

      Not really. Once you get anointed A True Progressive you get a pass on a lot of stuff. Like Russ Feingold being against filibuster reform and for extending the income tax cuts for $250,000 and up. Or Howard Dean being against the Medicare payment board. The Cone of Silence comes down and the people who learned to like you never hear that it’s The Biggest Outrage EVAR!

  • Larry

    Well, Rush Holt would be one of the few (only?) scientists in the Senate if elected, which to me is as important as having an African American given the current era of anti-intellectualism and anti-science. I’m not following the “Far Left” folks that Bob condemns but are they trashing Booker or just supporting Holt? Shouldn’t you support who you think is best in a primary? I voted for Clinton in the 2008 primary, but was happy to vote for Obama in the general.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Shouldn’t you support who you think is best in a primary?

      Yes. I find it bothersome every time I hear someone say “I really would like to see vote for X, but I guess I have to vote for Y.” If everyone who felt that way actually did vote for X, X could actually stand a good chance.

      • BillAndersoot

        It’s about viability. You can bet on a crippled horse if you like but that doesn’t make it any more likely to win the Derby. Ralph Nader, for instance, never had a chance of beating George W. Bush in 2000. His reputation as a spoiler comes from the fact that he’s a political dilettante who couldn’t be bothered to put together the financing or the war room to actually win the election. Politics, as they say, ain’t beanbag. People who run for office unprepared to win don’t deserve a single vote.

        • missliberties

          Spoiler alert. Exactly.

          And the hard left are acting like spoiled rotten children.

          OF course the GOP mines this discontent for their own advantage. It starts out like this. “I voted for Obama, but now I am so disappointed.”

        • Christopher Foxx

          You can bet on a crippled horse if you like but that doesn’t make it any more likely to win the Derby.

          True. But if the horse isn’t actually crippled, but folks just think it is …

          Any analogy breaks down if carried to far. Point is, because people believe candidate A can win and B can’t, they have a tendency to vote for A even though they’d actually like to see B in office. And if those folks had actually voted for B, instead of being convinced by conventional wisdom that they’re throwing their vote away, B might actually win. Or at least perhaps be better positioned for next time because they actually finished fairly well.

          People who run for office unprepared to win don’t deserve a single vote.

          Well then let’s just eliminate all but the big two parties. After all, nobody from any other party gets elected to Congress, so why bother even listening to anyone else. “You can’t win, so don’t bother to try.”

          • BillAndersoot

            My point was simply that it takes enormous financial and strategic resources to win a major election. If you don’t have those lined up well in advance, you won’t win. Maybe not fair, but true.

          • Christopher Foxx

            My point was simply that it takes enormous financial and strategic resources to win a major election. If you don’t have those lined up well in advance, you won’t win. Maybe not fair, but true.

            Yes, yes and yes. Which is a shame.

          • BillAndersoot

            Agreed. I’d be very happy if we went to instant runoffs or something similar. Not likely, though. Also a shame.

          • Christopher Foxx

            I saw the proposal the other day that all elections should include “None of the Above” on the slate with all other candidates. And if “None” won the election would have to be re-held with a completely new slate.

            I like it.

          • BillAndersoot

            My preferred plan is to hold the election, hang the loser and throw the winner in jail. It would solve a lot of problems…

          • nathkatun7

            What if the “completely new slate” is not good enough and “None of the above” wins again? My little experience in life at 67 tells me that there will never be a perfect candidate. If you want a candidate who thinks exactly like you do, it’s time for you to run yourself. If you do win you will be faced with governing not just the people who think like you but also people who have different ideas. In the process, you will learn that if you want to govern effectively you have to accommodate the views of people who don’t think like you.

          • Christopher Foxx

            What if the “completely new slate” is not good enough and “None of the above” wins again?

            Then go again until None loses or the people just decide to have no leader, I suppose. It wasn’t meant as a serious proposition (not least because it would never be implemented) so isn’t really worth playing rules lawyer with.

            In the process, you will learn that if you want to govern effectively you have to accommodate the views of people who don’t think like you.

            Where they make sense, of course a leader should. And where they don’t a leader should point out they don’t and not worry about placating folks who are being silly.

          • stacib23

            Who pays for this?

          • Badgerite

            I would also want to see someone in office who can deal with contradictory opinions and who can operate successfully in a larger political environment than the left seems to think exists in this country. A large chunk of America is conservative. And they pay their dues like everybody does. They cannot be and I don’t think it should be an aim political strategy to ignore them completely, like Bushies tried to do with the more liberal parts of the country. He seems like a fine fellow, but I sure as hell would want to know more about what makes him than he beat the computer at Jeopardy.

          • Christopher Foxx

            I would also want to see someone in office who can deal with contradictory opinions and who can operate successfully in a larger political environment than the left seems to think exists in this country. A large chunk of America is conservative. And they pay their dues like everybody does.

            Someone (from left or right, I don’t care) who would acknowledge the people who are on the other side would be fine. But also who would make it clear to folks on the other side (and on there own, too) that some things are stupid and explained the reasons for doing the smart thing.

            Of course, that takes someone who actually leads. And we don’t have any leaders.

          • nathkatun7

            “…we don’t have any leaders.”

            Since you know so much about leadership why don’t you run and show us what a great leader looks like?

          • FlipYrWhig

            “Leadership” is a macho-sounding way to say “an unspecified ability to make other people do things I like.” Like when sports announcers talk about “momentum” as though it means something other than “doing well right now.”

          • Christopher Foxx

            Really? That’s going to be your contribution?

          • Christopher Foxx

            Really? That’s going to be your contribution?

        • Jeff Cramer

          “You can bet on a crippled horse if you like but that doesn’t make it any more likely to win the Derby. Ralph Nader, for instance, never had a chance of beating George W. Bush in 2000.”

          Not to nitpick, but its a primary, not a general election, so its not like where you’re wasting a vote on Nader because that increases W.’s chances and also Holt is so behind, again only 8%, whereas Gore and Bush were SO SO close. So, if one wants to have their purity vote, go ahead, Booker is going to win this.

          That said, the discussion you are having with Christopher, my thoughts are this about 3rd party, I guess I would meet you guys halfway. If I was in a swing state like Florida, it is not a good idea to vote 3rd party because you are affecting the outcome of the election. Thus, a Nader vote is tipping to W. winning Florida. A deep red (like Georgia) or deep blue state (like New York), a 3rd party vote isn’t really going to affect the outcome of the election.

          I don’t believe telling in people who to vote for, but I would just tell them the reality of the situation: If you vote 3rd party, your candidate still won’t win, it won’t matter much in the long run if you are not in a swing state, but if you are in a swing state, you are affecting the outcome and that outcome means a winner you did not vote for and probably like the least out of all candidates.

          • BillAndersoot

            You’re not nitpicking–it is a primary. And I agree with your point about swing states but for one thing: if it’s a close race, the perception that a candidate won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote can be tough to get past.

          • Jeff Cramer

            “f it’s a close race, the perception that a candidate won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote can be tough to get past.”

            I assume you mean by this whether W. really won Florida or the Supreme Court just declare, but whether he did or didn’t win Florida, Nader was an effect. Just as the Butterfly Ballot was an effect.

          • Christopher Foxx

            If I was in a swing state like Florida, it is not a good idea to vote 3rd party because you are affecting the outcome of the election.

            Yeah. That brings up the whole attrocious “swing states” and electoral college situation. Let’s leave that for another time.

      • stacib23

        Isn’t that what happened to Al Gore, and we got George W. Bush as a result?

        • Christopher Foxx

          Yeah. But the solution to that is to do away with the electoral college and have Presidential elections decided on a straight popular vote that utterly ignores state lines.

    • i_a_c

      Maybe, I guess one of the great parts about voting is that you can choose any criteria you want. One of my criteria for primaries is electability. Even if I loved Dennis Kucinich (I don’t) I would never vote for him.

      One of the reasons I ended up voting for Obama is that Clinton’s campaign apparatus was bordering on incompetent.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Booker would be a far better Senator than Holt for a variety of reasons. But as presented here the main reasons to vote for Booker are that he’s electable and black.

    I understand the political realities, but I’ve never been a fan of voting for someone just because they are more electable. If more folks voted for the candidates they would actually see win, without respect to whether they could, we’d have a more diverse group of representatives.

    And “vote for him because he’s black” is about as bothersome as the opposite.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      In fairness to both sides of the “vote for him because he’s black” discussion….it’s not really as simple as that. I always want to see more females in office. But that doesn’t mean I will vote for any female (i.e., hell would freeze over before I voted for Palin). I think what Bob said and meant was that Booker is both more than competent and black, and that combination of factors should motivate voters more and I agree, it should.

    • mrbrink

      Yes. You are a perfect example of why there’s never enough crazy wingnuts waiting to seize power from you and why we should never underestimate the so-called left’s ability and eagerness to shoot itself in the collective foot over invisible principles. Like you wouldn’t get a pro-science vote, or a pro-civil rights vote, economic equality, or a vote to raise the minimum wage with Cory Booker. Where do you people get off with such a privileged view of your precious vote– a vote that will only go into the garbage? It’s so important to you that it can go into the trash, but you take your vote very seriously. Fuck outta here. Hilarious.

      I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but right wing America will gladly pounce on your divided voting block. They’d have no shame in accepting power on behalf of 39% of the voters in a three way split.

      • Christopher Foxx

        Climb down of your high horse, brink, and leave the straw man there when you do.

        Yes, I’m not a fan of deciding based on “electability” and, yes, I do wish we could get a more diverse group of representative. And nothing in that says I’d throw my vote “in the garbage”. On the contrary, I said I’m aware of the political realities.

        Your eagerness to blame me (and folks you see as like me) for wingnuts winning elections is misplaced. And were I to react as you have, lashing out at someone who expressed a view different from yours, I could easily take you to task for clearly being a supporter of voter ID laws and a fan of suppressing the vote. I mean, what other interpretation of “Where do you people get off with such a privileged view of your precious vote”? Clearly you’re suggesting that if we’re going to “waste” our votes we shouldn’t have them, right?

        How about instead of heading down that way, we keep it confined to what folks actually said?

      • Christopher Foxx

        i>They’d have no shame in accepting power on behalf of 39% of the voters in a three way split.

        I’m fairly sure any Democrat who wins with 39% of the vote won’t refuse to take office either.

        • mrbrink

          That’s the point. And it’s a ridiculously long way to go to not only have a government controlled by a minority of the voting population, but what do you think would happen if liberal and progressive Democrats had to caucus with moderate to conservative democrats to get anything passed in the congress?

          You’d have exactly what we have now. So you’ve just wasted everyone’s time with your parliamentary style voting system, split the democratic party, for no reason, and have helped solidify the GOP’s lockstep voting block.

          Nice going. Thanks for all your vote depressing help.

          • Christopher Foxx

            So it’s my fault the GOP is a bunch of lemmings? Got it.

          • mrbrink

            Please, don’t let that be the extent of your thinking.

  • MorganleFay

    I would submit that these guys are not the “far left” in policies or ideology just in loudness and glumness.

    They are more like the whiney left.

    • Michael West

      I prefer “emo left.”

      • FlipYrWhig

        There are some genuine lefties out there. But that crowd has few of them. They’re basically indie-rock kids who learn that the other indie-rock kids will doff their knit caps and raise their PBR cans to them if they, too, say that the first album was obviously better.

        • villemar

          Aside from Libertarian ringers; they’re just anarcho-nihilist hipster douchebags who want to watch the world burn because they have emotional problems.

  • roxsteady1

    I don’t know them anymore either Bob. I live in New Jersey and I’ll be voting for Booker. Democrats should be smart enough to get behind a nearly sure thing in Booker. We don’t need to waste votes on Holt or Pallone. The only consolation is that both will be able to go back to their House seats where we really need Democrats. And as an African American I too think it would be nice to have another African American ELECTED to the Senate. The last one didn’t do too badly.

  • JMAshby

    I haven’t known them since 2009.

    Kill the bill!

    • missliberties

      Howard Dean is that you?

  • Judah Frito

    Since the NSA story became a big deal [in the press and among us who post at blogs etc, anyway – most folks are not following it, except in a cursory manner <a problem in itself, but not re: this article] ….. the far left or emo-progs or libertarian left or whatever term you want saw an opportunity to flex political muscle.
    I have nothing against Holt – don't know him that well, if I lived in NJ, I'd be studying the candidates a lot more thoroughly – I do, however dislike his cheerleaders. This would definitely count AGAINST him in my voting booth.
    Like the far right. tea party, Birchers etc. – the extreme left finds wormholes to crawl through, but in the end, Reality-in-real-time seems to win the day in American politics. Some of their preferred candidates will win office…. but in the end, as someone else wrote here – a NEW representative (Senate or House) has very little pull on the Body of Congress and thankfully most of the nutcases don't last that long (< more true on the left than the right) because they will end up compromising on something the extremist brigade doesn't like.
    I mean – as awful as left wing extremism may be … it doesn't quite get to Gohment-land…

    • Jeff Cramer

      Shhh, don’t tell Glenn Greenwald that…I have a picture of the head exploding scene from Scanners if Glenn were to find out that no one cares.

      • Judah Frito

        Really.

    • Judah Frito

      What is up with posting here ? SECOND time My whole post didn’t print. Here it is:
      Since the NSA story became a big deal [in the press and among us who post at blogs etc, anyway – most folks are not following it, except in a cursory manner, a problem in itself, but not re: this article] ….. the far left or emo-progs or libertarian left or whatever term you want saw an opportunity to flex political muscle.
      I have nothing against Holt – don’t know him that well, if I lived in NJ, I’d be studying the candidates a lot more thoroughly – I do, however dislike his cheerleaders. This would definitely count AGAINST him in my voting booth.
      Like the far right. tea party, Birchers etc. – the extreme left finds wormholes to crawl through, but in the end, Reality-in-real-time seems to win the day in American politics. Some of their preferred candidates will win office…. but in the end, as someone else wrote here – a NEW representative (Senate or House) has very little pull on the Body of Congress and thankfully most of the nutcases don’t last that long (< more true on the left than the right) because they will end up compromising on something the extremist brigade doesn't like.
      I mean – as awful as left wing extremism may be … it doesn't quite get to Gohment-land…

  • Badgerite

    Oh great! No, I had not heard that he was the scientist who beat the super computer at jeopardy. That should go down well with the average American voter. I like him fine. But I would vote for Cory Booker because he might actually win and I have had more than enough of the GOP whose last president had the NSA operating completely outside of ANY oversight by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and couldn’t get enough of that mountaintop removal style of coal mining.

  • D_C_Wilson

    In fairness, it is the primary, so if you wanted to make a statement about which way you want the party to go, better to do it here rather than in the general where you possibly could end up being a spoiler. I think Bob may be overeacting at this stage. It’s too early to tell if supporters of Holt will back Booker in their general election or will they start spouting PUMA nonsense like many Hilary supporters did back in 2008.

    Either way, I think a challenging primary will benefit Booker in the long run as it will keep his visibility up in the media.

  • theronware

    I like Holt and admire his intellect. Whenever he talks of scientific topics, it’s such a breath of fresh air! It’s an antidote to the Republican cult of stupid!

  • Barbara Striden

    The primary characteristic of the Greenwaldians, Kossites, et al is obsessive, preening narcissism. For these folks, one of the most compelling virtues Holt has over Booker is that so few people support him. It allows these folks the self-delusion of purity and unique wisdom. Losing is the GOAL.

    • FlipYrWhig

      See also “I liked them _before_ they were cool.”

  • GOVCHRIS1988

    You have to understand that for some hard lefties, losing is preferable to winning precisely for the fact that they ten can act like a self righteous douche all day. I have known people to vote for the Constitution Party candidate in 2008 not because they agreed with the platform, but to just fervently bash whoever won with impunity and not take responsibility for any faults the said winner has. Its just a level of cowardice, not about actual principle.

    Holt may not be a bad guy and may have positive ideas that should be implemented, but he’s not going to win. I have my problems with Booker. I thought the Lautenburg snub was just stupid as all hell and I still believe that his “nauseating” comments during the campaign will come back to haunt him if he makes a run for the White House, but hes more than likely going to become New Jersey’s next U.S. Senator.

  • Norbrook

    Very little surprises me about them. A couple of years ago, I did a look at what Adam Green’s “Progress Change Campaign Committee” was doing and one thing stood out: If you wanted to pick the loser of a primary or an election, all you had to do was to see which one the PCCC had backed. But people like Sirota were calling this “stunningly effective.” I wish I were kidding. You can run down a list of failed candidacies like that, all supported almost rabidly by various of the far left. The key thing: Failed. Lost. Didn’t win. Apparently they never heard of one of the oldest rules in politics: First, you have to win.

    • FlipYrWhig

      To be fair, there’s more of a strategy than that. It’s essentially the Goldwater ’64 idea. Run on a full blast of ideology and get demolished, but train activists and strategists who get good enough to win later, and then eventually you get Ronald Reagan. The problem is that that puts a lot of trust in the idea that losing on principle leads to future victories, but you don’t know that until the future, and if you’ve bet wrong, in the future _you still lose_. You might take a bargain that said if you run Alan Grayson in 2016 you lose, but you get a Latina lesbian pacifist in 2032. But if you run Alan Grayson in 2016, you lose, and then you get Liz Cheney 2032, no one is going to remember that the Grayson idea was so brilliant.

      • Norbrook

        The problem is that they’re not training activists and strategists. They’re mostly running to jump on the nearest bandwagon, and blithely waving aside little things like “organizing” and “boots on the ground.” They do manage to get a number of people to push letters on their keyboards or touch screens, though. Which actually does … nothing … but hey, they’re being “activist!”

  • mrbrink

    Snotty little voting snobs. Throwing their vote away out of principle is piss poor principle.

  • MarshallLucky

    Cory Booker has been neck deep in Wall Street cash for his entire political career. Remember when Obama’s mildly populist rhetoric made him shoot his mouth off during the last campaign, because he just couldn’t stand the insult to his friends in big finance? He’s a corporate creature through and through, and he’s not even very good at hiding it. If you think that’s an attitude Democrats should be supporting in this day and age, he’s your man. But if you actually care about who these people work for once they get into office, maybe Holt is worth more than a sneer.

  • MarshallLucky

    And regarding Booker’s superior “optics”, I take it you mean, “looks good on television, has a Madison Avenue PR staff and is black, so white liberals like me can feel like we’ve done something about racism when he makes a speech.”

    Substance-free pap, in other words.