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Peter Daou

Entries by Peter Daou

Resolving the "Obama Paradox" (The Most Successful Failed Presidency in a Generation)

(841) Comments | Posted July 19, 2010 | 3:09 PM

The intense dispute over President Obama's personality, principles and policies is a proxy for the larger debate over the history, values, ideological composition and direction of America. The focus is on the person, but the battle is over the nation.

In that context, a number of progressive activists and...

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Pull, Pull, Pull to the Left: On Rove's Revisionism and Obama's "Failing" Presidency

(341) Comments | Posted July 15, 2010 | 2:43 PM

Frustration is a wonderful motivator for blogging -- and for those of us steeped in politics, each day brings an extra measure of it.

Take Karl Rove's encomium to the gloriously successful Iraq war and his abiding humility in admitting a big mistake: not attacking the war's...

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On the Left, a False Choice Fuels the Growing Civil War Over Obama

(282) Comments | Posted July 6, 2010 | 4:41 PM

There is a civil war on the left over Barack Obama. The fault lines are jagged, and depending on the issue, porous, but broadly, the split is along two fronts:

  1. Those who believe that critiquing -- and occasionally opposing -- the president on issues such as gay rights, civil liberties...
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Last Chance, Mr. President, to Go Big and Go Left

(656) Comments | Posted June 14, 2010 | 12:47 PM

A year ago, in the midst of the explosive health care debate, I argued that health care reform wouldn't be President Obama's defining issue:

The New York Times blares: In Health Care Fight, Defining Moment Nears for President. It's the "Waterloo" talking point, promulgated by Republicans, seized upon...
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The Great Shame: America's Pathetic Response to the Gulf Catastrophe

(1299) Comments | Posted May 23, 2010 | 12:03 PM

Shame on us.

A calamity is unfolding before our eyes - the greatest oil spill in history - and America's response is little more than a big yawn.

Bob Herbert writes:

The vast, sprawling coastal marshes of Louisiana, where the Mississippi River drains into the gulf, are...
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Oklahoma's Draconian Anti-Choice Law and the Radicalization of America Under Obama

(474) Comments | Posted April 28, 2010 | 11:19 AM

A little over a year ago, millions of Americans held the (now quaint) belief that President Obama's election would marginalize the radical right and usher in an era of moderation and reason. It wasn't an unfounded notion. After all, eight years of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity and their...

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Green-Bashing Exposes the Rot at the Core of Modern Conservatism

(65) Comments | Posted March 2, 2010 | 4:13 PM

Of all the wrongheaded ideas proudly trumpeted by America's right, anti-environmentalism occupies a unique position: it is at once the most devoid of a rational or moral foundation and the most dangerous. Let's not mince words: it is selfish, crass, illogical, willfully blind, a denial of the undeniable reality that...

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Male Monsters -- Girl Buried Alive for Being a Girl and the World Shrugs

(969) Comments | Posted February 5, 2010 | 11:14 AM

***Trigger Warning***


Turkish police have recovered the body of a 16-year-old girl they say was buried alive by relatives in an "honor" killing carried out as punishment for talking to boys. The girl, who has been identified only by the initials MM, was found in a...
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Liberal Bloggers to Obama and Dems: We Told You So

(840) Comments | Posted January 19, 2010 | 9:08 PM

It took more than half a decade, countless American and Iraqi deaths in a war based on lies, a sinking economy and the drowning of an American city to finally kill Bush-Cheney-Rove's dream of a conservative realignment.

Democrats, controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, have managed...

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Travesty: If the World Can Mobilize Like This for Haiti, Why Not for Sexual Violence in Congo?

(47) Comments | Posted January 15, 2010 | 1:49 PM

On Tuesday evening, I received a short email from Mark Goldberg, my colleague at UN Dispatch, a site we run in conjunction with the UN Foundation. The message was this:

massive, 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. really, really devastating

Mark is an even-tempered and measured guy and I knew...

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To Heilemann, Halperin and Politico: I'll Proudly Defend Hillary Clinton, On the Record

(259) Comments | Posted January 12, 2010 | 11:26 AM

Ben Smith writes a cover story for Politico titled Game over: The Clintons stand alone. The piece is based on John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's 'Game Change', the latest in an ever-expanding series of 2008 campaign books -- none of which, in my view, capture the entire story...

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Ethics and Believability in Politics: On Sifry's Theory of an 'Obama Disconnect'

(86) Comments | Posted January 5, 2010 | 1:21 PM

Micah Sifry has written a widely discussed essay about the denuded Obama grassroots movement, touching on a broad range of issues, from the campaign team's exertion of top-down control to their missteps post-election to the myth-making and marketing of hope and change. There have been a couple of...

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2010 Prediction: Women Will Have Another Horrible Decade

(388) Comments | Posted December 22, 2009 | 12:08 PM

Another decade closes, another decade dawns, another thing you can bet on in the years to come: women across this planet will be disrespected, beaten, abused, violated, oppressed. Simply for being born female.

I have one child, a daughter. Not yet 2. But I know full well that her...

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Don't Bother Waiting for Bloggers to Get Credit for the Public Option

(42) Comments | Posted October 27, 2009 | 9:35 AM

A year ago, in a very different October, as we hurtled toward a historic election, I wrote a post titled On November Fourth, the Netroots Should Be More Than an Afterthought:

In the final days of the campaign, the netroots, whose ranks (and influence) have swelled since 2004, will...
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Obama Is a Touchstone Against Which People Measure Their Success or Failure

(11) Comments | Posted October 9, 2009 | 9:42 AM

The news that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize is sure to set off another round of praise, hand-wringing, scorn, awe, judgment, jealousy, pride, and so much more.

One thing is certain: Barack Obama is a singular figure in our lifetimes. And as such, he is a touchstone...

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Republicans Heckle Obama for Providing Health Care, but Cheer Bush for Making War

(348) Comments | Posted September 9, 2009 | 11:07 PM

Three things have been crystal clear during this entire health reform debate:

a) President Obama will sign a bill at some point
b) He'll make serious compromises to do so
c) Many people will be dismayed by (a), (b), or both

Perhaps the anti-reform forces will manage to...

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Vital Lessons from the Health Reform Wars

(34) Comments | Posted August 21, 2009 | 3:56 PM

Let me start with a caveat: I've consistently believed that a) President Obama will end up signing a health reform bill; and b) the punditocracy will give him credit for pushing it through, thus shoring up his sagging poll numbers.

The crucial question is whether it ends...

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The Health Reform Fiasco Is an 'Old' Media Triumph -- and a Red Flag for Democrats

(157) Comments | Posted August 17, 2009 | 2:48 PM

Last February, I wrote a post about President Obama versus the conventional wisdom machine, arguing that "the assumption the new presidency would transform the political process, usher in an era of unprecedented citizen empowerment and decimate the old conventional wisdom-making machinery, has been undermined by the reality of entrenched...

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Why the National Debate is Still Conducted on the Right's Terms

(376) Comments | Posted August 12, 2009 | 1:44 PM

Conservative columnist and cable news pundit Amanda Carpenter posted a telling observation on Twitter: "It's remarkable all Palin had to do is say death panels in a Facebook statement to make the President on down start talking about them."

The Daily Show has a snarkier take: "You know...

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Are Democrats Determined to Become What They Most Despised About Bush?

(329) Comments | Posted August 10, 2009 | 11:46 AM

I don't get it. Why do Democratic leaders need to use the term "un-American" to characterize their political opponents in an op-ed about health care?

Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.


Yes, insurance companies...

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