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Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Economics, and a Map

Donors who gave $200 to Barack Obama in 2008 but have not yet in 2012, by location. The darkness of the dot corresponds to the number of drop-off donors in that zip code. (Map by Buzzfeed.)

An Obama campaign spokeswoman, Katie Hogan, disputed BuzzFeed’s analysis with the statistics, noting that 98% of its donors have given less than the $200 threshold this year and that the campaign is ahead of its 2008 pace. But Obama is now operating with the technical advantages of a permanent campaign, including history’s largest email list, and the political advantages of incumbency, which traditionally draws business interests and favor-seekers to the candidate. Aides have long anticipated that muscle and technical prowess, combined with fear of a Republican takeover, will replace inspiration in keeping the campaign fundraising on track. – Ben Smith of Buzzfeed

THE MAP ABOVE is indicative of expectations not met. If you’ve been reading here since 2007 you already know there was no chance they would be.

But as you’ll see if you read the article, people remain willing to “come home” to Obama in November. They like Pres. Obama, but just wish he’d be more hopey – changey like he promised.

That adolescent mindset is why Obama wasn’t challenged in 2012, as well as why the Democratic Party is allowed to continue its rightward lurch. It’s also why more people are turning to “independent” as their affiliation, because non-Republicans and liberals have no one representing them anymore.

The presidency is the identity of your party. It’s why both Ds and Rs are in crisis.

Even with a “grand bargain” likely under Obama if he’s reelected, progressives and other left-leaning Democrats, because there is no real “left” like there is a “right” in politics, refused to challenge him on principle. Not even when Pres. Obama and his administration parroted Republican economics, which is further represented by the Cory Booker contingent, backed solidly by Pres. Clinton, did people get the message.

That it’s hypocritical and political expediency that drives Obama’s campaign against Bain and Mitt Romney is obvious to anyone remotely intelligent on our President’s self-serving ways. He didn’t mount any economic push in 2010, then capitulated on Bush tax cut extensions after the midterm massacre, but when his own reelection is on the line populism is drizzled in his reelection word salads.

Rep. Barney Frank’s Huffington Post article is quoted in my book, because he was one of the few who challenged Obama on his 2008 primary campaign mantra that the battles of the 60s and the 90s were a tiresome struggle from which he would liberate everyone.

It’s instructive that in an exit interview with New York magazine, spotlighted by Matt Stoller on Friday over at Naked Capitalism (a worthy read), Frank once again exposes Pres. Obama on slithering away from fights on principle that represent the Democratic brand over decades.

The mortgage crisis was worsened this past time because critical decisions were made during the transition between Bush and Obama. We voted the TARP out. The TARP was basically being administered by Hank Paulson as the last man home in a lame duck, and I was disappointed. I tried to get them to use the TARP to put some leverage on the banks to do more about mortgages, and Paulson at first resisted that, he just wanted to get the money out. And after he got the first chunk of money out, he would have had to ask for a second chunk, he said, all right, I’ll tell you what, I’ll ask for that second chunk and I’ll use some of that as leverage on mortgages, but I’m not going to do that unless Obama asks for it. This is now December, so we tried to get the Obama people to ask him and they wouldn’t do it. During the critical period when the TARP was being administered, there was a vacuum of political leadership. And Obama at one point, when we were pressing him, said, “Well, we only have one president at a time.” I said I was afraid that overstated the number of presidents. We had no president.

There’s a reason people are holding back money, the map above revealing the truth of just how much, even if in the end they vote for Barack Obama anyway; though no voter has bitching rights if he or she isn’t willing to use their vote for something other than maintaining the status quo.

Until Democrats and progressives get over their fear of failure, which might allow Republicans to win an election while they fight for party principles, there is no hope the Democratic Party will be anything but a mirror image of Republicans, just squishier on some issues to keep the base pacified.

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43 Responses to Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Economics, and a Map

  1. Joyce Arnold June 4, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Of course you already know where I’m at on all of this.

    The Two Party Front For the Oligarchy will continue as long as we the people allow it to continue; as long as we play “lesser of two evils,” “there’s no where else to go,” “after this election then we’ll get serious about holding feet to the fire” etc, etc.

    • Taylor Marsh June 4, 2012 at 9:52 am #

      I’m really amused at all the bitching about Obama when the people bemoaning his first term intend to reward him with a second.

      Don’t get me wrong. I completely understand the average voter trying to make ends meet, raise a family & stay above water, when looking at Mitt Romney goes running to the Democrats.

      But there is absolutely no excuse for activist types and those truly informed on the sameness of Ds and Rs to do the same.

  2. StrideHyde June 4, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    I’m amused by the bitching of people who feel punked because they didn’t pay closer attention.

    • Taylor Marsh June 4, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      ruh-roh… You may just unleash an “I’m amused” trend! ;-)

      • ladywalker68 June 5, 2012 at 12:09 am #


  3. StrideHyde June 4, 2012 at 10:44 am #


  4. angels81 June 4, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    I understand all the hand wringing over Rs and Ds but don’t see a way around it in the near future. From were I sit being 64 years old and having two wonderful grand kids that I care about what happens to them, I find some progressives and left wingers willing to do the same thing the right wingers have been doing and letting the country crash and burn. When I look at what the republicans want to do with things like the Ryan budget and their war on women, I have to wonder what some people on the left are thinking.

    To even consider giving these wingnuts control over both houses of congress and the white house for the next 4 years is insane. I know personally that if the Ryan budget was to become law, my life would take a major crash downwards, and that would only be the beginning. The assault on women would be unstoppable, and we would lose everything gained in the last 40 years.

    So I ask the question…What do we progressives and left wingers gain by sitting on our hands and punishing the people in this country by handing the right wing the victory they are hell bent on getting? Do people really think by letting that happen that all of a sudden the country will wake up and do away with this two party system? If you believe that, you have a lot more faith in the American public then I do.

    • RAJensen June 4, 2012 at 11:26 am #

      HL Mencken said it all, ‘No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American Voter’. The professional left Progressives have the same adolescent mindset they complain the Tea Party has. Any politiican who does not pass a litmus test endorsing every single item on the Progressive agenda is considered a traitor to Progressive ideals and should be expelled from the Democratic Party.
      President Obama is a center-left Democratic. Both Clinton’s are center-right Democrats. It was Bill Clinton who led the fight in 1999 along with his Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin who was recruited from Goldman Sachs that led to the repeal of Glass-Seagall that removed the barrier between commercial banks and financial investment banks that eventually led to the global financial meltdown that produced the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

      It is the same adolescent mindset of the Progressives that projected their dreams on Obama in 2008, apparently never having understood what issues he campaigned on. They are now projecting their adolescent dreams onto Hillary Clinton who is just like her husband is a centrist-right New Democrat who in the passed endorsed the Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by Bill Clinton and the Welfare Reform Act signed into law by Bill Clinton. It was Bill Clinton who in 1996 declared that the era of big overnemnt is over a statement heartily endorsed by then First Lady Hillary Clinton.

      The professional Progressives can stay home in 2012 and they will get what they deserve, a 5th activist Conservative Supreme Court who first agenda item will be overturning Roe v Wade, then a repeal of all gay rights legislation, then repeal of all women’s right legislation including the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay for women act and a then repeal of the few gun control legislation that is still in effect and turning over social security and Medicare over to the private health insutrance and pharmaceutical industry.

      They will be quite happy at all those events and will project all their hopes and dreams on Hillary Clinton who is not a Liberal Progressive but is a center-right Democrat just like her husband.But they will have each other and can gather in small groups sipping their Chablis and trying to understand why Progressivism can’t find so little traction among the general public including Democratic voters.

    • Taylor Marsh June 4, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      Rinse repeat for the next 20 years is your answer? Go for it. You’ll have a lot of company.

      Of course, I’m standing on the outside as a neutral liberal, so I see the insanity of positions like yours, angels81, as identical to those of the Obamabot brand.

      If activist and the more informed Dems & progressives don’t start causing the elite insider leadership some pain, which means a loss, teaching them what happens when they abdicate their principles & why people voted for them, nothing will ever shift.

      You absolutely have to be willing to lose it all to be taken seriously and prove you’re capable of understanding real power and how it’s wielded.

      • jinbaltimore June 4, 2012 at 11:59 am #


        The longer the delay in holding Democrats accountable, the longer the continued lurch rightward.

      • Cujo359 June 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

        Hey, it’s worked so well for the last twenty years, hasn’t it? I guess all those marvelous progressive victories, like dismantling our financial regulatory system, changing the tax codes so the rich pay less and the rest of us pay more, and weakening of unions have all just spoiled us rotten. Must be why we’re so “juvenile”.

      • angels81 June 4, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

        That may be nice that you see my insanity, and I’m glad that you have enough money that you can take the high ground stand, but for a lot of us, it really will make a difference as to who controls the rains of government. For some of us, these are life and death issues, and I wish I had the money to be so pure as to vote for the ideal liberal cause, but a lot of us live in the real world were we all aren’t financially well off enough to be so pure.

    • ogenec June 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      Those are some really good questions, angels81. A shame that you are unlikely to find answers. If you don’t count the name-calling, that is.

  5. StrideHyde June 4, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    RAJ, you won’t get any argument from me that both Clintons are center-left, as is Obama. But in the ’08 primaries I found her position on several key policies, health care, labor and education to be more in tune with me and left of Obama. I was constantly accused of being a closeted Repub because I didn’t endorse the more “progressive” candidate. So, besides considering my interests when I vote, I will still sip the schadenfreude that comes my way. ;-)

  6. ogenec June 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    How about we stipulate for the record – just so we don’t have to hear the constant caterwauling – that Obama is a center-right, DINO, Reagan-festishizing, self-hating, Trojan Horse, Manchurian Candidate of a President? Isn’t the next logical question, now what?

    Progressives are a trip. In one breadth, they claim to be willing to lose elections. In the next, despite the Walker recall handing them the perfect opportunity to test their ideas with the general electorate, they insist the person to blame if Walker prevails is – Obama. I’m sorry, but how’s that? If Obama is who you all claim he is, no one should be depending on him, least of all progressives. Now you want his appearances and (gasp!) DNC money? You mean the same money he got from Wall Streeters and the 1%ers? THAT filthy lucre? Why – what happened to all the union money?

    For years now, we have been hearing that Obama is to blame for pushing milquetoast positions that undermine real progressive solutions. Progressives have the opportunity to prove it in Wisconsin. Instead of taking it, they are preemptively conceding defeat and spinning it as Obama’s fault. Therein lies the problem. Despite their tough talk about “losing elections” or “going it alone,” progressives suffer from separation anxiety. And they REALLY, REALLY want their Daddy. And they have the nerve to talk about other people being juvenile.

    • jinbaltimore June 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

      Exactly…which is why the fauxgressives of 08 have gotten us where we are today.

      If Obama is who you all claim he is, no one should be depending on him, least of all progressives.

      True. It would be helpful if he got out of the way, though.

      • Sandmann June 4, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

        …It would be helpful if he got out of the way, though.

        To make way for?

        • ogenec June 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

          As if you don’t know ;-)

        • jinbaltimore June 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

          Jill Stein for one. Glad you asked!

    • Cujo359 June 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      In today’s installment of False Equivalence Theatre, ogenec whines:

      Progressives are a trip. In one breadth, they claim to be willing to lose elections. In the next, despite the Walker recall handing them the perfect opportunity to test their ideas with the general electorate, they insist the person to blame if Walker prevails is — Obama

      Yes, there is absolutely no difference between not caring about an election where the choices are essentially identical, and losing one where there is clearly a difference, if only because there’s a point to be made.

      It’s more than a touch ironic that you discuss the exact sort of behavior many progressives criticize Obama for – being completely uninterested in standing up for working people in order to maintain his own power – as something we should somehow be ashamed of noticing. It’s as if there were some intrinsic quality of Obamaness that we should all value, despite the man’s nonstop efforts to screw the rest of us on behalf of the people who support him. People who, I might add, are exactly the ones who got us into this economic situation in the first place.

      We are criticizing Obama for continuing to do exactly what he’s been doing all along. It’s not about some new thing that we suddenly want his support for. We’re just calling attention to the rather obvious fact that the man doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anyone who isn’t able to come up with at least the FEC limit for campaign support, and that this is yet more evidence of exactly that.

      I find it “a trip” that you continue to perform these mental contortions rather than see the obvious.

      • ogenec June 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

        Dude, you keep trying to draw me into a fight, and I keep right on declining. At some point you will realize that I’m about as interested in discussing with you as I am reading your blog. Which is to say, not at all. Stop name-checking me bruh – I’m just not that into you.

        • Cujo359 June 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

          I’m not “name checking” you, “bruh”. It’s your quote. You can answer or not at your convenience.

          • ogenec June 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

            I’m not “name checking” you, “bruh”. It’s your quote.

            Yes, you are. But it’s okay. I understand your type all too well. Pseudo-intellectual (terms like “false equivalence” are a dead giveaway), no traffic on your own blog so you look for others’ sites to pick fights on – with convenient links back to your blog, etc. Which I’m STILL not gonna read, no matter how much you beg me.

            You tried this mess with me before, and I schooled you. Remember? When you used fancy, impressive-only-to-people-like-you words like “piffle” and “sophistry,” and I made you eat them? Haven’t you had enough? Or the beatdown so addled your brain that you’ve forgotten who you’re dealing with? Whenever you start with me, I think of Biggie Small’s “Who Shot Ya”: [Brothers] know, the lyrical molesting is taking place/Fu*king with BIG, it ain’t safe.”

            But okay, I will do this one ‘mo ‘gin. You are arguing that it’s okay to lose an election that doesn’t matter. BUT you must fight for one that does. Okay. THEN you say, in effect, Obama should fight for the election that matters. (Or you complain that he’s not, which amounts to the same thing.) And that is where you lose me, you see. Because you just argued that he is no different than Romney. And if you wouldn’t ask Romney to campaign against Walker, correct? So why on earth would you indict Obama for the same?

            That is the point of my comment. You cannot square this circle. If Obama is who you say he is, it is utterly irrelevant that he has not campaigned in Wisconsin. That is simply who he is. Accept it, move on, and find another path to victory. That I can respect. But no – you prefer to wallow in impotent rage, cursing the fact that Obama could have made the difference but didn’t. And you do not deal with the big contradiction in your worldview: If you have Obama pegged so precisely, how come he’s able (even if by omission) to make such a difference?

            As I think about it, I’m hard-pressed to think of one instance where I’ve observed you take an affirmative action FOR something, as opposed to being just another Lefty Eeyore wannabe-blogger. If Hillary Clinton were President, you would be doing the same thing with her, just on another site – one that leaned anti-Hillary. The only reason you’re here, trying to make common cause with Clintonistas, is that you think you have power in numbers. (That, and the fact there are tumbleweeds blowing on your site.) But you really don’t. At least not where I’m concerned. I can destroy your weak shit in my sleep. In fact, I just did. For your own sake, stop kicking my leg – you’re gonna mess around and make me wake up.

          • Cujo359 June 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

            “Schooled” me? Give it a rest. You spent an awful lot of space addressing something I didn’t write. The proposition, if you will pardon the use of a polysyllable, was that we exclusively blamed Obama for what was wrong with either the Democrats or the country generally. I neither know nor care which at this point. I said we didn’t. You pointed out all sorts of occasions when we supposedly weren’t giving him credit. Different issue, albeit a more arguable one. Sometimes, I suspect, he may not have gotten credit.

            Oh, and BTW, I hadn’t seen that until just now. I suspect I lost interest.

            I have yet to see you make a case for your position that doesn’t involve either the superiority of your intellect (not somehow implied by using lofty words, but, as here, merely stated), or telling the rest of us that we’re “juvenile” (your word) or whatever, so I suppose we’re even.

          • ogenec June 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

            Yes Cujo359, that’s correct. Given that you admit that “[you] are criticizing Obama for continuing to do exactly what he’s been doing all along,” I can confidently state that I am smarter than you.

      • ladywalker68 June 5, 2012 at 12:14 am #

        Well, said, Cujo359!

    • T-Steel June 4, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

      How about we stipulate for the record — just so we don’t have to hear the constant caterwauling — that Obama is a center-right, DINO, Reagan-festishizing, self-hating, Trojan Horse, Manchurian Candidate of a President? Isn’t the next logical question, now what?

      But was called an empty suit in 2008… LOL!

      President Obama isn’t even that complicated. Some of the most accurate descriptions of ol’ Obama come from the black barber shop crowd. Even back in 2008 and the history energy was positively electric in the black community (an experience), you heard the black barber say this about Obama:

      He one of those fancy bruthas with the electric smile. Make people think he doesn’t know what’s up but he always does. Gotta say something to try to make everyone happy but really just in love with the game. I ain’t mad at him. He almost President.

      Simple and sweet. All this Manchurian Candidate, self-hating, Trojan Horse stuff is hyperbole bad the mad folks. President Obama is in love with the game. But we didn’t need a love of the game. We needed a game changer. And guess what, Romney loves the game as well.

      • T-Steel June 4, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

        Oops. Should have read:

        “All this Manchurian Candidate, self-hating, Trojan Horse stuff is hyperbole by the mad folks.”


  7. StrideHyde June 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    “progressives” :lol:

  8. StrideHyde June 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Ooh, vewy scawey.

  9. RAJensen June 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Here are the campaign promises that Hillary Clinton made in her 2008 primary campaign. If you can find a dimes worth of differnece between the campaign promises of Hillary Clinton compared to Barack Obama you win a double latte in your next Hillary for President 2016 gatherings. And if you think Hillary is a liberal Progressive, a 2016 version of Joan of Arc just waiting to be called ,on you deserve a triple lattee and a second chorus of Kumbaya.:

    • jinbaltimore June 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

      Guess I’m missing the HRC reference in the post/headline? and therefore the relevance of this comment?

    • Cujo359 June 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

      I gave up about 2/3 of the way through, but her answers on Iraq and growing the economy are fundamentally different from what Obama did once in office.

  10. Cujo359 June 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    If there’s anything that the last few years should have taught us, it’s that people interested in issues don’t take over a political party, political parties take them over. That’s something even the Tea Party has discovered. It was the Socialists in Spain and Greece who first implemented austerity there. When the right wing parties there took over, they went for deeper austerity, but it’s possible the Socialists would have, too, since austerity is a vicious circle in these conditions. The new President of France, a Socialist, seems to be a disappointment, at least so far. Progressive organizations here have continued to give national Democratic politicians good marks and Republicans bad ones, despite the former seldom doing much to deserve them. Why? Turns out the Democrats contribute money to quite a few of them.

    We can talk about primary challenges, too, but we’ve tried that before, and it hasn’t worked out terribly well. Donna Edwards was a big disappointment, despite supposedly being a progressive voice. When she got to DC, that voice largely went silent. Without pressure from support that can and will go away, the needs of the party will outweigh the needs of the supporters.

    Maybe if someone comes up with a plan where we can elect fifty or so new progressives all at once that doesn’t involve billions of dollars we don’t have, I’m open to the idea. I don’t think I’ll be reading one, though.

    The only thing that politicians will pay attention to is support that can and will go elsewhere. As long as progressives refuse to do this, politicians will not need to do anything progressives say.

    There is no place for progressives to go, because progressives won’t go anywhere.

    Anyone who has a plan to do that which doesn’t involve voting third party, or voting “none of the above”, I’m all ears. But that’s a simple plan that we can all implement with no more time and money than we use to vote the way we do now. I’m not fond of the idea of Republicans running anything. I just haven’t heard a better plan, even though I keep asking.

  11. StrideHyde June 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    Thanks, RAJ. I saw two out of the three issues I mentioned, and the difference between them on those issues is worth considerably more than a dime to me.

  12. angels81 June 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    I find it amazing that people think Hillary would have done any better then Obama has. What makes liberals think that Hillary could have gotten anything more passed threw the senate with republicans filibustering everything dems have tried to do? Do people really think she could have gotten a better healthcare plan passed? The right wing tactics that they have used on Obama would have been used on Hillary. The mistake progressive and liberals made when we elected Obama was we also let the same bastards back into congress, thinking that one person would change everything. With the number of blue dog democrats that kept their seats, and the tea baggers pushing the republican party further to the right, it wouldn’t have made a hill of beans difference who won the white house.

    Now progressives and left wingers wring their hands and whine how Obama is such a failure, when if Hillary had won, she would be the one who would be being crucified by some on the left.

    • T-Steel June 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

      Unless someone has some massive skills in quantum physics and space-time continuum workings (along with some dilithium crystals), then it is fruitless to talk about ol’ Hillary Clinton and would’ve done this/that. LOL

      I agree with you angels81. Congress is much more of the problem than the Presidency. I look at these jokers here in South Carolina running for Congress. Their commercials are written by 3rd graders with a stupid talking point. Picking up shovels for fake ground-breakings. Etc.. Flooding Congress with non-Democrats and non-Republicans is more doable than going after the Presidency.

    • Ga6thDem June 4, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

      I think the difference is that the “left” never loved Hillary. They would have been trying to make her listen to them all the time. With Obama, all we heard is “he’t got this” (he didn’t), it’s 11 dimensional chess (it wasn’t) and all sort of other stuff that people bought into and NEVER held his feet to the fire about any issue. They just let him do whatever he wanted to do instead of fighting for issues. So here we are now stuck with Obama for 2012.

      The thing about Hillary was that she had no delusions about how insane the GOP is. She would have never spend precious time and energy chasing after their votes. She would have known that such a thing is a fool’s errand and time is better spent twisting arms to get things done. She would have never thought that Jim Inhofe was a “friend”.

  13. jinbaltimore June 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Again, did I miss Taylor’s reference to Hillary here? Or is it just some good ol’ fashioned CDS on display…still?? LOL!

    • Taylor Marsh June 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm #


      It’s not about Hillary Rodham Clinton, so whenever Obama fans bring her up it’s because they ain’t got nothin’ else.

      For all anyone knows, she will never be in politics again. Who could blame her? Sure as hell not me.

      • ladywalker68 June 5, 2012 at 12:20 am #

        Double Bingo!

  14. angels81 June 4, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    When did Hillary get out of politics? Last time I looked she was still a member of the democratic party and a power within the party. Oh ya, isn’t she sec of state also? I suppose your going to tell me there’s no politics concerning the post of sec of state?

    • jinbaltimore June 4, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

      I guess the best way to reply to your comment in the same logical manner in which you’ve commented on Taylor’s post is to say, “Yes, beanbag chairs were popular in the 1970′s.”

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong