Thom Hartman exposed his true self today.

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Okay, you can be on the defensive. I will fight for what I believe in. If Michelle Bachman wins it's not because of people like me it's because the dems are a bunch of whining, weak-willed and feckless wimps. I don't vote because I am afraid someone like bachman will win. I vote for what I believe. THAT is what democracy is. Anything less is neurotic posturing.

singer1975's picture
Dec. 14, 2010 11:24 am

I like listening to Thom but certainly never have agreed with him 100%. He's a rather tame though well informed progressive. I'm probably far to the left of him. He fears a right wing Supreme Court if Obama isn't re-elected. But that's dreaming that there will even be a US in 2012 to hold such an election. Call me wacky if you want but I think next year there is going to be a lot of upheaval in the world including this country. It is a time of change and it won't go easy.

captbebops's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

mtdon - Nader has said "Where is your line in the sand? if you don't have one you lack a moral compass"

Sadly, political affiliation has become a religion - critical thinking goes out the window in favor of blind faith. The actions of a politician are disregarded in favor of divining some master, secret strategy for policies that clearly work against the masses.

There is no longer a point in itemizing all the rightward policies that have been promulgated by Obama and Thom's sycophantic support for the man because he is a "democrat". Really? Right wing nuts supporting the insanity of Bush/Cheney were roundly criticized as idiotic, but around here we are to meekly accept loony rationalizations in support of Obama.

Obama had an opportunity to save 45,000 citizens, again, this year, but chose to support a sham health insurance scheme instead. That's 90,000 dead Americans that Obama has had an opportunity to save. A small number, though, compared to the live people being made into dead people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those who support this folly must ignore such things in favor of some wild strategery that, someday, and that day may never come, will make it better.

Dusty's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

@ mtdon [It's called Cognitive...Or Reply #3]

"The lesser of two evils" is not an ideology. But it does explain the so-called "purist" approach that many Obama critics take. The word "ideology" that is, not the ideology that is not. On Cognitive Dissonance, there also must be some closer relationship to the facts to make that analogy, but the leap taken is based on a way with words that trouble many. In this case I mean the careful wording and crafty politics Obama is using as well as the problematic understanding that many have of both words and politics. (speaking of ways with words... tread carefully) Actually the path of words I was going to take escaped me... it regarded a respect for the videos you contribute... and I am being preemptive by not fully watching them, but it is a whole lot harder to make progress than it is to hold an ideal.

[Edited/Update: still processing videos but I open a quibble over what is progressvie, was is liberal, it does not matter, it is actions that count. But ideas and reactions count as well, and changing everything is an impossible job. quote: "That is why peace is much harder work than war, and why it is much harder and slower to make progress than to see the same things again. " (see Speaking-of-timing link above: submitted before even commenting on this thread, but note beginning of Trudell on Democracy (up to 40 seconds in) and so-called Civilization (but really a process-- but will link back. ]

Roger2L's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm


What a thorough, awesome, splendidly sensitive and nuanced comment. I think you covered every point of contention and disagreement posted in this thread in a kind, compassionate, yet authoritative manner. Pleasure to read.

jxmckie's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I really respect Thom, and that is why this is so painful. Did Thom get a mysterious call from a Democratic Party insider offering some kind of bribe or blackmail or something? Are you kidding me? Thom spent two years with "rosy glasses" saying he thought the president might somehow change and become the man he campaigned as in 2008. Obama did not, Thom and so many others were wrong. So be it. But now he doubles down and provides a bunch of supposed secret chess strategies and apologies for him after one stupid poll that says people approve of Obama more than Republicans? What kind of low bar is that? What? I want to pull my hair out.

What is it with Democratic Party water carrying out there that is so pervasive? What in the world happened to truth, justice, and an independent progressive movement with no blind party loyalism? I just purchased a portable am radio so I can continue to listen to Thom at work and now I fear it will be like listening to a Democratic Party strategist or press secretary. We need to push back hard on Democrats willing to sell the entire progressive movement down a river, not make excuses for them!

Why would Democrats care one bit what progressives and Main Street want if they always hold their noses to support them no matter what? You have to draw the line somewhere. Thom has no lines, he just takes it not matter what. C'mon now, that isn't a winner's mentality, that is a party first mentality.

Dec. 15, 2010 8:13 pm

It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.
Eugene V. Debs

norske's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Thom is an eternal optimist. He has a set of very defined principles, but he looks for the silver lining all the time even if he thinks a situation is bad, that's what an optimist does. That doesn't make him a water carrier for the Dems (not to single out the person who said that, it reflects on what lots of you have said). Often he is thinking through the issues as he goes. His optimism shines through him, and even though he openly admits he is grasping at straws to his listeners, many on this thread are ripping him apart for it, which is sad. If you are, you need to check yourself in my opinion. He's not telling any of you what to do. He voices his optimist opinion while at the same time having the biggest leftists he can find on his program... does he need to find people more to the left of Ralf Nader, Chris Hedges, and Bernie Sanders for you? Seriously... there is some over-zealousness going on in this thread, in general, in my opinion, and sometimes there's tinges of self righteousness, not from anyone in particular...

makuck's picture
Mar. 31, 2010 10:13 pm

Yep, we need to get a good bearing on the distinction between 'acting' and 'reacting'--and we need to start 'acting'.....

Kerry's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

So, people are fed up with Politics as Usual. That means Democrats and Republicans. What are they going to do about it? Most - not much.

Some - Send the BIG message. Change party affiliation to Independent or Reform Party - or Green Party. Just neither Democrat nor Republican.

Vote for the right person - not your chosen party.

Of course, you're not going to do that. You are a herd with one shepherd, dividing you into two pastures.

"Progressives move us forward. Conservatives hold us back."

Graywalker's picture
Dec. 16, 2010 8:20 am

Whatever Thom's motivations or ideology the fact remains that Obama is demonstrably further to the right than his rhetoric suggests.

Thom's scheme to "push" Obama by swelling the ranks of the democratic party is naiveté in the extreme. There is only one way to "push" a politician and that is to threaten the possibility of his re-election.

The so-called tax bill is not even written yet, but when it is the tenets of that bill will spell disaster for 99% of the citizens of this country.

Dusty's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote makuck: He voices his optimist opinion while at the same time having the biggest leftists he can find on his program... does he need to find people more to the left of Ralf Nader, Chris Hedges, and Bernie Sanders for you? Seriously... there is some over-zealousness going on in this thread, in general, in my opinion, and sometimes there's tinges of self righteousness, not from anyone in particular...

He does not have the biggest leftists "he can find" on the program! He has some, sometimes. But aside from brunch with Bernie, which of course is great, who are the most consistent guests he has? Sickening right wing scumbags that he calls his friends. He brings them on, and many, many other sickening righties that are not regulars, lets them say outrageous things that make the blood boil, lets them talk over him and seems unarmed to combat their bullshit under the pressure of the moment even though he knows the things to say when he's alone on air talking about the same issues! Then when the sickening shit he lets people say gets listeners justifiably outraged he scolds callers not to talk shit about his sickening guests! They abuse our sensibilities and spout bullshit and expects people to just take it lying down! Why the fuck do I know Dan fucking Gainor (sic?, who gives a shit?) so well? Why do I know Carrie Lucas so well? Why do I know disgusting McCarthyite David Horowitz so well?

We don't need to hear from these assholes and give them a platform on such a regular basis when their positions are already promoted all over the place by the billionaires who fund them or bamboozle them!

How about instead of hearing one of those dicks for the thousandth time we to know Chalmers Johnson a little better, or William Blum, or Randell Robinson, or Tariq Ali, or Mustafa Barghouti or Jeff Halper, or Chomsky, or Robert Fisk or Dave Marsh or Grace Lee Boggs, or Mumia, or if not possible at least talk about him, or Buffy St. Marie, or Bobby Kennedy Jr., or some of the guys from Black Agenda Report or from Counterpunch/FAIR etc. etc.

Yes, yes, I know Thom will always say but I've had so and so on before. But certainly not all of these folks have have been on, and if so it's been few and far between. How about we make the right wing scum fewer and farther between, and some of these people more regular visitors, teachers and enlighteners?

I hope everyone watches Amy Goodman every day and pays attention to her guests and experts and I hope people pay attention to many of the people Malloy reads work from. You get a lot of great info from Thom, but don't make him your be all and end all.

Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

A few things not seeming to be onsidered.

1. When you know someone well, and when you think they are smart and able to think and analyze, and you think their heart is in a certain place, then you develop expectations. The more you respect the knowledge and integrity and mind of a person the higher standard you hold them to and the more disappointed you are with them when you think they're not living up to the standards they've set. It's like, come on man, you know better than this and we know you know better and you know we know so what are you talking about?

I think another instinct, for me at least, is to think things are the way they're supposed to be when people are doing and saying the right things. If you walk by me on the sidewalk and don't do or say anything wrong or offensive there's a good chance your normal behavior will go uncommented on. But if you kick me in the shins, even if you've walked by me a thousand times before without doing anything to me, you'll probably hear about it the time you kick me in the shins!

When a lousy or mediocre team loses a game it doesn't make that much news, but when a top ranked team loses it's an issue to be made.

The more you care about someone and think they're a great person the disappointment is great when they disappoint you. That's different than how you feel about a scumbag from whom you expect the worst. It's impossible to be surprised, perplexed or incredulous at people with a Limpbone, InsHannity, O' Vile-ly or Glen Dreck mindset.

2. I grew up in organizing and activism as a child activist/child of activists. We were in the heart of everything on local, state and national levels. Running in circles of activists, academics and politicians, black, brown, red, yellow and white, men, women and children, rich and poor, working class and academics. Everyone was passionate and loving of people, everyone was serious and committed to REAL change we could ACTUALLY believe in!

They were heartfelt, and funny, and cool, everyone was SMART, many BRILLIANT and all EDUCATED ON THE ISSUES. They understood what was really going on with our communities, the schools, city council, the sherrif and state police, the jails, the country, the government, the military, the national guard, the cops, the spies, the agent provocateurs, and the world and it's politics and our role in it.

They started schools that treated kids like intelligent people and with respect and honesty, and they treated their own kids that way. We were taught, yes, through osmosis and example, but really more than that was NOT being taught to not think for ourselves, not being taught to be a zombie following orders, not being told not to question authority, not being taught to be racist, not being taught to not care about others, not being taught might makes right, not being taught to exploit.

BUT, did people argue? Did people express strong and differing opinions and not understand why others didn't understand what they understood and see it the same way? Did people get mad at people they loved or liked? Did some peoples opinions or positions infuriate some? Did people lose respect for each other sometimes over important issues? Of course yes to all of those things.

When you are informed and impassioned and care about people and the world and lives and quality of lives are on the line and you're smart and you think your way will work and another won't or will hurt you believe in democratic decision making and then OF COURSE those things are going to happen in any organizing, any movement!

Thom is always advocating activism and movements. This forum is filled with people that are concerned. If they listen to Thom on a regular basis then by definition they're pretty informed, and they probably digest other informed sources.

They know they are surrounded with many other probably similar thinking and feeling people. Thom's show and site bring together this group of people and given everything I just said it's obviously natural and useful that people will be attempting to organize amongst each other even if they don't recognize that's sort of what they're doing. You can't deny that and shouldn't supress it.

This might be Thom's "house" in that he owns the web space, but a community was invited to be formed here, and once it has then it's a reality "on the ground" even though it's in cyberspace in this case. And at that point then the inhabitants have some rights and rights of expectation according to human and civil rights principals that Thom has seemingly always supported and certainly the people here assumed he and most of us did.

It's sickening to be accused of being a Republican for being honest and expressing your beliefs, which are diametrically opposed to anything on the right. By making knee jerk accusations like that in response to criticism is similar to McCarthyism. But most viscerally to me is that it feels like being called an anti-semite or self hating Jew for legitimate criticism of Israel.

Obviously it's a lot harder to judge essentially anonymous words on the screen compared to seeing and hearing someone though.

I haven't been around in ages and I'm just commenting on what I'm reading now but haven't been a part of this yet. I'll probably be accused now though, haha.

Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I'd love to see Thom interview John Trudell - the ex AIM leader, poet, philosopher and activist.......

some other great news sources are Free Speech Radio News, Flashpoints, Democracy Now

and I've read Thom's books on the Power of STORY - I would love to see other further to the LEFT guests to help us build a Progressive STORY instead of always giving the Right the chance to push their STORY......

If not the left will forever face defeat as we LOSE the LANGUAGE and are forced into rightwing talking points and reacting to those instead of making the right react to the Progressive talking points and STORY......

If we lose the fight over LANGUAGE we lose the fight before it even begins - as is obvious....

mtdon's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Not sure but did I not hear Bernie refute some of Thom's positions this morning? Sounded like it and good for Bernie to stand firm. But as I've often said progressives or liberals don't march in lock step so we're not always going to agree on everything. I think we can handle it.

captbebops's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Sadly, I only caught part of this discussion on the radio show, but heard enough to be gravely concerned about Thom's flip-flop.

Thom, you seem to be saying that you have hope for Obama to change, and that we must support Obama because the alternatives are too awful.

I don't think you're seeing that Obama is coming from the "New Democrat" approach with the following values--

■a robust foreign policy--hence the expansion in Afghanistan, and now sadly into Pakistan also
■free trade--NAFTA and S Korea trade agreement
■anti-union--think teachers, nurses, laborers
■a belief in markets as the solution
■privatizing education and support for charter schools

So, the latest attempt of Obama to attack Social Security and most of the remainder of that bill should be strongly criticized by progressives and liberals. Unlikely that this step toward privatizing/raiding Social Security will be countered in 2011, it's a horrid precedent, like so many of Obama's reforms, they've actually worsened our situation.

If it were Bush attempting to undermine Social Security in this way, we'd all be terribly scared. We don't need to support a President or Congress that enacts bills in opposition to our core progressive values. Enough already, Obama is not advocating for regular, non-wealthy people! What prevents you from feeling that betrayal deeply??

bluevistas5's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Polycarp- Yes Thom still offers great guests and deserves a ton of credit for it, but his personal perogatives and suggested political strategies are a different animal. the fact that he offers great guest should not give him immunity from the opinions "he" is putting out. I imagine you are not necessarily suggesting that, but I felt inspired on the point nonetheless.

DRC- It seems you wish to try to simmer the feud for the circulat firing squad, but you nonetheless feel compelled to say

The problem with not voting in the duopoly is that you get the greater of the two evils that way.

I feel this is provactive. I get tired of the argument and I do believe the arguments about it tend to be self defeating. But why must you put out dictates on the subject if you trying to close the wounds?

As for Thom- The theme I tire of is that the Democrats want to do the right thing, but are prevented from doing so by political pressure or by a lack of public support. it is never mentioned that it might be the case that they are simply bought off politcians who have no interest in supporting the principles they supposedly stand for. Is it not possible this is all a show produced by the elite to give the pretense of a real political battle? I do not know this to be the case, but the fact Thom does not entertain the possibility is unfortunate. Yes he wants to be optimistic, but optimism is easily defeated by deciet.

I like the line in the sand quote from Nader, and I think it elucidates what many of us feel about the lesser of two evils debate. So I would like the other side to answer the question. Is there limit to how far the LTE strategy can go? Is it always the right choice regardless of how far things have gone?

mattnapa's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

If Thom thought his rationale through on pushing Obama or the dems, he'd see that unwavering support is just emboldening the dems to cave.

Dusty's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Conservatives supposedly hate freeloading. So why are they trying to legalize it?

Conservatives supposedly hate freeloaders.

So why do they support right to work laws - which literally legalize freeloading?

Our nation's nine unelected monarchs on the Supreme Court are poised to deal yet another blow to organized labor.

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