Progressive alternatives to Obama

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Postby GlassHouse » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:33 pm

I'm dropping this article in here b/c I think it's spot on and is what I've been trying to get across for the last couple of days.


Worst.Congress.Ever.

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“These were the years,” Taibbi wrote, “when the U.S. parliament became a historical punch line, a political obscenity on par with the court of Nero or Caligula — a stable of thieves and perverts who committed crimes rolling out of bed in the morning and did their very best to turn the mighty American empire into a debt-laden, despotic backwater, a Burkina Faso with cable.”

The article included one of my favorite all-time quotes: Jonathan Turley told Taibbi, “The 109th Congress is so bad that it makes you wonder if democracy is a failed experiment.”

It seemed literally impossible at the time, but five years later, we appear to have found a Congress that’s even worse. Norm Ornstein, a respected congressional scholar, argued this week, “Americans have complained for years that their government is broken. This time they’re right.”

    Dana Carvey had a character during his years on Saturday Night Live who was a crotchety old man complaining about how much better everything was “in my day,” the imagined halcyon times of his past. After almost 42 years immersed in the politics of Congress, I have to check myself regularly to avoid falling into the same trap. When I came to Washington in 1969, for example, the city was riven with division and antagonism over the Vietnam War, which segued into the impeachment of a president, followed by many other difficult and contentious moments.

    In this case, though, Carvey’s old man would be right: The hard reality is that for all their rancor, those times were more functional, or at least considerably less dysfunctional, than what we face with Congress today.

Ornstein wrote this last week, before Congress set itself on a path to crash the American economy on purpose.

His piece is well worth reading, and shines an important light on structural impediments that prevent the legislative branch from functioning as it should.

But from where I sit, Ornstein goes a little too easy on congressional Republicans. Congress is still capable of functioning as an institution. Indeed, over 2009 and 2010, we saw our share of frustrating legislative disputes, but an enormous amount of successful policymaking was completed. Had the Senate been able to operate by majority rule — the way it used to — the 111th Congress would have been even more impressive.

The problem with the 112th isn’t a structural impediment; it’s the result of a radicalized Republican Party that has no use for compromise, evidence, or reason. We have a congressional GOP abandoning all institutional norms, pushing extremist policies, rejecting their own ideas if they enjoy Democratic support, and engaging in tactics that were once thought unthinkable from policymakers who put the nation’s needs first.

Is this the “Worst. Congress. Ever.” as the headline on Ornstein’s piece argues? After six months on the job, that seems extremely likely. Indeed, if this Congress deliberately causes a global economic catastrophe, the competition for the worst Congress ever will end quite quickly.


there are some pretty good comments be;low the post too.

such as this one;



We just need to work on reelecting him, and electing a Congress that deserves to work with him. We failed in 2010...

I'll 2nd that - I don't think it's time to get the pitchforks out yet, but this next election is vital to the nation's future. And getting people out to vote in the next election is key.

The 2010 Senate race in Pennsylvania really highlights the problem: Republican Pat Toomey won the seat by about 80,000 votes, but was crushed in Philly, receiving only about 67k votes, compared to Joe Sestak's 351k - the problem, though, is that Philly only had about a 40% voter turnout...think about that: the birthplace of American democracy, home of the Liberty Bell, etc, and only 40% of the people bothered to vote.

As one headline put it: Toomey Didn't Beat Sestak - Democrats Did

Finally victorious, Toomey thanked his supporters, of course, but he should have also thanked those most responsible for his success: Philadelphia Democrats.

It was the relatively light turnout in the city that killed Sestak's candidacy. Based on the 77,000 vote statewide margin, out of 3.9 million cast, if just one of ten more Philadelphians voted, Sestak's election would have been a lay-up.
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Postby Cerin » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:43 pm

Thanks for posting that, Jnyusa! I wasn't aware a draft petition was underway. I do think it would be very helpful to have a progressive voice in the primaries, but I'm not sure how I feel about asking someone his age to take on such a task. It would be another matter if he decided of his own accord that he had the energy and will to do it.


cross-post
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:14 pm

Cerin, if you read the petition, it doesn't say anything about running in the Democratic primaries (or any other primaries, for that matter). Which makes sense, because Sanders isn't a Democrat, he is an Independent (and self-identified Socialist). Presumably, this is a call for him to run as an independent third party candidate, a la Ralph Nader.
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Postby Jnyusa » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:21 pm

I'm not actually hoping for a primary challenge or a third party candidate. What I am hoping for is a wake-up call to the Obama administration.

I'm hoping for a few other things as well, but I don't know whether progressives are organized enough to deliver. It's not just Pres Obama that has failed to articulate Democratic principles. The Progressive Caucus also has not put forth the concrete alternative in a comprehensible form.

Take Single Payer: nothing prevented the Progressives from doing their own advertising about this option. It's like everyone is waiting for permission from their parents to speak.
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Postby Bombadillo » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:24 pm

I understand that you've identified yourself with the President to the extent that you take an insult to him as an insult to yourself. I can only reiterate, that when I say I believe Barack Obama's decisions are immoral, that I am speaking of Barack Obama, the President of the United States, and not Bombadillo, the poster on TORC.

Cerin, when you say that a policy position is immoral that I and the president hold, you are calling me immoral.

When you say that a policy position that I and the president hold is disgusting, you are calling me disgusting.

Do I really have to explain the power of language (the idea behind the progressive concept of "political correctness") to you? This should be par for the course. You throw these words and bitter accusations around and then try to cover all by saying that it's the president you are accusing and not me. Well, when you are calling certain viewpoints disgusting, immoral, or whatever you have to remember:

OBAMA IS NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH THOSE VIEWPOINTS.

Occassionally he and I agree on policy. Sometimes we don't. Blanket accusations about policy sometimes reflect on other people as well. It's like you are carpet bombing in Afghanistan saying "that bomb was intended for the bad guys, not you!"

Doesn't work that way.

I'm dropping this article in here b/c I think it's spot on and is what I've been trying to get across for the last couple of days.

That's a great post GlassHouse, thanks for the linkie.
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Postby Cerin » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:32 pm

Thanks, Voronwe. I was thinking about the primary season, when all those Democrats hashed out issues between themselves during the last election. You're right, there wouldn't really be a venue with Obama before the general election with Sanders, unless he announced himself as a candidate for the Democratic nomination. Could he do that?


Jnyusa wrote:Take Single Payer: nothing prevented the Progressives from doing their own advertising about this option. It's like everyone is waiting for permission from their parents to speak.

Where the President treats Republicans with kid gloves, he has no compunction about playing rough with his own party. It was my impression that the progressives were rather brutally herded into a corner. But you're right, they wouldn't have had to stay there. In the end, they all folded, so it's their own fault the President ignores them; he knows he can.


edit: cross-post
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:39 pm

Cerin wrote:Thanks, Voronwe. I was thinking about the primary season, when all those Democrats hashed out issues between themselves during the last election. You're right, there wouldn't really be a venue with Obama before the general election with Sanders, unless he announced himself as a candidate for the Democratic nomination. Could he do that?


I'm fairly sure that he could if he wanted to, even though he is not currently associated with the party (even though he does caucus with the Democrats in the Senate). But I doubt he would want to.
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Postby basil » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:48 pm

GlassHouse wrote:I'm dropping this article in here b/c I think it's spot on and is what I've been trying to get across for the last couple of days.

We just need to work on reelecting him, and electing a Congress that deserves to work with him. We failed in 2010...


A point well-made and cogent.

On the other hand, starting out with some poll-data crunching and continuing with:



1) Being the adult in the room doesn't work. There is a widely held belief in certain Democratic circles that independent and moderate voters will come home to Democrats en masse if Democrats just show themselves to be the reasonable alternative to an increasingly extremist Republican Party. This isn't so much a theory of triangulation (though it does suit the Third Way crowd nicely), as it is a theory that trusts that the center of opinion among the American public remains constant, that the public pays enough attention and has enough understanding about current events to know who has extremist views and who does not, and that voters will make rational choices in their own self-interest so long as the facts are laid bare for them.

None of the above is correct. The endless parade of Republican extremism since the 2010 election has not served to significantly weaken the GOP's position, beyond the normal loss of a honeymoon period shortly after Boehner took the gavel. The willingness of the Obama Administration to act the straight man to the GOP's clown has not won the Democrats any friends among independents. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite.

The reality is that 2006, 2008 and 2010 were three consecutive wave elections: a phenomenon unprecedented in at least recent, if not the entirety of American history. Wave elections occur either during realignments, or periods of intense voter frustration, or both. Realignments tend to produce one-sided waves that lead to lasting majorities, periods of relative calm and a new set of regional and factional affiliations. That has not been the case in recent years. What has happened, rather, is that a tired, dispirited and confused public has lashed out at whatever party they perceived to be in power and doing damage, and have chosen to variously stay home from elections and/or vote in the opposite party just to shake things up and see if something will change. Democrats gained from this impulse in 2006 and 2008, but fell easy prey to it in 2010 when the promise of "hope" and "change" fell drastically short of expectations--expectations that, despite the gnashing of teeth among a small number of progressives about Guantanamo, torture, Afghanistan, and the like, were almost entirely economic in nature. Counting on voters to pick the moderate, even-tempered candidates and go for the "reasonable" choice in 2012 is a fool's errand. With no significant change in the economic climate since the Crash and even before, a wise prognosticator would count on the voters to make the unreasonable choice in 2012 just to make something happen to change the status quo. As much as every poll shows that voters want compromise, what they really want is answers.

2) It is clear that the Democratic Party is not offering much of value to less-educated, younger white voters. The Democratic Party has pretty much abandoned them. As a Democratic official and volunteer, I can see that every day, and hear it every time I phonebank on behalf of a candidate.

thereisnospoon 7/23/2011 07:30:00 AM


I'm splitting this quote into 2 pieces, for ease of reading and because there's a natural split in it.

This particular section hit me like a ton of bricks, because this is the first time I've seen MY particular political experience expressed on a major blog, I've never seen it in major news or opinion pieces in our National or Local media.

I believe the reason is either that it is too controversial, too "hot" or is too dismissive of the average US citizen.

The next section is an on-the-button description of the people I associate with every day in my now blue-collar work and social experience.

It is an unfortunate fact that the average US citizen is not well-read or not well-informed of the social and political issues surrounding us for a variety of reasons. What they want to know is, using Reagan's famous question, "Am I better off than I was last year?" And they want to know "Who is in charge when my life is not better?"

They also tend not to vote when times are good, and as the exemplar below illustrates, they also tend not to vote when times are bad.

( cont. )
Last edited by basil on Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby basil » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:53 pm

Suppose you're a 28-year-old straight white guy who graduated high school as a D student, and now work a blue or pink collar dead-end private-sector job somewhere. You're vaguely Christian, but not a fervent believer. You've got a live-in girlfriend, and maybe a kid on the way. What does the Democratic Party offer you?

Not much.
The entire Party is obsessed right now with defending Medicare and Social Security, two programs that you don't think you'll ever see anyway, and age 65 seems like it might as well be 300 years from now--not that you figure you'll be able to retire regardless. The only workers the Party seems to care much about are in the public sector: people who make way more money and have better job security than you do for about equivalent labor. You have no issue with school bus drivers and firefighters, but their salaries do make you resentful and wonder why your tax dollars are supporting them when you're barely keeping your head above water. The Democrats keep saying that a college education and universal Pre-K are the golden bullets to solve our economic problems. You don't believe that and for very good reason, but it doesn't help you anyway: you have neither the time nor money nor interest to go back to school. And your kid? You're too worried about keeping her fed to bother about Pre-K. And besides, your school district isn't great, you have no money to move to a better one, home prices are still far out of reach even as politicians want to drive home prices up, and the school system just seems to a huge money sinkhole that never gets better. You have no problem with the Latinos you went to school with, and you know some really nice undocumented families, but you're also afraid for your job security. The wars overseas seem to keep going no matter who is in power, which makes the military less than attractive as an option. You've got nothing in common with the crazy evangelicals you know, and you have no problem with gay people, but your liberal friends who went to college seem pretty condescending and know-it-all to you, which makes you less than thrilled to be associated with them.

Why should you vote for a Democrat? Good question. Back in 1936, even as recently as in 1966, there was a reason for that guy to vote for a Democrat. Democrats used to have answers for that guy. Democrats used to have a solid economic message for workers without a college degree, and the fire in the belly to call out even the more reasonable conservatives for being the heartless toadies of corporate power they are. Today? I can't think of a good reason that guy would vote for the modern Democratic Party. It does next to nothing for him. Nor will fear of losing abortion rights be quite enough to sway his girlfriend, either. That stuff used to work in more normal times. But these are not normal times. These are times of crisis, times when bold leadership is necessary, and when strong and wrong is more appealing than weak and right.

When push comes to shove, that guy will vote for Rick Perry, an unreasonable jackass who actually speaks to angst and insecurity he feels, over Barack Obama, that most "reasonable" arbiter of technocratic tranquility who does next to nothing to address the issues that really matter, and seems never to get really fired up about much of anything at all even at a time of universal distress.

That guy will help sway the election not only of the President, but of all the sorry saps with a "D" by their name downballot as well. And the Democratic Party will have no one and nothing but itself to blame for it.

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Postby basil » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:17 pm

Bro B wrote:
And put your answer right next to what Obama is doing now.


You let them dig their own grave.


Or give them time to tunnel a bomb right underneath you, just like the Federals did to the Confederates at the Seige of Petersburg.

When the Fort Sumter situation was escalating Lincoln manuvered endlessly to reinforce the fort without making it appear warlike to force the Confederates into firing the first shot because his party was never unified behind him in opposing the Democrats until they proved beyond a doubt that they were unreasonable, violent, and not responsive to normal diplomacy. Without that political victory (making the confederates fire the first shot) the first year of the war would have been completely different.

Obama is laying back and "working" with the GOP to demonstrate the he is the reasonable one and people are starting to realize that the republicans are crazier than a craphouse rat. This needs to be demonstrated because the conservative press corps won't talk about it, the false equivalency of "both sides do it" runs D.C.

There really is no other choice here IMO.


Thanks for your daring to answer my "unanswered" query, but I see you're still in the "eleventieth level" of chess description of Obama's actions.

I look at the record and results since January 2009 and I don't see that, I don't believe we'll ever see eye-to-eye on that.

From my experience as a classroom teacher for nearly 40 years, you handle the "implacable foe" by removing him or her from contact with the rest of the class, and work with the parents to help resolve the issue.

Obama's mistake was the continued attempts at bi-partisanship even after it was obvious his opponents both Democratic and Republican had no interest in helping him achieve his goals. There is no mature, adult, or responsible quality to Obama's constant search for working with the implacable, unyielding, uncompromising foe.

And in the political realm, if I were Obama, I'd go straight to the parents, the American People, and make my opponents' lives as miserable as possible every single day until they saw the light.

In the nicest, most political way possible.

BTW, were you a Civil War nut like I was as a kid?

b
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Postby Cerin » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:24 pm

Bombadillo wrote:Cerin, when you say that a policy position is immoral that I and the president hold, you are calling me immoral.

That is wrong on so many levels, I wouldn't even know where to begin.

Maybe it's true; maybe you do think that way. Maybe if you believe a war is immoral, you think all the people who support it, people with different points of view than yours, different upbringings, different priorities, different sensibilities, different political leanings . . . maybe you really do think they are all immoral, too. If so, I'm sorry for you. That seems like it would be a burdensome way to live. I think moral people of good conscience can disagree passionately about things and still hold each other in high regard. I think that's what democracy is supposed to be all about.

The President has authority, his decisions have consequences, he bears the responsibility for them. You are not the President.

I do not think you immoral for supporting the President, you do not disgust me because you support him. If you prefer to think otherwise, that's up to you.
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Postby basil » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:00 pm

Cerin wrote:The President has authority, his decisions have consequences, he bears the responsibility for them. You are not the President.


No comment, other than besides the loony radical left-wing base, Obama's losing Congressional Democrats.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archive ... ng/?page=2

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This all fits with another development in the Obama White House. According to another close observer, David Plouffe, the manager of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, who officially joined the White House staff in January 2011, has taken over. “Everything is about the reelect,” this observer says—”where the President goes, what he does.”

Plouffe’s advice to the President defines not just Obama’s policies but also his behavior. Plouffe tells the President, according to this observer, that the target group wants him to seem the most reasonable man in the room. Plouffe is the conceptualizer, and Bill Daley, the chief of staff who shares Plouffe’s political outlook, makes things happen; Gene Sperling, the director of economic policy, and Tom Donilon, the national security adviser, are smart men but they come out of politics rather than academia or deep experience in their respective fields. Once Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, departs later this summer, all of the President’s original economic advisers will be gone. Partly this is because the President’s emphasis on budget cutting didn’t leave them very much to do. One White House émigré told me, “It’s not a place that welcomes ideas.”

Because of the extent to which the President had allowed the Republicans to set the terms of the debate, the attitude of numerous congressional Democrats toward him became increasingly sour, even disrespectful. After Obama introduced popular entitlement programs into the budget fight, a Democratic senator described the attitude of a number of his colleagues as:

Resigned disgust at the White House: there they go again. “Mr. Halfway” keeps getting maneuvered around as Republicans move the goalposts on him.


According to a report in The Hill newspaper in late June, the tough-minded, experienced, and blunt Democratic Representative Henry Waxman of California told Obama in a White House meeting that he’d asked several Republicans about their meeting with him the day before, and, “To a person, they said the President’s going to cave.” Then the congressman said to the President of the United States, “And if you’re going to cave, tell us right now.” The President was reported to have been displeased, and responded, “I’m the President of the United States; my words carry weight.”
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Postby The Heretic » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:19 pm

In some news Cenedril will enjoy:
http://www.harrisinteractive.com/NewsRo ... fault.aspx

In this Harris Interactive poll Ron Paul is tied with with Obama:
"Looking at the list below, assuming each person listed is the Republican nominee running against President Obama in the 2012 presidential election, who would you vote for?"
Obama 50% Ron Paul 50%.
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Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:53 pm

And this might provide an explanation:

http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread ... nteractive.
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Postby Cerin » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:49 pm

The President should address the nation, apologize for his abject failure of leadership, and announce that he will not seek re-election.
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Postby Jnyusa » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:22 am

It's too late, Cerin. The last nail went into the coffin when the market closed on Friday.

And it wouldn't help to get rid of Pres Obama. There isn't a single honest person in our entire government, at any level from local dogcatcher to US president. The crisis that is now going to bring us to heel started long ago and multiple legislatures and administrations contributed to it. While I agree that Pres Obama could have taken action two weeks ago to prevent the meltdown from happening precisely now, I don't see how anything short of changing our entire electoral code would have been more than a postponement of these consequences.
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Postby Cerin » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:32 am

Jnyusa wrote:And it wouldn't help to get rid of Pres Obama. There isn't a single honest person in our entire government, at any level from local dogcatcher to US president. The crisis that is now going to bring us to heel started long ago and multiple legislatures and administrations contributed to it. While I agree that Pres Obama could have taken action two weeks ago to prevent the meltdown from happening precisely now, I don't see how anything short of changing our entire electoral code would have been more than a postponement of these consequences.

Well then, we'd better get busy changing our electoral code (not quite sure what you mean by electoral 'code').
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Postby Jnyusa » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:48 am

We need IRV and proportional representation to get rid of the two-face, one-party stranglehold on our government.

That's for starters.
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Postby RoseMorninStar » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:05 am

Jnyusa wrote:We need IRV and proportional representation to get rid of the two-face, one-party stranglehold on our government.

That's for starters.
Amen. 'Cause it's clearly a sytem that is broken and it ain't working for nobody.
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Postby vison » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:36 am

It won't happen. Juggernauts, like aircraft carriers, are almost impossible to turn and nearly as impossible to stop.

There is no will for change, only for partisan viciousness and for denial of reality.

Many people saw this coming. No one listened. No one ever does. Some Americans (and ALL Tea Party members, I suspect) think that the US exceptional. That naive and foolish belief in American exceptionalism has been and will continue to be the bane of the Empire.

It's handy to blame Mr. Obama, but in all honesty I don't think there was diddly he could do. It really is, people, truly and actually, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. He might have been able to achieve a more pleasing arrangement, shorter rows, chairs closer together or farther apart. He might have got the band to change its tune.

But the ship is going down, just the same. It really, really, really sux. :(
GM is alive.

Osama bin Laden is dead.
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Postby Lord_Morningstar » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:38 am

vison wrote:It won't happen. Juggernauts, like aircraft carriers, are almost impossible to turn and nearly as impossible to stop.


Pretty much. The recent referedum over preferential voting in the U.K. is a classic example.
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Postby Jnyusa » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:46 am

It is my opinion that the reason things like this don't get done is because the people who claim to want change are more interested in talking about change than they are interested in doing the tedious grass roots work needed to create change.

Changing people's minds means talking to them, over and over again, in their backyards, in the supermarket, in church/synagogue/mosque, while you're waiting together to pick your kid up at school ... on and on.

You have to pick one issue, one change, and work at it until you win, and not move on to the next until you've won the first. You have to find the opening line that will get other people to open up to you and talk about the issue you want to change.

Everybody wants to be President. Everybody wants to be mover-shaker. Nobody wants to be Township Supervisor and make sure the trash is collected on time.

And then, these days, it's hard to find people who have the leisure for that level of commitment to personal interaction with fellow citizens. I am sure that TPers are reimbursed for their expenses of getting to demonstrations. That is how AARP was able to drain the SSA - they paid for the buses to Washington and the hotels in Washington and the meals in Washington and all the constituent had to be was on the brink of retirement and willing to take a road trip to Washington.
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Postby Cerin » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:46 am

Jnyusa, I've imported these remarks from the debt ceiling thread, in order to reply to them here, as seemed more appropriate to me:

Jnyusa wrote:
Cerin wrote:Obama is far worse for the liberal cause than having a Republican as President, against whom the Democrats would be able to articulate an opposing vision for the country.


While I agree with your take on what is happening, I can't agree with this conclusion, Cerin. Legislation that is bad can be repealed, but a Republican president with a TP mindset would use the executive orders that Pres Obama is unwilling to use to drive us to hell in a handbasket just as fast as he/she could.

Person A fails to do good. Person B actively does evil. I don't want to substitute B for A, no matter how betrayed I feel.

That being said, this episode was a disaster for America and raising the debt ceiling today or tomorrow will not turn the tide. The problem is that institutions and foreign governments who are invested in the US economy ... not speculating in it but invested in the US economy in some way, either holding our bonds or using our currency to back their own ... had to develop a contingency plan over the last two weeks in case the US did default, or did get downgraded again, or did get the debt ceiling raised for six months only. They had, for the first time in history, to figure out how they would protect their own economies, treasury reserves, massive portfolios if the US dollar were no longer 'as good as gold.'

It would be hard to underestimate the fury that accompanies such a necessity, and particularly when the necessity arises for a reason like this: people who think the world is 6,000 years old and Jesus rode a dinosaur threw a tantrum in the halls of Congress. And they were voted into that position. And the President of the US, who has more power than anyone else on earth, didn't know what to do about it.

America can no longer govern itself. That is the conclusion other governments and treasuries and institutions that manage the world's money are forced to draw because of the events of the last two weeks.

Contingency plans of this sort take two forms: (A) protect everything you can from the current threat; (B) if the current threat is not realized, protect the future against a recurrence of this risk. This morning we woke up to Plan B.


Let me focus on these (consecutive) statements from the quote above:

And the President of the US, who has more power than anyone else on earth, didn't know what to do about it.

America can no longer govern itself.

This explains concisely why I think it imperative that Obama not have a second term -- he is the reason that America can no longer govern itself. This man's diseased thinking -- his warped view of capitulation as compromise, his fear of disappointment that leads him to lower expectations, the vanity of his self-image as peacemaker (the one thing that cannot be compromised) which prevents him from acknowledging the reality of our current politics -- these things are absolutely toxic and deadly to our democracy when combined with today's Republicans. He has allowed them, in the name of compromise, in his vision of himself as the new Lincoln, to run amok, to obstruct, to extort, in short, to upend the Constitution and the founders' vision of representative government; and not only has he allowed it, but he has legitimized their every move! He has given them cover time after time (while keeping his heel firmly on the neck of the progressive caucus), he has enabled them by treating them as the statesmen he needs them to be in order to fulfill his self-proclaimed destiny. And we know he will continue to do it! We don't know how another person, how the eventual Republican nominee might perform (perhaps they'll rise to the occasion), but we do know how this President will perform. Our democracy will not survive him, because, as you said, with a President who doesn't know what to do about it, this country cannot govern itself.

With a Republican in the White House, at least up will be up, down will be down, progressives will have a voice and the American people will be able to see the two competing versions of America. With Obama as President, up is called down, the people are confused, the truth is silenced and in the next four years it will die without ever having been defended.

Which brings me back to another of your remarks:

Person A fails to do good. Person B actively does evil.


Person A more than fails to do good. Person A enables evil; Person A represents evil as good, because to call evil, evil, to speak truth about right and wrong would interfere with his delusional goals for self-aggrandisement. It is better for people to see evil and know it, so that they can fight it, than to be sold a package of evil deceptively wrapped as good. They won't know the truth, and so they won't be able to fight for it.

That's my reckoning. I realize others will come to a different conclusion.
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Postby basil » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:23 pm

Cerin wrote:Person A more than fails to do good. Person A enables evil; Person A represents evil as good, because to call evil, evil, to speak truth about right and wrong would interfere with his delusional goals for self-aggrandisement. It is better for people to see evil and know it, so that they can fight it, than to be sold a package of evil deceptively wrapped as good. They won't know the truth, and so they won't be able to fight for it.

That's my reckoning. I realize others will come to a different conclusion.


Yup, and somebody's been reading their Bible. :wink:

The sin of Omission is ever bit as great as the sin of Commission.

It's my strong belief this pertains to public professional life every much as it is to individual personal life.

You do the right thing because it's right and take your hit, not make a dodge-ball game of it all.

I believeTolkien had similar sentiments, so obviously we're in the right, Cerin. :)

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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:56 pm

You do the right thing because it's right and take your hit, not make a dodge-ball game of it all.


It's likely that if this were adhered to 100% by people in the history of the US, that women would still not have the right to vote, segregation would still be in place, and countless other policy victories that required good timing and good strategizing, would have failed.

Let me suggest a slight, but important, revision.

You do the right thing because its right, and you do it smartly and strategically.

That's the better maxim, IMO.

-GM
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Postby basil » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:22 pm

Don't I wish.

Trouble is, I'm convinced there'll be a lot of unrest among the populace up to Nov 2012.

One hopes it will be balloty unrest and not the physical, destructive kind.

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Postby Swordsman_Of_The_Tower » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:34 pm

basil wrote:Don't I wish.

the physical, destructive kind.

b


We could use a healthy dose of that right now. I'm thinking trashing that stupid bull statue on Wall Street.
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Postby vison » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:28 pm

Swordsman_Of_The_Tower wrote:
basil wrote:Don't I wish.

the physical, destructive kind.

b


We could use a healthy dose of that right now. I'm thinking trashing that stupid bull statue on Wall Street.


Don't bother.

It's going to be chewed up by the bear.
GM is alive.

Osama bin Laden is dead.
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Postby Jnyusa » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:17 pm

You know, it's always possible to substitute labor for capital.

Impossible to outspend the wealthy who want things their own way, but a hundred thousand people willing to pound payment, collect signatures, listen to what ordinary people want, back and verbally promote candidates that reflect those wishes is just as effective as a million dollar campaign coffer.

What we progressives have not done is deployed our human assets smartly. We burn them out on a thousand ideological correct but irrelevant fringe issues.

In the final analysis, every person gets one vote, and all you have to do is convince enough people. There's no law that says television is the best way to do that.
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Postby Aravar » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:31 am

Jnyusa wrote:What we progressives have not done is deployed our human assets smartly. We burn them out on a thousand ideological correct but irrelevant fringe issues.



Lord M raised the recent referendum of preferential voting (I voted not to change, unsurprisingly). In the soul searching by the pro campaign there was a perceptive comment that what was wrong was that it was "by Guardian readers and for Guardian readers". there was no attempt to connect with the average voter.

The same could be seen in Gordon Brown's dismissal, duringthe eleciton campaign of a Labour supporter's concerns about the impact of immigration: he was caught on mike dismissing her as "that bigoted woman" and had to make a grovelling apology.
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