A few more thoughts on the debt ceiling “compromise”

I don’t have a lot of time, as I’ve got a hot date planned, but I wanted to add a few things to the very fruitful discussion we started last night on the subject of the debt ceiling “compromise”. Following are a few of the more insightful quotes that I found on the subject this evening.

MATT TAIBI:

…The Democrats aren’t failing to stand up to Republicans and failing to enact sensible reforms that benefit the middle class because they genuinely believe there’s political hay to be made moving to the right. They’re doing it because they do not represent any actual voters. I know I’ve said this before, but they are not a progressive political party, not even secretly, deep inside. They just play one on television.

For evidence, all you have to do is look at this latest fiasco.

The Republicans in this debt debate fought like wolves or alley thugs, biting and scratching and using blades and rocks and shards of glass and every weapon they could reach.

The Democrats, despite sitting in the White House, the most awesome repository of political power on the planet, didn’t fight at all. They made a show of a tussle for a good long time — as fixed fights go, you don’t see many that last into the 11th and 12th rounds, like this one did — but at the final hour, they let out a whimper and took a dive.

We probably need to start wondering why this keeps happening. Also, this: if the Democrats suck so bad at political combat, then how come they continue to be rewarded with such massive quantities of campaign contributions? When the final tally comes in for the 2012 presidential race, who among us wouldn’t bet that Barack Obama is going to beat his Republican opponent in the fundraising column very handily? At the very least, he won’t be out-funded, I can almost guarantee that.

And what does that mean? Who spends hundreds of millions of dollars for what looks, on the outside, like rank incompetence?

It strains the imagination to think that the country’s smartest businessmen keep paying top dollar for such lousy performance. Is it possible that by “surrendering” at the 11th hour and signing off on a deal that presages deep cuts in spending for the middle class, but avoids tax increases for the rich, Obama is doing exactly what was expected of him?

ROBERT REICH:

…More than a year ago, the President could have conditioned his agreement to extend the Bush tax cuts beyond 2010 on Republicans’ agreement not to link a vote on the debt ceiling to the budget deficit. But he did not.

Many months ago, when Republicans first demanded spending cuts and no tax increases as a condition for raising the debt ceiling, the President could have blown their cover. He could have shown the American people why this demand had nothing to do with deficit reduction but everything to do with the GOP’s ideological fixation on shrinking the size of the government — thereby imperiling Medicare, Social Security, education, infrastructure, and everything else Americans depend on. But he did not.

And through it all the President could have explained to Americans that the biggest economic challenge we face is restoring jobs and wages and economic growth, that spending cuts in the next few years will slow the economy even further, and therefore that the Republicans’ demands threaten us all. Again, he did not.

The radical right has now won a huge tactical and strategic victory. Democrats and the White House have proven they have little by way of tactics or strategy.

By putting Medicare and Social Security on the block, they have made it more difficult for Democrats in the upcoming 2012 election cycle to blame Republicans for doing so.

By embracing deficit reduction as their apparent goal – claiming only that they’d seek to do it differently than the GOP – Democrats and the White House now seemingly agree with the GOP that the budget deficit is the biggest obstacle to the nation’s future prosperity.

The budget deficit is not the biggest obstacle to our prosperity. Lack of jobs and growth is. And the largest threat to our democracy is the emergence of a radical right capable of getting most of the ransom it demands.

RUSS FEINGOLD:

The debt ceiling deal should remove any doubt of the power corporate interests have over our government. That deal, hammered out by the president and Republican Congressional leaders, places the burden of reducing our long-term budget problems on average Americans, while the wealthiest individuals and corporations are given a free pass. Americans are willing to bear their share of the burden of addressing our nation’s long-term budget problems, but those sacrifices should be shared by all.

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99 Comments

  1. Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t want to bring everyone down by putting it on the front page, but I also wanted to pass along the following from our friend Jim “fuck you” Kunstler:

    …So now we enter an economic terra incognita of the real post-industrial economy – not the Cinderella hoo-hah of digi-magic advertised in places like Wired Magazine, but more like a Foxfire world made by hand. We’re out of cheap oil, cheap and good ores, ocean fish, good timber, and lots of other things. All the stuff we erected to live our lives in – the stupendous armature of highways, strip malls, suburban houses, skyscraper condos, sewer systems, electric grids – is beyond our power to repair now. We can only patch it, and that can only work for so long before things go dark. (Can you sharpen a saw blade?)

    The money part is not so hard to understand. When the dynamism wanes in a hypertrophic system, money can no longer be created. Real money, that is. Money that means something, a trustworthy medium of exchange, in a system where borrowers reliably pay back loaned money. All the current money fiascos underway around the world, old and new, western and eastern, are just dumb-shows put on to conceal the fact that money is not being paid back. Real wealth is contracting – even as the smaller pool of remaining wealth moves magnetically to the centers of power.

    We will never solve this American debt crisis. We’re going broke fast and it will be like falling down a long staircase. The federal government will never recover. It will pretend to be in charge of things that continue to fall apart, and eventually its pretenses will be seen for what they are – and then it will be every community for itself. (The same can be said of the states, and even the counties.)

    The troubles will mount more rapidly, too, from here, because nobody has been fooled by the machinations in congress the past month, except maybe the elected cravens at the center of it all, and many of them are in their final years of lofty, well-feathered splendor. A debt rating warning – if that’s what it turns out to be – will be brushed aside, and for some good reasons, too, but it is really a dark sign that our Republic does not function anymore and is primed to break apart.

  2. Glen S.
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I was going to comment further on yesterday’s debacle, but I can’t imagine anything I could add that could top a combo like Matt Taibbi, Robert Reich and Howard Kunstler!

    Looking forward, it seems that many of us will have do a lot of serious soul-searching about whether, and how, we might continue to be involved in politics — at least at a national level.

    But, from the comments on yesterday’s debt-ceiling thread, it seems there is a broad range of opinions/attitudes among those on the left side of the spectrum, breaking down, in very broad terms, as follows:

    A.) The debt-ceiling crisis was mostly the fault of the “Professional Left,” who, by criticizing President Obama and Democratic leaders, and trying to hold them accountable for their words and promises — were directly responsible for the 2010 Republican electoral gains — and are therefore responsible for putting the Tea Party into Congress.

    B.) The debt-ceiling crisis just shows why we need to contribute more, and work even harder to elect more and better Democrats to give President Obama the support he needs to oppose the Republican right.

    C.) The debt-ceiling crisis demonstrates that Democrats are still on our side, but that leaders like President Obama and Harry Reid are just “too nice,” and simply poor negotiators who aren’t up to dealing with cut-throat Republicans.

    D.) The debt-ceiling crisis exposed President Obama and many leading Democrats as frauds and scoundrels, more interested in representing their big-money backers than in representing their constituents, let along core “Democratic” values.

    E.) Our “Democracy” is, in fact, a lie — with two “parties,” designed only to represent multiple sets of plutocratic interests by maintaining the illusion of “elections” and “Congressional battles” to keep the rabble distracted, confused and fearful.

    F.) Did anybody see last night’s episode of “The Bachelorette?” What happened? Which one did she pick … !?

  3. Alan
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Matt Taibbi: “if the Democrats suck so bad at political combat, then how come they continue to be rewarded with such massive quantities of campaign contributions?”

    Take a guess, Matt, kiddo.

    The Democrats have not engaged in any “combat” for decades. And they will, of course, continue to be rewarded with massive contributions from their masters and dupes.

  4. Mr. X
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Alan, I’m afraid it’s not that easy. Some Dems do fight. Look at Russ Feingold and Alan Grayson. Both got voted out of office.

  5. Mr. X
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    G. We lost the war for our country 20 years ago to the corporations, and we’re just now realizing it.

  6. Posted August 2, 2011 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Alan, that’s not true.

    Democrats were involved in political combat throughout the Bush Presidency. The only Senator to vote against the establishment of the Patriot Act was a Democrat (Feingold). When the Patriot Act came up again for a vote in the mid 2000’s, Democrats in the Senate and House widely voted against it, unlike Republicans, who voted to continue infringing upon citizen’s right to privacy. That’s just one example, but it’s a strong one, I believe.

    There are numerous other examples. I’m not saying that I am a Democrat, but characterizing all of them as spineless is incorrect, in my opinion. If that

  7. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Making long term progress means not taking your ball and going home when things don’t seem to turn out exactly how you want in the short term. It would be tragically stupid for people on the left to deflate and allow a republican presidency in 2012. From an Andrew Sullivan reader:

    “In the aftermath of the debt ceiling debate I am most of all disgusted by the political immaturity and spinelessness of my own party which is literally on display in your reader’s post without the slightest hint of irony. They are simply not paying attention to realities of today’s Congress. The nihilism of the Right is so complete and so utterly focused on the destruction of a presidency that avoiding default should be considered a miracle unto itself. *Democrats should be winding up to beat Republicans with the extent of their depravity and recklessness in 2012.* The fact that Obama slipped in defense cuts without entitlements into the trigger and left the Bush Tax Cuts off the table only further proves he is actually paying attention and his style is the right one.

    The correct meme isn’t that Obama caved it’s that he got the best deal he could under insane circumstances.”

  8. kjc
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    “The correct meme isn’t that Obama caved it’s that he got the best deal he could under insane circumstances.”

    From a markmaynard.com reader: Bullshit.

  9. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I understand the disappointment. I’ve been extremely disappointed in the Dems in many ways, but allowing emotion to damage the chances of winning the next election seems counterproductive if you think *in the long term* that Dem leadership is better than GOP. You think things will somehow be better in the long term if Dems get pissy and Romney or some tea party idiot wins next year? You think things turned out better when progressives supported Nader because Gore wasn’t perfect and Bush was (kinda, sorta, not really) elected? In a zero sum game you have to disallow the outcome you least prefer.

  10. Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Just say this:

    “Supreme Court Appointment”

    Bachmann will win in 2012.

  11. Chairman Meow
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    The strongest message that the prog community can send to Dem “leaders” in 2012 will be to not vote for them. No one will wonder why. Vote entirely Green? Probably.

    Note that, by definition, the lesser of two evils is still evil. Time for us all to acknowledge this with our votes.

    The deepest issue—and the one least discussed—is that for your garden variety white liberal, Obama = black = good. What we’re learning these past couple years, though, is that this equation is just as fallacious and dangerous as President X = white = good.

  12. Chairman Meow
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    “You think things will somehow be better in the long term if Dems get pissy and Romney or some tea party idiot wins next year?” Yes, we do think that. Whatever gets middle America closest to revolution is the most politically expedient.

    Bush was replaced by Obama. We all wept and partied. But what actually changed?

  13. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    “The deepest issue—and the one least discussed—is that for your garden variety white liberal, Obama = black = good. What we’re learning these past couple years, though, is that this equation is just as fallacious and dangerous as President X = white = good.”

    In my view that’s pretty silly and a little personally offensive, but that’s no big deal. For me it’s more like GOP=reckless/greedy=bad for country. Getting pissy and not supporting GOP opponent=greater chance GOP wins (see 2000).

  14. Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I know a lot of liberals, some politically knowledgable, some not. I’ve never heard anyone say that because Obama is black, he is inherently good.

  15. kjc
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    well, liberals know not to state their racist assumptions.

  16. Chairman Meow
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    You kidding? A ton of Americans value Obama primarily for the useful political precedent of his ethnicity (myself among them), which dampens their rage at his being—beneath the veil of that ethnicity—not much better than his predecessors in the WH, in terms of social justice.

  17. Posted August 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I don’t dispute Obama’s disappointing record on matters of poverty and social justice.

    I’ve never encountered this “ton of Americans”. A ton is 2000 pounds, so that would only be about 10 or so Americans, yes?

    Do you know any of these people you speak of? Perhaps you could introduce me.

  18. Mr. X
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    It didn’t mean much to me that he was black. I was attracted to the fact that he was a constitutional law scholar. After eight years of Bush, I thought that we needed a civil rights reboot. Unfortunately, that’s not what we got. Gitmo, at least, is still open.

  19. Posted August 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    You guys all need to travel back in time to GWB’s first term in office, assuming you were old enough at the time to actually understand what was going on at the time.

    Is Obama disappointing to me? Yes.

    Is he GWB? Not by a long stretch.

  20. Elf
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s not like people aren’t fighting back against corporate America. The following comes from the NYT.

    Seconds after 7 a.m. on Monday, trousers were dropping and skirts were lifting all along Wall Street. The mass dishabille was part of a site-specific work of performance art, “Ocularpation: Wall Street,” by an artist, Zefrey Throwell. It was intended as a commentary on work and the economy, Mr. Throwell said, though that seemed to be lost on the police stationed near the New York Stock Exchange.

    There, three people — two men and a woman dressed (briefly) as a stock trader, a janitor and a dog-walker — were arrested and taken to a nearby precinct, where they were given summons for disorderly conduct and later released. By 7:05 a.m., the remaining 46 men and women who were part of the project had simply put their clothes back on and gone about their day. Mr. Throwell, who also participated — he was dressed, then undressed, as a hot dog vendor — pronounced the artwork a success and went off to the precinct to see about his compatriots.

    “It’s like a Fluxus happening — it’s sort of jaw-dropping, it’s this moment, and it’s never going to happen again,” said Argot Murelius, a 43-year-old art writer who participated, her black lace lingerie peeking out from beneath her pink sweatsuit. (Her role in the piece: prostitute.)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/02/arts/design/zefrey-throwells-ocularpation-wall-street.html?_r=1&smid=fb-nytimes&WT.mc_id=AR-SM-E-FB-SM-LIN-ZTO-080111-NYT-NA&WT.mc_ev=click

  21. Glen S.
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Both Michigan Senators — Levin and Stabenow — voted “Yes.”

  22. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I guess that means we should help elect Hoekstra next year then, right? ;)

  23. Glen S.
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Andy, you can support whomever you want — or not.

    As someone said above, “the lesser of two evils is still evil.” And for me, the “debt ceiling” votes were my line in the sand.

  24. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    That’s fine Glen, as long as you recognize that in the short term your one withheld vote simply means the republican needs to convince one fewer voter that the GOP should run the govt, making a GOP victory more likely.

    Again and again and again I understand the frustrations, I just wish those with your views realize and accept the implications of their reactions to those frustrations.

  25. Chairman Meow
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s always startling, as well as fascinating, to me when my mainstream-Dem peers get defensive about the atrocities carried out under the aegis of the party. A common reactive reply tends to run like:

    “Well, if you think Clinton is corrupt, you should have . . .”

    and so on.

    But this misses the issue, for me. The issue is: what kind of government do we want? We want a progressive government; anything short of that is A) a failure of imagination and B) not to be supported.

  26. Maria
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    When the Dems control both the Senate and the House and the Presidency,then the Dems get what they want, sort of, anyway. The fact is they don’t control the House, and John Boehner doesn’t control the TeaPartiers. People voted those Tea Partiers in, and Dems don’t have to like it, but there it is.
    I still maintain the TeaPartiers are no more than disillusioned, slightly down on their luck people being manipulated by big corporations, who probably were horrified about how close to the brink this crowd took the economy, but then again, close only counts in horseshoes, and some other cases I can’t think of, so I suppose they will continue to prop up these folks to continue getting their way in the government.

  27. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Well, like the tea baggers, you can engage in self destructive purism to your heart’s desire. IMO it’s not an effective or mature political strategy in the face of a diverse polity, determined opposition, and the conservative design of our political system, but if it makes you feel better today I guess that’s more important than the actual outcome of the next election.

  28. Posted August 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I remember in 2000, people (who were usually really young) would seriously try to convince me that there was no difference between GW Bush and Al Gore.

    Now, 11 years later, we all know that the Presidencies of Gore and Bush would have been nothing alike.

  29. Glen S.
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    @ Andy

    “That’s fine Glen, as long as you recognize that in the short term your one withheld vote simply means the republican needs to convince one fewer voter that the GOP should run the govt, making a GOP victory more likely.”

    I appreciate this sentiment. And, of course, this some truth in it. And, I’m also not so naive as to think that some degree of “settling” or “compromise” is always necessary in politics.

    However, I’m sick to death of being “threatened” with the idea that — if I don’t support Democrats 100%, no matter how badly they perform strategically, tactically, or in terms of delivering actual policy outcomes — *I* will somehow be responsible for propelling a Michelle Bachmann or Rick Perry into the White House.

    As I said yesterday in another thread … If Democrats (when they do get power) were able to deliver real, substantial policy outcomes that actually benefited, and made a REAL difference in the lives of middle-class, working-class and poor Americans, voters would be FLOCKING to voting booths to support them.

    Instead, from Clinton on, we’ve seen the gradual takeover of the Democratic Party by big-money corporate interests, led by “third-way,” DLC-style moderates and centrists, who sponsored think-tank-inspired legislation like “Welfare Reform” and “No Child Left Behind.”

    Retreating from its history of being a party that energizes and motivates people with bold policy proposals and a fighting spirit — the Democrats seem mostly these days to rely on the twin “bogeymen” of a possible Tea Party President, or a nightmare Republican Supreme Court appointment — to inspire folks to vote for them out of fear, rather than inspiration.

    Don’t we deserve more than that?

  30. Chairman Meow
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    “There is a difference between an inconsequential left and a consequential right; the difference is they both do the same things, but one says they don’t.” —Subcomandante Marcos

  31. Posted August 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Glen,

    Bachmann isn’t a bogeyman. She will really win. It’s pretty much a done deal at this point.

  32. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    @Glen, I hear you, and of course we deserve more than that. The problem is that what we deserve is entirely irrelevant to the mechanics of politics. I’m also sympathetic to the idea that you’re sick of feeling politically threatened, but again, to me what really matters at this point is the result of the 2012 election. If the result of you/others being sick of disappointment is that we lose the election, then I would suggest that you aren’t as interested in furthering your own professed policy goals as you are in expressing frustration and anger.

  33. kjc
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    “f the result of you/others being sick of disappointment is that we lose the election, then I would suggest that you aren’t as interested in furthering your own professed policy goals as you are in expressing frustration and anger.”

    we WON the election before. and we still lost plenty. Andy, do you know how many people profess your position and threaten others with it? Glen’s being nice but he has every reason to ignore you. There’s a major disagreement.

    “purism” my ass. your condescension is annoying as hell.

  34. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Actually, this entire recent episode is a direct result of the fact that we got our asses kicked in the most recent election. Prior to 2010 the GOP’s abuse of senate rules (and a few conservative Dems in GOP states) ensured that dems couldn’t just do whatever they wanted. And gee, Obama expended some capital on the stimulus and by finally passing near universal healthcare. Be annoyed all you want, but them’s the facts.

    Seems to me that if you want liberal policies you don’t help conservatives get elected by throwing a tantrum when things do go as well as you’d hoped.

  35. dragon
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    As I said yesterday in another thread … If Democrats (when they do get power) were able to deliver real, substantial policy outcomes that actually benefited, and made a REAL difference in the lives of middle-class, working-class and poor Americans, voters would be FLOCKING to voting booths to support them.

    They did.
    PPACA:
    -Medicaid eligibility is expanded to include all individuals and families with incomes up to 133% of the poverty level.
    -Low income persons and families above the Medicaid level and up to 400% of the poverty level will receive subsidies on a sliding scale if they choose to purchase insurance via an exchange (persons at 150% of the poverty level would be subsidized such that their premium cost would be of 2% of income or $50 a month for a family of 4).
    -Health insurance exchanges will commence operation in each state, offering a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can compare policies and premiums, and buy insurance (with a government subsidy if eligible).

    And yes, people flocked to the polls to elect teabaggers to repeal this monstrosity.
    I personally prefer condescension to outright lies.

  36. kjc
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    More condescension but ok, we’ll concede that anyone who disagrees with you on this is having a tanturm. People to the left of you will stop trying to be little children. Maybe you could stop being a paternalistic ass.

  37. Elf
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    We should scare the established Dems the way the Tea Partiers do the Republicans. We should change the party from within.

  38. kjc
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    how can we scare the established Dems? they’ll call us little children who don’t understand how politics works? Waaaah.

  39. Glen S.
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    @ Andy

    “Obama expended some capital … finally passing near universal healthcare.”

    Near universal healthcare? Are you JOKING!?

    This is the perfect example of what I’m talking about: First, before the debate had really even begun — in true bipartisan fashion — Obama cut back-room deals with insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Next, he jettisoned the option of having the government busy drugs and supplies in bulk (as the V.A.) does to get volume discounts. Then, he played “coy” with the “public option, alternately seeming to support/not support it, before leaving it out of the final bill.

    After nearly a year of tortuous political wrangling (during which, Obama seemingly did little clearly explain the proposal, or to stem the building (then, purely manufactured) Tea Party wrath that was building at town halls all across America. What we ultimately ended up with is a complicated hodge-podge of “state-based health care exchanges,” individual mandates,” tax credits,” etc., that still few people understand — and with many of its most helpful elements not even fully taking effect until 2014 — two YEARS after the next Presidential election!

    Now, as a self-professed political junkie, I tend pay attention to such things, so I know that, on balance, the Affordable Care Act will, in the long run, will represent a modest improvement in health care for many Americans.

    But — I can also tell you I’ve spoken with many people who perhaps aren’t as well informed … who’ve told me that not only do they not understand what the ACA is or what it does … they DO know that they still don’t have health insurance and/or the cost of their health insurance continues to skyrocket.

    Do you think those people will be on their way to vote for Obama in 2012, whistling a happy tune, as they think about the (vague, undefined) healthcare benefits they (may) get (at some point in the near future)?

  40. kjc
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    here’s a great roundtable of the left about Obama and the debt ceiling (yes, the left has many voices–not just crybabies on the one hand and mature adults on the other).

    http://coreyrobin.com/2011/08/01/572/

  41. Glen S.
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    @ kjc

    Fascinating conversation. Thanks for sharing it.

    However, my main takeaway was this: If a bunch of leftish intellectuals participating in an internet salon can’t agree on who President Obama is, and what he really stands for (liberal? neoliberal? neo-con?) — how are ordinary working- and middle-class Americans supposed to understand (and get behind) the Obama “brand?”

    In the wake of the 2008 financial collapse (and following eight years of disastrous Republican mismanagement), voters were practically crying out for new leadership that represented a clear break from the conservative political and economic policies of GWB — seeking bold, progressive leadership that was unafraid to use the power of government to re-shape our economy and society.

    I’ve said this before, but … I think that in 2008, what voters were really looking for was a modern-day FDR … but instead, we got a 21st-Century Calvin Coolidge.

  42. Maria
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    No, I don’t agree with that.
    We have a relative- on my husband’s side, natch- who personifies Tea Partier’s I think.
    She mildly retarded,never held a job, very manipulative, lives on the public dole, sweet enough generally towards her immediate family, and votes solidly Republican every time. She carries on about public entitlements and those liberals looking for handouts, and makes fun of Obama care, while at the age of 60, and loved that nurse and nutritionist who made house calls while her husband died slowly while on dialysis. The ironies never end with her and her political beliefs. She watches Fox News faithfully, and parrots those talking points. I just cringe when she starts up, but she’s in good company.

  43. Maria
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    So do we blame Obama for this phenomena? No, corporate money is at the root of this, they play dirty and mean, support people in office who would blow up the world’s financial system, seriously, they would too do it, and get moderate to liberals to turn on Obama. Awesome outcome for these guys. Divide and conquer is what they are all about.
    People are going to feel this round of cuts, very vulnerable people, and then the people will have to cut through the bullshit, the manipulations, the propaganda that’s being delivered daily. Oil companies have managed to keep their subsidies throughout this process, which is just outrageous, those companies have the best PR machines, best lobbyests money can buy, and there’s goes your proof.
    Support the dem’s going up against the republicans in other sites besides safe ole Eastern Washtenaw county.

  44. Glen S.
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    @ Maria

    I’m pretty sure – above – that you weren’t intending to compare those of us (firmly on the left) who disagree with President Obama’s political strategy and tactics with your mildly-retarded, Fox News-watching, Tea Party-supporting relative, right … ?

  45. Oliva
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Peter, I remember that time too as you do. The only point on which the people saying Bush and Gore were no different would show any interest was re. Supreme Court nominations. They were very rigid and often haughty re. the Bush = Gore matter. Maddening then and now. And there sure weren’t many people joining the A2 protests, held weekly, to fight the stolen election. Instead, people in cars passing in front of the Federal Bldg. would shout, “Losers!” and such, mocking the protesters from their warm big vehicles. Ugly times. Ugly like today but differently–people still loved the overblown lifestyles they’d decided they were entitled to.

    Then Tea Party times, with anger in the lead. The reptilian brain on high alert, blotting out clear thinking, equanimity, and love. It has done us no good to hold tightly to anger and other debilitating emotions. Let anger illuminate but then move through and past it, toward workable solutions. But to dwell in anger and head shaking refusal does great harm to individuals and to our (godforsaken) collectivity. I have faith that the largely manufactured anger that brought us all those Tea Party members of Congress is losing its grip. And that we can renew the fight for fine, accessible public education that esteems reality, curiosity, engaged and vibrant minds; can stand up for organized labor, which is presently being threatened job by job by cagey hatchet men and women in city government and elsewhere backed by big money and lousy state governments; can avoid shooting off our own kneecaps because we’re frustrated and feeling too stuck and sick of it all.

    On that, the Snyder recall petition effort is finally gaining steam but late, so they’re dropping the early signatures and moving the window up–to go through August–so people who signed in June can sign again (computer will find any duplicate signatures and drop extras).

  46. Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I think it was pretty obvious from the start that Barack Obama was a market liberal. Anyone who believed that he was a far left progressive President, clearly didn’t know very much about him.

    He’s not the President I would want, but then any President I want couldn’t win the party nomination let alone the Presidential seat in a popular election.

  47. Maria
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    @ Glen, no not exactly, because she’s a tough act to follow, and speaks to the line between tragedy and comedy, but what happens in Washington is not all about Obama, it’s reflects the discourse at the various states. If we turn on Obama, they corporatists truly win.
    It was Dean who said, why give up on red states, and I agree, the strategy to get out from under the corporations has to be a country wide strategy.

  48. kjc
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    “If we turn on Obama, they corporatists truly win.”

    The corporations win when politicians do their bidding. Disagreeing with (“turning on”) certain of Obama’s policy decisions is about trying to make him stop doing their bidding.

  49. Chairman Meow
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Andrew Levine:

    “In place of greater equality and improved life prospects, the vast majority of us now must deal with increasing levels of anxiety and alienation and diminishing social solidarity. And we must confront the havoc wreaked on the democratic quality of our civic and political life as capitalism proceeds on its course. On the off-chance that his wars don’t get even more out of hand than they already are or that his environmental policies (or lack of them) don’t lead to catastrophe, this is the legacy Obama is forging for himself: making the instruments of our discontent, the pillars of Wall Street’s empire of finance, even more secure.
    That is what Obama is about. And so, in the preposterous episode of political theater our political class staged in the past few weeks, he gave his all. He did negotiate badly enough that Business Schools could make a case study of his machinations, but he was more disingenuous than inept. Obama surrendered for one overwhelming reason –because he wanted to; because he is not just in the game to win, but to win for Wall Street. The time is long past due for liberals to face that reality, and to deal with it not, not as Obama and his advisors expect, by acquiescing out of fear that the alternative is even worse, but in a constructive way. If a Dump Obama cannot get going now, then when?”

  50. Mr. X
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I think the answer is to mount an overwhelming primary challenge against Obama, in which all of this is put on the table. It’s likely to be unsuccessful, but it would clearly show that we’re serious. As for who would run as the candidate, I’d say Russ Feingold. I don’t know that he’d want to run a largely symbolic campaign, though. Maybe Robert Reich would. We should draft an open letter, asking one of them to step forward.

  51. Maria
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Your name is apt.
    No, don’t confuse acceding to demands as desirous of those demands, what was Obama going to do,?those TeaPartiers seemed willing to let the US default… Should he have let them default? Those Tea Partiers need to be voted out

  52. Glen S.
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Maria, I think you’re still missing the point some of us are trying to make.

    What if the debt ceiling “crisis” had gone very differently … ?

    What if, after President Obama had made numerous sincere attempts to negotiate and strike a reasonable compromise, and if, after the Tea Party Terrorists had basically stuck to their position of holding the debt-ceiling increase hostage to their demands for TRILLIONS of dollars of cuts to the poor, working- and middle-class — without A SINGLE PENNY in additional revenue from the wealthiest Americans and major corporations — What if, after all of that, President Obama had simply said something this:

    “My fellow Americans, I believe the compromise I offer is very fair and very reasonable — but it is also my final offer. The Tea Party and their Republican allies can either take it or leave it. But, if they choose not to accept it, they should know I will rest comfortably in the knowledge that, come August 3rd, the American People will know with 100% certainly exactly who is to blame for whatever consequences might ensue.”

    Are you saying that — even after all of that — if the Tea Party/Republicans refused to back down, and the country was forced into a default, it would still, somehow, be President Obama’s fault?

  53. Maria
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Yes.

  54. Glen S.
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Wow.

    Well, Maria, if that’s the case — all I can say is that I wish you and all the other establishment Dems the very best of luck in coping with our inevitable, downward slide into absolute plutocracy.

  55. Maria
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Inevitable, no.

  56. Tommy
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Obama would never say that as it takes balls to do so. He has none. The only Dem I would vote for right now is Howard Dean. He actually has a clue. Obama will not get my vote again. And to those who use the Supreme Court appointment fear and loathing? whar difference does 5-4 or 6-3 really make?

  57. Glen S.
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/obama-debt-ceiling-deal-required-tough-concessions,21067/?utm_source=recentnews

  58. Maria
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Anybody who thinks Obama just should have shown those tea partiers up and let the US default, doesn’t realize what that would mean and to how many millions of people. Tough talk from people who aren’t ultimately responsible.
    Don’t vote for Obama, whatever, but that shows divide and conquer does work. There’s no credible challenger to Obama this election cycle, at least so far. Is Mitt Romney the answer?
    I think this is still about the Congress at this time….
    So, screw it, everybody wants to nail Obama, lets just see how the SuperCongress manages those next trillion cuts, including military ones. This ain’t over..

  59. Glen S.
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    @ Maria

    Before you get so defensive, please try to remember this: Most of us who you accuse of wanting to “nail” Obama actually voted for the guy. Many of us actively campaigned for him and contributed financially to help him get elected, as well — so I’m sure we take no pleasure in finding ourselves in this position. For a variety of very practical reasons, many of us deeply WANTED for President Obama to succeed. And, I would venture to say, that *most* of us could fairly easily be won back over to his side — if he would only show some backbone in sticking up for core Democratic beliefs.

    I hate it when people use sports analogies in politics, but here’s the thing: At some point, if the coach is doing such a poor job that the team keeps losing game after game after game … you seriously have to consider whether it is the team that’s the problem — or if, instead, you need a new coach.

    I think President Obama is an extraordinary individual, and in many ways I’m very proud of what he’s been able to achieve. But, when it comes to politics, my loyalty is to actual political IDEALS and resulting ACCOMPLISHMENTS, than to any particular individual. As much as I admire and respect President Obama, I’m just not willing to continue supporting a leader who I believe is doing so much damage to core Democratic policies and programs that so many people fought for decades to achieve.

  60. Glen S.
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    And in related news …

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/08/03/286554/wtf-obama-lee/

  61. Maria
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    It’s about public support for policy, that’s how you get what you want…
    Many years ago,when my profession was nascent, and it was explained to us newbies that how a congressperson decides to support legislation was via how important it was to their constituents. Literally, the guy pulled out a drawer and said, they open the folders and see which issue or side of an issue got more letters.
    If you’ve ever seen legislators up close, getting worked over, lobbyests (sp), special interests groups, plain everyday people are trying to get their attention endlessly. It’s a bit exhausting to watch, but those legislators give face time to many different competing interest groups, and while I don’t necessarily believe outright bribery takes place, there’s some serious incentive to vote for issues and entities that have money to hand out. I believe that’s balanced with maintaining public good will, and some kind of level of responsiveness to their constituents. If their constituents buy the corporate line completely, well, that’s how the Tea Party crowd got in.
    But with these cuts, can the facade be maintained? It’s a scary time, and we’ll see.
    Blaming Obama for not letting financial Armageddon go down does us all a disservice and doesn’t give proper due to the lunacy of the Tea Party crowd.

  62. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I obviously agree with Maria on this. Glen and others: you can’t possibly believe that turning your back on Obama is going to improve the chance that any Democrat remains president in 2013. So it seems to me what you’re saying is that you don’t really care about the outcome of the election, because your disappointment creates a bridge too far. I honestly don’t have much respect for that kind of thinking. It gave us Bush, and it may well give us someone much worse next year. I respect where you guys are coming from, I just don’t think it’s very smart if you care about beating the GOP in 2012.

  63. Glen S.
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Andy, Maria and others:

    I hear what you’re saying, but almost three years through the Obama administration, this is what I see:

    * Instead of identifying and prosecuting those responsible for the 2008 financial collapse, Obama has instead actually recruited many of them into his administration, or tapped them as economic advisers. Geithner, Bernanke, Summers, Immelt, etc. …

    * Instead of taking aggressive action to stem the mortgage crisis (which nearly everyone agrees is the primary cause of our current depression) — the best Obama could do was to establish a modest government program which relied mostly on the “good will” of mortgage companies and too-big-to-fail banks to help struggling homeowners — a program his administration now admits has been successful in helping only a tiny fraction of those who need it.

    * Instead of quickly winding down our unnecessary (and very expensive) wars, he has — in the case of Afghanistan — expanded them, or — in the case of Libya — entangled us in new conflicts.

    * Instead of reforming the Bush Administration’s unconstitutional privacy and civil liberties abuses, such as warrantless domestic spying, Guantanamo Bay, etc. — he has continued, and in some cases, expanded them.

    * Instead of combating rising income inequality by championing better wages and benefits for working Americans — Obama has completely reneged on his campaign promise to champion the Employee Free Choice Act; has aggressively pushed for new “free-trade” agreements with Columbia and Panama; and hasn’t lifted a finger (via his Labor Department or OSHA) to combat aggressive anti-union policies being enacted in states across the nation.

    * Instead of fighting aggressively for the broadest and most comprehensive healthcare reform program possible, Obama ended up embracing the same basic program that Mitt Romney enacted in Massachusetts — a confusing patch-work of mandates, exchanges and tax credits — that, in the end, seems likely to benefit private insurance and pharmaceutical companies much more than many ordinary Americans.

    * And — most recently — instead of working to protect the core of our Democratic “New Deal” social safety-net (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), Obama has openly discussed (and even offered) substantial cuts to these programs in the name of deficit reduction — without securing a single penny in additional tax revenue from the wealthy or major corporations.

    I could go on … but my point is this:

    He may have a “D” next to his name, and he may give inspiring speeches in which he says many of the “right” things … but really, how much more proof do you need that this man is not on “our” side?

  64. Mr. X
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I mentioned this yesterday, but I’ll say it again. As someone who agrees with points being made by both Glen and Andy/Maria, I do think there’s room between the two positions. I think that the key is to run a strong candidate against Obama in the primary. I think we should find a candidate (Dean, Feingold, Reich, etc.) and then build/fund an organization that really demonstrates that we the people want our President to act on core Democratic principles, and not just speak about them. I suppose ti could weaken Obama in the general election, but I think it’s more likely that it will move him to the left on these issues. And, more importantly, it will give us an opportunity to build a nationwide coalition of men, women and organizations that share these ideals, which can be leveraged later, to keep Obama on the right path.

  65. Glen S.
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    @ Mr. X.

    I’d be happy to support a primary challenge from the left — if only to provide an antidote to the Tea Party madness on the right. However, if this is gonna’ happen, somebody needs to jump in — and soon.

  66. Chairman Meow
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Thoughts on a possible primary challenge:

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/08/04-0

  67. kjc
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    “So it seems to me what you’re saying is that you don’t really care about the outcome of the election, because your disappointment creates a bridge too far. I honestly don’t have much respect for that kind of thinking.”

    Andy, do you understand that both Republicans and Democrats do the bidding of corporate power? You should go read that roundtable of the left so you can stop setting up straw arguments that you then claim to not respect. And seriously, who cares if you do or don’t? I have no respect for people who try to convince people more leftist than them that they’re silly and unrealistic.

  68. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Uggh, and the best way to show your unhappiness that current Dem policy is too conservative is to help enable the election of a more conservative govt? IMO the result of the next election is much too important for your approach. The GOP loves when this happens though, b/c they don’t have to work as hard to win.

  69. Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Fortunately the GOP has it’s own extreme people that are unhappy with their party so that end up balancing out.

    I don’t think that will save us from Bachmann though. It’s really all over.

    I respect that people are unhappy with Democratic policy. My question, though, is why take this out in a Presidential election? It would be much easier to campaign for progressive and third party candidates in local and state government and win. No third party candidate (nor a truly progressive candidate) will ever win a Presidential election.

    The rise of the Tea Party, however, proves that much can be done on a smaller scale.

  70. TaterSalad
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    America has awakened and Capt. Bullshit has been exposed. 2012 can NOT get here fast enough.

    Americans are finally waking up about how little this President knows about an economy.

    http://newsflavor.com/politics/us-politics/white-house-insider-everyone-stunned-at-how-little-barack-obama-understands-3/

  71. TaterSalad
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Peter Larson……… we can agree on your statement: “It’s really over”! You have that one as correct!

    Land of Opportunity or the Land of Entitlements?

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2009/02/land-of-opportunity-or-land-of.html

    http://floydreports.com/whats-really-unprecedented-in-obama-soetoros-america/

    Let your voices be heard in Washington and make your government smaller and fiscally responsible:

    http://www.Meetup.com

    http://www.americasteapartynews.com/

    http://www.TeaParty.org

    http://www.TheTeaPartyExpress.com

    http://www.TeaPartyNation.com

    http://www.TeaPartyPatriots.com

    http://www.The912Project.com

    http://www.teapartyrevolution.com

    http://teapartybell.com

    http://www.TeaPartyActivists.com

    http://patriotsforamerica.ning.com/

    http://www.grassfire.com

    http://www.ConservativeByte.com

  72. MWG
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    In response to Andy’s comments, and others, above:

    I agree that the upcoming election will be of unprecedented importance, but fail to see how supporting Obama (or whoever the Dem’s “liberal” flavor of the moment happens to be) will do a bit of good. The most obvious alternative seems to be some sort of leftist Tea Party movement – of course, the problems with this have already been discussed above, i.e. the fact that the Tea Party owes its existence to the financial support and backing of the established powers within the GOP (as exemplified by David Koch, et al). I am skeptical as to whether any change from within the Democratic party can help but be subordinated to overall party aims – the foremost of which is to preserve the Party’s position of power for another election cycle.

    The two-party system, and really the entire American electoral system, is designed to prevent progress. Historically speaking, radical change in the US results from external trauma – e.g. the Civil War (which resulted in the dismantling of the institution of slavery) or the Great Depression (New Deal, social safety nets). To deliberately spark such a change necessitates a concerted effort by a body outside of government – at one point, organized labor would have seemed an ideal candidate for this role. Sadly, the Taft-Hartley Act (and six subsequent decades of concerted anti-worker action) effectively defanged the unions to the point where, today, they function as little more than the fundraising arm of the DNC, to the bane of the workers they allegedly represent and empower.

    There will be no substantial change unless the US’s two sadly similar excuses for oppositional parties are confronted with a credible external challenge to the 4-10 year Chinese fire drill that is the cyclical transfer of power between Dems and Republicans. Obviously, violence is out of the question – after all, the poor inevitably bear the brunt of any physical conflict.

    (Yikes – lost track of my rant here! Better wrap this up)

    What this comes down to is: as was mentioned above, real political change needs to start at the state and local levels, beginning with a fundamental restructuring of labor unions – or some such similar entity – that resides outside proper political power. Only then is it even possible for the left to begin to contemplate making good on the unfulfilled promises of the last century.

  73. kjc
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    yes, the left and right extremes and the wise ones in the middle. ugh indeed.

  74. kjc
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    btw, I have no doubt I’ll end up voting for Obama. But I in no way think it’s stupid or immature or flat out wrong not to. AT ALL.

  75. Glen S.
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    @ Andy

    This isn’t JUST about Dem policy being “too conservative.”

    It is also about the fact that, even when President Obama and the Congressional leadership seem to favor more progressive policies, he seems constantly to be undone by Republican hardball tactics and/or outmaneuvered on procedural grounds.

    Again, if you don’t care about legislative/policy outcomes — and your only goal is assure that we continue to re-elect Democrats at any cost — then, by all means, your argument makes perfect sense.

    If, however, you care about actual legislation — and the real-world impact on poor, working- and middle-class Americans — I can’t imagine why most people on the left would not find the status quo to be entirely unacceptable.

  76. Maria
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s all over??? Seriously??? No, I don’t buy that for one minute.
    Sometimes, what we see are the tremors before the big one, and that’s what I think this is.
    The Dred Scott decision before the Civil War….

  77. kjc
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    “If, however, you care about actual legislation — and the real-world impact on poor, working- and middle-class Americans — I can’t imagine why most people on the left would not find the status quo to be entirely unacceptable.”

    some people aren’t hurting financially. so they think the worst thing that could happen is Bachmann.

  78. Meta
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    The important thing right now is to focus on those individuals named to the Congressional “Super Committee”. The following note is from Russ Feingold.

    The outrageous debt ceiling deal Congress passed this week has shown us that Republicans are using deficits to fundamentally change our government.

    Extremists in the tea party were willing to watch our country fall off a cliff to protect corporate tax loopholes and get serious cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

    Now we are faced with a Congressional “Super Committee” of six Republicans and six Democrats with unprecedented power to change our country’s budget. And I’ll guarantee that none of the Republicans who end up on the committee will come in willing to vote for any new revenue, even if it means shredding our nation’s most popular and successful social programs.

    We must make sure the Democrats appointed by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are willing to hold the line, insisting on new revenue and no cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits.

    We must stand our ground and fight for what we believe in, no ifs, ands, or buts.

    Sign Progressives United’s petition to Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi — and urge them to appoint real, progressive champions to the Super Committee today.

    http://www.progressivesunited.org/action/super-committee

    Americans are willing to bear their share of the burden of addressing our nation’s long-term budget problems, but those sacrifices should be shared by all.

    That means Republicans must agree to make millionaires and billionaires, Big Oil, Wall Street bankers, and big corporations pay their fair share, too, by closing tax loopholes and increasing revenues.

    But the final work product of the Super Committee will have everything to do with the legislators that make it up.

    It’s absolutely critical that Senate Majority Leader Reid and House Minority Leader Pelosi appoint Democratic members who fairly reflect the interests of the American people, not just corporations and the wealthy — and it’s up to us to apply the public pressure to do it.

    Unlike almost all other legislation considered by Congress, the work product of the Super Committee will not be subject to amendment. There will be no opportunity to add in revenue or reject any provisions that might cut Social Security or Medicare benefits.

    We have a chance to stop the tea party from fundamentally changing our country — by making sure the right Democrats make it onto the Super Committee.

    We’re going to do everything we can, and this petition is only step one. We have to stand together now, and be prepared to fight for our values vigorously over the next few months.

  79. MWG
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    “If, however, you care about actual legislation — and the real-world impact on poor, working- and middle-class Americans — I can’t imagine why most people on the left would not find the status quo to be entirely unacceptable.”

    I feel as if this fails to take into account the enormous differentiations in class within the left – which I would argue are just as pronounced as with the right.

    I feel like the much maligned AnnArbor.com offers us a nice hypothetical example here: imagine the shrill comments that would appear on the site if, by some miracle of politics/The Market, income inequalities were corrected and folks from Ypsilanti started moving into $900 studio apartments in downtown Ann Arbor (or, rather, if the archetypal Scary Ypsi Criminals of AA imagination started moving to Ann Arbor, I should say).

    In the case of Ann Arbor, the status quo (or certain aspects of it) appeals to many liberals for the simple reason that is durn unpleasant to be confronted with one’s culpability in systemic inequality. Also, I feel like they don”t see many poor folks, and sort of just think they’re icky – “brings down property values.”

  80. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Glen, on what plane of existence do we achieve more progressive legislation with a reckless right wing idiot in charge?

    And Peter, Bachmann?! Ha. That’s Obama’s best chance for reelection given the economy. Romney is a much bigger threat.

  81. TaterSalad
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Besides the usual Oprah Winfrey and George Soros, guess who is NOW endorsing Barack Obama for another 4 years in the White House?

    http://visiontoamerica.org/2891/communist-party-usa-officially-endorses-barack-obama/

  82. kjc
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    “I feel as if this fails to take into account the enormous differentiations in class within the left – which I would argue are just as pronounced as with the right.”

    yes. and guess who’s preaching to whom…

  83. MWG
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Plenty of proselytizing to go around, kjc, and both sides seem to have more or less identical hymnals.

  84. MWG
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of which: http://annarbor.com/news/judge-orders-troubled-brandys-liquor-shop-in-ypsilanti-shuttered-for-one-year/

  85. dragon
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Glen(today)
    If, however, you care about actual legislation — and the real-world impact on poor, working- and middle-class Americans

    Glen S.
    Posted July 26, 2011 at 9:27 am
    * Impose an immediate $.75/gallon tax on gasoline and diesel fuel to encourage fuel greater efficiency — with half the revenue devoted to repairing existing bridges and highways; and the other half devoted to public/non-motorized transit.

  86. kjc
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    “Plenty of proselytizing to go around, kjc, and both sides seem to have more or less identical hymnals.”

    you must be listening to different people than I am. in any case, i’m not telling anyone they must vote for Obama or the sky’s gonna fall. i think that may be the “identical” hymnal.

  87. kjc
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    or rather they must NOT. in any case, i’ve been sick of this topic for a while. The good news for Andy (and Maria and whoever else) is there are lots of people who feel as he does, and the bad news for him is that there are lots of people who don’t. Thank god no one has to take marching orders from anyone else. The people who question voting for Obama will probably be working hard to pull him to the left, while the people who believe voting for Democrats is always good cuz there’s something worse will sit on the fencepost and do commentary on the alternating “extremes”. To each her own.

  88. MWG
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    kjc, apologies for the vague post. What I mean is: both sides are preoccupied with addressing the surface symptoms of deeper socio-economic ills.

    To generalize:

    Republican solution = pump money into the upper classes and Corporate Citizens, and maybe it will work its way around equally.

    Democratic solution = pump money into half-assed social programs that are too weak to do any good, but hope it spreads out more or less equitably.

    Of course, GOP obstructionism has a lot to do with the ineffectual initiatives of the Dems. But that’s not to say they’re not f’ing up of their own accord.

  89. Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    If only all blacks!!! and progressives!! were on Mackinac Island!!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Behring_Breivi

  90. Mr. X
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Tater,

    I’m not joking when I say this. You have crossed the line. And you should expect to be getting a call from someone in law enforcement. I mean this in all sincerity. Insinuating that liberals should be murdered in cold blood, on a Michigan island, like those children in Norway, is way way way beyond the pale.

  91. Mr. X
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have an address, but here’s his photo.

    http://tpartyus2010.ning.com/profile/TaterSalad

  92. MM.com ADMIN
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to step in here, but that last comment left by TaterSalad wasn’t by the individual who usually comments under that name. It was left by another regular reader, whom, we suspect, was trying to make a point about Mr. Salad’s political ideology. We rarely do it, but, on occasion, we have to check IP addresses. So please disband your lynch mob.

  93. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Tater is still an ugly fat fuck with terrible ideas.

  94. MWG
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, and thanks to Mr./Ms. Prankster, he’s got even more fuel for his misplaced feelings of White Male Victimization. Fuckhead-itude knows no ideological boundaries.

  95. Posted August 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t do it.

  96. Posted August 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I think it has been well established that TaterSalad is an absolute moron, though.

  97. Chairman Meow
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    You can lynch me, but only in a Dune type way.

  98. Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I think you’re confusing your right wing bigots, though.

    Tater hates Muslims.

    EOS is the one that hates black people.

    They both hate progressives and gays, though.

  99. Chairman Meow
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    But don’t forget that Obama is gay, Muslim, and progressive.

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