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Today’s Incarnation of The White House

December 7, 2010


(somebody had to say it)


Before anybody gets their panties in a bunch and flames me, take a moment to understand the literary reference:

“…Tom [is]a Christlike figure who is ultimately martyred [and] beaten to death by a cruel master….”

This guy is going to take the entire country down in flames in service of his messianic ambitions and crap-u-lent political instincts.

I can’t even get angry about it anymore…how to describe my feelings….? Hmm…what’s the opposite of hope? Oh yeah…despair.




(somebody had to say it)


(somebody had to say it)

18 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2010 10:09 am

    Gee whiz, let me guess: You don’t like the guy…

    • December 7, 2010 10:29 am

      Used to love him. Held a party election night featuring an RIP Bush/Cheney cake. Cried when they announced that he’d gone over the top. Literally.

      Like all jilted lovers, I’m feeling a little bitter. Make that a LOT bitter. Second worst President I can remember…at least the other horrible Presidents were actually on the other side. This guy’s a spineless wonder…soft as puppy sh*t. Definitely NOT what I voted for.

      More to the point, he’s set back everything I believe in at least 20 years, if not more. Do you think anybody who supported him is ever going to believe another Democratic change candidate in their lifetimes?

      Honestly, the whole situation makes me sick to my stomach.

  2. Paul Ferguson permalink
    December 7, 2010 10:22 am

    I usually give President Obama the benefit of the doubt. However, I am disappointed by his “deal” with the Republican Leadership. It is ironic that Republicans won elections with “Deficit Reduction” being one of their main issues when this “deal” continues to make the problem worse.

    There needs to be a discussion of these issues: Tax Policy, Start Treaty with Russia, Unemployment Benefits, Infrastructure investments… With a “deal,” the American people will not focus on these issues. Without a push from the people, it is difficult to achieve policy objectives. It is my hope that Congress will not go along with the “deal.”

    • December 7, 2010 10:34 am

      I agree with your articulation of the problem, but I think the notion of a “push from the people” is a tad unrealistic. We already gave him that push — Helen Keller couldn’t have missed the message of the 2008 election! What we need is LEADERSHIP. Obama has failed us miserably, and only Charlie Brown would take another run at that particular football.

      Maybe we should start the progressive version of the Tea Party. Unfortunately most progressives are too comfortable, too intellectual, to embrace that particular form of rage.

      As you can tell, the whole thing makes me f**king crazy!

  3. December 7, 2010 10:57 am

    The Prez is going to be facing some big nasty in ’12 if he doesn’t come around. I don’t see anything messianic though; I see a failure – as you do – of leadership. (not to mention continuing so many Bush policies!)

    Even now, I’m a bit willing ot give him more time, but each day I’m a bit more discouraged.

    • December 7, 2010 11:03 am

      Messianic in his own mind. Delusionally so, but I honestly believe that he’s motivated by the tripped-out notion that he can fundamentally change the architecture of politics through his zen-like personality. Or some such bullshit. Hard to track insanity.

      • December 7, 2010 11:05 am

        Ohhh, you feel burned!

  4. December 7, 2010 2:14 pm

    More to the point, he’s set back everything I believe in at least 20 years, if not more.

    To be fair, many people think that the things Progressives believe in don’t work. The fact that they have been “set back 20 years” may have more to do with the fact that those things are, in reality, fairy tales and not the mark of a poor leader.

    Without a push from the people

    There was a very significant “push” just 1 month ago. The “push” was to end this nonsense.

    Obama has failed us miserably

    I’ve been severe in my opposition of Barack Obama from nearly the time I began to hear him speak. There are two aspects of his self that make me nervous:

    1. He’s a Socialist. [And just because he’s shitty at being a Socialist doesn’t make him not one. For example, just because the Carolina Panthers are a horrible NFL Football team doesn’t mean they aren’t an NFL Football team.
    2. He hadn’t [and you could still claim this to be true today I guess] run anything, at all, in all of his life. He had zero managerial experience.

    I find it ironic that item #2 is causing item #1 to not matter and has turned out to be my favorite part of this President.

    In other words, I am shocked that you’re shocked he’s a crummy manger/leader/get’erdone kinda guy.

    Maybe we should start the progressive version of the Tea Party.

    Ahh, the Tea Party is the conservative version of the Progressive movement. Protests, rallies and the whole “take time off from productive things to attend political movements” has been the domain of the Left for generations now.

    • December 7, 2010 2:24 pm

      [Protests, rallies and the whole “take time off from productive things to attend political movements” has been the domain of the Left for generations now]

      Wasn’t that the 60’s and 70’s ??

      • December 7, 2010 2:59 pm

        Wasn’t that the 60′s and 70′s ??

    • December 7, 2010 3:32 pm

      1. Actually, polls consistently show that most American’s share progressive values. They don’t like the label — because of the insidious mind-fucking of Fox news, a task made all the more easy by the Republicans having methodically dismantled all of those elements of public education which once developed students critical thinking skills & the successful conflation by the radical Christian right of ignorance and religion — but they almost always agree with the principles.

      2. If you think Obama’s a socialist, you must have gone to one of the public schools referenced above. The word “socialist” has a particular meaning, and refers to a particular political philosophy. If your carelessness with words is emblematic of the rest of your intellectual hygiene…well, it kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

      3. The push to which I referred was — as you well know, but you’re obviously not debating in good faith — the ’08 election. Any political analyst worth his salt — at least the intellectually honest ones — will tell you that it was the failures to which I’ve referred which depressed turnout and led to the ass-kicking last month. Even your own Party’s leaders are on record as having admitted that the mid-terms weren’t an endorsement of Republican principles, but rather a political failure of the Democrats. That’s hardly news — the Democrats have been fucking up since they nominated Hubert Humphrey against Nixon in ’68.

      I will have to pay your comment one compliment: you’ve done a wonderful job of channeling Sarah Palin. Congrats — keep it up! The best chance we have of holding the White House in 2012

      • December 7, 2010 3:55 pm

        Actually, polls consistently show that most American’s share progressive values.

        You’d struggle to find polls that show America is not a Center-Right nation. Even California, the State that elects the most flaming Liberals, can’t push through Gay marriage or legalizing dope.

        The word “socialist” has a particular meaning, and refers to a particular political philosophy.

        Correct mostly. The most standard and rigid definition refers to State owned methods of production. That is, literally, the State owns the companies. While we are clearly a LONG ways from that, the other variants and forms of Socialism are alive and well in the mind of Obama and others on the Left.

        Consider this:

        Cultural Dictionary

        socialism definition

        An economic system in which the production and distribution of goods are controlled substantially by the government rather than by private enterprise, and in which cooperation rather than competition guides economic activity. There are many varieties of socialism. Some socialists tolerate capitalism, as long as the government maintains the dominant influence over the economy; others insist on an abolition of private enterprise.

        Clearly when those of us who favor free and open markets refer to Obama and his ilk as “Socialists” we don’t mean that he is trying to obtain government control of companies, we mean that he is trying to establish government control of the market.

        That is, to control who and how things are made and who and how people are paid and compensated. It’s less of “Government Ownership” than it is “Redistribution of Wealth”. If you wanna call THAT something else, label it and I’ll call Obama and ya’ll THAT. Until then, please, come down from the “Oh my God tree” and calm yourself on the word games.

        The push to which I referred was

        Interesting. But I was replying to Ferguson, not to you. My point to him, and now to you, is that there has been a second push. That we were pushed to the Right, or –to your point– AWAY form the Left is very clear.

        rather a political failure of the Democrats.

        You make it sound like you guys didn’t put up enough campaign signs or man the calling stations well enough. When the fact is that while the nation was/is fed up with Republicans who act like Democrats, we REALLY don’t like Democrats who act like Socialists.

        a wonderful job of channeling Sarah Palin. Congrats — keep it up! The best chance we have of holding the White House in 2012

        Clever. Never would have thought you’d play the Palin Gambit. I am without retort.

  5. Andrew permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:11 am

    I also wish Obama had taken a stronger stance on several issues during his first two terms when he easily had more “political capital” to spend. However, given the situation now, this “deal” seems like it may be the most pragmatic way forward. What would you have done differently? Middle class tax cuts and unemployment benefits were being held hostage, and there are more important long-term issues to move onto dealing with.

    Obama has always recognized that he needs to choose his battles, and while he may not always have done so wisely, this one was probably not a battle worth turning into a full scale war. In the 2012 election season the “tax cuts for the rich” will be on the table again and should be an election theme. In the meantime, I’d rather the president and congress focus on the big picture view of our debt and deficit instead of getting knotted up in this one irreconcilable difference.

    BTW, I’ve had a thought, and please let me know where this idea misses the mark. It seems that the Republicans’ primary reason given for extending tax cuts for the wealthy is to not slow down the recovery by taking money away from those who can create jobs. I don’t necessarily agree that the tax increase we’re talking about would significantly impact the recovery, but put that aside for the moment. If this really is the Republicans’ motivation, then why not offer a compromise where taxes go up on the wealthiest 2% *except* for those who run small businesses with employees *and* who have their business income pass through on their personal tax returns? Wouldn’t that target the exact people the Republicans claim to be concerned about?

    I’ll admit this idea would likely never fly. But the main reason I like the idea of proposing it is because it would force Republicans to admit their *real* reason for wanting to extend tax cuts to the rich — to simply keep themselves and their rich donors richer.

    • December 10, 2010 11:00 am

      Hi Andrew —

      To take your comments in order:

      The position you (and Obama) have taken on the compromise is based on false premise that those were the only two options. There were plenty of ways that the legislation could have been structured which have avoided the “hostage” scenario. The easiest would have been to decouple the two policies — do one tax bill and another unemployment bill. By allowing the Republicans to conflate the two, this outcome was almost inevitable. He let them pick the turf, which is bozo no-no #1 in any kind of a battle.

      Your comment also seems to assume that resolving this issue would free congress to work on other things for the rest of the session. But of course the Republicans won’t let that happen — they’re against almost the entire rest of the agenda (DADT, START, etc.), and have just been trained that they don’t have to engage in debates that they don’t like their odds of winning. Like any good dog, when the next bell goes off they’ll salivate all over again. Remember Bill Clinton’s famous statement to the effect that insanity is when you keep doing the same things and expecting a different outcome.

      As I’ve said ad nauseam, the particular issue here pales against the backdrop of a feckless President who can’t be trusted to fight for even his own (avowed) principles. I don’t seriously believe — as some on the left seem to — that he’s actually a centrist and that we were snookered in the ’08 election (though it’s getting harder and harder to defend him on that count). I think that he just hasn’t grown into his shoes as President…that he hasn’t accepted that he can’t do the job without both giving and getting some punches. He seems to play rope-a-dope, or perhaps better to say that he refuses to understand that engaging in the fight actually affects the outcome (on substance) and that American’s will have more respect for him for fighting and getting a bad outcome than they will for rolling over and getting a marginally better one. Leadership means inspiring people to trust you, and he gets a big fat ‘F’ on that. It kills me to say it, but there’s no denying it at this point. His political failures drive his policy failures, and it’s only going to get worse until he stops being such a f**king pussy.

      To your last point, I understand the theory but it would be impossible in practice. There are already too many ways to manipulate the tax code, and the IRS wouldn’t stand a chance against the army of accountant and lawyers who would make billions off of finding ways to exploit the complexity. But again, I have to take issue with the premise (sorry….) It’s something approaching tragic that the trickle-down meme and it’s various close cousins on the tree of ideas haven’t been driven to extinction. It’s simply inaccurate economics.

      Here’s one of many reasons it’s wrong: If I own a small business and my decisions are REALLY driven by trying to avoid the marginal increase for my income above some threshold, then my rational response would be to to leave money in the business to grow it so that I increase the enterprise value. That way I avoid current taxes, and when I do monetize that increase in value by selling the company, it’s taxed at the much lower capital gains rate. While this would admittedly not apply to all businesses (some aren’t grown for an exit), on a macro level the reinvestment would (I believe) more than offset any fictional negative effect that they claim (which is that people stop selling things when they start to get close to that threshold because they find the prospect of paying a slightly higher rate on those extra profits so repellent).

      The problem is, simply, that the Democrats allow crackpot economic theories to fester on the political landscape unchallenged. They should be scoffing at this kind of BS, not legitimizing it rolling over like a fat hooker on a Saturday night whenever they encounter a pack of lies.

      • Andrew permalink
        December 13, 2010 11:26 am

        Hey Adam,

        First of all, no worries about being critical of my comments. I do like a good debate.

        Certainly Obama could have tried to fight the Republicans tooth and nail on the tax cuts for the wealthy. And he could have launched a nationwide campaign to try to educate people on the fallacies of trickle down economics. But could any of this have had a chance of working within the couple of weeks left this year? Was it worth risking NOT extending the middle class tax cuts and NOT extending unemployment benefits, regardless of whether or not he might have “won” in the end? I really think that the “deal” was the pragamatic choice leading to the least bad result in the short term.

        Further, in the big picture long-term view, this may have been a battle worth “losing”. In 2012 we’ll likely either re-elect Obama or elect a Republican as president. Assuming you still prefer the former outcome (if you don’t, then that’s another discussion), then what was the best strategy here? I think he may have found it.

        By embracing all ideas for improving the economy, no matter how specious, he is, in fact, increasing the chances of a decent recovery by 2012. If there is a decent recovery by then, he’s almost a shoe-in for re-election (as history has proven). On the other hand, if the economy is still in the tank, now at least the case can be made that we tried everything and NOBODY’s ideas (Democratic or Republican) worked to extricate us from this mess. That’s a much better position to be in for a re-election campaign than if he had vetoed all opposing views for two years, thus making it “clear” that the failed recovery is his doing.

        I believe the economy will very likely still be in the tank in 2012 (because of the size of the bubbles that have burst, and because jobs won’t be coming back due to offshoring and automation advances). In that case, it’s only smart for Obama to let Republicans get some skin in the game so that they can also share the blame. Then, moving forward, as we try to find a way to adjust the national psyche to an economy with persistent 10%+ unemployment and an increasing gap between the rich and the poor, I’d much rather have a Democrat in charge than a Republican, regardless of whether he’s as strong a leader as we’d like.

        As Bill Maher put it, let’s not confuse a friend in whom we’re disappointed with an enemy out to eat our souls. Could Obama do better? Sure. Is he still our best option at this point? It sure seems like it.

  6. steve reed permalink
    February 8, 2011 7:31 pm

    Like many I have my disappointments with Obama . As one example, I would like for the guy who talked about how he would change the way Washington works to, you know,try a little harder to CHANGE THE WAY WASHINGTON WORKS, through Fair Elections Now Act, reduction of revolving doors, and so forth ,though he has done some things on the margin.
    But he has accomplished a number of things with more in the offing. It does no good to be far out front leading the progressive charge to find there are few behind you, and that you have exposed flanks. I’m not into purity of agenda.
    The big things that Obama will need to do going forward, besides reduction of big money in Congress (HAH !), is to steer the US towards a better balance of trade and domestic manufacturing regrowth, a plan for federal debt management, fossil fuel caps or tax, development of clean energy, a sane foreign policy, and big investments in R&D and the right infrastructures. I would also like to see a tax structure that incentivizes corporations to take a longer view. Unfortunately, we don’t have the advantage of Japan post 45 or China circa 1990 when they were in many respects starting from scratch. We have vested powerful interests that don’t want major change, as we know.
    I have no patience for the jilted lovers whose expectations were illusory to begin with, and declare there is no difference between the two parties, so why vote. I would have thought eight years of George Bush would have taught them that, but then, I also thought four years of imbecility would have been enough also.

  7. Doug permalink
    April 15, 2011 9:46 am

    First off, let me say that for years I was a self proclaimed die hard republican, and was proud to pronounce it to anyone. Part of my problem was that for too many years I swallowed the party’s talking points hook line and sinker without really questioning it at all. Sadly enough I think that is what happens all too often on both sides, democrat and republican. Its far too easy to blame the other guy for all the problems we are facing today. Real solutions will only come when we are honest enough to look past party differences, past what will win us the next election and come up with real solutions that move us forward. For those of you out there, left or right that truly believes that your views or party lines are 100% right and the other side is always wrong, try to put it into perspective by applying it to your personal lives. In a marrige, if one side insists that they are always right and the spouse is always wrong, chances are that marrige will not last very long. Its not the way we teach our children to be growing up. Until we bring the people of our country together as a whole, we are never going to see real change. And its time we starting demanding that in our elected officials too.


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